The Talk Show

160: ‘Fresh Out of Prison’ With Nilay Patel


00:00:00   - [Dave] Neil I. Patel, welcome to the talk show.

00:00:03   It's been, I should have had you on before.

00:00:04   I don't even understand how you haven't been on before.

00:00:08   - [Neil] Yeah, it's been a long time coming, man.

00:00:09   I should have had you on the Vergecast.

00:00:11   This is just long overdue.

00:00:12   I'm gonna be on the show and then,

00:00:14   you're like all over the Vox family.

00:00:15   You were on Peter Kafka's show, you told me.

00:00:18   And then in a couple weeks,

00:00:19   we'll have you on the Vergecast,

00:00:21   and then in a couple weeks, we'll have you,

00:00:22   you can just hold, hold Control + Alt + Delete with Walt.

00:00:24   That would actually be a great show.

00:00:25   - [Dave] That would actually be pretty fun.

00:00:28   Do you see the show I'm on with Kafka is out.

00:00:31   - Oh, I haven't seen it or heard it yet.

00:00:34   - I was not aware that there would be photographs.

00:00:36   (laughing)

00:00:38   - Yeah, man.

00:00:39   - My wife screams downstairs like a half an hour ago,

00:00:41   "What is this photo of you?"

00:00:43   It is a very unflattering photo of me.

00:00:44   I look, somehow, I'm not self-conscious.

00:00:48   I don't care, she's like, "Oh my God,

00:00:50   "if there was a terrible photo of me on the internet,

00:00:52   "I would kill myself."

00:00:53   And I was like, "Well, so what?"

00:00:54   - Yeah.

00:00:55   - I was not aware, though, that there would be photos.

00:00:57   And the Kafka show, we recorded together at a little--

00:01:03   it's got a cool little studio and a comedy club in New York.

00:01:07   But it was like 98% humidity in New York.

00:01:11   And I had just taken the subway up.

00:01:13   So I didn't even have my shirt on.

00:01:15   I came out of a sweat box.

00:01:17   Oh my god.

00:01:18   Yeah, I mean--

00:01:19   It was a good show, though.

00:01:21   It was a really good show.

00:01:22   The recode style is to put people

00:01:24   in uncomfortable situations and then get the truth out of them.

00:01:27   Well, his studio wasn't uncomfortable.

00:01:30   It's just that I was not aware that I did not prepare myself for a photo session.

00:01:35   But anyway, there are no photos on the talk show.

00:01:37   Did you get the red Recode chair or is that only on Cara's show?

00:01:40   Only on Cara's show.

00:01:41   This was a very utilitarian little studio.

00:01:45   It's actually, you know, Vox Media acquired Recode last year.

00:01:49   It's been so much fun having that team around the Verge.

00:01:53   Like, we don't do a lot together,

00:01:55   but our sites and our staffs have always been very simpatico

00:01:58   and it has been, they're incredible.

00:02:00   It's just super fun to watch them work.

00:02:01   - Well, we can, we might as well roll right into it then,

00:02:04   'cause I was going to talk about the meta stuff

00:02:06   about the business.

00:02:07   In my opinion, and I'm not just saying this

00:02:09   because you're the guest on my show,

00:02:11   I honestly think both Recode and The Verge

00:02:13   have gotten better in the last year,

00:02:15   and it's very noticeable to me.

00:02:17   And with The Verge, it's a little more subtle,

00:02:19   but with Recode, to me, it's like,

00:02:23   very noticeable that like Re/code can now focus on what Re/code does best and let other stuff,

00:02:29   you know, let you guys, let The Verge do other things. Yeah, I mean, I mean, I always think

00:02:35   Re/code has been great. It has been really fun for us to get Walt and Lauren on our team as product

00:02:42   reviewers and bring all of that experience. I can't, I can't speak highly enough about working

00:02:48   with Walt. It is maybe the best thing that has happened to me in my career to have him around

00:02:52   I mean, he's incredible.

00:02:54   I think, and this is true of me, I've known Walt for a long time.

00:02:58   We should say, John and I have known each other and talked for quite a while.

00:03:02   I think people think of us as like, pissy rifles, but we're not.

00:03:05   We just have different perspectives and it's fun to fight on Twitter, so we do that.

00:03:09   But Walt, I think most people know Walt as the guy who writes the column.

00:03:13   And very few people know Walt as the actually incredible talent and personality that he is.

00:03:19   a huge personality. And he's got a lot of ideas about how to do it. I mean, he started

00:03:25   his column. He was the first one ever to start a personal technology column. He and Kara

00:03:30   started that conference business when no one else is doing that. Now everybody does it.

00:03:34   And they started All Things D as a startup within the journal, and then they went and

00:03:38   started Recode. That's a long history of doing entrepreneurial things in the media, and I'm

00:03:42   trying to do that, and it's difficult. And having him around to help is amazing.

00:03:46   It's not just that he started the column, it's that he started it in the Wall Street

00:03:49   Journal and with that particular audience.

00:03:53   There just had to be so much, like, you've got to be kidding me, why in the world would

00:03:57   we run this personal technology column in the Wall Street Journal?

00:04:00   And it ended up being a huge hit.

00:04:05   It defined the forum.

00:04:07   I think all of us, you, me, everybody, we're all just riffing on what Walt started back

00:04:12   then.

00:04:13   I mean, literally the first line that he ever wrote in the column was like, "Technology's

00:04:15   hard to use.

00:04:16   Yeah, it's true.

00:04:17   It's like we've just been building on that ever since in one way or another.

00:04:21   Right.

00:04:22   It's opaque, it's hard, we've got to understand it and explain it.

00:04:24   And you know, writing from the customers, the real person's perspective, not the enthusiast's

00:04:30   perspective.

00:04:31   Right.

00:04:32   And I think that was a big focus.

00:04:35   And you know, you're talking about Recode and The Verge coming together and sort of

00:04:38   growing.

00:04:39   There's like three perspectives in there that I think are really interesting.

00:04:43   One, I think the big difference between The Verge and ReCode, and it's a really big

00:04:48   difference and we talk about it a lot, is ReCode is interested in the effects on culture

00:04:54   and entertainment and all that stuff, but they are really about technology and business.

00:05:00   They are deep into executive movements, they're deep into Yahoo board struggles, they're

00:05:05   deep into, I think Peter Kafka is the best media reporter in the industry.

00:05:09   I'm not even sure who to compare him to.

00:05:11   He wouldn't let me get too effusive on his show.

00:05:14   No, but seriously.

00:05:16   He's incredible.

00:05:17   I don't know who to even argue if I

00:05:21   was going to take a devil's advocate standpoint as who else

00:05:25   may be the best media reporter.

00:05:27   I don't even know who else I would throw up there.

00:05:29   Really.

00:05:31   It's a one man show.

00:05:32   And obviously, Cara is exemplary,

00:05:33   and they have a staff of--

00:05:34   I think Mark Bergen, for example,

00:05:36   is one of the best Google reporters in the industry,

00:05:37   and on and on it goes.

00:05:41   So it's interesting, Re/Code came on,

00:05:43   and The Verge, we kind of realized, I kind of realized,

00:05:46   well, we don't, there's no point in trying to compete

00:05:48   with some of the best business coverage in the industry.

00:05:51   We're kind of not gonna do that.

00:05:52   We're gonna be what we are,

00:05:54   which is a really big mainstream culture brand.

00:05:58   And the way that we see the culture is through technology.

00:06:01   We are deep nerds, like I'm a huge nerd.

00:06:05   Actually, I've never told you this story, John,

00:06:07   but I'll tell you now.

00:06:08   And I think it's a good setup for maybe the conversation

00:06:11   we'll have later about Apple.

00:06:13   I got my entire start as a nerd and as somebody

00:06:17   who cares about technology by basically showing up every day

00:06:20   at the local Apple reseller in Racine, Wisconsin,

00:06:23   when I was in middle school until they gave me a job.

00:06:26   And my job was to reformat people's computers

00:06:28   with floppies in the basement.

00:06:30   And this thing about ports that you and I have been

00:06:34   arguing about, I just knew when the ports came and went.

00:06:37   because I have basically fixed every model of Macintosh

00:06:41   for years.

00:06:42   And I think that's us.

00:06:45   The Verge is really nerdy, but cares

00:06:47   really deeply about the culture.

00:06:49   And I want The Verge to be a big brand, like a really big,

00:06:52   everybody should be able to read it and understand it

00:06:55   and connect to it in some way.

00:06:56   And I think Recode is really focused on the business

00:07:00   of how this all works.

00:07:00   And I went to the code conference

00:07:02   and I was sitting with Walt afterwards.

00:07:04   And I was like, what is amazing to me is the amount of power

00:07:07   here and how interested ReCode is in interrogating the power.

00:07:11   I think that's fascinating.

00:07:12   I love reading ReCode.

00:07:13   I think they have great reporters

00:07:14   who do great work there.

00:07:15   I'm less interested in the mechanics of power.

00:07:18   I'm more interested in when you buy the stuff,

00:07:21   how does it affect you?

00:07:23   When we make things and these tools have radically

00:07:26   expanded the ability of people to make things

00:07:29   and the number of people who make things,

00:07:32   how does that affect how we make it?

00:07:33   How does it affect creativity?

00:07:34   How does it affect how we distribute it?

00:07:36   How do we talk?

00:07:37   I think that stuff is, that's the Verge stuff.

00:07:39   And so there is, I think focus makes things better.

00:07:42   And I wouldn't say it's been a really,

00:07:46   it's not like explicit, like I commanded

00:07:48   that we're gonna go this way.

00:07:49   That never happened.

00:07:50   But I think the two teams like each other

00:07:52   and work well together, and we've allowed each other

00:07:54   to grow and focus.

00:07:55   - Yeah, and it definitely, in my opinion,

00:07:57   as an outsider, it definitely shows.

00:07:58   And I, if anything, and it's one way

00:08:01   that I can sort of measure it.

00:08:03   Because on a daily basis, I just link to what I think is worth the attention, or that I

00:08:11   have something to comment on.

00:08:12   If it's either something that I think, wow, this is big enough that everybody who comes

00:08:16   to my site, I want them to see it, or maybe that's not quite it, maybe it's a little bit

00:08:20   more I just want to throw in my two cents on this.

00:08:23   And that's really the only things I think about on a daily basis.

00:08:26   But in the aggregate, I can look back and just search and see who I link to.

00:08:31   And my links to The Verge and Recode are both up over the last year.

00:08:34   Oh, that's really interesting.

00:08:35   Those are great stats.

00:08:37   That's way better than comScore or whatever garbage.

00:08:39   And throw that out and start paying you for your link stats.

00:08:42   That'd be great.

00:08:44   And it's interesting to me.

00:08:47   Our racket is in such flux.

00:08:49   And it's probably-- I don't know that it's ever going to settle down again.

00:08:52   I think that that's sort of the way of the-- with media being on the internet instead of

00:08:59   being in print, I just think it's inherent

00:09:02   that there'll be more, people will move around

00:09:04   to jobs more often and publications will merge

00:09:09   and change and fold more frequently

00:09:12   than they did in the old days.

00:09:13   But it's interesting to me too that an awful lot

00:09:16   of the people who I like best have coalesced

00:09:18   onto the Recode and Verge staff.

00:09:20   Like the best example I can think of is my pal Dan Fromer

00:09:24   who's been on this show many times,

00:09:26   now is editor at Recode.

00:09:28   It's just interesting to me that of all the different places that somebody like Dan could

00:09:32   wind up, it's no surprise to me that he's at Recode now.

00:09:35   Yeah, I think the company is called Vox for a reason.

00:09:40   I like working here.

00:09:41   Obviously, I've worked here for a long—I'm making air quotes—a long time.

00:09:45   It's five years.

00:09:46   Forever.

00:09:47   Yeah, forever.

00:09:48   It's literally the whole history of the company.

00:09:50   It wasn't called Vox before The Verge showed up.

00:09:52   But it's called Vox for a reason, and I think from the top down, there's just an enormous

00:09:57   emphasis placed on the value of creativity and the value of journalism.

00:10:03   To me, I think the three big companies that are worth watching in this space, it's like

00:10:09   3.5, right?

00:10:10   There's BuzzFeed, obviously, they're a monster.

00:10:12   I think Vice is super interesting in terms of tone and what they capture about the zeitgeist.

00:10:19   And us, I hope.

00:10:20   And I think the New York Times and Washington Post, they're kind of the 0.5 because they're

00:10:23   these traditional companies that are doing a really good job

00:10:26   of turning into something else.

00:10:28   But the three new media companies,

00:10:30   I can tell you confidently that it's BuzzFeed and Vice,

00:10:33   and I hope Vox is always in that conversation.

00:10:35   And they just represent, I think,

00:10:37   three different tacks at it.

00:10:40   And I think the one that you're noticing about us is

00:10:43   we let people run really fast,

00:10:45   but we kind of demand that everybody not be beholden

00:10:49   to what worked yesterday.

00:10:51   And so if you're a creative person,

00:10:53   I think that's a good pitch.

00:10:54   - I completely agree.

00:10:56   So keep it up.

00:10:57   - We're working on it.

00:10:59   I gotta say, you know, it's funny

00:11:00   'cause you mentioned this time of flux.

00:11:02   Daring Fireball, the last site

00:11:05   that I go to every day on the desktop.

00:11:08   I can't think of another website

00:11:10   that I type into a desktop browser every day

00:11:12   as a matter of court.

00:11:14   Not even, like The Verge, I do it because I work here,

00:11:17   but you know, I generally consume The Verge

00:11:22   about as much in my feeds as I do

00:11:26   like by typing the website in.

00:11:28   Daring Fireball, for better or worse,

00:11:29   like rarely shows up in my feeds,

00:11:31   but I religiously have it on the desktop.

00:11:34   So you've got it, you're good.

00:11:35   I mean, are your stats showing that people

00:11:37   are coming at you from social the way everybody else's is?

