440: The Reality of Magnets20 Jul 2021
An extremely minor aviation accident, apps for iCloud Photo Library, the state of MagSafe, and a very special after-show about Apple Watch app development.
- Pre-show: Marco’s accident
- There are dozens of people who like compact Safari (via Anthony Lee)
- Perhaps wonky Safari is a nod to an AR future? (via Dan Blondell)
- Mac Safari’s tab-close UI (via Guy English)
- Other multi-UI apps (via Daniel Jalkut)
- Photos Extensions
- The best news about Monterey yet (via Aaron Brager)
- Apple MagSafe Battery Case Pack Thing
- State of iPhone MagSafe
- Post-show: Casey needs the Diamond Dogs
- Linode: Instantly deploy and manage an SSD server in the Linode Cloud. New accounts get a $100 credit.
- Burrow: Setting a new standard in furniture. Get $75 off and free shipping.
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- Some people like new-Safari
- iPhone Safari designed for AR?
- Favicons as tab-close buttons
- Preferences to keep old UIs
- Sponsor: Memberful
- Darkroom & Raw Power
- Proxy icons are back! 🎉
- Sponsor: Burrow
- How’s the iPhone beta?
- MagSafe Battery Pack 🖼️
- Sponsor: Linode
- State of MagSafe
- Ending theme
- Casey loves Watch development
⏹️ ▶️ Marco I crashed my drone today.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey I didn’t realize you still used your drone ever.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco This was the first time I used it in probably a year.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey Well that’ll teach you.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Yeah. The first time I’ve ever had a crash also. Yeah? What’d you do? Yeah, I was… so
⏹️ ▶️ Marco our neighbors across the street are having an issue with some critters getting into their
⏹️ ▶️ Marco attic space and I offered to help them look around
⏹️ ▶️ Marco this area around their roof that’s hard to see from the ground. And I said, hey, you know, if you want, I have a
⏹️ ▶️ Marco flying camera. We can, we can look at it, we can inspect it really nicely and, and we can try
⏹️ ▶️ Marco to see, because they were trying to figure out like where they might be coming in from, if see if there’s anything we can spot. So we waited for a time when it was
⏹️ ▶️ Marco not very crowded, because I don’t want to be a jerk, and flew it up there and
⏹️ ▶️ Marco my skills have not atrophied too badly, with one
⏹️ ▶️ Marco minor exception that I crashed it. But so…
⏹️ ▶️ Casey Other than that, Mrs. Lincoln, how’d you like the flight?
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Yes, besides that, I was flying around like this part of the roof that sticks up
⏹️ ▶️ Marco and I was trying to get like down low so I could see under the eave. So it requires
⏹️ ▶️ Marco like flying low and close and then looking up from the drone. You know, I gave a small
⏹️ ▶️ Marco haircut to a nearby plant and that’s fine, it survived that. And the whole time it’s
⏹️ ▶️ Marco beeping like crazy because I’m getting very close. It has like the proximity sensors that have a radius of something
⏹️ ▶️ Marco like, I think four to eight feet. It’s pretty far that it senses. And so
⏹️ ▶️ Marco it’s pretty hard to fly close to anything without it freaking out. But I
⏹️ ▶️ Marco try to look and peer under an eave and I move it over a little bit and it gets close
⏹️ ▶️ Marco to a different section of the roof that is sloped. I didn’t crash into that roof
⏹️ ▶️ Marco segment because I knew it was there, but I got close enough to it that the drone said,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco landing, because it thought that I had gotten so
⏹️ ▶️ Marco close to a surface that I was intending to land it on that surface. Now, once it says
⏹️ ▶️ Marco landing, no matter how hard you push up on that stick, it will land.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey No, there’s a way, I honestly don’t remember off the top of my head, I think there’s a way to cancel it. You have to like point both sticks
⏹️ ▶️ Casey to the upper, or you go diagonally in on both sticks, or maybe diagonally out on both sticks, I can’t remember
⏹️ ▶️ Casey what it is. But I think there is a way to cancel it, but yes, in the heat of the moment, I probably
⏹️ ▶️ Casey would have ended up landing the thing by accident as well.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Yeah, and I was only a couple of feet above this segment. They were like, I knew I was getting close to it. That was the point. I could
⏹️ ▶️ Marco see it in my line of sight from across the street. So like, you know, I knew it was fine. But when it
⏹️ ▶️ Marco said landing and it proceeded to try to land on a very sloped section
⏹️ ▶️ Marco of the roof, it failed to correctly land and rolled down the roof
⏹️ ▶️ Marco and got snagged in the gutter.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Now it’s the summertime. It’s, you know, two story roof and
⏹️ ▶️ Marco there’s not super easy access to it. but they had like a deck on one side. So I’m like, all right, let me see if I can crawl up there.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco They had a ladder, they had a deck. I’m like, all right, so I crawl up on the roof, but it’s on the other side of the roof
⏹️ ▶️ Marco from where the ladder could access. So I’m like, all right, so I go, I like crawl across the roof.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Did you have gloves on?
⏹️ ▶️ Marco have, I was wearing shorts and a short sleeve T-shirt. Great, great for crawling on hot roofs.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco, John Great, yeah. I’m covered
⏹️ ▶️ Marco in sunscreen and sweat because it’s July and it’s very hot and I had a lot of sunscreen on.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco So I’m like greasy and hot
⏹️ ▶️ John, Marco crawling around. That’s
⏹️ ▶️ John because you learned that Tiff likes that.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Yeah, and I’m crawling around. Grease me up, woman. Crawling around on this incredibly hot roof. Eventually,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco I get across the roof. I cut up my elbows and knees a little bit from all the tar shingles,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco but I couldn’t get close enough to it because that face of the roof was super hot. And
⏹️ ▶️ Marco I touched it for a second. I’m like, you know what? I can’t safely do that.
⏹️ ▶️ John And you’re thinking, you know, if John was here, who would have told me to wear gloves before I went up on that roof.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Yeah, right. So I like shimmy back over to the ladder, get myself safely
⏹️ ▶️ Marco down, and then proceed over the next like half hour with my neighbor to
⏹️ ▶️ Marco devise various schemes because one of its little arms was sticking out,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco like out from the gutter, so you could see
⏹️ ▶️ Marco, John it from the bottom.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Why didn’t you just go get gloves and jeans? Once I went up there the first time, I’m like, you know what, this might
⏹️ ▶️ Marco be a bad idea. You
⏹️ ▶️ John just decided this is not for you. Roofs are not for you.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco yeah. I mean, it was kind of hazardous. Once I was off the roof, I’m like, you know what, that was a stupid
⏹️ ▶️ Marco idea. I shouldn’t go back there. That was not safe. So, we proceeded
⏹️ ▶️ Marco over the following half hour to throw ropes at it, trying to lasso
⏹️ ▶️ John it down. It’s like trying to get a ball out of a tree by throwing other balls at
⏹️ ▶️ John, Marco it. I didn’t know that one when you were a kid. Yeah,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco and there’s that children’s book where they just throw everything into the tree and it all gets stuck.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco I’m finally like, finally I successfully did manage to hook it while like
⏹️ ▶️ Marco hanging out a second story window, like throwing it underhand like a last, it was the
⏹️ ▶️ Marco most ridiculous scene. You
⏹️ ▶️ John should have got like a drone so you could get a better view of it.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco It would actually have been much easier with a second drone.
⏹️ ▶️ John Send up, yeah, send up the second drone to get the first drone. As soon as it’s just drones filling the gutters from edge
⏹️ ▶️ John stage. It’s drones all the
⏹️ ▶️ Marco I’m happy to report that I did eventually snag it with the rope. It fell
⏹️ ▶️ Marco off of a two-story tall gutter. Oh no. Hit a couple of tree branches on the way down and landed in
⏹️ ▶️ Marco the next neighbor’s sandy garden. And it totally seems to have survived. It was able to fly
⏹️ ▶️ Marco afterwards. I didn’t even lose a propeller. It seems like it’s totally fine.
⏹️ ▶️ John That’s very surprising. I mean, other than the feeling of betrayal it surely has
Some people like new-Safari
⏹️ ▶️ Casey Oh, yeah, yeah, all right. We have actually what I think might be a busier show than one would expect given
⏹️ ▶️ Casey that we just recorded two days ago. So we should probably go ahead and get started.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey So let’s do some follow up from two days ago, starting with Anthony Lee, who said, no,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey I really hope the new tab Safari options stay. Unlike the ATP FM folks, I love the new
⏹️ ▶️ Casey single bar Safari UI.
⏹️ ▶️ John I just want to put this in here because this is one of a handful of people saying they really like the old Safari UI.
⏹️ ▶️ John So for several shows, we’ve been saying we have seen literally zero people say they liked it. Finally, they have come out.
⏹️ ▶️ John Not a lot of them, but people do exist who like the compact Safari UI,
⏹️ ▶️ John which you can still get by the way through a preference and we’ll have more on that in a bit.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Although I still have not heard from people who love the iPhone version.
⏹️ ▶️ John I think there might’ve been one. This was specifically talking about the Mac. I think there might’ve been one person who liked the iPhone
⏹️ ▶️ John one, but anyway, there’s, put it this way, it’s like the law of big numbers. Like there’s so many iPhone users,
⏹️ ▶️ John and I know not everyone uses the beta, or whatever, inevitably, there will always be somebody who likes
⏹️ ▶️ John pretty much any UI. We kept making extreme statements about it because we
⏹️ ▶️ John literally had heard from zero people. I just wanted to say that that is now not the case. But yeah, just
⏹️ ▶️ John because there are some people that like it doesn’t mean it’s good and you should keep it. You’re really trying to make the most people happy that you can
⏹️ ▶️ John with your UI. Make it usable by the largest number of people.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco It’s worth considering when, if you’re going to either defend their decision so
⏹️ ▶️ Marco far, or if you’re going to propose new alternatives, you can have a goal
⏹️ ▶️ Marco of like, hey, I want to enable this new cool feature. Say, you know, like the new one enables the swipe gesture to switch
⏹️ ▶️ Marco between tabs and everything. Or like, there’s usually some kind of benefit to
⏹️ ▶️ Marco some kind of new UI. But is that worth it at the expense of
⏹️ ▶️ Marco the common actions done by millions or possibly billions
⏹️ ▶️ Marco of people around the world every single day in one of the most commonly used and
⏹️ ▶️ Marco most critical apps on the phone. If you’re going to have major changes to
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Safari, especially on the iPhone, you have to be really sure that they’re gonna work
⏹️ ▶️ Marco for everybody. You have to be super conservative with that because it’s such
⏹️ ▶️ Marco a core app that’s so important. It’s like the settings app. Like you have to be really careful
⏹️ ▶️ Marco with that because so many people use it all the time and alternatives are
⏹️ ▶️ Marco kind of difficult to make and to use. So, they have to be as conservative as possible
⏹️ ▶️ Marco with the UI of Safari. That is not a place to do radical experimentation, especially
⏹️ ▶️ Marco if the main thing that experimentation enables is a power user gesture.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Like that’s not a good balance of those needs.
iPhone Safari designed for AR?
⏹️ ▶️ Casey Dan Blondel writes the weird Safari decisions on iOS at least make more sense in the context of AR
⏹️ ▶️ Casey Floating controls swiping between swiping between tabs like cards, etc I assume that AR interfaces
⏹️ ▶️ Casey will be so new to users that Apple will want to do whatever they can in advance to tee up The existing UIs so
⏹️ ▶️ Casey some elements are familiar. I didn’t think about this, but this is a very smart take I dig this
⏹️ ▶️ John Well, is it though?
⏹️ ▶️ John seriously. Here’s the
⏹️ ▶️ John The kernel of truth, like the part of this that I think is a real thing is
⏹️ ▶️ John Apple for sure has in the past handful of years really made a concerted
⏹️ ▶️ John effort to try to strengthen the family
⏹️ ▶️ John resemblance of its software experiences. Right doesn’t mean they’re
⏹️ ▶️ John gonna make everything look exactly the same but If you there were various
⏹️ ▶️ John times in the past where iOS and Mac OS Even though they both had kind of like an Apple flavor.
⏹️ ▶️ John They might as well have been designed by entirely different teams I mean obviously Mac OS 10 existed for years before
⏹️ ▶️ John iOS did and then iOS had to kind of be its own thing is very different context for the for the two things
⏹️ ▶️ John But there was a time when they started to come back more towards each other and having things
⏹️ ▶️ John look like they are part of the same family is desirable.
⏹️ ▶️ John Some of it is in terms of recognition, like, oh, I’ve seen this control before, and
⏹️ ▶️ John when I see it, I think it will behave kind of like this, and so the appearance and my expectations for the
⏹️ ▶️ John functionality are paired together. It’s less to learn, you know, this all makes good sense.
⏹️ ▶️ John But there is a limit to that, where now you’re making things the same
⏹️ ▶️ John when you know for a fact that the use context is different. One is touch and one is mouse
⏹️ ▶️ John and trackpad, one is a gigantic screen, one is a tiny phone. Like there are so many differences about the
⏹️ ▶️ John usage context, right? So the idea that Apple would make a UI on the
⏹️ ▶️ John Mac to try to sort of lay the groundwork for familiarity of look and
⏹️ ▶️ John feel of controls for AR, like I’m sure whatever the AR experience
⏹️ ▶️ John is will probably try to have some kind of family resemblance, but you would never want to make decisions on
⏹️ ▶️ John the Mac in an effort to get people ready for a UI that doesn’t
⏹️ ▶️ John exist yet, that is incredibly different than the Mac because AR is about as different from, probably even
⏹️ ▶️ John more different from the Mac than the Mac is from the iPhone. You really need to make a UI that lets
⏹️ ▶️ John people use the thing that the UI is on. Maybe like as a fifth
⏹️ ▶️ John order concern, you want a family resemblance for a familiarity of controls or whatever, right?
⏹️ ▶️ John But I have to think that there is almost nothing in the new Safari UI that has
⏹️ ▶️ John anything to do with any effort to try to make people familiar with an upcoming AR
⏹️ ▶️ John interface. And if there is, that’s a bad idea. Just make Safari have a good UI,
⏹️ ▶️ John maybe like, again, third order concern, make it look like it’s part of the family with the existing products.
⏹️ ▶️ John And AR is gonna have to do what it has to do. And I feel like AR, what AR has to do is it has to fit into
⏹️ ▶️ John the existing family resemblance while being a good UI for AR, which is very different from the other
⏹️ ▶️ John things. So I really hope there’s no reasoning.
⏹️ ▶️ John mean, a lot of people said they thought these Safari tabs look like touch targets or whatever. Like that’s bad, because they’re not, right?
⏹️ ▶️ John If Apple wants to make touch-based Macs, that makes a lot more sense, but they don’t have touch-based Macs, so don’t make it look
⏹️ ▶️ John like it’s touch-based. So yeah, it reminds me of iPhone where I can touch things. But of course you can’t touch these, and it’s like, well, then what’s
⏹️ ▶️ John the point? So I hope this is not true.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco I mean, I think if anything, if there is any relation between
⏹️ ▶️ Marco an assumed AR interface library that they are presumably developing,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco if all those rumors are true, and this, I think it’s not necessarily that they’re designing
⏹️ ▶️ Marco this to prepare us for AR. It’s probably more like the designers
⏹️ ▶️ Marco think a certain aesthetic and style is cool right now and they’re using it in both places maybe.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco But they’re not doing it for usability reasons, they’re doing it because that’s their current style. You know, like
⏹️ ▶️ Marco a long time ago, John Gruber gave this conference talk, UI design kind of has fashion phases,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco like it goes through fashions, basically. It’s not, it isn’t just like, we discovered this is
⏹️ ▶️ Marco the scientific ideal of the usability of a button, and this is how our buttons will look forever. It’s more like this,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco this style is in fashion right now, this style is out of fashion. And the actual usability of
⏹️ ▶️ Marco those things is pretty far down the priority list in practice these days,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco which that’s still an argument. I don’t necessarily think we have a good balance of that, but UI design
⏹️ ▶️ Marco is very like current fashion based. You know, it has its own fashions
⏹️ ▶️ Marco and things go in and out that are separate from usability or certain devices needs.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco If this is like how their AR and development interfaces look,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco that’s probably why, not because they want to prepare us ahead of time. Like it’s probably just
⏹️ ▶️ Marco right now Apple thinks this look is cool and their UI designers wanted to do it and
⏹️ ▶️ Marco they did it. Like that’s that is that is the most likely explanation for this not some kind of grand plan about AR.
⏹️ ▶️ John Do you think the people working on the Safari UI are disclosed on the AR UI
⏹️ ▶️ Marco at all? Probably not. I mean maybe some of the very highest level UI
⏹️ ▶️ Marco design leads might be like just because they might be tasked with making that UI as well
⏹️ ▶️ Marco and maybe they might set direction but I don’t even know if the shared disclosure would
⏹️ ▶️ Marco even go that low in the organization, even to the UI people, I don’t
⏹️ ▶️ John know. I mean, if you think about it though, you think about this design, the design for the Mac thing is so focused
⏹️ ▶️ John on a need that is fairly Mac specific, which is conservation of vertical
⏹️ ▶️ John space, right? And I don’t know what aspect ratio the AR glasses will be or whatever, but
⏹️ ▶️ John it’s so, condensing that UI and getting it up out of the way is such a thing
⏹️ ▶️ John to do on desktop computers you want to say vertical space. Who knows what the constraints will be in AR?
⏹️ ▶️ John Will vertical space be the constraint? Will there be any Chrome at all? Will there be such a thing as a window, let alone
⏹️ ▶️ John a toolbar, right? You know, and if the AR Safari comes out and has a bunch of rounded rectangles, people
⏹️ ▶️ John are going to say, see, it’s just like Safari 15. As Steve Jobs said, rounded rectangles are everywhere,
⏹️ ▶️ John because the AR interface has rounded rectangles does not mean it’s like the Safari UI. You know,
⏹️ ▶️ John like, how are you going to interact with them in AR? Are you going to have a mouse? Are you gonna have a trackpad?
⏹️ ▶️ John Maybe, probably not. Like, you know, how are you interacting with a Safari 15 on the Mac? Do you touch
⏹️ ▶️ John the Mac? No, you don’t, because it’s not a touch interface. Like, I know they look kind of like touch targets, but it’s,
⏹️ ▶️ John you know, at this point, with the aesthetic being so, so simple, it’s kind of, you can, you will always
⏹️ ▶️ John see aspects of one interface somewhere else. But honestly, like,
⏹️ ▶️ John making a good interface to anything is really hard. And if you are saddled
⏹️ ▶️ John with trying to, Like it’s like a strategy check, saddled with doing literally anything other than trying to make
⏹️ ▶️ John the best UI possible for the functionality in the app that you’re working on. Like, oh, you can make
⏹️ ▶️ John an app, but not only do you have to make it good, but also make sure it looks like this and it looks like that and incorporates this element and does
⏹️ ▶️ John this trendy thing. That’s just making, you know, it’s just making more work for yourself and making it harder
⏹️ ▶️ John and probably making your UI worse.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey All right, so maybe it wasn’t such a great idea after all. I still thought it was clever, but never mind.
Favicons as tab-close buttons
⏹️ ▶️ Casey Guy English wrote with regard to Mac’s Safari’s tab close UI,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey Guy says aiming at an icon shouldn’t destroy the object it represents. That’s a pretty good summary.
⏹️ ▶️ John One thing he’s getting at is that in the Safari tabs on the Mac,
⏹️ ▶️ John the way the little tabs look as little rounded rectangles is you see the favicon for the website and then some text that they try
⏹️ ▶️ John to jam in there, right? And so how do you close a tab? In the previous versions of Safari,
⏹️ ▶️ John there was sort of a dedicated blank space to the left of the favicon that
⏹️ ▶️ John you would use to close a tab. And there’s nothing there looking at it, because Apple doesn’t want visual
⏹️ ▶️ John clutter. But as soon as your mouse enters the tab in Safari, in current version of Mac OS,
⏹️ ▶️ John the little x appears. And then you click on the x, and the tab closes. But in the
⏹️ ▶️ John new version, the Monterey version, the little tabby things don’t have any room for that
⏹️ ▶️ John x to appear. So when your mouse enters the little tabby thing, the favicon is replaced by the x.
