00:00:04 ◼ ► That would be amazing. I kind of wish I had planned it such that Moltz was waiting in the wings.
00:00:12 ◼ ► So yeah, so we should start with follow-up as this is a normal episode as always, and let's talk about the MacBook hierarchy of needs.
00:00:20 ◼ ► I did think a bit about what my hierarchy of needs is since it was kind of sprung on us last episode, and my conclusions were not that exciting,
00:00:30 ◼ ► But we did get a little bit of feedback about this, including from Abby Beckert who wrote that if you make your own list,
00:00:38 ◼ ► there's good chances that one or more PC laptops actually includes every single item on the list.
00:00:43 ◼ ► So for Abby, they wrote, you know, a reliable keyboard, touchscreen, carbon fiber, sensible built-in ports, first party dock for extra ports,
00:00:51 ◼ ► dealer, SD card reader, waterproof, a 14-inch screen at two and a half pounds, which is half a pound lighter than 13-inch MacBook Pro,
00:00:58 ◼ ► sensible screen resolution, an option for glosser matte screen, and this was all in, and I don't have the rest of the email in front of me, I'm sorry,
00:01:10 ◼ ► And so their point was just, hey, you know, all of us, including the three of us, are lamenting some of the choices that Apple's made with regard to laptops,
00:01:19 ◼ ► but you know, you could just go swimming in the other pool, and that may not be so terrible.
00:01:25 ◼ ► You might get the hardware you want, even if you don't get the software you want, and it's an interesting point.
00:01:29 ◼ ► Well, it's an interesting point, except that like, number one on my hierarchy of needs is, runs Mac OS.
00:01:36 ◼ ► That wasn't the point of most of the emails, it wasn't like, hey, you should try a PC, just that the idea, and it's kind of what I was getting at with the MacBook hierarchy of needs,
00:01:45 ◼ ► as I said on the show, not so much like, let's find out what our one or two in the line of acceptability is, but just like, what is your full list,
00:01:56 ◼ ► And it seems unimaginable, because we're like, well, what we collectively on this program want from laptops, it seems like Apple doesn't want to build,
00:02:04 ◼ ► but you start to get into this mindset that it's like, well, it's not just that Apple doesn't want to build it, nobody can make a laptop like that.
00:02:09 ◼ ► That's asking for too much, and it's just not true. Like, you can make a laptop, like, if you just read these bullet points,
00:02:15 ◼ ► not that Apple has ever been about chasing specs or bullet points or like, feature lists, like, that's the opposite of what Apple's about,
00:02:20 ◼ ► but our lists, each of our lists weren't that, you know, out there. This list, I feel like, is out there.
00:02:27 ◼ ► Carbon fiber and waterproof laptops, like, you know, but if you make a list like that, you can find the PC laptop that satisfies it,
00:02:34 ◼ ► showing that not only is it possible to do, it's possible to do probably at a price, you know, half of what Apple charges,
00:02:45 ◼ ► But all this is just, I put this item in here just, you know, as a level setting that, like, we shouldn't be too, sort of, resigned to the fact that
00:02:55 ◼ ► the only ports that can ever be on a keyboard or on a MacBook are USB-C and Thunderbolt.
00:03:01 ◼ ► We shouldn't be resigned to the fact that there only can be one keyboard across three different sizes of laptops.
00:03:06 ◼ ► Like, you know, we need to keep believing that it is possible to make a slightly different set of trade-offs,
00:03:12 ◼ ► kind of like we did when we talked about the phone, and lo and behold, the XR is here and it does make a slightly different set of trade-offs,
00:03:18 ◼ ► and it goes places that no phone has ever gone before. You know, it's got a screen that everyone agrees is great, even though it's not OLED,
00:03:24 ◼ ► it's got the longest battery life of any iPhone Apple has ever made, and it's a tiny little bit thicker and it comes in cool colors.
00:03:31 ◼ ► You know, I'm trying to be optimistic. All this is to say is, Apple, we believe in you. You can do this.
00:03:37 ◼ ► You can make slightly different choices for your laptops, and it will make more people happy.
00:03:42 ◼ ► All right, we also got some feedback from a couple of episodes ago when we were talking about,
00:03:47 ◼ ► and I think it might have been Jon, was justifiably lamenting that the search feature in the iOS Settings app is kind of spotty,
00:03:55 ◼ ► and sometimes you can use, like, a synonym or something like that in order to get what you want, but oftentimes it's just kind of a disaster.
00:04:02 ◼ ► And we weren't really sure what this was about, and we heard a little bit of feedback, which I'll paraphrase,
00:04:09 ◼ ► and that feedback was that the Settings app is set up so that each of the different teams writes their own remote view controller,
00:04:18 ◼ ► and then that's loaded up to display their little part of the world, and that means that the way it's implemented is that each team gives a list of words or terms or whatever,
00:04:35 ◼ ► So the point of all this is that there's not one master list that there's one or more humans kind of curating.
00:04:42 ◼ ► In actuality, each individual team is curating their own list and doing sometimes a good job and sometimes a bad job of that,
00:04:49 ◼ ► which explains why Jon or whoever it was, and maybe it was Marco, saw such spotty results when using search,
00:04:56 ◼ ► where sometimes you can use something that doesn't seem like it's at all related, but it got you where you want it to go,
00:05:01 ◼ ► and then sometimes you'll search for the exact appropriate term for a thing, and it won't come up,
00:05:12 ◼ ► It's kind of amazing to me that they don't implement what you would think from the outside or from an outside programmer's perspective.
00:05:20 ◼ ► They just take every single UI label and add that to the list of strings that you're going to search,
00:05:25 ◼ ► kind of like what I assume the macOS help search thing does. It just takes the name of every menu item,
00:05:30 ◼ ► and if you type in the help bot, you don't have to program that. You don't have to export any special lists.
00:05:35 ◼ ► If you make a menu item called foo and you search for foo in the help thing, it will highlight the menu item called foo,
00:05:43 ◼ ► The two parts of this, the fact that it's a remote view controller, the settings app just lets another app show its UI,
00:05:50 ◼ ► but it's showing it inside the setting app is another thing that strikes me strange about this whole split that, again,
00:05:55 ◼ ► made sense when there was multitasking on what was then iPhone OS, but in the modern world,
00:06:03 ◼ ► And then B, just let all the UI labels, let every single string in your view contribute to that corpus automatically,
00:06:11 ◼ ► so you don't have to, if you forget to do it or whatever. That's why we get frustrated.
00:06:14 ◼ ► I have a screenshot of this exact item, and these are the words that are next to the label on this little on/off switch,
00:06:21 ◼ ► and if I search for those words, I can't find it. It's, "Oh, they forgot to export those words."
00:06:24 ◼ ► Well, don't make them export it. Anyway, maybe that will be fixed in iOS 13. We'll be sure to check for it.
00:06:30 ◼ ► And then our next piece of feedback, which is our final bit of follow-up, is a little bit long, but bear with me,
00:06:35 ◼ ► because I think it's really interesting. Way back on Christmas Eve of 2017, that is not a joke, I really mean it,
00:06:41 ◼ ► an anonymous birdie wrote in to tell us a little story about NVIDIA, which I think all three of us had forgotten about
00:06:47 ◼ ► until we spoke about NVIDIA a couple of weeks back, and then this anonymous birdie wrote us to say,
00:06:52 ◼ ► "Hey, remember when I emailed you all that way back a year or two ago?" And so I went digging through the email,
00:06:57 ◼ ► and it turns out it was a good email. So I'm going to read you a bit of it. This is from this anonymous person.
00:07:02 ◼ ► "Regarding Apple's affinity for AMD GPUs, two anecdotes that may suggest why. Back in 2010, when deployed,
00:07:08 ◼ ► Macs had a fairly even distribution of GPU vendors. Over 98% of all kernel panics reported to Apple
00:07:14 ◼ ► indicated that it was NVIDIA's kernel driver. So a few years ago," this is back in 2017,
00:07:19 ◼ ► "shortly before Apple dropped NVIDIA, a friend at Apple shared their recent experience working with all three GPU vendors
00:07:25 ◼ ► to add a new minor feature to Apple's low-level display software, which required a small change to each GPU driver
00:07:31 ◼ ► in order to adopt it. The Intel driver was owned by one Intel engineer who was permanently stationed at the Apple campus.
00:07:36 ◼ ► They finished it in half a day. AMD sent an engineer down to Cupertino from Toronto. They finished the work in two days.
00:07:42 ◼ ► NVIDIA responded only to say that they had received the request and would evaluate it in the next quarter's planning meetings."
00:07:48 ◼ ► Oh gosh. Moving on. "Nvidia is also and has long been a lumbering, bumbling, bureaucratic mess.
00:07:54 ◼ ► Worse, their success in the Windows GPU market, despite themselves, has made them arrogant.
00:07:58 ◼ ► And so it's their fault that the GPUs aren't in Macs, not Apple's. It always has been."
00:08:07 ◼ ► "As to why they haven't made up yet," this is Apple and NVIDIA, "history aside, perhaps it's because NVIDIA remains arrogant,
00:08:13 ◼ ► highly opinionated, intensely stubborn, and not good at all at writing reliable software." Just like Apple.
00:08:18 ◼ ► Birdie said that, not me. "So you can see why they might have issues getting along." I thought that was fascinating.
00:08:24 ◼ ► Yeah, and I think we brought this up on the last show, or maybe on past shows, that there was that NVIDIA GPU
00:08:30 ◼ ► and laptops that was very unreliable, and I think Apple's still sorry about that. And there's also some bad blood,
00:08:35 ◼ ► but like, I felt like things were kind of, I felt like NVIDIA was reaching out last year,
00:08:42 ◼ ► or whenever it was, where NVIDIA was like, "Hey, we've made a bunch of drivers for our latest cards for what were then
00:08:48 ◼ ► the latest Mac pros. So if you buy our cards and buy these drivers, it'll work great on your Mac."
00:08:55 ◼ ► And Apple was just silenced. But I felt like that was NVIDIA reaching out, saying, "We'd like to be in the Mac market,
00:09:01 ◼ ► and even if Apple won't talk to us still, because of everything that we've just listed plus more,
00:09:07 ◼ ► maybe we can show Mac users that we're the good guys here, and we invest time and energy and engineers in making
00:09:13 ◼ ► drivers for Mac." And even their thing where they were like, saying, "Oh, Apple won't let us make drivers,"
00:09:17 ◼ ► it's like NVIDIA is still trying, and from the outside it looks like Apple isn't trying.
00:09:22 ◼ ► And, you know, so this is yet another one of those, we need to come up with a name for these things, these
00:09:27 ◼ ► balance of power between two giants, both of whom are being hurt by their inability to cooperate with each other,
00:09:35 ◼ ► who's being hurt more. Probably NVIDIA, because Apple's got more money than anybody else in the world or whatever,
00:09:42 ◼ ► so they're fine. But if you narrow your vision to not Apple as a whole, which Apple's doing fine,
00:09:51 ◼ ► but just Apple's plans for the pro desktop market, in that narrow view NVIDIA's not, their ambitions for the pro
00:10:02 ◼ ► desktop market are not hurt that much by Apple not adopting it, but Apple's ambitions might be hurt,
00:10:07 ◼ ► because there are whole sections of the market that NVIDIA has handily cornered with CUDA and its particular
00:10:13 ◼ ► expertise, and it still, as I keep bringing up every couple of shows, has the very fastest GPUs for certain sets
00:10:20 ◼ ► of applications, and AMD just doesn't seem to be able to catch them. So, it's probably not going to be the end of the world,
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00:12:52 ◼ ► despite the fact that I'm $200 and change dollars poorer, which we'll talk about later.
00:13:03 ◼ ► We recorded this on Wednesday, and there were new AirPods, and we'll go through this one by one.
00:13:09 ◼ ► But what an awesome rollout. I mean, I don't know why this happened, other than clearing the decks before next week's Apple video event.
00:13:25 ◼ ► It's almost like Hanukkah, even, in the middle of March, which is unusual, to say the least.
00:13:29 ◼ ► I guess they got word that it was my birthday this past Sunday, and this is just late birthday presents for me.
00:13:35 ◼ ► But they started with Monday new iPads, including miracle of miracles, ladies and gentlemen, a new iPad Mini.
00:13:51 ◼ ► If you recall, I had the original iPad, then I had the original Retina iPad, then I had two iPad Minis.
