194: Strike a Better Balance


00:00:00   [Music]

00:00:06   From Relay FM, this is Connected, episode 194. Today's show is brought to you by

00:00:12   ButcherBox and PDFPen10 from Smile. My name is Myke Early and I am joined by

00:00:17   Federico Vittucci. Ciao Federico!

00:00:20   Ciao Myke, how are you?

00:00:22   I'm good, it's just the two of us today.

00:00:24   Steven is out on assignment today.

00:00:26   Some kind of secret project is my understanding.

00:00:30   He's always up to something, that guy.

00:00:34   Yeah, you can't trust him.

00:00:35   I think he's jacket shopping for our live show.

00:00:40   He's been buying clothes lately, like fancy clothes.

00:00:43   He's been buying lots of clothes.

00:00:46   Yeah, he is. He's a changed man.

00:00:49   Maybe he's having some kind of midlife crisis.

00:00:51   Maybe he's gonna buy a Ferrari next.

00:00:52   Three-quarter life crisis. He's old, remember.

00:00:55   (laughing)

00:00:57   - On last week's show, we introduced the life-changing

00:01:03   for all of us, Federico Vatici Ticci Leak Scale.

00:01:08   The Ticci Leak Scale was introduced.

00:01:11   And the wonderful Kate, who is @rhl_ on Twitter,

00:01:16   she drew it up for us in beautiful, just, it's wonderful.

00:01:20   So I'm gonna put it in the show notes

00:01:24   so people can go look at Kate's interpretation

00:01:27   of the tiki scale.

00:01:29   What do you think?

00:01:30   Where does Kate's interpretation of the tiki scale

00:01:33   rank on the tiki scale?

00:01:35   - This is obviously a best I love you level.

00:01:39   It's perfect.

00:01:41   The colors are perfect.

00:01:42   The little icons that indicate the extremes.

00:01:46   So there's nightmare, it's a bat.

00:01:48   Could have been a spider too,

00:01:49   because I don't like spiders, but a bat is also fine.

00:01:52   and there's a blue heart on the right side

00:01:55   where the best comma I love you is placed.

00:01:58   This is the perfect representation of my tchilik scale

00:02:03   or TLS as friends call it, yeah.

00:02:06   - I see.

00:02:07   I, until I saw this, I had forgotten

00:02:10   that inferior minus and good plus existed.

00:02:13   I'd forgotten about those,

00:02:15   but I like those very much on the scale.

00:02:18   I mean, of course, yeah.

00:02:20   So we are happy to announce that the TGLK scale system,

00:02:24   the TLS system has been franchised out

00:02:28   to other parts of our empire.

00:02:30   And you may remember last year we did the Happy-Ometer,

00:02:34   which we're going to be doing a game for WWDC

00:02:36   where on next week's episode,

00:02:38   we're going to talk about some stuff

00:02:40   that if Apple did it WWDC would make us very happy.

00:02:43   They're not predictions

00:02:44   because typically they're things

00:02:45   that we expect they won't do,

00:02:47   but we're just going to see anyway,

00:02:48   because imagine if we could get all of our hopes and dreams from the perfect WWDC.

00:02:53   That is what the Happy-Omata is going to be about.

00:02:55   And we are very excited to announce that the Happy-Omata will be graded on the Tichi Scale now.

00:03:02   - Mm-hmm, yes. - So we will be...

00:03:05   So basically, we will be giving our picks next week,

00:03:08   and then the week after, we will be grading kind of how we felt we achieved our picks on the Tichi Scale,

00:03:15   from Nightmare all the way up to Best I Love You.

00:03:18   The actual scoring parameters for how we get there yet,

00:03:21   we haven't yet decided how we convert numbers

00:03:24   to the TGLK scale, but we'll work it out in the end.

00:03:27   We'll work it out.

00:03:28   - I mean, it's obviously a decimal system.

00:03:30   - Obviously.

00:03:31   - The TGLK scale is like a unit of measure

00:03:35   and now other products in the relay empire

00:03:37   can use this system.

00:03:39   It's like the metric system, basically.

00:03:42   - So I feel like we need a rebranding

00:03:44   maybe to just the TGLK scale.

00:03:46   The tch scale, it's shorter, it's the tts,

00:03:51   the tch scale with the,

00:03:52   - The tch scale.

00:03:53   - Should we drop the, the from the,

00:03:56   or are we gonna keep this? - So it just become

00:03:58   tch scale, ts.

00:03:59   - I don't know, should we?

00:04:01   tch scale or the tch scale?

00:04:03   - We just call it ts.

00:04:04   - Ts, ts, that's.

00:04:07   (both laughing)

00:04:09   - We're gonna be ranking this on ts.

00:04:12   There we go, we found it.

00:04:14   We found it, that's it.

00:04:16   It's just TS, tchiscale, as it's known.

00:04:20   So look forward to the happyometer,

00:04:24   which we'll be grading on starting next week.

00:04:27   And of course, this is a surprise to nobody,

00:04:30   but Apple has confirmed the WWDC keynote

00:04:33   for June 4 at 10 a.m. Pacific.

00:04:37   Yeah, I know it was a surprise to you.

00:04:39   (laughing)

00:04:41   I booked the wrong flight.

00:04:43   I'm arriving on the fifth.

00:04:45   (laughing)

00:04:45   Oh my God.

00:04:46   (laughing)

00:04:48   And I just happened to be in town.

00:04:49   Oh, that's convenient.

00:04:51   - What a surprise.

00:04:52   So it is happening as expected.

00:04:54   Federico will be in the audience with his lovely badge.

00:04:59   And yeah, so I'm looking forward to next week's episode.

00:05:02   And then obviously the episode afterward,

00:05:04   we're gonna be in front of a lovely audience of people.

00:05:07   So I'm very excited about that.

00:05:08   I bought a jacket.

00:05:09   I bought a jacket and I'm still on the show.

00:05:12   Steven's buying a jacket and he had to leave.

00:05:14   It's a big thing. Stephen's hosting this year, so his jacket needs to be really good, so I understand why he's taking a week off work to get that sorted.

00:05:22   And I'm still not wearing a jacket, so I'll be the guy with the shirt, no jacket. It's too formal, too adult for me.

00:05:31   I understand. I understand.

00:05:33   So last week on the show we spoke about the 12 South... what is it called? Air... fly?

00:05:39   Air fly.

00:05:40   I just pulled that out of my brain, I feel very proud of myself.

00:05:45   And then you went ahead and bought one of them.

00:05:47   Yes, I bought one and it arrived yesterday but I only had the time to play with it today.

00:05:54   So it's basically the same size of the Belkin Rockstar, if you remember the dongle that

00:05:58   Belkin introduced last year to...

00:06:02   No, I don't think so.

00:06:05   I think that...

00:06:06   Maybe, maybe.

00:06:07   maybe. It's a little rectangle that you plug into the iPhone, the Balcon Rockstar. And

00:06:13   the AirFly is a little rectangle that you plug into devices with a headphone jack. So

00:06:19   the box comes with this dongle and two cables. One is the headphone to headphone, so basically

00:06:27   two male headphone jack plugs and one USB to USB mini for charging the AirFly. The logo

00:06:40   of the AirFly is in the front and it's actually a button that you can press. You press the

00:06:46   button and a little light starts spinning on the AirFly. Now what you do is, of course

00:06:52   there's no screen, so you cannot do the Bluetooth pairing with a user interface.

00:06:59   And what you do is you take whatever wireless headphones you want to use, whether it's the

00:07:05   AirPods or in my case I tried with the B&O E8 earbuds.

00:07:10   They're kind of like AirPods but worse and black and cheap.

00:07:16   I don't know why I still have them.

00:07:19   you just bring them close to the AirFly, you start the pairing process, and they just pair together automatically,

00:07:29   without having to confirm anything with the screen, because there is no screen in the middle.

00:07:35   So they just connect to each other, and it took like a couple of seconds, so after that I plugged the headphone jack into the AirFly,

00:07:44   fly, then into my Nintendo Switch. So there's like this dangling adapter coming out of my

00:07:51   Nintendo Switch, and I put on the wireless earbuds, and I could hear system audio from

00:07:57   my Nintendo Switch through the AirFly going to my earbuds. And that was it. So it took

00:08:05   like 10 seconds in total. And I was really happy about that, because now I can use wireless

00:08:09   headphones when I'm playing video games with my Nintendo.

00:08:13   Did you feel like the latency was good enough?

00:08:15   Oh yeah, like definitely less than a second.

00:08:20   I'm pretty sure there's actually...

00:08:22   I don't want to say there's no latency.

00:08:24   There must be some latency but it's not like... it wasn't an issue.

00:08:28   It wasn't something that I noticed.

00:08:29   So I was playing Donkey Kong and like the sound of jumping and the sound of smashing

00:08:35   your hands on the ground.

