The Talk Show

23: More Useful and Less Horrible, with Dan Frommer


00:00:00   You had a good piece on the iPad mini. I thought that you ordered one, it showed up,

00:00:07   you used it for a couple days, you wrote about it. What was the headline?

00:00:11   Something like, "This is the real iPad," basically.

00:00:15   Yeah. And I thought that really was like a bull's-eye. And don't you think that the

00:00:19   consensus on that has been remarkably strong? Almost everyone who's responded has been like,

00:00:25   - Yeah, totally, I agree.

00:00:27   A few people think the bigger one is still the best one,

00:00:31   but most people, I think, it's one of those things where,

00:00:38   I don't know if you wrote it or someone,

00:00:39   but once you feel it, you know.

00:00:42   You use it for a few days and you're like,

00:00:44   "Oh, my arm's not tired after holding this for five hours,"

00:00:48   you know, something like that.

00:00:50   I was just using it today out and about,

00:00:52   And it's easy to tuck into a jacket pocket if I need to,

00:00:56   or just in my backpack, you don't even know it's there.

00:01:00   And it's great.

00:01:01   - I think that what it will resurface though,

00:01:06   I think as this idea that maybe this mini-size iPad

00:01:10   is the one that's best for most people,

00:01:13   as it starts to sink in, as more and more people

00:01:15   get their hands on them and this idea resonates,

00:01:18   it's going to resurface the argument

00:01:19   about whether iPads are for creation or consumption or only consumption.

00:01:27   I think the reason that for me it's a better form factor is that I personally do – and

00:01:33   people want to call me a hypocrite for this, but I personally have always used the iPad

00:01:37   mostly for consumption. Lots and lots of reading and occasionally video. Like baseball season,

00:01:44   I watch a lot of video on the iPad. I think this is a great form factor for consumption.

00:01:49   But I'm also a very strong proponent of the fact that there are a lot of people who are

00:01:53   using their iPads as their computer to create stuff, to do work.

00:01:58   And I think for them, that's the people who are still going to want the big iPads.

00:02:02   Dave Asprey And I think that's absolutely true, and

00:02:05   that's why they should continue to have multiple sizes of iPad.

00:02:09   That makes sense.

00:02:10   And I think it's a situation where, you know, when they released it two and a half years

00:02:14   ago, they had no idea how many people would use it and what they would use it for.

00:02:18   And it turns out that 100 million people have wanted to use it, and they use it for all

00:02:22   kinds of different stuff.

00:02:24   I assume your workflow is a lot like mine, where we really get the benefit from having

00:02:30   a physical keyboard and multiple browser tabs open.

00:02:34   But if someone is doing a lot of email and that's about it for work, the big iPad is

00:02:40   a great laptop replacement.

00:02:42   I tried to do my job on an iPad, it just wasn't cutting it.

00:02:46   of the things that I do love using the iPad for reading in

00:02:49   bed reading books, you know, I put on the machine when I'm at

00:02:52   the gym, and I either watch video or I read or something

00:02:55   like that. This new size is really perfect for that.

00:02:58   Just walking around the house like I, you know, there's two

00:03:02   spots where I do or you know, where I'm when I'm in my house,

00:03:05   I'm either at my desk in my office chair, with my big boy

00:03:09   keyboard and a Mac and my big display and I'm working. Or for

00:03:15   For me, effectively, I'm anywhere else in the house.

00:03:17   And it doesn't matter whether it's bed

00:03:19   or whether it's the couch or whether I'm in the kitchen

00:03:21   making coffee waiting for the water to boil

00:03:24   and I'm just standing there.

00:03:26   Any of those other spots, other than sitting

00:03:28   in this office chair at my desk,

00:03:30   the iPad Mini is a better form factor.

00:03:33   I find when I'm standing up,

00:03:34   it's really when it's just fantastic,

00:03:37   just to have it in one hand.

00:03:39   - And I'm standing right now, and I'm waving it around.

00:03:42   Hopefully I won't hit something with it.

00:03:44   - Oh, I completely agree.

00:03:45   There's some little things though

00:03:46   that I wanted to ask you about.

00:03:48   So for example, stereo sound,

00:03:51   which people made probably a little bigger deal

00:03:54   out of it than they should have.

00:03:55   It's not that big of a deal.

00:03:56   But it's set up for portrait.

00:03:59   But when I want stereo sound,

00:04:02   I'm usually in landscape watching a video.

00:04:04   Do you think that's intentional?

00:04:06   Do you think there'll ever be a left and right sound

00:04:08   for video, or is that just kind of stereo

00:04:11   almost there by accident?

00:04:13   that's actually curious and I actually didn't even know that I don't remember

00:04:18   if they mentioned it on on in the event or what but I'm so used to our iOS

00:04:23   devices being mono even though they all look like they've even I think all the

00:04:28   way back to the original iPhone they all look like they have two speakers at the

00:04:31   bottom but don't you can like on all the iPhones you can just cover up the one

00:04:35   side I think it's usually the left side and then all the sound stops coming out

00:04:38   the right side is like a microphone or something like that they just for

00:04:42   aesthetic purposes make the two sides look the same. Well, it

00:04:44   ends up with the iPad mini, they are both speakers. And I didn't

00:04:47   know that until after my review came out.

00:04:49   I don't think they mentioned it at all until it was in some

00:04:53   articles told to some of the reviewers or I think Josh

00:04:56   Topolsky at the verge was the one who called it out in his

00:04:59   review. And it was funny. One of the funny parts about that is

00:05:02   that Amazon has this is sort of infamous checklist up on their

00:05:05   homepage, trying to favorably compare the Kindle Fire HD seven

00:05:11   to the iPad mini and one of the things that they had up was stereo speakers and you know

00:05:16   they had that as a check for them and an X for the iPad and iPad mini ends up it does

00:05:21   have stereo speakers.

00:05:22   I'm with you though that it doesn't really make much of a difference though.

00:05:28   One of the reasons you know that stereo never really mattered on these devices is what's

00:05:31   the difference if you have stereo sound if the speakers are only three quarters of an

00:05:35   inch apart, right?

00:05:36   If it's not actually wider apart than your head, you're not going to get a stereo effect.

00:05:41   I mean, it's like people don't even seem to realize how stereo sound works.

00:05:46   The thing for me has always been, as I'm watching video, which is probably, I would guess, at

00:05:51   least a quarter of the time I spend with an iPad, I'm probably watching video or maybe

00:05:56   somewhere in that range.

00:05:58   I'm holding it in landscape mode and the sound is very clearly off to one side.

00:06:05   It's not kind of pushing toward both ears.

00:06:08   and I've kind of cup your hand to push it backwards almost

00:06:12   so it becomes more neutral, but it's not at all.

00:06:15   So that's where having one of those little speakers

00:06:19   at what's effectively the top and the bottom of the device

00:06:22   might be more useful, but I don't know,

00:06:25   maybe that's weird.

00:06:26   Then you got, how many speakers do you need,

00:06:28   three or four or something like that?

00:06:30   Then you're getting into Motorola territory.

00:06:33   - Yeah, I guess, and I forget,

00:06:37   certainly not the first person to speculate along these lines but as

00:06:40   people realize that the mini does have stereo speakers I guess that it's to get

00:06:46   them to increase the volume of sound I don't mean loudness I mean know that

00:06:52   that with such a small device to get enough sound out of it it needs two

00:06:56   speakers and if you're gonna have two speakers why not make them stereo sure

00:07:00   Yeah, that makes sense. But I do kind of agree. And in fact, I'll just say this, as I say

00:07:08   this, I've actually not even verified that it is stereo and it's not two speakers playing

00:07:13   mono audio. I honestly don't even know. And like you said, most of the time when I'm listening

00:07:19   to the speakers, it's because it's playing video. And if it's playing video, I'm holding

00:07:23   it horizontally, in which case both speakers are on the same side, typically the right

00:07:29   side because that's the side that that's where the speakers will go if you fold up the smart cover.

00:07:34   And again, what's the point of having left and right stereo if both speakers are on the right

00:07:40   side? Other than to increase the amount of actual sound coming out of this tiny little device?

00:07:47   Yep. And then and then little weird question number two I had was so this this is using the

00:07:54   effectively the same display panel as the iPhone 3GS,

00:07:59   that pixels per inch level.

00:08:03   So when they do assume they eventually have a Retina Mini,

00:08:07   do they use the pixels per inch of the iPhone,

00:08:11   which is higher than the iPad with Retina,

00:08:13   or do they go to the iPad?

00:08:16   Does the Mini all of a sudden have the best screen ever,

00:08:18   and the iPad, the full-size iPad with Retina

00:08:21   looks bad next to it?

00:08:22   I don't know.

00:08:23   - I don't think it will, though,

00:08:24   that there's this sort of argument that once you're in that range, sure, you're going to

00:08:28   look and you probably hold the bigger device a little further away from your face. But

00:08:33   I don't think they would hesitate. No, the way that they will go retina is exactly the

00:08:36   way they've done right now with all other devices, which is the physical size stays

00:08:40   the same. And the pixels per inch doubles, which means that they'll switch to the exact

00:08:44   same pixels per inch of as the iPhone and iPod touch.

00:08:49   Makes sense. There's, you know, switching to the DPI of the big iPad makes no sense,

00:08:53   then you'd have a different pixel count.

00:08:58   Developers would have to actually resize,

00:09:01   you know, do work on the app.

00:09:03   Right.

