327: Better Late Than Wrong23 May 2019
Casey’s new app, Apple’s new MacBook Pros, Panic’s new Playdate, and Marco’s failed Greycation.
- "Interactive version control" comic
- Vignette (App Store Link)
- Marco's AirPlay 2 "Greycation"
- Apple's Refreshed MacBook Pros
- Linode: Instantly deploy and manage an SSD server in the Linode Cloud. Get a $20 credit with code atp2019.
- Boosted: Vehicle-grade electric skateboards and scooters to solve your transportation woes. Use the code
ATPat checkout to get $75 off your vehicle.
- Apollo: A beautiful Reddit app built for power and speed.
- Casey’s busy
- Vacation Macs
- Undo/redo as version control
- “Preview for video”
- Sponsor: Apollo
- Vignette 🖼️
- Sponsor: Boosted (code ATP)
- AirPlay 2 Greycation
- Sponsor: Linode (code atp2019)
- Playdate 🖼️
- New MacBook Pros
- Ending theme
- Post-show 🖼️
⏹️ ▶️ Casey Busy day? I’ve said on probably this show and definitely
⏹️ ▶️ Casey on Analog that I always thought it was horseshit that you never replied to any emails ever. Then
⏹️ ▶️ Casey I started recording podcasts with you and I realized, oh my God, that’s why Marco
⏹️ ▶️ Casey never replies to anything because this email, it’s nonstop. Well then
⏹️ ▶️ Casey I decided, you know what would be a smart idea? Let’s release an app where it can send you email
⏹️ ▶️ Casey if the user has feedback. a brilliant plan. Oh my god,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey I am inundated. I am absolutely inundated, which
⏹️ ▶️ Casey I am complaining, but I’m not really complaining because that’s a good sign.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco yeah, like you’re inundated for a good reason,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco it still doesn’t make the problem any easier to deal with. It’s
⏹️ ▶️ Casey so much worse. It’s so much worse now.
⏹️ ▶️ John want to hear my ideas for new features, Casey? Or have you heard a few of them
⏹️ ▶️ Casey already? We should save that for the show, but oh my god.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey What did you bring on your great Haitian computer wise? You didn’t bring your iMac did you?
⏹️ ▶️ Marco No, because I mean I was just there for a few days. I just brought the 13-inch MacBook Pro from last year.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey And no external display of any sort?
⏹️ ▶️ Marco I thought about that like and when I go for the whole summer I am probably gonna bring my iMac Pro again.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey With your snazzy carrying case? Yeah,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco I might as well use it. Why not? Right now it’s holding my mediocre LG 5k in my basement
⏹️ ▶️ Marco which also fits it because the same size right but yeah so i just brought the laptop and just worked on that like
⏹️ ▶️ Marco i’ve i’ve been i’m able to work on just the laptop for you know short
⏹️ ▶️ Marco spans like a weekend trip i just don’t find it very comfortable to do that for a long time
⏹️ ▶️ Marco and so like if i was if it’s like a whole summer it’s not enough both in screen space and a performance yeah
⏹️ ▶️ Marco yeah like there were there were so many times during just like the last couple of days and i was when i was like you know just building
⏹️ ▶️ Marco overcast and i was actually slamming into performance bottlenecks quite frequently,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco which I, this is the first time I’ve really done that with the 13 inch, but like I was sitting there just like waiting for builds,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco waiting for builds. I’m like, damn, I really miss six of my 10 cores right now.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey So imagine if by your own design, your portable machine is the 12 inch Mac
⏹️ ▶️ Marco And I was going to ask you about that because you said you were getting work done like when you were traveling with families and
⏹️ ▶️ Marco that’s your only laptop, right?
⏹️ ▶️ Casey Mm-hmm. Well, that and the MacBook Air that’s been underwater six times.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey So no matter how you slice it, it’s not a good sign. But yeah, I would say
⏹️ ▶️ Casey probably between a third and a half of Vignette was written on my adorable. Like more
⏹️ ▶️ Casey than you would think and more than probably was necessary, but here we are.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco I mean, sometimes the times that you actually have time and the ability
⏹️ ▶️ Marco to focus are times when you’re traveling or something, and so that’s all you got. I wrote
⏹️ ▶️ Marco most of Instapaper on the train, on the way to work.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey On that god-awful air?
⏹️ ▶️ Marco No, some of it was on the god-awful air. Most of it was before that on my white plastic MacBook.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey Oh, I forgot that you had one of those as well. That was my first Mac, the Polybook, as I love to call it, which drives Stephen insane.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Those were fantastic. I know they had problems with the palm rest yellowing, and mine did too, and that’s fine,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco but with that one exception, which was honestly not that big of a problem, Those were amazing machines.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco The amount of performance and value and ubiquity
⏹️ ▶️ Marco and versatility those crammed into such a, at the time, small and affordable package,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco it was unparalleled. Those were such amazing values.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey Yeah, no, I loved mine until the battery exploded. Not in the kaboom sense,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey, Marco it got thicker than it should have. Yes, well, that’s what I’m
⏹️ ▶️ Casey looking for, thank you. But I think I got a top, right, not a top case, I think I got a whole case replacement,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey well out of warranty because it had cracked in a few spots, as the Polybooks love to do. And then I got a battery
⏹️ ▶️ Casey replacement, well out of warranty because it had swelled. And last I heard, that Polybook is sitting
⏹️ ▶️ Casey in Stephen Hackett’s collection.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco The exact one that you had? Like, he has yours? Yeah, I sent it to him. That’s pretty
⏹️ ▶️ John cool. Stephen’s house is like a farm upstate for old hardware.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey It is, it really is. Oh, that’s so true. Anyway, but how are you gentlemen?
⏹️ ▶️ Marco It’s a busy week, let’s go to the show.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey Yeah, all right. All right. Let’s start with some follow-up.
Undo/redo as version control
⏹️ ▶️ Casey Let’s talk about undo-redo as, quote, interactive version control.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey Would you like to tell me about that, John?
⏹️ ▶️ John Yeah, this was, what were we talking about? We’re talking about kids learning version control in school or whatever.
⏹️ ▶️ John And I mentioned my habit of using undo and redo repeatedly
⏹️ ▶️ John to sort of rewind and fast forward dangerously in text files. And apparently
⏹️ ▶️ John this is such a common phenomenon that someone drew a comic strip about it. We’ll put a link in the show
⏹️ ▶️ John notes. The comic strip only loses points for saying ctrl-z and ctrl-y instead of
⏹️ ▶️ John command because obviously it was written by PC users and not Mac users,
⏹️ ▶️ John fine. Anyway, it’s a funny comic and it’s a funny thing that people do, and now I feel
⏹️ ▶️ John less alone in the world.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey I am glad for that. Now this was a good comic and it did make me laugh.
“Preview for video”
⏹️ ▶️ Casey All right, Marco, tell me about your quest for quote unquote preview for video.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Yeah, so I talked last week, I kind of put out a request to the listeners like, hey, can anybody know of anything that’s basically
⏹️ ▶️ Marco like, kind of like preview for video of like being able to open a video file without like making a
⏹️ ▶️ Marco project or an event or any like project management file features like the way Final Cut and
⏹️ ▶️ Marco LumaFusion and stuff like that, the way they do that. open a video, perform
⏹️ ▶️ Marco basic edits like straightening, rotation, audio fixes, stuff like that. Basic
⏹️ ▶️ Marco video edits and then just save it to a file without making any projects. So we got a number of responses.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco On the Mac side, Matthew Schaffer recommended something called Video Loop. And that’s loop,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco L-O-U-P-E, that kind of loop, like the looking tool. So Video Loop, it’s $25 on
⏹️ ▶️ Marco the Mac App Store or Direct. And I bought that and I’m using that and it’s pretty
⏹️ ▶️ Marco good. There’s also a few other options. Donovan Buchanan on iOS recommended LumaFX.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco So I mentioned LumaFusion a minute ago because that is kind of like a final cut for iPad basically
⏹️ ▶️ Marco and it’s actually very good if that’s what you’re looking for. And LumaFX is kind of like their light
⏹️ ▶️ Marco version. It’s $3 and that is basically editing videos without projects. The only thing
⏹️ ▶️ Marco I hesitate on that one is that it’s kind of old and hasn’t been updated for the new
⏹️ ▶️ Marco iPads yet. It doesn’t seem like it’s maintained nearly as much as LumaFusion is, which
⏹️ ▶️ Marco is very, very good. So I’m not sure I would recommend LumaFX. And then also,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco if you have less, like lower needs, if your needs are only about straightening videos, like if you
⏹️ ▶️ Marco have like a horizon that’s a little bit crooked, you wanna straighten it, if that’s your only need, Jan Oslund
⏹️ ▶️ Marco recommended Perfect Horizon, which is an app for Mac and iOS, and it’s only four
⏹️ ▶️ Marco bucks. Also on the Mac, a number of people recommended Telestream
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Switch Plus, but that is $200 and it’s
⏹️ ▶️ Marco aimed much more at pro types of uses and also doesn’t appear to actually
⏹️ ▶️ Marco do the kind of edits that I want. It appears to be like a pro tool for like reviewing footage and
⏹️ ▶️ Marco stuff like that but it doesn’t end like exporting different formats but I’m not honestly sure why so many people recommended
⏹️ ▶️ Marco it because it actually doesn’t do what I want. So anyway my pick out of all these on the Mac is definitely
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Videoloop pretty much exactly what I was looking for.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco We are sponsored this week by Apollo, a third-party app for Reddit. Go to ApolloApp.io
⏹️ ▶️ Marco to see for yourself this awesome app. Now, you know, similar to
⏹️ ▶️ Marco how we in the know like to use third-party Twitter apps because they’re better, things like Tweetbot, Twitterific,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco they’re better than the official stuff. That’s what Apollo is for Reddit, basically. Apollo is a third-party app
⏹️ ▶️ Marco for Reddit. It’s an indie app. The developer cares a lot. They’re a former Apple employee
⏹️ ▶️ Marco who worked for years to create a Reddit app that felt perfectly at home on iOS.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco This is not some kind of cross-platform thing, no material design mismatched with iOS, anything
⏹️ ▶️ Marco like that. This is a pure iOS app, takes full advantage of the platform, and is super
⏹️ ▶️ Marco fast, it’s smooth, updated all the time. It’s full of powerful features, too. Things like the jump bar
⏹️ ▶️ Marco for quickly jumping between subreddits, they have customizable gestures, color-coded comments, and so
⏹️ ▶️ Marco much more. And you don’t have to take my word for it, because Mac Rumors, Daring Fireball, Mac Stories,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco and iMore, and so many more, have all praised Apollo. And John Gruber, our friend, even said,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco you’re nuts if you don’t try it. And I got to say, I concur. It’s really, really good. So Apollo
⏹️ ▶️ Marco is a free download. And then there’s a pro version for a few bucks if you want to get a custom home screen icon
⏹️ ▶️ Marco or a bunch of other cool features. So our listeners can also get a free ATP themed
⏹️ ▶️ Marco home screen icon by going to the about section, shaking the device and entering ATP
⏹️ ▶️ Marco into the secret dialogue is actually a nice little Easter rig just for all of you out there. That’s pretty
⏹️ ▶️ Marco awesome. So once again, go to the About section, shake your phone, and enter ATP in the secret dial that comes
⏹️ ▶️ Marco up. So check it out today at ApolloApp.io slash ATP.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Once again, that’s ApolloApp.io slash ATP. It is a fantastic app. definitely
⏹️ ▶️ Marco go check out Apollo.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco If you use Reddit at all, or if you think you might want to use Reddit, go do it in Apollo. It’s so much better than everything else out
⏹️ ▶️ Marco there. I’ve got to say, I love Apollo. I’ve heard wonderful things about it from everybody who’s ever used it. So check it out today,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco ApolloApp.io. Thank you so much to Apollo for sponsoring our show.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey So remember, like, I don’t know, a month or two ago when Marco and John said, hey, you
⏹️ ▶️ Casey know you should really ship that app before WWDC. And then like a week or two ago, Mark
⏹️ ▶️ Casey Erman and crew came out with a post that said, Hey, guess what’s included in iOS 13. You
⏹️ ▶️ Casey can update images for each other using iMessage and blah, blah, blah. And then Marco and John
⏹️ ▶️ Casey said, dude, you’ve really got to ship that app before WWDC.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey Well, guess what has quietly been in the app store since Sunday and is loudly, I don’t
⏹️ ▶️ Casey know, been in the app store since today, which is to say today was when I tried to do my big full
⏹️ ▶️ Casey press embargo or full press press, if you will. Vignette, which is the name of
⏹️ ▶️ Casey my contact picture updating app is out. It’s in the app store. It
⏹️ ▶️ Casey is, it has been bought at least once. Of course, Apple hasn’t told me how many times it’s been bought yet
⏹️ ▶️ Casey because it’s still today, but so far so good. So
⏹️ ▶️ Casey I’m, I’m pretty darn pleased. I am still like twitching
⏹️ ▶️ Casey both out of excitement and stress. I still have been boinging off the walls all day
⏹️ ▶️ Casey and monitoring Twitter and email and everything else. But by
⏹️ ▶️ Casey and large, knocking furiously on glass, because that’s the kind of desk I have,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey this has gone better than I would have expected. And the coverage has been better than I would have ever
⏹️ ▶️ Casey dreamed. And so I’m in pretty darn good shape and I’m kind of on cloud nine right now.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey And I’m very tired and very exhausted and just kind of want to… sigh.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco I can imagine. I mean, first things first, big congratulations.
⏹️ ▶️ John Thank you. You hit your deadline, unlike
⏹️ ▶️ John many other developers.
⏹️ ▶️ John, Marco Yeah, and with
⏹️ ▶️ Marco quite a lot to spare, actually, too.
⏹️ ▶️ John You should credit your long experience in the jobby job world with understanding how deadlines work,
⏹️ ▶️ John and even though this was an internal deadline, as we call them in the biz,
⏹️ ▶️ John were both the internal and the external, for WWDC. Yeah,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey I’m really excited. You know, there were some things that I shipped that I wish could have been better or different
⏹️ ▶️ Casey or what have you, but I was able to get Vignette to the point that I felt
⏹️ ▶️ Casey like it was good enough and it was not embarrassing by any means.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey And so I shipped and it actually appeared in the store. It
⏹️ ▶️ Casey was either Saturday evening or Sunday. Actually, I forget exactly when it was. It’s been such a freaking blur for
⏹️ ▶️ Casey the last month. But anyways, it appeared sometime over the weekend.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey And obviously, there’s no way to like hide that, you know, if you had done the appropriately
⏹️ ▶️ Casey performed search, you could have found it. But I didn’t really publicize it at all until 11
⏹️ ▶️ Casey o’clock this morning, Wednesday morning, at which point I had known that Federico
⏹️ ▶️ Casey and team at MacStories were going to write something. Ian and team at Cult of Mac
⏹️ ▶️ Casey were going to write something. And that was the only real coverage I I was aware of that
⏹️ ▶️ Casey I knew was like pending, but it actually got covered in a couple other places, which is really, really,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey really exciting. And I’m really glad that I shipped. I’m glad I shipped with a week and a half to spare, which
⏹️ ▶️ Casey really doesn’t seem like a lot, but I tell you what, a week and a half ago, I wasn’t so sure
⏹️ ▶️ Casey I was gonna make it by WWDC at all. And all kidding aside, like easily a
⏹️ ▶️ Casey month ago, I didn’t think I was gonna make it by DubDub. I had hoped to and had kind
⏹️ ▶️ Casey of planned to, but it wasn’t that big a deal at that point. I didn’t think it was that big a
⏹️ ▶️ Casey deal if I didn’t. And so I am extremely thankful to the both of you, amongst others, but especially
⏹️ ▶️ Casey to the both of you for pushing me to ship, for making the app better in many, many, many ways, particularly you, Marco,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey as we discussed last week, spending basically an entire morning wordsmithing the entire app.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey But no, this was a lot of work, particularly in the last month, more
⏹️ ▶️ Casey than it probably seems like it should be since the app seems so simple on the surface. But
⏹️ ▶️ Casey it is out. I’ve shipped, as some people in Slack that the three of us are in have said, you know,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey hey, even—not that they were being mean in any way, shape, or form—but they’re saying, you know, even let’s say
⏹️ ▶️ Casey it was a festering turd, you still shipped, and that’s something, you know. And they were not trying to say it was
⏹️ ▶️ Casey a festering turd. They were just saying, hey, no matter what, you shipped. And that’s a lot more than
⏹️ ▶️ Casey some developers can say. And I’m trying not to lose sight. Well, I say that as though I’m upset or something. But I’m trying to
⏹️ ▶️ Casey remind myself that even as I’m getting a bug report or a crash report or something like that, you know what? It’s out there.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey And I’ve seen more good feedback than bad. And that’s about all I can hope for.