00:08:37   Like I couldn't tell that there was latency in the middle.

00:08:39   So I thought it was fine.

00:08:41   Okay, well that's good. I will, I want to try this out when we see each other soon and

00:08:48   then maybe I will think about something like this. I mean, I keep in my Nintendo Switch

00:08:53   case, I just keep an old pair of the regular AirPods, right? The AirPods, earbuds. What

00:09:00   are they? EarPods? EarPods, right?

00:09:02   EarPods.

00:09:03   EarPods? Were they called EarPods? Yes, I think they were.

00:09:06   They're pods for your ears.

00:09:08   I keep the pods on my ears, I keep just the old 3.5mm ones before they move to lightning.

00:09:15   I just have a set of those just in there in case they need it.

00:09:18   But I always have over-ear headphones with a regular 3.5mm jack in my bag anyway when

00:09:23   I'm traveling because that's just what I will use when I travel.

00:09:26   I only ever use over-ear headphones when I'm recording and when I'm traveling, like when

00:09:30   I'm on an airplane.

00:09:32   So I always have something but you know, at least it will be good to know that if I want

00:09:36   to move to an all Bluetooth lifestyle I can do that because currently Nintendo does not

00:09:41   support Bluetooth audio from the Nintendo Switch.

00:09:46   Whilst we're talking about this while we're on this I saw yesterday Belkin is selling

00:09:53   a $30 lightning to 3.5mm headphone cable which is so expensive but I guess could be useful

00:10:02   to some people like I guess you could use it for headphones. So if you had a pair of

00:10:06   headphones that you wanted to be able to plug directly into your iPhone, you could use this

00:10:11   right because you could plug the 3.5 into the headphone and then the if your headphone

00:10:16   has a removable headphone cable, and then you could plug it into your iPhone or you

00:10:21   I guess you could use it for like car stereo systems and just regular stereo systems. So

00:10:26   it's good that these cables do exist if you have a legitimate need for them, but $30 is

00:10:31   really expensive for just a cable for audio. Yeah and I don't understand

00:10:38   why this product was introduced now. Oh Apple have just allowed for this to

00:10:43   occur is what is my understanding from reading the story on The Verge that like

00:10:47   this is a very recent change to the MFI standard that's allowing companies to

00:10:53   make these. Alright then it makes sense and now Belkin is owned by Foxconn is

00:10:59   Is that correct?

00:11:00   Oh god yeah I forgot that!

00:11:02   Or at least that's a thing that could happen right?

00:11:05   I don't know if it's past regulatory stuff or whatever.

00:11:10   But yeah I totally forgotten about that.

00:11:12   Oh man yeah.

00:11:13   I mean not again, I don't really think it matters specifically but it's interesting

00:11:21   to note that.

00:11:22   I just find that to be just a continually strange thing that's occurring.

00:11:27   All right, should we take our first break?

00:11:29   Then we've got a big story to talk about

00:11:31   that you've written today.

00:11:32   - Okay, yes.

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00:12:48   It's like, "Oh man, I feel for you." When I get a contract from you, all I do is open

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00:12:57   you. I know the amount of hassle you had to go through. You had to print it, grab a pen,

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00:13:33   You can be cool just like me has to be your new tagline.

00:13:36   You can be cool just like me?

00:13:38   Yeah okay, I can work with that.

00:13:42   So you published a really big article today called Second Life and it's not about the

00:13:48   failed MMO game.

00:13:50   No, it's not about that.

00:13:52   You've not been jumping in and flying around in whatever that place was called.

00:13:58   Well that was really sad.

00:13:59   That was a very sad video game.

00:14:01   So what is this article all about?

00:14:07   Well, I think a bunch of people were able to piece it together that I was up to something this year.

00:14:16   Because I've been doing things that normally I wasn't doing before.

00:14:21   And I think we discussed this when we did the analog episode.

00:14:29   Was that in December or maybe early January?

00:14:31   I think it was early January.

00:14:33   And I told you that my plan for this year was to work on myself.

00:14:37   And then also a bunch of other projects for Mac Stories and stuff.

00:14:41   But I told you that I wanted to concentrate on just me.

00:14:46   And that was the result of a series of long conversations that I had with my girlfriend,

00:14:56   with my friends, with a bunch of people close to me. Because last year, and I talked about

00:15:02   this, I wrote about this, I hinted at this in a bunch of different places. Last year

00:15:07   was a really stressful year for me. I wasn't able, in a way it was maybe the culmination

00:15:14   of a series of mistakes that I made in the past couple of years and it resulted in levels

00:15:25   of stress and anxiety and just being unable to enjoy my job or just normal life like I

00:15:34   used to before. And I reached the tipping point, I think, after I came back from Chicago,

00:15:42   So I went to Chicago in October for the release notes conference.

00:15:45   And in between that and December, so the holidays, I realized, you know, it's absurd that I'm

00:15:53   constantly stressed and that I'm having all these thoughts about like, am I good enough

00:16:01   at my job?

00:16:02   Do people even like what I do?

00:16:05   I was constantly like obsessed, you know, with just being behind, not doing enough,

00:16:12   or just not being good enough. All those negative thoughts and what made me upset wasn't necessarily,

00:16:22   you know, being stressed. It was the fact that I was aware, like I was deeply aware

00:16:28   of the fact that I was the cause of these problems

00:16:34   and my negligence in taking better care of myself from any point of view,

00:16:41   from the physical point of view, from the mental point of view,

00:16:44   those problems were the result of ignoring signs

00:16:51   that my brain and my body had been giving me for a couple of years.

00:16:55   and I was ignoring them and I was just completely focused on working.

00:17:00   Just, I need to work, I need to do more, I need to launch this project,

00:17:03   I need to do this, I need to do that.

00:17:07   And I just drowned myself in work.

00:17:11   And in all that, there was also the awareness of,

00:17:18   I'm the cause of these problems and I don't know how to get out of this.

00:17:24   But also there was the fact that I felt bad because I wasn't appreciating the life that I was given

00:17:35   after beating cancer and going through treatments and having my first negative diagnosis,

00:17:44   which means that I was cancer-free. I felt bad because I was thinking like,

00:17:50   people die for this stuff and I didn't die but yet what am I even doing here?

00:17:57   So yeah it was a bunch of thoughts and of course, you know, there was no... we should have put a

00:18:06   disclaimer I suppose at the beginning of this segment. We're gonna talk about real stuff here.

00:18:12   Yeah this is... we put all the jacket jokes up front.

00:18:16   Yeah, yeah. So, to go back to the story, it began as a pause. I needed to take a pause from

00:18:28   work and I needed to think about what it is that I actually want. And the holidays,

00:18:39   the Christmas break, was a nice opportunity for me to just say, "I want to take a step back and

00:18:45   and I want to understand what I want.

00:18:48   And the more I thought about it, the more I realized

00:18:51   what I want is to have a better me in 2018.

00:18:56   And so I, you know, people make fun of New Year's resolutions,

00:19:02   but I made some, and I decided that I would, you know,

00:19:07   I would do whatever possible,

00:19:10   anything that I could do to improve my well-being from the psychological point of view and from

00:19:19   the physical point of view, I decided to do a bunch, to make a commitment to a bunch of

00:19:30   changes in my life. And the story that I published today is the result of those six months of

00:19:38   trying to follow, you know, with discipline and with commitment, trying to follow that plan that I

00:19:44   I don't even want to say outlined because it makes it sound like there was a document and

00:19:50   I made a list of things. It was just a series of conversations. So yeah.

00:19:55   All right so there's some we can maybe get into some details of the things that you've done but

00:20:02   I have a bunch of questions for you but I also don't want to rehash this article because I think

00:20:07   people should read it because it's very good, it's very powerful and I think that me and you talking

00:20:13   right now will not do justice to the things that you've done. I mean so like in broad strokes the

00:20:19   things that you've done is you are exercising every day, you are tracking things including

00:20:24   meditating every day and being thankful and expressing thanks, you're eating better and

00:20:31   and you're trying to not let work take over your life, right?

00:20:36   Is that like in broad strokes

00:20:37   the big changes you've made?

00:20:39   - Yes, that is a good description, yes.

00:20:42   - 'Cause I don't wanna go into all of the details

00:20:44   'cause I really think people should read the article,

00:20:46   but I have a bunch of questions for you,

00:20:49   having been thinking about this too

00:20:51   and just hearing you kind of talk then,

00:20:53   that maybe we'll touch on a few of those things,

00:20:55   but I think that's kind of the context

00:20:58   is like Federico has made some conscious decisions

00:21:01   and has been doing this stuff for six months

00:21:03   about getting healthier in all aspects of his life.

00:21:06   So you mentioned at the beginning

00:21:09   when you were talking there about having conversations

00:21:12   with your partner and with your friends.

00:21:16   And I kind of wanted to know,

00:21:18   were those conversations strained conversations?