00:09:04   Well, that's going to be amazing, then.

00:09:05   That's going to be killer.

00:09:06   Yeah, and then I also kind of wondered,

00:09:10   obviously there's some leap in technology

00:09:13   that let them make it so thin and light.

00:09:15   It's not just that it's smaller,

00:09:17   although that plays a role.

00:09:18   But it's interesting to me,

00:09:19   they did not take that step and make the bigger one

00:09:20   the same kind of whatever that is at the same time, but I guess you know, alternate these

00:09:25   things one year to the next. And yeah, I think that that is a good point. You have a great

00:09:31   list of questions here, Dan, I've thought about a lot of this stuff. I think the explanation

00:09:36   there is the ecosystem surrounding peripherals, which is okay, so a lot of people who've already

00:09:45   bought the iPad three in the seven months where it was available or kind of butthurt

00:09:50   about the fact that, hey, seven months later, or if you bought it, let's say you only

00:09:54   bought it the damn thing in August or something like that, two months later, it's already

00:09:59   been replaced by something twice as fast.

00:10:03   And why would Apple do that, blah, blah, blah.

00:10:06   But the one thing that they haven't done is disrupt any of the people making cases

00:10:11   or covers or anything that is based on the physical dimensions of the device.

00:10:17   Um, true, which there's a lot and that's, you know, Christmas is coming up. And that's

00:10:23   going to be a big time for those things. Right. So I think and I think you'll be able to compare

00:10:29   as we head towards the holidays here and Thanksgiving is ramping up as to which device

00:10:33   has the most peripherals available for it, the full size iPad, or the iPad mini. And I think it's

00:10:39   pretty clear it's going to be the full size iPad. Whereas if the iPad four was thinner, in addition

00:10:44   to just being faster than the iPad 3, it would be stuck in the same boat as the iPad mini,

00:10:49   and there'd be this dearth of peripherals available for it.

00:10:53   That makes total sense. Are you using the smart cover with yours?

00:10:57   I am.

00:10:58   Was it you who said you're just going to toss around in a bag, no cover?

00:11:03   Well, I did write that. It's a little scary, right, the idea that this big screen… When

00:11:09   I put it in my bag, I think I'll keep using the case, but like I had it in my pocket yesterday,

00:11:13   I went to pick up dinner and I just went caseless.

00:11:16   Like it was totally fine.

00:11:17   It almost feels like this cover is almost unnecessary.

00:11:20   It's so, it's not even that heavy or that bulky.

00:11:24   It's just, I don't know.

00:11:27   - I've been using it with the cover and I don't know,

00:11:30   I don't know why.

00:11:31   I'll tell you what, one reason why is that I do tend to,

00:11:35   I tend to treat the loaner units from Apple

00:11:38   even more carefully than I treat the ones

00:11:40   that I've bought with my own money.

00:11:41   because I don't know, it's like the Catholic guilt in me

00:11:46   that I would feel absolutely horrible

00:11:48   if I send this thing back to them in a week or two

00:11:51   and it had like scratches on the glass.

00:11:53   And you know what I mean?

00:11:53   And I don't even know why that is because I know,

00:11:55   it's not like I think that when you send these review units

00:11:57   back to Apple that poor little Apple needs to,

00:12:00   they really need every single one of these minis.

00:12:03   - It goes right to the Apple store,

00:12:05   right under the sales shelf.

00:12:07   - But I don't know, it's just the way I am is if I've got,

00:12:11   I always treat somebody else's thing in my possession better than I would even treat

00:12:15   my own. That's just how I was brought up. If you've borrowed something from somebody,

00:12:19   you'd really need to give it back to them in the exact condition that they gave it to

00:12:22   you, whether it's your pal Dan who gave it to you or whether it's Apple, the $400 gazillion

00:12:28   corporation. You treat other people's stuff with respect. So I keep the cover on it.

00:12:33   But I do have to admit, though, that putting the cover on it does make me feel, though,

00:12:36   that I'm missing out on the thinness, right, this remarkable thinness of it.

00:12:39   - And it's not as dramatic as the first iPad

00:12:42   with that huge neoprene wetsuit, but it's still.

00:12:46   - And it's the same reason that I have never

00:12:49   put my iPhones in a case, because I feel like--

00:12:51   - Same here, yeah.

00:12:52   And I almost think of this thing as more of like

00:12:54   a big iPhone than a laptop or something like that.

00:12:58   But we'll see, we'll see how it plays out.

00:13:01   I obviously don't want the screen to scratch,

00:13:03   that would be, or at least too much.

00:13:06   The back is already a little scratched, but that's okay.

00:13:09   I do think that the cover on this new smart cover folds over a little better than the

00:13:14   original one does.

00:13:15   But it's still…

00:13:16   Especially on the new iPad 3/4, like that thing, mine falls off constant.

00:13:23   I still feel though that when you have it folded over, that last panel, it's a little

00:13:28   flippy-floppy.

00:13:29   And when you're just sitting there reading something long for a long stretch holding

00:13:34   the thing in your hand, it's better without a cover on.

00:13:37   Definitely.

00:13:39   I did figure it out. This took me forever. I don't know why. It's one of those things

00:13:43   that once you think about it, it seems very obvious. But it took me forever to figure

00:13:47   this out was when the iPad first came out, I was very confused why they put the volume

00:13:53   and mute toggle on the other side as opposed to making it like a big iPhone and putting

00:13:59   them on the left. Of course, it's because when you put a cover on this thing, the spine

00:14:03   is on the left and the buttons would be covered up.

00:14:06   Yeah, you want it almost has those book style covers which I I think they make for the phone

00:14:12   But I wouldn't but then that makes me wonder why they didn't why they didn't put those buttons on the right side of the iPhone

00:14:18   to start hmm, I

00:14:20   Don't know, you know what I bet there's an answer to that question though. I'm I'll bet there is too. I don't know

00:14:26   But how do you think iOS shot, you know, does it come through on this thing it some of the like the home screen icons

00:14:35   they feel like they could be a little bigger. But it seems like they've tried not to disturb

00:14:40   the iPad flavor of iOS at all. It is pixel for pixel exactly the same. Like I don't think I

00:14:48   honestly I haven't double checked with any of my developer friends. I don't even know if there is

00:14:53   any supported way for an app to figure out that it's running on an iPad mini. You know that all

00:15:00   All the app knows is that the screen is 1024 by 768.

00:15:04   And the guidelines from Apple about laying stuff out

00:15:07   is all about these points and that it's all the same.

00:15:10   I really don't think Apple wants anybody

00:15:12   to do anything different for the Mini

00:15:15   than for the full-size iPad.

00:15:17   - I think early on, I think you're right,

00:15:19   I think Marco Arment was tweeting

00:15:21   about trying to reverse engineer how to make that work.

00:15:25   It's something like, does not have retina,

00:15:28   something about the resolution and there was some other feature that yeah and

00:15:33   maybe like something about the CPU performance or something I don't know

00:15:37   there must be some there's probably some way that you can figure it out just by

00:15:40   like deduction that if this and this and this then it has to be a mini it's not

00:15:44   the iPad 2 and I could see you know an insta paper is a perfect app example

00:15:50   where maybe the default font size should be a little bigger in terms of actual

00:15:57   points on the mini than on the full-size iPad for a couple of reasons.

00:16:02   A, the actual physical size of the screen, and then B, the fact that it's not retina

00:16:07   means that you kind of want fonts to be a little bigger.

00:16:10   So I could see that, but it seems like Apple doesn't want you to do that, and they haven't

00:16:14   done anything like that.

00:16:16   The home screen, I think, is exactly the same.

00:16:18   Yep.

00:16:19   Yeah, it works, though.

00:16:24   Another thing I want to ask you about, if you don't mind, is some of the changes that

00:16:31   you might anticipate that the new crew at Apple might put into iOS. One of the things

00:16:39   I was thinking, is there any low-hanging fruit in terms of either where the iOS, where the

00:16:46   OS itself goes, or not so much the whole, "Oh, are they going to de-skew a morph the

00:16:53   de-skew-omorph the apps or anything like that, but would you expect that the experience itself

00:16:59   is going to change dramatically in the next few years, or is it going to stay largely the same?

00:17:04   Dave: I really don't know. I can see it both ways. My first instinct is to say I don't think it's

00:17:10   going to change at all. I think that they've defined what this is. People are very comfortable

00:17:14   with it. I think the reason that people are so happy switching to it in droves, and clearly,

00:17:20   if you just look at the raw numbers, they're getting people who weren't previously Apple

00:17:26   computer customers. They're getting people who are using Windows. I think it's this simplicity

00:17:34   of experience that there just doesn't seem to be much that's hidden from you. I don't

00:17:40   know how that could change very much. It just doesn't seem like there is much to change.

00:17:46   - It seems like people have seen how radically Android

00:17:50   has had to change itself just to make itself

00:17:52   more useful and less horrible.

00:17:55   But it seems like they want to force that notion

00:18:00   of radical change onto Apple and iOS,

00:18:03   which if you've been using a Mac for the last 20 years,

00:18:07   there really isn't that much too different.

00:18:10   There's the menu at the top, there's folders,

00:18:14   there's Windows and that kind of stuff.

00:18:17   It just seems like expecting that sort of radical change

00:18:19   in the general area of the operating system

00:18:23   doesn't make sense.

00:18:24   - No, I don't think so either.

