MacBreak Weekly 913 Transcript

Please be advised this transcript is AI-generated and may not be word for word. Time codes refer to the approximate times in the ad-supported version of the show.

0:00:00 - Jason Snell
Hey everybody, it's time for MacBreak Weekly. We've got a special guest because I am filling in for Leo. John Voorhees from MacStoriesnet is here. We have so much to talk about. We're going to talk about AI. Yeah, yeah, sure, sure. We're going to talk about the European Union. Uh-huh right, we're going to reconvene our MacBook Air Club because there's a bunch of new MacBook Air news and a whole lot more, including our picks. It's all coming up next on MacBreak Weekly.

0:00:23 - Leo Laporte
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0:01:17 - Jason Snell
This is MacBreak Weekly episode 913 for March 19th 2024. I don't go out very often.

0:01:26 - Leo Laporte
This episode of MacBreak Weekly is brought to you by Wix Studio. I only have a minute to tell you about Wix Studio. It's the web platform for agencies and enterprises. Let me just you know, see if I can do this in 60 seconds. Just a few things you can do from start to finish in a minute or less on the studio. You can adapt your designs for every device with responsive AI. You can expand Wix Studio's pre-made solutions with back end and front end APIs. You can generate code and troubleshoot bugs with a built-in AI code assistant.

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0:02:33 - Jason Snell
Welcome back everybody to MacBreak Weekly Again. Leo is on assignment and his assignment was a vacation. So I am Jason Snell and I normally am not the host, but I'm just one of the guests. But now I'm the host and then we have a whole little trickle down system where then other people become guests, and it's like you know how podcasts work. Anyway, let me introduce my panel today. Two usual faces back again. The family is here, andy, and Nodko joins us as always. Hi, andy.

0:03:00 - Andy Ihnatko
Can I say what a pleasure it is, as always, be trickled down from you, jason.

0:03:04 - Jason Snell
You may not. And Alex Lindsay is also here.

0:03:08 - Alex Lindsay
Good to be on the trickle.

0:03:10 - Jason Snell
It is Now that we have formed our little nuclear Mac break family. Even though Papa Leo is not here, let's introduce the interloper. The guest, the visitor will make him feel at home because we're nice to our guests here at MacBreak Weekly. From MacStoriesnet, it's John Voorhees, Hi.

0:03:27 - John Voorhees
John. Hello, good to be here. I don't know how I feel about being at the bottom of the trickle, but you know, I guess I'll take it.

0:03:33 - Jason Snell
You get a different, you're in a different stream or something. I don't know what's happening.

0:03:38 - Andy Ihnatko
We're all splashing in the same glorious puddle.

0:03:40 - Jason Snell
Leo leaves and everything is different. So MacBreak Weekly. Of course we talk about Apple stuff. That's the podcast. We've done 913 episodes at this count of this thing, so you should know, hopefully, how it works by now. Let's start with a conversation about AI. You know when Steven Spielberg took that movie over after Stanley Kubrick died? No wait, not that one, the actual one.

0:04:09 - Alex Lindsay

0:04:10 - Jason Snell

0:04:10 - Andy Ihnatko
Andy and.

0:04:12 - Jason Snell
Ako. This is all about you, andy. Surprise this episode no it usually is.

0:04:16 - Andy Ihnatko
If it isn't, I usually make it about me. That's what listeners love.

0:04:19 - Jason Snell
Big, big big Mark Gurman scoop this week, which I think you know. Thumbs up to Mark for doing this. Apple talking to Google about licensing Gemini for use in iOS 18 for generative AI, and I think I'm very interested in what all of you have to think about this. I took a journey, like as I read it, I sort of took a journey that started with oh, apple is desperate because they're behind and ended with actually, does Apple need to you know, need to build its own LLM, or is it better off using a partner for that sort of thing? I'm curious what all of you think about this news that Apple and Google, or Apple and Google, are talking again it's just a report from Mark that they're talking about Google's Gemini being the backing for some of Apple's AI features in iOS 18.

0:05:14 - Alex Lindsay
I think that in some cases, that same, you know, in the same way that Google, we use Google search there is also, in addition to Google's doing a lot more work and probably ahead of Apple, there's also the case of we tell you it's by Gemini or by Google and if something goes wrong, it's Google's fault, because I think that Apple's self-correction process makes it really hard for AI to work because they have a very high threshold for needing, you know, very low threshold for risk or you know, like they just really don't want to have it. Telling somebody to do something, that's horrible. Having a third party tell them to do it on the platform when it's generally a trusted friend and if it happens, well, you know Google needs to work on that a little bit more so than if Apple did it themselves. I think that that self-correction process that Apple has is really going to hold them back, and I think we see that with Siri all the time. You know, like that they just now.

I do think that the other thing to look at is there's been rumors that they've talked about with, obviously, with OpenAI as well. It's not necessarily all or one either. They could build. You know, other companies are building federated solutions that are you know doing, you know going and getting your answer from a lot of different sources and then bringing those back together to give you something that might be more accurate or at least less inaccurate. That's there. So I think that they could be using all of the above as well as just working with Google. And I do think that there's the rumors that are connected to also that Apple could be building something into the 5-Phone 16 that does a lot of the work on site. So I think that there's a whole lot of. There's a gray area here. It doesn't sound like it's a black and white thing and it's still a rumor, so it's all gray but it's. But I think that there's a gradient here where Apple does everything on the computer to Google does everything.

0:06:58 - Andy Ihnatko
Yeah, no, it's just that Apple has a huge problem, like, if they really do want to compete with compete with anybody in AI, if they really want to take advantage of what everybody wants AI to provide, the best step for them to do next is to have, 10 years ago, started investing a billion dollars a year in artificial intelligence, and unfortunately we don't have any rumors about a flux capacitor having been a part of the Apple Car project, so they can't go back in time, so they have to hook up and get the technology of people who have been working that way, and Google really is at the nearly at the top of the tree, or joining the top of the tree with a couple of the people here. 10 years ago, when Apple was GungHo on VR and GungHo on the Apple Car, google was, sundar Prachay was at Keynote saying we are kind of redefining the company as we are an AI based company. Just as in 2006, we had to reorganize all of our strategies based on mobile computing, today we're reorganizing our future strategies based on AI, and this isn't something that Apple can do something very, very simple, very quickly but they need to do something more than autocomplete, autosummarize, auto transcribe, and the problem with that is that it's not just a case of getting the right brain power and getting the right code together. They also need a hell of a lot of infrastructure. To do that, openai can rely on a partnership with Microsoft, so they have Microsoft Azure Cloud computing servers. Google has its own huge network of computing servers to build and to run its LLMs the ones that don't run on the device. Apple would not be able to build that out in any quick piece of time.

And the third problem is that I was in the same boat as you, jason, like as I'm reading this, like I am, like I actually I mean, I was in bed in the like in the morning, sort of hey, I'm not really working yet, I'm just going to scroll through some stuff to see what I'm going to be doing and started like taking notes on thoughts, and one of the first ones was like I kept thinking about every single sitcom in which the office sitcom, in which the manager makes a make, the picture pitch to the vice president about, about, hey, what is the pitch they're going to make to the company? Hey, here's the big idea we've got for the next ad campaign. Or here's what we're going to do for the product rollout and they've been working on this idea for like months and months and months and they know they got gold here in. The VP says that's not really, that's not really what you're going to present to the CEO. And they say, no, no, that wasn't the idea. No, no, we have. The real idea is 10 times better than that. And in a month's time, when we present to the CEO and I feel, I feel as though, like Tim Cook is like virtual reality was the thing that they thought they're going to make all their investors and their board and everybody happy with it oh, no, ai was going to be the big thing that we're going to be rolling out and, trust me, by when you see, wwdc will have so many announcements and they need to have a whole bunch and they need to have a portfolio and a plan in place. So I agree with Alex that it's not necessarily hey, we're going to.

It doesn't sound like an Apple thing to say we are going to hand off the entire AI, part of all of our, all of our phone features and all of our desktop features and all of our whatever features to another company.

It's enough to have a partnership.

Google and Apple have worked very well in partnership before. They are very sympathetic over and in so many ways, but if all they do is come up with something that will get them through the next year, to make everybody kind of relax a little bit, I think that no, no, no, we haven't totally forgotten about this. No, we're not just doing AI as a way to touch up your photos automatically. We are going to be the company that, the next time you get an iPhone, it will be able to screen your calls for you, that your photo editor will be able to do sophisticated erasings and edits. We will be able to take the your inbox from Apple Mail and answer a query like show me all of the all of the office, all the work emails that seem to be very, very urgent from the past week, and correctly summarize that that's the sort of stuff they're going to have to deliver to compete and that's the sort of stuff that they're going to need a partnership with someone like with, with Google and Gemini, in order to pull that off.

0:11:07 - Jason Snell
John, what do you think about this one?

0:11:08 - John Voorhees
Yeah, I think, on balance, I think it is a good idea. I mean, my, I thought my my first reaction was this just isn't going to end well, because, you know, gemini has had some, some issues in terms of hallucinations and lack of guardrails, and I think if there are conversations going on with Apple, I got to imagine that those guardrails are going to be right at the forefront, because even if they are able to use Google Gemini as the back end for their AI technology and therefore be able to maybe blame any problems on Google, it's still a bad luck if that happens on Apple's watch. I do think you know and I'm not, I'm not 100% convinced that just because Apple doesn't talk about AI a lot, that they haven't been working on it. Now I do. I do kind of share your, your thought, Andy, that they are behind compared to other companies, for sure, but I know that I think they're working on it.

But I think the Google thing is a good way to go, because they do need the infrastructure and I don't believe they probably have that, and having a company like Google that already has that built out is going to allow them to take things that can't be done on device and push them out to the cloud to get the answer and I think that that's a big part of what we're seeing here is that the iPhone and the technology in it, is getting very close to the point where a lot of AI functionality can be brought onto the device.