00:21:22   Like were those conversations people saying to you,

00:21:25   Federico, you need to get your life in order?

00:21:29   - Yeah, especially from my girlfriend

00:21:32   and especially from friends that are really close to me.

00:21:36   They were totally honest in the sense that

00:21:41   sometimes you need another person to tell you

00:21:48   what are you doing?

00:21:49   Don't you realize that, you don't realize your luck

00:21:54   and you don't realize how fortunate you are

00:21:58   that you're still here, essentially,

00:22:03   and you can make a change, and yet you're not.

00:22:08   And so, especially when they're coming from,

00:22:14   even from a couple of friends,

00:22:17   that they told me, "You need to understand

00:22:22   "that if you're not gonna do this,

00:22:27   you will, maybe eventually you will even lost your job in the sense that you will hate what

00:22:35   you do unless you find a better balance. And so yeah, they were not pleasant conversations.

00:22:43   I mean, I think we've all been there to an aspect, you know, at different parts of our lives. I want

00:22:51   I want to understand from you though about work.

00:22:53   Like, what is the change to work?

00:22:56   Like, what, in kind of in broad terms,

00:22:59   what is, what's happening, what's different?

00:23:01   - In a way, nothing and everything is different.

00:23:06   It's, it's more about how I approach work.

00:23:11   Because I'm still doing the same things, right?

00:23:15   Still writing about apps and sometimes personal stuff.

00:23:18   I'm still doing podcasts.

00:23:20   Yes, there's a few things that I'm delegating more.

00:23:24   For example, if you take a look at Mac stories this week,

00:23:26   there's a bunch of app reviews that I didn't write.

00:23:29   So that is not even necessarily a change,

00:23:32   because I was doing that before.

00:23:34   It's more in how I approach being a creator that

00:23:43   works from home.

00:23:46   So for example, in the evening, I

00:23:49   try not to open email anymore. And I don't have notifications for email anymore. And

00:23:56   I, when I'm taking a walk with the dogs or I'm going shopping with Sylvia, I don't check

00:24:03   my phone anymore. It's more about trying to control the, my natural impulse to constantly

00:24:15   be checking for things that relate to work. So, over the years, I, like many other people

00:24:25   that do this kind of stuff, I just got used to always be checking my email, always be

00:24:31   checking my tweets, my mentions, my RSS feeds. And being an independent creator became what

00:24:41   was a great... it's a great fortune because I'm able to do what I love, but it's also

00:24:45   my problem in the sense that any moment is a good moment to think about work. So it's

00:24:52   more about in the change, I guess, it's in the restraint, in trying to force myself,

00:25:01   because I'm naturally driven to always think about work and do something for work, to say

00:25:08   No, you're not supposed to be working now.

00:25:10   And that's been really, really difficult.

00:25:13   Now I'm assuming that a lot of the reasons that you did stuff like having notifications

00:25:20   on and checking your phone was out of a fear of missing something, right?

00:25:26   So in the six months nearly that you've been doing this, have you missed anything?

00:25:31   Have you missed anything that has been critically important?

00:25:34   Exactly.

00:25:35   Alright, then that's it, right?

00:25:38   And I think deep down we all know this, right?

00:25:41   We feel like we have to be plugged in and it turns out that maybe it's not so critical

00:25:46   after all.

00:25:48   This isn't about me and I'm not going to make it about me because I don't want to talk about

00:25:51   this today but I've been making some changes in the way that my phone notifies me and my

00:25:58   devices notify me that I've not yet worked out yet but it's in some similar vein of like

00:26:06   having this feeling like I need to be constantly notified of everything that's going on and

00:26:14   then actually turning it off and just checking does everything burn down if I do this or

00:26:19   does it actually turn out to just be okay. But I'm still working through a lot of that

00:26:23   stuff myself anyway. Do you think that this new approach to life and work is going to

00:26:30   change or affect how you work this summer?

00:26:32   - Oh, that's a good question.

00:26:34   - 'Cause this is the unhealthiest time of the year for you.

00:26:37   - Yeah, well, I already promised myself

00:26:42   that this year I am not going to be working

00:26:48   on a new design for the review on the site.

00:26:52   - Oh, that's a good idea.

00:26:54   - Yeah, because I thought about this,

00:26:55   like there's no point in changing the design every year.

00:26:58   - No, I was really surprised when you did it last year,

00:27:02   because it felt like the year before,

00:27:04   it was like, well, this is how reviews are gonna look.

00:27:06   And then you were like,

00:27:07   oh, look at all my new design stuff.

00:27:08   And it was a surprise to me at the time,

00:27:10   because I was surprised at how much work

00:27:12   you'd taken on again.

00:27:14   - Yeah, exactly.

00:27:15   And I was looking at my,

00:27:16   so over the past few months,

00:27:18   I needed to reference my iOS 11 review multiple times.

00:27:22   And every time I opened the review

00:27:23   and I used the table of contents

00:27:26   and the navigation between chapters,

00:27:28   I thought, you know, this is really convenient.

00:27:30   I don't think I need to change this.

00:27:32   There's a couple of features that I would love to offer,

00:27:34   but I don't wanna do that this year.

00:27:37   I don't wanna put that amount of work,

00:27:39   that workload on me, on our designer,

00:27:42   on our developer again,

00:27:43   and I just wanna focus on writing.

00:27:45   But also, I'm sort of artificially,

00:27:49   well, not artificially,

00:27:51   I committed to a bunch of,

00:27:55   to a project and to a trip outside of Italy

00:28:01   at the beginning of the summer,

00:28:04   which are going to force me in a way

00:28:07   not to work on the review for basically a month.

00:28:11   And that means, and there's nothing I can do about it

00:28:13   because there's a project that we're working on for the site

00:28:16   and there's this vacation that I'm taking with Silvia

00:28:19   and it's happening and there's nothing I can do.

00:28:23   So it means that I will have July and August

00:28:26   to work on the review.

00:28:27   But also I wanna go on other vacations.

00:28:33   So it's going to be sort of like a return

00:28:36   to the old and healthier days of,

00:28:41   you're not gonna be working on a review for three months

00:28:43   because it's gonna produce this massive essay

00:28:48   that some people don't want to read,

00:28:51   and also it's not healthy for you.

00:28:53   And then it sounds likely that iOS 12

00:28:57   is not going to be another iOS 11 type of release.

00:29:01   So it seems like a perfect moment

00:29:03   to scale back my ambitions.

00:29:05   I'm still gonna be doing a long-form review,

00:29:08   and it's still gonna be maybe 30, 40,000-something words,

00:29:13   But I strongly believe that this approach of you,

00:29:18   I work better under pressure anyway,

00:29:24   and I think I'm in a better place.

00:29:27   I think I have a different mindset to approach this stuff.

00:29:33   I know that I'm gonna get it done,

00:29:35   and I feel positive that I'm gonna produce

00:29:37   something that is good.

00:29:38   So I am trying not to obsess over it,

00:29:42   try not to agonize over the thought of,

00:29:45   "Oh my God, there's a new version of iOS coming

00:29:47   and I need to work on the review."

00:29:49   It'll get done.

00:29:50   I don't know how.

00:29:50   I don't know how big it'll be, but it'll happen.

00:29:54   So I'm sorry that I don't have any more specifics for you,

00:29:58   but I think it'll, you know,

00:30:01   it's gonna be okay.

00:30:05   - I mean, when I'm hearing this,

00:30:07   I'm thinking it will be more like your iOS 9 and iOS 10 review than your, well maybe

00:30:16   your iOS 8 and iOS 9 reviewed in your iOS 10 and iOS 11.

00:30:20   >> iOS 9, yeah.

00:30:22   >> Which were like, they were big, but they weren't, let me tell you about every feature.

00:30:26   Right, because the last two, they have been more exhaustive, but it wasn't like they were

00:30:33   short before.

00:30:35   No, and I want to focus more, if possible, on explaining what I think about features

00:30:48   rather than presenting a list of all the features and all the possible details.

00:30:54   And I learned a lot from the iOS 10 and iOS 11 reviews.

00:30:58   I know that if I want to, I can describe APIs in detail,

00:31:03   and I can describe what developers can do

00:31:08   to people in normal English.

00:31:11   I know that I can do that, but also,

00:31:13   I don't wanna be, you know, if you wanna read about APIs,

00:31:17   you should go read the developer documentation.

00:31:20   There's a, I should strike, I think, a better balance

00:31:23   between producing a review for the people.

00:31:26   I would personally like to see you return closer

00:31:30   to the Federico Vittucci scale on this,

00:31:33   not just a scale of review.

00:31:36   I would like to see you go closer back towards Federico

00:31:40   than you have been towards Syracuse.

00:31:42   And Syracuse's reviews, they're incredible,

00:31:45   but they are like reference, a lot of it, right?

