The Talk Show

212: ‘Arbiter of Finallys’ With Rene Ritchie


00:00:00   So you, this is amazing, might as well open up with it.

00:00:02   There's, I'm reading Twitter last night and all of a sudden I'm thumbing through my Twitter

00:00:07   and there's a picture of you with Tim Cook at a Maple Leafs game.

00:00:13   Yeah.

00:00:14   I was as surprised as anybody.

00:00:16   How the hell did that happen?

00:00:19   So I didn't know.

00:00:21   I was just, like I thought there was going to be just some briefing.

00:00:24   Apple does a lot of these and you do them too.

00:00:26   they would announce something about Hour of Code, or they're going to do a French version,

00:00:31   or they're going to have Canadian-specific content or something. I had no idea. And then

00:00:36   I see the Globe and Mail says Tim Cook is in Canada for a code, and he just dropped

00:00:41   by. He does this. They don't announce it. I'm guessing for security reasons, but also

00:00:46   because it's Apple and it's all about surprise and delight. He just crashed the code session

00:00:50   at the Apple store. And people love that kind of stuff. And he did a couple of interviews

00:00:55   while he was there. And I'm like, "Oh, if I had known, I would have gone. I mean, it's

00:00:59   not that far. It would have been awesome." I'm like, "Oh, too bad." But then I was supposed

00:01:02   to do this meeting later. And then they were very quiet about it. And eventually I just

00:01:09   got a call saying, "Come here, do this, do that." And then, "Okay, Tim's here." And I

00:01:14   just like, "Okay, wow." And he was watching the Leafs game. He was sitting down there

00:01:19   with one of the Hockey Night in Canada announcers, former hockey player, just enjoying the show.

00:01:25   And then he came up and said hi to some of the Apple people there.

00:01:28   And then I was towards the back of the line, and then eventually I got a chance to say

00:01:32   hi to him as well.

00:01:38   That's amazing.

00:01:39   Who won the game?

00:01:40   The Maple Leafs did not win the game.

00:01:42   The team formerly known as the Quebec Nordique, which I think now use some weird name like

00:01:46   the Colorado Avalanche one.

00:01:48   Hmm.

00:01:49   Americans take a lot of Canadian teams and make them super successful, so we're a little

00:01:54   bit bitter. All right. So it's a good thing. It's funny because I originally was going

00:02:01   to try to record this with you yesterday, which was Monday, the 22nd of January. And

00:02:09   instead we had to push it back till today, the 23rd. And in the meantime, he went to

00:02:13   a hockey game with Tim Cook and Apple. Can I say finally, I believe I'm the arbiter

00:02:22   of finalies, of appropriate finalies. And I'm going to give this a finally plus a

00:02:31   pending finally. They've finally announced that HomePod is coming out and what the schedule

00:02:38   is. Orders start this coming Friday, probably a few days after this episode lands, and it

00:02:47   start shipping two weeks after that on February the 9th and I guess it will be in retail stores

00:02:52   at the same time too. Presumably there will be reviews in between as we record and February 9th,

00:03:03   but I don't know anything about that yet. No, and we can't even draw upon AirPods because those,

00:03:09   I mean, they originally planned to get those out earlier and they seeded them and then they didn't

00:03:14   get it out. Yeah, yeah. Yeah, that was weird. Because we got

00:03:17   priest. It is funny. And I will come back to that. Because the

00:03:21   more we learn about home pod, the more it really does kind of

00:03:25   seem like AirPods as speakers. Yes, that's exactly the way I

00:03:32   would describe it. And it's similar even down to the fact of

00:03:36   being late. But one difference is that when AirPods were on the

00:03:43   the cusp of shipping a year ago. Did you get up the pre release

00:03:47   pair? I don't think that I think they were seated pretty

00:03:50   liberally. We got pre release air pods that, in my experience

00:03:58   using them was indistinguishable from the final ones, although I

00:04:01   think maybe, although I don't know if it was a hardware thing

00:04:05   or subsequent software things. As much as I loved them right

00:04:11   the first day with the prototypes, I have to say that now, a year later, I think they're

00:04:16   even more reliable than before. But they were very serious about those being prototypes.

00:04:25   And when they shipped the shipping ones, they wanted those prototypes back in the mail the

00:04:29   next day. It was the only review product I've ever gotten from Apple where there was any

00:04:35   hint of pressure of "send it back right now."

00:04:38   It's like I wondered if there was like, maybe it didn't use lithium ion, maybe it used kryptonite

00:04:42   as the battery just to make it work.

00:04:44   I don't know.

00:04:45   The demeanor was always Apple friendly.

00:04:48   It was always, it wasn't like they sent the Brute Squad, big angry people to come collect

00:04:56   them.

00:04:57   But it was, get them in the mail.

00:05:02   I have no idea why.

00:05:05   I think just in general, Apple is one of those companies that they don't want pre-release

00:05:08   stuff out there because you never know what's going to happen to it.

00:05:10   So, who knows what the difference is? I think that because these are a little bit less of

00:05:17   a justice, you know, there is some similarities to AirPods, but I don't think, I'm not surprised

00:05:23   that they didn't seed prototype HomePods outside the company.

00:05:27   Yeah. Although they did a huge seeding of prototype HomePods inside the company.

00:05:33   I have heard the same thing that it was pretty widespread internal seating amongst employees.

00:05:40   And you know, I guess we in geographies beyond what they've already announced.

00:05:44   Yeah. And I think that doesn't that go all the way back to the big on the eve of the

00:05:50   iPhone 10 and iPhone eight announcement the it was a HomePod firmware update that leaked

00:06:00   a bunch of details like the name iPhone with a capital X that we didn't know how to pronounce.

00:06:06   It was a HomePod release. And I guess the reason that that was even possibly on and

00:06:11   over the, you know, public to the world server was that they were already at the time, seated

00:06:17   widely within the company to people to use it on. Absolutely. Alright, so the that's

00:06:22   the dates, the price is the same. I don't think we learned much more about the functionality

00:06:29   from the updated product page. But my pending finally is that in some very small print,

00:06:40   not one of the headlines, the iPod or the HomePod announcement also included the news

00:06:46   that AirPlay 2 will be coming later this year. And what that means for HomePod early adopters

00:06:54   is that at least three of the promised features

00:06:59   will have to wait until Airplate 2 ships, those are.

00:07:04   First, the ability to buy two HomePods,

00:07:09   put them in the same room and have them coordinate

00:07:12   with each other to work in stereo,

00:07:16   which I believe they demoed that for us back at WWDC, right?

00:07:23   I'm not misremembering that.

00:07:24   I seem to recall.

00:07:24   - No, absolutely, they had two of them.

00:07:26   So I'm confused about the stereo part of this.

00:07:28   So, and maybe it's because I'm completely ignorant

00:07:30   about audio, but the way that it works

00:07:33   is it uses computational audio to sort of model the room

00:07:36   and then project sound into different parts of it.

00:07:38   So the way that you traditionally think about stereo

00:07:41   is if you want sound on the left,

00:07:41   you have to have a speaker on the left.

00:07:43   If you want sound on the right,

00:07:44   you have to have a speaker on the right

00:07:45   where this projects and bounces sound

00:07:47   to all different parts of it.

00:07:48   So the stereo thing doesn't seem to fit for me.

00:07:52   And I know Apple is using the word

00:07:53   And I just wonder, like originally my understanding was

00:07:56   you'd put more home pods to fill bigger areas that,

00:07:59   because it's a speaker, it's still got limited range.

00:08:01   And if you wanted a bigger room, you'd put two.

00:08:04   If you wanted an even bigger room, you'd put three.

00:08:06   But when we talk about stereo,

00:08:07   I just, I wonder maybe it's cleaner

00:08:09   because you don't have to do the bouncing

00:08:10   or the sort of trickery or the magic

00:08:13   to get the sound in different parts.

00:08:14   And you can more clearly isolate them.

00:08:16   So maybe it's a better stereo or surround experience

00:08:19   with multiple home pods.

00:08:22   Yeah, I that's actually interesting. And linguistically, I'd never thought I've I had the exact same

00:08:29   thought Renee and I'm wondering if it'll be possible if they say two but if if like you're

00:08:33   saying like, once airplane two comes out, could you get three or four to fill like a

00:08:38   sufficiently big?

00:08:40   I asked and they they just said like, if you really want to it should and I don't know

00:08:44   if this has changed or if I'm remembering it wrong. But my understanding was you could

00:08:47   put several of them in and it would just figure it out. But that most people would never need

00:08:50   to put that many in one room.

00:08:51   Right. And I do think it's, you know, again, it's often best to take Apple in its most

00:09:00   obvious way. The name is HomePod. So it's not, you know, these things aren't meant for

00:09:04   like a commercial, you know, a big commercial space that would be bigger than what someone

00:09:10   would typically consider a home.

00:09:11   StadiumPod.

00:09:12   Right. But it is interesting. I've always thought of stereo, the word stereo, like you

00:09:18   just said, like just left and right. Literally left, not just two, but left and right. But

00:09:25   now that I think about it as like a word nerd, the root isn't like duo or something. It's

00:09:33   not duophonic. And so I'm looking up stereo here. And the dictionary word, the first one

00:09:39   is sound that is directed through two or more speakers so that it seems to surround the

00:09:44   the listener and come from more than one source stereophonic sound. But if you scroll down

00:09:49   to just the prefix "stereo" as a combining form, this makes more sense. "Relating to

00:09:57   solid forms having three dimensions stereography." So I think in theory you could have more than

00:10:03   two and it would just figure it out. And I think even when you do have only two, I think

00:10:06   be a lot less about left and right and a lot more about how best to make it sound like

00:10:15   the music is coming from as many sources as possible.

00:10:17   Right, better making that 3D model for the room.

00:10:21   Right.

00:10:22   Yeah, that makes sense.

00:10:23   Yeah, I think thinking of it as 3D makes more sense as to how the two will coordinate than

00:10:28   left-right.

00:10:29   Yeah.

00:10:30   Right?

00:10:31   And it's almost like left-right literally is just two-dimensional, whereas it's really

00:10:34   more about three-dimensional.

00:10:36   And I seem to recall that from the demo.

00:10:38   I mean, what I recall, I mean, and you know, this is, geez, what was that like eight months

00:10:43   ago?

00:10:44   Yeah, June 2017.

00:10:46   I remember that it sounded good.

00:10:47   And almost most of the demo was here's a song, we'll play it on the on one, you know, the

00:10:53   single home pod, then we'll play it on the, what was it a Sonos thing?

00:10:57   Yeah, and then we'll play it on the little set of Amazon tin cans.

00:11:02   Well, the Amazon thing really came off looking bad in that demo.

00:11:06   I was in with, as much as I don't know music, but I was in with Dalrymple, which was hugely

00:11:11   informative for me because he is, I don't know what the right, but he is like almost

00:11:16   angry about the quality of his music.

00:11:19   And they showed us, they played normal songs and they played some live recordings.

00:11:24   And as little as I know or appreciate sound, I have Sonos at home.

00:11:28   I've had it for years.

00:11:29   I'm all in on Sonos.

00:11:30   It was way better than Sonos for almost all the songs.

00:11:33   I think one of it, it sounded about as good as Sonos,

00:11:35   but the live stuff and some of the other stuff,

00:11:37   it sounded just as good.

00:11:38   And it totally, rightfully so,

00:11:40   because the Amazon really was a speaker second

00:11:42   and a voice assistant first,

00:11:44   but it totally embarrassed the Echo.

00:11:46   - Yeah, I'm an interesting contrast to Jim

00:11:48   because I'm, not that I don't care about audio,

00:11:52   but I really just, I just don't think I have good ears

00:11:55   for it, you know, and I'm not musical at all.

00:11:58   I like music, you know, certain types of music.

00:12:02   But it's a much more, as opposed to like my opinions

00:12:07   on let's say a TV, you know, the way a TV set looks.

00:12:10   I have very strong opinions about every regard.

00:12:13   - Exactly, yeah.

00:12:15   - But as a casual music fan,

00:12:18   I would have to look back at my notes,

00:12:19   but as I recall, that was my take exactly.

00:12:21   There was one song where I didn't feel like I could

00:12:24   Pepsi Challenge and prefer the HomePod over Sonos.

00:12:29   I would have called it a draw, but every other one,

00:12:31   I felt confident that even as a, as you would say, a punter,

00:12:35   that I thought the HomePod sounded better.

00:12:41   And anyway, at the end of the demo, then,

00:12:43   it was like, here's the one more thing of the little demo.

00:12:45   I think it was always with,

00:12:46   it was like groups of like four and five at a time

00:12:49   in a sort of living room size space.

00:12:53   I was going to say Moscone, but of course it's not called Moscone. What's that place

00:12:56   called?

00:12:57   Jon Sorrentino San Jose.

00:12:58   Jon Scieszka The San Jose.

00:12:59   Jon Sorrentino The San Jose.

00:13:00   Jon Scieszka The San Jose mouthful convention center.

00:13:01   There was, you know, typically, it's just the Apple formula. It's like, here's the one

00:13:08   more thing. If you have a second one, you can do this. And it was like, here's what

00:13:12   the song sounds like with one home pod and sounded pretty good. And I remember when the

00:13:16   second one kicked in, it did sound better. And it did sound fuller.

00:13:20   Jon Sorrentino Fuller. Yeah.

00:13:22   That's what I remember, the noticing the difference with Sonos. And again, I've used Sonos for

00:13:27   years. I have a ton of their stuff. It just sounded richer and deeper and more like, like

00:13:33   more of an emotional experience. And then when the second one came on, it was just written,

00:13:38   just even better. It was just fuller.

00:13:40   Yeah. It's like I know, it's like somehow I know when I come into, you know, somebody's

00:13:46   house and they're playing music or movies or something and or you're in a bar or something

00:13:52   and you hear it. There's a certain part of me that can detect, "Hey, this is a serious

00:13:56   sound system." I can't explain why. I can't tell you what it is. I can just tell somebody

00:14:02   put some money into this thing. And that's absolutely what it sounded like with the two

00:14:09   HomePods.

00:14:10   Yeah, totally. It's like when you go in and you hear someone listening to a sound bar

00:14:14   as opposed to hear them listening to a 5.1 or 7.1 surround system that's been properly

00:14:18   set up.

00:14:21   Still though, lots and lots of unanswered questions about HomePod, in my opinion, which

00:14:30   I hope we'll get before it ships, but which I don't think we're going to get before pre-orders

00:14:37   open, which leads to the interesting dilemma, probably for an awful lot of people who are

00:14:43   listening to us on this show of do you wait until you find out more before you spend $350

00:14:51   on this thing or do you buy in advance hoping that the answers will either be good or do

00:15:03   you take your chances that maybe if you wait until you do get the answers that it won't

00:15:09   be backordered for four months or something like that, right? Because that's the dance

00:15:13   you have to play.

00:15:14   I was just joking about that on Twitter. It seems like every time Apple announces something,

00:15:18   Twitter starts saying how stupid Apple is and how stupid the product is. And then when

00:15:21   they ship it, Twitter starts talking about how stupid it is that they can't order it

00:15:24   immediately.

00:15:25   Yes.

00:15:26   Like that's like the seventh stage of the Twitter.

00:15:28   You never know. And Apple, you know, talking about things like, "Hey, this is going to

00:15:32   be in short supply," isn't really what people who know talk about even off the record. But

00:15:39   But my gut feeling is that it may not be back ordered, like, certainly not like AirPods

00:15:47   were for most of the year last year.

00:15:49   Well, it's so restricted, like AirPods were an international product.

00:15:52   This is only launching in the US, Australia and the UK right now.

00:15:55   And then sometime this spring in France and Germany.

00:15:58   So it's a much smaller market for them to service.

00:15:59   Well, and the other thing that I have heard, and I suspect you've probably heard similar

00:16:05   is that the hardware was way ahead of the software on this.

00:16:09   And that, I think if it weren't for software,

00:16:13   this would have shipped as promised in calendar year 2017.

00:16:18   - Totally, and people immediately blame Siri,

00:16:20   but SiriKit shipped for the Apple TV last,

00:16:23   sorry, for the HomePod last fall.

00:16:26   AirPlay 2 is still not fully out.

00:16:29   - Yeah, and it, you know, so certainly

00:16:31   the development of AirPlay 2 is one factor,

00:16:35   because they were originally planning to, you know,

00:16:39   features that were advertised as this is gonna be

00:16:41   in this thing by the end of the year

00:16:43   were based on AirPlay 2.

00:16:45   So given that AirPlay 2 still isn't out,

00:16:47   the delay, you know, whatever's the delay of AirPlay 2

00:16:51   is certainly one reason.

00:16:52   I suspect that there are others, I don't know,

00:16:55   just some things, I don't know anything else specific.

00:16:57   But I heard multiple times though

00:16:59   that it's the software, not the hardware.

00:17:02   - Yep.

00:17:03   And I've heard multiple times too

00:17:04   that it's not, I mean, there is a legitimate complaint

00:17:07   to be made that Siri, I mean, we could back up a little bit.

00:17:09   Apple's been working on this for years.

00:17:11   And when I look at an Apple product,

00:17:13   I try to figure out what problem is Apple

00:17:15   trying to solve with this.

00:17:16   And it looked, at least I think to Apple,

00:17:19   it looked like we don't have a solution for you.

00:17:21   You have all this Apple Music stuff,

00:17:23   you have, and you just can't drop something in.

00:17:25   And it's sort of what the iPod Hi-Fi

00:17:27   was trying to solve as well.

00:17:28   And we wanna give people a way to just buy something

00:17:31   that's Apple designed, and that is incredibly simple

00:17:34   to just drop into your room and it sounds really, really great.

00:17:38   And it's easy to set up, as easy as AirPods--

00:17:40   AirPods shipped earlier-- as easy as AirPods to ship up,

00:17:42   we have that technology.

00:17:44   And we've done computational photography.

00:17:46   We can do computational audio.

00:17:49   And in that light, the Siri stuff is secondary.

00:17:52   AirPods are controlled through Siri.

00:17:53   And they can access the vast catalog of Siri things.

00:17:56   But that's a convenience.

00:17:57   It's the best way to interface with that product.

00:18:00   And HomePod is the same.

00:18:02   It can do Siri stuff.

