The Talk Show

399: ‘I Decapitated the MacBook Air’, With Federico Viticci


00:00:00   Federico. Hello. Good to hear your voice. 15 years of max stories. Thanks for having me.

00:00:09   Just for this anniversary! I guess. I saw you tweet that, and I'm sure you had the same.

00:00:15   Because I've been there. I'm at 22 years at DarrenFirable. But at this point, 15 to 22

00:00:24   is like not that big a difference. But I'll bet, because I still think of max stories

00:00:32   as newer, like a different generation, and I'll bet you probably think of DarrenFirable

00:00:38   as sort of, oh, much older, right? But it's like, no, we're like in the same age group

00:00:44   now. Yeah, yeah, we are. And I don't know, it feels like, and this is, I'm sure it's

00:00:49   a pandemic related thing. It just, it literally to me, it feels like yesterday that we celebrated

00:00:54   the 10th anniversary. And so when it was coming up, John Voorhees was telling me, hey, the

00:01:00   15th anniversary is coming up. And I'm like, really? Because we literally just celebrated

00:01:06   the 10th just a couple of years ago. And it was not a couple of years ago, it's five years

00:01:09   ago. And it's the whole pandemic thing in the middle, of course. And that's stretching

00:01:14   out time in a strange way. It really is, isn't it? It really is. It just, and not to delve

00:01:22   into politics, but it really feels like Joe Biden's fourth year. It's like, how is this

00:01:29   possible that we're at the election again? It feels like Trump's four years, or it's

00:01:34   20 years. It felt like it was two decades. And I feel like Joe Biden just got into office

00:01:39   and telling me we've got an election again. And yeah, it is the way that the last four

00:01:45   or five years have been screwed up time-wise. Parts of it seems so long, parts of it seems

00:01:50   so short. Yeah, I do think of Mac stories as still like the young website. And I realized

00:01:59   that that's wrong because for a lot of people looking from the outside, looking at Mac stories,

00:02:04   they're like, well, those guys have been doing this for 15 years. They've been around forever.

00:02:08   They must know all the tricks of the business. And personally, I don't think I do. I don't

00:02:14   think we do at all. And I still look up, I mean, I look at Daring Fireball, I look at

00:02:18   Mac rumors, like Mac rumors has been around longer than Daring Fireball, I think. Somewhere

00:02:25   around the same age, I think. But then of course, I look at YouTubers and especially

00:02:32   I look at TikTokers and folks on Instagram and I realize, yeah, I am part of an older

00:02:38   generation. That's sort of what keeps me grounded is looking at all these new creators, doing

00:02:44   things that I don't know how to do and don't want to do. And I realize, yeah, 15 years,

00:02:51   I see the age now. It is weird to, for me, like I don't see Daring Fireball or me personally

00:03:03   as that different from when it was undeniably new and young. Let's say if I started in 2002,

00:03:14   let's say the years between 2002 when I started Daring Fireball and when the iPhone came out

00:03:21   in 2007, I would say like that five-year period would be the early days, pre-iPhone, which

00:03:26   is clearly a seminal moment covering Apple, covering the industry, covering just technology,

00:03:32   right? I mean, no hyperbole truly changed the world. I don't view it that differently.

00:03:40   It's like there's a part of me, a little part of me, like 20% of me in the back of my mind

00:03:45   that knows that I carry a certain gravity, a stature. The best example I can think of

00:03:55   is that I used to regularly post jackass of the week being jackasses. And at a certain

00:04:07   point somebody pointed out to me that somebody's name, when you just type their name, not like

00:04:14   Federico Viticci jackass, and then it comes up with the Daring Fireball post, just like

00:04:20   Federico Viticci. And then the first hit is my website calling you a jackass. And I thought,

00:04:27   oh, that's not that they, you know, and I remember looking back at them and I was like,

00:04:32   are there any of these that I really regret? And it was like, nope, nope, jackass, jackass,

00:04:36   jackass. But I thought it that's just the one example I can think of where I definitely

00:04:45   adjusted my personal editorial stance, because I thought, you know what, it is something,

00:04:51   something that Peter Parker with great power comes great responsibility. Okay, I, you know,

00:04:58   and just a couple weeks ago, I called somebody a jackass. But I was like, you to me, the

00:05:02   bar is way higher now, it has to be somebody who, who is writing at a publication of similar

00:05:09   stature like CNBC or something like that. And it has to be truly egregious. But, but

00:05:16   for the most part, I tried to stay in the same headspace that I was when I was much,

00:05:24   much lower on the totem pole of Apple tech related media. And I think that served me

00:05:31   well because I feel like the site still has the same flavor. And I see that at Mac stories

00:05:36   too. I don't think Mac stories is very different at 15 than it was at no five, right? No, right.

00:05:44   Yeah, no, it's true. This is something that I think about a lot like the idea of, of staying

00:05:49   true to yourself in terms of what you publish, what you write, what you're interested in,

00:05:54   but also being aware and conscious of the responsibility that you carry. And so something

00:05:59   that I noticed for example, is that I used to blog a lot more. Like I used to publish

00:06:04   all sorts of things in the early days. Like, Oh, there's a rumor. I'm going to publish

00:06:08   a rumor. There's this new app. I'm going to write it up in, in, in a couple of hours and

00:06:13   publish. And I obviously like, I still love to write about apps and I still love to publish

00:06:18   frequently, but there's always that thought in the back of my mind that makes me go, okay,

00:06:25   you do need to think about this more carefully maybe. And I'm sure that's something that

00:06:29   also happens with age. Like you tend to be more, you tend to think about stuff for longer.

00:06:35   At least that's something that I've noticed in myself. I tend to, I don't want to say

00:06:40   second guess, but I try to understand, okay, how could the audience take this article?

00:06:46   What impact could it have where, and maybe that's something that I was not necessarily

00:06:51   considering when I was getting started because I was hungry to publish all sorts of content

00:06:56   and to be found by as many people as possible. And so I think it's an interesting problem

00:07:02   from a creative perspective. How do you balance? Because I still have that hunger inside of

00:07:07   me. I still have that, that's, that spark isn't gone, but I need to be careful. I think

00:07:14   I need to, I need to remember, look, there's, there's thankfully a lot of people opening

00:07:20   the site and so could, could, could this do any sort of harm to somebody? Like if you

00:07:28   write about an app and the app is terrible and like this is also, this also goes with

00:07:32   the, it reminded me of this topic, the, the, the latest controversy, quote unquote controversy

00:07:38   with MKBHD and the power of reviews. It's something similar, right? Like obviously I

00:07:44   still want to review products and obviously just like Marques and you want to review Apple

00:07:49   stuff in this case, but there's that little thought that's there and you need to remember

00:07:56   there's a big audience out there. And so as time has gone on over the past 15 years, that

00:08:01   is something that has changed, like thinking more deeply about the possible impact of something

00:08:07   that I publish.

00:08:08   Yeah. Yeah. And it's, I think what you're saying gets to the point I was trying to make

00:08:14   earlier where you kind of part of the trick of hopefully, I mean, I hope it applies to

00:08:21   me. I can say from my perspective as a reader of Mac stories, it definitely applies to you

00:08:25   that it, in the whole site and John and anybody else who contributes that you guys still have

00:08:32   the right spirit. I hope I do too, but there is a trick in terms of realizing you have

00:08:40   more influence while still being true to your readers, which is your first priority. And

00:08:50   that means not holding your punches when it's deserved. And to me with the MKBHD thing with

00:08:55   the humane AI pin, part of the reason that is just so eye-rolly to criticize him for

00:09:04   any aspect of that review, which I think, and again, it does the part of it. The only

00:09:10   part that maybe has a little credence is the, was the title of the video deserved. Right.

00:09:15   And that gets to a point I've tried to make a daring fireball for a decade or more that

00:09:21   headlines. You cannot, you cannot over over estimate how important headlines are right

00:09:29   in terms of like, and it's like why tech meme years ago started rewriting headlines where

00:09:37   they see fit to be adjusted because so many people only see headlines and with the notifications

00:09:45   on the phone, it's even more, it's always been true that headlines are overly influential

00:09:52   compared to the body of the article, but with notifications it's even more so because I

00:09:59   mean, I have to admit, I do it. There are times where I'll look, I let Apple news send

00:10:03   me notifications. They're pretty good. And a lot of times they come in and I don't read

00:10:08   the story. I'm like, Oh, something, something Trump in New York. I just take the headline

00:10:12   for what it is and flick it away. So there's a point about that. But I actually think though

00:10:16   that he and he in, in his followup video, it's very clear that he thought long and hard

00:10:23   about that headline or the title, whatever you want to call it. And the other point is

00:10:29   humane raised $270 million in venture capital. They have a petty. They're the first ones

00:10:35   to S to let everybody, just like people who go to Harvard or the first ones to, how do

00:10:40   you know somebody went to Harvard? Just let them talk. They're the first ones to tell

00:10:44   you that they, their founders worked on major products at Apple and, and take a lot of credit

00:10:50   for the, their roles in those products. He's not punching down, right? That's, that's punching

00:10:56   up. I mean, Marquez is in my opinion, the preeminent tech gadget reviewer of, of our

00:11:06   generation right now, no doubt. He he's, he's taken the mantle from Walt Mossberg as the

00:11:13   top reviewer across the industry. And it makes sense that it's a YouTuber. I'm not, you know,

00:11:20   you're not a YouTuber, but you know, I, my eyes are wide open. I realized that it's probably

00:11:26   true that if I were getting started today, if I were in my twenties and getting started,

00:11:31   there's a good chance I'd be a YouTuber instead of a writer or the other way around. And I,

00:11:36   I don't know. I mean, maybe not because I don't know that I'm very good at it, but,

00:11:42   but it's maybe I would be because I'd practice at it. I don't know. It's just clearly video

00:11:47   first is, is and it happened in the 20th century going from earlier in the 20th century, being

00:11:56   a newspaper columnist would be much was, was by far and away the most influential somebody

00:12:01   could be. And then television took over and it's not that newspapers and newspaper columnists

00:12:06   disappeared, but TV became preeminent and the same thing has happened to the internet.

00:12:11   Just much faster because that's the nature of computers and being a writer on the internet

00:12:18   very quickly in the grand scheme of things became eclipsed by being a video personality

00:12:24   on the internet. But there's no doubt that as influential as Marquez is, it's still punching

00:12:30   up to criticize a company that raised a quarter of a billion dollars to make their product

00:12:36   is charging customers a serious amount of money. It's an $800 product with a mandatory

00:12:42   $24 a month cellular connection. So it's at least a thousand dollars for a year to use

00:12:48   the thing. That's fair. I don't know. Yeah. Yeah. And yeah, I saw, I really think that

00:12:54   that that all controversy was kind of silly. And so many of these people that I think criticized

00:13:00   Marquez on Twitter or X, whatever, I do think that some of them did it for some sort of

00:13:05   clout like to get to publish the controversial opinion and to be noticed. And so there's

00:13:13   also that dynamic at play in this circumstance, which I think is kind of silly. But your point

00:13:20   about sort of that natural transition from newspapers to television sort of mirroring

00:13:27   what we saw with blogs and the written content to video, I think is a really interesting

00:13:32   one. And personally, I feel like, like if I were getting started today, maybe I would

00:13:39   consider video obviously, but I look at where I am now and I could not imagine doing any

00:13:49   other thing about writing. So it's not like I'm looking at these new creators and I'm

00:13:54   like, man, I'm jealous. I should, I picked the wrong career. No, I don't feel like that

00:13:59   at all. And I think there is, in fact, I do think there is room for all kinds of different

00:14:07   types of editorial content, whether it's words on screen or footage on screen. And in fact,

00:14:15   I do think it's also interesting to keep an eye on thinking about the next 15 years, maybe.

00:14:20   I think it's interesting that this resurgence of the indie web of sorts with this talking

00:14:25   about activity pub, but in general, I see all these new cool web projects pop up now

00:14:32   compared to a few years ago when it was just Twitter and Facebook and YouTube and that

00:14:36   was it. And so this new approach to the indie decentralized web, it makes me hopeful that

00:14:44   we are not going to be the last of our species, so to speak. I don't know.

00:14:51   Yeah, well, I was thinking that's sort of a topic I wanted to ask you about, though,

00:14:56   because I think it's almost undeniable. I don't think it's just because I'm older and I'm

00:15:00   missing the upstarts, but that there are, to me, a slightly disappointing dearth of

00:15:10   newer sites in our sphere who would be, let's say, let's say hitting their five year anniversary

00:15:16   right now. Like, hey, congratulations to so and so for five years of something. Oh, yes,

00:15:21   and I looked up to Mac stories when I founded my site. There's very few. But I wonder, though,

00:15:27   if we're not, and I think you might be seeing the same thing, that maybe we're all having

00:15:35   a moment where that might happen over the next five years.

00:15:38   Exactly. Yeah, that's the feeling that I have.

00:15:43   I'm thinking of, in particular, like one example I can think of is Molly White, who writes,

00:15:49   she's probably best known for web. Web three is going great.

00:15:55   Oh, yes.

00:15:56   But she's and she just started like a new microblogging site. I mean, she's obviously

00:16:01   also in addition to being a very, very astute pundit and observer and critic of crypto,

00:16:09   the whole crypto world. She's also obviously a very good programmer and she's putting,

00:16:14   which I appreciate putting together her own site and has like a new just sort of a pure

00:16:19   old school blog blog, right? And it's for posts that she and she has a newsletter too

00:16:25   and things that she thinks like the newsletters are sort of more one big 750,000 word sort

00:16:33   of essay. And for things, this is what blogs are perfect for things that are way too big

00:16:39   to put into a Mastodon post entirely, but wouldn't make a full newsletter. And it's

00:16:47   like, yeah, that, and that is sort of the beauty of the internet is that you, you can

00:16:52   carve out post sizes, whatever the medium, whether it's video or audio or text of the

00:17:02   appropriate size. And in the pre internet era, the scarcity of being able to reach people

00:17:10   print is so expensive and so just labor intensive. It's just the, when you really think about

00:17:20   like even today, I mean, people's, there are still people who read print newspapers, but

00:17:24   like the hay day of newspapers where, where like major cities around the world, you know,

00:17:30   had million plus circulation printing an entire newspaper and a million million plus copies

00:17:37   a day. It's just an enormous amount of paper and just truck after truck after truck loaded

00:17:48   with printed copies of the newspaper. And when you see the printing presses, how fast

00:17:53   they would go with these huge sheets of broadsheet, it's almost mind boggling. I've told this

00:18:02   story on the talk show before. Let me, I, but years ago, it must be probably like 10,

00:18:07   15 years ago, I was at Starbucks and it was a Sunday, I think. And there was two young

00:18:14   women like college age, maybe like early twenties and there was a copy of the New York times

00:18:19   and I swear to God, I'm not making this up. The one was like, like the one that had clearly

00:18:25   just never really thought about newspapers and they were, the one was saying to the other,

00:18:30   like, well, there's, there's the business and there's the sports and there's look, there's

00:18:33   different sections and, and, and then she said, and they print, they do this every day.