00:31:48   And I feel like that you have done an incredible job

00:31:51   of creating effectively reference guides, right?

00:31:54   As well as the review, right?

00:31:55   So there's a lot of thought in there,

00:31:57   but there's also a lot of like,

00:31:58   here is how this thing works.

00:32:01   And I just don't know if you need to do that.

00:32:04   - Yeah, yeah, I agree.

00:32:06   And like I said, I learned a lot from that process.

00:32:11   And to an extent, it's not even something that I enjoy,

00:32:16   especially following throughout multiple betas

00:32:21   during the summer, like, oh, this API changed,

00:32:24   then I also need to change my view.

00:32:26   It's not something that I enjoy.

00:32:27   I enjoy, I like explaining the effect of technology

00:32:32   on how we use computers and how we use apps.

00:32:38   I don't enjoy explaining code to people.

00:32:41   I can do it, and I think I'm pretty good at it if I want to,

00:32:45   but it's not something I love.

00:32:47   And so I agree with you.

00:32:48   I should go, I should strike a better balance

00:32:51   between having long form, but also staying true

00:32:55   to what I like to write about.

00:32:58   - Yeah, I'm excited about that.

00:33:00   I'm pleased.

00:33:00   I mean, I will enjoy whatever you write,

00:33:05   but like I am happy to skip less, right?

00:33:10   Like I would skip more of these reviews

00:33:13   because it's like, okay, so we're getting

00:33:15   into the business chat API, right?

00:33:18   Well, I actually don't care about that.

00:33:19   How drag and drop works behind the scenes.

00:33:22   Yeah, I mean I couldn't skip any of it last time.

00:33:25   Yeah.

00:33:26   Which would have been awkward for us if I would have just skipped huge chunks of your

00:33:30   review.

00:33:31   I'm not going to be reading this.

00:33:33   And this is the same as how I would read John Siracusa's reviews as well, where it's like

00:33:37   I would read the stuff I was interested in plus all of the analysis, but digging deep

00:33:42   into how X, Y and Z works, if it's not a feature that really affects me, I would just skip

00:33:48   it. That's not what I'm coming to these things for. I'm coming to them for entertainment

00:33:55   and information, not just straight up information. So I'm intrigued to see what that balance

00:34:02   ends up looking like for you this year. But just returning to what's actually in the story

00:34:08   that you've written. It seems like the Apple Watch has been incredibly useful to you throughout

00:34:16   especially the exercise part, but do you think you could have done this without

00:34:20   the Apple Watch? Yes, for sure I could have. Just like, I think there's a good

00:34:29   analogy here, just like I could work with a Mac, you know, instead of an iPad,

00:34:35   instead of my iPhone, I could work out without my Apple Watch. I could use a

00:34:40   Fitbit or I could use, I don't know, whatever it is that people, Garmin or

00:34:44   or something, I could use something else.

00:34:47   But I wouldn't enjoy the process.

00:34:49   But also, I think there's a point in the story

00:34:53   where when I say, you know, the Apple Watch is just a tool.

00:34:57   If you don't want to exercise, or if you're finding excuses

00:35:04   not to exercise, or if you think it's something

00:35:06   that it's not for you, the Apple Watch

00:35:08   is not gonna fix that.

00:35:09   It's not like you put on the Apple Watch

00:35:12   suddenly you want to work out.

00:35:14   There's an initial motivation,

00:35:17   there's the initial, there's the novelty effect of,

00:35:21   oh yeah, I want to close my rings now

00:35:22   and I want to get my badges.

00:35:24   But ultimately it comes down to wanting to exercise

00:35:27   and wanting to improve.

00:35:29   It's like a bug that you need to catch.

00:35:33   It's like, it's a thing that needs to

00:35:37   stay in your brain at all times.

00:35:40   Like, you know, I was never the fitness type person.

00:35:45   And honestly, I'm surprised that I've ended up

00:35:55   in this place of, like, if I don't work out every morning,

00:35:59   it's not that I get upset, but I can feel

00:36:03   that I'm more irritated, that I missed something.

00:36:08   missed something. It's like, I don't know, I can feel that I didn't do something

00:36:16   that is important to me. And I was never like this, right? I was never this type of

00:36:21   this type of kid when I was younger, I was never this type of person. But I

00:36:25   reached the point where I realized, you know, I need to do this because it's

00:36:32   important and I don't wanna, at the same time I don't wanna, I didn't wanna do stuff like

00:36:39   following like an aggressive diet, I didn't wanna be frustrated and funnily enough what

00:36:49   clicked for me was one of the challenges from the activity app that you get with the Apple

00:36:56   watching on the special badges. In February there was the Heart Month

00:37:00   challenge from February 8th to February 14th, that's on Valentine's Day, and I

00:37:09   followed the requirements to unlock the challenge and I got the badge and then I

00:37:15   don't know, it kind of, I never stopped. And yes I could do this without the

00:37:21   Apple Watch and sometimes I work out without my Apple Watch and it's fine, but

00:37:25   But what I like about wearing the watch is that there's this little fun aspect of, you

00:37:33   know, I can share my activity with Kyle's the Grey.

00:37:37   I can, and he's a monster.

00:37:39   Yeah, he's a terrible person to share activity with.

00:37:42   I would just straight up refuse it.

00:37:45   It's actually been like a fantastic motivation for me.

00:37:48   And like, you know, when you do workouts and when you unlock achievements, if you share

00:37:56   the activity with someone else, they can see that you did that and they can send you a

00:38:01   response.

00:38:02   And Kyle, like, he constantly sends me like thumbs up or messages, you know, of encouragement.

00:38:09   He's been really nice and it's, you know, honestly, being able to share the activity

00:38:13   with somebody like him, you know, super athletic guy and, you know, he does a lot of different

00:38:18   types of exercise. It's been a great motivation for me, and it's, you know, so

00:38:23   I'm thankful for that feature because it really works. And ultimately I

00:38:29   think that I could do this without a watch, but there's a little part of my

00:38:36   brain that wants this aspect of you're doing this for you and you're gonna keep

00:38:44   doing this no matter what. If you lose your watch or if your watch breaks

00:38:47   you're still gonna be working out in the morning. But if you can, this is enjoyable, right? Being

00:38:54   able to track and closing the rings and unlocking the badges, it's a little fun thing on the side

00:38:59   that sweetens the deal in a way. This is what gamification is about. I mean, it's become a

00:39:05   dirty word over time, but like the Apple Watch is gamifying health for you because it gives you

00:39:10   badges and awards and it shares stuff with your friends. This is the basics of gamification.

00:39:15   And when done well, it does work. That's why it exists, right? And you have gamified your health.

00:39:22   And that's excellent because that is clearly clicked for you because you are now healthier

00:39:28   than you've been in years. Yeah, but I want to stress though how you need to have motivation

00:39:37   to do this. I think if you don't want to improve, really, if deep down you just want to try the

00:39:47   fancy features of the Apple Watch, it's not a strategy that will work out over time.

00:39:54   The Apple Watch is just a tool on the side. Even though I consider the Apple Watch an essential

00:40:01   device for me at this point because I love what it helps me do every day. It's

00:40:09   working out and exercising and losing weight and you know all this fitness and

00:40:15   health stuff is something that I want and yeah I think you shouldn't use the

00:40:24   Apple Watch as your primary reason to do this. It's something that you need to

00:40:28   to want yourself, then you can use the Apple Watch. It's a balance that I think it's important

00:40:35   to keep in mind.

00:40:37   I have one last question for you before we move on. So you've gone through this journey

00:40:42   and you're kind of well into it now, like it's not really a thing that you're still

00:40:48   kind of working out, like you know what all this means for you. And you're, you know,

00:40:54   I kind of glossed over it, but there is also other parts of the psychological side where

00:40:58   like you're meditating and trying to ground yourself more frequently.

00:41:04   What is more important to you, the physical side or the mental side?

00:41:08   Like what do you take the most time on?

00:41:09   What do you make the most concerted effort with?

00:41:12   I think both of them.

00:41:13   They are two sides of the same...

00:41:19   It's like the two hemispheres of the brain.

00:41:22   cannot, well some people can detach them. Remember the CGP Grey video.

00:41:29   But like, okay so let me pose a hypothetical to you, right? Like something's

00:41:33   happened in a day and you only have a very small window of time left in your

00:41:38   day in which you can complete something and it's either a workout or you can

00:41:42   meditate. In a real strained situation which one do you think that you would

00:41:48   gravitate towards?

00:41:51   That's a really tough question.

00:41:52   I know.

00:41:54   It depends.

00:41:56   So if something happens because somebody upsets me, but it's something trivial, like I don't

00:42:06   know, I get in a fight with somebody while I'm stuck in traffic, something stupid and

00:42:12   silly, I'm gonna be working out.

