115: Out in the Real World


00:00:00   (upbeat music)

00:00:02   - From Real AFM, this is Connected, episode 115.

00:00:08   It is brought to you this week by Braintree and MailRoute.

00:00:11   My name is Stephen Hackett and I'm joined by my friend

00:00:15   and lead singer of The Senors, Federico Vittucci.

00:00:18   - Why do you do this?

00:00:19   Hi, Stephen, but it's unnecessary to--

00:00:22   - New listeners just have to discover

00:00:25   what that means on their own.

00:00:26   ♪ And I just know, I say I know ♪

00:00:29   ♪ There is nothing we can do ♪

00:00:32   ♪ We wrote our names on the tree ♪

00:00:35   ♪ And I say never, never, never ♪

00:00:38   - Oh God, well, okay.

00:00:40   - So Myke's not here.

00:00:44   Myke is at the OOL Conference in Ireland

00:00:46   with a bunch of our friends, and he is away this week.

00:00:50   - The OOL Conference is a metaphor for the afterlife,

00:00:52   so we miss you, Myke, and yeah.

00:00:55   - Get better soon.

00:00:57   (laughing)

00:01:01   So we spoke last week obviously about the Apple event.

00:01:03   There's some more of that to unpack this week.

00:01:06   But something that we didn't really get to talk about

00:01:08   because the event just overwhelmed the show

00:01:10   was the AirPod delay.

00:01:11   So the night before the event,

00:01:14   Apple made it known to several reporters

00:01:18   that the AirPods were gonna be delayed.

00:01:20   They weren't gonna be sold in October.

00:01:23   And I think the language was basically

00:01:24   we need a little more time to get it right.

00:01:26   and they're not ready yet.

00:01:28   And now, according to supply chain rumors,

00:01:31   which I mean take the whole thing with a grain of salt,

00:01:33   is saying that it may not be until January,

00:01:37   that they may miss the holiday season altogether,

00:01:40   which is not great.

00:01:42   I mean, the AirPods, I mean, it's expensive,

00:01:45   but it's in line with other wireless headphones' costs,

00:01:47   and I could see these things being a huge holiday gift

00:01:50   for people who have a spouse or a loved one

00:01:53   who is a big iPhone user

00:01:56   and may not buy this for themselves.

00:01:58   And it makes me sad because I wanted to buy it for myself.

00:02:01   And now we're all waiting.

00:02:03   Yeah, and in another plot twist, according to Apple Insider,

00:02:08   there's no way-- and I'm quoting--

00:02:10   that Apple is delaying the AirPods until 2017.

00:02:13   So they make it sound like they know something.

00:02:17   But again, we can't know for sure.

00:02:20   I think if there's a delay to next year,

00:02:22   it's going to be extremely odd.

00:02:24   because the AirPods are exactly the kind of gift that were perfect for the holidays, you

00:02:29   know. Just the right price point to buy a gift for a loved one, for example. But also,

00:02:35   I think we talked about this before, it's the statement that Apple was making with the

00:02:39   iPhone 7, that they believe that the future of wireless audio were something like the

00:02:46   AirPods, you know, moving away from the headphone jack, moving away from cables in general.

00:02:50   now to have that kind of delay from a September announcement to a January release, that would

00:02:55   be kind of strange, especially when you basically sell people on the promise of wireless audio

00:03:00   and then you wait four months. That'd be a little strange, I think.

00:03:03   Yeah, and you know, we have friends who have review units and Apple labeled those as like

00:03:08   beta hardware, which is super strange. But from what I've seen, from what I've talked

00:03:13   to people who have them, they seem fine. It's not like they're super janky or broken. So

00:03:18   So, I mean, who knows what's going on here?

00:03:21   You know, these things are complicated.

00:03:22   They have hardware and software,

00:03:24   and then there's software on the phone.

00:03:25   Like, there's a lot of moving parts,

00:03:27   and I would rather Apple wait,

00:03:30   and they be really good out of the box

00:03:32   than be sort of broken and not, you know, what Apple wants.

00:03:37   Because that's a really bad first experience, right?

00:03:38   And if you're, to your point,

00:03:39   if you are pitching people on the

00:03:42   future of wireless audio,

00:03:46   and your first entry into that world is not a good experience or sort of broken out of

00:03:51   the box, then you've sort of soured people on that vision, right? So I understand it,

00:03:57   but I am bummed and I think that the absence will only make my heart grow fonder for the

00:04:02   AirPods.

00:04:03   Yeah, I mean, I can't wait really for these things. I was thinking about this the other

00:04:08   day. I'm that kind of person who tends to fall asleep listening to podcasts or listening

00:04:14   into music and to not have a wire, you know, going to bed with the risk of being choked

00:04:19   by my own music. That'd be very nice. And I was surprised when I see that Apple was

00:04:26   delaying the product. But I guess it makes sense, like you said, if you're going to

00:04:29   make a, you know, this grand debut into the world of wireless audio, it's best if you

00:04:36   have a solid product without issues, whether it's hardware or whether it's software.

00:04:40   So I mean I get the reason. I also think it'd be kind of strange if Apple cannot figure

00:04:46   out a solution before January or before February, but I guess we'll see.

00:04:52   So up next, iOS 10.2 developer beta and then late last night the public beta has arrived.

00:05:00   It brings some new stuff. We have a link to Mac stories in the show notes, some new wallpaper,

00:05:07   a new iMessage effect, which I did not expect them to honestly ever change, but they added

00:05:12   a new one, which is fine. And 72 new emojis. So this brings Apple in line with the latest

00:05:20   Unicode release. And what's even more interesting to me is that they've also redesigned the

00:05:27   bulk of emoji that people use. What do you think about this new look?

00:05:31   Yeah, it's a major redesign actually. From what I've seen on Twitter, and Cable Sasser

00:05:36   from Panic has been very efficient at tweeting screenshot differences between the old emoji

00:05:43   and the new ones. I dig the new look. I think it's a combination of very artistic 3D/photo

00:05:53   realistic icons. Like, it makes me sort of nostalgic of the old Apple way of drawing

00:06:00   icons on the Mac. These are very detailed, very colorful, very realistic in a way emoji,

00:06:07   whether it's landscapes or food. I mean the food emoji are super, like they make me hungry.

00:06:13   And I think I love the style. They're definitely moving away from the cartoonish/2D effect

00:06:20   of the old emoji. But even if you just look at the comparisons between the old emoji and

00:06:24   the new ones. There's a considerable amount of detail that the new ones have that the

00:06:30   old ones didn't have. And it sort of makes sense if you consider the move from old screens

00:06:37   and small screens to this world of larger displays, retina displays, high resolution

00:06:43   screens everywhere. I think it makes more sense given the time, you know, that we're

00:06:48   in right now. I don't know, I've seen a lot of people saying, I don't think reemoji

00:06:54   should be more realistic, I don't think it makes a lot of sense. Personally I'm a fan,

00:06:58   I love the new look, I'm not sure, I mean, I think Apple is gonna tweak this before the

00:07:04   final release because when they did this last year, even on iOS 9 they did a bit of a redesign

00:07:10   of emoji, I think they kinda changed the glossy look to something else, and they changed the

00:07:16   style between the first beta of iOS 9.2 I think to the last beta. So there's still room

00:07:23   for improvements and optimizations but overall I think it's a solid new look for Emoji. I

00:07:28   think it's very fun. And you can see why they've done it right. You have them much bigger now

00:07:33   in messages and some of those old designs just didn't scale up very well and some of

00:07:37   them look kind of fuzzy even. So it was nice, it's a nice opportunity to do that. I'm with

00:07:44   you, I like the new look. I like that they are more detailed and I think they look really

00:07:49   nice on the retina displays where you can really see those details so thumbs up

00:07:56   for me and you can send bacon emoji to all your friends if you update to the

00:08:00   beta or I mean some really 10.2 would be out here in the next couple weeks

00:08:04   do you know anything else that 10.2 brings I mean the emoji were why people

00:08:09   will update right because it's what people want

00:08:12   I have a good one I'm not sure if it's a bug yet or if it's a feature but if

00:08:17   If it's a feature, I bring good news, Steven.