00:18:40   And the other girl said, why would they do that? When you can just go to the website,

00:18:46   right? Like why would you print this much paper every single day? But that's how you

00:18:51   got it. But, but it was the nature when, when you had to spend all that money to print a

00:18:55   magazine or a newspaper, you couldn't just publish a 50 word article. There just was

00:19:02   no, no form for it.

00:19:04   Yeah. So I really do feel like there's a few things that have happened over the past, over

00:19:10   the past decade for sure, that have led to that sort of scarcity of, of sites, of blogs.

00:19:17   I definitely think that the whole Twitter, Facebook era over the past 10 years, that

00:19:23   saw a lot of, a lot of folks realize, well, why can I, why do I need to start a website

00:19:29   if I can just publish my own opinions on Twitter? And then it used to be Facebook video for

00:19:35   a while and then it became Instagram, but mostly on Twitter. And I have seen like, there's

00:19:40   a ton of folks from, from people who are you know, pundits or observers to this new generation

00:19:48   of leakers of Apple rumors specifically just on Twitter. And then I've started seeing a

00:19:55   lot of people who they should have just started blogs in my opinion, but folks who publish

00:20:04   opinions, like little blog posts essentially on places like Reddit.

00:20:10   And then came the newsletters, right? So there was that consolidation of sub stack and all

00:20:15   the newsletters and, and so many folks realizing, well, this is an easier way for me to publish

00:20:22   long form content that I used to split up in multiple tweets on Twitter. Now I get to

00:20:27   send it to an audience and I don't have to think about setting up a web server. I don't

00:20:31   have to think about RSS integration. I can just open a sub stack account and I can just

00:20:36   serve this small audience that I have there. And people still do it. Like I've seen, for

00:20:40   example, in the video game press with all the layoffs that have been happening in the

00:20:45   video game industry over the past few years, a lot of folks from, from websites like the

00:20:50   older Kotaku website from that was sold to Geo media. I think Geo media has also been

00:20:56   in the news today because they sold the onion again. Yeah. So a lot of those folks coming

00:21:02   out of those websites, they started sub stacks instead of starting websites. But over the

00:21:08   past year or so, I've seen the opposite started happening. There are some new video game websites,

00:21:15   for example, and there are folks realizing, well, maybe I can just open up a little blog

00:21:22   with all these tools that exist today to set up a little blog like we did 15 years ago.

00:21:29   And I think that the sort of implosion of Twitter and the arrival of threads combined

00:21:36   with the arrival of Mastodon and Activity Pub is making a lot of people rethink their

00:21:41   approach to owning your opinions. And maybe this is an optimistic view that I have, but

00:21:47   I do think that what we didn't see, what we haven't seen over the past 10 years, the situation

00:21:54   may improve over the next five because I think people are, creators are a lot more aware

00:22:00   of the importance of owning your opinions, owning your content and not trusting again

00:22:10   this silos and these platforms that promise you maximum reach, minimal effort, and then

00:22:17   they shut down after a couple of years and you're left with nothing.

00:22:20   Or they fundamentally change after a couple of years, which is, could be just as bad or

00:22:26   even worse than, and maybe Twitter falls under that category where it's maybe worse than

00:22:31   if it had shut down in some ways. Yeah. And Mac stories launched, so 15 years would mean

00:22:37   you launched in 2009 and that means Twitter, Twitter already existed and was sort of, I

00:22:44   would say it was sort of entering its heyday, right? I would peg Twitter's best years as

00:22:50   maybe right around then, 2009, 10, 11. And personally, I think the world is a better

00:22:58   place right now for Twitter-like media split across multiple platforms. Twitter itself

00:23:08   or Twitter X, whatever you want to call it, is not dead and maybe not dying and it sort

00:23:14   of seems to be stabilizing. I kind of feel like it's, personally, what I see on Twitter

00:23:25   is better now. I would say this year, like the calendar year 2024, like something happened

00:23:33   at Twitter where I'm not seeing stuff I don't want to see in my timeline. And it's not,

00:23:41   I'm not a delicate flower. It's not like stuff that offends me. It's just stuff that annoys

00:23:47   me or irritates me. Just like, why are you showing me this? This is nonsense. And I know

00:23:53   that there's, if you go looking for it, you're going to find people with political opinions

00:23:59   that are unpleasant no matter which side you are on Twitter. But it feels to me like they're

00:24:03   no longer shoving it down your throat like they were when Elon Musk first took over.

00:24:10   But there's no doubt. I saw somebody, I forget which publication, and I'm always the first

00:24:16   one to say if it's a third party saying how much traffic a site is getting or how many

00:24:24   downloads an app is getting, take it with a huge grain of salt because they don't know.

00:24:29   They're estimating and they might be right, but look into their methodology and see how

00:24:34   they know how many downloads an app has. But somebody suggested this week that threads

00:24:40   has passed Twitter for monthly active users or daily active users. I don't know about

00:24:46   that. And it's so hard to tell because I think Twitter is home to so many more bots and whether

00:24:53   they're not even scam bots, right? I mean, just like national weather service programs,

00:25:01   you know, a bot that everybody would agree is a great Twitter account, right? Like if

00:25:04   you have some kind of weather service that just on the hour, every hour tells you. I

00:25:09   subscribe to one on Mastodon that I really like that just tells me the sunset and sunrise

00:25:14   times for Philadelphia every day. So every day in the evening, I have a little Mastodon

00:25:18   post from a, it's obviously automated, but there's so much more of that on Twitter that

00:25:23   it's hard to compare. But I find personally, I like the current state of things where there's

00:25:30   no one true Twitter like service, which was Twitter for over a decade. And now I've got

00:25:38   my feet in three or four different of them. I check Mastodon, I check threads. I do still

00:25:45   I'm and more and more, I'm a little bit more back on Twitter. I keep my eye on blue sky,

00:25:50   blue sky. I really like and I wish in some ways I kind of see it as the best idea, the

00:25:56   best balance between all of the things and it, but the content just isn't there for me.

00:26:03   But I also find that with three or four of these Twitter like things to keep tabs on,

00:26:09   I spend less time overall than I did when it was just one Twitter.

00:26:14   Yeah. Yeah. I do think that there's obviously a few communities that never left Twitter.

00:26:20   I see this with video games. I see this with, there's a lot of like startup, young developers

00:26:27   type creators that continuously post stuff to Twitter. I don't use Twitter, but occasionally

00:26:33   I do log in and like you say, I have noticed things getting better just in the, in the

00:26:38   for you recommendation timeline. There's one specific type of community. There's a, I,

00:26:45   for many years, I cultivated this list on Twitter just about Pokemon news and specifically

00:26:51   competitive Pokemon players. And those people never left and Nintendo is still actively

00:26:59   posting on Twitter. So there are those pockets of communities that never left, but then you

00:27:05   go to threads and you find this new, like there's a ton of journalists, a lot of tech

00:27:11   coverage happening there. And then of course there's Mastodon where the core of the tech

00:27:17   early adopters, tons of folks are into the open web, indie web, all those modern web

00:27:24   projects being active on Mastodon. And then there's like the artistic community on Blue

00:27:29   Sky. I do follow a bunch of really cool like artists and animators on Blue Sky. And so

00:27:36   I think it's fascinating that we are entering this era where there's no single and clear

00:27:42   winner of them all. There's different places for different communities. I don't know how

00:27:48   this will shake out over time, but like you, I don't mind the splitting apart of these

00:27:56   segments of online culture, if you will, like following different people in different places

00:28:03   where it makes the most sense for them to be in. But I think there's also a lesson here

00:28:09   for websites like ours, but for creators in general, I think, to like obviously Twitter

00:28:17   was incredible for me in 2009. I owe so much to Twitter. It was the golden era of Twitter

00:28:26   and that old era of Twitter clients. Like it was wild. And the amount of traffic that

00:28:31   Twitter drove to Mac stories in the early days, I owe so much to them. But now I wouldn't

00:28:41   trust Mac stories to say, well, we're going all in on threads and we're just going to

00:28:49   publish. Like I don't want to do that the same way I did in 2009, even though it worked.

00:28:56   And it works really well, but I wouldn't do it today.

00:29:00   I think it would almost I'd almost want to like, hey, Federico, you OK? Not because I'm

00:29:05   down on threads. I'm almost to the point of controversy from people who find metas past

00:29:13   transgressions unforgivable. I'd been going back and forth with people trying to explain

00:29:19   how I see it as consistent. My staunch criticism of Metta from three, four, five, six years

00:29:26   ago to less critical and an enthusiastic user of threads today. But I would say you're crazy

00:29:35   to go all in on one of the platforms. Right. Any of them. Right. And I think that's actually

00:29:40   a really good sign. And I always go back to video game consoles. I don't know what happened

00:29:45   there, but we've always been fortunate that there have been two or three. And it's really

00:29:51   been at this point, Xbox came out in 1999. So for twenty five years, we've had three.

00:29:59   And I think that's about as lucky as you're going to get. I wish, you know, we're lucky

00:30:05   in so many ways. We could get to this later in the show. And it's sometimes one of those

00:30:11   things that can keep me up at night is how much of what I love about computers is only

00:30:17   represented by one company, Apple, and how how that's one thread. You know, I wish that

00:30:26   like desktop computing and mobile phone computing was a three way race instead of a two way

00:30:33   race. It would have been so especially if it had been Palm's Web OS that had carved

00:30:39   out like like 15 percent market share or something like that, like something maybe more akin

00:30:45   to where the Mac was 20 years ago, strong enough to be a business like or like Nintendo.

00:30:52   Right. I don't know. It would have been great. But it's always lucky when you have at least

00:30:58   three competitors. And I think that it really shows for social media. I think it's better

00:31:04   now. And personally, it's just so much less of a gravitational black hole that when Twitter

00:31:11   was in its heyday, I really would get it. I wouldn't call it an addiction. It's just

00:31:16   that it was there was so much and everything was concentrated there that you'd go check

00:31:21   Twitter and then three hours goes by and it's like, oh, yes. Oh, yeah. Twitter on Apple event

00:31:27   days was impossible to use. And we still did. And that's the thing we still did. We still

00:31:33   did it because it was the only place and everybody was there. And so I do think we are much better

00:31:38   off today with options with with like like the idea of like you said, I think that the

00:31:46   video game console analogy is a really good one because we've had options for twenty five

00:31:51   for twenty five years at this point. And there's always also been like PC gaming also always

00:31:57   right. Right. So never, never went away. Yeah. I would say that's call it for I would say

00:32:03   that I often think of it as three. But I think PC gaming should count as the fourth pillar

00:32:08   of of the video, the serious video game industry. Yeah. Especially not especially now that the

00:32:14   PC manufacturers figured out, I guess, starting with the steam deck, but they figured out,

00:32:19   hey, we can actually make these things portable. And so we've been fine as as as as people

00:32:25   with with different consoles and platforms and picking your preferences and maybe owning

00:32:32   multiple consoles like I do. And it's fine. And so I think using different social networks

00:32:39   and something that I do, for example, I post different types of content or maybe the same

00:32:44   content but presented in a slightly different format on Mastodon and Threads, because I

00:32:50   know that folks on Threads, I think, like certain types of of posts and folks on Mastodon

00:32:58   like other types of content. And so I think these are these can only serve me well, especially

00:33:05   when you have different audiences coming from different places. It can only be good for

00:33:11   an independent publication like Mac Stories instead of I was I was really scared when

00:33:17   that whole Twitter saga was unfolding a couple of years ago. I thought, well, now we're done,

00:33:23   like in terms of social media, because we never started using Facebook, we never did

00:33:28   YouTube. And so I really thought, well, unless there's a better hope that those RSS subscribers,

00:33:35   they stay subscribed, because otherwise, like, we're gone from social media. And then, of

00:33:40   course, Mastodon started taking off and then Threads came around. So multiple options is

00:33:46   not a bad deal, I would say.

00:33:50   To me, at its best, what these social media platforms, the Twitter like ones are, is it

00:33:58   really is a great way to have a back and forth with the readers. And one of the differences

00:34:09   between when I started Daring Fireball and Mac Stories, like earlier in the show, I said,

00:34:15   we're the same, we're roughly the same generation now website wise, but there's one difference

00:34:20   from the 2000s that you more or less started at the end of was when I started, it was universal

00:34:29   for a blog to have comments on each post. And I've never had comments. And it used to

00:34:35   be it was almost a gag, where over and over again, people would say, you know, and again,

00:34:42   circa 2004 2005, there was no Twitter yet. So it wasn't even on Twitter, it would be

00:34:46   like email, but people I would get email over and over and over again, I swear, where they

00:34:52   would they'd be like, Hey, this was a good article, blah, blah, blah. But then they would

00:34:55   say, they'd be irritated that they were emailing me rather than leaving a comment. And the

00:35:00   way they'd over and over again, they would say, it's not Daring Fireball can't really

00:35:04   be called a blog, if it doesn't have comments. And then I would write back to them, I say,

00:35:09   thank you, you know, and I'd respond to their comments. And then I'd quote that part. And

00:35:13   I'd say, Okay, then it's not a blog. I don't care. We use a different word for it. But

00:35:17   fine, but I'm not going to put comments on this site. I don't I, I've always thought

00:35:22   they were the cons outweighed the pros. There are pros, right? And and an astute comment

00:35:31   is an astute comment. But I always thought once Twitter became a thing, I was like, Ah,

00:35:35   here's the solution. And I think it's better that it's on neutral territory, rather than

00:35:41   being on my site under my post with me, with the admins ability to delete the ones I don't

00:35:49   want or whatever. And the responsibility of deleting the spam ones and whatever, not just

00:35:55   like, Oh, I don't like you or you're being I think you're being a jerk. But oh, this

00:35:58   is obviously I don't this is spam, I need to delete this. Take that off my hands. I

00:36:04   thought Twitter was and still is. And I think that's where all of these platforms still

00:36:10   are, like, and that's why I love to engage in them in have a public back and forth. And

00:36:16   especially, especially if people disagree with me on something, I'm happy to debate

00:36:20   it. I know that it's just one of those things where people have been more drawn to like

00:36:27   minded content, like, I only want to read things I agree with, I think is a little more

00:36:34   of a common mindset now. And I don't understand that I feel like I want to read things I disagree

00:36:39   with not vehemently or jackassery. But teach me if I'm wrong about something, I'm only

00:36:45   going to learn that I'm wrong about it by reading somebody who has a different view

00:36:49   back and forth on the social media is still great. And I think it's better now that it's

00:36:53   not all on one Twitter.