That's certainly being done on some of the newer Macs. It's also being done on the iPhone to. It can be done on the iPhone to a degree, but I don't think it's quite there to really do it fully on the devices, and I think that that is a really good reason to bring on a partner like Google. And at the end of the day, I think this may be kind of like an Apple Maps situation where Apple relied on Google Maps for years for the Maps app and then, when they were ready, they actually got pushed a little early, I guess, into their own map data, but they moved on and they did their own, and I kind of expect that that's where we'll see this go, maybe three to five years down the road. Does it feel?

0:13:12 - Jason Snell
like this is part of a nutritious breakfast. I would not be surprised if, in the end, apple's got a model that maybe runs on your phone and it does a bunch of different stuff Right, and it's been trained to talk to your apps and talk to services that Apple runs and talk to other cloud services We've talked a lot about in shortcuts has helped build this whole intense model for apps. Like, theoretically, a model on your phone could talk to your apps and, without you know, and look up information and do stuff on your phone, and then one thing that a model on your phone could do is talk to a large language model that's in the cloud and that would actually John talked about guardrails. That was one of the things that struck me is one way Apple can put its own stamp on some output from an LLM is to have its own model that knows how to use that LLM and knows how to discard things and summarize things and check things, and so it's sort of like I have no doubt that Apple is going to have like a single product. It may even be just Siri, siri, ai, something like that, but I just keep thinking.

The right way to think about this is not like, oh, apple's given up and Google's just going to do its AI for it. I think it's more like Apple needs a partner who has this enormous investment in infrastructure, because every iPhone user is going to start using this. Who could even do that? It's a very small number of companies and Apple's not going to just turn it loose. It's going to be for a limited number of queries that are probably controlled by a model that Apple runs, that chooses when to talk to it.

And I don't know that when I started to think about it like that, I was like Okay, this is, they might even have multiple partners, right, they might even take certain queries and give them to, you know, give them to open AI and other queries to Google. We don't know, because this is a very specific report about, about Gemini. So it sounds to me, when I think about it that way, I'm like Okay, so it's basically it's Apple being Apple. Right, they're going to build this kind of like user layer up top and then they've got a partnership to go out and they can replace it at the drop of a hat with their own or with a different partner, and they can't do it today, so they have to find a part.

0:15:19 - Alex Lindsay
And you could. In a federated environment there could be a couple different layers, as you said. That can be done there, where Apple interrogates all of the information on your phone, as with its own LLM, because there's a lot of times where you're searching for that email with the thing, an email with a picture that someone sent you six months ago that now you need and you could say, hey, I got an. I got, I had an email from this client and they sent me a photo and it kind of looked like this, or you know kind of had this, this and this. Can you find that for me? And it just pops up, you know, like it just so it's. It's not it's personal information. It's also information that you might have lots, that you might put a bunch of documents and one of the things that that has been really useful that I'm not using as much but I have friends that are using a lot is putting a bunch of documents into an LLM and then being able to just ask real world questions of those of those documents and it just comes back and synthesizes that for you. And so, and sometimes those doc when I take a doc documents that's like sometimes 40 books, like take all the text from 40 books, throw them in there. Now I'm just going to ask questions of that book and I'm going to get all those answers with references of where those came from and that's from a study perspective. That's incredibly powerful and that can all be done on the phone. But then you can go. I need a, you know, I need a question about like what would, how would Richard Feynman explain momentum to a fifth grader? So that's a. That's a Gemini question or a chat EPT question. That that's going to handle is not signing the phone, is it's kind of making something up or I need an image and I'm going to, it's going to go out to. Maybe it goes out to mid journey.

And in those search cases, what Apple can do for the user is anonymize it so they can put it. They can, they can give it a hash and a different hash every single time, make the request, have it come back. So you have anonymized searches going into the AI, coming back, getting the outside information from the outside providers, whether it's imagery or 3d models or text or video or whatever it is and keeping it away from the user or keeping the users identified, identifying factors away from the service and but then having being able to interrogate data on the phone or things that are known that Apple can dump into it. If you look at stability, stability has got a lot already in it. So you know, apple could put 12 gig, a 12 gig file, into a new iPhone 16. That's got you know a ton of whatever and do a lot of answers on its own in a really stable way, and then have and interrogate your own stuff. But then and then, but then protect your privacy again as you interact with all these exterior connections.

0:17:49 - Andy Ihnatko
Yeah, I mean, I felt, I feel as though AI is could be to Apple what multi-touch was to BlackBerry. Like AI, if, if Apple doesn't embrace AI, figure out a way to embed it to, basically to, to to improve all their platforms with it in the ways that are logical for it to be, to be improved. This is the first. This is the first time I've ever seen a real weakness excuse me, potential weakness in the iPhone. That if because when I, when I, when I was last time I bought a flagship phone meaning spending more than a thousand bucks on a phone like it really was between it was two years, two or three years ago, it was between the Pixel 6 and the iPhone 13 Pro and Google made a pitch about we're basically making this as an as an AI phone. We've got tensor processors that are designed specifically to run our run smaller versions of our AI models.

Here are a whole bunch of features that are unique to this phone, that are empowered by these AI models. The features themselves really intrigued me and they've proven extremely useful and Apple's base starting to catch up, kind of right now. And the idea of this as a future roadmap also intrigued me. And at this point, if there were. It really is the sort of thing where it's the the basic table stakes for a flagship phone at this point, and if Apple doesn't manage to get that sort of empowerment inside these devices, also inside all of their all of their desktop offerings, it would feel as though I mean it would feel like this is Blackberry suddenly deciding to slap a multi-touch screen on top of an interface that they've never really considered multi-touch to begin with, and this is the way that Apple could get their luncheating.

0:19:35 - Jason Snell
I just I mean, I just don't agree with that, though. I think that Apple has been using AI in lots of ways, and I think that the way you're phrasing that sort of simplifies it down to Apple didn't pay attention to AI, and now they suddenly are trying to catch up.

0:19:48 - Andy Ihnatko
That's not what I meant.

0:19:49 - Jason Snell
No, that's an AI features for ages and they continue to.

There is actually some very rare for Apple proof that is above the waterline that we can see about what Apple's doing.

They put out a paper about how they're doing their podcast transcripts, which involves there's some technical stuff about finding a word error rate for AI generated transcripts by comparing them to human transcriptions and comparing them and trying to come up with a fundamental like quality rating for their transcripts. There was a big post that they posted to archive about MM1 methods, analysis and insights from multimodal LLM pre-training, where they seem, based on the comments from people who are in this business, to have broken some interesting ground on training and pre-training of these large language models. So, like they have, and they also keep buying startups they bought a new AI startup this time and this is go. This goes back back years. I think that Apple podcast transcripts feature has its roots in a 2017 acquisition, so I think where they got caught flat-footed was on the rapid growth of LLMs in public. That happened over the last couple of years, and so that one fits a little bit better, I think, to me.

0:21:01 - Andy Ihnatko
That's just to clarify that. That's definitely true and, yeah, the signs of Apple's investment in AI have been present, really starting. Their biggest push has been through computational photography. I am basically trying to figure out what is in this picture, what needs to be enhanced, where and how in order to make this look as good as possible. But there's a difference between scale, between what OpenAI is doing, what Google is doing, what a couple other companies are doing, and the sort of stuff we've seen from Apple is one.

It's one thing to create a model that can be run, that can run on a phone and do some very specific things. It's one thing to have research that is well thought of, thought of by the research community. It's another thing to say. Here is this thing we're calling it chat GPT. Here is a website where anybody can go in and try to use it. Here is a service. You can pay $20 a month to get additional features for it.

Once you let the entire world loose upon this thing to not just keep them inside a box of easily anticipated loads, power consumption needs, feature needs, all that sort of stuff once you get outside of that box, it gets really, really difficult, and that is the place where I'm thinking that they decided they didn't think that they really needed to make that huge investment.

I mean, it's only remember that it was recently that we're still getting reports of Apple just regularly losing some of their best AI talent to other companies, and the reason why that was happening wasn't because they weren't getting paid enough or because Apple wasn't prestigious enough is because that if you don't want to build hypothetical cars, you want to build actual cars that you can then actually drive, and AI researchers want to build LLMs, want to build technologies that are actually going to be turned into real, large scale, world changing things, and they weren't getting that by enlarge at Apple. That's going to change from now on, but I'm saying I don't. So again, they have been investing, but I don't think they've been doing the sort of stuff that can deliver the features that almost a lot of other companies can provide today.

0:23:04 - John Voorhees
There's a real big opportunity here, I think, which is what Jason touched on, which is the app intense, because we've seen devices like the rabbit that was announced during CES, which goes out and interacts with web apps. The thing about Apple is they can do that, but they can also interact with the apps that are already on your phone, so they've got a wealth of information on an iPhone to do just about anything they want, if they can get the right tools there to query it. And I think that shortcuts as many bugs and problems as it has had over the years is built on a foundation of technologies that now permeate throughout the OS. It's a series spotlight surge. All kinds of things are driven by this, and if it can be adapted to work with a large language model, I think that it kind of gives Apple a pretty nice boost up in that area, I think.

0:23:57 - Alex Lindsay
And I think that the large language models are the start. As a pretty heavy Apple user, I don't really feel like anything's missing. I think Apple could take a long time to go down this path before I would really notice. Because I'm using chat, GPT, I'm using mid-journey, I'm using other things to do all these things and I don't necessarily need it to come out of the OS. I've kind of decided that Siri is not super effective.

Not great and so I don't really lean on Siri that often, other than when she keeps on coming up for no reason, when someone has two siblings in their audio, anyway. But I think that I think that there's also tons of things that Apple could do around because the privacy is so tight, a lot of things that for anybody else to do would be really creepy, which is they can pay attention to all kinds of things that your phone's doing, like when you walk around to this place or when you paste you're probably going to want to coffee soon. Like you're probably going to go to these things, and AI can sit there and, on the phone, make a whole bunch of decisions about some of the stuff that Apple does. Now, a little bit of a heads up. Like, if I go looking for my QR code at Whole Foods, if I go down and ask for an app, it usually pops up the Amazon app.

