MacBreak Weekly 445 (Transcript)
Leo Laporte: It's time for MacBreak Weekly, wow do we have a great show, a long one too. But listen to every minute because it's so good. Not only are Andy Ihnatko and Alex Lindsay here, but joining us in Studio, Jason Snell, Serenity Caldwell, Rene Ritchie. They were all at the Apple event yesterday, their firsthand impressions of the Apple Watch, the Macbook and more coming up next on MacBreak Weekly.
Announcers: Netcasts you love, from people you trust, this is TWiT! Bandwidth for MacBreak Weekly is provided by CacheFly. That's C-A-C-H-E-F-L-Y dot com.
Leo: This is MacBreak Weekly, episode 445. Recorded Tuesday March 10th, 2015.
Leo: MacBreak Weekly is brought to you by LegalZoom. It's national start your business month ant LegalZoom and the best time to create the business you've always dreamed of. LegalZoom is not a law firm but they can connect you with an independent attorney. Visit LegalZoom.com and use the offer code MBW in the referral box to save even more. And by SquareSpace. SquareSpace is the easiest way to create a beautiful website, blog or online store for you and your ideas. Go to SquareSpace.com and enter the offer code MacBreak at check out to get 10% off. And by Harry's. For guys who want a great shave experience for a fraction of what you're paying now, go to Harrys.com. Get $5 off your first purchase by entering the code MacBreak when you check out. It's time for MacBreak Weekly, the show where we cover the latest Apple news and there's a lot of news! Fortunately there's a lot of people here. I'm going to start all the way to the right. Andy Ihnatko from the Chicago Sun Times, great to have you here.
Andy Ihnatko: Hey Leo.
Leo: You're kind of out in right field today.
Andy: That's okay, this is where the deep flies hit and also where you can get a good nap.
Leo: And you can talk to the fans out there. As long as they don't throw hot dogs at you you're okay. To your right is Jason Snell.
Jason Snell: I'm at first base today.
Leo: First base.
Leo: It's Baseball season.
Jason: Yeah absolutely.
Leo: Sixcolors.com. It's great to have you.
Jason: It's great to be here.
Leo: Yeah, welcome! I'm so thrilled, I didn't realize this, we had never met in person.
Serenity Caldwell: I know, it's kind of crazy.
Leo: Serenity Caldwell is here.
Serenity: I'm very happy to be here.
Leo: From iMore. Nice to have you.
Serenity: From iMore and Boston. It's nice to be in weather that doesn't require a parka.
Leo: I bet, yeah no kidding. Same with you right Rene Ritchie? From iMore.com.
Rene: This summer. This is just wonderful.
Leo: Yeah. We're actually having chilly weather. I hate to say it. I was hoping we would have nice warm weather for you guys.
Rene: We're running down the street in short sleeves Leo, it's a blast.
Serenity: I went to the beach on Saturday I'm happy.
Leo: Did you really?
Leo: And all the way on the left there, from... are you in Zimbabwe or in Pittsburgh?
Alex Lindsay: I'm in Rwanda actually.
Leo: I try. But it's hard to keep track of him. Alex Lindsay, the peripatetic. Alex Lindsay from PixelCorps.com. I knew that, Rwanda. You're in Kigali again.
Alex: Yeah I've been banished. I got banished to the studio today, they were doing work in the classroom.
Leo: It actually looks cool. You've got a jib coming out of your ear.
Alex: It's nice. Yeah, I know. They were working on something. They working on shoot. They had furniture in here before so anyway yeah.
Leo: I like it. It's like I'm talking to JJ Abrams on the set of Star Wars.
Alex: Oh. Okay.
Leo: Polish up your R2-D2. So three out of the six here, half of the panel was at the event yesterday. Jason, Serenity and Rene. And really the event isn't such a big deal because we saw that all on streaming but you got to handle stuff.
Jason: Right. Fondle, maybe.
Leo: Fondle it. I want to start with not the watch, because this isn't... that wasn't, there wasn't much new there. But with the Macbook. Which was rumored, but the rumor came true.
Leo: All my dreams.
Jason: It's all real.
Leo: Came true. And I was having a little fight in the chatroom with some people in chat who said oh that's a crappy computer, who would want a computer, we're talking about the new Macbook. Two pounds, 16 millimeters thick. Which is not much thicker than an iPad really.
Leo: And but one connector. The USB-C connector. Jason, is that too few? I mean, actually use you as an example...
Jason: I've got...
Leo: Serenity I see you two, both of you are using 11 inchers.
Jason: 11 inch Airs, yeah. You know, I would say... I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that anybody who's in an IRC chatroom watching a live stream of This Week in Tech shows, maybe not the people who this product is for.
Serenity: Probably not.
Jason: I mean this is the iPad of laptops. It's meant to be super simple. It's meant to be the laptop that's at the edge of Apple's product line of laptops. The Macbook as a product means there's room for the Macbook Pro. Right? I mean that's... they even kept the name.
Leo: Either the Air or the Pro.
Jason: That's right.
Leo: Will they, Serenity, is this kind of the beginning of the end for the Air?
Serenity: This might be the burgeoning of a new Macbook empire. But I don't necessarily think that it's going to come in the next six months. I mean, Apple spent a surprising amount of time on wireless specs during their presentation on how wireless is the future, you don't want to be tethered to wire, you want all day battery life, you want wireless Beats headphones. You want to live a wireless life if you're using a laptop.
Leo: But they're right I think.
Serenity: No I think they're absolutely right. I don't know if we're quite there yet, we were talking before the show. You were taking photos and then you were tapping, using NFC to tap them to your phone.
Leo: Right. Wireless.
Serenity: Yeah, wireless. Which is great, but it's a little bit harder to do that with a DSLR to a Mac right now. There isn't NFC support and AirDrop doesn't exactly work with a Sony or a Canon camera so there are still things that you know, you might need some wires for currently and also there was... at the event Apple's like all day battery life! And I'm like wait, is this true? Are we going to get 12, 14 hours?
Leo: The day just got shorter.
Serenity: It's the same 9, 10 hour battery life of the...
Serenity: The iPad and also the 11 inch Air. What the 11 inch Air starts at is 9 hours.
Leo: You get it 9 hours?
Serenity: In theory.
Leo: The 13 inch Macbook is more.
Serenity: Yes. Like 10-12? Yeah.
Leo: Yeah. And Apple's usually a little more conservative. You know, it's funny. Somebody was comparing it to the Dell XPS 13 and said, but the Dell XPS 13 gets 15 hours. In your dreams. That's Dell's spec, it gets much more like 5 or 6 hours.
Rene: And Antec is really good about busting those sorts of myths because they have really good battery tests. But I forget the manufacturer, it was one of the Cree manufacturers. They included you being asleep for 12 hours in their battery.
Leo: That's pretty typical with phones. You see that a lot in the phone specs. Oh yeah but you never turn it on.
Serenity: Oh yeah, of course.
Rene: It has 24 hours battery life if you're sleeping for 12.
Leo: Apple's usually pretty right on I think.
Rene: Yep. They get scrutinized heavily for it, so if you're in the cross-hairs you have to be really honest.
Jason: A few years ago they changed their testing methods to be much more based in reality and the people who do a lot of their performance testing are people who used to do performance testing in public for computer magazines and things. They're real numbers, I mean they're never going to give you a number that really makes them look in a bad light, but I think the numbers they give you are based on tests that are fairly real.
Rene: And even yesterday with the event for the watch they put up a page explaining exactly what they meant.
Leo: What all day is.
Serenity: Battery life, yeah.
Rene: Almost like a parent, like wait before you get angry at us this is exactly what you're doing on that.
Leo: Andy you, I think it was you who said it would be nice to have a 4g solution in the Macbook. It does feel like that would be... that would really put it over the top.
Andy: It feels like that would be a natural thing, given that it seems as though the design aesthetic was let's make an iPad only let's find a way to split it in two, an iPad Air and fold it open. And so you really kind of feel like you want to have mobile broadband in there. When you look at the internals on it you wonder where would they... a SIM card is this big after all, where would they find room for it inside there?
Leo: They can squeeze it in something.
Rene: They have an issue with the licensing too because, especially if you want to use it in the US you need CDMA still for Verizon and that means you've got to double the licensing fees you paid at Qualcomm, and Qualcomm's licensing fees, it's a rumor, nobody's ever confirmed it but you pay on retail not on wholesale price. So it could be up to $100 or more per computer.
Jason: This is why iOS 8 and Yosemite added this super fancy friendly tethering feature. Is you know, I think Apple's official policy now is...
Leo: Use your phone.
Jason: Look, use your phone. It's really easy once you set it up it just works.
Rene: They said that during the event as in hot spot.
Jason: We don't have to worry about it.
Leo: This is the adapter Apple's going to sell you, and I think if you take a Macbook home you probably want to take home the $79 USB-C digital a/v multiport adapter which gives you HDMI, full HDMI out, full USB and power. So basically now with this little dongle you plug this into the type C and you can power up, you can have USB and you can have...
Andy: Holy crap is that elegant.
Rene: It's an outie not an inny Andy.
Jason: It's an adapter. I'm a little surprised that they didn't come out with a really nice Apple designed hub that sort of like...
Leo: Like a dock almost.
Jason: If you want to dock this, here's a dock.
Serenity: It's PowerBook Duo style.
Jason: Yeah, I know. That would be nice. I'm sure some third party will but it would be nice to have something that plugs in there and will throw out video, and a few USB ports and the like and they didn't do it.
Leo: I'll tell you why Apple did not do that. They want to really emphasize the idea that this, that some people will compute this way. I rarely plug in... well this is an exception here but this is an unusual situation. But when my laptop, I rarely plug anything but power into it.
Jason: I think only when I'm... only when I'm docked somewhere and I think is that a really common use case, where you're docked somewhere and you're sitting on the table and you've got a bunch of drives plugged in and I think they would say well, we've got a Macbook Pro for you.
Rene: I did for this show, I tried to plug a mic in and a camera.
Leo: Yeah and so those of us who do that will buy a Mac Pro or a Macbook Air even, I think there's a big market for people who are never going to plug in, Alex?
Alex: Yeah and I have to say the thing that concerns me was a real naysayer when Andy said that you'll really miss the Ethernet cable, and I miss the Ethernet cable about once a week.
Alex: And so you know, I'm always like I can't believe they got rid of the Ethernet cable, and so it is something that what's going to happen is we're going to forget the dongle. The dongle's going to be in the other bag, you know, you're not going to be able to connect to anything, so I think that that's a big concern from my perspective.
Leo: I have to say they also specced it out, I mean it starts at 8 gigs of RAM, it starts with a 256 gig SSD, they said new two times faster SSDs in all of the Macbooks. What is... is that 8 eMMC or MMC or some other sort of...
Jason: I don't know the details.
Rene: No, I don't know either.
Leo: Twice as fast.
Rene: They also announced those options for the higher end Macs as well.
Leo: And I think that one of the things nobody's really said much of, but is huge is that Apple didn't develop a proprietary single port solution. This is a standard.
Leo: And USB Type C, I think this is going to jump start that... I hope it jump starts that market.
Rene: My only concern is that like you and I have gone back and forth about our cinema displays. Because the original one was the LED display and that just had display port, and then the new one with the Thunderbolt display and you use Thunderbolt and now the Type C connector supports display port but not Thunderbolt which is display port plus PCI.
Leo: And it's my guess that the video in that is as has been in the past non standard. There is a video standard for Type C and I guarantee you Apple's not using it, is what I'm saying.
Rene: Well it sounds like it can transit display ports, so the video should be fine and I believe if it says...
Leo: If it does a pass through, yeah.
Rene: So you can throw up to 4k video from this computer.
Rene: I just don't know if my Thunderbolt is going to work now. Am I not going to get sound? Is it going to pass through the sound over you, I just have so many questions.
Leo: Apple has never had a problem killing...
Rene: Products that they still have in the store today.
Leo: Like Firewire 400 then 800 and then nothing. Thunderbolt did not get traction, and I think taking a step back and saying well let's use just a standard USB Type C maybe then we'll get some help from PC makers. I, for one thing you know, Intel will release in a few months a reference design of an exact clone of the Macbook just as they did with the Macbook Air and then PC makers will make it and we'll see Type C everywhere and this might be a much better thing. It doesn't do everything Thunderbolt did but...
Rene: No. Because Thunderbolt was the hub. The Thunderbolt display was Apple's version of the hub.
Leo: But Thunderbolt didn't do power, which is interesting.
Rene: No, it didn't. But it would give you the Ethernet adapter on display, it would give you the multiple USB ports, it would give you all the stuff and you could daisy chain multiple devices. And now I'm wondering if the next Thunderbolt will be that for the new Macbook. A type C that will go in and it'll have this other...
Leo: I think Apple's out of the display business.
Serenity: Yeah, 4k USB 3.0 display.
Leo: I think Apple's out of the display business.
Rene: You think so?
Leo: Yeah. I think they're out of the desktop business. I really do, I feel like this is...
Serenity: Retina. Retina 5k iMac?
Leo: I love that. But that's not a standalone display because it can't be.
Rene: No, not yet.
Leo: Not yet, maybe not ever.
Rene: The new display port standard is going to display that in a single cable monitor.
Leo: I bet you Apple doesn't care. I thought we'd have 4k displays from Apple by now.
Jason: I think they can make a display with really nice margins that they'll sell to people with a Mac Pro. I think it will happen.
Rene: They have those displays, they just need the chipsets in the computers that support them.
Jason: And that's why I think Thunderbolt isn't going to completely vanish. I think Thunderbolt is going to still be on a lot of systems as a super high... it's way faster than USB 3.1, you can put a whole bunch of other stuff off of it. I think it will stick around, but we'll see how USB-C goes here because we may see a lot less of it, it may become like Firewire did at the end.
Leo: And we should say this is not a new USB spec, this is just a new USB connector. So it's no faster than USB 3.1, right?
Jason: No, it's USB 3.1. Helpful people in the chatroom pointing at it, it is specced at 3.1.
Alex: And one of the things that we've noticed, I mean we're very touchy about the performance and we do find that there's a certain level of overhead with USB that you wouldn't normally have with Thunderbolt or with HDMI. Leo: Because it's client server, it's not peer to peer, yeah.
Alex: Right so it's going to put more pressure on a small computer than a raw HDMI cable would.
Leo: But I do have to point out that Thunderbolt has just not taken off, right? I mean it's not...
Rene: It's true. It's expensive, it's hard to license.
Jason: Yeah, I have a Thunderbolt dock at home that I use for this and it's super expensive. But it's great and I hope that there's something like that for USB-C but it's ridiculous and I really, we all hoped that Thunderbolt would be much more readily available than it's become. I think some of that has to do with the Intel licensing and...
Leo: I'm the idiot that bought, I'm one of ten idiots that bought the little big disc for $1269 for a terabyte.
Rene: It was perfect for your Mac Pro.
Leo: Looks good with a Mac Pro.
Serenity: Yeah it does. And it's a solid state, so.
Leo: Yeah, you know I don't like... okay, this is really 1%. This is one tenth of 1%. I don't like using spinning drives because I hear them and the Mac Pro is silent and the Thunderbolt 2 is silent. And I put a spinning disc and suddenly what's all that noise? It's a drive!
Alex: Well and I think that it hasn't been successful on a consumer level or a prosumer level but on the pro level I mean Thunderbolt is everywhere.
Leo: Is it?
Alex: Oh, yeah we just have an enormous number of our pieces of equipment that have Thunderbolt built into them. And we couldn't do what we do without something that fast. And it's really changed...
Leo: But it's got to be a small part of the market, and Apple's turned its back on the pro market, haven't they? It was telling when there was a big deal that focused the new movie that just came out was the first movie edited on final cut in Hollywood five years.
Serenity: Well the first mainstream movie, yeah.
Jason: There's the pro software market and the pro hardware market. I mean the Mac Pro is a really good popular professional tool.
Rene: The Macbook Pro is great too, and it got the new trackpad too.
Leo: Oh the forced...
Andy: The Macbook Pro was terrible.
Leo: What is it called?
Serenity: The force touch, technically it's the taptic, the trackpad powered by a taptic engine but it comes with force touch which is a fancy way of saying that the trackpad despite not having physical components is pressure sensitive and tries to fool your brain into thinking that you're actually clicking on it.
Jason: It doesn't try, it succeeds.
Serenity: It does, it does.
Leo: So you guys tried it.
Rene: It makes you think that physics has been a lie because you know that you're not pushing anything. Like your brain knows that it's not, but your finger feels like it. And you know intellectually it's moving sideways but it feels like it's moving up and down and your brain just wants to melt because it's, if you stop thinking about it's fine but you start thinking about it and it's just... complete...
Leo: New trackpad with haptic interface and brain melting power.
Rene: I want to have a trackpad with this, I would really like to see a magic trackpad with this.
Serenity: Well the exciting thing to me is not so much the trackpad, I mean a trackpad's about this big but the fact that they jump quickly from the watch which is here to the trackpad which is here they've been working on this technology for four or five years. Force touch and haptic feedback.
Leo: Is it hard to do?
Serenity: Well hard to do well, I think.
Serenity: They have been working on it for quite a number of years to really really make it feel like something that...
Leo: It's just a button that you press hard.
Serenity: But it's not a button, it's not a button, that's the tricky thing. It's glass and what it is is basically vibrations that make you think that you're pressing further down.
Leo: Ah. So it's not like a Wacom tablet that has pressure sensitivity.
Jason: Well it is, it's pressure sensitive but then what your pressure will kick off this little vibration and it makes it feel like you click down, except it didn't move down.
Leo: Oh the vibration is what's tricking your mind.
Leo: Oh that's interesting.
Serenity: So and the really cool thing at least on the Mac is that they're going to open that up as an API for developers and you... they haven't officially revealed how many levels of pressure sensitivity you know on Wacom tablets you hear like 1024, 2048 levels.
Serenity: Apple hasn't really done anything specific with that but they have a couple of examples especially they were showing at the event, they showed off for instance Quicktime which I think had 4 or 5 different click levels where you were fast forwarding or rewinding through a video and as you pressed and...
Leo: Or the harder you pressed the faster it goes.
Serenity: Yeah you could feel each individual yeah, each individual click and it's like a gas pedal where you start to press down and you can see it going further and you can feel as you go like ramp ramp ramp ramp and then as you let up it slows down again.
Leo: It clicks back.
Leo: See I think that's a very interesting idea because it does give you some physical feedback to something that...
Rene: Yeah the developer can make little curves and whenever a curve reaches you have to press harder to go through it and they can set those in...
Leo: Andy I think you were a little skeptical about losing the physical click.
Andy: Well I was reacting back then to Mark Gurman's report about this device which was very incomplete in a couple of important places. It only mentioned that there was no more clicky button underneath the trackpad which would have implied that it's going to 100% tap to click interface which would have been a bummer for me because I just can't get used to tap to click I'm always misfiring it. Another thing that he didn't get correct if I'm, assuming that I was reading his piece correctly is that he seemed to be saying that the physical keyboard was going to be narrower and they were making, they were putting the keys closer together to make the keyboard fit into the plane that they were putting it into when as a matter of fact the opposite is true, it's the exact same width as a standard keyboard. But they changed the gap between keys to make the keys actually physically larger and easier to hit. So I mean overall my reaction to that definition was that I don't like, I wouldn't have liked it if they were making a $3,000 professional notebook that you have to really make a lot of adjustments for. The fact that they're making something that is so radically slim and so radically light, that means that some allowances are allowable in even the lack of ports, but I'm so appreciative that Apple said well it won't do to simply make everybody switch to touch to click, we're going to give you something that will trade off on that, it wouldn't be okay for us to force people to adapt to a smaller keyboard, even if we have to create an entirely new type of key switch to give somebody something like the feel that they would have on a regular keyboard, we're going to do that too so... there's practically nothing about this design that I don't like overall.
Leo: I noticed that I actually turn on the tap to click anyway on my Macbook, on all my Macbooks.
Jason: I hate tap to click and I can tell you this is not tap to click.
Serenity: No not even remotely.
