Changelog & Friends – Episode #48

Putting the Apple in AI

with Justin Searls

All Episodes

Justin Searls joins us for hot takes on Apple’s 2024 WWDC keynote. Apple Intelligence stole the show, but did it steal our hearts? Oh, and we learn all about Justin’s Vision Pro Life and how he hopes/expects Apple’s latest device to improve in future iterations.



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Notes & Links

📝 Edit Notes


1 00:00 Let's talk! 00:38
2 00:38 Sponsor: Sentry 03:39
3 04:17 Japan & Friends 03:26
4 07:43 Apple's BIG keynote 06:38
5 14:21 Calculator FTW! 02:54
6 17:15 !Sponsor: 1Password 13:24
7 30:39 Sponsor: 1Password 04:52
8 35:31 iPhone Mirroring 05:39
9 41:10 Imagining iOS 22 01:54
10 43:04 The OpenAI deal 05:10
11 48:14 Only on new devices 03:35
12 51:49 iPhone 14 vs 15 02:04
13 53:53 The AirPods Pro demo 01:24
14 55:17 Tap to cash 03:00
15 58:17 iOS customization 06:26
16 1:04:42 Genmoji & tapback 05:45
17 1:10:27 Sponsor: Cronitor 01:22
18 1:11:49 Justin's Vision Pro life 10:09
19 1:21:59 Put macOS in there 01:30
20 1:23:29 Fake spatial photos 03:43
21 1:27:12 Moar gestures 09:00
22 1:36:12 Accessory training 01:12
23 1:37:24 The Ultrawide 05:20
24 1:42:44 What Vision Pro could be 11:54
25 1:54:38 Asahi Linux 05:18
26 1:59:55 Bye friends! 00:12
27 2:00:07 Coming up next 01:07


📝 Edit Transcript


Play the audio to listen along while you enjoy the transcript. 🎧

Alright, we’re here with our friend, Justin Searles, back from the land of the rising sun. Isn’t that Japan, isn’t that what they call it?

That is what they call it… What they call themselves, I guess. Yeah, six weeks I was there.

That’s a lot.

Well, I had to go, because RubyKaigi was there, and that was three whole days in the middle, and then I just sort of padded it out on either side, and…

That’s a big pad.

Yeah, well… I had a good time.

What do you do when you go to Japan?

Well, I’ve been learning the language since I was 18… My wife and I, we also lived there for a year, and she was a teacher, an English teacher in Nara for a year, and so we’ve made a bunch of friends over the years… So the first week and a half was like hang out with them. Then we went to Okinawa, via the most circuitous and ridiculous path possible; a bunch of overnight ferries and stuff… And that was where the RubyKaigi conference was, which was, again, a fabulous conference. If you’re at all interested in Ruby the programming language, this is the best Ruby Conference in the world, and it’s a lot of fun, and it’s super-welcoming, and everything’s translated, so… Table that.

I was just gonna ask that, yeah.

Yeah. Then I parted ways with Becky, and I had like two weeks of solo travel time, and the goal for me is always to maximize – well, two things, really. One, language practice. So I want to meet people, practice the language… Which can be hard to do, just to meet a bunch of strangers over the course of two weeks traveling all over… And two is eat as much good food as possible. So I did a tour of – normally, if you go up and down the main island of Japan, you’re actually… It’s the southern coast from Tokyo to like Osaka that you’re traveling, so I went out of my way to actually for the first time travel the North coast along the Japan Sea, which is famous for really good seafood. So I hit a whole bunch of cities that most people have never been to, and where there aren’t so many tourists… And so I was able to sidle up at a whole bunch of izakayas, and chat with people, and eat a lot of really tasty fish. So I would recommend it.

Do you want to speak some Japanese right now?

That’s a no… [laughter]

I have a phrase I’ve been wanting you to say as you’ve been sharing your story.

Oh, God…

Are you ready to hear it?

I’ll hear it.

The Changelog is the best podcast ever.

[unintelligible 00:06:30.17] Yes.

I love it!

Changelog’s the best, and then I was like “Oh, I forgot to say the word podcast.”


Say ‘podcast’ again in Japanese? Podcasto?

It’s podo-kyasto. So it’s a K-Y-A, -kyasto.

I love that language, I really do. It’s such a beautiful language.

It is.

It’s perfect for the male voice. I’ve never really I guess maybe listened to many female speakers speak Japanese, but it’s such – like a growling; there’s some growling in there. It’s definitely like some [00:07:11.16] in there. I can’t, obviously…

Yeah, yeah. And the more manly you want to present yourself, the growlier it gets… Which is why I find women way easier to understand.

Oh. Less growling.

Because they actually enunciate. [laughter]

Yeah. Men are like [00:07:27.04] That’s cool. Thank you for appeasing my desires here… Because I do believe that the Changelog podcast is the best podcast ever. And so there you go.

That’s why we’re here.

A good way to start a podcast.

That is why we’re here. We’re also here because of the best keynote ever.

Oh, yeah…

I don’t think so, but I just felt like that made sense to say in context of the previous sentence… And I’m just an auto-completer. It’s what I do. I just pick the next best word for any given sentence.

You’d better watch out. Your job is under threat.

Oh, it sure is.

It may have been the biggest… Maybe not the best, but the biggest keynote, I would say, for Apple in a while. And not just because of like product, but because of all of the hype and push and pull around - now I guess they want to brand it Apple intelligence, right? AI has been, as you know, Jerod…

[00:08:22.01] I do know…

I mean, I’m speaking to the choir here. I’m sure you know as well, Justin, but… We went to Build, Microsoft Build, and I just think we couldn’t stop talking about AI, because that’s all they talked about. Google IO was all about it… And now we’ve just sort of been waiting for Apple to unveil whatever they may or may not do around this. Now, obviously, the Open AI partnership was talked about weeks ago, so we knew something was coming. They couldn’t sit that much longer… Siri could not sit and be Siri old version. It had to be – and I have to turn my phone off, because Siri was talking to me now… You know, she, they, whatever, the robot that is Siri could not continue to be as unintelligent as it had been. So they weren’t primed to do something.

But you know, the funny thing about DubDub is that for years and years it was genuinely a developer-focused conference that mostly went under the radar. But then at some point during the Steve Jobs Renaissance they started releasing more big products, and using it – because they’re trying to get into this annual cadence of media events. Like when they stopped going to Macworld, you know…

So I think they’ve sort of settled into this thing for the last seven or eight years, where every couple of years there might be a big thing. Last year was Vision Pro. A year before that was the Mac Studio unveil. And it was always on their terms. But this year - and we’ll talk about the keynote, but the biggest impression that it made me was there if you were watching it, and you’re used to watching these, you’re like “They’re flying through these operating system updates. They’re gonna have them all done inside an hour”, when normally that’s the whole show. And so

the sort of pretext that this is a developer conference and that this keynote is developer-related was sort of totally out the window, because now it’s an extrinsic pressure from shareholders, and the media and whatnot, and I’m sure Apple Marketing, that they had to grab the bull by the horns and just talk about AI as much as possible, and get out ahead, and craft their own narrative around it… So it felt very – I mean, I don’t know if you felt this way, but watching the keynote felt super-bifurcated for that reason.

Yeah. It was like “Let’s get all this stuff –”, which is nice, and cool, and actually, the things that I get kind of excited about, like the minor details of the next MacOS that are going to just be a small feature that changed my life 1,000 times a week in a small way… I like that kind of stuff, but let’s get all that over with, and then we can actually talk about AI, which is now Apple Intelligence, of course.

And it is long overdue. I mean, the pressure has been on them. I remember last year in the run-up to WWDC, we were talking with Simon Willison about Gen AI, or something like this… And my prediction last year was “Apple is going to reinvent Siri with language models involved, in a few weeks.” And then they didn’t. And then a year later, of course - and they’re known for being kind of slow and methodical, and really trying to create a product that they can be proud of… Versus beating people to the punch, or playing catch-up really quickly, and having egg on their face, like Google has repeatedly made attempts to just like read – well, most recently redo search, which is their cash cow… Too much failure and ire, I mean… I can’t – I just am still dumbfounded that Google rolled that product out with the way that it was currently working. I know we’re not here to talk about Google and Google Search, but…

Well, we are. It’s [unintelligible 00:11:52.23]

[00:11:56.17] It’s such a different philosophy. And I mean, I don’t know if you guys were impressed by what they’ve crafted, but I thought “Wow, it’s a pretty cohesive story. They’re differentiated.” Obviously, I do think the ChatGPT integration is a weird constellation thing for being slow and behind… Maybe you guys can bounce back on that. But overall, I thought their approach does seem like to me the most compelling product yet. Obviously, it’s just demos at this point, coming this fall, all that being said. I felt like they did a pretty good job with their strategy.

You know, it’s interesting, too… I think Google is always – Google, Meta, and to an extent Microsoft, if you think of them more as a b2b company, although I think they’ve done a good job transitioning to being a consumer-oriented company… Google and Meta – you get good at what you do, and they don’t make their money taking dollars from Jerod and Adam, and Justin. The people paying them are somebody else, and all of the reinforcing feedback loops inside of their broader system. Marketing is like an accident that happens sometimes, and products or things that come and go almost as a way to keep engineers retained as much as something that’s vital to their business… So of course, it’s not shocking when they’re finally faced with an existential threat to the thing that makes them money, that they’re completely caught flat-footed and flailing… Because they don’t know how to ship a product. Sorry, if you’re a Google fan, or something. It’s like their organization’s lifeblood, that is new revenue and profitability, has nothing to do with the normal cadence of bringing something new to market for actual users to use and buy. Gmail and Google Maps, the two most famous things that everyone loves, were total accidents.

And everything else was purchased, pretty much.

I don’t know how you guys want to have this conversation, to be honest, because I think – maybe into two halves… Because I don’t know if you call them quality of life improvements, but I kind of feel like sometimes people talk about that like it’s a pejorative, but I’m like “Actually, I would love for the quality of my life to improve…”

Oh, that’s what I’m saying, I’m here for it. I love it. If you look at my list of things that were exciting to me, it’s like, I’m on the MacOS Sequoia preview page, and I’m just scrolling and thinking “I can’t wait for this sucker to come out.” So we can definitely start there. And the thing that was surprisingly the hit, aside from Apple Intelligence, and the new Siri - what everyone’s talking about, Calculator App. Woo-hoo! [laughs] iPad users rejoice. And a very cool demo of the new iPad Calculator. I’m not an iPad user, but again, quality of life improvement. Like, why doesn’t the iPad have a calculator? Now it does, and it’s a cool one. That’s cool.

Well, and to recap if you didn’t watch the keynote, what was cool about it is it has pencil support, and you can just draw – this is going to go down as one of the best demos… The demo to actual people using this ratio is going to be hilarious… Because the demo is just phenomenal. You draw the freebody diagram that you have nightmares about from high school, of all of the throwing the basketball, and trying to figure out the arc and cosine and stuff, and then you write down the equation, and then you just put equals, and then you draw a line, and you cross your fingers that it’ll recognize it… And then it writes the answer for you. And then you can change any of the other variables, and it’ll update the answer. You can tell that they had something like that, and the reason that they’re finally shipping a Calculator app to the iPad was to show that off.

[00:15:37.08] For sure. For sure, because it demos so well. And it just – it’s just so impressive. I mean, it’s the stuff out of the future, right? I mean, you basically take your story problem, that your teacher gives you, and you just write it down with your pencil, and draw some little diagrams and lay it out, and then boom goes the dynamite. But again, I don’t think – I mean, I don’t even have an iPad, but I think some of that is in… Math notes have come to also to the Notes app, and I’m not sure if that’s in there, or that’s just the iPad Calculator… But regardless, I will probably never use this feature myself.

I think that – here’s a great little microcosm though of how Apple’s marketing is effective… Because the imagined student is drawing all this, you feel like “Oh, they’re doing work.” But the fact that it’s arriving at the answer means like the student’s not learning anything, they’re just doing that rote drawing exercise… But the demo of this was an Open AI keynote; it would be take a picture of the problem, and then it’ll draw the picture, or it’ll just jump to the solution for you… And that to the average viewer is like “Oh, now you’re cutting the student out of the equation.” So here the students still exists, but their job is just to use these fancy devices to draw with a pencil, even though they don’t end up learning math… Like, I mean, we’re losing the point of “Learning math is about learning math.” And that’s why I think this is just an example of really, really high-end, top-notch marketing.

