00:00:00 ◼ ► OS9 was dead to begin with. There is no doubt whatever about that. The register of its burial was signed by Steve Jobs himself. I was there at WWDC in San Jose and I saw it. Mac OS9 was dead as a doornail.
00:00:16 ◼ ► Then it was that Myke and Jason began their preparations for the Christmas holiday. A podcast feast was intended and all for them. But when they entered the hallowed halls of Relay FM, they discovered something strange.
00:00:31 ◼ ► There was nothing at all particular about the upgrade podcast logo, except that it was very large. But let anyone explain to us, if they can, how it happened that what we saw in our podcast player of choice was, without it undergoing any immediate process of change, not an upward pointing arrow, but Steven Hackett's face!
00:01:35 ◼ ► Steven, do you have something wrong with your throat? Is there something going on there?
00:01:51 ◼ ► What do you have for us today? In case you hadn't guessed, we are doing a Christmas Carol today.
00:02:02 ◼ ► And he is going to tell us everything about Apple's past so we can frame it today and we can talk about it.
00:02:11 ◼ ► I'm around 2005, it seems like. People are really into Smash Mouth, but they don't tell their friends they're still into Smash Mouth.
00:02:36 ◼ ► That's interesting. I thought Apple was more of a computer company than an iPod company.
00:02:46 ◼ ► Yeah, why would they change their name? That's silly. Why would they ever change their name?
00:03:01 ◼ ► I don't see them ever changing that. What could possibly come along in just two years that would change everything? I can't imagine it.
00:03:15 ◼ ► It's funny that you should ask, because here in my office, I have an iMac. I have a very powerful iMac G5.
00:03:32 ◼ ► And in my laptop over here, I have a PowerPC G4 just humming along here in my aluminum powerbook.
00:03:39 ◼ ► Yeah, so the impression I'm getting here is you come from a land where Apple is branching out from its traditional product line with something called the iPod.
00:03:49 ◼ ► And also, you've got a Mac that has a long-time relationship with PowerPC chips, but might be teetering on the precipice of a chip transition.
00:04:09 ◼ ► So, when this iMac was introduced about a year ago in August 2004, Phil Schiller said something that really caught my attention.
00:04:33 ◼ ► But for those of us who don't want a tower, having a G5 with its 64-bit processor that's really fast and really speedy in an iMac is just mind-blowing.
00:04:43 ◼ ► This chip runs kind of hot, and to squeeze it into an iMac, y'all will not believe this.
00:04:48 ◼ ► This iMac is only two inches thin. Two inches thin! I can't even imagine a computer thinner than that.
00:04:57 ◼ ► All right, so what are the issues? What about a G5 PowerBook? You said you've got a G5 iMac, but you don't have a G5 PowerBook.
00:05:05 ◼ ► Apple is, I'm sure, working hard at that. We know that the G5 takes quite a bit of cooling and quite a bit of power.
00:05:14 ◼ ► There are rumors, though, that Apple could go to the dark side and put an Intel processor in these things.
00:05:25 ◼ ► They transitioned, I don't know, maybe 10 years ago, and it went pretty well from the old Motorola 6800 processor to the first PowerPCs and the G3 and the G4.
00:06:04 ◼ ► That's good, that's good. I want to say, first off, I agree with you that Apple using Intel chips and Macs seems crazy.
00:06:10 ◼ ► I just read a column, a whole column in Macworld where they said it's never going to happen.
00:06:22 ◼ ► I'm sure it's going to come in the mail because it'll have all the latest information in.
00:06:27 ◼ ► Okay, Myke, I think it's time where we use our magical powers that we have as hosts, our host powers, to reveal to this ghost what has happened up to 2018.
00:06:42 ◼ ► Well, yeah, he's going to be shocked, but also I feel like this bit is running out of steam and we need to talk to the real Steven.
00:07:09 ◼ ► And I think one of the things we wanted to talk about, and not just have a bit where you're confused about what's happening in the present for the next 20 minutes, is to talk about what can we learn?
00:07:23 ◼ ► Are there things we can learn about transitions Apple's gone through before? Because you mentioned the G5 PowerBook that never happened.
00:07:31 ◼ ► They were never able to do that and it helped force Apple to Intel when it seemed initially impossible that that would happen.
00:07:39 ◼ ► And then suddenly became a real possibility and then it happened and we all moved on. It's like the life cycle of this.
00:07:46 ◼ ► And it seems like we're kind of in that same cycle now. So can we draw parallels between the Intel transition and an ARM transition for the Mac?
00:07:57 ◼ ► One, Apple drew parallels to their previous transitions in 2005, 2006, when they were moving to Intel.
00:08:08 ◼ ► And he talked about the move not only to the PowerPC processor, but from OS9, rest in peace, to OS10.
00:08:16 ◼ ► And Apple is good at a lot of things. But one thing, it may be the best company technology at this exact thing.
00:08:24 ◼ ► At moving through these really big transitions that would totally cripple other companies and other platforms.
00:08:33 ◼ ► If I could challenge you on that point for a second, could it be argued that Apple is best at transitioning its current major platform?
00:08:41 ◼ ► Like if so, if they were trying to do something with iOS and they can mostly get people on board of any changes that they make to iOS.
00:08:50 ◼ ► Like here's some new screen sizes. Here's we want to go from to 64 bit, all that kind of stuff.
00:08:55 ◼ ► Would a transition of the Mac today have potentially more concern than the transition of the Mac did in 2005 though?
00:09:05 ◼ ► Because in 2005, the Mac was a much more, I guess, exciting platform than it is today, just because there was more focus on it.
00:09:22 ◼ ► But the Mac is bigger than it was then. And I think in some ways, iOS has helped like sharpen the definition of the Mac.
00:09:31 ◼ ► Where like the Mac is maybe, its user base is broader, but maybe also like more specific.
00:09:38 ◼ ► Like I think there's a lot of people doing a lot more stuff on a Mac now as far as production and like professional level work,
00:09:50 ◼ ► I don't know if that's a big factor. I think that Apple would do just as good of a job doing this if the Mac was its primary or its secondary platform today.
00:10:02 ◼ ► It is an interesting thought though, you're right, because this is the first time the Mac has transitioned as the, not the largest thing in Apple's catalog.
00:10:09 ◼ ► But until iOS development can happen on iOS, they need the Mac to be healthy from a professional standpoint.
00:10:22 ◼ ► One thing that works in the Mac's favor, Myke, and I'm glad you brought it by iOS, is the fact that we have iOS.
00:10:28 ◼ ► That Apple has spent a decade now building operating systems on top of the ARM platform.
00:10:34 ◼ ► And there was this great moment in the announcement keynote that they switched to Intel.
00:10:40 ◼ ► And Jobs was like, "OS 10 has been leading a secret double life. It's been running on Intel the whole time."
00:10:46 ◼ ► And the details there are a little fuzzy. It wasn't all running, but it compiled at least.
00:10:50 ◼ ► But that's because OpenStep, that kind of got rolled into OS 10, that worked on Intel. They just preserved that over time.
00:11:03 ◼ ► But now Apple has a decade of building things on top of ARM. The OS itself, frameworks, APIs.
00:11:10 ◼ ► So Apple are better suited this time for the operating system transition themselves even than maybe they were last time.
00:11:18 ◼ ► I was thinking, in some ways Apple, this is weird, but bear with me here, this thing is already really weird, so we're just going to get slightly weirder.
00:11:28 ◼ ► And think of it this way, when that chip transition happened, and I was at Macworld then, we did publish a column saying it was never going to happen, and it happened two months later.
00:11:40 ◼ ► The thing is, Intel at the time, now we think of Intel and it's kind of really downgraded in our thoughts over the last few years.
00:11:50 ◼ ► But it was rolling, and it was everything the PowerPC Alliance could do to try and battle it and do those megahertz myth things and all of that.
00:11:59 ◼ ► But the Intel chip architecture had been proven over many years. It was like the leader.
00:12:10 ◼ ► Like every PC, there were some exceptions, but Intel was the standard. Intel and Microsoft and all the PC makers were working together.
00:12:18 ◼ ► And so when Apple made that switch, you picked up a lot of benefit because there's this whole other market that had been optimizing and had customer demands and all of that for Intel.
00:12:29 ◼ ► So when Apple went there, it was like, oh, and now Macs are PCs too, yes, but it also benefited from all this stuff that was part of this really vibrant kind of ecosystem on the PC side in terms of building up that PC tech.
00:12:41 ◼ ► And that's the story of the ARM processors and the iPhone and the iPad, is that's the vibrant world that has been developing for 10 years that the Mac could now potentially just step right into.
