480: Bichael Gurley


00:00:00   [MUSIC]

00:00:07   From Relay Family Disconnected, episode 480.

00:00:12   Wow, that's a lot of episodes. Today's show is brought to you by our sponsors,

00:00:15   Squarespace, ZocDoc, and Netsuit. I'm one of your hosts, Federico Vittucci,

00:00:20   and it's my pleasure to introduce, as always, Mr. Stephen Hackett. Hello, Stephen.

00:00:24   Hello, Federico, how are you?

00:00:26   Hi. Hello, how are you?

00:00:28   I am good, and I am very pleased to introduce our friend, Mr. John Voorhees.

00:00:36   Hey, guys, how you doing? It's good to be here, and you know, I've been hoping that I'd get a little

00:00:41   pre-holiday season time to do a little reconnaissance for the Triple J on Connected.

00:00:46   I don't know what that... Those words don't mean anything to me.

00:00:49   No, no, that was not the purpose of this invitation. No, no, what?

00:00:54   John's spouting nonsense.

00:00:58   No, I'm here. I'm here to report back to my fellow Js.

00:01:02   To your fellow Js. Wow. Okay, so we just invited a spy to do a show with us. Excellent.

00:01:09   But he's here on our terms, so we're playing him, is what I'm saying.

00:01:14   Oh, wow.

00:01:16   Okay, okay. Congratulations, John. You just played yourself.

00:01:20   I do that a lot, it turns out. Federico can attest to that, I think.

00:01:27   I see an interesting item in follow-up, Stephen.

00:01:31   Yes, Mike is gone, and as tradition, we like to let our fellow co-hosts know they were missed.

00:01:39   And this came from BG in the members Discord. BG recommended, with Mike gone,

00:01:46   we should send him photos of us wearing tiny head shirts.

00:01:49   Yes.

00:01:50   Amen. Go do it.

00:01:52   Yes, do it.

00:01:53   Yeah, do it. I gotta go dig mine out, I've got it somewhere.

00:01:56   And pay attention. Photos of us wearing our tiny head shirt. It's not like you can just

00:02:02   open your drawer, take a picture of the shirt, and send it to Mike. You gotta wear it.

00:02:07   No, that's not satisfactory. You gotta really go all in on this kind of thing.

00:02:10   You gotta wear it. Now, can you get creative with the picture? Be my guest, you know?

00:02:14   Yeah.

00:02:15   Do whatever you want. As long as it's a good picture, send it to Mike on Mastodon.

00:02:21   You always like to make a little weird, don't you, Federico? You always still give people ideas.

00:02:25   I just need to clarify.

00:02:27   No, it got weird last week. It got real weird last week because y'all sent people my way

00:02:32   with the only direction of send him something foot related.

00:02:35   Yeah. I mean, and that was not my fault.

00:02:38   I got gifts. Someone emailed me a link to the podiatrist board of America or something.

00:02:46   It went on and on. But I am back. So I did have surgery on my foot two weeks ago today.

00:02:55   But recovery is going great. And I'm happy to be back with the two of you.

00:03:00   So I have a little bowl of the screws that used to be in my foot. They got put in in 2020.

00:03:05   Then they had to come out. The bones all healed. So everything's good. And I got to keep my surgical

00:03:09   hardware, which is a strange thing to own. But I kind of love that I have it.

00:03:13   What are you going to make something with? You're going to build something in your office?

00:03:16   Yeah. Why don't you use them? You got to use them.

00:03:19   Maybe they show up in the podcast with the next year. You know, you never know.

00:03:22   Oh, wow. Wow. Interesting.

00:03:25   Maybe it's like, you know, you're looking through a bucket of something. You got to

00:03:29   find the foot screw. Who knows? Who knows what we'll come up with? I made a purchase

00:03:33   based on last week's show. I picked up the Mophie three in one travel charger

00:03:40   that you all have been talking about. Yeah. Yeah. I checked it out. It looks really cool.

00:03:44   It's awesome. So it's pricey, but it comes in this little carrying case and it folds over on itself.

00:03:51   It comes with the USB-C cable and charger, which is nice. It's just one cable. You get a

00:03:57   spot for your AirPods case. You get a spot for your phone and a spot for your Apple watch. It all

00:04:02   folds over. And the little carrying case that comes in, the zipper is closed and there's room

00:04:09   for the charger and the three in one kind of fold out thing and the cable. There's also a little

00:04:16   extra room in there. And so you could put your AirPods case or maybe you have another

00:04:22   random cable you need to put in there. Yeah. Or your foot screws. You could put your foot screws.

00:04:27   You can put your foot screws in there, whatever you may need. It's pretty great. And yeah, I mean,

00:04:33   it was a little, you know, I think it's like 150 bucks or something, but if you're looking for a

00:04:37   nice travel charger, you know, something that this folds down to be really compact. And I just have

00:04:44   it basically in the bottom of my backpack now. And that's where it's going to live. And yeah,

00:04:49   I'm pleased with it. I think if you're looking for something like this, this is a really good

00:04:54   option. Does it connect with a USB-C cable that you could connect to a battery? Because

00:05:00   honestly I don't buy things that don't connect to batteries anymore. Yeah. It's just a regular

00:05:05   like USB-C on each end. So into a USB-C into a brick then. Yes. Yeah. Cool. So yeah, you could,

00:05:13   you could have it plugged into a battery. I'm sure it would be, it'd be fine. I think the charger is

00:05:18   60 Watts. So you need a battery to be able to push some power, but I think a big battery pack

00:05:23   would be totally fine for that. Anything that did a USB-C power delivery definitely could do it.

00:05:27   Yeah. This looks like a really, it looks like a really good product. I mean, I, it was a little

00:05:30   bigger than I expected just looking at the pictures cause they show it in someone's hand,

00:05:34   but given that it charges three things, I guess it has to be, it has to be, you know,

00:05:39   it has to be able to spread out. So that's nice. Yeah. What I like about it is that it does fold

00:05:44   down. So yeah, it's a little big. Like when you have it like on your, you know, your hotel night

00:05:48   stand or whatever, I guess I've only used it at home. Haven't gone anywhere, but it folding down

00:05:54   the way that it does, it really doesn't take up much space in your bag. You know, some of these

00:05:58   that don't fold down as nicely. Or if you did like what I've always done, which is like a multi USB

00:06:04   C charger and a bunch of cables Velcro together, this is way nicer because you can just pick it up

00:06:09   and know you have everything. There's not loose cables running, you know, running around your bag.

00:06:12   It's a, I've been very happy with it. Maybe, maybe if I eventually travel with it, I got

00:06:18   some travel coming up in January. Maybe I can report back. Speaking of USB-C, are you all

00:06:24   ready for this? As of like an hour ago, Apple is now selling the USB-C AirPods Pro case.

00:06:34   That's breaking news right there. Yeah, right there. It is, it is breaking news. This was

00:06:40   something that we were hoping for when they moved to USB-C. They didn't have this at launch. And I

00:06:48   think some people upgraded to USB-C new AirPods just for the charger. I'm going to order one of

00:06:53   these as soon as we're done with the show, because I would like to be all USB-C. It's a hundred bucks.

00:06:57   I don't remember how much the wireless charging case was the first time they did this. I think

00:07:03   it was less than a hundred. I think it was less. I think it was more like 80 or something like that.

