An iMac and Some iPhones

Steven and Timothy return to discuss Steven’s new Retina 4K iMac, Apple’s September 10 media event, and more. Plus, Steven predicts when the next big thing from Apple will be announced.


Steven Aquino

Twitter: @steven_aquino


Timothy Buck

Twitter: @timothybucksf





Episode Transcript

Steven Aquino: Hi everyone, welcome to episode 14 of accessible season 2. I'm your host Steven Aquino, and with me as always is my friend and cohost Timothy Buck. How are you, Tim? 

Timothy Buck: I'm doing really well, Steven. Nice to be back on the show. 

Steven Aquino: Yeah, we haven't done a show in a while. I wrote a tweet last week about that and I'm sorry for you know, any of you out there who are like what happened to accessible but you know life is been  tough and we're still here so.

We don't have any follow-up from the last show. So we wanted to just jump into, you know, current events and what's been happening to us since we were last here, and we have a lot to talk about so let's jump in. 

I at the end of July. I got a new iMac. I got a retina 4K the top end. I think it's $14,999. And before I get into like what it is and all that I kind of just wanted to say that overall I'm super happy that I decided to do an iMac because I think it really kind  of anchors my works space. And when I sit down at my desk, like I know that it's you know time to do stuff right like either do the show or write an article.

I'm real we  happy with the my iMac. So I guess I should get into why I chose the 4K and kind of the technical aspect of it.

Like said I got the the high-end 4k model. The only things  that I touched is the RAM and the SSD so i you go to you can order this and the stock config will have eight gigs of RAM and I think it's a terabyte Fusion drive and I decided to go with 32 gigs of ram, even though it's super expensive because "a" I wanted it to be future proof and "b" you can't open the door to add ram like you can on the 5K. 

And second of all as far as the the SSD goes. I was really tempted to kind of cut cost and go with the stock Fusion drive, but I decided at the end of the day that I should really just go for it and get an SSD. 

Timothy Buck: Which size did you get?

Steven Aquino: I went with the terabyte SSD. 

Timothy Buck: Did you... I'm just like playing around with the on the Apple site right now... Did you get the i7 or the i5. 

Steven Aquino: No, so I didn't touch the processor or the graphics.

Timothy Buck: Okay, so I think this... I'm gonna send you a link that I think should be the one that you got.  And we'll put this in the show notes if anybody's interested. Boom. 

Steven Aquino: So I you know, there's something I should say here. This iMac was not cheap and for what I paid for it you might think that I should that Steven you should have gone for the 5K, but I think for my eyesight and for my space like the retina 4K has been an awesome choice.

It fits the desk really well and my eyes don't get us lost in such a big screen as a retina 5K iMac and so I'm super happy with it. Like I don't regret not going to the 5K at all. 

I think it says a lot about me technologically as a nerd I think having an iPhone Xr, and then having a the retina of 4K iMac. Like all the Nerds talk about the 5K and how awesome it is, but no one ever talks about the smaller one and I don't know why I mean. It's no slouch, you know. But yeah, I'm really very happy with it.

And if you want a retina iMac, but you don't want the huge size and your space won't fit the huge iMac like I would heartily recommend the 4K. 

Timothy Buck: Yeah. It seems like a really good computer. I haven't really used one very much but. I guess I haven't used an iMac regularly since college when like one of the offices I work in all the time had one that I worked on. But yeah, I very much been on the MacBook Pro or MacBook Air trained since the very beginning so. What do you find... The one thing it seems like you mentioned was like having a place to do work is helpful. 

Steven Aquino: Yeah 

Timothy Buck: For like the mindset. I feel like that makes sense, like people productivity experts seem to like mention that a lot about like being able to differentiate from play and work and having a specific location where you do that is good.

Do you do anything other than work on that computer?  

Steven Aquino: No, like I mean I do come here when I'm not actually doing work to like surf and stuff. But I mean, I don't like download any games from the app store or anything. 

Timothy Buck: Yeah. 

Steven Aquino: I installed Parallels, so I have Windows 10 on here as a virtual machine.

Timothy Buck: What do you use that for?