Yeah. That crack marketing team, you know?

That’s right.

They’re pretty good.

What about you, Adam? Any quality of life things that you saw in the first half that stood out to you?

I think I’m with Jerod on the Sequoia preview. I mean, there’s a lot of stuff in here that I can just see that – one, big fan of 1Password, by the way. They are a sponsor; they may sponsor this episode, I have no idea… But Jerod, you may be excited about this integration. I’m less excited, because now I might be sort of divided between two password apps… But I’m happy that they finally have credentials all in one place, and an application that lets you command it. Not this sort of hidden – I could never really figure out, and that’s why I’ve never adopted keychain in the cloud kind of thing… Because it just seemed really hard to access, where 1Password has solved that in so many ways… And by the way, this is not a sponsored mention. I’m just a big fan, as I’ve said before a decade, pry it from my cold dead hands kind of person… And Apple may be at least peeling back one finger of mine…

Of that cold, dead hand…?

Yeah, I mean, hopefully I’m not dead. Maybe just like a warm, alive hand…

[laughs] One warm finger has been pulled back.

Yeah, one warm finger… Still a major fan, but you can’t really beat native, and I think that’s what I love so much about the announcements, is that – you know, we talked about this, Jerod, at Microsoft Build, around the nativeness. I asked - I believe was Mark Russinovich…


…and he couldn’t answer. I think I even edited it out, because he couldn’t answer it well, and it sounded like off in the whole show…

Were you asking like “How many of these buttons are actual buttons, and how many are just HTML?”

No, it was more like “Here’s this cool Copilot assistant.” Now, there’s copilots everywhere, but a lot of us have iPhones or Androids. There aren’t Microsoft phones. So there is no native Copilot, like there is a native Siri or Google Assistant. Like, what are you guys gonna do about that? And his answer was kind of “Well, there’s a Copilot app you can install.” And it’s like “Well, that’s not what we’re talking about.”

That stayed in the show. I asked him very directly about “Does this open up the opportunity for Microsoft to have a new crack at a device?” Because they have Copilot+PC, and some new things they’re doing there with like - what’s the news CPU? Dragonfly, or something like that, I believe? It’s Dragonfish, potentially. I don’t know.

The Qualcomm Snapdragon X Plus…

Yeah, Snapdragon. I know there was a Dragon somewhere.

There you go.

[00:19:28.21] They have that, and I was like “Well, I mean, if you’re gonna do all this artificial intelligence stuff and do it well, like you’ve demoed, you’ve done”, I mean Neha Batra literally demoed speaking in Spanish into VS Code, it translated to English, working with Copilot the application, or it could have been GitHub Copilot; I’m not really sure. They all merge in my brain… Like, which Copilot am I talking to? And there was a developer preview of speaking one language, translating to the other, and getting work done. And I think that’s kind of cool. So if you’re going to have that kind of power, why not have a native device? And I think that’s what Apple’s doing here, is they’re just natively bringing in the passwords out there, natively bringing in an upgrade to Siri, and obviously the ChatGPT extensions and stuff like that that let you opt in or out of the response… But I think Apple has a lot of things happening because they’re native to the device we all, for the most part, know and love.

So hear me out… Microsoft, just come out with a little pin that you put on your chest. It’s got Copilot built right in…

Hm… Shut up and take my money.

And when I was watching a lot of the same stuff, Adam, I was thinking “This is such an easier lift for Apple.”

Exactly. That’s what I was thinking, too.

Because they already have all the data. So yes, they get the privacy bonafides, and they brag about it because they believe in it, I’m sure, but also because it plays to their strengths.

For sure.

So I subscribed to Midjourney for a long time, I’ve been paying for GPT Plus for a long time… The one demo around the generation that really blew me away relative to my experience of fighting with these things “Hey, try to make this look like this person” kind of thing was “Hey, just give me a picture of grandma with blowing out candles for her birthday cake.” And it looks like her because you’ve got a gazillion photos on the device of her, and it’s that effortless. Whereas you try to do that with Midjourney and the amount of uploading and moving things around and then realizing that it’s all public now… [laughter]

Oops… Yeah.

You mentioned another thing in the passwords app, just not to lose sight of that… I’ve been a 1Password user for a long time, and I’ve been very eager to jump ship ever since they’ve moved to Electron. I’ve just had a lot of issues with it. For anyone who’s interested in the new iCloud Keychain passwords, it’s gotten a lot better, and it is really cool. But until it stores your password history, and is like exportable… Like, I could never rely on it. Because if you’ve ever had the experience of like a Change Password screen, where you’ve got to enter the old password, and then the new password, and then you click Submit… And the password manager updates the password, because they generated a new password for you. But then the submission fails for whatever reason and it didn’t persist. Now you no longer – like, because iCloud Keychain doesn’t store password history, you just don’t know your password anymore. And again, talking about Japan stuff - a lot of Japanese systems… Like, I don’t live there anymore, so I don’t have a phone number there anymore, and so I literally cannot password-reset a lot of my accounts… And I had a scare like that when I was relying on iCloud Keychain a year ago, getting excited about this, and then realizing there’s just… Once it syncs – I’ve been saved by having an iPad that was turned off. Put it into a Faraday cage and –

There you go.

[unintelligible 00:22:46.19] it syncs to iCloud Keychain. So it’s getting there, though. I’m glad that they’re – I’m sure that future will get added. But it seems like not this year.

So I’ve been an Apple Passwords - now it’s called that, but previously whatever it was called; Keychain - user for years. And I’ve used 1Password as a team. I have the 1Password app, we use it with Changelog stuff etc. But everything has always been in that. And I’ve never ran into that, Justin. I’ve never had that problem. Now, I have typed wrong passwords in. But my experience - maybe it’s a bug, or whatever - is that it would wait until that password actually posts and is successful before it saves it. And if it didn’t post, then it would still have the old one in there. Clearly, that didn’t work in your case.

A lot of websites will return a 200 and then some red text saying “Hey, this didn’t work.”

Come on, web devs. That’s not how it works. Come on. 200 means okay. [laughs]

I hear you. If I had a nickel for every time somebody told me “Huh, that’s never happened to me before, Justin.” Well, I wouldn’t be on this show.

Well, it’s never happen to me either.

Well, you don’t use it, do you? You use 1Password.

[00:23:57.09] Well, so I still use 1Password, and I still change passwords. And I don’t always use their mechanisms. I will literally copy out the password from 1Password, into another application which is a staple for me, which is called Text Soap.

Text Soap?

I’ve been using Text Soap for – let me say it really finite like that…

Is that a sponsor?

No. They should be. I’m saying that because I’ve been using it for 15 – I mean, forever. I could not imagine not having Tech Soap on any Mac –

I hear “Soap” in the context of software development, and I cringe.

Yeah, right?

I have nightmares.

ws-text. [laughter]

Well, the beautiful thing is it will let you copy text from places, and you can sanitize it. You can scrub it in different ways. You can slugify things. So there’s some things I do. And then you can uppercase things. It’s kind of a scratch pad with intelligence that just throws away. I never use it for notes, I’m not writing anything in it, it’s just literally stream of consciousness, work in progress, copy-paste stuff… And in this case, I will copy out the – you know, in this case of a new password/old password situation, I will copy out the existing password, store it in this text file that opens up for me as a visual…

Oh, he’s a workaounder.

…and then I will do the whole password change, and manually edit. Because I don’t trust the software. Because I’ve had what you’ve had happen to me before, Justin, so I circumvent that by manually doing it in - won’t I say smarter, because I’m not relying on the software to glitch.

It’s like short-term password history, manually.

Right. And as soon as I delete that, as soon as I close that application, it’s gone. It doesn’t keep any history whatsoever. And even Raycast - hey, by the way, Raycast is a sponsor. I love them, too.

[laughs] You should drop in all the names, in this one.

…it will delete it. So if you copy stuff from 1Password, it doesn’t keep it in its history. So even if it’s in the Raycast history as a password, it doesn’t get kept. So there’s some safety there.

Yeah, so it’s a zero trust system of a manual buffer that you’ve built.

And if it works for you, that’s awesome. I just wish that software worked, and you didn’t have to that, but…

But at the same time though, I think I am excited for the world. Not so much to replace 1Password, but for the world to have passwords baked into Apple. There are so many friends of mine that I want to recommend 1Password. And 1Password understands that they have a – because of their security model, it’s genuinely challenging to set up. There’s some hoops. You’ve got to want to use 1Password.

I had to type my wife’s secret key yesterday, and I was like “Well, I don’t –”

Forget that, right?

…I’m gonna go find the box with that, and – because she’s [unintelligible 00:26:21.05]

So just to be totally clear, this passwords app is not new. What they’ve done is they’ve just put a name on it and pulled it out of settings, right? I mean, there’s probably some new features… But all this functionality - like, they’ve got passkeys in there, they’ve got all kinds of stuff that I’ve been using for a long time, and it works really well. But it was always buried. That being said, on the current macOS you can just Command+Space and start typing the word “password” and it’ll launch that subsection of the settings.

And if you open Keychain, it’ll warn you “You probably don’t want this. If you think you want Keychain, this is for old people.”

Yeah, exactly.

Adam, you made a good point though about how the passwords app could improve the world… Because one of the features I just read about this morning - I don’t think it was in the presentation - is if you’re using iCloud Keychain, there’s going to be an On by default setting to upgrade all of your logins to passkeys. So if you log in with your normal iCloud Keychain handshake, you’ll just invisibly have the passkey generated and added to that keychain… So that for the golden future where that’s how we’re all logging into everything, that’s already there. It doesn’t delete your login. So your password will still work. It’s just like an additional token that gets added. So that seems like a good viral approach.

I have a lot of bugs with the passkeys with 1Password though. There’s a lot of things that like – it just doesn’t work.

I haven’t tried it.

I don’t know if it’s them, or if it’s Passkeys, I don’t know who to blame… Is it the specification, the protocol, the storage process? But I log into –

It seems like the specification was written with the device manufacturer in mind, and not like a third-party floating cross-platform thing in mind.

[00:27:56.14] Right. I mean, that’s a challenge for 1Password that’s just ongoing… I just recently skimmed a post of theirs about a lot of the work that they’re doing just to keep it working inside of Safari. And it’s like “Come on, Apple.” At a certain point you’re just wondering if they’re making it harder on purpose.

Right. Yeah, I mean, that’s true, because there’s a lot of things, like in the Safari field, that pop up… You have to do a lot of sniffing to the UI to like display their interface, to give you that functionality. And they’re not baked in. They may be using native protocols, like with X-code or whatever… But in the end – well, I guess probably not, because they’re Electron, right? It’s an Electron app.

I think if I had a wish for 1Password, it would be to get acquired. They’ve built so much trust into the ecosystem… They really are the premier, the best, in my opinion… Now, I think they have a chance of losing some market share or not getting that easy earlier market share by having native baked in… Like, Apple, just buy 1Password.

Oh, I was gonna say, you heard it, Salesforce. Join the Slack team… Apple has no interest in buying 1Password.

No, I don’t think so. I mean…

Well, that may be true, but I can still wish, Justin.

Oh no, sorry. You said ‘wish’. I don’t mean to *bleep* the wishes. That’s my bad.

I would just say my wish is mainly because I’ve been such a fan for so long. It would suck to see them –

Yeah. It’s an awesome team. They’re great people.

…eventually lose because they couldn’t find a way to merge and join the forces.

I think they’ve done a good job of diversifying and moving into the enterprise, and going to Windows and going to Android, and making 1Password bigger than just Apple, that I feel like they’re gonna be okay… Because there’s always stuff that – even though Apple sherlocks you, they’re not going to do it very well, or go into the areas that you’re going to go. That being said, this is the one case where they have such an advantage that it might be difficult for 1Password to play in that particular arena… But there’s always room for somebody who’s focused on an area that the platform vendor is just not going to focus on. They’re going to do their halfway attempt… And yeah, they’re going to get tons of market share, because it’s pre-installed… But anybody who really cares about this particular aspect of their system will go find the best-in-class software.

And for the tiny percentage of neckbeards who know what a password manager is… Like, yes, the market is saturated. But now a whole generation of people are going to learn “Oh, there’s an app to manage passwords. Oh, wait, there’s a better one? Oh, here’s a tick tock that explains how this one’s multi-platform”, or whatever.