⏹️ ▶️ John So if you were to just see the little favicon and go reach up to it, which is a thing
⏹️ ▶️ John and try to drag it somewhere, which is a thing a moderately experienced Mac user might do, because
⏹️ ▶️ John for a long, long time in Mac OS, when you saw in the sort of title bar-ish area of the window,
⏹️ ▶️ John an icon and then some text next to it, which kind of represented the title of the thing, that icon is very often a proxy
⏹️ ▶️ John icon that you can drag to represent the thing, whether it’s the document or whatever, or even in previous
⏹️ ▶️ John versions of Safari and other web browsers. If you grab the favicon and drag it to the desktop, it’ll save like a web
⏹️ ▶️ John location to that website. It’ll like save the URL. This is something to expect, just based
⏹️ ▶️ John on experience of, you know, this is a common UI idiom. It’s not really formalized in human interface
⏹️ ▶️ John guidelines, except maybe the proxy icons are, but like for literal decades, this is the way that things work. If you do
⏹️ ▶️ John that on Monterrey Safari and go try to grab that favicon, you can’t grab it because as soon as your mouse
⏹️ ▶️ John enters the tab, that favicon becomes a close button. And if you don’t notice that and just go grab and click,
⏹️ ▶️ John you will close the tab that you were just trying to do something with. Now, there’s a way to get it back. You can do a key combo.
⏹️ ▶️ John I think undo might even work. I forget what it is, Command Shift T, or maybe that’s Chrome. Anyway, there’s a way to get the tab back
⏹️ ▶️ John so it’s hopefully non-destructive unless you were in the middle of filling out a form or writing a giant post in the CMS, which
⏹️ ▶️ John you should never, ever do, but everybody knows this. But
⏹️ ▶️ John yeah, that’s what Guy is getting at. He filed the, he filed, the reason he mentioned this is he filed a bug on this back when the original version of Monterey
⏹️ ▶️ John Safari came out and said, hey, making the favicon essentially turn into the closed box,
⏹️ ▶️ John probably not what users expect. And Apple closed the bug as part of this sort of redesign. Like, oh,
⏹️ ▶️ John no, all those, like, guys, yes, it’s like, they just kind of lumped together all the complaints
⏹️ ▶️ John about the Monterrey Safari thing. And they said, yeah, no, we changed them. And we’re going back to like a more traditional one as discussed
⏹️ ▶️ John in the previous episode. But he just refiled it and said, yeah, but my specific complaint
⏹️ ▶️ John was not the tabs are all combined with the toolbar and blah, blah, blah. My specific complaint was I go for the icon,
⏹️ ▶️ John it becomes a closed box. And they did that, of course, to save horizontal space, which was super important to do
⏹️ ▶️ John when everything was all online and every time you clicked on the tab, it expanded into the address bar. But now that the tabs are on their own line
⏹️ ▶️ John again, I feel like they have the breathing room to give the closed box more space. Honestly,
⏹️ ▶️ John like, you know, we know from hearing from various sources that more changes are coming to all the versions
⏹️ ▶️ John of Safari. They’re not done fixing it, right? So it’s not fair to take judgments now, but I look at the way they’ve reverted,
⏹️ ▶️ John and it’s like, at this point, just go back to the previous one because there’s nothing
⏹️ ▶️ John in the newly reverted one that has any benefits over the
⏹️ ▶️ John old one. It’s just weirder and worse. So just, you know, if you’re gonna have two UI modes,
⏹️ ▶️ John have one be the new one that Anthony likes and two other people, and one be
⏹️ ▶️ John the existing Safari UI that works fine. works fine. We’ll see what they do in future betas.
Preferences to keep old UIs
⏹️ ▶️ Casey So we were talking about having like preferences in order to enable or disable
⏹️ ▶️ Casey new Safari user interfaces. And one of us, probably John, said, you know, I can’t
⏹️ ▶️ Casey think of any other apps that have multiple, like complete user interfaces. And in front of the show,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey Daniel Jalkut reminded us that Mail is an Apple app that has two completely different UIs
⏹️ ▶️ Casey and also Outlook on the Mac, if you have to use that, I’m so sorry, John, and that Newswire
⏹️ ▶️ Casey also fall into similar categories.
⏹️ ▶️ John Yeah, the reason I thought of NetNewsBar and Outlook, and the reason
⏹️ ▶️ John it’s interesting that there’s three of them is that it’s exactly the same choice in all of them, right? So when
⏹️ ▶️ John we’re talking about what alternate interfaces there in mail, people might not know if you just use Apple Mail. It’s sort
⏹️ ▶️ John of its default configuration. But it’s basically like a three column view, where the left
⏹️ ▶️ John is the top level, and then you click on something in the left, and then the column to the right of it is
⏹️ ▶️ John a drill down to that level. And then the column to the right of that is a drill down into an individual message. So it’s like mailbox,
⏹️ ▶️ John list of messages in that mailbox, and then the message you have selected. Like column view,
⏹️ ▶️ John like column view in the finder. It goes from general to specific, left to right. I don’t know if it’s actually
⏹️ ▶️ John reversed in right to left languages, but anyway, that is the default interface to Apple Mail.
⏹️ ▶️ John But it has another interface where it does mailboxes on the left, the currently
⏹️ ▶️ John selected mailbox on the top part of the remaining right portion, and then the message
⏹️ ▶️ John on the bottom part of the remaining right portion. That’s me. Right. And those two views,
⏹️ ▶️ John left to right columns and column and then two things on top of each other, column
⏹️ ▶️ John row row, I don’t know what
⏹️ ▶️ John wanna call them. There, some people prefer one, some people prefer the other.
⏹️ ▶️ John And all three of these apps, Apple Mail, NetNewsWire and Microsoft Outlook, support
⏹️ ▶️ John both of those interfaces and have for years, for years and years and years. And it seems like,
⏹️ ▶️ John although NetNewsWire recently didn’t support the other one, but I think NetNewsWise is gonna bring back the other one.
⏹️ ▶️ John And it’s kind of like the scroll direction where I think in the beginning they were like, oh, everyone will just switch
⏹️ ▶️ John over to three column view because everybody likes it better. And a bunch of people were like, no, I don’t like the three column
⏹️ ▶️ John view, I like column row row. And there was just no way to get enough people
⏹️ ▶️ John to agree that one of them is better than the other. So all three of these applications, which do similar things
⏹️ ▶️ John and sort of have the same kind of hierarchy of thing, list of things and the thing and then the thing, right?
⏹️ ▶️ John Just continue to ship with these quote unquote two different UIs. Now they’re not really that different.
⏹️ ▶️ John It’s not any different than saying, oh the Finder has five different UIs because you can do list view, column view, icon view, you know,
⏹️ ▶️ John if you think of it that way, it’s not like they have two entirely different UIs. But it is just roughly analogous to
⏹️ ▶️ John the small UI that Safari has, which is the part that’s not the web page in every web browser window,
⏹️ ▶️ John which is the tabs, the address bar, the toolbar. If you can totally change that as you can in Monterey
⏹️ ▶️ John Safari right now, that’s kind of the equivalent of just saying, how do you want that thing to look?
⏹️ ▶️ John I want it to look like this, you know, three columns or a column and two rows, right? I’m hoping
⏹️ ▶️ John and expecting that the Safari, like I don’t see a need for the Safari one to support these two,
⏹️ ▶️ John because as previously established, it’s not as if it’s like close to 50-50 in terms of preference for the new
⏹️ ▶️ John UI. It’s just Anthony and three other people, and then literally everyone else in the world hates it. So
⏹️ ▶️ John I don’t expect, I don’t think like that Apple’s like, well, we need
⏹️ ▶️ John to preserve this UI from the betas of Monterey for the people who did like it.
⏹️ ▶️ John It just kind of seems like a hangover or like a, you know, letting
⏹️ ▶️ John down gently the people who are proponents of that UI within Apple to even keep it
⏹️ ▶️ John in the, you know, keep it in the app as an option. I really hope by the time they ship,
⏹️ ▶️ John They pick one UI and then it is not the new one.
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Darkroom & Raw Power
⏹️ ▶️ Casey Ben Golmer writes, dark rooms, flagging, reject workflow is way faster for me than anything
⏹️ ▶️ Casey photos does. And we will provide a link to the information, the
⏹️ ▶️ Casey website about the app. And then apparently somebody wrote a medium post about
⏹️ ▶️ Casey why this is better.
⏹️ ▶️ John Yeah, this is the first of a lot of feedback items, really talking about an area
⏹️ ▶️ John of Apple photos that I haven’t explored, mostly because photos serve my needs more or less. But
⏹️ ▶️ John two things. One, it’s possible to make a Mac app that reads and understands Apple’s photo
⏹️ ▶️ John library. I’m assuming this is an official API because there are a lot of apps that do this. So Darkroom is one of those
⏹️ ▶️ John apps. I’m not sure if flag and reject is its flagship feature, but apparently it does
⏹️ ▶️ John it really well. So if you want to have an app that does better than photos and sort of going through your pictures and deciding
⏹️ ▶️ John which ones you like and which ones you don’t, check out Darkroom, check out the blog post to describe the workflow.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco That’s not, it’s only featured, it’s like a massively featured app. I haven’t actually used it before, but it has a lot
⏹️ ▶️ John Yeah, and then the second thing is, most of these apps, like the way Apple does
⏹️ ▶️ John extensions to other apps is you have to ship your extension inside another app. So you can
⏹️ ▶️ John do what I do with my silly reload button, which is you ship an app that does nothing and its only function is to contain
⏹️ ▶️ John the app extension. Like that’s where the extensions live. they live inside my app as an app extension.
⏹️ ▶️ John And then Safari, through the magic of Apple’s extension mechanism, can see all the little extensions that
⏹️ ▶️ John live inside other apps and say, oh, within Safari, you can use these extensions
⏹️ ▶️ John to put a toolbar button up or whatever. Apple Photos does the same thing. So you can download either a
⏹️ ▶️ John little container application or a giant full-fledged application, and they may also have
⏹️ ▶️ John buried inside them, in addition to their application, an extension for Photos. And
⏹️ ▶️ John one of the types of extensions that Photos supports is what they call an edit extension. In addition to things like
⏹️ ▶️ John Mimeo for like a book printing extension or whatever, but an edit extension is what it sounds like. If you see a photo inside
⏹️ ▶️ John the Apple Photos app, you can use an edit extension to say, I wanna edit this photo, but I don’t wanna
⏹️ ▶️ John edit it with Apple’s Photos app. I wanna edit it with the extension from this app. And
⏹️ ▶️ John you won’t leave Apple Photos. That extension will show its UI inside Apple Photos,
⏹️ ▶️ John right? It’s kind of like OpenDoc, but not really. So you can use more powerful editing tools within
⏹️ ▶️ John Apple Photos without launching the other standalone app, without using the standalone app, just getting
⏹️ ▶️ John access to their editing tools. So both of those things I haven’t really investigated. Alternate apps that are alternatives to photos
⏹️ ▶️ John that read the same photo library, or edit extensions. And Darkroom is the first of those that was suggested
⏹️ ▶️ John would you like to talk about the second then? Sure, Kyle McMahon had another suggestion. This one is
⏹️ ▶️ John called Raw Power, which, yeah, okay, I can see what you’re doing there. Sounds like
⏹️ ▶️ John a powder I would be taking. Yeah. But Kyle says, since you guys are into iCloud
⏹️ ▶️ John Photo Library as a library sync layer, but less into it as a photo editor, you should look into a Mac and iOS
⏹️ ▶️ John app called Raw Power. I only looked at the Mac version of this, by the way. But apparently, it’s on iOS as well. The developer is Nick Behad,
⏹️ ▶️ John who worked at Apple in the Apple Photo Apps group, including back in the days of Aperture.
⏹️ ▶️ John The app positions itself as being particularly good for raw photos, but it absolutely works with JPEGs files as well. The app has a standalone
⏹️ ▶️ John mode, but in my mind, the real magic is a mode where it can essentially a third party front end for your Photos library, iCloud syncing
⏹️ ▶️ John it all. The developer being an Apple alum is calling into the same system image editing framework
⏹️ ▶️ John as Photos.app does, and you may prefer the app’s interface or results, and the fact that it exposes more of
⏹️ ▶️ John Apple’s raw engine controls than Photos does. Kyle continues, big caveat, before you
⏹️ ▶️ John go all in on editing extensions for Photos.app, understand the implications of when your saved non-destructive
⏹️ ▶️ John edits are from an extension, not Apple. Because photos.app cannot depend on the extension always being
⏹️ ▶️ John installed, extension editors
⏹️ ▶️ John have to render out a full-quality copy of your photo. If you uninstall the extension, your only options for adjusting
⏹️ ▶️ John the edit are to start over. So that’s important to remember. It’s not like it destroys your original, but because photos
⏹️ ▶️ John can’t just expect that extension to always be there, if you do a bunch of edits,
⏹️ ▶️ John it has to like sort of save out your edited version and say, okay, you did a bunch of edits with this editing extension.
⏹️ ▶️ John alongside the original here is your edited version. If you uninstall that extension and say, oh I changed
⏹️ ▶️ John my mind I want to brighten it up a little bit, because you don’t have the extension anymore you can’t bring up that picture
⏹️ ▶️ John again and adjust the brightness slider because you don’t literally don’t even have that extension anymore. And so it always burns
⏹️ ▶️ John in your edited version. Again it doesn’t overwrite your original but it’s not as flexible as using
⏹️ ▶️ John photos where you never will sort of burn in a copy that is visible to you, you always have access to the original,
⏹️ ▶️ John you can always go back and readjust. But anyway I I took a look at this raw power thing.
⏹️ ▶️ John It is both a standalone app and it is an editing extension. As far as I can tell, the editing extension
⏹️ ▶️ John looks like it has pretty much all the controls of the standalone app for the one specific task of editing.
⏹️ ▶️ John But if you use a standalone app, it seems like, I don’t know if you can use it as a replacement for photos, but
⏹️ ▶️ John it basically looks like photos. I was amazed. I launched it and it says, hey, do you want me to point myself
⏹️ ▶️ John at a folder full of photos or at your library? I said, here you go, point at my library. And it said, okay, I found 140,000 photos. Wow, you did
⏹️ ▶️ John find 140,000 photos and there they all are and you can scroll through them like what the, again, it’s not duplicating, it’s just reading
⏹️ ▶️ John my photo library. So I paid for it, it’s like 50 bucks.
⏹️ ▶️ John I paid for it, you know, one time $50 fee. That’s it? Yeah, the Darkroom run I
⏹️ ▶️ John think is a subscription thing, but I think it’s pretty cheap. So I bought it, it’s a $50 app and it has
⏹️ ▶️ John way more editing controls than photos. Now I don’t use Lightroom, I’m sure it has, I’m sure it’s better than this or
⏹️ ▶️ John whatever, who knows. But because this is a developer who worked on the Apple Photos apps, I’m assuming they
⏹️ ▶️ John are very familiar with Apple’s formats and it really does expose stuff like, you can adjust the depth on the portrait mode pictures
⏹️ ▶️ John and stuff like that. It has, you know, all the things that I talked about not having in photos, like the
⏹️ ▶️ John lens correction, distortion and much better controls for finding areas that are clipping
⏹️ ▶️ John and stuff like that. That’s all in this. I was pretty impressed by it. I’m not sure how much I’ll use it, but
⏹️ ▶️ John I like, I like being able to have another go-to app where I
⏹️ ▶️ John don’t have to sort of change what I’m doing. I don’t have to suddenly use Lightroom or something. I’m still just dedicated to my OnePhotos library,
⏹️ ▶️ John but if I wanna do an edit that Photos can’t handle, rather than exporting it into Photoshop and then re-importing it, or by
⏹️ ▶️ John the way, within Photos you can say edit in and then select an application and select Acorn or
⏹️ ▶️ John Photoshop, that’s different than editing extensions, right? But anyway, I don’t have to commit to a new library format
⏹️ ▶️ John or anything like that, but I have more options for how I wanna do edits
⏹️ ▶️ John than just the tools that are in Photos. And I say again, looking at the raw power thing, It made me kind of appreciate
⏹️ ▶️ John the Apple photo controls because they are so dumbed down and simplified that 99% of the time
⏹️ ▶️ John what I want to do is there. But for that other 1%, especially for RAWs, which I do have a bunch
⏹️ ▶️ John of, it’s nice to be able to have a slightly fancier app that doesn’t
⏹️ ▶️ John require me to buy in on Lightroom or whatever.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco I like too how, I mean, I’ve never tried these apps that integrate with Photo Library, but
⏹️ ▶️ Marco I like that theoretically you could use both. Like you could, because if
⏹️ ▶️ Marco they’re using the Apple photos or iCloud photo library as their data store and sync
⏹️ ▶️ Marco layer, you don’t have to just choose one app that you do everything in. You can try
⏹️ ▶️ Marco different ones. You can have different apps for different tasks or for different needs. You can switch between them at will.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco And that’s just kind of a really, that’s a really cool thing to me that I love the editing controls
⏹️ ▶️ Marco in Lightroom. I just was never really able to achieve the kind of success and integration
⏹️ ▶️ Marco I wanted with Lightroom as the storage and sync layer. I wanna keep using
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Apple Photos as my storage and sync platform. It’s already there, it gets all
⏹️ ▶️ Marco my photos automatically, it gets everything from my phone automatically, I’m already paying for it, everything’s already synced and backed up and everything,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco so that’s great. I don’t wanna join someone else’s cloud and use someone else’s platform
⏹️ ▶️ Marco or have my fancy camera photos separate from all my phone photos for no reason.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco I don’t want that. So this kind of, I guess, API for other apps to be able to work
⏹️ ▶️ Marco against the Apple Photos library, that’s really cool. And the fact that there are a couple of good apps for it, I
⏹️ ▶️ Marco actually might check these out.
⏹️ ▶️ John Yeah, the apps are aware of each other. Like I was running Raw Power at the same time as I was running Photos, and
⏹️ ▶️ John I was like editing the same picture, and I forget which app it was, but one of them threw up a dialogue and said, just so you know,
⏹️ ▶️ John you’re kinda in the middle of editing the same picture in another app, so do you want to like discard the changes that
⏹️ ▶️ John are in progress over there? Do you really like, it knows, it does like contract resolution. You can’t literally edit the same
⏹️ ▶️ John photo at the same time and just like cross your fingers. It seems like it’s aware of
⏹️ ▶️ John what things, both things you’re doing. But if you wanted to, for example, use one, run them both at the same time, but use one app for like your reject,
⏹️ ▶️ John like if you want to use dark room to like sort through and reject them quickly, cause it’s got a good interface to that. And then just delete them when you’re done.
⏹️ ▶️ John When you flip back over to the photos, you’ll see those things poof out of existence. Just maybe don’t try to edit the same photo
⏹️ ▶️ John at the same time in multiple apps. Cause you know, Raw Power, I think this was the app that threw up the dialogue,
⏹️ ▶️ John is smart enough to know you’re doing that and warn you, but I can imagine other ones maybe not being so, you’ll just be like the last update
⏹️ ▶️ John wins and you might be sad.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey So quick update before we move out of photos. I have according to photos on my Mac 73,609 photos, 4899 videos,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey and I still have 20,000 left to upload as of Friday, 9th, 16th. Alarmingly,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey the bar, you know, the little progress bar looks like it’s barely
⏹️ ▶️ Casey moved despite hypothetically tens of thousands of photos having been
⏹️ ▶️ Casey So I’m not sure what to make of at that. Again, I don’t know, sitting here
⏹️ ▶️ Casey today, I would probably change my tune in a week or two, but sitting here today, I don’t know if I can recommend this to someone who has
⏹️ ▶️ Casey a media library of my size that wants to just dive right in. This is very slow,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey very clunky. I edited the dates of my videos that were from the year 3
⏹️ ▶️ Casey million, and that’s great on the photos
⏹️ ▶️ Casey on my Mac, but that hasn’t yet synced to any of my other devices, which is super delightful.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey So yeah, I guess this is good, maybe one day, but I’m still
⏹️ ▶️ Casey waiting for that day to arrive.
⏹️ ▶️ John Yeah, keep waiting. You’ll get uploaded eventually. Someone said in the chat room that raw power is 40 bucks, not 50. So
⏹️ ▶️ John I went to the App Store page to confirm that. But of course, I can’t see the price, can I? I’ll just go look
⏹️ ▶️ John at my purchases and it will show me the transaction.
