Unofficial Accidental Tech Podcast transcripts (generated by computer, so expect errors).

421: The First Miniboss

A farewell to the iMac Pro (and a tire), the state of iCloud family awareness, scam pricing in the App Store, and the Halloween costume that may never be.

Episode Description:

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Transcribed using Whisper large_v2 (transcription) + WAV2VEC2_ASR_LARGE_LV60K_960H (alignment) + Pyannote (speaker diaritization).


  1. Marco is happy
  2. iMac Pro discontinued
  3. Sponsor: Squarespace (code ATP)
  4. Follow-up
  5. Families: How do they work?
  6. iCloud Photo Library to Google
  7. Sponsor: ExpressVPN
  8. Apple vs. scam-app pricing
  9. Sponsor: Flatfile
  10. #askatp: Praise Apple or ARM?
  11. #askatp: Gaming on Macs
  12. #askatp: UPSes
  13. Ending theme
  14. Post-show

Marco is happy

⏹️ ▶️ Marco I am happy. Good. There’s a couple of significant reasons why right now

⏹️ ▶️ Marco I shouldn’t be this happy. I shouldn’t be incredibly happy because I have a flat tire I have to deal with.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Oh. On your

⏹️ ▶️ Casey bicycle or your car?

⏹️ ▶️ Marco On

⏹️ ▶️ Casey my car. That’s been parked in a parking lot for a while?

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Yeah. Somebody hit it a little bit and tore the tire, tore a hole in the sidewall on the tire specifically

⏹️ ▶️ Marco, Casey so the tire is very flat. Oh,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey slow

⏹️ ▶️ Casey, Marco down. Slow down.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Somebody just casually hit your car? How were you made aware of this?

⏹️ ▶️ Marco I was made aware of this by when I went to grow grocery shopping a few

⏹️ ▶️ Marco, John days ago. Oh

⏹️ ▶️ John no. After taking the boat

⏹️ ▶️ John, Marco over. After

⏹️ ▶️ Marco taking the boat over in like the one time slot in the entire day that

⏹️ ▶️ Marco I could do this because there’s only two boats on the weekends. It was at this point

⏹️ ▶️ Marco that I arrived at my car, got in, drove out of the parking spot and the car started yelling at me about dangerously

⏹️ ▶️ Marco low tire pressure. So got back out of the car and observed,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco oh, yep, that’s a pretty flat tire on the front passenger side.

⏹️ ▶️ John Didn’t you take driver’s ed? You’re supposed to walk around the perimeter

⏹️ ▶️ John, Marco of the car, inspecting it for

⏹️ ▶️ John damage before you get in.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Does anybody ever actually do that?

⏹️ ▶️ John Well now you know why. Now you know why they teach

⏹️ ▶️ John, Casey you to

⏹️ ▶️ Casey do that. I do only when I’m going on a long, long, long trip. Casey does to make sure none of his wheels fell off.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Well that’s true. See, you never know. It could happen. Could happen.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco I’m pasting three pictures into our private channel, you can see. So the

⏹️ ▶️ Marco so you can see the there’s a hole in the sidewall of the tire and there’s a bit of paint scraping around.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco So somebody and this was this was the front wheel in on the spot. So somebody

⏹️ ▶️ Marco hit the like inner corner of my

⏹️ ▶️ Marco, Casey car.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey This is not delightful. Holy smokes.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Yeah, so that’s that’s not great. And because fortunately

⏹️ ▶️ Marco I had brought a friend on this particular grocery shopping trip. This is the first time I’d ever brought a friend to

⏹️ ▶️ Marco a grocery shopping trip. So fortunately I brought a friend and he had a car so we just took his car instead. But

⏹️ ▶️ Marco this was what I had to deal with. So I actually have to go off probably

⏹️ ▶️ Marco back off the island again, probably on Friday, wait for Tesla roadside service to come

⏹️ ▶️ Marco with the loaner tire, with the wheel of shame, and then deal

⏹️ ▶️ Marco with it after that.

⏹️ ▶️ John that. What could possibly hit the sidewall? What pointy thing on another vehicle is at that level?

⏹️ ▶️ John Maybe like the corner of their plastic bumper-y thing? I don’t even understand this.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco My initial theory was maybe it was a higher up bumper from a truck because at

⏹️ ▶️ Marco this time of the year, most of the people going in and out of this parking lot are contractors and so it’s a bunch of trucks and SUVs.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco But that front corner paint scrape on the very

⏹️ ▶️ Marco, Casey That’s

⏹️ ▶️ Marco very, that’s well below a truck’s bumper. So it had to have been another like, you know,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco low car. But anyway, honestly, I don’t really want to dwell on this

⏹️ ▶️ Marco because I also have server crap I’m dealing

⏹️ ▶️ John with. Well, before we leave the car thing, does your car have the thing that it’s like, records security video

⏹️ ▶️ John of everything that goes on around it all the time?

⏹️ ▶️ Marco It has that feature. It’s called Sentry Mode.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco, Casey But I

⏹️ ▶️ Casey guess you don’t have like an SD card in it or something like

⏹️ ▶️ Marco that. I have the USB thumb drive, and actually the only time I ever bought a thumb drive was for

⏹️ ▶️ Marco the dash cam feature and the music playing feature on my car. The only reason why it wasn’t

⏹️ ▶️ Marco running is it’s off by default and you can put it on, but I’ve heard that it noticeably

⏹️ ▶️ Marco increases the idle power drain if

⏹️ ▶️ Marco, Casey your car is parked somewhere

⏹️ ▶️ Marco long term. And that’s, yeah, it’s the opposite of what I need right now. Because my car sits here for weeks at a time. So that’s the

⏹️ ▶️ Marco last thing I need is to increase power drain. So I had it off. And honestly, I have spent over

⏹️ ▶️ Marco the last five years, cumulatively, probably a year and a half parked in this parking lot, and

⏹️ ▶️ Marco this is the first time anything’s ever happened. So, it’s like, my average is still pretty good. So I’ll

⏹️ ▶️ Marco just, you know, I’ll have to get it fixed and, you know, whatever.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey So how does this work with a lease? You would either repair it and

⏹️ ▶️ Casey disclose it upon returning the car, or just not repair it and take a big ding when you return the car?

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Like, how does that work?

⏹️ ▶️ Marco They have a certain allowance of, And the different brands do this differently, but usually it’s either

⏹️ ▶️ Marco a money allowance of they expect a certain amount of monetary damage to it, and if you go over that, you have to pay

⏹️ ▶️ Marco for it, or they have certain metrics, like a scratch can be smaller than

⏹️ ▶️ Marco a quarter, and you can have up to five of them or whatever. They’ll have metrics like that when you turn it in. And they

⏹️ ▶️ Marco allow you to have an inspection like a few months before you turn it in so that you can get warned

⏹️ ▶️ Marco about this and have a chance to go deal with it yourself first. In practice, I have

⏹️ ▶️ Marco never had a lease charge me significant extra money. I think I lost a few

⏹️ ▶️ Marco hundred dollars on one. Like, it was like Tiff’s Carb, or like a tree branch fell on it, and

⏹️ ▶️ Marco it wasn’t bad enough to get it fixed. Like, it was noticeably dented. Like, it didn’t go through the paint, but like there was a

⏹️ ▶️ Marco noticeable dent in a panel, and I think they charged us a few hundred dollars, but that, you know, that was fine. It would have cost us more than that

⏹️ ▶️ Marco to get it fixed. So, it wasn’t a big deal. And so,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco I mean, obviously my previous Tesla turn-in had a lot of issues with it,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco with that whole thing where they forgot to cancel the lease when I turned it in.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey, Marco Oh,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey that’s right, I’d forgotten about that, yeah, yeah, yeah.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco So that, I don’t know what their normal process is, because I know I didn’t go through the normal process.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco So we’ll find out, because my lease is up in September. But I

⏹️ ▶️ Marco think I’m gonna, when I bring this to the service department to have them, you know, give me a new tire,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco at least one new tire, I’m gonna have them also take a look at this just say like hey is this is this within bounds or not

⏹️ ▶️ Marco because it’s some pretty substantial paint scraping going on there so

⏹️ ▶️ John yeah you have to redo your fender and your whole front bumper

⏹️ ▶️ Marco yeah I really hope I don’t have to do that I

⏹️ ▶️ John mean so someone does because you can’t lease a car in this condition yeah well we’ll see

⏹️ ▶️ Marco anyway I have even better news but first

⏹️ ▶️ Marco I have terrible server experiences from this week I have been fighting server stuff and most of it has gone well

⏹️ ▶️ Marco except when I got to the stupid database issue and I have to now like

⏹️ ▶️ Marco devise a whole new MySQL backup solution in the meantime until Percona releases extra

⏹️ ▶️ Marco backup 8.0.23 to match MySQL 8.0.23 which is what all the servers came with that I instantiated and I don’t want to have to

⏹️ ▶️ Marco roll those back so

⏹️ ▶️ Marco even that and even my flat tire are not enough to prevent me from being happy right now

⏹️ ▶️ Marco because a few days ago I got a wonderful email

⏹️ ▶️ Marco from Fobio, Apple’s trade-in partner, saying, your trade has been accepted, here is your

⏹️ ▶️ Marco gift card. And that gift card was the trade-in value for Tiff’s laptop,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco the last butterfly keyboard in our house.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco, Casey It is

⏹️ ▶️ Marco gone. The butterfly keyboard is gone from our house, it will never come back into our

⏹️ ▶️ Marco house, and and I couldn’t be happier. And I’m very glad, I was not

⏹️ ▶️ Marco totally sure they would give us the full value of this keyboard, or this computer rather, because the

⏹️ ▶️ Marco space bar was dead, and it was covered in vinyl stickers that we couldn’t quite peel all of them off.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco And so I thought, surely there is a high risk of getting the dreaded email of like, we’re reducing your value, do you

⏹️ ▶️ Marco accept or not? Nope, they took it. And so the butterfly keyboard

⏹️ ▶️ Marco is gone. We now have a nice credit to spend on future Apple products

⏹️ ▶️ Marco for the rest of this year. And it’s just, I’m so happy to be done

⏹️ ▶️ Marco with the butterfly keyboard era in our household. And for those of you out there who are not yet

⏹️ ▶️ Marco done with the butterfly keyboard era in your household, I can assure you that

⏹️ ▶️ Marco the wait will be worth it. When you are finally done, it is so great to be here. In the meantime, hang

⏹️ ▶️ Marco in there. You too, someday, will be done with the butterfly keyboard and it is glorious

⏹️ ▶️ Marco on the other side of it.

⏹️ ▶️ John Just make sure your laptop doesn’t slash your car’s tires on its way out.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco, John Yeah, yeah, I

⏹️ ▶️ Marco didn’t quite win the luck lottery on that one, but you know, it’s fine. The

⏹️ ▶️ Marco butterfly keyboard is gone, so when I go to sit in my car for a few hours

⏹️ ▶️ Marco on Friday morning after sitting on a boat for an hour so that I can wait for some service van to come give me the tire of shame

⏹️ ▶️ Marco so I can actually drive my car, I will be typing on my MacBook Air,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco my favorite computer I’ve ever had so far, with its wonderful non-butterfly keyboard.

iMac Pro discontinued

⏹️ ▶️ Casey You know, I don’t know if I said this on the air. I don’t think I did, but

⏹️ ▶️ Casey there have been a handful of times recently that I’ve been asked, you know, well, what laptop should I buy? And

⏹️ ▶️ Casey as we definitely discussed in the past, it’s been delightful because I just say a MacBook Air.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Like just max out as much as you can, get a MacBook Air. What are you doing with it? Don’t care. Get a MacBook Air.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey And a lot of times people will be hemming and hawing between a MacBook Air and a MacBook Pro. And

⏹️ ▶️ Casey my favorite way to make this whole situation go away is the following.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey You know, I have a friend who had a $7,000 iMac who traded or who got rid of it

⏹️ ▶️ Casey in favor for a $1,000 MacBook Air. And maybe that’s not 100% true, but that gets the point across.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Yeah, neither of those prices are right, but it’s close enough. You get the idea.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey You get the idea. But then the problem just goes away. And it is quite

⏹️ ▶️ Casey nice to not really have to think about it when you not have to be like, well,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey if all All of that, except in the most one-off scenarios,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey just completely goes away and it is delightful.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Yeah, because we didn’t have that for so long. We didn’t have an unqualified recommendation of

⏹️ ▶️ Marco the default computer to recommend was this and you didn’t have to add a bunch of asterisks to it. We didn’t have that

⏹️ ▶️ Marco for probably three or four years. And so now we have that again and it’s wonderful. And

⏹️ ▶️ Marco really, the last one of those that we had was the previous MacBook Air, not the 2018 model, but

⏹️ ▶️ Marco the 2012 through, the 2010 through 2015 model,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco but the retina transition ruined that for the last half of that time, right? So it really

⏹️ ▶️ Marco has been a while since we’ve had that one computer that we could say, you want a new Mac? You probably want X.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Like, it’s been a long time. You’re

⏹️ ▶️ Casey right, it’s not since the amphibious MacBook Air that we’ve been able to do that.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco And this was also a good time to bring up that Apple has discontinued

⏹️ ▶️ Marco officially my other favorite computer ever, the iMac Pro.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Yeah, I shouldn’t sigh, like I shouldn’t sigh, it’s for the best, but it’s sad when the thing that you’re

⏹️ ▶️ Casey actively using to talk to you gentlemen on right this very moment has been put

⏹️ ▶️ Casey out to pasture. I love this iMac Pro, I am very lucky because I have yet to

⏹️ ▶️ Casey experience an M1 Mac and I think once I do, that’s gonna make me have very uncomfortable feelings

⏹️ ▶️ Casey about my iMac Pro, but I love this machine. I love the way it looks. I love

⏹️ ▶️ Casey the way it runs. It’s been by and large, almost foolproof for

⏹️ ▶️ Casey me. I’m sad to see it go. I really am. It totally makes sense to me why it’s going. I

⏹️ ▶️ Casey don’t think it’s something we need to discuss very much. I mean, basically modern non-Pro

⏹️ ▶️ Casey iMacs are just as good if not better in some ways. And if you really

⏹️ ▶️ Casey, Marco want to

⏹️ ▶️ Casey, John set money aflame,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Well, okay, we can talk about that in a second then.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey, John But if you

⏹️ ▶️ Casey really want to set money aflame, then you can be absolutely ridiculous and buy a Mac

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Pro that you don’t need. Hi, John. Anyway, so I’m sad to

⏹️ ▶️ Casey see it go, but I totally understand it. Marco, tell me why I’m wrong. Should

⏹️ ▶️ Casey it stay?

⏹️ ▶️ Marco No, I mean, it should be, ideally it would have been updated sometime, and the reason why it’s going now

⏹️ ▶️ Marco does make some sense in that like they are, I think, really close to releasing, you

⏹️ ▶️ Marco know, based on the latest rumors, it sounds like the first Apple Silicon-based iMacs are coming

⏹️ ▶️ Marco out like any day now. So it does seem like it’s about to be replaced by something that should be better.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco But no, the part I disagree with is that the regular iMac is

⏹️ ▶️ Marco generally better than the iMac Pro now. I disagree with that. It does outperform it in

⏹️ ▶️ Marco many benchmarks and stuff, but what made the iMac Pro so great was that amazing cooling system

⏹️ ▶️ Marco and the fact that it had things like ECC RAM and Xeons, like all the high-end pro hardware,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco in a iMac case, in this relatively compact,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco totally silent thing, until it got clogged with perma dust and

⏹️ ▶️ Marco things started filling on the motherboard. But before that, I think John Gruber said

⏹️ ▶️ Marco in his post about the discontinuation, he said that this might be his favorite Intel iMac ever.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco And I think that’s actually a fair characterization. It’s hard for me to point

⏹️ ▶️ Marco to any Intel Mac, like the entire Intel Mac era,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco are any other Intel Macs better than the iMac Pro overall? Yeah, the cheese grater.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco I don’t know, I don’t think so. No,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco, John I can’t agree.

⏹️ ▶️ John That whole lineup, it’s the MacBook Air of the desktops. It was such a great design for so long, it had

⏹️ ▶️ John such incredible flexibility, could hold host to all so many things, so many different kinds of upgrades.

⏹️ ▶️ John It was exactly the promise of a tower type computer. And they were actually fairly cheap

⏹️ ▶️ John in sort of their heyday. You could get one for a reasonable amount of money and then just

⏹️ ▶️ John soup it up with aftermarket parts and aftermarket RAM and run it for years. It was

⏹️ ▶️ Marco great. So the reason why I think the iMac Pro is better, so first of all, when you’re judging computers,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco when you’re trying to figure out what’s the best one ever, you gotta obviously judge it in the context of its day.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco And so when you’re using the Intel iMac, or the Intel Mac era, you know, that’s from 2006 until now,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco basically, or until, you know, November of last year, whenever you want to declare that the Intel Mac era is over, it’d be, you

⏹️ ▶️ Marco know, 2006 until roughly now. And most of that time, the first Retina

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Mac was 2012. So most of that time, it was Retina.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco And the cheese grater Mac Pro, and indeed all Mac Pros until the current one,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco never had a good story for Retina. And so, and that makes it hard. And I also, you know, for

⏹️ ▶️ Marco most, you know, context of how you want to balance things like power and heat and size and everything,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco the cheese graters are huge and loud by comparison to the iMac. They’re not loud.