00:11:39   - No. (laughs)

00:11:44   - Right?

00:11:45   - The vast majority of my hits go right to the homepage still

00:11:49   and so I actually worry about that

00:11:51   because I worry that having a,

00:11:53   I mean, you can tell by looking at the site.

00:11:55   I mean, the design of the site is about,

00:11:57   the whole point of the simplicity

00:12:01   and the top-down chronological order of Daring Firewall is,

00:12:04   my assumption is, sure, there are some people

00:12:08   who are gonna check it multiple times a day.

00:12:10   God bless you, I love you, you're the best readers I have.

00:12:13   But there's other people who like what I have to say,

00:12:17   but either aren't that obsessive about checking the web,

00:12:20   or they're more disciplined and don't dick around on the web.

00:12:24   Or maybe they're just really freaking busy

00:12:27   and they don't have time.

00:12:29   And I love the idea that if somebody is really, really

00:12:31   busy, but it's like the end of the day

00:12:33   and they're getting ready to go home and be with the family

00:12:36   or whatever, and they think, well,

00:12:37   let me just go check during Fireball

00:12:39   and see if there's anything I should know about.

00:12:41   That's sort of what I hope to be for people.

00:12:44   But I worry, though, that that model,

00:12:46   because that basic idea of, hey, go to this site's home page

00:12:49   sort of going away that it's problematic for me. I don't know.

00:12:54   I don't know. The Verge has the biggest desktop homepage inside of Vox Media by a huge factor.

00:13:02   And it hasn't—as far as near as I can tell, our traffic has massively increased over the

00:13:06   years and our video views are—they're up literally 2,500% month to month this past—it's

00:13:13   bonkers, stupid Facebook-inflated numbers. But below all of that is like this holding

00:13:19   steady desktop audience. And I do think it's, I think you and I are in a unique position

00:13:25   against sort of the rest of the mass media. We have a lot of nerds at work. Nerds at work

00:13:29   have a 24-inch monitor sitting next to their other 24-inch monitor and they just leave

00:13:33   our sites open. So be it, you know, I think that audience is not going away.

00:13:38   Yeah, the other thing is that I I do nothing on Facebook or literally I have no, you know

00:13:44   I don't I don't use it personally and I don't have any daring fireball set up on Facebook

00:13:48   I've thought about that for a long time and it's been I've you know been like thinking maybe I should maybe I shouldn't

00:13:55   Yesterday's news made me think well

00:13:57   Kind of glad that I didn't

00:14:00   But so and I and I get nothing from Facebook

00:14:04   I mean like I'm looking at my refers right now and like

00:14:07   It's not even in the top 20. So there's not one thing from Facebook, but maybe they don't send a refer code

00:14:13   I don't know

00:14:14   Maybe I should start making like like daring fireball food videos and that should be your Facebook

00:14:19   Like you just making really nice bourbon cocktails like I would watch that. That'd be great

00:14:24   Yeah, it would get old quick though. Cuz I don't know how to make like I don't know

00:14:28   I don't even know how to make three cocktails. So

00:14:30   Busby'd only knows how to make like four kinds of cookie man. They're just going back to it every time

00:14:35   Yes, like we take the Twitter links that come in from Tico

00:14:40   That's a that's pretty big but it's nowhere near as big as the homepage home page is

00:14:45   Let me see here. It's about

00:14:47   20 times more popular than my most popular individual story yesterday. Yeah, I mean and a

00:14:55   Good metric for us that we use and don't use is our homepage when we look at our real-time stats

00:15:02   generally is the most popular page on the site.

00:15:04   If a story beats the homepage,

00:15:06   we're like, that story's doing great.

00:15:08   So I don't think it's going away.

00:15:11   I just don't think desktop computers at work are going away.

00:15:15   I have this crazy sort of three drinks in,

00:15:18   I start babbling about this theory,

00:15:20   where the nature of productivity at work

00:15:22   has totally changed because of the internet,

00:15:25   where the typical news consumer 25 years ago

00:15:29   would read the news in the morning, go to work,

00:15:32   presumably do work at work, come home,

00:15:34   watch the evening news, and go to bed and start over.

00:15:37   And now it's like, you wake up in the morning,

00:15:39   you read news, you go to work, you read even more news.

00:15:41   Everyone's traffic goes up and you go home

00:15:42   and you consume Netflix.

00:15:44   And when do people do work has become

00:15:47   an open question to me, because everyone's just reading news

00:15:51   all day long on the internet.

00:15:52   I don't think that audience, I think it might get mediated

00:15:55   through different platforms.

00:15:56   I think, obviously, the bigger audience is on mobile,

00:15:59   But fundamentally, I think people

00:16:01   are going to look at big screens at work a lot.

00:16:04   And often what they're going to look at on those big screens

00:16:06   is news.

00:16:06   So my level of panic about a Facebook algorithm change

00:16:10   is basically zero, because the Verge is big enough

00:16:12   and honestly has a large enough referral base.

00:16:16   Google Search is still a massive referral base into the Verge.

00:16:20   I'm not worried about a little algo change here and there,

00:16:23   as long as we just, in the aggregate, keep growing.

00:16:26   - Yeah, I think, you know, it's,

00:16:29   I think the best thing, and the best long-term strategy,

00:16:33   it's just common sense, is to build a brand

00:16:37   where people, you know, remember the source.

00:16:42   Whether it's a byline, which is a little bit more like me

00:16:46   as a one-man show, or just, oh, I know The Verge,

00:16:48   I definitely want to read The Verge's take

00:16:50   on the new, this new iPad.

00:16:54   It's not just that, oh, I want to read an iPad review.

00:16:58   It's, oh, I definitely want to see the verges version.

00:17:00   If you don't have that, that's where you're just--

00:17:02   I think you're screwed eventually,

00:17:04   because something's going to change if you're just

00:17:06   chasing social traffic for the sake of social traffic

00:17:11   without any real brand.

00:17:13   If people don't know what site they're on, then you're screwed.

00:17:16   So we actually made--

00:17:18   we've always had this big video program,

00:17:19   but we made a huge investment in photography.

00:17:22   I'm going to say design even though I think we've always had a big investment in design,

00:17:26   but photography and story design have become a bigger investment for us this year because

00:17:31   we realized what are the places inside of a story that's traveling and getting disaggregated

00:17:36   everywhere that you can touch.

00:17:38   It's like, yep, bylines, style, obviously content, our video, we've got to level it

00:17:44   up.

00:17:45   We've been pretty good at it but want to make it better.

00:17:47   But then photos travel best of all, actually.

00:17:50   You can look at it and be like, "Oh, that's a Verge photo."

00:17:52   So we made a big investment there this year,

00:17:53   and it's been going pretty well.

00:17:55   I'm fairly pleased with sort of the notch up we've taken.

00:17:59   And it's funny 'cause it's all the stuff

00:18:01   is like a huge computer nerd that I love.

00:18:03   It's like, now we've got really expensive cameras

00:18:06   and Wacom tablets and huge monitors with hoods.

00:18:08   And I'm like, yes, this is exactly what I thought

00:18:10   working in the media would be like.

00:18:13   And it's just a good time.

00:18:14   - Let me take a break and thank the first sponsor

00:18:18   of the show, great sponsor.

00:18:19   This is the second time they've sponsored.

00:18:21   I love this company.

00:18:22   It's Eero, E-E-R-O.

00:18:25   Now, despite its importance,

00:18:26   I would just dare say ubiquitousness,

00:18:29   Wi-Fi is broken.

00:18:30   Imagine if the electricity in your house

00:18:32   didn't reach certain parts,

00:18:34   like if there was a corner of your bedroom

00:18:36   where you just couldn't get electricity,

00:18:38   or it was just spotty in others.

00:18:39   Sometimes it worked, sometimes it didn't.

00:18:41   It would be ridiculous.

00:18:42   Nobody would put up with that.

00:18:43   But that's the status quo for Wi-Fi,

00:18:45   with dead zones and buffering

00:18:47   and rooms that get a good signal

00:18:49   and rooms that don't, right in your same house.

00:18:51   Eero was designed to change all of this.

00:18:54   The company manufactures a single device.

00:18:57   It's a small, elegant box about the size of an Apple TV.

00:18:59   It sort of looks like an Apple product,

00:19:01   round racks or a little, if you wanna call it a squircle.

00:19:05   Super simple app, you put the app on your phone

00:19:11   and you just set it up through there.

00:19:13   And so you don't have to go through

00:19:14   one of those janky web interfaces

00:19:16   where you're typing in a thing.

00:19:18   You just get on the app and you set it up and you put a couple of these heroes throughout your home

00:19:22   There's you one of them has to be the one that is like the the like main one where you plug your cable in

00:19:28   But it's the same device. So it doesn't have you don't have to keep track of which ones the special first one

00:19:33   You just put like I think the main one that you did all sorts of packs depends on the size of your house

00:19:37   You go to their website

00:19:39   at

00:19:40   Euro calm and they will

00:19:45   Tell you how many to buy but I think the default is a three-pack

00:19:47   you get three or four of these things you put a couple of them throughout your house and they just

00:19:52   do all the

00:19:55   Magic behind the scenes to just give a strong signal. You don't have to do anything. You don't have to act like a network

00:20:00   admin

00:20:02   so super easy

00:20:04   Just go to ero comm its Wi-Fi that works and use the code

00:20:09   Talk show and you will get free overnight shipping

00:20:14   I've got this set up in my house. Could not be easier, and my Wi-Fi is better than ever,

00:20:20   and I get a better signal in my bedroom, which never used to get a good signal,

00:20:24   and I get a signal, and now I do get a signal in my garage, which I never did before,

00:20:28   which was always a huge pain in the ass when you'd get in the car and try to sync something

00:20:35   or get something. My phone would always think that it was connected to the Wi-Fi,

00:20:39   but it couldn't really get a signal. Huge pain in the ass. No more, thanks to Eero. Go to eero.com

00:20:43   and remember that code "talk show" and you'll get free overnight shipping.

00:20:46   First heard of Eero from Walt Mossberg's review.

00:20:51   Yeah, I think I'm reading an Eero ad on the Verge House later today. It's a real Eero moment.

00:20:55   I love this company. I gotta get it all set up in my parents' house.

00:20:59   Their house is too big for like normal, it's like a big Wisconsin rambly house.

00:21:03   I'm going there in August, I'm gonna set it up and get it right.

00:21:08   My parents had this thing happen to them where AT&T called them

00:21:12   I was like, "Hey, you've got U-verse,

00:21:14   "and your son pays for your phones on an AT&T account.

00:21:18   "Why don't you combine them?

00:21:19   "We'll give you a free smart home."

00:21:21   My dad was like, "Yeah, it sounds great."

00:21:22   And now it's just like garbage smart home stuff.

00:21:26   Just like, I'm so terrified that it's gonna get hacked.

00:21:30   Anytime my parents have to use more software,

00:21:32   I get very afraid.

00:21:33   - I have a good story. - It's the worst.

00:21:36   - I gotta interrupt you.

00:21:37   I just figured out, I actually took a guess,

00:21:39   and it was the wrong guess.

00:21:41   The code is not actually talk show.

00:21:42   The code is actually the talk show.

00:21:45   - There you go.

00:21:45   - With the talk show.

00:21:46   Which is even better.

00:21:47   I hate to say it.

00:21:48   I don't wanna say bad things about sponsors

00:21:50   who just use the code talk show.

00:21:51   But I paid for the the, and I like it when I use it.

00:21:54   And in fact, the code for Eero is the talk show.

00:21:58   And that's the code you need for free overnight shipping.

00:22:00   Hopefully, I don't even wanna edit this.

00:22:01   Don't edit it, Caleb.

00:22:02   Just let this roll.

00:22:04   This will make it stick in people's heads.

00:22:05   People will remember it when they go to Eero.

00:22:07   It's the talk show because I had to correct it.

00:22:10   theory about podcast ad reads is people read them or people listen to them because I blow them so

00:22:15   repeatedly. And once this whole industry gets professionalized, it's all over.

00:22:20   Yeah, we're totally sunk. It's right now. I do think that people say that. I often say like,

00:22:24   I'll talk to people about the show. I'm like, what about the ads? You skip the ads? Because I've

00:22:28   often said that I, here's my goal with the ad reads. My goal with the ad reads is to do whatever

00:22:32   I can to make you not want to skip, even if it's a sponsor you've heard before. And I think you're

00:22:39   You're right that half of the fun is to see how I screw it up.

00:22:43   Like I blow them routinely and the bigger advertisers, they're starting to poke around

00:22:49   the edges of the industry and as the card companies and banks and whoever the hell shows

00:22:55   up and they're like, "We need you to be more professional," people are just going

00:22:59   to start skipping the ads.

00:23:01   It's good.

00:23:02   This is why you don't want metrics in podcasts.

00:23:04   You don't want to know.

00:23:05   I totally agree.

00:23:06   I was just talking to Peter Kafka about that.

00:23:08   I don't think you want metrics.

00:23:10   I know that people think they want them,

00:23:11   but I don't think you really want them.

00:23:15   I'm sure Peter had smarter stuff than me to say about it.

00:23:17   But my read on it is that if their big money is ever

00:23:21   going to enter podcast, the push for metrics is going to happen.

00:23:25   Because everything I know about our advertising--

00:23:27   and I know very little about our advertising-- but

00:23:29   suggests that the big money is very

00:23:31   interested in making sure it gets a return on its investment.

00:23:34   Yeah, but I feel like--

00:23:36   I honestly believe that the fact that you can measure more accurately, and they do on

00:23:42   most web ads, is actually detrimental to everybody.

00:23:46   People think that they want the stats, and they think that they do, but all it leads

00:23:49   is to...

00:23:53   It's like a be careful what you measure type of situation, because then you start optimizing

00:23:56   to what you're measuring, which isn't really the thing you want to.

00:24:02   The most important thing that we do is,

00:24:05   or the most important resource,

00:24:06   the only two resources that are truly scarce

00:24:08   in this racket is attention and money, dollars.