⏹️ ▶️ John, Marco Nope. Yeah, and darkroom
⏹️ ▶️ Marco seems to be something like 25 bucks a year or 50 for forever. So
⏹️ ▶️ John that’s not bad either. Yeah. about Raw Power is that it has some, even though
⏹️ ▶️ John it’s reading the photo library, it has some kind of metadata of its own because the first thing I tried to do when I went
⏹️ ▶️ John into it was filter. It showed me my 140,000 photos in thumbnail view. I’m like, wow, that was fast. And then I wanted to filter
⏹️ ▶️ John them to just show the Raws, which is a thing you can do in an app that’s not Apple Photos really easily. Because
⏹️ ▶️ John there was a little filter thing, and I clicked it, and lo and behold, it had controls. What it had in there was, I’m not sure if you’re familiar with it, but there
⏹️ ▶️ John are things you can put in a user interface. Like they’re called standard controls where there are checkboxes and there are pop-up menus
⏹️ ▶️ John and there are buttons and all sorts of things that you can use to let you do things with an app. Apple
⏹️ ▶️ John just thinks either a blank gray wall or a text field that you can type things in and pray is the way to go.
⏹️ ▶️ John But anyway, this had controls and one of them said, show me only photos of pop-up
⏹️ ▶️ John menu. And in the pop-up menu was JPEG, RAW, JPEG plus RAW. And boy, it was really easy for me to check
⏹️ ▶️ John those checkboxes and flick RAW from the pop-up menu. Anyway, I’m just angry because photos
⏹️ ▶️ John has so much space for UI and they just deleted it all from iPhoto in favor of like a super smart text field
⏹️ ▶️ John that I really don’t like. So when I went to do that filter, I saw a little
⏹️ ▶️ John word that said indexing. Another thing that Photos doesn’t understand, hey, look at that, tell me something right in the UI when I’m trying
⏹️ ▶️ John to do it instead of just graying it out and me saying, why can’t I filter? Why can’t I select the file type? Oh, because it’s indexing.
⏹️ ▶️ John And it indexed and it didn’t index for very long. It was like maybe 15 minutes it indexed and when it was done,
⏹️ ▶️ John I could say, just show me the raws and boop, 140,000 thumbnails got compressed down to only a few thousand
⏹️ ▶️ John with little tiny UI over the thumbnails showing a little R for raw a little R plus J
⏹️ ▶️ John for raw plus JPEG a little icon for ones that were edited. It’s amazing like I
⏹️ ▶️ John can understand why this person maybe left Apple. It’s like look you could make a good photo editor if you were willing to
⏹️ ▶️ John put UI on the screen and guess what? RawPower has a UI for editing photos.
Proxy icons are back! 🎉
⏹️ ▶️ Casey All right. And finally, Aaron Brager writes, with possibly the best news I have heard
⏹️ ▶️ Casey all week long. Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, the proxy icon
⏹️ ▶️ Casey can be re-enabled in Mac OS Monterey Beta 3. This is extremely,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey extremely good news. So what are we talking about? On most document-based Mac apps, anything
⏹️ ▶️ Casey really worth its salt, there is a little icon up next to the title
⏹️ ▶️ Casey of the app that you can grab. And when you do that, you’re grabbing a representation, a proxy
⏹️ ▶️ Casey of the file you’re working on. So like in Word or in TextEdit or whatever.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey windows. In Finder windows, you can grab that little icon and move it around your file system
⏹️ ▶️ Casey and it will move the original file, which is super cool and something that blew my mind when I think it was Marco
⏹️ ▶️ Casey told me about this years and years and years ago before I even knew John. So that’s why I know it wasn’t John.
⏹️ ▶️ John But don’t try it in Safari and Monterey because you’ll just end up closing the tab.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey Why do you have to bring us down, John? I was so excited. Why do you have to be like
⏹️ ▶️ John this connects all this, this all connects up to the previous one.
⏹️ ▶️ John, Casey Anyway, go on.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey So the point being, uh, you can go into accessibility display and there’s a checkbox show window
⏹️ ▶️ Casey title icons, and it will bring the proxy icons back because otherwise in Monterey it, you have
⏹️ ▶️ Casey to like hover for an unconscious, unconscious. I can’t say that word for way too
⏹️ ▶️ Casey long in order to, in order to get that proxy icon to show up.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco and in Big Sur as well. And one of the most common things that I use this for is if you are in
⏹️ ▶️ Marco a terminal window and you want to refer to a folder or file, you can
⏹️ ▶️ Marco drag its icon or its proxy icon from that area of the title bar into
⏹️ ▶️ Marco a terminal window and it will insert it as a properly escaped shell argument. So it’s very, very
⏹️ ▶️ Marco handy. One of the most common things I do is if I have a finder window that I want to operate on in the terminal,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco I will open up a terminal window and then type cd space and then drag the proxy icon there to get a terminal
⏹️ ▶️ Marco that’s right in that folder. I know there are other ways to do that, but that’s how I do it. But yeah, it’s very, very common thing for me to do that.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco So very happy to see this. This is one of those, uh, you know, big Sur design regressions
⏹️ ▶️ Marco that I have complained about a lot. And so to have an option to fix this in Monterey
⏹️ ▶️ Marco is going to make me upgrade your Monterey much sooner. I think that
⏹️ ▶️ Marco, John I otherwise would
⏹️ ▶️ John The interesting thing about this is that like in big Sur there was a, uh, like sort of undocumented
⏹️ ▶️ John plist thing that you could set to reduce the delay on the animation for the hover.
⏹️ ▶️ John So it’s almost like someone inside Apple, at some point, I don’t know if that’s been there since day one on Big Sur either way,
⏹️ ▶️ John understood that it was annoying to have to wait for that hover animation and said, well, we’ll just have a plist
⏹️ ▶️ John key, so if you really don’t like it, you can set the animation time to zero and then it’ll just be instant, right?
⏹️ ▶️ John That reminds me of another kind of like band-aid on a bad design. It’s bad design to hide that icon
⏹️ ▶️ John because look, is the icon useful? Then show it. What advantage do you get not showing it? Ah, less visual clutter.
⏹️ ▶️ John We don’t want visual clutter. And it’s
⏹️ ▶️ John okay, I understand not wanting visual clutter but if you pursue that to
⏹️ ▶️ John an absurd degree, you end up hurting functionality. You end up hiding too much UI. Tons of people,
⏹️ ▶️ John Casey was excited to learn about the proxy icon, but if it’s not even visible on the screen,
⏹️ ▶️ John even fewer people are gonna discover it. And that’s a shame. And honestly, is the visual clutter really killing your UI?
⏹️ ▶️ John Like, what are you even aiming for? Do people just bask in the minimalist aesthetic? I didn’t think that one icon’s gonna hurt
⏹️ ▶️ John anything. So I’m glad that in the follow-up tab, they don’t say, we just made the animation shorter,
⏹️ ▶️ John or you made it instant by default. How about you just show it all the time? That’s great. And it does it
⏹️ ▶️ John in, I’m not sure which apps it does it in. I tried, like it does it in preview, it does it
⏹️ ▶️ John in the finder. The non-browser style finder windows always
⏹️ ▶️ John showed it, but now the browser style ones show it as well. And then
⏹️ ▶️ John where you enable this, It’s not a plist hacker and it’s not on by default, but you have to go to accessibility, system
⏹️ ▶️ John preferences, accessibility, display, and under display there is an option to show window title
⏹️ ▶️ John icons. I mean, arguably it is accessibility as in, hey, more people
⏹️ ▶️ John will be able to use this because now people will see it. And you know, it’s not super obvious that you
⏹️ ▶️ John can do something with that icon, but seeing the icon is really important first step in thinking
⏹️ ▶️ John about what maybe you can do with it. And again, I know this is an obscure feature, but it’s been in macOS
⏹️ ▶️ John for decades, right? It is a power user feature, but you only really need to show somebody this
⏹️ ▶️ John feature once and it pretty much works everywhere you expect to see that, again, with the exception of Safari
⏹️ ▶️ John tabs, because when you see an icon, nexus, and text in a title-ish thing on macOS, you can usually
⏹️ ▶️ John grab it and do something with it. Again, just grabbing, you get the URL in Safari
⏹️ ▶️ John because what else are you gonna do with it, right? But if it’s a file, if it represents a file like a document window or a folder,
⏹️ ▶️ John you get the thing. well established UI. This is by the way, predates Mac OS X. Like this is a classic
⏹️ ▶️ John Mac OS thing, I think. Oh, I didn’t know that. But it’s like, it’s a powerful feature. It’s a useful feature.
⏹️ ▶️ John It’s one of the advantages of using Mac OS. It’s a thing that you can do on Mac OS in a natural way that
⏹️ ▶️ John tries to be consistent from app to app. And then, you know, apps that change or
⏹️ ▶️ John subvert it for no big gain, like the, you know, the Safari one of like, well, we had to jam everything into one bar because
⏹️ ▶️ John we, vertical space is important. And one of the other things we’re gonna sacrifice on the altar of that is the proxy icons, which
⏹️ ▶️ John is a shame. or hiding them to save visual clutter, which is kind of like just sweeping that feature under the
⏹️ ▶️ John covers, making it so people won’t even know it exists. I’m not sure that’s, you
⏹️ ▶️ John know, is that an accessibility feature or are you just fixing your UI?
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Yeah, because like the reason why this is better this way is because of what we were talking about last
⏹️ ▶️ Marco week about like about stability of the UI. Every time you have something where you have like, okay, well on
⏹️ ▶️ Marco hover, these things are going to change. Something’s going to move, something’s going to
⏹️ ▶️ Marco appear, something’s going to disappear. It’s confusing, it’s jarring, it’s unstable, and it makes
⏹️ ▶️ Marco things harder and more annoying to use. What you want is for the controls that you use most often
⏹️ ▶️ Marco to be shown exactly when you need them, which is like, it could be any time. So you might as well show them all the
⏹️ ▶️ Marco time unless there’s some really good reason not to. And in this case, I mean, obviously,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco whoever is in charge of this design obviously
⏹️ ▶️ Marco is not giving in to the concept that it’s better
⏹️ ▶️ Marco this other way. Instead, they have yielded or been forced
⏹️ ▶️ Marco to yield. Okay, well, we can make an accessibility argument that all of this excess
⏹️ ▶️ Marco animation of stuff moving around, kind of in the same vein as the reduce motion option.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Maybe that can be, you know, maybe that’s a bad thing for some people. So maybe we can make this
⏹️ ▶️ Marco not have this motion of this hover state
⏹️ ▶️ John, Marco zooming out. This is like the tiniest
⏹️ ▶️ John amount of motion to reduce. It’s like literal 16 point movement.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Right, but I’m guessing this is shoved into accessibility because of the internal
⏹️ ▶️ Marco politics of pushing back on this part of the design. Clearly, the people who are in
⏹️ ▶️ Marco charge are so minimalist right now that this kind of thing
⏹️ ▶️ Marco cannot just be the new way things work. So I think the accessibility option is like
⏹️ ▶️ Marco the thing that the people on our side of the argument were able to get through. Obviously, I’m sure there’s
⏹️ ▶️ Marco all sorts of pressures and politics inside about this, because whatever we complain
⏹️ ▶️ Marco about, people inside Apple are also complaining about it, but it’s just a question of who wins
⏹️ ▶️ Marco the argument and who has control over it at the end of the day. So this option shouldn’t exist.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco They should just fix the design so it’s always this way, because there seems to be very little upside
⏹️ ▶️ Marco for it to be the way it is in Big Sur now, just having these things hidden, and they zoom
⏹️ ▶️ Marco over when you hover over this one spot in the window that you wouldn’t even think to hover over normally.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Like it’s just, it’s so
⏹️ ▶️ John clumsy. It’s kind of the same reason they did the change to the Safari closed boxes, because when this UI
⏹️ ▶️ John came at the same time as they introduced the UI in the Finder and other windows,
⏹️ ▶️ John where the title bar does not have its own row for itself. One of the reasons proxy
⏹️ ▶️ John icons worked, and by the way, the chat room has confirmed that it was in classic Mac OS, at least one person has anyway, is that
⏹️ ▶️ John the title bar in classic Mac OS and in Mac OS X for most windows for most of its life, goes from
⏹️ ▶️ John edge to edge on the window. That’s a lot of horizontal space. And you
⏹️ ▶️ John might look at that and say, well, what a waste of space, where you get an entire row, all that vertical space, and
⏹️ ▶️ John the only thing you’re gonna put in there is the title. The reason it’s good to have all that vertical space is first of all, sometimes the windows
⏹️ ▶️ John aren’t that wide, they might be narrow. And second, for document windows, a very common case, the
⏹️ ▶️ John title of the document is there. And document titles can be long, 255 characters or whatever the limit is.
⏹️ ▶️ John So you’d want to see the full title of the document, not truncated, because that’s an important thing for you to
⏹️ ▶️ John know, especially if you have similarly named documents. If you’re a programmer, you may find yourself with similarly named documents, although these
⏹️ ▶️ John days they’re all wedged into an Xcode tab or a sidebar that you can’t expand wide enough.
⏹️ ▶️ John anyway, even with that, when you’ve got the whole width of
⏹️ ▶️ John a window and that window is pretty wide or even just page size, you can use a 255 character file name
⏹️ ▶️ John and still probably have room for a little icon, for a little 16 by 16 icon.
⏹️ ▶️ John And so that’s where it lived, right? Big Sur introducing the Finder, a UI where, okay, we’re not
⏹️ ▶️ John gonna give the title bar its own row. Instead, we’re gonna, see if this sounds familiar, take the title bar and combine it with
⏹️ ▶️ John the toolbar. And now all of a sudden, horizontal space is at a premium because we’ve got the configurable toolbar
⏹️ ▶️ John with all the buttons that you can configure in there, plus the title, plus the proxy icon, plus maybe a search
⏹️ ▶️ John field if it’s like, there’s lots of stuff all in one row now. And suddenly the title doesn’t have
⏹️ ▶️ John all the space that it can stretch out. And just like in a document, in the Finder, it’s kind of important to see
⏹️ ▶️ John what folder is it that I’m looking at here, the full name of that folder. So to save space, they said,
⏹️ ▶️ John well, what’s non-essential in here? I guess we can hide the proxy icon. Well, but that’s a useful feature. So we still want it to
⏹️ ▶️ John be there. Okay, we’ll make it appear on hover. That’s how this came about. That’s how you, you know, it makes
⏹️ ▶️ John some sense, right? But then it sort of snowballs into, oh, and by the way, proxy icons
⏹️ ▶️ John are gone everywhere. We’re not gonna put them in the title bar of preview windows like just hide them everywhere. Cause once we’ve done this hide show
⏹️ ▶️ John little animation thing, Let’s just make that the new standard across the entire user interface. All
⏹️ ▶️ John because they decided, we gotta save some vertical space in this toolbar, so we’re gonna combine the title bar plus the toolbar, right?
⏹️ ▶️ John And they’ve been doing that in a lot of apps, combine the title bar and toolbar, make the content go from the top to the bottom.
⏹️ ▶️ John In some apps it works, in some UIs it’s an improvement, but in this particular case, they
⏹️ ▶️ John were, you know, the compromise, the cost of using this UI was
⏹️ ▶️ John an awkward hover state for a feature that, you know, I guess enough power users use that they have
⏹️ ▶️ John seen complaints about it. I don’t think in this case, the solution is to go back to title bar on top all the time.
⏹️ ▶️ John And by the way, in the Finder, the only, it doesn’t do that in the non-browser Finder windows. I
⏹️ ▶️ John hate talking about the Finder. No one knows what I’m talking about, but anyway, the Finder windows that don’t have sidebars have
⏹️ ▶️ John dedicated title bars, but the ones that do have sidebars have the combined ones. When you do the
⏹️ ▶️ John show window title icons, it shows them everywhere, which is as it should be. But I do understand
⏹️ ▶️ John why they hid it in the first place. just that they sort of took that ball and ran with it and they should have
⏹️ ▶️ John said, okay, we’ll hide them as an option in this
⏹️ ▶️ John one mode of finder window, but across the whole rest of the US, we’ll leave it as is. Hopefully that’s where they end up eventually.
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How’s the iPhone beta?
⏹️ ▶️ Casey I would like a quick, can I challenge you gentlemen, a quick
⏹️ ▶️ Casey update. How are the latest betas on iPhone specifically? Because in a couple of weeks
⏹️ ▶️ Casey I will have all travel or interesting related things done for the summer. And so
⏹️ ▶️ Casey I was thinking about maybe committing my carry phone to a beta, be that either the public or the developer
⏹️ ▶️ Casey beta. So quickly, gentlemen, probably Marco specifically, how
⏹️ ▶️ Casey are they these days?
⏹️ ▶️ Marco You know, there are certain seasons where you can really feel like you have a beta, you know, seasons where like you’ll
⏹️ ▶️ Marco feel your phone heating up in your pocket in the middle of the day for no reason. Like what’s going on and you pick it up and it’s like
⏹️ ▶️ Marco at the Apple boot screen like okay, like there are some years like that where
⏹️ ▶️ Marco I wouldn’t really recommend it. This year so far it has been totally
⏹️ ▶️ Marco fine. It’s only a couple of weeks. It’s only one person’s experience. But I’ve also heard from a lot of other people that
⏹️ ▶️ Marco like anecdotally it sounds like this is a pretty good year for the phone. At this time I
⏹️ ▶️ Marco would not necessarily recommend the watch beta. As with all watch betas,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco you can never downgrade. Upgrading to a beta on the watch is usually not a good idea
⏹️ ▶️ Marco unless you’re developing a watch app. One of the weird problems I’ve found with it is that I often don’t
⏹️ ▶️ Marco get notifications and when I do get notifications, they oftentimes will only stay
⏹️ ▶️ Marco at the like the first part of the slide up where it shows you what the notification is from
⏹️ ▶️ Marco but doesn’t show you its content yet.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco, Casey Oh nice. It
⏹️ ▶️ Marco will like it’s stuck on that. The bigger more pressing problem is that the watch beta
⏹️ ▶️ Marco seems to be unreliable at updating the sleep screen.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Now you might think who cares? Well, the sleep screen is what shows the time.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco And I have caught it multiple times in the last few days displaying the wrong time
⏹️ ▶️ Marco off by like 15 minutes until I do a wrist raise and then it refreshes and updates the time.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Oh, cool. So that’s a bit of a problem on the watch beta right now. So I wouldn’t
⏹️ ▶️ Marco recommend the watch beta, but the phone, oh, I haven’t, um, I don’t think I’ve even
⏹️ ▶️ Marco used the iPad beta, so I can’t speak to that at all. But the phone beta
⏹️ ▶️ Marco has been pretty good. There is a little bit of oddity and a little bit of annoyance
⏹️ ▶️ Marco to the new focus feature. So as a quick reminder, the do not disturb
⏹️ ▶️ Marco feature and the automatic do not disturb scheduling and everything has now been rolled into a much
⏹️ ▶️ Marco larger, much more featured feature that includes all these
⏹️ ▶️ Marco different modes besides just do not disturb that you can set. you can now set like sleep and work and
⏹️ ▶️ Marco focus and all the different modes that you can create your own. You can delete the ones they have and add different ones.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco And each of those has its own settings for when it’s automatically engaged, what kind
⏹️ ▶️ Marco of apps or contacts can break through the focus mode and everything. Notifications,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco now like the first time you get a notification from an app, it will now ask you like, is this time sensitive or not?
⏹️ ▶️ Marco And it’s time sensitive ones will break through and they’ll be displayed with a label that says
⏹️ ▶️ Marco time sensitive as part of the notification UI. I have found this
⏹️ ▶️ Marco system so far to be a little overwrought and
⏹️ ▶️ Marco a little bit burdensome. I don’t know necessarily
⏹️ ▶️ Marco if it’s just me getting used to it still, but it has been a friction point
⏹️ ▶️ Marco for me using iOS 15 so far. Now, I don’t think they’re going to change any of that because this
⏹️ ▶️ Marco is like a headlining feature of iOS 15 And I think the concept of having a lot of control over do not
⏹️ ▶️ Marco disturb and being able to create these additional modes, I think it’s a good concept. I even said I said as much
⏹️ ▶️ Marco during our WC episode, like I noticed they were when they were talking with us, I said, Oh, that’s great, because you don’t disturb
⏹️ ▶️ Marco us has been so great for me. But in practice, what this does is add
⏹️ ▶️ Marco additional levels and complexities to do not disturb, so that
⏹️ ▶️ Marco it is no longer a simple feature, it is now a complicated feature. and seeing the
⏹️ ▶️ Marco time sensitive labels on every notification from like calendar reminders and stuff
⏹️ ▶️ Marco like that, it’s a little much. So that I’m not super
⏹️ ▶️ Marco hot on. But the rest of iOS 15 seems fine to me.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco I haven’t had any like apps that don’t work on it right or anything like that. So everything seems okay.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey Yeah, I can speak to the iPad and it’s been pretty solid for me. I mean, I can’t think of any specific
⏹️ ▶️ Casey things that have been a real bugbear. So it’s been fine on the iPad, but I’ve been very reluctant
⏹️ ▶️ Casey to put it on my phone. And I won’t be putting it on my phone until travel is complete. But
⏹️ ▶️ Casey that time is coming sooner rather than later, and so I was curious how bad it was. Sounds like not bad.