⏹️ ▶️ John They’re less noisy than a non-pro iMac, that’s for sure.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco That’s true. But by comparison to the iMac Pro, every Mac Pro ever made except for the trash can

⏹️ ▶️ Marco is pretty loud. But

⏹️ ▶️ John you put them under your desk. They’re not on your desk. don’t hear them.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Right, but still, so you know, you have, because the Mac Pro is so much larger and bulkier

⏹️ ▶️ Marco and louder and

⏹️ ▶️ Marco, John for… But it’s

⏹️ ▶️ John a different type of machine, like that’s what it’s for, it’s the big, it’s the big truck, right? So you have to judge it in the context

⏹️ ▶️ John of, if you wanted a big truck, the big truck to have was this one, and this was the time to have it, because

⏹️ ▶️ John it was back when you could do all your Intel gaming and you had power, it was like a gaming PC and a Mac for not

⏹️ ▶️ John that much money. You’re not going to convince me. I love the iMac Pro. It’s great. It was

⏹️ ▶️ John certainly the best Intel iMac that there’s ever been. But the best I’ll give you is a tie with

⏹️ ▶️ John the cheese grater because that entire line and design just did exactly what it was supposed to do. Now, I’ll

⏹️ ▶️ John grant you it’s for fewer customers. It’s more narrow interest, right? It is not the mass

⏹️ ▶️ John market thing, although I would argue that the iMac Pro isn’t really particularly mass market either. But if you squint, if you gave someone

⏹️ ▶️ John for free an iMac Pro, they would love it. If you gave someone for free a Mac Pro, they probably wouldn’t, unless they’re

⏹️ ▶️ John the the type of person who would like a Mac Pro.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Yeah, right, but like, the iMac Pro is such an amazing generalist. You know, obviously it wasn’t priced

⏹️ ▶️ Marco as a generalist, but as a machine, there is almost nobody who had

⏹️ ▶️ Marco needs that a desktop could solve at all that couldn’t be solved by the iMac Pro.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Like, it was so good, and it continues to be so good for, you know, those out there who are still

⏹️ ▶️ John using them. Well, you’re glossing over your problems with it, or if something goes wrong, you gotta bring the whole thing in, and then

⏹️ ▶️ John when it fills with spider eggs, thing gets noisy. And that never happened to

⏹️ ▶️ John, Marco my ancient,

⏹️ ▶️ John much abused, dented, dust filled 2008 Mac Pro that just trundled along for 10

⏹️ ▶️ John years without complaint.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Yeah, and I’ll give you that. I mean, that’s the problem that I’ve had with every iMac is that

⏹️ ▶️ Marco it’s great for like three years and then something starts getting worse at that point, usually

⏹️ ▶️ Marco seemingly related to thermals or the screen wearing out. So yeah, I will I’ll give you

⏹️ ▶️ Marco that, but still, what an amazing machine. And especially one that seemed like,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco it seemed like it was not part of Apple’s long-term plan to create it. And certainly once they

⏹️ ▶️ Marco did create it, it seemed like it was kind of a bridge product to this next era

⏹️ ▶️ Marco and to the next iMac Pro. But man, what a great machine that was. You know, it kind of like, in the same way that like, it didn’t

⏹️ ▶️ Marco seem like Nintendo thought the Switch was gonna be a big deal, or

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Nintendo didn’t have a lot of time to make the Switch hardware really fancy. So they used basically,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco you know, like the NVIDIA, whatever platform they use, that’s like, they didn’t really customize it that much. That kind of feels like what the iMac

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Pro was. It seemed like it was kind of a rush job, but they did such an amazing job on it. And what

⏹️ ▶️ Marco resulted from it was so good that it’s kind of like,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco it should be on some level, possibly kind of frustrating to Apple that it did seem like it

⏹️ ▶️ Marco was kind of a bridge product and it was so much better than what came before or in some ways

⏹️ ▶️ Marco after.

⏹️ ▶️ John Well, it wasn’t supposed to be a bridge project. This was supposed to be the Pro Mac story before they had a change of heart

⏹️ ▶️ John and decided to continue making towers. So I think that’s why it’s so good. This was supposed to be the flagship

⏹️ ▶️ John and that before it shipped, but after it had been designed and mostly developed, they said,

⏹️ ▶️ John oh no, we actually got to make a Mac Pro and they did a big announcement. So when this comes

⏹️ ▶️ John out, and it looks like a bridge machine in hindsight when you look at the whole line as it exists today,

⏹️ ▶️ John but I think when it was conceived, it was like, this is why we don’t need a Mac Pro anymore. We’re just gonna have such an amazing

⏹️ ▶️ John iMac. And they did have such an amazing iMac, but they miscalculated what their pro customers

⏹️ ▶️ John want and need and accidentally made an amazing all-in-one computer. Yeah. One

⏹️ ▶️ John thing I wanna add to this though, and the reason why it was in topics is, like, it’s interesting that it’s being discontinued

⏹️ ▶️ John rather than doing what they’re doing with the Intel iMacs, because as we all know, all these Intel Macs are going away. Like, there’s ARM-based

⏹️ ▶️ John iMacs coming out, and those ARM-based Macs are gonna come out and replace the Intel ones, right? So every Intel Mac

⏹️ ▶️ John is essentially, quote-unquote, discontinued. Like we see the end of the line for all the Intel Macs, right?

⏹️ ▶️ John With the possible exception of the Mac Pro, we don’t know what’s happened there, but probably eventually, right?

⏹️ ▶️ John But why the premature announcement? Is it because they don’t wanna deal with getting a Xeon stock? They don’t wanna

⏹️ ▶️ John deal with the parts of this low volume thing? Like, especially as Marco noted, it’s so close, we think,

⏹️ ▶️ John to the ARM iMac introduction. Why pre-announce

⏹️ ▶️ John this? Was it so popular they were running out of stock and they didn’t wanna bother building anymore? It’s kind of weird that of all

⏹️ ▶️ John the computers to sort of pre-announce and say, hey, get them while they last, because they’re running out and we’re not making any more, that they

⏹️ ▶️ John chose to do the iMac Pro.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco My best guess is that there was some component of it that they can’t get anymore. Because it

⏹️ ▶️ Marco hasn’t been updated in three years, three and a half years, whatever it’s

⏹️ ▶️ Marco, John been.

⏹️ ▶️ John They can’t get such old Xeons anymore.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Well, I mean, Intel sells Xeons forever. It probably wasn’t Xeon, but maybe it was like the GPU or some other component. Like, it could

⏹️ ▶️ Marco be a lot of, I mean, it could be almost any component in it, because at this point, like Apple’s not going to invest

⏹️ ▶️ Marco in the engineering and testing and all the overhead required for any kind of component swap.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco So if any part of that computer, if they can’t get it anymore at this point, it’s, yeah, they’re just

⏹️ ▶️ Marco gonna kill it. So that’s probably what happened, is like some component they can’t get anymore. The

⏹️ ▶️ John other thing I was thinking about for this is, we don’t know yet, of course, because they haven’t announced

⏹️ ▶️ John the ARM iMacs, but it’s an open question of whether,

⏹️ ▶️ John we were talking about this before the ARM transition started, will they make an iMac Pro in the ARM era?

⏹️ ▶️ John There’s no reason they can’t, because it fills a different role in their line. It is

⏹️ ▶️ John an all-in-one computer with all those trade-offs, but you could make an all-in-one computer that has pro-like internals, ECC

⏹️ ▶️ John RAM and a high-end CPU and so on and so forth. But now that we’ve seen what their ARM

⏹️ ▶️ John hardware looks like, first of all, I don’t know the answer to this question whether the current ARM Macs have

⏹️ ▶️ John ECC RAM. I’m pretty sure they don’t, but I also remember

⏹️ ▶️ John reading stuff about how all of the modern RAM standards, if you

⏹️ ▶️ John squint at them, have a little bit of error correcting baked into them, but anyway, set aside the ECC RAM for a second.

⏹️ ▶️ John Does Apple want to introduce a CPU variant

⏹️ ▶️ John that is the desktop CPU variant for the iMac, but a pro version

⏹️ ▶️ John of that? Because without that, and without some other feature, how do you differentiate an iMac Pro

⏹️ ▶️ John from a plain iMac in the ARM era? In the Intel era, it was easy. You put Xeons in it and you give it ECC RAM, you give

⏹️ ▶️ John it much better cooling. It was very well differentiated. plus it was slightly darker gray. I had a cooler keyboard,

⏹️ ▶️ John right? But in the ARM era, thus far, having seen what Apple

⏹️ ▶️ John has put out, it doesn’t seem like they wanna make a huge variety of different system on a chips

⏹️ ▶️ John or a huge variety of different hardware. So although Apple could, of course,

⏹️ ▶️ John make a CPU with like more cores or a system, you know, like they could pro it up a little bit in the inside

⏹️ ▶️ John of that iMac Pro, I’m guessing that they’re not going to bother doing that, but instead

⏹️ ▶️ John say this is the sort of, you know, hardware set, Apple Silicon

⏹️ ▶️ John hardware set that defines an iMac. And we’ll make a lot of iMacs with them and you can get good,

⏹️ ▶️ John better, best, and some part of it will vary, probably just storage or whatever. Maybe they’ll come in colors

⏹️ ▶️ John and that’s it. And we don’t have a pro product for you because how would we make it pro? Especially if it has

⏹️ ▶️ John an integrated GPU, that’s even higher, you know, bill to say, okay, we’re gonna

⏹️ ▶️ John make a whole new system on a chip just for the iMac Pro that nobody’s gonna buy.

⏹️ ▶️ John So it’s sad that the iMac Pro is going away, but I think the result

⏹️ ▶️ John of that will be no ARM iMac Pro, but every ARM-based iMac, kind of like

⏹️ ▶️ John every ARM-based laptop so far, and Mac mini, will be so good that no one will care. Because

⏹️ ▶️ John they’re gonna be faster than the iMac Pro. The plain iMac’s already faster than the iMac Pro. They’re gonna be quieter.

⏹️ ▶️ John Just everything about them is gonna be better. The only possible exception is the iMac Pro. you could get that with a

⏹️ ▶️ John pretty beefy GPU, and it may be tough for Apple to beat that

⏹️ ▶️ John with an integrated GPU on an iMac unless they really go all in on it. Because remember, this is the prediction that

⏹️ ▶️ John they’re gonna make a single system on a chip for the entire iMac line, not a custom one for

⏹️ ▶️ John an iMac Pro with a much bigger GPU.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey And we’ll see what happens. But I’m sad, I’m sad that it’s going away. But you know, hey,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey we don’t know what’s coming and it could be way, way better. It sure seems to be.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco I’m only sad in the sense that it was a really, really good product.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco And I’m sad in a nostalgia, fondness way. Not that I want to buy one

⏹️ ▶️ Marco right now, because, again, we’re so close to the replacement, this seems

⏹️ ▶️ Marco like it would be a terrible time to buy one. But man, was it good.

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⏹️ ▶️ Marco All

⏹️ ▶️ Casey right, let’s return to neutral just

⏹️ ▶️ Casey very briefly. I offended some people with my why buy Audi question from last

⏹️ ▶️ Casey week, but thankfully I was not besmirching Tesla, so I only offended a handful of people.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey The only really good answer I heard, and I did hear some decent answers, but the one really good answer

⏹️ ▶️ Casey I heard from a couple of people were you buy Audi for all-wheel drive. Because if you look at, say,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey particularly Volkswagen and to some degree Porsche, most Volkswagens

⏹️ ▶️ Casey are not all-wheel drive. In fact, outside of the SUVs and maybe a wagon or two,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey I think that mine is the only one. I might have that wrong. It doesn’t matter. But pretty much every Audi is all-wheel

⏹️ ▶️ Casey drive. And so that is one thing. Also, a bunch of Europeans reminded me of Skoda. And

⏹️ ▶️ Casey what’s the other one that I’m not thinking of? There’s one other that’s a Volkswagen Auto Group brand that’s even

⏹️ ▶️ Casey crummier than Volkswagen. I can’t think of what it was off the top of my head. But suffice to say, there are things that exist

⏹️ ▶️ Casey in Europe that don’t exist here. And that is also true, and that changes kind

⏹️ ▶️ Casey of the relative positioning of Volkswagen, Audi, and Porsche, and so on. But yeah, all-wheel

⏹️ ▶️ Casey drive, that’s a pretty good reason to buy Audi. Kiss Guy, Kiss Guy is real. This was,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey I don’t remember how it came up, but we were talking about, and I think John had brought it up, about how the Foo Fighters

⏹️ ▶️ Casey had asked a gentleman on stage who was dressed as one of the people from Kiss. And he

⏹️ ▶️ Casey played the Foo Fighters song, Monkey Wrench, with them. And I finally,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey a few days after we recorded, got the chance to watch that video. And it is absolutely

⏹️ ▶️ Casey delightful. You should definitely watch it. And we’ll put a link to this in the show notes, as well as

⏹️ ▶️ Casey a kind of behind the scenes, if you will, or an interview, anyway, with the gentleman who was

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Kiss Guy. So both of these are worth your time. They were delightful.

⏹️ ▶️ John Yeah, we didn’t have the link to the video in last week’s show, I wanted to include in this one and the kiss guy is real part is

⏹️ ▶️ John Like we tweeted about this and we’re going back and forth on Twitter and a lot of people like that’s obviously fake He was a plant

⏹️ ▶️ John that guy was there like is this set up? You know people are so cynical but here’s

⏹️ ▶️ John a link to this article, which is an interview with the person and he says no It wasn’t a setup. Yes. I

⏹️ ▶️ John really did come to the show with a sign. Yes. They really did pull me out of the audience So believe who you want, but

⏹️ ▶️ John I choose to believe this was a actual real spontaneous thing that happened

⏹️ ▶️ John because someone came to the show, dressed as Kiss with a giant sign that said, let me play monkey wrench. And he did.

⏹️ ▶️ John That’s all it took.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco You know, and I didn’t realize too, this is like a thing that they do. Like the Foo Fighters do this

⏹️ ▶️ Marco frequently. And so like, it’s different when it’s like a thing. And so you can go to a show and actually expect

⏹️ ▶️ Marco that it might happen to you, and you can actually prepare and practice the thing that you want to, you know, so that’s, I think that

⏹️ ▶️ Marco actually makes it very plausible.

⏹️ ▶️ John Right, and you know, I mean, this guy was dressed up as Kiss and had a giant sign. Like if you want to get attention, If you want to be

⏹️ ▶️ John the one who gets pulled up on stage to do the thing, this is a great way to do it. So I totally believe it’s like, they don’t have to set this up

⏹️ ▶️ John ahead of time and have their people go out and talk to somebody and give them a seat and say, now you

⏹️ ▶️ John come here and we’ll call on you. There’s no point to doing that, right? So I believe, I believe Kiss Guy is

⏹️ ▶️ John real.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey All right, let’s see here, what else is next? We’ve got Ben Packard writing us

⏹️ ▶️ Casey with regard to Swift quote unquote header files. It is, let me get this right. It’s control,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey command, up, and if that is out of order, I apologize, I’m reading from the show notes. Control,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey command, up, and control, command, down to toggle a Swift file’s header view in Xcode, which

⏹️ ▶️ Casey is in the menuing system as the oh-so-obvious navigate menu, okay, it’s fine

⏹️ ▶️ Casey so far, jumped to next slash previous counterpart.

⏹️ ▶️ John Okay. It’s the counterpart file. Like I was saying, going between the.m and the.h and objective

⏹️ ▶️ John C, so that makes some kind of sense. Of course, when you do this, you aren’t traveling from one file to the other. what you were

⏹️ ▶️ John doing is taking the file that you’re editing, which is a.swift file, and changing it into a

⏹️ ▶️ John read-only view that only shows you essentially like what you would see in a header file, just the signatures

⏹️ ▶️ John of the, I think S is the public functions, maybe it’s just some of the functions. Anyway, the odd thing about this

⏹️ ▶️ John is it’s not command control up and down arrow to toggle. Command

⏹️ ▶️ John control up arrow is like jump to, it’s either next or previous, jump to previous counterpart

⏹️ ▶️ John and the opposite direction is jump to next counterpart. you can just continually hit one of those commands.

⏹️ ▶️ John Command control up, up, up, up, up, up, and as you hit up, it just goes back and forth and back and forth and back and forth. But they are both

⏹️ ▶️ John toggles for each other. It’s very strange, a very strange adaptation of those keyboard shortcuts. So

⏹️ ▶️ John you don’t have to look at what mode you’re in and hit in the opposite direction. Just any of the,

⏹️ ▶️ John either one of those keystrokes will toggle it to the opposite of what it’s currently in. And there’s a delay when you toggle

⏹️ ▶️ John it too. So like it’s, is it like compiling it to extract the metadata to find out the signatures?

⏹️ ▶️ John I’m assuming it caches it after the first time or whatever, but there it is, somewhat hidden feature

⏹️ ▶️ John of Xcode.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Indeed. I don’t remember exactly where in the flow this happened, and

⏹️ ▶️ Casey maybe I made it up in a fugue state, but I could swear, and I was trying to repeat it a moment ago and I can’t prove to myself

⏹️ ▶️ Casey where it was, but I could swear at some point when I was doing the Commonwealth of Virginia’s

⏹️ ▶️ Casey vaccination pre-request whatever thing, which happens to be at,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey At one point during that process, you know how I logged in, Marco?

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Passwordless login with an email link?

⏹️ ▶️ Casey That’s exactly right. Yay! I don’t really have much to say about it other than that.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey But I thought at least Marco would be amused. And I thought I would hear at least a grunt of disappointment

⏹️ ▶️ Casey from John. But I only got half of that. So you can’t win them all.

⏹️ ▶️ John I was on mute, but I do disapprove. There we go.