00:36:55   Yeah. And we used to have comments for the first couple of years on Mac stories, and

00:37:00   then we removed them. And I remember a lot of people were upset when we did and we got

00:37:06   a lot of the same comment, sort of emails from people saying it's not a blog anymore,

00:37:11   if I can leave a comment. And we stuck with that decision, because ultimately, I think

00:37:17   it's better to use social media to engage with readers, to be social, to be social.

00:37:23   Exactly. It's already there in the name, like, and the way I see it, you read Mac stories,

00:37:27   or you read during fireball, what you see on the screen is my opinion or John's opinion,

00:37:33   that is the content. The comments, especially for, there was a time a few years ago when

00:37:41   it was almost, the argument was, well, but the comments are part of the content. And

00:37:48   I strongly disagree with that. The comments are somebody else's comments. Whereas the

00:37:54   article that I publish, the review that I publish is my content. And that's why you

00:37:59   open the site or why you subscribe. And if you don't like it, you know, there's other

00:38:03   websites. But if you want to comment, that's not part of the original story that you're

00:38:09   reading. And I think it was the right decision. And it doesn't seem like anybody cares that

00:38:17   much about comments on blogs anymore. The one maybe asterisk here is comments on YouTube.

00:38:29   That is still very much part of the YouTube. I say way of doing things. Everybody, like

00:38:34   everybody says, let me know down in the comments below, for example, you're watching a video

00:38:38   and everybody's just asking people to leave a comment. So YouTube is maybe the one outlier

00:38:43   here. I don't, I never read the comments. Occasionally there is the useful correction.

00:38:52   And I think, I think part of the reason why they are occasionally useful is the fact that

00:38:57   you can timestamp a video and point to like, if you want to issue a correction or something,

00:39:03   you can just have a little link that points to that point in the video and say, hey, here,

00:39:07   by the way, it's such and such. So maybe that's why. But by and large, they are filled by

00:39:14   you go see a comment on a MKBHD video and there's always the people commenting first.

00:39:21   That's the comment. Occasionally there is the useful comment here and there. And the

00:39:26   other place of course is Reddit. I think a lot of, a lot of actually sometimes useful,

00:39:33   some often interesting conversations surrounding an article can happen on Reddit. And that's,

00:39:40   I guess the place for it, right? You have tons, it's like a forum basically, but it's

00:39:44   open to everybody. So yeah.

00:39:48   It's another one too, where almost admitting that they're copying Twitter with the, okay,

00:39:53   we're going to, we're going to third party APIs and try to for the stated purpose of

00:40:02   controlling the first party interface, making sure everybody goes through the first party

00:40:06   interface to the site for better or for worse. And you understand business wise, why they

00:40:10   want to do that. But as somebody who enjoys nice native software, you know, it's not as,

00:40:19   it's not as nice, but you know, it has stabilized, right? There was the, they did this, there

00:40:24   was an uproar. There was sort of a revolt. There were protests on very popular subreddits

00:40:33   and it's sort of stabilized and it is sort of an indispensable part of the internet.

00:40:37   My wife is a much more dedicated Reddit user than me or reader and it is, it is a great

00:40:42   source of local news among other things. But yeah. All right, let me take a break here

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00:44:20   It's the busy time of the year for the Mac media. WWDC is coming up, but unusual for

00:44:27   Apple on the schedule and I don't want to run out of time. So I feel like we should

00:44:31   get to it. Are you familiar with the iPad Federico?

00:44:34   Yes, I would say, Hey, there is an online event that they, it unusually they've announced

00:44:45   two weeks in advance. It's going to be Tuesday, May 7th. And I would say more than any event

00:44:52   in maybe in history, they're making it clear what it's about because the announcement

00:44:58   shows a human hand with an Apple pencil in it.

00:45:03   And Tim Cook tweeted pencil us in May 7th.

00:45:09   I would say that's even more of a clear than what did Jaws tweet about WWDC. It was something

00:45:15   with AI.

00:45:16   It's going to be absolutely incredible with the AI capitalized.

00:45:21   Which is a hint, but it's only a hint of a topic rather than a product. And we kind

00:45:28   of know what, you know, WWDC is it's annual, but we know they're going to talk about

00:45:34   every one of the platforms. And we don't know what, they're just telling us a bunch

00:45:37   of it's going to be AI related. Whereas this May 7th event, what's the event title?

00:45:42   Let Loose.

00:45:43   Let Loose. I don't get that. Do you get that?

00:45:45   No, I have no idea. What are we letting loose? I don't know.

00:45:50   Yeah, but I feel like they should have just titled it. It's the iPad.

00:45:57   It's the iPad again, parentheses.

00:45:59   Right. And it's exciting because I feel like it's quite possibly going to be the biggest

00:46:09   iPad. I mean this with no hyperbole. The biggest iPad event since the first one in 2010.

00:46:15   Yeah. I'm starting to have that feeling too. I don't know why. I was pretty down

00:46:21   on these iPads going into these events. And I don't know, I'm just picking up a few

00:46:28   signals here and there that it's not just going to be, they obviously wanted to do more

00:46:34   than just a press release. So that's a good first sign. Now it's not a keynote with

00:46:41   an event in person. There used to be like they would announce these products. If you

00:46:46   recall when they did the events at the Yerba Buena Center in San Francisco, they used to

00:46:51   do these product events there. Now they obviously do them at Apple Park. So it's not that

00:46:55   type of event, but still it's not just a press release. And the iPad Pro has been effectively

00:47:04   unchanged for the past, I want to say six years at this point.

00:47:08   Yeah, 2018.

00:47:10   2018. And the iPad Air is a couple of years old now. And so I do feel like both in terms

00:47:17   of hardware, but really also in terms of software, there is a lot to be done still. And I feel

00:47:25   like this is the sort of conversation that we've always had about the iPad. I'm sure

00:47:29   last time I was a guest on the talk show, we talked about like, oh, the iPad has so

00:47:33   much potential, but they don't pay attention to it. And so we continue having this conversation,

00:47:40   but now it's been six years since the 2018 iPad Pro. And so it does feel like something's

00:47:47   got to change at this point for it to make sense.

00:47:52   And I feel like, you know, you and I talk about it every time I have you on the show.

00:47:57   It's hard not to say that Apple loves all of its platform children, but they love the

00:48:03   iPhone most. I mean, and the Mac is different enough that I think the Mac comes second and

00:48:11   the iPad just falls in third place in terms of interest. And that it's sort of, it always

00:48:19   comes back to that, well, it's just a big iPhone, right? And the way that when they,

00:48:28   which is more of a marketing decision than a technical decision to call the iOS, iPad

00:48:36   OS, instead of saying that iOS is the operating system for iPod touches at the time, iPhones

00:48:44   and all iPads, part of it to me was about setting it up so that the iPhone could get

00:48:52   features a year ahead of the iPad, right? Like the widget stuff, the lock screen customization,

00:48:58   just in the last couple of years, the iPhone has been a year ahead of the iPad. And I sort

00:49:04   of thought that's partly why they for the name, but there are features, right? There's

00:49:09   major, major new features. I know you and I talked about it at length a year ago with

00:49:14   stage manager, which is a huge attempt to address a lot of the long-term complaints

00:49:20   about, Hey, what if you really want to be a power user on this platform? And of course

00:49:25   stage manager doesn't make any sense on the iPhone. It's screens too small, I think. But

00:49:32   there's just also at a, not that the software level with what features are in the operating

00:49:39   system, I also feel like the hardware has sort of fallen in third place. Right. And

00:49:45   there's, you know, like, can you even explain the pencil compatibility story? I get so confused.

00:49:55   It doesn't really make a lot of sense. Like honestly, like the confusion that they have

00:49:59   created over the years and the pencil compatibility is one of them. The keyboard story is also

00:50:06   not like so all over the map, especially when you look at the base model iPad, the base

00:50:11   model iPad, arguably for a lot of people would make for a better laptop like iPad than the

00:50:22   iPad pro you have the more flexible keyboard with the kickstand that can be detached. And

00:50:28   you have the, the, you have the front facing camera on the landscape side. Right. And I

00:50:33   think it's so funny that that iPad, which is the very base model for a lot of people

00:50:40   would actually make, will actually allow for more flexibility than the expensive iPad pro.

00:50:46   And so it's clear you're, you're talking about the 10th generation one. I know you, I know

00:50:52   you are, they still sell the ninth generation, which has the, the touch ID button at the

00:50:59   bottom, you know, and, but you, you know, you, you mentioned putting the front facing camera

00:51:04   on the landscape side. Yeah. It's, you can kind of see how it happened, but it's always

00:51:11   been true. I think that the, as a, as an entire lineup, it's always felt like the iPad lineup,

00:51:21   the family is always sort of out of sync in some way. Right. Like maybe in 2018 when the

00:51:29   current industrial design for the iPad pros debuted. Right. And part of that I'm still

00:51:34   using, I've got it right here in my hand for the show notes is my 2018 11 inch iPad pro,

00:51:39   which is still a great device. But form factor wise, it fits into the exact same keyboard

00:51:47   cases as a brand new, well, two years old at this point, but the, the latest generation

00:51:53   11 inch iPad pro you could say in 2018, when they refresh the iPad pros, okay, now the

00:52:01   iPad pros make sense, but the iPad errors didn't make sense. And now they've sort of

00:52:06   made the iPad errors better, but now the iPad pros seem dated. It seems like six years is

00:52:12   too long to go between this. And now it's almost like right now, as we're recording,

00:52:18   they've kind of fixed it by making all of the iPads out of date. Yeah. Right. I mean,

00:52:25   I'm not being sarcastic. I mean, a little sarcastic and I kind of feel like on May 7th,

00:52:30   it's like the, the godfather reference. They're going to settle all family business and get

00:52:34   the whole, get the whole platform from top to bottom into a logical sense. I, the reason

00:52:42   why I'm excited for these events more than I thought until a few weeks ago is I wonder

00:52:50   if maybe this is an opportunity for Apple to start telling a new story for the iPad

00:52:56   pro at the very top of the line, because if it does feel like, especially if the iPad

00:53:01   air is going to come in two versions, the 11 inch one and the 13 inch one with that

00:53:07   iPad air, which is compatible with the pencil, with the magic keyboard as USB-C, it does

00:53:13   feel like that is the iPad and has been for a while, but even more so with a bigger model

00:53:18   can be the iPad for most people who want an iPad as based on the way they think of an

00:53:26   iPad, which is this device in the middle. That's familiar. It's looks like an iPhone,

00:53:31   but it's bigger and it's got a keyboard, but what does that mean for an iPad pro? And

00:53:37   I'm going to say something that maybe you're not going to like, Jon. I created my own hybrid.

00:53:43   I want to talk about it. So yeah, I created my own hybrid Mac iPad device. I've been using

00:53:52   it for two months. Like it is my main computer. And I do wonder if maybe the opportunity that

00:53:59   Apple has to start telling a new story for the iPad pro is we have this device that can

00:54:08   be an iPad, but when you dock it into a keyboard, it can also be a Mac. And now I know that

00:54:16   it sounds like heresy for a lot of people, but if you think about it the other way, I

00:54:24   would say that there's literally no other company on earth right now that can sell a

00:54:32   tablet that can be great in equal measure as a tablet and as a laptop. And I speak from

00:54:41   experience. Last year I used for six months without telling anybody a Microsoft Surface

00:54:47   because I felt like I was going crazy with the limitations of iPadOS and I thought, well,

00:54:52   maybe I need to clear my head. I need to take a look at what it's like on the other side.

00:54:57   Let me tell you, the Surface is not a good tablet. It's a semi-decent laptop, but boy

00:55:03   does Windows suck on a tablet. It's horrible. And you look at the iPad and you realize,

00:55:12   well, here's this one company, literally the only company in the world right now that can

00:55:18   potentially make a hybrid laptop/tablet that makes sense and is actually nice to use. And

00:55:26   I know that Jason Snell also talks about this idea a lot. It doesn't have to be a convertible

00:55:32   all the time. It doesn't have to exclusively run MacOS when you dock it. But as an option,

00:55:39   I don't think there's anybody out there, except for Apple, that can say we can do this. Not

00:55:44   Microsoft, not Microsoft, third-party Windows manufacturers, not Google with the Pixel tablet,

00:55:53   and then we're out of tablet companies at this point.

00:55:56   I think Microsoft tried it. And it's interesting. I just saw, speaking of Twitter, he's a great

00:56:02   follow on Twitter because he kind of uses it as a blog with longer posts, which I sort

00:56:09   of wish he had just had a blog. But Steven Sinofsky, who used to be in charge of Windows

00:56:14   for a long time at Microsoft and spearheaded the Surface tablet thing in 2012, was it RT?