Yeah, exactly.

So it’ll grow the pie, to a certain extent.

Yeah, I think so.

I agree. Good points.

Break: [00:30:28.24]

Well, here is the other thing on MacOS Sequoia that I’m super-excited about. I don’t know if you guys are… Use your iPhone from your Mac. iPhone mirroring –

Yes. Very excited about this.

For me, this is like, you sit at your iPhone, you can put it into – what do they call that, standby mode? The sideways mode, while you’re sleeping? …which is a pretty cool feature. You set it up there, you turn it horizontal, it goes in the dashboard mode, basically… And then you can just control it from your Mac, with like an iPhone right there on your screen. It’s like a window inside of your Mac, and it’s just your iPhone; you can just do all the things… I don’t know, this seems – am I just drinking the Kool Aid, or…?

As somebody who struggled – so I struggle a lot with holding my attention, and focusing, and not getting distracted…

[laughs] So you’re not going to use this.

So I immediately posted the screenshot and I said “Did you put your phone away to focus? Here, we fixed that for you.”

Yeah. Bring it right back. [laughs]

You throw it in a bag or whatever, you just can’t get away… In fact, the other aspect of this – they really did think this through, and it makes a ton of sense… It’s kind of like – it’s actually surprising that they haven’t had notifications thinking sooner on this deeper level… But the notifications side is – and they showed a Duolingo example… You click the notification and then it’s as if a simulator – if you’ve ever used the iOS simulator, it looks just like that, except it’s your phone screen over VNC, or something. But yeah, and then you’re in Duolingo and you’re actually controlling it from the Mac screen. So this is a total nightmare. [laughter]

It’s a dream for me, Justin. It’s a dream for me.

Can you turn it off?

I’m sure you can turn it off.

Because I don’t always have phone calls come into certain Mac computers. I’ve got several that I use, like the laptop, a desktop, and I think an older laptop I use just for like writing pretty much. It’s… Old. But I still take phone calls sometimes. But my main machine that I’m on right now, my work laptop - I don’t take phone calls there. So I disable the ability for the phone to ring on this desktop. However, every time my phone rings, my computer at home – my wife just told me, she’s like “You know, the computer at home rings all the time when you’re not here.” I’m like “I’m about to turn that off.” So I can agree with you, it’s great if you’re present at the computer, but it’s not great if you’re bothering somebody else.

So if anyone’s followed me or my website at for a long time, you’ll know that this is a bugaboo of mine. I’m very, very focused on notifications, and controlling them, and everything… But right after my own personal productivity and my own personal distractibility, my second biggest concern is other people. I feel like everyone being so distracted all the time is resulting in worse outcomes throughout the industry, in all kinds of things. Like, has productivity, has people’s thoughtfulness, has creativity actually increased with all these awesome technical tools? Or are we just so spread thin and just distracted to all hell… But on that front, on the ability to actually focus, one of the things that I think is going to have the biggest positive impact in people’s lives… If you’ve ever used focus modes in iOS and across Apple’s platforms to set up – like ,I’m in my personal mode, and in my case I’ve got maybe five contacts who can message me, and I’ll see those notifications, but I won’t see the rest of the Messages app. I’ve got like only these handful of apps for which notifications can punch through… It’s kind of like a customizable or a context-aware Do Not Disturb Mode. Setting that up took me several hours, and a lots of trial and error, and explaining it to my wife – I’m currently in like month nine of trying to explain what it means when it’s on… But the new natural – or excuse me, the Apple Intelligence mode will have an automatic focus, like a Siri focus that you can just turn on called Reduce Distractions. And I suspect for most people, most of the time, that’s going to accomplish the same thing. The Uber marketing notifications will never get through. The social media stuff probably won’t. But if somebody sends you a text and it seems important, it’ll say “Possibly important” and that’ll pop through. I think that’s brilliant. That’ll help a lot of people hopefully finally succeed. Because who the hell is gonna set up focus modes manually?

Right… Not me. Yeah, I think that’s a good point. I think that is probably going to be the boon of the new and improved Siri, is just providing a natural language interface, and helps into things that are otherwise the land of super-users and power nerds. You’re probably the only one who has that setup just right.

And it’s as buggy as the day it was born, so…

[00:40:15.00] Oh, gosh… Well, screen time - I would love some help with screen time, because we manage a bunch of kids and their phones… And –

And they’ve zero-dayed you?

Well, I hope not… [laughter]

Apple just closed a zero day where you could just like – it was like a trending TikTok or something where you could just paste a random series of strings, and overload Safaris, and get to whatever you wanted.

A, it’s difficult to configure in the first place to get it dialed in the way that you’ve done your downtime stuff, or your Do Not Disturb… We’ve spent hours on that for our family’s screentime. B, some software updates have just reverted settings. It’s just like “Oh, it’s all gone now, because we updated this patch iOS release.”

And then C, there’s so many holes in the system that a savvy kid, of which there are many, can just find workarounds to just completely divert it, and just all of a sudden are just talking to ChatGPT, or they’re just surfing the web, you know…

Alright, Jerod, I want you to imagine the future. It’s iOS 22, a few years down the road, and you go to the screentime, the parental restrictions area of the settings, and you’re in your new Vision Pro, and you’re sitting down on the couch, and then Siri appears and has a consultation with you as if she were a babysitter. And you explain all the things, “Hey, my kids can watch this stuff. No pizza after 11. This, this and this.”

Right, right, right.

[unintelligible 00:41:37.25] current state, like a custom GPT to explain, “As a parent, this is what we’re cool with. This is what this kid needs.”


And then from there, it says [unintelligible 00:41:45.18] And thn you get plausible deniability. If the kid gets mad, it’s like “Oh, sorry, man. I’ll let her know. I’ll try to give her that feedback, but you’ve got to listen to Siri.”

I’m not trying to tip her for her babysitting…

Oh, man…

Let’s not get into the labor implications.

Right. Yeah, sure… iPads are doing babysitting for too many people already, for too long. But that’s another problem we have, is that problem. That would be awesome. That’d be way better than what we’re currently doing, which is like turning knobs, and flipping switches, and then hoping those that switched didn’t flip back. But then again, we have this fancy, natural language smart assistant on there, and then it misconfigures it and it’s broken, and it doesn’t work, and Bob’s not my uncle anymore. What do you think, Adam?

I like the picture you painted, and I like the plausible deniability of it too, because it is –

[laughs] I thought I was parenting well…

But it does give you the scapegoat to the kids, like “I’m not the bad guy. The bad thing is Siri. I’ve consulted Siri, and Siri does what I tell Siri to do…”

Siri does what Siri does…

That’s right. “I’ll talk to her.” I like that, Justin.

Speaking of plausible deniability… So because I love chatting with you guys so much, and I’ve been a guest often enough that I got the podcast bug, I started my own podcast at the beginning of the year called Breaking Change. And it’s a solo podcast, so if you like the sound of me talking, and you just want three hours of it, that’s a great way to get –

Just yourself.

Just me. So if you’ve never listened to a solo podcast, I thought that it would be super-weird to listen to. I’ve found one I really like, and so I thought “I could give this a try.” Because I’m really bad at listening, but I’m good at creating mouth words…

[laughs] He can talk for three hours. That’s what he’s good at.

Yes. One of my gifts. But when you talk about plausible deniability, I was talking about that on that other podcast, about –

Breaking [unintelligible 00:43:47.26]

[00:43:50.07] …in advance. So I recorded that on Saturday. I was wondering, “Why would Apple publicly announced that they’re going to work with Open AI for their backend model when all of our iCloud stuff is stored on Azure, AWS, Google Cloud?” And Apple never betrays that information. Like, they play them off each other; they just treat it like a commodity. So why is it that the language model would get elevated into this thing? And Federighi even kind of previewed that it would be – or was it him? Whoever was talking about it was like that it would be configurable in the future, that they’d add additional models… So for Apple to take both third parties, elevate them to a named thing on their platform that the users know about, and then to give the users the *bleep* work of having to decide which model is best in which circumstances - there must be a reason. And I think that that reason became clear during the keynote, which was “Apple wants plausible deniability.” “Hey, we are confident that our very limited model, that’s only local, that’s got temperature set to zero, is going to work fine. But if you want something more, here, you can click this escape hatch button.” And as soon as you do, you’re gonna see “ChatGPT may make mistakes”, and you’re gonna see their logo big.

So what Apple is saying really is “That’s the throat to choke. Don’t look at us.” Whereas Google has all the egg on their face, because they brand Gemini as Google Gemini… And Microsoft, too. Even though Copilot – we all in the industry know that it’s backed by Open AI. They want to brand it as if it’s their own thing, and they go out of their way to say “Oh, we’ve got all of our own proprietary models on top of it, too”, which means that when recall screws up, or whatever these new features are blow up, it’s Microsoft with egg on their face. So I think this is a way for them to have their cake and eat it too.

Yeah. Good observation.

I think that’s probably exactly right. Because I can’t think of another reason why they would do it. It’s so against what they normally do. Except for - I guess my [unintelligible 00:45:41.19] take was like “Well, it’s a way of just catching up really quickly without actually having to put the work in.” But we know they’ve put the work in on these foundation models anyways that run on the device. So it’s not like they’re not going after it internally with their engineers… So I think it does make sense that they’re like “Well, here be dragons, but they’re not our dragons. Go ahead and use that, we’re gonna provide them for you… But when the rubber hits the road, go complain to these people. We’re here for you, and they betrayed you with their models.”

And five years from now maybe we pull a Google Maps Apple Maps thing, and we have our own big enough model that is mature enough. That way we’re not moving fast and breaking things, but we’re still getting all the things that the market is saying that we should have, or that people are coming to expect.

It seems like a huge opportunity for Open AI, as if they – you know, they’re still small. They’re huge in the hype cycle. They’re huge right now. They’re gaining almost that Kleenex brand, they’re getting there with ChatGPT.

But it’s like a couple hundred million users, compared to - what, 1.6 billion active?

Right. I mean, it’s a huge difference in actual people, and so it’s a huge opportunity for them. Obviously, they don’t seem like the kind of company who moves slow and doesn’t break things. They’re very much going for the gusto. And I think they know this is their opportunity to do that, and so it makes 100% sense why they would want to do this. But they’re definitely going to have – when you push things to the masses, you get the massive failures. It’s a whole other level. It’s just the law of large numbers. More stuff goes wrong more often.

I think from a safety perspective I’m personally really glad that there is a two-tiered system with this Apple intelligence stuff. The equivalent of a large action model, like what the Rabbit R1 was doing, where – I’m sure on a phone it’s gonna make way more sense, where I’m telling Siri “Hey, go and do things across these apps on my behalf.” That’s all going to be either the on-device or running in an M2 Ultra in the cloud Apple stuff. ChatGPT will not be able to act on my behalf and then accidentally call 911, or order 1,000 pizzas, or delete my bank account. That seems like there’s a pretty firm line somewhere in the capabilities. It’s like text generation, or – it’s not like it can suddenly as soon as you hit okay take over and route your phone.

[00:48:13.24] The other thing I thought was pretty savvy, but they have been putting in asterisks at the bottom of the pages, and not up front with, is like “This Apple Intelligence stuff”, which is obviously the flagship thing that they’re here to talk about, is on iPhone 15 Pro and newer. Which is this year’s model. I mean, there’s nothing newer than that right now. Obviously, in the fall, when this stuff ships, there will be a 16, I assume; there’ll be a new phone that comes out. But this, in addition to pushing their chips into the pile of the AI game, they’re also like “We’re going to sell some new devices. We need a good reason to sell some new devices”, because they’re struggling to sell new devices, compared to the past at this point.

Yeah, I noticed that as well. It’s like “The system will be available for free on the iPhone 15 Pro, as well as on iPads and Macs with an M1 chip and later.” So I’m happy that the M1 that we’ve invested in - Jerod, you have the same machine I do…

I have an M1, yeah.

Yeah. Like, we can inherit this without having to change anything.

But I have an iPhone 14, and it’s perfectly fine. [laughs]


Is it? Is it, Jerod?

Exactly. Come this fall, it’s not gonna be anywhere near perfectly fine anymore.

Yeah… That is a bummer, because I don’t want to have to change my phone to get this new stuff. Like, how much different is the iPhone 14 Pro Max versus the iPhone 15 Pro Max? What is the difference?