00:14:02 ◼ ► But I am genuinely, genuinely really, really happy that the Mini has gotten refreshed and is basically on par with most modern iPads.
00:14:25 ◼ ► Because he has been using my old, what Casey would call a Retina Pad Mini, what Apple called, I believe at the time, the iPad Mini 2.
00:14:37 ◼ ► And so it wasn't that different from the 3 and the 4, but it was a generation older and certain things like processor and camera and everything.
00:14:50 ◼ ► Not well. We'd been deferring the update for a very long time, and at some point somehow we lost that battle and it got updated.
00:14:59 ◼ ► Somebody hit the wrong button at some point and it got updated, and boy was that a mistake.
00:15:03 ◼ ► So it's painful now. He'll try to launch a game and it'll be like a white screen, white screen, white screen.
00:15:19 ◼ ► Things like experimenting with using the camera, shooting video, shooting photos around the house, recording what he calls podcasts, which is super cute in voice memos.
00:15:28 ◼ ► And I want to encourage him to experiment with some musical things like Garage Band and stuff.
00:15:35 ◼ ► And you can do those things on that iPad, but boy is it slow. It's really cumbersome to do those things.
00:15:42 ◼ ► And the game thing really frustrates him when we allow him to play games. And so it's painful.
00:15:49 ◼ ► And as he's doing all this creative stuff that I really want to encourage, the last thing I want is for his tools that he's using to be creative to fight him in any way.
00:15:57 ◼ ► You want to separate a parent from their money, have their kid show an interest in something.
00:16:03 ◼ ► And the parent will very quickly want to like, "Oh please, enable this. Here, throw money at this. I want to encourage this wonderful creative thing you're doing."
00:16:13 ◼ ► So anyway, so all these years, I've been kind of waiting for an update for the last couple of, you know, less year or two.
00:16:25 ◼ ► And we, like I even like, when Tiff and I upgraded our iPads in the fall, I prepped her old one for him, which was a 9.7.
00:16:39 ◼ ► Like, the size of the Mini is perfect for him. And the size of the 9.7, especially with a case on it, was just so big and bulky.
00:16:47 ◼ ► And it like, he could have managed, but it wouldn't have been nearly as nice. He probably wouldn't have carried it around as much. He wouldn't have used it as much.
00:16:54 ◼ ► So we really just wanted a Mini, but the jump from the Mini 2 to the Mini 4 wasn't that significant.
00:17:05 ◼ ► And so now, to have a brand new Mini that keeps everything we love about the old one, you know, it's the exact same form factor, exact same size.
00:17:14 ◼ ► It even apparently is like the same, you know, case dimensions and magnet placements as the iPad Mini 4.
00:17:19 ◼ ► So like, the iPad Mini 4 accessories should theoretically work with it, although there's some questioning about cases that might cover the microphone now, but we'll see about that.
00:17:26 ◼ ► Anyway, so like, it's the same iPad Mini that we love, but up to date. This is exactly what we want.
00:17:33 ◼ ► Like, I didn't want him to have to deal with, you know, something bigger. I didn't want him to have to deal with things like Face ID, although he's smart, he could have figured it out.
00:17:42 ◼ ► And it improves the camera, and it improves the speed, and it lets him run on the current versions of iOS without painful speeds.
00:17:48 ◼ ► It's just exactly what we needed it to be. It has a new battery that's going to help too.
00:17:53 ◼ ► So, I'm just so happy to see this. I never thought that we would see an iPad Mini update.
00:17:58 ◼ ► And the fact that it got updated, you know, sometimes when Apple updates the lower end products, sometimes they get like last year's specs.
00:18:05 ◼ ► Or, you know, like a generation ago's specs. And that's, you know, sometimes there's reasons for that, but it kind of sucks when that happens.
00:18:11 ◼ ► This is one of those awesome updates that we get sometimes where the low end products have the same specs as the current flagship.
00:18:19 ◼ ► Like, this has the same processor as the iPhone XS. And a very similar processor to the iPad Pro.
00:18:24 ◼ ► It's not quite the same, you know, the iPad Pro has faster GPU because it has the X version, I assume.
00:18:33 ◼ ► Not all of the iPads, except for the very lowest N1, the 329 one, all of the other ones now have A12 series processors.
00:18:53 ◼ ► Yeah, I would have liked to not have the, you know, like the boner charging method, but like it's fine.
00:18:58 ◼ ► It's better than not having it at all. They all, all the bottom ones, all the ones that aren't labeled Pro, all now support the Logitech Crayon.
00:19:05 ◼ ► Which is cool, because it's cheaper, it's a little more kid friendly, it's a little easier to manage in certain contexts, so that's cool.
00:19:15 ◼ ► So now, and we'll talk about the Air in a second, but like, you know, most of them support the keyboard.
00:19:20 ◼ ► All of them support a pencil of some kind. All of them have A12, just for the very cheapest one, which has, I think, an A10 or an A11.
00:19:33 ◼ ► Because on paper, they seem boring. You know, okay, you updated two kind of low to mid, low end to mid range iPads to specs that aren't new.
00:19:42 ◼ ► You know, who cares, right? But the fact is, this, this patches a huge hole in the lineup.
00:19:48 ◼ ► It resolves a bunch of, like, you know, old business, old neglect, and it unifies things to the most coherent lineup I've seen in years.
00:20:01 ◼ ► It kind of makes you feel bad, being a Mac person, because like, you can't point to any of these iPads and say, "Nobody should buy that."
00:20:10 ◼ ► You can't point to any one of these and say, "That's going to be a bad product to use in practice."
00:20:17 ◼ ► Now, we can point to Macs, and we will later when we get to these spinning hard drive iMacs, you can point to Macs and you can say, "Nobody should buy that one. That one's a bad product. That one will punish you for having bought it."
00:20:33 ◼ ► So to cover that much of a price range, that much of a capability range, and have every single one of them be on its own a really good product, that's really impressive.
00:20:44 ◼ ► It's interesting that we can say that about iPads for a couple of reasons that are actually related to the reasons that we talk about and complain about Macs.
00:20:51 ◼ ► One of them is that the iPad, as a product, from its introduction until now, has always been defined by sort of simplicity.
00:21:01 ◼ ► Like, there's always just been a screen, and it has one button or zero buttons, and cameras on the front and back, and a thing on the bottom where you plug it in to charge it.
00:21:10 ◼ ► And that's been the iPad. So never at any point we were like, "God, I can't believe these iPads still only have one port on them."
00:21:19 ◼ ► Because that's always been the iPad. There was never an expectation that it would have more capabilities.
00:21:26 ◼ ► But at the same token, as they become computing-wise more powerful, Apple has added features.
00:21:32 ◼ ► You know, the detachable keyboard, smart connector, the pencil, obviously. And that's another reason these updates are great.
00:21:42 ◼ ► Because, yeah, so we're not saying don't buy any of these iPads, they just have one port, right?
00:21:47 ◼ ► But on the other hand, with some of the old iPads, we might have said, "That's probably not what you want. You might not realize this, but you can't use the pencil with the iPad mini.
00:21:58 ◼ ► Like, "Well, why can't I use the pencil? It doesn't work with it. It predates the pencil and blah, blah, blah."
00:22:03 ◼ ► Right, so the few things that Apple has added hardware-wise to the iPads, we were waiting for those to be rolled out to the full line.
00:22:12 ◼ ► And here they are, which is why when we look at this line now, we say, "They've all got all the things."
00:22:16 ◼ ► Not all the things you can imagine a computer might have, but all the things that we now currently expect an iPad to have.
00:22:22 ◼ ► The thing that I like the most about this lineup, setting aside the names which still don't quite make that much sense, is that it's easy to explain to anybody what the difference is between the expensive and the cheap models.
00:23:06 ◼ ► At the minimum, people will understand this one has a button on it and the other one doesn't.
00:23:10 ◼ ► One of them has Face ID, which you may or may not be familiar with from your phone, and the other one doesn't.
00:23:14 ◼ ► That's a huge differentiating factor, which is not to say that I think they should keep it like this.
00:23:26 ◼ ► And price-wise, I do like the fact that the new ones are not, you know, the price hasn't crept up.
00:23:33 ◼ ► Starting at $399 for 64GB, that's a reasonable amount of storage for, in the context of an iPad,
00:23:41 ◼ ► a reasonable price for a product, as we've already established, has all the modern internals in terms of,
00:23:55 ◼ ► It's current generation, maybe not the fastest of the fast with all the, you know, there's a reason the Pro is Pro.
00:24:01 ◼ ► But it's just such a nice balance of like, take away this super-duper Pro high-end stuff that you think everybody doesn't need,
00:24:18 ◼ ► The point is not, "Oh, but this isn't the latest and greatest Pencil that snaps onto the side."
00:24:23 ◼ ► It's not. That's another reason why you might prefer the Pro, because that Pencil is better.
00:24:38 ◼ ► I think I'd expect the bottom-basement one being the cheapest possible, which has never really been Apple's forte to get that price all the way down.
00:24:46 ◼ ► I can explain every single one in it, every product in it, and why it is where it is, and who might want to buy it, and how to choose between them.
00:24:54 ◼ ► I can't explain why, well, I can, but not in a way that people will find satisfying, why one is called Air and one is called Mini.
00:25:01 ◼ ► But yeah, I was really happy with these iPads, and it was just, like, honestly, I didn't expect this.
00:25:07 ◼ ► I expected maybe they would advise one of the iPads, but very rarely do we get to see, I think we've talked about this in the past, an entire product line from top to bottom, sort of in sync.
00:25:20 ◼ ► But, like, here we are at a point in time where, as Marco said, they're all A12s, they all have all the things, they all have easily explainable differentiating factors, they cover a big price range.
00:25:37 ◼ ► Did you see a friend of the show, Jesse Char's tweet, describing a revised way of doing the lineup?
00:25:44 ◼ ► It's really, really good. She wasn't the only person to say this, but she was the first person to do, like, an Apple-style diagram, which is in her tweet.
00:25:53 ◼ ► And so the current iPad lineup is, you know, you have two sizes of iPad Pro, the iPad Air, the iPad, and the iPad Mini.
00:26:07 ◼ ► And I understand why Apple didn't do this and why the Mini is still called the Mini and the Air is still called the Air, but I couldn't agree more with Jesse's thought and several others who said the same thing, that it seems to me to make a lot more sense to say,
00:26:21 ◼ ► "Hey, there's an iPad Pro that uses a fancy new pencil, two sizes. There's an iPad that doesn't use a fancy new pencil, but still has a pencil," which I agree by the way, Jon.
00:26:30 ◼ ► A lot of people had chapped bottoms about this, and I just, I mean, it's, of course I would love for the new pencil to work with everything, but I don't see this as egregious as a lot of people on Twitter.
00:26:45 ◼ ► It'll be egregious if it's like this in two years, for sure, but at this point in time, it is explicable. The new pencil is brand spanking new, introduced only on the Pro models. It's okay for it to be exclusive with the Pro models until next year. I think that's fine.
00:26:57 ◼ ► Well, because using Pencil 2 on these iPads would have required a case redesign to the flat-sided case, which probably brings with it Face ID and, like, that becomes a much bigger job.
00:27:08 ◼ ► You're basically just asking, "Make me a cheaper iPad Pro," which is a thing they could have done, but it couldn't have been this much cheaper, like bottom line.
00:27:15 ◼ ► And by the way, I would argue that the iPad Air and Mini are basically cheaper iPad Pros.
00:27:23 ◼ ► Well, yeah, sort of. Yeah, I guess, yeah, if you allow for, like, the Home button and Touch ID, but, you know, supporting, especially like the iPad Air supports the keyboard.
00:27:33 ◼ ► It's literally the exact same keyboard as the 10.5-inch iPad Pro. If you had that keyboard, you could still use it with the iPad Air.
00:27:39 ◼ ► So, like, that's, first of all, unexpected and great, because now, like, for so long, what distinguished the iPad Pro, what made it the iPad Pro was a larger size available that you didn't have to necessarily take, four speakers, and compatibility with the Pencil and keyboard.
00:27:58 ◼ ► And a lot of people who bought the iPad Pro only bought it for, like, one of those things. Maybe it was the Pencil, maybe it was the keyboard, maybe it was both.
00:28:06 ◼ ► But, like, a lot of people were buying Pros who didn't necessarily want, like, the highest end of everything specs, just wanted, like, one or two of those things.
