149: Caramel


00:00:00   [Music]

00:00:06   From Real AFM, this is Connected, episode 149.

00:00:10   Today's show is brought to you by Mack Weldon, Hover and Igloo.

00:00:14   My name is Myke Hurley and we've got the band back together because Stephen Hackett is here.

00:00:19   Hello, Stephen Hackett.

00:00:20   Hello, Michael Hurley.

00:00:22   How are you?

00:00:23   I'm good. It's the 4th of July. It's raining outside.

00:00:28   We're here together.

00:00:29   Is this a haiku? It sounds like a haiku.

00:00:32   Yeah, I don't know how to think out the syllables, but I'm a little disappointed that I haven't gotten any gifts for 4th of July yet from you.

00:00:38   What about Federico, did you get me anything?

00:00:41   No, and this reminds me of a joke on the Big Bang Theory when, like,

00:00:47   someone convinced Rajesh that on the 4th of July people from another country are supposed to give Americans gifts.

00:00:55   And so for like for 10 years he gave his friends gifts on the 4th of July to celebrate America.

00:01:00   That's pretty good.

00:01:02   Yeah.

00:01:03   That's not a thing.

00:01:04   I don't think you're supposed to give your American friends gifts on the 4th of July.

00:01:07   So I don't have anything for you.

00:01:09   I'm sorry.

00:01:10   I'm assuming that the postal service is closed on the 4th of July, right?

00:01:14   I would think so.

00:01:15   That's why you haven't got your gift from me.

00:01:16   It's in the mail but then I'm delivering it today.

00:01:19   Interesting.

00:01:20   Tomorrow is going to be a great day for you.

00:01:22   That's a real promise that I feel like you're going to break.

00:01:25   Who knows?

00:01:26   Who knows?

00:01:27   Amazon.com.

00:01:28   Yeah, same day delivery.

00:01:32   So we had some people write in and ask about the prompt curse.

00:01:37   You all mentioned this, I think on last week's episode about the iPad and iOS 11 and exploding.

00:01:45   We should explain what it is because we have a lot of listeners who weren't around during

00:01:48   the prompt days.

00:01:50   We had a show before this called The Prompt.

00:01:52   The archives are on the Relay website.

00:01:53   You can go dig through and find them.

00:01:55   You find the one about the iPhone keynote.

00:01:57   I think it's episode 30 is probably by far the best one.

00:02:02   But the prompt curse happened because we

00:02:07   used to cover photo services on the show a lot

00:02:11   back when they were kind of a thing before I called Photo

00:02:13   Library and Google Photos took everything over.

00:02:15   So we'd cover companies like Everpix.

00:02:18   And what were some of the others?

00:02:19   I don't remember.

00:02:20   Yeah, I don't know.

00:02:21   they're all gone because we spoke about them.

00:02:25   So we would talk about a photo service

00:02:28   and the next week they would have a Medium post

00:02:30   apologizing that they were going out of business

00:02:32   and all your photos were gone.

00:02:34   This led to a website that'll be in the show notes,

00:02:37   prompt.photos, which is, I haven't seen this

00:02:41   in like a couple of years and it is amazing.

00:02:44   So the prompt curves, we talk about a service or an app

00:02:47   and then the service or app goes out of business.

00:02:50   It has happened to things other than photo services, but it is a thing that happened,

00:02:55   it is a thing that continues to happen.

00:02:56   We have this, I don't want to call it a gift, I don't know what to call it, we have this

00:03:00   power.

00:03:01   It's a curse that's in the name.

00:03:03   We have a very specific set of skills.

00:03:05   That's right.

00:03:06   Which is to find services and to kill them.

00:03:10   Yeah.

00:03:11   This is what we do.

00:03:13   So if you have an app or a service that you would like sunsetted, get in touch and we

00:03:17   will talk about it on the air.

00:03:18   We'll talk about it and kill it.

00:03:19   I'm not even sure Medium used to be a thing when we were doing the prompt and these companies would shut down.

00:03:25   Back in the day it was so difficult to announce that your company was laying off people and shutting down.

00:03:32   It was a real struggle and then Medium came along and sort of provided this new niche.

00:03:37   These companies that need to announce that they've been acquired and sort of Medium kind of revolutionized that space of shutdown announcements.

00:03:46   It's really notable in hindsight.

00:03:50   This leads to a paradox. Undoubtedly Medium will go out of business.

00:03:54   Like probably sooner rather than later. They are heading that way.

00:03:58   Yeah, they're doomed. Where does Medium announce that they are going out of business?

00:04:02   My money is on the Medium programmers

00:04:06   leaving some ASCII code in the source code

00:04:10   of the webpage. Like you can inspect the webpage and you will see the announcement

00:04:14   into the HTML, you know, that kind of thing.

00:04:18   Sort of like a meta shutdown announcement.

00:04:21   Yeah.

00:04:22   - Or they could go old school and put it on Tumblr

00:04:24   or LiveJournal, there's lots of options.

00:04:26   - I would say a self-hosted Jekyll install

00:04:29   with a Dropbox folder on GitHub.

00:04:33   - Yeah, all of Medium just redirects to a gist

00:04:36   and it's just like, oh, sorry, we ran out of money.

00:04:40   VCs have no place to apologize now.

00:04:42   It's gonna be sad.

00:04:43   So Myke, have you installed the iOS 11 beta yet?

00:04:46   Yep.

00:04:46   I gave up.

00:04:49   All right.

00:04:50   That didn't take long.

00:04:51   I was setting myself up for a summer full of jokes.

00:04:54   It's over in one week.

00:04:56   It was just-- I really wanted to do it.

00:04:59   And then--

00:05:01   Can't wait to do it.

00:05:01   We had to record upgrade early.

00:05:04   And there wasn't any news.

00:05:06   So the only thing that we could think to talk about was iOS 11.

00:05:11   And I didn't want another episode

00:05:12   where I was just asking people questions, so I installed it.

00:05:16   - So you're asking yourself questions?

00:05:19   - Well, it's just me and Jason were just talking

00:05:21   about some of our experiences.

00:05:23   Mine were very early 'cause I only did it that morning,

00:05:25   so I'd only used it for a couple of hours.

00:05:27   But it was really, it was just the excuse that I needed,

00:05:31   'cause I really wanted to do it.

00:05:32   I kept backing up my iPad, I just kept doing it.

00:05:36   I would back up my iPad and then I would chicken out.

00:05:39   I did this for four days.

00:05:40   I kept like, I back it up and there's no, no, I can't do it.

00:05:43   I can't do it and I back it up and I can't do it.

00:05:44   So I'm using it and I really like it.

00:05:47   There are some things that are horrifically broken,

00:05:49   but that was expected, right?

00:05:50   Like TestFlight is just kaput for me,

00:05:53   which I know is a, if things happen to some,

00:05:56   not happen to others, some third party apps are working,

00:06:00   but missing key features.

00:06:01   Like I currently cannot export anything out of Dropbox.

00:06:05   I have to use other apps to get things out of Dropbox.

00:06:08   this

00:06:15   absolutely in love with it. Like I am,

00:06:19   I already feel so much more productive.

00:06:21   Like it takes getting used to cause you have to adapt your workflows,

00:06:24   but I feel like I have so much more control over the apps.

00:06:29   Like I did this one thing today where I had two apps open side by side, right?

00:06:33   And I was like,

00:06:35   I'd be really much so much easier if I could just move this one to the left.

00:06:38   And I was like, I wonder if I can do that. And yes you can.

00:06:41   you can swap the apps around now.

00:06:42   And I nearly squealed of excitement.

00:06:46   And then I was like, oh, I need a calculator up,

00:06:48   and I'd usually just open another app.

00:06:50   But no, I can bring up Peacock

00:06:52   in the little slide-over window.

00:06:54   And there are some things that are different,

00:06:56   like Command + Tab, whilst also being pretty broken

00:06:59   right now, doesn't do what it used to do,

00:07:02   where it would just switch out one app.

00:07:03   But I'm getting really quick at just flicking up the dot,

00:07:06   bringing out the app, and I also feel like I just have

00:07:08   way more control about where apps are going to go.

00:07:11   Like I can open them in the specific place that I want them to be rather than

00:07:15   opening and then readjusting everything around it. Like,

00:07:17   I know a lot of people are struggling right now and think it's complicated and

00:07:22   coming from their previous workflow,

00:07:23   but I think we're just holding onto what is fundamentally a broken way of doing

00:07:28   things with the iOS nine version of multitasking.

00:07:31   Like this is vastly superior and I think almost every single way,

00:07:36   like I love it.

00:07:37   Yeah, I have to agree with you, especially now that I'm using a bunch of third-party

00:07:43   apps that have drag-and-drop support, putting together the various bits from my review.

00:07:50   And just using this stuff, the slide-over with three apps at the same time, and drag-and-drop

00:07:56   and some of these other changes are really just so impressive.

00:08:02   coming from iOS 10, I'm saving so many steps that I would have otherwise used workarounds

00:08:12   and workflows, and now what I'm noticing is I'm using way fewer workflows than I used

00:08:17   to do.