00:07:07   Pro wireless case. Let's see. $79 for the old one. So it is a little bit more, but if, if you want to

00:07:15   go all USB-C and that's worth a hundred dollars to you, then you now have an option. It's definitely

00:07:20   cheaper than upgrading AirPods. That's for sure. We heard back from listener, Jason Federico. Do

00:07:25   you want to read this? Okay. So listen to Jason. You may remember this whole saga that we've been

00:07:30   following for the past few weeks. Jason, as you recall, had to fetch an AirPod from a pool using a

00:07:37   net, right? And last episode we were wondering if Jason was also had to sort of go into the pool to

00:07:47   scoop out the AirPod. And Jason wrote back saying, no, I did not get into the pool. Pool nets for

00:07:54   cleaning leaves usually have a long pole on the end, maybe eight, nine feet. I'm not sure,

00:07:59   which allows you to get items out of the deep end and from the surface of the middle of the pool.

00:08:05   I had that with me, which allowed me to scoop it out without getting in the pool. But as I wrote,

00:08:10   it was hard to see and hard to get the AirPod to go into the net. So Jason had all the equipment

00:08:16   he needed, but it took Jason a while to scoop out the AirPod because of the leaves, because the

00:08:21   water, because you know, he was using this net and I guess it's hard to control when you're trying to

00:08:26   scoop out a very small AirPod from a body of water. So thank you, Jason. This story is now concluded.

00:08:32   I don't know why we are still talking about this. I guess it's because we've been asking the questions

00:08:40   over and over every single week. And I'm very happy to announce that I am now out of questions

00:08:46   for Jason. I'm done. Thank you, Jason. Thank you, Jason, for following up. Yeah, I guess,

00:08:52   you're eight or nine feet away and you know, like water does that thing where like it kind of messes

00:08:57   with your vision, right? Like it's kind of hard to tell. True. Because like the light refracts in the

00:09:02   water, I guess, or whatever. I don't remember physical science in eighth grade very well.

00:09:05   So I could see this being difficult. And I think last time Jason said that there were like leaves

00:09:09   in the pool. So you're kind of trying to find it. So I could see how this would take a few minutes.

00:09:15   I believe him. I think this is what happened. So thank you, Jason. Thank you, Jason. I think this

00:09:19   has been a good lesson for listeners that, you know, you never know when you write into connected

00:09:24   when you might end up writing a dissertation about retrieving things from a pool. It's true.

00:09:28   And also if you have a pool and you got to clean it, clean it every once in a while, make sure you

00:09:34   get this pool nets that have a long pole at the end that are eight or nine feet long. Jason is not

00:09:41   sure. So get one of these, you know, get one of those and jam your AirPods into your ears really

00:09:46   well. We also have some very important anonymous feedback and anonymous listener in Rodin asking,

00:09:53   what's with the humming during the grading of the request? Did I miss something?

00:09:57   As the producer of this program, Steven, can you please explain? Yes. So we use Zoom to have our

00:10:06   calls and Zoom by default does some noise cancellation and you can turn that off, but I

00:10:13   actually find it to be kind of a useful thing. I just also forget to turn it off. But the problem

00:10:19   was when I would ring the bell when someone scores a Ricky point that sometimes that would get

00:10:27   canceled out by Zoom. And so if we hum like this, then Zoom, the noise cancellation won't cut the

00:10:39   bell. So y'all can hear me awarding the point. We started doing that one time and now it's just

00:10:44   a thing that we do probably even when we do a live show next time with Ricky's, we'll probably

00:10:49   hum while we score. Yeah. And the fact that we harmonize when we do it, it just because we got

00:10:56   to act stupid when we do things, it's not really necessary to harmonize, but we do it regardless.

00:11:02   It makes it nicer. It makes it nice. Instead of just being, you know, that's boring. A listener,

00:11:07   Leo did the thing. So we got another photo of a listener. Yes. At Frederico's Christmas trees in

00:11:17   Utah. Yes. Thank you, Leo, for taking the time to go to for the Rico's Christmas tree trees. And

00:11:25   I gotta say, Leo noted, I'm happy to say that the connected pilgrimage side is conveniently located

00:11:30   in my home state with trees of all sizes and a knowledgeable friendly staff. I plan to visit

00:11:38   for the Rico's Frederico's for all my feature Christmas tree needs. Now this is not a paid

00:11:43   endorsement. I guess. I didn't take any money. We didn't take any money. I don't know if Leo

00:11:50   took any money from Frederico's Christmas trees, but hey, that's a pretty solid recommendation. So

00:11:58   thank you, Leo, for being the second person this year to take the time to do the connected

00:12:04   pilgrimage. It's great. I need to put one particular listener on blast now. So our friend

00:12:12   Quinn Nelson Snazzy laughs on Mastodon had a promised promise. I'm going to go where I could

00:12:21   Quinn lives in Utah. He had like a map up. I think it was like a 40 minute drive or something.

00:12:25   He's like, should I do it? We even heard from Quinn that he did it. And I'm just saying Christmas

00:12:31   is pretty soon. What's up with that? What's up with that? It's all fancy with his electric car

00:12:36   and everything. But he published just like one video a month. He's got plenty of free time.

00:12:40   Come on. He does get up in his comments over on YouTube. You don't have cameras, Quinn, to record

00:12:47   the send us evidence. I mean, come on. Yeah. It's disappointing. So we are very disappointing,

00:12:53   very disappointing. Thank you, Leo. Thank you, Leo. I'll subscribe to your YouTube instead.

00:12:59   Steven, you published an iPhone review. I did in December. Yes. This started as a,

00:13:12   Oh, I'm not going to have time to write this in September because St. Jude and, and you know, the

00:13:17   fundraiser and everything. But I kind of got into this habit now. I've done this a few times.

00:13:23   I've done this reviewing a phone or something else like months after it comes out. And I think that's

00:13:28   actually for me at least better. I think I need some time to think about things. So I worked on

00:13:36   this over the course of a week or so I got it published last week, looking at my iPhone 15 Pro

00:13:41   Max. And you know what, it's a pretty dang good phone. And I sort of hinged this review on this

00:13:48   because I was like, Okay, some iPhones are like in the Hall of Fame, like the iPhone four, right?

00:13:54   Beautiful design retina display. The iPhone 10, right totally changed how we use the iPhone brought

00:14:00   OLED brought face ID. Where does this phone fit into that? Is it like one of those? Or is it a

00:14:07   phone like the iPhone, you know, seven or the iPhone eight, something that's sort of, it was a

00:14:14   not necessarily one that we're going to remember, you know, as a highlight over the years, they

00:14:20   can't all be home runs. And, and I think this one is closer to the Hall of Fame. It's got USB C,

00:14:28   the new materials are really nice. The camera like the five x zoom really is next level. It really

00:14:34   lets you do things you couldn't do before with an iPhone. And so that was sort of my, my through

00:14:41   line on this review. And if you haven't read it, it's in the show notes, I would love for you to go

00:14:45   check it out. I think you'll enjoy it. It's a very, very good story. I appreciate it how you

00:14:51   saw I liked the perspective of like, hey, let's check in after a few months. Here's a few things

00:14:57   that I can confirm have been very nice, like USB C, or when you mentioned like your use of the

00:15:02   dynamic island. It's it's a different type of review than you know, what you may see under

00:15:08   embargo in September. And I think there's enough room for both style of reviews. Definitely. It's

00:15:13   useful to have review under embargo that tells you the details right away. And it's useful to

00:15:19   add this sort of like follow up story a few months later. So well done. Thank you for taking the time

00:15:24   to publish this Steven. Thanks. And I was very pleased with my headline. I know you guys are the

00:15:29   same way. Sometimes like when you're working on something, the headline comes first and greatness

00:15:34   thicker than titanium was like, that's it like, you know. So yeah, that review is up. Big news.

