2021, Allison Sheridan
Chit Chat Across the Pond

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[0:00] Music.

[0:08] Well, it's that time of the week again. It's time for Chitchat Across the Pond.
This is episode number 780 for December 4th, 2023.
And I'm your host, Alison Sheridan. This week, our guest is Jason Howell.
It's been a minute since Jason has joined me on the show, but you probably know him from his wonderful work over on the Twit Network, where he claims to be the guy on tech podcasts who knows everything. Welcome to the show, Jason.
I do not. I didn't even know how to say the word plink, so I definitely don't know everything.
No, I was just listening to you host This Week in Tech, and one of the things Jason said was that he had to get over thinking that he had to be the guy who knew everything.
Oh, yeah. For sure.

[0:46] I would imagine that everybody in podcasting has probably experienced that at some point or another, right?
Once you do this for a while, and you realize part of my job is talking into a microphone, and the other part of that job is that people actually listen to the words that I say and make their own judgments and understandings about what you're saying and everything.
I'm pretty sure most podcasters have probably encountered a point where they realized, wait a minute, do I need to know everything about everything that I'm talking about or can I be okay with the fact that I don't know everything?
At least that was my journey.
It took me a long time to get to the point where I could be like, you know what? It's cool.
People aren't following me because they think I know everything.
They're just following me because they like me and maybe my perspective on things, even the things I don't know.
MWL. Well, I have found, luckily, that if you're wrong, the internet will actually tell you.
CB. Yeah, that's true. Sometimes I don't want the internet to tell me, though, because it depends on how they tell you, right? Like, tell me nicely, tell me constructively.
MWL. Sadly, I'm the one- CB. The internet doesn't always do that.
MWL. I'm the one that'll be up there going, as Tom and Molly would say, Well, actually. Yeah, exactly.

[1:55] That's a right though, because at this point, the well actually is a thing.
It's a thing. So yeah, there you go. Looping it all together there.
Before we get started, what are you working on these days so people have context for where to find you and the kind of things that you do?
Well, I mean, podcast-wise, I'm working for the Twit network, This Week in Tech.

[2:16] So that's And basically, there I am doing a number of things right now.
COVID, the pandemic really kind of changed a lot of the roles at Twit.
So right now, I am hosting Tech News Weekly, which is a tech interview show along with Micah Sargent, another host on the network.
We do that every Thursday. And that's basically the evolution or the successor to Tech News Today, which Tom Merritt, as you mentioned just a few minutes ago, he was brought to the network and started that show.
And it's kind of over the years evolved and transformed.

[2:53] And in the last several years, it's been more of an interview slash discussion show called Tech News Weekly.
And then I'm also doing an AI show, which is specifically for the club called AI Inside, guide, along with Jeff Jarvis, who is one of the co-hosts on This Week in Google on the network.
But just talking about this crazy thing called AI, because if you hadn't noticed, I swear, like every show that we do, at least on Twit, half the stories are AI involved in some way, shape, or form.
I was like, wow, AI is really inside everything.
It's like, oh, well, there you go. There's the name, AI Inside.
Kind of like Intel Inside. I want to draw attention to what Jason just said.
That he referred to the club and one of the monetary or monetization things that they've done over at Twit is Club Twit, and I'm a member of Club Twit.
And don't tell Leo or Lisa, but it is priced far too low.

[3:43] I think it's seven bucks a month and you get all of the shows ad-free.
Every single show on Twit ad-free for $7.
A lot of the shows are like nine bucks a month for one show.
And so- Yeah, like shows outside of Twit. It's crazy low. And I know that they know that because it's come up a lot.
But they really want to put it at a price point that more people will be inclined to buy into.
And you mentioned the shows themselves that people would normally get without any ads.
That's the cool thing about that particular club as well.
Club Twit has all these shows that don't exist outside of the club.
AI Inside being one. So you're right. I didn't know that.

[4:24] Oh, you didn't know that? Today I learned. Some of the shows inside of the club, you can't get outside of the club.
Or they might release one episode a month just to give you a taste or whatever.
So yeah, it is interesting how everybody chooses to monetize their platforms and everything.
And I know that I've heard Lisa and Leo talk about people mentioning that, hey, I pay much more.
They really want to set the price low. And then if someone wants to give more, they have the freedom to do so.
Yeah. I don't want to discourage this behavior. I'm just trying to sell it as as I think it is the best deal.
And even if you don't listen to every show, if you listen to one show, that's still cheaper than one show of another network. Totally.
I really like it. Now, you're also a producer too, right?
Yeah. So that was kind of the second part of what I was mentioning as far as the pandemic happening to all of us and really kind of changing things.
Prior to that, I was full-time hosting.
And then once that happened, there were some changes made and I ended up of moving back into a lead producer role for many of Leo's biggest shows, including This Week in Tech.
So, you know, I'm in front of the camera on my own shows and producing those.
I'm also behind the camera and producing some of Leo's biggest shows.
And then when Leo's out, you know, like this last weekend, like you mentioned.
Yeah, I sat in the big chair and got to lead an episode, you know, lead host an episode of This Week in Tech. It was a heck of a lot of fun.
Very fun. And while music isn't my thing, you're also a musician, right?

[5:53] Yeah. I've been making music since I was a kid. So I'm always trying to continue the kind of emphasis in my life on music, but it really ebbs and flows.
It comes in and out because life is busy and making time for music is something that I value deeply, but it can be really hard in the midst of all the other things that I kind to have to do to, you know, pay the bills.
There's that. But the reason I wanted to get you on the show was I was listening to an episode of the Clockwise podcast and you mentioned that you are an Android user who uses a Mac.
And I thought it might be really interesting to talk about what that experience is, especially since a few years ago, I had Chris Ashley of the SMR podcast on to talk about how he uses an iPhone with a Windows machine.
And I live in this very, very tight little Apple bubble where I basically never step my toe outside of the bubble.
And so I can't even picture how it works. I don't even understand how you do anything with those two completely different platforms.
So I thought it might be really fun to walk through how does that even work?
Yeah, yeah. No, it's a really great question.