Now, like, if I scroll down because it goes, I know you're at Whole Foods and every time you stand where you're standing, I know that you're going to ask for that app, and so the thing is is that I think that the there's a lot of places where it can just make life a little bit easier, but again, I think Apple probably less than others, because it sells hardware is doesn't have to be in a rush, and that's the advantage Apple generally has.

They were way behind in VR until they put out a headset, so I think that they can figure this out. I do think that the federated solution that we just talked about, if Apple goes down that path, is actually the best one that we will have seen when they release it next fall this fall, if it happens because the mixture of highly secure local searches mixed with, you know, expansive ones on the web, that mixture I don't think really exists anywhere else, and so so I think that there's a lot. They do have an opportunity to still innovate using other everybody else's innovations, which is what Apple's pretty good at.

0:26:07 - Jason Snell
That's why they're. That's the secret sauce. Right is to take a product level and say how, what do the what do users want? Right, because the fact is, nobody is going to say I want to use an LLM I mean they're nerds, right, but like nobody's like, oh, I want to chat bot, I want to do a mid journey. What they're going to say and this is where Apple can add that value and add that Apple-ness to the layer is what do you want to do?

And and, based on that task, have a model that runs on your phone that says I know how to do those things, and one of the tools that uses to do that is somebody else Google's, perhaps large language model, but there are lots of other tools that are part of it. Because I don't think I don't think it's realistic to say oh, I want to use large language models, like what does the user actually want to do? And if Apple can, can have an intelligent assistant that lives on top of stuff like someone else's AI system for something like you know the things that Gemini is good for, then that lets Apple differentiate the iPhone experience, which, quite honestly, that's what they care about. Right Is like is is the iPhone able to do more stuff now and that gives that buys them time and that buys them time to potentially down the road, replace or, you know, replace some or all of the white labeled Google large language model with their own thing. That could be years down the road.

0:27:23 - Alex Lindsay
And what Apple's really good at is taking a bunch of technology and putting this nice wrapper on the front where you forget what the technology was. You know, like they don't, they don't talk about. I mean, they say that they have, at most, envision, but what they really talk about is spatial sound and spatial video and high dynamic range and so on. But not even high dynamic range. They just make it better, you know, but they.

But the idea is they take all the stuff and they put it into kind of this fuzzy cocoon that you don't have to really look at. But it just makes life a little bit easier and I think that and some people complain about that, but I think for the average user just having it like I, just the average Apple user, they just want it to work, they just want to do something, they want it to be a little easier, they want to be a little faster, they want they don't need it to be the most high tech crazy thing, if you know they they need it to be something that just makes life a little bit more convenient or a little bit easier, a little bit more powerful. And I think that incrementally, apple's really good probably one of the best in the world at taking something that's complex to understand and make it just simple. That it just, it just happens to do it on its own. Yeah.

0:28:21 - Andy Ihnatko
It's. It's just. I hope that we see. I think that sooner rather than later, we're going to see features that it's important that people don't realize they're necessarily using an LLM, but they have to. I have to launch this web app in order to get this query handled. We want these features to be baked right into the OS and so easy to use that you don't even consider not using them. And there there is going to come a day very, very soon where you can do things. There'll be a window on a on a certain operating system, where you can say, hey, take this, take all of the screenshots on my desktop and and label it and create file names that describe what's in it. Or take, find me all of the documents that are related to this case that I've been working on for the past three weeks, but leave out X, y and Z and put them in a folder and send it to everybody who might be who I'm working on this project with and literally say things like that and things like that actually happen.

Those things are very. I think they're very, very achievable right now with a certain amount of overhuman oversight. To make sure you're not about to do something, the AI is about to do something stupid. That's the sort of stuff that I think is going to be right on the surface in the next year or so of both mobile and desktop operating systems, and Apple needs to at least make sure that, whatever the whatever the fall updates to all their operating systems are, there does seem to be a pathway through that kind of secret sauce.

Now, in terms of having like a full scale LLM, in terms of having something like Open AI or or Gemini, even the very, very best in class is still not great. I mean, you have to. I have, I have subscriptions to like three different chatbots because each one is good at different things. I mean, gemini is wonderful at copy editing, brainstorming ideas. Open AI is much better generating code, this sort of stuff. So Apple definitely has a chance to, has a runway to figure out how they can have, replicate that kind of technology for their own selves.

And again, that's going to require not just software but it's going to require more real estate. You know more, more server farms, more figure out. More real estate near a good, constant power source is going to be even more valuable in the next coming years than they were before. But there are some things that Apple absolutely needs to have that shine in the next year, or else they'll start to reel Again people who are kind of on the fence one way or another. Hey, I could buy, I can. My next phone could be an iPhone, could be the Android phone, my next desktop could be a $2,000 MacBook. It could be a $1,300 HP notebook. But if there's this one demo, or if there's one friend who and you, look over their shoulder and say, why, how, wow, how are you doing that so well, that's just built into Windows, or oh, that's just built into iOS, or oh, that's just built into Android, that can be the thing that sends people to make a rash decision contrary to the marketing choice that they've made for the past 10 years of their lives.

0:31:08 - Jason Snell
Well, if Apple doesn't have in the works a model, a machine learning model, that knows how to use spotlight to search your Mac or iPhone or whatever, and give you a good list of results.

I mean, they've been tinkering with that but, like you're right, andy, that stuff needs to be there, because that's the whole idea is is we are.

We are entering an era where being an expert computer user who knows exactly where to click on the interface in the right place, or tap to get the things and put them all together, or that job could be done by a machine learning model, so that you as a person just need to say this is what I want to get and you don't need the intermediate step because it's the expert computer user.

Nobody is a better computer user than your computer, right, theoretically? And if the whole future, the whole past of computers is do things for me so I don't have to waste my time. And the fact is, being a great spotlight jockey and knowing exactly the query to get your Excel files from this time window that contain this word is a nice thing that all that nerds like us enjoy being able to do. The best thing is if you can just say can you get me those Excel files from that time period and the thing does it for you, and that's, I think that's where the big innovation in being, you know, in user interfaces on devices, is coming. It's that sort of thing.

0:32:27 - Alex Lindsay
Yeah, and I think to what John was pointing out. I think that the ability to do natural language shortcuts will be transformational Absolutely. When I go like, when I walk into my room and when I walk into this room, I want you to turn the lights on. You know, and that's it. You know, like you just say that, and it creates a shortcut and it installed and so that it happens Right Every day when I get home, I want you to start the tea, the tea pot.

0:32:51 - Jason Snell
It's the shortest cut of all. Alex, the shortest cut of all is a shortcut. You don't even write.

0:32:57 - Alex Lindsay
Right when I get up tomorrow, like you could literally go to your phone and go when I wake up tomorrow, I want the coffee to be hot at 6am.

0:33:05 - Jason Snell
Yeah, exactly.

0:33:05 - Alex Lindsay
And then just you know like and that kind of stuff and that's all internal, that's all like not not crazy GPT stuff to do.

0:33:13 - Jason Snell
Right. John in our members discord says does the average Joe really care about AI? And my response to him was no, it's about features Like in the end, as with anything, an end like without a means, whatever you want to say, an effect without a cause, it's pointless, right? And this is something that Apple is actually historically and I mean super historically been very good at is focusing on what people want, instead of just picking up a new tech and saying, oh, here's new tech, can I make a feature out of this?

Now, sometimes that gets them in trouble, and I would argue that maybe with the LLMs it got them a little bit of trouble because they couldn't see the end point until by the time they saw how it could be applied. It was maybe a little bit, it was, it was too late, right, but but implemented well. The goal is not to say we have an LLM. The goal is to say, oh, we have these new features that do things for you and make your life easier, and you will want to use them because not because they're whizzy or AI, but because they make your life easier. And and that's what everybody's trying to go for. The challenge is that we all saw those LLMs and we all start to think oh man, this is going to make people's life easier when it's product ties in the right way.

0:34:22 - Andy Ihnatko
So the end goal of any of any new feature is to provoke somebody looking over your shoulder to say how are you doing that? And why doesn't my phone do that? Yeah, exactly. And so people don't care about LLMs, just like they. Just that they don't care about true type, they don't have to know about what the font system is on on the Mac. It just works great and you mix, easy to put in fonts. It makes it great to scale them up and down. So, yeah, I'm very, I'm very confident that Apple can do that.

One last thing, though, that I was that, as I was saying, there was there was a lot of beard stroking all across the world yesterday about this sort of stuff, and one of them was that maybe it's because I locked into the idea of BlackBerry, so we're so soon on. So I was thinking of everything that BlackBerry did to respond to the iPhone, where it was again just oh well, we'll do what we were doing before, but now with multi-touch and no, you didn't get it. You didn't understand what the whole point of this thing was, and it made me think that well, is is the end. Five years from now, 10 years from now, aren't we hoping that the best outcome for AI on our phone is that we don't even interact with apps at all. It's in a drawer.

We can launch an app if we want to, but mostly an AI just simply collects. We simply express an intent and an AI simply takes that intent and distributes amongst whatever apps, codes, infrastructures, whatever it has access to. And so this, the idea of having having padding, padding itself on the back of company for having AI features on top of their desktop, on top of their mobile operating system, might be just like hey look, we slapped a touchscreen on BlackBerry and now we've. No, no, you had an opportunity to reinvent everything and leapfrog over whatever else was doing. Why don't you start it on the future today instead of starting on 10 years ago today?

0:36:11 - Jason Snell
It's possible, but I mean, that's what the humane AI, pin and maybe the rabbit are trying to do, and I appreciate the leap, but the danger there is you're leaping and you don't meet, you know, get to the other side of the Snake River Canyon, because it's too early and you need to start to build to it. Because I think you're right, like, the end goal is to make everything so easy that you only need to use your device when your input is is necessary as a human and and and we don't always want to drive things by typing or drive things by voice. Sometimes we want it to be more visual. There's going to be some evolution there. Okay, we need to move on. We got a lot more to talk about. We're going to take a break. Leo is going to beam in from his vacation right into the studio in Petaluma and we will be back after that, leo, hey.

