Hello and welcome. I’m your host Craig and this is episode 17 of the Brew and Byte.
Goldilocks and the iMac, sponsored by the London Mac User Group. Coming up over the next hour,
we have a fun-packed show as we discuss all the latest new tech from Apple’s Spring Loaded event
from iMacs to remotes as well as our Did You Know section but first up let’s say hello to our panel.
Martin, how are you this evening? Hello good evening guys, good evening Teddy, I’m fine.
And next up we’ll say hello to Alistair. I’m fine thanks enjoying the nice sunny weather.
And Tina how are you? Very well, very well. Tonight we have a very special guest in that
that we are joined by another Mac user group.
And we will say hello to Robert.
How are you?
Yes, I’m very well, thank you.
I’m Robert Williams from SEAL.
So we are South Essex Apple Link, a Mac user group,
or an Apple user group, I should say, that has–
yeah, we’ve been going for quite a few years now.
We’ve got a bit of a history in that we started out
many years ago in 1998 as an Amiga group.
But we’ve been an Apple group for quite a few years now.
And yeah, we are based around Wickford in Essex,
which is near Basildon.
Due to COVID, we’re meeting twice a month
for an online meeting.
We have sort of informal online meetings.
And if anyone’s interested in further information,
we have a website at seal-apple.co.uk.
- Brilliant, thank you.
Well, this week is quite a big show.
Hence being we’ve just recently seen
the Apple Spring Loaded event,
and it lasted just over an hour,
I’m not mistaken.
And boy was it loaded.
It was indeed.
Yeah, they definitely packed it in, didn’t they?
And has anyone made a pre-order yet?
I’m in a quandary as the saying goes now with what to buy.
I was disappointed that the one thing I really wanted didn’t turn up.
Yes, I’m a little bit in the same position.
I’m definitely in the market for a new Mac as I’m still on a rather antique 2012 Mac mini,
definitely in the market for a new machine but I’m still weighing up my options.
This brings us nicely onto how do we find our new devices with our new Apple AirTags.
Who would like to give their thoughts on them first?
Go on then, I’ll start the ball rolling.
Very long time coming.
I think we’ve seen some of the reasons why they took so long.
Some of the issues about the workings of the tag, how you can find it, where you can find
It’s taken some working out, some figuring out.
I think they did pull it last year, as we were expecting this last autumn.
I have a feeling that’s why the Find My app was brought out first to get the,
start getting the bugs out of that to see how it’s going to work.
Cause the whole point of with the AirTag is not only will it work with Apple,
it should be able to work third party location devices as well to help you
find if they go missing. The actual concept, I think it’s quite good.
The fact that you can buy a 29 pound tag and a 235 pound leather wallet to go,
put it in, key fob sounds just about right for me.
I’ll definitely be ordering half a dozen tags
to go onto all my, but I think the basic concept is good.
I will certainly want to have a couple of three.
For things like, I have a slight rucksack
and end of the day trying to find out
where I’ve left it down or put it down
or go and searching for it can waste an hour of my time.
So being able to get the phone out,
follow the little green arrows
where the bag will be will be a big help.
- I was pleased with various things
like the fact that the battery’s replaceable.
- Yeah, I was definitely gonna mention that as well.
I thought it looks like it’s a fairly easy task
and it’s also, it’s a CR2032, isn’t it?
A very common type of button cell.
That was great.
- I’m sure you’ll find that Apple will do a really nice
packet of four of those batteries for about 29.99.
- I also liked the fact that they thought about things
like stalking so that there would be a way of knowing
if someone had put one on you so you would be able
to recognise that there was an air tag near you
that you didn’t know about.
‘Cause I think that would be another concern, isn’t it?
If you can track things, you can track people.
So that was good.
I do feel sorry for Tile though,
because they had a really good product,
but they’ve not been allowing joiners
at the ultra wide band that the AirTag uses.
So I think they’re talking to some committee in America
about anti-trust, ’cause they’re saying
they’ve been locked out of the system
and it’s anti-competition.
- ‘Cause I was gonna say, a big advantage that Apple have got
is obviously they’re gonna use the Find My Network,
aren’t they, so they’ve, which is made up of effectively
all the Apple devices that are out there. And that’s the big advantages, isn’t it? Is
that you’re likely to be able to find your air-tagged item in a lot of the world because
there are so many Apple devices around. I remember watching a few reviews of some of
these similar finding item devices. And one of the issues is, well, it’s all very well
if it’s local to you, but if it’s further away, unless you’re in a very densely populated
area, the likelihood of it being close to another user of that particular type of tag
is fairly unlikely.
And apparently if you say that something’s lost and someone else finds your tag, you
can record a message for it and give it, say, your phone number or your email and so that
that person can get it back to you.
So the thing I want to know is, is it a privacy setting that was turned on?
Because in WWDC they did mention that the iPhone had to be turned on in privacy settings
for the FindMy for it to be included in the Apple Tags network.
And if it’s turned off, then certain phones won’t be able to use it.
So it’s only those who are participating or they may have changed them.
I’m not quite sure if it’s going to be changed in 14.5.
But if all the iPhones are turned off by default, you can have a much smaller network to find
It would surprise me if it wasn’t optional.
I was pleased to hear that it’s all anonymous in that even Apple don’t know what the locations
and what devices have picked up, what tags.
That seems like a good safety feature.
But I also was saying earlier about how this has taken a while to come out from a testing
and verification point of view, I could imagine that the fact that they haven’t got all that
centralized data meant that they had to do an awful lot of testing to make sure this
actually all works as it’s supposed to.
Yeah, because you could just see some clever research reverse engineering it and going
from the tag back to the iPhone and finding the iPhone from the tag. So they didn’t want
someone like the FBI asking Apple to start saying, right, you now have the ability to
go and find this individual who is now on our most wanted list.
The one thing that I found interesting was that if, God forbid, someone does steal your
bag and it does have your tag and you don’t manage to get it back, you cannot reset the
tag so the tag can’t be sold on or it can’t be paired to another device. It’s actually
locked to that Apple ID the same way in which a phone is. I think that was a really clever
point on their part.
