201: An Internal Fortnite


00:00:00   (upbeat music)

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

00:00:09   Episode 201 is brought to you this week

00:00:12   by our sponsors, Pingdom, Simple Contacts, and Timing.

00:00:17   I'm your host, Stephen Hackett,

00:00:19   and I'm joined this week by my friend and yours,

00:00:22   Mr. Federico Vittucci.

00:00:24   - Hello, Stephen, how are you?

00:00:26   - I'm good, welcome back.

00:00:27   You had a week off, but now you're back.

00:00:29   I was on tour with JT, you know.

00:00:32   Yeah.

00:00:33   He said, you know, you should go back to podcasting.

00:00:36   This dance thing is not really for you.

00:00:39   I said, yeah, I guess I should go back to doing the show.

00:00:42   See, I thought the seniors were maybe

00:00:44   doing like some sort of like reunion, opening act type thing.

00:00:47   Why with the Spanish accent?

00:00:49   I think it'd be great.

00:00:53   Yeah, I thought-- you know, I actually thought

00:00:55   about texting the guys again.

00:00:58   But then again, we're living in different cities.

00:01:01   Like we're all over Italy at this point,

00:01:03   and it would be impossible to do a reunion.

00:01:05   Not even for like Christmas, I think,

00:01:08   because we have families in different towns now,

00:01:12   so it's become impossible.

00:01:14   No more seniors.

00:01:16   I'm sorry, Steven.

00:01:17   Seniors.

00:01:18   Seniors.

00:01:18   No more.

00:01:19   The seniors are no more.

00:01:20   (laughing)

00:01:22   Do we know the whereabouts of our friend Michael?

00:01:28   He's on his honeymoon.

00:01:29   Mm-hmm.

00:01:30   Drinking fancy drinks.

00:01:32   So this time is very much alive.

00:01:35   It's just not here.

00:01:36   Yes.

00:01:37   It's just not here.

00:01:38   It's not here.

00:01:39   Yeah.

00:01:40   Michael will be back soon.

00:01:41   It'll be back in the future.

00:01:43   In the meantime, Steven, it's time for follow-up with very important follow-up about Macintosh

00:01:48   computers of all topics.

00:01:51   This is where we are.

00:01:53   This is where we are in the news cycle.

00:01:55   new Macs are in follow up because they happened basically the exact exactly the wrong time

00:02:00   for the show. So there are new MacBook Pros. Everyone's heard lots about them. Four core

00:02:05   13 inch, six core 15 inch up to 32 gigs of RAM for terrible SSD, which is insane, because

00:02:12   it's like $3200. But if you need it, I guess it's nice to have the option. So Federico,

00:02:19   you have a MacBook Pro that you record on? Or is there a new MacBook Pro in your future

00:02:24   and the future of your household?

00:02:25   Oh no, not at all.

00:02:29   I was talking about this with Sylvia, she's perfectly okay with her...

00:02:32   Umm...

00:02:33   26...

00:02:34   17?

00:02:35   What's the second generation MacBook Pro with Touch Bar?

00:02:42   17.

00:02:43   2017.

00:02:44   So 2017 MacBook Pro.

00:02:45   And I'm totally fine with my 2015 MacBook Pro with the regular keyboard.

00:02:52   Has her keyboard failed her?

00:02:53   So, she hasn't noticed anything so far, but she told me as soon as I noticed something,

00:03:01   we're going to the Apple Store so that I can take advantage of the replacement program.

00:03:06   Yeah, well, you got some time.

00:03:10   But no, actually the only Mac that is on my wishlist, and we've talked about this, is

00:03:15   a Mac Mini. And, you know, a friend of the show, Min-Chi Kuo, says that new Mac Minis

00:03:20   are coming, which I still find hard to believe that is actually happening after 4 years,

00:03:26   but as soon as there's a webpage on apple.com with the refresh Mac Mini, that's going straight

00:03:32   to my shopping bag.

00:03:35   Because it actually does fit a shopping bag, because it's a Mac Mini.

00:03:38   So yeah, that's the only Mac in my near, I hope, future.

00:03:43   Not a MacBook Pro.

00:03:44   It'd be nice, I mean like I said, I've got two, neither of them will run, Mojave, my

00:03:50   at home is acting acting increasingly odd especially around like power on power off

00:03:57   type stuff so I'm just hoping that it holds it together but I'm with you if

00:04:00   they refresh it I'm gonna replace at least my my home server entertainment

00:04:05   center Mac mini. So the MacBook Pro so I have an iMac Pro as my primary machine

00:04:11   it was in my studio so I'm talking to you on now but I keep a MacBook Pro for

00:04:15   travel or when I work outside of the office and that has been a 15 inch 2015

00:04:21   basically the same machine that you have, lots of people have, but I have ordered a

00:04:26   quad core 13 inch. I was on the fence for a while but I spent some time with them

00:04:31   in the Apple Store and the keyboard definitely feels better and really I

00:04:35   want to go back to a 13 inch and the quad core is why I had the 15 before so

00:04:39   So I've got one in order, just the base model with the 512 SSD and I will report back on

00:04:47   how that goes.

00:04:48   There's an important piece of follow-up that I wanted to share with you and with our listeners,

00:04:52   Steven.

00:04:53   Okay.

00:04:54   For the past few weeks I've been busy sort of modernizing and renovating our insanely

00:05:01   and unnecessarily huge balcony that we have for reasons that I don't want to disclose

00:05:08   on the podcast, the way that our apartment is structured is the balcony is basically

00:05:14   bigger than the apartment inside. And we cannot, of course, do any kind of serious work because

00:05:20   we're renting, but we thought we can maybe take advantage of this space, which for a

00:05:26   long time has been essentially where the dogs can run and play, because it's big enough

00:05:32   for two dogs to run and play. But we can maybe try and make it a little more livable and

00:05:38   more welcoming and more useful to be outside. So what we've done in addition to some new

00:05:44   furniture and clean up the space, I have a TV outside now. So one of our old televisions

00:05:53   that we're not using anymore since we bought a 4K TV. So we had this unused television

00:06:00   set that is now outside on top of sort of an Ikea movable cart thing.

00:06:08   And this thing is like, it's not enclosed, but it's like well covered.

00:06:10   Like this TV is not out in the rain.

00:06:13   It's well covered.

00:06:14   No, no, no, no, it's not.

00:06:15   It's a covered balcony that, you know, it doesn't rain there.

00:06:21   And I mean, the weather in Rome is usually nice enough to have stuff outside and not

00:06:29   be a problem.

00:06:31   But this building, especially, is very well covered.

00:06:37   And we thought, you know, now that we have a TV, we can maybe, you know, actually also,

00:06:44   you know, in addition to connecting like a Nintendo Switch to the TV, we can, we should

00:06:47   actually be able to watch TV.

00:06:49   The problem is that we didn't have an antenna plug, you know, like a wall antenna for over-the-air

00:06:57   television close enough to run a cable to the TV.

00:07:01   So what I remembered is I have a box of unused electronics.

00:07:07   And I remembered that the Nvidia Shield was there because I was planning to sell.

00:07:12   Oh, how the mighty have fallen.

00:07:15   To sell the Nvidia Shield.

00:07:17   And basically by putting together a new stuff.

00:07:22   So I took the Nvidia Shield, ran the entire cycle of Android updates.

00:07:28   And I remembered that I also had a TV tuner, an HD home run.

00:07:33   So I bought on Amazon an antenna splitter, which is this thing that you put into the

00:07:39   antenna plug in the wall and it creates two antenna plugs instead of one.

00:07:45   And I connected a terrestrial antenna cable to the HDOM run and then I ran an internet

00:07:52   cable to the modem and now using the channels app, which you can find, I think it's getchannels

00:07:59   or channelsapp.com, something like that.

