The Talk Show

384: ‘Pleading the Fifth’, With Michael Simmons


00:00:00   How you feeling buddy? I'm okay. I'm a little under the weather, but talking about the Apple Vision Pro and talking to you gets me out of my cave.

00:00:08   COVID, how long do you think? I feel like we're probably the rest of our lives we'll be talking. Ah, son of a bitch, I got COVID again.

00:00:16   Yeah, well, you know what? The way I see it is it's like cold or flu. It's just it's here to stay. We'll get it. It'll hopefully be not bad as long as you're vaccinated, boosted and take care of yourself. And it'll just be part of life.

00:00:28   Yeah, it does seem like supposedly, I guess the more longer time goes on, the more the variants are optimizing themselves for contagiousness and less so for being terrible.

00:00:40   But knock on wood for me here I am knocking on wood. But I haven't had I got it once I've only had it once ever last July. Terrible sore throat to I mean, just awful. I got a knife in my throat, but not since. How about you? How many times have you had it?

00:00:54   So this is my second I was really trying to avoid it. I will tell you this was just felt like a cold I definitely had the sore throat felt like stuffy. I'm getting over it now. So I have all that congestion. But I will tell you, this wave is definitely I'm not trying to hopefully I won't bring you bad news, but everyone I know is getting it.

00:01:13   Family like it's burning through it definitely is on the rise. So be careful out there. Yeah. Yeah. Well, I had to laugh though, I open up my Apple developer news. And I see that my dumb brain works. I see you in a photograph at the top.

00:01:32   And I think to myself, I can't wait. I got to text Michael, there's a dude on this site thing that looked like Oh, no, that is him. I got ready. I think from everyone, people on even on when I posted on LinkedIn, people were like, I knew it was you right away or that dude looks like you or whatever. It was very funny that everyone saw the photo and reacted that way.

00:01:53   I but I would for people who don't know, we you and I are pals, we text every week, frequently enough, but I did not know that you were going to the developer lab. I don't know if you secretly withheld that from me or just didn't come up. But I did not know. But I really did think for like full 10 seconds, there's a dude who looks like Michael Simmons. Oh, of course, it is Michael Simmons. So where were you? Were you out? You were out in California.

00:02:20   So obviously, in this conversation, there will be big generalizations. And it will be I will tell you as much as I can tell you feeling comfortable about telling you but I want to tell you lots of really good.

00:02:33   We're going to call it let's call it pleading the fifth because you obviously reading the fifth Yeah, do not that you're incriminating yourself, but you would be incriminating yourself against the non disclosure agreement that you know, and the truth is this, I obviously I want to be able to talk about what my experiences were and also be excited about the device. But generally general questions about what happened, which obviously was an Apple event should probably stay offline.

00:03:00   Right. So any question I asked that you feel like I don't want to answer that you just say I plead the fifth so you don't even want to say where the lab was that you participated and were photographed at. It's okay. I can't probably read the fifth the thing is, I feel like it's a benign question. I feel like if I told you wouldn't be a big deal, but not important. Yeah, I think that Apple has been clear. I think they're having them in California, London, and maybe somewhere else.

00:03:24   How about this? It was California or New York? Okay. Can you say how much time you got to use it? I mean, like, okay. All right, how much time? That was quite a bit of time. There was enough time not only. So my goal when this whole thing was happening was to both be the excited user, like how is this thing as a customer user? I want to know more. I give me all the dirt, give me all the info. But I also wanted it half as a developer make an app that I want to use.

00:03:53   I want to make an app that I really want to take advantage of the technology and the platform. And I think it's worth emphasizing. You've been on the show before and Flexibits software, the flagship product. I think it's fair to describe it as the flagship is Fantastic Cal.

00:04:09   I would agree. Card hop is the sort of sibling. What Fantastic Cal is to calendaring card hop is to contact management. Two great apps that sort of have been tied together in suites going back as far as the dawn of indie development time.

00:04:29   I remember now utilities. They didn't now have a great calendaring app back in the 90s. I can't believe how old we're getting and how many years go by. But I feel like that somehow led to Busy Cal, which is ironic.

00:04:43   I feel like they work now and then they split off or something. Something my brain is telling me there. Maybe I'm wrong.

00:04:59   Yeah, I think that they were the actual engineering and design mojo behind the now calendaring and then parted ways with the company and built their own thing a while back. But anyway, they go together. I love the apps. I'll bet lots of people listening to this show.

00:05:15   I mean, if you haven't tried Fantastic Cal and card hop, you're crazy. I mean, I'm not just saying that because Michael's on the show, but I mean, for God's sake, I mean, they exemplify everything that interests me in computers. Doing things right, doing things good.

00:05:30   But I think that the core thing that is interesting in the context of you getting a developer preview from Apple in the lab is that fantastic Cal and card hop are true native apps for the Apple platform ecosystem.

00:05:52   Right. The Mac apps are Mac asked Mac apps. The iOS apps are like the more, if anything, even more idiomatically iOS ish than Apple's apps. Right. They just feel so native.

00:06:08   And I think that's such a leg up when Apple introduces a new platform because you're already familiar with the way Apple's frameworks work. And if you've been following, I mean, one thing longtime Apple developers, third party developers know is you need to read between the lines of Apple's advice because Apple will tell you they won't tell you what they're not haven't announced yet, but they'll give you hints as a developer.

00:06:37   And if you follow those hints, you'll be ready for new things before they actually ship. Like I can give you a perfect example to prove you're right. So you remember at the event, fantastic Cal was mentioned in compatible apps.

00:06:52   They have an icon on the screen with a bunch of compatible apps. Well, we came to find out that because our iPad app had been designed properly with auto layout and all of the Apple technologies and dynamic fonts and whatever dynamic type of just saying everything that Apple kind of says, Hey, you should be doing this.

00:07:10   Our app was ready for Apple vision pro as a compatible app. We didn't know that, but we did the right practices. So I just want to validate what you just said. Yeah. That was in the keynote right back in June. Yeah. And so that was at the Apple vision pro event. Yep.

00:07:25   We did not know. Yeah. So it wasn't like they contacted you and said, Hey, we would like to use fantastic Cal to do blank. Can you cut us a special build of whatever it's the fact that the iPad sized version of the iOS version of fantastic Cal just runs out of the box.

00:07:47   Natively in a sense on vision, OS doing the right thing meant you guys got featured in a major Apple keynote just because you did the right thing.

00:07:58   Correct. And we were actually told after the keynote, they did kind of hint to say, Hey, kudos to you guys for doing all the right things and following all the right things.

00:08:07   You have basically a perfect iPad app that works on Apple vision pro, and that made us feel good because we invested a lot of time, money and effort into making the best iPad app we can. Right.

00:08:17   One thing I know, and I think that the pull of cross platform development and of the famous mantra for decades has always been right once run anywhere. I mean, the appeal of that superficially is so obvious and it's way more obvious at a superficial level than the benefits of going the opposite route.

00:08:41   And instead of writing something, whatever the app or game or whatever you're doing in a cross platform toolkit that can run on Windows and Mac and Linux or wherever else, or for mobile, that's the same code base for Android phones and iPhones.

00:09:00   And maybe it's a web app too, or something like that. The benefits of cross platform development are so superficially obvious, like right. If you could really just write it once and run it everywhere, you have a larger audience and it's less work.

00:09:16   It doesn't actually work out that way. Usually, I mean, in terms of actually just being able to write once and the more you try to get your app to feel the way people expect it to on the platform it's running, the more special cases you have to add.

00:09:37   And depending on how deep you go, all of a sudden you're supposed supposedly using this cross platform toolkit, but you've effectively got two forks or three forks, depending on how many platforms anyway.

00:09:49   But the thing that gets lost in that is if you go the native route and you really do depend on the native frameworks, whether it's Android or iOS or the Mac or Windows, is the benefits are they're less certainly less obvious to a layperson.

00:10:06   But I think it's obvious. I mean, I've been around long enough. You end up prepared for the future in ways that you don't otherwise.

00:10:20   Agreed. And as a designer, director, producer, whatever I am, like there are things when you're looking at cross platform libraries that you wanted to have a certain whether it's an animation or a compatibility thing, whatever your hands are then tied, you're doing it the wrong way for the sake of that efficiency.

00:10:36   I will give you and your listeners a little rumor just to kind of also again validate what you said. But we're working on investigating.