00:28:14 ◼ ► And you don't get the four speakers anymore with the new cheap entries. Like, the new iPad Air and the Mini, you don't get four speakers.
00:28:22 ◼ ► As you mentioned, you don't get 120 hertz promotion, you don't get some of the other fancier stuff, but the difference is smaller than ever now.
00:28:36 ◼ ► - Yeah, like, the 329 iPad has, like, a cheaper screen construction, but the new Air and Mini don't.
00:28:44 ◼ ► Like, they have nice screens, they have True Tone, they have so much, there's stronger differentiation than ever that, you know, if you really want the Pro, there's a few things for it.
00:28:57 ◼ ► Here they are, you know, these high-end things, or the new design, or the Face ID, or whatever else.
00:29:01 ◼ ► But more people now will be happier with the middle entry, which is the iPad Air, the 499, than what the middle entry has covered, if it had even existed, for years.
00:29:13 ◼ ► Like, for, you know, the iPad started out at that $500 price point, and then for a little while it crept up a little bit, and then the iPad Pro came out and it went way up, and then the middle iPads kind of disappeared and moved downmarket, and so there was this big hole in the middle, where, like, if you're willing to pay $500 for an iPad, you could have gotten something great, but Apple wasn't really willing to sell it to you.
00:29:32 ◼ ► They wanted to sell you either something really cheap and low-end and old, or something much more expensive and high-end. Now that hole has been filled, and it looks, it's just great, I'm so happy about this lineup.
00:29:43 ◼ ► I know it's not going to be perfect forever, like, at some point something's going to get updated and then it's going to make no sense again, but for right now, this is great.
00:29:50 ◼ ► And, you know, you said earlier that this is probably maybe a good time to buy an iPad. I'm going to say this is a great time to buy an iPad, because the Pro is only a few months old, and the other ones are now, like, two days old.
00:30:01 ◼ ► And so, and the lineup has never been stronger or made more sense, or been, you know, more sensibly priced than it is now.
00:30:09 ◼ ► And, you know, in absolute terms, these prices for these things are still expensive, especially when you option them up.
00:30:15 ◼ ► You know, you're still going to, for a well-optioned iPad, you're going to be probably in the $600 to $700 range at least.
00:30:22 ◼ ► So, you know, it's still Apple pricing, and modern Apple pricing, but the options that are available to you and the base prices for them are really nice.
00:30:33 ◼ ► And even, you know, the base storage is now 64 on most of these, like, that's pretty good too. So, I got to say, this is a heck of a lineup.
00:30:39 ◼ ► Yeah, I couldn't agree more, and I also am really hoping that all of our hopes and dreams for iOS 13, especially around the iPad, come true this June, because how amazing would it be if not only does Apple deliver this really solid hardware lineup, but then in June they deliver on the software as well, and suddenly the iPad is firing on all cylinders, it is cranked all the way up to 11.
00:31:07 ◼ ► It's in great shape, and I would really love to see that. I think that would be incredible.
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00:33:13 ◼ ► All right, so that was just Monday, and that was a lot. And now we come to Tuesday, and hey, guess what? New IMAX. So I'd like to call everyone's attention to a really great episode of Upgrade with Jason Snell and Mike Hurley, and they had an interview with someone whose name I've forgotten, so one of you can fill in for me.
00:33:34 ◼ ► Colleen Novielli. Novielli? There we go. Novielli. Thank you. Colleen Novielli. And she is the product manager for what I would say is the IMAX, but what Apple people call IMAX. And it was a really good interview outside of me always finding it awkward that no Apple people say the iPhone or the IMAX. It's just iPhone and IMAX.
00:33:55 ◼ ► Some of them do. The old ones do. Fair enough. Anyways, it was a really good interview, and it's worth listening to the whole episode.
00:34:02 ◼ ► But new IMAX, and that's exciting. It's not as exciting as we had hoped, but it's exciting that it happened at all. This is exactly the kind of update that we keep begging Apple to do if the alternative is just neglect forever.
00:34:16 ◼ ► Yeah, that clause is important. Right. Like, if you don't have something exciting ready, just do spec bump updates that are boring. And that's what they've done here. They didn't do a larger update. It still looks the same. It still has the same, or at least close enough to the same, internal designs. Notably, it does not have the T2.
00:34:38 ◼ ► I was just disappointed with it. I was expecting all Macs to go T2 in 2019 that weren't yet. The only ones that are left are the iMac 12-inch MacBook and the Mac Pro. Those are the only ones that are left.
00:34:50 ◼ ► I think the reason why they couldn't do it here most likely is that I don't think the T2 is built to support spinning hard drives. My big disappointment here with the iMac is that they still are shipping spinning hard drives.
00:35:03 ◼ ► And they made other improvements that are great. They now go up to eight cores because Intel is super desperate to keep the 14nm process going a little bit longer. And so they now go up to eight cores on the high-end ones. And that's great. They have six cores standard, and that's also great.
00:35:21 ◼ ► So this is all good stuff on the CPU front, although I do have some concerns about thermals. But performance-wise, they sound great. They have new GPUs. That's awesome, too.
00:35:33 ◼ ► It does, though, seem like thermally they are really pushing the boundaries of that chassis design, of the now fairly old standard iMac design.
00:35:44 ◼ ► The iMac Pro has a whole different internal layout, whole different thermal design, because it is a totally different machine inside. It doesn't have any support for spinning disks, and it has a totally different cooling system in there.
00:35:55 ◼ ► And so the iMac Pro is able to cool its high wattage, high performance parts very well and very quietly and very reliably.
00:36:03 ◼ ► The old iMac chassis, though, which is now still in use for these new ones, it seems to be struggling recently with the higher wattage Intel heat amounts they keep putting in, as Intel can't shrink their process down to 10nm yet.
00:36:18 ◼ ► Intel keeps just adding more cores and pushing the heat envelope higher on their 14nm process to make these new "faster chips."
00:36:27 ◼ ► That's pushing the heat envelopes higher and higher, and that's why you have problems like the most recent 15" MacBook Pros that have really hot, high-running max thermals and possible thermal issues that arise from that.
00:36:44 ◼ ► You have the same problem in the iMac, where you have severe thermal loads being generated inside this case that has not been updated in a very long time, and so combine that with similar problems on the GPU front, in that competitive high-end GPUs require more and more heat capacity over time, because they're getting more sophisticated, they're getting bigger.
00:37:06 ◼ ► So you basically have components that are hotter than ever being put into an enclosure and a thermal design that was designed a long time ago before that was a thing, rather than using the new iMac Pro one that was designed more recently and can handle much higher loads more gracefully.
00:37:24 ◼ ► So I expect these machines to have similar issues as the previous generation, you're probably going to hear that fan a lot, and it's probably going to run a little hot, and that's kind of a shame. And that might have problems down the line with longevity or things like that, and that's also kind of a shame.
00:37:39 ◼ ► I've also heard this design has issues with dust ingress and dust getting under the screen, and if that's true, that's probably going to be exacerbated if the fan spins faster most of the time for cooling, because it's going to be sucking more air through the machine and therefore more dust through the machine.
00:37:53 ◼ ► So all those things I have some concerns about. But ultimately, I used an iMac in this generation, the 5K one that came out in 2014, I used that for three years, and it was awesome.
00:38:06 ◼ ► Anybody out there who's wondering, do you need to go to the iMac Pro, or are you okay with "just the iMac," "just the iMac" is great. It's a great machine. It's overall fantastic. I do, though, worry about these newest components with these newest thermals.
00:38:24 ◼ ► That is still a concern. And at the low end, boy do I have problems with these hard drives. I think the whole reason this machine has not been redesigned yet, thermally, like internally, is to keep compatibility with spinning hard drives, to keep those low-end options there.
00:38:41 ◼ ► And I gotta say, I am not happy that Apple updated the iMac and is still selling base models that don't even have fusion drives, that are just a hard drive. Nobody should use a computer today that is booting and running solely on a spinning platter hard drive.
00:39:01 ◼ ► And people have been focusing on, "Oh, there's only 5400 RPM, so it's even worse." And yeah, that's true a little bit, but ultimately, if they put it in a 1700 RPM drive, it wouldn't make a big difference.
00:39:12 ◼ ► It's still gonna be a spinning hard drive in 2019 for an operating system and a file system that are not designed to be running on those things, and with modern loads and everything. That's terrible.
00:39:24 ◼ ► Yes, they are hitting a price point here, but they haven't sold a hard drive in a laptop, which is the majority of their computers sold, for what, five years at least? How long has it been since the last hard drive model?
00:39:40 ◼ ► It's been a long time, and they've been fine. And most people buy laptops and they're fine.
00:39:44 ◼ ► It is criminal, first of all. They shouldn't be selling anything, if they're gonna put a hard drive in it, they shouldn't be selling anything that isn't a fusion drive. Because to make it a fusion drive, it takes some piddly amount, I think it's like 24 gigs of an SSD stick to put in there to make it a fusion drive.
00:40:01 ◼ ► That costs nothing in 2019. First of all, it's too small. But if you're gonna have, like put a bigger one in there, first of all, if you're gonna do it at all, even if it was 64 gigs, make it 128, who cares? That costs nothing with today's flash pricing.
00:40:15 ◼ ► Even the super high-grade flash that they wanna use everywhere, that costs nothing. But even if you can get past that, this shouldn't have a hard drive at all.
00:40:24 ◼ ► All the other Macs sold don't have hard drives, and it's fine. Yeah, some people have larger storage needs who can't afford giant SSDs at Apple's crazy prices, but there are other options.
00:40:38 ◼ ► One option is external storage, which a lot of people use, or cloud storage, which a lot of people use also. That's what they use with their laptops, like all the laptops have these same problems, they solve them.
00:40:48 ◼ ► Another option is, you know, Apple insists on using the highest-grade, highest-performance flash possible when they use flash, but what if they don't necessarily need to?
00:40:59 ◼ ► Like, are they honestly, basically their position seems to be that it's okay to have the slowest storage mechanic in the world today, the spinning platter hard drive, like that, they choose that over a cheaper consumer-grade slower flash disk to hit a price point?
00:41:20 ◼ ► That argument might have made sense two, three years ago. In 2019, flash is big and reasonably cheap. I would rather them either not even offer large capacities and just have like a 128 gig SSD stock than to offer any hard drives.
00:41:37 ◼ ► And for people who need more storage, they can buy externals, because they do anyway. They shouldn't be selling a computer today that is a bad computer, and I can honestly 100% say, first of all, any computer that's non-retina in 2019, because the base model is still for sale, that's still non-retina, and especially any computer that has a spinning hard drive, that is a s***y computer.
00:42:01 ◼ ► Apple isn't and shouldn't be known for selling s***y products. They can sell expensive products, they can sell cheap products, they can sell high-end, they can sell low-end, but Apple, like the spirit of Apple is that nothing they sell should really be s***y.
00:42:18 ◼ ► It can be low-end, but it shouldn't be like horrible. And the experience of using that base model computer today is horrible. They should not even be selling that. I'd rather there be a hole in the lineup than to have that computer still be sold.
00:42:34 ◼ ► The fact that they're still shipping hard drive configurations in the iMac is preventing them, it's holding them back from doing the new thermals in there, and from making everything all T2-based, which is way more secure and has some performance benefits and everything.
00:42:49 ◼ ► It's holding them back. For what? To create these terrible experiences for these terrible products? Apple, you're better than that. They're so much better than that. They shouldn't be selling that model anymore.
00:43:00 ◼ ► Whatever the reason they are to sell it, whatever the value proposition is, it's not worth it.
00:43:04 ◼ ► I think you have the cause and effect reversed there. You mentioned before talking about the cases, how much better the cooling is in the iMac Pro and everything, and people might be thinking, "What is he talking about? They both look the same except one is dark gray."
00:43:16 ◼ ► That's mostly true. The external shape of the iMac and the iMac Pro are the same, but inside, inside that exact same shape, they are wildly different.
00:43:24 ◼ ► You wouldn't think that would make that much difference because they're both super skinny. If you had tried to explain this to all of us before the iMac Pro came out, you might have had a good point of, "Yeah, it is kind of skinny there. How much better can the cooling be? How much quieter can it be?"
00:43:39 ◼ ► Now that we've seen the iMac Pro, we know the answer is a lot. They both look skinny, but apparently you can do a much, much better job with it.
