Observations on Apple’s “The whole working-from-home thing” video

I love these videos, where Apple showcases its fantasies for what a fully Apple-ified life looks like. (I’m reminded of this Martin Scorcese/Siri commercial from 2012.) I’m also fascinated by production design and the small easter eggs hidden in stuff like this. And I like watching people…be productive? It’s weird I know.

I imagine the purpose is to pull all of Apple’s devices and features out of the abstract and into something resembling a real-life context, so that you can more easily say, “Oh that would make things easier/better/faster/cooler for me.”

So here’s some stuff I noticed:

  • Bridget (yes, I learned their names while watching this) is keeping an Apple Pencil behind her ear. The Apple Pencil is 8.9mm and 20.7 grams — is that really feasible? (Truly asking, as I don’t have one, but often keep a pencil-pencil behind my ear.)
  • In one scene, one of Dave’s kids says, “Hey Siri, can you read us a bedtime story?”, and a second says, “With no monsters?” I’m really curious to know how Siri parses that, and what app will be providing the story? And I assume the “With no monsters” bit is just meant to be cute, or does an app exist that would recognize that?
  • Although everybody does have AirPods, I’m glad to see not everybody has AirPods Pro.
  • Nobody seems to have customized their macOS Dock at all; I guess that would look messy or something? They certainly don’t shy away from featuring third-party apps in the video, but I guess giving them prime real-estate in the Dock would be too far?
  • They are holding company video conferences on FaceTime. Somehow I doubt any company outside of Apple does that (even though technologically FaceTime is great and more people should consider using it.)
  • Bridget has Vivian’s name in Contacts as “Vivienne (Boss)”. Dave has it as “Vivienne Hall 💀”
  • Bridget listens to Dithering.
  • Bridget has a folder called “Round Box” on her desktop (And “AFFIRMATIONS”).
  • I noticed a couple third-party apps:
    1. Some meditation app with an English accent? Headspace maybe?
    2. Microsoft Excel
    3. Some kind of recipes app maybe?
    4. Adobe InDesign
    5. Sleep Cycle
    6. MindNode
    7. A Nike AR shopping experience? Not sure if this is an app or a website.
    8. Cisco WebEx
  • Mail.app is actually featured in it quite a bit, just showing messages coming in, as though Mail is something Apple has spent any time innovating on at all. It works, but it’s not exactly a product you “show off.”
  • At one point, Sam (the designer?) emails Bridget a file called “InDesign_Installer.dmg.” Is this a thing? I thought Adobe products all installed from the Creative Cloud app.
  • There’s a gag about the difficulty of video conferencing, which rings true and isn’t specific to Apple, but it seems like a strange thing to draw attention to.
  • When they’re demonstrating FaceTime picture-in-picture, “getting work done while you’re cooking dinner with your partner, after the sun has clearly set” might not be something most people aspire to.
  • It’s about a team of four people frantically working on a new packaging product whose timeline and budget are repeatedly being tightened — and not once does anyone’s Apple Watch tell them to Breathe.

And in case you’re curious about all the products everybody has to own to make this possible (you’re not), here they are:

Bridget

  • AirPods
  • Apple Watch
  • MacBook
  • iPad Pro (w/ Magic Keyboard)
  • iPhone

Dave

  • iPad Pro (w/ Magic Keyboard)
  • AirPods Pro
  • MacBook Pro
  • iPhone (11?)
  • HomePod

Marie

  • AirPods Pro
  • iMac
  • iPad Pro (w/ Magic Keyboard)
  • iPhone

Brian

  • AirPods
  • iPhone (11?)
  • iPad Pro (w/ Magic Keyboard)

Vivienne

  • iPhone (XS?)
  • AirPods (Pro?)

Mike from Finance

  • AirPods

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