00:10:44   I should probably use the word so people do like another platform and that other platform we've decided we want it to be native.

00:10:51   We want it to be where it feels at home the way we would make our products for that platform the best and breed they can be.

00:11:00   And that investment is money. But we believe that pays off over time.

00:11:06   Well, I can speak as an adviser to them, the telepath crew that's now making the app wavelength. Great app, but which is in a space wavelength for those who don't haven't seen me linked to it occasionally.

00:11:20   And they actually have a really cool feature that's actually it might have already shipped this week, but it probably by the time this podcast is out, it will be out where the months ago they added.

00:11:31   I'm way on a sidetrack here, Michael, but months ago they added the ability to have AI bots in your chat rooms.

00:11:38   Right. So wavelength is like group chat, private group chat, but a cross between group chat in like messages or WhatsApp and something like Discord or Slack.

00:11:51   But with true native iOS and a Mac app built on catalyst that is way, way better than just the iPad app running on the Mac.

00:12:00   It's a really good catalyst. But anyway, the new feature is we added AI bots a while ago, and this week they're flipping a switch to let the AI bots access the Internet, which is sounds like, well, of course, they should be able to access the Internet.

00:12:15   But almost nobody has that with these AI bots.

00:12:18   So now if you're in a chat with an AI bot, you can ask for sports scores from yesterday and instead of getting scores from whenever the training set was cut off in 2021, you get like yesterday's sports scores or news or something like that.

00:12:34   That's really cool. But anyway, wavelength to me, the reason I'm advising them is because I think it's so interesting that their apps are truly native, including and there's and the downside is all of the competing apps in that space run on iOS.

00:12:47   And Android and Mac and Windows and wavelength is only for Mac and only for iOS.

00:12:54   But they've hired an engineer who's hard at work on an Android app and the Android app is going to be just as native to Android as the iOS apps are for iOS, which to me is the right way to do it.

00:13:07   And it is it's an incredibly small team compared to so many other things like so the idea that, oh, well, if you do separate code bases for everything, it just means you explode your head count.

00:13:19   All of these startups that have like these Electron apps that are supposedly right once everywhere have these ridiculous head counts of hundreds and hundreds of people.

00:13:28   And because they need the head counts to be able to maintain that code to give an semblance of a native app, which the irony is, if you had really good experts working on the native app, you'd have less people with better apps.

00:13:38   Yeah. It's funny you said the advisory thing. You know, I advise a lot of companies. I actually had just gotten a message.

00:13:44   They were asking me what I thought of their app on Apple Vision Pro, like, since I experienced that, how it would be.

00:13:49   And I actually told them, I don't think it would work. And I explained my rationale. One of the things I do well as an advisor, and this probably is why I make good native apps is not every app should be made.

00:14:00   Not every experience is correct. And I think what I do best is like the Apple thing more knows thousands of knows for every yes.

00:14:08   So I want it to be clear as we talk more about the Apple Vision Pro. Not every app should be on the Apple Vision Pro, but it definitely changes the game.

00:14:17   So I'm just kind of saying X, I love the advisory part of my job when I advise companies and I actually tell them, no, that wouldn't be a good experience or no, that wouldn't be a benefit to the user.

00:14:26   If you did that, I think we've gone through it. We've gone through that with each new major form factor.

00:14:32   I would say the exception is, as always, and I was just writing about it separately this week.

00:14:38   The iPad is the weirdest platform because it's the exception to everything.

00:14:44   And again, I just had a big long podcast with Jason Snow where we talked about it.

00:14:48   But the fact that for some people, the iPad really just is a big ass iPhone means anything that is a good iPhone app should probably be optimized to run on the iPad, too.

00:15:02   I mean, there's very few apps that I can think of that make sense on the iPhone that you would advise.

00:15:10   Yeah, but it's not even worth it to do it for the iPad. I mean, I'm sure there's a few.

00:15:15   My advice always is don't make an iPhone app into a big iPhone app on the iPad.

00:15:21   It's take advantage of the iPad. When we brought Fantastic Cal to the iPad, we didn't just take it and blow it up.

00:15:27   We added the dashboard, which is a few different elements. And I think take advantage of that screen is where people miss the benefit of the iPad.

00:15:34   That's screen real estate, which ironically dovetails into the Apple Vision Pro. It's that screen potential that makes your app potential better.

00:15:42   But iPad aside, when there's a new platform, it is a question like so when the iPhone first came out and developers and you were already a Mac developer at the time.

00:15:52   I think Fantastic Cal was did Fantastic Cal start before the iPhone even existed?

00:15:58   When did? No. So we started usually about 2010. So the iPhone already exists.

00:16:04   Which one? I don't know this. Where where did Fantastic Cal launch first Mac or iPhone?

00:16:10   It launched on the Mac. And this will blow your mind because sometimes when I look back, I'm like, we did that. We launched as the menu bar only app.

00:16:17   That's right. Companion to iCal. And we didn't even have editing or deletion. We didn't have management.

00:16:23   It was literally like add and view as a menu bar app. That is all it did.

00:16:28   Well, all it did. But the true the natural language.

00:16:35   Right. The natural language so that I can do, which I literally just did yesterday when we set this up.

00:16:41   It's just type in TTS three eight four with Michael Simmons tomorrow.

00:16:47   Two thirty and boom, there's my event with all everything just parsed out the right way so that there was a killer feature in Fantastic Cal.

00:16:58   You're right. I remember that now as a menu bar app. And I remember writing about it, about how the that natural language input was words into the field and all that stuff.

00:17:09   I mean, we were the O.G. of A.I. and I never really thought of myself that way. But everyone said it.

00:17:13   So I guess I am like we were doing A.I. back in 2009, 2010, take a natural language and turning it into an output.

00:17:19   Right. Right. And the key is the natural language where it wasn't like the Unix command line where you have to type the command in the exact right syntax, in the exact right order, or it won't work at all.

00:17:35   Or you'll delete an entire folder of contents or something because of a misplaced asterisk or whatever.

00:17:40   It's pretty much you can type the time first or type tomorrow or type Tuesday or July 4th and type four th or something like that.

00:17:51   And it's like, yeah, I understand what you mean. Yeah, we want it to be and we're continuing to work on that.

00:17:56   And as you can imagine, there's a lot of stuff on the roadmap, especially the explosion of A.I., which is actually very exciting to all of us.

00:18:02   But yeah, the goal of Fantastic Cal will always be that it just works card hop as well. It should just work.

00:18:09   But iPhone comes out and Mac developers are excited.

00:18:13   Cocoa frameworks. It's familiar. They when they first released the SDK, every developer I know looked at it and they were like, oh, UI kit is like a new version of app kit.

00:18:25   It's modernized in some ways. It's limited in some ways. It's missing, especially back in 2008, missing huge swaths of frameworks that app kit had because UI kit was

00:18:38   A new and B meant for a three point five inch touch screen. But the bigger picture was, hey, just because you have a great Mac app, it might not make sense to do an iPhone app.

00:18:51   Does it make sense? A lot of times it did. Sometimes it didn't. I think we definitely we went through that.

00:18:58   I think we're still going through it with Apple Watch, right? Where I think of all the platforms and I think it's just directly related to the size of the screen and how much interaction you can do with it.

00:19:13   I'd say very few apps overall belong as native watch apps.

00:19:19   I concur. It's early about Apple Vision Pro. Sometimes it just doesn't make sense to make an app. And you do you look at only Apple Watch apps that came out, John, and then got canceled or they removed them.

00:19:29   Remember, there were a whole bunch that like they're like, oh, we're deprecating this app because it just didn't make sense. Hard to maintain, hard to support. And no one cares.

00:19:36   Yeah, it's the only platform I've ever used and I still use it. I have it on right now, but it's the only platform I've ever used where I've had fewer apps installed over time, not more, because over time they've started disappearing.

00:19:51   Developers that used to have a watch component were like, ah, nobody uses it. This isn't worth it for us. And then they got rid of it and then the watch app just disappears.

00:20:01   But anyway, now we're at that point for a brand new platform. Yes, it is.

00:20:09   It's just an exciting time and it's like.

00:20:14   That's why I'm so excited to talk to you, because it's like me and a bunch of my media cohort friends who got the 30 minute demo at WWDC got to kibitz about it with each other.