00:08:18   And also I'm copying stuff to the clipboard way less, because you don't need to use the

00:08:23   clipboard anymore just to move data back and forth between different apps, you can just

00:08:27   hold it and move.

00:08:28   And I know that this is a discussion that we'll probably have later on.

00:08:33   It takes, you know, you need to use multiple fingers, sometimes multiple hands,

00:08:37   and it can feel like a whole circus going on, like you need to be a contortionist

00:08:41   and perform these gestures, but they do work.

00:08:44   And there's a kind of like geeky pleasure of being able to have these gestures

00:08:52   and this multi-touch enabled drag and drop.

00:08:54   It feels fun, and that's hard to explain.

00:08:57   I feel like I'm really in control.

00:09:00   Like I feel like I have so much more control

00:09:03   of what's going on than I did before.

00:09:05   'Cause I don't know, like I feel like I'm able to bend it

00:09:07   all to my will a little bit, but like more than I used to,

00:09:10   rather than me working like around all of those things.

00:09:13   Like it's much nicer.

00:09:15   I will say I'm not using drag and drop, right?

00:09:18   Because most of the apps that I'm using don't support it.

00:09:20   So I'm looking forward to that additional world

00:09:23   of drag and drop as things move along throughout the year.

00:09:26   I will say, just to follow up on last week,

00:09:28   I don't want to get into this again because it makes me sad,

00:09:30   but the notifications and widgets cover sheet thing

00:09:32   is as much as a disaster as Federico outlined.

00:09:36   - That's literally the next thing in follow up.

00:09:38   But, yeah, so I'm running it too.

00:09:43   I put it on my 10.5 inch iPad on Friday,

00:09:45   and I very quickly realized that my entire

00:09:49   iPad home screen was wrong,

00:09:50   because apps in the dock are blessed in a way

00:09:53   that apps not in the dock aren't.

00:09:55   kind of like watchOS actually,

00:09:57   that those things in the dock have,

00:09:59   are easier to get to and can do more things.

00:10:01   And so I basically collapsed my home screen into the dock

00:10:04   and sort of promoted stuff that had been in folders

00:10:07   on the second screen up to the home screen.

00:10:09   So nothing is where it used to be.

00:10:11   But like the two of you,

00:10:13   I do feel like I'm in more control.

00:10:15   And I'm still sort of learning how everything works.

00:10:20   Sometimes I'll try something

00:10:22   and it doesn't work the way I expect it to.

00:10:23   And some of the gestures are a little less than ideal.

00:10:27   Like if you have an app, for instance, that uses sliding panes like Slack, and you have

00:10:32   it in the third popover window, and you want to push it back off the screen, and if you

00:10:38   don't get it just right, you're just moving the interface around inside of Slack instead

00:10:42   of moving Slack itself, because it's kind of a very thin strip you need to hit.

00:10:46   I think a lot of developers still need to approach that.

00:10:51   I feel like people haven't done that yet, right?

00:10:54   Like, worked out, like, how do I make sure

00:10:56   I give people enough space to be able to move

00:10:58   the UI around, right?

00:11:01   - Yeah, but all in all, it's impressive,

00:11:03   and I think that iOS 11 is gonna be awesome.

00:11:08   So, way to go, iOS 11 team.

00:11:12   But you said you didn't want to get in the cover sheet,

00:11:14   and that's too bad, because that is the next thing

00:11:15   in follow up.

00:11:16   We have a long tweet thread, we'll link to the first one

00:11:19   the show notes about kind of following up on Myke on what you said about you

00:11:24   know maybe is there something about this design that is giving us hints or make

00:11:30   more sense with the next iPhone. So Apple's done this in the past right

00:11:34   where they'll put things in iOS that don't quite make full sense until you

00:11:38   see the new hardware and I think that's what this tweet threat is getting to. So

00:11:43   Federico, do you want to take this?

00:11:46   So the idea here is that if we consider a future iPhone without a home button and with

00:11:54   a more prominent use of 3D touch, the argument from this person goes, the coversheet design

00:12:01   makes sense because to open the phone, to unlock the phone, you tap on a notification,

00:12:10   So all you need to do is you 3D touch on a notification, you unlock the phone and you

00:12:19   see what that notification is all about.

00:12:23   And it makes sense if you follow this idea to merge the notifications and the lock screen

00:12:31   because you pick up the phone, you look at what's new, you tap on a notification and

00:12:36   you authenticate somehow, whether that's Touch ID or maybe by looking at the phone, which

00:12:41   we're going to talk about in a few minutes.

00:12:44   So the idea is you remove confusion by merging these two areas of iOS and you have a list

00:12:53   of notifications, you tap it and you go into the phone, which is unlocked and it lets you

00:12:56   view the notification.

00:12:58   I sort of understand the idea behind this, to merge everything, to make a single place

00:13:05   where you can view all of your messages and alerts from apps and to also unlock

00:13:11   the phone the moment that you open a notification. But the problem

00:13:16   that I have with this idea is it kind of falls apart if you have no notifications.

00:13:22   And at that point what is left to do on the lock screen? You authenticate and

00:13:28   you're back into the phone so we're not really merging these two aspects because

00:13:34   then again if you unlock the phone and then you swipe down and then you view no notifications,

00:13:39   then you need to swipe up again. And as I said last week, my main problem is this sort of

00:13:45   this seesaw approach of I need to swipe down and I need to swipe up even more carefully until I feel

00:13:53   this taptic feedback from the iPhone that tells me you're scrolling up to view your older notifications.

00:14:01   Whereas before, if I swipe down, I knew I could just keep scrolling without a release mechanism

00:14:07   to load my previous notifications. And so, while I understand the current design of "we want to

00:14:14   make it easier for people because they associate the lock screen with notifications, therefore,

00:14:19   when you swipe down, you view notifications, so you view the lock screen", it's the interaction

00:14:24   that bothers me. It's the fact that you need to release very intentionally to load the older

00:14:31   notifications and also the complete absence of gestures to triage individual notifications,

00:14:39   which is basically impossible now because you need to carefully tap on a notification,

00:14:43   which a lot of people have problems. For example, Sylvia cannot long press on her iPhone. I don't

00:14:48   I don't know if it's because she's a woman, she has obviously, you know, she has longer fingernails, you know.

00:14:54   She's a different kind of user, so she cannot use 3D touch properly.

00:15:00   She cannot even long press properly on the screen because her touches are often not recognized.

00:15:05   And so you're making it more difficult to expand a single notification.

00:15:10   Whereas it was much easier to just swipe across the screen and do one thing at a time with individual notifications.

00:15:18   It's just, I understand the design, I understand the idea, it's the implementation that could be so much better.

00:15:25   And again, the release mechanism of dividing the non-scene notifications versus the older ones,

00:15:34   and you need to swipe up and you feel the tap and you need to load them,

00:15:39   it's very intentional and it really slows me down.

00:15:42   And I would like to see in Beta 3 or Beta 4, whatever,

00:15:46   refinement of this idea because it can go somewhere but not with the current

00:15:52   design in my opinion. I think that knowing everything that we know and

00:15:56   we're gonna get into these iPhone rumors next because I think we just have to

00:15:59   follow with this. I see that there is some thought with this that that makes

00:16:07   sense to me like if looking at your phone now unlocks your phone then all

00:16:12   you need to do is just interact with it in a way right so like just swiping up

00:16:16   from the bottom or I expect there to be like some virtual button on the home screen that

00:16:21   maybe you would just tap and it would take you there right like it just opens it up or

00:16:25   something right because it's going to be all this new screen with a state or something

00:16:28   but I could see a world in which this makes sense if touch ID is not needed anymore. I

00:16:34   agree with you like some of the implementations wonky and that can get better but it really

00:16:38   does feel to me like that there's something in this which is lining up with the rest of

00:16:43   the rumors that we've heard about the iPhone considering how little sense this

00:16:47   currently makes with what we're currently using that it feels to me that

00:16:50   there just has to be something there. I don't know what hardware would dictate

00:16:55   the the us losing the ability to dismiss a single notification. That's

00:17:00   broken but I'm not talking about that like I'm talking about the idea of

00:17:03   merging all of this stuff together as a concept. So the implementation is still

00:17:08   leaves a lot to be desired like the fine details but the overall idea of why you would do this

00:17:14   I think lends to that.

00:17:19   I think that's it for follow up.

00:17:20   Alright let's...

00:17:21   You've done it.

00:17:22   Yeah I want to just talk about this iPhone stuff now because we're moving into it already.

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00:18:58   I feel like we've gone around this tree quite a few times but we're back to talk about TouchID

00:19:03   again on the potential next iPhone. Which I think for the case of this discussion we'll

00:19:10   just refer to as the iPhone Pro. Are we all happy to refer to this phone as the iPhone

00:19:14   Pro for this discussion?

00:19:15   Alright, yeah, sure. Okay.

00:19:16   Just so we can differentiate it in some way.

00:19:19   So our good old friend at KGI Securities, Ming-Chi Kuo has issued a predictions report

00:19:25   for the iPhone Pro and these are some of the things that Ming-Chi Kuo mentions.

00:19:30   So I'll read these through and then we'll jump into the Touch ID one because it's probably

00:19:33   the more interesting of all of this.