0:36:52 - Leo Laporte
Jason, wait a minute, hold on. Hello, I got to take over here for a bit just to tell you about Kolide. Did you hear the news? We talked about Kolide for ages, love Kolide, but they just got acquired by one password. Wow, huge news, since both companies are leading the industry and creating security solutions that put users first. For over a year now, colide Device Trust has helped companies, with Okta, ensure that only known and secured devices can access their data. Well, just to reassure you, that's exactly what they're still doing. They're just doing it now as part of one password. So if you have Okta and you've been meeting to check out Kolide, don't worry. Now's a great time.

Kolide comes to the library of pre-built device posture checks and you can write your own custom checks for just about anything you could think of. Plus I love this you can use Kolide and devices without MDM. That means your Linux fleet contractor devices and every BYOD phone and laptop in your company, and now that Kolide's part of one password, it's only gonna get better. Check it out at to learn more. Watch that demo today. That's Congratulations, Kolide. That's really good news. All right, jason, back to you.

0:38:17 - Jason Snell
Thank you, leo. He looked to the right because that's usually where my picture is in the computer screen. That's hilarious. That's like where I live usually is off to his right. All right, let's talk a little bit. I know people are tired of it. I'm honestly tired of it, but there's more news here and maybe we can find an interesting spin on it. There's some interesting developments in the whole Apple in the EU regulation, digital Markets Act kind of stuff. There's some new stuff there. There was a compliance workshop which sounds like something that maybe Torquemada would have been involved with.

0:38:53 - Andy Ihnatko
I was thinking of an arts and crafts sort of thing, where they're gluing googly eyes onto popsicle sticks and pretending hey, this is my new music library, oh look, hey look, we can play together.

0:39:03 - Jason Snell
No one expects the compliance workshop Anyway. So this is where there was actually like a session. It was streamed. There were people in the meeting room, including a rally test. Who does alt-store was in the room wearing a sweatshirt, talking to a bunch of people in suits I thought that was kind of a fitting thing for computer people talking to the suits and government about what's going on.

About the core technology fee, which is Riley's whole point, was he released an app when he was a teenager that would have cost like 3 million euros. Yeah, this regime that Apple is suggesting, where they charge you for every install if you're outside of the app store. So and some interesting, I thought, responses from the Apple person. Steve Tratton Smith posted a video capture of this on Nassau Don the idea that Apple is listening, and there was a stay tuned about things like the core technology fee. So it sounds as we talked about last week. John, you weren't here, but last week we talked a little bit about Apple's new strategy, which is do the minimum and then just keep making changes. Yeah, let's play that exchange with Riley. Can we do that? Maybe not, I can't hear it. Anyway, a hat and a sweatshirt. It was great, john, what do you think about the compliance workshop that nobody expects?

0:40:36 - John Voorhees
Right, no, that was surprising. I didn't realize that was going to happen and I thought Riley 's question obviously is a good one. It's spot on because there are edge cases and Apple has not solved for every edge case, and I think what to me, this event showed is that things like the core technology fee are really probably targeted more directly to the big players in the marketplace. You know, when you step way back and look at everything that's going on, the EU is trying to regulate big tech. Those are gatekeepers, and Apple's rules largely, I think, are targeted at companies like Meta or Spotify or Google or whomever it happens to be. Who's getting squeezed and run over by the bus in the process? It's the little guys, the ones who aren't. You know, they may, in some edge cases, fall into the same bucket as Spotify or Meta, but they really weren't necessarily intended to be by Apple. And the trouble is coming up with a kind of a definition that would let those players out, that would allow some kid making a viral app to go. You know, to be free and go viral and not have to pay millions of dollars to allow that to happen, without creating a loophole for the likes of Meta or other big players whose revenues that Apple wants to keep.

0:42:00 - Alex Lindsay
And again, it doesn't mean that that person couldn't do it. They just couldn't do it outside the app, I mean the app store, so you could distribute something. If you decide to distribute something inside the app, you would and you could download. Apple's point is you could do as many millions as you want, we'll pay for all of that. You know, like all those downloads, and so it's not like it leaves that person out in the cold. When we say getting squeezed, it just means that you would still pay 15% of people make of your selling it for something.

0:42:25 - Jason Snell
Riley's app. Riley's app, though, was an emulator, and Apple would not approve it, so it was never going to be in the store they had. Riley had no alternative but to release it separately, and then it got millions of downloads.

0:42:35 - Alex Lindsay
And I think that Apple's going to look at what the EU says. I don't think. I think if you're, if you're putting something out that they wouldn't approve and you're going to put it out on the outside, like from Apple's point of view, you have no value to them, like you may think you have value to them and you have value to your users that might want to buy it, but to Apple, you have zero value, like you know, like you know. So the thing is is that they're going to look for where you know, where the EU allows them, because I think that their argument is that we do provide some value by having a platform, and you know we do have, you know, engineering and so on and so forth. This is, you know, something that we made you know, and we should get some kind of revenue out of that, and so you have a lot of people that are arguing that they shouldn't.

But that's the but, that's Apple's argument, and if you know but I don't think Apple's trying to really fix that They'll say that they're listening, but what they're really listening for is for the EU to tell them what they're allowed and not allowed to do. They're not really listening to someone who builds an app that was going to break a bunch of rules and then, once they put it on the outside, they don't really care what he says. Like you know, like, like you know, just to just be blunt, like they care about what the EU says about whether they can charge per per unit, but he's not, and that's the question is does the EU care about Riley and other small developers like that, or do they only care about big companies?

0:43:44 - Jason Snell
And I think we're going to find out, because the the this entire core technology fee is, I mean it is. It does affect the big guys too, and I think that there are a lot of other things going on here, including that the bar that we talked about last week, where Apple says, oh, you can only really follow the rules after you've already been inside our gates and kept by us in our gates for two years and have had big sales, and then you go, which is like, well, wait a second. What are we talking about here is that you don't have to be a gatekeeper forever, but you have to be gate kept for a little while and be successful at it, and then you can go out. It's like what is? What is the European Commission trying? John, you work with people in Europe. What's your read on this situation?

0:44:24 - John Voorhees
I do. I I really don't think that anybody has the interests of the little guy at heart here. I mean, I really think that this law was designed to to really address the big corporations, the big American technology companies, and at the behest, largely, I think, of Spotify, which is a European tech giant, and I don't think I mean as much as Apple provides tools and resources for small developers. I think it's pretty clear over the years that it's Apple first, its customers, including what it views as customers, which are the people who are buying apps on the app store second and developers third, and I think that that is. You can see that in Apple's rules, but you can also see it in the DMA's approach and the EU's approach. I think that if Apple can create the room for those little guys to thrive, they will, but I don't think that that's the priority of anybody here, either the EU or Apple itself.

0:45:27 - Andy Ihnatko
Yeah, yeah, all along it's been a case of we've all seen Apple trying to weasel out of something that they bring that they're being forced to do but they don't want to do. I don't see what they're doing here as weaseling out. It really is like it really is a case of we have brand new laws. I'm not going to over. I'm not going to over comply with the law. I'm going to I'm not. I'm going to try to make sure that we find, whatever we find, the lowest ground that the regulators are comfortable with.

The flip side of this is that we all have to remember that the DMA isn't about making sure the people who feel as though they've been financially made to endure a hardship by a gatekeeper or by a large company get some sort of redress.

It is a punitive action. It's like if you get drunk and you drive, you drive through somebody's fence, like, yes, the person who's fence you destroy is going to sue you to get the fence back, but no, the cops are they hurt to arrest you because you shouldn't have been drunk and driving and driving through a fence and begin with, so it could. So, yeah, it's definitely the large, the large operators that are going to be the largest focus of compliance in terms of like, I want to do this. You're not allowing me to do this, but, apple, I'm going to make sure the DMA comes down on you hard, but, on the other hand, the you can say that, yeah, I don't care that it's just these small developers that are getting hose. You are in violation and therefore, get your check book out again. We're going to need another half a billion dollars.

0:46:51 - Alex Lindsay
Well, and as someone who's statistically a small developer and I've been developing software for 20 years that I've released on the Mac, on iOS, on iPadOS, and have been, you know, in and out of ecosystems to do this and I'm getting ready to release another app soon that I actually might sell, because usually I make them for other people what I will say is that we can talk about the little person being run over and if you are doing something like an emulator, you're getting. You know you're an exception to that process, but I can tell you, as a small developer, there is nothing like the App Store. This is why everyone wants to be there. It has never been better. Like you know, like I had to manage my own copyright protection and I had to manage my own. You know how, who's buying it and where it's going.

We calculated for my green screen software that we were somewhere. We didn't know what it was, but the piracy was somewhere between 10 times the number of sales to 100 times the number of sales that were going out there and us going after. That wasn't possible and all that went away and people can just download it and I don't have to deal with it and the con, the level of convenience for a small developer. You know I know someone that was interested in doing. You know they were interested in knots and for a long time they made, they made, they wrote a little app and they made $50,000 a month.

You know, and so the thing is is that, and I can tell you that these things have been a lot harder, so the opportunity for a small developer who has a good idea to make money has never been better than what we're doing. So we can talk about these exceptions, but we have to kind of take into account that and remember that 86% of the developers out there don't pay anything to Apple. Whether it's free or it's some kind of other thing, they're not paying any back-end to Apple. You know. The other 12% are paying, you know, are paying 15%, not 30%, which is what the advertised rate by Spotify is. And there's 2%, you know, which are the Spotify's, the epics, the, you know those ones that are paying this 30% amount, and a lot of them are readers, which then aren't paying that after the, I think after the first year.