00:08:01   Anyway, it's a really good looking solution to stream television to an iPhone, an iPad,

00:08:09   an Apple TV, they have an Android app.

00:08:13   So what I did is I installed channels on my iOS devices and on the NVIDIA Shield.

00:08:20   So now I can watch live television, including HD television channels, outside without having

00:08:27   and antenna cable just by streaming on my local network,

00:08:30   which is very cool.

00:08:32   And the channels app, it allows you to set favorites.

00:08:35   It has a built-in guide that looks really nice.

00:08:38   It actually looks better than the interface of the TV itself.

00:08:40   So that was one thing we did.

00:08:44   And of course I set up a Hue light

00:08:45   so that now that we have some fancy mood lighting

00:08:49   in addition to the candles that we have,

00:08:51   it's looking really nice.

00:08:53   Then I did two more things, Steven.

00:08:58   I bought a Sonos One speaker because, yeah,

00:09:02   because we wanted to have music outside

00:09:04   because we invite friends over quite often.

00:09:08   And we wanted to be able to, you know, I don't know,

00:09:10   have dinner outside or just chill outside, have some wine,

00:09:13   and have some music going on in the background.

00:09:15   And I knew that I wanted to have an Airplay 2 speaker

00:09:18   because I just find it convenient to have,

00:09:20   you know, access from Control Center, access from the music app, but of course I didn't

00:09:28   want to buy another HomePod, so I thought, what's the cheapest way that I can have an

00:09:33   AirPlay 2 speaker? And the answer was the Sonos One. Now, it's working fine. I can stream

00:09:41   from my iPhone to the Sonos One using AirPlay 2, but I'm having some trouble actually using

00:09:48   it as an AirPlay 2 device when you add it from using the Home app. So this is kind of

00:09:55   confusing, but there's two ways that you can stream to an AirPlay 2 device. From Control

00:09:59   Center, you can tap the checkbox at the very top of the list of devices, and you can stream

00:10:05   audio directly from your iPhone or your iPad to a speaker. And that part is working just

00:10:11   fine.

00:10:13   Alternatively, what you can do is you can, you know in Control Center they have those

00:10:18   tiles that represent all of the separate AirPly 2 devices that you have?

00:10:23   You can tap to connect directly to a device and so you can have separate audio between

00:10:29   your iPhone and the speaker so that you have one set of audio happening on the speaker

00:10:34   and different audio happening on your phone.

00:10:37   The problem is, I don't know what's wrong, but whenever I, so the Sonos shows up in the

00:10:42   list of devices, but when I tap on the little platter, it says "unable to connect". And

00:10:48   I don't know what I'm doing wrong. I tested with Wi-Fi, I tested with Ethernet, because

00:10:55   there's another thing that I bought that I'm going to share with you in a moment. It's

00:10:59   not working. I was only able to find a couple of people online on the Sonos forum boards

00:11:05   having the same problem. I tested on iOS 11, I tested on iOS 12, it's always saying "unable to connect."

00:11:14   All of my home pods are fine, they're also Airplay 2 devices, they're also connected to the same network,

00:11:20   but the Sonos does not want to behave as an actual Airplay 2 device when I connect from the dedicated

00:11:27   accessory widget from Control Center. I don't know why. I have no idea.

00:11:33   I'd be interested to hear from listeners if that's a thing.

00:11:37   I don't know anyone else with the Sonos One that has had issues, but maybe it's an iOS

00:11:42   12 Beta thing?

00:11:43   Have you tried it with iOS 11?

00:11:44   Yeah, because I also, for review purposes, I had to buy a sixth generation iPod Touch.

00:11:50   What?

00:11:51   Oh, Federico, come on.

00:11:53   I wanted to do some actual testing for the performance section of the review.

00:11:58   We can talk about this in a minute.

00:12:00   So yeah, if you know what's going on with the Sonos and Airplay 2, again, I can stream

00:12:05   directly from the iPhone to the speaker just fine, but for example, I cannot ask Siri to

00:12:10   say, "Hey, I play some music in the balcony," because that part requires this different

00:12:16   type of connection to be working, and even though I see it as a device, Siri gives me

00:12:22   an error, and when I try to connect, it says "unable to connect."

00:12:26   So it must be something on my local network, I have no idea.

00:12:30   Finally, I mentioned running an internet cable from the Sonos One to Modem, and that is because

00:12:38   I finally have a mesh Wi-Fi system in our apartment.

00:12:44   I knew that I wanted to buy, I wanted to have a mesh system eventually, and after, you know,

00:12:51   I had a bunch of research done for months and I pulled the trigger and I bought the

00:13:00   Netgear Orbi mesh configuration.

00:13:05   We have one router and one satellite outside and it took a bit of troubleshooting and setup

00:13:13   because we have a modem from our ISP and I needed to set up the Orbi as an access point

00:13:20   and the satellite was doing a software update initially,

00:13:23   which was, and it was not connecting.

00:13:25   And I may have done a bunch of accidental research

00:13:28   because I thought that the satellite was not working.

00:13:31   Turns out it was just updated in its firmware.

00:13:34   Thankfully, everything's fine.

00:13:36   And now our entire apartment,

00:13:38   including the huge area outside,

00:13:40   is now fully covered in wifi.

00:13:42   So it's pretty awesome.

00:13:44   - You're just living it up over there.

00:13:47   - Yeah, we figured, you know,

00:13:48   we should actually try and make this space a little better

00:13:50   because we're probably gonna stay here for,

00:13:53   still for some more time.

00:13:55   And so why not make it actually nicer

00:13:57   and more inviting for people.

00:13:59   And now we can actually have nice dinners outside.

00:14:04   Still, I still need to buy a new table

00:14:06   and I'm probably gonna set up a second U-light

00:14:09   at the other end of the balcony,

00:14:11   but overall I'm pretty happy with the result.

00:14:15   It's a different type of project for me

00:14:16   because I usually don't do stuff,

00:14:19   this type of do it yourself project.

00:14:23   I don't do this stuff, but it's been fun.

00:14:26   - Yeah, I mean, yeah, it's fun to set up a new space

00:14:30   or rethink an existing space and sort of,

00:14:34   what do we actually need, what do I want?

00:14:36   It's a fun thing to do sometimes,

00:14:38   so I'm glad it's worked out for you.

00:14:40   - Yeah.

00:14:41   - So last week, as we discussed on the show,

00:14:44   was the 10th anniversary of the App Store.

00:14:46   And Federico, I want to check in with you.

00:14:48   Mac Stories did a ton of coverage.

00:14:50   There's a link in the show notes to the tag so you can kind of see all of the coverage

00:14:55   all on one page.

00:14:56   But were you happy with how that turned out?

00:14:58   Oh yeah, it was great.

00:15:01   I was really happy that readers and developers really appreciated the idea of celebrating

00:15:07   the App Store and just the idea of leaving something on my website for the next 10 years.

00:15:14   So that in 2028, we'll be able to look back and have this entire series still on the site.

00:15:22   And it was for us a success financially speaking, in terms of audience response.

00:15:28   So I was really happy to, and just in general, I'm just glad that 10 years from now, I will

00:15:34   be able to look back and see what I did for the first decade of the App Store and make

00:15:39   it do something for the second decade.

00:15:41   Yeah, I'm looking through this now.

00:15:43   I really enjoyed all of it, but especially the last two pieces, the App Store at 10,

00:15:48   the next decade, and then personal App Store stories.

00:15:52   Kind of a different coverage, but I think it really played to y'all's strengths.

00:15:59   I really enjoyed it, and I appreciate you letting me be a part of it, which was cool.

00:16:03   But good job, buddy.

00:16:04   It really was something only you guys could do.

00:16:06   Thank you.

