MacBreak Weekly 422 (Transcript)

Show Tease: Coming up on this episode of MacBreak Weekly, I am filling in for Leo Laporte. I’ve got Jason Snell, Andy Ihnatko, and Rene Ritchie joining me. We’re going to talk about some IOS 8 debacles, retina IMAX coming? All sorts of interesting rumors on the Apple horizon. Lots to talk about. All coming up next!

Netcasts you love, from people you trust. This is TWIT! Bandwidth for MacBreak Weekly is provided by CacheFly, at

This is MacBreak Weekly, episode 422, recorded Tuesday September 30th, 2014.

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Sarah Lane: This episode of MacBreak weekly is brought to you by Hover is the best way to buy, and manage domain names. It’s simple, honest, and easy to use. For 10% off your first purchase, go to and enter the promo code MBW9. And by Squarespace, the all in one platform that makes it fast and easy to create your own professional website or online portfolio. For a free 2 week trial and 10% off, go to and use the offer code: MACBREAK. And by Casper, an online retailer of premium mattresses for a fraction of the price, because everyone deserves a great night’s sleep. Get $50 off any mattress purchase by visiting and enter the promo code: MACBREAK.

Hello everybody! Welcome to MacBreak Weekly, this is episode 422, I am Sarah Lane, filling in for Mr. Leo Laporte, who is on vacation in London this week. In fact, I’ve been breathlessly watching all of his photos coming in from the London Eye and Clearages and he’s eating lots of porridge, and stuff like that. But anyway, thanks everybody for being with us! I am not alone here in the studio. I actually have Jason Snell sitting to my right.

Jason Snell: Hello!

Sarah: Hello Jason, would you say you are spending most of your time writing for these days?

Jason: I am writing for, my website, and I am doing a tech podcast called Upgrade, which is on relay FM.

Sarah: You know, before the show, you mentioned to me that is apparently national podcasters day, or podcast day?

Jason: Nobody told us.

Sarah: I had no idea! I feel like this is something that really should be more in my wheel house anyway, doing this for a living.

Jason: Yeah, I didn’t get you a card or anything.

Sarah: I didn’t get you anything either, I’m sorry.

Jason: Oh well, we’ll just agree to do this again next year.

Sarah: Yeah. It’s the thought that counts, right?

Jason: Exactly.

Sarah: Over on my left is Andy Inhatko, Tech columnist for the Chicago Sun times, and one of the hosts of MacBreak weekly. Hey Andy!

Andy Ihnatko: Hello! Gosh to be in London in September! Cruising those white sand beaches!

Sarah: Right, it’s so rainy and cold, you feel it in your bones. Actually I don’t know anything about the weather in London in September.

Andy: Rainy is usually a good guess for any…

Sarah: Isn’t that sort of a…It’s like a year around type of a situation. But it sounds like he’s having a good time.

Andy: Your hat will be well washed by the time you board your plane at virgin America, Virgin Atlantic, that’s fine.

Sarah: Yeah, exactly. Well thanks for being here Andy. And of course, Rene Ritchie, editor at IMore, you are the editor, right? The editor, writer, you pretty much do everything. You’re podcaster as well.

Rene Ritchie: yep, how’s it going Sarah?

Sarah: Thanks for being here Rene. It’s going really well thanks!

Rene: Winter is coming here Sarah, the trees are turning shades of golden red dragons, and smarter creatures than me are leaving for the south.

Sarah: Is that Canadians talk like that usually? It’s very poetic of you.

Rene: Is it? Well it’s very cold so we have a lot of time to think in poetic sentences.

Sarah: To put together something that makes it all sound very beautiful. Well thanks everybody for allowing me to be part of MacBreak Weekly. I always loved this show because I sort of live and breathe everything that Apple makes anyway. So it’s always a good time when I get to be a part of the team. And it’s nice to see Jason in person! That doesn’t happen very often.

Jason: No, we usually are on skype or something.

Sarah: yeah, internet friends.

Jason: It’s nice to be here. Or Twitter.

Sarah: Yeah, a few pipes and screens between us. Alright, so this is not going to be hard to fill a couple of hours because we have so much material to start with. I guess we can start with these 9 to 5 MAC story that Apple is changing things up a little bit with future versions of IOS 8. Of course, IOS 8 came out what two weeks ago now? Almost two weeks ago, it was two Wednesdays ago. And then we had a little bit of the IOS 8.1 debacle, which was quickly fixed by Apple. I think, I don’t think anyone is having too many problems anymore with the version that actually does not brick touch ID, and your cellular service, which is something in general people with IPhone would like. But we might be rolling out on a little bit of a different schedule for future versions of IOS. That would be 8.1, 8.2, and 8.3, in staggered rollouts through 2015. Does that surprise everybody? At this point I feel like nothing that Apple does surprises me anymore because it’s kind of a different company that is doing things differently.

Rene: It’s a return to form. In the early days of IOS you always go the .1 version when the IPod touches came out in the fall, and then you’d get a .2 and a .3. It was only… I forget, it was IOS 5, or 6 that they slowed down the point versions then, so this is more of a return to the original programming I think.

Jason: Yeah, you’ve got to wonder if there’s, is this attached to hardware, or is this a different change of philosophy. If it’s attached to hardware, you set up 8.1 for the new iPad that were presumably going to get 8.2 with the connectivity with the Apple watch. But I like the idea that maybe this is Apple shifting to a little bit different cadence for their OS updates. I think what we’ve seen and maybe 801 was an example of it, maybe not, is that I think apple has gotten really great at rolling their hardware out, and the software maybe has been struggling with their old processes to keep up with it. And I kind of like this idea of biting OS updates off in smaller chunks, and rolling them out over time, rather than dropping everything once a year.

Andy: Yeah, and also, we’ve all seen so many examples of Apple really chasing their own tails on this treadmill of having to make the release by September of the new iPhones. Or trying to make some arbitrary deadline. It’d be nice if they simply said we’re going to have the .1 releases when they’re ready, and if we don’t have to push it out the door on an arbitrary schedule we’re going to be able to do that. And also I think it points to how many different services Apple is rolling out over the years. They’re really broadening out to services and markets that they haven’t really spent much time messing around with. And so if they have to wait for, to tag something to a hardware release, or an annual release schedule, they’re not going to be able to rollout things like an expansion of the payment system, or take advantage of new entertainment features that might be in the new apple TV, and that sort of stuff.

Sarah: Yeah, you make a good point Jason. The IPad situation, which makes sense that you might want to tie future versions of IOS 8 rollouts with, obviously, products that can be updated. But then again, we know that the Apple watch is not going to be running IOS.

Jason: Right, but it has to talk to the phone.

Sarah: Sure, yeah, some modified version it has to be compatible in some way, but we’ve got all these product categories, the Apple watch, I guess we could talk about that. Nobody exactly knows when that is happening. There’s a story that I read on MAC rumors that said Apple will be lucky to ship the Apple watch even by valentine’s day. I don’t know what the significance of Valentine’s Day would be.

Andy: So lucky.

Jason: its code that it’s actually going to be the luck of the Irish and it’s going to ship on St. Patrick ’s Day, Secret apple code.

Sarah: That would be really cool. A green apple watch. I guess, besides the fact that I suppose you are buying and giving gifts that are valentine’s day related, I’m not exactly sure what the February significance would be, besides the fact that that’s just..

Rene: I’m going to find somebody to buy me a rose gold watch really fast then.

Andy: it could be just as easy as whoever wrote that comment, really, really swung and missed on the last gift they did for their significant other on Valentine’s day, and now the only thing they can think about is what they have to get ready for valentine’s day, so if they can pick out a date for late winter, early spring, it’s going to be that.

Sarah: I guess we have to assume that Apple really, really wanted to be able to not just introduce the Apple watch at their iPhone event earlier this month, but have it ready to ship for the holidays.

Jason: I don’t think so.

Andy: I don’ think so either.

Jason: This is Apples pattern. These brand new Apple products end up being supply constrained because they’re really hard to build. So Apples pattern has been to generally release them after the holidays are over so that they can sell them, you know, as many as they can make, and by the next holiday season they’re be up to full speed on it. And I think that’s the approach here is that, the rumors were all out there, they wanted to get the announcement out the door before they have to go through regularity things, and control that, and now everybody is going to be talking about it for all this time, and then sometime next year they’ll ship it, and it’ll probably trickle out. I think they would not be able to fulfil need if they had made it available for the holidays.

Andy: Two thoughts I had on that was. One of the reasons I was thinking Apple was going to do something simpler like a fitness band was because they certainly would love to take advantage of the holiday season. I’ve seen no indication they’re ready to ship something as complicated as what they actually showed. So I was figuring how about something simple that they have the capacity to make, that they could make at a good price point that people would absolutely want to get as gifts. But the second thing is that the more information, excuse me, the more I think about it, the more I think that there are a lot of signs that the apple watch is still in its early stages. We’re not looking at something that is finished, finished, finished, and now they just need to get the regulartary approval, and now they just need to get the partner’s in line, and the developers in line. I think that it’s earlier than we might think, and that…But the stuff that Apple showed off at the even a few weeks ago is what they showed that was actually functioning and working. As opposed to the stuff they’re still scrambling to get actually finished and approved.

Jason: I tapped on something, we were all there. They put the phone, or the watch on our wrist, and then they had another one that was functional. The one on our wrist was just running a demo. And I remember, I tapped on one of the icons on the screen, and the guy looked like he was going to freak out. And he was like no, no! You’re not supposed to tap on it! Only we’re supposed to tap on it! And it was clearly like things they had in the script.

Andy: Like ….showing off his guitar collection. No, no… Don’t look at it!

Jason: Don’t even look at it. And it reminded me of the original iPhone where I tapped on some of the icons on the original icons the day they announced it, and it was screen shots. And it was like this App will go here later, and that’s where we are.

Sarah: So what does it matter if you tap on anything, if it’s just a demo anyway?

Jason: Well I think with this is that there are things that are going to crash the phone, or they don’t want to show. And that there are things that are working that they wanted to show, and having us to touch the device was not part of the script. So I felt really bad for the guy, because I mean, I was like looking around to see if his minder was going to come and sweep in and take him away. But it’s not ready, it’s totally not ready.

Andy; I had the exact same experience. You could see the invisible force field that the demonstrators were erecting between you and the watch, that if you made a sudden move towards something or if you did something they weren’t really planning  for you to do, you could just see the Eeek, okay, that’s fine. And that happened like twice with a couple of different demonstrators I was working with. I knew that this was not a place to stress test anything, or see if anything was working, because the nature of the even, they weren’t showing off the finished object, so I don’t think it would have been appropriate, but you could tell they were like oh god, this guy has hairy wrists, it over heats and explodes when put on a hairy wrist, get him to shave, abort, abort.

Jason: I wasn’t trying to crash it or anything, I was just trying to see, those icons looked really small, and I wanted to see if I could tap it and it worked, the thing I tapped on opened, and then the guy was, then he turned pale, and ran away.

Rene: Now you know why engineers disconnect interface before handing those things over for demos.

Jason: But Andy’s larger point totally remains, which is, this is a product that is going to take some time before its ready. They’re not just stalling because of production line, they’re fixing. This is why they didn’t mention the battery life other than to say at the end of the day you can charge it, because I think they don’t know the battery life because the software is not done.

Rene: I think that goes back to Jason’s earlier point too, because we just had IOS 8.1 seeded to developers yesterday and it’s got hooks buried in for the  Apple pay system, so that’ll come out. It’ll enable Apple pay, it’ll have touch ID on the IPads that it’ll enable as well. And then as we move through the year, it’ll have the version that enables the watch, and that maybe works with the new Apple TV. And then they might have a version later in the year as we start setting up for IOS 9, but it really is a, what’s the best way to put it? It’s a marathon composed of sprints. They literally sprint towards release day every September, and then they have very little time, because they’re already working on IOS 9, they’re going back and fixing IOS 8 bugs. It’s a grueling cycle, and I think breaking it up like this, especially with the watch coming at them, and you have to imagine it took a lot of people off their projects to move to the watch projects and they have to fill both that team up and the previous teams up, that it’s going to be a good juggling act come this spring.