Jason: This is...
Leo: But so somebody like me who's happy with tap to click will be even more happy.
Jason: If you didn't know that this was a fraud perpetrated on you by pressure sensitivity and a little vibrating engine under the thing you would not know that they took out the push down click, you would not know. Now, they tell you then your brain melts. But you wouldn't know.
Leo: Why do you hate tap to click? What's wrong with you?
Jason: I mis-tap all the time.
Leo: Yeah mis-tap.
Serenity: I'll give you a great example, when I have tap to click on especially on my magic trackpad on my iMac, when I'm typing on my keyboard if I even remotely brush the magic track pad...
Leo: It thinks you tap, you clicked.
Serenity: Yeah it thinks you tapped and it'll move, like I'll be typing and it will jump three paragraphs up and all of the sudden half of a word I was typing ends up in another word and it's like, it's a nice idea but it doesn't feel concrete. And this really feels concrete.
Leo: It's funny because it's a very polarizing thing because I see other people in the chatroom saying I hate tap to click but I love it, and I turn it on immediately and when I can't turn it on I get pissed off. I have other computers...
Jason: Tap to click is still there, I mean the important thing...
Leo: Yeah, no but this sounds like this is perfect for me!
Jason: This is a good thing.
Leo: Are they going to put this in the iPhone, wouldn't that be interesting?
Serenity: So that's... this is what I'm really excited about is that we've got this technology, they've finally kind of ironed it out. There are all these rumors about an iPad Pro with pressure sensitivity and this is, I mean if they institute force touch in the taptic engine in an iPad, think about this. Imagine a keyboard, a virtual keyboard on your iPad that when you tap the keys it feels like you're actually tapping keys, and when you're drawing you can actually tell the line differentials. And certain developers can put in things that when you tap a button, a physical button it actually gives a reverberation.
Leo: So you could do it for the full screen?
Serenity: In theory. I mean it's not necessarily...
Leo: That's interesting.
Leo: I just don't like, I think physical home buttons are a throwback.
Serenity: Oh yeah.
Jason: That was my first thought when I saw this was you can get rid of the home button on the iPhone with this technology.
Rene: Which is where people complain that they want smaller screens actually want smaller phones and then you can liberate a lot of space in the casing.
Leo:Right. Well and it's also, you're eliminating a point of failure. Because anything that moves is more likely to fail.
Rene: It's reassuring for a people moving to touch screen technology, it gave them something big and clicky to target.
Serenity: A button, yeah.
Rene: The cool thing with this is they were showing an icon on your desktop. You press a little bit and it just gets bigger so you can see what the document says, you press a little bit harder and it gives you a preview, a little bit harder and it goes to the preview app. It's just on how far you're pressing in to the... so it's like...
Leo: We're going to have to get used to this.
Rene: It's like multitouch going deep instead of being all around you you can now multitouch into things.
Leo: But you guys were using it for the first time and you were only using it for a short period of time and you still felt like you kind of...
Rene: It was a big learning curve and then it got okay.
Leo: And it was okay quickly.
Serenity: Yeah I definitely think it's something that could take some getting used to but I noticed like on Twitter a lot of people have been like oh people are apologizing for Apple making things that are half-hearted, oh we're going to have to get used to this. And I'm like no it's just so different and so completely unlike any trackpad you've ever used and same thing with the keyboard, the new slimmer design keyboard is so... with the butterfly design is so different than your traditional scissor keyboard that the first time, couple times you type on it you're like whoa.
Rene: Yeah there's no wobbling.
Serenity: Well it's just very different and I feel like I was pounding.
Leo: So you felt like it was... I guess my keys wobbled, I never noticed that before.
Rene: At the edges they're like little teeter totters.
Leo: Now.. it feels different.
Serenity: It definitely... so the first couple times that I was typing on it I realized that I was actually shaking the 12” Macbook because I am pounding.
Serenity: Because you hit, especially with the Macbook Air keys you hit it the wrong way and like I could hit the “R” without actually hitting the “R.”
Leo: You know this is going to be a problem though because now you have a product line that has radically different user interfaces within the product line. You've got a Macbook Air and Macbook Pro which works completely differently. Actually the Pro's going to have the trackpad but not the keys or will it? Will it have the new keys?
Rene: No just the trackpad, but it's a... turbulence. It is during a time of change.
Rene: This is very similar to the Macbook Air when it first came out, it gives you a glimpse of what the future and like Broadwell's not that powerful right now, Broadwell Y that they're using in this, but they're getting this product out and then you and I will buy it and normal people will get it in like a year or two.
Leo: I think, no I think this is going to be a hit because I think most people don't need the high end power, I think most people if they think about it, don't plug in a lot of cables into their stuff, you know my camera card I'd like to be able to plug that in but you can get an adapter to do that. I think Apple's, this is what happens when you innovate people go “Oh.” And then...
Rene: My mom texted me during the event, my mom has had a iMac that she's never used in two years since she got her iPad, she said this is the first laptop I actually wanted to buy. It just looks so simple and easy.
Leo: Looks beautiful. Yeah. Alex is obviously not the market for this and yet I bet you, I bet you at home might use this, right?
Alex: You know, I was secretly fearing that they would make me feel bad about buying a Surface 3 and they did not.
Leo: Oh. Ow. God. Jeez. First a Windows Phone, now a Surface 3, what is wrong with you?
Andy: Alex, you're in a place of love and safety.
Alex: I don't have a Windows Phone. I don't have a Windows Phone, I just have the Surface 3 because I got tired of not being able to draw on the screen.
Leo: I'm sorry an Android phone and then the Surface 3.
Alex: I have an Android phone, I always have...
Leo: You're slipping. You're sliding into the other...
Alex: I know, I've still got a lot of... I got a lot of iPads. But anyway yeah, I just really feel like I get the whole argument that you know they have to redesign the whole interface and everything else but I'm using Windows in a regular Windows interface and touching stuff and being able to draw on things and being able to me mostly... from a business perspective, I just wouldn't be able to markup PDFs. That's all I want, people send me stuff and I have to draw on it and say move the cameras over here and this is the way this is going to go, and I just wouldn't be able to write on it and I do all of that now on a Surface 3. And I was looking at this, going you know I just got one and I know what they're going to do, they're going to put something out with a touch screen and then didn't and I was like okay well I can wait now.
Leo: I don't think Apple's ever going to do a touch screen. I really feel like this is not in the cards.
Rene: Well they've done it, they've tested it, they don't like it.
Serenity: Yeah I mean I think if there's going to be a test screen it's going to be an iPad Pro, it's going to have force touch technology and then that allows you to...
Leo: I want that.
Serenity: Yeah, I'm really excited.
Leo: I never even thought of that, but if they do that, I want that. Yeah.
Alex: And the problem for me is that I don't like the iOS file structure. From a professional perspective I just can't move things quickly from one app to the other, I mean I know they're working on it but it's still like this rigmarole rather than I just save it out and then I open it up or I... and I have a lot of trouble with that process of getting things done you know, in iOS the way I need to get them at the speed, at the speed that I need to get them done and being able to touch and so you know, I think that they will eventually do it but I think that as these, as the two OS's kind of keep on moving closer together, eventually we see something that you can touch and you can type on but it's probably still another year.
Leo: People complained when you stopped having a floppy disc, then they complained when you stopped having an optical disc, and then they complain... and the truth is, I never use optical discs.
Rene: And now there's no one left to complain.
Jason: I think that's one of the great...
Serenity: Who uses that? Yeah.
Jason: I think that's one of the great things about a product like this from Apple is it bugs the crap out of people right? But at the same time I love that Apple is saying what's a laptop going to look like in five years? Let's start that now.
Leo: They have the cojones to innovate I think and take a chance, yeah.
Jason: Right and like the original Macbook Air, this one is probably not going to be 100% of the way there. I used that original Air, it was really painful.
Rene: Yeah, me too.
Jason: They said the same thing at the time.
Leo: It was painful because it was under-powered right?
Jason: It was under-powered and over-heated and all these... it was too early.
Leo: You think we'll see that with the Macbook?
Jason: I think they've learned some lessons there, I don't think it will be the same problems but there's going to be this time of transition pain where somebody says oh I need to charge my laptop and plug in this... oh, I can't do that.
Rene: Suddenly I need to do a lot of video and I'm at an event.
Jason: Right, I need to connect to a projector, do you have this adapter? No, nobody has that adapter it's only on this one laptop. All of that stuff is going to happen, but I love the fact that Apple is taking the bullets on stuff like this and saying look, we want to make that laptop that does some stuff that other laptops don't do and it is going to cause pain in the short term, but it's a good thing.
Leo: Andy, one thing that strikes me Andy is, and I'd like to get your take on this, is this is part of a move along from Apple to expand its consumer... to kind of more appeal to real people. Apple's always been the, for the rest of us computer. This Macbook seems like it's for the rest of us. It's for the vast majority of people who don't need all that super power.
Andy: I agree with that, that's also why after my initial reaction to the proposed idea of a shrunken down keyboard a little bit it made me think that maybe the people who are going to be buying this are people who are already typing on smaller keyboards for their iPads. The idea of having a full size keyboard might be something that people are just going to have to deal with. And you're right, I mean people have to... Apple has to start addressing the market that is going to be spending money next year, the year after that, five years from now. The people who already have a Macbook, they're very very satisfied with. They're not buying Macs for the next two or three or four or five years. My only... I do have one objection though, and that's... it's, there is something laudable about Apple always having an idea of look, this feature that we're working so hard to implement is going to be completely irrelevant in three years, let's save ourselves a lot of trouble. Let's also help the obsolescence of this thing by not supporting it in this new generation of hardware, that's very laudable but the thing is if you want to buy a laptop that runs Mac OS, you've got three choices. And if one of them is completely unsuitable for your use, 33% of every Mac laptop everywhere in the world is unsuitable for your use. It's not like the situation in Windows where someone can... Sony can do something as weird as you know what? We've got a super slim Windows notebook, we're going to find a way wedge a standard VGA connector onto the side of that, we're going to angle it, we're going to have this really weird scissor valve but we did this thing, there are a lot of people who really don't want to have to travel with special adapters, they can make one one of these weirdo one-off machines and there's going to be a small percentage point that's going to really really love that. So let's praise Apple for doing that but let's also acknowledge that when they ship a Mac Pro that has a lot of deficiencies you're screwed. If you need a pro level Mac laptop you're screwed. You have to get used to the idea that it has a really bad keyboard, you have to get used to the idea that you have to travel with lots of dongles, you have to get used to the idea that you can't upgrade it, because that's all you have available to you.
Leo: It's kind of interesting, the chatroom is very negative on this. Which kind of surprises me a little bit, but the chief complaint they have is 1299.
Serenity: See I actually think that that's a perfectly acceptable price, when you think about what's being built in the machine.
Leo: I think it's fine. The problem is the PC manufacturers have established this ridiculous price point of $300-$500.
Serenity: Oh absolutely and Apple will never make a... Apple's never going to make a netbook, Apple's never going to do anything like that.
Alex: Well and when you look at that, I mean one of the... that's how you get Lenovo putting stuff into your computer, they're trying to figure out some other place to find a margin because they created a number that isn't workable.
Serenity: Yeah, I... no, I'm... 1299, again...
Leo: That's when you get Lenovo and Komodia, superfish because they have to make some money.
Jason: Let's remember that the Macbook Air started, that first one was like $2,400 and if you wanted to add an SSD it was an extra thousand on top of that.
Rene: And now what is it?
Jason: And now it starts at $899.
Leo: And it is 8 gigs of RAM, it is a 256 gig SSD, it's a Retina display.
Serenity: The Retina display, yeah. I mean I think that's the big thing. The big complaint that I've heard is that the 13 inch Macbook Pro and this new 12 inch Macbook start at the same price. And the argument is well why wouldn't I just buy a 13 inch Macbook Pro.
Leo: And if you ask that question you should buy a Macbook Pro.
Serenity: Yeah, absolutely.
Leo: Absolutely should buy that.
Serenity: But a 13 inch Macbook Pro is a pound and a half heavier.
Leo: Yeah, I want the thin and light... you know.
Rene: We were talking about this yesterday, if you take an original iPad in its case, it's about 2 pounds, it's about as thick as this and you basically just split that in half and it runs OSX.
Andy: Let's not have an equivalency between these two devices. I fully support the new Macbook because it exists at least for now between the less expensive, very light machine and the easily as expensive or slightly more expensive machine that's a little bit more convenient to use and requires fewer sacrifices. I think that's a really good sort of portfolio of laptops to have. I do think that in the next two or three years the price of the Macbook is going to drop down to replace to the Macbook Air line and when that happens we're going to start to have these problems where people are going to be saying “Gee, Windows 10 is now really really good, I can buy not a $300 or $400 Windows Notebook but a $700 or $800 notebook that is as good as this $1100 model that Apple is doing and because I'm not the same kind of user that the people in this conversation are, I can easily adapt from one machine to another and I just don't like this thing that is the only thing that's available to me.”
Leo: What about the processor? I think that that may be some reason people are concerned. So what do we know about this M process? It's Broadwell, it's 14 nanometer...
Rene: It's Broadwell-Y As far as I know.
Leo: It's Y which in fact is... I don't think anybody is using that yet, are they?
Rene: No, it's so hard to keep track of Intel because the Broadwell was supposed to be out so long ago.
Leo: The U came out at CES and I think the XL and then the Lenovo and the HP are all using the U. So this is the first time we've seen this mobile part. How did it feel, did it feel snappy, did it feel slow?
Rene: So again, what I do with my computer I don't know if I'll be able to do with that like all the final cut pro and things like that but for web, I took it I shook it around there was no lag...
Leo: I think for what most people do... the 8 gigs of RAM is more important than the processor.
Rene: And most people were asking me like does it scroll smoothly because for them that's like, that's nails on a chalkboard if the scrolling is off and is scrolled through Safari, I scrolled through photos.
Leo: No hesitation. I always go to The Verge site to see, if I can scroll The Verge that's got to be fast.
Leo: It is, in fact on a lot of the yearly Chromebooks I could not scroll The Verge smoothly and that told me this is under-powered.
Serenity: Yeah and I mean, again I think it's a compromise right? I don't think that the core M processor is the processor that they really wanted in that 12 inch Retina Macbook Air, but for what they were able to afford and put into that machine and the thinness that they wanted it was the right move.
Leo: Not just the dollar but the power budget, 5 watts that is amazing.
Serenity: Absolutely yeah, and I mean you think about how much of that computer is shoved full of batteries and the battery improvement technology that they made for that computer.
Rene: Terost, their terost.
Serenity: Terost batteries.
Leo: By the way... as usual with Apple, they didn't... they're not the first laptop even to use that. That's been around for at least a year in laptops.
Rene: I think they've used it previously.
Leo: Yeah, so that's marketing. But you understand why this more looks, if you look at the layout more looks like an iPad where the tiny motherboard and a lot of battery.
Rene: And I think unlike Broadwell, I think Intel is on track for Skylake which means that Skylake-Y will probably make an appearance not too far in the future.
Leo: So that confirms what you're saying Jason which is don't get the first one, get the second one.
Jason: Well you know, if you buy the first one of anything you're going to be living on the cutting edge and you're taking a risk.
Rene: But you're paying... it's like the same thing with the watch and with this, you can buy it now and all you're doing is getting it earlier. You don't want the final version, you want to be part of the process getting there.
Andy: Early believers not just early adopters.
Leo: And I know the chatroom is going to castigate me and say oh you're just a one-percenter, but I look at it and I do feel techno lust. That thing looked... now you actually touched it.
Rene: Hash tag Maclust, remember Phil...
Leo: Yeah he even said that and when he said it it was kind of, I agree.
Andy: That's very dignified. Don't... let Jimmy Fallon do Jimmy Fallon okay?
Jason: We will decide who the hash tags are!
Serenity: It's incredible though, I mean...
Leo: So when you touched it and held it did it feel great?
Serenity: Yeah, well still I was able to take out my 11 inch Macbook Air which I have here and actually put it alongside the 12 inch.
Leo: The fact that you and Jason both carry around 11 inches means that you're the natural audience for this. It means... because you chose that laptop and made many sacrifices because it's small and light.
Serenity: Absolutely and I wouldn't go back. You know I have an iMac at home and that machine is great if I want to do any kind of high power video editing but this machine is so eminently portable, like that's something that's a big concern for me. And the 12 inch Macbook makes this feel fat. It makes it feel fat, it makes it feel bulky, which is... it's not that much thinner but it's just... it's the same thing...
Leo: Wait a minute, you're telling me it makes an 11 inch Air feel fat and bulky?
Serenity: Yes, it does!
Jason: You look at the percentages of the shrinking that they did in the thickest point of the motherboard and it's like I didn't know you could get those kinds of percentages off of an 11 inch Air and they did it. So it's...
Leo: That's why I think there's no, I think that's why I think this is the end of the Air market. How do you even sell something called Air if it's heavier...
Jason: Well it's just going to fade... I think it will fade away gradually but it's the low priced Macbook.
Leo: I think you're going to have the Macbook and the Pros.
Rene: They still sell the optical disc version of the Macbook Pro for people who really want it, like it takes a while to get there...
Leo: No, the Pro is not going to go... I think the Pro will not go away.
Jason: Well yeah but they have a non-Retina Pro.
Rene: Yeah they have a non-Retina Pro with an optical disc still.
Leo: They still sell that?
Leo: You know who buys that, schools.
Jason: And so I think the Macbook Air will be like that.
Leo: Because that's 999 or 899. Yeah.
Jason: Until they can get a Macbook down to 899 or 999 the Air will kick around...
Serenity: A Retina Macbook, yeah.
Rene: My big concern is the same reason why... like I love this computer, I don't have it because I like vertical pixel height, and the Retina display on this means we're pixel doubling and that gives you about an effective 720 of vertical height.
Jason: Yeah so it's actually going to be a tighter fit than the 11 inch Air, but Retina. Unless you port it in scaling mode.
Rene: Yeah and then you can see how fast that...
Leo: Will the GPU be fast enough to handle the 3.5 megapixel screen? That's a lot of dots.
Rene: They said that.
Serenity: Yeah. I think it will be able to handle the Retina screen to a certain extent.
Leo: Did you guys do the work... the sliding around workspaces and all that?
Leo: Because that's really challenging on the old one.
Serenity: Spaces there was no lag.
Leo: Spaces, thank you.
Serenity: Yeah. Spaces there was no lag, mission control there was no lag, quickly scrolling through web pages, throwing out so that I could see you know, everything in spaces. Quickly scrolling so these Macbooks were running 10.10.2, they're not... they don't have photos for Mac so we actually were running through iPhoto, which as anyone who knows iPhoto knows there are...
Leo: It's a pig.
Serenity: Yeah, there's lots of memory leaks there. And there were about 4,000 photos in there and no problem. Again, this is a machine that for basic tasks I think will be fine. I would not... I would not bring a 12 inch Macbook to an Apple event to live blog it. I would not Aperture on a 12 inch Macbook, I would not run final cut on a 12 inch Macbook. I think that for now I would keep my 11 inch Macbook Air for those kinds of travel tasks. If I was just using it for writing and web browsing and quick travel, quick and light travel, absolutely I would get a 12 inch Macbook. If I needed anything super hardcore it would be a Macbook Pro. That's kind of my like...
Leo: Well and that makes sense. And I think one of the... as you, I think Jason pointed out, the chatroom is the exact wrong audience for this.
Jason: We love them, but...
Leo: They've got 8 things going on and they've got five screens and... I think a big audience for this, and I think you speculated this Andy before the announcement is the audience that has a Pro Mac of some kind whether it's the 5k iMac or a Mac Pro and wants a portable kind of device that they... that you can take to the Boston Public Library and things like that. Does this fill the bill?
