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Connected

202: It Could Just Be Ghosts

 

00:00:00   (upbeat music)

00:00:02   - Hello and welcome to Connected episode 202.

00:00:12   - I'm good. - It's brought to you

00:00:13   this week by TextExpander, Simple Contacts, and Anchor.

00:00:17   I am your host, Stephen Hackett,

00:00:18   and I'm joined by two marvelous hosts as well.

00:00:23   Corner number one, we have Federico Vittucci.

00:00:26   - Hi, Stephen. - How are you?

00:00:28   I'm great. I'm just, you know, coming up for air after typing my iOS review for like 10

00:00:37   days straight. So, yeah, that's fun.

00:00:40   I'm glad you could take a break and join us today. And we're also joined by returning

00:00:45   special guest, Jon Voorhees.

00:00:47   Hey, Steven, how you doing?

00:00:49   Oh, no. Is he here?

00:00:51   How you doing?

00:00:52   Oh, no.

00:00:53   I can't pretend to be you this time, though.

00:00:54   Is that what you were trying to do last time?

00:00:57   I did such a good job last time.

00:00:59   Your Arrivederci John was really on point.

00:01:02   You did a really good job.

00:01:03   I knew you'd like that.

00:01:04   Thank you.

00:01:05   So, Stephen, what are we talking about today?

00:01:09   What's the topic list?

00:01:11   Do we have any‚Ķ

00:01:12   We have some topics and we have some Q&A because it's the summer and sometimes topics are

00:01:16   hard to come by.

00:01:18   And we have follow-up.

00:01:19   We're going to start with follow-up.

00:01:20   We're going to start with your Sonos problems and maybe a solution.

00:01:25   Not really. So I was able to find on the Sonos forums a few people having the same issue

00:01:34   that I have, which to, you know, to sort of for context, we talked about this last week.

00:01:39   My problem is not being unable to stream music from the iPhone to the Sonos. That is working

00:01:45   as long as I select the Sonos as a destination, as a playback device from the first tile of

00:01:53   control center that works, so streaming directly from the phone to the Sonos works. My problem

00:01:58   is if you treat the Sonos 1 in my case as an Airplay 2 device, as an independent audio

00:02:06   device. So if I ask Siri for example to play music in the balcony, it doesn't work because

00:02:13   it says that it's unable to connect to the Sonos. And I've been able to find a few people

00:02:18   having the same problem. I tweeted about it and the Sonos account found my tweet, which

00:02:23   was not a public tweet, it was a response to somebody else. So I assume they have some

00:02:28   real professional, you know, Twitter saved searches going on. They found my tweet and

00:02:34   they responded. They got in touch with me over DM and they asked me to give them some

00:02:41   details and I gave them the details and then they said, "Well, we need you to run a diagnostic

00:02:45   tool and give us more information about the mesh Wi-Fi system that you have. I sent them

00:02:51   the dynostics and the details about the router and the Wi-Fi. And then they asked me to do

00:02:57   something that I honestly don't have the time to do right now. So they discovered in the

00:03:03   dynostics that the Sonos One connects to the satellite device instead of the main one,

00:03:09   the main Orbi unit, and they asked me to unplug the speaker and plug it into the main unit

00:03:17   which is inside the house and restart my entire network, so that means powering off the modem

00:03:24   and restarting everything, and then running the diagnostics again. Honestly, this is going

00:03:30   to take me like at least half an hour, which I don't have time to do right now during the

00:03:35   the week. So probably in the weekend I will do as they say and I will follow up again

00:03:40   I suppose next week or you know if I have time or not honestly I don't have I don't

00:03:46   know right now I just don't want to because it sounds like a lot of work.

00:03:50   Yeah that's there's a QA department for that kind of thing.

00:03:55   It happens sometimes so well hopefully that helps solve it it seems like a weird thing

00:04:00   but I don't think I understand the intricacies of Airplay networking to say if that answer

00:04:09   actually makes sense or not.

00:04:12   Let me tell you, if only the company that makes the Airplay protocol and the iPhone

00:04:18   and the iPad and the Mac was also in the router business, that would probably solve a lot

00:04:25   of problems.

00:04:26   Too soon, man.

00:04:27   Too soon.

00:04:28   Holy, imagine that crazy idea.

00:04:30   The company that makes your electronics also makes your Wi-Fi.

00:04:33   Wouldn't that be nice?

00:04:35   I don't want to go off on that tangent today.

00:04:39   So Jon, I'm going to see you this weekend.

00:04:42   We are.

00:04:43   You're speaking this weekend.

00:04:44   And you've got your iMacs on display in the Detroit area, right?

00:04:49   Yeah, so the Henry Ford Museum, I've spoken about them before.

00:04:53   They took the 13 colors of iMac G3 that I collected.

00:04:57   They're part of their permanent collection.

00:04:59   I also interviewed their technology curator on the podcast

00:05:03   like a couple years ago about the Apple One.

00:05:05   She's awesome.

00:05:06   So anyways, this weekend is the Detroit Maker Faire.

00:05:09   It takes place on the grounds of the Henry Ford Museum.

00:05:12   So I'm gonna be there for the Maker Faire.

00:05:14   I'm speaking Saturday and Sunday

00:05:16   towards the end of the day about podcasting,

00:05:18   how to get started, how to make money in it,

00:05:20   all those sorts of things.

00:05:22   And John, you're gonna come up.

00:05:24   And so if you wanna come see John this weekend,

00:05:26   or me or a bunch of awesome other nerds making stuff,

00:05:29   the Detroit Maker Faire seems like it's gonna be

00:05:31   a hopping place.

00:05:32   - Yeah, it's gonna be a lot of fun.

00:05:34   I've been to the Maker Faire in Detroit a couple of times.

00:05:36   I went to the very first one and I think maybe the third one

00:05:40   and took my kids and it's a lot of fun.

00:05:41   I mean, they have, in years past, they've had things like,

00:05:45   you know, 3D printer displays and demonstrations,

00:05:48   people pouring lead and iron into vats

00:05:53   to make all kinds of tools.

00:05:55   They had a tornado storm chaser vehicle there that you could tour.

00:06:00   All kinds of really neat, crazy stuff.

00:06:03   So it's a lot of fun and it looks like the weather's going to be good, although maybe

00:06:07   a little bit warm.

00:06:08   So Steve and I are going to be hanging out on -- I'll be there Saturday, I won't be there

00:06:12   Sunday.

00:06:13   But Steve, I think you're there Saturday and Sunday, right?

00:06:14   Both days.

00:06:15   So yeah, so if you're in the area, come out and the IMAX will be on display, I believe,

00:06:21   through the fall as part of a new exhibit called Looking Through Things.

00:06:29   So they're a part of a larger exhibit about transparency and translucency in technology

00:06:36   products dating way back to like World War II, which is bonkers.

00:06:40   So that's at the museum, so if you want to go by there and see that, say hi to my old

00:06:46   IMAX.

00:06:47   And I'm planning to have a video after the weekend kind of showing it all, so I look

00:06:51   for that too.

00:06:52   It'll be fun.

00:06:53   I'm looking forward to seeing you, Jon.

00:06:54   I've seen you like every three or four weeks all summer.

00:06:57   I'm going to be really sad when I don't see you.

00:06:58   Yeah, I'll have to come down to Memphis sometime, I guess.

00:07:00   Yeah, we've got to see each other in September, but we'll see each other in October in Chicago,

00:07:03   so that's enough.

00:07:04   Right.

00:07:05   Seeing your old computers under new ownership must be something like when an ex goes to

00:07:13   wedding of their own partner and they're like "aren't you doing nicely when you're new in life?"

00:07:18   I don't know I've never seen a computer that used to be mine and someone else's possession.

00:07:22   That's not true I sold it. That must feel kind of weird for you.

00:07:26   I sold my iMac to my brother. Kyle's the Gray has my old MacBook Pro but I've never seen it.

00:07:32   But yeah I mean these were in my collection now they're in their collection but I think I said

00:07:36   at the time like if I couldn't keep them this is where I wanted them to go and so I'm more excited

00:07:41   than anything that they're going to be on display. That's really cool.

00:07:44   Well, I'll be there to document the reunion of the IMAX and Steven.

00:07:50   Yeah, Jon, if I start trying to break the glass and climb in the exhibit, just try to

00:07:56   stop me, please.

00:07:57   Gotcha. Gotcha.

00:07:58   I feel like you would be more gentle than museum security.

00:08:01   Probably.

00:08:02   All right, we've got a lot more stuff to talk about, but first I want to tell you about

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00:09:44   So we've got a little more MacBook Pro stuff to talk about.

00:09:47   Federico, I know you've just been itching to talk about throttling MacBook Pros.

00:09:50   You were texting me the other night.

00:09:51   You said, "Can we record right now?

00:09:53   I have a lot to get off my chest."

00:09:54   And I said, "No, you've got to save it for Wednesday, man.

00:09:56   We record on Wednesday.

00:09:57   Hold your horses."

00:09:58   Yeah, yeah.

00:09:59   Yeah, I was really anticipating this discussion about, you know, keyboards and, you know,

00:10:08   hot CPUs and that kind of stuff. That's my jam. That's totally so let's do it. What's

00:10:15   happening with the MacBook Pro, Steven? A couple of things. There was this video,

00:10:19   it seemed like the i9 in particular was being throttled once it started getting hot,

00:10:25   like to a degree that was surprising,

00:10:28   in a very uneven and heavy-handed manner.