00:20:26   And then we got to podcast and write about our experiences. But really, here we are at the very end of August.

00:20:33   It's three months later and you're the first person I've been able to talk to since who's had a new experience with the Vision Pro.

00:20:41   Well, in your demo, I'm sure was very corralled and steered in a certain direction, limited time.

00:20:47   30 minute question.

00:20:48   Yep. There weren't many answers. I'm just saying like it's very contrived, very controlled.

00:20:53   Did you get a demo like that, like a sort of look, we just want you to introduce to the get introduced to the platform and experience some of the just built in features like the watching movies and seeing the dinosaur or something like that.

00:21:07   No, the best part was know that they already kind of, I guess, assume that we had read the marketing material and knew all that.

00:21:13   Right. So what was nice was I went in.

00:21:16   Everyone who knows me knows I get very excited when I'm excited and I'm typically excited because I only get excited about things I'm excited about.

00:21:23   But when I don't like something or something's crap, I'm very blunt, very honest.

00:21:27   And I just tell you it's crap. I'm not going to mince words.

00:21:29   So I had very high expectations for this device on what you wrote and Jason wrote and everyone wrote.

00:21:35   I did. I had very high expectations.

00:21:37   Obviously, Apple was really and has really been putting a lot of weight behind it.

00:21:41   So my expectations were uber high.

00:21:43   And I also want to say one other thing. I went in with my own preconceived notions and ideas of what it would do if I were designing it.

00:21:51   So my bar was so high because I'm like, this thing's either the biggest gimmick and it's going to flop or it's going to hit these things that I think it should do that.

00:22:00   I hope Apple got right.

00:22:02   So I'm just letting that out there because I'm going to I'm going to gush and be all excited about this device.

00:22:07   And I want everyone to know I went in with major expectations that it would not do what I expected it to do.

00:22:14   I was going to take a break there, but I'm thinking I don't it's too much of a cliffhanger.

00:22:18   I don't know the hype. You should take the break. You want to get tuned in.

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00:25:17   All right. So did it meet your expectations?

00:25:20   Well, cliffhanger over. Cliffhanger, long pause, drag it out, talk about other things, make people wait till the end.

00:25:28   All right, I'll stop. I'll stop.

00:25:29   So yes it did. And it exceeded them. And the truth is, and God's honest truth is, I really didn't think it would.

00:25:36   You heard all the rumors and all the buzz and everything that Apple was doing this thing in AR and VR and it's been going on forever and they'll release it someday.

00:25:43   And then whether the rumors are true or not, "Oh, the PIMM commissioned, it's got to get shipped and they're rushing it out and it's terrible."

00:25:49   And you hear all these things. So I went in very much like, "Okay, this is going to be some complete flop."

00:25:53   Or it'll, I don't know, it hit every check, every box I had in my head that I'm like, "If it doesn't do this, I would never buy one."

00:26:01   And it actually did more than I expected.

00:26:03   All right. For example.

00:26:05   So the first one was, and I talked with lots of friends about this, you know, the dial, the crown?

00:26:10   Yeah.

00:26:10   It looks like the crown. I had said in my mind, I would bet they're going to use that to dial in and out of reality.

00:26:17   I don't know why I had the idea, but I was correct. And that's how it works.

00:26:20   So they show this in the demos, I believe. So I'm going to be, I'm going to try to talk as freely as I can.

00:26:26   I don't think anything I'm going to say about my experience hasn't already been shown.

00:26:30   So I'm talking about things that have already been shown.

00:26:33   Honestly, there wasn't anything I really think I saw that that wasn't, that was new.

00:26:36   So anything goes, but just be aware. I'm going to be a little cautious during this conversation.

00:26:40   Pleading the fifth.

00:26:44   But yeah, so before I ever even had seen the device, even before you guys had seen it at the keynote,

00:26:50   I just saw that crown and said, why would they have a dial on that? What would you dial?

00:26:54   And I went in my mind, Oh my God, in and out of reality. And that's exactly how it works.

00:26:59   You can dial in the amount of we'll call it screen versus vision and what they've done with the optical illusions

00:27:08   or whatever magic they have going inside of that thing that lets you see reality in real time without any lag,

00:27:15   any jitter, any sort of like, I want to say like, like, like fakeness.

00:27:20   You feel like you're in the real world wearing that thing. Yeah, you know, it's a screen and yeah,

00:27:25   it's not exactly real vision, but it's so close. Your brain just goes, yes, real.

00:27:32   It's like the Arthur C. Clarke quote about what's indistinguishable from sufficiently

00:27:38   advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic. That's correct.

00:27:43   And that's what this is because it's magic, right? It's you know, it's not a hundred percent,

00:27:48   but it feels a hundred percent. And I did some of the meditations and some of those

00:27:53   landscapes and I just I could have sat there for hours. Right. And obviously,

00:27:58   I like to work. I like to talk. I like to do I like to be, but it just put me in a mood.

00:28:03   It really zen me out. I really believe even mental health purposes. That device is going to be a game changer.

00:28:09   I felt it in just minutes. And I'm telling you, I'm predicting it is going to be a game changer for mental health.

00:28:16   And that that's it. That's all I need. That alone did it for me. I do. And I even in a for lack of a better way of describing it,

00:28:24   a lowercase m, lowercase h, mental health, like not in any sort of officially diagnosed with need of some sort of therapy or treatment or something like that.

00:28:37   I kind of agree, you know, because I kind of feel like and again, without any sort of clinical diagnosis of having tension deficit disorder or ADHD or something like that.

00:28:51   I think it's just the nature of our world that almost everybody at times has trouble concentrating. Right. Because the world is full of distractions. Right.

00:29:00   And notifications are distractions and having multiple devices and your phone is buzzing or your watch is buzzing while you're using your laptop or something like that.

00:29:12   I mean, I know that for the most part, your Apple devices do a lot of and I think the Apple does a good job of it, of figuring out, oh, your Mac is being used.

00:29:23   We'll send the notifications there. We won't keep buzzing your wrist because you're doing it.

00:29:27   But depending on how if you just got up, it's so just easy to get distracted in today's world and more so than ever before.

00:29:34   And I do feel that the nature of VisionOS, because it's all encompassing, it's the most helpful concept for personal computing to get into the zone.

00:29:46   I think. And I appreciate the lowercase M.H. assist because, yes, that's what I was talking about.

00:29:52   I'm talking about the fact that you and I, other developers, just everyone who's busy in the world without very serious mental health issues.

00:29:59   And maybe it will still have applications there because I still believe it does, I think, put you in the environment.

00:30:04   But yeah, just what I was saying was the stress of our day to be able to take a 20 minute session and meditate or just zone out into a different environment where your notifications don't come in.

00:30:14   I think it's going to be very healthy. And that alone was very inspiring to me.

00:30:18   I can't. It almost changed me after doing I just sat there for a few minutes doing it.

00:30:22   And I was like, wow, to take it to the opposite end of the all encompassing spectrum to compare to Apple Watch, which added like I think they call it meditation or whatever they call it.

00:30:36   But there's like an app that you can do on your Apple Watch.

00:30:39   Focus or breathe. Maybe they call it. Maybe it's free.

00:30:44   Yeah, I'm sure some people are using it. I don't want to I guess the app's not called breathe, but well, they change.

00:30:50   We added some more features to it. It used to just be breathe. And I think they added some other ones.

00:30:54   Right. I know what you but I think the idea for people who get good use out of it is that you go to a quiet room, sit down, close your eyes or turn out the lights or sit in a room without distractions and then let the vibrations of the watch guide your breathing or something like that.

00:31:10   But it's just a little tiny dingus on your wrist.

00:31:15   You've got to go somewhere and find the quiet room and you've got to go somewhere and find the space or close your eyes, whereas vision, putting on a vision headset.

00:31:26   And obviously the first one's called Vision Pro in future years.

00:31:30   It's very obvious, starting with one called Pro, that there will be, I guess, if I had to guess something called a vision air, which would be lower priced and more therefore more accessible at a price point to more people.

00:31:43   So just calling them vision headsets, which I think is very obviously going to happen within two or three years from now.

00:31:51   It could put you, instead of you putting yourself into a quiet place, it'll put you into a quiet place and you can dial in your favorite setting.

00:32:01   I mean, some of the places I got to see in my demo back in June were like the side of a lake.