Sarah: Somebody in our chatroom a couple minutes ago that makes a good point, and I think is going to really mirror what a lot of other consumers think. When the first IPhone was released it was expensive, it was different, but it was something that, hey you need a phone, so this might just be a new, exciting, expensive version of the phone you already had. And it’s a brave new world and it worked out really well for Apple. The watch thing, a lot of us are still kind of scratching our heads about, well I certainly don’t need one, because I already have a phone that tells me what time it is. So then it turns into something where it’s like, is it comfortable, does it look cool? Base price is 350 dollars, and we’re all sort of agreeing that you know the first version of this watch might not be perfect, as much as the iPhone wasn’t as well. But it’s that product category that’s elective rather than oh I need this.

Rene: The interesting this is when you can never see the future in advance. It always looks misty and foggy, but when you get it. Apple doesn’t really make these different devices, they package them that way, but they make increasingly small computers that connect you with a bunch of things. And a watch now is a luxury. We have a phone, not because we really need a phone, but because we need to stay connected, and whether Apple can move enough connectivity to the watch, and enough control, enough authentication, enough logging to the watch to make it better in certain situations than the phone is. That’ll be the real story. We can tell time on our phone, but is it the best way to tell the time? They can make a really good argument that’ it’s more convenient to do these things on something small on your wrist, then a lot of people who, you know, sure watch people probably have their Rolexes and their panories or whatever, but there may be  a lot of people who say I can leave my phone in my pocket. I can get a bigger phone and leave it in my purse. I can maybe eschew a phone and just have a tablet. And they’ll be a whole bunch of new use cases that I think we’ll only figure out over the next year.

Andy: Yeah, when I wrote my piece from the night after the event, that was my lead paragraph that I don’t think that Apple has ever made a product like this before, where there is no preceding successful product that they could then put their own exclamation point at the end of that sentence. Maybe even go all the way back to the apple 2 plus, because there weren’t really home computers before. There wasn’t an example of a successful home computer and then they built one with the Macintosh. There were already desktop computers, not something as good to the GUI. Even the IPOD we’ve got the deskman, we’ve got the Walkman, portable music players. So people are, were already seeded with all that information about here’s the sort of roll in your life, this is going to play. I can’t remember the…even the IPad I think, didn’t have that place where we know you don’t, you’ve never owned something like this, you don’t know somebody who owns something like this right now, but we’re going to convince you that this is something that you want and need. Which I think is an unusual place for Apple to be.

Sarah: Well, how about the rumors, speaking of rumors because there are always lots of rumors surrounding Apple products, that we’re going to see a new MAC Mini update when we possibly get the new IPad announcement, which is obviously not official yet. But October 21st seems to be the going date for everybody, if that indeed was going to happen. The new mac mini hasn’t been refreshed in what? Two years? Almost two years.

Rene: a year and a half.

Jason: Forever, Sarah, forever.

Sarah: I didn’t think after 1.5 years is basically forever. I agree with you. I’ve never had a MAC mini myself. I know that there are mac mini loyalists, a lot of them like to use it for their media management connected to televisions.

Jason: Podcasting.

Sarah: Yeah, exactly. A few friends of mine got Mac Minis in their kitchen with little monitors.

Jason: wow.

Sarah: Yeah, it seems to be the computer that if you’ve got one, you think oh yeah! This is really, really helpful, but again it’s not necessarily the computer that I’ve ever needed.

Jason: Well I have two in my house, so I am definitely a mac mini fan, it’s sad that it hasn’t been updated. It’s definitely not for everyone but its’ actually, if you don’t want to buy an IMAC, if you don’t want to get an IMAC with a screen and the whole thing, if you just want the computer to attach to an external display.

Sarah: Yeah.

Jason: Your choices are MAC mini or MacPro, or buy a laptop. I mean, there is a place for it. I’ve got one behind my TV, it is attached to a bunch of storage and it’s where I put all my music and movies and stuff. And then the old one of that is in my son’s room, and he uses it to play Minecraft. And they’re great. In fact, I want to buy one because I have a MacBook air, that I use attached to a monitor at my desk and I actually realized that a Mac Mini, a nice MacMini, would have more power and I actually would like to put one there. So I’m looking forward to anything to update it.

Andy: Yeah, it’s a really important product because we’ve all been, we’ve just been discussing about it for 30 seconds to a minute, and we’ve talked about at least five different unique use cases for it. People who want to use it just as a media server, people who want to spare a computer in a certain room or another. People, who almost all the time when you go into someone’s server room, you will see these racks and racks of blade servers, but there’s always one Mac Mini, I find, somewhere in that stack because that’s what the admin wants to use to administrate all that hardware. I’m using for podcasting right now. It’s also the cheapest point of entry into MAC OS given that so many people will have something that they can plug a VGA cable into, and you can get… god if trash day is Tuesday morning, Monday night at 10 PM you can have as many mice and keyboards as you want. So there’s no less expensive way to get into MAC than MAC Mini so it’d be disappointing if Apple were going to give up on it, and that’s the exact reason I don’t think they are giving up on it.

Sarah: How do you think Apple feels about, Jason, as you described, it’s great for media management, music, movies that sort of thing. It kind of competes with Apple TV itself.

Jason: It does, and it’s not for everybody but this is like, a Mac Mini seems to be a product with a whole bunch of little niche uses. So this is why it hasn’t been updated in two years. It’s not a high priority for Apple. But I think it’s nice to have around, and you know, Apple kept the IPod classic around for ages, when it was sort of like very few uses were left for it. And the MAC mini has a lot of uses but, you know, not every product that Apple makes has to be a super mainstream product, and I think that’s the way mac Mini is. It fills in, it gives them flexibility in the MAC product line, rather than just saying okay, you’ve got to buy a laptop, IMAC, or a MacPro, It gives them another product, it’s the lowest price mac. There are lots of reasons why keeping it around is great. But you know, I wouldn’t ever argue that it should be Apples focus, and it clearly isn’t Apples focus, that’s why it hasn’t been updated since 2012? I think?

Sarah: Yeah. Alright, well then the next question becomes, okay, so what does get refreshed exactly? If we don’t have Intel broad well processors that are available…

Rene: Or do we?

Sarah: Or do we? Yeah, last I heard this is not happening until 2015 because they’ve been delayed for a variety of reasons but you figure there’s really no point in being like New Mac Minis with Haswell processors that aren’t impressive to anybody anymore, for a few months.

Rene: The retina MacBook air, as far as I understood, at least the recent version was always built on broad well, and it was always broad well delays that was keeping it from Market. And the original MacBook air, in other things Apple has been good at getting chip sets as fast as intel can make them, often ahead of any other manufactures, and if they could do that again with a retina MacBook air, that would be terrific. If Intel is really delaying them, and it goes into 2015, then that’s really sad, because they have a lot of rumors of 4K or 5K IMacs, or retina IMacs as well. And a lot of that hinges on all the technology that has to go to support that many pixels that…on a MacBook air, at that small size, the battery life on an IMac just driving all those pixels. And people complain that Apple is too controlling, but it’s often the parts of the chain that they don’t control that ends up causing a little bit of dissatisfaction.

Jason: If ever there was a MAC that Apple would release that would about to be eclipsed, Intel processor family, it’s the MAC Mini. So it wouldn’t shock me, it would be kind of sad, but it wouldn’t shock me if they said, yeah, well we updated the Mac mini here it is and it was just using haswell. Wouldn’t shock me, it’d be said.

Andy: What if they accompanied it by a hundred dollar price drop, would that soften the blow a little bit?

Jason: Yeah, I mean, I don’t know what Apple is thinking for this product, right? I mean, when it first came out it was $499, which was amazing. And then the next year they sort of stepped away and said no, $599, let’s try that. But there’s room in there. It would be interesting to see. I think Apple knows exactly who’s using this product, I think, and what they’re using it for. And they may just decide and look, you know, this is, it’s going to be better than the existing chips that are in there because it’s two years old and have this.

Rene: It never went Haswell. It’s an interesting thing, Broadwell has a lot of advantages for a retina MacBook air. What their advantages are for a MAC mini it’s harder to determine.

Sarah: Well, I think in a few minutes we should probably start talking about bendy phones, because I know you’re all ready to do that. But first let’s take a quick break to thank for sponsoring this episode of MacBreak Weekly. If you’ve got a great idea for, you know a website, or a blog, or whatever you need a domain. Well okay, where do you go? You want something catchy, you want a good memorable name, and you want it to represent you in some way, that’s what Hover is so good for. It gives you exactly what you need to get your domain, get it secured, and get on with whatever creative project you want to attach to it. You need that perfect domain. So right now is a great time to start a new project, because Hover recently lowered prices on over two hundred domain extensions, including many top level domains. They also reduced the price for new .com domain names, now $12.99. Plus who is privacy is included for free on every domain that supports it. People love Hover, geeks lover Hover, developers love Hover, designers, programmers. People love Hover because they know that they have good tools and they have good support. You don’t have to be some sort of a tech expert to get a domain, it’s very, very easy to use hover. Search a few keywords, hover will show you the best available options. Maybe you’ve got an idea for a domain, let’s see if it’s available. Maybe it isn’t, maybe it is! But maybe it isn’t and maybe there’s something similar that Hover could suggest to you and you go, okay, alright. What are you doing Chad? You looking for my name? isn’t available because I own it! But hey, we’ve got some other stuff.! I’m missing out!! That’s kind of fun. Sarah and the list goes on, obviously. That would be really weird domain for you to have, but it would be kind of fine for me to have. Hover also offers valet transfer service. You might be using another domain registrar, and lots of people are, you switch over to Hover and it’s a painless process for free Hover takes care of the entire process for you and lets you know when your domains are nice and settled in, in your hover account. They also transfer all your DNS settings, I have sometimes been in DNS hell here or there, because you make one little wrong move and then it’s very confusing. Hover does all that for you no matter how many domain names you have, it’s no additional cost. Best customer service support, no wait, not hold, no transfer phone service, and hover also offers volume discounts. That means that they give you a discount on your domain renewals, which starts at 10 domains, and then goes up in value from there. So they, kind of throw you a bone if you’re actually managing a larger amount of domains. And some of us are! Visit hover today to register your domain name and little extra, 10% off your first purchase!, that’s, and use the promo code: MBW9. That stands for MacBreak Weekly 9. Promo code: MBW9, and thanks so much to Hover for their support of MacBreak Weekly! I’m Sarah Lane, filling in for Leo Laporte here on MacBreak Weekly, this week Leo is off in London, but I am joined by, in person Jason Snell. Of course, to my Left Andy Ihnatko and then of course, Rene Ritchie sitting in Americas hat up there. You guys must get so sick of saying things like that!

Rene: No, you took Justin Bieber off our hands, we’re good.

Sarah: There you go. There you go. He almost fits better in the US. Which is…what does that say about all of us. So I mentioned before the break, and thanks all of you gentlemen for joining me today. Before the break I said we should probably talk about the whole bendy phone crisis. Which apparently is a lot less of a crisis than perhaps Samsung would have us believe. Rene, your phone does not look bendy.

Rene: I have had this in my non hipster jeans for going on 14 days, I’ve sat down with it, I’ve run around with it, I’ve done everything I can humanly do with it. It is still straight.

Sarah: This is a 6 or a 6 plus?

Rene: This is a 6 plus, I have a 6 in my other pocket, and that is also straight.

