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Elon: Apple CEO! Tim: 🤬🤬🤬!

Tim Cook calls up Elon Musk. “Good morning. Apple wants to buy Tesla. It’s incredible.” Elon’s into it but, one condition — “I’m CEO!” Ok, two conditions, Apple has to pay in DogeCoins. Kidding! I think! Kinda! Tim’s like, “stay CEO of Tesla? Cool, cool, cool, maybe” But Elon’s like, “Nope, hard nope. CEO of Apple.” Tim eye-rolls 360, “#$%^ off”, and then hangs up… Hangs up.

Wait... what?

All this as only slightly less ridiculously hyped in a new book about Elon Musk as reviewed by the Los Angeles Times, re-blogged by the Daily Mail, tweet-bombed by Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman, and then burned across the internet at the warp 10 plus speed of social tea spills.

Now, I love, all-caps LOVE fiery Tim Cook. Because he’s usually so beyond southern calm and controlled. So, back in 2014, when he tells an investment group critical of Apple’s work on the environment or accessibility:

“When we work on making our devices accessible by the blind, I don’t consider the bloody ROI” (return on investment), when I think about doing the right thing, I don’t think about an ROI. If that’s a hard line for you, then you should get out of the stock.”

Or back in January of this year, when talking about Mark Zuckerberg and Facebook prioritizing conspiracy theories and misinformation just for the engagement:

If a business is built on misleading users on data exploitation, on choices that are no choices at all, then it does not deserve our praise. It deserves reform

But calling up Elon Musk, dropping the f-bomb, and then hanging up? That would be the mega warp fusion final Digi-evolution form of fiery Tim Cook.

Mark presented it as another perspective on this December 22, 2020 tweet from Musk:

During the darkest days of the Model 3 program, I reached out to Tim Cook to discuss the possibility of Apple acquiring Tesla (for 1/10 of our current value). He refused to take the meeting.

At the time, Apple was iterating away from the original Project Titan under Dan Riccio. The one Jony Ive’s Industrial Design team had modeled cars for, that original Project Purple iPhone engineering leads had returned to Apple to work on, that ideas like new languages, new bug reporting systems, whole new NeXT… NeXT like futures were being considered for, well outside the Infinite Loop of Cupertino.

Bob Mansfield was coming back, and hell… of a lot of changes were coming with him. Including a huge turnover in staffing, and in focus — away from a specific end-product and towards the autonomous systems that’d be required for a range of future products to ingest, contextualize, understand, and act and react on the world around them.

So maybe the timing was bad or the culture match was bad, the idea of Elon Musk running Tesla inside Apple like Jimmy Iovine had run Beats, or outside Apple, the way Filemaker has seemingly been run, for all time, always, just… non starters.

Who knows. Musk never elaborated on Twitter and Bloomberg never really followed up on anything beyond the tweet. And Cook… well, he can make the Sphinx seem chatty.

Until we get to this new book, and what sounds like the Mirror Universe Tim Cook calling up Gotee Elon Musk, in the exact opposite scenario from Musk’s.

But Twitter was on the case! I guess because Reddit was still busy trying to identify Guardians of the Galaxy Easter eggs in The Suicide Squad. But whatever!

Gurman quickly raised Kara Swisher’s April 5, 2021 interview with Tim Cook, where she asked about Musk’s tweet, and Cook said:

You know, I’ve never spoken to Elon, although I have great admiration and respect for the company he’s built.

Then Elon Musk himself called, tweeting that the book managed to be both false and boring and that:

Cook & I have never spoken or written to each other ever. There was a point where I requested to meet with Cook to talk about Apple buying Tesla. There were no conditions of acquisition proposed whatsoever. He refused to meet. Tesla was worth about 6% of today’s value.

But then Seth Weintraub, founder of the 9to5 Empire went all in, Tweeting a photo of Tim Cook and Elon Musk sitting at a White House function together in 2016, with only an Oracle CEO, Safra Catz between them.

So, is it hard to imagine Tim Cook wouldn’t have at least said Good Morning and Elon Musk at least asked if Cook was long on Bitcoin? Or tried to suss out Cook’s interest in Musk’s Space X carrying the secret Apple Satellite network to the stars?

Well, as anyone who’s been to a Thanksgiving Dinner in the last decade can tell you, sharing a table is no indicator of sharing a conversation. But it’s also possible they meant no substantive talks, least of all about a Tesla acquisition.

So, real, fake, or just really fake? Let me know what you think. But Tim Higgins, who works for the Wall Street Journal, and authored the book, responded to the brewing bruhaha saying:

Musk was given plenty of opportunities to comment on this. He didn’t. This anecdote comes from Musk’s own account of the conversation, according to people who heard the retelling at the time.

There was no indication of whether that was immediately following Musk’s famous, or infamous, appearance on the Joe Rogan podcast.

Higgins did add:

this is a story that was told inside Tesla as the company struggled with the Model X, according to people who heard it

So at least we know Rogan wasn’t the source

Also that

Apple was given several opportunities to comment prior to publication and declined.

But that

Cook has said he’s never spoken to Musk.

No, not even to discuss Apple Store plans for Mars. Which, seriously for the first time in this video, remains Musk’s primary mission and life’s work.