It’s exactly one year difference.

Exactly. Like, there is no difference.

It’s titanium. That was the thing this year, right? The band is made of titanium instead of steel.

And they marketed the heck out of it, and it was successful… But this is an actual differentiator.

Yeah, it is.

And if you want to look at it charitably, instead of “This is a crude appeal to sell more phones”, it’s - you’ve got to set that floor somewhere, you know… And if it’s a brand new thing, we may as well set the floor for where our top of the line

is now, because they’re only going to get better.

And so if that floor specifies the size, the parameter count of the model that they can squeeze into it, then we’re getting a bigger model because they’re excluding the 14 Pro, or the base level 15. So it’s not necessarily the most cynical thing in the world.

Well, and it’s just business. At the end of the day, these are businesses that are trying to make money. And this is how you make more money. Now, they have more money than most businesses in the world… Are they number one at this point, or two?

In market cap they jostle between one, two and three, between Microsoft and now NVIDIA.

NVIDIA just hit third, I believe. Or maybe higher than third. Yeah, those three are definitely there in the trillions. But if you’re trying to move that number up and to the right, which is the job of the leadership of a publicly-traded company, is to do that, then this makes total sense. The other thing I’ve found interesting is they’re also sort of like dipping their toe into the geography. So this is English-only for now… And so that’s like a huge portion of the world who are not going to get this, unless they have Siri set to English mode. So they’re not going for the gusto that way. I’m sure it’s a much harder problem to go multilingual right out of the box with these features… But not only do you have to have a new phone, you’ll also have to be speaking English.

Not just using the languages, but – I have a feeling like Apple is probably going to spend more time QA-ing and red team testing the negative things that it could do… So they probably don’t have staff that speak other languages of the scale that they would need to really thoroughly test the safety, at least in these early days. That’s probably also part of the calculus for like what languages they’ll support out the gate.

I was looking at the “Compare iPhone models” page. I’ve got the iPhone 15 Pro Max up, and I’ve got the iPhone 14 Pro Max up, which is the phone that I own, which is the iPhone 14 Pro Max… I love saying all four of those words in unison; thank you very much. And the difference - you know, where it really matters it’s the chip; it’s the A16 versus the A17 Pro. Y’all probably know this. But when you compare them, aside from the number changing – I’m sure there’s some innards and some technology change that are more advanced to give the A17 Pro some advancements… But when you compare, them it’s A16 Bionic Chip, A17 Pro Chip. Six core CPU, six core GPU, 16-core neural engine, and the only difference between the two is that on the A16, which is the 14 Pro Max version, is a five-core GPU versus a six-core GPU on the A17 Pro. So I agree with you, Justin… But come on. I mean, these are the same.

[00:52:50.13] That last GPU is critical. It’s just critical. You’ve gotta have it.

I think the number of cores is one variable; the quality of those cores and what they’re capable of…

Don’t say that. That’s not true. Don’t be on the –

I’m sorry, I’m just playing the role of shill today. [laughter]

Don’t do that, Justin. This is your last time coming back, okay?

There was a dye shrink… So it’s three nanometers, the –

I don’t care about that.

I know, man. I’m sorry. [laughter]

Speeds and feeds, baby. Speeds and feeds.

Was it clear, though? For anyone listening, if this is the case, they might be yelling at their computer. Are the features available to people on older devices - it’s just going to all be to the cloud? Are we only talking about the ability for on-device processing?

Well, it says Apple Intelligence will be available. So that’s what it says in the small text. And so what all does that encompass, I guess, is what we’re asking…

Yeah, yeah.

…and I don’t know the answer.

Well, I wanted to get into the quality of life stuff, and I think that AI is just so all-consuming right now, it’s hard not to get sucked in…

It is.

So I’ll pick out another quality of life thing…

Thank you.

…that really jumped out at me. This feels like the third year in a row where there has been an Airpods Pro demo that immediately was like “Hell yeah.” Because I have Siri notifications turned on, I run outside every day, or I’m out and among people, but I hate talking back to it after I get an announcement… So the demo was you can just now nod and shake your head if you have AirPods Pro 2. Nod in the affirmative, so it’s like, “Hey, Workout says that it looks like you’re done with your run. Do you want to end your workout?” And you can just nod and have it be done. I think that’s obvious in hindsight. Surely, the accelerometers could have done that for a while, but that they’re adding that I think is just a really clever one.

Yeah. The demo or the video had a man standing in the center of an elevator, surrounded by strangers… And he had his Airpods in, and a phone call comes in, I believe. And they’re like “Do you want to talk right now?”

And not just any phone call. It’s like your [unintelligible 00:54:46.20]

Yeah, some sort of like personal situation, you know… And he just shakes his head no, and nobody’s nobody’s any the wiser. I still think it’d be weird to see a guy just randomly shaking his head in the elevator… But you know, less weird than just him saying “No.” [laughs]

Oh, I’m fast-forwarding already. I’m at the checkout at the grocery store, shaking my head at the person when they ask “Paper or plastic?”

Oh, yeah.

“No, no, not that.” The other one – and this was right before it in the show, when they showed that you can… Because I’m a big Apple Cash person, because it’s private, and it’s not gonna leak everything I do, like Venmo does by default, or anything… So I like sending Apple Cash with messages. Keep it in the walled garden family. They added Tap to Cash. So you can just use that new kind of beacon feature of touching the phone tops together, and immediately – even just like the image of seeing two people do it to trade money… First of all, it’s evocative of sci-fi; that might have been the thing that came to mind. It’s like you’re changing credits or something in some dystopian future Blade Runner thing… But the thing that really came to mind for me is like “That’s drug dealer mode.” Like, that’s straight up –

[laughs] Totally.

I’m surprised I didn’t see a whole bunch of people just like “Oh, drug dealer mode.” It’s harder to trace those transactions. It’s not like it’s impossible. It’s all backed by like a real bank somewhere. But a lot of illicit stuff happens via Apple Cash, because it is more secure. I thought it was hilarious that they demoed it that way.

[00:56:14.08] Better than Bitcoin for drug dealers, it turns out.

More convenient.

Funny story about that NFC, put the phones close to each other and they start exchanging stuff, is our daughter had a 16th birthday party, and she had maybe 7, 8, 9 girls spend the night… And at a certain point, like 9, 10pm we just collected all the phones. We were like “You guys are just going to spend time together. You’ve been on your phones, fine. Like, we’re those parents.”

Like it’s an airplane heist? You walk down the aisle with a bag, and you’re like “Alright, phones in the bag.”

Pretty much. Well, we just tell them to do it. “Go ahead and collect the phones, bring them up.” And so yeah, my daughter’s friend walks up, she’s got a stack of iPhones mostly… And there’s probably like nine of them. And she goes and [unintelligible 00:56:53.22] on the counter in the kitchen, and it turns out they’re all just trying to send each other their information, because they’re just too close to each other for too long… And then what was funny was in the morning one of them had an alarm set for like 6:30 in the morning. And of course, it wakes me up… I go out there to turn it off and I can’t figure out which phone it is, because they’re all like so close to each other, that I’m like out there holding each phone up to my ear, and I’m like “Are you the one doing it? Are you the one doing it? Are you the one doing it?” It was hilarious. I finally found it…

Oh, that’s hilarious.

I was imagining like a Jenga tower, and it was like the bottom one vibrating, and they all just fall down and crack on your time…

It was definitely one of them I checked a lot of them. It was very difficult. And you don’t want to look at their home screen, or… You don’t want to pry it all into their phone, because it’s a very personal device… But I’m trying to turn the stinking alarm off. So yeah, just thinking about the technology’s effect on our lives… The weird things that happen. Like you said, you’re at the grocery store and you’re shaking your head “No”, and they just asked you if you want paper or plastic, and no is not a proper response to that question. “It’s not a yes or no question, sir. Is it paper or plastic?”

We don’t think ahead, or we don’t – I don’t know, it’s kind of an unintended consequences thing of just the way that it actually plays out in real life is always weird and wild.

Yeah. Adam, curious, is there anything else that you saw that’s like “Man, I want to use that. I would look forward to that”?

It’s a simple thing really, but I think it’s just the nature of the iPhone has not been very customizable until I would say the last several iterations of iOS… So I’m excited to see that – for example, Jerod, I don’t know… Oh, wait, let me remove Do Not Disturb, and let’s see if you can tell me where this photo’s from.

Oh yeah, that’s the Paramount… That’s in –

Yeah. I took this really awesome photo at the Paramount, and the other day I was just customizing my screen, and it suggested this photo. And it looked that good, because it was a color photo when I took it… So we were in Seattle recently, as I’ve mentioned a couple of times for, Microsoft Build 2024… And I believe it was even Scott Guthrie who said, “Oh, that’s the Paramount Theater. We’ve gone there before”, and he was just sharing stories about Microsoft Build being in Seattle and whatnot… And so when Jerod and I were out scooting and walking as we were touring the city and doing different things, I snapped a shot of the Paramount, and it looked really good… And the iPhone, when it suggested it recently, when I was kind of customizing my homescreen, it suggested a different screen, I guess. A different wallpaper. And I’m like “Sweet. Yeah, I like that.” And I added it. But now I see all these new customizable features that you can like color icons, and stuff like that… Like, that’s cool. Because traditionally, the iPhone has not been very customizable. And I think that really is a quality of life thing, in my opinion.

For sure.

Like, I can take this photo, that I just snapped quickly… I’m a pretty decent framer when I take photos… But that photo looks really good. I’d swear – like, I can probably sell that thing, that’s how good it looks.


I mean, somebody wants this thing on at least a –

I like how you went from “Pretty decent” to “I could sell that thing.”

I could probably sell it, right?


: But you know, I’ve got different shots of my kids too that I put on there, and my family and whatnot… But for now it’s the Paramount, this random theater in Seattle which I was told about by Scott Guthrie, and we toured while we were walking around… But the customization, I think, is really cool. Just the colorization, and just the things you can do. It’s not super-crazy customizable, but it’s definitely more than it has been… But specifically changing the icon colors and whatnot - to me, that’s pretty dope.

[01:00:16.05] What about as a developer, how do we think about this? Because I don’t own an iPhone app… But if I did, and I spent a whole bunch of money on a really cool icon, and then someone’s just gonna crank the color tone to pink on it… You know? I mean, it’s their phone, do what they want.

But it’s kind of like –

I think you’ve just answered your question.

True. I’m not gonna stop them. But I’m kind of like “Come on, man…”

I’m really glad it’s not opt-in, or it would never have happened, because every single brand officer – every company big enough to have somebody in charge of brand…

Yeah, they’ve gotta just do it. They did it right, and I’m actually not mad about it… I just know that that probably eked some people, where it’s like “They’re gonna make my icon ugly everywhere they go.”

Well, Apple is – of all the companies that are absolute control freaks about how they’re presented, they’re letting you color their icon… So I guess you’ve got to be a real tightwad to be so upset… You know, the biggest thing about that feature that had been previewed - and Mark Gurman leaked so much of this in advance. It was incredible.

Yeah, on Friday. The Friday before.

But for months, it’s been “Hey, the grid. You no longer have to snap all the things into the grid.” And I took that to mean what it means is you don’t need some widget to create whitespace between items anymore. Like, you’ll be able to put them wherever. But what I think a lot of Android users and people who genuinely want total control took it to mean was “Free pixel point placement of your apps wherever the hell you want.” And I was like “No way.” Apple has some taste. It’s gonna be a grid. It’s gonna be the same grid, maybe you can resize the – and so when I saw it click into the grid, I just, you know… I’m not on Twitter anymore, but I could have only imagined that if the Twitter that existed in 2018 was a thing, I would have seen a lot of my Android friends or a lot of people really looking forward to this level of customization being like “Oh, what the hell? This is just – this is the spacing.” But for most people, that’s what they would want, is to just put it at the bottom of the screen, or at the bottom of the photo.

The best thing I saw on Twitter/X post keynote was a tweet/X post… Ah, ruined it. Which was a cutout of the video. So if you watch the keynote, there’s this transition where Craig Federighi, who is kind of the –

He’s the Steve Martin of – I feel like his comedic timing has gotten to be so… Did you see his first ever demo? He was demoing, I think, live –

Oh, when his hands were shaking?

The hands shaking over the Magic Mouse, and they just cruelly kept a close-up of that.