00:15:42   This is your final call for relay fms annual membership sale. If you go to give relay.com,

00:15:49   you can get 20% off any annual plan to a bunch of our shows. I would recommend connected pro,

00:15:55   which is a longer ad free version of the show each and every week. And the way that we do it here on

00:16:00   connected, we do sort of a pro topic at the beginning of the show before the music this week,

00:16:04   we talked about the verges coverage of Twitter and the rock being in a Siri ad and sort of the,

00:16:13   the, our biggest moments on Twitter over the years, kind of a nice way, I think, to sort of

00:16:17   close that chapter in our lives. Like I really feel here at the end of 2023, like I'm okay with

00:16:22   Twitter being gone for me at least. Oh yeah, definitely. You get no ads, which is cool. And

00:16:27   then we pick titles at the end of the episode and all that's great, but you also get access to

00:16:32   crossover, which is a podcast feed for all relay FM members. Mike and I do a show in that feed each

00:16:38   month called backstage. And then once a month, Kathy Campbell, our community manager will

00:16:43   interview somebody on the network with questions harvested from the discord, which is another perk

00:16:50   of relay FM membership. So lots of really cool stuff. And with this discount is 40 bucks a year.

00:16:55   So give relay.com you have until December 15th to take advantage of this. So this is your,

00:17:03   your final warning. Go go forth and join is what I say. This episode of connected is brought to you

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00:19:04   purchase. Our thanks to Squarespace for their support of the show and Relay FM. We have some

00:19:11   real time follow up, Stephen. I just opened Mastodon, Quinn Nelson posting at us,

00:19:19   to me, you and Jon saying I will not tolerate this slander.

00:19:25   - How do we know this is really him?

00:19:27   - I mean, see clearly Quinn is, you know.

00:19:30   - There's no beard on this man in the picture. I think he's an impersonator, like Federico.

00:19:35   - There's a little bit of a beard.

00:19:36   - Also some other, you know, while we're on the topic of Mastodon, as of a few minutes ago,

00:19:43   Mark Zuckerberg tweeted, well, I guess posted, I'm still saying tweeted, I'm sorry, posted,

00:19:49   storing a test where posts from Threads accounts will be available on Mastodon and other services

00:19:56   that use the ActivityPub protocol. Making Threads interoperable will give people more choice over

00:20:02   how they interact and help content reach more people. I'm pretty optimistic about this. They're

00:20:07   doing it. They're doing the thing. They are federating the Threads and I will also get

00:20:14   Threads tomorrow, guys. I wonder if it'll become available for me at midnight in Europe. Let's see,

00:20:21   if I open Instagram and type ticket in the search box, I should get the fancy teaser page. Let's see

00:20:31   uh yeah, I'll get it at no, no, no, probably midnight Pacific US time. I bet I'm getting it

00:20:39   in 16 hours it says. Yeah, okay. So it's not at my local midnight. I do have questions like once

00:20:48   they federate Threads, like those of us who have been on both, we're gonna, are we gonna have to

00:20:53   like pick a account that's gonna be the main one, right? So I have, yeah, it's gonna be,

00:21:00   I have ismh@eworld.social on Macedon and I have ismh86@threads and I honestly would want one

00:21:09   account, so like one timeline to read, but how do I like, that's just going to be a question.

00:21:16   Like do you basically abandon one of them and just hope the stuff all shows up where it's

00:21:20   supposed to? Like I don't think I understand how that's going to work. I think I'm going to be

00:21:25   split forever at this point. I think it's very different groups of people and I don't know

00:21:30   I'm kind of used to tech Mastodon versus I don't know everything else threads and I think

00:21:37   that unfortunately with two accounts that may just kind of have to remain that way.

00:21:40   I guess, I guess if you don't want to use Threads but you still want to follow and sort of keep up

00:21:48   with what people you think are interested in are saying on Threads, it's nice because now it's

00:21:54   effectively like RSS. You can subscribe to those people while continuing to use Mastodon, right?

00:22:00   So you can use Mastodon and follow people from Threads. But in our case, I think all the three

00:22:05   of us, we all want to use both services, right? We want to, we want to have, and I think I'm just

00:22:11   going to keep them separate. I'm going to have my Mastodon audience and I'm going to have my Threads

00:22:15   audience. I think I will too. Yeah, that's probably the way to go. Really, I just want to use Ivory for

00:22:20   all of it, right? I mean, and Zach points out on the Discord that the, and I agree, the algorithm

00:22:26   in Threads is actually pretty good and it has surfaced a lot of interesting stuff for me and

00:22:30   people that I want to follow that maybe I used to follow on Twitter, but have forgotten about, or,

00:22:34   you know, didn't realize that I hadn't followed them in the new era. So maybe there's still room

00:22:38   for that. And I don't know, I just don't think anyone knows like, will they be able to like push

00:22:44   your algorithmic Threads through Federation as well? So like I can also see those somehow. And

00:22:50   I really, there's a lot of open-ended questions, but I think you're right. I think having them

00:22:54   separate, at least for us, makes the most sense. Yeah, I think it does. I mean, I think also that,

00:23:00   you know, it's one of those things where it's just going to take a while to settle down and

00:23:04   everybody to figure out how they're doing it. I mean, it'll solve your cross-posting problem,

00:23:08   Steven. I mean, people won't feel the need, I don't think, to cross-post as much, which is good

00:23:13   because you can do it at one place and everybody can see it if they want. So that's good.

00:23:17   So anyways, it's going to be a real adventure and this is sooner than I thought it would be. I

00:23:21   thought this would be, you know, well into next year. I still want to point out how wild it is,

00:23:26   in my opinion, that the social media landscape has changed enough in the past 12 months that we now

00:23:35   like Zuck again. I just, and we don't have Twitter anymore. I just, you know, I guess if we go back a

00:23:44   year ago, maybe we could have predicted this, but if we go back two years ago, definitely not.

00:23:49   It's almost, it's almost a year to the day, Federico, because I was looking back at our

00:23:53   story about when we brought the whole Max stories team over to when was it? It was the 16th of

00:23:58   December. So it was like three days ago from three days from now a year ago. So, wow. That's wild.

00:24:05   Okay. Let's talk about Apple versus Beeper Mini. This story has been one of those things like

00:24:14   it works. It doesn't, I don't think we have to retry it at this point, like how Beeper Mini works,

00:24:18   but basically it was an iMessage app for Android, but also like, he who shall not be named had a

00:24:25   video on his YouTube channel where he was using on a Linux laptop, which was mind blowing. Apple

00:24:32   turned off some functionality in iMessage that I think also broke like versions of like

00:24:37   OS 10 mountain lion people who were using really old versions. Now, basically you have to have an

00:24:42   Apple ID, but Beeper Mini does work as we're recording this. They have also made it free.

00:24:49   I really think I understand why they want to charge for it. Like they are a company, they need

00:24:52   to pay their people. I totally respect that, but it really seemed like you're giving Apple a bunch

00:24:57   of leverage by charging for this and maybe they realize that. And so I believe it's free now.

00:25:02   Apple statement about this was, hey, this is about security. You know, this is not a,

00:25:11   not a deal where we're trying to keep people on the iPhone. You know, this company is basically

00:25:16   infiltrated our infrastructure in a way that we find to be dangerous. In hindsight, probably not

00:25:23   surprising that Apple used security as the hook for their killing off Beeper Mini the first time.