00:56:22   I forget what they called it. But the ones that they had that ran on ARM, what they tried

00:56:26   to do was create a new version of Windows that got rid of all of the legacy APIs and

00:56:33   only had a modern API set of APIs and only bring those forward to ARM. And for whatever

00:56:42   reason it didn't stick, and they abandoned it. And now they've just sort of said, "Okay,

00:56:47   Windows is Windows and we're going forward." And his recent post, I'll put it in the show

00:56:51   notes I swear, but his post either yesterday or the day before was talking about that old

00:56:55   effort. And he's not throwing his former colleagues under the bus, but like he said, this is with

00:57:01   the upcoming Snapdragon chips that Microsoft is... And Qualcomm has been saying for two

00:57:08   years that they think they're going to achieve parity with at least the non-pro, max and

00:57:14   ultra M series chips, that they're going to have chips that stand toe-to-toe with the

00:57:20   M3 or the M2 or something like that. We'll see. But Sinofsky's point was that, okay,

00:57:26   and I have no doubt at a technical level, this is the sort of thing Microsoft engineers

00:57:29   are great at, as great as Rosetta is, right? And Rosetta was great a generation ago going

00:57:36   from PowerPC to Intel. It was absolutely seamless from a consumer's perspective, and it's been

00:57:42   great going from Intel to Apple Silicon. And if anything, Apple Silicon is so good and

00:57:48   Rosetta is such a good emulator, translator, whatever you want to call it, that almost

00:57:54   everybody, even when they're running Intel compiled Mac apps, is getting faster performance

00:57:59   on Apple Silicon than they are on the last generation of Intel Macs. There's extreme

00:58:05   examples for Intel-based Mac Pros with parallel computing, where you really want as many cores

00:58:10   as possible, where you can say no, but still better to run it on Intel. But for the most

00:58:14   part it's like that. But the difference that Microsoft faces trying to move Windows to

00:58:19   ARM is that the nature of Windows is that Windows still runs like DOS compatible software

00:58:27   from like 1989. And all of that has to be emulated. And they might be able to pull it

00:58:33   off, but it is Apple that's a very big philosophical difference between what Mac OS is and, you

00:58:41   know, and Apple's been even more aggressive about keeping iOS culling old APIs and keeping

00:58:50   as the years go by, keeping it modern and just saying old APIs are no longer supported

00:58:57   even more so than Mac. Whereas Windows, that's the nature of it. For some people, that's

00:59:02   the appeal of Windows is that compatibility is something Microsoft takes seriously, but

00:59:06   now they've got to emulate all of that. So we'll see. Tell people about the hybrid device

00:59:13   you made. I will put this in the show notes, but you have to describe it to...

00:59:17   Okay. Okay. So it all started because of Sage manager. It all goes back to that. I've always

00:59:25   loved working on the iPad, but I was reaching a point where I kept running into these limitations.

00:59:32   Right? We've spoken about this before with multitasking, just the fact that, for example,

00:59:38   I couldn't record my own podcasts on an iPad because it doesn't have the audio APIs that

00:59:45   I need to use for software like Audio Hijack and just why am I using two computers? So

00:59:52   I started thinking about this and having conversations privately with Jason about this. Hey, wouldn't

00:59:58   it be cool if Apple made a hybrid laptop? But then, oddly enough, the final push was

01:00:06   given to me by the Vision Pro. I wanted to have the best keyboard for the Vision Pro,

01:00:13   the best input system for the Vision Pro. And almost as a joke, I said a few months

01:00:19   ago, "Hey, maybe the best keyboard for the Vision Pro is a headless Mac laptop." The best

01:00:28   input system for the Vision Pro is something that you put on your lap. It doesn't have

01:00:31   a screen, but it's still a Mac. It's got a large trackpad with palm rejection built-in.

01:00:38   It lets you virtualize macOS in Vision OS, and it lets you type and control Vision OS

01:00:45   thanks to universal control. And so I went ahead and I did it. I removed the screen from

01:00:52   my MacBook Air, from the M2 MacBook Air that I have. I decapitated the MacBook Air. And

01:01:01   it was working perfectly. And then I was done with the experiment and I looked at it and

01:01:05   I was like, "Well, now I have this thing that doesn't have a display anymore." And then

01:01:11   I don't know how it happened, but I thought, "Well, but wouldn't it be nice if for those

01:01:18   times when I don't want to use a Vision Pro with virtual Mac desktop, wouldn't it be nice

01:01:25   if I could use an iPad as a display for this headless MacBook Air?" And that's when all

01:01:31   the pieces started coming together. So the setup that I have, and I'm using it on a daily

01:01:36   basis, I carry it with me all the time. It's always with me. It's the computer. I'm using

01:01:41   it right now. It's a MacBook Air. I attached three magnetic kickstands to the keyboard,

01:01:49   essentially, of the MacBook Air. Three magnets to the back of an iPad cover. And I'm using

01:01:56   the iPad as a display for this computer. And the funny thing is I'm not using any weird

01:02:01   third-party hack or anything. I'm just using Sidecar, the built-in Apple-provided technology

01:02:09   to turn an iPad into a Mac display. Usually it's used to turn an iPad into a secondary

01:02:15   display. In this case, it's the primary display for the Mac. And the beautiful part of all

01:02:21   of this is that at any point I can just grab the iPad. So I grab the display and it's an

01:02:29   iPad with iPadOS. And then when I need to get work done again, I dock it down, press

01:02:35   a button, and it's MacOS.

01:02:38   And the magnets connect to the natural spots on the iPad where there are magnetic connectors?

01:02:44   No, they don't.

01:02:45   No, they don't. You had to put things on the back of the iPad?

01:02:48   Yes. Not the back of the iPad, on the back of the cover that attaches to the iPad.

01:02:53   Oh, okay. Gotcha.

01:02:54   Nobody should do this. I want to say nobody should do this. And I saw a bunch of people

01:02:59   when I did it. I saw a bunch of people when I did it. They're like, "Oh, he's trolling

01:03:04   us or he's looking for attention." And I mean, it turned out to be a really fun, really popular

01:03:12   story also. But this is actually my computer now. It was not like a joke thing. It is what

01:03:21   I'm using. And if anything, I think it's been a useful experiment to try to inform this

01:03:30   idea of, would it be so terrible if an iPad could optionally become a Mac? And so far,

01:03:40   I've been using it with an 11-inch iPad Pro, so it's even like a small display. It has

01:03:46   been a dream for me. I would pay serious money for Apple to make this an official, much better

01:03:52   looking product than mine.

01:03:57   It comes back to modularity. And modularity is a powerful concept. I remember, I mean,

01:04:06   again, I'll date myself here, but in the late '90s or early 2000s, there was a two-year

01:04:12   stretch where I worked at Barebones Software, the BB Edit maker. But at the time, the second

01:04:17   product that Barebones had was an email client called MailSmith, which was based on the text

01:04:23   engine of BB Edit and didn't make it and never... It didn't support IMAP, and that's sort of

01:04:29   why it died off. It was POP only. But at the time, coming out of the '90s, POP was how

01:04:35   most people used email on the Mac anyway. That's how Eudora worked. And POP, for people

01:04:40   who don't remember if you're too young, instead of the server being the truth and you just

01:04:46   have client software that talks to your mail being stored on the server, with POP, the

01:04:53   mail server just sort of holds your new mail temporarily, and then your POP client would

01:04:59   download your mail. And I would have it delete it from the server once I downloaded it locally.

01:05:06   And we had really, really strict... No matter who gave you your email in the '90s, your

01:05:12   mail storage on the server was measured in megabytes, not gigabytes at the time. But

01:05:18   then it raised the question, if once you downloaded it to a Mac, how would you access your email

01:05:22   from multiple machines? And what I did, and you could configure MailSmith very easily,

01:05:27   I would store my mail on an external FireWire drive. And when I would go to work, I would

01:05:36   just unmount, quit MailSmith, unmount the drive and just take the FireWire drive with

01:05:41   me and then plug that into my machine at Barebone's office, and then there's my email. And I would

01:05:47   have it just... I had other things that I would tote back and forth on that same portable

01:05:51   drive, but just porting a drive instead of using a laptop. And it's that same sort of

01:05:58   mentality. I mean, that's an old example where it's just data, but there is sort of like,

01:06:02   "Hey, if you could just sort of plug things apart and have this be that and that be this,

01:06:08   like, hey, the Mac lives in just this bottom case with a keyboard and a trackpad, and it

01:06:13   has no display, and you could..." And to me, the fascinating part of your little Frankenstein

01:06:20   project is that you can still use that Mac with your Vision Pro. It's the same Mac, right?

01:06:25   And that means all the stuff you've configured, the apps you've installed, whatever else you

01:06:29   have on that Mac that makes it Federico's and has your stuff on it is all there. But

01:06:35   it's really kind of clever. But it's always been a dream of this, right? And of having

01:06:43   like, "Oh, if you could only just have one device and then it would be everything, everywhere."

01:06:48   And Samsung has this thing, what do they call it? Dex, D-E-X. And the idea is, okay, what

01:06:53   if your whole life was on your phone? And if you want to use like a desktop computer,

01:06:58   you just plug your phone in and you'd get a keyboard and a mouse and you could plug

01:07:03   into a big display. I don't know if Dex supports multiple displays. I wouldn't be surprised.

01:07:08   Modern high-end phones are so powerful. Maybe there's enough video power to drive two displays,

01:07:14   but just plug it in. And people have been saying that about the iPad forever, probably

01:07:22   since 2010 when it first came out. Like, wouldn't it be great if you could just, instead of

01:07:26   booting into iPad OS, boot into Mac OS? And I think that's fundamentally, it sounds good

01:07:35   as just like an elevator pitch, but when you really get into the nitty gritty details,

01:07:40   it doesn't really make sense for an iPad to boot into Mac OS.

01:07:44   No, no.

01:07:45   Because it just behaves differently. And there's things like, yes, you could fix it by just

01:07:50   adding APIs to Mac OS to say, "Hey, apps, you should be ready for the display to rotate

01:07:57   at any moment from vertical to horizontal." Because right now Mac apps don't expect that.

01:08:03   Touch is obviously, that's the big one, right? You should be ready for touch input. You should

01:08:09   possibly consider spacing your, sizing your controls for touch as opposed to the precision

01:08:15   of a mouse pointer, et cetera. But the big thing is just an iPad is expected to be used

01:08:21   in the context that a Mac is not. And if it's booted into Mac OS X, it's just very different.

01:08:28   But running Mac OS as a remote display works in a way that booting the iPad doesn't.

01:08:37   Yeah, yeah. And I think it's that idea of you can only do it when the iPad is nearby

01:08:45   or when the iPad is connected over with a USB cable from the base computer to the iPad.

01:08:54   It's that, and obviously it only makes sense if you're using a keyboard and a trackpad,

01:08:59   right? And it's that sort of idea that fascinates me in a potential future iPad Pro. If Apple

01:09:05   ever does it, I don't think they will do it in two weeks. But this idea of, well, we can,

01:09:12   I agree with you, it doesn't make sense for an iPad to boot into Mac OS for all those

01:09:17   reasons. It wouldn't be a pleasant experience. But what if you limit that possibility to

01:09:23   just, well, if you have the Pro Magic Keyboard or whatever it's called, and so the iPad is

01:09:30   physically attached to that keyboard, you can use Mac OS in that circumstance. I've

01:09:38   seen folks say, "Oh no, they should let me dual boot iPad OS and Mac OS and let me use

01:09:45   Mac OS with touch." No, speaking from the Surface experience, but even just trying to

01:09:56   with Sidecar on an iPad Pro, you can have some basic touch gestures that work in Sidecar

01:10:04   mode. For example, you can scroll with two fingers in Sidecar and you're scrolling a

01:10:10   Mac OS window. And it's not nice because your fingers are covering tiny, even just the basic

01:10:18   act of scrolling isn't nice because you're covering tiny scroll bars, you're covering

01:10:24   tiny buttons. Even just that doesn't make sense. So imagine actually controlling the

01:10:30   whole UI. It wouldn't be nice. But what if it were possible just when you're using an

01:10:36   accessory? Now that's something that, I don't know, intrigues me. And I mean, worst case

01:10:42   scenario, Apple is never going to do this. I'm going to get an OLED iPad Pro and I'm

01:10:46   going to have my own OLED MacBook years before an OLED MacBook because I'm just switching

01:10:53   up the display at this point.

01:10:56   I think one of the most interesting, very interesting things about Vision Pro is the,

01:11:03   what do they call it? It's called the Mac display mode?

01:11:07   Mac virtual, Mac virtual display.

01:11:10   Yeah, I forget what it's called. But the fact that it's there right in the 1.0 product is

01:11:19   to me super duper interesting. And I don't want to fork this podcast on a tangent about

01:11:27   the Vision Pro, but it works incredibly well. And really would be, especially for tasks,

01:11:41   there are certain, the nature of my work on the Mac is I don't really need a big display.

01:11:47   When we were doing renovations in my house, again, I was going to say recently, but it

01:11:54   was 2019 into 2020. And I know this because they finished up just by happenstance right

01:12:01   before the COVID lockdowns. We just lucked into. And I had some eye problems at the time

01:12:09   too, where I kind of needed to be close to the screen. But there was over a year, maybe

01:12:14   close to two years, where because my office was being renovated, I put my iMac in a box

01:12:18   and I just lived on a 13-inch MacBook Pro. It was my only display. And it was fine. Because

01:12:24   I write most of the time, it felt a little cramped, but for the most part, just using

01:12:29   the 13-inch MacBook Pro display was fine. And I did it full time for over a year. And

01:12:35   I'm happy now. I'm happier now with one studio display on my desk. I like having a big display,

01:12:40   but it worked all right. But if I wanted, like if I did video editing or something like

01:12:46   that, I can see for some people who, or photos, you know, something where you just want a

01:12:51   big display. And if you do work portably, I think it's just phenomenal that you can

01:12:57   use a Vision Pro, even if it's like your primary reason to have the Vision Pro, to have a big

01:13:04   virtual Mac display for Mac software to do Mac work, but being able to make it big wherever

01:13:12   you go just by, and you can take a 13-inch instead of a 16-inch MacBook Pro or a MacBook

01:13:18   Air even and be even lighter weight and have this big display. But it's so, it's a, to

01:13:25   me, it's a really interesting decision that Apple would embrace because it's sort of,

01:13:32   is a tacit admission that Vision OS isn't going to, doesn't do everything a Mac can

01:13:38   do. And it was a long time before the iPad had sidecar and sort of embraced a similar

01:13:46   sort of, "Hey, we can work alongside the Mac." Right? It was for a number of years, the iPad

01:13:51   was just its own thing and there was no way to use it as like a Mac display or something

01:13:56   like that. But what it really opens up for me is the idea going forward, like not just

01:14:03   a, not two weeks from now what they're going to announce, but long-term, where does the

01:14:09   Mac go? I could kind of see the Mac becoming software only, ultimately. This would be like

01:14:17   10 years, 20 years down the road, but I don't know that I'd lose anything, right? I can

01:14:24   imagine a world where it's not really a Mac hardware, but I just use devices. But when

01:14:29   I want to do Mac type things, I can just bring it up in an app and it's just completely virtualized.