Families: How do they work?

⏹️ ▶️ Casey All right. So moving right along, we have a very interesting entry in the show notes

⏹️ ▶️ Casey entitled families, colon. How do they work? Question mark. I would assume like magnets. Uh, I don’t

⏹️ ▶️ Casey know. How do they work?

⏹️ ▶️ Marco I’m a little worried. Is this about to become a sex ed podcast or like a marriage counseling? Neither one. Lucky you.

⏹️ ▶️ John Yeah, it’s, it’s gonna, what it’s going to become is picture it.

⏹️ ▶️ John Sicily, March 11th, 2011. Yeah. So this is the

⏹️ ▶️ John when you’re hearing this, if you hear it on day release, it’s possible that you were hearing this on exactly the 10 year anniversary

⏹️ ▶️ John of a podcast episode I did called No I Life is an Island in which I complained

⏹️ ▶️ John that Apple didn’t understand how families work as in families have multiple people

⏹️ ▶️ John who may take photos, but the photos some of those photos, a subset of those photos

⏹️ ▶️ John belong to the family and not the individual That’s why in the days before

⏹️ ▶️ John digital photography, you would have family photo albums and not mom’s photo album and dad’s

⏹️ ▶️ John photo album and the son’s photo album and the daughter’s photo album. You would just have a family photo album

⏹️ ▶️ John and many other things related to that. The idea that the iLife suite at that time

⏹️ ▶️ John had the idea that you were an individual person who lived by yourself and had your own silo of things. And if you were in a family,

⏹️ ▶️ John every single person had their own things. And it was frustrating then. And here we are 10 years later I thought it

⏹️ ▶️ John would be a chance to revisit this topic. Now, in June of 2014,

⏹️ ▶️ John a mere three years after that episode, Apple rolled out their family

⏹️ ▶️ John thing, family sharing or whatever, where you can build a little family in iCloud and say,

⏹️ ▶️ John what is it, the organizer, I’m the family organizer, and here are the adults in the family, and here are the children in the

⏹️ ▶️ John family, and so I can form a little family. And I remember being optimistic. A mere three

⏹️ ▶️ John years after complaining about something on a podcast, Apple has taken action to lay the groundwork to solve this

⏹️ ▶️ John problem on them for all, because now it understands my family and it knows the people, the people who belong to it. Now it’s only a matter

⏹️ ▶️ John of just updating all the relevant programs to also understand family families

⏹️ ▶️ John and allow them to have a relationship with each other with respect to their, you know, iCloud data.

⏹️ ▶️ John They did a little bit of that, like with purchases, where one person can purchase thing and the other people can see that

⏹️ ▶️ John person’s purchases. And fast forward to 2021, they did sharing of an app purchase

⏹️ ▶️ John as well. But in general, that’s been all the progress that they’ve made.

⏹️ ▶️ John They set up families and they did purchase sharing and a bunch of other integrations, but they didn’t really

⏹️ ▶️ John do it where it counts, which is the actual data. Even something as simple as contacts,

⏹️ ▶️ John which we’ve been talking about a little bit recently. It’s a tiny amount of data. And again, in

⏹️ ▶️ John the pre-digital days, very often a household would have an address book that had the names and phone numbers

⏹️ ▶️ John of everybody that the family knew. Granted, children could have their own address books with the names and phone numbers

⏹️ ▶️ John of their friends, but there was still a family address book. And so when grandma moved, you didn’t have to

⏹️ ▶️ John update it in every single person’s thing because grandma’s address was only, and phone number was only in the family address book.

⏹️ ▶️ John So the concept of having a family that shares some subset of data amongst themselves

⏹️ ▶️ John while also having their own private data, a great place to try that out would have been on contacts. But of course, the

⏹️ ▶️ John big one is photos. Photos continue to be a thorn in everyone’s side. We talk about Ask ATP, we

⏹️ ▶️ John get questions, repeated questions, and sometimes we answer them like once a year just to get them out there. We are constantly

⏹️ ▶️ John being asked, hey, how do you guys deal with photos in your family? Because I

⏹️ ▶️ John have photos in my photo library and my wife has photos in her photo library and how do they, you know, how do you deal with sharing

⏹️ ▶️ John them? Do you have one photo library? Do you have a third Apple ID that doesn’t belong to either person that you both sign into? Do you have an Apple Store

⏹️ ▶️ John ID even though there’s family sharing and purchases? What do you do? What’s the solution? How should I do this?

⏹️ ▶️ John And it’s a, you know, it’s a disappointing question to get because kind of like the laptop situation

⏹️ ▶️ John used to be We don’t have a good answer. There’s no good solution for this. And we always say, well, this is a problem that Apple

⏹️ ▶️ John has to solve. I used to say it optimistically, like, well, they just rolled out family sharing and probably maybe in the next, you know, few

⏹️ ▶️ John years they’ll roll out new versions of their apps that will support family sharing in a sophisticated way. Nope,

⏹️ ▶️ John hasn’t happened. So here we are 10 years later to the day,

⏹️ ▶️ John still no progress on one of the biggest remaining sort of fundamentally

⏹️ ▶️ John annoying things about being what an ideal Apple customer. You’ve

⏹️ ▶️ John got a family, you buy all sorts of Apple junk,

⏹️ ▶️ John, Marco you

⏹️ ▶️ John sign up for all the services, and you just wanna have like a normal, smooth

⏹️ ▶️ John lifestyle and workflow with Apple stuff. And so much of it works well, you know, multiple

⏹️ ▶️ John user support on Macs, people being able to log into them, all the new Macs and the laptops, purchase sharing,

⏹️ ▶️ John even media sharing, managing what apps your kids buy, stuff like that. But

⏹️ ▶️ John the family photo library and the family collection of contacts just I mean, contacts

⏹️ ▶️ John is more minor because I’ve just given up. And I say my wife’s is the canonical contact thing. I need to look up someone’s info, go

⏹️ ▶️ John to her address book. But again, the volume of data is small. It’s not a big deal. But photos, it is just such a

⏹️ ▶️ John pain. And to celebrate 10 years, photos on my Mac has decided that my previous technique.

⏹️ ▶️ John This is what I was doing, and I do not recommend this because it’s terrible. But my previous technique is I would take pictures

⏹️ ▶️ John on my phone And then I would plug, connect my phone with a USB cable to a Mac

⏹️ ▶️ John that’s logged in as my wife and manually import from my phone via

⏹️ ▶️ John USB photos into her photo library periodically.

⏹️ ▶️ John This is like a Casey workflow. It’s like, oh, I just got to remember

⏹️ ▶️ John, Marco every once in a while, every once in a while I get to do this

⏹️ ▶️ John thing. Well, to celebrate 10 years, photos said, you know what? That’s not gonna work anymore. What happens

⏹️ ▶️ John now is I plug in my phone and it thinks for a really long time because the photos app on the Mac, latest

⏹️ ▶️ John version of everything, the photos

⏹️ ▶️ John, Marco version,

⏹️ ▶️ John latest version of iOS, latest version of Mac OS, the photos app is like, hmm, seems

⏹️ ▶️ John like you’ve imported a lot of these photos already. So I have to sort these in the UI to say, okay, here’s all the ones

⏹️ ▶️ John you imported before, and then here’s photos that haven’t yet been imported. First of all, I don’t need to do

⏹️ ▶️ John this at all. If it just gave me a reverse chronological list of photos, I would just scroll a little bit and select the ones

⏹️ ▶️ John that I wanted to be imported. Second of all, I intentionally don’t import all of them. if there’s like a screenshot or

⏹️ ▶️ John some random photo that I don’t want in the photo library, I

⏹️ ▶️ John, Casey don’t import. Or

⏹️ ▶️ John toe. Right, exactly, or my toe fixtures. That’s

⏹️ ▶️ John, Marco not going on this show.

⏹️ ▶️ John, Casey Yeah. No, sir.

⏹️ ▶️ John I don’t import those. What that means is that from that point on, I’m going to continue to see those photos presented

⏹️ ▶️ John to me as, hey, do you want to import these? Because you haven’t imported them before, right? But recently, all this

⏹️ ▶️ John broke down, and now I just get kind of like a grid of blank thumbnails. If I scroll

⏹️ ▶️ John too quickly, sometimes photos will crash, sometimes it will just stop filling in thumbnails, and I’ll just have

⏹️ ▶️ John a bunch of blank thumbnails, and now I don’t know which ones to select to import, because it’s just a giant grid of blank thumbnails

⏹️ ▶️ John that will never fill in. This, by the way, is after you get past the first mini boss, which is

⏹️ ▶️ John when you plug in your phone with photos, it says, please unlock your phone to

⏹️ ▶️ John allow photos to access the pictures on your phone. Like, it tells you to unlock your phone. Like, there’s a prompt on the screen that says, please unlock

⏹️ ▶️ John your phone. And if you follow this instruction, say, okay, you pick up your phone, which is

⏹️ ▶️ John plugged into the USB cable. You swipe up, face ID, it’s unlocked. Put the phone down.

⏹️ ▶️ John Photos will continue to have on its screen a giant window that says, please unlock your phone. No progress

⏹️ ▶️ John indicator, no nothing, just says, please unlock your phone. It’s like, but I just did unlock my phone. What do you want me to do? And that will

⏹️ ▶️ John stay there for 30 seconds, a minute, two minutes, until eventually it goes, okay, I’m gonna start to

⏹️ ▶️ John load your thumbnails, right? It’s the worst UI ever. But if you get past that and you know that it’s just lying

⏹️ ▶️ John to you and you really did unlock your phone and just be patient, Eventually it will start filling your screen with empty

⏹️ ▶️ John thumbnails that don’t show anything just totally blank gray rectangles So what I’ve taken to doing now is I use image

⏹️ ▶️ John capture which still does work and shows me a reverse Chronological list of photos and has no awareness of which ones I’ve imported

⏹️ ▶️ John and I manually import photos into a folder with image capture This is sounding more and more like Casey, isn’t it?

⏹️ ▶️ John, Casey Oh, yeah,

⏹️ ▶️ John and then I drag those photos in from the folder onto You know the photos

⏹️ ▶️ John app Again, this is all on my wife’s account. And then import them into the photo library. And that, as far

⏹️ ▶️ John as I can tell, is a lossless way to get them in. But it’s a super pain in the butt. Happy 10-year anniversary.

⏹️ ▶️ John That

⏹️ ▶️ Casey is utterly preposterous. A couple of quick observations. First of all,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey it’s a kind of uncomfortable feeling that a KC workflow is indicative of something being just

⏹️ ▶️ Casey unbelievably wrong, which I can’t really fault you for that analogy. But

⏹️ ▶️ John it’s not a good thing. Just specifically about photos. I don’t know. Maybe your other workflows are fine.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Uh-huh. And that’s the second time in like 48 hours I’ve heard some sort of reference

⏹️ ▶️ Casey like that because we’re doing a little bit of work on the house and we had an electrician come out and visit it and

⏹️ ▶️ Casey he was explaining that he was probably going to do the work for our house on Saturday because that’s when he does

⏹️ ▶️ Casey his special projects. And I never got a clear read from him even after asking him directly,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey does that mean we’re just really important to you or that more there is our project that jacked

⏹️ ▶️ Casey up and I’m not really sure.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey, Marco Sounds like you’re

⏹️ ▶️ Marco really unimportant.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco, Casey That’s how I would

⏹️ ▶️ Casey read that. I’m not even sure. But nevertheless. Isn’t it like special teams

⏹️ ▶️ John in football? Like, you’re football players technically, but you’re the kickers.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Yeah, right, right. I don’t even know. But

⏹️ ▶️ Casey, John uh… Now we’re

⏹️ ▶️ Casey gonna

⏹️ ▶️ Marco hear from all the kickers.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Yeah, it’s so true.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey, John I don’t think we

⏹️ ▶️ Casey will. Well, we’ll see. But nevertheless, I can’t believe,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey I remember this episode, I cannot believe it has been literally a decade. And

⏹️ ▶️ Casey you know, this is one of those times, And I think, I feel like I’ve made a similar speech a few times in the last few months, but

⏹️ ▶️ Casey as a consumer and user of Apple products, how is this not

⏹️ ▶️ Casey fixed already? How is this still a thing 10 years

⏹️ ▶️ Casey on? I mean, my son, my eldest child is six and a half.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey This problem has been going on almost four years longer than he’s been alive. Like

⏹️ ▶️ Casey it’s, it’s, and I know that doesn’t really, It’s not a great metric for anyone but me, but it’s a pretty startling metric for me.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey And on the one side, I feel like, how is this possible? You are one

⏹️ ▶️ Casey of the biggest companies in the world. Your job is to fix things

⏹️ ▶️ Casey like this. That is why you exist. That is what you’re here for. You don’t get to take

⏹️ ▶️ Casey shortcuts like me or Marco or John do. You don’t get to do the easy way out like me or Marco or John

⏹️ ▶️ Casey sometimes do. What you get to do as an Apple employee is do the hard thing,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey like always. That’s what you do. And I can’t believe that 10

⏹️ ▶️ Casey years on, this isn’t solved. Now, the flip side of that, however, is A, this is an impossibly

⏹️ ▶️ Casey difficult problem. Well, not impossibly difficult, but a very difficult problem. A very difficult problem. And I

⏹️ ▶️ Casey don’t envy the people who are surely working, well, maybe working right now, trying to

⏹️ ▶️ Casey fix it. And it’s challenging. And this is why software is hard. And this is why

⏹️ ▶️ Casey software is difficult. And shoot, I think it was on Dubai Friday, maybe on the after

⏹️ ▶️ Casey show, that Merlin was describing, if I recall correctly, describing all the

⏹️ ▶️ Casey what-ifs and gotchas involved with some piece of, I think, home automation software. Or maybe it was Control Plane with

⏹️ ▶️ Casey you on RECDIFs. I don’t remember where it was. But he was backing into, in a way that I’ve never

⏹️ ▶️ Casey heard someone who doesn’t write software for a living able to describe it, like, something that

⏹️ ▶️ Casey sounds easy is actually really freaking And this is something that sounds

⏹️ ▶️ Casey hard. So imagine how hard it would be. And the funny thing is,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey I almost wonder if we’re better off this way, because as much as I love Apple, server-side stuff

⏹️ ▶️ Casey is not often their strong suit. And the idea of them conquering something

⏹️ ▶️ Casey like this kind of scares me a little bit. I don’t know. Maybe I’m just,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey maybe I’m ye of little faith. My

⏹️ ▶️ John recollection of the discussion of this back in 2011 was that I recognize that it’s a hard problem.

⏹️ ▶️ John You know, starting with just like the policy decisions you have to make, forget about actually implementing it or whatever. Just saying

⏹️ ▶️ John like, how should it work is actually a fairly complicated question. Because

⏹️ ▶️ John the way I described it, like you do want to have a family photo album, but you also want to allow people to

⏹️ ▶️ John have photos of their own. So how do you even present that interface, right? And then

⏹️ ▶️ John comes the implementation. And this was back before Apple was as good as they are today with dealing with photos,

⏹️ ▶️ John So I recognize that it’s a hard problem. I didn’t expect them to solve this problem immediately. Again, I said I was optimistic

⏹️ ▶️ John when three years later they just introduced the concept of families because that’s a prerequisite for dealing with this.

⏹️ ▶️ John Having formally baked in, built in, supported concept of a family

⏹️ ▶️ John of Apple IDs, right? And they did that and it was three years later and I was optimistic. So I wasn’t expecting them

⏹️ ▶️ John to come around the next year and fix this or even in five years and fix it. But in 10 years, if you told me in 2011, in 10

⏹️ ▶️ John years they won’t even have taken a swing at this. I would be like 10 years, like that’s the thing about hard problems. I don’t expect

⏹️ ▶️ John them to be fixed quickly. I know it’s gonna be hard, but I also, like

⏹️ ▶️ John Casey was getting at, it’s not like a mysterious problem that no one ever had. That’s why

⏹️ ▶️ John we get asked this question all the time. We will always get asked this question on this program. It will be like, it’s some baseline

⏹️ ▶️ John percentage of Ask ATP is people asking this exact question in one way or another because everybody who

⏹️ ▶️ John is in any kind of family arrangement has the same situation. We all, and especially now that all the kids have

⏹️ ▶️ John phones and stuff. We all take pictures. But a lot of those pictures if you’re on a family vacation,

⏹️ ▶️ John our family photos and dealing with that dealing like I just want to look at the family photos and having people send

⏹️ ▶️ John you photos and airdrop them and send them and people like take screenshots of photos and give them to each other like with the quality loss

⏹️ ▶️ John and the metadata loss going into that and just the general hassle and not keeping track of who has what photos where and where was that photo.

⏹️ ▶️ John It’s a problem that is not going away and it is not a mysterious unforeseen problem. Granted,

⏹️ ▶️ John you don’t fix it in your version one, like version one, maybe you do simple, let’s just do photo libraries and internet-enabled photo libraries,

⏹️ ▶️ John right? And then let’s introduce families. They just need to take the next step. And Casey’s

⏹️ ▶️ John doubt about whether they’re working on this, like I remember saying the same thing, probably on this episode, like surely someone

⏹️ ▶️ John in Apple is working on this or at least thinking about it, but it’s gonna take a while. I really hope that’s true. I really

⏹️ ▶️ John hope someone is working on it and thinking about it and they haven’t just given up or convinced themselves that,

⏹️ ▶️ John you know what, one photo library per Apple ID is fine. this is not a problem that needs to be solved. People will

⏹️ ▶️ John just stop complaining about it. And I don’t think it’s like a terrible problem, like the butterfly

⏹️ ▶️ John keyboard or something that needs to be addressed immediately and like, you know, something that’ll get written about in a mainstream,

⏹️ ▶️ John I was gonna say newspaper, whatever, like in the mainstream press will catch onto this. It’s just a minor

⏹️ ▶️ John annoyance that anybody who wants to sort of get a handle on their digital life will inevitably

⏹️ ▶️ John come to some point and say, this part is annoying. This whole thing with the photo libraries and who has what

⏹️ ▶️ John photo, that part is annoying. Maybe they’ll never get there in contact, so they’ll arguably have the same complaint

⏹️ ▶️ John of like, you know, if you have friends of the family, it’s a pain to have their

⏹️ ▶️ John contact information in various versions, in various individual people’s contacts rather than shared in some way.

