Under the Radar

Under the Radar 65: Getting Sherlocked


00:00:00   welcome to under the radar of show about

00:00:02   independent iOS app development I'm

00:00:04   Marco Arment and I'm David Smith under

00:00:06   the radar is never longer than 30

00:00:07   minutes so let's get started so today we

00:00:11   wanted to talk about sure locking which

00:00:14   is a term that is often strikes fear

00:00:18   into the hearts of independent

00:00:20   developers but first before I get into

00:00:22   the actual like our personal experiences

00:00:24   with it I didn't want to take a moment

00:00:26   to explain what it is and where the term

00:00:28   comes from because it is an entirely

00:00:29   non-obvious term so it goes back to a

00:00:33   utility that was written back many many

00:00:36   many years ago that I can't even

00:00:39   honestly it was before my time on the

00:00:40   Mac but there's utility called Watson

00:00:42   that did something and then Apple came

00:00:45   along and created and shipped with the

00:00:47   OS an application called Sherlock which

00:00:50   did everything that Watson did and

00:00:52   effectively put Watson out of business

00:00:54   so Sherlock he has taken on the

00:00:56   connotation of any time Apple or I guess

00:01:00   you could probably generalize this to

00:01:01   you know the platform vendor takes a

00:01:05   feature or functionality or a whole

00:01:07   stock in application and copies it and

00:01:10   ships it sort of by default into the

00:01:13   operating system which as you would

00:01:16   expect is often something that is a

00:01:18   little bit scary for that developer who

00:01:21   just got copied because now the thing

00:01:24   that you've been working so hard on

00:01:25   building the thing that hopefully had

00:01:26   some kind of unique business you know

00:01:28   business run around it and was useful to

00:01:30   customers suddenly everyone gets for

00:01:32   free and large in some ways it's like

00:01:35   being the inevitable first thought is

00:01:37   well I'm out of business now which isn't

00:01:40   always the case but is something I think

00:01:42   that we thought we wanted to unpack and

00:01:44   this is top of mind for me right now

00:01:46   because I kind of have expectations of

00:01:49   some of the things that I'm working on

00:01:51   now that will inevitably be Sherlock

00:01:53   which we'll talk about a little bit

00:01:54   later and so it's something that I think

00:01:58   it's always worth thinking about that

00:02:00   while on the plus side it's awesome that

00:02:02   you know when Apple creates capabilities

00:02:04   and opportunities on their platform you

00:02:06   know they had a new API

00:02:07   you know when they added the motion

00:02:09   coprocessor to the iPhone like that was

00:02:11   awesome for me I made an app

00:02:12   called me have a sub susceptor and built

00:02:14   this whole sort of line of business for

00:02:17   myself because of that like they created

00:02:18   that opportunity now if Apple went the

00:02:20   you know the next step and created their

00:02:22   own stuff tracker then suddenly it

00:02:25   becomes you know problematic and

00:02:27   something that I wouldn't be as excited

00:02:29   about and that tension between these two

00:02:31   things so we know what Apple chooses to

00:02:34   support in terms of like creating an API

00:02:37   to encourage the development in an area

00:02:39   and the areas where apple says you know

00:02:41   what this is so fundamental to the

00:02:43   applicant you know to the use of this

00:02:45   device or the use of this operating

00:02:47   system that we're gonna build this in

00:02:48   you know it's like if Apple didn't have

00:02:51   a camera app on the iPhone that would

00:02:54   feel really weird

00:02:55   even if third parties could make awesome

00:02:57   camera apps like it's such a fundamental

00:02:58   part of it and so you know Apple is in