01:14:35   Yeah. I mean, I can tell you, I'm basically using like my Mac is a, my Mac is a keyboard

01:14:42   at this point. Like my Mac is a keyboard case with a track pad. And the way I use Mac OS

01:14:51   is a projection of Mac OS to other displays. Like for example, now the base keyboard is

01:14:57   plugged into an external monitor and I'm at my desk and Thunderbolt cable, and I'm looking

01:15:01   at Mac OS on a monitor, but then I touch my iPad and I'm looking at Mac OS on an iPad.

01:15:09   And then I use the vision pro and I look at Mac OS inside the vision pro. So yeah, I totally

01:15:15   agree with that theory.

01:15:16   I mean, wouldn't it be great if instead of taking a Mac with your vision pro, if you

01:15:20   could just take a keyboard and a track pad.

01:15:22   And yeah, and it's got Mac OS inside.

01:15:25   Right. And this is why I just, in the last week or so, I've been writing a little bit

01:15:29   of Daring Fireball about RAM. And it's just an idea, you know, it's the iPad event just

01:15:35   sort of put it in my head that CPU wise, performance wise, if the device had the RAM, it would

01:15:43   be trivial for Apple Silicon to run Mac at a totally respectable speed that yes, at the

01:15:51   highest end of performance. If you're really like, if you have a big complex Xcode project

01:15:56   or a big 4k video, 20 minute 4k video project that you want to export, it would be slower,

01:16:06   of course, to do it through a virtualized Mac OS running in another operating system.

01:16:11   But for 98% of computing, the only really limiting factor is RAM. That if your iPad,

01:16:19   for an iPad to theoretically run Mac OS as an app, the iPad itself already is not RAM

01:16:26   constrained, but you know, the most RAM you can get in any iPad is what, eight gigabytes,

01:16:30   right?

01:16:31   I think the higher end model maybe has more.

01:16:34   But it's nowhere near the upper limits of Macs, which go up to what, 192 at this point.

01:16:42   And like even my M1 MacBook Pro has 64 gigs of memory and I think that now the M3 ones

01:16:49   go up to like 96. There's a lot more headroom for RAM in high end Mac Pro hardware than

01:16:56   iPad and you'd want to have at least, I don't know, 1632 something more. But if they did,

01:17:03   it would already work. It would work today. There's no other technical limitation. The

01:17:07   CPU is, the performance would be fine. It just suddenly gets you into the uncomfortable

01:17:14   Tim Cook era or side of Apple of, hey, do they really want to discourage people from

01:17:20   owning a Mac and a Vision Pro and an iPad and a phone, right? I mean, I don't think

01:17:27   Apple prioritizes that at the utmost, but they prioritize it to some degree, right?

01:17:35   A world where you could just buy one Apple device and it does everything is...

01:17:39   I mean, beautiful in theory, right? Beautiful as a concept, but maybe not so beautiful from

01:17:44   a financial perspective.

01:17:46   Right, from Luca's perspective, right?

01:17:48   Yeah, but I mean, it is technically, I think, totally doable. Like I said, here I am looking

01:17:56   at a keyboard. It's effectively like a keyboard with an M2 inside and it doesn't have a fan.

01:18:02   It doesn't, it's got a, it's just a keyboard base that I had to do it myself. And it's

01:18:07   a, by and large, it's an ugly sort of way of doing things, you know, detaching the display,

01:18:12   causing it backup. But it put that idea in my brain of like, well, wouldn't it be nice

01:18:18   to have this as an actual product? And I think it would, but...

01:18:23   And with the Vision Pro too, right now, the Mac virtual display feature in the Vision

01:18:29   Pro as it stands is one of my favorite things about the product. And I'm glad they did it.

01:18:32   I wouldn't, you know, it seems a little out of character. It seemed just an unusually

01:18:36   sort of nerdy slash modular feature, especially for 1.0, but I'm so glad they did it. I think

01:18:42   it's so super useful, but it also instantly made me think, wouldn't it be great if I could

01:18:48   just have a keyboard and a trackpad and not a Mac and just launch Vision?

01:18:52   And it's a $3,500 to $4,000 product. So it's not like, oh, I'm cheating Apple out of some

01:18:58   money. Like I think for $4,000, it's not that unreasonable to think that it could run macOS

01:19:04   virtualized right there within Vision. And I think that would be, you know, I think that's

01:19:10   super compelling. And I think it might be the way of the future.

01:19:14   Maybe just not in two weeks though.

01:19:16   Yeah, maybe not. All right, let me take another break here and then we'll go on to what we

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01:22:28   So I feel like the one thing we've been dancing around is with the iPad and what I really

01:22:34   do think that I hope or at least and I sort of expect Apple to clarify this is to make

01:22:43   more clear the difference between an iPad Air and an iPad Pro.

01:22:49   Yes.

01:22:50   Right? Because I feel like what's happened over the years because they've, like I said,

01:22:53   they've always been out of sync. It's like, oh, 2018 the iPad Pros took this great leap

01:22:58   forward and there was clarity for a while. Like the iPad Pros really stood head and shoulders

01:23:04   above the medium and lower tier iPads. But now I feel like there's, it's really blurry

01:23:12   between the iPad Air and the iPad Pro. I personally think Face ID is a single, is a $200 feature.

01:23:23   But what else? You know, what else is worth 200 bucks?

01:23:27   Probably not the four speaker audio system. I mean, it's nice, but is that enough to say,

01:23:33   oh, I really want to get an iPad Pro because I really want to have two more speakers.

01:23:37   And I have to say from my personal iPad use, I don't use the speakers that much. It's a

01:23:42   lot more AirPods than speakers. Just and maybe somebody else's scenario is different and

01:23:47   they are playing music through their iPad speakers. So there are differences like that,

01:23:53   but overall...

01:23:54   Is it Thunderbolt speeds because maybe you want to connect multiple external monitors

01:24:00   to an iPad, but then you go back to that idea of, have you tried connecting multiple displays

01:24:05   to an iPad and using stage manager on multiple external displays? It's not nice. So are there

01:24:12   actually people who are taking advantage of those? And I guess maybe video makers with

01:24:17   the faster transfer speeds of Thunderbolt compared to vanilla USB-C on the iPad Air.

01:24:24   But I don't know, it feels like a stretch.

01:24:27   Yeah. It just feels like there's more, way more clarity in the non-pro iPhones and more

01:24:34   clarity on between MacBook Airs and MacBook Pros on the Mac side. I feel like with desktops,

01:24:42   it's almost self-defining. The new 24-inch Apple Silicon iMacs are clearly consumer products.

01:24:50   They don't come with M series Pro chips. The Mac Pro and Mac Studio are clearly pro products.

01:24:59   If you need a Mac Studio, you know you're a pro. But the laptops, which are the bread

01:25:04   and butter of the Mac lineup, there's just so much more, "Oh yeah, this is why the 16-inch

01:25:10   MacBook Pro starts at $2,500," which is way out of the budget for most people for a laptop.

01:25:17   And it's so nice now that if what you really want in a laptop is a bigger than 13-inch

01:25:26   screen that you can get one without spending $2,500. I mean, the biggest missing Mac for

01:25:36   almost the dawn of calling them MacBooks was a big MacBook Air, and now we have one. And

01:25:43   it's great. And what's missing on the iPad? For everybody who would like a 13-inch iPad

01:25:51   but doesn't want to spend iPad Pro money, the rumor that a 13-inch iPad Air is coming

01:25:59   is exactly, to me, of the same mindset as making a 15-inch MacBook Air.

01:26:05   Yeah, yeah. The thing about the rumors is that the details we've heard so far, I feel

01:26:13   like they make the most sense on the iPad Air side. Right, it makes total sense to have

01:26:20   a bigger iPad Air and to offer more space for people who don't want to spend a fortune

01:26:27   on an iPad Pro but still want to use an iPad. Where the rumors give me pause is the idea

01:26:33   of, well, on the iPad Pro side, you're going to have an OLED display. And that's it, at

01:26:40   least so far, and maybe a new keyboard. And I mean, I love OLED. If I can get an OLED

01:26:47   version of a TV or a video game console, I'm going to get the OLED version. But would I

01:26:54   say that OLED in itself would justify calling an iPad Pro a Pro machine? Probably not. And

01:27:03   so I kind of feel like there must be, and maybe this is the wishful thinking right now,

01:27:08   like there must be something else, right, besides a display. And maybe that's where

01:27:14   the keyboard comes in or maybe where the new Apple Pencil comes in.

01:27:19   Don't you kind of think, though, that I expect a new Magic Keyboard case, but I would expect

01:27:24   that it's going to work with all of the new iPads, or at least the iPad Airs and the iPad

01:27:28   Pro. One Magic Keyboard for all of the iPads. One that's 11-inch, one that's 13-inch. And

01:27:35   one pencil that will work with all the new iPads.

01:27:40   Yeah, so I am more convinced that the pencil is going to be cross-platform, if you will,

01:27:48   than the keyboard. There's something about this idea of Apple making a Pro version of

01:27:55   the Magic Keyboard that almost makes me wonder, are they going to keep the Magic Keyboard,

01:28:01   the current one, around? And they're going to make an additional version. Call it Magic

01:28:06   Keyboard Plus or Magic Keyboard Pro. It's just for the iPad Pro. That is the thought

01:28:13   that I'm having lately.

01:28:15   I would rather see them just make one that works with all the new iPads. One for 11,

01:28:20   one for 13-inch. And it doesn't matter if it's an iPad Air or iPad Pro. But then I realize,

01:28:26   though, that me saying that takes off the table a possible distinguishing feature for

01:28:32   why would you buy the iPad Pro other than the OLED display and the speaker.

01:28:36   Exactly. Exactly. I've been thinking about this. All right, so how can they differentiate

01:28:43   this product from the iPad Air? Because an iPad Air, you get it with decent storage size,

01:28:50   and you get an accessory, and you get an Apple Pencil 2. It is, by and large, the same experience

01:28:56   of an iPad Pro right now, more or less.

01:29:00   Face ID versus Touch ID.

01:29:02   It comes down to that. It comes down to Face ID versus Touch ID. And sure, you do have

01:29:08   the mini LED on the iPad Pro. But the screen of the iPad Air, it's a pretty good display.

01:29:15   Yeah, it is. It really is. It's not as bad as the iPad Mini one, for sure.

01:29:22   Right. And which still isn't that bad, right? Compared to the industry as a whole, it's

01:29:31   the worst iPad screen, but it still isn't that bad.

01:29:36   There are some terrible tablets out there running Android or versions of Windows.

01:29:41   But part of the corner Apple's painted itself in, and we're complaining, we mentioned it

01:29:45   before that all the, except for the low end, just plain no adjective iPad, the front-facing

01:29:52   camera is still on the hold it in portrait side, which just seems wrong at this point.

01:29:59   And again, it comes back to the, "Hey, I can't believe it's 2024 already." But 2020

01:30:05   was the big lockdown year where everybody was working from home and Zoom became a big

01:30:10   brand and a household name. And Apple has a variety of these, use your iPad in a laptop

01:30:17   sort of configuration with a keyboard. And it just looks terrible to have the camera

01:30:24   on the side. It's a bad, it's too low. It's even lower. Everybody knows laptop

01:30:30   cameras are unflattering when they're at desk height, they're low. Well, here they've

01:30:35   lowered it even three inches. It's off to the side. So if you are looking at the center

01:30:40   of your display to make eye contact with the people you're having the Zoom call with, you

01:30:45   actually look like you're off looking off to the side, like you're distracted because

01:30:49   the camera's coming from there. It's just...

01:30:51   And they're looking at your chin most of the time.

01:30:53   But, but here's the big but. The but is where the camera would naturally go to put it at

01:31:02   the top and laptop configuration is where the magnets and charging go for the Apple

01:31:06   Pencil, right? It's that Apple Pencil 2 is such a clever upgrade over the original Pencil,

01:31:12   right? The original Pencil was a great product. It made Apple break through this sort of...

01:31:20   They hadn't had anything with the stylus since the Newton and there was the whole, "Hey,

01:31:25   if you see a stylus, they blew it," which is misquoted because what Jobs meant by that

01:31:30   is if you need a stylus, they blew it, not if there's a stylus as an option. But Apple

01:31:37   Pencil 2 was so much better. It didn't have a cap. It charged magnetically instead of

01:31:42   charging by plugging something in, but it took up, it takes up the long side of the

01:31:47   screen that goes at the top. And so I'm curious, I don't know, what do you think they're going

01:31:52   to do with the Pencil 3?

01:31:54   So I mean, obviously there's the optimistic scenario in which Apple almost magically figured

01:32:00   out how to put both the camera and the charging on the same side. I don't know how, I don't

01:32:06   know why, but hey, if there's a company that can figure this out, it's them, right? I guess.

01:32:11   There's the idea of maybe you put it on the shorter side. Now that would potentially look

01:32:18   a little odd, I guess.

01:32:21   It would be too long for the Mini if the Mini eventually gets updated to get it and it would

01:32:25   block the speakers.

01:32:27   Yeah, it would block the speakers. That's the other thing. There's option number three

01:32:32   would be, well, it just charges via USB-C. So you just, we go back to the idea of it's

01:32:38   not magnets anymore, now you need to plug in a USB-C adapter.

01:32:41   I don't see it going that way.

01:32:44   Me neither. Another option that I've seen a few people mention, maybe you place the

01:32:50   Pencil on the keyboard and the keyboard as a slot to carry the Pencil and charge the

01:32:56   Pencil. I've seen some third-party cases that do that. They don't do the charging, but they

01:33:00   do the open slot to carry the Pencil. It's nice, but it's still not as seamless as...

01:33:09   And then the implication is that you "need to buy a $330 keyboard."

01:33:15   Exactly.

01:33:16   And there's surely, surely, especially for people who are illustrators, there's a lot

01:33:21   of people who don't want a $330 keyboard. All they want is the Pencil because they want

01:33:25   to do drawing on their iPad. So why in the world would you make them carry a $330 keyboard?