00:42:14   it calms me down and it relieves stress. But if it's something deeper, like I get in a

00:42:23   fight with a close friend or my girlfriend or if it's something about work, I'm probably

00:42:29   going to be meditating a bunch or taking a walk or talking to someone. I think actually,

00:42:39   Honestly, while the exercise stuff is more fun,

00:42:44   and it's more fun to do, it's more fun to write about,

00:42:49   because I get to talk about the Apple Watch

00:42:50   and sensors and apps, the mental aspect, I think,

00:42:54   was more important for me.

00:42:57   Just realizing all this was way more important for me.

00:43:01   And the...

00:43:05   Like, I'm not exaggerating when I say that I feel like a new person, just in the sense

00:43:15   of how I have this thought.

00:43:21   It's like I keep thinking about it every day.

00:43:25   That my... and this is gonna sound so grandiose and aspirational, but it's what I feel.

00:43:35   I have a mission to bring good stuff into the world, whatever it is.

00:43:41   Whether it's a good time with friends or producing stories that people enjoy or shows that people like to listen to.

00:43:50   My mission is to bring good stuff into this planet.

00:43:55   Because I was given a second chance and this is my way to give back.

00:43:59   And it's, of course, it's a thought, it's something that it's in my mind that I need to nurture and to take care of.

00:44:07   I need to protect this thought, you know, in any way possible.

00:44:11   And so, exercising and, you know, the physical aspect is essential, of course.

00:44:19   but I think that in my case, mental health and my psychological well-being was way more important

00:44:31   to fix whatever I was going through these past couple of years.

00:44:38   Does this answer your question?

00:44:41   It does answer my question.

00:44:43   And I think maybe for you, the way it seems is,

00:44:47   you could only ever get on the road to physical health

00:44:51   once you've started to take better care

00:44:53   of your mental health.

00:44:54   - I think so.

00:44:56   - That those things go together for a lot of people

00:44:58   and it changes for different people,

00:45:00   but it seems like for you, the mental side had to come first

00:45:03   before you could follow up with the physical side.

00:45:06   teaching, I'm so proud of you.

00:45:08   - Thank you.

00:45:10   - You're an inspiration to me.

00:45:12   and I love you very much,

00:45:13   and I think that you've done an incredible thing,

00:45:16   and sharing it with the world is even more so.

00:45:20   So I'm very proud of you.

00:45:22   - I love you too, thank you.

00:45:24   - All right, let's take a break,

00:45:25   and then we'll talk about some apps or some crap, right?

00:45:27   Let's just talk about apps again.

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00:48:08   All right, Federico, I want to talk to you about Spark too.

00:48:11   Spark is an email application that's been around for many years at this point and has been updated

00:48:18   relatively consistently since, but has been, as we've spoken about before,

00:48:24   it's been missing some features on the iOS that the Mac has had, etc, etc.

00:48:28   but it's made by Reedle, they're like a well-known developer, they've got a bunch of applications

00:48:33   like documents and was it PDF expert they make too, right?

00:48:37   Yeah, that's correct. Yes. So they've just updated Spark to Spark 2 and really Spark 2

00:48:47   is email for teams and we'll get to that in a minute but there are some features for individual

00:48:54   users. If you are just a one-person individual, you receive your personal email through Spark,

00:49:02   what changes can you expect to see in Spark 2? So there's basically two main changes. One of them is

00:49:11   that finally the same integrations will be third-party apps and services that you get on the

00:49:18   Mac. Now you can use them on iOS as well. So you can save your emails to Things or

00:49:24   OmniFocus or Todoist. It works the same way as it does on the Mac. So you can get

00:49:31   a... you can take a message and share to your task manager for example and you

00:49:37   can set some parameters beforehand. So like you can say it set the title of the

00:49:42   task and the date for a reminder and the task will have a link back to the

00:49:47   original message in Spark so that you can even archive the message, then tap the link

00:49:52   from your task manager and you will get to the original message anyway, even if it's

00:49:56   been moved or archived or whatever.

00:49:58   So that's convenient.

00:50:00   And then you can also generate public links to email messages.

00:50:08   So this is not the first, Spark is not the first app to have this feature.

00:50:12   Polymail, which is another business-y type of email app and service for teams, has the

00:50:18   same functionality.

00:50:19   What you can do is, essentially, you can generate a public web page that represents the email

00:50:28   message.

00:50:29   And it's a way to publish an email message on the web and share the link with somebody

00:50:33   else.

00:50:34   So if I get an interesting email about a new app, and Myke is not part of my Mac stories

00:50:40   team in Spark, I can generate, and I don't want to forward the message to Myke, I can

00:50:46   just generate a link to the message and send the link to Myke and Myke will open the message

00:50:50   in Safari or Chrome and he will be able to look at a web copy of the email message.

00:50:58   And I know that, I'm not sure how you feel about this Myke.

00:51:01   I have a quick question for you before I tell you how I feel about it.

00:51:05   The links that are generated for integrations, right?

00:51:08   So you can, like the link that takes you from Todoist

00:51:11   back to Spark, are they public links?

00:51:14   - No, those are traditional URL schemes.

00:51:17   - Okay, so it's all local. - Riddle, spark,

00:51:18   column, slash, slash, yeah.

00:51:20   - Okay, that's good.

00:51:21   - Those are local links, yeah.

00:51:23   - So here's my thing.

00:51:24   The public links thing,

00:51:25   I can see how they could be useful, right?

00:51:27   And my understanding is that they can be easily deleted

00:51:31   and there are some flexible sharing options too, right?

00:51:34   - Yes. - Is that right?

00:51:35   - Yeah, if you pay for the premium stuff,

00:51:40   I mean, you can always delete them.

00:51:41   So that's, of course, a feature that you have for free.

00:51:45   The additional controls are that you can choose

00:51:49   whether just you or just your team

00:51:53   can open a link to that message.

00:51:58   - Okay.

00:51:59   - But otherwise, it's a public link,

00:52:01   So you generate the link and then if you want to remove it from the web, you can delete the link.

00:52:08   So I understand that using apps like Spark and I believe apps like Airmail, I think basically any app that gives push notifications,

00:52:18   I know that there is an element of email being stored or passed through the servers of that company.

00:52:24   Right. Am I right in thinking that? Like if a company wants to provide push notifications, it has to go through them somehow.

00:52:30   Yeah, I mean there has to be some way to tell when you get a new message here.

00:52:37   So I mean I also know, because I'm not a dummy, I know that some of my email is being stored

00:52:44   for a period of time, I don't know the details because whatever, I know that there's stuff

00:52:48   being stored with ReAdore, right?

00:52:52   And you make that choice yourself and I think that you can go in and read the privacy policy

00:52:58   or you can just, as I always say, you make your trade-offs, however you make your trade-offs.

00:53:05   But on the surface, I don't like this public link thing because it makes it too real for

00:53:11   me. I know this sounds ridiculous and I know people are going to hate this, but all I can

00:53:15   do is talk honestly. There's just something about being able to create an email on a website

00:53:24   owned by another company that's like, it makes it feel more real than I want to about where

00:53:31   my email is actually going. Does that make sense?

00:53:34   Yeah, totally. It's maybe a step too far.

00:53:39   Yeah, it's like, I know this is happening, but don't show it to me.

00:53:44   I don't want to know.

00:53:46   Let me forget about the fact that this is happening. And again, I don't believe necessarily

00:53:53   that they're doing anything nefarious and I don't want to put that out there because

00:53:57   if I thought that I wouldn't use their application. But there's still just an element of like

00:54:02   in this world that we live in right now I just don't want to know what you're doing

00:54:07   if you're being okay with it. I know I'm talking very peculiarly here but there's just this

00:54:12   disconnect that I prefer to have sometimes just because it helps me sleep at night, right?

00:54:19   And just...

00:54:20   It's like, I think a good metaphor could be that you, a meal that you enjoy, but maybe

00:54:29   is prepared in some way that you don't want to know.

00:54:32   Yeah, it's the idea of you never want to visit the factory before your food is made.

00:54:37   Exactly.

00:54:38   This is what that is.

00:54:40   Thank you for doing that for me.

00:54:41   That is the perfect way of describing it.

00:54:43   Like, I, sometimes it's just best not to see.

00:54:46   And this just feels like one of those things.

00:54:50   I think one of the biggest disappointments for me with Spark is that there are no visual

00:54:54   changes to the app.

00:54:56   And I say this because I don't like the way that Spark looks.

00:55:02   Email is a professional thing for me.

00:55:04   It's where my work is done mostly.

00:55:07   And Spark doesn't feel professional.

00:55:10   It feels too fun and it doesn't really have any strong customisation options to allow

00:55:18   me to tweak it in any way.

00:55:20   Where apps like Mail and Airmail and Outlook and Edison all look way more professional

00:55:30   where Spark is on a different end and I personally don't think it adds anything by trying to

00:55:35   be more fun in its design.