Never mind that he’s advocated for our reality being a simulation, likely a simulation within a simulation 666 layers or something deep, in the event of catastrophic failure of hard drive earth, Musk wants a redundant backup of data humanity on the next most capable server – Mars. And running Telsa, Space X, the Boring company, basically everything Musk runs, all focuses on bringing him, and maybe humanity, closer towards that red planet goal.

Being CEO of Apple… eh… that just seems way too doubled down on earthly. I mean, unless he knows something about that spaceship campus we don’t?

So, how did this whole, sensational, Tim Cook cussing out Elon Musk story spread so far, so fast. Beyond just a way to drama up some marketing for the book — or maybe exactly to drama up some marketing for the book?

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Live Text — Apple’s Best New Feature Explained!

Live Text is one of the absolute best new features coming to the iPhone with iOS 15, iPad with iPadOS 15, and Mac with macOS Monterey this fall. And, as of this week, it’ll be also be coming to Intel Macs as well as the M1!

I’ll give you a personal example first. I had a family member message me from the UPS store the other day. They needed an address to send a package. I’d sent something to the same place a year ago, but never bothered to save the address. But I had taken a photo of the UPS label. So I searched for it, found it, tapped it, and was immediately able to swipe along, select all the text from the address, copy it, paste it into a reply, and send it back.

I’ve been doing that with screen shots all month as well, to the point where I can’t tell if I’m in Photos or in Safari any more… until I try to tap the address bar…

At WWDC, developers were tweeting about grabbing code samples from the slides and pasting them right into projects as they were watching State of the Union or a session, live. Which blows my mind.

And those PDFs… those PDFs… where there’s no text layer, just an image burned in, the ones that were previously inaccessible on their own… yeah… just all the text that’s locked into all the images on all your Apple devices is now… unlocked. And not just clear type, but hand writing, signs, billboards, white boards… All text, always. Unlocked. Forever. At the OS level.

And because it’s Apple, and they have more silicon power per square nanometer than anyone else on the planet, including up to 16 neural engine cores in the most recent devices, they’re just f’-it, let’s do it all live.

Not process it on load, not batch it over night, but do it all in real time, all the time, straight from the camera. So you don’t even have to take a photo to grab all the text in a scene, you can just point, tap, and select.

For the clear text, that’s not a huge challenge. OCR or optical character recognition has been a thing for ages. The less clear the text, though, the huger the challenge. Start adding deformations like angles and perspective, and blur from depth of field, and the difficulty intensifies. Get into hand writing, and it moves to another plane of existence entirely.

But Apple had already been working on precisely that problem, starting with scribble on the Apple Watch, which let you draw out characters to reply to text messages. And not in an old-school Palm Graffiti style where we humans had to adapt to the limitations of them machines, but in a completely human style where the machines had to learn to fully adapt to us.

The bigger leap forward though was Scribble coming to the Apple Pencil and iPad last year. With that version, Apple was taking anything you wrote, converting internally to text, and then making it selectable and actionable within iPadOS.

It’s trained through machine learning as well.

If you’re not familiar with that process, the best way I can describe machine learning is… think Tinder for bots. You feed them options and it swipes yes, no, no, no, yes, yes, yes, no, yes, no, hotdog!

It’s not like programming in the traditional sense. It’s more like training a pet. Which, when I first heard the process described to me back with the introduction of Face ID, was amazing… and terrifying.

Because you get into this whole thing of antagonistic neural networks, where you have one… batman-type hero algorithm trying to get better and better at the yes no swiping and another, Joker-type villain algorithm trying to fool it. And they just battle away inside the machines, with no one really knowing what they’re doing anymore, just that they’re evolving and getting better and better at it. Just, Hunt the Dark Knight or the Killing Joke deep inside there, constantly. It’s so cool and so damn scary.

But, I digress, first for Scribble and now for Live Text, specifically, Apple fed the machine learning models a ton of handwriting samples. Trained them on as much as they could. Then they took those samples and deformed them. Angled them. Curved them. Skewed them. Broke them. And then they fed them again. And then deformed them again. And fed them again. Over and over again. Until the neural network could identify a wide enough variety of handwriting, accurately enough, for Apple to consider it baked enough to ship, at least for the beta. No doubt it’ll continue to improve over time.

And because Apple has these neural engines in so many devices now, they can run these models on-device, which means not only is there very little impact on anything else the system may be doing at the time, because the CPU and GPU aren’t involved at all, but it can all be done on-device, so none of the text is ever being sent to Apple’s servers or operated on in the cloud. Which is exactly the kind of privacy-by-design model Apple’s been bludgeoning the industry with as a competitive advantage for the last few years.

And, because the M1 basically brought Apple’s iPhone and iPad silicon to the Mac — the M1 is like an A14 on Hulk serum, or A14 is like an M1 jr., however you want to look at it — the whole thing just works on M1 Macs as well.

And while I’ll never say anything in engineering is free or trivial, the scalable architecture Apple’s been building out for the last many years does now mean it’s much easier to bring iOS and iPadOS features to the Mac, day and date. Something Apple has seriously struggled with in the Past.

At least to the M1 and future M-series Macs. Which brings us back to the Intel announcement this week.

When Apple initially listed Live Text and M1 only, Intel owners got mad. Nobody likes to feel left out, and Mac owners in particular… they’ll cut you.

So, Apple’s gone back and spent some engineering time bringing the feature over to Intel as well. At least in a functional if not exact way.

What I mean by that is… Apple is typically…. completely overzealous, like all Maud’ib about doing things in real time. Have silicon, will wicked flex.

