504: Too Much Apple in My Apple


00:00:00   Pretend like I'm holding a hundred dollar bill

00:00:02   I'm out. You're out of what you're out of hundred bucks. Yeah, I got the stupid ultra

00:00:09   Why what brought you over the line is that everyone else has one and you don't what happened was

00:00:17   Yeah, it did happen to you Marco. Did it just happen to you?

00:00:21   So I was running some errands and then you found yourself in an Apple store somehow you have no idea how I literally

00:00:29   had to kill time and I was in a mall.

00:00:32   - Mm-hmm.

00:00:33   - I was getting the, a tow, what, is it the hook?

00:00:38   What's the square hole that you can put stuff into

00:00:41   on the back of a car?

00:00:42   Like, is it the tow hook?

00:00:44   It's not a hook, what is that thing called?

00:00:47   - The hitch, isn't it?

00:00:48   - No, the hitch is the ball thing

00:00:49   that you put into the square hole.

00:00:51   What's the square hole called?

00:00:52   - I should know this.

00:00:53   I understand the question you're asking

00:00:54   and I don't know the answer.

00:00:56   - Anyway, I was getting a square hole installed on my car

00:00:59   and it took a few hours and so I had to--

00:01:00   - Wait, why were you doing that?

00:01:01   What are you putting into that square hole?

00:01:04   - A shackle thing so I can pull or be pulled

00:01:07   if I get stuck.

00:01:08   - You are so worried about this,

00:01:10   this is huge Casey energy,

00:01:11   you are so worried about this thing

00:01:13   that you've spent inordinate amounts of money

00:01:16   to prevent from ever happening

00:01:17   and now you're spending more money.

00:01:19   - No, actually I negotiated this part of the deal

00:01:21   when I bought it, anyway.

00:01:22   - One of these really far down the beach

00:01:24   and he needs a watch that can survive the rugged conditions

00:01:28   two and a half miles from home.

00:01:30   - So what happened was,

00:01:31   while they were installing the hole in my car,

00:01:33   I had like a few hours to kill in the area.

00:01:35   They gave me a loaner of some much worse small thing.

00:01:38   I went to the mall 'cause I had a couple errands to run,

00:01:41   and I went to the Apple store,

00:01:43   and it was the first time I had seen the Ultra in person.

00:01:46   Now, I did not think, "Oh my God, I have to have that."

00:01:51   I also did not think, "Oh my God, that looks awesome."

00:01:54   Then when I tried it on,

00:01:56   I absolutely did not think, "Oh, this fits me great."

00:01:59   Because none of those things are actually true,

00:02:02   in my opinion.

00:02:03   - Yeah, just to very briefly interject,

00:02:04   I was in an Apple store doing one of the returns

00:02:06   we spoke about a few weeks ago,

00:02:07   and I put an Ultra on my wrist for literally 10 seconds,

00:02:11   and I immediately looked down,

00:02:13   maybe I had to tell the story, I don't know if I did,

00:02:14   but I immediately looked down and thought,

00:02:15   "Ooh, that's way too big."

00:02:16   Now, Erin was standing next to me at this point,

00:02:18   she was like, "Eh, I think you could pull it off

00:02:19   "if you wanted," and this is the conversation

00:02:21   that I think you would have had a few weeks before that,

00:02:23   in saying if you believe it's not too big, it's fine,

00:02:27   but, you know, because everyone else will think

00:02:28   it's fine regardless, but I looked down and I was like,

00:02:30   nope, nope, nope, nope, nope, nope, not for me.

00:02:33   So I totally hear you, and you and I are both

00:02:35   on the teeny tiny wrist committee, right?

00:02:37   'Cause you also have the smaller of the Apple Watch sizes.

00:02:39   - Yeah, I wear the 40 or 41,

00:02:41   and I'm very happy with it. - Right, same, okay.

00:02:44   - Like before the Series 4 redesign,

00:02:46   I wore the bigger one, the 42, and it was fine,

00:02:48   but I'm a little happier with the 40 and 41.

00:02:52   Anyway, oh, and by the way, from real-time follow-up,

00:02:53   everybody in the chat is pointing out

00:02:55   that apparently the square hole

00:02:56   that you put in the back of a car to tow things

00:02:58   is called the receiver or the tow receiver

00:03:01   or the hitch receiver.

00:03:03   - I'll give myself partial credit on that.

00:03:05   - Which makes sense, receiver makes sense,

00:03:06   'cause it's a hole, so it receives

00:03:07   whatever square object you're inserting into there.

00:03:09   Anyway, so I'm at the Apple Store,

00:03:12   and I try this thing on just out of curiosity's sake,

00:03:15   and it is massive, and I don't really think it,

00:03:18   you know, the look didn't do anything for me,

00:03:20   and it definitely didn't fit me.

00:03:22   However, I started using it.

00:03:26   And of course, I'm instantly pushing the action button

00:03:28   alongside the crown every single time I push it

00:03:30   because it's very difficult not to push those

00:03:32   at the same time when you're first getting used to this thing

00:03:35   but what I noticed instantly was everything looks

00:03:40   and feels extremely different compared

00:03:42   to other Apple Watches because of a number of factors,

00:03:45   mainly that the screen is so large,

00:03:48   secondarily because the screen is totally flat

00:03:50   and doesn't have the little curved edges.

00:03:52   And then tertiary that there's just the extra button

00:03:57   and a little bit different ergonomics and everything.

00:03:59   And so it's such a size difference that it's not quite,

00:04:04   it isn't as severe as going from the iPhone to the iPad,

00:04:08   but it's that kind of change where it's a bigger enough size

00:04:13   that you have to kind of rethink how you lay things out,

00:04:19   how you use the space, how big things should be,

00:04:22   where things should be on the device.

00:04:24   Just poking around the OS and the setting screens,

00:04:26   I realized, oh, I have to have one of these

00:04:31   for my app design.

00:04:32   - Oh, sure you do.

00:04:33   - Because, and it didn't help that like the day before,

00:04:37   I had seen a screenshot of Overcast running on it,

00:04:39   and I had seen it in the simulator,

00:04:40   and it was, you know, it looked weird, but it was fine,

00:04:42   but I saw the screenshot of somebody actually doing it

00:04:44   in use, and I'm like, oh, that looks bad.

00:04:46   Like, I can't just leave the layout the way it is.

00:04:50   I have to actually customize it for the bigger screen

00:04:52   because it just looks stupid.

00:04:53   - If only there was a simulator you could use

00:04:56   to do this sort of work.

00:04:57   - Yes, but when you're doing design work on the Apple Watch,

00:05:01   I know from previous experience,

00:05:02   like I'll be coding up something,

00:05:04   I'll do it in the simulator first,

00:05:05   and then I'll run it on a device,

00:05:06   I'm like, oh, that's not how I thought it would be.

00:05:09   And you always have to do, so anyway,

00:05:12   it is so, the screen is just so different.

00:05:14   It's such a different size.

00:05:15   It is not just the same thing, but a little bit bigger.

00:05:18   Like it's radically different.

00:05:20   And I knew, first of all, I knew from poking around the OS,

00:05:23   Apple has a lot more work to do to make the OS work

00:05:27   and feel right on this device.

00:05:29   And the watch face situation is dire,

00:05:32   I would say, on this device.

00:05:34   I'm not a huge fan of the general watch face situation

00:05:36   on the Apple Watch as a whole,

00:05:38   but on the Ultra in particular, it's dire.

00:05:41   It's bad.

00:05:42   But all this is to say, I knew instantly

00:05:45   as soon as I handled it, oh, I have to do

00:05:48   real design work on this thing.

00:05:50   And so I ordered one that day.

00:05:52   - Of course you did.

00:05:53   This surprises nobody, and as much as I'm giving you

00:05:56   a hard time, like I do understand what you're saying,

00:05:58   and yes, it is unquestionably, again,

00:06:00   as much as I'm pulling your leg,

00:06:01   it's much better to have a physical device

00:06:03   to do this sort of work on.

00:06:04   But yeah, this is not surprising.

00:06:06   And I'm sorry, I guess, or congrats,

00:06:10   I'm not even sure what I'm supposed to say in this context.

00:06:12   What are you gonna do with it?

00:06:13   Besides it being a dev thing,

00:06:15   do you think you're gonna end up wearing it at all?

00:06:17   You think someone else in your house is gonna wear it?

00:06:20   Is it gonna be a very small iPad mini for Atom?

00:06:23   - I don't think we have much use for it in the house.

00:06:26   All three of us wear the 41 size,

00:06:29   so I don't think we have a ton of use for it

00:06:32   within the house, but I'm going to wear it for a few days

00:06:35   while I figure out the app design,

00:06:37   because I have to be familiar with the size

00:06:41   to know what feels right.

00:06:43   But I don't like the way this looks on me.

00:06:46   It is also long sleeve season starting up now.

00:06:50   And my sleeve situation is such that they exist

00:06:55   and therefore this is not good.

00:06:57   Because as soon as you try to tuck this under a sleeve,

00:07:00   when you have a watch under a sleeve, it's always awkward,

00:07:03   especially when you have those like the ribbed sleeves

00:07:04   on the bottom of sweatshirts and stuff.

00:07:06   You never want a big watch in that situation.

00:07:08   It's awkward.

00:07:09   And this just makes everything like a thousand times worse.

00:07:13   - Maybe your Tesla could wear it.

00:07:14   - Yeah, there you go.

00:07:15   (laughing)

00:07:16   - The defender's already got a watch,

00:07:17   your Tesla's jealous, you know.

00:07:18   - Yeah, yeah.

00:07:19   - It's high tech.

00:07:20   - Yeah, so even though I said

00:07:21   I wasn't buying a watch this fall,

00:07:23   I bought a G-Shock, this ridiculous thing,

00:07:27   and a refurbished Series 6 for Adam.

00:07:29   So here we are.

00:07:30   - Yeah, your Prince of Tides G-Shock.

00:07:33   Still didn't get that reference.

00:07:34   - No, still didn't.

00:07:36   It is awesome though.

00:07:37   Like I've been doing a lot of sand driving.

00:07:38   I love that G-Shock, it's fantastic for that purpose.

00:07:41   I tried wearing it and it looks ridiculous,

00:07:43   but I'm extremely happy with the actual functionality

00:07:46   of why I bought it to be this thing in the car.

00:07:48   It's awesome.

00:07:50   - So as much as I'm, again, pulling your leg

00:07:52   and giving you a hard time,

00:07:54   have you found that the truck is sufficient

00:07:57   for sand driving?

00:07:58   Is this hitch because you're genuinely worried

00:08:00   that you're going to get stuck,

00:08:01   or maybe that you expect to get stuck,

00:08:03   or is it just like you're trying to do everything

00:08:05   in your power to make sure this is never going

00:08:07   to be a problem ever, ever, ever, ever.

00:08:09   - Mostly the latter because I am not good

00:08:12   at asking for help.

00:08:13   And the idea that-- - Yes, I can confirm.

00:08:16   - Yeah, and the idea that I would be one of the newbies

00:08:20   who just got a permit and get stuck

00:08:23   and I have to call somebody for help,

00:08:25   I know many people who would come help me.

00:08:27   I'd be mortified though.

00:08:28   I want to avoid that, especially because if those people

00:08:32   were not able to come out at that moment or help me,

00:08:35   then what you're supposed to do is call 911

00:08:39   and explain to the Suffolk County Police where you are

00:08:41   and the situation you're in

00:08:43   and they arrange for a $700 tow truck.

00:08:46   I really don't wanna do that for multiple reasons.

00:08:49   Like that just sounds awful to me.

00:08:51   So it's mainly because I have been told

00:08:54   by everybody out here, everyone gets stuck sometimes.

00:08:58   Like every single person who's driven out here for years,

00:09:01   they all say that, everyone gets stuck sometimes.

00:09:04   And so not only do I kinda wanna try to prove them wrong,

00:09:06   like, hmm, maybe I won't get stuck, let's see.

00:09:09   You know?

00:09:10   But also, I want to be able to help other people

00:09:12   if I pass somebody who is stuck.

00:09:14   But ultimately, I have found, I think,

00:09:18   since I have gone through the trouble

00:09:19   of installing a tow hole in my car

00:09:21   and have all these recovery boards,

00:09:23   that's probably going to mean,

00:09:24   kinda like when I bought a new snow blower

00:09:26   and then it didn't snow for two years,

00:09:27   it's probably gonna mean I'm never gonna use this stuff.

00:09:29   And that'd be fine with me.

00:09:30   I would gladly have made that trade-off

00:09:33   to have not ever getting stuck.

00:09:37   But I also think that, hmm, how do I put this?

00:09:40   Some people are, they get bad information.

00:09:44   And Long Islanders are really good at it.

00:09:47   And so, the tips I have heard for driving on the sand here

00:09:52   oftentimes are very different from the tips that I hear

00:09:58   from the community of Australian sand driving off-roaders.

00:10:03   And they seem to know what they're doing a lot.

00:10:07   - Yeah, I would trust the Aussies.

00:10:08   - Yeah, it seems like driving on sand

00:10:10   is a big thing down there.

00:10:12   - But their sand is upside down, it's totally different.

00:10:14   - Yeah, it swirls the opposite direction.

00:10:16   But anyway, it seems like the advice that they all give

00:10:23   basically comes down to what you need really

00:10:26   is ground clearance and low tire pressure.

00:10:29   That's the secret to everything, according to them.

00:10:31   So I lower my tires down to like 20, 22 PSI

00:10:35   for most driving around here,

00:10:37   and I know I could go lower if I really had to,

00:10:38   if I got stuck, and it's been great.

00:10:42   No one else here lowers their tires that reliably

00:10:45   or that far.

00:10:46   Everyone's like driving around on 30 PSI,

00:10:48   like yeah, it's low.

00:10:49   No, it's off-road and that really is not very low

00:10:53   from what I understand.

00:10:54   Even 20 is not that low for off-roading,

00:10:57   from what I understand.

00:10:57   But anyway, I think just having low tires,

00:11:01   plus good ground clearance,

00:11:02   plus a pretty seemingly great all-wheel drive system

00:11:06   on the Defender, it's been amazing.

00:11:09   Like, I'm able to hop in and out of the deep tracks,

00:11:11   no problem, like it's been glorious.

00:11:15   It's so easy.

00:11:16   The chances of me actually ever getting stuck,

00:11:20   I think might be lower than average.

00:11:22   Simply because not only do I have a decent vehicle,

00:11:24   for it, but I think more because I'm actually

00:11:26   bringing my tire pressure down,

00:11:27   and no one else seems to do that.

00:11:29   They also tell me things here like,

00:11:30   oh yeah, to get out just accelerates.

00:11:32   That's oftentimes the opposite of what you want to be doing.

00:11:36   So yeah, there's been a lot of information passed to me,

00:11:40   and some of it's been very good, but far from all of it.

00:11:45   - If you ever do get stuck, just to remind you,

00:11:46   you are obligated to take pictures and video of it,

00:11:50   because that's gonna be awesome.

00:11:51   Oh, you have plenty of time waiting around

00:11:53   for someone to come and save you anyway.

00:11:55   So you should just go around the car with the phone

00:11:57   and show the situation that we need to see it.

00:12:00   It needs to be documented.

00:12:01   - Honestly, to build on this,

00:12:03   I don't know that I've ever FaceTimed with John or Marco,

00:12:07   but I can tell you right now,

00:12:08   if you don't get a three-way FaceTime going on this

00:12:11   at this moment, I will never speak to you again.

00:12:13   I will quit the show and you're all fired.

00:12:17   We must have this happen.

00:12:18   And listeners, I'm sorry,

00:12:19   this is a perk of being on the show.

00:12:21   You may never get to see this,

00:12:22   But I want to see it, I want to be there virtually

00:12:26   and watch this as it happens.

00:12:27   But it probably won't, which is too bad.

00:12:29   I mean, which is excellent.

00:12:30   (electronic beeping)

00:12:33   None of us are particularly active on Reddit,

00:12:34   but there is an ATP subreddit,

00:12:36   which I don't even remember what it's called anymore.

00:12:37   I should have thought this through

00:12:38   before it went in my mouth. - Wait, there is?

00:12:39   - Yes, I didn't create it, but I forget what it is, actually.

00:12:42   - I don't know if I've ever been there.

00:12:44   - I cruise it, like I'm subscribed,

00:12:47   I'm such a noob Redditor.

00:12:49   But anyways, there is an ATP Reddit that I look at.

00:12:52   Is it ATP FM, I think?

00:12:55   I think that's it, ATP FM.

00:12:56   I'm pretty sure that's right.

00:12:57   Well anyways, somebody set up a robot to post

00:13:02   when shows go up.

00:13:04   I had nothing to do with any of this,

00:13:05   but I'll occasionally look at it.

00:13:07   This is not an officially sanctioned thing.

00:13:09   It's just occasionally I'll take a look.

00:13:11   Well anyways, somebody commented on Reddit

00:13:13   after the last episode, this is Yalom on Reddit,

00:13:15   who said, this is with regard, I'm sorry,

00:13:17   to AI images and AI image creation and stuff like that,

00:13:22   and whether or not that's like stealing

00:13:24   and whether that's art or not, et cetera, et cetera.

00:13:26   So Yalom writes, "I'm surprised I made it

00:13:28   "through the whole AI image generation segment

00:13:30   "without mentioning the last time

00:13:31   "technology completely bulldozed the art world.

00:13:34   "The bread and butter of the industry

00:13:35   "used to be portraiture,

00:13:37   "and those painters certainly realized

00:13:39   "what they were looking at

00:13:40   "the first time they saw a photograph,

00:13:41   "and maybe the first time that three of them

00:13:44   "have ever passed up the opportunity

00:13:45   to talk about cameras, which is accurate.

00:13:48   But that was a good point.

00:13:49   And I don't remember any of us bringing that up.

00:13:51   But yeah, portraits, I got to imagine,

00:13:52   obviously we weren't there,

00:13:54   but I got to imagine portraits were a big deal

00:13:57   way back when, and then suddenly photographs were a thing,

00:14:00   and sorry portrait artists,

00:14:01   you were basically told tough noogies.

00:14:04   - Well, they still paint portraits

00:14:04   just like they still have horses.

00:14:06   A couple of people wrote in

00:14:07   with similar points about photography.

00:14:09   One of them was noting that after the invention

00:14:14   of the camera and the spreading throughout the world,

00:14:17   you saw art go in different directions, less representative.

00:14:21   I'm not sure if the timelines line up exactly,

00:14:23   but certainly there was kind of an explosion

00:14:24   in non-representative art around about the time

00:14:28   that photography started to come into development.

00:14:30   So maybe there are some analogs there for AI art

00:14:33   versus human-made art, as we'll call it, I guess.

00:14:37   - By the way, real-time follow-up,

00:14:38   I used one of the AI art generators

00:14:42   to generate an icon for the little tiny app I'm making

00:14:47   for the sand drivers here.

00:14:48   - Oh, I was wondering what that was about.

00:14:50   I didn't wanna ask you publicly in case it was

00:14:53   just kept close to the vest or anything.

00:14:55   - It's really simple, just like showing the tight info

00:14:57   and letting people report where the conditions are.

00:14:58   That's it.

00:14:59   I use the AI generator to generate an icon for this

00:15:02   and not only was I laughing my butt off the whole time,

00:15:06   here, I'll show you.

00:15:07   So this was the first one that I generated.

00:15:12   I'll have to put these in the chapter art,

00:15:14   which made me laugh.

00:15:15   - That looks like a Wrangler, my friend.

00:15:16   - It's a Wrangler driving into a wave.

00:15:20   - That's not a good situation.

00:15:21   I would not recommend this.

00:15:23   - That's why it's funny, Jon.

00:15:24   That's the point of its humor.

00:15:26   And then what I eventually landed on,

00:15:30   so this is a white Jeep, I made it white.

00:15:33   - Oh, that's pretty good.

00:15:34   - Driving on the edge of the sand and the water

00:15:36   so one tire is in the water

00:15:38   and they're definitely getting stuck.

00:15:40   I love how the AI image generators have,

00:15:42   I mean, you don't have any text,

00:15:43   but they do have a big problem with text

00:15:44   'cause they don't know what text is.

00:15:46   But also they have a problem with understanding symmetry.

00:15:50   So look at the wheel on the Jeep on the top

00:15:52   and look at the headlight, the right headlight,

00:15:54   or the headlight on the right-hand side of the second one.

00:15:56   - Or the mirrors are also wrong.

00:15:57   The second one doesn't have a driver's-side mirror.

00:16:00   - Yeah, it doesn't know or care

00:16:01   that a wheel should be radially symmetrical.

00:16:04   And same thing with the headlights.

00:16:05   They should be two circles that are the same.

00:16:07   It's the side one of the headlights

00:16:08   gonna have a big blob in the middle of it and that wheel is gonna be melted.

00:16:11   I feel like this AI art is, you know, people talk about machine learning as like ethics

00:16:16   laundering or morality laundering.

00:16:18   You say, "I didn't do it, the computer did it."

00:16:20   This is kind of like artistic laundering where it's like, "Yeah, it's ugly, but I didn't

00:16:22   do it, the computer did it."

00:16:24   It's like, 'cause I feel like you could draw a better icon than both of these.

00:16:28   It would take you longer than the 30 seconds it took to generate these, but they certainly

00:16:32   need some help here.

