MacBreak Weekly 449 (Transcript)
Leo Laporte: It's time for MacBreak Weekly, the eve of the Apple Watch. We have lots to say about that, and Apple is telling you don't go to the stores, we'll tell you why. Georgia Dow, Rene Ritchie, Andy Ihnatko all coming up next on MacBreak Weekly.
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No Pinching, No Grabbing
Leo: MacBreak Weekly is brought to you by Lynda.com, the online learning platform with 3,000 on demand video courses to help you strengthen your business, technology and creative skills. For a free ten day trial, visit Lynda.com/macbreak. That's L-Y-N-D-A.com/macbreak. And by ITProTV. A good IT Pro is always learning, and ITProTV is the resource to keep your IT skills and knowledge up to date. ITProTV offers engaging courses, now with ethical hacker training streamed to your Roku, Chromecast, computer or mobile device. For a free 7 day trial and 30% off the lifetime of your account, go to ITPro.TV/macbreak and use the code MACBREAK30. And by Gazelle. The fast and simple way to sell your used gadgets, find out what your used iPhone, iPad or other Apple product is worth at Gazelle.com. It's time for MacBreak Weekly, the show where we cover the latest Apple news, this is going to be a big week. But as usual when there's a big Apple thing happening, there's just kind of this, I don't know... it's like right before a thunderstorm, this tension in the air.
Rene Ritchie: Nervous energy.
Leo: Nervous energy. That's Rene Ritchie from iMore.com. Back from the Ull Conference in, where was it?
Rene: It was in, I think Killarney, it was at the Europe Hotel in Ireland about three hours south of Dublin and it was quite magnificent.
Leo: And you were there with your partner Georgia Dow. We welcome Georgia also from iMore.com, hi Georgia. First time on MacBreak, but thank you.
Georgia Dow: I know, I'm having a dream that I'm on MacBreak.
Georgia: Need to pinch myself.
Leo: So thrilled to have you.
Georgia: It's so nice to be here.
Leo: Georgia is, in her day job she's a psychotherapist but she's also a judicial expert. Two time Canadian champion I just learned.
Georgia: That I am.
Leo: So be nice, folks! She can reach out through the chatroom and kick your butt. (laughs) Pluck your heart from your rib cage in three seconds. Also here Andy Ihnatko, he's on the road. You guys are back but Andy is on the road, he's at this Colorado University in Boulder. CU in Boulder where the conference on world affairs is going on. Hi Andy!
Andy Ihnatko: Hey Leo, sorry about the altitude problem here.
Leo: (laughs) You are mile high! So we aren't going to have video from Andy this week, but we do have audio and that's plenty. Tell us about the council on World Affairs, what is that?
Andy: It's pretty cool, they've been doing this annual conference for the past like six to seven decades where they bring in about a hundred people from all kinds of disciplines like science, technology, politics, religion, entertainment, and they have a hundred panels that are open to the public, the entire Boulder community discussing pretty much every single topic they can think of that seems relevant to, in whatever year they're holding it. For instance I talked on two panels yesterday, started the morning talking about Apple Pay and Bitcoin, then the end of the afternoon I was talking about ways that governments can weaponize the internet.
Leo: Oh wow!
Andy: And then there's Q and A with everybody afterward and that was just like my first day, so I've got about another seven or eight different talks over the course this week that I'm going to be doing.
Leo: Did you start going there with Roger Ebert? Was that how you got involved with it in the first place?
Andy: Yeah he invited me the first year, that was way back in like 1997 if you can believe it or not.
Andy: And that's how most people come to be invited, like somebody who has been there a few times suggests you know, they have to kind of talk you into doing it because this is not a conference where they pay you to attend, they cover your expenses and you're here on your own dime and the fact that so many people come back year after year shows how much fun it is to participate in, Roger was a thirty year participant by the time he invited me and he went on for another ten years I think.
Leo: Yeah. So neat. In fact I wanted, I really want to go especially because Henry is there. And I just never, I keep forgetting. Next year. It seems like we had this conversation a year ago.
Andy: We'll have to arrange a good off-site broadband source for the show, but it'll be a lot of fun.
Leo: Yeah that's a good point, we can do that. I think Henry's dorm room has excellent broadband.
Leo: I'm just kidding.
Leo: He does if they're not all torrenting at the same time. So did you see... now we were getting ready for the watch, of course the Apple event I was talking about is 12:01 Pacific Time, Friday the 10th. Midnight Pacific Time, Friday the 10th, Apple will start taking orders online for the Apple Watch and of course when the stores open that day, if... I would suggest making an appointment, you'll be able to go in, get a 15 minute appointment to look at the watch. And, oh incidentally you'll be able to buy a Macbook. Will I be able to walk in and get that new Macbook Rene? You think? Is it going to be a challenge?
Rene: I don't know, based on previous experience some stores have them, especially the more busy ones, the flagship stores. I don't know what's going to happen though because it's also Apple Watch try on and will you be fighting your way through everyone yelling “Milanese!!”
Leo: Oh it's going to be crazy.
Rene: Trying to get to it.
Leo: It's going to be crazy. You know who has an Apple Watch? Pharrell has an Apple Watch. Let me show you his most recent posting, 15 hours ago on Instagram. He's got the Mickey Mouse watch face, that ain't no fake. He was wearing it on The Voice last night I'm told. Looks like, weirdly enough he got the Edition watch, the $10,000 watch with the cheapest plastic band. I'm sorry, fluoroelastomer band you can get.
Rene: What's amazing to me is two to three weeks ago Rolex released a $25,000 watch and it came with a fluoroelastomer band as well. Is this the new trend?
Leo: Must be the thing.
Leo: It must be the thing. So I guess Apple is seeding these to celebrities already? I don't know what the story is.
Rene: Or he blew embargo, that's embarrassing.
Leo: Do you think he blew embargo?
Andy: No, probably not.
Andy: If he's on like one of the most popular TV shows available two days before the thing is getting ordered, I don't think he's breaking any agreements that he agreed to when he was given that watch.
Leo: I think they probably said...
Andy: Call me cynical.
Leo: Can you wear that on The Voice tonight? Tim Cook apparently was wearing his at the NCAA championship game.
Rene: Tim Cook blew embargo, you can't trust anybody any more.
Leo: A lot of people are wearing them. Apple has said we'll give you 50% off unless it's the expensive one, then they're only going to give... this is for Apple employees by the way, not you. Not you. Sorry. Didn't mean to get you all excited, if you work at Apple...
Georgia: I was so excited there for a second.
Leo: (laughs) Georgia are you going to get one? I guess we all have to get one.
Georgia: I've been waiting for this watch four years.
Georgia: So I will be there first to try to grab the watch and/or knock someone else out that's trying to get the watch before me. I am so excited.
Leo: Are you going to... you'll get the sport model I'm thinking.
Georgia: I'm going to get the sport model and then I'm going to rock the Milanese band with it so no one will know it's the sport model.
Leo: Ooh. I'm also I think getting the Milanese band only because I like the idea that it will fit any size, right?
Leo: You don't have to punch a hole in anything or take a link out, you just wrap it to what you want. So if you want it tight one day... my wrists swell a lot.
Rene: It's the elastic waistband of watches Leo.
Leo: Guess who wears elastic waistbands here?
Georgia: My only worry with the Milanese was I was worried that it was going to get caught in my arm hairs, which would have been really painful.
Georgia: But I've heard that it does not have that happen.
Leo: I'm told that it does not pinch and grab, yeah. I can't remember who told me. Probably Rene.
Rene: Yeah, no. We tried it, both Serenity and I tried it at the event and neither of us could... there were no instances of arm hair entanglement.
Leo: Well that actually is important, yeah. Apple's kind of encouraging people to go to the store though and try before you buy.
Rene: They're treating it as a really personal item.
Leo: Yeah. Go ahead Andy.
Andy: But I wonder what their strategy really is there, if they're really trying to get the feeding frenzy going in the weeks before, like iPhones and even the new Macbook, you can space things out, you can get people in without really trying to say, Hey look we're going to open the floodgates early here, and we're going to try to encourage people to keep coming in and trying it, I think that they appreciate that they... no one can really relate to what a smartwatch is or does, they really are going to have to have that experience before they can figure out what they can do with this. I was being driven back to my house for about 20 minutes by a student and we had a talk about smartwatches and it was the same conversation that I've been having with people for the past six to eight months where I don't wear a watch. But someone gave me a sport watch, I wore it for a couple of weeks then I don't wear it any more. Even free couldn't get them to wear it and they just don't understand what a smartwatch is going to do for them. So there is so much that Apple is doing with the launch of this watch they have never done with any other product before, even all those product videos. I'm not sure if they launched the iPhone with the exact same amount of like free release, here's a walkthrough of what you're going to expect when you see this. This is really going to be an important point for them to make.
Leo: I'm going to be angry if it's Joshua Topolsky also has an Apple Watch, is that not... that's not an Apple Watch. Is that an...? Let's zoom in on that. Can you center? Zoom. Enhance. Center. Zoom, enhance. Boy that looks a little Apple Watchy.
Jason: Definitely looks, yeah. It's the smaller one.
Rene: It was an interesting memo from Angela Ahrendts that Business Insider published earlier today saying that she was trying to end the era of the massive lineups, that she thought it would be a better experience if they did more, and they've been doing this for a while. Especially with the iPhones, if they did more preorders so it wasn't as hectic for people at the retail stores on launch day.
Leo: I'm guessing...
Andy: I think that's long overdue because we're getting to the point where all those lines were getting to be more embarrassing for Apple than a positive thing, because now the line is all about people who are all just kind of hanging out for two days causing big big crowds that don't really enhance the attractiveness of the product and it's certainly, the quotes in the memo indicate that's more like look, customers are not having a good experience if they think they're going to show up on the launch day and get a product. We want to sort of walk them towards a process where they are nice and safe and snug inside their homes and they make an order and they don't show up until they know for a fact that they can get it.
Rene: And scalpers also were kind of making it a less than stellar experience.
Leo: You think there will be scalpers? Oh I guess there will huh?
Andy: To say nothing about all the people who are like my god this is ridiculous, all I want is a 64 gigabyte phone in the color that I want and I have to keep calling every store on every Tuesday to see if they have them. And those are the sort of complaints that are going to start to fester.
Rene: I just want a USB cable, what the hell is everyone doing here?
Leo: Will I be able to, will you be able to mix and match any band any watch? I think I asked you this already.
Rene: Yes. As long as they're the same size, so 42 millimeter case and the 38 millimeter bands with 38 millimeter case. It remains to be seen how much stock they'll have of additional bands at launch but eventually they should all be available.
Leo: You might want to get a couple right? Not at first.
Rene: You can't get the Edition though, the Edition ones are exclusive, but you can get any of the Apple Watch, any of the Apple Watch sport bands.
Leo: You'd be crazy to buy a $350 Apple Watch and put a $7,000 band on it.
Georgia: And you also can't get the sports version, the silver sports version with the black band. So you have to choose between white and the colored versions if you would like that.
Leo: Oh, that's kind of a bummer.
Rene: You get the black band separately though, so you have to pay $50 more if you want the silver watch with a black band.
Leo: So you can get it later, I get it. Apple employees will get 50% off the aluminum and stainless steel models, and a mere $550 off the gold version. Come on Apple, you know that the markup is higher on the gold one! It's higher! So you could give them more!
Rene: They probably don't want a lot of employees getting, taking all the stock.
Leo: Doesn't look good, yeah. It's embarrassing when your janitor is walking around with a $10,000 watch. It isn't... it's...
Andy: Exactly, maybe they're instituting a no riff-raff policy on Apple Watch Edition.
Leo: (laughs) The iPhone...
Rene: Plus it might tempt a secondary market if you start having, if they get half priced Editions you might start seeing some of those show up in secondary markets.
Georgia: A lot on Ebay.
Leo: I apologize for that little T-Mobile sound in there, that is not a subliminal ad for T-Mobile it's just my phone rebooting. Mark Gurman says that the iPad, while not offered at a discount for employees, the iPhone, original iPhone was given free to almost everybody. So... the special pricing lasts for 90 days, starting on Friday. Will you, who, anybody here going to get in line?
Rene: Yeah, I'll do it for fun.
Leo: Like at midnight?
Rene: I don't know if I'll get in line at midnight but I'll go over to the stores and see what's... what it's like.