00:08:20   Because now the Notification Center/Search screen with widgets remembers your last viewed

00:08:28   screen.

00:08:30   So if you dismiss the, for example, Notification Center while you are viewing widgets, the

00:08:36   next time you slide down, you won't go to the notification list again.

00:08:40   You will be taken to the previous widget screen, which is super handy.

00:08:44   Control Center does that, right?

00:08:45   Yeah, exactly.

00:08:46   one, it remembers that when you go back in.

00:08:49   Yeah, and I never look at notifications and I realize now Myke is gonna go crazy

00:08:54   because I've seen Myke use his iPhone, he's constantly pulling down to view his

00:08:57   notifications and he's very upset about the changes to notifications in iOS 10.

00:09:02   We've talked about this before, but for someone like me I use widgets all the

00:09:07   time, especially the launcher and the workflow widgets and that extra swipe

00:09:12   always required to go from notifications to the other screen. If Apple is going to

00:09:17   change this in iOS 10.2, that's going to be super welcome. So fingers crossed it's

00:09:21   not a bug, it's a feature. For once.

00:09:23   Yeah, no, I would imagine they want that to be the same as control center. It really makes

00:09:29   sense, right, that if one place works this way, both places should work that way.

00:09:33   So I will put it in the feature column until proven otherwise, I guess.

00:09:37   Okay.

00:09:38   Alright, so we have a lot more to talk about, but first we're going to take a quick break

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00:10:54   So Federico, you bought a new MacBook Pro.

00:10:56   Yes I did.

00:10:59   It's true, I bought a new Mac and it's got a touch bar.

00:11:02   No, no, not really. I didn't buy anything. Why am I even playing along with you? I don't

00:11:08   know.

00:11:09   I don't know. You really went for it there. No. You did not buy a new MacBook Pro.

00:11:13   I didn't buy anything, man.

00:11:14   You didn't buy anything. But I did. So we spoke last week about my very conflicted feelings

00:11:22   about what to purchase. As I shared last week, I recently picked up a refurbished 5K iMac

00:11:29   from Apple, which if you've never bought refurbished as a sidebar, totally the way

00:11:33   to go. Sometimes you have to wait to get what you want, but they warrant them like

00:11:37   news, a bunch of money off. It's a sweet option. You can even do in-store pickup

00:11:41   with them. So I had mine shipped to my Apple store and I went out there and got

00:11:44   it. So this iMac is what I'm talking to you right now on. This is now my main

00:11:48   machine in my studio and it's fast and it's powerful and it's gonna last me a

00:11:52   long time. And in doing this I have decided that my notebook is going to be

00:11:59   my secondary machine. So when I travel, when I work outside of the home, or if I need to

00:12:03   edit on the go, I still need a Mac. I can't be iMac and iPad, but the

00:12:08   MacBook Air or Pro, whatever it was going to be, will be a secondary machine. And after

00:12:14   the show did some more thinking on it and I ordered the 1499 MacBook Pro. So

00:12:20   So this is the one with two Thunderbolt 3 ports

00:12:23   that does not have a touch bar.

00:12:25   It's the only one of these new machines

00:12:26   that is currently shipping.

00:12:28   And I got it just bone stock, the 1499 model as it is.

00:12:33   And I have some initial thoughts on this.

00:12:36   And it is a complicated machine

00:12:39   with a bunch of complicated decisions that went into it.

00:12:42   But as someone who was really looking at,

00:12:45   I was really probably gonna buy the MacBook Air,

00:12:48   wanted something with a Retina display because I wanted something thin and light.

00:12:52   And under those parameters this machine is a big win. The screen is

00:12:58   excellent, it's got the the wide color gamut, it's really bright. It meets

00:13:06   that need of mine where I wanted something with a Retina display but as

00:13:10   thin and light as the MacBook Air. I did get it in space gray which looks awesome.

00:13:15   It still looks like a Mac but the dark look is something that I really like.

00:13:21   And because the bezels around the screen are so much smaller, it feels like a much smaller

00:13:26   machine.

00:13:27   Federico, do you remember when they went from the iPad 3, 2, 3, 4 design to the Air?

00:13:32   It was amazing how much smaller it felt.

00:13:34   Yeah, I like how you bring up the iPad so you can relate with me.

00:13:38   That's right.

00:13:39   Other than that, it's just me talking for an hour.

00:13:44   But it's that same, it's that exact same thing

00:13:46   where like I know the screen sizes are the same,

00:13:49   but it feels so much more compact.

00:13:52   It feels very dense.

00:13:54   But there are some downsides.

00:13:57   You know, this MacBook, none of them have MagSafe anymore.

00:14:01   USB-C is the charger now, and it sticks in there

00:14:05   like a USB port so the magnetic breakaway is gone.

00:14:09   MagSafe was so brilliant.

00:14:12   I don't know about you Federico, but for me,

00:14:16   I definitely have instances where MagSafe saved my computer.

00:14:21   It gets plugged in and the dog walks by

00:14:24   or a family member walks by, is not paying attention,

00:14:27   and yanks that cord right off the side of the laptop

00:14:29   and it stays safe and sound.

00:14:32   - Yeah, it's definitely one of the best features

00:14:35   about the Mac.

00:14:36   When I got my first MacBook, I remember the feeling

00:14:39   of having a charger that was so clever.

00:14:42   unlike any other PC notebook that I had in the past.

00:14:46   It was so genius and I mean I get it why people are sad about the MagSafe.

00:14:51   I saw that there's an adapter

00:14:54   made by Belkin maybe or Griffin? Griffin makes one.

00:14:57   Yeah that sort of turns the USB-C plug into a MagSafe like

00:15:02   magnetic charger that snaps into the MacBook. I do understand why people are

00:15:07   you know sad about leaving this feature behind.

00:15:10   definitely made the Mac, you know, a better machine because of that. Because, you know,

00:15:15   if you have a dog, if you have kids running around, it made it better. So yeah, sad.

00:15:21   Yeah, and USB-C port people in the chair are asking, it is snugly in there. Like it is

00:15:26   not something that if someone trips over this cable, the MacBook Pro is going to go in the

00:15:31   direction of the cable. It's not going to break away freely. But I mean, I'm bummed

00:15:37   buy it. I wish that they could have made it work. I mean clearly USB-C adding

00:15:43   charging is like a big benefit of the whole chipset so why not take advantage

00:15:47   of it but it is a bummer and something that I will miss. Because of that you

00:15:51   don't have the little you know status LED on the charger, either orange or

00:15:54   green so you can see your battery status. The power brick doesn't have the little

00:15:59   arms anymore because it's just like a big iPad charger basically and you plug a

00:16:03   USB-C cable into one end and then the same end goes into the laptop. There's

00:16:08   not like an integrated charger anymore with little wings to wrap it around.