00:24:13   And everybody is, of course,

00:24:16   everybody keeps track of the dollars.

00:24:18   Nobody gets fooled and doesn't keep track of dollars

00:24:21   on any end.

00:24:22   The advertisers know what they're spending,

00:24:24   they know what they should be spending,

00:24:25   and the people like us who run podcasts and websites

00:24:29   know how much we're making.

00:24:31   But I feel like measuring attention is not... you can't do it through JavaScript and hits and web server logs.

00:24:40   That's not actually accurate.

00:24:42   Yeah, well, it depends on what you slice.

00:24:46   I think, again, I'm sure we're just recapitulating conversation we had with somebody who's much smarter about this than me.

00:24:53   But there's... I don't think boxes and banners are the future of advertising.

00:25:00   and I don't think you can measure it like I bought this many ads and I'm expecting this many more sales

00:25:06   that will kill you. I think people now know what the hell Eero is because they've heard you say it

00:25:12   that's really measurable in like a pretty specific way. But you got to know like if you buy an ad on

00:25:20   a podcast, no one listens to that podcast, like you kind of you didn't even get that out of it.

00:25:24   I do agree though it's you know so Eero will know how well this does because people will use that

00:25:29   that code, the talk show, and they will figure out,

00:25:32   wow, look at, or hopefully, wow, look at how many people

00:25:35   bought the kit from that code,

00:25:37   'cause they can track it right to the code.

00:25:39   So that, they do get that, right?

00:25:41   And I guess the problem is, like with the big money,

00:25:44   is that when Coke gets into podcast ads,

00:25:48   they're not gonna have a code where you,

00:25:49   (laughing)

00:25:50   you know, like when you go to the counter

00:25:53   at your local bodega and buy a Coke,

00:25:56   give 'em the code, the talk show,

00:25:58   So they know that's why you're buying the Coke.

00:26:00   It doesn't work for them, right?

00:26:02   And on the other hand, people want Coke to get into podcast advertising because Coca-Cola

00:26:07   Company spends an awful lot of money on ads, and it would be nice if some of it went to

00:26:11   podcast.

00:26:12   So I do understand that there's a dilemma there where the sponsors who are into podcasting

00:26:16   right now are these direct sale companies that the codes work great.

00:26:22   They really do.

00:26:23   I mean, they know exactly how well they're doing.

00:26:26   Yeah, but they but yeah, it doesn't work for bigger brands though, right and you know the

00:26:32   for a bigger media company

00:26:35   Let's everybody make a podcast is maybe a worse use of time than right x more articles, right?

00:26:42   And it's hard it's hard for me because I don't I can't make decisions about my budget because I don't know

00:26:48   Anything about the revenue so it's it's tough. It's I think it's a really interesting though

00:26:53   I think there's like five or six inflection points happening in technology right now that

00:26:59   Basically make it seem like the industry is chaos, which means it's the best time to write about technology

00:27:06   it's the most fun because almost anything could happen in any direction and

00:27:10   There's just no way to know except to write about it and figure it out and try to report on it and talk to smart people

00:27:15   But it is absolutely chaos

00:27:18   Yeah, what do you think some of those inflection points are?

00:27:23   So I think the sort of the settling of the phone industry has led to a ton of chaos

00:27:28   I think there's a lot of money floating around in the world a lot of energy a lot of people who?

00:27:33   Want to make stuff around technology. Well, the other lines I think before you move beyond the phone thing

00:27:39   I think that it you have to and we knew this we could see where it was going and you could see that the the

00:27:45   Graphs, but now that we're there. It's amazing. It's which is that

00:27:51   everybody on the planet, anywhere where,

00:27:55   who has even vaguely enough money

00:27:58   to possibly own a smartphone has one.

00:28:02   - Yeah. - And the number,

00:28:03   and there's an economic angle,

00:28:05   I don't know if this is one of your inflections,

00:28:06   but I don't wanna steal it,

00:28:07   but the fact that the graph of how many people

00:28:11   live in abject poverty anywhere in the world,

00:28:13   it's very likely that we might get to zero

00:28:16   in the next 10 or 15 years, which is amazing.

00:28:20   And that means everybody's got one of these things.

00:28:22   And the implication, everybody knew

00:28:26   that was gonna be amazing, but it's like,

00:28:28   you just couldn't foresee all of the implications of it.

00:28:32   - Right, and I think, so yeah, that's like,

00:28:35   it's like one B, right?

00:28:37   It's like, the Smartphone thing happened,

00:28:39   we landed on the two platforms,

00:28:42   and what I was saying about a lot of people

00:28:43   with money and energy, they've realized

00:28:45   that they can't compete or invest in platforms.

00:28:50   They're not gonna win.

00:28:52   Windows Phone is just not gonna fucking happen.

00:28:54   Blackberry, RIP, right?

00:28:58   So that money has to go somewhere else.

00:29:00   Those companies, their investment,

00:29:02   if the companies die, the people who work there,

00:29:05   they have to go somewhere else.

00:29:07   And so all of that energy

00:29:09   is going in a thousand different directions.

00:29:12   So that just, chaos.

00:29:14   fun chaos, but chaos nevertheless. Then I think there's the next layer, which is, okay, everybody has these things,

00:29:21   what are we going to do with them? I think the first wave of that was the app store, and you saw just a ton of energy and effort and interest in that.

00:29:32   I think, you know, Apple just made a bunch of moves around subscriptions, I think that's in response to kind of the great settling of the app store.

00:29:39   We put a bunch of money, ping ponged all around, it leveled off, we now know that the average number of apps people download in a month is zero.

00:29:47   Search is hard, discovery is hard, getting people to pay more than a dollar is hard.

00:29:54   Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, a handful of games, those are apps.

00:29:59   Right, that's cool, and that's fine.

00:30:02   So that chaos is still a little there, and I think there's a lot of interest on subscriptions.

00:30:07   Now it's like moving to the next thing.

00:30:11   There was so much discussion with everybody in my circle at WWDC this year about the App

00:30:17   Store, just because there was the news that came out the week before, and it was like,

00:30:21   how does this settle?

00:30:22   But the one thing that every discussion eventually settled upon, every single time, all week

00:30:26   long, was eventually sort of a deep sigh.

00:30:32   you believe, would you have ever believed, like in 2008, 2009, 2010, the gold rush years

00:30:40   of the App Store, would you ever have believed that when the dust settled, that the top earning

00:30:45   charts would, every single one of them was some kind of scammy game where they're trying

00:30:49   to get people to buy pots of gold? Every single one is just an in-app, it's some kind of game

00:30:56   that's like designed like a slot machine to keep you pumping money into it.

00:31:00   Well it's funny, I have all these books, I get some of these hilarious free pop business

00:31:05   books, and I have like three or four of them, like "Gamify your business!

00:31:08   Gamify your app!

00:31:09   The gamification is the future!"

00:31:10   And it's like, well yeah, of course the fucking games won.

00:31:14   We tried to gamify Facebook to make it stickier, but actually the game is just a game.

00:31:21   I don't think that's surprising.

00:31:22   I think that business model emerged as, you know, there's constraint on the app store,

00:31:27   and how do you perfectly optimize to a constraint?

00:31:30   you just say, "Yeah, whatever, Apple can have 30%, but we're just going to invent a machine

00:31:33   that pulls money out of you." And we're not necessarily even going to deliver value behind

00:31:38   the dopamine rush of 20 more minutes of this game. Well, I think that those companies in particular,

00:31:44   I mean, I'm sure they would, if Apple just said next year across the board, we're just changing

00:31:49   it from 70/30 to 85/15 for everything, I'm sure they wouldn't refuse the extra money, but I feel

00:31:55   feel like the in-app purchase companies, the game companies,

00:32:01   they're just fine with the 70/30 split,

00:32:03   because Apple's literally made this machine that

00:32:06   lets them just pull money out of people's pockets.

00:32:08   I don't even think--

00:32:09   I doubt they even think about the 30%, right?

00:32:11   No, I don't think so.

00:32:12   They're selling a product at zero cost.

00:32:14   It costs them nothing to make and nothing to distribute,

00:32:16   and it's just a machine.

00:32:18   Anyway, so look, I think that's one--

00:32:20   that's like, there was the big leveling of the platform war.

00:32:23   There's the big leveling of the app market that's like settled.

00:32:27   And then you just look around and it's like, what is VR going to happen?

00:32:33   Is AR a thing? How on earth are we going to distribute the media at all?

00:32:38   Right? Like if we can't, if people are moving to apps, not browsers,

00:32:43   what are the apps you're going to use?

00:32:46   Oh, we can't get an app in the store cause that's really hard.

00:32:48   And no publisher app outside of maybe a handful of New York Times apps have

00:32:53   taken off and even then they haven't. There's not a great feed reader on the phone.

00:32:59   Okay we got to deal with Twitter and Facebook. Okay all they want is video. Oh my god YouTube

00:33:04   is the second biggest search engine in the world and no one ever thinks about it. Those

00:33:08   are all agents of chaos right? They're forces that create just a lot of innovation because

00:33:14   people are trying to figure out like can I win this game? Can I win all the games? I

00:33:19   I think that's fascinating.

00:33:20   I think that's fundamentally a technology story.

00:33:23   It's people understanding the constraints of platforms, whether the platform is iOS

00:33:27   or it's the app store or it's whatever happens inside of Facebook's algorithm or

00:33:32   whatever happens inside of Google search.

00:33:35   There's a remarkable amount of innovation and investment there, but there's no answers

00:33:39   at all.

00:33:40   It is a complete moment of change.

00:33:42   I think that's just really interesting.

00:33:45   I think it is often confusing for the people who are investing in that confusion tends

00:33:51   to leak out into the public consciousness.

00:33:53   But I don't think it's all that confusing for people who have phones and are constantly

00:33:57   being served kind of like everyone's best effort to figure out what the future is.

00:34:02   I just got to be on your list.

00:34:04   I mean, but that in talking about inflection points is transportation.

00:34:08   Oh, yeah.

00:34:09   And so many different ways.

00:34:10   It's just astounding.

00:34:12   the ride services like Uber and Lyft,

00:34:17   which themselves are completely piggybacked

00:34:21   on the ubiquity of smartphones, right?

00:34:25   There is no Uber without iPhones and Androids

00:34:28   that are always on the internet and can tap a button, right?

00:34:31   It doesn't, there's no way that that happens before 2008.

00:34:35   It wouldn't work.

00:34:37   How would you-- - Well, it did have it.

00:34:39   You called a central dispatcher.

00:34:41   It's funny, you know, there were car services before,

00:34:44   they just weren't, they didn't provide you

00:34:46   with a lot of information.

00:34:47   - Right, and you didn't use them as frequently,

00:34:50   nor at least normal people didn't use them as frequently.

00:34:54   - 'Cause it was the most decadent thing in the world.

00:34:55   - Right.

00:34:56   - What's funny is like Uber has an Alexa skill,

00:34:59   and I call an Uber, I don't know, a couple times a week,

00:35:02   but just like yelling at the echo.

00:35:04   And I'm like, what am I, I'm like back to square one

00:35:07   in Brooklyn, I'm just calling the car service,

00:35:09   now it's a robot.

00:35:10   It's literally the same interaction, right?

00:35:12   I call, I talk to something.

00:35:15   - One of the funniest times that you and I

00:35:17   ever got together was we hung out after we got

00:35:22   our Apple Watch review units.

00:35:23   - Yeah.

00:35:24   - There were briefings in New York,

00:35:26   and you, it's like we kind of bumped into each other.

00:35:29   I forget if I went first or you went first.

00:35:30   I think I was ahead of you.

00:35:32   And I just said, hey, I'm gonna go across the street

00:35:34   and get a cup of coffee.

00:35:35   If you wanna meet, we'll meet.

00:35:37   And it was like, we tried to use the watch

00:35:39   hail mover. Remember that? We just watched the spinner. Yeah. And then it was like now

00:35:45   showing up four blocks away. Like it spun for a minute and like canceled out three times

00:35:53   and then got the location wrong by like four blocks. I mean, that first day with the watch

00:35:57   was among the most, I don't know if you felt this. I felt this because John actually talked

00:36:03   like we texted quite a bit because we were the only people we knew with the watch. It

00:36:06   like you and Joanna Stern.

00:36:07   - Yep.

00:36:08   - And so like, we were all, all of us were best friends,

00:36:10   like super best friends for a couple of weeks there.

00:36:12   - Sending heartbeats to each other.

00:36:13   - Yeah.

00:36:15   It was like, I kept on getting heartbeats

00:36:17   from like Apple PR people, and I was like,

00:36:19   I know your heart's racing.

00:36:20   Just like, give me a minute.

00:36:22   But I just remember that moment,

00:36:26   I don't know if this was true for you,

00:36:28   that was to me one of those inflection point moments

00:36:31   in a kind of a different way, where it was,

00:36:33   here's Apple, they have been under all this pressure

00:36:36   put out their next category of products.

00:36:39   Here's this product and I was terrified that I would get it wrong and be the guy who called

00:36:45   the iPad nonsense or be slash dot and called the iPod, you know, what was it, like no wireless,

00:36:53   lame.

00:36:54   And I just remember that whole period I was like, I think this thing is kind of slow and

00:36:58   a little bit messy and it's just really interesting now with watchOS 3, I don't know if you've

00:37:03   used it a bunch.

00:37:04   I've been playing with it here and there.

00:37:06   They just fixed all the slop.

00:37:08   - Yep.

00:37:11   - And it's like they made it fast.

00:37:12   That's the thing they should have done from the beginning.

00:37:14   - Yeah, I talked about it on my show last week

00:37:16   with Marco Arment, but I think it's worth repeating.

00:37:19   I really think that they released it too early

00:37:23   as a product.