00:16:07   Thank you.

00:16:08   So we've got a bunch more to talk about, but I want to take a break and tell you about

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00:17:25   So I know you are in the trenches with your iOS 12 review and I wanted to see how that

00:17:32   was going.

00:17:33   Alright, so, as usual, every year I dedicate two weeks to intensive writing every day.

00:17:45   And this process started on Saturday, so I think I'm in my, oh my god, fourth, fifth day.

00:17:54   And it's going, it's, you know, it's going pretty well, actually.

00:18:02   So we talked about the fact, when Michael was still with us, that I wanted to take a less

00:18:10   technical and more personal approach to the review for a couple of reasons. Because, first of all,

00:18:16   I didn't want to end up in the situation again where my review is a 60,000 word

00:18:26   novel that talks about APIs and programming changes in the new version of iOS. And also,

00:18:34   because I know that I'm capable of doing that, but I don't necessarily enjoy talking about

00:18:42   that kind of technical aspect of iOS, I always prefer talking about the experience of using iOS

00:18:47   and sharing personal thoughts about using iOS and what it means, what the new features mean,

00:18:53   what they say about what's coming next and all of that.

00:18:56   So I didn't want to have...

00:19:01   I didn't want to work on the kind of review that I've done for iOS 10 and iOS 11.

00:19:07   I wanted to have something more friendly and personal and more concise, if possible.

00:19:17   What I noticed in iOS 12 is that when...

00:19:20   Every year before I actually start writing, I open the WWDC app and I go through all the sessions

00:19:27   that I marked as favorites when I was at WWDC. And then I go through the list again of all the

00:19:33   sessions and I add some more, because maybe there's something that I missed and, you know,

00:19:37   there's some video that I need to watch again. What I noticed this year is that besides shortcuts,

00:19:44   for which the research I had already done, there wasn't much else that I needed to watch

00:19:50   in terms of technical sessions.

00:19:52   There was something, you know, a handful of sessions about notifications, there's still

00:19:56   one about photography and the camera that I need to watch, but other than that, if I'm

00:20:01   not taking the extreme, hardcore, technical approach to the review, there isn't much that

00:20:09   I need to write about.

00:20:10   You know, I don't need to watch the "What's new in in-app purchases" section.

00:20:15   I don't need to watch the "What's new in iTunes Connect" section.

00:20:20   And in previous years, I would have done that because I wanted to know everything.

00:20:25   This time, I want my review to be an actual review of what it's like to use iOS 12 and

00:20:33   what iOS 12 means for whatever Apple may be doing next.

00:20:38   And so I realized, you know, there's...

00:20:41   I don't need to spend time watching all of these technical sessions.

00:20:45   And so I decided that for the entire month of June and the first half of July, I would

00:20:54   just use iOS 12 and take notes as I went.

00:20:58   Just I, you know, I had a bunch of thoughts and notes and comments as I was using my devices.

00:21:04   And then I mentioned that I was considering changing my writing setup so that I could

00:21:10   replicate my old workflows from editorial in drafts 5.

00:21:17   And after much experimentation and having to learn a bunch of JavaScript, I am writing

00:21:26   the review in drafts 5.

00:21:29   So I set up a workspace for the review in drafts.

00:21:33   I recreated some of my, not all of them,

00:21:37   but some of my editorial workflows as drafts actions.

00:21:41   So things like links and footnotes

00:21:44   and having multiple backups of the review

00:21:48   occurring at the same time.

00:21:49   You will be happy, Steven, to know that the review

00:21:51   is being backed up in four different places.

00:21:53   - I appreciate that.

00:21:54   - So I recreated that in drafts

00:21:56   and I also changed how I do research.

00:21:59   So I'm still using a mind map.

00:22:01   So that part of the setup is still unchanged,

00:22:04   still mind mapping my thoughts.

00:22:07   And as I write, I close the branch,

00:22:11   the section of the review,

00:22:12   and I add a little emoji check mark

00:22:15   to indicate that it's done.

00:22:17   So the more I write, the more I advance in the review,

00:22:21   the more branches I close and I feel happy about it.

00:22:24   But this year, and I think I mentioned this on App Stories

00:22:29   and I wrote about it on Club Mac Stories last week,

00:22:32   or a couple of weeks ago.

00:22:33   I am using KeepIt.

00:22:36   So KeepIt, Steven, you've been a long time Mac user.

00:22:42   You may be familiar with the app called Together, which

00:22:45   was sort of an alternative to Evernote and Yojimbo.

00:22:49   You remember Yojimbo?

00:22:50   I do, yeah.

00:22:51   So Together was an app in that style, sort of something

00:22:57   that you throw everything into, be it images or PDF documents

00:23:01   or web links.

00:23:03   And now it's called Kipit, and it's

00:23:05   from reinvented software.

00:23:08   And it's both on Mac and iOS.

00:23:09   And the reason why I'm using Kipit instead of Devontink,

00:23:12   which is what I used to use before,

00:23:14   is that it supports tagging in a more intuitive way.

00:23:19   But, first of all, it lets me create saved searches on iOS.

00:23:24   So this allows me to tag all of my PDF documents

00:23:29   or my screenshots or my web links that are about iOS 12.

00:23:34   I can tag them with different topics.

00:23:37   So my tagging structure is something like iOS 12

00:23:42   and then notifications,

00:23:44   if it's a screenshot about notifications,

00:23:46   or iOS 12 Siri or iOS 12 and then shortcuts.

00:23:50   All of these tags I can then use

00:23:54   as a parameter to create a saved search.

00:23:58   So, for example, I have a saved search

00:24:01   that is iOS 12 shortcuts screenshots,

00:24:04   and it's just images about shortcuts,

00:24:06   but I also have a saved search

00:24:07   that says iOS 12 shortcuts documentation,

00:24:11   and it's just about technical docs for shortcuts.

00:24:14   So, Devon think on iOS,

00:24:17   it supports saved searches that you create on the Mac,

00:24:21   but you cannot create them directly on iOS.

00:24:24   And of course, the more I can do stuff directly on iOS,

00:24:27   the better it is for me.

00:24:28   And generally speaking, I just prefer the way

00:24:30   that Keepit looks on iOS,

00:24:32   because it looks sort of like an Apple app.

00:24:34   It looks like notes or mail.

00:24:37   It's got this default look that I appreciate.

00:24:39   So what I'm doing now is I'm transferring,

00:24:44   I've been transferring the notes that I had in Keepit

00:24:48   in iThoughts, giving it a bit of structure

00:24:50   as I transfer these notes.

00:24:53   It's basically I have a two-step note-taking process.

00:24:56   I dump everything I can think about and keep it,

00:24:59   and then I take those notes and I make them branches and nodes

00:25:06   in a mind map.

00:25:07   And then I put drafts and I thoughts side by side,

00:25:13   and I just start writing.

00:25:15   And I'm happy about the progress so far,

00:25:18   because in five days I've put in 10,000 words so far.

00:25:23   And I'm at the point where I think,

00:25:27   so tomorrow I'm gonna be approaching

00:25:32   the halfway point of the review, I think.

00:25:35   If I can, my goal this year is to try

00:25:39   and stay between 30 and 35,000 words.

00:25:43   I know they're doing less than 30,000 words

00:25:45   for my writing style and the kind of topics that I want to cover is going to be impossible.

00:25:50   Still, if I can put together a review that I'm happy about and have it be half of what

00:25:57   I've done for the past couple of years, that's going to be... I'm going to be super happy

00:26:02   about that. And by my mind map and by my notes, there's going to be nine chapters, I think.

00:26:13   And tomorrow I will be starting chapter six.

00:26:16   So as you can imagine shortcuts is going to be the bulk of the review.