⏹️ ▶️ John But I just think it’s, it needs to be addressed. Google tried to address it with their like,

⏹️ ▶️ John you can mark these photos to be shared with other people in your family. Their solution isn’t great,

⏹️ ▶️ John but at least they did something. At least they tried something. And, you know, if Google cared about this at all, they could make a

⏹️ ▶️ John second cut and a third cut or whatever. That’s not the Google way. Well, they’ll just eventually cancel the product or whatever. But,

⏹️ ▶️ John but, but Apple of all companies, I think they are well positioned to solve

⏹️ ▶️ John this problem. I just want them to do it. So I guess we’ll meet back here in 10 years from now and see if they

⏹️ ▶️ John just,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey I get it. I, I would like to hope and think that the three of us will still be lucky enough to be doing this in 10 years. Can

⏹️ ▶️ Casey you imagine if in literally 10 years we will all still

⏹️ ▶️ Casey be in the same position? Like, can you imagine what that conversation will be like? Oh my gosh. I’m

⏹️ ▶️ Casey, John going to put it in my

⏹️ ▶️ John calendar right now because that’s why this, I put this in my calendar probably

⏹️ ▶️ John around 2014 and now I’m going to put the 10 year anniversary in my calendar now for us to revisit this.

⏹️ ▶️ John It’s probably going to sound a lot like

⏹️ ▶️ Marco this.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey I hope not. Golly, I hope not. I don’t know.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Well, the good news is you can do something about it. And what you

⏹️ ▶️ Casey can do is you can move from Apple Photos or whatever it’s called, Photos in the Cloud. I don’t even know

⏹️ ▶️ Casey what it’s called

⏹️ ▶️ Casey, Marco anymore. iCloud Photo

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Library

⏹️ ▶️ Marco, Casey is what you’re looking for.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Yep. Thank you. You can move from iCloud Photo Library to Google Photos because Apple will let you do it now. Maybe this is how they fixed

⏹️ ▶️ Casey it. They’ll just tell people who whine about this, oh, go to Google Photos. It’s great.

⏹️ ▶️ John I mean, so this is interesting. It may be GDPR related,

⏹️ ▶️ John right? Why does Apple ever do anything like this? Lots of companies

⏹️ ▶️ John that have tried to be good service citizens have at various times

⏹️ ▶️ John had abilities for you to export your data in a nice format. Google

⏹️ ▶️ John has an entire, what is it called, Google Takeout? Like an entire section of their website that’s like,

⏹️ ▶️ John here’s all the data Google has about you And here are ways you can dump it out. And Google did this

⏹️ ▶️ John long before they were required to by law, as far as I know. It’s like just part of it. It was back when Google’s motto was

⏹️ ▶️ John don’t be evil. And they actually did things that were trying not to be evil.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Man, remember that? Those were the days.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Yeah. There were always a lot of asterisks on that.

iCloud Photo Library to Google

⏹️ ▶️ Marco though.

⏹️ ▶️ John True. But like the people who believed it and were working at the company

⏹️ ▶️ John and making decisions about products. And so you come out with stuff. I remember when it first came out, I was like, Oh, this doesn’t help Apple.

⏹️ ▶️ John Apple doesn’t help Google competitively at all. They just did it because it’s the right thing to do. You know, you can, here’s your data,

⏹️ ▶️ John you can get it out in a non proprietary format and then do with it what you want. Same. I mean, they obviously did it the

⏹️ ▶️ John other way with, uh, importing as well. I think I got all my email into Gmail by like importing in

⏹️ ▶️ John an inbox format or something or exported it from what, Claire’s email or whatever the hell I was using then

⏹️ ▶️ John in mbox format. And then. It’s pronounced

⏹️ ▶️ Marco mmmbox. Rhymes with mmmbop.

⏹️ ▶️ John But that. Mmmbox. But I’ve always appreciated their export. In fact, speaking of calendar

⏹️ ▶️ John events, I have an annual calendar event that reminds me to dump all of my Gmail email

⏹️ ▶️ John to my local file system just so I, you know. If and when

⏹️ ▶️ John Google unceremoniously cancels my entire Google account for some reason that I can’t appeal or

⏹️ ▶️ John talk to a human about, I will at least have all of my email for all history up to, on average,

⏹️ ▶️ John six months before that happened. And I also do a pop

⏹️ ▶️ John of Gmail down to my local thing in a local email client, although I think

⏹️ ▶️ John Outlook is taking away pop support, so I have to switch to Apple Mail, which is its own can of worms. Anyway,

⏹️ ▶️ John export. Twitter does the same thing. You can get, and if you don’t know this and you care about this at all,

⏹️ ▶️ John you can dump all of your own tweets in a very cool sort of local

⏹️ ▶️ John HTML and JavaScript version to, you know, as a big zip file that just

⏹️ ▶️ John expanded to a bunch of files. And I do that periodically, dump all my tweets, just because that’s the thing I care about. And I

⏹️ ▶️ John like that companies provide me a way to do that. This, I think, is the first time I’ve seen Apple

⏹️ ▶️ John do anything close to that. As far as I know, it doesn’t give you a dump locally. It can only send to,

⏹️ ▶️ John let me look at this, I can only send to Google Photos. They say it’s a

⏹️ ▶️ John request to transfer a copy of iCloud Photos to another service, but another service means Google

⏹️ ▶️ John Photos right now. I look at this because, as

⏹️ ▶️ John we’ve discussed in past episodes, Google Photos is my backup, backup, backup, backup service.

⏹️ ▶️ John I have the Google Backup and Sync thing shoving all of my photos into

⏹️ ▶️ John Google Photos. The backup and sync application is terrible and does a bad job and

⏹️ ▶️ John I’m pretty sure it misses photos But it’s better than nothing

⏹️ ▶️ John And so I just run that continuously and it’s like my fifth level backup of my photos in case everything else

⏹️ ▶️ John fails I will still have Me 90% of my photos in some

⏹️ ▶️ John form or another in Google Photos And I pay for all that storage and a lot of stuff. So I looked at this and

⏹️ ▶️ John said, okay Well, here is this has got to be better supported than what I’m doing now because it’s Apple doing

⏹️ ▶️ John the transfer and it’s like an offline thing and they’ll do it over the course of several days and

⏹️ ▶️ John Preserve as much in the metadata as they can I hope and you know, is there Apple they know about their photo library format Right,

⏹️ ▶️ John but as far as I can tell having not tried this this is a thing Well, they will take all your photos

⏹️ ▶️ John and put them into Google Photos and that’s it And then they just sit there right and so then if you

⏹️ ▶️ John want to do that again, they say oh Oh, do you want us to export all your photos again and put them into Google Photos? Well,

⏹️ ▶️ John no, Apple, actually I don’t. I want you to just put in the photos that have been added or modified

⏹️ ▶️ John since the last time you did it. And they’re like, no, that’s not what this is about. We take your whole photo library

⏹️ ▶️ John and put it in Google Photos. You’ve misinterpreted our relationship. Right, and after that,

⏹️ ▶️ John that’s it, right? And so, in theory, I could transfer all my photos into Google Photos, and then every year,

⏹️ ▶️ John first delete all my photos from Google Photos somehow, and then do the transfer again,

⏹️ ▶️ John right? But that’s much more cumbersome, especially since the transfer says takes several days

⏹️ ▶️ John or whatever. Much more cumbersome and will protect far fewer photos than my current

⏹️ ▶️ John credit Google backup and sync thing. So I’m glad Apple is doing this thing.

⏹️ ▶️ John It’s a good way if you go with Apple Photos and you get frustrated and just like decide you’re never gonna do anything with Apple again,

⏹️ ▶️ John it is an escape hatch for your photos. You can send them to another service. Hope you like Google, because that’s your only choice.

⏹️ ▶️ John There are other escape patches. If you have any Mac that has a local copy of all your photos and you should have at least one Mac that

⏹️ ▶️ John has a local copy of all your photos, you can, of course, export all of them, export unmodified originals,

⏹️ ▶️ John right to another disk or something like that. There’s other ways to get your photos out. They don’t like your photos are trapped, but

⏹️ ▶️ John I presume that this transfer service will try to preserve as much

⏹️ ▶️ John of the original quality and information about your photos as it can. What I really care about and the reason I’m really stuck of the

⏹️ ▶️ John Apple photos is, all the photos I care about have edits. I don’t think there’s

⏹️ ▶️ John a single photo that I have, you know, made a favorite or whatever, that doesn’t have some kind of edits to

⏹️ ▶️ John it. And if you gave me all my originals back, it would be like, okay, I hope you enjoyed doing

⏹️ ▶️ John 10 to 15 years worth of edits over again. Hope you remember what those were.

⏹️ ▶️ John And I don’t, and I don’t wanna do 10 to 15 years worth of edits. And I also don’t wanna bake in my edits

⏹️ ▶️ John like Casey does, because I’m not a monster. So I do like having my photos in Apple Photos

⏹️ ▶️ John because Apple preserves my originals while maintaining all my metadata, all my

⏹️ ▶️ John face recognition, all my tags, and yes, all of my edits. So I’m not going

⏹️ ▶️ John to use this service even to make a backup, but I would be super excited if Apple ever enhanced this service

⏹️ ▶️ John to sort of do incremental backups or periodic dumps or something like that, but I’m not

⏹️ ▶️ John holding my breath, and honestly, they should do the family stuff first.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Yeah, I’m a little more cynical about the motivation for this. I mean, I

⏹️ ▶️ Marco think they’re clearly right now in a time where they’re under a pretty

⏹️ ▶️ Marco significant and seemingly rapidly increasing amount of regulatory and antitrust

⏹️ ▶️ Marco pressure and possibly legal pressure from competitors as well. So I think a lot

⏹️ ▶️ Marco of the moves that we’re seeing Apple make recently that seem kind of like, huh, I never thought they would do that or that’s a little

⏹️ ▶️ Marco odd. Why did they do that? I bet a lot of it is like they are trying to

⏹️ ▶️ Marco dodge some kind of regulatory problem or legal problem they see coming down the pipe.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco And in this case, Apple Photo or iCloud Photo Library is

⏹️ ▶️ Marco part of Apple’s possible monopoly risk in the sense that it has

⏹️ ▶️ Marco way better integration with the iPhone than anything else can. And so it is

⏹️ ▶️ Marco kind of part of their unfair advantage moat moat that competitors

⏹️ ▶️ Marco could have a problem with. And so maybe this is just like something else they can put out there that didn’t

⏹️ ▶️ Marco take them a lot of time or effort probably, that they can, you know, they don’t have to really radically change the way they

⏹️ ▶️ Marco do anything, or really take any significant risks by doing stuff like this, but it can relieve

⏹️ ▶️ Marco a little bit of pressure that’s building up somewhere in that, you know, antitrust area.

⏹️ ▶️ John I feel like the thing about the service is, it’s probably expensive for Apple to do,

⏹️ ▶️ John And they’re only saved by the fact that no one is gonna do this, because it is obscure, like there’s no

⏹️ ▶️ John big shiny gooey button to do it like in photos. Like it’s not an obvious thing.

⏹️ ▶️ John People who don’t listen to tech podcasts or read Apple News, probably don’t even know that it exists and will have to

⏹️ ▶️ John be told that it exists by someone at an Apple store or a tech nerd friend or something, right?

⏹️ ▶️ John Because to do this, what they’re probably doing behind the scenes is running a big batch job in one of their

⏹️ ▶️ John data centers that calls the Google Photos API that reads photos from where Apple keeps them in their

⏹️ ▶️ John cloud storage and writes them through Google’s public APIs that they expose to the Google

⏹️ ▶️ John Photos service to your Google Photos account, which means they have to allocate

⏹️ ▶️ John computing resources for multiple days for each individual

⏹️ ▶️ John customer, and then they have to do all the data transfer from wherever the data is being

⏹️ ▶️ John stored, so they’re reading from their own storage, and then writing over the wire, over the network into Google’s thing, and I don’t

⏹️ ▶️ John know of Google’s charging per API call, but probably something like that. It’s not like, I don’t think Google’s giving this all away for free.

⏹️ ▶️ John For just to do a single person’s photo library is a non-trivial amount of money that Apple

⏹️ ▶️ John is spending on, you know, somebody’s data centers or, you know, even if it’s just electricity and cooling,

⏹️ ▶️ John right? It is way out of proportion to the normal stuff that you get for Apple essentially

⏹️ ▶️ John for free. So yeah, this definitely does read like a thing that we either

⏹️ ▶️ John have to do for regulatory reasons or that we want to be able to say that we offer, but please

⏹️ ▶️ John don’t do this. Like if like 50% of Apple’s customers did this, they would lose

⏹️ ▶️ John a ton of money. Not to mention, you know, losing all the photos. And you know,

⏹️ ▶️ John I’m sure Google would be happy to have a bunch of more people’s photos to analyze or whatever. So yeah,

⏹️ ▶️ John it’s a weird feature. Like you were saying, Marco, everything they do, whether it really

⏹️ ▶️ John is motivated by the current political climate or not, it’s just you view it through that lens. if

⏹️ ▶️ John it’s in any way relevant to that, if it in any way helps or hurts them, you

⏹️ ▶️ John just immediately view it through that lens. And the timing of all these things is so coincidental that you

⏹️ ▶️ John have to believe there’s some motivation here. But like, someone had to write this, someone had

⏹️ ▶️ John to code up this whole batching system and a way of initiating it. And

⏹️ ▶️ John I can’t think of anything else that you can do from Apple that you can initiate, and then they

⏹️ ▶️ John will run a batch job for you and tell you several days later that it has completed. Like there’s nothing

⏹️ ▶️ John else like that. App reviews, kind of like that.

⏹️ ▶️ John, Marco Yeah, I suppose.

⏹️ ▶️ John But the whole point is most of the time they’re not doing anything for you. You’re in a queue, right? Then they pop

⏹️ ▶️ John you out of the queue and you get your review. But this is just like the whole time that you’re waiting, presumably that you’re not in a queue,

⏹️ ▶️ John they’re just grinding away. Because if you have hundreds of thousands of photos,

⏹️ ▶️ John it’s gonna take a while.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey You know, I would like to challenge something you said a little while ago.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey I don’t know that Google would charge Apple for this because if you think about it, Google is almost

⏹️ ▶️ Casey certainly taking on a customer at this point. So why wouldn’t they, you know, welcome Apple with open

⏹️ ▶️ Casey arms and all of this customer’s data and of course, bring that to Google Photos because we’re going to charge them soon.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Works for us.

⏹️ ▶️ John I don’t know what Google’s business model is. Like normally you want to have API limits and like the customer

⏹️ ▶️ John here is not the individual. I guess it is, they’re authenticating the individual. But like Apple potentially could send a lot of API

⏹️ ▶️ John requests to Google, if any non-trivial number of people did this. And then Google will throttle them, and

⏹️ ▶️ John then Apple can’t do your thing within this promised seven days or whatever, and then maybe money has to change

⏹️ ▶️ John hands. But yeah, in general, cloud providers like S3 or whatever will make it very easy to get data

⏹️ ▶️ John into S3, but much more expensive to get it out again. So it’s not that they don’t

⏹️ ▶️ John charge you at all, because sometimes we won’t charge you for data transfer in, but will charge you per API call

⏹️ ▶️ John a tiny amount for each thing. And like I said, that’s for individual customers to

⏹️ ▶️ John AWS. For Apple and Google, the relationship between their two data

⏹️ ▶️ John centers and what kind of deal they work out, who knows? I don’t know

⏹️ ▶️ John if any money changed hands here as any kind of agreement, but I think there has to be some kind of discussion because it

⏹️ ▶️ John would be pretty surprising for Google just to wake up one day and say, a tiny, tiny fraction

⏹️ ▶️ John of a percentage start doing this, even just out of curiosity, like I almost did it, that’s gonna show up on Google’s radar

⏹️ ▶️ John of like, whoa, what’s going on here? Suddenly there’s a huge spike in API calls to our Google Photos API

⏹️ ▶️ John and these giant batches and they’re all coming from this one Apple data center and then I feel like

⏹️ ▶️ John they would have a discussion before this rather than just surprise Google with it. but who knows, stranger things

⏹️ ▶️ John have happened.