Andy: Exactly true. I mean, there are expectations that are absolutely appropriate for the hardware that they've put into it and the features that they put into it. That's why as much as you've heard me complain about certain hardware decisions of the past, I'm perfectly fine with all this. That's exactly the sort of thing people want. It also creates I would say more than that a little bit of a problem for the iPad. Because it puts more pressure on Apple to produce a more professional 9.7 inch iPad or a larger iPad because a lot of people, myself included were buying and traveling with iPads alongside having a really good desktop Mac and a really good notebook because I do not need to bring the entire Ringling Brothers Circus with me to the coffee shop or even for a weekend trip someplace. I just want a screen, a keyboard and enough basic apps and functionality that I can just keep on top of the work that I need to do. So this is a really really big thing. It's hard to look at some of the hardware in my office though, and not realize that you know what? When I look at the things that I like about the Mac, this new Macbook, they are also the things I like about the $249 Samsung Chromebook that I bought last year. Because it's super tiny, it doesn't have everything I need but it has enough that I need and for the stuff that I trust it to do it works perfectly fine.
Serenity: And for the people in the chatroom who are like oh well this isn't a $1,300 computer, this is a $1,000 or a $900 computer and I would say if you were just talking about internals yes, it's when you incorporate the Retina display...
Leo: It's made of gold!
Serenity: It's 18 karat... no, the Retina display is the big price point.
Leo: The big expense.
Serenity: Well again, you look at comparability and you look at the 13 inch Macbook Pro and what the Macbook Pro has in and it's the Retina display and it's the thinness.
Leo: I'm excited, 277 DPI is nice.
Serenity: It's beautiful. I mean we could see, we could see the picture crystal clear perfectly from our seats halfway back in the auditorium when Tim brought it out on stage and it was just like look at this! Oh I'm going to laugh and jump up on my foot.
Leo: And it's glossy?
Serenity: It's... I don't...
Rene: No it's not glossy, it's edge to edge glass but it's not like glossy kind.
Leo: Okay. So that's good.
Alex: And for comparison I mean, we always go back to print. 225 DPI was not bad you know, for a magazine.
Leo: When the laser writer came out at 300 DPI it was like oh.
Leo: So this is close to that, I mean... and it's at arm's length. You're not going to see a dot on a 277 DPI screen.
Rene: Serenity noticed the difference on the Apple logo on the back, they've gotten the screen so thin now.
Serenity: That's right.
Leo: Does it not light up?
Serenity: The Apple logo is mirrored like the iPad and does not light up like previous laptops because there is physically no room to put the electronics for light up laptop.
Leo: That makes sense. I thought it was like a hole where the back light came through. Is that not it?
Serenity: Yeah, I...
Leo: Isn't that all that is is just... I'm fixing a hole...
Andy: Even if...
Leo: I love the shiny one, and when it's gold... golly.
Serenity: The gold is not terrible.
Leo: I want the gold!
Rene: My question... do you have to get the gold phone? The gold watch, the gold phone, the gold iPad and the gold Macbook?
Leo: Yes. Opulence!
Rene: Can you switch them up?
Serenity: You know, I really don't like lots of gold but the gold laptop is nice but the space gray, the space gray reminds me of like the old PowerBooks right? It has that beautiful...
Leo: Should I get that one?
Serenity: It has that beautiful cold gray color.
Leo: I'm asking my design consultant. Space gray or gold?
Rene: Space gray looked really good. The gold, I got the gold iPad Air just because I wanted to photographically show that it was new. Because you know all the other ones had been black or silver. And with this you have that same urge because it's obvious that it's a new Macbook, but then I saw the space gray and it's just really lovely.
Leo: It's made of carbonite right? That's what space gray is right?
Leo: It's very science fictiony. It feels like, no it feels like Han Solo should be in there.
Rene: They said that for the watch though, they said they have the stainless steel watch and they put a special carbon finish on it.
Jason: That was for the space black.
Leo: It wasn't carbon, they were little like selenium buds or something that they put on there to give it a texture right?
Serenity: We'll have to ask Jony Ive.
(all talking, indistinguishable)
Rene: But to make the stainless steel one into black they used some kind of carbon.
Jason: Carbon coating to make the space black, yeah.
Rene: You can just here laughing.
Leo: So space gray.
Rene: Yeah I think space gray too.
Jason: Space gray.
Leo: I'm going gold so I don't look like you guys, you boring old people.
Jason: Smart move.
Jason: Smart move.
Rene: You're going to match Andy's hat.
Leo: I want to look like an eastern European bureaucrat.
Rene: Gold is good! Ya.
Alex: I'm expecting Andy to get the gold one myself.
Andy: Once you get the sawatzki crystals glued onto that son of a gun, oh boy you'll have class coming out your butt.
Leo: I can has bling.
Rene: Is that called McDazzled? Is that the McDazzler?
Serenity: Let's not even talk about whatever anodization firms are going to do to it.
Leo: I want to bedazzle it. Alright, anything else to say before we move on? Because there's other things to talk about but I wanted to lead with the Macbook because I thought this is classic Apple where they put a flag in the sand way beyond what anybody else is doing and saying. Look this is where computing is going and I think this time they nailed it.
Rene: It was interesting to me because we did a thing where we did quick interviews with people during the event and I spoke to Ben Bajarin, Ben Thompson and Horace Dediu and they all lead with the Mac that was the exciting thing for them.
Leo: What did Horace say?
Rene: The video is on iMore right now but it was just like the ability for them to look at this market where it's been declining for so many quarters and the Mac is growing and they're not just happy with that, they're doubling down on what they think they can go with it and Ben Bajarin thinks they can get to 20% in five or seven years.
Leo: It's really interesting, 20% market share for OSX. It's interesting because they've done so well with mobile.
Leo: I mean that's now the business of Apple and the rest of it is kind of like sideline.
Rene: Remember Steve Jobs came out and said if you count Macbooks we're the biggest mobile company in the world.
Serenity: It's sort of crazy.
Rene: And they sort of think about Macbooks now as being part of the mobile...
Leo: This Macbook is a mobile device isn't it?
Serenity: Yeah. I think the... oh, go ahead.
Leo: It's an Amtrack device for Andy.
Andy: It's also a great statement about a policy that Apple... a core philosophy of design that Apple's been following for at least since the iPhone that they really want to say that it doesn't, you've got the new Macbook, you've got a watch, you've got an iPad, you've got an iPhone, it really is all the exact same experience only the device you have most handy to you is going to be a different, it just... a nearby articulation of it. The fact that they are going to take the same haptic responses that you have in the watch and put this into this trackpad that are going to be in other devices is just part of that. The fact that they really have, I'm not... I don't know why... what... if they could have made the Apple logo illuminated on the back of it, but my idea of this is that once they saw the okay, we've got a problem. This is so thin we can't possibly illuminate the logo. I believe that they didn't even consider solving that problem because nope, we already got a great design. A mirrored logo that's already on the iPad Air, this is beautiful, this is perfect. Exactly right. We'll make the most iPad like Macbook ever and it's going to really bring home the idea that we are selling you a constellation of hardware that will all work together to improve your life hopefully.
Serenity: Yeah I really don't think... you know, this Macbook is a... is a flag in the sand in terms of this is where we're going, this is where we think the future of Macbook computing is going to be. We're putting in force touch, we're getting rid of fans in laptops.
Leo: Love it.
Serenity: Like we're doing a bunch of these really innovative things. Is this laptop going to be perfect for everybody? Not by a long shot. Like if you don't, if this isn't perfect for your work case, if you don't want to pay $1299 for a laptop, don't. I'm going to stick with my 11 inch probably for another year. Like I really like the 12 but it's not quite right for me. Will it be right in a year or two? Quite possibly. Do I love the fact that Apple is actually making these adjustments ahead of time and saying like oh we're not going to wait until we have the entire line polished and slimlined and all that, we're just going to go with it. We're going to line by line by line and we're going to polish this up the same way we did with Retina, the same way we did with taking out optical drives. It's just... it's how they roll. They go incrementally and that's okay.
Leo: I think what's so interesting too is this acknowledgment that we're basically in a wireless world now and all your data is wireless.
Andy: Let's point out the one big... the one comment that was made by anybody on that stage that made me think maybe actually say during the live cast no you're wrong about that. Is when Phil said “Let's face it, the best notebook is naturally going to be wireless.” Yeah and also the best salary for a public schoolteacher is going to be a quarter million dollars, that doesn't...
Andy: Okay that doesn't mean it's actually happening Phil.
Jason: I'll point out that...
Andy: You need to have wires in places.
Jason: Five years ago when they did the first Macbook Air they made the exact same claim. They said...
Leo: Because it didn't have a CD Rom.
Jason: Well and it had one USB port and they said oh but it's wireless, you're just going to want to do it wirelessly and then they added back in some ports and...
Leo: I remember a lot of people upset about Ethernet disappearing and that, as you said Alex, you kind of get over that.
Alex: No, I haven't. I haven't yet.
Jason: Except for Alex.
Leo: Alex is the one who hasn't.
Serenity: I miss the Ethernet cable.
Alex: Where is that dongle???
Leo: I bought a dongle but I never use it. I mean...
Rene: Ethernet was a constraint to making it thinner, they have to start getting rid of ports and so... frankly so will Thunderbolt in the 3.5.
Leo: So was the mag safe adapter for crying out loud. I think Apple not doing a proprietary power cable is a revolutionary step for Apple.
Rene: That should be the headline.
Leo: That's a headline!
Andy: I have a Pavlovian response when I hear both of those things. Saying that they made it thinner, they didn't have to make it thinner because the Macbook Pro is not that much too thin to have to accept a standard Ethernet connector and also the mag safe, the mini mag safe connector is the worst component design Apple has come up with in ten years. It is crap. It is borderline defective.
Leo: What's wrong with it?
Andy: And there is no way to just... It pops off. If there's a mouse trespassing in the backyard and he twitches his ears, pop goes my mag safe connector. I adjust it like this, and now the mag safe connector has just come off, I put it down on my sofa, it comes off. It just keeps...
Rene: I miss the elbow joint on the last gen.
Andy: It just keeps doing something that it's not supposed to do.
Serenity: So I...
Andy: I would happily take another...
Leo: Pop goes the mag safe!
Serenity: I like it. Andy, I agree with you, it's way too quick to pop off but also having an 11 inch Air, if I had a power cable that actually connected to that and I was working on the house, this Macbook would go flying.
Leo: Wait a minute, yours popped off. It's...
Serenity: Well no I'm saying if it wasn't mag safe, yeah. If it wasn't mag safe this thing would go flying.
Leo: Well wasn't that the selling point of mag safe? See you said oh you're going to trip over it, you don't have to worry about tripping any more.
Serenity: So my thought with when I first heard I was like oh you're changing the cable. If the battery life is long enough to warrant the Mac only being plugged in at the end of the day, then there's not a problem.
Leo: That's my point.
Serenity: 9 hours of battery life, I'm still thinking that's not quite ready. But like if we start getting up to 14, 18, 20 like... that's, that's more potential.
Leo: I think 9 is plenty for me.
Andy: That's the problem we were talking about earlier, that I'm glad that people who have, who want Macbook Airs have that kind of connector that is thin enough to allow the Macbook Air to be thinner and allow this lighter weight thing not to fall off, I chose not to have a Macbook Air because I don't want one, but I have to suffer every single time I'm attached to power because of this stupid design that should not have ever left Cupertino!
Leo: I think Jason Snell is right, he observed in the chatroom that it's socialism and we must stamp it out.
Jason: The chatroom has decided it's all...
Leo: The Obama Mac.
Jason: It's all like communism now.
Leo: We're going to take a break and come back with more.
Rene: What's wrong with socialism? Says the Canadian.
Leo: How do you like your national health care, is it working for you?
Rene: It's great, I can get as sick as I want and I won't lose my house.
Leo: Oh no, now that's going too far. What a great panel. I think we should just bring out some whiskey and celebrate. A wonderful group here. From Canada, Mr. Rene Ritchie, iMore and the mobile nations crew has done a bunch of crew has done a bunch of videos and stuff, is that at iMore.com or...?
Rene: Yes, absolutely.
Leo: Also from iMore, Serenity Caldwell, Alex Lindsay. Not from iMore, Montreal, he's from Rwanda.
Alex: For the moment. For this week.
Leo: The man from Rwanda. Also here Andy Ihnatko from the Chicago Sun Times, what a great crew. I'm just loving this, Jason Snell from Sixcolors.com. We're all sad about Om, GigaOM.
Leo: I'm just going to mention that briefly before we go into the ad, but GigaOM which was one of the great tech publications by Om Malek, Om had left about a year ago to become a VC, although he's still doing his newsletter and stuff. They had taken a significant amount of venture funding.
Rene: 8 million.
Leo: I don't know if that's related to it, but for some reason something happened yesterday on the GigaOM site, they posted we've run out of money, we owe money to our creditors. They now own the assets, bye bye.
Rene: And they were at the event with us yesterday.
Leo: I saw Kevin Tofel which is the last post on GigaOM was his review of the Apple Watch and...
Serenity: It's funny, because today is 6 months to the day that Macworld...
Jason: Oh the Macworld buy off happened 6 months ago today, yeah.
Serenity: And so GigaOM happening 6 months directly after that is... it's, I dunno.
Rene: Suddenly a bunch of people say no more Apple events.
Jason: Apple events, yeah.
Leo: That's why I haven't gone for years. No, it was very sad and I love Om Malek. I don't think this affects particularly Om Malek but it does affect some of our great friends like Matthew Ingram and Kevin Tofel. Stacy Higginbotham, a bunch of great people worked there. Yaka Rickers, and I hope they all find work and if you haven't, call me. Or you know what, just call Rene he's got so much more money than I do.
Leo: Our show today brought to you by LegalZoom. It's a national start your own business month. That's something. Maybe just start your own business, you guys are good enough. At LegalZoom.com you have the wherewithal to create the business you've always dreamed of. Now LegalZoom is not a law firm, but let me tell you when I started TWiT 10 years ago, Kevin Rose said you ought to be an LLC. Don't just be a company, protect yourself. $99 I think it was, now it's a little more but that's 10 years later, it's $150. That's the starting point to create an LLC, you can also do a Chapter S or C Court. LegalZoom really gives you the power to do what you need to do. Trademarks? Did that too. Patents if you need them, there's a lot of stuff there. LegalZoom.com, if you use the offer code MBW by the way, you can take $10 off at check out. Now would be a good time to start your own business and as I said, LegalZoom is not a law firm. If you need some legal advice, they have built a network of trusted attorneys to provide the guidance you need for your specific situation, that's really great. Because you know, things come up, little questions but you don't want to spend $350 or $450 an hour, you don't have to. These are pre-negotiated flat rates with attorneys in almost every state, you can look at their profiles online and unedited customer reviews to get an idea of what they can do for you, and here's the best part. During national start your business month, LegalZoom is offering attorney consultation for 50 smackers. $50. That's a really great deal, if you're unsure about the best way to start your own business or if you've already run a business and you need some advice, trust me. That is a great deal. I would have called them immediately and said okay, should I start it? I started it in Delaware, somebody, just somebody probably on Twitter. Oh yeah, be in Delaware. Actually there was no Twitter at the time but somewhere like that. And it would have been nice to ask a lawyer. California, Delaware, what's the difference? Go to LegalZoom.com today, you can find that out and more. Attorney consultations are provided by independent attorneys, available most states. You can get the legal help you need for your business at LegalZoom.com. And of course all the forms, everything you need to do at your own direction, it is really great. It is really like having your own law firm except they're not. LegalZoom.com. And they don't charge the same prices either. Get $10 off when you use the offer code MBW, and don't forget that $50 consultation for this month only, national start your business month. What a team of people, when we booked this Jason Howell said we've never had 6 people on any show before.
Jason Howell: At least not as I've been producing. It's possible that this might rival, I'm sure we've had 6 on before.
Leo: We have. Usually, when we've gone out in the field like at Apple stores and stuff we've had this many.
Jason Howell: Yeah.
Leo: But we don't have... our camera barely can get Andy and Alex in.
Jason Howell: I wasn't sure if the wide camera was going to be able to fit it, I was like I don't know if we can do any more Leo.
Leo: Yeah this is the limit though, we can't do seven unless they sit in my lap. Anyway, great to have you all, thank you for coming up. Making the trip, or coming in on Skype. Before we get to the watch, let's just briefly mention a couple of the other things that were announced yesterday. They led with the Apple TV and HBO Now, and somebody on Twitter pointed out that HBO NOW has Bono in the name, so Bono... I'm just kidding.
Serenity: Tim Cook, trolling the audience one step at a time.
Leo: Bono! $69 for the Apple TV. I think it was you, Andy, who said this is a sign that they're not getting traction.
Andy: It certainly, I mean this is the conversation that you have with your kid saying “Son I'm not angry with you, I'm just disappointed with you.” And that's when drops the price on anything, it means that it's just not... it's getting really good competition from someplace else and they're starting to feel the pain.
Leo: It's not possible that maybe they're clearing it out to do a new Apple TV?
Andy: I suppose it's possible but they have... I feel like they'd have easier ways to get rid of it than to do a simple price reduction. That would indicate that they've got so much stock on hand that they need to start clearing things out, and that doesn't sound like something that Apple generally does.
Jason: Yeah. I don't think it's a clear out sale, I think that this product is so old, and the hardware is so old that the margins on it have to be so great at this point that they can afford to cut it, and if there's a new Apple TV they're probably not going to be able to price at it $69, so I'm hopeful that this means there is a new Apple TV that is on more modern hardware with perhaps some revised software that we'll see sometime this year, but that one's not going to be able to go out there for $69 and they've got this HBO deal, so the old hardware they can sell cheaper. Yeah, I don't think it's necessarily a close out sale so much as it is they've got room to cut the price and still make money.
Andy: They've got to give people a reason to buy it.
Alex: Yeah and I think that you want to, I think we may start to see more rumors about Apple TV as we get closer to something like WWDC, I think there's a real opportunity there for them to open up the architecture a little bit. Which I say every year when WWDC comes out, I say the same thing. There's an opportunity for them to create games and so on and so forth that will run from your iPhone or other things that they haven't really utilized. I also think that there is... it will be really interesting to see how HBO, CBS, Netflix, Amazon, start moving towards these boxes. And whether when we see 4k for instance, this is going to be the first place that's going to be easy to distribute on the box in mass consumption and I think it would be crazy to see another Apple TV that wasn't 4k coming out in... this year, so I think it will be interesting to see whether this price drop represents, this is 1080p and the next one, I think there's 50/50 maybe 60/40 chance that we'll see a 4k box in June where you give the developers enough time, especially if they open it up a little bit to have some fun with it.
Serenity: Yeah I can't imagine HBO being like yes we're going to sign an exclusive at least for a couple months deal with Apple because... you know, as they have no new hardware. Being like... yeah that's... go ahead.
Alex: There's three months. There's three months and three months ends right when WWDC starts, in that process. I think that there could... again, 4k is interesting because it allows them to, allows people who are un-boxing or un-bundling their service to basically up sell a lot of people away from cable because it's the only place you can get it. Everyone's buying 4k machines, because now you can go to Walmart and buy a 4k monitor for $800, for $700 so that's become the next thing but no one has any content for it, and I think the first place to do that is the unbundled services.
Rene: The other thing that's interesting is if you just look at the products they're working on, if there is another Apple TV and they're making it dependent on content deals and those content deals aren't signed but they have an HBO deal that is signed, they want to get ahead of that. That probably didn't come really cheap, to get an exclusive on HBO for several months so getting as many Apple TVs into peoples’ hands as possible is a good thing, at least for now, and also Apple can build stuff... like they might announce a new box at WWDC that is 4k compliant but they might not have 4k iTunes by then, because of broadband because of getting the content remastering and all those things but it will be compatible when it's compatible, I think that's the most interesting thing when you start putting like a cyclone chip in it, you start putting metal in it, you start having a game store or an app store on it, it's... Apple is very... Tim Cook said this is the beginning when he announced that Apple TV and I think that's the interesting thing.
Leo: Would they ever license it for TV manufacturers? That's a big thing now, smart TVs and... they're all crappy, I'd love to see an Apple TV...
Serenity: It's a good question, I mean you look what Apple's doing with CarPlay.
Leo: Right, it would be just like that wouldn't it?