00:37:24   And I see why, and I think it's exactly what you just said,

00:37:27   is that the pressure from the outside to give us,

00:37:31   show us that you can still do something new

00:37:33   without Steve Jobs there was so overwhelming

00:37:36   that I think it caused them to make like an unforced error.

00:37:41   - Yeah.

00:37:42   - And who knows, maybe it was the right thing to do.

00:37:45   It's sort of on Apple like to release something early,

00:37:48   you know, to release early and often

00:37:50   is the sort of open source mantra

00:37:52   and Apple is sort of the, nope, we're gonna make you wait,

00:37:56   we're gonna make you wait,

00:37:57   and we're gonna release later than everybody else,

00:37:59   but it's gonna be the best sort of company.

00:38:01   And I think with the watch, they went release early.

00:38:04   And maybe it was the right way to go,

00:38:07   because maybe, you know,

00:38:09   I see an awful lot of Apple watches these days.

00:38:12   I was at, like I told you, I was in New York last week.

00:38:16   I saw you all over the place on the streets in New York.

00:38:18   It's a really popular device.

00:38:21   So maybe they were right to release it when they did.

00:38:23   But boy, I'll tell you, the watchOS 3 is,

00:38:26   it's like, oh, this is it.

00:38:27   And I feel like I got it wrong.

00:38:29   I feel like this probably, my biggest regret in recent years

00:38:34   is that my initial reviews, plural, 'cause I weren't,

00:38:39   I think I was a little too, I was confused.

00:38:45   I was confused by the watch, which I think,

00:38:48   when I reread my early Apple Watch reviews from last year,

00:38:53   I think that the confusion shows.

00:38:54   It wasn't that I praised it too much.

00:38:56   I don't feel like I missed the fact that like apps

00:39:00   are too slow and stuff like that.

00:39:02   But I just, I was confused and so therefore

00:39:05   my review was confused.

00:39:06   - Yeah, I mean the only, you know,

00:39:09   we did this huge thing and like,

00:39:12   I read about this a few months ago,

00:39:14   I don't know, time is blurry for me,

00:39:17   but I was like it's slow.

00:39:19   - Yes. - Right, I mean like,

00:39:20   that's all you have to say. - Yes.

00:39:20   - And it like, it nails it, right?

00:39:22   - Right. - And they've tried

00:39:24   to make it faster, presumably there's gonna be

00:39:26   hardware and it'll get faster. And I think that what I noticed at WWDC this year was

00:39:33   that there is an intentionality to Apple that I think I've been missing recently.

00:39:38   Right? Everything they did at WWDC felt like, okay, we like shotgunned out a

00:39:43   million ideas, it was very un-Apple-like, there was a lot of confusion out there,

00:39:47   but now we're like, we're focusing. Like, here's what we're doing with the Mac, here's

00:39:51   what we're doing with the TV, here's what we're doing with the watch, like just down the

00:39:55   line, here's a bunch of very intentional decisions about our products.

00:39:59   I think that's going to bode well for them.

00:40:01   But I do think the other, I think you're absolutely right about transportation by the

00:40:05   way, is a huge inflection point.

00:40:08   The other one I was going to mention was sort of the unbundling of software as an idea from

00:40:16   the consumer consciousness.

00:40:18   That instead of getting an app or getting a package of software or 50 floppy disks from

00:40:24   Microsoft Word or whatever it is to do. Now software is just constantly around you and

00:40:28   updating in all kinds of ways. That is a huge inflection point. The idea that you can't

00:40:33   sell something to someone, that you're going to sell this ongoing experience, or people

00:40:39   just make expectations that things will silently get better around them, that's going to lead

00:40:45   to a lot of chaos as well. Because that gives you license to put out bad products and say

00:40:50   it's the first version and it'll get better. I think we see that constantly. And it creates

00:40:56   this enormous consumer perception that you're going to get better stuff for free all the

00:41:00   time. And I think those are how the world shakes out in there is going to be very complicated

00:41:07   for people trying to make money. I think on balance it's good for the consumer. But

00:41:11   you know it's like it's ridiculous to me that you have a TiVo I think I have a TiVo.

00:41:16   It's ridiculous to me that my TiVo doesn't get a software update like every day right

00:41:19   because it's constantly connected to the internet.

00:41:21   That's just sort of my Xbox,

00:41:22   it's updating every 90 seconds.

00:41:25   I think that's just,

00:41:26   that's a big moment for Apple to figure out

00:41:29   how to be a part of that instead of saying,

00:41:31   "Okay, the platform changed.

00:41:33   "Okay, the platform changed."

00:41:35   We were at the code conference,

00:41:36   we were talking to some people from Google,

00:41:38   and they're like, "You know, we schedule Google I/O,

00:41:41   "and it always feels like chaos

00:41:42   "because it doesn't align with any of our product cycles,

00:41:44   "and we don't really care.

00:41:45   "We just let people show up, it's like show and tell.

00:41:46   "Like, what's this team working on?

00:41:48   They're like, "Where about this far?

00:41:49   "It'll be out next year."

00:41:51   That's how Google thinks about their software.

00:41:53   - I think Apple has sort of gotten to that too.

00:41:57   I feel like one of the things as this year's WWDC

00:42:02   sort of cements in my mind is that to me,

00:42:06   they have these four platforms

00:42:09   and they know exactly what they are.

00:42:11   And there's no, and the watch in particular,

00:42:14   in addition to the fact that they really have fixed the,

00:42:17   wow, everything is slow, stuff is not slow anymore.

00:42:20   They themselves have a much better idea

00:42:25   of what the hell people wear Apple watches for.

00:42:27   And the increased focus on fitness is a huge part of that.

00:42:30   I mean, that wasn't really even mentioned

00:42:32   in the original pitch.

00:42:34   I mean, it was there, it was sort of a little bit more,

00:42:37   but it was a little bit more like health than fitness.

00:42:40   And now it's like the default watch face

00:42:42   shows you the circles, the fill-in.

00:42:45   But they realize that's what people are doing.

00:42:47   So they're much more, the watch does less.

00:42:50   There's far less going on on the watch,

00:42:52   and it's way easier to understand.

00:42:55   And they know what people are doing with it.

00:42:57   And I feel like with the Mac too,

00:42:59   I feel like the whole making the Mac

00:43:04   a little bit more like iOS, they're done with that.

00:43:07   They've done the nips and tucks where they thought,

00:43:09   "Hey, some of these ideas from iOS

00:43:11   "would make sense on the Mac."

00:43:12   But at this point, it's like,

00:43:14   "Now let's just let the Mac be the Mac."

00:43:16   What's up with the Mac, do you think?

00:43:18   So many Mac lines are long in the tooth in various ways.

00:43:25   I'm desperately waiting for a new MacBook Pro.

00:43:31   Just desperately waiting.

00:43:32   Our video editors, they call them trash cans, the Mac Pros.

00:43:36   They're like, this thing is ridiculous.

00:43:39   Our video editors, some of them have started using the VR gaming

00:43:42   PCs because they're way faster than Mac Pro.

00:43:45   and obviously because they're newer,

00:43:46   but where's that next great Mac hardware cycle do you think?

00:43:51   - Hold that thought.

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00:46:04   Where, where, Wither the Mac?

00:46:07   - Wither the Mac.

00:46:08   - I talked about this last week too,

00:46:12   my biggest regret on my live show with Phil Schiller

00:46:15   and Craig Federighi, the one question I had on my list

00:46:19   and just didn't get to was,

00:46:21   professional people are very concerned

00:46:28   because it really looks at the evidence, you know, shows,

00:46:32   It really looks like Apple is so focused on consumer products, iPhones and iPads primarily,

00:46:38   that the focus on professional products like the Mac Pro and the MacBook Pros has dropped.

00:46:46   And even on the Mac, the machine that's been updated the most regularly is the MacBook

00:46:52   One port thing, which is not a pro device.

00:46:57   So I wish I would have asked, didn't get to.

00:47:00   - [Erik] Have you tried to use a Retina MacBook

00:47:03   for any period of time?

00:47:04   - No. - I used one for a couple

00:47:05   of days this past week.

00:47:06   - No, 'cause I've never really had access to one

00:47:09   other than to just kick the tires in a store

00:47:11   or something like that.

00:47:12   - Yeah, so Dieter Bone, the executive editor at The Verge,

00:47:16   that's his computer, swears by it, loves it.

00:47:18   - I didn't use publish the photo from the keynote,

00:47:22   because to use it to do the live blogging from the keynote,

00:47:24   he had to put like a dongle on the side that gives,

00:47:30   It plugs into the one USB-C port and then gives him a couple of USB ports.

00:47:35   And then there's like millions of things plugged into it.

00:47:37   Yeah, because there's no great USB-C hub. This is true.

00:47:42   We have like 90 of them. They get really hot. They're like crazy.

00:47:46   It just, they'll get better. It's just gonna take a minute, right?

00:47:49   They're on the second generation of the computer. It's fine.

00:47:53   The best way to do it is to go USB-C to USB and then use another hub.

00:47:57   I have a 13-inch MacBook Pro that is, I think, coming up on two years old, and it is absolutely

00:48:06   nothing wrong with it.

00:48:09   And I tend to use my Macs for incredibly long periods of time.

00:48:17   Even today with Dropbox and a couple of other things that make transitioning to a new Mac

00:48:23   than ever before. It still isn't easy, like just upgrading to a new phone. And I've got

00:48:28   a bunch of little fiddly stuff on my system, like custom Perl scripts that reformat Markdown,

00:48:34   and they require libraries from CPAN. CPAN is like the central open source archive of

00:48:42   Perl libraries. So every time I get a new Mac, I've got to install a bunch of little

00:48:47   fiddly command line things like that. And I never remembered them all. And somewhere

00:48:50   I've got like a note, you know, that says here. Here's like the 20 steps to go through when you set up a Mac.

00:48:54   So I don't like I just don't want to do it and I am at the point. I've been there for a while where with what I do

00:49:01   Faster Mac doesn't really make a difference like ever since I've gone to

00:49:05   Solid state drives. Yeah ever since I've gone there

00:49:11   I've never thought anything was slow on my Mac. So I just don't upgrade

00:49:16   So I feel like it'll be a couple of years before I get a new

00:49:20   Laptop at least another two years I'll bet unless something some disaster happens to my MacBook Pro

00:49:25   And when that happens I expect that I will buy the MacBook one port because I don't plug anything into my Mac my MacBook

00:49:31   So it's interesting because I I assume that you're like, you know, the the classic Mac advice

00:49:36   Was always by like as much computer as you can afford. Yes. I just always buy the top-end one. Yeah

00:49:42   But you know, my wife had like a MacBook Air and it was just this endless

00:49:49   Perminable weight for them to put out a new computer that was meaningfully better than hers

00:49:53   Yeah, is you know, they're faster but like and there's a retina screen around the corner

00:49:57   So I bought her I was gonna buy her the the 2015 one port MacBook

00:50:02   But that thing wasn't actually faster than her computer and her computer is a dog. So it was just like this moved consumer

00:50:09   Machines this focus the less powerful processors it kind of doesn't matter if you're always buying the most expensive fastest one

00:50:17   But if you're in that consumer zone you end up in this black hole sometimes of it's you can just buy the same computer with

00:50:25   A slightly faster chip or you can just wait it out until there's the big jump

00:50:29   But I'm with you on solid-state drivers. I my iMac at home is like

00:50:33   2011 and I put a huge SSD in it and like this is great

00:50:38   But you gotta guess you gotta get the one with the retina screen. Yeah, that's right. That's one way but I'm waiting

00:50:42   Right at this point you might as well wait till they do a new one

00:50:45   You gotta wait and then it's like a whole big thing and that one my iMac in particular

00:50:49   That is like now five years of random fiddly shit, right?

00:50:53   There's like a Plex library that if you breathe on it everything breaks like it's just like crazy. Um,

00:50:59   but

00:51:01   My bigger I think this thing you're saying my bigger concern is these pro machines. Yeah, because

00:51:05   If the and I think VR is a big inflection point, I think something

00:51:11   Something weird, I think that the Mac Pro and the MacBook Pro are probably two different

00:51:15   discussions.

00:51:16   This is what I think.

00:51:17   It is a mystery to me.

00:51:18   And I think that the reason, I think the problem with the Mac Pro is that I think Apple truly

00:51:23   just isn't as interested in that market.

00:51:27   And even though they, probably they themselves are probably one of the biggest users of them,

00:51:32   you know, but there's a ton of engineers at Apple who use Mac Pros.

00:51:36   But as a business, it's just not meaningful.

00:51:38   Whereas the MacBook Pro is actually big business.

00:51:42   It's probably the most profitable Mac that they make.

00:51:46   I would think, just in terms of not like

00:51:48   on one unit being the most profitable,

00:51:50   I'm just saying multiply as many as they sell

00:51:52   by how much profit they make.

00:51:53   It's super popular.

00:51:55   It may not be as, may not sell in the great numbers

00:51:59   as the lower priced MacBook Airs and the MacBook One,

00:52:01   but because it's so much more expensive,

00:52:04   and lots of people buy them.

00:52:07   So I can't think that they're disinterested.

00:52:09   So my guess is that there's something going on,

00:52:11   like where the new ones that are coming out,

00:52:12   that they're just not ready,

00:52:14   even though they were supposed to be.

00:52:15   Because I really thought a couple months ago,

00:52:17   it seemed like Steam was really building up

00:52:19   that they were probably gonna announce them at WWDC.

00:52:22   And then it came and went and they didn't.

00:52:24   And I can't help but think that that's coming soon now.

00:52:28   The Mac Pro, on the other hand,

00:52:30   it's just baffling to me.

00:52:31   900 days, it's like 920 days at this point

00:52:34   without an update.

00:52:36   - Yeah, it's crazy.

00:52:37   And they put it out with such fanfare.

00:52:39   We can innovate.

00:52:40   Where was it?

00:52:41   Can't Innovate My Ass?

00:52:42   - Can't Innovate My Ass.

00:52:43   - There's a lot of,

00:52:46   I have this visual metaphor of the whole tech industry.

