62: Siri Like the Butler


00:00:00   [MUSIC PLAYING]

00:00:04   Hello, and welcome to Connected, episode number 62.

00:00:09   Today is October 20, 2015.

00:00:11   I am your host, Steven Hackett.

00:00:12   And I'm joined, as always, by our man in Italy,

00:00:18   man with the plan in Rome, Mr. Federico Vittigi.

00:00:21   Hello, Steven.

00:00:22   How are you?

00:00:23   I'm doing well.

00:00:24   How are you?

00:00:25   I'm doing very well.

00:00:26   Thank you.

00:00:27   We're missing a piece of the connected puzzle today.

00:00:32   - We are, Myke is currently flying to the US.

00:00:36   He and I are both attending the Release Notes Conference.

00:00:40   We'll have a link in the show notes.

00:00:42   Myke is actually the keynote speaker, which is--

00:00:44   - Oh, fancy.

00:00:45   - Pretty sweet.

00:00:46   And so yeah, so I'll be joining him.

00:00:48   I leave like super early tomorrow morning.

00:00:52   It's a pretty short plane trip for me,

00:00:53   just a couple hours.

00:00:54   And we'll be together the rest of the week.

00:00:57   and doing release notes at this conference for people like us

00:01:02   with independent tech businesses.

00:01:04   And I'm looking forward to seeing some relay hosts

00:01:07   and listeners and everything there.

00:01:09   So if you're going to be there, be sure to say hey.

00:01:12   Yeah, we'll be asking Myke for an autograph or a selfie.

00:01:17   I mean, he's a celebrity now.

00:01:20   Am I going to ask him for that?

00:01:21   Yeah.

00:01:24   Seems a little strange for me to do it,

00:01:26   but I guess other people could.

00:01:27   - Just pretend you're a big fan of Myke.

00:01:29   Just pretend you don't know him.

00:01:31   Just ask for an autograph and a selfie.

00:01:33   Imagine Myke's reaction.

00:01:35   - Yeah, it's like, "Dude, can I get your autograph?"

00:01:37   - We're actually co-founders of the same company,

00:01:40   but whatever.

00:01:41   The real, if I were there,

00:01:47   the real game for me would be to try to find typos

00:01:51   in Myke's presentation.

00:01:53   I know that he's gonna kill it,

00:01:54   and I know that he's gonna be awesome,

00:01:56   but I'm pretty sure there's gonna be typos.

00:01:58   - I'm a little worried about that

00:02:00   and I haven't seen the presentation.

00:02:02   I don't know what he's talking about.

00:02:05   I'm okay with that for the most part,

00:02:07   but we'll, I guess we'll see.

00:02:08   - That's his signature, you know?

00:02:11   At least a little typo.

00:02:12   It won't kill anyone.

00:02:14   I'm sure Myke has a way to make it look nice.

00:02:18   So Myke-

00:02:18   - I think if he does a Myke chat, it should be on purpose.

00:02:21   Like if he says I'm a professional podcasters,

00:02:23   I think that's good.

00:02:25   - That would be perfect.

00:02:26   So Micra now is up in the air, I think.

00:02:29   I don't know.

00:02:30   Is he in the land of the free yet?

00:02:33   I don't know.

00:02:34   - He should be getting close.

00:02:35   So I guess if we hear from him during the show,

00:02:38   which I think was what happened last time he was traveling,

00:02:41   he texted us during when you and I were doing the show.

00:02:43   We'll see, it's hard to keep up with the guys.

00:02:46   International businessman and traveler and everything.

00:02:49   - Always going to America.

00:02:51   He's always going around,

00:02:53   flying in all different countries is a diplomat, you know?

00:02:57   Is going to lots of different places.

00:03:00   Steven, save us and take us into follow up.

00:03:03   - All right, so we've got some follow up this week.

00:03:05   We were speaking last week about the MacBook Pros,

00:03:10   the MacBook Airs, and how everything is all sealed in now.

00:03:14   Lauren wrote in to remind us that that's not completely true.

00:03:19   There is, and I will put this link in the show notes

00:03:22   and in the chat room, so if you're listening live,

00:03:24   you can understand that this computer

00:03:26   is still in production.

00:03:30   Apple still sells a 13-inch MacBook Pro,

00:03:33   non-retina, with a DVD drive

00:03:38   for $1,099 here in the United States.

00:03:44   And it's really not a great machine.

00:03:46   I'm not sure who it's for.

00:03:48   I think it's mostly for,

00:03:51   I think it's mostly for education or people who buy in bulk perhaps but I don't

00:03:58   I'm not quite sure what that's about. So maybe DVDs marketers, you know, man. Yeah

00:04:05   4 gigs of RAM a 500 gig 54 rpm hard drive

00:04:10   Just you know, it's the MacBook Pro from four years ago still for sale

00:04:17   I highly doubt that it even comes with El Capitan if you open another box.

00:04:21   I'm sure it's just an old config they have laying around.

00:04:25   But what can you do?

00:04:27   Yeah, there's probably Lion on that machine.

00:04:30   Yeah.

00:04:31   So you can still buy that machine, so my apologies for being incorrect.

00:04:34   I tend to forget about this computer because I just assumed that Apple's killed it since

00:04:38   the last time I looked.

00:04:39   And every time I look, it's still there hanging on for life.

00:04:42   Nice.

00:04:43   We also wanted to touch base on the Magic accessories.

00:04:48   The keyboard, so I have the keyboard and the trackpad.

00:04:54   I'm actually using both right now,

00:04:56   even though I'm not really a trackpad guy.

00:04:57   - No.

00:04:59   - I really like the keyboard.

00:05:01   My review just went live like 20 minutes ago on the site.

00:05:04   I like the keyboard.

00:05:05   It is, if you like the old one,

00:05:08   there's a lot of things that are better about it.

00:05:11   Yes, the key travel is less than the old one,

00:05:16   but the trade-off is it feels more precise.

00:05:18   They're not using the butterfly mechanism from the MacBook.

00:05:20   They're still using the scissor mechanism,

00:05:23   but all in all, it feels more precise,

00:05:24   and it feels tighter than the old one, and I like that.

00:05:28   And so I've been using it since the weekend.

00:05:30   Mine came in on Friday, and I'm a fan so far.

00:05:34   It is sort of funny.

00:05:36   There's still a new Jet Key on it.

00:05:37   I don't know what that does.

00:05:39   I'm hitting it now, and nothing's happening to my computer.

00:05:41   - Make sure you're not the one being ejected

00:05:44   from your chair.

00:05:45   - Yeah, it just ejects my USB free too

00:05:47   from being connected.

00:05:49   No, I mean, if you have an external,

00:05:51   if you have like the super drive plugged in,

00:05:53   it ejects it.

00:05:53   I mean, I get why it's there.

00:05:55   I do wish it was backlit.

00:05:57   I'm sure that that was a thickness,

00:06:00   battery life type thing is my guess.

00:06:03   But it would be nice, like, it'd be nice

00:06:04   to have a backlit external keyboard.

00:06:07   So that's my hope that one day we'll get that.

00:06:10   It would be weird with the white keycaps, I don't know how quite that would look, but

00:06:15   all in all it's a nice improvement if you like the old one.

00:06:20   If you don't like the old one you're really not going to like this one because it is sort

00:06:23   of like a distilled version of the old one.

00:06:26   But all in all it gets a thumbs up from me.

00:06:29   I got one question for you Steven.

00:06:31   Yes.

00:06:32   Have you tried the keyboard on your iPad?

00:06:35   I have not.

00:06:39   My understanding is that it's basically the same as last time.

00:06:46   But I'm not sure, I mean the pairing is still done over Bluetooth obviously.

00:06:51   I don't think it has any more iOS features than the old one did though.

00:06:57   I don't think there's something that doubles as the home button or anything, but I'm not

00:07:00   sure to be honest.

00:07:01   So you can probably replicate the same shortcuts of course, you can do command tab, you can

00:07:06   do command space to open Spotlight.

00:07:08   - All that should work.

00:07:09   - No special keys for--

00:07:10   - Right, there's no Siri key you get on the Logitech

00:07:13   or something like that.