00:10:31   Apple came out yesterday with a statement saying,

00:10:35   "There's an issue with the firmware on the machines.

00:10:38   "Here's a software update."

00:10:39   That's only been about 24 hours,

00:10:41   but it seems like the YouTubers

00:10:43   that were really kind of at the forefront of this

00:10:45   have re-benchmarked the machines,

00:10:47   and things are faster, they're where they should be.

00:10:51   They still throttle a machine this thin and light

00:10:54   with a six core i9 in it is going to throttle,

00:10:57   but it is far more acceptable, far more reasonable

00:11:01   in the way that it's doing it,

00:11:02   and more predictable, which is the big thing.

00:11:04   The benchmarks were all over the place before,

00:11:06   and it seems like Apple has worked this out.

00:11:10   This update does apply also to the 13-inch.

00:11:13   Apple said this firmware issue was true

00:11:15   for all 2018 MacBook Pros.

00:11:19   It seems like maybe what happened is they

00:11:21   do all this internal testing.

00:11:23   the final firmware was not applied at the factory.

00:11:27   There was some breakdown there.

00:11:29   And it's unclear, Apple didn't address that directly,

00:11:31   but that seems to be what happened.

00:11:33   'Cause in testing, they didn't do this,

00:11:35   but Apple reached out to these YouTubers

00:11:37   and these reporters working on this

00:11:39   and trying to figure out what was going on.

00:11:41   And I think that's, while the problem is weird,

00:11:45   hopefully whatever happened in that confusing middle step

00:11:50   where the wrong firmware, or an old outdated firmware

00:11:53   put on these machines in the factory,

00:11:56   they should fix that and get a handle

00:11:58   on whatever happened there.

00:11:59   But Apple, I think they do this a lot more than we see,

00:12:03   where they do work with YouTubers and writers

00:12:06   and other people in the media when there's an issue like this

00:12:10   because they want to understand what's going on,

00:12:14   try to get to the bottom of it,

00:12:15   working with people who are experiencing it.

00:12:17   And that, to me, is really encouraging.

00:12:19   Like, I walk away from this encouraged that Apple,

00:12:23   listen to its users, that it didn't just write it off

00:12:25   and that they actually found a mistake

00:12:27   and they corrected it and they were pretty transparent

00:12:29   about what the mistake was.

00:12:32   I still think there's room for debate,

00:12:34   like not all machines, especially a pro machine,

00:12:36   need to be thin and light, that's a different conversation.

00:12:39   But it seems like at least for now,

00:12:40   these machines are much more predictable

00:12:43   in the way they act under load than they were before.

00:12:46   - Right, it was really interesting

00:12:49   to kind of watch this play out

00:12:50   because there was that initial YouTube video

00:12:52   that you mentioned, and I think that 15-inch MacBook Pro

00:12:56   is throttling down all the way down to like 800 megahertz,

00:12:58   I want to say, which is, yeah, significantly slower.

00:13:02   I mean, you know, computers from years and years

00:13:04   and years ago were that speed.

00:13:07   So it was a big issue.

00:13:09   It seemed to be something that happened

00:13:10   when a machine was running under load

00:13:13   for significant amounts of time.

00:13:14   And then right before Apple issued the software update,

00:13:19   a bunch of Redditors were on the case,

00:13:21   and they were trying to figure out exactly what was going on.

00:13:23   And they had discovered that they thought it was something

00:13:26   that could be corrected in software.

00:13:27   Really, I think, literally an hour or two maybe

00:13:29   before Apple released their update.

00:13:32   So credit to them to kind of tracking down the problem

00:13:35   on their own and realizing that it was a software issue

00:13:37   and not necessarily, not a hardware issue as it turns out.

00:13:40   - And like I said, I still think there's,

00:13:42   clearly there's room for improvement on Apple's part

00:13:44   and the thermal management on thin notebooks.

00:13:46   Like a six core i9 in this chassis is probably pushing it.

00:13:49   And I watched a video last night of someone

00:13:53   comparing the i9 MacBook Pro to an i9 gaming PC,

00:13:57   which is thick and heavy and has LEDs, it's kinda weird.

00:14:00   But they do perform much better

00:14:03   because they have better cooling capacity.

00:14:06   So the MacBook Pro is doing the best that it can

00:14:09   given its design, where that was not the case before,

00:14:13   but I still think that there's room in Apple's lineup

00:14:16   for a notebook that isn't this thin.

00:14:19   if it means you can run them faster

00:14:22   or you get a real GPU, a good mobile GPU in them,

00:14:27   'cause that's still,

00:14:29   really a lot of these benchmarks

00:14:30   the GPUs Apple is using in these things,

00:14:32   even on the high end, it's still not spectacular.

00:14:35   Like there are better options out there

00:14:37   and even staying within the AMD side of things

00:14:41   because Apple just refuses to use Nvidia chips

00:14:46   because they are in some sort of Cold War with them.

00:14:49   But it's promising that these machines,

00:14:53   at the very least, will work as advertised

00:14:55   because they weren't doing that before.

00:14:57   So I think I mentioned on the show last week

00:15:01   that I had ordered a base model, 13-inch,

00:15:05   with an i5 and eight gigs of RAM.

00:15:07   And I very quickly realized that that machine

00:15:11   was not the one I actually needed.

00:15:15   Just 'cause it was not powerful enough

00:15:17   for what I was wanting to do with it.

00:15:19   Like I said, I've said this a bunch of places,

00:15:20   I don't usually let notebook on a regular basis,

00:15:22   but when I do, it's for audio,

00:15:25   some video when I'm on the road.

00:15:27   And as cheap as, not cheap,

00:15:30   but the cheaper base model machine

00:15:32   was attractive to me for budgetary purposes,

00:15:35   but wasn't gonna cut it.

00:15:37   So I ended up yesterday swapping it out.

00:15:39   My local Apple store had an i7 with 16 gigs of RAM,

00:15:42   just like randomly in stock, which was cool.

00:15:46   And so I ended up picking that up

00:15:49   and I've only had it a day,

00:15:50   so I don't have a lot of like real time with it.

00:15:54   But I can say that the SSD speed is immediately noticeable.

00:15:59   It's in line with what the iMac Pro does.

00:16:05   That T2 chip and those rated SSD modules,

00:16:10   The storage is just so crazy fast on these new machines,

00:16:15   and that means every single thing feels faster.

00:16:18   I think we all remember when we got our first SSD computer,

00:16:24   like it was probably a MacBook Air for a lot of people,

00:16:27   or a MacBook Pro, and that first time you boot up

00:16:30   from an SSD, you're just like, oh my gosh,

00:16:32   I didn't know a computer could be this fast.

00:16:33   And even though the CPU may have been the same

00:16:35   from your previous machine, or not that much faster,

00:16:38   The data coming off the disk is just critical to so many things.

00:16:43   And you can feel that in the new machine that so much stuff is faster because the SSD is

00:16:48   so fast.

00:16:49   The keyboard feels fine.

00:16:51   I had a 2016 for a while and it feels softer than those and is definitely quieter than

00:16:58   the 2016.

00:17:01   Fingers crossed that it holds up.

00:17:03   I've got AppleCare on it.

00:17:05   It's a secondary machine.

00:17:07   And so if I have problems, it's not that big of a deal.

00:17:10   But so far, I'm not going to go so far to say that I like the keyboard, because I really

00:17:19   prefer the Magic Keyboard, the external one they sell with the Macs, and Federico I think

00:17:23   you use with an iPad.

00:17:25   But it's way better than the 2016 keyboard, I think, in terms of feel and sound.

00:17:29   And we'll see how it holds up.

00:17:31   Jon, you've got a 2016 MacBook Pro, right?

00:17:35   I do and I have had problems with sticking keys.

00:17:38   Nothing that's ever required me to take it into the store for fixing.

00:17:43   They've always kind of dislodged themselves but I do have this constant tension especially

00:17:48   if I go sit out in the backyard or something to work.

00:17:51   Any speck of dust I see float by it gives me the willies a little bit.

00:17:55   I was wondering Steven what do you think the display is because the display is True Tone

00:17:59   now right?

00:18:00   It is.

00:18:01   The display and the touch bar both use True Tone,

00:18:05   which of course basically just matches

00:18:07   the color temperature of the screen to the room.

00:18:10   I have it on on the notebook.

00:18:13   I don't do a lot of design work,

00:18:15   and when I do, it's on my iMac Pro.

00:18:18   So, I think if I were doing a bunch of photos

00:18:21   in Photoshop or something, I would turn it off,

00:18:23   just like I would turn night mode off,

00:18:25   or what is it called when it changes at night?

00:18:29   Night shift.

00:18:30   I turned that off too if I'm doing photo corrections or something.

00:18:34   It's fine.

00:18:35   It's very similar to an iPad where it's not noticeable until you don't have it.

00:18:40   So if I'm working on my notebook and then I sit down at my desk, the iMac Pro looks

00:18:44   blue because the iMac Pro doesn't have that.

00:18:48   This is a feature that I probably like face ID.

00:18:52   Once it's in one product, you just know it's coming to all the others.

00:18:56   There was a rumor that the next iMac

00:18:58   is gonna have some sort of screen upgrade.

00:19:01   It's totally, True Tone will be there, I think.

00:19:04   It's nice, but if you're a professional user

00:19:07   who like colors really important to you,

00:19:08   it's easy to turn off.

00:19:09   It's just a checkbox in the displays, preference pane.

00:19:13   Interestingly, it does give you the option

00:19:16   when you set up the Mac as new.