I like the nods to the original iPod classics with the shiny chromed back, which I thought
was a nice little detail. One of the things which is great about that shiny
back is that you could see it with the sunlight hitting it and you could go oh
it’s over there and so I’m just waiting for someone to put it on as a medallion
at some point. Yeah that will be available from Hermes next month for £346.
That means you haven’t come across the AirPod earrings in which people have
attached two air tags to each one. You could never lose your AirPods that way.
And I don’t know whether you’ve seen, but on the Find My App now, there’s a new section
on it for items and you can identify them as a key ring, a bike, a rucksack, and you
can add other items to it.
So if the tags was the hors d’oeuvres, Craig, what was the main cause?
Ooh, well, let’s just say as somebody very famous in Apple once said, they bleed in many
colours, we saw the launch of the iMac. What was our first initial thoughts?
It reminded me of the original iMacs from when the iMac first came out. Remember they
were all based on the boiled sweets?
Well, it was typical Apple, wasn’t it? A lot of style, a lot of design has gone into
it. There’s been a few remarks about the larger bezels that’s needed and the huge chin that’s
still on the iMac that still differentiates the iMac from some of the competitors out
that that chin is still in evidence.
We saw there that most of the gubbings of the iMac is in that chin,
especially the heat sinks and the heat fans,
the speaker positions and items like that.
So I can see the justification for it,
but then when you saw the new iPads that come out,
which are basically the same thing, aren’t they?
Same sort of thickness, smaller,
but they still retain all the gubbings actually behind the screen.
So there’s an issue there about,
which I would presume is to do with the thermal cooling required for the screen rather than the
actual chip. Yeah and it would be interesting to hear those iMacs in person. I mean they certainly
they made it seem as if the sound is really quite sort of impressive and room filling.
Modern iPad sound is not bad but I would assume it’s on a bit of a different level.
The thing that surprised me was that the way which they were talking in the keynote was that
it was almost like the number one requirement we’ve had was that iMacs are too wide. Maybe I’m
missing something but I haven’t come across many people who said what I really want is a one
centimeter wide iMac. I think most people said what I want is more powerful iMac when it can do a lot
more items on it. So it’ll be interesting to see when people actually get the review units to see
how powerful the iMacs are compared to the M1 Mac Mini’s which have exactly the same
chip and see which one is going to be more useful because it now leaves you with the
quandary which one do you go for the mid-range iMac or the mid-range Mac Mini.
They’re very similar.
They have a few different ports.
Mac Mini has HDMI and USB-A. The iMac has a webcam.
It has a nice big screen but you pay a large amount of money for a big screen in high-end
high definition color.
And then we have the awkward problem of,
is it USB 4 or Thunderbolt or USB-C?
They all looks the same to the average consumer,
but they all have different names
and different functionalities once you plug something in.
So in some respects, I think Apple Store
will have a few more confused customers initially
when it first comes out.
- What will be interesting though, isn’t it,
is if they did a display that you could buy
and that had a webcam in it,
a lot of people would go straight to the Mac Mini.
I certainly know that when I first got a Mac computer,
I had a Mac Mini and I had loads of issues
trying to sort out a webcam.
And for a lot of people, the webcam now is almost essential.
So I can see a lot of people liking things
with the built-in webcam.
- Yeah, we did get the 1080p upgrade for the webcam.
That kind of had to come along the line.
The one thing that I liked was the fact
that they’ve removed the power module
and put it into its own little block.
Now I think Alistair’s got some explanation
of they’re actually different depending
on which model you pick.
- If you’ve looked at the power adapters,
you only will find the 1400 and the 1600 pound models
have the Ethernet connection built into the power supply,
whereas the low-end entry model,
the 1200 pound model doesn’t.
So we’re assuming then that the individuals
by the low end ones like Wi-Fi but the thing I was thinking is that if you’re trying to push out 4k
video that a ethernet connection is more required because you’re pushing out a huge amount of video
because so many people sit behind zoom and if you’ve got this high-end 1080p camera you’re going to
need something powerful at the other end so we’ve gone back to I think to what Apple used to call
the Goldilocks model the cheap end the high end and just right which is the one in the middle
And so I think my recommendation would be the 1400 model.
There are some configuration options as well.
So I think you can get ethernet on the lower model as a configuration option.
But of course, by the time you add that on,
maybe you very quickly get to the point where you might as well have got the 1400 pound one.
I have a theory behind this one.
I think there’s actually two reasons why they’ve done that.
One is that now it seems far more common that yes, we are all working from home and standing
desks are becoming a popular thing. So if you’re connected via an ethernet cable in the wall or
somewhere in your house, whenever your desk goes up and down, it pulls taut. So they’ve gone down
the theory of being able to put it on one level and the rest of the devices sit on your desk.
The other thought I had is it makes manufacturing far easier because they’re all becoming a
The MacBook Pro charger block, it just from a manufacturing point of view, it makes it
far easier to make the same component standardized.
Well my thinking behind this is the reason they put it into the power supply was for
One, if you’ve looked at an ethernet cable, it’s more than a centimeter long.
So if you put it in, it would stick out quite ugly out the back because you wouldn’t have
enough to hold the pins into the back of the computer. The second thing is that if you put
it into power supply, it means you could put a cheaper cable into the flexi bits till you get to
the power brick and then the power brick could have the heavy duty ifnet or power over ifnet cable
built into it. So that way you could say, okay, if one person’s broken the flex, you can sell them
that cheaper cable, but the more expensive power brick would change depending on country. So that
the Americans have two pin, the UK have three pins, so it could be something simple like that.
Well I think the other point to consider is that they’ve brought back the MagSafe onto the back
of the cable. So if you trip over and pull the cable out of the back of the iMac, it’s going to
come and separate from the machine itself. Now if you’ve got an ethernet cable plugged in as well,
unless they could find some way of putting that onto the MagLock, which is what they’ve done by
putting it through the power cord, you’d have a second cable which you could trip over.