00:18:03   It's controlled with Siri and you might as well use it to control home kit and to do those things

00:18:08   But it really it really was an audio solution

00:18:11   It really was a speaker that Apple spent a lot of time and put an incredible amount of technology into making a

00:18:16   Lot of people have been asking me today

00:18:19   What do I think the reason is for the software delay

00:18:25   What's the reason and I I don't know I don't have any inside information on anything specifically other than obviously

00:18:31   Airplay 2 is taking on but why is it airplay 2 taking longer? I

00:18:35   That's the nature of software. I mean software projects often take

00:18:41   longer sometimes a lot longer than you thought they would even when what you thought they would you

00:18:48   Multiplied by 2x because you think well, here's how long I think it'll take

00:18:53   I'll multiply it by 2 because it always takes me twice as long as I think and you still come up short

00:18:58   It's just the best way to describe it without like well

00:19:02   I think the best way to describe it is let's say you wanted to ship the

00:19:04   iPad the iMac Pro and you put that to that t2 chip in and in the process of setting up t2 you realize that there

00:19:11   was a

00:19:13   web of

00:19:14   authentication stuff that had been built up over the years but had some architectural issues that you really that you'd never taken the time to

00:19:21   Go back and fix but we're now

00:19:23   Problematic to get that product to ship now that did not happen with the eye with the iMac Pro

00:19:28   We did get you know, the ridiculous root blank stuff that surfaced but nothing to stop the product

00:19:34   And I think this is similar to in making airplay - they hit some things that that were just long

00:19:39   Long existing issues in the code that they never needed to address before and in order to make this work

00:19:44   They had to go back and address them and they've addressed to the point where it functions now

00:19:49   But it's not at the point yet where all those features are available

00:19:51   Yeah, and either going back to fix things that you didn't think would be so hard to fix or solving problems that you didn't

00:19:59   And you know that some step along the way was a lot harder

00:20:02   Than you thought it was going to be or some step along the way of solving this new problem

00:20:07   You you go down a dead end and have to go back because it actually doesn't work. I mean, that's

00:20:13   software is like

00:20:17   It's a lot like writing and to me it's always often very similar to the idea

00:20:22   You know that it's like being a lawmaker, you know

00:20:26   Like trying to you know, when you when lawmakers write laws

00:20:30   They hopefully should take take their time and write them in a way that it's very clear

00:20:36   What is and is not against the law?

00:20:39   But if you think like you've got you know

00:20:44   we've got here's an mpeg3 audio file and

00:20:48   We want it to go through this speaker

00:20:52   over the air in a certain way over a certain protocol and have certain things happen to analyze the music and

00:21:00   Then come out of these tweeters in this base in this way, you know, yeah

00:21:06   That's not fully thought out that's just an outline and as you fill that in

00:21:13   to actually make it completely thought out, that's the actual programming, right?

00:21:18   It's never actually fully thought out until the programming is complete.

00:21:23   And so you never know when you're going from the plan for the software to the actual software

00:21:29   where you're going to hit a point that is

00:21:31   way tougher, trickier, takes longer than you thought it would.

00:21:35   Yeah, and the requirements, like we've all experienced issues with airplay and with core audio that are

00:21:42   mildly annoying when you're just trying to project your video or record something, but

00:21:48   there would be absolute deal breakers if the product had to be rock solid, reliable streaming

00:21:52   audio all the time. And that just can't ship that way. Like you've got to go back and fix

00:21:55   all that stuff.

00:21:56   Yeah. I mean, I'm not making excuses for them. It does look bad. That's something that they

00:22:02   were promised that they promised to ship by the end of 2017 in June. Now in January is

00:22:09   later 2018. I mean, it could be pushing up for all we know, it could be pushing up against

00:22:15   WWDC again. I would guess that it's better than shipping it because if they shipped in

00:22:23   that didn't work, that would be even worse. Right? That's what I don't get. Like, I'm

00:22:27   not saying Apple comes out. I'm not making excuses for them. I'm just explaining what

00:22:31   I tried to explain what the situation is. And you know, you could say that, you know,

00:22:39   You can be mad at them if you want and you can say that this is a worrisome sign that

00:22:43   maybe the company is slipping. It's not like it used to be even though I can name

00:22:48   a long list of products that shipped late. I was just pointing out earlier this week

00:22:53   on an article I wrote that this wouldn't have happened under Steve Jobs' crowd. Steve

00:22:59   Jobs was there when the white iPhone 4 shipped 10 months late. It was almost a full year

00:23:06   after the black version shipped, which I remember distinctly because my wife was like, "You

00:23:11   know what?

00:23:12   I'm going to get the white one."

00:23:13   No, I had the same experience.

00:23:16   We should make a name for this law, but whenever someone says Steve Jobs would never, almost

00:23:21   certainly he did at some point or was involved in the decision-making process that led to

00:23:25   the product you think Steve would never have let Apple make.

00:23:28   Yeah, it's a lot like there's always a Trump tweet for whatever.

00:23:31   Like with this government shutdown that we had here in the US last weekend, there were

00:23:35   all these, the last time that the US federal government shut down, Trump was on TV and

00:23:41   on Twitter reiterating one message, which is that no matter what, the government shutdown

00:23:48   is always the fault of the president.

00:23:50   Yeah. No, I mean, it's absolutely true. And I would just rather people stop making that

00:23:57   argument because you never look good in hindsight.

00:24:00   But anyway, it is what it is.

00:24:03   But the interesting dilemma, as you alluded to, is you wish that there were no delay.

00:24:08   You wish everything was all ready and the thing had shipped before Christmas and AirPlay

00:24:12   2 is bug-free and solves all the AirPlay problems.

00:24:16   But that didn't happen.

00:24:17   Well, it would have been better for Apple because the competitive market is much different

00:24:21   now than it was.

00:24:22   When Apple first announced it, there were no products, as far as I can remember, that

00:24:28   were doing multi-personal assistance.

00:24:29   that would do voice ID and try to figure out different people.

00:24:32   There was no Google Home Max.

00:24:34   There was no product that really had a good speaker attached

00:24:36   to a good assistant.

00:24:37   And in the months since the products have been delayed,

00:24:40   Google put that service online.

00:24:41   Amazon put that service online.

00:24:43   They're both producing better speakers now.

00:24:44   So Apple's entering a market much later

00:24:47   with a much earlier product than they would have liked.

00:24:49   Yeah.

00:24:50   So given where they are as of late December 2017,

00:24:55   with hardware that is apparently ready to go

00:24:57   and software that could be made ready to go

00:25:02   modulo AirPlay 2, therefore missing some features

00:25:05   in the meantime.

00:25:06   What do you do if it's your decision to make the call?

00:25:09   Do you make the whole product wait until AirPlay 2's ready,

00:25:13   or do you ship what you have and crack the whips

00:25:17   on the AirPlay 2 team to get it out as soon as you can?

00:25:20   I think I--

00:25:21   - I don't think that team has slept since before Christmas.

00:25:23   - I think I would have made, if it was up to me,

00:25:25   I would have made the same decision Apple has made

00:25:27   and ship it now. I mean, we'll see once I get the product. I mean, you know, maybe the

00:25:30   thing's a disaster, but you know, assuming that it's everything that they are saying

00:25:34   it will do right out of the box on day one works. I think it's worth shipping. I think,

00:25:40   you know, I think there's a benefit to shipping both hardware and software for an indie one

00:25:45   person creative shop or the world's most profitable corporation. Shipping is, you know, it's good

00:25:53   and waiting for perfection can lead you to very long delays.

00:25:58   You can't ship a product that doesn't

00:26:00   perform its basic function, which

00:26:02   I think was why Apple delayed it to begin with.

00:26:04   It's got to be rock solid in terms of being a speaker.

00:26:07   Once that happens, if it's missing

00:26:08   a few of the more advanced features, it's not ideal,

00:26:11   but you can ship it and get it in people's hands.

00:26:14   And that's one of the things with Apple.

00:26:16   Johnny Ives said this, that they don't really

00:26:18   believe they understand their own products

00:26:19   until they get them to the hands of the customers,

00:26:21   because often the reaction to them

00:26:23   Informs where Apple takes them and this gets that into people's hands it there

00:26:26   They're late to market but they're not as late as they would be if they kept it

00:26:29   Off market until airplay 2 is finished. So I think it's it's the best situation they can do right now

00:26:34   Boy, is that isn't the best example of that ever the Apple watch where yeah

00:26:39   It's so there's so much more clarity in Apple's direction of it

00:26:44   Starting a year after it came out

00:26:47   You know focusing it on notifications and fitness

00:26:52   Yeah, and you know reliability, I mean there's some of the stuff like the fact that the first one was so slow

00:26:58   Well, duh everybody. I mean Apple knew that I mean

00:27:00   Honestly, it's probably the only product I've ever seen in history where I you know during the product briefings

00:27:08   I was I was they apologized for how slow it was

00:27:12   Yeah, and I was operating at the thermal limits of that casing at the time, right?

00:27:15   We're sorry. That's so slow

00:27:20   But that's really true for Apple watch

00:27:22   All right. Let's take a break. But when we come back I want to talk about

00:27:26   HomePod versus in the competitive landscape, which you just alluded to about what and especially the post June

00:27:33   Competitive landscape which really is different

00:27:36   But first

00:27:40   Do you know what's a fun thing to do on the internet I'll tell you what's a fun thing to do on the internet is

00:27:46   buy a mattress

00:27:47   Casper is a company who makes products

00:27:51   that are cleverly designed to mimic human curves,

00:27:56   providing supportive comfort for all kinds of bodies.

00:27:59   And they make it so easy to buy a mattress

00:28:03   or any of their other sleeping products.

00:28:05   Look, you spend one third of your life sleeping,

00:28:09   so you should be comfortable.

00:28:11   It really is, getting a nice bed and a comfortable mattress

00:28:15   is money so well spent, really is.

00:28:18   The experts at Casper, they work tirelessly

00:28:22   to make a quality sleep surface

00:28:24   that cradles your natural geometry in all the right places.

00:28:28   The original Casper mattress combines

00:28:30   multiple supportive memory foams

00:28:32   for a quality sleep surface

00:28:34   with just the right amount of sink and bounce.

00:28:37   Has a breathable design, keeps you cool,

00:28:39   regulates your body temperature through the night.

00:28:42   And they have over 20,000 reviews

00:28:44   and an average of 4.8 stars across Casper, Amazon, and Google.

00:28:50   Maybe you say, "Well, maybe on their own site, you can't really take that." You can't fake

00:28:53   those Amazon reviews, really. It really is a popular product. I know a lot of people

00:28:59   who've bought them. They advertise on a bunch of podcasts. Like I said upfront, it's a gimmick

00:29:05   now. It's almost like a joke buying mattresses on the internet, but it's a real deal. It

00:29:10   really is. They now offer two other types of mattresses, the wave and the essential.

00:29:15   The wave features a patent-pended premium support system to mirror the natural shape

00:29:18   of your body. The essential has a streamlined design at a price that won't keep you up at

00:29:24   night and they also offer a wider way of array of other products like pillows and sheets,

00:29:31   anything you need for your, as they call it, your sleep experience. Super convenient, affordable

00:29:37   prices because Casper cuts out the middleman. They have hassle free returns if you're not

00:29:42   completely satisfied. I've gotten a couple of them. I've they've been sponsoring the

00:29:45   show for so long. I've gotten a couple of emails from people who said, you know what?

00:29:49   I listened to your show. I bought a Casper. I actually didn't like it. Uh, and the one

00:29:54   that I got like two or three of these over the years from, from people who said, you

00:29:57   know, the most amazing thing is the one thing I just didn't, didn't believe is that it really

00:30:01   would be easy to send it back and it really was. And they thought that was great. They

00:30:04   They were like, "So that's a mattress?"

00:30:05   I wound up not keeping it, but I super impressed

00:30:09   with the company because they made it easy to return.

00:30:12   And inside the US, they have free shipping and free returns.

00:30:17   You can be sure of your purchase

00:30:20   with Casper's 100-night risk-free Sleep On It trial.

00:30:24   We've got some Casper mattresses here in the house.

00:30:27   We love 'em.

00:30:28   They're really great.

00:30:29   You get 50 bucks towards your select mattress

00:30:33   visiting casper.com/the-talk-show and using the code "THETALKSHOW" at checkout. Terms

00:30:39   and conditions reply. So that's 50 bucks off the mattress of your choice. Casper.com/the-talk-show

00:30:47   and that code "THETALKSHOW." My thanks to Casper for their continuing support of the

00:30:52   talk show. A lot of people out there sleeping on Internet mattresses, Rene.

00:30:57   I've been using Casper for years. I absolutely adore it.

00:31:02   Competitive landscape. So I can think of two things in this regard. One, and you alluded

00:31:08   to this, the audio quality of some of the competing products has gotten better since

00:31:14   June. Two, and I think this is the more important one, is that the competing products, which

00:31:26   I think it's safe to say are primarily from Google and Amazon, right? It's Google and

00:31:30   Amazon. Microsoft has Cortana speakers, but they're not a thing really. I never hear anybody

00:31:35   talking about it. The other ones, the Google and Amazon ones are sort of assistant first

00:31:43   audio quality second. And I always say this is like maybe one of the top three themes

00:31:48   of my entire body of work is that the order of your priorities matters tremendously. Like

00:31:56   Like it's not enough to say that you want something, you know, we want it to be well-designed

00:32:04   and high quality.

00:32:08   If you want it to be high quality and well-designed, you might end up with a different product

00:32:12   just by taking those two things and putting them in a different order, right?

00:32:16   Like you might, you know, if the highest quality like durability is more important than the

00:32:21   elegance of the design, you might end up with something that's a little thicker, uses different

00:32:26   materials, etc. Even though those are two priorities that might go hand in hand in many

00:32:31   ways, a subtle difference in order makes a difference.

00:32:36   Absolutely. And for some people, the people that Apple chooses not to compete in usually

00:32:40   is the people for whom the low price is the most important feature.

00:32:45   Right. And that certainly is going to be true in this regard because one of the most, right

00:32:51   off the top you can't miss it. The difference is that these other devices are sort of hovering

00:32:56   around the $150 range. Amazon has the little pucks that give them away with some things

00:33:05   I think.

00:33:06   They're going to start paying you soon to take them.

00:33:07   Right. I wouldn't be surprised. Yeah.

00:33:09   You said this so well with the AirPods. People complained about the price there too because

00:33:14   they were comparing them to traditional headphones or traditional Bluetooth headphones or headphones

00:33:19   that they thought sounded better, but it was not at all about the sound. It was about the

00:33:22   technology from the W1 chip to the sensors. That was expensive components. And if Apple

00:33:28   could have charged less for it, I think they would have because that was not a product

00:33:32   they wanted to make margin on. That was a product they wanted to create market for.

00:33:37   I'm just imagining, I've suddenly imagined a, a idiocracy like near future where Amazon

00:33:48   has flooded the world with free Echo pucks with free offers and everywhere you go, you

00:33:54   goddamn things are like, would you like some paper towels?

00:33:57   Hey, you want more?

00:33:58   Can you turn on my lights?

00:34:00   Sure.

00:34:01   We can turn on your lights.

00:34:02   We could also order you three more and have you, would you like a coupon for your morning

00:34:04   coffee?

00:34:06   Do you need more trash bags?

00:34:09   No, I mean, so that's the other thing here,

00:34:11   is that privacy and security are also a feature.

00:34:14   I know a lot of people just kind of lump all these products

00:34:17   together.

00:34:18   And I've said this before.

00:34:19   I really don't want a Google speaker or an Amazon speaker

00:34:24   in my house.

00:34:24   And famously, every year, I buy whatever the new Nexus

00:34:27   or the new Pixel is.

00:34:29   And I still can't use Google Assistant,

00:34:30   because the first thing it does is say,

00:34:32   can we monitor all your app and web activity?

00:34:35   and I say no and it says, well,

00:34:36   then you can't use Google Assistant.

00:34:38   And that's a lie.

00:34:39   I could absolutely use it.

00:34:40   They don't need that to give me basic,

00:34:41   like to say, turn on my lights or something,

00:34:43   but that's the deal.

00:34:44   Like they don't want you to pay with money.

00:34:45   They don't want you to pay with time.

00:34:47   They want you to pay with attention and with data.

00:34:49   And I would rather not.

00:34:51   And with Apple, yes, in some ways it's similar,

00:34:55   but the way Apple treats my data

00:34:58   and the way that it runs its business

00:35:01   makes me feel more secure

00:35:02   in having an Apple speaker in my house.

00:35:04   and I'm willing, if I am paying a premium,

00:35:07   I wanna see everything about it before I say that,

00:35:09   but even assuming I am paying a premium,

00:35:11   to go back to your point about the order of priorities,

00:35:13   that's a high level priority for me.

00:35:15   - Yeah, and it seems to me very clear,

00:35:18   and we'll see, I could be wrong,

00:35:20   but it seems very clear that the number one priority

00:35:23   of HomePod, at least this first one,

00:35:25   is to make awesome sounding audio.

00:35:29   And having clever stuff happen through Siri

00:35:34   is obviously on the list.

00:35:36   I mean, and there's obviously a deliberate choice

00:35:39   to make Siri the interface to interacting with the device.

00:35:43   I mean, there's other things I guess we'll find out,

00:35:47   but there's plus minus physical buttons for volume.

00:35:49   But for the most part, you're intended--

00:35:50   - But I think it was a different thought process.

00:35:51   Like it wasn't how do we put Siri in your living room?

00:35:53   It's we're putting this in your living room,

00:35:54   what's the best way to control it?

00:35:56   - Exactly, right.

00:35:57   And that makes it a fundamentally different product.

00:35:59   And I can't help but think that even if it is successful, meaning not successful necessarily

00:36:06   in the market, but successful insofar as that if the product they ship is what they wanted

00:36:13   to ship, that it might wind up being deeply misunderstood in the initial reviews because

00:36:21   it's going to be compared to Alexa and the Google thing.

00:36:25   and there'll be, you know, my Alexa can do these 30 different things, you know, and,

00:36:32   you know, the HomePod only does two of them, and, you know, cons and then pros, HomePod

00:36:40   sounds more, sounds better. I combine two of my items at once. Sounds better, but then

00:36:48   another con costs double the price or two and a half times the price. So why would I

00:36:54   pay, you know, conclusion, why would I pay three times as much

00:36:57   for a device that only does one third of the things even though

00:37:00   it sounds better? Whereas the knock that happens all the time,

00:37:04   right, I can't help but guess that that's going to be the

00:37:07   summary of a lot of reviews. And it might actually be the

00:37:10   sentiment of a lot of people reading a lot of these reviews,

00:37:13   if what you're looking for is a intelligent AI assistant to talk

00:37:20   to and control stuff in your house. Whereas if what you

00:37:24   you really want is awesome sounding music coming in the world where is your music coming

00:37:33   from is the cloud, you might get a totally different answer. And it also on the issue

00:37:39   of price, in the world of people who want really, really high quality, or I'll just

00:37:47   read it. I don't want to say it better. A guy I know, Joe Saplensky, you were in this

00:37:55   thread on Twitter, but he had a good tweet. Here's his tweet. "I'm not saying HomePod

00:37:59   is a guaranteed success. Far from it. I'm just saying there's a much bigger, more established

00:38:04   market for great sounding home stereo equipment than there is for 'smart home appliances'

00:38:10   and in that world, $350 is a steal." Now, Joe's a musician.