00:19:35   So Ming-Chi Kuo says that the next iPhone will feature the biggest screen to body ratio

00:19:40   of any phone on the market, therefore having the thinnest bezels.

00:19:44   The screen will be OLED.

00:19:46   The home button will be virtual.

00:19:49   The front camera will include 3D depth sensing technology that will help with face scanning

00:19:55   because Minchukko says that the next iPhone will have no Touch ID sensor of any kind.

00:20:06   We predict the OLED model won't support fingerprint recognition.

00:20:09   Reasons being 1.

00:20:10   The full screen design doesn't work with existing capacitive fingerprint recognition

00:20:14   and 2.

00:20:15   Scan through ability of the under display fingerprint solution still has technical challenges.

00:20:20   So Ming-Chi Kuo is saying that Apple has not been able to embed a Touch ID sensor into

00:20:29   the screen of the phone.

00:20:31   So instead of putting it anywhere else on the device, they are getting rid of Touch

00:20:36   ID in favour of face scanning, 3D depth sensing face scanning which they have implemented

00:20:43   for this phone and that it would be good enough. So there's a few questions about this and

00:20:49   there's also a Bloomberg report which we'll get to in a moment which I think addresses

00:20:52   some of these questions but I want to talk through them as a group.

00:20:57   So first off, would Apple remove Touch ID? So removing Touch ID could potentially cut

00:21:04   support for Apple Pay, right? If there's no authentication method. So let's just assume

00:21:08   that there's no Touch ID. Apple's not going to just get rid of this method, right? There's

00:21:12   going to be some kind of authentication because otherwise where does Touch ID go?

00:21:16   Oh sorry, where does Apple Pay go, right? Like they're not gonna remove that.

00:21:21   Just a blood sample. You just prick your finger on the phone every single time you buy

00:21:25   something. It's a real Pavlovian response to buying new things.

00:21:31   I don't see them removing it unless there's something equally secure

00:21:39   and easy to use and we're gonna get into some things that could do that potentially.

00:21:44   But they're not going, I don't see them getting rid of it without a really strong case to

00:21:50   replace it with something else.

00:21:52   And I can hear you now, Steven, the headphone jack!

00:21:55   They removed the headphone jack and I don't think, I still don't think they've given enough

00:21:59   of a reason why but that's a different type of feature.

00:22:04   I will say on that note though, they did remove it but they gave me AirPods and AirPods are

00:22:08   amazing and I know they could have given me AirPods anyway, I know they could have done it anyway, but

00:22:13   you know there is a better thing. I think that sidesteps the actual argument of Touch ID like

00:22:19   you said is key to not only Apple Pay but like device security and like a headphone jack like I

00:22:26   was going to write off that complaint because headphone jack is is like it's kind of a pain

00:22:30   to live without it but it's not it's not device security it's not payment security and can they go

00:22:38   all their banking partners and deal with this in a way that keeps

00:22:44   everybody happy or such ID like the linchpin and all of it. I just I don't I

00:22:49   don't know if any of us on the outside know how important Touch ID is to some

00:22:52   of those deals but Apple is not going to do something that is less secure

00:22:58   right that goes against everything they've done like the last five years if

00:23:02   not longer with this phone. So I just I don't buy this unless the replacement is

00:23:08   equally good to use and equally secure. All right I have many many thoughts here.

00:23:14   Here we go, settle in everyone. Let me go with an opening statement which is the

00:23:18   idea of just getting rid of Touch ID because you cannot figure out a way to

00:23:23   make you work with the iPhone Pro is the equivalent of getting a new car when you

00:23:27   blow a tire. Like well we couldn't get that to work so I think it really matters why

00:23:31   get rid of it. It is a real scorched earth situation, right? We couldn't work it out, so whatever.

00:23:37   Yeah, exactly. So that said, we cannot agree on the fact that there's no way that Apple is going back to a world where it's just a passcode.

00:23:46   There has to be a second, possibly based on biometric authentication method of providing an extra layer of encryption and security on the iPhone.

00:23:57   So far, that has been Touch ID, and Touch ID powers a lot of services and features on the iPhone, from

00:24:03   encrypting, backups, and the lock screen authentication with the App Store, Apple Pay,

00:24:09   the API for developers. There's a whole API to use Touch ID in third-party apps.

00:24:16   And Touch ID is really everywhere. And the thing that sells Touch ID, it's not that it's a fingerprint.

00:24:23   Yes, it's a fingerprint reader, but it's the fact that it's so fast, accessible and easy to use.

00:24:30   And also the fact that you don't have to look at your phone while you authenticate with HID.

00:24:36   Anyone who's ever taken the tube in London, Myke, you know this.

00:24:39   You're grocery shopping and you're in a hurry, you just place your finger on the home button

00:24:44   and you feel the tap and you hear the sound effect and you're done.

00:24:47   on. You know that you authenticate it, it doesn't get in the way, and it's an unassuming

00:24:53   interaction. It's not flashy. We're at the point where most people are getting used to

00:24:59   Apple Pay, most people are getting used to Touch ID. It's a natural way of authenticating.

00:25:04   So if Apple wants to, in my mind, if Apple wants to provide an alternative to Touch ID,

00:25:09   it has to be as quick and easy to use and accessible, because remember, one of the benefits

00:25:16   Touch ID is that it's in a fixed position on the device, even if you have

00:25:21   motor impairments or visual impairments, you can just feel Touch ID

00:25:26   and you can use it. Anyone can use it, unless you don't have fingers or you've

00:25:31   burned off your fingerprints, but that's another problem. So a faster solution to

00:25:36   Touch ID, let's assume that it's face recognition. The problem with

00:25:42   face recognition is not that most implementations so far have sucked,

00:25:46   which is, you know, we cannot agree on that. They're not perfect. They're not great.

00:25:49   And it wouldn't surprise me if Apple comes out with a much better, faster, more powerful solution, and we're all surprised.

00:25:56   Well, Apple did it again. You know, they reinvented face recognition.

00:25:59   I could see that actually. And I could see how in iOS 11, you know, with the machine learning stuff, if you look at the vision APIs,

00:26:06   Apple has much improved the system that they provide to third-party developers. You know, the system can recognize faces.

00:26:13   There are partially occluded people with sunglasses, with hats, profiles.

00:26:18   The API itself is more powerful.

00:26:22   So you can only imagine if the API is even more powerful, imagine the stuff that Apple keeps to themselves.

00:26:27   So it's totally possible that Apple can pull this off, especially with the 3D mapping stuff with the depth perception.

00:26:34   My problem is in the physical

00:26:37   implementation of face recognition.

00:26:40   So there's also a report from Germen on Bloomberg, and he says that Apple has figured out a way to make this work

00:26:47   even when an iPhone is sitting flat on a table.

00:26:49   So, you know, I have to assume even if you place your iPhone next to a scanner, next to a

00:26:57   point-of-sale system, somehow the camera is gonna look right back at you and authenticate you. And I struggle to imagine how

00:27:04   that could be possible.

00:27:07   Unless there's a multi-camera array

00:27:10   along the top edge and the bottom edge of the phone, I struggle to imagine a way to make this work without holding up an iPhone and basically taking a selfie.

00:27:22   And if we reach the point where we imagine an iPhone Pro and a bunch of people in the London Tube or at my local supermarket, and everyone before authenticating has to basically take a selfie, even if it takes a second,

00:27:35   It's not, you know, the operation itself can take even less than a second.

00:27:39   It's the gesture of pulling out your phone, looking at your face, basically taking a selfie.

00:27:44   Now everybody's looking at you and you end up with a whole system that takes at least three seconds

00:27:49   and it's much slower than Touch ID. And this is where I come down on this rumor right now.

00:27:55   It's hard for me to imagine a system that is faster than Touch ID. Not more secure,

00:28:01   because I can't believe that Apple maybe has a solution that, you know, it can identify

00:28:06   2D pictures, so it won't authenticate you, it can identify, you know, even the finest

00:28:13   details of your skin and your eyebrows and your retina, whatever.

00:28:17   I totally believe that it's gonna be possible somehow.

00:28:21   But it's the different physical behavior of using a face scanner and it's the accessibility

00:28:27   of that.

00:28:28   in low-light conditions, and there's a few people that say, "Well, Apple is going to use an IR scanner,

00:28:34   so it can work even if it's dark." All right, sure. What happens if I'm a blind person and I

00:28:41   cannot look at the screen? I don't know if I'm looking straight at my face or if I'm holding

00:28:47   the iPhone at a weird angle and it doesn't authenticate me. Whereas with Touch ID before,

00:28:52   or I could just feel the button and place my finger.

00:28:55   It's such a different way of authenticating,

00:28:59   and it's such a different way of holding the iPhone

00:29:01   and saying it's me,

00:29:05   that combining that with the even higher emphasis

00:29:10   on Apple Pay in iOS 11,

00:29:12   from Touch ID with Apple Pay in iMessage,

00:29:15   the App Store dialog when you purchase apps in iOS 11,

00:29:19   it looks like an Apple Pay sheet,

00:29:20   there's a fingerprint icon right front and center on that dialog. It's so strange to

00:29:26   me that Apple would get rid of Touch ID right now because they cannot figure out how to

00:29:31   make it work with the iPhone Pro and that the solution to that is a face scanner. I

00:29:38   just don't know what to think, honestly.