00:16:12   Just something that's not as nice. The keyboard has been a big point of

00:16:18   conversation. You know Apple said it's the second generation butterfly

00:16:21   mechanism and it's designed to feel like it has more travel. So I have a

00:16:27   MacBook here. My wife has a first generation Retina MacBook that we

00:16:32   bought her and side by side with this new MacBook Pro it sure feels and it

00:16:38   sure looks like this keyboard has more travel. Now Apple has said to some people

00:16:45   including Jason that the travels the same and I actually read somewhere else

00:16:50   that Apple told them that there is more travel so I don't know if there's

00:16:52   actually more travel or not I can tell you in using it it feels like there's

00:16:56   more travel than the MacBook. Whether that's smoke and mirrors and some sort of

00:17:02   magic trick I don't know. It's not as good as the magic keyboard they sell for

00:17:08   the Mac. It's not really even as good as the smart keyboard they sell for the

00:17:12   iPad but it's closer to the MacBook. It's that shallow key style. It is

00:17:18   going to take some getting used to. It is going to take me learning not to type so

00:17:24   hard and like bottoming out the keys. It does make a wonderful sound when you

00:17:29   type on it's very clicky and clacky which I like but it's um it's something

00:17:33   that takes some some getting used to but funnily enough one thing that has

00:17:38   prepared me for this keyboard is typing on my iPad Pro with the smart keyboard

00:17:43   cover because I think it's so shallow I've gotten used to typing more soft you

00:17:48   know in a softer fashion so I'm not slamming my fingers into the base of the

00:17:52   keyboard and it'll take some time to get used to but I think I can get there. I

00:17:56   think I'm already adjusting to it after a couple of days but it's not as good as

00:18:01   what I think is Apple's standard right now of the the magic keyboard that

00:18:07   external bluetooth keyboard I think is still better. That makes me a little sad.

00:18:12   The big thing though right is the, the big thing today at least is the the port

00:18:19   situation on this thing. So as we talked about all the, and I'm gonna use huge

00:18:23   air quotes here, "legacy ports" because I really don't think USB-A is legacy, but we'll call it

00:18:28   legacy. They're all gone and it's USB-C and Thunderbolt 3. This computer has two

00:18:34   of them. The others have four ports which is nicer and really more than anything

00:18:39   it makes the Mac feel more like an iOS device. Now I can still adapt and dongle

00:18:48   my way to Elmas anything which we're going to talk about. But sort of in its default

00:18:52   state it's just it's just a like a machine that's kind of unto itself and we were talking

00:18:58   before we recorded when the iPad you know the run to the iPad when the rumor is really

00:19:04   strong and then afterwards you know there was a group of people saying this thing needs

00:19:08   USB port so you can put a jump drive in it. This thing needs an SD card slot so you can

00:19:14   import photos to it and Apple did end up shipping the camera connection kit so

00:19:18   you could they still sell it today so you could pull images in from an SD card

00:19:23   and import them into photos. I have one I use it actually several times a year

00:19:27   with my iPad if I just travel with my tablet and a camera it's really nice but

00:19:32   they didn't build that stuff in on the iPad and clearly the iPad has been fine

00:19:37   without it I mean I don't think you're pining for a USB port on your iPad Pro

00:19:41   are you? Not really, no. That's good. Never gonna get it. So that stuff's all gone here and there

00:19:52   was conversations today about should have Apple left an SD card slot should they have left a sort

00:19:59   of standard USB port on this machine and I feel very conflicted about that. I wrote about this

00:20:08   this morning, they'll be linking the show notes to my piece, where I understand and

00:20:14   kind of wish Apple had left at least the SD card slot on this machine. Because it's another

00:20:22   adapter that you do have to purchase and carry. Now that's not the end of the world, and it's

00:20:26   nothing new. If you had a Thunderbolt-equipped Mac, you were carrying a dongle for FireWire

00:20:31   or ethernet or VGA or DVI.

00:20:34   So in reality, I think I own a total of two additional

00:20:39   adapters than I used to.

00:20:41   Not a huge deal.

00:20:42   I spent $1500 on a computer.

00:20:44   Spending 150 bucks on dongles and adapters

00:20:46   is not the end of the world.

00:20:48   But it's something you have to deal with, right?

00:20:49   Because on the Mac, we still have the need

00:20:54   to plug a bunch of stuff in.

00:20:55   At least a lot of us do.

00:20:57   And I just keep coming back to the idea of,

00:21:00   should have Apple done something different? Clearly they were never going to do it.

00:21:04   I don't think that was ever on the table. But I think about it too in comparing it

00:21:09   to the iPad where the iPad has always been a wireless machine. The camera

00:21:15   connection kit uses an SD card but it still to this day only uses that to

00:21:21   import photos and video shot on a camera. If you have audio files on an SD card

00:21:27   So it's like when we travel with relay, I have a portable recorder that records audio

00:21:34   onto an SD card and I can, you know, stick it in my Mac and pull the WAV files off.

00:21:40   The camera connection kit doesn't offer me that.

00:21:42   There's no mechanism within iOS to pull files off of an SD card that aren't images and videos.

00:21:49   And that's really frustrating and I wish they would look at that.

00:21:52   But the iPad has had a healthy life and now, you know, six years into it without all that

00:21:59   stuff, right?

00:22:01   And the Mac is moving towards that in a way.

00:22:03   I just find that very interesting that you have platforms that Apple even today and every

00:22:10   feel similar said, you know, they're separate platforms are going to stay separate, but

00:22:13   that the Mac is inching closer to the iPad, at least in terms of like hardware philosophy.

00:22:20   And I'm just, I feel really, really conflicted about that.

00:22:23   I don't know.

00:22:24   I mean, you have a Mac still, you have a MacBook Air, and you only use it for podcasting, right?

00:22:30   Yes.

00:22:31   So you have a USB interface and a microphone cable and a microphone.

00:22:35   And so, you know, it's, it's that, that keeps coming back to my mind in this of like, how

00:22:43   many people are like me and I bought every adapter I could because I'm in situations

00:22:47   where I need that stuff.

00:22:48   But I think a lot of people aren't.

00:22:51   And I think a lot of people are like you and they have one or two things they really need

00:22:56   to do.

00:22:57   And so you could do, you know, USB C to A adapter or even just buy a different type

00:23:04   of USB cable for your interface and you would be okay.

00:23:08   Or you could, you know what I'm saying?

00:23:10   Like I feel like it's not a big deal to people who aren't nerds.

00:23:13   Yeah, I feel like nerds are a very peculiar breed in the sense that I'm looking at people

00:23:23   on Twitter, right, these past few days, and the same people who generally praise Apple's

00:23:31   drive and push to move past old technologies, like the people who in the past praised Apple

00:23:38   for moving on from the floppy drive, from the serial port, from the VGA cables and that

00:23:45   kind of stuff, now are upset that HDMI is gone and USB A, whatever is the name, is replaced

00:23:54   by USB C. And they're sort of applying a double standard, because when it happens to

00:24:01   other people it's okay, but when it happens to them it's not. And I sort of don't get

00:24:06   the perspective because we can make the same argument that we're making today for people

00:24:11   who relied on floppy drives in the past, which is where I get to my question is how and when

00:24:17   do we draw the line and how do we understand when a port or a cable that Apple is getting

00:24:24   rid of is truly past its time or when is it too soon? This is what I want to understand

00:24:31   because otherwise we're just left with a bunch of people on Twitter saying Apple really made

00:24:37   a mistake this time but in the past it was okay and now it's not okay. So how do we decide?