00:18:25   And I also think that it really does matter

00:18:28   what you start with conceptually as you evolve,

00:18:31   because it's really hard to add things later on.

00:18:35   And my favorite example of this,

00:18:36   and I've talked about this, I don't know how long ago,

00:18:39   but I know it was on the talk show.

00:18:43   But my favorite example of that is the stuff that they introduced in Lion.

00:18:49   I think it was Lion when they introduced Launchpad and Mission Control in Mac OS X.

00:18:55   Do you use any of that stuff?

00:18:58   No, not really.

00:18:59   Yeah, me neither.

00:19:00   And I think a big part of it is that they weren't there from the beginning and they're

00:19:07   tacked on.

00:19:08   so they're sort of outside the original concept of what you're going to have and they just

00:19:13   don't fit. And I'll go back further to spaces and I think now they don't really talk about

00:19:18   spaces that much. They kind of consider that part of mission control. But spaces in Mac OS

00:19:25   10 just have never worked as well as I think they do on other GUI systems that are designed

00:19:33   from the get go to have multiple desktops. It just is never seems right to me what you

00:19:38   know, is it the whole app is in this thing? Is it just the window? Just all seems kind

00:19:42   of tacked on. And I'm not saying that it was a mistake to add it, but I'm saying it just

00:19:46   shows how difficult it is to add conceptual level additions and changes to something once

00:19:51   it's been set. And I feel like iOS is even simpler than the original Mac. It's just this

00:19:56   basic idea of, you know, two, there's really just two levels.

00:20:02   There's the home screen, which is a list of apps, and then you're in an app and the app

00:20:06   gets the whole screen.

00:20:07   And if you want to go back, you hit this big button at the bottom, and that's it.

00:20:11   And there's a few exceptions to that.

00:20:12   You know, there's the, when you're on the home, you go to the left of the first home

00:20:17   screen and there's that spotlight search, which doesn't really, it's sort of outside

00:20:21   those simple, simple rules of engagement.

00:20:24   Where are you when you're doing that?

00:20:26   But it doesn't seem to be confusing.

00:20:31   It's worth stretching the rules of the thing.

00:20:33   Siri is outside this simple rule that you're either at the home screen or in an app.

00:20:41   But it's almost like an entirely separate mode to using your phone.

00:20:46   I just don't see them changing that very much.

00:20:49   And eventually it will get old.

00:20:50   I don't know how long, though.

00:20:51   I think it's got a lot of legs in front of it.

00:20:54   I think that's right.

00:20:57   One thing that I think about because it's kind of a personal problem in my house is

00:21:02   sharing these things.

00:21:05   Whether that's sharing an iPad that's kind of been retired and is now like the house

00:21:10   iPad, and my wife and I have different email accounts and different accounts for other

00:21:18   and then even just syncing multiple iPhones

00:21:23   and iPads to the same Mac, which I guess iCloud kind of,

00:21:30   I think this iPad is the first thing that I'm just

00:21:33   never gonna sync to my Mac.

00:21:35   I set it up completely from scratch on iCloud

00:21:38   and it's never been plugged into a Mac

00:21:40   and I think I never will plug it into a Mac.

00:21:42   But even like we got iPhone 5s, I don't know,

00:21:46   a month ago or so, and just trying to restore from backup

00:21:51   off of the iTunes app on the Mac.

00:21:55   Like, half of my apps on my phone were somehow

00:21:59   registered to my wife's iTunes account, and vice versa.

00:22:03   So every time we try to upgrade apps,

00:22:06   we have to delete half of them and reinstall them

00:22:09   from scratch with the right iTunes account.

00:22:11   And this is just like, I don't think I did anything wrong.

00:22:15   I'm kind of a nerd setting these things up,

00:22:17   but there doesn't seem to have been much thought

00:22:21   put into the idea of sharing these things

00:22:24   and just this whole idea of an iTunes household.

00:22:27   Like, my iTunes match account is sitting on my iMac

00:22:31   with the whole family's music hooked up to it,

00:22:34   yet I don't even know if I can have someone else's iPad

00:22:38   or iPhone sync to that.

00:22:40   And it's not like they're doing this,

00:22:43   It's not like they're just not thinking about it at all, but I think that as more families

00:22:48   have multiple iOS devices and maybe fewer Macs going forward, I think more thought could

00:22:54   be put into this and hopefully –

00:22:56   I think it's a bunch of –

00:22:58   – do that.

00:22:59   I think it's a very hard problem to solve, but I do – I agree though that you're

00:23:02   onto something there.

00:23:03   That to me – and that would be the biggest change, and it's not the sort of thing that

00:23:07   like people who are looking for, "Wow, as soon as I booted up this new iPhone from 2013,

00:23:13   it looks totally different."

00:23:15   You're not going to get that.

00:23:16   But I feel like a major thing that they could work on is, "Look, here's a brand new iPhone.

00:23:23   Here's my iTunes email address.

00:23:26   Here's my password.

00:23:27   Now make it exactly like my old one was and do it fast."

00:23:32   I feel like it's gotten better and better, especially with iCloud, but it is nowhere

00:23:37   near good enough, in my opinion.

00:23:41   I think it should be like when I back up my Mac with SuperDuper, the backup drive is just

00:23:46   a clone of my startup drive.

00:23:49   If I unmount my actual startup drive and instead mount from my SuperDuper clone, my Mac looks

00:23:57   exactly like it was when I backed it up.

00:24:00   I think they don't have that yet with iOS.

00:24:07   I don't see what the argument is why they shouldn't.

00:24:11   Like you said, sometimes you restore from backup and it's like half your apps are there

00:24:15   and half aren't.

00:24:16   And…

00:24:17   Yeah, some weird ones would show up where they'd just be not registered to the right

00:24:22   iTunes account.

00:24:25   The saying with Apple was always, "It just works."

00:24:29   And that's still true for the most part, but sometimes it doesn't work at all and it's

00:24:33   infuriating.

00:24:34   But…

00:24:35   It just isn't that easy to get back to where you were.

00:24:37   It's good that you have these iCloud backups, but it just doesn't seem…

00:24:40   Right.

00:24:41   I don't know.

00:24:42   And it doesn't have all your passwords.

00:24:44   It's weird.

00:24:45   Some of the passwords are there and some aren't.

00:24:48   And I don't quite get it.

00:24:49   There's not quite a logic or a rhyme and reason to it.

00:24:52   And I guess I run into this more often than most people because I get these review units

00:24:57   or I buy one of everything.

00:24:59   And so it feels like every couple of months, I'm setting up a new iPad, and I want all

00:25:03   my stuff over, and it just always seems like it takes longer and more steps than it should.

00:25:11   That's actually an opportunity for Microsoft in this space, as they're trying to gain traction

00:25:18   both in the phone and tablet market at the same time, is that as they're pushing Windows

00:25:24   phone eight and Windows eight for for touch devices. They're,

00:25:31   they're launching now in this era of where everybody sort of

00:25:35   expects everything to back up and restore to the cloud. And

00:25:39   and they've got their, you know, whatever they call Windows Live

00:25:42   API's, whatever they call it, but they have these API's that

00:25:45   app developers for Windows Phone and Windows can just assume are

00:25:49   there and assume are going to work for storing data and progress and stuff like that. And

00:25:59   there's a very, you know, and we'll see how it works as these devices roll out and people

00:26:03   use them. But as the way I understand it, it should be a lot more seamless on Windows.

00:26:08   Like if you start playing a game on a Windows phone, and you get a new phone, and you log

00:26:16   in with your Windows ID, and you launch that game, it, it almost certainly should have

00:26:23   everything you've done in all of your saved levels, everything you've done, the app doesn't

00:26:27   have to do anything special to do that. It's like if it's just storing the data the way

00:26:31   it's supposed to be storing the data, it's going into your Windows Live account. And

00:26:34   I feel like iOS is behind in that regard. And I feel like part of it is that it launched

00:26:39   in this, you know, in 2007, with the original iPhone, in this era that was still like the

00:26:43   the tail end of the syncing devices to your Mac or PC era, as opposed to assuming that

00:26:51   the cloud is there.

00:26:56   It's funny how Microsoft has long had this advantage of such a huge footprint with Windows.

00:27:04   And I always thought that this would be just a huge advantage, especially over Apple and

00:27:11   mobile because they already have all your stuff.

00:27:15   And they often have your email with Hotmail.

00:27:17   And increasingly they have your recreation with the Xbox.

00:27:21   And they just never really took advantage of that.

00:27:25   You know, part of it was always that the Windows mobile

00:27:27   software was just five years behind everyone else's.

00:27:31   But, and now this is a real opportunity for them

00:27:34   to kind of reset that.

00:27:36   I just don't know if they will once again.

00:27:40   - Yeah, I don't know.

00:27:40   There's definitely an opportunity for them though.

00:27:42   And I feel like it's a much better and deeper.

00:27:45   I'm not saying that it doesn't resonate instantly.

00:27:49   It seems to me like they're trying to sell Surface as, "Look, this thing has a keyboard

00:27:52   that it's meant to work with.

00:27:54   If you wish your iPad had a keyboard, you should get this."

00:27:56   And I can see how that resonates.

00:27:58   And I see people in airports with their iPads cherry-rigged with these crazy iPad keyboard

00:28:07   hardware stuff.