00:29:42   Mark Gurman follows up with a report. Some quotes from Mark Gurman's report.

00:29:46   Apple is testing an improved security system that allows users to log in, authenticate

00:29:50   payments and launch secure apps by scanning their face, according to people familiar with

00:29:54   the product. It can scan a user's face and unlock the iPhone within a few hundred milliseconds,

00:29:59   the person said. It is designed to work even if the device is laying flat on a table, rather

00:30:05   than just close up to the face. However, the intent is for it to replace the Touch ID fingerprint

00:30:10   scanner. In testing, the face unlock feature takes in more data points than a fingerprint

00:30:15   making it more secure than the Touch ID system,

00:30:18   the person said.

00:30:19   The feature is still being tested

00:30:20   and may not appear with the new device.

00:30:22   That last line, I put it in there.

00:30:23   I think that this is one of those things

00:30:25   that Bloomberg makes Garmin put in personally.

00:30:28   I think that they're just like,

00:30:29   you gotta cover yourself.

00:30:30   - The safety net.

00:30:31   - Yeah, and I think that they're making,

00:30:33   putting weird stuff like that in there

00:30:34   as well as like the, as the person said.

00:30:37   So I'm just gonna, I'm just gonna do this, you know.

00:30:39   Remember, year of optimism and all that,

00:30:41   that I'm going for, it's my plan here.

00:30:44   So I remember that fingerprint scanners were terrible and that the idea of

00:30:48   Apple putting a fingerprint scanner into the iPhone seemed like a stupid one

00:30:52   because fingerprint scanners were terrible, right?

00:30:55   Like every fingerprint scanner I'd ever used on like a ThinkPad just,

00:30:58   just didn't work, right? Like they just flat out didn't work. Touch ID works.

00:31:02   It's flawless effectively, right? With how, how successful it is.

00:31:05   So let's assume that what Gherman's saying is true, right?

00:31:11   That all of this stuff is correct.

00:31:13   This sounds fine to me. This sounds good.

00:31:16   Like, speed, okay, so let's just take the argument about speed.

00:31:21   I understand that as a thing about why speed in these situations is good,

00:31:26   but let's say it takes a little bit longer than Touch ID.

00:31:32   What are the other benefits, right?

00:31:34   Like, speed isn't the only thing here, and there may be something that's nicer,

00:31:42   there may be something that's just cooler about it, right?

00:31:44   That all you do is just pick up your phone.

00:31:46   The action that we all have for picking up the phone,

00:31:48   the raise to wake.

00:31:49   As soon as we do that now, our phones are locked.

00:31:51   Like we don't need to worry about tapping anything

00:31:54   or clicking anything.

00:31:56   We don't need to have a home button anymore.

00:31:58   So not having a home button means that our screens

00:32:01   are even bigger than before, right?

00:32:03   So that is a big benefit that we get.

00:32:05   Maybe we don't need buttons at all on the next phone.

00:32:08   It's just this beautiful thing

00:32:10   because it's all about this using this face detection technology.

00:32:13   Like in trying to have faith in this, I can maybe see that there could be some

00:32:18   very interesting stuff in here and like stuff about like which I agree with.

00:32:22   How do you do buying of stuff when you're already looking at the device? Like do you

00:32:28   like there is an implementation detail in there that's not for us to decide, but if we assume

00:32:34   that they work it out in as nice a way as they've worked out putting my thumb on the

00:32:41   screen, then it'll be fine. Let's say for example it's kind of playful. Blink! Or like,

00:32:47   you know, like there could be something in it that is interesting. Maybe you pick your

00:32:51   own facial expression that helps you buy stuff.

00:32:55   So the password. Show an emotion.

00:32:58   So I think I agree that the pure idea of Touch ID going away is bonkers but if you think

00:33:05   it just becomes Face ID and we use our faces instead of our fingerprint scanners and we

00:33:09   get all of the functionality we had before and just leave it up to them to work out the

00:33:12   details the benefits that we could potentially get just from a device perspective could be

00:33:19   great and I agree with you Federico that on paper it maybe sounds harder for accessibility

00:33:24   but I also have faith that Apple's got that part covered because that's something that

00:33:27   they care about so much right like I will assume that whatever they do it

00:33:32   will not become harder for people that have accessibility issues to use it may

00:33:37   expose some new ones but everything does right like everything they add may solve

00:33:41   something for some people make it harder for others but I'm sure that they will

00:33:46   try their utmost to make sure that this feature includes as many people as

00:33:51   possible and then make a epic amount of options to allow for people that now

00:33:57   are struggling to be able to access their device in a different way, right?

00:34:01   Like I'm confident that they will find ways to tackle that part because maybe

00:34:06   more than any other technology company, and you mentioned technology company,

00:34:09   Apple cares about this stuff more than anybody else, right? I'm really torn on

00:34:13   this and I totally understand your point and I'm gonna play devil's advocate

00:34:17   and let's think that it's happening and it's real. So I think you're totally

00:34:21   right when you say even if it's slightly slower, not because the

00:34:26   sensor takes milliseconds, but because there's humans holding phones and humans don't just take

00:34:32   milliseconds to operate. But even if it's slower and it takes two or three seconds, if it's more secure

00:34:39   then I totally buy the argument. Apple could say it's, I mean they won't say it's slower, but

00:34:44   it's times more secure and unique than Touch ID, so we believe this is the right technology

00:34:51   to use going forward. And that I could buy. And I could also say, you know, there could

00:34:57   be an elegant way to make this work for the thousands of apps that already implement Touch

00:35:04   ID and maybe the same API used for Touch ID authentication could automatically fall back

00:35:08   onto Face ID when you're using an iPhone 8. So right at launch, one password without doing

00:35:14   any work, for example, could support Face ID with the same Touch ID dialogue.

00:35:18   It's just the same call, like it's just the same API called and Apple just throws up the

00:35:21   new UI that they've built.

00:35:22   I think so.

00:35:23   Like that's how that will work.

00:35:25   So that could work.

00:35:27   You know, I think part of me, the problem that I have right now is that I'm feeling

00:35:33   the same way that older people felt about the headphone jack going away, because Touch

00:35:41   Touch ID is a feature of our generation.

00:35:46   And to think about it going away already, it makes me feel uneasy right now.

00:35:52   And it makes me come up with all kinds of questions and reasons why it would be a bad

00:35:58   idea.

00:35:59   But there's also the argument that Touch ID doesn't work for everyone.

00:36:05   If you have Face ID, it doesn't matter if you're sweaty or you just took a shower,

00:36:11   you know, because the camera doesn't touch your skin, you're just looking at your face

00:36:14   so you can always authenticate, whereas Touch ID has that kind of problems.

00:36:18   And Face ID would work even if you're wearing gloves, you know, or hats or glasses.

00:36:24   Once again, because it doesn't matter whether your skin is in direct contact with the sensor.

00:36:28   So I could see all the arguments for that.

00:36:31   just that kind of feature that I was there when it launched and it's become

00:36:36   so entrenched in the way that we use iOS that it makes me skeptical to think of a

00:36:42   replacement not even four, five years after the first Touch ID sensor. Again I

00:36:50   should say if, and that's a big if, it's really safer and more secure than Touch

00:36:58   If this face ID can provide more unique data points about whether it's really me.

00:37:05   And by the way, the argument that, you know, what happens if you change your hairstyle?

00:37:08   That's really not relevant because right now I'm looking at my photos app

00:37:12   and the photos app with no training can recognize my face when I was 16,

00:37:18   when I was bald because I was doing chemo, and when I had a beard when I did not have a beard.

00:37:23   So it doesn't really matter.

00:37:25   I think the things that it's looking for, like it's not looking for is your

00:37:29   hair spiky, right? Like it's looking for the distance between your eyes, you know?

00:37:32   Like it's, you know.

00:37:33   Yeah. I can tell you myself it doesn't really matter because I've had all kinds of hairstyles.

00:37:38   So that's not a problem.

00:37:39   My problem is what happens in busy situations where there's a lot of people behind you.

00:37:44   So that's, you know, I could think about that and maybe say, well, that's where the 3D

00:37:48   stuff comes in because you have a 3D map so you can block out people in the background, for

00:37:52   example, people waiting in line at the cash register or people waiting in line in the

00:37:55   tube and it could identify you or it could use some kind of proximity with the Apple

00:38:00   Watch. I don't know, but I'm sure that Apple can find a way to say there's 50

00:38:05   people here, but the person that is trying to authenticate with Face ID is this user,

00:38:10   you know, X centimeters away from the camera.

00:38:12   So that I could totally believe.

00:38:14   My main question is, how does it work in the physical space?

00:38:19   What am I supposed to do to make this work?