So I think there’s an issue there as well by managing to put everything under the desk into
the power plug and then the single cable to the iMac. Clever. Actually I think that makes sense.
And did you notice that it’s giga-Ethernet so it’s not standard. So it’s the faster of the
Ethernet connections. So that might be an indication of what might be coming out. But you could
stay with the updates and just change the power adapter which is cheaper. So when in say five
years time your iMac is once a faster Ethernet connection you just buy another power block
rather than buying the whole new cable and the iMac is no longer relevant. So it’s a
sort of slightly future-proofing in a way. I think also it comes back to the issue that I think some
companies are moving away from the Wi-Fi only model that they want their computers plugged back
into the network because of bandwidth issues, especially with so many people more using Zoom.
Now you can see that in an office environment if you have 20 or 30 machines all trying to
connect on Zoom all over Wi-Fi or it’s going to cause problems. Whereas a fixed cable can be
that problem can be alleviated back at the server. I am right in saying that all of the M series
and the iPhone all use 82.1ax as the Wi-Fi standard now.
The new iMac is using 6 and Bluetooth 5. So 6 is the new Wi-Fi system but yes it is using xax and…
And that is the same as iPhone 12, that makes sense,
because now we’ve got five members of the M1 series family in the product lineup.
The point we were talking about earlier on was I was thinking that,
I mean a quandary as to what to buy. So the Mac Mini, spec for spec, is almost identical to the
iMac with the exception of the extra two ports on it and the webcam. So you’re basically paying
almost spec for spec £600 extra for a 24 inch screen and an all-in-one build. So that can be
something that again as a consumer model, don’t forget this is what I think this is basically
aimed at, people just want to buy a computer in a box, take the box home, unpack it up and
running within five minutes rather than going through the process of trying to build one yourself
and then on the other side you’ve got people maybe like myself who’ve already got a couple
of monitors who’ve already got keyboards and mice and all the other paraphernalia. So a Mac mini
would be entirely suitable there for me because it gives me all the power of the new M1 fixed in with
all the rest of the kit I’ve got. So I think there is a bit of a decision to be made as to what fits
your current system? Are you going to throw it all out for a new iMac or is it a mix and match that
will give you the options of using? Maybe you have already invested in a large 4k monitor or something
like that so that the Mac Mini there would give you that option. So I think a lot of people are
going to find themselves in that decision making process. What do I go for? Because there’s no big
difference between the actual performance of the Mac Mini as opposed to an iMac. I think what’s going
to be interesting is when we get the next chip because at the moment the 27 inch iMac is still
an Intel version. Well it could be that that’s going to be the luxury version so that has m1x
or whatever they call it. You’ve got the 13 inch MacBook Pro and the MacBook Air on m1. Well then
you’ve got the luxury version of the MacBook Pro 16 inch and 14 inch allegedly that would have the
next one. They might even have a Mac Mini one with a M1X, like they’ve got two sort of strands,
the basic relatively speaking, considering how much you have to pay and then whatever the next
one’s going to be. The question would be, would you go down the rather expensive high-end route
and buy an XDR 5000 pound monitor and connect it to the new iPad Pro? Because that’s how Apple sold
it this week. No, I don’t think I’d go down that route. I’d certainly be prepared for 600 pound.
I could pay a very decent 4K monitor.
I could almost buy a pair, you know,
32 inch curved screen monitors that come in at around about a 480, 500 pound mark.
So I think that gives you the option.
Of course, it all comes down to what you’re going to use it for.
If you’re like me, I use it for my my ARCHICAD software and my Final Cut Pro projects.
There I need that.
I need the power, I need the screen, I need the size.
So that would be what I’d be looking for.
I said at the opening, my disappointment was that we didn’t see a 27 inch.
iMac. That’s what I would have laid my money down on straight away if that had come. But
I think that will be an autumn or maybe even quarter one of 2022 issue. Is anyone going out
to buy the new iPad Pro? It certainly looks very impressive. I’ve got an older, I think probably
original model iPad Pro. So it’s several years old now. And that’s one of those things where
when I bought it I didn’t really know how much I would use it and I’ve found since I’ve had it,
I’ve used it a great deal. So I’m not really quite ready to replace it but you know I did think that
it looked extremely, extremely impressive and I guess the reason they were showing so much of the
XDR display which is as we know thousands of pounds against it was because it has this,
I believe it’s a micro LED backlit display with the Apple, or at least touting to be of
similar quality to the Pro XDR display and certainly that does look very impressive.
But I believe that is only on the larger 12.9 inch model I think.
My question would be if you’ve got the most recent iPad Pro, is it worth an upgrade and if so why?
So it sounds like the M1 chip is a significant step ahead, doesn’t it, of the chip. If you’re
going for the M11, then I guess it sounds like the screen is probably fairly similar to the previous
model. So I suppose a lot of it would come down to whether you’re doing things that would benefit
from the additional performance. So there’s a couple of things, I don’t know if anyone
pay attention to it but if you notice that the previous most expensive iPad Pro was £1649,
now you can spend £2399 to get the 2TB model and the price has increased by £100 from the previous
model and you spend £200 more for the 1TB from the previous one. So everything has gone up for
so for exactly the same spec but just M1 this time everything’s gone up. The iPad has now got
more expensive since it’s gone to the M series even if you’re not going for the top end 2TB
internal. So if you compare that to a 16-inch MacBook Pro which is the last Intel one that
Apple did you’ve now got very similar price for an iPad Pro 12-inch or a 16-inch. Now for my money
I would go for the 16 inch because you get the bigger display and the bigger processor and you can actually type on it
But they’re now competing on it
So I don’t know if this is a result of the chip shortage that we’re currently getting in China at the moment
And Intel are trying desperately to build American based chip factories
But it did seem interesting that it’s now more expensive to buy an iPad Pro
Granted it looks very nice and if you are the type of person who’s an iPad to store
information on because you’re a professional photographer and you need to store it, that’s
Or if you’re the type of person who uses an iPad Pro as your only machine, the 2TB now
comes in very useful because you can store an awful lot on it rather than have to be
dependent on storing everything up in iCloud.