⏹️ ▶️ John I want to remind the audience, this is not the first app you’ve shipped. I mean, every app is a struggle to get shipped for sure. But
⏹️ ▶️ John you’ve shipped an app on the App Store before. So you still got it.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Still got it. Well, and also, we got some interesting feedback from somebody who wished to remain anonymous.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco I don’t have it in front of me, so forgive me if I’m misparaphrasing this, but it was somebody
⏹️ ▶️ Marco who is an app developer, but has no public persona. They keep a low
⏹️ ▶️ Marco profile intentionally, and they were saying how it’s actually hard
⏹️ ▶️ Marco to release, especially your first high profile app, when you are
⏹️ ▶️ Marco a high profile person, a high
⏹️ ▶️ Marco profile app developer. And so saying how that’s actually much more intimidating because your audience
⏹️ ▶️ Marco will expect more from you because you’re a public person. Whereas if you’re kind of
⏹️ ▶️ Marco keeping a low profile in private, you can release a bunch of crap and nobody knows about it.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco And eventually you’ll get better, but at the time anybody might know who you are, you’re better
⏹️ ▶️ Marco at it. But you didn’t have that luxury. some
⏹️ ▶️ Marco people might not consider or appreciate fully. Like putting your name on something
⏹️ ▶️ Marco like this and putting it out there is always a risk when you have an existing audience. You have much
⏹️ ▶️ Marco more scrutiny on you than the average person. You should not lose, I’m sure you haven’t lost track of
⏹️ ▶️ Marco that, but I wanted to call it out as like, that’s a pretty cool thing to do. It’s a bold
⏹️ ▶️ Marco move and it’s really putting yourself out there in a way that takes
⏹️ ▶️ Marco a bit more risk than most people would.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey it. I appreciate that. And yeah, and that’s why I was so scared of releasing this
⏹️ ▶️ Casey for so long. And I mean, I’m still to some degree scared and it’s already out there, but nevertheless,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey you know, Fast Text was basically garbage. Like I knew that when
⏹️ ▶️ Casey I released it, but at the time in which I released Fast Text, nobody knew who I was. I mean, it may be
⏹️ ▶️ Casey that John literally did not know who I was. I forget what the timeline was, but that might’ve been before I met John. That’s
⏹️ ▶️ Casey how long ago Fast Text was. So releasing hot garbage was fine because I
⏹️ ▶️ Casey wasn’t even on the radar, much less a blip on the radar. But now, with that
⏹️ ▶️ Casey sting of Fast Text still somewhat there, now it’s a whole new ballgame.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey And if I had released something that wasn’t at least pretty good, I think I would have
⏹️ ▶️ Casey heard about it. And that’s That’s why I was so petrified to ship.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey I think, again, that the encouragement from you guys, encouragement
⏹️ ▶️ Casey slash demand from you guys, and the Bloomberg report,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey I think really got me to just push past that fear and just ship.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey I did sleep okay last night, but I was losing my junk all day today from
⏹️ ▶️ Casey the moment I woke up until the moment I put up the blog post. And, and as I’m watching the tweets come by,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey you know, there was a wave of like, just congratulations, which was awesome. And that, well, and then that wave lasted
⏹️ ▶️ Casey several hours. And then there was like right around my dinner time, there was like a wave of, Oh, I’ve got a crash or, Oh,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey this app sucks or Oh, why $5 and this and that. And I was really starting to feel down on myself, but then I thankfully
⏹️ ▶️ Casey got another wave of like congratulations and compliments and so on. And so I’m feeling good again, but, uh,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey but yeah, it’s been, it’s been a rollercoaster. I mean, I am, I am
⏹️ ▶️ Casey extremely lucky to be able to, as an independent person, release an app to the app store and
⏹️ ▶️ Casey have anyone notice it, much less get coverage from Mac stories from Cult of Mac.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey I actually got written up on TechCrunch, which I didn’t expect in a million years. Like that was a
⏹️ ▶️ Casey total surprise to me. And, and that was extremely flattering. And the writeup was good. You know,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey I was really expecting one of these writeups to be like, well, you You know, the app is kind of amateur
⏹️ ▶️ Casey hour, but it does what it says on the tin, so I guess that’s good, right? But I didn’t really see any
⏹️ ▶️ Casey of that. You know, everyone seemed to be fairly complimentary, and that makes me feel real good
⏹️ ▶️ Casey because, you know, this is the first real thing I’ve done, soup to nuts,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey since FastText. When I was at my jobby job, I was still working on an app that was
⏹️ ▶️ Casey released to the store, but it was an app that had been around for, I don’t know, literally six or seven years or something like that.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey There was a lot of cruft there. There was a lot of garbage in it. And, and, you know, some of that was by design.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey Some of it wasn’t. I had a team of QA people to make sure that if I shipped something, it wasn’t
⏹️ ▶️ Casey garbage, you know, they were there. And there were one of the things that developers know, and I think this isn’t, this is true
⏹️ ▶️ Casey of other kinds of jobs as well, but particularly with developers, it’s easy if you ship as a developer
⏹️ ▶️ Casey to be like, Oh, well, you know, that bug leaked out, but that’s QA’s fault. That’s not my fault. And when QA
⏹️ ▶️ Casey is you and the developer is you and the designer is sort of you. You have no one to blame, but
⏹️ ▶️ Casey guess what? You.” And so I was super scared,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey and I’m really glad that it’s been reasonably well-received. And it’s not without flaws and bugs and problems.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey I’m not trying to say the thing’s perfect, but it’s been received
⏹️ ▶️ Casey better than I ever could have imagined, and I am so unbelievably thankful for that. I’m so unbelievably thankful for the audience
⏹️ ▶️ Casey that I have that has at least looked at the app. I’ve had several people write in and say, hey, you know what? isn’t for me, but I still
⏹️ ▶️ Casey threw you a fiver just because I like you.” Like how fricking complimentary is that? Seriously, like that’s super awesome.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey And I really appreciate that. And so I am, I, it was a burden. I don’t
⏹️ ▶️ Casey know if burden is what I’m looking for, but it was, it comes and it carries with it
⏹️ ▶️ Casey a lot of weight when someone with an audience, as you were saying, Marco, when someone with an audience releases
⏹️ ▶️ Casey something. And it’s, and doubly so when it’s something that’s in my wheelhouse, right? Like if I release a crappy
⏹️ ▶️ Casey car video, well, whatever, you know, he’s just a nerdy developer, of course he releases a crappy car video.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey But if I release a crappy iOS app, like that’s a problem because that’s allegedly what I did
⏹️ ▶️ Casey for a living and what I now again do for a living. And so
⏹️ ▶️ Casey it was so stressful and so scary and it still is stressful and scary but it so far has gone
⏹️ ▶️ Casey better than I ever could have imagined and I am so unbelievably thankful for it.
⏹️ ▶️ John Can we talk about some of the things that we didn’t get to talk about when the app was I guess there’s only two that spring to mind.
⏹️ ▶️ John One is the name of the app and the other is the icon.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey Okay. Where would you like to start? Well, how’d you pick the name? I believe
⏹️ ▶️ Casey if memory serves, well, it started life as Gravatar Fetcher because the genesis of
⏹️ ▶️ John Oh God, I’m glad I didn’t know that.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco You haven’t heard Analog yet. No. Yeah, by the way, anybody who wants to hear a lot more about this should also
⏹️ ▶️ Marco listen to this week’s episode of Analog, which we will link to in the show notes, where you and Mike go into great detail
⏹️ ▶️ Marco about some of these things, some of the feelings associated with them, etc. And we are going to cover some of the same ground here, but I wanted to
⏹️ ▶️ Marco also refer people to that.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey Yeah, the idea with Analog was, I knew full well that we would be recording this very show,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey you know, the evening of release, but the idea from that episode of Analog, which is episode 157,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey is that I was trying, or we were trying to kind of cover, what does it feel like on the precipice
⏹️ ▶️ Casey of release, you know, the day before release. And so we recorded that yesterday as I sit here now.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey And so you’ll hear a lot of the feelings of like, what do I expect? And what am I, what am I looking forward to?
⏹️ ▶️ Casey And here we can, you know, cover whatever nerdy stuff you want and some of the same stuff as well. Uh, to go back to what you
⏹️ ▶️ Casey were saying though, John, you know, the, the name. So I started with Gravatar Fetcher because it was just like a.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey Internal quote unquote, like code name for what does this thing do? And this all started with me thinking,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey you know, I bet a lot of my contacts have Gravatar’s and, and sidebar, if you’re not familiar with Gravatar
⏹️ ▶️ Casey as a service that I believe is owned by the WordPress people now, but it was independent years ago. And it’s
⏹️ ▶️ Casey supposed to be a globally, I don’t know if unique is the right word, but a globally like recognizable avatar.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey So it’s associated with your email. And so, you know, once you verify that you are, you know,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey so on at so on.com, then you can upload your avatar and then services all across the web
⏹️ ▶️ Casey can, can use that avatar easily. You know, there’s no like cost, the API is super
⏹️ ▶️ Casey straightforward. It’s really easy. And so this whole app started is just a proof of concept. Like, can I replace
⏹️ ▶️ Casey a lot of these contact images in my phone with stuff from Gravatar? And it turned out
⏹️ ▶️ Casey I could. And then once Gravatar Fetcher extended beyond just
⏹️ ▶️ Casey Gravatar, then I needed to start worrying about, OK, what’s the name? And so if memory serves, I’d
⏹️ ▶️ Casey looked at the Mac OS dictionary, really, Thesaurus, and started with, I think, Portrait
⏹️ ▶️ Casey or something like that, or maybe Avatar. But I think I started with Portrait and was trying to figure out, OK, what’s a more unique
⏹️ ▶️ Casey and interesting name or word than portrait for something that is basically a portrait.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey And what I ended up with was vignette. And Mike had given me a lot of grief about this, justifiably so,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey because it is a little weird to spell since it’s a, as far as I know, it’s a French word that’s been sucked into
⏹️ ▶️ Casey English. I know there’s a term for that. I don’t remember what it is. Theft? Yes, theft.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey But I liked the, I liked the name. I liked that it was kind
⏹️ ▶️ Casey of cutesy and clever and kind of indicated what the app does, even though it’s not
⏹️ ▶️ Casey directly what the app does because a vignette is like a style of photograph. But I like the
⏹️ ▶️ Casey name. I think it’s a pretty good name. John, I am happy to hear your complaints about the name at this
⏹️ ▶️ John I’m just, like how many other apps are there that are called vignette? I know they probably won’t be
⏹️ ▶️ John, Marco exactly called
⏹️ ▶️ John vignette, but I’m amazed that that name was, the app store still enforces name uniqueness, doesn’t it?
⏹️ ▶️ Casey Well, so vignette with no other words around it was taken, But Vignette-update
⏹️ ▶️ Casey not. So yeah, so there are some other apps called Vignette something, something, something.
⏹️ ▶️ John Would you have done the hyphen thing anyway, even if it was available? Because everybody does the thing where you
⏹️ ▶️ John put extra words after the name of your app nowadays, right?
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Well, so officially you aren’t supposed to do that anymore. And they added a field, like
⏹️ ▶️ Marco a subtitle field, two years ago or last year to let you put like podcast player in
⏹️ ▶️ Marco the subtitle field. But in practice, tons of apps still keyword spam their titles,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco and it doesn’t seem to be actually enforced at all. Like for instance, one of my competitors is
⏹️ ▶️ Marco no longer called CastBox. It is now called Podcast Player CastBox. Nice.
⏹️ ▶️ John There’s a line between keyword spamming your title and just
⏹️ ▶️ John adding descriptions. So I would say Podcast Player CastBox is not artful, but it’s not
⏹️ ▶️ John keyword spamming. They just wanted to get podcast and player in there. Fine. Another example would be
⏹️ ▶️ John Twitterific for Twitter. So the word Twitter is in the title. It’s not elegant, but
⏹️ ▶️ John it’s not the same as just putting a bunch of keywords strewn at the end of your thing or making some
⏹️ ▶️ John nonsensical sense. I feel like you’re allowed to have like one or two other words. So what is vignette again? It’s
⏹️ ▶️ John, Casey Update context
⏹️ ▶️ John picks, if I’m not mistaken. Not picks. You’re not using this. I saw that you did that. You’re not using the subtitle
⏹️ ▶️ John, Casey field, right?
⏹️ ▶️ Casey No, I am. Pretty sure. God, what does it say in there? It’s such a blur. I’ll have to look it up. But yeah, I believe I
⏹️ ▶️ Casey am. Some, it says something or other. I forget exactly. Something like get rid of your gray circles or something like that. Let me,
⏹️ ▶️ John All right. And the icon. I guess, and the icon ties obviously into the color scheme of the app. But you
⏹️ ▶️ John can take them both at the same time.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey Yeah, so the color scheme was, this is actually, I’m hopeful that Marco, you
⏹️ ▶️ Casey did catch this on analog, because I thought it was funny. Hopefully you did too. But anyways, the color scheme thought was,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey OK, I’m going to do blue, because blue is my favorite color, because I’m boring, and I really like blue, and there’s a lot of different
⏹️ ▶️ Casey shades of blue you can use. And so I’m going to do blue. And then I thought for a half second about it. Nope,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey the entire app store is blue. So that’s not going to work. So then I thought, OK, well, where am I going to go from here?
⏹️ ▶️ Casey I don’t really have any particular preferences. So I don’t know. My alma mater is Virginia
⏹️ ▶️ Casey Tech. Their colors, like it or not, are maroon and orange. Ooh, orange is nice.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey It’s lovely, but it’s loud, and it’s remarkable. And pretty much
⏹️ ▶️ Casey, John definition of it. And no one else uses orange, right? And nobody else. Ah, crap.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey, Marco So that was going to be,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey and this entire conversation I had in my head in the span of like five minutes, but I was about to start
⏹️ ▶️ Casey using orange, and then it occurred to me, oh, nope, nope, nope, nope. That’s not going to work at all, is it?
⏹️ ▶️ Casey So, and then that left me with, well, if you have Chicago maroon and burnt orange, well, that leaves you with
⏹️ ▶️ Casey Chicago maroon. And I think I did tweak it slightly from the official Virginia Tech color, you know, hex code or whatever, but
⏹️ ▶️ Casey ultimately it boils down to, it was something that has some amounts of meaning to me. It’s a color that
⏹️ ▶️ Casey I don’t recall having seen many other places, I don’t personally see it as purple, although
⏹️ ▶️ Casey I can totally understand if you do. And it’s not too in your face, but it’s
⏹️ ▶️ Casey not, you know, just straight up vanilla UI kit, black and white and blue either. So I’m
⏹️ ▶️ Casey happy with it. I mean, we’ll see if I’m happy with it in a week, a month, a year, but I thought it was unique and interesting
⏹️ ▶️ Casey enough while not being in your face enough to cause problems.
⏹️ ▶️ John Yeah, I actually like it. And the icon?
⏹️ ▶️ Casey The icon, right. So the icon was my idea, but a friend of mine’s execution.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey So what I was going for was, right. The instructions from my friend, Stee was, Hey, how
⏹️ ▶️ Casey about like a Rolodex? And then the card that you can see is one of those
⏹️ ▶️ Casey generic, like avatar, you know, like a placeholder avatar. And that that’s all
⏹️ ▶️ Casey I told him. And he came up with this icon, which I love. Like I was expecting to do like what
⏹️ ▶️ Casey we did to the icon factory and going back and forth 300 times with Ste about, you know, no,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey it’s tweak this a little bit. No, no, no, no, no, no, no, tweak, no, shimmy it to the left a little bit. No,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey, John the head. You wanted
⏹️ ▶️ John that, I was available.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Yeah, I was gonna say, we? I don’t know about we. What John did to the Icon Factory.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey That’s true, that’s true. Marco and I were pretty, pretty easy.