00:16:33   Yeah, but what was great about this was within a couple of minutes I had gone through 20

00:16:39   or 30 different proposals that the AI had generated and I found what I wanted the icon

00:16:46   to basically be conceptually.

00:16:48   And so now what I can do is take this one I like, the second one here, take this one

00:16:53   and then go to an icon designer and say, "Hey, here's a concept.

00:16:57   Can we make something based on this concept?"

00:17:00   And it saved, it gave me so many concepts to work with

00:17:04   with no effort and no cost.

00:17:06   That has tremendous value.

00:17:07   And in the meantime now, while I wait to actually

00:17:10   arrange that with an actual icon designer,

00:17:13   I have a placeholder that I can at least develop the app

00:17:16   and have this on my screen, not have like,

00:17:18   just like the Apple crisscross default thing.

00:17:20   Like, it's very, this technology I think has a huge amount

00:17:26   of use that doesn't involve destroying artists.

00:17:31   It's much more about being a part of the artistic process.

00:17:36   It might replace some work that is happening,

00:17:42   but I think ultimately this is just going to be another tool

00:17:44   in our lineup that artists use as part of their process

00:17:49   of being human artists.

00:17:51   - You're gonna keep that Jeep tilted so much?

00:17:53   Looks a little too, it looks like it's gonna fall

00:17:54   into the ocean.

00:17:55   point that's why it's funny. No the Jeep can absolutely handle that angle. I guarantee

00:18:01   a Jeep can handle that angle. This is what your app is going to prevent right? It's going

00:18:05   to prevent you from not realizing it's high tide in a Jeep that's tilting over into the

00:18:10   ocean. Yeah but that's why it's funny. Like in both cases it's like wow this something

00:18:14   has gone horribly wrong. That is pretty good stuff. Alright John tell me about how awesome

00:18:20   it is when you have to use a screen to open your glove box. I don't know what it is that

00:18:24   has caused the entire internet to send, at least me, but probably all three of us, links

00:18:28   to the Cadillac Lyric reviews showing that you opened the glove box with a touchscreen.

00:18:33   But Marco can confirm to me, I'm pretty sure that's been the case on Teslas for the history

00:18:37   of Teslas.

00:18:38   Is that right?

00:18:39   I don't know about the Model 3, but on the Model S there's a button.

00:18:42   There's like three buttons in the whole car, that's one of them.

00:18:44   All right, well anyway, Tesla did it first, like so many things.

00:18:48   And so, I mean, I guess Cadillac is on their big PR campaign for their EV, but they are

00:18:54   not the first car company to open the glove box via the touch screen.

00:18:59   And there, in terms of the controls inside the Cadillac, is it called the Lyric?

00:19:05   L-Y-R-I-C maybe?

00:19:06   Someone should look it up.

00:19:07   Anyway, as for the controls inside that Cadillac, the Model 3 still is the champ in terms of

00:19:13   not having physical controls anywhere.

00:19:15   So yeah, Tesla did it first, thanks to everyone sending it.

00:19:18   And just to reiterate, no, opening the glove box on the touch screen is not a good idea.

00:19:23   a button or a handle on the glove box, please.

00:19:25   Yep. So, an internet friend of mine just sent me his video review of his brand new Model

00:19:31   Y, and one of the things he points out—I'll put a link to it in the show notes—one of

00:19:34   the things he points out is that you have to go into the screen and, you know, bloop,

00:19:39   bloop, bloop in order to open the glove box, which I think is bananas. And that's a tussle

00:19:44   for you. Aaron's car does not have a physical latch that you can operate, but it does have

00:19:49   a physical button, which I also think is a bit ridiculous, but that's neither here nor

00:19:53   there. And also, since we're talking about ridiculous things, I would just like to point

00:19:58   out that whenever I get on my high horse, which is all too often, about how dumb Celsius

00:20:03   is for ambient air temperature, because it is dumb, I'm always telling people, "Oh, you

00:20:08   know, if you have to use a decimal point, then I think you've already kind of failed."

00:20:13   And every Celsius aficionado, which is the entire world except America, is quick to point

00:20:18   Oh, no, we never use decimals. We never use it. Maybe we'll use half degrees once a while

00:20:22   Maybe but you never ever ever see that me me me. Well, you know what I'm looking at on this Tesla Model Y video

00:20:28   This is an Australian and you know what it says on his screen 20.0 degrees Celsius

00:20:33   0.0 people I'm telling you probably goes up in 0.5 increments, right? Yep. I would assume so

00:20:39   I don't know but I would assume so Celsius people come on

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00:22:39   (upbeat music)

00:22:42   Hey, we accidentally glossed over something last week

00:22:45   in Ask ATP.

00:22:46   David Kome had written,

00:22:47   and I had kind of lumped this in with another question,

00:22:50   and I think we glossed over it by accident.

00:22:52   So David wrote, "Given Jon has a new TV

00:22:54   and clearly has a number of input sources connected,

00:22:56   what advice beyond his past blog posts

00:22:58   would you suggest in 2022 about settings for color,

00:23:00   et cetera?"

00:23:00   Here's the key.

00:23:01   "In particular, we have an Apple TV 4K

00:23:03   and are curious about the match content option

00:23:06   in the late tvOS,

00:23:08   and what's best to be set or unset

00:23:10   on both ends of the HDMI cable?

00:23:13   - Yeah, I know we talked about this before,

00:23:14   but I didn't wanna actually answer the question

00:23:15   since it was part of Ask ATP and we didn't get to it.

00:23:18   I went off on a tangent about color calibration,

00:23:21   but to reiterate, the match content setting,

00:23:23   it's a weird name,

00:23:25   but you do want that to be turned on on your Apple TV.

00:23:28   What that's telling your Apple TV

00:23:29   is to do a feature that Apple TV didn't always have,

00:23:32   send the content to the television

00:23:35   in the format that the program is in.

00:23:38   So if you're watching a movie and the movie is 24 frames

00:23:41   per second, you're telling the Apple TV,

00:23:43   send 24 frames per second to the television.

00:23:45   And you may think, how could it ever do anything different?

00:23:48   If the movie's 24 frames per second,

00:23:49   of course the Apple TV is gonna send 24 frames per second

00:23:51   by television, but it didn't do that for years and years.

00:23:54   For years and years, the Apple TV worked like a little

00:23:56   computer, like your Mac does or whatever.

00:23:58   It had a fixed refresh rate.

00:24:00   Whatever the refresh rate is on, you know, ignoring the,

00:24:03   what do they call it on the MacBook Pros?

00:24:05   Do they call it-- - Promotion.

00:24:06   - Promotion? - Yep.

00:24:07   Anyway, ignoring promotion, before the advent of promotion and before the advent of different

00:24:11   refresh rates for screens, computers would just pick a refresh rate.

00:24:14   Like in your CRTs, you could pick whichever one you wanted.

00:24:17   LCDs mostly are 60 hertz, and it just shows everything at 60 hertz.

00:24:22   And that's what the Apple TV was like.

00:24:23   It was a little computer that had video output running at 60 hertz all the time.

00:24:27   So if you watched a 24 frames per second movie, it would output that at 60 hertz.

00:24:31   So it would show, I don't know if the math, I can't do the math off the top of my head,

00:24:34   If the number of frames per second was not an even multiple of or couldn't divide evenly into 60 frames per second

00:24:41   Sometimes it would show one frame for longer the other it was bad, right?

00:24:44   It was the reason the Apple TV wasn't a good video device for years

00:24:48   Then eventually I added this feature called match content and that says we won't do that anymore

00:24:51   We will send whatever the video dictates. We'll send that to the television

00:24:56   You're watching a 30 frames per second television program will send that to the TV if you're watching

00:25:01   9.7 will send that, whatever it is.

00:25:03   What is it, in PAL, it was like 25 frames per second

00:25:06   or something, I forget.

00:25:07   - That's called PAL, not pal.

00:25:10   - Pal, PAL, I don't know.

00:25:12   - I've never had to say it before,

00:25:14   but I've always assumed it was pal.

00:25:16   Just like ours is ints.

00:25:17   - I don't think, well, PAL is not a mispronunciation,

00:25:20   it is just a reading of the letters in the abbreviation.

00:25:24   I pronounced the letters individually correctly.

00:25:25   Anyway, I don't know which one of those two things it is,

00:25:27   but yeah, they have different frame rates

00:25:30   for their television over there.

00:25:31   Apparently it stands for phase alternating line

00:25:34   and it's pronounced pal.

00:25:36   - Totally. - Yeah.

00:25:37   Anyway, so you want that to be turned on.

00:25:39   The downside of that though, there is a downside

00:25:43   and I'm telling you to turn on even despite this downside

00:25:46   is that when you enable that,

00:25:49   the Apple TV chooses to run its interface,

00:25:52   like the little thing with all the little rectangles,

00:25:54   it runs its interface at whatever refresh rate

00:25:56   it decides to run it at.

00:25:57   And then when you play something,

00:25:59   it has to switch from whatever it was running

00:26:01   the interface at to whatever the thing you're watching is.

00:26:04   And they're probably not gonna be the same,

00:26:05   'cause I think the interface always runs at like 60 hertz,

00:26:08   but pretty much nothing you're gonna watch on Apple TV

00:26:10   is 60 frames per second.

00:26:13   And even if it was 30,

00:26:14   it doesn't just like frame double it up to 60,

00:26:17   it switches to 30 frames per second

00:26:19   or 24 frames per second or whatever,

00:26:20   which means there's like this blackout interval

00:26:22   when you launch an app

00:26:24   or when you start playing something or whatever.

00:26:26   Depending on how quickly your television setup responds

00:26:30   to that change, it can be kind of annoying.

00:26:32   You're like, instead of having such a phrase

00:26:34   where you just go bloop, bloop, bloop, play,

00:26:35   and it starts playing, it's bloop, bloop, bloop, play,

00:26:38   black screen, maybe your television pops up

00:26:41   and overlay native to the television

00:26:42   'cause it's like a lost signal on HDMI one.

00:26:45   Oh wait, no, here it is, and then it comes back.

00:26:48   That can be annoying.

00:26:49   The best way to fix that would be for television

00:26:52   manufacturers and streaming box manufacturers

00:26:54   to get together to make that switching way, way, way, way faster than it is now.

00:26:59   Kind of like how when we got the ARM Macs, like changing screen resolution or attaching

00:27:04   external monitors was suddenly a bazillion times faster and we didn't realize how slow

00:27:07   it was before until we saw how fast it could be.

00:27:10   We need that moment to happen for televisions.

00:27:12   But in the meantime, I'm going to recommend endure the stupid screen blackout thing because

00:27:19   what you want to see is each frame of the video you're watching displayed for an equal

00:27:23   amount of time on your television.

00:27:24   If your television supports, and most of the modern ones do,

00:27:27   actually running at 24 frames per second

00:27:29   or some multiple thereof, some even multiple thereof,

00:27:31   and you're watching a 24 frames per second movie,

00:27:33   that's what you want to happen.

00:27:34   So turn on match content.

00:27:36   And the same thing with the match HDR, SDR thing,

00:27:39   turn that on as well, I think it's two separate settings.

00:27:42   Basically what you're trying to tell the Apple TV is,

00:27:44   hey Apple TV, look at the video you're trying to send,

00:27:47   find out what the properties of that video is,

00:27:49   and then send that to the television.

00:27:52   From that point, it's up to the television

00:27:53   to correctly receive that and display it.

00:27:55   Some televisions can be annoying about this,

00:27:57   and in particular, some receivers, my receiver,

00:27:59   can be annoying about this where you have to convince them,

00:28:02   oh, HDMI 1, turn on enhanced HDMI with,

00:28:06   like, they have these weird words that basically say,

00:28:08   should I support 4K?

00:28:10   Should I support 120 frames per second?

00:28:11   Should I support HDR?

00:28:13   And they come by default often turned off.

00:28:15   And so you may be wondering why the Apple TV

00:28:17   can't go into Dolby Vision mode,

00:28:19   or can't show something at the right frame rate,

00:28:21   and you don't understand why,

00:28:22   go to your television and/or your receiver

00:28:24   and make sure they are set up to use all the features

00:28:28   that you just paid for.

00:28:29   Like it boggles my mind that you pay for this fancy,

00:28:31   you know, television and receiver with all these features

00:28:33   and they default to like a really safe SDR,

00:28:36   non-4K, usually not non-4K,

00:28:38   but they default to dumb settings sometimes.

00:28:40   So that's what you want on both ends.

00:28:42   You want Apple TV to match content

00:28:43   in both frame rate and HDR SDR,

00:28:46   and you want on the television and receiver end

00:28:48   to have all the bells and whistles turned on.

00:28:51   Tell me about Mac window management and stage manager, please.

00:28:54   We talked a lot about Mac window management in the last episode,

00:28:56   and I wanted to make a point about stage manager.

00:28:59   We've talked about a few times before.

00:29:00   I think when we originally covered stage manager, uh,

00:29:03   I noted that on the Mac,

00:29:04   it makes a lot more sense to me than it does on the iPad and related to Mac

00:29:09   window management, even though Ventura is not out yet.

00:29:12   I think stage manager will appeal to a lot of people. Um,

00:29:16   in particular people who like the idea of spaces,

00:29:20   but need a better visual representation.

00:29:23   Because Stage Manager is kind of like spaces

00:29:25   on a single screen where you've got these icons

00:29:27   along the side, although you can turn them off

00:29:28   if you don't want them there,

00:29:29   that are groups of windows,

00:29:31   and you can switch between those groups of windows.

00:29:33   And unlike on the iPad, setting aside the stability things,

00:29:36   unlike on the iPad, there's not a lot of weird limitations.

00:29:39   You can't just have, you know, it's not like,

00:29:40   "Oh, you can only have four windows in each thing,"

00:29:42   and you can't position the windows.

00:29:44   It just works like regular Mac windows.

00:29:46   You can move them anywhere you want.

00:29:47   You can drag them easily between groups

00:29:49   'cause you have like a mouse cursor and everything.

00:29:52   It's just very sensible.

00:29:54   And if this appeals to you,

00:29:55   if you think in terms of groups of windows,

00:29:57   but don't wanna think in terms of spaces

00:29:59   where you're swishing from side to side,

00:30:00   from one set of things to another,

00:30:02   try stage manager when it comes out immature,

00:30:05   it may appeal to you.

00:30:06   There's still the weirdness of like,

00:30:07   well, what happens when I make a new window?

00:30:10   What happens when I unminimize from the dock?

00:30:11   Does it go back to the space it came from,

00:30:13   or does it unminimize into the space I'm looking at right now?

00:30:16   Not space, whatever the hell they call it in stage manager.

00:30:17   I have no idea what,

00:30:18   I'm glad I don't have to write a review of this.

00:30:20   - Clumps?

00:30:21   - Yeah, what the heck is, what do you call that?

00:30:23   What is the nomenclature for a blob

00:30:26   of stage manager thingies?

00:30:27   (laughing)

00:30:29   Someone writing their venture review

00:30:31   will have to figure this out when they describe it,

00:30:32   but try it, it's a nice hybrid

00:30:37   of a bunch of different things that we had.

00:30:38   Of course, it's yet another way to manage Windows

00:30:41   on the Mac, as if we didn't already have enough.

00:30:43   But hey, they threw another one in,

00:30:44   and assuming it doesn't crash your Mac

00:30:46   or do weird buggy stuff,

00:30:47   I think a lot of people will find it very appealing,

00:30:49   so give it a try.

00:30:50   - And you have a new iPhone case, Jon?

00:30:52   - I do, finally.

00:30:54   The tyranny of the squeaky clear case is over.

00:30:56   (laughing)

00:30:58   - The saga.

00:30:59   - Yeah, I got my first of two black leather,

00:31:04   bare-bottom iPhone cases that I ordered.

00:31:06   This is the Ryan London one.

00:31:07   They won the shipping race that came here first.

00:31:11   I was kind of half afraid that when I put it on,

00:31:13   it would squeak, 'cause people would get into my head

00:31:15   but it's the black DLC coating on the stainless steel,

00:31:19   that's what's causing the squeaking error,

00:31:21   but no, no, it's just a normal case.

00:31:24   Put it on, does not move, does not squeak, does not creak,

00:31:27   fits perfectly, it's fine.

00:31:29   - The John Siracusa review.

00:31:32   - Yeah, the case itself, it has one little stamping thing

00:31:36   on the lower left when I'm looking at it edge,

00:31:41   but it's not a place that I really feel.

00:31:42   The back is entirely unmarked, so that's nice,

00:31:45   no logos, no anything like that.

00:31:47   They did a really good job with the volcano blister mound,

00:31:51   I don't know, thing around the camera mesa, right?

00:31:55   'Cause the Apple Clear Case has just a wall, right?

00:31:58   And this has a kind of a gradual smooth thing

00:32:01   and they did a good job of it's like,

00:32:03   it's black so it's slimming and the little mound

00:32:06   or taper also minimizes the gargantuan thing.

00:32:11   But I have to say, I think I mentioned this

00:32:13   when I was talking about the Clear Case,

00:32:14   I was surprised that I was using the wall

00:32:16   around the camera mesa to rest my finger on,

00:32:19   kind of like a very tiny pop socket thing.

00:32:22   Now it's not there anymore.

00:32:24   Now it's a little slanty leather thing

00:32:26   and I can't use it to rest my finger on it anymore.

00:32:28   I'm sure I'll get over it,

00:32:29   but it's amazing how I formed that habit

00:32:31   in only a few short weeks and now I have to change it up.

00:32:34   But the good thing is the whole rest of the case

00:32:36   is leather and will get grippier over time

00:32:38   and is already pretty grippy.

00:32:39   It doesn't do the thing that I wanted to do with the buttons.

00:32:43   I know this, the bull strap case is exactly the same.

00:32:45   The buttons are not recessed in a little divot.

00:32:48   They are instead poking out of a giant mound.

00:32:50   So not only are they not sunken in,

00:32:53   but they're actually, they start coming out

00:32:55   from a lump that's already there.

00:32:57   They feel good, they work well,

00:32:59   but they are sticking out more than I wanted.

00:33:01   I mean, you can't have everything.

00:33:03   The case itself is also a little bit thicker

00:33:05   than I expected.

00:33:06   I mean, it's just plastic wrapped in leather,

00:33:08   so it's not like it's thick, thick.

00:33:10   There's no other stuff in there.

00:33:11   There's no other additional padding.

00:33:13   but maybe the leather is thicker or whatever,

00:33:14   but it feels a little bit thicker

00:33:17   than my extremely cheap OXR iPhone 12 Pro case,

00:33:21   which is currently on sale for $5.50.

00:33:23   It's also ostensibly leather.

00:33:26   But yeah, I'm happy to have a leather case on my phone.

00:33:28   I'm getting used to the little mound volcano thing.

00:33:32   It is, you know, the thickness does have ramifications.

00:33:37   Like it looks a little bit like,

00:33:39   I don't know how to describe it.

00:33:41   It looks like it's wrapped in leather.

00:33:43   I know, duh, it is wrapped in leather,

00:33:44   but it looks like it's wrapped in leather

00:33:45   rather than like being,

00:33:47   the Apple cases often look like

00:33:49   they're just made of leather.

00:33:50   This looks like a case that is wrapped in leather,

00:33:53   if that makes any sense.

00:33:54   So it is a little bit thicker and chunkier,

00:33:57   but it also feels better and it's cushier

00:33:59   and it's definitely nicer than the Olexar case

00:34:01   in terms of leather quality.

00:34:02   So I'll let you know when the bolster case gets here.

00:34:05   I probably won't even swap it on

00:34:07   if it is not significantly different

00:34:09   because I'm perfectly happy with this one the way it is.

00:34:12   But I'm just happy to get that clear case off there.

00:34:15   Oh, and the MagSafe ring seems to work fine.

00:34:16   So I give the Ryan London case a tentative thumbs up.

00:34:21   - Jon, remind me, do you use MagSafe anywhere?

00:34:24   You said you do in your car.

00:34:25   Is there anywhere else that you'd use MagSafe?

00:34:28   Like for example, the battery pack,

00:34:30   which is, as we've discussed many times,

00:34:33   hilariously overpriced, but actually quite nice.

00:34:35   Do you use that or MagSafe charging or anything like that?

00:34:39   - I do have MagSafe puck on my nightstand,

00:34:41   but I don't put my phone on it.

00:34:42   I put my AirPods on it.

00:34:44   (laughing)

00:34:45   - Okay.

00:34:45   - Because I'm just so used to plugging in my phone.

00:34:48   We do have the little Apple battery pack thing,

00:34:51   but my wife uses that.

00:34:52   I don't use it.

00:34:53   And like I said before,

00:34:55   because I have the MagSafe charger in my car,

00:34:58   like I was starting to feel bad for my phone.

00:35:00   Like I felt like I was abusing the battery

00:35:02   because it would never go down below like 95%

00:35:05   during the course of the entire day.

00:35:06   And I feel like I should,

00:35:07   I'm intentionally not charging my phone

00:35:10   times when I used to.

00:35:11   Like when I'm making dinner, I would listen to podcasts

00:35:13   while I'm making dinner or whatever,

00:35:14   and I would plug in my phone.

00:35:16   My phone would be in the other room plugged in

00:35:17   and I just have my AirPods in, right?

00:35:19   Bluetooth range is fine.

00:35:20   And I would plug it in so it would charge.

00:35:21   Now I'm intentionally not doing that

00:35:23   because I want my phone to go below 50%.

00:35:26   'Cause I want, it's better for the battery

00:35:28   for it to go below 50%.