[7:06] And apparently it is because you're not the only one to ask me.
Literally just yesterday when I was on Twit and I was monitoring the Discord, I think we had an Android story.
The panel on Twit yesterday was like half Android, half iOS, half iPhone.
And there was somebody in the Discord that made notice of the fact that I was using a MacBook or I may have made some sort of comment about using a Mac.
And this person was like, so like, like could not understand like how on why on earth are you using a Mac if you've got an Android device?
Why aren't you using a PC?
And, you know, that comes up time and time again. It's like, well, I mean, a PC isn't running Android like a, you know, Android is its own operating system, mobile operating system.
It just so happens that Apple has its own mobile operating system that integrates with really well with its desktop operating system.
So I don't know. It doesn't seem weird to me, but I understand why it does to others.
I guess it's more weird that Chris Ashley uses an iPhone on Windows, because he could be in one ecosystem.
But you, by definition, whatever your desktop platform is, it's not going to be from Google.

[8:19] Yeah. And I mean, you know, and I might even push back on the weird aspect too.
I think I think at this point, these platforms are so developed that it really doesn't matter what you're using.
I mean, sure, if you've got an iPhone and you've got a Macintosh of some variety, then there's going to be some sort of integration, some sort of cross-play between those that you're not going to get if you have another device.
But that doesn't mean that if you have an Android and you're using a Mac, that the experience is broken and painful, and you just don't have the ability to do that particular thing.
Or you do, and you just have to get creative about it, you know?
So it's just same but different.
Yeah, we're going to walk through some details on that, and I think that's going to be kind of fun.
Let's start a little bit back further in time.

[9:10] How long have you been a Mac user, and what kind of Mac are you sporting these days?
Well, let me think here. So the first Mac that I used, I was in, gosh, was I in ninth grade or 10th grade?
And it was one of those, I should have, any true geek would have the model number memorized, but I don't.
But it was one of those single beige units with the three and a quarter drive on the front.
Oh, like a Mac Plus maybe? Yeah, totally. It's the Mac Plus era.
And with a monochrome gray screen. And that was not my first computer.
My first computer was a Commodore 64.
Anyone who has heard me talk about computer stories from their childhood has heard me go on and on about the Commodore 64. That, at my heart, is my computing bliss.

[9:58] But I wanted to create a fanzine on heavy metal music and death metal music.
I was really into that at the time.
In sixth grade? And I... No, this was like ninth grade. Oh, sorry.
And yeah, sixth grade with the Commodore 64.
But the Commodore couldn't do these kinds of things to the degree that I wanted to do them. And so I got the Mac because I heard it was really great for desktop publishing.
And that was kind of my introduction to Mac. And then I became a PC guy for a long time.
And then I think I made the permanent switch probably around like 2002-ish, 2003, somewhere around there.
Okay. All right. And what do you use these days? You have something at home, something at work, I imagine?

[10:42] Yeah. I mean, I've got, I mean, right now, you know, for this call, I have a MacBook Pro, the 2021 M1 Pro, I believe, on the inside.
So, yeah, which was a big step up from the 2008 Mac Pro desktop that I had down here by my feet that I had been as my home computer up until that point.
So apparently, yeah, apparently I hold a lot of computers for a very long time before I upgrade them. No, you just use that as a heater, right?
Yeah. I mean, yes, it does absolutely nothing except if I have to like fire it up for an old music project or something like that, I can do that.
But that isn't to say that like that's the only computer I've been using prior to this laptop. You know, working for Twit, they've always had, you know, a pretty updated MacBook in my hands to do the work that I do.
Now, your origin story on Android, I want to remind you of one of the last times I had you on here was on Chit Chat Across the Pond number 477.
You and Megan Maroney came on because you were in the process of running an experiment switching.
Right. So you used iOS for, I think it was like a month, and she used Android. Yeah.
Were you ever tempted to iOS because of that or because of anything else?

[11:57] I mean, I really enjoyed. We actually did that two or three times.
I think two or three years in a row, we made it a habit.
And then when Micah Sargent came on into the role, I asked him if he wanted to do it. He was like, no. So we did. We stopped doing that.

[12:14] But I think my experience with iOS in those times was incredibly positive.
I really did enjoy it. But there was never enough there for me to come out of the experience and go, okay, well, I have to make the switch now.
This is just so much better than what I... Yeah, exactly.

[12:36] I think there's also probably a little bit at play there with the fact that, for the majority of my time at Twit, I was producing and hosting a show called All About Android that literally was about Android, top to bottom. Pretty disingenuous.
Yeah, I mean, it would be weird if I, like I was, I feel anyways, if I had hosted that show for years upon years and then suddenly switched, I guess it would be a topic for the show.
But then I always felt like it would make me a little less proficient or a little less of a kind of, you know, speaking from a position of experience and authority around Android.
And so I never really gave it much thought. It's not even that I was tempted and I would do it if I wasn't doing this show. It just, I never really considered it.
It was just never something I truly considered 100%. Yeah, so what Android flavor do you like?
Are you a Google pixel guy a Samsung guy use a foldable? What do you like?
I do like foldables, but I've never owned my own foldable.
I Ever since Google started doing the pixel that's been that's been my top choice partially, Well, for a couple of reasons. Partially because I always felt it was the same before the Pixel when Google had their Nexus kind of line of phones.
And the story around the Nexus phone was, this is a phone that's built in Google's eyes.
This is meant to be a representation of what Google thinks a phone running Android could and in some ways should be.
And it's kind of like a baseline sort of thing.

[14:02] And so I always thought it was... Again, considering what I do, It probably makes sense to stay as close to the source as possible.
So I always got the Nexus phones.
And then the Pixel phones started happening, and I just kind of stuck with it.
I mean, ever since Pixel 1, I've just really loved Google's hardware design.
I really love their software choices for the most part, because there are a lot of Android phones out there.
And especially years ago, now things have kind of settled down a little bit as far as like going overboard with these software features that are pointless or naggy or whatever.
But I never really felt like Google did that to the degree that others were doing it.
I always thought they had a really nice kind of balance between extra feature set and still just kind of like keeping it closer to vanilla.
They've got a different business model, right? They got a different business model to show you the best possible experience as opposed to to try to sell you other stuff.
Yeah. Well, yeah, of course. I mean, Google has its own interests in having a hardware offering in its stable.