00:19:19   And so just like you do on iOS,

00:19:21   it says True Tone is on.

00:19:24   you know, tap here, click here to turn it off,

00:19:26   and then you see it go from like a nice warm color

00:19:29   to a blue color, and like, oh, leave it on, you know?

00:19:32   And so they've inherited that from iOS.

00:19:35   - Yeah.

00:19:36   - And so far, I mean, it's fine.

00:19:37   You know, I haven't, like I said,

00:19:39   this weekend's gonna be the first time I've really spent

00:19:42   a lot of time working on it.

00:19:43   I basically have just set it up so far,

00:19:45   but in 24 hours, no key has stuck,

00:19:48   so I guess that's good.

00:19:50   - Yeah, that's a positive.

00:19:51   - Yeah, yeah. (laughs)

00:19:52   - You got that going for ya.

00:19:54   Yeah, it got something.

00:19:55   So you know, I think it's so wild these machines have had such a rough entry into the world,

00:20:03   right?

00:20:04   You automatically have the keyboard drama where Apple said, "It's just for sound."

00:20:09   And like an internal document says, "Well, it's actually for protecting against debris."

00:20:15   And then you had the throttling issue and then Apple seems to have fixed that.

00:20:19   It just seems like they can't win with the MacBook Pro.

00:20:22   And I think there are a bunch of users,

00:20:25   and I would count myself in this camp,

00:20:27   where I got rid of my 2016,

00:20:29   I went back to an old machine,

00:20:32   and the 2018, the specs are what won me over,

00:20:35   like having a quad-core 13-inch laptop

00:20:37   has been what I've wanted for years and years,

00:20:41   and now I've got one, and so I'm willing to put up

00:20:43   with having to buy a bunch of USB-C cables finally,

00:20:47   or dealing with a dongle, or risking the keyboard,

00:20:50   because I finally have the power I want

00:20:52   and the size that I want.

00:20:53   And I think a lot of people are like that.

00:20:55   I think a lot of people who use a MacBook Pro

00:20:58   as their only machine,

00:20:59   probably tempted by that six core i7 or i9

00:21:05   because you've not been able to have

00:21:06   that kind of power in a notebook before.

00:21:09   You can get more cores in a MacBook Pro

00:21:10   than you can in iMac right now.

00:21:12   And I think a lot of people,

00:21:15   just judging from people talking on Twitter

00:21:17   and a couple emails I've gotten,

00:21:18   that people who skip the 2016, 2017

00:21:23   may finally be on board with the new design in 2018.

00:21:26   And I don't know if that,

00:21:28   if the specs are like a good enough goodwill

00:21:31   for people to sort of get back on board with the MacBook Pro

00:21:35   but it sure feels like that a lot of people

00:21:39   are still concerned about the design,

00:21:42   about the keyboard, about the battery life,

00:21:43   about the ports, like there's a lot not to like

00:21:46   about these machines.

00:21:46   Bar, you know still in my in my experience at least not super useful most of the time

00:21:53   and I'm paying a premium to have it on there.

00:21:55   And so I just I wonder what's next for the MacBook Pro, you know, they're not going to

00:22:00   roll back to having USB ports and SD card slot and that sort of stuff.

00:22:05   But I do wonder what's next.

00:22:06   I do wonder what lessons they're learning from this.

00:22:09   I would hope that you know, whatever is after this, you know, the next time they redesigned

00:22:14   the body, which maybe 2019 or 2020, if you look historically, that's about how often

00:22:20   they do it, then maybe that machine would be a little more well-rounded, where this

00:22:24   machine seems like a pretty extreme computer for what has got to be its mainstream flagship

00:22:34   device.

00:22:35   The one-port MacBook can be extreme because its whole identity is that it's thin and

00:22:43   and to get that you give up things

00:22:47   like a Thunderbolt controller and a fan

00:22:49   and you get one port, but if you want thin and light,

00:22:52   like that's the perfect machine for you.

00:22:54   You know, my wife has one and every time I pick it up,

00:22:56   I'm like, I really want one of these

00:22:58   and then I realize that I don't have room in my life

00:23:00   for a computer like that.

00:23:01   - Yeah, yeah, I'm kind of skeptical as well.

00:23:05   I mean, my experience has been okay

00:23:08   and I generally like my 2016 MacBook Pro,

00:23:11   but the whole situation surrounding these computers

00:23:15   has caused me to really rethink

00:23:17   what my next Mac will be like.

00:23:19   I'm not gonna buy a 2018 model,

00:23:21   I just don't need it right now,

00:23:22   but I have thought long and hard about

00:23:25   why did I get this machine in the first place

00:23:27   and what's the best machine for me next time around?

00:23:30   And I think I would probably go with an iMac Pro instead

00:23:34   just because, I mean, I'd still have a laptop

00:23:37   somewhere there, whether it's this 2016

00:23:39   that just hangs around, assuming it survives,

00:23:42   or something maybe a little more lightweight

00:23:45   in terms of specs that I can take on the road with me

00:23:48   if I do need to do something like audio editing.

00:23:51   But, you know, I bought this 2016 MacBook Pro primarily

00:23:56   because at the time I was still commuting downtown

00:23:59   to Chicago and it was useful to be able to have a Mac

00:24:02   on the train and that sort of thing.

00:24:04   But I, you know, I work mostly from home now,

00:24:06   and so other than the occasional trip,

00:24:09   I don't have the needs for portability that I used to have.

00:24:11   So I think I would probably go with something

00:24:13   a little more robust and seemingly so far

00:24:16   more reliable than the iMac Pro.

00:24:18   - Yeah, I can see that working out well for you.

00:24:21   You know, Federico, you and I spoke about this years ago

00:24:24   about the idea that maybe you would end up,

00:24:26   'cause you don't use a Mac very often,

00:24:27   that maybe you end up with a desktop

00:24:29   and just like have a place to go podcast

00:24:31   and kind of have it there.

00:24:32   But you're using a MacBook Pro.

00:24:33   Do you have any sense of, you know,

00:24:36   Is the laptop the right Mac for you when you need it?

00:24:39   - I don't know.

00:24:42   I mean, I guess if I had a bigger space,

00:24:44   I would like to have something like an iMac,

00:24:49   or just if the Mac Mini ever got an update,

00:24:53   I would like to have a Mac Mini and a big display.

00:24:56   I do find the display a little small for my taste,

00:25:00   just because I'm sitting down at a desk

00:25:01   and I'm looking at multiple windows when I do podcasts,

00:25:05   because I need to keep track of the live chat and the Google document and Skype and talking

00:25:10   to you guys. So it's a kind of task that I feel like I would prefer a bigger viewing

00:25:16   area. So I would prefer to have an iMac or a Mac Mini with a display, but this is not

00:25:24   possible right now because I have a smaller, you know, I have a small desk and I don't

00:25:28   want to buy an iMac. But to answer your question, when I do podcasts, I would prefer to have

00:25:35   a bigger desktop computer. Maybe in the future. I don't know. I would prefer a Mac Mini, I

00:25:40   think. A Mac Mini and a proper big 4K display or something.

00:25:44   Yeah, I mean, nice. And the Mini's so small, you can tuck it behind the display. It doesn't

00:25:47   have to be out on the desk. You can have, effectively, an iMac setup where you just

00:25:52   have a display and a keyboard and a trackpad or something. It'd be great. What a world

00:25:57   where the Mac Mini could exist. I think it's interesting, too, talking to pro users like

00:26:04   Like our friends who are developers or designers, so many people use notebooks as their computer,

00:26:11   right?

00:26:12   Exactly.

00:26:13   Kind of like you were saying, Federico, like hook it up to a big display.

00:26:14   And John, basically what you do, right?

00:26:16   You have a display and a keyboard and a mouse and your MacBook Pro is kind of like off to

00:26:19   the side somewhere.

00:26:21   But the iMac Pro, and as good as the Retina 5K iMac has gotten, it does seem like desktops

00:26:27   still have a place in this world.

00:26:29   I think they do.

00:26:30   I just I wish that Apple just give people more options like if you want a desktop

00:26:36   Really, you just have the iMac and iMac Pro to choose from right now. The Mac Mini is not a viable choice

00:26:41   There's not a Mac Pro

00:26:43   That's worth talking about or buying and so we can see that coming with the desktop. We know the Mac Pro is coming

00:26:49   And like we talked about last week, hopefully this fall

00:26:53   They sort out the notebook line a little bit where it it makes the options make sense again and someone who?

00:27:00   Maybe doesn't need an i9 or maybe doesn't even need a quad core 13 inch MacBook Pro

00:27:04   But as you know, $1,100 to spend can get a good option. So I think we're moving back in that direction

00:27:10   But it's just been sort of a painful road to get there

00:27:14   Alright, I think it's enough Mac Mac talk. We're gonna with the home pod after I tell you about our second sponsor

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00:29:44   Alright, so there was a report out late last week about, this is shocking, I know we've

00:29:50   never had news from HomePod firmware before, but some news about HomePod firmware.

00:29:57   It seems like there's some internal testing that may bring some new stuff to the HomePod.

00:30:04   Federico, do you know what all is included in this potentially?

00:30:07   Yeah, so the rumor says that according to some engineers who are testing the feature

00:30:12   and possibly talking to the press about it, the HomePod will gain support for multiple

00:30:18   timers. So that's one of the features that people have been complaining about since the

00:30:22   HomePod came out, what was that, six months ago? I think around six months ago.