00:52:50   It's like a long balloon and you squeeze it

00:52:53   and all the money goes somewhere else.

00:52:54   There's a lot of that money.

00:52:56   - It's true.

00:52:58   It is kind of true.

00:52:59   - It's just how I think about it.

00:53:01   A lot of the money that was focused on

00:53:03   let's make apps for phones

00:53:04   let's do a new phone platform or make actually make a new phone another disaster business idea a

00:53:10   Lot of that money is going

00:53:12   towards using the screens and processors and chips and all that stuff and going to VR and like building VR experiences and

00:53:20   It's at this moment. It's just weird and you know obviously apple entered classically enters the market

00:53:27   down the line, but because the Mac Pro

00:53:32   Isn't able to do any of that stuff. It's not even in the conversation

00:53:36   There's nothing about the VR conversation that even tangentially relates to Apple as far as I can tell

00:53:40   And that's really it's just really interesting to me because I think a lot of those people prefer to use Mac

00:53:46   they just don't yeah, I my my hope is that it's just like a

00:53:51   Bunch of constraints that all have to be lined up and some some of them are

00:53:58   Holding back and with the Mac Pro my hope is that it's that they want to put out of retina 5k

00:54:05   cinema display they want a new Mac Pro that can drive it right and

00:54:09   Well some maybe the display is not ready yet

00:54:13   And therefore they don't want they don't want to release the Mac Pro without the display to drive it or maybe it's vice-versa

00:54:18   Where they can't release the display

00:54:20   Before the Mac Pro is ready and maybe the MacBook Pros

00:54:25   It's the same way where they want to be you you can you know, dock your MacBook Pro and have it connect to this beautiful

00:54:32   standalone retina cinema display

00:54:35   That's my hope is that they're just trying to get all of that stuff and they're all gonna come out at the same time

00:54:40   You're I didn't think I would say this that is the most optimistic thing I've ever heard from you and it is

00:54:46   That Apple has tied its entire product line to wanting to make a standalone display is kind of incredible

00:54:54   Well, but it's weird. They sell like five of those things a year.

00:54:57   No, I think when they were new when like the the I think I think they used to sell a lot of them

00:55:02   I think I I used to see a lot and I you know, I

00:55:06   Don't know. But what do people do it avert? So people just bring do you guys give them laptops?

00:55:12   There's everybody just by their own

00:55:14   No, I mean we we're no longer startup people people get computers. So most people get an

00:55:20   Air you can request something else or video editors have like 15 inch pros and an iMac

00:55:25   I think it's wild that we give people iMacs and not Mac pros the iMacs are better

00:55:31   They I'm actually sitting in the Vox studios right now and it's rows of video editors with iMacs, right?

00:55:36   So one thing but a lot of people who have a MacBook and they take it with them when they sit at their desk

00:55:41   It would be nice to dock it to a display and we give them we I think we give them Dell monitors now

00:55:46   Well, I think a lot of you know, I think Apple has in the past sold a lot of those at this point in recent years

00:55:51   It doesn't make any sense because they're still have the thousand dollar price point and it was by no means a thousand dollar monitor

00:55:58   I mean, it's just ridiculous

00:56:00   If they come out with a really nice retina 5k one

00:56:03   Then and it still has that thousand dollar price point then all of a sudden it's a super compelling

00:56:08   yeah, I've seen like happy cog is a

00:56:13   web design studio here in Philadelphia and I've always had a couple friends there

00:56:16   And they when they set up a new office a couple years ago

00:56:20   And I stopped by what they did is everybody who works there got a MacBook of whatever

00:56:25   You know their choice that they could take with them home and you know to client meetings whatever and at their desk there

00:56:31   everybody had a

00:56:33   Apple cinema display in front of it when they just dock and get power and have a nice big display

00:56:37   So yeah, I mean that's that's pretty soon. I mean our product folks. That's basically how they all work, too

00:56:42   But I just think it's it's crazy that they haven't updated the Mac Pro for 900 days because of the 5k display

00:56:48   Well that does it doesn't really justify why there haven't been any interim updates in between it's like but at this point

00:56:55   Nobody's looking for like oh, well, we've just put the latest and greatest from Intel in there at this point the new map

00:57:01   You know, whatever comes out of the MacBook. It might have the same hardware my our external look but

00:57:07   It's got to be a really big upgrade at this point. I think well

00:57:11   Do you think that, so that's like interesting, it kind of leads in both directions, like

00:57:15   this consumer focus, like they're bringing consumer, the things you, traditionally the

00:57:21   way it worked, let me get this thought out correctly, traditionally the way it worked

00:57:24   was that all the innovation happened in the enterprise and that would trickle down to

00:57:28   consumer stuff and Apple's big revolution was they were like, what if we cared about

00:57:33   people first instead of what your IT guy needs?

00:57:37   And I think we agree that that has been wildly successful and revolutionary in many ways.

00:57:42   But what's interesting to me is it's really much harder to apply the lessons from consumer

00:57:47   technology back to what the professionals need in a variety of ways.

00:57:51   And like I don't need the Mac Pro to be beautiful.

00:57:55   I think you're right, the MacBook Pro is a different story.

00:57:58   I kind of need the Mac Pro to look like the Quadro 900 and have like 60 slots, you know,

00:58:03   and just be a computer that, you know,

00:58:06   and like have processor dark.

00:58:07   Like there's a world in which that thing

00:58:09   is still really valuable.

00:58:11   - Yeah, and people who are working on video

00:58:13   for just name one field and, you know,

00:58:16   developers are another, like there are, you know,

00:58:18   there's all sorts of things that when you, you know,

00:58:20   people who are working on Swift in particular,

00:58:22   just because the nature of Swift right now is that

00:58:24   when you have to do a new build,

00:58:26   everything has to get built.

00:58:27   And you're waiting, you're, anytime, you know,

00:58:30   those are people who are still waiting on their computers

00:58:32   to do stuff like, hey, the video is done being edited.

00:58:35   Now we just have to spit out the final version.

00:58:37   Well, guess what?

00:58:38   You're sitting there waiting,

00:58:39   and you need as much speed as you can.

00:58:41   And those people, I don't think they really care too much

00:58:45   about the beautiful Darth Vader helmet style of the thing.

00:58:49   Like, they would just take anything,

00:58:51   anything that just went faster.

00:58:54   - Yeah. - Just give it to me.

00:58:55   - Bring back the X-Serve.

00:58:57   That's it. - Right here.

00:58:57   - That's my new petition to Apple.

00:59:00   It's funny, we've done a handful of 360 videos now, and when we were rendering, I interviewed

00:59:07   Michelle Obama and we shot it in 360.

00:59:10   It's actually not that common, it's just a Premiere plugin, it just works.

00:59:14   Then you've got to render it.

00:59:16   And we just brought every computer in this place, every Mac that we add to its knees,

00:59:23   including our pros.

00:59:25   And we were like, "Yeah, we've hit the wall."

00:59:28   If you want to participate in this next wave of spherical video or 360 video or VR video,

00:59:34   there's so many arguments about the terms.

00:59:37   But if you want to participate in that, these machines, almost none of them are really powerful

00:59:42   enough to do it.

00:59:43   I think that's what I mean by chaos.

00:59:45   That's another inflection point.

00:59:46   It's going to get a generation of video creators who were brought up on iMovie on their plastic

00:59:52   MacBooks.

00:59:53   they're going to be like, well, maybe I'll get a gaming PC with an Oculus helmet and it's fast enough for me to cut a 360 video.

00:59:59   I don't know if that's going to happen, but it's just another one of those moments when there's a new kind of market over there

01:00:07   and it's going to develop on its own terms. And I think, again, VR could fail.

01:00:13   If you ask the people here who report on VR day in and day out, they're like, this is a mess.

01:00:17   everybody has the best of intentions and the sci-fi future is real and it's fun

01:00:21   to go to the brand activation and ride the roller coaster but consumer VR

01:00:25   could just flop and or it could be the most successful thing that ever happened

01:00:29   I think that there's just so much space in there for different different ways of

01:00:33   things to work to happen that it's gonna be really confusing for a while but also

01:00:38   incredibly fascinating yeah so you're waiting on a MacBook Pro how old is the

01:00:45   that you have right now?

01:00:46   - 2012 or 2013.

01:00:47   - Yeah, it's pretty old.

01:00:49   So I guess it's coming.

01:00:50   I mean, that one's definitely coming.

01:00:52   The Mac Pro, I don't know, but the MacBook Pros

01:00:55   have gotta be coming soon.

01:00:57   And again, and this might tie into the next segment

01:01:00   of the show, my other theory, I think it's wrong.

01:01:03   I would definitely bet against it, but maybe it's possible,

01:01:06   is if the iPhone is moving to Lightning port headphones,

01:01:10   maybe they add a Lightning port to Macs

01:01:14   so that you can use the same headphones?

01:01:16   - Maybe, it's funny,

01:01:17   I was gonna frame that question differently.

01:01:19   What ports will they take away?

01:01:21   Right, it's like, it'd be crazy to start adding ports.

01:01:24   - Right.

01:01:25   Well, take away the headphone port.

01:01:27   - Yeah, well, you take away the headphone port,

01:01:29   you could make,

01:01:30   I don't know if you could do this on Pro Machine,

01:01:32   you could take away those standard USB ports

01:01:34   and put on USB-C ports, that's absolutely move.

01:01:38   Is it time to take away Thunderbolt

01:01:41   because USB-C can get in on a Thunderbolt Plus.

01:01:45   - Yeah, or isn't there like a,

01:01:47   there's like a Thunderbolt 3 that it like,

01:01:49   it's very confusing to me.

01:01:50   - Yeah, there's a Thunderbolt 3 with the same connector.

01:01:52   - Which is the same connector as USB-C,

01:01:53   which sounds convenient.

01:01:54   - Hey, chaos!

01:01:55   I'm telling you, it's just fucking chaos everywhere you look.

01:01:59   It's great, it's super fun, it's like, but it's chaos.

01:02:02   It's the idea that, I was, you know,

01:02:06   we're gonna end up talking about headphone ports,

01:02:07   but sorry, like I did this chart of ports,

01:02:09   and I was like looking at the back of all these Macs

01:02:11   confirm all these ports. And it's just hilarious that for the longest time we had modem and printer

01:02:17   ports, but they were the same port. They just had different labels on them, like through time.

01:02:20   It's like, what were we thinking? Why did we do that? And now we just have these like rows of

01:02:27   USB ports you can do anything with and now we're collapsing them. And now the standards are

01:02:32   interchangeable, but the ports are different. And now the ports are gonna be the same, but the

01:02:36   standards are different. I don't think they're gonna add a lightning port.

01:02:40   I don't think so either. It feels messy. It feels messy to me and it also feels like there's a very

01:02:47   clean line up until now where lightning is a port and you know just combine it with the 30 pin

01:02:55   adapter which it replaced. Those two ports were for iOS devices and iPods and never on the Mac

01:03:02   and all the ports on the Mac were never on iOS devices and adding lightning to the Mac just so

01:03:09   so you can use the same headphones.

01:03:11   It sounds good if you just wanna use the same headphones,

01:03:14   but blurring that line of what devices

01:03:17   have a lightning port and what do they use it for

01:03:19   seems weird.

01:03:20   - And also, you're gonna get a lot of people

01:03:22   trying to charge their Macs, right?

01:03:24   I mean, it's just, what do you use a lightning port for?

01:03:26   It charges your phone.

01:03:28   You're gonna get a lot of people who are just gonna

01:03:31   plug a charger in that lightning port.

01:03:32   - And that's not gonna work.

01:03:34   - Or it's gonna fry your, I mean, probably not.

01:03:36   They're smarter than that, but who knows?

01:03:38   Like that's a bad outcome, right?

01:03:41   You've taught everybody to charge their phones with this thing for the longest time.

01:03:44   Especially if you tried charging your Mac with the little phone charger.

01:03:48   See, that's a great, finally, use for Facebook Live.

01:03:52   How long will it take to charge my Mac with Pro?

01:03:55   On an iPhone.

01:03:56   Just leave it running for four days.

01:03:58   Right.

01:03:59   Yeah, I don't think people think of Lightning as anything other than the charging port.

01:04:03   I don't think they think of it as the docking port or the audio port or, you know, there's

01:04:06   There's a million things it can do, but I think it's what charges your phone.

01:04:10   And I get all the arguments about why you'd remove the headphone jack and like, fine,

01:04:17   they're arguments.

01:04:18   Some are better than others.

01:04:19   I don't think we need to add this port and start making people think of it as a headphone

01:04:24   jack.

01:04:25   Because basically what you're doing is you're taking out a headphone jack and you're adding

01:04:28   another headphone jack.

01:04:29   Right?

01:04:30   It's just a different thing.

01:04:31   You haven't really accomplished all that much if you add it to the MacBook Pro.

01:04:34   Yeah.

01:04:35   - Yeah, so I don't think that's what we're waiting for either.

01:04:37   I don't know.

01:04:38   - But I am desperate to buy a new MacBook.

01:04:40   The video card in this one is like a little on the fritz.

01:04:43   It's like, it's just old.

01:04:44   It's, you know, this thing's been knocked around.

01:04:45   It's traveled a lot.

01:04:46   We're sitting at WWC live blogging

01:04:48   and the screen started flickering.

01:04:50   And I looked at Dieter and, you know,

01:04:51   Dieter's got the camera.

01:04:52   He's like taking photos, live blog is so stressful.

01:04:55   He's got, you know, 90 wires off his MacBook

01:04:57   that things like nuclear hot.

01:04:58   I was like, should I tell him

01:04:59   that my computer's about to die?

01:05:01   It's like, no, so I'll tell him,

01:05:03   let's hope it sticks around.