00:38:22   because Touch ID is a known quantity. I just have to pick up my phone. I don't

00:38:27   have to look at it. I place my finger and it works. Face ID will require some kind

00:38:31   of selfie-like authentication process, which I'm not sure about, but I guess

00:38:34   we'll see what happens. I'm trying to be optimistic, but it's my second nature to,

00:38:39   you know, find all the possible problems and consequences and how things could go

00:38:43   badly. Here's the thing, right, like I've been thinking about this in the idea of

00:38:47   Fraser Speer's fantastic article that's been shared a few times this week where

00:38:51   Like he argues like he makes like does a review of a MacBook Pro as an iPad user like flips it on its head

00:38:58   Like can the MacBook Pro replace your iPad right? Like he did this it was like in 2015

00:39:04   but it's still relevant now because for some reason this has become a problem again and

00:39:08   Let's imagine that we already have face detection and we're gonna move to fingerprint detection

00:39:14   Right, and it's like oh I have to put like specific fingers on my phone

00:39:18   Like all I have to do right now is pick it up and it unlocks

00:39:21   What if my girlfriend wants to use my phone?

00:39:24   She now has to like

00:39:25   She has to pass it to me and I have to unlock it when she could just point it at my face and unlock it

00:39:29   Like that's so much easier, right?

00:39:31   Like there are just these arguments that I can imagine if this thing is great about like why it could be better

00:39:37   and then I think it's fun to turn it on its head like I'm optimistic about this because I

00:39:42   think that in removing the home button completely and therefore touch ID going with it and

00:39:48   there are a lot of advancements in the hardware that we could get and then it's

00:39:52   up to Apple to make face ID better than any thing that's come before it and

00:39:58   better than touch ID and I believe that they would not remove touch ID from the

00:40:03   next phone the phone that's going to be the most expensive most premium iPhone

00:40:06   that's ever made if it's worse I just can't see that being a thing because

00:40:10   there's no way they got to a point where they were like oh this won't work oh no

00:40:15   we have nothing we have no plan B like there was always a plan B then like

00:40:21   that's silly to me and my hope is that face ID was plan A touch ID was plan B

00:40:27   and they just couldn't get it to work so you know I'm calling it now there's

00:40:32   going to be people if face ID happens there's going to be people who 3d print

00:40:36   heads like like models to test the whether it works or not and I bet that

00:40:43   whatever system Apple comes up with, it's gonna have some of, you know, some clever

00:40:48   workarounds for that. Like it detects, like, those minimal movements of your eyes or, you

00:40:54   know, of your skin, like, sub-skin elements even.

00:40:57   What about that?

00:40:58   You know, it can recognize a human versus, like, a mannequin holding an iPhone. So that's

00:41:05   gonna be super fascinating if it happens.

00:41:07   It does potentially open up an opportunity on the Mac as well.

00:41:13   If Touch ID is going to be married to the Touch Bar on the Mac and the Touch Bar is dead in the water

00:41:19   or difficult to implement an external Bluetooth keyboard,

00:41:22   I would imagine that they could put whatever this face sensing deal is.

00:41:27   And we haven't really gotten into that. Surely it's more than just the camera.

00:41:30   But that could come to the Mac and be really interesting

00:41:35   if Touch ID is indeed getting replaced with some sort of facial thing.

00:41:39   You could add that to an iMac and it doesn't matter what keyboard you have.

00:41:42   Because every Mac already has a camera on the front of it anyway, right?

00:41:46   Right. And I truly believe that this would be something more than just the camera,

00:41:50   that it's using IR or something else. But you already have

00:41:54   some infrastructure there. You could put the Secure Enclave in there somewhere and you could,

00:41:58   you know every Mac has a bezel around the screen and there's already a camera

00:42:02   up there just put something else up there too. So that's if this is the case

00:42:07   that Touch ID is going to be kind of pushed aside for some sort of facial

00:42:12   thing I would be very interested to see where that expands in the future to

00:42:16   other products besides just the iPhone. All right this episode is also brought

00:42:21   to you by our friends over at Hover. When you have a great idea for your next

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00:44:07   Steven, we were talking about the reviews of the Echo Show last week and since that

00:44:13   episode, yours was received. You now have an Echo Show at home and I was saying on the

00:44:21   episode that I'm reserving most of my judgement until I hear what you have to say. So what's

00:44:27   going on?

00:44:28   That's a real vote of confidence.

00:44:31   - I believe in you.

00:44:33   - So I would, I would,

00:44:35   I'm going to categorize my comments

00:44:38   in sort of three buckets,

00:44:41   hardware, software, and potential.

00:44:44   So no doubt people have seen photos of this thing.

00:44:48   It is not the prettiest thing in my household.

00:44:51   Unfortunately, the screen is bright.

00:44:54   I actually had a video call on it with Jason Snell,

00:44:58   and we both sort of commented like

00:45:00   how deep the screen looks recessed,

00:45:02   like it's not laminated to the cover,

00:45:03   like you're used to on an iPad or an iPhone.

00:45:05   But it's really bright, it's really clear.

00:45:07   The speakers are incredible,

00:45:08   way better than the regular Echo.

00:45:11   Definitely better than the Dot.

00:45:13   I mean, I've got a Dot here on my desk,

00:45:14   and the speaker is just fine for the voice,

00:45:18   but that's about it.

00:45:19   Interestingly, I noticed during the boot-up sequence

00:45:23   a little flash of the Intel inside logo which I did not anticipate. I figured these things

00:45:28   would have some sort of ARM processor in them.

00:45:30   How peculiar to see that!

00:45:32   I don't know what's in there. I tried to do some digging and there's not a lot of information

00:45:36   on the web about what Intel processors are in here. Maybe that's where all the Xeons

00:45:40   went that Apple didn't use.

00:45:43   Does it have a Pentium 3 sticker also in the back?

00:45:46   That'd be awesome. That'd be incredible. So it's got Intel inside.

00:45:52   The microphone array and everything seems to work just as well as the regular echo.

00:45:59   It is more directional in a way, you know, the echo and the dot being cylinders.

00:46:05   The sound comes out of them the same in every direction.

00:46:08   So you could put it kind of anywhere in the room.

00:46:11   The speakers on the show fire forward, which makes sense because you have a screen, right?

00:46:15   You're not going to point the screen at the wall.

00:46:18   But it's something to be aware of as you set this thing up that you may need to turn it

00:46:22   or have it slightly different if you're just dropping in where a regular Echo was.

00:46:28   And one thing that Amazon's done that I think is incredible, and I think like Microsoft

00:46:32   did this with the Xbox and now the Xbox One X, the power plug is the same, and it's in

00:46:40   the same place.

00:46:41   And so you can unplug your Echo and plug your Echo Show in with the same power brick and

00:46:47   everything.

00:46:48   You don't have to change anything out.

00:46:49   you know stuff on the kitchen counter or an entertainment center somewhere you're

00:46:52   not digging around you can just unplug it and plug the same little barrel

00:46:56   connector in which I love those those little details that hardware makers do

00:47:00   and Amazon gets a lot of that stuff right honestly. So the hardware is not

00:47:06   much to look at but what is there is nice it does look kind of like a little

00:47:09   old TV set but got a little a little more bulk than I had anticipated I may

00:47:16   will find it for the show notes. I put a picture on Instagram of it and the

00:47:19   molar Mac which is like the super ugly Mac Apple made in the 90s and they kind

00:47:24   of look the same from a certain angle and so that's that's not great but it is

00:47:29   what it is I guess. The the touchscreen itself kind of moving from hardware to

00:47:36   software enables a lot of nice stuff and where I was immediately impressed with

00:47:41   it this oh this is so much better than the regular echo experience was

00:47:44   connected to Wi-Fi. So Amazon does have this thing if you have an account set up

00:47:48   with an echo that you can have Amazon hold on to your wireless password. I

00:47:53   don't have that enabled on my account for hopefully obvious reasons so I had

00:47:58   to type in my Wi-Fi password and instead of like getting the echo app out, I

00:48:03   actually pulled my phone out while the thing was booting up thinking I'm gonna

00:48:06   need the phone to configure this and you don't because it has a screen you can

00:48:10   just you know type in your Wi-Fi password. It was kind of great if you're

00:48:15   used to the normal echo interface. The first thing, one of the first things I

00:48:21   tried of course was the video calling. There's no interface to this and so I

00:48:27   just said friend in a tube video call Jason Snow and it did it. Like I just

00:48:35   tried the first thing that came to mind and it worked and I was impressed that

00:48:38   that it understood that I got the vocabulary right

00:48:40   by basically guessing.

00:48:41   The call was fine.

00:48:44   It did freeze at first, but then it was okay.

00:48:47   And I'm willing to like, this was very early,

00:48:49   like we got ours on like the first or second day

00:48:50   they were out.

00:48:51   I haven't had that problem on subsequent calls,

00:48:54   so maybe it was just a hiccup.

00:48:56   But Jason Snell had lifted his arms in the air

00:48:58   and then he was frozen that way for a couple minutes,

00:49:00   which was pretty funny.

00:49:01   - Wish you got a picture of that.

00:49:03   - It was pretty, I should have, yeah, I should have.

00:49:05   He was just like standing with his arms

00:49:06   raised high in victory.

00:49:08   But the call quality and stuff is fine,

00:49:11   which you expect from FaceTime or Skype on a good day.

00:49:14   The software benefits from all the work Amazon does

00:49:20   in the background, so it knew who Jason Snell was

00:49:24   because I had already given them all my contacts, sorry.