01:33:30   My idea, my guess, and I have no inside info, I have no idea. It seems like Apple's... Part

01:33:36   of the excitement about this is it seems like a lot of this is really kept under wraps,

01:33:41   right? I mean, the OLED stuff has just leaked through the supply chain, right? And it's

01:33:46   the sort of, I don't know, for whatever reason, the whole display industry seems to be the

01:33:53   leakiest of leaky supply chain industries. Everything related to Apple's displays seems

01:34:02   to leak and the leaks seem to be pretty accurate. My guess would be that the Pencil 3 will be

01:34:12   a lot like the Pencil 2 as a user, that it'll magnetically snap into place on the long side,

01:34:19   but that instead of making the magic spot the middle where the camera is, maybe put

01:34:25   it at the end or maybe put it at... Yeah. And so it could do whatever components need

01:34:32   to be in there to charge the Pencil and to pair it, put them off center. And so the Pencil

01:34:39   still takes the center of the spot, but the magic spot where it connects isn't in the

01:34:43   middle anymore. And it's just move it to move the magnet to the side, down towards the bottom

01:34:48   or up towards the top or something like that. And so super familiar to users who already

01:34:53   know Pencil 2, but then it lets them put the camera in the correct position.

01:34:58   Yeah, maybe that's the simplest answer is you just move it a little to the side and

01:35:03   you have a way to have all components on the same side of the device without sacrificing

01:35:11   the... I mean, let's face it, even from an accessibility perspective, from a user experience

01:35:17   perspective, it's such a win, right? The Apple Pencil 2, it charges, it pairs, it serves

01:35:24   as a carrying mechanism. It's such elegant and beautiful design at the expense of the

01:35:31   webcam. That's the problem.

01:35:33   Yeah. Apple tries to do such a good job with pairing in general and they tend to... It's

01:35:39   pretty easy to pair a magic keyboard with a Vision Pro or with a Mac, but nothing is

01:35:45   as easy as the Pencil. And if I want to hand my Pencil to my wife, all she has to do is

01:35:52   take the Pencil, connect it to her iPad and now it's her Pencil. It's hard to imagine

01:35:59   it being more seamless or more easy to understand. Just snap it into place on the side of the

01:36:04   iPad. That's where it charges. That's where it pairs. Easy. So I'd love to see them do

01:36:11   that.

01:36:12   Otherwise, we're looking at OLED, new Pencil, possibly Pencil with some kind of gesture

01:36:18   built in for additional functions.

01:36:20   There's a rumor that it'll have a button.

01:36:22   A button. There was the other rumor that mentioned the squeeze gesture, sort of like you squeeze

01:36:27   your AirPods.

01:36:28   Yeah. I wouldn't be surprised if that's the same rumor too, right? The way that it's like

01:36:34   the proverbial five blind people touching different parts of an elephant. Like, "Oh,

01:36:39   I think it's a tree. I think it's a rope because one guy's got his hand on the tail." It's

01:36:44   like maybe the button is like a capacitive squeeze thing, like the stem on AirPods. And

01:36:51   one person thinks it's a button because they know the feature and one person thinks it's

01:36:55   a squeeze because they know the components.

01:36:57   Exactly. Yeah.

01:36:58   All right. You were talking about the keyboard.

01:37:01   The keyboard, I think that's the interesting story in terms of my own usage of the iPad

01:37:06   Pro. There are so many things that they could do compared to the original version of the

01:37:10   Magic Keyboard, which is now four years old. It came out in 2020 with a fancy floating

01:37:16   design. Obviously, the rumor is pointing to a more laptop-like, sort of made of aluminum,

01:37:23   maybe more premium, more pro accessory. The two big obvious things I think would be a

01:37:32   larger trackpad and the function row. That is, I would be very surprised if this new

01:37:39   keyboard still doesn't have a function row on iPadOS or on these iPad Pros. And I think

01:37:47   judging from what it seems that Apple is doing, they are going to potentially drop that floating

01:37:54   design and they're maybe going to use a different hinge mechanism or a different attachment

01:38:00   mechanism compared to the current Magic Keyboard.

01:38:03   But delightfully so. We don't, I mean, we've heard this rumor that it'll be aluminum instead

01:38:09   of, I don't know what you would call, I've got my Magic Keyboard, my four-year-old Magic

01:38:14   Keyboard here. It's rubbery.

01:38:16   It's not silicon. Yeah, I don't know.

01:38:18   But I've posted to Mastodon, and I don't take mine out of the house very often. I don't

01:38:23   travel with it. But it hasn't worn very well.

01:38:28   Oh, no.

01:38:29   It's like in between the keys. And I'm sure, and when I've posted my pictures of mine,

01:38:34   it's always great because people who follow me will post theirs. And so many other people's

01:38:39   are so much more worn. And the truth is, a well-worn MacBook Air just doesn't wear like,

01:38:47   aluminum just doesn't wear like rubber. It doesn't fall apart. And it's like, a well-used

01:38:55   five-year-old MacBook just looks good, right? Like in the way the kit-bashed props from Star

01:39:03   Wars just look cool because they're old and gritty and used. Whereas a well-worn Magic

01:39:09   Keyboard looks like it is poorly constructed.

01:39:12   Yeah, and it looks kind of gross. Especially if you get the white version.

01:39:17   Yes, yes.

01:39:18   That thing is, I had one of those. And for all the care that I put into, you know, every

01:39:24   once in a while cleaning the case, cleaning the keyboard, it still gets stained and it

01:39:29   gets dirty and it starts turning this yellowish sort of color. It's not good. It doesn't look

01:39:37   good.

01:39:38   My son has a 12-inch or 13-inch iPad, an old and a 13-inch MacBook Air. He's got both,

01:39:45   uses both. But he got the white Keep Magic Keyboard for his iPad. And he takes really

01:39:50   good care. He's a sophomore in college. He takes really good care of his products. It's

01:39:55   like a trait he probably inherited from me. Well, my wife takes good care of her stuff

01:39:59   too. But he's always, even as a young kid, always took good care of his stuff. And we

01:40:04   trusted him with expensive devices maybe earlier than some parents would with kids who are

01:40:11   reckless with their stuff. But man, oh man, I know how much care he takes of his stuff.

01:40:16   And his white Magic Keyboard looks like, I don't know, like it was picked out of the

01:40:22   garbage or something like that.

01:40:24   Yeah. And this happens to everybody. There's no way around it. That material that maybe

01:40:29   wasn't the best choice for a product that, you know, most people hold onto their iPads

01:40:35   for many years because they're so durable. And I mean, you're still using the 2018 iPad

01:40:41   Pro.

01:40:42   Yeah.

01:40:43   And the Magic Keyboard was not meant to, especially in the white color, was not meant to last

01:40:48   four years.

01:40:49   Yeah. But you know, so here's what's really curious though. So my, I have a 2018, it's

01:40:53   right here in my hand as we speak, 2018 11 inch iPad Air or iPad Pro, the iPad, and a

01:41:01   2020 Magic Keyboard. My Magic Keyboard looks worn to hell in between my most used keys.

01:41:07   My iPad is like near mint. I mean, there are, there are a couple of dings on the edges of

01:41:14   the aluminum, but they're not, you know, you could just see where, I don't know, I must've

01:41:18   dropped it or something here or there. There's, you know, you could tell that it's been used,

01:41:23   but overall it's in very good condition. Like if I sold it, I, you know, I wouldn't call

01:41:28   it mint or near mint, but it's in good condition and it's six years old and it's obviously

01:41:34   been used more than my Magic Keyboard, right? Because every, every moment I've used the

01:41:40   Magic Keyboard has been with this iPad. Aluminum just is, surprise, surprise, way more durable

01:41:46   than a rubber coating. So here, let me, let me throw this idea at you. And it, when the

01:41:52   M3 iMac came out in November, one of the minor disappointments, minor surprises was that

01:42:02   they still are shipping a keyboard and trackpad and mouse that use lightning instead of USB-C.

01:42:11   Surely eventually they're going to, all of those lightning peripherals are going to go

01:42:15   to USB-C. And one explanation would be, well, the, they just, the iMac is just not that

01:42:21   important a product anymore. And so they weren't going to sync up the USB-C update to the keyboard

01:42:30   and trackpad for that device. But Vision Pro came out too. Vision Pro pairs with a keyboard

01:42:38   and trackpad. And for whatever reason, I don't know. I mean, do you have a theory as a side

01:42:43   note? Do you have a theory? Like you can pair any Bluetooth 5 keyboard with a Vision Pro,

01:42:49   but for a mouse pointer, you can only pair a Magic trackpad. You can't pair a third,

01:42:55   no third party mice or even a Magic mouse for some reason, even Apple's own mouse.

01:43:01   Just a trackpad and I have no idea why.

01:43:03   Yeah. But what if the new Magic keyboard, in addition to being something you use with

01:43:13   the new iPad Air and iPad Pros, is also an all in one keyboard and trackpad that you

01:43:20   can pair with a Vision Pro?

01:43:21   Oh yeah. Oh yeah. This is, this is one of the things that I would love to see. And,

01:43:27   and, and, and I'll also add that I think it's, it's, it's long due for Apple to figure out

01:43:36   for a better story for their accessories in terms of, because this is a company that cares

01:43:42   so much about, about their, about the environment and about e-waste. This idea of having to

01:43:49   buy multiple sets of keyboards for the different Apple computers that you have. And I think,

01:43:56   imagine if the same were true with your AirPods, right? Imagine if you had to buy AirPods for

01:44:01   your Mac, AirPods for your iPhone, AirPods for your iPad.

01:44:04   Yeah.

01:44:05   No, it's not the case because they so cleverly figured out a system to so seamlessly pair

01:44:13   the AirPods to multiple devices. And it is what like, we take it for granted now, but

01:44:19   when you look, when you look, when you take a peek in Bluetooth land with standard Bluetooth

01:44:24   earbuds land, it's still not the case. Bluetooth multi-point, not only does it, by and large,

01:44:30   does it suck compared to what Apple does, but it's still not even so widespread. And

01:44:35   it's been, the AirPods are what, eight years old at this point? I think it's time for Apple

01:44:40   to figure out a similar system for their accessories, where just like AirPods, you buy the one keyboard

01:44:46   and the one trackpad and your Mac computer, your iPad, and maybe your Vision Pro, they

01:44:52   recognize the accessory and they switch to the accessory. I think it's time for them

01:44:58   to do this sort of technology that they did with the AirPods for their input accessories.

01:45:05   I think it's a bug in Mac OS 14.4, because if not, it's something's weird with my personal

01:45:14   MacBook Pro. But in, I'd say for like the last month, maybe six weeks, I've had an intermittent

01:45:20   problem where my AirPods always want to pair with my MacBook. Even my home office is on

01:45:27   the ground floor of our house and our living area is on the second floor. And so it's like,

01:45:34   I'll be like on my way out to walk around, run errands or something like that. And I'm

01:45:38   using, I'm listening to podcasts or music on my phone. And as I leave the house, I have

01:45:44   to walk by my office and then the audio just stops on my, in my ears because it's jumped

01:45:51   over to my MacBook and restarting the Mac fixes it. But I, and I think it's a recent

01:45:58   problem and once I restart, then it's fine for like a week and then it starts happening

01:46:02   again. But it's all it's done is emphasized to me how awesome the automatic pairing with

01:46:09   AirPods is when it, when it's working as intended. Right. And it's exactly what you said. It's

01:46:13   great. And it would be crazy if it would seem crazy now that we're used to, Hey, I just

01:46:17   have one pair of AirPods Pro and they work with all my devices and they kind of do the

01:46:22   right thing. They do what I mean when I switch devices, which feels magical. It does. It

01:46:28   would be great to have that with a keyboard and it would really be a sign to me that Apple

01:46:33   has getting its overall cross device story together. If they made an aluminum base, sort

01:46:45   of like your hybrid thing, right? It would just be like a keyboard with a nice big Mac

01:46:50   size track pad F keys would be great above the numbers. And if it could just pair with

01:46:58   both a vision pro and any iPad, and I don't know what the connectors for the iPad would

01:47:04   look like. I don't know if there's a slot that you'd slotted into. I don't know. I leave

01:47:09   that to their Clyde never in a million years would have imagined the weird cantilever.

01:47:15   How weird. It's very clever, but the way that, like you said, like the magic keyboard that

01:47:21   we have for the last four years, the way that it sort of lets the bottom third of the iPad

01:47:26   hover over the keyboard. I leave that to Apple's designers to come up with the clever connecting

01:47:31   mechanism, but man, would that be great. And if it's in the same price range, 350 ish,

01:47:37   300 to $350. That seems like a much better value. It seems like, yeah, that's worth

01:47:45   $350. If it's aluminum, more durable, and it pairs with both the vision pro and an iPad,

01:47:52   and presumably you could also pair with like a Mac mini or a Mac studio. Right? Yeah. Now

01:47:58   that would be a much better deal. I mean, it would also be a way for people to buy that

01:48:01   accessory even if they're not iPad users. Right. Even if you don't want to buy an iPad,

01:48:06   you get the new Apple keyboard and it still works with your vision poem with your Mac

01:48:11   mini or whatever. And yeah, I do think that some of Apple's most fascinating work lately,

01:48:17   I mean, besides obviously vision-wise, I think it is coming from those teams that have been

01:48:21   working on like those cross-platform integrations, like the folks behind, I mean, obviously Sidecar,

01:48:29   but even Universal Control. I think it's such, once you get used to it, the magic of Universal

01:48:36   Control, when you can just move the cursor off to the side and it pops up on your iPad

01:48:42   or even with VisionOS, like you're using the Mac virtual display mode, and then you look

01:48:47   at a VisionOS window and the pointer is there, the work that Apple has been doing there.

01:48:54   And then of course the AirPods. I would love to see Apple apply their knowledge actually

01:49:01   to two products in this case, the keyboard that we just mentioned, but boy, would I also

01:49:07   love to see Apple try and make a game controller with the same features.

01:49:14   That would be, I mean, it would be cool, but...

01:49:17   They're never going to do it, but it would be cool.

01:49:19   Yeah. I kind of feel like the best we can hope for is what we've got where they've thoroughly

01:49:24   embraced third-party controllers. Right.

01:49:27   Yeah. And it's fine.