00:26:21   But also I don't think it's going to be as bad as the iPad chapter from last year, because

00:26:28   most of shortcuts I've already covered for the past four years when it was called workflow.

00:26:34   So I'm feeling pretty good about not writing the new Dante

00:26:41   novel, sort of an iOS review.

00:26:45   Yeah, it's been a fun and different process this year.

00:26:50   No, I think that the changes you've talked about making,

00:26:53   I think they make a lot of sense.

00:26:55   Where you were the last couple of years,

00:26:57   obviously, was a ton of work.

00:26:58   And what it yielded was amazing, but probably too much

00:27:03   for a lot of people.

00:27:04   And I think the idea of focusing on the user experience

00:27:08   of the thing and sort of brushing aside

00:27:12   some of the under the covers type stuff,

00:27:14   I think that's a wise move.

00:27:17   And I think it makes it fit better

00:27:18   with what you guys do on Mac stories, the way

00:27:21   that you approach other app reviews and other topics.

00:27:25   You really focus on the experience

00:27:26   that the user has and not necessarily,

00:27:29   oh, it's because this API does this.

00:27:31   And not that you can't do that, not

00:27:33   you're not good at it but I just think that was a little out of line with the

00:27:37   rest of y'all's coverage.

00:27:39   Yeah, yeah I think it's gonna be better. As I mentioned, I want to sort of

00:27:45   exercise this year while I still can because iOS 12 is a relatively minor

00:27:52   release compared to iOS 12 and especially compared to what's likely

00:27:56   gonna happen next year. So I wanted to try and see if I can do it this

00:28:02   this year so that I can be ready next year because I really don't want to go back to

00:28:06   a place where there's a chapter of my review where I describe how the drag-and-drop E.V.I.

00:28:12   works, which I don't regret doing that. It's kind of like giving a presentation at a conference.

00:28:22   I'm glad that I did it once because I know that I'm capable of doing it. I'm very likely

00:28:28   not going to do it again because it's not necessarily something that I enjoy or that

00:28:33   is worth for me doing. I know that I can write about frameworks and I can write about APIs

00:28:38   if I want to, but I think there's people who are better suited at doing that than me. And

00:28:44   also, I think honestly, if you just want to read about documentation, the Apple website

00:28:49   is an excellent resource for that. And there's only so much you can build in terms of prose

00:28:54   and in terms of, you know, narrative around APIs and frameworks that is not actually writing

00:29:02   a manual. So I very much prefer to, you know, have to draw conclusions and to have narratives

00:29:11   throughout the review that are about the experience and the design and, you know, what Apple didn't

00:29:16   do or what Apple did wrong, you know, that kind of stuff. That's what I'm doing with

00:29:20   this review. And for example, today, you know, I was surprised that I was able to put in

00:29:26   3,000 words in just one day about, you know, the "Do not disturb" and notifications and

00:29:33   all that stuff. And honestly, I think that, you know, the writing in drafts, because it's

00:29:40   so similar to what my editorial setup used to look like, I've always been, for some reason,

00:29:46   I've always been faster and more efficient in editorial than, say, in Ulysses.

00:29:53   I don't know if it's about the plain text markdown or if it's about the automation and

00:29:57   the workflows, but I can put words down on a page faster in drafts than anything else.

00:30:04   I don't know why.

00:30:05   Still, this is how it's going and I'm gonna take a break from writing on Friday to sort

00:30:14   have a day off and then I'm gonna have another full week of writing ahead of me.

00:30:19   So until next Saturday or next Sunday it will be all writing all day. But yeah I

00:30:28   I'm feeling pretty positive about it. Well we can't let this go past without

00:30:32   mentioning this iPod touch you've purchased. What have you done? I was hoping you

00:30:36   forget about it. So, as I mentioned, there's a setup and performance section up front in

00:30:46   the review. I really don't want to do benchmarks. You know, settings takes 1.2 seconds to open

00:30:55   and 1.16 seconds to open on iOS 12. There's YouTubers that do that and they have more

00:31:02   test devices than me and it's their job to make these videos. And also benchmarks, that

00:31:08   kind of comparison, it's better in video than it is in text. So I don't want to do those

00:31:13   types of benchmarks. But also, I wanted the section to be a little more informed than

00:31:19   saying, "Yeah, it's great. It's fast. I'm using an iPhone 10 and it's awesome. I wanted

00:31:24   I have some comparison material. So in addition to the iPad that I bought recently, I also

00:31:35   bought a basic iPad. I mean, what's it called? The fifth generation? The sixth generation?

00:31:40   Yeah, sixth generation. Yes. You have one of those.

00:31:42   I have six generation everything. Six generation iPads.

00:31:46   Just for testing?

00:31:47   No, the iPad is actually another discussion.

00:31:50   The iPad is basically a nightstand iPad for reading and watching video because I don't

00:31:59   want to have the iPad Pro in the bedroom with me.

00:32:02   Because I know if the iPad Pro is in the bedroom, I'm going to be working late.

00:32:06   So what you have, to put it another way, is a daytime iPad and a nighttime iPad.

00:32:12   You could say that because it's actually true.

00:32:15   It's a nighttime iPad. It's a bedtime iPad. It sits there with Safari reading list and

00:32:23   YouTube. It's nothing else. I don't have Twitter on it. I don't have mail set up. I don't have

00:32:32   my RSS set up. It's just Safari and books. And actually Comixology because I'm reading

00:32:39   in a comic book and YouTube, but that's about it.

00:32:42   Still, it's running iOS 12, so I can run some tests on it.

00:32:47   But then I thought I should also get a less powerful device

00:32:52   to really see how iOS 12 works on it.

00:32:54   And I didn't want to get an iPad Mini 2,

00:32:58   which I think is still supported.

00:33:00   I'm not sure, I think it is.

00:33:02   Maybe iPad Mini 4, I'm not sure about the number.

00:33:06   Anyway, I decided for an iPod Touch,

00:33:08   because that felt like the least powerful device

00:33:11   that I could get.

00:33:11   It's got an A8 CPU inside.

00:33:15   And it's so tiny, it doesn't even have Touch ID.

00:33:19   It's a terrible device,

00:33:21   but it makes for a great testing device.

00:33:24   So I'm gonna try and see how I can compare performance

00:33:29   between iOS 11, which is running now on this iPod,

00:33:33   and iOS 12, which I will install in a few days

00:33:36   without having to do the full benchmark comparison.

00:33:41   That again, YouTubers do an excellent job

00:33:44   at that type of video.

00:33:46   I don't wanna do that.

00:33:47   But maybe just being able to have an informed opinion

00:33:51   of yes, I also ran iOS 12 on an iPad and an iPod Touch

00:33:55   in addition to an iPhone 10 and an iPad Pro

00:33:58   and here's what I found.

00:33:59   You know, that type of stuff.

00:34:01   - The iPod Touch and the iPad Mini 4 are basically the same.

00:34:04   Both have A8s, both came out in 2015.

00:34:08   The iPad mini has more RAM,

00:34:09   but they're both pretty old at this point.

00:34:12   And I think another interesting reason

00:34:15   in favor of the iPod touch is you can use iOS 12

00:34:18   on the smallest screen size that is supported.

00:34:22   And I think that's an interesting experience.

00:34:25   I know sometimes on my wife's iPhone SE,

00:34:27   some apps, some developers clearly

00:34:30   just don't look for that anymore.

00:34:31   And you'll see a button and a text label slammed

00:34:34   into each other, or like weird overlap,

00:34:36   because they just didn't bother to look at it in the simulator

00:34:41   or on a real device.

00:34:44   Yeah, what I noticed today that I couldn't type on the software

00:34:50   keyboard, because my thumbs were hitting all the letters.

00:34:55   It was just-- it's such a tiny, tiny keyboard.

