April Fools!

This week Jamie and Ben discuss whether or not April Fools Day has been ruined by the tech industry, new leaks about a bigger iPhone, and the long-awaited release of Microsoft Office for iPad. 

April Fools Day [0:00-9:40]
April fools day used to be a fun day but has the tech industry ruined it? We recorded on April 1st and there appears to be a lot of malaise and resentment towards companies for doing this. Its devaluing any real news that breaks today. Google makes there's fun, like the Pokemon stuff in Google maps, which is more in keeping with the spirit of the "holiday" but the majority seems to be "here's an unbelievable news story...haha gotcha" this lead to a brief discussion about Tweetbot mute filters.

More leaks for a bigger iPhone [09:40-17:12]
The latest leaks coming out of china indicate that there will be 2 new iPhone sizes. A 4.7 inch and a 5.5 inch that will be launched months apart. Is this size actually better? Is there any value to be had for having a bigger screen size? Jamie hopes that if Apple does go bigger they do it in a way that doesn't affect the feel of the device. Android phones with bigger screens are just too big and difficult to hold and the trade offs generally outweigh the benefits. 

Microsoft Office for iPad [17:12 - 31:27]
Neither Jamie nor Ben uses Microsoft office but this says more about the iPad and Microsoft than it does about just the software. This has apparently been ready to ship since 2012 and was heavily rumoured to launch along side the iPad 3. Did Steve Balmer hold it back in favour of Surface being the only tablet that does real work? They've marketed that pretty heavily but now they seem to have thrown in with Apple and admitted (despite their protestations) that it is in fact possible to do real work on an iPad. Satya Nadella has done more in his first 60 days to get Jamie excited than Balmer managed in the last 6 years. 

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Thats Impossible!

This week Jamie went all in on the iPad again so he and Ben discuss his reasoning behind this decision. This also led to a significant change in Jamie's podcasting setup. This show was recorded on an iPhone 5s using Skype. Jamie's end was then recorded using the built in Voice Memos app on iOS. You can judge yourself as to whether this is an aural improvement over Jamie's usual setup. We'd love to hear your feedback.

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Maybe They Both Can Be True

Ben asks Jamie some questions about his recent post: "On conflicts of interest and perceived bias" and an attempt at a frank conversation about the economics of podcasting ensues.

The discussion centers around Jamie's post but we also reference a follow-up piece by Nate Barham as well as an earlier post about transparency and money by Linus Edwards.

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All It Wants To Do Is Make You Happy

Jamie and Ben are joined by Andrew J Clark.

Andrew is the creator of Numerical, a calculator without equal. Whether you're doing simple math, advanced brackets and exponentiation, or need a running history of your previous work, Numerical has the answer.

Starting from scratch, with no real experience coding, Andrew developed & launched Numerical in a matter of months, and he shares some of the insight he's gained during the process.

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Sponsored By:

Typeform: Typeform makes asking questions easy, human and beautiful. Listeners can upgrade to Typeform PRO and get 3 months free by using the coupon code fiatlux. Give your forms a user experience that makes your questions look & feel great everywhere.

Nobody Ever Says I've Worked For Samsung And Apple Pt. 1

After careful deliberation and testing, Jamie has made up his mind about platform ecosystems. After absolutely zero testing or deep thought whatsoever Ben came to a similar conclusion. We're going to need to recruit a third party for the counterpoint. 

[8:42]

Jamie: Some of the stuff Apple does is just crazy as well. So I don't have a predetermined... I think it helps that I've worked for both companies as well. Nobody ever says, like, I've worked for Samsung and Apple. Its always"Jamie Ryan, former Apple Employee" or "Jamie Ryan, former Samsung employee."

Its never the two at the same time. 

Because they use whichever one supports whatever it is that they're trying to get across at the time. Or the opposite is true as well. If I'm trying to defend iOS they'll say "yeah, thats because you're an ex-Apple employee" or if I'm trying to argue Samsung's point-of-view its a case of "you used to be a Samsung employee."

I've always tried different technologies but I think I'm realizing now that we're not - or at least not for my needs - we're not in a place at the moment where switching and exploring these new things theres not actually as much innovation going on as people would have you think.

Its not as fast as people think it is. Its generally does seem to be all being done, sort of, by ████████ at the moment. Like with the services. But I'm gonna go through a few of them and quantify each one.


Exploring or Settling

Jamie and Ben wonder about the wisdom of exploring alternatives or less commonly used services and apps. Should we all be pioneers in an ever-westward quest for new and improved applications and services? When should we explore? When should we settle? 

When do we quit the endless game of musical chairs over apps that are supposedly about productivity?

[33:08]

Jamie: I don’t code and everybody keeps telling me I should learn C and stuff like that. I might do it and its something I’ve always wanted to do but its something I’ve wanted to do for so long now I’ve kind of come to terms with the fact that i’ll probably never do it.