00:49:29   - Oh man. - Part of the deal.

00:49:31   Yeah, if Amazon didn't know your email address, real sorry,

00:49:35   but it is what it is.

00:49:37   but it knew who he was because he already had access to that.

00:49:41   Likewise, I didn't have to go in and set up Spotify

00:49:44   because my Echo system already knows

00:49:48   about my Spotify account.

00:49:49   So I could just tell it, friend in a tube,

00:49:51   play polka music and it knew what to do

00:49:53   because it was already hooked up.

00:49:54   - Polka, polka, polka.

00:49:57   - That's right.

00:49:57   Amazon does a really good job with that stuff.

00:49:59   Kind of how Apple does with iCloud,

00:50:01   if you signed iCloud in your account,

00:50:03   certain things take place.

00:50:04   It's the same with all this stuff.

00:50:07   But unfortunately it's not all puppies and rainbows

00:50:11   when it comes to the software on this thing.

00:50:14   And I will preface my complaints by saying two things.

00:50:19   A, I know it's early days,

00:50:21   and Amazon generally does a pretty decent job

00:50:25   at updating things,

00:50:27   and there's some things on the Echo originally

00:50:31   that they have resolved,

00:50:32   things on the Kindles have gotten better over time.

00:50:35   So I understand that my complaints could be resolved

00:50:37   with future software updates, and indeed I hope they are.

00:50:41   Two, there is an inherent weirdness

00:50:43   in reviewing something over such a short period of time.

00:50:48   And Dan Morin actually was giving me a hard time about this,

00:50:51   about trying to make a decision on this product so early

00:50:54   because it is so different than the other Echo.

00:50:56   I appreciate that thought, but I also disagree

00:51:00   with it a little bit that there are some things

00:51:02   that you're just gonna know if you like or not.

00:51:04   and the Echo Show is one of those things for me.

00:51:08   - Like the Logitech Slim Combo.

00:51:09   - Huh?

00:51:11   - Like the Logitech Slim Combo.

00:51:12   - Yeah, exactly.

00:51:13   Exactly.

00:51:14   It doesn't take long to realize

00:51:15   that thing is a piece of garbage.

00:51:17   So a couple things in the software that I really don't like.

00:51:21   First, every screen has a hint.

00:51:25   So if you are currently playing your polka music,

00:51:30   it's got the album artwork, it's like an iPod, right?

00:51:33   got all your your music information on it. Then there's a little line and it

00:51:37   says try, you know, wake word, show me my photo albums. It's like I don't need a

00:51:45   hint when I'm listening to music to try something else. Also, lol, no one uses

00:51:51   Amazon photo service. But so if I kind of like advertising in a way for service

00:51:57   that no one's using but also like explain to you what else your device can

00:52:01   do and almost every single screen on the Echo Show has this little bottom third

00:52:07   of saying "hey try this other voice command" and I appreciate the the

00:52:13   helpfulness that they're trying like they're trying to surface new commands

00:52:16   because there's no interface to this thing right I just had to say video call

00:52:19   Jason Snell for it to work because I couldn't there's no interface to like go

00:52:22   and do that thing but the trade-off is I feel like I'm being like annoyed to

00:52:29   by the tips app on iOS 11 and I could not find a way to turn this off in

00:52:33   settings which is a bummer. I wonder if it's something that goes away after a

00:52:37   certain period of time. It may and I have not like sat down and like mapped out

00:52:42   the frequency of it so I don't I don't know to be honest with you I would hope

00:52:46   that it would it would trail off of hey once you've said you know X number of

00:52:50   commands to this thing then slowly fade these away but for now at least starting

00:52:57   off you know the first week or so of use there they're not there or they're there

00:53:02   all the time excuse me. The other big thing that that that bothers me about

00:53:07   the Echo Show is it is very attention hungry and and what I mean by that the

00:53:15   Echo itself the Echo Dot and Siri and you know Bixby I guess if you have a

00:53:22   Samsung phone, the Google Assistant, all of these things are kind of they're kind

00:53:27   of in waiting and what I mean by that is that they are they are there for you

00:53:32   when you want them to do something or when you need something but they're not

00:53:37   reminding you of their presence. So the echo if I'm not talking to it the LEDs

00:53:43   are off it's just sitting on my kitchen counter and you may know what it is if

00:53:48   if you come into my house,

00:53:49   or you may think it's a weird salt and pepper grinder

00:53:52   or something, it's just an object sitting on the counter.

00:53:55   Not necessarily the prettiest thing,

00:53:57   but it's very inoffensive.

00:54:00   If you're not using Siri, it's just locked away

00:54:01   behind the home button or the wake word,

00:54:03   same with the Google Assistant.

00:54:05   But the show is not that way.

00:54:07   The show has a screen, and that screen is always on,

00:54:11   and you can fall back to a screensaver of just a clock,

00:54:15   and if you put the thing in do not disturb mode,

00:54:17   it goes to the clock and stays there.

00:54:20   But every time you walk by it,

00:54:23   or if you're like me and it's in your office,

00:54:25   that's only 200 square feet,

00:54:27   it detects your motion and so the screen's always awake.

00:54:30   And what it's doing is showing,

00:54:32   Amazon, I believe they're called HomeCards,

00:54:34   and these cards kinda cycle through on a carousel,

00:54:37   and I care about none of them.

00:54:39   So you can tell it,

00:54:40   "Hey, put my next calendar appointment in there,"

00:54:43   if I use Google Calendar,

00:54:45   "put these things in here."

00:54:46   But it's also a lot of news, a lot of entertainment stuff

00:54:51   that honestly I just don't care about.

00:54:53   I don't care about,

00:54:55   like when it was like some new thing on Instagram

00:55:00   that was trending or what Kanye was doing

00:55:02   for the Fourth of July, I just don't care.

00:55:04   And I don't want that stuff shown to me.

00:55:08   I don't want to see it.

00:55:13   And there's no way to like, again, to turn that off.

00:55:15   There's no way to tell it, just go to the clock and stay there unless you put it in

00:55:19   Do Not Disturb.

00:55:20   So it is, again, it is trying to pull your attention into it when all these other voice

00:55:27   assistants are just kind of laying and waiting.

00:55:29   Does that make sense?

00:55:30   Like, does that framing make sense to you, Myke?

00:55:32   Yeah, and I don't like the sound of it.

00:55:35   I don't know if I'd assumed that the screen was always on.

00:55:40   I did but just thinking of that is not what I like about my Echo in that as you say I

00:55:46   like the idea of in waiting right that's a really good way of putting it but these things

00:55:51   are just like they're like Jeeves and Jeeves is never seen right like he's just you know

00:55:56   when you need him he'll come and help you out but like if you don't need him he's not

00:55:59   going to be there like holding up a big sign saying like hey would you like me to get the

00:56:04   quaggy master I don't know why I'm doing this but that's kind of where my mind went to I

00:56:09   I don't like the idea of it just being this persistent screen that has stuff showing on

00:56:14   it when that stuff a lot of the time feels like it might be like advertisements to use

00:56:19   it more, right?

00:56:20   Like come and do this with me.

00:56:23   Like I don't need you to do that.

00:56:25   Like I appreciate the ability of trying to teach someone how to use the device a little

00:56:31   bit better but do that in context.

00:56:35   So if I've asked you a question about photos, give me some other options for it or let me

00:56:40   tell you that I need help with something.

00:56:42   I don't know, there's something about like, as you say, when you're doing one thing and

00:56:46   it's trying to give you a tip about another piece of functionality that's completely unrelated,

00:56:49   it feels a little bit redundant and needy in a way that I'm not keen on for a device

00:56:57   like this.

00:56:58   I don't need neediness from my voice assistant devices.

00:57:04   Yeah, the, you know, someone in the chat were asking what I want to see on that home screen.

00:57:10   The calendar stuff is nice.

00:57:13   But you know, I like the clock.

00:57:15   I like to have weather, which I think you can tell the weather to be there.

00:57:18   But I would like that stuff to be more sort of ambient.

00:57:22   Like these, these tiles don't need to rotate around on a carousel.

00:57:25   Like every time the thing moves, it catches my eye.

00:57:28   And I don't, my wife did not want that in the kitchen, which is why this thing is in

00:57:33   in the office and I don't want it here in my office

00:57:37   catching my eye every time.

00:57:37   Like I have a digital clock in my office

00:57:40   and it shows the weather and like some stats

00:57:44   like Twitter followers and YouTube subscribers and stuff.

00:57:46   Like it was Christmas gift, I really like it.

00:57:48   It's on the other side of my office.

00:57:50   I can't see it from my desk

00:57:52   because every time the thing moves, it catches my eye

00:57:56   and I, you know, maybe I'm just a squirrel

00:58:00   attracted to shiny things but that is really distracting

00:58:02   when I'm trying to write or trying to edit.

00:58:04   And this thing is like, every time you walk by it,

00:58:06   it's got something new to show you.

00:58:08   And there may be a place for that in the kitchen, right?

00:58:12   Like having a screen that surfaces things.

00:58:15   But I, and I think my household,

00:58:16   I'll speak for my wife as well,

00:58:18   we have come to appreciate the Echo

00:58:19   because it's not there unless you start the conversation.