00:12:54 ◼ ► And it's a little weird to think of Apple's chips as the Intel chips of today, but that's kind of, I think the parallel is actually not bad.
00:13:01 ◼ ► No, it's not. They're building the best systems on a chip, the best processors in the industry by far.
00:13:15 ◼ ► And if history teaches us anything, it's that Apple will do the hard thing if it's the right thing for the platform.
00:13:24 ◼ ► Look, transitioning processors is not a walk in the park, even for Apple. You have all the hardware stuff, you have all the software stuff, you have all the third-party developer stuff.
00:13:32 ◼ ► There's all these things, and now Mac's more complicated, right? So you've got to deal with Thunderbolt, and you've got to deal with Bluetooth and Wi-Fi and all this stuff.
00:13:41 ◼ ► And they will do that work, even on a platform that's not the beloved child it once was, if they really believe it's the right thing for the platform and that platform's users.
00:13:54 ◼ ► And I think it is, and I think Apple thinks it is too, and it really feels like we're right on the edge in the next 18 or 24 months of something big happening here.
00:14:05 ◼ ► And I think all the things we saw that came to the Mac with Intel that benefited the Mac, you could do much more powerful notebooks, you could build things like the first MacBook Air, which people forget now, had a custom Intel chip in it that they worked with Intel for a year to build.
00:14:22 ◼ ► All of that stuff that came to the Mac could reinvent the Mac again with ARM inside, and that's, as a Mac user, pretty exciting to me.
00:14:31 ◼ ► I mean, the Intel transition was great. It was shocking, but once those Intel Macs started coming out, it was pretty impressive, right?
00:14:38 ◼ ► Like the co-translation stuff, old PowerPC processor apps worked fine. They weren't super slow. And then the native stuff that was coming out was much faster.
00:14:50 ◼ ► And you finally got faster laptops that you were never going to get in the old PowerBooks. The new MacBooks running Intel processors were way faster than anything because the G5 just never was going to go in a laptop.
00:15:03 ◼ ► The other parallel I wanted us to draw between the past and the present was about services, and I'm wondering if you can follow along with this too, if this seems like a parallel, which is the iPod changed Apple's business in an unexpected way.
00:15:19 ◼ ► And for a while there, famously Steve Jobs said, "Why would we ever have the iPod work on a PC? We want the iPod to be this great thing that sells Macs."
00:15:32 ◼ ► And then at some point, somebody at Apple stood up to Steve Jobs, and Steve Jobs went along with it, because they basically said, "There's a business opportunity here maybe greater than the Mac, and we need to follow it."
00:15:43 ◼ ► And the parallel I keep drawing is with services today, which is an extremely non-traditional Apple thing. It's not hardware. They're not dealing with margins. They want recurring services revenue.
00:15:55 ◼ ► And when you look at things like Apple Music coming to the Amazon Echo and potentially this video service launching on question mark on Apple TV as well as Apple hardware platforms, or would they also be on other people's hardware,
00:16:11 ◼ ► I feel like it's a lot of the same questions. It's that same debate of what are we as a company? So basically, it services the iPod where Apple has to reinvent itself and figure it out, or there's an internal debate, do you think?
00:16:24 ◼ ► I think there are some parallels to draw. The iPod came in as an accessory to the Mac and very quickly grew much larger than the Mac had ever been. By 2005, the iPod was four years old, the iPod Mini was a year old, and the Shuffle was brand new.
00:16:42 ◼ ► We were about a year or two away from the Nano really kind of taking off and the iPod gaining things like video in late 2005. But the sort of sibling story to the iPod is iTunes.
00:16:54 ◼ ► So iTunes at the beginning was just a way to sync your music. They launched in March '04 the iTunes Music Store. So I pulled some numbers. By January '05, they had sold 250 million songs.
00:17:06 ◼ ► By July '05, 500 million songs. And by February 2006, 1 billion songs have been sold through iTunes.
00:17:15 ◼ ► So the iPod was a conduit for the iTunes Music Store, but the iTunes Music Store was also this really growing, vibrant business all into itself.
00:17:24 ◼ ► I think it was the first time Apple realized that they could sell something that wasn't a computer and it be okay. So the iTunes Music Store in a way kind of was Apple's first big service.
00:17:38 ◼ ► It was pay as you go. It wasn't just you pay once and get all you can eat, but it was a service. You traded the money for digital assets. And that has evolved into Apple Music and all these other things now.
00:17:54 ◼ ► And I think that's a big difference between the Apple Music Store and the Apple Music Store. And of course, there have been some bumps and hitches on the road, but I think there's a clear path between that initial iPod, iTunes success, and where Apple is now with services.
00:18:16 ◼ ► Apple Music benefits in a way that iTunes didn't because it can be, if Apple makes it, hardware agnostic. Apple doesn't need to sell the iPod anymore. They have the iPhone and these other things.
00:18:28 ◼ ► But as they roll it out, it's on Android, it's on the Amazon Echo here in a few days. All this stuff. Apple Music has the ability to grow even larger than iTunes ever was.
00:18:37 ◼ ► And I think Apple is fine with that. I think they get it. I think Apple has been really clear in its communication to investors on these quarterly calls that services is an important part of their business, the one they are focusing on.
00:18:48 ◼ ► And if you look at the charts on six colors, each corner just goes up and up and up and up and up. And I don't think that's as awkward for Apple as it seems or definitely as it would have been without the success of the iPod and the iTunes Music Store.
00:19:03 ◼ ► It's just sort of that in the modern era. It's hard to look at Apple TV, and I keep saying this and I don't mean to beat on the Apple TV because I use my Apple TV all the time, but it's hard to look at the Apple TV and say, "This is an iPod in the making."
00:19:17 ◼ ► It's just going to take over. It's not going to happen. So you've got a video service to launch and you want people to view it on their iPads and iPhones and all that.
00:19:30 ◼ ► But if they want to view it on their TVs, you've got to take a step that you might not have taken in the past because like Steve Jobs back in the early days, you're like, "Well, wait, we just want to use this to sell more Apple TVs and more iPads."
00:19:43 ◼ ► And somebody has to say, and in this case, I think that somebody is probably Tim Cook, says, "No, we're not going to do that. We're going to let everybody see this."
00:19:52 ◼ ► The Amazon Echo music thing, that's a big... To me, that's like the flare gun, the flare being fired to the air saying, "We care about our services. It doesn't matter where they are. We just want people to give us money."
00:20:07 ◼ ► Or, alternately, we want people who are our customers, who have feet in other ecosystems, to not turn away from our services because they aren't there, which I think is probably more realistic. It's not like people are going to buy an Amazon Echo and say, "Now I can sign up for Apple Music."
00:20:23 ◼ ► It's more like they already had Apple Music and the Echo was like a frustration because it didn't have it. That's like all of us who bought them. Or they can't buy one because they want Apple Music and they don't know if they want to switch to Spotify or whatever.
00:20:36 ◼ ► It just clears all that stuff out. It's like, "You want Apple Music? It's not an impediment. It's fine."
00:20:41 ◼ ► There is a difference there in the hardware. This is not to discount what Amazon has done because I think the Echo is an incredible device. But hardware is easier in 2018 than it was in 2005. It just is.
00:20:52 ◼ ► Manufacturing is simpler. Components are cheaper. It's a more understood area. So Apple now has to play in a world where there are hardware devices that can run all these different things. Hardware was an extension of software for a really long time, but now that's not necessarily true.
00:21:11 ◼ ► And good on Apple for realizing that and setting aside, "Okay, Apple Music, as big as the iPhone is, Apple Music would only be as big as the iPhone." Best case scenario in an old version of Apple.
00:21:25 ◼ ► But now they are willing to uncouple those things and have Apple Music be on devices that are sold by competitors. Apple and Amazon compete. There's no way around it. But they're willing to give that up to grow their services revenue.
00:21:43 ◼ ► And as the iPhone may or may not be slowing down, as the iPad and the Mac may or may not be healthy or not, whatever those things may be, services can continue to grow past Apple's hardware if they continue to invest in it. And I think they will.
00:22:00 ◼ ► There is something that's funny to me, because we kind of transitioned from the iTunes store into talking about Apple TV, right, in the realm of the past and present of services. It's funny that a lot of companies, they will get one once in a lifetime thing, and Apple has been lucky enough to have a couple of them, right?
00:22:22 ◼ ► The success of the iPhone is a once in a company's lifetime thing. And I also think that the iTunes music store is for how much it dominated a specific industry. In a way that there's pretty much nothing Apple can do to dominate streaming video with their upcoming TV service in the way that they dominated with the iTunes music store.