00:34:58   For example, when you open Control Center on the iPod

00:35:01   touch it basically takes over the whole screen whereas on the iPhone X it's a section of

00:35:08   the screen but on the iPod touch it's so small it basically buttons all the way from the

00:35:14   top to the bottom. Hey at one point probably on this show we're talking about how that

00:35:18   screen size felt big, now like how far we've come. Simon, what about your Mac OS review?

00:35:27   So yeah, so I bought an iPod touch now.

00:35:31   I've got it mostly outlined.

00:35:33   I'm kind of doing what you're doing and spending some time with the OS.

00:35:36   I haven't started writing yet.

00:35:40   I think the average length of my OS X reviews has been like 15 or 18,000 words, a lot shorter

00:35:45   than what you're doing.

00:35:46   The thing I'm kind of debating, I talked to Jason about this on Upgrade, is that I'm kind

00:35:51   debating between a full review and doing like a series of like articles basically

00:35:58   one like per the major feature and I really only because I already wrote the

00:36:02   dark mode article and that I don't know what to do with that when it comes time

00:36:09   to the review like do I just link out to it or do I look is like that article is

00:36:14   the dark mode section for the review and so that's you know kind of given me

00:36:19   thought about maybe some other ways I could tackle it this year. I mean this

00:36:22   will be like my I have done every one since Mountain Lion and I want to do

00:36:28   something with it but I'm just kind of debating like is a full-blown review the

00:36:32   right thing to do and part of that is like the business decision of it that

00:36:37   the 512 just like doesn't make much money and a full review is a lot of time

00:36:43   and I just need to balance like do I want this to exist versus like what's

00:36:51   the best use of my limited time and so I don't really know what I'm gonna do yet

00:36:54   I'm gonna finish my sort of mind map of it and see if that helps me come to any

00:37:01   decisions so I'm gonna do something I just don't know if it'll be like the

00:37:05   same thing I've always done mm-hmm does that make sense

00:37:08   yeah yeah it does and I think you know having done the dark mode article

00:37:12   already. I can see why you may be debating your approach because you know you already

00:37:19   done that and I've been in this situation in the past where I used to do like standalone

00:37:25   iOS stories in June or July about specific features and then I had these stories and

00:37:30   I was like well what am I going to do for the review now because I already have this

00:37:34   article do I want to rewrite it do I just want to copy and paste it into the review

00:37:38   So I definitely share the concern about what strategy to apply.

00:37:46   Yeah, and really the next biggest chunk in Mojave is the finder stuff.

00:37:52   And I could see that being a really nice standalone piece,

00:37:57   like talking about all the stuff in Automator and how you can now expose them as finder actions.

00:38:03   Right now, if you had if I had to choose, that's probably the route I'm going to go

00:38:08   is pick another one, two or three like big features of the OS and write sort of deep

00:38:15   dives into them like I did dark mode and then sort of just, you know, kind of have those

00:38:19   as like a collection of things and that be my coverage.

00:38:22   So, but we'll see, you know, part of it is looking through the reviews.

00:38:26   I've done the same thing for a really long time, like even like the same order of things

00:38:30   like system requirements, big UI changes, big system changes, and then like miscellaneous

00:38:37   items and part of it is doing it every year.

00:38:40   Just kind of like I've just done it a lot and maybe I'm just ready for a change.

00:38:44   So we shall see.

00:38:45   But dark mode is still pretty.

00:38:47   So it's got that going for it.

00:38:49   All right, so we have some more stuff to talk about emoji, Instapaper, more stuff, but I

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00:40:54   So Federico, yesterday was World Emoji Day.

00:40:59   Happy World Emoji Day, buddy.

00:41:01   Thanks, you too.

00:41:03   Yes, I didn't get you anything.

00:41:06   Sorry.

00:41:07   It's alright, don't worry about it.

00:41:12   I forgive you, Steven.

00:41:13   Well, I got you a leg emoji.

00:41:14   That's coming.

00:41:18   This is a day kind of put together by Emojipedia and Jeremy Burge and all the sort of crazy

00:41:24   emoji kids to celebrate emoji and what they mean in society, but also now companies like

00:41:31   Apple use it to showcase the emoji they are bringing to their platform.

00:41:36   So of course Unicode every year says these are the new emoji this year.

00:41:41   For 2018 there's like 157 new emoji.

00:41:45   brings the total number to 2823. Can you believe it's almost 3000 emoji? That's crazy to me.

00:41:56   How many? Almost 3000. 2823. Oh, wow. This is considering all the combinations. I assume

00:42:04   so. Yeah. Yeah. And still no emoji search in the... I was getting... Well, they're waiting

00:42:10   to break 3,000 even and then they'll do it. So this year you talked about

00:42:14   customization so now emojis can be set to have red hair, curly hair which

00:42:22   I appreciate. There's new emojis for superheroes, softball, kangaroo, the peacock

00:42:27   which I think is my favorite. There's a llama, a raccoon, a foot, a very

00:42:35   - Foot.

00:42:36   - Very creepy leg, it's just like,

00:42:38   the most, you know, like a thigh and a calf and a foot,

00:42:41   it's all very concerning, honestly.

00:42:43   I don't really know what's going on there.

00:42:46   - There's a kangaroo too, I think.

00:42:48   - Yeah, there's a bunch of good stuff.

00:42:50   And so Apple has previewed some of their artwork for these

00:42:55   and they'll be rolling out this fall.

00:42:56   I think we can assume that it'll be with like iOS 12.1

00:42:59   or 12.2 or something.

00:43:01   We've talked about this in the past, right,

00:43:02   where Apple puts emoji in a point update

00:43:06   as a consent of for people to upgrade, right?

00:43:09   So if you're not on the newest OS

00:43:11   and I send you the pirate flag emoji,

00:43:12   which is new this year,

00:43:14   and your iPhone just gonna give you a little box

00:43:16   with a question mark in it, you'll be sad.

00:43:18   And then you'll go to software update and say that,

00:43:20   "Hey, I can see these emoji now."

00:43:22   So it's a good thing.

00:43:25   I think it makes sense the way they release them.

00:43:27   - There should be a feature,

00:43:28   Apple should do a feature in iMessage

00:43:30   where if somebody sends you an emoji that is not supported,

00:43:34   you will get an inline message that says,

00:43:39   if only you updated your phone, you would see this emoji.

00:43:42   I think you described Clippy is what you've done.

00:43:44   You've reinvented Clippy.

00:43:45   I shame you.

00:43:46   I shame you into updating.

00:43:48   I'm available as a consultant for a software update.

00:43:57   What's it called?

00:43:58   What's the correct name here, Steven?

00:44:00   It's not engagement.

00:44:01   - Nagging.

00:44:02   - No, no, no, no, no, no.

00:44:05   I'm thinking of a very specific word

00:44:08   that the stack companies use.

00:44:11   So growth hacking. - Growth hacking.

00:44:15   - That's what I'm thinking of.

00:44:17   - Yeah.

00:44:18   - I can be your software update.

00:44:21   - Growth hacker.

00:44:22   - Growth hacking consultant.

00:44:25   That's my new title.

00:44:26   - That's really good.

00:44:27   I don't know if it's on a business card,

00:44:28   you may need to shorten it, but it's a good start.

00:44:31   - You can go on the back of the business card too.

00:44:36   You can continue on the back.

00:44:38   (laughing)

00:44:40   - I don't know about you, but every year I think,

00:44:47   I don't know what else they could add to this.

00:44:49   2800 emoji is a lot.

00:44:51   Yes, there's animals that they've added, right?

00:44:53   So the animals, there's a skunk, parrot,

00:44:57   all the animals we mentioned earlier. There's a salt shaker, there's a mango, I guess the

00:45:03   mango people were sad they didn't have a mango emoji.

