336: Cool Report, Though


00:00:00   [Music]

00:00:08   From Real AFM, this is Upgrade, episode 336. Today's show is brought to you by Fitbod and AirBuddy.

00:00:16   My name is Myke Hurley and I'm joined by Jason Snell. Hello, Jason Snell.

00:00:20   Hello, Myke Hurley, how are you? I'm fine, my friend. How are you?

00:00:24   Uh, doing great and uh, I could tell you about the weather but instead, how about a Snell Talk question?

00:00:30   Marlies asks, "How do you clean your monitor, Jason?"

00:00:34   Or, "How often do you clean it?" Not in how, but how often in the hell?

00:00:38   Um, well, I have no idea. That- that's how little- how- I don't- I like- how do I clean it? I mean,

00:00:49   barring the taking like the sleeve of my hoodie and like rubbing it on the screen a little bit,

00:00:56   almost never. Yeah, I never think about cleaning my monitor unless something has happened.

00:01:03   Right, I mean, if you- if somebody tells a joke while you're drinking something and you go,

00:01:07   "Pfft!" and spit take all over your monitor, you- you should clean your monitor then, but- but otherwise, no.

00:01:13   And the- my window is to my left and it- so I very- I don't have glare on my monitor

00:01:20   and so I don't- glare is where you're really gonna see stuff on your monitor and so I don't.

00:01:25   So it happens occasionally, I will be like, "Oh, I should probably-" I'll see it at an angle when

00:01:31   it's turned off and I'll be like, "Oh, I should clean my monitor." But that happens very rarely,

00:01:37   only certain times of year, I suppose, when the sun is in the right position to reflect off of the monitor.

00:01:43   If you would like to send in a question to help us open an episode of the show, just send out a tweet with the hashtag #snotalk

00:01:49   or use question mark snow talk in the Relay FM members discord and you can help us with any question you like.

00:01:55   I have a follow-up, a programming note. Upgradients may want to be aware that Apple's Q1 2020 results

00:02:03   are coming this Wednesday, so we'll be talking about it next week. We are definitely going to

00:02:08   talk about this one because this is the expectation from analysts, I was reading this over the weekend,

00:02:14   is that Apple are expected to pass a hundred billion dollars in revenue for the quarter for the first time,

00:02:21   which would obviously be their biggest quarter of all time. And there's- we all know the many reasons

00:02:28   why that would happen, but it's gonna be, I reckon, pretty fascinating regardless. Like the last quarter

00:02:34   results were too, right? Like there were a lot of weird surprises in it because of the changing ways

00:02:40   of people working. I'm really intrigued to see kind of like what happens to the Mac line.

00:02:46   Yeah, well after that record-breaking quarter and what is the holiday in the middle of the

00:02:53   pandemic, what does the holiday quarter look like, and yes, I think Upgradients should be interested

00:02:58   in knowing that the results are coming this Wednesday. Also, thank you, Myke. I didn't have this on my calendar.

00:03:04   So there was a- thank you for telling me that there were results. 15% of the reason that I put this in the show is to make sure that you were aware that it was happening.

00:03:12   You know, it's funny, I usually think of it about a month before and look up the date and put it in

00:03:17   there, and I think perhaps because I've been so busy with other things, it literally never

00:03:23   occurred to me. So I guess I'll be making some charts on Wednesday. Because it wasn't until I

00:03:28   saw this Matt Groomer's report about the expectations from analysts that I knew that it was this week

00:03:34   either. So, you know, just passing it on. Every three months, like clockwork, and yet it manages to surprise me.

00:03:40   All right, let's talk about some of the news in streaming media and platforms and services in our

00:03:48   regularly recurring segment Upstream. Apple have named Warner Brothers Pictures executive J.P.

00:03:54   Richards as head of film marketing strategy. Clearly, Apple is continuing to move their push

00:04:02   into movies the same way they're pushing into TV. Richards was part of Warner Brothers, like up until

00:04:08   very recently. I think he's still there, but like in their shakeup, he's leaving. But, you know,

00:04:14   having been somewhere there modern, he's worked on a bunch of, you know, really popular movies for

00:04:19   them, like Wonder Woman and Joker and The Star is Born and stuff like that. Yeah, and it's just

00:04:24   an example about the importance. We focus a lot on streaming services as places to go for TV series,

00:04:33   but they are, I was going to say increasingly, but we're already there. They are also a place

00:04:37   for film release and not just the sort of Oscar bait film release stuff, but as a strategy. Some

00:04:44   audiences don't want to binge necessarily as many TV shows, but they do want to have a movie to watch,

00:04:51   sit down and watch a good film. And that's why another item we have in Upstream that we should

00:04:57   probably mention in this context, which is Netflix strategy is so film focused in so many ways,

00:05:05   and they made a statement that they're going to release just a huge number of films. It's more

00:05:11   than a movie a week. It's 70 films in 2021, so more than an original release a week.

00:05:19   These are just the films that they know they have. There could be more. These are all the films that

00:05:25   are done or will be done and have release dates on Netflix in 2021. And they have,

00:05:32   like, you know it, name your favorite Hollywood actor. They're probably on Netflix. They have

00:05:39   everybody. It's like a Super Smash Brothers commercial. It's unbelievable.

00:05:44   And I'm sure Netflix are trying to and will do whatever they can to pick up any movie that they

00:05:51   can that is not going to be in theaters this year. And so movies continue to be, I think movies are

00:06:00   the next part for the streaming services. Like it was TVs, right? TV shows, series.

00:06:04   First they ate the TV world and now they're going to eat the movie world.

00:06:08   And don't get it wrong. This is not pandemic related. Like they haven't got all these movies

00:06:13   because they're not going to be in the cinemas. These were always going to be Netflix movies.

00:06:17   There's some acceleration there, but it was going to happen anyway. And I was thinking about it. I

00:06:23   have watched movies recently, movies on HBO Max, Netflix, Hulu, Apple TV Plus. Like you can, I can

00:06:35   go through them. Like I have watched movies, new release movies on all of these services, Prime

00:06:40   Video, like good, real, real movies. And so I get the appeal. I get the appeal of it that,

00:06:52   you know, the movies just keep rolling onto these services and, yeah, people, there are different

00:06:57   audiences for these different things. Some people want to sit down and binge, you know, 10 episodes

00:07:02   of something. And some people want to have like that big release movie that's two hours of super

00:07:08   concentrated entertainment. And the streaming services see that as an opportunity. So I think

00:07:14   it's interesting when you look at Netflix and then you see that Apple is staffing up even more

00:07:17   on its film side. And we've had lots of reports about Apple making deals for movies and then

00:07:21   doing development of movies and funding movies themselves that like, this is another trend.

00:07:26   So whether you're looking at Apple TV Plus or you're looking at any of its competition,

00:07:30   this is, I think it's going to be an interesting question. We talked about the effects of the

00:07:35   pandemic on the movie industry. In five years, what kind of movies are released on streaming

00:07:39   and what kind of movies are released in theaters? And what does that look like? Because that's an

00:07:44   interesting question of like, what does a streaming movie look like? Because I think

00:07:47   if you asked any of the streaming services, they would say, "We're not making lesser movies."

00:07:53   These aren't like, you know, what we used to call TV movies that were like movies, but really,

00:07:57   it's just like low budget and it's really like a one episode TV show. They want them to feel,

00:08:04   you know, completely cinematic and real. And at the same time, traditional movie theaters

00:08:09   had kind of crowded out almost everything that wasn't either a prestige Oscar bait kind of movie

00:08:16   or a blockbuster. So there's plenty of room for all kinds of movies maybe on streaming that

00:08:22   wouldn't be there in movie theaters. So, you know, I think it would be a mistake to say that

00:08:27   streaming isn't going to transform the, you know, watching a movie in all of its ways,

00:08:35   just as it's transformed watching TV. - You see James Bond got delayed again?

00:08:40   - Of course it did. - October now.

00:08:44   - Everything's, the shuffling continues. That's very much a vaccine motivated move, right? Which

00:08:50   is like, "Oh, I think by October, surely by October," it's a we're in the bargaining stage,

00:08:54   right? "Surely by October, theaters will be back open." And maybe they will, but I'm going to share

00:09:00   with everybody out there something that I've kind of come up with in my own life and I've talked to

00:09:04   my family about, which is I have yet to see someone bet, if you have to bet about the

00:09:11   coronavirus impact on something, bet the over is what I'm saying. Bet the over. It'll be worse

00:09:19   than that. No one yet has made a bet on COVID-19 that's been like, "Oh, it was better than I

00:09:27   thought." That hasn't, it may happen. It may happen. I hope it happens. Hasn't happened yet.

00:09:33   So this is, you know, MGM is like, "Come on October for James Bond. Maybe it'll be October."