The display could come in quite useful.
We won’t know until the review units come out if it’s any more powerful on the performance
I have a good argument with that. So for the first time I can actually say the iPad is closer to the Mac than it is the iPhone because it’s got the M1 chip.
The other thing I was thinking a lot about was I think there’s something far better planned from a software point of view because this is the first time ever that we’ve gone over 4GB RAM in an iPad.
iPad. We’re now 16 gig. It can support Thunderbolt 4, which suggests a lot of heavy loading or
lifting in terms of photography or video editing. So I think they’ve got a hidden surprise coming
with iOS iPad for this one. But I don’t know what your thoughts are.
I think what’s going to be interesting with all of this is, to some people now, this iPad,
plus say a magic keyboard, would be the equivalent of a laptop. And I’ve got an iPad, I read on it,
I play stupid games. I don’t create on it, but that could change. I think what’s going to be the killer for a lot of people,
the thing that’s going to make them want to upgrade is the app, is what you can do on it.
So if suddenly you’re realistically doing, for instance, Photoshop on there, not a cut down version,
but an equivalent version to the MacBook or, you know, a computer, then it will be like having a high end tablet.
At that point, photographers would love it. You would just have it, wouldn’t you? With the speed and the storage.
And the ability to do things like Lightroom and Photoshop, lots of levels, lots of processing.
Yeah, it’d be a no-brainer. So I think you’re right. Watch this space. It’s what comes next.
Because at the moment, I wouldn’t buy it. Great. Can you connect an iPad to a DSLR?
You can do it in two ways. So you can do direct download. Canon were one of the first to have a
remote control trigger. They also were the first at supporting raw files so you can actually edit
raw files on the go which is only available on iPad Pro. Can you do tethering? You can and you can
do wireless tethering too. I’ve tried that on the really early iPads and that kind of worked but I
imagine it works a lot better now. A lot of studios would like that wouldn’t they? You’d have something
portable in front of it, take the picture, see it. The one thing that I think they’ve done really
well is that they’ve looked in depth at who is actually using the iPad Pro but from a work
perspective. So for some of you, you know that I like illustration and I draw a lot on the iPad.
That is a massive advancement because now you can have images with hundreds, even possibly
thousands of layers, which makes drawing a dream in that respect. The same with Photoshop,
as you said, Tina, that would be a massive advantage to do that. I would love for them to
put some of their pro apps onto the iPad. I want a final cut. I think it’s going to stay on
photography. I don’t think it’s going to go to video because if you look at everything they’ve
done recently, they put a selfie camera on the front, which is now 12 megapixel. They’re talking
about having an upgraded version of photos for the iPad. They’re talking about the ability to put 4K
video from your iPhone onto the iPad. They’re not talking about pro photography. We’re not talking
about red cameras, we’re not talking about high-end stuff, it’s all to do with what can you get off
your iPhone. But if you’ve got 16 gig of RAM, if you’re talking a Canon R5, maybe not because the
files will be massive, but an R6 maybe, some of those semi-professional cameras, they do stuff
because they’d have enough heft as long as the apps are there. If the right software is there,
there will be people that will be doing stuff on there that they’ll want. And on a studio,
using it as a tethering device, it would be 12.9 inches would be enough for people to
to really get a sense of the picture. That’s the reason why they put possibly a two terabyte drive
in there because even though you’re saying, it comes back to this consumer issue, even consumers
out there with their iPhone 12s and their other iPhones are producing very very large photographs
and it would easily swamp some of the older and smaller iPads that were around because just purely
because of the memory size. So I can see the point of why they’ve gone, offered you the option of a
very large internal storage. So that if you are out on site or out on a shoot, miles from anywhere,
miles from power, miles from any kind of internet connection. If you’re on a shoot, anything that
you don’t have to lug around is a big improvement. You’ve got enough with cameras and lenses and
tripods and models who won’t walk over cold ground and all that kind of stuff. So having not to have
a huge, stonking great MacBook Pro with you, and then a big battery pack and all that.
It all helps in that kind of thing. So it’s a funny crossover between what we’re considering
to be a consumer device into that semi-pro level.
The thing that you just brought to mind is how many times have you seen people go around
with an iPad as their only camera to a tourist attraction, and they’re taking everything
on this iPad and they’re filming it at ridiculously high speeds. So when they get back home, all
you’ll see is a blur. But they take everything as a picture. And when asked why were you
using an iPad, they said, “Well, I refuse to buy glasses and I need to see the screen,
which is big enough.” And it’s that sort of idea.
The other thing which I was told about, which I haven’t actually seen yet, but apparently
It’s very useful for augmented reality.
So for when architects and other estate agents
are trying to show off a property,
they say, well, you may see just concrete show,
but if you look at this iPad, you can see this.
And I can clearly see someone like Ikea
suddenly bringing these out and saying,
okay, this is your green room, room.
These are the furniture
and then you can start putting stuff in there
’cause AR uses a lot of power.
So that could be quite an easy system.
- I have an application from Dulux
where I can take a live picture of a wall
and I can change the paint on the walls just in the app.
And it will change it to whichever color
the person’s looking at.
And again, that takes quite some power to do.
And it struggles a little bit on the,
I’ve got like you Robert,
I’ve got an old 12.9 original iPad Pro
and it’s struggling a bit on that.
So that possibly would be another way to go.
So yeah, another choice I’ve got to make between an iPad and iPad Pro.
It’s just getting silly.
I was just going to say the idea of people using their iPad as their sole
And I had a friend that went to the great wall of China and also had where there
was an iPad because I was just thinking you’re going somewhere that’s epic and
you’re going to take pictures on that.
And we had long discussions on it.
And she said to me, not about the display and being able to see it.
Cause she, you know, her eyes were good enough.
She said, “I’m only ever going to look at it on an iPad, so I don’t need the quality.”
But I think it does come back to, we have to consider what the modern way of things are.
People look at photographs on their iPhone or possibly a screen.
The days of getting the projector out and sticking a great big 42-inch screen up on the wall
and boring everyone to death for two hours with your hollow photos from China are a long goal.