00:43:48 ◼ ► We assumed before these came out, and we still kind of assumed that the iMacs all will eventually go T2. If they were to keep the case the same, they would look on the inside a lot like the iMac Pro does from the perspective of what shape is the board, where is everything located, where do the fans go, where does the air come in, where does the air go out.
00:44:08 ◼ ► It would be even easier because presumably the iMac Pro puts out way more power and heat than the iMac will in the topping configuration, so you don't even need to try as hard as that.
00:44:18 ◼ ► But for that to happen, you'd basically need all new iMacs. It wouldn't just be a matter of, "Okay, we'll just take out the hard drive and just have them SSDs and then make the fans bigger."
00:44:31 ◼ ► You'd need to reshape and reconfigure all the components. It would basically be an entirely new iMac. And getting back to the case thing, a lot of people have noted that, and it's true, the external case, figure out the insides, the external case is the same on the iMac and the iMac Pro and has been the same.
00:44:47 ◼ ► That same case shape for the various sizes has been the same for a very long time. So some people are going, "When is the newly shaped iMac going to come out?" If I were Apple, I can kind of understand how you can find yourself in a situation where there will be a newly shaped iMac soon.
00:45:06 ◼ ► And knowing that that will happen, this may not be the best timeline in which to completely reconfigure the guts of the regular iMac, making newly shaped boards and every component new and differently arranged to match the iMac Pro.
00:45:24 ◼ ► And then immediately say, "Okay, well, that was the last design in that case anyway, because now here's the new iMac case and everything has to be differently shaped yet again." Just in terms of economics of how often do you want to totally redesign the guts.
00:45:36 ◼ ► The iMac Pro clearly was on its own path and started a long time ago and was like the future of the Pro Mac before the Mac Pro. And you could see why it was worth it for them to make the iMac Pro targeting the same case.
00:45:50 ◼ ► I just feel like they're stuck now where they can't go to an all new iMac Pro style design with the T2 in the current case without redesigning everything.
00:46:00 ◼ ► But now is not the time to do that because the new new iMacs are going to come out next year or whatever. And so timing wise, it doesn't work out.
00:46:08 ◼ ► Given that you don't have a T2 and you don't have totally redesigned internals, you are stuck with the spinning disks because, well, you're not stuck with the old model, you just stopped selling it.
00:46:18 ◼ ► But there's no way to reconfigure all that stuff to make it, you know, to get all the advantages of SSD only. Because even if you just buy an SSD only iMac, you don't get the iMac Pro's quieter fans.
00:46:30 ◼ ► It's not just the hard drive that's making noise inside there. That's not a thing to blame. It's the entire cooling arrangement that has to account for the hard drive that's messing things up.
00:46:38 ◼ ► So, like it's an unfortunate situation. I kind of understand though how they found themselves there. And I don't think that they are married, the hard drives. Apple wants to get rid of the hard drives as much as anyone else.
00:46:48 ◼ ► But I feel like they are slightly married to the prices, which is why they're still selling the one with just a spinning disk, which to be clear is not a new or updated in any way model.
00:46:56 ◼ ► It's just the same old model they were selling last week. They're just continuing to sell it at $1099. And I totally agree with Margaux, nobody should buy this computer.
00:47:04 ◼ ► It's not much because it's a s***ty computer, but it's not up to Apple's quality standards.
00:47:14 ◼ ► And more importantly, if someone spends $1000 on a computer, they should have a better experience than they will with this. Just flat out.
00:47:22 ◼ ► I can imagine people using a non-retina computer or using a computer with a hard drive, but I can't imagine it costing $1000 for that. Because for $1000, you can get a computer with SSD, with granted, less storage space.
00:47:36 ◼ ► But the experience will be so much better. This is one of those computers I would never recommend anyone buy. I've been recommending people not buy Fusion drives if possible.
00:47:46 ◼ ► Because I feel like it's worth the sacrifice now, and it's not even that much of a sacrifice in terms of storage space. Or if you can't afford to buy one, just wait longer and save money because you'll be happier.
00:47:58 ◼ ► It's kind of like telling people to get a lot of RAM back in the old days. Now it's like, if you're buying a computer in 2019 and you don't have enough money for one with just an SSD, then just keep saving your money.
00:48:08 ◼ ► Because it's such a big upgrade and it increases the longevity so much and it's such a sea change that I feel like you just gotta hang in there and wait for these hard drives to go away.
00:48:19 ◼ ► But I'm looking forward to the next generation, which will surely be all SSD and hopefully we'll actually have a different case for the first time in how many years? 4 years? 3 years? This case has been with us for a while.
00:48:37 ◼ ► Yeah, for the ones that are going to have Face ID built into them, they have a smaller chin, they don't have to be any thinner, maybe they'll have a height adjustable stand. Haha, just kidding, Apple will never do that.
00:48:46 ◼ ► I agree with Marco. It's great that they did expect bumps on these. We were expecting T2s, but if I had thought about it a little bit more, and we're like, put it this way, if they had come out with T2s, I would be like, guess what, we're with this external design for another 3 years, easy.
00:49:04 ◼ ► Now, without T2s, it's made me strangely more optimistic for a new external case design for the iMac to come sometime next year. In the meantime, tell your family and friends, no spinning disks.
00:49:17 ◼ ► Yeah, like we had, first of all, just to quickly disclaim this, I'm not dying for a new case design on the iMac. I've been using an iMac myself as my main computer almost all day every day since the late 2014 timeframe, when the retina came out.
00:49:35 ◼ ► So, you know, 5 years, whatever, 5 or 4 and a half years, I never think about what it looks like, because if I'm sitting near it, it's on, and the screen is glowing at me, and I'm looking at the screen.
00:49:48 ◼ ► The case could look like pretty much anything, and I wouldn't even notice. So I actually don't, and you can't see it from the side of the back while you're using it, so like, I don't actually care at all, really, what the case is.
00:49:58 ◼ ► As long as it covers thermal needs and practical needs, I'm fine with it, and the current one does, I'm not dying for a new case design on it. I recognize this one is pretty old, but you know, it's fine.
00:50:07 ◼ ► But, you know, to give people some idea, like, you know, most of our listeners probably haven't used a spinning hard drive only computer recently, and to give you some idea, on this week's episode of Connected, Stephen Hackett was saying how somebody he knows has one, and like, opening up the settings app makes it beach ball.
00:50:29 ◼ ► And like, if you look at like, okay, so the range of like, usability between the lowest end Mac, like this, and the low end, like you know, the mid range, the high end ones, if it can't even open its own settings screen without having performance problems, that's a pretty big problem.
00:50:46 ◼ ► Whereas if you look at, like, in the iOS area, if you buy the cheapest iPad, or the oldest iPhone that they still sell as new, it's gonna be still way better than that.
00:50:57 ◼ ► Like, the floor of how low they're willing to sync, experience-wise and performance-wise, is way higher on the iOS devices.
00:51:06 ◼ ► But for some reason on the Macs, they're willing to sell these terrible iMacs at the low end, and that's why, like, it just seems embarrassing, and it's just a terrible idea.
00:51:18 ◼ ► But anyway, and before we leave the iMac topic, I do wanna say at the higher end, people often will ask us, they have asked us already today, you know, whether an iMac is good enough, or whether they should get the iMac Pro.
00:51:30 ◼ ► And if you spec up the new iMacs into iMac Pro territory, the new iMac still ends up being around $1,000 cheaper than the iMac Pro.
00:51:45 ◼ ► And I would say, basically to repeat what I said earlier for a minute, like, the regular iMac is fine for almost anything.
00:51:52 ◼ ► Like, if what you're doing doesn't require the levels of performance or the higher ceilings of resources that the iMac Pro will offer, the regular iMac is totally fine.
00:52:10 ◼ ► So it's not quite a level playing field, but what you get with the iMac Pro in general is you get higher ceilings.
00:52:18 ◼ ► So if you need more than the number of cores or the amount of RAM or whatever that the regular iMac offers, that's kind of your only choice.
00:52:33 ◼ ► And you get that amazing cooling system and ECC RAM and things like that that just make it quieter and more reliable and more likely to last you a long time.
00:52:44 ◼ ► But those are all kind of vague benefits for a lot of people, or they're unimportant to a lot of people.
00:52:52 ◼ ► So if you're really being value conscious but you want something high performance, I honestly can't say you should get the iMac Pro compared to a well-specced regular iMac now.
00:53:07 ◼ ► It's a fantastic computer, and I'm still happier with my iMac Pro than I've ever been with any computer I've ever owned.
00:53:14 ◼ ► But the regular iMacs are a pretty damn good value now if you can tolerate the thermal potential issues and stuff like that.
00:53:30 ◼ ► I didn't look at the prices, but I said if the prices are comparable, it's a no-brainer to get the iMac Pro for all the reasons you listed.
00:53:41 ◼ ► They're like, "Wow, if you take the top-end one and you start speccing it up, it's practically anti-iMac Pro territory."
00:53:56 ◼ ► If you go to the step-down product and crank up all the options, it should just meet the step-up product at the base model.
00:54:14 ◼ ► You would span the entire range of options, and at the margins, you'd have to make a trade-off.
00:54:22 ◼ ► And there should be explicable and explainable trade-offs, which there are in this case.
00:54:29 ◼ ► It's just that these iMacs are still lagging behind a little bit for reasons that I hope have to do with the next generation.
00:54:37 ◼ ► And as for the case design, most people don't think about it, but that was an interesting aspect of Jason's interview with the iMac product manager.
00:54:46 ◼ ► The fact that one of the reasons the iMac is purchased, the jobs to be done in the market, is part of it is to look really good in scenarios where people do see the backs and sides of it.
00:55:01 ◼ ► People like pretty computers, and people like pretty computers for a reason, very often because they're going to put them into a public place.
00:55:07 ◼ ► So as the iMac product manager, she's sort of tuned into all the reasons people might buy a computer, and that is definitely on the list.
00:55:15 ◼ ► So I do appreciate that, which is probably the same reason why we're never going to have a high-adjustable stand, because that would be ugly if they just wanted to use a Visa mounting or whatever.
00:55:28 ◼ ► What can you do when the whole computer is just a screen and you don't see any parts of it anyway? What more is there to do?
00:55:33 ◼ ► It's kind of like the iPad. Well, what can you do with the iPad? It's just a screen you hold in your hands.
00:55:38 ◼ ► There are things you can do. There are. Like the flat sides with the pencil that goes through it is a perfect example of a refinement.
00:55:43 ◼ ► It's still just a screen, but it's improved in a way that is measurable and significant to customers.
00:55:50 ◼ ► Trying to make an iMac that is basically just a screen better, one of the things that defines that product is it is a screen, and the screen interfaces with the person sitting in front of it.
00:56:01 ◼ ► And that interface benefits from the ability to get it just right. The right height, the right distance, all that other stuff.
00:56:13 ◼ ► Apple's taken many different runs at making the iMac screen adjustable for height and reach and everything. Some have been more successful than others.
00:56:20 ◼ ► I think that is a worthy challenge of Apple's design team. I'm not sure they're ready to take it on quite yet.
00:56:25 ◼ ► But eventually, when there is no more chin and face ID is built in and they all have all SSDs and all the other obvious things, there are other challenges to tackle.
00:56:33 ◼ ► The stand is one. How to deal with the ports, because people really don't like reaching around behind the computer to get to them, but you also don't want to see them in the front.
00:56:42 ◼ ► There are still very interesting challenges related to what we think of as a very boring computer.
00:56:47 ◼ ► The future is bright. If the iMac team needs a bunch of problems to solve, I can give them a nice list. And they're all very hard problems.
00:56:54 ◼ ► And so I don't expect them to all be solved right away. But never let anyone tell you that there's nothing more they can do with the iMac, it's just a screen. There's plenty.
00:57:03 ◼ ► So you mentioned two minutes ago whether you want to buy the top of one product line or the bottom of the one above it. I'm curious in general, do you have any philosophies on that? Because I do. I'm kind of wondering what yours are, both of you.
00:57:16 ◼ ► It really depends on, because when I said where they meet, there will be differences. It's not like these are actually the same product. It's not like you spec it up and you say, "Huh, that actually is the low-end iMac." It's not.
00:57:27 ◼ ► The low-end iMac Pro has other attributes. So you'd have to look at those attributes. In the case of the iMac, with my value system, like ECC RAM alone would make me take the iMac Pro.