00:03:01   this process of gradually expanding out

00:03:04   what is considered sort of default or

00:03:06   what comes with it and I think we both

00:03:08   you and I Marco have some experience

00:03:10   with this and I think we will start off

00:03:12   the for this episode is talk a little

00:03:14   bit about some of our past examples so I

00:03:17   was wondering if you could start us off

00:03:18   by telling the story of Instapaper and

00:03:21   reading lists sure yeah so this was my

00:03:24   first Sherlock as a developer basically

00:03:27   I made Instapaper which was a save web

00:03:30   pages for reading later service back in

00:03:33   something like 2008 it was really a long

00:03:36   time ago might even the fall of was 7 it

00:03:40   was a very long time ago I don't even

00:03:41   remember right now but ever ad in that

00:03:43   ballpark and yeah an insta paper was you

00:03:45   know there's this this fairly successful

00:03:47   app that is actually still around I

00:03:51   don't I don't use it anymore but it's

00:03:52   still around and basically the the idea

00:03:56   of it is you know you save web pages

00:03:58   sorry later and you then go into you

00:04:01   know you're on a page you save it you go

00:04:03   into the in paper app and you can get a

00:04:05   list of everything you save and and that

00:04:07   list syncs between different devices on

00:04:09   the website you can save things from

00:04:11   your Mac to read on your phone or our

00:04:12   iPad so there's like cross-device saving

00:04:15   and syncing and everything's safe for

00:04:16   offline use and everything saved in this

00:04:19   nice like text only customisable nice

00:04:22   reading view and different parts that

00:04:24   had been done before but the combin

00:04:26   of those things was never done before

00:04:27   and so I kind of felt like I like owned

00:04:30   that concept which is kind of a naive

00:04:31   place to be honestly but that's what I

00:04:33   felt at the time and and then over the

00:04:36   next coming couple years a couple of

00:04:38   competitors did the same thing and then

00:04:39   eventually Apple in say I guess I had to

00:04:42   look it up in in 2011 Apple announced

00:04:46   that Mac OS lion would include this

00:04:50   feature in Safari called reading list

00:04:52   and at first it was really simple it was

00:04:56   like you get to save a bookmark to read

00:04:58   later and it shows up in this list and

00:05:00   it was basically like a faster version

00:05:01   of bookmarks there were none of the

00:05:03   other features there was no cross-device

00:05:05   sync there was no textview there was no

00:05:07   like you know mobile version there was

00:05:10   nothing in iOS about it so at first I

00:05:12   was like oh well this isn't this I even

00:05:13   wear these blog posts like this isn't a

00:05:15   competitor to instigate because it

00:05:16   doesn't have all these things I'm not

00:05:17   sure locked yet haha and then over the

00:05:20   next couple of years like 2012 2008 they

00:05:22   slowly added pretty much all of the

00:05:24   other features they they added it to iOS

00:05:26   they added sync they added offline

00:05:28   downloading of the pages that you save

00:05:30   they added their text view which is kind

00:05:32   of a separate thing and so like anyway

00:05:34   they basically slowly added all of

00:05:36   instigators core features and we're

00:05:38   they've kind of left it alone for the

00:05:39   last couple years because I think it's

00:05:42   basically a complete feature at this

00:05:43   point what instapaper was it is the

00:05:46   essence of that service and it's missing

00:05:47   tons and tons of features that

00:05:49   Instapaper has but it doesn't matter

00:05:51   what matters is that it's built in and

00:05:54   it's convenient and it's free and

00:05:56   everyone has it by default and I kept

00:06:00   talking like over those over the years