But unlike M1, Intel Macs just don’t have neural engine cores. Even the ones with T2 chips, because those are basically A10 chips from just before Apple silicon went… bionic. And that’s especially true about almost anything with the camera. Apple wants it done in real time so it feels like a real camera, not like a filter being applied after the fact.

But Macs don’t have the same kinds of camera systems as iPhones or iPads. So, Apple’s cutting that Gordion Knot by relaxing their real-time rule for Intel Macs, and pushing Live Text off to the GPU.

Because it’s not doing the camera part, and just operating on the text opportunistically, you’ll probably never notice a delay or any overhead on any other process on an Intel Mac. You’ll just get something almost indistinguishable from the M1.

Everybody wins, including the engineers pulled off whatever else they were doing to push this through in time for the latest beta.

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iPhone 13 — A15 vs M2!

The minute Tim Cook Mission Impossibled an M1 into the iPad Pro, a bunch of you started asking if Apple would Mission Even More Impossibler an M1 into the iPhone 13. But, as I explained, they already did. The M1 is basically just an A14 on Hulk serum. So that made the kind of sense that really, really didn’t. I mean, you can’t just keep the iPhone on the same Apple silicon generation two years in a row. But what about the next generation? What about M2?

Ok, so, I made a video the other day to explain how Apple scales their silicon, from increasingly performant versions of the same generation like A14, M1, maybe M1X soon, to next generations, like A15, maybe M2, M2X eventually.

And I get why that’s so confusing — Apple’s using all these letter and number jumbles, and that means I just have to keep making videos to help logically group and relate them together.

Which is the exact reason why I made that video explaining why it would be all shades of redundant, ridiculous even, to put an M1 in the iPhone 13, since the A14 in the iPhone 12 already has the exact same Icestorm efficiency cores, same Firestorm performance cores, same graphics and neural engine cores, same image signal processors, performance and machine learning controllers, encode and decode accelerators, same, same, same.

M1 just has more of those efficiency, performance, and graphics cores, along with Thunderbolt controllers and some Mac-specific stuff like virtualization and emulation accelerators thrown in as well. Which is why it draws more power, like 25 to 26 watts of power compared to the iPhone’s current 5 to 6 watts. So, you know, it doesn’t melt.

Now, M2 will be the next-generation M1. Similar to how A15 to be the next generation A14. Apple can always play with the names, but until such time as the pattern ends, we will act as though Apple intends it to… pattern on.

Either way, any way, they’ll both be the same next generation Apple silicon IP. And Apple’s been delivering next-generation silicon IP pretty much every year, on the year, since 2010. Typically, like 20% faster, sometimes more for graphics, sometimes more for efficiency, every year, on the year, as well.

And with A15 and M2 specifically, we’ll get the latest, greatest Taiwan Semiconductor 5 nanometer process that Apple money and premium device scale can buy. Which is a lot. Like a lot a lot. Pretty much all of it.

As well as maybe the ARMv9 instruction set, which won’t mean nearly as much to Apple as it will all the other vendors who are essentially getting Apple’s last few years of features reverse-engineered and democratized for them, but maybe some nice improvements for the matrix multipliers.

But ARM is just such a tiny part of Apple silicon these days anyway, especially when you consider the GPU cores, the neural engine cores, and all the features Apple is packing in beyond the big compute modules anyway, every accelerator, controller, and on and on. Which is why I wouldn’t be at all surprised if Apple moved to a custom instruction set architecture, a SwiftISA or whatever, one day as well. But if you want to see that video, let me know.

Now, M2 is going to be delivering all of Apple’s industry leading silicon improvements to the next-generation iPad Pro, the one rumored to be getting the glass back, and to the next-generation MacBook Air, the one rumored to be getting the colorful new design, as well as any and all other ultra-low power Macs.

But, would there be any benefit, like at all, in putting it into the next-generation iPhone 13 as well? Anything like the benefits Apple got from putting M1 into the current iPad Pro?

Well, for me, personally, Thunderbolt would be terrific. The iPhone has been stuck on basically USB 2.1 speeds for what feels like all time, always, at this point, and it was annoying enough when all we were trying to move and sync were relatively small files back and forth to the Mac… But with 4K 60, maybe 8K one day soon, and 10-bit Dolby Vision HDR, maybe 12-bit next, those files… they ain’t so small any more.

And with every single Mac, and even the iPad Pro having Thunderbolt now, never mind USB-C anymore, the iPhone Pro not having it, is just such a serious troll.

I mean, the rule should just be “Pro” on the box means Thunderbolt in the port. Right?

But Apple could be just exactly that kind of next level serious troll and, instead of giving us Thunderbolt on the iPhone, they could end up giving us nothing. Zip. Zero. Zilch. No ports, just MagSafe and a mesh of Bluetooth, point-to-point WiFi, and ultra low band dreams.

Would the extra cores efficiency, performance, and graphics cores in an M2 be helpful in an iPhone? Not particularly. Not given the type of workflows the vast, vast majority of people are doing on their iPhones. Even if Apple added some kind of Samsung Dex-style desktop mode, even on an A15 it would already thrash any other phone, non-Apple tablet, and most PCs on the market anyway.

Plus that whole 25-26 watt power draw would still be melty as a Jon Faverau grilled cheese inside a tiny iPhone chassis anyway.