00:35:29   So I don't use the battery pack.

00:35:31   I don't use any other MagSafe charging.

00:35:33   It's just the cars, 'cause now we have

00:35:34   the little MagSafe mounts in both cars,

00:35:36   no matter which car I'm driving, I just slap it on there and they both charge while driving.

00:35:39   So that's it for me and MagSafe.

00:35:42   That's another thing I'm interested in seeing if I'm going to get like a circle worn into

00:35:45   the back of the phone because obviously with the clear plastic one, it's not really, it's

00:35:48   already got a circle you can see anyway and it's pretty durable.

00:35:51   Both leather I imagine I will slowly wear in kind of a circle from slapping it on the

00:35:55   thing, but we'll see.

00:35:57   And then we should briefly mention Marco, if you need a repair on one of your army of

00:36:05   original home pods. Listener Timo Bruck wrote in, "Since you mentioned original

00:36:09   home pod failures on the show recently I wanted to let you know about NixFix who

00:36:13   will fix them for $60 plus shipping. If you want to watch he live streams the

00:36:16   repair on YouTube. For my home pod the issue was a shorted diode but he lists

00:36:20   other common failures on his website and if you click through to look at this oh

00:36:24   there's a lot of common failures." There's a lot of options there which is kind of

00:36:29   sad. But anyways Timo writes, "If you want to do it yourself he's got a tutorial on

00:36:34   on YouTube, which is like 30, 40 minutes long

00:36:36   or something like that, but we'll link both of these

00:36:37   in the show notes.

00:36:39   The common issues list, man, it's something else.

00:36:42   - That's weird. - Yeah.

00:36:43   - The interesting thing is weird is like,

00:36:44   it's not as if Apple doesn't have a lot of experience

00:36:46   building electronics, right?

00:36:48   Like you would expect something like this

00:36:49   if Apple made, say, a car.

00:36:51   They don't have a lot of experience making it,

00:36:52   but they make like literal millions of electronic devices,

00:36:56   and for some reason, this stupid big HomePod

00:36:58   that apparently didn't sell very well,

00:37:00   so how many of them have even made that?

00:37:01   Like, it's not a complicated device,

00:37:04   It's not expected to go underwater.

00:37:05   People don't put it in their backpacks,

00:37:07   and yet they can't survive more than like five years

00:37:09   without what you would think would be

00:37:11   like rookie mistake things of diodes burning out

00:37:14   or amplifiers being driven to,

00:37:17   like whatever these problems are,

00:37:18   they seem like problems that Apple in particular

00:37:20   should not be making with a product,

00:37:22   and I don't quite understand how it happened.

00:37:25   I mean, maybe they're the type of things

00:37:26   that happen all the time,

00:37:26   and they just fix them in revision two and revision three,

00:37:28   and just because there was no revision two or three,

00:37:30   they never got fixed,

00:37:31   but it's really an anomaly in the history of Apple stuff.

00:37:34   I can't remember any other device they've made

00:37:36   that has sort of such a seemingly low degree of difficulty

00:37:40   in terms of electronics,

00:37:41   like the basic electronics stuff.

00:37:44   It's not super high wattage CPU, it's not super fast,

00:37:47   it's not cutting edge.

00:37:49   Again, it sits on a counter in an air-conditioned space.

00:37:51   It doesn't go out into the world, it's not an Apple watch,

00:37:55   it doesn't go into backpacks, and they just can't stay alive.

00:37:59   - Yeah, I mean, we heard,

00:38:01   back when the HomePod was being developed,

00:38:02   we heard that it was just a whole bunch of changes

00:38:07   and the project kept getting restarted or changed around

00:38:10   or refocused and restaffed and all these other,

00:38:13   it seemed like the HomePod project was a mess

00:38:16   to get out the door.

00:38:17   It makes me so sad because again,

00:38:19   it's a great product in many ways, not in all ways,

00:38:23   but it's a great product in many ways

00:38:24   and yeah, it does seem really unfortunate

00:38:27   that there's so many actual physical flaws with its design.

00:38:30   That being said, my bigger surprise,

00:38:33   this came across my radar last time we talked about 'em,

00:38:36   like months ago, my biggest surprise is that

00:38:39   there is anybody out there who actually loves HomePods

00:38:42   enough to do these repairs.

00:38:44   And there's people out there willing to go have these done.

00:38:47   Like that was a happy surprise to learn about.

00:38:49   But unfortunately, my problems with the HomePods,

00:38:54   I don't think fit into any of these categories

00:38:56   of the common physical failures,

00:38:59   I suspect mine are just like both software related

00:39:03   and also them just kind of generally flaking out,

00:39:06   which is hard to pin down.

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00:41:06   We are hearing a lot of rumblings these days on and off, but this has flared up again recently,

00:41:12   about how Apple is really cranking up their interest in doing advertising all over the

00:41:18   place. And most recently, this has come up with regards to TV, but we'll get there in

00:41:22   a minute. But over the summer, there was a post on 9to5Mac about how the App Store will

00:41:29   be adding more search ads. So reading from this post, "The new advertising placements

00:41:33   in the App Store will allow developers to place ads outside of the search tab and search

00:41:37   results. First and foremost, there's a new advertising slot coming to the Today homepage

00:41:42   of the App Store. Apple notes that the rest of the Today tab will remain focused on curation

00:41:46   and Discovery, the ad spot will be clearly marked as an ad using the same blue banner

00:41:50   and background as search ads. The second new advertising placement is coming directly to

00:41:53   product pages themselves. This means that developers will now be able to place ads on

00:41:56   the product pages for other apps. This spot is located at the very bottom of the product

00:42:01   page beneath the banner section that shows the other apps by that developer. Developers

00:42:04   won't be able to target a specific application when bidding for product page ad placement.

00:42:09   For instance, Twitter wouldn't be able to target Tweetbot specifically. The ads, however,

00:42:12   would be relevant for each of the product pages. This means you could and probably will

00:42:16   for direct competitors on app pages.

00:42:18   Ew, I don't like it.

00:42:23   - This, oh I have so many, so many thoughts about this.

00:42:27   I mean, so first of all, I have bought a lot of search ads

00:42:32   over the last, what has been about three or four years

00:42:35   they've existed.

00:42:36   - Something like that.

00:42:36   - Whatever it's been, I mean, I have bought a lot of them.

00:42:39   I have spent a really disgusting amount of money

00:42:42   on search ads and it's for the simple fact that

00:42:45   all of the low hanging fruit of easy to get people,

00:42:50   well I got them already.

00:42:51   So now I have to get the harder to get people

00:42:52   if I want my business to maintain and grow its user base.

00:42:57   And so I started buying search ads when they came out

00:42:59   and I've at various times paid reasonable amounts

00:43:04   and various times when I wasn't paying attention

00:43:07   paid unreasonable amounts.

00:43:08   And a number of, I think I have a number of takeaways

00:43:12   Number one, I unfortunately see search ads

00:43:17   as a necessary thing in today's App Store environment.

00:43:22   Like if you want people to find your app,

00:43:25   if you wanna grow your user base, even for free apps,

00:43:28   you gotta do search ads.

00:43:29   And whatever Apple says about the value of the App Store

00:43:34   in terms of discoverability that they are providing,

00:43:39   That was more true in the very distant past.

00:43:42   Recently, the App Store is just a giant search engine

00:43:46   and if you wanna rank highly, you have to play games.

00:43:49   And those games range from just being good,

00:43:53   which is, that helps, but also you gotta play games

00:43:55   like buying search ads or keyword spamming

00:43:58   or doing unscrupulous things that I don't and won't do.

00:44:03   And so, I view a lot of this stuff

00:44:08   as the necessary evil that it is.

00:44:11   A lot of this is within Apple's control

00:44:12   to make better though, and they just don't.

00:44:15   Like, the product page thing that you just mentioned, Casey,

00:44:19   like this is like the new thing that there's,

00:44:21   you know, they've been adding new ad units

00:44:22   over the last few months.

00:44:24   They added, they first, a while back,

00:44:26   maybe six months ago now, they added a unit where like,

00:44:30   if you go to the search box,

00:44:33   before you even type anything in,

00:44:35   there's an ad unit that shows right below it.

00:44:37   And Apple tries to use their ranking system

00:44:40   or intelligence or whatever they call it

00:44:43   to appropriately place personalized ads in that spot.

00:44:48   So I thought, well, let me try it.

00:44:51   So I created a campaign to use that spot.

00:44:55   I gave it, I forget, maybe a few hundred dollars,

00:44:57   just to try it out, to see like,

00:44:58   all right, what can I get for this?

00:45:00   It burned through the money so comically fast

00:45:04   and I got almost no installs from it.

00:45:07   It was terribly targeted.

00:45:09   Whatever they were doing to target that,

00:45:11   and they gave you very little control over it,

00:45:14   it was awful, it was just setting money on fire.

00:45:17   So that was fun, okay.

00:45:19   In the regular search ads that I've been using for years,

00:45:23   the relevance algorithms are still comically bad.

00:45:28   And you don't have to trust developers

00:45:30   to know that Apple's App Store relevance

00:45:32   or algorithms are terrible.

00:45:34   just search for any keyword in the App Store.

00:45:36   And you'll see for yourself that half the results

00:45:39   are really poorly matched to that keyword,

00:45:42   that the rankings of things that you think

00:45:44   should be higher are not, and they're beaten out

00:45:47   by apps that kind of play the scam system better.

00:45:51   And see for yourself, you'll see the App Store search

00:45:56   and relevance and ranking algorithms are still extremely

00:46:01   like web 1.0, rudimentary, very simplistic,

00:46:06   not having learned any lessons from the web basically.

00:46:10   You know, it's exactly, it's like searching Yahoo in 1997.

00:46:15   Like it's that level of sophistication.

00:46:17   Like you know when Google came around

00:46:18   and like made everything better with PageRank

00:46:20   and all these like fraud detection algorithms

00:46:22   and they like stopped using like keyword stuffing

00:46:24   as a thing, Apple seems to have learned

00:46:26   none of those lessons and the App Store search

00:46:30   and relevance algorithms are really rudimentary.

00:46:32   It's like comp sci 101.

00:46:33   I've written search engines that are better

00:46:35   than the app store search engine

00:46:36   and that's not saying much

00:46:37   'cause it's never been my full-time job.

00:46:38   So the ranking algorithms are terrible.

00:46:41   When they do things like show something on the product page

00:46:44   but you can't buy a certain product page specifically,

00:46:47   you can just say put my app on relevant product pages.

00:46:50   What that tells me is that's also gonna probably

00:46:54   be setting money on fire.

00:46:55   Now am I going to try it?

00:46:56   Of course.

00:46:56   (laughs)

00:46:57   'Cause that's what we have to do as developers.

00:46:59   "Sure, I'm gonna try it.

00:47:00   "I'll probably set a few hundred dollars

00:47:02   "to a thousand dollars on fire just trying that out."

00:47:05   That's part of the business.

00:47:06   You try buying ads.

00:47:07   I have burned more money on less effective ads before,

00:47:10   so I'm going to try it, but I have little hope for it.

00:47:13   And it seems like what Apple is doing

00:47:16   is just gradually increasing the ad load

00:47:21   in many places around the app store and the iPhone.

00:47:23   And it's not hard to see why they're doing this.

00:47:26   The heavily growing part of the company,

00:47:29   When the hardware seems to be mostly mature/stagnant,

00:47:33   the growing parts of the company largely are quote,

00:47:36   services.

00:47:38   Services is a wonderful euphemism

00:47:41   for what's actually going on.

00:47:43   What services seems to be largely comprised of,

00:47:48   composed of, I always get those wrong,

00:47:50   is app store revenue.

00:47:52   That's a huge chunk of it.

00:47:55   App store revenue is itself a huge chunk

00:47:59   of the 30% cut and everything, but also search ads.

00:48:03   And this is a massive business.

00:48:05   Facebook has made a ton of money in app install ads

00:48:07   over the years, Twitter has made some money,

00:48:10   whatever they were capable of figuring out

00:48:11   through all their crappy leadership with app install ads.

00:48:14   App install ads are a really big deal,

00:48:16   and they make a ton of money for whoever's doing them,

00:48:18   and Apple has put themselves in the position

00:48:20   to make the most money doing it,

00:48:21   while also kneecapping everybody else who was doing it,

00:48:23   so yay, good for Apple.

00:48:25   So what this means is that app install ads,

00:48:29   They're a huge deal, but Apple has huge incentives

00:48:34   to keep tightening the screws on the App Store,

00:48:37   to not give up a dime that actually matters,

00:48:40   and to not only not lighten up on the fees and stuff,

00:48:45   but to keep adding more ways in which we as developers

00:48:50   need to be paying them more money,

00:48:52   because that's a huge growth area of their business

00:48:55   when they're running out of huge growth areas

00:48:56   in their business.

00:48:57   So this is only going to continue.

00:49:00   There is no doubt in my mind this is gonna keep happening.

00:49:03   They're gonna keep adding more and more ads

00:49:05   around the phone and more and more ads

00:49:08   specifically around the App Store.

00:49:10   Whether it's in product pages, who knows?

00:49:13   Maybe when you launch an app,

00:49:14   they'll put up a little sheet sometimes saying,

00:49:16   hey, maybe you wanna try XYZ Tweetbot instead.

00:49:20   (laughs)

00:49:22   They're gonna keep doing this crap

00:49:23   because this is the business they are now in.

00:49:26   Apple is now an ad company and they make a ton of money

00:49:30   in a very important growth area

00:49:32   via extraction from app developers.

00:49:35   So that's what this is.

00:49:37   I hate that this is what it's become,

00:49:38   however this is the reality of the business.

00:49:40   This is what it has become

00:49:42   and they're gonna keep making really crappy ad units

00:49:46   that have really crappy search relevance algorithms

00:49:48   and I'm gonna keep spending a whole bunch of money on them

00:49:50   because I have to.

00:49:51   - How do you really feel?

00:49:53   You know, I recently read after Steve,

00:49:56   the, what is this, a trip, mickle,

00:49:58   I forget the guy's name, it was a great name.

00:50:01   Anyway, the book I had mixed feelings about,

00:50:03   I really encourage you if you're an Upgrade Plus member,

00:50:06   I'm pretty sure that it was discussed

00:50:08   on the October 3rd episode in the Upgrade Plus segment

00:50:11   and I think I landed between Mike and Jason.

00:50:15   Jason seemed to really dislike it

00:50:16   and Mike seemed to really like it

00:50:18   and I was kind of in the middle.

00:50:20   But one of the theses, thes, the psi of the book was,

00:50:25   thesis, um, the thesis, this is, this is, this is, of the book was that, you know,

00:50:30   all Tim Cook cares about is money and in businessy things and he ruins

00:50:35   everything. And I think that that's, uh, not necessarily accurate,

00:50:39   but if you are to take it as accurate, I think this is one of those ways where,

00:50:43   you know, Apple needs to show growth, like you were saying, Marco,

00:50:47   and it seems that this is an easy way

00:50:49   for them to get growth without putting

00:50:51   a whole heck of a lot of effort in.

00:50:53   And from a business perspective,

00:50:55   I think this makes a ton of sense,

00:50:57   and I think it's smart.

00:50:59   From a user perspective, I think it's super gross,

00:51:02   and I don't like it at all.

00:51:03   Because in a world where so much of our lives

00:51:08   are inundated by ads, including this very program,

00:51:12   if you don't happen to be an ATP member,

00:51:14   by the way, ATP.fm/join.

00:51:17   - We got sponsored this week by ATP membership.

00:51:19   - Right, no I mean, obviously we try,

00:51:23   genuinely we try to do our best to make sure

00:51:25   that we only present ads that we think will be

00:51:26   genuinely relevant to the people that listen to the show.

00:51:29   - Have you tried listening to Upgrade?

00:51:31   Cortex?

00:51:31   Connected?

00:51:32   (laughing)

00:51:33   - So in any case, it's not a great look for Apple,

00:51:37   which is this thing that seems to be resisting,

00:51:41   just cranking out dollar bills by way of advertising.

00:51:46   and instead is trying to crank out dollar bills by making good products.

00:51:51   And now it seems to be falling and allowing itself to be overcome by the lure of the almighty

00:52:00   ad dollar.

00:52:01   And that's just a bummer.

00:52:03   I feel like one of the things that I love about Apple TV+ as an example is that I'm

00:52:10   not getting interrupted after the very beginning.

00:52:13   This is what's been great about Netflix until soon when it starts having ads here

00:52:17   But you know

00:52:18   it's one of the great things about a lot of these services and now we're coming back around to let's put ads everywhere and

00:52:23   It just stinks and and and I feel like I've always perceived Apple as being better than this which is probably

00:52:31   I don't know if ignorant is the right word, but probably wishful thinking on my part

00:52:35   But I completely concur Marco like there's no way that this

00:52:38   Faucet is going to be turned back off and if anything it's going to be opened even wider with time

00:52:43   And it's just, I don't care for it.

00:52:46   I wish it was different.

00:52:47   - And to be clear also,

00:52:48   there is value in App Store search ads.

00:52:52   I was just saying basically,

00:52:54   yeah, it sucks that we have to do it.

00:52:55   But the reality is, there is so many apps out there

00:52:59   that again, as developers,

00:53:00   you kinda do have to do stuff like this.

00:53:02   If you're lucky, you can get away with not having

00:53:06   paid promotion of your app,

00:53:09   but even then, that only lasts for maybe

00:53:11   if you have a good launch.

00:53:12   great, then you'll have like, you know,

00:53:14   if the blogs write you up and you get press

00:53:16   or you get, you know, some little bit of traction,

00:53:18   that's great, but you're still at some point

00:53:20   gonna have to go to paid promotion if you want growth.

00:53:22   That's just what happens.

00:53:24   Trust me, I've been on this ride before.

00:53:26   This is what happens to everybody at some point.

00:53:28   Whether it's worth it or not, that's a different story.

00:53:31   And that's hard, it's hard to make work, really.

00:53:34   And again, I've done a lot of different paid promotion

00:53:36   and it definitely has not all been worth it.

00:53:40   In fact, I would say only a very minuscule part of it

00:53:44   has been worth it, but again, you don't know,

00:53:46   the famous saying, you don't know which half

00:53:47   of your ad dollars are working until you've spent them,

00:53:50   and even then, not always.

00:53:51   But anyway, if the search ad system was better,

00:53:56   like if it actually had better ranking,

00:53:59   better relevance matching, just in general,

00:54:01   if it was less dumb about what ads it chose to show

00:54:06   and when and how, I would actually like it.

00:54:09   as a developer and theoretically even as a user

00:54:12   it could occasionally help.

00:54:14   But the way it is now, it just reeks of Apple's

00:54:19   crappy mediocrity when they don't have to compete

00:54:22   because of the way the App Store is.

00:54:24   And of all the issues and attitudes that come up therein,

00:54:29   App Store search ads suck because they're really half-assed.

00:54:34   That's why Apple does a terrible job

00:54:37   of search ranking and relevancy

00:54:39   and all of us are burning money unnecessarily,

00:54:42   like, God, you wouldn't believe

00:54:43   what they think Overcast is sometimes.

00:54:46   It's not hard, okay?

00:54:48   But because it's such a sealed box,

00:54:52   you can't see what they're doing with their relevancy

00:54:55   and you only have very little control.

00:54:59   There's this whole interface, I do the advanced login,

00:55:01   there's this whole thing where you can set certain keywords,

00:55:04   you can set them as exact or not exact,

00:55:05   you can set the negative keywords,

00:55:06   say don't match this, don't match broadly this

00:55:09   or exactly this, and there's all sorts of things

00:55:10   you can do there, but the basic relevance,

00:55:14   you end up just cleaning up after their mistakes

00:55:18   so often with like, all right, no, even though

00:55:21   the LLC name is Overcast Radio LLC, okay,

00:55:26   don't match me against radio apps, okay, fine.

00:55:28   Well then, why are you matching me against

00:55:31   free music downloader apps?

00:55:34   Oh, I can kinda see, you know, it's a podcast

00:55:36   Okay, well, let's turn that off.

00:55:39   Oh, wait, now here's all these apps

00:55:41   that literally just like exist to rip off Spotify,

00:55:43   to like download Spotify songs

00:55:45   that pass the DRM or whatever.

00:55:47   Why am I being ranting against those?

00:55:48   Oh, it's considered a news app,

00:55:51   so I'm being ranting against police scanners?

00:55:53   What?

00:55:54   Like, and this is what using search ads is.

00:55:57   It's a constant battle of going through

00:56:00   what they think your app is

00:56:02   and what they think it's relevant to

00:56:03   and just saying, oh, not that, not that, not that,

00:56:06   not that, like it's not any of these crazy things

00:56:09   that Google's relevance algorithms that are actually good

00:56:12   would never in a million years guess

00:56:15   that you were relevant to XYZ,

00:56:17   but Apple's algorithms are crap.

00:56:19   And so what that results in is not only

00:56:22   is the experience crappy for users

00:56:24   because they're getting ads that don't make sense,

00:56:26   but then the experience for developers is

00:56:29   we're not finding customers we could find

00:56:31   and we're paying too much for it.

00:56:33   Because the worse ads are targeted,

00:56:36   the more you pay as the advertiser

00:56:38   to eventually reach the right people.

00:56:41   So it's just, ugh, the whole system,

00:56:43   it's a crappy system poorly implemented

00:56:46   to do something that benefits mostly just Apple.