00:07:14   I mean, and that makes sense,

00:07:16   like at this point with the iPad Pro coming,

00:07:19   I don't think they wanna keep that separate

00:07:21   for that keyboard cover.

00:07:22   Man, I don't know, I like using the iPad

00:07:26   with the Apple keyboard,

00:07:28   but I'm not,

00:07:30   I'm just not sure how big of a use case it is

00:07:34   in Apple's mind of people buying their keyboard

00:07:36   to use with the iPad, like with all the keyboard cases and everything out there.

00:07:40   I don't know.

00:07:41   Yeah, it's going to be interesting with the iPad Pro.

00:07:43   The software keyboard, there's a bunch of new features.

00:07:46   Of course, it's bigger, so it should be easier to type on the screen.

00:07:50   But there's also a couple-- the increased space

00:07:53   allows for a couple of new features.

00:07:55   There's more keys.

00:07:56   There's the number row.

00:07:57   I think it's always shown by default, at least in landscape.

00:08:01   So it's going to be a big software keyboard.

00:08:03   But of course, Apple makes the smart keyboard as well,

00:08:06   which I look forward to trying because I'm really curious to see what they've done there.

00:08:12   I type most of my articles on the iPad Air 2 with the software keyboard and usually I

00:08:18   know that this sounds crazy but I type in portrait mode with my thumbs, you know, that's

00:08:23   the advantage of being human, you have thumbs.

00:08:27   And I do like typing in portrait mode on my iPad.

00:08:32   And that goes down to the biggest question I have about the iPad Pro.

00:08:37   Can you still use it in portrait mode?

00:08:39   Can you still hold it with two hands and type?

00:08:41   It's probably going to be a little too big for that use case, at least that's what I

00:08:45   imagine.

00:08:46   Because it's going to be about as wide as the iPad Air as in landscape.

00:08:50   That might be, that's going to be a reach for me.

00:08:53   I don't have Myke Hurley fingers, but I've got decent sized hands.

00:08:57   I don't get it, fingers.

00:09:00   I actually, just last night, my wife has the 12 inch Retina MacBook and I was doing something

00:09:05   on it and I was walking to the house and I was thumb typing on it.

00:09:09   Like I had it wedged in my hands, like my hands were claws, and thumb typing on this

00:09:12   MacBook.

00:09:13   I was like, "Huh, what have I done?"

00:09:15   Because I'm like you, I type in my iPad Air generally in portrait with my thumbs.

00:09:20   The landscape keyboard is like just the wrong size for me.

00:09:23   There's something about it that I've never really been able to do well.

00:09:27   And so I type like you do on the Air and I can do it.

00:09:29   It's pretty comfortable.

00:09:30   But I was like walking around the house with a MacBook doing it, I was like, "What am I

00:09:33   doing?"

00:09:34   What's happened to me?

00:09:35   Yeah.

00:09:36   You know, the thing about the landscape keyboard on the iPad is not necessarily, at least for

00:09:41   me, not necessarily the size of the keys or the layout.

00:09:44   It's how much it obscures content in the top half of the screen.

00:09:50   And I usually type in portrait mode because I can see more of the app that I'm using,

00:09:54   which is usually editorial.

00:09:55   So I see more of my text and when I switch to landscape I just see like a paragraph.

00:10:02   And on the iPad Pro it's gonna be interesting because you can see more in landscape and

00:10:06   the keyboard is also bigger.

00:10:08   But there's a problem in portrait because it becomes too large to type with your thumbs.

00:10:13   So it's gonna be a curious setup.

00:10:18   We should have a couple of weeks left, Apple said, the iPad Pro is coming out in November.

00:10:23   And I'm curious, in this case, the Italian Apple website says "coming in November".

00:10:28   So we don't know yet if the iPad Pro is going to launch in many countries, like in 30 countries

00:10:35   at launch, so Italy should be included.

00:10:38   We just have a "November" notice on the Italian website.

00:10:42   And I hope that we will know more, maybe next week there's an Apple earnings call, maybe

00:10:48   they will provide a release date for the iPad Pro.

00:10:51   We don't know.

00:10:52   We'll see.

00:10:53   - Yeah, I mean it's the same thing here, there's not a date.

00:10:55   And just last night, Apple CEO Tim Cook

00:10:58   was being interviewed and he said the Apple TV

00:11:00   would be going for pre-order on Monday,

00:11:02   so six days from now and then shipping next week.

00:11:05   So we can talk about that in the next couple weeks as well.

00:11:08   I mean, it's sort of funny, like, you know,

00:11:10   Apple clumps all their stuff together in the fall,

00:11:12   but this year, even within the fall,

00:11:14   it's a little spread out.

00:11:15   I feel like we get a couple weeks with like each thing.

00:11:17   Like we've had phones and then we had iMacs and Mac stuff

00:11:21   and now we're gonna go back to the Apple TV

00:11:23   through the iPad Pro.

00:11:24   Yeah, it'll be fun.

00:11:27   I think I said it last week,

00:11:29   I'm increasingly interested in the iPad Pro.

00:11:33   I think that I will at least get one to check it out

00:11:36   and then maybe take advantage of that return policy.

00:11:39   But we'll see.

00:11:41   I think it'll be interesting to see how it does.

00:11:44   - Yeah, for sure.

00:11:45   - Now Federico, you are our reporter in the field

00:11:50   when it comes to all things blah, blah, blah, blah,

00:11:53   and you tweeted something yesterday,

00:11:55   is it, I think it was yesterday.

00:11:56   - Yes.

00:11:57   - The only way I can describe it,

00:11:59   and I'm gonna put this,

00:12:00   like you should go look at Federico's tweet.

00:12:04   It troubled me deeply in my soul.

00:12:08   I think it's really the only way, the only thing.

00:12:10   So what is this?

00:12:11   Can you explain what you've done to the internet here?

00:12:13   - So I was, it was after dinner,

00:12:16   and I was at the kitchen table

00:12:18   just looking at Twitter on my iPad and the TV was on because we were following the news

00:12:23   during dinner.

00:12:24   And at one point a weird song started playing and I look up at the TV and there's like two

00:12:32   blob monsters with very uncomfortable eyes and a very uncomfortable shape and it was

00:12:41   There's a commercial for BlaBlaCar and there's these two little things, I would describe

00:12:47   them, talking about BlaBlaCar and how it works and it's a very creepy commercial.

00:12:54   I don't understand why you would trust a service, you know, you're getting into someone else's

00:12:59   car so it's a pretty serious thing to do and the creatures advertising this service are

00:13:07   are too creepy looking monsters. So I don't know if I can find the commercial on YouTube,

00:13:14   I can try. There's a weird song, there's weird monsters and there's an explanation of how

00:13:20   BlaBlaCar works. It's the car sharing service that lets you ride into someone else's car

00:13:27   for a fee so you can save on costs to go from a specific place of Italy to another. So you

00:13:32   You can split the fees for highway tolls, that kind of stuff.

00:13:38   But the monsters, the blah blah monsters, that's how I call them, they're really

00:13:41   creepy and they're the stuff of nightmares, basically.

00:13:47   And of course I tweeted the picture and a lot of people responded to the nature of the

00:13:52   commercial.

00:13:54   There's no way around it, they're creepy.

00:13:57   there's a tweet from a friend of the show, John, he sent us a picture of a McDonald's

00:14:07   monster. Does it have a name? His name is Grimace. Oh, nice. And the other one is the

00:14:13   Hamburglar? Yep. Yeah. So they're eerily similar in nature. And the worst part of the blah blah

00:14:23   a monster isn't just the color which is purple or the fact that he has hands with no fingers

00:14:32   and then he's holding a phone. It's the red lips.

00:14:38   It's just really terrifying in every way. I'm going to put the picture in the show notes.

00:14:44   If you go to the page relay.fm/connected/62 you can just see it because I think everyone

00:14:49   had experienced the terror that I did.

00:14:55   I'm surprised that you didn't comment on those cables going under my TV.

00:15:00   You know, I really almost did.

00:15:03   And I was like, no, I'm going to be the bigger man here, I'm going to be the gentleman, but

00:15:07   I'm just going to buy you some cable conduit.

00:15:10   Okay, so there's an explanation, which we will discuss in the topic that we have today.

00:15:17   I will explain in a few minutes why.