00:55:38   It has a bunch of things that I really like, there are a lot of buttons and the user experience

00:55:43   is very good in some places, but I'm not a big fan of their user interface, especially

00:55:49   the kind of inbox view.

00:55:52   I don't like this colored bar on the side, especially on the iPad and these floating

00:55:58   windows, I just don't like it.

00:55:59   It's too heavy-handed for me.

00:56:02   - Mm-hmm, yeah, I can see that.

00:56:04   It doesn't have a professional look

00:56:08   in the traditional sense.

00:56:09   You know, it's very colorful, very custom.

00:56:12   Also, at the same time,

00:56:13   like it doesn't follow some iOS UI conventions.

00:56:17   Like it's got its own share sheet and it's a custom one,

00:56:20   and it can look strange in places.

00:56:23   So I think I understand what you're saying.

00:56:26   - But let's talk about what's actually big and new

00:56:29   in this app, which is the Teams stuff.

00:56:31   So this is broken down into three different things, right?

00:56:35   Message sharing, chatting and communicating with teams

00:56:38   and real-time collaboration.

00:56:40   So from what I understand, the message sharing,

00:56:44   you're able to, once you set up a team,

00:56:48   which can be done in a couple of different ways,

00:56:50   you can then take a message,

00:56:54   and so if we're on the same team,

00:56:56   I could look at a message in my inbox,

00:56:59   press a couple of buttons and share it with you, right?

00:57:02   - Right, yes.

00:57:03   - Now, what does that actually mean though?

00:57:06   Like then what happens?

00:57:07   That we both see it in our inboxes?

00:57:09   Like what happens next?

00:57:11   - So what happens is this is a proprietary feature

00:57:16   that is not a traditional email forward.

00:57:20   And what you do is you take a message

00:57:22   that was addressed to you

00:57:24   and was not addressed to the other person.

00:57:27   and you share the message with the other person,

00:57:30   which means it lands in the other person's Spark inbox.

00:57:35   It does not show up in the actual email service inbox.

00:57:41   It's tied to the Spark application.

00:57:46   So if you share a message with me,

00:57:50   I will not see the message in Apple Mail

00:57:52   or Gmail or Fastmail, whatever.

00:57:55   I will only see the message in Spark.

00:57:57   And it's a custom feature built on top of email

00:58:01   that, you know, again, it's something that other services

00:58:06   have done before, I believe.

00:58:08   There's a bunch of similar services called Missive

00:58:10   and Front and Polymail.

00:58:12   But I think Spark, you know, it's more,

00:58:15   you know, it's more popular in our community, in the iOS.

00:58:21   - Has a higher profile.

00:58:22   - Has a higher profile in the Apple community.

00:58:25   Of course, it's a well-known company.

00:58:26   So we're talking about it now.

00:58:28   But yeah, it's a custom thing.

00:58:32   - So like this is another thing where it's like,

00:58:35   okay, you're making it very clear to me at this point

00:58:37   where my email is going, right?

00:58:39   If this only shows up in Spark,

00:58:41   obviously you're getting my email in some way.

00:58:44   But this is where that trade off thing comes into play.

00:58:47   Where it's like, I'm thinking about this and I'm like, huh,

00:58:50   that would be super useful for me.

00:58:52   So I share email especially

00:58:55   with my advertising sales manager, right,

00:58:58   that we have here at Real AFM.

00:59:00   So it's a slight step up from assistant.

00:59:03   She helps me with advertising sales.

00:59:05   That's a big thing that we do now

00:59:07   and we get a lot of people that email us

00:59:09   and I wanna share leads that come in with her

00:59:13   because I don't need to pick them all up anymore

00:59:16   and the way we're currently doing it is I forward it

00:59:18   and then she has to delete a bunch of stuff

00:59:21   and reply.

00:59:22   Yeah.

00:59:23   So wouldn't it be lovely, and yes it would, if I could just take that email and

00:59:27   just send it to her.

00:59:28   And then she just replies to it and it looks normal.

00:59:30   And that seems like a really good thing.

00:59:35   But it locks us both into Spark everywhere.

00:59:39   And that's where it starts to get a bit tricky.

00:59:42   Where it's like, do I want to be locked in?

00:59:43   I don't know.

00:59:44   Because I've never really liked Spark that much anyway.

00:59:48   So like, but now will I get enough value out of it

00:59:53   that it makes sense for me?

00:59:55   So like, I think we're gonna try it.

00:59:57   I think that's something, I think I wanna give it a go

01:00:00   and see if it's like, well, am I willing to overlook

01:00:02   some of the things I don't like about the application

01:00:05   in exchange for what would be

01:00:06   some just really genuine usefulness?

01:00:09   And then the other part of it is,

01:00:12   we can have a conversation along the side of the email,

01:00:17   which is not part of the email, right?

01:00:19   You can kind of chat to the people

01:00:21   that you share the messages with.

01:00:22   - Yeah, you can also do that.

01:00:24   It's basically like a mini iMessage

01:00:28   built right into the thread view.

01:00:32   So like you can chat with your teammates

01:00:35   without of course the person on the other side

01:00:38   of the conversation knowing that you're chatting.

01:00:41   And it's, you know, initially I thought it's like,

01:00:43   this is insane.

01:00:44   I don't wanna have like a mini Slack into my email.

01:00:47   But then it kinda, I kinda understood why it's there.

01:00:50   It's like if something comes in

01:00:53   and it's addressed to a bunch of people,

01:00:55   I don't have to go on Slack and say,

01:00:58   hey, by the way, did you see the message

01:01:01   that we got from Steven today?

01:01:03   Do you want to respond to that person?

01:01:05   Right into the email, I can say @Ryan,

01:01:08   can you respond to them?

01:01:09   And it's contextual to the place where we're doing email.

01:01:14   - Yeah, it requires less context,

01:01:16   'cause I'm doing this all the time as well,

01:01:19   where I'm like, did you see that message I just sent you?

01:01:22   Oh, which one of those three that you just sent me

01:01:24   are you referring to?

01:01:25   And it's like, that's where a lot of this frustration

01:01:28   comes in, and it's why this actually does seem

01:01:29   like a useful thing.

01:01:31   So are you notified about these in any way though?

01:01:34   - Yes, but this is one of the downsides

01:01:39   that I mentioned in my story yesterday.

01:01:42   There are no granular notifications.

01:01:45   So as I told you, I keep email notifications disabled.

01:01:50   But in doing that, I also miss notifications for messages,

01:01:55   which is insane because I should be able to tell,

01:01:59   look, don't give me email notifications,

01:02:01   but tell me when my teammates message me

01:02:04   because emails and messages, the chat feature,

01:02:09   those are two separate things.

01:02:10   I know that they come from the same application,

01:02:12   but they are two different messaging protocols.

01:02:15   So I would love to be able to say

01:02:17   no email message notifications,

01:02:19   but yes, messages from my teammates.

01:02:22   And right now that feature is unfortunately

01:02:25   missing from Spark 2.

01:02:26   - Yeah, I hope they add that.

01:02:27   That seems like an obvious one to add to me

01:02:29   because I would maybe want to set up the same, right?

01:02:33   Like there are a lot of benefits

01:02:35   to being able to separate those things

01:02:37   'cause they are technically different

01:02:38   because you wanna know when your team's talking to you.

01:02:41   You don't necessarily want to know

01:02:43   every time an email comes in.

01:02:45   - Exactly, right? - Yeah.

01:02:46   - And then there's also the real-time collaborative stuff.

01:02:48   How well does this work?

01:02:50   - Oh yeah.

01:02:51   - How well does it actually work?

01:02:52   - It works well.

01:02:54   It's slightly slower than Google Docs,

01:02:57   but it's surprisingly solid.

01:03:01   Honestly, I tried it with John.

01:03:05   we composed an email message together and it worked fine.

01:03:09   My problem, not a problem, but just my skepticism maybe,

01:03:13   is that if I ever reach the point

01:03:15   where I need three people to help me

01:03:19   writing an email message,

01:03:20   something has gone terribly wrong with me.

01:03:22   (laughing)

01:03:24   It means that I've lost my mind

01:03:29   and I don't even know what I'm doing anymore.

01:03:30   - You know what I hadn't thought about until now?

01:03:32   When does that ever happen?

01:03:34   that like multiple people need to be in the Compose view.

01:03:38   - You tell me, Myke, you used to work at a bank

01:03:41   with a bunch of business type people.

01:03:45   Is that a thing that people do?

01:03:46   Let me collaborate on an email with you.

01:03:48   - No, that's, I mean, at most like one person,

01:03:51   but like, I don't know if you need to be doing that

01:03:53   in the Compose view of your email.

01:03:56   I feel like not all four of us need to be typing

01:04:01   at the same time.

01:04:01   So all right, this email needs four paragraphs.

01:04:04   will all work on one of them individually.

01:04:06   You know, I just realized that like this,

01:04:09   that honestly feels like a waste of resources.