Leo: Oh I'm going to the stores, yeah. I want to pick up a Macbook frankly. What I'm going to do I think, tell me if my strategy is mistaken, is at 12:01, I remember doing this for the iPhone 6 and their servers were all screwed up and it never did happen, but at 12:01 I will go to the Apple store on Friday morning and order. And that way I'll get it on the 24th, right? I can do that right?
Rene: Yep. Absolutely, the pre-orders become available, the joke going around now because Star Wars is launching on iTunes on Friday the 10th, Apple has to both handle Apple Watch and Star Wars.
Leo: Oh no. Come on Apple! Is that different servers or is it all the same?
Rene: I mean it's under, that's iTunes. It's all Eddy Cue's job.
Leo: Oh Eddy, just showing off this time. Saying hey I can handle that, what else you wanna do Eddy?
Rene: It's special edition though so it might not be that high of demand.
Leo: Oh, I don't know. We also know that you can get Apple Care for the watch. Actually, Apple Care Plus for the watch. It will be $1,000 for the Edition. $75 for the watch. The regular, middle one. The stainless steel, and $59 for the sport version. Why...? Okay, so I apparently don't understand what Apple Care Plus does. So you'll need to explain to me, because I thought that this is a replacement program.
Rene: So the regular, you get Apple Care, anyone who buys an Apple Watch gets Apple Care which includes 90 days of phone support, and a year of hardware warranty.
Leo: It's an extended warranty, the regular Apple Care.
Rene: Yes. So the Apple Care Plus, well regular Apple care is the regular warranty, I mean most jurisdictions have similar rules and effects anyway, they would have to offer at least a year of coverage...
Leo: Wait a minute so why should I pay for Apple Care if it's the same as...
Rene: But Apple Care Plus is what you're paying for, and what Apple Care Plus does is on the regular Apple Watch and on the Apple Watch Sport it increases it to two years of both phone support and hardware replacement, plus hardware defects. Typical hardware insurance plus two incidents of damage. So if you drop it or you drop it in water, anything like that. There's a service fee, I don't know if they've said how much it is, it's usually $79 or $99. They'll basically just fix anything that you accidentally break on the watch for you.
Leo: But they'll only do it twice in two years.
Rene: Yeah you get two incidents in those two years. The Apple Watch Edition is slightly different, it comes with the two years automatically, what the Apple Care Plus does there is add a third year and it gives you 24/7 support. I don't know if a guy in a bow-tie actually comes to your house to deliver it.
Leo: White gloves, white glove service. Mr. Pharrell here's your new watch.
Leo: You can be sure that will happen on the air on The Voice. Okay, so it sounds like at $59 for the Sport, $79 for the Stainless Steel, that sounds like probably something you should do.
Rene: I do it, like Georgia can probably explain it better than me. But I do it as stress relief, I just... once I know I have it I don't really worry about it anymore.
Georgia: Well it's one of those things, you're going to be wearing it on your wrist so there's an increased chance that you're going to knock your wrist against something, you're going to drop it. I think that I've broken more watches than I've ever even owned. It's just something that I always like leave it...
Leo: What are you breaking other peoples watches?
Georgia: I've stepped on other peoples watches, I've sat on someone else's watch once, and I've knocked someone's watch off their wrist, it's a long story.
Georgia: I should actually probably be the person that has Apple Care.
Leo: Okay so they're telling me...
Georgia: But I think that everyone that's, if you're getting the watch you should probably get Apple Care because it would be so sad that you have this new piece of technology...
Georgia: And then, you know, you crack the screen.
Georgia: And then have to bring it in.
Leo: It seems pretty reasonable. So now I've got to add it up because I'm going to get the Milanese band and I'm going to get the... or maybe I will go get the sport instead. I was going to get the stainless steel but...
Rene: I mean it depends, if you want to collect it... like I have my original iPhone, original iPad, my original Macbook, my original Mac, they're all sitting behind me and they're collector’s items so I will probably get a stainless steel just so that I have something, you know... Mark Newsomey and Jony Ivey to add to that shelf.
Leo: (laughing) His special shelf behind him. If you have... okay. If you have standard Apple Care you have to ship the watch back and your replacement will be sent. If... so they are offering standard Apple Care, but you just get that for free.
Leo: Okay. So Apple Care you pay for it on a Macbook, but you don't pay for it...
Rene: The naming is weird, Apple Care Plus I think they added the Plus just because it has those two incidents as well.
Rene: Which the Macbooks don't have.
Leo: Right. So it is basically the... okay.
Rene: It's just, it's confusingly labeled.
Andy: See this is kind of the problem that we're going to be dealing with like with all these store orders. It's like you could go into Wal Mart, you see a case full of watches, you pick up the one you want, you walk out with it. And when you don't have that ability to do it, now you don't know, well where's the one where I get this color band, which is the one where I get this service policy, what do I get for free with it? Oh boy. We're going to get so many calls from so many relatives over the next three weeks over this.
Leo: Well that's why we're spending time right now, because I'm... think of me as your old relative.
Andy: People have... I really have been getting a lot of questions like that, and I keep telling them that... don't worry about it until this fall or early next year because I really do think that the first watch is really going to be like the very first iPad or the very first iPhone where this tech, if this brand new technology, this brand new product really excites you, then you'll be very very pleased with it. But if you're expecting this brand new phone to act as the same way with all the features of an existing phone you might disappointed. Though I think that this is not going to be the same device it's going to be next year, and the people who wait a year, maybe they're going to get a watch that has GPS on it, maybe they're going to get a watch with a much more mature operating system and a much more mature app library on it. So given that so many people have not worn a smartwatch before, maybe they want to wait a year and get the more mature version of this.
Rene: Right? I agree with Andy. The only thing that mitigates it a little bit for me is that it's $350 and most people, at least iMore readers now, they tell us that they buy the new iPhone and then sell it immediately when the next iPhone is announced so their actual cost of upgrade is only a few hundred dollars each time and that's how they manage to get the new one every year, and this sort of like... yeah I can wait for the one with the GPS and I can wait for the one with the video and then wait for the one with the better, bigger screen and wait for the one with TouchID. But sometimes it's just fun to get new stuff, and because of the price you can get in for $350 and you can probably sell it next year. I think if you're sort of on the fence and you don't mind looking at it as a bit of an adventure, then it's a fun thing to take a look at.
Andy: Yeah absolutely but... I'm sorry, go ahead.
Georgia: Oh well I think also if you're using this for health, if you're using this for fitness, if you already carry around a FitBit, this is great. It will be helpful to you, it's going to be something that can help monitor your heart rate, so if you're not... you know, you don't have a problem with using new technology and having to go through a slight learning curve in how to use it, I think that it's going to be something fun but also something very helpful.
Andy: Yeah it's interesting, I've been spending a lot of time with people who use Microsoft band which has got a really soft launch, I don't think Microsoft ever intended for it to be like a really popular consumer device with its first launch, I really think they kind of just wanted to get it out there, and it has some nice things about it, it's a lot of things that are really inconvenient compared to Apple Watch and Moto 360 and all these others, but the thing that really struck me that I'm amazed I'm so stupid I didn't realize it is that I see people wearing this relatively small black rubber band on their right wrist, but on their left wrist they can still wear their grandfather's watch. They can still wear whatever sport or fashion watch that they really really like, so I think that just goes to show that there are so many different ways of interpreting the mandate of a wearable like watch like device, and I'm glad we've got three very different approaches to it on the market.
Leo: The FDA apparently is going to be a little bit more, a little bit less... little bit more... (laughs) I don't know. They're not going to be as finicky about the Apple Watch, it's going to take, according to the FDA, an almost hands-off approach. So that's good. They're going to take a very light touch towards wearable health devices going forward, not just the Apple Watch, but everything else. All those health bands. Bakul Patel who's the FDA's associate director at Digital Health told Bloomberg Business that “Technologies primarily focused on motivating someone to stay healthy rather than diagnosing or treating a disease, that's good. That's stuff we don't want to regulate, we're taking a very light touch, a hands off approach.” said Patel. Which makes sense, the FDA has always said if you're going to get a diagnosis or health advice from a thing, a device. Then we want to make sure it's accurate. You know, we don't want the Apple Watch to say “Oh you need more salt.” But it's okay for the Apple Watch to say “Hey get active, you've only taken so many steps,” that kind of thing. So and maybe that gives a lie to some of the stories in the journal and elsewhere that Apple wanted to do more health stuff, although I...
Rene: I mean, they always want to do more. The journal, one of the problems with the mainstream media coverage of the watch is that their headlines are always misaligned with their actual content and when you look at the watch, they make a list of everything we could possibly do, what sensors exist, what could possibly be in here? And then they go through carefully and figure out what's realistic for generation one, two, three, and four. And you could spin that as Apple couldn't do everything. Like they couldn't make a 5.5 inch iPhone in 2007, sorry.
Leo: Well of course not.
Rene: So the watch is like that, there are all sorts of interesting things coming along the road but they got into this product what they wanted to get into this product for now.
Andy: To be fair, a lot of us who commentate on these things, we're making the same sort of complaints about Android Wear watches where it's certainly not a complete product, they did what they were able to do both with the software and the hardware, I think that part of our responsibilities, to have the imagination and the experience to say “Yes, I'm going to give you a practical rundown of what this can do right now, but let me tell you what I think is possible given the hardware that I'm seeing and given the software I'm seeing and given the people that are making this who I've talked to about what their future plans are.” It really is important to remain an open mind, I think that anybody who slams the Apple Watch as a failure in the first few weeks, I think there are people who are pretty much already written that editorial about here's what it doesn't do and how oh my god, I couldn't wait to get it off my wrist, it was a piece of junk and I will return it almost immediately. That's going to be one of the most, some of the least useful things written because these are people who have no imagination and no... and very little ability to really look at something critically. I'm sorry, I should walk back one step and say I'm not saying that it's not possible to write a positive review of Apple Watch but it's going to be easy to spot the ones where somebody had a picture in their mind of what their fantasy product should work like, they were presented that did not match this expectation that they had and on that basis they are going to proclaim this one thing a failure instead of having a more balanced approach to it.
Leo: Yeah. Malay Gandhi, managing director of Rock Health, a health focus venture capital firm in San Francisco is interviewed in the Bloomberg Business piece, it points out that the FDA's annual budget is ¼ of what Apple made last quarter.
Leo: So it's about $4.5 billion, so the issue is partly an enforcement issue. Dr. Mom in our chatroom also points out that the FDA has no authority to enforce motivational devices, so yeah they're going to take a light touch. They're not allowed to do anything about it. Well good. And you feel like, Georgia, that from what you see and what we all show through these videos by the way, what you've seen from these videos and read that the Apple Watch is going to be very useful to you, more so you think than a FitBit or a Nike Fuel band or a Jawbone Up?
Georgia: Well I think that one of the coolest things that's going to change with the Apple Watch is that you know, I go down to a tech conference and I see everyone pulling out their phone or using Google Glass and there's something in between yourself and the people that you're having a conversation with, what I love about the Apple Watch is that very effortlessly without breaking a conversation you can check if a notification is something important or not, and it keeps your eye onto a conversation. And so I think that that's a really nice thing, so hopefully we're not going to be seeing everyone pulling out their phone constantly and checking their phone instead of checking the people that they're with. The one thing that I worry about with the Apple Watch on the other side is stress levels of people with, that are constantly turning on notifications and having everything beep and buzz. I think that there's going to be a huge learning curve on how much is comfortable and how much increases your level of stress, because you're going to feel constantly beholden to take a look every time you get a slight tap.
Leo: Yeah. Well I know I will. (laughs) Although you get, I think you'll get used to this haptic, or taptic interface and maybe we'll start trusting it.
Rene: It's really nice. The big benefit over the FitBit also is that this doesn't just measure steps and stairs, it also does calories burned, it does exercise equipment inside and outside which I've always wanted because I use a rowing machine, it's got a lot of really like, not next generation but stuff that I've always wanted in other products and just hadn't had yet.
Leo: And it's constant heart rate monitoring right? It's always doing it.