About the only way I could see Apple putting an M2 into the iPhone 13 is if they decided to just go all in on the M-brand and cancel the A-series naming entirely. Just flip the silicon tables, and call the iPhone chip M2, the ultra low-power Mac variant M2E for efficiency, the higher-power Mac variant M2P for performance or Pro, and then maybe save M2X for extreme, you know, whatever Arc Reactor version they end up spinning up for the Apple silicon Mac Pro.

But I don’t see Apple doing that… at all. For a bunch of reasons, I see them sticking with the silicon branding that brung ‘em. And that means A15 for the iPhone 13 and maybe the next iPad Air. If, and only if Apple picks up the pace there. Then, M2 for the next iPad Pro and ultra-low power Macs like the MacBook Air, and M2X or M2 Pro or whatever Apple ends up calling the higher performance chipset for the next next generation of Pro Macs.

But that still means the iPhone 13 will be getting M2. It’ll just be M2 Jr. AKA A15, the one that makes way more sense in an iPhone.

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iOS 15 — Apple Destroys Facebook

If Mark Facebook thought Tim Apple enforcing Privacy Labels and App Tracking Transparency in iOS 14 was terri-bad… wait ‘till he gets a load of App Privacy Reports and Private Relay in iOS 15, because, well…

Read the whole story in my weekly column at iMore...

https://www.imore.com/how-ios-15-escalates-privacy-war-facebook-vs-apple

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iPhone SE 3 Leaks — A15, X60 5G

Same iPhone 8 chassis. New iPhone 13-class A15 chipset and 5G radio. Coming next spring. Those are the latest leaks surrounding the iPhone SE 3 or iPhone SE 2022. Whatever. But… this story actually absolutely fascinates me and for a couple reasons, because…

Last month, supply chain exfiltrator extraordinaire Kuo Ming-Chi reiterated his expectations for an updated iPhone SE in the first half of 2022. An iPhone SE with an A15 Bionic.. Trionic… and 5G, the cheapest 5G iPhone ever. Just this week, slightly better than randomly accurate rumor site DigiTimes said much the same thing. Now Nikkei is piling on as well, but adding that the 5G will come courtesy of a Qualcomm X60 modem, a process-shrinked and more efficient version of the X55 in current iPhone 12 Variants.

Now assuming all these reports are at all accurate, Apple will basically be taking the iPhone SE 2, the one that launched back in spring of 2020, with an iPhone 8 chassis stuffed with an iPhone 11 A13 chipset and LTE radio, keeping that exact same chassis, and re-stuffing it with an iPhone 13 A15 chipset and 5G radio.

For those of you trying to plan out your next purchases and upgrades, I’ll get to how I think it’ll compare with the iPhone 13, value-wise, in an alligator Loki hot minute, but given the dodgy state of rumors these days,I kinda want to sanity check ‘emm all first. In other words, do they make the kind of sense that does… or the kind that doesn’t?

Well, first half 2022, which typically means spring 2022, would line up with the OG iPhone SE launch in spring of 2016 and the second edition launch in spring of 2020. There were four years between those generations, though, and there’d only be two between these. But those generations resulted in a move from the iPhone 5s to the iPhone 8 chassis, and this one… well this one is sticking with the iPhone 8 chassis.

So maybe it’s more of an iPhone SE S… Instead of what some previous rumors suggested, and that was going with a modified iPhone XR or 11 chassis, minus Face ID, plus Touch ID in the power button like the iPad Air.

Could be Apple is saving that for a 2023 or 2024 update, or for a bigger iPhone SE Plus at some point.

Sticking with the iPhone 8 chassis for a second update is closer akin to what Apple does with products that are super low cost and juuuuuuust popular enough to keep around, but not anywhere nearly popular enough to justify a significant update.

The whole “old devices a few customers love, with new internals so they can keep on loving them just a bit longer” strategy. The one Apple’s been using for the iPod touch, sporadically, and the entry-level iPad nothing, for a while now.

Giving it an A15 chipset, which is Apple’s next-generation silicon architecture and likely the basis for M2 as well at some point next year , means the $399 iPhone will continue to have better performance efficiency than… anything other than an iPhone 13… Including any other full-price, premium flagships on the market.

It’ll also ensure anyone buying an iPhone SE 3 in 2022 or thereafter will have enough overhead for iOS updates and new apps going into 2026 or 2027. I mean, the original iPhone SE launched with iOS 9 back in 2016 and it’ll be updated to iOS 15 later this year, in 2021. Limited features, sure, but still updated. And that’s a ton of value for $400.

The big question will be, of course, be battery life. The current iPhone SE 2 with an A13 struggles to make it through the day on anything more than a really, really light work load. Will the iPhone 14 hit it even harder? That’s tough to say. Apple has been making the A-series faster but also much more efficient recently, and this would move the iPhone SE not just two silicon generations, but from 7 to 5 nanometers. So… we’ll have to wait and see… how mythical phones with fantasy specs perform in the very real world.

Real, fake, or just really fake, 5G will almost certainly hit the battery harder than LTE though. X60 will also be moving Qualcomm’s modems to 5 nanometer, but on Samsung’s process, not TSMCs. Because Apple pretty much bought out TSMCs. And this generation, Samsung’s process isn’t quite as good. But it’ll still be more power efficient than the X55 we have in the iPhone 12 now. And Apple tends to have very clever antenna systems as well, especially for the train wreck that’s remains mmWave.