Sarah: Now when you say pockets and you say sitting, you’re talking about front pockets or back pockets or?

Rene: front pockets, I am not an animal.

Sarah: Well, see I don’t know! I don’t. I have a 6 plus here, which if anybody watches my show Ifive, you know that I have a lot of buyer’s remorse. Even though it was Leo’s money, I still…

Rene: You have Leos buyer’s remorse.

Sarah: I still have remorse, because it’s too large for me, but I wouldn’t dream of even trying to put in in a pocket because I don’t have pockets that fit phones in general. Maybe a blackberry pearl would fit in one of my front pockets, but we’re not really doing that anymore. Alright, Jason.

Jason: I’ve got the 6 here.

Sarah: You’ve got the 6 which is so significantly smaller than the 6 plus that it’s unbelievable. But is it fitting comfortably in your pocket?

Jason: Oh yeah, I haven’t noticed a difference, but it’s not the 6 plus.

Sarah: True.

Jason: I’m use to the 5S in my pocket so it’s not that different.

Sarah: Does everybody carry phones in their pockets?

Rene: If you have pockets

Andy: Yeah.

Sarah: I mean, I’ve got pockets, I’ve just never thought to shove a phone in it.

Jason: So ben Thompson who does stretechory, he lives in Taiwan and I mentioned this on TWIT actually a couple weeks ago, he says that we know that large phones are very bit in Asia. That’s the market where the galaxy notes have had the most success. And when I was talking to Apple about the 6 plus, they definitely said there were certain regions that really love huge phones, and Asia is the biggest one. And what Ben Thompson said is, people who have these big phones generally do not put them in their pockets. They have a bag and it lives in the bag and then they take it out and use it, and then they put it back in the bag. And you know, this also, obviously some cultural stuff at work here, but I think that’s an interesting thing that we, here in the US especially, being used to these smaller phones because they sell better here. I think are used to putting them in our pockets, and big phones maybe not work in pockets so well. I don’t know.

Andy: Also, we’re Americans, we’ve got big pants for our big butts so we’ve got pockets that can hold that kind of stuff.

Rene: Exactly.

Andy: But I’ve found, I’ve been carrying around both of them about pretty much daily. No bendy problems yet, that doesn’t mean that I absolutely discount the experiences that some people have been having. The thing that I’ve been finding a little bit disappointing about some of the commentary that every time so and so says yeah, I was carrying it in a pocket and it bent after a couple of days, the immediate response is oh it’s just stupid people doing stupid things with their phones, because they’re idiots. Let’s wait…I don’t think it’s an epidemic problem, or else we’d be seeing a lot more reports of it than this. But let’s wait a few weeks until we see what happens. I do think you have to make a deliberate choice for the 6 plus, you really shouldn’t just get it because it’s bigger and fancier. Because, even I, I’m in the habit of carrying the phone in my shirt pocket because it’s easily accessible, and I spent a really wonderful day on Sunday walking around with both these phones, just 8 miles, covering most of Boston just taking pictures. And I had to make sure that I did not keep my 6 plus in my shirt pocket because I was, had kind of a little bit shallow and boy, you just put about 17 degrees of flex in my waist and that thing is almost certainly going to be tumbling out, because it’s so top heavy off of this pocket. So I mean, you’re right Sarah, it’s going to be way too big for a lot of people, and it’s a shame that some people might have just gone for their gut instinct for the larger phone, when the IPhone 6 is plenty big. It’s almost a...I almost consider it a perfect size if you don’t have a fancy for a smaller sized phone. Enough screen real estate to make an...enough extra screen real estate to make it worthwhile but small enough you can really conceal it pretty well.

Sarah: Yeah, I thought that the whole let’s get the six plus, even though it’s ridiculous because I’m a pretty small person, and I certainly don’t have big hands, would be just a sort of a fun experiment, especially because as you guys were mentioning, there are certain markets where the larger phablet type sized phone’s, I don’t know if phablet is a bad word on this show or not, but you know what I mean, do sell well. People like them, there are different accessories for carrying these phones, maybe it’s not so dependent on being in your pocket. My phone was never in my pocket to begin with, so that part doesn’t really bother me. I’ve got some sort of hand bag or shoulder bag or something usually with me, but, it’s, it’s so comically large that it’s, I’m going to get used to it. I have gotten used to it over the last ten days, but it’s not getting any easier, I can never use it with one hand!

Rene: It’s not as enjoyable as you’d hoped.

Andy: Can I ask you, have you been… You were primarily an IOS user to begin with? You weren’t using Android phones?

Sarah: Never.

Andy: Okay.

Sarah: That’s part of the issue.

Andy: That’s part of it. If it’s still too big, it’s still too big. I think that the reason why 6 plus could be really, really jarring for people who are moving up from an IPhone 5 is because they haven’t had the chance, like me, to transition through, where this, if I’d move straight to this from an IPhone 4, this would have looked freaking huge, whereas this looks just a little on the large size, but it’s not huge. And so to go form this to a phablet size phone, a 5.5 inch screen. The iPhone plus still is pretty big even for me, but it doesn’t seem quite so shocking. But you’re right, I was taking lots and lots of pictures, that was the whole point of my taking that walk on Sunday, and even for me it was wow, there’s so many times where especially when you’re just taking a casual shot, I’ve got a drink in my hand, I’m walking through quinsy market, now I really have to put that drink down because whereas, you’ve got a shot at one handing a camera like this. The 6 plus, that thing is going to go right on to those cobble stones and break into smithereens if you even try it. So I think a case is absolutely important for the iPhone 6 plus for everybody. I actually, I usually am anti case. I just like to feel the phone the way that it is and it’s thinner that way, and for the first time I think, I’m a hazard! I’m a walking hazard because it’s all about juggling now, can I reach my thumb over, whoa! That’s the end of the phone! I’ve also noticed and this is probably, it says something about the fact that I take too many walks at night, and I live in a somewhat dangerous neighborhood of San Francisco, but I find that I feel very conspicuous.

Rene: Yes.

Sarah: When I’ve got my phone out and I’m doing something, not that the iPhone 5S which was my last iPhone was invisible by any means, but you could almost kind of, tuck it into your… You know if you just sort of thing I’ve got to hide it for a second, or dip it into a pocket for a minute. This doesn’t go anywhere. I feel like I’m sort of like, Rob me!

Rene: You’re holding a bill board! It’s not a walking typer Sarah.

Sarah: Take my phone! My expensive phone!

Andy: Well with a big battery it’s going to hurt a lot more when you throw it at someone’s face and that’s an upside.

Sarah: There you go, it’s a weakness and a weapon.

Rene: Go back to the bending thing for a second, because a lot of people have made fun of it. There’s a YouTube culture versus Apple culture war going on about it. It’s a little silly to me because it shows that people have trouble holding that two truths can exist at the same time. Back with antenna gate, there was obviously a problem if you were in a low signal area and you touched a certain part of the phone, you could detune the signal. You didn’t have to touch that part of the phone, and once you understood the physics behind it, you were fine. But it took a little bit of education and type and Apple adapted to it with the Verizon IPhone 4 and 4s, and this is similar. You have a very thin piece of aluminum, and it’s very thin because Apple realized that, it’s not think for thin sake, and a lot of people wanted it to be thicker. It’s thin because it makes it lighter, and the same with the IPad two and IPad air. Bigger things when they’re lighter are easier for human beings to use to hold up for long periods of time.

Andy: Not necessarily.

Rene: But when you have this sort of relationship here with the phone, there’s the volume buttons and there’s a bulge right before the volume buttons with a titanium and steel reinforcement stuff, so if you apply pressure to that cut out area where the volume is and the bolt meat, you can buckle the structure, that’s something you can understand, pay attention to, be careful with it. If its’ something you think you’ll do, put a case on, It’s not the same as people bending phones for jokes on YouTube, which is horrible. Or going into stores and bending it, but it’s something that exists because of physics. Because you have an object that has certain structural areas, and again, for me, you understand what the problem is, or understand what the physics are and then take good care of the stuff that you bought.

Andy: I think that it was maybe…not an analogy that I 100% agree with because Antenna gate was a real problem. I experienced that day one, I literally had it out of the packaging that it had come in twenty minutes earlier, fired it up, had a SIM card in it and I was watching wow, I had four bars before, why is there now one bar?

Rene: What I meant is some people deny it. Some people deny it was an issue, and it was an issue.

Andy: Exactly. I won’t even call it bend gate, but the issue that some people are having with bending, I agree it seems to be very, quite isolated, it doesn’t seem to be an epidemic, I don’t believe it’s a design fault, but the only complicity, if that’s even an appropriate word that Apple has is that I think there are going to be a lot of people who are like Sarah are having their first really, really big phone, after years and years of having what are now a small phone but smartphone standards, and they’re only guilty of doing what, with their phones the things that they always do with their phones, which is to take really good care of them and try to prevent them from getting damaged. Unbeknown to them, well a larger phone has different rules now, and there are added risks that your smaller phone did not have. So I hope this will die down. I was very, first amused, and then kind of saddened by the fact that after about six or seven hours of walking around the city using my iPhone 6 plus, and now they’re still new enough and rare enough that hey! Is that the new iphone6? And two or three times I got asked, is it bending on you? And I said no, it’s not bending on me! It’s perfectly fine! It’s not made out of clay.

Rene: The IPhone 5s bent as well and it never got as much media attention. But you ask anybody who ever did any repairs at all, and you ask apple genius and they would tell you that anywhere around the volume area some people managed to bend the phone.

Sarah: Yeah, actually Anthony Nielsen who is one of our editors, I made a joke about bending iPhone 6’s and he pulled out his iPhone 5S and said look! I mean, Its not bent in half but you can see a small little ridge from I guess sitting on it for the last year or so. Apple says only nine people actually have complained about this. I don’t know exactly where you get that official number but it must be a certain way that somebody sent in a complaint to apple support. But consumer reports of course, got on the band wagon and did some testing. Is the Iphone6 plus for example, any weaker than other competitors in that class of smartphone? Consumer report says the IPhone 6 plus, the more robust of the new iPhone’s in our testing, started to deform when we reached 90 pounds of force, and came apart with 110 lbs. of force. With those numbers it slightly outperformed the HTC one, which is largely regarded as a sturdy solid phone. As well as the smaller iPhone 6, yet underperformed some other smartphones. And goes on to mention the LGG3, the Samsung galaxy Note 3. Now what we’re talking about, you know, 90 lbs. of force, you’re not talking about gingerly like, oh sorry! My phone was in my back pocket.

Rene: When round butts hit flat phones Sarah.

Sarah: Yeah, this is I mean, that’s not happening very often!.

Andy: Exactly.

Sarah: It just can’t be.

Andy: For 10 million phone’s sold, of which we don’t know how many are 6 pluses, but I’m betting it’s more than 9, that’s a low number for Apple to even report, so I’m not worried.

Sarah: Yeah, it’s almost like saying, my phone fell in the toilet because it was in my back pocket, because it was so small I forgot it was there. Thanks for nothing Apple.

Jason: Well like Andy said, I think it’s worth, I love that Andy is counseling patience here, because over time, and with more of these out there, we’ll find out whether there is, was there a manufacturing flaw, is this just a weakness in every model, is this common or not, and my guess is that if some phones do have this problem, Apple will probably have a policy and they’re replace them and they’ll, you know, they’ll do something. But right now it seems like such a small case, that unless you’re really trying to get attention, you’re not very likely to see a problem here! And then we’ll just have to see how it goes. But I do think it’s fair to say that in a few months we’ll have a much better idea. The internet doesn’t want to wait a few months for anything, but we will have a better idea whether this is a serious problem or just another kind of oddball thing that happens when a new iPhone comes out.

Rene: Every year Jason, there’s something.

Jason: There’s always something.