Serenity: I don't necessarily think that will happen but I can't entirely rule it out because of what they're currently doing with CarPlay.
Leo: I think that may end up being the way get into peoples’ hands.
Rene: They don't like... CarPlay, they still own the technology, it's just being broadcast on the screen and I think that's already AirPlay. They have the... like the box is their control point mechanism.
Alex: I would sooner, I don't know whether either will happen, but I would sooner expect to see an Apple TV built into a TV that Apple sells, a monitor that Apple sells than before they would... I think they'd sell their own monitor before they'd sell it as an addon to Sony's TVs or Samsung's.
Serenity: Yeah, I could only really see it as a booster from the iPhone, a la CarPlay where it's you know, the majority of the software hook ins are there and maybe televisions support the AirPlay standard.
Rene: Apple TV direct.
Serenity: Yeah exactly.
Leo: You know, I mean LG bought WebOS to put that into their smart TVs, I've tried Samsung, I've tried LG, I've tried... they're all...
Serenity: They're all terrible. They're all awful.
Leo: Vizio is arguably the best among terrible.
Leo: And I think if somebody came along and said now with Apple TV, Samsung, now with Apple TV... that might be a great way to get into peoples... you know...
Andy: But are we the right people to talk about this? I mean the people who... they see the Netflix logo on their Samsung smart TV and then say well it's going to be a nightmare for 20 minutes to set it up but once it's set up it's going to actually work, meanwhile they're more averse to having to plug in another box and put in another power strip behind that desk or that sofa table than anything else I think.
Rene: It also could be that what an Apple TV changes to become just a small HDMI thing you plug in and all the logic stays on your phone, instead of being a separate box. I've talked, at CES we interviewed a bunch of the telephone manufacturers and their interest in having a good user experience is negligible.
Leo: They don't care.
Rene: They were like we're putting ties in on our computers because that's the future when you walk in with your ties in watch and ties in phone it creates a great ties in experience that barely boots.
Leo: Cheap is what they want.
Rene: And they want it to be their stack and they traditionally have no strength in software programming.
Leo: I am thrilled though at HBO Now, and maybe I shouldn't be because it turns out it's a push for a cord cutter, it's the same price as if you got HBO from your cable company.
Rene: I think you can register three devices at the same... you can have three devices running at the same time.
Leo: Yeah so you could put it on your iPad, your iPhone and your Mac... your Apple TV. And it's, so this is for those who don't know, for $15 a month over the top HBO, so you don't have to have a cable subscription, you can just get HBO for that price and I think that's pretty good.
Rene: They're marketing as a premium service, they don't want a discount, they don't want to race to the bottom, they want to think that HBO content is valuable and you're paying for that.
Serenity: Well and also $15 a month maybe what you're paying to your cable company for HBO but you think about as somebody who tries their hardest to not pay for cable television...
Leo: You're a cord cutter I would guess.
Serenity: Well yeah. I'm largely... I currently have basic cable subscription because I tried to get rid of it and they gave me HBO for free, at the time I was like well...
Leo: All you really want was Game of Thrones I know.
Serenity: Yeah exactly. Game of Thrones, Newsroom, all those things. I'm like yeah, finishing watching The Wire. But you know, for people who never want to subscribe to cable and their internet is maybe only $40 a month that now is $55 a month for HBO and their internet rather than $85.90 for cable.
Alex: And the other thing to remember is that HBO is one of the most expensive channels on there, so while it might be $15 a sub, as you know many of these cable networks are $1 or $2 or $4, and so if other ones start to peel off, if this starts to be successful it could be complicated for cable.
Leo: It could be the crack in the ice couldn't it?
Alex: Yeah. I mean CBS is a bigger crack than HBO, bigger cracks would be other networks and then Discovery Channel. I mean Discovery Channel breaks away and that's really where bad things start to happen.
Leo: Well ESPN has already broken away because if you pay for the what do they call it now... I've forgotten the name, and they're a sponsor too, I'm so sorry. You know, the $20 a month... thank you, Slingbox TV. Okay I'm getting old. Slingbox TV you get ESPN, and that is the most... that actually is the most expensive cable channel and it's rumored that the cable companies pay $16 a month per subscriber to ESPN.
Andy: I think a big problem that HBO wants to get ahead of though is that it's not just people saying you know what? I shall rise up against the hegemony of cable television and I shall cut the cable! It's that you're getting generations of people that don't even think of television in terms of a cable subscription, they think in terms of Hulu and Netflix and just paying for a digital subscription to what you want, so if that's money they're going to be leaving on the table in five years if they don't have this fully spun up by then.
Leo: I actually thought Serenity would be, because she's young, but also I thought you might not have cable because you live in a metro and you can put an antenna up.
Serenity: Yeah well I'm in an apartment and unfortunately the digital antennas are a lot of... a lot sketchier and not as reliable as your traditional pre... say what you want for the digital switch over but it actually becomes much harder. If it wasn't a... look I wanted HBO and if it wasn't a like I can get HBO on the side I wouldn't have gone for cable, and the only reason I have cable right now is because of HBO and because my cable company was basically like we'll allow you to pay the exact same money that you would for your super high broadband but we'll also throw in basic cable and HBO and I'm like alright, well.
Leo: But you know that's going to run out.
Serenity: Oh sure, and then when that does I'll probably cancel and I'll go to a different competitor that has better internet and no cable and I'll be fine with that.
Leo: Do we get, did they say when that... am I going to get, like am I going to get an Apple TV update now and HBO Now will be on there or...?
Rene: Well Apple TV updates over the air they don't have to push software.
Leo: It just happens.
Rene: Yeah they update the firmware but they can also add channels, it's basically like a web page and they can add more content.
Leo: They said sometime in April because that's when Game of Thrones...
Serenity: You can start subscribing now, and if you subscribe before April... 5th or something, yeah if you subscribe before the beginning of April you will be able to get the first month free so that you can enjoy all of the fun Game of Thrones content.
Leo: And somebody asked and I think that we can answer this that what's the difference between HBO Go and HBO Now and I think they'll probably be exactly the same except one will be over the top and one will require a cable subscription.
Leo: I don't imagine they'll create a new app for that.
Serenity: Well for HBO Go you'll need a log in any way that you create by like selecting your...
Leo: Once you log in it's done.
Leo: You don't log in every time, you're done.
Leo: And then you get everything just as you will with HBO Now. You get all past shows, you get all current shows. He said all future shows but I don't see how that could happen.
Jason: To the end of time, all future shows ever.
Serenity: While you subscribe, yeah.
Leo: That would be impressive.
Rene: I think this is also using that... they stopped doing their own license... their own technology for this...
Leo: They use MLB network.
Leo: Alright. Watch. Let's talk the watch.
Serenity: Good old watch.
Leo: Are you putting your watch away now? You don't want us to know you have one Rene? When Tim Cook came out in a... what is that a Pebble?
Jason: It's a Pebble.
Leo: Somebody pointed out the new Pebble that they're Kickstartering and they've raised $17 million for looks almost exactly like the Apple Watch.
Jason: Interesting isn't it?
Leo: In a certain light. We... did we learn anything about the Apple Watch that we didn't know? I don't think they said before that you could talk on the phone.
Rene: We knew that.
Serenity: Well we did but it wasn't so... I think the watch word in terms, ha ha, for the Apple Watch event is specifically that we saw more of what it could do. In September we saw a very tightly controlled demonstration.
Leo: You guys got a slide show.
Serenity: Yeah pretty much.
Leo: This time you actually go to use it.
Serenity: Yeah we got a complete free for all, I was able to try a couple different watches including the Edition and I was able to...
Serenity: They tried to guide us through but there was very much like a... alright I'm just going to go into settings, let's see what kind of settings are on the watch?
Leo: So it's stable and it works.
Serenity: Oh yeah, and I'm glad that it's going to have another month because there definitely are like little bugs here and there but it's nothing that I'm worried that Apple won't be able to fix, it's just like a little bit of... yeah.
Leo: So the big revelation then was date, preorder April 10th, delivery April 24th. And price. Anywhere from $349 which we already knew up to $17,000.
Leo: I was... you know, and if you dig into the price some of the things are strange. For instance the rose gold edition with a rubber, I'm sorry fluoroelastomer band...
Jason: Fluoroelastomer, yeah Christy Turlington said rubber band on stage and it's like... no no! Fluoroelastomer, it's a fluoroelastomer band, come on!
Leo: Didn't you get the briefing?
Andy: I am a supermodel sir, I'm bound by no earthly king.
Leo: So that one, the least expensive edition is $10,000. All you have to do is put a leather band on it and it goes up $7,000... is that a $7,000 band?
Serenity: Well it's not quite the band because the band also has an 18 karat gold clasp and an 18 karat gold side clasp as well so you're talking about a fair amount of extra gold.
Leo: $7,000... that's... seven...
Rene: Leo at that price point there is no connection between... it's...
Leo: That's what was clear, it's bizarre.
Rene: If you buy a Lamborghini you do not care what the price of gas is.
Leo: $50 more to get a 42 millimeter then a 38 in the sport model. In the gold model it's $2,000 more.
Rene: Because the price is irrelevant.
Leo: Because it's not about price.
Rene: Nobody buying that watch is going to miss that. They'll buy seven of them and they're not going to miss the money.
Leo: You buy it to demonstrate your ability to earn so that you can get a girlfriend.
Rene: Well, no, so when they announced it they didn't say these are the three models, they said the gold is a limited edition, it's going to be available at select retailers...
Leo: Is it not Apple store?
Rene: They just said select stores, they were very non-specific.
Leo: So Tiffany and Nordstrom...
Andy: I asked to follow up and they did say select Apple stores.
Serenity: But still you're talking about probably the flagship stores in Boston, New York, Los Angeles maybe Paris. People, places that we associate traditionally with high end fashion and celebrities, that kind of a thing.
Leo: But not Neiman Marcus Andy? Or Apple stores plus other retail?
Andy: I only asked for clarification on whether it was going to be available in Apple retail stores and they confirmed that yes certain Apple stores will have the gold watches.
Rene: The important thing is it's not like aren't three ranges of watches and you just choose which one you want, there are people who only want to buy a gold watch and they are interested in the Apple Watch and yes we'll make one like we make, again, we make a Mac Pro.
Leo: They're horologists.
Rene: Yes. And they want one but they would only ever consider a gold watch and it's not that hard for them to consider...
Leo: You can lead a horologist to a watch. But you can't make them think. Or something.
Andy: That would be a good family
feud topic of names to describe people who are buying the $17,000 Apple Watch.
Andy: Number one answer...
Jason: So the Apple Watch...
Leo: Now you guys were in the room, so we're watching on TV and we... and the price went by so fast we thought he actually didn't say it. Did it seem like... $10,000...
Jason: It was not on a slide and he sort of moved past it and there were gasps in the room.
Serenity: Gods forbid!
Leo: You know, Gruber nailed it right? In fact, you've got to think Gruber had a little leak because he even nailed the price difference for the 38 to 42 millimeter.
Serenity: Oh well so well he wanted 30 didn't he? He wanted a $30 difference.
Leo: Oh, okay.
Serenity: Honestly we've heard rumors for the last six, seven months especially when you factor in price of gold bla bla bla but I think it comes down to Apple wants, as Rene was saying, Apple wants the people who would normally buy high end watches to be able to consider having an Apple Watch on their wrist.
Serenity: And in order to do that they needed to make that tier. Is that tier designed for 99% of the population? No. Should you consider getting it if you are not in that 1% that can afford it the way that we just afford iPhones every 18 months? Probably not.
Serenity: Like the Apple Watch Edition is designed for a very sub select group of people. It's not Apple saying we're not interested in anyone but luxury people anymore, because clearly the vast majority of Apple Watches that they are going to make are going to be $349 to about $700. AKA that's about what most of their other you know, smart products cost at this point.
Leo: I, and I think maybe this is the point of having a $10,000-$17,000 watch, I was pleasantly surprised by the mere $800 the steel with the Milanese band would cost.
Serenity: Yeah you're like oh that's nice, okay.
Leo: Oh wow that's a good deal $800!
Alex: And I think it's interesting that Apple has somehow once again gotten people to think wow only $350 for a watch! I mean it took me a long time to think about a watch that costs that much and now I'm on like a... it's pretty inexpensive, it's not a problem. And I think that for the Edition I think Lady Gaga wearing it or you know, someone like that, the question is really how many of the aluminum versions does that sell?
Serenity: Yeah, well and good logic from the comments is bringing up you know, $10,000 watches, the majority... like the normal $10,000 Rolex you can pass that on and wear it for 60 years and this is probably going to be 18 months and I had that thought and that kind of complaint too, I'm like but... what about the people who want to hand it down and the answer is this is not an heirloom watch. This is a watch for celebrities, models et cetera. This is the watch for people who upgrade their fashion accessories the way the majority of us upgrade their phones.
Leo: There are people who are rich enough that a $17,000 watch is like $20 to you and me. It's like oh I'll take that.
Rene: And we heard that during the event, like there were people who were like... like there were people much better dressed than we were standing in the corner going oh this feels like a fashion event, I feel very much at home here.
Leo: Oh you saw people like that?
Serenity: Oh yeah. It was a fun game.
Jason: It's hard to believe that there were people there dressed better than us.
Jason: There were a few.
Andy: There's print media there, don't tell me there's going to be print media there.
Serenity: It was a very fun game at the beginning of the event being like alright, journalist, engineer, or fashion model.
Leo: I think you can... the Christy Turlingtons stand out a little bit.
Serenity: Yeah a little bit.
Rene: But even the order of the fashion industry were immaculate with like special hair and colors and...
Serenity: Yeah very very manicured, but going back to the original question like how many normal, you know, how many sport and normal Apple Watches are they going to sell with this, I think having it in the media and having it so prominently in fashion magazines will encourage a certain amount of you know me too-ness where it's like oh Lady Gaga's wearing a watch, I want a watch.
Leo: It's no accident that Chinese Vogue and Vogue were the first places to do layouts with Apple Watches.
Jason: And the fact is the watch is the same, the material is the different. The material is different but the watch is the same.
Leo: So that's, let's make that clear. Except for the sapphire crystal, all of them are the same right? There's no special version, it's just...
Serenity: There's no pro version of the watch.
Leo: Software's the same, the hardware inside the...
Jason: The materials vary.
Rene: The bands will fit on every casing regardless.
Leo: Okay so bands are completely interchangeable?
Rene: The 38 and 42 will go with 38 and 42 cases, and you can swap... they may not look great some of the combinations but...
Leo: So if you were smart you'd buy the fluoroelastomer edition and then go down mark and get a cheap buckle.
Serenity: Yeah, it's entirely... I mean...
Leo: It would be silly to spend $7,000...
Jason: Those people will not do that though.
Serenity: There are people who want the real thing.
Leo: They're not coupon cutters are they?
Rene: These bands look like Mark Newsome's old watch bands, I mean these are very particularly designed and... like you read the thing that Gruber linked to where he said it takes 9 hours to make the link bracelet and they hand polish it.
Leo: Yeah we mocked it.
Andy: Who cares?
Rene: That is what Mark Newsome is designing for.
Leo: I thought I wanted the link bracelet but then when I saw how inexpensive the Milanese was I thought I like the Milanese.
Serenity: The Milanese is actually really really nice.
Leo: Did you try it?
Serenity: I did. So I was expecting that the Milanese was going to pull on arm hair and be really cold and uncomfortable and I tried it right at the end before we were walking out and I was pleasantly surprised, it fits really nicely, it doesn't feel...
Leo: And it sizes automatically because it's a magnet right?
Serenity: It does, it's a magnet which also means that you can play with it and be like doo doo doo which probably really bad for me. But I actually...
Leo: Me too, I click things.
Serenity: Exactly, but the leather band, the modern buckle is the one that I was really interested in and I after playing with the Milanese I'm like maybe I want a Milanese as the like fancy non-running roller derby band that I use.
Leo: What are you going to wear to roller derby? Are you going to wear your Apple Watch?
Serenity: I'm going to wear a sport, I'm going to wear a sport for the first two months. My goal is to see how hard I can push it without breaking it which I'm sure it made a lot of, when I was talking to Apple PR about this they were like, I don't know if this is a good thing or a bad thing. But yeah, I really am liking the bands. The one thing I should say about the bands is they all have different length sizes, I was talking to a friend of ours who was like I had a really thick wrist and I actually don't know if the length of any of these bands will be big enough for me, and that is a question and whether or not I'll...
Leo: There's a sizing chart online, not to size which bugs the hell out of me.
Serenity: There is, yes.
Leo: My inner geek says why don't you make this to size so that I can print it and check my wrist.
Serenity: Although in the Apple store app there's a thing where you can put a phone down on your wrist to properly size the 38 or the 42.
Leo: No. That's... if you've got 8.2 you've got the new watch app.
Rene: The watch.
Serenity: The watch.
Leo: The watch app. So there's a sizer in here?
Serenity: I don't think it's in the watch app, I think it's in the Apple store when you're looking at like I'm going to buy this size versus this size.
Leo: What will availability be like? Should we get in line now?
Serenity: Well so they're not going to take pre-orders for a little bit.
Leo: April 10th.
Serenity: April 10th, correct. And the really cool thing that I was kind of hoping that they would do is that they are going to have try-ons basically available. The Apple stores are going to have watches starting April 10th and they have these beautiful tables that are like special unlocked by employee badges where you can go and make an appointment and try on whichever watch you want and really decide ahead of time, okay this is the Apple Watch. So you're not blindly ordering online being like I don't know if the 38 or the 42 is too big for my wrist. You actually get the chance to go in to try everything on, to figure out what's best for you. That said, how tightly demanded are in demand they're going to be, yeah.
Leo: Would you help me take my phone off? Using the silly thing you talked about last time.
Leo: So this is the Apple store app, in here there is something that will let me... pick your favorite, I already picked my favorite model.
Serenity: Oh it's so easy, and there's a great third party site that someone put up called mix your watch that allows you to kind of mix and match bands, yeah exactly.
Leo: Mix and match? Where do I get the sizer?
Serenity: I think you go to the Apple Watch page. I only saw a screenshot of it so I'm sending you blind here. Let's find out together!
Leo: View pricing, shop... let's shop.
Serenity: Shop for the Apple Watch.
Leo: I want to shop, Apple Watch sport, I want the edition... no no no, you see how easy that is?
Serenity: What did I do?
Leo: So easy to spend $10,000.
Rene: You thought it wasn't available yet, you pressed the wrong button.
Leo: I've done that, let's put it that way. Overview maybe it's in overview? Alright well I don't want to waste everybody's time.
Serenity: We'll fiddle around and figure it out.
Leo: April 10th could I order online do you think or you're going to have to go to a store to do this?
Jason: I think you can order online. You can already click around online now and pick which one you want, you just can't put it in your cart.
Rene: Same with the Macbook.
Leo: Oh. Actual size. Wow. Well that's kind of cool, so now I can kind of see what that's going to look like. Do you think, Serenity, having tried these on... I'm looking at your wrists, you have normal wrists.
Serenity: My wrists are pretty tiny as wrist sizes... I mean, I can do that.
Leo: You can put your fingers all the way around?
Serenity: My wrists are pretty small, but that said...
Leo: Which one would you get?
Serenity: I tried on both and I think I slightly preferred the 38 millimeter. The 42 actually fit better on my wrist than I thought it would.
Leo: It doesn't look that big.
Jason: It's not that big.
Serenity: No, it's really not. I tried on a Moto 360 before the September event and it felt like it was basically dwarfing my wrist and making me look like I...
Leo: So the 360 actually, if you put them together, this is the 42 millimeter 360, it's roughly the same size.
Rene: Apple's measuring the height with the millimeters not the width.
Serenity: So the problem for the 360, for me, is that yeah when I try and put it on the roundness of it actually looks like it completely dwarfs my wrist. You can't tell that there's a wrist there. And it feels...
Leo: The golden pillow doesn't look that way?
Serenity: Yeah no, the little golden pillow actually... no it felt quite nice, the height is the real thing. The first edition Apple Watch is fairly, you know, I think it's about the height of the Moto 360. It's not super high off your wrist, but it's high enough that anybody who's used to like a very thin tiny little watch...