01:05:04   So yeah, it's time. So I was using his old actually. He upgraded to a 2016 one-port MacBook

01:05:13   and I was using his old one for a couple of days. It's like if they just merge all of

01:05:19   the ideas about the MacBook Pro with that single-port MacBook and keep the keyboard

01:05:24   full size, because that keyboard is actually a little bit smaller, at least to my hands.

01:05:31   That is everything I've ever wanted in a laptop.

01:05:34   I think that that's what they're doing.

01:05:38   To my knowledge, actual schematics have not leaked.

01:05:42   But the rumors are that it's switching to a MacBook Air-style teardrop design.

01:05:47   It totally makes sense that Apple would do that because of their obsession with device

01:05:51   thinness.

01:05:55   I used to have a MacBook Air.

01:05:56   And the one thing I totally miss with this MacBook Pro that I have now is that while

01:06:03   I was using the Air for a few years, I completely became addicted to being able to reach in

01:06:08   my bag and know which way the laptop was oriented because it was a wedge shape.

01:06:13   And I can't tell you, it's like to me now, it's like a 50% chance.

01:06:16   Like I just come out and if anything, I tend to orient it the wrong way more often than

01:06:21   and not because I'm such an old school Mac user

01:06:25   that I remember when my first PowerBook had the Apple logo

01:06:29   the other way.

01:06:30   - Oh, wow.

01:06:31   - And so I still tend to, I can't do it by feel

01:06:35   and I just plop the MacBook in front of me

01:06:37   looking at the Apple logo from my perspective the right way

01:06:41   and then I'm like, oh shoot, and I gotta turn it around.

01:06:44   - I do it by feel on the hinge, right?

01:06:47   'Cause the hinge is plastic.

01:06:48   - But to me, that's one of the great points.

01:06:50   it's the great, there's a real usability advantage

01:06:53   to the Air/Macbook One port wedge shape.

01:06:58   - Yeah, I think I just need a 15 inch screen.

01:07:01   It's like, it's just as simple as that for me, right?

01:07:03   Like the 12 inch screen, the 13 inch screen, it's great.

01:07:06   People love them, they're obviously hugely popular.

01:07:09   And then every time I use one, I'm like,

01:07:10   I could get used to this, and I go back to my 15 inch Pro,

01:07:13   and it just, it's home.

01:07:15   - Yeah.

01:07:16   - It's where I belong, and I'm just desperately waiting

01:07:18   for them to bring back or to bring this screen size

01:07:22   to that design.

01:07:23   - I guess my biggest question about it,

01:07:25   I can't help but think that they're coming soon.

01:07:27   My question is would they release them at the same event

01:07:32   in September where they do the iPhone?

01:07:35   - Man, it seems like September is about to blow up, right?

01:07:38   - Yeah, well, last year they did it with the Pro.

01:07:40   They put the iPad Pro in the same event as the iPhone

01:07:44   and they introduced the all new Apple TV at the same event.

01:07:47   So it's not like they're unwilling to share the stage

01:07:50   at the iPhone events.

01:07:52   And maybe because everybody seems to think

01:07:57   that this new iPhone isn't really gonna look different,

01:08:00   that it's, and therefore it's a little bit,

01:08:03   if it doesn't look different,

01:08:06   there's a little bit less excitement.

01:08:08   Therefore it needs something to share the event with.

01:08:10   So maybe--

01:08:12   - Right now, if you look at where they are,

01:08:15   that September event is bonkers, right?

01:08:18   It's new iPhones, it's MacBook Pros, hopefully.

01:08:23   It is the watch, it is potentially a new iPad Air.

01:08:29   Like, it's stacked.

01:08:31   - Well, no, there won't be an iPad Air.

01:08:33   - Why not?

01:08:34   - Oh, I think that they're, I think that,

01:08:37   I don't think they'll do a new iPad Air.

01:08:39   I think that the iPad Pros are

01:08:42   the only things that will ever get updated

01:08:46   and eventually the iPad Air

01:08:50   what will happen is they'll come out with new iPad Pros and they'll just keep

01:08:53   these iPad Pros that we have today

01:08:55   and slot them into the price points where the iPad Air is now. I don't think they're

01:09:00   ever going to release another device that has Air in the name

01:09:02   Oh no, Air is... they don't have a device called the iPad right now

01:09:06   so I just meant a standard iPad. You think that's just

01:09:10   gone? Yeah, because I think that they're gonna do like what they do with the phones

01:09:14   is just populate the lower price points with two and three-year-old

01:09:18   devices. So everything will just be iPad Pros?

01:09:22   Yeah, that's the only question is I don't understand how the marketing works on

01:09:26   that.

01:09:26   If like a year from now when there's a new iPad Pro

01:09:29   how do you have, you know, I guess you just have cheaper iPad Pros and they

01:09:33   somehow make it clear

01:09:35   you know why you'd want to get the bigger one or the

01:09:38   expensive one. Actually, I could offer you the same question about the MacBook Pro.

01:09:43   What at this point for a new MacBook Pro makes it Pro other than it has a real processor, not a Core M?

01:09:50   Yeah, it's the performance.

01:09:56   I guess the ports, right? I mean, it's like Pro users are the ones more likely to quote unquote need the ports.

01:10:04   Yeah, it's just all used to make sense, there was like four boxes and a grid, and now it's the blurriness. It's chaos.

01:10:15   Even the iPad line to me is how many SKUs are there? And it's what makes the one the Pro right now is it has the pencil and it has the smart connector.

01:10:26   But you could make an argument that every iPad should have those, I think that's the argument you're making.

01:10:30   Yeah, it will eventually.

01:10:31   So what makes the pro the pro again? And that to me is, there's a lot of flux in Apple's naming right now. Not flux, flux in Apple's naming.

01:10:43   It's just I'm curious how that settles down. Like how do they start communicating to consumers like this is the model for people who do work with these and this is the model for everybody else.

01:10:53   And maybe the answer is that there is no change and they just get rid of the word pro and they just sell them as iPads.

01:10:58   Yeah, because the other reason I don't think that they will come out with anything, a new

01:11:03   device called iPad Air, is just that the iPad Pro, at least both of them, but especially

01:11:12   the 9.7 inch one, it's not like it's heavier or thicker than the iPad Air. It's the exact

01:11:17   same thickness and same low weight, so there's no difference. One of the things that there

01:11:22   was more, to me, more clarity in the naming was when they were really selling two types

01:11:27   laptops. MacBook Air and MacBook Pro. The Air is the one by definition that is

01:11:33   thinner and lighter and the Pro is thicker and heavier because it offered

01:11:39   more performance. Right, it signified trade-offs, right? Like, and in the middle

01:11:45   you had what I think is one of the best Macs ever made, the black plastic

01:11:48   MacBook. Yeah. Which was like the perfect compromise of all of those things and

01:11:54   And then if you wanted, you just wanted to prioritize how thin it was, you could pick an air.

01:11:59   If you wanted to prioritize how powerful it was against its size, you could pick the Pro.

01:12:03   But those days are over, we think, it appears.

01:12:06   At the same time, MSI is making backpacks that you can put full gaming PCs in so you can walk around in a VR headset.

01:12:13   So maybe those days aren't quite as over as we think.

01:12:16   But that's like, to me, it's...

01:12:20   You started out by saying this apples relentless consumer focus has let it down a path where it's

01:12:27   Fairly clear how the things will go, but it's also I think becoming more clear that that is not necessarily the only path

01:12:34   Whereas I think for the longest time

01:12:37   apples overwhelmingly good taste and

01:12:39   Sense of what the consumer market needed made it pretty obvious that they were on the only correct path

01:12:46   And now you just see there's there's a lot of ways to kind of cut at it and Apple's big advantage as far as I can

01:12:53   Tell is that they own the best processor design group and have they had I think that I think that's fair to say

01:13:01   I really do and it's it's

01:13:03   You know, it is a tremendous advantage

01:13:05   Right, except for the fact that you know, the max use Intel chips, right?

01:13:10   - For now.

01:13:11   - For now.

01:13:12   And they obviously have operating systems

01:13:14   that people prefer to use in large margins.

01:13:17   If you, on a particular Mac side,

01:13:22   if everybody's using Intel chips

01:13:23   and throwing them in different form factors

01:13:25   all over the place, Apple's set of trade-offs

01:13:27   is not necessarily at this moment

01:13:29   the right set of trade-offs.

01:13:30   You just have to want to use Mac

01:13:31   and then you get whatever Apple gives you.

01:13:33   And I personally would rather use Mac at this point

01:13:36   than almost anything.

01:13:36   Have you seen the new HP thing?

01:13:38   - Which one, the Spectre?

01:13:39   - Yeah.

01:13:41   - Not in person.

01:13:42   I read Joanna's review where she cuts the cheese.

01:13:46   (laughing)

01:13:47   - Yeah, Joanna is a dear friend of mine,

01:13:50   I think a friend of yours.

01:13:52   She just won a super prestigious business journalism award

01:13:55   last night, The Living.

01:13:55   - I know, or two nights ago, I think.

01:13:58   - And I was sitting there thinking,

01:13:59   they didn't watch the cheese video.

01:14:01   - No.

01:14:01   (laughing)

01:14:02   No, I was, the backstory,

01:14:04   hopefully she's gonna be on this show soon,

01:14:07   sometime in the next few weeks.

01:14:08   She was gonna be on this week

01:14:09   and it just didn't work out scheduling wise.

01:14:10   And she literally said to me,

01:14:12   "You should have Nely on."

01:14:13   I would listen to that.

01:14:14   And I was like, "You know what?

01:14:15   "That's a great idea.

01:14:16   "I'll see if Nely's available."

01:14:16   (laughing)

01:14:18   But yeah, she did just win an award for her videos.

01:14:21   - And they're terrific.

01:14:21   I love 'em.

01:14:22   But the specter to me is,

01:14:25   it's the first good,

01:14:27   you know, there's always been a question,

01:14:28   I think we ran this post in Engadget years ago,

01:14:31   what is the Windows laptop?

01:14:33   Right, like, what's the one that,

01:14:35   when you're like, "I wanna buy a Windows laptop,"

01:14:37   it's the one that you say you're gonna buy.

01:14:38   it used to be a ThinkPad in my opinion. Yeah and then you know Lenovo bought them

01:14:43   and they got a little sketchy in the middle there. I think they're a lot better now.

01:14:45   But kind of sorta. Even those were kind of loaded with like garbage.

01:14:51   There was any number of bad Dells that people bought. The HP Spectre is the

01:14:56   first one a long time where I'm like yes that that's the one you should buy. Even

01:14:59   perhaps more than Microsoft's own Surface Book which I think is like a

01:15:05   beautiful piece of design with many confused ideas about how large and heavy of a tablet

01:15:10   you'd like to use in your life. But it's beautifully designed.

01:15:14   I would love to see that the team that designed Microsoft's Surface notebook with the detachable

01:15:21   screen, I would love to see the exact same design team to do a laptop that doesn't have

01:15:26   a detachable screen.

01:15:27   They got to do it sometime, right? It's like they made it detachable just to not piss off

01:15:31   Dell. It's like something like that.

01:15:34   And every single thing about the device that I find iffy, other than the whole Mac versus

01:15:39   Windows thing, but just as a device turned off, has to do with the display and the compromises

01:15:45   they had to make to make that work.

01:15:47   And so actually this comes back to the Mac Pro and the Mac Pro.

01:15:52   And there were lots of rumors about problems with Surface Books that were somewhat related

01:15:56   to Skylake.

01:15:58   And I'm pretty sure Apple just was like, "You know what?

01:16:00   Skylake is kind of buggy.

01:16:02   It kind of got rushed out there.

01:16:03   We're just talking to touch it.

01:16:05   I've definitely heard, and the way that I've heard

01:16:08   about that the most is the issues with the Surface Book.

01:16:11   So, who knows?

01:16:13   - I've often asked this question.

01:16:14   To me, it's an interesting,

01:16:15   it's just when you're talking to people about tech,

01:16:19   is what would you rather use?

01:16:21   Would you rather use

01:16:22   a MacBook hardware running Windows

01:16:29   or a PC laptop running Mac OS X?

01:16:32   How does the trackpad work on both of these things?

01:16:38   That's a great question, right?

01:16:40   So you're saying you would probably take a Windows PC laptop running Mac OS X if you could be assured that you'd have a trackpad that was up to pretty good.

01:16:51   Yeah, sure. But I don't know if it's Windows fault.

01:16:55   If you install Windows, it works pretty well, I guess.

01:16:59   Yeah, at this point, just because of how long the tooth is, if you assure me that the trackpad's

01:17:04   going to work well, I would take a newer, more higher performing Windows laptop running

01:17:10   macOS.

01:17:11   Or I guess Mac OS.

01:17:12   I would even take a PC with a crummy trackpad running Mac OS X, then run Windows on a Mac,

01:17:21   just because I'm so mentally proficient in the Mac environment.

01:17:27   The software is so much more important to me than the hardware.

01:17:29   It's like the fact that Apple also makes the best hardware is just like a very nice...

01:17:34   That's lucky for me because the OS platform that I want to use happens to have the best

01:17:41   hardware too.

01:17:42   Have you used Chrome OS at all?

01:17:46   Not like seriously.

01:17:50   To me, I would always feel like I've got handcuffs on using just a browser.

01:17:59   So that's the same, although now they're doing Android apps, so I'm very excited to see how

01:18:03   that works out.

01:18:04   But I wrote about this.

01:18:07   I bought my mother a Chromebook Pixel instead of a retina MacBook for Christmas.

01:18:12   Because I—like I said this earlier on the show—I'm terrified of her using new software.

01:18:18   It just accrues back to me in the form of support calls.

01:18:22   So I was like, you know, I had her make me a list of what she does, and it's all the

01:18:27   web.

01:18:29   Everything she does is on the web.

01:18:30   And so I brought her this Chromebook, and what's interesting, and I never really thought

01:18:33   of this before, Chrome OS is so close to a Mac, even down to the way the mouse cursor

01:18:41   or looks that it's like a seamless transition if you're not out looking for Photoshop.