00:09:39   Maybe it will be. But, you know, we've gone through a series of like, "It'll be later in 2020.

00:09:44   It'll be early in '21." And the one that makes me laugh, I was watching a football playoff game

00:09:48   yesterday and they have movie sponsors and so the announcers will come back and say, "Oh, the AFC

00:09:55   Championship game is brought to you by this movie in theaters March 24th," or whatever. And it was,

00:10:01   it was, "The AFC Championship game is brought to you by this movie 2021." I thought, "Wow,

00:10:08   just sometime. It'll come out sometime." Somewhere. Exactly. Watch it somewhere in the future.

00:10:18   In a theater? Maybe. On your TV? Could be. We don't know. Only in Australia? Possibly.

00:10:25   2021. That's all we're saying. I saw somebody say on Twitter that

00:10:30   Daniel Craig will be two years older when this movie came out than when he finished filming it.

00:10:36   Yeah. Well, you know, New Mutants came out last year after sitting on the shelf at Fox

00:10:44   and then Disney for a long time. And that had a bunch of kid, you know, young actors in it who are

00:10:48   like, it had Anya from Game of Thrones, Maisie Williams was in it. And like anybody who watched

00:10:57   Game of Thrones, like she's way younger in the New Mutants than she was in Game of Thrones.

00:11:01   It's like, okay, it was amazing. No. Or was it the other one, the one who played,

00:11:05   I can't even remember the names of the kids in Game of Thrones. Anyway, there are people who are

00:11:09   way, way, way younger than they were when you saw them last year on TV. And that's because it sat on

00:11:16   the shelf. So fortunately, Daniel Craig doesn't visibly age, so it'll be okay. NBC universal is

00:11:23   going to be shutting down NBCSN, which is their sports network at the end of 2021. They're going

00:11:29   to be moving some of their highest profile content to the USA cable network. Instead,

00:11:33   the rest of it will probably go to peacock. What do you think? Yeah, this is, this is,

00:11:40   by the way, a real time follow up. Yes, Maisie Williams is who it was, who is in, who's in the

00:11:46   new means. So because her, her another X-Men movie with the other young woman from Game of Thrones,

00:11:55   so confusing, so many X-Men movies. The, this story about NBC Sports Network, just like this

00:12:03   is NBC's attempt to do ESPN essentially, and Fox had one and CBS has one. And there was a trend

00:12:12   last decade be like, well, we need a sports only channel too, and we're going to buy sports rights

00:12:15   and we're going to plow it in to that channel and people are going to have to demand it on their

00:12:19   cable company and we'll make money from cable companies. And the reason I put this story in our

00:12:24   notes is because I feel like this is actually kind of a huge story because this is what this decade

00:12:31   is going to be. This decade is going to be turning off cable channels, moving the content to streaming

00:12:39   or to cable or broadcast channels that have much larger audiences and just sort of simplifying the

00:12:46   approach. So the idea here is that NBC Universal is literally tearing down their sports channel

00:12:51   on cable. It's going to, the lights are going to go out this year and they're going to move some

00:12:56   of that stuff to USA Network, which has a much broader penetration into households in the US.

00:13:01   They might put some stuff on broadcast TV, on more stuff on NBC broadcast, and they've got Peacock,

00:13:08   so they know they can put literally everything else can just go on Peacock. And it will,

00:13:14   and this is their strategy. And so is it super notable as a story onto itself? Maybe not,

00:13:21   but I feel like we're going to see this same story happen again and again until what we think of as

00:13:29   the cable bundle is a lot more simplified because a lot of that stuff is just not going to make

00:13:33   financial sense anymore. And streaming becomes something that makes more financial sense. So

00:13:39   I'm not surprised. This is the home of the Premier League. This is where Ted Lasso,

00:13:44   yeah, got its start was the ads for the Premier League on NBCSN. And they're shutting it down

00:13:51   because at some point somebody said, why are we spending all the money on having our own sports

00:13:56   network when we can just put the high profile stuff on USA and everything else on Peacock

00:14:01   and be done with it? And that's what they're going to do. Following on from this, NBC's Peacock and

00:14:07   the WWE have entered an agreement to make Peacock the only place for the WWE Network Streaming

00:14:13   Service to be available in the US. We go now to Upgrades special wrestling correspondent,

00:14:19   Myke Hurley. This is a massive deal. So the WWE has 1.5 million, I believe paying subscribers

00:14:27   in the US, um, which now becomes a base for Peacock as well. Yep. They all get Peacock,

00:14:34   Peacock premium, I think, which is the one that it's got ads, but it's the one you have to pay for.

00:14:39   And that's where all that content goes. And all those subscribers get just moved over into,

00:14:43   into Peacock, which means they get access to all the, all the Peacock stuff too. Yeah. It's

00:14:47   interesting because you could either keep paying the same amount that you were paying and get

00:14:51   premium with no ads, or you can cut it down by half, get ads on Peacock stuff. And then you also

00:14:57   still get all the WWE content as well. Um, the Wall Street Journal says this deal is worth over

00:15:03   a billion dollars for the WWE. It's super interesting. I now expect to see the WWE

00:15:11   entering into these agreements with other companies around the globe. Now, the WWE network is worldwide

00:15:17   because they own all the content. So they don't really have issues because this is the way that

00:15:23   it works. They're kind of clever about it in a way that TV shows were never on the WWE network.

00:15:30   They play them later, but they have arrangements. So like one of their shows is on the USA network

00:15:35   already, which is part of NBC. Um, and then they have different agreements around the world,

00:15:40   but they have additional content and what used to be their pay-per-views have always shown on

00:15:44   the WWE network. Right. This is, this is a transformation from the idea of we're going

00:15:48   to do a pay-per-view of the Royal Rumble or whatever to we're going to just put it on our

00:15:53   streaming service and go from an all cart model to a subscription streaming service model, which we,

00:15:58   anybody who listens to upstream will nod and say, okay, that's interesting. Cause they've,

00:16:02   they threw out their kind of old, old model and went to this new model and now they're,

00:16:07   they're just wrapping it inside of, of peacock. They're, they're wrapping it inside of an existing,

00:16:12   you know, this is essentially NBC universal, not buying the WWE, but buying the, you know,

00:16:21   buying or licensing the WWE is streaming content, all of it. Cause while they make a lot of original

00:16:26   stuff, a lot of documentaries and the documentaries tell the actual true stories, right. If what's

00:16:32   happening in these people's lives and it's customer customer acquisition, because they're getting all

00:16:37   of those subscribers who presumably, you know, they can then say, look at all these extra peacock

00:16:41   subscribers we've got, um, you know, that we can sell ads to which, cause that is part of their

00:16:46   business. I wonder, and I don't know enough about this, but I do look at this and think,

00:16:51   I wonder if in the long run they might buy the WWE, but they might not need to. And right now

00:16:58   their ambition is, yeah, right now their ambition is not, uh, worldwide necessarily for NBC universal,

00:17:05   but, but right. This is essentially NBC universal is going to make this a tile,

00:17:09   like how Disney plus has star Wars and Marvel and Disney and Pixar, right. They have, uh,

00:17:17   they have this Disney plus another thing I watch movies on. Um, they, they have wrestling now,

00:17:23   right. That's like part of peacock. They've got premier league and they've got wrestling. Like

00:17:28   they're starting to put together, uh, and the office that's basically what's on peacock now.

00:17:32   But to be honest for all of people, that's probably enough, right.

00:17:36   Look, this is all, you know, they're adding people are like, well, why would I get peacock? And it's

00:17:41   like, well, we've got two good new reasons. You know, we, we moved most of our premier

00:17:45   league stuff to peacock and now we've moved, we've moved the WWE to peacock and like, okay, well,

00:17:50   and we're going to move even more of our sports there because we're shutting down our sports

00:17:53   channel. And this is, this is how the game is going to be played from now on. They're there.

00:17:57   It's fascinating to see them being this aggressive with this, but I, I think all of this stuff is

00:18:02   smart. I think it's smart. And it's this, uh, the transition from the WWE network to peacocks

00:18:07   can happen in March. So to get it done before WrestleMania, cause that's when you want to do

00:18:12   this before WrestleMania cause WrestleMania is where the casual people like casual viewers

00:18:17   will come. Right. And so they might be able to every year I expect that the WWE picks up new

00:18:22   subscribers around that time. We stick around for the year. Um, so it makes perfect sense.

00:18:27   Once the mania subsides, people will have peacock. They'll, they'll wake up from the mania and

00:18:32   they'll be like, whoa. And they can be calmed by Michael Scott, I guess, you know, everyone calm

00:18:37   down. All right. This episode is brought to you by AirBuddy. When you open your AirPods near your

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00:21:11   in the show notes too. Our thanks to AirBuddy for their support of this show and Relay FM. I use

00:21:16   this app every single day. Big recommend. It's good. So Apple today announced a feature that

00:21:24   has been rumored. It was actually a feature that we spoke about a couple of weeks ago.