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Apple vs. scam-app pricing

⏹️ ▶️ Casey So a few weeks ago, almost a month ago now, it was announced, I guess, that

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Apple was cracking down on apps with quote, irrationally high prices, quote,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey as App Store scams are exposed. And so Apple said that, in

⏹️ ▶️ Casey a very Apple-y way, customers expect the App Store to be a safe and trusted marketplace for purchasing digital goods.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Apps should never betray this trust by attempting to rip off or cheat users in any way. Fortunately, the prices you’ve selected for

⏹️ ▶️ Casey your app oh, I’m sorry, this is in the case of you charging $1,000 for a fart app. The prices you’ve selected

⏹️ ▶️ Casey for your app or in-app purchase products in your app do not reflect the value of the features and content offered to the user.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Charging irrationally high prices for content or services with limited value is a ripoff to customers and is

⏹️ ▶️ Casey not appropriate for the app store. And then they give you different resolution steps.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey The next submission of this app may require a longer review time and it won’t be eligible for an expedited review

⏹️ ▶️ Casey until this issue is resolved. Thank you, but please get off my lawn. Love,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Apple. I mean, I don’t know that there’s that much to say about this other than finally.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey I mean, this seems completely reasonable to me. And I was thinking about this a little bit earlier.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey If Apple wants to have this like walled garden, there’s no side loading. We are the only way. This

⏹️ ▶️ Casey is the way to get on the phone. I mean, in and of itself, I don’t have

⏹️ ▶️ Casey an extreme problem with that, although that’s kind of a discussion for another day. But if you’re going to do that, if you’re

⏹️ ▶️ Casey going to cultivate this walled garden, it better have some pretty flowers in it and it better not be full

⏹️ ▶️ Casey of weeds. And so if this is Apple finally weeding, then okay,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey cool. Let’s keep, let’s get these weeds and all the other weeds that are there, because there’s a lot of them. And this

⏹️ ▶️ Casey analogy is getting beat to death, but nevertheless, you get the idea is that there’s so much, there’s so much

⏹️ ▶️ Casey garbage and just nasty stuff in the app store that’s maybe not nasty

⏹️ ▶️ Casey in the sense of inappropriate, like content, but just it’s nasty in the sense that

⏹️ ▶️ Casey it’s like a bait and switch. And, and it’s just gross. And so

⏹️ ▶️ Casey why not clean this up? And, and you know what, finally.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco You know, I hope this is actually some kind of ongoing thing, but I think again, this is important to

⏹️ ▶️ Marco look at the context that surrounded the timing of this. Um, when this came out, um, about

⏹️ ▶️ Marco a month ago, this was right around the time when there was a lot

⏹️ ▶️ Marco of like Twitter storms coming up about scam apps in the App Store and

⏹️ ▶️ Marco a lot of people were shining a lot of light on just how prevalent scam apps

⏹️ ▶️ Marco have become especially in regards to using usually weekly

⏹️ ▶️ Marco subscription billing to seemingly trick people into paying absurd prices

⏹️ ▶️ Marco like you know ten dollars a week for an app that has like you know one screen and does a really simple thing you know stuff

⏹️ ▶️ Marco like that where you end up like if you do the math It’s like, wow, this is like $400 a year for this

⏹️ ▶️ Marco really simple app that does one very basic thing, if it even does that at all. And so,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco it has seemed for so long that no

⏹️ ▶️ Marco one’s job at Apple seems to be to monitor the top grossing apps

⏹️ ▶️ Marco or the top apps on the top charts for scammy apps. And

⏹️ ▶️ Marco maybe this is someone’s job, but it doesn’t look like that. Like from the outside, you see apps

⏹️ ▶️ Marco climb those charts all the time that are like obvious scams. And they stay there

⏹️ ▶️ Marco until someone says something usually. And so anyway, so what was happening last month was

⏹️ ▶️ Marco there were a bunch of people on Twitter who were like really shining lights on this and calling attention to, in particular, like

⏹️ ▶️ Marco specific scam apps that had been there for a long time. And then when they made a stink on Twitter,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco a day later or a few hours later, they’d be taken down. And again, these are apps that had been there for

⏹️ ▶️ Marco months or weeks beforehand. So it does seem like,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco as usual, Apple has not seemingly been running the App Store with the kind of

⏹️ ▶️ Marco resources it actually needs to be good, or not prioritizing or not caring about

⏹️ ▶️ Marco those things enough. But then also, we know how Apple works.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco When a light is shown on something that is unpleasant to them or makes them look bad,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco they do fix it. Like, running to the press always helps, right? Like, they always respond

⏹️ ▶️ Marco to negative press. Oftentimes, that is the kick in the butt they need to do something

⏹️ ▶️ Marco that they should have done a while ago or that is obvious, but that they just didn’t care enough

⏹️ ▶️ Marco before to prioritize it or to give it resources to get done. And so

⏹️ ▶️ Marco it does seem like in the context of when this was raised, you know, that was during

⏹️ ▶️ Marco a storm of bad press about App Store scams, in particular, around scammy pricing

⏹️ ▶️ Marco and scammy subscription price apps. And so in that context, I think

⏹️ ▶️ Marco this could have just been them reacting to that in a quick, you know, band-aid kind of way.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco I hope that’s not it. I hope they’re actually devoting significant resources

⏹️ ▶️ Marco to making the app store seem less like a crappy scam-filled flea market

⏹️ ▶️ Marco because it has needed that for almost its entire life, if not its entire life. Like the

⏹️ ▶️ Marco app store, You know, Casey’s right, like it should, the amount of curation that Apple

⏹️ ▶️ Marco says they’re doing, which again, go back to antitrust pressure.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Apple is trying to project the image to regulators and governments that

⏹️ ▶️ Marco they are protecting users from scams and stuff like that. And that’s why they need to maintain

⏹️ ▶️ Marco their incredibly rigid hold on the gatekeeper status they have over the App Store, and ripping

⏹️ ▶️ Marco off 30% off of all of our money while they’re at it, right? Apple needs to defend this image because they make a

⏹️ ▶️ Marco lot of money from this image, from the gatekeeper role that they have, that

⏹️ ▶️ Marco this image is their defense to current and future government probes about whether they should

⏹️ ▶️ Marco be allowed to keep this control. So if the App Store is obviously

⏹️ ▶️ Marco filled with scam apps, and anybody who looks at it can instantly find scam

⏹️ ▶️ Marco apps in the App Store, that weakens Apple’s argument to these regulators that are

⏹️ ▶️ Marco putting increasing pressure on them again. That weakens their argument that they need to be in control of this, to protect us,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco I guess, right? So again, looking at it in context, this is not something

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Apple’s doing out of the goodness of their heart. This is something that they’re doing because they got bad press about it and because their

⏹️ ▶️ Marco App Store monopoly is likely to be continuing to be threatened by

⏹️ ▶️ Marco regulation. And so they need to make sure their argument is actually

⏹️ ▶️ Marco visibly apparent that like, yes, we actually are keeping this a safe place. And

⏹️ ▶️ Marco this walled garden, it has seemingly been about as safe as Central Park in the 80s.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Like it’s not a great walled garden for scamming

⏹️ ▶️ Marco people out of their money. And honestly, most

⏹️ ▶️ Marco of app store pricing pre-in-app purchase and specifically pre-subscription

⏹️ ▶️ Marco options was fairly straightforward. We didn’t have a lot of pricing

⏹️ ▶️ Marco scams besides just like paid upfront apps or ad purchases that then like wouldn’t

⏹️ ▶️ Marco work the way they want it. But that’s a lot easier for App Store, for App Review to catch. What,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco the biggest root of this problem seems to be specifically subscription

⏹️ ▶️ Marco billing apps and specifically apps that try to mislead people into starting subscriptions

⏹️ ▶️ Marco with either free trials or just weekly prices

⏹️ ▶️ Marco or both. because those both kind of like bury and

⏹️ ▶️ Marco obfuscate the true cost of something to people. And this is something that Apple

⏹️ ▶️ Marco can totally fix. I think there are two very obvious things they could do here

⏹️ ▶️ Marco that for some reason they haven’t. Number one, I said this on Twitter, I’ll say it again, I think they should eliminate

⏹️ ▶️ Marco weekly billing as an option. Because while there are some legitimate

⏹️ ▶️ Marco uses for that, like people say newspapers are a common one, And I’m pretty sure that’s why it’s there.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco I think it’s there basically for the New York Times. If they even still use it, I don’t know. I don’t know off the top of my head. But

⏹️ ▶️ Marco most things people pay for on an ongoing basis are not paid weekly. Most things

⏹️ ▶️ Marco that you pay for on an ongoing basis are paid monthly. And most legitimate

⏹️ ▶️ Marco subscription apps don’t charge you weekly. They charge you either monthly or annually. Weekly seems

⏹️ ▶️ Marco to only be used by a handful of important publications and every single

⏹️ ▶️ Marco price scammer in the app store. And so, I have to imagine that

⏹️ ▶️ Marco pro to con ratio on weekly billing is really poor. It’s really

⏹️ ▶️ Marco not good. And if they got rid of weekly billing, that would prevent so many

⏹️ ▶️ Marco scam apps from scamming so many people out of so much money. Because it would make the pricing

⏹️ ▶️ Marco terms much more clear to people. And then secondly, as many people on Twitter have pointed

⏹️ ▶️ Marco out, the design of the in-app purchase confirmation screen is

⏹️ ▶️ Marco not great. Everything’s just like small and illegible and it doesn’t call attention

⏹️ ▶️ Marco to the price very well. And it spends a lot of like screen real estate on, you know, emptiness

⏹️ ▶️ Marco or on, you know, BS text. And, and it also shoves into the app,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco the responsibility of a lot of disclosure of things like what are you buying? Most of that is most

⏹️ ▶️ Marco of that is left up to the app and is enforced by app review. Of course, that means it’s

⏹️ ▶️ Marco selectively and inconsistently enforced. Much of that should be moved into the design of the purchase

⏹️ ▶️ Marco screen. That could significantly cut down on

⏹️ ▶️ Marco the problems that in-app purchase scams create and what they can do, how many people get

⏹️ ▶️ Marco fooled, etc. And why Apple hasn’t modernized the in-app purchase

⏹️ ▶️ Marco screen for subscriptions, I don’t know. I can only leave it up to a combination

⏹️ ▶️ Marco of, you know, know, the the Allen die software design era of

⏹️ ▶️ Marco not caring about legibility and clarity for people and instead caring about minimalism and a combined

⏹️ ▶️ Marco with the seeming like moving mountains effort that it takes to change anything about

⏹️ ▶️ Marco the store and the purchase like store kit and like the that whole area of the OS and the services

⏹️ ▶️ Marco ecosystem seems like it moves glacially for whatever reason. So,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco you know, combine those things and I’m not expecting big changes here anytime soon, but again, I just, I wish

⏹️ ▶️ Marco they would put more resources into really making the app store better

⏹️ ▶️ Marco for customers in ways that, like this, that really matter instead of just, you know,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco giving lip service. And I don’t know why things have been as bad as they are in this area

⏹️ ▶️ Marco for as long as they have been, but I hope they find reasons to fix it besides

⏹️ ▶️ Marco just doing the minimum required to fend off antitrust problems.

⏹️ ▶️ John regulatory angle on this is interesting because I think Apple is relying on and I think they’re

⏹️ ▶️ John smart to rely on because I think they’re They’re correct relying on the fact that the technical nuances

⏹️ ▶️ John that I think most people who would listen to this show or up on Tech news understand

⏹️ ▶️ John are never going to get a fair hearing in A sort of public forum

⏹️ ▶️ John or any kind of like congressional, you know congressional hearing anything like that Which is when that when Apple makes

⏹️ ▶️ John a claim that you know that you were just saying Margaret like we make the App Store safe if that’s why we need controls about safety, we’re

⏹️ ▶️ John protecting customers, so on and so forth. The truth is that most of the safety comes from

⏹️ ▶️ John the design of the OS and sandboxing and has nothing to do with app review or the control over the app store.

⏹️ ▶️ John But that is a technical nuance that I think most people involved in this at the

⏹️ ▶️ John highest levels don’t understand. And even if they did understand it, trying to articulate that

⏹️ ▶️ John technical nuance is gonna make you look like just a wonk who’s just like

⏹️ ▶️ John getting into the weeds and it’s like, you’re missing the big picture here. It’s Apple control. It’s like, but this is, this

⏹️ ▶️ John technical distinction actually is important because it is the main thing that undercuts, one of the two

⏹️ ▶️ John main things that undercuts Apple’s argument that their control of the App Store is essential for customer safety

⏹️ ▶️ John is that most of the safety has nothing to do with the App Store. You know, Apple’s gonna say, you know, we have

⏹️ ▶️ John fewer viruses, it’s safer, blah, blah, blah. That’s all true, but it’s not because of the App Store. It’s because

⏹️ ▶️ John of, since day one, apps have been sandboxed and have very limited access to resources on

⏹️ ▶️ John the iPhone and everything. Now, granted, obviously, you know, if things didn’t go through

⏹️ ▶️ John the app store, it would be easier to exploit things because people can’t silo. Like there is, that’s

⏹️ ▶️ John why this is nuanced. That way I get off into the weeds of saying, okay, well, but Apple doesn’t allow private APIs

⏹️ ▶️ John and private APIs might be more exploitable or you can’t distribute a jailbreak through the Apple store and it’s harder

⏹️ ▶️ John for people to jailbreak. And if siloing was available, it’d be easy to jailbreak. And you know, like all of that is true, but

⏹️ ▶️ John still it is a nuanced distinction. And what it’s undercutting is the idea that

⏹️ ▶️ John the app store is the one and only most important bulwark against chaos

⏹️ ▶️ John on the iPhone and it is not. It is part of a solution, but I don’t even think it’s the biggest part.

⏹️ ▶️ John The second big argument against, oh, we’re keeping customers safe,

⏹️ ▶️ John is alluded to in an ironic way by the first sentence of this little message. This is a message that

⏹️ ▶️ John you get if you have an app that like Apple decides is priced too high. The case you read earlier, customers

⏹️ ▶️ John expect the app store to be a safe and trusted marketplace for purchasing digital goods. Do they?

⏹️ ▶️ John Why would they? Anything you do on the app store as a regular person, like say,

⏹️ ▶️ John you hear about a cool app and you wanna go download it. So you go to the app store to find it. You will

⏹️ ▶️ John be flooded with thousands of scam, clone apps that are not the app you want that have hundreds

⏹️ ▶️ John of five star reviews that are in the top of the search results and maybe are the top one because they paid for ad keywords.

⏹️ ▶️ John It is not a safe and trusted marketplace at all. Anybody who has been in the app store

⏹️ ▶️ John in the last several years has known that it’s just very,

⏹️ ▶️ John unless you know exactly what you want and are very careful to go exactly to that one, not to pick the

⏹️ ▶️ John scam clone apps with identical looking icons and similar names, it is a terrifying place to be.

⏹️ ▶️ John Not because the apps are going to like root your phone and steal all your pictures or whatever, because, you know,

⏹️ ▶️ John again, sandboxing prevents that, but because you’re going to end up getting the wrong thing and that wrong thing

⏹️ ▶️ John may end up costing you money and making you accidentally sign up for a 4.99 per week bill that it starts off as

⏹️ ▶️ John a free trial, right? And you’re gonna, you know, well, I can just look at the reviews and it’s a curated collection.

⏹️ ▶️ John It’s like, no, it’s not curated. Apple lets any junk through. And the reviews are meaningless because they can be scammed and Apple hasn’t stopped that.

⏹️ ▶️ John And the search results are terrible. So even if it’s the most popular app in the world and you search for it by name, you might get some five

⏹️ ▶️ John other results before the one you want. And that combined, so the nuanced

⏹️ ▶️ John technical argument about sandboxing versus the App Store and the caveats about

⏹️ ▶️ John side loading, combined with Apple’s terrible job, the actual job

⏹️ ▶️ John of curation of keeping scam apps out of the App Store, totally undercuts their safety argument.

⏹️ ▶️ John But let’s set that aside for now. That’s a

⏹️ ▶️ Marco huge thing to set aside. Right,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco, John but you’re right.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey, Marco Other

⏹️ ▶️ Casey, John than that,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey did you enjoy the play, Mr. Flinken?

⏹️ ▶️ John This particular story is about one new thing that they’re doing, that Apple is doing,

⏹️ ▶️ John to try to reduce the scams, right? And this new thing, I’m gonna come at this from entirely

⏹️ ▶️ John the opposite direction, although it’ll come around, you’ll see. It reminds me

⏹️ ▶️ John of my very first thought, and I brought this up on past shows, my very first thought when the App Store

⏹️ ▶️ John was announced. It flashed in my head when they were talking about it on screen in the presentation, here comes the

⏹️ ▶️ John App Store, right? And here’s what you can do. because I was virtually surrounded. I wasn’t there

⏹️ ▶️ John in person, but I was virtually surrounded by all of my other Apple nerd friends watching the same

⏹️ ▶️ John keynote remotely or in person, and we’re all taking it in. I think it was a live stream. Who knows? I can’t remember. It

⏹️ ▶️ John was too long ago. And they put those slides up that the App Store is coming. And

⏹️ ▶️ John what I thought was, here are all these people that I know, my friends, who are

⏹️ ▶️ John what we called indie software developers back then, who make a living by selling software

⏹️ ▶️ John for Apple platforms and they sort of do it on their own, maybe with a couple of people

⏹️ ▶️ John in a small company or maybe literally by themselves. And they’ve been doing it for years

⏹️ ▶️ John and they are sort of these indie software developers living the dream. They found a way to

⏹️ ▶️ John make something that people are willing to pay money for and that’s how they make their living. And

⏹️ ▶️ John even though we all had stars in our eyes about what promised to be and really was a gold rush

⏹️ ▶️ John for being able to make lots of money on the app store, on the iPhone, to make

⏹️ ▶️ John apps for the iPhone, I saw all of those people suddenly changing

⏹️ ▶️ John from indie software developers who exchanged their,

⏹️ ▶️ John made something with their labor and sold it and got money. Those people would be getting money from all of

⏹️ ▶️ John their customers. Their customers would, back in the day, you’d write checks for shareware. like actual, you’d actually

⏹️ ▶️ John put a check in the mail. Or getting credit cards online and charging

⏹️ ▶️ John people’s credit cards and getting their money and then giving them a code for the software or allowing to download

⏹️ ▶️ John it, whatever. All those people were suddenly going to change from that form of income to a new

⏹️ ▶️ John form of income. And that new form of income was every month you will get a single check signed by Apple.

