93: The Funky Honeycomb


00:00:00   [Music]

00:00:07   From Real AFM, this is Connected, episode number 93.

00:00:11   Today's show is brought to you very kindly by our friends over at Backblaze.

00:00:15   My name is Myke Hurley. I am joined by Mr. Stephen Hackett.

00:00:18   Hello, Stephen Hackett.

00:00:19   Hello, Michael Hurley. I'm Federico Vittucci.

00:00:22   Hello, guys.

00:00:23   We are one week away from Connected Embrace.

00:00:27   Isn't that going to be beautiful?

00:00:29   It's about a week and a half. It's about a week and a half. I'm rounding down because

00:00:35   I'm just too excited.

00:00:37   I mean there's another week in between but okay.

00:00:40   It's like a week and a half, right? Because I'll see you Federico on Friday so it's like

00:00:44   ten days away.

00:00:45   Okay.

00:00:46   Right?

00:00:47   Sure, but there's no Steven in London.

00:00:49   But then we'll see him like two days later. It's under two weeks now.

00:00:52   It's a semi-connected embrace.

00:00:54   Yeah, I mean we'll call Steven, like we'll FaceTime call him and we'll put the phone

00:01:00   in the middle of the both of us.

00:01:01   Definitely should FaceTime me in into the meetup.

00:01:04   Oh yeah, we're gonna do that.

00:01:05   We might try and get you one of those telepresence robots.

00:01:08   Yes!

00:01:08   Have you rolling around the place?

00:01:12   Be beautiful.

00:01:13   But yeah, we can call you in.

00:01:14   We'll put you on a little tripod and just sit you in the corner and put a little diet

00:01:18   coke in front of you or something.

00:01:19   It'll be nice.

00:01:20   Be good.

00:01:22   So, you guys skipped over follow-up last week.

00:01:25   Yep, that was quite funny actually.

00:01:27   Just before the show started, me and Federico were talking about the run-down and I was

00:01:31   like, "Should we just cut all the follow-up?"

00:01:32   He's like, "Yeah."

00:01:33   So we just cut it right out.

00:01:34   So why even bother?

00:01:36   Yeah, so we have a little follow-up backlog.

00:01:40   So up first, I wanted to point people to a couple of podcast episodes if you are following

00:01:47   along with the iMac series of stuff.

00:01:51   episode 39 we did a full history of the like all generations of the iMac G3 it

00:01:58   actually goes hand-to-hand with the YouTube video I put up about a week ago

00:02:01   and then just yesterday we published upgrade episode 91 which is a look at

00:02:08   the original Bondi blue iMac and kind of the world of tech in 1998 and what it

00:02:16   came into and Jason had lots of good input into it because he actually covered the original

00:02:23   iMac and he was working and reporting and doing magazine journalism way back then and

00:02:30   had lots of good things to say about it including some fun stuff about how USB really wasn't

00:02:35   a thing when they introduced the iMac and the iMac sort of made USB a standard that

00:02:40   people cared about.

00:02:41   Yeah, even if you're not interested in the iMac stuff, I think a big chunk of that episode

00:02:47   of Upgrade is worth listening to just to hear how different it was to be covering technology

00:02:53   in kind of the late 90s.

00:02:56   Absolutely.

00:02:57   Just the idea that when the news broke about, well, when they unveiled the iMac, everybody

00:03:04   was just called to come to a meeting later on in that day.

00:03:07   There was just no urgency like there is now because there was a print deadline in like

00:03:13   two days time so you didn't need to rush, there was no internet to publish it to.

00:03:17   It's just really interesting to hear the difference so I would go and listen to that and it's

00:03:22   fun.

00:03:23   Yeah, it is.

00:03:25   We also have a little Android follow up.

00:03:28   We actually had a lot of Android follow up that was very much around.

00:03:31   Federico had a specific problem and this is the launcher or the app or the tweak you can

00:03:35   do and again that's sort of the beauty of this ecosystem of Android but there

00:03:41   are a couple of things that I thought were interesting that were sort of

00:03:44   outside of that type of feedback. The first one was about the LED flash for

00:03:50   notifications so a lot of Android phones there's a little LED and you can it will

00:03:55   it'll blink I think Federica you made the joke it was like having a

00:03:58   blackberry. I remember my original Android I actually could customize the

00:04:03   color for the type of notification so I had like I think like orange for work

00:04:07   email, green for personal email, blue for SMS. So you can just kind of see and this

00:04:11   thing would cycle through the colors without having to wake the phone up. And

00:04:14   a bunch of people wrote in and said hey you know you can do that on the iPhone

00:04:18   sort of so in accessibility there's an option for the iPhone to basically blink

00:04:24   the LED flash on the back of the phone when a notification comes in. Which you

00:04:30   know if you have maybe you know you can't hear the phone or you can't feel

00:04:35   the vibrator something it's a visual indication that the notification has

00:04:39   come in and it's definitely not the same as what Android is doing like at least

00:04:44   on the Droid I think on the Nexus the LED blinks continuously until you deal

00:04:47   with the notification the iPhone just blinks when it comes in but it is a nice

00:04:52   accessibility option if you if you need it and it's definitely not for everybody

00:04:56   in fact most people who wrote in said it's here but I don't use it it seems

00:04:59   kind of weird to me but it's there and I think if people need it then it's great

00:05:03   that it's available. I feel like it's really different from Android you know I

00:05:07   mean you can you cannot really compare having a separate LED with the flash

00:05:12   I feel like the flash is kind of like too much. The flash is way too aggressive

00:05:18   and bright like it's just like let's just go insane while this thing's

00:05:21   flashing around. Yeah a few of my friends actually have the option enabled I

00:05:25   I really don't like it. I think it's more elegant on Android.

00:05:30   The fact that it's green and it's subtle, it doesn't flash all over the room.

00:05:34   I definitely prefer the Android implementation, but you know, you gotta have a separate LED.

00:05:39   So I understand why Apple doesn't want to do it.

00:05:41   It is worth noting as well that this isn't just like a standard out-and-out Android feature.

00:05:45   Like if the phone doesn't have an LED on it, then it won't work.

00:05:49   And I know that sounds so silly, but some Android phones don't have an LED on them.

00:05:54   I think most of them don't anymore actually.

00:05:57   I don't know if my Nexus 6P does.

00:05:59   It might, but I don't know if it does.

00:06:00   I've never seen it.

00:06:02   So who knows, it might be in there somewhere.

00:06:04   Yeah, and Denimate in the chatroom points us to an iDownloadBlog.com blog post where

00:06:12   you can, from the Apple Watch, you have the, it's not really Find My Phone, but kind of

00:06:17   ping my iPhone from your watch and you can make it light the LED up from there as well,

00:06:24   which I didn't know. That's pretty cool. So if you're in the dark or something and you

00:06:29   want to maybe see your phone, I don't know about you guys, every time I lose my phone

00:06:33   in the house it's in between the couch cushions so that wouldn't help me, but it's cool that

00:06:36   it does it.

00:06:37   Kyle's the Gray is also, this is great chatroom follow up today, confirmed to me that the

00:06:41   Nexus 6P does have a notification LED.

00:06:44   They just don't know about it.

00:06:46   I've never tried to look for it, so I didn't know it had it, but I'm happy that it does

00:06:50   have it.

00:06:51   I've got to say, just quickly going back a step, the Apple Watch thing where you ping

00:06:55   the phone, I love that feature so much, and it is a fun joke in our house here, because

00:07:03   someone will be in a different part of the house and you'll hear the sound go off, and

00:07:07   it's always funny because it means that either me or Adino have lost their phone, so it's

00:07:12   always like a "ah, you lost your phone" type moment.

00:07:15   I feel like I'm the only person who never loses track of his phone.

00:07:18   Like, how can you guys even lose a phone?

00:07:21   Well, I might just leave it in another room, you know?

00:07:23   It's all over the place.

00:07:25   I don't carry my...

00:07:26   I don't walk around with my phone with me as much as I used to because of the Apple

00:07:30   Watch, so because things are funneling in there, I don't need it as much.

00:07:34   And plus, most of the time now, I have an iPad with me.

00:07:38   They're everywhere.