00:06:02   as reading lists came out and then

00:06:04   slowly got better and slowly moved more

00:06:06   into a direct competitor of Instapaper

00:06:09   I kept telling myself like yeah this is

00:06:11   fine it's not really gonna compete with

00:06:13   me it's not gonna affect my sales it

00:06:15   might even help my sales people are

00:06:16   gonna find it and then realize they want

00:06:18   something better and come find mine and

00:06:20   as far as I can tell I don't I don't

00:06:24   know if any of those things were true

00:06:26   in retrospect I mean I I wasn't as good

00:06:29   of a business person back then not that

00:06:31   I'm great now but I'm less bad now and

00:06:34   so it's hard to tell whether various

00:06:37   business failures or

00:06:40   were because of other things like my

00:06:42   pricing decisions at the time or

00:06:44   marketing decisions or whatever else or

00:06:46   whether it was because of an because of

00:06:48   reading lists and and any other

00:06:50   competition that was out there but the

00:06:52   main one I think was reading list

00:06:53   because it was built in and for a while

00:06:55   like before extensions reading lists had

00:06:58   way more of a privileged position than I

00:07:00   did because there were buttons all over

00:07:02   the OS for adding linkster to reading

00:07:04   list and you couldn't do that before

00:07:05   extensions you couldn't have your app

00:07:07   but up here in those kind of buttons so

00:07:08   and there's actually still a couple

00:07:10   places I think like a nail where there's

00:07:12   still no system share sheet but there's

00:07:14   a couple of menus that that have like

00:07:16   open copy and add to reading list so

00:07:18   there's still a few few places like that

00:07:20   but anyway so all that time I kept

00:07:23   thinking like oh I'll be fine I'll still

00:07:26   be the deluxe option and then oh well

00:07:29   they're not going to copy all my

00:07:30   features and basically they're really

00:07:33   good at copying the features that matter

00:07:34   and even if they don't copy them all

00:07:37   they copy a lot that matter and they

00:07:39   they often are good enough I do think

00:07:41   there is a danger in sure locking that

00:07:43   we often want to minimize in our heads

00:07:47   or deny or try to turn around into a

00:07:49   positive thing but the reality is when

00:07:52   when the platform vendor that you're on

00:07:55   neutralizes the main features that you

00:07:57   have has an advantage by adding them

00:07:59   themselves it's a pretty big deal it it

00:08:02   probably does really affect your

00:08:04   business there might be cases where

00:08:06   that's not true but it's certainly not

00:08:09   going to be a great thing now how much

00:08:11   of a bad thing it'll be is probably very

00:08:14   dependent on the situation and on you

00:08:16   and your products in your customer base

00:08:17   and in most cases I don't think it's

00:08:20   going to be incredibly fatal I think

00:08:22   it's very rare where it's really fatal

00:08:23   but because you know you can look at the

00:08:26   other side of this is you can look at

00:08:27   the apps that are that come by default

00:08:29   on Macs and iOS devices

00:08:31   how many note-taking apps are there

00:08:33   there's been a Notes app on the iPhone

00:08:35   since day one of the iPhone before there

00:08:37   were apps there was notes and there was

00:08:39   weather and there were stocks and all

00:08:41   these things and now there are

00:08:43   third-party replacements for all those

00:08:45   categories there's tons of them and some

00:08:47   of them do really well so I don't think

00:08:50   sure locking are having the platform

00:08:53   vendor

00:08:53   the same feature that you do either

00:08:55   before or after you get there I don't

00:08:57   think it's fatal to your business but it

00:08:59   is a large effect on your business like