00:30:27   Yeah, I think so. So multiple timers and you will be able to

00:30:31   place phone calls directly using the HomePod instead of having to initiate the call from

00:30:36   your phone and transfer it to the HomePod. That's one of the features that I'm really

00:30:40   excited about actually because, you know, it's the perfect speakerphone. And also you

00:30:45   will be able, it seems, to change Wi-Fi networks instead of having to do the full reset that

00:30:50   you need to do now if you want to change the network that the HomePod connects to. Instead

00:30:56   you will be able to, I suppose I have a setting screen where you will see the network that

00:31:01   the speaker is connecting to and change that. I wanted to talk about, you know, reading

00:31:08   this rumor. I mean, maybe I'm the exception here because I have three of these things

00:31:15   and have actually considered a fourth one but ended up buying a Sonos one. I bought

00:31:20   the Sonos one, don't worry.

00:31:22   And look how well it's treated you.

00:31:25   I know, right? None of this would have happened if the HomePod was alive. I mean, I obviously

00:31:31   like the HomePod. And I use it a lot. I use it a lot for music, of course, especially

00:31:38   for since we got the stereo pairing set up in the bedroom. I have a HomePod on my nightstand

00:31:44   and another right here on the desk that I'm using to record this very podcast. And we

00:31:49   set it up as a pair and now when we listen to music at night, we, you know, it's, we

00:31:55   we can hear the stereo effect and we have two room-filling sounds.

00:32:01   And the best aspect is, because the speaker is shared on the same Wi-Fi network, it means

00:32:06   Sylvia can also control music from the music app and from Control Center, and she didn't

00:32:12   have to do any setup, she just uses the speaker as a playback destination, which is great.

00:32:17   And of course in the kitchen I use the HomePod a lot for setting timers, for asking about

00:32:23   my calendar schedule for controlling lights and other homekit scenes, and also for creating

00:32:30   reminders, which is something that I've been experimenting with lately, especially because

00:32:35   I'm writing my iOS 12 review, and while there are not any reminders changes at all, reminders

00:32:43   is a feature of shortcuts, and I've been playing around a lot with shortcuts actions that can

00:32:49   automate reminders and integrate reminders with Siri and all that kind of stuff. So I've

00:32:53   been seeing reminders using the HomePod a lot. And I wanted to ask you both how you

00:32:59   use your HomePods now that it's been six months. And even though you don't have three of them,

00:33:04   I'm curious to know if you like it, how much you use it, and if your family likes it.

00:33:09   Yeah, so there's not really a big update on mine. I shared on the show that we have multiple

00:33:15   Amazon Echo devices around our house and that's really the voice assistant that

00:33:22   you know my family uses. News, multiple timers, music, home kit stuff, because

00:33:30   everything in my house that's smart home is home kit and Amazon compatible. I had

00:33:35   unplugged the Echo, put the HomePod in the kitchen, and it didn't go over very well

00:33:40   with the family. I think a lot of it being Siri based frustration and sort of

00:33:47   the lack of features that the Amazon Echo Echo has. So the HomePod is in my

00:33:55   studio it's where it's been since I tried that experiment. I do use it often

00:33:59   in the studio though. I listen to a lot of music on it. Even though I sit in

00:34:05   front of an iMac Pro, the HomePod is actually directly behind me and sounds a lot

00:34:09   better. So if I want to listen to music or if I'm, you know, filming b-roll for something

00:34:13   or like cleaning up the office, that sort of thing, I very often will put music on.

00:34:18   I also use it a lot for Airplay 2 to listen to podcasts. If I'm in the office and I'm

00:34:23   not writing, I sometimes listen to podcasts while I work. And very often I also have my

00:34:28   phone on the wireless charger on my desk and Airplay 2, a podcast to the HomePod, which

00:34:34   is really simple and straightforward to do. And I use it a lot for home kit stuff.

00:34:39   So everything but the overhead lights in here are hue lights and so I have a

00:34:45   couple different sets so I have I can turn on my work lights which just bring

00:34:49   up the two lamps. I've got a lamp on either side of my desk and then I have a

00:34:54   scene called studio on which is those lights and the lights on the shelving

00:34:59   for the collection and the light over on the other side of the room. I have a lamp,

00:35:03   a three light lamp that has hue color changing bulbs in it

00:35:07   so I can control those.

00:35:08   It's a lot of home kit stuff.

00:35:10   And I interact with it every single day.

00:35:13   And for me, it works well for that.

00:35:18   I don't do a lot of stuff outside of that.

00:35:20   I'm not asking it for news or weather

00:35:23   or some of the other echo type things that my family does.

00:35:28   My thought is now, if this rumor comes to pass

00:35:32   and it's got multiple timers,

00:35:33   and so their stuff has improved.

00:35:35   I'm gonna give it another run,

00:35:37   having the HomePod in the house.

00:35:39   I've become, I don't really get too far into this

00:35:42   because it's really just like a feeling right now,

00:35:44   like I haven't made any real decisions,

00:35:46   but I have just kind of become like increasingly

00:35:50   uncomfortable with the Echos,

00:35:53   and some stuff that like Amazon allows on the platform,

00:35:56   and Apple obviously has like a real big privacy stance

00:36:00   that Amazon doesn't always have.

00:36:02   And nothing bad has happened, right?

00:36:04   Like this isn't, it's not even like a reaction

00:36:06   to like that story that went around like a month ago

00:36:08   about the echo sending an audio message

00:36:12   to like a coworker of a private conversation.

00:36:14   Like, I don't know, like I just feel like

00:36:16   I would rather have something Apple,

00:36:19   like Apple writes the privacy policy to,

00:36:21   like in our kitchen or in our bedroom.

00:36:23   And so I don't know, like that,

00:36:25   I don't know really what that is yet.

00:36:26   Just like sort of like this thought

00:36:28   It kind of rattles in my brain every once in a while.

00:36:30   And so, after this update is out, I think I'm going to try the HomePod again in the

00:36:35   kitchen.

00:36:36   If it takes off, then maybe we get one for the bedroom as well.

00:36:39   And we sort of move away from the Echo.

00:36:43   But I don't know if that's going to come to pass.

00:36:45   I really want to see how this stuff pans out.

00:36:48   And really, the multiple timers is like the thing for us.

00:36:53   in our kitchen we use the Echo every single night when we cook. Almost seven

00:36:58   days a week we have multiple timers set up on that at once and you can name them

00:37:02   which is great so it's like hey you know set a pasta timer for 10 minutes set a

00:37:07   sauce timer for 12 minutes and you can ask it hey how much time is left on the

00:37:12   pasta timer. It's really well done and Apple should just copy it like the Echo

00:37:18   does it correctly. The home pots do it the same way and if they can do that

00:37:21   then it would it would overcome a lot of the frustrations we have with it as a

00:37:26   family. Do you use it at all with your Mac at all, Steven? I mean, for instance,

00:37:31   not so much for iTunes or music, but if you were watching a YouTube video, do you

00:37:35   do you connect your Mac and your and your home pod to listen to that? No, mainly

00:37:39   because the iMac Pro speakers are actually are actually pretty good. I've

00:37:43   thought about putting some studio monitors in. I may end up doing that this

00:37:45   fall, but right now I'm just have the iMac speakers themselves. Like, they're

00:37:49   totally fine. If I play something on the AirPod, or on the HomePod, excuse me, usually because

00:37:55   I'm in the studio but not at my desk and I just want to have music kind of louder or

00:38:00   less directional. But I don't think I've ever actually paired it to the Mac, to be honest.

00:38:06   My use of the HomePod is primarily for music too, and I've really liked it because for

00:38:11   the longest time I had my Apple TV, and it's still hooked up to a home entertainment system

00:38:17   in my living room and we have kind of a big, open,

00:38:20   living room, kitchen space in our house.

00:38:23   And so, when I wanted to listen to music,

00:38:26   if I wanted to use the Apple TV,

00:38:28   I had to have the TV on, set to the right inputs,

00:38:30   and then I had to, you know, click around on a remote

00:38:32   and find the playlist and all that stuff.

00:38:34   Now I can just, you know, ask the lady in a can

00:38:38   to play my playlist and it happens.

00:38:40   And it's a little thing, but it reduces a lot of the hassle.

00:38:46   Like, you know, say the phone rings

00:38:48   and someone has to answer.

00:38:49   It's very easy to just pause the music with your voice

00:38:52   instead of having to go scramble to figure out

00:38:55   where the remote is and hit pause.

00:38:58   I used, it used to bug me too that

00:39:01   you had to see something on the screen

00:39:04   when you had the Apple TV.

00:39:05   It didn't used to be like that

00:39:07   way back in the day on the Apple TV.

00:39:09   But I had a hack where I created a giant black rectangle

00:39:13   and used that as the screen saver

00:39:14   so I wouldn't have to have the--

00:39:15   Good John, that's good. Hey, it's a it's in a club max stories issue from way back

00:39:20   But yeah, that's what I would do because you know if you have like people over and

00:39:26   You're chatting and you've got all that

00:39:29   You've got these screensavers going people are just naturally attracted like

00:39:34   Moths to the light and the image and they just end up standing there and staring at what's on your television

00:39:40   So having that black. Yeah, very interesting friends John

00:39:44   Yeah, well, I guess it probably does say something about me, yes. So, yes, now that doesn't happen,

00:39:50   right? You just play it through the HomePod, which is great. And I've thought about getting

00:39:54   one for my office, which is down in the basement, but I haven't quite gone there yet. I've got

00:40:01   small speakers connected to my MacBook Pro, and I play iTunes through that. I think a

00:40:10   A HomePod would be nice.