00:15:19   If you were a gentleman you would hide that in the wall.

00:15:22   But it's temporary, let me explain to you later why.

00:15:25   Okay, I understand temporary setups, I get it.

00:15:30   So we got a couple little topics before we get into the big one, but first let me tell

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00:17:22   Alright Federico, tell me about iWork.

00:17:26   So last week Apple released finally, I would say, not in an ironic way, an iOS 9 update

00:17:34   for the iWork suite for iOS.

00:17:36   So there's updated pages, numbers and keynote with new iOS 9 features which include of course

00:17:42   iPad multitasking, keyboard shortcuts, you know, you get a little pop-up when you hold

00:17:50   down the Command key on your physical keyboard so you can see all the list of supported commands

00:17:54   in the apps. There's a new way to share documents with iCloud.com on the web and there's an

00:18:01   increased compatibility with older file formats, which I know you want to talk about.

00:18:07   But of course the big change, and of course there's a little, a small amount of improvements

00:18:13   to each individual app with a series of long-standing feature requests from iOS users. But of course

00:18:23   the big change is iPad multitasking and if you don't mind Steven I have a little

00:18:27   story for you today. So right before the update which was on Thursday at 10

00:18:34   around 10 p.m. which is when Apple refreshes the App Store for the

00:18:38   weekly features, Sylvia my girlfriend was just talking about how she wanted to use

00:18:45   numbers on her iPad R2 with SplitView because she has to do some accounting

00:18:51   stuff on a monthly basis and she was asking why she couldn't put Safari with a webpage

00:18:57   where she's looking at numbers and a bunch of different expenses next to numbers so she

00:19:03   could go through all the lists of transactions and organize them in a spreadsheet.

00:19:09   And maybe 20 minutes after she was complaining about the iOS 9 update to numbers, there was

00:19:17   an iOS 9 update to Numbers on the App Store. And she got really excited and I understand

00:19:23   why. I don't use Numbers much because I'm a Google Sheets user and the Google Sheets

00:19:28   app for iOS still hasn't been updated to support iOS 9. But she does this Numbers accounting

00:19:35   really often and she got excited because the ability to pin Safari next to Numbers or any

00:19:46   other app basically saved her like an hour she would have spent jumping from app to app.

00:19:53   And I witnessed how a non-Power User, because she's not the type of user who obsesses over

00:20:01   the little advanced features like we do, or shortcuts, or Power User tips and tricks,

00:20:08   that kind of stuff, she just uses her iPad because she likes it more than a MacBook.

00:20:13   And being able to use SlideOver and more importantly SplitView, she got through all the list of

00:20:23   expenses and the database that she keeps for accounting purposes, she got through that

00:20:30   really fast with SplitView because she says I don't have to go from app to app anymore,

00:20:37   it's right there and the layout is still the same and the iPad Air 2 is comfortable and

00:20:43   she was really happy. So I thought it's really interesting that we, just a few months ago

00:20:50   we were saying yeah but you know power users are just gonna be, are the ones who are gonna

00:20:55   be happy about iOS 9 because normal people really don't do any sort of work on the iPad.

00:21:02   So even if Apple does multitasking or slide over or split view, normal people they're

00:21:07   not gonna care as much as we do. And maybe to an extent that's true because especially

00:21:13   I guess people like me, while we use an iPad on a daily basis, we are excited by those

00:21:19   functionalities. But even normal people like Silvia, she's definitely a normal person,

00:21:23   she doesn't spend hours looking into apps on the App Store like I do. But the single

00:21:30   change in numbers allowed her to be faster and to work faster, to save time and to be

00:21:39   happier with the iPad.

00:21:41   So it kind of got me thinking about this whole, you know, we usually refer to normal people,

00:21:47   I wouldn't say as they don't know what's going on behind the scenes, but maybe we discard,

00:21:54   we dismiss those people and the needs of those people because we imagine that they use just

00:21:59   Facebook and mail and Safari and they do but they're not stupid and I've said

00:22:04   this many many times and every time I come across someone in this case my

00:22:08   girlfriend just discovering this functionality and being super okay with

00:22:13   it it surprises me every time. Yeah you know it's I think what's nice about that

00:22:19   sort of stuff on the iPad is that it's pretty discoverable and it's it's like

00:22:24   not fiddly right like you just slide the app over when you're done you put it back

00:22:27   They really did a good job at adding complexity without making it confusing.

00:22:33   And I think your story kind of points that out.

00:22:36   It's like I can just go pull these two things together and do what I need to do

00:22:40   and then go back to the way it was, which is nice.

00:22:44   A thing that caught my eye in the iWork updates is the backwards compatibility.

00:22:49   So the new version of iWork, Apple basically rebuilt the Mac apps

00:22:54   and the iOS apps really but especially the Mac apps to to be more compatible

00:23:00   that you know they redid their document structure so you could use documents

00:23:05   more cleanly on both platforms and they left a lot of stuff out we talked about

00:23:09   that I was like a year ago or so like Apple script was left out of the Mac

00:23:12   apps a bunch of stuff and they've been slowly adding it back in and this week's

00:23:16   update brought back like true backwards compatibility so if you have I don't

00:23:21   remember how far back it goes but I think I work oh eight and maybe even oh

00:23:24   six documents you can now open again?

00:23:27   Which is good and again, a not sarcastic finally.

00:23:32   It sort of was frustrating that if you had those old documents you couldn't open them

00:23:36   but I'm glad they circled back and got that taken care of.

00:23:39   I saw some tweets from people kind of poking fun at Apple for adding support for old file

00:23:46   formats back.

00:23:47   It's kind of like backtracking on what they wanted to do when they relaunched the iWork

00:23:51   apps for OS X and iOS, they made a big deal out of saying "We needed this clean slate,

00:23:58   so we're not supporting the old apps and the old documents because we wanted to start fresh".

00:24:03   And now that they added the support for the old document types back, I saw some people

00:24:09   saying "Yeah, look at Apple, first they say that they want to start fresh and they do

00:24:13   backwards compatibility". I kind of don't know what to make of this argument because

00:24:17   Ultimately it was a clean slate and there were problems but there were also new apps

00:24:24   and those apps let them start fresh, new features, new design and eventually after update they

00:24:31   bring features back but they don't compromise on the original vision.

00:24:36   These are still brand new iWork apps.

00:24:39   So I kinda understand the making fun of, yeah first you say you wanna start fresh and then

00:24:45   and then you bring the old files back.

00:24:48   But in the end it's just a practical thing to do.

00:24:52   Now that we got the basics covered, we have these new apps, we're supporting these new

00:24:57   iOS 9 features, it's a month late but still now we're supporting iOS 9, so what else can

00:25:03   we do?

00:25:04   Let's bring the old file formats back.

00:25:08   I don't think it's a big deal and if anything, people who still have those files, they're

00:25:13   just going to be happy now.

00:25:14   So it's okay to poke fun, but I don't think it compromises on the basic vision of the

00:25:21   iWork suite.

00:25:22   I agree.

00:25:24   And your backwards compatibility with documents is big.

00:25:29   You can look at Microsoft and say, "Well, they do this to a fault."

00:25:34   They just will not let go of backwards compatibility.

00:25:37   But you can say that, but a Word document you made 20 years ago, you can probably still

00:25:42   open.

00:25:44   that helps Office stay entrenched so many places.

00:25:49   And I think comparing iWork to Office is unfair to both,

00:25:54   and I think they sort of solve the same problem

00:25:57   for very different angles, but having a document

00:26:01   that you created seven years ago that you can't open,

00:26:05   that is a problem, and so I'm glad they got that sorted out.

00:26:08   And yeah, I agree with you, the vision thing,

00:26:13   Like I work is still much simpler and cleaner than it was and much faster. I just spent some time

00:26:19   the last week or so and I books author helping a friend with something and

00:26:24   I books author is basically like I work oh eight like that

00:26:27   it's a use a lot of those old controls and sort of old way of thinking about things and it's it's very like

00:26:33   Bumbly in there like you just it's just not very good and you go to the new I work

00:26:38   This is for the most part is a lot better. So I'm glad they did it

00:26:42   I wish they had gotten to this faster for people who were stuck with this problem.