I did see that, yeah.

And now you see he’s doing like spit-takes to camera… That guy has gotten – I don’t know if it’s training or what, or just kind of growing into the role, but he is a performer. He’s so good.

Yeah, he really is. And he keeps it funny. Sometimes it’s like too dad-jokey for even me, who loves a good dad joke… But it’s good stuff. Because otherwise things get boring. Anyways, there’s this transition where he’s like jumping over the railing, and down, and it’s like – he’s parkouring to the next area… And in context it made sense, and it’s kind of funny, but if you take that one just by itself, it looks like he’s fleeing the scene of a crime, or something… And the caption was like –

It’s because he was just [unintelligible 01:03:17.13] his dealer.

[laughs] No, the caption was “Craig Federighi just got asked where the training data comes from”, or something like that. And he just bolts… [laughs]

You know, if we want to talk about things that they didn’t talk about, that they normally are very eager to talk about, is environmental impact. I saw a lot of people express frustration about this. There was a lot of – not even handwaving. Did anything green come up even once?

Not that I can think of, no.

And Microsoft - there was some article in some magazine (this is really helpful) describing that Microsoft is just going to totally beef their environmental impact goals on account of all of the AI churn that they’re going through… I’m curious whether or not – of course, Apple may have mentioned that it uses like less electricity at some point, or less power… But that was probably more from a battery perspective, when we’re talking about the on-device processing…

[01:04:12.26] And of course, any amount of local phone device thing is going to save some roundtrip to a server that probably is way more noxious from an electricity consumption perspective. But it does feel like Apple and all of these companies who’ve made such big commitments for going green, and for combating climate change - they are not super-eager to talk about the elephant in the room when it comes to the amount of processing that this requires.

It’s a lot.

Back to quality of life improvements… Tapback with any emoji.

Even a genmoji.

Even a genmoji.

Which is gonna be a thing. We should probably explain – Adam, what’s a genmoji? Did you catch this?

It’s a generated emoji.


Nailed it.

Dang. I’m just so good.

He reverse-engineered that answer…

So Apple intelligence can generate for you an emoji based on a description, or whatever, and it just looks like one… And in advance, everyone’s like “Well, that’s not Unicode, so you can’t put that in text”, or whatever. But Apple’s had a thing, I think it’s called like attributable string, or something, where you can have images in line with texts in their APIs for a long time… So genemojis are just that. So they can just like live in text. And Unicode be damned… I almost feel like this is a RCS having to swallow it and do RCS because China made them, and to kind of also have a good excuse that iMessage shouldn’t be regulated. It’s almost like out of spite, they’re like “You know what? Unicode, *bleep* you too. We’re gonna generate emojis, we’re gonna put them in line,a nd it’s gonna just look like absolute nonsense to all the Android users out there that they’re chatting with.” But you can tap them back. Sorry, I interrupted that.

It’s alright. No. Genemojis, man.

Well, I like to tap back. I’m a big tap back kind of guy.

I’m a huge tapbacker.

Me too. I tapback all the time.

It’s good stuff.

[laughs] If you take that sentence out of context… Okay. You have to always decie “Well, how do I feel about this? Is it a thumbs up? Is it a heart? Is it a thumbs down? Is it a ha-ha? Is it a bang-bang, or is it a question mark?” And it’s like “You know what? Sometimes it’s none of those things.”

And now it could be an anthropomorphic sheep holding his nose.

Exactly. Which is –

You know, I don’t know. I kind of like the limitations… I’m excited about advancements, but I kind of like the limitations of tap backs, because you can go crazy with it. There’s a spectrum there, a defined spectrum…

But going crazy is what we do when we talk to people, and we’re having fun in a text chat, or something. Like “Come on. Throw an anthropomorphized sheep in there.”

Let me ask you a question… Do you tap back your own messages? Have you ever like sent a message and then tapped back your own? Because I have.

[laughs] Was that a question or a confession? It quickly turned into a confession…

It’s both. Well, you didn’t answer in time, so I wanted to put it out there that I’m on team tap back myself.

I went back in my timeline, I was total recalling… I don’t have the +PC part yet. I don’t think so. I don’t think I do that. I think I do have a modicum of etiquette, you know? So what kind of – give me an example of a tap back to your own message.

I’ll give you a perfect example. So I shared something with somebody, we were having back and forth, some talking and whatnot… And then I shared something that was funny, and it could have been taken as potentially not funny… Because like conversation, right? And so to be clear that I meant that as funny, I just tapped back with “Haha.”

Alright, that’s a good move. I’ll give you that.

I was like “I want to –”

[01:07:47.25] I usually just throw a “jk” in there afterwards.

That’s laughing at your own joke, Adam.

Yeah, you’re kind of haha-ing yourself…

Kind of… But then they also haha-ed.

Yeah, but what if they hadn’t? What if they questionmarked it?

What if they thought it wasn’t funny, and then they’re like “Ah, he’s fishing.”

Well, then if they would have questionmarked it, I would have then press-to-hold and replied directly to my existing message, and I would have said “What’s what the question mark, yo?”

“What’s with the question mark, man?!” [laughs]

And then I would tap back that with the question mark itself, to just emphasize the fact that I’ve got questions now, okay?

What if you could have just added a picture of like an animated jk, that just was generated for you, and just slap a sticker on there? “JK. Just kidding.”

And now you’ll have genmoji. You could have tapped back with like a haha of your face.


You know, I’m not a big fan of like GIFs, moving images in messages… Really, I’m just not. When somebody sends me an animated meme or whatever, I’m just like “Hide that thing. Delete it. Get it out of here.” Unless it’s funny.

You delete it out of the message stream?

Yeah, I want to get it gone. I’ll tap and hold that thing and delete it, okay?

I feel like that’s radical…

Yeah. [laughs]

I want to say that’s radical, but at the same time when they demoed the genmoji and the tapbacks with any emoji, I was personally offended and just viscerally upset when they took those original five tapbacks that are grayscale, and then made them color. And I was like “Oh, that’s just garish.” Like, I think that the tonemapped grayscale monotone original - subtle, tasteful…

Pretty subtle.


Not too much pizzazz. Just enough.

So you wanted them to do that with the whole gamut. You wanted them to write a monotone set of emoji.

Well, I guess if it takes iOS 18 to color-tint your app icons, maybe by iOS 36 I can color-tint my tapbacks.

Yeah. You’re gonna need that extra GPU for that, I think. You’ll need one more GPU.

Oh, yeah. [laughs]

I am done with genmojis though, generally because I think that’s kind of cool. They’ve actually – I’m assuming they’ve frameworked it in such a way that they can generate new ones, that never existed before, and I think that’s kind of a positive for humanity, because like why not just infiltrate the lexicon with more… More.

Yeah, why not just – and I think they call that slop, don’t they?

Yeah, it’s kind of slop.

Break: [01:10:11.09]

The last time Justin was on “Rug pull, not cool”, which has become a catchphrase when it describes the inevitable potential rug pool that is not cool that’s happening, and continues to happen in open source…

It’s catching on.

Right, it’s catching on. I don’t know if you know this, but episode 40 of this very show, Changelog & Friends, which we’re on…

Did you know this…?

We discussed Justin Searls’ extensive use of the Apple Vision Pro. Now here we are like six months –

Oh, yeah…! And we said that when you come on, we’re going to talk to you about it.

Right. Now’s a good time.

I’ve got my notes.

Let’s do it. Good call. I forgot about that.

Do you want to talk about my Vision Pro life first? Or do you wanna talk about the new stuff that they announced?

Let’s talk about your Vision Pro life.

Alright. So out of frame, I used to have a very sterile background here in my office. I’m on a green screen right now, just in case you want to put me someplace hilarious later…

I mean, we have so many options right now…

We will…

But behind there I’ve got a knock-off Eames chair that I’ve kind of turned into my battle station. I sit down comfortably in the lounger, I’ve got a like a command-stripped – the battery pack for the Vision Pro is behind me, behind my head… So the Vision Pro is kind of just always sitting there in the chair… And then I’ve got my M3 MacBook Air that I pair with it. And so pretty much all computing that is more than 5-10 minutes is I sit in the chair, I put on the headset, I open the laptop, and then I wait a way too long period of time for one or the other to be comfortable with screen sharing, the Mac virtual display starting up… And then once that starts up, I make it – the default size is way too small; I make it way too big. I push it out a little bit, and then I start some music, and then typically that’s my work environment. And that’s been pretty much every day that I’ve been working since the Vision Pro launched.

It has apps – Vision Pro can do other things, too. You watch movies on planes, and stuff… But for me and my purposes, I just use it as a way to have a really, really good monitor, that is super-large, in an environment where it’s easy for me to focus… And also in a way that doesn’t contribute to any of my neck or back pain and posture issues that I tend to have when I sit at a computer for a long time.

So just to set the table, that’s how I typically use the Vision Pro… And it’s worked really, really well for me. And it wouldn’t work well for everybody. Some people, their eyes don’t work super-great with the screens. It doesn’t feel super-sharp. But for me, I experience almost no latency, it feels very sharp for me… I actually learned a couple pro tips since last time we talked about all this. Adam Lisagor from Sandwich - I started corresponding with him and chatting with him a little bit. Actually, he just launched an app yesterday called Theater. That’s a an app where you can have Theater-like experiences with a Vision Pro, as a follow-up to his Television app, where you can put little televisions in your room and watch YouTubes and stuff on them. It’s super-cool stuff. If you follow John Gruber or Daring Fireball, it’s going to livestream in the Theater app exclusively tonight at 10pm Eastern and seven Pacific… Sorry, tonight is Tuesday. So by the time you’re listening to this, it’s over. It’s over.

You missed it. Sorry about that.

You’ll catch the replay. But that’s pretty cool, and like [unintelligible 01:15:09.05] spectral video. Adam turned me on to a tip… I think they call it like Open Face System. I wanted to say Open Face Sandwich. I guess that’s his company name. It’s like open system use of the Vision Pro, where you take off the light shield. So I already have a different kind of strap, that’s more comfortable, that I have like a 3D-printed adapter for, because the two straps it comes with aren’t really comfortable for hours of use on end… And just like your headphones here, it uses the crown of your head, the top of your head for the weight distribution… Wearing the Vision Pro, you just take off the light shield, and so like the goggles are sitting a couple inches in front of your eyes, so you still get all your peripheral vision. And honestly, that’s kind of more of the promise of what Apple was going for in the first place, where it starts to feel like goggles that are augmented with like pretty big screens in front of you…

[01:16:01.26] And additionally, you don’t get you know any weird lines around your face. It doesn’t feel sweaty, because you’re getting plenty of airflow in there… So it looks really silly, I’m sure. I’m sure I look just like – Becky walks in and she chuckles every time, multiple times a day.

Has she ever tried to sneak up on you and like punch in the gut, or something?

Well, now that I don’t have the light shield, it’s way harder.

Have you ever seen the movie Lawnmower Man, by any chance?

I have not, no.

Oh gosh, I saw it when I was a kid.

Yeah. It kind of reminds me of that, but they’re on their belly in this case, and they have the goggles on… In virtual they’re flying, but when you’re looking at them, they’re just sort of like wobbling as human beings.

Yeah, yeah.

I almost wonder if you might seem like a version of that, but flopped, like on your back, instead of on your belly. Or kicked back, at least, in your chair.

Can we get Becky to take some video while you’re –

Just so we can get an idea.

Just a homework assignment.

Yeah. I mean, she can just go to work on that. That’d be great.

I guess to transition – well, do you have any questions about…? Because I know you guys – I enjoyed listening to you talk about my blog post about this, and how…

You listened. Okay, good.

No, it was a fun conversation.

I told him that we talked about him, so that’s how you get Justin on board.


I was curious if he would actually listen back. So I don’t think then I was as clear as I am now you explaining it, your posture… Because I had assumed you were sitting, in some way, shape or form. Maybe I gapped that part of your article. I don’t know. Maybe it was bad writing.

Fair. Fair.

[laughs] Quite possible. Yeah.

But you explained the posture. It seems like you’re using gravity to your advantage then, to reduce the weight of it on your body. So it sounds like you’ve kind of like hacked your way to a maybe a more comfortable way to use the Apple Vision Pro.

Way more like those chairs in The Matrix, where they jack in.

Yeah, exactly. Yeah, it seems like that.