00:21:28   We did. Apple should add this to Fitness Plus. It's called Time to Walk. It is an inspiring

00:21:35   audio walking experience. This is an Apple Watch and AirPods feature. So which is interesting to

00:21:42   me. The only way you can listen to this content is by using an Apple Watch with connected Bluetooth

00:21:47   headphones. There will be weekly original content featuring influential and inspiring people.

00:21:53   The first four episodes of this fitness content feature Dolly Parton, Draymond Green, Shawn Mendes,

00:22:02   and Uzo Aduba. They show, and what I like as well, so that basically they're talking to you about

00:22:06   something. They have a story for you, right? So it's all different stuff. Everybody's got their

00:22:11   own story. And while they're telling you the stories, they show images on the Apple Watch

00:22:16   as you're listening, which are relevant to the story that they're telling. And then once the

00:22:19   story's over, there's a short playlist of Apple Music tracks that accompany the story.

00:22:24   So as you can imagine, Shawn Mendes is one features three Shawn Mendes songs.

00:22:28   That's how that goes. These stories will automatically download to your Apple Watch.

00:22:35   But I think that's on the next version of WatchOS currently, because without an update,

00:22:39   they're available now. And you have to download them from the Fitness app. So they're in the

00:22:43   Fitness app today. It's just service, high content stuff. I really like as well that this feature is

00:22:50   available for wheelchair users as well. And it's called Time to Push if you're a wheelchair user.

00:22:54   And so I just think that's just a nice way of doing it. But that's available there.

00:22:59   I've seen a lot of people say that these are podcasts. I don't understand why people keep

00:23:05   saying that. They're not. I don't know why people are like, "Hey, it's Apple's original podcast

00:23:09   strategy." This is not Apple's original podcast strategy. We've already seen it. We spoke about

00:23:13   it. They have actual podcasts that they make. One's called Apple News Today. We spoke about this.

00:23:18   You know, I think they're saying it's going to be released weekly. And so at a glance,

00:23:23   you could say it's original audio content released weekly. But it is tied into Fitness Plus and only

00:23:29   available on the Apple Watch. Right? It's not quite the same. But I get the release schedule

00:23:37   being a feeling like spoken word on a release schedule feels podcasty.

00:23:43   Sure. Like, I understand that. But they just don't feel... I just don't understand. It's like,

00:23:52   it's like we say Spotify's podcasts aren't podcasts, right? But they're more like podcasts

00:23:59   than this. Well, oh, well, Spotify's podcasts aren't podcasts. These are definitely not

00:24:04   podcasts. If everything is a podcast, then these are podcasts. If audiobooks are a podcast,

00:24:08   then this is a podcast. By the way, this can be our new podcast or not.

00:24:13   Is the dance the robot a podcast? I mentioned this in the context of running. Because I felt

00:24:25   like they don't have any running content because you run outside. And I said it would be nice if

00:24:30   they did some audio only content. And walking is good because the idea there is also you're getting

00:24:35   somebody active. Like, get off your couch, get out of your chair, go for a walk and listen to

00:24:42   an interesting story from Draymond Green. Great. I'm intrigued by that. I want to hear what Draymond

00:24:47   Green has to say. He plays for the Warriors. He's a basketball player. I do wonder about runs.

00:24:55   That would be an interesting idea, like a guided run. And it comes back to some of the other

00:24:59   complaints/room for improvement in Fitness+ that I mentioned the last time, which is,

00:25:05   could you use the sensors to build an experience that's a little more interactive? So like,

00:25:13   could you do a run thing where the voices drop in and there's also music and it kind of comes

00:25:18   back and forth? Or would it be just more of a linear thing of like somebody having you run

00:25:23   and then telling you a story? I don't know, but I'm intrigued by the idea. I would love to try out

00:25:29   some audio content for runs because I do them and it would be, I listen to podcasts now, which is

00:25:35   fine, but I would give it a shot. And then I've also heard people say that this might be a nice

00:25:41   way to do kind of meditation or relaxation or other stuff like that, where again, you don't need

00:25:47   to be watching a TV screen, you get your eyes closed, but you could use it as a kind of gentle

00:25:54   guidance, sort of like how that there are those meditation apps that let you do this and they're

00:26:00   expensive subscription apps too, right? So they could get into that as well of like a calm down,

00:26:06   a mindful relaxation kind of thing. I think there's opportunity for Fitness+ to go in that

00:26:11   direction as well. And then our friend, Shelly Brisbane, I think pointed out in one of our

00:26:17   slacks that it also is potentially a nice accessibility thing, right? Because having

00:26:23   audio only content is good for people who don't consume video content. So I'm encouraged by this.

00:26:31   I love that they are already rolling out other features of Fitness+. I think that's good.

00:26:36   - Yeah, and it's a good one to have because it's also like if you have Fitness+, but you're not like

00:26:43   a big high intensity workout training type person, this is like another thing that you can add,

00:26:48   like is of value to you, right? And so I'm going to do one of these tomorrow. So I'm going to go

00:26:55   out for a walk tomorrow and I'll listen to one of these things. I don't know why this has to be

00:27:03   Apple Watch only for the audio component. - Well, it doesn't obviously, right? But

00:27:16   so Fitness+ currently at least is Apple Watch required. So I think it's that, and maybe they've

00:27:26   got kind of a gimmick going to about, like, I don't know if you stop walking, if you just listen

00:27:32   to these on your couch, does it stop playing and make you walk more or something? Like it could use

00:27:38   the walk as a metaphor and we really know we really want you to walk during this. And they're

00:27:44   using the Apple Watch as the sensor to do all of that stuff, even though you could do that on the

00:27:48   phone as well. They're all, you know, it's all tied in. I do wonder if some of it is just a,

00:27:53   did you know that you can pair headphones with your Apple Watch and just walk with your Apple Watch?

00:27:59   But you're right, this could very easily be something you could do with just your iPhone.

00:28:02   - Mark Gurman has more reports. We have a couple more Mark Gurman reports.

00:28:09   - He wasn't done. - He wasn't done.

00:28:11   - He wasn't done on that Friday afternoon. He wasn't done.

00:28:13   - The first one is about Apple's upcoming VR headset.

00:28:19   - I feel like this whole segment of upgrade is us being right.

00:28:23   - Yeah. - Feel that way to you?

00:28:25   - Yeah. - This report, I felt like,

00:28:28   was very close to what we talked about. And it was one of my theories for how Apple could possibly do

00:28:34   a headset in 2020. - Yep.

00:28:36   - Was I said it was kind of like a VR developer kit that could fake AR, but that would be really

00:28:42   more of a high-priced developer demo and something that would be for mass use, but it would allow them

00:28:47   to get the hardware out there and that they had the hardware for this so they could put it out there.

00:28:51   And please tell them about Mark's report, but I'll just say, as I read it, I was like,

00:28:55   is this a product for people or is it kind of a tech demo for developers and could it be sold

00:29:04   that way? I nodded while I read this report is what I'm saying.

00:29:09   - Well, this is the thing though, right? Wouldn't it be nice if it were both?

00:29:14   - Yeah. - So it's apparently being

00:29:18   designed as a high-end niche product with expectations that it's not going to be a product

00:29:24   that sells exceedingly well in its first iteration, but it's believed this is a first step towards more

00:29:31   compelling products in the future. There was actually, the sales expectations are very slim.

00:29:38   And I think they said something like they would assume they would sell as many

00:29:42   as one per day in retail stores, which is similar to the kind of volumes they have for the Mac Pro

00:29:49   from an expectation perspective. - Yeah. And high-end niche product,

00:29:55   we've said endlessly here that Apple makes products to sell in volume.

00:29:59   So this report is weird, unless you think of it as

00:30:06   essentially something that's pitched as a tech demo product, that it's a developer product.

00:30:12   Like a Mac Pro, it's a developer product and it's not for the masses and it's not going to be

00:30:17   marketed for the masses, but it'll be available. Maybe you don't have to be a developer to buy it,

00:30:24   but that's essentially how they pitch it is that it's a glimpse at the future

00:30:35   and for people who are developing the next generation stuff for AR.

00:30:39   - And I think that, as we were talking about when we spoke about this last time,

00:30:45   I think the benefit that you have there is that you don't have to have the Apple Watch problem,

00:30:54   right? Of like, "Hey, we have this thing, it does everything, see how it works." And it was very

00:31:04   scattershot. If Apple do a thing like this, a product like this, it's purely to understand on

00:31:13   a larger scale their future of this type of device. This is not the device. This is the first version

00:31:22   of honestly not even the thing they're going to make, right? This is a VR-focused device.