00:26:47   I think, if I remember correctly, the new version of iWork did not override the old

00:26:51   one on disk.

00:26:52   It would leave iWork 09 also installed.

00:26:56   So you'd have two versions, but at least you could open everything and now that'll be a

00:26:59   lot cleaner moving forward, which is good.

00:27:03   One thing that still hasn't replaced other services for me is the real-time collaboration.

00:27:09   So right now, me and you, we're looking at a shared Google Docs document and we're both

00:27:15   typing and we have our own cursor in the document and we can collaborate on the same document,

00:27:20   the same notes.

00:27:22   And my understanding, you can do this for iCloud and iWork, but it'll still eventually

00:27:30   upset you because there are going to be problems.

00:27:33   And so if you're looking for a solution to collaborate on documents with multiple people

00:27:37   at once, you still have to use Google Docs, Quip, which is also an excellent service,

00:27:42   and maybe in the near future you will be able to use this new Dropbox paper service, which

00:27:47   has a totally unoriginal name, but the idea is you're sharing a rich document with multiple

00:27:54   people and it's kind of like Google Docs and Quip, but it's nicer maybe, and right now

00:28:00   it's in sort of public beta on the web, there's going to be native apps eventually, it looks

00:28:06   nice, the name is, I mean, come on, another paper service, but I have to tell you, I'm

00:28:13   kinda excited by Dropbox paper. And part of me is torn between, I'm excited because I

00:28:21   like Dropbox, and the other part of me says "what is Dropbox doing?" because they're trying

00:28:27   this bunch of different things now, because file storage and management has kinda become

00:28:33   a feature everyone has its own cloud storage services whether it's Google, Apple, Microsoft,

00:28:39   Amazon. Pretty sure Facebook is coming out eventually with a file storage service if

00:28:44   they don't already have one in the settings. And now Dropbox is kind of trying all these

00:28:50   different things. So there's business, there's photos, there's paper, you know the carousel

00:28:57   service I don't know what's going on there and I don't know if they're kind of trying

00:29:02   to see what's next. So that's the pessimistic part of me. The optimistic side says this

00:29:09   is cool, this is exciting, I like Dropbox and it looks nice. So we'll see. But right

00:29:15   now still not using an iWork and iCard for collaboration. If you do, I'm generally curious

00:29:24   to know if it's improved. I remember when we tried, Steven, back in the prompt days

00:29:30   and let's just say it got weird fast. Remember when we shared the document with people on

00:29:40   Twitter?

00:29:42   We did and the iWork document like blew up within seconds and the Google Docs got really

00:29:47   strange and locked me out of my account for a while. It was good times. Yeah, you know

00:29:53   it's interesting to me that all these companies are like going after like collaborative document

00:29:59   editing. Office 365 also has some stuff. I haven't used it. I'm not really familiar

00:30:04   with it to be honest, but it's like it's a kind of a hot space right now. And you

00:30:10   know for me at least like you I mean the Google stuff like I mean our whole

00:30:14   business is in there and it works unbelievably well and not just

00:30:19   documents and spreadsheets as well. And it's gonna take you know something

00:30:23   really powerful to knock that off the top of the list for me, but I'm excited

00:30:27   that there's competition there.

00:30:30   We should talk about Notes though too.

00:30:33   - Yeah, you posted a really nice article this week,

00:30:36   or last week?

00:30:37   - Yeah, last week, 16th,

00:30:40   where, and again this is something we've been talking about,

00:30:46   we've all talked about Evernote for a long time,

00:30:48   and then iOS 9 and El Capitan brought new Notes apps

00:30:52   built on CloudKit so the syncing actually works,

00:30:55   a lot of new features and I've been using it for,

00:31:00   well since I upgraded to El Capitan

00:31:02   and for the most part I like it.

00:31:04   So I wrote up my review of it last week,

00:31:07   kind of comparing and contrasting it

00:31:09   with Evernote in places.

00:31:10   And all in all, while there are things I don't like,

00:31:15   I have switched to it and it's on the home screen

00:31:18   of my iPhone and iPad and it's in my dock on the Mac

00:31:21   and all my stuff's in it and I've uninstalled Evernote

00:31:24   and closed my account.

00:31:24   - Oh, like, give a clear option.

00:31:27   - Yeah, well, yeah, I mean,

00:31:30   you know, it's fine, it's not Evernote.

00:31:35   All that stuff that Evernote does,

00:31:36   where like, the Web Clipper,

00:31:38   and you can email stuff into it,

00:31:39   like, it doesn't do any of that,

00:31:40   but it does have, as you spoke about in your iOS 9 review,

00:31:45   really good extension support in iOS.

00:31:48   It has that same extension support in OS 10 to a degree.

00:31:53   And so there are ways to get stuff into it that's a little more automated than copying and pasting.

00:31:57   And it just has not failed yet.

00:32:00   I mean, I've got, I don't know, like 165 notes in there and it's rock solid.

00:32:06   And you know what I noticed?

00:32:08   I'm using notes, I would say primarily through two features, the extension and slide over.

00:32:15   So I save bits of text, usually links into individual notes.

00:32:21   so I append links to the bottom of an existing note.

00:32:24   And I have a bunch of these for connected, for MacStories Weekly, for virtual.

00:32:29   I just save links every day

00:32:32   into notes with the extension. And then when it's time to pull those links back in,

00:32:38   whether it's into a Google document or in a tutorial,

00:32:41   I can just use slide over to open notes,

00:32:45   tap and hold on the link and copy the link again. And

00:32:48   that's how I primarily use notes as a

00:32:52   kind of storage solution for links with nice previews because unlike Evernote

00:32:56   it gives me this little snippet view of a link which has an image,

00:33:01   a title and a brief description so I can easily remember what a link is about

00:33:06   but what I noticed is

00:33:09   sometimes iCloud initially fails

00:33:13   at updating the note

00:33:17   that I'm appending a link to. So for instance I'm on my iPhone and I save a link into a

00:33:22   note. Then maybe a couple of hours later I'm on my iPad and I want to save another link

00:33:28   into the same note but the note doesn't say I was updated two hours ago. It still says

00:33:34   last updated, last night. So it's not like on the iPad the extension is not seeing the

00:33:38   last version of a note. But when I'm going into, you know, maybe a couple of days later,

00:33:45   I'm going into the note and when I open the note it kind of reconciles all the changes

00:33:51   and it kind of merges all the links from the iPhone, the links from the iPad, so I don't

00:33:55   lose anything and that's nice because I was like "oh man, I trusted this app and now iCloud

00:34:02   is failing again" but it turns out that there's a mechanism in place to reconcile changes

00:34:08   from different devices which I'm ok with.

00:34:10   Even if, of course, Apple being Apple, there's no UI, there's no conflict resolution tool

00:34:16   that says "Hey, this was a change from an iPhone, this is a new change to the same note

00:34:21   from an iPad, what do you want to do?"

00:34:22   It just kind of happens in the background, invisibly, as Apple likes to do, but it works.

00:34:27   And I've been putting together the newsletter or links for the website for basically since

00:34:33   June with the Notes app.

00:34:36   And it works for me. It's faster, it gives me these nice previews.

00:34:42   I'm not the kind of user who saves a lot of documents into notes.

00:34:47   I guess I prefer to use Dropbox for things like PDFs and email receipts, that kind of

00:34:53   stuff. I use notes for links, maybe screenshots and

00:34:57   text. That's the reason why I also felt comfortable

00:35:02   switching from Evernote. Because I don't need all of those features

00:35:05   in a work chat and the shared notebooks.

00:35:08   I just need a nice note-taking app with a nice extension,

00:35:12   iPad multitasking on iOS 9, and Notes works for me.

00:35:15   So a big thumbs up for the Notes app.

00:35:19   - Yeah, I got a lot of feedback about tagging.

00:35:23   Tags just don't, just not the way my brain works.

00:35:26   And Shindo sent me an email about the review,

00:35:32   but I wanted to bring it up here

00:35:33   to see what you thought about it.

00:35:34   They write tags can be hashtags, but markdown renders those as headers.

00:35:39   So if you copy it out into some sort of marked editor, you get headers instead of something

00:35:44   useful.

00:35:45   So they're saying that they use the @ symbol, like a Twitter handle.

