282: Three HomePods Too Late


00:00:00   It has come to my attention that my actions on last week's show concerning Federico's undying love of Pokemon upset some people in the audience

00:00:08   and apparently put Federico himself in an emotional tailspin that will take a long time to recover from.

00:00:14   I would like to state for the record that I did not leave the podcast while we were recording.

00:00:18   I played a prank on Federico with the idea in mind to play the whole music in the edit,

00:00:23   making it clear to everyone that it was just a joke.

00:00:26   To Federico, the audience, and the whole world, I would like to apologize for any anxiety

00:00:31   or distress my actions have caused, and through hard work and the dedicated love of my family

00:00:36   and friends, I will strive to do better in the future.

00:00:40   Perhaps we can all learn lessons from this about pranking other people, and we can make

00:00:44   the world a better place together.

00:00:46   I will not be taking questions at this time.

00:00:49   But I do have a question.

00:00:50   Can I ask my question?

00:00:51   No.

00:00:52   (upbeat music)

00:00:54   - Hello and welcome to Connected, episode 282.

00:01:02   It is made possible this week by our sponsors,

00:01:05   Smile, Hover, and SaneBox.

00:01:07   My name is Stephen Hackett

00:01:08   and I am joined by Mr. Federico Vittucci.

00:01:12   - Hello, hi, how are you?

00:01:14   - I'm growing as a person.

00:01:16   - Yeah, I'm still so emotionally distressed.

00:01:20   I don't know if I can do the show.

00:01:22   I was wondering if you were just not going to say hello.

00:01:25   Or maybe I was going to leave.

00:01:29   Maybe I will leave at some point today, who knows?

00:01:31   Oh, damn.

00:01:33   Who knows? I don't know.

00:01:34   I was thinking about all of this.

00:01:36   And it calls into question for me,

00:01:39   like does Federico ever leave when we talk about the Mac?

00:01:42   No one could know.

00:01:44   I actually do not.

00:01:45   And I've never left.

00:01:46   The only time I've left, I was sitting on my bed while John Voorhis was filling up for

00:01:53   me because he was here in Rome.

00:01:55   So that's the only time I left because my desk is a one-person desk.

00:02:00   Also, for the record, I would like to state that I did not learn my lesson about pranking

00:02:05   other people.

00:02:06   I do.

00:02:08   I am intrigued by the idea of making the world a better place together, but I have not learned

00:02:13   my lesson about pranking other people and I will continue to prank other people for

00:02:17   the record. This makes it sound like a Steven focused prank is on the way. Steven, I accept

00:02:21   your apology though, thank you. You're welcome. We should start with some... Oh, I didn't

00:02:26   introduce Myke. Myke's here too. I'm leaving the podcast. I'm gone. I'm leaving now because

00:02:31   you didn't introduce me. Sorry. I'm just really falling apart. Wow, Steven. One episode after

00:02:38   the other wow the controversy is so controversial yeah that's me that's that's what i strive for

00:02:45   uh we have some follow-up and it starts with federal is here hello mike how are you hello

00:02:53   oh i'm so good oh it's good to hear from you mike the uh latest beta of ios 17.4 just released so

00:03:00   we're all waiting with bated breath to see the changes that could potentially be coming

00:03:04   Maybe every app is universal, maybe no app's universal.

00:03:08   We will find out through the course of this episode.

00:03:10   We are waiting with beta breath, you could say.

00:03:13   Ayo! Wow.

00:03:15   Look at that, you are forgiven.

00:03:17   Yes, you are.

00:03:18   For everything you've ever done.

00:03:20   We love you again. You're loved again, Steven.

00:03:23   #LovableStevenHanker.

00:03:26   Make Steven loved again.

00:03:27   Okay, can we do follow-up?

00:03:32   Because Federico, we have discovered that you have the power to change things. So tell us about how

00:03:38   you willed Apple Music Replay 2020 into the world. What you have discovered? This is new to you?

00:03:44   No, I mean we're kidding, but it is a very nice coincidence that since we talked about... Do you

00:03:52   think it's a coincidence? I think you're being nice here because I mean I don't think this is

00:04:00   is a coincidence. Sure, it's a funny thing to say, but they actually said publicly that

00:04:07   they were gonna do this. So, I mean, it's not like, I don't know, you think there's

00:04:11   like some engineer at Apple who's like "oh, they talked about it on connected, so we gotta

00:04:16   actually enable this feature". I don't think it works like that, but it's funny to think

00:04:20   about. I mean, maybe, who knows, I don't know. You were checking all the time, though, so.

00:04:25   I was checking all the time. So we're talking about Apple Music Replay 2020, the playlist

00:04:29   that aggregates all of your top songs of the year.

00:04:32   As we noted, was it last week or two weeks ago?

00:04:36   - It was last week.

00:04:37   - Last week.

00:04:37   So Apple actually said in a statement last year

00:04:41   when they introduced the feature, Apple Music Replay,

00:04:43   that it was not going to be just an end of the year

00:04:47   type of feature, but it was gonna be available

00:04:50   throughout the year, continuously updating every Sunday

00:04:54   with a fresh set of songs in the playlist.

00:04:57   Now, if you go to the Apple Music Replay website, the sort of hero image that you get at the

00:05:03   top of the page still says 19.

00:05:06   So obviously the Apple Music Replay 2019 is still the featured item, and rightfully so

00:05:12   because it's still February and I could see why people may want to generate the playlist

00:05:17   for last year now.

00:05:18   However...

00:05:19   And also, if you're me, I am being told I have not listened to enough music this year

00:05:23   to generate a playlist yet. So that's something.

00:05:29   Right. But if you scroll to the bottom of the page, you will find now, since a few days

00:05:37   ago really, a first Apple Music Replay 2020 playlist. So that's the playlist that you

00:05:43   can add to your library and you will find it in the music app for iPhone, iPad and Mac.

00:05:49   And sure enough, it comes with, at least for me, it's got the top songs that I've listened

00:05:53   to since January 1st 2020. Again, it's just a playlist, you will not get any additional

00:06:00   information about top albums and top artists and that kind of stuff, but you can add it

00:06:05   and in theory every Sunday it'll update itself based on your listening activity. So there

00:06:11   you go, you can have the playlist now and I suppose that at the end of the year or maybe

00:06:17   towards the end of the year, we will also get the full webpage design with the statistics

00:06:23   and all that kind of stuff.

00:06:24   But for now…

00:06:25   I just want to say, right, because I believe in the power of Federico, I was checking this

00:06:31   page as we were recording last week and the 2020 thing was not listed anywhere.

00:06:37   Nowhere.

00:06:38   And then after the episode, it appeared.

00:06:42   So I think…

00:06:43   Yeah, yeah.

00:06:44   That is technically true.

00:06:46   It's exactly true. I think somebody was like "Oh, whoops!" and then did it! That's what I think happened.

00:06:53   And look, we're all human. We all forget things. We all make mistakes.

00:06:58   There's no hate being thrown here. It's just funny that the things happen this way.

00:07:04   Sure enough, you can scroll to the bottom of the page and the playlist is there, so save it,

00:07:09   added to your library and in theory this is supposed to update again every Sunday

00:07:15   so I guess maybe on Sunday it'll do the update and on Monday morning I guess

00:07:20   you're gonna find a new version I don't know we'll see how it works but I'm I'm

00:07:23   really happy that it's here because I can already tell that I've been listening

00:07:27   to a bunch of Italian songs in the in the first part of the year so yeah well

00:07:33   we have a we have the we have this national like song contest and the

00:07:38   winner of this contest goes to Eurovision. And so that is why I've been exposed to Italian

00:07:45   songs because I've been checking out the participants in the contest.

00:07:48   Man, we're gonna do so well in Eurovision this year.

00:07:51   Oh yeah?

00:07:52   Yeah, it's gonna be great, right? Like everyone's gonna love the UK and Eurovision.

00:07:56   Oh, damn.

00:07:58   I mean, we haven't done well for years just because, but like, it's gonna be, woo! That

00:08:06   one's gonna be fun.

00:08:07   I'm very sorry.

00:08:10   I expect, I don't know this, but I expect we will stay in Eurovision for a very long

00:08:14   time.

00:08:15   And we're in the 2021, but I expect we'll stay in it because the UK is like very popular

00:08:21   here Eurovision, right?

00:08:23   And the UK is one of the countries that gets automatic entry because we pay a lot of money

00:08:29   to the Eurovision body or whatever.

00:08:31   I don't know if Italy is one of those.

00:08:32   Do you know that?

00:08:33   I have no idea what you're talking about.

00:08:35   All right, that's cool, man.

00:08:36   Don't worry about it.

00:08:37   deeper into the Eurovision lore than you, which is fine. It's perfectly fine. Nobody has to be,

00:08:43   you know? But yeah, I expect we'll just be booted off the stage. It's gonna be great, can't wait.

00:08:48   Awesome. We also have another Apple Music related feature update. So a few days ago,

00:08:56   I first noticed in the 13.4 beta, but it turns out that it's also available publicly on 13.3,

00:09:04   Apple rolled out another Beats Music inspired feature in Apple Music. This would be the

00:09:11   ability to browse multiple versions of the same album. So, when Beats Music launched

00:09:17   in 2013, I want to say, and was acquired by Apple in 2014, it had a lot of really great

00:09:25   features that, you know, and a lot of people made fun of Beats Music, but I've always

00:09:31   thought that it was like a genius product. I really miss it. It had a bunch of new and

00:09:35   fresh ideas in terms of organizing albums and browsing artists' pages. And I've always

00:09:41   wished for Apple Music to borrow some of those ideas, and sure enough, Apple has been doing

00:09:45   that with the playlists, with the editorial sections, like the mini interviews that you

00:09:52   see when a new album comes out. And now they have released one of the best features from

00:09:57   Beats Music, which was a section that is called "Other Versions". And this section that is

00:10:03   available at the bottom of an album page shows you all of the multiple versions that an album

00:10:08   may be available in.

00:10:09   Yeah, still not as good as the way Beats Music did it.

00:10:12   Still not as good, still not as good because the design was better.

00:10:14   Because the way it is, in your, I put it in the show that you wrote a big article called

00:10:19   "Why Beats Music Matters". And I'm sure there are many episodes of whatever show we were

00:10:25   doing there and probably connected where me and you were talking about our love for beats

00:10:28   music which was real. Like when you used to go to an artist's page you would see an album

00:10:33   and then there was a drop down for other versions of that album. There would be deluxe versions,

00:10:38   limited edition versions, live versions, that kind of stuff. So good. The drop down was

00:10:43   really good. Still the sort of the essence of the feature is still there in Apple Music.

00:10:50   Because it's way better to have... so you use in... or Ryan's I should say in the article

00:10:57   Well that's my screenshot

00:10:58   It's your screenshot which is an internationally famous screenshot used all over the web which

00:11:03   I've been seeing over the last few days which is hilarious to me. Just take your own screenshots

00:11:07   people it's not that difficult. Well I say this to Ryan too, Ryan take your own screenshot.

00:11:13   Takes Federico's screenshot. The definitely maybe deluxe version which has 44 songs on

00:11:17   it is never the one you want. You always want the 11 song version of the album, not where

00:11:24   like there's three versions of every single song. Like, that's it is very, it's like a

00:11:30   very particular use case for why you would maybe want that. Like, and I think that it

00:11:35   should always be buried, which is great because it is now a little bit more buried. So I think

00:11:39   that's a good, that's a good thing. It's good to have this feature for that reason.