Of course, just having Qualcomm modems will be a plus for anyone living in an area where Intel modems resulted in less than stellar performance to begin with.

Now, again if these reports are at all accurate, the iPhone SE 3 won’t have the modern design of the iPhone 13. It won’t have Face ID, a high dynamic range OLED display, an ultra wide angle or optional telephoto camera, U1 chip, or any of the other flagship iPhone latest bells and greatest whistles.

Even though it will have the iPhone 13 image signal processor to make the presumably still single camera system all that it can computationally be. But for $400. Way less than even the iPhone 13 mini’s estimated $700 starting price. Which means less phone, sure, but for a lot less money. Pretty much the same trade-off we have now, today, with the iPhone SE 2 and the iPhone 12 mini… iPhone 12 regular even.

So, while I don’t think it’ll lure any tech aficionados or premium, price-insensitive customers away from the next flagships, I do think it’ll continue to appeal to Android switchers, who’ll be tempted by the performance fueled value prop, but also more casual iPhone upgraders who are still holding on to iPhone 7 or 8, maybe even SE 2, and want to stay on that Home button and low cost train for as long as they can.

Now, I do have an idea for an entirely different iPhone SE I’d love to see Apple test on the market. Not an SE… S… so much as an SE… X. Stop it!

Now, I do have an idea for an entirely different iPhone SE I’d love to see Apple test on the market. Not an SE… S… so much as an SE… X. Stop it!

Really similar to what’s been rumored for an iPhone SE Plus. The basic chassis from an iPhone XR or iPhone 11. LCD display, to keep the price just way down compared to OLED panels. Doesn’t have to be higher resolution either. Pixel quality still beats pixel quantity, especially when you factor in battery life. Which I personally think the iPhone SE really still needs to improve on.

Because it’ll still have to have 5G. That might not be a big deal yet, but with modems getting better and deployment in markets outside the U.S., primarily China, improving rapidly, it’s gone from a nice-to-have to a must-have already.

Touch ID in the power button works great for me — literally. And that means the front-facing camera system can lose all the Face ID sensors and scale just all the way back to a single RGB camera. Throw a punch hole or tear drop around it — I can’t tell you how little I care which, because they’re all equally can’t un-see-able — and then let it loose.

I realize no MagSafe or U1 will bum some people out and cost some accessories upsell, but if Apple can land it at $400, even $450, I think it’ll be magic in a handset. Again.

At least that’s the next generation iPhone SE I’m waiting for.

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MagSafe Battery Pack Unboxed — On ALL iPhone 12 Variants!

I've got Apple's new MagSafe Battery Pack, I'm unboxing it, I'm trying it out on the iPhone 12 mini, iPhone 12, iPhone 12 Pro, and iPhone 12 Pro Max, with and without a case, showing off AirPods charging, and comparing it to previous-generation iPhone Smart Battery Cases. Plus my first impressions! Oh, yeah!

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Pegasus Spyware — Is YOUR iPhone at Risk?

Pegasus is military-grade spyware sold to nation-states, governments and agencies, ostensibly to fight crime and terrorism, also at incredible expense, but reports say it’s being abused by authoritarian regimes against journalists and dissidents. So, is your iPhone safe?

Read more in my weekly column at iMore:

https://www.imore.com/pegasus-spyware-your-iphone-risk

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M1X iPhone 13 Price CONFIRMS Apple’s Master Plan LEAK BOMB Titles — YOUTUBE ALGORITHM EXPLAINED!

So many leak bombs. So many Master Plans. So, so many release dates and prices, ends of Facebook, Wrong about, finallys, truths, confirmed, here you goes, and M1X and iPhone 13… galore. So. Much. Thirst. In all the titles and Tim Cook festooned thumbnails you see, I see, we all see, so always.

But why? Why is it this way? Well…

OK, so, I’m going to let you in on a little secret. Actually, a pretty big secret. The secret to all tech videos on YouTube. Hell, all videos, period.

Here’s how YouTube actually works: It tries to find videos that will satisfy audiences. Videos that will satisfy you. Every time you land on YouTube, just think of a billion little bots running over to fill up your homepage and sidebar with the videos they think you’ll really want to click on next. Because the longer you stay on YouTube watching those videos, the more ads they can show you, and the more money they can make.

Now, notice I said YouTube tries to find videos for the audience, for you. I didn’t say YouTube tries to find an audience for the videos — For creators like me. Because it doesn’t. YouTube wants the videos you’re most likely to click on next. It doesn’t care at all if those videos are from me specifically or any other creator in particular. And that’s the everyday new fresh nightmare hellscape every creator — including me — faces every day. The battle for you.

It’s why we ask you to hit that subscribe button and bell, because it makes it far more likely you’ll see and hopefully watch and enjoy our specific videos, which will then encourage those little YouTube bots to show them to more and more people. So, yeah, hit that subscribe button and bell.

But if that’s it, that’s all, how do we end up with leak bomb master plan end of Facebook finally truth confirmed don’t make a mistake filling up our feeds on the daily?

Because there are so many videos competing for our attention on the daily. Hell, the hourly. The minutely. And that’s what gets our attention. That’s what people click on. As much as some say they hate seeing them. As much as we say we hate using them. Time and again, when given a choice between a simple title like “iPhone 12 review” and a sensational one like “I bent an iPhone 12 into a pretzel”, precisely almost everyone chooses the pretzel.