00:35:48   @tag is usually at the bottom of file content, sometimes in the body if I'm tagging tasks.

00:35:53   And of course those are searchable, so you could search @work and all of the notes "tagged"

00:35:59   with work which show up, which I think is a clever workaround.

00:36:04   I think it's pretty nice, but the thing that's really killing me is the font size on the

00:36:08   Mac is really small and you can't change it universally.

00:36:13   I've even gotten a little, I've gotten more used to the sort by last edit.

00:36:19   I really want everything alphabetically but I'm sort of letting go of that and learning

00:36:22   that it's kind of handy to jump back in the same note that I'm always in.

00:36:26   But I hope the tag thing was clever.

00:36:28   In fact if you use the extension there's a threshold, a couple of minutes.

00:36:35   If you're saving text or a link or a file with the notes extension, it remembers for

00:36:42   a couple of minutes the last note where you saved something into.

00:36:47   So when I'm going through my Twitter favorites for example and I want to save a bunch of

00:36:52   of links into my Maxories Weekly note, the extension remembers that it has to go into

00:36:59   the Maxories Weekly note. But then, if I let a couple of minutes pass, it just resets to

00:37:05   a new note. So I have to tap that and to pick a note if I want to append links again. And

00:37:11   it's a nice touch, because if you're going through links and you want to save them into

00:37:16   the same note, just remembers that note. And it's kind of similar to the SlideOver app

00:37:22   picker. It shows the last three apps that you use in SlideOver, because Apple wants

00:37:28   to make it easier to let you switch to the apps that you always use in SlideOver, not

00:37:33   necessarily the most recent apps. iAssign is full of these little touches to save time.

00:37:41   I'm a big fan of the notes extension. It's really well done and an example for many developers

00:37:47   to see what is possible to append to a note. You can save text, you can save links, you

00:37:53   can save audio files and they will be played back into the Notes app. Apple doesn't say

00:37:59   this but there's actually a UI to control audio playback into the Notes app. One thing

00:38:05   One thing that I would love to know is how is Apple parsing web pages for titles, for thumbnails?

00:38:13   Are they using the OpenGraph image tag to pick the thumbnail?

00:38:17   Are they using... I wouldn't say they're using Schema.org, which is another metadata standard for the web,

00:38:23   but I'm definitely curious to see what they're doing.

00:38:26   And another... this is super nitpicking...

00:38:29   During the beta, the Notes extension used to behave differently for YouTube and for

00:38:36   Twitter links.

00:38:37   So, for Twitter, it used to be that it would try to find an image or at least a profile

00:38:43   picture of a Twitter user.

00:38:44   If you were saving a twitter.com link into the Notes app, the extension would try to

00:38:49   fetch a link's image or profile picture.

00:38:52   Now they're just using the Twitter icon, the blue icon with the Twitter logo.

00:38:58   And for YouTube links, the same thing, they used to try to generate a thumbnail for the

00:39:03   video, now they're just using nothing.

00:39:05   So sometimes they give you a video's title, most of the time, at least for me, they just

00:39:11   save YouTube links with "YouTube" as the title, which is not super useful.

00:39:17   And I would like to see an update there.

00:39:19   So yes, I think we'll keep an eye on our notes usage and see.

00:39:24   now I'm happy with it but we will see how that goes. So we're going to talk about

00:39:30   HomeKit today but before that I want to take a break and thank our friends at

00:39:36   Lynda.com for sponsoring this episode. Lynda.com is the online learning

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00:41:51   So we're talking about HomeKit.

00:41:54   You and I have both been playing with some HomeKit devices,

00:41:57   but before we get there, I thought

00:41:59   it'd be nice to kind of talk through some basics of HomeKit

00:42:01   because I feel like Apple hasn't given it a lot of stage time.

00:42:06   And it's sort of ambiguous like what HomeKit actually is

00:42:09   and what it can actually do.

00:42:11   So could you maybe walk us through the idea

00:42:14   behind what it is?

00:42:16   So I'm going to give you my best explanation.

00:42:19   HomeKit is a common language for dedicated devices to share and access data on iOS.

00:42:31   These devices are home automation devices.

00:42:34   So they can be sensors, they can be door locks, they can be weather stations.

00:42:41   Apple provides a framework for developers to plug into and the user gets a very simple

00:42:51   settings screen in the Settings app and you can say I want to grant access to my home

00:42:57   data to these apps and I want to access my home data remotely with iCloud and I want

00:43:04   to share my home data with another family member or with another user.

00:43:09   The training is extremely simple from a user perspective.

00:43:14   When you set up a device, you take it out of the box, you download the dedicated app

00:43:20   from the developer, so there is no home app on iOS.

00:43:24   You have to download a compatible app and you go through the setup, you grant permission

00:43:30   to manage and access your home kit data, you scan with the iPhone's camera setup code on

00:43:36   the back of the device and from that point on you will be able to ask Siri for home information

00:43:45   so if you buy a weather station you will be able to say "hey Siri, what's the temperature

00:43:49   in my bedroom?" and other apps will also be able to access data from other apps and other

00:43:56   devices.

00:43:58   The key thing to understand is that there's different levels of management for your HomeKit

00:44:05   data. So you can set up accessories as they're called. They're not called devices, they're

00:44:09   called accessories. I think it's the official definition. You set up accessories and you

00:44:14   set them up in rooms for your house. At the same time you can also set up scenes. Actually

00:44:22   you can set up rooms, you can set up zones. So for example I have a room called bedroom

00:44:28   and another "room" which is called "kitchen balcony" as it's the balcony outside of my

00:44:35   kitchen and then I can create a zone and a zone in my example is inside so the inside

00:44:44   zone has two rooms the bedroom and the kitchen outside as the kitchen balcony as it's outside

00:44:52   of the house. Finally you can set up scenes. So scenes are kind of like, I wouldn't say

00:44:59   presets, maybe they are like a bunch of commands and triggers that you can do. For example

00:45:08   you can set up a good morning scene and when you say "City, turn on my good morning scene"

00:45:19   You can use apps to say when I say good morning in this scene you gotta turn on my lights

00:45:25   and turn on my coffee maker through this HomeKit compatible smart plug.

00:45:31   And so there's all these little features that you gotta keep in mind.

00:45:37   But the most confusing aspect is there's no single place where you can go to an iOS to

00:45:43   do all of this management and setup.

00:45:46   Unlike HealthKit, which is Apple's framework for health data, there's no home app on iOS.

00:45:53   When you go to the home app and you say "ok, these are my accessories, this is my data,

00:45:59   I have a bunch of toggles so I can grant access to these apps, and I want to set up rooms

00:46:03   and zones and scenes".

00:46:06   All is done through third party apps and there's a system level privacy screen which you can

00:46:14   used to grant or remove access to your HomeKit data.

00:46:19   So right now the state of HomeKit is you gotta buy, first you gotta find a HomeKit device

00:46:26   which, as we'll talk about, is not easy.

00:46:29   You gotta buy the device, you gotta download the accessories app from the App Store, you

00:46:35   gotta do the setup in the app and then you can share this information across apps.

00:46:41   So in my example I bought Eve, Elgato, Eve, Weather and Eve room.

00:46:48   There are two accessories, both to monitor temperature and humidity for outside, so my

00:46:55   kitchen balcony and inside.

00:46:57   And I put the Eve room in my bedroom.

00:47:00   And from the Eve app I can do the setup, so I can do the barcode scan, it's not actually

00:47:07   a barcode is more like a HomeKit icon and a string of numbers that you gotta scan with

00:47:11   the iPhone camera. From the Eve app I can see my Elgato devices, so I can see the Eve

00:47:18   weather, I can see the Eve room, but I can also see all the rooms and I think the Philips

00:47:24   Hue lights that I set up in different apps. So for example, I also downloaded this third

00:47:32   party app which is called Home. It's from a third party developer who had the brilliant

00:47:38   idea, generally a good idea, to release a third party app to provide a dashboard for

00:47:44   HomeKit data. Because there isn't one by default on iOS. So I set up all my rooms and zones

00:47:51   and scenes in the Home app. It's made by Mattias, oh gosh I don't remember his last name, it's

00:47:59   made from a third-party developer is Brutella on Twitter. So I set up all my rooms and zones

00:48:06   in the Home app, but because the framework, the HomeKit framework is shared across apps,

00:48:14   I can see the same information, so the same rooms, the same zones in the Elgato Eve app.