Like I still don’t have a driving license either. I turned 29 last month and I still don’t have a driving license. What dawned on me was - over here you get a provisional license, I think you guys call it a learners permit. And it expired after ten years - last year. I went to go use it as a form of ID and they were like “that’s expired.”

Its still me. I’m not expired. You can still use it as proof of who I am.

I took ten driving lessons when I was 19 and I’ve not taken any since, so, like 10 years of so-called learning to drive I just never bothered doing it.

Ben: So I guess you don’t need to drive then.

Jamie: Thats it. Its like code. I don’t need to code, but people are always telling me I should.

I almost feel like an impostor because I’m writing about stuff but perhaps I don’t have the right to write about it? I try to keep things as simple as possible when I’m writing about stuff. I don’t go off on tangents and use fancy words and stuff.

I just want people to be able to read it and get my point.

Show Notes

First Annual Cultivate Awards (Part 1 of 2)

Join Jamie, Ben and a number of very special guests as they are presented with their Culty awards for outstanding service to the greater tech community in 2013.

In the first half of this multi-part special we present awards to the winners of the the following 4 categories: Best New Podcast, Best Tech Site, Best Blog & Best UK Coverage.

You'll have to listen to the episode to find out who wins! 

YouTube is Killing My TV

Just one topic today, and thats YouTube. Jamie wrote about it early this month, and we both have found enough great content there that its worth discussing. If you haven't taken the time to explore, maybe we'll give you some good starting points. Is YouTube to video production what iTunes is to audio? 

The Secret Chromebook Plumber

Jamie and Ben discuss the increasing number of pleasant low end surprises, such as Jamie's $200 Acer C720 Chromebook and Zac Cichy's $59, no-contract Lumia 520. Why are these products compelling in ways their higher-end cousins aren't?

Also, we explore what happens when you have a Really Bad Day on the internet, using  The Secret Plumber, Amy's Baking Company and The XBOX One Ebay Scam as lenses. 

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iPad Pro, PrimeSense & Photo Stream Confusion

Jamie has returned from his temporary exile from iPad-only computing. Ben doesn't understand what all the fuss is about Photo Stream. Both of us suspect Apple's purchase of PrimeSense will result in a new level of convergence between devices, and more importantly, a new standard of accessible & truly personalized computing.

iPad Pro & Screen Aspect Ratios
Ben and Jamie both think a big iPad Pro with a ton of storage makes sense. But Ben is skeptical about OSX being baked in. Also, we talk about finding the right balance in display aspect ratio. 

7" 16:9 vs 7.9" 4:3 - The iPad Mini's Screen is 35% larger. 

PrimeSense

Apple purchased PrimeSense, an Israeli 3D Sensing Company. We discuss potential applications, detour to some predictions about Apple TV AppChannels and discuss the more creative potential uses for PrimeSense’s technology.

Photo Stream Confusion My Photo Stream vs. Shared Photo Stream

My photo stream solves one problem - short term automatic sharing between devices. Shared photo streams solve another - long term, user-initiated sharing between people. So whats the remaining problem? Archival. And that won’t change anytime soon.

Redundancy and Backups

Somewhat related to the Photo Stream discussion, Backblaze posted an interesting piece explaining the economics of running a business that relies on lots and lots of spinning platters.

The British Invasion

Matt Brian

Matt Brian

For Cultivate's first real episode, we were chuffed to bits to be joined by Matt Brian, Associate European Editor at Engadget.  First up was a discussion of Engadget's brand-spanking new site design and an exploration of their current strategy for bridging the geographic and cultural gaps so common in technology journalism. 

We also took a look at the recent rise of bargain-priced, decent quality smartphones, branching out from Jamie's recent review of the Moto G.  What do these kind of devices mean for the industry as a whole? And what does this space look like in two or three years?

Outnumbered two-to-one, the yank bravely gave his quick & positive review of the recent Apple TV update, which adds Yahoo Screen and PBS apps and offered some explanation for why the US mobile industry is so out-of-step with the rest of the world. For anyone interested in that subject, we'd recommend checking out this discussion between Horace Dediu and Benedict Evans

Thank you, Matt for taking the time to come on the show. Listeners can get in touch with him on Twitter @m4tt

Introducing Cultivate with Jamie Ryan

In Cultivate's pilot episode, Jamie explains his reasons for starting the show and together we make a quick survey of the landscape of technology journalism: overcrowded, out-of-focus and lacking in context. 

With our ideas in hand, we set out some goals and guidelines for our journey. A show that plants the seeds of further discussion. Something thats accessible, realistic and focused on the news that actually matters. Discussions that foster true community and push the conversation forward.