00:07:39   Yeah, just any room you walk in, there's an iPad waiting for you on a... on sort of like

00:07:42   a velvet covered stand. Anyways, I enjoyed last week's episode a whole bunch and I'd

00:07:52   like to underscore something Federico that your closing statement. Basically that using

00:07:59   another platform or another system to round out your experience and your knowledge is

00:08:04   a good thing and so many times people are apt to judge something without using them

00:08:10   or judge something based on just what other people say

00:08:14   or even judging people on their tech choices.

00:08:17   And we actually had some of this in our follow-up.

00:08:20   I'm not gonna call anybody out, but several people were like,

00:08:21   "Why are you talking about Android on the Apple show?"

00:08:24   And I think those people clearly didn't make it to the end

00:08:26   to your closing statement because at the end of the day,

00:08:30   being familiar with Android and what Google is doing

00:08:32   makes you a better Apple reporter because you can,

00:08:35   like you said, you can speak with knowledge

00:08:38   of the entire chessboard and not just Apple's pieces.

00:08:43   And I think that's increasingly important

00:08:45   as people use services from different companies.

00:08:49   Not everyone is using all iCloud stuff and no Google stuff.

00:08:52   Surely there are those people.

00:08:54   But a lot of people live, like the three of us do,

00:08:56   in a mix of environments.

00:08:58   And I think it was really well stated

00:09:01   and something that if you didn't hear it,

00:09:03   I think you should go find it at the end of the episode

00:09:05   and listen to it 'cause it's really well said.

00:09:06   but looking at something that we don't use all the time,

00:09:11   like it can be uncomfortable, and I'm sure Federico,

00:09:13   you spend a lot of time setting the phone up

00:09:15   and tinkering with it and trying to understand it,

00:09:17   but I think it's a worthwhile venture

00:09:19   because it will make your Apple coverage better.

00:09:21   - Thank you.

00:09:23   Yeah, I feel like it really comes down to maturity,

00:09:27   in a way, to kind of know that it's not really

00:09:32   a great way of living, I would say,

00:09:36   to just stick to a position and have like a blindfold, not look at any other opinion,

00:09:42   any other, you know, feedback from different people, different companies. I feel like I'm

00:09:49   a person, I love to listen to other people, I love to sort of know why I'm wrong, if that

00:09:55   makes sense. And I have my principles, I have my ideas, but I feel like it's better to have

00:10:02   have an idea and to change your mind because you're wrong, then to never change your mind

00:10:08   and be stupid and ignorant. And I tried to apply this sort of Zen philosophy, if you

00:10:14   will, to anything. And I felt like I don't want to be a cheerleader for anyone or any

00:10:21   company. And that was the right thing to do. And the overwhelming majority of our listeners,

00:10:27   I feel like they appreciated the choice, the episode, and the overall idea. The feedback

00:10:32   was amazing. There's a few people who really didn't like it, but that's okay.

00:10:36   Yeah, it's fine. Let's just get one episode. It's fine.

00:10:38   Yeah. Yeah.

00:10:39   We're not turning into something we're not, so...

00:10:42   Oh, should I throw this Chromebook out? Because I had a whole thing planned.

00:10:45   I mean, I've got one. I bought it for the show.

00:10:48   Let's do it! Let's do it!

00:10:49   I bought it for the show, remember?

00:10:50   Chromebook show! I just wanted to take a moment, again, to mention the Connected London Meetup.

00:10:55   It is in a very short time.

00:10:57   I'm not going to try and guess days again because clearly I'm not very good at that.

00:11:01   But on June the 10th in London, me and Federico and a few other lovely people will be meeting

00:11:07   up at the Big Chill House in London in King's Cross.

00:11:13   We have had an allocation of tickets which are all sold out but there is a waiting list.

00:11:19   There is a chance that more tickets will go on sale.

00:11:21   So if you're in London and you're interested, please go to the link in the show notes and

00:11:25   you will be able to get yourself on the waiting list.

00:11:27   And if you are coming, we can't wait to see you there.

00:11:30   And we'll have some more details come out in the next couple of days.

00:11:34   Yeah.

00:11:35   Awesome.

00:11:36   Are there going to be any surprises, Myke?

00:11:38   Um, maybe?

00:11:41   You should bring some surprises.

00:11:43   Yes, there will be.

00:11:46   Many surprises.

00:11:47   Super convincing. That you must be there in person to experience.

00:11:53   Very nice, okay. So we had a little mini topic this week before

00:11:57   we dive into the meat of the show. And listener Kevin wrote in and said, "Not sure if it's

00:12:01   something you've discussed in the past, but how precious are you with your app layouts

00:12:06   on the Apple Watch?" So if you're on the watch and you hit the digital crown, you go

00:12:10   to the funky, let's call it the honeycomb screen. I don't really have a better name

00:12:13   name for it, this little like glob of circular icons.

00:12:18   And you can actually go in and on the Apple Watch app

00:12:22   on the iPhone, like tell it where each app should go

00:12:25   in what may be the most finicky user interface ever designed

00:12:29   by humankind, it's just incredibly frustrating.

00:12:33   And a lot of people I think, I've seen people on Twitter

00:12:36   and stuff, really like take great care in where apps go

00:12:40   this honeycomb and for me at least I don't ever really use the honeycomb and

00:12:47   I can't when I do I can't ever remember where things are anyway so it always

00:12:52   isn't just like fling fling it around until I find what I want and it's kind

00:12:57   of made worse by the fact that if you add an app you can't control where it

00:13:00   goes like if you say that you download a new app that has a watch app that icon

00:13:08   just goes wherever it wants to and then you can go in later and like tell it

00:13:13   where to go unlike on the iPhone where it just goes to the next open place

00:13:16   there's not really a next open place because this thing is like circular in a

00:13:19   way so anyways to answer Kevin's question for me I don't I'm not

00:13:24   precious about it things kind of go wherever they land what about you Myke

00:13:28   well initially like everyone I was trying to find the optimal app layout

00:13:33   right I think that was when everyone was being really excited about it and

00:13:37   and I kind of settled on a row of four icons, so all of the rows of my Apple Watch are four icons

00:13:46   because that kind of gives you the most you can see without having to move around too much, right?

00:13:52   It doesn't hide too many of them when there's four. And I have some organizational choices

00:14:01   so that the apps that I do actually use are centered around the clock face so I can get to them quickly

00:14:08   but I take absolutely zero care over any of the rest of it. So like the surrounding maybe eight

00:14:14   or so icons around the the clock face are ones that I do tend to want quickly but the rest of

00:14:21   them they can just go wherever the heck that they like because who cares? It's terrible it's so bad

00:14:28   It's so, like, unpredictable. It drives me crazy.

00:14:31   I really never... I mean, I don't use the Apple Watch much, but I never launch the app screen.

00:14:38   It's just, when I do use the watch, it's mostly the watch face and the notifications.

00:14:46   Not even the glances, just because everything is too slow either to use or to navigate.

00:14:50   and I feel like it's an odd choice, like the entire layout is one of the weakest points of the entire WatchWES design

00:15:03   but I never use it so I really don't have many thoughts other than maybe the fact that I never use it is my thought, is my comment, so there you go.

00:15:12   Do you wear the watch every day Federica?

00:15:14   I do, I just... you know why I do? I put it on, I don't use it for timers anymore because of Alexa,

00:15:24   I don't use it for Siri or anything else because it's too slow, I just keep putting it on for two reasons.

00:15:30   It's nice, it tells me the time, and maybe a third reason, I want to accumulate a bunch of data points about my heart rate and my steps.

00:15:41   because maybe going forward those will be useful. So I'm wearing it because it's nice

00:15:46   and because maybe in the future I will have all of this data for a better watch or a better

00:15:52   health system on iOS, I don't know. It's nice, mostly because it's nice, you know?

00:15:58   I got a bunch of bands, like the Milanese, the Sports, the Red One, it's very cool.

00:16:04   I will bring it to San Francisco for sure, and it tells me the time, which is nice.

00:16:09   But yeah, not so many reasons.

00:16:12   So I still remain to be, out of the three of us, the one who uses the watch the most then, I think.

00:16:19   Do you actually do stuff with the watch?

00:16:22   Yeah, every day.

00:16:23   Like what?

00:16:24   Deal with notifications mainly, so like I'll triage email and stuff and see the things that come in through today.

00:16:33   I have DUE set up on it and I use DUE a lot and I add new actions to DUE with some success

00:16:44   throughout the day. That's something I do a lot. I use timers whenever I cook and I do those every

00:16:53   day like you know I'm always using timers and that's kind of it but those things are in constant

00:16:59   use and I am doing things with them pretty much for most of the day in all seriousness.