01:04:11   Like it's just a whiz bang feature.

01:04:14   Like it looks good in a demo,

01:04:15   but who actually needs that?

01:04:17   Like I take listeners,

01:04:20   if you know of a use case for like three or more people

01:04:23   to be working on an email at the same time,

01:04:26   please let us know what that is.

01:04:28   - If we do this, you Myke are in charge

01:04:31   of my email signatures from now on.

01:04:33   When I compose a message, I want you to take care of my signature.

01:04:36   All right, I'm fine with that.

01:04:38   I have free time, president of special business, the creator, all these things, so many things.

01:04:46   I think one of the biggest changes here for Spark and one of the things that actually

01:04:50   makes me happy about all of this is that they finally have a legitimate business model,

01:04:55   where previously Spark was just, "Oh, it's free," and then maybe one day we'll charge

01:04:59   you for something, and then that day never came.

01:05:02   But now they have a business model where there is a lot of stuff that you get for free.

01:05:08   So it's free for individuals and there's a core team functionality.

01:05:11   What is that?

01:05:12   It means that you can basically use the service for free as long as you have a small team.

01:05:18   So for free you get five gigabytes of chat storage, because you can also attach images

01:05:28   and documents for the whole team.

01:05:31   Whereas if you pay for the premium stuff, you get 10 gigabytes per user.

01:05:36   So there's a big difference.

01:05:39   But then again, are you going to be using this as a Slack alternative?

01:05:42   You're going to be sharing a lot of heavy files here?

01:05:46   I don't know.

01:05:47   It depends on how much you want to chat in your email.

01:05:51   And also, with the core team, you can only collaborate.

01:05:55   Only three people can collaborate on an email message.

01:05:58   So compose your messages wisely because it's only three people.

01:06:04   Take care.

01:06:05   Take care now.

01:06:07   And what else?

01:06:09   Yeah.

01:06:10   Oh, and these are actually important.

01:06:12   You get no controls over the link sharing.

01:06:16   So it's either public or deleted.

01:06:19   You cannot say just me or just my team.

01:06:21   I feel if you're doing the link sharing for any seriousness, you should pay because I

01:06:26   I think even though there is like a security through obscurity thing, I just think that

01:06:31   it's best to have some control over that.

01:06:33   Yeah, I agree.

01:06:35   And also you cannot, you don't have the feature called team roles.

01:06:42   So in Spark 2 you can either be the owner of the team, an admin or a member.

01:06:48   And of course if you have a large organization you want to be able to set these levels because

01:06:53   The owner controls everything and has access to the building dashboard, but the admin can

01:06:57   also invite and delete members.

01:07:00   If you have a large team, you probably want to pay for this stuff.

01:07:03   Yeah, okay.

01:07:04   I mean, so I have a question for you.

01:07:10   In your opinion, what is the one most compelling reason, the single most compelling reason

01:07:14   for a team to use Block2?

01:07:17   Honestly, the sharing stuff.

01:07:22   sharing and chat, but with an asterisk. I think sharing is what I always wanted from

01:07:30   a collaborative email perspective. I just want to be able to take an email and place

01:07:36   it in someone else's inbox without doing the forward and with an easy system.

01:07:42   When you do that, can you archive it from your own inbox?

01:07:45   Yes, but it will remain in the shared section of the app, where for some reason messages

01:07:52   are unarchivable from there.

01:07:55   So the shared view is a special view and you see every single message that you ever shared.

01:08:00   You cannot delete them from that view.

01:08:02   That actually seems useful though, because then you can go and just check on stuff that

01:08:08   you've done in the past and then all of your conversations are accessible and stuff like

01:08:12   that.

01:08:13   that makes sense to me that you would keep that there because then the shared,

01:08:17   no one's actually working from shared.

01:08:19   Everyone's working from their own inboxes and then shared just becomes like a

01:08:22   history log. That makes sense to me. Yeah. Do you know,

01:08:27   I think I'm going to try it out. I think it sounds,

01:08:29   I think it sounds like honestly exactly what I've been looking for for a while

01:08:33   in having something to communicate with people like Slack is amazing,

01:08:39   but I still get emailed to and I have to deal with that.

01:08:43   And when you're working with people

01:08:45   where you're sharing jobs with them,

01:08:47   like you're sharing part of a role with them,

01:08:49   which is what I'm doing,

01:08:51   then I think that really you've got to have some way

01:08:57   to communicate about the messages that you're receiving

01:09:00   and being able to do it in the context

01:09:02   of the literal message.

01:09:04   That seems pretty appealing for me.

01:09:06   I think I might try it out.

01:09:08   And you've solved me Federico.

01:09:09   - Well, are you gonna pay for it?

01:09:12   - If I use it, I'm gonna pay for it, yeah.

01:09:13   - Okay.

01:09:14   - I don't need to.

01:09:15   I can actually use all of that stuff, right?

01:09:18   But if I'm gonna use a tool like this for my business,

01:09:21   I'm gonna pay for it.

01:09:22   So I'm gonna try it with what's free, right?

01:09:26   So I can just check it out and see if it works for us.

01:09:28   And if we decide that it works for us,

01:09:30   then I'm gonna convert our account to a pay plan.

01:09:33   - Yeah, we are testing the three people right now.

01:09:39   it's John, Ryan, and I are having like a trial team

01:09:44   experiment with Spark 2,

01:09:46   but I think it's also what I needed.

01:09:48   If only for the sharing and some lightweight chat,

01:09:53   chatting going on inside messages,

01:09:55   just being able to double check and confirm stuff.

01:09:58   Because I love Slack, I pay for Slack,

01:10:01   but the truth is that somebody is not part of my team.

01:10:06   Like email is still the best way

01:10:08   to reach out to someone who's not necessarily your friend or colleague.

01:10:12   And yes, there are integrations that you can build or you can

01:10:17   activate to have your email end up in Slack.

01:10:21   But really, Slack cannot be your email client.

01:10:25   So you're always going to be getting some type of email and you're

01:10:30   always going to be needing to manage email and respond to email.

01:10:33   And Slack isn't built for that.

01:10:35   So if I need to use email because people email me,

01:10:40   then I might as well use something that removes

01:10:44   and just that friction that I find

01:10:49   in collaborating with my team over email.

01:10:52   So at that point, why not give this a try?

01:10:55   And that's what we're gonna do.

01:10:56   So yeah, we'll see how it goes.

01:10:58   - There was another app that got updated this week

01:11:01   that I really wanted to talk to you about Federico,

01:11:03   and that's Castro 3.

01:11:04   Castro is a podcast application.

01:11:09   It's been around for many years now

01:11:12   and it's on their third iteration

01:11:15   and with that has brought about some changes to the app

01:11:17   and a change to their business model.

01:11:20   And I wanted to kind of dig into some of the changes

01:11:22   that are the most interesting to both of us.

01:11:25   One of the things that Castro, everybody was asking for

01:11:29   when Castro 2 was introduced was overcast-like features,

01:11:34   like in being able to move what Marco in Overcast calls voice boost and smart speed.

01:11:39   Right. So the ability to take voices and put some equalizing on them to make them

01:11:44   louder or to make them more consistent and then also to reduce the silence in

01:11:48   speech. So you're not listening to a show at 1.5 X constantly,

01:11:52   but when there's silences,

01:11:53   it's kind of speeds it up and reduces some of those silences.

01:11:56   So you can listen to more shows, right? It's kind of a way to do it.

01:12:00   And I've been using those effects in Overcast since they came out.

01:12:04   And now I think any podcast app in our community

01:12:06   that gets introduced,

01:12:08   that's what everybody wants, those two features.

01:12:10   So Castro has implemented those now.

01:12:15   And I would say that on the whole,

01:12:17   they've done a pretty good job.

01:12:19   From a UI perspective, something I really like

01:12:22   is that you can see how much time you've saved

01:12:25   per episode of a show.

01:12:27   They don't have a way like in Overcast right now

01:12:29   to see how much time you've saved in aggregate.

01:12:31   And I hope they can add that.

01:12:33   But I really like this just so you can see,

01:12:35   oh, I saved like 35 seconds or something.

01:12:37   I think that's kind of,

01:12:39   there's something kind of fun about that

01:12:40   to see that ticking up as the show's going through.

01:12:42   - Yeah. - And I would say that

01:12:43   to my ears, and I have no idea about this,

01:12:47   it feels a little bit more aggressive than Overcast,

01:12:49   but it does the job.

01:12:51   But to be honest, I don't know if it's more aggressive.

01:12:53   Honestly, it just sounds a little different,

01:12:56   and that's how I'm interpreting different to be.

01:13:00   And it's just because I'm used to the way Overcast does it.

01:13:04   Like I have not done any serious analysis to see who is better and how much better each

01:13:10   app is than one another.

01:13:11   It just sounds different and I'm used to Overcast.