Steven Aquino: Just to kind of keep an eye on like Windows. 

Timothy Buck: Oh, yeah, that makes sense.

Steven Aquino: You know. Yeah, I don't really... Sorry cut you off.

Timothy Buck: Oh, yeah, no worries. I was just wondering... You mentioned that the 4K screen was better for your eyesight. Have you found that like as... I don't know that... When I think about like higher and higher resolution stuff it oftentimes leads to things on the screen being much smaller.

So I guess. Is there a point where you feel like it is an actually helpful to have higher resolution? 

Steven Aquino: So yeah, so I guess I should talk about this I have done some tweaking to this to the iMac so. Whenever... And this this goes with it with any Mac I've used, laptop or iMac I tend to make the cursor the largest size that that it could be and then also I bump up the size of the dock.  

Other than that like I don't touch the screen resolution at all. I don't. I've tried it like on this iMac and I don't like how the scale... I don't like how the scaled Zoom..Screen looks.. I don't know how to say it.

But like you can change it and you can like fill more space and you know bigger and it doesn't look right. 

So I just use it as is and it's fine. One of the things that... One of the things that I chose the 4K model for is... I found like when I go to an apple  store or something and they have 5 Ki Max and I you know, look at them everything on the screen looks so far away like... The menu bar is like super far away. It's small. I can't like get up to it that well and everything is smaller, right because it's a bigger screen but with the 4K like everything feels more eye level... I don't know if that makes any sense, but.

Because the screen is not as big and not as high resolution like it's more comfortable.  I hope you get what I'm saying. 

Timothy Buck: Yeah, that makes sense.

Cool any other thoughts about the new iMac 

Steven Aquino: Pretty much like I kind of hemmed and hawed if I should order it or not? Because I didn't know if you know if October came like they're going to refresh it again. Because they refreshed it in April, I think this is new. This is from like the April update, but I went to MacRumors' site... Their buying site like four times before I order it and they said it was fine to order so I just went with it and it's fine, you know. 

Any-who happy with it. It's awesome. I think it's going to last me for a while, you know, it should with all SSD and everything. So, oh the thing is the only thing I should add to this whole thing is. I got the magic keyboard with with the number pad and I'm happy I did that because I like having the extra space.

The reason I say it though is because. Going from my touch bar MacBook Pro. I was kind of concerned that I would really miss the touch bar and what it does, you know for accessibility and I have to be honest like I do really miss the TouchBar a lot. You know for choosing emoji and and just like when I do email I can tap send on the touch bar.

I can do  things on the touch bar that I have to point click with on my mouse now or use keyboard shortcuts, so I am sad that I don't have a touch bar. And if Apple ever came out with a magic keyboard with a touch bar on the top of it. I would sweep that up. No heartbeat. 

Timothy Buck: I was actually about to ask that. That's cool.

I still haven't used like daily a computer with the touch bar.  But yeah, because I have the MacBook Air at home and then at work I still have the generation before the touch bar macBook Pro. 

Steven Aquino: Okay. Yeah.  Yeah, I. You know, I mean, I know people say and I've said it a hundred times in three years. People say the touch bar sucks.

It failed like and I guess you know in a sense that yeah, they're right it did fail because it's like it hasn't really caught on I think the way that Apple in tended it... But like and I'm only speaking for me but like as a disabled person like as somebody who uses a you know, os10 like I have found the touch bar to be so helpful in like even doing small small things like, you know searching for emoji or tapping send on an email right? Like I find it so helpful that I really hope that Apple just they don't throw in the towel on it, right and prove everyone right? And when the touch Bar, you know, if it dies people are going to be insufferable on twitter with their smug attitude like "oh, yeah it died because  it was really bad." You know?

Any-who.  But you know, I don't have a Touch Bar. For now and it's been fine. But I'm I am sad that it's not there. 

Yeah, that 

Timothy Buck: makes sense. 

Steven Aquino: Anyway, that's about all for the iMac. Next up is, I have a story... As we're recording this it's Labor Day, September second.

So on Tuesday the 3rd. I have a big feature story for MacStories that will come out where I  do a deep dive on voice control on iOS and iPad OS.