00:56:50   And if they did a better job of it,

00:56:52   it could be a lot better

00:56:54   and could benefit a lot more people.

00:56:55   But it's just such a crappy mediocre system

00:56:57   the way they've done it.

00:56:58   And they have seemingly neither the will

00:57:01   nor frankly the ability to make it any better.

00:57:04   - Jon, you collected some quotes.

00:57:07   - Yeah, this is the sort of snarky, cynical take

00:57:09   from a few people in our community I thought was good.

00:57:11   This is from Paul Haddad, he's the Tweetbot person, right?

00:57:15   He says, "Coming next year, download ads.

00:57:17   "Instead of downloading the app that you want,

00:57:19   "the App Store will randomly download

00:57:21   "the highest bidding app."

00:57:22   (laughing)

00:57:23   So that's the cynical take there of like,

00:57:25   what will Apple not take money for?

00:57:28   'cause in some respects, taking money for advertising,

00:57:32   search advertising, is trading off on the user experience.

00:57:36   Now, like Morgan said, sometimes not always

00:57:39   because advertising can be useful to people.

00:57:41   You may be looking for an app

00:57:43   and you don't know what you're looking for,

00:57:44   so you search for something

00:57:45   and then one of the ads is actually relevant.

00:57:46   If the algorithm actually works for once,

00:57:48   you're like, oh, maybe I'll look at that app.

00:57:50   So there is some user benefit.

00:57:52   - That's basically what Instagram is.

00:57:54   It's a giant shopping app that occasionally

00:57:56   you can see pictures of your friends in.

00:57:57   - Right, and so there is some upside to that to users,

00:58:00   but there's an awful lot of downside,

00:58:01   which is why so many things, including our podcast,

00:58:04   allow people to pay more money to not see ads,

00:58:06   because at a certain point it just gets annoying.

00:58:07   So how far will they go?

00:58:09   Well, they're putting ads for other supposedly relevant

00:58:13   products on the actual product page.

00:58:15   You drill all the way down to the overcast page,

00:58:18   and then there's other things advertised there.

00:58:19   So maybe, would they allow a different app

00:58:21   to be downloaded randomly?

00:58:22   Because again, the way they make money,

00:58:25   let's have an auction.

00:58:26   Who wants their app to be downloaded

00:58:28   one out of every 1,000 times that Twitter is downloaded?

00:58:30   So bid against that, Tweetbot.

00:58:32   Maybe you'll get downloaded by accident

00:58:34   and the user will hate you.

00:58:35   Sebastian Dewitt says,

00:58:37   "Apple shouldn't get into the ad business.

00:58:38   "Pushing ads in their platform opposes their goals

00:58:41   "and core values and will only erode user trust.

00:58:43   "Are the relatively minor profits worth the price

00:58:45   "of bad experience and lost goodwill?"

00:58:47   I don't think the profits are minor.

00:58:49   That's the one problem with this statement here?

00:58:52   - Yeah, that's the thing.

00:58:53   It's a lot of money.

00:58:54   - Yeah, I mean we don't know exactly

00:58:56   'cause they don't break it down to that way,

00:58:57   but there is large potential upside

00:59:00   and they're already potentially making

00:59:01   a lot of money on that, so it's not minor.

00:59:03   But this gets to what a lot of people feel like.

00:59:05   They're like, this doesn't feel like a premium experience.

00:59:08   It goes against Apple's quote unquote core values,

00:59:10   like the user experience above everything else,

00:59:13   a premium experience that you pay more money for,

00:59:15   a premium experience doesn't tend to have

00:59:16   as many ads or any ads, right?

00:59:18   So I definitely feel that.

00:59:20   And here's what MJ Tsai said,

00:59:22   "Your core values are what you do on an ongoing basis,

00:59:25   "not the talking points that you broadcast

00:59:27   "or what you did 20 years ago under different leadership."

00:59:29   This is the cynical take of saying,

00:59:30   "Apple sounds like it up on stage,"

00:59:32   saying, "Here are our values, and we value this,

00:59:35   "and we value user experience,

00:59:36   "and we respect the user,

00:59:38   "and we have the whole privacy angle

00:59:40   "and all these core values."

00:59:41   And it's like, you can say that all you want,

00:59:43   but your actual values are what you do, right?

00:59:47   And not what you did 20 years ago under different leadership

00:59:50   is implying that different leadership, maybe Steve Jobs,

00:59:53   Steve Jobs was kind of annoyed by the same things

00:59:57   that the users that we just read the quotes from

00:59:59   are annoyed by and would not want his company

01:00:01   to do something that annoys him,

01:00:03   whereas Tim Cook either has a higher tolerance

01:00:05   for annoyance or his desire to be a successful company

01:00:10   and be a success as a CEO overrides the annoyance

01:00:15   that he might feel dealing with this.

01:00:16   And that gets to the larger point about search ads

01:00:19   and advertising and stuff like that.

01:00:22   The reason it is inescapable is unfortunate

01:00:26   for people like the people I just quoted

01:00:29   and us on this program who don't like ads.

01:00:32   Most people have determined over years and years and years

01:00:37   that they will gladly watch ads

01:00:39   in exchange for paying less money.

01:00:41   It's not like they're suffering under the yoke of ads.

01:00:44   When given the choice to do something free with ads,

01:00:47   people will take that choice.

01:00:48   Most people will take that choice.

01:00:50   And it's not even because they don't have the money

01:00:52   or couldn't pay for it.

01:00:53   They just can't be bothered to pay the $1.99

01:00:57   to get rid of the ad banner

01:00:58   at the bottom of their solitaire game.

01:01:00   They'll have that stupid ad banner there rotating

01:01:02   and burning their phone's battery for literal decade

01:01:06   and never pay the $1.99 to get rid of the ad.

01:01:10   That's the choice people make.

01:01:11   It's been made in every medium, radio, television.

01:01:14   Yes, there's always been things that you can pay for

01:01:15   that have less or no ads or fewer ads,

01:01:19   but the vast majority of people go,

01:01:21   "Eh, I'll just take the cheap one with the ads."

01:01:23   It's one of the reasons Amazon made the Kindle

01:01:25   with special offers, right, with ads in it.

01:01:27   If people can pay less for a Kindle,

01:01:29   I'm like, "Eh, whatever, I'll just ignore the ads.

01:01:31   "It's not a big deal."

01:01:32   I'm not saying everybody loves ads

01:01:34   or that they're the ultimate evil,

01:01:36   but I'm just saying they have utility

01:01:38   for people with products reaching customers,

01:01:41   and customers writ large have decided,

01:01:43   "Yeah, we'll tolerate ads.

01:01:45   I'll tolerate ads if they help me pay for the newspaper.

01:01:47   My newspaper will only be 25 cents

01:01:48   because the advertisers pay for everything.

01:01:50   And sometimes when I want to classify it,

01:01:51   it's nice that the ads are in there, right?

01:01:54   The human population will accept ads

01:01:59   in exchange for hopefully some amount of money not being,

01:02:03   some amount of cost not being passed on to them.

01:02:05   That's why it's basically unavoidable,

01:02:07   especially as Apple slowly removes

01:02:10   the ability of other people to do effective

01:02:13   install-based ads where they can determine

01:02:15   with 100% certainty that you ran this ad

01:02:18   and this number of people installed your app because of it

01:02:21   and we're charging you this much.

01:02:23   This sort of direct connection between

01:02:25   you pay for advertising and you can see exactly

01:02:27   how effective it is, Apple has been slowly breaking that.

01:02:31   And so it's leaving them as the,

01:02:32   not the only advertiser for app vendors,

01:02:36   but the best one, the most powerful one

01:02:38   because they own the platform,

01:02:39   they have access to all the information

01:02:41   and they can choose how much they want to expose to people

01:02:43   how much privacy they want to preserve, so on and so forth.

01:02:46   But it means also that as they edge other people out,

01:02:50   they have to fulfill the role of advertiser.

01:02:52   Because if they edged everybody out and said,

01:02:53   "Yeah, but we're also not gonna do any ads,"

01:02:56   that wouldn't benefit the market for apps on the phone.

01:02:59   Because some users, again, not that they wanna see ads,

01:03:03   but some users want to make that trade-off

01:03:04   of seeing ads in exchange for not paying for things.

01:03:07   And also, people with products

01:03:10   wanna get them in front of customers,

01:03:12   potential customers.

01:03:14   And if Apple refused their money and said,

01:03:15   "No, no, no, we're not gonna run an ad platform.

01:03:17   "You can't run any ads in the app store at all.

01:03:19   "Oh, and by the way, Facebook,

01:03:20   "we're not letting you run effective ads anymore

01:03:23   "for ad installs."

01:03:24   Like that would be not good for the overall market.

01:03:27   So we think of it as a quote unquote, "Necessary evil."

01:03:32   But I think it's just a natural part of any market

01:03:34   that advertising is a thing that has value

01:03:37   to the extent that the market is weirdly shaped

01:03:40   because the platform owner has a stranglehold on it,

01:03:43   that causes ads to be more expensive than they should be.

01:03:46   'Cause Marco talked about how his ads,

01:03:48   how the relevance algorithms are crappy or whatever.

01:03:50   In a more efficient market,

01:03:51   those ads would become cheaper because they're crappy.

01:03:54   But when the only game in town is Apple,

01:03:56   they don't become that much cheaper.

01:03:57   I mean, I suppose all the people buying the ads say,

01:03:59   "I'm not gonna bother buying the ads."

01:04:00   But when it's the only game in town,

01:04:03   people just keep end up coming back to them and say,

01:04:04   "Well, maybe I'll try this."

01:04:05   And so people end up throwing money at it to say,

01:04:07   "Maybe if I do this, maybe do that.

01:04:09   "Maybe I'll try this ad slot.

01:04:10   Maybe I'll put this keyword, maybe we'll do this.

01:04:12   And it's probably not a particularly efficient market

01:04:14   in terms of pricing those ads at what their actual value is,

01:04:18   especially if they don't do the complete connection

01:04:20   of telling you exactly how effective your ad is

01:04:23   in each slot and all that stuff.

01:04:24   So I think it's not particularly healthy,

01:04:27   but it's unavoidable that there will be ads.

01:04:30   And the final point related to the inevitability

01:04:33   of advertising and what it does to companies

01:04:35   and whether any individual likes that or not

01:04:39   was on the September 30th episode of dithering,

01:04:42   John Groob and Ben Thompson's podcast.

01:04:43   It was around eight minutes and 40 seconds into the podcast.

01:04:47   Ben said, they were talking about something related

01:04:49   to advertising, I believe, and Ben said,

01:04:50   "I wonder if an advertising-based company

01:04:52   "is constitutionally incapable of really excelling

01:04:55   "or putting the necessary investment

01:04:56   "into any other sort of business model."

01:04:59   They were talking about Stadia and Google and everything,

01:05:01   how Google seems to have a hard time making products

01:05:03   that you sell to consumers,

01:05:04   but they're really great at advertising.

01:05:06   And so that's the question here, the open question.

01:05:09   Is it possible for an ad-driven business

01:05:11   to make good products?

01:05:13   And on the flip side, is it possible

01:05:14   for a product company to do ads well?

01:05:17   Despite Marco saying Apple is a services company

01:05:20   and they're an advertising company,

01:05:21   they're still a product company.

01:05:23   That is what they're best at.

01:05:24   Apple's attempts to get into the ad business

01:05:26   have not been smashing successes.

01:05:28   iAd wasn't great, even the search ads

01:05:30   showed that they're not really good at being,

01:05:33   at selling ads.

01:05:34   They're good at controlling their platforms

01:05:36   such that they have less competition,

01:05:38   And then it's like, well, what are you gonna do?

01:05:39   We're practically the only game in town

01:05:41   or we're the best game in town.

01:05:42   But looking at them compared to,

01:05:44   let's say Facebook or Google,

01:05:46   both of those two companies are much better at selling ads

01:05:49   and making ad marketplaces than Apple is.

01:05:52   And then the Google Stadia example was,

01:05:54   what about these companies like Google and Facebook

01:05:56   that make all their money basically from ads,

01:05:59   but they also suddenly wanna make products?

01:06:00   Oh, Google wants to sell Stadia,

01:06:02   which was a little video game controller

01:06:04   and a cloud gaming scenario.

01:06:05   They wanna sell pixel phones or tablets

01:06:08   or that weird sphere-shaped speaker

01:06:10   that never shipped or whatever.

01:06:11   Like when Facebook tried to make a phone too

01:06:13   and Facebook bought Oculus and it got the headset things.

01:06:16   If your company is built around advertising,

01:06:18   can you make good products?

01:06:19   And making this question is setting up

01:06:21   at sort of like two extremes where

01:06:23   if you're really, really good at making products,

01:06:25   it means you care about the user experience,

01:06:27   you're very focused on building physical things

01:06:29   that you sell to individual people

01:06:30   who have to give you money for them.

01:06:33   It's not like an indirect market

01:06:34   where people throw money over a wall

01:06:36   and see if they get some result back,

01:06:37   you have to appeal to actual consumers,

01:06:39   you have to support the products,

01:06:41   as opposed to advertising where it's all about

01:06:44   gathering data and making an efficient market

01:06:46   and giving a small number of quote unquote customers,

01:06:49   being the people who buy ads from you,

01:06:52   giving them access to enough information

01:06:54   to feel like they're making an effective use

01:06:55   of their marketing dollars.

01:06:56   Two very different markets, and historically speaking,

01:06:59   the companies that are good at one

01:07:01   have not been good at the other.

01:07:02   It's not like, Google's good at making phones,

01:07:04   The Pixel phones are good and they've made some good hardware products, but it definitely

01:07:08   is not their strength.

01:07:09   And certainly they haven't turned it into a huge moneymaker.

01:07:11   You would think Google, they make Android, shouldn't they be the biggest seller of Android

01:07:15   phones?

01:07:16   But they are not.

01:07:17   Google Pixel and Nexus before it are not the biggest seller of Android phones.

01:07:21   And on the flip side, Apple, they've got all this money and they've got all this technology.

01:07:24   They should do great in the ad business and historically they have not.

01:07:28   And to the extent they're doing great now, it's because they're fencing out everybody

01:07:30   else with the thing they are good at, which is controlling their platform.

01:07:33   So I do wonder, that's what the commenters are worried about.

01:07:39   If Apple suddenly becomes good at ads, will that change the company that they are?

01:07:43   Will they become worse at making MacBooks and iPhones if they become better at being

01:07:47   ads?

01:07:48   Are those two core strengths and sets of values that are required to excel in both of those

01:07:52   areas opposed to each other?

01:07:54   It's almost like you need to split off into a separate company that is ruthless and cutthroat

01:07:58   and runs its ad business like a real ad business.

01:08:00   On the other side, it's the product company that makes things that appeal to users.

01:08:04   I do worry about that.

01:08:05   That, I feel like, is underlying lots of our fretting about Apple and services.

01:08:10   We talked about this before, not just ads, but just services.

01:08:13   How being a service company, "You pay me money, I give you some network-based service that

01:08:17   you get to use," is different than selling someone a product and making the profit from

01:08:23   that.

01:08:24   I think Apple, I'm not going to say they're in the middle of a transition, but they're

01:08:27   definitely off on their...

01:08:29   what is it, like the finding yourself trip

01:08:31   where they go off to Europe and go backpacking

01:08:33   to see what kind of company do we wanna be.

01:08:36   Services, that's where the money and the growth is,

01:08:39   so we really need to investigate that,

01:08:40   but at the same time, if you ask anybody

01:08:43   in their product organization,

01:08:44   they still really care about making good products

01:08:46   and are trying, big home pot aside,

01:08:48   are trying really hard to make really good products

01:08:50   and for the most part still succeeding,

01:08:52   and I would say if they're trying really hard

01:08:55   to be a great advertising company,

01:08:57   they're still not doing great.

01:09:00   Like I don't, they don't seem to be excelling in that area.

01:09:03   So my hope is that Apple is kind of constitutionally

01:09:08   incapable of being a really good advertising company.

01:09:10   And that's to their credit because in the end,

01:09:12   they are first and foremost a product company

01:09:14   and they will always necessarily sort of

01:09:16   kneecap their advertising business

01:09:19   because they can't do what it takes

01:09:21   or can't organize their entire business around that,

01:09:25   around that type of market.

01:09:27   because it will screw up their products

01:09:29   and they're never gonna do that.

01:09:31   - See, I don't have as much faith in them,

01:09:34   I think, as you do.

01:09:35   It seems like Tim Cook's Apple,

01:09:40   and I don't know if this is him, people below him,

01:09:42   I don't know, but Apple under Tim Cook

01:09:46   prioritizes profits over product quality.

01:09:49   And it's not to say that they always will take

01:09:52   the most cynical route to get there.

01:09:54   They try to blend as much as they can,

01:09:57   but the insidious thing about putting ads and promos

01:10:02   all over your platform for all your new services

01:10:04   and everything is that once you say it's okay to,

01:10:09   for instance, degrade the experience of using the music app

01:10:13   on the phone to constantly, incessantly promote Apple Music

01:10:16   to people who don't subscribe to it until they subscribe,

01:10:19   or to degrade the experience of the App Store

01:10:21   until people get Apple Arcade or whatever.

01:10:24   Once you say it's okay to send promotional push

01:10:29   notifications to make sure people have Apple News

01:10:31   or to promote the new tier of iCloud storage or whatever,

01:10:34   once you break that line and then you see the numbers go up,

01:10:39   it becomes much easier to then justify,

01:10:44   you know what, we're having a bit of a soft quarter,

01:10:47   let's break that line a couple more times

01:10:49   and get those numbers up because we have to.

01:10:51   And then it eventually just becomes,

01:10:53   this is just what we do, what are you talking about?

01:10:55   What do you mean we don't send

01:10:56   promotional push notifications?

01:10:58   What do you mean we don't have ads

01:11:00   and people setting screens for our other products?

01:11:02   What do you mean?

01:11:03   Of course we do that.

01:11:04   Look, we've been doing it for years.

01:11:07   Apple has not only fallen down a slippery slope,

01:11:11   but has jumped off of a slippery cliff

01:11:12   with a lot of these things in the last,

01:11:15   I don't know, five years, maybe more.

01:11:17   They have decided that this is acceptable now,

01:11:20   that the iPhone is no longer purely

01:11:23   about serving their customers.

01:11:25   It is really about serving Apple

01:11:28   and hoping the customers come along for the ride,

01:11:31   but it's turning the customers more into

01:11:33   like a resource to be squeezed.

01:11:35   So instead of just squeezing us on the purchase price

01:11:37   of the iPhone, which is something that we do willingly,

01:11:40   now they are squeezing us as,

01:11:42   let's get those,

01:11:45   what's that profitability per user number

01:11:48   that everyone's always talking about in the industry?

01:11:50   - ARPU, average-- - That's it, yeah.

01:11:52   Yeah, like we're just like ARPU blobs.

01:11:54   They just wanna squeeze us for even more

01:11:57   because we are now like an ongoing resource

01:11:59   for ongoing revenue and there's always new

01:12:03   and new and exciting ways that we can be annoyed

01:12:05   into getting squeezed.

01:12:08   That's what happens here.

01:12:09   That's what all the people making these smart comments,

01:12:12   that's what they're all worried about.

01:12:13   That's what I'm worried about,

01:12:14   that Apple has decided that it is okay

01:12:18   to degrade the user experience in order to promote something

01:12:22   that helps them.

01:12:23   And they just keep doing that more and more and more.

01:12:27   They're converting from a company that makes money

01:12:29   by pleasing customers with really great products

01:12:32   into a company that makes money by badgering their customers

01:12:36   until we give in.

01:12:37   - Oh, the distinction I was making,

01:12:39   like the thing that is keeping Apple

01:12:41   from being an effective advertising-driven business,

01:12:45   is that they're only willing to do all that stuff

01:12:48   for Apple, but they're not gonna sell an ad

01:12:51   in the music app to Spotify.

01:12:53   And if you're an advertising business,

01:12:54   of course you would sell that ad spot.

01:12:56   It's an incredibly valuable ad spot.

01:12:58   Why would you not allow everybody to send,

01:13:00   put advertisements in your notifications,

01:13:02   in the settings screen, in the Apple Music app?

01:13:05   Like, why wouldn't you do that?

01:13:06   That's what an advertising-driven company does.

01:13:09   And as you said, Apple is serving Apple.

01:13:10   It's the joke hierarchy that we've been passing around

01:13:14   our little community for probably multiple decades

01:13:17   of Apple's order of priorities in terms

01:13:20   of what's important to them.

01:13:22   Number one is Apple.

01:13:23   Number two is users.

01:13:24   Number three is developers.

01:13:26   But Apple is number one.

01:13:28   And so, yeah, Apple gets to tell you that you

01:13:30   can buy more iCloud stories.

01:13:32   Apple gets to remind you for the umpteenth time

01:13:34   that you can subscribe to Apple Music.

01:13:35   Apple gets to put an ad in your settings screen.

01:13:38   But an advertising company would sell all those ad spots

01:13:41   to the highest bidder.

01:13:42   And that, I think, Apple is not going to do.

01:13:44   because they still have that,

01:13:46   I mean, it may seem like,

01:13:49   if it was really a slippery source,

01:13:50   they would have just gone all down

01:13:50   and there'd be ads everywhere.

01:13:52   They still don't wanna be that company.

01:13:53   They still wanna sell a premium experience.