00:17:04   Like I'm using my watch for those things, it seems like a very small group of things,

00:17:09   but that is like all day use of the thing.

00:17:12   I am using it a lot.

00:17:13   I feel lost when I don't have it on.

00:17:16   Okay, yeah that's nice.

00:17:20   Maybe you are an early adopter.

00:17:21   One of those people.

00:17:23   Yeah, I'm an early adopter.

00:17:25   That's me.

00:17:26   You're seeing the future today. Me and Steven are just having the hot takes from the sidelines.

00:17:33   I think it's always worth reminding that I have been a user of this stuff for a while,

00:17:41   like I was using the Pebble before and I worked out what the point of it was for me then,

00:17:46   and now I'm just in a situation where I have more functionality and can do more with it.

00:17:51   So I'd already kind of worked out that this was what I wanted in my life over a year ago,

00:17:57   maybe two years ago actually when I was starting to wear the pebbles.

00:17:59   So I'm kind of used to the things that I want a device like this to do and the Apple Watch

00:18:04   does those and then a few more things.

00:18:06   But I'm hoping for some big change in a couple of weeks.

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00:20:36   All right, so whilst we were talking about Android last week, there were some rumors

00:20:41   that came out about new MacBook Pros and these have come from KGI. It's always difficult

00:20:48   to try and keep track of who the reputable rumour sources are but I kind of trust the

00:20:56   sites like Macrumours and 9to5 that when it kind of hits all of them there's probably

00:21:02   some fire along with that smoke. So I want to give a quick rundown of some of the things

00:21:07   that are in this purported rumoured device and maybe talk about if we think that they're

00:21:12   interesting at all. So thinner and lighter than the MacBook Pros, I think we'd all kind

00:21:16   of accepted that that was going to be the case and it's kind of the thing that I think

00:21:20   everybody would want. Thinner and lighter is always nice. Design cues taken from the

00:21:24   12" MacBook and we're going to get them in 13 and 15" so it will be replaced in the current

00:21:29   MacBook Pro lines. But this is where it starts to get a little bit interesting, I don't think

00:21:32   anybody would have expected this. Releasing in Q4 is the current thinking. So they're

00:21:39   not going to be out within a couple of months like we wanted, it would potentially seem.

00:21:45   It seems like it could be a long time away but then when you start factoring in some

00:21:49   of the other hardware features that these MacBook Pros are rumoured to have, you can

00:21:54   see that maybe we're going to need to wait for a new version of OS X before these can

00:21:59   be released otherwise the hardware features aren't going to work. So we're talking about

00:22:02   Touch ID in the new MacBook Pros. I think everybody wants that right? Why would you

00:22:07   not want Touch ID? I mean I would love to not have to type in my 1Password password anymore.

00:22:14   Just use Touch ID for that instead. And also this thing that I think we're all kind of

00:22:19   struggling to get our heads around a little bit which is an OLED Touch display bar which

00:22:24   will replace the function keys. So this is going to be a new thing for Apple's laptop

00:22:29   line where they will be bringing in a little screen that sits above the keyboard. Now,

00:22:34   I've been thinking about this, they had a great discussion on ATP about this, and I

00:22:37   think overall the ATP guys were like "No, no, we don't want this, we want our keys."

00:22:41   And of course they want keys. Of course they want keys. As someone who doesn't really care

00:22:48   too much if the function keys still exist, I wanted to kind of talk about some of the

00:22:53   things that I've been thinking of that could be good for this little display so

00:22:58   I thought maybe you could see notifications there which might be kind

00:23:01   of nice right you have this little bar just an additional screen and it just

00:23:04   shows little notifications every now and then just something to grab your eye

00:23:07   rather than it being in the top right hand corner of your display it just

00:23:12   shows up above your hands could be kind of nice you just glance down and see

00:23:16   them I was thinking some widgets maybe you could get like weather or something

00:23:20   pop-up on there, there could be like now playing information for music, you could

00:23:25   have you know just little widgets that pop up and they would maybe start to

00:23:28   live on this little second screen as opposed to in the notification center

00:23:32   bar. I thought that apps could plug in for some specific controls. Everybody who

00:23:39   is talking about this screen is talking about the Art Lebedev keyboard. Do you

00:23:45   remember that keyboard? The one that was all tiny little LED screens instead of

00:23:50   keys. This is something from like maybe 10 years ago and it was really

00:23:55   popular on the internet. It was a keyboard that was a concept but ended up

00:23:59   coming into existence where every key was a screen, a tiny little screen.

00:24:04   What's the name? It was made by a company called Art Lebedev, I think it was

00:24:09   called the Optimus keyboard. Yeah no idea. So this was like the idea that if

00:24:15   you had little LEDs instead of keys you could change the keys to be anything. So

00:24:22   my thinking around this was like let's say for example I'm editing in logic I

00:24:27   could set a bunch of shortcuts to that little screen that I could click so

00:24:33   let's say I wanted to use the fade tool rather than the select tool rather than

00:24:37   me going up to the little option or using a keyboard control I could just

00:24:41   hit a little button that I can customize that would take me to a different

00:24:45   function. Now I was thinking like imagine people that use Photoshop or Pixelmator

00:24:49   or something like that and being able to change your brushes and stuff all on the

00:24:53   little screen on the keyboard so it just gives you the ability to have some more

00:24:57   specific and customizable controls right at your fingertips than having to like

00:25:01   move the mouse up and I know this stuff doesn't necessarily like it doesn't save

00:25:08   tons of time but I think it's just a nicer overall experience for maybe

00:25:12   people that aren't necessarily keyboard warriors. And I think that's where some

00:25:16   of this difference is, right? I think people that want the keys, they just

00:25:22   use keys so much. They use keyboard controls for everything. They use keyboard

00:25:26   shortcuts for everything. But people that don't necessarily think that way, this

00:25:30   could be a nice little addition. So like for example on my Wacom I have some

00:25:35   little shortcut keys. I have six shortcut keys that you can program to be anything

00:25:40   that you want and this is instead of me hitting the keyboard commands on my

00:25:44   keyboard so I imagine it like that whilst these are physical keys on my

00:25:47   Wacom I could easily see them be on a little touch strip that sits above my

00:25:51   keyboard and I can use it for different things I like the idea of stuff like

00:25:55   this I think there could be some additional gestures you know like I

00:25:58   imagine myself being able to pan around the like my logic display in a different

00:26:05   way you know I think that could be some interesting stuff here Stephen as

00:26:09   probably the one that is most likely to care about function keys out of the three of us.

00:26:14   What do you think?

00:26:15   Way to paint me in a corner, Myke. No, you're absolutely right.

00:26:18   You are the most likely. You have 13 IMAX from like the 90s sitting around you right now.

00:26:23   You are the old school list of the three of us.

00:26:26   That's true. I mean, the thing that comes to mind immediately, and I said it clockwise last week,

00:26:31   is the ability to feel them,

00:26:35   and that's all about just how they do it.

00:26:39   Is if it's gonna be a screen and it's still a physical key

00:26:41   or it's a touch screen.

00:26:43   But now if you're a touch typist

00:26:46   or if you're close to it, kinda how I am,

00:26:48   you can reach up and you kinda know where you are.

00:26:51   And if those aren't physical buttons,

00:26:54   you know it'd be more difficult.

00:26:56   and if it is something where they change

00:27:00   use based on app, like you're talking about,

00:27:04   like if I'm in Logic, F6 does this,

00:27:07   but if I'm in Finder, F6 does that,

00:27:09   then that doesn't deal with touch memory,

00:27:13   but it does maybe deal with shortcut key memory,

00:27:17   could be a little, it's like another layer

00:27:19   on top of keyboard shortcuts,

00:27:20   like Command + Shift + F may do something in one app

00:27:24   that's different than the other,

00:27:26   So it's like one level above that.

00:27:30   But all that aside, as long as it's not a screen and it's some sort of screen-key combo

00:27:34   so I can still touch it and know where I am, I'm all for something being more flexible.

00:27:39   I don't think you're going to get screen-key combo.

00:27:41   I don't think I'm going to either.

00:27:42   If they're doing this, it's just a little touch screen.

00:27:44   It's not going to be something that has any click or tactile response.