00:22:47 ◼ ► This isn't a way for them to really do that in today's climate, because it's a very different situation, partly because of Apple. They made all of this now.
00:22:56 ◼ ► Past Apple, 2005 Apple made 2018 Apple's job a lot harder, right? Because the TV and film industry won't allow Apple to do to them what Apple did to the music industry, right?
00:23:10 ◼ ► So it's kind of just funny to look at those two things. Apple can try really hard and they can set it up all perfectly, but they're just not going to be able to replicate that success. It's just a different world and a slightly different market.
00:23:24 ◼ ► And so it's interesting to me. I think Apple Music by and large is doing, seems to be doing really well. I think it's maybe doing better than a lot of people expected it to compared to something like Spotify, right? There are all these charts constantly about how Apple Music is catching up.
00:23:40 ◼ ► And I'm just intrigued to see how well Apple's TV service can do. And the devil's going to be in a lot of the details for them, but I would eat my hat if we saw iTunes Music Store level of dominance for that service. It just doesn't seem likely.
00:23:58 ◼ ► Well, it's a different world, right? I think that's the truth of a lot of this is that the competition is much stronger now. And Apple was in a unique position in the 2000s in terms of coming up with the iPod and having some competition, but nothing from major players and iTunes the same way that they were able to make those deals.
00:24:21 ◼ ► And there were other things out there, but they were able to, it was like a green field for them to run in. And now, I mean, all their competitors have seen what happened in that era.
00:24:32 ◼ ► And I think the biggest, if I had to say the biggest change in the attitude of tech companies today versus in 2005, I think I would say the number one thing is all of them understand their own mortality.
00:24:48 ◼ ► And that's why you see, like Google is the most open about it, where Google has their whole other bets thing. But in general, tech companies spend money on R&D and on buying other companies because they know that there's going to be a next big thing.
00:25:04 ◼ ► And the Steve Jobs attitude at Apple was always, "We will be our own replacement. We don't care about protecting our current thing as long as we're the ones who do the next big thing." And the problem is Google knows that, Amazon knows that, right?
00:25:27 ◼ ► Well, and they've got so much money now that they can afford to do it as long as they have the vision to make the bets. And so, yeah, you're never going to, in any of these areas, you're never going to totally dominate it, I think, because everybody is looking under all the couch cushions looking for the next big thing.
00:25:47 ◼ ► And like video streaming services, like there are a million of them and Apple has to be there and it will potentially be a success for them, but it's never going to be the dominant. Like, Netflix already played that game and they won.
00:25:59 ◼ ► And they parlayed, like Apple taking the Mac and turning it into the iPod, Netflix took their DVD business and got into streaming before it was really a thing.
00:26:09 ◼ ► And that was their beachhead and they got there and, you know, credit to them, that's why they're number one. But Apple can still be a player and it can still be part of a larger picture.
00:26:18 ◼ ► So, Ghost of Apple Past, Stephen Hackett, thank you for joining us on this very special holiday episode. And where should people go to find what you're up to these days?
00:26:36 ◼ ► www.http colon slash, where is it, backslash, frontslash, forward slash, forward slash, www.512pixels.net. And here is an iTunes gift card for you as a thank you.
00:26:55 ◼ ► Excellent. Myke, I feel that we're being pulled forward. The ghost is gone, perhaps another ghost will come, who knows. But before then, do we have a sponsor?
00:27:05 ◼ ► We do. I think we should all take a moment, we should all take a moment to relax after our, who knows, first, I don't know, visitation of the day.
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00:30:03 ◼ ► Oh, we have been joined by another ghost, Jason. Who could have imagined there would be another one?
00:30:12 ◼ ► Now, I have a question, though, which is what is a ghost of the present? Rose, is that you? Is it just you?
00:30:26 ◼ ► One of the great things about having a ghost of the present is that they can tell you what's happening right now.
00:30:35 ◼ ► So, Rose, I think maybe the best thing or, I should say, ghost of Apple present, I should, I'm interested to know in your perspective,
00:30:56 ◼ ► The HomePod is a magical, magical device, which is excellent at Christmas time, which is, of course, the perfect setting for this occasion, is it not?
00:31:05 ◼ ► It is. It's funny because I don't know if I would have assumed that the first thing you would mention was the HomePod.
00:31:12 ◼ ► Not that there's anything wrong with it, but it is very much a kind of just, it lives in the world for me.
00:31:21 ◼ ► Like, it's not really something that I pay a ton of attention to, and I can only imagine that being the automation whiz that you are,
00:31:36 ◼ ► Yes, I used it to turn on the Christmas tree, the Christmas lights, and to start the Christmas music playlist of my choice,
00:31:44 ◼ ► So is that like one shortcut that you have built that like will do all of those things?
00:31:50 ◼ ► I just, I don't know why, but I find myself just not really invoking shortcuts in that way.
00:32:06 ◼ ► I do feel, it's funny that we're talking about the HomePod first off, but this did feel like, so a couple of things happened, right?
00:32:13 ◼ ► They did that software update that enabled pairs of HomePods to be stereo pairing, the ability to do shortcuts,
00:32:20 ◼ ► a few other things like I think kicking off calls from the HomePod, like the stuff that was missing finally got there.
00:32:28 ◼ ► And then I'd say during this holiday season, Apple has been really aggressive with HomePod deals.
00:32:41 ◼ ► And you put those things all together and it's like, well, yeah, if the HomePod is more capable and maybe less expensive,
00:33:01 ◼ ► I can't really envision listening to Apple Music on it because the HomePods sound too good.
00:33:05 ◼ ► Yes. I mean, for me, it's mostly the present and the most awesome because everybody seems to be getting them now.
00:33:11 ◼ ► They've been around for a little while and suddenly everybody is talking about the HomePod again
00:33:19 ◼ ► And so they're working their way into the homes and into everybody's hearts, of course.
00:33:52 ◼ ► Does that make sense? Like it just brings it into a different bracket, which makes it a much more approachable device.
00:33:57 ◼ ► I think my main thing with the HomePod is I find it impossible to keep straight in my mind that that was a product introduced this year.
00:34:13 ◼ ► And it's always funny to me when I remember that. No, no, it's like an eight month old product at this point or something like that.
00:34:28 ◼ ► That was one of the big things. Oh, yeah, I remember we had that whole stuff because AirPlay 2, right? AirPlay 2 was super late.
00:35:04 ◼ ► Well, of course, there are these shiny new tablet-y devices called iPad Pros with these very large screens on very small devices.
00:35:17 ◼ ► Yeah, I picked up my 12.9 today. I took the case off and was again just I was looking at it.
00:35:38 ◼ ► I just don't understand. I don't understand how they did it as part of me that wants to know why.
00:35:54 ◼ ► And now that they're here, I'm very I've been using mine a lot. My iPad use has increased.
00:36:05 ◼ ► Like, I would I would, you know, mess around with the Apple pencil, but it would just never stick for me.
00:36:11 ◼ ► And of course, you couldn't like it would just roll away somewhere and be lost forever.
00:36:23 ◼ ► And so I'm getting that and I love it. The part that is kind of unsettled for me is the accessory stuff.
00:36:44 ◼ ► But having the case, the non keyboard case, it's everything is a little bit thicker and a little bit more fiddly.
00:36:56 ◼ ► I do like the new keyboard. I use it way more than I ever used the smart keyboard on the old one because it's a lot less ungainly.
00:37:03 ◼ ► But yeah, I love it. I'm using it all the time. Rosie, has your iPad use changed since you got the new one?
00:37:11 ◼ ► I'm using the Apple Pencil more because it is not out of battery every time I pick it up.
00:37:15 ◼ ► Which I think a lot of people are finding that, hey, this thing's actually really useful now because it's never out of battery when you need it.
00:37:22 ◼ ► Because it just sticks to the side of your iPad and it sticks there pretty well as well.
00:37:26 ◼ ► So I've only once had the occasion of, oh, gosh, I've lost my iPad pencil and it was in the bottom of my backpack.
00:37:32 ◼ ► Yeah, that's the only time that it does and it will inevitably fall off in your bag. But like it's fine if it's in the bag.
00:37:39 ◼ ► Right. But that's again, me too. Like it's happened to me a couple of times now, but it's always when putting it in or taking it out of my backpack.
00:37:46 ◼ ► But it's perfectly safe in the backpack. You know, you're saying about that smart cover.
00:37:51 ◼ ► Wait, which one is the cover? The cover folio, the well, the keyboard. What is that one called?
00:38:03 ◼ ► That product, the folio product without the keyboard is so much less appealing than the old smart covers used to be.