Sarah: There’s always something.

Andy: Like my grandma! Grandma!

Sarah: We mentioned earlier in the show that there was a small window of IOS 8.0.1. I think what was pulled about an hour and a half after being pushed out because…

Jason: Yeah, 80 minutes, yep.

Sarah: It was 80 minutes!

Jason: I counted.

Sarah: Good work! I had not installed the update, so I was unaffected and I got to just sort of sit back with some popcorn and watch Twitter have a meltdown and then regroup. So that’s always, it’s always fun to be an outsider in those situations, and think I’m so glad I wasn’t one of the first.

Jason: I was one of the first, absolutely. But that’s sort of our jobs, right? To try this stuff. So I did it and I think Rene and I had a whole back and forth on Twitter as we both updated and said, yep, cell service is gone, touch id is gone, and everybody else who had installed it started chiming in and then it turned out very quickly that it was just the 6’s that seemed to be effected. 5s didn’t seem to be effected. And, Rene, didn’t we also figure out that it was also only if you did it over the air?

Rene: Yeah, the binary was fine. It was only the bit differential file for the on device. Which is a crazy problem to have.

Jason: yeah, yeah.  So that stunk, it was interesting to watch how Apple rolls back a mistake like this. Because they haven’t really done this very often, if ever.

Sarah: Sure.

Jason: If I can remember. The first thing they did, and this is actually very clever. The first thing they did was stop signing the update, and what that means is at the end after they download it, is your device, with any of these Apple updates, your device checks with the software to see if the signature matches, to basically, so it can’t be vulnerable to an attack where a fake software update is sent to you that can take over your phone. And they will often turn off signing for older versions of the operating system, so you can’t roll back. So what they did is they turned off signing for this, so people would download the update, some of them In the process of downloading the update, and then it would say some weird error, like you’re not on the internet. I got one that said device is not authorized. It was weird, but what it was really doing was saying, I’m not going to install this. So they did that first, and then about ten minutes later, if you were on an 8.0 device and you checked for software update it said, you’ve got the latest version! So they eventually rolled it all the way back, and then I think later the next day they pushed out 8.0.2. So it was an interesting process of like how long does it take Apple to stop the flow of a software update. And it was, I think pretty impressive that it only took them about 80 minutes to shut it completely down.

Sarah: But not that I can imagine just a lot of confusion from people who need cellular service.

Rene: Apple said there were 40,000 people effected out of 10 million iPhone 6’s and 6pluses, which is by no means trivial. And there were some people who said I never use touch id and never make phone calls so I didn’t even notice. I managed to downgrade to IOS 8.0.0 and then reinstall it, then downgrade, and then actually install the binary for IOS 8.0.1 and that worked fine.

Andy: It was really, I agree Jason, It was so impressive, I was away at meetings that afternoon and it was out and then pulled by the time I was aware of it and was ready to start downloading it. My backup theory is that maybe this is more genius Apple marketing where they’re trying to do now, limited edition releases like Mondo gallery prints, where it’s only available if you download it for the next 80 minutes and only 40,000 people will get it. So if you have the 8.0.1 release, put that in a Ziploc bag phone and then put it on eBay because it’s going to be worth something someday.

Rene: I up dated already.

Sarah: I guess I could see someone saying, oh I didn’t have to make a phone call in those couple of hours so what’s it really matter? But the touch id?

Jason: That’s what I noticed when I rebooted.

Andy: This in itself is a big deal because if you needed to make a phone call in that hour, oh boy! If your dad has just had a stroke that’s a bad scene.

Sarah: Definitely.

Rene: And you had to roll back, you had to go to ITunes and download the IOS 8 install and run the update in place using iTunes on the computer to fix it during that one day period. Which is also non trivial for people who aren’t very comfortable or who don’t even remember the days before ICloud when you had to do that all the time to upgrade.

Jason: Yeah.

Andy: We’ll do the next one on DVD or CD.

Rene: I’ll mail you a thumb drive.

Andy: 40 floppy’s, get your MAC se.

Sarah: Are their people who prefer to not use touch ID when given the option? I mean, it’s one of the best things ever invented as far as I’m concerned, but I also hate typing in my password every time I want to install an app for example.

Jason: I heard a lot of people right after the 5S came out say that they were turning it off. And the software, you know, they made some software tweaks to make it work better, but it works so great now, I never have a problem unless I’ve been doing the dishes or something and my hands are wet.

Sarah: Exactly, sometimes at the gym if I’m sweaty enough, it’s like oh this is not working.

Jason: Yeah, but otherwise it just works. And with IOS 8 now you can unlock all sorts of other stuff too, which makes it that much more valuable, like unlocking one password with my thumbprint is so great.

Rene: We had a big discussion about this on vector yesterday because Jesse Char of formerly of Apple, formally of Pacific Helm said that her fingerprints never read with it. For some reason it just never works.

Andy: She’s a replicate.

Rene: She might be.

Andy: She has a quaranti logo in the middle of the fingertip that’s throwing it off I’m guessing.

Rene: She said that she never uses it because for her it’s a form of identification, and right now, with a passcode someone else can use your passcode, can use your phone, send something, but if she ever sends someone a nasty text, it’s now got her fingerprints. It proves she was the one who sent it. So for her it’s entirely a culpability argument.

Jason: Interesting.

Sarah: Weird, weird fingerprint issues. I don’t know, I love touch id.

Jason: I love touch ID too, because I put a hard password on my phone then instead of a 4 digit code, because I never want to enter a long password every single time I want to unlock, but now that I’ve got touch ID, I only have to do that when I reboot, so that’s great.

Sarah: And even then, I would say, that doesn’t happen that often, sometimes I run out of batteries because I’m not paying attention, or something. But even then it’s like..grr, yeah that’s right, my phone restarted now I have to type in my password.

Rene: There is a legal issue though. Because I believe in American law still you can be compelled to use your fingerprint but not compelled to use a passcode so to give up a passcode so some people for legal reasons won’t enable a touch ID.

Andy: And that’s an interesting point, because I actually read the justification behind that, because your passcode is information that you know that you cannot be compelled to say, but the fingerprint is just a physical thing and you don’t have to actually tell anybody what it is. And so that’s the legal position that on the basis that they can’t compel you to unlock something with a fingerprint but not a passcode. The law is amusing as hell, is it not?

Rene: It really is.

Sarah: Amusing for sure. Has anybody played around with any of the apps that have been updated to support the health kit? This is all in the last week or so, this was enabled by 8.0.1 and then enabled again by 8.0.2.

Sarah: Right, exactly. I feel like I’m seeing press releases, breathless press releases about the fitness app will now talk to the health app and keep all your data in one place. I don’t know, maybe it says something about the fact that I’m not very fitness oriented, but I have yet to find it to be a killer service for me yet. But you know, these are early days too.

Jason: I don’t know, I haven’t seen anything yet. None of the apps that I use have updated to support the health app yet. So I was just checking and there’s nothing in there.

Sarah: Nothing in there, huh?

Jason: But I think at some point apple said this was going to happen about a month after release when they had this kind of mess up that prevented a lot of stuff from working. And then they released it from 8.0.1 and then I wonder if the developers are all like, come on Apple! I’m still working on it! I don’t know! It’s going to take time, like a lot of these things.

Andy: Absolutely. I feel the same about IOS 8, where I don’t think the iPhone 6 and 6 plus have been officially released for, until December or January when, not only developers have a chance to update their stuff to work with these phones, but also they themselves have had time with these new phones, these new technologies that as users they can decide, oh I thought that academically back in august I’d want my app to behave this way, but it actually makes more sense for it to interact like this. So it’s going to be pretty exciting come January I think.

Sarah: Yeah, I’m excited to use apps that can somehow take advantage of at least keeping health data in one place. But…

Rene: Health Kit is still kind of rough. Like when you install an app that uses health kit, Apples got really, really good privacy protection. So you can choose send and receive for every single function of that app, but that’s leading to these page long toggle sheets that you just get presented with like a wall of permissions when you first start, and the developers have found bugs in some of the things, and they’ve been having trouble addressing them. If you have multiple devices you have to set up, like are you going to let your jawbone up communicate your steps, are you going to let the chip in your phone do it? Are you going to let them know about each other? It seems like this is a technology that is sort of coalescing and it’ll take a few months before we have really good health kit apps. But you also really know how to use it and Apple really understands what developers, and we’re doing so they can make it all work better for us.

Andy: And this also goes far beyond just fitness and mobility. If you drill down into that menu structure and see all of the fine grain health data that this can collect, and manage, and organize for you. If you’ve ever been the caretaker for someone who is critically ill, you know that you really, there is information that you need to track on an hourly and a daily basis, and only by collecting that data over a period of days and weeks, and sometimes even months, do you figure out…like if you’re taking care of someone who is an insulin dependent diabetic, this is a problem I was having when I was taking care of my mom. Where it took a couple weeks to figure out how to manage her sugar perfectly so if she gets a snack at exactly this time of the night she won’t have a problem. I want to make sure I do another check at this time of the day, and that was the sort of stuff that only happened because I kept an old PowerBook on the table that did nothing except this sort of data that I was inputting. And so when you look at this sort of data that could be not just collected by the fact that you’re walking around, but also if you imagined part of a house that has different health devices inside it that can now communicate with this and feed this information saying, while the individual was moving from these times of the day to this other time of the day, here is what their blood chemistry was like, here is what their oxygen take was like. That’s going to be the really wonderful and beneficial part of this is going to be when you just simply take a phone out of your pocket, glance at this graph and you see correlations that you did not see before only by the fact that this data has one localized place to land, and a really cool user interface to present itself. So certainly the features that everyone is going to be looking at and be most familiar with is how many steps did I walk, how many calories did I consume, what was my heart rate if I have a heart rate monitor. But there’s going to be a small percentage of users out there that are going to get the greatest benefit of all because those are the people who really needed health kit.

Sarah: Yeah, I think probably the day to day, how many calories should I burn, you know the novelty of that is going to wear off for a lot of people, even if you have got good intentions. Kind of like going on a diet, most of the time you end up losing interest and it’s not actually data that’s going to work that well for you, because your behavior is, you know, you can’t just change them over night because you’ve got some tools.

Andy: Even that is cool too, because as you can…I do take constitutionals two to four times a week. It’s not like I spend all my time in the house getting all my exercise from the wrists downward, but it’s only, I tried a health band for a while, at some point you misplace where the charger is, because you came home from a trip so it takes you two days to find it, and then after two days you’ve kind of got out of the habit of keeping this thing on your wrist at all times. Whereas the phone is something you always have on you, you always have with you, so it can really do a good job of monitoring your activity and like I was saying earlier, once you have all this incidental data being collected, where you weren’t even really interested in this as a project of using data to improve my health, but you accidently or just out of bored curiosity because your bus is late or you finished your last kindle book, you can look at your data and it can show you, oh here are days that I just don’t seem to leave the house. I don’t seem to do a lot of activity, and here are days I seem to be very, very active, I need to be more active on these days. I’ll tell you one quick story about, I was doing maintenance of my google account, which is something that you should do often. Google collects a lot of information, but a good thing about the way they do it is that it’s all one page, here’s all the information we’ve got on you. You can take a look at the data yourself, if you don’t want us to collect this data, not only can you stop us from doing that you, but can also delete the data that’s there. I was only looking at my movement data, tracking where I happen to go with my phone, I realized that okay, so you left the house on Sunday, good. You didn’t leave the house Monday, or Tuesday. You left the house briefly to go to the store one mile away on Wednesday, didn’t leave the house Thursday, left the…okay, you know Andy, maybe you should just like put shoes on more often over the course of.. I know you are a freelancer, but this indicates something that if you correct this in your forties, your doctor will not be suggesting surgery in your fifties, maybe.