01:13:55   It's just that very often I feel like Apple

01:13:58   drinks its own Kool-Aid to the extent that they think,

01:14:01   oh, well, we're sending you, those aren't ads.

01:14:03   We're just telling you about our great products, right?

01:14:05   And that sounds so insane to us.

01:14:07   Like, that doesn't make any sense,

01:14:09   but there is a little bit of that internal thinking, right?

01:14:12   Now, if you really press people,

01:14:14   like, oh yeah, okay, so I guess it is ads

01:14:15   and we try to do it less.

01:14:17   And I bet they would say, but see, it's only us doing that.

01:14:19   And that means, and there is something to this,

01:14:22   that means there will necessarily always be

01:14:24   limited number of things.

01:14:25   Because Apple just doesn't have that much stuff to advertise

01:14:27   and they're only one company.

01:14:29   So you're not going to see 10,000 times more of those ads

01:14:33   if Apple is the only one who can place them.

01:14:35   We're all annoyed because we liked it

01:14:37   when there was zero of those things.

01:14:39   That Apple didn't do it at all because, you know,

01:14:41   again, under the fantasy of Steve Jobs

01:14:43   would never do something like that.

01:14:44   But I wasn't Steve Jobs around for iAd.

01:14:46   I don't know if that's the topic.

01:14:48   - Yeah, I think the first one, yeah.

01:14:49   - Right, right.

01:14:50   So, but anyway, we would like there to be less of it.

01:14:53   To my earlier point, most of the people on the planet

01:14:57   have shown that they're okay

01:14:58   with some amount of advertising.

01:15:00   That said, the people who buy Apple products

01:15:03   are not most of the people on the planet.

01:15:04   And I have heard complaints about those Apple ads

01:15:07   inside Apple products, because that is a relatively

01:15:09   new thing for people who have been using

01:15:10   Apple products for years.

01:15:12   But mostly people get over it.

01:15:13   And it boggles my mind when people get annoyed,

01:15:15   like, oh, I hate that thing telling me

01:15:16   to buy more iCloud storage.

01:15:17   Let me go back to my Solitaire app

01:15:18   with the flashing ad banner on it

01:15:19   that I've been using for five years.

01:15:20   Pay the dollar 99, oh my God.

01:15:22   Sometimes the apps don't even let you pay the dollar 99,

01:15:24   which is really sad, but.

01:15:26   - Oh my God, by the way, I have, oh, Crafty Craft.

01:15:31   This is the app that Adam uses to mod Minecraft on the iPad,

01:15:36   like to make Minecraft mod.

01:15:37   - Does it have an ad banner on it?

01:15:39   - Oh, you don't know.

01:15:41   - You get to watch a 30-second movie

01:15:42   to continue using the app?

01:15:43   - Yeah, so let me just be clear.

01:15:46   We pay for this, I think it's like $4 a week.

01:15:50   - What? - It's one of those

01:15:51   weekly subscription scams.

01:15:52   We pay for this because it's like a major creative outlet

01:15:55   for them and we wanna support that and everything.

01:15:56   But this is the most abusive, manipulative garbage

01:16:00   I've ever, like, I can't believe Apple lets us in the store.

01:16:04   Not only is it, so you pay for it to get rid of ads,

01:16:08   but then it's still full of ads, just a few,

01:16:10   a few of them, and then they have this like in-game gems

01:16:14   currency that you have to spend to use things

01:16:18   like the save button.

01:16:19   You have to spend gems every time you save something.

01:16:24   - Are you kidding?

01:16:25   - So you run into saves for the day.

01:16:28   Oh my, it, oh, it makes me so angry that like,

01:16:33   this horrific app is the only and best option

01:16:38   to do this on the iPad, and it is just downright abusive

01:16:41   to children, and Apple's making 30% of all that money.

01:16:44   Good for you, Apple, I'm so happy for you.

01:16:47   - Casino games for children, yeah, that's another place

01:16:49   that Apple has decided they're okay with things.

01:16:52   - But it's a good thing that the App Store is protecting us.

01:16:54   - Yeah, the final thing that Casey alluded to before

01:16:58   is there's rumors today, we'll put a link in the show

01:17:01   to the story, I haven't had time to read it

01:17:03   'cause it just came out today, about they're gonna have

01:17:06   an ad product that they're selling in the TV space.

01:17:09   This, again, is kind of a no-brainer,

01:17:11   the Netflix doing streaming services ads.

01:17:14   Television being sponsored by companies that buy ads

01:17:18   is not a new technology.

01:17:19   It is a thing that the entire world accepts.

01:17:23   And yes, people will pay a premium to get a network

01:17:26   that doesn't have ads like HBO or whatever,

01:17:28   but most television is not HBO.

01:17:31   Most television is television with ads.

01:17:34   And if you give people the choice between Netflix

01:17:36   without ads for more money and Netflix with ads

01:17:38   for less money, a lot of people are gonna take Netflix

01:17:41   with ads.

01:17:42   And Apple has a TV streaming product,

01:17:45   and it seems like they're investigating, you know,

01:17:48   having ads.

01:17:49   Now as someone who doesn't like ads and is willing to pay

01:17:51   to get rid of them, I'm annoyed that Apple TV

01:17:54   always tells me about the other Apple TV shows

01:17:55   before I watch an Apple TV show.

01:17:57   - Yeah, agreed.

01:17:57   - Right?

01:17:58   People who are very sensitive to ads and are willing

01:18:00   to pay money to get rid of them, it's like,

01:18:01   there's nothing I can pay to stop Apple

01:18:03   from telling me about the apple in the apple.

01:18:05   (laughing)

01:18:07   There's too much apple in my apple, yo dog, right?

01:18:11   And every streaming service is like this.

01:18:12   HBO, you wanna watch a show on HBO?

01:18:14   Let's watch House of the Dragon.

01:18:16   Oh, there's another show on HBO?

01:18:18   Oh, season two of White Lotus is coming out?

01:18:20   A, I already knew that.

01:18:21   B, I'm already gonna watch it.

01:18:22   C, get off my TV!

01:18:24   I wanna watch the show!

01:18:25   I already pay for HBO!

01:18:27   Why are you advertising this to me?

01:18:29   I can't pay again!

01:18:30   Do you, I mean, you're afraid I'm gonna cancel,

01:18:32   because I'm gonna get done with House of Dragon

01:18:33   and I'm not gonna know that the new season

01:18:34   of White Lotus is coming out, I'm gonna cancel HBO.

01:18:37   That's just me, but I am not like most people.

01:18:40   (laughing)

01:18:41   And so it's the same situation with Apple.

01:18:42   If you buy an Apple device increasingly,

01:18:44   you will get ads for Apple Things.

01:18:45   If you buy the Apple streaming service, Apple TV+,

01:18:49   you will get ads for Apple Things.

01:18:50   And now, just like its competitors,

01:18:52   Apple seems to be investigating the idea

01:18:54   that perhaps there will be other ad slots

01:18:56   that people can buy in Apple TV+.

01:18:58   Will there be a different tier

01:18:59   for people to subscribe with more ads?

01:19:01   Will there only be certain shows?

01:19:03   We'll see, but it's kind of not possible to avoid that.

01:19:07   If you were in charge of Apple TV+ or streaming at Apple,

01:19:11   you would not be doing your job

01:19:12   if you didn't investigate this avenue

01:19:15   because your competitors are doing it

01:19:16   and it's a proven business model, right?

01:19:18   You could say, oh, we should be the premium one or whatever.

01:19:21   You should be the company that doesn't have ads.

01:19:23   Well, A, that ship has already sailed

01:19:25   'cause Apple advertises with its own stuff as we established

01:19:27   and B, Apple knows what that means in terms of market share.

01:19:33   If you try to take the high road and not do any advertising

01:19:36   and only appeal to the people who really dislike advertising

01:19:40   and have lots of money or whatever,

01:19:41   it will limit your market share, it will limit your reach.

01:19:43   It will, in the end, and debate,

01:19:45   use a big highfalutin Steve Jobism,

01:19:47   it will limit the size of the dent

01:19:49   that you can put in the world

01:19:50   because fewer people will use your products

01:19:52   because there aren't as many people

01:19:54   who care that much about ads, right?

01:19:56   So if you want to go to the largest number of people,

01:19:59   you have to entertain this business model, and so they are.

01:20:02   So, you know, that's what it's like

01:20:05   when your tastes and preferences

01:20:07   are a little bit outside the norm,

01:20:09   you are inevitably going to be disappointed

01:20:12   by the largest company in the world's moves in business,

01:20:15   because for the most part,

01:20:17   they're going to try to appeal to the masses.

01:20:21   Still, to Apple's credit,

01:20:22   they tried to appeal to the masses

01:20:24   in a way that is a little bit nicer than their competitors,

01:20:27   and I think they continue to do that,

01:20:29   but it's the magnitude of the little bit in that phrase

01:20:31   that may change from year to year.

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01:22:30   - All right, let's do some Ask ATP, and Brian writes,

01:22:36   "On a recent episode, y'all discussed future improvements

01:22:38   to the Apple Watch, mentioning new sensors,

01:22:40   longer battery life, and so on.

01:22:42   But the most obvious improvement to me

01:22:43   would be the complete elimination of the bezel,

01:22:45   or perhaps bezel.

01:22:47   I would love a watch face that isn't black

01:22:49   to appear continuous with the case.

01:22:51   As it is, the stupid black border

01:22:53   ruins every other color watch face.

01:22:55   When do you think we will get a bezel-less Apple Watch?

01:22:57   Do we need micro-LED tech or something?

01:23:00   Isn't this sort of the Ultra?

01:23:02   Doesn't the Ultra have very little bezel or my bananas?

01:23:04   - No, the Ultra, well, no, there is a bezel,

01:23:07   and it seems, you know, it's relatively

01:23:08   like the same thickness you'd expect it to be

01:23:10   based on other Apple Watches.

01:23:11   Where the Ultra is weird, though,

01:23:13   is that most of the faces still don't look right on it,

01:23:16   like they really are not like optimized for the size.

01:23:19   Even the stock face that comes with it,

01:23:21   the Wayfinder face, which, oh, I have complaints about,

01:23:25   but that's fine.

01:23:27   They can't make an analog face to save their lives.

01:23:31   But anyway, even the Wayfinder face,

01:23:34   like you can see a pretty thick bezel around it,

01:23:35   but what's weird about the Ultra,

01:23:37   again, it has a perfectly flat screen.

01:23:41   I'm actually not a huge fan of totally flat crystal watches.

01:23:44   usually a slight dome is preferable because totally flat not only looks kind of cheap

01:23:50   but also causes some glare issues that if you have a slight curve you get way less glare

01:23:56   and it looks a little bit nicer.

01:23:57   So something to consider for ultra buyers.

01:23:59   But anyway, to answer the actual question when we will get like totally bezel-less,

01:24:04   I'm not sure.

01:24:06   I mean the Apple Watch from the beginning was designed to have black around everything

01:24:10   in part to hide the bezels and in part to save power

01:24:13   on the OLED screen.

01:24:14   'Cause everything about the Apple Watch

01:24:16   is designed to save as much power as possible

01:24:18   'cause it's such a constrained power envelope device.

01:24:21   Because black has been worked into the design

01:24:24   of all the faces, I don't know that they would

01:24:26   necessarily want to get away from that,

01:24:28   even if they could.

01:24:30   Like even if they could make whatever kind of screen

01:24:32   could go all the way to the bezel,

01:24:34   which would be, I think, a significant challenge.

01:24:37   Not knowing much about screen tech,

01:24:39   I mean, look at the iPhone,

01:24:41   we're nowhere near that there.

01:24:43   But anyway, even if they could do it,

01:24:45   again, I don't think they would want to do it.

01:24:48   It would require a lot of different decisions

01:24:50   around the whole OS that would mostly end up being

01:24:53   more power hungry.

01:24:55   And I don't see them ever doing that for the Apple Watch.

01:24:58   - We don't need a different screen tech.

01:24:59   You could do it with OLED just as easily

01:25:01   as you could do it with some hypothetical micro LED thing.

01:25:05   But it's interesting that how the word bezel

01:25:08   has changed meaning in this context.

01:25:09   What we're talking about is like the glass,

01:25:13   let's take an iPhone, the screen of an iPhone.

01:25:15   It's like a piece of glass that is, you know,

01:25:17   it's part of the thing that lights up with pixels

01:25:19   in different colors, right?

01:25:21   When we say how big is the bezel on the iPhone,

01:25:23   we mean go to the edge of the iPhone

01:25:26   and eventually you run out of things that light up.

01:25:29   This is the last pixel that's gonna light up.

01:25:31   But there's still more glass, right?

01:25:34   So there's glass that doesn't light up.

01:25:35   There's no pixels in this area.

01:25:37   all around the edge of the phone, top, bottom, left,

01:25:39   and right.

01:25:39   If you look at the phone, there's this black border,

01:25:42   and it's because there's no pixels there.

01:25:44   And people call that the bezel.

01:25:46   But in television set parlance in the CRT days,

01:25:51   the bezel was a piece of plastic that you shoved on the TV that

01:25:55   covered part of the cathode ray tube, part of the glass cathode

01:26:00   ray tube.

01:26:01   It covered, often, the parts that didn't light up.

01:26:05   That was the bezel, that plastic thing.

01:26:07   You could do that on a watch today.

01:26:09   Just make the metal, titanium, whatever, aluminum case,

01:26:14   have little things that come up and overlap the screen

01:26:18   and butt right up against where the pixels light up, right?

01:26:22   Hey, it's a quote, unquote bezel-less iPhone.

01:26:24   Well, no, it's not.

01:26:25   You just actually made the bezel bigger.

01:26:27   But now when I say bezel, I don't mean the black part

01:26:29   of the screen that doesn't light up around the edges.

01:26:31   I mean the old definition of bezel,

01:26:33   which is the plastic, you know, or whatever,

01:26:35   the part of the case that overlaps

01:26:37   the thing that does light up, right?

01:26:39   They could do that.

01:26:40   And I think that's what this, Brian is asking about.

01:26:43   It's like, I want a watch face

01:26:46   that goes all the way to the edge.

01:26:47   I don't want some black part of the screen thing

01:26:51   to be, you know, interrupting.

01:26:54   So I'll have a white watch face

01:26:56   and then all this black border around it

01:26:58   'cause that part of the screen doesn't light up.

01:26:59   And then there's the actual, you know,

01:27:01   watch case made of aluminum or titanium or whatever.

01:27:04   If Apple wanted that look, they could do it today

01:27:06   by making like, for example, on the Ultra.

01:27:09   They can make a titanium little thing,

01:27:11   like hook over the front of the case

01:27:13   and cover up those black pixels,

01:27:14   and then you would have what you want.

01:27:15   But they're not doing that, I don't know,

01:27:18   for fashion reasons or because like Marco said,

01:27:20   the design aesthetic of all the watch faces has always been,

01:27:23   if you don't light up pixels, they're completely black,

01:27:26   and also where there are no pixels is also completely black,

01:27:29   so it's seamless in that way.

01:27:32   But that said, Apple has been slowly quote unquote

01:27:35   shrinking the bezel, by which we mean shrinking the area

01:27:38   of the screen that doesn't light up with pixels

01:27:41   over the course of what, the watch?

01:27:42   Four, five, seven, it's been getting smaller and smaller.

01:27:46   It's still there, you can still see it,

01:27:47   but it's been getting smaller.

01:27:48   So I think they probably will get all the way to the edge

01:27:51   if they ever can, but I'm not sure they'll ever actually

01:27:54   use the old style bezel, as in make the case creep over

01:27:58   and cover the part of the glass that doesn't light up

01:28:01   because that doesn't seem part of their design aesthetic.

01:28:03   Like the edges of the phone have either been non-existent

01:28:06   and seamless than the regular one.

01:28:07   And on the Ultra, they look basically like they're,

01:28:09   I mean, Mark, you have it, you can look at it.

01:28:10   It's like they're kind of vertical walls

01:28:12   and then the glass is inside that.

01:28:14   They don't like reach over and overlap onto the screen.

01:28:17   Do they?

01:28:18   - No, not at all.

01:28:19   At least, I mean, I don't know how the Sapphire

01:28:21   is mounted in there, but yeah, it doesn't look that way.

01:28:24   - Yeah, so we'll see.

01:28:26   They could do it.

01:28:27   I mean, they've been trying to shrink it as much

01:28:28   Same thing on the phones.

01:28:29   They've been shrinking that part of the phone.

01:28:31   They could have made a phone design, they did that,

01:28:32   but they didn't.

01:28:33   The current one has flat sides, they go up and down.

01:28:35   They do not reach over and overlap any part of the screen,

01:28:38   even though that's a design direction

01:28:40   they could have gone and they chose not to.

01:28:41   So, you know, hang in there.

01:28:43   We're probably good about the same time

01:28:44   as we get third-party watch faces.

01:28:46   - By the way, nothing makes me want

01:28:47   third-party watch faces more than using the Ultra,

01:28:50   because again, like they,

01:28:52   almost every existing watch face looks stupid on it.

01:28:54   They look stupid.

01:28:56   - I saw Underscore was messing with it

01:28:58   and apparently it's not a super ellipse.

01:29:00   Like it's not the shape of the app icons.

01:29:02   - Oh really?

01:29:03   - It's actually a rounded rectangle.

01:29:04   Yeah.

01:29:05   It had a Twitter thread where he was trying to make

01:29:06   like watch faces that fit inside the Ultra.

01:29:08   And he realized that it's not the super ellipse shape.

01:29:11   It's actually like flat sides with a radius in the corners.

01:29:15   So if you want to put an image on the screen

01:29:17   that fits correctly with even borders around it

01:29:19   and you do a super ellipse, it looks wrong.

01:29:22   - Of course.

01:29:22   - And of course he's making watch faces

01:29:24   'cause why wouldn't he be?

01:29:25   also of course. Yeah, all right. John Enger writes, I am surely

01:29:31   going to be disappointed by your by your response to this, John,

01:29:33   but I've been excited to ask you this. John Enger writes,

01:29:36   assuming you can cover the price difference, why would you want

01:29:38   an M1 Max Max Studio over the same spec M1 Max MacBook Pro?

01:29:43   Said another way spec for spec does John's desktop desktop have

01:29:46   any meaningful advantages over Marco's desktop laptop approach?

01:29:50   As far as I can tell the advantages of the Max Studio or

01:29:52   MacBook Pro are one additional Thunderbolt 4 port, two additional USB-A ports, and a 10 gigabit

01:30:01   Ethernet port, which in this case Jon doesn't plan to use. Meanwhile, the advantages of the

01:30:05   MacBook Pro over the Studio are an XDR screen with ProMotion, much better speakers, a webcam,

01:30:10   a mic array, Touch ID, Ask Siri, effectively an integrated GPS, and of course it's portable,

01:30:16   so I can go anywhere and still use it. So why would anyone ever buy an M1 Max Max Studio over

01:30:22   over a same spec M1 Macs MacBook Pro.

01:30:24   Am I missing something?

01:30:26   - Well, if you want a desktop computer

01:30:28   and it's never gonna go anywhere,

01:30:30   the screen doesn't do you any good.

01:30:31   So you just paid for that and you're not using it.

01:30:32   The speakers don't do any good

01:30:33   because if you're gonna keep it in clamshell mode,

01:30:35   the speakers aren't gonna help you.

01:30:36   The webcam doesn't do any good

01:30:37   'cause if it's closed, the webcam isn't looking at you.

01:30:38   The mic array, same deal, it's closed.

01:30:40   Touch ID, the Mac Studio has that.

01:30:43   Ask Siri, same thing,

01:30:44   the display has a microphone or whatever.

01:30:45   An integrated UPS, I suppose,

01:30:47   but you can buy an external one of those.

01:30:49   It's like if you want a desktop computer,

01:30:50   don't pay for all that stuff on a laptop.

01:30:53   And it used to be, it'll be like noisier and slower.

01:30:56   Now it's not really slower.

01:30:57   Is it noisier than the Mac Studio?

01:30:58   Debatable that the Mac Studio--

01:31:00   - It's quieter.

01:31:02   - Yeah, under some situations,

01:31:04   although under heavy load-- - All situations.

01:31:06   - No, I have to imagine under heavy load

01:31:07   that the thing about the Mac Studio

01:31:10   is whatever annoying noise it makes,

01:31:11   it's very difficult to make much louder noise

01:31:14   where it is possible, although difficult,

01:31:17   to make the MacBook Pro make noise,

01:31:18   especially if it's in a clamshell

01:31:20   especially if it's in clamshell in a situation that,

01:31:22   you know, so like our Mac studio

01:31:23   is bolted under the desk here.

01:31:25   I don't think you'd want to bolt your Mac foot

01:31:27   and throw under the desk.

01:31:29   - You wouldn't need to. - 'Cause it would be hard

01:31:30   to get at.

01:31:31   Yeah, it wouldn't be a great place for it to be.

01:31:33   And then finally, the things you listed.

01:31:34   You get more ports and you get faster ethernet, right?

01:31:36   So if you don't want a desktop computer,

01:31:38   don't buy a desktop computer.

01:31:39   But if you do want one, it doesn't make sense

01:31:41   to buy a laptop and then try to use it as desktop.

01:31:43   Even though Apple's laptops are amazing

01:31:46   as desktop computers, it's still kind of a waste

01:31:48   of hardware and it's not the best suited.

01:31:52   And it would honestly be extreme shame

01:31:54   to not use that screen.