00:38:14   - You literally spend as much money as you have on audio.

00:38:17   There is no upper limit.

00:38:18   - Right.

00:38:20   You know, Joe's a musician.

00:38:21   He's in a band with a friend of the show,

00:38:24   former Vesper colleague, Dave Whiskus, you know.

00:38:27   So he's a musician.

00:38:27   He's like Dalrymple, you know, he's obviously,

00:38:30   you know, serious musician.

00:38:31   You care about the music.

00:38:32   But it really is true that in the world

00:38:34   of digital assistants, 350 sounds like Apple is coming in

00:38:38   at an insanely high price.

00:38:39   And in the world of high-end home audio,

00:38:42   It is insanely low.

00:38:45   - Yeah, and that's absolutely true.

00:38:47   You can spend, if you have millions of dollars,

00:38:49   you can spend millions of dollars on home audio.

00:38:51   There is literally no upper limit.

00:38:54   And we've all bought good speakers over the years.

00:38:56   Some people, again, they'll go

00:38:57   and they'll get the box of speakers

00:38:58   and that's fine for them.

00:38:59   It's whatever Costco or Walmart

00:39:01   or whatever is offering in a box.

00:39:02   Other people will carefully select every speaker

00:39:05   and you'll get the best amplifier

00:39:06   because they care about this stuff.

00:39:08   But again, I think what Apple is also solving here is

00:39:11   I want better audio in my house and I don't really want to fuss with wires, I don't want

00:39:16   to fuss with all these things and I just want to drop it in.

00:39:19   And Sonos was the first way of doing that.

00:39:21   Sonos still has a good product.

00:39:23   They have the Sonos One now, talk about new market, new competitors.

00:39:25   They have the Sonos One now which builds in Alexa and I think it'll do Siri bridging and

00:39:30   probably do Cortana so that Cortana and Alexa can talk to each other and leave you alone.

00:39:36   But that's the solution is I'm in on the Apple ecosystem, I have an iPhone, I subscribe to

00:39:40   Apple Music and I just want something in my house that takes care of all this for me."

00:39:44   And that's the job you're hiring it to do.

00:39:48   We've got the Alexa thing that echoed Dingus in the kitchen. And we haven't hooked up to

00:39:58   some lights and some window shades. The window shades are the main thing that I use it for.

00:40:07   Which ones did you get? Because I just ordered some.

00:40:10   Uh, Lytros? I don't know if that's…

00:40:12   Yeah, the Lutron?

00:40:13   Lutron, Lutron. That's it.

00:40:14   Yeah, that's the one I just ordered. Serena.

00:40:18   Yeah, I like the shades, but I still… honestly, I used the buttons on the remote control as

00:40:24   much as I use the Alexa interface so far. But Amy's in the kitchen more than me. She

00:40:31   She plays music on it.

00:40:33   I think it sounds like shit.

00:40:34   I really do.

00:40:36   And I don't know, in a kitchen where it's bouncing off tiles, it might even be more

00:40:40   hard.

00:40:41   So I'm really, really—I mean, that's the first place where, when I get my hands on

00:40:44   a HomePod, I'm putting it in the kitchen first, because that's where we would use it more.

00:40:51   And since it doesn't work with two yet, the living room might have to wait for AirPlay

00:40:56   2.

00:40:57   Really, all she does is she plays music on it and she sets timers.

00:41:02   She does like using it to set timers because it's hands-free and that's while cooking.

00:41:08   But it does drive her mad.

00:41:09   And I have to say, as somebody who cares about the little things, for all the praise that

00:41:14   the thing gets, I think that some of the things that it does are so goddamn stupid, it's ridiculous.

00:41:19   So if you have a timer going and you check, you're like, "Hey, Dingus, how much time is

00:41:23   left on my timer?"

00:41:25   It takes forever to get the answer.

00:41:27   You have four minutes, 30 seconds remaining on your 10-minute timer.

00:41:34   It's so stupid.

00:41:36   Who would program it that way?

00:41:37   If you understand the question as clearly as she understands the question, how much

00:41:41   time is left, just say four minutes, 30 seconds and say it a little faster.

00:41:46   Ben de la Torre

00:41:48   People get mad when I say this, but it's an incredibly new, incredibly nascent market

00:41:52   and there is no real leader yet.

00:41:54   the core technology itself is not fully baked.

00:41:57   Like if Amy's in the kitchen and she says,

00:42:00   I want a scotch or something,

00:42:01   it'll get better at understanding that she wants scotch,

00:42:04   but it doesn't get better at knowing

00:42:05   that Amy prefers scotch as a drink.

00:42:07   Like its context is very shallow, very super,

00:42:10   all of the assistants, very, it also,

00:42:12   right now it responds, like it'll,

00:42:14   like you'll say lower the shades

00:42:15   and it'll lower the shades.

00:42:17   And if you put it on a timer or something,

00:42:19   it'll do it programmatically,

00:42:21   but it doesn't understand that when you wake up

00:42:24   When you pick up your phone, it should automatically raise the shades or turn on the shower because

00:42:27   that's what you do after you read Twitter in the morning.

00:42:30   They still don't have a deep understanding of us.

00:42:33   It feels like it's a fresh enough area where there's not a lot of depth yet.

00:42:37   Dave: Yeah.

00:42:38   There's some stuff about HomePod that I think is – I'm not dissing Alexa and saying

00:42:49   it's series coming out of the box, you know, to fix this and be like the iPhone, what the

00:42:54   iPhone was to smartphones for these smart agents. I think it's clearly, absolutely,

00:42:59   this year not going to be that. It might be a great music device, but it is absolutely

00:43:04   not going to be the, you know, the HAL 9000 in your home that we ultimately want.

00:43:12   The consensus I've heard from, you know, mutual friends who've been using it for a long time

00:43:16   is that the music experience is phenomenal and Siri for music has been, it's almost like

00:43:21   a completely new Siri for music, but Siri is still limited, as you just answered me,

00:43:26   but Siri is still incredibly limited. So don't go in expecting it to be. And this isn't like,

00:43:30   it'll do the HomeKit stuff because you, again, it's like Apple, we might as well include

00:43:33   HomeKit. But it really is music first. And it's interesting too, because they had Siri

00:43:39   Kit out for this. So it'll do things like, it'll work with Notes apps, it'll work with

00:43:43   to-do apps like OmniFocus and things.

00:43:46   And it'll work with--

00:43:47   I forget what the third one is.

00:43:48   There's a third-- oh, it'll--

00:43:50   there's a third thing that SiriKit will work through.

00:43:52   There's no SiriKit for music.

00:43:53   So if you use Spotify instead of Apple Music, you're stuck.

00:43:57   But the architecture that Apple is building--

00:43:59   and Brian Romilly, who does all the Voice First stuff,

00:44:02   pointed this out to me--

00:44:03   Amazon is ahead in terms of integration,

00:44:05   but they've sort of painted themselves

00:44:07   into a corner because of the system that they use.

00:44:10   It doesn't handle differences in grammatical structure

00:44:12   well and also it doesn't handle as far as he explained it. Like if you got in on the

00:44:17   ground floor and you were pizza, like you were the first developer to make a pizza integration,

00:44:23   what happens when Pizza Hut or Domino's come on? And then like some guy already owns pizza.

00:44:27   Like it's not clear how well it's going to scale. Where Apple is very, very slow with

00:44:30   this stuff and they should have absolutely had more integrations out, more serial kit

00:44:34   domains out sooner. They've built a system that will allow many people who speak very

00:44:39   differently in different languages and in some cases even multiple languages to

00:44:42   interface with it and they're building it in a way that it'll scale as they

00:44:46   start rolling out more and more of those domains. Yeah and the other thing I don't

00:44:50   think that this is official I don't think that they're they're saying this

00:44:54   yet but what I have heard is that you know for like the integration with

00:45:00   things like your notes and reminders and there's third-party integration like

00:45:07   like they're already saying like the app,

00:45:08   the great, great to-do list app things,

00:45:12   I guess is already on board with a Siri kit extension.

00:45:16   If you want to use stuff like that,

00:45:19   it only works with one Apple ID.

00:45:23   Like, so you've got to hook up your HomePod

00:45:25   and maybe it's me.

00:45:27   - Most messages, sorry, that's the third one.

00:45:28   - Yeah, messages.

00:45:29   And they've got, I think they got WhatsApp on board.

00:45:31   So it's not just Apple messages.

00:45:33   it's messaging apps can get into this.

00:45:37   But there's not, you know,

00:45:39   clearly the way that this should work,

00:45:43   I'm not saying it should,

00:45:45   given the state of technology in 2018,

00:45:47   but certainly should ultimately,

00:45:51   and sooner rather than later,

00:45:53   is your device should recognize who you are.

00:45:56   I've said this before, talking about this.

00:45:58   You know, whether it's just voice alone

00:46:01   combination of camera and voice, but there's absolutely no doubt. I mean, and you know,

00:46:06   the tech is there if photos can identify your friends and family in your photos,

00:46:13   the device could use the same machine learning algorithms to notice that it's you who are talking

00:46:20   right and the same. Just think about this, there's no reason that computers shouldn't be ultimately

00:46:25   computers combined with hardware shouldn't be as good as we are of, you know, recognizing who just

00:46:31   said something. Right? When you're at the…

00:46:33   That's totally true. Right now, they're personal assistants and they need to be multi-personal

00:46:37   assistants. And again, another problem with Apple delaying is that in the meantime, Amazon

00:46:41   has pushed out multi-user, multi-voice, and Google has more recently pushed out multi-user,

00:46:46   multi-voice. And Nuance for years has been doing voice ID to the level that I think banking

00:46:52   apps trust it now as a form of biometric authentication. So this stuff all worked. And Apple has been

00:46:57   working on it as far as I know, but it's not shipped yet.

00:47:00   So clearly this should work where if you've configured the HomePod in your house with your Apple ID and

00:47:07   somebody else in your family has also done that and one of you says

00:47:13   You know, hey dingus remind me tomorrow when I get to work to

00:47:19   Pay Bob the five dollars I own

00:47:22   It knows who said that right in the same way that when you're you you and I and a bunch of friends go out to

00:47:29   dinner and somebody says, "Hey, can you pass me the salt?" that you don't say, "Okay,

00:47:34   who wants the salt?" You just give it to the person who said it.

00:47:38   If you say, "Hey, Dingus, read me my messages," or Amy says, "Hey, Dingus, read me my messages,"

00:47:43   they should supply the appropriate messages to the right person.

00:47:46   Right. And conversely, and I'm curious how this is going to work in the 1.0 version of

00:47:53   home play, is that if you come over to my house and I've got it set up for my thing

00:47:58   and you say, "Hey, Dingus, play my messages," what's it going to do? I honestly don't

00:48:05   even know. I have no idea on or off the record how the hell that's going to work.

00:48:09   Because you don't want it to say, "Hey, is that idiot still coming over to your house?

00:48:12   I can't believe it."

00:48:13   Yeah, exactly. I mean, it's a real disaster.

00:48:16   Well, you know, there are several things like they haven't said anything about it working

00:48:20   with Apple TV yet, but it is an AirPlay endpoint, so you'll be able to select it from your

00:48:24   or Apple TV as an AirPlay speaker and do that,

00:48:26   but there's no sort of special Apple magic there.

00:48:29   And it's got Bluetooth 5.0,

00:48:31   and it'll do speaker phone for iPhone,

00:48:33   but Apple's not surfacing like A2DP,

00:48:35   or I forget what the new one, the new initials are,

00:48:37   so it'll work as a Bluetooth endpoint for other devices.

00:48:40   So just a lot of stuff that just seems like

00:48:42   it's not full yet, not finished yet.

00:48:45   - Yeah, and because it is an AirPlay speaker,

00:48:50   you can just use peer-to-peer AirPlay

00:48:53   like you can with any other AirPlay device.

00:48:55   So right out of the box, if you wanna play your podcasts,

00:48:58   even if your preferred podcast app

00:49:01   isn't magically able to just interface through the thing,

00:49:06   you can just go from your phone,

00:49:07   select it as your AirPlay target,

00:49:09   and hit play and control it through your phone.

00:49:11   So you will be able to use it as a speaker to play podcasts.

00:49:13   It's just clearly the way this device is meant to be used

00:49:16   is to tell Siri to play your podcasts.

00:49:22   And this is the part that sometimes is vexing about Apple.

00:49:25   And I think the last example was the Apple TV,

00:49:27   where it took years and still felt not fully baked

00:49:30   when the new version came out.

00:49:31   And this Apple's been working on for years

00:49:33   and still feels not fully baked.

00:49:35   And yeah, there's always resource constraints,

00:49:37   and they're working on multiple products and stuff.

00:49:39   But it's clear they sort of know what it should do.

00:49:41   Like they knew what Apple TV does.

00:49:42   And Apple TV now, is it two years

00:49:44   after the new version came out,

00:49:46   it's got almost everything that was glaringly missing

00:49:49   from when they first launched it.

00:49:50   But it's just getting that stuff ready

00:49:52   so that it's there when the product ships, it seems to be a challenge.

00:49:57   I guess the last point here is that Apple is playing it up as being meant for Apple

00:50:02   Music. But I think I saw something that you can use it without an Apple Music subscription

00:50:10   and it will play music that you have purchased from iTunes. But I'm wondering what it will

00:50:15   do like if you have… will it play anything that you possibly have that is in the cloud?

00:50:24   So with the… it is all so confusing to me, but I still think that… let's say I have

00:50:31   a CD that has music on it that's never been in iTunes in the store. It's an old bootleg

00:50:37   CD of something. And I've ripped… years ago, ripped it into iTunes and I have iTunes

00:50:42   match so that it's in my account and when I get a new computer and sign into it, those

00:50:49   songs from that disk are available to me, even though they're not in the iTunes store.

00:50:53   Will those songs be available to me through HomePod?

00:50:56   So that was unclear to me too because we have like, again, Down

00:50:56   See, that was unclear to me too because we have like, again, Down

00:51:10   It sounded to me, because again, the language wasn't--

00:51:12   at least I didn't understand the language that well.

00:51:14   So I'm wondering if it's just whatever

00:51:16   is in your iCloud music library, because that sort of supplanted

00:51:20   iTunes match, and it includes Apple Music if you have it,

00:51:22   and iTunes match.

00:51:23   Yeah, so I guess that's what I'm thinking.

00:51:25   Not iTunes match, but just iTunes Music Library.

00:51:27   And I'm hoping-- god, I'm really hoping that that's what it is,

00:51:31   because boy, that would just seem--

00:51:34   I don't see how you could excuse it otherwise, right?

00:51:36   I mean, this is--

00:51:37   iTunes is a thing that Apple's been building since 2001.

00:51:42   It's all in their court.

00:51:43   There's nobody else to blame if that doesn't work.

00:51:46   Right?

00:51:47   Well, there's two areas here of pain.

00:51:50   One's going to be the people like Jim or like Andy and Akko who have these vast collections

00:51:54   of music that they've carefully ripped and cataloged and really love to hear.

00:51:58   And then there's a whole new generation of people that just don't even remember what

00:52:01   a CD is, but maybe they're all in on Spotify and not on Apple Music and their pain is going

00:52:06   be that yes, I can airplay it, but oh god, it would be nice to have native support for

00:52:10   this already.

00:52:11   Right.

00:52:12   Right.

00:52:13   It's like two edges of the spectrum.

00:52:14   Right.

00:52:15   My version of the nine versions of the Ozzy song is my collection of live Rolling Stones

00:52:21   performances from the '70s and very early '80s, where the set lists are, I don't

00:52:26   know, usually about 60% overlap from each tour to tour.

00:52:31   So there's, I don't know.

00:52:33   least eight different versions of Happy from Exile on Main Street.

00:52:39   And the new version is if Taylor Swift drops on Spotify instead of Apple Music Day One,

00:52:44   they'll be shook if it's not available to them.

00:52:47   Right.

00:52:48   Or really, with those live albums, it's great to just listen to them in order as a

00:52:53   concert.

00:52:54   But I don't think maybe they've made them available, but I'm pretty sure they were

00:52:58   never on Apple Music.

00:52:59   It's like the Stones were selling them directly and for a while they were selling them through

00:53:04   Google or something.

00:53:05   I forget how I got them.

00:53:08   But apparently the Siri stuff is, like for music, they've done an incredible amount

00:53:11   of work to make it far more robust and nuanced and capable.

00:53:15   And it'll be interesting to see what sort—like again, it's only music and that sucks.

00:53:19   I wish it was everything, but it'd be good to see what sort of the future of Siri holds

00:53:22   as they roll that same new system out over other domains.

00:53:27   Anyway, let's take a break and I'm going to thank our next sponsor. It's our good friends

00:53:32   at Away. Away bags and accessories are super high quality and really, really affordable

00:53:40   prices because they sell them direct to you. They use really high quality materials so

00:53:46   they can offer a much lower price compared to equivalent quality brands by cutting out

00:53:50   the middleman without the retail markup. You can choose from over 10 colors in five sizes

00:53:57   Here's the names of their sizes. They're very hard to understand. The carry-on, the

00:54:03   bigger carry-on, the medium, the large, and the kids carry-on. They're actually very

00:54:07   easy to understand. The suitcases are made with premium German polycarbonate that's

00:54:14   very lightweight and bends, never breaks. The interior features a patent-pending compression

00:54:21   them. Four 360-degree spinner wheels guarantee a smooth ride. The wheels are my favorite

00:54:27   thing about this ride, this thing. I've traveled a lot over the last month or so, had mine

00:54:32   everywhere I go, and I'm constantly impressed by how smooth the wheels are in this thing.

00:54:39   There's at least two of the terminals at Philly's airport, American Airways as it's now known.

00:54:47   You got to go down like a slope to get there.

00:54:49   It actually goes downhill.

00:54:51   The damn thing, the wheels are so good that it actually, if you let go of it, the suitcase

00:54:55   is just going to take off.

00:54:57   It's so smooth.

00:54:58   It's really, really—that's my favorite thing about the whole thing.

00:55:04   Even just clever little things like a removable washable laundry bag that snaps into place,

00:55:08   tucks away so you can keep your dirty clothes separate from the remaining clean clothes

00:55:13   living out of the suitcase while you're on your trip.