Andy: That's, I mean that's the stuff that's the big win for me because I had a FitBit for a while but I'm just not in the habit of checking my FitBit to see where I am, you know at the end of the day or end of the course of the day whereas this Moto 360 watch I'm checking the time several times a day and that's when I will see a little card just like at the very very bottom of the time screen saying “Oh by the way you're only about 1,000 steps short of your fitness goal.” Well that remind me and think well okay, maybe I will walk home instead of getting a car this time. And it's that kind of, those kind of subtle little reminders that, that subtle awareness that really helps you out.
Leo: I've noticed form wearing a Fuel band and a FitBit and all that, that it does, it just gets...
Andy: That's the cool thing in the screen that you're seeing right now, I love the fact in the upper left hand corner you can designate that corner of the screen as here is a little micro version of those three loops showing you what your activity level is, so it's just going to be a little... almost like the phases of the moon, a little reminder of here's your status on how well you're doing for your fitness on the day and that's what's really going to help people out.
Leo: Getting a little excited. So Apple has released four now, videos. I think you were right Rene, the reason they wanted to get people in the store is they feel there will be a learning curve and they want people to start thinking about how to use the watch so they're not just looking at it going “Aaa.” They don't want returns in the first two days.
Rene: I did an article on this called Stay Calm and Apple Watch On, because I noticed in the demo area a lot of people tried to use the Apple Watch like it was an iPhone. They pressed the digital crown, they went to the home screen, they hunted around for the messages app, they went to start a new message, and when we were doing the demo the guy just lifted it up and said “Hey Siri, send a message to Bob.” And it's an inversion, it's not a pull interface, it's a push interface and most people are going to engage through notifications, through glances in a very different way and I think both watching these videos and being in the store and getting those demos is going to be vital. Just like we had to learn, multitouch is intuitive now, it wasn't when the iPhone first came out. That's why Apple did so many videos, we're going to have to learn how to use this sort of push glance look based interface and I think they named it very specifically to sort of encourage us to use it that way.
Andy: Yeah, that's exactly right. And if I keep mentioning the watch that I wear every day it's only because I think it's a good frame of reference for smartwatches in general, that this is not... my main interface with this watch is really voice commands because all I have to do is describe what I want to be reminded of, what I want to watch, what I want to get information on and it gets that information for me. The more that you try to use it like a multitouch screen, the more it's going to fail for you. The more disappointed you're going to be. This is the first really good walkthrough that they've given of here's what the actual experience is going to be like and that's something that they failed to do in September they even failed to do it last month, which I have to admit got me really concerned so it's... we're starting to get some indication of here is what you can anticipate, here is what the language of using this watch is going to be and I gotta say that I do like most of what I'm seeing. There are a couple of points I still think... I'm still a little bit confused on because I see some inconsistencies on how you surface like an action button for instance when you decide that here's a notification I want to do something with, it seems like sometimes you have to touch the screen to do that, sometimes you have to swipe to do that, so I'm sure it's going to be more clear when I have an actual watch on my wrist, but it really seems like they have to teach a new language here, and it's not wrong for them to have to develop a new language, it's okay if you have to learn how to use something.
Leo: These videos are actually a great idea. They're going to do more, they only have four but you could see there's ghostly impressions of seven more that they want to do.
Rene: I think there's ten, yeah.
Leo: Yeah. So the first one is just kind of a generic introduction. And then they're going through features one by one. There will be messages, watch faces, how to use the digital touch, they've got coming soon phone call, Siri, maps, music, Apple Pay, activity and workout. I was hoping they would release one of these a day starting last week but they've seemed stuck at four.
Leo: But I'm sure they're going to be getting these out, I hope before April 10th. Because I think it would behoove... well I guess they only really have to get them out before April 24th, don't they?
Rene: When you see someone just raise the watch up and say “Hi, hello, yeah okay I'll be back in a few minutes.” And then hang up the phone and just go right back to talking to you, it's a pretty awesome experience.
Leo: Wow I can't wait.
Rene: It really is Dick Tracy.
Leo: Have you watched somebody really use this other than the demo room?
Rene: I may have.
Leo: Oh, interesting.
Rene: I may have been incredibly impressed and written thinly veiled articles about what I imagine such interactions would be like.
Leo: Okay, so we can just say that has the ring of truth. I was thinking maybe the reason they gave one to Topolski, he does... doesn't he do Gadgets on Jimmy Fallon on the Tonight Show?
Rene: Yeah he also does all the Bloomberg coverage and Bloomberg is a major pub.
Leo: True. But I wouldn't be surprised, I think they want to get it on TV and I don't think they care about Bloomberg as much. Does somebody at iMore have one?
Rene: Not to my knowledge.
Leo: Yeah. I wonder if... there's no Macworld any more. Where else?
Rene: Yeah there's the Macworld offices.
Leo: There's offices. There's a website. I thought this digital touch was interesting. This is kind of one of the more trivial uses of it, but in fact you've even written about this Rene about how it might have some potential more value. They also, they all change between male and female narrators and wrists.
Leo: So the first thing you're going to want to do is set up...
(video playing in background)
Leo: There she is. To set up your favorites menu, right? And it looks like you can get quite a few of them there. Three, six, nine, twelve. I don't have that many friends.
Rene: This is so interesting to me because there is two buttons on the phone and a lot of people have brought this up, you have the digital crown and then you have the other button.
Leo: Yeah, that's like twice as many as an iPhone.
Rene: Well no, so the iPhone has the home button and the sleep button so it's analogous.
Leo: Oh okay. Alright.
Rene: I don't know if it will ship this way but you can technically right now press those two buttons to take a screenshot, so it's very similar.
Leo: Oh interesting!
Rene: To an iPhone, but they've assigned one click of that button to bring you to friends, which means that they're really emphasizing communications. Because that's, if you're doing anything stressful, that's the easiest action to perform. Some people really want it to do like laps for jogging because they feel that when they're jogging they need something really easy to do. Other people just want just one click. Right now it's two clicks for Apple Pay. If you hold, if you do three... like if you hold it down you get the shutdown. If you press it again you get the force quit. It's a whole bunch of stuff layered in there but the primary ones are... it's a really interesting choice Apple's made on what... again, you hold down the digital crown, you get Siri. You press it twice you flip between the clock face and the most recently used app. You do it three times you get accessibility.
Leo: Aye aye aye.
Rene: So assigning each one of those... and no one's going to use all of them.
Leo: Is that changeable? Or are you stuck with those actions.
Rene: Not so far, but right now they're very similar to what happens with the iPhone. You get the single click of the home button, the double click, the triple click. No one uses them all all the time, so the more obscure ones are just from more rarely used actions and that's fine because you can stage interface that way and it makes it very easy... because the people who want it more will go further to get it.
Rene: But it is interesting how much stuff they did bring over and what priority they assigned to all those on the watch.
Andy: Yeah, that was just... that was just my concern. As I was watching these videos because again, I wasn't at the watch event last month so I had not experienced with a live fire version of this thing, I've worn... I've had experience with the hardware but not the actual software that was shown last month, and they were showing things like the screen by... the screen is sort of leveraged towards just showing you a piece of information without you having to do anything to get that information. And if you want to action on that information, you have to do something to surface some sort of a button that lets you interact and there's sometimes when there's trying to say well now, if you just simply hold and press on that screen, that's when you get the reply button coming up and there are other parts of this video where it seemed to say, and to do this you simply swipe up, you scroll down to see options on what you can do with this. That might, I don't know whether that's a clumsiness of my thinking, a clumsiness in the video or maybe a bit of friction inside the interface itself.
Leo: Having two buttons I think does kind of bring that up, for me anyway. Yeah you're right Andy, I have an open mind, but...
Andy: It just bothers me that I think it's a brilliant idea to have here is one big button that does nothing but bring up people. That's brilliant.
Leo: And that's the case, even long pressing or force pressing or...
Andy: Well I'm saying, here's front and center, here's one of the biggest buttons you're... you can just simply not even divert your attention from what you were looking at, you can just simply tap a button that you can feel and you see that that's a very very elegant and interesting way of communicating what this watch is supposed to do. It's supposed to help you connect to people, it's when you start thinking well “Oh wait, is this one of those things where I have to hold and press this, or is this one of those things where I have to click this several times to make this work. So for the most part, I've watched these videos a few times now and I was very pleased with what I saw, there were a couple of rough edges that are rather, I'm sorry let's be more accurate. There were some things I still don't understand that seem a little bit confusing to me.
Leo: There is a learning curve though. There is absolutely a learning curve.
Rene: I don't know if you guys remember the iPad, the button would be the mute button, or sorry was orientation lock and then it was mute button and then it was...
Leo: Oh yeah they changed it, yeah yeah yeah.
Rene: Well no plan survives contact with a million or two million or five million active users and that's part of the interesting thing of this. Maybe they will let you reassign that later, they'll say you know there's five functions on this, do you want one click to be friends, do you want one click to be Apple Pay, do you want one click to be time keeping? There's a lot of room for them to maneuver with this after they see how people react to it.
Andy: That's definitely true and there are a couple of different aspects to this. It's true that you could re-assign that slide button on the side of the iPad but it's not as though if you shift, if you move it up then it's silent, but if you move it up and then press it in now you've... accessed Siri, if you move it up and then sort of hold it as you push it in and that's the sort of complexity that I'm not talking about. But it's possible that this all just you know, talking... all just worrying about nothing because some of my favorite interface things are you have a button that just simply does one thing. Like the home button on the iPad, or on the iPhone. You associate with you touch this and you will instantly be teleported wherever you are back to a familiar grid of your application icons. It's a very reassuring thing to have. Now maybe after the first month, you figure out that oh wait a minute, if I actually double tap on this, that will actually get me to a carousel of all my running apps and so once you discover that, that's great. And it's a great shortcut but if you never discover, if you never discover that then it doesn't really interfere with how that button immediately works. So it's going to be an interesting learning process.
Georgia: Yeah, I think that it's going to take that usual two week learning curve of how do you use this and you're going to feel that regular discomfort of it not wanting to do exactly what you want it to at the moment. I think that depending on what screen you're on, different buttons are going to do different things, I think that's going to be very confusing for people. Because they're used to always having like a center home button, we're going to expect that this is going to work like an iPhone, and it isn't. It just can't. It's just too small of real estate in order to interact with the same way, so there will definitely be people calling most of us up of how to use this, why is this not working that we hope it would.
Leo: Let's take a break, I want to take a little break, we can come back if you have more watch thoughts, we'll certainly do more watch although this concludes the primary portion of the watch segment, there's lots of other things to talk about, including I've got the new Macbook Pro the 13 inch with the force... what's it called? Force truck? Touch, track?
Rene: Force touch.
Andy: Force touch.
Leo: Force touch track pad. And I can give you some thoughts on that. Georgia Dow's here, it's great to have you Georgia from iMore.com, her first time on the show.
Georgia: Thank you for having me.
Leo: Oh you just, I wish you didn't work on Tuesdays, that's all I can say. Just quit your job.
Leo: Be here every Tuesday. She writes at, what's your beat at iMore?
Georgia: I used to do a lot of the reviews so I used to do all the cases, we do a lot of videos there and then I do some special pieces on different ways of psychology and the way that we use our technology.
Leo: Yeah. I know you gave a talk at Ull about that.
Georgia: Yes, I did one on motivation.
Leo: Is that online anywhere?
Georgia: I believe that it is, I think that it's already out. So that was on motivation, why do we get stuck, how can we get past it and we also then had an iMore room where we each, Serenity, Rene and I each gave a certain talk and dealing with the different things that might be stopping us from being more motivated.
Leo: Ull.ie if you want to see more about the 2015 Ull conference, and I presume at some point if they haven't already, they'll have your video up. I want to watch that.
Rene: And she is, not to tout her own horn too much, but she is keynoting the NS North conference I think Saturday. Is it Saturday Georgia?
Georgia: I'm leaving on Friday, I'm actually keynoting on Friday. The problem is that's April 10th, so I'm going to be driving instead of making my appointment.
Leo: What!? Bad scheduling.
Georgia: I know. So it's going to be a little bit of a hardship while I'm driving down and everyone's going to be talking about their experiences with trying on the watch.
Leo: Yeah. Seems like you guys have some fun up there at iMore. It's like a... it's like a little geek heaven. Little bit of geek heaven.
Georgia: We have the most fun... like I don't know every other site, but we have a blast.
Leo: Seems like it.
Georgia: We do all kinds of craziness, we're jumping on beds.
Georgia: Squirting each other with water guns, Rene cut me during our ice bucket challenge, I was bleeding during...