00:38:16 ◼ ► I feel like for most people, you're probably just better off getting the keyboard version, even if you don't use the keyboard that much.
00:38:22 ◼ ► I just feel like you've added so much by that point rather than just having a cover that goes on the front.
00:38:28 ◼ ► So like I've just handed down my 10.5 to Adina and got her a new smart cover that just goes over the front.
00:38:42 ◼ ► So I don't think I agree. And I think mostly it's because the, although the folio adds bulk, the keyboard folio adds more bulk.
00:38:51 ◼ ► And that's, it is thicker and heavier. But the other thing about it is, and I know this is esoteric, but the folio folds open on the front like the smart cover.
00:39:02 ◼ ► Whereas on the keyboard, what you have on the front of the screen is the completely rigid keyboard surface.
00:39:09 ◼ ► And it's a lot less kind of pleasant to open because it's thought you've got to kind of open the whole flat keyboard and pivot it around.
00:39:17 ◼ ► And it's not as nice a thing. But I do agree. I would really rather that they had put, they got a lot of magnets on this thing.
00:39:24 ◼ ► I would have really liked it if they had put magnets on the side so there could have just been a smart cover instead of having it be a complete wraparound.
00:39:29 ◼ ► But I get, you know, for Apple, like there's a question of what they want to make and how they want to engineer it.
00:39:35 ◼ ► If you had wanted complete protection before, you had to buy a smart cover and that back shell and put them together.
00:39:42 ◼ ► And that's two expensive Apple accessories for one product. And this time they've made one, it's still expensive, but one expensive Apple accessory that gives you both.
00:39:51 ◼ ► I just never protected the back of mine. I just, I just covered the screen and then that was it. And now you've, you kind of have to buy the whole package.
00:39:58 ◼ ► Now I know Rose that you are a big iPad user, but you are not, you have not issued the Macintosh, right?
00:40:10 ◼ ► Yes. I made a horrible mistake two weeks before WWDC. No, not even that. A week before WWDC, like three days before I flew out, I bought a brand new MacBook Pro.
00:40:19 ◼ ► Six weeks later, there are new MacBook Pros. So that means that we have new MacBook Pros this year.
00:40:25 ◼ ► And there were some other interesting new Macs, including the Mac Mini, which has come back from the dead.
00:40:35 ◼ ► And there was this lovely new Air as well, which I keep looking at going, oh, that's pretty. And then thinking, no, I have a nice MacBook Pro.
00:40:45 ◼ ► Well, this is the first ever 15 inch laptop I've had. And sometimes I go, ah, because it's big and heavy. But at the same time, I really, really like it.
00:40:56 ◼ ► I like the Touch Bar. I am a Touch Bar person, at least in the applications that have used it well.
00:41:05 ◼ ► So, for example, Scrivener, which I've been using a lot recently, has got good Touch Bar support.
00:41:11 ◼ ► And it's much easier to use the Touch Bar than it is to remember 8 billion and one keyboard shortcuts for the six different types formatting that you use and things like that.
00:41:23 ◼ ► So that has actually been really useful to me. And everybody loves Touch ID on a Mac. That's why it's in the Air. And it is extremely useful.
00:41:32 ◼ ► I am fascinated to talk more about the Touch Bar with you. Are there any other places that you find it specifically useful?
00:41:47 ◼ ► Yeah, they're a hugely important part of my life. And it's really nice to be able to type them without having to hunt or remember that keyboard shortcut, which I believe is command control space, and then searching for it because it shows the most recent ones.
00:42:02 ◼ ► And I use BetterTouch tool to customize the toolbar as well. So it's showing me the weather.
00:42:09 ◼ ► It's showing me a video that I was watching in Safari earlier and it's got like a little application switcher in there as well so that I can switch from Skype to Google Sheets, Docs and back again in Safari.
00:42:38 ◼ ► What I would like is I would like the Touch Bar and a row of function keys. I want it all.
00:42:45 ◼ ► Well, I miss the physical play/pause buttons and the mute buttons because when somebody calls me and I want to hit pause, I can't just feel for it and go for it.
00:42:58 ◼ ► I have to look at it and do it because I rarely answer calls on my Mac despite Handoff being an excellent feature.
00:43:06 ◼ ► I just don't like talking to people on my Mac. It's not portable enough. I like to be able to get up and wander around if I so choose.
00:43:13 ◼ ► Now, the Mac Mini you mentioned, I find it funny. First off, I find it funny because of the love that was given out for the Mac Mini which I feel like for the previous four years or whatever, there was this combination of disdain for the Mac Mini but also fury at Apple for not updating it.
00:43:30 ◼ ► And I could never figure out what side people were going to come down on whether it's irrelevant or whether it's super relevant and we should be angry at Apple.
00:43:40 ◼ ► But in any event, the love has showered down on the Mac Mini since it got updated because it is something that although it's a little more expensive to start than it used to be, it's still, I would say the $799 configuration, very, very powerful and good.
00:43:59 ◼ ► And the thing I didn't expect is all these people talking about using it as a headless server with either screen sharing software or something like the Luna Display and basically saying your iPad Pro's best friend is a Mac Mini that's off somewhere in your house.
00:44:21 ◼ ► So you can use the Mac when you want to on your iPad. That one I didn't see coming and I see people talking about it all the time and I've done it myself, right?
00:44:30 ◼ ► But I've been screen sharing with my Mac Mini for a long time but I find that really funny that we have this whole kind of Mac versus iPad kind of thing and then all of a sudden there are all these kind of excited iPad users who are like, "Alright, now I've got a Mac in my iPad."
00:44:44 ◼ ► It took me by surprise. I don't know if you guys are surprised by it but I didn't see that one coming.
00:44:49 ◼ ► I think I ended up surprising myself with it. I think it's funny the Mac Mini right now is in a very exclusive club of Macintosh's that people are happy with.
00:44:59 ◼ ► I think it's the Mac Mini and the iMac Pro. I think they're pretty exclusive in that club of like universal everyone's fine with this Mac, right?
00:45:09 ◼ ► Like there doesn't really seem to be anything specifically wrong with either of those. People seem to be universally happy about them.
00:45:16 ◼ ► And I think that's one of the reasons that everyone is so excited about and I think a lot of people are purchasing the Mac Mini is that it is a computer that is fit for purpose where it could be argued that maybe a lot of the Macs available right now are not so much, right?
00:45:33 ◼ ► You know, the iMacs are old again and some of the laptops, some people consider them to have problems and they're features that other people don't like very much.
00:45:44 ◼ ► And so I think that's one of the things that makes the Mac Mini so interesting right now is that it is actually the machine everybody wanted it to be.
00:45:54 ◼ ► And I think that's one of the key things moving into next year is what is the rest of that lineup going to look like because the clock is ticking.
00:46:03 ◼ ► Which was actually, I want to know from your perspective, Rose, what is not up to snuff right now? What do you think Apple really needs to put some work into?
00:46:13 ◼ ► The iPad software. It's great having one iOS for iPhone and iPad and I don't mind if they stick with that. That's fine.
00:46:25 ◼ ► But we need more features for those of us who are iPad power users. I understand that not everybody is an iPad power user.
00:46:33 ◼ ► There will have been a lot of people who when Apple announced that new iPad in March of this year with Apple pencil support went, "Yes, I don't need to buy a Pro. I just wanted the pencil support." And that's great.
00:46:43 ◼ ► For them, maybe they don't need these features. But for a lot of us, we are hitting the limits of what iOS can offer us frequently.
00:46:51 ◼ ► And it's frustrating because it is such a great device. I mean, compare this to the devices that people use to calculate the moon landing.
00:47:01 ◼ ► Our iPads are so much more powerful than that, but we're still hitting a lot of limits.
00:47:07 ◼ ► For example, I was trying to put one document in Dropbox earlier today and it just kept throwing this very strange error at me that of course I had to file radar about because it was saying NS user something or other.
00:47:22 ◼ ► But why can't I put this file in Dropbox? That's the question. And that's the sort of thing that I mean, for us power users, it's extremely frustrating.
00:47:31 ◼ ► But for a regular user, that's a turn off. They will return the device because they can't put the file where they wanted it to.
00:47:39 ◼ ► And David Sparks mentioned this recently. You can't create a new folder when saving a document.
00:47:49 ◼ ► That's why I continue to use the Dropbox app when I'm saving stuff as opposed to using files because Dropbox, their app still has a better way to navigate through your folders.
00:47:59 ◼ ► It lets you create new folders. It lets you rename the file before you save it. This is all stuff that files, the files app does not let you do in certain instances.