The problem about that is I can see that that’s true, but the time may come in the future
when, you will be projecting pictures on your wall. And it would be nice to have the detail
in your photos to go back retrospectively and borrow your friends with your China pictures.
So yeah, I can see what my friend’s saying, but I don’t agree with it. If the detail is
there, then you can always, when things change, you can go back and look at them again. So
according, allegedly, is it Lightroom, they’ve got something that does super detail, which
be interesting, super definition. So I suppose there might be a software solution but it’s easier
if you’ve got the detail to start with. You obviously haven’t seen the new Photoshop which
has got exactly that in the app. It’s got an enhanced ability for to increase the pixel count
and it can practically turn into four times whatever pixel count you’ve got. It’s a very
impressive part of Photoshop now. Topaz new one as well. Topaz that’s your alternative. You said
about the pro apps going over to the iPad. Of course, the one for me is Final Cut Pro.
Are Apple actually going to convert two options? Are they going to produce a iOS version of Final
Cut Pro or will they eventually turn the iPad into being able to read OS apps? Someone pointed
out the fact that there is a pretty good one on the market already called LumaFusion. I’ve had a
quick look at it and yes, it’s very impressive. It does an awful lot, but there’s certain things that
it lacks that Final Cut Pro does that it’s just not going to touch. But for creating consumer
grade videos, it’s almost perfect on an iPad. It’s interesting you say that Martin because I’ve used
LumaFusion for numerous different things. You can actually get plugins for them that are based on
the iPad. So FairWrite, the podcasting app for editing, there is third party apps that you
download and it installs a plugin into their app so it’s not necessarily an app that you open up
and use it, it just embeds another feature into that. LumaFusion have got add-ons so if you’re
looking for like transitions and different types of sound or audio adjustments they also make another
app that actually adds those features on. I think it’s about five pounds but it’s worth a look.
shall we talk about the Apple TV? Who is pleased there’s a new remote? Because to be honest,
I think they’ve gone backwards, but that’s my opinion. But we’ll come to that. Go for it,
Robert. You’re on the edge of your seat there waiting. I’ve not got an Apple TV myself,
so I only have sort of secondhand. I know a couple of people who do and I’ve… So,
I think I’m probably in the worst position in that I’ve attempted to use the Apple TV
remote on a few occasions but never enough to really get used to it at all. So I’ve definitely
found it a bit tricky. So I suspect there are some advantages to it but as somebody who’s not had a
lot of experience with it, it definitely did not feel immediately intuitive to me. So I guess I was
pleased to see that there was the new remote. I did think the way they described it in the
directional pad is also a touch surface and you can still swipe, you can run your finger around
the circle to adjust the volume and things. I thought it did seem like maybe that is kind
of a good compromise. I’d be interested to hear what you guys who maybe have used it
in more in anger feel about it.
But when they talked about the remote, the first thing it made me think of, when they
were talking about the scrolling round with the finger, iPod Classic, I’m sorry, it’s
worth it just for that.
The power user of the Apple TV remote, it’s the first thing in my hand to turn on the
Apple TV and then I put that down and get my phone out and use the remote app on the phone
to do all I need to do. So yeah, I don’t think it’s anywhere near as bad as people make out.
A typical Steve Jobs-esque design feature, keep it simple, keep it minimal, instead of having
4001 different buttons on the Sky remote that we have. I can never remember which they are
and I can never find them in the dark. It’s its purpose. The new one has got some added features.
I think they’ve tried to to address some of the issues but for me personally I said I use the remote
function on my phone to do all I need to control the TV but I am definitely going to upgrade to the
4k version. The one thing that surprised me that they went backwards with the remote is that they
removed the gyroscope and the accelerometer. Now if you have games that use those you are in a sticky
situation at the moment because when you turn the remote like a car steering wheel your car will
keep going. You can’t turn off the road. But I think some of the principle behind that was,
interestingly, they added support for all of the PlayStation and Xbox controllers via Bluetooth.
So now’s the time to go and buy a PlayStation or an Xbox controller.
You have a pretty hefty nail on the head there, Craig, in that I’m sure from the figures that
they get back that very few people ever use the Apple remote as a game controller. It worked
after a pretty poor function and I certainly never used it for playing games, it just wasn’t
viable. People who enjoy games of that quality and that caliber will have an Xbox or a PlayStation
controller which now the simple plug-in bang you’re up and running with something you’ve
got all the muscle memory from, all the feel from. So I think it’s a, again, it’s one of
the smarter moves by Apple to say, well look, we can’t really compete in this, no one wants
to use as a game controller. They all want to use Xbox. They all want to use PlayStation.
So let’s a bit to it and get them fitted up so you can use it on our system.
I also thought the one clever thing that they kind of touched on or didn’t really demo was
the fact that you can color adjust your TV. I don’t know if any of you have had any experience
of ever color adjusting anything, but from a photographer’s point of view, please bring
out an iPhone app to do that on a Mac, that would be a massive advantage. I am lucky enough
to have access to the developer version of it and it amazed me on how much of a difference
it made to my TV. It was just so easy to do. You literally just hold the iPhone’s FaceTime
camera up to the front of the television screen and line it up with the little grid that comes
up and it literally took two or three seconds and it completely color adjusted my TV and
the colors pop more. It’s like having a new Apple TV and I’m on the original 4k version.
So that comes highly recommended. The other thing that was quite nice in digging around
in the settings on the new update is there are far more adjustments in the settings.
So I know Martin will like playing with this. You can change the frame rates. You can set
the different settings to the TV. I don’t know. Some people might have it set up wrongly
and it can align the actual settings to the screen so your subtitles are no longer cut off.
The one thing I liked the most was something to do with the HDMI socket.
So it actually adjusts the Apple TV based on the quality of the HDMI cable that you’re using
to make sure it can produce the right frame rate and it actually did mention
do you have an expensive HDMI cable.
That’s a really important thing you’ve mentioned there Craig that the number of people who use
really cheap awful HDMI cables. They don’t realize how badly they’re degrading their signal.