⏹️ ▶️ John looking at, looking at this icon, though, like I’m wondering, you know, how, depending
⏹️ ▶️ John on your age, you may look at this icon and have no idea what a Rolodex is
⏹️ ▶️ John and see it as a weird laptop, right?
⏹️ ▶️ Casey That’s one option. I also saw somebody say, and I don’t have the tweet in front of me, but something along the lines
⏹️ ▶️ Casey of, and I think they were joking because it wasn’t said like in anger from what I could tell, but they said something like,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey I cannot unsee this as somebody in bed pulling the covers up or something like that, which
⏹️ ▶️ Casey now that I’m looking at it again, I could totally understand. That’s a
⏹️ ▶️ John big headboard and a short bed, yeah. I think laptop is probably the primary thing. But I never,
⏹️ ▶️ John you know, I didn’t, it always read as Rolodex to me, but I’m super old, right?
⏹️ ▶️ John, Marco But now that I look at it real closely,
⏹️ ▶️ John I’m like, are kids going to think that’s a laptop? And if they do, fine. Like, I mean, the important thing in it
⏹️ ▶️ John is the head and shoulders, like the silhouette, right? That reminds you that it’s the thing that you do
⏹️ ▶️ John for pictures of people. And everything else doesn’t really matter that much. But yeah.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey Yeah, I like it. I think it works. I take your point about for younger people, it probably
⏹️ ▶️ Casey doesn’t make any sense. But no, I’m happy with the name for
⏹️ ▶️ Casey now. I’m happy with the colors, the icon. I’m really happy with the whole app. Not to say there’s not problems.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey There are plenty of problems. And if you’d like, we can start talking about some of the things I’ve seen. But
⏹️ ▶️ Casey so far, overall, the launch has been incredible. And I am so incredibly, incredibly lucky
⏹️ ▶️ Casey to have this show, to talk about the app, to have this audience, to download
⏹️ ▶️ Casey the app. Whether or not you pay for it, just to download it is tremendous and is a real honor to
⏹️ ▶️ Casey have a listener spend their time looking at it, much less to throw $5 or whatever the equivalent
⏹️ ▶️ Casey in your local currency is, that’s extremely kind. So now I get to wait for one
⏹️ ▶️ Casey or more days. I don’t know, Marco, you tell me to figure out how much, if any, money I’ve made. It’s funny because
⏹️ ▶️ Casey to the sales— Tomorrow. Well, you say that, but if I go to the sales and trends thing in App Store Connect—now,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey again, the app was quietly live since Saturday or Sunday. Sales and trends says, you don’t
⏹️ ▶️ Casey have any sales yet, which is mildly alarming. However, if I go to App Analytics, it says
⏹️ ▶️ Casey that I’ve earned something like 50 bucks. So $72, but that was prior to the big launch
⏹️ ▶️ Casey today. In fact, that’s only through, I don’t know, like the first day or two. So I’m hopeful
⏹️ ▶️ Casey that some way, somehow, I will be able to see some feedback soon. But, you know, like I said, I couldn’t believe
⏹️ ▶️ Casey I got, well, I shouldn’t say that. I was hoping that Federico and team would pick up on this,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey but you know, I didn’t like actively ask them. I did the thing that you should never do, which I never asked for any coverage,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey but I didn’t expect, you know, them to say, do anything. I didn’t expect Holt and Mac. And then I certainly didn’t expect, you
⏹️ ▶️ Casey know, 9to5 or TechCrunch or anyone else. So that was a tremendous, tremendous gift.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco No, but you know, it’s, like you were very thankful and analog to all the people who
⏹️ ▶️ Marco helped you or all your friends and everything.
⏹️ ▶️ John Gratitude, am I right, Marco?
⏹️ ▶️ Marco, John I know, right? You’re
⏹️ ▶️ Marco being very humble, and that’s nice, and that’s because you’re a nice person.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco But really, no, and I mean this honestly, like you’ve said a lot, like how, oh, you’re just lucky
⏹️ ▶️ Marco to have access to these people and no one else has access, and you know, You’re trying to avoid privilege
⏹️ ▶️ Marco types of arguments, I’m sure. But the reality is you’ve been working
⏹️ ▶️ Marco and building these relationships for years and it wasn’t out of self-interest of like,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco someday, they’re going to do a favor for me. Like, you’re just a friendly guy. You are like, you
⏹️ ▶️ Marco are friends with everybody. And you actually, you actually talk to people and
⏹️ ▶️ Marco listen to people and you actually write down their birthdays in their car, in your
⏹️ ▶️ Marco, Casey contact records and everything. Like, you
⏹️ ▶️ Marco care, you’re a friendly guy, you keep up relationships, and so, and
⏹️ ▶️ Marco you have been friendly and have kept up relationships since long before you had anything
⏹️ ▶️ Marco that any of these people could do for you. So, you’ve earned that. Like,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco don’t feel bad about that, don’t downplay that, you know, don’t brush off all of what you’ve
⏹️ ▶️ Marco worked for with all these relationships, that’s like, well, you know, I’m just lucky. No, it is, I mean, you’ve been lucky in some ways,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco but you also have maintained and built tons of relationships over time just
⏹️ ▶️ Marco to be friendly. And that’s nothing to disregard
⏹️ ▶️ Marco or to downplay. There’s nothing wrong with being friendly to people and sometimes it pays off in ways
⏹️ ▶️ Marco that you might not have thought when you first started being friendly. But that’s not why you were being friendly.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey Yeah, I totally hear you and that’s very kind of you to say. And I agree and it’s funny too because- You’re
⏹️ ▶️ Marco way more friendly than me and John.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey I don’t know about that. I also got really lucky because a
⏹️ ▶️ Casey lot of these people that I was genuinely friendly with have gone on to be kind of important people in our
⏹️ ▶️ Casey industry. A great example of this is I think, Marco, you and I met Matthew Panzarino
⏹️ ▶️ Casey at about the same time at WWDC in 2011. It just so happened that I got to hang
⏹️ ▶️ Casey with him a little bit. At that point, he was with, oh crap, The Next Web. Not
⏹️ ▶️ Casey to say he wasn’t doing a good job at The Next Web or that he wasn’t a – I don’t I think I knew he was a rising
⏹️ ▶️ Casey star, but in retrospect, I think it was clear he was a rising star. But now, he’s editor-in-chief of TechCrunch of all places.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey And it wasn’t Matthew that wrote the article on Vignette, but nevertheless, that
⏹️ ▶️ Casey was a really good gamble. I don’t mean to make it sound like I didn’t want to be friendly with Matthew, but
⏹️ ▶️ Casey it turned out it was a good and lucky gamble that I wanted and chose to be friendly with Matthew and that
⏹️ ▶️ Casey we’ve kept up over all these years because it turns out he’s really important. And when I met this guy, John Siracusa,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey in line at the keynote, I knew who he was and I wanted to meet him and I wanted to be friendly with him, but who
⏹️ ▶️ Casey knew two or three years later we’d be on a podcast together. So I take your point and I think you’re
⏹️ ▶️ Casey right. I like to think that I have put in the work in pretty much every measure, both the work in Xcode,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey the work with these relationships, the work with marketing. I like to think I’ve put in the work, but nevertheless,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey I do want to recognize that I’ve been extremely lucky. It’s a little of both, right? That’s how life usually works.
⏹️ ▶️ John Being nice to people. It seems like a terrible idea, but sometimes it pays off. Who knew? Top tip.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey It turns out being nice ain’t so terrible. But yeah, so I think it’s worth
⏹️ ▶️ Casey at least briefly touching on what the reaction has been in a more specific way
⏹️ ▶️ Casey because I didn’t know what to expect from the greater populace, you
⏹️ ▶️ Casey know, to whatever definition that may mean when this got into the hands of, you know,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey of listeners and regular people and not, you know, my nerd friends. And I was hoping that
⏹️ ▶️ Casey there wouldn’t be a whole lot of crashes. Cause I know I knew when I know that I feel like there’s
⏹️ ▶️ Casey some memory issue somewhere that I haven’t quite licked yet. And that is something I’ve been, I’ve been improving,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey but still working, working around for the last couple of weeks. Um, so I knew that there were probably going to be some
⏹️ ▶️ Casey crashes here and there, and there were, and that was okay for the most part, but it was the thing
⏹️ ▶️ Casey that I didn’t expect that I wish I had realized before I shipped that
⏹️ ▶️ Casey really came up and bit me. Well, maybe that’s an exaggeration. But the thing that I didn’t expect
⏹️ ▶️ Casey was how many people would want to integrate with Facebook
⏹️ ▶️ Casey in an easier way than I’m allowing it. So let me explain a little bit. When I
⏹️ ▶️ Casey had iOS like seven or six, I don’t even know what version it was. There was a window of of time where iOS
⏹️ ▶️ Casey would allow you to do kind of what Vignette does with Facebook and with Twitter. And I allowed
⏹️ ▶️ Casey it to update my contact pictures and information and whatnot from Facebook and Twitter. And one of the things that
⏹️ ▶️ Casey that process did was it threw these weird Facebook URLs into
⏹️ ▶️ Casey any contact it could match. And those URLs were in the form of fb colon slash
⏹️ ▶️ Casey slash profile slash and a bunch of numbers. And that’s your profile ID for that particular user. And
⏹️ ▶️ Casey that’s what I wrote Vignette against. Because I figured, oh, there’s got to be a lot of people that have this sort of thing
⏹️ ▶️ Casey in their contact list. And then I already have, you know, the globally unique ID. That’s,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey that’s what Facebook needs in order to pull an avatar. So it’s a win-win no problem. Right.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey Well, I shipped and then everyone said, why can’t I put in, you know, Facebook or why can’t I put in like a username
⏹️ ▶️ Casey like Casey lists or, or Marco Armin, which I don’t think you’re on Facebook, but you take my point. Uh, you know, why can’t
⏹️ ▶️ Casey I do that? Which is a completely reasonable question to which I had no very good answer.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey And that has been, I think, that has been the number one piece of feedback outside of, hey, this thing crashed, which
⏹️ ▶️ Casey has happened not very often, but often enough that I’m upset by it. But the number one piece of feedback,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey which I did not expect was, hey, why can’t I put in a Facebook username? And so I was working earlier tonight
⏹️ ▶️ Casey on figuring out a way around that. And unfortunately, but expectedly, I don’t know if there’s that
⏹️ ▶️ Casey much I can really do about it since a lot of people, myself included, have their Facebook profiles
⏹️ ▶️ Casey pretty well on lockdown. way you can get to it is if you’re logged in with a Facebook auth token
⏹️ ▶️ Casey and so on and so forth. So over the next day, I plan to do the best I can
⏹️ ▶️ Casey to get profile images for those who aren’t totally locked down
⏹️ ▶️ Casey but are only providing a username like Zuck or whatever. But it’s something that
⏹️ ▶️ Casey a lot of people have been not complaining isn’t really the word I’m looking for, but asking
⏹️ ▶️ Casey about. A lot of people have been asking about. And that I did not expect. But as But as soon as I started seeing the first reports,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey it was totally like, you know, face palm, oh, of course, I should have spent the time to fix that before
⏹️ ▶️ Casey I launched and I didn’t. And I’m a little upset at myself about that. I think in part because it was just unexpected
⏹️ ▶️ Casey and I should have expected it. But if that’s the most of my problems, it’s still a pretty
⏹️ ▶️ Casey successful launch in my book.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Yeah, I mean, it seems like if you’re going to go for like, if this proves to be worth
⏹️ ▶️ Marco investing a lot more time into, I think obviously like having an actual Facebook login
⏹️ ▶️ Marco integration would be a strong.1 or.5 feature to consider. It’s
⏹️ ▶️ Marco obviously a lot of work, it greatly expands the scope of what the app is doing, but it also would have pretty
⏹️ ▶️ Marco high value. So it’s like, if the app proved to be worth a lot more effort, that’s certainly
⏹️ ▶️ Marco worth strong consideration.
⏹️ ▶️ John So after your launch here, I’m wondering where are your heads at in terms of what
⏹️ ▶️ John are you going to work on for the next release? Are you in a mode where you’re like, well the first thing I got to do is
⏹️ ▶️ John figure out what these 10 crashes are about and solve any memory issues or whatever.
⏹️ ▶️ John Or are you thinking, let me pick, like we were just talking about, pick from the pile of good
⏹️ ▶️ John ideas for features and start working on those, or just start working on the easy
⏹️ ▶️ John ones that are not as complicated as Facebook. Those are just umpteen suggestions. Are you in bug fix mode or are you
⏹️ ▶️ John in ad features mode?
⏹️ ▶️ Casey Honestly, I totally understand the question, but at this point, I’m not even sure yet because I’m still like letting the
⏹️ ▶️ Casey, John over me. You’re
⏹️ ▶️ John in go-to-WWDC mode? Is
⏹️ ▶️ John, Casey that what you’re doing?
⏹️ ▶️ Casey Yeah, to some degree. No, I do hope to get another build out before I go. I mean, there’s no reason I shouldn’t be able to, but
⏹️ ▶️ Casey yeah, to some degree, I feel like I have closed this chapter to just
⏹️ ▶️ Casey use the most overused analogy in the world, but I feel like I need
⏹️ ▶️ Casey just a moment to breathe, and that can be maybe like a day, but after that, I
⏹️ ▶️ Casey really wanna get this Facebook thing squared away. So rather than saying to people,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey well, you have to like put in this like weirdo URL that no normal person
⏹️ ▶️ Casey can know. And that’s hard to discover and blah, blah, blah. At least at that point I can say, well, sorry, they have
⏹️ ▶️ Casey their Facebook profile locked down. But even though I could technically say that right now, it’s not the truth.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey And I’m not the kind of person to lie like that. So I really want to get that Facebook fix out the door.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey Uh, there was a couple of other backgrounding supposedly does not work, which is really weird because I’ve
⏹️ ▶️ Casey tested that a fair bit. So I don’t know if it’s that people are letting it sit in the background for 10 plus minutes,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey in which case iOS will kill the app, if I’m not mistaken. I don’t know if it’s something else
⏹️ ▶️ Casey entirely, but I’ve seen enough reports that backgrounding is broken that I need to take a look at that. So that’s a bug fix.
⏹️ ▶️ John But you’ve got a quick fix to that one, right? Just don’t let it go to sleep?
⏹️ ▶️ Casey that is something that was discussed on a Slack that the three of us are in, which was a tip from Craig Hockenberry,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey which was a brilliant idea. So what Craig was saying was, hey man, you can figure out
⏹️ ▶️ Casey if the device is on battery or not. And you can tell iOS not
⏹️ ▶️ Casey to turn the screen off. There’s an API for this. I did that with Overcast. Yeah, yeah,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey And I’ve actually done that on pet projects in the past. And so I’m familiar with the API, but it
⏹️ ▶️ Casey never clicked to me the combination of, am I on battery or not? And then
⏹️ ▶️ Casey if you’re not, go ahead and turn the sleep timer off. You can also check for low power mode. Oh yeah, that’s another good point. I didn’t
⏹️ ▶️ Casey think about that either. So that’s another great idea that I want to do, probably
⏹️ ▶️ Casey in addition to, if not instead of, a fix for backgrounding.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco I thought of a couple other things, too. Like you could, for instance, if you, so obviously, you should still use the
⏹️ ▶️ Marco background task API.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco, Casey Sure, sure.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Although I hear it’s about to be revamped in iOS 13, so this might stop itself. Interesting. But if you
⏹️ ▶️ Marco use it, you can monitor how much time you have left, even before it calls your
⏹️ ▶️ Marco callback of like, hey, we’re about to kill you,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco, Casey So, you know,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco we’ll wrap things up. But you can monitor how much time you have left. And one approach I’ve seen other apps do
⏹️ ▶️ Marco is you can post a local notification if you’re running low on time.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco pop a little thing for the user to say, hey, I need more time, please go back to the app or something like that, right?
⏹️ ▶️ Marco And then I also thought it would also be an interesting feature idea for you. You know, this is the kind of app
⏹️ ▶️ Marco that you run it once,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco hit it, you update whatever you can, and then you put it in a folder and you forget about it, right?