⏹️ ▶️ John It doesn’t mean they suddenly work for Apple. But I was like, well, this really changes the relationship

⏹️ ▶️ John of all these supposed indie developers. Previously, they were getting money from their customers

⏹️ ▶️ John for things that they made. And that, you know, if they go all in on iOS, that’s gonna

⏹️ ▶️ John end. And they’re no longer getting money from customers. In fact, they no longer have customers. What they’re getting is money from Apple.

⏹️ ▶️ John And they’re not Apple employees. It’s kind of like they’re sharecroppers for Apple,

⏹️ ▶️ John right? Like, when all of your income is checks

⏹️ ▶️ John signed by Apple, the relationship that you thought you had as a quote unquote independent

⏹️ ▶️ John software developer really changes. That was my first and I wasn’t, I’m not and wasn’t then

⏹️ ▶️ John an independent software developer, but that was my thought of like, oh geez, this is, this is really a bigger change than we think

⏹️ ▶️ John it is. Not to say that people shouldn’t develop for the app store cause they totally should. And it really was a gold rush and it was a good time to get in there and get

⏹️ ▶️ John some good apps out. And you know, it’s like, and now that I was, it wasn’t, but it was just a thought in

⏹️ ▶️ John my head that this, this fundamentally changes the relationship and this, this

⏹️ ▶️ John altercation of the relationship between independent software developers and the platform they develop on

⏹️ ▶️ John has always been there. And every once in a while, something like this will come along and give me that same

⏹️ ▶️ John feeling. When this came along where Apple’s deciding, like Apple’s always had

⏹️ ▶️ John control over the app store. Like they decide what’s in, they decide what’s out, they make up the rules, they change

⏹️ ▶️ John their mind. Like that’s always been the way it is. And occasionally they make a decision that’s bad and people complain. And sometimes

⏹️ ▶️ John they make a decision that’s good people cheer, right? But the relationship, the power dynamic has always been the same.

⏹️ ▶️ John Here Apple is deciding, like calling attention to the fact

⏹️ ▶️ John that they really do control everything. Now, you could argue that decisions like, oh, the minimum

⏹️ ▶️ John price you can charge is 99 cents. That is a pricing decision that Apple’s had basically since day one. You can have free

⏹️ ▶️ John or you can have 99 cents. You can’t have 98, you can’t have 50, you can’t have one cent. You can have 99, right?

⏹️ ▶️ John And I think Apple did some stuff with like the I Am Rich application, at least strongly discouraging it from being

⏹️ ▶️ John like $1,000 or whatever. Like now that there’s a cap, because I think some apps can be very expensive because they’re very fancy apps.

⏹️ ▶️ John But in general, Apple has set pricing parameters. But most independent software developers developing for Apple

⏹️ ▶️ John platforms through Apple’s app stores have not felt like Apple is telling them how to run

⏹️ ▶️ John their business. I mean, other than telling them what apps they’re allowed to develop and the fact that their minimum price has to be 99 cents.

⏹️ ▶️ John And here’s what you can do is descriptions. But in general, I would think if you ask developers, they would say, well,

⏹️ ▶️ John I decide I decide how much to charge my application, right? Like if I think I can get away

⏹️ ▶️ John with charging $99 for my app, I’m gonna try to do it. And if I’m a dummy and

⏹️ ▶️ John really no one’s gonna buy it, then I’ll change my price, right? And there’s lots of arguments for the downward price pressure of the app store

⏹️ ▶️ John and free apps being hard and you know, all that stuff. But in general, it always seemed like,

⏹️ ▶️ John okay, Apple sets the rules, but then we all, we as independent software developers or whoever, and just companies or

⏹️ ▶️ John whatever, we get to play in that space and decide how to price our products based on

⏹️ ▶️ John our notion of what we think is the right move in the current competitive environment. And a move

⏹️ ▶️ John like this is Apple saying, you know what, sometimes we can just tell you, you know that price you picked

⏹️ ▶️ John for your product? Yeah, no. It’s not, not because it’s below 99 cents,

⏹️ ▶️ John we just think, we think your app isn’t good enough for the price that

⏹️ ▶️ John you are charging. Like they come right out and say it, right? The price

⏹️ ▶️ John you’ve selected for your app do not reflect the value or features of the content offered

⏹️ ▶️ John to the user. That is an incredible statement, incredible flex of power.

⏹️ ▶️ John It’s like, just so you know, I don’t just know, you haven’t thought about this lately, but we can do

⏹️ ▶️ John, Marco anything in the App Store.

⏹️ ▶️ John And we’ve decided that your app isn’t worth the price you’re charging it. Now,

⏹️ ▶️ John the context here is, okay, well, these are scam apps. Everyone can tell they’re scams. And I just got done complaining that the thing is full

⏹️ ▶️ John of scams. Should we get rid of the scams? Yes, absolutely. we should get rid of the scams. But the power

⏹️ ▶️ John they’re exercising and the judgment they are displaying is terrifying, should

⏹️ ▶️ John be terrifying to everybody because it’s basically saying, okay, we’ve always known we had this power.

⏹️ ▶️ John Now we’re telling you that we’re willing to flex it. Right? And I

⏹️ ▶️ John feel like once they’ve opened this door to like set this precedent that like, previously we had this power and

⏹️ ▶️ John didn’t use it. Now we have this power and we’re using it. We know that the App Store rules and guidelines

⏹️ ▶️ John are applied very poorly and inconsistently. I can imagine if

⏹️ ▶️ John they’re not careful, at some point in the future, someone doing an update to their app and changing the price from 599

⏹️ ▶️ John to 1099 for their in-app purchase, and Apple saying, we’ve decided

⏹️ ▶️ John that the value of your app does not, the price of your app does not reflect the value of the features or

⏹️ ▶️ John your content that you offer. Having to explain, how do you appeal that and say, well, I think it is worth $10 a month?

⏹️ ▶️ John Well, Apple thinks it isn’t. Well, you know, and Apple is in charge of everything. It

⏹️ ▶️ John is really, really scary. And sometimes things like this, scary things like this are important

⏹️ ▶️ John because they remind people that this has always been the power dynamic. You might not have been aware of it before

⏹️ ▶️ John and might not have thought about it. And because you felt that like it might not impact you. And even this, you can say, well, I’m not a scam

⏹️ ▶️ John app. So this isn’t going to affect me, but see also everyone else who has ever thought that about some enforcement

⏹️ ▶️ John in the app store and then suddenly found themselves on the receiving end of it. Right? You know,

⏹️ ▶️ John I don’t think this particular decision, I think, you know, to be clear, they should do this. In fact, they should do this even

⏹️ ▶️ John more aggressively. They should do all the things that Marco said, they should get rid of scam apps for sure, right? But

⏹️ ▶️ John as Apple becomes better at doing the thing they supposedly say they’re doing, which is curating the app score

⏹️ ▶️ John to protect customers, they’re getting farther and farther from one of the things that has

⏹️ ▶️ John been protecting the app store, which is that it’s more or less a free for all within the constraints Apple offered. So

⏹️ ▶️ John even though they’re the only place where you can get apps, you can get pretty much anything, any old piece of junk.

⏹️ ▶️ John Like, you know, no one’s being kept out of the app store for being a bad app developer. Everyone can get in there, it’s great,

⏹️ ▶️ John it’s like a quote unquote level playing field, whatever, right? And that allows a large

⏹️ ▶️ John diversity of apps within the rules. If Apple actually started curating and saying, we

⏹️ ▶️ John prefer to only really have good apps within the rules, as in no scams,

⏹️ ▶️ John and then eventually that’s like, okay, well, no apps that are really crappy or whatever, the number and type of apps

⏹️ ▶️ John available to you gets narrower and narrower, which is good in that that’s what we want as customers. I don’t want the scant

⏹️ ▶️ John apps, I don’t want the crappy apps. But at a platform perspective, the relief valve of

⏹️ ▶️ John allowing all that junk into the app store allowed the app store to look more like a free market than it

⏹️ ▶️ John has ever actually been. So if Apple ever does get good at curating

⏹️ ▶️ John the app store, it’s going to be so much more obvious to regulators that it is not a free market

⏹️ ▶️ John or a level playing field or it is entirely, the only way to get apps onto this thing is

⏹️ ▶️ John this very increasingly narrow corridor and it’s great for customers, as long as those customers

⏹️ ▶️ John agree with Apple entirely about everything that should be there, right? So I think Apple is

⏹️ ▶️ John not painting itself into a corner, but every time it does something like this as a reaction

⏹️ ▶️ John to regulatory pressure, it further highlights the thing that they’re gonna end up getting regulated about, which

⏹️ ▶️ John is that they do have all the power And every exercise of that power that narrows the

⏹️ ▶️ John app store makes it more and more clear that they do have that power and that it is

⏹️ ▶️ John a very narrowly defined thing that does not allow all the possible innovations

⏹️ ▶️ John that could be out there in the world from being available. You know, and I’m not using this to argue that

⏹️ ▶️ John Apple should immediately allow side loading and allow extra app stores, and allow Epic to have its own app store and all that other stuff. All I’m saying is that they are in

⏹️ ▶️ John a little bit of a pickle because if they do a good job of this, you know, maybe this is the

⏹️ ▶️ John middle road going for. If we make moves in the direction of being more open, but do a

⏹️ ▶️ John half-assed job of it, the App Store will still look like an open marketplace, but we can cite these examples as things we’re doing to

⏹️ ▶️ John protect customers. I don’t know how this is going to turn out, but I found this whole thing as another

⏹️ ▶️ John reminder to me of exactly how little the power dynamic has ever changed in the App

⏹️ ▶️ John Store. And it’s mostly, I think we did we name an episode after this a while back, mostly just all of us

⏹️ ▶️ John relying on the benevolence of the powerful and trying to feel good about it.

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#askatp: Praise Apple or ARM?

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Nick writes, Apple Silicon is rightly getting a ton of praise, but how much of that work is due

⏹️ ▶️ Casey to what ARM is doing and how much of it is because of Apple? Is it ARM with Apple Sprinkles or Apple with

⏹️ ▶️ Casey ARM Sprinkles? If the latter, why wouldn’t Apple just make its own chip architecture from scratch and fully control everything?

⏹️ ▶️ Casey This is a really good question. I don’t know the

⏹️ ▶️ Casey answer, but if I were to wager a guess, I’m very curious to hear what you guys have to say. I think that it’s

⏹️ ▶️ Casey really kind of both, isn’t it? Like I suppose Apple could come

⏹️ ▶️ Casey up with its own chip architecture and put itself behind by several years because it would

⏹️ ▶️ Casey have to throw away the work it’s already got, but I mean, plenty of other arm

⏹️ ▶️ Casey chips exist in the world that aren’t near as fast as this. So I, if I had

⏹️ ▶️ Casey to pick, I would probably say Apple, but I’m biased. Uh, but I really think you can’t have one without

⏹️ ▶️ Casey the other. I don’t know, Marco, am I bananas or does that make sense?

⏹️ ▶️ Marco I’m not a chip designer, and I really don’t know to what degree, like

⏹️ ▶️ Marco how much the ARM architecture and instruction set is being

⏹️ ▶️ Marco used here and how much Apple is going their own way. Once you get below

⏹️ ▶️ Marco the instruction set level, there’s all sorts of decisions you can make when you’re designing a chip

⏹️ ▶️ Marco that if you know what software is going to be running on it and if you can control things like

⏹️ ▶️ Marco the compiler that is making most or all of that software, you

⏹️ ▶️ Marco can make your software and hardware work very, very well together. You can really optimize them for

⏹️ ▶️ Marco each other. And that’s what Apple’s doing here. And I don’t know to what degree they do it, like

⏹️ ▶️ Marco on what level of the chip design, but it seems that they’re doing a lot of it. And it seems like they are able to

⏹️ ▶️ Marco take a lot of the advantages of the ARM instruction set and basics of the architecture,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco and then optimize the crap out of the stuff that goes below that and the compiler that compiles the software for it.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco So I’m thinking, just based on my relative amateur level

⏹️ ▶️ Marco of knowledge of this kind of stuff, I bet a lot of the goodness of how great

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Apple Silicon is is on Apple. Because you can look around the rest of the industry and

⏹️ ▶️ Marco lots of people use ARM chips. And ARM chips are good overall. There’s a reason why lots

⏹️ ▶️ Marco of people use ARM chips. They can be tweaked to lots of different workloads. They

⏹️ ▶️ Marco are very good at certain things. They’re very efficient in lots of ways, which almost the entire industry needs efficient

⏹️ ▶️ Marco chips. So there’s a reason why ARM chips are used everywhere. The ARM architecture and everything

⏹️ ▶️ Marco is very good. And using the ARM instruction set also comes with a lot of advantages

⏹️ ▶️ Marco in that there’s already tons of existing tooling and software around it. So it makes sense why

⏹️ ▶️ Marco lots of people use and create and customize ARM chips. Another reason people

⏹️ ▶️ Marco use it is that it can be customized easily and it can be optimized for certain applications

⏹️ ▶️ Marco easily. And I think that’s largely what we’re seeing with Apple, is like every

⏹️ ▶️ Marco other smartphone that we know of runs ARM chips, but they don’t outperform the iPhone, not

⏹️ ▶️ Marco even close. Like Apple has maintained this huge lead. And that’s in part

⏹️ ▶️ Marco because, you know, advances in iOS and power efficiency and stuff like that over Android or whatever else.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco but it’s largely because Apple has done a better job optimizing

⏹️ ▶️ Marco the hardware for their software ecosystem and vice versa than the other

⏹️ ▶️ Marco players in smartphones have done so far. So I think, again, it’s

⏹️ ▶️ Marco probably sum of A, sum of B. I think Apple Silicon is largely good because of ARM, because ARM was a really good

⏹️ ▶️ Marco foundation to build upon, but that probably most of the reason why it’s

⏹️ ▶️ Marco so good is that Apple has just customized the crap out of it to be optimized

⏹️ ▶️ Marco very, very well for their workflow and their software needs and their hardware needs.

⏹️ ▶️ John I think I lost track in this analogy. Like, are the sprinkles, like, what are we,

⏹️ ▶️ John are the sprinkles the thing that don’t matter or the sprinkles the things that do

⏹️ ▶️ John, Marco matter?

⏹️ ▶️ John Like, which is the, are sprinkles good or just the frill? Anyway, yeah, I

⏹️ ▶️ John agree with what you both said. Like, it’s 100%, not 100%, but like, the answer is whether it’s,

⏹️ ▶️ John Which one of these is more important? The fact that it’s ARM or the fact that it’s Apple? The fact that it’s Apple is absolutely the more

⏹️ ▶️ John important factor. And it’s like people said, like just look at the

⏹️ ▶️ John other ARM chips for doing the exact same job, being in a smartphone. Apple’s chips crush

⏹️ ▶️ John them and have for years, not by a little bit, not by 10%, by huge, embarrassing amounts.

⏹️ ▶️ John And yes, Apple can and does custom tailor every aspect of the entire stack

⏹️ ▶️ John to fit together and work well. But that type of optimization alone does not account for the

⏹️ ▶️ John massive lead that they have. Apple has some of the best chip designers in the world. They were blessed to be able to

⏹️ ▶️ John start with an architecture that was well suited to their application. It’s kind of an accident of history of like, well, we need a chip

⏹️ ▶️ John for the phone. It should be a low power chip. ARM seems to be the leader in this area. They didn’t start with a weird architecture that

⏹️ ▶️ John wasn’t suited for a phone. So it was a blessing there. But Apple only started to pull away once they started

⏹️ ▶️ John to make their own ARM chips. When they were using other people’s ARM chips, they had performance like other people’s ARM chips

⏹️ ▶️ John It seemed like it was fine But then they just stretch that lead out when they started doing their own thing whether it’s being

⏹️ ▶️ John first to 64-bit or just having The amazing chips they have now Apple’s chip designers are amazing. It’s a

⏹️ ▶️ John really easy a B comparison look at the other people also making arm chips and

⏹️ ▶️ John The thing is if you think of like Intel or other things Apple’s platform, especially now that it’s in Macs

⏹️ ▶️ John is pretty broad. They make tablets. They make phones. They make Macs all with their same architecture

⏹️ ▶️ John back when it was the Wintel duopoly It was a similar situation where the big platform

⏹️ ▶️ John that mattered before smartphones and everything was personal computers, and Windows was

⏹️ ▶️ John the massively dominant software platform, and Intel or x86 based chips

⏹️ ▶️ John were the hardware platform. At any point during that very long stretch of time when Wintel

⏹️ ▶️ John was the thing, there could have been, and I’m sure there was, the same type of work,

⏹️ ▶️ John granted across companies, but Like Intel could design chips knowing, hey, most people who

⏹️ ▶️ John buy this chip are gonna run Windows on it. And Windows people run these applications like

⏹️ ▶️ John Microsoft Office or Photoshop or whatever. Like there were known workloads that Intel absolutely

⏹️ ▶️ John could and probably did design its chip to be high performing at. Or like games, like GPU.

⏹️ ▶️ John GPU vendors do this today. GPU vendors make sure that their Silicon and their drivers,

⏹️ ▶️ John they have custom tweaks in the drivers for specific games to perform better. that detects

⏹️ ▶️ John when you’re running a specific game to change how it behaves to get better scores on those benchmarks

⏹️ ▶️ John for those features, right? This is not an unknown type of thing, tweaking your hardware to the software.