Typically for a HDMI cable, so if you think you’re buying an expensive one at $5.99,
you’re really not. I’m sure people who used to be audiophiles will tell you the same.
Good audio cables made a huge difference to the sound that you’re getting from your hi-fi
to your speakers, and the same applies to HDMI cables. So if you want a single
easiest improvement for your TV screen, get decent H2MI cables.
Okay, do we want to move into the news about podcasting, which should be a major topic as
we are on a podcast? I’m surprised it’s taking you this long, Craig, to bring that up. I thought
okay, we don’t like the iPod, we like the iPod Mini, we like the iPod, let’s talk about podcasts.
Well, I think this might be partially my fault, not from a creator’s point of view, because
this is the first time I’ve ever been on a podcast, but I have been listening to podcasts
for a very long time.
I’m not sure the exact date, but I have definitely been listening to podcasts pre-Apple podcasts.
I remember the very early days when podcasts first became a thing.
I always did a lot of radio listening and when podcasts started to appear and really
just suddenly these audio programs that were about all sorts of very niche topics that
interested me came about, it was just something I was immediately interested in.
Apple announced that they are now making various podcast subscription options available.
will be able to have their listeners contribute via Apple podcasts and either get additional
benefits or even, I believe it will even be possible to have podcasts that you have to
pay to receive. That’s obviously a really big change for Apple. Podcasts started out
as one of these very open standards like the old internet standards, if you like, like
email and things where basically there’s a specification and as long as you follow the
specification you can publish your own podcasts and really there’s nothing, there’s no sort of
central control as it were. From what you saw of the Apple event when they announced there’s a
podcast subscription, what was your understanding of what it is or what you can do? It’s going to
be an interesting one isn’t it because the first question is who would I be prepared to pay for?
So I can see me subscribing to someone, but then who?
Might be some people that I’d pay for as long as there were no adverts,
because there are some of them that the adverts clearly pay for the production
and I find that very irritating.
But I’d really need to like someone as a podcaster, pay for it, you know,
which makes me a hypocrite because I know you should pay for content that’s created.
However, I’ve not done that for podcasts as such.
Actually, who does subscribe? Who does pay for podcasts?
I don’t currently pay for any of the ones that I listen to. I do listen to several podcasts that
have a Patreon to collect money. I would say though that I don’t know about you guys. I have
several podcasts that I’ve listened to for a very long time and I do think the format is quite
personal, listening to the same people over a number of months or years. So I think I can see
that some podcasters do build up quite a connection with their audience and therefore they may well
have people who are willing to support them in various ways. I’ve certainly got ones that where
I am considering either possibly through Apple podcasts but also maybe through Patreon or something
that I might want to support. Alister, why do you think they did it? I think it’s because it’s an
unsustainable model just relying on advertising. And so Apple wanted to provide an alternative
revenue source for the really strong high-in-depth podcasts which are around, which can’t be
supported either by a newspaper or by a very large media company. Also, we have to consider
that it may not just be American-centric. It might be that Apple is trying to encourage
podcasts in other languages, in other parts of the world, where they don’t get high enough
advertising revenue to be supported in that language set.
If we consider that Spanish and Arabic are very popular languages in the world, but yet
how many of the big American companies would want to have advertising in that particular
So it could be something as simple as that.
The other thing I think is that Apple have gone back to the subscription models has been
so successful on iTunes.
They realized that if you make it as simple as 99 cents or 79 pence, it actually worked
out quite a good system for a lot of music systems and it allowed people to make a living
The other possibility which seems more likely is that if you start paying for it, you can
start putting in huge investment into it.
That means not just audio podcasts like ourselves, but you’re looking at video podcasting.
So we’re looking at the likes of the big media companies coming into it.
So that’s a possibility as well.
Because if you look at how much Netflix has destroyed the conventional broadcasters market
because they’ve got the money because it’s a subscription based system.
If you look at it at what podcasts could do to start developing your own system and breaking
away from the Google controlled YouTube system of advertising only.
It’s a possibility I was thinking.
And will Apple get a section?
Will they get a percentage of the subscription?
Are we looking at really not so much, hey, this is us being kind to you podcasters.
welcome all but hey this is another income stream for us. I think it’s perhaps a bit of all of this.
I definitely agree with both of you have said perhaps another side to it is that there are a
lot of other companies I think particularly Spotify who are concentrating greatly on podcasting and
trying to get perhaps you know people to use their platform for podcasts and I wonder if this is
partly Apple to attract podcasters and make sure people stay on their platform. They need
to provide them with a means of making revenue. And obviously, I think there is definitely
an advantage to Apple as well. I think it’s perhaps partly that as well. We’re moving
away from the days of it all being very much the Wild West kind of thing and these big
companies trying to consolidate their own platforms.
I have a feeling that Apple went down the Apple services route on this one. So I spent numerous
hours going through some of the terms and conditions of the new Apple podcast subscription
and it’s broken down into three different areas. So you’ve got free podcasts as a majority of them
are at the moment. You’ve got, as I describe it, freemium which allows you to have some free episodes
and then people subscribe to bonus content or bonus episode or you’ve got the premium where
you pay regardless. The interesting thing from a podcasters point of view is that Apple are not
interfering with how advertisement is put into those podcasts or subscriptions of episodes.
The one thing that I liked how they’ve gone about renaming how you subscribe, which I should no
longer use that word, a podcast. You now follow a podcast rather than subscribe.
The other clever thing is that I think Apple got wind of all these other
providers that were offering premium content that you pay for outside of
their environment, so outside of their apps. So examples being Patreon as we
bought up, Memberful which is another one that podcasters use which is actually
owned by Patreon, Supercast or I’m sure some of us have seen Buy Me A Coffee. It
It just makes far more sense for Apple to manage it all in the one client.
The other clever thing that wasn’t really brought up is that this only works in the
Apple podcasting app.
So if you’ve got an iPhone, you can use it.
But if you’ve been listening to a podcast on Android, you can’t activate those functions.
You’ve got to physically have an Apple device.