00:48:12 ◼ ► Oh, I mean, don't even get me started on the favorites like, oh, you like your favorites? Oh, they're just gone today, but they might be back tomorrow.
00:48:19 ◼ ► What are some of the other things that you specifically are hoping to see for iPad software maybe next year?
00:48:29 ◼ ► Very specifically, some easier switch. So the multitasking, I would love it if I could have one Google Doc open in this multitasking window and one Google Doc open in that multitasking window and switch between them.
00:48:45 ◼ ► I don't know if we're going to get the ability to have tabs in applications, but at the very least, having two documents of an application open at the same time in different multitasking windows.
00:48:57 ◼ ► You could have multiple instances of the same app, right? So you could have Tweetbot open and Google Docs open on this one and then you could go over to another one.
00:49:07 ◼ ► You've got Notes and another Google Doc, right? And you can move between them all. It would be kind of wonderful. I would love that very much.
00:49:19 ◼ ► Well, that's just it as well. There are times when you need to reference two documents at the same time, and it's really difficult to do. Number of times I've opened something in Word just because that way I can get it on the other half of my screen.
00:49:30 ◼ ► Well, this is one of the great things about being a weirdo iOS Chrome user is there's always another web browser for me.
00:49:36 ◼ ► Yeah, that's true. And Safari, to be fair, Safari will let you do two windows, and I do that sometimes too. And I'm reminded of the fact that I would like this elsewhere as well.
00:49:46 ◼ ► Can I throw in my big frustration? I think we brought it up in a recent upgrade is we need better indication of which multitasking view is active, where there's keyboard focus.
00:50:02 ◼ ► And that also needs to be shored up a little bit because it's super inconsistent now, and it's one of those things that, you know, it doesn't seem like a huge deal, but it can get very frustrating if you were typing in one place and then suddenly your keystrokes are going into another.
00:50:17 ◼ ► I can't tell you how many times I've put things into a Google Doc that are not supposed to be in the Google Doc or a Google Spreadsheet because the keyboard focus changed and I couldn't see it.
00:50:31 ◼ ► Though they have this lovely bar at the bottom now, and I think personally if I were them, I would just slide the bar.
00:50:37 ◼ ► Because that's a very nice visual indication for people, and it still indicates that you need to go to the bottom of your screen to do stuff.
00:50:43 ◼ ► And so we have this bar, please use the bar, something. Yes, definitely agree with you.
00:50:48 ◼ ► Right, the home indicator you mean, right? Like it's always there, use it for something useful rather than just being in the way.
00:50:55 ◼ ► Rose, what else is exciting to you? There's a whole world of possibility in a new year next year. Is there anything that you're hoping for, any wild wishes?
00:51:05 ◼ ► I'm hoping that Shortcuts gets the ability to start itself at specific times or locations, or at the very least suggest that it will do things at specific times and locations that you pre-specify.
00:51:15 ◼ ► Similar to Cron jobs on a server, it would be so nice to just be able to say, "Every Monday at 9am, remind me to run this shortcut." Or just run this shortcut for me.
00:51:25 ◼ ► I am horrified at the potential that you could do at this point. I would be scared that you would just start automating my life for me if you had the ability to do things just in the background.
00:51:37 ◼ ► I feel like that might be just for you too much power to give you, right? Like you've kind of been given some kind of too strong magical power and you'll end up just imploding everything in on yourself. But I'm very excited to see what you could do with it.
00:52:07 ◼ ► Rose, thank you so much for visiting us at Ghost of Apple Present. Where can people find your work online at the moment?
00:52:17 ◼ ► Well, there is a very lovely podcast here on Relay called Automators, which I would highly recommend that people check out.
00:52:23 ◼ ► And all of my things are linked to from rosemarieorta.com, which includes other podcasts I guest on books I write and more.
00:52:36 ◼ ► I really hope that's... I don't know if I could handle any more. Two feels like more than enough ghosts for me, Jason.
00:52:44 ◼ ► So I hope we have some like holiday ask upgrade or something to do after the sponsor break because I don't want any more ghosts.
00:53:08 ◼ ► So let's do a sponsor break and then we can, yeah, ask upgrade some lasers. It'll be fine.
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00:56:11 ◼ ► because we can just get the lowdown on the next five years. So like, what's big, what's coming for us?
00:56:17 ◼ ► What do you want to know? It's been, it's been such a, such a roller coaster, especially, you know, the past five WWDCs.
00:56:25 ◼ ► Been really, really fun and sort of the Apple community sort of collectively lost their minds over certain transitions that have occurred.
00:56:32 ◼ ► So let's start from the big one. I mean, I think you guys in 2018 were speculating about, what was it called?
00:56:53 ◼ ► All right. So what happened there was that basically everybody was speculating about these iPad apps coming to the Mac and that happened actually.
00:57:09 ◼ ► And Apple basically did this WWDC that was heavily focused on this new framework that allowed developers to bring their iPad apps to the Mac.
00:57:19 ◼ ► And it was sort of presented as a way to say the iOS ecosystem is, you know, there's so many apps and so many good apps that will also make sense on the Mac.
00:57:32 ◼ ► And everybody was, part of the attendees were very excited. I remember I was in the audience, a bunch of people were excited.
00:57:50 ◼ ► The way that that turned out was in the fall of 2019, we started seeing these sort of iOS apps on the Mac.
00:58:01 ◼ ► But they were so much better than the preview of the year before. You know, when Apple did the weird thing with Apple News and...
00:58:21 ◼ ► So the framework, the final framework was so much better. Like it was sort of a combination of some aspects of iOS and some aspects of MacOS.
00:58:30 ◼ ► But the thing that really sold it for some people, including me and Myke, Myke, you're going to like this.
00:58:40 ◼ ► The idea was that a single app could scale depending on the device that you were using.
00:58:45 ◼ ► So a developer could say, "On iOS, I have this kind of UI and I have these kinds of controls."
00:58:51 ◼ ► But when you're running on a Mac, you should adapt to, like, for example, to a cursor or to a trackpad.
00:59:04 ◼ ► I can put two fingers down on the screen and move a little cursor around. I can do that.
00:59:11 ◼ ► Well, so basically what happened there, just as a quick aside, they enabled eventually trackpad support.
00:59:22 ◼ ► So you could, the idea was if you cannot interact with the screen, you can enable, like, an external pointing device.
00:59:37 ◼ ► So that you could have, like, a mouse, like a USB mouse, and it will work with the assistive touch thing.
00:59:44 ◼ ► And then eventually so many people liked it that it became an actual feature, I think at some point in iOS.
00:59:55 ◼ ► So anyway, the thing that you call Marzipan became a way for iOS apps to sort of evolve into this individual, like, bundle of multiple platforms.
01:00:09 ◼ ► And then, so that was 2019, but the big change was in 2020 when we started seeing the first ARM Macs.
01:00:45 ◼ ► Yeah, actually, I don't want, I withdraw the question. Let's just talk about computers.
01:00:48 ◼ ► Yes, and let's not get into politics and especially what happened to the UK. That's not funny at all.
01:00:55 ◼ ► WWDC 2020 was the big year of the first, like, the beginning of the transition from Intel CPUs to ARM, made by Apple.
01:01:06 ◼ ► And initially we thought, well, maybe Apple is just going to do, like, the MacBook Air first, or like the smaller computers with fewer and smaller requirements.
01:01:16 ◼ ► And initially they did that, like, they started transitioning the sort of the base models of everything.
01:01:21 ◼ ► But the change happened very quickly in that in 20, so two years ago in 2021, we had the first MacBook Pros and the Mac Pros and the iMac Pros and even the Mac Mini with ARM CPUs in it.
01:01:38 ◼ ► They moved fast and sort of, it's one of those things that when it happened, you sort of, you were able to put together all the different pieces of what Apple did, like the new design language that they announced in 2019, which is also a thing now, sort of an evolution of iOS 7.
01:01:54 ◼ ► That it's going to be fun. I think you're going to like it. And the iOS apps on the Mac and ARM on desktop computers and sort of until we reached the point where it was clear that Apple was moving to a unified platform, which is what we have now.
01:02:11 ◼ ► And it's very fun. But for a couple of years, especially between 2019 and 2021, it was a kind of bumpy transition for everybody involved. Like, longtime Mac users were unhappy with certain aspects of the transition, which we can talk about, like the cutoff on the App Store for legacy apps.
01:02:31 ◼ ► That was not fun. But yeah, overall, like, coming from 2023 and looking back at where you guys are right now, in hindsight, it's clear that that Apple has moved to this vision that we're enjoying now of, it's a single Apple OS, but we don't have hybrid devices in the way that you guys in 2018 may think about them.