00:31:27   It will display a 3D environment for gaming, video viewing, and communicating with others.

00:31:33   Currently set to debut as soon as 2022. This is not the product. The product is AR glasses.

00:31:41   This is not AR glasses. But if you get this kind of thing out into the world,

00:31:45   you'll see how developers like it. You'll see what customers like and what they don't like.

00:31:48   And it's dipping your toe into this other market rather than just throwing all your

00:31:54   cards down on the table and hoping that it works. Apple got to do that with the iPhone.

00:31:59   You can't keep doing that. That's not a thing you can just do every time, right? I mean,

00:32:04   I know the iPhone was not perfect, but it was a very, for its time, very fully realized.

00:32:12   It had everything you would want and more. They have not succeeded in doing that with the iPad.

00:32:21   They have not succeeded in doing that with the Apple Watch. They all took time to understand how

00:32:26   these products would be used by people and what they were good for, for them to really take off.

00:32:31   - Right, but they were fully featured products. I think the problem that I have with this rumor

00:32:37   is that this is, like you said, this is not the product. This is version zero of a product.

00:32:45   And Apple traditionally does not release version zero of a product, which is why I'm kind of

00:32:49   fascinated that this report is that they're actually gonna release this. That's why I

00:32:53   speculated that it would be released as developer hardware, as a way to basically say this isn't for

00:32:58   people. And maybe they could brand it as something that was essentially developer or technical

00:33:04   review or whatever, and then get it out there. But it seems weird that they would even treat it as a

00:33:09   regular product, even if you could buy it from, like why even put it in Apple retail? Why not just

00:33:14   have it be at just online and it's expensive and nobody is gonna buy it unless they're a developer?

00:33:21   - To demo this stuff physically. So they would put it in retail for that, right? Like if you

00:33:25   wanted to understand what it was like to use, you could go there and use it.

00:33:29   - But do you wanna, I mean, unless they're using it as kind of marketing for the future of air,

00:33:34   but it's like not a product people should buy. If it's not a product people should buy,

00:33:38   this is the core of my confusion about this, is Apple releases products people should buy.

00:33:43   And Mark Gurman's report is sort of like, this isn't a product people should buy. It's not,

00:33:49   and it's not gonna sell well, and it's gonna be expensive and it's a niche product,

00:33:53   but they're gonna do it. And it's gonna be VR, not AR. And it's everything that we described,

00:34:01   which is you could take an iPhone and iPhone games and all those things and put them in a headset and

00:34:05   have something like an Oculus Quest 2. You could do it. And Mark Gurman's report is they are gonna

00:34:10   do it. That's what they're gonna do. And that's fine. Like I could see a report that said,

00:34:18   Apple thinks that it can make a better Oculus Quest 2 than Facebook can. And it's gonna do it.

00:34:25   And will it sell a billion of them? Well, no, but it gives them a beachhead with VR games and stuff,

00:34:32   and then their AR product will follow. But that's not what the report says. The report says, no,

00:34:38   it's not a product people are gonna want. And they're not gonna try hard to market it.

00:34:41   And they're not gonna sell any, and it's gonna be very expensive. And that's the part that baffles

00:34:46   me because either you make a product that's like the Oculus Quest and you make it popular within a

00:34:54   certain circle, or you make a very expensive high-end product that is essentially a tech

00:35:00   demo for developers. For Apple to release, both of those are things that I understand Apple doing.

00:35:08   I don't understand kind of something that's both at once. So I'm a little bit baffled by that.

00:35:14   So I appreciate Samsung as a company because they release products just so they can get better at

00:35:30   making the future version of that product. Sure. But Apple doesn't do that. Not typically, no.

00:35:37   Even the Apple Watch didn't feel like a throw it against the wall kind of product, even though

00:35:43   its messaging was very much throw it against the wall. It did feel like a focused Apple product,

00:35:48   just a first-generation product. When they showed it off, it seemed like, wow, this thing can do

00:35:57   anything. But when we received it, we realized it kind of can't. It's not great for all of the

00:36:04   stuff that we were shown. It's better at these certain things. Similarly for the most recent

00:36:10   Apple TV. TV OS was shown to us as being like, oh, it can do everything. But really, it does

00:36:16   these things very well. My thinking on this, the reason I like this is that even though it is not

00:36:23   the typical Apple move, I think it is the right move if they want to make the best version of the

00:36:30   AR glasses that they can possibly make, is by taking these small steps that at the time that

00:36:37   they happen, just in a vacuum, seem really weird. This is going to be an over $1,000,

00:36:45   two to three times more expensive than the competition headset with none of the games

00:36:50   you want because Facebook keeps buying all the studios that make the best games.

00:36:53   I think it's so they can try and make this other thing later on.

00:37:02   I know this is a bold strategy, Cotten. I don't know if it's going to work out for them,

00:37:07   but yeah, it's something to try.

00:37:10   - I agree to a point. We've been saying all along that Apple's focus on AR is very clear,

00:37:16   in iPads and iPhones, is very clearly just laying groundwork because they want to do AR

00:37:21   on your face, but they haven't gotten there yet. And that part I kind of accept. Apple does a lot

00:37:29   of testing of new tech in existing tech and then rolls it all together. And again, maybe Mark

00:37:37   Gorman doesn't have this part clear. I don't know, but it's the, this is not going to be a product

00:37:45   that sells exceedingly well in its first iteration and that it's a niche high-end product. That would

00:37:53   be a real change in strategy for Apple to release a product, a big new first generation in a new

00:38:00   class product for Apple that Apple basically says you're not going to want. Now that doesn't stop

00:38:06   them. The counter argument would be, they're not going to do it like that. They're going to make it

00:38:11   that this is Apple's finally making a VR thing for games and stuff and it's revolutionary.

00:38:16   And yeah, it costs $1,200. If you want it, go buy it and everybody will scream about the price.

00:38:21   And Apple behind the scenes is like, that's fine. We don't want you to actually buy this one,

00:38:25   but that they're going to be like, no, but it's best in class. And look at how beautiful,

00:38:28   like according to the Gorman report, the screen quality is way better, which is, you know, VR

00:38:33   goggles, it's grainy, right? We're used to high resolution displays and they aren't capable of

00:38:40   that. So maybe this one is, and it's truly HD and they're going to have really good cameras.

00:38:44   I have iPhone cameras on it. So when you're in mixed reality mode and you can see the world

00:38:48   around you, it actually looks pretty good. It's high resolution, it's color. And, and because

00:38:54   like the Quest 2 is it's low resolution and black and white, and it still blows me away when I'm in

00:39:00   that mixed reality mode. I'm like, Whoa, I can see the world around me while I'm wearing these

00:39:05   things. It's great. Right? So if Apple could do that and do it really well, I can see all of that.

00:39:10   It's just fascinating because it would be a change for them. And I guess, I guess we'll see, I think

00:39:17   they could probably release something like this and hide it away more in a developer context,

00:39:22   which is why I suggested that because then it's sort of like at a developer conference,

00:39:27   Apple announced VR goggles that cost $1,200 or whatever, a large amount of money. Nobody is

00:39:33   interested in them, but it almost takes the pressure off of them. It makes everybody speculate

00:39:37   about Apple's long-term plans, but it takes the pressure off of Apple in one sense because they

00:39:42   don't have to be that product. That product is, it has like a disclaimer on it, right? It's like,

00:39:49   this isn't a product. It's like, it's like, we're not going to reviews of the, of the Apple Silicon

00:39:54   Mac mini developer test kit that was running on the A14Z or A12Z. It's like, we don't care. Like,

00:40:01   it's not a real product. So Apple could do that if it wanted to and say, this is not a real product.

00:40:05   Look away, avert your eyes. If they choose not to do that, I'm not saying that they won't. And I'm

00:40:12   not saying that's a bad idea, but I am saying that's really interesting because Apple is heavily

00:40:19   scrutinized. It's not something that I feel like they've really done before. It has a potential to

00:40:23   really backfire on them. You worry about the stink of it, stinking up what you do next. And maybe

00:40:29   they're so confident that they're not worried about that. But I guess what I'm saying is,

00:40:33   in the past, they've just hidden this stuff. And if they choose not to hide it, that's going to be

00:40:38   really interesting because I think it's a move that they haven't made before. But, you know,

00:40:43   make no mistake, I totally see what this product could be. And it could be really great, even if

00:40:48   it's very expensive. It could be actually kind of great. But it's a weird thought to say that Apple's

00:40:54   going to release something as a consumer product. Essentially, they're going to call it that and

00:40:57   release it like that and put it in Apple stores when all they're really doing is laying the

00:41:02   groundwork for the glasses that are to come in '21 or in '22 or '23. So from Mark Gorman's report,

00:41:11   Mark says that the plan is that the product will build a foundation of their AR ambitions to come,

00:41:17   and will also provide developers with some hardware to build apps and experiences on.