It will be interesting to see how podcasters who I suspect many podcasters have listeners
over multiple platforms and multiple podcast clients.
It will be interesting to see how they do that.
I’ve already heard some podcasters on,
well, a podcast that I listen to saying that effectively
they will try and offer the same benefits
to their members on Patreon, for example,
but also through Apple podcasts as well.
So I guess it’s, there will probably be,
at least for some of them, some quite complicated setting up
to try and make everything kind of fair and equitable
while still taking advantage of.
The thing I’m concerned about is if it’s a closed system, what happens if you want to listen to it on your Mac computer?
Okay, so you can do it for IG, fine, but what happens if you’re listening to it on your Amazon speaker?
Oh, sorry, we can’t do that anymore.
What happens if you want to listen to it in your BMW car?
Sorry, we can’t do that because that runs on Android.
You know, there’s certain things.
You’re not going to go out and buy an 80,000 pound new BMW because your podcast is no longer going to be played.
There’s a couple of sort of areas where I’m sort of questioning it at times.
It does say that it can be played through a carplay, can’t it?
So you should be able, in theory, if you’ve bought your 85,000 BMW scooter,
it has carplay on it, you should be able to listen.
If it’s proved that the enhanced ability for us to be able to get transcripts,
we’ve often discussed here on the show about trying to transcript our podcast
and how expensive that could be, how difficult it could be to get that done effectively. Craig
pointed out if you do want to live in Mexican, Arabic countries, even acrylic, if you can get
that in your own transcript language, that’s a huge, huge plus. The interesting thing from
a content creator’s point of view is that it kind of makes the entire process easier if you’re
paying for a podcast. So I pay for four different podcasts that I listen to and just to set them up
is a bit of a nuisance. So first of all, you go out of the Apple app, you have to go online,
you set up an account, you then enter your payment details, then you have to download the RSS feed.
Does that RSS feed work on the program that you listen to podcasts in? It’s just a headache. It’s
not an easy system for someone that wants to donate three or four pounds to listen to a podcast.
By doing it with Apple podcast subscriptions, it’s literally a one button click, the same as it is
buying an app. I think that’s the full process behind it. Some of the other little hidden
features I found was that they are now introducing a podcasting channel. So if you are a content
creator that has five or six different podcasts, you can now create a channel within the podcast
app to find them all under the one link. So you could effectively be two content creators
that team up together and that you pay one subscription to listen to both of those podcasts.
That’s an interesting move. That’s kind of a content creators collaboration feature.
And the other one was something that Martin picked up on where you said about transcripts,
The other interesting thing is now you can actually geofence where you want your podcast to play.
So you can choose which particular countries you want the podcast to play in, which is helpful.
And what I liked about that, so one difficult thing from a podcasting point of view is trying
to find information in regards to leaving a review in the podcast app. So if you’re a listener,
please leave us a review. You can now view them all in one place before you had to literally log
into each individual country’s iTunes account to find it, which was a pain to put it politely.
To put your mind at rest, Alasdair, I’ve just been looking through some of the terms and conditions
of it and it says here that it’ll be available for use of iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch, Mac, Apple Watch,
Apple TV, HomePod, HomePod mini, CarPlay, iTunes on Windows and other smart speakers and car systems.
So don’t worry, you can go out and buy your Mercedes and it will work Alistair, no problem.
I believe there is an Android app for Apple Music, isn’t there? So if Apple Podcasts, you know,
if this subscription stuff really takes off, wonder if possibly there might end up eventually
being a an Android or podcasts app as well, you know, because obviously at that point it would be
a source of revenue for Apple and I would imagine there would be pressure from podcasters to have it
available to more of their listeners. So I think that’s maybe a possibility. Is helpful from a
content producer’s point of view in terms of having a subscription? You wouldn’t have to be
dependent on adverts to keep going because I think a lot of listeners would just like to have a
podcast without adverts unless it’s of particular use to them. So if you’re in a technical podcast
that would make sense. But if you’re on a weekly news show sponsored by a particular newspaper,
like The Guardian used to do chips of everything, they had to stop doing it because it wasn’t
cost effective. Now, if you could get a subscription system going, you could run it just purely for the
members of the subscription, which would be nice. So you’d have a good UK based system. I think also
what would be interesting is if you could have a way to sort of say thank you to the people who are
or the podcasts. So, you know, the listeners wanted to say thank you. You could see a direct
relationship on did your listenership really find it interesting or not.
Yeah, and I think there are certain types of podcasts where they’re just, you know,
they’re just very intensive and require a lot of preparation and creation. And if you as a listener
want something of that quality that people are, that effectively means that they need full-time
staff to produce, then perhaps you have to be prepared for that sort of thing.
Some types of podcasts, I listen to a lot of podcasts that are just kind of enthusiasts
talking, just because it’s something they’re interested in. They’ve been doing it for many
years without getting any income from it at all. So clearly that’s practical. But yeah,
there are definitely ones where you feel like, yeah, these people are effectively doing this
as a job and therefore they need income to make that possible. So an easier way to do
that, as has already been said. All these current methods which are external and require
people to deal with RSS feeds and outside services, there’s a huge amount of sort of
friction, isn’t there, of getting somebody to subscribe when all that is required, when
if it’s down to the case of just effectively clicking a button in Apple podcasts, I would
imagine that’s going to get a lot of these creators much more many more subscribers than
they would have through these other external methods.
Yeah, it definitely comes down to the ease of use in terms of doing that for sure.
I think the wonderful thing about podcasts and the fact that it was has always been so
open is that anybody can start one, there’s nothing to stop you starting and trying to
find an audience and you can make a podcast even about the most esoteric topic that you’re
probably only ever going to have a handful of listeners.
And I hope that the big companies getting involved and taking more control doesn’t
stop that and they keep it very, very open.
But I don’t think there’s any sign at the moment that there’s any moves not to allow
just people just publish what they want.
So I hope that remains the case.
Did you find out Craig at all if you can do free unlimited trials at all?
From reading the terms and conditions, it looks like you can do the same as you would
with an app in the App Store in that you get a seven-day free trial.