⏹️ ▶️ Marco I think it might be a good idea to schedule a local notification when you run it.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Schedule one for like three months away. And just to suggest
⏹️ ▶️ Marco like, hey, you want to check for updates?
⏹️ ▶️ Casey That’s a really good idea.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco And you can even do the, I haven’t played with this yet, but iOS 12 introduced the provisional approval
⏹️ ▶️ Marco for notifications such that you’re able to deliver quiet notifications,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco which means they just kind of appear in Notification Center center and don’t cause any alerts
⏹️ ▶️ Marco without asking for permission first.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey Oh, I did not know that. That is interesting. Because it’s funny you bring that up. Because one of the things
⏹️ ▶️ Casey I was about to say to you is, you know, I thought about doing the whole, hey, come back to the app, you’re
⏹️ ▶️ Casey about to expire dance, you know, obviously would rephrase it. But you know, hey, I really need you to wake me back up. Otherwise,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey I’m gonna die. But anyway, I thought about doing that. But I didn’t want to have to prompt for
⏹️ ▶️ Casey notification permission because as far as I knew, you would have to. And I think you’re not saying Marco any different about
⏹️ ▶️ Casey that. But that, that idea of doing it, you know, Hey, three months from now, especially
⏹️ ▶️ Casey if I, if I could do it without having to ask for notifications permission, that would be really great.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey Because I really, I hate onboarding. I hate onboarding so much. And I have two onboarding screens right now,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey and I feel like that’s too, too many, but I didn’t see any way around it. So I really don’t
⏹️ ▶️ Casey want to have a third onboarding screen, which is, Hey, can I I have notification permissions too, just in case you background
⏹️ ▶️ Casey me, just because this takes a while. So if I can avoid it at all costs, I’d like to, but it may
⏹️ ▶️ Casey turn out that I’m not able to avoid it. We’ll see.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Yeah, well, and soon you’re gonna have a third slash fourth one, which is, do you want to log into Facebook?
⏹️ ▶️ Casey Yeah, potentially. I really don’t want to. And actually the other, probably the
⏹️ ▶️ Casey next biggest request that I’ve seen, which I only briefly looked into and did not
⏹️ ▶️ Casey come up with good news, it was, hey, can I use LinkedIn? Which makes perfect sense, because
⏹️ ▶️ Casey of course people would want to use LinkedIn. That’s where all their professional contacts are. You know, Facebook is where all the personal
⏹️ ▶️ Casey contacts are. LinkedIn is where all the professional contacts are. But so far I’ve been able to get around Facebook
⏹️ ▶️ Casey login. And some of my marketing, a lot of my marketing in fact, has been around the fact that you don’t need to log
⏹️ ▶️ Casey in in order to use the app. But with LinkedIn, there is no way that I am aware of to
⏹️ ▶️ Casey get to a profile image without having been logged in. And so if I go
⏹️ ▶️ Casey down the LinkedIn route, then I will absolutely need login. And as I said to a couple of people who had
⏹️ ▶️ Casey asked about it previously, sitting here now, I’m kind of allergic to that. But
⏹️ ▶️ Casey based on the amount of feedback I’ve gotten about, oh, I would really love, like, some people have even said, I would give you more
⏹️ ▶️ Casey money for login, which is not necessarily what I’m planning on doing, but they-
⏹️ ▶️ Casey, Marco No, you should do that.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey But yeah, yeah, but just to say, this is how important login is to me. And that’s surprising,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey but if that’s what the people want, then that’s what the people should get,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey, Marco right? Well,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco the whole value of this app is in automatically finding pictures of people so you don’t have to manually
⏹️ ▶️ Marco put them all in. And for a lot of people, how many that finds is going to depend significantly
⏹️ ▶️ Marco on whether it supports logins to certain services. And so, like, and you don’t even, you know, I said that a second
⏹️ ▶️ Marco ago, that it would be an onboarding thing, but it wouldn’t have to be. Like, one thing is, one way you could do it is
⏹️ ▶️ Marco don’t even prompt people during the onboarding process. Wait for them to do their first search, and then
⏹️ ▶️ Marco like, in the footer, below the first search results, you can say, want to find more
⏹️ ▶️ Marco results? Connect your Facebook or LinkedIn accounts. And then prompt them, and then you just have it in the settings screen for
⏹️ ▶️ Marco other access, too. So you wouldn’t have to make it an annoying thing during onboarding, you could
⏹️ ▶️ Marco make it an after the search thing of, hey, by the way, you can also do this.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey Yeah, that’s a really good point, actually. I hadn’t thought of it that way. Yeah, I like that.
⏹️ ▶️ John I was joking in Slack today, but the more I think about it, the more I feel like it might work, although I don’t necessarily
⏹️ ▶️ John recommend prioritizing this over the other things you’re discussing, is the ultimate fallback for where
⏹️ ▶️ John can I find an image of this person is to do a Google search, Google image search for their full name
⏹️ ▶️ John and just pick the first result. Obviously, that only works for people who have
⏹️ ▶️ John their name next to a photo of themselves with a reasonable SEO on the web. And
⏹️ ▶️ John lots of people have the same name, and if your name is say, David Smith, you’re probably out of luck.
⏹️ ▶️ John But, you know, it’s an ultimate fault. Like, when you’ve exhausted everything else, they didn’t want
⏹️ ▶️ John to sign up for Facebook, They don’t have any info about Twitter or anything. You’ve got nothing? Why the hell not?
⏹️ ▶️ John It’s just another web request. I’m not sure what Google’s API limits are these days, but you’ll
⏹️ ▶️ John probably fall within a reasonable threshold of their free offering, assuming
⏹️ ▶️ John they still have one.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey Yeah, I would think so. And that is an interesting point. I am not confident the results would be good enough to justify
⏹️ ▶️ Casey it, but I totally take your point. And that is worth at least looking into. It
⏹️ ▶️ Marco works for everybody I know. You could even build an API, you can even build a UI of like,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco let people browse their contacts that don’t have pictures, and
⏹️ ▶️ Marco they can tap on it, and you could pop up, push a little control over, and you can actually show
⏹️ ▶️ Marco the first 20 Google search results for it. And then let them pick. That
⏹️ ▶️ Marco avoids a whole bunch of problems, and naturally throttles it to whatever. Because if a
⏹️ ▶️ Marco person has 10,000 contacts, automated. But if
⏹️ ▶️ Marco it’s a one-by-one thing, not only do you solve the quality and correctness issue very, very well,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco but it totally avoids, or mostly avoids, the API issues that you might hit. Paul
⏹️ ▶️ John Matz And by the way, David, underscore David Smith is on the third page of Google image search
⏹️ ▶️ John results for David Smith.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey David Smith That’s surprising. Paul
⏹️ ▶️ John Matz Lots of David Smiths out there. David
⏹️ ▶️ Casey Smith Turns out, who knew? Anyway, but yeah, I mean, if you guys have other questions,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey I’m happy to continue to discuss, but I think we’ve covered most of it. But yeah, I’m one more time
⏹️ ▶️ Casey for the people in the back. Thank you to anyone who’s even downloaded the app, much less, you know, used it and sent me
⏹️ ▶️ Casey a few bucks for it. My hope, you know, to kind of go back to what I think was John was
⏹️ ▶️ Casey asking, you know, what’s the plan from here? You know, not having seen whether this is financially worthwhile or not, just to
⏹️ ▶️ Casey make myself feel better, I hope to, you know, get some of this low hanging fruit. My plan for
⏹️ ▶️ Casey WWDC is to attack whatever engineer is willing and able to help me
⏹️ ▶️ Casey look at my memory usage and see if I can get that slimmed down a bit. I’ve done a lot of work to try to get the memory usage
⏹️ ▶️ Casey to be as good as I can, but it’s clear to me that I’m not doing something right, or
⏹️ ▶️ Casey perhaps I’m doing something that has bitten me accidentally one way or the other.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey I need to work on getting memory usage down. So if you are an instruments expert,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Are you doing image thumbnailing or image processing or loading
⏹️ ▶️ Casey Yes, I am, but that’s on the save side. It was originally done as part of the search.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey During the search, if I came up with an image, I would also resize it to be less than the magic 220 kilobytes.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey But now I do that at save time, and yes, both searching and saving is done in parallel.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco parallel. You should probably serialize that onto like two queues, or a
⏹️ ▶️ Marco queue with a limit of two operations at once.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey Why do you say that?
⏹️ ▶️ Marco The image processing can balloon RAM usage and
⏹️ ▶️ Marco if you have this running on a concurrent queue, so you can do a whole bunch of them in parallel,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco the modern processors of a phone, they might schedule eight of those at once, or ten of those at once. And so you could
⏹️ ▶️ Marco be trying to decode ten JPEGs at once, and that’s going to blow your memory limit, no question.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco But whereas if you serialize that, then you can say, like, only at most have
⏹️ ▶️ Marco two JPEGs being decoded at any one time, then you will
⏹️ ▶️ Marco dramatically reduce the high watermark of how much memory you could possibly
⏹️ ▶️ John By the way, for the non-developers listening, in case you’re wondering, like, JPEGs are small, what the
⏹️ ▶️ John heck is Marko even talking about? You may not realize that if you want to do anything with that
⏹️ ▶️ John image, have to take the compressed JPEG and uncompress it so you can get
⏹️ ▶️ John bitmap data that you can then manipulate and then recompress into JPEG. And that’s where all your memory goes.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey Not only that, but on Gravatar, it supports friggin huge profile images. In fact, for a
⏹️ ▶️ Casey while, there was a window of time which I tweeted about this, which I won’t be able to find the tweet
⏹️ ▶️ Casey quickly enough to get in the show notes, but I tweeted about how Marco had actually had a friggin huge image and had
⏹️ ▶️ Casey and it caused me to discover a infinite loop that I had created for myself because
⏹️ ▶️ Casey, John was helpful.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey, Marco You’re welcome. So thank you. Yeah,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey exactly. Thank you, Marco. But yeah, like the Gravatar images can be multiple megabytes if you
⏹️ ▶️ Casey ask for the bigger ones, which is fine. That’s not a problem, but it exacerbates
⏹️ ▶️ Casey my problem with memory usage. And I was laughing earlier, Marco, about what you were saying because just earlier today,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey I was talking with a buddy of mine who’s a really good iOS developer, and they were saying, you
⏹️ ▶️ Casey know, I see what you’re doing with the concurrent queues, but you might want to think about doing this serially because X, Y, and Z,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey and a lot of the same things you said. So the moral of the story is, I am sure that there
⏹️ ▶️ Casey are things I can do to tweak this. Another thing I want to dig into is, I tried using auto-release
⏹️ ▶️ Casey pools in a couple of places to try to see if I could brute force my way into lower
⏹️ ▶️ Casey memory usage. I didn’t get good results from that, but I am not confident that I was using
⏹️ ▶️ Casey them the way they should be used. I understand the concept of an auto-release pool, but it’s something that
⏹️ ▶️ Casey I haven’t really had to worry about in the past. So I definitely think that there’s improvements that can be made. And like
⏹️ ▶️ Casey I said, my hope is to spend some time in the labs at WWDC and perhaps,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey you know, ask an Apple person to either learn me how to use instruments or, you
⏹️ ▶️ Casey know, just do some science with me to figure out where this memory usage is.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco I’ll tell you right now, it’s gotta be image decompression. Like that has bitten me so many
⏹️ ▶️ Marco times with podcast artwork. There have been so many overcast bugs or crashers that have resulted from like
⏹️ ▶️ Marco trying to process an image it was way too big, from somebody’s feed artwork, and it’s like 5,000
⏹️ ▶️ Marco by 5,000 or something like that, and you gotta try to figure out how to process that in memory
⏹️ ▶️ Marco on the phone. I’ve gone through a lot of this, and if you can’t just ignore images that
⏹️ ▶️ Marco are that big, which by the way, you can check without loading them. There’s a API for that I can give it to you if you want. It’s some kind
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Yeah, it’s some kind of image provider, core image kind of, it’s like a C API, so
⏹️ ▶️ Marco I don’t know how the hell you call it from Swift, but I’m
⏹️ ▶️ Marco, John sure there’s a way. But yeah,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco so I have a thing now where I check before I even load the
⏹️ ▶️ Marco image, I call this image provider API to see, is it within certain very
⏹️ ▶️ Marco large limits? If it’s above those limits, I won’t even try to load it, because I’ll crash if I do.
⏹️ ▶️ John I’m surprised Marco doesn’t leverage the ultimate power that he has at his disposal,
⏹️ ▶️ John which is server-side software. You don’t need to deal with those images in your
⏹️ ▶️ John You can just tell a service to fetch the image and resize it for you and feed you the
⏹️ ▶️ John tiny image that’s the size you want.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco I have done that. In fact, I still do that for a lot of cases. But
⏹️ ▶️ Marco that has its own problems, and especially costs.
⏹️ ▶️ John Yeah, yeah. Servers aren’t free. It’s weird.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey Anyway, I’m thankful for it. The timing was both great and terrible,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey because there’s some other things that have been released. Today we’ll talk about Panic’s thing
⏹️ ▶️ Casey here in a minute. And I just wanted to give a shout out to my buddy, Jelly, who does the indispensable
⏹️ ▶️ Casey app GifWrapped. And he actually released version, I believe it’s 2.0 today, which has a bunch
⏹️ ▶️ Casey of tremendous and awesome changes in that version. And I’m giving this thanks in part because
⏹️ ▶️ Casey Jelly’s a friend, in part because I really love GifWrapped. It’s on my dock on my iPad and it’s on my first home
⏹️ ▶️ Casey screen on my iPhone. But also the UI on Vignette was,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey it was my work, but Jelly did a lot of heavy lifting to make that
⏹️ ▶️ Casey UI look real good. And so as a thank you to Jelly for all that work,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey I will put a link to gift wrapped in the show notes. Because if you ever use animated gifts
⏹️ ▶️ Casey for anything in your life, you really want that app. And also, Independence is really, really good as
⏹️ ▶️ Casey well. That’s his podcast with Alice Zhao and Curtis Herbert. And it’s a really, really good
⏹️ ▶️ Casey show about trying to make it as an independent app developer. So I would definitely check that out as well.
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⏹️ ▶️ Marco Thank you so much to Boosted for sponsoring our show.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey So, Marco, you went on a patented graycation for the last few days, and if you don’t know what that is, you
⏹️ ▶️ Casey should listen to the other wonderful podcast, Cortex on Real AFM. But basically you
⏹️ ▶️ Casey went by yourself, or I guess with hops, but you went to somewhere to work on AirPlay 2
⏹️ ▶️ Casey stuff. me you sound like you’re in a good mood, so how’s that going?”
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Oh, it totally failed, actually. Lovely!