00:58:24   And that difference may seem subtle,

00:58:27   but I think it's really profound

00:58:28   that something is always responsive

00:58:30   as to something that is trying to initiate

00:58:34   some sort of interaction.

00:58:35   - Seems like you're not too hot on this in the overall.

00:58:38   Like I can't imagine you're gonna be keeping this thing.

00:58:40   - I'm not.

00:58:41   I'm not keeping it.

00:58:42   I see, so the third part of the view is potential.

00:58:49   If they solve the software issues, that's great.

00:58:52   I can see a real potential of things like the,

00:58:55   and it's been mocked a lot,

00:58:57   And there's been a lot of Apple commentators

00:59:02   really down on this feature of being able to,

00:59:04   the drop-in, right?

00:59:05   So Myke, if I gave you permission,

00:59:08   underline all of those words,

00:59:10   then you can start a video call

00:59:13   and I don't have to approve it.

00:59:14   You can just show up.

00:59:16   You know what, if you don't want that,

00:59:17   don't opt into it.

00:59:19   It's not a hard thing.

00:59:19   You don't have to write a blog post burning Amazon down.

00:59:21   You don't opt into it.

00:59:22   But there are times and relationships, I think,

00:59:25   that would benefit from that.

00:59:26   I think Amazon's done a pretty good job

00:59:27   at outlining what those would be.

00:59:29   But that stuff is promising.

00:59:33   It sounds great.

00:59:34   Having a screen is nice.

00:59:35   Like having a little news or having weather,

00:59:37   that sort of stuff is nice.

00:59:39   But I think Amazon has a long way in going

00:59:43   and understanding what customers like

00:59:45   about the Echo products and how the Echo Show

00:59:49   breaks a lot of those things, at least for users like me.

00:59:53   And I think the Echo Show is salvageable.

00:59:56   Like I don't think it's a dead end product,

00:59:58   but I think Amazon sort of missed the mark

01:00:00   in understanding what people like about the service.

01:00:03   And it's too pushy and it's too in your face.

01:00:06   And if they can dial some of that back

01:00:07   and the screen can be there when you want it,

01:00:10   but not all the time, I think I at least would find it

01:00:13   a much more attractive offering.

01:00:14   But for now I'd prefer my $200 back or whatever it was.

01:00:18   So I'm returning it.

01:00:19   - It really sounds to me like what I expected

01:00:22   that it adds a bunch of functionality, which is interesting. It's just not the stuff I

01:00:26   want to do. And everything that I want to do with that device is already in the one

01:00:31   I own. So I'm all good. Yes. Yeah, you know, Jason talked about he has some security cameras

01:00:40   that the echo show can show him a live feed from the camera like that sort of stuff is

01:00:44   cool, like do things that you can't do on a regular echo. But the other stuff I think

01:00:49   I guess the water's just too muddy now for me.

01:00:52   - All right, today's show is also brought to you by Igloo,

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01:02:40   So as we are still in the phase, I believe that Federico is still in the phase of his

01:02:44   life in which he is devouring videos of sessions from WWDC?

01:02:50   No, not anymore, surprisingly.

01:02:52   Oh, congratulations, you're out of it?

01:02:55   I have started writing the review.

01:02:59   So you're now at that stage which means that you've watched every single second of every

01:03:03   single session.

01:03:05   I know that's what you've done.

01:03:06   Every session has been consumed.

01:03:07   Well, 50.

01:03:09   No, I think it was all of them.

01:03:10   I think you're being modest.

01:03:11   Every single session.

01:03:12   That's why I heard you watched them twice and has done that since WWDC.

01:03:17   So Tichi teaches today, which is the segment that I have given this a name for and potentially

01:03:22   maybe the last one, but at least I have a name for it now.

01:03:25   Tichi teaches us today CoreML.

01:03:29   What is CoreML Federico?

01:03:31   So CoreML, it sounds like caramel, but it's not that. It's not caramel for AI. It's a

01:03:39   different thing.

01:03:40   I didn't realize that. That's so amazing.

01:03:45   CoreML is, I'm afraid to disappoint you, Myke.

01:03:49   I can't hear it any other way now.

01:03:51   Yeah, I know, caramel. So CoreML, it's not the deep and open framework that you might

01:03:57   expect.

01:03:58   Ugh.

01:03:59   It's really more of a...

01:04:00   If it's not deep and open, who cares?

01:04:02   Yeah, well, what do we need it for?

01:04:04   Well, I'm sorry, you can end the show.

01:04:06   It's more of a set of

01:04:08   developer tools for

01:04:10   machine learning. It's not a framework

01:04:12   to write, to develop

01:04:14   actual machine learning

01:04:16   stuff. So, here's

01:04:18   how it works. Machine learning is

01:04:20   at least the way that Apple is doing it. It's based on

01:04:22   models. And models are

01:04:24   think of them as files

01:04:26   of code. It's actual code

01:04:28   that you download from public sources, in this case for iOS, and there are a

01:04:34   variety of models created with other tools such as Keras or Caffe or there's

01:04:41   one called Scikit, I think. So you download these models and they are code

01:04:46   made by others to describe a series of objects or scenes or items, stuff that

01:04:56   you want machine learning to recognize and patterns that you want your

01:05:01   software to understand. So the way that Apple has done it, they have this format.

01:05:04   So Core ML is largely a format and a set of developer APIs that allows you to

01:05:10   take in these already trained models, so this code that has already been taught

01:05:15   how to recognize specific elements of everyday life. I'm simplifying here but

01:05:20   to understand. You take these models, Apple has a web page where they have

01:05:23   some sample models that already work with Core ML and you make them work with

01:05:29   Apple's format. So the Core ML format is an actual file format. You convert these

01:05:35   models into the iOS Core ML format and you drop them into Xcode and you drop

01:05:40   them into your app and you suddenly gain machine learning features from these

01:05:45   already trained models. The way that Apple is doing it seems to me, I mean I

01:05:51   don't understand this stuff. I don't know. I mean, I've taken a look at machine

01:05:54   learning code and it's a bunch of mathematics that I really don't

01:05:57   understand. But the way that it works is you set a goal. You're like, I want my

01:06:03   photo app to recognize flowers and to recognize hotels and airports.

01:06:10   I have these three different categories that I want my app to understand. So you

01:06:14   find a model that is able to recognize those features in a photo. You take the

01:06:19   model and you run it through the Python converter that Apple has put together

01:06:24   and that generates a compatible CoreML file. You drop it into Xcode and your app

01:06:31   can now identify flowers, airports and hotels because of the CoreML

01:06:37   tools. At a higher level there's a bunch of machine learning APIs that Apple is

01:06:45   offering in iOS 11. And Core ML itself is used by Apple in Siri for translation,

01:06:50   it's using the camera for, I think, for scene and object recognition, and it's

01:06:57   also used, I believe, in the QuickType keyboard. So, you know, you can, you know,

01:07:01   the next word predictions and all the suggestions that you get in the

01:07:05   keyboard are powered by Core ML. Below Core ML on iOS 11 you find the more

01:07:10   specific frameworks, such as the Vision API, so computer vision, it can recognize

01:07:14   faces, scenes, objects, rectangles, whatever, and you have the NLP API which

01:07:21   is the natural language processing which can do a bunch of things like it can

01:07:25   recognize sentences, it can recognize individual entities like verbs and

01:07:30   pronouns and nouns, but these more specific APIs they are an implementation

01:07:37   of machine learning and they depend on core ML for them to work. So really what

01:07:44   What Apple has done here is, I saw someone say Apple has made the PDF of machine learning

01:07:51   with Core ML and I sort of understand the idea.

01:07:55   I mean it's not as easy as opening a PDF of course.

01:07:58   You still need to write a bunch of code and you still need to understand what you're doing.

01:08:02   It's not like you're taking a Core ML file and you copy and paste into Xcode.

01:08:06   Boom, machine learning, it's happening.

01:08:07   It's not that easy.

01:08:08   Are you sure though?

01:08:09   It sounds like it is that easy.

01:08:11   That's what I'm getting from what you're explaining.

01:08:13   It is much easier for developers to find a model trained by someone else, publicly available,

01:08:22   open source, and use it in an iOS app.

01:08:25   The fact that Apple is providing some models for free, some of them coming from Google,

01:08:29   I believe, is a testament to the fact that they want to make it easy for you to get started.

01:08:36   I'm interested to see how developers are going to take advantage of this, in the sense of

01:08:44   what are the possible implementations that we're going to see as users, what does this

01:08:48   mean for us.

01:08:50   And I think stuff like photos and translations, the basics of recognizing things in a picture

01:08:58   or understanding what a string of text means, that stuff I think we're going to see plenty

01:09:04   of it.

01:09:05   we're gonna get a bunch of enhancements for the apps that we already use starting this fall.

01:09:10   We're gonna get, for example, your calendar now can make better suggestions for the locations of events or the times of

01:09:17   specific events or we're gonna see apps that can

01:09:20   automatically sort our photo libraries, you know, in a way that maybe not even the Apple Photos app does. We're gonna get, you know, all these

01:09:28   image recognition,

01:09:31   summarizing text,

01:09:32   doing translation, maybe even if you could... the thing is you can even combine

01:09:37   these APIs together. So for example, you can recognize some text using NLP, using natural language processing.