00:11:42   Yeah, so the multiple versions include remixes, reissues, remasters, even demo versions, which

00:11:50   is nice. For example, Steven, Death Cab for Cutie, they have a demo version of the Transatanthesis

00:11:57   album, and that is part of the other versions section as well. So it's not clear if like,

00:12:04   is this an automatic thing that Apple Music can do based on metadata? Is it something

00:12:08   that the Apple Music team needs to curate. I would assume it is part of an update that

00:12:14   is now automatic and like every album on Apple Music now has metadata that allows it to be

00:12:19   grouped with other versions of the same item. I would assume so, I don't think it's a manual

00:12:23   thing. Or maybe there has been like a mix of data coming from the labels and manual

00:12:30   creation from the Apple Music team because the demo album of the Death Cab of Cutie thing,

00:12:37   was really surprising to me, I wouldn't have thought that the system was gonna

00:12:40   automatically group that together. So I wouldn't be surprised if it's like a

00:12:44   combination of data just coming in from the labels and manual curation from

00:12:49   the Apple Music team. I expect there has to be some level... you know

00:12:54   what I'd be really interested to see, like, if there was an album... I'm trying to

00:12:58   find one that would be a good example of this but I'm struggling at the moment

00:13:03   weren't searching around, an album that had been remastered, which version is considered

00:13:10   the one that you see? You know what I mean? Like if an album has been remastered, what

00:13:17   is the album that you see in the search results? And is there like the original version in

00:13:22   the other versions? I think from personal experience, I think if you look, for example,

00:13:28   Oasis "Be Here Now" was remastered a couple of years ago and I think by default

00:13:33   Apple Music in search always shows you the remastered version first. I'm looking

00:13:39   at some some Beatles albums too and it's remastered and then it's got other

00:13:43   versions that include the original or deluxe versions kind of underneath that.

00:13:47   Which I think is the right way to go. I feel like a lot of people would be upset

00:13:52   with that but I feel like that's the right the right way to do it. To go with

00:13:55   the remastered version, as long as it hasn't been changed.

00:13:59   We're not George Lucas-ing this situation.

00:14:01   Personally, I would always go with remastered version, but not the deluxe version.

00:14:07   Because like in that example, definitely maybe with 44 songs, nobody needs that.

00:14:11   I mean, sure, some people want that, but nobody needs that.

00:14:14   Like by default, you should show me the 11 song version, and it's okay if it's the remastered

00:14:20   one, but not the deluxe version, please.

00:14:22   Yeah, as long as the album hasn't been changed, but like just mixed, like remixed for modern,

00:14:29   with modern techniques, I think that's fine.

00:14:32   I totally understand why some people wouldn't, but then if you care that much, you probably

00:14:37   have the original one in your library.

00:14:40   Right.

00:14:41   I think it's a fantastic feature, and it's so interesting to me that this was a beats

00:14:45   feature that like just now sort of popped up.

00:14:48   Like why now?

00:14:50   I mean, I can't remember off the top of my head, but I bet there are still things in

00:14:55   Beats Music that could be added.

00:14:57   Oh yeah.

00:14:58   Like, at some point you were able, I want to say, to browse compatible merch from artists

00:15:07   inside Beats Music.

00:15:08   And that was genius, like, yes, let me do this.

00:15:11   And we always thought, for sure Apple Music is going to do this and you should be able

00:15:14   to pay with Apple Pay inside music.

00:15:16   Like if you want to buy a t-shirt from, I don't know, Panic! at the Disco, you should

00:15:20   be able to do so with Apple Pay. And it's like a seamless integration thing happening

00:15:24   within Apple Music. And they've done like one-off experiments. For example, last year

00:15:29   with Billie Eilish, they had like this promotion that you could only get a t-shirt that I do

00:15:34   have personally. By tapping on a link in Apple Music. But that took you to like a Safari

00:15:41   webpage with a Shopify store. And it was not integrated at all with Apple Music. Sure,

00:15:47   CopyFi has Apple Pay, which is nice. It should be all in one with Apple Music.

00:15:56   Beats Music had a very nice presentation for this stuff.

00:16:02   That article about Beats Music, it's got plenty of screenshots, so if you've never seen what

00:16:07   Beats Music was like, go take a look at those images. There were a bunch of ideas that I

00:16:11   really do think that Apple should copy. I really miss the wheel.

00:16:16   the UI for scrubbing. Or the sentence, do you remember the sentence? I remember the

00:16:22   sentence. It was like the meme joke of it but was actually really good where you

00:16:26   would pick some words and it would find music for you based on the like the mood

00:16:30   that you'd set. Uh-huh. Yeah, I miss it. While you guys take a moment for Beats

00:16:37   music, what if I take our first break? Good idea. Sound good? Yeah. This episode of

00:16:43   connected is brought to you by PDF pen from our friends over at smile. PDF pen

00:16:49   and PDF pen Pro are the ultimate PDF viewing and editing apps for the Mac. You

00:16:54   can add headers and footers along with watermarks to your documents. It includes

00:16:59   a precision editing tool plus you can OCR documents which is really useful and

00:17:03   version 11.2 is available now with table cell content editing. You can add, edit or

00:17:10   remove images from your documents with PDF pen, you can add things like

00:17:14   signatures and text, not to mention being able to correct typos and fill out forms.

00:17:20   Learn more at PDF pen and PDF pen Pro at Smilesoftware.com/podcast. If you

00:17:28   do any work with PDFs you need PDF pen. Go to Smilesoftware.com/podcast to

00:17:35   check it out. Our thanks to PDF pen for the support of this show and Relay FM.

00:17:40   5G baby! Got an update for you Stephen, do you want to know some more about 5G?

00:17:46   Sure, I love hearing about fantasies.

00:17:48   So yeah, nice, that was good. This one, this is like a very quick thing and it's one of those

00:17:54   things that probably means nothing but I wanted to say it anyway. The UK carrier 3 that we have

00:17:59   here, it's called 3THREE, they have announced that they're launching their 5G service later

00:18:04   this month and the chief executive Dave Dyson said, that's a great name by the way, Dave Dyson,

00:18:10   Tyson, said that in doing this now they are prepped and ready for the 5G introduction

00:18:16   on the iPhone this year, which they've said will be a critical inflection point.

00:18:20   Does this guy know that the iPhone's going to get 5G this year?

00:18:24   Maybe.

00:18:26   Probably not, though.

00:18:27   But I just wanted to state that even the chief executives of cell carriers believe that 5G

00:18:34   is coming to the iPhone this year.

00:18:36   What do you think about the part of this quote about being a critical inflection point?

00:18:39   I mean there's to your point in previous episodes there are a bunch of Android phones with 5G

00:18:45   the new S20 line has 5G options.

00:18:47   Do you think the iPhone is a quote critical inflection point?

00:18:51   I do.

00:18:52   I want to state just for the clarity the other part of this interview which was done with

00:18:56   Reuters and I'm putting in the 9 to 5 Mac article because that's where I found it.

00:19:00   They the other part of this discussion is they were happy they were well they were actually

00:19:05   making sure it was ready this week for the S20.

00:19:09   Like they wanted to make sure they had their 5G network up and running fully in the UK

00:19:14   because the S20 would be the big break into the 5G market in their opinion.

00:19:19   But then the iPhone is a critical inflection point which I agree with because there are

00:19:24   a lot of people that buy iPhones and there are a lot of people that buy iPhones every

00:19:28   single year.

00:19:30   It's going to make a big jump to 5G the same way that LTE and 4G existed before the iPhone

00:19:38   getting it, but it was a massive change because all of the people getting the new iPhone that

00:19:43   year were going to have access to this new technology and that's going to be the same.

00:19:48   I think that the S20 is going to make a big change because the S20 ships with 5G where

00:19:56   in previous years it didn't, it was an option. You had to buy the 5G phone. I think that

00:20:03   this is going to be the first part of the wave but throughout this entire year

00:20:08   there's going to be phones with 5G shipping but when it will be you know

00:20:11   the biggest bump the biggest first bump is the s20 and then the probably bigger

00:20:16   bump will be the iPhone. I think it's gonna be a big deal like I do think it's gonna be a

00:20:20   big deal. We're gonna talk about March event stuff later on like there's just

00:20:24   like a bunch of rumors circulating about March event stuff but one of the things

00:20:28   that I didn't put in here but I saw was that there might be a second... we didn't talk about this yet

00:20:34   right? That there could be like an iPad update in September even though they're also thinking

00:20:40   there'll be one in March and the September one would include LTE... sorry 5G instead of LTE or

00:20:50   alongside LTE that there would be just an update potentially to the cell one to include a 5G radio

00:20:58   when the iPhone gets it. Do you think that makes sense? I think it does. I mean, I think if that

00:21:03   takes place and we see an iPad in March, it's got, you know, an updated processor, cameras,

00:21:08   all this stuff we'll talk about later. Then I would imagine if there's a 5G one this fall,

00:21:12   that all it does is it doesn't change anything except the LTE one just becomes a 5G one. So you

00:21:18   You spend the 130 extra and you get a 5G as opposed to a 4G model, but the rest of the

00:21:22   specs stay the same.

00:21:24   I don't see this being an iPad 3 to 4 deal with iPad 3 was on the market like 10 months

00:21:29   and they replaced it because it was bad and sad and slow.

00:21:33   I think this would just be a radio update.

00:21:35   Yeah, because I feel like if they were going to revise it significantly, then they should

00:21:42   do which we what they thought we might do which was to release 5g on the iPad first right right

00:21:48   that it would be a bad idea to sell the iPad Pro in March if you knew you were getting rid of it

00:21:56   in September or like replacing it yeah I mean it may just be coming down to logistics where they

00:22:02   don't have their 5g modems or antenna or whatever part they're building a different rumors say

00:22:08   different things about what 5g components Apple's building and what they're going to rely on Qualcomm

00:22:12   for it may just be that stuff's not lined up yet and they have an iPad revision they want to get

00:22:17   out there and then they can just offer a 5G version later. It does and it will lead to an interesting

00:22:23   question if they do revise the iPads in the spring and they're just LTE and like people like me like

00:22:29   I have an LTE iPad I find that really useful would I wait until there's a 5G model like maybe if I

00:22:36   really think 5G is coming which you know could looks like it could be happening so it could

00:22:40   candlelight sales a little bit. You've changed your tune. You never know. Yeah I mean I

00:22:46   wonder what the actual sales breakdown is from LTE to Wi-Fi iPad

00:22:52   models. I would love to know. I bet they sell a significantly higher level even

00:22:58   on the pro of the Wi-Fi version over the LTE version. I think so too. I think most

00:23:02   people don't want to spend 130 bucks on what's already an expensive device and

00:23:06   And most people would just tether if they really need it, but most people probably don't need it.

00:23:11   Because I think most iPads get used at like home or school or work and not necessarily, you know, the way we use them when we travel.

00:23:17   Like a lot of people just don't have that need.

00:23:19   What do you think Federico? Do you think they sell a lot? Like what do you think the breakdown is if you were just gonna guess?

00:23:26   Yeah, I don't think the, I think the majority of iPads are Wi-Fi only iPads. That's just my personal speculation.