I wrote almost 5,000 words on it. 

Timothy Buck: Oh, wow. 

Steven Aquino: I pulled a lot. I tried to get a statement from Apple, but it turned out that I. I had a lot that I pulled from my WWDC stuff. That was still good. Like I took a lot of info from my story there and incorporated it into my story here and. I did some you know interviews with people who you use Voice Over and Voice control and talked about you know how it works with people like me who stutter. 

It's just a whole lot of you know, as I said, it's about 4600 words 4700 words. So it was about 5,000 words, give or take, and I'm really excited for people to see it and you know with everything that's going on at home this year like it was a miracle that I was able to to to do it.

And you know, I'm just super excited that it came out as well as it did and you know as you hear this it'll probably be out there, but yeah, 

Timothy Buck: We're not going to have this. I'm not gonna have this edited by tomorrow. So we'll definitely link this in the show notes and I'm excited to read it. That is one of the most interesting announcements.

I believe we talked about this in our WWDC follow-up episode. It seems like kind of a most interesting accessibility feature that was mentioned. They obviously like focused on it with their video and all that kind of stuff for anybody who doesn't remember you want to give like a to you like a quick overview of what voice control is.

Steven Aquino: Yeah. So what it is is like it pretty much like the whole essence of it is. Like you talk to your iMac or your iPhone right or iPad and you talk to it. You tell it to do something and it does it.  It's very like sci-fi like super cool like you're talking to your. Inanimate object and it's like doing stuff on screen.

And what it is is what Apple told me it was, you know, this is yet another tool for people who have certain physical motor disabilities too.  That they could use to control their their their their iPhone or iPad or Mac.  And it's not perfect. You know, it falters in certain areas, but for version one, it's really deep and you can do a lot to it to change it to make it how you want it and. You know, it is really another like sign that Apple like knows how to do software and like they know how to like serve this segment, you know, like it's really cool. 

Timothy Buck: Yep, it's a very cool. I'll make sure to put the link to their intro video. I think we had it in last episode show notes as well.

But I'll link that again in case you missed the last episode. It's got a really cool video that I feel like I've shown it to a bunch of people. Just because like it's impressive. It's pretty cool. Like you said it's sort of sci-fi and it's different than like talking to Alexa or Siri or you know, Google Assistant It's like because you're moving things around to the screen with your voice.

It just feels even more sci-fi. It's not just like speaking back to you the answers. It's making changes on the screen that you're looking at which I find pretty cool. 

Steven Aquino: Yeah, that's actually a great point and I didn't write this sentence in the article but now I should have now thinking that I should have. This Voice Control takes the whole idea of talking to Alexa or Google  Assistant and like it takes that idea and like takes it up a notch because like you're actually you're not just talking to the to Alexa right? And you know asking her how hot is it how hot. It is outside like you're telling your iMac or your phone to like do stuff and it's actually controlling the interface on screen.

Timothy Buck: Yep. 

Steven Aquino: So that's super cool. 

Timothy Buck: Yep. It's pretty sweet.  

Steven Aquino: So that'll be out. We'll make it in the show notes with when it's out. And moving on.

Timothy Buck: The iPhone event! 

Steven Aquino: can't see the notes text. It's too small.  Yes, the iPhone event. So on Thursday I checked my email and I happened to see an email from Apple Events and under the subject it says "Join us on September 10th for an event at Apple Steve Jobs Theater," and I will be there in the room when they announce the new iPhones and apple Watch series 4 or 5. I guess we're five. I don't know and yeah  I don't really know what to say like about the new iPhones. I mean, I haven't really kept a close eye on like the rumor mill.

I know that there's three cameras in the new iPhone. The highest and iPhones. I know the 10r which is the phone I have. I know it's supposed to get a second one.  But other than that like I don't I don't know what's happening with the new iPhone. I guess I'll have to see you know.

Timothy Buck: Yeah, I what I find it kind of funny for years and years it was all about the iPhone in like what all the rumors were about and maybe I'm just like falling off of a rumor game, but I feel like for me, it's just a little bit less interesting because my iPhone is so good. Like I don't really know what it even the cameras. I mean like I sure I wish it maybe had like night sight like the pixel for night photos.