00:55:17   Here's the thing. Both sizes of the carry-on can charge all cell phones, tablets, e-readers,

00:55:23   anything that's powered by a USB cord. It's got like a 20,000 mega amp battery. You don't

00:55:29   have to really charge the suitcase very often. I go months without charging it. Months. I

00:55:34   only charge it like, I don't know, maybe like once or twice a year. You almost never have

00:55:39   to remember to do it, but then anytime you sit down at the airport, just plug in a lightning

00:55:43   cable and you can sit there and charge your phone, which is to me always a huge deal at

00:55:49   the airport because my phone is always super low because you get a shitty signal and there's

00:55:54   thousands of other people all on their phones. And because you're at the airport, you're

00:55:58   on your phone all day. Really, it's just a tremendously convenient thing. Anyway, they

00:56:05   have a lifetime warranty. If anything breaks, they will fix it, replace it for free. Really

00:56:11   just great stuff. I really encourage you to go check it out. They too have a hundred day

00:56:17   trial. Live it, vibe with it, travel with it, Instagram it, take pictures, and if at any point

00:56:24   you don't decide that you like it, return it for a full refund, no questions asked. They have free

00:56:30   shipping on any away order within the contiguous US. Sorry, Alaska. Carry-on sizes that are

00:56:38   compliant with all major US airlines while maximizing the amount that you can pack. They

00:56:45   also have retail stores now in New York City, San Francisco, Los Angeles, and Austin, Texas.

00:56:51   Beautiful, beautiful Austin, Texas. Really, I love my product. I can't remember the last

00:56:56   time I traveled anywhere without it. It's just great. I really recommend it personally.

00:57:03   I would recommend it even if they stopped sponsoring the show. That's how much I like

00:57:06   ticket. For $20 off a suitcase, visit awaytravel.com/talkshow, awaytravel.com/talkshow, and use promo "talkshow"

00:57:18   during checkout and you'll save $20. $20 off awaytravel.com/talkshow. My thanks to them.

00:57:27   You can buy suitcases on the internet now, too. You know that, Rene.

00:57:30   Rene

00:57:30   You buy almost anything. It's an amazing time. We live in I just moved and I don't think I bought anything a traditional store

00:57:36   You may be some furniture, but almost everything else I bought I always if it was online. Yeah, I

00:57:41   Buy so much stuff online. It has occasionally occurred to me where it's like how the hell does retail even stay in business?

00:57:48   Like anything? Yeah, even though sometimes I do like to go and I there are things I like to buy in person

00:57:54   But there it there are other things that you used to buy at the stores where I occasionally

00:58:00   I occasionally go for an in-person retail experience where since I don't buy any of

00:58:05   those other things there, I don't know. I just wonder what the heck is going on. It's

00:58:10   very strange.

00:58:11   Yeah. It's the same thing like the app store. If I know exactly what I want, I will go online

00:58:16   and buy it. But if I'm just bored or I need to get something for somebody and I don't

00:58:21   know what I want, I find it easier to just walk through a mall and look at things and

00:58:24   get ideas.

00:58:25   Yeah, and it's still probably my favorite thing about actual physical retail shopping

00:58:30   is still the serendipity of encountering something that I didn't even know I wanted and saying,

00:58:34   "Ooh, that looks interesting. I'll get that." Whereas online, I'm usually Target, not shopping

00:58:39   at Target, but I'm targeting a specific product. Anything else on HomePod? I think we've pretty

00:58:49   much wrapped that up until we get our hands on the damn things.

00:58:51   Yeah, I mean, I just encourage again, I just encourage people if you're gonna try it out,

00:58:56   go to an app. If you haven't, you know, wait, look at the reviews, but then go try it out

00:58:59   because yelling about it before you've tried. Here's a good question. Here's a good question.

00:59:04   I'm really curious how they sell this in the REIT speaking of retail, how they say what

00:59:11   a segue, I should have a podcast. How is how I've been thinking about this ever since June,

00:59:18   the hell are they going to sell these things in a retail store?

00:59:23   We had those questions…

00:59:24   I was wondering that about AirPod because that seemed like the hardest thing because

00:59:26   how do you convince people about what an AirPod is because you can't just have a lineup

00:59:31   of them on little strings?

00:59:32   I don't know.

00:59:33   At the very least though with AirPods, once they're in a customer's ears to demo,

00:59:38   they're not blaring music in the store.

00:59:41   And the Apple stores are big rectangular spaces that are not really, again, usually stuffed

00:59:51   full of about 100 people, which isn't really at least much like my home.

01:00:00   Right?

01:00:01   I know.

01:00:03   They had the Sonos stands for a while where they had like the section of the wall that

01:00:06   was Sonos-branded and had like a bunch of Sonos speakers on it.

01:00:10   They've had Beats speakers set up with the Pill and other things and they've had Airplay

01:00:14   speakers set up for a while.

01:00:17   I don't think they ever really demoed them loudly, if at all.

01:00:21   I really wonder.

01:00:23   I'm really curious how they're going to do this in the retail stores.

01:00:26   Maybe they won't.

01:00:27   When someone asked me on Twitter, I forget who the name was, but will HomePod technology

01:00:31   filter down to the Beats line the way that AirPod technology did?

01:00:34   Will you be able to buy a Beats version?

01:00:36   If you really like the Beats Pill as a mobile speaker, for example, will you be able to

01:00:39   that with some form of this integration stuff into it?

01:00:43   I don't know.

01:00:46   Like maybe there's room underneath that $350 price tag for a Beats version. It's

01:00:51   not as slick as the Apple version, but we'll recognize a HomePod there and

01:00:55   mesh its audio with it if you have it in the same room, but then

01:00:57   you can take it with you and it'll give you like the Beats version.

01:01:01   I remember like in the late 90s in the CD era,

01:01:05   maybe mid to late 90s, where record stores

01:01:08   started setting up things where like when new releases would come out, they would have

01:01:12   headphone stations where you'd go to like station two and they would have like a poster

01:01:20   up with here's the ten albums set up here and you could pick from one of ten CDs and

01:01:26   listen to it with some pretty good headphones right there in the store. And that felt so

01:01:31   futuristic. It was like, wow, imagine this is so amazing. You can listen to a new album

01:01:36   them, as long as you want, of your choice, right here before you buy it.

01:01:43   Yeah, and I'm pretty sure Apple had those, you know, when they started selling headphones,

01:01:47   especially with the, I don't know about the Beats stuff, but they had headphone sections

01:01:51   as well, where you could try them out.

01:01:54   I don't know.

01:01:55   Yeah, it's going to be interesting to see.

01:01:59   Anything else?

01:02:00   I don't think so.

01:02:01   I don't know.

01:02:02   Pun.

01:02:03   No.

01:02:04   Not until we get it.

01:02:05   I guess in the news, I've been on hiatus for a holiday hiatus after the Star Wars Holiday

01:02:11   Spectacular.

01:02:15   So I've missed a couple of weeks here.

01:02:18   And I think the whole, in terms of news, I'm not going to try to cover everything.

01:02:23   It's not really a cover everything show.

01:02:25   But the HomePod Specter, not HomePod, Jesus, Meltdown Specter thing, it sort of happened

01:02:34   while the whole, I haven't really had a show in the meantime.

01:02:38   Boy, what a nightmare this whole thing is.

01:02:40   - Yeah, two critical vulnerabilities that date back to 1995

01:02:44   for Intel chipsets and quite a ways back for ARM

01:02:48   and AMD chipsets.

01:02:50   And there's three vulnerabilities,

01:02:52   one meltdown, two Spectre vulnerabilities.

01:02:54   The meltdown one, Apple has patched for Mac OS now,

01:02:59   going back two or three versions, I think as of today,

01:03:02   They patched it in iOS 11.

01:03:04   And Spectre, Apple smartly decided

01:03:07   not to use Intel's microcode, which is great,

01:03:09   because Intel yesterday said, oh, whoops,

01:03:12   we're messing up older machines.

01:03:13   Please don't use this.

01:03:15   Apple only patched it in WebKit and Safari,

01:03:17   which is where the JavaScript exploits could live.

01:03:20   Yeah, it really does seem like the experts,

01:03:27   they've got a handle on, ooh, that's pretty clever.

01:03:30   and they kind of get the gist of how the exploit could work,

01:03:35   but the understanding of how to fix it in a bulletproof way

01:03:40   without sacrificing all of the performance advantages

01:03:45   of speculative branching,

01:03:49   it doesn't seem like anybody really

01:03:50   has a full grasp on this yet.

01:03:52   - And the mitigations only address known attacks.

01:03:55   So if there are other attack possibilities discovered,

01:03:59   they'll have to add more mitigations for them.

01:04:01   - Yeah.

01:04:02   - Like they're not actually fixing the fault,

01:04:03   they're stopping people from attacking those faults

01:04:06   in known ways.

01:04:07   - Yeah, I have a friend who has a couple of web servers

01:04:12   in production and it just seems like,

01:04:17   you know, and they've been updated to, you know,

01:04:21   with fixes to address this,

01:04:22   but then ever since they were updated,

01:04:24   they are occasionally just dropping off the internet.

01:04:29   and need to be removed.

01:04:30   - Yeah, there was an epic,

01:04:32   one of the epic games was saying

01:04:34   that they were getting a horrendous,

01:04:35   and not only a performance hit,

01:04:36   but because they had to use more processing power,

01:04:40   an electrical hit too, like the power consumption

01:04:42   was going way up to make up for it.

01:04:44   - Right, like the fixes for this are,

01:04:47   this is so low, it really almost couldn't get lower

01:04:51   in the chain, you know, as they say, on the silicon,

01:04:56   you know, getting close to the silicon.

01:04:57   This is pretty close to the silicon.

01:04:59   Boy, what a nightmare.

01:05:03   It does seem--

01:05:04   You have to do page isolation, which adds overhead, basically,

01:05:07   to prevent it from accessing kernel memory.

01:05:09   It seems as though Apple's products have come out

01:05:12   of this fairly well in terms of-- I mean,

01:05:15   who knows if they've actually fixed what they're hoping to fix.

01:05:18   And they're being sued anyway.

01:05:21   Oh, over this?

01:05:22   Yeah, I mean, yeah, they're being sued over Meltdown Inspector

01:05:26   already because of course they're being scored. I don't know that they could be sued over like

01:05:31   the Tim Cook rooting for the wrong team at the hockey game last night at this point.

01:05:36   Absolutely. But yeah, no, they, I mean, they, they were, they, they patched the stuff as fast

01:05:44   as they could prudently. They didn't sort of deploy any microcode that turned out to be,

01:05:49   I think Linus Torval called it garbage. He was quite upset with Intel. And it seemed like Intel

01:05:55   has been an ass-covering mode rather than fixing mode throughout most of this.

01:05:58   Yeah. Yeah, and it's surprising because Linus Torvalds usually is very diplomatic. It doesn't

01:06:10   really speak his mind very often like that. No, not at all.

01:06:13   No, but it does seem as though Apple has come out of this pretty well. If they've fixed

01:06:17   what they think that they've fixed, it doesn't seem like computers have suddenly taken a

01:06:22   a 25% performance hit or anything like that.

01:06:25   But boy--

01:06:26   No, it's workload dependent.

01:06:27   And I think they announced that there was almost--

01:06:29   like again, it depends if you're doing a lot of systems calls

01:06:31   and what you're doing on a computer.

01:06:34   But for most, I think most common tasks,

01:06:36   there's almost no performance hit.

01:06:37   And I think a 2.5% performance hit

01:06:39   for some of the Spectre stuff on one of three Safari benchmarks.

01:06:43   Right, the system cost of it.

01:06:45   In layman's terms, I think I understand it.

01:06:48   But the idea is that if the kernel is always running--

01:06:52   well, the kernel is always running,

01:06:53   and the kernel has access to all memory, including

01:06:56   lots of stuff that individual processes should not

01:06:59   have access to, that a process running in user space

01:07:05   could take advantage of the speculative processing

01:07:08   and trick the kernel into going down a certain branch

01:07:11   that it shouldn't have permission-wise.

01:07:14   And by the time the permission check happens,

01:07:19   and you say, oh, I got to back out of that.

01:07:21   But as the processor backs out of that,

01:07:25   that memory that wasn't supposed to have been accessed

01:07:27   is in a cache, perhaps, that the user land software could,

01:07:34   through very clever ways that doesn't really matter how.

01:07:37   And I couldn't explain it because I don't understand it.

01:07:39   But because it's in the cache, which is accessible,

01:07:41   could test it and figure it out and backwards, you know, back out of it what was actually

01:07:48   in that protected memory.

01:07:50   The best description I heard, I forget who it was from, but that meltdown is like a mugging

01:07:54   and Spectre is like a Jedi mind trick.

01:07:58   That's pretty good.

01:07:59   I like that.

01:08:00   But yeah, and it's bad for deployments like Amazon's or Google's because you could

01:08:05   go through one virtual machine into the actual machine or into other virtual machines.

01:08:09   Right, right.

01:08:10   Well, all sorts of hosting services that are virtualized.

01:08:14   Shared hosting, like traditional old shared hosting

01:08:16   where you're just running those processes,

01:08:18   or even virtualized processes, you know, servers,

01:08:21   which is how a lot of most, I think, you know,

01:08:24   sort of modern way to do shared hosting

01:08:26   is where everybody gets their own version of the OS,

01:08:30   typically Linux.

01:08:31   But because it's really running on the same machine,

01:08:36   this can be exploited.

01:08:37   And that is sort of, you know, it's, I don't know,

01:08:41   you could use all sorts of analogies,

01:08:43   but it is sort of like breaking a hole in the matrix.

01:08:46   You know, like, you know,

01:08:47   when you're running in a virtualized server,

01:08:49   it's supposed to be like the matrix where the software

01:08:52   isn't supposed to realize it isn't running

01:08:54   on its own machine entirely.

01:08:57   It's supposed to, you know,

01:08:58   think that it's, this is the real universe.

01:09:01   I didn't know I was in a simulated universe

01:09:03   within a larger universe.

01:09:05   and this just pokes a hole right through it, which is really kind of—it breaks a lot

01:09:11   of assumptions.

01:09:12   Anyway, it's kind of fascinating stuff.

01:09:14   Good to know that there doesn't seem to have been any widespread exploits that have

01:09:18   come out of it yet.

01:09:19   But then in the back of everybody's mind, you don't have to be a conspiracy theorist

01:09:23   to wonder whether organizations like the NSA and others around the world have perhaps known

01:09:31   about this for a long time.

01:09:36   Yeah, I mean, people were wondering because what happened--

01:09:38   Google's Project Zero discovered this.

01:09:41   And then in rapid succession, the University of Graz--

01:09:43   and I forget who the third group was-- discovered it as well.

01:09:46   But it wasn't like it was there for 20 or so years.

01:09:50   And then suddenly it was discovered.

01:09:52   There was a Kaiser, which was page isolation, was proposed.

01:09:55   And people were like, oh, we don't need that.

01:09:57   Thanks.

01:09:57   It's a cute idea, but we don't need it.

01:09:59   And then all of a sudden, they were like, yeah,

01:10:01   that project? Can we start fast-tracking it?" And it made people more curious. They started

01:10:04   investigating along similar lines. Right. I saw that story. It was like people who were briefed

01:10:11   on it were trying to propose this thing that nobody thought was solving a problem that everybody

01:10:17   thought didn't exist. And then they realized, "Well, wait, why are they pushing this ahead?

01:10:22   Why is it getting?" And they're like, "Well, this is a performance hit. Why would you really be,

01:10:25   you really want it that badly? Okay, what are we missing here?" Which was super interesting.

01:10:31   I'm trying to think, what else in the last month of news is…

01:10:36   There was something yesterday, or was it the day before that I just thought, and I absolutely

01:10:40   do not want to pick on anybody, but I was reading Business Insider and there was a story

01:10:44   about how the Apple Store was such a hellish experience.

01:10:46   I don't know if you saw it.

01:10:47   No, I don't think so.

01:10:49   So this reporter dropped their iPhone twice, and the first time the screen cracked, the

01:10:56   second time apart, fell out of the screen.

01:10:58   So they took it to the Apple store and they did not have an appointment and they went

01:11:01   from one employee to another and they said they'd fit them in and they would replace

01:11:05   it within two hours.

01:11:06   So you went to a popular Apple store, no appointment.

01:11:10   It was a little bit late to be fixed.

01:11:11   It was like, I think it took four hours instead of two hours, but they got their phone back

01:11:15   that same day.

01:11:16   And they traveled to CES and the phone stopped working.

01:11:20   And at no point in the story does it say, "Well, I dropped it twice.

01:11:24   Maybe that caused more damage than I originally assumed."

01:11:26   It was like Apple must have destroyed it when they repaired it.

01:11:29   So they went back to another Apple store, another really busy Apple store, again didn't

01:11:34   have an appointment, managed to get an appointment, came back and they were really upset there

01:11:39   were no lines.

01:11:40   And that's a fair complaint.

01:11:41   Some people prefer waiting in lines and just milling about.

01:11:44   Apple seems to think people like milling about.

01:11:46   Some people prefer lines.

01:11:47   But then they got a replacement iPhone.

01:11:49   The iPhone got swapped out with a refurb and they left seethingly angry about what a hellacious

01:11:55   experience this was.

01:11:56   And by no means do I want to say that. I don't want to say that experience isn't, you know,

01:11:59   they're not entitled to their opinion. They absolutely are. But for me, you know, I, if

01:12:04   I went in, did not have an appointment, got my screen repaired, went back in, didn't have

01:12:08   an appointment, got a new iPhone or a replacement iPhone at least, I think that was pretty great

01:12:13   service.

01:12:14   >> Yeah, I don't get that. I'll have to put a link to it in the show notes.

01:12:17   >> And there was also this part about like the Google Pixel. They used that as a replacement

01:12:21   phone while they were in SES and how great that was. And I have a Google Pixel phone.

01:12:26   phone. If I dropped it twice, I'd have no idea how to get that fixed the same day.

01:12:30   Dave: Yeah, I think you're SOL. I've heard that they have some kind of mail-in thing

01:12:37   that's pretty good, but it's certainly…

01:12:39   Jay Haynes Yeah, but it wouldn't be that day.

01:12:41   Dave Certainly very unlikely that you're going

01:12:42   to find a first party, even third party. I don't see how you could expect to find one

01:12:47   of those third party repair shops that would have a replacement Pixel 2 screen ready to

01:12:52   go. It doesn't seem like…

01:12:53   Jay Haynes This is like one of those things where…

01:12:54   Like I don't know how this goes up on like a website because absolutely you can think

01:12:59   that's a bad experience but I think other people given the same information wouldn't

01:13:03   think that and I certainly don't think it's like a worth castigating the company over.