00:57:38 ◼ ► Just because if you're getting a computer with a lot of something, a lot of storage or a lot of RAM, it just increases the chances that something's going to go wrong.
00:57:47 ◼ ► And if I'm paying a lot of money for something, again, I want this money to turn into something. If I can pay more money to have fewer problems, that's the work that I want my money to be doing.
00:57:58 ◼ ► I don't want to take... It's like the equivalent of, you want to get the very fastest Honda Civic you can, or a Honda Accord that is maybe a little bit slower, but is bigger and nicer. I tend to not like a product in a line that is pushed to the very, very limit.
00:58:21 ◼ ► Because that's where I feel like things go wrong, and some aspects of it don't match. It's super expensive, but the seats are uncomfortable because it is a bargain basement car.
00:58:30 ◼ ► It has a huge amount of RAM, but none of it's ECC. So you get 64GB of non-ECC RAM. It's not a casino I want to play in. So that's usually my philosophy.
00:58:40 ◼ ► You've heard my philosophy a million times about the, "These are expensive things, and my solution always when you can't afford it is to wait and save more money." That's my solution to everything, as we know, the person sitting in front of your computer, is to wait.
00:58:54 ◼ ► I know it's not an easy solution, but it is always available to you, wait and save more money. So yeah, that's my philosophy. Casey?
00:59:03 ◼ ► I feel like Jon just spent that entire time describing my car. Let's take something and crank it to 11. Yeah, I don't want that, right Jon?
00:59:13 ◼ ► It's tough. Nothing that Jon said I actually disagree with, but if you look at my history, specifically with cars, I got a 335 M Sport, which is as great a 3 Series you can get without being an M3.
00:59:33 ◼ ► Then I get a Golf R, which is as great a Golf you can get, but it's not an Audi. And so for me, I always try to get the best of the thing, but that doesn't necessarily mean that I will go to the next rung on the ladder, if you will.
00:59:54 ◼ ► You could make a really good argument, especially in the past when the two cameras were only on the big phones, you could make a really good argument that the big phones were the best phones.
01:00:03 ◼ ► I didn't feel that way, so what I ended up doing was typically maxing out, or at the least getting a mid-range, smaller phone.
01:00:11 ◼ ► So my iPhone X, I honestly don't even remember what capacity this is, but I think it's a 256 if memory serves. But I got the best of the thing that was in my price range and in the best of the thing that I wanted.
01:00:27 ◼ ► And that's what I did with my car. I didn't really want an Audi for various and sundry reasons that we've been over a million times.
01:00:34 ◼ ► And so I got the best Golf I could get. And that's what I tend to do, but again, it's not that I necessarily disagree with Jon. I totally understand what Jon said and I think he's kind of right.
01:00:49 ◼ ► My strategy changes depending on what the product is. Like, some products, like I've always used the 15-inch MacBook Pro as a really great baseline of like, I think that is one of the best values much of the time in Apple's lineup.
01:01:05 ◼ ► Because, like the base model, 15-inch MacBook Pro. Because like, to achieve base models, companies will use, like the base model is almost always a better value of something than the base model plus upgrades of that same product.
01:01:20 ◼ ► Because the upgrades are always overpriced. Especially with Apple. But this applies to lots of companies. Like this isn't just them.
01:01:25 ◼ ► And so what's nice is if you can get a base model of a mid-range or high-end product line. Because then, like the baseline of like, you know, Apple's not going to make that many variations of the same product to hit low price points.
01:01:42 ◼ ► So like, the 15-inch, like every 15-inch for a while had 16 gigs of RAM. You couldn't even choose it. Like that was just like the preset. Like it was 16 gigs of RAM on the 15-inch no matter what you did.
01:01:53 ◼ ► And so even the base model, therefore, had 16 gigs of RAM. And there's stuff like that. Like a lot of times in the lineup there's choices that like, they've made the base model basic in some ways.
01:02:05 ◼ ► But maybe you don't care about those. Like maybe they gave you the low-end CPU, but it was only, you know, 15% slower than the fastest one. And so that doesn't matter most people.
01:02:15 ◼ ► So you get it and you get this amazing laptop for not too bad a price because you didn't pay for any of the pricey upgrades. Right? And so like, depending on the product you can get, you can achieve things like that.
01:02:26 ◼ ► Whereas like, you know, as John mentioned, like with cars a lot of times, like you might pay 30 grand for a souped-up, optioned-up version of a car, but it still has the, you know, 16 grand car's seats or dashboard or whatever else.
01:02:41 ◼ ► And so like that, that kind of does irritate me. On the other side, sometimes what is done to achieve the next step up's base model cuts out things that are important to you.
01:02:54 ◼ ► So for instance, like if you were choosing between a really nice Accord and a low-end BMW, the Accord will probably have better features at the same price than the BMW.
01:03:05 ◼ ► Because the BMW has probably cut a lot of things down to hit that price point. But you might not care about some of those and you might want that feel of driving that BMW.
01:03:16 ◼ ► And you know, and that might get you, like that might be worth it to you to be like, "Oh my God, this feels great and I can't believe I only paid, you know, whatever a million dollars a BMW is charging for the 3 Series these days."
01:03:26 ◼ ► Like whatever it is. God, it's so expensive. But like it depends on what you value and what has been cut to achieve the next product up's base model.
01:03:37 ◼ ► It's sometimes it makes sense to stick with the low-end model and get like more features for the money.
01:03:43 ◼ ► Because like if you get like the maxed-out version, you are getting like that company trying their hardest.
01:03:50 ◼ ► You're getting like the thing that they make that is the best thing they could possibly give you.
01:03:54 ◼ ► Unfortunately, it might also be a little bit out of their comfort zone. Because it's like the highest end of what they're making.
01:04:00 ◼ ► But you're getting the best thing they can possibly give you. And so you can often get really cool stuff there.
01:04:04 ◼ ► But on the other end, it's like when you get the base model, you're getting like the absolute cheapest this company can sell you their awesome thing for.
01:04:15 ◼ ► I just want to point out that the car analogies are terrible in this particular situation just because like the BMW 3 Series is a great example.
01:04:23 ◼ ► It's like the 5 Series is not a like we're talking about the iMac and the iMac Pro. The iMac Pro is an obvious step up.
01:04:30 ◼ ► You can have any iMac for free. Which one do you want? Just pick the Pro. It's the best in all the ways.
01:04:34 ◼ ► But if they said that about BMWs, the 5 is not necessarily better than the 3 if what you're looking for is like a nimble sports car.
01:04:41 ◼ ► It's a different size class. It's like saying should I get a maxed out 15 inch laptop or an iMac?
01:04:49 ◼ ► It's like well, do you want a laptop? It's like well, the iMac is better, right? Because it's more... No, it's like it's a different thing.
01:04:55 ◼ ► Like the 5 is not... Like the M3 is better than the base 5. Let me just say that. It's easy. It messes up the analogy entirely because it doesn't match up to the way computers work.
01:05:03 ◼ ► The hot hatches are though, in case you had that part right, are an example of taking a car that probably really isn't designed or shaped or envisioned or anything to be any kind of a sporty car and saying what if we just make it really fast?
01:05:19 ◼ ► Oh my word. Alright, so we're only on Tuesday. Is there anything else we need to discuss about Tuesday?
01:05:26 ◼ ► Just briefly, they bumped the iMac Pro options too so you can get 256 gigabytes of RAM for $5,200.
01:05:38 ◼ ► And they put in faster GPUs and they made 64 gigs of RAM cheaper. Still too expensive but whatever, pro prices.
01:05:48 ◼ ► So the iMac Pro is mostly unchanged. It's a new computer but they adjusted a bunch of prices and gave you some new options for even faster parts, which is good.
01:05:56 ◼ ► Yeah, I mean, especially like the GPU side of it. We've been saying for years, on a pro product like this, and they did the same thing on the 15 inch, what about two months ago?
01:06:07 ◼ ► Where like on a pro product like this, Intel is slow. We know Intel is slow to make progress.
01:06:12 ◼ ► And as far as I know, I don't think there's any workstation CPUs in the Xeon class that Apple could update the iMac Pro to.
01:06:24 ◼ ► I think the current CPUs that have been sold on the iMac Pro for the last year and a half, whatever it's been, are still the best Xeon workstation CPUs that Intel will sell them.
01:06:32 ◼ ► So there is no available CPU upgrade. But GPUs change more quickly. And so Apple has given us a new GPU option.
01:06:42 ◼ ► And I don't follow the GPU world enough to know whether it's a particularly good one or not. But I think people seem to like it.
01:06:47 ◼ ► So that's great. That's great news that like they didn't just sit here selling the same ancient GPUs as the only options for the entire, you know, probably three to four year lifespan of this product.
01:06:58 ◼ ► Instead, they gave us a new GPU update like halfway through. That's awesome. And we want them to do more of that.
01:07:09 ◼ ► And they reduced the price of the old GPU options. They reduced the price of a lot of old options, like how much does it cost to get a two terabyte SSD?
01:07:16 ◼ ► They reduced the price, which is practically unheard of. Like, to do an existing computer to say, yesterday, if you wanted a two terabyte SSD, it would have been 600, 800 bucks.
01:07:25 ◼ ► But today, it's 600. They almost never do that. And it's so weird to see them doing price adjustments on like their most expensive, highest margin iMac.
01:07:40 ◼ ► Yeah, I can imagine. I'm getting a little bit of envy at me and my 2015 iMac. It's so old, Jon, you don't understand.
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01:09:40 ◼ ► And I was greeted shortly after I woke up this morning with new AirPods and I cannot, and I mean this genuinely, I cannot remember a time I have insta-bought something from Apple while knowing nothing about it as quickly as I did these new AirPods.
01:09:56 ◼ ► Because as I've lamented on the show before, my AirPods, which I got very shortly after they were released, what was it, late 2016, 17?
01:10:05 ◼ ► They're getting old, as many people have reported. Their batteries are getting very old.
01:10:09 ◼ ► And I am desperate for new ones because I love these things so darn much, but I can't go more than about 15, 20 minutes without them dying, or at least one of them dying.
01:10:18 ◼ ► So I spent $210 after tax on a new set of AirPods with the Qi charging case and I am really freaking pumped for them to come in next week.
01:10:32 ◼ ► The tweet comes in my timeline that says, "New AirPods, tap, tap, tap, buy, buy, buy, instant, instant buy."
01:10:38 ◼ ► Honestly, I was at the point where if I didn't think new AirPods were coming out, I would have already bought the same exact product a second time just to deal with the battery thing.
01:10:48 ◼ ► And we discussed this on the last show, it's like, "Oh, Apple's selling disposable stuff, blah, blah, blah."
01:10:52 ◼ ► There is no better secret battery technology that they could be using with the AirPods. This is it.
01:10:56 ◼ ► Lithium ion batteries, they're tiny. After a while they start losing capacity. I use mine every single day for long periods of time.
01:11:02 ◼ ► I love them. They're great. Instantly bought second pair. These will just become hand-me-downs.
01:11:08 ◼ ► The only thing I threw in the mix this time is that I got mine engraved because now we're about to have three AirPods rattling around the house, one of which is ostensibly owned by a child.
01:11:18 ◼ ► So I need some way to keep these things straight. I guess I know lots of people like to use stickers and little dental floss stickers and stuff like that, but I'm not a sticker person.
01:11:26 ◼ ► So with the engraving, I'm assuming, Casey, you got the one with the wireless charging case? Yeah, you did because that's $200.
01:11:32 ◼ ► To be clear, they still sell it with the non-wireless charging case, like the one you have to just plug in.
01:11:39 ◼ ► And that one is the old price of $160, but they're still the new AirPods. They're not last year's or whatever yesterday's model.
01:11:47 ◼ ► They are the new AirPods with the new features that we'll talk about in a second. Just the case doesn't have wireless charging.
01:11:52 ◼ ► And the second question a lot of people had, which is Apple makes clear in text, but I wish they made clear in pictures, the wireless charging case still has a lightning port on the bottom.
01:12:01 ◼ ► It's not just wireless. It's wireless in addition to the other stuff. Yeah, I had to read the paragraphs below it to figure that out.
01:12:08 ◼ ► So did I. I was looking where it was to show me the bottom of it, but they didn't show it, but just to be clear, Apple does include that text if you want to read the words.
01:12:15 ◼ ► So what features this thing has, it's got Hey Siri, which we all knew was coming, which means that you don't have to tap or touch the AirPod in any way.