00:23:33   Yeah, I think it's a big majority though, right? Not just like 51%.

00:23:40   No more like 70, 75% I would say. Because like even for me, like I still, my

00:23:46   iPad Pro, my large iPad Pro, I always get the Wi-Fi version and I get the 5G one or

00:23:53   the smaller iPad I get with Cell because I take that one out when I travel and stuff.

00:23:58   but the one that I most exclusively use at home, I just get Wi-Fi.

00:24:04   And I think if I only had one iPad, I'd probably still get Wi-Fi.

00:24:09   Because I don't use the cell options that much.

00:24:12   The cell plans to buy Pay As You Go, which I do, are expensive.

00:24:18   They're pretty expensive.

00:24:21   I haven't looked into it.

00:24:22   I think I heard you mention this on a podcast recently, Stephen, that you have your iPad

00:24:28   in like a data group. Yeah, so we have whatever it is 10 gigs or 12 gigs on AT&T and it's my iPhone,

00:24:36   my wife's iPhone and my iPad. So they just share that pool of data. I don't know if we can do that

00:24:41   here, but I want that because I have a lot of data on my phone. Yeah. And I know I can tether,

00:24:48   right? But like, I don't want to wear the battery of both devices down. That's that's my thing.

00:24:53   Like, tethering works mostly okay.

00:24:56   It can be a bit flaky, but my thing is I don't want to just be blowing through the battery

00:25:00   of both devices when my iPhone is just sitting there doing nothing except serve a connection.

00:25:05   Because I'm only ever tethering when I'm not at home, right?

00:25:08   So like, I want the maximum battery life out on my phone because I'm out and about.

00:25:13   I used to be a big believer in the idea that you have one cell network for your phone and

00:25:19   a different one for your iPad.

00:25:21   So like my phone would be on AT&T, but my iPad would be on Verizon.

00:25:25   I think in the early days of LTE, that made sense.

00:25:28   And that may make sense again in the early days of 5G.

00:25:32   But in the last several years, at least for me, AT&T coverage is so good.

00:25:36   Basically anywhere I go, I sort of just folded it into one.

00:25:39   So it's like it's one less account to have open, one less bill to pay.

00:25:42   It's just all comes out of one thing.

00:25:44   I think that is going to make a difference in 5G again, because there are all these different

00:25:48   technologies and it is about how much spectrum you have.

00:25:51   So like 3, who I was just talking about, they are claiming and they have good data to back

00:25:57   it up that they're going to have the best 5G coverage because they have more spectrum

00:26:02   so they can deliver faster 5G faster than anybody else here.

00:26:07   So I'm keeping my eye on how this is all going to go with the 5G stuff about where I want

00:26:13   to be anyway because you know, so companies are much and much the same really.

00:26:19   service that you receive. I really have a lot of brand loyalty, honestly.

00:26:24   Sure. Because they're just frustrating.

00:26:26   Yeah, so that's that. 5G is coming up fast. I have some game recommendations for the connected

00:26:33   listeners.

00:26:34   Hmm. Steven, this is... if you want to leave, it's fine.

00:26:39   Hey-oh, iPhone games. First one is this game called Tetris.

00:26:45   I think I've heard of that before.

00:26:47   I would like to recommend a Tetris game.

00:26:49   And I know if listeners out there, if you hear me say this, you think to yourself,

00:26:55   "But Myke, every Tetris game on the iPhone is terrible."

00:26:59   And I would say I agree, except this new one isn't because the Tetris company,

00:27:06   whoever owns the Tetris license, they had been working with EA on the most recent

00:27:14   and for quite a while Tetris games.

00:27:16   But that is no longer the case and it's even the EA Tetris games do no longer exist on the App Store

00:27:22   So that that is like a gone dead

00:27:26   Arrangement they were and the Tetris companies working with a new new developer a new company called Network

00:27:33   I've never heard of before but they have put out the Tetris game that you have always wanted for the iPhone. It's just Tetris

00:27:40   Like it's proper Tetris. They have some cute little designs and stuff. You can change the way it looks

00:27:46   looks, but it's Tetris. You have high scores and they have some other modes and stuff,

00:27:54   but you get the regular game, the music is good, the graphics are exactly what you'd

00:27:58   want, the movement is just what you'd want, you're swiping left and right to move the

00:28:02   pieces, you're swiping down or flicking down to get them to fall to the bottom. I do have

00:28:06   a thing where I keep accidentally invoking reachability because I'm flicking down towards

00:28:11   the bottom of the screen but that's not the fault of the Tetris people. They have themes,

00:28:16   One of them is an 8-bit theme which makes it look like old Gameboy Tetris, which is

00:28:21   brilliant.

00:28:23   Like it's the green and black, or like the green and grey theme.

00:28:28   And I enjoy that a lot and it has the little, like the Russian palace type motif along the

00:28:35   top which is super cool.

00:28:36   I love that.

00:28:38   And it is a free app with a one-time fee to remove ads.

00:28:43   Which is exactly what you want.

00:28:45   $4.99 to disable ads in Tetris and this is a Tetris game that is worth your $4.99.

00:28:51   It's really very good.

00:28:53   If you like Tetris, you will like this game.

00:28:56   This looks nice.

00:28:57   It is very nice.

00:29:00   I have been playing it.

00:29:01   It's been out for a bit.

00:29:02   It's been out for maybe a couple of months.

00:29:05   Oh January.

00:29:06   It came out in January.

00:29:07   I've been playing it a lot recently.

00:29:09   been kind of like my one of my go-to iPhone games for kind of just like idle

00:29:13   stuff for a bit because you know you can just dip in dip out whenever you want

00:29:17   and it's just Tetris and unless you're like super crazy on it like I don't

00:29:23   really care too much about how good I am at Tetris. Are either of you good at

00:29:27   Tetris like like good good at Tetris? No I was never good good at Tetris no.

00:29:32   You're okay do you enjoy it at least? No? Okay. Until it gets really hard like

00:29:38   Like I can enjoy it, but it does not relax me though.

00:29:43   It's not a relaxing game for me.

00:29:45   Okay.

00:29:46   I kind of just, I can play it mindlessly.

00:29:48   I'm playing Tetris right now as I'm talking to you because I wanted to just check what

00:29:52   I was saying about the themes.

00:29:55   And I find that this is just a game that I can play very easily and because I don't get

00:30:01   stressed about it because I know I'm not that great at it.

00:30:03   So if I don't get a good high score, I don't care.

00:30:05   It's just Tetris.

00:30:06   And I'm sure the phrase "It's just Tetris" is very upsetting to some people because Tetris

00:30:12   is one of the greatest video games ever, right?

00:30:16   Like I think whether you like it or not, people can attest to that notion.

00:30:20   So that's Tetris.

00:30:21   In case you haven't heard, this is an up and coming game.

00:30:25   Have you heard the good news about Tetris?

00:30:27   Have you heard the good news about the new Tetris, which is good news.

00:30:31   There's another game that I wanted to recommend, Spell Tower Plus.

00:30:34   This is a kind of evolution of the, what is now, I can't believe when I say this, 10 year

00:30:41   old game, Spell Tower. So Spell Tower by Zach Gage is 10 years old. Isn't that bananas?

00:30:52   That's no, I don't believe that. That that can't 10. It's like he, he released it for

00:30:58   the 10th anniversary. Well, at least it might've been 10 years since he started working on

00:31:02   I think it maybe came out in 2011, but it is basic. It is for, you know, it's a 10 year

00:31:07   old game at this point, which is just wild. So this is a kind of evolution of that mechanic.

00:31:15   It's really fantastic. I mentioned Zach Gage who made it, who in my opinion is the very best

00:31:21   independent iOS game developer. Like every game that Zach Gage makes, it's just fantastic,

00:31:30   So you're looking at flip flop solitaire, cards of darkness, really bad chess.

00:31:37   All of these games that are just absolute, they're all just fantastic.

00:31:42   Oh, 8-bit pool, which is a great one, typeshift.

00:31:46   All of these games, sage solitaire, all of these games and also Gage has been involved

00:31:50   in a lot of other collaborations and stuff, so just excellent game developer.

00:31:56   It is a, I think probably the easiest way to explain what Spell Tower is, or Spell Tower

00:32:01   Plus is, it's like a word search game.

00:32:05   So you're looking for words, you can do a word search where you're just selecting up

00:32:11   words and finding them in a grid and then they disappear.

00:32:18   The letters disappear, they're replaced with new letters.

00:32:20   But then they also have towers where there are these like big columns and every time

00:32:25   you complete a word a new row appears and kind of like in an almost Tetris-like way

00:32:32   it can end up if you have a column that goes above a certain line, right, as the rows start

00:32:38   to increase the game is over so you have to like also be finding words within the highest

00:32:44   columns to make sure you bring them down.

00:32:46   There's lots of just really good modes and they have daily challenges as well so that

00:32:53   you can compete with friends so instead of just playing the boards that are already built

00:32:57   in which of course I'm sure there's so many of them.

00:32:59   There's also new ones every single day which is that's fun.

00:33:01   I like that kind of mechanic.

00:33:03   You know you have a thing every day to go and play.

00:33:06   It is again, it is a game that has ads in it and you can pay to remove the ads.

00:33:13   of 4.99. I also really like this mechanic that they have for challenging words. So if

00:33:20   you find a word but the game says it's not a word, you can challenge the system. So you

00:33:28   can say "this is a word" and then it does a search online against this dictionary and

00:33:34   then it's like "oh you know what it is" because I think that there is an update in word list

00:33:38   or there's this mechanic of checking against a larger dictionary than the one that's built

00:33:42   into the game. But what I really like is that you have limited amounts of challenges. You

00:33:47   have three. You start the game, you have three when you first download the game. And if you

00:33:53   make a challenge and it's not a word, you lose one. But if you make a challenge and

00:33:58   the word is in fact an actual word, which then gets added into the Spelltower+ dictionary,

00:34:04   you get your challenge point back. Which reminds me of the challenge rules in tennis, which

00:34:09   I assume is what this was modeled after. So in TANIS if you challenge a call against the

00:34:15   umpire you're going to get two of these per game. But if your challenge is upheld you

00:34:23   get one of your challenge points back. So anyway Spell Tower Plus is a fantastic word

00:34:28   game. If you like word games of any kind on iOS then I recommend this one because it's

00:34:34   one of my favorites based on one of my old favorites. So those are my two game recommendations.

00:34:39   I have some real-time follow-up. Okay. I too have a game recommendation. Oh okay so I can

00:34:46   leave I guess. That's right. It's called Pokemon and no I'm just kidding. So I don't tell you

00:34:53   about it. I don't play many games. I have like one or two on my iPhone. That's that's

00:34:59   it. One of them right now is Two Spies by our friends over at Steam Fox Software.

00:35:04   I have been meaning to check this out, so I am happy you have brought this to the episode today.

00:35:09   Well, download it and we can play each other later. So this is a turn-by-turn strategy game.

00:35:15   It's on the iPhone and iPad. I think it's...

00:35:18   Oh, this is very much in your wheelhouse.

00:35:20   Yeah, I love Risk and games like that. So I think it's actually better on the phone because the

00:35:25   The haptics in this game are really, really good.

00:35:29   And as we know, the iPad does not have anything for that.