[15:12] It gives them an opportunity to try things out before they roll them out to all the other Android phones out there.
It gives them the ability to test out the integration of AI tools, as we've been talking about so much in the last couple of years.
It gives them a way to do that. And I'm always curious to see what Google's coming up with.
I mean, they have a real track record of being pretty disappointing when they create something and then give up on it, or the wind changes directions and they decide they're not gonna do it anymore.
But yet at the same time, I'm always still very curious and interested in checking it out because they've got some serious resources there.
So a lot of times they've made some pretty cool stuff. Is one of the driving factors the importance of being able to get the OS updates quickly?

[16:01] Absolutely. It is for me. That's certainly very important to me.
And the fact that those promises are extending further and further, I mean, I think it's great news.
Isn't it now that Google is now offering, I think, what is it, seven years of updates?
Many years as opposed to hardly any years.
Well, yeah, and you know, yes, so Pixel 8 and 8 Pro updates for at least seven years.
I mean, this was unheard of a couple of years ago, you know, and actually I'd say in the last four years, just Android...
In and of itself, and I think largely directed by the example set from companies like Google and Samsung, they're the big players in the room that can drive some of these changes for the rest so that they feel like they have to keep up with it.
But it was for so long a very big complaint of mine that you're making these wonderful phones, but yet you're setting them up to fail so quickly.
And that is certainly one of those points that I would look across the other side of the pond, let's say, and look at how iOS has done with their updates.
And I mean, those phones can last forever.

[17:15] And it shows a real commitment on the part of Apple to do that.
And I realized their business models are different, but I wanted for some day for for them to get to this point.
And I'm happy to say that Google has made it. I think seven years is pretty darn ample.
I've been, I've dabbled twice in buying an Android phone and both times I got burned where, while they were still selling the phone, it was no longer getting updates.

[17:45] And the second one I did was, I thought I was buying from Google because it was like, okay, I'm gonna just buy a phone from Google and that way this won't happen to me this time. I won't, you know, Lucy and Charlie Brown with the football, this time she's not going to pull it out from under me.
And I bought a phone from Google, but it turned out what I bought was a Motorola phone from Google. It was a G7.
And then Google said, yeah, we're just, we're divesting ourselves from this Motorola stuff. And they stopped supporting it.
And so, it was like a year and three months old, and it wasn't supported anymore.
And so, someday I may try an Android phone again, but it would have to be a Google Pixel, I guess, in order to give me any confidence now.
Yeah. I mean, that's an unfortunate experience, no question about it.
Yeah, there was a time there where Google and Motorola were best buds.
And actually, there was a time, a number of years prior to the G7 that you got, where Motorola was making some of the more, in my opinion, exciting phones.
And that was largely because of their tight relationship with Google.
And so there was that trust. At a certain point, I guess, if I had to delineate.

[18:58] This is like Moto X era, and the Moto Maker and all that kind of stuff.
Like at that point, Moto was doing with their phones what Google would later kind of do with its own Pixel phones as far as creating a really solid design.

[19:13] Software updates that you can depend on, some actual useful extra features and stuff.
But you're right, at a certain point, that trust was completely broken because Google and Motorola kind of stopped that relationship and it probably wasn't communicated very well to people that that had happened.
Yeah, well, I don't want to stay, be down this bashing lane too long.
I just want to let you know I was hurt.
But let's- Yeah, I get it. Let's start really start talking about how you use an Android phone with a Mac.
And I've got a couple of categories here. The first thing I thought of was photos.
I have, I'm a big fan of iCloud photo library, might take a picture on my phone, it shows up on my Mac, it shows up on my iPad, everything's all integrated.
I'm going to assume you use Google Photos.

[20:02] Yeah, you would assume you're assuming correct. Yeah, Google Photos.
I've been there since they introduced it. I don't know how many years ago and yeah, I've got probably 180 gigs worth of photos sync to it.
I've actually had to key which I don't know, depending on who you talk to, that's either a lot or a little.
Some people go crazy with their with their photo library.
I don't do full res syncing to my Google Photos library because I also back up locally to my Synology NAS, and that's where all my full-res stuff goes.
So that allows me more cloud storage without having to spend all the extra money on that, because it really eats up space fast.
So if you're on your Mac and you're on an airplane, you have no photos at all?

[20:51] Well, I mean, if I'm connected to the airplane Wi-Fi, I suppose I have it connected to Google photos, I have whatever photos happen to be parked on my camera roll on my device that I haven't deleted yet.
But yeah, if I'm not getting access to the cloud...
Oh, and I'm on my Mac. I see what you're asking. Right.
No. No. I don't really manage a local photo library on my Mac. No.
Well, so having it on your small... I don't feel the need to.
I mean, I'm so embedded into the cloud that, I don't know, I guess I just kind of wait until I have internet access and I do the thing I need to do.
I don't really think about it.
Have you by chance ever played around with tail scale on Synology?

[21:30] Tailscale? No, I'm not. Okay, you and I have to talk about this afterwards.
I've already talked to the audience about this, but I have a really cool tip for you for playing with your Synology and your Mac and your Android phone. It's a very cool thing.
It's basically a virtual private network you can have with any devices you want.
And you can get to them, as long as you're on the internet, you can get to them from wherever you are without opening ports or anything like that.
It's very cool. Oh, that's great.
Sounds nice. Okay, so Google Photos there. So if you make an adjustment, if you're on your Android phone and you say change the lighting or crop a photo, does that automatically get reflected in the Google Photos that's online in the non-full resolution Google Photos?

[22:09] Yes, it will automatically upload. Like usually I'm given the option of like, do you wanna overwrite or do you wanna save as a copy?
And I almost always save as a copy. I don't wanna delete the original.
And so yes, that appears on my camera or on my phone, that automatically when I have internet access, which is almost always, uploads to the cloud, to Google Photos.
And then when I'm home and I connect to my home internet, then that uploads over to my Synology NAS.
So it kind of takes care of it without me having to do anything.
Wait, how does it get to your Synology NAS?
Does it go from your phone?
Yeah, it would go from my phone, exactly. If it's basically the app that I have the Synology photos or moments, I can't remember what they call They changed the name.
Yeah, they changed the name and kind of changed the app entirely and moved over and I finally got that all sorted out. That was a whole pain in the butt.
But anyways, it's constantly kind of looking at my phone in certain folders to say, oh, there's a new photo here.
Okay, cue that up for the next time that we're connected to the home internet and then we'll move it over.
Okay. So are those full res photos backed up somewhere back in the cloud?