00:09:01   there's no denying that when Apple made

00:09:03   their Notes app better a couple years

00:09:05   ago and they moved it to cloudkit and

00:09:07   they made it sink and add all of the

00:09:08   rich text stuff to it like there's no

00:09:10   denying that hurt a lot of other notes

00:09:13   apps pretty badly it there they can

00:09:16   still exist but it's harder for them to

00:09:18   exist so like this is a a force that

00:09:22   moves throughout markets that you need

00:09:24   to be aware of and it is it is almost

00:09:27   certainly nothing it's almost certainly

00:09:29   never good for you like my whole idea

00:09:31   people will find this and one upgrade to

00:09:32   a better one pretty sure that's bogus

00:09:34   in retrospect like it's never good for

00:09:37   you the only question is how bad is it

00:09:38   for you and it might not be too horrible

00:09:40   but that also might change in the future

00:09:42   so it's definitely something to keep a

00:09:44   very close eye on yeah and I think

00:09:47   there's a very what you're saying there

00:09:48   I think is like the the key I think

00:09:52   reality that I've come to grips with is

00:09:53   debate is that something like being sure

00:09:56   locked is it puts in a tremendous weight

00:10:00   on the like customer demand for your

00:10:04   product like it pushes it down quote you

00:10:06   know substantially it also in some way

00:10:09   probably creates customer interest in

00:10:11   your product or in your product category

00:10:13   but the relative sizes of those two

00:10:16   forces are very disproportionate I think

00:10:19   there's a much stronger push down then

00:10:21   there is a push up and so you'll get a

00:10:24   few people who are like like you were

00:10:26   saying the hopeful kind of like yeah you

00:10:28   know it's just like the built in one but

00:10:30   better I'm looking for the better thing

00:10:32   and it's a great story we tell ourselves

00:10:33   oh but I think it's not just a story

00:10:36   because I think it's it is true and that

00:10:39   does happen but it is like for every one

00:10:42   of those people there's ten people who

00:10:44   now will never even consider looking for

00:10:47   something else and so it's a tremendous

00:10:50   offset down and it's you know I saw my

00:10:53   example was perhaps slightly less

00:10:55   dramatic but like I the most significant

00:11:00   story locking I've ever had was for an

00:11:01   app that I wrote called emoji plus plus

00:11:03   which math coin custom keyboards were

00:11:06   first introduced

00:11:07   the emoji picker at the time was this

00:11:10   kind of awful keyboard thing through was

00:11:14   just a one big massive list of all the

00:11:16   emojis you could ever find anything

00:11:17   organized in this very haphazard way and

00:11:20   so I decided you know what I think I

00:11:22   have a better way of organizing emoji

00:11:24   I'm gonna make it so that you can

00:11:26   they're gonna be organized by category

00:11:27   and you can quickly jump from category

00:11:30   to category by moving a slider on the

00:11:32   edge you know drag dragging if your

00:11:35   finger up and down that and it had a few

00:11:38   other kind of bonus features like you

00:11:39   could add favorites and that type of

00:11:41   features but the most part it was just

00:11:43   this very quick easy to understand

00:11:45   organized version of add emoji keyboard

00:11:47   I released it it went well had a nice

00:11:49   big launched and did fairly well in the

00:11:51   next version of iOS there was how do you

00:11:55   think was not even the next major

00:11:56   version I think it was in a point

00:11:57   release it was qualms he had like there

00:12:00   was very quickly a new emoji keyboard in

00:12:02   iOS that was roughly the same as emoji

00:12:05   plus plus but turned 90 degrees and I

00:12:09   have no way of saying I have no way of