Sarah: Yeah, never thought about that. They know! They know a lot about your…how good of a sitter we are, as in sitting on the couch, bending our phone’s.

Andy: It takes energy to get off the couch, we should get credit for that. That barometer should say okay, congratulations, you sent form 18 inches off the ground to 43 inches of the ground.

Sarah: Yeah. That’s a lot of momentum. Exactly.

Rene: When you stand up.

Sarah: Yeah, it’s a reverse squat, that’s hard!

Andy: Exactly! I’m just pacing myself, that’s all.

Sarah: There you go. Let’s take another quick break, we want to thank SquareSpace for sponsoring this episode of MacBreak Weekly. if you don’t use it, I’ve been using SquareSpace for years. It’s an all in one platform, whether you want to, you know, once you’ve got your Hover domain it’s like well now what do you want to do with it? That’s where SquareSpace actually comes in really well. All in one platform makes it really easy and fun actually to create a professional website, or online portfolio or some kind. If you even just go to you can look through templates as they have as a jumping off point. I’m not a designer, I wish I was, I’m just not. I never know where to start, I don’t really feel like I understand color palettes and I’m not really design inclined. Squarespace has some really beautiful templates that you can just use to get started. Go ahead and start building your website, maybe you’re pulling in data from somewhere else. But it is a really nice starting point. Really impressive, I’ve even had fun just kind of switching around templates to see how all of my information looks different depending on which template I’ve used. Once you’re up and running the designs are beautiful and of course they’re completely customizable. You’re not stuck with some template that you think oh this is really great, but I don’t really like the placement of this one column. All of that stuff is customizable. And it’s easy to use. Squarespace has live chat and email support 24 hours a day, seven days a week. But in many cases this is all very intuitive. It’s really designed for people who don’t know that much about putting together a professional website. If you do, you’re going to love it already. But if you don’t, you’re not going to feel like you’re lost, or that you’re over your head. And then of course, for those times that you might need a little bit of help, you do have that support from SquareSpace as well. Ecommerce is supported, all subscription plan levels now have the ability to accept donations. Hey, if you’re running a nonprofit, maybe you’re looking to pull in some cash for a wedding registry, or some sort of a fund drive. Maybe you’re raising money for the football team at the elementary school, whatever it might be, that’s a really nice offering from SquareSpace as well. Plans start at just 8 dollars a month, that’s really inexpensive considering they do everything for you. Includes a free domain, if you sign up for a year, and its mobile ready. I’m really not actually tinkering around with SquareSpace on my desktop all that often anymore, but they sure have a nice iPad app. It’s great, you know, you go in and see who’s been visiting my blog, look at some stats, you can manage comments from the mobile offerings as well. And anybody who likes good code, code at SquareSpace is really nice. Everything under the hood is lovely. Again, hosting is included, and you can actually start a free two week trial without even needing your credit card. You’re not on the hook for anything, you just start building your website, two weeks completely free, try out some templates, see what you like. And when you decide to sign up for a plan at SquareSpace, use the offer code MACBREAK, that’s MACBREAK, and you get 10% off. And it also gives you opportunity to show your support for MacBreak Weekly, and TWiT. As a special promotion for our MacBreak Weekly audience, SquareSpace is giving away a full year of its most premium level service, which is valued more than 288 dollars to a randomly selected audience member, just tweet ‘better web sites for all’, with #squarespace MacBreak to be considered. If you currently have a SquareSpace site, then post your site URL too, and we might talk about it on a future episode. Again, two week trial, no credit card needed, start building your website with SquareSpace. I guarantee you’re going to like it. The folks at SquareSpace have been very good to us over the years and we’ve always really liked working with them. So thanks Squarespace for their support of MacBreak Weekly, a better web awaits you! And it starts with your new Squarespace website! So FBI director, James Comi said last week, I think It was last Thursday that he was pretty concerned with some steps that companies like Apple, I think, the following day Google came out and said, yeah, we’re going to make sure that data is encrypted so that, in a new way, so that when the NSA comes knocking on our door we can say, well we have zero access to any of that data so as an Apple consumer, customer, I can then feel a little bit more free to express myself, if for some reason I was worried about that sort of thing. Comi told reporters at a press conference about this subject, “I’m a huge believer in the rule of law, but I also believe that no one in this country is beyond the law. What concerns me about this is companies marketing something expressly to allow people to place themselves beyond the law. Okay. I believe that I can understand what Director Comi is getting at here. Clearly he works for the FBI, so he has a vested interest in wanting as much information as possible. And let’s just say that, hey, they’re, you know, if you think about the bureau, what they’re trying to do is keep the good people safe from the bad people.

Rene: Well I’m sure the head of the Chinese FBI and the head of Russian FBI wants the same access. The head of the Congolese FBI. America is where Apple is located but it’s not by any means the only country in the world.

Sarah: Sure.

Rene: I am happy that, you know, if the FBI probably doesn’t want other security agencies to have access to the information and we live in a world where unfortunately if you left one person in, you let everybody any. So I’m much happier if all of them have to go knocking on personal doors and not some big server anymore.

Jason:  Yeah, this is, you hear this from law enforcement all the time.  When the Miranda decision came down that they were going to have to read people their rights, they said, oh God we’re not going to be able to arrest anybody ever again.  Guess what?  They adapted, it was fine.  This is one of those examples to where they kind of policies really hurt American companies selling their products in foreign markets, because if you know that the American government holds the keys to the encryption to this product and you’re in some other country, you’re like, we can’t use this product.  They are going to be spying on us.  So I get the overarching idea that they want to protect us, but using a back door, getting an encryption key, especially given how the government has been approaching these tech companies, and in secret for national security reasons, and trying to get them to set up back doors for them, and setting up monitoring within organizations like Apple, and Yahoo, and Google, and Microsoft, and you name them.  I think that as a member of the public, I want Apple to be in my corner and say, look, we’re not going to get between you and the government here, and that was where Apple was.  They held those keys, and so Apple, it’s like saying you could be compelled to put your thumbprint on your touch ID scanner.  Apple could be compelled to give that information up, and Apple and Google both saying look, we don’t want to get in this, we don’t want to hold the keys to your data, to all of our customer’s data.  I think that’s fantastic and I think that law enforcement will adapt, they always do.

Andy:  Yeah, that’s exactly right.  And also, I’m sure I’m not the only person in the world, certainly not the only person in this conversation, who found his choice of words very, very chilling.  The fact that I want to have a phone in which my data is secure means I’m doing something suspicious because he said the only reason you would want this is because you would want to skirt the law.  What is his opinion on the fact that I can go to OfficeMax and buy a shredder?  What is his position on the fact that I have a wood burning stove in my house and I can burn papers as you said, no, no, no, you’re not allowed to burn anything until we’ve taken a look to make sure there’s nothing we want to see on that.  This is a very, very important principle.  Obviously, I’ve never talked to anybody at that high level of law enforcement.  I have spoken to people at a lower level, and their opinion is always that we believe that it is our responsibility to use every legal option that is available to us to, as you say, keep the bad people from harming the good people.  But, we use as our guidance the fact that people choose to make something illegal.  Most of the law enforcement folks I’ve spoken to don’t feel as though they have a God given constitutional right to see everything that you do and have their thumbprint on your pulse at every moment of the day.  So, that’s why it was very, very chilling to hear him speak.  I think part of it was maybe a little bit of PR to try to poison the well of public opinion saying there was only reason why you would want encrypted data on your phone and that’s because you’re up to no good.

Sarah:  You’re a terrorist.

Andy:  And to basically turn the public against us, which if that’s true is a really terrible thing.  It’s also poorly timed, because just a few weeks after we learn about how people who thought their private photos were nicely and securely stored somewhere, that it was available because of password hacks and weaknesses in human engineering, not weaknesses during the system.  We’re asked if they had simply had encrypted storage on all of their data and handled it that way, not that they are anything but victims of personal theft there, but this is an extra step to say, you know what, we never know where our phone is going to end up.  We never know where our data is going to end up.  It’s just prudent with all the people that want our credit card information, that want our personal information.  They even want our photos, if only for yucks.  The ability to control the flow of data on our phones and security of data on our phones is going to be a fundamental thing we want on every device, just as fundamental as a touch screen. 

Rene:  There was a police association or police chief in one of the cities who immediately played the child pornography card, which you know is even more disturbing and even quicker bell whether something pretty terrible is going on in the discussion.

Jason:  Yeah, the classic line here, I got to point out, John Gruber, when he posted a link to a story about this on Daring Fireball, the headline he used was “FBI and Police Departments Endorse Apple’s Full Device Encryption” because the idea there is when they play the pedophile card, you know that they have run out of arguments and are just trying to scare people into taking their side because there is a boogy man out there, and you know, woo, boo, scary, and missing the larger issues, and I think Gruber nailed it, so yeah, yeah.  Like I said, Miranda is the best example here.  That was the end of law enforcement in the early 70’s when that ruling came down that you had to read people their rights.  Guess what, law enforcement is doing fine. 

Rene:  Or they wanted to take everybody’s fingerprints and were told they couldn’t.

Jason:  Yeah, we need everybody’s fingerprints, everybody’s DNA.

Andy:  If you go to the spy museum in DC, you will see a room that is a reconstruction, at least a few years ago, a reconstruction of I think it was a Romanian secret police archive in which there were mason jars filled with like identical pieces of white cloth because according to this exhibit, the secret police was systematically collecting scents from as many people as they possibly could so that if they needed to track them down with dogs later on, they could go get the jar, get this cloth and get this, and that’s the sort of thing.  The message from that is realize we don’t work for you, you guys work for us, so you better do what we want you to do or else.  So that’s why, this is just one guy, one powerful guy, making one statement.  It has to be backed up by the people that he relies on for political power and funding, and also, as cynical as you can get, he relies on us, saying that’s perfectly fine, we support you in this policy, so we are not at Armageddon yet, but it’s certainly a warning that this is going to be a more important thing.  And people that do not have encryption on their phones are probably going to be more interested in encrypting their phones next month.

Sarah:  Absolutely.  Speaking of different options for phones, this is kind of an interesting article that I read, actually great little graph that Ars Technica put up that shows a competitor’s, the big smart phone competitor’s, employee counts.  And that Samsung has, as far as full time employees, this is in 2013, 275,000 and some change employees.  I mean, compare that to let’s say Google, which is I think by and large thought of as a pretty big company, just a little under 48,000.  Samsung has, like, five Google’s. 

Rene:  Well, they are a huge company.  Apple has Apple Retail which distorts the numbers.  Samsung makes oil rigs and toilets and half of the machinery. 

Jason:  Rice cookers and fridges.

Rene:  Yeah, everything.

Sarah:  Sure, well yeah.  Samsung, I mean they are…

Jason:  And processors for Apple’s product. 

Sarah:  They are talking about, yeah, Samsung electronics, but yikes!

Andy:  In the picture universe, they are by and large.  Their logo is on everything. 

Jason:  Yeah, and Apple, Rene is exactly right, Apple’s number includes all of the people who work in Apple retail.  I think a more telling graph would be the people who are working on the computer sector and the smart phone sector, essentially at the headquarters or doing development.  Those numbers would be probably a lot smaller certainly for Apple, certainly for Samsung, probably for all of them.

Sarah:  You know, speaking of retail, how do you think Microsoft’s new 5th Avenue store will do when it opens in mid-2015?

Andy:  Are we going to line up there for Windows 10?  Is that the plan?