00:28:08   have you bought a surface? No, I did not buy one. I don't think I'm going to I think I've

00:28:14   seen enough to sort of judge it. And, and I like I if I bought it, I think I don't think

00:28:20   I'd ever really use it. I'm definitely curious. And you know, but I think an hour playing

00:28:24   with it was enough for me. But I do. I just feel like conceptually, they've got something

00:28:30   where the whole thing is cloud based, that they've got this sort of they've got a middle

00:28:35   ground between Apple and Google, where Google, everything's cloud-based, but primarily through

00:28:39   the web, you know, that people use in Gmail through a web browser. And Apple has the apps,

00:28:45   the local apps, you know, and all the advantages of native apps, but they don't really have

00:28:50   the cloud thing. I feel like there's a middle ground there for Windows, where you get native

00:28:55   apps with ubiquitous cloud storage.

00:28:59   And then everything syncs together.

00:29:04   In theory.

00:29:05   In theory.

00:29:06   It's one of those things where if they had all of this four years ago, for example, I

00:29:12   think a lot of people would be really, really impressed with it.

00:29:16   And I would totally have bought a Surface four or five years ago, but every time it

00:29:22   seems like they're playing catch up here, like when they did the Zune, it was not a

00:29:27   bad idea but they copied the wrong iPod you know they did by the time the zoom

00:29:32   came out everyone was onto the mini and the nano and they had copied the you

00:29:37   know basically last year's iPod and and this seems like the surface is is almost

00:29:42   like last year's iPad and that they're not really ahead of the game I the first

00:29:47   kind of PDA I bought was was the palm 5 but then not not too long after that I

00:29:56   I bought one of those Windows CE Dell Axims.

00:30:00   - I remember that.

00:30:02   - And it was a really, really, really impressive

00:30:06   tiny little piece of hardware.

00:30:07   And I was all Mac at that point.

00:30:11   I had never owned a Windows computer,

00:30:13   but I was like, "Wow, this is really cool.

00:30:15   "Microsoft has something here that's really promising."

00:30:18   And since then, until now, this is the first time

00:30:22   with Surface that I've even thought for a second

00:30:27   about buying some sort of Windows-related portable thing.

00:30:31   But I tried it out too.

00:30:34   They have these pop-up stores everywhere,

00:30:35   and I went to one in Manhattan,

00:30:37   and played with it for a few minutes,

00:30:39   and right away I was like, "Oh, okay."

00:30:42   It's not 10 times better than the iPad or whatever,

00:30:45   so it's going to be hard to get people

00:30:49   who have at least experienced iOS to jump on that one.

00:30:53   - All right, let's pick this up

00:30:54   on the flip side of the sponsor, Reed.

00:30:56   But let me tell you about our first sponsor.

00:30:58   Our first sponsor is Boss Jock Studio, B-O-S-S-J-O-C-K.

00:31:03   It's a podcasting app for iOS,

00:31:08   and it's kind of blew me away watching the movies.

00:31:11   It's an app for making your own podcast

00:31:16   right from your iPhone, no PC needed,

00:31:19   uh...

00:31:20   and it's kind of amazing

00:31:21   uh... they've got these demo videos you gotta seem to believe in c_l_ how cool

00:31:25   this is

00:31:27   they're sponsoring a right now because this is the month now these are these

00:31:29   these are hashtags that i'm uh... you know i'm not really a big hashtag user

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00:31:45   and what it means that audio producers across the world are publishing every

00:31:48   day this month and then they're tweeting their podcasts with these tags. You can do it all

00:31:53   right from your iPhone. No post-production necessary. They've got dynamics processing,

00:32:01   compression and limiting. It's applied to the mic and the mix right as you do it for

00:32:06   loud level audio. Anybody who's done podcasting knows that getting levels right on the audio

00:32:11   is really half the game. And they've got buttons for all this stuff that you can set up in

00:32:17   advance with intro and outro bumpers background music on the fly so you just

00:32:23   you can load music from your music library you can hook it up with your

00:32:27   Dropbox account and load music from your Dropbox account you can even paste music

00:32:31   from other music apps if you copy and then switch over to boss jock studio you

00:32:36   can paste it in so you have these buttons loaded up with with audio that

00:32:40   you can as you're doing the show if you've got intro and outro music or

00:32:46   bumpers or stuff like that you just do it all on the fly right from the phone

00:32:49   it's kind of amazing it exports anywhere you'd want to go it exports via FTP it

00:32:56   exports to Dropbox it exports to SoundCloud iTunes you can send it over

00:33:02   Wi-Fi you can do iTunes sharing you can email any of this standard sharing stuff

00:33:07   from iOS format you can encode to just about any format you'd want to mp3 m4a

00:33:13   A, WAV files, AIFF files. It works with external mics. Did you know this? I didn't even know

00:33:20   that there were extra, you know, like professional quality external mics for iOS, but there are

00:33:24   there's the Apogee mic, the IK multimedia, iRig mic cast, and that Blue Miki. All of

00:33:32   them work just great with this. It's got full, this is fantastic, full voiceover compatibility

00:33:38   for visually impaired producers. And I can totally see and this gets right back to that

00:33:43   whole argument about creation versus consumption on iOS devices, how an iOS device would be

00:33:49   a vastly superior computer to produce a podcast for if you were visually impaired than a Mac,

00:33:55   you know, with voiceover compatibility like Boss Jock has.

00:34:00   So right now, in the App Store, you can go, you can buy it. It's the iPhone iPod Touch

00:34:05   version. It's out right now. Now, they're working on an update. It's going to be free.

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00:34:29   This is one of those things where?

00:34:32   The kids these days are so lucky man. Like when I was in whatever middle school or high school or something

00:34:39   I had a folder full of WAV files and I was trying to do like a pod like like a radio show in the basement

00:34:45   You know and what I guess would now be a podcast and I had none of this stuff, right?

00:34:50   You know, this is just so cool

00:34:52   I had the exact same thought where if you want to make a podcast and have music come in and out and it's like now

00:34:56   You just load it. It's so stupid easy with this app. It's ridiculous

00:35:00   And I don't even know, again, when I was a teenager, I don't even know where I would

00:35:05   have even gotten started trying to fade out music and have my voice come up over it.

00:35:10   It would have been ridiculous.

00:35:12   I probably would have just had two tape decks playing side by side and recording onto a

00:35:16   third.

00:35:17   I used to do some real nerd stuff like doing play-by-play for a baseball game with a microphone

00:35:27   and headphones on.

00:35:28   Yeah.

00:35:29   But it's amazing. I'm just and you know, it really is it's they it's turnkey publishing

00:35:34   I mean, I don't want to you know sponsor is over but it really is that you do the whole thing right from your iPhone

00:35:38   Just that there's no post-processing necessary. You do the whole thing. Everything's leveled. Everything's blended together

00:35:43   Just spits it right out into your Dropbox and you're done. It's crazy

00:35:47   Absolutely crazy, so we're talking about the surface

00:35:52   and you know as it ties and relates, I mean, it's just no way not to compare it to

00:35:59   to iOS and to to the iPad and I agree I've seen a couple people this week as

00:36:04   You know people start getting their minis who've said the same thing. You just said which is that

00:36:09   boy, it really feels like

00:36:11   Apple just yinged and Microsoft finally yanked, you know that they've you know, they've shipped like a

00:36:18   2011 iPad competitor

00:36:20   Which is the same problem palm had or HP or whatever it was

00:36:27   You know, they're there the what's the skating toward where the puck used to be right kind of situation but

00:36:33   Maybe that's okay. I mean there's still this concept of

00:36:38   Using office on this thing that I just I don't get it at all. Like, you know

00:36:44   maybe

00:36:46   Maybe I've been publishing on the web too long and I haven't used a word doc in a long time

00:36:50   But it's just the idea that these thin tablets which are you know?

00:36:56   kind of almost like a recreation device to a lot of people.

00:36:59   They're like, "Oh, this is fun.

00:37:00   "I don't have to use this thing for work."

00:37:03   The idea that all of a sudden you're gonna wanna go

00:37:05   and do an Excel model on this,

00:37:09   to me that just doesn't make any sense.

00:37:11   And I've tried.

00:37:12   I've downloaded pages and numbers and Keynote,

00:37:16   and I use them all on, I don't use pages.

00:37:18   I use numbers all the time and Keynote all the time

00:37:22   on my Mac, and it's great.

00:37:25   but I just, I've never thought to spend any time with them

00:37:30   on an iPad, it just doesn't make any sense to me.

00:37:32   So, I don't know, I think if anything,

00:37:35   some of the entertainment stuff that Microsoft has

00:37:39   is more attractive than the Office stuff.

00:37:42   Like if you could tell anyone with an Xbox

00:37:44   that they could play either part of their game

00:37:47   or even the full version of the game,

00:37:51   you know, I don't know how to do the controller,

00:37:53   but if you could do something on a surface,

00:37:57   to me that's a lot more interesting than,

00:38:00   hey, this thing runs Office.

00:38:02   I don't know.

00:38:03   - Yeah, and I think it's telling that

00:38:05   there's always been the,

00:38:08   well, what are you gonna do on it?

00:38:10   Question about the iPad, right?