00:45:06   Sure.

00:45:07   Did we just run out at some point? Like at some point, are they just out of the emoji?

00:45:12   What do you think?

00:45:15   I guess that yes, at some point there will be a scarcity of new emoji to add. But also

00:45:23   I could see, you know, I could see emoji going in different directions such as landmarks,

00:45:31   for example. There could be a Colosseum emoji, there could be a Statue of Liberty emoji.

00:45:36   There is. There is a Statue of Liberty emoji.

00:45:38   Oh, there is already one? So there you go. You Americans, you get all the…

00:45:42   USA! USA!

00:45:43   You're not… stop acting like Casey.

00:45:46   I'm so sorry.

00:45:49   I could see more landmarks except for the Statue of Liberty, which is already an emoji.

00:45:53   Or I don't know, I guess there's still quite a few expressions to cover in terms of human expressions.

00:46:02   More symbols. Unless I really don't think that the Unicode folks want to go with branded emoji.

00:46:17   So that feels weird and it feels wrong to have advertisements in your unique.

00:46:23   Well you already see a little bit of that. So like the watch emoji Apple renders on this

00:46:28   platform is an Apple watch. Like there's already, that's already creeping in a little bit.

00:46:33   Yeah kind of because Apple can do, you know, they can make the phone emoji look like an iPhone and

00:46:37   the Apple watch look, yeah. But yeah I think they, you know, I don't think we'll always have

00:46:44   this sort of aggressive schedule of like 150 or 200 new emoji every year. I think eventually

00:46:52   we'll settle on something like 50 or 40. But also the world is changing and we're, you know,

00:46:59   we're always coming up with new memes or new objects or new inventions and I don't, I think

00:47:07   honestly I think we'll continue to come up with new emoji as well. So I, we really need emoji

00:47:12   search though, because Apple seems to think that the predictive emoji system is fine.

00:47:19   The problem is it's based on rules that are not explained. And sometimes I'm thinking

00:47:25   of an emoji that, you know, I think Google does an excellent job at this, that you can

00:47:30   search for the same emoji using multiple search terms and different ways to describe it. Because,

00:47:36   you know, it's Google and they know what people search for. I really hope that Apple eventually

00:47:42   adds a search bar to the emoji keyboard and you know, they could still use machine learning

00:47:47   and differential privacy, whatever you want to use to power their system, but just let

00:47:51   me manually search for a character to add to my conversations.

00:47:56   Yeah, yeah. And they have that on the Mac, Jeremy Burge, I forgot him earlier, the founder

00:48:01   of Emojipedia and all around handsome man. He's the inventor of emoji, you know.

00:48:06   Yeah, he writes, he draws them all. He wrote this thing earlier this year that Apple searches

00:48:12   are actually really bad on the Mac. And so we'll have that in the show notes as a reminder.

00:48:19   It seems like such an obvious thing to add. Like you said, Google does it, the Google

00:48:24   keyboard does it. And just do it. Like use, like fix your search terms. It seems like

00:48:32   in a world where there's less low hanging fruit in new versions of iOS, this sure seems

00:48:36   like an obvious one.

00:48:39   What can you tell me about Instapaper?

00:48:45   As a European user, all I know is that the service is gone because of GDPR.

00:48:50   Yeah, we'll get to that.

00:48:54   But there's a little history on Instapaper.

00:48:58   Marco Armit, our friend, invented it and developed it, sold it to Betaworks in 2013.

00:49:05   DataWorks sold it to Pinterest a couple of years ago.

00:49:10   And really since then, from my perspective,

00:49:14   and I've used Instapaper since like the day

00:49:16   it was available on the iPhone.

00:49:18   It's been in the same spot on my home screen for a decade.

00:49:22   Under Pinterest Watch, it really didn't go anywhere.

00:49:26   And that's not to say anything bad

00:49:27   about the people working on it.

00:49:29   I know a couple of them.

00:49:32   They're great people and they're great developers

00:49:33   and they're passionate about Instapaper.

00:49:35   and they're the group who now own it.

00:49:37   Where this ends up is that Pinterest has sold it to a group

00:49:41   who were working on it since the beta works days.

00:49:46   And I am hopeful that this means that they can fix

00:49:50   the GDPR compliance.

00:49:51   So like when I was in England a couple weeks ago,

00:49:54   I couldn't save anything to Instapaper,

00:49:56   I couldn't access the website.

00:49:58   Like it was like, just like it didn't exist.

00:50:01   And that was a bummer.

00:50:03   Especially when you're on vacation, right?

00:50:05   Like you see a link on Twitter real quick and you want to save it for later because

00:50:07   you're on vacation.

00:50:08   It's like, well, I have no place to put those.

00:50:10   So I put them in Safari Reader, which I want to talk to you about.

00:50:13   But I'm hopeful that this means that Instapaper will be able to move forward and features

00:50:20   and, and updates.

00:50:22   I have lots of questions, I think, as do you as do other people about what is the business

00:50:26   model going to be inside Pinterest?

00:50:28   It didn't matter if Instapaper made money or not, because Pinterest is huge.

00:50:32   Now the downside downside was Pinterest basically ignored it.

00:50:34   They did actually, under Pinterest watch, they did actually remove the premium subscription.

00:50:41   They just made everything free. I think that puts them in a tough spot because now they're

00:50:51   going to have, you know, if they want to monetize, they're going to have to bring back and sort

00:50:55   of paywall features that are now free or come up with new premium features to have users

00:51:01   pay. So I don't know what they're gonna do, but I've always liked Instapaper. Before I

00:51:08   switched to Safari Reading List, I think Instapaper does or used to do an excellent job at making

00:51:17   it easy for you to save stuff, of course, but also do some basic research with tools

00:51:23   like highlighting, for example, or adding notes, or organizing articles in folders,

00:51:28   archiving stuff for later but still being able to search for highlights.

00:51:33   He was also a great iOS automation citizen.

00:51:38   I think with Marco it was one of the first apps, if not the first app to support X-Callback

00:51:45   URL on iOS.

00:51:46   Yeah, well I mean he and Greg worked on it in those early days.

00:51:52   Yeah, I mean under Marco it really was just a phenomenal app.

00:51:58   I remember Instapaper HD on the iPad and that really seemed to be the moment.

00:52:02   No, it was called HD.

00:52:03   You're right.

00:52:04   I totally forgot about that.

00:52:05   Do you remember?

00:52:06   Every app used to do that.

00:52:07   It was crazy.

00:52:08   Everyone used to do that, to call the apps HD.

00:52:10   Well, and you guys spoke about it on an episode of App Stories that he was on recently about

00:52:14   sort of the background there.

00:52:15   And it really was for such a long time a beacon of what an iOS app should be.

00:52:26   And I'm hopeful that that can return but the difference is, like you said, now it's got

00:52:31   competition in pocket, it's got competition in Safari reading list.

00:52:36   So you've been using that.

00:52:38   Tell me how that's gone for you because I haven't really experimented with it except

00:52:42   for when I was traveling.

00:52:44   It's okay.

00:52:47   I love that it's so well integrated with the system.

00:52:52   It's not another thing that I need to manage.

00:52:55   That I like. It's just an extension in the sharesheet, and it's always there, and it's

00:53:02   always in Safari, and it integrates directly with Safari Reader, which is one of the best

00:53:10   features of Safari, the Reader mode. What I don't like is that it is unreliable, in

00:53:19   the sense that often when I'm on a plane and I go like, "Oh, now I'm going to read some

00:53:25   articles from my reading list. And for some obscure reason, one of them is not available

00:53:30   for offline reading. Even though I have the option enabled, and I'm always on Wi-Fi, and

00:53:36   I have decent Wi-Fi, I think, for some reason some articles are not available for offline

00:53:42   consumption. Also, it doesn't have full text search. So often I'm in a situation where

00:53:51   I'm writing a review or I'm writing a story and I want to reference an article that I

00:53:57   remember reading a while back, I cannot find, maybe I remember a sentence or I remember

00:54:04   a quote from that article, I cannot search for it into my reading list.