Rene: I didn't just cut you, I just sent it in your direction.
Leo: (laughs) You threw an ice bucket at Georgia?
Rene: No, so what happened was it was the ice bucket challenge and it took Georgia so long to get ready that the ice fused into larger pieces of ice.
Leo: Oh, ow.
Rene: And we didn't notice that until after it impacted her skull.
Leo: Oh it's her fault for taking so long to get ready, is that what you're saying?
Rene: No it's everybody's fault. Nobody walks away clean.
Leo: Anyway, thank you Georgia I know your throat is killing you from talking at Ull but, thank you for being here. Rene Ritchie from iMore.com also, great place to go as always but he also does the debug podcast there, I know Georgia's on some of the podcasts right?
Rene: Yeah she does Vector with us.
Leo: Vector. You can find that iMore.com. Andy Ihnatko from the Chicago Sun Times, he's in Colorado today. For the Council on World Affairs, but we've got him via still picture. (laughs)
Andy: I'm going to pretend like it's 1978 and I'm giving like a live from a conference in Moscow.
Leo: (laughs) I love it.
Andy: Tax negotiations closed today Leo. Breshnev insisted a hard line stance on NATO communities.
Leo: On the line with us now, via satellite phone from Moscow. Our show today brought to you by Lynda.com, here is a great way to learn. I think we, I think human beings are learning machines. We're happiest when we're learning something new. When we're solving problems, I think we're all just kind of curious. If you want to make things happen, I want you to... maybe take better photos, build a better website. Haven't you always wanted to master Photoshop or Lightroom? Maybe that's just me. Sharpen your negotiation skills? Build a better resume? Lynda.com has everything you need to feed your curious minds. Because you're Mac folks we figured you'd be interested in the, and I've been doing this one, the swift essential training. They also have objective C essential training for the old school coders, they also have an amazing course called building and note taking app. This is kind of cool for iOS 8 so you actually start from beginning to end to build an app for an iPhone. Within hours you'll have created that working app and kind of painlessly learn the basics of developing for iOS. There's even a course, and this would be a great one for high schoolers, programming for non-programmers. And they do it with iOS 8 as well. Lynda.com, with your membership you get access to every course, taught by the best, the top experts in the field. They're passionate about their subject matter and they're passionate about communicating it to you and Lynda does such a great job of producing these that... they're really great. They chop them up into small chunks so you can learn at your own pace. You can browse, and search the course transcripts so you can find exactly what you want and follow along. I know a lot of you like to read along, it's great. You can also take notes there and refer to them later. You can even watch these on the go, download them and put them on your Android or iOS device. Create playlists, customize your learning paths, share them with friends. It's so cool that what we've done is we've arranged a ten day kind of run of the place trial offer for free. So go to Lynda.com/macbreak and you've got ten days and you've got access to all of the 3,000 courses. Pick a couple, watch a little bit here, a little bit there. Get a sense of what they can offer, I think you will love them. And if nothing else go watch Bert Monroy. He's just the greatest, even if you have no interest in Photoshop. Ben Long's got a great photo, of course Lisa and I are watching that one, it's kind of one of the basics of composition and stuff. Lynda.com/macbreak. From beginner to expert, there's something for everybody at Lynda.com. We thank them so much for their support of MacBreak Weekly. Georgia Dow, Rene Ritchie, Andy Ihnatko, we're talking Apple, we have been talking the Apple Watch, of course Wired Magazine has an article, the secret history of the Apple Watch. David Pierce writing about this and... now you've been following this all very closely. By the way, nice job on production, Wired. They're doing some really beautiful here. This is like reading a great magazine article, a New Yorker article with beautiful illustrations.
Leo: What do you think of this? Any revelations here?
Andy: Not a whole lot... most of it seemed to be the same stuff that I got talking to people who were designing two different kinds of Android Wear watches and it's very familiar to stuff I was talking about to people who were not involved directly in the development of the Pebble but had spent like a lot of time with those people. It seems like they're reiterating a lot of things that seem to be intrinsic and obvious to the design of the smartwatch, not a whole lot of surprises. The one kind of interesting thing to take away is that they did make the point that this person was a... somewhat a controversial hire.
Leo: Gruber called Lynch a “bozo, a bad hire.”
Rene: He was the flash guy.
Leo: Well he was the guy at Adobe who said an iPhone should really support flash, so that's part of the problem right?
Andy: Well, but I mean it's like... I don't know. It ignored the idea that there were some good arguments that he was making and also saying “Oh my god, what use could this person be because he had an opinion that was not shared by me, the commentator.”
Rene: One of the interesting things to me is that they, Apple, and we all know this, Apple tests a lot. There was this old saying that you do like a hundred prototypes, ten... sorry a hundred ideas, ten prototypes, one final version. And one of the prototypes they mentioned was using a time-line based interface which sounds very similar to what Pebble is shipping as their next generation interface, but Apple decided against that because even though it would be past, present, and future it didn't do enough in their minds at least to prioritize the importance of that information, it was just chronological and they want it to have multiple dimensions of importance serviced on the Apple Watch. So things like... just a little bit about how the project started, how the development went on it, I thought were really interesting. I kind of wish that it had gone deeper into some of the stuff, and some of it was hard to tell what was David and what was Apple. You know, just because what was ascribed to Apple was ascribed to Apple, and what the journalist kind of takes away from that, I think are very things and I like, I'm a history buff. I like knowing all this kind of stuff, so all these details the better for me.
Leo: By the way I have to give you credit because I stuck with Becoming Steve Jobs and you're right, this is actually a really good book and I can see why the Jobs fans like it, because it's a much more fully formed picture of Steve than...
Rene: Not whitewashed...
Leo: Well it isn't whitewashed, and now in hindsight the Isaacson looks a little bit more whitewashed. I mean it really is the full picture of Steve Jobs, and I feel... I'm still not finished, only in chapter 7 but I feel like I'm learning, I feel like I'm getting to know Steve in a much better way. It's really well done.
Rene: It made me re-recreate creativity incorporated right afterwards because they kept referencing it.
Leo: I'm dying to read this, this is of course the president of Pixar.
Leo: And in the book they really give, they say you know Steve would take credit for Toy Story, it ain't that. It's the president of Pixar whose name escapes me.
Rene: Ed Catmull.
Leo: That's right, Ed Catmull. And of course John Lasseter, who were the real geniuses there. Catmull's written a book that I can't wait to read, called Creative Incorporated. Creativity Incorporated and apparently, it is going to be my next book because Schlender and Ted Sally that it's the book on how to manage creatives.
Rene: Yeah, well not just that, you had to manage down all the talent in Pixar and a lot of Hollywood individuals, they just leave after a project. They make a project, they leave. They kept this group together also they knew how to manage up to George Lucas and Steve Jobs which is not an easy task.
Leo: Not easy, yeah. Well one of the things they did we learned from the book, is just keep their physical distance. Catmull said we're going to be as... Pixar is going to be as far from Next which Steve had to run, as possible. And Steve didn't really care to get in traffic so it was really pretty easy to do.
Rene: There was a brilliant story from James Thompson who does the PCalc app and DragThings at the Ull conference and he shared a little bit that he was the original engineer on the dock and he was working out of Apple's Irish office and he would, he went to Apple one day to you know, for one of the meetings. And Steve Jobs was alone with the human interface guy and he said you know, how's the dock going? And the human interface guy said it's great, James is in town from Ireland now, and Steve just turned out, turned left, went to Bertrand Serlet's office and he said “Am I to believe that the person working on the dock is living in effing Ireland?”
Rene: And he told them to fix it immediately, so they went to James and said “You've got to move to Cupertino.” and James said “No?” So he said, okay. Here's what we're going to do. We're going to tell Steve that you moved to Cupertino, and then you're never going to be in the same room alone with him again.
Leo: Yeah, yeah. How can you write good software in Ireland? That's Steve. You know, what I get from this book is that he said things like that, and then five minutes later forgot that he'd ever said it. And would even be embarrassed to admit it.
Rene: He was fiery. Tim Cook is more... yeah. Analytical.
Andy: One of the most interesting sort of through lines of the book was the number of times where he felt the need to apologize for past behavior. Sometimes even like three minutes like after he did something he regretted.
Leo: Schlender says, and I think this is accurate, he's basically like a spoiled kid. Who has temper tantrums and then regrets it. And wants it his way and no other way, acknowledges...
Rene: Not unusual at that level.
Leo: No. And I think we all have to acknowledge that was those, in many cases, character flaws that made Steve Jobs a genius, that gave us the iPad, the iPhone. The iPod, the iMac.
Rene: I can't imagine someone writing a book about this, like about me like this. I would...
Leo: Well it had to be after his death, right?
Rene: Yeah but I mean I have enough embarrassing anecdotes and I wouldn't want to see it in print.
Leo: My god that...
Georgia: I'm taking notes now. I'm taking notes now, don't even worry.
Georgia: Good for Steve, he can see you know. An only child, he mentions spoiled beyond belief.
Leo: His parents thought he was like god's gift and they treated him that way.
Georgia: And he ended up believing it.
Rene: And it worked for him.
Leo: Well it did because... he didn't let other people get in the way and I think one of the greatest quotes from Steve, and it came from the Isaacson book, was he said you've got to realize, everybody kind of accepts everything and assumes that the people who designed everything around you were smarter than you. You've got to understand, they're dumber than you and you can fix anything. You're not stuck with anything that you've been given. So make it better. And I think that's not such a bad thing. Hey speaking of that, I thought I'd show you, this is the Galaxy S6 Edge. Which I just got today, so... but let me show you the finger print reader. First of all, it works just like, it works just like the one on the iPhone and the iPad.
Rene: Am I to believe that their previous fingerprint technology has been changed for something that now works like...
Leo: Yeah because I have...
Rene: That's actually a good idea.
Leo: I have one on the Note 4 which you had to swipe, just like most fingerprint readers until Apple came along. Now it's Apple's style and if you want to add a fingerprint, it's very Apple style. I showed this before the show but let me show you again, I'll go to the lock screen in security and I'll add a fingerprint. So it says place your finger tip on the home key to verify your identity, so I'm going to unlock it now. Whoops. I'm going to unlock it now, and I'm going to add a new fingerprint. Let's add this one. Doesn't this look a little familiar? Watch this. Oh, and as I continue to place my fingertip on the home key, it builds up a fingerprint bit by bit.
Rene: It's black not red Leo.
Leo: Okay, alright. It also asks you just as Apple does to... okay, now stop. We're going to try it from a different angle. It's very similar. And it, I have to say it seems to be very similar in its actions. It seems to be instantaneous, it's a great way to unlock the phone. I don't have to swipe it any more, it's much more reliable than previous Samsung...
Rene: I hope everybody has these eventually.
Leo: This is so great, especially with tap to pay.
Andy: Yeah and I mean... I'm not one to really care about one phone ripping off another phone, I use, usually like maybe one new phone every five weeks for all the reviews I do and every single time it's like gee, I wish that my Android phone had this feature from the iPhone, or I'm testing out the iPhone 6. Oh gee I really wish the... I really miss this feature from Android, I mean when I was using the iPhone 6 it's like geez, if Android had a phone that looked and worked exactly like this I would definitely be buying one exactly like that. And so anything that makes a better choice for consumers, that's not just... if they understand that... if they understand the reasons why Apple or Samsung or Motorola made this choice and implement them in their own way, then it's just nothing but upside for consumers.
Leo: This is the Edge so this is, certainly unique. I don't think it adds any functionality but anybody looking at it will go ooh.
Andy: It's cool, exactly.
Leo: It's beautiful.
Andy: I don't understand why people are complaining about that. If you were to look at any product that Apple, Motorola, again, any product and you have to justify every single detail as something that adds function, you're not going to get there. It's okay for people to buy this simply because my god that's a really cool wrap around screen, I like it and it gives me pleasure.
Leo: Especially since you do a lot of sliding so it feels very... kind of...
Georgia: More smooth.
Andy: Particularly on Android where they really do, at a much more intense level, the idea of swiping in from one side of the screen actually actions something.
Andy: Apple has, Apple developers haven't really picked up on that the way that Android developers have.