Sarah:  I mean, I don’t know.  I’m familiar with 5th Avenue.  Apple has a nice store on 5th Avenue.  It’s kind of known as a big shopping hub.  I could kind of see how that’s…

Jason:  So again, it would be like a clear plastic pyramid or octagon or something?  Is that what that’s going to look like?  (laughs)

Andy:  You know, you’re not far off Jason, because there is, right cross the street from the Boylston Street flagship Apple Store in Boston, you go into the Prudential Mall, there is a Microsoft Store, and it’s like the bizarro world version of Apple where the Apple Store is like deep, the Microsoft Store is wide, the juice bar is the last thing you see and the Apple Store is the first thing you encounter when you enter the Microsoft Store.  It is truly the opposite day.   And also opposite day in terms of how many people are actually there during the holiday season.

Jason:  Yeah, that’s what it’s like at my mall too, it’s the same thing.  There is an Apple Store that’s packed, then there is the Microsoft Store that’s not.  They are, it’s like black is white and night is day and it’s fascinating, but you know, this is something that happens in retail.  Retail is real estate, and some people argue that Starbucks became as successful as it did because they were really good at choosing real estate.  And Microsoft has done a smart shorthand because Apple was so smart at picking real estate.  Microsoft looks at where Apple stores and says, we should be there too.  And that happens in retail in lots of sectors, not just the one that we care about here, which is the computer and technology area.

Rene:  But it’s funny here, Jason.   

Jason:  Yeah, yeah.  So, 5th Avenue seems like a good place to be.  Let’s do that.

Sarah:  It seems like a good place to be, but as Andy mentioned, it’s not necessarily, sure it’s good to have a spot in a well trafficked area, particularly for a holiday season, although this store isn’t going to open until mid-next year sometime. But, I just wonder how much the Apple Store model has worked so well for Apple over the years, but I think that’s not just because it looks a certain way, but it’s because everything in there is Apple.  Yeah, you’ve got some third party headphones and hard drives, and that sort of thing.  It might change a bit.  But something like Microsoft which is all about OEM’s and partners and that sort of thing, it’s I don’t know how, because clearly Microsoft would like to recreate the Apple Store experience as a Microsoft store that people want to go and hang out in, and that sort of thing.  I just don’t know if it’s possible.  I don’t know if you can do that, no matter where you’re putting in a store. 

Rene:  Apple 5th Avenue Store was famous, and I don’t know if that’s still the case, but it was famous for outperforming Tiffany’s in a per square foot ratio.  They were just making hand over fist money.  And you have to wonder, would Microsoft operate it at a loss?  Is it supposed to be a profitable business?  Samsung had an experience store where you couldn’t even buy stuff.  You could just go in and see how the Samsung experience made you feel and that obviously was for marketing, not for revenue generation.  I, too, have experienced these malls where you go in and there’s an Apple Store then across the path there is a Microsoft store with big cutout words that you have to step awkwardly over to get into, and very thick tablets on the displays.  It really is a different experience, and I don’t know if will be a successful one on that street. 

Jason:  I’m a little surprised that Satya Nadella didn’t come in and rethink this, and maybe they have behind the scenes, but going ahead with a 5th Avenue store, it seems like Microsoft really is committed to this retail concept, and it could work.  I have got to be honest, I’m actually surprised when I go into or walk past, let’s be honest, walk past a Microsoft store, that there aren’t more people in them.  Because it doesn’t seem like a bad idea.  It does work for Apple.  I don’t know quite what Microsoft is doing wrong or if it’s just that the products that they have and the brand name of Microsoft just doesn’t bring people in.  IT’s not a bad idea to showcase your partners and the products you make yourself like Surface and Xbox and bring that, that worked really well for Apple.  Once people see this stuff and pick it up, they get excited about it.  The Microsoft stores, I don’t know, I don’t have anything but anecdotes, but all my anecdotes are that they are empty. 

Sarah:  And it’s weird because it’s not as if the Microsoft aisle at Best Buy is a place to avoid.  There is something about it when you take away, I guess, the brand variety, it becomes a, well what am I going to the Microsoft Store for?

Jason:  And the Microsoft Store is way nicer than the aisle at Best Buy, it is, and we can make fun of it being not quiet the Apple Store, and being like a bizarre version of Apple Stores, but t’s not a bad store.  It’s a nice, well laid out, kind of big aisles, it’s not like you are in a big box store, but they are just not, I’m a little surprised they are still doing them I guess is what I’m saying. 

Rene:  There’s a weird thing, I don’t want to make it into too much of a Microsoft thing, but they just announced Windows 10.  They are skipping Windows 9 and making Windows 10.  They got rid of the word metro.  There is these choices they make in their general branding that I don’t think are always appreciated by the general masses.  Apple, whether you love them or hate them, their brand is iconic, they have a very clear vision for it, and that suits retail very well.  Microsoft hasn’t taken, Xbox was terrific, they had built something around Xbox and Windows Media Center and put it all together, Windows phone, into a beautiful, sensible branding package.  Xphone, Xbox, Xslate, maybe Xos, Xstore, whatever, I think it would be much more digestible.  You would get a lot more people involved.  Right now, there’s that store for that thing that runs on that beige box at work that I don’t even want to talk about right now, and I think that hurts them.

Andy:  Yeah, I think you’re right.  I think an Xbox store, if they were okay with gamers in there all the time as opposed to people who are lining up to buy a $10,000 gold wrist watches, that would be more focused idea.  And part of the “problem” has always been for Microsoft is that Apple is the exciting company you go to because they do exciting things and you want to walk away from the thing that you’re using and use the thing that’s made by Apple because it’s so stylish and so focused and so well designed, and it works so very well.  Microsoft has always been a lot more like the company that simply provides clean drinking water to your house.  They are not exciting, you might not even know what the brand is until you actually make the payment every single month.  But, you use their product and service every single day and they can be very, very profitable that way. The fact that it’s embarrassing, maybe, that Windows 8 has not made quite so big of splash, but then you look at history of OS releases.  Windows XP was a big hit, they replaced it with Vista.  Vista kind of tanked, so they kind of secretly rebranded it as Windows 7.  They took the ideas that were working and also the infrastructure improvements that were important for Vista, and then by calling it Windows 7 now they have the sort of smash hit that they wanted.  I’m not sure if this is cyclical for Microsoft, but I have no trouble believing the possibility is sort of like Windows Vista, where it is the unpalatable fusion of desktop and mobile that people didn’t want.  Fine, that’s great.  We are going to take the ideas that we liked about it, the things you were responding to well to, the things that are important to our future, and we are going to call the next thing something else entirely so that when you come back to us you can say, I know, Windows 8 sucked but now congratulations.  You learned the error of your ways, and now you are doing something brand new.  Looking at, I’ve only been able to look at the coverage of Windows 10 from afar, but you see that they are taking things like putting back the start screen, and also taking the live tiles concept from their mobile devices and now integrating that into the start screen in a very interesting way.  So, it’s not necessary for them to have these big flashy roll outs.  All they have to do is keep the water clean, keep it furnished, and making sure the people that want clean drinking water can get access to that, and that’s going to be the secret to their success.

Sarah:  You know, we talked about the idea of the Mac mini finally getting a refresh, but we didn’t talk about this rumor coming from 9 to 5 Mac that we might be getting Retina iMacs with, of course, OS X Yosemite.  Mark Gurman over at 9 to 5 Mac, who is, I mean, he’s all about the scoops these days, says the company is in late testing and they could launch soon.  IT’s interesting because, when I first read this article I was like, what kind of different Retina is it then it already has, because I just didn’t think of the fact that Apple doesn’t actually have Retina displays for the desktops.  They just look nice, right?  A nice 27 inch iMac looks pretty good to me.  But, no, that’s actually not ultra-high definition, even though I guess Retina came to the iPhone 4 back in…is that right?  That was a pretty big step up, so I can imagine for tired eyes it would be pretty nice to gaze upon a Retina desktop computer as well.  A lot of pixels, yeah. 

Rene:  So many pixels.

Sarah:  Some that you don’t even see, not even visible to the naked eye. 

Rene:  As far as I know, they’ve been working on 4K, 5K Retina displays.  They always do many prototypes and they sort of figure out what’s, they have audacious prototypes, and they have conservator prototypes and they try to figure out what they can do that has low enough cost, high enough yield.  There was a rumor for a while that the panels would be expensive enough that they would put them in the cinema display first, I think they call it Thunderbolt display now, because it would be more likely to be bought by MacPro owners and that means they wouldn’t have to make as many and they could charge a higher price.  But if they are going for iMacs, and we’ve seen this in others that make Retina 4K displays, their prices are coming down sufficiently that they can get them into the iMac first, which is what they did with the original IPS displays.  And then when those are in balance, sort of push them out into the panels.  But this makes a ton of sense and it will happen as soon as Apple can make the numbers.

Jason:  Yeah, so many pixels.  Also, there was, Jack March, who is a synonym I think, for somebody who also has some rumor sources, said the 27 inch is definitely going to happen.  The questions is do they keep the old iMac’s around, do they add these to the top of the line, they did that with the MacBook Pro, do they just add one, or do they add a bunch of them?  I’m really intrigued by this.  I was in the camp of never wanting to buy an iMac again and kind of go with an external monitor of my own and a Mac mini or a Mac Pro, but boy, I don’t know.  It will be an interesting temptation for a lot of us to have a nice Retina display on a big monitor like that if this, and it’s going to cost a lot I would imagine, but it could look really great. 

Andy:  I’m keen to see what that would look like in the flesh.  Because it’s easy to appreciate a Retina display on a phone, it’s easy to appreciate it even on a notebook that’s about 14 inches in front of your face.  When I have, when I use my desktop machine, that screen is so far away that even with my reading glasses on, I’m not sure how much I’m going to appreciate the Retina resolution, but that’s something I’m going to have to experience to figure out. 

Sarah:  Sure, yeah I mean the iMovie or Final Cut Pro would be able to handle high-res 4K footage.  That all makes sense to me.  But, are we all using those programs on a daily basis?  I almost never do.  In fact, I’m not even really editing that many photos on my iMac these days.

Andy:  I have to admit that I hear people who are certainly offering sincere and rational opinions about how, gee after I got my Mac Book Pro I can’t even look at a non-Retina laptop display anymore without wanting to vomit.  But, on a daily basis I’m switching between my Retina Mac Book Pro and my old non-Retina Mac Book Pro and I certainly appreciate the difference, but it’s usually when I’m editing a photo on aperture when I’m actually just doing a day’s work with it, I’m aware of the difference, but if you offered me $500 to, if a non-Retina version were $500 less, based on the experience I wouldn’t necessarily be spending the extra $500 for Retina.  It’s just not that big of a deal for me. 

Sarah:  Yeah, I mean, what happens to that desktop computer in the corner of the office?  How much do we actually need something like the Retina display?  Of course, like you mentioned Andy, it’s going to look great.  But, how much of your daily process depends on that.  Jason, what do you think?

Jason:  Well, I don’t know.  They look great.  I appreciate it when I use one.  I very rarely, I’ve used a Retina Mac Book Pro, but only briefly for a day or two here and there.  I don’t know.  It looks great, it’s easier to read the text on the screen.  I do a lot of reading of text on screens.  It’s not as huge a deal as it is on a hpone or even a tablet.  Andy is absolutely right.  But, it’s going to be beautiful, and it is where we’re going, right?  So the question, it’s going to be early adopt for technology, just like everything else.  You’re going to pay through the nose to do it at the beginning, and then in the middle somewhere it will start to make sense, and then a few years later everybody will have it and it will be forgotten that we used to be able to see the pixels.  We’re at the very start of that now, where the people are going to buy, let’s say this happens, a Retina iMac.  They are going to do it because they really want to be there on the cutting edge, and they love it.  But it’s inevitable.  Three or four years from now every display on every Apple product will be Retina.

Sarah:  Sure. 

Rene:  Andy, what are pixels?