01:02:59 ◼ ► It's more of a, it's kind of more of a modular thing, and more of a sort of adaptivity thing in the sense that each device still has a clear purpose. But everything is more unified, everything is more integrated. And especially when you look at the iPad and what the app has become in 2023.
01:03:22 ◼ ► There's a Mac in the sense that you can build your own Mac Pro, you can buy a Mac Mini, there's still a MacBook Pro, but essentially the iPad has become the laptop for most people.
01:03:34 ◼ ► And has become that it's, I don't want to call it the modular computer, because that sort of has the weird connotation of assembling things like a Lego. It's not that, it's more of a, it's why you Jason, you were saying, I think it was in 2017, a few years ago, and people in 2023 reference that article.
01:04:02 ◼ ► Yeah, yeah, people still think about, you know, talk about that article because you were really, you were really on point to the idea of the iOS laptop. Anyway, the iPad has become that kind of computer.
01:04:13 ◼ ► I mentioned it supports trackpads. It supports windowing now. And it can be, essentially Apple is now making more types of keyboards and cases for the iPad.
01:04:25 ◼ ► But also the UI changes depending on what you are using the iPad with. So in touch mode, it's a tablet, but when you use it in laptop mode, you have a cursor, you have a like a pointing device, and the UI adapts, but it still remains consistent and it's very nice.
01:04:44 ◼ ► And it's kind of difficult to explain to somebody who doesn't have this product. And the UI, the new design language from 2019 really helped with this kind of flexible UI.
01:04:56 ◼ ► And also, I think you guys still have, you guys still call the 12.9 iPad Pro as the big one, right?
01:05:11 ◼ ► Yeah, we have almost 14 inch iPad and also a 15 point something inch iPad Pro. Yeah, that's basically a laptop and it's this big screen. And there's talk that Apple is going to do like an even bigger one at this point.
01:05:26 ◼ ► But yeah, they don't make the 9.7 anymore. They don't make the iPad mini anymore. They start from 11 inches and they go up to 15 inches.
01:05:37 ◼ ► Oh yeah, totally. So what happened there, it's hard to remember because there's like a clear moment when everybody realized that Apple was serious about this.
01:05:51 ◼ ► So they started shipping at some point, I think it was 2020 or it was a couple of years ago, I think. They started doing like full on augmented reality modes for system apps, like the photos and Apple Maps.
01:06:14 ◼ ► And by the way, the Apple Maps rollout that was announced, I think 2017, 2018, your timeline, your time period. That rollout was completed like a little over a year ago internationally.
01:06:35 ◼ ► No, it's still not like 100% done in some areas, but like the majority of Europe and Asia and the Americas, like it's done. It's pretty great actually.
01:06:45 ◼ ► But yeah, they started doing augmented reality modes for iOS apps. And ARKit was updated until version five or something, I think.
01:06:58 ◼ ► And finally last year in 2022, they announced glasses. So we have the glasses now. And it was basically like the same, having lived through the announcement of the Apple Watch, it was kind of the same approach that Apple reached the point where everybody was talking about Apple doing glasses, Apple doing glasses, they finally announced them.
01:07:23 ◼ ► And yeah, we have them. They're not super great so far, but you can tell how they will get better like the Apple Watch did.
01:07:36 ◼ ► The Apple Watch is basically now almost, I don't want to say it's the default Apple device that most people buy, but it's so much better than the rudimentary watch that you have.
01:07:56 ◼ ► So they did a new design, I think in 2020. But the thing that matters the most, they started embedding more and more sensors in the Apple Watch.
01:08:07 ◼ ► So for example, our watch is now, they can measure blood pressure, and it's kind of accurate. And it's like, nobody was believing that Apple could do blood pressure from an external device, but they did it with these new sensors that they have.
01:08:18 ◼ ► And they're also built into the bands. So that's why they can do it. And it's approved by the FDA and all of that. It works really well.
01:08:26 ◼ ► We have sensors to measure hydration by essentially taking a look at the quality of your skin. I'm not sure there's an actual term to describe this.
01:08:38 ◼ ► And the OS is basically native at this point in the sense that developers can make actual native apps.
01:08:46 ◼ ► It's not like I think you guys are still using those sort of mirrored apps that are like, they're not real watch apps. We have real watch apps.
01:08:56 ◼ ► So the idea is that Apple is now making these, they make like five different health apps for the watch, like heart rate and ECG and blood pressure and skin.
01:09:09 ◼ ► Like all of those are just skin, that one's called. The branding isn't as strong on that one.
01:09:16 ◼ ► No, I think it's called hydration and it's sort of, I call it skin because it's what it does. It's called hydration and it ties into like, you know, they do this like reminders that you're supposed to hydrate during the day.
01:09:29 ◼ ► And you can measure that. They teamed up with more medical institutions around Europe. I was very happy when they announced an integration with the hospital that I used to go to.
01:09:43 ◼ ► So that was great. But yeah, the Apple watch is now fast and it looks beautiful. There's so many bands to choose from.
01:09:52 ◼ ► And from a health and fitness perspective, it's the device to buy. Basically nobody else is making smart watches anymore.
01:10:00 ◼ ► Okay. I have to ask, I have to ask, because we've been talking about it for years now. Tell me about the Apple car.
01:10:11 ◼ ► Tell me what it's like to be in an Apple car. I want to know. I've been resisting up to now, but I need to know what it's like to ride.
01:10:18 ◼ ► Do they have them in Italy yet? Or did you have to go to the US and ride in them? There are no Apple cars yet.
01:10:24 ◼ ► So basically what happened there was I think somewhere around 2020, Elon Musk kind of lost his mind and was replaced.
01:10:38 ◼ ► Okay. So he was replaced as the head of Tesla. But essentially what happened there is that due to climate change, and sorry if I'm going to get into politics here,
01:10:48 ◼ ► but basically after your current US president, the United States signed, they were back on board with doing something for climate change, with the administration after your current one.
01:11:05 ◼ ► And so all the car makers realized, oh, we need to get these electric cars, you know, actually going.
01:11:13 ◼ ► And so there have been around from 2020 to 2022, like these massive transitions of all the automakers offering cheaper electric cars.
01:11:24 ◼ ► And for example, in Italy, we've been installing charging stations all over Rome and all over the big cities.
01:11:35 ◼ ► It's been like this very, this massive adoption of electric cars by all the automakers. And Apple is kind of sitting it out for now.
01:11:45 ◼ ► There's talk that they are, that they're still working on this special project that, you know, a bunch of people are left and a bunch more people were hired.
01:11:57 ◼ ► But the problem is that they are facing so much competition from all the automakers that have poured all of their entire resources and teams in getting the electric car change going,
01:12:08 ◼ ► because all of the, basically all of the international governments are now requiring car makers to make electric cars.
01:12:24 ◼ ► Okay, sure. It's not an Apple car, but so yeah, USBC. That's great. Is it ever any good?
01:12:47 ◼ ► I think you're leaving the worst moment for USBC in 2018. I feel very bad for you both.
01:12:56 ◼ ► It got good with the adoption of USB. Well, we're now in USB 4, so it's hard to remember.
01:13:05 ◼ ► But with the transition from USB 3.1, I remember writing about this years ago, to USB 3.2,
01:13:24 ◼ ► And all the accessory makers and like these big companies like Apple and Google and Microsoft,
01:13:39 ◼ ► where it was inconsistent and there were like two sub-specs, I remember Gen 1 and Gen 2, that is no more.
01:13:52 ◼ ► And basically the USB consortium, they started approving the specs, like from 3.2 to 3.5.
01:14:03 ◼ ► And then what they proposed 4, they were careful not to repeat the same mistakes of the previous generations.
01:14:11 ◼ ► So the USB-C connector now is smaller and the cables are not as thick as the ones that you guys have right now, I think.
01:14:25 ◼ ► So yeah, it got good, but I think your next couple of years are going to be bumpy for USB-C.
01:14:32 ◼ ► Yeah, I don't like the idea of it getting smaller again, because that just means more connector change again.
01:14:41 ◼ ► After 3.2 and especially with 3.5, everybody calmed down and started appreciating the promise of USB-C was really delivered between USB 3.2 and 3.5.
01:14:56 ◼ ► Not as many as you think. I don't think they will ever completely disappear, because people are still using HDMI,
01:15:05 ◼ ► and there's people that still require those vintage connectors like VGA or DisplayPort.
01:15:12 ◼ ► They don't make those anymore. And actually, HDMI is also obsolete at this point, because really, I think the bandwidth of USB 3.5,
01:15:22 ◼ ► it was basically, they reached 100 gigabit per second with some new wiring technology that somebody invented that I remember the name.