00:40:11   At first I thought I wanted to do it

00:40:13   because I could use the Siri integration

00:40:16   and it would be a useful thing to do down in the basement,

00:40:18   but I can use my phone for that.

00:40:20   I don't really need the HomePod for that.

00:40:22   It's really whether I want to have

00:40:24   the better quality music down here.

00:40:25   Beyond music, HomeKit is probably the number two use

00:40:31   that I have for my HomePod.

00:40:33   I use the HomePod to turn on my lights in my living room,

00:40:38   and when I'm going down to work for the day,

00:40:41   I'll tell it to turn the lights on down there.

00:40:43   So that I use quite a bit and I'll set reminders.

00:40:47   But beyond that, I don't do a lot,

00:40:50   I don't add tasks to a task manager that often.

00:40:55   It's mostly just setting reminders when something occurs

00:40:57   to me while I'm cooking breakfast or something like that.

00:41:00   - Yeah, I really hope that we're going to see

00:41:04   some meaningful improvements to the HomePod in September.

00:41:08   And I kind of wish that Apple had an open beta program, we've talked about this before,

00:41:12   but even if it's just multiple timers and phone calls I think I will be okay.

00:41:17   What I noticed in my use of the HomePods is that while initially I liked the ability to

00:41:23   use a SiriKit third-party apps, it is really annoying to have to specify this syntax when

00:41:32   you want to do something with a third-party app.

00:41:34   It's really verbose and it's really slow.

00:41:36   And I also think I've mentioned this on connected before, but if Apple ever does, you know,

00:41:42   if Apple ever launches the ability for users to change default apps, instead of changing

00:41:49   the, you know, the traditional idea of changing default apps, so changing the browser or your

00:41:55   email client or your calendar, I would love to be able to change default apps for Siri.

00:42:01   So instead of using, you know, the reminders app as a default, I would like to use things

00:42:06   or using a different music application

00:42:11   instead of Apple Music.

00:42:12   Because I feel like using SiriKit

00:42:14   and third-party integrations on the HomePod,

00:42:16   you can really feel just how annoying it is

00:42:21   to have to specify these little commands

00:42:25   and this little syntax,

00:42:27   otherwise Siri will not understand

00:42:29   that we'll save data into the default apps.

00:42:33   Note taking is another example.

00:42:36   So yeah, I like the HomePod and I use it a lot of course

00:42:40   and it's probably been a slightly bigger expense

00:42:44   that it should have been

00:42:44   because it's not available in Italy yet.

00:42:47   But overall I think if Apple can continue to update it

00:42:51   with new features and new integrations

00:42:54   without having to release a new version

00:42:56   of the product itself, like a HomePod too.

00:42:59   I mean, I could see a smaller HomePod

00:43:02   But I don't think Apple needs to do a new main home pot now.

00:43:06   And if they can bring new features

00:43:09   and maybe do a price drop this holiday season,

00:43:12   I think it's, you know, especially if you spend

00:43:14   a lot of time in the Apple ecosystem,

00:43:15   it's a really compelling product.

00:43:17   - Yeah, I think the comment about like,

00:43:20   always improving it is key here.

00:43:23   For a couple reasons, A, they have so much ground

00:43:26   to make up, to catch up, 'cause they entered a market

00:43:29   that was already up and running, like Apple often does.

00:43:32   But I think too, I would like to see them

00:43:36   be able to add things outside of the major iOS release cycle.

00:43:42   And this is like a huge conversation we could have

00:43:45   about iOS and macOS and everything

00:43:48   that Apple doesn't update things often enough

00:43:51   that point updates can be a big deal,

00:43:53   but big features are always in like iOS 12.0 or 13.0.

00:43:58   But if they have multiple timers ready,

00:44:00   they should just push that out

00:44:01   and not wait for a big release,

00:44:04   especially on a device like,

00:44:05   stay with me for a second,

00:44:08   people don't think about the software on a device

00:44:12   like the HomePod because they don't see it, right?

00:44:14   We know that it has firmware and software

00:44:18   and like has its own OS

00:44:19   and it has all these things going on.

00:44:21   It has basically an iPhone, what is it?

00:44:23   Wasn't it an A8 or something processor in it?

00:44:26   - Yeah.

00:44:27   - It has a pretty powerful iPhone processor in it.

00:44:29   Like this thing is, it's a computer.

00:44:31   It is a computer.

00:44:32   But because we don't see the software,

00:44:35   we don't think about it.

00:44:36   We just think about what the device itself can do.

00:44:38   There's an abstraction there that is not present

00:44:41   on something like the phone or the Apple Watch or the Mac

00:44:44   where you either directly touch or manipulate

00:44:49   with a cursor the software.

00:44:51   And the software is the experience.

00:44:53   The HomePod doesn't have that.

00:44:55   The experience of the HomePod is Siri

00:44:56   and what Siri can do.

00:44:58   And I hope that we see them as things are ready.

00:45:03   Hey, you know, maybe the release is like 12.1 or 12.2.

00:45:09   Like don't wait for 13 if multiple timers are ready.

00:45:12   Don't wait for 13 if you have phone calls ready to go

00:45:15   or you've overhauled SiriKit in a way

00:45:17   that makes it easier to work with.

00:45:19   Like whatever it is, because these devices are different

00:45:22   from those other products and I hope Apple can see that

00:45:25   and treats them differently and evolves them,

00:45:29   evolves the HomePod more aggressively

00:45:31   than a big jump once a year.

00:45:33   Because a year is a long time in this market

00:45:35   because Amazon and Google are perpetually

00:45:40   improving their products.

00:45:41   You can sign up for an email every single Friday,

00:45:44   you get an email from Amazon saying what's new

00:45:47   with the Echo.

00:45:48   And to be fair, a lot of that's third party,

00:45:51   but a lot of it's not.

00:45:52   A lot of it is Amazon improving its voice assistant directly, and Apple needs to, I

00:45:58   think, kind of step up its game on those things, if it can.

00:46:03   Anything else?

00:46:04   Any other HomePod stuff?

00:46:06   I guess we should mention that they are today having a public Q&A on the Apple support communities

00:46:16   be called the Apple discussion boards where they're having Apple employees,

00:46:21   support employees, talking to consumers about the HomePod. Apple always has

00:46:28   support reps sort of hanging out in those discussion boards and occasionally

00:46:32   you'll see an answer by somebody who's like a little Apple logo next to their

00:46:35   name or whatever. But this is like a, like they announce it publicly and I haven't

00:46:39   checked in to see how it's going. I figured someone's gonna write the

00:46:42   article so I don't have to like wait through the discussion boards but I find

00:46:45   that interesting that Apple is inviting direct communication about this product because when's

00:46:52   the last time Apple's done that? It's not in their wheelhouse. I made the joke in my

00:46:57   blog post about it that people could ask Apple directly why Siri was so bad, but I'm sure

00:47:03   there'll be some of that. Why is it so expensive? Why is it not in Italy? All those sort of

00:47:06   obvious questions. But I'm hoping to come out of this with some feelers on how the rest

00:47:11   of the community feels about the HomePod,

00:47:13   because I think, Federica, I think you're an outlier

00:47:16   in your use of them and your sheer number of them.

00:47:19   I think I wanna know what other people think about it,

00:47:22   so I'm looking forward to seeing the Inevitable articles

00:47:24   about this Q&A today and kind of seeing where people are.

00:47:29   - Yeah, it's kind of like a HomePod AMA or something.

00:47:33   I took a quick look before we started,

00:47:37   and there's a lot of questions in there already,

00:47:39   so I think it's supposed to start,

00:47:40   If it's not starting now, it's starting very soon.

00:47:43   - And just Tim Cook at a desk,

00:47:45   answering questions about the HomePod.

00:47:48   - That's right.

00:47:49   - Yes.

00:47:50   - Those support forms are really interesting.

00:47:51   They've been around a long, long time.

00:47:55   In fact, when I was in college,

00:47:58   I spent a good bit of time there

00:47:59   helping people answer questions.

00:48:01   I had to give it up when I became a retail employee,

00:48:05   but I learned a lot of stuff there

00:48:07   in my early days of Mac troubleshooting

00:48:09   and understanding how the system worked and everything.

00:48:12   There's real value there if you have time to deal with it.

00:48:15   I haven't logged in in probably 10 or 12 years,

00:48:17   but I'm sure my old account is there

00:48:19   with a bunch of advice about titanium power book batteries,

00:48:22   in case you need that.

00:48:24   Do either of y'all need that?

00:48:25   Do you have any questions

00:48:26   about the titanium power book battery?

00:48:27   - I just wanna go back now

00:48:28   and do a little bit of a Stephen Hackett retrospective

00:48:31   on the titanium MacBook.

00:48:32   - MacBook?

00:48:33   - Power book.

00:48:34   (laughs)

00:48:35   - John. - Power book, sorry.

00:48:36   (laughs)

00:48:37   - John, what's the video about it?

00:48:38   I'll link to the show notes.

00:48:40   Okay, so we are gonna do some Connected Q&A.

00:48:43   Thought it would be fun to have John on

00:48:47   and answer some questions, provide some answers.

00:48:50   Those two things go together.

00:48:52   But first I wanna tell you about our final sponsor this week.

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00:50:14   - I have a question for you before we move on

00:50:16   to listener questions.

00:50:18   - Okay.

00:50:18   - I've been having this problem since last night.

00:50:21   My television turns on on its own

00:50:26   and loads the Apple TV input channel.

00:50:30   I have no idea what is going on.