Leo: Yeah. I think it's... I mean I've only had it for a few, and I decided to buy the Edge because... and then I felt bad because I read all the reviews that said oh save $100, it doesn't do anything. But I just... I think it's pretty, and it is... it's a little, people were saying it's very iPhoney and from certain angles, certainly if you look at it from this angle, that could be the bottom of an iPhone 6. But no one's going to mistake this for an iPhone.
Rene: Except for Samsung's rep according to Engadget. I don't know if you saw that in the Engadget review, the Samsung rep picked it up for a few minutes and didn't realize it wasn't an iPhone.
Leo: I could tell the difference, having used and owned both.
Rene: The edge at least looks, I like the edge better and it's the same reason I like the Galaxy Notes better, is that it feels more like Samsung being Samsung to me and I find that way more interesting.
Leo: Yeah. It's... well I mean when you compare it to the note with the plastic, you know back and all of that it's really quite elegant. I don't know, I'm excited about trying it out. I'll have a review for it on Before You Buy but so far, hey the fingerprint reader works. And as long as we're talking other new things, here's the new Macbook Pro, 13 inch with the force touch trackpad, that's really the only thing that's different from existing Macbook Pros.
Rene: And Broadwell, yeah. Broadwell processors.
Leo: New chipset, faster SSDs they say. Does feel snappy, I got the i7, I don't know why. I got all the memory in a big drive, I just thought... I'm going to max it out.
Rene: If you're going to roll, roll deep Leo.
Leo: After having talked to Andy you tried these out at the Apple Store, I did a little experiment. I turned it off, and I had everybody in the studio click the trackpad and verify for themselves that it doesn't move. I mean it's just a solid, it's like the wrist rest, it's just solid. And then I turned it on and you start clicking and you will swear your mind will swear yeah, it's moving. There's a click.
Rene: Like physics is a lie.
Andy: You know, I'm only less excited about force touch as I am about the Apple Watch in terms of what this says about future Apple products. Because once they start putting... once they start really expressing the rules for here's what this does within their interface and once they start putting into things like the iPad and the iPhone, they don't even have to do something space age like having a virtual keyboard where you can feel the keys underneath your fingers. If they just simply give me the ability to rest my finger on the user interface element and get information about it and basically how I interact with it physically changes what it does for me, my goodness. That's a totally unimaginable way of interacting with a computer and it just gets me so excited about what could be done with this, how Apple could intelligently put this into something.
Leo: This is a classic Apple though, where there's nothing new here, we've had haptic feedback for years. In fact every time I use it I was very... it's like, oh that's a gimmick. But they just made it better and work and it's... now it's like...
Rene: It's a very different technology that Apple's using.
Leo: Is it? This is not traditional haptics?
Rene: Yeah, so I forget... I keep forgetting her name, but it's based on a 20 year old paper on something called sandpaper. And some people tried doing it with sonic, some people tried doing it with horizontal forced but the one I believe Apple is using, they figured out that your fingers can't really tell the difference between horizontal and vertical forces, so they can hit things together horizontally and you'll perceive them to be a vertical push or press or... they can do all sorts of things, dimples, all sorts of simulations of vertical... I forget what they call them. But vertical effects, and it took a long time and I think I mentioned this before, but victor who worked on it for a while at Apple was tweeting during the event that he can't believe Apple got it to market. So quickly, and this is the first generation, they've basically made multitouch three dimensional and it's going to be super exciting because it's on the watch, they managed to get it on the Mac within six months of showing it off on the watch, it's rumored to be in the next iPhone, perhaps the iPad Pro as well. It's going to add, literally another dimension to all the interfaces we've been using.
Leo: This is... it's Margaret Diane Rezvan, she was at the MIT media arts and sciences program. Co-authored with I presume this is Marvin Minsky, came out in 1995. So it's computational haptics, the sandpaper system for synthesizing texture for a force feedback display. Oh I see. Her name is Margaret Diane Rezvan Minsky.
Leo: Ok, so Margaret Minsky. And it’s got Nick Negroponte’s signature. It’s certified by Nick Negroponte. All right, that’s her last name. I get it, Ok.
Rene: It’s like we used to see multi-touch demos at MIT that looked like minority report, then eventually we got the iPhone. These technologies take a while to…
Leo: And by the way, let me show you one interesting thing here. I’ll quick add to that, so I’ve turned on tap-click. Maybe I shouldn’t with tactics or haptics because that may be a little bit confusing, so I can just tap it, I could click something. If I press it a little harder, it’s a click. If I press it really hard, it does a preview. Which is kind of interesting. I don’t know if I am convinced of that … I mean it’s easy enough to press a space bar which is the way I’m used to doing a preview. And the space bar is a toggle which is nice.
Andy: But it’s like what I was saying before, it’s the sort of thing that if you don’t know it exists, it doesn’t complicate this for you at all. But once you find out that it exists, if it’s a natural gesture, then it becomes second nature. It’s really going to be just a question of can Apple implement this so successfully and evangelize it to developers so well that it will be just as natural as tapping the space bar or just as natural as holding down the shift key while you’re clicking on something?
Leo: I feel like this is not quite fully hooked … maybe that’s just me.
Andy: It’s well implemented, it’s just not as broad as it needs to be to be revolutionary. But I’m really excited about what can be done with this. So I’m very excited.
Leo: Yea, clearly, obviously it’s not new, Ms. Minsky created the concept twenty years ago, and we’ve seen haptics often since then. This is the first time I’ve used it where it has a clear value, and it is kind of magic. That it feels like it’s moving. There’s a physical click on something that is absolutely static.
Leo: Yea. I think I might turn off the deep click, because I accidentally do it, I’m not really sure when it’s going to happen, maybe I just haven’t gotten used to how hard you have to press and all that, but…
Rene: And it’s new, Leo. This is, again, the first iteration of this technology, and I don’t know if you’ve tried iMovie yet, but there was an editor talking about it. In iMovie, it will give you a little bit of forced feedback when you get to the end of a clip to tell you that it’s, there’s a drag coefficient now at the end of it. And the editor who was talking about it said, “I didn’t even know about it, I just suddenly moved my finger, it told me I was at the end, and I realized I was at the end before I realized why I realized it.”
Leo: Ok. Maybe it’s going to be in applications, it will be the most useful. I’ve only used it in finders so far. Ok.
Georgia Dow: Hopefully after a while it will just become intuitive.
Leo: Right. Well, it isn’t because we’re not used to this idea, of pushing a little bit, a little bit more, or a little bit more. It seems a little weird.
Rene: If only you had a Blackberry Storm.
Leo: Oh, that was horrible. That was a physical click.
Rene: The second one was piezoelectric which was a little bit different, but it still wasn’t the same.
Leo: So, there you go, a couple of new products in this brick house today. So far I love the Mac Book Pro, it’s fast, the screen is really beautiful. It’s not a higher res screen then before, is it?
Rene: No, I have last year’s model and I miss that trackpad.
Leo: It’s just gorgeous.
Andy: To me, it’s still the Mac Book Pro with the word Pro in quotation marks, because it’s an excellent mid-range computer, but it’s really not a top of the line anything, as far as I’m concerned.
Leo: Semi-pro. It’s a semi-pro.
Andy: Yea, it’s how like, you know, when you go to the BMW showroom, and you go into the luxury edge of the showroom, and they’ve got the one that’s not really as good as the rest, just to get you to spend the extra ten thousand dollars on the really good ones? That’s what the Mac Book Pro is for me.
Georgia: It’s the Diet Coke of Pro.
Leo: The Diet Coke of Pro, yea exactly.
Rene: Civic use of toaster oven.
Leo: (laughing) I like it, because you know, I normally us a 15” here, and I just like the portability of the 13”. This is not going to end up being the studio computer, I think I’ll just take this for my travels. This will be my photography computer, hence the picture.
Rene: So you’ll have the Mac Book for Ultralight, you’ll have this one in between, you’ll have Mac Book Pro, and then the iMac, and then the … you’re going to have that entire diagram Apple put on their display, Leo.
Leo: I’m actually not buying the Mac Book because I decided instead to buy this, I decided that Mac Book wasn’t going to be fast enough for what I want to do. But Lisa’s buying it. So I get to try hers.
Georgia: Well, what color is she going to buy it in?
Leo: I’m trying to convince her to buy gold, she won’t.
Georgia: Why not? It’s so pretty.
Leo: Hear that, Lisa? Gold is pretty. Are you going to get gold?
Andy: It’s a very subtle gold.
Leo: Well, that’s the thing, I’m thinking she’s thinking it’s like gold, gold.
Andy: Yea, it’s more like if you go into the art museum and you see a relic from a thousand years ago, it was just choice of metal as opposed to, “hey everybody, look at this gold thing that I own.” As I said with the very first gold iPhone, it’s more like Katharine Hepburn gold as opposed Kim Kardashian gold.
Leo: I’m thinking she’s thinking it’s Kardashian.
Georgia: It’s not a gaudy gold.
Leo: We’re talking about you, Lisa.
Georgia: It’s just enough gold so that people, everyone knows that you have the new Mac Book.
Rene: It’s the same gold as the iPhone.
Leo: You have the gold phone, right?
Leo: No, you don’t have the gold phone?
Rene: No, I do. This is the gold phone.
Leo: No, I’m talking to Lisa, I’m sorry, Rene. I see that you have it, Rene. She says she’s getting the gunmetal gray.
Georgia: That’s also very cool.
Leo: Because she’s kind of like’s shooting things.
Rene: That’s cool too.
Georgia: That’s very cool.
Andy: I did want to say something, though, about the new Mac Book. I only really get my most deepest opinions and understandings about something by trying things out, and sometimes failing miserably. This week I decided, you know what, I don’t want to be bothered by TSA, I don’t want to be bothered with a 13” notebook, whatever I’ve got to do this week I can do it with my full sized iPad and my iPad mini, and that’s all I’m going to take with me. And, oh guys, with so many things today particularly would have been a lot easier if I just had the ability to run Mac OS or if I had that sort of resource available to me. And so, it really did, not that I was ever skeptical about the 12” Mac Book, but if I had a 12” Mac Book in my library, there’s no questions I would have thought, maybe I should just leave a Mac Book at home. A 13” Air might have made that decision for me. No, I don’t really want to be bothered by that. That would have been an iPad sized Mac seems to be something that would get me very interested in spending $1,300 of my money to have my fourth working Mac in the office.
Leo: Yea, well actually you maybe want to wait for the new 8K iMac. This is not true, is it?
Rene: This is why I don’t like modern media. I have a big problem with mainstream media right now. On LG’s website it says that Apple had announced an 8K iMac, and a bunch of websites wrote a story saying “LG leaks an 8K iMac.” LG did not say Apple is making one. LG said Apple had announced one. Apple has not announced an 8K iMac. So the headline should be, “LG erroneously reports that Apple has announced an 8K iMac.” That’s it. There is no other story here.
Leo: The 5K already pushes existing hardware to it’s limits.
Rene: And yet there’s no connection, Apple had to make their own timing controller to get the 5K. The next generation Skylake processors, which aren’t out yet, are required to drive 5K. LG’s existing panels are nowhere small enough for an iMac at 8K. It is so wrong, but it also shows what is not good reporting.
Georgia: Any story of Apple has legs.
Leo: Well, yea, of course. Everybody knows, me being a suspicious type, figure the guys, especially at Apple Insider who are writing this know better, but it just generates so much traffic.
Rene: I think people will click anyway. I mean if you just write LG says Apple announced, I think people will click on it the same.
Leo: By the way, just so you know, the name for this will be Quad Ultra High Definition. So it’s sixteen times bigger.
Andy: This is why there’s subtle things you need to know how to do when you’re writing stories. I was introduced to somebody last night, a woman who was introduced to me as a neurosurgeon who works on beetles – b-e-e-t-l-e-s. An insect neurosurgeon. And you realized that you meet enough odd things in this world that you don’t understand that you know that, “gosh, I should write about this, she performs micro-neurosurgery on beetles.” And I realize that, no, this is the point that I start asking very simple and straightforward questions to make sure I understand exactly what is being said by beetle neurosurgeon, and it turned out to be something completely different from what those two words might actually mean.
Leo: Do beetles even have brains?
Andy: They do, and according to this person, they do sometimes get tumors. And it turned out, ten minutes into the conversation, that someone played a practical joke on her by introducing her to me with a fake job. And she kept up the improv for about ten minutes before, with me, again not my saying, “Oh my God, that’s so much.” No, my first question was, “Is this therapeutic or a research sort of surgery?”