Rene: Yeah if you want it under your cuffs.
Serenity: Yes, it will be a little bit strange. So the 42 plus that height felt a little bulky to me, the 38 felt just fine.
Leo: And UI wise are you going to miss those extra little 4 little millimeters?
Serenity: I don't think so, but again my fingers are smallish.
Jason: Or the battery life.
Serenity: Or the battery life, that is the line.
Leo: Oh is it? I guess it would be.
Serenity: Yeah their quoted battery life, the 18 hour battery life is actually for the 38 and then in small print they're like the 42 millimeter is expected to get slightly more battery life.
Jason: And that was one of the things that we learned was the battery life stuff.
Leo: We didn't know that.
Jason: Six months ago all they said was at the end of the day, you can charge it. And we're like I guess that means you don't charge it during the day?
Serenity: Hopefully not.
Jason: And they came out and said based on our tests, we're talking about Apple performance tests again here, that you can get through a day. And 18 hours based on their very specific usage tests...
Leo: One thing that Motorola did right is that the band is really close to the bottom of the watch.
Leo: So that's more comfortable, of course it means the watch is more likely to catch on a cuff, where does the band sit on the Apple Watch? Is it kind of more in the middle?
Serenity: It depends slightly on what band you're using. Some of the bands like the sport band does sort of like that curve into the Apple Watch, but it's... I think it sits about, I don't know 2 or 3 millimeters off the bottom of the watch and it hooks in pretty nicely, I didn't find it, I was wearing long sleeves and I did the you know, the pullover and the pullback test and I didn't really have any problems with it.
Rene: And the fits are really exact, even with the buckle when you close it properly it just feels stuck.
Leo: Let's talk battery life real quickly.
Jason: All day!
Leo: All day, if you go to bed.
Jason: If you... yeah.
Rene: Yeah they're not including sleep time.
Jason: They do expect that you need to sleep. Dracula would not have...
Rene: I've heard off the record that people, you can use it for a day like it will last until the next morning but then you have to take it off and charge it and that's inconvenient because you want to be using it, so it just makes sense to charge it at night.
Leo: I think we're going to... I've never understood why people are so worried... or you're wearing a Pebble, you get seven days, it's on all the time.
Jason: Actually I think it's a problem because I never bother to charge the Pebble. I think one day is good because you just train yourself to charge it every night.
Andy: That's exactly my experience.
Leo: I'm going to plug in my Macbook my phone and my watch and go to bed, in the morning they'll all be ready to go.
Jason: Andy did you say something?
Alex: I mean I think...
Andy: I said that...
Leo: Hold on a second Alex. Andy?
Andy: I was agreeing with Jason, that was exactly my experience. My Pebble was always running down to zero because I was not in the habit of charging every day whereas the... after the first software update on the Moto 360 it gets easily a one full day and then easily into the next morning and you know at the end of the day you're going to take this off and put it on your nightstand anyway and because there's... it's not a plug in thing, it's not even a magnetic thing it's just drop it onto this cradle, you may as well put it and get it recharged again.
Leo: Alright, so... how do you think it's going to do? Is it now, based on... oh go ahead Alex, I'm sorry, you had something to say.
Alex: All I was going to say is I think there will be a lot of charging opportunities, like I think that people who are commuting are going to end up having a little charger in their car that they possibly pop it on you know for long commutes and so on and so forth. I think if they're like me they'll throw chargers everywhere.
Leo: The chargers are not super expensive I think. They're...
Andy: $30 or $40 depending on how long the cable is.
Serenity: There's a nice accessories page again for people who are looking to see what bands they can afford for the watch, it's all on the store although none of them are currently available, we were told by a couple of the Apple reps that although...
Leo: Not even the accessories.
Serenity: Yeah. The accessories will be available but they may not be available immediately with the preorder of the watch, so you may have to wait to get your fancy bands.
Rene: Get the band you want.
Serenity: Exactly, get the band you want with your collection and then purchase the other one.
Leo: And that's another thing, you know when there's iPhone shortages sometimes you get a Spring phone and you wanted a T-Mobile phone. Will there be like... oh if you really want a watch today, you're going to have to buy the steel one?
Serenity: I wouldn't be surprised although again, if it may... they're talking about having reservations for the try on process and it may be once you try something on you have the option to put in your reservation and they give you like a come back at this date and we will service you with a watch. But that, I think it really depends on again, what you're getting. If you're even considering something outrageously expensive and what the popular models will be. I think Apple will sell quite a few sports, but I also think we'll see a lot of demand for the regular watch.
Leo: We were talking yesterday with Nir Eyal who is an expert in the psychology of game addiction and app addiction and so forth and we talked about something called price anchoring and I've talked about this with also with Daniel Ariely who's the author of Predictably Irrational. Wall Street Journal does this, they have a low price item that they don't expect anybody to buy, but they put it there to establish that oh this is a pretty, the second item is a pretty good deal.
Rene: It gets you in the door. Yeah.
Leo: Is that what's going to happen with the sport watch? Is that the anchor?
Rene: You ever bought a Mac online when you go in there and it says well just for $100 more you can get this... just for another $100 you can get... and it starts adding and it starts going...
Serenity: Pretty soon you've built a $30,000 Mac Pro.
Rene: The old joke in marketing was that you always have a low priced item to get someone in the door, you have a middle priced item that everyone gets and you have the premium item that the people who think they're too good for the middle class, like the middle...
Leo: So the steel really is the... do you think now, I now may be re-advising, especially now that we've seen the price, that they're going to get a lot of sales on the steel, that that may end up being... except for roller derby queens.
Jason: The price is close enough. The price is closer than I think we feared, I think a bunch of us started to panic and think it was going to be $1,000. And it's you know, it's in the ball park in fact if you bought a sport and then added in a leather band you're within $100 of buying the blank one with the leather band.
Rene: Just $100 more Jason...
Leo: That's the key isn't it?
Isn't that the key?
Rene: Small increments.
Leo: I have to tell you, I won't tell you who but a friend of mine said oh I want the one with the Mickey Mouse face on it, and so they're going to have a problem here because people go there and go... I know they all have the Mickey Mouse face but that person said oh but I like that... and order... was going to order that one because it has the Mickey Mouse face.
Jason: It was John Dvorak wasn't it?
Leo: It was, he was very unclear about how these...
Rene: But I think they have a step in the buying process where it shows you the faces.
Leo: This explains why Apple wants you to come into the store where they've trained their people, there is a little bit of a learning curve here. This is the one I want, the 42 millimeter with...
Andy: Beautiful with Jony Ives style claws, grab you by the ankles and shake you and shake you and shake you until all of your money drops into the well of that beautifully designed table.
Leo: I've got to measure my wrist, I don't know how many millimeters my wrist is.
Serenity: Fabric tape.
Rene: You'll be fine.
Leo: Yeah. If I only had fabric tape. You're a thespian, you make costumes. I don't have fabric tape.
Serenity: You can buy them for like a dollar at CVS.
Leo: Oh I'll get a fabric tape.
Serenity: But the one thing that kind of bummed me out was seeing that there is a fair amount to be said about the retail experience and Tim Cook says a little bit at the end of the presentation, oh the retail's going to be this way and we have special tables. And I was like alright this is a perfect introduction to Angela Ahrendts and then she did not appear yet again.
Leo: They were... and it was a 90 minute event, and they had a front row and Eddy Cue was there, Craig Federighi was there, Angela Ahrendts were there.
Serenity: They were all there, yeah.
Leo: They were all in the front row, but I think that they were there in state. I think it would have been nice to get her up but frankly, they had a lot to say in a short period, relatively short period of time.
Andy: Yeah but they could have said something else that was very important by not having an all male presentation.
Leo: Well that's true and Samsung did so well with that didn't they on the S6?
Serenity: Yeah well, Christy Turlington.
Jason: Christy Turlington.
Serenity: Yeah Christy Turlington, well she's the first woman that Apple has had on the stage in five years.
Serenity: Yeah. So...
Leo: Oh my god.
Serenity: She would do a presentation.
Leo: And was a supermodel. And she was a supermodel.
Serenity: No including, I think including software demos because the last time was Angie Mokul with what... yeah.
Leo: Holy cow. So Burk who's the master of model making here at the TWiT brick house has made me a 32 and a 48 millimeter... now Burk I need a 150mm strap, can you... no no. So there's the sizes, so you can see what that would look like on your wrist, or compare it to the Moto 360 and you say that, or look it's pretty much exactly the size of your Pebble.
Jason: Well yeah but the Pebble's got all of the stuff that extends on either side of it so it's actually a lot less than the Pebble.
Leo: Alright. So I don't... so Serenity you might buy the 42?
Serenity: I think I'm pretty much set on the 38 but the 42 was less bulky than I expected it to be.
Leo: Not as bad.
Rene: I'm going 42.
Serenity: I think I might in next like intervening years like next year or the year after I may go 42 if they decrease the height a little bit, I think the 42 with the height on my little tiny girl wrist is probably a little bit too much, but for the majority of people I think it should be just fine.
Serenity: Slender, yes exactly.
Serenity: What, you don't little tiny girl wrist? Is that not a good adjective?
Leo: You're not really that small, I don't... are you? I mean...
Serenity: I don't know. In comparison?
Andy: How many people in roller derby get away with that?
Rene: They get the elbow not the wrist Andy.
Leo: Mine's hairy.
Serenity: What was it... someone was... someone in the chatroom was saying something interesting and now I haven't found it.
Rene: We'll teach them.
Andy: Can I just say that we do really need to point out that as excited as we're all getting about this, we're talking about $600 plus for a stainless steel watch that in itself doesn't do anything, it only makes the phone more useful and more handy, and for 600 dollars... If someone says “I've got a 600 dollar budget to radically improve the way that I use the computers and the services that I have in my house, office, and personal life”, I’m not sure if I would steer them towards that. If they're saying “I wanted to spend hundreds of dollars on a really cool watch, it's nice if it has features too, maybe.
Rene Ritchie: What people are missing right now is that as Andy's speaking, Leo is watching the animation... I can see the money flying out of Leo's wallet.
Leo: Look at this Andy and tell me how much you would pay for this. We're looking at the Milanese loop. So I had an insight Andy, and I think you'll understand this because you use an Android phone. One of the reasons I use an Android phone over an iPhone is... The nice thing about the Android phone and the larger space is I can use widgets, so I turn on the phone and get information immediately. I don't have to dig into an icon and launch an app, I have my calendar I have time, and weather all of that stuff because of the widgets on an Android phone. That to me is the compelling reason, there's my email, New York times headlines, there's messages and my calendar. I don't have to launch an app. That to me is really the single most compelling feature that's missing in the iPhone. This grid of icons just doesn't speak to me. Literally. That's what the watch is. The watch is a 600 dollar widget panel. (laughter) And you know what? I think it may be the single thing that can make me happy again with the iPhone.
Andy: I’m not going to get bogged down into philosophical, should apple be making this, what does it mean they're making this. What I can say with absolute truth is I really wish they had found a way to make a decent smart watch that costs anywhere under 300 dollars. I wish that it wasn't so, as Rene said, tilted above... You can have the cheap one for just working out, but here's the nice designer one that we think is the middle of the road one. I just wish they'd found a way to say here's 300 bucks to design the best looking watch we can possibly do.
Leo: That's not apple's way. Look at the MacBook. Don't you think that the next generation after they could do a less expensive one.
Andy: The MacBook has features, and it has operational
differences between one and the other. The thing that I’m really trying to get my
head around, to the extent that part one of my write up posted late this
morning, part two is the part where it talked about the watch. When I talk
about the addition, the sneak preview is just two sentences and it says that my
feelings on the addition are complicated, and I don't feel like I can
articulate them without another week's work of reflection, and that literally
is the last part of the section, because I don't know how I feel about “We can
pour any material into this mold, we can pour gold into it, that costs us an
extra two grand in materials, but we decided to see how much we could ask for
it. There's nothing wrong with running a business that way, I’m just truly
trying to wrap my head around making a product that way.
Serenity Caldwell: Yeah I think going back to what we were talking about earlier, it's not a “how much money can we make” it's “This product is priced for a certain sub section of the people who will only pay this amount of money”
Andy: At the same time, why not 30 thousand, why not 100 thousand dollars? Why not 8 thousand.
Rene: Setting the platinum tier for next year.
Andy: It's weird to say that we're just going to guess on how much money. When you can put any dollar amount on it, I believe that you're saying “This object has no value.” In a philosophical way.
Serenity: Going back to the sport, and the regular Apple Watch, The thing that is going to be really interesting is next year or two years from now's model. If it follows the same kind of pattern that we see in the iPad, iPhone, and everything else, you're going to be able to get the original Apple Watch for 50 or 100 dollars cheaper. And going from the 349 apple watch to the 249 apple watch sport, from last year that still runs the same operating system but is maybe a little bulkier, that becomes a lot easier of a sell for people who never really thought about getting this smart watch, but now that this is potentially an option, this might be something that I can do. Could apple price something at 249 this year, could they have initiated the apple watch sport? Possibly but at the margins that I’m guessing would not be good enough for them to be able to innovate the way that they want to be innovating.
Jason Snell: The iPhone and the iPad didn't start a price this low. I accept that it's an accessory and it's a little bit different, but this is still a product that starts at 349 and it's the first generation. I think the inclusion of the addition is distraction, which is why they didn't talk about it in any great detail, didn't show the gold video on stage, because it's playing to a different audience (overlapping) It's sort of asperational, but the bottom line is I would agree more with Andy if this ten thousand dollar product was unlike the other products, but the only difference is the metal is different.
Rene: There are some really expensive watches that have really crappy plastic mechanism in it and has no relationship with anything, but this product allows them to have the people at this event that they had, it allows them to have the watch in magazines, and them to be in fashion week and all these other things, allows them not to spend ten thousand dollars if they don't want to. (overlapping voices)
Alex Lindsay: I think most importantly a ten thousand dollar watch makes a 350 dollar watch and an 850 dollar watch look cheap. That's the most important piece of having a ten thousand dollar watch, to let us know we're buying the little watch.
Rene: No matter if you're the president or the guy on the street, everyone's drinking the same Coke. You can get a gold watch, sure, but only if you have 350 dollars, you have the same experience as the guy with the gold watch.
Leo: That's an interesting idea, isn't it? It may look prettier, but I've got the same watch inside. It doesn't hurt the iPhone that you can buy a Swarovski blinged out iPhone. It's interesting, I think Apple is right to push it aside, because it is a hot button topic, but at the same time...
Andy: I disagree with that point of view but that's a half hour conversation
Leo: I think it's a fascinating conversation, and you're point is well taken.
Rene: That's my secret Andy, I always wait until the end of the show.
Leo: Here's the good news we've got such a big panel, and Steve Gibson is under the weather, so we aren't going to do Security Now at one as we normally would do. Good news, he's sick! (laughing) This is a four hour show, alright? It's a telethon now.
Andy: Until we raise one more dollar than we did last year.
Serenity: Until we raise the money for Leo to get an addition.
Leo: There's a thought, I could do a Kickstarter “Buy Leo an addition” Just like new year's. I guarantee you there will be a Kickstarter to buy somebody an addition at some point.
Serenity: This was a mistake.
Leo: There was a Kickstarter for a guy to ride what was it the Emerit or the Nihad suite? There was a Kickstarter for Potato salad, you can do anything you want nowadays on that Kickstarter I have started a Meerkat, because we want to demonstrate Meerkat, as I said the show is gonna go a little bit long, if anyone wants to take a bathroom break now would be a good time (laughter) We've got a great live audience here, and we've got a great panel. Serentiy Caldwell from iMore, Rene Ritchie from iMore. From Rwanda Alex Lindsey on a green screen. Jason Snell from Six Colors, Andy Inhatko. These are the people I would spend my life with all the time if I could. I want to invite you to my house and you can move in with me and Lisa and just live with me, because you guys are the greatest.
Andy: We'll form a band, and we'll solve crimes.
Leo: IT is! It's the Justice League
Serenity: Only if Andy brings, whatever.. is that scotch, Andy?
Andy: It's my Green Spot whiskey.
Leo: Oh NO!
Andy: You can tell I’m not a big drinker because I got this bottle two years ago, but oh my goodness it's tasty stuff. We should all be drinking whiskey. You know what would taste good right now? Green Spot.
Leo: The sun has gone over the yardarm, if you're interested, I can arrange.
Serenity: It's always five o'clock somewhere, no I’m good for now.
Leo: Are you? Because we've got plenty of brown liquor in the other room there. (laughter) And good stuff too.
Jason: It's the good stuff that's always dangerous.
Leo: I know! I’m like Lou Grant. (laughter)
Serenity: It's going to turn into nineteen forties.
Jason: I've worked with many many people, I've worked in journalism for many years, the bottle in the bottom drawer, that is a thing that really still happens.
Leo; The novel in the middle drawer and the bottle in the bottom drawer.
Rene: You've seen Mad Men, Jason.
Leo: Tom Merit bought the Mad Men metal lined whiskey thing and he left it here. Maybe he decided it was better off not to have it at home. Our show today brought to you by, we're going to come back with lots more from Macbreak weekly and I’m sure we've got lots more to talk about. It's ok, you can show the Coke can. Are you hiding it? You don't want to give them a free plug?
Jason: You mentioned it was time for a bathroom break, so please tell me more about Squarespace, I want to know about Squarespace. (Laughter)
Leo: Continues laughing. Our show today brought to you by Macbreak weekly, and Squarespace. The place to make your next website, whether it's a commerce site, a blog, you're portfolio if you're a pro. Squarespace is easy to use, beautiful templates. Of course, they're all mobile responsive. You're site will look good no matter what size screen, that's important nowadays. You don't know what resolution, what size screen it doesn't matter. Squarespace automatically resizes the image, I think it's got nine different versions it resizes the screen, I just love it. Simple, powerful, beautiful. Making changes is more simple than ever, you can actually modify your site, change your template on the fly. Your content stays the same, you can see how everything looks as you're doing it. No separate preview mode anymore. If you want help Squarespace does have a great portal with lots of workshops and videos and 24/7 live chat and email support direct from their offices. They don't outsource their support its' from Squarespace pros right there in NYC. Starts at 8 dollars a month. That's the hosting, that's the software. And it's a domain name when you buy for a year. It's a great deal. All Squarespace sites include e0commerce too. On the 8 dollar site you can get one item, perfect for donations fundraisers, non-profits are going to love it. With cover pages, you can set.. aww, that's a cute pooch. You can set up a beautiful one page online setup I minutes. Perfect for creating quick landing pages for your brand, your personal identity, to promote a product. Start your trial right now, no credit card is needed. All you need to do is go to Squarespace.com click the get started button but you've got to use the offer code Macbreak to get ten percent off your first purchase. Squarespace, a better web awaits, build it yourself at squarespace.com. Leo Laporte here, with Macbreak weekly, our daily descent into the world of Kool-Aide. People think that we've drunk the Kool-Aide, but I have to say I believe that I’m very brutally honest about apple products, it's not the only thing I cover, and when apple does something great, I want to say they're doing something great, the Macbook is great, I’m very excited about the potential of the watch, I was more skeptical as I've worn Android Wear for about six months now. Somebody said that one of the values of the watch is you just never take your phone out. It does everything your phone does.
Rene: When I was a little kid, my father bought an Apple II and left it at home so he didn't have to drive downtown to IBM to use the mainframe. I got an iPhone and I don't have to go back to my mac all the time, especially when I’m not home. People I know who are using the watch, and from my use of the watch, I’m not going to have to reach for my phone as often, and that sounds silly because they're brief things, but it's important things. It's in my pocket, it's in my bag across the room charging, that just takes away another small amount of things that I don't have to go to a large device to do.
Jason: At some point, more than a century ago, somebody looked at the pocket watch and said “You know what? If I strapped this to my wrist, I wouldn't have to keep getting it out of my pocket.
Leo: It's kind of the same thing, isn’t it?