01:12:23 ◼ ► You can just say the words, Hey Siri, and it will activate. And then, so now you have a way to change the volume up or down without touching the AirPod, which is nice as long as you don't mind talking to yourself.
01:12:33 ◼ ► They're powered by the all new Apple H1 chip burning another letter in our quest for what the hell the Mac arm chips are going to be called.
01:12:42 ◼ ► Although I don't think anyone else picked H. The things they're touting for it is twice as fast when switching between active devices, which what is your interpretation of that line?
01:12:52 ◼ ► Is it saying like I'm using them with my Mac, but now I'm going to get up from my desk and I would like to use them with my phone.
01:12:57 ◼ ► And so you tap the little thingamabobber and control center and then tap AirPods and watch a little spinner. That's two times faster.
01:13:04 ◼ ► That's what they're referring to. They said it, I think somewhere in the press release or something like that. They actually said like one switch in between like an iPhone and a Mac or something like that.
01:13:10 ◼ ► All right. I mean, that's good because I don't like that thing. Well, 1.5 times faster connect time for phone calls. What is that supposed to mean?
01:13:17 ◼ ► I love that this is an update to headphones that people are excited about speed upgrades.
01:13:23 ◼ ► Yeah, well, there are operations that are slow, but I'm just not even sure what they mean with like, they mean like when someone's calls, how long does it take for you to pick up faster connection time?
01:13:32 ◼ ► So let me give you a theory and the way I'm going to do this is a little bit of a story. So just bear with me for one second. A lot of times when I have my AirPods connected to my phone and then I trigger the person in the tube, not the person in the tube because it's the phone, but you know what I mean? I almost said the keyword, so I don't want to say that.
01:13:51 ◼ ► We said it like nine times already and Marco's not going to believe it, so people just have to deal with it.
01:14:00 ◼ ► Yeah, but he dropped out the four kilohertz range when he said that, so it won't act the way the device is.
01:14:04 ◼ ► Yeah, that's what it was. So in any case, the point I'm trying to say is when I do Hey Dingus or if I even just mash down on the side button, I believe, and I'm probably wrong, but I think there's some sort of mode switch from just audio playback to like headset mode.
01:14:19 ◼ ► And in order to do that, it pauses for a second, and actually lately it hasn't been able to hear my AirPods. I don't know if it's an AirPod issue, a software issue, whatever, but it takes a moment for it to switch from audio playback mode to headset mode, and I think that's what this is about.
01:14:35 ◼ ► Alright, and the other one is 30% lower gaming latency, and I put scare quotes around gaming because this is a weird marketing copy. What they're trying to say is there is less latency for the audio, which means that if you're playing a game in which you have some sort of input and you do some action, like hit a fire button, and the game makes a bloop sound because you fired something, you want to hear that bloop as soon as you see it fired on the screen, and whatever amount of lag the sort of wireless interface is adding will become apparent to you,
01:15:03 ◼ ► much more apparent in a sort of real-time interactive application like a game than it would be, say, in video, because in video they can and do account for the latency and just say, "Well, we'll just show you the frame that we know you're supposed to be seeing by the time you hear the sound that you're hearing,"
01:15:16 ◼ ► but in interactive games they can't do that because the next frame you're going to see is dependent on your input, which is real-time, blah blah blah, but what I think this means is the latency is lower period, and that's really important in gaming.
01:15:26 ◼ ► It's not as if there's only lower latency in gaming, and I think I saw just before the show someone had torn these open and looked at the guts and said, "There's basically the H1 chip."
01:15:39 ◼ ► W1. Anyway, it has an all-new name, yada yada, but how do you get all these features? That it's more powerful hardware in there, presumably, maybe, on a new process?
01:15:50 ◼ ► I don't know if the other one was set of nanometers. I don't know if this one is, but the little teardown speculation I saw was the power of an iPhone 4 in each of your ears.
01:15:59 ◼ ► If you look at what's inside, I don't know if that's true, but if you look at what's inside the AirPods, just think of how many little components are wedged in there and what they're able to do.
01:16:09 ◼ ► It's an amazing miracle of miniaturization and computing power in such a tiny space. It's very futuristic. This is such a great product.
01:16:20 ◼ ► And on the outside, it just looks like one beautiful, as we said before, one beautiful, uniform white solid that doesn't fit Marco's ears. Sorry, Marco.
01:16:27 ◼ ► But on the inside, very complicated. It's one of Apple's best products they've introduced in a long time, which is why it has so many fans, which is why it's so tragic that Marco has weird ears.
01:16:40 ◼ ► Yeah, it kills me. It isn't just me. I've seen a few other people today say, "Hey, me too." The only thing that I wish they had revised is a lot of people are able to find better comfort with AirPods by having some kind of silicone thing that goes around them.
01:16:58 ◼ ► And the challenge with AirPods before with those things is that the charging case is so important that you have to use it very frequently, and if you have any kind of silicone thing on the AirPods, they don't fit in the case anymore because they're perfectly snug. There's no room in there.
01:17:16 ◼ ► So I was hoping that Apple, with the next generation of AirPods, would either adjust the sizing somewhat, make maybe multiple sizes, heaven forbid, or at least better accommodate people who need to use things like this to make them fit by changing the shape of the case or something about the way they charge or something like that.
01:17:34 ◼ ► And they didn't do those things, so it seems like it's exactly the same as it was before. So if they didn't fit you before, they're probably not going to fit you now.
01:17:40 ◼ ► And that's unfortunate, but I have to realize I'm the minority here. It seems like everyone else loves AirPods and they fit just fine. So I have to sit this one out, but everyone else can really enjoy it, and I'm proud of you all for having this thing.
01:17:56 ◼ ► And you've got a lot of other headphones I hear anyway. So this is just the second generation, and I feel like this is kind of delayed. Mark Gurman was saying that actually what was supposed to ship now was a new water-resistant model that was very different, and this one was supposed to have shipped last year, yada yada.
01:18:12 ◼ ► The point is, these are only the second AirPods Apple has ever released. I fully expect in a few years the AirPod line will have been diversified in some way. Maybe just colors, but I think in several years from now, maybe three years, I don't think it's unreasonable to expect that they offer either differently-shaped AirPods or AirPods in two sizes.
01:18:34 ◼ ► Because they're trying to do the one-size-fits-all thing, and I think they did probably a good job of finding the right balance, but it's never going to fit all. And so at a certain point in a mature product line, you start to diversify to fill the needs of the minority.
01:18:50 ◼ ► So I think that will happen eventually. I don't think AirPods are an unfixable thing that will be this size, shape, and color forever. So just keep waiting, and we'll get to you eventually. And as for the H1 chip, like the W1 chip, the W1 was in Beats, I think?
01:19:08 ◼ ► Yeah, there was, I think, a Beats Solo model. Yeah, there were some PowerBeats or something that it was in.
01:19:18 ◼ ► Right, right. Well, anyway, Apple refers to the H1 as like a headphone chip, not an AirPods chip, so I expect Beats to start supporting the H1 as well.
01:19:26 ◼ ► Which, you know, plenty of room for this. It's not a miniaturization miracle in Beats, but, you know, there's more room in there.
01:19:33 ◼ ► But anyway, I'm really happy that they revised this product just in time as everyone's batteries start to die on their AirPods.
01:19:41 ◼ ► And, yeah, I can't wait for battery technology to catch up with this product because it's very, very close to perfect already.
01:19:50 ◼ ► It's just, you know, one size tweak and one new set of battery technology away from being very nearly perfect.
01:19:56 ◼ ► One cool thing about it, too, that I heard some people point out earlier is that if you had previously mapped one of the double-tap gestures to trigger Siri, now you don't have to do that anymore.
01:20:08 ◼ ► So, you know, one of the biggest challenges with the AirPods is that you really only have like two buttons of sorts.
01:20:20 ◼ ► So now you can just rely on using Hey Siri and then you can, whatever button you used for Siri before, you can map that to something else. That's pretty cool.
01:20:28 ◼ ► I also heard lots of people hoping that they can turn off the Hey Siri feature because they assume that it listening all the time costs battery life and they never want to use that feature, so they're willing to, "Can I get that battery life back?"
01:20:40 ◼ ► But, A, I think it probably doesn't take a lot of battery life because that's part of the reason we had to wait for the second gen for it to come out.
01:20:45 ◼ ► And, B, I think the times that it's useful, like when you have gunk all over your hands from cooking in the kitchen and you're not too embarrassed to talk to yourself, far outweigh whatever extra battery life you're going to get from that working.
01:20:57 ◼ ► I think it only listens when it knows that you're talking anyway, so it has some sort of technology to do that.
01:21:02 ◼ ► We'll see, but I can't wait to get these minor coming, I think like the 27th or something, which I think is the first delivery window, even with the engraving. We'll see what happens.
01:21:13 ◼ ► Also, I don't think any of us thought that it could actually be Qi charging. Our commentary, the ethos we've been working with so far up until today is they have to wait for air power because a Qi pad can't fit on the back of an AirPods case.
01:21:31 ◼ ► I thought I brought that, maybe I didn't, I meant to interject last time you said that. A friend of mine at work has a case with a Qi charging coil stuck to the outside of it. It's some weird knockoff thing, like it plugs into the lighting port or whatever, but it totally can't fit. I've seen it fit.
01:21:47 ◼ ► So I need to point out every time I brought this up that size-wise, you can do a Qi charging in that space. I've actually physically seen it work. It was ugly, it was like the coil was on the outside of the case, but if you look at the width and height, you're like, "Oh yeah, that'll fit." And so it does. So that's good.
01:22:02 ◼ ► Also, we should also point out, at the moment, we're recording on Wednesday night. Air power does not exist at the moment. We don't know. It's entirely possible that Apple could be releasing more things Thursday and/or Friday of this week that will be after we've recorded, but Thursday will be before we've published.
01:22:25 ◼ ► So it's entirely possible that you listen to this thinking, "Those idiots didn't even know they were about to release AirPower or an iPod Touch or something."
01:22:41 ◼ ► In general, Apple tends to want to release things on Tuesday, and if they have to prefer our first half of the week or second half of the week, they want the first half. So I imagine Apple doesn't want to release any good news on a Friday, but Thursday's not a Friday, but it's still past Wednesday, so I'm thinking that we are at the tail end of this stuff.
01:23:01 ◼ ► What I'm saying is, the beginning of the week is better than the end of the week, and we are just clearing Wednesday, so I feel like we are done with announcements for this week. But who knows? Especially announcements that no one cares about, like the iPod Touch.
01:23:12 ◼ ► They did also announce the spring colors for watch bands and phone cases. I forget what day that was announced.
01:23:18 ◼ ► A little disappointed they didn't bring back the nylon straps, but it seems like those aren't coming back yet, or ever.
01:23:23 ◼ ► I feel like we're scraping the bottom of the barrel. If AirPower was going to come out, you think it would have come out with the AirPods. That said, there are still persistent rumors in the iOS 12.2 beta that there are still references to AirPower, but that doesn't mean it's going to ship.
01:23:36 ◼ ► And there's like, "Oh, AirPower has been put into manufacturing. It's a go." I guess it's still coming eventually. It's not canceled. The rumor is not AirPower totally canceled. The rumor is AirPower, someday it will come. So that's the state we are right now at 10 o'clock on a Wednesday.
01:23:51 ◼ ► Also, KyleSethGray in the chat reminds me, how about Tim Cook's game on Twitter being so awesome? First he does the Tim Apple thing, which was great. And then the announcement earlier this week of the iPad mini, Tim Cook kind of teased right before it happened, or as it happened, with a doodle of him drawing "Hello" with the pencil on the iPad mini.
01:24:13 ◼ ► And then today, it was that same picture but photoshopped in instead of the "Hello" doodle was a doodle of AirPods.
01:24:22 ◼ ► I don't think Tim Cook is running his on Twitter again, just to be clear. But yeah, it was cute.
01:24:50 ◼ ► Tim actually has personality. He's been keeping it bottled up all this time, and now he's like, "F it, I'm done." We're seeing him actually being more engaging, and I kind of like it.
01:25:04 ◼ ► I wonder if he even knows his PR team tweeted those things through his account. It's hard to tell, because he does cheer on his favorite sports teams, and that's totally him. But then these ones, I'm like, "Alright, the marketing people are posting those."
01:25:16 ◼ ► Yeah, I've enjoyed it. Okay, so this is a weird thing, but do we have predictions for the next two days of this week? It seems so odd, but do you think AirPower is coming this week?