00:32:07   There was a mountain top, like a seriously high mountain top where you could look down at your feet and it's like you're looking over a cliff, which was realistic enough to make my form start to sweat.

00:32:17   You could be in anywhere. You could be on an airplane, you could be in a noisy train station waiting for your train and just zone out.

00:32:27   You've got a whole hour to wait for your train or something like that and instead of looking at this hustle and bustle of Penn Station or 30th Street Station here in Philadelphia, you could just be at Lakeside working, even if you're just catching up on email.

00:32:43   It honestly seems almost like the only downside would be risking missing your train.

00:32:49   That's the thing, this thing is so encompassing that you will lose time and track of the real world. If anyone from Apple is listening, by the way, dial in and out reality.

00:33:00   They need to do something with, I don't know if you remember in the 60s, Timothy Leary would say turn on TuneIn and drop out.

00:33:06   There's something there with the Apple Vision Pro, except it doesn't require you to take drugs.

00:33:11   It just feels so relaxing and then you can just dial out and you're back in the real world.

00:33:19   I do remember too, the dial definitely is, I guess I can't say that I predicted it in advance, but having tried it just briefly, it is like very natural.

00:33:30   It is like, oh, I want to completely black out, not black it out because you can choose what it is you're looking at, a mountaintop, an austere room, whatever you want to see.

00:33:43   But then just dial it and then you could just switch to, oh no, I'm actually looking at the actual real world around me, but I've got these windows from apps in front of me that I can move around and resize and do.

00:33:57   Since you and I have experienced it, I think your listeners will totally, they're kind of trying to estimate what we're saying, but you can truly dial in or out the level of reality to the virtual.

00:34:09   And you can keep, let's say your peripheral vision partially showing reality, but only the front of you, or you can do it a little less and have that theater mode.

00:34:17   You can literally control the amount of reality to virtual.

00:34:21   And I find that that's really was what I predicted because I said, there's got to be a way Apple keeps talking about VR/AR and how do you marry those technologies?

00:34:30   Well, the way you do it is you dial in how much of each one is beneficial at that time.

00:34:35   When you're looking at actual, when you were looking at actual reality, the actual real world around you while wearing Vision Pro, did you find that the field of view, like how wide angle, how telephoto exactly matched your natural vision?

00:34:54   I probably, I didn't think about it, but now that you bring that up, I'd say maybe some amount of my peripheral, very little, I would say it was probably insignificant enough because I can't say yes for sure.

00:35:05   Yes, it probably was clipped a little, but I think on a normal day to day basis, something's in your peripheral, but it doesn't really matter.

00:35:13   Right? Like you could say, yeah, but yeah, I actually, it's funny as to that.

00:35:17   I didn't think about that until now you said it.

00:35:19   I could not with a hundred percent certainty say it's the same. I think I'd almost by memory say it was missing a bit of periphery peripheral.

00:35:25   I think it probably depends on some person's vision. Maybe even depends on the size, the sort of shape of your face.

00:35:31   I know that Neil, I Patel, I think had the same takeaway you did that at the far edges of his peripheral vision.

00:35:40   It seemed like it wasn't there. I didn't notice that, but maybe my eyes being a little bit more jagged, it's off.

00:35:46   But what I did see and what everybody I know who's tried it has agreed is what you do see is exactly like your natural vision, like looking through plastic safety goggles.

00:35:59   It's not any more wide angle, any more fish eye, any more telephoto.

00:36:04   So like if you lift it up and you're looking just unaided through your eyes and then you put it back down, it is everything is the same size, same place.

00:36:14   And there's absolutely no difficulty with like fine motor movement like of your hands.

00:36:22   Like if you wanted to pick up a pin in a real life pin in front of you, you just look down and your fingers will you won't be like off by half an inch or something like that.

00:36:33   It's like looking through safety glasses. You can tell you're looking through something.

00:36:37   It's not magically, but in the same way that when you wear like in a high school or college chemistry lab or something like that, you just put safety glasses on top of your eyes.

00:36:49   You don't see the frame because they're clear and they're bigger than eyeglasses.

00:36:54   But you know, you're looking through something. You just can tell that's just how it is.

00:36:57   But the fact that it's just a completely natural field of view is, I think, totally key because you can when you're dialed out and you are including reality in what you see, you have no problem with it.

00:37:13   I wasn't on stage, but I don't think I'm speaking out of turn.

00:37:18   But talking to Mike Rockwell, I think before my show or whatever, it was off stage at WWDC.

00:37:25   He had mentioned that just to test that, to test the latency and the real world, that they've played ping pong while wearing it.

00:37:33   And so I think it's interesting and that you totally can.

00:37:36   Now, I'm sure that like if you're like a serious ass, competitive ping pong player.

00:37:40   No, you can't. The actual like whatever millet, 12 milliseconds of latency would kill you playing high end competitive table.

00:37:49   But for like casual, normal people fun, you could play table tennis and you're not going to be like, I would have thought even with Apple's headset, no matter how good it is, if you tried playing ping pong or something like that, you'd be swinging and missing at the ball.

00:38:05   You'd be a fraction of a second too late. Your hand, your coordination would be a fraction of a degree off.

00:38:12   And you'd be you'd look like an idiot, like a kid playing ping pinata spun around and dizzy.

00:38:18   But no, you could just sit there and play ping pong. You can do fine motor skills like picking up things. It's really uncanny.

00:38:24   It really is uncanny. And it's a perfect term because we always talk about uncanny valley. This is uncanny.

00:38:29   Yeah. So you I presume before you went there and again, plead the faith if you need to.

00:38:34   But I presume that before you went to the lab because you had to apply.

00:38:39   Right. I wasn't like Apple came to your house and put a bag over your head and you woke up.

00:38:44   No, no, no. Yeah. This is a process. This is a process everyone else is doing.

00:38:48   Right. But you got you probably showed up with a build because again, this isn't top secret.

00:38:53   Now that Apple's announced it at WWDC, developers can just included with Xcode.

00:38:59   You can just download the Vision OS SDK and start building and running native Vision OS apps and run them in a simulator.

00:39:08   And of all the ways that running apps in a simulator is always not the same as running it for real.

00:39:14   Like running for a VR headset. Yes, it is. It is an approximation.

00:39:21   But I'm assuming you showed up with like a build of software that was already compiling for Vision OS.

00:39:28   Well, this is where it's awkward because usually as an Apple developer and everything, like you don't talk about things before you ship.

00:39:34   So to say, oh, yeah, we have an app in development for Vision OS, but, you know, yeah, we have an app in development for Vision OS.

00:39:40   So the goal was like, OK, we saw the device, the keynote. OK, we're excited.

00:39:44   OK, they released the tools. OK, we're going to start sketching.

00:39:48   And I had these harebrained ideas, as I always do. And then we just start going and going.

00:39:52   And then all of a sudden it's like, oh, great, it works in a simulator. What does it feel like on the device?

00:39:56   And by using it on the device, we change things because remember, we were estimating, will it be this fast?

00:40:02   Will it actually work? What will you see? How much? We tried to develop it for best case scenarios.

00:40:08   And what was crazy, John, is it was better than we thought it would be.

00:40:12   So we were able to then do even crazier things with our designs because we're like, oh, you can do that.

00:40:17   Oh, you can do this. So it really was nice to prove it on the device. That was really the point of this lab.

00:40:22   It wasn't obviously to get a free demo of an Apple Vision Pro, which was a great byproduct.

00:40:26   But the goal here was to develop, improve and get a chance to use our app on the device.

00:40:33   One of the downsides of the demo that I got was because it was this guided tour from Apple,

00:40:40   which primarily it wasn't really to show it off. It really was to sort of give people, whether they're writers like me or YouTubers who could then go on and describe it,

00:40:49   they couldn't show it, they couldn't film their experience, but then they could go on YouTube and describe it.

00:40:54   It's to just convey, to try to convey to people the experience, which is a primer in a way on what the device was and what it would be.

00:41:01   Right. But because I didn't get to like, go off on my own and try things like go to the app store and download something,

00:41:09   I spent a lot of time with this unit, which I would feel differently if you did. And they showed it.

00:41:13   And like you mentioned, they showed Fantastic Cal, the iPad version of Fantastic Cal running.

00:41:19   And that's by default, like if we could all get Vision Pros tomorrow and have them at home and you have a Vision Pro headset at home,

00:41:29   but the Vision Pro app store isn't out yet, you could download iPad apps from the app store and they will run.