[23:20] No, I probably should. I probably should have like a backblaze or something like that going so that I can, or whatever cloud backup service. S3, something.
Something. It's okay. I probably should. It's just your children, your family, you know.
You know, I totally, I completely agree with you.
And then at the same time, I'm kind of like, you know, but if at the end of the day I did, And like I lost the absolute high res of all these things, I might be in a minority here, but while I would not prefer for that to happen, I wouldn't see it as the end of all things Because we look at everything on a screen anyway.
We don't print anything hardly anymore. I mean, yeah.
So take a look at my almost 200 gigs worth of photos and tell me, I'm asking you as if you are me, but Jason, tell me, when are you ever going to go through that thing and pull out that photo from 2013 and blow it up so that it can take up the majority of your living room wall.
I just don't have the desire to do that. I don't have the need to do that.
As long as it's big enough for me to look at and not recognize that I'm looking at pixels, then I'm kind of okay with it.
Maybe that's short-sighted thinking. No, no. Maybe I'm not thinking about future generations.

[24:36] And at the same time, I do have it all, going to the NAS and to the cloud, and I'm feeling pretty comfortable that things are going to be okay for a while and I'm sure at some point I'm going to have to back that thing up and I will.
So I'm not too worried. I guess that's the answer. So on your Mac, iCloud, or I'm sorry, the Photos app.
Basically, has never been launched. It has no purpose in your world, right?

[25:03] I've launched it for certain projects, but it's just not where I manage any of my photo library.
That makes sense. Yeah. It also, you know, like I've got a MacBook Pro with a certain amount of storage space, and I kind of don't want to sacrifice 200 gigs of my storage just for photos to be there all the time when I can get it in other ways pretty quickly. You know what I mean?
I produce music on this machine, and that's where I want that storage to go to.
That and the other kind of mandatory things that I can't do in the cloud.
I can't really produce cloud music.
I know that there are ways, but I definitely do not prefer to do that.
So I would rather reserve the storage for that. You're talking to somebody who has over a terabyte of photos, and I keep the high-res originals on my local drive on my MacBook Pro.
Oh, boy. And it's just like it's just parked there, just hanging out, taking up all that space.
You're not giving enough money to Apple if you don't do that.
I had to buy a four terabyte drive, so. Yeah.

[26:09] Apparently, that's what I need to start doing. I had two kids.
I was able to sell one. I still got a spare. I got a backup.
Okay, good. Good. All right. You're covered then.
Let's switch gears and talk to the biggest elephant in the room.
You're like a blue bubble person and a green bubble person on messaging if you're on a Mac and on Android.
What do you use for messaging? How does that work?
You're saying this as if I use messages on my Mac, which I really don't.

[26:35] I mean, it's something that comes up every once in a while.
It's not something that I rely upon. My daughter, my older daughter, has an iPhone.
My younger daughter has an iPad. So they actually, you know, they are in the iOS ecosystem and at least with my older daughter, you know, she has an iPhone so, I could message with her. And I'm sure you heard the news, whatever, a handful of weeks ago before all the RCS Apple stuff happened with Beeper, apps like Beeper that have a cloud array of Macs, that are conduit for bringing iMessages onto Android and giving you all those features and giving you the blue bubble and everything.
In the list of bad ideas. Yeah, I mean, you know, it's probably not the wisest thing to do to just log your account in on somebody else's server.
Well, think about it for a moment.
You're putting your iCloud email and password address in somebody else's hands, and that is the address that a lot of people use as the recovery email for logging into their banks and places like that.
So you're giving... Yeah, it's not smart. That's the crown jewels.

[27:48] Yeah, it's not smart whatsoever. But, you know, I've tried it and just to kind of see, like, okay, well, what is this like?
So maybe I shouldn't have done that, but I did.
And I just don't use it. It's not integrated into my everyday, and so therefore, I've been on Android forever.

[28:10] So it would literally be teaching myself how to use my phone differently now. In a harder way.
Yeah, right. In a more convoluted way. What do you use? You're writing to Micah.
I mean, texting Mike, what would you use? It doesn't have to be Mike.
I'm just throwing it out there. Well, yeah.
It depends on the context. If I'm doing something for work, I'm texting people from work in Slack, probably.
Slack is how we do all of our business communication.
Slack DMs or in the channels or whatever. If I want to reach someone directly, Really?
Here I am in the US of A, I'm using SMS like no one else in the world is using SMS, but for some reason we here do.
And so that's largely how I communicate with a lot of people in my life, is through SMS. It's just the easy approach.
And now with RCS, that experience is a little bit more enjoyable, and I definitely see differences there. Now, we haven't actually talked about RCS much on my show.
Do you have an elevator pitch for what RCS is?

[29:19] Well, RCS is essentially the evolution or kind of a protocol that is meant to be the evolution of SMS and MMS.
So SMS and MMS, they're very, very old protocols.
RCS is still pretty old, actually. The baseline standard of this, I think, was developed in 2008. right?
But it allows for a lot of the things that Apple folks are really used to with iMessage.
Things like some form of encryption, although not end-to-end encryption unless you've got a modified version of RCS like Google does.
But some form of encryption, you've got your read receipts, your typing indicators, high-resolution digital and video sharing.
And see this little tiny... I thought my housekeeper had a flip phone because she sent me a video And it was like, I mean, I don't think it was a half an inch tall on my phone.
And I said, what are you doing here? And I literally had no idea because I talked to so few Android people.
I didn't know that's what happens when you SMS a video from Android to iOS.

[30:22] Yeah, it's a nightmare. I mean, honestly, and I think sometimes this whole RCS, Apple, Google thing comes down into the war of the platforms.
Like, oh, well, Android just needs to get their stuff together or Apple, blah, blah, blah.
Really, at the end of the day, it's a broken experience for both sides.
No matter what, that's just the plain fact. If you're on iOS and you're sending a text message to someone who's not on iOS, then it's sending through that standard approach.
That is Apple's choice to either support something like RCS to improve that, which thankfully they've finally chosen to do. Maybe late next year.
Yeah, yeah, exactly. And they're probably going to do it in a little bit of a... They're not going give you the full shebang.
It's not going to be everything that iMessage enjoys coming through via RCS.
But I do think that it's going to help things.
I think my point though is that this isn't just Google sour grapes, although it is.
It is partially sour grapes on Google's part because Google has tried many, many times to do something around messaging and done it absolutely poorly almost every time.