00:12:12   knowing if that was based on emoji plus

00:12:14   plus if that was something that had been

00:12:15   in works for months you know I'd have no

00:12:17   visibility into that but the reality was

00:12:20   now the thing that made my app unique

00:12:23   and special and interesting was

00:12:25   completely gone because that app was

00:12:27   better than mine because and they

00:12:30   believe it's still the case third-party

00:12:32   keyboards are kind of you know like

00:12:34   don't quite work right they take longer

00:12:36   to switch to every now and then you'll

00:12:38   switch to one and it doesn't work like

00:12:39   there's all kinds of issues and things

00:12:41   that whereas the built-in one works

00:12:43   perfectly and so you know emoji plus

00:12:46   plus isn't really a thing anymore

00:12:48   I don't even think I still have it in

00:12:50   the App Store because you know as new

00:12:52   motors have been added you know I would

00:12:54   nor defer to still be relevant I need to

00:12:56   keep adding all these emojis but for the

00:12:57   like one person who's downloading it a

00:13:00   week it just doesn't make sense and so

00:13:02   in that case like it just killed the app

00:13:04   and in some ways I don't feel bad about

00:13:08   that like I would obviously I wish the

00:13:10   that line of business was still going

00:13:11   and thriving it but I will say it one

00:13:14   slightly upside of being you know

00:13:17   Sherlock tore about being copied by

00:13:19   Apple is that it is a you know

00:13:21   nice kind of validation of your work to

00:13:25   you know it's like to be copied by such

00:13:27   a big you know a significant

00:13:29   organization that in general I quite

00:13:31   respect their products like it's kind of

00:13:33   cool that maybe something I made was

00:13:35   then copied and put into iOS but you

00:13:38   know nevertheless like it just

00:13:39   completely killed that product in that

00:13:41   line of business and I think that is

00:13:43   just the reality more more than more

00:13:46   over than not that if you know if Apple

00:13:48   is gonna come in and say you know this

00:13:50   is something that we want to do they

00:13:51   certainly have the resources they have

00:13:52   the ability to do that and a copy and

00:13:55   replace and then more often than not

00:13:58   it's unlike you know is it will lead to

00:14:00   a like an epic shift in terms of you

00:14:04   know there was the period before and

00:14:05   then there's the period after and now

00:14:08   the after period is almost certainly

00:14:10   going to be harder it's gonna be slower

00:14:12   and it's gonna be you know it's a tough

00:14:14   as an uphill battle because now all of a

00:14:18   sudden your customers are an ardent or

00:14:19   in general not going to be going to the

00:14:21   App Store to look for an app to do this

00:14:22   if somehow it just if immediately it

00:14:24   does exactly what they need they'll just

00:14:26   stick there because there is nothing few

00:14:28   things more powerful in software than

00:14:31   defaults I think in it's like the more

00:14:34   you in which is useful like axiom for

00:14:36   software development in general that

00:14:38   like what however you we ship our apps

00:14:40   to our customers whatever the default

00:14:42   settings are or whatever the default

00:14:43   mode is the vast majority of people will

00:14:46   never shift from that and so we need to

00:14:48   as developers I think be thoughtful of

00:14:50   that and make sure our defaults are you

00:14:51   know the will be the best thing for the

00:14:53   most people but on the flip side

00:14:55   whatever Apple shifts ships as default

00:14:58   in their OS is gonna have a tremendously

00:15:00   powering effect and the vast majority of

00:15:02   people are just gonna stay there and

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00:16:53   thank you so much to Linode for