00:24:43   Yeah, I mean that's sort of the crux of it, right? And I think where people are divided

00:24:50   on this is some people think that it's not a big deal because you can adapt and most

00:24:56   people don't use most of that stuff anyways, right? Or they use it so rarely that just

00:25:01   having a couple of adapters is not a huge deal.

00:25:05   And then there are other people who say,

00:25:06   "Look, USB-A has been around on the Mac since 1998,

00:25:09   "the first iMac ushered it in,"

00:25:11   which I know a thing or two about.

00:25:13   And it's the standard, right?

00:25:16   It's more of a standard than serial or SCSI or ADB ever were

00:25:21   'cause USB is like truly universal.

00:25:24   I mean, you could buy anything with USB plug

00:25:26   on the end of it.

00:25:28   You can buy, I mean even my BB-8 little Star Wars toy robot I bought last year

00:25:33   charges over regular USB. It's everywhere.

00:25:36   And I think why I'm conflicted is because I don't know what side of that divide I stand on.

00:25:43   I think that yes, USB, especially USB, the standard regular USB plug, is universal

00:25:52   and it is painful to see Apple moving past that.

00:25:57   But at the same time, you come to that idea of like,

00:26:00   I don't really know how big of a deal it is to most people.

00:26:03   You know, when Apple introduced the original MacBook Air

00:26:06   in 2008, there was a slide, I love this image,

00:26:09   it's Steve Jobs standing in front of a slide

00:26:12   in this presentation, and it has all the things

00:26:16   that we used to use optical media for,

00:26:19   and now we don't need it.

00:26:20   So he has, you know, you don't need a DVD, you have iTunes.

00:26:23   And you don't need to burn a CD because you have the iPod,

00:26:26   and you don't need to install software

00:26:30   'cause you can do that over the internet now.

00:26:32   And he was building the case that the original MacBook Air

00:26:35   losing the optical drive was not a big deal.

00:26:38   And people were worked up about that

00:26:39   and now I don't know the last time I put a DVD in anything.

00:26:44   And so we will get there.

00:26:47   Apple has an uncanny ability to see

00:26:52   where things are going and move in that direction.

00:26:55   and in moving that direction they make things happen, right?

00:26:57   Like it's two sides of one coin.

00:27:00   My gut says they may have been too early on this,

00:27:05   but I also am not surprised at all

00:27:09   that they didn't leave a single USB port on this

00:27:11   as like a bridge to the future.

00:27:14   Like that idea that they should have left one

00:27:17   or that you should have had some sort of legacy I/O,

00:27:20   that's generally not the way Apple works.

00:27:23   And in my post I talk about an example where that is how they worked.

00:27:27   When they brought the iMac design to the Power Mac, they left one legacy port on it for nine

00:27:33   months.

00:27:34   And then that ADB port went away and it was all USB and FireWire.

00:27:37   And so Apple's done it in the past, but it's not something that is super common.

00:27:49   I don't know what the answer is Federico.

00:27:50   I don't know.

00:27:51   why it's so like I closed my article saying I don't know what I think because

00:27:56   on one hand I like this MacBook Pro because it's thin and it's futuristic

00:28:00   and Thunderbolt 3 and USB C is crazy fast and awesome but at the same time I

00:28:08   have a whole bunch of stuff on my desk that I can't plug into it without a

00:28:11   adapter. You know, so I don't know. Yeah I just wonder if the problem here is

00:28:18   is that the people who have these needs

00:28:22   are the people with a voice on the internet.

00:28:25   So the people who have blogs, the people who talk to the press,

00:28:28   the people who have podcasts, are also the people who make software

00:28:32   and need a lot of power, are people who have a lot of external drives,

00:28:37   a lot of monitors, a lot of other devices, a lot of cables.

00:28:40   And so the opinions you read and the

00:28:44   thoughts you listen to generally come from people who are at the very

00:28:48   edge of what they need from a computer.

00:28:52   And now it's a totally fine argument. I totally get it. Like it's

00:28:57   maybe too early because USB, the standard plug is

00:29:01   anywhere. And I totally get it. But I also wonder

00:29:05   if

00:29:08   most people will notice. But then again, will most people buy the MacBook Pro?

00:29:12   Well, no. But it is the

00:29:17   the canary in the coal mine, right?

00:29:18   The MacBook is already here.

00:29:20   Like, that's the funny thing about this.

00:29:21   This is only in the conversation

00:29:23   because it happened on the Pro machine.

00:29:25   Like, when it's just the MacBook,

00:29:27   it's like, oh, that kind of stinks,

00:29:28   just don't buy the MacBook.

00:29:29   But when Apple updates the iMac and the Mac Pro,

00:29:34   and maybe the Mac Mini one day,

00:29:37   then this will be everywhere.

00:29:39   And, but I see what you're saying, right?

00:29:41   Like, I think about, like, my family members

00:29:43   or friends who don't own a podcast network,

00:29:47   they may plug their phone into their computer

00:29:50   a couple times a year.

00:29:51   Most people don't even do that.

00:29:53   Most people, I think one of the more common things

00:29:58   is maybe transferring stuff over USB

00:30:00   and then maybe you just need to get a new USB drive,

00:30:03   a single USB-C to USB-A adapter for that.

00:30:06   But I think for most people, most of the time,

00:30:09   it's probably at most an inconvenience.

00:30:14   And some people are gonna roll their eyes about it.

00:30:17   I mean, last night, so I have a Pixel XL review unit

00:30:21   from Verizon, I hung out with some friends last night,

00:30:24   I took it with me, 'cause one of them wanted to see it.

00:30:26   And so I kinda got passed around the group,

00:30:27   people were commenting, and two people,

00:30:30   independently of each other, who aren't nerds,

00:30:32   were like, oh, this has a headphone jack.

00:30:34   Like, poking fun of Apple for doing something

00:30:38   they thought was clearly ridiculous.

00:30:40   And I think there's gonna be some of that in this too,

00:30:43   where somebody's gonna buy this machine

00:30:45   not knowing all this, not listening to Connected or following us on Twitter. And they're like,

00:30:50   "Oh, what are these silly ports? I don't know what to do with these." Right? So I'm very

00:30:56   curious to see how it goes in the real world.

00:30:58   Here's what I think. I believe the problem lies, most of it at least, in the message.

00:31:07   Let's follow along. Compare the announcement of the iPhone 7 and the truly masterful PR

00:31:15   strategy that was the headphone jack. With a leak, quote-unquote "leak" coming out, what,

00:31:22   December 2015? Months, almost a year before the iPhone 7. And I see all of that maneuver

00:31:30   as a truly, almost perfect PR job. And it makes sense, right? It makes total sense,

00:31:39   because otherwise people are just gonna go crazy and focus only on the lack of a headphone

00:31:45   jack come September 2016.