There are a few exceptions, of course. There are always a few exceptions. Marques, MKBHD, and Justine, iJustine have built up such massive audiences over such a long period of time that they can keep everything super simple and still pull massive views. Although, you may have noticed, if they try anything even remotely off-topic, even they get fewer views than normal.

Because, turns out, audiences don’t really like off-topic. If you sign up for a chocolate machine, and every time the button lights up, you press it, and you get chocolate, odds are you’ll press that button every damn time it lights up. At least every time you want chocolate. Which might be a lot.

But if every few times that button lights up it says Brussel sprouts, maybe you won’t press it. Especially if you were expecting, wanting chocolate. And if it starts just lighting up with rando things, chocolate, sure, sometimes, but also Brussel sprouts, blue cheese, vanilla ice cream, black licorice, red licorice, maybe you still press the button every once and a while, but not often, and if you signed up for chocolate, that’s what you want, and we jerks keep denying you it, maybe never again.

And that’s the dirty little secret of how YouTube really works. It’s not publish or perish, it’s get clicked or get kicked. Doesn’t matter if you have a dozen subs or a dozen million, a fresh channel or one of the first. The bigger you are, the bigger buffer you have, but at the end of the day, it all comes down to:

A thumbnail eye-catching enough to stop people mid scroll or mid scan, a title compelling enough that people can’t stop thinking about it until they click, a topic so trendy or timeless it appeals to the biggest audience possible, an intro so instantly rewarding that it immediately pays off the click, and earns enough attention for people to keep watching, with editing so tight it leaves nowhere for people to click out, storytelling so engaging it keeps people watch the whole way through, and ultimately a video so satisfying it gets them to immediately watch another one of your videos and then another. And another. Do that and those little YouTube bots will fall all over each other stuffing your videos into as many homepages and sidebars as is inhumanly possible.

Forget beating the algorithm. That’s urban myth, deus ex machina John Wick killed the fucking boogie man nonsense. Replace the algorithm with the audience. If you can stop the audience in their tracks with your thumbnail, live rent free in their brain stems with your title, keep them locked to the video they loaded with your storytelling and editing — and make things your audience, that same audience, will love and come back for over and over again, forget finding a golden ticket, you’ve made the golden ticket.

You’re MrBeast or SSSniperwolf with hundreds of millions of impressions per video earning tens of millions of click throughs, up to three quarters average view percentage, and a dozen or more average views per viewer.

But most YouTube creators aren’t MrBeast or SSSniperwolf any more than most musicians are Taylor Swift, or most actors are a Chris from an MCU movie.

So we try to find the topics we think you want to see, that have worked the best for us in the past, give them a thumbnail we hope you’ll click on the most. Either with the latest, hottest gadget or with an emotional face your human instincts will latch onto, or both, because face + thing is a YouTube classic for the same reason it’s a magazine classic. Pure social engineering. Just, so often with Tim Cook’s face now… And then, yeah, the greatest hits of leak bombs. Master Plans. Release dates and prices, ends of Facebook, Wrong abouts, finallys, truths, confirmed, here you goes, and M1Xes and iPhone 13s. Basically all the title thirst traps that have trapped the most thirst. Because, the horrible truth is… we are what we click on.

Mostly.

Remember what I said about rewarding that click and providing satisfaction. If the button says chocolate and you get Brussel sprouts, you’re going to get mad. If the button says chocolate and you get an electric shock, you’ll be madder.

It’s why YouTube moved from prioritizing click through rate to view duration to, now, satisfaction. Why we’re all getting those surveys after random videos.

A compelling, interesting, even sensational title isn’t clickbait if it delivers. It’s just compelling, interesting, even sensational, especially if we do our jobs and we over deliver. But if we click-bait-and-switch you. If we burn you. If we promise you something in the title and utterly fail to deliver it in the video, then we risk losing you. We risk losing the audience. At which point YouTube will notice and start serving our videos to fewer and fewer people. We’ll be tempted to blame the algorithm, but the algorithm is still happily serving those same people videos that still make them happy. Those videos just aren’t our any more. And we did that to ourselves.

So we have to be super extra extremely careful any time we use The TRUTH About Insanely Great M1X iPhone 13 Price and Release Date CONFIRMED Leak Bombs Are Apple’s Master Plan to FINALLY End Facebook — Don’t make a Mistake! As the title of a video, because if we fuck it up, it could be our last.

It’s why I personally make damn sure that any time I use a title anything like that, I give you so much value that not only can I sleep at night, I can sleep knowing you got the absolute best value I could possibly give you, hopefully the best sourced, most accurate, most reliable information and analysis on the planet — at least outside Apple Park. That’s my promise to you. The thumbnail and title are just the candy coating I use to get the opportunity to deliver on that promise to you.

As to how we got to this point, all our content served up by machine learning in the most hyper-competitive contexts imaginable? Well, that would be off-topic for this video, and I just explained why that’s so bad for YouTube, so I’m going to make it into it’s own mini-video and stick it on the end of the Nebula version of this video.

With no ads and no sponsors, just like all my Nebula videos. Often uncut or extended or with bonus segments are well, sometimes whole entire original videos that just wouldn’t work on YouTube, for reasons I’m going over, unicronically, in the Nebula version of this video.

It’s the exact reason we’re building Nebula — as an expansion pack to YouTube. And you can get a Nebula subscription, bundled in for free, when you sign up at CuriosityStream.com/reneritchie or just click the link in the description.