00:35:33   But you play against somebody you know,

00:35:35   so like you send somebody an iMessage link

00:35:37   and then you play in the app.

00:35:39   There's no open internet play,

00:35:42   so you can't just wait for a stranger to join a game.

00:35:45   They've said that they've considered that,

00:35:46   but at this point, it's not a feature.

00:35:49   But I actually like that 'cause I play my brother a lot

00:35:51   and I know that we've learned how each other plays,

00:35:54   which makes it a lot more difficult

00:35:55   'cause then you have to think what they think you would do

00:35:58   and you go back and forth and it's fantastic.

00:36:02   So it's like strategy, you wanna gather cities and intel

00:36:07   and you're basically moving your character around a map

00:36:10   and then if they think they know where you are,

00:36:13   you can try to kill them and there's intel and power ups

00:36:17   that change the dynamics of the game.

00:36:19   It's very enjoyable, very well designed

00:36:22   and it is a, there are a couple of in-app purchases,

00:36:27   but they're just cosmetic stuff.

00:36:29   You're not buying power-ups or anything,

00:36:31   and it's free to download.

00:36:32   So it's really cool, really well polished,

00:36:34   and I've really enjoyed it over the last couple of months

00:36:37   since it's been out.

00:36:38   - I wanna play it, it sounds good.

00:36:40   I'm concerned about your willingness to play me.

00:36:44   - Uh-huh, oh yeah.

00:36:45   - Because, so me and Steven over the years,

00:36:48   we've definitely mentioned this in the past,

00:36:50   We have played each other in various iMessage-based games.

00:36:55   I remember this.

00:36:57   We're using an app called Game Pigeon, which is very fun.

00:37:02   So there is a pool game, there's an 8-ball pool game, which we have played each other in this many, many, many times.

00:37:09   Steven has never, ever beat me. Never once beat me, which is fantastic.

00:37:14   But then there's also Battleships, which he always wins.

00:37:19   But we haven't played that as many times as we've played the 8-Ball Pool.

00:37:24   I wish I knew how many times I had beaten you, but it's every time.

00:37:28   But I just wish I had statistics.

00:37:31   It's kind of a wonderful thing, really, to go through the games.

00:37:35   I feel so much tension because I never want to lose, because I've never lost, you know?

00:37:40   So it's very exciting.

00:37:41   But yeah, I'm keen to try out this game.

00:37:43   I have been meaning to look at it for a while, because it seems like fun.

00:37:48   So that's a good recommendation too.

00:37:50   Federico, do you have any iOS games that you're playing?

00:37:53   - No, I'm just playing Pokemon.

00:37:55   Yeah.

00:37:58   The chat room did point out that Altos Odyssey

00:38:01   has made it to the Mac.

00:38:03   So if that game is excellent,

00:38:05   I think it's better on the iPad because it's so beautiful

00:38:08   and I bet it's awesome on a big Mac display.

00:38:10   So I'm gonna check that out.

00:38:11   - Yeah, I wonder what it's like to use like a keyboard

00:38:15   or whatever instead of a touchscreen for this.

00:38:17   And I also wonder if it's Catalyst.

00:38:19   Well that's a good question.

00:38:21   Well I'm not on Catalina and it's allowing me to buy it in the App Store so.

00:38:28   Apparently Alto's Adventure was already there and now Alto's Odyssey is so maybe yeah.

00:38:33   Yeah, Alto's Adventure was there.

00:38:37   So there's some that's our weekly game coverage that we do every week.

00:38:42   We never miss.

00:38:43   Steven, are you looking forward to the Animal Crossing Nintendo Direct tomorrow?

00:38:49   Uh, obviously I knew it was going on and obviously I rearranged my schedule not to miss it.

00:38:55   Good, good, good. I'll look forward to talking about it next week.

00:38:58   Yeah, have me on remaster. I'll be ready.

00:39:00   Okay, great.

00:39:01   Okay, let's do it.

00:39:03   This episode of Connected is also brought to you by Hover, one of the show's longest running sponsors.

00:39:09   When you have a big idea, where do you go?

00:39:12   For a ton of people hover is the first step because your business starts with a domain name.

00:39:17   Hover has over 300 domain name extensions to choose from. No matter what you want to build,

00:39:22   there's a domain name waiting for it. And they have excellent technical support to answer any

00:39:27   questions you may have. They're dedicated to getting you online not upselling you.

00:39:31   Hover has free who is privacy so the bad guys don't get your info, clean design as you are

00:39:38   working through their admin screens, and monthly sales on popular top level domains. So it's easy

00:39:44   to see why hover is the popular choice for people starting businesses. I helped a friend of mine

00:39:48   recently with a website for his business. And he had a bunch of domain names like scattered

00:39:53   across a bunch of different, terrible domain registrars like these, I felt dirty logging into

00:39:58   some of these websites, they were so bad, they were confusing to use. And we moved everything

00:40:03   into one hover account for him. And he was honestly like blown away how easy it was to

00:40:08   manage and see what was going on. And so it's fun to get to introduce somebody new to hover.

00:40:15   We know that you like intuitive user experiences and things that just work straight out of

00:40:19   the box. So you're going to appreciate hover. It's simple, clean and easy to navigate. Buy

00:40:24   your domain and start using it today. Go to hover comm slash connected and get a 10% discount

00:40:30   on all new purchases. The URL one more time is hover.com/connected. Make a name for yourself

00:40:37   with Hover. Our thanks to Hover for their support of this show and Relay FM.

00:40:42   So there's been a lot of talk about a March event and what could be included in a March

00:40:49   event and what could not be included in a March event. I have collected the majority

00:40:54   of the tidbits that I have found interesting and would like to share them with you and

00:41:00   our audience. So 9to5Mac is reporting via a German website called "iPhoneTicker" that

00:41:07   apparently has sources that have told them a March event is on the cards, but most likely

00:41:12   set for March 31st. I don't know if this report can be believed or not, but there is a lot

00:41:19   of smoke that would suggest there is going to be something happening in spring, whether

00:41:23   it's an event or a series of product launches. The 31st of March does match up with some

00:41:31   stuff that's happened in the past, but who knows.

00:41:34   Digitimes is reporting that new iPad Pros are in production. They will include, as we

00:41:38   expect, a rear triple camera and time of flight camera, which time of flight camera would

00:41:43   be a new thing for iOS devices, which is important for me in the Ricky pics. It's likely that

00:41:50   5G version as we spoke about earlier would launch later on in the year.

00:41:53   However, according to other reports, it is looking likely for the production

00:41:58   to peak after April due to delays in manufacturing because of coronavirus.

00:42:03   This is going to be a running theme for my discussion here.

00:42:07   Ming-Chi Kuo is reporting that Apple's Ultra Wideband tag product is going to be coming

00:42:13   sometime in the second or third quarter of this year but would be expected to be announced if

00:42:17   if there was going to be an event that Apple would just announce that here it is, it's

00:42:21   coming later.

00:42:23   Kuo had also previously reported, don't forget, that a wireless charging pad, high-end, over-ear

00:42:29   Bluetooth headphones and new MacBooks, this is a Switch keys, are scheduled for release

00:42:33   during the first half of the year.

00:42:36   Bloomberg is reporting that Apple is still planning to release the new lower-cost iPhone,

00:42:41   which we're thinking will either be the iPhone 9 or the iPhone SE2 in March, but coronavirus

00:42:47   could impact that. Taiwan News is reporting that Apple is moving the manufacturer of some

00:42:52   products to Taiwan because of the coronavirus and this could include the new iPad. And of

00:42:58   course there is also iOS 13.4 which we mentioned earlier the second beta is out and testing

00:43:03   now which we're expecting to drop around March sometime, coinciding with the Xcode changes

00:43:10   for Universal apps including Mac versions because that was said to be taking effect

00:43:14   from March. So that's kind of when you would expect 13.4 to ship. And it would make sense

00:43:19   that there would be 13.4 shipping if there were new products that were needed for support,

00:43:24   especially the iPads, which would have at least some new hardware changes, and we're

00:43:29   expecting there would be keyboard changes. So this is kind of where we are. I mean, of

00:43:33   course, there is also the news that Apple was adjusting its forecast because of coronavirus

00:43:38   impacting its supply chain. So this is like this weird thing right now, right, where it's

00:43:43   Like, there's a lot of potential products coming out, but they might not be able to

00:43:47   make them, so maybe they wouldn't announce them.

00:43:51   Or maybe they could do, like, they could launch it but it would be constrained for a few weeks?

00:43:58   Yeah, I expect if Apple do have an event sometime in March with products coming out in April

00:44:06   or May or whatever, anything that comes out will be heavily constrained.

00:44:11   Because a lot of Apple's current production line is constrained. Like, try and buy AirPods.

00:44:17   It is very difficult right now to do that. But they're going to be seeing constraints

00:44:22   on everything, it seems like. Hence why they changed their quarterly guidance.

00:44:31   Yeah, I mean, we still don't know though, if, like, looking at the list of these products,

00:44:37   It seems to me like it's starting to feel a bit similar to last year when we had a bunch

00:44:42   of products and we were certain, "Oh, there's going to be an event."

00:44:46   But in fact, they just rolled them out with press releases because there wasn't like a

00:44:51   single theme around that.

00:44:54   Like sure, it's an iPad Pro and then it's an iPhone 9 and some Bluetooth headphones

00:45:00   and also have a charging mat and some tags.

00:45:06   It's a bunch of different products and I'm not sure if there's like... because it feels

00:45:11   like maybe this is a point that Jason Snell made a while back on an episode of Upgrade,

00:45:16   that like they usually need some kind of narrative to build an event around, and this to me feels

00:45:22   like a grab bag of new products and updates.

00:45:26   And also the iPad Pro, sure, with a new camera, the design is mostly going to look the same

00:45:32   I could see the keyboard changes and the new accessories. This is my wild card and

00:45:37   really the only reason why I still believe there may be a chance for an event. If the iPad Pro upgrades are

00:45:44   important enough to tell a story around

00:45:47   productivity and professional users using the iPad Pro

00:45:51   then maybe they could build an event around that.

00:45:55   I'm wondering how much of a difference does a time-of-flight camera make to AR?

00:46:01   And if it is a big deal, I can imagine them wanting to have demonstrations of that because

00:46:08   of how important that is to Apple.

00:46:10   I also thought about, I was thinking about this a few days ago.

00:46:14   I don't know if it's even possible, but like I was thinking about the tags, right?

00:46:20   And I guess it would make sense because we've been thinking about the tags as like a tile

00:46:24   competitor and that makes sense, right? You stick them somewhere and you place them somewhere

00:46:28   and you can track the object that they're paired with. But what if there could also

00:46:33   be an ARKit implementation for this?

00:46:36   Oh, there has to be. That's very smart, right? Like, where you could move it around the room,

00:46:41   it's like, oh, it's just here.