[31:37] But it is also kind of like, you know what, Apple? I realize that there There are a ton of Apple users out there and they really enjoy communicating with each other.
But if you're going to make the experience bad for the Android users that do happen to communicate with you in your life, then that's uncomfortable.
And then you might not even realize, like you were saying, Alison, you might not even, have realized or other iOS users might not have realized that when they're sending a photo, like I just had this happen this last weekend, when an iOS user sends me a photo, photo, shares it in the way that you do between yourselves.
And it comes to me, it's a down-res photo.
It's not even res'd up to the limited resolution that I upload to Google Photos. I can hardly blow it up.
Sometimes it's like a postage-size image. I didn't know that.

[32:29] I've seen so many of them at this point that it's like, okay, that's an iOS user.
It's not your fault. It's not my fault. It's just that the technologies have refused to work together.
And so that's why I'm happy to see the RCS thing. I don't do, I think it's going to solve all the issues.
No, but I think it's at least a signal that they're willing to kind of make the experience better for everyone.
And I think it's important because Apple isn't the only.

[32:57] You know, phone floating around out there. There's actually a lot of Android devices.
So, they should communicate well to each other, and it shouldn't have to be a differentiator for the platform entirely.
The other piece of that that I hear, especially like in college, is kids will come home and say, Mom, Dad, I have to have an iPhone because I can't get invited to any parties.

[33:15] And the problem where message threads get splintered, that's been going on for so many years, and it's so quickly that it happens.
My friend Ron Simmons swore off the iPhone because they refused to give him a new phone when he broke it in his own self, and it was totally his fault.
But anyway, he swore off iPhone, and he went over to Android, but his whole family's on the iPhone, and I wanted to send something to his son, and so I sent it to the three of us, and it was instantly broken.
I mean, it didn't ever once go to both of them at the same time.
As soon as I sent it, it was already two separate message threads.
And that would 100% make me switch to an iPhone because I'm not part of that.
That's what bugs me though, because that would make you want to switch to an iPhone.
And why have we been kind of faced with for many years now this situation?
Like that's exactly what Apple really wants, right?
Let's keep this locked off. Oh, it's there. Absolutely. And like, I get it. they're a business. They want to make money.
They make a very tight ecosystem. And let me tell you, in the times that I did do the swap with Megan, I saw the ecosystem in action, and it's really wonderful. It's really great.

[34:30] But that stuff just irks me. It was the comment of, well, get your grandma to get an iPhone then or something like that.
And it's just like, this is not how the world works, dude.
It doesn't have to be this painful. It doesn't have to be. You can still.
Be the behemoths and the amazing company that satisfies your users.
You can still be all that, and not make the experience painful for yourself and for others in the process.
What I really like about you, Jason, is you have not once used the words that make me crazy when people use this word. You haven't said they should.
You said it irks you, but saying they should implies that we know what all their motivations and if you're a stockholder, no, they shouldn't.
But so should doesn't matter. It's irrelevant. I'm not a fan of that word.
Yeah. I've actually, it's funny that you point that out because I think for the past like three or so years, it's been my mission to not use that word. Oh, interesting.
Yeah, because I've never heard anybody have this conversation without using the word should. So that was impressive. I've been trying not to.
I've been trying to use want to, wish, but yeah, should doesn't matter.

[35:44] Should implies that you know better than anyone else. It's also a very shameful word. It's like, oh, well, and you didn't, and you should have known better.
I just, I don't like it. I took a class once from a professor at UCLA who talked about shoulding on yourself and others.
So doing it to yourself is bad too. Like, I should have left earlier and I wouldn't be late to this meeting. Well, that's not doing you any good.
Talk about what you're gonna do. No, I'm a horrible person. I should have done that. Yeah, it's not good. Yeah, yeah.
But philosophy segment over. I still don't understand how you communicate.
So, day to day, pure SMS, you don't use Signal, or Telegram, or WhatsApp, or anything like that? Or do you do them all?
Well, yeah, I mean, I do them all. I mean, I'm going to go ahead and open my messaging folder.
I've got my SMS, my Slack, Google Chat, which I never use, Facebook Messenger, hardly use, Discord, I kind of factor in there because it is communication-based, but that's for a completely different thing. WhatsApp. I chat with Ron Richards.
We did all that Android for so many years. That's like my chat approach with Ron. It's all over the board.
And then, of course, there's Beeper in there, which I just need to deactivate and close because I don't ever use it.

[36:57] But I would say the majority of my one-to-one direct communication, if it's not work-related, is probably going to be just SMS.

[37:06] I'm one of those. I'm one of those. I actually talked to all of my friends, my closest friends and family, into getting on Telegram because it's just so fun. Telegram is such a great platform.
I really, really love using it, and so I convinced them to give it a try, and now they all know that if they want to talk to me, I'm over there.
The way I look at it is when I want to communicate with somebody, I figure out what do they use.
Because it doesn't matter what I want them to use. I need to talk to them where they are if I need something from them So I just convert to whatever they want and I think that's why Possibly in at least here in the US so many people opt for SMS because we haven't kind of reached the point that they have Overseas.
Well, there's also not as much Incentive to do so my understanding of the overseas kind of cellular market, And cellular industry is that you actually have to pay extra for SMS and for MMS sending, at least in some parts. Okay, so data's cheap.
And so, yeah, exactly, right, exactly that. It costs more to send those dumb messages than it does to just hop on a Wi-Fi channel and communicate through an app like WhatsApp.
And here we don't really have that. Like, it's just all baked in, and we've been doing that for years, and so it's really hard to undo those habits, and I'm certainly a victim of that.
So, the bottom line of the messaging question, though, is that most of the time you're communicating one-on-one with someone, you can't use your Mac to do it.
You have to type on your phone.