00:27:47   Right.

00:27:48   In which case it's going to take some getting used to knowing that I'm hitting the right

00:27:50   place.

00:27:52   How often do you hit those keys without looking, the function keys?

00:27:56   I do, especially the media keys, so F7, F8, F9 for iTunes, and then volume, or F10, F11,

00:28:03   F12.

00:28:04   I hit those pretty often, because I listen to music all day when I work.

00:28:07   And then the brightness keys.

00:28:08   But you know, the middle ones, I couldn't tell you which one is expose and which one

00:28:12   is launchpad without looking.

00:28:14   But do you hit them without feeling them out first?

00:28:20   You just know where they are and you hit the area.

00:28:21   Yeah, I know where they are. Right, so I figure you would just learn the area. I think so

00:28:26   I think ultimately yes, but I think those would be some adjustment period there

00:28:31   The bigger thing for me as far as a plus for this is flexibility for Apple

00:28:37   So, you know, I've got the magic keyboard here

00:28:40   But at home I have one of the old Bluetooth slimline keyboards like the one before this with the double-a batteries

00:28:47   that is paired to the Mac mini that's under our television and

00:28:51   I use a Magic Keyboard at my desk,

00:28:53   but if I go do something on the TV,

00:28:54   I gotta pick that keyboard up.

00:28:56   And it's the older version,

00:28:59   so it has a dashboard button screen printed

00:29:02   on F6 or something that this one doesn't.

00:29:05   And over time, as Apple has changed software features,

00:29:07   the hardware keyboards haven't kept up,

00:29:10   and so they rev them and adjust them as time goes on.

00:29:15   And obviously that's something they could change

00:29:18   if it's just a light-up screen.

00:29:20   They could say, "Well, this one is now this," and there's no big deal.

00:29:23   It's part of the OS update.

00:29:25   So from Apple's perspective, I can see how that flexibility would be welcome, because

00:29:31   they don't...

00:29:32   Like, Dashboard is basically all but gone, and a bunch of people are still running around

00:29:35   with Dashboard keys printed on their laptop, and that just is what it is.

00:29:39   And I think they would like to be able to change that as time goes on.

00:29:42   What do you think, Federico?

00:29:46   I feel like there's potential for, I'm thinking especially about the developer angle, to be

00:29:52   able to offer an API and to let developers program the keys any way they want, and to

00:29:56   sort of, if you don't imagine this as a new keyboard row, but as a mini screen that is

00:30:00   kind of separate from the main screen and it's docked at the bottom, and you can put

00:30:05   you know, specific information about apps and you know, like status updates or like,

00:30:10   I don't want to think about widgets because, you know, LOL dashboard, but I'm thinking about,

00:30:16   you know, like notifications or special keys, and I'm thinking about what you could do for,

00:30:23   in terms of localization, you know, because not necessarily, you know, what an icon means

00:30:30   for us in the West is also the best option that you can have in China or in India, maybe.

00:30:37   So I'm thinking about that sort of process and how you could change the visual aspect

00:30:45   or the meaning of a key without having to produce tons of different physical keyboards.

00:30:53   But I'm also considering whether that's gonna end up like the Force Touch API, which yes,

00:31:01   there's an API for developers but they don't really use it.

00:31:04   I mean, they do use it, just not revolutionary in that sense.

00:31:08   I think all in all, the Force Touch is not being used right now.

00:31:12   Like, on all devices.

00:31:15   I don't know, I really disagree with the people that say that 3D Touch is useless on the iPhone

00:31:22   because I use it every day all the time.

00:31:24   It's not useless, but I just think that it's not really being adopted by all developers in interesting ways.

00:31:30   Right, there hasn't been a lot of interesting stuff coming around, like there's lots of

00:31:34   Peek-and-Pop, but...

00:31:36   I mean, that's not surprising, you know, when there's a new feature that you always get

00:31:41   the minimal viable product at the start and then you iterate on it.

00:31:45   It doesn't really surprise me why people were expecting all sorts of crazy stuff from 3D

00:31:49   Touch and, you know, that's another topic.

00:31:53   I feel like for people like me, I would love to have a, you know, like a separate screen

00:31:59   at the bottom, but again I don't use a Mac, so I can understand why some folks are like

00:32:06   screaming and yelling and, you know, kicking their feet at the idea of ditching keys, ditching

00:32:14   physical keys and having a separate display. So I don't know, I feel like it sounds awesome

00:32:19   to me, but I'm not the best person to ask this because I work every day on a big touch

00:32:25   so I'm sort of biased here. And if Steven is upset, if the ATP guys are upset, sort

00:32:32   of understand. It's exciting when you think about what you could do with the APIs, but

00:32:37   I don't know. So there you go.

00:32:40   I think that one of the hardest parts to kind of get our heads around is the potential release

00:32:46   state of this thing, right? Like, these two new features would need OS X enhancement.

00:32:53   Are they likely to release a point update to OS X, like a few months before the next

00:32:59   version of OS X would come out to support these features?

00:33:03   I don't know, because it feels like there would have to be some significant development

00:33:07   for both of these.

00:33:08   As well, I'm sure that if there is an API for developers to plug into for this touch

00:33:12   display bar, Apple might want to give a little bit of time to developers to put this stuff

00:33:17   into action before the product ship.

00:33:20   When do you think we're going to see it, Steven?

00:33:22   I'm... now that we know more about this machine, I definitely feel comfortable saying that

00:33:28   it is tied to the next version of OS X or Mac OS if Jason was right.

00:33:33   It's totally going to be Mac OS.

00:33:35   I think it is.

00:33:36   The... that's not to say they haven't done big things like mid-cycle, like the App Store

00:33:42   and a couple other things have come later in the cycle of a version of OS X, but this

00:33:46   is some big stuff, especially the Touch ID thing, and they are not going to want to back

00:33:52   all that stuff into El Capitan when there's a new version right around the corner.

00:33:58   And that stinks.

00:33:59   I also have questions about if this cool keyboard thing is happening, then why did they ship

00:34:03   a Magic Keyboard like six months ago?

00:34:06   Why didn't they hold until the external keyboard could do it too?

00:34:09   Why is there no Retina display either?

00:34:13   That's easier to, I mean that's USB, that's Thunderbolt 3 and USB-C. That's easier to

00:34:17   write off.

00:34:18   Now, if we get these machines and we still don't have external Retina, then I'm going

00:34:22   gonna be really sad, but they've held the MacBook Pro

00:34:27   for so long now, you know, I've got the one you can

00:34:29   still buy today, and I've had it over a year.

00:34:32   The one with the Force Touch track pad, and it's fine,

00:34:37   but they've held them for so long that the chipsets

00:34:40   are really old now, and there's been a lot of trouble

00:34:42   with Intel getting the Skylake machines with the GPUs

00:34:46   Apple would have similarly want, like shipped in bulk,

00:34:52   There are other vendors doing it now.

00:34:54   It seems like Intel has finally turned the corner

00:34:57   on that production, but if Apple has to wait on Intel,

00:35:01   then at least they're using the time

00:35:03   to do something interesting as opposed to just

00:35:05   holding a machine that they can't release

00:35:08   and then just revving it when it comes out.

00:35:09   At least there'll be something more to look forward to

00:35:11   than just Skylake, and I'm definitely interested

00:35:13   in this machine.

00:35:14   I would like to go back to a 13-inch,

00:35:16   as I've said previously, and so,

00:35:17   especially if it's in space gray, please, Apple,

00:35:20   please deliver in space gray.

00:35:23   So I think it's good, I think it'll be

00:35:25   an interesting machine, yet sad,

00:35:26   and it's kind of a bummer that it won't be this summer,

00:35:28   I don't think, but I understand at least

00:35:31   why they're doing it.

00:35:31   Like we're not gonna get a new version of OS X/Mac OS

00:35:35   in two weeks, like it's been the fall forever,

00:35:37   they tie it with iOS, I think all this will happen

00:35:39   in the fall, and it's gonna be another year

00:35:42   like it was a couple years ago, what was it, 2013,

00:35:45   2012, 2013, where all of Apple's products released

00:35:47   in like September and October, there was nothing else.

00:35:50   It's a little bit how this year feels,

00:35:52   except for that new iPad.

00:35:53   But I guess that is what it is at this point.

00:35:55   And it sounds like a worthy upgrade,

00:35:58   a worthy successor to the MacBook Pro.