Georgia: Therapy for beetles.
Andy: So if someone tells me that we’re developing an 8K screen, at first I will not say I’m not going to believe you, I’m going to say, “That’s interesting, but what purpose, what market does an 8K screen, and who’s it being built for.” And eventually they run out of ways to tell you that, “Ok, I just made all that up. I’m very, very sorry.”
Leo: Was she at least an entomologist?
Andy: No, I’m trying to remember, she works in the sciences, in the social sciences.
Leo: So she could at least tell a good story.
Andy: You could tell she was a very good sport, the fact that, if I were introduced to somebody as, “Well, he is a mean ichthyologist.” And for me to simply roll with that and say, “Yea, well the thing is, not many people build furniture for underwater installations, and this is going to be a more important thing as we try to populate some of these places near the Marianas Trench. How do you get a veneer to stick at ten thousand feet? These are the problems I’m trying to solve.”
Rene: I should just clarify because some people are asking, if LG is a major supplier for Apple, so if they have an 8K panel it is not beyond the realm of possibility. In fact it is likely that Apple has those panels, and is thinking, “What can we do with these?” But that’s not the same as Apple announcing it. And it reminds me of the Apple TV in the news this week, where it was said that the Apple TV, the new version, won’t support 4K. And that’s a tricky thing to report, because as far as I know, and I might be wrong, because it’s not the most up to date information, the hardware is perfectly capable of 4K, there’s just very few 4K television sets, and almost no 4K content on the market. So there’s not going to be any 4K content for it at launch. But whether six months, a year, you know, two years, three years down the road, they can flip a switch on that. That’s sort of a nuance difference, but I think it’s an important one.
Leo: Can the hardware do it is the question, not will it have support out of the box.
Andy: I’ve seen two different stories, one of which was talking about the 4K Apple TV, and one that was actually talking about a 4K Apple television set. You’re talking about the Apple TV not the television set?
Leo: The Apple TV, yea, the Apple TV box.
Andy: Yea, that second one leaped out of me because this is another case of, so you’re saying that you have disappointing news about a product that Apple has not even hinted at ever releasing, and this is news how?
Leo: Yea, I guess it just points out the importance of listening to MacBreak Weekly each and every week.
Rene: Well, it sets expectations. My only thing is that, it set expectations and then it comes out and they’ll say, “Well Apple promised us this.” And you go back to Apple, and they never said anything about that. Like where’s my 8K iMac.
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Rene: Al the writers on CSI Cyber need to take this program.
Leo: I think so, yea, let’s get some real good information in there. It’s free if you watch it live, 9:00 AM – 4:00 PM Eastern Time starting April 27th. Really cool. We love these guys, Tim and Don, are so great. Aren’t they coming out? They’re coming out, I think, soon. If not, we’ll get them out. ITPro.tv/macbreak. Angela Ahrendts, the new head of retail at Apple, told employees “A significant change in mindset” is coming to the way Apple launches products. Now, remember, that there was a big move to get people to come into the Apple store to buy their phones. According to this article, and we’re going to get you a chance to vet this here, at Business Insider, Jim Edwards writing, she wants to encourage customers to avoid their local Apple store when the watch goes on sale and order online. Is that true?
Rene: They’ve been doing that for a while. If you look at the most recent iPhone launches, for a while, it seems, prior to Angela Ahrendts, that they would try to encourage you to go to the store, they wanted that.
Leo: Tim Cook said that. He said it at a quarterly analyst call. “We want to get people in the store.”
Rene: They want them in the store to buy iPhones, but for the launch itself, it started to look more and more over the years, that it was becoming, it was like Andy said earlier, problematic for them. And more recently they’ve been making pre-orders available, and they’ve been guaranteeing shipment as best as they can day and day, and that’s been taking a lot of pressure off of retail. And those launches are hard for retail.
Leo: Oh, I know, but it’s also fun for retail. Don’t downplay the value of having a line outside the store. The employees get all excited, they countdown when the door’s opening, they clap when people buy the first one. I mean there’s, for a retail employee, probably has to be a highlight. But they’ll still get to do that.
Georgia: It’s probably a highlight for the first few times that they do it, but by year five it’s probably getting to be tiresome and then people are really aggressive. I remember once Rene and I lined up for the entire night, and we got there, we were racing down to try to be first in line, there were three fights that broke up on who was the first person to get the iPhone. And so I also think they can get a lot of negative press, and that they’re hoping to make this as smooth as possible.
Andy: Yea, that’s exactly right. You hear about the quotes, about the disaster of New Coke, when the team that led up that project later on was saying, “Was this just like a brilliant scheme to get people to buy more of the regular, classic Coke?” And he said, “I’m not that dumb and I’m not that stupid. I’m not that smart, I’m not that dumb.” And the more that you look at the arguments, and think, oh, I bet that they’re sort of constraining supply to make sure that there’s high demand for this. I might have had more belief in the argument a few years ago, but now it’s starting to make Apple look like they can’t anticipate demand and they can’t manufacture, if they can’t anticipate this sort of stuff. So they better they can do at managing people’s expectations of how likely is it going to be that I’m going to be able to walk away with a new phone, a new laptop, a new watch in the first few weeks, the better they are going to look as a company. It’s something that doesn’t make them look good because if they’re telling people, they’re encouraging people to show up at the store, and not have any assurance there’s going to be any stock of what they want, I’m sorry, enjoy your 16GB iPad Air Two, I know you didn’t want that one, but it’s all we have for the next two months. The better they can do at managing that, the more professional they look, and the better the experience is going to be for every consumer.
Leo: That’s actually a really good point. There’s also the issue of scalping as you mentioned.
Rene: And people getting paid to wait in lines, and it’s not the spirit that it always wants to be.
Leo: Yea, I waited in line for the iPhone 6, what time did we get there, John, midnight, two? You got there at 10:00 PM, I think I arrived at 2:00 or 3:00 AM. And it wasn’t the experience I had waiting for the first iPhone, which was really a joyous experience. There were too many people there who were there just, you know, to get it for somebody else, I hate to say it, but like bums, who’d been hired by somebody to wait in line for them. So maybe that’s it. Apparently there’s not going to be any in store pick up at all in the U.K. for the Apple Watch. I don’t know what’s happening in Canada, do you know?
Rene: I don’t know for sure in Canada. The U.S., I believe, there is.
Leo: Yea, customers will be able in the U.S., according to this article, to pick up their watch in store. But you are encouraged to order online. I’m going to order online. I thought, see, I misunderstood, I got the impression that Apple really wanted people to make these 15 minute appointments, and have the experience of trying it on.
Rene: If you’re unsure. So there’s going to be people like us, who are just happy to order, we know exactly what we want, or close enough, and then there’s going to be people who are unconvinced, they really want to see the bands, they’re not sure about, you know, and they’re going to want to come in. So Apple needs to cater to both those sort of ends of the spectrum.
Andy: Also, realize the kind of, if anyone has had any exposure to a smart watch, which is not likely, pretty much, they’ve seen things like the huge Android Wear watches that have been on the market at this point, they’ve seen things like the Pebble Watches that are cute and they’re very wearable but they’re not terribly ambitious. I can’t say this enough. Apple really has a big job ahead of them, it’s to teach people that we are building something brand new, please come in unafraid, and with no expectations, and we will fill you in on something we are terribly excited about.
Georgia: When you think, though, that they have a three hundred million user base, of people that have 5’s and 6’s, then can use the watch. I mean, even if they only capture 2% of their base core audience, and they’re definitely going to get over that, they’re already hitting over five million people that are going to be buying the watch. So, I think that it’s not going to be as hard of a sell, because people that love Apple products really love Apple products, and I think that the watch is going to be easier to sell than they would expect.
Leo: The Business Insider … go ahead
Andy: Just I would like to think it’s going to be at least a little bit of a hard sell, because, again, it is so new, I would be very suspicions of somebody who said, “I know that the new iPad costs $500.00, but I don’t care, I’m going to spend it anyway. I have no idea how it works, I’ve seen a couple of videos, I’ve seen everybody cheering during the roll out, but the fact that it has an Apple logo on it is good enough for me.” I don’t think any company can live up to that kind of expectations. I’m not even talking about, I’m not even complaining about hype, I’m not complaining about the hero worship, I’m saying that this would be a bad position for Apple to be in, I’m simply saying just because of the fact that we put a logo on something is all the reason you need to buy this. I really like the fact that they keep saying, “Well, look, we’re making this case point by point by point. We’re releasing videos, we’re doing multiple events, we are restructuring our stores so that people can come in without any … we’re not going to do a credit check, we’re not going to have any sort of idea of whether or not you’re capable of buying the steel or the sport band, we really understand that we need to explain to you and convince you that we’ve done something great here.”
Rene: The thing that was interesting to me is that my mother and my sister, they never wanted first generation iPhones, they didn’t get iPhones until much later. They didn’t get first generation iPads. They had no interest in, and thought I was nuts when I drove to Albany to get them. And they both want first generation Apple Watches. They want to get them immediately. I have some friends, too, and the reason is because they have specific problems with their iPhones. Like my mom keeps her phone in her purse, and she misses messages and calls. My sister’s paging system at the hospital works off iPhones, and she won’t have to carry her phone. So they all have these problems that they’ve faced day in and day out, and they’ve seen enough in the Apple Watch to know or at least to suspect that it will solve that problem for them, and that’s made being an early adopter, or getting the first generation, or just knowing that they want to order it, a very easy choice for them.
Leo: This is the, I guess I didn’t realize this, but Business Insider actually got a picture of the memo. The actual memo (laughing). There’s some credibility here, because there’s the Apple watch table and I have been told by a person I know that has actually seen the table that it is very high tech table, with lots of electronics inside.
Rene: You’ve got to try them. Serenity and I lingered so long at the event that one of the tables cleared out. Yea, you get a badge and you get to press the badge on the side and this secret drawer opens up and all the watches are in little containers there.
Leo: There it is, yea. So in the text of the memo from Angela Ahrendts, “Get in line, online. The days of waiting in line and crossing fingers for a product are over for our customers,” she writes. “The Apple store app and our online store make it much easier to purchase Apple Watch and the new Mac Book.” Note that, the new Mac Book, too. “Customers will know exactly when and where their product arrives. This is a significant change in mindset, and we need your help to make it happen. Tell your customers we have more availability online, and show them how easy it is to order. You’ll make their day.” So that is a very clear, I mean I think this is a genuine memo, and that’s a very clear shift.
Rene: I think Mark Gurman also reported that even in stores, they won’t necessarily have a lot of stock, you’ll be taken with them very kindly with them over to kiosk, which is their version of the Apple Store, you’ll order it that way and it will be delivered to you.
Leo: I should get the Apple App on my iPad or iPhone, because I remember last year, with the iPhone 6, the Apple store online was all broken. But you could get through, barely, you could get through on the app. So do it on the app, it sounds like.
Rene: Try both.
Leo: Try both, have both going.
Rene: And there’ll probably be a limit, I think the iPhones are usually two units per person or per account
Rene: Don’t think you can buy an army-full immediately.
Leo: Well, you know, I do feel like these watches will often be sold in pairs. Because, like Lisa and I are going to both buy them so we can do the heart thing.
Rene: You can send your heart thing.
Georgia: Right, you can send the cute little pictures, too, to each other. I think I’m going to drain my watch in the first hour. I’m going to be sending them to everyone. Don’t send me your messages, your iMessages that day.
Leo: So do you have a special someone, that you’re going to have to get a watch so you can do this?
Georgia: I am. My husband and I are both going to be getting watches. It’s going to be for his birthday, he’s very excited. And…
Leo: Yea. And is he normally like a Mac geek?
Georgia: He is quite, and he’s been using, he has a Pebble. So, he’s not a watch person, per se, but he loves the Pebble because he can get any notification without having to worry, and that will be the same reason that I’m going to be getting the watch. I have the iPhone 6 Plus. It’s huge, trying to get it out of my purse is a mess. And so it’s going to make it easy, and we can, if I’m in session and someone has an emergency, I can get the message right away.
Leo: Isn’t that cool? You’re a psychotherapist. I lot of therapists don’t wear watches because they don’t want to be looking at the watch during the session. It always annoys me, they put the clock behind my head.