01:15:31 ◼ ► So basically, HDMI became obsolete. So there are some dongles, especially for people who still have 4K TVs, for example.
01:15:47 ◼ ► But there's still people who are using 1080p monitors. So the dongles do not completely disappear, but they are not, like I remember,
01:15:58 ◼ ► years ago, there used to be a joke, like "dongle village" or "dongle city," something like that.
01:16:10 ◼ ► I mean, it's been a while, "dongle town." Yeah, that was fun. So we don't have dongle town anymore.
01:16:27 ◼ ► So, okay, I know you're the ghost of Apple future, so your knowledge that you can share with us is limited to Apple,
01:16:34 ◼ ► but I have to ask, how are the shows on Apple's video streaming service? Are they any good?
01:16:39 ◼ ► Yes, actually. It was, I mean, a lot of people in the Apple community made fun of the service when it launched.
01:16:55 ◼ ► It was very unexpected, and all these other, like, TV people on stage. It was a different Apple event,
01:17:02 ◼ ► but the shows were actually good, and it took them a couple of years, I think, since it launched in 2019.
01:17:16 ◼ ► but I think the quality is consistently good, and some people would say superior to what Netflix is doing with the originals,
01:17:24 ◼ ► but I think, you know, if you subscribe to Netflix and Apple TV, you're basically getting all the good shows
01:17:30 ◼ ► that you need to find right now, you know, if you want to stream content from the internet.
01:17:35 ◼ ► Yeah, it's pretty good. I actually like it. And it comes bundled if you buy an Apple TV 8K, so the actual device.
01:17:44 ◼ ► Oh, yeah, we have them now, Apple TV 8K. It comes bundled with the year of Apple TV, the service, and it's very nice.
01:17:52 ◼ ► And I can tell you, you guys don't know this, but you remember when you used to do your upstream segment on Apple TV?
01:18:03 ◼ ► Yeah, that became a show. Yeah, you started doing upstream the show. I think you will come to this decision in a couple of years.
01:18:40 ◼ ► Start getting comfortable with iOS as much as possible, iOS apps, because it's not like, again, it's not like the Mac is disappearing.
01:18:49 ◼ ► But I think it'll be useful to get used to iOS apps and to certain iOS interactions or the privacy controls, the permission prompts, that kind of stuff.
01:19:03 ◼ ► Wait. Don't lose hope on Apple. I remember a very, very old episode of Upgrade about, like, Jason getting really upset about this.
01:19:18 ◼ ► It warms my heart that you still remember episodes of Upgrade five years later. I will say that. It's very nice.
01:19:24 ◼ ► I mean, you know, I'm very busy now, but I still make room for those shows that I still listen to.
01:19:35 ◼ ► And I think you will see. You will be disappointed, I think, coming into 2019, if I remember correctly. You didn't get Xcode on the iPad, but that happened in 2020 with the big guy you can see about the transition.
01:19:53 ◼ ► So that happened. I mean, in 2018, I would say get an HDR TV because all of the shows on Apple TV service will support Dolby Vision by default.
01:20:11 ◼ ► Yeah. And that's basically it. And I mean, there's other things like multiple AirPods coming.
01:20:20 ◼ ► I mean, the AirPods have an eSIM in them now, so they're fully independent from the iPhone.
01:20:26 ◼ ► But, yeah, the big advice would be get a big TV, get HDR, get used to iOS, and get ready to spend a bunch of money because they're going to make a lot of new things you don't expect.
01:20:58 ◼ ► All right. Okay. Well, there's inflation too. Our dollars wouldn't go as... They're not the same as $20, $23.
01:21:13 ◼ ► Anyway, that's... I don't want to spoil any more secrets. I feel like I've already told you all the basics.
01:21:22 ◼ ► I think we've learned a lot, Myke. Do you feel like we've... That our future has been mapped out for us by this ghost?
01:21:37 ◼ ► My final comment, Myke, specifically for you. You will eventually get into role-playing games for the Nintendo Switch.
01:21:55 ◼ ► See, I was hoping you were going to say he gets into role-playing games and now is a regular on Total Party Kill, but the Nintendo Switch makes more sense. It makes more sense.
01:22:04 ◼ ► So, considering people will hear this in 2018, Ghost of Apple Future, where can people find 2018 Federico Vatici?
01:22:14 ◼ ► I'm sure 2023 Federico Vatici is very busy with many new products, but can you think of where you would want to tell 2018 people to go to?
01:22:23 ◼ ► Okay. So 2018, I mean, I still have Mac stories, so that was true five years ago. I think back then I used to have Twitter. Man, that ended badly.
01:22:40 ◼ ► Yeah. I guess until it lasts, you can find me in 2018 on Twitter as Vatici, V-I-T-I-C-C-I. Also used to have Instagram. Also didn't end nicely there.
01:22:54 ◼ ► Also V-I-T-I-C-C-I there. And I guess that's pretty much it. I won't give you the name of the social networks we're using now, but in 2018 you can find me there.
01:23:05 ◼ ► I think that's fair. That's fair. Well, thank you, Ghost of Apple Future, for being here.
01:23:10 ◼ ► Now I disappear back into my future where it's much better than this world of 2018. Goodbye!
01:23:31 ◼ ► Today's episode is brought to you by Luna Display, the hardware solution that turns your iPad into a wireless display for your Mac, giving you a super portable second display with stunning image quality, zero lag, and amazing portability.
01:23:46 ◼ ► That's my favorite thing about the Luna Display. You can either have it with a Mac that's stationary in your home or your office, and you have the ability to access that Mac and use that display from your iPad wherever you want to go to different places in your home or your office.
01:24:00 ◼ ► Or if you're in a portable setup, maybe you have a laptop and you're traveling, maybe you're at a coffee shop, you don't have to lug a display around with you because who would want to do that?
01:24:14 ◼ ► And of course, one of the great things about Luna Display works with many different iPads. You can have screens of different sizes even depending on the iPad that you have or what you want to have with you.
01:24:24 ◼ ► And setting up Luna Display is so simple. You plug in their wonderful dongle into your Mac and you'll be up and running in seconds. Everything can work over Wi-Fi.
01:24:32 ◼ ► But if you don't have a Wi-Fi connection, don't worry, you can also connect it via USB as well.
01:24:38 ◼ ► And then your Luna Display will act as a complete extension for your Mac and even giving you some features that you can't get otherwise, like the ability to use an Apple Pencil with macOS.
01:24:48 ◼ ► That's what you'll be able to do. Everything works on the iPad. You'll be able to use your external keyboard. You can use touch. You can use your Apple Pencil.
01:25:23 ◼ ► Please no. I can't. I can't do anymore, Jason. We have to do something to stop these ghosts.
01:25:32 ◼ ► The anti-ghost lasers. What we didn't actually know is every single week what we've actually been firing was the anti-ghost lasers.
01:25:45 ◼ ► The red and green Christmas lasers are probably deadly to ghosts. Can ghosts die? They're already... I don't know.
01:25:52 ◼ ► I don't know how it works, but that was a lot. Like, being... I mean, first off, talking to Stephen Hackett of the past was interesting to try and draw some parallels between the past and the present.
01:26:05 ◼ ► That was interesting. I enjoyed that. And who better to talk about the past with than the man who buys the computers from the past?
01:26:14 ◼ ► Yeah, someone who wasn't necessarily in all of the past but has more fondness for computer past than anybody else.
01:26:22 ◼ ► Yeah, exactly. Exactly. I like how he and I can reminisce about something and I was there and he wasn't, but we can still do it. It's amazing.
01:26:28 ◼ ► There is a bit. It is always fun. It's like, "Oh, yeah, I remember that." And he's like, "I don't remember at all."
01:26:33 ◼ ► No, I just looked it up and watched it on YouTube. And then we got Rose, who was talking about stuff that she was excited about in the present, which is...
01:26:42 ◼ ► I think technically this is our kind of... next week is the Upgradies, so this is our kind of year in review in a way, past, present, and future. So it was nice to talk about that with her.
01:26:53 ◼ ► Yeah, Upgradies voting is closed. We've had the most successful voting of all time. Yes, don't do it. I heard from the ghost of Christmas future that it was a great year for the Upgradies. I didn't actually hear that from him.
01:27:06 ◼ ► Who knows if the Upgradies still exist. I'm sure they do. I'm sure the 10th annual Upgradies is probably big. Upgradies X.
01:27:16 ◼ ► Yeah, with holo glasses or something. Those Apple glasses. I like how the Apple glasses are not that great. It's a first iteration, they're not that great.