00:48:21   So to sum up, you gotta find the accessories, you gotta buy the accessories, set them up

00:48:26   the individual apps and then those apps can communicate. On top of that you can use Siri

00:48:32   to access information. And this is the last point, if you have an Apple TV you can set

00:48:39   up HomeKit to be accessed remotely, so if the devices are in range of the Apple TV,

00:48:45   which is another problem we're going to talk about, when you're outside the house, when

00:48:49   you're on cellular data or maybe on another Wi-Fi connection, you will be able to ask

00:48:54   Siri for home information and Siri will go through your Apple TV which is connected to

00:48:59   your iCloud account and it will give you information such as temperature or maybe turn on the lights,

00:49:04   turn on the smart plug, that kind of stuff remotely.

00:49:09   So it's quite complex and there's a... it took me a while to understand all these different

00:49:15   definitions, rooms, zones, scenes and I'm still kind of playing around.

00:49:21   So far I have two devices, the Eve weather and the Eve room and I'm a genius and I'm

00:49:29   sarcastic here because I really wanted to try the remote access stuff so I couldn't

00:49:35   wait for the new Apple TV to come out and last week I just went out and bought a third

00:49:41   generation Apple TV.

00:49:42   Oh boy.

00:49:43   Spoiler it's not working.

00:49:46   So Steven, before we move on to our actual experience, what devices do you have?

00:49:53   Well, I've got the Hues, the LED white in color ambient light kit.

00:50:02   This is a mouthful.

00:50:05   But I was going to backtrack for a second.

00:50:06   You know, I think you describing like how HomeKit works and you being an incredibly

00:50:14   smart guy about this stuff and like struggling with getting it working and

00:50:18   figuring it out at first like HopeKit is is a very like it's sort of like

00:50:25   inside out from a lot of other Apple services and software where like it's

00:50:31   not even visible on your phone like I assumed like when I bought this like

00:50:35   it was like oh well I'm gonna go into like the HomeKit settings and like set

00:50:37   this up it's like no that's not even visible until you have like HomeKit

00:50:42   hardware on your network. Like it is very very strange and setting it up because

00:50:49   there's like no immediate starting point. So with the Hue lights you download

00:50:56   their app and then it has a little like six digit pin and I think like a QR code

00:51:01   that you you pair the base station with the app and then the base station goes

00:51:06   on your network over Ethernet which is gonna be a problem for a lot of people

00:51:10   not a problem for me, but for a lot of people it might be.

00:51:13   And then they all talk to each other,

00:51:14   and then I was like, oh yeah,

00:51:15   I have this HomeKit thing I could turn on now.

00:51:18   It's just very strange.

00:51:19   If I had to read the directions,

00:51:21   and LOL, men don't read directions,

00:51:24   but I was like, oh, I'll just put these in

00:51:26   and get it going, and I was like,

00:51:28   I don't know where to start with this.

00:51:30   And because there's no interface,

00:51:33   there's no interface for HomeKit.

00:51:35   I'm in my settings right now,

00:51:36   and so HomeKit shows up in the long list,

00:51:39   And the only thing in settings is like my house and who it's shared with.

00:51:44   So I have it shared with my wife so she can, she can do stuff, uh, with the lights

00:51:48   on her phone and like, that's it.

00:51:52   Like there's no, it's all this like, Sort of not really visible.

00:51:57   Like I had no idea the Apple TV was acquired for external access because

00:52:00   Apple's website doesn't say that anywhere.

00:52:02   Like, uh, we've got three links in the show notes to support documents.

00:52:06   And like, none of them are extremely helpful because it just sort of exists.

00:52:12   But again, you have to find the hardware.

00:52:14   But I don't know, just setting it up in a destructive way is like a very strange thing from Apple to set up and to use.

00:52:21   Yeah, in the developer's defense, at least from the Eve app, the setup is really well done.

00:52:29   I mean, provided that you know you've got to find this app on the App Store.

00:52:33   So I needed to go through the instructional manual, you know, like a paper manual to read

00:52:38   "you should go download our app from the App Store"

00:52:40   I'm like "okay"

00:52:42   But the Eve app is really well done.

00:52:44   It tells you "okay, now you gotta put the batteries into the accessory, then you gotta

00:52:51   find the code, put the camera in front of the code, scan the code and you're done"

00:52:56   So from the developers perspective they've done a good job, you know.

00:53:00   But it's really strange, I mean, when you first pair a HomeKit device, you literally

00:53:05   end up with a new option in the settings.

00:53:09   Like it pops up at the bottom of a list.

00:53:11   Otherwise you won't be able to see HomeKit if you don't have an accessory set up on your

00:53:16   device.

00:53:18   And it's really strange when you compare that to HealthKit.

00:53:22   It's always there, there's an app.

00:53:24   Of course the big difference is your iPhone is already packed with sensors.

00:53:28   So Hellkit already has access to a pool of data about you and it makes sense to have

00:53:34   a default app there.

00:53:36   But I would argue that to promote these new features for your iPhone, so your iPhone can

00:53:43   be this little remote control for your home.

00:53:47   That's a powerful idea, that's pretty cool actually.

00:53:50   But to not have a single place that is preinstalled, and I know that we criticize Apple for having

00:53:57   too many pre-installed apps. But there has to be something that you gotta give to people

00:54:01   to say "Look, you gotta go here if you wanna set up your accessories". Instead, I ended

00:54:07   up with this folder on my home screen where I put all of these different apps to access

00:54:12   my HomeKit data and to manage my HomeKit rooms. And that's the even stranger part. There's

00:54:19   this whole level of hierarchy, you know, accessories, rooms, zones, scenes and that's completely

00:54:28   hidden from iOS and the settings.

00:54:32   And if it weren't for the Home app, I wouldn't know how to do this management.

00:54:36   I wouldn't know how to create rooms to assign zones to my accessories.

00:54:42   So it's a really, I would say, odd decision to not have a single place.

00:54:48   It can be in the settings, it doesn't have to be an app to just say go there, create

00:54:53   rooms, go crazy, create custom Siri commands.

00:54:57   Because even for the Siri portion of the whole deal, there's all these different commands

00:55:03   that you can ask, but those commands depend on the names that you assign in a third party

00:55:11   app.

00:55:12   Siri understands Bedroom only because I created the room called Bedroom in a third party app.

00:55:19   There is no setting screen where I can say "ok Siri, I want you to call this room my Bedroom"

00:55:27   and I can give you a nickname for other rooms. There is nothing. You gotta do all of these with third party apps.

00:55:33   So once you accept this, and it can be difficult to accept this because I don't think it makes much sense,

00:55:40   But once you accept this, you can start playing with HomeKit.

00:55:45   And I've been...

00:55:47   So let me give you first a disclaimer because I know that people are gonna make fun of me

00:55:52   for this.

00:55:53   I am famously...

00:55:54   I wouldn't say against, but I famously poked fun in the past at people obsessing over weather

00:56:04   information and weather apps.

00:56:06   So the irony is why is Federico using weather sensors?

00:56:11   It's a very simple problem.

00:56:13   At my apartment in Rome last year we had problems with humidity in the bedroom and we had problems

00:56:21   with the wall in my house and we needed to paint the rover to buy a special paint for

00:56:29   for this humidity problem and we, especially because of my condition, you know, we gotta make sure that the air we breathe is okay.

00:56:39   And my doctor specifically recommended you cannot be exposed to high humidity all the time.

00:56:46   And you gotta make sure that the air is always fresh, that there's no, you know, weird particles going around in the air that you breathe.

00:56:55   and so we need to keep an eye on this stuff

00:56:59   and so I didn't buy these devices for the temperature

00:57:03   because it's always around 20 degrees Celsius over here

00:57:08   which is fine for us but we gotta make sure that the air quality

00:57:12   and the humidity is at an acceptable level for us

00:57:15   and for this reason I thought okay I can, I always like to do this

00:57:20   I can combine my personal needs

00:57:23   with my desire to play around with geeky stuff, which always motivates me.