00:25:32   That's what they did. Yeah, they did. It's interesting to me. I mean, I think that there's

00:25:35   a legitimate security concern here, but I also do feel like this is also a very commercial decision

00:25:40   by Apple. I think those two things can both be simultaneously true, you know? And I think,

00:25:45   I don't know, we're in interesting times right now when it comes to legal things and technology,

00:25:51   because, you know, we had Google losing to Epic this week, which to me is just wild that Apple

00:25:56   beat Epic in their court case, but a lot, you know, Epic beat Google in its court case where

00:26:03   Android is the platform where you can sideload. It's like we're in a period where the legal system

00:26:10   really isn't set up to deal with technology companies particularly well. And, you know,

00:26:16   what we have instead - but the reason that's happening is because we don't have, at least in

00:26:21   the United States, we don't have legislatures who are willing to actually regulate tech. Now,

00:26:28   EU is doing a much better job at it, I think, but at least here in the United States, that's why we

00:26:32   end up with a bunch of these crazy lawsuits. And I do feel like this Beeper Mini thing,

00:26:37   if it were to go to a court case that Beeper Mini would get their rear ends handed to them probably,

00:26:43   I mean, you know, there are laws that allow you to reverse engineer things, that's true.

00:26:49   But there's also laws that say it's illegal to access servers without, you know, authorization

00:26:56   or doing it properly. So it would be interesting to see that fight go, but I wouldn't want to be on

00:27:03   the side of Beeper Mini if I were taking bets. I mean, there's something to this, and John,

00:27:07   I'm sure you can speak to this being a recovering attorney, but there's something to like not willing

00:27:14   to pick a fight with Apple just because of their size, right? Say that you firmly believe that

00:27:19   you're in the right, and maybe in actuality you are, but Apple effectively has unlimited money and

00:27:26   unlimited lawyers. You don't want to pick a fight with Apple, believe me. You don't want to pick a

00:27:31   fight with them, right? And I think Apple uses that. I don't think they use it outwardly, but

00:27:38   like it's a thing, right? People consider that, and it's not just Apple, all these big tech companies,

00:27:43   "Yeah, you know, this is wrong. I would like to push back against this legally, but even if I were

00:27:49   to win, I wouldn't survive it, right? Or they could drag it out forever and bankrupt me." And

00:27:56   that I think is like an inherent unfairness built into the justice system that we have in this

00:28:02   country. But you're also right that the justice system and honestly, you know, the federal

00:28:07   government is not equipped to manage these things. I mean, look no further than some of the

00:28:13   legislation that's being talked about around AI, like in the EU and here in the US. And it's just

00:28:20   very clear that lawmakers don't have an understanding of what they're dealing with. I mean,

00:28:26   we're talking about Zuckerberg. It's burned in my brain forever. At one point, I think during the,

00:28:32   in the sort of the aftermath of the presidential election in 2016, Zuckerberg was hauled in front

00:28:39   of Congress. And one of the questions like, "How do you make your money?" And he said to the senator,

00:28:44   like, "Sir, we run ads." It's like, "Do the senator not know how META made money?" And if they didn't,

00:28:50   why doesn't my other staff prep them better? Like it is so disheartening because these issues are

00:28:57   really important. Like iMessage on Android, ultimately probably not that important,

00:29:02   but some of these other things that are being talked about are being decided.

00:29:06   They need to have people's input who are thoughtful and have a deep understanding of what's

00:29:12   going on. And I just don't see that. And that is concerning to me.

00:29:16   - Yeah, some of that's a generational gap, I think, in the way our government works,

00:29:21   which is unfortunate, but hopefully that corrects itself down the line. But yeah,

00:29:26   there's so many layers of this onion really as to what's going on here. And, you know,

00:29:33   I do hear people say, "Oh, this is anti-competition." I don't think that that's

00:29:39   quite right because I don't think iMessage is big enough anywhere to really be considered,

00:29:45   you know, a monopoly or an antitrust violation of any kind. Now, is it fair that should Apple

00:29:52   do something for its customers that would make their experience better too by allowing

00:29:57   Android users to communicate with them in an encrypted way? I think so. But that's kind of

00:30:04   their decision. Obviously, Apple as a company has decided that they're better off with the lock-in

00:30:09   that you get with iMessage being on the phone and being the iPhone and being exclusive.

00:30:13   They're better off with that than they are interoperating with other platforms.

00:30:17   And, you know, until the market, I think, demands more of Apple in terms of its messaging services,

00:30:24   that's not likely to change, which I think is too bad. But that's something that if there were,

00:30:30   like, the political will to decide that messaging services need to interoperate, that could be a

00:30:37   solution. But I don't think the courts are probably going to be the route that actually

00:30:41   ends up shaking this up in the end. Can I just say that even though I don't agree with all the

00:30:46   decisions taken by regulators in the EU, I am loving the chaotic energy that all of this is

00:30:55   bringing. First it was USBC, and now these antitrust trials for digital app stores. Now

00:31:04   there's the gatekeeping and iMessage. And now there's just today news came out that Spotify

00:31:14   is going to get an exemption to be able to redirect people on iOS to their own paying method

00:31:22   instead of using in-app purchases. Like the chaos that is happening in the EU, I am loving this.

00:31:28   Even though, like, there is a conversation, of course, to be had about, like, just how much

00:31:35   should the hands of the government, you know, interfere with the decisions of a corporation.

00:31:41   I also gotta say that, you know, I don't mind it personally. Like, yeah,

00:31:49   we got USBC. Maybe Apple would have done it regardless, maybe not. And it was great that

00:31:54   we now have USBC everywhere, especially on the iPhone. Spotify will be able to tell people,

00:32:01   "Hey, you can sign up on our website and save money." Great. Maybe eventually I'll be able to

00:32:07   have end-to-end encryption and use iMessage to text somebody on WhatsApp. I don't know if that

00:32:13   will ever be technically possible, but the EU seems to be asking for some kind of, like,

00:32:18   mix of end-to-end encryption and activity for messaging clients. Like, will there ever be

00:32:24   possible? I don't know. But if they force their companies to build it, that's gonna be pretty

00:32:29   sweet. Yeah, maybe. I don't know. I do feel like the chaos is good because it does force these

00:32:34   companies to think really hard about the decisions that they're making. Because really, the last

00:32:39   thing you really want is for the government or a judge to be running your company, which is

00:32:43   essentially what we're talking about. And once you go to court or once you have things in the hands

00:32:49   of regulators, you've lost the choice. You've lost the control over your own destiny. And having that

00:32:55   kind of chaos in the EU, I think, does help make companies like Apple think twice about what they're

00:33:00   doing. Just as I think the EPIC trial did the same thing for Apple. I mean, they ended up winning

00:33:06   that one. But yeah, I don't know. I mean, I feel like the market ought to, in more cases than you,

00:33:14   in most cases, I think the market ought to figure this out. But I do think that having the

00:33:19   government and the court system there as kind of a backstop and to keep companies honest is a useful

00:33:25   thing. Yeah. And, you know, until a few years ago, I used to be very opposed to this idea of, like,

00:33:31   the European Union telling tech companies, historically US-based tech companies, how they

00:33:38   should operate. But I think over time, I've come to understand something. And that is, yes, they are

00:33:45   private corporations. And as a private corporation, you should be able to decide the kind of products

00:33:52   that you want to sell and the kind of choices that you want to make in your business. But the thing

00:33:57   is, smartphones, computers in general, but of course, smartphones have become a commodity. Like,

00:34:05   they have become something so essential to everyday life for all kinds of citizens in any country

00:34:13   that it doesn't surprise me anymore that this market gets regulated just as much as, for