So a lot of times it's, you know, and again, for the user, it's really, you know, it's a pretty good deal, you know, like you know, to be able to have the security and the convenience of what we have. And again, the chaos that will most likely occur after this will not be something that the users will appreciate, you know, as they, as we start to have all these side loads and things, and again, we of course have the ability to stay inside of our thing, but as soon as you have companies like Netflix or someone else side loaded, only you know like saying, well, we're only going to go on the outside, that's taking something away from the user that they had before, and you know, that's the problem. That's the problem that I'm excited that the EU is doing this and I'm excited that it's in the EU, because if they prove that it's going to work, then it's going to work. If they prove that they're wrong, they get to prove it.

0:49:32 - Jason Snell
And as an American, I don't have to deal with it.

0:49:35 - Alex Lindsay
I think the truth is. You mentioned Netflix.

0:49:37 - Jason Snell
I think the truth is and this is something you mentioned last week that really resonated with me which is is anybody going to use this?

And I think that that is.

The big question is like, I know that there will be some companies that want to push this and there are going to be some things like Epic with Fortnite right, where they feel very strongly about this and they have a user base that might be motivated to go outside the app store in order to download Fortnite, whether it's in a marketplace or it's just side loaded, because that's the thing that's going to happen.

Now that that is, there's going to be some of that, but I do wonder in the long run that we're going to talk, we're going to talk about all these different ways and it's going to end up being a teeny, teeny, teeny, tiny fraction of the actual experience, because most people don't want to bother and like, yeah, if you're somebody who wants to use an emulator on an iPhone, which again is teeny, teeny, teeny tiny, because this doesn't cover the Mac, it doesn't, I mean, the Mac's open, it doesn't cover the iPad, the iPad is closed and not affected by the DMA, so it's the small fraction. Yeah, okay, but the regular people I, I and I am dubious to the idea that any major developer is going to say well, in the EU, you have to go through this dance to get our app, because they want you to get their app. That's the number one thing they want to do is they want you to use your app and the app store is really really good at that, so we'll.

0:50:52 - Alex Lindsay
This is a tempest and a teapot, potentially, and even with the side load for Epic. No one did it. Like you know, like Fortnite mattered, but not that much you know, even in Google Play Store it's true?

0:51:03 - Andy Ihnatko
Yeah, well, it's.

It's still, as I as I will never tire of saying, it's still a good thing, because the reason why those small developers no longer have to pay a 30% fee was because, for the first time, apple was getting a lot of pressure from the outside to change the way they run the app store Totally and the and secondly, even if it is a small number of people who take advantage of this, a small amount of users and small number of developers that take advantage of side loading, I'm okay with the idea that, so long that, if they feel as though this is the best solution for them, at least it's possible.

It's not. Apple's made made a lot of work into this to make sure this not necessarily going to be advantageous, but at least it's possible. I mean, despite how, how wonderful and I don't mean that sarcastically despite how wonderful the Mac app store is, there are still lots and lots of different places where you can buy really great commercial apps outside the app store, where they just don't want to be part of that or they don't want to have to deal with it, but again so they, so they have.

0:51:59 - Alex Lindsay
so they have that choice and if they want to take the risks, they can take the risks and to your point, like an app I use probably almost every day as an apical downy and yeah, yeah, you definitely can't get that on the app store.

0:52:13 - Andy Ihnatko
Yeah, that's tricky, that's problematic.

0:52:15 - Jason Snell
Yes, yeah, but even I mean, yeah, I use that too, and I would even say that there's a fair use aspect of that, but it doesn't matter, right?

It's like that there are gonna be those cases and this is the funny thing, right Is, the Mac has survived and thrived and you can install anything you want on it, and Apple doesn't wanna go down that route for some good reasons. But I think in the end these other devices, like everybody's been trained to do it this way and they're gonna keep doing it this way and that's just how it is.

0:52:45 - Alex Lindsay
I softened on my stance just a little bit. I think Andy will be proud of me because I softened on my stance a little bit on this and it happened this morning.

I was gonna show Spatial video on the how 180 video works and so I was gonna show it and I was gonna do a screen capture from my headset. So I'm gonna put the Vision Pro on and then send it to the Apple TV so that I could show people on the show that it was how it works and what it looks like and everything else and everything, including Apple's own stuff, blacks out.

0:53:18 - Jason Snell
I mean all these things.

0:53:19 - Alex Lindsay
I was like really Really Like it is a screen capture of me watching a video, like it's not a good video version of this and you're really gonna copy that and you're really gonna black that out. And so then I was like, okay, all right, it's the worst, yeah yeah, we are getting the video app.

0:53:36 - John Voorhees
Now he's got a video app that doesn't do that. Yeah, no, I think we're kind of grappling with an unwinding of the original vision of the app store as part of the problem that we have here, because in the EU, what's happening is we're pulling apart free apps from paid apps in some ways with the technology fee, and anytime you do that, you've suddenly realized that, while this bundle of things whether they're paid apps and free apps all together in the app store originally made sense both for developers, users and Apple for different reasons, but when you start pulling them apart, those values are different for each of those constituents and, as a result, that's where you get this friction. Where now, why am I paying a core technology fee if I'm doing a free app? That sentiment didn't have to exist when everything was bundled together and some things were subsidizing other things.

0:54:27 - Alex Lindsay
Well, and. But I think the other question is also and this would be the case for 99.99% of the apps that go out is why would you go outside the app store? If you're giving something away Like again, if you're doing an emulator, it makes sense. But otherwise, I mean, I've developed quite a few free apps that are, you know, other companies use and it's pretty awesome. You don't have to think about it and it just goes out and you're not paying for the servers. You're not figuring out where it came from, you're not? You get. You want to run an update? Oh, my goodness.

0:54:57 - Jason Snell
I mean, some developers would prefer to sell their own software, like they do on the Mac, on the web and have their customer list be their customer list and be able to maintain it. But others will trade that off for being in an app store environment because it's so much easier and it's just a choice, and I guess that comes back to the choice thing. But, as John pointed out, I think the real question is is this about that? Is this about small to mid-sized developers? And is it about the user, which is the other thing that we've touched on here?

0:55:24 - Alex Lindsay
Or is it really about tech giants trying to keep the money for themselves and other tech giants saying no, we want that money and not to be too cynical, but it's really an aristocratic argument here, like it's a bunch of rich companies who want more money from another rich company, and that rich you know this is Henry V versus the French. You know the French King, you know, like it's not, you know who's going to put bread on someone's table in Edinburgh.

0:55:51 - Jason Snell
You know that is a fantastic segue, Alex, because we're going to take a break and talk about more stuff. But once more on to the breach, Leo, with a word from our sponsor.

0:56:02 - Leo Laporte
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0:59:29 - Jason Snell
A grindstone, that's terrifying A grindstone. Back to the grindstone.

0:59:36 - Andy Ihnatko
Are we making flour or shiny rocks? You tell us listeners in the chatroom.

0:59:40 - Jason Snell
Grindstone Yikes, yikes, yikes. All right. Well, leaving the grindstone aside, instead we're going to. I call to order this week's meeting of the MacBook Air Heritage Club which we founded last week. We're going to be discussing issues of interest about Apple's most popular Mac, the MacBook Air, as it should be, and it is. First, we'll start with some old business.

Oldest business we could think of is the M1 MacBook Air, which we reported last week had been removed from Apple's website and was no longer being sold. Does that mean it was discontinued? The answer may surprise you, in that it turns out as a press release on Walmart's website. Of all places. I have never visited corporatewalmartcom before, but I did last week announce that the MacBook Air M1 is now available for $6.99 at walmartcom. It's also available. I saw it at BestBuycom for $6.50. It's being put available in some other places as well. This is the first Mac ever to be sold at Walmart, is my understanding, and it's the M1 Air which is gone, but not forgotten and actually not gone. John, what's your read on this? What do you think about this one?

1:01:03 - John Voorhees
I think it's really interesting. I think one of the more interesting things, too, is that these Macs are actually more expensive on the refurb store now, which is kind of remarkable. I looked a few days ago and they were $756 for the same model. I'm glad to see it, because the M1 MacBook Air is still a fantastic computer. I have one. I haven't really felt the need to upgrade it yet. I'm kind of getting there, but on the other hand it's still plugging away and doing a great job. It's nice that we're at a price point now where it's more affordable to a greater number of people.

1:01:43 - Alex Lindsay
I have a MacBook Pro from 2020 that is like a 14-inch or 13-inch or whatever that number is. Back then it's an Intel. It's the last one before it. That's still what I go out in. I don't go out very often, but when I travel that's the laptop I use and I'm jumping on Zoom and I can open up the odd Photoshop thing and everything else. I think that the Mac Air M1 is going to be considerably faster than that. It's $699. What a great deal. Like for just doing basic Photoshop stuff, some basic video editing I'm sure we'll do fine, yeah, and then a bunch of email and a bunch of surfing the web and having something that can just put things together for that price. It's pretty awesome. I should say.

1:02:28 - Jason Snell
There's a clarification of something in the Discord that I'll get to you, andy, in a second is Knox Harrington asked are they still manufacturing the M1 Air or is this a clearance sale? My understanding and John Gruber said this and I think that he's got some good sources His understanding is that they're still making it. They're still making it. They're still selling it in various channels. What they've done is said if you come to Applecom and you're buying a laptop, want to buy a laptop, we're not going to show you our $699 laptop, but if you're at Walmart, yeah, you can buy it. And so I think they're still making them. It's cheap for them Because we learned this is one of those interesting things about how this works the longer something is on the press, is on the factory, the cheaper it is.

Apple starts making it, not at a loss, but at smaller margins, and then over time the margins get bigger and bigger and bigger, which allows them to do the thing where the M2 Air that used to cost $13.99 and I call it $9.99. Well, imagine how much cheaper the M1 Air must be, and you can keep that line going, and it allows Apple to reach a price point that I'm sure Tim Cook likes a lot where they can sell a $699 Air and still make a good margin on it and reach markets that might not have bought a MacBook at all before Andy go ahead.