00:57:30   And so that's the reason why I went with the two weather sensors.

00:57:35   And of course, other HomeKit devices, they're just cool.

00:57:38   I like the idea of controlling my home remotely, so that's why.

00:57:42   Yeah, it's neat.

00:57:45   What I do like about it, and May is part of the design of the way HomeKit works, is that

00:57:50   You can really form it to be what you want it to be.

00:57:53   So we're gonna talk about our hardware in a second.

00:57:54   Like, you can, like if you're interested in X,

00:57:57   you can put X in or you know,

00:57:59   you want this sort of control, you can do that.

00:58:00   And HomeKit by its sort of ambiguous nature,

00:58:04   like is adaptive to all that stuff.

00:58:07   But I agree with you.

00:58:07   I do think that something like this Home app,

00:58:09   which I'm definitely gonna check out,

00:58:12   would be useful in servicing this for people

00:58:16   and giving them a hub to do this stuff

00:58:21   because you do end up with a bunch of different apps,

00:58:23   a bunch of different services that sort of,

00:58:25   they don't compete, but sort of feel like

00:58:28   all these like separate little things.

00:58:29   And I could almost see this working like ideally

00:58:33   where there's a HomeKit app

00:58:35   and these third party developers create extensions

00:58:38   into that app where if you have like the Hue lights

00:58:42   on your network and you have that app,

00:58:44   and you can also control them in the master HomeKit app.

00:58:47   And maybe it'll get there.

00:58:50   I mean, we're going to close the show with the question of,

00:58:53   do we think HomeKit's important to Apple?

00:58:55   But I think that that would go a long way to showing consumers

00:58:59   what this could do.

00:59:01   As opposed to right now, it's like, well,

00:59:02   we really created this for third-party developers

00:59:05   to do stuff.

00:59:07   And it's more of a framework than an actual service

00:59:09   or application.

00:59:11   But I don't know.

00:59:14   So let's talk about hardware, but real first, I want to thank our third and final sponsor,

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01:01:19   So we talked about the eve weather a little bit.

01:01:24   Do you have any other gear set up,

01:01:31   any other gear that you wanna add?

01:01:32   You still have not told me why your cables

01:01:34   and your TV are crazy?

01:01:35   - Okay, so--

01:01:36   I wrote that down, I haven't forgotten.

01:01:39   - Jesus.

01:01:40   So the cables are for the Apple TV,

01:01:41   which was a temporary experiment.

01:01:44   I wanted to see if it would work as advertised by Apple.

01:01:47   So last weekend, I went back to Viterbo as I always do.

01:01:52   And I thought, okay, I'm excited

01:01:54   because as soon as I'm in Viterbo,

01:01:56   I'm going to ask Siri to look up my home kit information.

01:02:01   I'm going to ask Siri, what's the humidity

01:02:03   and the temperature from the Eve sensors.

01:02:06   And of course it didn't work. Siri said that it couldn't look up the information right now

01:02:13   and the Eve app and the Home app on my iPhone, they just said the devices are unreachable.

01:02:19   So I don't know what the problem is. But my idea is, sometimes it just doesn't work.

01:02:27   And I got this feedback from quite a few people on Twitter. The remote access is basically a black box.

01:02:34   Sometimes it works, most of the time it just says it's unreachable.

01:02:38   And also, my understanding is, these devices, the sensors, the HomeKit accessories,

01:02:45   they connect to the Apple TV via Bluetooth.

01:02:48   So, my theory is, the sensor that is outside, because I closed the window and all of the...

01:02:58   I went away so I had to close everything.

01:03:02   Maybe it wasn't possible for that device to connect to the Apple TV which is inside.

01:03:08   It's just like three meters away but maybe there's a problem with the window when it's closed.

01:03:14   I don't know.

01:03:15   But still it doesn't explain why the Apple TV wouldn't be able to connect to the E room

01:03:20   which is in another room like two meters away with no door in between them.

01:03:27   with no window, no glass, no metal, no weird obstacles and it just didn't work.

01:03:33   It works right now, it just didn't work remotely.

01:03:37   I don't understand what's going on here and I got also on Twitter some replies from developers

01:03:46   saying that in the current version of tvOS for the Apple TV Developer Unit, they removed

01:03:55   any mention or framework related to HomeKit, which is not a good sign.

01:04:01   That's encouraging.

01:04:03   I don't know if Apple is kind of backtracking.

01:04:06   Maybe they found out that the remote access feature is not as stable as they would like

01:04:11   it to be yet.

01:04:12   But still, according to these developers, the new Apple TV doesn't have the HomeKit

01:04:17   functionality for remote access.

01:04:20   So with that in mind, the Apple TV, the cables were there because I was just setting up this

01:04:25   experiment and I didn't want to buy cable protection and that kind of stuff.

01:04:30   I'm just going to remove the Apple TV now.

01:04:34   So aside from remote access which didn't work.

01:04:39   Right now the Eve weather and the Eve room are the only two devices that I have.

01:04:45   There's some confusion in regard to the Philips Hue bridge with HomeKit support.

01:04:51   I can find the device on Amazon Italy, but it's not available yet.

01:04:57   It's not available on the Italian Apple Store and, according to Philips Hue, existing owners

01:05:03   of a Philips Hue bridge, the first generation one, will be able to receive a discounted

01:05:09   HomeKit bridge starting November 1st, but it's not clear to me whether this discount

01:05:14   will be available to Italian customers or just in Europe in general, or if it's just

01:05:19   an American thing so I don't know. Right now I really want to try the Philips Hue lights

01:05:24   with the HomeKit support but I can't. So all I have are two sensors and they work really

01:05:30   well. When I'm inside the house the information updates in a couple of seconds. I can ask

01:05:37   Siri, I can use the Eve app, I can use the Home app which is a nice widget to see information

01:05:45   at a glance in Notification Center.

01:05:47   And one particular mention for the sharing and iCloud syncing

01:05:53   process--

01:05:54   it was really easy and fast.

01:05:57   After finding out that I had a new HomeKit

01:06:01   option in the settings, I just added Silvia's email address

01:06:05   in the sharing panel.

01:06:07   And she received a notice on her iPhone

01:06:09   to control and access home information.

01:06:14   and it worked right away, so I just needed to download the EVAP on Synvius iPhone

01:06:18   and I didn't have to go through any setup process because iCloud was syncing the existing

01:06:23   accessories and home information on our device too, which was nice.

01:06:27   And also when I set up my new iPhone 6S Plus, which I bought on Friday, Steven, the home

01:06:34   information was already there in my iCloud account, so I didn't have to go through the

01:06:39   pairing process with the accessory again.

01:06:41   And the accessories themselves, they're nice, they're powered by AA batteries which will

01:06:48   last I think a couple of months, maybe three months. I will have to replace them eventually.

01:06:55   And it's really handy to be able to look up the humidity level and to act accordingly,

01:07:02   depending on what Siri tells me or what the apps tell me.

01:07:08   And overall I think I'm excited about HomeKit.

01:07:14   Actually let me say, I'm excited about the idea of home automation.

01:07:18   And I think HomeKit needs a lot of work.

01:07:20   And specifically there needs to be an app on your iPhone.

01:07:26   You must not be forced to download an app from the App Store to access a system feature.

01:07:33   And so I look forward to having a proper HomeKit app on my iPhone, maybe next year.

01:07:40   But overall I'm really intrigued by the idea of having all these accessories communicating

01:07:46   with each other securely, storing credentials in my iCAD account so it's available on all

01:07:54   my devices, I can share them with my family.

01:07:57   And there is a convenience to be able to ask Siri for this information, you know?

01:08:04   And I'm using Siri a lot for this, and I'm happy with the devices, I'm happy with how

01:08:13   the framework, the HomeKit framework works behind the scenes, I'm really unhappy with

01:08:19   the front end of HomeKit, which is basically non-existent.

01:08:22   Yeah, so what front end?

01:08:26   Exactly.

01:08:27   So the framework I think is a good idea. I think having Siri as a kind of basically Siri like a butler.

01:08:36   I can ask Siri for home stuff and it responds. That's cool and that's useful.

01:08:41   But the remote access, the front end, the system level exposure of this feature, that needs a lot of work.