01:49:29   And they try to be very agnostic about the Xbox PlayStation Divide.

01:49:34   Exactly.

01:49:35   Because I don't know, like when you get review units, do they send you game controllers sometimes?

01:49:38   No, no, no, no, no, no.

01:49:40   Oh, they've sent, I've been sent a couple of game controllers with various things to...

01:49:45   Like PlayStation ones?

01:49:47   Yeah. Yeah. They've sent, but they mix it up. Like I've got like at least three game

01:49:53   controllers I need to send back. I have a whole bunch of queued up review units to send

01:49:57   back, but they'll send me like a PlayStation one one time. And then I think with the M3

01:50:03   MacBook Pro, they sent me an Xbox controller, but it works great with both. And I think

01:50:08   that's the best we can hope for.

01:50:09   Yeah. Yeah. I'm fine with third-party controllers. I am not fine with third-party keyboards.

01:50:13   I just want to use the Apple one.

01:50:16   All right.

01:50:17   Yeah.

01:50:18   But boy, that would be such a great story. And it would give them a reason to talk about

01:50:22   Vision Pro in this event on May 7th. And I just noticed today that they've put a thing

01:50:29   in the app store like, "Hey, why don't you buy a Vision Pro?" Like, I think they recognize

01:50:35   that the enthusiasm around Vision Pro's launch has dissipated. I was going to say it's not

01:50:42   just decreased, but it's sort of disappeared. And I think leading up to WWDC where surely

01:50:50   they're going to have a lot of Vision OS 2.0 features that they are going to want to tell

01:50:54   us about. But up to that, any kind of... If they could just work the Vision Pro into this

01:51:00   iPad event on May 7th with the keyboard, it would be great. And personally, at my desk,

01:51:07   I use a keyboard and a mouse. I'm a mouse person, not a trackpad person. But when I

01:51:13   do use a trackpad, it's very natural for me to do it in a laptop way with the trackpad

01:51:21   for my thumb underneath the space bar as opposed to a magic trackpad off to the side. I doubt

01:51:29   that me, that I would abandon my beloved 30-year-old Apple Extended Keyboard 2 for a new peripheral.

01:51:38   But if an integrated device that put the trackpad under the keyboard, under the space bar, would

01:51:46   be more tempting than anything Apple's made peripheral-wise for a while, for me, for the

01:51:51   Mac, I think it would be really interesting.

01:51:54   It sure would be nice to have that keyboard maybe compatible with Vision Pro and maybe

01:51:59   some European Vision Pro launches before WWDC. I mean, I can see...

01:52:04   Yeah, that would be another point of... Yeah, that would definitely be a thing to announce

01:52:09   on May 7th, yeah. Where is Vision Pro? It's still officially only in North America? Yeah,

01:52:16   US and Canada?

01:52:17   Is it in Canada?

01:52:18   I don't even know if it's in Canada.

01:52:20   Yeah, yeah. I had to get mine from the US, so yeah, still only there.

01:52:28   So yeah, that would be nice if they expanded that. And why not, right? I mean, it's not

01:52:32   setting the world on fire sales-wise. And I know Ming-Chi Kuo just came out with a story

01:52:38   this week that they've cut the estimates, which seems ridiculous. I mean, I'll put a

01:52:44   link in the show notes, but Neil Seibart called him out, Ming-Chi Kuo, for like two months

01:52:49   ago. The same guy said they expect to sell 150,000 in the US, and now he's like, "They've

01:52:56   cut the orders from 450,000." And it's like, "Well, wait, which is it?" Yeah, that would

01:53:01   be good. Anything else that you are hoping for at May 7th?

01:53:06   I would still love to see a software story. I know that we talked about the hardware,

01:53:13   and realistically we are going to get hardware. And software is... WWDC is usually the place

01:53:19   for software, right? And it's literally like a month after. But my concern is that just

01:53:27   hardware would still not fix that story of the iPad Pro, right? And so maybe there will

01:53:35   need to be an addendum of sorts at WWDC for iPadOS. But then again, I'm skeptical given

01:53:43   that maybe the focus of WWDC is going to be AI and iOS 18. So I would love to see not

01:53:51   just here's an accessory, here's OLED, here's new hardware for you. I would love to see

01:53:59   actual changes in iPadOS, but I know that it's not the time.

01:54:04   I wonder if... OS changes surely are going to wait for WWDC. And there's a reason why

01:54:12   Apple, to my memory, has never done a hardware launch in May. And presumably it's just because

01:54:19   they wanted these iPads to be out earlier, and for whatever reason one part or another

01:54:25   were delayed. And because we're expecting them to change so much. iPad Air's new iPad

01:54:33   Air model that's bigger, all new iPad Pros, new pencil, new keyboard and trackpad, magic

01:54:39   keyboard thing, who knows what other keyboard case things they might have. All of that,

01:54:45   any one of them might have been delayed and held up the whole thing, we don't know. But

01:54:50   maybe software-wise they'll have an app or apps, like an upgrade to Final Cut and Logic

01:54:56   for iPad that they could talk on, or a new app, something new that is decidedly pro.

01:55:03   I mean Final Cut and Logic are very, very pro apps. Maybe a major update to them or

01:55:10   something, something they could show off and say, "Look, when you run Final Cut on these

01:55:15   new iPad Pros, you can export at MacBook Pro speeds." And it's totally suitable for a truly

01:55:22   professional workflow for these things, I don't know. But I agree that doing this in

01:55:28   May makes me wonder what in the world they are going to show off software-wise. Because

01:55:35   you have to show software. As much as it's about selling new hardware, there's no demo

01:55:40   without software, right? It is very strange. All right, let me take a break here and thank

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01:58:55   Federico, you're in Italy. That's the EU. And now you're living in a different world

01:59:05   than I am on iOS.

01:59:08   That is correct. I'm using people manager on my phone. Yes.

01:59:13   Well, I've got the same one because I've got a build from Riley. So I've got clips

01:59:21   on my phone, clip singular, but there's not a lot yet. Right now, we've only got one.

01:59:28   It's still, I think, and there's still just Alt Store is the only.

01:59:31   Alt Store, yeah.

01:59:32   Alt Store, PAL, which is such a great name. I love it. But like I wrote and I've been

01:59:39   very, I am, I still largely against the DMA. I think it's poorly considered legislation

01:59:46   overall, but in a way that two opposing things can be true. I also am jealous because as

01:59:54   a nerd/power user, there's no better place to be an iOS user than the EU right now. And

02:00:01   it's only going to get cooler going forward.

02:00:04   Yeah, yeah. That's sort of my take. And obviously we've been writing about the DMA at Max

02:00:07   stories. John has been as a former lawyer by trade, has been writing about the DMA.

02:00:17   Trust me, as somebody married to somebody who used to, there's no such thing as a former

02:00:21   lawyer. You're always a lawyer. You're just no longer practicing lawyer. Trust me. I guess

02:00:29   what, guess what my record is in spousal arguments? Oh, for whatever.

02:00:38   So I think there are so many parts of the DMA that either don't make sense or are poorly

02:00:47   written, poorly explained, more idealistic than anything. But at the same time, I got

02:00:56   to say that as a user, looking at this from the outside, if you don't have an opinion

02:01:03   on like what it means for Apple as a company, you're just a user and you're like, well,

02:01:07   now I get to choose which other browser I want to use. Now I get to install a bunch

02:01:12   of apps, at least in theory, we've only got the one for now. A bunch of apps that were

02:01:18   not allowed before. That's great. I still feel like I can't help but think that it's

02:01:25   unfortunate that we've ended up in this situation where regulation had to happen for certain

02:01:34   changes to occur on iOS and only in a part of the world. I can't help but wonder if

02:01:41   maybe all of this could have been avoided from Apple's side, of course. Look, I'm

02:01:48   not a fan of regulation. I'm not one of those people who are like, regulation can

02:01:56   do no wrong. And in fact, in most circumstances, it does harm, especially when it's created

02:02:03   by people who maybe are not so technically knowledgeable. And at the same time, I wonder

02:02:15   like maybe in an alternate timeline, Apple could have avoided this if they wanted to.

02:02:23   It's undeniable. Right now, globally, this is a change that Apple has instituted in the

02:02:29   App Store outside the EU is now they've relented on the longstanding ban on emulators,

02:02:37   classic game emulators famously. And not only, I'm sure this isn't news to anybody who's

02:02:42   listening to us because Riley tested Delta is, I don't know if it's still number one,

02:02:48   but I think it is. I'm going to look, but it's literally the most popular app in the

02:02:53   App Store, which emulates a bunch of classic Nintendo platforms only. I don't know if

02:03:00   that's what it's limited to, but it's still number one. But there's no question that

02:03:09   it wouldn't have happened without regulatory pressure. And I've always said like, piracy

02:03:17   is a form of negotiation. And go back 20 years before the iTunes Music Store, when the iTunes

02:03:27   Music Store was sort of an answer to, "Hey, everybody wants to just download MP3s, and

02:03:33   right now the only way to really do it easily is to pirate them. Here, we're going to make

02:03:38   it even easier, and we're going to do it by selling the songs for 99 cents. But you

02:03:44   don't have to worry about quality, we're going to make sure everything's encoded right,

02:03:47   we're going to pre-fill all the metadata." And you can feel good about the fact that

02:03:51   you're not pirating it, that you're paying a reasonable price for the music. But the

02:03:55   piracy was a form of collective negotiation with the music industry. It's like, "Oh,

02:04:02   you guys only want to sell us music on complete album CDs, and you're going to up the price

02:04:07   to like 20 bucks a CD, and I really only want one song from the CD. Well, I'll just kind

02:04:14   of download the song." Right? It's a form of negotiation. And regulatory pressure works

02:04:19   that way too, where it's like, sometimes the best regulation isn't regulation that's

02:04:25   put into law, it's the threat of regulation, and it is enough to create changes in the

02:04:32   company or the product or whatever it is that you're attempting to regulate. And in some

02:04:37   ways, the emulation restriction in the App Store rules, I think, is an example of that.

02:04:44   There's been no law passed around the world or in the United States or elsewhere that

02:04:49   says that Apple has to allow 20-year-old Nintendo platforms to be emulated on the phone, but

02:04:55   it's thanks to the regulatory pressure that that's now true, that everybody around the

02:04:59   world can download Delta from the App Store. It works, and sometimes that's the best

02:05:05   way, right? And my criticisms, and I think you probably agree with it, I think almost

02:05:10   everybody who's technically literate, even people who overall think the DMA overall is

02:05:17   a good idea, will acknowledge that yes, there's some technical clunkers in here, aspects of

02:05:23   it that are written by people who just don't understand, shouldn't be passing mandates

02:05:29   because they don't understand the things that they're mandating. But it's, I'm really, really

02:05:34   interested to see what the next couple of marketplaces that open in the EU. And I think

02:05:40   it's so cool that the first one is Riley's. I really do. It's such a great little independent

02:05:47   story. I mean, it's just two guys who made the first third-party App Store for iOS.

02:05:58   I kind of feel like, obviously, having lived in Italy my entire life, and we've been part

02:06:04   of the European Union for what, the past almost 30 years?

02:06:09   Yeah, right.

02:06:11   If the way the European Union operates historically is of any indication, it seems to me that

02:06:19   with all kinds of regulations that they have passed over the past decades, usually they

02:06:24   are interested in sort of setting a baseline for how they think things should be done.

02:06:32   And this applies to currencies, to foreign travel, to healthcare mandates. It applies,

02:06:41   of course, during the lockdown and the pandemic. It applies to immigration. It applies to funds

02:06:48   that they give to different governments to redo their infrastructures, for example. That's

02:06:53   one of the things that we've been doing in Italy for the past couple of years. We've

02:06:56   been using European funds to redo very basic things like our streets and bike lanes, that

02:07:04   sort of stuff. Usually, the European Union seems to be interested in setting a baseline.

02:07:09   And this is such a European thing, but most things are always up for debate. And there's

02:07:18   always a lot of concessions happening behind the scenes. And sort of like the European

02:07:26   Union coming in and saying, "We want you to do this," and setting these vague sort of

02:07:33   mandates, just like in the DMA, so many aspects are sort of vague. It's not clear exactly

02:07:39   what you want with this regulation. But it seems that I've seen this story before with

02:07:45   other types of EU mandate regulations, and it always comes down to, "Okay, let's get

02:07:51   these people behind closed doors to figure things out in a way that makes sense in the

02:07:57   end." And I think this initial moment is the most awkward one. And that is my interpretation

02:08:05   of things, that there are some good aspects, I think, in theory, that can be salvaged in

02:08:15   the DMA. It's like, on paper, the idea of, "Hey, should users have options when it comes

02:08:22   to installing software on their phones?" And Apple saying, "Okay, but maybe we'll let them

02:08:28   do it in a secure way that we still control." That sort of back and forth, I think, this

02:08:35   is just my personal theory, is what we will continue to see. And it's why now the European

02:08:41   Union needs to get back to Apple in terms of how they've implemented the core technology

02:08:46   fee, and how they've implemented installing software via a web browser. There's going

02:08:50   to be a lot of this. And I think I've seen a similar narrative unfold before with all

02:09:01   kinds of regulations that, coming from Brussels to the individual governments, and it starts

02:09:08   this conversation between them that eventually ends up with, "Okay, the original regulation

02:09:15   was interpreted and revised to be applied in this specific way for, say, Italy, or in

02:09:22   this case, maybe in the future, Apple and iOS." So this is sort of where I stand. I

02:09:28   think, and I hope, it goes like other regulations before, where it was mostly about setting

02:09:37   a baseline, but the details were intentionally kept vague because they needed to be figured

02:09:42   out between the parties involved.