1:03:42 - Andy Ihnatko
I think that's right on point where there are people who are shopping at Walmart for laptops, that are not going to Apple stores for laptops, not going to other retail channels that Apple has already had a lot of success with. So, in addition to being able to do the math and realize that, okay, we can actually make money on these M1 Airs at $700, there's also we are going to reach people we weren't reaching before, certainly not the low end consumers, but the people who maybe came in expecting to spend $450 for a kind of decent Windows laptop for their kids for school. Think, wow, for just $150 more I can get them a really, really nice Mac. Sign me up. And yeah, and this really has been like one of my dreams for the Mac line, for Apple for a long time the idea of having a sub $700 MacBook out there. I absolutely appreciate that. There are things that Apple has a great, even technical, difficulty doing, which is making items of their design, items that uphold the logo very, very well, that nonetheless are mid-range price, and so it's really wonderful.

It took me back to my first MacBook. My first power book was when they discontinued the power book 100, like the first trio of power books and they did. They clearance them out at Costco and I did one of the most, the dumbest, most dangerous things I've ever done in my life. Fortunately I was a teenager when I did it, which is I had I had to be at work at 9am the next morning. I didn't want them to sell out, so I drove about an hour and 20 minutes to the closest Costco on like no sleep bought it. Drove an hour and 20 minutes back with even less sleep than I did when I started off with and then wound up having to nap under my desk for the rest of the morning. But yeah, it was. It was worth it.

1:05:40 - Jason Snell
Yeah, this is like I mean again a lot of people who listen to and talk on podcasts like this. You know we're focused on much higher end kind of models, but yeah, this to me speaks to absolutely, especially since, okay, walmart puts out a press release. It's going to only be in some select stores, but it's also on Walmartcom. Walmart is actually got a. If you haven't thought about it this way, it's actually one of the most forward thinking retailers in terms of going from being in a big box to also being online. They have a whole setup in the Bay Area where they've hired a lot of people away from other e-commerce companies and they've done some very clever things, but they are going to put it in some stores. I think this is an interesting test in some ways, but they're going to reach people who, as Andy said, have not even considered buying a Mac before with a product.

Apple is in this unique position with Apple Silicon, where the M1 Air, even though it's old now, is still great. It's still great. It's still more than most people need, and making it available sub $700 is a. Really. It's a great story for people who might have always wanted to buy a Mac but haven't had the chance or they've had a hand me down Mac or a used Mac and they could actually get access to this.

It'll be interesting to see how it goes for Walmart, and I do expect that it may show up in other places as well. This might also be a Costco kind of thing. We'll see. I don't know what the nature of the relationship with Walmart is. My understanding is also in the education channel these are still available as well that there are people in the education, even though it's an invisible product now on Apple's website, that if you want to buy five or 10 or 20 of them in the education channel, my understanding is you can do that too. So it's still. It's alive with an asterisk, but I love it. I love, I love the move for them the education channel.

1:07:24 - Andy Ihnatko
I think it's still the only place you can get a MacBook Air with 128 gigs of storage. Oh boy. Maybe don't get that one. That's saucy.

1:07:34 - John Voorhees
Maybe take a pass on that one.

1:07:37 - Jason Snell
The speaking of the MacBook Air Heritage Club, I thought I would throw in some other MacBook Air news here. In the discussion about the lid closed mode on the MacBook Air M3, including here last week, one of the questions was if you run it lid closed, does it thermal throttle sooner? The idea there is this is a fanless laptop. It's engineered to run. You know you can run a lid closed. That's not new. It's just with two monitors now that you would, you have to run it lid closed. And running it lid closed presumably insulates the hot part a little bit more by putting the screen on top of the keyboard and maybe obscuring the vents a little bit so that there's a little less air flow and so it can't radiate heat as well passively, which is all that the air can do. And the question was how does it run on? It would closed with two monitors, and my experience in just using it like I do every day was fine. But full credit to the people at.

There's a tech radar report. I don't know if they're the ones who did it or not, but somebody out there in the internet blessed the internet. They're like oh what if I really brutalize it with? It was Max Tech on YouTube. That's what it is Max Tech on YouTube. And they're like what if I run a high test, 3d benchmark on it? They ran 3D mark wildlife extreme stress test for about 20 minutes.

What is the difference between running lid closed and lid open? And the answer is there's an appreciable difference, because when you run lid open, it doesn't have to throttle as much, because it's now enough, because it's able to radiate more of that heat. Now what I would say is, again, at this level of performance, perhaps don't buy a MacBook Air, or perhaps don't attach it to two monitors. But it is a great data point and I'm glad they did it, because this is you're seeing the difference. Really. It's the difference in heat being radiated out of the MacBook Air and the M3, whether the lid is closed or not. That's the only change, because there's no fan. That is just insulation based on the lid being in the way happening there.

1:09:48 - Andy Ihnatko
Yeah, wouldn't it be nice if there were some sort of third party tool or even system-level tool where you could just say yeah, I know that the screen is open, but could you just switch it off so I could use two screens, because it's not just the extra ventilation, if I'm not being mindful, I could keep it docked that way. And again, I didn't buy this MacBook Air to do a whole bunch of 4k transcoding and modeling. However, I just got into this Jag and then I'd start to wonder five days, oh my god, I've had this source of heat underneath like this screen. Have I damaged the display in any way by basically roasting it above this keyboard?

1:10:29 - Jason Snell
I would also say wouldn't it be convenient, if you're in that two display configuration, to use the keyboard and trackpad that Apple gives you with a display turned off? And this is it is like the next frontier for us. Arguing about lid closed, lid open is. It's always been a little frustrating. I was just somebody in Discord that I'm in was asking about running a MacBook lid closed but on as a server, and I said, well, you got to get one of those dongles that emulates a display and somebody was like, oh no, no, no, you don't have to do that. On my Mac mini I don't do that and I'm like, yeah, but here's the difference.

Apple makes a very specific judgment when the lid gets closed on a laptop, that the jig is up unless you've got an external display attached. And so wouldn't it be nice if you could just use the keyboard and the trackpad while the two screens were on, and it's just not something that they've done. Or to leave it open just for ventilation, right Like, but you can't, it's too bad. But thank you to MaxTech for trying it out. And now we know and again, if you really care about ventilation and running your computer hot, macbook Air might not be the best choice for you, even though this is the MacBook Air Heritage Club with a long history of bad performance when things get hot. Let me tell you, I had the original MacBook Air where, in the late afternoon, with my west facing windows, one of the cores would just shut down.

1:11:49 - Andy Ihnatko
So still have the burn mark on the inside of my heel where I was sitting cross-legged and had it on my lap, oh, why?

1:11:56 - Jason Snell
is that cursor so jerky? Oh, it's because I don't work in a meat locker. Yes, and therefore that's okay. The other MacBook Air story here is a wild story from Tom's hardware. I don't know which one of you put this in the show notes. It was probably Andy, but I don't know. I love this one.

1:12:15 - Andy Ihnatko
I thought it was a lovely bookend for the other story.

1:12:16 - Jason Snell
So what if we put a heat sink on the outside of the MacBook Air, making contact with it, and we pull the heat out of the MacBook Air, then how does it run? And the answer is it runs way better because now it's got a cooling system. Yeah, yeah.

1:12:30 - John Voorhees
Big hunk of metal really works well with fins, turns out.

1:12:34 - Andy Ihnatko
And it looks, I don't know. It says it looks Babylon 5 meets Blade Runner. I like the look.

1:12:40 - John Voorhees
It's kind of cool.

1:12:41 - Alex Lindsay
It does look nice, yeah, the question is what happens if you put a fan on that, on those fins. We actually Blackmagic's old original switchers used to have these fins on the back of them and they were just kind of opened and what was nice is they were quiet. But then what we did with them is we figured out a way because they would overheat and we just put a big like a little fan that's silent, that you can buy for computer installations, on the end of that is fins and pulling the air through it and it dramatically changes the heat signature. So yeah, there's all kinds of places we can go with this now.

1:13:16 - Jason Snell
And this was Max Tech as well, actually. So I should say congratulations to Max Tech for creating a story that created a problem and then creating a story that creates a solution. I love it.

But this is I mean passive cooling, active cooling the difference. Macbook Air is a fanless laptop. It's all physics, and yet it's actually amazing to see it in action and say like this is bad. And then this little dock thingy is good because it's radiating away, it's a heat. It's going to slow down if it gets too hot because the chip doesn't want to melt itself, right? So this is what you get.

1:13:48 - Andy Ihnatko
External heatsink, then we put a fan on it, then we water cool it. That next step is just RGB everywhere. And now we're just running Windows. Again I say, just working on the locker working on the drill some holes in it.

1:13:59 - John Voorhees
Right, you know, I mean you got to create your own ventilation. Literal speed holes.

1:14:04 - Jason Snell
Yeah, I love it. That's what we need. That's what we need in our lives. Howard Oakley over at Eclectic Light Company, which is my favorite blog, that connects Apple technology and a classic painting. I'm not kidding, that's true. It's amazing. I have learned a lot about classical painting from Howard Oakley, eclectic Light Company, pointing out one of these areas that his quirky. He's got a very specific set of focuses on macOS and I find them fascinating because very few other people have those focuses. And he's discovered a very serious bug in Sonoma 14.4 that is worth warning people about.

If you rely on the versioning system that's built into macOS and if you don't know about it, it may save your bacon.

By the way, I had this happen just the other day where I'm like, oh, I don't have a time machine backup and then I thought, wait a second, there are versions right Somewhere on my Mac.

There are versions of this file from the past and there are, which is pretty awesome if you're using an app that supports it. However, what Oakley found was, if you're running 14.4 and your documents are in iCloud Drive and you have optimized Mac storage turned on, which is the setting that means that your cloud stuff is not necessarily going to stay on your device. It may be removed from the physical drive because it's accessible from the cloud, which is usually a very helpful feature. But in 14.4, if you put those things together you risk having all of your versions evicted. When your file is evicted and then when it comes back, the versions don't come back, which is not great. It's a very niche thing, but like it's worth warning people about, and for a great feature. And this is like you get your Mac set up exactly as Apple wants you to set it up, to use this feature, and then now it suddenly is broken, which is too bad.