00:34:21   example, the car market is. If you want to make a car, and sure, you are a private corporation,

00:34:28   you're free to make your own decisions and the way you conduct your business. But if you want to make

00:34:34   a car, you got to follow some rules. And there's standards that you need to respect. And you may be

00:34:40   like, but I want to design my seat belts in a way that they are thinner and fancier. No, you cannot

00:34:45   do that. Like, you know? Yeah. Well, safety is one thing, I think Federico, that's I'm not sure that

00:34:51   messaging like touches on the same kinds of public health and safety issues. No, no, but we as a

00:34:58   human race, we now use these messaging clients to communicate. They have become an essential part of

00:35:03   our social routines and lives, you know? And so it is an inconvenience that, it is an inconvenience

00:35:12   that I got up that it's so fragmented, I think. And it's the reason why in the EU, for example,

00:35:19   as much as possible, we try to have standards. I mean, we have literally the same money in all

00:35:24   these countries, you know? We have the same currency and we have the same plugs, for example,

00:35:30   for power outlets. And you know, we are free to travel wherever we want. So I know that it's very,

00:35:40   it's a tough pill to swallow for a lot of American listeners and readers, but I kind of like it

00:35:46   as a European. So that's my two cents. We have some real-time follow-up. Yeah. Mike Hurley

00:35:54   texted us a picture of himself wearing the tiny head shirt. Oh my god. No, that's not...

00:35:59   Has he? That's not how it's supposed to work. He said, "I just got a message that suggests

00:36:04   to me that wearing this shirt today was a good coincidence." Huh. Is BG spying on Mike? Is BG

00:36:14   actually Mike? Is BG Mike? Who knows? Beigel Gurley. BG. Well done. Well done, Michael.

00:36:31   This episode of Connected is brought to you by ZocDoc. Confession time. Raise your hand if you've

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00:38:18   ZocDoc.com/Connected. Our thanks to ZocDoc for their support of the show and Relay FM.

00:38:27   We had big software updates this week. iOS, iPadOS, tvOS 17.2, watchOS 10.2, macOS Sonoma 14.2.

00:38:38   All this stuff is out after a lengthy beta cycle. Federico, tell us a little bit about what's new

00:38:44   in iOS and iPadOS. There are some changes here and there, especially in I would say music, camera,

00:38:50   and messages. Messages get the ability to attach stickers as quote unquote reactions to messages.

00:38:59   That is not the tap back expansion that a lot of folks were anticipating, which Apple may be doing

00:39:08   somewhere else. Again, we're going to talk about this in a bit. You can attach a sticker to a

00:39:13   message, but this implementation is kind of disappointing in the sense that these stickers,

00:39:20   they're not part of the tap back UI. When you double tap on a message, you will still get the

00:39:26   six default tap back reactions. You got a long press a message to attach a sticker. And really,

00:39:33   that's only the new ability to attach stickers is just a shortcut to do something that you've been

00:39:39   able to do for years now, which is manually dragging a sticker on top of a message. Now

00:39:44   you have a way to do so without dragging and dropping the sticker yourself. These stickers,

00:39:49   if a message bubble is small enough, they start covering the text of the message.

00:39:55   You cannot see who sent which sticker in a conversation. Tap backs may be useful. In a

00:40:04   group thread, you can see that, for example, Mike sent a hard tap back and Steven sent the question

00:40:11   mark and you can tell, you know, that Steven maybe didn't understand the message. Attached stickers

00:40:19   don't have attribution, I guess. So it's impossible to tell who sent what. So that's messages.

00:40:26   There's also the catch up arrow, I guess, in messages. If you open a thread and it's got a lot

00:40:32   of unread messages, this is a feature that WhatsApp and Telegram, I think, have had for years. There's

00:40:39   a small arrow that pops up in the top right corner of the UI. You can tap that and it'll take you to

00:40:46   the first unread message. So you can, well, catch up on all those messages. In music,

00:40:52   collaborative playlists have been pushed back to 17.3, which we're going to talk about shortly.

00:41:00   But you will still get a couple of new features in 17.2. There's a new default playlist for your

00:41:06   favorite songs. Apple rebranded liked, or I guess loved songs to favorite songs in 17.1. And in 17.2,

00:41:17   they're doing something that Spotify has had for years, which is a default playlist comprised of

00:41:23   all your favorite tracks. Now you can find that in the library of Apple Music. And there's also,

00:41:29   and this is actually a pretty cool feature, there's a new focus filter for Apple Music.

00:41:35   You can now choose when you want to disable your Apple Music listening history. So this means that

00:41:43   when you disable this with the focus filter, what you listen to will not sort of count against the

00:41:51   Apple Music algorithm for recommendations, and it will not show up in under recently played,

00:41:58   and it will not appear as a listening activity to other people on Apple Music.

00:42:02   So this is especially handy for, I would say for parents. You know, when you play a soundtrack from

00:42:10   an animated movie for your kids, and the kids wanted to listen to it over and over. And then

00:42:15   at the end of the year, in your Apple Music replay stats, you see that the Frozen song is at the top

00:42:21   of the list, right? This has happened to millions of people, I would say. Now, if you take your time

00:42:26   to set this up, there's a way to exclude that activity from sort of polluting your Apple Music

00:42:34   history. I saw a bunch of people complaining that this focus filter, which you can enable

00:42:40   in settings, you open whatever focus you want to customize, and you add one of these new app filters

00:42:47   for music. And it's called Set Use Listening History. But this focus filter does not appear

00:42:55   in the driving focus, right? Which I would argue is likely the culprit for a lot of people. You

00:43:01   know, you're driving your kids, and kids want to listen to the Frozen soundtrack in the car.

00:43:06   But for whatever reason, the driving focus in settings does not have an app filters section.

00:43:14   So I have two solutions though. I have two solutions. Either you create a manual focus mode,

00:43:21   and you use shortcuts to activate that focus mode when you get in your car.

00:43:26   And that will work, right? You're just creating a custom focus for when you're driving. You will

00:43:32   lose, however, with this method, you will lose the default reply for iMessage when you're driving.

00:43:40   Or you can, the thing about focus filters, you can configure them in settings,

00:43:47   but these focus filters are also available as shortcuts actions. So what you can do is,

00:43:53   you can keep using the default driving focus that Apple makes, but you can create an automation

00:43:59   in shortcuts that is triggered when the driving focus becomes active, and you use the Use Listening

00:44:08   History focus filter as a shortcuts action inside the shortcuts app. So you create an

00:44:15   automation manually, you can keep using the driving focus that Apple makes,

00:44:19   and you can still take advantage of this feature. What else? Oh, you can capture spatial video

00:44:27   in the camera app. This is a setting. You need to enable it in settings camera formats.

00:44:33   It's limited to landscape, 1080p video at 30 frames per second. Not a great resolution,

00:44:40   not a great frame rate, but these videos, they take up a ton of storage. One minute of spatial

00:44:46   video is 130 megabytes. Imagine doing this at 4K 60. Now there will be like one minute. It's

00:44:56   a full gig. But hey, it's better than, you can capture these videos now for Christmas. Maybe

00:45:03   you're getting together with the kids, with the family, with your parents, with your grandparents.

00:45:07   You can capture the spatial videos now, and you won't have to wear a Vision Pro and look like a

00:45:13   weirdo doing so. You can just do it with your phone, and you will be able to enjoy these videos

00:45:18   later on, maybe in February, maybe in March on a Vision Pro. Very nice. Very nice. I have a

00:45:25   question for both of you guys about music, which is related to the playlist, the new favorites

00:45:29   playlist. We've been waiting for years and years for smart playlists on iOS and iPadOS, and we

00:45:37   still don't have it. And I've had a favorites playlist for years that I created on my Mac,

00:45:43   and it just syncs over to my iOS devices. I wonder which way this cuts. Does this mean we're unlikely

00:45:51   to ever see smart playlists on iOS, or am I reading too much into it? What do you guys think?