01:25:33 ◼ ► Alright, so in the last seven days, we've had WWDC announced, all these products announced. It does seem that the event they're having next week that is most likely to be about subscription services, news, games, whatever, etc.
01:25:48 ◼ ► We should probably talk about that, but it does seem like they are really clearing the decks so that there is no hardware left for that announcement, because they're going to be focusing so much on what the announcement is that that's not hardware.
01:26:04 ◼ ► It would not surprise me. There have been strong rumors of all or most of these products being released, like in "soon" or "spring" or "first half of this year" or whatever. There have also been rumors of AirPower and a new iPod Touch shipping in the first half of this year.
01:26:21 ◼ ► I think it's actually very plausible that in the next two days we're going to get those things, because it seems like they're really, really clearing out the decks hard so that next week all the attention can be all about that event and the new services and the new TV and whatever else they're doing.
01:26:39 ◼ ► And they don't want anything left over for people to be asking about or expecting or complaining about. So I think it's actually very plausible to have both the iPod Touch and AirPower shipped in the next 48 hours.
01:26:52 ◼ ► I don't know. I would be stunned if the iPod Touch gets an update, but AirPower I'm really 50/50 about. I don't know what to say. I think if I'm going to wager a guess I'm going to say no, but I'm right on the fence.
01:27:08 ◼ ► I believe in the iPod Touch more than the AirPower just because iPod Touch can be released on a Thursday. It's a no big deal. And if that's still going to be a product line at all, do what you do with the iPads. Make an updated version of it. I mean, they updated the mini for crying out loud. Why not the iPad and the iPod Touch?
01:27:24 ◼ ► And all of these products are also things that don't really require an event. They're kind of like boring or spec bump updates. They're the perfect press release things. AirPower is a brand new product, but because it has been so delayed, I don't think they're going to want to make a big deal out of it when it ships.
01:27:40 ◼ ► I thought you were doing bad news on a Friday. AirPower is basically bad news. We're not taking any questions at this time. It's AirPower. We told you about it a year and a change ago. Never mind.
01:27:55 ◼ ► On the side of AirPower is the references to it in iOS 12.2 beta, which is something compelling, although there's been various references to AirPower and various Apple software beta releases forever. But on the other side, how can you release the AirPods and not release AirPower with them?
01:28:12 ◼ ► Maybe with them is tomorrow. I don't know. I'm going to say I'm willing to believe the iPod Touch and AirPower I am below 50% on. Not that it's ever going to be released, but it'll be released in 48 hours. Because I feel like if it could have been released in 48 hours, they should have done it with the AirPods.
01:28:30 ◼ ► Anyway, that's where I'm coming down. Honestly, I also wouldn't be surprised if today was the last day. The least likely scenario, as far as I'm concerned, is both the iPod Touch and AirPods are released over the next two days. That's my least likely scenario.
01:28:48 ◼ ► It's super wild, though. I'm loving this Apple firing on all cylinders. This has been really fun to watch each day.
01:28:55 ◼ ► And they're just like, they're cleaning up and unifying and patching holes so much. They're just sweeping away so many old stale products, neglected things, things that have been rumored forever but seem like they were never coming. They're knocking them all down all in one week. It's pretty awesome. This is a really fun week to be an Apple fan.
01:29:17 ◼ ► Alright, anything else before, oh, we don't even have time to talk about next week's event, do we? I guess we can skip it.
01:29:26 ◼ ► We've already talked about, I mean, what was rumored to talk about is also subscription services. And we had an entire show, maybe a show and a half, where we talked about what can Apple sell you a subscription to and how can it combine subscriptions and what are the pros and cons of that. So I don't think we need to rehash that.
01:29:40 ◼ ► But prediction-wise, that's what everyone has always been expecting. And with today's releases, it just nails it down farther. They're not going to announce new hardware. They're not going to announce the Mac Pro. They're going to announce subscription services, probably their video service, probably their news service, whatever, in some combination.
01:29:57 ◼ ► It's the most sort of business-focused Apple event that I can think of in a while now because, yeah, it's about products. There will surely be some software involved that you can get, but it's mostly about business models.
01:30:12 ◼ ► How has Apple decided to charge you money for stuff that it delivers to? And the stuff is essentially content through either existing applications or new applications.
01:30:23 ◼ ► And that's what we're all waiting for, not show me the new piece of hardware, not show me the amazing new app. It's show me a price sheet and show me the content.
01:30:33 ◼ ► There were a couple of good articles floating around about here's all the video content that Apple has paid for or is in the process of paying for it to have created, and it's a surprisingly long list.
01:30:44 ◼ ► Supposedly they have five of them already done in the can, and the list is like 10 or 20 items with big names and famous people, and you can go on the list and say, "Not interested, not interested, not interested," but eventually you probably get the one and say, "Oh, I might check that out."
01:30:59 ◼ ► So I'm most excited about the video service. Maybe that's not going to be -- I assume it's going to be the big one, but maybe that's not the thing that most people are going to be interested in, and maybe it won't matter because it will all be in one bundle.
01:31:12 ◼ ► But I'm thinking that pretty much no matter what happens during this event, after the event or as soon as I possibly can, I'm going to sign up for Apple Video Service.
01:31:20 ◼ ► Maybe that's not a big reach because I sign up for every video service in the entire world.
01:31:25 ◼ ► I'm currently paying for all of them because right now the new season of Star Trek is going on, so I am subscribed to CBS, but then I always unsubscribe after it ends.
01:31:33 ◼ ► But yeah, I'm looking forward to the event, and I am looking forward to seeing how they bundle stuff.
01:31:42 ◼ ► Oh, and the latest rumor about the bundle name is Apple Core, but I'm not sure how much steak I put in that.
01:31:48 ◼ ► That's the worst name. I mean, first of all, Apple's marketing names are often terrible when we first hear them.
01:32:01 ◼ ► But they do have core animation, core image, core storage, which I know are techier type things or whatever.
01:32:12 ◼ ► All I would say is I do not prefer Apple Core. Obviously, it's not going to be called Apple Prime unless I've been referring to it.
01:32:18 ◼ ► I think we went through the names before. Anyway, that is part of the challenge is naming this service, assuming it's a bundle.
01:32:23 ◼ ► If it's not a bundle, then Casey gets to call it Apple Video or Tavi's ear, I think, for saying call it Front Row. Remember Front Row?
01:32:31 ◼ ► Which kind of makes some sense, but you're not really in the front row for TV. There's no audio. Anyway.
01:32:38 ◼ ► Yeah. Well, I mean, but they called Front Row front row when it was about watching television and movies.
01:32:44 ◼ ► I think it's more of a theater thing. You want to be in the front row so you're close to the stage.
01:32:49 ◼ ► Yeah, some people do. You want to see the people on the stage? You want to see the sweat flying off their brow?
01:32:54 ◼ ► I don't know. I think the name, you know, people keep saying whether it's going to be Apple TV or Apple Video,
01:33:02 ◼ ► but as we keep hearing more and more rumblings about there being more to this, whether it includes the magazine thing, the news thing,
01:33:08 ◼ ► whether it includes games as a rumored thing, which I think is very exciting, assuming it's going to be sold as one big bundle,
01:33:16 ◼ ► which I really think and hope it should be, as I've said before, I don't think it's going to be TV or video.
01:33:21 ◼ ► I think it is going to be something more generic. I hope it's not Core because that's a terrible name,
01:33:26 ◼ ► but I think whatever it is, it's going to sound weird at first because it is going to be probably some generic word like that,
01:33:32 ◼ ► whether it's Apple Plus, Apple Prime, who knows what it will be. Apple Air, I don't know.
01:33:38 ◼ ► Core has the advantage. When I see Apple Core, I'm like, "Well, that's got to be the one that includes iCloud storage," right?
01:33:48 ◼ ► I don't know why it makes me think that, but I don't actually think they're going to include iCloud storage,
01:33:52 ◼ ► so that's why I feel like Apple Core is going to be a bad name. Put it this way, it doesn't make me think of music and television shows and movies and news.
01:34:08 ◼ ► I'm thinking, "God, I hope it isn't Core." I could believe Apple TV. Video I don't think sounds good.
01:34:18 ◼ ► I also still would not rule out the possibility that they just still call it Apple Music and just add things to Apple Music that don't make sense.
01:34:26 ◼ ► I think my reach, remote possibility, risky pick kind of thing is, what if they call it iTunes?
01:34:40 ◼ ► Yeah, because iTunes has stopped meaning anything on mobile, and it's going to soon probably mean nothing on desktop,
01:34:49 ◼ ► because I'm assuming that the future of Apple Music apps on the Mac is going to be a marzipan version of the music app.
01:34:55 ◼ ► So it's going to stop meaning something on desktop soon too. I actually think calling it iTunes is not totally outrageous.
01:35:06 ◼ ► I think Apple is self-aware enough to know that the brand equity in the name iTunes is on a downward slope.
01:35:15 ◼ ► Even non-tech nerds don't particularly have good associations with that word these days.
01:35:20 ◼ ► Yeah, I'm hoping they can call it something really boring like Apple Plus. I think Apple Plus is fine.
01:35:38 ◼ ► The best I can hope for their naming is that it'll be highfalutin. That it will be something aspirational and sophisticated.
01:35:55 ◼ ► Aiming higher than just like Apple Music. Apple Music does not aim particularly high, but it also is not the same.
01:36:02 ◼ ► iTunes is sort of like, "We're casual and cool. We've got some tunes, man." Apple Music is kind of like straight ahead boring.
01:36:11 ◼ ► Yeah, Apple Music is the iOS 7 version of the name. It's like, "We've stripped all personality out of this. We are cold and from space."
01:36:19 ◼ ► Yeah, and then the highfalutin version would be like a word that evokes the idea of music, but that isn't so boringly strictly related to music.
01:36:28 ◼ ► So, Front Row would actually kind of be a highfalutin name because it alludes to the idea of... I don't think they're going to use it, but that's what I have in mind.
01:36:35 ◼ ► But like I said, nothing will surprise me anymore with Apple names. There's no more system you can use. You can't look at a name and say, "That sounds silly. Apple will never do that."
01:36:48 ◼ ► Yeah, I think whatever it is, it's going to be a really weird sounding name for about a week, and then we're all going to get used to it. Just like all the other names.
01:37:04 ◼ ► Jacob Ford writes, "Hey Marco, why are you so into leasing cars but not so into leasing iPhones?"
01:37:09 ◼ ► Pretty easy, really. And he's referring to the iPhone upgrade program and why I don't do that, at least currently.
01:37:16 ◼ ► Main reason is leasing cars reduces financial risk, basically. If you buy a car, new or used, whatever the case may be, you are taking on more uncertainty with the finances of that over time.
01:37:31 ◼ ► Because at some point, you are going to probably have to service it at some point if you're going to keep it for a long time and have it be used, especially, Casey.
01:37:39 ◼ ► You're going to have to service it, and that's a big unknown. And even if you buy new and just trade it in after three to five years, whatever else, you're taking a risk on what its long-term value is going to be.
01:37:50 ◼ ► With iPhones, you're not really doing that. You kind of know what they're going to be worth. It's a much smaller investment compared to a car, and so there's less need for that.
01:38:01 ◼ ► And then also, the inflexibility of leasing is that you tend to be inflexible on timing. Using the iPhone upgrade program, you do have some restrictions.
01:38:11 ◼ ► It's better than a car lease. You can make things easier and buy things out early and whatever else, but you're losing a lot of flexibility.
01:38:24 ◼ ► When a new model of car comes out, I don't really, really, really need to have it on day one. Whereas on an iPhone, I want complete flexibility.
01:38:35 ◼ ► I want zero obligations. I want to be able to buy a new iPhone whenever I want to and walk in on day one and get the new one so I can do whatever I want with it.
01:38:42 ◼ ► That's what I want, and so that's why I don't do it. And also, the upgrade program assumes that you want AppleCare and are willing to pay for it.
01:38:49 ◼ ► I don't buy AppleCare. So it's just stuff like that. There's little motivation for me to do it.
01:38:54 ◼ ► I think that's fair. I mean, on paper, if I was an AppleCare person, there'd be no reason not to do the iPhone upgrade program.
01:39:02 ◼ ► But I, like you, am not an AppleCare person, which once has been annoying, but generally speaking has been fine.