00:16:54   supporting this show so with all that

00:16:58   doom and gloom

00:16:59   in the back of my mind I recently have

00:17:03   been thinking a lot about what is going

00:17:05   to be happening to my Apple watch sleep

00:17:08   tracker sleepless Plus which at this

00:17:11   point exists in a market that without a

00:17:14   Apple option which seems entirely

00:17:19   unstable going forward because it is

00:17:22   seems inevitable that Apple is going to

00:17:23   get into these sleep tracking business

00:17:25   on the Apple watch and if anything I'm

00:17:27   kind of surprised that sleepless plus

00:17:30   has been able to go as long as it has

00:17:31   without a first party option and it's

00:17:35   something that I've been wrestling with

00:17:36   recently about how this app it will I

00:17:39   think it's fair to say inevitably be

00:17:42   Sherlock that it isn't one of these

00:17:43   things where I will be surprised when

00:17:45   one day a version of watch OS comes out

00:17:49   it includes native sleep tracking like

00:17:51   if if that day doesn't come like

00:17:53   something has gone really wrong at Apple

00:17:55   from development perspective because

00:17:57   this is a clear obvious competitive

00:17:59   disadvantage that they currently have

00:18:00   compared to other fitness trackers you

00:18:02   know things like Fitbit or jawbone which

00:18:04   have sleep tracking built-in and while I

00:18:07   love that I'm filling the gap right now

00:18:09   you know with my app it seems kind of

00:18:11   inevitable that they're going to that

00:18:13   one day come in and do this and that's

00:18:17   tricky because I want to keep making

00:18:19   this app better I want to keep investing

00:18:20   into it in terms of you know with time

00:18:22   and energy but at the same time I don't

00:18:24   want to go too far down the road if one

00:18:26   day the entire purpose of the app is

00:18:28   going to disappear and so recently when

00:18:31   I've been kind of coming to grips with

00:18:33   hasn't been working on updates for sleep

00:18:34   plus plaus is this this thought of it's

00:18:37   probably wise for developers to think

00:18:40   through what sure locking of your app

00:18:42   would look like what it would mean

00:18:44   and then moreover are there any

00:18:47   opportunities that being sure locked

00:18:50   would present to you and sometimes that

00:18:52   there won't be and sometimes it'll just

00:18:53   be sadness and death but sometimes there

00:18:57   might be an opportunity you know so like

00:18:59   in the case of this of my apps the plus

00:19:01   plus I'm thinking about it from a

00:19:02   perspective of are there you know when

00:19:05   Apple inevitably creates their sleep

00:19:06   tracker almost certainly it's going to

00:19:08   be better than mine and I like something

00:19:11   has gone wrong again because what

00:19:14   there's so many serve hacks and things I

00:19:16   have to do on the watch to do what I do

00:19:17   because you know continuously monitoring

00:19:20   someone's activity level throughout that

00:19:22   evening throughout the night you know is

00:19:25   not something that the add the watch is

00:19:26   really geared towards doing I mean has

00:19:28   some good API is for it and you know I

00:19:30   can make it work but I imagine Apple if

00:19:33   they built it into at the OS level could

00:19:35   do a much better job of categorizing

00:19:36   user's activity this would be running

00:19:38   all the time and could automatically cut

00:19:40   and you go to sleep and when you wake up

00:19:42   there's some really cool things that

00:19:44   they can do there but I just can't do

00:19:46   and so for me I'm starting to look

00:19:48   forward to this as a one day this will

00:19:50   come

00:19:50   I want to make advanced of the time I

00:19:53   have now you know in terms of in a weird

00:19:55   way it's like I want to gobble up all

00:19:56   the possible revenue I can but

00:19:58   Apple watch sleep tracking now because

00:20:00   that'll inevitably kind of diminish

00:20:02   dramatically and then - I'm looking

00:20:05   forward to it in the sense of none

00:20:08   essence I'm looking forward to it

00:20:09   happening but I'm trying to develop with

00:20:11   it in mind and so a lot of the features

00:20:13   I'm working on now are if Apple creates

00:20:16   a new a their own version that generates

00:20:19   awesome data and puts that into

00:20:20   healthkit what can I do with that like

00:20:22   can I work on the maybe the

00:20:24   interpretation and the analysis side of

00:20:26   sleep tracking more than the data

00:20:28   collection side and still have value to

00:20:31   customers who may want to say wow my app

00:20:34   my window my watch collects all this

00:20:36   data but how can I interpret it and turn

00:20:39   it more maybe into the way that I do

00:20:40   with things like pedometer plus plus

00:20:42   where it's like the phone collects this

00:20:44   the step data but my app is all about