01:18:50   It's like if you use a Mac with Chrome and I just slide in a pixel, you might not notice

01:18:55   for a minute except for the fact that the hardware is a little bit different.

01:18:59   It's that close.

01:19:00   It's amazing to me, it's obviously been seven months since I bought her this computer, my

01:19:05   mother is in love with this thing.

01:19:07   And what she's in love with the most is because she generally uses her iPhone and iPad, when

01:19:12   she gets home she touches the screen constantly.

01:19:17   She's like opening Chrome and then she scrolls, she doesn't scroll with the mouse or the trackpad,

01:19:21   she scrolls on the screen.

01:19:23   And she clicks on links on the screen.

01:19:25   And it's actually, everybody I know with a Pixel is like yeah, it just starts happening

01:19:30   to you.

01:19:31   And it's crazy, it's absolutely crazy to me.

01:19:34   It's it's so close to a Mac experience that it it comforts you and then it like leads you down a whole other path

01:19:40   I'm not surprised to hear that and I you know, I think that

01:19:45   You know, I I hope that the Mac stays around for a good long time

01:19:50   But I think it's clear that for most people

01:19:56   Mac or Windows is overkill

01:20:00   It's the fact that they're so capable and that there's so much you can do at a technical level

01:20:05   with native apps in a way that you can install your own software and customize the user interface and

01:20:10   All the you know quote-unquote power user stuff that you can do and Mac and Windows is

01:20:17   completely over the heads and irrelevant for a good 95 96 97 percent of the world and

01:20:26   When you give them those other people a device that don't have those sharp edges and there is no way to

01:20:32   Misconfigure the device it is such a relief for them. It's it is such a it's just like a huge weight off their shoulders

01:20:39   I remember talking to a friend

01:20:41   There's a couple of double-wdbc's ago

01:20:44   Whose father-in-law

01:20:47   Was I forget what he was saying? He was in like finance or something like that

01:20:51   But he was also sort of like that the guy, you know, it was his career

01:20:54   but he was like the guy in the office who was also with the PC enthusiast. And he was like a world

01:21:00   class Excel expert. He could do, what are those tables called? The super complex tables in Excel.

01:21:07   **Matt Stauffer:** Pivot tables.

01:21:08   **Beserat Debebe:** Pivot tables. Yeah. So he totally understood

01:21:10   pivot tables inside and out. Was always a Windows guy. And when he retired, my friend, he was like,

01:21:19   "I'm sick of all this stuff on Windows. There's so many problems with it. I don't need Excel

01:21:23   anymore. And so my friend tried to get him to use a Mac and got him a Mac and it just never stuck.

01:21:28   I mean, the guy is a tech enthusiast and it just never stuck. And then he bought himself an iPad

01:21:33   and just went flying. Just like, and just his Mac just sits there gathering dust. And now it's,

01:21:40   he just uses an iPad for everything. And this is a guy who was sort of a technical expert,

01:21:44   but now that he doesn't need Excel and it's the fact that he'd like, he knows that he can't

01:21:49   can't misconfigure it. There's nothing you can do on an iPad that will render it.

01:21:52   You know, "Oh, I shouldn't have done that. I shouldn't have installed that.

01:21:57   It overwrote my old shared library and now this app doesn't work."

01:22:01   There's nothing like that.

01:22:03   - I actually, I'm wondering, do you think Apple's ever going to put a full desktop

01:22:06   class browser on the iPad? Right? It's like close, but it's just not there.

01:22:11   - No. I think that the Safari on the iPad is exactly what they want it to be,

01:22:15   especially now that they've increased the number of tabs.

01:22:18   - Right, and you can do the simultaneous screen thing.

01:22:21   - Yeah.

01:22:22   - That's the holdback for me.

01:22:23   I could maybe get away with using an iPad for work,

01:22:26   but not having the desktop web browser.

01:22:30   - I did it when I reviewed the iPad Pro,

01:22:33   the big one back in September,

01:22:35   and I really tried to live full time on it

01:22:37   for like two weeks.

01:22:38   I have so many little, like I said,

01:22:42   like little things that I've installed

01:22:43   and customized on my Mac over the years,

01:22:45   and I never, never stopped missing them.

01:22:48   And it was always, like when I gave up,

01:22:49   you know, when I finished my review

01:22:51   and went back to my Mac, it was a huge relief.

01:22:53   The one thing that happened to me, though,

01:22:55   was that after two weeks on the iPad Pro,

01:22:57   I did start touching my MacBook screen.

01:23:00   And I'm sort of an obsessive compulsive,

01:23:03   don't ever touch my screen.

01:23:06   Like it's entirely possible, I think,

01:23:08   unless somebody's snuck into my office here,

01:23:10   it's entirely possible that no fingertip

01:23:12   has ever touched my iMac screen.

01:23:14   - Huh, yeah, I mean, I guess I never like

01:23:19   think about touching my Mac screen.

01:23:21   There's nothing bigger.

01:23:21   - But I'll tell you after two weeks

01:23:23   of using the iPad Pro exclusively,

01:23:24   I just, when I went back to my MacBook Pro,

01:23:27   it just touched the screen without thinking.

01:23:30   Usually for scrolling.

01:23:31   Like you're--

01:23:32   - There's, it's what I'm saying.

01:23:33   We all think of touchscreen laptops as being ridiculous,

01:23:37   but there's something there about linking

01:23:40   at least the scroll action back to what you do

01:23:43   with a touchscreen device.

01:23:45   There's something there.

01:23:46   I don't know if it's like the right thing,

01:23:48   but it's something.

01:23:49   - Let me take one last break here

01:23:52   and thank our third and final sponsor.

01:23:54   And it's our good friends at Casper.

01:23:56   - Hey.

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01:26:27   We're going to talk about this headphone port.

01:26:32   port yeah I was like we're gonna do this this is what people are waiting for this

01:26:35   is we made him wait like an hour and 45 minutes for this shit what was your

01:26:40   headline your headline was removing the headline port is stupid and user hostile

01:26:45   user hostile and stupid user hostile and stupid which I firmly believe but it's a

01:26:50   strong opinion weekly held that's and that is why you and I get along yeah and

01:26:55   I hope I feel the same way and my retort some people misinterpret it some people

01:27:00   are saying that were took it as me saying it would be great to get rid of

01:27:04   the headphone port my my summary of my take is more let's wait and see like we

01:27:09   don't know yet I don't know maybe you know if there are scenario there are

01:27:13   ways that this could play out where I would say you know what this doesn't

01:27:15   just doesn't seem like an improvement yeah so here's basically and I so I do

01:27:23   believe it it's wrong to take it out and I you know it's actually one of the

01:27:28   the reasons you write something like that is just see how people are going to respond

01:27:31   right and like get some counter arguments because right now it's like before you do

01:27:35   that it's a lot of people are like oh they're going to do it there's a rumor who knows it's

01:27:39   like let's argue let's let's let's debate but let's let's let's get out there so here's

01:27:44   my version of this which is it's it's one of the few places in technology where the

01:27:52   ecosystem connects into something much larger than Apple or computers or the

01:27:59   tech industry. It's an ecosystem of how we listen to things in general, right? And

01:28:05   that ecosystem has all kinds of facets that we're not taking into account when

01:28:11   we just think about a phone or a laptop or, you know, my USB audio interface here

01:28:17   or whatever the hell it is. There are lots of devices that connect to a

01:28:21   headphone jack that less privileged people use.

01:28:26   Like poor people have headphones, are we going to make them all buy new headphones or buy

01:28:29   dongle because the most dominant phone vendor decided it was time.

01:28:34   There's all kinds of, and that's just a thing.

01:28:38   There are tons and tons of accessibility devices that plug into a headphone jack.

01:28:43   And I mentioned it in my piece and I didn't expound on it because I didn't want to sound

01:28:49   confident about something I'm not particularly well versed in, but I know it's true.

01:28:54   And Cory Doctorow actually wrote another piece that kind of like expanded on it, which I

01:28:57   thought was great.

01:28:58   I did not see that, Cory Doctorow.

01:28:59   That's good.

01:29:00   Boing Boing.

01:29:01   Yeah, Boing Boing.

01:29:02   I will look it up.

01:29:03   So that was good.

01:29:04   And then to me, and this was my first point, and I actually went to law school because

01:29:09   I felt so strongly in college about audio and DRM and piracy and Napster.

01:29:16   Once you make almost all of the signal chain digital, the content industry, it cannot help

01:29:23   itself.

01:29:24   It's just its base instinct is to try to lock it down.

01:29:29   Once you start locking it down, you start cutting off groups of people who want to do

01:29:34   the right thing legally and so they can't because they have to ask for permission, they

01:29:39   can't get it.

01:29:40   The people who are going to do the e-mail shit are never going to ask for permission,

01:29:42   they'll just break it.

01:29:43   So you end up in that zone where you're harming more people than you're helping.

01:29:47   That to me, because I'm saying the ecosystem is bigger than computers or phones or Apple

01:29:54   or the tech industry, it's the ecosystem of how in the world we connect speakers and headphones

01:30:00   and other audio devices together.

01:30:03   Once you start fucking with that, you start to have these knock-on effects that are almost

01:30:09   all negative and are almost all accruing control to some other entity.

01:30:14   And I think that is really dangerous.

01:30:16   And the one you brought up that I didn't mention because I was talking about it generally,

01:30:20   and because there's USB-C headphones out in the world now too, and USB-C phones, but you

01:30:23   brought up Apple owns the licensing program for Lightning, so they have MFI.

01:30:28   And so now you have to ask potentially not only Apple for permission to make the connector,

01:30:33   might have to go get permission from some third party DRM vendor to send Spotify through

01:30:40   it, or another DRM vendor to send your licensed Netflix audio through it.

01:30:47   I'm sure there are people listening to this who think I'm insane, but this is the history

01:30:52   of digital signal chains.

01:30:53   It is always what happens, and that to me is the scariest part.

01:30:58   I would just say that to me for everything else other than audio. It's always for

01:31:02   iPhones and iPads, it's always been lightning or the proprietary 30-pin thing. We'll just call it lightning since that's all that's relevant today

01:31:10   I don't think the world of lightning peripherals is all that restricted

01:31:15   I mean, it's you know, but it's it is certainly different though. We're like if you're you get to the airport and

01:31:23   You go through security and then you're like, all right, I got an hour to go. Let me listen to a podcast and you realize

01:31:29   Oh shit. I don't I didn't pack headphones. Yeah, you know you you don't even have to worry. You're like, well, I'm out ten bucks

01:31:35   I'll just go buy, you know, there's

01:31:37   Got to be a store here that sells

01:31:39   There's probably a store that you can see wherever you are in the airport, right?

01:31:44   I go to any moment

01:31:45   You can probably see the place where you can go in the airport and you'll be able to buy headphones and you're not

01:31:49   You're not gonna be out a lot of money

01:31:51   I mean if you want to, there usually is also a store that'll sell you a $400 pair of Bose

01:31:56   noise cancelling headphones too, but you'll be able to buy a pair of $10 standard headphones.

01:32:00   Or the airline that's going to give you it for free.

01:32:03   That happens a lot too.

01:32:04   Yeah.

01:32:05   Here's some crappy headphones.

01:32:06   And there's absolutely, even in the best case scenario, if this pans out and there is no

01:32:11   headphone jack on the new phone, it's absolutely a trade-off.

01:32:15   And one of the biggest trade-offs is the universalness of that jack.

01:32:20   And I don't know, maybe it really will be for the worse.

01:32:23   I'm just saying, you know, these changes always get people's dander riled up, and in the long

01:32:29   run it always works out.

01:32:31   But the reason I'm saying specifically, and it's a strong word, I pissed off a lot of

01:32:35   people with this word, user hostile, is it's not in service of a greater need, and it's

01:32:41   not in service of greater value.

01:32:43   So you can't, every time Apple's killed something off, there has been a successor technology

01:32:49   that has, in my view, delivered an order of magnitude improvement.

01:32:54   So we killed the floppy, the CD-ROM is sitting there, can hold an order of magnitude more

01:32:59   storage.

01:33:00   You brought up Ethernet jacks in response to my chart.

01:33:05   We killed Ethernet jacks, I don't know how the hell you measure this, but I'll just claim

01:33:09   Wi-Fi is an order of magnitude more convenient than Ethernet jack, which you can measure

01:33:14   it somehow, I'm sure I'm right.

01:33:16   But there's always some successor technology where there's some incredible spike in value.

01:33:22   We killed VGA and went to DVI, digital signals are higher quality than that.

01:33:26   We killed DVI and went to DisplayPort, the port got smaller and the displays are more

01:33:32   capable.

01:33:33   We went to Thunderbolt, now we can daisy chain them for days.

01:33:36   There's some reason that you want to do this thing over and over again.

01:33:39   With the headphone jack, the best arguments for it, and I made a little bit of fun of

01:33:44   are one, Apple's really good at doing this, so we should know that they have a reason.

01:33:49   It might help with waterproofing, which there are lots of waterproof phones on the market

01:33:53   right now with headphone jacks, and it'll help make it thinner and might make more space

01:33:57   with the battery.

01:33:58   I don't think that any of those things, in isolation or in combination, provide an order

01:34:04   of magnitude amount of value over the universalness and the accessibility of the headphone jack.

01:34:10   That's why I tend to think now at a gut level that the transition that they're gonna that

01:34:19   the message from Apple is going to be to go wireless.

01:34:22   Because that to me is a an advantage and as somebody who owns a pair of wireless ear earphones

01:34:30   or buds.

01:34:31   What do you got?

01:34:32   I have the Beats whatever they're called.

01:34:37   A lot of names.