00:46:43   Yeah, exactly. And like, because if you think about it, it's sort of similar, like other

00:46:48   companies have tried this before, right? Like combining a physical object with AR to an

00:46:53   extent you could say that even Nintendo years ago with the very rudimentary augmented reality

00:47:00   for the Nintendo 3DS, you remember you could like, with the cards, like you could move

00:47:06   the console around and the cards were actually an AR device. And so I wouldn't be surprised

00:47:13   if the tags, yes they do have a track, I mean the main feature is the tracking component,

00:47:18   but also an AR sort of mapping component. Because if it's based on devices that are

00:47:28   very near to your main computer, then it will make sense to have them be sort of like beacons

00:47:34   that you could do something with AR. I don't know. But maybe AR could be one of the stories,

00:47:40   one of the plot points, if you will, to build an event around. Maybe it could be productivity,

00:47:46   be, you know, Adobe, they have a bunch of updates for Photoshop, and in theory we're

00:47:52   supposed to be getting Illustrator news this year at some point, so maybe there could be

00:47:57   that angle of like iPad Pro and professional users, and we have Adobe come on stage again,

00:48:03   and this time they're showing off Illustrator coming to the iPad Pro. You know, that kind

00:48:07   of -- and we have a bunch of keyboard additions, and so we're going to show off a bunch of

00:48:11   apps that use the, you know, the smart keyboard and -- I don't know.

00:48:15   And then, oh, and like we've shown you this great IR stuff while we're talking about AR,

00:48:18   right? Like we have this new AR tag product and it's like super amazing. I could see that.

00:48:23   I could see that. But it is, you know, it's like the iPhone 9 or the iPhone SE 2. I'm

00:48:30   sorry everyone, but it's not going to be exciting. Like that's not an exciting product. Like

00:48:35   they are not going to do with, I am very confident they will not do what you want them to do,

00:48:40   right? Like, which is to make a small, like a really small version of the iPhone 10. Like

00:48:44   I just don't think it's going to be that.

00:48:47   And then it's just not going to be exciting, right?

00:48:49   It's just like, you remember this design from like 2016?

00:48:53   Here it is again.

00:48:54   Yeah, yeah, it's going to be an iPhone 8 with iPhone 11 guts in it.

00:48:58   So I was sitting here thinking about what this event could look like.

00:49:01   And I remember that sometimes in the past, like Steve Jobs called Johnny Ive on the first

00:49:07   iPhone.

00:49:08   I think with the first FaceTime camera and like the first MacBook Pro, Phil Schiller

00:49:12   was in the audience and Steve FaceTime called him and they showed that he was in the same

00:49:17   room and you know how it worked.

00:49:19   So what if this time Tim's on stage and they're talking about this and like, "Oh, I lost my

00:49:25   Phil Schiller."

00:49:26   And they have attached a tag to Phil Schiller and then Tim has to like walk around and find

00:49:30   him and then the tag like shows him where he is and we find Phil like behind a plant

00:49:34   or something.

00:49:35   That could work.

00:49:36   I, that's all I want now is for them to do something just like that.

00:49:41   And it has to be Phil who's lost, right?

00:49:43   Of course.

00:49:44   Of course, because who else would it be?

00:49:46   Because Phil's always the guy, right?

00:49:48   Like he's always...

00:49:49   Yeah, he jumped off the stage to introduce Wi-Fi.

00:49:53   I would enjoy that a lot, actually.

00:49:55   So I'm just saying, if that doesn't happen, you know, short your Apple stock, I guess.

00:50:00   Before we recorded today, I saw a new air power-like charger from the company.

00:50:07   Oh, native union.

00:50:10   We've talked about this company before, Myke. Yes, Native Union, you like their products,

00:50:14   right? You like their cables and stuff? Yes, yes.

00:50:17   Didn't you buy like a really expensive board plug?

00:50:19   We worked together at the airport and I bought a very expensive like $30 cable. Yeah, yeah,

00:50:27   that was a mistake. And I remember at the time being like, are

00:50:30   you really? Because like I've known of this company, right? They make like really nice

00:50:34   looking charges and stuff and I was very much like are you on this the Native Union bandwagon

00:50:40   now is that your thing? But they have made an air power like product called the Drop

00:50:47   XL. So it is a double Qi charging mat with this like silicone grippy texture which I

00:50:55   think would be good because like most of the wireless chargers that I've tried they're

00:51:00   made of like a slick plastic which just doesn't feel good like I feel like it

00:51:04   should be some kind of grippiness which is cool like I like that and it also has

00:51:08   a detachable Apple watch charging puck thing so the one you know one of the

00:51:16   reasons you might want to detach it is because then you could charge like two

00:51:18   phones because if you have a the Apple watch thing plugged in you won't be able

00:51:23   to fit a second phone on the mat but again it's like this is one product you

00:51:27   charge your Apple Watch, your iPhone and your AirPods. It's like £130. It's probably

00:51:32   a similar amount in dollars. This one I will say, of all of the products that I've seen,

00:51:40   as you would probably expect from Native Union, this one looks nice.

00:51:43   Yeah, yeah it does.

00:51:46   This isn't like a super ugly one. It looks nice. I still just don't know if I have

00:51:51   the desire for a product like this myself.

00:51:55   I just see them and it's like, okay, but it's so large.

00:52:00   It would be too large for the space that I have on my bedside table for it to be useful

00:52:05   to me.

00:52:06   But you know, I don't know if we ever followed up, but I do own that PopSocket wireless charger

00:52:11   now, and it does work.

00:52:16   That's all I have to say on that one, really.

00:52:18   Federico, did you, did that thing that you ordered ever?

00:52:22   - So yeah, I was just thinking about this.

00:52:24   It never showed up.

00:52:26   - Good, good, good, good.

00:52:27   (laughing)

00:52:29   That's good.

00:52:30   - Honestly, I don't even remember what the name was.

00:52:33   - This was the one with a fan in it, right?

00:52:36   - How am I supposed to be searching for these

00:52:38   in my email account?

00:52:39   Because I just, like I woke up one day

00:52:41   and I saw it on the news or probably John Voorhees

00:52:44   sent us a link to that as he always does.

00:52:46   and I just, I clicked buy and I don't remember.

00:52:49   - It is called the Zens Liberty Wireless Charger.

00:52:54   - Can you spell it out for me?

00:52:55   It's Z-E-N-S.

00:52:57   - You wanna search your email now?

00:52:59   - Zens, okay.

00:53:01   So info@makesense.

00:53:03   So we're talking here January 3rd, 2020.

00:53:06   Thank you for your order.

00:53:08   Hi Federico, just to let you know, we received your order

00:53:11   and it is now being processed.

00:53:13   Okay. So, yeah, it was being processed on January 3rd.

00:53:21   So I think that you bought something and you weren't paying attention because you pre-ordered that, my friend.

00:53:29   It is available for shipping beginning the end of February.

00:53:32   Okay. So maybe it'll, you know, I have an account. It says orders. And if I, yeah, still processing.

00:53:40   That's good.

00:53:41   it's fine. So they're still working on that and maybe, you know, yeah, I paid for FedEx

00:53:45   shipping so that's nice. It's the Liberty wireless charger and the aluminum that's spelled

00:53:51   with an additional "I" which is nice. Apple Watch USB stick. Okay, so I will keep you

00:53:58   posted. In theory, you know, this website still exists. This company seems to be in

00:54:02   business so that's good. They have a blog and the blog was last updated last year which

00:54:10   is not suspicious at all. Maybe they just don't have anything to say. I haven't updated

00:54:15   my blog in like five years. So April 2019 and the last article was the five most common

00:54:24   misconceptions of G wireless charging. Maybe that's not cool for me. You should send me

00:54:31   that one. It's fine. It's fine. I believe in zents, you know? Yeah, sure. They'll do

00:54:39   it. They'll do it. You know, end of February. So in theory next week, in ten days, we'll

00:54:45   see. It's coming up, so... We've got a couple of episodes. I don't really, honestly, I don't

00:54:51   have a good feeling about this. Do they have a Twitter account or anything? They're certified.

00:54:59   There's a logo that says certified, but... Certified what? I don't know. That's all it

00:55:05   You just have the badge.

00:55:06   The value of CHI certification. So they're certified by CHI. Is CHI a consortium or something?

00:55:14   Yes it is, yeah.

00:55:15   Okay.

00:55:16   There's a consortium.

00:55:17   Yeah, okay. You know, we'll see.

00:55:18   I mean, that's not useful to you if you didn't even know there was one.

00:55:21   No, no, it really isn't. But all my account details are correct and it still says processing,

00:55:27   so we'll see. But yeah, this is the one that is quite chunky, actually. I'm looking at

00:55:32   the pictures again. It's not a small pad. Yeah, okay, we'll see. I'll let you know.

00:55:40   I better buy a fire extinguisher in the meantime, I guess.

00:55:43   Steven, what wireless charging are you using?

00:55:46   In my office, I have one of the Mophie ones that they sell on the Apple Store. But then

00:55:51   on my nightstand, I have the Studio Neat combination. So it's a wireless pad and then a lightning

00:55:57   port which I use for my AirPods and then a watch charger all in one. The material dock.

00:56:02   And what one are you using right now Federico?

00:56:04   Oh right now I'm still using the Nomad pad from last year. This is the basic one where

00:56:14   you can place the phone and the AirPods.

00:56:19   Oh this is one that's got like a few coils in it this one, hasn't it?

00:56:23   It's got like a 4 and you need to line the devices up quite precisely if you want to

00:56:29   charge them both at the same time.

00:56:30   And over time that has grown a bit annoying and so I never charge the phone and the AirPods

00:56:38   at the same time because it requires too much precision.

00:56:41   So I just charge the AirPods during the day and I leave the phone, just the phone, in

00:56:46   landscape on the pad at night.

00:56:49   You could use both at the same time, but because it's got just a few coils inside...

00:56:54   Three it has, I'm just looking on their website.

00:56:57   Yeah, you need to be extra precise in lining them up.

00:57:01   And often, like even if you just bump your nightstand, you risk one of the devices not

00:57:06   charging.

00:57:07   Oh man, Qi charging is so great guys.

00:57:10   That sounds so great.

00:57:13   You know, you're passing energy through magnets.

00:57:17   Magnets it no really it's not the way that it works, but still it's it's it's complicated

00:57:23   Science so awesome. I was I was at IKEA today and

00:57:28   I did note that they had some lamps with qi charges in the base of them

00:57:35   And I thought that was very clever and I may buy one of those lamps

00:57:39   You know what I've started doing at IKEA lately Sylvia is quite upset at this

00:57:44   But whenever I... Wait, wait, wait, wait, wait, wait, wait, wait, wait.

00:57:47   The way you said that, how often do you go to IKEA?

00:57:49   Like, that sounded like you go a lot.

00:57:51   Uh, yeah, I mean, it's five minutes away from us, and it's like,

00:57:57   when we think of something that we want for the house, we just go to IKEA.

00:58:00   We actually enjoy taking walks at IKEA. With the dogs, it's actually quite relaxing.

00:58:04   You can take the dogs in the IKEA?

00:58:05   Oh yeah, for sure.

00:58:07   Don't say it like that. You can't take dogs everywhere.

00:58:09   We are a country that loves dogs.

00:58:11   But that's still...

00:58:13   Yeah, but lots of countries love dogs, but like you can't just take dogs wherever you

00:58:17   want.

00:58:18   We can now go to the supermarket with dogs.

00:58:20   We can buy groceries with the dogs.

00:58:24   Yeah.

00:58:25   They are not really, we passed some regulations to allow to do this.

00:58:30   Really?

00:58:31   Yeah, yeah, yeah.

00:58:32   For sure.

00:58:33   Yeah.