00:36:00   Marco said on ATP, Apple really can't mess this machine up.

00:36:03   Like it is the workhorse of the Apple line, the Mac line.

00:36:07   - That felt like wishful thinking to me.

00:36:10   - Well, I mean, they definitely could screw it up.

00:36:12   Like they definitely,

00:36:12   it is within their power to screw it up.

00:36:14   (laughing)

00:36:16   And hopefully they don't.

00:36:18   but it is a really important machine

00:36:21   and I think that they are aware of that.

00:36:24   But I guess, as with all things in the future,

00:36:27   time will tell, but I've, at least for now,

00:36:29   I'm super interested in it and anxious to see

00:36:32   where they're going with the MacBook Pro.

00:36:34   - In a world where iOS 9.3 exists,

00:36:37   why could there not be a version of OS X

00:36:41   that comes out before a fuller version of Mac OS comes out

00:36:44   that has support for this?

00:36:46   Can you say that again with the movie trailer voice?

00:36:49   In a world where an iOS 9.3 exists, why?

00:36:53   From the shadows.

00:36:56   - We get it, Myke.

00:36:58   - You asked for it, you know, I commit.

00:36:59   - Worst movie ever.

00:37:01   - I mean, my guess with iOS, I think iOS 9 in general

00:37:05   is a pretty interesting thing for a couple of reasons.

00:37:08   One, they had the iPad Pro sort of mid-cycle, right?

00:37:12   That 9.7, it just kind of came out in the middle.

00:37:15   And I think the education stuff in 9.3

00:37:18   is really what forced their hand.

00:37:19   They had to have that out at the time they did

00:37:22   so schools could adopt it over the summer.

00:37:25   Which is when schools do things, you know.

00:37:28   I remember when I did a lot of support

00:37:29   for education customers right when I left Apple,

00:37:32   and they'd always be super annoyed

00:37:34   when they revved the iMac in like July.

00:37:36   It's like, well, you understand I bought these in March.

00:37:38   Right, like, you're not helping me, Apple.

00:37:41   And I think the education is really

00:37:43   why 9.3 shipped when it did.

00:37:45   I'm not saying they couldn't, I mean they could definitely,

00:37:47   what are we on, 10.11.5, 10.11.6 could drop in two weeks,

00:37:50   it could have touch ID, it could have support

00:37:52   for this OLED bar, and you know, we're just off to the races.

00:37:56   But I just don't think it this late in the cycle.

00:38:00   I mean, iOS 9.3 will be the middle point

00:38:02   of iOS 9 on the calendar.

00:38:04   We're much closer to the end of OS X,

00:38:06   and frankly, OS X is not the most important

00:38:09   OS Apple ships anymore, as much as it pains me

00:38:11   to say it's iOS, and so I don't see them

00:38:13   putting the same sort of mid-cycle engineering push into this as they would

00:38:18   with iOS at this point. I also think there are a lot less features that you

00:38:24   can market in OS X now. So Touch ID will probably be one of like the big

00:38:31   features of the next version of the Macintosh operating system. So

00:38:35   releasing it before what would be Mac OS whatever they're gonna call that

00:38:41   will kind of rip something out that they'll be able to put on a poster.

00:38:44   Absolutely and you know the touch ID in particular is a little problematic to me

00:38:50   it's going to come in the MacBook Pro, assumedly, and new owners of the MacBook

00:38:57   Pro, hopefully me included, will have that and it's gonna be awesome but it's gonna

00:39:02   take time for that to filter down to the other notebooks like assumedly the

00:39:06   MacBook will get it but they just revved the MacBook and so you're looking a year

00:39:10   from now for the MacBook to get it potentially.

00:39:12   The MacBook Air is gonna go away,

00:39:14   or if it doesn't, they're not gonna do anything

00:39:15   meaningful with it, so I think the MacBook Air

00:39:17   getting Touch ID is probably not gonna happen.

00:39:19   But then what do you do with the desktop users?

00:39:21   Does that, where, have you guys thought about this?

00:39:24   Where does the Touch ID sensor go on an iMac?

00:39:26   - So I have been thinking about this actually.

00:39:28   I think that if they're gonna do MacBook Pros on stage,

00:39:32   they're probably gonna read the Mac Pro as well.

00:39:35   If they read the Mac Pro, they're gonna have to introduce

00:39:37   the new display, right?

00:39:39   I feel like those things have to go hand in hand.

00:39:41   I think if they do both of those,

00:39:43   they will have a new version of the keyboard that has it in,

00:39:45   which they can sell to everyone else.

00:39:47   I think if they do those two products,

00:39:50   they will do a keyboard with at least the touch ID sensor in it.

00:39:53   I don't think it's going to have the little screen on it.

00:39:56   I don't think they're going to do that right now.

00:39:58   I think that is going to take a little bit longer. Um,

00:40:02   and they might just want to keep it in the Mac Pro for a bit,

00:40:06   but I think that the Touch ID sensor will be built into the Magic keyboard in some way.

00:40:10   I don't know how you would do it. They'd have to kind of redo the keyboard. They'll probably

00:40:14   have to stick something on the side of it, right? So it's a little bit wider.

00:40:18   Get rid of the eject key. Put it right there. You know, there is the potential that it isn't

00:40:22   circular shaped. Like, it could just replace a key. Like, I don't think that these sensors

00:40:30   have to be circular. I think it's just the way that they have been. There is a possibility

00:40:35   to just like replace a key with one of these things?

00:40:39   My only issue with that is, and this is just my lack of understanding of exactly how Touch

00:40:45   ID would work on the Mac, because right now it's based on the ARM, like it's on the ARM

00:40:49   stack and not the Intel stack, which is, they're obviously going to explain that, or how it

00:40:55   works, and if someone has an idea please let me know, because I'd have trouble thinking

00:40:58   about that.

00:40:59   Could they just put another chip into it?

00:41:01   Well, they could just have a tiny little like a 5x or something in it.

00:41:03   But I don't know if they would put the secure enclave and stuff in a keyboard

00:41:08   that could just like walk away.

00:41:10   You know, maybe they incorporate with the power button on the iMac,

00:41:14   which is pretty easy to touch.

00:41:16   No, that would be crazy.

00:41:18   If that's where they put it.

00:41:19   Also, don't put a sensor you're touching on the power button.

00:41:23   You'll be turning your Mac off all the time.

00:41:26   You just reach around, "Oh no, I just sent it to sleep."

00:41:29   I don't think that would be a good place for it.

00:41:31   I think it is possible to put it on the keyboard.

00:41:33   Like you can't do anything with the secure enclave

00:41:36   without the fingerprint.

00:41:37   Like phones walk away all the time.

00:41:39   - That's true or they disappear on the couch

00:41:41   and you have to get your watch to find it.

00:41:43   I mean there's lots of questions here

00:41:44   and I think that they're all solvable obviously

00:41:49   if Apple's thinking about doing this.

00:41:50   But my big point before we got derailed

00:41:53   was that this will be another transition with the Mac

00:41:56   where it's gonna, just like it was on iOS, right?

00:41:59   Touch ID showed up on what the 5s and then eventually showed up on the iPads

00:42:03   and now it's kind of everywhere we're just gonna we're gonna live with this

00:42:06   again on the Mac where the MacBook Pro will have it assumedly also like we

00:42:12   haven't even guess like the same problem with where you put on the keyboard is

00:42:14   where do you put it on a MacBook Pro on the 13 inch especially there's not a

00:42:18   bunch of like spare aluminum floating around the 15 inch you got speakers and

00:42:21   you could put it somewhere on the sides but I reckon it would be embedded in the

00:42:25   screen the little OLED screen right I'll put it there. Maybe so yeah so I think either

00:42:33   way we're gonna see some design changes with these machines and these machines

00:42:36   look the same for a long time I think we'll I think we will definitely see the

00:42:40   colors I think we'll see the the space gray and the gold and maybe the rose

00:42:43   gold I think that those will be successful actually I didn't tell you

00:42:48   guys I don't know if it's since they revved them and like it's the old thing

00:42:51   of people not liking revision a Apple hardware or something has happened where

00:42:56   I have seen like out in the world a couple of MacBooks recently and both

00:42:59   that I saw were the colored version not the silver so I saw a space gray and I

00:43:04   saw a gold just like in an office somewhere and I think that that will

00:43:10   definitely be nice looking on the MacBook Pro like I said space gray all

00:43:14   the way but I guess we'll see it's you know if you've already been waiting for

00:43:18   year for a new machine what's another quarter really between friends?