⏹️ ▶️ John It’s just that A, it’s easier for Apple to do it because they’re all one company, and B, Apple seems to be better

⏹️ ▶️ John at it. Like they’re just, like just like the Silicon design. Why aren’t everyone else’s ARM

⏹️ ▶️ John chips as good as Apple’s? All of those smartphone vendors and other people making ARM system-on-a-chips

⏹️ ▶️ John could also tailor those system-on-a-chips to work well with Android, which they know is gonna be the operating system that runs on the things.

⏹️ ▶️ John And they know what people are gonna be running on them. So like, it’s not like Apple can do something here that no

⏹️ ▶️ John one else can do, that only Apple can do this. Everybody can and has done this. Apple

⏹️ ▶️ John is just doing it better. And again, because they’re a single company, but because

⏹️ ▶️ John they have a lot of smart people, and sometimes you just get the right set of people around in the right

⏹️ ▶️ John place at the right time, and that’s the result. So if the sprinkles is

⏹️ ▶️ John the good thing, the sprinkles is apple.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey All right. All right, glad we got that sorted.

#askatp: Gaming on Macs

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Uh, Matt Chapman Jones writes, what do you think Apple would need to do to actually make gaming on max on par with

⏹️ ▶️ Casey gaming on PCs, hypothetically, let’s say a new Apple Silicon G one is announced with similar

⏹️ ▶️ Casey power to an Nvidia 3080 or that Apple starts offering an AMD RX 6800 XT and Mac pros.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey What more would they need to do to actually get developers on board in a real way to make the Mac

⏹️ ▶️ Casey a platform, the Mac a platform that AAA titles come up, come to on the day

⏹️ ▶️ Casey of release. I don’t know, do they need DirectX, John? What do they need

⏹️ ▶️ John to do? I mean, Marco, was it Marco who mentioned the Switch earlier? The Switch is ample

⏹️ ▶️ John evidence that even if your hardware is not good, like

⏹️ ▶️ John not competitive, not powerful or whatever, that doesn’t mean you can’t be

⏹️ ▶️ John a player in the gaming space. Apple’s problem with respect to games,

⏹️ ▶️ John some of it, yes, has been hardware, but their big problem is APIs

⏹️ ▶️ John and the software development ecosystem. Games are not made for Apple’s APIs.

⏹️ ▶️ John They’re made for APIs on other platforms. They’re made for DirectX, they’re made for the consoles or whatever. And

⏹️ ▶️ John if your platform knows how to, you know, cultivate,

⏹️ ▶️ John you know, gaming content and get developers to make games for it, you can field

⏹️ ▶️ John really ridiculous hardware like the PS3 with the cell and still people will develop

⏹️ ▶️ John for it because you’re Sony and your product is the PlayStation and you know how to deal with developers. So Apple’s problems

⏹️ ▶️ John here have nothing to do with like, oh, Apple can’t make good enough hardware

⏹️ ▶️ John or their GPUs aren’t powerful enough or what if they made an amazing chip or an amazing GPU?

⏹️ ▶️ John Like they can do all those things and you know, it would help them maybe run some games

⏹️ ▶️ John that are all available now a little bit better, but they would never be a player in the game market unless they essentially did what everyone

⏹️ ▶️ John who has ever entered and succeeded in this market has done, which is play the game, woo the developers, form

⏹️ ▶️ John the relationships, build the platform, get the players. Like you have to do all of those things

⏹️ ▶️ John that have nothing to do with making a great chip. Apple already makes great chips. Like the chips in all

⏹️ ▶️ John their iPads are more powerful than stuff in the Switch, but no one is like, you know, clamoring to play

⏹️ ▶️ John the latest iPad game any more than they’re playing they want to play the latest Zelda. What does Zelda have that these games

⏹️ ▶️ John don’t? Like Apple has tons of powerful hardware. They don’t have the games and they don’t have the games because they don’t

⏹️ ▶️ John have the developers and they know how the developers because they don’t know how to build those relationships because it’s not like it’s not

⏹️ ▶️ John like software developers. It’s not like the app development platform games is much more like you

⏹️ ▶️ John know their experience with streaming services the creative industry. It’s like making movies and TV shows. You

⏹️ ▶️ John don’t know when you’re going to have hit. It’s not a straightforward formula to get one. the recent stories

⏹️ ▶️ John about Amazon and Google trying their various gaming initiatives.

⏹️ ▶️ John Both of them are trying to sort of have in-house gaming studios, but they have no idea how to make a good game.

⏹️ ▶️ John It’s like saying, I want to make a hit movie. Can I do that? I know. It’s like, well, maybe,

⏹️ ▶️ John but it’s actually really hard and I can’t tell you exactly what to do. Otherwise, everyone would make hit movies, right?

⏹️ ▶️ John It’s a different skill set. And even if you hire all the right people, if the culture of your company is

⏹️ ▶️ John wrong, where you don’t you don’t create an environment where a hit game can come into being because

⏹️ ▶️ John your company is structured to make let’s say really great operating systems or great apps or something like that games

⏹️ ▶️ John are different enough that it is a big effort to

⏹️ ▶️ John succeed in this market totally independent of hardware. I always point to Microsoft

⏹️ ▶️ John because Microsoft you know Microsoft has a long history of gaming on the PC. They decided they wanted to enter the console

⏹️ ▶️ John market. They were already the biggest PC gaming platform because they were PCs

⏹️ ▶️ John at that point. And even they had difficulty merely doing a slightly different gaming

⏹️ ▶️ John thing, which is we’re going to make a gaming console. They were already the platform for PC

⏹️ ▶️ John gaming. And even they took years and lost tons of money and had to really stick to it to

⏹️ ▶️ John figure out how to make a viable console gaming platform. And even then they

⏹️ ▶️ John didn’t come to dominate. They’re just now one of three remaining big players in the market and

⏹️ ▶️ John the lead shuffles around as time goes on. So it’s really hard

⏹️ ▶️ John and the hard parts have nothing to do with hardware. So what does Apple have to do? They basically have to do what Sony

⏹️ ▶️ John and Microsoft and Nintendo have done to become the gaming powerhouses they are now. And the answer to that question

⏹️ ▶️ John is not feel the really great ship.

#askatp: UPSes

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Ram Srinath writes, do you use any battery backups with your desktops? Do you plug your NAS

⏹️ ▶️ Casey into it too? Do you know if I can use the USB almost running out of power dingus on the UPS to

⏹️ ▶️ Casey turn my Mac off? This Apple support page says that my iMac consumes 295 watts at peak power.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Do you know how that translates to how big a UPS I should get in VA? What does in VA mean? Oh,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey in old amps. Yeah, there you go. Sorry, I’m so used to seeing Virginia for that, and I was very confused.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey For me, I have a very old UPS and I have the USB

⏹️ ▶️ Casey dingus attached to my Synology because honestly, I’m more worried about that knowing when power is about

⏹️ ▶️ Casey to run out than I am my iMac. But plugged into the UPS is the Synology, my iMac,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey and I think my Eero, and very little else, if anything.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey And it lasts long enough, even though it’s several years old now, it lasts long enough to

⏹️ ▶️ Casey keep the lights on, so to speak, for the typical power blip that we would get around here.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey I would guess I would measure how long this lasts in 10 or 20 minutes.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey But that’s enough for me, and that’s how I do it. Marco, what do you do?

⏹️ ▶️ Marco What I do is possibly different from what I recommend.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco, Casey So

⏹️ ▶️ Marco what I do is I have a UPS everywhere I have a desktop, and I have

⏹️ ▶️ Marco a UPS at my networking gear station in the closet. so that way

⏹️ ▶️ Marco it keeps the router and the switches and everything all running.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco And of course, the Verizon ONT thing is also put into that, so that way, basically,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco power goes out, we still have internet as long as the internet service is up. And that

⏹️ ▶️ Marco kind of setup is great for, if you have the space, and if you’re willing

⏹️ ▶️ Marco to spend 150 bucks here and there on UPSs, and if what you have to plug in is that. Now

⏹️ ▶️ Marco obviously, laptops, I don’t think you need one, because the laptop itself kind of includes

⏹️ ▶️ Marco one built-in. So that’s not really necessary. But certainly the quality

⏹️ ▶️ Marco of life improvement, if you frequently have power blips, of having your internet connectivity

⏹️ ▶️ Marco never drop is wonderful. That being said, what UPS

⏹️ ▶️ Marco is right for you depends entirely on your situation, and it can vary

⏹️ ▶️ Marco a lot. If you are somewhere that almost never has any kind of power blackout,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco And if your desktop suddenly turning off in the middle of a big windstorm is something

⏹️ ▶️ Marco you can tolerate, then you probably don’t need a UPS at all. If you do have a UPS,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco I think it makes desktop life a little bit easier. If you get a really nice and massive one, it also makes a very good

⏹️ ▶️ Marco foot rest because they don’t move when you like push back and lean on them because they’re so heavy. Because the big ones are

⏹️ ▶️ Marco basically car batteries with a very small amount of metal around them. So that could be

⏹️ ▶️ Marco a fun thing. But for the most part, I just, I spent a long time with cyber

⏹️ ▶️ Marco power UPSs and before that APCs. I generally prefer

⏹️ ▶️ Marco the cyber powers now. I find they give you much better bang for your buck than APC does.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco APC seems for a while like it has been coasting on its reputation in my opinion.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco So cyber power is where it’s at. They, there are multiple different kinds of UPSs. I

⏹️ ▶️ Marco like the kind that have the, the like pure sine wave output, not necessarily because

⏹️ ▶️ Marco I need a perfectly smooth wave, but because that typically means it has really good voltage regulation and stuff and that

⏹️ ▶️ Marco kind of gets you into the high tier of UPSs. And please,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco power nerds, forgive me because I don’t know the actual details of how this stuff works again. But

⏹️ ▶️ Marco basically at the very low end of UPSs, they’re not always

⏹️ ▶️ Marco running the power through their power regulator circuitry. They’re running their power straight through most of the time, and

⏹️ ▶️ Marco if they need to, they like switch over. And my understanding is the

⏹️ ▶️ Marco kind of higher end version of UPSs are always running the power through their circuitry.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco And so there is no like switch over change to happen. And that, I think, is

⏹️ ▶️ Marco better if your power is like a little flaky, but is not like just

⏹️ ▶️ Marco going like pure on or pure off. So that’s usually, I usually end up going for whatever

⏹️ ▶️ Marco is like the entry level version of that type of UPS.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco So not like the super big fancy server versions or anything like that, but like the kind of like

⏹️ ▶️ Marco the mid-range of UPS versions. And CyberPower makes those in the like $150 range pretty easily.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco So that’s usually where I go. I usually go around the like $1,000 to $1,500 VA

⏹️ ▶️ Marco range in part because I don’t entirely understand what that unit means.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco in part because usually I’m less concerned with runtime and more concerned

⏹️ ▶️ Marco with just how much wattage can it handle at a time, because I’m usually plugging into it a giant desktop

⏹️ ▶️ Marco with a giant screen and everything else. So, you know, having something that can handle, you know, a thousand watts

⏹️ ▶️ Marco or 600 watts or something like is probably a minimum. And that usually, as you increase the wattage,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco usually you get higher VA ratings too, because I assume that’s kind of somehow related, but

⏹️ ▶️ Marco I’m sure I’m gonna read some Medium article next week about how it’s actually not related at all that’s actually a big scam or whatever. But anyway, what UPSs

⏹️ ▶️ Marco are good for is dealing with short power interruptions like that.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco If your power’s going out for hours and hours at a time, this is probably better solved in a different

⏹️ ▶️ Marco way, like some kind of backup generator or solar power or something like that. But

⏹️ ▶️ Marco for brief interruptions, like if you just have unreliable power or you have occasional

⏹️ ▶️ Marco brownouts here and there, or if you’re

⏹️ ▶️ Marco somewhere that has a lot of overhead power lines and you frequently have a half hour

⏹️ ▶️ Marco off or something like that, then obviously get a UPS. The only other thing I’ll add to this before I let John take over

⏹️ ▶️ Marco is if you have frequent power problems where the UPS is frequently having to

⏹️ ▶️ Marco kick on and things like that, there’s a pretty good chance it will shorten the life of the battery

⏹️ ▶️ Marco in the UPS because it’s just being used a lot. And there’s not a great way around that,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco except just expect that to happen. So don’t spend a whole bunch of money on a really great UPS

⏹️ ▶️ Marco if you frequently have like little blips, little power blips here and there, because it probably won’t last more than a few years.

⏹️ ▶️ John Yeah, the only things I had are, for trying to size your UPS,

⏹️ ▶️ John the peak power draw or like the rating for your power supply in

⏹️ ▶️ John your computer is not a good way to size things. So

⏹️ ▶️ John if you try to use those like sizing tools they have on the website or whatever, they want you to enter the information

⏹️ ▶️ John like that. Like, you know, my Mac has a 1500 watt power supply. What is in the Mac

⏹️ ▶️ John Pro? It’s like 1300 watts, it’s something ridiculous, right?

⏹️ ▶️ Marco It’s the most you can draw from a 15 amp circuit without requiring a special outlet or plug.

⏹️ ▶️ John But I think it’s under that. I think they’re under the 1500 limit, right? It’s not a space eater, literally.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Right, well, because, and you also can’t, you can’t have, like, you can’t draw 15 amps sustained.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco, John If

⏹️ ▶️ Marco it’s a sustain load, I believe you have to cap it at 80% of the amperage of the circuit. So it’s, I

⏹️ ▶️ Marco think, 13 or 1400 watts, something like that. Yeah, but anyway, the point is,

⏹️ ▶️ John that’s what’s in my Mac Pro, right? But my Mac Pro, my actual Mac Pro,

⏹️ ▶️ John is never drawing that much power. Because you can just add up the power draw of the things

⏹️ ▶️ John that are inside it, and they do not get to that. Now, if you filled my thing with dual

⏹️ ▶️ John GPU video cards and filled every single slot and filled it with like eight

⏹️ ▶️ John spinning hard disks and like, you know, yeah, that’s why the power supply is in there. But my Mac doesn’t have that in it,

⏹️ ▶️ John right? So don’t size your load based on the maximum possible power that

⏹️ ▶️ John your computer could draw. Size it based on what your actual computer

⏹️ ▶️ John does draw, right? And how do you get that measurement? There’s lots of cheap tools you can use to like plug

⏹️ ▶️ John in and try to measure it, but like, but you can make an estimate or whatever. Like, all

⏹️ ▶️ John I’m saying is that if you use one of the sizing tools, you’re gonna be like, This is telling me I need $900 worth of UPSs. Yeah, that’s what

⏹️ ▶️ John UPS websites will tell you. Of course they’re gonna tell you you need $900. You don’t, right? I have,

⏹️ ▶️ John what I’m saying is I always undersize my UPSs. I’ve undersized them on every Mac that I’ve ever had.

⏹️ ▶️ John I get very little battery time when the power does go out, but that’s fine, because all

⏹️ ▶️ John I want is enough time to shut down or to have the computer shut down. On that

⏹️ ▶️ John aspect of these things, the little UPS connection, USB connections from UPSs to Macs.

⏹️ ▶️ John The Mac has a surprisingly, used to have a surprisingly, a good amount of built-in support for UPSs

⏹️ ▶️ John and there was a time, again back in the good old days of my cheese grater, when I could have my UPS

⏹️ ▶️ John plugged into my Mac with zero drivers installed from the UPS maker and the Mac understood

⏹️ ▶️ John it and the UPS could tell it, hey, you’re on battery power, you should probably shut down now, and the Mac would shut down. Like,

⏹️ ▶️ John that’s what you want to happen, right? Since then, I’ve become super paranoid in two aspects.

⏹️ ▶️ John One, I don’t like weird USB things connected to my Macs because USB on Macs has been flaky in the last

⏹️ ▶️ John decade or so. And so I hate debugging problems that have to do with USB.

⏹️ ▶️ John And two, I hate having cruddy, non-updated software from a UPS

⏹️ ▶️ John manufacturer running on my Mac. If it even does run on the new, current driver model and everything

⏹️ ▶️ John like that. like that. So all that is to say is my current UPS that is hooked up to my Mac Pro is not connected

⏹️ ▶️ John through USB at all. And I’m just relying on the fact that my Mac is always asleep

⏹️ ▶️ John and that when it’s asleep it can probably last a surprisingly long time on this big cyber power

⏹️ ▶️ John giant brick thing that I have here. So don’t worry about that. The Synology on the other hand is also

⏹️ ▶️ John on a UPS. My NAS, yes my NAS is on a UPS. It’s got spinning disks in it that are like spinning all the time. It’s on a UPS

⏹️ ▶️ John and it is connected by USB and that’s you know, and that will shut itself down if

⏹️ ▶️ John power goes out Right as for batteries, yeah, you’ll need to replace them. In fact, I just replaced

⏹️ ▶️ John Like four days ago the battery in the UPS that is connected to my NAS

⏹️ ▶️ John Which is I think the first time I had actually shut down my NAS and like I don’t know how many years like it’s just been On continuously

⏹️ ▶️ John the UPS has had this incredibly obnoxious impossible to disable screeching siren telling me my battery

⏹️ ▶️ John is dead And so yeah, I went down and the batteries cost like, you know, especially for a NAS, like

⏹️ ▶️ John they don’t draw too much power. It’s like 20 or 30 bucks to get a new battery. You don’t have, you can

⏹️ ▶️ John replace the batteries in these things.