00:38:13   If, you know, and it was really half,

00:38:16   it was really just about the whole presentation

00:38:18   in 2010 when Steve Jobs debuted it,

00:38:21   is, you know, this, you know, the slide had a, you know, there's a phone on one side,

00:38:24   there's a MacBook on the other, is there room in the middle for something in here? And if

00:38:29   so, the only reason anybody's going to buy it is if that stuff you can do here in the

00:38:33   middle is better than doing it anywhere else. And there, you know, and I don't think it's

00:38:40   a coincidence that the, you know, they launched with these iPad versions of the off, you know,

00:38:46   Apple's Office apps of pages, keynote and numbers and nobody,

00:38:50   you know, it just doesn't seem like any of those three apps. I

00:38:53   mean, I know they're still top sellers. But I just don't hear

00:38:57   people saying, Yeah, that's what I love doing on my iPad. And I

00:39:00   can't say that like looking over people's shoulders and airports

00:39:02   and coffee shops that I see people doing numbers spreadsheets

00:39:05   on their iPad that often. I think they were like it was sort

00:39:08   of a bad guess. I think it's good that those apps exist. And

00:39:12   I do use them especially now with iCloud where I can store

00:39:15   like these spreadsheets. Like I keep my sponsorship schedules in a numbers spreadsheet. And I

00:39:19   update it almost all the time from my Mac. But it's fantastic if somebody sends me an

00:39:25   email and I can check, I can just open it up on my iPhone and check and I can see it.

00:39:31   And if I need to make a change or something like that, I can do it. But it always feels

00:39:35   real finicky.

00:39:37   It seems like they did it as an insurance policy. It took up a good chunk of the keynote

00:39:44   and it was Apple's way of saying,

00:39:46   hey, you can feel comfortable that these apps exist.

00:39:50   They still sell like crazy,

00:39:51   like they're always near the top of the top grossing list,

00:39:54   so people kind of buy that to feel comfortable

00:39:56   that they have them.

00:39:57   It's sort of, I think, the same way

00:40:00   that they built that Texas Hold'em game

00:40:03   when the App Store first launched.

00:40:05   It was the, we don't know if anyone's gonna make

00:40:08   a lot of good games for these things,

00:40:09   so at least we got one.

00:40:12   And then they've seen how usage hasn't really gone that way.

00:40:17   I think it's telling that they haven't

00:40:19   really updated them at all.

00:40:22   Well, they haven't for the Mac either, I guess, but.

00:40:24   - I think that it's, I think there's still potential there,

00:40:27   but I do think a big part of the problem,

00:40:28   and numbers to me is the biggest example,

00:40:30   is that a spreadsheet that's optimized for the iPad,

00:40:33   like that it was just iPad only,

00:40:35   and didn't even have a Mac or Windows counterpart,

00:40:37   I think would be a lot different

00:40:39   than what we've got with numbers.

00:40:41   Like where numbers to me is it's all trying to maintain the fidelity of these spreadsheets

00:40:45   you make on your Mac where you can make the cells real small and you've got this real

00:40:49   precise mouse pointer and for most people a much bigger screen than 10 inches.

00:40:57   Whereas I feel like a really truly native iPad spreadsheet app would have much bigger

00:41:03   finger friendly cells and interface.

00:41:08   But I don't even think the whole act of spread-sheeting

00:41:10   really is conducive to touch.

00:41:11   I mean, it's a real data processing intensive thing.

00:41:15   - Whereas the, like, you always say,

00:41:19   oh, Microsoft would appeal to the enterprise,

00:41:21   and that was always the thing that RIM

00:41:23   was supposedly gonna be good at too.

00:41:25   But in touch, it seems like the enterprise

00:41:27   is not the same thing as it is in PCs.

00:41:30   Like, in PCs, it's this idea of a huge office

00:41:33   with 500 Dell towers,

00:41:38   stacked up in it.

00:41:39   In touch, it seems like the enterprise is this

00:41:41   tablets everywhere in places that there were

00:41:44   never computers before.

00:41:46   I just got coffee on the way home before the show,

00:41:49   and of course the cash register at almost all the

00:41:53   coffee shops that I've been to in the last few months,

00:41:55   they're all iPads.

00:41:57   And that's kind of the new enterprise.

00:41:59   And it doesn't seem like Microsoft,

00:42:02   of course I haven't done a lot of research here,

00:42:04   doesn't seem like they have a big plan for that.

00:42:07   - Yeah, I just don't, I don't know.

00:42:12   I feel like that they're trying to maintain

00:42:15   a connection with the past that they anticipate

00:42:18   being there forever that isn't going to be.

00:42:21   - By the way, that's why I think they're still

00:42:23   doing the iPad too, which is these, you know,

00:42:26   the iPad as display, as signage and/or cafe cash register.

00:42:33   - Right, you don't need to spend the money on retina.

00:42:35   - Right, who needs retina when it's some kid's

00:42:37   gonna spill soda on it or something.

00:42:40   - I mean, I don't have sales numbers.

00:42:41   Apple never breaks that stuff down,

00:42:43   and even privately, whoever the people are

00:42:45   who know exactly which iPads have sold,

00:42:48   they're not gonna tell me.

00:42:51   But just offhandedly and just in raw numbers, though,

00:42:56   I've been told that, yeah,

00:42:58   the iPad 2 definitely has sold well.

00:43:00   And Horace Dedue has figured out, I don't even, you know, the way he's, the guy's like

00:43:06   a wizard with numbers, but he's figured out that the average revenue per iPad has come

00:43:12   down pretty significantly in the last seven months.

00:43:15   And that the only possible explanation for that is that the $399 iPad 2 was selling very

00:43:20   well.

00:43:21   Because there's no other way that, because the prices didn't change otherwise.

00:43:25   the only way that the average revenue per iPad

00:43:29   would have come down is if that $399 iPad sold really well.

00:43:33   - Yeah, and I actually have the number somewhere.

00:43:38   Not in front of me, nevermind.

00:43:40   No, it's Mac plus iPad, so that doesn't tell us anything.

00:43:44   No, yeah, I agree.

00:43:46   And that's where I think this 330 iPad Mini,

00:43:50   yeah, it's not 200 bucks,

00:43:54   but it's also not 500 bucks.

00:43:56   - And it's way too easy, even for the reasonable,

00:44:02   the smart, handsome guys like me and you, Dan.

00:44:05   It's easy for us to get caught up

00:44:06   in what's going on right now

00:44:09   and consider the long term to be the end of this quarter.

00:44:12   Whereas if you just look just one year out

00:44:15   and two or three years from now,

00:44:18   the distance between November 2012 and November 2013

00:44:23   from the future, it doesn't look – it's not that big a – one year isn't that much

00:44:26   time.

00:44:27   Well, a year from now, if they have a 329 retina iPad mini and then keep the non-retina

00:44:33   one and use that to drop the point below 300, well, the whole thing just makes total sense

00:44:38   then.

00:44:39   The only way that doesn't work out for them and it just – I just don't see this happening

00:44:44   and I think they know it too is if these 200 and 250-dollar tablets from Amazon and Google

00:44:51   just sell in unbelievable numbers over the next, you know,

00:44:54   eight, nine, 10 months. And I just don't think that's gonna

00:44:57   happen.

00:44:57   I don't see it either. There's a lot of praise among the kind of

00:45:02   nerd set of the Nexus tablets, but I don't even know where to

00:45:08   buy one. Like, I wrote a post about this, I think last week or

00:45:12   the week before, but with an iPad, you know, it's very

00:45:16   obvious you go to your local Apple store or the electronics

00:45:20   with a smartphone you generally buy from your carrier.

00:45:25   But with the Kindle, yeah, you go to Amazon.com,

00:45:29   the world's most popular online store.

00:45:33   But if you want to buy a Nexus tablet,

00:45:35   where do you even go?

00:45:37   Microsoft at least has taken upon itself to set up

00:45:39   some stores in basically every mall, every nice mall.

00:45:44   Google, what are they, are they just not trying to sell that?

00:45:49   that many of them?

00:45:50   I don't know.

00:45:51   They do seem to have completely eschewed brick and mortar retail.

00:45:58   Which I think makes sense for some things like, you know, obviously phones are going

00:46:06   to go through carriers primarily.

00:46:08   So they've been able to sell an insane amount of phones without ever having to touch retail.

00:46:15   and even their e-commerce efforts,

00:46:17   they kind of scaled back at because they did so poorly.

00:46:20   But tablets are, I wish I knew what percent of,

00:46:24   Apple will tell you what percent of Macs

00:46:26   they sell in their Apple stores,

00:46:28   but they don't say for the iPad.

00:46:30   I wish that I knew that.

00:46:32   I would guess that it's pretty high.

00:46:35   - I would like to know too for Barnes and Noble,

00:46:37   and I feel like the nook is often the dark matter

00:46:40   in these discussions because it just seems like everybody,

00:46:43   And I do this too, is that when you say, "Well, what are the biggest competitors to the iPad?"

00:46:47   I think Surface, Nexus, Kindle.

00:46:51   But Nook is doing pretty good.

00:46:55   I mean, it's certainly, or at least it's not like a complete dud.

00:46:59   But I wonder how much of theirs are being sold through their brick and mortar retail

00:47:03   stores.

00:47:04   I mean, I know that when I go into the one here in Philly, the Barnes and Noble, it's

00:47:09   impossible to miss the Nook kiosk.

00:47:11   I mean, you come in the door and I would venture to say it's the best real estate in the entire

00:47:18   store.

00:47:19   Absolutely.

00:47:20   I think it's pretty much, you know, that's what it is.

00:47:24   It's the fact that they have such great distribution within their own chain.

00:47:31   I mean, my kind of one-liner about the Nook is that the most amazing thing about it is

00:47:36   that it exists.

00:47:37   It's this bookstore chain of all companies

00:47:40   has been able to make an actually okay computer.