But otherwise like the daytime camera like during the day the camera is amazing. That it's plenty fast. I have no speed problems and battery is great. I mean I have the XS Max like I can see how like normal people out there care less and less about upgrading their phones as much because it's like even though I probably will upgrade.

It it's less interesting to me, which is weird. I think I'm actually more interested in the watch changes than I am in the phone. And I you know, there are rumors going around right now about the Apple watch adding a bunch of sleep functionality, which I'm super interested in like. I haven't taken the route of like installing a like a third-party sleep app.

I know a lot of people do that, but I don't know it just felt like too much work but if the if the watch came with that functionality built in I think that I'll link in the show notes to believe 9to5 has a piece on. And some of the things about  the third party sleep apps is like, okay. Well now I've got to remember to charge it like at a different time instead then when I'm sleeping. One of the things that the 9to5 article says is like.  Basically, the watch will remind you before you go to bed that you need to like charge. If you use it for the sleeping so it like I guess like the nighttime thing when it like remind you to go to bed.

It'll like remind you a little bit ahead of time like hey charge this now and then it will like remind you again when it's bedtime to like put it back on. Or that seems to be the basic idea. I read the article pretty quickly but like that is one of the things that I would want, right so I don't like forget about it. And then I wake up in the morning in my watch is dead. Like there's like little things like that that I feel like we're going to matter for this to actually work. Like the other one being like the alarm to wake you up only happens on the watch. And then if for some reason the watch were to like die while you were asleep it'll like still go off on the phone.

So like stuff like that. It's a little and and maybe some of the third party apps actually do these things but like having a built-in makes me more interested in actually trying it out. 

Steven Aquino: Yeah, I tweeted about this just. Separately, but an hour ago. I have no I have no interest in.  in sleeping with my watch. I think the sleep data is is cool. Like, you know, you get to see how you're sleeping and stuff, but I don't want to sleep with my Apple Watch.

Timothy Buck: Huh? 

Steven Aquino: I don't want to have to deal with charging the watch before I go to bed like and then remember it up put it on.  And then toss and turn in the night and then having the stupid thing on me.

Like I mean, I'm I'm not trying to say it's not good or anything. I just don't.  I just don't. I want to sleep with like I don't even sleep with my phone in the room.  Because well, that's not the only reason... 

I will when it's time for me to go to bed like I put my phone down and my watch down in the dock that I have on the desk which is in another room of our house and that's it. 

That actually 

Timothy Buck: seems really healthy. 

So that's actually good. I'm I should probably do that, you know.

That is a good advice. I like have it on my bed stand but it probably would be better to have it in another room. That's cool that you do that.  

Steven Aquino: So when when I want to check my phone when I get up I actually have to go into the office quote unquote and. Get it off 

So yeah I just wanted to say that  about iPhones. You guys should take this with a huge grain of salt because I have gotten review units of every new iPhone since the iPhone 6. Yeah, it was iPhone 6. I've gotten review units every phone since then and I'm assuming that'll be the case this year.

So like take that as you will but like I have to say I'm not terribly excited about the iPhone rumors that I've heard about like I don't know. I can't get too excited about having a third camera or  whatever else people have said about it. Like I'm sure they'll be good phones and I'll be happy to get a Hands-On time with him and stuff, but I just like I'm not like super super excited. 

Timothy Buck: Yeah.

Steven Aquino: I don't know if it is that bad. I mean, is that like. I don't know if I should even be saying that because I get review units. 

No, it's 

Timothy Buck: fine for you to say that I think it I think it makes sense. I'm I am interested in what it is.

I just think the way we're looking at this is the way the a lot of people are looking at it, right? They're not as excited as you we were maybe five years ago because the like types of changes are just different right and the types of problems that are being solved are less impactful on our lives maybe?  

I guess  maybe the reason that I'm interested about the watch stuff is like it seems like the changes tend to be like health-related. Which are really cool and that sort of stuff is like seems like the future of the watch... Doing more and more health related stuff and like that actually like has impact on people's lives and there's all the especially with the new hardware. I could see them adding other stuff like they added the EKG or ECG recently. Maybe that was last year? Like that has literally saved people's lives that kind of stuff is really interesting to me because it's like a new world and it's actually really impactful stuff. 