01:31:55   And you can have it on your desk and have the screen open,

01:31:57   but I always found that the ergonomics of that

01:31:59   where you kind of like make a little high chair

01:32:02   for your laptop and it's got the keyboard open,

01:32:04   but you're not using that keyboard

01:32:05   'cause you want the screen to be up high,

01:32:06   but it has to be open.

01:32:07   So you're constantly seeing this keyboard

01:32:09   and this track pad that you're not using.

01:32:11   So this awesome screen could be at the right height

01:32:13   and I don't know.

01:32:14   Each thing should fulfill the need that it does.

01:32:18   It would be more of a slang dunk if Apple hadn't done

01:32:22   whatever they did with the Mac Studio fans

01:32:24   that make them so weird and so strangely noisy

01:32:28   yet never going above their base speed

01:32:31   but still being noisy at their base speed.

01:32:33   So we'll see what the next version of the Mac Studio

01:32:36   looks like.

01:32:37   Maybe they'll solve this cooling thing

01:32:38   or maybe we'll have to wait until they make another case.

01:32:41   And I wanna reiterate that the fact

01:32:43   the mine is bolted on the desk,

01:32:44   it is inaudible in that position

01:32:46   under any normal circumstance.

01:32:48   So it is a solvable problem.

01:32:51   -I think perhaps Jon's point is that, yes,

01:32:55   Jon Enger's point is that, yes, in the circumstance

01:32:59   that you literally never use this laptop as a laptop,

01:33:03   then, yeah, okay, I guess that makes more sense

01:33:05   what you're saying, Jon Syracuse.

01:33:06   But if you even once want to move this computer

01:33:10   somewhere else temporarily,

01:33:12   then I think Jon Enger makes a really good point

01:33:14   that you're getting all of that stuff sort of kind of for free

01:33:17   not literally for free, but sort of kind of for free.

01:33:19   And I think that makes a lot of sense.

01:33:20   So if you're, if you're desk,

01:33:22   if you really are getting a desktop desktop,

01:33:23   then yes, Syracuse is right.

01:33:25   But if you're getting a mostly desktop laptop,

01:33:28   then still get the laptop, man.

01:33:30   - I still feel like it's like, if you get a laptop

01:33:32   and you only use it just once someplace else,

01:33:35   it's such a waste of a laptop.

01:33:37   Like it's not that keyboard

01:33:38   that you're not using the trackpad,

01:33:39   you're not using the screen you're not looking at,

01:33:41   like that's just, you paid for that, they built it,

01:33:43   and you're just closing it up and hiding it away.

01:33:46   It just seems wasteful.

01:33:47   - It is really great though.

01:33:48   I mean, that's the thing.

01:33:50   Like I agree with what you're saying academically,

01:33:53   but I think right now we're in this weird state

01:33:55   where because of various, what seemed like possibly flukes,

01:34:00   where the Mac studio has this weird fan problem for noise,

01:34:05   and the MacBook Pro is weirdly way too good,

01:34:09   right now that in the current versions of these products,

01:34:15   The MacBook Pro is, I think, better in so many ways.

01:34:18   And yeah, there is gonna be a cost difference there

01:34:21   'cause you are paying for a lot of this stuff.

01:34:22   But, you know, I've, believe me,

01:34:25   I've rationalized every kind of purchase there is

01:34:26   to rationalize, especially with computers.

01:34:28   - True. - And the reality is,

01:34:30   there has never been a time where I've said to myself,

01:34:33   I'm gonna get this amazing desktop

01:34:36   and then I won't need a laptop anymore.

01:34:38   I've probably maybe attempted that,

01:34:40   maybe with iPads at some point,

01:34:41   forever ago, a million years ago, maybe.

01:34:43   but the reality is I always also want a laptop.

01:34:47   And if you can have one computer serving both of those

01:34:50   rules, both of those roles, and you need both of those

01:34:55   roles filled, then any value argument you try to make

01:34:58   about well, you're paying for the stuff you're not using

01:35:00   by having a desktop laptop, well that only applies

01:35:02   if you're also gonna have a separate laptop.

01:35:04   But if you can get away with just having that one

01:35:06   be both your desktop and your laptop,

01:35:08   which is what most people do,

01:35:11   then you are saving an entire other computer worth of cost.

01:35:15   So let's set aside the price difference for now

01:35:18   because for people listening to this show,

01:35:20   you probably want a laptop at some point in your life

01:35:21   and therefore, if you can have one device instead of two,

01:35:25   you are saving a ton of money.

01:35:26   So that being said, again, like right now,

01:35:28   we have this weird fluke situation

01:35:30   where the desktop laptop is better than the desktop desktop,

01:35:33   but you will occasionally run into a weird thing

01:35:37   if you do this.

01:35:39   And most of these weird things are solved

01:35:41   if you don't use clamshell mode.

01:35:43   If you actually have the laptop open in the second screen,

01:35:47   most of these problems go away.

01:35:49   But if you use clamshell mode full time,

01:35:51   you will very occasionally run into a weird thing

01:35:55   that's assuming things that shouldn't be assumed.

01:35:57   So for instance, the other day I was trying to,

01:36:00   I was signing up for a new developer account

01:36:02   and the developer app, the Apple developer app,

01:36:04   lets you sign up for a developer account right in the app,

01:36:07   at least for personal accounts.

01:36:09   And they had this thing where to prove who you are,

01:36:12   you can use the built-in camera

01:36:13   to scan your driver's license.

01:36:15   Well, the built-in camera on my MacBook Pro is closed

01:36:20   and facing a piece of metal.

01:36:23   I have another camera, I have the Logitech thing

01:36:26   stuck to the top of the XDR,

01:36:28   but this didn't allow me a way to choose

01:36:30   which camera I use.

01:36:31   And so I just couldn't do that

01:36:33   without opening up the laptop.

01:36:35   If you're in clamshell mode,

01:36:37   that's a very disruptive process of all right,

01:36:39   lift it out of its little foldy stand to have it in.

01:36:42   Unfold the laptop with all the cables still plugged in

01:36:44   'cause I don't wanna lose all my stuff.

01:36:46   Like have it like kinda hovering in my hand

01:36:48   over on the edge of the desk.

01:36:50   That same thing, by the way, is what you have to do

01:36:53   if you ever need to like hard power it off

01:36:55   because the power button is on the inside.

01:36:58   So if you ever need to access the power button,

01:37:00   which is not common, but occasionally you have to do it,

01:37:04   You have to pick it up, unfold it, hit that, et cetera.

01:37:08   So there are occasionally little weird things like that.

01:37:11   But that's, I mean, maybe every couple of months

01:37:15   I run into a thing like that.

01:37:16   Once, like once every couple of months.

01:37:18   And so I'm willing to tolerate that

01:37:21   for all the other advantages of the setup.

01:37:23   And I still, now it's been almost a year, I think,

01:37:26   I still am a huge fan of the setup.

01:37:28   Whatever, no part of the Mac Studio

01:37:32   has made me envy that setup or want one.

01:37:35   If they improve the MacStudio down the road

01:37:38   to be, first of all, way quieter at idle,

01:37:43   so to be as quiet as my MacBook Pro at idle,

01:37:47   and if the power difference between the two gets larger,

01:37:51   if the MacStudio can be way more powerful

01:37:54   than the MacBook Pro, then I'd be more interested.

01:37:58   And maybe the MacPro, whatever that story ends up being,

01:38:00   Maybe that is that story, and we'll

01:38:02   see whenever that comes out.

01:38:04   But until then, this is an amazing setup.

01:38:07   Frankly, it has no business being as good as it is,

01:38:10   and I'm incredibly happy with it.

01:38:12   The M2 MacBook Pro may change things,

01:38:14   because it may be hotter and make things noisier.

01:38:17   The other thing I would say for having a dedicated desktop--

01:38:20   and if you don't want to have just one computer,

01:38:22   you can make different trade-offs.

01:38:23   So say you wanted to have a desktop desktop,

01:38:26   but then your laptop, you wanted to pick

01:38:27   the reincarnation of the MacBook Adorable

01:38:30   that somehow comes, right?

01:38:31   Super light, super thin, weight and size

01:38:34   is your ultimate thing.

01:38:35   You don't need it to be your full fledged desktop.

01:38:37   You just want the lightest thing that you can have.

01:38:40   Probably still more expensive than buying just one,

01:38:42   but it lets you make that choice.

01:38:43   Let's you make the ultimate portability choice

01:38:45   and then power at your desktop.

01:38:46   It's the trade off of modularity of having dedicated devices,

01:38:50   dedicated special purpose devices.

01:38:52   This is the computer that never leaves my desk.

01:38:53   This is the computer that I'm on the go with

01:38:55   as opposed to making one that has to fulfill both.

01:38:57   And if you do have the one that fills both,

01:38:59   that can't be a MacBook adorable sized thing probably

01:39:01   because that's just, you know,

01:39:03   if you want the lightest possible thing,

01:39:04   it's not going to be probably powerful enough

01:39:07   to satisfy high end needs.

01:39:08   So yeah, the M1s are, you know,

01:39:11   great machines that definitely smeared this entire thing

01:39:14   and then the weirdness of the Mac Studio did that.

01:39:15   But the M2s made on a similar process

01:39:19   that are a little bit faster

01:39:20   and a little bit more power hungry.

01:39:21   Maybe the fans will go a little bit harder.

01:39:23   Who knows what the M2 Mac Studio will look like

01:39:25   if Apple has an October event.

01:39:27   Maybe we'll see M2 MacBook Pros and people can test them

01:39:29   and see how it turns out, but the M1 may be a moment in time

01:39:33   that is not repeated, we'll see.

01:39:35   - Also to answer, my name is T in the chat, asks,

01:39:38   any regrets on having the 16 inch for all of this

01:39:41   as opposed to the 14 inch?

01:39:43   They say they got a 16 inch for work recently,

01:39:45   have a 14 inch personal, and wow,

01:39:47   the 16 inch is bad to travel with.

01:39:49   I would say I love the 16 inch for this purpose

01:39:53   because when I do use it as a laptop,

01:39:57   in almost every case,

01:39:59   I want as much screen space as I can get.

01:40:01   I don't travel that often.

01:40:03   When I do travel, it is much more frequently by car.

01:40:08   The only place I really am not super comfortable

01:40:11   with the 16 inch is on a plane in a coach seat,

01:40:14   because we all know that person in front of you

01:40:17   leans back and that's it.

01:40:18   You're not using your laptop anymore.

01:40:21   So game over on that.

01:40:23   But that's also mostly true of the 14 inch even.

01:40:27   So my trick is get exit row or business class

01:40:31   or whatever you can get to get a little bit more room

01:40:33   if you have to have a laptop working flight.

01:40:35   If you're going cross country,

01:40:37   get the exit row or something

01:40:38   so you can have a little bit more space on the tray table

01:40:40   because in that case, even the 14 inch

01:40:42   is a bit uncomfortable.

01:40:44   But with that exception of tight airline seats,

01:40:48   I don't regret the 16.

01:40:49   I love, again, I love having all the screen space

01:40:51   and using something smaller, I miss that screen space.

01:40:55   And the 16 also has a little bit better speakers,

01:40:58   significantly better battery life, things like that.

01:41:00   So it's great for that, but yeah,

01:41:02   I love it for that purpose and I don't regret it at all.

01:41:04   The actual size and weight of carrying it,

01:41:08   it only feels big relative to the other machines.

01:41:12   But in absolute terms, this is not a huge amount of weight

01:41:16   for an adult in good health to carry.

01:41:18   Like it's not, and if you're putting it in a bag,

01:41:21   the difference between a 14 inch and a 16 inch

01:41:24   in actual weight in that bag or bulk in that bag,

01:41:28   you're talking maybe like what, 5%?

01:41:30   Maybe more weight in the bag or 10%?

01:41:32   Like it's not a ton to the point where

01:41:36   it's going to radically affect your ability

01:41:38   whether you can carry it or not.

01:41:39   Now, it's nicer to have something smaller and lighter

01:41:42   if you're carrying it in a bag every single day.

01:41:45   Like when I was working in the city,

01:41:47   I would take the train to the city every day,

01:41:49   with a bag, sometimes standing up the whole time

01:41:51   if there was no seats,

01:41:52   then walking from Grand Central down to the office,

01:41:55   that was a 15 block walk.

01:41:57   In that kind of context where I'm carrying it

01:41:59   a whole lot every single day,

01:42:01   yeah, go a little bit lighter, it's nice.

01:42:04   But if that's not what your life looks like,

01:42:05   if you're mostly leaving it on a desk most of the time

01:42:08   and maybe bringing it in a backpack on trips sometimes

01:42:10   or bringing it in a car when you do go somewhere,

01:42:13   the difference really is not that big.

01:42:15   relative to the way computers used to be,

01:42:17   these are all super lightweight, and we're all very lucky.

01:42:20   So anyway, I'm very happy when I'm using it as a laptop,

01:42:24   I'm very happy that it's a 16 inch,

01:42:25   because I really do appreciate having infinite battery life

01:42:28   and a giant screen.

01:42:29   - One more thing on the getting to the power button

01:42:31   when you're in clamshell,

01:42:32   obviously bolting the Mac Studio under the desk

01:42:34   makes it awkward to get to the power button too.

01:42:36   The reason I needed to do this recently was,

01:42:39   and I was reminded of this as I was about to do

01:42:41   with the old way, booting into recovery mode.

01:42:43   I had to do it because I was trying to uninstall a Wacom tablet kext that SIP was protecting

01:42:50   or something so I basically needed to reboot into single user mode.

01:42:52   I'm like, "Oh, no problem.

01:42:53   I'll just restart and hold down Command R. That's not how it works anymore."

01:42:58   All of the ARM-based Macs to boot into recovery mode, you have to hold down the physical power

01:43:04   button until a little thing comes up and has options and lets you boot into different stuff.

01:43:08   You can't just go to the Apple menu, hit restart, and then hold down Command R or whatever of

01:43:12   umpteen different key combinations that you would use to enter recovery, single user mode,

01:43:16   all that stuff.

01:43:17   All of that is behind holding the power button.

01:43:19   So no matter what kind of computer you have, even if it didn't crash, even if you're not

01:43:23   hard rebooting, if you ever need to do something that requires booting into recovery, and it

01:43:27   could be something as simple as uninstalling a piece of software that was probably installed

01:43:31   so long ago that system integrity protection didn't even exist and somehow it got like

01:43:35   shoved into a place where I can't delete it even as root, you're going to be finding that

01:43:39   power button.

01:43:40   (laughing)

01:43:42   - Finally, Andy Hyde writes,

01:43:43   "Why does router range matter?

01:43:45   "Many models of router advertise varying coverage areas.

01:43:48   "Shouldn't the limiting factor for WiFi range

01:43:50   "be the power-sipping client radio's upload range,

01:43:52   "not the router itself?"

01:43:54   I don't feel like I've ever paid any attention to this.

01:43:57   Is this a thing these days, is range for routers?

01:44:00   - They mean like a WiFi router.

01:44:02   They mean like, you know.

01:44:02   - No, I know, I know.

01:44:04   - Yeah, I know, they tell you how big of a place,

01:44:06   like how many square feet it covers.

01:44:08   Like Euro will tell you if you have a home this big,

01:44:10   this thing or whatever. I just thought that was like a thumb in the wind like order of magnitude

01:44:15   thing just to get you in the right direction. I didn't think it was any sort of scientific

01:44:18   anything. Well, I mean, it's not scientific because they don't know where your walls are.

01:44:21   They don't know where you're putting it, but they're basically more range is better on a

01:44:25   Wi-Fi router. And what he's asking is like, why does what is the product I buy from Euro? How can

01:44:30   that influence the range isn't the limiting factor of the transmit power of my phone or whatever,

01:44:35   you know, or my laptop? Isn't that the limiting factor? No matter how big hunkin router I get,

01:44:39   it's not gonna help if my phone is so wimpy

01:44:43   it can't transmit or whatever.

01:44:45   And what I would say to that is when routers advertise

01:44:48   as having good range, yes, part of it is how much power

01:44:51   they have to transmit, but the other part of it is

01:44:53   how fancy and effective their antennas are.

01:44:56   That may be because they're large,

01:44:57   because there's multiple ones or whatever,

01:44:59   and those fancy, better antennas are better at picking up

01:45:04   the potentially weak signal from your phone

01:45:05   or your laptop or whatever.

01:45:06   So when they advertise range, don't just think as,

01:45:09   This is how hard that my router can send the WiFi signals out.

01:45:13   Also think of it as how big the ears are

01:45:15   and how it can hear the whisper of my phone

01:45:17   when it's in the basement.

01:45:18   Both of those things contribute to range,

01:45:20   and that's why it does make sense for routers to advertise

01:45:23   and work on having better range over time.

01:45:27   - Thanks to our sponsors this week.

01:45:29   Trade Coffee, Collide, and Memberful.

01:45:32   And thanks to our members who support us directly.

01:45:34   You can join atp.fm/join,

01:45:37   and we'll talk to you next week.

01:45:44   They didn't even mean to begin

01:45:46   'Cause it was accidental

01:45:48   (Accidental)

01:45:49   Oh, it was accidental

01:45:51   (Accidental)

01:45:52   John didn't do any research

01:45:54   Marco and Casey wouldn't let him

01:45:57   'Cause it was accidental

01:45:59   (Accidental)

01:46:00   Oh, it was accidental

01:46:01   (Accidental)

01:46:02   And you can find the show notes at ATP.fm

01:46:07   And if you're into Twitter

01:46:10   You can follow them at C-A-S-E-Y-L-I-S-S

01:46:17   So that's Casey Liss M-A-R-C-O-A-R-M

01:46:21   N-T-M-A-R-C-O-R-M-N S-I-R-A-C-U-S-A-C-R-A-C-U-S-A

01:46:29   It's accidental (It's accidental)

01:46:32   They didn't mean to accidental (Accidental)

01:46:37   ♪ Tech podcast so long ♪

01:46:40   - All right, so this is not a sponsorship

01:46:46   and advertisement, whatever,

01:46:48   but it's gonna sound a heck of a lot like one.

01:46:50   So I had the opportunity recently through various events

01:46:55   to get a little bit of Sonos hardware

01:46:58   at a pretty good discount.

01:47:00   And I had really wanted a Sonos Arc,

01:47:04   which is their soundbar for a long time,

01:47:07   because it seemed like it was a cheap,

01:47:09   well, it's not cheap at all.

01:47:11   It was a easy-- - Yeah, nothing that

01:47:12   makes it cheap. - Exactly.

01:47:13   I should have said easy, not cheap.

01:47:15   An easy way to get something that is vaguely

01:47:18   like surround sound into my house

01:47:21   without doing a whole lot of work.

01:47:22   And I have had various price-watching things,

01:47:27   watching for the price of the Sonos Arc to drop at all,

01:47:31   and I've been doing this for like six months,

01:47:33   and they don't appear to believe in sales.

01:47:35   They're like Apple.

01:47:36   there is there's no sale no soup for you please move along I was you know

01:47:41   resisting resisting resisting spending almost I think it's almost a thousand

01:47:44   bucks for an arc I was resisting it resisting resisting it and then I had

01:47:48   like I said the opportunity to get some stuff at a pretty good discount and so

01:47:52   suddenly instead of just getting the arc I wound it up with a whole surround

01:47:56   sound system and a portable speaker because if you're gonna save money you

01:47:59   might as well spend a ton right that's how it works something like that the

01:48:03   The more you spend, the more you save.

01:48:04   That's what they tell me.

01:48:05   - That's right, baby.

01:48:06   That's right.

01:48:06   - I'm not sure that math works out, but it is a saying.

01:48:08   - Hey, it makes sense, right?

01:48:09   So anyway, so I ended up buying a whole bunch of stuff.

01:48:13   Now, really quickly, the situation previously

01:48:15   was I had a center channel and a left and right channel

01:48:19   sitting on the mantle below my television

01:48:20   because as we all know, my television is up

01:48:22   at the second story of my house,

01:48:23   even though I sit at the first story.

01:48:25   Not really, but that's what John would tell you,

01:48:27   and he's kind of right.

01:48:29   The television is above the mantle,

01:48:30   And so on the mantle was a left channel,

01:48:33   a center channel, a right channel.

01:48:34   I also had an external subwoofer.

01:48:36   All this was plugged into a receiver

01:48:38   that was literally 15-ish years old.

01:48:40   The receiver, I think it was barely new enough at the time

01:48:44   to understand Dolby Digital.

01:48:46   Like Dolby Digital was the new hot thing

01:48:48   when this receiver was brand new.

01:48:50   This receiver predates HDMI.

01:48:51   So it was not new at all.

01:48:54   And I wanted to get rid of it.

01:48:55   I wanted to do something different.

01:48:56   I wanted to get an ARC.

01:48:58   So I end up, oh, and I'm sorry,

01:49:00   This receiver obviously supports rear speakers,

01:49:02   and I had rear speakers, but I hadn't installed them

01:49:04   'cause I didn't wanna run wires under the floor,

01:49:06   through the floor, under.

01:49:07   We have hardwood in the downstairs,

01:49:09   and so I didn't wanna put something on top of the floor,

01:49:13   so I would have to go into the crawl space or something,

01:49:16   or up and around over the ceiling.

01:49:18   I have no interest in doing any of those things.

01:49:20   So I wanted to try this ARC.