00:31:48   Now I think that Apple were, I don't know if unprepared or maybe a little too certain

00:31:55   about the MacBook Pro announcement. But they could have done a lot to mitigate the nature

00:32:03   of the MacBook Pro and the lack of other desktop Mac announcements coming into the event. It's

00:32:12   all in the message, it's all in the perception. Because look at the iPhone 7. It lacks an

00:32:17   iPhone jack, but it's got a dongle inside, so you can adapt. And I don't know what you

00:32:22   you notice, but from what I've seen on Twitter, nobody's talking about the headphone jack

00:32:27   anymore. And when you talk to people and you mention, well, there's a free adapter in

00:32:30   the box, everyone is like, well, all right then, whatever. And if you apply that strategy

00:32:37   to the Mac community, I wonder if maybe a different structure of the keynote, different

00:32:45   messages in the keynote, different leaks coming into the event, different interviews after

00:32:50   the event, not the sort of scrambling that we're seeing now, with CNET releasing multiple

00:32:55   interviews and, you know, another interview with Phil Schiller today. It just feels like

00:33:00   all of the PR strategy went into the iPhone 7 and not so much went into the MacBook Pro

00:33:06   because Apple was surprised by the criticism that they received and Phil Schiller said

00:33:11   so in the interview today. So I think that a better orchestrated message and strategy

00:33:18   would have done wonders to the MacBook Pro announcement. And now Apple is kind of figuring

00:33:22   out what went wrong, but I don't think it's necessarily wrong with the computer itself.

00:33:26   And I truly believe that it's okay to move past a few things even when it's painful.

00:33:31   But most of the problem is not taking care of the message beforehand and leaving people to speculate,

00:33:38   leaving people to say, "Well, I should just maybe switch to Microsoft. I should just maybe switch

00:33:44   to Windows, the lack of an explanation, the lack of a coherent story at the event.

00:33:50   I think that's at least one of the most important aspects to consider.

00:33:57   Not just the technology part.

00:34:00   Because I feel like nerds, if you know how to take care of them, it's going to be okay.

00:34:06   And when it comes to this MacBook Pro, it almost feels like Apple was all invested in

00:34:11   the iPhone 7 announcement in the iPhone 7 story and when it came to the Mac event

00:34:16   they were like well you know Mac people are gonna be fine they love us.

00:34:19   Turns out if you don't know how to announce things that those people can

00:34:24   you know rally against you and it's definitely been a surprise.

00:34:28   Yeah I think there's something to be said there that the PR gamer on the iPhone was

00:34:34   strong and you know there's there's the angle too with these particular models

00:34:39   of they they're more expensive than their predecessors you know one reason I

00:34:45   bought the none the non touch bar one the MacBook escape as as ATP dubbed it

00:34:50   was the price as a secondary machine you know I just couldn't couldn't really

00:34:55   justify a more expensive purchase but I do wonder out in the real world would

00:35:03   have throwing a USB CD USB a adapter in the box been so bad you know they did it

00:35:08   - I don't think they'll do it on the iPhone ever again.

00:35:12   I agree with Myke, I think Myke said that first.

00:35:14   It's a one-time deal on the iPhone

00:35:17   to help usher people in and then the AirPods

00:35:19   will come out in March and everyone will be happy.

00:35:21   But why not do that on the MacBook Pro?

00:35:24   Is it that they are making such a statement

00:35:27   that you don't need any of that old stuff?

00:35:30   Which I think is probably the wrong statement,

00:35:32   it's probably too soon.

00:35:33   Or are they just assuming that people will just go get them?

00:35:36   I mean, I bought, I got a whole laundry list of things,

00:35:40   of dongles and adapters that are like slowly trickling

00:35:42   to my house from Amazon and Apple and everyone else

00:35:45   to plug stuff into this thing.

00:35:47   And it would have been a nice gesture for Apple

00:35:49   to include one.

00:35:50   And I think in a world where they were never going to put

00:35:53   a USB-A port on the side of this thing,

00:35:57   they were never gonna do it.

00:35:59   Then at least put that adapter in the box.

00:36:03   'Cause you know what that adapter gives you?

00:36:05   the ability to plug in your iPhone.

00:36:07   Like, if there's anything this thing's

00:36:09   to be able to plug into, is the iPhone.

00:36:11   And you can buy a USB-C to lightning cable.

00:36:14   I have one now, and it's very confusing

00:36:17   'cause the ends look very similar.

00:36:18   But, at least do that, at least put that adapter in the box.

00:36:22   And I think that they could have avoided

00:36:24   a lot of this sort of stress in the Mac community

00:36:28   if they had done that.

00:36:30   And then people like me who do need

00:36:33   every once in a while who do need to plug in to VGA sometimes. They'll just go get what

00:36:39   they need and that'll be fine. But everyone is going to need the USB-C to A adapter, like

00:36:45   everyone. And so why not at least include that? That's really what I keep coming back

00:36:48   to of like, I think they should have done it and why didn't they? And I think it's

00:36:54   the same answer because they think that this is the future and it's going to be great.

00:36:58   But again, there's that tension with the present.

00:37:01   It's all those little things, right? It's the little details that eventually kind of

00:37:06   snowball from a PR perspective and you end up with the memes on Twitter, you end up with

00:37:12   the people tweeting stuff like "if you buy a new iPhone you cannot even plug it into

00:37:17   the new MacBook" and it's PR's job to consider those scenarios, to kind of push the product

00:37:26   people to say "look, you gotta include a dongle in the box, otherwise we're gonna end up

00:37:31   with this kind of criticism from people and they're gonna paint us as a greedy corporation

00:37:37   because we let people buy the computer and buy the iPhone and they cannot even connect

00:37:41   them because we're gonna sell them a different cable. It's the changing the MagSafe with

00:37:46   no explanation. It's the removing the extra cable that goes from the wall to the power

00:37:52   adapter. It's all this little... It's leaving Aperture as an example of Mac Pro performance

00:37:59   when Aperture has been discontinued for two years. It's on the website. It's all those

00:38:05   little details, all those little things that I guarantee if you go to the iPhone webpage,

00:38:10   you're not going to find a detail like that. And you're not going to find a PR message

00:38:14   like that because it's all more tightly rehearsed. It's all more tightly prepared when it comes

00:38:20   to iOS devices than it is for the Mac. So, Fyos Shiller can say we're surprised, but

00:38:27   But are you really, should you really be surprised when you're doing such, I mean, in many ways

00:38:31   in different aspects, a sloppy job, honestly.

00:38:35   And surprising, but not really also.

00:38:39   Yeah, and the Cinex angle, this is what's going on in our chat room right now, is that

00:38:46   the dongles and the adapters and that extra extension cable, Apple makes money on that,

00:38:52   they make really good money on that.

00:38:54   I mean, I think the Thunderbolt 3 to Thunderbolt 2 adapter is like 50 bucks or something.

00:38:58   The others are cheaper and they don't make all of them.

00:39:00   So like I bought a couple from Belkin because Apple didn't make them, but it's whatever

00:39:05   is listed on Apple's website.

00:39:07   But it's, it is, I mean, there's that side of it too of like Apple, like you buy this

00:39:10   machine and it's not a big deal to spend more, a little bit more money, but it is spending

00:39:15   more money and it does feel like you're being nickel and dimed a little bit if you need

00:39:18   to plug in all this different stuff.

00:39:19   Now I would, I would counter that argument.

00:39:21   I will counter it to our chat room by saying this has been the case with Apple

00:39:25   notebooks for a long time when they went to Thunderbolt and made DisplayPort and all that and got rid of DVI and

00:39:33   VGA and all that stuff in the years ago like we've been in this adapter world for a while

00:39:39   People are bummed because they have to buy new adapters

00:39:42   Like I basically just took out my Thunderbolt 2 adapters out of my backpack and put in USB C ones today

00:39:46   it's like well, these guys are now retired and

00:39:50   Y'all are on the front line now.