And right now, because you watch this channel, you can get that bundle for 26% off, less than 15 bucks a year — less than the price of a fancy bistro burger — for a whole entire year. And that includes their thousands of amazing documentaries and series like The Secret Rules of Modern Living: Algorithms, which delves into how all these recommendation engines affect all of our lives.

As well as all the ad-free and often extended videos on Nebula from MKBHD, TechAltar, Jordan Harrod, Ali Abdaal, Real Science, Georgia Dow, EposVox, and so many more!

You’re supporting smart, educational content directly. For over 26% off, less than $15 a year. Just click the link in the description or go curiositystream.com/reneritchie.

And clicking on that link really helps out this channel.

How did we get here? Well, once upon a time there were kids on most every corner yelling “hear ye, hear ye, read all about”, desperate to sell their stack of papers for a nickel or whatever a piece. Then, over time, we began to subscribe to newspapers, comic books, magazines… we bought albums, tapes, CDs, boxed sets of TV shows, boxed sets of software too…

And that meant newspapers could use classified ads, and a few zippy bleeds-it-leads headlines to fund deep, expensive, investigative journalism. Musicians could use a few hit tracks to slip in some more experimental stuff on the same album. It made things, if not perfectly predictable at least somewhat stable.

But then came digital. Print was torn apart and posted piecemeal, article by article, on the web. Music was sold as singles, then streamed. Shows could be binged but also episodes skipped or one-offed. And we aren’t cooped up in theaters any more, sodium and sugar drunk on popcorn and pop cola, willing to give character arcs and stories a chance to develop. Now, if we don’t like a movie in the first few minutes, we can not-today-satan right out and find any of a billion others to watch.

And thanks to social networks, every bit of content is atomized and algorithmically served up to us based on innumerable data points benevolent and malevolent, all the time always. In an endless stream… of streams. The feed.

Yup, we’re back to street corners and “hear ye hear ye” again, but times infinity. Nothing is scarce. Nothing is valuable. Everything is abundant. Everything is a commodity. And we’re all screaming our lungs off trying to get you to “hear all about us”, to pay attention to us! Not the infinite other articles or music streams or shows or movies or videos or social network feeds you could be paying attention to at any moment.

In the early days, YouTube only cared about the click, so you’d see… wait for it.. a ton of clickbait. But that just caused people to click out or feel burned, so YouTube started caring about watch time more. Average View Duration, or how long people watched. That’s why you saw a lot of long ass videos for a while. But then people started getting bored, so YouTube started caring about retention. Average View Percentage. Or how much they watched. That’s when you saw videos getting shorter again, but also much more tightly edited. Paying off your click with an epic moment immediately, and then trying to keep you hooked for as long as possible, just ratcheting up the tension, the stakes, over and over again.

But that tended to promote the more extreme, more outlandish, more conspiratorial content as well, so now YouTube is all about satisfaction. How good do you feel after watching a video? So now we get surveys asking us exactly that, randomly, after some videos. And we see YouTube caring much more about average views per viewer — how many of your videos people are actually watching.

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Apple Car Has a New Tech Boss!

Kevin Lynch, Apple’s vice-president of technology, who helped launch both Apple Health and Apple Watch, has reportedly taken on an even bigger, faster project — helping launch Apple Car.

So, what does that mean?

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So, yeah, there’ve been a ton of changes at Titan, Apple’s autonomous technology aka self driving car project over the last few years. But that’s true of most projects. Imagine if Apple back in the day was covered the way they are now?

“Project Purple in chaos, Apple abandons tablet plans for risky attempt at phone.” “All out war at Apple as iPod phone battles OS X phone for Steve’s love!” “Cingular in the dark, is Apple making a lego phone?” “No developers in site, will the iPod phone even run apps?” “Panic in Cupertino as Jobs scratches his screen!”

Titan is just a much bigger, harder project, so the scale of those changes is proportionately larger, and I’ll get to why in a 2 second launch mode hot minute.

But I’m psyched about Kevin Lynch’s involvement. Kevin came to Apple from Adobe, where he’d waged a bit of a back-and-forth war with Steve Jobs over the future of Flash media in the age of web apps.

At Apple, he hit the ground running on Project Gizmo, the Watch, and all the health features that would go with and beyond it.

Meanwhile, Dan Riccio, former head of hardware engineering and current head of the VR and AR projects at Apple, began ramping up Project Titan.

And… Titan was different. The iPhone, the iPad, even the Watch while monumental challenges in terms of cracking interfaces, nailing interactions, miniaturizing components, maximizing battery life, and all that, Titan was and is the biggest challenge to date — making a car that could drive itself. Like Knight Rider.

And the technologies that requires, not just the novel operating systems and interfaces but just… ingesting, understanding, contextualizing, and acting and reacting to the entire world at any point in time and space… are the technologies that are going to lead us to everything that comes next. Cars, sure, but anything autonomous, including personal robots, holodecks, the machines that make the machines…

Maybe, those a-holes the Terminators. So it’s kinda really gotta be done right. As one look at Tesla and every other company grappling with the same, ridiculous level of complexity will tell you.

How does it deal with rain or snow so heavy it’s near indistinguishable from walls? A dog running out into the street when there are other cars on both sides? Weighing the actuarial-like risks of hitting an elderly couple in a Prius vs. a family of five in a F150. Black ice. Potholes. Hulk angry human drivers? That’s all hard for our million-year evolved brains to handle on the daily, never mind neural networks that are, relatively speaking, babies.