00:50:32   All I remember is that a few days ago,

00:50:35   I have an LG 4K TV.

00:50:39   It's the B50, I don't remember the name.

00:50:44   Anyway, a few days ago, I opened the TV

00:50:48   and I used the YouTube app of the TV itself

00:50:51   because I find it better than the YouTube app

00:50:53   for the Apple TV.

00:50:54   And I needed to update the YouTube app

00:50:57   from the LG web store,

00:50:59   which is this thing that runs inside WebOS, basically.

00:51:03   This TV has WebOS in it.

00:51:04   And when I was updating the YouTube app,

00:51:07   it said updating this app will also turn on

00:51:12   wake on WiFi or something like that.

00:51:15   That I assume is a feature that can wake your TV

00:51:18   when it's connected to WiFi.

00:51:19   Well, since last night, the TV just randomly turns on

00:51:24   and it turned on at 4 a.m. and it woke us up

00:51:27   and it turned on again at 7 a.m. and it woke us up again

00:51:30   and Sylvia was really upset.

00:51:31   And eventually I was just in my sleepy state,

00:51:34   I just rolled out of bed and I just unplugged everything.

00:51:38   Which, I wasn't thinking straight and then later

00:51:41   I needed to troubleshoot my PS4

00:51:43   because it wasn't shut down properly.

00:51:45   I just pulled the plug on the entire thing.

00:51:48   Because I was so upset. - I'm done.

00:51:50   - I was like, yeah, that's fixed, we can go back to bed.

00:51:53   But now I was looking through the settings

00:51:56   and I cannot find this wake on Wi-Fi thing

00:52:00   in the settings of the TV itself.

00:52:03   And I cannot understand why it's also defaulting

00:52:07   to the Apple TV UI.

00:52:08   Almost as if the Apple TV is sending some kind of signal

00:52:12   to the TV, but I don't know why.

00:52:14   I don't know why would it send any kind of signal.

00:52:17   So I don't know if you guys have any idea

00:52:21   of what could be going on here.

00:52:24   - Yeah, I mean, I'm sure that's what it is

00:52:25   the Apple TV or something on the network is like pinging the TV or like you know

00:52:31   poking it in some way across the network and the TV says oh it's time to wake up

00:52:34   like I'd imagine you could turn that off it may be called like wake on LAN

00:52:38   instead of wake on Wi-Fi it may be in there somewhere surely there's a way to

00:52:44   turn that off or if not just do what John did and print a big black rectangle

00:52:51   like on a printer and tape a bunch of sheets together and then hang that over

00:52:54   the front of the TV and the problem will be solved.

00:52:58   - Yeah, it could just be ghosts too if I were to go.

00:53:01   You know, you can't rule that out.

00:53:02   You can't rule that out.

00:53:03   - Sure, all right.

00:53:04   Now, moving on to connected Q&A.

00:53:07   This is a question for you Mac people, I think.

00:53:13   So Nick writes, "There's been a lot of buzz

00:53:16   "around the Surface product line lately.

00:53:19   "Do you think there's a market, technical hurdles aside,

00:53:22   for a MacBook running Mac OS that could detach into an iPad running iOS like the Surface

00:53:28   Book.

00:53:29   I personally think it sounds like a very compelling product.

00:53:31   Steven, would you like a MacBook that can become an iPad running iOS?

00:53:36   And would Apple even release such a product?

00:53:38   I think the idea of this product, there's two things here.

00:53:42   One is the software, and I think that with iOS apps coming to the Mac next year, that,

00:53:51   Like that's really what people talk about when they say, oh, I wonder if Mac OS or iOS.

00:53:54   A lot of it is like, well, the iOS apps, like, so I think the majority of people who'd want

00:53:59   something like this, marzipan iOS apps on the Mac may be enough to keep them happy.

00:54:06   The hardware side, I think is an interesting component of this too.

00:54:12   Apple really seems allergic to like convertibles and touchscreen Macs and, and that sort of

00:54:17   thing.

00:54:18   notebooks are the same form factor as they've been for 30 years and whether

00:54:24   that's right or wrong I don't I don't know it's outside the scope of the

00:54:26   question but I don't see Apple making something like this from a hardware

00:54:31   perspective even if marzipan wasn't a thing but I think Apple is very

00:54:36   conservative on its hardware design plus you have iOS apps coming to the Mac I

00:54:41   don't think something like this is in our future. What about you John? You use

00:54:47   both an iPad and a Mac offer? Yeah, I'm right there with Steven on this one. I think though

00:54:54   too that what I'd like to see as opposed to the kind of convertible describing the question

00:55:02   is more laptop-like functionality built into the iPad Pro line. So for instance, a smart

00:55:12   keyboard cover with a trackpad, you know, some sort of cursor control, that sort of

00:55:16   thing. Something that makes an iPad a little bit more Mac-like, so it comes a

00:55:23   little closer to what the Mac is like, and then the Mac comes a little closer

00:55:27   to what the iPad is like by bringing over the apps from iOS. I think that's

00:55:31   more likely what we're gonna see as opposed to an all-in-one does-everything

00:55:36   device. Yeah, personally I would love to have such a product. I really think that

00:55:41   that if it didn't run Windows, I would be really interested in the Surface Book type

00:55:48   of deal. I really think that Apple should look into this type of device that can transform

00:55:56   into a laptop or a tablet. Also because they are already kind of halfway there with the

00:56:01   iPad Pro. They sell, as a first-party accessory, a keyboard that transforms your iPad into

00:56:08   a quasi-laptop form factor. So the idea is already there. I'm not so sold on the concept

00:56:14   of having one type of OS when you're connected to a keyboard and loading another OS when

00:56:20   you're in mobile mode. I think that's only a recipe for disaster and asking, you know.

00:56:27   But the idea of making adjustments to the UI, for example, by making certain touch targets

00:56:34   whether you're using a trackpad or a finger,

00:56:36   I think that could be interesting.

00:56:39   And it seems to me like the sort of feature

00:56:43   that could be enabled if only you had a consistent UI framework

00:56:47   between different OSes.

00:56:50   So I'm just saying, but I don't think Apple has completely discarded this idea.

00:56:55   I think before they do that, they want to have some kind of unification,

00:57:00   not in terms of the OS, not in terms of unifying iOS and macOS,

00:57:05   but unifying how the user interface can scale

00:57:10   to different form factors and to different sizes.

00:57:14   So I wouldn't be surprised if Apple does something

00:57:17   along these lines, but not in the way

00:57:19   that Microsoft is doing it, and not before late 2019 or 2020.

00:57:25   So I guess we'll see, and we'll follow up with listener Nick

00:57:29   about whether or not Apple is doing a Surface Book product.

00:57:34   What's next, Steven?

00:57:37   - All right, so Tim writes, "What can Apple do

00:57:39   "to make using the web on an iPad

00:57:41   "not a second-class experience with many sites

00:57:44   "that just don't work?"

00:57:45   Basically asking, "What would it take for the iPad

00:57:47   "to get a desktop-class web browser?

00:57:49   "Is it Apple's fault, or is it website creators

00:57:52   "lumping the iPad in with other mobile devices?"

00:57:55   - Hmm, that's a good question.

00:57:57   I think it's, most people would say it's totally Apple's fault.

00:58:01   I don't think it's totally Apple's fault.

00:58:02   I think if you have a popular website,

00:58:06   something like a banking website, for example,

00:58:08   or, you know, just this week I was trying to buy tickets

00:58:12   because Silvia and I were going on vacation in August

00:58:15   and we need to take a ferry to go to this island.

00:58:18   And I was trying to perform the checkout process

00:58:22   to see how much the tickets would cost.

00:58:25   And I couldn't use the buttons on that checkout page

00:58:28   because they were not compatible with Safari.

00:58:30   So is it Apple's fault or is it the, you know,

00:58:34   should we blame the company that makes the ticketing website?

00:58:38   I think the company that, you know,

00:58:40   web developers that completely ignore tablets

00:58:44   or even touch, any kind of touch device at this point,

00:58:48   are just not keeping up with the times

00:58:49   or they're not doing a good job.

00:58:52   I think there's also, though, a concern or a discussion to be had about whether or not

00:58:58   Safari for iPad specifically should behave like a bigger mobile browser or like a desktop

00:59:06   browser that is running in a touch environment.

00:59:09   And I think maybe Apple could make adjustments to Safari on iPad in a way that it doesn't

00:59:16   behave necessarily like Safari for iPhone.

00:59:19   I think it's incredible that over eight years into the iPad,

00:59:24   Safari still doesn't have a proper download interface

00:59:28   for downloading files from the web,

00:59:31   or that sometimes when you're using an external keyboard,

00:59:36   there are problems, there are bugs that,

00:59:41   when you have the shortcut bar

00:59:47   on top of the software keyboard.

00:59:50   And when you use an external keyboard on an iPad,

00:59:52   that shortcut bar is the only thing

00:59:54   that you see at the bottom of the screen

00:59:55   if you're typing into a text field.

00:59:58   And the problem is that sometimes that shortcut bar

01:00:00   can hide a website element.

01:00:02   And so you need to do a lot of scrolling to make sure,

01:00:05   and a lot of pinching and zooming to make sure

01:00:07   that all the fields and the buttons that you need to use

01:00:10   are clearly visible.

01:00:13   And also, some folks who really don't like Safari for iPad

01:00:17   would say Apple needs to have a cursor mode or some kind

01:00:21   of desktop emulation mode to make sure that some websites

01:00:25   can always be supported.