01:39:08 ◼ ► Knock on glass. And so we'll see how this works out. But for me, I also don't want to do that whole lease thing.
01:39:16 ◼ ► Plus you have to get a credit check if I'm not mistaken. There's some hidden agita there that I just don't want to deal with.
01:39:23 ◼ ► Continuing, David McCookie writes, "Hey, would Marco still recommend using a 2015 MacBook Pro in 2019? I cringe at recommending it, but I cringe more at recommending Pro machines with defective keyboards."
01:39:34 ◼ ► This is a tougher question. As time goes on, it becomes less and less advisable to use such an old machine. Because over time, if you buy a 2015 machine today in 2019, you're still buying 4-year-old parts.
01:39:51 ◼ ► And a lot of that 2015 machine was not particularly up to date. The processors in it are from 2013, really. Or the core of them is from 2013. Something like that.
01:40:01 ◼ ► You're buying old parts. If you can get a really good deal on it, and it's in really good shape, I'd say that's still a great buy.
01:40:09 ◼ ► But as time goes on, how good of a deal it has to be increases. So I wouldn't recommend paying the new price for it now, because at that point you're paying a lot for pretty old hardware.
01:40:26 ◼ ► But if you can get a good deal on it, it's still a fantastic machine. And if it fits your needs, it's still a fantastic machine.
01:40:33 ◼ ► And I would say for most people, it probably does fit their needs, and probably better than the current ones, unfortunately.
01:40:38 ◼ ► But yeah, the 2015 is still an awesome machine, but it is getting pretty old, so adjust your price expectations accordingly.
01:40:47 ◼ ► Yeah, I think that's fair. And then finally, finishing up the all-Marco-esque ATP, Chris Adamson writes, "I'm idly wondering," and this is within the context of Overcast,
01:41:05 ◼ ► "for CarPlay versus Apple Watch, which is more interesting, more difficult, and used more?" So you can take those however you would like.
01:41:13 ◼ ► Used more is the easy one, because I have analytics on how much people use CarPlay, or how much they have the watch installed and use the watch app.
01:41:29 ◼ ► CarPlay is very popular. CarPlay gets more usage than a lot of features do. It gets way more usage than the website, for instance.
01:41:37 ◼ ► Way more usage than, like the offline playback of the Apple Watch app gets way less usage than CarPlay gets.
01:42:00 ◼ ► It's one of the reasons why I find it important to develop an Apple Watch app, even though I personally don't really use the Apple Watch very often,
01:42:07 ◼ ► because it's just that big. And CarPlay, similarly, CarPlay is on almost all new cars now.
01:42:23 ◼ ► As for more difficult and more interesting, which are kind of, I'm not sure how I should define more interesting,
01:42:31 ◼ ► I certainly have a favorite. And that is I greatly prefer working on the CarPlay app, because working on the Apple Watch app is more difficult.
01:42:44 ◼ ► I have a little CarPlay setup on my desk, where it's literally a CarPlay head unit strapped to a 12 volt power supply in a plastic box that I dremeled out some holes in,
01:43:08 ◼ ► But I had to build this hardware setup because while there is a CarPlay simulator as part of the iOS simulator,
01:43:45 ◼ ► And building and running an app on an Apple Watch through Xcode is incredibly slow and incredibly unreliable and very frustrating.
01:44:04 ◼ ► And the Watch always kills your app for exceeding resource limits that are very, very, very low,
01:44:17 ◼ ► It's a process I do not enjoy. It's very demoralizing, and it's something that I try to do as little as possible.
01:44:22 ◼ ► And once I get it working, I try to not touch it, because it is just incredibly time consuming and just draining of motivation.
01:44:38 ◼ ► The way the CarPlay API works through the app, on the Watch, I'm rendering the whole UI.
01:44:44 ◼ ► I'm putting whatever components I want in whatever order I want, and having them behave in certain ways however I want.
01:44:51 ◼ ► With CarPlay, you just supply a tree structure of data, and there's certain properties you can set on each row.
01:44:58 ◼ ► You can say whether something has sub-items or not, whether something is playable or not,
01:45:05 ◼ ► whether it is a streamable item or a locally downloaded item, whether it has progress and what that progress is.
01:45:24 ◼ ► So the total problem space of what your CarPlay app can be is pretty small and mostly out of your hands.
01:45:33 ◼ ► So your part of it is not that big of a job, and it's fairly reliable to develop for. It isn't too bad.
01:45:46 ◼ ► So CarPlay is a way more pleasant development environment to work in, even though it's way more limited in what it can do,
01:45:54 ◼ ► because I don't have to do as much, and the parts I do have to do are way more reliable and way easier to do.
01:46:02 ◼ ► Everything I've ever done with the watch, I've regretted the amount of time I spent on it.
01:46:12 ◼ ► Like I have to have a watch app, because a lot of people do have it, and they want it, so it's in high demand.
01:46:16 ◼ ► But I get zero enjoyment out of watch development. It's the kind of thing, it's like doing my taxes.
01:46:22 ◼ ► It's like I do it because I have to, and I try to procrastinate as long as possible before doing it,
01:46:37 ◼ ► The only person who can tolerate working on watchOS all the time is Underscore, because he is just a much better person than me.
01:46:51 ◼ ► Alright, thanks to our sponsors this week, Squarespace, Linode, and Marine Layer, and we will talk to you next week.
01:48:00 ◼ ► So I hear through the grapevine, Marco, that you have either become or ceased being an HDMI CEC Unicorn.
01:48:40 ◼ ► So when I set it up, I wired it up for ethernet, set it up, had it do its initial download of whatever it needed to do, and then I unplugged the ethernet.
01:48:48 ◼ ► I never told it about my Wi-Fi credentials or anything like that, so it could never get its own connection.
01:48:55 ◼ ► It does support HDMI CEC, which is the protocol of HDMI that allows devices, like for the Apple TV, allows the Apple TV to turn off or turn on the TV it's connected to when you push the Apple TV remote buttons.
01:49:09 ◼ ► Or it allows it to take the active input, so if you hit a button on the Apple TV remote, the Apple TV can make the TV switch to its input.
01:49:17 ◼ ► And there's things like that, and certain things like with audio control, where you can use the TV that can communicate via the HDMI cable to tell the TV to turn the volume up and down, and stuff like that.
01:49:28 ◼ ► It's a cool protocol, as we famously have discussed on this show before, as Jon famously says, that it basically at some point never works.
01:49:35 ◼ ► It's unreliable, and any HDMI CEC setup that works is only temporary, and eventually it will stop working.
01:49:51 ◼ ► I've never had problems. The Apple TV always was able to turn the TV on and off, take the input, and not take the input, etc. It's been wonderful.
01:49:58 ◼ ► The TV's also capable of HDR, and when I first got the 4K Apple TV, I first tried setting up an HDR mode, and I had a couple of problems here and there with the cable would flake out occasionally and everything.
01:50:11 ◼ ► And eventually I'm just like, "You know, I don't care about HDR that much. I don't see that much HDR content. It's just being a problem for me. I will just set the Apple TV to just 4K output and not use HDR here.
01:50:24 ◼ ► If I really want HDR, I have a Blu-ray player that does it just fine, and I can buy high-end Blu-rays and that's fine."
01:50:29 ◼ ► So I disabled HDR, and I mentioned this on this show maybe three to six months ago sometime.
01:50:37 ◼ ► And somebody wrote in saying, "I had the same problem with the same TV. If you run a firmware update on it, plug it back into the network, run a firmware update on it, and it fixes the HDR problems with the Apple TV."
01:50:51 ◼ ► And I had that in my head for months, and it was just like a thing on my mental to-do list. Sometime I have to plug the TV into Ethernet and have it do this. But it just never really came up.
01:51:01 ◼ ► About a week and a half ago, I decided, "You know what? I had some free time in the living room. I was doing stuff around the house, getting stuff done, fixing tech things that needed to be fixed."
01:51:12 ◼ ► And I was like, "Let me finally do this." So I updated, plugged the Ethernet in, let it run its stupid software update, came back, unplugged the Ethernet. All right, we should be good now.
01:51:22 ◼ ► And I played with HDR settings for a little while, and the funny thing is I couldn't get it to look good at all. No matter what settings I changed, I could not get HDR from the Apple TV 4K to look good.
01:51:34 ◼ ► And so I turned it back off. Like, I actually preferred it the other way. And so I turned the Apple TV off and went about my day.
01:51:42 ◼ ► Later on, I came back to the living room and the TV was on again. That's weird. I turned it off. Maybe the remote fell and maybe Hopped Stepped on the button or something or somebody sat on it or something. Whatever.
01:51:55 ◼ ► And then the next day, Tiff's like, "Hey, something's wrong with the TV. I tried turning it off earlier and it just kept turning itself back on."
01:52:02 ◼ ► And I'm like, "Oh, that's weird. Let me try rebooting everything and unplug, replug everything, reset everything. That should fix it."
01:52:12 ◼ ► The next day, it happened to me where I tried turning the TV off and a few minutes later it turned itself back on. And I turned it off again, a few minutes later it turned itself back on.
01:52:21 ◼ ► And it took like three or four tries before it actually would stay off. And I thought, "Maybe the Apple TV is not behaving correctly with CEC for some reason." Even though I didn't change anything about that. I changed what the TV was running.
01:52:33 ◼ ► But let's blame the Apple TV for once. So I switched the active input. Before I turned off the TV, I switched the active input to the Nintendo Switch. And then I turned the TV off.
01:52:43 ◼ ► Thinking maybe the Apple TV is waking it up wrong or whatever. Same problem. I did some searching. I'm like, "Please don't be a problem." But I did some searching and I found a Reddit post.
01:52:54 ◼ ► "Issues with the LG C7 since upgrading firmware to 5.80.15." Describing a bunch of CEC problems.
01:53:03 ◼ ► And then the comments to this post describing more people saying, "Yep, same thing happened to me on the same TV with the same firmware update."
01:53:13 ◼ ► And so this seems to just be a problem. And it's been about a month since this version came out apparently.
01:53:21 ◼ ► And I don't know how often LG issues firmware updates for their TVs. I'm guessing it isn't that frequently, especially for a TV that's now like two years old.
01:53:31 ◼ ► And the solution is disabling CEC. And the problem is, I've been living a CEC lifestyle. And it's really nice when it's working. It's really great.
01:53:41 ◼ ► My whole family is now very upset that things are now way more cumbersome than they were before to operate the TV.
01:53:47 ◼ ► Because we have to now turn things on and off separately and adjust volume in a different way and everything's all different.
01:53:52 ◼ ► It manually changes inputs like we're animals. It's terrible. We had this working so well. And I was a dummy and decided to update the firmware to fix something that wasn't really even that much of a problem it turns out.
01:54:04 ◼ ► And you can't downgrade it. And so now I just have to sit here waiting for my TV to hopefully get another firmware update sometime that hopefully fixes this problem.
01:54:24 ◼ ► I'm glad you learned that the solution is always to disable CEC. It's a solution to all your problems.
01:54:31 ◼ ► But it's not. No it's not because I'm with Marco on this. So I have an ancient 1080 TV. It's 40 inches. It's probably close to 10 years old at this point.
01:54:42 ◼ ► And I'm starting to get a little bit of an itch to upgrade the TV but for now I'm fine. And the one thing that it does, relatively reliably, is power itself on when I mash down on the Apple TV remote.
01:54:56 ◼ ► And it takes a freaking eternity for the thing to turn on but eventually it will turn itself on. And it is really darn convenient. I really, really like it.
01:55:04 ◼ ► And it's annoying that I have to go flip the switch on my receiver, get the remote to turn the receiver on separately. Because the TV is automatic, why can't the receiver figure it out?
01:55:14 ◼ ► And it's also an ancient receiver, blah blah blah. But all of this to say, I agree with Marco that when it works, it's really darn nice.
01:55:22 ◼ ► And there's also things like, I've seen in some of the comments about this, that certain soundbars and things are only volume controllable via CEC. There are certain components now, like hardware components that require the use of CEC.
01:55:36 ◼ ► So like, this has to work. You can't just say I'll turn it off everywhere forever. Because there are things being made that depend on it.
01:55:48 ◼ ► If they never update the firmware again, you can always get a remote to orchestrate all the things.
01:55:58 ◼ ► I know. I know. Well, I mean, do you hate them more than the Apple TV remote? I'm surprised you actually use that thing so much.