Leo: So it looks like they’re looking at me, meanwhile they’re thinking, “Almost done, almost done, almost done.”
Georgia: (Laughing) I do keep clocks in the room actually, one that’s behind the person, and one that’s in front of them so they can also monitor their own time.
Leo: Good. That drives me crazy because I can’t tell what time it is, because they put the clock behind me, I need to know if I have enough time to tell this long story.
Rene: It’s going faster than a normal clock.
Leo: It is, because an hour’s fifty minutes. I don’t understand it. I’m just kidding. Actually my ex-wife is a psychotherapist, and when I told her that my therapist had his clock behind me and I couldn’t see it, she said, “That’s not good, he should have two.” Just like you do, Georgia.
Georgia: Exactly. So that everyone feels comfortable and no one feels stressed.
Leo: But how would you do the watch? I mean, that’s going to send a message…
Georgia: Well I hope I don’t have any, I’m not going to have any notifications, only, I’ll have everything off. I will just have to. But if I have a client that is on, you know, that is in dire straits and I need to get a message from them from the hospital immediately, then instead of having them buzz my phone in the room, which is very distracting in session, but only in cases of emergency they can do that. Instead then they can send me a message of “Emergency call, right now,” and then I will have to relieve myself from session or, you know, call back in between sessions just so I can get the message.
Leo: You’ll have to teach your husband some secret taps. Because the taps, the clients don’t know about the tapping.
Georgia: I know. I don’t think I’ll be able to do that though, because it will be so distracting to me … yea.
Leo: You’ll giggle. In the middle of a session. Inappropriate giggling!
Rene: You’ll be tapping out, “Where’s my sandwich?”
Georgia: Right, right, exactly. I’ll have to have everything off when I’m in session unless it’s an emergency.
Andy: It does strike me that it’s part of an interesting modification to the way that we socialize with each other, because you could make the argument that, if you’ve got your phone, let’s say, on a table that’s near one of the chairs, near the desk, and it buzzes quietly, and there seems to be part of the, ok, there is something that is apparently important enough that someone is calling my doctor during this session, you excuse yourself, and then for five seconds you miss the call, or say, “Oh, actually, this is a medical emergency, I’m afraid I have to excuse myself.” Would that be better than simply, something has been communicated to you in this room without my knowledge, now you’re just saying, “Oh, gee, I’m sorry, I forgot my pen. I’ll be right back.” Everybody’s entitled to the form of communication that works best for them, but it’s going to be interesting that now every time someone says, “Oops, I’m sorry, look at this, I just spilled this water all over my shirt, let me go see if I can change that.”
Rene: What’s funny for me is that I had lunch with someone who had an Apple Watch for a long time, and I had my phone in my pocket. And my notifications are almost always off. There’s only one thing that can buzz it, only certain people that come through for that, and it is people that usually have critical information for me. And so when it does buzz, I almost always have to check it. So there were a couple of times when we were having lunch that I had to excuse myself, and you know, sit up a little bit so I could pull my monstrous iPhone 6 Plus out of my pocket, and then look at the notification. And I have previews off, because you never know, you don’t want to have any kind of sensitive information displayed, so I have to swipe through to get them. And it’s, it didn’t seem like that it was an arduous ordeal, but a couple times I just saw him twist his wrist slightly, glance at his watch, and then go back to talking to me. And suddenly I felt like an animal, like a caveman, like someone from a different time. And I just, it was such a much more elegant experience for him to do what I was trying so poorly to do, that I was sold on the whole notification triage system immediately.
Leo: Incidentally, look at this table. If you walk into the store, you will not be able to touch the watch. They are under glass in this table. You can only touch the watch if you have a fifteen minute appointment slot. So, can we schedule those now?
Rene: No, Friday morning.
Leo: They should allow us to do it sooner.
Rene: They’d be gone instantaneously.
Leo: I know.
Georgia: Hey, they do it this way so you still have hope that you’ll be able to get an appointment in on the first day. And then they’ll snatch that away from you right when it opens.
Leo: (laughing) Oh, man. The products will not be on little stands or attached to security chains as the iPhones are because, in part, the fact that this watch has sensors. So they can’t sit on display. So they have to have some sort of plastic thing holding them. They can’t be locked down, and blah, blah, blah. Wow. So when you tap the card, does the glass slide back? We don’t know.
Leo: No? It doesn’t emerge like Goldfinger from the drawer?
Rene: No, the watches are in the drawer underneath. It is a concealed drawer, so it’s still hella cool.
Leo: That’s cool. Wow, I can’t wait. I want to go in.
Rene: Tim Cook has wanted one since he was five years old, Leo, but unlike us, he has the resources to make that happen.
Leo: (laughing) anything Tim Cook wants, he gets. Including, if he wanted, an 8K Mac, I guess he could do that.
Andy: Jeff Bezos has the same thing, but what he decided, he became a billionaire, he said, “You know what, I’m going to build spaceships. If Tim Cook just wanted a wristwatch, I don’t know if this is the most ambitious guy in the world.”
Leo: Let’s see, HBO Now ships today. I don’t know, maybe that’s one of your picks, I won’t, no, nobody has that. So, are you aware of this, this is the one that’s fifteen, what is it, fifteen dollars a month for non-cable company subscribers?
Rene: US only.
Andy: And last week was also Sling, Sling TV also announced it is also offering that same service for fifteen dollars a month if you already subscribe to their twenty dollar a month package. So it looks like, and they’ve also said it’s also going to be available in time for the premier of Game of Thrones.
Leo: Yea, somebody was saying that the Sling TV had all sorts of issues during March Madness, especially the finals. There was a lot of buffering. HBO, as we mentioned before, is using MLB’s very robust network, Major League Baseball’s very robust network. Which is probably why it’s not available in Canada, because you guys don’t have baseball, do you? You just play hockey, right?
Rene: Yea, we have the Toronto Blue Jays.
Leo: I’m teasing you.
Rene: No, but it’s amazing how companies, it is so hard that companies that figure it out can become infrastructure companies. It’s almost how Amazon became an infrastructure company.
Leo: Right, right. Let’s see, I’m just looking at the last few … HBO’s CEO reached out to Jimmy Iovine, that’s how apparently the deal between Apple and HBO Now happened. But I didn’t mention, that HBO Now, for the first three months, is only Apple TV, iOS and, you know, iPad and iPhone. But apparently HBO approached Apple about doing this.
Rene: Jimmy’s response was, that’s the expletive.
Leo: I think that’s the *beep* you know, when you say it that way, I don’t think people are going to know what the expletive is. I think that’s the s-word.
Leo: I feel like a four year old when I say that. Ok, what else? Samsung’s got the contract for the A9, the next Apple microprocessors, at least according to Bloomberg. And Bloomberg ought to know.
Rene: Yea, they’ve been reporting that every two or three months for the last year, or two years.
Leo: You really are bitter, aren’t you?
Rene: I’m not, I’m just, I want them to work a little bit.
Leo: Yea, I agree. But I’m not worried, so I can’t really complain. I’m just reading their article. Ok, so, you know, I think the only reason that’s interesting is that people thought that Samsung and Apple had a rift because of the lawsuits, and no, Samsung still provides them with most of the…
Rene: They are a major panel manufacturer, they are a major flash manufacturer. It’s a conglomerate. It’s not like, it’s basically Korea in many ways.
Leo: It’s Korea! And you can’t avoid Korea! And apparently this S6 is bendable, but I’m not going to bend it. Can we please just stop the insanity?
Rene: It’s physics.
Andy: I was just so, somethings in the tech news cycle just get me so exhausted. It exhausted me when people were saying, “Oh my God, look what happens if you put the iPhone 6 under an anvil, and you press down it with both sides.” And now I’m equally tired with, “Hey look, hey look, now these Samsung 6 has this problem. Look, Samsung!” It’s like ok, fine, take care of your toys, this won’t happen.
Rene: It’s funny only in that it should be a lesson to Samsung executives not to say their stuff is unbendable, or to make fun of Apple. Just like make good phones. All we consumers want: make good phones.
Leo: They did say that, right? Apple said the same thing.
Rene: Yea, Apple does it, too. I don’t think anybody should do it.
Leo: You’re right.
Georgia: Andy, it’s a serious issue for blacksmiths.
Leo: (Laughing) if you have an anvil…
Andy: Look, it should be the least, really least issue possible for blacksmiths because if it happens to your phone, you simply drop it in the forge, get it white hot again, put it back on the forge, hammer it flat, you’re done.
Leo: Those are the people…
Georgia: Yea, an iPhone sword.
Leo: All right, let’s take a break. When we come back, your picks. Georgia has not been here before. We called you like minutes before the show began, so I’m not going to make you do a pick unless you have something you like and you want to talk about, and it does not have to be a program, it could be anything. As you’ll see, because Andy always picks crazy things.
Georgia: I pick Groot.
Leo: Groot. Groot’s always safe. Now is that a dancing Groot?
Georgia: Yes, it’s a bobble-head Groot.
Leo: Oh, ok. That is a very nice Groot. Excellent Groot. Can you just quit your job on Tuesdays? Seriously, I want to get you back here. We’ll figure it out.
Georgia: That’s nice.
Leo: Maybe we’ll just move MacBreak Weekly. Do you get a day off?
Georgia: (laughing) Mondays and Fridays.
Leo: Mondays and Fridays. I’ll figure it out. You work Saturday and Sunday?
Georgia: No, I’m also off Saturday and Sunday.
Leo: Oh, all right. Mondays and Fridays. Our show today brought to you by Gazelle. If it is time for you to buy something new, like maybe a watch, or a book. Maybe you have some old stuff lying around, like maybe a Note 4? Just sitting in a drawer, gathering dust. You know, if you’ve got an old phone, or an old pad, or a tablet, it’s silly to leave it in the drawer, or put it, you know, as a door stop, because it’s like, you wouldn’t use a hundred dollar bill as a doorstop. You can get cash for this sucker. So, go to gazelle.com and get a great price on your old stuff. You get paid in cash, check, PayPal or an Amazon gift card. They bump the offer up by 5% if you take the Amazon gift card, so that’s a good deal. Now here’s the nice thing. The quote that you’re going to get from Gazelle is good for thirty days. So you can shop around, and check it out and maybe even not decide. Maybe you’re not sure that you’re going to get the watch, or which watch you’re going to get. What? Did that, what? What? This thing is worth $275? What? I’m going to sell this. Bookmark that.
Rene: Halfway to a watch.
Leo: Halfway to an Apple Watch. With one swell foop. They pay for the shipping too, so once you’re ready to sell, you click the button, they send you a box. They pay for anything worth more than a buck. If you forget to wipe the data, or you can’t because it’s broken, because, yea, they buy broken iPhones and iPads, they’ll wipe the data for you, don’t worry about that. Now you may ask, “Leo, what do they do with all those devices?” Well the very best, the crème de la crème, they offer for sales. You see, because Gazelle, this is a new thing from Gazelle, is now offering certified pre-owned gadgets. Devices from Apple and Samsung. So there are two conditions. They’re certified like new and certified good. Certified good devices show some gentle signs of wear, but are going to get you a big savings. You know this Note 4 is a perfect example, because it’s in great shape. But there’s a little, the bezel is a little nicked in certain spots. What they do with everything, of course, is run it through a rigorous thirty point inspection, make sure everything’s working fine. And, of course, there’s no risk, because certified pre-owned devices from Gazelle are backed by a thirty day, risk free return policy. Gazelle. To buy and to sell. G-A-Z-E-L-L-E. Gazelle.com, and thank you for your support. MacBreak Weekly. Rene Ritchie, why don’t you kick things off?
Rene: So, it is National Autism Awareness Month. Some people call it National Autism Acceptance Month. Both are really good things.
Leo: I like that. I like that.