00:45:58   >> I don't know what to think of music as. The thing is, it seems that all the music power user

00:46:07   features that I would want to get from music, they never happen. They just never happen. And instead,

00:46:16   and I'm going to say something that, well, if it upset some people, you know, whatever. I think

00:46:22   we've reached the point where both in terms of operating systems and in terms of streaming

00:46:28   services, two things are two. Apple and Google, they copy each other with Android. Apple and

00:46:36   Spotify, they copy each other with music streaming. Like, we've reached a point where new features are

00:46:42   not really new anymore, by and large. And it seems to me like Apple is only very much focused on

00:46:49   catching up with Spotify in terms of what Spotify has been doing for a few years,

00:46:54   such as collaborative playlists or favorite songs. And Spotify is interested in doing what Apple

00:47:01   music does best, which is lyrics. So, no, Jon, I don't think we'll get those power user features

00:47:10   that we want, like smart playlists or shortcuts integration. >> Well, that's what I was going to

00:47:14   say, by extension, shortcuts integration, because we're still dealing with the iTunes search API,

00:47:19   which hasn't changed in years and years and years. >> And that will be gone at some point.

00:47:24   >> You would think so, yeah. >> And it's frustrating because you can do smart

00:47:29   folders in Apple Notes and you can do smart lists and reminders on iOS and iPadOS. But in addition

00:47:36   to music, you can't do mail smart boxes. It's like this weird mashup. And I do wonder, I mean,

00:47:42   as someone who uses the music app on the Mac all day, every day, it's iTunes, right? Like,

00:47:48   it just is. And I do wonder if some of these features are easier for Apple to implement

00:47:54   in something like notes and reminders that may be more modern under the hood, and that music

00:47:59   for these features to come would need a much bigger set of work. I just don't know. It is

00:48:06   frustrating though. And it's also surprising, like it has, why is it taking this long to get a

00:48:10   favorites playlist? >> Exactly. I mean, it's really, it's yeah, I don't know. And you're

00:48:16   right about the Mac. I mean, it really is just a skin on iTunes, really. If you use it enough,

00:48:21   you can see the bones there. >> I have so many thoughts about Apple Music and Spotify that don't

00:48:28   fit this episode. But the too long, didn't read version is I wish that somebody made a hybrid of

00:48:38   Apple Music and Spotify, and it doesn't exist and it will likely never exist. And yeah, it just

00:48:45   makes me sad that Apple Music is so much better as an app than Spotify. And that says a lot,

00:48:52   I think, because music is not a great app, but it's still so much better than Spotify.

00:48:56   And Spotify Discovery is so much better than Apple Music. It's kind of ridiculous. And what I want is

00:49:01   something in the middle and something in the middle doesn't exist. Yeah. So anyway, so that's

00:49:09   the summary of, oh, I should also mention Steven 17.2. There's an quote unquote, intelligent auto

00:49:17   field feature for PDFs and other documents that have forms in them. So when the system detects

00:49:25   that there's a empty fields in a document, it'll offer to auto fill those for you. And that's great

00:49:31   so far. You know, the text, an empty field for your first name, for your last name, for your

00:49:36   address, your city, your zip code. Okay. And everything worked pretty well in my tests, except

00:49:43   when I got to a form that wanted to know my height and for whatever reason, iOS and iPadOS auto field

00:49:52   150 centimeters. That is, for example, to give you some context, I don't know how, but iOS and iPadOS

00:50:01   thought that I was shorter than Sylvia. Yeah. That's less than five feet tall if I've done my

00:50:06   conversion right. And I am 183 centimeters tall. I have no idea where iOS took that number from.

00:50:17   It's nowhere. I even have my height set in my health personal record. That's what I was getting

00:50:23   ready to ask. What does it say in health? It's correct. It's all set correctly. So

00:50:29   your mileage may vary with this feature. But we also... Oh, and for the other OSes, I want to

00:50:36   mention, in watchOS, the ability to swipe between watch faces is back. And in tvOS, there's the

00:50:43   redesigned TV app that now has a sidebar and integrates the ability to buy and rent TV shows

00:50:52   and movies from the iTunes store because the iTunes store apps are gone. So now you can...

00:50:58   I'm happy to see that you can still buy TV shows because I'm one of those people who still does it.

00:51:04   And I still buy entire seasons of TV shows. But now you can do so inside the TV app. So

00:51:12   one destination for all content. That was a... I think I've mentioned this. That was a pick

00:51:18   in a Ricky's a long time ago that Apple would be getting rid of the separate iTunes stores.

00:51:28   I'm trying to find it. Federica, you said this annual Ricky's 2022. Apple stops using the

00:51:34   iTunes store app and moves store content into dedicated apps. Always a year early. That is my

00:51:41   curse. Yeah. Yeah. IOS 17.2 Journal is out. I didn't write about it. Neil Ian wrote about it.

00:51:52   Neil Ian has been journaling for over eight years using Day One. And today we published a full review

00:52:00   of Journal from the perspective of someone who's been journaling for several years at this point.

00:52:05   And I think there's a lot of interesting things that Apple is doing with Journal.

00:52:09   I'm not particularly a fan of the app itself and the UI and the fact that it's iPhone only.

00:52:14   But I think the suggestions API is very interesting. So what Apple is doing here,

00:52:20   they have built an engine, which is the Journal Suggestions API, that uses on-device intelligence

00:52:29   to detect different types of events in your life. When you visited a location, when you got in touch

00:52:36   with a contact, when you listened to some music, when you took some pictures, you went to a specific

00:52:42   restaurant, it can parse out all of these events from data on your phone. And it's not locked to

00:52:51   the Journal app. Third-party journaling apps can get access to these suggestions using the equivalent

00:52:59   of a system-wide photo picker. So you know when you're choosing a photo in ivory or in threads

00:53:05   or in Discord, you're opening the system-wide photo picker. Apple has built the equivalent of

00:53:12   a system-wide photo picker, but for these suggestions. And what's even greater, I think,

00:53:18   is that these suggestions, they run in an out-of-process system, which again mirrors how

00:53:28   the photo picker works. What I mean by this is that when you open the photo picker in, say, Discord,

00:53:34   Discord is not able to see all your photos or to see all your videos. It just sees the items that

00:53:40   you select. And the same is true for the suggestions API for Journal. When you open Day One or Everlog,

00:53:49   is another third-party journaling app that is integrated with the Journal suggestions,

00:53:53   and you open the Journal picker, those apps, they do not see all of your events until you select

00:54:01   a suggestion. Now that's very cool. But what I think is odd, and get ready because I have a big

00:54:08   brain theory incoming in a second, is that the other way around is not true. Third-party apps

00:54:18   cannot provide suggestions to Journal, which is why if you use Spotify, for example, you will not

00:54:26   see your Spotify activity in the Journal suggestions. Developers cannot contribute

00:54:32   their events to the Journal suggestions API. It's just, you know, you will find Apple Music content,

00:54:40   podcasts from the podcast app, photos from the camera, but it's just mostly default apps content.

00:54:50   And I have a theory to share. Maybe this will be a Ricky for the annual ones, we'll see.

00:54:58   So assuming that Apple and iOS 18, assuming that they release the ability for apps to say,

00:55:07   "Hey, an event happened in here. I want to donate this event as a suggestion to Journal."