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Yeah, yeah. So I took a little vacation with just me and my dog and my laptop
⏹️ ▶️ Marco was quite heavy to bring in a suitcase, actually. HomePods weigh a ton. But anyway,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco I’ve been trying to get AirPlay 2 in Overcast for months, and there’s a whole bunch of
⏹️ ▶️ Marco prerequisites to make it work. Like I had to make voice boost to work, which is it’s still not quite done.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco But I had this opportunity to take this vacation for a couple days, so I thought this is a great time to
⏹️ ▶️ Marco do this. I’ll go, I’ll get tons of work done all day, so it’ll just be me and the dog. So you know I’ll have
⏹️ ▶️ Marco nothing else to do except work and take dog walks of course. And so I
⏹️ ▶️ Marco went and this is the first time I’ve ever done anything like this. I’ve wanted to do this for a while, ever since our friend CGP Grey has
⏹️ ▶️ Marco talked about doing this, as you I mentioned on the Cortex podcast, where he will like go on a vacation
⏹️ ▶️ Marco and just like stay in a hotel in a different city and get a ton of work done, just for like a few days.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco It actually was really nice to be able to have that focused work time. I had
⏹️ ▶️ Marco kind of two and a half full days of just like focused work time on AirPlay 2.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco I brought my home pods, I connected them to the rental place’s wifi, set them all
⏹️ ▶️ Marco up as new, like you have to, whenever you change their wifi. AirPlay is not a great thing to
⏹️ ▶️ Marco make portable. But anyway, really wanted to get it done. And I coded like crazy
⏹️ ▶️ Marco on my 13-inch MacBook Pro. Right in the middle of this, the new ones were announced. We’ll
⏹️ ▶️ Marco get to that in a few minutes. And I eventually finished up
⏹️ ▶️ Marco the player. It probably has about three weeks of work in it. That happened before this trip.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Finally finished up the AirPlay 2 compatible player using the API that’s named
⏹️ ▶️ Marco something on the lines of AV sample buffer synchronizer and sample
⏹️ ▶️ Marco buffer renderer. It’s like, there’s only two ways to get AirPlay 2 support. You can use AV player
⏹️ ▶️ Marco or you can use those things. AV player does not support SmartSpeed. And those things,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco you can supply raw sample buffers and so you can do your own processing and everything. And so anyway, as far as I can
⏹️ ▶️ Marco tell, to try to use this API,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco which is not the first time I can say that. It reminds me a lot of doing watch audio stuff, where
⏹️ ▶️ Marco sometimes it feels like I’m the only person doing this. Definitely the whole A-B sample buffer, renderer, render
⏹️ ▶️ Marco synchronizer thing, I definitely feel like I’m the only person to ever have used this, because
⏹️ ▶️ Marco as I learned, it’s really broken when actually running on a HomePod.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco There’s a few things about it that work the way you expect. I mean, if you run it in the simulator, or if you run that
⏹️ ▶️ Marco API as your engine on an iOS device, everything seems to work fine, but then
⏹️ ▶️ Marco once you start sending audio to a HomePod, which starts invoking AirPlay 2 protocol, then
⏹️ ▶️ Marco weird stuff happens. And so I had like one and a half solid
⏹️ ▶️ Marco days of like great work, everything’s going great, this is awesome, and then I got to the point where I could
⏹️ ▶️ Marco run it on the HomePods and just slammed hard into walls everywhere
⏹️ ▶️ Marco I went. and basically then spent the next day hacking, like trying to work
⏹️ ▶️ Marco around problems, trying to work around various issues I was seeing. I
⏹️ ▶️ Marco was just getting nowhere. It was demoralizing, it was frustrating, it was
⏹️ ▶️ Marco just morale crushing and soul crushing. And I felt like all this work was wasted.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco And then I went to bed last night feeling like this, thinking like, well, this whole trip, I really enjoyed
⏹️ ▶️ Marco the dog and the beach part, but the work part was a total failure.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey That is the worst feeling, especially when you go to sleep like that, because there are definitely times where
⏹️ ▶️ Casey I was fighting probably much more simple things with vignette, but nevertheless, I was fighting something with vignette, and I would
⏹️ ▶️ Casey fight with it on and off all day, and then I go to sleep, and it’s still garbage, and I’m tossing and turning, thinking
⏹️ ▶️ Casey about how I’ve written hot garbage or wasted a day working on something that just doesn’t click.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey And hopefully you’re about to tell me that you had some sort of epiphany thereafter, But
⏹️ ▶️ Casey for me, I’ve found that stepping away from it often makes a huge difference. So anything
⏹️ ▶️ Casey better since yesterday?
⏹️ ▶️ Marco So this morning, I woke up and I was kind of going through breakfast and morning
⏹️ ▶️ Marco walk and coffee, and I’m like, all right, what the heck am I gonna do about this? And I decided,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco you know, I don’t live in a vacuum here. Other people make podcast apps.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco What have they done about it? Hmm. And so I decided to go through, I’ll periodically
⏹️ ▶️ Marco survey other podcast apps to see how they do something. Usually, if I’m
⏹️ ▶️ Marco making a new UI for something, for some new feature, usually the way I’ll do it is I’ll go check
⏹️ ▶️ Marco other apps to see how they did a certain UI because I’m really paranoid about accidentally copying
⏹️ ▶️ Marco people. And so I will almost always want to check with other apps to just make sure that the way
⏹️ ▶️ Marco I’m going to do something is not a total ripoff of somebody else. And so anyway, I keep all the
⏹️ ▶️ Marco other podcast apps I can think of on my phone, and I check with them periodically for stuff. So I started playing with
⏹️ ▶️ Marco them with AirPlay 2. I thought, what are they doing? Because the whole reason I want AirPlay 2
⏹️ ▶️ Marco support, there’s two things that AirPlay 2 brings. Number one, much
⏹️ ▶️ Marco faster responsiveness when you hit like play, pause, or seek, you know, when you change anything about the stream.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco AirPlay 1 has a fixed two second latency for all that stuff. So anything
⏹️ ▶️ Marco you do, you know, if you hit play on AirPlay 1, two seconds later it’ll start playing on the speaker. And it’s very
⏹️ ▶️ Marco frustrating, you know, if you you feel like you’re moving through maple syrup. Like responsiveness is a important thing for
⏹️ ▶️ Marco overall happiness of using something and just usability of the thing. So I was never happy with that.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco AirPlay 2 came along and fixes that because it buffers totally differently. And also
⏹️ ▶️ Marco it brought with it multi-room audio support. And so if you have multiple home pods, and there’s
⏹️ ▶️ Marco an increasing number of AirPlay 2 supporting hardware out there. Like there’s way more AirPlay 2 devices now than there were
⏹️ ▶️ Marco six months ago. And I love using AirPlay 2 in my house for music. And for as long as I can
⏹️ ▶️ Marco remember, if your app only supported AirPlay 1, as Overcast does,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco you could send to one AirPlay 2 device, it would send it in AirPlay 1 mode, and you couldn’t send
⏹️ ▶️ Marco to more than one at once. You couldn’t do multi-room or multi-output audio. So anyway, so that’s why
⏹️ ▶️ Marco I wanted to do it at all. And I figured, too, this is the more modern API, my audio engine is based on
⏹️ ▶️ Marco very old core audio APIs, they’re kind of unofficially deprecated, so I want
⏹️ ▶️ Marco to move to something more advanced. at least more current. So I looked at what other podcasts actually
⏹️ ▶️ Marco doing, figuring, well, you know, somehow they have to have solved this problem. Now, if you don’t
⏹️ ▶️ Marco have a feature like SmartSpeed, a silent skipping feature, you
⏹️ ▶️ Marco can use AV player, and so much is taken care of for you. Things like streaming
⏹️ ▶️ Marco are just kind of done automatically for you, and AirPlay 2 is done for you. So if you’re using AV player,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco you basically get AirPlay 2 for free, but you can’t do SmartSpeed, you can’t do
⏹️ ▶️ Marco silent skipping. So I looked at a few apps that I know have
⏹️ ▶️ Marco solid engineering behind them, and I found a few, I found, like, I did some tests, I measured the latency,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco you know, you could tap it, and I measured to see, like, are they actually doing silent skipping or not, which is easy.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Set it to 1x, hit play, start a stopwatch. If it ever, if the timer on the
⏹️ ▶️ Marco podcast player ever passes the stopwatch, you know it’s skipping silences. If it stays
⏹️ ▶️ Marco in lockstep with one second increments the stopwatch, you know it’s not. And so I found one popular app
⏹️ ▶️ Marco that offers silent skipping, but I noticed when you use AirPlay 2 with it,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco it didn’t really do it. It was doing that thing where it stays in lockstep. So it wasn’t really doing, it was just kind of
⏹️ ▶️ Marco silently not doing silent skipping, but it had really responsive controls. It, like, you’d
⏹️ ▶️ Marco hit play, it would play immediately. You’d hit pause, it would pause immediately. Speed up and down, speed adjustments works just
⏹️ ▶️ Marco fine. Like, so it was clearly, like, it was using AirPlay 2 perfectly,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco except it wasn’t really doing silent skipping. So my theory with that player is that
⏹️ ▶️ Marco they were probably like using AV player for AirPlay 2 being active, and
⏹️ ▶️ Marco then when AirPlay 2 wasn’t active, they were switching back to some other API that was able to do their silent skipping.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco And that’s fine, that’s an option. I’m not gonna say that it isn’t an option, but I really don’t wanna do that option. Like I really take
⏹️ ▶️ Marco pride in the fact that all of my audio processing is enabled all the time, whether the file
⏹️ ▶️ Marco is streaming or local, whether it’s AirPlay or Bluetooth or speaker or none of those things,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco I want all the audio effects to apply real time to any file, any input,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco all the time. So I don’t wanna do that option if I can help it, but that is an option to get AirPlay to with the nice responsiveness
⏹️ ▶️ Marco and everything. And then I looked at a couple other apps and one I’ll call
⏹️ ▶️ Marco it here is Castro. I’m calling this out for a reason. It’s a great app. I mean, if
⏹️ ▶️ Marco you like the way they manage episodes, you should use Castro. Anyway, and I noticed Castro,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco when you hit the buttons, it would have the lag of AirPlay 1, where you’re waiting
⏹️ ▶️ Marco about two seconds. If you hit play, you wait two seconds, then it plays. But
⏹️ ▶️ Marco they were also clearly, they had silent skipping working. I measured it and it worked great. But they
⏹️ ▶️ Marco could also send to multiple rooms. That’s why I had to bring two HomePods to be able to
⏹️ ▶️ Marco test this. They could also send them all. So I’m like, how are they doing this? So
⏹️ ▶️ Marco I asked, because I’m friendly with the guys who make cashers. I just asked, I’m like, Hey, you know, if you’re willing to share,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco like what audio API are you using to get AirPlay 2? Because I noticed it’s different
⏹️ ▶️ Marco from some other apps and you’re able to do sound skipping. What are you, what are you doing?
⏹️ ▶️ Casey And let me, let me interrupt you right there. Both the guys that, that do Castro, that write Castro are impossibly,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey impossibly nice guys. And it makes me genuinely happy
⏹️ ▶️ Casey that you guys, the three of you can all talk to each other because
⏹️ ▶️ Casey on the surface you’re competitors. But nevertheless, because you’re all nice people,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey that you are willing to talk to each other about these sorts of things, because as a developer, your
⏹️ ▶️ Casey natural inclination is to hold all of these things secret and not share any of these things. And
⏹️ ▶️ Casey it makes me genuinely happy that you guys are willing and able to share all of this with
⏹️ ▶️ Casey each other. And I think that, that, you know, to kind of repeat what you were saying about me earlier, I think that you, Marco, doing
⏹️ ▶️ Casey the right thing by putting links to Castro amongst other things in the little
⏹️ ▶️ Casey clips feature that you’ve done. I shouldn’t say little, but in the clips feature that you did recently. I think that
⏹️ ▶️ Casey that breeds some of this mutual admiration and respect. And I don’t know, it just makes me really happy
⏹️ ▶️ Casey that rather than being jerks to each other, you guys are so nice. And given that I know the three of you, that is
⏹️ ▶️ Casey not at all surprising. But nevertheless, I just wanted to call out that Castro is a great app
⏹️ ▶️ Casey and they are really genuinely nice guys that write it. And it just makes me happy.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Yeah, and to be fair, you know, we’re not willing to share everything. Like there’s
⏹️ ▶️ Marco, Casey stuff that we all keep
⏹️ ▶️ Marco, John secret from each other. Just
⏹️ ▶️ Marco because like, you know, there’s going on, you know, trade secrets or things that we’re, you know, especially proud of that are tricky, you know, like,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco know, so we don’t, you know, we don’t share everything, but we are very friendly and we will ask you those technical stuff sometimes and, you know, just
⏹️ ▶️ Marco to be like, Hey, how’d you solve this problem? You know, stuff like that. So anyway, the response
⏹️ ▶️ Marco from Castro was, we’re not using AirPlay 2. What?
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Yeah. I was like wait, but how are you sending to multiple rooms? And I verified that I found a couple
⏹️ ▶️ Marco other apps that work the same way. It turns out at some
⏹️ ▶️ Marco point between when AirPlay 2 launched and now,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco iOS was updated such that AirPlay 1 streams can now be
⏹️ ▶️ Marco sent to multiple AirPlay 2 devices at once. What? I don’t know when this happened.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco And at some time between iOS 12 coming out and now, this has now
⏹️ ▶️ Marco been changed, which it doesn’t fix my AirPlay 2
⏹️ ▶️ Marco problem, but it does remove a huge reason why I had to do AirPlay 2 in the first place.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco And given that the API that I have to use if I want SmartSpeed to work properly,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco given that that API is really honestly not ready for production,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco like to give you some idea of the problems I was having. A lot of times you would hit play and just
⏹️ ▶️ Marco nothing would happen. Silence would come out of the speaker. But you’d be reported, like the API would be reporting
⏹️ ▶️ Marco back to you, I’m playing, yep, I’m reaching this time, now I’m at this time, now I’m at this time, and nothing would be playing.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco And if you’d pause, or you could pause it and play and it wouldn’t fix it. If you seeked to
⏹️ ▶️ Marco a different point, then it would fix it. Stuff like that. And also changing the speed,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco the playback speed, just wouldn’t work sometimes. it would keep playing at the old speed, whatever
⏹️ ▶️ Marco its buffer was, and you’d have to manually flush the buffer, pause, wait
⏹️ ▶️ Marco a minute, then send it more audio. It was weird. I was having problems where
⏹️ ▶️ Marco it was reporting the wrong timestamp. Part of what AirPlay 2 does is it buffers
⏹️ ▶️ Marco way out ahead if it can. That way, if your phone loses the stream to the Wi-Fi
⏹️ ▶️ Marco network for a split second, the audio doesn’t skip. So AirPlay 1 would buffer for two seconds.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco AirPlay 2 could buffer for 10 seconds or 30 seconds or a minute. The API is responsible
⏹️ ▶️ Marco for telling the app, even though I have fetched, you know, time range
⏹️ ▶️ Marco one minute to one minute 30 from you, I’m actually currently playing 101, 102, 103.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Like, because otherwise, the only way you know is the app, what it’s playing, is the last thing you sent
⏹️ ▶️ Marco it. But it probably hasn’t gotten there yet. So that whole, that time reporting mechanic for these APIs is very
⏹️ ▶️ Marco important, especially in a podcast app where that matters a lot, So you can keep track of where they are in case they pause and want to resume
⏹️ ▶️ Marco later or whatever else. It matters a lot that you’re getting accurate time back. And I was finding
⏹️ ▶️ Marco with this API, I wasn’t. It would frequently report back to me the wrong
⏹️ ▶️ Marco time, or it would catch up, where it would report to me
⏹️ ▶️ Marco a 10-second progress all at once, like as if I was playing at 10x speed and it all happens in the
⏹️ ▶️ Marco same second, which would throw off my speedometer and the progress bar and everything. So the API,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco the whole render synchronizer and sample buffer renderer API is clearly
⏹️ ▶️ Marco not solid enough for me to build anything shippable on. Believe me, I’ve tried. I’ve tried a lot.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco And I can’t build something shippable on that API right now. So I’m hoping that changes in future updates,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco but I can’t ship it now. But even though this was a totally wasted work trip
⏹️ ▶️ Marco in those ways, I actually learned this great thing this morning of basically, I kind
⏹️ ▶️ Marco of don’t have to support AirPlay 2 yet. And while the two second lag on controls
⏹️ ▶️ Marco really sucks, that doesn’t suck enough to make it worth all
⏹️ ▶️ Marco the downsides and bugginess of this new API I would have to do, or
⏹️ ▶️ Marco to make it worth the sacrifice of losing my effects when I, if I have to like
⏹️ ▶️ Marco swap in AV player and then have to maintain these two parallel player engines, like
⏹️ ▶️ Marco that’s a mess, right? So like both of those options are worse than just leaving it the
⏹️ ▶️ Marco way it is now and just continuing to use AirPlay 1 until conditions change in some other way.