00:43:22   I don't know. Well we'll see. We'll see. There's also some rumors in the past week. There's

00:43:28   a lot of talk about Siri. Marco wrote a great piece which seemed to prompt a lot of discussion

00:43:35   which potentially has prompted a leak of some description to the information. The information

00:43:42   has this big article which is behind a paywall. MacRumors does a good job of summing it up.

00:43:47   Effectively, what it's looking like is that Apple has been building, so says the rumor

00:43:55   that they have been building since before the Echo, of course, a device that includes

00:44:00   a speaker, a microphone as well that could be used to listen to music, get news, so you

00:44:07   could say like, "Hey, a high telephone, give me the news of the day," and more.

00:44:12   And this is also going to be in conjunction with Apple opening up to developers this new

00:44:18   API which could be announced at WWDC.

00:44:21   There are some further reports that say this functionality may be built into the Apple

00:44:26   TV.

00:44:27   Expect, I guess, another revision of the Apple TV as opposed to the one that there currently

00:44:33   is.

00:44:34   I haven't noticed any speakers in my Apple TV.

00:44:36   I don't know if you guys have looked.

00:44:38   I haven't seen any in there.

00:44:39   So I expect it would have to be a new hardware revision.

00:44:42   Federico, how much would you like your Apple TV to become your new Echo?

00:44:46   Well, I don't know. Ask my driver, because that's where the Apple TV is.

00:44:52   You might hear you in there. You should speak up.

00:44:55   I don't know. I feel like there's little point in having the Siri Echo-like device in the Apple TV.

00:45:04   In fact, because one of the greatest things, not maybe the greatest feature of the Echo

00:45:11   is that you can put it anywhere.

00:45:13   Doesn't have to be next to the TV or where your TV is, you can put it in the kitchen,

00:45:18   you can put it on your nightstand, you can put it in the bedroom, whatever.

00:45:22   Doesn't matter, because it's just a speaker, as long as you want to talk to it, as long

00:45:25   as you want to hear music, or interact with Alexa, it doesn't matter if there's a TV,

00:45:31   it's a TV-free device.

00:45:33   And the Apple TV is, of course, it's a TV accessory, so I feel like having it in the

00:45:40   Apple TV, with potentially quite a few limitations.

00:45:45   For example, it has to be attached to a TV, it cannot be, I guess, a great speaker because

00:45:51   of the smaller TV form factor, and you cannot do many things with it because people tend

00:46:00   to hide the Apple TV and these streaming devices that have to be attached to HDMI ports, they

00:46:07   tend to hide them behind the TV or maybe inside of a shelf or a cabinet, whatever.

00:46:14   Instead the Echo is meant to be talked to, so it's visible, and it's got the LED light

00:46:19   feedback ring on top.

00:46:22   And I feel like having it in the Apple TV would be too limiting for a good speaker to

00:46:28   listen to music, or a good microphone and a good feedback system. So that aside, and

00:46:35   also aside from the fact that the reaction of some people to Marco's article was amusing,

00:46:40   and by amusing I mean, come on, seriously, Marco didn't write that Apple is the new

00:46:47   Blackberry, but of course there are some people, you know, those, some of those cheerleaders,

00:46:53   They like to always rush to defend Apple as if a big corporation needs these people to

00:46:59   sort of defend them. It's always funny.

00:47:02   They'll go out of business otherwise Federico.

00:47:04   They go out of business if they don't. I feel like it's quite sad that we cannot have a

00:47:09   reasonable discussion about this. And I feel like Marco raised some great points. You know,

00:47:14   Blackberry and RIM used to be at the top of their game, just like Apple is at the top

00:47:18   of their game today. But maybe when the future is coming, you don't know the future is coming

00:47:23   and eventually you're just too late.

00:47:25   But it's great to hear that Apple is working on this stuff behind the scenes,

00:47:29   but keep in mind that it's just a rumor at this point, and we don't know for sure.

00:47:35   That said, I do think that if Apple is going to do this,

00:47:39   it's not going to be like, today they release an Echo device

00:47:43   and suddenly all of their services problems are fixed.

00:47:49   Because Apple has a lot of catch up to do,

00:47:52   especially when you try an echo, when you try the Google Assistant,

00:47:55   it's not a silver bullet to say "we're gonna announce an API at WWDC and everything's gonna be okay".

00:48:01   There's a lot of work to do, and there's a lot of developers to get on board,

00:48:05   and there's a lot of things to test.

00:48:07   So I feel like they may be working on this speaker device,

00:48:13   and I feel like Siri API has to be coming, it will be coming at WWDC, I feel kind of positive about that.

00:48:19   I don't know about the speaker echo-like device, but I feel like if they do it, it's gonna be a music device.

00:48:27   And I feel like that would be in line with the history of the company.

00:48:30   I don't know about the other rumor, I saw another one that says there's going to be a camera that can recognize people walking around their living room so they can say hi.

00:48:39   That's kind of creepy, I don't see Apple doing that.

00:48:41   Connect, man. That's what connect does.

00:48:43   Exactly, that's the connect and we all know how that played out for Microsoft.

00:48:49   So I don't know.

00:48:50   I feel like an API is coming for Siri, there's a lot of work to do and maybe Apple will try

00:48:55   to brand it at Siri 2.0, maybe, you know, the new tech from VocalIQ that they acquired,

00:49:01   but the new tech is only one part of the problems that Apple is facing.

00:49:07   You can have new tech, but if you don't know how to properly scale and use and get

00:49:11   developers on board, that's another matter.

00:49:13   Let's talk about this VocalIQ thing in a moment. I just want to focus on the speaker for a

00:49:19   bit more. So here's my thinking, right? If, you know, there are a lot of ifs of the implementation

00:49:27   of such a thing, but if they were able to make the Apple TV and this Siri Speaker one

00:49:33   device, the reason I would be okay with it is because I don't think Apple needs another

00:49:37   device that they make. Like having it the Apple TV and enhanced Siri being one

00:49:44   product would be good because then they don't I mean this is a very different

00:49:48   looking and acting Apple TV by the way right like it's got a big speaker on it

00:49:52   it now does additional stuff it would maybe be a good thing for Apple to not

00:49:57   have another product line because I think we all felt that maybe they're

00:50:03   stretching it out a bit too much so that might be nice but I want to just do one

00:50:07   other thing if they do I'm gonna do one of my wild predictions here if they do

00:50:11   have another product if they create a speaker I will call it now and say that

00:50:17   I think they might call it the iPod I'm just gonna say it in case it happens

00:50:22   they're not doing that the iPod I think they might call it the iPod I'm just

00:50:26   gonna say it because if that if it happens I look great if it doesn't

00:50:29   everyone forgets so I just want to say I had the idea the other day and thought

00:50:33   it would be kind of cool if they did that, so I think it would be real nice if they called

00:50:37   it the iPod. Because it probably will be a music speaker device.

00:50:43   I guess it's not unusual for Apple to reuse names. I mean, even if you just look at iBooks,

00:50:48   for example, used to be a whole other thing. And, yeah, maybe, it could be. I just feel

00:50:54   like, I don't know if there's still room for a music device in Apple's product line, but

00:51:05   if it is I feel like it has to be not a portable one. Because you don't want to replace the

00:51:10   iPhone and so if it has to stay at home, I don't know if they're going to call it the

00:51:16   i-something. Yeah I think the naming of i-something is dead, I just wanted to put it out there

00:51:23   just in case, 'cause that would be a good one.

00:51:27   - Just to say Myke was right eventually.

00:51:28   - Exactly.

00:51:29   - Mm-hmm, okay.

00:51:31   - My big issue with the idea that they would merge

00:51:33   something like this with the Apple TV

00:51:36   is not only, Federico, what you said,

00:51:38   that the Apple TV is usually in your living room

00:51:40   or wherever your television is,

00:51:42   what people have said is including in the chat room,

00:51:45   and in my email after the article I wrote,

00:51:46   saying why not have a Bluetooth-connected microphone

00:51:50   with maybe even a built-in speaker,

00:51:51   So like the brain is happening on the Apple TV,

00:51:54   but you have a little like handheld thing

00:51:56   that you can carry around and talk to.