Andy:  (laughs).  Well, when a sub pixel and a mommy pixel love each other very much, they get into a pixel cluster.  But, yeah, you’re right, and also Apple, I think more often than not, their usual strategy is to keep the price of the product the same, but improve it with better components as the years go by.  So, if a price of a 27 or even a smaller sized iMac is going to be the same three years from now, and it has a Retina display, great it has a Retina display.  I wish that we had the option of saying, well if you value Retina, we can charge you $500 more for this, but if you’re perfectly fine with what you have, we’ll make this more affordable and more accessible to you, but who knows. 

Sarah:  iPhone 6 and 6+ models will be available in China, starting Friday, October 17th.  Pre-orders begin Friday, October 10th, the week prior.  Interesting story that I read about yesterday about the grey market, as they call it, for iPhones. Say you buy a bunch of iPhones in Hong Kong and then get them to third party vendors in Beijing, for example.  What’s the premium, what do they go for for people who don’t want to wait?  And that the grey market value of the iPhone 6 and 6+ has plummeted from what the equivalent would be something like, I think, the top of the line for the 6+ was equivalent to about $2,500.  That has dropped now to something like the equivalent of $2,000.  So it’s still certainly a markup.  But I wonder how much that actually spells, what does it mean for somebody who wants to go through the proper channels of just buying a phone when it’s legally available in your country versus the kind of person who will pay almost anything no matter what it costs to be first.  I’m not sure that falling prices in a grey market is really mirroring the actual market.  But, I don’t know, maybe I’m crazy.  Do we think that the 6 and the 6+ are going to make a killing in China?  I mean, Apple has a partnership with China Mobile now.  That was always something used as an excuse to say, well, if we were on China’s largest carrier than we would be selling more phones.  I don’t know, I don’t get the impression that somehow it’s going to be a flop in China, but what does everyone else think? 

Jason:  The grey market is all about people who want it and will pay to get it.

Sarah:  Sure.

Jason:  Before they can otherwise get it, right?  It’s going to be out in China, what, October 17th?

Sarah:  Yep.

Jason:  So, the grey market there is going to dry up because people are going to say, well I can wait that long, but that’s not that long.  But there will be other parts of the grey market too.  I went to Bermuda a few years ago on one of these Mac cruises, which was pretty cool.  But there in the Latin American region, and the people in Bermuda are largely British, and were really frustrated by the fact that the Latin American region was like the last place that got all of the new Apple gear.  And, so they had an off brand Apple store that was filled with grey market products, where people were literally bringing them back from their trips to London and New York.  They would say, go get a couple more iPads, go get a couple more laptops, and just bring them back.  And those markets will always exist.  It’s a little bit like the market for upgrades, where they take off the back plate of the phone and replace it with a solid gold back plate.  There’s a market that will pay and they want it now, and you know, I think that that continues, it’s just that China will no longer be the 800 pound gorilla of grey markets now that the phone got approved. 

Andy:  And I keep remembering my time in Beijing a few years ago, and of course, one of the first tourist spots I wanted to go to was , give me, show me the shopping mall that has nothing but counterfeit merchandise, because I want to look at it and maybe buy a counterfeit iPhone.  It’s true that you could buy iPhones, this was before the iPhone was formally introduced into China, and they are perfect, absolutely pitch perfect, and even when you light it up pixel perfect copies of the iPhone for the most part.  But you will also see a flip phone with an illuminated Apple logo on the back of it and it’s called the iPone, and immediately you are thinking, that’s stupid.  IT doesn’t even look like an iPhone, but then you realize that the most important thing is that it has a big Apple logo that’s illuminated so people can see the Apple logo.  So a lot of it is still going to be that brand, that even if the not legitimate market dries up, it will still be very, very important.  This is a very exclusive, very cool international brand that I have.  Just like people don’t even care that, you know, you r Hermes bag or whatever is a knockoff.  You like being associated with that cool logo that you’ve seen the fancy schmancy people on the cover of the National Enquirer using. 

Rene:  It’s not new.  When I was a kid and I went to Hong Kong, you bought your jeans in one store and then go pick the label you wanted before you finished your purchase.  It’s just…

Sarah:  Really?

Rene:  Yeah. 

Sarah:  Wow.

Rene:  It’s entirely about brand perception and image.  It’s incredibly involved, a little bit convoluted from the outside, but the iPhone is just the latest cultural icon that is either benefiting or being malled by that depending on how you look at it. 

Jason:  I saw a great image on twitter last week that was one of those Apple iPhone power adapters from the US, the little tiny ones.  It was a photo of the labeling on the back of it, which said, “Designed in California by Aggle”.  (laughing)  Seems legit to me.

Sarah:  Aggle. 

Jason:  Yeah, Aggle.

Sarah:  A G G

Jason:  I think it was Aggle Japan.  It was very clearly somebody who, oh, and it had a senal number.  It was very clearly somebody who wasn’t really strong with the Roman Character set.  Yeah, it was pretty funny.  You know, this is a show about Aggle, right?  We’re talking all about.

Sarah:  Yeah.

Jason:  And we’re here in California.

Sarah:  Yeah.

Jason:  Seems legit to me.

Sarah:  Aggle, sure.  Yeah, I know what that means.  Should we take one last break before we get to our tips of the week from everybody?  Now is as good of time as any.  This is actually a new sponsor, at least for me.  This episode of MacBreak Weekly is brought to you by Casper, revolutionizing the mattress industry.  I actually got a mattress a couple years ago because the one I had been sleeping on for many years physically hurt me and I was hurting myself.  But, it was very expensive, the new mattress that I got.  It was kind of one of these impulse purchases, because I wanted to buy it off the Internet.  And I felt like I’ll just pick a brand that has good brand recognition and hope for the best.  I wish I would have known about Casper when I did that.  Casper is slashing the cost of what a typical mattress would go for, $1,500 and up from there.  They are not cheap!  Because they cut out resellers.  They cut out showrooms, which I don’t know about you, but I do not want to go to a mattress showroom.  That is not even fun, that sounds like a terrible night out on the town.   And then they pass the savings directly on to you as an online consumer. We love buying things online, but it’s difficult when you need to have mattresses.  One of the most personal purchases you’re ever going to have.  Casper is a comfortable mattress, gives you a great night sleep.  It is just the right combination of premium latex and memory foam technologies.  So, it gives and it’s got some bounce and if you roll over, your partner is not going to wake up in the middle of the night because it’s designed for comfort for everybody that’s involved.  Casper Mattress provided long lasting comfort and support.  Leo has a Casper mattress and has said a lot of nice things about it.  It’s soft, comfortable.  And again, you can buy it easily online and it’s risk free.  Casper offers free delivery, and if you need to return it, it’s not the right mattress for you.  That is a painless process as well.  You have 100 days, so that’ s a lot of sleeping before you say, eh, I should have maybe done with something that is a little firmer, or something different.  So you really have a lot of time to try it out before you decide, okay this is the mattress for me.  100 whole days.  You don’t ever have to go to a showroom and lie down on some mattress that who knows who else has been on them (laughs).  Sorry, I haven’t seen this video of Leo before, riding around on his mattress.  I like how he’s wearing all white too, that’s a really nice touch. 

Jason:  It’s like he’s in a 1991 music video.

Sarah:  Really, yeah, exactly.  There should be, Billy Idol needs to walk around the corner at some point.  Yeah, no, he said a lot of really nice things about his Casper mattress.  Hopefully I can get one as well.  And statistically, lying on a bed in a showroom really doesn’t give you much of a sense of how it’s actually going to be when you sleep on it at night.  The lights are one, you’re wearing your clothes, you’re not in a bedroom, and it’s tough to get the right mattress.  So, Casper passes the savings along to you.  The mattresses are made in the USA.  It’s a great process overall.  You can get a Casper mattress, $500 for a twin, $950 for a king, which is a great price, versus the sort of show room mattresses and those prices that you might be used to, because they are marked quite a bit up more.  If you go to and then you enter the promo code:  MacBreak, you can save $50, 50 bones, 50 bucks for you at and that promo code again is MacBreak all one word.  For every mattress purchase through this show, by the way, Casper will donate $50 to Childs Play, which is a great foundation.  You can refer a friend, and they can get $50 off their mattress too!  Mattresses for everybody and you can get a $50 retail gift card.  There is a limit of 10 referral redemptions per customer for that, but a lot of good stuff going on with our friends at Casper, and we thank them for sponsoring this episode of MacBreak Weekly.  Alright, Andy, do you want to kick off with your pick of the week?

Andy:  Sure.  A couple of weeks ago, when I was first talking about the coming iPhone 6+, I was excited about having a pocketable keyboard and writing solution because it was such a nice big screen, and a listener, I talked about the stowaway keyboard that a company called Think Outside used to make for the previous generation of PDA’s and BlackBerry’s and Trios about 10 years ago.  Looking for something like that.  And actually a listener let me use Crane Cam 3000 the future of video podcasting.  This is an actual stowaway keyboard that a listener had rattling away in his office and was nice enough to send me, and you see this compared to the size of the iPhone 6 and you can understand why this is such a really desirable thing.  I also encountered, however, a company called LapWorks that has this keyboard.  Now again, here is the original vintage one, and here is the LapWorks version of this folding keyboard.  They call it the amigo, and let me show you why I was so excited about it.  It’s about this size, but then you do this, and then you do this, and do this, and then you have a full laptop sized keyboard.

Sarah:  A transformer.

Andy:  Exactly.  It hooks up by a blue tooth.  It comes with a little OEM stand like this, and so you put your iPhone or iPad or whatever on this, so of course it’s not just for the iPhone.  It’s for anything else, and when you are done with it, you simply do this, do that, do this, and you have to be a little bit careful with it, and then it comes back into this tiny little, easily digestible package, and there is your writing kit for the entire day.  I’ve had this for about a week, I’ve been typing with it.  You can actually get real good touch type on it, so I’m very, very pleased with it.  It seems to be absolutely identical to this vintage one, only you don’t have the pocket PC and Palm OS keyboard shortcuts on it, and it’s really, really wonderful stuff.  There are only two drawbacks to it.  Number one, this is a rechargeable blue tooth keyboard which it good.  But it uses a very, very oddball, old fashioned style USB connector for charging, so you’re going to have to make sure you don’t lose track of the charging cable that it comes with, because if you lose it you can find another one online , but you’re not going to find it as easily as you’re going to be able to find a micro USB cable.  The second thing is that as you fold it and unfold it, it’s possible before you get it broken in that this is going to have a little bit of flex into it, so it might bend a little bit as you type it.  It settles down the more you use it.  You can see me typing on this right now, or fake typing upside down on it right now, and it’s perfectly comfortable to type on, even if it does have a little bit of flex in it when you first use it.  I usually have a screen cleaning cloth that’s in my kit.  If you put any kind of cloth underneath it, that’s just enough to dampen that and make it perfectly typeable.  There is a third possible drawback to this in that this is not cheap.  It goes for $140, but if there is another keyboard that does what this does and makes as beautiful typing experience in such a small package, I haven’t found it yet.  There is a company making a keyboard called Jorno that was funded on Kickstarter about a year and a half ago.  As many Kickstarter hardware projects go, they have blown through shipping deadlines as they take this idea that they had for a keyboard and try to make it into a shipping product.  So, now they are promising delivery in October.  Who knows.  If they do ship it will be $79.  It might be interesting to check out, but for now, if you really want that kind of ultra-portability, whether you’ve got an iPhone 5s of if you’re just using an iPad mini, boy there is nothing like this.  This is exactly what I was sort of looking for. 

Sarah:  I love it.  $140 which if you look at the LapWorks website, that’s apparently the sale price.  The price is normally $150.  That’s pretty steep, but again, if it’s a better experience on something that you’re going to be typing with , and you like being mobile and like connecting it to various devices, it certainly does seem nice.  And it folds up, unfolding it and folding back up is part of the fun for sure.