01:13:07   Right.

01:13:08   It's like you go through it and you could see how it could be better.

01:13:12   You know, it could be like 30 minute turnaround in theory.

01:13:17   I've only ever dropped or cracked the screen on an iPhone twice and it was both times with

01:13:23   my iPhone 6, which unsurprisingly had a reputation for being slippery. So my no case, no Apple

01:13:34   Pay—not Apple Pay, Apple—what's the warranty program? I don't even know.

01:13:38   I'm so—

01:13:39   Michael Bock Apple Care.

01:13:40   Dave Asprey Apple Care. I haven't bought Apple Care since 1991

01:13:42   on any device.

01:13:43   Michael Bock Wow. Okay.

01:13:44   Dave Asprey I bite religiously.

01:13:45   The one that made me the most nervous was the—what was it?

01:13:52   Jesus, it's been so long, I don't remember the number.

01:13:55   I think it was a Power Mac 9100 that I blew the amount of a small car on in 1996 when

01:14:07   I got out of college.

01:14:11   I haven't bought Apple Pay since 1991 on my Mac LC that I went to college with.

01:14:16   So at this point, or 9600, that's right, Power Mac 9600.

01:14:20   I can't believe I forgot that.

01:14:22   Boy, I'm losing it, Rene.

01:14:24   My beloved Power Mac 9600 that I use for probably more than I ever use any Mac that I've ever

01:14:29   owned.

01:14:30   I haven't bought Apple, what's it called?

01:14:34   AppleCare.

01:14:35   AppleCare.

01:14:36   I can't remember.

01:14:37   I can't remember. So I'm ahead. I could have a complete lemon and I could lose. At this

01:14:48   point, I've bought so much stuff that I could have like a $2,500 MacBook that goes belly

01:14:54   up two days out of warranty and I'd still be ahead compared to how much money. Anyway,

01:15:01   I haven't done it.

01:15:02   Don't do it on iPhones either because I just don't.

01:15:06   I very seldom drop them, not just crack the screen, but I've had a few drops over the

01:15:12   years.

01:15:13   But the iPhone 6 I did twice.

01:15:14   I dropped it, it cracked.

01:15:18   And both times I was near an Apple store and took it in without an appointment and got

01:15:24   it—I think I got it back within about 60 to 90 minutes both times.

01:15:29   So I could see how four hours would be frustrating because it felt like a long time to me, too.

01:15:33   But not like, you know, I didn't complain. I thought, "Hey, that's pretty good."

01:15:38   You know.

01:15:39   You didn't write "hellish experience" as a title on during Claire well.

01:15:41   It was funny, though. It was very funny, though, like waiting around to get your phone back

01:15:48   in the store. And, you know, you could just, you know, I could go to other stores. They

01:15:52   say, "Hey, it'll be about an hour." But they can't take your phone number and text

01:15:57   you when it's ready.

01:15:58   Yes. Because they have your phone. And I, you know, it's like, come back in about an hour and check

01:16:05   in. And I'd come back and it's like, oh, it's almost ready. I think it'd be like 15 more

01:16:09   minutes. So I just hopped on like a MacBook in the store and browse around and I'd see something and

01:16:14   I would think I want to take a note to remember that and I'd go to get my phone out to note it.

01:16:19   And I didn't have my phone. It's very strange. I mean, I only ever damaged one for a long time.

01:16:25   and that was an iPhone 4S that got hit by fireworks

01:16:28   on New Year's and it melted the oleophobic coating.

01:16:30   And I made an appointment, took it in, they looked at it,

01:16:33   they decided to capture it 'cause I don't think

01:16:35   they'd ever seen that before.

01:16:36   And then I got a very kind but stern lecture

01:16:38   about taking better care of my belongings.

01:16:40   - Really?

01:16:41   - But they replaced it immediately and I used,

01:16:44   I logged into iCloud and it downloaded all my stuff

01:16:47   and I was good to go.

01:16:48   And I thought that was like, that was the future for me.

01:16:50   But then this year, so I, the slipperiest phone

01:16:54   I've ever owned was a Nexus 4.

01:16:55   And you could put that in the middle of a dining room table

01:16:57   and it would fall to the floor within an hour.

01:17:00   But I found the iPhone 8,

01:17:02   because they have the same similar

01:17:03   inductive charging plates on the back,

01:17:07   is also much more slippery than I would have anticipated.

01:17:10   And so I've broken two, like in the last two months.

01:17:13   - Really?

01:17:14   - Just like I broke one the first day I had it,

01:17:16   I put it down on the table

01:17:17   and I didn't realize it was slightly on the napkin.

01:17:19   And it used the napkin as a slide

01:17:21   and landed on a stone floor.

01:17:23   And it didn't break the back, it broke the front.

01:17:26   And then the other one, I was out and I got hit by somebody

01:17:31   and it sent the phone flying and it fell down

01:17:34   and broke the front.

01:17:35   - You got punched by somebody or you got--

01:17:37   - No, I think they were just walking by aggressively.

01:17:40   Like I was sitting there talking

01:17:42   and they just slammed into me and kept walking,

01:17:44   which is, I was in the US, I wasn't in Canada.

01:17:47   I don't know if there's a difference there,

01:17:48   and the phone just fell down and also broke the front.

01:17:53   It's iPhone 8 that's just there been my pain so far iPhone 10 has been fine knock wood

01:17:58   But I find it and I will say this I my experience making an appointment at an Apple store is in especially in the last few

01:18:04   Let's say four or five years excellent where they're ready for you almost on time the amount of time it takes

01:18:11   to

01:18:13   diagnose

01:18:14   Explain slash. Oh, I see. Yes, absolutely

01:18:17   Whatever the issue is

01:18:21   But I would say ideal, you know, I can't see how they would do better

01:18:24   They did bury making a genius appointment

01:18:26   Which I hate like it used to just be you go there you hit the genius button and you'd be gone and now you have

01:18:30   To fight your way through three or four different layers of stuff before it lets you do that, which I dislike but hmm

01:18:35   Interesting. I have it done. It's good. I wonder why they've done that probably

01:18:37   Well, I think they wanted to get rid of people who just automatically make a yeah

01:18:41   I mean for anything and they wanted you to go through sort of the steps to see if you really needed one

01:18:44   Yeah, because I've noticed I haven't been there a lot

01:18:48   I also have always been very lucky with non-Lemon Apple devices.

01:18:55   I think I talked about it in the show years ago, but my son has the same model as me,

01:19:03   a 2013 MacBook Pro 13-inch.

01:19:07   And his had an issue where if he ever ran the battery down to zero and it auto shut

01:19:16   down, it would never turn back on.

01:19:18   There was nothing you can do to make it turn back on.

01:19:21   And first, I was like, "Well, why don't do that?"

01:19:25   It was like eventually—it happened one time and we got it to get back on somehow eventually.

01:19:31   I forget what the deal was.

01:19:33   And I was like, "Well, don't run it down."

01:19:34   But then he would just do it again because he'd be like playing a game.

01:19:39   And it was like that episode of Seinfeld where Kramer had a car where the engine—the gas

01:19:45   light came on.

01:19:46   And he was like, let's see how far we can go.

01:19:48   It was sort of like a thrill seeking.

01:19:51   But anyway, eventually we took it in, and they ran some tests.

01:19:53   And it just would not turn on.

01:19:55   It wouldn't take a charge.

01:19:56   It was just inert.

01:19:58   And it had to go away for repair.

01:19:59   It was all as bad of a thing as you could have.

01:20:02   It was like the logic board had to be replaced.

01:20:04   It has to be sent away.

01:20:05   It couldn't be done on premises.

01:20:06   And the whole thing was fantastic.

01:20:08   We were in the store for the briefest amount of time.

01:20:10   It was obvious that something was wrong.

01:20:12   They took it to the mysterious upstairs lab

01:20:16   where somebody else confirmed, yes, this is not right.

01:20:19   You sign out some forms, you sign your signature on an iPad,

01:20:23   and two days later, they called me up

01:20:26   and said the thing was back.

01:20:27   - Yeah, no, it's terrific. - And it worked perfectly

01:20:30   ever since.

01:20:32   - Yeah, no, same experience.

01:20:33   And I've had, before, I used to have work windows laptops,

01:20:36   and we would pay for onsite service from Dell,

01:20:40   but it was hideously expensive.

01:20:41   And for the people who didn't have that, you never knew you were going to get your computer

01:20:44   back.

01:20:45   So, yeah, I don't get our friend at Business Insider.

01:20:51   Is that what you said it was at, Business Insider?

01:20:53   Yeah.

01:20:54   That's shocking that Business Insider—

01:20:55   I'll find you the link.

01:20:56   It's very shocking to me that Business Insider would run something sensationalized like that.

01:21:00   Yeah.

01:21:01   I had a piece yesterday that a lot of people sent good things about, about these rumors

01:21:06   of the iPhone X being produced for only one hour.

01:21:09   Oh, God.

01:21:10   It's a dud because of Ming Chi Kuo said people in China aren't buying the thing because all

01:21:20   they want are big screens and they think the notch is using up too much space and they

01:21:24   may only sell 18 million of them and stop production in summer.

01:21:28   It's kind of funny how this really transmogrified and I wrote about it before it had even finished

01:21:34   spreading where he writes this and Apple Insider does… The one thing about these Ming-Chi

01:21:40   Kuo reports is they're not public. Presumably, they go to paid clients of his and then he

01:21:48   seeds them to a very small handful of Mac rumor type publications like Apple Insider.

01:21:56   Yeah, the KGI security subscribers get them.

01:21:58   Yeah. I'm curious whether they go out before he sends them to Apple Insider and MacRumors.

01:22:09   Because here's the thought I had yesterday as I was—and I don't typically do this,

01:22:12   but I will take an aside here and just mention my long-time thing that I have a personal

01:22:20   policy where I don't own any stock in individual companies other than Berkshire Hathaway, which

01:22:28   which to me is more like an index fund. The only stock market investments I have are in

01:22:32   index funds and I consider Berkshire Hathaway a sort of index fund. The only way I could

01:22:41   possibly profit through Apple stock going up would be secondhand through the S&P 500

01:22:47   going up, which to me is acceptable. I don't know. But anyway, that's my disclaimer.

01:22:55   I don't own Apple stock.

01:22:56   I have not owned Apple stock in many, many, many, many years.

01:23:00   And even when I did, it was a ridiculously small amount.

01:23:03   Anyway, I looked yesterday after all this happened, after the markets closed, and the

01:23:07   market overall was up maybe like 2% and most of Apple's peers like Amazon and Google,

01:23:14   I forget who else I looked at, were also up roughly 2% and Apple was down 2%, which 2%

01:23:22   Up 2% down, that's the stock market.

01:23:25   But at Apple's scale, that's literally billions of dollars of market cap.

01:23:31   And I really can't help but think that the reason that Apple was down a bit on a day

01:23:35   when the market was up a bit was that there were a whole bunch of stories about the iPhone

01:23:40   10 being discontinued because it was unpopular.

01:23:44   I mean, I don't think…

01:23:47   There's this great interview from Jim Cramer from like 10 years ago where he starts off

01:23:51   talking about BlackBerry but then finishes off talking about the iPhone.

01:23:54   And he's like, this is how it works.

01:23:57   I used to run a hedge fund and I know this and I don't think this is legal but you know

01:24:00   if you've got to make your nut this is what you've got to do.

01:24:02   And what you'll do is you'll start a rumor and you'll call somebody and you know who

01:24:05   to call and you'll get them to say oh the Verizon is going to take a pass on the iPhone

01:24:09   or the iPhone is going to be delayed and you start shorting and you start shorting.

01:24:12   You get this guy to put a put on.

01:24:14   You'll get him to call somebody else and you'll get him to say it and all of a sudden there'll

01:24:17   be a run on it and you'll just move the market because that's how you got to get your money.

01:24:20   That's how you got to get paid.

01:24:21   That's what you've got to do to make every, you know.

01:24:23   And he goes on to describe

01:24:25   the entire market manipulation process

01:24:27   of which the media is absolutely complicit

01:24:30   because we've seen, there've been,

01:24:32   in some years there are Wall Street Journal articles,

01:24:34   not like no author name on them, no sourcing,

01:24:37   that'll just say, Apple is gonna not have enough iPhones

01:24:40   or they're not gonna have enough screens.

01:24:42   And the market will react to those.

01:24:43   And once in a while, those stories disappear

01:24:45   but sometimes they're left up there.

01:24:48   And it just seems like blatant manipulation

01:24:50   because most of the time, the clients for these companies

01:24:53   have been told days before,

01:24:54   and they've done, like they've either shorted

01:24:56   or they've bought, and then the media reaction

01:24:58   moves the market, and it just feels like

01:25:00   this is incredibly manipulative.

01:25:02   - I really don't think it's a conspiracy.

01:25:06   You have to be conspirationally minded to think that.

01:25:09   I really do think that there is something to this,

01:25:11   and you know, that's what makes me wonder--

01:25:14   - It feels like pump and dump, like just basic pump and dump.

01:25:16   - Well, that's what makes me wonder

01:25:17   whether KGI Securities clients get these reports before they are leaked to the Apple press

01:25:26   and can read between the lines of whether this is going to play as good news or bad

01:25:30   news and make moves accordingly. That had never really occurred to me before as to whether

01:25:40   he sends them to like MacRumors and AppleInsider at the same time or whether he sends them

01:25:44   to them like a day later.

01:25:47   But I don't think there's any doubt that he moves the market.

01:25:50   He really does.

01:25:51   Absolutely.

01:25:52   I think at least he has his name on these things, but a lot of them, again, are completely

01:25:56   – nobody knows who they are.

01:25:58   And it's important to remember – and I just won't publish them because I am not

01:26:03   their client.

01:26:04   They have their clients.

01:26:05   They are using me to achieve the ends of their clients and it is not my job to be used for

01:26:10   their financial benefit.

01:26:13   But anyway, I wrote about it and I think that if there is a kernel of truth here, and Ming-Chi

01:26:19   Kuo obviously has some good sources in Foxconn at the very least, if not the whole Asian

01:26:24   supply chain, but his sources at Foxconn have been pretty good in many ways, that I would

01:26:32   interpret this as meaning that the iPhone X is going to be one of the phones like the

01:26:37   the iPhone 5 like the original iPhone and the original iPhone that only are in production

01:26:44   for one year. I forgot about the Apple Watch, but that's a good one where the original Apple

01:26:49   Watch did not just slip down the pricing matrix to a second level. They actually replaced

01:26:58   that with what they called the Series 1. We unofficially gave the original the nickname

01:27:06   series zero. Yeah, I think that was Serenity Caldwell.

01:27:10   Yeah, I think she did quite well. I do think she did. Thank you, Serenity. And I think

01:27:18   that my completely conjectural—because Apple is—why they do things like this are like

01:27:25   the holiest of holy secrets, and I think are only really ultimately known by the highest

01:27:31   executive level. But I think it makes common sense to think that when they do something

01:27:35   truly knew production-wise, like making the first ever watch or the first ever iPhone,

01:27:41   that they learn things that they can subsequently even just in the course of 12 months do so

01:27:47   much better that it no longer makes financial sense to keep making it.

01:27:53   So the original iPhone was on sale for a year and as soon as the iPhone 3G was ready to

01:27:56   go, the original iPhone was gone. There was no second, "Oh, you can save some money and

01:28:02   get the year-old version, it was just gone. The only really new iPhone, truly radically

01:28:09   new iPhone, in my opinion, that did stay for an extra year was the iPhone 4, which did

01:28:17   two things production-wise that were totally new. It had the glass back with steel frame

01:28:23   aluminum and it had a retina screen instead of a non-retina screen. And the irony that

01:28:29   I pointed out was that it was also the one with the most notorious flaw, which was the

01:28:33   attenuation issue. Like it was the, it was, of all the iPhones ever made, the one that

01:28:38   stayed, it also stayed the longest as the top tier phone because it was the one that,

01:28:44   it was the last one to ship at the end of June, early July. And a 4S was the first one

01:28:49   that shifted to the fall. So.

01:28:50   And it was way late in the fall.

01:28:52   the most flawed iPhone and biggest PR debacle the company has ever faced was the flagship

01:29:02   iPhone for the longest amount of time and then still remained in the lineup as the second

01:29:07   cut iPhone for another year after that.

01:29:10   So the thing that gets me is like I think, and I think this is true for a lot of rumors,

01:29:14   is that, and Ming-Chi Kuo and other people, is that they get a little bit of information

01:29:19   but then they spin a narrative around that information.

01:29:22   And not all of them seem to understand Apple very well

01:29:24   because the narratives don't often coincide

01:29:26   with the way Apple actually does things.

01:29:27   And then people conflate the information in their rumor

01:29:30   with the context that's been invented

01:29:32   to sort of tell a story about it.

01:29:34   And then that just snowballs.

01:29:36   And in this case, I think your iPhone 5 analogy

01:29:39   is really apt because when the iPhone 5S came out,

01:29:41   Apple doesn't really care if the phone looks alike.

01:29:44   They had the iPhone 6 and 6S and 7 and 8

01:29:47   all in the market at the same time.

01:29:48   But with the iPhone 5C, the iPhone 5 was difficult to manufacture,

01:29:54   and reducing it in cost would be problematic.

01:29:58   But also, it wouldn't let Apple reach any newer different markets,

01:30:01   where the iPhone 5C was cheaper to make.

01:30:03   And it let Apple test the idea of a less expensive, more colorful,

01:30:06   more fun iPhone.

01:30:07   And here you have an iPhone X, which is expensive to make.

01:30:11   It uses a scarce resource like OLED.

01:30:13   And if Apple replaces that with an LED iPhone,

01:30:16   They can save the OLED supply for the new flagships

01:30:19   But also they can make it slightly bigger or do whatever they think they need to test out

01:30:23   Like whether it is China or something else to test out a slightly different form factor. Yeah

01:30:27   Well, the funny thing to me is how this that there's that old kids game whisper down the alley or whatever

01:30:36   It's called where broken telephone broken telephone where it's kids line up in a row and you're supposed to whisper as quietly as possible

01:30:42   Somebody starts with something and then that you know

01:30:45   20 kids in a row. One kid whispers it to the next and you're split in good faith. You're supposed to

01:30:50   try to whisper it to the next person as accurately as possible. I distinctly recall as a child

01:30:56   purposefully mangling it in a humorous way. Don't invite John Gruber to your game of broken

01:31:05   telephone. But even when kids try to do it, honestly, it is kind of funny how it comes out

01:31:11   wrong at the end. And it's really this story in particular quickly got wrong where the

01:31:18   original report for Ming-Chi Kuo is the fact he reported was that he thinks Apple might

01:31:27   stop production of the iPhone X this summer in the lead up to the new phones, which I

01:31:35   would fit exactly with what, you know, not that they would stop selling it. He's completely

01:31:40   writing that at some point in July, Foxconn can stop making iPhone 10s and focus on iPhone

01:31:48   11s or whatever we're going to call them.