00:51:58   Well, the problem is that's the iPhone.

00:52:00   Like all you've done is make the iPhone again.

00:52:02   - And also I know how often

00:52:04   just in a different floor of my house,

00:52:06   my watch can't talk to my phone anymore.

00:52:08   - Yep.

00:52:09   - So Bluetooth and wifi, nay no help.

00:52:12   - And the genius of the Echo and, you know,

00:52:17   assumedly the Google Home product will piggyback on this,

00:52:21   is that it's completely hands-free,

00:52:23   and it's just, you know, mine, I think,

00:52:25   like y'all is just sitting in the kitchen,

00:52:27   which is like the perfect place for it.

00:52:28   And so we've talked about this.

00:52:29   If I'm washing dishes or I'm cooking or I'm doing something,

00:52:32   I can just shout at it and it does something for me.

00:52:35   Like at night, I have this little routine

00:52:36   where I go and like lock up the doors,

00:52:39   make sure everything's, you know, all closed up,

00:52:42   and I just tell Alexa that it's time for my lights to go off

00:52:46   and it turns off the Hue lights,

00:52:47   which are now our main lights in the front of the house.

00:52:50   It's just part of the thing.

00:52:51   I don't have to go find the Bluetooth-connected

00:52:54   remote microphone, right?

00:52:55   I don't have to have the television on

00:52:57   so the Apple TV can hear me and do things.

00:52:59   It's just there already and ready to go.

00:53:04   And while, Myke, I agree with you

00:53:07   that one more product line

00:53:09   is sort of eye-rolling at this point,

00:53:11   I think jamming this into the Apple TV

00:53:15   is problematic enough where it may be worth the trade-off

00:53:18   for another product.

00:53:20   And I for one, I really like the Apple TV,

00:53:24   it's our main entertainment system,

00:53:27   and so we're always using it.

00:53:29   And so what happens if I tell the Apple TV to do something

00:53:33   and it's like playing Netflix for my kids?

00:53:35   Does it then stop that and tell me,

00:53:37   yes, I've done this task?

00:53:39   The Apple TV's already in use.

00:53:41   Can it be in use in two different ways at the same time?

00:53:43   I don't see them solving that in a way that makes any sense.

00:53:46   So I think it will end up being a discrete device

00:53:50   for all the pluses that come along with that.

00:53:52   - So let's talk about the other side of this,

00:53:55   which is the API and enhanced Siri.

00:53:58   So something that Federico was mentioning

00:54:00   was this vocal IQ thing,

00:54:02   which is apparently a company that Apple has acquired,

00:54:05   which had some incredible voice technology

00:54:08   of some description, which has been said

00:54:10   that if Apple were able to harness the power

00:54:13   vocal IQ, we will see things unlike we have ever seen before. I think we've all heard

00:54:18   lines like that in the past. But what do you think about this in Federico? Is this what

00:54:23   Apple needs? Do they need to boost up the technology as well as just release an API?

00:54:30   See, that's what I was trying to get to. There's many moving parts here. And for sure, improving

00:54:38   the way that you recognize conversations, the way that you infer context from conversations,

00:54:44   which is what Vocal IQ was trying to be specialized at, that's one key element of the process,

00:54:50   to try to get better at understanding what a person means. And if you watch the video

00:54:55   of the Vocal IQ, I think his name is Blaze Thompson, I had a video on Max, sorry, like

00:55:02   last week, it tries to explain this quite well, how to infer context and data points

00:55:07   and how to link together different parts of a sentence and different elements. That was

00:55:13   one of the key features of VocalIQ, and I believe that Apple for sure saw potential

00:55:18   in that technology. And that, I'm certain that it's needed to improve Siri. It has

00:55:25   to be better, even better than other services, at understanding a natural conversation, understanding

00:55:33   prepositions, links between follow-up questions and answers. And sure, there's some, people

00:55:40   called it context inference, I think, maybe, there's some of that in Siri today, but not

00:55:47   always. It's inconsistent, and there's not a really strong language model, especially

00:55:52   if you look at alternatives today. But I feel like besides that, there needs to be other

00:55:58   elements, other initiatives from Apple to build the real Siri 2.0, if we want to call

00:56:06   it this way. The Developer API is of course the obvious candidate here. You need to be

00:56:12   able to open up the potential of the new Siri to developers and to say, "Look, now you

00:56:19   can bring your app functionality to Siri and there's this kind of dictionary for

00:56:24   comments and queries and here's ways you can localize Siri support for all of the

00:56:29   different languages that exist and we want to take as much pain away as

00:56:33   possible from you guys so you can just focus on the actions and the tasks and

00:56:37   you don't have to worry about the language model too much, you don't have

00:56:40   to worry about how to format the queries or how to teach users how

00:56:45   to ask questions because we take care of that. And that's a huge effort, that's a huge initiative

00:56:51   on Apple Support. And I wonder if we're going to see this API, how exactly are we going

00:56:58   to see that from a technical standpoint? My idea is there's going to be something like

00:57:03   a Siri kit and developers will have to bundle some kind of Siri extension in their apps

00:57:08   and to, you know, it has to support any country that Siri works in, of course, unless, you

00:57:13   the app is not available in that market. And there's a lot of technical points here,

00:57:20   but I feel like after a better sort of understanding of natural language, and after a developer

00:57:27   API, how do you extend this assistant stuff, this Siri stuff, outside of the phone? So

00:57:35   of course there's the Apple Watch, and having a Siri API on the Apple Watch would do wonders,

00:57:42   we were talking about the fact that, for example, I don't use apps on the Apple Watch much,

00:57:46   and that Siri is low.

00:57:47   If you can make it faster, and if you can make it so I don't need to look at the app,

00:57:52   if I can talk to the app, I feel like watchOS apps can gain maybe a whole new level of functionality,

00:57:59   just because the assistant that's always on your wrist can now be any app you want.

00:58:04   So there can be, at any moment, any feedback, any action from any app.

00:58:08   So of course on the Apple Watch, huge potential there.

00:58:10   Apple TV, iPad, possibly OS X, extending all of this Siri API to any platform could truly

00:58:19   be like another interface. Because when Siri launched five years ago, we were saying, "Yeah,

00:58:26   Siri is the fourth interface of iOS." But it wasn't really that way because of all

00:58:32   the limitations that it's got. And if you open it up to every app on any platform, now

00:58:37   Now that's what I would call another interface. I just don't know if Apple can do all of these

00:58:45   at once. Maybe they've been working behind the scenes, like the reports say, way before

00:58:52   the echo. They've been working on an API, they've been working on a separate device,

00:58:58   and to kind of bring the brains of a new Siri to any device. I want to see how they do it.

00:59:06   I want to see if they do it one device at a time, one platform at a time, or if they

00:59:10   just go all the way in and if they say we're going to have a Siri API, it's going to be

00:59:14   available on iOS, watchOS, OS X and tvOS.

00:59:17   Now that would be really something.

00:59:19   I think if you're going to do it, you've got to do all of them.

00:59:22   I think the same.

00:59:23   Because then otherwise you'll be like, oh my iPhone has this Siri and my Mac has this

00:59:30   this series so I can ask this series to do one thing and you know you've got to go all

00:59:34   of it, right? I think that's the way it has to be and you're going to go all devices in

00:59:39   one fell swoop, which will be very difficult to do.

00:59:43   And the, exactly, and the thing about the Siri API is that you need to be careful with

00:59:49   the way that you build the dictionary of the commands that you want to ask. Because if

00:59:56   If I ask Siri right now to create a note, for example, it just goes straight to the

01:00:01   Apple's app.

01:00:02   And it's a discussion that we need to have if, when we talk about the Siri API, we're

01:00:08   also talking about changing the default apps of a phone, because otherwise you're always

01:00:13   going to be asking "do x in name of the app".

01:00:17   And if you repeat that for a bunch of apps every time, sort of like it works on the Alexa,

01:00:22   On the Echo today, I feel like it can be annoying after a while if you always need to specify

01:00:30   the name of the app and the action that you want to perform.

01:00:33   Is that how you do it with the Echo?

01:00:35   Do you have to ask for specific things?

01:00:37   Oh yes.

01:00:38   Right, so if you want to play a song, if you just say the song name, it will try to find

01:00:42   it on Amazon Prime Music, and because that service is terrible, it can't, so it just

01:00:45   sits there.