00:54:09   I need to go on Google and search by site and, you know, it doesn't have a search mode.

00:54:14   It only searches the titles of the articles that you save.

00:54:19   And also it doesn't have any folder-based organization or tagging system to begin with.

00:54:25   So it's plain, it's right there in the name.

00:54:27   It's a reading list, it's not meant to be a more complex tool such as Pocket or Instapaper.

00:54:33   Still, I wish that Apple put a little more effort into making it something worthwhile.

00:54:41   I cannot imagine that, you know, people don't want to read articles anymore.

00:54:47   There must be at least a few million users who use Safari Reading List, considering the

00:54:53   scale of iOS.

00:54:54   And so even though in the past I argued in favor of why don't they just make Reading

00:55:00   List a separate app on iOS, now I would be fine just with having some improvements or

00:55:08   a better, more reliable syncing system and some kind of full text search.

00:55:14   I would even be fine without folders and without tagging, even though those would be welcome,

00:55:18   but really search and more reliable downloads. That would be at the top of my list. But otherwise,

00:55:28   it's fine. I miss the paper, but this is fine.

00:55:31   Yeah. I don't know. Safari reading this seems like one of those features that Apple implemented

00:55:35   and then it gets touched every four years. Right? You may be stuck waiting a little while

00:55:43   for that thing to get, which is a bummer, right?

00:55:47   Like Apple should.

00:55:48   - They should, you know what they should do?

00:55:49   They should, you know, to decide what product,

00:55:53   what app they should work on next.

00:55:56   They should get the teams from all these apps

00:55:59   that are sort of, you know, forgotten about.

00:56:03   So people from the Reminders team,

00:56:05   people from the Safari Reading List team,

00:56:08   people from Apple Mail,

00:56:11   Battle it out in a sort of battle royale competition,

00:56:16   and the last team standing wins

00:56:18   and gets to work on updates for the next version of iOS.

00:56:22   And everybody else goes back to their office

00:56:24   for the next four years.

00:56:25   Will be fun.

00:56:28   Doesn't have to be violent,

00:56:29   it could be a game of tag or something.

00:56:30   - Yeah, I like that.

00:56:31   - Yeah, SEAL should be following the battle royale rules.

00:56:35   So sort of like an internal Fortnite is what I'm asking for.

00:56:40   I really want an updated reminders app.

00:56:42   - Oh, come on, man, it's too long.

00:56:46   - No, I know, right?

00:56:48   It's been like four years and no updates.

00:56:51   It's still got that look from iOS 7.

00:56:54   I think it's the only app that from the iOS 7 generation

00:56:58   that was never touched again.

00:57:01   And honestly, can you believe that nobody uses reminders?

00:57:06   Everybody I know uses reminders.

00:57:08   It's because it's right there.

00:57:09   - It's shared with iCloud.

00:57:10   I mean, I use Todoist, but like shared grocery lists and like all sorts of stuff end up in

00:57:15   there.

00:57:16   Well, same thing with Notes.

00:57:17   Notes isn't as bad of an example, but like, why is that texture so there?

00:57:20   Why did my letters still like they're sunk into paper?

00:57:23   Like just in Mojave, the dark mode in Notes includes the same background.

00:57:29   They just made it dark.

00:57:30   It's like you had to go into the app bundle to make this.

00:57:34   Why don't you just get rid of it?

00:57:37   Does dark paper even exist?

00:57:40   Myke's not here.

00:57:41   Who knows?

00:57:42   Who knows how paper works?

00:57:44   So yeah, best of luck to the Instapaper team.

00:57:50   I wish them success.

00:57:51   I hope it's successful.

00:57:52   I'm curious how they can pull it off.

00:57:54   It's an uphill battle, but I feel like if anyone can do it, then it'll be them.

00:57:58   So I'm in their corner, Federico.

00:58:01   That's what I'm saying.

00:58:03   In the corner.

00:58:04   corner. Alright, we got a few more things to talk about. But I'm gonna tell you about our final

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01:00:00   So let's talk about Nest, everyone's favorite,

01:00:03   I don't know if everyone's favorite,

01:00:05   but a company that makes thermostats and cameras.

01:00:08   I have a ton of Nest stuff at home.

01:00:10   I'm really kind of all in on their ecosystem

01:00:13   and that makes me worried sometimes

01:00:15   because Nest has had a very rough couple of years

01:00:18   since being acquired by Google.

01:00:20   Google bought them for $3.2 billion in 2014.

01:00:24   I remember the time $3.2 billion seemed like

01:00:26   an insane amount of money and now you see acquisitions

01:00:29   going for even more than that.

01:00:30   But they had a CEO that was, seems like an operations guy

01:00:35   and employees basically complained to Google about him

01:00:39   and they sent him packing.

01:00:41   As part of that, Nest is now being merged with Google's home

01:00:45   and living room products team.

01:00:48   I assume that means the team that makes the Google Home

01:00:50   in the Chromecast and stuff, right?

01:00:51   Like is that how you read that, what that group may do?

01:00:54   - Yeah, especially Google Home and Living Room?

01:00:58   Why Living Room?

01:01:00   I suppose it's because of the Chromecast and TV.

01:01:03   - Well, you don't wanna work on a team

01:01:05   that's like the bedroom products team.

01:01:06   That's a different--

01:01:07   - Why not? - It's a different thing.

01:01:09   (laughing)

01:01:11   - Would you have a Google's Home and Kitchen team?

01:01:14   Would that be better?

01:01:16   - You know, Google has been part of Alphabet,

01:01:18   sort of in parallel with Google.

01:01:20   It's been brought back into Google.

01:01:22   Now it's being sort of demoted inside a products team.

01:01:26   They do say the Nest brand will continue on,

01:01:28   so I don't think they're gonna like rebrand

01:01:30   the Nest thermostat, like the Google thermostat.

01:01:33   But it makes me worry, and I wonder what you think about it

01:01:37   in terms of consumer confidence.

01:01:39   Like do normal people, are they ever gonna hear about this?

01:01:42   Or like they just see like the Nest brand in stores

01:01:45   and they go, and they equate that with the thermostat

01:01:47   that has a computer inside of it.

01:01:50   - It depends on, I think,

01:01:51   if they're keeping the Nest branding.

01:01:54   Because what I notice is that

01:01:56   when these big acquisitions happen,

01:01:58   it always takes a while for people

01:02:00   to sort of associate the brand with the new owner.

01:02:05   There's still, some of my friends

01:02:07   only discovered recently that Instagram was owned by Facebook

01:02:11   and most of my friends do not know

01:02:13   that Beats is owned by Apple, for context.

01:02:16   - Yeah.

01:02:17   Well, they've said they're keeping it.

01:02:19   So I guess--

01:02:19   So yeah.

01:02:21   I think honestly that most people will not care.

01:02:24   And they will see the Nest brand.

01:02:27   They will say, oh, yeah, they make the thermostat

01:02:32   and the sensors that I know.

01:02:33   I trust that company.

01:02:35   And then I suppose there will be some kind of badge that says,

01:02:39   works with the Google Assistant.

01:02:42   So maybe they will make the association there

01:02:45   because they see the Google logo on the box.

01:02:46   but I don't know. Most people do not keep up with this sort of tech news that you see

01:02:53   on TechCrunch about acquisitions and mergers. They don't care. They don't know. They don't

01:02:58   care. They don't have to, to an extent. So I think they will be fine. I want to see what

01:03:04   happens in terms of do they really want to keep the Nest branding long term or is it

01:03:11   just like something in the short term? Are they going to make a Google thermostat? Are

01:03:16   Are they gonna make Google branded sensors?