00:41:20   And this is the thing, we can see the logic in that. But it's certainly a peculiar thing to do,

00:41:27   though, right? Like, "Hey, this thing costs $1,200. We're going to show you all the features

00:41:32   that it does. Stop buying it." [laughter]

00:41:36   Right? That, right. And if they truly feel that way, it's a developed product, call it that.

00:41:42   But I do wonder if they're like, "Well, you know, our fans, some of them will buy this,

00:41:48   even if it's really expensive." Like, there are people who have no business buying a Pro Display

00:41:54   XDR who buy that because we make it. Hi, Marco. Hi, John.

00:42:01   - Hi, Steven. - Hi, Steven. Hi, 90% of the people who bought

00:42:06   the Pro Display XDR, like, don't need the features, but it is a beautiful Apple product. And I'm not

00:42:11   really making fun of you. I'm saying there is a part of Apple's market that wants the newest Apple

00:42:17   stuff, and it doesn't really matter. They're not going to make it a bestseller, but they will buy

00:42:22   it if they're allowed to. Like, a lot of people would have bought that A12Z Mac Mini if they were

00:42:29   allowed to, even though it's just for developers. - There are enough Apple podcasts in the world.

00:42:33   - Yeah. So that's the argument, right? That's the argument is,

00:42:36   buy it if you want, but don't buy it. But, you know, but if you want. I guess I look at it,

00:42:43   and I think you're opening yourself up, if you're Apple, to a lot of backlash because

00:42:47   Apple releasing a product to the consumer market, to everybody, putting it in Apple stores, it is

00:42:53   Apple putting a stamp on it saying, "This is ready to go. This is ready for prime time. This is ready

00:42:57   to be judged. This is ready to be analyzed." Because Apple doesn't have a tradition of throwing

00:43:04   the spaghetti against the wall. Apple doesn't release 15 phones and see what happens, and 13

00:43:14   of them are discontinued and are never seen again. It doesn't do that. So it is opening itself up to

00:43:21   a level of criticism and scrutiny that it could avoid if it wants to. I am fascinated. I will be,

00:43:29   like, if they welcome it and say, "No, we're gonna, yeah, it's a high-end VR set, and obviously,

00:43:35   it's a first crack, and this is gonna go in a lot of places, and most people probably aren't

00:43:39   gonna want this, but those who do are gonna have the best-in-class VR experience that's ever been

00:43:44   done," right? They'll say that. That's what Apple says. And maybe they will. That would be a real

00:43:50   gutsy move for them, and it would be... That's why I'm fascinated most by it is that I feel like

00:43:54   what that says about Apple changing its strategy. I have no doubt it'll be good. Like, I have no

00:44:00   doubt it would be good because they've got all the pieces to make it good. It just will be, like,

00:44:04   super expensive, but I have no doubt it would be best-in-class, at least among the standalone,

00:44:09   and maybe among all of the VR goggle-type things that are out there, headsets.

00:44:15   During testing, Apple struggled with the size and weight of the device, so they removed the space

00:44:19   and the hardware to accommodate for eyeglasses. So basically, a lot of these devices, they have,

00:44:27   like, a lens adjustment thing, so if you have eyeglasses, you can kind of adjust the lens so

00:44:32   it's clear to you. In the units that Apple have been working on, they've removed that,

00:44:36   and they will offer the ability for people to order prescription lenses instead.

00:44:40   - I mentioned with the Quest that I bought that they have this, the Virtue Clear lens insert.

00:44:46   - Yeah, I think we were talking about that in Upgrade Plus.

00:44:48   - Okay, all right. Well, it's... Yeah, that's right. That's right. Well, so Oculus has a

00:44:52   partner. They work actually with Frames Direct, and they have these $80 inserts that go on the

00:44:58   goggles on the inside, and you order them... You know, it's not a prescription in the sense of,

00:45:06   like, you need to go to your doctor, but you do need to sort of know what your adjustment is,

00:45:09   and you order... I have some, that I bought on Amazon, some swim goggles that are adjusted,

00:45:16   that are corrected, so that I can kind of see out of them, and they're not perfect by any means,

00:45:20   but it means I don't have to wear my glasses in the ocean and have them swept off my face,

00:45:24   and then I can't see until I go home, right? That almost happened. So that's what it would be.

00:45:32   It's like you might even be able to go into the Apple Store and say, "All right, well,

00:45:36   I need a minus five here, and that's like minus three on this eye," and then they...

00:45:41   It would probably not be, you know, lens crafters creating custom prescription things for your...

00:45:48   It's probably more like, "Do you have your prescription?" You can look on it or bring it in,

00:45:52   and we'll say, "Oh, you need this one and this one," and then we hand them to you,

00:45:56   or we ship them to you if you know it. And that's pretty easy to do, because I've done that for my

00:46:01   swim goggles. If their future is making AR glasses, they need to be able to accommodate for complex

00:46:09   prescriptions. It's true. They got to figure it out. Again, it's like these are baby steps.

00:46:15   The headset is planned to be a standalone device. I remember this from a report that Mark Gorman did

00:46:20   a while ago, that there were initial ideas to have it whilst they communicate to some kind of

00:46:24   processing unit, but Johnny Ive was like, "No way." And Johnny Ive made the right move,

00:46:29   because that is a no-way scenario. Yeah, that's... No, having... I mean,

00:46:34   wireless would be better than wired, but you'll lose a lot if you do a wireless, and wired is

00:46:38   better, but then you've got a cable... And you can't take it with you anywhere.

00:46:42   No, this is the right thing to do. And obviously Apple are considering an app store for their

00:46:48   device. Of course they are. Of course. Everything needs an app store. So I don't know about this.

00:46:53   I'm intrigued. I am intrigued. You can call me intrigued, because I am a VR believer.

00:46:58   So I'm intrigued what Apple will do with it. I kind of feel like some kind of 2022 timeframe

00:47:04   is not necessarily the best. I can imagine if Apple were able to get this out during

00:47:09   pandemic time, they could actually market it much nicer, much, much better, I think. I think

00:47:15   it's got a more interesting marketing story if people are at home more. And I mean, I know we

00:47:22   spoke about the always bet on the over, right? But the hope would be that in 2020 lockdowns might not

00:47:29   be as prevalent as they are now. Because I could imagine even just like, "Hey, VR FaceTime."

00:47:36   Great. Right.

00:47:39   Yeah. I will say for myself, I'm more interested in a VR product than an AR product, because

00:47:50   Apple's AR glasses will be intended to be a thing I wear all the time. And I still don't know how

00:47:57   comfortable I am with that as a notion where with VR, I'm like, I'm in for a while, then I'm out.

00:48:03   Right. And it's not part of my life. So, but cool report though.

00:48:08   Yeah.

00:48:09   All right. This episode is brought to you by Fitbud, the fitness app that provides

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00:50:10   So we have another Mac report from Mark Gurman as well. He doesn't stop. No, he just keeps on

00:50:18   going and I like it. This time it's primarily about the MacBook Air with some additional details

00:50:23   just scattered in, which is, you know, I love the way that Mark Gurman writes. You know, we said

00:50:28   this before and we've had him on the show before as well, but like I really like when he writes a

00:50:32   report about one thing and then hides some details about other products in that report. I just like

00:50:38   it's really fun because it makes it more exciting to read and like, okay, MacBook Air, MacBook Air,

00:50:44   wait, you said what about the MacBook Pro? I like that about the way that he writes. So,

00:50:47   Apple is apparently working on a new thinner and lighter version of the MacBook Air.

00:50:54   And to achieve this, they'll be shrinking the bezels and retaining the 13 inch screen.

00:51:00   Right off the bat, this is like the MacBook, right? Like that's kind of, this is the Air,

00:51:10   right? This is like the MacBook. We always said at the time the 12 inch MacBook was really the

00:51:14   MacBook Air because it was thinner and lighter than the MacBook Air. And then it's always funny

00:51:19   that the MacBook Air now is not that much thinner or lighter than the MacBook Pro. The MacBook Air

00:51:26   was always supposed to be the thinnest lightest product. And I guess this is the recommitment to

00:51:31   the MacBook Air again, like they've recommitted to everything else. Like actually going back and

00:51:36   making this the product it is meant to be. Yeah, this looks to me like, I wrote a Macworld piece

00:51:42   about how I thought they should just take the 12 inch MacBook and bring it back. And Mark's report

00:51:46   here makes me think that Apple perhaps has decided that 12 inches is just too small a screen.