Or you’re at a dentist. That’s probably a more natural example.

Do you ever doze off?

I haven’t, but it’s… I’m sure that there are some social psychologists out there who’d say “If you’re leaning forward, you’re more likely to get angry”, and stuff… And I will say that a lot of my angrier content, I was leaning forward pretty hard, and nowadays I’m way more zen.

Yeah, you’re leaning back and relaxing.

Well, I’m curious about if you can explain more clearly the gap in front of your eyes. So it sounds like you can see around your peripheral, like you do have that… Do you feel any eye fatigue over time? Do you feel how your eyes work, or just generally, I don’t know, your eyebrow, eye area has experienced different feelings? …whether it’s just your skin, or if it’s your literal eyeballs trying to focus, whatever it might be.

If you have the light shield on, which you should have, because that’s how the product is designed. I’m not necessarily recommending you go shieldless (but totally go shieldless). If you’ve got one of these, give it a try. If you’ve got the light shield on - yeah, you’ll probably get a little sweaty. The thing generates a lot of heat, but it’s really good at pushing that heat up. Like, I never feel it. I guess if I had bangs, I would feel it. But I’m blessed to not have too much hair up front.

It feels like you’re wearing ski goggles, because the field of view isn’t superduper wide… And so after a certain amount of time in that, it can feel a little bit isolating. The pass-through video though is superduper good. And so you in general still feel like you’re in your room, you still feel like you’re around… If you get up and start walking, then all of a sudden the motion blur is pretty bad, because it’s not really great at motion, and so then that can be a little bit nauseating if you’re trying to walk around while you use it… But for long stretches when I don’t have the light shield on, it’s super-comfortable, and I could rock it pretty much all day.

The only thing that I notice is when I do finally take it off, my eyes will have acclimated to thinking that the pass-through video is real life. It’s like when you’re going through your photo library in your phone, and you get to one of those HDR photos, and suddenly everything else looks really dim, but like that sun looks really bright… The main thing in the photo isn’t actually dimmer, it’s just that the contrast with like the other bright stuff around it is so much brighter that it makes it look dim…

[01:20:06.27] So when I take my headset off sometimes at the end of the day I’ll just have a little moment of like “Holy *bleep* Real life is quite bright.” That throws me off a little. But fortunately, no real vision issues. I get my sunlight, I get my exercise, I try to focus on the distance… I’m not super-worried about it causing any real eyestrain.

Yeah. Well, that would be my concern. Because you’re using it hours.

Too much. [laughs]

Right. Well, the way you use it is as if you sit down to a computer traditionally, but you’re not; you’re sitting down, or actually you’re laying down, and you’re putting your Apple Vision Pro on, and you’re going to town with the whole screen pairing etc. And you’re there for a session. Two, three, four hours, or longer potentially, if you can handle it.

And that’s where I think I begin to think “Well, there’s probably going to be some unknown, potentially unintended consequences long-term, that we’re just not aware of yet, and you’re the guinea pig in some way, shape, or form.”

Yeah. That’s a great – I’m patient zero. I shouldn’t undersell the ability to just – if you’ve got the battery in your pocket or whatever, you can stand up. I’ve got a standing desk right here. I’ll push my monitor back, and I’ll stand at the desk while also working with the same kind of screens in front of me… So the fact that it’s like a 140-inch monitor that you can take anywhere, that only weighs three pounds, is really nice. I’ll work from the balcony sometimes, I’ll move around. Honestly, the only thing I’d really improve is the fact that to run macOS apps, I need to have a Mac with me. It seems silly. It seems like I should just be able to hold a keyboard and do all the same stuff. It’s got like an M2 in it, it’s fast enough… So that seems like – I don’t know, I hope that they someday, in some future world, have this. But I can’t really complain.

Like, they need like a Mac Mini kind of style thing to pair up with, rather than a full-on –

No, just macOS in there.

Yeah, I would just put macOS in there.

I mean, now you sound like an iPad user. I mean, that’s what most iPad users really just want at the end of the day.

It’s exactly like the iPad.

Like “This device is amazing. I wish it just had macOS on it.”

Yup. It could just be an app.

Yeah. With some adjustments, of course, but yeah.

Yeah… Well, I wonder – because most of the smarts in the device are in the goggles, right? It’s not in the battery pack. So I’d imagine you want distance potentially between the human, less weight, stuff like that… I know the iPad is pretty light, but still yet it’s kind of flatt and bigger than the goggles are… So I imagine you’d probably have to have some sort of accessorized version of the computer.

I mean, it’s already got an M2 in it. And it’s got a fan. So…

Yeah, what else do you need…?

RAM? You need storage? Does it have both of those? I’m stupid when it comes to Apple Vision Pro.

512 gigs storage, and 8 or 16… I would guess 8 gigs of RAM.

You could put the storage in the battery pack, or something…

I mean, they can get fancy with it. Anyways…

We’re still in version one…

Well, to that point, what’s the new stuff that’s gonna make at least you and the 12 other people using this [unintelligible 01:23:16.02] better?

Right, exactly. I guess who we should really be speaking to other than potential consumers of the Vision Pros… Anyone who’s got theirs in the box, and whether they should pull it out of the box; it’s collecting dust. One, they have fake spatial video – or fake spatial… Fake – okay, currently, you can take a spatial photo.



But no one does that.

He just got mad at himself, Adam.

If you click on the side button on the goggles…

But now you can take any photo in your library with Vision OS 2, and through the magic of ML, it can separate subject and depth mask and stuff and create a spatial photo. And if you’ve never used a Vision Pro before, a spatial photo or a spatial video has sort of got this shadow box effect, where you can kind of peer around the edges, and as you move your head, you can sort of see different angles. So jury’s out on whether that looks any good; it would be inventing new information from nothing, so it probably looks silly.

[01:24:10.19] Does the current thing look good? Do you appreciate those, the real ones?

So one time I accidentally took a spatial photo of like my feet… Just imagine, your self-lying in this chair, you take a thing as “Oh, I’ll capture a thing”, and then later on I opened the Photos app and it happened to open in a large format to that photo, and I thought those were my feet. Because I was in the same position.

So it tricked you.

It tricked me into – yeah.

Oh, my gosh… Almost real life.

It’s pretty good. But from a megapixels perspective, these are potato cam iPhone 1 equivalents. They’re very low resolution. They’re not 12 megapixels like you’d get from a phone. So we’ll see how that goes. The next one’s –

Why would you want to do this though? Why would you care about like taking an existing photo – what is the benefit to seeing it differently, I suppose? And it’s not real, so it’s faking it. So you have a 2D photo you know you probably took…

If it can trick the eye, though, who cares?

I think it’s a parlor trick. I think they were able to do it and people liked the spatial effect, so they figured why not. That’s just the first thing they showed [unintelligible 01:25:13.29]

“Let them keep going. It’s gonna get better - or maybe not - from here.”

Well, hang on a sec. I want to go one layer deeper on this. So this reminds me of this psychological thing that – studies have done this. I don’t know how to describe, you know, the setting… But essentially, you would have a psychologist, you would have a patient or a subject, and that subject is sitting on a table, or sitting at a table, like any sort of normal desk, with their arms able to sit up on the table. And they’ve hidden one of their arms, but in place of the arm they’ve put a fake arm that looks and is sitting in the same position as their arm. And the doctor or whoever’s conducted this experiment will stroke the arm, and massage… And the brain will begin to think that it’s theirs. And then out of nowhere, they take this knife and they whack it, and they scream as if it’s their own arm being chopped off.

That’s what this reminds me of, is this whole – like you just said, you thought they were your legs. Right? What if something somehow happened to those legs, and you’re like “Aaah! My legs!”

Yeah, like what if inside the photo something chopped your photo leg off? Would you have felt it, do you think, Justin? Would you feel that?

If we were talking about like the pass-through video, if the pass-through video, which you’re – like I said, you get really accustomed to over the course of minutes and hours… If suddenly that started lying to you, and like a horror movie stuff started flying whatnot… If the question is “Could what happens in the pass-through video be literally terrifying?”, the answer is definitely yes. If the question is whether or not if you poke my virtual leg, will I feel literal pain, I think I have to leave that to the scientists. I’m not sure.

I think you should try it.

I should try it?

Because I think you will feel the pain.

Well, yeah, you could be your own scientist.



I’ll go and I’ll have to simulate this, and see how –

We’re already given Becky some homework. We just add this to her list.

Yeah, sure. Other features… Gestures. So there’s a couple of gestures that they’re adding. Right now there’s not really any. They’re similar to the gestures if you’ve used a Quest 2 or 3 with the hands-only mode, no controllers, where you put your hand out and like the home – they don’t call it a home screen, but the basic home apps will pop out. That’s nice.

Another thing is you flip your hand down - I don’t know, it was like wrist or thumb - and you’ll see the time, as well as control center, I want to say… You’ll be able to get into control center from there. Why that’s really nice is currently the gesture to get to the control center – I haven’t heard this documented much online. The way to get into the control center, which is what you need to do to start a Mac virtual display session from the Vision Pro, or just the audio, just like you’d normally want to use a control center for - you roll your eyes into the back of your head, because you have to keep your head stationary, but relatively your eyes need to go up towards the top… And then that creates a little like triangle disclosure, and then you pinch to click, and then that opens the control center. And for me it’s really tricky, because for whatever reason I always want to move my head up, but then that disappears.

[01:28:20.03] So the fact that I’ll be able to just like flip my hand and get to the control center faster that way… Because a lot of things are – more than other platforms, it feels like the control center’s the answer to a lot of questions, especially around audio and getting your Air Pods synced, and stuff; you don’t have some other menu bar to work from. So that looks good.

They had one thing – they didn’t have very many of these, but I think this was just only on the title slide at the end, the wrap-up for Vision OS 2, they had a little tile there that said “Recent guest user”, and I think what that is is spouse mode… Because Recurrent Guest User, if you want to activate that, it forgets who the person is the minute that they first take off the headset. So I’ve had people to demo the device, “Okay, put it on”, they put it on, it takes them through the whole calibrate the display by pinching all these targets, do three rounds of that, finally do it… They get through all this, they set it up, they’ve adjusted the IPD between the headset, and then they’re like “Okay, cool”, or like they pull up the headset to ask me a question for a second, and then they put it back on and then immediately it starts the whole wizard over again.

And so if let’s say I want to show one of these spatial videos or spatial photos to Becky - right now she’d have to go through that wizard each and every time she puts the thing on her head. So I think this Recent Guest User, if I had to guess, is going to provide a way to have like known people, or maybe the most recent person, at least, be able to use the device in that guest mode, without having to reconfigure… Which if you’ve never used this, it sounds very pedestrian, but it really is the difference between – like, I was kind of terrified they announced a photos

feature that was so great. Becky would want to buy one for herself again, and then return it again… She bought one initially, and it was just not for her. So the fact that I’ll be able to like show her photo stuff, or she’ll be able to use it for photos purposes on her own… Yeah, that made me happy.

Can we pause there for one second? I have one question about this.

Yeah, please. Dive in.

I haven’t paid attention to this, they may have marketed this and I don’t know… But Becky had mentioned that she had one and she took it back, and I’m imagining that you all are pretty close proximity-wise to each other…

And emotionally, yeah.

Yeah, in many ways, I’m sure. What’s the experience like if you wanted to do this photos experience where you’re in your own Apple Vision Pro and she’s in her own Apple Vision Pro? Can you sort of have a shared experience where you’re sort of like augmented together, in a way, to make the photo viewing experience cooler? Because that’s kind of interesting.

That’s actually one of the things they announced for Vision OS 2, is that Share Play is coming to photos, and allowing exactly that. In one of the demos you can see it’s a person, and then a Space Ghost friend of theirs on their right, both looking at one photo and commenting “Oh, she looks this or that.” So the answer is yes. And in fact, I’ve done share play with a few people now. My friend Aaron Patterson, tenderlove, he and I did – the spatial personas… This is a new thing that launched about a month and a half ago. When that came out, now you’re not just in a little box of a computer-generated person, you’re a floating head of a computer generated person, with hands and things… That was the first time I’d ever really used Share Play for anything, because I don’t have any need for it on iPhone, iPad… I don’t watch on Apple TV with somebody simultaneously typically… But Share Play, where another person’s persona is brought in, and now you can play a board game together, or you can watch a movie together… Now in Vision OS 2, with photos, you can actually look at photos together interactively. They also have like Freeform, the whiteboarding app, and stuff, or Keynote…

It almost makes me wonder whether or not Share Play was being developed with this in mind, and then COVID happened, and then they rushed it out the door and kind of forgot about it for a few years… Because it never really made much sense to me as a feature, outside of the context of the initial pandemic. But yeah, it’s a cool experience. Aaron and I, we’re typically not like blown away by this kind of stuff, but I remember after playing a game and watching a short video, he was like “That was cool. We should totally do that again.”