00:47:45   Target hasn't been able to do that,

00:47:49   or PetSmart, or any other retail chain,

00:47:51   but all of a sudden this bookstore

00:47:53   has this decent tablet computer.

00:47:55   And Barnes and Noble, I think,

00:47:57   is still where a lot of people just go to hang out

00:47:59   when they have time to kill.

00:48:00   200 bucks is not an absurd amount to spend at the bookstore.

00:48:06   that's like three DVDs.

00:48:08   So I think that's done really well for them.

00:48:10   And now don't forget, Microsoft now owns a chunk

00:48:13   of that Nook business.

00:48:14   And I always wonder, is that like their kind of plan B,

00:48:19   if things don't work out with Nokia, is it gonna be okay?

00:48:23   - You know what, that strikes me.

00:48:24   - Portable business.

00:48:25   - That strikes me though now that I think about it,

00:48:27   'cause I mentioned, I think with MG last week,

00:48:29   that at the Surface event in New York,

00:48:32   the demo units that Microsoft had set up,

00:48:34   they had a bunch of third-party apps,

00:48:36   including Amazon Kindle, but it was weird because the Kindle apps didn't have any books

00:48:40   in them. You could launch the Kindle app, but they didn't preload any Kindle books in

00:48:45   there, which seemed like, "Well, what's the point of even putting the app on there?" Now

00:48:49   it makes me wonder why they—well, maybe there is no Nook app for Windows 8 yet. I

00:48:54   guess that's probably the answer.

00:48:55   Eric Michael Rhodes I think that's probably it, yeah.

00:48:57   Eric Michael Rhodes But it just seems like poor coordination, given

00:48:59   that they're allied, that they had to put a Kindle app.

00:49:03   I mean, as popular as the Kindle app for iOS is,

00:49:07   I really don't expect it ever to be set up on the demo unit instead of an Apple event.

00:49:11   Right. Can you imagine being the guy at Microsoft just to call the guy

00:49:15   at Amazon and say, "Hey, could you give us a bunch of codes

00:49:19   for free books for our demo units or something like that?"

00:49:23   What, do they just put free books on there or something?

00:49:27   the samples, just somehow load them up with the sample. I don't know. There's got to be

00:49:32   some way to do it. Just put samples on there if you want to be cheap and not buy the 990

00:49:37   books for the things.

00:49:38   Dave: That's probably something that they thought of like an hour before and they're

00:49:42   like, "Oh, shoot. We don't have any actual books in here." I wonder whose job it is at

00:49:47   Apple to pick what music goes on the iPhones and iPods in the store.

00:49:52   Yeah, I wonder too. I wonder if that comes from the store like is there something like from the iTunes store like does the iTunes

00:49:57   store get to pick like here's

00:49:59   You know here's them be is it is it that let's put the stuff that is most popular or put this stuff that we want

00:50:06   To be the most popular

00:50:08   It's always an interesting mix like it's always there's always like some older stuff and some newer stuff

00:50:13   I assume it's probably just

00:50:16   someone in the iTunes division

00:50:18   makes a playlist and

00:50:20   When they do the the retail build gets stuck in there

00:50:24   Yeah, and it's you know, it's true too that they pick which apps, you know, like games and stuff like that. I feel like there's

00:50:30   It's probably a pretty interesting job. Actually, there's all these little jobs at Apple that I think are really fast like the you know that or

00:50:40   The people who do the packaging design that's got to be

00:50:45   That's gotta be kind of fun. Yeah, definitely

00:50:47   Well, let's test out 17 different plastics for the the insert and the new case or something like that

00:50:54   Right or the cellophane that you wrap the device in

00:50:57   Right has to have the right

00:50:59   the right

00:51:02   Tearing characteristics. Yeah here. Let me take a break here and do the second sponsor

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00:54:58   Hey, how'd you get how'd you make out with sandy?

00:55:03   You know, I don't want to brag but we we did great. I was

00:55:09   We we were a couple blocks from I live in a neighborhood in Brooklyn called Dumbo or a block away from it. So

00:55:17   the the waterfront area got pretty wrecked and some of the restaurants that you know that we like to go to are

00:55:24   Not in business right now

00:55:26   but we got pretty lucky here the power was on the whole time and

00:55:32   Internet went out around midnight. So I was like, alright bedtime and woke up the next morning and it was back

00:55:39   So but I of course I did was

00:55:42   freaking out most of the time because our

00:55:44   windows are these sliding doors and I was paranoid that they were gonna collapse on us and then

00:55:51   Basically, we'd be sitting outside. So I was not relaxed at all. It was pretty terrifying

00:55:57   but the the windows held up and

00:56:00   We stayed dry. So but it's crazy like the city really got messed up

00:56:07   It kind of says something about our New York City's infrastructure.

00:56:16   At the same time, it's a little fun to go through these kind of, at least before all

00:56:24   the bad stuff happened, like the whole preparing for the hurricane is kind of slightly fun

00:56:30   experience.

00:56:31   But then once it happened this time, it was really bad.

00:56:36   It's been, I guess the most heartwarming thing

00:56:40   has been to see how people who fared okay

00:56:43   have been helping people who haven't been.

00:56:45   There's been a lot of effort to bring food

00:56:48   to some of the places that got hit very hard.

00:56:51   New York has, of course, this trendy food truck movement,

00:56:55   so a lot of the food trucks have been off serving food

00:56:58   to people who actually need it,

00:56:59   and not just people who want it, and that sort of stuff.

00:57:04   So it was a weird experience.

00:57:06   I mean, you know, it's not like I'm living in Miami

00:57:09   or something, a hurricane in New York City theoretically

00:57:13   isn't supposed to happen very often

00:57:14   and now we've had two in two years.

00:57:16   - It does, you know what, and it reminds me a little bit of,

00:57:20   yeah, I just don't see how you can't be,

00:57:22   of the aftermath of 9/11, of just the city coming together

00:57:26   and people, anybody who can help somebody else helping out.

00:57:30   - Yeah, I wasn't here for that.

00:57:31   I was still living in Chicago, but yeah,

00:57:34   that's what a lot of people were saying.

00:57:36   It was obviously a different sort of tragedy,

00:57:40   and although it affected, in terms of New York City proper,

00:57:44   beyond Staten Island, like lower Manhattan,

00:57:46   which is where the World Trade Center was,

00:57:48   was hit, was arguably hurt the most by Citi as well.

00:57:53   Like a bunch of my friends who live down there

00:57:56   basically don't have an apartment

00:57:58   either for the next several weeks or even months

00:58:00   because the whole kind of lower tip of Manhattan

00:58:04   was flooded and everyone's buildings got their power

00:58:08   messed with, so.

00:58:09   - Just little things.

00:58:10   I remember I saw a thing at one of those slideshows

00:58:12   just the other day where that in the Meatpacking District,

00:58:17   there's a classic steakhouse, Old Homestead.

00:58:21   They've expanded a little.

00:58:22   They have a Vegas and Atlantic City branch now.

00:58:24   But it's been there for like 100 years, this steakhouse,

00:58:27   and their electricity's been out.

00:58:30   And so the freezers are out,

00:58:31   so they don't want any of the meat to go bad.

00:58:33   So they were just cooking up all the steaks

00:58:35   from their freezers and giving them to cops

00:58:37   as cops came by.

00:58:39   Any first responders who'd just come by,

00:58:41   you get a free steak from Old Homestead.

00:58:43   And they were just, some guys were just taking them out,

00:58:45   putting them in the cars, the squad cars as they go.

00:58:49   And it just, I don't know, something about that,

00:58:51   I thought that was just great.

00:58:52   - There's a lot of that.

00:58:54   Whenever something messed up happens here,

00:58:56   there's a lot of that camaraderie.

00:58:57   and I think crime dips a lot.

00:59:00   Like there were, I think, a couple days

00:59:01   with no murders or something like that.

00:59:03   - Exactly.

00:59:04   - Although there were also supposedly people

00:59:07   dressed up as power company people and then robbing.

00:59:11   - Oh, that's the worst.

00:59:13   - Yeah, that's pretty scummy.

00:59:14   - Oh my God, that almost makes me wanna believe in hell,

00:59:17   just so that they could go there.

00:59:19   - Yeah, but it was interesting.

00:59:20   - That's the worst.

00:59:21   How do you live with yourself with that?

00:59:23   - That's pretty bad.

00:59:24   But it's interesting how the biggest,

00:59:27   kind of the biggest, now it's cold and it kind of sucks

00:59:31   to be without heat or something like that.

00:59:32   That week was still not so freezing.

00:59:35   And kind of the biggest thing was that people just wanted

00:59:37   to charge their phones and there were these kind of

00:59:40   impromptu charging stations that were set up at banks

00:59:44   and at restaurants and hotel lobbies and all this stuff

00:59:46   and it was, yeah, come inside, don't be out in the weather,

00:59:50   but also charge up your iPhone.

00:59:52   And that's something that I guess wasn't so prevalent

00:59:57   10 years ago.

00:59:58   - No, I don't think so at all.

00:59:59   I do think that's a big difference.

01:00:01   - Or you can just, the big blackout they had in New York.

01:00:03   It was like, well, all right, our apartment's dark

01:00:05   and the TV's off, but here it's,

01:00:07   we do have this connection to the world,

01:00:09   but it's running out of battery.

01:00:10   So that was interesting.