Rene: And Apple is doing a promotion in the app store for a bunch of apps that are really helpful in many different ways. Especially for children who are on the autistic spectrum. There’s a whole category in iTunes for this month where you can go and get things that will help them with communications, that will help them with learning, will help them with all sorts of skills that are really important. One of the apps that I got a chance to see at OHL, because it’s made by people in Ireland, is called Grace. And what Grace does, it let’s, it’s a visual… sometimes people on the autistic spectrum, they just can’t communicate what they want to communicate. So this lets you take a picture of something with your iPhone, it loads it in, it makes it into a card. And the child can assemble the cards in order to make visual sentences. So they can just assemble them and then show them to their parent or their guardian or their caretaker, whoever they want to communicate with. And if something is missing, traditionally you couldn’t do anything about it. You just couldn’t add that card. But they, or their parent, again, can just take the device, take another picture, add a new card to it. So their vocabulary can grow almost instantly, and it can adapt to almost any situation. And once they have this, it just empowers them with a level of communication, it empowers both them and the people around them with a level of communication that they’ve never been able to enjoy before. And if you look, the iPad especially, is five years old as of last Friday. And there’s been people blogging about using it with people in the autistic spectrum for the last five years. Apple added the guided access mode a couple years ago to help people focus more on those apps. And when you start looking at how it makes a real difference in people’s lives, you know, it goes back to that commercial when Apple said technology is nice, lighter, thinner, faster, these are all good things. But it’s the experience and what you can do with it that really matters. And it’s apps like these, to me at least, that show, you know, when you make this technology, not just available, but you make it accessible, you make it, you know, almost anybody can buy it and use it, then you really get the benefit of apps like these. I think that it’s terrific that they’re highlighting it.
Leo: Yea. That is so great. I guess, how do you do this? Do you search for Autism Awareness Month, or?
Rene: Yea, and we have, we put up a big post online about a bunch of extra apps and accessories and things. And there are some bundles as well. Some of the apps are half off, some of them are bundled together so you can get them at a discount. It’s really cool.
Leo: Autism Awareness Week. And Grace.
Rene: Yes. It’s by Steven Troughton-Smith, who you might know from all his awesome hackery on Twitter.
Leo: Yea. Yea, yea.
Rene: He’s the guy that gets iOS apps running on Nintendo, and a thousand things like that.
Leo: (laughing) Andy Ihnatko, what do you got for us?
Andy: Mine is a web browser, let’s say time observer app called “Waste No Time.” It’s a plug-in that works with Safari and with Chrome. I’ve seen you’ve heard about these plug-ins that you can put it and say, look, I don’t want to be distracted by the internet, so whatever I do, don’t let me access the internet for the next thirty minutes because I just need to get through this to-do list. I just need to write this sort of thing. The problem with a lot of them is that they are really all or nothing at all. They don’t really help you figure out where are you wasting time on the internet. How bad is this problem, and what are the sources of your problems? Because, I myself, if I’m stuck for more than fifteen seconds on the next sentence, I might like tab over and just see, ok, has my favorite web comment been updated today? And so this will give you like bar charts that simply say here is all the time you spent on the internet today, and here are all the sites that you visited. And then you can simply say, look, give me just thirty minutes a day on Facebook, let me only have one hour on Tumbler, don’t let me access Reddit at all, and when you enable it you will basically be able to create an environment where, in my case, for instance, I would be able to write my columns, still access websites that I need to access to like look up product specs on Apple.com and stuff like that. The weaknesses of it are that it is easy to get around if you know how your web browser works. But I think that that’s ok because really, the purpose of this sort of a blocker is to remind you that, look, you told yourself you did not want to be distracted for the next half hour, I’m here to remind you that you really wanted to focus. And if you really do want to, like some of these other plug-ins, if you really do want to quit your browser and re-start it, or shut down your Mac and re-start it, you’re free to do so. But, now you’re sort of like that person who is now, you know, going into the recycling in your garage to find that one cigarette butt that you know still has about a good twenty seconds worth of smoke left onto it. That’s the sort of behavior that reminds you that oh, I guess I really do have a problem with obsessive behavior here.
Leo: Here is the challenge section which you have to enable. When you are blocked by the time quota you set, you will likely be tempted to add more time. Or remove a blocked site. This option helps you fight the urge. So you can say, make me type a randomly generated string, and I guess that’s kind of like counting to ten, only harder.
Georgia: It’s your safe word.
Leo: Yea, it’s your safe word, and it’s different every time. And then if you type it, then ok, you can go back to Reddit, but don’t say we didn’t warn you.
Georgia: Now, Andy, will this lock me out of playing Candy Crush?
Leo: Uh huh. You can add it that on your blocked list. Oh, only on the web though, right?
Georgia: That would be
good enough for me, because I will play Candy Crush on the web and surf Reddit instead of doing any of my paperwork, so I might
Andy: You know what you should do, if you want to block apps like that on the phone, there should be an app that says, ok, well because, just like Inspector Clouseau hired Kato, said look, I don’t care wherever I am, try to attack me anytime I’m inside the house. You could tell me, look, any time I try to watch Candy Crush, you are to take one photo from my private photo roll at random, upload it to a URL, and give me a like a math problem I have to solve to figure out what that URL is in order to take it down. To play Candy Crush, you have to do thirty minutes worth of math to prevent anything embarrassing, like drunk birthday photos from being like on Reddit.
Leo: Actually, you teach CVT, don’t you? This would be a good tool for clients, if you had any clients that just couldn’t manage to avoid their compulsive playing of, I don’t know, Candy Crush Saga.
Georgia: Yea, World of Warcraft, whatever it might be that they’re playing now that they shouldn’t. I think that it’s a really useful tool, because a lot of people want to do their work, but it’s just, you know, that delay, you want to avoid something that’s a negative experience, so you’re going to do something else to avoid it.
Leo: Yea. It’s like this, they’re telling me it’s like this scene in Young Frankenstein where he goes in there and says, “No matter what I do, do not let me out.”
Young Frakenstein: “What’s the matter with you people, are you joking? Don’t you know a joke when you hear one? Hahahaha. Jesus Christ, get me out of here! Mommy!!!”
Georgia: Listen properly.
Leo: I just installed this and now I’m uninstalling it right now. Right now. All right, Georgia, we gave you a few minutes to think. You’ve got anything for us?
Georgia: Sure. I have a puzzle game that I’m playing on my iPhone and it’s called The Room 2.
Leo: Love it.
Georgia: One of the things about, it’s an amazing puzzle game. It’s a 3-D experience where you interact tactically with the world. And what I love about it, if you get really frustrated, there’s an area that you cannot pass, you can get a hint. And it’s not, it’s not going to give you the answer, it’s just going to give you a tiny hint to lead you into the right direction, and then you go through it. And it’s just beautifully rendered, it’s just a lot of fun. The auditory experience is also really interesting. And it’s also a mystery game at the same time. So you’re also trying to uncover what they mystery is as you play along.
Leo: Yea, highly recommend it. The Room and then The Room 2. You should start with The Room, I guess, then move…
Georgia: Yea, you should start with The Room before you go to the Room 2.
Leo: If you liked Myst, it’s like, yea, it’s like a better Myst. It’s that kind of puzzle, its beautiful 3-D, unlike Myst it’s not a slideshow, it’s beautifully rendered. Excellent choice. The Room and now The Room 2. Gorgeous. Have you solved, did you solve it?
Georgia: Yes, I finished and it was a lot of fun.
Leo: It’s hard.
Georgia: It’s one of the games I can fully be immersed in. And it’s enjoyable over just being stressful, or stress, so you can choose your level of stress while you play the game. You’re overstressed, get a hint and you can buy your way out.
Leo: Georgia Dow, I want you to come back. You’re so fantastic. I really thank you for showing up at last minute. We weren’t sure if Andy would be able to make it through the whole show. He did, which is great. But thank you for being here. You’ll find more of her work at iMore.com and also her podcast. What’s the name of it again?
Georgia: There’s Vector and then I also do a gaming podcast called Isometric.
Leo: Is it like casual gaming?
Georgia: It’s for casual gaming and it’s a podcast that breaks all the podcast rules, so we’re usually joking around and doing silliness. 30% of the listeners…
Leo: What? That is not allowed.
Georgia: They don’t actually play games. They just watch the podcast because it’s funny to see us entrapped.
Leo: (laughing) awesome. So look for Vector and what is the name of the gaming show?
Leo: Isometric. I love it. Thank you, Georgia. We appreciate it. Rene Ritchie is also at iMore.com. He hosts the Debug show there and writes a lot. Lately writes a lot of stuff on how bad the mainstream media is, but there’s other things too.
Rene: We just did, we actually just did a five year retrospective on the iPad, and we managed to get comments from Carolina Milanesi, Loren Brichter, Allen Pike, Mark Kawano, Nitin Ganatra, Ben Bajarin, and Jeannie Yang, just a whole slew of people who were there either building the iPad or building apps for it the first year. Ken Case, James Cuda, just a litany of really cool developers gave us their thoughts on the iPad now five years later.
Leo: Yea, we didn’t mention that. April 5th was the 5th anniversary of the release of the very first iPad. April 5th, 2010. It seems longer and not as long. It’s funny, it’s an odd thing. It doesn’t seem like it’s been around that long, and yet… it’s ubiquitous.
Rene: It is because it is a bigger iPhone, but it’s like an iPhone on iMac. So people were used to the experience already, so it was additive, and then they just had to sort of pick what kind of screen size they wanted and we got the 8mm retina version in the mid-east. So it’s been part of a larger story, I think.
Leo: Yea, it has. It has changed the world in a very significant way. All right, we’ll look for that. Andy Ihnatko, he is in Colorado now, the Council on World Affairs. Go there if you can, if you’re in the area, near Boulder.
Andy: Yep, everything is open to the public and we’ve got sessions all the way until the end of the week.
Leo: You’re going to stay all week?
Andy: I’m here all the way through Friday.
Leo: Nice. It’s kind of like a working vacation, I would guess for you.
Andy: It really is, I mean, I’m speaking for about three hours a day, but the rest of the time I get to attend other people’s talks. Also there are friends of mine that I met originally here at the conference that I get to see for the entire week. Boulder, Colorado is a beautiful city. I had, I came here to the Colorado Rockies to finally have nice sixty to seventy degree spring weather because it’s still in the low forties back in Boston. So it’s really great. You meet people you never get to meet, you talk about things you rarely get to talk about, and I spend as much time on that panel talking as I do scribbling notes about these really interesting things that these other people on the panel are saying on the same subject.
Leo: Is there a website? I guess if I just Google it, I could probably find it.
Andy: If you go Colorado.edu/cwa that’s the main site. It has the schedule, it has all the… Just take a moment to look through like all the people that are speaking here. One of the people who is just a panelist here was one of the lawyers that argued Roe v. Wade. We had G. Willow Wilson who was the writer of the incredibly cool Ms. Marvel Comic, he’s been doing a lot more stuff for Marvel, and also a really, really talented novelist, one of my favorite writers. Just so many people that you’re like, “I would enjoy being here just to listen to these people talk.” And I get to like hang out with them. It’s really pretty cool.
Leo: It’s funny, as soon as I start typing Colorado.edu it takes me right to the bursars, and asks me for money. I don’t understand that. There’s the Council on … conference, I’ve been calling it council, Conference on World Affairs. 67th Annual.
Andy: Eleanor Roosevelt was the first keynote speaker for the first one.
Leo: That’s so neat. It’s one of the reasons I was really happy when Henry said, “I want to go to CU-Boulder.” I said, “Yea. It’s really good school.”
Andy: You should come over, you’d have some interesting things to say.
Leo: Yea, I know. I will go next year.
Andy: Lunches and dinners are complimentary, but the way.
Leo: Free candy bars. Thank you Andy, Georgia, Rene. Thank you all for being here, too. Nice studio audience today, we appreciate that. If you want to be in the studio audience we do ask that you email email@example.com. And a little note, you know we are doing our tenth anniversary of the network on April 19th, a big show, but we are sold out. However, if you’ve got tickets already, and you aren’t going to be able to make it, we’d love it if you’d just e-mail us and say, “I can’t go.” Because there’s a waiting list, and we’d love to get some other people in. I’m sure everyone wants to come on April 19th. Just firstname.lastname@example.org. Real people will actually get your e-mail and respond to you. It’s a miracle. You can also...
Leo: Yea, shocking. It’s not a robot, it’s like Glen. You can also, by the way, watch live. We are here every Tuesday at 11:00 AM Pacific, 2:00 PM Eastern time. 1800 UTC at live.twit.tv. On demand audio and video available at twit.tv/mbwyoutube.com/macbreakweekly and wherever podcasts are distributed, iTunes of course, but podcast app on your device. Even our own TWIT apps, nicely designed by our community. Thank you for that. Thanks for being here, we’ll see you next time. Now, back to work, because break time is over!