⏹️ ▶️ John Can you briefly explain why you don’t use your audio engine to output to something
⏹️ ▶️ John other than the audio system and then just use AV player to play from your output? That is one option. Like,
⏹️ ▶️ John I mean, you’d lose time tracking and you’d have to report the time tracking back from your audio engine and ignore the time tracking from AV player,
⏹️ ▶️ John but it would just be using AV player as the transport for your post-process
⏹️ ▶️ Marco audio? Yeah, and that’s, I mean, that’s basically what I do for the watch playback.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco You know, for the watch, I transcode the files to bake in smart speed if you have it enabled,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco and I send them over to the watch, and I send my own time map over. So like, you know, like this second maps to
⏹️ ▶️ Marco this second in the actual file, you know, that kind of thing. And then the watch kind of uses that time map
⏹️ ▶️ Marco along with the reported local time to show you an accurate timestamp and whatever else. So I mean, I’m kind of doing that already in
⏹️ ▶️ Marco that way. The main reason I don’t do that for the main playback
⏹️ ▶️ Marco is A, it’s a good deal of processor overhead for
⏹️ ▶️ Marco it to be doing all the time, and B, it requires some degree of pre-processing
⏹️ ▶️ Marco the files, which wouldn’t work in streaming, and it wouldn’t work
⏹️ ▶️ Marco in, it would involve delays and everything. And so, and anytime you
⏹️ ▶️ Marco pre-process files, as I’ve learned with the watch feature, you also run into
⏹️ ▶️ Marco possible limitations with iOS killing you for using too much CPU time in the background and stuff like
⏹️ ▶️ Marco that. So it’s, it’s a very, like, it’s a very expensive way to do it
⏹️ ▶️ Marco that has some significant downsides. Most notably, as I mentioned, streaming. And again, like I, as I said earlier, like I
⏹️ ▶️ Marco want everything about my audio engine to work on a stream the same way it works on local files, which is hard,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco but that’s just, it’s important to me that like, I don’t want to say I offer
⏹️ ▶️ Marco a silent skipping sometimes, like either, either I offer it or I don’t. And I want it
⏹️ ▶️ Marco to always be the same, no matter how you’re playing the audio that you’re playing.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey It’s tough. That’s a tough nut. It’s got to be just incredibly frustrating to
⏹️ ▶️ Casey feel like you are the only one that’s hitting this API.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey What do you do about that? Especially if you’re not Marco. And I don’t mean that to be a jerk.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey If you’re a regular schmo, it’s hard to get the attention of Apple to help fix
⏹️ ▶️ Casey a problem like this. And what are you going to do? radar and just let it get lost in the ether? Like, the only way you get this problem fixed is if you
⏹️ ▶️ Casey know somebody. And how do you just know somebody inside Apple? It’s got to be demoralizing.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Well, even then, like, the way I got watch audio improved was I wrote a big blog post about
⏹️ ▶️ Marco it with very specific things of like, here’s like the six things I need to do this
⏹️ ▶️ Marco thing you want me to do. Like, Apple wanted people to write podcast apps for the Apple Watch. So, and
⏹️ ▶️ Marco like they were telling us, they were saying, look, please write up. And so I wrote this thing basically saying, look, you want me to make a
⏹️ ▶️ Marco podcast for the Apple Watch, I can’t. Here, here’s exactly why. And
⏹️ ▶️ Marco here’s how these things could be fixed so that so that I could do the thing you want me to do. Right. So in this case, like
⏹️ ▶️ Marco the way, the way, and even then it took like a year, you know, cause it had to like wait for the next cycle and for people to actually
⏹️ ▶️ Marco have time to do these things and for them to be in the public APIs. So, you know, my chances here are like
⏹️ ▶️ Marco I could write a blog post saying, Hey, if you want me to support AirPlay two, here’s why I kinda can’t
⏹️ ▶️ Marco right now, and here’s how that could be made better, but
⏹️ ▶️ Marco I think this is even more specialized, and even fewer people need this than who
⏹️ ▶️ Marco needed the watch thing, and I think Apple just cares less about this.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco If podcast apps don’t support very fast, responsive multi-room playback,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco that isn’t that big of a problem for them. That’s not a huge priority for them, as far as I can tell.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco And so I could make this blog post, but it’s gonna be
⏹️ ▶️ Marco hard for that to get any real attention from anybody. So I think this is one of those features where
⏹️ ▶️ Marco I’m just gonna have to go without it for a while. And again, if conditions change,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco then I will reevaluate. But right now, I’m just abandoning this for now and just shelving
⏹️ ▶️ Marco this branch of the code and just saying, I’ll come back to this some other time.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey That’s tough. Well, so what’s the plan then? is to continue the graycation or no?
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Well, I mean, not for AirPlay 2. I intend to do future graycations for
⏹️ ▶️ Marco other things, you know, but not, you know, the AirPlay 2 thing is done for now. But certainly,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco like, the concept of going somewhere alone or basically
⏹️ ▶️ Marco alone with work as the only, as like the purpose of the trip, is a solid concept
⏹️ ▶️ Marco if you can do it. I mean, that involves quite a lot of, you know, privilege and opportunity and everything. like somebody has
⏹️ ▶️ Marco to keep my household running, the trip has to be paid for somehow, you know, so
⏹️ ▶️ Marco obviously like, you know, this is something not everybody can do, and there are certainly costs to it, but it
⏹️ ▶️ Marco really was surprisingly productive if in terms of like
⏹️ ▶️ Marco work done, like work time done, work time put in, code written, it just
⏹️ ▶️ Marco failed to do what I actually wanted it to do, but that wasn’t the fault of the grecation,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco And that was the fault of, you know, I was going down a path that wasn’t going to work. But
⏹️ ▶️ Marco as a tool to get work done, it was fantastic.
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⏹️ ▶️ Marco you so much to Linode for hosting all my stuff and sponsoring our show.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey Let’s talk about some other big release, well, sort of announcement from today. Let’s have a play
⏹️ ▶️ Casey date, guys. This is so cool. This is so ridiculous, and I mean that
⏹️ ▶️ Casey in the best possible way. John, what is happening? So
⏹️ ▶️ John there’s Panic, Panic, Panic Software, Panic Incorporated, just panic.
⏹️ ▶️ John They have been making Mac applications forever. They still make Mac applications. A
⏹️ ▶️ John few years ago, they helped make the game Firewatch, which is amazing and you should buy.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey, John Agree. That’s
⏹️ ▶️ Casey actually one of the few video games I’ve played recently, and it is very, very
⏹️ ▶️ John good. It’s short enough that Casey finished it.
⏹️ ▶️ John, Casey I assume you finished it, right? Yes, I did. Yes,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey And you’re exactly
⏹️ ▶️ John right. They’re working on another game called Untitled Goose Game.
⏹️ ▶️ John But they’re just a bunch of cool people, and everything they do is really interesting and neat. And
⏹️ ▶️ John you never know what they’re gonna do. When they, you know, before they announced they were making Firewatch, we just thought they made Mac
⏹️ ▶️ John and iOS software. So who knows what they’re doing? You know, Cable gave an XOXO
⏹️ ▶️ John talk a couple years back about his sort of, I don’t know what you want to call it, midlife crisis. He’s
⏹️ ▶️ John not that old, a quarter to life crisis, or whatever you want to call it, where he had started this company with
⏹️ ▶️ John his friend and they had sort of slowly bootstrapped themselves up selling really nice
⏹️ ▶️ John Mac software for years and years. And there’s lots of stories about it. You can read on their website and elsewhere. And then one day he
⏹️ ▶️ John woke up and realized he was the employer for like 20 people. And their
⏹️ ▶️ John livelihood depended on his continued business success.
⏹️ ▶️ John And he wasn’t sure, he was paralyzed by that fear and he wasn’t sure like, what is he supposed to do with his life?
⏹️ ▶️ John You should, we should try to find a link to the XOXO talk, but like, is this it? Do you just keep making software
⏹️ ▶️ John and worrying about how you’re gonna make ends meet. And I think at this point, they were also trying to
⏹️ ▶️ John make iOS apps and those apps were nice, but they weren’t selling well and they couldn’t figure out how to make money in the
⏹️ ▶️ John app store. And it was just a big sort of crisis. And part of what came
⏹️ ▶️ John out of that crisis was, and there’s an article about this in Edge Magazine that you’ll be able to read by the time this is out,
⏹️ ▶️ John was his realization of how unique their position was.
⏹️ ▶️ John They were not VC funded. They had no bosses. They didn’t have any loans
⏹️ ▶️ John to pay back. They could do whatever they wanted. They had a company full of talented people
⏹️ ▶️ John making money on selling Mac software, but
⏹️ ▶️ John they could do other things too because they’re a bunch of smart people. So part of that was
⏹️ ▶️ John helping make a game and that became Firewatch. But Playdate
⏹️ ▶️ John is another example of that. If you look at Playdate, you would look at it and say,
⏹️ ▶️ John This is exactly the kind of thing that the people at Panic would love.
⏹️ ▶️ John And it fits because they made it. And why did they make it? Because it’s the kind of
⏹️ ▶️ John thing that they would love. So what the hell did they make? Well, first of all, they’re making and selling a hardware
⏹️ ▶️ John product, which is a hell of a leap. Like, you know, we were talking about apps today. Marco’s made a bunch of apps, you
⏹️ ▶️ John make a bunch of apps. But like, your next app is not going to be like a hardware device.
⏹️ ▶️ John That’s quite a leap to go from part of the beauty software, you don’t have to worry about all that stupid hardware stuff. You just
⏹️ ▶️ John type things on a computer and, you know, and sell the virtual bit. So they’re making
⏹️ ▶️ John a hardware device. And what is the hardware device? It’s a tiny portable game system.
⏹️ ▶️ John And it’s, it’s not the same as if they said, we’re making a new personal computer
⏹️ ▶️ John platform, like like BOS with the B box or something. But it’s pretty close. Because how often
⏹️ ▶️ John does a new gaming system come out? It happens once
⏹️ ▶️ John or twice every few decades, but for the most part, it’s unheard of
⏹️ ▶️ John for even the biggest companies in the world to decide, we’re gonna make a handheld gaming
⏹️ ▶️ John system. Very few have ever decided to do that. We could probably name all of them right now
⏹️ ▶️ John just from memory, and there’s probably some obscure ones we’ve never heard of, but these are from gigantic companies. Panic,
⏹️ ▶️ John again, is like 25 people. And this particular product was made by a team of about
⏹️ ▶️ John five people, plus a lot of engineering help from an outside company that makes hardware.
⏹️ ▶️ John So they were smart enough to not try to do everything themselves. So what’s most interesting
⏹️ ▶️ John about this, other than the fact that a tiny company decided to make a handheld gaming console, what’s
⏹️ ▶️ John interesting about it, I guess, is literally everything else about the device.
⏹️ ▶️ John It is tiny and adorable, and it looks like something cable would buy on eBay that
⏹️ ▶️ John, Casey Nintendo built in the 70s,
⏹️ ▶️ John which is a thing that he likes to do. It has a black and white screen,
⏹️ ▶️ John not a gray scale screen, a black and white screen. Pixels are either black or they’re not black,
⏹️ ▶️ John and that is the only thing that the screen does. It has no backlight, it is reflective. It’s
⏹️ ▶️ John got a D-pad, an A and a B button. It looks a little bit like a tiny, tiny little
⏹️ ▶️ John Game Boy made by Teenage Engineering, that’s the name of the company, right, the OP1 people? Yeah,
⏹️ ▶️ John yeah. And it is made by them, surprise. looks like it’s made by them and it is
⏹️ ▶️ John and sticking off the side of this device is a crank
⏹️ ▶️ John as in like a thing that you turn like on a jack-in-the-box you fold it out and you can turn the crank around around
⏹️ ▶️ John no it does not charge the device the crank is not a charging mechanism it is part of the control mechanism
⏹️ ▶️ John for games and the name of the thing playdate is based I assume
⏹️ ▶️ John the idea on their sort of their software model you buy this device and you get with the device
⏹️ ▶️ John you You get one season of games, which is 12 games, and every Monday a new game appears on your
⏹️ ▶️ John device. Which means the device has to have some kind of wireless networking, and it does. It has Wi-Fi, it has Bluetooth.
⏹️ ▶️ John And so the Monday is your play date, and you get 12 of those games. They come bundled
⏹️ ▶️ John as part of the price of this device. The games are made by a collection of famous,
⏹️ ▶️ John I’m going to say indie game developers, but developers who are known for
⏹️ ▶️ John making really good games that are interesting on like quirky quirky kind of games
⏹️ ▶️ John on either consoles or on iOS. And that’s it.
⏹️ ▶️ John And why would why would why would you do this? Why? Why would you
⏹️ ▶️ John make? Why wouldn’t you just get those people to make a bunch of games? Or why wouldn’t you? Why wouldn’t those people
⏹️ ▶️ John just make games for you know, the switch or one of the Game Boys? Or why
⏹️ ▶️ John don’t they make iOS games? Why Why is anyone doing any of this? Why would you make a game in black and
⏹️ ▶️ John white? Like, it doesn’t make, to a certain class of person, this makes no sense. And to another
⏹️ ▶️ John class of person, they will go to the website, which is play.date. Yes,.date is a top
⏹️ ▶️ John level extension these days. Play.date and see the device, and there’s no more questions
⏹️ ▶️ John about why anyone would do this. They would just say, that’s amazing, I want that. That’ll be so much fun to have. Now,
⏹️ ▶️ John it may be a bit of an expensive bauble for something that may only ever have 12 games its entire life.
⏹️ ▶️ John Or it may become a collector’s item or it may become a smash hit that it turns into the hipster
⏹️ ▶️ John portable gaming device that it looks like it already is. I don’t know what’s going to happen with this
⏹️ ▶️ John panic doesn’t know what’s going to happen with it. And honestly, as panic says in the article, I don’t think
⏹️ ▶️ John they care. I don’t think they should care. Shipping this in any form whatsoever is already
⏹️ ▶️ John a victory. Like if you read the article and actually talk about how this came out of the idea of doing something for like
⏹️ ▶️ John the anniversary of the company. I was like, oh, we should make some cool thing, like
⏹️ ▶️ John a regular company. Like, oh, we’ll make a plaque or something. And they were like, maybe we make like a commemorative clock. Like,
⏹️ ▶️ John they were thinking about making some hardware thing just to celebrate the fact that the company’s been around for 20
⏹️ ▶️ John years or 50 years or however long it is. I don’t even want to think about the math. And that turned into
⏹️ ▶️ John this. It’s like, well, we can make a little thing. And they were looking at screens you can put in the thing.
⏹️ ▶️ John And oh, look at this screen. This screen is neat. I wonder if you could play games on it. could hide a game as like an Easter egg and like the
⏹️ ▶️ John little clock that you make. Like I’m speculating about what the thought process is here. That’s what this came
⏹️ ▶️ John out of just a bunch of people who are very talented and very smart, having fun ideas of fun
⏹️ ▶️ John things to do. And this is the result. So in the end, if literally nobody buys
⏹️ ▶️ John any of these things, which is not going to happen, people will buy them. The fact that they were able to make this thing
⏹️ ▶️ John happen. It’s like if you make the commemorative clock for your, you know, company’s anniversary,
⏹️ ▶️ John you don’t expect to sell them. In fact, you know, you’re just costing money. You just want to do it as a celebration.
⏹️ ▶️ John This product feels like it feels like a celebration. It feels like a celebration of panic. It also happens
⏹️ ▶️ John to be a product that we’re going to sell and they hope to make money on and so on and so forth. And they hope that be a platform or whatever.
⏹️ ▶️ John But it feels like a celebration to give just one other example. You may be looking at this thing and it’s like, what is it is like?
⏹️ ▶️ John Is it like a Raspberry Pi in there and they just wrote some weird software for it? No, it is not.
⏹️ ▶️ John It is. It is all custom hardware. And They wrote their own OS for it. Oh my god.
⏹️ ▶️ John Like, why would you do that? Why is it not running Linux? Because it’s a cool, fun
⏹️ ▶️ John thing. They wrote their own OS for it. It’s ridiculous. The company’s ridiculous. The people are insane.
⏹️ ▶️ John This is an amazing thing that should not exist, but does. Everybody should go to play.date and bask
⏹️ ▶️ John in the glory that is this device, whether you’re going to buy one or not.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Yeah, I like your angle about how it’s just a fun thing, because that’s the gist I got. I
⏹️ ▶️ Marco mean, not only is Panic good at being fun because they’re just that kind of company, but also,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco when I discovered back when I had my brief fling with Raspberry Pis,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco I discovered there’s this whole world out there of amazing hardware
⏹️ ▶️ Marco potential in the hobbyist realm. And it’s all really cheap
⏹️ ▶️ Marco and really capable and often really small. And so the whole Raspberry
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Pi angle, the Arduino world, like there’s this amazing stuff out there and it gives
⏹️ ▶️ Marco you a degree of fun and the idea
⏹️ ▶️ Marco of you have this giant open field where you can do anything that you aren’t getting so
⏹️ ▶️ Marco much from the big companies and their products these days. Like so much of what
⏹️ ▶️ Marco you get from the world of like you know, big tech and big gaming is
⏹️ ▶️ Marco very advanced in a lot of ways and you have tons of capabilities but it’s increasingly locked
⏹️ ▶️ Marco down and it’s increasingly corporate and less fun. And
⏹️ ▶️ Marco this is the opposite of that. This, I mean, well, I mean, I don’t know what their plans are for
⏹️ ▶️ Marco like locked down-edness.