Jason: It's kind of like that. For the apple watch to be successful, it does need to make our interactions with our phone, the ones we do that take a lot longer, or we're spending minutes, and the watch should be for all those things that we still do today on our phones that only take seconds, we don't need to get our phones out of our pockets. That'll be a win.
Serenity: I do think that how you use the watch is going to depend on your daily usage and what you use your iPhone for, if you have one at all. Then obviously you need a 5c or up to be able to do that. But the really interesting thing to me about the watch besides the fact that it will hopefully decouple me from the big screen to just being able to select the notifications that I want to pay attention to instead of having to freak out and pull my phone out every time the phone buzzes in case it might be Rene with like an emergency for iMore, instead I only set it so that certain notifications buzz and all I have to do is look at my watch. And it says this is a message from a skater, so I don't have to worry about that right now, or I don't even have to pull it up. If it is a message from Rene or my parents, all I have to do is pull it up to my face, and I actually get more context. The context based notification is really exciting to me, the idea of maps on my wrist vs something that I have to carry around and maps that can intelligently buzz me when I have to go left or right is really cool. There was a small little demo for various things the watch could do when we were in the hands on area. People make fun of the messaging “I can send silly pictures to people, I can send people my heartbeat” But I think about how bad I am at talking to my parents, who live on this coast and get frequently very annoyed, “Serenity why don't you call us more often” I feel really bad about that, but sometimes it's like “Ok phone conversations”
Leo: So you're just going to send mom your heartbeat!? That's not what she wants... (Laughter
Serenity: Well no... It's more about...
Leo: even just a little heart for mom
Serenity: It's being more in communication with the people you care about and having it be easier. I don’t know why it feels more difficult, well no I do. The iPhone is a multi-stream device. WE talk about it being hard to multitask, but in all honesty anyone who owns an iPhone you pull it out and say you're going to look up directions. Tell me the times that actually ends up directions, and nothing else but directions. You'll browse another fifteen minutes, and you end up checking on things. The same thing goes where you say you want to text your mother, but oh wait there are emails that I have to respond to, and somebody yelled at me on twitter, and Instagram and facebook, and all of this and all of a sudden there are so many notifications that you're completely overwhelmed. With this it's as easy as sending a message to mom, pull it up, tap the friends button and tap mom, it's just the little things.
Leo: Will I be able to put my grocery list on it?
Serenity: In theory.
Leo: I hold my phone, and it's a real pain
Rene: WE saw the Uber apps yesterday.
Leo: That was amazing!
Rene: The thing that Serenity said is that yes the watch does take a percentage of the things and offload them off the starship onto the shuttle craft makes it much easier to maneuver, but there's also things that it enhances it's got the heart rate monitor which doesn't have on the phone, it's got a sketch, and the tap it has all these things. Every category that they've targeted it as, it's got a couple extra added features as well that you don't have on the phone. Serenity said it's compatible with iPhone 5 and up, you can only have Apple pay on iPhone 6 or 6+ right now, but if you have an Apple Watch, all of a sudden you can use Apple pay with an iPhone 5. For a lot of people, yes it will take those tasks over, but it will give you more you can do. There is extra value in having a watch you don't get without it.
Serenity: I don't think the Apple watch is for everybody. For people who use their phones very often
Leo: Which is everybody, face it. That's all you see nowadays people walking around with their phones.
Serenity: We joke about “I’m going to pay 600 dollars for something that saves me half a millimeter of time, oh no!” First world problems.
Leo: Socially it's more acceptable to be looking at your watch than it is to have your phone out.
Rene: Remember what Tim Cook said? “I've been wanting to have a phone call on my watch since I've been five years old.” I have Tulio, but I don't have 180 billion dollars to make it a reality.
Leo: Thank you Tony Stark Cook.
Serenity: I understand completely why people don't want the watch, and why Andy's skeptical.
Leo: You don't have to buy the watch or the MacBook. Nobody's going to make you do that.
Andy: I should point out that I've been wearing this on my wrist every single day since September, I’m a big fan of smart watches.
Leo: This is the Moto 360, right?
Andy: Yeah, and the core things that it does well are the same things that the Apple Watch does well. All I’m saying is that I wish it were less expensive, even if that meant that it did not have a couple of different things. When you start it's a really really hard thing to ask someone to spend 600 dollars for a stainless steel smart watch, even 350 or 400 dollars is... I’m not saying it's a ridiculous amount of money, or that it's stupid for anyone to pay it, I’m saying that for the sort of features that are most important to people they could have done a version of this that was really great but it sold like hotcakes, and could have been sold for less than 300 bucks.
Leo: They will, two years from now. It will be just like the iPod. The first iPod, that's too expensive, everybody wants a music player, if it were only 200 dollars, it would sell like hotcakes.
Alex: It was the iPod and when the iPhone came out we couldn't understand why that was the case, why you would spend so much money on a phone, and then we all did.
Leo: The current iPhone is like 1000 dollars!
Andy: No it isn't, it's 200 bucks for most people in the united states.
Leo: Ok that's a good point, subsidized nobody sees the real price. But the truth is that is a lot of money. I feel like in the way that apple's done is the watch you want is about the same as an iPhone. We'll see, Andy. Apple has kind of said we don't expect to sell this as well as the iPhone.
Andy: Let me just tell you from my own point of view where, I write reviews and either explicitly or embedded inside the thing is; are you asking me should I buy this? And I will give you my advice. When you have a pebble watch that costs 99 bucks up to 200 dollars, when you have an Android device that costs 200 – 250 dollars, I can say look, even if it's just a cool watch that has these cool replaceable faces, that's at least 120 bucks right there. The ability for the phone in my pocket to quietly and at my control give me a notification or make an app present itself to my watch when it needs to come into fore, when I’m walking, I get a haptic buzz saying turn left or right.
Leo: By the way, that's a killer feature.
Andy: Good time to actually look at your watch and see whether it's going to be left or right, that's great stuff. When you start talking about the cheapest one is 350 or 400 dollars, I have to start saying “Is the person I recommend this to going to feel as though they're going to get a value for 350 or 400 dollars?” When you increase that value to 600 bucks then I start thinking “I really don't know what to tell you.” I’m not going to tell you not to buy it, I can't tell you whether you're going to get 600 dollars’ worth of value out of it. That's not a problem that I had with the iPad, say, or with many Windows notebooks that are well constructed that cost 5 or 600 bucks. With the Watch, I honestly don't know if I can stand buy a recommendation that you're going to get that value back off of that purchase.
Rene: I still think 350 is going to be the normal point for most people.
Jason: I’m going to disagree with my dear friend Andy who I've known for 20 years, and I do this respectfully. When I was at Macworld, one of the things we debated a lot is how much do you factor the price of a product into its rating. I think ultimately as reviewers our real job is to describe what a product is good for, and how it works and if it works well, or if it works poorly.
Leo: The consumer knows the price. That information is available.
Jason: They know how much money they've got, and how much money they want to spend, and it's vbery hard for us because there's no way to really dig in because everybody's financial requirements are going to be different, their priorities are going to be different. In the end, we don't know this Andy, and you will try out the apple watch and discover your feelings about whether it's truly useful enough. And your readers will say “Yeah that sounds great, but not for 350” or they'll say “350, that's fine.” I think we have to see it and try it, and know that. For some people they would never expect to buy a watch for 350. And for somebody else it's just not even a question, of course they're going to buy the first generation. For me, the more important point is does it live up to what Apple wants it to be? We'll find that out, but it's very hard for me to make recommendations if anyone should buy this for this price. Everybody's price sensitivity is going to be different.
Leo: Andy's raising his hand, Andrew?
Andy: That never factors into my rating per se, but I do feel as though what value is this device giving for the amount of money they're asking for. For instance, I’m looking at a 59 dollar WinPad, windows tablet. IF this were a 200 dollar tablet, at 60 dollars I can say “Look, you might have a really good use for it. Here are the things I think it does very very well,” I think that's a very good thing chiefly because it delivers a lot of value for what you get. That's not the only metric, but I think it's a valuable metric. If Apple were to sell the new MacBook for 5000 dollars, I could not avoid saying “That is an insane amount of money to charge for something like this.” Again, I want to make sure people are very very clear on what they're getting for whatever money they spend on it. I don't make that an important metric, but that does creep into my decision on whether I can say this is a great thing to get.
Leo: I don't think we need to belabor the point, you made your point very clearly and well. I agree with you, I did the same thing on that particular 59 dollar WinBook, which I would not recommend at any higher price point, but at 59 dollars it's kind of cool. I’m going to buy the watch, and I think a lot of people are going to buy the watch. We did learn a few new details, the battery is replaceable, although they said you'll get three years of battery life.
Rene: The iPhone battery is replaceable.
Leo; They can pry it open somehow and put a new one in at a cost.
Andy: They're already shipping the right size rocks to every store so they can smash it open with real precision. (laughter)
Leo: We also are learning that it has 8 gigabytes of storage. Not all of that would be allowed for music though.
Serenity: That's not surprising to me when you think about an 8 gig phone for instance, how much of that is actually available for the user and for personal interaction. What 9 to 5 Mac originally reported and apparently confirmed with Apple is that you'll have 2 gigabytes, that's about the size of a big iPod Shuffle that's on the device for music. Not streaming music mind you, but for when you're away from your phone. Also a little bit of space for on device photos.
Leo: Seventy five mgs for on device.
Serenity: Right 75 megabytes for when you're away from your phone. The rest of that is presumably being taken up by the operating system along with your talking about app local cache data. Apple watch apps are basically extensions right now, running as widgets on the watch from the phone. But that won't be always the case. They've implied that later this year we'll see native watch apps. And once we see that, I expect those apps will need space like iPhone apps.
Leo: Right. I think the away from phone usage is really mostly for exercisers, right?
Alex: I think that there will be a lot of places. The interesting thing is not just the away from phone, but the proximity of being somewhere in the house with the phone. If you've got an extended Wi-Fi area, you'll still be able to have access to that.
Leo: That's interesting, the phone not only has Bluetooth, but Wi-Fi.
Rene: We knew it had Wi-Fi, but the Wi-Fi was built into the Bluetooth voraciously, so it would make the bluetooth handshake and transfer data over Wi-Fi. What they said yesterday is that if you're on the same Wi-Fi network it will extend the bubble of Bluetooth range.
Leo: So as long as I’m in my house it doesn't matter where my phone is. That is cool.
Jason: With my Pebble, if I walk 8 feet away it loses connection.
Alex: And if you're in a company that builds the networks in a certain way, the way we build ours, I could theoretically have my watch in one state and be using my phone in another.
Leo: That's an unusual situation, Alex.
Alex: It's not normal for a lot of businesses, but a lot of the larger businesses work on large corporate networks. If those networks are able to manage that.. it's just interesting to be able to...
Leo: I’m not going to leave my phone in a different state.
Rene: My sister uses a Pebble because she doesn't want to have to carry her phone, and all of the pages in the hospital are done over an iPhone now, it's an iPhone system. She's looking forward to being able to leave her phone on her desk. She has a doctor's coat, she doesn't want to put the phone in because it's heavy, and she thought she'd have to stay within Pebble distance, but now she can just walk through the hospital.
Jason: I’m sure there are going to be networking quirks there, where it's like “Oh well this is a bad handoff and all of that” But I think that in a lot of Wi-Fi networks, the idea that you'll be able to move around, and especially in your house. TO be able to move more than ten feet away from your phone with the watch.
Leo: I often put the phone in its dock by the bed, and I’m in the house the rest of the evening. I can even make a phone call from my watch. I'll miss a lot fewer phone calls, for one.
Alex: And if you think about how often you're charging your phone, if you have to charge it overnight. Now you're charging your phone and you're not feeling like you've been disconnected from the rest of the world for the two hours or whatever.
Leo: What does the audio sound like coming out of the
Serenity: They didn't really have a good environment for us to demo that. They had the calls start to complete, and I think we got a couple of seconds on one of them. The audio quality was just terrible there, there was no point in trying to show it off with all the noise.
Leo: So we don't know if it will be acceptable in the long term phone call...
Rene: I know people who make phone calls on their watch and their thing isn't that it's long term, it's great for that “Ok I”m on my way home, oh you need milk? Ok great i'll go get that.” But if you want to have a 5 or ten minute call...
Leo: You know what I love? Audio messages on messages. When they introduced that on iOS 8, I thought this is really great, I love it. Now I get it. I’m not going to dictate, I’m just going to talk.
Serenity: This is actually a brilliant thing about the watch that I found out when I was playing with the demo, which is Siri, right? We've all had problems with Siri. Siri has some great features, but it also has some quirks. You try and say my team name for roller derby, I say “The Cosmonaughties are having a party” It ends up being like cosmo not tennants, or something like that. So if I’m dictating while I’m driving, I don't want to look at my screen because I want to look at the road. I either have to pull over and change my message, I have to try and re-dictate it and think about a different word that maybe the phone will understand, or on the Watch, there's a new button where whatever you dictate to Siri when you're in messages, it shows you what you dictated and there's also a button that says “Send as audio message.” So if it messes it up, you can just send it as an audio message and you don't have to worry about re-dictating it.
Leo: If the other party has an iPhone. Not everybody I know is an iPhone user. It only works with other iOS devices.
Rene: My problem is, Leo, that I start to think in Siri now, so I’m dictating an audio message so I say “Hi Serenity comma I'll be there soon, period. And she hears the audio and thinks I’m a moron.
Andy: That's one thing Android does really really well, I could not get the speech text to work on this for the first two or three days, because I was using my Siri voice with the Watch. As soon as I started talking regularly it kept up with me word for word for word,
Leo: I don't understand you, Andy, would you just speak to me like a normal person? Here's another thing we learned... as soon as I said “But Lisa, I can send you my heartbeat, I can draw you pictures, it will be a way of staying in touch, as you said with your mom, that's going to be unique. She's going to get one. I think this will sell, just as I think messages sells more iPhones, because I want to be able to do audio messages. It's not a bad idea.
Rene: The nice thing is, all this stuff is hands off. They're using hands off technology, so if you're doing a phone call and you think it's going to be a couple minutes, and you don't want to waste your watch battery you can send it to your phone.
Leo: Incidentally, we have 410 people watching us in an unusual way, they're watching us on Meerkat. 410 people watching, because of this twitter app. Can you see, Oh you're watching me? You're one of the 410 Jason?
Jason: I have the feed but strangely there is something weird about the zoom.
Leo: I think that Meerkat is designed to be used in portrait mode. Of course everybody hates vertical video, anyway I don't want to talk about Meerkat yet. That's Alex's pick of the week. Somebody says Messages does work on all phones, you just have to turn it on in settings. How would I get messages on an Android device?
Rene: IT converts it to MMS.
Leo: So I can get audio with MMS?
Serenity: I believe?
Rene: I'd have to test it, but I believe it's supposed to be an MMS package.
Serenity: There's someone in the chatroom who was using the watch while driving, it's actually a lot easier than trying to press a button. If I’m driving all I have to do is pull up my thing, I do'nt even have to look at the watch, I just have to say “Send a message to my mother, tell her I’m running five minutes late” And continue driving. That's the problem that I have with the car stuff, and even with car play. I don't want to have to look at a screen and press a button to activate Siri, I just want to talk. I want to say “Hey Siri” and sorry to everybody who was watching.
Rene: Oh my god, you did it!
Jason: You should say “Ahoy Timepiece!”
Serenity: I apparently said it four times during the iMore show last week, and then Kevin Lynch said it on the stage and set off every device, it set off mine. Also hey apple, can we do a custom thing? Not say Ahoy Timepiece!
Leo: You know what I say on my MOTOX is “Help me Obi-Wan Kenobi” (laughter) That's a good one. And you kind of enjoy saying it every once in a while.
Andy: IT's weird how you adapt to these things, I like “OK Google,” But it's so simple to as I raise my wrist to simply tap the screen and remove all doubt that even in a noisy environment that it's going to hear that and start listening.
Leo: We're going to take a break in a second, but I want to make sure we say everything. There is other news. WE didn't really spend any time on Researchkit, although Apple spent a considerable amount of time on that.
Serenity: It's really cool. It's hard for consumers to understand, but it's an exceptionally well thought out idea that will help doctors and help patients and potentially move medical research forward.
Leo: Credit to Dr. Mom who is our resident physician, we are one of the few podcasts who actually has a physician, and it's because I’m so elderly, we also have a defibrillator. She has a little bit different take on this. She says this is about getting FDA approval down the road. SO what this is going to be is a concept. She said there will be a peer reviewed articles about this, but what they're really doing is demonstrating that the data that they get from let's say that Parkinson's app, actually is as good as or better than that obtained by a home nursing visit. Once they show that to the FDA in the research, then they can expect FDA approval for its use in a more general way. SO in a way what you're seeing is trials for something that down the road might be much more powerful and much more usable. At this point all they're really doing is trying to demonstrate that the device improves monitoring of patients out of the hospital, or at least as good as a home visit.
Rene: Today was the shareholder's meeting and right away
they go “What is the business model for ResearchKit,
and Tim Cook goes “I don't need a business model for everything”
Leo: I think he actually knows there is a business model. Because if the iPhone can ultimately do that kind of reliable testing... Your doctor can say to you that you need an Apple Watch and an iPhone.. Insurance might even cover it, because you don't need a home visit anymore suddenly there is a very good business model, especially with an aging population.
Jason: They're going to be really happy about those things that are second or third level effects, where it's not “Oh this is going to sell a lot more iPhones directly,” But it's more like this is going to make people think that Apple is changing the world, and that goes along with their brand promise and going to make everyone happy, and “can you believe what the iPhone does?” That speaks to the success of Apple as a company in a way that isn't as direct, but Apple likes to show that side of itself, It is good PR, but there is also a real world benefit of it.
Rene: And they're happy to say that they're doing this privately, collecting your data.
Andy: I believe that they're quite sincere in this project. The phrase that keeps, in this unwritten as yet response about the edition watch, it's like Apple can make whatever they want, they have the resources and the talent, the war chest, whatever they decide they want to make, they can. It pleases me greatly. That's actually how I wound up with part one of my column today. I wound up very pleased that they chose to make these things that will extend people's lives and ease suffering, which is the possible end result of technology that is this forward thinking.
Leo: This is not probably something that's going to bring medicine to Uganda or poor regions of the southeastern united states, this is a beginning.
Andy: That’s interesting, too. I talked about this yesterday on the live stream, but when I mess at the media lab and see stuff, a lot of the projects that they’re working on is, here’s a way to outfit a dirt common Android phone, so that it actually can give eye tests. And here’s a way to outfit an Android phone so that it can give these tests because they don’t, in a lot of parts of the world, they don’t have access to medical care, but they do have these dirt cheap Android phones. And if you could find a way to get these $5.89 little lens kits or whatever, or slides you put in so that you can give them diagnostic tools that they can use to at least triage, someone can decide is it worth the trip to get them to a hospital or not. And so this is something that could really plug into that sort of stuff, if only Apple had dirt cheap phones that are actually rolling out to these other parts of the world. But it’s a good move, regardless.
Leo: That might be the ultimate value of this, then you can put it in a $50 Windows Phone or Android phone.
Jason Snell: We’re mining this incredibly measurable population of people who already have these phones to do research that will teach us things that we might not have even known if we weren’t monitoring them with this device in their pocket. That teaches us something that helps everybody, right? It doesn’t necessarily have to be the direct monitoring, it’s learning, “Oh, did you know that if this happens then this happens,” that leads to a breakthrough.
Serenity Caldwell: Yea, if 50,000 people with Parkinson’s who happen to be well enough off to have an iPhone or have an Apple Watch can, you know, record their data for a year, and that data ends up providing a cure or something that makes Parkinson’s a much more livable disease? That’s an incredible win for people who don’t have iPhones and may never be able to afford iPhones. But if it makes their care affordable? You know, I know plenty of people who are like, “Oh, well I’ll never buy an iPhone because I don’t have the money but that’s in part because I’m spending $2,000 a month on medication.” And if Apple could do something that eases medication costs that makes quality of life better for the world, you know, that’s a win. That’s a genuine win.