01:13:15   So I and I think it sounds a little better, but I can't tell you that for sure.

01:13:20   And I think this is something that's going to be different for different people, but it

01:13:25   100 percent does the job like 100 percent.

01:13:28   Would you agree with that?

01:13:29   Yeah, actually I do. I think it got a lot better, the "Treme Silence" feature, during the betas.

01:13:36   So it was kind of rough in the first beta of Castro 3. But then I think it's actually really good now.

01:13:43   And it's too bad that you don't have like a single total for the amount of minutes or hours that you

01:13:52   save with "Treme Silence". Overcast has this feature in the settings, so it's only on a per episode basis.

01:13:58   But I agree, if there's a difference with Overcast,

01:14:03   I think of all the apps that implemented the feature,

01:14:08   this is the closest it's ever been

01:14:10   to matching the quality of Overcast.

01:14:13   - They also added chapter support, which I like.

01:14:17   I think they implemented it pretty well.

01:14:19   They did it, I like the design of the way everything looks.

01:14:23   I would say that initially,

01:14:24   it's tricky to work out where the chapters are,

01:14:27   and you have to tap on the chapter's title name

01:14:29   to bring up the list.

01:14:31   But once you've learned that, I like the way it all looks.

01:14:33   I like the way it's presented in the full screen view

01:14:35   and then you can just check what you want.

01:14:38   This is a chapter support and the silent stuff.

01:14:41   And there's things like,

01:14:44   there's a dark mode and per podcast settings.

01:14:47   These are all part of Castro Plus,

01:14:49   which is the paid subscription model,

01:14:51   which I'll get to in a minute.

01:14:52   But if you try the app

01:14:54   and you're not seeing these features, that's why.

01:14:56   I think they have a trial as well so you could try them all out. I like the implementation of it.

01:15:00   I really like that they go with custom artwork because I like to do that sometimes so you can

01:15:05   have custom artwork pop up if you can change the chapter art and stuff like that. And this kind of

01:15:10   leans into just the general design of Castro. It is so beautiful. It is my favorite design of any

01:15:17   iOS podcast app. I love the way this looks. The animations, just the general look and feel of the

01:15:23   the app is so, so nice.

01:15:26   I wished that their dark mode took a vantage

01:15:29   of the OLED screen more,

01:15:31   because that's one of my favorite features of Overcast.

01:15:35   I love just the true black in the dark mode.

01:15:40   And they have it in places like the player bar,

01:15:44   but honestly I would like to see that reversed.

01:15:47   I would like the majority of the UI to be in all black,

01:15:51   but that's just a preference of my own.

01:15:53   But just the general design is so good.

01:15:57   The way they use haptics is so good.

01:16:01   Their drag and drop is wonderful.

01:16:03   Supertop, the company behind this,

01:16:06   they've always done a great job of design

01:16:09   and they were really ahead of the curve

01:16:13   in a lot of ways with the original Castro.

01:16:15   And they have been here too.

01:16:19   when drag and drop came out,

01:16:20   their initial implementation of it was excellent.

01:16:24   And now like there isn't really anything here

01:16:27   where I think they have the ability to be like

01:16:30   groundbreakingly different to anyone else, right?

01:16:33   Like I don't think that there's anything like right now

01:16:35   which would allow them to do that.

01:16:37   But I'm confident that like,

01:16:38   if something is announced at WWDC from a design perspective,

01:16:42   like some new UI interaction or whatever,

01:16:44   they will find an interesting and novel way to implement it

01:16:47   because that's what they do an incredible job at.

01:16:49   - Yeah, I love the way that it looks,

01:16:51   I love the way that it works,

01:16:52   the way that it feels with the haptics.

01:16:54   It's such a beautiful app.

01:16:56   And yeah, with the new stuff, honestly,

01:17:00   I'm using the Apple Podcasts app now

01:17:03   because of the HomePod and Siri.

01:17:05   But if there's ever an audio domain for Siri,

01:17:09   so you can ask the HomePod to use Castro

01:17:12   and ask on the iPhone to use Castri instead of podcasts,

01:17:17   I would seriously consider using this as my full-time app

01:17:21   because it looks so beautiful

01:17:22   and the triage system totally works for my brain.

01:17:26   And the drag and drop on the iPhone is glorious.

01:17:29   So yeah, it's a beautiful piece of software

01:17:31   and the business model makes sense to me

01:17:34   because a podcast client is something

01:17:35   that you use on a regular basis.

01:17:37   And these are good people and you should support them

01:17:40   and you should download and try Kestrel because it's an excellent, excellent update.

01:17:44   Yeah, that triage system was introduced in Kestrel 2 and it's the idea that you have

01:17:50   your inbox, which is all of your shows, all of the kind of like everything that's unheard,

01:17:55   and then you add them to your queue.

01:17:57   So this is the stuff you're actually going to listen to.

01:17:59   I love this so much, like that I implemented this system in Overcast.

01:18:03   So I have two playlists, one is all and one is my queue.

01:18:07   And that's how I do it.

01:18:08   triage what comes in and then add them to my queue and I run it my my I run

01:18:14   overcast that way and I would say that for me right now probably the the main

01:18:20   reason I am not using Castro is they have no iPad app like that I use

01:18:28   overcast on my iPad a lot and I do hope that their new business model will give

01:18:35   them the resources required to allow them to work on an iPad app.

01:18:39   I would like that a lot.

01:18:41   They're new, they're business modeled, it's a paid subscription, you can pay $2.99 per

01:18:47   quarter or $8.99 per year.

01:18:49   I think that that is perfectly reasonable in both cases.

01:18:53   So I would have to play around with this a lot more before I would decide to make the

01:18:57   change because I will tell you, Overcast is in my top three favorite iOS apps of all time.

01:19:05   So like, I wouldn't want to be completely just taken away by the whiz-bang of Castro

01:19:10   that I would move.

01:19:11   Like, it would still take me a lot of time to make that decision.

01:19:15   But basically, I can't and won't make that decision personally until there's an iPad

01:19:20   app.

01:19:21   But I know I'm in a real minority with that.

01:19:23   And this is because I listen to podcasts a lot at home because I am a home worker.

01:19:30   So I usually have my iPad with me and my iPad has better speakers than my iPhone, so I listen

01:19:34   on my iPad. So that makes me in the minority. I think that they have allocated their resources

01:19:39   so far correctly in like ensuring their iPhone app is perfect. But I, you know, I would want

01:19:45   to, I would want to have it on all my devices before I personally consider it. But if you

01:19:49   are someone who only uses an iPhone for your, your, like one, one device or whatever, then

01:19:56   I would, I would recommend looking at, um, Castro and trying out the free trial because

01:20:02   have done an excellent job here and I'm looking forward to seeing how apps like

01:20:08   Overcast and PocketCasts respond to this because I think Castro are making some

01:20:14   waves. Rightly I think they've made maybe a bigger impact to Castro 3 than they

01:20:19   did with Castro 2. I hope. It seems like I'm seeing a lot more about it now anyway

01:20:24   especially because they've added a bunch of features that people wanted. So I

01:20:27   I genuinely hope that this is a good thing for them because Padraig and Oisin, the two

01:20:34   guys behind Supertop are really great guys and I hope that this enables them to continue

01:20:39   developing this app and other projects in the future because they more than deserve

01:20:44   it.

01:20:45   Alright, if you want to catch our show notes for this week head on over to relay.fm/connected/194

01:20:51   I want to thank ButcherBox and PDF Pen 10 from Smile for their support of this show.

01:20:56   You should 100% make sure you have read Federico's incredible article called Second Life.

01:21:02   There is a link in the show notes there, but you can find it at maxstories.net, which is

01:21:06   where Federico's work goes.

01:21:08   Federico is an amazing team of people around him that are producing incredible content.

01:21:13   Like I've linked today to two reviews, Review of Spark and Review of Castro, both written

01:21:20   by people at Max Stories, John and Ryan.

01:21:23   I will say that I think that some of the images in the Castro review are incredibly beautiful.

01:21:31   Really just excellent, excellent image work.

01:21:34   No particular reason why I would say this, but I just think that in general Ryan did

01:21:39   a great job of his screenshots.

01:21:41   Yes, great taste.

01:21:42   Really great, great taste of the screenshots.

01:21:45   I am @imike on Twitter, I-M-Y-K-E.

01:21:49   We will all be back together next week for our very important episode.

01:21:52   Maybe Steven will have decided on what jacket he wants by then, so he'll be back too.

01:21:58   Thanks so much for listening.

01:21:59   Until next time, say goodbye Federico.

01:22:02   Arrivederci.

01:22:03   Tally ho, cheerio, toodle pip or something.

01:22:06   I don't know, what do I say?

01:22:08   Adios.

01:22:09   Cheerio.

01:22:10   [laughter]

01:22:10   (laughs)