⏹️ ▶️ John, Marco This one

⏹️ ▶️ John wasn’t it?

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Yeah. I haven’t replaced one in a very long time, but the one time I did replace one, it was back in like

⏹️ ▶️ Marco a big APC one years ago, but it cost almost as much as a new unit.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Well,

⏹️ ▶️ John this is a, this is like a dinky one. Like my Synology is connected to like one of those ones. It looks like the world’s biggest power strip.

⏹️ ▶️ John, Marco Yeah,

⏹️ ▶️ John yeah. like big chunky thing and it’s what is it? It’s like APC, the RBC32, it’s like $23 from Amazon. I bought so many

⏹️ ▶️ John of them, right? They’re actually surprisingly small batteries,

⏹️ ▶️ John right? So, you know, if you have a small device, like a NAS with a couple of drives in it,

⏹️ ▶️ John you can get a pretty small, cheap UPS and every time the battery dies, and so this is the first time I’ve swapped the battery

⏹️ ▶️ John out. This thing has been on a UPS since 2013. So it’s lasted eight years down there.

⏹️ ▶️ John So, you know, you can, swapping batteries is viable. Just, you know, again, if you buy like a $900 UPS, yeah,

⏹️ ▶️ John the battery’s gonna be expensive too. And the final thing I’ll note about this is, forget about power going out. Once

⏹️ ▶️ John you have things on UPS that are aware they’re on UPS, you’ll find out just how much time you have these little

⏹️ ▶️ John miniature brownouts. Now, power

⏹️ ▶️ John, Marco supplies

⏹️ ▶️ John in modern electronics are actually really good about smoothing that out. Same thing with the sine wave stuff, like

⏹️ ▶️ John the fancy power supplies that are in all of our Macs and everything. You don’t have to worry too much about pure sine wave because the power supply

⏹️ ▶️ John itself will do that. but, and they’ll also smooth out like dips in the power. But once you have a UPS

⏹️ ▶️ John in front of that, that like notifies you, you’d be like, wow, I never noticed this before cause I

⏹️ ▶️ John didn’t even notice the lights flicking or anything, but guess what? We have just enough of a power dip, like when the vacuum

⏹️ ▶️ John gets turned on at the same time as the toaster is going, that I noticed my UPS ticks on for a second.

⏹️ ▶️ John, Marco Hmm,

⏹️ ▶️ John that’s interesting. And then you feel like, oh, I’m glad I have the UPS there because then at least the power supply on my Mac doesn’t have to deal with

⏹️ ▶️ John that blip, which it’s designed to do and would be fine, but it’s just nice to have something else there

⏹️ ▶️ John in front of it. And then of course the Synology always emails me every time. It’s like, I’m on battery power,

⏹️ ▶️ John no, I’m back on regular power. I get like two emails in quick succession anytime anyone vacuums in the basement because

⏹️ ▶️ John, Casey my entire house is,

⏹️ ▶️ John my entire house, like the, whatever it is, the main circuit or whatever, it’s

⏹️ ▶️ John not, it’s like barely enough to power my house. So

⏹️ ▶️ John any kind of elevated spike is enough to sort of perturb it. I think I have like 150 amp service and

⏹️ ▶️ John I should have 200, right? So

⏹️ ▶️ John you never know how well-sized your house is, but having UPSs on the stuff that you care about is important.

⏹️ ▶️ John And they also provide surge suppression, most of them as well. So that’s another thing that you should have going.

⏹️ ▶️ John In fact, most recently, the few things in my house that aren’t on a UPS,

⏹️ ▶️ John we have like a power blip. One of them is my PlayStation. I was like, I should put that on a

⏹️ ▶️ John UPS. Cause no, it doesn’t really matter, but if I’m in the middle of a game and it was just a blip

⏹️ ▶️ John and it took out my PlayStation but everything else didn’t even notice, I feel cheated out of whatever

⏹️ ▶️ John game I was in the middle of playing. So, yeah, this is a long answer to say, yes, you should get UBSs,

⏹️ ▶️ John yes, your NAS should be on one. Maybe you should hook it up to USB. It’s

⏹️ ▶️ John better if there’s no drivers. And, you

⏹️ ▶️ John, Marco know, and

⏹️ ▶️ John don’t be afraid to undersize them a little bit as long as you understand that all you’re getting is five minutes of panic to shut everything

⏹️ ▶️ John down.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey I remember I was standing in Jason Snell’s house during

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Dub Dub week, I don’t know, it was like five years ago, and I was getting constant

⏹️ ▶️ Casey messages from Isonology because poor Erin back home with, I think, Jess Declan at the time,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey was going through a truly terrible wind and rainstorm

⏹️ ▶️ Casey to the point that I think that she was getting worried and legitimately worried about like a tornado or something like that.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Um, and so I’m exchanging texts with her as I’m trying to like be social with it, with you guys amongst others at

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Jason’s house. And my watch is vibrating incessantly like, Oh, the UPS power

⏹️ ▶️ Casey is down. Oh, it’s back. Oh, it’s down. Oh, it’s back. Meanwhile, Aaron’s like, Oh man, this storm is

⏹️ ▶️ Casey really, really bad. And I’m just sitting there like, I wish I could do something. But it was a very

⏹️ ▶️ Casey eerie way to hammer home that Erin was, and it’s not her style to exaggerate, but

⏹️ ▶️ Casey she was not exaggerating. There was a really bad storm going on because we were losing power constantly.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey And then fast forward like a year or two later and a tree that’s right outside

⏹️ ▶️ Casey our neighborhood that was constantly losing branches and knocking out our power. I guess the power company

⏹️ ▶️ Casey got tired of it and they chopped back that tree quite a bit and knock on wood, we haven’t had a power issue since. So

⏹️ ▶️ Casey I know what you’re talking about.

⏹️ ▶️ John One more thing, Marco touched on this, like the different kinds of power supplies, the ones that run

⏹️ ▶️ John all of the power through the power regulation circuit all the time versus the ones that pass it straight

⏹️ ▶️ John through until it gets cut and then they swap. The ones that run the power through

⏹️ ▶️ John all the time, I think they’re called continuous UPSs, I forget what the name is or whatever. You probably don’t

⏹️ ▶️ John want one of those because those tend to have fans.

⏹️ ▶️ John, Casey Oh, God forbid.

⏹️ ▶️ John They tend to be loud. They tend to be made for data centers because in a data center, you don’t want something that’s gonna notice

⏹️ ▶️ John when the power disappears and quickly swap it. You want just continuous power delivery that is never like truly uninterruptible

⏹️ ▶️ John power supply, not, oh, there’s gonna be an interruption, but we’re really fast about switching and the capacitors will make up for

⏹️ ▶️ John it, right? Those truly uninterruptible ones are, don’t just have fans,

⏹️ ▶️ John but like loud fans, fans that you probably don’t want in your house. Now, like my CyberPower

⏹️ ▶️ John UPS has a fan. It’s the first UPS I ever bought with a fan and I was afraid of it, but then I did enough research to say,

⏹️ ▶️ John okay, well, the fan only comes on if and when it switches to battery power, and that pretty much never

⏹️ ▶️ John happens. So it has fans in it, but they’re not on, right? So I would say for home use,

⏹️ ▶️ John get the cheaper ones that aren’t, whatever it is, continuous power supplies. Don’t worry

⏹️ ▶️ John about the fact that they have a fan, because if you get a good one, like the CyberPower one, the fan will only

⏹️ ▶️ John come on when it switches to battery and it starts to get a little bit warm, and then you won’t care about the fan because you’ll be too busy

⏹️ ▶️ John panic shutting down your computer or it will be too busy shutting it down for you through its USB

⏹️ ▶️ John connection that hopefully isn’t causing your computer to flake out.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Yeah, I’ll put a link in the show notes to the one I got just last year and it’s probably

⏹️ ▶️ Marco the same one. It’s the CyberPower and the feature that we’re talking about with the continuous power drive,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco I think is what they call AVR for automatic voltage regulation, presumably, but

⏹️ ▶️ Marco something like that. That’s what I get is like whatever CyberPower,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco tower shaped one is around a thousand VA and supports AVR. That’s

⏹️ ▶️ Marco how I select the UPS. And that’s for my desktop purposes, that’s great.

⏹️ ▶️ John Yeah, I think I got whatever, like the slightly bigger one. Cause I didn’t, I was so tired of undersizing my UPSs

⏹️ ▶️ John for my giant tower computers, I went a little bit bigger. So I think maybe I have the step up model of like 200

⏹️ ▶️ John and change or whatever, but I have no regrets. It is, you know, I like the fact that it’s a tower form

⏹️ ▶️ John factor because it actually fits in the, you know, It’s under my tower computer is on a little table and under the tower

⏹️ ▶️ John computer is my tower UPS. So it all fits in a nice big vertical stack. Is it on a smaller table? It should

⏹️ ▶️ John be, but it isn’t. No,

⏹️ ▶️ John, Marco it’s just on the carpet, which

⏹️ ▶️ John is fine. Again, I was worried about it being on the carpet and having a fans and overheating. Nope, no problem. It sits there, it’s dead silent.

⏹️ ▶️ John It does its job. Even when it clicks, it ticks on, sometimes I barely notice because it’s kind of a quiet

⏹️ ▶️ John ticking on. Unlike the ones that don’t have sine waves, you hear them like making a ticking noise because they’re sort

⏹️ ▶️ John of, They’re simulating a sine wave with a series of steps. Like they’ll scare you in the UPS

⏹️ ▶️ John advertising, but you’re like, look at this power signal from this non-pure sine wave. Oh, isn’t it ugly? It’s fine.

⏹️ ▶️ John Your power supply computer will handle that. But yes, it is ugly. And it manifests in a noise

⏹️ ▶️ John when you are on battery power on a cheaper UPS. But don’t worry about that. If you want to put your NASA on one of those things, it’s fine.

⏹️ ▶️ John That’s what my NASA’s on. It works fine. Ticks on, it ticks off. Your battery will still last a long

⏹️ ▶️ Marco time. Oh, one of the things, speaking of noise, if you have frequent power outages that

⏹️ ▶️ Marco aren’t super like alerting for you. Like if you don’t really need to know when the power’s out, you just have to continue

⏹️ ▶️ Marco your work for a few minutes. Almost every UPS by default beeps loudly when

⏹️ ▶️ Marco it’s running on battery to tell you, hey,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco, John oh my

⏹️ ▶️ Marco God, your power’s out. Beep, beep, beep, it’s out, oh my God. And on the low end ones, usually

⏹️ ▶️ Marco you can’t disable the beep. On the higher end ones, you usually can.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco And this, one of the reasons I selected this line is that I can and did disable

⏹️ ▶️ Marco the beep on it. So if that’s something that you wanna be able to do, make sure the one that you’re looking at

⏹️ ▶️ Marco can do that.

⏹️ ▶️ John When my battery died and the UPS connected to my Synology, it’s like screeching, like just a continuous,

⏹️ ▶️ John the top of its lung screech. Not as loud as a smoke detector, but not

⏹️ ▶️ John, Marco quite either.

⏹️ ▶️ John Neither one of my children noticed this at all. I

⏹️ ▶️ John, Marco come into the house, I’m like,

⏹️ ▶️ John the two kids are just sitting there, like they got their headphones in, they’re staring at their iPads. I’m like, do you not notice the

⏹️ ▶️ John screeching noise? I’m like, what? Well, I’m like, I’m the old person supposed to not be able to hear this. That terrible

⏹️ ▶️ John screeching noise. I’m like, I don’t hear anything. I’m like, come with me. Let’s go follow the sound. Where is

⏹️ ▶️ John it coming from? Oh, it seems to be down in the basement. I mean, not that they could do anything about it, but I would expect

⏹️ ▶️ John them to have texted me and said, dad, there’s a terrible screeching noise in the house. What’s going on? Instead, they just

⏹️ ▶️ John ignored it and continued to do whatever they were doing. Kids these days.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Thanks to our sponsors this week, Squarespace, ExpressVPN, and Flatfile. And thanks to our

⏹️ ▶️ Marco members who support us directly. you can join us at join. We will talk

⏹️ ▶️ Marco to you next week.

Ending theme

⏹️ ▶️ John Now the show is over, they didn’t even mean to begin

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Cause it was accidental, oh it was accidental

⏹️ ▶️ Casey John didn’t do any research, Marco and

⏹️ ▶️ John Casey wouldn’t let him Cause it was accidental, oh

⏹️ ▶️ Casey it was accidental And you can find the show notes at ATP.FM

⏹️ ▶️ John And if you’re into Twitter,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco you can follow them at C-A-S-E-Y-L-I-S-S

⏹️ ▶️ Marco So that’s Casey Liss, M-A-R-C-O-A-R-M-E-N-T

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Marco Armin, S-I-R-A-C-U-S-A

⏹️ ▶️ John Syracuse It’s accidental,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey they didn’t

⏹️ ▶️ John mean to Accidental, check the broadcast so long


⏹️ ▶️ John I said, grave danger. You said, is there any other kind?

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Oh, no, no, stop. Don’t say it. Don’t say it. Uh, uh, is that clear and present? No. Patriot games? No.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey It’s some Tom Clancy one, isn’t it?

⏹️ ▶️ John No, I’m, I’m drawing a blank on it. It’s the Tom Cruise, uh, Jack Nicholson, uh, courtroom

⏹️ ▶️ John movie.

⏹️ ▶️ John, Casey Oh,

⏹️ ▶️ John a few good men. Of course.

⏹️ ▶️ John, Casey Yeah, there you go. Oh, that’s

⏹️ ▶️ John right. Uh, Yeah. I said, but the unfair advantage mode, is there any other kind of moat?

⏹️ ▶️ John, Marco It’s always an

⏹️ ▶️ John unfair moat. That’s what makes it a moat. good men holds up last I saw it.

⏹️ ▶️ John It’s a good one. I mean the courtroom stuff is good. As usual I haven’t seen it.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey, John You have? Oh my god. Marco.

⏹️ ▶️ John Yeah you should. If you if you like courtroom you like uh my cousin Vinny right?

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Yeah. I’ve never I’ve never seen that one. What? We’ve been over this like five times.

⏹️ ▶️ John You haven’t seen that? There’s a bunch of other random uh surrounding

⏹️ ▶️ John stuff that’s gonna look dated to you but the courtroom stuff and a few good men. If you like my cousin Vinny and you want

⏹️ ▶️ John a non-comedy angle on that Try a few good men.

⏹️ ▶️ John, Marco Why would I want a non-comedy angle?

⏹️ ▶️ John Because you like the courtroom part of it. It’s most of, you know, trust me, it’s

⏹️ ▶️ John good courtroom stuff. You’ll like it.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco I like Joe Pesci in the courtroom.

⏹️ ▶️ John Right, but,

⏹️ ▶️ John, Marco I

⏹️ ▶️ John don’t know. You like that movie, and a lot of it takes place in a courtroom, and a lot of the drama is about witnesses

⏹️ ▶️ John and trying to get out of them, what really happened and stuff like that, and there you go.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Every Halloween, I search to see if anybody will sell me the

⏹️ ▶️ Marco velour tux from My Cousin Vinny.

⏹️ ▶️ John You can just have that made for you, you know?

⏹️ ▶️ Marco You would think, it’s surprisingly complicated. That is probably eventually what I’m going to have

⏹️ ▶️ Marco to do, but all I want is the My Cousin Vinny tux and I’m

⏹️ ▶️ Marco shocked that no one on Etsy or anything, no one seems to sell it. Do you

⏹️ ▶️ Marco, John know

⏹️ ▶️ Marco how hot that would be to wear though? Yeah, well, I mean Halloween is often freezing, it’s often pretty cold.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco But that’s the only, I’ve never wanted to wear a Halloween costume really. I’ve never been that into Halloween.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco That is the only costume I actually want to wear. I want that one year and I can’t find it anywhere.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey When I was a kid, I was in like middle school or high school maybe.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey I guess it must have been high school because I was big enough to wear or at least not look utterly ridiculous

⏹️ ▶️ Casey in clothes that my dad had. And I wore, he had bought way back when a David Byrne

⏹️ ▶️ Casey big suit for like some party or or something like that just to goof off. Maybe it was Halloween, I don’t know. And maybe it was

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Halloween that I wore it, but for one reason or another, I wore a David Byrne big suit in high school and nobody understood it, but I thought I was

⏹️ ▶️ Casey cool as hell. I was not, but

⏹️ ▶️ John I thought I was. I mean, depending on when you were in the high school, like if I had worn a, tried to wear that in the 80s, people would

⏹️ ▶️ John just think it’s an 80s suit because the shoulders were pretty big by then, back

⏹️ ▶️ John, Casey then, naturally. That’s a fair point.

⏹️ ▶️ John It’s like, you can’t tell if you’re intentionally doing a talking heads thing or you’re just wearing it, you’re a kid who’s wearing

⏹️ ▶️ John a suit that’s a little bit too big and it also happens to be the 80s. So true.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco See, I was thinking, I was just looking up the dumb and dumber suits to see if those would hold

⏹️ ▶️ Marco, Casey up.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Oh, solid choice. The problem with

⏹️ ▶️ Casey, Marco the dumb and dumber

⏹️ ▶️ Marco suits is that you’d need both of them for it to be identifiable. So you would need a friend to do

⏹️ ▶️ Marco it with you. I’d

⏹️ ▶️ Marco, Casey be that friend for you, Mark. Because the suits

⏹️ ▶️ Marco themselves are not super remarkable, like by themselves.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco, Casey Mm-hmm.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco But yeah, you would definitely, I know you’d do it with me.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Oh, I absolutely would. I would not even bat an eye.