But apart from that like iPhone upgrade. There's going to be like what three different phones the new cameras on them, more powerful processors that are going to be amazing. But like that's basically all we know at this point and then the watches there's going to be an update there. Do you think that there will be any other hardware updates like trying to go through the types of stuff that there is there's the there's Macs. There's Apple TV. 

Steven Aquino: I think in a month's time like will be sitting here talking about an October event.

Timothy Buck: Right? Yeah and the October event will probably be what? Like the iPad and maybe Macs, Mac Pro,  

I'm guessing 

Steven Aquino: and probably MacBook Air. 

Timothy Buck: Yeah, all that makes sense. 

Steven Aquino: Yeah, but I don't know about iMac like I don't know if they would upgrade the iMacs because they just did it. They just did it in April. So I don't know. 

Timothy Buck: Yeah, that's interesting though. Like the I guess the one of the thing that everyone says is eventually coming and there's some really sketchy rumors that are probably not true that there's going to be some sort of a AR thing.

And maybe the let me look at the article. There's a there's a MacRumors article. It says iOS 13 code suggest Apple testing an AR headset. So I don't think this is suggesting that it will be released. But like that would obviously be like the big game changer. 

Steven Aquino: I'm going to guess and I don't have any people talking to me about anything like I don't have very many scoops and all that. I'm gonna guess that if these references aren't iOS 13. I'm gonna guess that whatever this this headset is that it's going to ship in the next six months. 

Timothy Buck: Wow! 

Steven Aquino: Because while six months to nine months because iOS 13 is just coming out right soon and I would think that like if these are references in 13 that this headset thing you would ship within iOS 13's lifetime, right? 

And if it wasn't announced for six months and it probably wouldn't actually be released until you know, 14 had been talked about. 

So I'm just going to go out. You know, I'm gonna go out on a limb, like people do it all the time on these Apple things.

I'm just gonna say like.  It's September now some time for second now. So like I could conceivably like be invited to an event in march where they announced this thing.

Timothy Buck: Wait, we have to put it we have to put a specifics on this here. So you are betting that by… what did you say? nine months from now, it will be shipped?  

Steven Aquino: Not shipped but... 

Timothy Buck: Okay, so... 

Steven Aquino: Like here's our thing because why would. Why would these these strings be showing up in iOS 13? 

Timothy Buck: Okay. So what I'm going to do is say Monday September 2nd, I'm going to create a little thing. Okay, Monday  September 2nd Steven bet. What are you calling it? Like "Apple AR glasses"...  

Steven Aquino: Yeah.  

Timothy Buck: To be announced so you're saying it won't be announced in one of the next two events.

Steven Aquino: Right I'm saying it's not going to be announced in in calendar year 2019 

Timothy Buck: K. So let me pick the date. Cool. Okay. I've got it saved. We'll see 

Steven Aquino: I mean, I mean, I don't know like 

Timothy Buck: I mean we're guessing we have no idea. 

Steven Aquino: I mean, I mean I have no idea like no one talks right like.  I mean, do you I mean, do you think that like.

The fact that these these code strings are in 13 like doesn't that tell you you do something. I mean I'm asking you like doesn't that tell you 

Timothy Buck: Yeah, I would say okay, it's tough because I could see it coming really soon. I could also see it as being like they're just testing it internally and so they had it in you know, the code base for when they were testing it internally and it just somehow slipped through and didn't get pulled out before it was released. You know, but I think your logic is sound so next June 2nd. I will have it to do that pops up that tells me that it's been nine months since you made this bet and wait.

What is the what are we betting I'm going to say no. I'm going to say either it will happen before 6 months from now or after nine months from now.  

Steven Aquino: It doesn't have to ship. I'm not saying it has to ship I'm saying.  I'm saying it has to like officially 

Timothy Buck: yeah. I know I'm... What I'm saying is it will either happen before 6 months from now. Or it will happen after 9 months from now that it will be announced so.