[38:30] Yeah, that's true. That's true. But it's also not something that I've really had much experience with.
I've done it a little bit with my Chromebook when I've used Chromebook over the years, you know, there's some kind of... And actually, no, you know what? I'm totally overlooking. thing.
I do have messages on my Mac. It's just in a browser.
It's the Android Messages app has a sync up.
So it throws a QR code up on the screen. I don't know why I didn't think about that initially.
And I zap it with my phone.
And so then I have my threads on my computer.

[39:05] And I have that browser window at home.
Yeah. Yeah. So basically, it's just passing the information to and from the phone into to that browser instance of Android Messages.
All the messaging is happening on the phone still.
It's just, I have access to send and receive through the web interface.
One of the reasons I didn't like WhatsApp was I had to do that, was I had to have WhatsApp on my phone, I had to scan it, and then it would hand off control over to the browser-based WhatsApp, or to whatever it was on WhatsApp on my Mac, and then I had to take it back.
The next time I sat down, I had to do it again and again and again.
I was like, ah, that's too much trouble.
Yeah, it really depends on how much logging out and logging in you're doing on your machines. Like my machine that's at home, it's just staying here usually.
So I just kind of leave it logged in. And so it's connected the minute I sit down. You know what I mean? If I go to work...
It will... I will have already linked up that messages app on my phone to the browser version of it at work, but it's not actively syncing there.
So it just says, do you want to use it here? And I say, yes.
And it... bloop, it brings it over. And so it's pretty easy.
Every once in a while, I have to kind of do the re QR code scan, but it's not a big deal.
The other stuff, you could do Slack DMs from your Mac, you could do any of the other things. Okay. Yeah.
I just hate typing on a little phone, but maybe it's because I'm an old man.
You're this young kid, young whippersnapper.

[40:30] Talking about computers in high school. I don't know that I'm very whippersnapper.
There was once upon a time.
No, I totally agree though. I hate typing out long things on my phone, and I will avoid it like the plague if I had the ability to.
Well, that's one of the things that, it's later on in my notes, but I'm going to steal it and bring it up to here, is one of the things I really like about having the Mac and the iPhone is if I have to put something in on the phone, phone, I can type it on my Mac, copy it, and then just hit paste over on my phone because the two are because of continuity or handoff or whatever they're calling it today.
And I really enjoy that.

[41:05] There are some apps that you can install or Chrome extensions or whatever that you can do some of that stuff with, but having it baked into the OS, that's really nice. Oh, that's interesting. You do it through Chrome extensions? You can.
I don't really do that very often, but I know that I have.
I couldn't even tell you what is the app. You know, there was a time when there was... Oh, man, what is it?
It's like a... Yeah, I'm blanking.
I can't even remember the name of it. I was thinking Pushbullet, and that's not quite the same, although maybe it is.
I just haven't used it in a very long time. You know, if it was integrated, and it was like always there at the push of a button inside of some menu, and I could like trust that it would always be there, then maybe I'd use it more.
But yeah, there is kind of a certain degree of like, set up over here, got to make sure the extensions installed, and that's updated and active, blah, blah, blah, you know. So it's just not... There's enough fiddly stuff, we don't need to add more.
It's not part of my habit. You know what I mean? And because for you, I imagine, you know, features like that are so deeply integrated and just there, that's like the magic of what Apple does, then yeah, if I had that experience, I'd probably be more inclined to rely on it.
Yeah, I think a lot of people don't realize it's there, so it may not be as important to other people as it is to me, but I use that one all the time.
All right, here's a couple softballs. Well, how do you do email?

[42:30] How do I do email on my Mac or how do you mean?
Between the two, are you using the web browser Gmail? I'm just using Gmail.
I mean, primarily Gmail is like 99%. I think it's all of my email experience.
So, you know, my phone is logged into Gmail, my computer, that's what I'm using.
Or do you use an app? Yeah, from a browser. No, I don't use an app.
Okay, because you could do Gmail in, in the Apple Mail.
I could, but, and I've set that up and I've tried and yeah, you know, I think what I'm realizing is there's kind of a fundamental thing for me and relying on the cloud, I realize, as we talk about this.

[43:11] And maybe part of that is that Google as a company is so cloud-driven, and especially if you've ever used like a Chromebook, like that device exists because of the cloud.
Like, it really... What I realized is, in using the Chromebook, it really reinforced this idea that like, do I really need to have everything as an app on my computer if I can just open up a web browser, which is where I'm spending 90% of my time anyways, and just have a tab that has that app there instead?
And that's the paradigm that I tend to work within more often than not.
I'm happier to do that than to launch yet another app that has its own kind of like siphoned off area and experience.
It also keeps me closer to Google's presentation of these things as opposed to an app's interpretation of what Google's email should be.
I know that's different. I know some people really love the app experience, but I tend to not really rely on that, I guess.
Interesting. Yeah, I'm definitely on the all apps all the time, hardly do anything through web browser.
Now that said, I use a fair number of apps that are actually, what is it, electron apps, so it's actually a web browser.

[44:24] But yeah, I don't actively go do that. I'm assuming Google Calendar, Google Contacts?
Absolutely. Yeah, 100%. That's where I manage any and all those things.
What about watching movies or something on your, like, let's say you take your laptop on a plane? Mm-hmm.
Well, I guess that depends on the service. Are you talking about like Netflix, like offline Netflix, that sort of thing?
Yeah. Well, I guess maybe I'm weird there is I actually have movies on my Mac that are resident there because we ripped them. So maybe that's a weird question.
It's the wrong question. No, I don't think it's the wrong question.
I mean, there are times when I do that and if I play them, I'm probably using like a VLC or something like that.
The app VLC just because it's a good... I found an app you use. Yeah, there we go.

[45:13] For very specific reasons, but yeah, absolutely. This may be a completely wrong metric, but go to your applications folder and tell me how many apps are on your Mac.
Because I want to say there's like 80 that are installed by default.
I want to… I seem to remember that number.
133? I got 135.
Yeah. I mean, probably about 10 of those are the Adobe suite, if not 15.
I have a lot of music production stuff on this computer.
So there's a lot of apps tied into that.
Because like I said, that's just not… Music production for me is not an avenue that I'm ways to do it, it's not as robust as what I'm used to and have grown accustomed to over the years.
What music apps do you use? That is largely the heaviest stuff on my computer is all music-related.
Like what? What do you rely on?
Well, I primarily use Ableton Live as my digital audio workstation.
That's usually where I'm composing these days. I've never heard of that.
Ah, it's really fantastic. So prior to Ableton, which is probably like only a year and a half ago, and so probably from like 2004 till a year and a half ago, I used Pro Tools, which I'm sure you've heard of. Yeah.