01:00:46   But then you have to say "Play song on Spotify" and then it will go out to Spotify.

01:00:51   And I agree with you, Federico, that does get old and like,

01:00:55   you know, every once in a while you'll just forget

01:00:57   and then you end up playing something on Amazon Prime

01:00:58   you don't mean to and so I agree with you.

01:01:01   This probably has to come with some sort of way to set.

01:01:05   When you said default mail client,

01:01:07   it also kind of changes the Siri commands around email.

01:01:11   So I agree with you, it's kind of a one, two thing.

01:01:13   - I feel like whilst, I feel like that's again

01:01:17   like something we really want

01:01:18   and I don't see it happening, right?

01:01:20   because if you're gonna say mail clients and notes apps,

01:01:23   the other one is what music service

01:01:25   do you want your music to play from?

01:01:26   - Yeah. - Apple is selling

01:01:27   a music service, they want you to buy their music service.

01:01:31   Apple is a services company, I just can't see it.

01:01:34   Like I want it, I really want it

01:01:35   because I want to open Chrome links natively.

01:01:39   Like I don't wanna see Safari, why do you keep popping up?

01:01:42   But I just can't see it happening.

01:01:44   I feel like it should happen,

01:01:45   but I reckon the defaults will be all of Apple stuff

01:01:49   and it will let you ask for another app,

01:01:51   but it won't let you choose it.

01:01:53   - I agree.

01:01:54   And there's another point that I wanna bring up.

01:01:56   Based on the report from the information, the website,

01:02:01   I don't know if maybe they got the details of this wrong

01:02:04   or if maybe it's an intentionally wrong leak, I don't know.

01:02:08   But they do mention that the Siri API,

01:02:12   at least based on their,

01:02:13   oh, Siri just showed up on my phone.

01:02:15   Okay, no, not right now.

01:02:17   So, see?

01:02:18   Anyway, no, not now. So based on their article, it sounds like a glorified URL scheme launcher,

01:02:28   because they say the Siri API will launch an app into a specific view to perform the

01:02:37   task that the user is asking for. And basically, they make it sound like you ask Siri to do

01:02:44   something for you inside of an app and it takes you to the app to complete that action.

01:02:50   And that's basically launching a URL scheme with some content and to perform that action

01:02:55   inside of the app.

01:02:56   Now, it's perfectly possible that the first version of the Siri API will be like that,

01:03:01   but I would be really disappointed if it's not like what you get with the Apple apps

01:03:06   in the Siri interface, because right now the whole point…

01:03:08   It would be kind of horrific.

01:03:10   It would be terrible.

01:03:11   Right now, the whole point of using Siri with the Apple apps is you ask for questions, either

01:03:17   you want to retrieve content or you want to create content, and you're shown an interface,

01:03:22   a native interface inside of Siri. So you get like a mini reminders list, or you get

01:03:27   a preview of the calendar and so forth. And you can also create content back into those

01:03:31   apps but without actually opening those apps. And that's the whole point, right? You want

01:03:36   to be able to just do stuff with your voice instead of having to confirm by tapping. So

01:03:41   If they do launch a Siri API, and if it doesn't have, let's say, touch-free interaction, that's

01:03:48   going to be a real disappointment.

01:03:50   So I want to hope that the information got the details wrong.

01:03:52   I've seen a couple of people talking about this and saying that this might all be hidden

01:03:57   from the user.

01:03:58   And if that's the case, then fine.

01:04:00   It's just some weird implementation for, like, it does something in the background that you

01:04:04   don't see, but the phone is doing something in the application and returns the result,

01:04:09   which would be really weird.

01:04:10   And I feel like there could be a better way to do it than that, but that is the only logical

01:04:14   way that I can see this being, like it's just a miscommunication of the way that it

01:04:18   works.

01:04:19   Because if you say, "If all it's doing is open an application and prefilling a text

01:04:22   box and pressing search, I will be very mad."

01:04:27   That's basically what they wrote.

01:04:28   Yeah, because that doesn't feel like an API to me.

01:04:31   Like it just doesn't feel like one.

01:04:33   Yeah, I don't think that would be very good.

01:04:36   That would suck so bad.

01:04:39   It's like, "Can you play me Taylor Swift?" and then you watch it open Spotify and type

01:04:45   each letter in and then an imaginary finger just presses the search box for you. Oh my

01:04:51   god, that would suck.

01:04:53   No, see, Apple even has a chance to tightly control everything that could go on in the

01:05:00   Siri interface because just say, "Okay, developers, you want to do this? Look, you're going to

01:05:04   have to provide this kind of graphical assets and it has to be this size and this color,

01:05:10   you cannot have crazy interfaces, it has to be translucent kind of lists or whatever,

01:05:16   you cannot have animations, so they can set all kinds of limitations for developers. Because

01:05:21   if you look at the, you know, to keep it consistent with the existing Siri interface, assuming

01:05:26   that's going to be, you know, mostly the same design, they can enforce all kinds of guidelines

01:05:31   and limitations. It doesn't have to be as crazy as widgets, for example, but every developer

01:05:36   has a different take on the widget design in iOS 9. It doesn't have to be that way.

01:05:41   So we'll see. I'm also interested to see whether we'll get a textual Siri, like the ability

01:05:48   to ask Siri stuff by texting. And I don't know, I feel like there's a lot of potential

01:05:55   there as well, and a lot of people don't get it. Like they say if you don't want to talk

01:06:01   to Siri, why would you text with it?" And the answer is that I want to be able to ask

01:06:06   natural language questions without speaking, but also without having to do all the work

01:06:12   on my own. So I don't want to go to Wordflam Alpha on the website and type out my query

01:06:17   precisely, I don't want to look on Google, I just want to text my assistant like if it

01:06:21   were a real person, like I'm texting it stuff, and say "do this for me" and it replies and

01:06:26   it doesn't speak. Now that'd be nice.

01:06:28   I agree. I would like the textual Siri stuff.

01:06:31   Like I type things into Spotlight, right?

01:06:33   Like I do like currency conversions and things like that.

01:06:36   But I would like to be able,

01:06:38   how great it would be to type in natural language to affect the applications that

01:06:43   I use. Right? So like in my imaginary world,

01:06:46   I would just pull down Spotlight and type in my fantastic hell appointments.

01:06:50   Right? Like, and it would just go into the app as, as I want. Um,

01:06:55   Going back to the API and the idea of setting do for applications

01:06:59   I think one thing that might could potentially point to something like this is if they do the API

01:07:06   Similar to how they did multitasking when that first launched right like that

01:07:10   It starts off with a limited set of things that you can do

01:07:13   So like imagine there are ten things that the Siri API can do now at ten types of applications

01:07:19   It will work with say like note-taking email

01:07:22   messages, music. If they were able to do that, like I could imagine a kind of a Siri training thing where Siri asks you a bunch

01:07:28   of questions like what music service do you want to use? What notes app do you want to use?

01:07:32   And you just tell it and then it sets it forever. That's how I imagine like a best-case scenario

01:07:36   But I just can't see them like letting me choose Spotify or rapper music. I just don't see it happening.

01:07:44   I want to live in your imaginary world Myke. It's nice, right? Like where we have iPods coming back and

01:07:51   Siri does whatever we want like it feels good, you know, yes

01:07:55   It's a nice place to be. All right, I think on that note

01:07:58   We should we should all take a few moments and live in my special world

01:08:02   Which means that we need to close out the show for today

01:08:04   If you want to find our show notes head on over to relay FM slash connected slash 93

01:08:09   Thanks again to back blaze for sponsoring this week's episode as always. Thank you for listening

01:08:14   We love that you tune in to the show every week. If you're enjoying the show, please share it with friends

01:08:19   Why not? They might like it too if you like it so much. If you want to find us online,

01:08:23   there's a few places you can do that. It sounded like a threat but it wasn't.

01:08:25   If you like it so much, why don't you share it with a friend?

01:08:27   Go find Stephen Hackett online at 512pixels.net. He is at ISMH.

01:08:33   Federico is at Vitici, V-I-T-I-C-C-I and he writes over at maxstories.net. Federico has some

01:08:39   great stuff coming this week which you should make sure that you're checking out. And I am @imike,

01:08:43   I M Y K E on the Twitter. We'll be back next time for full-on WWDC predictions

01:08:51   in preparation. Until then, say goodbye guys. Adios.