01:09:45   Then you take that

01:09:47   recognized text, you pass it to Core ML and you say things like, "Well, here's some text.

01:09:53   I know that it's in English and I know that it's got two verbs and

01:09:56   and the name of a person named Myke,

01:10:00   and Myke says he's going to a concert,

01:10:02   can you analyze the sentiment of this text?

01:10:05   And Core ML will come back at you and say,

01:10:08   well, it appears that Myke is happy,

01:10:09   so maybe you wanna show an happy face emoji.

01:10:11   That kind of stuff.

01:10:12   You can mix and match these APIs,

01:10:15   and you can do most of this work using train models

01:10:18   that you can already find on the open web.

01:10:22   You can take them, you can convert to the Core ML format,

01:10:25   use them in Xcode and let your app take advantage of those predictions, that analysis, all those features

01:10:31   that Xcode and the iOS SDK wouldn't normally give you for free.

01:10:36   And then you can combine it with this other stuff like NLP and Vision.

01:10:40   So I think there's a lot of potential here for even the smaller features,

01:10:47   like the smaller additions, like now Fantastical is smarter when it gives you recommendations for locations.

01:10:53   or now you can have a summary of your agenda based on the things that you want to know.

01:10:59   And I think we're going to get this smaller, but yet so useful, enhancement.

01:11:04   And I'm really, really curious to see how this goes.

01:11:07   Did that make any sense?

01:11:09   It does.

01:11:10   It does.

01:11:12   I am struggling to get my head around this one in ways that I haven't in the previous

01:11:17   things that you've been talking about.

01:11:19   And I've been that way since I first heard about CoreML because I don't fully understand

01:11:26   how this framework is able to do anything.

01:11:30   If you give it like this just list of things, how does it know what?

01:11:34   It seems confusing to me.

01:11:36   So the basic idea is that it's all in the original code, the original model.

01:11:41   So imagine there's a long file with millions of lines of code that has been trained with

01:11:48   the type of neural network to understand what an apple looks like or what a

01:11:55   bedroom looks like. And that is actual code. There's a programmer who wrote that

01:12:00   and taught the network how to recognize those items in a picture. And you take

01:12:06   that knowledge, you take that code and you put it into an iOS compatible format,

01:12:11   which is CoreML, and you start using it into your app. So CoreML, you know,

01:12:16   it's a two-way communication. Your app as a developer, Myke, you're putting together

01:12:19   one, two, three AI so you can pass text or you can pass an image or you

01:12:26   can pass data, you can pass a dictionary. So you take some input from

01:12:30   your app and you say "CoreML, help me figure out what is going on here" and the

01:12:35   framework is gonna do its processing, it's based on

01:12:40   metal, it's based on accelerate, so these high-performance frameworks that take

01:12:44   you know, a fraction of a second to understand scene recognition and that kind of stuff.

01:12:48   And it comes back with a message that says, "I believe there's a 90% accuracy that this

01:12:52   picture is showing an apple or a horse or a mountain." And you take that and you say,

01:12:57   "Well, I believe, as a user, here's your message. We believe this is a horse." But the essence

01:13:05   of the actual machine learning is happening in the model. And that's the most important

01:13:12   part. But what Apple is doing here is it's making it easy for developers to take these models that

01:13:19   have been going around for a couple of years now, maybe even more, and to use them on iOS.

01:13:24   It was also tricky for me to understand because I was like, "So where does the actual machine

01:13:31   learning occur?" And it's not in the model. What CoreML does is it's a Rosetta Stone for machine

01:13:39   learning and apps and it's helping them communicate and translate those inputs

01:13:45   and commands from the machine learning code into data that can be used by an

01:13:52   app on iOS. So it's this framework right in the middle between the algorithm and

01:13:58   your app. That's what it is. Let me see if I can say that back to you in a way that

01:14:04   that I think I've understood it with an example.

01:14:07   So like Apple's photo recognition stuff, right?

01:14:11   They had a bunch of data, which was saying,

01:14:16   this is what this picture is. This is what this picture is. You know,

01:14:19   this is what a horse is. This is what an Apple is,

01:14:21   but they need something in the middle to translate that

01:14:26   information back to the photos.app and CoreML is the thing

01:14:31   that can like, it takes all of the information

01:14:35   and can process it.

01:14:36   So when the app asks a question, Core ML gives the answer

01:14:41   because it has all of the information.

01:14:44   - Yes. - Okay.

01:14:45   So everything that goes through Core ML

01:14:48   has to have some kind of huge data set

01:14:51   that Core ML can read from.

01:14:53   And it can then interpret or extrapolate from it

01:14:59   to give answers to questions that the application may have?

01:15:03   - Basically, and we're oversimplifying here,

01:15:06   but yes, that's what it does.

01:15:08   - Yeah, we have to oversimplify

01:15:09   'cause this is way over my pay grade.

01:15:11   - Yes, we uses the model, which is the actual code,

01:15:16   the programming that went into machine learning,

01:15:20   and it communicates with iOS back and forth between the two,

01:15:23   and it spits out a reasonable answer for your app to use.

01:15:28   What sorts of things do you see developers being able to do now that they have this as

01:15:34   opposed to in the past when this was more difficult or out of the reach of more people?

01:15:40   Well, translation services that used in the past like a web service or a web API, now

01:15:46   they can do, if they have the right models and if they combine the NLP API and Core ML

01:15:53   together, they can now do all of this stuff offline with local processing and it takes

01:15:58   couple of seconds, maybe even less. So translation, doing things like summarizing text or of course

01:16:06   categorizing pictures based on scene or objects recognizing a picture and then you can do things

01:16:14   like, and this is all done locally, there's no web API, you don't have to be connected to the

01:16:18   internet for this to work, you can do things like show me photos where I'm happy or show me photos

01:16:24   where another person was crying. So you can do sentiment analysis.

01:16:29   God! Don't make that such!

01:16:33   I mean, maybe to an extent you could do things like, I want to help me find all of my diary

01:16:42   entries where I was sad and I was typing in Italian. So if I have a diary, sometimes I

01:16:50   I write in Italian, other times I write in English, and I can find the said entries of

01:16:54   my diary in a specific language. Or maybe you could even do things like audio tagging,

01:16:59   so you can process audio and recognize things in audio, or you could do things like, I mean,

01:17:07   understanding a specific speaker, for example, in an audio stream, like show me the bits

01:17:13   where Myke is talking, you know, all that kind of stuff.

01:17:17   needs that. All apps should use that feature, the "when Myke is talking" feature.

01:17:21   Yeah, it's a very... it's a wild west right now, really. It's all up to

01:17:29   the developers imagination, the models they can find. And there's the

01:17:33   criticism that is going on is that Apple is not making a real machine learning

01:17:37   development tool. It's more of an API that takes in models from other

01:17:43   other proper tools and makes them compatible with iOS,

01:17:47   you know, it actually includes the models

01:17:49   into the binary of an app.

01:17:51   So, you know, like at runtime, the model is already there.

01:17:55   And it's not like a real program

01:17:58   that you open on your computer and you're like,

01:17:59   "Okay, I want to write machine learning code."

01:18:02   That's not what it does.

01:18:03   It's a way to take the model, take the code,

01:18:06   and make it work with iOS.

01:18:08   - Yeah, I understand that criticism, right?

01:18:10   That kind of cheat in a way,

01:18:12   but they're also making something that sounds pretty impressive.

01:18:15   But yeah, they are getting around doing that stuff themselves.

01:18:19   Like, it's not TensorFlow, you know.

01:18:21   It's not what Google is doing.

01:18:23   It's a different approach.

01:18:24   Yeah.

01:18:25   Thank you for teaching, Tichi.

01:18:28   Sure. I feel educated.

01:18:30   Thank you.

01:18:31   Is there anything else?

01:18:32   Is there any other things that you want to do?

01:18:34   Like, are there other things that you can talk about?

01:18:38   There are other things.

01:18:39   I need to decide, so I don't want to pre-announce it this time, because it creates an expectation.

01:18:47   But there are other things that I would like to discuss with you and sort of wrap my head

01:18:50   around because it can be difficult to understand these ideas just by myself.

01:18:55   So there will be more.

01:18:56   I think if you run out of stuff we can pivot and I can teach you guys about Apple Talk

01:19:02   Nodes.

01:19:03   Sure.

01:19:04   If you want to find our show notes for this week just go to relay.fm/connected/149.

01:19:07   I'd like to thank our sponsors again for helping support this episode.

01:19:11   So a huge thanks to Igloo, Hover and Mac Weldon.

01:19:15   If you want to find us online, there's a few places you can do that.

01:19:18   You can go to 512pixels.net and @ismh on Twitter for all of Steven's stuff and @fotichiviticci

01:19:25   and maxlories.net for all of Federico's.

01:19:28   I am i-mike, i-m-y-k-e on Twitter.

01:19:31   Thank you so much for listening to this week's show and we'll be back next time.

01:19:36   Until then, say goodbye guys.

01:19:37   Arrivederci.

01:19:38   Adios.