01:03:19   I could see that happen, but also I could see

01:03:23   why they wanna keep the Nest branding for now.

01:03:25   - I think people would maybe be less likely

01:03:29   to purchase something if it had Google on it.

01:03:31   At least some consumers don't trust Google,

01:03:35   and maybe, I don't think it's Google tricking people,

01:03:38   but they'd be more comfortable with the Nest brand.

01:03:42   And same way, I remember when Nest was purchased by Google,

01:03:45   bunch of people like in the Apple community were like, "Oh no, I'm taking my thermostat

01:03:49   off my wall." It's like, well, that's a little extreme, but maybe there is something to it

01:03:54   that the Nest brand has a level of trust built into it that maybe Google doesn't in the Cernit

01:04:01   arena. I think there's probably something there.

01:04:03   Yeah. I'm really interested to see how the sort of the smart home portfolio by Google

01:04:12   shakes out going forward because they have these speakers that

01:04:16   are also assistants.

01:04:18   And they have the Chromecast, which

01:04:21   can integrate with the assistant.

01:04:23   And then they have Nest.

01:04:25   And then they're also making phones.

01:04:28   It seems like a sort of scattershot strategy,

01:04:33   but also everything is sort of coming together

01:04:35   under the Google Assistant banner, which is interesting

01:04:40   because it's a very different approach from Apple,

01:04:43   for example, where everything is either Siri or HomeKit,

01:04:47   and then everything is up to the third parties

01:04:50   to manufacture and sell, or not,

01:04:54   as we'll see in a couple of minutes.

01:04:56   Whereas Google is actually making these products themselves,

01:05:01   but also working with third-party manufacturers,

01:05:04   which is basically the Android strategy all over.

01:05:07   They're making their own stuff,

01:05:08   but also they're making it possible for others

01:05:10   to integrate with it.

01:05:11   And instead Apple is sort of taking

01:05:14   the opposite approach here.

01:05:16   They're just making the framework,

01:05:18   but they don't actually make any smart home product.

01:05:20   It's a really, really interesting difference.

01:05:23   - I think it is.

01:05:24   So let's talk a little bit about that.

01:05:25   Nine to five, Brooke's story today.

01:05:27   On the home, so there's a page on Apple's website

01:05:29   that's like home kit devices.

01:05:31   And you can go through there and sort by like,

01:05:33   I'm looking for this sort of thing,

01:05:34   I'm looking for that sort of thing.

01:05:36   And on that list up until recently were some doorbell cameras.

01:05:46   So the August doorbell cam, Wizzle said it's coming soon.

01:05:50   It's now no longer there.

01:05:53   Ring had said that they were looking into HomeKit support, but they have not said anything

01:05:57   else about that.

01:05:58   So that may be not coming anymore.

01:06:03   I don't know.

01:06:04   You've got a HomeKit camera.

01:06:05   did. Do you still have that thing? I have a couple, actually. I have a, what's the name,

01:06:12   D-Link OMNA, and I have a Logi Circle 2. I really like the Logi one. I remember Home

01:06:21   Kit doorbells, I remember writing about it in my iOS 10 review. I think the situation

01:06:28   with this product has always been kind of weird, in that there was only one available

01:06:33   on the market and honestly I don't know what the problem is here. It's a strange

01:06:40   product in that it blends being a camera with also being an intercom type of device and

01:06:46   maybe they just couldn't get it to work reliably enough and they just decided to pull

01:06:51   the references from the web page because nobody is making them. So it sort of speaks to the...

01:07:01   This is part of the old HomeKit approach by Apple of really slow certification times,

01:07:10   a really slow approval process.

01:07:12   Now in theory, at WWDC this year, Apple committed to improving the HomeKit certification process

01:07:20   to have it be done for several months, so just a few weeks.

01:07:24   And that goes alongside the improvements that they made last year with self-certification

01:07:31   using software.

01:07:32   You don't have to wait for Apple to license a HomeKit-compatible chip to put into your

01:07:38   product.

01:07:39   You can just make sure that your product supports the HomeKit software specification, and then

01:07:44   you can certify with Apple.

01:07:46   And now Apple is saying it doesn't take three months to certify with us.

01:07:50   We're opening more certification labs around Europe and around the world, and it takes

01:07:54   just a handful of weeks. Which is, you know, it's not, it's not, you know, a few weeks

01:08:00   is not an immediate process. Still, you know, three weeks is better than three or four months.

01:08:07   And you know, Apple has always prioritized stricter and more severe, you know, security

01:08:15   requirements than maybe other companies. And on one hand, that is problem because, you

01:08:23   You know, if you go on Amazon, there's not the same variety of accessories that work

01:08:30   with the Echo and accessories that work with HomeKit.

01:08:33   And the situation with HomeKit is especially problematic outside of the United States,

01:08:37   where if you go on the Italian Apple website, and I think it's mostly compatible in France,

01:08:42   Germany and the UK even, we have two pages of accessories for HomeKit, and I think in

01:08:48   the US you have five, which basically says a lot. But still, on the other hand, I think

01:08:55   I'm much more confident putting a HomeKit device into my apartment than putting something

01:09:02   else. That's not to say that I haven't done it, because I used to have Amazon Echo devices,

01:09:07   I used to have smart home devices from other companies, I'm not paranoid that way. Still,

01:09:15   I'm pretty confident about HomeKit and the way that it works.

01:09:18   And actually, I like the way that it

01:09:20   works with the HomeKit integration

01:09:22   and the Siri integration and the HomePod.

01:09:26   It would be better if--

01:09:28   I want to see if going forward, if what Apple said in June--

01:09:31   it's still too early to tell and to judge

01:09:34   if these new strategies are actually working well.

01:09:39   But if it does, I suppose we're going

01:09:41   to see more frequent HomeKit releases from third-party manufacturers. We're going to

01:09:47   see more devices gaining software updates that add HomeKit support. That would be nice.

01:09:54   The doorbell stuff, it seems to me as if it's a problem coming from the old strategy of

01:10:02   Apple and HomeKit. And now they're probably rethinking how things are done here. They're

01:10:07   probably rethinking the API, I don't know what's going on, but the fact that only one

01:10:11   company was making a compatible doorbell with the camera and the intercom, I understand

01:10:16   why it's gone from the website.

01:10:19   Hopefully they get it sorted out. You know, Ring was purchased by Amazon, so that may

01:10:24   be a factor there, but that may never show up in HomeKit. But hopefully someone gets

01:10:32   there with it. I don't have one of these. I'm not particularly interested in one, I

01:10:36   think but you know like I said I'm so far in the nest world my homekit stuff

01:10:41   is all basically lights and then all my cameras are nest and so I can have two

01:10:47   different places I check stuff but yeah hopefully ever like you said this is

01:10:52   kind of the last days of it being really difficult to move into homekit and

01:10:56   apples making it easier and hopefully consumers are rewarded for that with

01:11:01   more options yeah I agree cool I think that brings us to the end yeah we're

01:11:05   done even without Michael we can do a show. Yeah so if you want to find show notes

01:11:10   this week head over to the website relay.fm/connected/201

01:11:16   with us you can get in touch with us there via email you can find us on

01:11:22   Twitter. Federico is @viticci and is the editor-in-chief of Macstories.net

01:11:28   you can find me on Twitter as ismh and I write at 512pixels.net we'd like to

01:11:34   Thank our sponsors this week, Pingdom,

01:11:37   Simple Contacts, and Timing.

01:11:40   And until our next episode, Federico, say goodbye.

01:11:43   - Arrivederci. - Adios.