00:51:53   Going forward as they space out the Mac OS with Big Sur and that what they want is a 13 inch screen,

00:51:59   but that they can still make it thinner and lighter. And if you look, if you think of it

00:52:03   that way and you think about how we got here with the MacBook Air, right? They killed it. Basically,

00:52:09   they put it on life support. It just sort of sat out there with no retina screen. They tried to sell

00:52:13   us a MacBook. They tried to sell us the low end, the MacBook Pro escape. People just kept buying

00:52:19   the MacBook Air and they finally said, all right, you're right. You want the MacBook Air, here it is.

00:52:22   And they released a product that is, you know, it's a MacBook Air. Like if you use the old

00:52:29   MacBook Air and then you picked up the retina MacBook Air in any form, you're like, oh yeah,

00:52:33   this is the same computer. This report suggests to me that behind that there's a redesign.

00:52:41   That they came out with an Air that was, they put together a retina MacBook Air that looked more

00:52:46   or less like the old MacBook Air, but that this is the new Airier MacBook Air, right? Like that this

00:52:53   is one that doesn't necessarily look exactly like the old classic model, but is going to do a lot of

00:53:00   the same things that the 12 inch MacBook tried to do in terms of being thinner and lighter. And maybe

00:53:04   the 12 inch MacBook design just didn't work with the new keyboard that they've settled on

00:53:08   or, you know, something, some other aspect of Apple Silicon. I don't know.

00:53:12   Their MagSafe plans, lots of things it could be, but the need for an Airier MacBook Air remained.

00:53:22   And so this is fascinating that they apparently are working on this idea of how do we take the

00:53:30   existing Air, which is very thin and light, but as my Macworld article pointed out, it's still like

00:53:35   eight tenths of a pound heavier than the 12 inch MacBook. Like there's room to make a smaller

00:53:39   MacBook Air. There really is a smaller and lighter MacBook Air. And I guess they're going there.

00:53:43   However, Mark Herman also says that they thought about making a 15 inch model, but that's not

00:53:48   happening right now. And that made me laugh because I'm like, remember the big iBook that was

00:53:53   the same number of pixels as the small iBook? It was just the 14 inch iBook. It was just like the

00:53:57   large print edition of the other iBook. I chuckled when I saw this, but at the same time, consider it

00:54:05   just like we had the 11 and the 13 of the MacBook Air. There's no reason that somebody who wants a

00:54:11   bigger screen should have to buy a pro MacBook if they don't want it. It doesn't have to be

00:54:18   connected to price, having a bigger screen. It doesn't have to be. So I laughed at this because

00:54:24   a larger MacBook Air is not the thing I want in the world, but I also kind of understand how they

00:54:29   might want to go there or consider going there at some point, just because not everybody wants a

00:54:35   little laptop with a little screen and they don't necessarily need to buy a MacBook Pro to get

00:54:40   those features. And if they're trying to differentiate, which I think is an important

00:54:43   thing for Apple to do, to differentiate between the Air and the Pro, because right now there's

00:54:47   very little space between them, then this is a way to do that too. - I really like that thought of

00:54:54   like, the current MacBook Air is another version of a product called MacBook Air, but it isn't true

00:55:03   to what the MacBook Air was supposed to be. - Or events have surpassed it, right? Like the MacBook

00:55:12   Pro has gotten so much smaller and lighter that now they're uncomfortably close together.

00:55:18   - Yeah, 'cause what it is now, what the MacBook Air, the current MacBook Air is, is just Apple's

00:55:23   cheapest laptop. - Right, well, and it is thinner and lighter than the MacBook Pro, but like we saw

00:55:29   the 12-inch MacBook and we're like, that. - Exactly. - Now that was, like you said, that was the Air.

00:55:34   That was the true thin and light laptop. And that's what I mean when I say, having looked at

00:55:38   the specs of the 11-inch MacBook Air and the 13-inch MacBook Air and then the new Retina

00:55:43   MacBook Air, it's not the same thing. It's not the same thing. It's not the same thing.

00:55:47   - The new MacBook Air, there's room. There's room for it to be thinner and smaller and lighter.

00:55:54   There is definitely room for Apple to push in that direction. And it seems like they're going to,

00:55:59   which is great. - The new MacBook Air will also feature MagSafe along with a pair of USB4 ports.

00:56:06   And this is as a reminder, USB4 is the... - Is Thunderbolt. - Yeah, and USB-C all in one little

00:56:14   package. So it's like, it's those things all together. This version is expected to be a

00:56:23   higher-end model with the current M1 MacBook Air sticking around in the lineup. - All right, so,

00:56:29   all right, everybody, hold everything. Some of our speculation on this show has been about what's

00:56:36   Apple's chip strategy and what's Apple's Mac strategy in terms of bringing out new stuff.

00:56:42   And this is such a juicy little tidbit, right? Because what this is saying is, guess what?

00:56:47   We're going to bring a new MacBook Air in that's thinner and lighter and maybe even has a more

00:56:52   powerful processor. I don't know. Maybe it'll have the next generation processor. - And they're

00:56:59   going to leave the old M1 there, right? It's like, I'm okay with that. I think it's fascinating,

00:57:05   though, right? Because that's them saying, all right, that $999 or maybe even less,

00:57:09   that M1 is going to stick around. But spend a little more money, you get the thinner, lighter,

00:57:15   faster version. That's not something they've done a lot of on the Mac side, although it's definitely

00:57:22   an Apple move, but it's not necessarily so much of a Mac move. But that's interesting. And I think

00:57:27   not entirely unexpected, the idea that the M1 computers would stick around because they're

00:57:33   plenty fast and they form the low end of the Apple Silicon line, and then Apple starts building

00:57:39   on top of them with the new generation of processors rather than just iterating. And

00:57:44   that seems to be at least this is a first indication that that's Apple's plan is come

00:57:49   out with a new MacBook Air with a next generation processor and leave the old one in the price list.

00:57:54   Because honestly, even if it stays at $999, such a great deal at $999. On ATP last week,

00:58:02   Marco went off for a while about how great the MacBook Air is, and all I can say is cosine,

00:58:06   I agree completely. Even at $999, it's such a great deal. So Apple has latitude to just let it sit

00:58:13   there and build newer products higher up in the product line or push it down in price a little bit

00:58:21   and slide in a new MacBook Air to like they've got the room to do it. So I think that's what they're

00:58:28   doing according to Mark Gurman. That's fascinating. This is the strategy. We've wondered like what will

00:58:33   happen. This is the strategy. It isn't that all the Macs will get updated with all the new chips

00:58:38   all the time. Like there's going to be honestly kind of like the iOS devices, you can still buy

00:58:45   last year's and will make it a little bit cheaper. And it will have that those set of features and

00:58:50   that will stay as it is. And here's the M2 versions, here's the M3 versions, here's the M4

00:58:55   versions, and so on. This is kind of making me feel like I think they're going to have a bunch

00:59:01   of different letter chips. Yeah, M1X. No more like M1 might be the lower N1s and then it might be a

00:59:14   different set for the middle ones. Like to kind of differentiate them from each other because it

00:59:20   feels like to me there's going to be a lot of processors flying around here. Yeah. And I wonder

00:59:26   how they're going to name it because yeah maybe there will be like M1, M1X, M1T and then M2,

00:59:34   M2X, M2T, right? So they can kind of, you've got the low end chips, the mid-range chips,

00:59:39   the high end chips and then they will iterate every year. I'm not sure. Anyway, talking about

00:59:45   those little details. Oh by the way, this is due to be released in the second half of this year or

00:59:49   early 2022. So we're going to get basically a year out of the current MacBook Air before they iterate.

00:59:56   Right, I read that as a, you know, maybe fall or maybe it'll slide into next year. Yeah. Again,

01:00:04   all of these rumors from Mark suggest it's second half of the year with a next generation Apple

01:00:09   Silicon chip, which to me reads that if we get any new Macs in the first half of this year they're

01:00:14   probably M1s. Provided that some of the things have been fixed. I don't know. I don't know. I'm

01:00:23   not entirely convinced that there will be any new Macs in the first half of this year if Mark's

01:00:29   reports are accurate, right? Because he's talked a lot about next generation chips and the implication

01:00:34   there is that the next Macs will have next generation chips but there's also sort of a

01:00:39   strong implication that it's sort of a June WWDC thing maybe. I don't know. It would be interesting

01:00:48   if those, honestly the M1 Macs made such a big splash that if there was ever a year where Apple

01:00:52   could afford to just not update anything until June or July it's this year. But I still would

01:00:58   love something sooner than that. So the next line of MacBook Pros that we spoke about last week

01:01:03   will gain an SD card slot as one of their I/O expansions. So we spoke about having more ports.