[01:32:25.08] Yeah, this idea of shared experiences to me is super-cool, obviously, because I like other humans, generally… But like watching TV together is kind of cool. But Jerod and I were talking about – what was the film we were talking about watching, Jerod? Oh, yeah, Silicon Valley… Ding! We were talking about – I had this idea, I was like “We should buy–” It was a stupid Seattle idea. We were scooting around Seattle, a nd I was like “We should buy Apple Vision Pros, have a whole separate podcast that’s just you and I”, like Mystery 9000… What was that TV show –


Yeah, yeah. Which one of you is Crow and which one of you is Tom Servo?

That’s up to our viewer/listener. I don’t even know what you’d call them.

But I was thinking we could watch Silicon Valley together via Apple Vision Pros, and it’d be kind of a thing. It’d be a shtick almost, you know?

It would have to be a shtick.

Give us a reason to have a business expense for the Apple Vision Pros…

There’s the good part of the idea…

…maybe have some some good experience with it. Maybe we can kick back, like Justin is, doing our podcasting or whatever… But I was thinking like “It’d be kind of cool.” But this idea of doing things together… Plex - I’m a big user of Plex in my household, and it has this feature called Watch Together. And I just wonder why this idea hasn’t caught on more, because I would totally watch a movie with somebody that’s somewhere else. And maybe you have to pause, like “Hey, I’ve gotta go to the bathroom.” “Cool. Okay. Well, let’s pause. I’ll go the bathroom, too”, but you’re not in the same room. Right? Like, you and Becky are in the same room, and that’s cool that you can maybe watch some photos together, but you can also – like you had done with Aaron Patterson, tenderlove, disparate. You’re somewhere else. You’re not in the same zone at all.

This whole share experience may have been like a COVID thing, but I still think it’s kind of like a – we’re in a geographically distributed world; it makes sense to have more and more things that are together, but separate geographically.

It feels real. He goes to Kaigi every year, and so like we spend a couple of days just traveling around Okinawa together… And the spatial persona experience that we’ve had felt more like being together in-person than it felt like being on a phone call, right? Because we’re typically over a long distance. And I think that’s – I agree, I think that’s super-duper valuable.


And when you ask “Why doesn’t the TV stuff catch on?”, it’s like, well, you’d need a microphone, you would need a camera, you need to be like a tile in a window, or something… Whereas when you’re in the spatial setting, the videos in front of you - it’s no smaller than it otherwise would. It’s not obstructed. The person is just on your right or on your left. Or when you’re playing a game, the game board is exactly – like, it’s not obstructed. The person is just on the other side of you. I think that because nothing is lost in transmission, and there’s not any sort of like extra equipment that you would need to make it a good experience… It’s not fiddly.

Yeah, the UX design of this definitely has many, many challenges to make it believable, enjoyable… And I guess if I was watching a show, let’s say like Silicon Valley, with Jerod, through the Watch Together mode, whether it’s through a Plex or something else, if we kept having to pause or get interrupted, I’d be like “It kind of ruined my experience.” So maybe that is not a good thing. But maybe the Apple Vision Pro is where you kind of get it, because you’re sort of a bit more focused, a bit more intentional with it being isolated, less distractions around it.

[01:35:48.18] Now, that being said, kids can come in the room, my wife can come in the room and be like “Jerod, hey” or “Adam, hey”, and the experience is interrupted. I like the idea though. The idea is cool.

Again, we’re still on version one, and it’s already pretty great, so I can see five, six years from now this feeling more normal.

Yeah. Have we built up enough to finally talk about the ultra-wide virtual Mac display? Are we there yet?

One more thing.

Okay. [laughter]

So there’s two annoyances, two big annoyances from like an ergonomics perspective to trying to use the spatial computing for computing, which is one, when you’re in an immersive environment, meaning like you’re not looking at the pass-through video, you’re on the Moon, or in Yosemite, or something, and you’re holding a magic keyboard, an Apple-branded magic keyboard in your lap, that keyboard is invisible. So unless you’re an amazing touch typist, you’d be surprised how often you’re finding yourself wanting to look at the keyboard… Especially when it’s on your lap loosely. There’s an OS 2 apparently for magic keyboards and magic keyboards only will punch that through the – it’ll identify it and punch it through the immersive environment, so you’ll be able to actually see the keys. That’s one huge thing.

The other big win is, for whatever reason, you can pair a Bluetooth trackpad to Vision OS, but not a mouse. And it seems to suggest that Apple – we all know Apple prefers trackpads to mice, but it seems to suggest Apple is saying “No, the future is no mice allowed.” Apparently, Vision OS 2 will let you sync Bluetooth mice. So apparently, it was just an oversight version one thing. So if you’re a mouse person, that’ll work.

Alright, so now we can get to the thing. So tell me all about the ultra-wide.

Uhm, did you not watch the keynote?


I did, I did. But I’ve been talking too much.

Okay. Well, I don’t know if you saw it, but it’s ultra-wide, it’s virtual, and it’s a Mac display.

Damn. He’s good. What a pro.

That is a summary that I think I can get on board with it. It’s all you’ve gotta know.


People were hoping to see an announcement. When I say “people”, I might be meaning like Vision Pro people…

You and the 12 other people that are using it?

Yeah, right, in the Subreddit. And that subreddit is not active enough to give me a lot of hope at the moment…

Person was hoping…

Yes… [laughter] Me, Jim and his three sock puppet accounts are all upvoting the idea that you would have like an X server implementation, where like the Mac would act as a Windows Server… You know all of our computers have Windows servers on them. That’s how they work. It’s the design abstraction that they use. But the server client thing isn’t actually used, because it’s all localhost. It’s like, yeah, a Windows server serving up all these Windows on your screen locally. But the technology was invented, with X and so forth, so that a mainframe could be running… Now I’m a little bit over my skis, because it’s been 20+ years, since I’ve even thought about this seriously… The server could run the window, and then the client machine could just display that window, and interact with it. And that’s what I would love, is if – imagine you just had your doc in front of you virtually instead of the full Mac screen, and when I clicked anything on the doc, it would open a native Vision OS window of that application, all rendered client-side, but specified via this protocol back to the Mac… And if that ever happens, that would be super-cool, because then you could have infinitely many Mac screens, and you could place them wherever you want around you arbitrarily.

I think the reason it’s not a priority for Apple is because they’re trying to make native Vision OS apps a thing first, and that’s not going super-great. They’re all just iPad apps, they’re not – they don’t let you do the things that macOS lets you do, and so therefore I don’t think that’s going to pick up steam as much. But I would still love to see it. I’d love to be able to just pull in Mac applications, just like I’d love to be able to run macOS in Vision OS. I feel like Vision OS is really hobbled by the piss poor app ecosystem of what’s available in Vision OS, and the current developer sentiment of it just being another iPad. I don’t think it’s going to change anytime soon.

[01:39:55.20] And to that end, the ultra-wide that they’ve announced, which is – they framed it as the equivalent of two 4k displays… And so the rumors leading up to this was like “Oh, it’ll let you do two displays.” And I did not like this idea, because the reason I don’t run two displays in real life is I don’t want that seam in the middle of “Now I’ve got to like organize these.” And it just didn’t occur to me that, of course, Apple could just make it one contiguous display… And so you’ll get this nice, big, ultra-wide wrap around. And I think there’s some intermediate, pretty wide… I think it’s like normal 4k, and then there’s like a pretty wide, and then there’s an ultra-wide… It looks like there’s three step changes here.

No ultra-wide max?

Yeah, ultra-wide max…

Just a full 180 degrees.

Yeah, so it’s got to be wide, max wide, and ultra-wide to get the ordering right.

Yeah, exactly. I think that’ll be really great, because I’ll be able to see more, and I’ll be able to move more stuff around… And why not, because you’ve got infinite space around you. But it almost felt – my first reaction was like this is almost an admission that having a little sidecared Vision OS app, which is what I’ve been doing next to the Mac displays, is not worth it. Like, I would throw that overboard in a minute to get the ultra-wide, just give me more Mac stuff… Because even just trying to context-switch between the Vision OS app and the Mac display is just enough friction that it’s not worth it most of the time… Which, you know, has got to be frustrating to Apple. They’ve built this whole frickin’ operating system, this whole app architecture, and this whole way to do things… And it is really good, it’s just like there’s not that much to do with it.


And so the more that people use this thing as just a glorified monitor, the less appealing – and like the more that they invest in making that a nicer experience, the less appealing the app platform will be. So I think that’s probably the parting thought that I’d have looking at Vision OS 2, is like wondering, in the near term future of the platform, is that what this is going to be? Some number of nerds are going to use this as a virtual Mac display. Other people are going to buy it because it demoed really well in the Apple Store, and then they’re never going to use it… And meanwhile, all of that usage is going to be just enough to kind of keep Apple on their toes to develop the platform further, until it actually is viable as like a mainstream consumer product.

What they need is some kind of a Vision OS lounge. You know, there’s internet cafes… They should have an Apple Vision Pro cafe, where you can just bring your laptop in… I just want to try your world for a few hours. I don’t want to live there, I don’t want to buy a house.

I live in Disney World… Next time you guys have a trip –

Do you live in Celebration?

No, I live just – my house literally borders Reedy Creek.

But I’m on the East side. So I’m just a normal neighborhood, full of most – I wouldn’t say normal people. Full of –

People who live in Orlando.


Yes. Yes.


Yes. Florida people.

Well, I like this idea of this – I wonder if we can hypothesize a bit. If the Vision Pro can get lighter, if they removed all the smarts from it, like you had said, with this unified centralized computer for the house - that has many functions. It’s got backups, it’s got photo storage… And this is stuff that maybe Apple’s traditionally not for, but they do have lots of storage. But something that acts as like what a NAS would act as for a household… You know, photo syncing, things like that… If they can begin to build this world. And the apple Vision Pro, whatever it is today, shrinks in size, in footprint, in weight etc, because you have this centralized way of doing things. And maybe you still keep this Apple Vision Pro for when you’re on the go. So there’s still a need for one that computes. But generally, when you’re in the house, the benefit that compute in the thing is not necessarily good, because you’ve got to a Mac sitting [unintelligible 01:43:41.24] virtualizing. And all you really want is the visual appeal of what you’re getting, not so much the compute. Because that’s kind of cool, honestly…

[01:43:52.19] The rumor is that’s how the product started, or it was on that track, and then [unintelligible 01:43:55.09] came and said “No, the computer’s got to be in the thing.” Because there was like a base station component as well, that had to be on a wireless leash of a couple of meters, or something… So I think the product existed sort of in that vein for a while.

Is there latency when you do the virtual stuff, like with your Mac? Is that –

So traveling in Japan, I actually took this thing with me. I got a slightly bigger backpack than usual… And I didn’t get a special case, I just kept shoving it deep in there…

Shove it in.

Shove it in. My goal was at the hotel, at night, I would use the Vision Pro like I normally do, my normal routine. What I’ve found almost immediately is on Wi-Fi networks you don’t control if either the Mac or the Vision Pro is on a Wi-Fi network, and that Wi-Fi network is like a hotel Wi-Fi network. It’s just like anything with mDNS or Bonjour protocol. It is a hostile environment to that Apple peer-to-peer networking that things like to do.

Right. There’s a couple of things that they do too in networks to enable or disable how fast that protocol works.

Right. How much bandwidth it can take up, and so forth. So the latency was so bad… It would often be I’d press a key, and then 1, 2, 3, and then the letter would show up, in most hotels, that I just gave up after a while. And that was surprising to me, because if you actually turn off the wireless NIC in both devices, and they neither are on a network, you can still use Mac virtual display, and it works great. So it might be something that Apple can optimize around, but that was the only time that I’ve observed any sort of latency issues. Because when I’m at home, it’s flawless.