1:16:05 - Andy Ihnatko
He appropriately has filed it as a bug as of yesterday, because that's clearly not an intended operation of that feature. Again, it shows you how long that lease has been out before and no one has had a big furorae about. Oh my God, I just lost all my versions, but nonetheless it's not what that feature was designed to perform like. So yeah, no.

1:16:25 - Jason Snell
So be warned. And hey, did you know that there's a versioning feature built into macOS? It's been here a while now.

1:16:32 - John Voorhees
Yeah, I forget about it sometimes, but it is good, I mean when the apps that support it. Unfortunately, I don't think that many apps really do support it.

1:16:39 - Jason Snell
It's true. It's true. I retrieved some stuff out of a number spreadsheet the other week and that was how I did it, because I realized I didn't have a proper backup of it somewhere that had the data, but I was able to walk through a large list of versions in numbers.

1:16:55 - John Voorhees
It terrifies me so.

1:16:56 - Alex Lindsay
I'm constantly like I will save my own versions. Generally, when I'm working on stuff, I just put a date on the day that I worked on it and then a dash, a one, two, three, four, five, and I'm just constantly afraid of it. But I come from like you know. I'm used to building models that I've found in 30 versions.

1:17:10 - Jason Snell
This was a case where I have a clone that runs at two in the afternoon and I had a completely catastrophic lockup on my system the next morning. Oh yeah, and the file was from 4pm and so it wasn't there, and then I ended up trying to find it in the cloud and all sorts of other things. But yes, everybody should backup their stuff. You should totally do it. Here is a story that I saw that I thought was really interesting. It's a blog post from Alexander Vasich. It is about the state of the Hackintosh community.

Now, you may have expected this I think we all expected this but the Hackintosh was a bright and shining era where you could take an Intel PC with certain cards, certain chips and install macOS on it, because macOS ran on Intel and it still runs on Intel. But in, as this blog post details, Apple is in the process of removing a lot of the older stuff in Sonoma for systems that they haven't shipped and are no longer compatible, which makes sense, right, it makes perfect sense from 2012-2013. But the end result is, if you are somebody who is still maintaining a Hackintosh running on an Intel PC hardware, first off, sonoma is probably not for you. Ventura is probably a better bet for you and, as he pointed out, really it was a good run. But it's now over because Apple is focused on Apple Silicon and they're not focused on maintaining compatibility with the older hardware that was used to get this stuff to work.

And I just thought it was a really good, level-headed response, which was this was really great. It was a good time, I can't complain. It came. The Hackintosh rise of the Hackintosh happened at a bad point for Apple hardware and he said now, with Apple Silicon, it's actually a really good point for Apple hardware and nobody's going to take that functional Hackintosh away from you. But in terms of new progress, like I just liked it because it was like well, I'm calling it Like basically it's over now because the jig is up, because the Apple Silicon era is here and that don't blame Apple for this. They're not trying to stomp on the last remaining Hackintosh, it really is. Just Apple continues to evolve their platform and they're focused on Apple Silicon now.

1:19:28 - Andy Ihnatko
Yeah, it was a really bad, I'm sorry. Go ahead, jen.

1:19:31 - John Voorhees
Now I was going to say in particular I think it was Bluetooth and Wi-Fi cards that aren't compatible. Yeah, that Apple's really moved on with those internals and yeah, I think it's kind of sad because I think that kind of hardware modding is a lot of fun and fun, cool project. But yeah, I mean we are in a much better place with the Mac now today with Apple Silicon.

1:19:51 - Andy Ihnatko
Yeah, I mean remember when we had the oatmeal box Mac Pro as the top of the top of the pop or most of the Mac line and basically was just no good for what any like high energy Mac user wanted. Like consistently the fastest Mac benchmark were always like Hackintosh is like okay, I can build. I can build a Mac out of Windows components. That's going to be much, much better for just period than anything that Apple is going to be doing. If I'm all I'm looking for is performance and there was like a wonderful time, this is one of the best, one of the most fun like Mac experiences I have ever had. This is my Dell and Spiron Mini 9 from like 2008, 2009,. A nine inch like. It's not. It's not a netbook, it's kind of like there's Dell's version of like the same build quality as their normal laptops in 2008, but in a nine inch form factor, and I got I think was 10.2 or 10.3, whatever it was in 2008, 2009 running on it and, of course, this was like pre iPad, this is pre everything, and the ability to have this tiny, tiny thing running all of my Mac apps on it was so cool this was. It was burning up like message boards. Because, as you put you put out, john, very, very correctly that, like the big deal was okay is there. Are you using the right? Does the hardware that you're on the laptop you're using use a wifi chip for which there are open source drivers? Because otherwise this is like the first one where, like, everything in one package was like the trackpad would work, the audio would work, you could hook up extra on USB devices, that would work. Everything worked great, it was just, and the entire user interface just simply.

Oh, I see that. I see, for some reason, you have a screen with much less real estate than anything else that's in the Mac lineup. I don't care, because I, because I've never, I haven't been screened against that sort of stuff. So, yeah, there was a time when this was a fun thing to do. There was a time when, if you were a power, power, power user, it was a necessary thing to do. Now it's just basically hey look, I can get Mac OS running on this Nintendo dual screen Game Boy. So yeah, it's, it's an end of an era, to be sure.

1:22:02 - Jason Snell
Fun era. Fun era I know people are like Cranjela. We did this at Macworld. We built, I think we called it the Franken Mac is what we chose to call it and really in the end it sort of called out like not only all the nice things that Apple does that were in its OS that were broken in the systems that we use, but also the fact that we were able to make a very, very powerful mid-range tower, a system that Apple never really you know.

They stopped making it and it was way cheaper than the Macs at the time. But again, the Apple Silicon era has really transformed the Mac and made it much better and changed the equation. Even if you're down at a, you know, like a Mac mini, even, you're in pretty good shape. So we are gonna do our picks of the week and wrap up the show, and that's all gonna happen after one last visit from past Leo Past, leo.

1:22:57 - Leo Laporte
Thank you, Jason. Hold on just a second. We've got one more thing to talk about, and that is boy. You know it, everybody knows it, we love it, we use it.

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1:24:52 - Jason Snell
Thank you, ghost of Leo Laporte, wherever you are on vacation, it's time for the Pics of the Week, where we get. I love this part because it's our tradition now to talk about things that you could download and use, and I think we're gonna start with our guest, john Voorhees. Do you have a pick for us? I do have a pick.

1:25:13 - John Voorhees
I'm gonna pick an app called Chroniclain. Chroniclain is a fantastic app that you can use on the iPhone, the iPad, the Mac, even on VisionOS. It's got a native VisionOS app and it's a little bit like a habit tracker, but it's not just for tracking habits, it's really for tracking anything you want at all, and it's got a real emphasis on visual presentation. It takes data and presents it in all sorts of ways. So you could say, take the reminders and the Reminders app that you've finished and create a heat map with them, for instance, to get an idea of what day is your most active one. It has a great set of widgets and it's got super deep shortcut support, which makes it really easy to get that data out of those other apps and into Chroniclain, where you can manipulate it and create all sorts of neat charts.

1:26:02 - Jason Snell
So Chroniclain's my pick, thank, you very nice, and if you would like to know more about awesome apps this is what I do is you go to MacStoriesnet, where John and Federico and the gang are writing about all sorts of different apps that are awesome. It's a great source. It's sort of like a pick of the week all the time on a website. That's why I'm Seven days a week. I can't you keep those sites on seven days a week, yeah we never shut it off, for some reason.

1:26:32 - John Voorhees
Seven, 25, amazing.

1:26:34 - Andy Ihnatko
It's like a fluorescent light fixture. It costs less money to keep it on than to simply put it off and on all the time.

1:26:39 - Jason Snell
Imagine the idea that a website would shut down overnight and put up with this pattern.

1:26:44 - Alex Lindsay
That's hilarious. I love that idea. There's an April 1st idea.

1:26:48 - Jason Snell
Just put up with this pattern, if local time yeah, and play with it. All right. Things are about to get weird. Something's happened and it's because Alex Lindsey is up next. Here we go.

1:27:01 - Andy Ihnatko
He's in a Seahunt cosplay.

1:27:03 - Alex Lindsay
Go to Andy first. Oh, go to Andy first.

1:27:05 - Jason Snell
Oh, no, no, no, wait, a minute Wait a minute, andy, you pick first, you pick first.

1:27:10 - Andy Ihnatko
My pick is a menu bar based reminders app that reminds me exactly how I'm going to do it, exactly how much I love the Mac developer community, because every time oh my God they come up with such great ideas. So, okay, great. Another thing that will let you set a timer and then remind you of something. Okay, number one the interface for this. It's a ding-bat inside the menu bar. You click on it and you drag down, and the length of the line that you drag down is the amount of time you want to wait before the reminder. And, of course, there's also an indicator as you drag that shows you exactly how much time you're adding. Okay, so either let go and it'll just simply oh okay, 18 minutes, great, I'll remind you in 18 minutes. Or you can also, if you want, to type in here's what the reminder is above, and you can have more than one reminder set this way and there will be little pieces of pez with the time and the name of the label of the reminder in your menu bar. And, as if that's not enough, it does sync with Apple Reinder. So the fact that you set a reminder from your desktop by doing this little rubber band thing to hey, remind me to pick up somebody at like 10, 28 in the evening. You will get a reminder on your Apple Watch later that night that this is what you're supposed to do. It's six bucks 99 cents. I think there's a trial period for it.

Again, I love the site simple ideas executed flawlessly, and it's such a beautiful interface that it took an iOS developer to get the idea of scrolling back. What do they call it? You scroll all the way down and then you spring it back and that means, oh, you want me to refresh this display. It's also. This is also the sort of reminder interface that only a Mac developer would come up with. I love it.

1:28:57 - Jason Snell
Very nice, very nice. Ok, Alex, are you ready?