But I digress. Riccio was eventually replaced on Titan when Bob Mansfield, his predecessor as hardware boss, came back out of retirement to give it a more singular focus. Around that time, Apple also brought in Dan Dodge, founder of realtime operating system QNX, which had since been sold to BlackBerry.

Then, Mansfield handed off to John Gianandrea, who’d left Google to pursue what he hinted at was more ethical artificial intelligence at Apple, becoming head of machine learning.

Which is the key component to putting the self into the car driving.

With Kevin Lynch, who’ll still be reporting into Apple’s chief operating officer and health head, Jeff Williams, Titan is getting a software lead who knows how to ship new product categories, but also how to help craft new and compelling experiences for us, the people using it.

To help make time for Kevin to focus on the car, it sounds like Evan Doll will be taking on more at Health. Which is also terrific. Evan may be most famous of co-founding Flipboard, but that was after working on Apple’s Pro Apps back in the day, helping make the apps as part of the original iPhone team, and more recently coming back to work as director of health software.

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iPhone 13 Leaks — 120Hz, Touch ID, WiFi 6E!

Clear the way for 120 Hz Display
September they say, on the Pro, Same as LiDAR so
You’ll see
All the Wi-Fi 6E, just no Touch ID
So not psyched, plus the lack of a terabyte
And 13 not 12 s is stressed
But let’s break down new leaks bound round this thing
Before the next iPhone rings

(With apologies to Chuck D!)

iPhone 13 vs. iPhone 12s

Economic Daily News, which has a whopping 43% accuracy rating according to AppleTracks — yup, somehow less accurate than a coin toss — says:

“the supply chain has reported that this year's new phone will be named ‌iPhone 13‌”

Now, I’ll get to the surprising, and annoying news in a bootlooped minute, but as anyone who follows this channel knows, Apple can and will name any iPhone anything they damn well please. They typically have a preferred name, but they can make up their minds basically until they need to start printing boxes and billboards. So, iPhone 13, iPhone 12s, iPhone the Dark Knight Returns and, yes, iPhone Mother of Dragons, it all really depends on whether Apple wants to set expectations and drive sales higher with a new number, like they did when they used iPhone 8 instead of iPhone 7s, or tamp them down with a more internal, less external update, like iPhone XS before iPhone 11. I’ve got a whole entire video up on how this all works, so check it out.

120 Hz

Look, me to you, I really need Apple to ship a 120Hz display just so we can finally kill all the will-they-won’t-they about 120Hz displays, like we’ve done for 5G.

But, not today satan, so yes, 120 Hz, even higher refresh rate displays are easy. Other phones have had them going on a couple years. Good high refresh rate displays, ones that don’t screw up power management or force summary deresolution or just chew through battery life is hard. Especially at iPhone scale, which is 10s of millions of units.

But there’ve been several reports now that Samsung, maybe even LG, have nailed OLED processes at just exactly that scale, and with LTPO and IGZO, which will enable ProMotion. That’s Apple’s marketing name for adaptive refresh, what lets the Apple Watch go from 1-60Hz for the always-on display and the iPad Pro from 24-120Hz for both power saving and to show movies at 24fps the way nature and Hollywood intended.

Where the rumors currently break down is on whether or not ProMotion will be coming to all the iPhone 13 models this fall, or just the Pro models.

Just the Pro models make the kind of sense that does for me. First, Apple’s kept ProMotion exclusive to the iPad Pro for over 4 years now. Because, second, the Pro models are better able to absorb the higher cost of the displays.

And the non-Pro models already saw their prices hiked last year just for going OLED and 5G.

Same for LiDAR. Same same.

Touch ID

Mark Gurman and Debbi Wu, in addition to saying the iPhone is back on its traditional September launch schedule, with a sharply increased production run, and a slightly decreased notch.

But, that while Apple has tested an in-display fingerprint scanner for this year’s devices, that feature will likely not appear on this generation

Which is Bloomberg hedgingese for not gonna happen. Maybe not even in the power button like the iPad Air already shipped.

Now, the first law of Vulcan metaphysics might be nothing unreal exists, but only slightly less first is the second law — nothing unannounced doesn’t exist.

Basically, because it would not only be more competitive with other phones, it will be far, far more practice for people with iPhones. I mean, having a second form of biometrics just makes all the sense in the post-pandemic, mask-sensible world, and gets us one step closer to the passive, persistent authentication system of my dreams. So, forgive me if I won’t not believe it until I don’t see it.

Wi-Fi 6E

1 Terabyte of storage sounds like a no, but slightly better than randomly accurate rumor shop DigiTimes says Apple Wi-Fi 6 is good to G.O. Something Barkleys also rumored back in January.

Wi-Fi 6E is a better version of Wi-Fi 6. A… dare I say… go version of Wi-Fi 6 that stretches into the similarly fast but way, way less congested 6Ghz frequency. Which means it should end up letting you use more of that available speed. If you have a Wi-Fi 6E compatible router, which should also be better than many of the early Wi-Fi 6 non-E routers… we can hope.

Especially since Apple does tends to be hella aggressive when it comes to adopting new Wi-Fi versions in the iPhone line, unlike cellular technologies where they tends to wait a bit for power draw to go down and next-generation networks to build up.