01:00:26   And I think this is a discussion about whether or not

01:00:30   Apple should accept the fact that some websites are never,

01:00:34   ever going to be updated for touch.

01:00:38   And this is a topic that I don't think

01:00:40   we can answer in this Q&A segment.

01:00:44   I think you can make the same argument for Flash websites,

01:00:47   that they were never going to be updated.

01:00:49   And Apple said, we don't care.

01:00:51   We don't support Flash on iOS.

01:00:52   And eventually, many of those websites

01:00:54   were updated for HTML5.

01:00:58   Honestly, I don't know what the correct answer is.

01:01:01   I don't think that having a fake trackpad, sort of like iCab

01:01:06   mobile does on iOS-- iCab is a third party browser.

01:01:10   It's, I think it's got a fake trackpad mode that lets you have a cursor in the browser

01:01:15   and sort of a desktop pointing control.

01:01:19   I don't think Apple is going to do that, but also I think they should be more, they should

01:01:25   be more, if they're not, I don't know what kind of internal discussions Apple has about

01:01:29   this problem, but they should be, I hope that they are open to hearing from people who say

01:01:35   My bank doesn't care about making their website work on my iPad.

01:01:40   Can you do something to help me?

01:01:42   Because I really don't want to buy a MacBook just to use that website.

01:01:45   So it's definitely a concern, especially if Apple is asking people and is telling people

01:01:50   to use their iPads as their only computers.

01:01:53   And if those people come across a website that just doesn't work, who's to blame?

01:01:57   If you're the customer, you blame Apple because you don't understand what's going on.

01:02:02   And so maybe the customer is always right, and maybe Apple should cater to those problems

01:02:06   and trying to figure out a solution to make sure that every website can work on iOS.

01:02:10   But then again, it's a super complex problem, and I honestly don't know what the...

01:02:16   I don't think there's a single correct answer.

01:02:18   I think it's a combination of factors, and for sure web developers should try and keep

01:02:26   touch in mind when designing websites.

01:02:31   But also, on the other hand, Safari doesn't work well with the G Suite, you know, the

01:02:36   Google web apps at all.

01:02:38   And the Google web apps, the Google iOS apps sometimes don't offer the same features of

01:02:43   the native clients that you can download on the App Store.

01:02:46   So should Apple try and make Safari work well in desktop mode for Google web apps?

01:02:51   I think so.

01:02:52   I think they should make exceptions and I think they should try and make Safari more

01:02:57   like Safari for Mac because I think it's incredible that on a 13-inch iPad Pro you cannot go to

01:03:03   Google Docs on the web and use it like you can on a Macbook, a 13-inch Macbook. I think

01:03:08   that's absurd. And I think it comes from a place of thinking of the iPad as a big iOS

01:03:14   device whereas I would think of the iPad as a small Macbook at this point. But yeah, I

01:03:20   don't know what the correct answer is.

01:03:21   Yeah, this is a very frustrating situation.

01:03:24   I run into this fairly often too, and I guess I'm a little surprised that the gap hasn't

01:03:30   closed more quickly because to me it seems like, and a lot of what we're talking about

01:03:34   here I think is cursor control and the ability to drag and drop things within a browser window.

01:03:40   That's at least where I run into it more often than not.

01:03:44   The reason I'm surprised that the gap hasn't been closed more quickly than it has is that

01:03:48   But this strikes me as a business opportunity, both for the web service developers as well

01:03:54   as Apple.

01:03:55   I mean, there's money to be made here.

01:03:56   There are people who are doing all of their work on iOS devices, and the fact that you

01:04:01   can't use some of these services on Safari Mobile is long overdue.

01:04:08   And I think when this gets solved, it's not going to be solved just by Apple or by web

01:04:14   developers.

01:04:15   by both of them making a few compromises and kind of meeting in the middle I think.

01:04:21   All right what's up next?

01:04:24   So Ben writes, "I recently went all iPad and I want to load some videos that I've saved

01:04:31   on my iCloud drive.

01:04:32   Is there a better way to play those than using the Files app because Files app requires me

01:04:38   to download the whole video before I can play it and it doesn't support things like picture

01:04:44   in picture. Federico, do you have any suggestions?

01:04:47   Federico Piscopo Well, the obvious one would be you can still

01:04:51   save videos to iCloud Drive, but from iCloud Drive either you open the video file, so you

01:05:02   copy the video file into another player, such as Infuse or such as MPlayer or I think even

01:05:10   read all documents as a video player. So you open videos from iCalll driving to something else,

01:05:18   or you find a compatible video player that can open a video in place. So without having to

01:05:27   create a duplicate copy, without having to copy from one place to another and therefore wasting

01:05:33   storage on your device, you can just open a file using the native document browser and

01:05:42   play straight within the player of your choice.

01:05:46   And I think that maybe Infuse supports the iOS 11 files app, but the problem is that

01:05:54   due to the way that the files app completely abstracts download management from the user,

01:06:02   always going to have to wait for files to be cached offline, because even though you copy

01:06:10   a file into iCloud Drive, at some point your device, without you knowing, will probably

01:06:18   remove the download and display a tiny download icon, you know, the cloud with the downward facing

01:06:23   arrow next to its title, meaning that if you want to watch that video offline you will have to

01:06:29   to download it. So my suggestion, and I'm sorry, is don't use iCloud Drive because it

01:06:34   doesn't let you control caching, it doesn't let you control downloads, and the only app

01:06:42   that natively integrates with it is Files, and Files, you know, the quick look, I don't

01:06:48   think it supports picture-in-picture the way you want, and also it doesn't support many

01:06:54   different file formats. Honestly, I would just go with Dropbox and that allows you to select which

01:07:01   files you always want to have available for offline consumption and it integrates with

01:07:06   Infuse, it integrates with VLC. So yeah, don't use files, use something else and don't use iCoDrive,

01:07:15   use Dropbox. Honestly, I'm surprised that QuickLook doesn't support Picture-in-Picture. I thought

01:07:21   it was possible to just click the home button and put a video in picture-in-picture mode,

01:07:28   but I guess the main problem is that files and QuickLook don't support something like MKV

01:07:35   or other file formats besides H.264 and H.265 encoded ones. So, yeah, I don't think using files,

01:07:48   if only for the caching problem is a good idea if you want to load a bunch of videos on your iPad.

01:07:53   What I do whenever I travel is I either download files with Dropbox because I have a ton of storage

01:08:01   that I pay for or I just copy everything into Infuse because I prefer the way that it looks

01:08:08   and I prefer the way that it lets me manage all my downloads.

01:08:15   Alright, moving on. Adam asks Steven, are you going to buy or keep any silver

01:08:22   Macs from the current generation for your collection? I would guess most of

01:08:27   yours are space grey by preference.

01:08:29   Steven, what are you doing for the current generation?

01:08:32   I've thought something about this. More in terms of iPhones, because I generally don't

01:08:38   keep old iPhones, because I sell them to a friend or family member to help justify

01:08:43   buying a new phone every year. Same thing with the Macs, right? Like I don't have my

01:08:48   last two MacBook Pros. Like they were sold to friends or people on the internet or you

01:08:53   know, whatever, because I, you know, need to buy something new or want to buy something

01:08:59   new. And so my general thought is, in bringing any machine into the collection is that it

01:09:05   needs to, it needs to hit one of two criteria. It needs to be historically significant for

01:09:10   some reason whether that's because it's weird or interesting or was like the

01:09:13   first of its kind or something that I have some sort of like nostalgia for.

01:09:19   So like my Power Mac G3 all-in-one is not historically important. They didn't

01:09:25   make very many of them but it was important machine to me growing up and so

01:09:28   I wanted one. So at some point in the future I'm sure a Touch Bar Thunderbolt

01:09:34   3 MacBook Pro would come into the collection and if I were just going to do one, I'd probably

01:09:42   do Space Gray because it wasn't the first Space Gray Mac.

01:09:47   I think the 12-inch MacBook had Space Gray first, but it's like the default color for

01:09:52   this generation, like all the press materials Space Gray.

01:09:54   When you go to order one, Space Gray is the default option.

01:09:57   I think this style of MacBook Pro, Space Gray, is sort of like the color people think about

01:10:03   it.

01:10:04   I like the silver, mine is space gray.

01:10:06   But I think I would probably go with space gray

01:10:11   for those reasons.

01:10:12   But I don't think much about current stuff

01:10:16   coming into the collection.

01:10:17   I figure that's a problem for future Steven down the road.

01:10:20   Like future Steven would love to have a trash can Mac Pro

01:10:23   because that machine is super interesting

01:10:25   and like a failure.

01:10:27   And so historically it's really sort of fascinating.

01:10:30   But they're still really expensive to pick one up use

01:10:32   And so that's a problem for like Steven in, you know,

01:10:36   2028 or something like 10 years down the road.

01:10:38   I can pick one up on eBay for 100 bucks.

01:10:40   And so I guess check back in in 10 years

01:10:43   and I'll tell you, but probably Space Gray.

01:10:45   All right, we have another question for Federico.

01:10:51   I use my iPad as a primary computer

01:10:53   and I struggle with work images and graphics

01:10:56   being mixed into my photo library.

01:10:59   iOS heavily encourages to throw images

01:11:01   into the photo library for easy access across applications?

01:11:04   Do you have a workflow or some tools

01:11:06   to clean up your library on a regular basis?

01:11:08   - Yeah, there are workflows or shortcuts

01:11:14   that you can create to filter screenshots

01:11:17   in your library and delete them,

01:11:19   or you can find apps on the App Store

01:11:22   to just clean up screenshots

01:11:23   and remove clutter from your library.