02:09:44   And it's just the EU way of doing it, really. I mean, it's different to not delineate things

02:09:50   very specifically, but sort of leave it up to interpretation in the future. And that's

02:09:54   really where we are, is what are they going to choose to enforce? I think, for example,

02:10:00   I think the mandatory browser choice screen is a bad idea. I don't think it's horrible,

02:10:06   and the people who are fans of it are like, "Why are you objecting to it?" I just think

02:10:11   it's the sort of thing that I just think most typical users don't understand. And I've shown

02:10:18   the screenshots of the browser choice screen to my mom and my mother-in-law, who are very

02:10:24   typical iPhone users, non-technical. Neither of them, they're both bright. They're bright

02:10:31   women, but they're not technical at all. And I was like, "Would you understand what to

02:10:36   do with this screen?" And they say, "No, I don't know what it is." And I think my mom knew

02:10:41   that her browser is Safari, but my mother-in-law didn't even know Safari is named Safari. But

02:10:49   it's just one thing, and I do recognize that from the European Commission's perspective,

02:10:54   I think that they naturally see the web as their platform, that what the web, the World

02:11:01   Wide Web of browsers is, is sort of the computing equivalent of the European Union, right? The

02:11:13   European Union is not a federal single entity. There's no European Union army, right? It's

02:11:20   not like the United States. Yeah, you even laugh because you're intimately familiar with

02:11:23   it, and you know how ludicrous that is. But it is. It's like the web, and the web doesn't

02:11:29   have an owner, right? The European Union doesn't really have an owner, right? Germany doesn't

02:11:33   own the European Union, even though it's the biggest economy in the union. It's sort

02:11:39   of like the web, and so they have an affinity for the web, and they've given special attention

02:11:46   to it with this browser choice screen. I think that the sort of murmuring that maybe they

02:11:51   would do the same thing with photos would be a disaster. I don't...

02:11:55   That would just be so silly. Like, why even consider that?

02:11:58   It is not... So I think stopping with the browser is one thing. I think if they continued

02:12:05   to push and ended at what? You're going to have an email client choice screen, a calendar

02:12:09   choice screen, a photo storage choice screen, and the photo choice screen in particular

02:12:15   really just does not work with the central role that the photo role stores in iOS in

02:12:23   terms of the photo picker and stuff like that. I mean, it's all typing. Anything could happen.

02:12:28   Apple could comply with anything. Software is flexible, but that's just... To me, it's

02:12:37   pointless and detrimental and doesn't deserve to be mandated. And maybe that's just something

02:12:42   that they said. It just depends on how they interpret it.

02:12:45   Yeah, they say many things. I think they could have probably just mandated that users should

02:12:53   be able to install different browsers without the screen. If anything, because like Google,

02:13:00   for example, they have been so aggressive lately in Italy. I don't know if it's the

02:13:06   same elsewhere in Europe, and I have to believe that it was in preparation of this, but they

02:13:11   have been running TV commercials so aggressively for Google Chrome on iPhone over the past

02:13:17   few months that I can see how the regular person now sees that screen and it's like,

02:13:23   "Oh yeah, I've seen Google Chrome on TV." They say that it's more secure than other

02:13:27   browsers. Let me tap on the Google Chrome because this is exactly what they have been

02:13:31   arguing in their commercials, that you don't have to worry about passwords because Google

02:13:36   Chrome has your back. Now, you don't see those Safari commercials on Italian TV. You

02:13:41   see the Google ones, and when you get that screen and you see Google Chrome, maybe some

02:13:46   people would say, "Yeah, I hear that's secure," even though they have a perfectly fine and

02:13:52   maybe even more secure browser already on their phone. So I would have personally preferred

02:13:58   like, "Yes, open it up. Let me install different browsers," but maybe the screen

02:14:03   was a little unnecessary. For sure, I wouldn't like to get more screens. Even if it's a

02:14:11   screen and you can dismiss it, and somebody like me, I'm fine. It's not going to kill

02:14:17   me or anything, but like you mentioned, my mom would see that screen and I am convinced

02:14:22   my mom, not because she's stupid or whatever, she just is a regular person who doesn't

02:14:28   read Daring Fireball or Mac stories, and she makes the connection of, "Yeah, I've seen

02:14:33   Google on TV. I want to choose that because it seems to be better." And so I am a little

02:14:39   concerned about what that screen could do for people who don't know all the details.

02:14:48   And they don't recognize things, and I don't think the DMA acknowledges. I think that the

02:14:52   DMA is written from a perspective—and again, it's biased towards the web, and I think

02:14:58   the US Department of Justice lawsuit that, or brief, whatever it's called, the opening

02:15:04   salvo launched against Apple, is from the exact same perspective, where it's from

02:15:09   technocrats who see computing devices as sort of blank slates, and that the ideal is cross-platform

02:15:21   software, and that it doesn't matter which brand phone you have, and that write-once-run-everywhere

02:15:27   web apps for everything would be all pros, no cons, and just not only doesn't acknowledge,

02:15:36   but is actually completely ignoring the advantages of integration and how that's actually the

02:15:42   appeal of Apple, right? The appeal of Apple is, "Okay, especially for typical consumers,

02:15:49   you can trust us," and there's just this integrated experience of, "Okay, you've

02:15:55   got an iPhone and you like the iPhone, and so maybe now your next laptop you'll buy

02:16:01   a MacBook, and you've never owned a Mac before, and by default you're using Safari

02:16:07   and you've signed into your iCloud account, and you've got shared history. Your history

02:16:12   of what you browsed on your iPhone is there in the history menu in Safari on your Mac,

02:16:17   and it just works." And I know that if you go all in on the Google ecosystem, you

02:16:21   get the same thing with Chrome or with Brave, that if you use the same browser on your phone,

02:16:27   your iPhone, and your Mac, you can get shared history and shared bookmarks and stuff like

02:16:31   that. But the people like my mom and my mother-in-law, it's not just because of me, because I'm

02:16:38   my mom's son and my mother-in-law's son-in-law, that they've bought Apple products, that

02:16:42   they don't badger me for advice and what to do and get lost. They just sort of have

02:16:48   a trust that, "Oh, if I just do the Apple thing, it'll all work and it'll be both

02:16:53   useful and safe. It won't be installing unwanted toolbars in my browser and junking

02:17:01   up the interface with stuff that I don't want," or something like that. And I do think,

02:17:06   it's just funny watching, of course, the downloads of third-party browsers went up

02:17:12   once this browser choice screen went into place in iOS 17.4 in the EU, because of course

02:17:20   more people are downloading these third-party browsers than before. But are they all doing

02:17:26   it because they're making a knowledgeable choice? That just gets glossed over by this.

02:17:32   In the same way that there surely are some people who've discovered a browser that

02:17:36   they like, like, "Oh, I didn't realize Chrome was available on an iPhone. I don't

02:17:40   know who those people are," because like you said, Google's advertised it heavily.

02:17:47   But there's just as surely people who've made a mistake, who didn't know what they

02:17:52   were choosing and picked something and now they've got a default browser that is unfamiliar

02:17:58   and they don't know how they got there.

02:18:00   Yeah, and I do think that there are aspects that I appreciate. There are installing software

02:18:14   from third-party marketplace while still knowing that it's being notarized by Apple. And

02:18:21   so I can rest assured that I'm not installing some scammy malware coming from who knows

02:18:27   where and it's still under some sort of control from Apple. I think that's a great

02:18:35   thing and I think it's showing how my concluding thought would be that it's a shame that

02:18:47   it had to come down to this, to what's happening now. But I do think that a little bit of pressure

02:18:57   on Apple to change things up, whether, you know, you look at emulators, for example.

02:19:08   Now they didn't have to, but they felt like maybe they had to show that they're listening

02:19:14   and opening things up. I do believe that in this case, competition and a healthy dose

02:19:23   of regulation can push things in the right direction. If anything, from the perspective

02:19:28   of it creates new opportunities for people who maybe wouldn't have gotten to realize

02:19:37   those opportunities before. Like, for example, Riley and Delta, if it were not for what's

02:19:46   happening now, not only is now Delta providing a hopefully sustainable business for the two

02:19:56   young developers involved, but it's also having this sort of cascading effect for,

02:20:01   like, sales of third party game controllers are up, way up, because of what's happening

02:20:08   now. Millions and millions of people want to play those Nintendo games and therefore

02:20:12   they're spending their money elsewhere. So I think it's important to consider not just,

02:20:16   you know, the individual example of, yeah, there's a Nintendo emulator now in the App

02:20:21   Store, but it's important to consider how competition and regulation, sometimes they

02:20:26   have an effect on the economy and what's possible now that wasn't possible until a week ago.

02:20:35   And now it's moving a bunch of aspects of people spending money in different places

02:20:42   that they wouldn't have otherwise, and I think that's a nice thing.

02:20:48   I think some of Apple's mentality and their obstinance at changing and adapting and opening

02:20:54   up is, I mean, let's face it. I mean, the most staunch critics of Apple would say it's

02:21:02   just pure greed and that it's all about the 30 to 15% cut from the App Store and everything

02:21:10   is about the App Store cut. And there's no doubt about it that Apple cares about the

02:21:14   revenue from the App Store. I mean, it's a lot of money, it's the services has been their

02:21:20   growth engine and the growth is an important, it's from an investor standpoint, traditionally,

02:21:28   the thing that any investor looks at at any company, it doesn't matter what they make

02:21:32   is are they growing or not? And if they're not, then it's bad for the stock. And so of

02:21:37   course that's an A factor, but I do think that Apple without Steve Jobs has lost a little

02:21:45   bit of the, okay, fuck it, let's just do a new thing, right? Like there's the whole story

02:21:50   about like that Jobs was opposed to putting iTunes on Windows, that the original idea

02:21:57   of the iPod as a Mac peripheral to help bolster the Mac and keep the software Mac only. And

02:22:05   Schiller, we know from books that have come out and a couple other executives, like, I

02:22:10   think we should put this on Windows and sell. Not only will we make a lot of money selling

02:22:15   iPods to Windows users, it's a way to give people who've never tasted the Apple experience

02:22:21   their first taste of the Apple experience. And Steve Jobs was resistant and they made

02:22:25   their case a couple of times and then he was like, okay, screw it, but it's your problem.

02:22:28   You know, go do it. But I feel like they've lost a little bit of that sort of, I think

02:22:35   there's, it's not just greed for the app store revenue. There's a bit of, if it ain't broke,

02:22:41   don't fix it. Let's not screw anything up. And I know that the critics of Apple's compliance

02:22:49   with DMA call it malicious compliance and I could not disagree more. I actually think

02:22:54   that, okay, they fought against it. They did not want the DMA to be passed at all. They

02:22:59   did not want sideloading. Craig Federighi went to, it wasn't Barcelona, was it Portugal?

02:23:05   There was some conference in Europe. I mean, somebody, Apple executive flying all the way

02:23:09   from California to Europe to speak at a conference, it shows you how important they took it. And

02:23:15   the whole point of his keynote two or three years ago was to make the case against sideloading

02:23:20   as a mandated feature. They clearly, but they, they, they lost the argument. The mandate

02:23:26   was passed. And I feel like they said what Apple has done is said, okay, it is what it

02:23:32   is. This is the law. How do we do the best job of complying with this? To me, malicious

02:23:38   compliance with sideloading would have been what a lot of nerds think they want Apple

02:23:45   to do, which is anything goes okay. Anybody who compiles a native app for iPhone, just

02:23:52   put it on the web and download it and it installs on your home screen and there it is. And if

02:23:57   it uses private APIs and runs in the background or tries to install stuff outside the sandbox

02:24:02   or whatever, anything goes, just let it happen. That's malicious compliance where, and surely

02:24:10   that would lead to malware and just poorly coded software that drains the battery. And

02:24:17   then Apple could point to the EU and say, look at all these people complaining about

02:24:20   the battery life being hours shorter on their phone than before. I think they've right.

02:24:26   The complexity of their, their compliance is, isn't about being confusing. It's about

02:24:32   trying to comply with all these things in ways that maintain the experience. And I really

02:24:37   do think that Apple's looking at it as, okay, we're, we have to do this. What can we do

02:24:45   that might be what we would do if we were starting all over today? And I think like,

02:24:50   that's why I think the core technology fee is a way of Apple saying we, we will still

02:24:56   want to monetize third party software development on this platform. That's the nature of this.

02:25:03   This is not an open platform where developers can just freely install whatever they want.

02:25:10   What if instead of taking a cut of sales, we just took a cut, a 50 cent or 50 Euro cent,

02:25:17   whatever you, what do you call them? Euro cents? What are they? 50 Euro cent download

02:25:22   fee over a million. Cause it fills in. I've, I've mentioned this, but you know, I don't

02:25:26   think in 2008 when they launched the app store, they foresaw things like TikTok and Facebook

02:25:33   and Instagram and these apps that are free to download only free to download and form

02:25:40   billion dollar companies that Apple's mindset was surely the successful companies that build

02:25:48   apps will be selling their apps. Right. And it's turns out that's not true. So what would

02:25:53   they do to adjust? I honestly see a lot of almost almost everything in their compliance

02:25:59   plan is something that if it works out well and is a good experience for users in the

02:26:04   EU that they might open up worldwide without any kind of mandate by the law. I really do

02:26:10   think so. Yeah. And I think that's, you know, and that's why I think the things like people

02:26:15   are complaining about, Hey, you have to agree. You know, it's not just tap a link on the

02:26:20   website and you get an app on your home screen. It's you have to go into settings and say,

02:26:24   I permit some, this developer to give me an app. I think that it's, it's all, it's not

02:26:31   to discourage people. It's to strike the right balance between making sure the experience

02:26:36   stays good. Yeah. And honestly it's fine. Like clicking through a couple of dialogues.

02:26:43   I think it's, it's, it's, it takes 30 seconds. It's not a big deal really. Yeah. Anyway.

02:26:53   That's about it for me. It's good to talk to you.

02:26:55   Watch you again. Lots to look forward to in the coming weeks. Are you coming? Do you know,

02:27:00   are you coming to WWDC? Oh yeah. Yeah. All right. Well then I can, I can gladly say I

02:27:05   will see you there. Awesome. See you soon. Everybody where else, where, where, where

02:27:10   should we tell people to go? Of course, max stories.net net. I'm a mastodon at BTT dot

02:27:17   max stories.net because we're using our domain. You've got your own domain. How's that working

02:27:22   out for you? Are you glad you did that? I don't know. I don't know. The mastodon gets

02:27:28   expensive fast. So to give you a quick sense of things, we're spending $80 a month just

02:27:36   to run the mastodon instance. So yeah, it's not really well optimized. I hope they're

02:27:43   working on it. I'm mostly just happy that it's under my own domain, but I don't know.

02:27:49   Anyway, also on threads, also on threads, the same user.

02:27:55   Great to talk to you Federico. See you soon. See you soon.

02:27:58   Thank you.