01:49:23   It seemed like the fancy lads way

01:49:26   to get pretty decent sound in all one unit.

01:49:29   And so I wanted to get the ARC, I was too cheap to get it,

01:49:32   and then suddenly I spent like two and a half ARCs

01:49:34   worth of money trying to,

01:49:36   in setting up my fancy new setup.

01:49:39   And I didn't really have a whole lot of interest

01:49:42   in the Sonos ecosystem either.

01:49:45   I didn't know a lot about it,

01:49:46   but it seemed that it was,

01:49:49   and maybe not competition,

01:49:51   but I don't know of a better word to describe it,

01:49:52   but in competition with like AirPlay,

01:49:55   which I use all the time.

01:49:56   You know, I have this Belkin Soundform Connect

01:49:58   that I use as an AirPlay receiver

01:50:01   to get AirPlay to the screened in porch.

01:50:04   And then I use the Apple TV connected to the receiver

01:50:07   when I was AirPlaying music or anything like that.

01:50:10   And I didn't really see the point

01:50:12   in trying to buy into the whole new ecosystem.

01:50:16   So really what I wanted was a surround sound setup

01:50:19   for the living room.

01:50:22   And then I ended up getting a couple other things as well.

01:50:24   So I ended up getting an ARC.

01:50:26   I ended up getting a sub Gen 3,

01:50:28   which is their big subwoofer.

01:50:29   They've also just recently come out with a submini,

01:50:31   which is their little subwoofer, of course.

01:50:33   And then two Rheosonos One SLs, I think,

01:50:36   and I don't know what SL actually stands for,

01:50:38   but it basically means the non-smart version of the speaker

01:50:41   as rear speakers.

01:50:42   So I have the ARC, a soundbar, a subwoofer,

01:50:45   two rear speakers.

01:50:46   And so now I have surround sound for the first time

01:50:48   in 15 years or something like that.

01:50:51   And then I also got a Sonos port to handle term table

01:50:55   and porch duties, which we'll talk about in a moment.

01:50:57   and a Sonos Roam, which is their like,

01:50:59   Jambox-esque speaker.

01:51:01   This sent me back a considerable amount of money,

01:51:03   even after the steep discount.

01:51:05   But let me tell you, you know how everyone says

01:51:07   that like, Sonos is really, really good

01:51:08   and it's like, really awesome and super reliable

01:51:10   and you should try it?

01:51:11   I'm here to tell you, and I am not being paid to say this,

01:51:14   boy, do I wish I was.

01:51:15   Sonos is really good, really reliable,

01:51:17   and you should try it, 'cause I freaking love this stuff.

01:51:21   Oh my God, it's so great.

01:51:22   I am so mad that I waited as long as I,

01:51:24   well, not really, 'cause I saved a bunch of money,

01:51:26   But I am spiritually ahead, if you will,

01:51:30   that I waited so long, 'cause this stuff is so good.

01:51:33   And it starts with even just the box.

01:51:36   So it comes in like nondescript cardboard boxes

01:51:39   because you know it would walk.

01:51:40   Even though porch pirates aren't much of a thing

01:51:42   here in Richmond, it would walk if you had

01:51:44   a bunch of Sonos boxes sitting on the front porch.

01:51:46   And so you take the box out of the shipping box.

01:51:50   And the Ark in particular, I was so amused by this.

01:51:54   And this is the first time that I've ever

01:51:55   actually wanted somebody to watch an unboxing.

01:51:58   And I will put an unboxing video into the show notes,

01:52:00   which I cannot believe I'm saying this.

01:52:02   This is how you know I'm so out of my gourd,

01:52:05   excited about all this.

01:52:06   So the way the Sonos Arc, the soundbar box works,

01:52:09   is there's literal like lock switches

01:52:12   on either side of the box.

01:52:15   And then, so you have to slide

01:52:17   these plastic lock switches aside.

01:52:20   And this is at about 15 to 20 seconds in the video,

01:52:22   I'll link in the show notes.

01:52:23   You slide the lock switches, one on each side,

01:52:26   to the other, from lock to unlock,

01:52:28   and then you lift up the box.

01:52:30   It's so dumb and kind of over-engineered,

01:52:33   and I am so here for it.

01:52:34   It was so cool.

01:52:36   It's so dumb, and I loved it.

01:52:39   So you open it up, and every Sonos item that I've bought,

01:52:43   all whatever, five or six of them or whatever it was,

01:52:45   every single one of them comes in this very neat

01:52:49   like cloth, black cloth sleeve with a sticker,

01:52:53   perfectly placed over the seam of the sleeve telling you which device it is. You can see this at about, what is this, like 45-ish seconds

01:53:00   in the video.

01:53:01   And you open it up and it's got, you know, you take it out of its little blankie and then you set everything up and it

01:53:08   sets up super easily and

01:53:10   I'm so in love. So I,

01:53:12   all of these devices, almost all of them, actually everything except the

01:53:17   the Jambox-esque Roam, all of them have both Wi-Fi capability and

01:53:22   and Ethernet.

01:53:24   And I didn't bother setting any of them up with Ethernet,

01:53:29   except I tried to set up the subwoofer via Ethernet

01:53:32   and I couldn't get it to work.

01:53:33   That was like the only time I had a problem.

01:53:35   But then as soon as I reset it

01:53:36   and tried doing it over WiFi, it worked no sweat.

01:53:38   - You're sure you used 10 base T?

01:53:41   - No, I mean it was, I think it was against--

01:53:43   - Come on, dad joke.

01:53:45   - Oh, base, aha, I get it, I get it.

01:53:48   - Oh my god.

01:53:49   - That was the--

01:53:49   - You're kicked out of the dad club.

01:53:51   - Seriously, that was a bad one, John.

01:53:53   - I tried to make it sound so dumb when I said it.

01:53:56   You should have read it.

01:53:57   - I'm a little disappointed myself, if I'm honest.

01:53:59   - Should be, jeez, take his dad card.

01:54:01   Temporary dad card penalty.

01:54:03   - I know, I'm sorry, I get one demerit.

01:54:05   So yeah, so basically what ends up happening is

01:54:07   you set up the sub, and I ended up doing it via wifi

01:54:11   and not 10 base T.

01:54:13   I set up the two rears, obviously via wifi,

01:54:16   because if I was willing to run an ethernet cable,

01:54:18   then why wouldn't I have run the speaker cable

01:54:20   15 years ago.

01:54:22   And so the ARC, the soundbar, gets connected via HDMI--

01:54:28   what is it?

01:54:28   eARC, Enhanced Audio Return Channel, I

01:54:30   think is what it's called.

01:54:31   So basically, the way this works is there's a bespoke

01:54:34   HDMI connection on my TV, which is an LG C9.

01:54:37   And you connect HDMI from the TV to the ARC.

01:54:40   And the TV and the ARC negotiator do whatever in order

01:54:43   to understand, OK, I'm not going to be using this for

01:54:45   video, really, although it does show a little pattern if

01:54:48   you tune to it.

01:54:49   What I'm really gonna do is pipe everything

01:54:51   through this HDMI cable to the sound system.

01:54:55   This is very similar to the way a SPDIF and optical

01:54:58   would oftentimes work where it would just dump

01:55:00   whatever the TV saw to SPDIF.

01:55:02   It's now doing this with HDMI.

01:55:03   So the arc on my mantle has power,

01:55:06   it has HDMI and that's it.

01:55:08   The subwoofer has power and it could have ethernet,

01:55:11   but it instead works via WiFi.

01:55:13   The two rears, power and nothing else.

01:55:15   And then we'll talk about the port in a minute.

01:55:18   But, and finally, I have Dolby Atmos,

01:55:21   I have 5.1, I have all surround sound.

01:55:26   And I know that every other person

01:55:27   probably listening to this has been here for 15 years.

01:55:30   And back when we had an apartment

01:55:32   and it was easier to run all this stuff

01:55:33   and I didn't care as much,

01:55:34   I did have the surround sound set up

01:55:36   with the old system and so on and so forth.

01:55:37   But I literally never bothered

01:55:38   in the 15 years we've been in this house.

01:55:40   And so, having it all back, it's really cool, you guys.

01:55:44   Did you know that surround sound's pretty awesome?

01:55:46   Who'd have thunk it?

01:55:47   And this was particularly relevant and I tweeted about this earlier today. I've been rewatching or not rewatching

01:55:52   Excuse me

01:55:53   I've been watching this semi old Canadian TV show called 19 - and the first episode of the second season was

01:56:00   both extremely depressing but

01:56:03   Incredibly done and it's a it's about a the whole show is a cop show and this particular episode is about a school shooting and

01:56:09   It was wild sitting there and hearing like, you know

01:56:14   as shots coming from over my shoulder and hearing the police radio over my other shoulder.

01:56:19   Again, none of this is remarkable. I know this has been technology for literally 20 years,

01:56:23   but more than that even. But it's just cool to experience it again. It's like, you know,

01:56:26   the first time you experience HD or 4K even in certain circumstances. It's just, it's cool,

01:56:31   and 5.1 is really great. The system sounds phenomenal. I am, I am not a connoisseur,

01:56:37   but as I've said many, many times, I have good sound systems in my life. The BMW, actually,

01:56:43   The Harman Kardon BMW was incredible, believe it or not.

01:56:46   My dad has a ridiculously expensive

01:56:49   and fancy stereo at his house.

01:56:51   Just a preposterously expensive stereo.

01:56:54   - Oh, by the way, the sound of the Defender sucks.

01:56:56   - Oh, really?

01:56:57   - Yeah, it's like one of the main downsides.

01:56:59   Yeah, it's a (beep) sound system.

01:57:01   It's a crappy sound system.

01:57:03   - I'm sorry to hear that.

01:57:04   That really bums me out,

01:57:05   because I would have expected that,

01:57:06   of all the things I would have expected

01:57:08   to be the Achilles heel, that would not have been it.

01:57:10   But anyways, so yeah, so I set this all up.

01:57:13   It sounds great.

01:57:14   You can do this, I think they call it like true tone thing

01:57:18   or something like that, where you literally walk

01:57:19   around the room waving an iPad or an iPhone,

01:57:23   and you look like an idiot doing it,

01:57:25   but it's allegedly will tune the speakers

01:57:28   for your specific room, which is pretty neat.

01:57:30   Then I needed a solution for the turntable

01:57:34   because the turntable was sitting literally

01:57:36   above the old receiver.

01:57:39   And the turntable has RCA jacks, like analog jacks,

01:57:44   in order to emit sound, and you have

01:57:46   to plug that into something.

01:57:47   So I needed to fix that problem, and I

01:57:51   wanted to at least consider doing something

01:57:54   different for the porch, which again, had a sound form

01:57:57   connect, which was basically an AirPlay 2 receiver and nothing

01:58:00   else.

01:58:01   And what I ended up doing was getting this thing called

01:58:04   a Sonos port, which operates both on the input and output

01:58:07   side.

01:58:08   So it has a couple inputs, it has an RCA input and it has an RCA output.

01:58:13   And so the turntable gets plugged into the input and then the output gets plugged into

01:58:18   the amplifier for the port speakers.

01:58:20   And so now this one box, which is also connected via Ethernet, can operate as the turntable

01:58:25   like translator, if you will, and also operate as the port speakers.

01:58:31   And so that worked out pretty well.

01:58:33   It took me a little bit of tweaking and trying to figure out how to get it to recognize the

01:58:37   turntable just right, but I think it was a KC problem. Eventually I got it. What's

01:58:42   really trippy though, if you've never heard a turntable, the way it works is

01:58:47   there's a needle that touches the top of the record and the needle vibrates and

01:58:52   then basically that sound just gets amplified in like five different

01:58:55   stages and that's what you hear. So if you have the sound off on your stereo

01:58:58   and you play a record and you stick your ear up near the needle, you can actually

01:59:03   hear the music. Granted, it sounds like garbage, it's quiet, it's tinny as crap, but you can hear the music.

01:59:10   And keep that in mind as I tell you that one of the things that you set up when you're setting up a Sonos port is

01:59:14   how much of a time delay you would like as you're listening to music.

01:59:18   Because if you think about it, it has to broadcast, or it may have to broadcast this to other thing.

01:59:24   Well, it absolutely has to pump it to some speaker somewhere, and then it could pump it to multiple speakers.

01:59:28   So it needs to build, it's like a freaking Discman, an anti-skip all of a sudden.

01:59:32   And so next thing you know, you know

01:59:34   you're playing a record and you hear the needle for a moment or two for a second or two and then

01:59:39   then you hear the music coming through the speakers and

01:59:41   it occurred to me I

01:59:44   Would argue that one of the benefits of listening to vinyl is how everything is analog and yet here I am

01:59:51   Turned my turntable into a complete almost completely digital setup

01:59:58   Which may be defeating kind of the point accepting the whole tea ceremony thing that you guys have beaten me up about for years and years

02:00:03   but nevertheless

02:00:04   It is pretty cool to be able to listen to my turntable anywhere because it's just another input to the Sonos and so I can pump

02:00:10   That to the porch I can pump that to my little quasi jam box thing the Sonos Roam that is pretty neat

02:00:15   And so with that in mind, you know, their app is is not

02:00:19   Stupendous, but it's not bad and it'll integrate with Apple music. It'll integrate with Spotify

02:00:25   and it'll integrate with SiriusXM.

02:00:26   And so what's nice about it is,

02:00:28   I can go into the app,

02:00:30   without messing with the television at all,

02:00:32   I can go into the app and say,

02:00:33   "Okay, I would like to listen to SiriusXM

02:00:35   in these two places."

02:00:36   Or, "I would like to listen to Apple Music in this place."

02:00:39   Or all of the places, and so on and so forth.

02:00:41   And you can adjust the volume on the app independently.

02:00:44   Also, all of these devices support AirPlay too.

02:00:47   I can't pump the turntable into AirPlay.

02:00:49   That has to stay within the Sonos ecosystem.

02:00:51   But anything coming into the Sonos ecosystem

02:00:54   can come in via AirPlay.

02:00:55   So I can AirPlay directly to the port speakers,

02:00:57   I could AirPlay to the porch and the living room,

02:01:00   I could AirPlay to the porch, living room, and the room,

02:01:02   and it all works incredibly.

02:01:05   I am so in love with this system,

02:01:07   and I am so annoyed that all these dinguses

02:01:10   that are always, "Oh, you should get a Sonos,

02:01:11   it works really well, it's so great."

02:01:13   Oh yeah, sure, whatever, I don't have $85,000

02:01:15   sitting around to buy Sonos stuff.

02:01:16   Well, you should try Sonos, it integrates so well

02:01:19   and works really great, 'cause oh my God, it's so good.

02:01:22   And here's the icing on the cake.

02:01:25   So I get everything set up,

02:01:27   and I could still tweak it some more,

02:01:29   but I've found that not infrequently,

02:01:33   I wanna make these little fine adjustments

02:01:35   to the volume on the porch

02:01:37   as compared to the living room,

02:01:39   because the living room has a sliding door

02:01:42   that opens onto the screened-in porch.

02:01:44   And occasionally I'll find that if I'm just using

02:01:46   the macro-level volume slider

02:01:50   that's kind of relatively adjusting,

02:01:52   any of the speakers that are playing right now,

02:01:55   sometimes I'll feel like the port just sits

02:01:56   a little too quiet or a little too loud.

02:01:58   I wanna adjust just the port.

02:01:59   And I can do that via the app,

02:02:00   but it's ever so slightly clunky.

02:02:02   You gotta like tap and hold on the volume knob

02:02:05   or what are the thumb, the volume thumb,

02:02:08   and then it'll expand into a different view

02:02:10   where you get individual volume controls

02:02:11   instead of the one macro control

02:02:13   that you were just looking at.

02:02:15   And I was getting a little annoyed by this

02:02:16   and I thought to myself, well, Sonos, I think has an API.

02:02:20   I wonder if I could like, you know, write some sort of app

02:02:23   and stick it on like, I don't know, maybe a Raspberry Pi

02:02:25   or something like that, and make something

02:02:28   where I can put like a, like you know, like a dimmer,

02:02:31   like a light dimmer sort of control on the wall of the porch

02:02:35   and maybe I could do something like that

02:02:36   and it would, you know, the Raspberry Pi would detect,

02:02:39   you know, the relative position of this quote unquote dimmer

02:02:42   and would make an adjustment to the Sonos volume

02:02:45   or something like that.

02:02:45   I wonder if I could do this.

02:02:46   And at the same time, I was thinking about this.

02:02:50   I somehow stumbled on that pass sponsor, Lutron Caseta,

02:02:55   they have already solved this problem.

02:02:58   So Lutron Caseta has these things they call Pika remotes,

02:03:02   and they're these little portable remotes

02:03:04   that work via their proprietary radio control.

02:03:08   And you can use those to control lights.

02:03:10   And so they have, what is it?

02:03:11   One, two, three, four, five buttons on them.

02:03:13   There's a big button at the top to turn the light on,

02:03:15   and up down to dim, a little circle in the center

02:03:18   that you use to like jump to the particular dim

02:03:21   that is your favorite,

02:03:22   and then you turn the light off button.

02:03:24   And I thought to myself, well, oh my gosh,

02:03:28   I think that they do this.

02:03:30   They actually have a Pico thing, a Pico switch,

02:03:35   specifically designed to control a Sonos system.

02:03:38   The Pico Smart Remote for Audio,

02:03:40   I can't link to this easily in the show notes

02:03:42   'cause it doesn't really have its own URL,

02:03:44   but it's a play/pause button at the top,

02:03:46   which would normally be the volume up button,

02:03:48   then, I'm sorry, the light bulb on button,

02:03:51   then it has up down, which would be the dimmer on a light,

02:03:53   but in this case it's obviously volume.

02:03:55   The center one we'll get back to in a minute,

02:03:58   the kind of dim to the favorite spot one

02:04:00   we'll get back to in a minute,

02:04:00   and then the light off button is skip to the next song.

02:04:04   So, oh my gosh, I can just spend 40 bucks

02:04:07   and get one of these, problem solved.

02:04:10   Well then I'm thinking to myself,

02:04:11   well I wonder, you know, does this really work?

02:04:13   Let me find a review,

02:04:14   and I stumbled on my real life friend Eric Wielander's YouTube channel, which he's somewhat

02:04:19   put aside now, but it is a really good YouTube channel about smart home stuff, and I'll put

02:04:24   a link to this in the show notes, but he pointed out this Pico remote, this Pico smart remote

02:04:30   for audio, the only real difference between it and any of the other Pico remotes is that

02:04:34   instead of a light bulb icon at the top, there's a play/pause icon, and instead of a light

02:04:39   bulb icon on the bottom, there's a fast forward icon. Other than that, it's the same. It's

02:04:43   It's the exact same stuff.

02:04:45   And so, sure enough, I go into the Lutron app,

02:04:48   and I say, "Hey, I have a Sonos system.

02:04:50   "Integrate with that."

02:04:51   And then I say, "Okay, I would like to add to my system

02:04:53   "a smart remote for audio."

02:04:55   And I happen to have an extra Pico remote,

02:04:57   a light bulb one, sitting around.

02:04:59   And so within literally a minute and a half,

02:05:02   I now have a little remote control

02:05:04   that does play, pause, volume up, down, and skip forward

02:05:08   for my Sonos system on the porch.

02:05:10   How friggin' awesome is this?

02:05:12   It is, this is so cool.

02:05:15   So now I can be sitting on the porch,

02:05:16   and I already had a Pico remote on the porch

02:05:18   for the lights previously,

02:05:20   so I can turn the lights up and down,

02:05:21   I can adjust it so that the dim is just right,

02:05:23   and then I can get the music going,

02:05:26   and I can adjust the volume, so it's just right.

02:05:28   I don't have to mess about with my phone,

02:05:30   not that it's hard, but I don't have to do any of that,

02:05:32   and Erin doesn't have to have the Sonos app

02:05:34   installed on her phone or anything like that.

02:05:36   This is so freaking cool.

02:05:37   The only problem I have with it

02:05:39   is that I don't have a reason

02:05:40   to use with the Raspberry Pi anymore, but that's okay.

02:05:43   - You'll find others, don't worry.

02:05:44   - I'm sure I will.

02:05:45   I just need, somehow I need to get the Synology in on this

02:05:48   and then I'll be all set, I'll hit the like Casey trifecta.

02:05:51   But nevertheless, so yeah, so then I thought to myself,

02:05:54   well this is kind of confusing,

02:05:55   'cause I have two of these Pico remotes,

02:05:56   both look like light switches,

02:05:58   but only one of them actually controls the lights.

02:06:00   And I was talking to Erin about it,

02:06:01   she said, well just take nail polish remover to it,

02:06:03   I bet it'll take the icons off.

02:06:05   (laughing)

02:06:06   Oh my God, oh my God, you're right.

02:06:08   And so I took a little nail polish remover that she had,

02:06:10   just, (imitates nail polish remover)

02:06:12   on the light bulb icons, and now they're gone.

02:06:14   And so now, you can tell which one's which,

02:06:17   and then it gets better still.

02:06:19   So I have two playlists that I tend to play if I'm outside.

02:06:23   I don't only play those things,

02:06:25   but especially when people are over.

02:06:26   I tend to use one of the two.

02:06:28   One of them is my, I call it my Funk It Up playlist.

02:06:30   It's just a bunch of old,

02:06:32   it's a bunch of soul and funk music from the '60s.

02:06:36   - You can have your dad card back now, Casey.

02:06:37   Thank you, thank you very much.