1:29:00 - Alex Lindsay
I'm as ready as I'm ever going to be. This time my lungs were aching for air. I was trying to show something with audio, but I think I'm sharing the audio to my switcher, which isn't going anywhere and I can't hear it myself. So, anyway, I'm going to just show it here. So, if you see, if you look at what I'm looking at here, so this will be not as good as if I had had a. Can you see it there?

So this is called spatial symphony and I downloaded it almost immediately Close there, and what you can do is it's basically a synthesizer but you're using your hands. So this hand over here is one hand is the, my left hand is my volume, my right hand is controlling the tones, and so what you do is you can sit here and play with and it just is such an interesting application as far as thinking about. Obviously there's what you would obviously immediately think of, as with the theremin. So you have a theremin sound that you can do here and you can affect it here in that process, and so you have this basically virtual theremin. But you have the ray gun, which is a little bit hard. The nebula is really nice to hear when I get the sharing working, but I don't have the sharing working, but it's really nice there.

And then there are pro ones. I got the pro ones, so there's lots of it, so there's a free version of it that has the basic stuff. And then I bought the pro one. I can't remember how much it was, it wasn't very much and anyway. So, but you can sit here and just play with it. You can see all these colors.

These are telling you what you're doing and I found myself losing a lot of time last night playing with this where I'm sitting there, because what happens is you're like any other instrument You're learning how your hands affect the sound and so, as you start to move it and I guess it's not as nearly as good without me figuring out a share audio, which will be my new problem as I start to do these recommendations but it's a really powerful, really just a really cool app and again, I think what it does is it points to.

It really points to what's coming. That it's not going to just be like I think we right now we're still thinking a lot about. We're thinking a lot about how do we recreate the real world inside the virtual. But there's this point where we start building things that you just can't do in the real world, and the interfaces and how we interact and instruments and all kinds of other things are going to start moving past that and we're going to start just interacting. But the idea that I could have a theremin like control over something and be able to start creating, I'm not good enough, like any other instrument that you spent the first hour on. There's nothing out there that I would share with you, but I can see how you could start to figure out where your hand has to be to get the notes that you're looking for and all the things that you might play there, and I think it's going to be fascinating as we start to see more and more of that.

1:31:59 - Andy Ihnatko
It looks like a lathe for sound when we're working with the live screen.

1:32:02 - Alex Lindsay
Yeah. Yeah. It's an incredible, like the fact that at first I was like I don't understand why they put those shapes in there. You know the squares. I don't know if it'll pop right back up. So when I did this before, let me see if it.

1:32:25 - Jason Snell
Alex is tapping on nothing in the air. Yeah, exactly, exactly.

1:32:28 - Alex Lindsay
So when I this is killing fleas when I started doing this here much about this. So when you start doing this, you're like I don't understand why those were even there. But it's super important to understand where you are as you're moving these and what you're affecting. So the rectangles here, the visualization, really makes a huge difference in understanding what you're doing. So you can see how I've opened it up a little bit. It's louder, quieter, so I can understand what I'm doing with this. And that visual response is super important to understanding what's actually happening. So it makes it easier for you to understand how you're affecting the sound.

So it's slick, Pretty cool, so that's my recommendation, but I think we're going to see more and more of these that are starting to move again very quickly, starting to move away from trying to Like. There's like the measure tool is. There's another one that I'm still playing with that. I turned it on and suddenly it measured everything.

1:33:33 - John Voorhees
Like suddenly there was blocks everywhere.

1:33:34 - Alex Lindsay
It just measured the whole everything. I was in front of it. I was like, oh, this is going to change everything about doing all the things. It's not totally accurate yet, like it still needs a little work, but you're seeing that there are things that are going to happen inside these headsets that you're no longer going to be. At first. We do what we always do, which is make it look like what we already know, but we're going to start moving. This is the one step of moving away from trying to be like anything else.

1:33:58 - Jason Snell
Yeah, Feeling like you've got magic powers is one of the things that is great about being in Vision Pro, and more the better. Speaking of magical things that are unlike anything you've ever seen before. I'm going to make a pick, and my pick is so imagine if we took the places we lived and you cut a hole in them so that you could look outside. We might call it something like it's kind of like a computer window. Why don't we call it a window? Because it's kind of like a window on a computer, but it's actually like in your house.

Only the document is the sky, yeah right. Well, guess what? There's an app for that. It's called Windora for Vision Pro, and it is brilliant at what this little thing is. It's free, and then there's an app purchase for other features. It takes your panoramas from your photo library and places them inside windows that you can place in your space, and the beauty of it is that it reacts exactly as if you were looking at a window, in terms of the parallax effect as you move around.

Now, the problem with VisionOS right now is persistence. You reboot or whatever and everything loses its place. But if you imagine a future OS release perhaps VisionOS 2, where you can place objects in places in the world and then just leave them there, the idea that you could take a boring workspace and put an amazing panorama outside of it, not as just a picture on a wall but as a window looking out on the space where, based on as you move your head, it actually will adjust as if it were really a window, including the window frame and everything. I was able to put a window on a wall with no windows in my house and suddenly I was looking out and it was Aero Rocky Mount Cook in New Zealand on the other side Pretty incredible. So it uses the panoramas and it's just.

I mean again, why is this necessary in life? It's not, it's just super cool application of this technology to dress up your surroundings while you're working in VisionPro, and I think it's just a really clever idea. They even have ones that are shapes, that are corner pieces. Essentially, when you do the in-app purchase, there's one window in the free version where you can place it in the corner of a room and it's like you've got two windows at right angles and the same landscape is outside them and they move as if. Again, it's just the illusion can be pretty remarkable.

1:36:12 - Alex Lindsay
I still think that we're going to end up with. I find myself constantly wanting, in my house, an empty room.

1:36:19 - Leo Laporte
It's like 15 by 15.

1:36:20 - Jason Snell
Like a holodeck or the bell.

1:36:23 - Alex Lindsay
The bell, we're going to get dark on it and the idea is just that I have an open space. I put my headset on, I got a place to sit or lie down or whatever, but for the most part I even want those things to fold. I even want those things to fold into the wall or come out of the floor and then I just but I just want a space that I can just. But then I can imagine someone using what you're showing there. You can dress it up. You just dress up the whole thing and create this whole environment that when you walk in you put the headset on, that's your office and you keep on adjusting it and making it better and everything else.

1:36:54 - Andy Ihnatko
Those are the things that I think are going to make it really really wonderful. Like again, virtual displays are lovely but I want a calendar on the wall of my office. That is not a real calendar but it kind of looks like not necessarily skew moafric, but every time I need to look at a project it's right there and it doesn't feel like I'm going through a window. Or even the next step, which is there's a shelf with a kitty on it and when there's 10 minutes before like I need to like leave the office, kitty like starts to stop snapping and starts meowing as if they want to be fed and that's like my little alarm that oh kitty wants. And it'll be the little distraction throughout the day of just looking at what kitty is doing, even though I have absolutely no interest in being responsible for a cat.

1:37:40 - Jason Snell
I love stuff like this. It's just, it's cool stuff. All right, we've reached the end. Let me thank my panelists for being here on MacBreak Weekly this week. John Voorhees, Tell people where they can find you and thank you for being here.

1:37:51 - John Voorhees
Oh, thank you for having me. You can find me. I'm at John Voorhees really anywhere you can possibly look. Yes, and I'm also at where I'm going to give a very small plug. We just moved a new podcast over to MacStories called Ruminate that I do with my good friend Rob Knight at /ruminate. It's all about the weird web.

1:38:13 - Jason Snell
Nice, very nice. I highly recommend Ruminate and all of MacStories. Thanks for being here, John. Thank you, Andy and Ico. What do you have going on?

1:38:21 - Andy Ihnatko
I am off in PR this week but next week go to on Thursday at 12.30. And you can listen to me talk about tech for live. Or you can talk to me later on, because they will record it onto a magnetic strip of tape and then queue it up whenever you click the play button upon your demand. There might be some technology that I don't know about, but at minimum there is an intern there with the reel to reel making sure it's queued up to my stuff at all times.

1:38:47 - Jason Snell
It's good. It's good that they got. I mean, the intern has to have something to do.

1:38:51 - Andy Ihnatko
College credits, man, you gotta make it a valuable experience Work experience is valuable.

1:38:55 - Jason Snell
Work experience is what I always say. They gotta learn how to cut tape somewhere. Alice Lindsay, where can people find you?

1:39:02 - Alex Lindsay
Well, every morning, from seven to nine in the morning, at specific time, a bunch of us get together, a couple hundred of us get together and we talk about tech issues. Today we were talking about 180 degree video shooting and the things you have to think about and how you have to approach it as we get ready for things like the more meta releases and Apple releases, and so we talked about that. We had Clarissa Wright on who's a PR specialist yesterday, which was fantastic, and tomorrow we're talking about live to podcast, kind of like what we do here. But the idea is like what are the challenges of if you wanna do a live show that has interaction with your audience and then turn it into a podcast, how do you do that? So we're gonna be talking a little bit about that.

Also, on, we introduced Michael Krasny, interviewed Andrew Fracknoy, who is an incredible astronomer, and I could listen to that guy forever. Like, if you haven't listened to a GrahamMattershow, this is a good one to get started. I could listen to him talk about space forever. Like he's just the most pleasurable person to listen to and he just has so much to say and he makes it so approachable. But we had Renee Richie a couple of weeks ago. You can see there's a lot of pretty useful people Jason Snell and the Anacore hidden in there, so a lot of great interviews there, but this last one was yet another one, so definitely check it out.

1:40:23 - Jason Snell
All right, awesome. And you can find me at The Incomparable, and, of course,, with links to all my writing and podcasts and all the other things that I do, including MacBreak Weekly, where we will be back next week and Leo will be back too. So I know you'll feel right at home with Leo being back in the chair the big chair that I did not usurp today, so they've taken it to be cleaned, so we'll be nice and clean and ready for Leo when he comes back next week. But I have the sad duty to inform you that this has all been fun. And then we also got to talk about the MacBook Air Heritage Club, as we like to do, but you gotta get back to work now. Break time is over. See you next time.

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