[46:36] Everybody's heard of Pro Tools at this point. It's kind of the industry staple.
But I just got really bored with it and started to get really uninspired by it. That's from Avid, right?
Yeah. Pro Tools. Okay. Mm-hmm. Mm-hmm. And so then I decided to get the 90-day free trial of Ableton Live and Ableton Live is different.
It's, yeah, I mean, it does a lot of the same things as the digital audio workstation does, but it really excels in bringing a live performance to it.
So not everything is pre-recorded on a timeline.
You can also kind of like fill a grid and have things be more of like a performance, which I don't really use it a whole lot for, but it's a really unique approach in how they lay it out for music production.
I find it really inspiring. Oh, that's interesting.
So yeah. So that's what I use for the main production.
And then a lot of the other apps are just different plugins that have standalone app options like Amplitube, which is like a guitar amp simulator and a bunch of others along those lines. Oh, that's interesting.
My ears lit up on the digital audio workstation because I'm still looking for a good.
A really good digital audio workstation for podcasting. I know, right?

[47:55] Like, yeah. Hindenburg Pro? I've heard that Hindenburg is pretty good.
I've not used it, though. Pretty good is a perfect description.
I like it, but it's definitely written by Windows developers who were forced into also making it work on the Mac.
So I'm always writing to them saying, hey, so this is part of the interface guidelines.
It's supposed to be able to do this, you know, Like, oh, the one that drove me crazy was it wouldn't stay in focus.
Like if you select a field and then you like for a chapter mark, and then you go get the the text that you want to copy and paste in there, it is now lost focus and you have to click it twice to get back in.
And after that stuff, literally two years of bugging them, they just changed it. So it follows the guidelines now.
But it's like, oh, come on, I should. And is that what you rely on?
Is that is that your primary right now?
Yeah. Of the digital audio workstations I've tried, it's the one I dislike the least.
Yeah, right. I mean, it's fine, but it's just, it's not, it's not just right, you know, it's not quite there.
Meanwhile, so many people use Audacity because it's the free choice and because so many other people use it and I can't stand it. So, you know, everybody has their preferences.
It's that Soviet era user interface that I really appreciate about it.
I can get it to work and it does some things that are pretty nice.
I've used Amadeus Pro, which is also good, but it's got parts of it that just make multi-track editing terrible.

[49:24] About once every six months, I write to Paul Kafasis of Rogamiba, begging him to write a digital audio workstation.
This year's email was entitled, What I Want for Christmas.
And every time he says, no, we aren't going to.
I'm like, why? But thank you for continuing to write. It's right and fair.
It's like, I would stop using anybody else's. Whatever you write, here's my money, take it now. I will buy it from you.
But anyway, that's nobody else's problem. What about note-taking apps? What do you use?

[49:54] I'm a little broken when it comes to note taking.
I'm all over the map, which I have a scattered mind with it.
Yeah. I mean, sometimes I'll fire up a note, some sort of like a sticky on Mac for a quick thing, text edit.
I rely on text edit a lot for like when I'm doing live shows and I want like a scratch pad for me to throw things in, even though I could also...
Can I suggest a more fun one? Yeah.
Cot Editor, C-O-T Editor.
It's technically, I think it's supposed to be for coding, but it's got one huge feature.
It just opens up with a blank note in plain text.
I'm so tired of every app, like I opened up Numbers today.
I opened up Numbers. It says, oh, what would you like to do?
I want a new file, Command-N. Okay, well, would you like to start with a template?
No, I just want a blank, just give me a blank. Just open.
Start. Open to the thing. And that's what Cot Editor does for me.
So you're adding another one to my list. So basically it's text edit, it's stickies, it's... I've only recently started relying on Notes, the Mac Notes app.
And I don't know why it took me so long, but I'm really enjoying that for syncing between machines and everything like that. I think it's because it's gotten better.

[51:11] I still don't like it. It's kind of the way I like Hindenburg.
I think it's fine and I do keep some stuff in there. I did a thing recently on, what was it on?
Might have been on Clockwise, but where I talked about all the different...
No, no, it was on DTNS. That's what it was.
Where I said the correct notes app is... And then I gave the 11 that I use.
Okay, use this one for this, and this one's for this, and this one's for this.
And I have no idea where any of my content is.

[51:37] Yes, exactly. I'm always jumping between like, wait a minute, where did I put that thing? And then I'm using Keep in the cloud, Google Keep.
That's where I might just... Well, yeah. Again, I think it's fine. It's good enough.
It's the one that if I'm out and one of my girls says, oh, man, I love that something-something and my mind goes to, ooh, I should write that down for a Christmas gift or something like that.
It's the one that I fire up quickly and I've got that thing pinned on there and I just drop it in and move along with my day.
It's real quick in to put the thing down and move on and I can reference it somewhere in future and I know what I keep there.
It's my quick scratchpad. It's not all about organizing and tagging and all that kind of stuff.
No, I mean, things end up organized because certain things, I'll create a new entry in order for these things to go in there, but I will archive a lot through it.
So it's like, okay, I've done those things, archive and get them out of view, that sort of thing. Okay.
Okay. By the way, I find the sticky notes to be very useful for Clockwise.
That's where I put my answers to the questions.

[52:47] Oh, okay. Yeah. Yeah, Sticky's comes in handy. I mean, it's nice that it's bright yellow and just right there.

[52:54] Because it's very easy for me to forget things. I've only very recently been diagnosed ADHD, and so I've really been coming to terms with what that means on how I actually get things done.
And I found stickies and just, you know, real life sticky pads to be really useful for me. That bullet journal as well.
That's funny. So you don't have anything that integrates between the Mac and your Android phone?
Well, again, if it does integrate, it's because it's in the cloud.
Google Keep is automatically cloud in the same way that Gmail and Calendar and Contacts are.
Maybe I should try Google Keep, because I'm not using that one yet.
Fair is fair if you have to add one, right? Yeah. You got to find a reason to use Google Keep.
Anytime you have a note about Google, throw it in there.