Leo: Just a program note, if you’re just tuning in now, Steve has the day off. But we’ll do Security Now later this week, so we thought, since we have the time, let’s take a little extra time since we have such a great panel we we’re going to continue MacBreak Weekly a little bit longer. Coming up your picks of the week. Andy Ihnatko from the Chicago Sun Times, Jason Snell from Six Colors.com, Serenity Caldwell from imore.com. She’s waving to the meerkat folks (laughing).
Serenity: I am.
Leo: We have a dual stream going on, it’s a little weird. We’ll talk about that in just a second. Also from imore.com, Rene Ritchie, Alex Lindsay from Rwanda. Are you doing the meerkat too?
Alex: I’m meerkatting, so I’m streaming… I’m streaming you streaming me streaming.
Leo: Now you’re starting to sound like, I stream, you stream, me stream
Serenity: It hurts my head.
Alex: It’s very confusing.
Leo: It sounds like Jar Jar Binks. I streaming, you streaming, me streaming…
Serenity: No, No, No…
Rene: Timon, from the Lion King.
Serenity: Hakuna Matata.
Rene: That’s a meerkat.
Alex: And I turned it on and there were like 17 people watching.
Leo: Do you sing?
Serenity: I do.
Leo: She dances, she sings, she acts.
Serenity: I don’t dance well.
Rene: She acts like she dances.
Leo: And she roller derbies. And she’s an amazing, what do you call that person, you throw them through the line?
Serenity: What, the jammer?
Serenity: I used to be. Once upon a time.
Leo: An amazing jammer.
Serenity: Thank you.
Leo: Hello, Russia. Hello, Russia is watching on the Meerkat. That is an eyeball. There is this strange eyeball coming into Meerkat. Our show today, we’re going to take a break and come back with our picks and a demonstration of the Meerkat thing that is all the rage with the kids. But first, let’s talk about shaving. Kids, you don’t have to watch this. Well, maybe you should because you know what? It’s one of those things, it’s one of those rites of passage that boys go through, and I guess girls too at some point. Where, it’s like, “Oh, really, I’ve got to do that every day for the rest of my life?” Harry’s makes this such a pleasure. Let me reach down and get my Harry’s kit. Harry’s is an amazing experience for someone like me who has to shave every day. Just take it from me. It starts with the Harry’s kit. Now, they’ve got a Truman Kit, they’ve got a Winston Kit. This is the Truman Kit. Every kit though includes a handle, three blades, either the Harry’s saving foam, shaving gel, or the Harry’s in the tube cream, which I like. Oh yea, comfort, man. And it’s got some African nut in it. It’s got hakuna matata or something in it. And it’s marvelous. Anyway, $15 for the Truman. I’m going to save you even more in a second. $25 for the Winston which is the metal engraved handle which is really sweet. But that just gets you started with the Harry’s experience. See, the key to Harry’s is, they decided that they wanted to do direct to you blades at a much reduced price from the ridiculously inflated price of the drug store blades, like $4 for Gillette Fusion. Per blade. I was buying a Gillette Fusion, I had to put the, I had it in the basket at Target, and I looked at it and it was like $50 for some blades. And I thought, I can’t do this. I just can’t do this. So that’s when Harry’s really came to the forefront. The way that they did this, the way they solved this conundrum, is they bought the factory. So it turns out there’s really only two great factories that are known for their blades. They’re both in Germany. Harry’s bought one of them, and by getting all the output of that factory they can specify the best blades. They engineer them for sharpness and performance and they keep the price really low because they ship them free to your doorstep. So the efficiency cuts the price literally in half. Literally in half. A beautiful, clean, comfortable shave. I’ve never cut myself with a Harry’s blade. That’s because I always have a new blade. I have fresh blades all the time. What?
Rene: It’s like a hovercraft for your face. It really is.
Leo: It floats. Spoken from a guy who hasn’t shaved in days.
Rene: You know, Leo, I shave weekly. I’ll have you know that. And I shave before I travel because otherwise customs pulls me over.
Rene: If I don’t shave before, they always want to know what I’m doing and where I’m going, and wondering why.
Leo: That’s profiling. That’s weird profiling.
Rene: Absolutely. Anti-beardist activity.
Leo: Anti-beardist. Well, I’ll tell you one thing, if you only shave once a week there’s more pull because you’ve got longer whiskers. That’s when Harry’s really makes a big difference, you know.
Rene: It’s phenomenal.
Leo: You get such a clean shave and it’s such a nice feeling. I want you to try H-A-R-R-Y-S.com. $5 off your first purchase if you use the offer code MACBREAK. That means $10 to get your trimming kit, that’s a pretty good darn deal. You’re never going to get a deal like that, I’ll tell you. Harry’s …well, you are, if you use the code MACBREAK at harrys.com. We thank them so much for keeping us here suitless. Ahhh… Jason Snell, I had no idea!
Jason: I just couldn’t help myself. The Harry’s shave, it’s so smooth.
Serenity: This is what happens when MacBreak goes long, guys.
Leo: We get punchy. All right, let’s do some picks. I want to start with the Meerkat because we’re running a Meerkat right now. Alex Lindsay, what is Meerkat besides a small, desert dwelling critter from Africa?
Alex: This is, so this is Meerkat. And, well you can see your Meerkat, and you know…
Leo: Why don’t I, for purposes, so you can see what it looks like as you stream on Meerkat.
Alex: So here’s my screen. So, I’m looking around and everything else. Now I’m in Rwanda on my iPhone and I’m streaming to Twitter, and it took me like 42 seconds to do this. It’s crazy.
Leo: Jason, show my… You push a button, it tweets, right? And then you see who’s watching, which is so cool.
Alex: I actually really like that, and there’s a chat on it, so if people are chatting to me.
Leo: That’s right here.
Alex: Yea, from a social tie-in, it’s really, really interesting. And the fact that, now I do a lot of live streaming, and I know that impromptu live streaming does not usually view very many viewers. So the idea that in a couple minutes I have 71 viewers is actually pretty good.
Leo: I’ve got 500 people watching this Meerkat stream right now.
Alex: You’ve got 500, exactly. So it’s, sorry, let’s see if I can spin this thing around, but I think that this is a…
Leo: You know it’s pretty solid. I mean it works pretty well.
Alex: Well, I have to admit, I had it on my phone, and this morning on the way to work, on the way to the school I was just in the cab and I just turned it on. And I just couldn’t believe that it was coming out smoothly and working and everything else. And so anyway, it is pretty amazing.
Leo: Jason’s watching my Meerkat, right now. What are you watching there, Jason, how are you doing that?
Jason: You have to resize the browser to a portrait format.
Leo: So you can watch it on the grounds.
Jason: Yea, you can, so this is it not re-sized, right, this is wide. This is the perspective we’re normally used to having, but if you re-size the window to a portrait you get a much better size.
Leo: When you, so you can schedule the stream ahead of time, and then it will tweet out, tune in, as I did, tune in to 1250, Leo’s going to stream. Or you could just start a stream and it will tweet it out. Does it continue to tweet like, I’ve been on for 40 minutes now, does it continue… people want to look at Serenity, I’m going to put Serenity on.
Jason: Yea, there you go, get me off of there.
Serenity: I just started one.
Leo: Did you start one? You’re doing it too?
Serenity: I just downloaded this and started this.
Leo: This is like Meerkat inception now.
Serenity: This is really easy.
Jason: Everyone point at the camera. Everyone point at the camera right now.
Rene: We’re all broadcasting our individual shows now.
Serenity: 18 people are watching right now.
Leo: So have you been using it for a while?
Alex: No, no I just, I’ve been hearing about it. Everyone keeps on telling me, oh you got to look at, you know, because of what I do, everyone keeps on telling me that I have to look at Meerkat. And so I finally, I had it, I downloaded it immediately, and I just didn’t get around to it. And when I opened it up I just thought it was so cool that, well, anyway, that’s why it’s my pick.
Leo: There’s a little bit of latency on it, what, is it about half a minute, 40 seconds, something like that.
Jason: Yea, its probably.
Serenity: Something like that.
Jason: I mean it’s…. Ok, now we’re looking at Alex.
Alex: I’m going to snap. Ok I snapped.
Serenity: This is a little bit insane.
Rene: It’s Meerkat Inception, we need a kick start.
Jason: People that are only listening to the audio only version of this podcast are completely lost now.
Serenity: Oh, they’re very confused. So I’ve got 28, I’m beating you, Rene.
Jason: That’s probably about 15, 20 seconds, yea.
Leo: You can receive a Meerkat on a browser, you can receive a Meerkat on a phone, it is not Android yet, it’s iOS only. And it really went viral just in the last couple of weeks, partly because of product time, but then yesterday, we saw that a number of people were going to Meerkat the keynote, which is kind of silly, since it’s already being streamed.
Rene: Meerkat road rage, because people were trying to Meerkat the same watch table and yelling, “Get out of my Meerkat window!”
Leo: Oh no, really.
Rene: It was almost, there were almost brawls.
Leo: No, that’s terrible.
Serenity: I’m definitely going to use this for derby. This is actually, this is really exciting.
Leo: So what’s great about it, is yea, you can do kind of ad hoc streaming. We certainly spend a lot of money to design a streaming studio, I don’t really need Meerkat since I spend plenty of time streaming, live streaming video, but there’s something personal and intimate about it as well. So now I’m going to Meerkat Jason’s Meerkat…
Rene: I’m Meerkatting Leo Meerkatting Jason
Jason: Oh, how about that?
Leo: OMG. Maybe this is the way we should do the show from now on, is a multi-camera…
Alex: I do think this is going to be something that is going to transform news. I mean I think that’s the thing, I mean something’s going to happen, and there’s suddenly there’s going to be Meerkats. It’s going to be a swarm of Meerkats. On a, you know, those types of things.
Leo: So the interesting thing is that Twitter just bought a company that does exactly this, is it called Pumba? No, it’s Periscope. And I think that unfortunately they just missed the boat because Meerkat is obviously snagged… and it is about Twitter. Without Twitter it means nothing, right?
Jason: They integrate it right into Twitter.
Rene: Remember Quick, Leo, when you were in Cali…
Leo: Quick, yea, I used Quick. Social camera…
Serenity: You can save these? You can save these?
Leo: Ok, now this is what’s weird. You can save it to your phone, but what you can’t do is save it to the internet. Meerkat is a little bit like Snapchat.
Serenity: Well, you can post it somewhere, presumably.
Leo: If you wanted to.
Alex: Yea, you could post it somewhere, and I think part of that is also the quality of the video that you post would be a much higher quality then what it would have recorded from the live stream, as well as, that’s a whole other problem of scale. So if they start scaling, and they didn’t have somewhere to put all those videos, they’re now in You Tube’s business of trying to manage all of that. So it took me, it took me a second to figure that out, I was like, oh right, they don’t want to start that way because…
Leo: No, that’s a very expensive thing to do, is to serve all those videos.
Rene: “Tidbits” is saying, watching all our videos at the same time.
Leo: Oh, how funny. Very weird.
Rene: Meerkat Inception, it’s happening.
Leo: I have used all of these, you know, Socialcam, and Quick and all of that, and I’m sure this will be another flash in the pan. But they did do somethings …
Rene: He’s not Meerkatting.
Leo: Andy’s like totally not interested in this. He will not bend.
Rene: We just told him we’re not going to call him anymore.
Serenity: Here’s the thing about what…
Leo: I’m not going to call, I’m having a Meerkat! I’m sorry.
Andy: I just think that you should set yourself a limit, that if the juggling does not work out after one year, maybe you should take your job at your uncle’s lumber yard.
Serenity: No, what I actually really like about, it’s integrated, yea, sorry chatroom, I turned off my Meerkat feed, because it’s too ridiculous.
Leo: That’s ok, I’ve got Jason’s now.
Serenity: But, I really like how easy this is to setup and how quickly that I could get a good stream going almost immediately. And hook in with Twitter, there’s like Ustream is nice, but there’s a separate chatroom, and it’s kind of insane, and, I don’t know, it’s complicated, if you want to stream anything good you have to pay for a subscription. Again, I’m thinking about roller derby here, because my mind always goes there.
Leo: There is a kind of neat real-time aspect to this, an instant aspect to this.
Serenity: Yea, live streaming roller derby games is really difficult because…
Leo: You could do this, you could attach this to your uniform.
Serenity: Oh yea, absolutely could. I mean, I’d probably put it in an Otter Box first.
Leo: Jammer-cam. Now I’ve noticed that it really prefers vertical, you don’t want to do horizontal. I’m going to do horizontal right now, and I think this is going to screw things up a little bit. It does seem to prefer vertical.
Alex: And I’m doing horizontal right now because I just can’t do it. I will not, like Andy won’t use Meerkat, I will not, will not shoot vertical, that’s all I’m saying.
Rene: I’m a fan of vertical video.
Jason: I mean, in the browser it won’t let me see it in horizontal. No, when I resize it it’s forcing it in portrait.
Alex: Ok, so if I turn it like this.
Jason: Alex, can you yell at the developers and make them fix that? I feel like an animal.
Leo: Well, I have to point out that another pick of Alex’s comes in great, very handy. This is that kind of flat, foldable tripod that you can carry in your pocket. Can you show this Jason? So this is a really handy thing to have if you’re going to have Meerkat. Who makes, is that, is that Gorillapod, is it Joby? It’s a Joby, it’s a Joby product.
Rene: Three Meerkats going. Can we get a 3D model of this?
Leo: And so you can easily put your phone in it. But, Joby, in their infinite wisdom, does not make it get big enough for portrait. You can only do landscape, so.
Serenity: No Meerkat. No Meerkatting for that tripod.
Leo: But this is a, this is, yea, well, I don’t know.
Jason: Why does Meerkat always get the fuzzy end of the lollipop?
Leo: It also lets you use front facing or rear camera.
Serenity: I like that, that’s quick rotation.
Leo: Yea, and it’s very quick. Anyway, I think it’s a good pick. And it’s free.
Rene: Well, it does cost you a little bit of dignity.
Serenity: I’ve started to wonder. It’s not cheap to stream.
Leo: Alex, turn the camera round, you’re on the wrong camera. We want to see you.
Alex: Oh, I was showing the stuff that I was using.
Leo: Yea, ok, he was doing that on purpose.
Serenity: It’s acceptable.
Leo: I also, but I think that Quick had, would show you the people watching, right? And have chat? I think it does a lot of the same things that Quick did.
Serenity: Yea, it does some of them.
Leo: Show the studio audience, which has dwindled.
Serenity: Sorry, we went really long today, guys.
Rene: We’re in hour five of the telethon.
Leo: All right, our MacBreak telethon. If you’re tuning in for Security Now, Steve’s under the weather. We will do it later and we’ll put it on the calendar, Thursday or Friday we’re working on a time that we can do Security Now. So that’s why we’re getting to go a little long. We have such a great panel that I could not resist doing this. And this is another time that the Ten One Design clip comes in handy, that you recommended, Serenity.
Serenity: Yea, I like this little thing.
Leo: You can, because you can mount this now right there on your…
Rene: Peter is a smart, smart accessory builder.
Leo: Look at that! A guy named Peter, no?
Serenity: Peter Skinner.
Rene: Peter Skinner with Ten One Design.
Leo: Ten One started with a, with a stylus, a Pogo. Which still use and now this little silly thing, which I bought because you recommended it, Serenity, has proven its value in Meerkatting. So now you can be … I can Meerkat.
Serenity: I just realized, so a bunch of my cartoonist friends used to do live streams, where they would like have to position…
Leo: Well, they’re drawing.
Serenity: Yea, exactly, position their camera in weird things, you can just put your iPhone up against, and now you can see, yea. That’s neat.
Leo: So there’s Alex Lindsay’s pick. All the way from Rwanda. He’s streaming, we’re streaming, we’re all streaming. Would you like to pick something, Mr. Rene Ritchie?
Rene: I need to stop my Meerkat.
Leo: Stop your Meerkat, I’ll keep my Meerkat going. I’m a little bit worried about saving this to my phone. It’s kind of going to be kind of a big file.
Rene: I’m just saving mine. I don’t know if we’ll ever do anything with it, but for posterity.
Leo: I’ll post it on You Tube if I can upload it. And you can watch this X post facto.
Rene: So I, and I apologize to Jason, as I was Meerkatting and I forgot to paste it into the show notes, but Google Calendar has, yes, asterisk, finally, asterisk, appeared on iOS after it’s been rumored for a while. And we use Google calendar at work, we run off Google apps. And it’s always been really annoying because I use Google over at Exchange on my iPhone, which means I have to go to that stupid Google website on every device, and check off the calendars I actually want to pull up, and I forget that’s how you do it, so I just think my calendars are missing all the time.
Leo: Yea, you get one and…
Rene: And it’s super frustrating. But now there’s a Google Calendar app, it does look like Google’s design language, which some people don’t like, but I think is perfectly serviceable. It’s really well produced app, nicely animated. And it just shows, I loaded it, downloaded it, it asked me which of my Google accounts I wanted to use, I checked off my personal and I checked of my mobile nations one, all my calendars were there. It’s… the colors aren’t the prettiest.
Leo: You know, that’s material design, you’re… it looks exactly the same as the Android version.
Rene: Yea, the thing, my problem with material design is I find it a little bit like Windows Phone, is that it’s so beautiful to the extent that once in while it’s monotonous and I’d like a little bit, like the color, I’d like a little bit of that. Google Calendar is an AK47 of calendars. It’s a battleship of calendars. It is serviceable. It will, you can drop the Google Calendar in the water and it will still work. And it’s just been great. I don’t know if I’ll keep using it, because I’ve been fine having Calendar.app from Fantastico pull stuff, but I like the idea that we can finally get it.
Leo: All right, and its free.
Rene: Yes, like all Google stuff.
Leo: How do you search for it?
Rene: Searching is hard right now because there’s so many calendar apps and because there was no Google Calendar app, people put G-mail in the name, so I would recommend just going to, you can type in and there is a Google trending search, but again it pulls up a ton of results.
Jason: Or you go to, tap to Google App, and then tap on Google as a Developer, and scroll to the bottom. And it’s down there.
Leo: Yea, that’s that way to do it.
Rene: So, yea, Google Calendar. If you’re at all committed to Google then it’s an excellent app for you.
Leo: It’s better than using the native iPhone calendar and just hooking it up to Google?
Rene: I still like Fantastico better because even though the Google Calendar displays really nicely, the Fantastico is real fast to get things into and get things out of. And the other problem, and I’m still split on this, a lot of people had Outlook, and Outlook did everything in one app. And on mobile we’re doing these separate apps. But would I be happier if Google had like a Google desktop app that was mail plus calendar? I could just go back and forth between tabs quickly? I don’t know. But I do like, if I need to like really get a Googly-crunchy calendar experience, I can launch the Google Calendar App.
Leo: Well I want a Googly-crunchy experience.
Jason: It’s like granola.
Leo: Serenity, I don’t know if we told you, but we do picks every week.
Serenity: Yes, I actually, I just put mine into the Google doc. I’m so sad, actually, because my pick, it was in my luggage, and it’s sitting at my friend’s apartment. But it is not here.
Leo: My pick is in my luggage!
Serenity: So, I have been testing some Bluetooth speakers recently, because I went to CES and part of the fun of CES is being like, all right, let’s see some products that would work well with my phone and my Mac. And the thing that stood out to me at CES, and now that I’ve gotten a chance to play it, to play with it, I’m kind of in love with it, is the Fugoo. Which is this, it’s this Jambox sized speaker that is waterproof, snow-proof, dustproof, and if you get the right jacket, car-proof, aka if you run over it.
Leo: But is it derby proof?
Serenity: Yes, it is! So I brought it to a derby.
Leo: Blood, hair, teeth… it’s jammer proof!
Serenity: Bare bones, this is a speaker that is about the size of a Jambox, that has 40 hours of battery life that connects over Bluetooth, and it also happens to be a bunch-of-things-proof. In addition, it sounds great. It’s much louder than the Jambox, and you can strap it to pretty much anything, it comes with a tripod adapter basically, so you could stick it on a tripod, there’s a strap you can wrap it around your bike, you can wrap it around a tree, or you could wrap it around, what I did at my last derby practice, which is one of our poles. So you can basically put it anywhere.