00:55:15   So for example, let's say that in a third-party home automation app, something happened,

00:55:22   and I want to log it. Or maybe in Spotify, I listen to this podcast. Or maybe in Overcast,

00:55:28   I finish listening to an episode. An event happened. Now that could be an API,

00:55:35   could be an API, you know, third-party developers cannot contribute events and suggestions to

00:55:41   Journal. But if I were Apple, and knowing Apple, you know what this kind of technology would also

00:55:49   be useful for? Third-party automation triggers in shortcuts. Because if you think about it,

00:55:57   it's the same idea. It's an event that happened in a third-party app. So maybe I want to journal

00:56:06   about the fact that I finished listening to an episode of Cortex in Overcast. Or maybe

00:56:13   I want to put together an automation when I finish listening to an episode of Cortex in Overcast.

00:56:19   Like if you think about it, it's the same sort of feature, but presented in two different ways.

00:56:26   So if Apple ever does, this was my big brain theory, not big bang, big brain. If Apple ever

00:56:32   does third-party app events, I think they will power both Journal and shortcuts.

00:56:40   I love this theory. I mean, I really feel like we've been moving this direction for a long time

00:56:44   with App Intents and all the other things that are going on. And you're right, this structure

00:56:48   that's out there with the Photos Picker, and now the, you know, these suggestions, they're built

00:56:54   on the same kind of structure. And you could see it just going one step further to do what

00:56:58   you're talking about. And lastly, we also have a beta of 17.3 already. It never stops.

00:57:06   It never stops. It never stops. So the first core feature is the stolen device protection.

00:57:12   Basically, it's a new security feature that is in direct response to an excellent series of articles

00:57:21   that Joanna Stern and Nicole Nguyen did for the Wall Street Journal earlier this year.

00:57:28   About how the iPhone passcode could be used by thieves to, you know, after stealing your phone,

00:57:35   to basically take control of your digital life. Because the passcode was controlling

00:57:41   basically every single aspect of your Apple ID and iCloud account. And now with the stolen device

00:57:47   protection feature, which is presented as a beta feature, you will basically need to have an

00:57:54   additional step of biometric authentication. In addition to the passcode, you will need to use

00:58:00   Touch ID or Face ID to access your passwords, to apply for a new Apple card, to erase all,

00:58:07   to basically reset a phone, or turn it off lost mode, and all of that. And there's also a variant

00:58:13   of this, which is biometrics plus an hour of waiting time to change your Apple ID password,

00:58:21   add a new Face ID or Touch ID, and a bunch of additional settings. And I think this is a very

00:58:30   cool thing to see from Apple. When these stories came out on the Wall Street Journal, I think a lot

00:58:38   of people in the Apple community sort of rolled their eyes at this problem, be like, "Oh, sure,

00:58:44   I mean, well, why would you, you know, get, if somebody steals your passcode, it's your fault."

00:58:51   But the thing is, people don't realize, a lot of nerds don't realize how easy it is to get sort of

00:58:56   social, socially scammed in everyday situations, like you're at a bar, and like, there's a couple

00:59:06   of people that want to steal your phone. And it's very easy, very easy to, you know, have someone

00:59:12   behind you take a look at your phone. And you know, these things happen. Go read that article.

00:59:17   There's dozens of cases in which this has happened. And for Apple to be humble about it,

00:59:23   and recognize that this is a problem, and implement what seems like a very well thought

00:59:29   out feature, I think it's really cool. Yeah, I think the way they've broken down what is required,

00:59:37   or what requires biometrics, and then what requires biometrics plus an hour wait, I think

00:59:42   that all makes a lot of sense. And hopefully, the fact that this is coming, you know, makes it out

00:59:49   there. And people are less likely to want to even steal an iPhone in the first place, because they

00:59:54   know that it's even less useful than it may already be. It was shocking to me that that story when,

01:00:02   when it broke earlier this year, as was the response, which I think you, you outlined

01:00:05   really well that some people kind of rolled their eyes at it. But the fact that the passcode had so

01:00:11   much power was a little bit surprising to me, because I hadn't really thought about it. And

01:00:15   I've used touch ID, and or face ID, as long as it's been available. I think definitely this

01:00:21   holiday season as you're visiting family, like, make sure they're using touch ID or face ID,

01:00:26   whatever their phone has, because it's really going to, to up their security in a real way.

01:00:31   And lastly, Apple is doing

01:00:35   emoji tap backs. Okay. But not in messages. They're doing it in collaborative playlists.

01:00:42   Which is back in 0.3, right? That was in the beta, then taken out.

01:00:46   Now it's back in 0.3. Back. And now it comes with the tap emoji tap back emoji reaction menu

01:00:55   that we all wanted to have from Apple, but in music instead of messages.

01:01:02   So, so close.

01:01:03   Well, maybe, maybe this means that we got to come up with our new communication system based

01:01:08   on collaborative playlists instead of a iMessage. Maybe we can, we should all put together a

01:01:16   collaborative thread as a playlist. And we say the things we want to say by searching for a song

01:01:22   that has that title, and then we react to it using emoji.

01:01:26   Sounds like a plan. It's good plans.

01:01:28   Sounds like a plan. Thank you. Thank you.

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01:03:44   Thanks to NetSuite for their support of the show and Relay FM. Real quick before I let you all go,

01:03:49   I want to hear about MaxStory Select. So you all have done this. What year is this, Federico,

01:03:54   for MaxStory Selects? Uh, sixth year, is that right, John? That's correct, yes. Okay, so the

01:04:02   sixth annual MaxStory Selects. This is where you guys go through a bunch of the apps that you've

01:04:09   covered that have come out, and you pick some winners in different categories. John, tell me

01:04:13   about some of the winners this year. Yeah, so we had nine categories this year. We started a couple

01:04:20   of years ago doing a lifetime achievement award, which really is meant to recognize an app that's

01:04:26   been around for a long time and really made a difference kind of in the world of apps.

01:04:31   And this year we chose Pixelmator from the Pixelmator team because that's where Pixelmator

01:04:37   got its start before Pixelmator Pro and before PhotoMator there was just plain old Pixelmator,

01:04:42   and it's still out there on iOS and iPadOS. And it really did kind of herald in a new era of image

01:04:50   editors that were very different than what existed at the time from companies like Adobe, which were

01:04:56   still at that time very much a Mac phenomenon. So it really brought that sort of image editing

01:05:02   right onto the iPad and the iPhone. So that was our lifetime achievement award. We had a best new

01:05:11   app, and maybe I'm going to let Federico talk about the best new app because this is one that

01:05:15   he wrote a really good story about. It's Orion by Lux. Yeah, Orion is one of the many apps that this

01:05:23   year lets you use your iPad as an external monitor for any connected device that supports USB video,

01:05:33   and more specifically I think Orion. It's very popular among people who want to use an iPad as

01:05:40   a display for a console like Steam Deck or a Nintendo Switch, and there's a handful of apps

01:05:46   that do this this year. And you can connect other types of devices like webcams or like I did,

01:05:52   a Game Boy Camera, a DSLR, but in the case of Orion I think it really shines for video games

01:05:59   because it comes with, I mean besides the excellent design, really cool attention to

01:06:05   detail by the folks at Lux, but it comes with this native upscaling mode at 4K in real time

01:06:12   with no latency that is made possible by on-device machine learning. And you can tell, especially if

01:06:19   you're playing with a Nintendo Switch, sort of outputting the image to an iPad Pro, you can tell

01:06:24   that the image quality is so much better than the default. I mean when you're playing Zelda,

01:06:28   for example, it's not even 1080p when the Switch is docked. It's somewhere like 900p or something.