MagSafe Battery Pack
⏹️ ▶️ Casey So sometime in the last week or two, I forget exactly what it was, Apple
⏹️ ▶️ Casey just out of the blue released an accessory. And for the first time in a fair bit of time, other than AirTags, I
⏹️ ▶️ Casey suppose, it’s an accessory that I’m really interested in. I haven’t gotten my hands on it yet and I don’t think anyone
⏹️ ▶️ Casey has, but Apple’s released a MagSafe battery case. And
⏹️ ▶️ Casey I know that Apple has had battery cases on and off for years now. And I’ve seen them many times.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey I’ve held them in my hands a handful of times, but I’ve never really cared for them. it didn’t
⏹️ ▶️ Casey seem like it was something I really wanted. And part of that was because early on in my
⏹️ ▶️ Casey iPhone life, I would buy bespoke battery packs that would be, you know,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey cases that would wrap around your phone and would plug in via the lightning connector and
⏹️ ▶️ Casey it would charge your phone as required. And for a while, I really liked that, particularly around
⏹️ ▶️ Casey WWDC time. But after I replaced, you know, my fourth bespoke
⏹️ ▶️ Casey battery pack or something like that, It occurred to me, this is wasteful and silly, and there must be a better way
⏹️ ▶️ Casey to do this. And Apple’s older battery packs, I think were the same story. You know,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey they were fit specifically for particular phones. And so again, I find it to be kind of wasteful.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey And I’ve just used, you know, a battery bank, as some people call it, you know, just an external
⏹️ ▶️ Casey battery pack that you connect via cable. But that’s clunky in its own way. You know, you have a cable hanging out, and
⏹️ ▶️ Casey it’s, let me tell you, it is super cool to look like me in general, but I look incredibly
⏹️ ▶️ Casey cool when I have a cable going from like my back pocket to my front pocket so I can
⏹️ ▶️ Casey charge my phone from the power bank that’s in the back, you know, while the phone is in the front. I just look,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey oh, I look so hot. It’s the nerd version
⏹️ ▶️ John, Marco I was about to say,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco what if you make a lightning cable that looks like a wallet chain?
⏹️ ▶️ Casey Yeah, and I’ll get really baggy late 90s style jeans. It’ll be great.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco That’s it, put it on backwards, listen to Criss Cross. This’ll be great.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey So anyway, so the point is Apple’s released a MagSafe battery case.
⏹️ ▶️ John You keep saying battery case, but it’s not a battery case.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey Well, that’s what it says in the damn show notes, John. Who wrote that? It wasn’t me.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco It’s a MagSafe battery pack, thank you very
⏹️ ▶️ John much. Right, that’s not the point. It’s not the whole point. You just made the point emphatically that it’s not a case. It doesn’t
⏹️ ▶️ John encase anything. It doesn’t wrap around anything. It is in fact a rectangular solid
⏹️ ▶️ John that sucks onto the back of your phone through the magic of magnets. Indeed. Magnets,
⏹️ ▶️ John how do they work? actually magnet not actually sucking in any case it’s kind of sucking
⏹️ ▶️ Casey oh my gosh focus gentlemen focus oh no we just talked about that all right concentrate gentlemen
⏹️ ▶️ John it’s the sandwich closing for us again right yes exactly oh my gosh
⏹️ ▶️ Casey so the point being uh it’s this battery pack john
⏹️ ▶️ Marco i really i would just call it a battery oh my god
⏹️ ▶️ John battery i mean it’s it’s like a backpack it goes it’s like a battery backpack
⏹️ ▶️ Casey it is called magsafe battery pack i’m going to call it the MagSafe battery pack.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco I mean, if you put it on the desk, it’s more of a platform.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey, Marco God, occasionally.
⏹️ ▶️ John I see, that’s right. It’s a charger too. Anyway, go ahead. Right,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco it’s a MagSafe battery platform pack.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey My God, I quit. You’re both fired and I quit.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey this thing looks cool. I think I probably will get one of these. Yes, it is only white,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey which even to me, I think is a little bit of a dubious choice.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey, John No, it’s not.
⏹️ ▶️ John After all this, you’re gonna skip over describing the thing? I’m gonna do it then. Stand back. Oh my gosh.
⏹️ ▶️ John It is a rounded rectangle. Hey, Steve was right. It’s a rounded rectangle that looks
⏹️ ▶️ John like it’s a centimeter thick or something. I don’t know how thick it is. But anyway, it’s like a round or white rectangle. It’s on one side of it,
⏹️ ▶️ John it’s got the little MagSafe ring and little line, right? So this will match up with the little circle and line that
⏹️ ▶️ John are embedded in the back of your phone that has MagSafe, right? And on the other side, it’s just a flat, rounded
⏹️ ▶️ John rectangle. And it’s got a place where you can plug it in to charge the battery itself.
⏹️ ▶️ John If you plug it in and lay it sort of with the MagSafe part of it facing up on your
⏹️ ▶️ John desk, you can use it as a MagSafe charger because here it is laying flat on your desk and you just put your phone on top
⏹️ ▶️ John of it and bloop, you know, it charges your phone or presumably, you know, whatever, any other MagSafe thing you
⏹️ ▶️ John put on there. I don’t think you can charge AirPods on it. That would be an interesting experiment.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco That’s actually, I’ve done a lot of thinking and researching about this. And that’s my biggest
⏹️ ▶️ Marco unknown for this is, can it charge an AirPods Qi case? a regular
⏹️ ▶️ Marco MagSafe cable, like the regular ones Apple sells with the wires attached to the MagSafe puck.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Those totally can and do charge anything Qi as far as I know. They are standard Qi chargers
⏹️ ▶️ Marco just with magnets on them. And so you can, and we do in our household all the time, put your AirPods case
⏹️ ▶️ Marco on them and it will charge. That’s the only thing I use mine for. Oh my gosh.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco So it is fine for that. My theory on this though, I don’t think it will work that way.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Casey mentioned, doesn’t seem like anybody has these yet. It doesn’t even seem like they’ve done press reviews yet.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco My guess is this might not function as a generic Qi charger because I don’t think it
⏹️ ▶️ Marco has any buttons to turn it on. So while it might function as a Qi charger when
⏹️ ▶️ Marco it is plugged into a cable, I don’t know if it’s going to be able to function as that
⏹️ ▶️ Marco when you’re out and about, which kind of ruins the point.
⏹️ ▶️ John Oh yeah, I wasn’t totally expecting it to do that when it wasn’t plugged in. I’m saying like, can this double as a
⏹️ ▶️ John charger on your desk? Well, we’ll find out when we get them. but the point is that it does have that mode. And then the other mode
⏹️ ▶️ John obviously is when you stick it to the back of your phone. And in that case, it behaves kind of like the
⏹️ ▶️ John Apple’s battery cases have always behaved. Just pretend it’s permanently attached to your phone.
⏹️ ▶️ John When your phone starts to run out of battery, it’ll drain from the battery pack. You
⏹️ ▶️ John can also do the reverse charging where, oh, okay, let me get this right. What
⏹️ ▶️ John do people consider the reverse charging? So this
⏹️ ▶️ Marco, John if you have it
⏹️ ▶️ Marco yeah, if you have it attached to the back of your phone and you plug a lightning cable into your phone,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco your phone will charge the battery pack from the current it’s getting from the
⏹️ ▶️ John Right, and I think no other third party battery pack things can
⏹️ ▶️ John do that, is that correct?
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Yes, only Apple’s, yes. This is the first instance of reverse charging we’re seeing from the iPhone.
⏹️ ▶️ John Yeah, so the charging specs are when the battery itself is plugged into the wall,
⏹️ ▶️ John the battery pack itself will charge your phone at 15 watts, which is the MagSafe
⏹️ ▶️ John fastest charging thing. So if you plug in the battery pack and whether it’s laying on your
⏹️ ▶️ John desk or wherever it is and stick it on your phone, you get 15 watts, right? But when it’s just the battery pack, free floating
⏹️ ▶️ John stuck to the back of your phone, the battery pack only charges your phone at five watts. And people have been
⏹️ ▶️ John sad about that, but I kind of feel like as long as it can keep up with the phone, it’s not like because it’s a battery
⏹️ ▶️ John pack, like you’re waiting around for it to charge. I guess maybe if you’re like, I just want to go on this little manta
⏹️ ▶️ John ray on the back of my phone, wait 30 minutes and have 100% charge, right? That’s not going to happen. It’s only five watts. But
⏹️ ▶️ John I think I would rather have it sort of slowly charging my phone with the idea.
⏹️ ▶️ John The whole point is that I’m going to use my phone with this thing on the back of it because it’s not connected to anything
⏹️ ▶️ John else. But you know, different strokes, right? So anyway, it’s much slower when it’s not plugged in itself.
⏹️ ▶️ John There is no power adapter or cable included in the box. Again, people
⏹️ ▶️ John now look at that and depending on your point of view, you say, I glance at the price and I say for that
⏹️ ▶️ John price it quote unquote should come with a power adapter and cable because it seems,
⏹️ ▶️ John you know, like cheap that they’re not including that and it doesn’t seem like they’re passing the savings on to me and who
⏹️ ▶️ John even knows, right? But on the other hand, the reason Apple would give for this, and I think it
⏹️ ▶️ John is somewhat legit, is that if we give these things to everybody, a bunch
⏹️ ▶️ John of people will already have the cables and adapters that they need, and these will just go
⏹️ ▶️ John to waste and end up in a drawer somewhere and end up getting thrown in the garbage, right? Then it’s
⏹️ ▶️ Casey I don’t know about that, because the big fancy, what is it, is the 15, 20 watt charger, the USB-C
⏹️ ▶️ Casey charger? Not a lot of people have that.
⏹️ ▶️ John I know, but like the general philosophy is if we include these accessories to every single one of our products, I feel like
⏹️ ▶️ John what they’re trying to do is not just sort of
⏹️ ▶️ John give you by default all this stuff, because you will inevitably end up with an excess
⏹️ ▶️ John of stuff. Because even though you say, well, for every one product, don’t I need one wire and one adapter? And the answer
⏹️ ▶️ John is no, because people always have some kind of sharing, because not all of your devices are plugged in at once, usually,
⏹️ ▶️ John unless you’re traveling a lot and you really need them to be all plugged in and get charged real fast. So
⏹️ ▶️ John I get what they’re doing. I feel like it is a reduction in waste. That’s not just an excuse, that’s a real reason. The problem is
⏹️ ▶️ John because Apple’s products have such high margins, when they take these things out,
⏹️ ▶️ John like even though there’s like nothing to compare it to, they just look at the price and they say, I feel like that price should
⏹️ ▶️ John include this stuff. And it’s not like with this battery pack that Apple has ever had this product existing
⏹️ ▶️ John before and we can compare the price before and after or whatever. It’s just that feeling that we have of
⏹️ ▶️ John like, well, these things are, Apple’s products are expensive. they should come with that stuff, right? Or
⏹️ ▶️ John maybe Apple, you know, Apple doesn’t actually need to do this, but if Apple did do something like it, say instead of $99, by the way, it’s $99,
⏹️ ▶️ John instead of $99, it’s 95, and that four bucks is your savings, or some
⏹️ ▶️ John kind of thing where they adjust the price to psychologically make people think like, there’s your savings for not including the crap, but
⏹️ ▶️ John of course, Apple would never do that, because that just is a value game that they don’t do with their pricing, right?
⏹️ ▶️ John So some people are gonna be mad that it doesn’t come with the stuff, but particularly with this thing, I’m
⏹️ ▶️ John kind of on board with the idea of I’d prefer this stuff to be a la carte, right? So I can buy,
⏹️ ▶️ John it’s the same reason I buy a camera body with no lens. Oh, that should come with a kit lens. Obviously with the camera, it’s not
⏹️ ▶️ John a great analogy because you save money by not buying it with a kit lens. But doing it a la carte, I
⏹️ ▶️ John mean, especially with things like adapters and cables and stuff, lets people get only the stuff they need.
⏹️ ▶️ John And yes, it probably also makes money for more people. It’s kind of like the half-size paper towel sheets if people don’t know that story.
⏹️ ▶️ John Yeah. I’m sure this guy deserves all the billion dollars got but paper towel
⏹️ ▶️ John rolls of paper towels in the US someone came up with the idea that instead of having paper towel sheets
⏹️ ▶️ John be whatever size they were which is kind of squarish and you tear off a square at a time right this person’s
⏹️ ▶️ John brilliant idea was let’s make them like rectangular take the existing square and cut it in half and so now there’s
⏹️ ▶️ John perforations twice as often in the roll and that might sound like the dumbest
⏹️ ▶️ John idea you’ve ever heard it’s like great you’re genius you you made you made it so I can tear
⏹️ ▶️ John off half sheets. Like I’m, is this what you get paid for? How many years did
⏹️ ▶️ John you come up to think of this thing? Turns out letting people have half sheets makes
⏹️ ▶️ John people happier because they feel like they’re not wasting as much, but it’s like, oh, I just need a half sheet for this one little job.
⏹️ ▶️ John And also makes people use more paper towels, which is great for the paper towel companies
⏹️ ▶️ John because the roll runs out faster and they can try, they can sell more paper towels. It is the ultimate
⏹️ ▶️ John win-win of just like self-owned consumer philosophy. Like the
⏹️ ▶️ John customers think they’re being frugal, but in reality they’re using more paper towels than
⏹️ ▶️ John they were before. See also plastic recycling. Well, that’s a slightly different
⏹️ ▶️ John thing. But anyway, yeah, this is kind of the opposite of that. And that I think Apple is
⏹️ ▶️ John trying to do a good thing, but their entire pricing philosophy just makes it feel
⏹️ ▶️ John like damage to the customer. It just makes you feel bad that you’re getting less stuff
⏹️ ▶️ John for quote unquote, the same price. Because you look at the price and it is an expensive price, we’ll compare it to competitors
⏹️ ▶️ John in a second. And you’re like $99 and it doesn’t even come, not just the charging brick,
⏹️ ▶️ John doesn’t even come with the cable. It’s just like, I get it out of the box and like, what the hell am I supposed to do with this?
⏹️ ▶️ John I can’t do nothing with it. I can use the charge that came with me from ship from the factory and then I can do nothing.
⏹️ ▶️ John But again, people would say, well, you can’t do nothing because this product is useless without a phone. Do you have a phone?
⏹️ ▶️ John Well, great, I bet you have a cable to charge
⏹️ ▶️ Marco it. Right, and then the phone can now reverse charge it. Like, to
⏹️ ▶️ Marco, John me, I think for this product,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco I wouldn’t expect this product to come with a cable or a charger. What’s interesting, like, you know, for the same $100,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco you can get a HomePod mini that does come with a cable and charger. And it’s kind of funny
⏹️ ▶️ Marco if you think about, like, you know, what components are necessary to make a HomePod mini versus
⏹️ ▶️ Marco to make a MagSafe battery pack? The profit margin has gotta be so much
⏹️ ▶️ Marco higher on the MagSafe battery pack than on the HomePod mini. But
⏹️ ▶️ Marco the prices are not set based on, what’s a fair markup on our costs? No, it’s all
⏹️ ▶️ Marco psychological. It’s what can we get away with? And they can get away with this because it’s an accessory. And accessories are always
⏹️ ▶️ Marco very overpriced and we buy them anyway for reasons. Although this, honestly, I’m sure we’ll
⏹️ ▶️ Marco get to this in a second, but I think this is going to have an even smaller appeal
⏹️ ▶️ Marco than the previous smart battery cases have.
⏹️ ▶️ John Well, I mean, we’ll see. So this is not the first product that’s in the market. There have been third-party ones that have been out since these phones
⏹️ ▶️ John came out. Apple was late to the market here. One example is the $50 Anker thing, which
⏹️ ▶️ John basically looks the same as the Apple one. It’s a rectangle you stick on the back of your phone with MagSafe. It costs half the price. It has
⏹️ ▶️ John a larger capacity battery. It doesn’t do reverse charging.
⏹️ ▶️ John And of course, you can’t, because Apple is mean with their APIs. Third-party ones can’t show the battery
⏹️ ▶️ John level in the system UI like the Apple one can, which is kind of annoying. They should just make
⏹️ ▶️ John an API for that. So what do you get for your double the price
⏹️ ▶️ John and less battery power? It’s a little bit slimmer, it’s a little bit lighter. It looks appley. I guess if you
⏹️ ▶️ John want white, that’s the only color you can get, so you’re happy then. But it’s basically the same story
⏹️ ▶️ John as any Apple versus third-party accessory. Apple’s accessories, like look at their leather cases or literally any
⏹️ ▶️ John accessory for any of their products. They’re pretty nice, and they always cost more than competitors’
⏹️ ▶️ John products do, and they have higher margins, and Apple doesn’t have to pay itself whatever the MFI program requires
⏹️ ▶️ John all those other people to pay to work. So, you know, what else is new? One question
⏹️ ▶️ John you may be asking about the MagSafe battery pack is like, well, when I had a battery case, it was around the whole phone,
⏹️ ▶️ John right? But this battery pack, it just sticks on with a magnet and I’m supposed to just hold these two bars
⏹️ ▶️ John of soap, I guess, like, and just like, if I shift my hands, does one shoot off? Or like, if I shake
⏹️ ▶️ John my phone, does the battery pack go flying off? Like it’s, they’re not actually
⏹️ ▶️ John connected with anything other than the magnetic force and like the friction that’s,
⏹️ ▶️ John what is it doing? The friction is helping so that only the sandwich closing force is an issue, I suppose, you
⏹️ ▶️ John can’t, to keep it from sliding sideways. It’s got like a soft rubber on the back of it. So the best thing we have here, since
⏹️ ▶️ John people don’t have this yet, is Matt Panzerino posted a video of him trying, shaking his
⏹️ ▶️ John phone with the Anker MagSafe battery pack on it. And it looks like it sticks on pretty
⏹️ ▶️ John well. Again, we established in past shows that like the, you can, with the magnetic car mounts, you can put
⏹️ ▶️ John some powerful magnets in the thing you’re sticking on, and that will really make the connection pretty strong.
⏹️ ▶️ John So I’m hoping and assuming that Apple’s is at least as sticky as this Anker
⏹️ ▶️ John one. So hopefully this won’t be much of a problem. Like all these things, and like the magnetic wallet attachment, if you have super
⏹️ ▶️ John tight jeans and you try to jam this thing in your jeans pocket and the battery pack is, you know, gets caught on the
⏹️ ▶️ John lip of the thing and you keep pressing your phone, yeah, you’re gonna pop off the battery pack, but don’t do that. Maybe get
⏹️ ▶️ John jeans with bigger pockets, which I know is not easy, especially in women’s jeans. The world is not fair.
⏹️ ▶️ John And in terms of capacity, there’s a trade-off between capacity,
⏹️ ▶️ John weight, size, all that other stuff, but this Apple’s product, this is Quinn Nelson
⏹️ ▶️ John doing some estimates based just on the specs of what it’s going to do.
⏹️ ▶️ John His estimate, assuming a 70% efficiency for charging, which as he says
⏹️ ▶️ John is generous, I think most sort of mag safe charging type things are maybe more closer to 50% efficiency. Yeah,
⏹️ ▶️ John if you’re wondering where that other 30 to 50% of energy is going, heat, and which
⏹️ ▶️ John is not great for your battery anyway. Or your pocket. It’s like,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco if you’re gonna have this in your pocket, like there’s a reason why we don’t do a lot of Qi charging of things in our pockets while they’re
⏹️ ▶️ Marco just heating up our pants
⏹️ ▶️ John the whole time. That’s why five Watts is better than 15 Watts because at least you’re spreading the heat out over a more
⏹️ ▶️ John period of time. Anyway, maybe it will charge an iPhone 12 mini from
⏹️ ▶️ John zero to 91%. Maybe it will charge an iPhone 12 or 12 Pro to 72%
⏹️ ▶️ John and a 12 Pro Max to 55%. These are
⏹️ ▶️ John just estimates again, based on the milliamp hour ratings of the battery. So yeah, it’s
⏹️ ▶️ John better than nothing, but as always, you do have to choose how much extra weight and bulk do you want
⏹️ ▶️ John versus how much battery power do you want. I don’t think there’s any massive difference in the
⏹️ ▶️ John energy density of the lithium ion batteries that Apple is using versus what Anker is using.