01:01:10   SD card. One of those ports. Make a lot of people happy. I think that also this is one of those

01:01:17   things where it makes more people happy than people that use it. Sure. People love having

01:01:25   the freedom, the ability, the possibility of an upgrade or of using a particular kind of port and

01:01:31   then they don't necessarily but they like to know that they could in a pinch. And I've been in that

01:01:36   situation where I've had an SD card and I'm like, "What? Do I? Anybody have an adapter?" Because I

01:01:41   just don't have an adapter around and the laptops don't have it. And I do you, for the record, I use

01:01:48   the SD card reader on the back of my iMac every week. Apple has also apparently been developing

01:01:55   the underlying support for cellular Macs but it's unknown when this will become an option.

01:02:01   I love this report because I think what it suggests is that cellular Macs are going to happen.

01:02:07   My feeling all along has been that cellular Macs aren't going to happen now that they bought Intel

01:02:15   cellular radio business. They're going to make 5G chips integrated, perhaps even integrated in Apple

01:02:22   Silicon, but they're going to make their own Apple 5G chips. And at that point, they're going to say,

01:02:27   "Well, we should put this in the Mac." And so they're laying the groundwork here. This feels

01:02:30   very much like a report where the OS group is now working on cellular control stuff because there

01:02:36   are lots of issues where ideally you want to be able to do what you do on iOS where you can say,

01:02:40   "Don't allow cellular," or "Do allow cellular," or be able to control when data gets transferred

01:02:47   because unless you've got an unlimited plan. And even if you have an unlimited plan, if you've got

01:02:51   a narrow pipe and you want certain kinds of data to go through, there's nothing worse than being

01:02:56   somewhere and being like, "Why can't I do this?" And the answer is, "Well, because you're uploading

01:03:00   photos in the background." It's like, "I don't want to do that now on the cellular network,

01:03:05   even if you have unlimited data, because it slows down your network." So they got to build

01:03:09   some software, ideally software infrastructure for that. And it sounds like that's happening,

01:03:15   but his source is basically like, "Well, we're doing this. Well, when is that going to happen?"

01:03:19   And there's no hardware source to say, "Well, the plan is we're going to put that hardware in on X

01:03:24   date." But it is encouraging that they're actually working on it, right? Because you can't put

01:03:30   cellular modems in Macs without laying that groundwork. So I'm very excited that they're

01:03:34   laying the groundwork. - I completely agree with you that we won't get these until whenever it is

01:03:39   Apple does make their own modems, which we know they're doing, right? It's one of those things,

01:03:44   it's not even a rumor. They bought Intel's business. You wouldn't do that, right? Like,

01:03:49   "Oh, we just feel sorry for these people." No, they're doing it. Because as well, they don't

01:03:55   get on for a whole Qualcomm. - That's right. - So yeah, this will happen when that happens. And it's

01:04:03   not going to happen before, I don't think. Apple has apparently also been doing work for Face ID

01:04:10   on their new Macs and was hoping for this to ship in the iMac redesign, but is apparently now

01:04:16   unlikely to happen this time around. - So that's disappointing. - Very. - This is that one step

01:04:27   forward, one step back kind of thing from Mark Gurman, where it's like, they are working on

01:04:30   Face ID for the Mac, but not now. You're not going to get it now. Because the new iMac with a new

01:04:36   redesigned iMac hardware would be the perfect time to put in all those sensors for Face ID.

01:04:43   And it sounds like he's basically saying, "Well, they're working on it, but it's not ready for

01:04:50   now." And that's too bad, because if there's ever a product that could use Face ID, it's the iMac.

01:04:59   - More than anything. - Well, right, because they can't put a Touch ID sensor. It doesn't have a

01:05:06   keyboard attached. You have to add a keyboard wired or wireless. And so it's a much more

01:05:12   complicated thing than just putting a camera on the top of that thing. So that's disappointing.

01:05:16   - So that's what we have for now. - So, yeah, Mark Gurman provides. He provides excitement,

01:05:25   and he also crushes dreams. These are things that happen. But yeah, his track record is very good.

01:05:31   So, you know, as always, when we talk about these reports, I believe that Mark Gurman's sources are

01:05:37   very good. That said, they don't know everything. They only see little portions of it. And things

01:05:46   change. So just because right now, as we're talking, some people at Apple say that this is

01:05:53   going to happen doesn't necessarily mean it will. Decisions get made all the time, stuff gets pulled

01:05:59   out. You know, things get reversed. So we'll see. Remember, once Apple wasn't making any new

01:06:06   displays, they were out of the display business, and then they made the Pro Display XDR and are

01:06:10   apparently making another display too. So things do change. - There isn't huge news as such, but

01:06:15   seeing that the LG displays are out of stock in most places in Europe on Apple Store.

01:06:21   - Yeah, and LG stock has gone in and out because they keep doing sort of stealth updates to some

01:06:27   of their monitors, right? On ATP, Marco talked about that, that there are three or four different

01:06:31   versions of one of their displays. Like they, unclear whether that means anything. I think that

01:06:38   Mark Gurman's report was that that external display was, there was in one of the Slacks

01:06:43   or Discords that I'm in, somebody was like, "Oh, I've got to, I'm holding out for that every day.

01:06:47   I wake up and I'm hoping that that display gets announced." And like, he made it sound like they're

01:06:52   starting work on it. So I wouldn't expect it until like the end of the year, if then. So please do

01:06:57   not, you know, go to bed every night hoping you'll wake up with news of an Apple display. I think it's

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01:08:16   supporting us in this show, which we thoroughly appreciate. That is getupgradeplus.com. Thank you

01:08:22   so much. - Get it. - Let's do some #askupgrade questions to finish out today's show. First comes

01:08:29   from Eli. Do you think that Apple may be releasing new designs of peripherals along with the new

01:08:35   designs of Macs this year? The Magic Mouse launched with the first unibody iMac in 2009.

01:08:43   But even if we did, how much change could we really see? - Well, I hadn't thought of it. This is a

01:08:49   really good question. I feel like it's a, it is a good question to ask. Will Apple modify the

01:08:56   peripherals? It's a good time for them to do it. Magic Trackpad 2, Magic Trackpad 2 is pretty good.

01:09:03   I'm not quite sure what they could do there, although they could, I've been thinking about how

01:09:07   they have all of their, you know, 3D Touch, Force Touch stuff. And I find it funny that in all the

01:09:14   conversations people have had about, like, how these rumors about new laptops with MagSafe and

01:09:20   with more ports and having a new Apple display and all these things, it feels very much like what all

01:09:25   the computer nerds wanted is going to be given to them. And Apple's reverting about a bunch of

01:09:30   things that we hated about their computers for a while. Nobody has talked about Force Touch, 3D

01:09:36   Touch, which is an example where Apple rolled that out, like the touch bar, and we're like, "Oh, this

01:09:41   is really going to be big." And then it just sort of was met with no enthusiasm and they've started

01:09:45   backing away from it. Anyway, the Magic Trackpad 2 has support for that. And I wonder if they could

01:09:51   just save some money by throwing that out. - And making it a real click again?

01:09:54   - Well, they could. I actually don't mind the real, the fake click. It feels real to me.

01:09:59   I did think though that you could also, you know, there's some wacky things you could do there. You

01:10:03   put Apple Pencil on it. I don't know. There's things that they could do there, but the mouse

01:10:08   is a really great example where people have been making hay about that charger on the bottom of it

01:10:12   for so long now that a redesigned mouse that didn't charge on the bottom would probably be worth doing.

01:10:19   The people who've been working, it's not as if the people who work on input devices at Apple are not

01:10:26   busy because they are like, they just did the Magic Keyboard for iPad and they did the Magic Keyboard

01:10:33   for the laptops. Those are big. Those are actually pretty big jobs that they did. But is there

01:10:40   something coming after that? It would be a good time for Apple to refresh its input devices, Eli.

01:10:45   So maybe. - I would use a wired Apple keyboard that had Touch ID on it.

01:10:53   - Sure. That would be great. If they could do something like that, that would be, yeah,

01:10:58   a Magic Keyboard with Touch ID. Sure. - Because wired keyboards, I use them all the time now.

01:11:03   It's not much of a problem. It really isn't. - No, my keyboard is wired because basically I'm

01:11:10   sitting at my desk and I can wire it. So why not? Then I don't have to charge it. It's fine.

01:11:16   My trackpad is also wired. It doesn't have to be, but I don't have to charge it if it's always

01:11:22   plugged in. So yeah, it's easier. - Similar question, actually, a follow-on question from

01:11:27   Ryan who asks, "Could you imagine a future Apple mouse with MagSafe charging?" - I don't know how

01:11:33   that would work, but maybe? I don't know. - What they should do is, like, there's a couple companies

01:11:39   that would do this, Qi or some kind of wireless charging mouse mat. Constant power to the mouse.