00:58:34   Like you can now, you can, if you have a small dog and if you can just, if you can hold your

00:58:39   dog, you can go to the supermarket. So obviously, if you have a small dog, you wouldn't want

00:58:45   to hold like a German Shepherd, that would be impossible. But like if you have a small

00:58:50   dog like ours, you can just hold it with one hand, and with the other hand, just buy something

00:58:55   inside the supermarket. Or certain supermarkets, they have dog specific carts. And so we've

00:59:01   used both options. One time just walked and I was holding Ginger and Silvia was holding

00:59:07   Zelda and we bought groceries and another time we just put them both in the dog-specific cart,

00:59:13   which was fun because we'd never done that before. At IKEA and any other store that does not sell

00:59:20   groceries like produce and that kind of stuff, you can just walk in with the dog and they cannot

00:59:26   tell you to leave, by law. I will say I like that there is a limit on like where food is being

00:59:35   solved. Yeah, right. I do think that that limit should be enforced, which is good. That's

00:59:42   good that there is a line, you know? I think that's good. But anyway, what have you been

00:59:47   doing at IKEA recently? Oh, so every time we go, you know, they now have those demo

00:59:52   stations for the Sonos-made speakers? Those stations, they sell me. I'm like, "Oh, I

00:59:59   want one." I'm like, "No, I don't want that." But I do want it when I see it. That's exactly

01:00:04   what I say too. Like, I don't need it, but I kind of want it because it's all nicely

01:00:08   put together in this station. So every time I'm there, I change the song and I raise the

01:00:16   volume to the maximum level on all the speakers and then I leave.

01:00:19   That's a good use of your time. They have, it's like a collection, they have two products

01:00:28   in the collection right now. One is a lamp and one they call a bookshelf speaker. So

01:00:34   could put it in a bookshelf but they also have it which is very clever you

01:00:39   can set it up as like a wall mounted bedside table but it's also a speaker

01:00:44   like I really like the way that they do that but I also don't want Sonos product

01:00:51   I don't want to get into the whole thing like the Sonos thing I'm already I'm

01:00:56   into too many things already right you know like I don't want another system

01:01:00   that I have to integrate just for music. It is a thing, it is a thing. Especially it's

01:01:07   just like a thing that surely isn't going to be around for very long. Like, you know,

01:01:13   I believe that Apple will have some kind of, or Amazon will have some kind of like multi-room

01:01:20   connected speaker thing for longer than Sonos will. Like I am very impressed that Sonos

01:01:26   is still around, like that is a testament to that company, whatever they're doing,

01:01:31   that means they can still be around. And doing stuff like this thing with IKEA is probably

01:01:36   part of that, right? Like it's clever, but you know, bravo Sonos, but like I don't want to

01:01:42   get into another thing. It is a thing, it's one of those things that if you buy one and then you

01:01:48   share it publicly, you get a bunch of people like sort of like virtually winking at you,

01:01:54   you as like, oh yeah, now you're in the club, now you're a Sonos person.

01:01:57   Because you are, right? Because as well, everyone that I know that owns Sonos devices, they're

01:02:03   like Sonos people and they're like, oh no, but you don't understand.

01:02:06   And they get in touch with you. The Sonos products are so good, you should

01:02:10   get a soundbar for your television and then you should get this and this.

01:02:14   It's like when you start, it's like, and I mean, I love Greg, but it's like when you

01:02:18   start using drafts, like you say you use drafts for one thing and you get a bunch of people

01:02:23   on Reddit. It's like, "Oh, you know what I did? I raised my children with drafts."

01:02:27   So like, I just needed to take some notes, man, it's fine. But it's one of those

01:02:34   things that like, as soon as you say one thing about it publicly, there's like a whole

01:02:38   pack of people that get in touch with you. And yes, the Sonos is definitely one of those

01:02:43   products that because it's got a very loyal user base. But yes, it is a thing.

01:02:50   And partly because, and I don't doubt it, like the products are good, right?

01:02:54   Like I know that Sonos' products are good, but I...

01:02:58   It's too late now for me.

01:03:01   Yeah.

01:03:02   I don't want...

01:03:03   It is too late.

01:03:05   ...to get into another thing.

01:03:07   I'm three HomePods too late.

01:03:08   Yeah.

01:03:09   So...

01:03:10   Two HomePods, two Amazon Echos.

01:03:14   I'm like in.

01:03:16   Talking about the HomePod.

01:03:19   Let's talk about the home pod.

01:03:21   - After this break, this episode of Connected

01:03:24   is brought to you by SaneBox.

01:03:27   Everyone has something they don't like about email,

01:03:29   probably more than just one thing, lots of things.

01:03:32   It's why you need to check out SaneBox.

01:03:34   While it would be lovely, it's just not practical

01:03:36   to just delete all of your email.

01:03:38   There's undoubtedly important stuff in there

01:03:40   that you have to deal with.

01:03:41   But one of the big problems is that all email

01:03:43   looks the same.

01:03:44   At a glance, it can be difficult to try and decipher

01:03:47   which messages need your attention.

01:03:49   Well, wouldn't it be nice if your email could be pre-sorted

01:03:52   before it even hits your inbox?

01:03:54   That's what SameBox is all about.

01:03:56   It sorts through your email and moves the trivial stuff

01:03:58   to different folders, so the only messages in your inbox

01:04:01   are the ones that you'd need.

01:04:03   The great thing is that it works seamlessly

01:04:05   with your current system and with any mail app.

01:04:08   One of the best features is the black hole.

01:04:10   All you need to do is move an unwanted email

01:04:13   into that folder and you'll never hear

01:04:14   from that sender again.

01:04:16   With Sandbox, you can set up email reminders,

01:04:18   snooze your email, and so much more.

01:04:21   I've used Sandbox for several years

01:04:22   on my work email accounts,

01:04:24   and honestly, I couldn't operate without this.

01:04:28   I can go in and view the same later folder.

01:04:31   It catches things that are important but not urgent.

01:04:34   And if some press company or something gets through,

01:04:38   I just drag in the black hole

01:04:40   and keep living my life without it.

01:04:42   To get a little help organizing your inbox,

01:04:45   We've worked with SaneBox to get you a great deal.

01:04:47   Just go to sanebox.com/connected

01:04:50   and you'll get a two week free trial

01:04:52   and an extra $25 credit just because you listened

01:04:56   to the show.

01:04:57   You don't have to enter any credit card information

01:04:59   unless you decide to buy so there's nothing to lose.

01:05:02   Check it out today and get your email finally under control.

01:05:05   That's sanebox, S-A-N-E-B-O-X.com/connected.

01:05:10   Our thanks to SaneBox for the support of the show

01:05:14   and Relay FM.

01:05:15   I have some real-time follow-up. Yes! So as noticed by Benjamin Mayo, friend of the show, on Twitter,

01:05:22   13.4 beta 2 is out and Apple changed the toolbar in Mail again.

01:05:30   So,

01:05:32   a bunch of tweaks here. So basically they took out the flag button. It's been replaced. So there's now a new

01:05:42   Compose button on the far right side and the existing reply button has been shifted by

01:05:50   one position. So flag is out and the Compose button is in. So another change to the Mail toolbar.

01:05:58   Wait, why does the Compose button need to be there if it wasn't there before?

01:06:03   I have no idea.

01:06:05   I have no idea.

01:06:07   It seems to me like...

01:06:08   Do people frequently open an email and then just...

01:06:11   compose a completely different email? Does anybody at Apple use email? Has anybody ever

01:06:18   seen an email like that before? It's not the way that it works.

01:06:22   Yeah, ain't it, son? That ain't it, is it? You didn't do that one right?

01:06:26   It's like people who open Google and they type in "facebook.com" into the Google search

01:06:31   bar. This is not the way that it's supposed to work. You open an email, you want to do

01:06:35   things with that email. Why compose? Apparently it was like this in IOS 12. It was still wrong

01:06:41   this doesn't make any sense like who does this? Oh man this is a good email

01:06:48   let me write a different email to someone else.

01:06:51   It's like oh yeah, speaking of email let me write a new one.

01:06:55   I've had this once rolling around in my brain for a while. Let me send it to somebody.

01:07:00   Maybe it's designed for the way the team likes to manage his emails.

01:07:04   Like he sees something, he's like oh I got an email, Eddie.

01:07:07   Like, where's my compose button? Maybe that's what his email workflow looks like. I don't know.

01:07:14   Has anyone ever done that? Like, at least mindfully? Like, maybe because it's there,

01:07:19   you've tapped it. But like, that doesn't need to be there, does it? Right? Like,

01:07:24   I'm not crazy on this one. I know we're making fun of it. But like, you don't need that, do you?

01:07:29   Isn't it better to have the flag button there? Or forward?

01:07:34   Yeah, why is Compose here? Honestly, I don't know. Yeah, Flag would be better.

01:07:38   Or Forward, right? Like Forward. Or Forward.

01:07:40   Or, or how about this? A reply button that just replies and doesn't open another menu

01:07:46   with a bunch of stuff in it. Like a direct reply button, yeah.

01:07:48   Or just like create a button that isn't the reply icon that brings up that sheet.

01:07:54   And here's a crazy idea. Bear with me. What if you could configure the toolbar

01:08:01   to put in the bands, you know?

01:08:03   - What's wrong with you? - I'm sorry, I'm sorry.

01:08:06   - How dare you? How dare you?

01:08:09   - That used to be a big thing at iOS. Remember like the old music app?

01:08:11   You could like pull artists out and put composers in. It was fantastic.

01:08:15   - You said it. I agree with you, but can you think of literally any other app that Apple has made

01:08:19   other than the music app that let you do that?

01:08:22   - No, and not anymore also.

01:08:25   - It was just because they wanted to get Bono in there.

01:08:29   Bono was the guy in the artist tab, right? Yeah, a silhouette of him.

01:08:33   It shouldn't be this way because you can configure a bunch of options for mail. Like,

01:08:38   why are swipe options better than toolbar buttons? Like, you can configure those in settings. What's

01:08:45   wrong with changing the buttons? Not in the mail app. You have to go out to a different application.

01:08:50   Well, sure. You have settings in settings. Why are they, like, more important than... Because,

01:08:58   So obviously they're never gonna agree on a single solution for the toolbar that works

01:09:02   for everybody.

01:09:03   No.

01:09:04   Which is fine.

01:09:05   Which is why many apps, including the app that I use, Spark, you can configure it.

01:09:09   And one of my favorite things they added recently is the ability to add a tool in the toolbar

01:09:13   to take the current email and turn it into a PDF.

01:09:16   It's in the toolbar.

01:09:18   So I hit it, PDF, and then I save the receipt that I'm saving, right?

01:09:21   To my receipt app.

01:09:23   I use a shortcut to do that.

01:09:24   But like, that's great.

01:09:26   And they have tons of options, and you can put a bunch in there, and you can remove the

01:09:29   ones you don't want and add the ones you do want.

01:09:31   Because you know what?

01:09:32   Email is complicated, and people have systems, and configurability inside of email apps is

01:09:36   good.

01:09:37   However, no email app is good, but there are just some that are worse than others.

01:09:41   Alright, so maybe this is a long shot, but if you long press the compose button, you

01:09:49   see the drafts window.

01:09:52   Don't care.

01:09:53   That makes even less sense.

01:09:54   Who needs that?

01:09:55   I don't know man.

01:09:56   It's like, oh, I'm looking at an email.