I don’t know about you, but I think so many apps have gone over to a subscription-based
I’m pleased that they just didn’t do the route of Podcast Plus and that it’s a subscription
glad they’ve gone down this route because Amazon Prime podcasts where it’s unique subscription,
you pay a monthly fee but you might not necessarily want to listen to those. So this gives you an
opportunity to pick and choose more like a menu service. Apparently didn’t they say in the keynote
that it’s going down on the second year that they’re releasing it the subscription which they’re
taking out of it drops. So the first year they’re going to take 30 percent, second year they’re going
to take 15 percent. It does, yeah which is a good sign. Who knows in years to come we could be suing
Apple saying that their 15% is taking too much of our subscription. How dare they?
Well, it’s not taking your subscription, is it? It’s taking it from the creator.
You don’t pay anything.
I think that’s a good point. In terms of third parties, as a content creator, you get hit twice.
So you get hit from the provider of the not, I don’t want to single out a company here,
but example being Patreon, Patreon take a percentage and then you also lose a percentage on the
transaction fee so you get hit with a double whammy. I don’t think Apple are doing that,
it’s just the 30 or 15% cut which makes sense. Martin, I shall hand over to you, it is the
Did You Know section. This week’s Did You Know for me was, did you know that you can use your watch
to control your camera on your iPhone. You can set the camera up remotely, stand away from it,
but you have a shutter control for the camera on your phone. So if you are in a position where you
know you want to set a camera up high to take high level shots or something which is not easily
accessible and you could even see the picture on your phone that the camera will take so you can
set it and prime it and then move away and then take the picture you’ve used your phone as a
remote shutter lock which I thought was quite useful. The tip I’ve got is when
you’re in an image editor or in a lot of other situations where you can make a
rectangular selection. I think certainly this seems to happen to me quite a lot.
You start dragging out your rectangular selection and you realize you didn’t get
the top left hand corner in quite the right place or it’s not you know not
quite lined up properly. You don’t have to abandon your selection and start again to try and get that
corner correctly. If you hold down the space bar then find that you stop enlarging the selection
and you can move the whole rectangle that you’ve selected around on the screen to get that top
left hand corner in just the right place and then when you let go of the space bar you can start
expanding the selection again. I saw this, I think somebody sent me a forwarded on the tweet
that mentioned this and I’d been you know using image editors and things for many years and did
not know that this was a feature so yeah I’ve found that very handy. Well now I’m
ashamed about this I’m telling you this now but I haven’t realized how easy it was to change
ringtone so that you can have a custom ringtone for anyone that you like. So you go to the contacts
and you find out and do edit and then you can scroll down and it says ringtones. So if you want
um you can have a different ringtone for lots of different people you know which is giving me hours
of endless amusement I have to say to pick suitable songs and god knows there are a lot of ringtones
out there for different people and that’s really good fun. I was going to struggle with this did
you know because I’ve been trying three different things at the moment and I think one might be
relevant in iOS or iPadOS 14.5 there is some more privacy settings and you can
actually hide your device ID or your device identity when listening to a
podcast. If you go into settings and podcasts and you scroll to the very
bottom there’s a new section that now says podcasts and privacy and reset your
identifier so you can actually reset your device to a randomized ID that Apple generate.
So it’s no longer identifiable as a iPad or a HomePod. It’s just hidden away, which is
quite a clever one.
Yeah, that’s interesting because when you’re downloading a podcast, even though it’s through
Apple podcasts, you’re still downloading it, aren’t you, from the podcasters’ server. So
So I guess that’s to stop that request from leaking data about you.
I also get the feeling it covers under the podcast subscriptions in the, if you used
a third party to pay for a subscription, you’re giving away your name, your email address,
they can send you marketing.
By doing it through Apple, you’re no longer going to get any of that.
That’s for you to choose.
Yeah, that’s definitely a benefit of going through Apple, isn’t it?
I’m not sure if people know this one, but how many times have you been asked to submit
a signature and what you end up having to do is print out the piece of paper, sign it
and then scan it back in and put it into your computer?
Did you know that Apple have had a feature built into the computers, the operating systems
for about maybe 10 years whereby if you go open up preview and your PDF is in that preview,
if you click on the little circle with like the felt tip in it, that’s called markup,
If you look along there, there’s what looks like a sort of J and a sort of squiggle and
there’s like a triangle or arrowhead as Apple insists on calling it.
If you click on it, it says create signature and you think, well, what do you mean by create
So what you do is you write your signature on a piece of paper and hold it up to the
webcam and it takes a picture, it reads the signature from what you’re holding up to the
webcam and stores it on your computer and now you can put that signature on anything.
I can actually add to this, which you may or may not know, is that if you have got an
iPhone nearby, you can actually draw your signature with your finger on the iPad or
iPhone screen and it will copy and paste it into the document.
So you’ve got an electronic copy of that, which is always helpful.[Music]
Sadly, we’ve come to the end of our show for this week and we’ll firstly say thank you
to Martin once again. Thank you very much for being with us.
It’s a pleasure. I really enjoy our little chats and discussions and
always hopefully hear from our listeners.
And we’ll also say thank you to Alistair this evening.
It’s been great being here. I looked forward to having a discussion about Apple’s new tech.
Brilliant. Thank you. And thank you to Tina.
It’s been a great evening. I think my only problem really now is finding a job,
giving up being retired because there’s so much kit that I want to buy.
We’ll also say thank you very, very much for joining us for his first podcast ever.
And we’ll say thank you to Robert.
Yes. Well, thanks very much for having me on.
And as I said, after being a podcast listener for so many years,
it’s been great fun to actually be on a podcast.
So I’m looking forward to maybe not looking forward,
but I will listen to myself back and that will be an interesting experience, I’m sure.
So thank you very much.
Brilliant. Thank you.
And as always, it’s thank you very much for listening and for being part of our show.
You can always get in contact with us via different social media found in the show notes
as well as our website, which is www.lmug.org.uk. Until next time, thank you and goodbye.[MUSIC]