01:00:13   I'm kind of like the voyeur in me was kind of tempted to go

01:00:17   into the dark zone at nighttime and shoot some footage

01:00:20   and that kind of stuff, but I don't know,

01:00:23   it seemed a little dicey, so I wussed out on that one.

01:00:27   But next year I'll get a chance, maybe.

01:00:30   (laughing)

01:00:31   - Next year's hurricane.

01:00:33   I did see a thing, I should link it up,

01:00:34   I'll put it in the show notes.

01:00:35   I saw a device on Uncrate the other day.

01:00:40   It's a portable iPhone charger.

01:00:42   And just like a lot of these other ones,

01:00:45   you can plug it in a wall and it stores a charge

01:00:48   and then you connect a USB cable to any,

01:00:50   I guess it's a USB out, so you could charge anything

01:00:53   that can charge over USB with this thing.

01:00:55   But the distinction is it has a fold-out hand crank

01:00:59   so that in a pinch you can charge this battery

01:01:03   by turning the hand crank like a pencil sharpener.

01:01:06   And it's one of those things where like two weeks ago

01:01:10   I would have thought, I don't know, I don't go camping,

01:01:13   I'm not buying that thing.

01:01:14   Whereas now I'm thinking, hey, maybe I should have

01:01:16   one of those here.

01:01:17   - Yeah, is that like the new headlamp,

01:01:20   is like having something like that?

01:01:21   Yeah, I wonder how that's,

01:01:23   I imagine that's kind of gonna be a popular gift,

01:01:26   at least on the East Coast for Christmas this year,

01:01:28   that kind of stuff.

01:01:30   - And God only, I don't know.

01:01:31   I mean, maybe it takes 10,000 cranks

01:01:34   to get a little bit of a charge on it.

01:01:35   I don't know, but in a pinch though,

01:01:38   in like a city-wide blackout, I would do it.

01:01:40   I would absolutely do it.

01:01:41   I'd just sit there and turn that thing forever.

01:01:43   I don't know, I won't charge on my iPhone.

01:01:47   They should—soon there'll be an HTC phone with a built-in crank.

01:01:53   Someone will do that.

01:01:54   To an extent.

01:01:55   We have the hand-crancer unit.

01:01:58   Dave: Yeah.

01:01:59   And I do think that the hierarchy of need—a couple of people have posted about this—that

01:02:08   it's kind of changed.

01:02:10   Obviously you want food and shelter first.

01:02:15   is maybe above that, and then you want connectivity. You want internet. All these poor people in

01:02:24   New York couldn't play letterpress for a couple days.

01:02:26   Dave Asprey Honestly, I played probably about 100 games

01:02:29   of letterpress during the thing. It was interesting. The cell towers, of course, have battery backups,

01:02:37   and that's how, I guess, the Verizon LTE was on when the cable modem was off. Eventually,

01:02:44   gave out too. I think Verizon put them on faster though than AT&T, I want to say. I'm

01:02:51   not sure. Maybe that has to do with there being the local phone company here too. I'm

01:02:55   not sure what happened. It almost makes you wonder if those types of companies should

01:03:03   be even thinking harder about this sort of stuff. Or if it was just a fluke thing and

01:03:09   it'll never happen again. I don't know. You don't want to be too prepared for something

01:03:14   that's not going to happen again.

01:03:17   Or that next time it'll be something else.

01:03:20   Right.

01:03:21   It's not the same thing.

01:03:22   Same type of thing where everything's disrupted, but the source of disruption's different.

01:03:27   Like the underwear bomber.

01:03:28   Well, there's not going to be the shoe bomber.

01:03:30   There's not going to be another shoe bomber again, but that's all they want to think

01:03:33   about is shoes.

01:03:36   One other thing, you linked up a story that I think is interesting about Virgin America.

01:03:45   Maybe we should talk about that for a second.

01:03:48   Yeah, we could do that.

01:03:49   Yeah.

01:03:50   As kind of Mac Apple people, we've grown used to a world where our experience in smart design

01:03:59   is paramount to whatever else other features are out there.

01:04:04   The story was that Virgin America,

01:04:09   which is by many accounts the kind of smartest

01:04:14   and best thought out airline in the United States

01:04:17   is still losing money like crazy

01:04:20   and may not be financially viable due to a bunch of reasons.

01:04:24   The airline industry just sucks to begin with

01:04:26   and there's high costs of employment and fuel

01:04:31   and all that sort of stuff, but it makes you wonder,

01:04:34   you know, is the user experience the most important thing,

01:04:39   and if it's not a sustainable business,

01:04:42   should, you know, can it keep going?

01:04:46   - Yeah, it brings me back to this argument I've had

01:04:48   over this word, the word traction for years.

01:04:51   I've sort of been, you know, that it's,

01:04:53   there's some kind of black magic,

01:04:55   whether it's you're selling computers or cars or airline tickets that you know

01:05:00   that you somehow get to a certain point where you have traction and it's so much

01:05:04   easier to keep going than it ever is to get it in the first place and you know I

01:05:09   think Apple suffered from this for a long time and I've said this before and

01:05:13   I can never find the source because it's an old 90s era thing and but I'm I know

01:05:20   know that I'm right though. And I think Apple, I know that the basic story is right, but

01:05:27   that the source of it is confusing. And I've never been able to find it. If anybody out

01:05:32   there can find the source for this, I would thank you greatly and mention you on the show

01:05:36   and thank you profusely. But the gist of it is that Apple commissioned this survey in

01:05:41   the 90s, maybe like 96, 97 or so. And it showed that of people going out, US retail consumers

01:05:50   who are going out to buy a personal computer that 90% of them never even considered buying

01:05:55   a Mac. And that like of the percentage who did consider buying a Mac, like an unbelief,

01:06:03   like 40% of them wound up buying one, you know, and so like Apple's like 4% of the US

01:06:08   retail market in like 1997 was like 90% of people who never even gave it a second thought,

01:06:14   never even looked at them. And 10% of people who did and 40% of those people bought one.

01:06:20   And that the gist of it, you know, being that all they had to do is get more traction in

01:06:24   people's minds.

01:06:25   Just get more people to consider buying a Mac and that their sales could go way higher,

01:06:31   which is exactly what I believe has happened.

01:06:33   And I think that's that iPod halo effect that people wondered about, you know, in 2002,

01:06:39   2003, is that once people started going, even just going into an Apple store to buy anything,

01:06:44   to buy a music player, it opened their mind to maybe buying a computer from them and,

01:06:49   you know, it's all come up millhouse for them ever since.

01:06:53   I just can't help but think that Virgin's

01:06:54   in that same situation where people are just buying tickets

01:06:57   on Delta and American Airlines and whatever else

01:06:59   because that's what they've always done.

01:07:02   I just, I don't know, to me, once the first time

01:07:04   I took a flight on Virgin, I instantly knew

01:07:07   that I would never ever again fly anything else

01:07:10   if there was a Virgin flight available.

01:07:12   I mean, I go out of my way to fly Virgin now.

01:07:15   Like, I'll fly to make the times,

01:07:18   they don't have they only have a couple of flights a day in and out of Philly so

01:07:21   I will fly San Francisco to LAX LAX to Philly to make it work rather than pass

01:07:28   up you know dozens of direct flights from SFO to Philly on other airlines

01:07:32   because it's that much better it's so much better that I don't even hesitate

01:07:36   to fly with like a layover in LAX and that's and that's interesting and I

01:07:43   think air you know flight is such a weird market where people are are

01:07:48   usually just sorting by price and that's it period or maybe they have like a very

01:07:54   hard time of day requirement or something like that yeah and I know a

01:07:59   lot of it I also know a lot of people who've gotten locked into airline X

01:08:03   because they've got a gazillion miles right and platinum on American so all I

01:08:08   fly is American when I have the opportunity and I guess that's exactly

01:08:12   why they instituted those mileage programs. And that I know a couple of friends who never fly,

01:08:22   I've spoken to them specifically about Virgin and that they say that they'd love to, but they can't

01:08:26   because one of them's got Delta miles and the other one's got, I forget the other one, but it

01:08:32   doesn't matter, one of the old traditional carriers and they're just locked into it because of that.

01:08:37   And I don't know for me. It's so different and it just makes because you know, I tend to fly when I do fly

01:08:42   It's often from coast to coast. It's from here to San Francisco

01:08:46   So it's you know a big huge chunk of my day and spending it somewhere in a comfortable seat in

01:08:51   A nicely lit cabin with really pleasant every universally every single flight. I've taken truly truly pleasant

01:09:00   flight attendants

01:09:02   better food

01:09:04   actually like decent food, you know, it's kind of amazing and

01:09:08   The other thing the other sense that really hits you is that that it smells nice in a virgin airplane

01:09:15   Like the other airplanes it really makes you realize just how stinky the cabins are

01:09:18   It's that mix of burnt coffee and jet fuel and dried bath well farts or farts and sweat or something like that

01:09:27   I don't know what they're doing

01:09:28   It's in and it reminds me of like the difference between old casinos and new casinos like going to an old casino

01:09:34   casino and it's just this stink of 1977 sweat and cigarette smoke. A new casino really smells

01:09:43   like, "Wow, this is a casino, but it smells nice in here." That's what Virgin's like.

01:09:46   It reminds me a little of … Oh, sorry. Well, the gist of it though is that they're

01:09:51   losing like $300 or $400 million a year and that people are saying that that's just

01:09:55   too much. They've either got to start making money or the thing's going to dry up.