01:09:57   Oh man, there was this draft that I was writing.

01:10:00   I don't think I've ever intentionally saved the message as a draft.

01:10:05   Email is something that you've got to jump in and do it.

01:10:08   Drafts get saved automatically or accidentally for me.

01:10:12   Like I don't start an email, close it, do more email, then open the draft and send another

01:10:18   email.

01:10:19   Email, man.

01:10:20   Let's talk about the HomePod.

01:10:21   So there was a report on MacRumors from this company called Strategy Analytics.

01:10:25   Like, look, this is like one of those things.

01:10:27   It might mean nothing, but it's at least a way for us to talk about something about the

01:10:30   HomePod.

01:10:31   That apparently Apple shipped an estimated 2.6 million HomePods during the fourth quarter

01:10:36   of 2019.

01:10:38   This gave it 4.7% of the smart speaker market.

01:10:41   So this would make, if this is all true, Apple would have been the sixth worldwide smart

01:10:47   speaker market vendor right now.

01:10:50   fewer speakers than, as you'd expect, Amazon and Google, but get ready for this. Also,

01:10:55   Baidu, Alibaba, and Xiaomi. Now, this is one of those things, this is a worldwide market,

01:11:01   right? So Baidu, Alibaba, and Xiaomi are probably popular in certain markets in Asia, which

01:11:07   is one of those things. None of us had no idea that there were products being made by

01:11:13   those three companies. Xiaomi I would have expected, because they do make lots, and I

01:11:16   know that. Alibaba is a surprise to me that Alibaba makes a smart speaker. I'm sure now

01:11:21   that I expect they make lots of technology, but I didn't know about that. But that just

01:11:26   shows you like the companies that have these massive audiences available to them because

01:11:32   of the work in some markets, they can just command massive amounts of people. Right.

01:11:37   I mean, anyway, kind of hilarious, really, that Apple is just like so far down in that market.

01:11:43   Apple, if all of these numbers are to be believed, Apple would have shipped one

01:11:47   million more HomePods in 2019 Q4 than it did in 2018 Q4,

01:11:52   which would be a 65% increase in growth, which sounds great, right?

01:11:55   But it didn't translate to any major increase in market share because

01:11:59   everybody else shipped way more. So the market grew a lot year over year,

01:12:05   so even though Apple grew 65% year over year,

01:12:08   it wasn't enough to make any change to their standing in the marketplace.

01:12:13   So all of this led to a conversation we want to have about the HomePod.

01:12:19   So let's start with how we are using our HomePods.

01:12:22   As the resident HomePod fanatic Federico Vatici, how are you using your HomePod?

01:12:29   Well, surprisingly, my usage is quite basic. I just use it for music.

01:12:36   and like traditional Siri requests.

01:12:41   - Give me some flavor here.

01:12:43   - So like play music or what's on my schedule tomorrow

01:12:47   or HomeKit devices, like turn on the lights.

01:12:50   - You see, I'm pleased I asked

01:12:52   because what's on my schedule tomorrow,

01:12:54   I would never even think to ask my HomePod that.

01:12:56   - Okay.

01:12:57   - I don't think I've ever asked a HomePod that question.

01:13:00   - I'm trying to think, the occasional reminder,

01:13:04   like remind me to do this,

01:13:06   But mostly really it's just music and HomeKit.

01:13:09   And music, I do tend to initiate from my iPhone or iPad via Control Center.

01:13:17   Like I just connect manually.

01:13:19   Do you do that more or less often than asking?

01:13:23   More often.

01:13:24   More often than not.

01:13:25   More often you will pick up your iPhone and then send it.

01:13:28   Yeah.

01:13:28   Like it's a Sonos speaker basically.

01:13:30   Yes.

01:13:31   Yes.

01:13:31   Have you heard the good news?

01:13:34   Yes, I have.

01:13:35   I should say that my excitement for the HomePod has really dried down because Sylvia really

01:13:44   fundamentally hates the HomePod and Siri and to the point where whenever I ask the HomePod for

01:13:54   something, for anything, there's her comment that follows like a stupid thing, something like that.

01:14:01   So like whenever I unbox it...

01:14:04   I cannot tell you how much I want to see this in action.

01:14:07   Like, we need to come and visit you just so I can watch Silvia's disdain for the home

01:14:11   plot.

01:14:12   She comments on it and she basically says something along the lines of like, "Why can

01:14:17   we just have Alexa back?"

01:14:19   Now that's interesting because my memory tells me that she turned on Alexa too.

01:14:25   Initially.

01:14:26   Initially.

01:14:27   Right.

01:14:28   like, she's nostalgic for whatever reason, but she's convinced that it worked better.

01:14:34   But really, like, this is funny and all, but we do have some, like, serious problems with

01:14:41   the HomePod lately. We have noticed some quite noticeable increase in the accidental activations

01:14:50   over the past two months, I want to say. Just out of the blue, randomly, people were watching

01:14:57   TV in Italian, so it's not even English. Of course, the HomePod does not support Italian

01:15:03   yet, which is another problem. But just out of the blue, the HomePod will say "On it".

01:15:08   It's like, what? You're on what? Exactly. I've been thinking about this kind of stuff

01:15:14   recently, right? What could have happened? You have no idea what it might have done.

01:15:19   Exactly. But like, and could you ever know? Who knows?

01:15:22   Like it's done something and like it could have been like it could have sent a message

01:15:27   to your mom and like said "I hate you" like anything could have happened.

01:15:33   One time one time we're just watching TV and cooking dinner and she goes "so do you

01:15:41   want me do you confirm sending this message to one of my contacts?"

01:15:46   I was like "no stop" it was like I started touching the home pod so somehow she, the

01:15:52   the home pod had been triggered and Siri transcribed whatever message she thought I was dictating.

01:16:02   The home pod asked me to confirm the message. It was about to send the message to one of

01:16:06   my contacts, not even an Italian contact, like some person in my address book that I

01:16:10   know for work. I was like, "Stop." So that was quite scary. The other times, Siri just

01:16:17   goes on it or let me take care of that, you know, some stupid confirmation sentence. And

01:16:22   it just does it and I have no idea what it is. And of course there's no log to see, you

01:16:28   know, with the echo you do have a log of all your commands and things that you've asked

01:16:33   the assistant to do with Siri and the home pod. You do not have a log. So I have no idea

01:16:39   whatever happened.

01:16:40   >> If you've never used that log, by the way, it's like it's in the Alexa app somewhere.

01:16:46   And it's effectively, it has, you can press play and hear the request. And then it says,

01:16:52   this is basically what we thought you asked for. It's also super creepy to hear the requests.

01:16:58   It is. It is very scary. Like when, especially when the accident once, because like it's

01:17:03   this whole idea, this whole thing of like, Oh, why was Myke so upset about that thing

01:17:06   that Apple was doing? Which because when you hear yourself talking and you're not expecting

01:17:13   anyone's hearing it and there's a machine that's heard it, it's really creepy. Like,

01:17:18   it shines a big light on what you are allowing in your life and that's an uncomfortable feeling.

01:17:26   It's very concerning.

01:17:27   So, to sum up, basically, at least once a day now, and I'm not kidding, one of our three

01:17:34   HomePods gets accidentally triggered with the invocation phrase "somehow". Even, and

01:17:42   And especially when we are not watching English content, we're watching Italian television,

01:17:49   and nobody's ever pronouncing the word "Siri".

01:17:52   So I have no idea what is going on, but that, as you know, combined with Sylvia's feelings

01:17:58   on the device in general, that has really pushed me on a bit of a sad note regarding

01:18:09   the HomePod lately.

01:18:10   Yeah.

01:18:11   Steven, what about you?

01:18:14   Does your usage differ to Federico's?

01:18:16   It does, mainly in that I don't have personal requests turned on on my HomePods, except

01:18:21   for the one here in the office.

01:18:23   So the two in the house, because I've got kids, I have that off because I don't want

01:18:27   them either accidentally or on purpose interacting with my personal data that's on my phone.

01:18:34   So for the most part, it's news, weather, music.

01:18:38   I will say absolutely love the handoff where you're playing music on your phone and you

01:18:44   like tap the top of the HomePod or bring your phone close to it and the music transfers

01:18:48   and you can do it again and the music goes back to your phone.

01:18:50   I love everything about that interaction.

01:18:52   Like it is just it's like whimsical and fun.

01:18:56   It seems to always work for me.

01:18:58   I really like that addition.

01:19:00   But like everyone else, I've got my my disappointments with it.

01:19:04   I too have noticed an increase in misfires.

01:19:07   So you get the uh-huh or hmm or it's like why are you talking like I nothing I mean

01:19:15   sometimes you say something and it sounds close to it but most of the time if I like

01:19:18   think back over the last four seconds of conversations like I don't know how you think you heard

01:19:23   hey Siri like I don't why how did you come up with that and that is upsetting if you're

01:19:30   in your home and you're not meaning to speak to the robot but it's listening and so I feel

01:19:34   like that's not as good as it used to be and maybe that has to do with Apple's policy change

01:19:39   or maybe it's just gotten worse over time, maybe I notice it more but it seems like there's

01:19:43   an uptick in that so my feelings of that definitely mirror yours.

01:19:48   So I use mine for music occasionally, we don't really listen to a lot of music in the house

01:19:53   but when we do we'd use the HomePod.

01:19:56   We mostly use the HomePods as like Airplay 2 speakers for Apple TV.

01:20:01   We watch basically everything through the Apple TV and we used two HomePods and a stereo

01:20:06   pair for that.

01:20:07   And I really like it for that.

01:20:09   That's my favorite use of the HomePod because the speakers sound much better than anything

01:20:13   my television can output.

01:20:15   And they do some of the spatial audio stuff.

01:20:18   They give us this nice stereo difference.

01:20:20   I really like it.

01:20:21   It's very nice.

01:20:22   I've been meaning to ask you about that.

01:20:23   Is there any lag or does the Apple TV accommodate for that?

01:20:26   It accommodates for it.

01:20:27   sometimes you press play and it buffers for a second or two and then it goes.

01:20:30   Every now and then it might get stuck but then it's just it's typically just a

01:20:35   case of press home, press the app again and it's fixed. And that only ever

01:20:40   happens if I'm changing the input. So if like I change the input to the TV or

01:20:43   change the input from the TV because it doesn't always stay paired, you have

01:20:48   to like fiddle with it sometimes but it's not too much of a bother because

01:20:51   you just press the home button thing, the TV button and you can just change the

01:20:56   inputs. That tap to share audio thing that you mentioned, it does not work

01:20:59   reliably for me at all. And I find it very frustrating. I don't know if it's

01:21:04   like in a stereo pay, you're supposed to put it on one or the other, like I don't know

01:21:08   if that's a thing, but like I just happened to be there with the house,

01:21:10   listening to a podcast on Overcast. I held it on top of the HomePod for like 10

01:21:15   seconds and nothing happened and then I just opened it up and sent it manually.

01:21:19   I use the HomePods mostly.

01:21:23   We have Alexa products too.

01:21:26   I use the HomePod for controlling our home devices.

01:21:29   Adina uses the Echos for that.

01:21:31   I use the HomePods because it's the fastest for that.

01:21:35   It turns on our Hue lights quicker than the Echo does, so I really like it.