00:20:46   interpreting it and making it meaningful

00:20:48   and so I think this is an important

00:20:52   thing for news to think of to think of

00:20:53   where you know what what would being

00:20:56   Sherlock two mean to me and just take an

00:20:58   approach of if you view it as inevitable

00:21:01   if you think that this will one day

00:21:02   happen and at least keep it in back of

00:21:04   your mind

00:21:05   I think you can be ready for it and

00:21:06   it'll still be bad it'll still probably

00:21:09   not be a good thing for your business

00:21:10   but at least it may not be utterly

00:21:12   catastrophic yeah and you know I think

00:21:17   one area that you can kind of be safer

00:21:20   in is by trying to figure out what types

00:21:23   of needs and needs you can solve

00:21:26   features you can implement design

00:21:29   choices you can make that Apple wouldn't

00:21:31   do or that your platform vendor wouldn't

00:21:34   do you know and and so I overcast all

00:21:36   these like all these like nitpicky

00:21:37   detail settings and all the advanced

00:21:39   audio processing and all and just to

00:21:41   hold a very uh napple like design of

00:21:44   just like a different style I have a

00:21:45   more human style all my microcopy is

00:21:47   very human and Apple either can't or

00:21:50   won't do any of those things because

00:21:52   like it isn't their style or they would

00:21:54   have to please too many people or they

00:21:56   have to serve too many markets or

00:21:57   whatever else so like the Apple version

00:21:58   of your app will will we know how Apple

00:22:03   does things we know they kind of do like

00:22:04   the middle 80% of every problem and so

00:22:07   if you can better serve the edges you

00:22:09   can you can still have a business even

00:22:11   with them

00:22:12   locking and you know and so like what

00:22:14   I've seen like you know overcast is is

00:22:17   you know my current project obviously

00:22:18   and overcast I I started writing it

00:22:21   after the Apple podcast app on iOS

00:22:24   existed so like I knew I was getting

00:22:27   sure locked from day one of even

00:22:29   beginning to work on the app and I still

00:22:31   decided to do it and part of my strategy

00:22:34   there were just like I will do some

00:22:37   things that they won't and and some

00:22:39   people will want those things and I knew

00:22:41   going in that this was gonna be an

00:22:42   uphill battle I knew that was going to

00:22:44   be by far and away my biggest competitor

00:22:47   and it was and is and probably will be

00:22:49   for the foreseeable future because of

00:22:51   what you said right before the break

00:22:52   like it's already installed on

00:22:54   everyone's phone it's already there like

00:22:55   you have to well there's like a box now

00:22:58   that prompts you but anyway it's

00:22:58   basically already there if you search

00:23:00   for podcast on the App Store a lot of

00:23:03   times Apple will just show their giant

00:23:04   podcast card or they'll show an ad for

00:23:07   the road app yeah like I'm at a huge

00:23:10   disadvantage there but I'm still able to

00:23:13   business because I work on the edges I

00:23:15   work where Apple won't or areas they

00:23:18   don't serve very well also when Apple

00:23:20   does something like that like with the

00:23:23   put you know the podcasts app or their

00:23:25   Notes app or their weather app whatever

00:23:26   else like how many features has the

00:23:28   weather app gotten since its release in

00:23:30   2007 not not a lot like when when they

00:23:35   when they release an app when they do

00:23:37   their version of something it tends to

00:23:39   be basically a one-shot deal like they

00:23:42   show their hand and then that's about it

00:23:45   for a long time possibly forever so once

00:23:48   you do get sure locked or if you come

00:23:51   pre Sherlock like I did with overcast

00:23:52   yeah then you can kind of already know

00:23:54   like you know the fear before you are

00:23:57   sure locked it's like what's he gonna be

00:23:58   is it gonna totally crush me and a lot

00:24:01   of times their version of something

00:24:03   isn't that great or isn't very deluxe or

00:24:05   isn't you know isn't very good like I

00:24:06   mentioned earlier reading lists reading

00:24:09   list is really basic and it lacks some

00:24:12   pretty big things like its text mode is

00:24:14   terrible you don't have customizable

00:24:15   like fonts too much degree you don't you

00:24:18   it's there's not really even like a good

00:24:19   dark mode like reading a bed is very

00:24:21   bright like it's it just isn't very good

00:24:24   it's it's not it is

00:24:25   a great solution to this problem so like

00:24:28   you know sitting it with podcasts Apple

00:24:30   has been making a podcast app since the

00:24:32   beginning of podcast apps and it's

00:24:34   always been like ok but kind of

00:24:37   confusing kind of burdened by the