01:34:38   the ones that are just like solo twos no no no they're small they're just they just go in your

01:34:43   ear and over the ear oh and they're wireless yes oh cool i was thinking of the big noise canceling

01:34:48   cans no i don't know i don't have those um and it's you know not getting caught not having a

01:34:54   cable that can get caught or that your arm gets caught in when you're running or bicycling or

01:34:58   whatever it is a huge advantage uh bluetooth kind of sucks though i mean and you know you even link

01:35:04   to my thing where i've been saying it for a while where the bluetooth slogan should always be

01:35:08   be Bluetooth, it's gonna be better next year.

01:35:10   So that's why I've also started in my writing about it

01:35:14   and talking about it, where I'm saying I think

01:35:16   the message from Apple is gonna be wireless.

01:35:18   Not necessarily Bluetooth, wireless.

01:35:20   So maybe they'll come up with, and again,

01:35:22   this gets into the whole proprietary versus standard thing.

01:35:25   What if they come up with their thing that is like

01:35:28   what lightning is to USB,

01:35:30   Apple's wireless technology is to Bluetooth.

01:35:34   It is an Apple only, but works, proprietary thing.

01:35:37   and that you can just, who knows, maybe just use NFC,

01:35:41   you wouldn't even have to plug in a Lightning,

01:35:42   just rub the earphones against your iPhone

01:35:45   and they're paired.

01:35:46   - Right, and that solves the MacBook dilemma, right?

01:35:50   'Cause you can-- - Yeah.

01:35:51   - You'd certainly be able to pair them.

01:35:52   If they're Bluetooth in particular,

01:35:53   it solves the MacBook dilemma.

01:35:54   - Well, or Bluetooth better, you know,

01:35:56   Apple Bluetooth++, that's, you know.

01:35:59   - All right, I mean, Bluetooth 5, they just see--

01:36:02   - Maybe with a fallback to Bluetooth

01:36:03   so that you could use them on an old MacBook, you know,

01:36:05   one that's not the new that maybe they're holding out

01:36:08   and has the new NFC sort of pairing process.

01:36:11   I don't know.

01:36:12   I'm just imagining, and again, maybe I'm way too optimistic.

01:36:17   I'm just, or wishful thinking, I don't know,

01:36:21   but I'm just hoping that they come out,

01:36:22   that the answer is, if the headphone jack is going away,

01:36:25   the answer is we've got these new wireless ones

01:36:27   and you're gonna be, as soon as you use them,

01:36:30   you're gonna be, I can't believe I spent all those years

01:36:32   with the cable connecting my headphones to my phone.

01:36:35   Because I think, and that's why I just think connecting headphones to the lightning port,

01:36:40   it just isn't a win.

01:36:41   Yeah, I don't think it's, like, it isn't.

01:36:44   You're gonna have an adapter, or you're gonna have one pair of headphones that you lose.

01:36:49   It's kind of the same thing with the wireless, right?

01:36:51   I almost think they have to...

01:36:54   Bluetooth 5 is here, right?

01:36:56   The standard's out, they've been talking about it.

01:36:58   If they go with something like Bluetooth 5, which, like I'm saying, it could be the year.

01:37:03   This could be the one.

01:37:04   Then, now you start to get an argument where it's okay, here's a standard, we can put these

01:37:10   headphones everywhere, the free set on the airplane can come with a cheapo adapter for

01:37:17   lightning and we can use it with your Mac.

01:37:20   That's a fine set of arguments, but what you do lose over and over and over again is just

01:37:28   the universality of this thing that has literally been around forever.

01:37:33   You know, the quarter inch jack is like 1898.

01:37:36   There's a reason it sticks around.

01:37:39   There's a reason that Sony tried to build a proprietary jack with a dongle

01:37:43   that could plug a headphone into it.

01:37:45   HTC tried to do it.

01:37:46   >> Getting rid of the headphone jack might be the land war in Asia.

01:37:50   >> Yeah, it's just everyone has failed to do this.

01:37:54   And Apple has a unique scale and they have a unique market power, I think unparalleled

01:37:59   in the history of consumer goods to just lead people down a road.

01:38:05   But this might be the one and I just don't know.

01:38:08   And I think you're saying we don't know.

01:38:10   And my take on it is the amount of obvious risk that you are taking to do this, like

01:38:17   blindly obvious risk versus the amount of currently available

01:38:22   benefit is just way lopsided. Like this is the reason people

01:38:27   say I'm not going to buy a new iPhone this year. And they're

01:38:31   already in the zone where people are beginning to say I'm not

01:38:33   going to buy a new iPhone this year. And maybe maybe we're

01:38:35   going to take it away this year. And they're going to bring it

01:38:38   back on the iPhone 7 10 year anniversary. It's the most

01:38:40   beautiful design ever. And everyone's like, oh, that phone

01:38:42   jack's back. And that's how they're planning to do it. Like

01:38:45   maybe there's a whiteboard somewhere that's like, here's

01:38:47   we'll do. We'll kill sales this year and next year we'll bring it back and sales will

01:38:51   sidewalk it. Like, I doubt it.

01:38:54   No, I don't think they could ever bring it back. I think I don't, I, well.

01:38:58   But this, but this is one of those reasons I think that when they're already in a zone

01:39:03   where their sales are starting to plateau because not everybody buys a new iPhone every

01:39:06   year and they're trying to get people into that place with their own upgrade plan yearly,

01:39:11   all the carriers are trying to get you to do it. This is one of those like moments when

01:39:15   A lot of people would say, maybe I don't need a new phone,

01:39:19   because that sucks.

01:39:20   Yeah, it would be interesting to see.

01:39:21   It would be interesting to see if it actually--

01:39:24   and if sales are disappointing of this new iPhone with the thing,

01:39:29   I mean, it's without the headphone port.

01:39:31   It might be impossible to say for sure that's why,

01:39:34   but because it might also be-- people would say, well,

01:39:37   people are also bored with the design.

01:39:39   Everybody who has a two-year-old iPhone 6,

01:39:41   they think this phone still looks the same,

01:39:43   so they'll just hang on for another year.

01:39:44   You never know what the reason is for sure

01:39:47   of across the entire population.

01:39:50   - I think the reason that they're leaking out early

01:39:52   to the journal and others, like it's gonna look the same,

01:39:55   is to set those lower expectations.

01:39:57   - Yeah, I think so too.

01:39:58   There is another explanation for why Apple is doing it

01:40:03   that is technical and isn't really about a better solution

01:40:09   for audio to users.

01:40:12   And if the keynote event in September comes

01:40:16   and they're not really talking about wireless headphones

01:40:19   and they're really talking about just the same old ear pods

01:40:21   but now you plug them into the lightning port,

01:40:24   then I think that the explanation for why they're doing it

01:40:26   is about next year's phone having this edge to edge

01:40:30   top to bottom display.

01:40:32   And that putting the headphone jack underneath that display

01:40:35   really is a problem.

01:40:37   Like the waterproofing is obviously not a problem

01:40:39   'cause there's waterproof phones with the headphone jack.

01:40:42   The battery explanation, I regret even going there

01:40:45   because I feel like however much space

01:40:47   the headphone jack takes out,

01:40:48   I don't think adding that space in the corner

01:40:53   is really gonna affect battery life too much.

01:40:56   I mean, every inch counts or every square millimeter

01:40:58   counts inside these devices, especially as they get thinner.

01:41:01   But the fact that they wanna go edge to edge

01:41:04   with the display top to bottom,

01:41:06   or as close to edge to edge

01:41:07   that currently is side to side, I think really could be a problem with the headphone jack with

01:41:12   as far you know into the devices it inserts. And so rather than doing it, introducing this

01:41:18   new headphone jack next year when they do that with this radical new design, it's better to do

01:41:23   it now and get people on board a year in advance. Isn't the home button a bigger problem? I mean,

01:41:27   this plays all over all kinds of other stuff, right? I mean, these are this is one of the best

01:41:32   engineering companies in the world. Well, suppose what I've heard supposedly is that the the home

01:41:36   home button will be on the screen.

01:41:38   It'll be covered with pixels.

01:41:39   I don't know any details about how that's

01:41:43   exactly gonna work, but that you'll have

01:41:45   some kind of thing that you'll feel on the display,

01:41:48   but when you're not using it, it'll be covered,

01:41:50   it'll be like usable space for apps.

01:41:52   - Sure, I'm just saying like, if they can put the display

01:41:57   over the battery and the processor and everything else,

01:42:02   do they have the same problem with the lightning port?

01:42:03   - I don't know, no.

01:42:05   - Well, the lightning port just goes in so much,

01:42:07   it's so much shallower than the headphone jack,

01:42:10   and it's thinner.

01:42:11   - Right.

01:42:12   - And it's thin in the right direction.

01:42:14   - It's one of those things where a thing

01:42:16   that I never wanna do is assume that Apple

01:42:19   isn't good enough to do something,

01:42:21   because it's clear that they can solve problems

01:42:24   in a variety of ways.

01:42:25   It's the same with Google and Facebook.

01:42:27   You know, these are the highest end companies in the world.

01:42:31   If they can't figure it out, it's rarely because

01:42:34   there's some huge blocker that they can't,

01:42:37   either like Moore's Law won't take them over

01:42:39   or they can't design around.

01:42:40   It's something else.

01:42:41   - Yeah, that's why I'm sticking with my optimistic take

01:42:45   that their message is you should go wireless

01:42:47   because the long run of Apple devices

01:42:50   is eliminating as many cables as possible.

01:42:54   - Yeah, you know, so I'll say this,

01:42:56   and maybe this is just 'cause I'm a huge nerd.

01:42:58   Maybe the vast majority of people are like, yep, wireless.

01:43:00   That's what I wanna use.

01:43:02   I went to Dieter Bohn's wedding.

01:43:05   And we-- no, this is a different story.

01:43:08   Well, I did go to his wedding.

01:43:09   It was great.

01:43:11   I was thinking of a different time

01:43:12   that he put a microSD card into a Samsung phone.

01:43:17   We shot-- I was saying we shot this 360 thing,

01:43:20   and I needed to put it on a headset.

01:43:21   And the only way we could get it in time

01:43:24   was to put a microSD card into a computer

01:43:27   and then stick it in the back of a phone.

01:43:29   And then it was like, I use the phone.

01:43:30   computer and I opened the file and ran with it and we were just sitting there

01:43:34   how would you do that on an iPhone it's like almost impossible to move a file

01:43:37   that big that fast and there's there is just this value to that kind of

01:43:42   extensibility and you can see where the two platforms will diverge and I this

01:43:47   might be one of those moments when they're gonna get more divergent because

01:43:51   the Android phone is gonna be the one with removable storage and a headphone

01:43:57   jack and a USB-C port and all these standards and connectivity and an app store that lets

01:44:04   you sideload and all this other stuff and it's more of a computer and the iPhone is

01:44:08   a sheet of glass that commands you to use it in certain ways.

01:44:12   I was at the eye doctor yesterday and they know for some reason, I don't even know how

01:44:19   it came about, but they know what I do.

01:44:22   They know that I'm right about Apple stuff and I think it's because my actual eye doctor,

01:44:27   She's a bit of a tech nerd.

01:44:29   She has an Apple Watch.

01:44:30   While I was waiting, the room I was,

01:44:36   you know, I was in the optometrist's chair,

01:44:39   and it's right behind the receptionist desk.

01:44:42   And she was just asking me,

01:44:43   "Hey, what's," you know, she knows what I do.

01:44:45   And she's like, "What's coming up?

01:44:46   What's new?

01:44:46   What's the big thing?"

01:44:47   You know, trying to talk shop.

01:44:49   And I said, "Believe it or not,

01:44:52   it's that the next iPhone is gonna

01:44:53   remove the headphone jack."

01:44:55   And it's really all, everybody in my life--

01:44:58   - It's the whole industry's talking about this headphone jack.

01:44:59   - And it sounds, as these words are coming out of my mouth

01:45:03   and I tell you that that's the next big thing,

01:45:05   I can't believe that I'm telling you that,

01:45:06   but you asked, and that's the answer.

01:45:09   And I thought, that is, it just sounded so goofy

01:45:12   once I started saying it.

01:45:13   But it really is, to me, fascinating,

01:45:15   because it could play out so many different ways.

01:45:19   - Well, it's, like I'm saying,

01:45:21   this relates back to the very beginning of the show.

01:45:23   Like what do I want to cover at The Verge?

01:45:25   It's how technology impacts the culture, right?

01:45:28   It's, that's the focus.

01:45:30   And the culture of how we listen to everything

01:45:34   is built around this jack.

01:45:38   It's wild, actually.

01:45:40   If you just, it's everywhere.

01:45:42   - As we discuss it on an audio-only podcast

01:45:45   that will be, you know, anybody who hears this discussion

01:45:47   is using headphones or speakers,

01:45:50   getting audio off a device somehow.

01:45:52   Yeah. Actually, it's funny. I think Marco released stats. So many people just, my wife

01:45:57   does this, they just use a speaker on the phone. Maybe that's what Apple's banking on.

01:46:01   Is that most people are just like, fuck it. And they just use the speaker. I don't know.

01:46:06   But yeah, I just think it's, it's an it's another one of these inflection points when

01:46:11   it's okay, we're gonna we're gonna jump off the deep end. And what is the audio industry

01:46:15   look like now? Chaos?

01:46:17   - [Dave] Neelay, I'm gonna call that a wrap.

01:46:20   I thank you for your time, this was great.

01:46:22   This was everything I wanted it to be.

01:46:24   People who wanna follow you on Twitter,

01:46:25   they can find you at Reckless, without the W.

01:46:28   (laughing)

01:46:31   - [Nathan] That sounds like a skateboard shot.

01:46:33   - [Dave] Yeah, exactly, that would be Reckless, yeah.

01:46:36   And of course, your editor-in-chief of The Verge,

01:46:40   which needs no introduction.

01:46:42   Anybody who's listening to this who's not

01:46:44   or to the verge, must be fresh out of prison.

01:46:47   - And we welcome you.

01:46:49   - Yes, welcome. - Back to society.

01:46:51   - Yeah.

01:46:52   My thanks to our sponsors,

01:46:54   Casper, where you go to buy a mattress,

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