⏹️ ▶️ John I can guarantee you this thing will not be locked down. Yeah, probably not, right? I say that based on no information,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco knowing the people. Yeah, like I feel like this kind of thing is
⏹️ ▶️ Marco we built this because we wanted to and it’s just gonna be a cool, fun thing.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco And if it works, you know, business-wise, great, but it almost seems like they don’t
⏹️ ▶️ Marco necessarily need it to. Like, it seems like they’re doing this more for the fun than anything
⏹️ ▶️ Marco else. And that is something, and it shows in the design, it shows
⏹️ ▶️ Marco in what they’re doing, what they’re not doing, what it is, what it isn’t. And it just
⏹️ ▶️ Marco seems so much more fun than anything that you’re gonna see from
⏹️ ▶️ Marco any of the big companies any time soon.
⏹️ ▶️ John And speaking of fun stuff, like there’s lots of fun in the gaming space. Like some would say this is reactions like
⏹️ ▶️ John phone games and this is less stressful because the games are necessarily simple and the black and white angle, there’s all sorts of hipster stuff
⏹️ ▶️ John with this, right? But just thinking of the hardware, even among
⏹️ ▶️ John what we consider the most fun other game makers,
⏹️ ▶️ John the software is still really fun. Like let’s take Nintendo. Nintendo, which, you
⏹️ ▶️ John know, Cable of Panic loves, and so I’m sure everyone else at Panic, and it’s a great example of a fun company.
⏹️ ▶️ John In recent years, Nintendo’s games continue to be amazingly fun. Like, they’re still, they’re just great. They’re
⏹️ ▶️ John great games, Mario Kart is still fun, Zelda Breath of the Wild is amazing. You look at those games and you’d be like,
⏹️ ▶️ John yep, Nintendo’s still got it, they know where the fun is. But if you look at Nintendo’s hardware,
⏹️ ▶️ John it has become a lot less fun. There, yeah, the Joy-Cons come in a couple interesting
⏹️ ▶️ John colors but the switch is a fairly straightforward hardware
⏹️ ▶️ John design that doesn’t really have any particular fun quirks. The pro controller
⏹️ ▶️ John is a black control that looks like everybody else’s thing. You just go back
⏹️ ▶️ John a few generations the Wii was pretty fun it was this wacky remote thing and it was white
⏹️ ▶️ John instead of black and it’s sort of default color. The GameCube controllers were very wacky and came
⏹️ ▶️ John in all sorts of bright colors the whole GameCube console came in a bunch of bright colors and then you know the Nintendo 64 was
⏹️ ▶️ John this ridiculous three-pronged thing. Hardware used to be more fun. People used to be willing to take more
⏹️ ▶️ John risks with gaming-related hardware. Sony was never fun. Fine. But you know Microsoft
⏹️ ▶️ John had the weird green alien Xbox theme with all the big you know
⏹️ ▶️ John blobs of stuff coming out of it. Like if you look at this it looks like something Nintendo would have made in the
⏹️ ▶️ John 80s but Nintendo today is not making hardware that looks like this. So I’m glad that somebody
⏹️ ▶️ John is making gaming hardware where the hardware itself looks like fun. Before you even turn it on, before
⏹️ ▶️ John you even do anything with it, it looks like a fun thing. It looks like it can’t be real. It looks like something you would make in like
⏹️ ▶️ John a concept drawing or like a prop in a sci-fi movie or something.
⏹️ ▶️ John But it’s a real thing. And I can’t wait to touch one of these things. I don’t even like
⏹️ ▶️ John handheld games. Like I’m getting one of these obviously because I have to. it’s the law.
⏹️ ▶️ John drawn to it. But like, it’s ergonomically speaking, I’m not going to be able to spend a long
⏹️ ▶️ John time playing this because it’s not, you know, it’s a D-pad and two buttons and a flat little thing. But the game should be
⏹️ ▶️ John short enough that I don’t have to do that. And honestly, I just want to have it as a as an artifact as
⏹️ ▶️ John a triumph of like, people doing something for the sake of
⏹️ ▶️ John doing it that embodies all their values and not just making it a one off thing that they
⏹️ ▶️ John make for their anniversary and stick in a glass case in their headquarters, but actually going through the trouble, which,
⏹️ ▶️ John you know, as we’ve sort of been discussing in this whole show’s history, in particular today’s show, going through the trouble
⏹️ ▶️ John to make a product and ship it. Granted, it hasn’t shipped yet, but still, like, they didn’t just make
⏹️ ▶️ John it for themselves. And it’s so much more work to make a thing that everyone else can buy
⏹️ ▶️ John and use than to just make a one-off thing that’s just for you.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey JS And this looks awesome. And I’m not even usually into
⏹️ ▶️ Casey this sort of thing. I mean, I mean, I do have a Switch and I do like it, but I don’t play it that terribly often. But this looks awesome.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey And I know some of the people at Panic, and they are all phenomenally good at what they
⏹️ ▶️ Casey do. Annoyingly so. They’re so good at what they do that when they decide to do other things, they’re good at that too.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey Like, you know, building your own OS. We’ve got a monster, build your own OS. Why would you take that on?
⏹️ ▶️ Casey Well, because they’re Panic, and that’s what Panic does. So this looks super cool. I’m super amped to try this out
⏹️ ▶️ John Yeah, that was kind of Cable’s point. I’m like, we’re smart people. We can do things. Like,
⏹️ ▶️ John there’s nothing, like what’s stopping, like, this is the question, like what’s stopping us from doing a ridiculous
⏹️ ▶️ John thing? Like, if you have a regular job, you know what’s stopping you. Like, you don’t run the company, you
⏹️ ▶️ John can’t decide, oh, I work with a bunch of smart people, we should, you know, try making our own car.
⏹️ ▶️ John I mean, Apple can do that, I suppose, but like, most people, most companies can’t do that. But
⏹️ ▶️ John that important realization that panic had is like, there’s no one telling us what we can or can’t do. as long
⏹️ ▶️ John as we are financially cautious and, you know, understand what our limits are
⏹️ ▶️ John and take things slow, we’re all smart people and we can figure things out. And that’s the exactly the
⏹️ ▶️ John same kind of can do attitude for like, you know, in the app developers just expanded outside
⏹️ ▶️ John their comfort zone outside the realm of their ostensible expertise. And it turns out
⏹️ ▶️ John you can get expertise in anything if you just try it and plug away. And by the way, it’s took about five years to make this.
⏹️ ▶️ John So it’s not like you can do it in a weekend. But if you are dedicated and believe and are
⏹️ ▶️ John careful and have a bunch of smart people, There’s nothing you can’t do.
New MacBook Pros
⏹️ ▶️ Casey All right, we are running a little low on time, so we may not make it to Ask ATP this week, and if not, I apologize.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey But we have one more thing we absolutely need to talk about, which is the new MacBook Pros. So, Marco,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey I presume you’ve already bought and returned three of these? Marco Martini
⏹️ ▶️ Marco, John Just kidding. Steve McLaughlin
⏹️ ▶️ John Did you return it as well? Marco Martini You were just complaining about the CPU power of your 13-inch. Well, boy, have I got the new 13-inch for you.
⏹️ ▶️ John, Marco Steve McLaughlin
⏹️ ▶️ Marco return one? Marco Martini I didn’t buy it, don’t
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Not yet. Give I mean, give me at least a few weeks before I waffle and eventually buy it.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey right. All right, I’ll allow it because we don’t have time to argue but anyway, yeah,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco, Casey a few days. Anyway, so,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco you know I’m gonna get the 15 inch eventually probably. Anyway, so yes, so there’s new MacBook Pros,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco only the Touch Bar models are updated and it’s a boring spec
⏹️ ▶️ Marco bump update for the most part. And there’s been a lot of mixed reactions
⏹️ ▶️ Marco and a lot of people, understandably, expect me to be super mad because
⏹️ ▶️ Marco it’s still using basically the same keyboard. Now, here’s why
⏹️ ▶️ Marco I’m not that mad. I mean, part of it’s because I was just at the beach and I’m really happy,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco everything I did failed, and they released more butterfly keyboards. I probably should be more mad than I am,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco but the fact is, when all this bad stuff happens at the beach, I’m still able to be happy.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco But here’s the thing. They did a boring spec bump
⏹️ ▶️ Marco update. The 13 inch and 15 inch with Touch Bar models are faster. They have faster
⏹️ ▶️ Marco CPUs. That’s a good thing. This kind of boring update
⏹️ ▶️ Marco is what we’ve been hoping to see from them after years of neglect
⏹️ ▶️ Marco in like the 2014, 2015 kind of era. And since 2016, when they released the Touch Bar models,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco they have kept up the pace of updates. they have done MacBook Pro spec bump updates
⏹️ ▶️ Marco every year since then for the Tuxbar models. The other one, like the MacBook Escape, has been
⏹️ ▶️ Marco a while, and the 12-inch is also kind of outdated now. But the Tuxbar models, which are like the
⏹️ ▶️ Marco high-end models, they have been updated every year with spec bumps since 2016.
⏹️ ▶️ John And not only that, they don’t wait to update them if there’s
⏹️ ▶️ John not a complete suite of updates. So if the only thing that they can update are GPUs, they update the GPUs.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Right, yeah, like this past winter, where they updated the GPUs for the 2018 models mid-cycle.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco And now they’re using those same GPUs for these new 2019 models because they’re
⏹️ ▶️ Marco still the current models. So that means they had a good GPU update available halfway through the 2018
⏹️ ▶️ Marco models lifecycle, and they didn’t just wait for the 2019 CPUs to be ready and hold back
⏹️ ▶️ Marco those GPUs. They updated the GPUs as soon as they could, and now they updated the CPUs
⏹️ ▶️ Marco as soon as they could. And this is a pretty good pace. This is amazing. This is the kind of thing
⏹️ ▶️ Marco we want them to do more of. Don’t hold back updates for major
⏹️ ▶️ Marco revisions. Like if a major revision isn’t ready yet, just ship a boring spec bump update
⏹️ ▶️ Marco because that’s way better than nothing. And that’s exactly what they did. The more interesting part here
⏹️ ▶️ Marco is that they revised the keyboard slightly again and they
⏹️ ▶️ Marco seem to think this is going to make it more reliable. You know, this is like the
⏹️ ▶️ Marco fourth minor revision of the butterfly keyboard, trying to improve
⏹️ ▶️ Marco the feel or the sound or dusting grass or make it more reliable. Like they keep trying to put
⏹️ ▶️ Marco band-aids on this keyboard and trying to fix its problems. And this is another one of those.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco They seem to think based on their comments to the press, they seem to think that this is gonna be a substantial
⏹️ ▶️ Marco fix for the failures of where you’d have either, you know, missed keys or double press
⏹️ ▶️ Marco keys or whatever else. And we don’t know if that’s gonna actually pan out that way. Time will tell and we don’t have
⏹️ ▶️ Marco that yet. So hopefully it does. Honestly, I don’t have incredibly high hopes
⏹️ ▶️ Marco just because we’ve been burned so many times. Like every year we think they’re gonna fix those reliability problems. And every
⏹️ ▶️ Marco year so far, they haven’t. And so, you know, it’s certainly,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco anybody who’s concerned about that, I think that concern is warranted. They also, although this time they
⏹️ ▶️ Marco had this extra little bit where they have added these immediately to the keyboard
⏹️ ▶️ Marco repair program which means you no longer have to like preemptively buy AppleCare
⏹️ ▶️ Marco out of fear that your keyboard might die because they are saying right up front that these will be
⏹️ ▶️ Marco guaranteed from keyboard problems for four years after purchase as well as last year’s models and all other
⏹️ ▶️ Marco butterfly keyboards are now part of this program as well so all butterfly keyboards that have shipped to date
⏹️ ▶️ Marco including the ones that are brand new are covered for four years after purchase for keyboard problems.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco So that’s a good thing. Like that’s, you can tell like they’re trying to reassure the customers
⏹️ ▶️ Marco as much as they can. So that’s good. Whether they’ve actually solved the problem remains to be seen and these are still keyboards
⏹️ ▶️ Marco that ultimately I hate for lots of other reasons. Um, but you know, they
⏹️ ▶️ Marco did revise this keyboard again in a way that might actually solve the problem. I hope it does.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Now, many of us, myself very much included are disappointed to see
⏹️ ▶️ Marco yet another update come With the same goddamn keyboard that we’ve been that we’ve been hating
⏹️ ▶️ Marco for like three years now It feels like they’re just gonna keep giving us the same damn keyboard Until
⏹️ ▶️ Marco we just give up the fight and accept that we’re never gonna have a good keyboard again, but here’s why
⏹️ ▶️ Marco I have more Hope than that this time There is this rumored
⏹️ ▶️ Marco 16-inch MacBook Pro on the horizon and the rumors are very
⏹️ ▶️ Marco strong that it has a completely different keyboard and And everything I’ve
⏹️ ▶️ Marco heard about this keyboard is what I want. I’ve heard it has scissor switches, which are reliable.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco I’ve heard they have 1mm of travel, which is I think about double what the butterfly keys have. I’ve heard
⏹️ ▶️ Marco it has inverted T arrows. Wider margins between the keys, so it’s less
⏹️ ▶️ Marco error prone. Basically very similar specs to the desktop Magic keyboard that is
⏹️ ▶️ Marco widely liked. And I’ve heard that it has a physical escape key next to the touch bar.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco I would love to have an option without the touch bar, but that’s the next best thing. So, that rumored 16-inch
⏹️ ▶️ Marco sounds like a massive upgrade in reliability, ergonomics, accuracy,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco and the mass appeal of the keyboard. That’s the big thing these have lacked. Even if they
⏹️ ▶️ Marco fixed the reliability problems, the butterfly keyboards don’t have mass appeal. Some people love them, a lot of people hate
⏹️ ▶️ Marco them. So that’s what is rumored for the 16-inch MacBook Pro.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco And the reason I still have hope, even after getting this update this week with just the
⏹️ ▶️ Marco same old keyboard basically, I still have hope because we didn’t get that 16-inch
⏹️ ▶️ Marco MacBook Pro. Now, yes, I am disappointed that we’ve had yet another year of the butterfly keyboards,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco but since those aren’t the new 16-inch model, that more
⏹️ ▶️ Marco likely just means that model’s not ready yet. And that’s fine. I’m impatient. I want it now.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco But better late than wrong. Because what would be way worse
⏹️ ▶️ Marco is if we did get the 16-inch this time and it still had the same butterfly keyboard.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Because that would be a way stronger indicator that even when they’ve had the time
⏹️ ▶️ Marco and engineering to do a major hardware redesign, they didn’t think they needed to put a better keyboard in there.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco That would strongly signify that we’re stuck with the butterfly keyboard for the next, you know, three
⏹️ ▶️ Marco to five years or however long that generation lasts. But that’s not what happened. we got a boring
⏹️ ▶️ Marco spec bump update to what we already had. And that is a much better alternative
⏹️ ▶️ Marco than if the all new product, the 16 inch, had come out and it still had
⏹️ ▶️ Marco that damn keyboard that I hate. So this feels like a stopgap update.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco To keep this lineup updated regularly, which is what we want, until the next generation
⏹️ ▶️ Marco is ready. And whether the next generation ends up being good or not is, you know,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco that’s still an open question. But that is much better than an answered question
⏹️ ▶️ Marco that is answered in the way we don’t want. So I still have hope. We just need to
⏹️ ▶️ Marco wait a little bit longer probably. And in the meantime, if you need a MacBook Pro now or
⏹️ ▶️ Marco if you want more performance or whatever else, this seems like a reasonable buy. Like they have made them
⏹️ ▶️ Marco faster. It’s basically just CPU update, but they’re good CPUs. The 15 inches now have
⏹️ ▶️ Marco up to eight cores in them, which is kind of amazing. What remains to be seen is whether the thermals hold
⏹️ ▶️ Marco up to that. I’m told that they can, but we have to wait and see, you know, how it plays out in practice.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco But it seems like, you know, a solid spec bump update after
⏹️ ▶️ Marco a series of nice and frequent spec bump updates to this lineup. So I
⏹️ ▶️ Marco do think, and I get the strong feeling they are listening to us,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco but the answer is not ready yet.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey Yeah, I think that’s fair. And I think it’s like, what’s the turn of phrase? Like a cold glass
⏹️ ▶️ Casey of water in hell or something like that, where, you know, at this point, it doesn’t take a lot to get us excited
⏹️ ▶️ Casey that positive steps are being made. And this is more than one
⏹️ ▶️ Casey positive step. You know, it’s a series of positive steps, as you were saying earlier, that it is being
⏹️ ▶️ Casey clear now, or it has been clear now, that they are trying to do
⏹️ ▶️ Casey spec updates pretty much annually, which for me, I don’t buy a new laptop annually.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey In fact, the MacBook Adorable that I have, even though it’s something like two or three years old
⏹️ ▶️ Casey now, is the most modern MacBook Adorable they make as far as I’m aware. I don’t think it’s been even spec bumped since then.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey But for the pro laptops where you might get a new laptop every year, if this is literally
⏹️ ▶️ Casey your only computer and this is how you run your business, those are getting spec bumps which are boring
⏹️ ▶️ Casey and uninteresting and that’s perfect. That’s exactly what
⏹️ ▶️ Casey professionals want. I’m really, I’m way more excited than not, just like you were saying,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey Marco, and I’m hopeful that this fancy new 16 is going to be the answer to all our prayers, but
⏹️ ▶️ Casey I’m at least hearing some of our prayers answered, and that’s a good sign.