00:41:38   Apple showed this. They showed Fantastic Cal.

00:41:40   What's your take on how much nicer it will be and how worth it will be to do a native Vision OS app as opposed to just, ah, we've already got an iPad app that's good enough for now?

00:41:54   Well, that's a great question because I can tell you we got to use our iPad app natively on the Apple Vision Pro and that looked great, worked great.

00:42:02   In other words, we could just call it a day and be done. But as you know, we really want the best experiences and the best benefits for our users.

00:42:09   So we have ideas due to the spatial development platform that Apple Vision Pro provides.

00:42:15   And no, this is not like stuff I'm quoting from Apple. I really feel like since using it, that term spatial computing was perfect for my Apple to use.

00:42:24   Because like it said in some of my like I wrote in some of my quotes, like it really makes me think about it differently.

00:42:30   There's no more borders on a screen. There's the real world. And we want to make a real calendar in the real world.

00:42:36   Well, okay, a calendar exists on paper. If you're going to use a paper calendar, why would you want to use a paper calendar on an Apple Vision Pro?

00:42:41   That doesn't make any sense. But what are things you could do? How could you envision your week ahead?

00:42:47   Our day ticker, it's a little strip on iPhone. What if it was right in front of you? And as you look around, you can look at your week ahead.

00:42:53   You could spatially feel how far away something is. There's even bigger ideas we have.

00:42:58   But I want to give you those little ones to just have you realize I was inspired by the fact that the screens are borderless.

00:43:04   And it's a reality mix of your information and data and the real world. And what could you do with real world mixing with your data?

00:43:12   There's a real lot of cool possibilities. And we're excited. I mean, really, we're excited, like, genuinely excited.

00:43:18   The thing that made me think I was I'd said I saw your picture. When I realized it was you, I was excited.

00:43:26   And I started thinking immediately I should get him on the show to talk about it. And then I read your quote where like, I could talk about this for two hours.

00:43:32   And I was like, we're not going to go for one hour and show. But what are we up to? I think we might go the two hours.

00:43:40   But the thing that really I'm not surprised because I know you and I think about things alike,

00:43:45   but that one of my major takeaways from my 30 minute experience was that takeaway of and I just didn't expect it going in.

00:43:53   It just wasn't something that it occurred to me was, oh, there's no more edge to the computing device.

00:44:00   Right. Like everything has always taken place within some sort of rectangle. Right.

00:44:06   And for most people and I know you can have we've been able to have multiple display max since like the late 80s.

00:44:13   You could put in another video card and have a second display. But even when you add a second display to a Mac or you set up your iPad with an external display,

00:44:23   and now you've got the built in display and an external display. Now you've just got two rectangles where everything you do is within those rectangles.

00:44:31   Like the frame of the light. And we don't think about it.

00:44:36   The framework of our computing paradigms and paradigm gets tossed around as a highfalutin word.

00:44:44   But there's no other word that sometimes you need to say it. It disappears when you get used to it.

00:44:51   And the old paradigms always infuse people's conceptions of the new ones.

00:44:58   Right. And now I'm not that old. You're not that old either. But there used to be a time when computing didn't even have live CRT displays.

00:45:07   Right. Like your computing was done on an actual paper teletype if you were or punch cards.

00:45:13   Right. Oh, I know. Yeah, absolutely. It wasn't even it wasn't even a visual component.

00:45:18   Right. And there's a nerds will remember that while text files are largely cross platform compatible for bizarre reasons in the 80s, there became three different standards for line endings.

00:45:34   The Mac used a carriage return, which was ASCII. I forget.

00:45:40   It's backslash R and C at the end of a line. Unix used a new line character, which I think is ASCII 10.

00:45:49   One of them is ASCII 10, which is backslash N. And that meant end of it a line.

00:45:54   And Windows, of course, did the worst of all possible things and used a pair carriage return and a line feed to end a line.

00:46:03   But the reason Windows used carriage return line feed was that in the teletype days, when it was actually like a dot matrix thing going across a piece of paper with the that was the only output.

00:46:14   Printing was the only output. It got to the end of the line and the carriage return moved the head back to the left and the new line rolled the paper up a line.

00:46:24   So you needed a carriage return to take it from the right edge of the paper to the left and a new line to roll up a line.

00:46:31   And when computing shifted from paper input on punch cards and paper output on teletypes to an actual interactive text only display, it was just sort of replicating that on a screen.

00:46:46   And it seemed great. Right. It was like, oh, now you can like backspace and you can erase stuff and you don't have to waste all this paper and it's faster.

00:46:55   But the paradigm of like an old Unix text terminal was just paper on screen scrolling up and down.

00:47:03   And it just in the old paradigm infuses it. And it just blew my mind with that experience that I've always thought of computing.

00:47:11   Just I think about the edges of displays, but it just never occurred to me that we'd get to a platform where there are no edges to the displays.

00:47:20   Yeah. One of the things that just hit me right away and obviously it's because I'm a designer, this is what I do for a living, but I was taken back of the fact that I lost the borders.

00:47:29   I lost the restrictions. It was as if I could create with my own hands something in the real world.

00:47:35   And what you said earlier, by the way, about the line space and all this other stuff. Like I told you, someone reached out to me, a developer who wanted my input as an advisor about the app they're making.

00:47:43   And I said, no, that wouldn't make sense because the thing that already exists in the real world is good enough. I think we have to be very careful when we have new paradigms like borderless screens or real reality elements to not just replicate what we have.

00:47:56   Not just make a calendar. Oh, look, I can hold up a calendar in the virtual world. Look how cool. That doesn't serve a benefit. There are calendars.

00:48:03   But when you really look at that canvas, that's unlimited without borders, without bezels, like you said, multi monitors, but those still have borders. Those are still screens, discrete screens.

00:48:13   And you think about where you can go with your eyes and the reality of the vision. There are lots of potentials on this medium and I'm excited.

00:48:21   I mean, it's, I really do believe when this thing gets going, it'll be like the iPhone in the early days. There'll be some hokey things originally, some experiments, some playing around, whatever.

00:48:30   And then I do think after a few years, once things get shaken out, we'll see some ideas that really will make computing into the next generation. It's not hyperbole. I really believe this.

00:48:40   One of the friends I spoke to is somebody who works at Apple. So obviously spoke to me off the record, but someone who's work entailed, developed working on some of the software that Apple already showed before WWDC.

00:48:57   After, I never heard a peep from this person about it beforehand, but then once it was out and then they weren't spilling any secrets, they were telling me about their experience using it while they work at Apple.

00:49:09   And that they had this complaint that they felt like kind of crammed, like trying to do like email and web browsing and something else at the same time.

00:49:18   And they just felt like, I don't know, all these windows are overlapping and this isn't great. And then one of their colleagues was like, figured out how they were doing it.

00:49:27   And they were like, no, spread it all out, put it, fan it all out, like almost like, or even up to 180 degrees around you.

00:49:36   And Apple's own video showing people using Vision Pros try to steer people that way.

00:49:42   But my friend's idea was because even if you have like a nice big studio display or Pro Display XDR, you've got like this 30 some inch canvas rectangle right in front of you that you put all your windows on.

00:49:56   Whereas this with Vision Pro, you don't have anything like that. You can just spread it all out.

00:50:02   And all you do is just turn your head and turn your head to the left, turn it to the right, and you can just make use of an effective canvas that is way bigger than any actual display could feasibly be at any price.

00:50:18   Perfectly said, the zoom tool on iPad or iPhone or even Mac where you see the magnifying glass and you see what's within that magnifying glass zone to zoom.

00:50:27   So we look at this whole display and we zoom on a specific thing. If you think of the Apple Vision Pro, what you just said, you can put things out of your field of view.

00:50:36   You see what you have in front of you, but you can put things that are maybe less important off to the left.

00:50:41   But then when you need it, you just turn your head to the left and they're there. But they're out of your main view. And it's incredible.

00:50:46   Think of it almost like a display that you can just push things off to the side. But that's how the real world works, right?

00:50:53   Right. We put things in storage or in a closet or we put our clothes away and things like that.

00:50:57   Just the way when the Macintosh made the desktop a new paradigm of having things on your desktop.

00:51:02   Now you can have the real top. I don't know. Maybe I just coined a new phrase, but to me, it's like that.