00:39:52   But you know I bought those adapters four or five years ago

00:39:55   And they've been fine, and they'll sit here because I save everything and I'll have them when I need them

00:40:00   Which is my excuse for lots of things and and it's fine so

00:40:04   All in all I think at the end of all of this

00:40:07   I like the machine

00:40:09   There's I'm not crazy in love with parts of it. I think there are some limitations that are a little frustrating

00:40:17   around what you can do with it under certain circumstances.

00:40:20   But what I wanted was a well-specced machine

00:40:24   that was fast enough for editing and logic and Final Cut

00:40:28   and something with a render display in a 13-form factor.

00:40:31   And I got that plus more because it is so small

00:40:35   and it is so light and it comes in space gray

00:40:36   which just looks sick.

00:40:38   And so I'm happy with my purchase.

00:40:40   And it means I gotta carry some dongles

00:40:44   but I was already doing that.

00:40:45   It means that I'm gonna explain to my family members Christmas if they get new Macs that

00:40:49   You know hey you gonna have to buy some adapters that maybe you you didn't have to with the previous one

00:40:55   It is what it is right like apple is not gonna go back on it. They don't there's one thing Apple does

00:41:02   It's we don't go back

00:41:04   those ports aren't gonna grow back overnight and

00:41:06   So it's a matter of if you need a machine and this fits your needs then order one

00:41:10   one. And if it doesn't, that's fine. Don't order one. But at some point you'll be in

00:41:14   this world with us now. And that kind of is how it is.

00:41:19   Yeah. On the other hand, people who have these new MacBook Pros, you know, you're never

00:41:26   gonna run out of gift ideas because you can always buy a dongle and it's always gonna

00:41:31   be a welcome gift. You know, it's like when you know someone is a smoker and you can buy

00:41:36   lighters you can buy ashtrays you know it's like a bad habit you cannot buy

00:41:41   dongles and it's gonna be a great gift because it's always gonna be convenient

00:41:45   so yeah I'm gonna give you dongles Stephen if you don't mind thank you yeah

00:41:49   I think I bought all the ones that needed but I appreciate the gesture

00:41:53   extras you know I mean I love extras after 39 I'm exiting in the next room

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00:43:56   So, we're gonna talk about Alexa? Yeah, you made me talk about Macs, now let's

00:44:01   talk about something fun that doesn't get people angry.

00:44:04   Wow. Let's talk, yeah, I mean, you know, just

00:44:07   take a look on Twitter, it's a bunch of people yelling at each other about USB cables,

00:44:11   you know, not my definition of fun. Anyway, so, Alexa, I hope you listeners have put your

00:44:19   Alexa devices on mute, otherwise please wait until I turn off your lights. Alexa, turn

00:44:26   off my kitchen light. So if that went off, I'm sorry, but I really wanted to make that

00:44:31   joke.

00:44:32   [laughter]

00:44:33   Now, now, Steven.

00:44:35   Mine is muted. I muted mine.

00:44:36   Yeah, me too.

00:44:37   Before we were recording, you said the magic words, and yours went off. And I heard it

00:44:45   in the background. I was like, "You gotta mute." So mine is right here on my desk, and

00:44:48   I just muted it. So you picked up an Echo Dot.

00:44:53   So I've been talking about my new found affection for Alexa for the past few weeks. It feels

00:45:01   like my usage has picked up a little and it picked up a lot since Todoist rolled out their

00:45:07   integration with the Amazon Echo which is you can now add tasks to your todo list just

00:45:15   by talking to Alexa, just by using your voice. You can add new tasks to Todoist because there's

00:45:21   native integration between the two which is basically works that Todoist plugs into the

00:45:27   native task manager built into the Alexa and it imports those tasks into the Todoist service.

00:45:35   It's very neat, very useful, I've been using it a lot. At the same time I asked Myke if

00:45:42   he was able to pick up an Echo Dot for me. The Amazon Echo or the Echo Dot, they're not

00:45:49   available on the Italian Amazon at all. I bought my first Echo from some shady seller

00:45:56   on eBay who got the Echo from the United States. But I decided to buy the Echo Dot from the

00:46:02   UK because I have an actual friend who's not shady at all, I think, for the most part

00:46:06   in the UK. So Myke got me an Echo Dot. And on the very day that I got the Echo Dot, I

00:46:13   started wondering, is it going to be a problem if I have a US Echo and a UK Echo Dot? So

00:46:17   good news, it's not a problem, it totally works. The Echo Dot just picks up the existing

00:46:22   language from your Amazon Echo setup.

00:46:25   Nice.

00:46:26   So, I totally love the fact that I have two Alexa entry points in my house. I have the

00:46:33   full Echo speaker in the kitchen and the second one, the Echo Dot, in the bedroom. Just because

00:46:41   my bedroom is also in the tiny corner, there's a desk where I get work done, so it seemed

00:46:46   more convenient to just talk to Alexa that way instead of yelling, you know.

00:46:49   Yeah. I put, I put my Echo Dot here in my office and the full size Echo is in the kitchen,

00:46:54   which I'd like I said it before, I'll say it again. That's where the Echo wants to be.

00:46:59   Like it is at home in the kitchen. But having the Dot out here in the office where I can

00:47:03   just shout at it all day is awesome. Like it's almost like I can walk in the house and

00:47:09   our kitchen is pretty central in the house. So if you're in that house, it can hear you.

00:47:13   and then out here I have it, it's kind of like Alexa is with me, you know, kind of wherever

00:47:18   I go during my day.

00:47:20   So initially I wanted to connect the Echo Dot to my Sony, what's it called, the soundbar,

00:47:28   you know, the thing that you put into it.

00:47:29   Sure, yeah, soundbar.

00:47:30   Yeah, the soundbar.

00:47:31   But there was some kind of problem with the soundbar and the activation of the speaker,

00:47:35   which is when I activated the Echo Dot by voice, it didn't play the activation sound.

00:47:41   So because of that and because I needed to always leave the soundbar switch to analog

00:47:46   input because of the Echo Dot, I thought I should just maybe buy a pair of cheap speakers

00:47:52   on Amazon and use those, turn them on all the, leave them turned on all the time just

00:47:58   for the Echo Dot.

00:47:59   So I bought like two Logitech PC speakers for like 15 euros from Amazon.

00:48:05   And they were, they're amazing because I don't usually listen to music in the bedroom when

00:48:09   I'm writing, listening to music usually happens in the kitchen, which is also a shared

00:48:15   space, so it made more sense to have the better echo speaker there. And now it's fine, I

00:48:21   have these speakers next to my TV and it's perfect. So I love the fact that I can walk

00:48:28   around the house, talk to Alexa, and Alexa activates on the speaker which is nearest

00:48:34   to me. This is a new feature called "special recognition" I think, and it basically uses

00:48:39   distance to measure which Echo device should respond to you. So if I'm in the bedroom,

00:48:45   it responds to the Echo Dot next to my television. If I'm nearest to the kitchen, the full Echo

00:48:53   speaker replies, which makes a lot of sense. It works really well in practice. I read about

00:48:59   this on six colors because of Dan Moran and it was right, it totally works as advertised.