01:06:35   It's ever so slightly better than 720p. And to be able to see that image at 4K, especially on the

01:06:43   13-inch iPad Pro with mini-LED, that is super sweet. So I think I wanted to pick that app in

01:06:52   particular because that category is really something brand new this year that we were not

01:06:58   expecting in June. And yeah, that was very cool to see. Yeah, and we also named a bunch of other

01:07:04   words. We had the best app update, which was SQL 2.0. This is a media tracking app from Roman

01:07:12   Lefebvre who has really done a fantastic job with SQL this year. I mean SQL 2.0 came out in the

01:07:18   spring and has been updated since then. And it's both designed incredibly well and has a fantastic

01:07:27   feature set now that really took it kind of head and shoulders above where it was with the 1.0.

01:07:32   Other awards were the best new feature, and this is one that I know Federico and I have been enjoying

01:07:38   a lot this year, which is Cultured Code's Things Shortcut Support. Because Cultured Code is really

01:07:44   doing some interesting things with shortcuts here that really nobody else has done. And the one in

01:07:49   particular is the ability to run a shortcut based on whatever task is selected in the app, whether

01:07:57   you're on the iPhone, the iPad, or the Mac. It really opens up some interesting ways to do things.

01:08:05   They also have effectively every single feature of things baked into shortcuts in a way that lets you

01:08:11   do things like create template projects that fire off on a schedule based on personal automations

01:08:19   and that sort of thing. The watch app of 2023, We Pick Broadcasts by Steve Trotman Smith.

01:08:26   - Yeah. - Yeah, this -

01:08:27   - Friend of the show. - Yeah, and I assume that some of the people who are listening to the show

01:08:32   right now are probably listening that way. That's usually how I listen to Connected on Wednesdays

01:08:36   as I go out for a walk and exercise and just take my Apple Watch with me and listen to the show on

01:08:43   broadcast because it's a rock solid watch app that has a great design, which we've been really happy

01:08:50   with. What else Federico? We had the best Mac app, which is MimeStream, which -

01:08:55   - Good choice. - It feels like MimeStream has been around forever, but that's because it was in beta

01:09:01   for a very long time and it did actually go to a full 1.0 in the spring or early summer. And this

01:09:08   has just been my favorite Mac app of 2023 by a long shot. It's such a good app because it's fully

01:09:17   native, yet it takes advantage of all the special features you get with Gmail. So, that's the best

01:09:24   Mac app of 2023. And then we had best design, which is Mercury Weather, which is a fantastic

01:09:31   weather app that's been around from Triple Glaze Studios for a couple of years now, but it really

01:09:38   has done a great job this year refining that design and bringing all sorts of great interactions

01:09:44   with the widgets and the new trip forecasts, which is a feature that I particularly love for

01:09:50   when I'm traveling. And then we had a Reader's Choice Award, which was voted on by Club Max

01:09:56   Stories members, and that was Ivory. And I think that that's no surprise. I mean, Ivory is a

01:10:01   fantastic app that we've been using all year long. It really felt like the last piece that made

01:10:07   Mastodon feel more complete for me personally. And I feel like a lot of readers felt the same way

01:10:14   on that one. Federico, why don't you take the final app of the year award?

01:10:19   - And the app of the year was Widgetsmith by Underscore, David Smith. And I mean,

01:10:26   we probably could have given out this award years ago with iOS 14. By the time it was right,

01:10:30   I think, in iOS 17. David has shown once again how he was able to reinvent Widgetsmith with

01:10:37   interactivity on the home screen and the lock screen with standby. And just all the features

01:10:43   that you now have in Widgetsmith are incredible, from music playback to viewing photos to combining

01:10:50   multiple widgets in the same interactive UI. It's wild. The things you can do with Widgetsmith. And

01:10:56   I mean, we're talking about an app with over 100 million apps or downloads. And so it's gotta be

01:11:04   good, right? And we know that it's good. And yeah, I was really impressed by the interactive

01:11:13   additions to Widgetsmith this year. And it's become one of those tools that when I have an

01:11:20   empty spot on my home screen and I'm like, "I don't know what I want to do here." I'm just

01:11:24   going to open Widgetsmith and play around with things and see if I can come up with some ideas.

01:11:29   It's this kind of playground for bringing functionality to your home screen. We love it.

01:11:35   And it's the app of the year. - All great choices. Congratulations

01:11:40   to all the winners. I still want one of these trophies. If you have a spare one laying around,

01:11:44   send it my way. - You should.

01:11:46   I actually have one sitting in my office still because one of them can't be delivered quite yet.

01:11:50   But I'm not going to give it away. I'll give it to the people who asked me to hold on to it.

01:11:53   I just want to be awarded, you know? I'm a millennial.

01:11:56   Make an app or something. - Okay, okay. I'll get right on it.

01:12:01   Make a visual. Okay, listen to me. I'm going to give you an idea to make easy money, okay?

01:12:09   Easy money. Steven, hear me out. - Bitcoin.

01:12:12   No, no, no, no. Hear me out. Hear me out. Vision Pro is coming out. Okay? You make a

01:12:18   VisionOS app that lets people explore your office and your museum while wearing the Vision Pro.

01:12:28   There you go. There you go. - It's good. You just described a 3D YouTube video.

01:12:33   PodCabinAR, I think we'll call it. - PodCabin Vision Cabin. We've got to

01:12:41   brainstorm the name, but yes. - Yes. VisionCabinHD.

01:12:46   Zach says 123 PodCabin. - Yes. There we go.

01:12:54   Now you can be in the PodCabin using PodCabinVision or something. Yeah.

01:13:02   - I like VisionCabin. It sounds like you go on the side of the mountain and you come back and you've

01:13:06   changed your life. - Yeah. VisionCabin sounds like the nerd version of a sweat lodge to me.

01:13:13   - Yeah. Well, you come back with an AI pin if you do that, I think, Steven.

01:13:17   - Oh, yeah. You open the door. It's a completely empty cabin with a lamp on the floor,

01:13:22   Steve Jobs style, and then a pedestal with a humane pin. That's the only thing in here.

01:13:27   - If you want to find links to stuff we spoke about this week, including all the updates to

01:13:32   Apple software, all the cool stuff going over on Mac stories, head on over to the website,

01:13:37   relay.fm/connected/480. A reminder, you have until Friday to get 20% off an annual membership

01:13:45   to any Relay FM show at giverelay.com. I'd like to thank John for joining us. John,

01:13:51   where can people find you on the internet? - They can find me on Mastodon, where you can

01:13:56   just go to johnvoorhees.maxstories.net to find me there. And I'm @johnvoorhees, both on threads

01:14:03   and Instagram. - Awesome. You can find Federico. He's John's boss, I guess, or something.

01:14:10   - No, not really. - Partners in crime.

01:14:13   - Partners. - Which one of you is Batman and which one is Robin?

01:14:16   - I'm Robin. - Interesting. Interesting. Okay. Well,

01:14:22   you can find Federico at macstories.net. And of course, he is also on Mastodon and threads

01:14:28   in 15 hours. It's gonna be great. - Yes.

01:14:32   - You can find my writing over at 512pixels.net. And I go host Mac power users each and every

01:14:39   Sunday here on Relay FM. I'd like to thank our sponsors this week. They are Squarespace,

01:14:46   ZocDoc, and NetSuite. And until next time, say goodbye. - Arrivederci. - See you later.