00:51:08   It's the reality desktop. It's the real top. It's where you're going with everything.

00:51:13   It doesn't have to be in your current straight ahead field of vision. It can be off to the side.

00:51:17   And then when you want it, turn your head and then it's there and then you can even drag it and pull it over.

00:51:22   You can manipulate. You can interact. It's really nice. I'm very excited, as you can tell.

00:51:27   So one of the things that you seem excited about and it's again, plead the fifth if you need to.

00:51:33   But and I think it's it certainly was one of my concerns going in is you can easily everybody can imagine a VR headset used for entertainment purposes.

00:51:44   Right. Playing games and watching movies seems like, well, at the baseline, it has to be good for things like that.

00:51:51   But is it going to be good for doing work, doing stuff like catching up on email and reading stuff on the web and whatever, a calendar and whatever else?

00:52:03   I came away convinced. Yes, absolutely. This is it's not just like a gimmick like it, for example.

00:52:10   Tell me, to be honest, if you're like you can get your email on your Apple Watch, but nobody is really looking forward to like first thing in the morning.

00:52:19   Well, I got to catch up on all my email from from yesterday. I'm going to do it all on my watch. Right.

00:52:24   Said nobody ever. Right. If in a pinch, it's good.

00:52:28   And if you're the sort of person who either by personality or by job requirement needs to respond to emails ASAP,

00:52:36   it's great to have it on your watch to get those notifications. But it's certainly nobody.

00:52:40   But I honestly think Vision Pro isn't going to be like that yet. Technically, if you've already got it on and you need to do an email, you could do an email.

00:52:47   But no, I think like putting one on and using it as like maybe your preferable way to do email would be we can do the typing thing is a question.

00:52:57   Is that the onscreen versus hardware keyboard? But certainly if you did actually have a great idea for that keyboard that I passed along,

00:53:04   I don't know if they're really going to listen to me. I filed the feedback as well.

00:53:08   But I have an idea that I think could make the keyboard truly feel killer.

00:53:13   And we'll see if they listen to me. But I did submit that I did. I honestly did at the very least.

00:53:17   So with a hardware keyboard traveling, I think this will be a great platform for productivity.

00:53:22   Do you agree? I do. And one of the nice things I do want to say about Apple is they did point out that you should take breaks.

00:53:28   It's in there. It's in their literature. It's not something you want to actually have on eight hours a day.

00:53:32   And I think that has to do with the brain. Right. You need to be able to there is a motion sensitivity to it.

00:53:36   Did I get sick? No. But you did feel a little off, I guess. Is that probably a good I don't know how you felt.

00:53:42   But you did feel like there was probably a little something going on with I don't want to say equilibrium or balance.

00:53:48   But you know where I'm coming from? I don't know if you could do that for eight hours straight with that on because it's a little different from the real world.

00:53:54   You get kind of what I'm saying. Yeah. Well, I only got 30 minutes one time.

00:53:58   Oh, but it was 30 straight minutes. But I kind of I just think.

00:54:03   I think it's inevitable because our brains didn't evolve to be in that world like that.

00:54:08   And it might be the sort of thing that the more you use it, the longer you can go without any kind of strain or tedium involved with it.

00:54:19   Battery life being the limiting factor if you're not connected to a power source while you're using it.

00:54:25   But I'm certain I could have gone eight hours. I'm just saying I felt, you know, they said to take breaks and that it was healthy to take breaks, which I'm saying I appreciated that about them.

00:54:33   They didn't say like, don't take breaks. But to answer your question, yes, it absolutely. So here's the reason why I think you could use it all day in a work environment or productivity environment.

00:54:41   The thing they do with using it with a MacBook Pro and you stare at it and it spawns off extra displays in the augmented reality world where you can just have like four.

00:54:51   We'll call them fake studio displays just on your desktop that are there but aren't really there.

00:54:58   They're visual interpretations of huge displays that alone is worth the price tag of the Apple Vision Pro.

00:55:04   But that alone, you can continue to use your MacBook Pro with these displays and have all of the other Apple Vision Pro Vision OS goodies.

00:55:13   You can work all day long and you're still using your Mac. Right. It's your Mac's operating system. It's passing through your Mac.

00:55:19   Right. So that alone is going to boost productivity beyond anything.

00:55:23   I mean, imagine just having four displays now by just opening your Mac and it works. That's amazing. That's a killer feature right there.

00:55:30   That's it. I think it really will be. And people are very skeptical. And I really do think it's it's I hate to say it, but you have to try it.

00:55:38   But I really do think there's an awful lot of people who are swearing up and down right now that it's never going to be good for anything other than entertainment who are going to be using one for work within the first year if they can get one.

00:55:50   Because I think it's going to be backordered all year based on what I understand about the supply constraints on these displays.

00:55:57   And they're going to be like, oh, yeah, I was wrong. You and I 100 percent can predict here with certainty that until you've used that, you don't understand it.

00:56:05   And because if you don't understand it, you're skeptical. I was skeptical until I used it. I thought it would be cool.

00:56:10   I'm like, there's got to be something here. It's Apple. Right. But after using it, you just go, OK, is it expensive?

00:56:17   Absolutely. Is it worth it for all of the things you're getting? Like just the displays alone could cost you three thousand dollars. Right.

00:56:23   So if you use just that display feature alone, it's a home run. But I get it. It's first gen. It's pro. It's prototype, if you will.

00:56:31   But I think the price is very I will call it reasonable for what it is.

00:56:36   One of the things and like I said about previous paradigms infusing our assumptions about the next one was for me after what is it now, 15 years of iOS and direct manipulation.

00:56:50   My instinct when I first put it on was when I'd see something to reach out with my finger and touch the actual thing, which kind of actually works.

00:57:02   But it's not the way you're supposed to use it. I got to jump in. I did the same thing, John, because you expect, well, I could just manipulate it.

00:57:08   Right. But what you realize is you just keep your hands down and you move your hands at your side.

00:57:12   It detects your hands. You don't need to put them in that place. It attracts your eye movement, what you're looking at and your hands.

00:57:20   But I agree with you. But I think maybe they're doing that because it feels more natural to just look at it. Yeah.

00:57:25   And I don't know the psychology behind that. I just I well and I think it's a couple of factors. I think one is just we're just coming at it with the wrong assumption based on having used these actual things that you actually touch.

00:57:37   And since you can't actually touch these things, you're never going to get when you actually touch a button on your iPhone, you feel your fingertip feels the glass.

00:57:49   Putting aside the haptic feedback that you can get now for many things, just right back from the original iPhone with no haptics, your finger feels the glass.

00:57:58   You're never going to feel glass when you or anything when you reach out and touch these virtual things.

00:58:03   So I kind of think that's a wrong assumption. I think the other thing is that.

00:58:08   My recollection of what it was like is that one and one of the things I was surprised by was that the natural virtual distance from your eyes that these windows are in front of you is further out than I would have thought.

00:58:23   It's I tend to sit in front of at my desk exactly arms reach like at any moment I could just put my arm out and my fingertips would touch my studio display if I ever were so gross as to actually touch my display, which I never do.

00:58:41   But that's about how far I sit in front of a display when I use a laptop. I'm obviously a little bit closer.

00:58:47   Same. And when I use my phone or an iPad, my eyes are closer still, whereas here the virtual distance to this or the actual distance to the virtual windows is further than any display I've ever used.

00:59:02   And it works because they can just make them bigger. So it's like.

00:59:06   Much bigger windows than you would actually have on a display, and therefore all the text and buttons and elements are bigger than they would. Everything is just bigger, but it's it doesn't feel.

00:59:19   Kitty or Fisher Price style because you're still getting the same information density is like an iPad app. It's just so much bigger, but it's like, I don't know, like two meters in front of you.

00:59:33   Yeah, exactly. And I agree with you. There was no hokeyness to it. The other thing that you'll laugh at. So we're working on our icon for our vision pro app, because obviously we want it to be cool. And the icons, as you know, are three dimensional. They have depth.

00:59:45   This thing was so real that at one point, I'm not kidding you, I would take my head and crane it around to see the side of the icon because your listeners may not know this.

00:59:55   It's three dimensional. In other words, obviously for it to be an illusion, you have to see three dimensions. It can't look flat. It doesn't look like an iPhone screen. It actually has depth.