Leo: Nice, rock and roll.
Serenity: Yea, and it’s just, it’s really nice. I charged it this, I’ve been testing the sport, which I charged once two weeks ago and I have yet to run out of battery. Which I’ve only been playing with it in like one or two hour increments, and that makes sense for a 40 hour battery life. But I seriously have to do some crazy things. Yea, chatroom just asked if it’s sand-proof. It is sand-proof. I haven’t tested it. I’ve tested it in snow, I tested it in a little bit of dirt and I’ve tested throwing it in water. In theory, it’s supposed to be water proof to 3’, but when I talked to the folks, they’re like, “technically it’s closer to about 10-12’, but the Bluetooth signal starts to haze out after 3 or 4. So I really like it. It’s $200 for a core, and they also come with these swappable jackets. So you can get a nice looking speaker if you want to get, I think it’s called the Fugoo Style, if you want a nice, like clutch-like speaker to put next to your television and make it look fancy. But you can also get the Sport for everyday use, and then you can get the Tough jacket, which makes it look like, again, they have video somewhere on You Tube where they run it over with a car. It’s like, no big deal, it’s fine. But yea, I really, really like the speaker, and I’ve been testing it for about 2-3 weeks. And they’re coming out with one I think later this year in April call the XL, which is about the size of the big Jambox, also has 40 hours of battery life, and something like, I don’t know, I’m enough of a music person to really enjoy it, but all of the subwoofers are kind of crazy. What is it, 8 symmetrically place drivers for the big, the big Fugoo. What I really like about this speaker actually, is that it has, it has drivers and speakers on all sides of the device, so it’s just as loud pointing in one direction as it is in another direction as it is standing on the side. It’s not like, my real problem with the Jambox is you have to position it a certain way in order to get the good sound. If you have it flipped then you’re like, “Well, why can’t I hear anything?” So, yea, I think it’s pretty nifty. I’ve been recommending it to anybody who’s like, “I need a good Bluetooth speaker.”
Jason: And Leo, just a quick little tidbit here, Fr. Robert reviewed these speakers.
Leo: That’s what I thought, I thought we had done a review of these speakers. But I was spelling it wrong. I kept searching for the Blowfish Fugoo. It’s F-U-G-O-O. Oh, I’m sorry.
Jason: He gave it a buy.
Leo: He gave it a buy. He liked the Fugoo. I remembered that, I was trying to find it this whole time. Thank you, Jason. Jason Howell, our producer. Jason Snell, our guest, do you have a pick?
Jason: I just came up with one because your backup pick to Alex’s pick was my pick.
Leo: Oh no, so you can do that.
Jason: No, I’m going to pick Alto’s Adventure, because I don’t think you guys have done Alto’s Adventure yet on MacBreak. It is a fantastic endless…
Leo: Does it come in a little tin can?
Jason: It is an endless snowboarding game app for iOS, it is beautiful. It’s like, there’s a lot of endless skiing and snowboarding games out there, but it is beautiful, the music is fantastic. It is addictive to play.
Leo: Oh, Serenity is handing me her…
Jason: Serenity’s got like a hundred and forty thousand points, my high score is like…. Oh my god.
Leo: You play this a lot, obviously.
Jason: It is my latest game addiction.
Rene: She literally wrote the guide to it.
Serenity: I did, I wrote a game guide that’s on iMore on how to do all kinds of things. See, you just tap to jump.
Leo: Ok, guide me.
Serenity: All right, so you start skiing, then you tap to jump over things, you collect llamas.
Leo: Oh, this is like, this is like that bicycling game.
Jason: Yea, it’s in the genre, you’ve got hold to…
Serenity: Yea, tap and hold to flip.
Jason: So it’s two bucks. There are no in-app purchases. You buy it, you get it. You do earn coins that you can use to buy things in the game but you can’t buy them with an in-app purchase. You just earn them by playing the game. And one of the nice things about it is a lot of these endless runs get boring after a while because you’re like, oh I have to go on forever until I get my next thing. What Alto’s does is every level is three tasks you need to perform. And it’s basically three snowboarding tricks. And they are, they are, they scale with your level of efficiency, so …
Leo: So, I’m better off just going.
Jason: There’s always just, well you hit a rock. It’s bad. It’s a lot of fun and it’s easy to play and it doesn’t get boring. And I couldn’t endorse it more highly than that.
Serenity: And it’s beautiful. And it changes from day to night.
Jason: Yea, you watch the sun go down, and if you ski long enough, you watch it come back up. It’s pretty awesome. There you go, now you’re getting it.
Serenity: It’s all kind of fun.
Jason: And if you hit…
Leo: This looks fun, that’s great. Alto’s Adventure, $2.00, no in-app.
Jason: From Snowman on the app store.
Leo: Thanks for letting me play. Andy Ihnatko, your pick of the week.
Andy: Mine is something that, it’s kind of pricey, but it’s something I really, really like. Last year around this time, my pick of the week was this Olympus OMD-EM1, which is one of the nicest things I have ever bought in my life. I’ve shot thousands and thousands of pictures with this. Absolutely in love with this, it’s exactly the sort of camera that I like. It uses the micro 4/3 lens sensor system, which means the body’s nice and compact, and unlike other mirror-less systems, it has a really nice library of lenses for it. I actually bought like the nice, like the equivalent of the 80-300mm 3.8. Used this to shoot pictures inside of PAX East Gaming Con over the weekend, and I was getting so many pictures I would not have been able to get otherwise. But I really love it. So Olympus has always had a sort of a, not a, a more consumer-ish model. This is always been like their pitch to pro photographers. The EM5, OM-D E-M5 has always been their “We’re going to make something a little more affordable, so a little bit more practical for a consumer.” So the buttons are not quite as comfortable as on the pro model. Also, whereas the EM1 has just a simple like flip out screen, the E-M5 has the full outie, turny aroundy, selfie sort of screen like that. But also, because this is one year newer, this is the Mark II, after they released it last year, this is the updated version of it. It has better video, even then the so called pro model. IT shoots at 77MB per second as opposed to 24MB per second. Alex will be very interested to know that it outputs uncompressed HDMI through its HDMI port and shoots 1080 video. It also has a really cool feature where, the one feature, it has so many features that are shared between the pro one and this one, one of them is this absolutely killer five axis stabilization that’s inside the body so it works with any lens. I have been able to like hand hold shots of like one fifth per second, and it’s razor sharp. Because it is compensating for every piece of movement in there. It is insane how, you can shoot at like low ISOs, in low light, and it just plain works. But they came up with this really clever idea. Because the image sensors, the camera is able to move the image sensor around, you know, to compensate for jitter, some clever group of engineers thought, “Huh, you know what we could do? We could have a special shooting mode so that it will take a series of eight photos and move the sensor a little bit each time and we could do some match and then convert those eight pictures into an actual 40MP image.” You definitely need to have it on a nice tripod for that to work, but it actually works. You end up with a for real 40MP image. Again, its synthesizing this from eight images so don’t think you can take a picture of, you know, your family reunion, people will be blurry because they’re moving around. But for landscapes, for buildings, and just for the fact that hey, it doesn’t cost extra money for this, it’s just a cool feature. It’s a cool feature. There are a lot of like mirror-less cameras out there, Sony’s are really, really nice. I think it’s really between Sony, Fuji & Olympus. I happen to like the Olympus cameras because to me, they’re the best hybrid between having something that is nice and compact that I can easily stick in whatever laptop bag I’ve been using and take with me wherever I go, and yet still having that sort of look and feel, that sort of experience of using an SLR, you know, looking through the viewfinder and being able to set things with buttons however I want it. So it’s not cheap, it’s about, it lists for about eleven hundred dollars without a lens. But if you’re shopping for a nice SLR, you’re probably looking at, like a Nikon 7100 or a Canon equivalent, that’s probably about what you’re going to spend anyway. Definitely look at a camera like this because it costs the same amount of money, it takes pictures that are just about as good I would say, maybe even better given the way the features are done, and this is, look at how tiny this is. Here’s my phone, and there disappears the camera. It’s that small. So that’s the reason why when the time came last year to buy, like my first really good camera in years, I bought this because I could remember every single time I left my Nikon APSC SLR at home. Even though I’m spending a week in Barcelona and London, because I just don’t want to carry this big, honking SLR around my neck, because I can’t be able to fit it inside like any of my carry-on bags. So, that’s my pick of the week. I’ve used it for about a week, I’ve used it, I did the dumb thing you’re not supposed to do of, “Hey, let’s take this out to PAX East. You literally took this out of the box a few days ago, you’ve barely shot 30 frames with it, but hey, let’s do another thousand frames in this very high intensity situation.” Left it on auto, took great pictures most of the time. Love it.
Leo: It’s a fantastic camera. That’s the one we brought on our last trip and I love it. You know, I moved to the Sony because I wanted a full frame sensor, but there is nothing that bests the Olympus UI. There’s just so many good features. Sony even, you know, licensed their five access image stabilization.
Andy: It is killer. It was like, it was everything I ever wanted this camera to be.
Leo: And yes, it does video as well. What camera doesn’t these days, right? So, this was your pick, Jason, so you can help me out on this one. Office for the Mac hasn’t been updated since 2011.
Jason: Yes, that’s right, but now we’ve got Office for Mac 2016 preview, and it’s going to come out this summer. You can get it now.
Leo: The fall, the actual app will be out, they say, in the 2nd half of 2015, although I’ve heard some say as late as fall 2015. But you can get the preview right now, and if you wanted to download it for free you can. You don’t have to have an Office account to use it.
Jason: Not until it goes final.
Leo: I did, I login to my Office account, and it will use that, which means you’ll be able to save to OneDrive and things like that. It looks a lot like Office on Windows, which is the goal, right?
Jason: Yes it does. It’s got the color bar at the bottom that tells you what app you’re using, and it’s got the tab interface at the top.
Leo: Jason, you can show my screen because that would actually be the version. There you go.
Jason: It looks so much nicer, than… look at that. It looks so much nicer than the existing version. The data’s a little bit pokey, I’m hoping they’ll speed it up as they get it closer to the final.
Leo: Yea, there’s nothing worse than a word processor that doesn’t actually keep up with your typing.
Jason: Yea, which I find that that is the case with Word for me. But it looks great, and it’s good to see it. If you minimize the tab ribbon by clicking on one of the tabs, it does start to look like you’re running Windows because those tabs suddenly look like they’re Window’s menus. But it looks good.
Leo: These are the, this is the ribbon interface.
Jason: Yea, the ribbon. And you do that and suddenly it…
Leo: You click twice, it goes away.
Jason: It looks a little bit like you’re using a Windows window with a menu bar in there.
Leo: It does, doesn’t it? What is all this stuff, the cruft up here?
Jason: Yea, there’s some extra bonus. So that’s for Yosemite, right, where you can collapse the tool bar into that top level. So there’s a floppy disc icon – classic – for saving. An undo, redo. But, yea, it looks really nice and it’s nice to see Microsoft bring it up to date with the Mac. And there are a few new features here in all of them. Word’s got a multi-user collaboration mode now that it didn’t have, and it supports threaded commenting in which the Windows version does, but the Mac version didn’t. It also means that Microsoft is really bringing the Mac up to parity with what they’re doing on Windows and iOS, because the Office apps for iOS are actually really great. And so now the Mac versions will be in sort of the same generation of tools as the iOS version.
Leo: So this is Word, this is Excel, it’s Power Point., it’s…
Jason: And OneNote and Outlook have already been out are a part of this installed.
Leo: Which have already been out for a while. Is there a big update to the Outlook or is it about the same one we’ve had?
Jason: It’s the same one we know, more or less. Power Point I think really benefits from the much more refined interface that is in Office.
Leo: Hardly anybody I think who uses a Mac would want to use Power Point.
Jason: Well, I always used it because when I was at IDG, all of our corporate presentations were in Power Point.
Leo: They expected that. It’s a good reason to leave IDG.
Jason: I mean, it gave me some perspective.
Alex: The number one reason to have Power Point is to download it so you can get a proper conversion to Keynote.
Leo: Right, right. Keynote’s so much better. Although I have to say, this new Power Point is not nearly as annoying, it doesn’t look so…
Jason: It looks a lot better, it really, I think, is the app that has benefitted the most from the face lift of the interface. It looks a lot better. And, you know, there’s some neat stuff in Excel, it finally now if you click your cursor around in Excel, it actually animates the little selection thing, flies across the screen, which I find deeply disturbing but it’s how it works on Windows, so it’s only right for it to work on the Mac. And there’s some good new features that they’ve added. But being on the same generation of app on all the platforms is a good thing, and the Mac’s finally going to get there with this version.
Leo: Yay, yay. And you know, it’s interesting because, Satya Nadella, the new CEO at Microsoft, has very clearly pointed out that Microsoft wants to be wherever its users are. We’ve seen that on the iPad, with the Office apps. In fact, they came out on the iPad before they came out on the Surface. But he also has said, “But we want the best experience of Microsoft products to always be on Windows.” But I have to say, this parity with Windows would be nice. They’ve always been kind of out of sync. 2011!
Jason: Well, in 2011 they did add the macro support back in, which is kind of a big deal, because it was going on in 2009, but this feels the most current that Mac Office has ever felt.
Leo: Well, and there is an opportunity here, because Apple has stripped down its iWork package. Pages doesn’t do as much as it used to do, Numbers doesn’t do as much as it used to do, so if you need a power tool, and you’re missing some of the features, this might be the option.
Jason: And I know a lot of people who don’t like this idea of renting software. Like Adobe’s created the cloud, but, you know, for $100/year, you get Office. And you get all of Office. And that’s pretty cool.
Leo: I pay, I get to have the Office Home, the Office 365 Home, so it’s seven bucks a month, I can’t remember what it is but, I get five installations, and one of them or all of them could be Mac. So I’ve got it on Windows, I’ve got it on iPad, I’ve got it on Apple. That’s kind of nice. Not that I ever use it, but if I worked for IDG…
Jason: You’d have to be opening Power Point all the time. I use Excel. I like Excel a lot, other than the charts. I use charts – Numbers for charts because Number’s charts are beautiful.
Leo: It’s pretty. But Excel…
Jason: But most other things I use Excel for. Although I use Google Sheets a lot more for that stuff now, too.
Leo: Oh, that’s interesting. But if you want a power tool, and notice our finance department, they want Excel. I had to, yea they wanted pivot tables. I had to install Excel on Lisa’s iMac, 5K iMac, but because, you know, when you’re doing finance, this is the standard.
Jason: And you mentioned the 5K iMac. All of the assets in Office are now retina, which they weren’t before because it was 2011. Who knew there was a retina Mac in 2011? So, yea, it looks great.
Leo: The other thing that Microsoft has done, which I think is really interesting with the Office subscription, is unlimited storage in OneDrive. Not one terabyte. Unlimited.
Jason: Apparently if you use a lot, they like call you up and say, “Are you sure?” And you say, “Yes.” And they’re like “All right.”
Leo: Well if I go to my OneDrive, because I’m a subscriber, I see ten terabytes is my limit. But I don’t know how I would fill up ten terabytes to begin with, but I’m told that if you get to ten, they’ll give you another ten.
Rene: Meerkatting, Leo. Meerkat right there.
Leo: Meerkat to my OneDrive. Boy, this is fun. I would like to go for another three hours, but I don’t know if anybody would listen. So, let’s just wrap this up right here. You guys are so great, it’s so nice to have you in studio.
Serenity: This is so much fun.
Leo: Come back anytime. You know your parents would love it if you replaced me. Just saying…
Serenity: Oh, I only get that every week.
Leo: I’m just saying.
Serenity: I know.
Leo: And the grandkids? Serenity Caldwell, she’s at iMore.com and is a really, one of the most fun people I think we have on the show and I’m so glad you came back.
Serenity: Well, thank you, Leo. It’s fun, like I said this is my first time in the TWIT studio, so it’s kind of nice.
Leo: Lunch, we’ve got lunch for you in the other room. I think we do, I hope I’m not promising something we don’t have.
Serenity: I was promised lunch!
Jason: Yes, I saw lunch when you were reading about Squarespace.
Leo: Ah, ha! You see, lunch came! Same for you, Renenity. Renenity Ritchie. Rene Ritchie, great to have you.
Rene: Thank you so much.
Leo: And I’m so glad you could give us a report from the demo room, that’s nice to hear what it’s actually like to touch the stuff. Alex Lindsay … I don’t know what you’re looking at, my eyes are up here. Alex Lindsay is in Rwanda, Kigali, are you coming back? I thought you were coming back last week.
Alex: I thought I was, well, I’m going to be here, and then I’m going to be in New York, and then, Pittsburg, and then I’ll be back, right before, right near the end of the month. And right after this, I’m going to play around with this Meerkat, I’m going to walk around the studio and school, so for people…
Leo: Excellent. So another stream coming from Alex. Follow him @Alexlindsay like the former mayor of New York, if that helps.
Alex: No relation that I know of.
Leo: Thank you, Alex. Thank you, Andy Ihnatko, always a pleasure. Chicago Sun Times.
Andy: Let’s go for four hours, let’s go for four hours!
Leo: I do not want to stop! This is so much fun. Always a pleasure. What are you working on for the Sun Times today?
Andy: Part one just went this afternoon, part two will be up on Wednesday. On Thursday it’s a nice piece on everything that I learned from wearing the Moto 360 for six months. I think that would be very helpful for people who are considering buying an Apple Watch.
Leo: Well it’s so great to have you, too, Andy, and I’m sorry you didn’t come out for the event, but maybe the next one.
Andy: Maybe the next one. And it makes up for it that, I can’t think of any other group of people that I could spend three hours talking about this stuff with.
Leo: It went by like that. It went by like that.
Andy: Like that.
Leo: Like that! Jason Snell, always a pleasure, great to have you as well. He’s just down the road a piece.
Jason: I’m just down the road.
Leo: We expect to see more of you, I hope.
Jason: I’ll see you later.
Leo: I love having you in the studio. Things going well at Six Colors?
Jason: Yea, we’re having a great time. Six months! Next week will be six months since I launched the site.
Leo: And I love it, that Apple invited you to the event. That shows that you still have the respect.
Jason: I appreciate their invite and I hope to get reviewing on the MacBook and my Apple Watch at some point, too.
Leo: Well, you know we will be, but we buy them, so. If you can’t get one on loan, come up here.
Jason: Well, we’ll work something out.
Leo: Hey, thanks for joining us everybody. Thanks for a very long MacBreak Weekly. If you’re still listening.
Rene: Did we break our record, Leo?
Leo: Oh, yea, easy. Two hours and forty eight minutes. I don’t think we’ve ever gone that long. But, you know, it felt like nothing. Thank you so much for being here everybody. We do MacBreak Weekly at 11:00 AM Pacific, that’s 2:00 PM Eastern, 1800 UTC. Yea, we are now on summer time. So, for those of you who come into summertime a little later, note that time change for you, at least for a few weeks. 1800 UTC. If you can’t figure it out, how to watch live, don’t worry. All three hours will be posted on demand at TWIT.tv/MBW or wherever you get your podcasts like iTunes. And of course, I have to point out we’ve got great apps. We didn’t do them, but our wonderful third party developers have done apps on iOS and Android, Windows Phone, Roku. And we’re grateful to them and I encourage you to get one of those apps because that’s, you know, you’ll never miss another MacBreak Weekly. I want to thank also the folks in the chatroom. We don’t thank them enough; they’re great, we participate with them. We have risk dialogues with them, sometimes we yell at each other in chatroom, I know I do that, but you guys are great. You’re a big part of what we do. And I should point out, although we provide the server, the chatroom really is a community effort. It’s policed and monitored by the community. Those are all volunteers in there, and your presence each and every day is always appreciated. So, thank you. IRC.TWIT.TV if you would like to be in there. Thanks for being here, now. I don’t know what you’re going to tell the boss. Get back to work, because break time is over!