00:49:07   Besides using Alexa for timers, listening to Spotify, which I gotta clean, I have two

00:49:14   subscriptions to music services. I use both Apple Music and Spotify. I just gave up on

00:49:20   the fact that I cannot choose because each does a few things that I like. This is probably

00:49:27   be another topic for a future episode. So besides timers and music now, I'm using

00:49:31   Todoist a lot. Like, I'm saving tasks with Alexa all the time. It's super convenient,

00:49:38   especially because it picks up the natural language input that you say to Alexa.

00:49:43   But I've also bought Steven, and I realized that I'm late to this Logitech Harmony remote.

00:49:50   I think these remotes have been going around for like a decade?

00:49:55   Yeah, they've been around a long time.

00:49:57   Like, they're super popular.

00:49:59   But I only recently realized they are, in fact, a thing that people enjoy because Logitech

00:50:06   rolled out — or should I say Logi?

00:50:08   The name of the company is just Logi.

00:50:09   Anyway, Logitech or Logi.

00:50:11   Yeah, I know.

00:50:12   They rolled out this Alexa integration.

00:50:15   And it's awesome.

00:50:16   So I bought a Logitech Harmony Remote and a Harmony Hub.

00:50:22   So the hub is like a glossy Apple TV, it's this little puck that you put next to your

00:50:28   television and it does a bunch of things. It can control Philips Hue lights and other

00:50:33   home automation devices, but also it connects to a lot of home entertainment systems. It

00:50:41   supports televisions, Vitagang consoles, DVRs, speakers. If it's a home entertainment

00:50:51   system made in the past 10 to 15 years, it probably works with the Harmony Hub. And now,

00:50:59   what I can do is frankly amazing, and I can confirm that even my girlfriend was impressed

00:51:05   by this. She's usually not impressed by my geeking around, but this time she was. I can

00:51:10   turn on my TV, turn off my TV, switch channels, and switch inputs, so I can say things like

00:51:17   like "Alexa, turn on Apple TV" and my TV turns on, switches to HDMI 1, the soundbar

00:51:25   switches to HDMI 2, which is the input for the Apple TV. The Apple TV turns on and in

00:51:30   a second I'm looking at the Apple TV home screen, which I don't use, it was just an

00:51:34   experiment, I actually set up a Chromecast recipe which I use all the time. I can say

00:51:38   things like "Alexa, turn on the TV" and then "Alexa, switch to 5" and it switches

00:51:43   to the Channel 5, which I watch all the time. It feels like the future, like I can talk

00:51:48   to my television and turn it on. It's awesome. And I'm very excited by this. Also by the

00:51:53   fact that I can control all of these different inputs from a single remote. Now I'm going

00:51:59   to sound like a person who just discovered a thing that has been around for like 20 years,

00:52:06   but this is totally new to me. Like I can have a single remote and I can switch inputs

00:52:10   without having to use all of these remotes which I put in my drawer because I don't use

00:52:14   them anymore. This is amazing. Why didn't you guys tell me about this before?

00:52:20   The thing that really gets me about that is, so you have this working with Logitech and

00:52:26   Amazon and the stuff in between and the Google Home stuff works with Chromecast so you can

00:52:34   shout to your Google Home little friend and say, "Hey, turn on the TV," and it can do

00:52:38   that sort of thing. I have a Google Home on the way. I ordered it on air a couple weeks

00:52:44   ago. But this is another situation where Siri is not competitive. I understand this is all

00:52:53   new so I'm not upset with Apple yet, but it's something they should be listening to.

00:52:58   Because they have the Apple TV sitting there and they have the watch on your wrist where

00:53:08   Siri works pretty well most of the time actually for me I have the most luck

00:53:11   with the with watch OS Siri and they have it on your phone in your pocket or

00:53:16   your iPad on the on the kitchen table and it's so isolated from each other

00:53:22   where because the the Alexa platform is open logitech was able to hook into it

00:53:29   and do all this stuff and if Apple's not going to do that or is there a Siri kid

00:53:35   is gonna still be really limited,

00:53:36   then at least make your own devices

00:53:39   smarter about each other.

00:53:42   Where I could tell Siri on one device

00:53:44   to do something on another device.

00:53:46   Or I could ask Siri about something that is

00:53:50   happening on the Apple TV when I'm on my iPad.

00:53:53   Just be aware of what's going on on these other devices.

00:53:56   Right now it just doesn't have that.

00:53:58   And I'm curious, we kinda blew through it last week,

00:54:03   this TV app and there's not much known about it.

00:54:06   There's still some questions.

00:54:07   It's coming to iOS.

00:54:08   And I really hope that they're doing some stuff in there

00:54:12   where I can pick up my iPad and I can just pick up

00:54:15   the TV show that I was watching on the Apple TV

00:54:17   that had turned off last night to go to bed.

00:54:20   And I can pick my iPad up on my lunch break

00:54:22   and hit play and be in the same place.

00:54:26   I would love for them to start applying this stuff

00:54:30   cross device, you know, cross platform.

00:54:33   And this is another example of someone else

00:54:35   beating them to it, but I think it's time

00:54:37   that Apple tackles them, especially in the living room,

00:54:40   right, where it makes the most sense,

00:54:42   where you can walk in and say,

00:54:44   hey, you know, put on the Memphis football game.

00:54:47   And it knows what to do, and it turns the TV on,

00:54:49   and it all just works, it'd be great.

00:54:52   So, hopefully Apple follows suit here,

00:54:54   because this stuff sounds really interesting,

00:54:56   Google Home stuff sounds really nice.

00:55:00   And I think that it's something that they need to look at

00:55:03   because they have all the components, right?

00:55:05   It's just time to start putting them together.

00:55:08   - Yeah, I think, I've been thinking about this

00:55:11   and all the interactions that I'm having with Alexa

00:55:15   and with connected services and devices,

00:55:18   those are interactions that are not going to Siri.

00:55:22   And the more I buy into this ecosystem,

00:55:26   the more I switch to services and apps

00:55:28   and devices that don't plug into Siri.

00:55:32   The more my iPhone, in a way, is becoming a dumb pipe,

00:55:37   if you think about it.

00:55:38   It just delivers access to an app

00:55:41   that is connected to a service that

00:55:44   works with another ecosystem.

00:55:46   So I'm using Todoist on my iPhone, for example.

00:55:51   But Todoist is based on a service that talks to Alexa.

00:55:54   And none of that is part of Siri.

00:55:56   None of that is part of my iPhone.

00:55:58   And probably right now, that's not a problem.

00:56:01   And we don't know how many units Amazon has sold of Echos.

00:56:06   I'm gonna say a couple of millions maybe to be optimistic.

00:56:09   But it's, I mean, once you try these things,

00:56:12   and I mean, right now it's totally convoluted.

00:56:16   You gotta buy a bunch of devices, a bunch of cables,

00:56:19   the different logins, the Amazon Alexa app is a mess

00:56:23   if you want to configure a bunch of settings.

00:56:25   It's all very early, but it works.

00:56:27   And it's amazing when it works, which is most of the time.

00:56:30   It's very reliable, at least in my experience.

00:56:33   And I have a bit of an accent.

00:56:34   I talk to Alexa in English.

00:56:35   I have an accent.

00:56:36   And she's learned to understand me.

00:56:39   And once you try this convenience, it makes sense.

00:56:43   And I want to see Apple experimenting with this.