01:31:53   Apple will still have these iPhone 10s that had been made through July to sell through

01:31:58   mid-September when they switch to the new product line where the iPhone 10 doesn't exist.

01:32:05   That's what Ming-Chi Kuo wrote.

01:32:06   That's what Apple Insider, I believe, accurately summarized, but I can't prove because I don't

01:32:13   have Ming-Chi Kuo's report.

01:32:15   Yeah.

01:32:16   It matched what MacRumors wrote, which I think means it's pretty consistent.

01:32:21   It was then taken up by somebody at Newsweek who made it seem as though the iPhone was

01:32:29   was being discontinued now and they'd stop selling it in the summer and we'd go, you

01:32:36   know, like in the mid-summer there would be no more iPhone 10s to buy and that new iPhones

01:32:40   wouldn't be ready yet because that's how badly the iPhone 10 was selling.

01:32:45   So the only thing that makes more sense is to stop selling it.

01:32:48   Right. And then it went – it got to the point where the just – the summary of the

01:32:51   story was that Apple is right now in the midst of canceling the iPhone 10. And I – this

01:32:56   is a true story.

01:32:57   Yeah, Forbes was horrible about that too.

01:32:58   You may not have seen it. I wrote this story on Daring Fireball right before we recorded

01:33:03   and published it. There's a great contractor we've had working on and off in our house,

01:33:09   a guy named Wayne. Really nice guy. Does good work. Sort of a technical enthusiast. One

01:33:14   day he was here and he was doing work in my office. It probably doesn't really look like

01:33:25   an Apple store because it's not very well organized. But it certainly looks like maybe

01:33:30   I robbed an Apple store in terms of the number, especially a couple of months ago when I had

01:33:35   boxes of multiple new iPhones out on my desk. And he's like, "What do you do?" And I told

01:33:43   him. And he was kind of intrigued by it. He's sort of a gadget, a regular person gadget

01:33:49   nerd. He was here today and it's like, "Ding-dong, here he is, the doorbell. Hey, how you doing,

01:33:57   Wayne? Good to see you, John." Something about the Eagles being in the Super Bowl. Friendly

01:34:03   chit-chat. Then he's like, "Hey, what the heck's the deal with this thing I saw yesterday

01:34:08   where the iPhone X's been canceled? Is that legit?" I was just blown away. It could not

01:34:14   be a more regular person and he's heard that Apple is canceling the iPhone 10. Crazy. It's

01:34:22   absolutely insanity.

01:34:24   I saw people on Reddit asking, "Well, Apple is canceling the phone. Are they going to

01:34:28   take my phone away? Will they repay me?" This is how people react to those kinds of stories.

01:34:33   They're not stupid. They just don't understand when they use headlines what it means to them

01:34:38   and they start to panic.

01:34:39   All right, it really is like the headline. You know, everybody talks about fake news and fake

01:34:45   stories and truly out, you know, truly, you know, this nobody really lied here, although I would

01:34:52   say there's some mendacity involved in I think, purposeful exaggeration, especially in the

01:34:58   headlines. And I really cannot emphasize enough for people who don't think about this because you

01:35:03   know, you're not in the business of writing headlines, but headlines have always been

01:35:07   important even in the print world. And on magazines, they sell the magazines. So there's

01:35:14   always the pre-digital equivalent of clickbait is salacious headlines on the magazines or

01:35:22   a newspaper tabloid to sell copies. Like, "Oh, there's an exaggerated sensationalist

01:35:30   headline."

01:35:31   If it bleeds, it leads. A man bites a dog, all that stuff.

01:35:34   Right. But even then you're not a click away, right? Like even if the cover of the New York

01:35:39   Post has you intrigued enough to say, "Oh, damn it. I'm buying a copy." You've still

01:35:43   got to wait in line. You've got to reach in your pocket and get 50 cents out and hand

01:35:47   it over. And you know you're buying, you're not just dipping your toes in. You're picking

01:35:52   up a whole 85-page newspaper. You know what I mean? Whereas a click is always, you're

01:35:58   just a click away. You could just touch it. Just touch, just touch, just tap here, tap

01:36:02   this, tap this, tap this. Listen to this.

01:36:03   the tabloids at the end of the supermarket line.

01:36:07   Right. Except that you can't, you're just a towel. All you have to do is touch it. Just

01:36:10   touch, just touch this spot. Touch this spot on the, you know, and your thumb is already

01:36:14   just an inch away. Just move your thumb one inch and tap this and we'll explain this seemingly

01:36:20   impossible headline away that the iPhone, you know, Mighty Apple Incorporated is canceling

01:36:29   their supposedly best product ever made. But it seeds these, you know, I know meme, the

01:36:41   word meme has sort of been co-opted to mean these graphical animated GIFs with headlines

01:36:49   underneath. But going back to Richard Dawkins' original definition of just the way that an

01:36:53   an idea can sort of spread through a culture. You know what I mean? It's not even like a

01:37:03   story. It's not like there's, it's just that headline, just the notion of Apple has canceled

01:37:07   the iPhone tent, which is preposterous. Yeah. And I also, I told, and I also thought it

01:37:16   was interesting that my contractor friend Wayne, the way he posed it to me, he was like,

01:37:24   "That's not right, is it?" He knew to be skeptical. You know what I mean? It wasn't like he was

01:37:28   fooled. The problem isn't that people like Wayne have been tricked into thinking it's

01:37:36   true that Apple canceled the phone. Because he's not dumb. He just isn't deeply involved

01:37:42   this. It's just something he cares about tangentially. And because he's not dumb,

01:37:45   because he's actually a smart, bright guy, he knew to be skeptical. But he just didn't understand

01:37:57   how to square the two things. He knows this doesn't sound right, but that's what people are saying.

01:38:02   That's the essence of FUD. It's fear, uncertainty, and doubt. They're fearful that it might be true,

01:38:06   they're uncertain whether it is or true or not, and so start to doubt what they think is real.

01:38:10   And it's a huge problem.

01:38:11   I remember my mom once called me,

01:38:13   she said I was watching BBC

01:38:14   and they said that the iPhone had been hacked.

01:38:16   And because like I do what I do,

01:38:18   I knew what the story was.

01:38:19   And it was if you, you know, if you went to a,

01:38:22   if you jail broke your iPhone

01:38:24   and you went to a specific Chinese cracked iPhone app store

01:38:27   and you downloaded certain apps and you were a journalist,

01:38:29   they were trying to target you with malware.

01:38:32   And it had nothing to do with anything

01:38:34   that would affect anyone else who was an Apple customer.

01:38:37   But the BBC ran it as though the iPhone was hacked.

01:38:39   And another major blog said that Apple's unblemished security

01:38:45   record is now broken.

01:38:47   It was never not broken, and it wasn't broken now.

01:38:50   But this is a narrative that people are getting fed.

01:38:52   And then people who are already worried about technology,

01:38:55   who don't find it accessible, or who think it's scary,

01:38:58   they're just made more afraid.

01:38:59   And you're literally victimizing people

01:39:02   who would benefit from the technology.

01:39:04   Do you read--

01:39:05   I love it.

01:39:05   I've used it for years.

01:39:07   many years, I don't even remember how long, but the website Techmeme, I don't know if it's because

01:39:13   I thought of the word meme or not, but Techmeme is sort of an aggregator of nerd tech industry news.

01:39:21   Gabe Rivera is the founder. I haven't seen Gabe in years, but I know Gabe a little bit.

01:39:27   And the gist of it is if you've never been there, go to techmeme.org. I find it to be a terrific way

01:39:35   to just get a snapshot of, hey, has anything big happened,

01:39:39   especially like when I'm traveling,

01:39:41   if there's a day when I'm busy

01:39:43   and I haven't checked anything in a while,

01:39:45   just quick look at tech meme

01:39:48   and scroll down a bit from the top.

01:39:49   And it's a good way to sanity check,

01:39:51   have I missed anything big

01:39:52   that I really need to know about during Fireball?

01:39:55   Nope, or yes, look at that, wow.

01:39:58   I need to take a break here and go look at it.

01:40:00   And it ranks things,

01:40:03   I don't know what quite the algorithm is,

01:40:05   but anyway a couple of years ago tech memes switched from running the original publications headlines to

01:40:10   rewriting them

01:40:12   editorially good old-fashioned human

01:40:14   Human writing

01:40:20   And a lot of publications really got pissed off about that

01:40:24   And made them verbose enough to tell you everything about the story in the headline, which they thought would limit click-through

01:40:32   And you know oftentimes but but if you're if you're headlining if that's how much could be if that's how much it's news is in

01:40:40   Your story really who's at fault there?

01:40:42   Yeah, well if you're not adding value beyond the facts, then you know, it's not their fault the abuse of headlines

01:40:49   I can't get off. I can't overstate

01:40:52   Just how bad of a problem it is in my opinion

01:40:55   Yeah

01:40:55   You know and and tech meme goes to the opposite measure of actually rewriting them out of respect for the

01:41:02   Visitors detect memes time and attention. Yeah, there's a great Twitter a clown. I forget the name of it

01:41:08   I think it's called saved you a click. Yes

01:41:10   It's so great and

01:41:15   Like I saw one today where it was like it's often movie news

01:41:21   but they just in other words, they'll take a totally salacious tweet or headline and

01:41:25   Just quote it in a tweet and then tell you and usually in about five words

01:41:31   What the story actually is saved you a click. Yeah, and it was one it was like the Russo brothers

01:41:37   talk about

01:41:41   The

01:41:43   What's the movie with Scarlett Johansson where she sees a superhero

01:41:46   The Black Widow or the Black Widow Black Widow movie the Black Widow movie and

01:41:52   This this saved you a quick summary of the entire story was they're very excited to work on it

01:42:00   Yeah, and you know, that's the whole story. Like what are they gonna do?

01:42:04   Are they going to have a love-hate relationship with saved you click because in there are some writers who are really good and I want

01:42:09   To go on that ride with them like they're teasing out a headline

01:42:12   Telling you a phenomenal story and then they'll sing you at the end almost like a like an M Night

01:42:17   Shall we have a Shyamalan movie at its finest and then it really could they just said Darth Vader's his father

01:42:21   I'd be like, ah, damn it

01:42:22   I wanted to go on that ride

01:42:23   But there are a lot of cases where there really is nothing else and they do save me a clinic

01:42:27   So you're saying that they're not quite they're not quite judicious enough in who they go after yes in terms of

01:42:32   It's a really yeah, and yes, it depends on the quality of the writer

01:42:36   But I think there are some writers out there that deserve to

01:42:38   Let the experience of revealing what they want to say and there are others that are just trying to steal your attention

01:42:42   And I think there's a line between the two

01:42:45   I

01:42:47   Don't think we're gonna get to our your 2017 year in review

01:42:51   But we could try to squeeze it in in the last few minutes to the show

01:42:54   But in the meantime, I think our third and final sponsor of the week

01:42:57   Squarespace

01:42:59   Look, you need to make a move. You need to make some kind of new project. You've got an idea

01:43:04   You need a website. You should make that move with Squarespace

01:43:09   You can make a beautiful website from Squarespace in just minutes

01:43:14   You could do 30 minutes and you wouldn't just have a generic website from Squarespace. You could have your website from Squarespace

01:43:22   Really, really beautiful, attractive design,

01:43:25   all sorts of features, any kind of thing

01:43:27   that you really wanna build,

01:43:28   any kind of standard pattern for a website,

01:43:30   like having a blog, hosting a podcast,

01:43:34   hosting a store, putting up a gallery of your work

01:43:38   or whatever it is you're trying to show off,

01:43:41   you can do it at Squarespace.

01:43:43   Or you can come by multiple things and have sections

01:43:45   and have one section be your podcast and one be your blog

01:43:48   and another place where you sell your t-shirts.

01:43:50   I can't overstate just how comprehensive the Squarespace platform is.

01:43:58   All visual, you do it right there in the browser, drag and drop, totally visual, WYSIWYG design,

01:44:05   the way design is meant to be.

01:44:08   But if you have the technical chops, if you know HTML and CSS and JavaScript and you want

01:44:12   to get in there and mess with it at that level, you can certainly do it at that level too.

01:44:17   You can do it at the technical level.

01:44:18   You can do it at the visual level.

01:44:20   Really great.

01:44:21   You can do everything from registering your domain name to doing the design.

01:44:27   All of the hosting, they take care of it.

01:44:29   It's a really bulletproof, reliable platform, high performance, really fast website, and

01:44:35   they have everything else you need too like analytics, meaning stats, and you can see

01:44:40   how many people are coming to your site, where they're coming from, where they're going on

01:44:44   your site, everything like that.

01:44:46   They have it all. It's really great. I know you've heard me say this before. They sponsor

01:44:54   the show all the time. They sponsored it for years. But the reason they keep coming back

01:44:58   is that people who listen to this show keep signing up for new Squarespace accounts and

01:45:03   telling them they came from here. So if you're in the market for a new website, I implore

01:45:09   you to check out Squarespace. I really do recommend it personally and join the—I would

01:45:15   love to know just how many people from the talk show have signed up for Squarespace over

01:45:19   the years go there to Squarespace calm, just Squarespace calm, no special URL. What they

01:45:25   do want you to remember is the offer code talk show just plain talk show. And you use

01:45:31   that at checkout, you will get 10% off and you can pay for a whole year in advance. So

01:45:35   you could pay 10 bucks, save 10% off an entire year all at once. So start your free trial

01:45:42   today at Squarespace.com. You don't have to pay him a nickel. Once you're ready to go,

01:45:48   just remember that code talk show and you'll save 10% off your first purchase Squarespace.

01:45:54   So we've had extradition, I forget if it's two or three years in a row where you've come

01:45:57   on at the end of the year and we've done like a year in review. And I ran out of time last

01:46:04   last December, so we didn't do it. But here you are in the first episode of 2018. We could

01:46:08   we could whip through it. Yeah, totally. I mean, not much happened, right?

01:46:15   I don't have notes on this. What do you think? What's your high-level takeaway of

01:46:23   the year that Apple had? The year of the industry?

01:46:26   One of those years… I'm not sure if I prefer it or not, but it was one of those

01:46:30   years where Apple didn't have a March event and we got used to having them again because

01:46:34   'cause they had a series of events

01:46:35   for like the 12-inch MacBook and Apple Watch

01:46:38   and the iPhone SE and the,

01:46:40   the close we got was the product red iPhone,

01:46:43   which wasn't an event, it was just sort of pushed out there.

01:46:46   But we waited till WWDC to have any sort of Apple,

01:46:50   before Apple took the stage at all.

01:46:51   And then when they did, we got like a plethora of things.

01:46:54   We got all the Kaby Lake, the MacBook, the MacBook Pro,

01:46:58   the iMac Pro was shown off, the HomePod was shown off.

01:47:04   I don't know if people are wondering why it was showing off so early, why those parts

01:47:08   were not so early, if they're going to ship in September, but they've done that in the

01:47:11   past.

01:47:13   And we got all the new operating systems, and it was just, it felt like we went so long

01:47:16   without it, and then everything was just slammed onto us all at once.

01:47:21   My high-level takeaway of 2017 is, I don't know if it's my primary interest in the company,

01:47:30   but it certainly is, if it's not number one, it's very, very close.

01:47:33   But it's probably number one and it's selfish and very selfishly.

01:47:39   Everything I've done professionally in my life, other than the high school job I had

01:47:47   stocking shelves in a supermarket/pharmacy and scraping gum off the tables of my school

01:47:56   when I was in 10th grade during the summer and cutting the grass, I've done with a

01:48:02   a computer. 99.999% of that work was on Apple computers. Not through luck, but through actually

01:48:17   choosing what I do. I've spent, other than some internships in college, really spent

01:48:24   very little time needing to use Windows professionally, and that was by choice.

01:48:31   And I see 2017 as an interesting year for Apple as the maker of machines for creative

01:48:38   professionals, where I do think that they dropped the ball on the latest MacBook Pros.

01:48:47   There's just no question in my mind.

01:48:49   There's certain aspects of them that are debatable like, "Hey, maybe they didn't need to make

01:48:55   it any thinner. I wish it was the same thickness as before and just put more battery in there."

01:49:02   Debatable. I could see why other people would say, "This is amazing. It's as thin and light

01:49:07   as a MacBook Air, but it has a retina screen in its performance." But the keyboard is undeniably

01:49:13   a step backward. It is failing for people. There's too many people who they're getting

01:49:20   keys stuck. And that's just it. The keyboard has to be reliable. It absolutely has to be.

01:49:28   And I like to get a Mac and use it until I feel like it's really problematic. So I've

01:49:33   still got my recording right now using my 2013 MacBook Pro that I bought with a core

01:49:39   i7 and maxed out the RAM at 16 and all big 1GB SSD. The thing still runs really, really

01:49:48   well. So I wasn't in the market for a new one. But boy, ever since this report of the

01:49:52   unreliable keyboards has broken out and really become well-known months ago, every time I'm

01:50:00   traveling or otherwise using my MacBook Pro for work and I'm writing, and guess what?

01:50:06   I write a lot. I keep thinking about how I've never had a MacBook or PowerBook or an iBook

01:50:13   that had a keyboard that I didn't trust 100%. And how frustrating I would find it to have

01:50:20   a keyboard that wasn't 100% reliable. Like 100%. 100%. I've had this machine now for

01:50:28   over four years. I don't think I've ever once tried to type a letter on this keyboard

01:50:37   and not had the key that I thought I was pressing register the key in the software I was typing.

01:50:45   No, I'm sorry. I say 2013. I just checked. It's mid-2014, 2014. So it's a year and

01:50:51   so is my son's, the lemon that was fixed. I misremembered. Good thing I went to the

01:50:57   about box wouldn't want to get that wrong. So it's a three-year-old computer. But literally,

01:51:02   however many keystrokes I've typed since sometime in the second half of 2014 when I

01:51:09   bought it and it became my personal laptop, it is literally at 100% to my knowledge. I've

01:51:16   never once tried to type a K and not had the K register or had the K stick or something

01:51:20   like that. Anything less than that is unacceptable to me. So I really think they have a problem

01:51:26   there with the keyboard. I also think that as the as we stand right now, I think that

01:51:32   the touch bar is not good enough. I think there's way too many people who don't like

01:51:39   it at all and way too few people who have good things to say about it. It's hard for

01:51:43   me to judge because I only used it for like two weeks while reviewing them. And I was

01:51:47   intrigued by it. But it still seemed like this is really cool idea. Let's wait and see

01:51:52   how it shakes out in software.