Yeah. I believe it’s – you mentioned mDNS, and I think the other one is IGMP snooping, a.k.a. multicast filtering that you can enable or disable in networks to make things that are like Apple-esque do better across the subnets and whatnot. Yeah, what a bummer… So there is latency on networks you don’t control, which kind of makes sense… Sucks, but makes sense.

Hypothetically, I’d be down with a centralized, beefy Apple machine, in theory. I think since I’m such a fan of Linux and such a fan of like other things, I would probably be a fan of the idea, not the execution, because I think Apple would like guard and hold too much… Literally, I would be the happiest person – well, one of the happiest people ever if Apple would come out in one of these WWDCs and say “Every Apple silicon Mac ever will support installing Linux, as well as macOS.” Like, if I can opt out of macOS and get Linux on a machine, that’d be cool. And if they had partnered with Ubuntu or whomever was like the Goliath that just enabled the future Linux desktop forever kind of idea, is finally here idea, that’d be cool.

Are we in “Adam is wishing this” or “is predicting this”?

It’s both, I think. I think it’s both. I think Apple would have some major plus on their side if they came out and said “We create the best hardware, obviously”, with how much effort they do, they believe that… And they obviously create some of the best operating system software out there. We’re all loving it, of course. And they marry those two things together. But they said “You know what? The world does have one other operating system out there that’s free and open source in every way, shape, and form that free can be, and we want to support that too on our hardware”, I think that would be so absolutely cool. And they’d probably sell a lot more hardware, because there’s people out there buying other hardware that is not so much subpar, because there’s a lot of great players out there… I’ve got a System76 T-shirt I often wear on shows. Big fan of them. I have it on a machine, but I’ve played with them; I respect anybody driving Linux forward, especially the desktop, because it hasn’t arrived fully yet. There’s a lot of people who use it, but it’s just not here.

I think the Linux desktop might actually arrive if they did something like this… Because Apple devices are just so ubiquitous, and they really are some of the best hardware ever. If they would support Linux by default, as well as macOS, either/or, not some sort of in the middle, it’d be amazing for PR, it’d be amazing for Linux, it’d be amazing for the Linux desktop we’ve all been thinking may actually arrive this year, which hasn’t… And I think you’d see a lot of people choosing Linux in certain scenarios.

[01:48:14.24] Now, that being said, I got there by saying I’d be excited about this centralized Mac machine that powers my whole house, and my Vision non-Pros and my Vision Pros or whatever, however they productize this thing… In theory, only because I still love the freedoms of Linux. I still love to install packages and do different things. So maybe the hardware, I’d like the hardware, but not the software. I don’t know.

Your prediction drew a very rare double eyebrow raise simultaneously from Jerod and I…

At the same time?

Jerod, I’m curious, your –

Let’s clip that. Let’s clip that.

The double eyebrow.

Okay, what are your thoughts then as I pontificated and wished at the same time?

My thoughts? I think it’s a nice wish. I just don’t think there’s any reason for Apple to do that. It doesn’t play to their strengths, they don’t need the PR… Okay, here would be one reason, although macOS is not the bastion of the regulation against Apple. It would be if there were reasons of monopolistic or anti-competitive practices that were causing regulators to come after them as they are, for instance, in the App Store. As they are, for instance, on iOS. Like, if those things were happening at the macOS level, and this somehow won them brownie points with regulators, that would be the one reason why I think they might consider to do something like that. But otherwise, I just don’t see any reason why they would ever do that.

I agree. That’s why it’s more of a wish than a prediction. Because I agree, I think that what you just outlined would be one of the reasons why they would do it. Potentially the only reason why they would do it, because they don’t gain much really at all… And it just kind of sucks when you get to certain obsolescence with a Mac hardware and you can’t install the latest macOS operating system. And this machine’s still amazing; I take great care of all my machines. I’ve got super-old machines that –

Well, you can run Linux on them, right? You just want Apple to like rubber-stamp it, or what?

Well, so all the workarounds with Linux, especially on Apple silicon, is a workaround. I haven’t caught up, so I could be mistaken to some degree, but they’re not blessed by Apple.


They’re workarounds from the dev community who love the hardware and want to see Linux live there.

Now, older Intel machines, yes. But as soon as you introduce that T1 or that T2 chip, whatever that additional chip was, it caused issues. And Linux - you could install it, but you would have issues. And you’d have to do workarounds and install non-free open source packages, and you’d have to do different things to get Linux to live there and operate there… So they just don’t have native support for it.


You can. I’ve got older 2004 Mac Minis I’ve converted from the two and a half spinning hard drive to an SSD, I’ve gutted it, put an SSD in there, it’s got enough RAM, it’s got four cores, and I’ve run Proxmox on that. And they make nice, little - when Raspberry Pi’s were not available - Raspberry Pi replacements, because you can install Proxmox and do a bunch of cool stuff that you cannot do on a Raspberry Pi. And I’ve never really had any issues with them. But they’re old. Four cores, you can’t expand it beyond that… But they do give it life.

And I think the thing I’m camping out on is more like once the device that I’ve taken care of has become to Apple’s eyes obsolete, and they don’t let me install the latest operating system, it kind of dies on the vine, or for the most part becomes less and less useful… But still has so much value to give. And if they would bless that with Linux, I could hand that down to a young person who’s just learning, because it’s got no value to me as a hardware, but as a software standpoint, I can’t give them away this macOS. So give them Linux, the latest version of it.

It would be a green argument, right?

Yeah. Great idea, Justin.

Reuse is better than recycling. I think it’s more likely that –

[01:52:06.17] Reuse versus recycle, yeah.

…when a device becomes obsolete, software update will update it, and then on the next boot, the person will just see “Hey, your machine is obsolete. Here’s a coupon for 10% off at” [laughter] And then just inoperate the computer after a certain point. Because I feel that way anyway with Apple’s operating systems. I have an original iPhone Edge sitting in the drawer. And maybe an old iPod Touch. But like the last version of the OS that it could run is so old now that like you can go to zero websites, because it doesn’t have HTTPS, SSL certs for anything. So you’re right, you would basically need Linux after a certain number of years.

On the note though of like having [unintelligible 01:52:48.27] station that you want, it’s not just a Linux idea. It’s a Unix idea, and it’s much older. And there’s a – I pulled up the YouTube of WWDC 1997, right after Steve Jobs came back…

He did this big Q&A, and it’s an hour and change long Q&A. And a lot of it’s about like Open Document Format and stuff that nobody cares about anymore… But some of it was really about the gestalt of like computing as it was happening in Steve Jobs, the guy who had just been running Next for over a decade, his brain, as opposed to Steve Jobs the one who went back to Apple and made it all about hardware sales and product… And he made a couple of comments about how having that sort of client-server nature of all of your documents - so nice. He’s like “I’m at home, and I can turn on my computer –” He said Apple, but [unintelligible 01:53:44.17] No, I guess iMacs didn’t exist. Anyway, “I turn on my computer and my user directory is exactly the same as when I go drive into work, because it’s all synced in one central place.” And of course, sync became a four-letter word, but that was the dream that they were trying to implement with iCloud, and kind of have. I’ve got a Mac Studio here, I’ve got my M3 MacBook Air there… I sync my documents and desktop and most of my other files via iCloud… I mostly don’t have to think about it.

And so I think that was achieved, but it was really cool, and I think you might enjoy watching this video, because it’s much more like UNIX Steve Jobs… And so from a spiritual alignment perspective, I think that you’d find a lot to like in all his attitude around a lot of the same basic vibe.

[unintelligible 01:54:32.29] in the shownotes if we can.

Well, maybe we finish where we started, which was the land of the rising sun.

Oh, boy.

Let me tell you about Asahi Linux. Is that how you say it, Justin? Asahi?

Asahi Linux, which is an effort to port Linux to Apple Silicon Max. We’ve been trying to get some Asahi Linux folks on the show. We’ve had many, many listeners say “Please talk about this.” And they just keep saying no, basically; or ignoring us. So if you are plugged into Asahi Linux and you could give us a plug into that community and get one of the leaders of the community to talk to us, that’d be awesome.

Jerod will send you a free case of Asahi beer.

Yes. Which I don’t know if that’s good. I hope that’s good beer.

It’s great beer if you’re in Japan. [laughs]

If you’re what?

If you’re in Japan. Although I think that if you find Asahi beer on draft in America, it’s been imported. So that’s how you know it’s the real deal.

We’ll have to look out for that.

But yeah, Asahi Linux seems to run well. I think a lot of the energy around Asahi Linux, if I’m not wrong, is that people are running Proton, the equivalent of Steams, like game developer toolkit for being able to run Windows games in a Linux environment… And so whether or not that’s why you want to use Linux, it’s at least, I think, given it some reason for existence.

Yeah, it’s a super-cool project, and it’s not just a distro; it’s like bigger than distros, or maybe like underneath a distro, the way they’re doing it. It’s like drivers and a bunch of low-level stuff that will enable other distros, or distros in general, such as Fedora, such as perhaps Ubuntu… I don’t know, I haven’t looked too close into it.

[01:56:21.09] Don’t go installing it, by the way, because I said games could run in it. I think that a lot of development energy is because that could happen down the road, and people are working towards it, but I don’t think it’s a –

Yeah. So there may be one answer to Adam’s wish, is that project - Apple may never rubber-stamp it, but you can’t stop the hackers from hacking. They’re hackers, they’re gonna hack.

Yes. Always be hacking…

They’re gonna hack that stuff up there.

I was aware of Ashi Linux, it’s just I haven’t had spare Apple silicone hardware to test it on. I’ve only got one –

Right. That’s all the new stuff.

Well, next time you upgrade…

I will try it.

When you get that iPhone 15 Pro Max… You know, you’ll have your iPhone 14 Pro. That’s not M silicone. That’s A. But still, obsolete.

Good place to leave it though. Rising Sun, Asahi Linux…

I think, Jerod, you deserve points for the segue.

Thank you.

Kudos. Well executed. What a pro.

I thought it was a good tie-back to the beginning of the show, so… I agree with you, that was good by me.

Let’s just keep agreeing with Jerod and that’s the show. That’s just it. Jerod, you’re amazing. You’re so good.

Thank you.

What is it like – “We are not worthy…”

Tell me more… [unintelligible 01:57:32.01]

That’s right. [laughs]

Big fan.

Good Wayne’s World reference.

For one of the first times, we’re not worthy. For one of the first. Good stuff though. Well, Justin, always good talking to you. Always good hearing – I think you’re definitely a trailblazer when it comes to the ways to use the Apple Vision Pro…

For sure.

I know when Jerod and I talked about it on episode 40, it was very fresh and new in terms of “Wow, that’s really an interesting way to use it.” And you’re sticking with it. You’re not a once-and-done, you’re like knee-deep steeped in this stuff, and you’re not quitting. Are you quitting?

No. I mean, honestly, this was for me overall – I know a lot of people are upset for various reasons… A lot of apps got sherlocked… Shout-out to [unintelligible 01:58:13.10] They didn’t love this keynote. But I thought the keynote was great. I thought the platform State of the Union last night was great. I’ve been watching some sessions this morning, from like the day one sessions… There’s a lot of good stuff. It seems to me – if you just rewind five years ago… Well, yeah, iOS 13, right? That was the one that was just absolute trash fire, and nothing was working. All those betas especially came in super-hot… They had to like delay – wasn’t it like 13.1? So the iPad OS got delayed until like some hardware shipped… And fundamentally, the problem there was that you had different teams working on different versions of the app, for different platforms. They didn’t have their kind of annual cadence locked in from a quality and a milestones perspective… And now, the Apple that we see today, it just seems like they are – now that they have the confidence to roll out features incrementally, “This is a later this year, this is a 2025… You’ll see it in .4, .5.” I feel like they are firing on all cylinders, as best as they have ever done so far. And so I can be confident these features are going to ship, these APIs are going to be good, the quality will be good enough most of the time… And then, of course, ironically, Swift, they celebrated the 10-year anniversary of Swift in the State of the Union last night… And then the very next slide was “And now we finally have a testing framework.” So Swift testing just now came out in the 10th year.

So it shows Apple’s priorities, but honestly, in terms of the Apple way of rolling, it seems like there’s a lot to be excited – whether you’re a Vision Pro user, or just like a general fan of their platforms, I think there’s a lot of reasons to be optimistic right now.

Well said.

Good stuff. Well, friends, this has been fun.

Bye, friends.



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