Andy:  It’s almost magical the way it works, and like I’m saying, this may not be for everybody, but a lot of people to really like to travel with minimal load out in stuff.

Sarah:  Sure.

Andy: If you think about going on vacation and you don’t want to take a laptop, how about you take your iPad mini, and take this.  And now you’re good.  You can put this in the little day bag you can use to walk around town in.  For me, I’ve always had this dream of either being so incredibly wealthy that I could simply board an airplane carrying nothing but the clothes on my back and just buy what I need when I get there, and then throw it all away when I board the plane home, or having equipment small enough that I can actually board with.  Just a tiny, tiny little bag, and this is a good step towards that.  Again, not cheap but if that’s what your goal is, and you travel enough like that, then it might be worth it. 

Sarah:  Or you’re in a situation where it just doesn’t make sense to have a whole laptop.  I’m probably the only person who spends four hours at a time at the hair salon, but that actually happened last Friday and I had work to do.  So what ends up happening is there’s a lot of cutting and pasting on my iPad because that’s really the only thing that’s comfortable enough to have in my lap.  But, it sucks.  That’s not ideal at all.  The laptop was just a little bit too much.  The hairdresser would have been annoyed.  If I had something like this, it would have been the perfect situation. 

Andy:  One last note though now that you bring it up. It has a folding hinge in the middle of it, so you have to have it on a flat, stable surface in order to use it.  If you try to just bridge it across your lap, it will collapse like a poorly constructed bridge.  So you need a hard surface in order for it to work.  That’s the only qualm about it.

Sarah:  Alright.  LapWorks amigo folding keyboard.  $140, it might be the perfect accessory for you. Rene, Rene Ritchie, what is your pick of the week?

Rene:  One of the things, like Andy, that I have been most excited about with iOS 8 is the manual camera controls and when you combine those with the iPhone 6 or the iPhone 6+, it is a magical, magical new world.  And there are a lot of interesting ones, for example manual, which is a very simply camera app.  There is also Camera +, which is an app spearheaded by Lisa Betteny, which has integrated all of these controls into their already jam packed app.  You have to go and enable them, by default they are not already enabled, but if you go into the settings, and you turn on advanced, you can turn on exposure,  you can go full on manual, and then you get these controls and you can leave it on manual if that’s what you are used to, but you can also press the focus button and manually shift focus.  iOS has these really good algorithms for determining optimal focus, optimal exposure, optimal white balance.  But you can override them, so you can have an object that’s close and would be the logical choice to focus on and just say no, I want that blurry, and I want to focus on the small dude in the background.  Or the color tint.  For example, if you are in mixed lighting you can change the temperature or the tint controls.  You can bias exposure, so you can go between -8 and +8, and Andy mentioned this last week really well.  If the camera is telling you it wants to do a certain iso, but you’re like no, no, it’s too grainy, I know it’s going to be dark.  You can push it and force it to go a little bit up, or you can go complete exposure control with iso and the shutter speed.  You can set it up exactly the way you want it. You can take long exposures.  It makes the iPhone really a first class mobile photography citizen, and all the stuff I was jealous I could do on Windows phone that I couldn’t do on iOS, you still can’t do that on the iOS camera app, you can bias exposure now on the iOS camera app, but if you get one of these great third party apps like Camera+, wow it’s just a playground. 

Sarah:  Camera+ has a lot of competition now, obviously, but when tap, tap, tap first released Camera+ and yeah, Lisa Betteny has done lots of really great demonstrations here on Twit on a variety of different shows.  But it was like, oh, it was the best thing since sliced bread.  Now I have like 14 other apps that are kind of like Camera+ or try to be anyway.  But it really was the first app that helped you create photos that you just, you have the power to do that, but the native camera app in iOS has always been a little feature, not featurish enough.

Rene:  It’s designed so that most people most of the time can just tap it and get a good enough photo.  But, Camera+ might be too much for you, because like I said it is jam packed.  There are apps like Manual, which is really simple.  All it does is expose those manual camera controls and let you play around with them, and you can actually teach yourself how this stuff works if you’re not already familiar with it.  But you combine things, like there are photo pixels in the iPhone 6 and 7, so it’s so fast to focus that you don’t even see the square of focus magic anymore.  But turning all that off and letting you play around with, what if I move this here or move this here, it lets you start to understand the process really nicely. 

Andy: Yeah, absolutely.  I love the cameras on the new iPhone 6 and 6+ but what I don’t like about it is that I think the interface is way, way to cluttered.  It is so hard to, I hate the fact that the button for filter effects has exact same prominence as the actual shutter button.  I think that’s kind of nuts.  I was accidently activating this mode time and time again because of the size of this phone.  I hate the fact that, I want to compare my experience to other peoples.  It took me until two days ago to find out that to switch between modes you can actually swipe between any place on the viewer screen to do it.  You don’t just have to do it here.

Rene:  That’s new.

Sarah:  Oh, how annoying.

Andy:  That’s new?  Okay.

Rene:  It’s new with iOS 8. 

Andy:  I would have been very embarrassed with myself it that were true.  Even so, I’ve been using this for a week and a half and I didn’t discover that.  Possibly because I’ve been using the iOS 7 version of it.  There’s a lot of stuff that’s really, really annoying about this app and that’s why I think this is such a huge opportunity for apps like Camera+.  I saw that you had already picked it, because if not, I would have definitely chosen it myself, and just the ability to do something as simple as, I’ve got it in manual mode right now.  You tap the settings and simply scroll to get the setting you actually want.  Because if you are chasing your kid around the living room, you don’t care if it’s grainy.  You just want, please select 1/750th of a second because I want frozen motion, I don’t want this blonde three foot blur in this picture.   The ability to override some of this stuff is such a big deal, and it’s made this app so much more valuable.  I’ve downloaded three or four manual exposure apps and the clarity of this interface and the simplicity of this big, honken button for the shutter is what’s made me a really big fan of it. 

Sarah:  Jason Snell, what’s your pick of the week?

Jason:  It’s going to sound really boring because it’s PCalc, which is a calculator app.  And you’re saying to yourself, wait there is a calculator in iOS.  Why should I even bother buying a $10 calculator app.

Sarah:  Yeah, what do I need a third party calculator for.

Jason:  So, the guy who does PCalc, James Thompson, has been working on it for almost 20 years now he’s been doing this.  It was a Mac app and now is an iOS app.  It’s got some great iOS 8 features.  It will put a calculator in your notification screen, so you can just flip down and calculate something and flip it back up.

Sarah:  Oh, nice.

Jason:  Apple’s calculator won’t do that.  And the big new feature, I mean it’s got every nerdy calculator feature you would want but the new feature in the latest version is you can have customizable layouts.  So, I’ve seen a lot of people creating tip calculators, and creating currency convertors and creating unit convertors where the buttons on the layouts can be anything you want them to be. You can set up macros if there are particular calculations you do on a regular basis and assign it to a button, name the button and do all of that.  So if you are somebody who finds yourself doing calculations a lot, you can do a whole lot better than the stock Apple calculator and you should check out PCalc. 

Sarah:  PCalc, $10 bucks in the App Store I believe.

Jason:  $10 in the App Store.

Sarah:  Yep.  You mentioned, why would you want a calculator, you already have a stock calculator?  You can say the same thing for weather apps.  I happen to like an app called Dark Sky.  I’m sure you’ve talked about it here on MacBreak Weekly.  And so, it just gives you more options, number crunching.

Rene:  I love this app, too.  I can just pick up my phone now on the locked screen, pull down notification center, tap in a few things, get a quick calculation, throw it back up, and be on my way.  It’s so nice to have it there. 

Sarah:  PCalc for iPad, iPhone and iPod touch.  Again, $10 in the US Store.  Apparently does vary slightly where it’s available in other countries.

Jason:  Yeah, all of those apps and prices vary randomly. 

Rene:  You can use PCalc to normalize them. 

Jason:  You can.

Sarah:  Exactly.  Universal app though.  One app for all of your iDevices. 

Rene:  On the iPad, it’s a full size calculator in the notification center.  It’s amazing. 

Sarah:  That is so cool.  Why Apple wouldn’t offer that is….

Rene:  They do on Yosemite but not on iOS yet.  It’s very….

Sarah:  The notification center could be so much better if we had more of that in line information.  But again, someone at Apple is probably like, oh yeah, we should have done that.  We should do that in the next version of iOS 8 that we are rolling out next April, or whatever.

Andy:  I’m looking forward to more apps that they are doing more stuff in the notification center.  That’s the stuff when I switch between iOS and Android on a daily basis.  The one thing I miss is the ability to pull down from the top of the screen, I want to start, play back or stop playback, or I want to get one thing little done that’s projected into that notification center from the app, and then flick it back up again, and that’s such a handy thing.  I’m so glad it’s coming to iOS 8. 

Sarah:  Well, I believe we’ve come to the end of a wonderful episode of MacBreak Weekly.  If you joined us later in the show, Leo Laporte is on vacation this week, so everyone was kind enough to allow me to hang out with them for the last almost 110 minutes or so.  It’s been a lot of fun, of course.  I was joined by Andy Ihnatko, Jason Snell, and Rene Ritchie going from left to right.  Andy, anything you want plug, anything cool going on in the next week or so until we do this again?

Andy:  I’m backed up on high priority reviews right now.  The Moto 360 review, now that I’ve got a handle on the battery issue that is shipping soon.  I’m definitely doing my camera part of the review of the iPhone 6.  That will hit Wednesday or Thursday, depending on when it comes out of editing.  And, then my full review on Monday.

Sarah:  Excellent.  Jason Snell, in house as a guest.

Jason:  Yes, good to be here.

Sarah:  Yeah, good to have you. Writing, podcasting,

Jason: for the writing.  For the tech podcasting go to and look for upgrade and clockwise.  And for pop color podcasting, go to the

Sarah:  Excellent.  And, of course, Rene Ritchie of iMore and also podcaster extraordinaire, which by the way, is kind of fun, because today is national podcasting day.

Rene:  Yeah

Sarah:  Worldwide?

Rene:  We had the immense pleasure of having Don Melton who used to run Safari and WebKit at Apple and Ganatra who was responsible for all the iOS apps at Apple until a few years ago, on a podcast together last week, and they had a lot of wine and told a lot of really, really good stories.  So if you go to you can hear what it’s like when you demo for Steve Jobs goes horribly, horribly wrong.  Why they did indeed turn buttons off before giving him phones, the discussions around gestures on the iPhone and how many were too many and what they can do, and also things like skew morphism and why they were important in teaching people how to use devices.  It’s really, I thought it was fascinating.

Sarah:  Sounds fascinating to me too.  Definitely check that out if you haven’t listed to it already.  We shoot this show, MacBreak Weekly, live on Tuesday’s if you want to join the show live.  It’s always a lot of fun, usually Leo is sitting here and I am sometimes in my car driving up here listening to all of you talk.  Tuesday’s at 11:00 AM Pacific, 2:00 PM Eastern time, thereabouts.  Today, for all the live viewers, we do have an interesting day, because we are followed by Windows Weekly right after this, correct?  Yes, I am right about that.  So, Windows Weekly and Security Now shifted places.  I know a lot of you and I are well aware of this, and anxiously waiting talking about another exciting couple of operating systems once we are done here.  Of course, you can go to to keep up on the show on demand.  Subscribe to the show, we’ve got audio and video versions of MacBreak Weekly.  If you ever miss any, Apple Hangover, Tap the Old Spice Guy, I love the titles that you guys have for this show.  But yes, never miss a MacBreak Weekly again.  Everything Apple, everything Mac, everything iOS, it’s pretty much a good time.  Thanks everybody for watching and listening.  This episode of MacBreak Weekly, episode 422 is over and so is break time.  So, get back to work, please!  Thank you.  (laughs)

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