01:51:54   And it seems like the way it's shaken out

01:51:56   is that people don't really care for it or love it.

01:52:00   So I'm very similar to you in that I have that exact same

01:52:02   MacBook Pro, like the 13-inch from 2014.

01:52:05   And I loved it.

01:52:05   It was probably my favorite computer

01:52:07   because I vacillated between the MacBook Pro and the MacBook

01:52:10   Air in terms of power and portability.

01:52:12   And that one really felt like it had it all.

01:52:14   But I'm different in that I've been using the 13-inch

01:52:16   with Touch Bar since it came out,

01:52:18   since the very first time it was available.

01:52:21   And I have two thoughts about it.

01:52:23   One is I vastly prefer the keyboard

01:52:25   on the new MacBook Pro to the previous ones.

01:52:27   But I know that not everybody thinks that.

01:52:30   And Apple is the only manufacturer of MacBooks.

01:52:33   So you cannot have a product that's divisive.

01:52:35   You can have people who like one keyboard more

01:52:37   than the other.

01:52:38   But if you have a large portion of your customer base

01:52:40   who actively hates that keyboard, that's a problem

01:52:43   because they have nowhere else to go.

01:52:45   And the failure thing is just not debatable.

01:52:47   I have had keys fail on older MacBooks,

01:52:50   but they were super easy to either clean or replace,

01:52:53   like just trivial.

01:52:54   And this one is absolutely not.

01:52:56   This is an expensive repair.

01:52:57   - Yeah, and let me just emphasize that.

01:52:59   It's not that in my life I've never had a key go bad

01:53:01   on any Apple laptop.

01:53:03   I mean, I think I had a white,

01:53:05   I know I had a white iBook, the 12-inch white iBook,

01:53:08   and I think the keys got a little squishy,

01:53:09   but they were fixable.

01:53:11   I didn't have to go to a store.

01:53:12   I could, you know, jimmy it with a pocket knife or something.

01:53:15   I'm just saying, but I'm saying that the 100% record

01:53:17   is with this particular MacBook Pro from mid-2014 that I fastidiously never eat food around,

01:53:27   which my son does.

01:53:28   I'm a filthy blogger, so I thought mine was just waiting to die.

01:53:32   My son's keyboard is like Oscar the Grouch's keyboard. It's really kind of astounding.

01:53:40   But you know what's funny though? It would drive me crazy. He's got keys that to me stick,

01:53:47   But they don't stick stick.

01:53:49   They just don't click right, but it actually works.

01:53:52   If you just trust that what you think you're typing,

01:53:54   you're typing and look at the screen, it actually works.

01:53:57   Even though it feels, ugh, it makes me sick.

01:54:00   But anyway, I love them.

01:54:02   I think it's a problem.

01:54:04   And I also think it's interesting on the flip side

01:54:07   for professional work, you've got,

01:54:11   it was a big, big year for iPad Pro.

01:54:16   - But before we move on from the MacBook Pro,

01:54:17   the one other thing that I wanted to say about this is,

01:54:20   this is one of those things where data,

01:54:22   you know, people talk about data a lot,

01:54:23   but data is nothing without analysis.

01:54:25   And Apple has a ton of data about what we buy.

01:54:28   We literally vote with our wallets

01:54:30   for everything that Apple does.

01:54:31   And people don't buy desktops.

01:54:34   When they do buy desktops, they buy iMacs,

01:54:36   but they don't buy desktops, they buy MacBooks.

01:54:38   And MacBook Air is super popular.

01:54:40   And everything Apple is telling them,

01:54:41   including the success of the iOS devices,

01:54:43   is that the lighter and more mainstream

01:54:45   make these products, the more they will sell.

01:54:47   And despite people really not liking these MacBooks, they're incredibly popular.

01:54:52   And you could say that there was a hunger or a thirst or there's no alternative, but

01:54:55   it's also possible that Apple is making more mainstream MacBooks.

01:54:59   But they did it at the expense of the pros instead of adding a product.

01:55:03   It's great that they had the MacBook escape for people who didn't want everything else,

01:55:07   but they didn't have a MacBook Pro Pro the way they have the iMac Pro that was sitting

01:55:10   on top of the line that was there for the people who really wanted high memory, high

01:55:15   power, high processing, and didn't give a crap if it had battery life or thinness at

01:55:19   all. I think that missing product was… I think if they'd had that extra one on top,

01:55:24   the way they had the extra one on the bottom, we wouldn't have seen anywhere near the

01:55:27   negative sentiment we got.

01:55:28   Yeah, I think that's a fantastic point. I wish I had put it in a note so I would have

01:55:33   been sure to make it, but you made it well. But I think you're exactly right that they

01:55:36   They should, in theory, there should be what the current thinner MacBook Pros are to the

01:55:46   iMac.

01:55:50   There should be like the 5K iMac.

01:55:53   There should be something that is like the iMac Pro and/or Mac Pro.

01:56:01   These are really MacBook Air Pros that we got.

01:56:03   Yeah.

01:56:04   names matter, but I think if you put names aside, and I don't know what you'd call it,

01:56:12   somebody that could come up with something, but there should be a thicker, heavier, more USB ports,

01:56:19   pro things that... The pro word is so problematic, and I see so many columns and listen to so many

01:56:30   podcasts where I get frustrated because it's like almost like if you took the word pro

01:56:36   off the MacBook Pro, like you said, just call it like the new MacBook Air or just, you know,

01:56:43   or if they just like iPhones just put the word MacBook on all of them, whether it was

01:56:48   the MacBook One port, the MacBook Pro, whatever. I think you can easily get lost in the weeds

01:56:55   by defining pro as professional and because different people who make their living on

01:57:03   it in a professional sense do it in so many different ways. There are people who literally

01:57:08   don't need any of the ports. There are people who can use it all day long and get terrific

01:57:13   battery life with exactly the thinness and who really appreciate how much thinner it

01:57:17   is and lighter to carry around.

01:57:21   And there are people who are like, well, I would call new generation pros who they're

01:57:24   they're entrepreneurs or they're doing, they're doing a running a business. And to them, they,

01:57:29   they consider themselves pros the same way that people old school would be like designers

01:57:33   or renderers or anything. And you also have the other end of the scale where you have

01:57:37   people who almost see like Apple is taking fire from on high and giving it to the masses

01:57:41   and how dare these people be pros. Only what I do is pro and there's assholes on both sides

01:57:45   that argument, but in the middle is a bunch of people being underserved.

01:57:48   Yeah, and I appreciate that frustration of, "Wow, they used to make a machine that had

01:57:55   plenty of ports that I used, and now I can't get one unless I buy the old, you know, I

01:58:01   can't get the new one with the ports that I use, and I'm stuck using these dongles."

01:58:06   And I thought about it too, because I've always had to use dongles.

01:58:08   I had to use DVI dongles and FireWire dongles and all sorts of things, but I realize a big

01:58:13   difference here is that USB was never one of the choices they had to make.

01:58:17   It was always the fringe stuff that I used dongles for like Thunderbolt or something

01:58:21   and USB is something everybody needs. So now the dongle is everybody's problem and not

01:58:24   just the nerd niche sort of problem.

01:58:27   Yeah. It's, you know, I used to roll my eyes at people barking about SD card slots because

01:58:33   I was shooting with a Canon and I had a CF card, so I needed the dongle anyway. And then

01:58:38   I bought a Fuji X 100 S and I could just plug the SD card right into my Mac book. And it's

01:58:42   like, hey, that's pretty cool. Like, yeah, I'm not angry that

01:58:47   they don't have SD card slots on the new ones. But I'm kind of

01:58:50   glad that I'm still using one that has one. Yeah. So anyway,

01:58:54   it until you need it. Anyway, I do think you're right, though. I

01:58:57   think I trust Apple to listen. I also know that, you know,

01:59:02   there's an awful lot of people at Apple itself who use Mac

01:59:06   books, including, you know, people like Tim Cook and Phil

01:59:09   Schiller, who, if their keys get stuck, they're gonna, they might bring it up. Yeah. Yeah.

01:59:18   And also their holes, all their engineers and all their software and hardware engineers

01:59:21   use Mac books every day and they need them to work. I also think, and I'm kind of excited

01:59:26   about it. I think that Apple could appreciate that, hey, we didn't hit it out of the park

01:59:32   with the first touch bar. Not to call him out, but I think Marco Arment on the ATP had

01:59:45   said his wish would be for Apple to say, "You know what? We tried it. It wasn't a good idea.

01:59:49   We're next MacBook Pro. You can buy it fully spec. You don't have to get the lowest end one. You can

01:59:55   get any of them without it." I would rather see Apple say, "You know what? It wasn't good enough.

02:00:00   let's make it better.

02:00:02   Let's do a 2.0 touch bar that people do want to give up

02:00:07   the old style function keys for.

02:00:10   Maybe with a hardware escape key.

02:00:14   - No, but it's super interesting.

02:00:16   - Which I don't think is a ridiculous idea,

02:00:17   which I don't think is a ridiculous idea.

02:00:20   To have a button on the top right for touch ID

02:00:23   and an escape key on the left

02:00:24   and just do the touch bar in the middle.

02:00:26   - But that's the thing.

02:00:27   So you could also, you could just call it the home button

02:00:28   if you wanna make it super friendly for people.

02:00:29   It doesn't really matter, but is touch ID long

02:00:32   for this world?

02:00:33   Like if we go to face ID, does that disappear?

02:00:35   And that's the most compelling part about the touch bar.

02:00:37   Like I use a touch bar as a shortcut

02:00:40   because I can just swipe across Safari tabs faster

02:00:43   than I can actually find the Safari tab I want

02:00:45   with the keyboard.

02:00:46   And there's all sorts of things that I can do

02:00:48   that's just quick on it.

02:00:49   But I use that touch ID thing all the time.

02:00:52   - I did too.

02:00:52   And it was the single thing I hated giving up

02:00:56   from the review unit that I had.

02:00:58   But I also think now, several months into the iPhone X lifestyle, that there's no doubt

02:01:03   in my mind that the Touch ID is not long for this world.

02:01:08   And on a MacBook in particular, it seems Face ID would be way more better than Touch ID

02:01:19   than it even is on the phone, and I clearly think it's better on the phone.

02:01:22   But in terms of getting an angle and working with being completely, I want to say ambidextrous,

02:01:32   but not biased towards the right side on your right hand.

02:01:37   I mean, Windows Hello works now without any of the technology Apple's applying to it.

02:01:41   It would just be a fantastic product.

02:01:43   Right.

02:01:44   And you've got some time when you open a MacBook, and there's some time there where Face ID

02:01:51   already register you. Unlike the phone where you can make arguments about which is faster

02:01:57   by the stopwatch, it should clearly be faster on a MacBook, opening it from a closed position.

02:02:03   Anyway, so I think it's funny that to me the best part about the Touch Bar system on the

02:02:10   current MacBook Pros is the Touch ID sensor, which I think is likely going away. I don't

02:02:16   I don't know when.

02:02:19   Anyway, I want to move on to the iPad side of things.

02:02:21   And I think it was a very interesting year for the iPad

02:02:23   Pro, because I think we saw the most serious attempt at making

02:02:31   iPad running on-- or iOS running on iPads more like several

02:02:37   steps closer to what would this be like if it was primarily

02:02:41   for iPads and not secondarily for iPads.

02:02:43   like an iPad OS rather than a vanilla iOS.

02:02:47   - Right, and I liked all of the ideas.

02:02:50   I liked the list of problems they were trying to solve.

02:02:55   It all seemed, there wasn't any aspect of it

02:03:01   that I would think, and I say this guardedly

02:03:05   because I don't use an iPad Pro for a lot of work,

02:03:08   so I'm judging it sort of as a tourist, but I liked it.

02:03:13   and as a user interface critic.

02:03:15   But then as time wore on and they settled in,

02:03:17   I still think the biggest problem

02:03:19   isn't that they didn't come up with good ideas,

02:03:21   but that it still doesn't go nearly far enough.

02:03:24   - Yeah.

02:03:24   - In terms of things that I find so convenient

02:03:27   and so quick and so easy to do

02:03:30   almost without thinking about it on a Mac,

02:03:32   which feel like I'm doing surgery on somebody with chopsticks

02:03:37   when I do it on an iPad.

02:03:40   - Yep.

02:03:41   - No, I ran into, I was working on iPad Pro.

02:03:45   I used it when I traveled a lot

02:03:46   and I was working on it the other day

02:03:47   and I was trying to get the images off of Apple's newsroom

02:03:50   and I couldn't just touch on it

02:03:52   because it's got that over effect

02:03:54   where it will give you the social sharing stuff.

02:03:57   And then I tried to download it and it was a zip file

02:03:59   and I could have opened an app to do it

02:04:00   but I just realized that using Apple's default tools,

02:04:03   I couldn't use Apple's default website.

02:04:05   And I pulled out, I just got upset and I pulled out my Mac

02:04:07   and I did it in three seconds.

02:04:09   and those sort of problems that need to be solved.

02:04:13   And as much as people talk about sort of adding

02:04:15   parts of iOS to Mac, like touchscreen Macs,

02:04:17   it's much more interesting to me

02:04:18   to see Apple continue to bring up the iPad

02:04:22   and consider things like,

02:04:23   we've got basic trackpad support already,

02:04:25   but what happens if they make the surface

02:04:27   of the smart keyboard capacitive

02:04:29   and you can move your fingers over that

02:04:31   in lieu of a trackpad, for example,

02:04:33   if you don't wanna touch the screen?

02:04:34   I think there's a lot of ways they could take that further.

02:04:37   Yeah, the precision mousing gets me.

02:04:41   I have a long list of things that, if I use an iPad Pro

02:04:45   for an extended period of time, eventually

02:04:48   make me get itchy to go back to a Mac.

02:04:50   And the lack of precision mousing, largely

02:04:53   for text editing, is high on the list.

02:04:59   So I really hope that this wasn't like Apple's, OK,

02:05:04   You guys want some pro features in iOS for iPad here.

02:05:08   Okay, now shut up.

02:05:10   I really hope it was more of a first step

02:05:12   in a multi-year process of doing,

02:05:15   making significant strides in that regard.

02:05:17   And I still feel like-- - I think it was like--

02:05:21   - I also still feel like there are some aspects

02:05:24   of that interface that are problematic.

02:05:26   I've been suspicious all along of the lack of an indication

02:05:30   of where keyboard focus is.

02:05:32   You know, let's say you have two apps up, split screen.

02:05:35   I kind of, I do like the tidiness of like

02:05:38   split screen stuff on iPad,

02:05:40   being like it's perfectly 50/50

02:05:43   or perfectly two thirds, one third.

02:05:45   And you know, and then I look at my Mac

02:05:48   and I see this jumble of overlapping windows

02:05:50   and there's a tidiness there that I like,

02:05:53   but it's like, I cannot believe that in this interface,

02:05:57   you have two apps up side by side.

02:05:59   You could be typing in either one

02:06:00   and you don't know which one you're typing in until you start typing.

02:06:03   I find that crazy.

02:06:04   We're going to go a waste of step.

02:06:06   Yeah, no, absolutely.

02:06:09   I think to me this was a second step.

02:06:10   We saw iOS 9 take the first step when it introduced the split screen stuff, and they were working

02:06:15   on drag and drop for a while and couldn't ship it in iOS 10.

02:06:17   They shipped it in iOS 11.

02:06:19   And again, they have a certain amount of resources, and they'll focus those on certain features,

02:06:24   and maybe we'll get more with iOS 12, or maybe we'll have to wait, and it'll be every two

02:06:27   years.

02:06:28   We take a big step forward in iPad.

02:06:29   But I think it's inevitable that we're going that way.

02:06:31   I think there was a sort of a difference of opinion inside Apple as to whether iPad should

02:06:36   be left as an incredibly approachable device for mainstream people or whether it should

02:06:41   be allowed to be a more powerful machine for pros.

02:06:44   And I think there was a second disagreement about whether it was just adopting Mac tropes

02:06:49   or whether it was rethinking them.

02:06:50   The way like drag and drop on iPad is not just porting over the Mac drag and drop.

02:06:55   It was rethought.

02:06:56   That's the side that's gaining traction, is that it should be allowed to be a pro,

02:07:00   but we're not going to just make it a Mac.

02:07:02   We're going to make technology evolve in a way that makes sense to iPad.

02:07:04   Dave Asprey Can I tell you, I spent some time over the

02:07:07   holidays using an iPad more, specifically for this reason, that I was taking a break

02:07:14   from the podcast, doing less work, trying to have a holiday, a real holiday.

02:07:21   It was a good device for that.

02:07:22   I felt like I wanted to spend more time with it.

02:07:24   But I'll tell you what, the drag and drop thing

02:07:26   really gets me.

02:07:27   Because let's say I want to tap on something in Safari,

02:07:31   like a link, and I wanna copy it.

02:07:33   And you used to just tap and hold,

02:07:34   and you'd get a little pop-up, and then you'd tap Copy.

02:07:37   And now you tap and hold, and it jumps up off

02:07:40   so you can drag it, and you have to wait longer

02:07:43   before I can copy.

02:07:44   Whereas on a Mac, I would just Control-click

02:07:50   or two-finger click on the link,

02:07:53   depending on whether I was using a,

02:07:54   and the copy, the menu of options to do on this link

02:08:00   would be instantaneous.

02:08:02   So the old way on the iPad was a little bit of a wait,

02:08:04   which annoyed me from my wanted instantly Mac instincts.

02:08:08   And the new way is an even longer wait.

02:08:11   And it's one of the tricky things

02:08:13   that I think people don't think about

02:08:16   when they think in vague yada, yada, yada terms,

02:08:19   I'll bet Apple's just gonna unify all this in one OS, right?

02:08:23   and you don't think about things like if you just

02:08:28   Tap your finger on the screen and move it. What happens does it scroll the view like in a Safari window or does it?

02:08:37   select the text

02:08:40   right, so when I click in a Safari window, I click and

02:08:44   move my finger it selects text instantly no wait no modes just selects how do you

02:08:52   do that on a touchscreen so that you could select text instantly or double

02:08:58   click to select a word instantly but still allow you to touch instantly to

02:09:02   an instantly begin scrolling it can only do one thing and I think it was a good

02:09:07   decision a lot of collision it can only do one thing first I just don't think

02:09:11   people think about that. And those delays, like waiting to get the copy menu, just to

02:09:15   copy a link that's right here that I would have copied a whole second ago, right? I mean,

02:09:21   but that second feels like forever.