00:56:46   But on the other hand, you look at Siri,

00:56:48   and you look at the Siri kit on iOS 10,

00:56:51   and it's limited to a bunch of things

00:56:54   that I don't use on a daily basis.

00:56:57   And instead, I can connect anything I want to to my Amazon Echo. And so when I, when

00:57:02   I'm, sometimes I look at, I'm sitting in my kitchen or actually I'm washing dishes

00:57:07   and I turn around and I think about something that I want to ask. And I, for a second, I

00:57:13   go like, should I invoke Siri or should I just invoke Alexa? And I've come to the

00:57:18   point where it's almost second nature. I just talked to Alexa because I know it's

00:57:25   gonna work and I feel like that's a problem. Maybe it's just me, maybe it's a

00:57:29   bunch of other people like me and you and Myke but I do believe Apple should

00:57:34   consider having a wider presence for Siri in the home because if they don't

00:57:39   maybe they're just kind of stuck in their ways.

00:57:43   I don't know man, I mean Siri started life inside of one iPhone model and while it has spread it still

00:57:51   feels very much like that's their approach. Like Siri is inside my iMac or

00:57:57   inside my iPad and it doesn't exist as a service bigger than the device that it's

00:58:03   on. So like speaking to my Echo Dot or to my Echo in the kitchen feels like I'm

00:58:09   speaking to the same like all-knowing service. Or if I would imagine if I got

00:58:13   my Pixel and speak to the assistant there and then my Google Home comes in

00:58:17   and they will overlap hopefully so I can do this, that it will feel

00:58:21   like I'm speaking to one all-knowing service and it's not handcuffed to the

00:58:26   device that it's housed on. And I mean I understand why Apple like well how it's

00:58:33   gotten this way and for a long time there was no real competition in this

00:58:38   but the competition is here and I think that they need to think think bigger

00:58:43   about what Siri can do and think you know begin to approach it as this is a

00:58:49   service and the like you said the device is just a pipe to get there and it's not

00:58:53   about Siri on the phone versus Siri on the iPad. I mean clearly there's always

00:58:59   going to be platform specific stuff like the Apple TV series you can always do

00:59:03   things that are different the Mac series can do stuff with files but like the the

00:59:07   base layer of what this service is needs to be needs to feel more encompassing

00:59:13   and I agree with you right now it just doesn't and I like you will reach for

00:59:17   the Alexa command first, and it does a good job

00:59:20   of understanding me, it understands my young kids,

00:59:23   it understands the kids even.

00:59:26   I guess, I mean, I don't feel bad about this,

00:59:31   right, it's not that, this is the option

00:59:34   that works best for me right now.

00:59:37   Hats off to Amazon, right, they had the Kindle,

00:59:40   and they had tablets, which are hilarious,

00:59:43   and the phone that was a disaster, but this thing,

00:59:46   have tapped into something here that is good. And I like that they're investing in it. I

00:59:51   like that they are opening it up to developers. And I think there's a lot that Apple could

00:59:55   learn from Amazon in this category.

00:59:58   A bigger point that we don't usually mention and I don't see a lot of people talk about

01:00:03   is that all of Apple's assistant efforts are based on, when it comes to third-party integrations,

01:00:11   are based on the, are predicated even on the idea of having an app on your phone, downloading

01:00:19   an app. So if the app is not installed or if the app is crashing, I cannot do stuff

01:00:26   with the Assistant and the app. Whereas the trend we're seeing with Alexa and in the future

01:00:32   with the Google Home is web APIs, web services talking to each other without having to install

01:00:40   the bits of an app locally on your device. And I think, I mean, of course it plays to

01:00:46   Apple's strengths to rely on the App Store, to rely on the secure framework and, you know,

01:00:52   the sandbox of iOS. But I worry if the, if having sort of taken that approach is going

01:01:01   to limit Apple going forward, is going to limit developers going forward, because every

01:01:05   time you want to roll out a new integration, you've got to make sure that instead of having

01:01:11   the freedom of the web and the different APIs that you can mix and match on the web, you've

01:01:16   got to talk to a different silo every time. You've got to talk to a different app all

01:01:21   the time. I believe that's fine when it comes to extensions, that's fine when it comes to

01:01:27   widgets, that's fine when it comes to custom keyboards. But for something such as an assistant,

01:01:33   such as machine learning, such as using multiple services together, I wonder if the app is

01:01:39   the correct approach. And I wonder if maybe relying on web services, which is what Amazon

01:01:44   and Google do best, may be the preferable way going forward. It's definitely going

01:01:49   to be an interesting scenario, I think, between such three different companies, you know,

01:01:56   Amazon, Google and Apple, sort of playing in the same field together. Because you've

01:02:02   got to believe that Apple is working on a Siri device. We saw the leaks a few months

01:02:08   ago and those things usually happen because Apple wants to send a message. So it is going

01:02:13   to be interesting to see these three companies battling for the same space. But I also wanted

01:02:19   to add, to sum up, when we talk in general on this show about competitors to Apple, we

01:02:28   We don't want to, we get this kind of feedback quite on a regular basis. We are not down

01:02:34   on Apple. We're just trying to be fair, you know, because I'm speaking for myself,

01:02:41   but I think we're all on the same page. We like technology in general. We like messing

01:02:47   around with different devices, different hardware. We're lucky because we get to play with

01:02:52   these things because it's our job. And we like to talk about it. But it's not that

01:02:58   we're… it's not like the… I actually got an email. I think we got an email saying

01:03:03   that the competition is paying us to talk about them in a different light. And I mean,

01:03:10   you can't believe what you want, but it's just a genuine, you know, interest in what

01:03:17   is going on around Apple, especially because on the iPhone today you can have so many different

01:03:22   services. You can have Cortana from Microsoft on the iPhone. You can have the Google Assistant

01:03:27   on your iPhone. It's kind of crazy, all of the different ecosystems you can have inside

01:03:32   of another ecosystem. And that's the beautiful thing about the App Store. You can buy an

01:03:37   iPhone because you like Apple, because you like the iPhone, and then you can try all

01:03:40   these other different companies. You can try all these other different devices. And often,

01:03:44   You know, Apple is kind of following in the footsteps of other companies such as music

01:03:49   streaming or photo storage, you know. I mean, it's always best, I think, to keep an open

01:03:56   mind. And when it comes to Assistant, when it comes to Alexa, I think we're going to

01:04:02   see Siri taking a similar approach in the future. So I feel like it's best to be prepared

01:04:10   and best to know what we're dealing with and to prepare our expectations accordingly.

01:04:18   Well said my friend.

01:04:19   Thank you.

01:04:21   So I think that does it for this week.

01:04:23   I think that's it.

01:04:25   If you want to find the show notes to links we talked about, you can do so on the web

01:04:30   at relay.fm/connected/115.

01:04:36   You get in touch with us as well.

01:04:38   There's an email link.

01:04:39   You can email us conspiracy theories.

01:04:41   You can find us on Twitter.

01:04:42   Federico is at Viti, V-I-T-I-C-C-I.

01:04:47   You can find his writing at the glorious,

01:04:51   the website with the night mode, which you haven't used.

01:04:55   Super awesome.

01:04:56   Maxstories.net.

01:04:58   You can find Myke in the afterlife on Twitter at I-M-Y-K-E

01:05:03   and you can find me at 512pixels.net

01:05:06   or on Twitter at ISMH.

01:05:09   Until next week, Federico, say goodbye.

01:05:12   - Arrivederci.

01:05:13   - Adios.