[53:41] Yeah, because it's got to have a category where it can't find it.
So, it doesn't sound like you really miss any of the big integrations between iPhone and Mac, mostly because you're not experiencing it on a daily basis.
Like we talked about copy and paste.
Continuity camera, are you jealous of that one, where your phone can be your camera?
I think that's super cool. Like I think it's a really, really neat feature.
You know, again, well, I realize the webcam that I'm using, even though people aren't going to see it on this podcast, you know, it's not the best camera.
It's a Logitech. I know, it looks really good. HD camera. It's fine.
Yeah. Well, that's what I'm using.
Yeah. I mean, I'm sure that the phone, you know, might actually look maybe a little bit better than this with continuity, but I haven't found myself in a position where I'm like, if I just had that continuity feature, all my problems would be solved. You know what I mean?
Again, I think really when it boils down to it, it's just, I haven't had access to these things and so I don't miss them yet because I don't have them, you know? Do you use an iPad?

[54:42] I have an iPad that I use for a very specific purpose.
But I don't really tablet much.
If I'm going to tablet, it's probably to either play Fallout Shelter, which yes, I'm still playing Fallout Shelter, or I have a very old iPad that I use for a very specific purpose within music production is this little device called a Spire Studio that is like a little, digital eight track that syncs up with an iPad.
It can also sync up to Android on an app on Android as well, but I just have like a dedicated iPad for that, so it gives me a larger view for it. So maybe outside of the norm on that one.
Okay. So what's your lean back experience on the couch then?

[55:28] Um, if I'm on the couch and I'm leaning back, I mean, the phone, my laptop, to be honest, I mean, well, well, if, yeah, I mean, I would say primarily it's my phone because it's always with me and it's small and everything.
If I've got like an immediate, like, oh, I've got to check this one thing, it'll be my phone.
But if I want to like be computing or, or, or, you know, researching something or whatever. Yeah. I'm not doing that on a tablet. I'm doing that on a laptop. Absolutely.
Okay. Yeah, my husband, Steve, who by the way says, hey. Hey, Steve.

[56:01] He hates the iPad. He hates working in iOS.
You know, the phone has its place, because it has to be, but if he has a choice, he's working on his MacBook Pro on his lap.
So, you know, he's goofing around on Facebook while we're watching TV or something like that. He'll definitely be on his laptop.
I kind of go both ways on that. Once I got the MacBook Air, I'm much more likely to use a laptop on my lap in a Leanback experience, just because it's so thin and light, I can pick it up and set it down more easily.
Yeah, absolutely. I've asked a lot of questions about what I felt like you were missing.
What are we missing by not doing it the other way around that we could be experiencing if we had Android with our Macs?
Oh, boy, I wish I had read this question prior to the show. I snuck it in at the end before you... I'd have something prepared.
What are you missing from the Android experience?
Or the Android to Mac experience? because there's not really a whole lot going on there between Android and Mac. Okay, okay.
But I guess it's the Android experience, sure. That might be too open-ended at this late hour in our recording.

[57:05] Yeah, I think that a lot of the early and long-time benefits of Android, You know, the customization aspects.

[57:19] Those used to be really big complaints or really big reasons why someone who's running Android would say, hey, you're on iOS.
Well, you don't know what it's like to customize your phone and truly own it because Apple makes a lot of decisions for you.
And on Android, you can make any decision you want. And I think that there's some truth to that in this day and age, but I think Apple's really done a lot to make that not quite as true anymore as an iOS user.
Correct me if I'm wrong, you can do a lot more to customize your phone.
I think there are still certain things, and I wish I knew what it was exactly, but setting a default of some sort that isn't Apple's default is still a challenge, right?
And that's something that as an Android user, over the years, I've relied upon that at times to be the case.
And I would be... Yeah, Yeah. That'd be super annoying if I kept running into that and had to work my way around that limitation.
Yeah. We definitely live with, what do they call it? The tyranny of the default is that once it's the default, I mean, we're now allowed to choose something other than Google for search, but I don't know how many people do that.
I try it, I dabble in it, and then I go back.
Yeah. Yeah. Right. Yeah. I mean, in Google search, a lot of people.

[58:41] Google is successful because so many people use their search and rely upon it and wouldn't use anything else.
But yeah, I know there are other examples, and I'm kind of blanking on what those might be right now.
But that has long been a really big benefit to Android, which is, how do you want to use your phone? Great, we'll let you do it.

[59:02] It's kind of a playground, which for some people, that's the reason right there.
It's like, I feel like it's my phone, and somebody else isn't making a decision for me on my phone, I'm making all the decisions.
I'm happy to have someone tell me what to do.

[59:19] Yeah, exactly. Some people appreciate that. And I kind of fall right in the middle there. There are some times where I'm like, you know what?
Sometimes it's just a little too complicated.
Like I just kind of want to set it and forget it and move on with my life.
And then there are other times where I'm like, well, no, of course I don't want that search engine or whatever, you know, whatever that choice might be.
Or I want Waze, not Google Maps or Apple Maps or whatever. I want that to be my default. Yeah, I can see the benefits of both.
Well, this has been really fun. I learned a lot and it's just always such a joy to talk to you, Jason.
If people want to follow you online, they should obviously go to and subscribe to all the shows and become a member of Club Twit, but what about following you elsewhere outside of there?
Well, very recently, I set up a URL,
And it just sounds so nice. It's all rhyming and stuff.
But basically, if you go to, it'll take you to a page that basically collects all of my different social media accounts and different shows that I'm doing.
It's all on a single page and easy to look at.
And this is way easier to say than it is to tell you my random username on all these different platforms, because I'm not fast enough at grabbing Jason Howell it seems.
So sometimes I get it, sometimes I don't. That's actually a fantastic URL.
It's only six digits and .fun. I mean, who doesn't want to go to .fun, right? I know. And it rhymes.
Like, pretty good .fun. It just rolls off the tongue.

[1:00:46] All right. Well, thanks a lot for joining us. And let's not make it so long next time. This was a real blast. I enjoyed it.
Absolutely, Allison. Thank you. This has been such a pleasure.
It's nice to see you again.
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[1:01:56] Music.