⏹️ ▶️ John So there you go. It’s a battery pack. Like Casey said, I think it’s great
⏹️ ▶️ John that in theory, no promises, you’ll be able to use the same battery pack with your phone next year
⏹️ ▶️ John and maybe the year after, maybe the year after, right up until Apple, you know, invalidates this by making a new MagSafe design
⏹️ ▶️ John or something, which is way better than having to buy a new one of these cases every single year. And it looks
⏹️ ▶️ John pretty neat and it’s a very Apple-y product. I think the people who want something like this will be happy with it, but they’ll probably
⏹️ ▶️ John also be happy with the $50 Anker version. So,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey indeed, now this looks really good. I’m too cheap to have bought one yet, but I probably will at some point.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey But I’m very interested in this. I think the other reason I haven’t bought one is because when am I ever going anywhere for
⏹️ ▶️ Casey them for the most part?
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Yeah, that’s the reason I haven’t bought one is like I’m thinking like, all right, between now and when the next phones
⏹️ ▶️ Marco come out, am I actually going anywhere?
⏹️ ▶️ John Oh, speaking of Marco though, like that was a question I had, I haven’t really seen answered. I suppose I just could have looked at the
⏹️ ▶️ John measurements. So this works on any phone that has MagSafe, which I guess means
⏹️ ▶️ John that it has to be small enough to fit on Marco’s little baby phone?
⏹️ ▶️ John, Marco Yeah, if you look
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Apple’s, if you look at the Apple product page, it shows it on all four iPhone 12
⏹️ ▶️ Marco models. So and it looks like, you know, like every other MagSafe accessory Apple sells, it is
⏹️ ▶️ Marco exactly the full width of the 12 mini. And it rests like right below the camera
⏹️ ▶️ Marco bump. So I’m guessing it is sized specifically to be compatible with the mini and
⏹️ ▶️ Marco like the height is limited by like, how close can we get to the camera blob without it being
⏹️ ▶️ Marco visible in the shots that you take with the camera?
⏹️ ▶️ John Yeah, that’s interesting because like, they could make a bigger battery, especially on
⏹️ ▶️ John the Max, right? You could have a bigger battery pack of the same thickness or a thinner battery
⏹️ ▶️ John pack of the same size. Like there’s lots of different trade-offs you can make in terms of how it feels in your hand, how much of the phone sticks
⏹️ ▶️ John out past the battery pack. Obviously this is, you know, if it’s sized for the mini, they just made one for
⏹️ ▶️ John all the phones. And that’s just Apple being Apple and why make three different products when you can
⏹️ ▶️ John just make one and just size it to the smallest one. But I can see some people maybe being disappointed, especially
⏹️ ▶️ John on the middle size. Like if it was sized for the middle one, maybe it would be okay on the Max because the
⏹️ ▶️ John Max has such a big battery built in. But yeah, I mean, maybe this will
⏹️ ▶️ John be another excuse that Apple will use in two years to get rid of the Mini.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Yeah, I mean, because if you look at the design of MagSafe in general, everything MagSafe
⏹️ ▶️ Marco is limited by the size of the Mini. Even like the main circle radius, that is like the main MagSafe
⏹️ ▶️ Marco circle, that’s limited by the size of the Mini too. And so if the Mini wasn’t there, which
⏹️ ▶️ Marco again, I like the Mini, so I hope they don’t do this, although I think they will. If the Mini gets eliminated,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco they could theoretically then make a future like MagSafe Plus or something, that MagSafe Max,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco that is a little bit bigger and therefore would be stronger, would be able to deliver more current. Like there’s actually
⏹️ ▶️ Marco some good reasons why they might wanna do that. But I love my Mini, I hope they don’t.
⏹️ ▶️ John And I hope some third parties come up with one. As I just found the picture, I’m looking at it on the Max. On the Max, it looks kind of
⏹️ ▶️ John lost there. Like I imagine this is a third party opportunity. If a third party wants to make a Max size battery
⏹️ ▶️ John pack, it could be a lot bigger, right? there’s a lot of room, especially vertically, on the Max
⏹️ ▶️ John to make a bigger battery pack. It doesn’t look so bad in the middle, like the regular 12 and 12 Pro. But I
⏹️ ▶️ John feel like, so remember when Apple came out with the battery pack that looked like just a regular case, but then it has a
⏹️ ▶️ John rectangular plateau in the middle of it? That’s what these remind me of. And, you know, it depends
⏹️ ▶️ John on what you want the thing to feel like in your hand. Some battery cases have historically been more like the Apple,
⏹️ ▶️ John the iPhone 3GS, like where it’s just like a lump from edge to edge. And if you like that hand feel, you want a battery
⏹️ ▶️ John pack to feel like that. but Apple’s is more like you feel the edge of the phone and then on the back of the phone is
⏹️ ▶️ John a lump, right? I guess it depends on what you like in terms of hand feel,
⏹️ ▶️ John but also I think it influences the sliding of the phone into a pocket, you know, a tight pocket
⏹️ ▶️ John in your pants or whatever, if it’s a smoother transition between the edges, it’s less likely
⏹️ ▶️ John the thing will catch, which is even an issue when it wasn’t magnetically attached and it was just a lump, right? Versus
⏹️ ▶️ John the 3GS shape would sort of smoothly slide in. So I’m actually really curious to
⏹️ ▶️ John see people start reviewing these when they get actual things. You know they’re gonna
⏹️ ▶️ John do the pocket slide-in test for sure and the shake test like Panzer did with the Anker.
⏹️ ▶️ John I think probably one of you should buy this just so we can talk about it on the show more. Not it.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco You know it’s gonna be me then. Casey’s never gonna buy it.
⏹️ ▶️ John Well. It’s sized for your phone, Marco. I know. My phone needs it the most. Exactly,
⏹️ ▶️ John I was gonna say. You should just put it on there all the time.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco No, and what I like about the MagSafe being used for this way is that, you know, unlike a
⏹️ ▶️ Marco battery case, like typically a battery case, once you put it on, you’re like, well, I’m just gonna carry it around
⏹️ ▶️ Marco like this for either indefinitely forever until the edges start peeling off, or
⏹️ ▶️ Marco like for this entire trip, I’ll just leave this on. Whereas the MagSafe, you can so easily pop it on and off
⏹️ ▶️ Marco without having to like take a whole case off the phone. You could theoretically just leave it off the phone, but
⏹️ ▶️ Marco have it like in your bag ready to go for if you need it. and then if later in the
⏹️ ▶️ Marco day you need it, just pop it on for a while, and then you can pop it off when you’re done super easily, like way more easily than a case.
⏹️ ▶️ John Yeah, it’s super versatile. And the fact that it’s a charger, like, you know, it is designed so that it will
⏹️ ▶️ John look reasonable on your desk as a charger. It’s like, it’ll lay flat. Like, if you look at it, you might be wondering which is the top
⏹️ ▶️ John and which is the bottom. Like, is this a charger that sits on my desk? Or is it a battery pack? It’s both, it’s nice.
⏹️ ▶️ John And the other thing about it is like, with all of the case ones, because they were cases and because MagSafe didn’t exist,
⏹️ ▶️ John I suppose they could have done this before. But anyway, like Casey said, they generally plugged into the lightning port, which meant they inevitably
⏹️ ▶️ John made your phone taller than it was because you need some part of it to kind of tuck around under your phone and plug
⏹️ ▶️ John into the lightning port, and then it would have to have its own lightning port offset from that that you would plug into. This has none of those problems. It
⏹️ ▶️ John doesn’t make your phone any taller. It just sticks on the back. It does have its own port in the battery itself, but it
⏹️ ▶️ John doesn’t sort of change the dimensions of your phone vertically or horizontally, which is nice.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Yeah, I can definitely see myself picking one of these up before my next trip, whenever that happens.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco It might be next spring or something. Maybe I’ll have the iPhone 13 mini at that point and I’ll have
⏹️ ▶️ Marco another small battery to top off. But I’m not gonna jump on this right this
⏹️ ▶️ Marco second because I just don’t have a need for it. But certainly if I needed a battery pack
⏹️ ▶️ Marco for my current iPhone, I’d get this one, no question. Because the way it can double as a charger and everything, that’s really
⏹️ ▶️ Marco nice. I even thought I could just keep it on my desk most of the time because I have a lightning cable here for development.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco I could just have that be my charger on my desk. Who knows, right? lots of reasons why i’m not one but
⏹️ ▶️ Marco um we’ll see down the road like whenever it actually whatever i actually need that then i’ll buy it
⏹️ ▶️ Casey july 27 through 29 you jerks
⏹️ ▶️ Casey got one nice so i will let you know please do
⏹️ ▶️ Casey, John yes it happened to be what
⏹️ ▶️ Casey it does it did happen to be white i honestly would have chosen black over white if
⏹️ ▶️ Casey, Marco i had the choice i had no other choice it
⏹️ ▶️ Casey it had to be white. I had no choice. It happens.
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⏹️ ▶️ Marco to Linode for just being an awesome web host that I host all my servers on and for sponsoring our
State of MagSafe
⏹️ ▶️ Marco I wanted to, as we were talking about this, I thought this might be a good excuse for a kind of like
⏹️ ▶️ Marco state of MagSafe topic. You know, like we’re almost a year into iPhone
⏹️ ▶️ Marco MagSafe. We’re not gonna be talking about the old, you know, MacBook charging thing. This is just about iPhone MagSafe.
⏹️ ▶️ John The old MacBook charging thing, which may become the new MacBook
⏹️ ▶️ John, Marco charger. Right,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco yeah. Possibly very soon. But anyway, so I wanted to, you know, just kind of review like how is MagSafe
⏹️ ▶️ Marco doing? You know, so are we using it? You know, what’s it good
⏹️ ▶️ Marco at, what’s it not so good at, you know, a year in? So I’ll start. I
⏹️ ▶️ Marco use it for all of my bedside charging and I even have those
⏹️ ▶️ Marco incredibly expensive like flip open like little MagSafe wall, things that charge
⏹️ ▶️ Marco the phone and the watch for when we go upstate to our family’s place
⏹️ ▶️ Marco up there. It’s been pretty good. I’ve been pretty happy with it. Oh, and
⏹️ ▶️ Marco I also have it in my car. I believe I’ve mentioned that on the show. I converted over my ProClip USA
⏹️ ▶️ Marco car mount from the old Lightning one to the new MagSafe one. And so,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco I’m using MagSafe pretty much all the time my phone is being charged, except when
⏹️ ▶️ Marco it’s at my desk and I plug it in for Xcode development. But otherwise, like,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco that’s the only thing. Xcode debugging is the only reason I’m plugging it into Lightning. Everything else now for my phone
⏹️ ▶️ Marco is MagSafe. And I have found it to be pretty good.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco I did mention when I mentioned the car MagSafe charging that heat and
⏹️ ▶️ Marco charging speed in the car are not great. And it is able to keep up with the phone,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco like running waves and GPS with the sun shining on it, but it is not able to charge
⏹️ ▶️ Marco it very quickly if it’s not super high to begin with. And occasionally the screen
⏹️ ▶️ Marco has to dim too because it’s so hot it can’t even show the screen full brightness, but I haven’t had that happen since then.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey I really am glad that I have a car that’s nice and has CarPlay, so I don’t have to worry
⏹️ ▶️ Casey about these sorts of things.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Another day. So in the car, I found it to be incredibly convenient,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco so it is worth those shortcomings of charging speed. As a bedside,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco every night charging thing, I think I mentioned before how I use
⏹️ ▶️ Marco double-sided suction tape on the bottom of Apple’s MagSafe puck as my
⏹️ ▶️ Marco bedside charger. Which is interesting, I think today, I think Elevation Lab just announced a
⏹️ ▶️ Marco kind of like a stick-on MagSafe holder. Well, I basically have been doing this for
⏹️ ▶️ Marco a year. I just bought that micro-suction tape and stuck it on the bottom of Apple’s thing and
⏹️ ▶️ Marco stuck it on my nightstand. And it’s held for a year. A few inches away from that, I have an Apple Watch
⏹️ ▶️ Marco charger that’s held the same way. And every night I stick the Apple Watch charger on
⏹️ ▶️ Marco its thing and I slide the iPhone onto its thing and it’s fine.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco That being said, the ways in which this is, this I think could use improvement, besides
⏹️ ▶️ Marco the heat and charging speed on the car being a bit of an issue. For me, it’s still
⏹️ ▶️ Marco a little hard to align the phone onto the MagSafe puck, to really line it up
⏹️ ▶️ Marco so it snaps into place. It takes a little bit more wiggling around, as I’m reaching over, trying to
⏹️ ▶️ Marco put on the nightstand, I’m trying to go to sleep, and a little tired, I gotta move it around
⏹️ ▶️ Marco before it snaps on. So that, I think, could use some improvement. I don’t
⏹️ ▶️ Marco know if it’s reasonably possible to do that much better, like it’d just be the reality
⏹️ ▶️ Marco of magnets. It might not be reasonably practical or possible to improve that very much,
⏹️ ▶️ John but. I’ve got a solution for you that doesn’t require an Apple to redesign things. what you just need is a
⏹️ ▶️ John frame, like a four corner frame the size of your mini. Cause then you would just be like, you know what I mean? Like getting a rectangle
⏹️ ▶️ John into like a shape, sort of size type hole. Like you just get it into the rectangular frame and you don’t care about
⏹️ ▶️ John the magnet being aligned because once you get it into the frame, you know it’s aligned, right? The problem with the MagSafe thing is there’s no borders.
⏹️ ▶️ John It’s just like, oh, you have a surface and you have a circle and I have a circle and you just have to line them up. And there you’d
⏹️ ▶️ John never know when you went past it or gone too far. You just kind of have to wiggle it around. That’s interesting. Like the frame, even in
⏹️ ▶️ John your sleepy, it would be less elegant and it would be less nice looking, but I can
⏹️ ▶️ John, Marco imagine. Oh, it would
⏹️ ▶️ Marco be hideous looking. I would never do it.
⏹️ ▶️ John There are third party chargers out there that probably do give you essentially like a soap dish for your phone.
⏹️ ▶️ John And obviously the limitation is now you have to size it to your phone and when you get a different size phone, you gotta have a different size soap
⏹️ ▶️ John dish. But that is one sort of mechanical solution to this. It’s just, you know, you can even make it like a soap
⏹️ ▶️ John dish with slanted sides. You can just kind of like shove your phone over and it would just kind of slip into it because it’s got some curved sides
⏹️ ▶️ John to it. It’s, you know, you could, you’re the one pulling out the microsuction
⏹️ ▶️ John tape. So if you wanna have an arts and crafts project, you can start making a little corral for your phone.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Yeah, the difference is that when I’m done with the suction tape, you don’t see anything except the charging
⏹️ ▶️ Marco yeah. Yeah, so that I think could use some improvement. And
⏹️ ▶️ Marco the other thing which also applies to the battery backpack thing,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco right now Apple has multiple different charging standards going
⏹️ ▶️ Marco on. We have, you know, you have, first of all, USB-C versus lightning. So
⏹️ ▶️ Marco you have devices like iPads that can only charge via USB-C, unless they’re certain models, in which case they
⏹️ ▶️ Marco only charge via lightning. Then you have phones that we’ve had Qi for a while, great, and you can use a MagSafe
⏹️ ▶️ Marco charger to charge any Qi-compatible iPhone, even the ones before. They just, you
⏹️ ▶️ Marco know, gotta like, you know, play with alignment a bit, and it’ll be limited to either five or seven watts. I don’t
⏹️ ▶️ Marco know which one they went with on that, but we have AirPods, we have Apple Watches,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco we have iPads. The MagSafe charger seems like it was an opportunity to maybe
⏹️ ▶️ Marco start unifying some of these things, and they didn’t take that opportunity. Especially,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco I think, where it’s especially egregious is the Apple Watch. I wish
⏹️ ▶️ Marco MagSafe could charge Apple Watches as well. And I don’t necessarily
⏹️ ▶️ Marco know that I would replace every Apple Watch charger with a larger MagSafe
⏹️ ▶️ Marco puck, but it would be nice if you happen to only have one of those things with you, or if you happen to only have one of those
⏹️ ▶️ Marco things free at the current moment, it would be nice to be able to charge an Apple Watch on a MagSafe puck.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco So besides that weirdness.
⏹️ ▶️ John Before you move on from the Apple Watch, I think, I’ve been thinking about this, I was thinking exactly the same thing just the other day, looking
⏹️ ▶️ John at watch chargers and stuff like that, that it’s so annoying that you have to have the separate watch charger, but I
⏹️ ▶️ John think given the current design of the Apple Watch, which I assume is not arbitrary with like the domed
⏹️ ▶️ John bottom sensor that presses into your skin to do all the measurements. Like I think it’s important for that
⏹️ ▶️ John to be domed. With the dome like that, I don’t think
⏹️ ▶️ John it’s feasible or maybe advisable to have a perfectly flat surface charging
⏹️ ▶️ John the domed watch, you know what I mean? Because I don’t think you could get close enough to contact
⏹️ ▶️ John the parts that you need to contact. You know, because the farther you are away, the farther you separate like the coil,
⏹️ ▶️ John the two coils from each other or whatever from charging, the worse it is in terms of efficiency. And at a certain point, it just
⏹️ ▶️ John doesn’t work. And especially with a dome type thing where it can wiggle around, I kind of think that the
⏹️ ▶️ John little domey indent part of the watch charging is essential. Now I get what you’re saying about the charging
⏹️ ▶️ John standard, but if you really want it to be standardized, you know they have to be flat for the phones because it’s not like they’re going to put little domes on the
⏹️ ▶️ John back of the phones. And so you’re
⏹️ ▶️ John, Marco going to have to have the flat chargers
⏹️ ▶️ John for the phones. Yeah, I guess I can make the camera bump into the charging
⏹️ ▶️ John, Marco bump or something.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Could they theoretically have a little domed cutout in the middle of the MagSafe charger?
⏹️ ▶️ John Yeah, yeah, but maybe. But I feel like once you have that cutout, that moves the coils
⏹️ ▶️ John in the center farther away from the phone, which doesn’t have a dome that’s sticking out. Like, I don’t know. Are there coils in the center,
⏹️ ▶️ John or do they form a big circle around the perimeter? I think they kind of go all the way around, like crop circle
⏹️ ▶️ John things. Anyway, what I’m saying is, this is all based on the assumption that the dome on the watch
⏹️ ▶️ John is not arbitrary. And I believe, my guess, if I had to put money, I would say it’s not arbitrary, that
⏹️ ▶️ John it actually is kind of important to have that dome there, because it has to press into your skin for all those sensors
⏹️ ▶️ John to work well. And if you made the bottom of the watch flat, it would be worse or maybe not work at all.
⏹️ ▶️ John So I kind of see where they might have some kind of limitation, but everything else you said is totally
⏹️ ▶️ John true. Like it’s just kind of an accident of history of like when these devices came out and somewhat the watch
⏹️ ▶️ John too, like they weren’t all released at the same time, they weren’t all conceived at the same time. And so now here we are with all these different
⏹️ ▶️ John standards. Less of an excuse for the iPads, which probably should all be USB-C by now, but you know,
⏹️ ▶️ John Tim Cook likes to sell those same designs for years and years, so we’ll eventually get there. But
⏹️ ▶️ John it is, the watch is the worst one, I think mostly because, at least Apple’s watch,
⏹️ ▶️ John does anyone third-party sell watch chargers? I don’t even know.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco So there are a few battery packs that have an Apple Watch thing off to the side,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco and they look like it’s Apple’s part just shoved in there. Like it doesn’t, I haven’t
⏹️ ▶️ Marco seen anything that looks noticeably different, like with a different finish or different color or anything like that.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Like, so it seems like there is an MFI program for that, but it seems like
⏹️ ▶️ Marco it’s not used very much. See also MagSafe, right? That’s, and that’s even, that’s,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco you know, a bigger problem with MagSafe too is like, there, I don’t know if the MFI program is actually
⏹️ ▶️ Marco going yet. I know they announced one. I don’t know if there’s actually like, like MagSafe stuff being developed
⏹️ ▶️ Marco under the MFI program, but I haven’t seen any. I don’t think any of it’s actually out yet.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco And this seems like a huge third-party opportunity that’s just not being used.
⏹️ ▶️ John The worst part of the watch charger is the attached cable, though. I feel like if Apple started selling just the little watch little
⏹️ ▶️ John thingy, like if they had sort of a little, you know, constructor set of charging things, and this was kind of like,
⏹️ ▶️ John well, you have the cable, and then you have the thing you attach it to, and you could attach it to the flat puck, or you could attach it to the watch puck.