01:00:04   So I would literally train my everyone in the room must have thought I look crazy, but like I'd be craning around my head to look at the icon up and down and kind of zoom in and out.

01:00:12   And we're playing with different attributes because I want it to look cool, but I probably looked ridiculous. But in my head, I was looking at the side of that icon.

01:00:20   I was moving the depth with just by moving around like it was a real icon in reality. And I thought that was pretty cool.

01:00:28   I think one of the things and it's so it's such a delicate balance and you and I have seen it, the balance swing back and forth over the decades, but between just pure unadulterated making things look as cool as possible, even if it is just a calendar app or just a text editor or something like that.

01:00:53   But trying to make apps just like look in Steve Jobs's words, so good you can lick them. It's part of the fun of being into Apple computers that that is fueled my interest.

01:01:09   You know, it's why I got into this whole racket and I remember, you know, in translucency, transparency has always been what used to be the Holy Grail. Now it's part of it. But I remember when in the early days of MP3 players when our friends at Panic had Audion was their rival.

01:01:28   Yes, right. There were two great sound jam MP, exactly sound jam MP and Audion and I'll put a link to in the show notes. Let me make a note right now to the Panic story about it where it's epic. It's excellent.

01:01:43   Right. But there were two great indie MP3 players for the Mac and Apple decided we should buy one of them and they considered both. It must have been a really hard decision because they were both excellent.

01:01:58   Well, they wound up buying sound jam. Jeff Robin, who was the lead person, is still at Apple today and still in charge of all of the same apps like the music and podcast and video apps and stuff like that. So lo these 25 years later, he's still there.

01:02:15   But they, you know, the Panic guys got a meeting with Steve Jobs where they got to hear the pitch for selling Audion to them. But one of the things that was amazing about Audion is Audion had these skins that you could develop, but you could have as many third party skins as you could get your hands on.

01:02:30   But you could make the windows transparent so you could see behind them, which was something that was not a feature in the classic Mac OS at all.

01:02:40   And in fact, totally hacked, faked and epic. Right. It was Panic co-founder Stephen Frank had to do all the programming at interrupt time, which is like the matrix. It's like in between the slices of time that a normal app could expect to have.

01:02:57   In between those slices of time was when Audion did the drawing so that it could figure out what would be behind the window if it weren't there so it could draw what was behind the window to make it seem as though it was transparent.

01:03:11   It was amazing. And people were blown away and it was part of the fun. I mean, of course, the whole point was to listen to music, but the skins were all about making it look as cool as possible for no utility reason at all, except that it made people happy. Right.

01:03:26   I guess it was just cool. It was just cool. You know, and then we've gone back and forth. The first version of Aqua, I think, went overboard with the transparent effects and the pin striping and to the point where it made stuff hard to read.

01:03:40   And Apple, as they've experimented with making elements of the various platforms transparent, translucent, whatever you want to call it over time, they've dialed it up, dialed it back.

01:03:51   It's never it seems like the end point of that is Vision OS, right? Like it is so cool looking. The interface for all the built in apps like mail and notes and messages and whatever else.

01:04:04   Right. Colors and just popping and just really feeling fun. Right. Like, yeah, imaginative.

01:04:10   And but with no detriment to legibility or readability that I saw, like it's like, oh, yeah, you know, very clear and crisp. Right. Like the chrome of the window is like this frosted glass.

01:04:22   And it's like just the again, so good you you don't want to lick it because you don't want to put a stain on it. But it's like you want to touch it. You wish I wish I could feel the frosting because you would feel like the nicest frosted glass possible.

01:04:36   It would have that amazing texture and back to fantastic how on Vision OS. That's the initial difference when you look at the native app versus the iPad app is we start to get that real chrome, that real look of the frostedness of the windows.

01:04:51   You start to look more native, right? You really start to be able to take advantage of the three dimensional look, the reality look.

01:04:58   So, yeah, I mean, there is a benefit to going, but not every app will benefit from being a reality app, to be honest.

01:05:04   Right. But I think if it does, I really do think it's almost going to be an irresistible pull to go native just to have it look just to have it just to have it look good.

01:05:14   Yeah. No, I don't disagree. I don't disagree. And the iPad apps running, I didn't get that's one.

01:05:20   I think I said this, but one of the things I wish I'd gotten to try, but they didn't really show me.

01:05:25   Like an unchanged iPad app just running, I don't think they did or if they did, I don't know. It's part of the demo. I forgot.

01:05:34   But I've seen their footage of it from the keynote and the other videos they have and they don't look bad.

01:05:41   They it's not like like, for example, back 20 years ago when Mac OS 10 first came out, classic apps kind of looked bad because they didn't have the cool anti aliasing or the transparency.

01:05:53   And as much as I have a great affinity for the Mac OS nine pixel by pixel aesthetic, it just looked out of place in the middle of Aqua with all this anti aliasing and the jellybean effects of all the I was going to say the genie effect.

01:06:09   Yeah. And now like the sheet, the file file sheet coming out, the little crack, whatever. Right.

01:06:15   It just looked old and janky. And it's like, yes, when you get that to when you if you run if you need to run Windows in virtual PC or whatever other emulators there are now for running.

01:06:33   A virtual environment to get windows on your Mac, you can kind of see like, oh, here's windows running in a rectangle over here. The iPad apps on Vision OS, they look fine. They just don't look cool at all.

01:06:47   They look totally normal. And if you need to use there's some app that you really love and depend upon and you get a vision pro early next year and you have to use the iPad version.

01:06:58   It's fine and it doesn't look like outdated, but it doesn't look cool.

01:07:04   Yeah, the best way of saying it is it just looks like an iPad window floating in front of you where the Vision OS windows, the native windows look like objects, Vision OS, things like it just it is native is definitely going to be the way to go on that platform.

01:07:21   But again, I hope people don't make it too hokey or just gimmicky. Yeah. Do you think there did?

01:07:28   It's again, we might be towing up against the things you plead the fifth on, but do you feel like Apple is so far three months in doing a good job with the developer outreach to have the ecosystem as rich as it can be on day one whenever day one is next year?

01:07:51   I mean, I won't plead the fifth because I would say yes, like from my point of view as a developer, they had this event. They featured third party apps that were already compatible, which again, we were not involved with this or anything.

01:08:03   We just made great iPad apps as the other developers that were included. So that's nice because they're already thinking about apps that work from day one, even without work from the developers, which to me is also nice to customers, right?

01:08:14   Because we buy an Apple Vision Pro, your apps will just work, but they've obviously been doing the labs and outreach and they have the simulator and they're updating the Vision OS version.

01:08:24   There's clearly a lot of developer outreach to not have this be a device that comes out. We're surprised by it. And then we scramble dates, all that other stuff.

01:08:33   I have no clue. Even if I did, I'd plead the fifth, but I'll just say I don't know when we have a rough idea of what Apple said publicly keynote probably next year sometime or whatever.

01:08:41   But we're certainly have enough lead time with everything that's going on with iOS 17 and watch OS 10 and all that stuff. We're already busy enough.

01:08:50   But now we also can intermix Apple Vision Pro and have that ready for whenever it's ready.

01:08:56   And again, it's very odd to be talking about future development here, but you know, here we are.

01:09:00   I got Rockwell to say it on stage at my show where I tried to tease out is next year is early next year or just like sometime.

01:09:09   Right. I remember.

01:09:10   And he was like early next year. And I was like, OK, that's I was like that was a much better answer than I expected to get.

01:09:16   That was great. And I do think with looking at if you read the tea leaves, right, they have these labs that are really being serious.

01:09:22   They're pushing out this stuff. They're eventually with the development kits and all this other stuff.

01:09:26   You can see they really want to have this thing early next year. I don't know if it will be.

01:09:32   We don't know about how supply chains and all the other stuff works, but why not? Why not early next year? That could work, right?

01:09:37   Did you get to do anything like just entertainment wise, like watching movies, stuff like that?

01:09:42   Yeah, I did. So I went into the movie app and I turned it into theater mode. And it's cool.

01:09:46   You could put where you're sitting in the theater, like where the reflection hits. Yeah. And the audio is fantastic.

01:09:53   Like the whole thing. So I can't wait to get this friggin thing and just do it as a user. That's what I'm saying.

01:09:57   It's like skirting the line between developer and user. And as a user, I'm giddy.