00:24:38   baggage of the iTunes Music Store and

00:24:41   their podcast interface and like okay

00:24:43   it's just like it was a known quantity I

00:24:45   knew what I was going up against and

00:24:47   that helped me formulate a plan for how

00:24:49   I was gonna do that effectively like how

00:24:51   will I do things that Apple won't do and

00:24:53   that they've already shown that they

00:24:55   either aren't capable or aren't willing

00:24:56   to do yeah because I think that is the

00:24:59   key point for us to be working it's like

00:25:02   moving forward as developers is the if

00:25:05   we develop our apps with this in mind

00:25:07   and if we whether or not it will

00:25:09   actually end up happening if we could

00:25:10   assume that it's going to be inevitable

00:25:12   but we see we try and predict either

00:25:14   what they would do or we look at what

00:25:16   they have done and see what is an

00:25:18   opportunity besides that and that's just

00:25:21   the reality like that is where we are

00:25:23   going to be able to make the best runs

00:25:25   at you know creating a business or

00:25:27   making an interesting products to

00:25:29   customers is you know we are undone it's

00:25:32   unlikely that we are going to be able to

00:25:33   uh napple over a search out Apple Apple

00:25:36   like we don't have the resources or the

00:25:38   skills or the brand recognition or being

00:25:40   installed by default like that's just

00:25:42   not going to happen but what we can do

00:25:44   is look at it and say this is what

00:25:46   they're going to do or this is what they

00:25:48   have done in the case of like the

00:25:49   podcasts app and you just say like well

00:25:52   what can I do differently and just put

00:25:54   our time and energy and effort into that

00:25:56   being different part that is I think

00:25:59   where we're going to have them the best

00:26:01   traction and the highest probability of

00:26:02   success and at a certain point you get

00:26:05   less scared as a result as you know

00:26:08   because the things that they're you know

00:26:10   if Apple comes in and does something

00:26:12   like you say they're going to do it in a

00:26:14   very particular way and it's important

00:26:15   just as I think in general it's an

00:26:17   important thing for us to be sort of

00:26:19   students and people who kind of

00:26:21   understand and look at the app store in

00:26:23   the way it works and make sure we

00:26:25   understand you know how the top charts

00:26:27   work how keyword searching works like

00:26:28   wouldn't be a student of that it's also

00:26:30   important to be a student of how Apple

00:26:32   makes their software so that we can make

00:26:33   sure we're building ours such that there

00:26:36   the overlap if it exists will won't be

00:26:39   and the degree to which we can exploit

00:26:43   ever we make only slightly overlap we're

00:26:47   almost certainly like we're increasing

00:26:49   the upward force and decreasing the

00:26:51   downward force in our app and you know

00:26:53   fair enough maybe there will always be a

00:26:54   stronger downward force and there will

00:26:56   be an upward force created by Sherlock

00:26:58   Inge but at the very least we can shift

00:27:00   the balance between those two ever so

00:27:02   slightly in our favor just by being a

00:27:04   bit more thoughtful and honestly I know

00:27:08   a lot people don't to hear this it is

00:27:09   really really useful when someone

00:27:11   searching the App Store for something

00:27:13   that they get on their phone for free if

00:27:14   your app is free upfront whether you

00:27:16   have an in-app purchase or however you

00:27:17   make money afterwards being free upfront

00:27:20   is will do you a lot of favors if you

00:27:22   have been sure locked sure yeah because

00:27:24   then you're free against free and it

00:27:26   isn't free against page so exactly like

00:27:29   that was a huge problem I have with

00:27:30   Instapaper that for my entire ownership

00:27:32   of it it was paid up front and on day

00:27:35   one that was fine but you know three or

00:27:38   four years in that became very much not

00:27:40   fine and yeah anything you can do to

00:27:42   reduce the friction if you can

00:27:44   especially you know if you're doing

00:27:45   system stuff if you can import data from

00:27:48   the system in any way and then export it

00:27:50   back outs to anything that makes it

00:27:52   easier for people to try your app this

00:27:54   is good business anyway that for any app

00:27:56   but it's particularly effective and

00:27:58   necessary if you have been Sherlock buy

00:28:01   stuff built into the OS it is incredibly

00:28:03   beneficial to you to make it very easy

00:28:06   and free for people to try your app so

00:28:08   they can see the difference that helps a

00:28:10   lot all right and with that we are out

00:28:13   of time this week so thank you very much

00:28:15   for listening everybody and we'll talk

00:28:16   to you next week bye