01:27:29 ◼ ► That's actually pretty consistent. So talking to Rose, it is funny to think all the stuff that happened this year, she mentioned the HomePod first. And it's like, "Yeah, that really was a 2018 product, even though it was announced in the middle of 2017." It shipped in 2018.
01:27:48 ◼ ► I know we got the iPhone X. The iPhone X was the only real shining star of 2017. But there were meaningful updates in every product line. You look at the Apple Watch, the iPhone XR and the XS Max, with sizes and differences that people were looking for.
01:28:07 ◼ ► Obviously, the iPad Pros, the Mac Mini, the MacBook Air, for as much as it's maybe not the exact machine people are looking for, it's still a meaningful update that a lot of people will value.
01:28:20 ◼ ► So as long as this year, the hardware story has been excellent. And I guess we're just going to hope, and the ghost of Apple future would suggest, that the software story is going to be the big one next year.
01:28:38 ◼ ► It feels like, yeah, the iMac and the MacBook are still kind of floating out there. The iMacs got updated last fall, and the iMac Pro came out. I would hope that in the spring of 2019 we might get some updates to those two, but the Mac feels like it's in a much better position than it was in a year ago.
01:29:02 ◼ ► Yeah, that's true too. Exactly right. And then the software, it does feel like 2019 is going to be all about the software transition stuff moving forward. I think that Marzipan stuff, it does feel like it's going to be a huge, just as the ghost told us, a huge shift.
01:29:17 ◼ ► And that it's going to be much more than the little preview that we got this year, and that it's going to be a big change for how people view the Mac.
01:29:27 ◼ ► Yeah, it feels like a lot of points will line up, right? Like the iPad software and the Marzipan stuff, it's all going to start lining up.
01:29:36 ◼ ► Yeah, it does feel like those are going to go hand in hand and that it's all connected, that what you're going to be able to do on the iPad and what you're going to be able to do on the Mac through Marzipan is all going to be of a piece.
01:29:48 ◼ ► Yeah, I think about this. So Gruber wrote a piece a few weeks ago about how on Daring Fireball for those, I mean, John Gruber, I just assume everybody reads John Gruber, that you should, why would you not do that?
01:30:15 ◼ ► And I think what's interesting is that like Steve Trout and Smith on Twitter was talking about how he feels like clinging to Mac-like as a concept is wrong because the Mac is an older platform that hasn't had much action on it for basically a decade.
01:30:34 ◼ ► And that Apple is in the process of defining a new kind of like software approach that is the replacement for Mac-like and it's almost iPad-like is the new Mac-like.
01:30:48 ◼ ► And I thought that was, it's interesting to see both sides of it. And as a long time Mac user, I definitely feel the trepidation. But like, what's the strong software platform?
01:30:59 ◼ ► It's iOS, it's not macOS. So with Apple's going to have a strong native app platform on its devices, it kind of has to be iOS-based.
01:31:09 ◼ ► I understand the trepidation and the desire to not move away, but I don't think Mac-like exists anymore. Like there is an idea of what a traditional Mac app feels like, but the amount of people making Mac apps in that way is dwindling even now.
01:31:29 ◼ ► Yeah, right. Like, you know, it's like I get it. I get that there is a specific way that this stuff's always been done, but I think it's time to start letting some of that go.
01:31:39 ◼ ► Because I mean, you could just look at it, right? Like I know everybody like the thing is like to hate on Electron, right? Like that's the thing.
01:31:47 ◼ ► But that's just what big companies are doing. And, you know, I see this a lot. Like, as I saw, I see it, you see it a lot of places, right? It's like, oh, but this company has so much money, why can't they just make such and such app?
01:32:00 ◼ ► Right? Like, you know, I see this as Slack, right? Like, why can't Slack make a native app? They have hundreds and hundreds of millions of dollars. They're a multi-billion dollar company, right?
01:32:09 ◼ ► And it's a matter of focus. It's not a matter of resource. Isn't the same reason that Apple don't make Wi-Fi routers anymore, right?
01:32:18 ◼ ► There are only so many markets that you want to be in. There are only so many things you want to have to care about as a company just so you can try and stay focused.
01:32:27 ◼ ► And unfortunately, native Mac software has become one of those areas, right? That like, if you want to make an app, that app is a mobile app. Everywhere else, it's a wrapper of some description around a web browser.
01:32:40 ◼ ► Like that's just kind of that's the place that we're at. And I genuinely believe, right, that like we're about to move into a different era of what being a native application looks like.
01:32:51 ◼ ► And I think that, like with a lot of transitions, the companies that are going to be the most successful are the ones that embrace this new way of working.
01:33:00 ◼ ► And it will be about trying to find new design conventions for how you build applications that work across both platforms, you know, like pull to refresh, right?
01:33:09 ◼ ► Like, yeah, ideas like that. The people that are going to succeed are the people that, in my opinion, can work out like, what are these new design things that work well on both platforms and that make sense for everybody?
01:33:20 ◼ ► And that we have all these new design ideas and the way that things work, and then we end up with a new conception of what a good Apple app is.
01:33:30 ◼ ► That's probably that's where I believe we're going. And I appreciate lovely Mac software, right? Like I'm sitting here and looking at like a perfect example in Audio Hijack, right?
01:33:39 ◼ ► Like that is a wonderful Mac app made by people who really care about how Mac apps are made. But I think that that is just something that is it's had its day.
01:33:50 ◼ ► And you know, I know that that kind of thing upsets a lot of people, but I just think that when we did things are changing and you've got to move of it.
01:33:59 ◼ ► The ghost of Mac software was going to really debate that with you, but we shot it with a laser. So now, yes.
01:34:05 ◼ ► Yeah, I mean, change is hard, but I think I'm actually going to prefer to be often optimistic about the idea that Apple is going to roll out as the ghost of Apple future suggested.
01:34:17 ◼ ► Really, it's new design language and philosophy for how apps work, and they don't mean iOS.
01:34:24 ◼ ► It doesn't need to be a bad thing. How apps work. And that's going to be everywhere. And I would argue that it's better to have an activist Apple that actually has built new rules about like, here's how we think this is going to work.
01:34:38 ◼ ► Because what we've seen over the last few years is kind of this slow kind of degradation of standards for UI on the Mac.
01:34:47 ◼ ► Because I think in part Apple has not cared that much and they haven't kept their eye on the ball in a lot of ways, but also in part because they've been focused on iOS stuff.
01:34:56 ◼ ► And so, you know, I think the future for software running on the Mac is actually brighter if Apple is actively promoting a certain way of building apps.
01:35:07 ◼ ► And this is how these interactions work, and this is how they look on these phones and on iPads and on iMac screens and how it all works together than what we have now, which is really this just kind of like coasting on the past.
01:35:22 ◼ ► And, you know, I think it's a mess and fragmented in part because Apple's attention has been elsewhere and the Mac has just kind of been left to drift.
01:35:31 ◼ ► And if they really unify their platforms, the Mac's not going to be left to drift anymore because it's too important as a piece of this unified app platform that Apple's doing, which I think is almost certainly what they're doing.
01:35:43 ◼ ► I guess it's definitely what they're doing if we can believe our ghost from the future.
01:35:57 ◼ ► And we'll be back next week with the upgrade-ies, which everybody is excited about on New Year's Eve.
01:36:05 ◼ ► The upgrade-ies will appear and talk about the best of 2018 and informed by your suggestions and, of course, by ghosts, I guess.
01:36:22 ◼ ► But I think we definitely want to take this opportunity to thank everybody for listening to upgrade this year.
01:36:42 ◼ ► I think we went over a lot of this type of stuff around episode 200, which were my favorite episodes of the show for many reasons.
01:36:52 ◼ ► One of the big reasons, Jason, is now I just have a URL to give to people when they say, "What about this about podcasting?"
01:37:12 ◼ ► I think that we've done some really great stuff and I'm really excited about next year for Upgrade.
01:37:24 ◼ ► I got some things up my sleeve to make the upgradees bigger and better than ever before.
01:37:38 ◼ ► Our first live episode and I really want to do more of those and I hope that 2019 will enable that for us.
01:37:58 ◼ ► So if you want to find out more about the show, as always, relay.fm/upgrade, you can find that out.
01:38:13 ◼ ► As well as me and Jason, we have many more relay.fm/shows where you can find out more about all of those.
01:38:19 ◼ ► Thanks to our lovely sponsors, Simple Contacts, Lunar Display, and PDFPant from SMILE for their support of this episode.
01:38:26 ◼ ► We really, really hope that however you celebrate this holiday season, that you have a wonderful holidays ahead of you.