⏹️ ▶️ John But, you know, Apple’s penchant for attaching the cable permanently to, like, I was just looking at a picture
⏹️ ▶️ John of a keyboard the other day and I was thinking about, do you realize that Apple permanently attaches the keyboard to its wired,
⏹️ ▶️ John does it? Am I misremembering? Is the wired Apple flat aluminum keyboard
⏹️ ▶️ John have the cable permanently attached to one? I think
⏹️ ▶️ John, Casey it does, right? Yep, it absolutely does. Anyway,
⏹️ ▶️ John it’s such a limitation because travel, like you were saying, any kind of thing where you’re like, let me just get
⏹️ ▶️ John my charging stuff. To always have that absolute one-off unitasker in, you know,
⏹️ ▶️ John good eats parlance, watch charger that is inseparable, attached to its cable, which is either
⏹️ ▶️ John way too long or way too short, depending on the context you want to use it, versus having a
⏹️ ▶️ John somewhat unified charging infrastructure that you could all label as MagSafe, where you had like pucks
⏹️ ▶️ John or landing dones or dishes, and then you had bricks, and then you had cables, all sold separately. Apple should love
⏹️ ▶️ Casey Yeah, so for me, I do use Qi charging. The only time I
⏹️ ▶️ Casey plug in my phone for the most part is occasionally CarPlay. That’s this thing, Marco,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey where your phone appears on your car’s infotainment system. It’s really nice, you should check it out sometime. So I plug
⏹️ ▶️ Casey it in for CarPlay occasionally, because now I have that dongle-y thing that I use for short trips. I’ll only usually plug
⏹️ ▶️ Casey it in for longer trips. I’ll plug it in for CarPlay, plug it in for development, and that’s usually it. On
⏹️ ▶️ Casey my bedside table, I have Qi charging. I do not have MagSafe. So this MagSafe battery
⏹️ ▶️ Casey pack that I ordered five, 10 minutes ago, will be my first true to form MagSafe device.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey And I’m looking forward to trying it, but that’ll be it. But I’m all in on Qi. I definitely use Qi
⏹️ ▶️ Casey all over the place. I just, I don’t have any MagSafe yet.
⏹️ ▶️ John Yeah, I’m not, wireless charging hasn’t really connected with me. Like I did buy the MagSafe puck
⏹️ ▶️ John when I got my MagSafe phone, but it just never, was never a thing that I wanted to do. I
⏹️ ▶️ John didn’t want to suction it down when it wasn’t suctioned down, it felt too slippy. It just doesn’t, didn’t fit into the way I have things
⏹️ ▶️ John on my bedside. So I’ve got the puck there on my bedside, and like I said, I just put my AirPods on it. Like
⏹️ ▶️ John that’s all I do. And even the AirPods, I still feel a little bit of like, it’s
⏹️ ▶️ John not really empathy for the machine, but it’s empathy for thermodynamics, whatever the hell. Like
⏹️ ▶️ John I don’t like the idea of it being less efficient and also potentially producing heat that could shorten the
⏹️ ▶️ John life of any of my batteries. And that’s probably fine. Like it doesn’t actually get that warm. But every time I pick my AirPods
⏹️ ▶️ John off the little charging puck and the case feels warm, or I take out the AirPods
⏹️ ▶️ John and they feel warm from being inside, I’m like, that’s not great. They don’t feel hot, it’s just,
⏹️ ▶️ John I don’t know. I don’t really care with the AirPods because the battery’s so small and they charge so fast. But everything else, I just plug my stuff in
⏹️ ▶️ John still. Which I also don’t like because, you know, we have so many lightning devices in this house
⏹️ ▶️ John and so many kids, well, two, so many. And I look at the little lightning connectors and you see the little
⏹️ ▶️ John brown marks from like scorching or whatever that
⏹️ ▶️ Marco that one pin that shorts out from charging.
⏹️ ▶️ John Oh yeah, I don’t know if it’s shorting or it’s corroding, or like, it just, go after the show, go
⏹️ ▶️ John look at all the lightning cables in your house and look at the little tiny connectors and see, do they all look uniformly
⏹️ ▶️ John shiny gold with no discoloration, or do one or two of them have little dark brown smudges on them?
⏹️ ▶️ John And when I plug in, I always try to pick like, the good of the 17 cables that are there, pick the good one
⏹️ ▶️ John with the least of the scorch marks,
⏹️ ▶️ John, Marco because I don’t want
⏹️ ▶️ John that sort of infecting my beautiful phones. And even on my nightstand, my kids charge their crap on my nightstand
⏹️ ▶️ John too, because my cables are always nice and are always available and don’t have scorch marks. Anyway,
⏹️ ▶️ John I still prefer wired mostly just because it charges faster, it charges more efficiently, you
⏹️ ▶️ John know, all those reasons. And I don’t mind plugging it in. And speaking of things that I can do in the night
⏹️ ▶️ John without fidgeting around, I’m surprisingly good at getting a
⏹️ ▶️ John USB-C or a lightning connector into the appropriate little place on
⏹️ ▶️ John phones and iPads in complete darkness. I think most people are pretty good
⏹️ ▶️ John at it. by the way, if you ever struggle with that and you’re like, oh, it’s so hard, I feel like I’m scraping up the bottom of my phone, I can’t find the little thing.
⏹️ ▶️ John The trick is, because you’re human and your mind-body connection is used to dealing with objects
⏹️ ▶️ John in space, take your, you have the cable in one hand, let’s say your right hand, take your left hand,
⏹️ ▶️ John feel for the little hole with like your finger or thumb along the bottom of the device, like
⏹️ ▶️ John feel for where the hole is with your thumb, and then just take your right hand, don’t think about it, just take your right hand
⏹️ ▶️ John and stick it into the thing that your left hand just felt. If you overthink it, you’re just gonna miss again. But
⏹️ ▶️ John just trust me when I tell you, if you have good, what is it, proprioception or whatever, and most
⏹️ ▶️ John people do, feel for the little hole and then just stick it in where you felt the hole. You don’t have to do any
⏹️ ▶️ John sort of weird like, oh, I’ll move my thumb out of the way at the last second. I swear to you, just feel for the hole and stick it in the hole. It’ll work
⏹️ ▶️ John great. Oh my gosh. I can’t handle this. I know. Anyway, I do that and I can do
⏹️ ▶️ John it in complete darkness so I haven’t had a need for wireless charging. So I’m not sure when I’ll come around on the wireless
⏹️ ▶️ John thing. I will, at this point, I would be kind of upset if they, you know, the rumors
⏹️ ▶️ John of the, you know, wireless charging only iPhone. I’d get over it, it would be fine, but just my whole setup
⏹️ ▶️ John is predicated on kind of a stack of devices. I feel like iPad, iPhone, you know,
⏹️ ▶️ John my AirPods, all this stuff kind of stacked up with all these cables snaking up and they just all plug into the
⏹️ ▶️ John bottom of the devices. You can’t really stack them with wireless unless you sort of do a sandwich
⏹️ ▶️ John layering where you do like device charger, device, or actually, charge your device, charge your device, charge your device,
⏹️ ▶️ John I don’t want that stack. So I’ll be sad if and when the wires go away
⏹️ ▶️ John someday, but for now I’m pretty dedicated to wires.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Yeah, I like having wired as an option, like if I need to fast charge for some reason,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco that. Obviously I mentioned Xcode development, where you want as much speed as you can get, as much liability
⏹️ ▶️ Marco as you can get, it’s great for that. I especially love, like you mentioned, the KID case.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco kid devices are treated a little more roughly than many
⏹️ ▶️ Marco adults treat their devices and a problem that we have had in our household I mentioned on the show before
⏹️ ▶️ Marco about my kids iPad mini and the iPad mini charge
⏹️ ▶️ Marco port seems to have a flaw like I’ve heard it from multiple people that like
⏹️ ▶️ Marco the current generation iPad mini and even the one before it I think it just has like a bad
⏹️ ▶️ Marco logic board design flaw where the the lightning connector apparently just
⏹️ ▶️ Marco like torques itself off the board in even regular use over time. Certainly with
⏹️ ▶️ Marco kid use that’s that’s going to be accelerated and that has been the case for us. We’ve already
⏹️ ▶️ Marco had to do an AppleCare replacement during the last term of the current iPad mini and in that kind of context I would
⏹️ ▶️ Marco love an iPad mini case that plugged into
⏹️ ▶️ Marco the the lightning port and just had a big a big G-coil on the back of it. And then I could just
⏹️ ▶️ Marco turn it into a wirelessly charged iPad. Now, you know, that’s not gonna fix the case where
⏹️ ▶️ Marco he’s using it as it’s sitting there at 2% and all of a sudden, oh crap, I have to charge, and you know,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco he wants to keep using it during charging. Like, that’s not gonna be great for that, but just to have less
⏹️ ▶️ Marco wear and tear on the port, that would be great. And that’s where, like, I love,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco in my current, you know, all wireless charging or mostly wireless charging lifestyle, It’s great
⏹️ ▶️ Marco never to have to pick pocket lint out of the lightning port to get it to charge right, or
⏹️ ▶️ Marco never to have to worry about, am I wearing down those pins? Never having that
⏹️ ▶️ Marco one pin that’s the one that always gets slowly charred and blackened over time
⏹️ ▶️ Marco as crap builds up on it. It’s great to not have to worry about that, and to save so much wear and tear
⏹️ ▶️ Marco on the port. So if you’re in a context where that’s important, like kid devices, I would just love to
⏹️ ▶️ Marco see more options like that. So for me, bring on MagSafe for iPad mini especially.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco That would be amazing. Or for any iPad, frankly. Like that would be a pretty strong factor in
⏹️ ▶️ Marco me buying whatever’s next for my kid.
⏹️ ▶️ John I feel like wired charging, especially as the device size goes up, is just so much more convenient because you don’t
⏹️ ▶️ John need a big flat surface to sort of mate with your thing. Like especially, we have like one of those sort
⏹️ ▶️ John of folder filing cabinet kind of charging things where you can put a bunch of iPads vertically. Yeah.
⏹️ ▶️ John And that wouldn’t work with wireless unless you have these big giant fins, because there’s just these little fins where you
⏹️ ▶️ John put them in the slots and then connect them with the wires. And I said, well, you mentioned about the cable,
⏹️ ▶️ John aside from kids like using their devices with the cable attached and destroying the cables, A, because there’s
⏹️ ▶️ John bad strain relief because kids are monsters, but B, also like just pulling on the thing and torquing it
⏹️ ▶️ John in the design floor and a little scorching and everything like that. And you mentioned pulling lint out of the things. I
⏹️ ▶️ John have to say that for my personal devices, having used lightning since it existed
⏹️ ▶️ John in many, many devices, none of those little scorch pins have ever caused any problems. Like I’ve literally
⏹️ ▶️ John never had a cable that stopped working. I’ve never needed to pick lint out of any of my lightning ports ever,
⏹️ ▶️ John and none of them have ever failed to work or broke over time. Now
⏹️ ▶️ John I’m very gentle with my devices so that doesn’t say these things don’t happen, but I’m just saying that my
⏹️ ▶️ John paranoia about the scorch marks and displeasure with all the stuff happening, practically speaking, it hasn’t
⏹️ ▶️ John actually caused a problem in my very careful usage. but I do know many other people
⏹️ ▶️ John who do have that problem. And this is probably, I think we’ve mentioned this in past shows, probably why Apple is even interested in a
⏹️ ▶️ John connectorless iPhone is just to eliminate all the people coming into the Apple store saying my thing
⏹️ ▶️ John doesn’t charge anymore and then have them to go in there with a little dental tools and pull out the little lint. Like that’s, it’s not
⏹️ ▶️ John a design flaw, but it is a weakness of having any kind of plug. As you know, and
⏹️ ▶️ John the phones are thin, you can’t really fit a giant beefy plug on there because you know, they’re small phones, right? So
⏹️ ▶️ John something has to give at some point. And I think all wireless is probably inevitable and I’ll understand
⏹️ ▶️ John it when it happens, but for now I’m still going with the wires.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Oh, they better fix Xcode. Anyway, thank you to our sponsors this week,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Linode, Memberful, and Burrow. And thanks to our members who support us directly. You can join
⏹️ ▶️ Marco us at atp.fm slash join, and we’ll talk to you next week.
⏹️ ▶️ John Now the show is over, they didn’t even mean to begin
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Cause it was accidental, oh it was
⏹️ ▶️ John John didn’t do any research, Margo and Casey wouldn’t let him Cause
⏹️ ▶️ John was accidental And you can find the show notes at atp.fm
⏹️ ▶️ John And if you’re into Twitter, you can follow
⏹️ ▶️ Marco them at C-A-S-E-Y-L-I-S-S So
⏹️ ▶️ Marco that’s Casey Liss, M-A-R-C-O-A-R-M, and T.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Marco Armin, S-I-R-A-C-U-S-A-C-R-A-Q-U-S-A
⏹️ ▶️ John It’s accidental, they didn’t mean to
⏹️ ▶️ John Accidental, tech podcast so long.
Casey loves Watch development
⏹️ ▶️ Marco So Casey, I know that you’re working on an app. Mm-hmm. And
⏹️ ▶️ Marco I know that you’ve had some motivational
⏹️ ▶️ Marco challenges after working on the Apple Watch component.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco You are not alone. Everybody who has ever developed an Apple Watch app has
⏹️ ▶️ Marco generally run screaming from the process, and it is extremely
⏹️ ▶️ Marco demoralizing, extremely frustrating and just a massive slog that just crushes
⏹️ ▶️ Marco your soul and makes you never want to be a software developer again. But I’m also
⏹️ ▶️ Marco here to tell you that because Watch OS is such an incredibly
⏹️ ▶️ Marco hostile and limited environment for apps to run in most people
⏹️ ▶️ Marco don’t expect perfection on the Apple Watch and Also, you can’t
⏹️ ▶️ Marco achieve it. Anyway, that’s true. You do what you can and to give
⏹️ ▶️ Marco an okay watch experience for most people most of the time, that’s going
⏹️ ▶️ Marco to be the best you can achieve. And so you have to just decide
⏹️ ▶️ Marco at some point, like, all right, this, I’ve reached a plateau. At this point, I’m just banging my head
⏹️ ▶️ Marco against the wall. I’m not getting significantly better, or the platform won’t let me get significantly
⏹️ ▶️ Marco better past this point. I will just consider this acceptable and move on. It is not you
⏹️ ▶️ Marco being a bad developer. It is not the world of software development telling you that you shouldn’t even bother doing
⏹️ ▶️ Marco it anymore because lots of other things do that. I mean, if you want that kind of feeling, try doing
⏹️ ▶️ Marco web development. But
⏹️ ▶️ Marco this case, the Apple Watch is a terrible software development platform.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco It is made to be as punitive and awful to iOS developers as possible.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco It will represent a massive part of your negative reviews, by far
⏹️ ▶️ Marco the most crash logs, and there’s not a goddamn thing you can do about that.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco And so you just have to kind of set it aside and just accept like, this is going to be
⏹️ ▶️ Marco a source of problems for me and my customers, but I’ll do the best I can. It’s
⏹️ ▶️ Marco in a way, it’s very, very Zen-like.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey Right. So I feel like I need my support group. And
⏹️ ▶️ Casey for the listeners particularly, I think I should back up a smidge and at least obliquely
⏹️ ▶️ Casey talk about what I’m building. So months and months and months ago, I noticed Erin doing some arithmetic
⏹️ ▶️ Casey with regard to something on her phone and her watch. And I can’t get
⏹️ ▶️ Casey too specific, but it was about health things. And I started doing this and I was like, what are you doing? And she explained,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey I was like, well, why? I could, like, I can fix this, you know, like I have the technology,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey I can do this. And so the core of this app, which I’m tentatively calling GoalTender,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey uh, the core of GoalTender is to do a little bit of arithmetic
⏹️ ▶️ Casey and give you like a status report and that’s really all it is. And on the surface,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey that’s like a week or two worth of work. I’m on like month eight or something like
⏹️ ▶️ Casey that. And part of it is because I’ve just been deeply unmotivated because of all things COVID, but now
⏹️ ▶️ Casey that, you know, our family, the, uh, the adults are vaccinated, And the kids are
⏹️ ▶️ Casey slowly starting to reenter society. I’m starting to feel better about
⏹️ ▶️ Casey work or I was starting to feel better about work in general. Uh, and I’m starting to get out, actually get some
⏹️ ▶️ Casey real work done. And I am incredibly lucky and incredibly privileged that I can like coast on
⏹️ ▶️ Casey this for months and not have been fired and not have, you
⏹️ ▶️ Casey know, put myself in dire financial straits. Like I, I recognize that if I had
⏹️ ▶️ Casey an actual job, I would have been fired long long ago and it would have been a real honest goodness problem.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey So anyway, so I’ve been working on this all way too long and I already feel guilty about that. Right. And so I’ve heard my imposter syndrome
⏹️ ▶️ Casey is already like, you know, peeking around the corner saying, Hey man, Hey, remember me, Hey, what
⏹️ ▶️ Casey you’ve been doing the last eight months. Oh, nothing. Geez. Maybe it’s because you suck. Maybe that’s
⏹️ ▶️ Casey why. Um, harsh. So, so that’s, that’s, that’s, you know, in the back of my mind already.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey And the app again, being at least slightly oblique, the app needs
⏹️ ▶️ Casey at least a month worth of health data to do the arithmetic it needs
⏹️ ▶️ Casey to do. I wrote pretty much all of it, I thought,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey and then I was noticing that the data was wrong on the watch app. So, I’m not talking
⏹️ ▶️ Casey about complications or anything. I’m just talking about the watch app, which is super duper simple and was working
⏹️ ▶️ Casey actually reasonably quickly because I was just reusing SwiftUI views that I was using in the iOS app
⏹️ ▶️ Casey in the watch, which is great. switched UI is good. And it took a little, you know, tweaking
⏹️ ▶️ Casey here and there, but by and large, it was relatively multi-platforms. That was great. But then I realized
⏹️ ▶️ Casey I was dropping data. I didn’t know why. And then come to find out the watch
⏹️ ▶️ Casey only has 10 days of health data. For the first 10 days of the month, it works great.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey And after that, it’s a mess. So now I’m in a situation where I
⏹️ ▶️ Casey only have all the data I need on my phone. In order to get the data to the watch, it needs
⏹️ ▶️ Casey to come from the phone. Which means, what am I now relying on 100% for the
⏹️ ▶️ Casey watch, Marco? Watch connectivity.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco, Casey Oh no! And it is a
⏹️ ▶️ Casey fing g nightmare. It is a nightmare. A thousand percent
⏹️ ▶️ Casey supported. I cannot overstate how much of a nightmare it
⏹️ ▶️ Marco is. There are not enough curse words in the English language. Challenge accepted! to properly
⏹️ ▶️ Marco classify how it is to work with watch connectivity.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey So now my entire app, even the watch app, so I’m going to get to why I keep
⏹️ ▶️ Casey specifying, you know, between the differences, but I’m having major issues with my complications.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey My complications are complicated. And that’s a big, big, big problem. But even the watch app, which
⏹️ ▶️ Casey is almost entirely under my control, like, yes, the API is weird. Yes,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey you know, you know, Switch UI is weird in its own right, but by and large, I don’t have a lot of excuses on the watch app. That is
⏹️ ▶️ Casey entirely under my control with modern watch development. It was not that easy, well,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey easy, quote unquote easy, when Marco started doing watch development. But for me, I don’t
⏹️ ▶️ Casey have too much to complain about, at least on the surface, with regard to just straight up watch development.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey But once you sprinkle in watch connectivity, it’s a nightmare. So why is it a nightmare? Well, first of all, you can’t
⏹️ ▶️ Casey really test on the simulator because some of the things are implemented in the simulator, both the
⏹️ ▶️ Casey iOS and watch simulator, some of them just plain aren’t. And that’s not a joke. Like you can, I’m not gonna find this for
⏹️ ▶️ Casey the show notes, but you can look in the documentation and legitimately in the documentation, it says, well, just don’t
⏹️ ▶️ Casey try this thing in the simulator because we didn’t frigging bother. Just don’t.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco And there’s all sorts of weirdness with the watch simulator and watch connectivity framework in particular. Like
⏹️ ▶️ Marco I think what it’s trying to do is insert little arbitrary delays
⏹️ ▶️ Marco in any watch connectivity communication between your simulated phone and simulated watch app to try to simulate
⏹️ ▶️ Marco watch communication in real life being sometimes delayed. But the result of that is that
⏹️ ▶️ Marco oftentimes watch connectivity communication in the simulator just never gets delivered. Which
⏹️ ▶️ Marco actually, I guess, is a fair simulation of what happens in real life. But it
⏹️ ▶️ Marco makes it nearly impossible to do substantial development in the
⏹️ ▶️ Marco simulator for any apps that communicate between the watch and phone apps.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey Bingo. Okay. So now I’ve backed myself into like a corner within a corner. So, so first
⏹️ ▶️ Casey of all, even though HealthKit APIs do exist on the watch, it’ll only work for the first 10