⏹️ ▶️ John Yeah, unfortunately, I feel like Apple has lost all benefit of the doubt when it comes to the reliability of their various Band-Aid fixes,
⏹️ ▶️ John because they keep trying to fix this keyboard and they keep failing, so I would say, take a wait and see attitude with this.
⏹️ ▶️ John The semi-good thing about it is if you have of the previous keyboard,
⏹️ ▶️ John the membrane keyboard, and it breaks, they will replace it with one of these.
⏹️ ▶️ John So on the off chance that this one actually does improve matters, and you eat a cracker
⏹️ ▶️ John over your computer and the keyboard breaks, you can, it’s not like the
⏹️ ▶️ John situation you were in before where it’s like, well, all we can do is replace it with the exact same keyboard that just broke. Now at least you
⏹️ ▶️ John can get it replaced with a different keyboard. Unfortunately, if you have, I don’t know how far back it goes, I think basically anything before
⏹️ ▶️ John the membrane keyboard.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco that right? The only ones that can get it are the third gen ones, which are the 2018 Touch Bar models and
⏹️ ▶️ Marco the MacBook Air. Yeah, the membrane ones. Yeah, so if you have a 2018 Touch Bar model or the new MacBook Air,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco this can be fitted to your computer if it gets serviced. If you have anything before that, it can’t.
⏹️ ▶️ John Yeah, and the other, and so that’s not great for those people with the older laptops, because again, their option is only just
⏹️ ▶️ John to get it replaced with something else. Also, the standing issue with the repair program is it’s four years, which
⏹️ ▶️ John is better than one year, but not as good as, you know, like some people like to keep their laptops
⏹️ ▶️ John for more than four years. So if you buy one of these and it’s a $3,000 laptop and you’re like, I’m gonna use this for the next six years.
⏹️ ▶️ John Yeah, you’re probably not unless you’re paying for a new keyboard because four years is not the same as we’ll replace it forever
⏹️ ▶️ John or we’ll replace it. You know, it’s just, it’s not great, right? And the idea that like,
⏹️ ▶️ John so they put in the 2018 models which previously weren’t part of the repair program but they weren’t out of warranty. So they
⏹️ ▶️ John just got that under the line where it’s like, oh, we didn’t let those things age out. Right before they all go out of warranty, extend
⏹️ ▶️ John the program to them. And also the brand new ones are in the warranty program from day one, which can be taken two ways. One is
⏹️ ▶️ John like, well, it’s just Apple saying that they know they haven’t fixed the problem because they’re putting in the repair program. But on
⏹️ ▶️ John the other hand, a great signal when the 16 inch comes out with a totally new keyboard would be for them
⏹️ ▶️ John to also include the keyboard repair program. Why? Because they’d have confidence that it wouldn’t be used
⏹️ ▶️ John like so it’s both a signal it’s a security signal saying don’t worry about if you have a problem you’re covered.
⏹️ ▶️ John But it could also be taken as a signal of confidence for like, we believe so much in the reliability of this keyboard
⏹️ ▶️ John that if you have any problem for four years, like it’s like the powertrain warranty on your car, right? Like the
⏹️ ▶️ John car has some sort of warranty, but the powertrain is longer because they have such faith in the powertrain or whatever.
⏹️ ▶️ John Granted, they’re not, it doesn’t read that way because they’re not coming from a position of strength, but I don’t take
⏹️ ▶️ John it as a signal that they don’t believe in the keyboard. I don’t believe in the
⏹️ ▶️ John anyone else should believe in the keyboard. But the warranty is not a signal one way or the other about Apple’s
⏹️ ▶️ John belief in it. I’ll actually kind of be surprised if they put that warranty on the new keyboard. I think they’ll just go back
⏹️ ▶️ John to the old one. And in some ways, you can interpret that as a signal. They believe in it. You know, anyway,
⏹️ ▶️ John it’s a shame that we have to wait longer for the new one millimeter keyboard.
⏹️ ▶️ John But yeah, I’m with Marco. It’s like it’s good that they’re they’re doing things.
⏹️ ▶️ John It’s good that we didn’t get the bad answer that we don’t want, which is you’re just going to have to live with this keyboard forever and Apple’s
⏹️ ▶️ John laptops are forever dead. No matter how this resolves, I continue to think that this
⏹️ ▶️ John keyboard mess up is the worst thing Apple has ever done to their laptop line in the history
⏹️ ▶️ John of the company. I hope they agree. It doesn’t, you know, again, we all believe
⏹️ ▶️ John and hope that they are in the process of fixing it. It’s not fixed yet. Uh, you know, we’re
⏹️ ▶️ John only in what early in year,
⏹️ ▶️ John four, entering year, entering year
⏹️ ▶️ John of this keyboard. So if it was going to be a Mac pro level disaster, we’d have much longer to go. But then again,
⏹️ ▶️ John laptops are apples, bread and butter and the Mac line and the Mac pro is not. So it probably already is
⏹️ ▶️ John so much bigger than the Mac pro situation because everybody has laptops and nobody had the Mac pro.
⏹️ ▶️ John Um, yeah, so it’s kind of disappointing and this is not, this is not our WVDC prediction show, but I feel
⏹️ ▶️ John like this does strongly influence what we’re all going to expect from WWDC. And
⏹️ ▶️ John the short answer is don’t expect the 16-inch.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Oh, yeah. I mean, I think this, it is possible that they would announce it at WWDC,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco but I think it’s very unlikely now. I mean, I did think like, technically, the
⏹️ ▶️ Marco WWDC keynote is within the Apple Store 14-day return window
⏹️ ▶️ Marco, John date these are announced. Oh, goodness. Desperation,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco yeah. But that’s I mean it in reality. I think it’s very unlikely We’re gonna hear about any new laptops that
⏹️ ▶️ Marco I think this was you know doing this right before the keynote is Clearly a like a
⏹️ ▶️ Marco deck clearing move that they are making room for You know whatever that whatever
⏹️ ▶️ Marco is gonna be in the keynote to not be tarnished by us saying oh my god You release new MacBook Pros with the
⏹️ ▶️ Marco same keyboard that we all have problems with you know like that They didn’t want to do that obviously so that that’s I think that’s that’s
⏹️ ▶️ Marco why this happened now And so I think what we’re going to get in the keynote
⏹️ ▶️ Marco is either no hardware. This is not the production show. I know. Gruber had a nice
⏹️ ▶️ Marco article about how like, it’s probably not no hardware, because they would have probably said that
⏹️ ▶️ Marco by now. So I’m guessing we will see the Mac Pro teaser. I don’t think we’re gonna see
⏹️ ▶️ Marco a Mac Pro release, but I do think we’ll see a Mac Pro announcement and a teaser and maybe for sale later this
⏹️ ▶️ Marco year kind of thing. And then by
⏹️ ▶️ Marco having the laptops have this update now, two weeks ahead of time,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco that will make us not complain about the lack of that 16-inch that we all want
⏹️ ▶️ Marco and the new keyboard that we all want. Like, we won’t be talking about that when they want us to be talking
⏹️ ▶️ Marco about the new APIs, the new SDKs, and possibly the new Mac Pro.
⏹️ ▶️ John This, by the way, in the history of Apple keyboard Band-Aids, this is the first Band-Aid
⏹️ ▶️ John that they have explicitly said is meant to address reliability. Before, we all knew
⏹️ ▶️ John the membrane was meant to address reliability, but that’s not what they said. So it’s like,
⏹️ ▶️ John Apple being honest with us, like sort of saying what we all know to be true, they’re making progress. They’re like, Apple’s
⏹️ ▶️ John going to therapy. It’s like, good, the first step is admitting your keyboard has a problem. Admitting
⏹️ ▶️ John it in public, to the press.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Well, and a lot of people are disappointed that they haven’t said or done more,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco but keep in mind, you gotta figure, be realistic. this is a public company
⏹️ ▶️ Marco dealing with significant product flaws that are the subject of active litigation.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco They can’t say a lot about that. It’s kind of amazing they’ve even said as much as they have. I
⏹️ ▶️ Marco think that’s why most of the keyboard-related info on this release
⏹️ ▶️ Marco was provided to press on background during phone calls. So that means no
⏹️ ▶️ Marco direct quotes, and the Apple press release
⏹️ ▶️ Marco not even mentioned. Because, you know, they probably have to be very careful with what because they are like,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco you know, a public company dealing with things they’re being sued over. So, and dealing
⏹️ ▶️ Marco with, you know, flaws in their current product line, in a lot of cases, like the,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco the change to this keyboard, even if it does fix the problem,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco which we don’t know, we won’t know for a while, probably, but even even even if it does fix the problem,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco it doesn’t help anybody who bought the last ones, or who buys the ones that are are still for sale
⏹️ ▶️ Marco that don’t have this keyboard, which includes all of their current models except for these new
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Touch Bar models, and only the MacBook Air out of the other models can
⏹️ ▶️ Marco even be updated to this keyboard during service. If you buy the 13-inch without Touch Bar, the Escape,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco or if you buy the 12-inch, you can’t even get this keyboard in service afterwards.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco So those models are still being sold with a keyboard that they’re basically
⏹️ ▶️ Marco not quite saying, but if you do the logic, they’re basically directly saying like, oh yeah, those keyboards will break
⏹️ ▶️ Marco a lot. You know, and they’re being super careful about how they word this, and
⏹️ ▶️ Marco they’re trying to keep everyone focused on how great these MacBook Pros are, how fast they are and everything, but we all know,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco you know, the elephant in the room is like, these keyboards have big problems, and this fix,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco not only might it not work, we don’t really know yet, but it’s also only on
⏹️ ▶️ Marco two of the models, and being eligible for a third. But there’s like two other models in the lineup
⏹️ ▶️ Marco that just have no luck with this, I guess.
⏹️ ▶️ John I feel like these new MacBook Pros are like the Mac Pro in one particular way in that at a certain point,
⏹️ ▶️ John the Mac Pro entered this realm where if you saw someone buy it, you knew it was because basically they had to.
⏹️ ▶️ John we need something now, and so I’d rather not buy this, but I’m going to. So
⏹️ ▶️ John I feel like, obviously, among the general public, this is not the case, Among the
⏹️ ▶️ John Apple enthusiasts, computer nerd people who are on this program and are listening to it,
⏹️ ▶️ John if you find yourself buying one of these new laptops, you’re either unreasonably optimistic about
⏹️ ▶️ John the prospects for this keyboard, or it’s like, I need a laptop,
⏹️ ▶️ John right? And I can’t wait for whenever the heck this mystical 16 inch is going to come out. Or maybe I don’t even want a 16
⏹️ ▶️ John inch. Maybe I want a 13 inch. It’s like, I can’t wait around for this. I need a laptop now and I have to buy one.
⏹️ ▶️ John And you just, you go with the best that’s available and you deal with the four year, you know, extended
⏹️ ▶️ John warranty on the keyboard and you deal with, Oh, we didn’t mention this, that they’ve been doing this for a couple of announcements
⏹️ ▶️ John about this for the past month or two about how they’re trying to turn around the keyboard repairs faster because
⏹️ ▶️ John they are common and it’s a pain to be without your computer for a week at a time. So now it’s like only a
⏹️ ▶️ John day or two and they’re prioritizing those repairs. So everyone is acknowledging
⏹️ ▶️ John this is not a great situation. If you need a laptop, what choice do you have? You’re going to have to get one. These are
⏹️ ▶️ John the only ones they offer. They all come with various levels of crappy keyboard. We give you an extended warranty, and if you have
⏹️ ▶️ John a problem, we’ll try to turn around your repair fast, and we’re all just waiting patiently for
⏹️ ▶️ John good laptops to come out of Apple for a change.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco All right. Thanks to our sponsors this week, Linode, Boosted Boards, and Apollo, and we will
⏹️ ▶️ Marco see See you next week!
⏹️ ▶️ John Now the show is over, they didn’t even mean to begin, Cause
⏹️ ▶️ John it was accidental, oh it was accidental.
⏹️ ▶️ John John didn’t do any research, Marco and Casey wouldn’t let him, Cause
⏹️ ▶️ John it was accidental, oh
⏹️ ▶️ Casey it was accidental. And you can find the
⏹️ ▶️ John show notes at atp.fm And if you’re into
⏹️ ▶️ John Twitter, you can follow them at
⏹️ ▶️ Marco C-A-S-E-Y-L-I-S-S So that’s Casey Liss, M-A-R-C-O-A-R-M,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco and T. Marco Armin,
⏹️ ▶️ John S-I-R-A-C-U-S-A-C-R-A-Q-U-S-A It’s
⏹️ ▶️ John accidental, they didn’t mean to Accidental, tech
⏹️ ▶️ John Did you try it? Did you try DaVinci Resolve? That was recommended a lot too.
⏹️ ▶️ John For the preview for video? Yeah. No? You didn’t see that recommended? Am I
⏹️ ▶️ John forgetting about that? DaVinci Resolve.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco I’ve heard of that before, but I don’t know what it is. I assumed it was like a more advanced video editing
⏹️ ▶️ John tool. World’s only solution that combines professional 8K editing, color correction, blah blah blah. Yeah.
⏹️ ▶️ John Is it free? I don’t know. I can’t imagine. Oh, I found what you need. Let’s
⏹️ ▶️ John see, I’ll put this in the chat room. This is the setup that you
⏹️ ▶️ Marco need. What is going on here? What is that control
⏹️ ▶️ John, Marco surface? Oh my word.
⏹️ ▶️ John Forget about your Microsoft Sculpt keyboard, check that out. How can you edit video without that? Ask yourself that.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Wow, I love the giant lever with the handle
⏹️ ▶️ Marco, John on the left. Oh yeah. Like right by her left
⏹️ ▶️ John That’s when you want to take off.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Exactly, yeah, it’s a full throttle ahead. Oh, wouldn’t it be great if that would control your CPU speed?
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Oh, like the old turbo buttons, but like now you have like this giant the turbo lever. Yeah. Oh
⏹️ ▶️ John like a boat throttle This has three track balls each with three buttons above it for your three hands
⏹️ ▶️ John like the Nintendo 64 controller
⏹️ ▶️ Casey I need when I do my when I finally finished my Tesla video I need all this look at there’s even a whack them all the way in the left
⏹️ ▶️ Marco next to the coffee cup, right? It’s hilarious because like you can’t even reach that like why is that even there?
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Oh look. It’s a Mac Pro
⏹️ ▶️ John Yeah, hiding in the corner. You thought it was a potted plant with no plant in it, but it’s not.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco even see that. Can the Mac Pro even drive all those displays?
⏹️ ▶️ John They’re small. They look small. Under a Thunderbolt 2? You need another Mac Pro to run that controller, though. controller