01:10:02   Well, I'm just thinking about it and I know it's important work for some people is editing and creating movies and stuff like that.

01:10:10   And one of the weird things about watching a real motion picture is that when it's in a theater, it's a different emotional experience to see a 60 foot screen in front of you.

01:10:21   And a close up that fills the screen with an actor's face when it's 60 feet tall in front of you is different than seeing it even on a TV.

01:10:31   Even if you have the biggest TV that Best Buy sells and you have a nice seat in the middle of the couch in front of it, your brain knows that's only four feet tall.

01:10:40   It's not 60 feet tall. Whereas you put Vision Pro on and you can simulate a giant movie screen.

01:10:46   So like if you're a movie editor, you can edit a movie. And while you're editing it, watch it in cinema size for like emotional response.

01:10:58   That's right. And so I and I really do think I Apple is Apple and it's their culture.

01:11:05   But I really do think in this case, I think one of the knocks against them is that they can become insular.

01:11:12   And there's aspects of Apple where they have a we're the we're Apple.

01:11:17   And so what we're doing is the best. And it's really kind of all you need.

01:11:20   I mean, the fact that all the only watch faces you get on Apple Watch are the Apple designed ones.

01:11:26   And it's it's the mindset of we just want. Yes. If we opened it up to third party, some of them would be cool, but a lot of them would be junk.

01:11:35   We'd rather just make sure every single watch face is Apple designed.

01:11:39   I think with Vision Pro, I really do get a sense.

01:11:42   And I think that the way that they're doing these developer labs with people like you and David Smith, who's been on my show and everybody else who's going to them who we haven't even heard from.

01:11:51   I think they are just as committed as we could possibly hope they would be to doing whatever they can to make the third party ecosystem as great as it can be for this thing.

01:12:05   I agree completely. I feel like also the other nice thing is that's why I said it's weird to be talking about an app that's in development.

01:12:11   Normally we're confidential as is Apple. I think for once they change their their culture of not free releasing to be great at release.

01:12:21   And that's very brave. I hate using this word, but I feel like it is brave because it kind of goes against the whole Apple history of secrecy and control.

01:12:30   And they're being very communicative because they want this platform to be accepted by us developers rather than it come out.

01:12:37   And we're like, we're not developing an app for a vision headset that just came out today. What the heck is that?

01:12:42   It might be like eight months until we see the light, so to speak. So I kind of admire that they know this is a leap of faith.

01:12:49   It is a big paradigm shift. It is a big change. And they're asking us in a way, hey, you should really be making stuff. What do you need?

01:12:56   How can we help you? I do feel like they're being very cooperative and helpful. And that's very nice. That's great.

01:13:00   That's what the ecosystem should be about. Tech is so focused on what's now, what's next. iPhones coming out in two weeks.

01:13:08   But building things to last. I mean, Jason Snell and I in the previous episode of this show, we're just talking about the fact that maybe the Mac is here forever.

01:13:16   Right. It's 40 years and next year will be 40 years of the Macintosh. And it doesn't.

01:13:22   The Mac seems as invigorated as ever. Some of these platforms are here for lifetimes.

01:13:28   Right. I'll give you a visionary view on it. So they're supporting that display with the whole continuity and everything with the Apple Vision Pro.

01:13:35   If the Mac wasn't in the future, why would they spend all that time building displays for your Mac into a brand new device?

01:13:41   I completely agree with that. We have the Mac around at least another five years.

01:13:46   And I say five years because tech moves quick, but five years is a long time. I think way longer than that. I really do as well.

01:13:52   I think 20 years. I mean, five. I would put my life on it. You know, it's a guarantee they're not going anywhere for five years.

01:13:59   Well, and then on the flip side is this Vision Pro is the first vision device.

01:14:04   And if the vision platform has decades ahead of it right now and in very near future, are we going to have regular looking eyeglasses that give you the vision OS experience?

01:14:17   No. Battery life, all of all sorts of technical reasons that that's not happening in the next five years. No way.

01:14:24   Eventually, though, it definitely is going to happen now. I don't know. Will it be contact lenses?

01:14:29   Will it? Who knows what technical advances will happen in the next 20 years? But at some point that is.

01:14:35   And that to me is to circle this back here as we wrap up to that use of the term welcome to spatial computing.

01:14:43   That to me is part of the message, too, is I saw from my 30 minutes with it is, oh, this paradigm looking through this is it has as much legs to future.

01:14:57   Much more unimaginable to me today. Advanced ways of getting this experience with just a simple pair of glasses that I could wear all day in the same way that the nine inch black and white Macintosh.

01:15:09   You can draw a line from that device to today's much infinite, almost infinitely more powerful computers that still support the basic paradigm of that.

01:15:22   Graphical user interface desktop, this spatial computing paradigm to me is like the initial frameworks for sketching out how these things are going to work for 20 years.

01:15:34   I agree it's definitely a new platform, it's a new paradigm, and as I said in my quotes and I've told colleagues and people on my own team, it is spatial computing.

01:15:43   It is borderless computing. It is reality computing. And if people want to how poo it or whatever, they're not seeing it.

01:15:51   That's fine. That's in a way, sadly, they're lost. But this really is a paradigm change. We don't get to say that often.

01:15:57   I feel like as we're getting older, you and I, John, this may be the last biggest change of our computing career. Maybe won't be, but this is a big change. I feel it. I feel it strongly.

01:16:07   One of my favorite quotes. You never hear from this guy anymore. Remember John Dvorak? He was always the curmudgeon.

01:16:14   Absolutely.

01:16:15   He was the curmudgeon whose whole shtick was he was against everything. But I remember when the Mac first came out, I was only like 11 or something.

01:16:22   So I didn't read it extemporaneously, but at some point I reread his column. I think he was at the San Francisco Examiner at the time as the tech columnist.

01:16:30   And he said it had no future because you had to use a mouse to use the Macintosh and there was no way to use it from the keyboard only.

01:16:36   And every guy, and it was he definitely said guy, he knew when they worked at their desk, like to put their feet up on their desk and the keyboard on their lap and just have a keyboard and put their feet up on the desk.

01:16:47   And if you had to take your feet off the desk to go put your hand on the mouse, it was a no go.

01:16:54   How dare they not allow you to put your feet up on the desk?

01:16:57   Right. But guys at every step of the way, there have been naysayers who say the real computers are always going to be a command line only, not a GUI.

01:17:05   And then when the iPhone came out, like, oh, it's fun, but it's a gimmick. Nobody's ever going to do all their computing on a touch screen without a keyboard and a mouse or something like that.

01:17:14   It's exactly the same with this with spatial computing.

01:17:18   I agree. The comment whenever anyone says nobody will ever automatically maybe that's the name of this episode. Nobody will ever.

01:17:24   But once someone says nobody will ever you already know that this person doesn't know what they're talking about.

01:17:29   Yeah. All right. Well, I'm going to call that a wrap. I don't think you had to take the fifth too many times. But to me, you're easy on me.

01:17:36   That was pretty good. You know what?

01:17:37   My biggest takeaway is your enthusiasm for it has reinvigorated my own, which hadn't exactly waned.

01:17:44   It's just that I haven't gotten to play with it in three months. And now I'm excited all over again.

01:17:49   I'm once again more excited for this coming out next year than I am for anything coming out in two weeks, even though I am excited about new iPhones and watches and whatever.

01:17:58   But it's kind of hard to concentrate on iPhone 15 when Vision Pro one is on the horizon.

01:18:07   I feel the same way. I feel like in a way, you know, it's almost like the Osborne effect or whatever, but I feel like I know stuff coming for the next month.

01:18:13   Just get it out and get it over with. So I can get to the next year and get. Yeah, no, really. I agree with you, John.

01:18:18   All right. I want you to feel better. Get some fluids and get some rest.

01:18:22   But you sound great. Really? Honestly, I wish I sounded as good as you do with covid normally.

01:18:27   Thank you. I tried my best to fight it. Michael Simmons, everybody, of course, can find all of your work at Flexibits.com and anything else you want to promote.

01:18:36   You want to what's your Mastodon or something like that? Ma'am, I've been trying to avoid the social focusing more on, I don't know, whatever, anything but getting work done.

01:18:46   Getting getting work, getting the Apple Vision Pro version of fantastic, ready to roll and on another platform intent. Excellent. All right. Thank you, Michael. Thank you, John. A pleasure, as always.