⏹️ ▶️ Casey days of the month. So that’s a non-starter. So I already need watch connectivity.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey Like it’s not optional. I need watch connectivity in order to get the data I need onto,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey onto the watch. And then beyond that, I’m doing all of this
⏹️ ▶️ Casey stuff with HealthKit data. And that is of all the APIs that Apple has,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey of all the ones I’ve worked with, and I’ve at least glanced off the outer atmosphere of most API, like most of the higher
⏹️ ▶️ Casey level APIs. Like I haven’t done any of that crazy stuff with like matrix math that you’re doing, Marco, but I’m talking about the high
⏹️ ▶️ Casey level APIs. I’ve glanced off the outer atmosphere of most of them. And
⏹️ ▶️ Casey a lot of them have legitimately good, like test harnesses or things you can do,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey like location services is a great example. Like you can put in, I believe it’s a GPX log. it doesn’t matter if I
⏹️ ▶️ Casey get the details wrong, but you can basically put in a log and tell the simulator, go ahead and use this
⏹️ ▶️ Casey to simulate like a car driving, which is the thing you want. Well, with HealthKit,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey it’s like, good luck. If you really want, you can put the simulator
⏹️ ▶️ Casey onto your legitimate iCloud account, your actual iCloud account,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey and it will sync up all the health data, and then just hope for the best, which is not
⏹️ ▶️ Casey really a great option. Then there are people that have done like open source things to extract and then import
⏹️ ▶️ Casey health data, but I couldn’t get any of them to work. And the one I found that looked most promising used CocoaPods
⏹️ ▶️ Casey and with respect to anyone who likes or uses or wrote CocoaPods, f**k CocoaPods. I hate it.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey In any case, I’m backed into one corner because I’m relying on health data that doesn’t exist.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey Now then on top of that, I’m relying on watch connectivity, which means I pretty much have to debug
⏹️ ▶️ Casey on device. Between these two things, I have to debug on device. I cannot
⏹️ ▶️ Casey reasonably describe how impossible, and
⏹️ ▶️ Casey I use that word constantly as a, what is it, hyperbole? I use that word not literally all the
⏹️ ▶️ Casey time. It is not literally impossible, but it is nearly impossible to
⏹️ ▶️ Casey get a watch app to debug successfully more than once in Xcode.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey, John I have tried
⏹️ ▶️ Casey, Marco everything.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey I have tried rebooting everything. I’ve tried turning things off, turning things on.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey I’ve tried hooking up with a USB, what, A cable. I’ve tried hooking up with a USB C
⏹️ ▶️ Casey cable. Nothing fking works. Nothing fking
⏹️ ▶️ Casey works. Not a thing. And so now I’ve put myself in the situation.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey GoalTender is at its core, two SwiftUI views. That’s all it
⏹️ ▶️ Casey is. That’s literally all it is. It’s two views. Of course, there’s a bunch of superfluous stuff around
⏹️ ▶️ Casey the outside. It’s two
⏹️ ▶️ Casey That’s all it is. And I’ve been working on this way too long in part because I guess I’m a shitty developer,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey but in part because it’s just all of this is infuriating.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey And I realized that Apple, Apple
⏹️ ▶️ Casey does incredible work in so many ways. And some of Apple’s best
⏹️ ▶️ Casey work targeted at developers is when they’re living in the same
⏹️ ▶️ Casey world we are, when they are, as we like to say, dogfooding. Apple very
⏹️ ▶️ Casey clearly does not dogfood watch development like we do. And
⏹️ ▶️ Casey I’ve spoken to some birdies within Apple who have confirmed that they have fancy little
⏹️ ▶️ Casey cases with fancy physical harnesses where they have fancy physical f***ing connections to their watches.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey So they don’t have to worry about all the things we do. In the defense of Apple, it is kind
⏹️ ▶️ Casey of a miracle that you can debug debug-ish a watch. That’s the other
⏹️ ▶️ Casey So anytime I’ve successfully gotten a debugging session insofar as I’m seeing log messages arrive in Xcode,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey as soon as I interrupt execution and attempt to step to the next line,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco You can’t use breakpoints on the watch.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey So I looked at Erin just a day or two ago. It might have been two days ago, right before
⏹️ ▶️ Casey we recorded actually. And she looked at me and was, you know, one of those things where your spouse just looks and
⏹️ ▶️ Casey knows something’s not right. And she looked at me and she’s like, are you okay? I was like, yeah, I was thinking
⏹️ ▶️ Casey about goaltender. And you know what it made me realize? I really don’t like that part of my job.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey And, and I said that kind of be funny, but I got thinking about it and sitting
⏹️ ▶️ Casey here today, right now in the depths of despair, I really legitimately
⏹️ ▶️ Casey am not enjoying this portion of my job. I love the portion of my job where I talk to you too, even when you drive me nuts, which does happen,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey but I really don’t like that portion of my job right now. And so there is probably
⏹️ ▶️ Casey an argument that I should just abandon this whole darn app in the first place. But now I’ve got sunk cost fallacy knocking on the
⏹️ ▶️ Casey other door behind me. You know, there, there was the imposter syndrome coming in door number one, then there’s sunk cost
⏹️ ▶️ Casey fallacy coming in door number two. And I really want this app to exist in the world,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey whether or not another human being buys it. I’m lucky enough that I don’t really need to worry about that,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey but I think it could be useful to some people, but at the rate I’m going, I feel like it’s
⏹️ ▶️ Casey an insurmountable thing that I will never be able to get over. And
⏹️ ▶️ Casey it makes me feel like, as much as I’m kind of being silly and goofy, it makes me feel like a piece of garbage. It
⏹️ ▶️ Casey makes me feel like I legitimately don’t belong doing the job I’m doing, because this doesn’t
⏹️ ▶️ Casey seem like a terribly difficult thing to write. It is literally at its core,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey two SwiftUI views. Why is it this challenging? and then I keep putting off and didn’t bring
⏹️ ▶️ Casey up, then you’ve got to try to figure out complications on the watch. Oh no.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey Which the API, because this thing, it’s two, like, it’s kind of sort of two graphs, right? It’s not literally
⏹️ ▶️ Casey graph, but you could call it a graph, I guess. It’s basically two graphs, or gauges is a better way of putting
⏹️ ▶️ Casey it, I guess. Two gauges. And if I were a consumer, I would say, wow,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey this app is two gauges. Wouldn’t it be sweet if I could put those gauges onto my watch face?
⏹️ ▶️ Casey which in and of itself is a completely reasonable request. And so that’s the
⏹️ ▶️ Casey other tough thing about iOS development these days, is that you start with an app that is
⏹️ ▶️ Casey two gauges. I’m not saying this over and over again to sell myself short. Like
⏹️ ▶️ Casey I do think there’s value in this app, but if I’m really honest with myself, it’s two gauges.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey And yet then the next thing you know, well, you need a watch app because you might wanna see your gauges on your watch.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey Well, then you need complications because you might want to see the gauges on your watch face. And of course I
⏹️ ▶️ Casey started going down the road of, and then kept getting distracted by the watch. What else are you going to need? Widgets. Cause what if you want
⏹️ ▶️ Casey to see your gauges on your home screen? And so this little app that has started
⏹️ ▶️ Casey is two gauges is now spidering all into all these
⏹️ ▶️ Casey different technologies. And on the one side, I’m really glad, like, even if I never released this, I I am really glad
⏹️ ▶️ Casey that I’m experiencing in more depth, like watch development,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey watch connectivity, and complications and widgets. I am happy to be
⏹️ ▶️ Casey experiencing it more and more, but I feel like almost
⏹️ ▶️ Casey every step of this process has made me increasingly miserable. And if I was a smarter
⏹️ ▶️ Casey man, I would just walk away from the whole damn thing and try something new. So in summary,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey I would love for Apple to either dog food the stuff
⏹️ ▶️ Casey that they make us do, or be whatever like physical thing that
⏹️ ▶️ Casey they undoubtedly have that they can use to do the development that they do.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey I, at this point, I would pay them $11 billion for one of them
⏹️ ▶️ Casey so I can have one too. Cause, oh my gosh, it’s, it, it genuinely has
⏹️ ▶️ Casey made me hate my job. And that’s, as much as I kind of joke about it, that’s not a good place to be.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco No. And there’s multiple angles to this. I’ll try to tackle some of them in the time we
⏹️ ▶️ Marco have. So first of all, totally agreed. If they sold a wired development
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Apple Watch, I would pay $1,000 easily. And
⏹️ ▶️ Marco I’d buy a new one every year just because it would be a little bit faster. Because like, you know, so, you know, so listeners,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco if you’ve ever tried to, you know, debug an app or even just build and deploy and test an app on an Apple Watch.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco For me to do that with Overcast, it is, I think about a three minute long process every time I want
⏹️ ▶️ Marco to change anything. Suppose I want to run something on the watch, which spoiler alert, audio
⏹️ ▶️ Marco is not well simulated in the simulator. Oh, go figure. Like the way audio behaves, things like
⏹️ ▶️ Marco audio interruption, handling, audio output, handling, output, routing, background, handling of audio. Almost
⏹️ ▶️ Marco none of that is correctly implemented in the simulator. So I have to do a lot of on-device testing. Sure
⏹️ ▶️ Marco enough, I’m going through the same crap of like, all right, change something, build and run.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Try to figure out, like recently I had a problem of trying to figure out why audio interruption handling
⏹️ ▶️ Marco was not working correctly on my standalone watch playback. When audio interrupts
⏹️ ▶️ Marco other audio on iOS, and the other audio has its volume reduced, so you hear like
⏹️ ▶️ Marco the alert and then the volume goes back up, that’s called ducking
⏹️ ▶️ Marco audio terms. And so I have for years, I’ve had a utility app called Duck that just has a
⏹️ ▶️ Marco picture of a duck and it has different buttons in the app for different time
⏹️ ▶️ Marco intervals. And when you click one of those time intervals, it plays that amount of time randomly
⏹️ ▶️ Marco picked from Tighten Up by Archie Bell and the Drells.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco And it’s a way I test interruption handling in Overcast. Because you need a different app to
⏹️ ▶️ Marco interrupt the sound to test the audio, the interruption handling on Overcast. So
⏹️ ▶️ Marco I went to the trouble of making a watch version of Duck during this last few weeks.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Getting a little Duck size icon for the watch version as well. And- Oh my goodness.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco And SwiftUI made this very easy by the way. Thank God for SwiftUI, because I’m telling you Casey, in the
⏹️ ▶️ Marco days of watch kit, oh my God, it was so much worse.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey, Marco it. Oh no, I know. And that’s the thing,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey that’s the other thing. Like I know that I am living the comparatively easy life compared
⏹️ ▶️ Casey to what you and like underscore went through. And actually, and that’s the other thing, like how Underscore has
⏹️ ▶️ Casey a single hair on top of his head, much less is actually legitimately successful
⏹️ ▶️ Casey at this, I have no idea. He must have- He’s a Zen master.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco, Casey Seriously, I just, I don’t get it.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco He has, he must be the most patient and persistent person I
⏹️ ▶️ Marco, Casey same. To develop
⏹️ ▶️ Marco as much Apple Watch software as he does.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey Well, that’s his disposition to begin with, and I am quite obviously the opposite of that, but still.
⏹️ ▶️ John is also experience, where if you do, this is your first watch app, and this is Marco’s fifth version
⏹️ ▶️ John of the same watch app. But listening to you talk about your woes, Casey,
⏹️ ▶️ John and like, oh, it’s only two SwiftUI views, I’m thinking, presumably,
⏹️ ▶️ John if you forgot about all the data and just put hard-coded fixture data
⏹️ ▶️ John in, you would have no problem making a complication, a widget, a watch app, because it’s not like
⏹️ ▶️ John the part you’re tripping over is, oh, I can’t get my SwiftUI view to render correctly.
⏹️ ▶️ John about data flow, right? And in the case of data flow, both in your case and in Marco’s case, it’s like,
⏹️ ▶️ John well, in your case, this is not your data, it’s from the health APIs. And so you’re
⏹️ ▶️ John at the mercy of the health APIs, and then you’re at the mercy of the stupid watch connectivity APIs.
⏹️ ▶️ John Like if you could just get the data to where it needs to be, it’s not like you’re struggling over the rendering of it.
⏹️ ▶️ John And if you did something like, little experimental watch faces where the only input
⏹️ ▶️ John is the time, there’s no data flow. And it’s easy and probably relaxing and fun to do. And then in
⏹️ ▶️ John, Marco Marco’s case, he’s dealing
⏹️ ▶️ John with system APIs because he’s trying to play audio and he doesn’t control the entire audio stack from top to bottom.
⏹️ ▶️ John There’s other audio things that can go on. And so he’s got to handle when he’s interrupted and when he’s resuming. And then he’s got his
⏹️ ▶️ John own data flow, which is probably better than dealing with HealthKit because at least he controls those APIs.
⏹️ ▶️ John But as evidenced by the seven versions of the watch app he’s made, eventually he’s just like, look, Apple, you are no longer involved
⏹️ ▶️ John in the data flow. I’m going to get it from the server myself because all the other ways I tried have been terrible. Oh yeah.
⏹️ ▶️ John So like, I’m not like, this is, both of your things are terrible for reasons that are
⏹️ ▶️ John kind of predictable given the strengths and weaknesses of the watch. And it just seems like
⏹️ ▶️ John if you had a simpler use case, your own data or just the time or something
⏹️ ▶️ John simpler, or like the ones that do in the WWDC demo, where it’s like, they gloss over the part
⏹️ ▶️ John of where the data comes from. And they just like, look how great this is. Watch development is really easy. Like you just do this and you
⏹️ ▶️ John can put this, you can use SwiftUI and put your views up and you do a timeline for the complication and it’s just like assume
⏹️ ▶️ John that the data is already available in these variables in your views. It’s like, but that’s the hard
⏹️ ▶️ John part. Like, how does that data get there? Where does it come from? Does it have the correct values? How do I make
⏹️ ▶️ John a fake set of it when it’s complicated data? You know, all that other stuff. And that
⏹️ ▶️ John fabled debugging thing would be great for you to figure out why the hell your data isn’t getting there because you could
⏹️ ▶️ John finally debug, but in the end your data isn’t getting there. and the debugger would just sort of reveal the brokenness of the
⏹️ ▶️ John APIs versus you just, you know, wondering why it’s broken. But what you really want is for,
⏹️ ▶️ John to have a way to get the data. Like say for instance, in your case Casey, that there wasn’t the 10 day limit.
⏹️ ▶️ John You would not be suffering as much, right? Like you’d do the complication, you’d do the widget, you’d do the thing, it would
⏹️ ▶️ John be like, oh, the data’s just there, it’s on the watch, I just, you know, render the views. And so I feel
⏹️ ▶️ John your pain, but it’s not because like, I think you’re just, like Marco is, you’re just running into
⏹️ ▶️ John the worst of the sharp corners of the UI. And there’s no amount of skill that’s gonna get you over
⏹️ ▶️ John other people’s broken APIs.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey Yeah, and that’s the funny thing is for the first 10 days, it just so happened that I finished like the first cut
⏹️ ▶️ Casey of complications and the watch app on like the second day of maybe it was July,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey maybe it was June, whatever it was, it was like the second or third day of the month. And then after the 10th day, I realized my complications
⏹️ ▶️ Casey aren’t updating or something was wrong. And then I started digging and realized, oh my God,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey The reason why is because the data’s not there. So like, to your point, John, at the time,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey it seemed like, you know, something had gone awry, but everything
⏹️ ▶️ Casey else up until that point was working great. And then it was only upon that limit being discovered
⏹️ ▶️ Casey that I realized, oh no, now everything is different. And now I’ve got to use watch connectivity.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey Like I was already lightly using it for a couple things, but I’ve got to really go all in on watch connectivity. And now
⏹️ ▶️ Casey I’ve got to pass all sorts of data back and forth in system mass.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco So there are a few tips I can give you here. So number one, for debugging.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco I already told you, but I’ll tell the listeners too, if you use a USB-C to lightning cable,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco for some reason, that tends to work better. Like the one that goes to the phone, that, you know, not even the one that goes to the watch,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco is obviously because we can’t have those. The USB-C to lightning cable, for some reason, is more reliable and faster for me to debug.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco I don’t know why it’s not USB-3. I don’t know what the reason is, but that is a
⏹️ ▶️ Marco thing for me. As for the actual debugging process, I too can rarely
⏹️ ▶️ Marco get a debug session to work on the watch. Typically what happens is I hit build and run in Xcode.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco It takes about 90 seconds maybe where it’s trying
⏹️ ▶️ Marco to install to watch. Like first it has to compile the app, which is now, you know, because
⏹️ ▶️ Marco it’s SwiftUI, it takes forever. And so it eventually gets there, it compiles the
⏹️ ▶️ Marco whole rest of the app too, the whole phone app and everything. Tries to install to watch. Sometimes
⏹️ ▶️ Marco that step succeeds, sometimes it doesn’t. Sometimes it just errors out with some like, you know, nonsense error
⏹️ ▶️ Marco that doesn’t mean anything. Sometimes it says it installed to watch, and then sometimes it says running
⏹️ ▶️ Marco and it never runs. Occasionally, I will get it to actually
⏹️ ▶️ Marco run in the debugger through Xcode on the watch, maybe one out of three
⏹️ ▶️ Marco or four runs, it will actually get that far.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey Oh man, I would kill for that often. Oh my goodness, I would kill for it to be that often.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco And that takes a good two, three minutes. It’s very, so often,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco it will take so long that I’ll start doing something else on the computer and I’ll look down at
⏹️ ▶️ Marco my watch 10, 15 minutes later and see, oh, it’s running, oh my God! And then I’ll jump back to Xcode and
⏹️ ▶️ Marco take over the session. But it’s so slow to get to that point
⏹️ ▶️ Marco and get there so rarely. Oh, and I’ve had the same experience with you. If you try to actually
⏹️ ▶️ Marco set a breakpoint and try to either debug it by even just reading what a variable value
⏹️ ▶️ Marco is, or trying the PO to print an object or whatever, or try to do a step,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco or step in or step out, forget it. That breaks the session almost every time. So
⏹️ ▶️ Marco don’t even bother with that. The best you can do is see live log messages. That being said,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco you can also use a custom logging framework or make your own like I did.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey That’s what I’m in the process of today, actually, but go ahead.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco And so what I do is I have my own custom log framework,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco and I use it in the iOS app too, that I log my own events to. And then
⏹️ ▶️ Marco I have a code that checks for, is user ID equals one?
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Then show a button in my watch settings screen that submits my log
⏹️ ▶️ Marco to my servers. And then I have a page on my server, my admin page, I can
⏹️ ▶️ Marco go look at my own damn watch log. I know. Hold
⏹️ ▶️ Casey on though. I think it’s important that we really pull on this thread for a minute. And I’m not trying to be
⏹️ ▶️ Casey funny. It is better and faster for you
⏹️ ▶️ Casey to write custom code to package up log files and send them
⏹️ ▶️ Casey across the internet to a server under your control. That is easier
⏹️ ▶️ Casey and more reliable than using the development environment that you are developing the
⏹️ ▶️ Casey app for this device with?