02:09:23   Well, there's like this weird mutation of Fitz's law that I find with pressure sensitivity.

02:09:28   And Fitz's law, for people who aren't familiar with it, it's like the easiest way that you

02:09:32   can get to an area on a GUI, like the throw distance. And for me, it's like, there's pressure.

02:09:38   For Fitz's Law, it's like the harder press.

02:09:40   The harder press is the easier one.

02:09:42   If I have to stop and do fine manipulations, like that's why I hate floating capacitive

02:09:47   screens, because it's just hard to float your finger without touching the screen.

02:09:50   But it's easy to jab the screen, and when people aren't certain, I feel like they jab

02:09:53   more.

02:09:54   And then on an iPhone, you risk, like if you just want to make this stuff jiggle in the

02:09:56   old interface, you would have to hold it and not press hard.

02:09:59   If you pressed hard, you do 3D touch.

02:10:00   That's not what I wanted.

02:10:01   You let go, you do it again.

02:10:02   Oh God, 3D touch again.

02:10:03   And this is the same thing.

02:10:04   I just want to copy this.

02:10:05   Oh God, it's floating now.

02:10:06   I want to I let go I'm floating it again

02:10:09   And I just want to copy it and you'd start get frustrated with it

02:10:11   And it's not like it's not like it's it's easy to do that fine control for everybody

02:10:16   And it just it ends up feeling like this just over like that everything the whole system is overloaded. Yeah, I so I I

02:10:22   Really do feel as a high-end, you know, where's Apple going what Apple did last year?

02:10:27   I really feel like I I mean it's already too late if they haven't been doing it all along

02:10:31   So it doesn't really matter if people that Apple are listening to us

02:10:34   Like nothing's gonna happen between now and June if they haven't been working non-stop since last June on what iOS 12 could be on

02:10:41   an iPad but boy I sure hope that

02:10:43   there's

02:10:46   engineers and designers at Apple spending as much time being frustrated by the things that are difficult on an iPad as I am

02:10:54   And you know

02:10:56   I think conversely I think boy the boy oh boy and one of the reasons that I'd eat as a

02:11:01   Somebody who just loves the Mac hopes the Mac has a bright future for a decade or more to come

02:11:06   Isn't really looking personally to switch to an iPad Pro

02:11:10   But boy, the reason I really want it is boys. Are they nice hardware devices? Yes, really really like, you know for all the complaints

02:11:18   We just ran through about pot, you know things people like or don't like or prefer don't prefer about

02:11:23   the current MacBook lineup

02:11:27   And then downright problems boy. Oh boy is the iPad hardware just amazing the display and and

02:11:34   Being the first thing to have true tone and the lightweightness and the new speakers that are promotion

02:11:40   Yeah, and promotion and I mean really leading the way in certain hardware

02:11:45   regards above and beyond even the iPhone and the Mac

02:11:49   You know that it arguably the best product a hardware product Apple ever has ever made

02:11:54   It's really remarkable the a series processor in those makes the core M's in I don't know until doesn't call them core M's anymore

02:11:59   But that's BS that it makes the core M's cry. Yeah, you can see them wanting to jump off the tables

02:12:04   Well, do you you know on that point on that point? Have you seen the battery life that these new Microsoft machines?

02:12:10   yeah, Windows machines running ARM processors are getting like that to me is the

02:12:18   And hey, where the hell is, you know, something's got to give here.

02:12:22   Like for all of the just internally looking at Apple's product speculation, and even if

02:12:27   you only look at Apple's products, it sure seems as though Apple ought to be inching

02:12:32   closer to releasing MacBooks that have A-series processors.

02:12:39   Microsoft released these new surfaces.

02:12:40   Or a clamshell iPad.

02:12:41   Yeah, or a clamshell iPad, one or both, you know.

02:12:44   I don't know.

02:12:47   But the new Windows Surface machines running the full version of Windows, not like RT was

02:12:53   when they first tried to arm, are getting like 20 hours of battery life.

02:12:57   Yeah, yeah, big batteries in there.

02:12:59   And people are out in the real world saying, "Yeah, I actually have been using this for

02:13:06   three days nonstop and haven't plugged it in once, and I'm still not in the red."

02:13:11   Like 20 hours, no joke, battery life.

02:13:14   is no there is no Mac that gets that iPads don't get it either. But that's because of

02:13:20   how lightweight they are. Apple could easily make an iPad that weighs as much as an iPad

02:13:24   from a few years ago that gets 20 hours of battery life. That is battery in the keyboard.

02:13:31   I mean, which is what some of them do. Right. You know, iPad, so I would say iPads, right

02:13:37   now iPads and iPad pros get that amazing battery life, even if the number is 10 hours instead

02:13:42   a 20. That's by design. At this point, given iPads, and now given these arm-based surfaces,

02:13:52   there is no MacBook made that you can say gets good battery life. It's only good

02:13:59   for Intel, the Intel world. It's no longer state of the art. And I think that's a problem.

02:14:05   No, totally agreed.

02:14:09   And I think like you said, I don't think the solution is going to come from Intel.

02:14:12   I think the solution is that they've got to move to ARM.

02:14:15   And if I mean, anecdotally, they've had ARM MacBooks or ARM clamshells running iOS or Mac OS

02:14:24   ported to ARM for years, they just haven't pulled the trigger on them.

02:14:27   Yeah, I mean, I think everybody after I think after the Intel transition a decade ago, I don't

02:14:34   think I don't I don't think anybody is ever going to not believe that there are versions

02:14:41   of everything Apple has running on everything Apple has right. Maybe there's not a blogger

02:14:46   or podcaster can conjecture about it. Apple has the resources and money certainly to prototype

02:14:52   and certainly clamshell iOS device. I can't believe they don't have it. Certainly Mac

02:14:57   Mac OS compiling on arm 64. I can't believe that they don't

02:15:03   have I'd be I'd be flabbergasted. The only thing I

02:15:06   think that was actually public. There was a intern who did it and

02:15:09   then he published the paper on porting at least a part of Mac OS

02:15:13   to to the arm stack. The only thing I would question is I don't

02:15:18   know, do they secretly have a version of iOS running on x 86?

02:15:23   I don't think I don't know that they'd even waste time with it

02:15:25   because I'm not sure that there's any, is there any scenario where they could see that being a

02:15:30   thing? I don't think. Yeah, that would be seeding, that'd be going backwards almost from Apple's

02:15:37   traditional desire to control their stack. I wonder though, I remember when I was at

02:15:42   Barebone Software, and I forget which compiler was which, but they, it was like during, you know,

02:15:50   earlier 2000, 2002. And I think BBEdit was still being compiled with CodeWarrior, but

02:16:01   they got it running, compiling cleanly on GCC and Xcode too. One, thinking it was the

02:16:08   right thing to do for the future. I could be getting this backwards, but there were

02:16:11   at least two. It was a time when there were multiple compilers that professional Mac users

02:16:15   could choose from. And bare bones had always kept BB edit running cleanly on both because

02:16:20   it was just good practice for your source code. You know, that you don't want to get

02:16:24   trapped into something like that, you know, and I think, you know, that was what the next

02:16:28   crew did coming over, you know, where next was this portable operating system that ran

02:16:32   on originally ran on the Motorola 68, oh, 40. And then they got it running on sun's

02:16:38   spark or whatever the hell it was. And then they ported it to x 86. And they had this

02:16:43   same source thing that could compile across all this. And then when they needed to port

02:16:46   it to PowerPC, when Apple bought Next, it was that, you know, at least going through

02:16:51   the source code and getting it to compile was an issue. So maybe they have iOS compiling

02:16:55   on Intel just for that, but I doubt it.

02:16:58   Maybe they have Apple x86, so there's AMD x86.

02:17:01   Yeah, yeah.

02:17:02   They've experimented with that.

02:17:03   Ooh, that would be neat. What else? Year in review. I feel like we've talked so much

02:17:09   much about iPhone in the last few months that it's just a rehash of recent episodes, but

02:17:13   I think that the iPhone is in a great place. I think iPhone X is a rousing success in every

02:17:21   regard, hardware and software. I couldn't be happier with it, and I really think it's

02:17:29   to me it's the best proof that Apple still has it, whatever it is, even if it's not there

02:17:33   across the board in every product.

02:17:35   Yeah, absolutely. I mean, it's just phenomenal hardware, really, really great software and

02:17:41   services integration. And it's absolutely not perfect, but it's one of those things

02:17:45   that it makes me feel like the future of phones. It's like when you saw that original iPhone,

02:17:50   or you saw the iPhone 4, you go, "Oh yeah, I know what the next few years of iPhone are

02:17:54   going to be." And this gives me this feeling like, yes, it's the first version of Face

02:17:59   ID and the first version of OLED and all these things, but I'm excited because this is a

02:18:03   whole new generation of iPhone again. And they absolutely nailed that from just the

02:18:07   point of view of making that next generation product.

02:18:09   Right. I feel like, you know, it's, you know, the oldest story in the world that Apple's

02:18:15   key is that they do the hardware and the software. But I think it's interesting that, to me,

02:18:21   the most important hardware on the Mac side is the MacBooks. Like you said, that's about

02:18:24   that's what some people, that's the only thing they consider. Yeah. And so as cool as the

02:18:29   iMac Pro is and it's really cool that they've made a really awesome Pro computer that's

02:18:34   a desktop. I think it's a real problem that the hardware, the keyboard, and maybe some

02:18:39   other things, or maybe just the fact like you said that there's not a wide enough lineup,

02:18:43   that there isn't a "hey, here's more ports and a thicker one for pros of a certain need."

02:18:52   So you've got the hardware problems on the MacBook. You've got the OS, which is just

02:18:58   isn't truly thought through for productivity for the iPad. So you've got fantastic hardware,

02:19:06   near-perfect hardware for what they're trying to do with software that still conceptually

02:19:10   falls short. Then you've got the iPhone, which I think is really the epitome of Apple,

02:19:16   where they've got super great hardware and a really good OS.

02:19:21   Yeah, absolutely. iPad Pro, I mean, I think that was a good way to end the year. And like

02:19:28   you said, it's obviously it's, you know, desktops are for a niche and the iPad Pro is for a

02:19:32   niche within the niche. But boy is it, you know, Apple said, you know, it was interesting

02:19:37   earlier in the year when they had a couple of us out there to say, look, Mac Pro, we're,

02:19:43   we've got something, it'll be a while, we're gonna have an iMac Pro. We love the pro market,

02:19:48   We hear you.

02:19:49   We are the pro market here within the company.

02:19:51   And it was great to hear that,

02:19:54   but the proof is in the pudding.

02:19:57   What's that saying?

02:19:58   - Well, you need it.

02:19:59   It's sort of like,

02:20:00   some companies just have to make a hypercar.

02:20:01   You have to have that Lamborghini, that Ferrari,

02:20:03   that Veyron, that Bugatti on the top

02:20:07   because it's aspirational.

02:20:08   And the iMac Pro, it's not gonna have the market

02:20:11   that the MacBooks have, but it doesn't need to.

02:20:13   It just needs to be sitting there

02:20:14   showing that Apple can make amazing hardware

02:20:16   and making people interested in Mac.

02:20:18   Maybe you won't go and buy that,

02:20:19   but you're like Apple makes kick-ass computers.

02:20:22   And if you don't think that, you start looking elsewhere.

02:20:24   So it's important for the overall halo

02:20:26   to have those machines.

02:20:27   - There's a new Acura commercial I've seen

02:20:28   over and over and over again during football games

02:20:30   last few weeks that literally does that.

02:20:33   It just starts with an NSX roaring

02:20:36   around a racetrack corner.

02:20:38   And they're talking about the technology

02:20:39   that they've put into it.

02:20:40   And then it turns into a Honda Accord

02:20:44   or something like that, and then to a Honda Civic.

02:20:45   I forget if they're all Acuras or if it's a mix, but somehow making the argument that

02:20:51   the consumer family $23,000 or whatever in accord costs these days, I have no idea. A

02:21:01   very typical top-selling family car benefits from the technology and advances that the

02:21:07   NSX super race car has, even if there's no way in hell that a family of four is ever

02:21:15   going to buy an Acura NSX.

02:21:18   Yeah, totally.

02:21:19   But you get the advantage of lower yields and higher price points, so you can experiment

02:21:23   more and you can rush.

02:21:24   You can shake out that technology and then it does filter down.

02:21:26   Yeah, and I think that the excitement with the iPad or iMac Pro, you can tell I'm getting

02:21:31   punchy from the length of the show that I'm mispronouncing.

02:21:33   Sure.

02:21:34   I'm using the wrong name for more things.

02:21:36   The excitement of and the frustration before the iMac Pro actually shipped is not just

02:21:42   that there are people like us who want that sort of race car computer from Apple and who

02:21:50   used to buy them and still need them and want them.

02:21:53   It's the knowledge that Apple's current state, their financial wherewithal, their custom

02:22:02   chip making wherewithal is that if they set their minds to it, they could do a better

02:22:07   job than ever before. Right? That's the first. It's not just that you want Apple to make

02:22:11   a pro computer. It's that you know that if they really wanted to, they could do something

02:22:15   that would be mind blowing like the iMac Pro, which has all of this performance and really,

02:22:22   really struggles to work itself into enough of a lather to have the fans come on unless

02:22:28   you open dragthingsaboutbox.com. I'm pretty sure dragthingsaboutbox is not a CPU or GPU

02:22:43   stressor. I don't even think it's ready.

02:22:45   No, I don't think he's put a YARK kit into that yet.

02:22:47   No, but dragthing will do it. Anyway, that's my summary of the year. Anything else before

02:22:53   we knock this off?

02:22:54   No, I think that's spot on and I think it's gonna be interesting to see you know again people apples riches company world

02:23:01   But they don't have infinite resources

02:23:02   There's a limit to the amount of people who are willing to work in Cupertino for the amount of money that Apple pays

02:23:07   Rather than the allure of startups and they can't focus those people on multiple products every product

02:23:12   They focus on is a product that they can't focus on at the same time

02:23:15   And that's why I think we get you know, if it's not our favorite product that's getting the attention we get super frustrated

02:23:19   So it took them a lot to get the iMac Pro out and it meant we couldn't get a Mac Mini and we couldn't get

02:23:24   a Mac Pro. But hopefully as those machines come out, you know…

02:23:28   They can increase headcount and they have increased headcount, but it is…

02:23:31   Yes. And money alone… and money alone can make

02:23:35   salaries go higher, but money alone can't increase the number of A talent designers,

02:23:41   engineers, people there are in the world, right? Like the Apple… one of the biggest

02:23:45   constraints on Apple, it's always been, and it's a constraint on every company,

02:23:49   But talent is an enormous constraint because there's only so much of it in the world.

02:23:55   And Apple can't do what we want Apple to do without A-level talent.

02:24:01   And I think some of the—

02:24:02   And you have these problems because you can't—not everyone who's an A-level talent wants to

02:24:05   work in Cupertino or at Apple.

02:24:07   And also, once you scale it, you get a whole bunch of other—I think the biggest problem-facing

02:24:12   Apple—and I wrote about this at the end of the year—is scaling.

02:24:14   That it's hard to take a company that was built the way Apple was built with small teams

02:24:18   that focus on solving specific problems and scale them across now four platforms and

02:24:23   Podclines that include Mac and iPad and iPhone and Apple watch and air pods and everything else that Apple is doing

02:24:29   And just adding people to that doesn't fix it in some ways. It makes it worse, you know one thing I've heard

02:24:35   Is you know to go circle back an hour to there to why is

02:24:41   Airplay too late. Yes that maybe it wasn't exactly the a team

02:24:46   of that was working on AirPlay 2 and that's not because

02:24:50   Apple wouldn't want to put the a team on AirPlay 2 but that

02:24:54   if the entire a team is already working on

02:24:58   Projects that are deemed essential there's you know, if the best you've got or that is the B team to put on AirPlay 2

02:25:05   That's that's that's who gets it, you know, yeah

02:25:08   Yeah, and you can't put the a team on everything again. Like you put them on iPhone if they're on iPhone

02:25:13   that can't be working on iMac. It's one of those things.

02:25:19   My thanks to our sponsors this week. Squarespace, well, let's do them in order. Let's keep them

02:25:27   in order here. We've got Casper. You can buy an internet or buy a mattress on the internet.

02:25:35   We've got Away. You can buy a suitcase on the internet. Now we've got Squarespace where

02:25:40   can buy an internet on the internet. René, thank you. Everybody can follow René on Twitter

02:25:47   at @RenéRichie. You can see his fine work at iMore.com on a daily basis. And for your

02:25:55   listening pleasure, his rejuvenated vector where I've been a guest. I was a guest a few

02:26:01   weeks ago with René Richie. So if you missed it, if you like listening to me and René

02:26:05   talk, you can go look up the episode of Vector where we were joined by mutual friend Daniel

02:26:10   Jalka. And where do you go? What's the best place to go to get information on the podcast?

02:26:16   For the podcast, just vector.show. And for the column that goes with it, iamware.com/vector.

02:26:21   Vector.show. That's a pretty good domain name. I love these fancy new domain names. Very

02:26:26   cool. Very memorable. Anyway, go check out vector.show. I think people are going to like

02:26:30   it. Renee is doing it on a daily basis, a weekday basis?

02:26:34   Yeah, I do it like five days a week and I'm probably insane, but I'm trying to make it

02:26:39   I think it's interesting. I thought it was nuts when I heard it, but it's not you know like this

02:26:43   It's not two and a half hours. No at five days a week. It is a little bit more like it's tighter

02:26:50   It's you know in a way that you know

02:26:53   There have long been radio and TV shows that are five days a week and they're shorter and more focused

02:26:58   And I think that's kind of a more super short. I think audio version of my column for accessibility

02:27:04   Yeah

02:27:04   So I think that's a really interesting thing to do with the podcast form and I think that a lot of the podcasts

02:27:11   I listen to are in the form of my show or like an ATP

02:27:14   whether once a week or once a week ish like mine, but long and

02:27:19   I think filling the gaps in your what's up next and

02:27:23   overcast with

02:27:25   10 or 15 minute many things is a really really interesting way to play with the form. So I'm enjoying it. Oh

02:27:33   Thank you very much. I do feel I feel almost feel like for as long as we've been doing podcasts

02:27:39   There's been less play with the forum than we did with the early days of the web, you know

02:27:45   Absolutely. So anyway, my thanks to you René. See you next year. Thank you

02:27:49   absolutely