01:11:46   - Oh, interesting. Interesting. What do you think, you know, this rumor about MagSafe on the laptops

01:11:53   being the more, like, the little pill size? If they do that, do you think that they might

01:11:59   spread that elsewhere? Do you think that that might pop up on peripherals? Do you think that that might be...

01:12:07   They wouldn't put two MagSafes on the iPhone, would they? One on the bottom and one on the back.

01:12:13   For that portless iPhone. - I would like that because then I could still use my pop socket.

01:12:21   I hadn't thought of that until now. - Well, and it's not induction, right? It's the MagSafe as described,

01:12:26   which is like the MagSafe that we used to have, is not an induction charge. It's a direct connect

01:12:31   guided by magnets, and so it's a much more efficient, fast charge. - I would love that, honestly,

01:12:41   because then I wouldn't have to use the MagSafe Puck style charging. I could imagine, you know,

01:12:48   you could put that on a trackpad and a mouse really easily as well, and then that, you know,

01:12:54   if we're talking about peripherals, that could be how you charge peripherals. - The reason, I mean, I just,

01:13:00   the thought just occurred to me that one way you could get rid of lightning is with MagSafe. If you

01:13:05   built a new MagSafe that was, you know, unlike people who remember the old MagSafe, it was, like,

01:13:11   hardwired into the brick, and I think everybody's hoping that a new MagSafe Apple does is just

01:13:18   USB-C on one end and the MagSafe connector, and you can buy different lengths and different kinds of

01:13:23   MagSafe connectors, ideally, and it could even be a licensed product that they could work with

01:13:28   licensees on, but could you also then drop lightning away from a lot of these products

01:13:35   that charge via lightning and instead use MagSafe to make that connection, and then just

01:13:41   everything becomes MagSafe, which is Apple-prioritary, I get it, but so is lightning, and if you're not

01:13:46   going to go to USB-C, maybe that would be a nice thing to do. I don't know. - Could they do data?

01:13:51   - They could, if they wanted to, right? They could put all, in fact, some of these MagSafe adapters,

01:13:58   like, I have the one that John Siracusa has. Those do data. Those do power and data

01:14:05   through the little thing that you pop, you pop the thing in the USB-C port, and then you have a little

01:14:09   a little thing that snaps on, but you can do data through those. - And I guess it's not a lot, but the

01:14:14   magic trackpad, sorry, the magic keyboard for with Trackpad for iPad Pro, it does keyboard input.

01:14:22   I know you can't do any data through the USB-C port that they have on there, but there's some data

01:14:26   transfer going on there. - Yeah, that's using smart connector. - Yeah, but that's magnetic, right?

01:14:32   Like, it's, you know, it's got that going on, so. - A new MagSafe could very definitely be

01:14:39   data, and in fact, I would be surprised if it isn't. I would be surprised if it isn't essentially

01:14:44   a USB-C port, because that allows Apple to do things like make a MagSafe connector for a monitor

01:14:50   and data passes through it. It allows them to sell MagSafe, like I said, if they do a licensed

01:14:56   program for MagSafe, like they do with Lightning, they could have hubs that have, you know, you can

01:15:03   attach to through that MagSafe port. It basically makes the MagSafe port another port on the

01:15:07   laptop, which could be really interesting. So I don't know, maybe not, but it's exciting to think

01:15:13   about it. - I have another two-part question from Jack. - Okay. - Do you use your Echo Show as a digital

01:15:20   photo frame? - Yes, because I set up the new Echo Show, and part of the setup was, would you like to

01:15:28   put pictures on it that rotate? You can have up to, I don't know, what, five, ten, something like that.

01:15:34   And the app actually said, let me pick photos from my photo library and upload them. So I pick those

01:15:42   photos and those photos just update. I've never gone back to update them, although I suppose I

01:15:47   will at some point. I'll get tired of looking at them. But that's what I do. There's no, you know,

01:15:54   he asks if there's a good way to automate this, and my understanding is no, and if there is, I

01:15:58   haven't even bothered to look. It's not that important, honestly. So I don't have an answer here.

01:16:04   I just, I anticipate that every so often I'll do it. - Our setup is different. I don't know how you set

01:16:10   it up, but my Echo Show is connected to my Amazon Photos account, and we have hundreds of images

01:16:19   that we've put into our Amazon Photos account, and then the Echo Show just cycles through those? - Yeah,

01:16:25   I don't have that. I don't have that, and I didn't want them to cycle through a large number of,

01:16:30   like, random photos I've taken. So I picked, like, I actually went to my favorites in my photos

01:16:35   library and picked five photos or something and put them in there, and that's what I do. So you

01:16:39   can do either one. You don't have to be, they seem to have made it that you don't have to be an Amazon

01:16:44   Photos ecosystem household in order to get pictures on your Echo Show, which I appreciate because I'm

01:16:50   not. - Yeah, I mean, we're not, but I have Amazon Prime, so I have Amazon Photos. - Yeah, I do too.

01:16:57   I just downloaded the Photos app, picked a bunch of images from my phone, and uploaded them. - Yeah,

01:17:01   I guess I could chuck all my favorites on Amazon Photos, and then it would use those. Maybe I'll do

01:17:06   that sometime. - Maybe there's a way to automate it. If you know, you can send it in. We can put

01:17:10   it in follow-ups. - It's just the, yeah, this is the, you've reached the level of how much effort

01:17:15   I was willing to put into this is that I was willing to follow the setup instructions to pick

01:17:20   some photos, and then I haven't done a single thing with it since. It's nice having those photos there,

01:17:25   though. I have to say, I do enjoy looking at the Echo and seeing pictures of my family. That's fun.

01:17:30   - And finally, Tom asks, on episode three, on last week's episode, 335, you were talking about how

01:17:38   the iMac Pro could have been in 20 max of 2020 if it was further in the future, if 20 max was 20,

01:17:44   well, I guess it was 30 max, 20, 30, right? You made the analogy to the Hall of Fame having a waiting

01:17:50   period, right? So if you're gonna put something in a Hall of Fame, you have to get a bit of distance

01:17:54   from it so you can see its impact. Have you considered inducting the 20 max list into a six

01:18:00   colors max of fame, where you could then potentially induct another Mac every year? - Well, this is a

01:18:07   great idea. I will say that many of the 20 max for 2020 are infamous and not famous.

01:18:13   I have considered at some point writing more of those in some form. What form it takes, I have

01:18:22   not considered. I thought maybe that would be a thing that I could do five more, five years from

01:18:26   now or something like that. The idea of inducting a new one every year, writing a new essay every

01:18:32   year, I could do that. I worry that it's gonna not have a whole lot of impact if it's just once a

01:18:38   year an essay appears instead of it being like a thing, a project where there's a rollout. But it's

01:18:45   not a bad idea. If I'm still writing about max five, 10 years from now, which I anticipate that

01:18:53   I will be if everything works out okay, then I anticipate revisiting and telling some other

01:19:00   stories about other max along the way. But I don't have any plans beyond that. And this is an

01:19:05   interesting idea. It's probably not one I would go for, but I do like the idea of just inducting

01:19:11   things into the hall of fame or shame, depending. I'm looking at you, Mac portable. - I'm trying to

01:19:17   think of notoriety, some kind of phrase, like the waiting room of notoriety. - Yeah, the notable

01:19:27   hallway. - The greenhouse of notoriety. Thank you so much for listening to this week's episode of

01:19:36   Upgrade. If you have a #AskUpgrade question you would like to hear answered on the show,

01:19:42   just send out a tweet with the #AskUpgrade or use question mark AskUpgrade in the Relay FM members

01:19:48   Discord, which you have access to. If you subscribe to Upgrade Plus, go to getupgradeplus.com to sign

01:19:54   up and learn more. Thank you to AirBuddy and Fitbod for their support of this week's episode.

01:20:00   If you want to find Jason online, go to sixcolors.com, make sure you subscribe to the RSS

01:20:06   feed because you're going to find out all of that hot information about quarterly earnings reports.

01:20:12   Jason does the best reporting about the quarterly earnings reports that you're going to find.

01:20:17   And luckily he was reminded that it was happening with a couple of days notice so he can prepare the

01:20:22   charts as they say. Jason is also @jsnell on Twitter, J-S-N-E-L-L. Jason hosts many shows here

01:20:29   at Relay FM and at The Incomparable as well. I am @imike_on Twitter and I also host many shows here

01:20:38   over at Relay FM. Go to relay.fm/shows and you could maybe find a new podcast to add

01:20:43   to your library to listen to. We'll be back next time. Until then, say goodbye, Jason Snell.

01:20:50   Goodbye, Michael Hurley.