⏹️ ▶️ Casey even close. By far. And that’s literally today, like you saw in a Slack channel we’re all part
⏹️ ▶️ Casey of, I was looking at, okay, how can I start, you know, collecting log information, writing it to a file, and then
⏹️ ▶️ Casey like my next step was going to be like uploading it somewhere, doing something with it. But my first step was like, let me collect all these logs, and then I’ll
⏹️ ▶️ Casey figure out how to put it somewhere. But I am writing my own logging system. And yes,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey I’m sure listeners, there’s some logging system that I should be using that is like open source or whatever.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco a million. It doesn’t matter.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey But one way or another, I am writing my own logging system because it seems
⏹️ ▶️ Casey like that is the most reliable way for me to be able to tell what’s going on. For a brief
⏹️ ▶️ Casey window of time, when it came to complications, I was firing off, there’s an app that I really like
⏹️ ▶️ Casey called Pushover, which I think I’ve mentioned in the past. And what it basically does is it’ll allow you to
⏹️ ▶️ Casey send pushes by like email or by an API call. And I use it for
⏹️ ▶️ Casey some things like, for example, if I’m doing some long running operation on my computer, I have
⏹️ ▶️ Casey a shell script where I can just say, call the shell script with a message and it will send a push
⏹️ ▶️ Casey notification to my phone slash watch saying, okay, that thing is done. So I was
⏹️ ▶️ Casey briefly when I was debugging complications, using pushover to start sending myself push
⏹️ ▶️ Casey notifications, oh, such and such a complication just got updated, such and such other complications just got updated, et cetera, et cetera.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey I quickly got sick of that because it was happening a lot. But my point is that was
⏹️ ▶️ Casey the most reliable thing I could think of at the time in order to get myself better visibility
⏹️ ▶️ Casey into what’s going on on the watch. Now I do think, and I haven’t looked into this, I think there’s some like
⏹️ ▶️ Casey a certificate or something you can put in that will get you the ability to use like
⏹️ ▶️ Casey console.app on your computer to start reading logs coming off the watch,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey but I’m so skeptical.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Oh, yeah, you can, it doesn’t work.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey Okay, there you go. I was so skeptical that it works that I didn’t even really bother looking.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco It works about as well as debugging. Like you can get it to work occasionally,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco, Casey but it’s not. Yeah.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco I’ve done that too. Don’t worry. That doesn’t work either. No, so here’s how you do watch development.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco First of all, you know, whatever coping mechanism you need to do afterwards, do whatever you need to
⏹️ ▶️ Marco do. So first of all, yeah, write your own logs to your own thing
⏹️ ▶️ Marco and somehow get that onto a server for debugging purposes so that you can, or bounce, you know, somehow
⏹️ ▶️ Marco get that to you for logging. And you’re going to be doing printf debugging. You know, this is like, we’re
⏹️ ▶️ Marco not gonna have interactive debuggers going on here. We’re gonna be doing printout style debugging with log files. So
⏹️ ▶️ Marco once you have the log file feedback loop working, here’s how to increase
⏹️ ▶️ Marco the speed of the deployment cycle. Never build and run on the watch.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco If you build and run the phone app, like onto your phone, you will see,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco if you go to the honeycomb screen on your watch, when you hit build and run, the second it
⏹️ ▶️ Marco launches on the phone, you can see the spinner start on the pie slice progress bar,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco you can see that starting on your watch icon. As soon as you deploy to the phone, the
⏹️ ▶️ Marco phone pushes the update to the watch, and that happens way faster and more reliably
⏹️ ▶️ Marco than building and running directly onto the watch from Xcode. So, you have a fast feedback loop
⏹️ ▶️ Marco with logs, that’s your fast feedback loop for code changes. Just build and run on the phone, and watch the watch
⏹️ ▶️ Marco update, and you’ll see it’s fast. And that’s it, and it sucks that, I wish we had better development
⏹️ ▶️ Marco tools. I wish the tools we had actually worked. And I wish the people at Apple used them the way we have to,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco or gave us an option not to. That being said, WatchOS continues to feel like it has
⏹️ ▶️ Marco a staff of like one intern total that has permission to work on it part-time. So
⏹️ ▶️ Marco like, well, look, look, look at how much changes in WatchOS every year. Like it’s not,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco it’s not a lot. You know, it doesn’t seem like they have a lot of resources over there allocated
⏹️ ▶️ Marco to the WatchOS development cycle. And so maybe we don’t want the watchOS team to have their
⏹️ ▶️ Marco jobs be made harder. But, you know, ultimately it does suck that
⏹️ ▶️ Marco the job that we are trying to do making apps for this platform is made so much harder by
⏹️ ▶️ Marco the lack of reliable and good development tools and workflows. But that’s the reality of
⏹️ ▶️ Marco it. There’s not much you can do about it. So the other thing I will suggest regarding your data transfer
⏹️ ▶️ Marco issue. Now this is a little sensitive because health data is sensitive.
⏹️ ▶️ John I was just thinking, I don’t know what you’re gonna say it, but I was just thinking earlier that if you could just get
⏹️ ▶️ John that healthcare data and like shove it up on a server somewhere and then pull it over the internet back to the phone, but I was like, Bob,
⏹️ ▶️ John that’s healthcare data. You can’t really do that. So I hope that’s not what you’re gonna suggest.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco well, but what you might be able to do is use CloudKit.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey It’s funny you bring this up because I had this exact same thought. The problem I have with that though
⏹️ ▶️ Casey is that I don’t know for absolute certainty that your watch has internet connectivity,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey right? Or maybe I do and I don’t realize it.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Oh, that’s its own whole ball of worms.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey So that’s the thing is if I rely on the internet to transfer data, then
⏹️ ▶️ Casey I think I’m creating a different set of problems for at least, for myself slash a potentially
⏹️ ▶️ Casey large subset of my maybe customers if I ever get this thing out the door in that, you know,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey not everyone will always have a reliable internet connection and this data could
⏹️ ▶️ Casey change as often as every 10, 20 minutes. And so
⏹️ ▶️ Casey it seems like that may not be the best answer, but at the rate I’m going, it’s the answer I’m gonna have to choose to take because
⏹️ ▶️ Casey I can’t get any other fricking thing to work.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Yeah, I mean, you could also end up doing both. Like one thing you could do is have the
⏹️ ▶️ Marco phone package up the last X days of data
⏹️ ▶️ Marco as blobs of data. Have the phone, try to send it to the watch with a blob ID on
⏹️ ▶️ Marco each one. and then also add those to CloudKit and have the watch
⏹️ ▶️ Marco attempt to sync with CloudKit and just try to get the same IDs. And if it already
⏹️ ▶️ Marco has an ID from one of the other sources, it’ll ignore it, you know, and just do, I mean, this is terrible.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Like you shouldn’t need to do any of this garbage, but people who have remotely
⏹️ ▶️ Marco functional watch apps do crap like this. This is what we have to do. Like
⏹️ ▶️ Marco it’s full of bad hacks, redundancy, weird ways to try
⏹️ ▶️ Marco to just brute force stuff through because it’s such a punishing
⏹️ ▶️ Marco and unreliable environment otherwise. That’s what you gotta do.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey Yeah, it’s funny you bring that up. So I wrote a front end, which I actually am kind of proud of, even though I’m sure it’s technically
⏹️ ▶️ Casey incorrect. But I wrote a front end to watch connectivity that basically anything you wanna send,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey it will send in all three of the different ways you can send it because that’s the only way I can reliably
⏹️ ▶️ Casey assure, well, semi-ensure it will be there. So like, well, I forget what it is off the top of my head because
⏹️ ▶️ Casey I haven’t looked at this code in a couple of weeks, but it’s like there’s immediate messages, which you can even
⏹️ ▶️ Casey have replies to, but that only works when both the Watch app and the iOS app are
⏹️ ▶️ Casey running simultaneously. If I think I have that right, I might have that slightly wrong.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco No, it’s not quite. The Watch app is able to wake up the phone app, but not vice versa.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey That’s right, that’s right, that’s right. Yup, yup, yup, yup, yup. So you can have like immediate messages, you
⏹️ ▶️ Casey can have, what is it, like user info updates, And then there’s some
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Yeah, the application context, which is like the- Yeah.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Another thing I can recommend, any message you get from one of those, like the application
⏹️ ▶️ Marco context, save that in a file. That way, next time your application launches, if you
⏹️ ▶️ Marco can’t get a new one, use that. Second thing I can recommend, put a date object or a
⏹️ ▶️ Marco, Casey sequence number- I
⏹️ ▶️ Casey did. Yep, yep, yep, yep. I did.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco I did. Yeah, either a date or a sequence number in each one of those dictionaries, because the system will
⏹️ ▶️ Marco occasionally deliver them to you out of order or deliver you stale data. So you have to be able to reject stale
⏹️ ▶️ Marco data as it comes in. You’re basically a real from the TCPI feeling. It’s so bad.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey, Marco so bad. So terrible.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey So yeah, I mean, I’m gonna be going away somewhat soon and I’m gonna
⏹️ ▶️ Casey be stepping away from all this for a few days. And I suspect when I come back,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey I’m either gonna abandon this whole damn project or maybe hopefully have a renewed vigor in
⏹️ ▶️ Casey order to get through all these problems. But it’s funny because a lot of times, it’s happened
⏹️ ▶️ Casey a lot to me in the last year or two, it kind of went away for a long time, but it’s starting to come back. I’ll have friends that are not
⏹️ ▶️ Casey technical who will say to me, hey man, I really want to make this app that does
⏹️ ▶️ Casey this. How long do you think it would take? And admittedly, there’s a lot of other problems
⏹️ ▶️ Casey with GoalTender. Like I started it at a time when I had no motivation, I wasn’t doing a good job
⏹️ ▶️ Casey of getting work done, et cetera, et cetera. But like all those caveats aside.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco You could use GoalTender to motivate you to finish GoalTender.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey That’s true. Except that’s not exactly the kind of goals it’s tending.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey, Marco But nevertheless.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco You write the app. You can make it 10
⏹️ ▶️ Marco, Casey different goals. Also true.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey Well, that’s also true. But I look at GoalTender, which is I don’t
⏹️ ▶️ Casey remember exactly when I started it. I’m too lazy to look up the Git commit history. But it’s been months and months. And it’s an
⏹️ ▶️ Casey app that’s two views. And then I’ll have people come to me and be like, hey, I want to automate
⏹️ ▶️ Casey this incredibly complicated process that involves lots of real world physical objects. That can be done
⏹️ ▶️ Casey in a couple of months, right? And I’m like, dude, that’s a million bucks in two years for 10
⏹️ ▶️ Casey people. And they’ll look at me like, what? And it’s like, yes, you don’t even
⏹️ ▶️ Casey know. This is why software is expensive, partly because not a damn one of us knows what we’re
⏹️ ▶️ Casey doing, but partly because it is that complicated. It’s a lot easier to mess
⏹️ ▶️ Casey up. a lot easier to reset than, say, civil engineering when something goes wrong. But it
⏹️ ▶️ Casey is incredibly complicated. And if there’s anything we do as a profession
⏹️ ▶️ Casey is we insist on making things more complicated with each passing year. So I’m sorry
⏹️ ▶️ Casey for venting. I appreciate you letting me vent. But it is just, it is soul-sucking.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey And it is at the point that I’m really strongly thinking that maybe I should just abandon this whole
⏹️ ▶️ Casey idea and just try something new.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Well, I mean on that front too, like there’s, you know, you can see both ways of this. Obviously,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco as you mentioned earlier, like because you’re not super dependent on the income from this app,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco you can’t abandon it. You have that freedom. You’re a person, you’re an adult, you can make your own decisions like this. You can just say, you know what, this
⏹️ ▶️ Marco is not working. This is not worth it. I don’t have, I can abandon it. You can also
⏹️ ▶️ Marco not abandon it, but not release it. You can just use it for yourself. Like I never, I’m not gonna release Duck.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco I use it, it serves a purpose. It’s not the only app I have like that. I have my coffee
⏹️ ▶️ Marco ratio app. I have Town Painter, my app about tracking my walks
⏹️ ▶️ Marco, John Fire Island.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco I actually just rebooted that as a running map for me this summer. I’m not gonna release
⏹️ ▶️ Marco that because it’s an app that really needs a watch version to be useful to
⏹️ ▶️ Marco the public. And I wrote it when I was not wearing an Apple Watch. And so I wrote
⏹️ ▶️ Marco it to start a workout and be a walking workout from your phone,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco like entirely on your phone. There is no watch app for this workout tracking map
⏹️ ▶️ Marco app. Like it screams for a watch app. And I’m not gonna make one because it’s not worth me
⏹️ ▶️ Marco taking that time right now. And I’m not motivated to and I hate the watch, like for software development.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco So I’m not gonna do that. So I’m just not gonna release this app. Like it’s not worth releasing. The other thing
⏹️ ▶️ Marco is you can release it and not have some of these features and just say, you know what, here’s
⏹️ ▶️ Marco what it is. If it’s useful to you, great. If it’s not, oh well. Not every app has to,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco you’re putting a lot of pressure on yourself to say like, all right, well, obviously this needs a watch app. Well,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco does it? It might not. Obviously this needs to be a widget. Does it need to be a widget?
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Maybe, I mean, that might be nice, but is that required or it has to be non-existent
⏹️ ▶️ Marco or dead? Like, this is two extremes here. There’s
⏹️ ▶️ Marco a lot of middle ground that you could pick and the world won’t end, and it might not
⏹️ ▶️ Marco appeal to everyone. Some people might write to you saying, why doesn’t it have this feature? Or I’m gonna
⏹️ ▶️ Marco withhold my stars or my purchase until you add this feature. And that’s fine.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco You don’t have to add it. You don’t have to please all those people. You can have an app that’s really good for your
⏹️ ▶️ Marco need, and it might not ever be useful to anybody else, but you can still release it and just see, and maybe somebody
⏹️ ▶️ Marco will find it useful. But you don’t have to put all that pressure on yourself that it has to have every single little tiny thing.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco But moreover, you don’t have to work on something that you don’t want to work on. If you want this
⏹️ ▶️ Marco app to exist badly enough for your own purposes, for your own satisfaction, get it to where you want
⏹️ ▶️ Marco to get it and release it. Or don’t. Like, just use it for yourself forever, like I do with all my
⏹️ ▶️ Marco little garbage apps. But yours is better than that. But your app is way nicer than Duck, by the way.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco But it’s also way nicer than Town Painter.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey Yeah, I think, hearing you talk about it and thinking about it, I think if I were to go middle ground, which
⏹️ ▶️ Casey at first when I started thinking about it, I was like, no, I don’t want that. But the more I’m talking to myself and listening to you,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey the more I think, well, maybe there’s something to be said for this. I think the middle of the ground is no watch anything.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey So I think the iOS app is done for the meaty things like IAP, I haven’t
⏹️ ▶️ Casey touched in a couple of the things I haven’t touched. But the main
⏹️ ▶️ Casey meat of the iOS app is done, and I think I can get widgets done pretty quickly.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey I think that’s manageable because I’m not relying on all these things that are making me miserable.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey I think that the halfway solution to this is to release it as
⏹️ ▶️ Casey an iOS only app, no watch support of any sort. Then I think the next step would be,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey see if I can get the watch app, so the watch version of the iOS app working.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey If I can get that working, then maybe I’ll go and try to bite off complications again.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey But there is some middle of the road here. right now I’m just so miserable about it that I need to
⏹️ ▶️ Casey step away and reevaluate. But if you if you the listener have ever used a watch
⏹️ ▶️ Casey app that worked for more than five minutes, you should have paid $11 million
⏹️ ▶️ Casey for that app because that is the pain that the developer or developers have been through in order
⏹️ ▶️ Casey to make that app work.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Yeah. And this is why like I don’t offer a complication for overcast that serves any kind of useful function.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco The only complications I have are either the icon that you tap it and it launches the app, because that works every
⏹️ ▶️ Marco time. Or I have a complication called Overcast Date that works
⏹️ ▶️ Marco only for the solar face and I think one or two others that you can replace the date on those faces,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco like the day and date, like you know, Wed 12. You can replace that with my complication
⏹️ ▶️ Marco that does the exact same thing, but launches Overcast also, for faces that have very few complication
⏹️ ▶️ Marco slots and you want one that launches Overcast. That’s it. And I currently, on my
⏹️ ▶️ Marco own personal watch, I have my own complication called Overcast Solar
⏹️ ▶️ Marco that replicates the path of the solar, like the shape of the solar phase, but with a line art
⏹️ ▶️ Marco style. So I can use it on my Infograph modular phase in the big center slot.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco And I’m thinking maybe launching that at some point, but it’s all kind of worms, so that requires location
⏹️ ▶️ Marco to be able to show your sunset
⏹️ ▶️ Marco I’m probably never gonna actually do that. But like, my complications are that simple and useless
⏹️ ▶️ Marco because making something useful is nearly impossible
⏹️ ▶️ Marco as a complication that works reliably. I don’t even, right currently,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco I use no third-party complications on my watch except for the little overcast,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco you know, throwaway ones. Because even things like weather, and even like Carrot Weather.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Carrot Weather is the best Apple Watch app I’ve ever seen. And it is,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco as far as I can tell, it is like the best watch app that somebody could
⏹️ ▶️ Marco make as a weather app. Carat Weather does everything it can do to be a reliable,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco consistent, full-featured watch app with complications. And even it, occasionally I’ve
⏹️ ▶️ Marco had like, I’ve caught it showing stale data. And I’m not blaming the developer. He did everything he could possibly
⏹️ ▶️ Marco do. Complications are buggy. And only Apple’s complications
⏹️ ▶️ Marco seem to be exempt from certain system bugs and system thresholds of like refresh
⏹️ ▶️ Marco intervals and stuff like that, only Apple’s complications work reliably. No one else’s do.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Even my simple one, my overcast date, that literally generates a timeline
⏹️ ▶️ Marco into the future as far as Apple requests, because all I’m doing is showing the day
⏹️ ▶️ Marco and date. So it takes no memory, it takes no CPU
⏹️ ▶️ Marco time, it runs into no limits. even that is buggy sometimes.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Even that will refuse to update, which is really a great, it’s a hilarious thing when you wake
⏹️ ▶️ Marco up in the morning and it says it’s Wednesday and it’s actually Thursday. That’s a lot of fun. And so if even that,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco if even watchOS won’t even let me get that reliably showing, nothing else stands a chance.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco And so complications on the watch that are not made by Apple are always
⏹️ ▶️ Marco going to be inherently buggy and limited, and there’s always going to be a risk that they’re gonna be showing
⏹️ ▶️ Marco out-of-date data and you won’t realize it. And that basically invalidates the value of lots
⏹️ ▶️ Marco of complications and possibilities. And so it’s better to just avoid relying on them at all.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey Yep, and in this case for Goldtender, I’m in a situation where I’m relying on health data, and so
⏹️ ▶️ Casey I cannot predict the future with any sort of reliability. And complications are really,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey really made, or the API is really centered around the idea of you being able to
⏹️ ▶️ Casey predict at least a little while into the future. Like it does support say weather
⏹️ ▶️ Casey or something like that, where you’re a stock ticker, for example, where you, you cannot know what the future will
⏹️ ▶️ Casey bring. But it’s very clear that Apple really wants you
⏹️ ▶️ Casey to try to predict in the future as far as possible, because they, the watch legitimately is constrained
⏹️ ▶️ Casey and they constrain third parties on the watch extremely aggressively.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey So I do to some degree understand where Apple’s coming from, but I am again
⏹️ ▶️ Casey painting myself into like the corner of a corner of a corner of a corner because now I’m
⏹️ ▶️ Casey relying on watch connectivity for data that’s in health kit that that I can’t predict into
⏹️ ▶️ Casey the future and I only have 10 days of it you know in the watch it’s just it’s a mess so
⏹️ ▶️ Casey I need to wrap it up but it it’s been it’s been very challenging and I would really
⏹️ ▶️ Casey really love for this to get better in the future
⏹️ ▶️ Marco I think what you should do besides obviously take a break and you you know, regroup
⏹️ ▶️ Marco and decide how and if you want to proceed with this. One thing that might be a fun
⏹️ ▶️ Marco like palate cleanser here to kind of get you back into thinking you’re a software developer again
⏹️ ▶️ Marco is if you have any other ideas for some really stupid simple
⏹️ ▶️ Marco little throwaway thing.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey That was goaltender for God’s sakes, but yes, I hear you. Work
⏹️ ▶️ Marco on something, work on some other app that is simpler. Like just
⏹️ ▶️ Marco any other idea you’ve been working on or thinking about, anything, like a single screen
⏹️ ▶️ Marco app, but just not one that involves these tar pits of despair, like
⏹️ ▶️ Marco the watch. If you can avoid, just something that’s like a simple, fun
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Swift UI thing, using your prescription Swift or combine or whatever with a single iPhone
⏹️ ▶️ Marco view, that’s gonna be great. It’s a fun little developer palette cleanser. Something like
⏹️ ▶️ Marco that can really kickstart motivation. Like whenever I’m in a pit of despair
⏹️ ▶️ Marco with whatever I’m working on, having a little distraction that I work on for like two or three days,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco it usually really kicks me into high gear again and is like a nice break. And I find it
⏹️ ▶️ Marco helps a lot with motivation and self-esteem and psyche and everything else.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey Yeah, I’ll probably do exactly that. Beep, beep, beep.