01:21:40   So I did just give my hand because the next thing I was going to ask you guys

01:21:44   if we use competing products, and we do.

01:21:47   We actually use our Echo products more than we do the home part.

01:21:53   We have an Echo Show in the kitchen and we will use that for setting timers because it

01:21:58   shows the timers on a screen.

01:22:00   That's very useful, especially if you have multiple timers, you can see them.

01:22:06   And I just liked all of the Echo stuff for timers way more.

01:22:13   It was so long it took for multiple name timers to come to the HomePod that I would never

01:22:20   even think to use it now because I just got used to not doing that and the Echo has done

01:22:25   it well for so long that it's great.

01:22:27   I also really like the Echo Show because it's like a digital picture frame.

01:22:33   I would never buy a digital picture frame but when you already have a device that can

01:22:37   just show pictures, it's nice to have that.

01:22:41   So we just load when we go on a nice vacation, we just load those images into Amazon's photo

01:22:46   app and then it just cycles through them.

01:22:48   It's just nice to have it there because you see this things like, oh, that was nice.

01:22:51   You know, you see it in the kitchen or whatever.

01:22:53   We like that.

01:22:54   Being able to order the groceries that basically all of this stuff is the same as it's been

01:22:58   for a long time, right?

01:23:00   So we order our groceries via an Alexa skill because the Alexa platform is open to allow

01:23:06   our grocery company to have that skill.

01:23:09   pod there is no system to allow that right we're able to control other devices

01:23:13   devices like our Dyson devices our Roomba devices because Amazon system

01:23:17   allows that I'm hoping that the choi thing which I called choi connect the

01:23:22   home over IP right I'm hoping that that stuff will allow for us to do more like

01:23:27   that in Apple's devices but we'll see and we have an echo dot in the bedroom

01:23:31   because we want to be able to do basic things like changing our lights checking

01:23:36   the weather with a device that costs 30 pounds, not 300 pounds.

01:23:41   We don't need to listen to music in the bedroom because this is not something that we do.

01:23:48   And I wouldn't want to have a HomePod in there because it would be a waste of money because

01:23:54   all we do is like, "What's the weather like?" or "Turn off the lights."

01:24:00   So we still use our Echo products more than we use the HomePod for all of those reasons.

01:24:07   For all of the Smart Home stuff it's used more in our home than the HomePod is.

01:24:11   Because the platform just allows for it.

01:24:13   It's just more friendly.

01:24:16   Do you guys use anything else?

01:24:17   No, no.

01:24:19   No additional hardware for us even though, again, Sylvia...

01:24:23   It would be welcomed in your home but...

01:24:25   It would be like a new Echo would actually be welcome.

01:24:30   I'm trying to think if I ever use it for anything.

01:24:35   Timers. See, I used to create timers for when we were cooking pasta or stuff like that.

01:24:43   On the HomePod and the watch. Lately I've had troubles with the watch as well.

01:24:49   Like, if I press and hold the button to invoke Siri, most of the time, and I want to be precise with my timers,

01:24:57   my timers, but most of the time it takes 10 seconds to understand my request. And sometimes

01:25:03   it's like, I cannot create timers for a specific time for you. I was like, "What? Why are you

01:25:08   trying to say watch?" And so lately I've just been grabbing my phone and creating timers

01:25:17   with Siri on the iPhone, because it's more reliable for some reason. The weather, I don't

01:25:23   ask the HomePod because I like to check in carat weather on my phone. And running shortcuts

01:25:30   could be another, but most of my shortcuts... I have some shortcuts that support conversational

01:25:39   mode but I don't use them often, and if I do, I mostly use them again in UI mode when

01:25:49   I'm using my iPhone or my iPad. So yeah, what I said is music home kit and the

01:25:56   occasional schedule is mostly of most of my usage. I do have a list of feature

01:26:01   requests though, problems that I would like to hear those in one moment but

01:26:05   Stephen you would your answers the same right you don't yeah you don't do any I

01:26:09   ditched all the Amazon stuff I've got one echo that I keep if I ever want to

01:26:15   like, check it out, but it's in my office, I think in a cabinet somewhere.

01:26:20   Okay. So Federico, what is your list of feature requests?

01:26:23   So, I mean, of course, Italian support. I think it's kind of ridiculous that we still

01:26:30   don't officially have the HomePod in Italy, and you can't change the language to Italian.

01:26:35   It's, you know, it's been a couple of years at this point, and I was certain that they

01:26:41   that were gonna add Italian support last year,

01:26:43   but it didn't happen.

01:26:44   It's like living in a forgotten country.

01:26:47   It's very surprising to me

01:26:48   that we still do not have the HomePod in Italy.

01:26:51   I believe it's sold in Germany and France at this point.

01:26:54   - But I think they just added those recently, right?

01:26:57   - Yeah, I think so, maybe, I don't know.

01:27:00   It should be smaller and it should be cheaper, really.

01:27:03   Part of the problem with the HomePod,

01:27:04   and the reason why, it's always on sale.

01:27:06   You can always find a HomePod sale every few weeks.

01:27:08   It's because it's too expensive for what it does.

01:27:11   too. Yeah, and I get that like the high fidelity audio and all that kind of stuff.

01:27:15   Oh no, it's India. They just brought it to India. It's been in Germany for a while. Sorry.

01:27:20   But yeah, it should be cheaper, or there should be a cheaper version because not everybody

01:27:24   needs the studio quality audio or whatever. One of the things that I've never liked with

01:27:32   the HomePod from a design perspective is the fact that it's only a visual communication

01:27:38   system, which would be the LED, the display thing at the bottom that is not a display

01:27:43   but is actually like a bunch of lights, you cannot see that if the HomePod is high enough

01:27:50   on a shelf or on a cabinet or whatever.

01:27:54   You cannot see that, whereas the Amazon Echo has a ring that is placed, like you can see

01:28:00   the ring across the unit, across the cylinder, but the display of the HomePod, because it's

01:28:07   at the very top of the device, it cannot be seen if you're not at eye level. So that's

01:28:14   a problem for me because I can never tell. Unless I want to get up on a chair and look

01:28:18   at it, I can never tell.

01:28:19   The visual indicator is not good enough. The Echo's visual indicator is like so excellent.

01:28:24   Yeah, it's much better. And obviously, I would very much welcome deeper integration with

01:28:32   shortcuts. It's nice that you can now hand off and control playback from shortcuts. I

01:28:37   do have some shortcuts that I use for playing specific playlists, which I should have mentioned.

01:28:43   Oh, I totally forgot. I'm so sorry, guys. One of the things that my home pods do, they

01:28:49   are now an additional siren for my home security system. I totally forgot. We talked about

01:28:57   this a few months ago. Since Apple launched AirPlay automation with 13.2.3 a few months

01:29:06   ago, I have added to my existing home security system the HomePods as an additional siren.

01:29:16   So besides the physical siren, the 110-decibel siren that I bought from Amazon that is plugged

01:29:24   a secret location of my house and makes a lot of noise should anybody ever try to break

01:29:30   in, the HomePods will also play a loud siren track at max volume simultaneously. So that

01:29:38   is something that they also do. And they were only accidentally triggered once when my mom

01:29:45   was home and she was terrified. We've talked about this before. As I was saying, I do have

01:29:52   some shortcuts to play specific playlists, but they can only do that on one HomePod at

01:29:58   a time, and I really think there should be a shortcuts action that lets you connect to

01:30:03   multiple HomePods or AirPlay 2 speakers at the same time. Right now, that is not possible.

01:30:09   Oh really? Yeah, it's only one at a time from shortcuts.

01:30:13   You cannot do the, like in Control Center, you have the checkboxes, and you can select

01:30:19   them. Do you know if you have them grouped?

01:30:21   it's possible that they're going to be a single unit, yeah. I mean, I guess if they're grouped

01:30:27   together that's going to be a single unit in shortcuts, I'm like 90% sure, but we do

01:30:34   not have them grouped, they're all like individual units, and in shortcuts you can only connect

01:30:40   to one at a time through the action called set playback destination. So you can only

01:30:46   set one destination at a time, whereas it should be like Control Center that has checkboxes

01:30:52   and you can select multiple home pods at a time and stream audio to multiple home pods

01:30:57   at a time. And I would like that, but it's not possible now.

01:31:01   My list of demands. My list of demands, sure. I want a helicopter. No, I, you know, I want

01:31:13   more open development, right? Like I want companies to be able, I want my grocery company

01:31:18   to easily be able to create something where I can order my groceries. Right. And when

01:31:22   I say that, it's like, we'll just say like, hey, like, tell Ocado, which is the company

01:31:27   we use to add ketchup to the shopping trolley. And it's like, I've added Heinz ketchup to

01:31:33   your shopping trolley. It's just so easy. It's great. Like it's, it is a fantastic feature.

01:31:38   Like if you can get that to work, like it works flawlessly. It's looking at what is

01:31:43   the stuff you have bought recently or previously and then just adds the most likely result.

01:31:48   But when you are in the kitchen and you realise you've run out of something, just saying to

01:31:52   the air that you would like a new one of it is so good, right? Like, just something like

01:31:58   that means I'm not leaving. We will not leave the Echo family of products for as long as

01:32:04   we are using this grocery service because that is so good. But anyway, I would like

01:32:09   a home pod of a screen and I would also like a smaller version because I think

01:32:14   that those two products will be good because I like those in the Amazon family.

01:32:19   Stephen do you have anything else like on feature requests? I think y'all hit all

01:32:25   my big ones. I think the only thing I would add is related to what Federico

01:32:28   said about the LED array being at the top. I think the whole top of the home

01:32:33   pod is way too sensitive. Like if you brush across it it'll start blasting

01:32:37   Music that you played last and oh yeah, I would like that to be a little more intentional like let me

01:32:43   Double-tap to restart, but it feels like I'm afraid to go near the top of a home pod and the one in our kitchen

01:32:49   sits on the counter and above it is like where we hang our keys and

01:32:53   More than once a week one of us will like accidentally brush it with our jacket sleeve and all of a sudden

01:32:59   You know it's playing playing music or whatever

01:33:01   Very eager to be used

01:33:04   It is. I'm here. Oh, oh, let me play music for you. Calm down. Just like chill. So I'd like to see them improve that.

01:33:11   I like, I like the touch things. I have the same problem you do that you can't see them.

01:33:15   Because my one in my office is up on a shelf and I can't see the top of it.

01:33:19   Dialing in that those gestures and that touch recognition I think would be, would be welcome.

01:33:24   All right, is that it? We fixed the home pod? I think so, yeah.

01:33:28   If you want to find links to everything we spoke about this week head on over to the website relay.fm/connected/282

01:33:36   While you're there

01:33:37   You can become a member to support the show

01:33:40   Or you can send us an email with feedback or follow up or you can find us on Twitter. Myke is there is I M Y K E

01:33:47   Myke is the host of a bunch of other shows here on relay FM

01:33:51   You can find Federico on Twitter of a teachy v I T I CCI and he's the editor-in-chief of max stories dotnet

01:33:58   You can find me online as ismh and my writing at 512pixels.net.

01:34:04   I'd like to thank our sponsors this week, Smile, Hover, and SaneBox.

01:34:08   Until next time guys, say goodbye.

01:34:10   Adios.

01:34:11   Cheerio.

01:34:12   Adios.

01:34:12   Adios.