01:08:49   Yeah, the the hue lights

01:08:51   They you can find them here. I've picked up my kit at

01:08:55   At Best Buy but on Amazon like they were in stock and now it's sold out again

01:09:01   And you can find the old one, but the new one the bridge of course. It's still

01:09:05   Like it's still their network hardware on your network

01:09:08   But it provides that bridge to home kit as well and so in my review yesterday

01:09:13   Like I I show like trying to use Siri to turn the lights off

01:09:17   And it works about half the time.

01:09:22   The video that I shot yesterday,

01:09:23   I actually tried it like four or five times

01:09:25   and it didn't do it, so I just left it in

01:09:28   'cause I thought it was kind of funny.

01:09:30   So that's a little hit or miss,

01:09:32   but the Philips app, the Hue app itself is not super great,

01:09:37   but there's other third party apps out there.

01:09:41   I'm using one just called Hue that is simpler,

01:09:44   but does a nice job, and basically you

01:09:47   pair it with the bridge and so you open the app

01:09:50   and you have to go hit the big,

01:09:51   there's a big button on the top of the bridge you push

01:09:54   and then they can communicate and kind of do a handshake.

01:09:57   And that's all fine.

01:09:58   Like the lights themselves are pretty cool,

01:10:02   they're the LEDs so they stay cool.

01:10:03   They, most cheap LEDs struggle to

01:10:08   fill like the full color gamut,

01:10:11   so the green on these is not super great.

01:10:15   I wish it was better, but it kind of struggles

01:10:19   to get it like a nice green color that's bright.

01:10:22   But it's really cool, I've got all three

01:10:23   in the same floor lamp, and so I can make like,

01:10:27   I can mix and match the colors a little bit,

01:10:28   I can do scenes, and because they're all kind of

01:10:30   in the same corner of the room, it can be really nice.

01:10:33   I've got Link to my Review in the show notes.

01:10:36   It's the first time I've done a video review, Federico,

01:10:38   it was very strange.

01:10:39   I like it, but it was a lot of work,

01:10:42   and I don't know something I'm experimenting with but the video is nice because you can

01:10:48   actually see like how rapidly they work like the second you tap the scene or change the

01:10:53   color in the app the bulb responds which is nice.

01:10:58   I like you though have had range issues with it where when I started at the bridge was

01:11:02   kind of at the other end of the house and I had to end up moving it to the sort of the

01:11:07   Secondary I've had a secondary switch at the end of the house where this lamp is and I moved

01:11:12   The Phillips bridge down there and it's much more responsive now, so it's definitely like a

01:11:17   Range issue I'm a little worried about the eve weather thing

01:11:22   I want to put it out on our screen in porch, and I worry that it would not be able to

01:11:27   To communicate back to the house, and so I'm gonna. I'm gonna have to play with that

01:11:33   But you know all in all it's all really early, like as early as HomeKit feels, this hardware feels early too, like the Philips app

01:11:40   like I said, it's okay.

01:11:42   It feels like it could be a lot more polished there, and it'll get there, but

01:11:46   you know for 200 bucks, like it's, I don't think the Hue Lite kit is worth it yet at that price point, but...

01:11:54   I guess it depends whether you buy the Hue set for HomeKit or just as a set, because I bought one

01:12:02   last year and we've been super happy with our Philips Hue lights

01:12:07   and we use it to set the mood

01:12:10   in a room, we use it as a

01:12:14   basic light when we like to be able to control from the iPhone

01:12:20   we even like to be able to

01:12:23   turn on the lights so when we're not home

01:12:26   the camera that we use for security

01:12:31   can have a better view because when it's dark we can turn on the Philips lights

01:12:35   and as a smart set of lights

01:12:39   it's fine I think but if you buy it with the primary intention of trying HomeKit

01:12:45   I can understand why the issues that you've had lead you to think

01:12:49   this is not worth the money so it kinda makes me skeptical to upgrade my Hue

01:12:55   bridge

01:12:55   because for the past year I don't know if mine is

01:13:00   is an isolated case but it's been really stable for us. The Hue app is kind of complex but it works

01:13:08   it's really fast when I'm on wi-fi and if you create a Philips account you can turn on the

01:13:16   lights remotely over 3G or 4G and it takes a couple of seconds but it gets there. So I've been happy

01:13:23   with my Hue lights and they make for a great demo when my friends are at my house. But,

01:13:30   you know, we'll see. Steven, can you hold on one second? The plumber is calling me.

01:13:36   Sure.

01:13:37   Pronto.

01:13:38   I'm just going to leave this in to your listener. You can hear Federico argue with this plumber

01:13:44   Italian.

01:13:45   Yo.

01:13:46   That was quick.

01:13:48   Yeah, they're going to be here in 15 minutes.

01:13:52   So we kind of already answered it a little bit

01:13:54   about the is home kit important to Apple.

01:13:56   And when I first thought that question,

01:13:59   like my thought was, well, it's really slow right now

01:14:02   and so it must not be.

01:14:03   But typically when Apple adds services to things,

01:14:07   it's either like, they're like all in

01:14:10   and have like a special like iBooks event

01:14:12   with the iPad in New York City,

01:14:14   or it's like this where it's like,

01:14:16   oh, well, you know, we're talking about it on stage

01:14:18   and like the stuff's out there,

01:14:19   but it's gonna kind of be a slow burn.

01:14:21   I feel like Apple News is this way.

01:14:23   We still don't have the Apple News format spec out.

01:14:26   They're not really pushing it.

01:14:28   Yes, it's on the home screen by default,

01:14:30   but I think it'd be wrong to conflate

01:14:35   the rollout with the importance level in Apple.

01:14:39   I do think Apple believes in this sort of stuff,

01:14:42   and I think that they do want the iPhone

01:14:45   to be increasingly at the center of everything you do.

01:14:49   And if home automation is going to become a thing,

01:14:52   why not have the iPhone be the central hub?

01:14:56   It's good for Apple.

01:14:57   It's good for their customers.

01:14:58   Yeah.

01:14:59   I think it is important to Apple.

01:15:00   It makes total sense to use the iPhone as the hub

01:15:03   to access all of this information from your iPhone

01:15:06   and to use Siri, because voice is a natural input mechanism

01:15:10   to ask for this type of information.

01:15:12   It's quick.

01:15:12   You can use nicknames for rooms and other commands.

01:15:16   It makes sense.

01:15:18   the support right now, it's very much in, and I know that Apple doesn't like to use

01:15:22   this, but it's a beta, basically. I would say it is a beta. You know, everything from

01:15:26   the setup process to not having a dedicated app to the difficulty of finding HomeKit accessories

01:15:33   on the Apple Store or on Amazon, you really, you really gotta go out your way to find them.

01:15:40   And it's not officially a beta, but it feels like one.

01:15:44   Yeah, I agree and I hope that it gets better.

01:15:48   Like I would love to be able to have more connected stuff in my house.

01:15:52   You know part of this is that the hardware is slow. Apple's going, putting hardware

01:15:56   manufacturers through a certification process to make sure everything works

01:16:00   as expected, which is important. Like you want your lights to work, you want

01:16:04   like your door locks to work, you want it to all be really seamless. And so I'm glad

01:16:08   Apple's taking the time to do that. And if that makes this a little bit slower then so be it.

01:16:12   be it. But yeah, I think that's all we got this week, Federico.

01:16:19   Yeah. I wasn't expecting to talk this much about HomeKit. But yeah, good episode. And

01:16:25   I'm sure Myke will listen and he'll decide to go on a HomeKit shopping spree.

01:16:33   I think so.

01:16:34   That's what he does.

01:16:35   That's what he does. So you can find the show notes this week at our website, relay.fm/connected/62.

01:16:42   62 you can find the show itself on Twitter at underscore connected FM can

01:16:48   find Federico Vitici at maxstories.net where he and his team cover iOS and iOS

01:16:54   apps unlike anyone else you can find him on Twitter at Vitici V I T I C C I you

01:17:00   can find Myke our yearly departed leader on a bunch of shows at Relay and he is

01:17:05   @imike on Twitter and you can find me at 512pixels.net or @ismh on Twitter.

01:17:10   Until next time Fedorica, say goodbye.

01:17:14   Arrivederci.

01:17:16   Adios.