01:11:26   But even in this case, my main suggestion is

01:11:28   don't use Photos for assets that you need to put into another work

01:11:36   apps or into a graphics editor.

01:11:40   And in this case, I would say try and save everything

01:11:43   in folders in iCloud Drive.

01:11:44   Or generally speaking, in the Files app,

01:11:47   even if you want to use Dropbox in Files,

01:11:50   I try not to keep these kind of assets in Photos.

01:11:53   Because even though Photos is great for--

01:11:56   well, photos, it's not great for organizing this type of stuff

01:12:01   like logos or templates that I need for my screenshots

01:12:07   or for Mac stories or for automation

01:12:09   even because I do a bunch of image manipulation

01:12:12   using shortcuts.

01:12:14   So even though it's really easy to save stuff into photos

01:12:18   because there is a system-wide extension to save images

01:12:22   and videos into photos, I would recommend to try and use files

01:12:27   because it gives you more freedom to catalog everything

01:12:30   using folders, to use tags, to use favorites.

01:12:35   Especially if you're using iCloud Drive,

01:12:37   you can mark certain folders as favorites.

01:12:39   So I would say try not to use photos because it's really not

01:12:43   designed to be that kind of utility to give you--

01:12:50   you could use albums.

01:12:51   you could use the like feature to organize assets

01:12:56   and screenshots that way,

01:12:58   but I've learned not to trust photos

01:13:02   for that kind of workflow.

01:13:04   So personally, I don't like to have my graphic assets

01:13:09   and screenshots mixed together with my family photos

01:13:14   and my dog photos.

01:13:15   So I try and keep everything separate.

01:13:17   - Yeah, I think that's really good advice,

01:13:20   but if you do need to go back and clean up things,

01:13:23   a couple apps that you can use are Best Photos,

01:13:26   because that can do things like pull out similar photos,

01:13:30   then you can pick one or two of among

01:13:32   many multiple ones that are similar,

01:13:35   and also Gemini Photos, which is from MacPaw,

01:13:39   which is a little bit like their Gemini product on the Mac

01:13:42   where it pulls out duplicate files,

01:13:43   but Gemini Photos, like you would expect,

01:13:46   only picks out duplicate photos as well as similar photos,

01:13:50   blurry photos, screenshots, all that kind of miscellaneous junk

01:13:54   you might find in your photo library that you want to be

01:13:57   able to get rid of fairly easily.

01:13:59   So both of those apps work really well to help clean up

01:14:02   a photo library.

01:14:04   We have another question, this time from Justin, who writes,

01:14:08   why does Vitici release the iOS reviews once everyone already

01:14:12   has the update?

01:14:13   As a reader, it seems like it would be more useful

01:14:17   to have a week or a couple of days beforehand

01:14:20   to look at the review.

01:14:22   - Well, the simple answer is because I like it

01:14:27   and because the day that iOS launches,

01:14:30   all the attention is on me.

01:14:32   So that people have started to associate

01:14:34   the day that iOS comes out

01:14:36   with the day that my review comes out.

01:14:38   And it's become a sort of a mini event, you know,

01:14:40   for those who care,

01:14:41   and thankfully there's enough people who care.

01:14:44   The day that iOS launches to the public,

01:14:47   it's the day of the Federico review of iOS.

01:14:49   And if you paid attention in recent years,

01:14:53   we've tried to expand what we do.

01:14:56   In addition to the review,

01:14:57   you can find podcasts that we recorded about it.

01:15:00   You can find the ebook version.

01:15:03   You can find extras on the Club MicroStories newsletter.

01:15:07   So there's a bunch of things that happen.

01:15:08   It's become this sort of little media event, if you will.

01:15:11   And I think it's, you know, publishing it on the day that iOS, the new version of iOS

01:15:18   goes live, is a sort of a free publicity boost in the sense that iOS is in the spotlight

01:15:25   that day.

01:15:26   And I've seen, you know, I've seen people share things like iOS is out and now you can

01:15:33   also read Federico's review here.

01:15:35   So the two things have started to sort of be tied together in the mindset of the audience.

01:15:43   And I like it.

01:15:44   I like it because there's this association between Apple releasing something and Mac

01:15:49   Stories having the in-depth review about it.

01:15:53   Releasing the review a few days before would be probably better for some people, would

01:15:59   give readers more time to prepare for iOS, but it would lose that aspect of it's a public

01:16:08   event iOS launching, and having it just be a random day before iOS goes live, I think

01:16:15   it would, in the long term, it would negatively impact how much Mac stories and the review

01:16:23   can be in the spotlight on that day.

01:16:26   And also, I don't feel comfortable publishing the review with tons of information about

01:16:35   an OS that is still technically in beta, even a couple of days before or a week before.

01:16:42   I've had problems with this stuff in the past many, many, many years ago.

01:16:45   It was a different Apple, it was a different Mac stories, but I just feel better if my

01:16:50   review goes out like a couple of hours before the new version of iOS launches.

01:16:56   So it's a combination of things, but most of all it's the fact that I see the iOS release

01:17:01   day as an event and the fact that Mac stories can be associated with that.

01:17:09   People remember, people think of Mac stories and people think of my review on that day.

01:17:16   I prefer to have it, to have everything together.

01:17:20   And I've used this strategy for a few years now and it keeps working.

01:17:27   Every year is better than the year before, thankfully.

01:17:29   I'm really lucky that people still care about this kind of long-form writing.

01:17:34   So even though I understand the argument for doing another way, I'm happy this way, I feel

01:17:42   more comfortable this way.

01:17:44   And I just, I, very from a very personal perspective, I like the fact that people think of iOS release

01:17:53   day with Mac Stories review day.

01:17:55   Does that make sense?

01:17:56   It makes a ton of sense to me.

01:17:58   I think all those reasons are valid.

01:18:00   Yeah, I think that in a very busy Apple press cycle with an iOS release, I think the Mac

01:18:05   Stories is at the top of that list.

01:18:07   And so I think it makes a ton of sense from a business perspective.

01:18:10   And I agree with you, having a review out before the public release feels a little weird

01:18:17   with the NDA.

01:18:19   I did that thing about the dark mode in Mojave, which following the letter of the NDA was

01:18:25   not allowed.

01:18:26   But I did it because I thought it was interesting and people wanted to know about it.

01:18:30   But I'm not sure I would do a full review before the release is out.

01:18:37   The truth is there are going to be people who install it the second it comes out, but

01:18:42   your review can also be part of their decision making if they want to do it on day one or

01:18:47   not or if they want to do it, but then maybe tell their family.

01:18:52   I think giving people more information at the time they need to make the decision is

01:18:55   good.

01:18:56   So I don't see any issue with the way that you do it at all.

01:19:00   Well, I think that does it guys.

01:19:01   We made it to the end of an episode.

01:19:05   If you want to learn more, check out the links in the show notes.

01:19:08   You can do it in your podcast app of choice or on the web, relay.fm/connected/202.

01:19:15   Until Myke gets back, we're having a bunch of guests in, as you've heard the last couple

01:19:20   of weeks.

01:19:21   I think Myke is back actually next week, so John, thank you for filling in a couple of

01:19:25   times.

01:19:26   It's been a lot of fun to have you on.

01:19:27   Sure, it's been fun.

01:19:28   We will have you back.

01:19:29   You can send us feedback on Twitter.

01:19:30   Federico is @vittici.

01:19:33   You can find me there as ismh.

01:19:36   And maybe just, you know, Myke has been away.

01:19:40   Maybe tweet at Myke.

01:19:41   He's @imyke.

01:19:45   Tweet him your favorite flower emoji.

01:19:47   There's a bunch of flower emoji.

01:19:49   Pick your favorite one and send it to him.

01:19:51   That's a good idea.

01:19:52   I think he would like that a whole lot.

01:19:54   So do that to Myke.

01:19:55   Hold on, Bob.

01:19:56   We need a, we need also, I feel like we also need a code word.

01:20:00   So in addition to sending the flower emoji, say something, try include your favorite Latin

01:20:08   word.

01:20:09   So an ancient Latin word.

01:20:12   You made it a lot harder.

01:20:15   Just flower emoji.

01:20:16   Well, that gives Myke something to Google later on.

01:20:19   I guess.

01:20:20   Exactly.

01:20:21   Keeps him busy.

01:20:22   So there's the flower and the Latin word.

01:20:25   Mine is going to be omnibus.

01:20:29   is going to be Omnibus and the Rosenrogy. So there you go. Some culture, you know, some

01:20:34   culture going on in these random requests for our listeners.

01:20:39   Well, there you go. There's that going on. You can find Federico, of course, he's the

01:20:44   editor-in-chief at maxstories.net. You can find Jon at maxstories as well. Jon, in my

01:20:49   head, your title is like "Manager of Everything Federico Doesn't Want to Do." Is that some

01:20:55   of your position at Max Stories?

01:20:57   Yeah, that's all encapsulated within with an editor. Yes. Yeah editor of Mac stories editor is it's shorter

01:21:03   It is it's it's a lot easier to understand. Yeah, and John working people find you on Twitter

01:21:09   They can find me at J. Oh HN V double O R H double ES so many vowels in that last name

01:21:16   I know just keep coming at you. We'd like to thank our sponsors this week text expander simple contacts and anchor and

01:21:23   And until our next episode, gentlemen, say goodbye.

01:21:27   Adios.

01:21:28   Adios.

01:21:29   Adios.