That's our bet 

Steven Aquino: Because I'm just saying because I'm just thinking that unless what you say is true. Like there's an error of some kind and they forgotten that the or they just put it in the internal builds of 13 because. 13 is the here and now like I'm thinking that the fact that these strings are in 13 suggest that these AR headset thing that Apple's doing is going to be announced / ship is within Thirteen's  lifetime, 

Timothy Buck: Right that makes sense, 

Steven Aquino: Which is like a year

Timothy Buck: I kind of hope it so it isn't that I think you're probably right.

It seems sort of lined up 2020 is the timeframe that everybody talked about several years ago and they were rumors first came out about. Are glasses so it wouldn't surprise me if that timeframe was right. It also wouldn't it would surprise me if it was one of the next two events, that would be huge.

I don't particularly think that that will happen, but I could see it being next year's fall events. 

Steven Aquino: I will eat my hat. But I have a hat here so I can... I will eat my hat if it happens at the October. 

Timothy Buck: All right. All right, cool. We have to I have to do something. Maybe you have to like... What do you what happens if you're wrong about the to about your bet here?

Steven Aquino: Gosh, I don't know. 

Timothy Buck: Okay. Well we'll just do coffee. If I'm right, you have to buy me coffee and if you're right, I have to buy you coffee.  All right. So, everybody, it's official everyone heard that 

Steven Aquino: Everyone heard that if we win or lose we're both getting coffee. 

Timothy Buck: Yeah, so anything else? We're going pretty long here. Actually anything else about the Apple event that you want to talk about? 

Steven Aquino: I actually should say this out loud because every year people ask me where my iPhone review is on day one. So when when the embargo is lifted and people start publishing their iPhone reviews like I get an email and I get tweet every now and then like asking me where mine is. And this could change but historically, I have never been one of the first reviews. 

Timothy Buck: Right you typically get the to review devices after the initial embargo lifts. 

Steven Aquino: So how it works is they'll call me down for a briefing and talk to me about the iPhones and they'll send me home with an iPhone or two.  But I don't like, you know, as I said, I'm not like the Wall Street Journal or Gruber or Jim  Dalrymple. I don't get first reviews. So. Just that could change. I don't know maybe Apple. I don't know. I have no idea.

Timothy Buck: If you're listening out there, Apple. He would like to be one of the first people to get the phone. 

Steven Aquino: I mean, it doesn't matter. But like 

Timothy Buck: I know I know.  

Steven Aquino: But yeah, so in case you're hearing this and you are gonna l ask me like, where is you your iPhone review? I'm probably not going to have one on September...

So yeah, that's the only thing I want to say about the iPhone 

Timothy Buck: There were a few other things I wanted to mention before we dropped. I started writing a little bit for TidBITS. So link a few of those articles. I wrote to app reviews for them. And I have a few more I think that will be coming over the next few months.

So that's kind of exciting and also The future of Apple for UNCO, my other show, is a series that I do interviews before and after each Apple event. That should be coming out an episode before the next event and also after so that's coming out soon. And then I guess the last thing I wanted to mention is The Future of Indie Apps is the next series that I'm working on. I have bunch of people who've agreed to do interviews. A bunch of names that you've heard of from Twitter and from the Apple indie app world. So that's an exciting one. You can check that out over at

Steven Aquino: I'm sorry everyone. Our Pig decided to join us. Pablo says, hi. He's not happy.

Timothy Buck: We should add a picture of Pablo today.

Steven Aquino: We will add a picture Pablo to our show notes. 

Yes, I don't mean to be short Timothy. I am real real excited that you are writing for TidBITS and happy that you're going to continue on there. And I'm super excited about your next screw that UNCO you know, that'll be cool.

Timothy Buck: Yeah, thanks, man. 

Steven Aquino: So with that said... with the pig the interruption... I think we're going to call it a show. You can find me online on Twitter @Steven_Aquino You can also find me online on my site where I sometimes write, on And you can find Timothy on Twitter @TimothyBuckSF and online  at, and also his other show, the sister of ours, UNCO that can be found at

Until next time. We'll talk to you soon. Bye Tim. 

Timothy Buck: See ya.