01:09:59   - Yeah, and it's a different, obviously the industry's

01:10:02   a lot different than the financial situations are,

01:10:04   but it reminds me a little of the old Windows Apple problem,

01:10:08   which was everyone is so used to Windows,

01:10:11   even if it's less elegant of an experience,

01:10:13   they can justify it just because they're familiar with it

01:10:17   or because they're locked into it or something like that.

01:10:19   - It's just the way it used to be, yeah,

01:10:20   it's just the way it is.

01:10:22   - And I've written this about even airplanes themselves,

01:10:25   like the airline industry or the airplane industry,

01:10:28   They need their iPhone moment where everything got reset.

01:10:32   Right now they're kind of graduating from the Nokia

01:10:37   Symbian phone to the Blackberry phone,

01:10:39   but there's no, they kind of need that inflection point

01:10:42   where if you look at the airline,

01:10:44   and I don't want to get too geeky on airline stuff,

01:10:47   but you look at the new planes they're designing,

01:10:49   like the 787, they're like 15 to 20% more fuel efficient.

01:10:56   The seats are maybe a little more comfortable.

01:10:59   The TV is like an inch bigger,

01:11:01   but there isn't like that whole reset point

01:11:04   where the experience is just vastly different.

01:11:06   And someone, I think, eventually will figure that out,

01:11:09   but I'm not sure what it is.

01:11:10   - Yeah, I totally agree, though.

01:11:12   And I don't know.

01:11:13   I don't know, I still am hoping.

01:11:16   I just hope they have the patience to keep with it

01:11:18   and that people will catch on in it.

01:11:20   Maybe they just need a couple more routes or something.

01:11:23   I don't know.

01:11:24   but it just doesn't add up to me.

01:11:26   - Maybe someday you can have an airline.

01:11:31   - I don't know, I say it would be fun.

01:11:35   It's probably a terrible job.

01:11:37   - The Apple airline, that would be a colossal waste of money

01:11:41   then you know when to sell Apple stock

01:11:43   when they start doing that kind of stuff.

01:11:46   - The other thing I don't get on Virgin

01:11:52   is that they have first class upgrades that are really, really cheap. If there's open

01:11:58   seats in first class, like day of the flight, it can be just like $150 to upgrade. Yet I've

01:12:07   been on flights where I've done it and I've gotten the first class upgrade for like $150

01:12:11   and there's still open seats and the other cabin is full. I don't know. It just seems

01:12:17   crazy to me that more people wouldn't take advantage of that.

01:12:21   - I think a lot of that is so they could just,

01:12:23   if there are people on standby,

01:12:26   they can get more seats sold,

01:12:28   or maybe just hook you into that experience.

01:12:32   Like I've had a few free upgrades on American recently

01:12:36   because I have so many miles,

01:12:38   and I'm in the Platinum program,

01:12:41   and now I'm like crap,

01:12:42   I don't know if I can fly coach anymore.

01:12:44   Of course I have to,

01:12:45   'cause real business class is way too expensive.

01:12:48   - Right, I wish business class was more like coach plus

01:12:52   rather than first class minus.

01:12:55   - Well, and it's funny because business class is,

01:12:57   and this is actually another kind of parallel

01:13:00   to the phone industry, business class is so much

01:13:03   more profitable than coach.

01:13:06   Maybe over half of the profits or maybe even more than that

01:13:10   of a flight would be from the business class people,

01:13:15   if not vastly more than that.

01:13:17   It's the same thing like when Nokia was before the iPhone or right after it, it was something

01:13:24   like 80% of their profits came from their smartphones, which were like 10% of their

01:13:29   phones sold.

01:13:30   All those coach seats are kind of break even and then all the profit comes from the front

01:13:35   of the plane.

01:13:36   So …

01:13:37   Dave Asprey Well, and then there's Southwest though,

01:13:39   which is all coach.

01:13:40   Adam Boffa And profitable.

01:13:42   Dave Asprey Right.

01:13:43   Right. And so that's in Southwest is still it's it's just their routes in and out of Philly have gotten so

01:13:49   inconvenient for me where all they don't they used to have a daily non-stop to SFO they used to have one to SFO and one

01:13:55   To Oakland and they've gotten rid of both of those

01:13:57   So now the only way for me to go out west on Southwest is you know stop in Chicago, which makes it a lot less

01:14:02   appealing Vegas, maybe I

01:14:05   Forget if they I think they still have non-stops to Vegas

01:14:09   Yeah

01:14:09   Yeah, and maybe I have to route through there.

01:14:11   That always makes me, I don't like to have a layover in Vegas though.

01:14:14   If I get off the plane in Vegas though, I want to stay.

01:14:17   That was the one time I remember last year, I did that last year.

01:14:20   I was flying out to San Francisco, pretty sure it was the Southwest.

01:14:24   And it was one of those continuations where I didn't even have to get out of the plane,

01:14:29   but we had enough time and I wanted to go to the restroom or get something to eat.

01:14:33   And I was like, "Hey, can I quick run out of the plane?"

01:14:36   And so I had five minutes in Vegas.

01:14:38   It's the worst. It's just enough to wet the whistle.

01:14:44   Perfect.

01:14:46   Yeah, Southwest though is flying in a giant bus. They have the advantage where their staff is very nice.

01:14:53   They have terrific service. People who work for Southwest really like it.

01:14:59   There's this very, very generous stock ownership thing where everybody who works on Southwest gets shares in the company

01:15:06   company and it really seems to invest them in it. But it's

01:15:11   really, you know, it's the coachee of coach and everybody,

01:15:14   you know, you really are just in like a flying bus for five or

01:15:17   six hours.

01:15:17   That's and that's the profits in the airline industry that and

01:15:22   spirit spirit air. So cool.

01:15:25   I agree, though, I would like to fly everywhere. Virgin. Some

01:15:30   days I'd like to, I would like to just be in a Virgin plane

01:15:32   just to work for the day. Just to go up. Hey, you could just

01:15:35   go up, fly me around for a couple of hours and let me get some work done and then I'll

01:15:39   just come right back to Philadelphia.

01:15:41   See, there you go. There's the business. Just sit in the air all day and then go back down.

01:15:50   I do. I find myself very productive on an airplane when I work during the day. I figured

01:15:54   out why. It's because with GoGo Internet, it works just well enough that I can use it

01:16:01   to research things and look things up. It's way too flaky and slow to really screw around

01:16:07   on the internet and waste time. It just makes me very productive. It's a very productive

01:16:11   environment for the type of work I do, for linking to and writing about stuff.

01:16:15   Dave Asprey Yeah, I've actually done some of my best posts

01:16:17   on GoGo, except the only issue is that if you try uploading a photo, they totally degrade

01:16:23   the quality of the JPEG. They have some weird filtering, and it shows up looking horrible

01:16:28   on your site. Not only downloads, but uploads too. They do that. Hey, man.

01:16:35   Right. And it is true. I bet you're the same way as me. Where complete isolation from the

01:16:40   internet actually does make me less productive as a writer because I've just gotten used

01:16:45   to, "Hey, I don't know what this, I don't know exactly what this term means. Let me

01:16:49   Wikipedia it and make sure I'm getting it right." And if I can't do that, it's like

01:16:52   I feel lost. I need a little bit of internet to write.

01:16:58   - Right.

01:16:59   - And that's kind of to come full circle,

01:17:03   I've set up my iPad Mini in a way that I can truly relax,

01:17:07   which is no email accounts on the iPad.

01:17:13   - Oh, that's smart.

01:17:15   - Which is a bummer because sometimes I want to send

01:17:17   an email and I don't have anything set up,

01:17:19   so maybe I'll just set up some AOL account

01:17:21   or something like that.

01:17:22   - Oh, I see what you mean.

01:17:23   - I have the iPad Mini in full Zen mode,

01:17:25   so I might even uninstall Twitter

01:17:27   because that's, although it's good for Twitter,

01:17:29   so I'll just have to hide it somewhere sometimes.

01:17:31   But without email, I can really kind of,

01:17:36   I read a book this week, which is something

01:17:38   I haven't done in a long time, and it's been really great.

01:17:41   - It says a lot about our generation.

01:17:47   - Have you found your word?

01:17:48   - My word?

01:17:49   - Yeah, the word you were looking for?

01:17:51   - No, I don't remember.

01:17:51   - All right, that's all right.

01:17:53   - I just think it's telling that you're really proud

01:17:54   of yourself for having read a book.

01:17:56   - Oh yeah. (laughs)

01:17:58   It was good, it was the Michael Lewis book

01:17:59   about all the messed up economies around the world.

01:18:03   Check it out. - Oh yeah.

01:18:04   That one, that's on my list somewhere.

01:18:05   - Now I gotta read the Nate Silver book

01:18:06   because hopefully it'll make me smarter.

01:18:10   - Yeah, did he get all 50 states this time?

01:18:12   I know he had 49-- - I think so.

01:18:13   - I think he got 50, I think he went 50 for 50.

01:18:16   So now he's like 99 for the last 100 states.

01:18:19   - He's gotta retire or he's gotta hit

01:18:22   like some insane goal next time.

01:18:25   maybe he'll even know. Well, anyway, thank you very much Dan

01:18:31   Fromer for joining me this week. This was a great show. I want to

01:18:34   thank our sponsors again, voila, voila in the Mac App Store

01:18:39   screen capture screen recording tool and for iOS boss jock studio

01:18:46   all in one podcast recording app for iOS kind of amazing.

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