02:06:39   If I remember, I'll put a link in the show notes,

02:06:41   but I'll probably forget.

02:06:42   But it is, without hyperbole,

02:06:44   this is the best playlist that has ever been made.

02:06:47   And so it's all, you know, like Stevie Wonder

02:06:49   and Commodores and things like that.

02:06:51   So anyways, I have that and I have the playlist

02:06:54   that we use when we tailgate,

02:06:56   because that's just a bunch of random music,

02:06:59   much more modern music that myself and Aaron

02:07:03   and our mutual friend Brian that we tailgate with,

02:07:05   that the three of us have been adding to

02:07:07   for probably five or 10 years now.

02:07:09   Well, it turns out, if you add these playlists

02:07:14   to quote unquote my Sonos, which I guess is,

02:07:16   basically favoriting them, so to speak,

02:07:19   within the Sonos ecosystem,

02:07:21   then when you hit the little like jump

02:07:23   to the correct dim button on the center of the Pico remote,

02:07:27   it'll just cycle through those playlists.

02:07:31   So I could be listening to nothing,

02:07:32   my phone could be in another room,

02:07:34   and I could step out on the porch,

02:07:35   hit the little circle in the center of the smart remote,

02:07:38   and boom, now I'm listening to funk.

02:07:40   - Now you're funkin' it up.

02:07:41   - I'm funkin' it up, baby.

02:07:43   Then I hit it again, now it's like I'm at a tailgate.

02:07:45   And then I can turn the volume up and down.

02:07:47   I can play pause.

02:07:48   I don't like this song because Brian added

02:07:49   a bunch of country, that's not really my thing.

02:07:51   Hey, guess what?

02:07:52   I just skipped to the next song, baby.

02:07:53   Oh, this is so cool.

02:07:54   This is so cool, and I love it so much,

02:07:57   and I wish it wasn't 85 gazillion dollars,

02:07:59   'cause I want everyone to experience this.

02:08:01   It is so awesome.

02:08:03   So, if you're on the fence about any of this stuff,

02:08:06   I swear to God, they have not paid me anything.

02:08:08   I did get a discount, but they did not pay me anything.

02:08:10   This was completely organic.

02:08:11   They didn't ask for any of this.

02:08:13   They don't even know I'm talking to you about this.

02:08:15   It is so good.

02:08:17   You've gotta check it out.

02:08:18   I cannot say enough good things about this stuff.

02:08:21   Genuinely, it is just so cool to have something

02:08:25   that with the exception of the small hiccup

02:08:28   when I was setting up the subwoofer,

02:08:29   which again, may have been a Casey problem,

02:08:31   Everything has just worked.

02:08:33   Do you remember when we used Apple products

02:08:36   and they just worked?

02:08:37   Do you remember that?

02:08:38   I remember that.

02:08:40   Now I bought some stuff and I spent a lot of money on it.

02:08:43   Does this sound familiar?

02:08:45   I spent a lot of money on stuff that I probably don't need,

02:08:48   again, sounding familiar, and it just worked

02:08:50   and it was so awesome.

02:08:51   And I really, really, really

02:08:54   have been incredibly impressed by it.

02:08:56   And the other nice thing is it is cool to be able

02:08:59   to just go into the Sonos app.

02:09:01   and say, play such and such on the main stereo system,

02:09:06   the living room stereo system,

02:09:07   and not have to have the TV on.

02:09:09   Is that a big deal?

02:09:10   No, of course not.

02:09:10   And that's how I was doing it for the last year or so.

02:09:12   Ever since we went to the 4K Apple TV,

02:09:15   I had to change out some stuff

02:09:16   and the way the stereo worked, it's not important.

02:09:17   But basically, once we went to the 4K Apple TV,

02:09:19   if we were listening to anything in the living room,

02:09:21   except the turntable, we had to have the TV on

02:09:24   because it was the Apple TV that was driving it.

02:09:26   And now I can just go into the Sonos app

02:09:28   and just have it play Sirius XM or Playlist or Apple Music

02:09:32   or what have you, and play it to any one of the speakers

02:09:35   that I have set up, and it just does it,

02:09:38   and the TV can remain off, and it's fine.

02:09:40   And it's so nice not to have to have the TV on,

02:09:43   even though I love the Apple TV screensavers and all that,

02:09:45   it's just nice not to have to have that on

02:09:47   and worrying about any of that.

02:09:48   And again, if I choose to airplay, that works flawlessly.

02:09:52   That's not a problem.

02:09:53   But now, here it was when I didn't know much

02:09:56   about how the Sonos stuff worked,

02:09:57   I thought to myself, I don't want to have

02:09:59   another frickin' ecosystem in my life.

02:10:01   That's the last thing I want right now.

02:10:03   But now that I have it here,

02:10:04   I find that I'm almost never air playing

02:10:06   and I'm actually jumping in the Sonos app

02:10:08   and just saying, you know, go play this

02:10:09   on such and such a speaker.

02:10:11   And it's been working out so well

02:10:13   and I'm so pleased with it.

02:10:14   And now, I'm gonna turn into like the average Tesla fan,

02:10:17   or really the average Sonos fan.

02:10:19   Oh, have you heard about Sonos?

02:10:21   Let me tell you about Sonos.

02:10:21   Did you know how great it is?

02:10:23   Did you know you could integrate with Lutron Caseta?

02:10:24   Did you know you could do this?

02:10:25   Did you know, did you know, did you know?

02:10:26   I'm now that guy, and I'm sorry, but it is so good,

02:10:29   and I'm blown away by how good it is,

02:10:32   and I am so overjoyed and happy with it.

02:10:35   Now I just wanna buy all the things.

02:10:37   I don't have anywhere else I need speakers.

02:10:39   I wanna find a reason to get more of these stupid things

02:10:42   and put them places, 'cause it's so great.

02:10:44   Now, Marco, you had tried it in the past, right,

02:10:46   and you were not as impressed.

02:10:47   Am I right about that?

02:10:49   - I'm very impressed with some of their products

02:10:51   and less with others.

02:10:52   So first of all, I am not a soundbar person.

02:10:55   I've learned that about myself.

02:10:56   You know, you have to know yourself

02:10:57   and I've learned about myself, I'm not a soundbar person.

02:11:00   - I will say the ARC without the subwoofer,

02:11:03   I was not particularly impressed with.

02:11:05   Once I added the subwoofer,

02:11:07   then it made a world of difference.

02:11:08   But without the subwoofer, it was okay.

02:11:11   - Yeah, I will say the Sonos Sub,

02:11:13   like the big subwoofer they have,

02:11:16   is probably the nicest home theater subwoofer

02:11:19   I've ever used and ever heard.

02:11:22   It is one of the very, very few on the market

02:11:25   that are force canceling, which means it basically

02:11:28   does not generate vibration because of it's using

02:11:31   two drivers opposite angle, it's a whole thing.

02:11:34   Apple does it, all their recent wifers for like

02:11:36   the MacBook Pro and everything.

02:11:38   But anyway, it's a great subwoofer and my preferred setup

02:11:43   is the Sonos Amp, which is a speaker amp

02:11:47   that only drives two speakers, like a left and a right,

02:11:50   but has the HDMI ARC input and everything.

02:11:53   So I use it as a non-surround stereo plus subwoofer setup.

02:11:58   And I love that setup, 'cause it allows me to use

02:12:03   my nice KEF or keff, however that's pronounced,

02:12:06   those speakers, my Q350s, those with the Sonos sub

02:12:11   are an amazing, I've never been happier

02:12:13   with a speaker setup than that simple pair of Q350s

02:12:18   and the Sonos sub and the Sonos amp.

02:12:19   I love it so much, it sounds incredible

02:12:23   for both music and TV and movies and everything,

02:12:26   but especially music.

02:12:27   And it's just, it's awesome.

02:12:29   But I have tried some of their smaller products.

02:12:32   I've tried, let me see,

02:12:35   I just make it get the names right, hold on.

02:12:36   So I've tried the One, the Move, and the Roam.

02:12:41   None of those have impressed me.

02:12:45   And other people swear by these things,

02:12:46   so maybe it's just my taste is not lining up

02:12:49   with what they make in the smaller category here.

02:12:51   I have never been impressed with those three products.

02:12:54   And everyone else seems like you like them a lot,

02:12:57   so good for you.

02:12:58   But yeah, I haven't had a great experience with those

02:13:02   in terms of value for the money.

02:13:04   I do agree that, as you said, the setup process is great.

02:13:08   And that, I have no complaints about setup, integration,

02:13:13   the tech side of things, with the exception

02:13:15   that the app is fairly clunky.

02:13:17   - I don't know, I wouldn't say it's fairly clunky.

02:13:19   I would say it's clunky.

02:13:20   It's not perfect.

02:13:22   I don't know if I'd even say,

02:13:23   I'd probably say it's not even great,

02:13:25   but I don't think it's actively bad either,

02:13:28   especially because I freaking hate everything

02:13:30   that Apple Music is in terms of their apps

02:13:34   in every platform.

02:13:35   But I would agree it's not like an exemplary app

02:13:38   by any stretch of the imagination,

02:13:39   but it is not, I wouldn't say it's actively bad either.

02:13:42   - Yeah, it's in the middle.

02:13:44   The bar is low for like iOS music playing apps.

02:13:49   Like they're all awful and it's kind of a shame.

02:13:52   Anyway, so I love them for TV sound and for AirPlay 2.

02:13:57   And for those two purposes,

02:14:01   you only use the apps to set them up.

02:14:03   You're not actually going through the app to play stuff.

02:14:06   So it doesn't matter how much I like the app

02:14:08   'cause I never use the app.

02:14:09   And so I'm extremely happy with them.

02:14:11   As AirPlay 2 devices, the amps have been rock solid.

02:14:16   When I had the one and the move,

02:14:18   I did the same thing, I did AirPlay with those two

02:14:20   and they were also rock solid for AirPlay.

02:14:23   It's faster and more reliable to AirPlay something

02:14:28   to play through the amp on my TV speakers

02:14:31   than it is to a HomePod.

02:14:32   Like it is, you pick it out, I know, right?

02:14:35   But you pick it out of the AirPlay picker,

02:14:38   you hit the name of the speaker,

02:14:40   in my case, living room, a second later, boom, it's on.

02:14:43   HomePods, not even close to that fast or that reliable.

02:14:47   So anyway, I'm a huge fan of some of their products.

02:14:52   And the rest, maybe not quite for me,

02:14:55   but I at least respect them.

02:14:57   - I totally get that.

02:14:58   Oh, and I forgot to mention that they do have

02:15:01   some seemingly rudimentary voice recognition

02:15:06   that is off by default, mind you.

02:15:08   You have to go in and add the voice recognition

02:15:11   in order to get it to be enabled at all,

02:15:13   which I really like.

02:15:15   By default, you can say, hey Sonos,

02:15:17   and it's just gonna ignore you.

02:15:18   But then you can choose to add the voice recognition.

02:15:20   And if I understand this correctly,

02:15:23   all of the voice recognition processing

02:15:24   is happening on device.

02:15:25   There is no cloud component.

02:15:27   But that also means you can't just ask it arbitrary queries.

02:15:30   You have to add, you can ask it like the time, for example,

02:15:33   but you can't ask it anything complicated like you would

02:15:36   any of the other tubes.

02:15:38   I don't wanna say their call names or whatever.

02:15:40   - But you can add them as well.

02:15:41   Not as well, but instead you can add Google Assistant

02:15:44   or you can add--

02:15:45   - The Amazon one.

02:15:46   - Yep, yep, that's true.

02:15:47   I haven't tried that, but I know I am aware

02:15:48   that that is something one could do.

02:15:51   So yeah, so what's really great about this

02:15:53   is that it's all on device, so it's pretty quick.

02:15:55   It seems pretty reliable,

02:15:57   because the problem set is so small.

02:15:59   What's his name?

02:16:00   Is it Gus Spring?

02:16:01   What was the guy from Breaking Bad?

02:16:02   I forget the actor's name,

02:16:03   but he's the one who talks to you, which is kind of funny.

02:16:05   - Really?

02:16:06   That's awesome.

02:16:07   Sounds kind of threatening.

02:16:08   - Yeah, it does sound a little bit threatening,

02:16:10   but nevertheless, it's a very distinguished,

02:16:15   a very recognizable voice, but that seems to work well.

02:16:18   And it does handle semi-complicated requests pretty well.

02:16:21   Like I've said to it, you know,

02:16:22   hey dingus, stop playback on porch.

02:16:26   And I've said that in the living room.

02:16:28   And it's been smart enough to say, okay,

02:16:29   I'm gonna continue the playback in the living room,

02:16:31   but stop it on the porch.

02:16:32   And that's just a silly example, but it's stuff like that.

02:16:35   And that seems to work really, really well.

02:16:37   And I've been really impressed with that too.

02:16:39   The Roam is again, their Jambox like thing.

02:16:42   I like it a lot.

02:16:43   it sounds really good to my ear given what it is.

02:16:47   So I am unquestionably grading on a curve.

02:16:49   But given what it is, I get a lot of volume

02:16:52   and a really impressive amount of bass

02:16:54   out of something that is approximately the size

02:16:56   of the original Jambox, rest in peace to the OG.

02:16:59   But anyway, I've been impressed by it.

02:17:02   And it comes, or you can get one that has,

02:17:05   it's almost a triangular shape.

02:17:07   And you can get like a bass that you can stick it on

02:17:10   so it's always charged.

02:17:12   As it turns out, I didn't realize until later,

02:17:14   that's just a triangularly shaped Qi charging base.

02:17:17   - Yeah, it charges what it's cheap.

02:17:18   - Yeah, yeah, so it would sit on any Qi charger,

02:17:20   it's just this is bespoke and so on and so forth.

02:17:22   But again, all of these people who are so annoying

02:17:27   about how great Sonos is, "Oh yeah, it's a tiny Sonos,

02:17:29   "it's so good, it's not much better than everything."

02:17:31   Well, you know what, you have to try it, it's so good,

02:17:32   it's so much better than everything else.

02:17:34   - Yeah, Sonos is what Apple should have been.

02:17:39   Apple's speaker efforts should be like Sonos.

02:17:44   And frankly, I'm shocked Apple didn't buy Sonos

02:17:47   at some point in the past,

02:17:48   'cause they've had a number of down times financially.

02:17:52   I think before they really leaned heavily into soundbars,

02:17:55   they were in a bad state.

02:17:57   And it turns out soundbars are just cash cows for everybody,

02:17:59   so that's kinda saved their butts, I think.

02:18:01   But they were in a bad state for a while,

02:18:04   and they could've been bought for a song, I bet,

02:18:06   and Apple didn't.

02:18:09   And on one level, I'm happy Apple didn't,

02:18:12   because now we have an alternative.

02:18:14   If the HomePod lineup keeps getting crappy

02:18:17   or staying crappy or being buggy,

02:18:19   then this is where to go, basically.

02:18:23   This is your alternative to it.

02:18:26   And it's not as good in certain ways.

02:18:27   It's better in other ways.

02:18:29   But at least it's a good alternative.

02:18:30   And I don't see Apple getting this good,

02:18:35   which is a shame, because I think if Apple

02:18:38   brought their audio engineering expertise,

02:18:42   like the actual, like the speakers, the drivers,

02:18:45   the enclosures, they kick Sonos' butt.

02:18:50   But Sonos slaughters them on performance,

02:18:54   physical quality metrics, reliability, speed,

02:18:59   inputs and handling and versatility,

02:19:01   like Sonos destroys them on all those things.

02:19:05   Apple just makes better sounding speakers.

02:19:07   And I wish they could, you know,

02:19:09   I wish there was something on the market

02:19:10   that combined that, whether it was Apple,

02:19:12   Sonos, or something else.

02:19:13   But in the absence of that imaginary solution

02:19:16   that combines all the best things of all these things,

02:19:18   yeah, they're pretty good.

02:19:19   (laughing)

02:19:20   - Fair enough.

02:19:21   John, have you ever played with any of this at Overcall?

02:19:22   Don't you have a Roam or something?

02:19:24   - I got two Roams now, actually.

02:19:26   Oh, I've wanted one, or she was using mine,

02:19:28   and I said, "I'll just get it your own."

02:19:29   They can, you can actually hook them up in a stereo pair,

02:19:31   which I thought was funny.

02:19:32   I mean, a stereo pair of two little Roams.

02:19:33   - That's awesome.

02:19:34   Yeah, I still use mine as my shower podcast thing.

02:19:38   She uses it as her little office radio, essentially,

02:19:40   you know, just to play music in her basement office.

02:19:44   What else do I have?

02:19:45   Do I have anything else?

02:19:46   I don't think I have anything else from them.

02:19:48   And it's weird because the Roams are basically off

02:19:51   all the time when they're not in use.

02:19:53   So launching the app shows you don't have a Sonoma system.

02:19:55   I can't connect to your things

02:19:56   and you had to turn them on or whatever.

02:19:57   So I'm really not using it the way it's intended.

02:20:00   But I was hoping your glowing review would convince Marco

02:20:04   that watching television and movies and stereo

02:20:06   is barbaric in this day and age, but apparently not, so.

02:20:09   - There is no chance, I love my setup way too much.

02:20:12   - You can have an awesome setup,

02:20:13   but just need more of those speakers that you love

02:20:16   in different positions, and voila, surround sound.

02:20:19   - Yeah, but then I have to like,

02:20:20   then it becomes a much more complex situation,

02:20:22   'cause like, the Sonos Amp is a really, really

02:20:25   great alternative to a receiver

02:20:27   if you only want two channels, plus sub.

02:20:29   - But you think you only want two channels,

02:20:33   but apparently Casey and I cannot convince you

02:20:36   that having more than two channels can be fun.

02:20:37   And every modern television show--

02:20:39   - But I've had it before.

02:20:40   I had it when it was new in the late--

02:20:42   - Yeah, that was in the 90s or whatever the hell it was.

02:20:44   - Yeah, but like, you know, look,

02:20:46   3D TVs existed for a little while,

02:20:48   then they stopped because nobody cared.

02:20:50   - This is, surround sound is not a fad.

02:20:52   Every television show and every movie

02:20:54   is mastered for more than two stereo speakers.

02:20:57   And if you got them--

02:20:58   - How is surround sound different from 3D TV?

02:21:01   - Because it's a thing that people like

02:21:03   it's not going away. I mean that's fair. So my experience with surround sound was way way way

02:21:09   back in like the mid 90s. My dad, again super audiophile for all the good and bad that comes

02:21:14   with it. He not only spent a brazilian dollars on the stereo but also you know put together a

02:21:20   surround sound system for our main television. We had we were the only people I knew with a laser

02:21:24   disc player like the whole rigmarole. Early early early surround, I don't know if this is true but

02:21:29   it seemed to me that the original surround sound

02:21:32   was just, let me guess what's coming from the back.

02:21:36   It didn't seem like anything was mastered

02:21:38   such that this sound needs to come out of that speaker.

02:21:41   It was just, let's take a guess.

02:21:43   Oh, just ambient noise that sounds like a crowd,

02:21:46   we'll just pump that through everywhere.

02:21:47   That must work, right?

02:21:49   And occasionally it would guess right,

02:21:50   and like in Top Gun, you would hear a plane

02:21:53   go from behind you to in front of you

02:21:54   as the same thing's happening on the television.

02:21:56   When it did click, it was amazing,

02:21:57   but it was very rare.

02:21:59   Now, it is clear that,

02:22:03   depending on what content you're feeding all of this,

02:22:05   stuff is mastered for 5.1.

02:22:07   So it is mastered such that I want,

02:22:09   this is what I was saying earlier,

02:22:10   I want the sound from this walkie-talkie and this cop show

02:22:14   to come from the left rear speaker.

02:22:17   I want the scream from somebody getting shot at,

02:22:20   coming from, this is a terrible analogy, I'm so sorry,

02:22:22   it's just the most recent example,

02:22:24   is coming from the front right speaker

02:22:26   and so on and so forth.

02:22:26   So it is a very different experience than it was years ago.

02:22:30   And I don't even remember, I'm probably wrong,

02:22:32   but I don't remember Dolby Digital being this good.

02:22:34   And maybe it was, or maybe it's just that mastering

02:22:37   has gotten better over the years.

02:22:39   - Well, it's both. - But it is, yeah, fair.

02:22:40   - Mastering has gotten better over the years,

02:22:42   but also the original surround sound formats,

02:22:46   like the actual audio formats,

02:22:47   were less able to represent perfectly discrete things.

02:22:51   They were like simpler, lower bandwidth and everything.

02:22:54   Modern formats now, they individually represent

02:22:57   all the different channels and separately encoded

02:23:00   and they can have, they can encode positional information

02:23:03   so that that way your system can adapt

02:23:05   to how your speakers are actually positioned

02:23:07   versus how the sounds were intended in a giant soundscape.

02:23:11   Now they're really advanced.

02:23:12   Back then they were simpler.

02:23:14   - Yep, I totally buy that.

02:23:16   I mean, in the defense of Marco,

02:23:18   again, I spent the last 15 years listening to stuff

02:23:20   in stereo with a center channel

02:23:23   that probably wasn't even used half the time.

02:23:25   I don't think it is absolutely compulsory,

02:23:29   but I will say without question,

02:23:31   it is a much better experience to have a full 5.1 setup

02:23:34   than it is to have just stereo.

02:23:36   Again, not required, but it way, way, way better.

02:23:38   (beeping)