391: Worse in Stupid Ways


00:00:00   I returned home earlier this morning today from our little beach vacation and I'm a little sleepy and I was really excited to see that we have nothing to talk about tonight.

00:00:12   Oh boy. It's going to be a real short, real easy show. It's good that we delayed a day on the recording. Your vacation worked out really well. That is very true actually. You're welcome everybody. You are welcome.

00:00:25   And really before today, I thought we already had tons to talk about because since we recorded, lots of significant things that we would typically talk about have happened.

00:00:35   And some of them are like, well I guess everyone wants to talk about this already so by now maybe we shouldn't talk about some of them, but not most of them.

00:00:42   And now we have this amazing... Oh there's so much happening right now. I'm so excited. I just, I can't wait. This is like, you know, get the popcorn. I just, I can't wait to see how this goes.

00:00:54   Alright, so let's dig in and lest dad get mad at me, we should start with follow up. And I don't remember who sent this to me and I apologize. I think it was sent to me and I'm the one who put this in the show notes and I screwed up and didn't leave attribution for myself to remember who sent this.

00:01:11   But I think it might have been Kyle's the Gray. If it wasn't Kyle, I'm sorry. But anyway, somebody sent us that Tim Cook does play the game of donating to both sides of the aisle. We had talked, I guess, you know, four years ago when we spoke last that, four years ago slash yesterday, depending on how it feels, that Tim Cook, we didn't think really played that game that much. It turns out he does. And this article written...

00:01:34   No, Apple, Apple didn't play that game. That's the distinction. We were talking about Apple, the company, unlike other companies does not give to individual candidates. And that's the page that we linked to last episode. This is about Tim Cook personally. I'm sure every employee who works for Apple personally potentially gives to some candidates or another. But as the story notes, Tim Cook plays both sides.

00:01:54   Yep, thank you for interrupting me. I'm glad you caught that. Yeah, so a very brief excerpt from the article, which was written in August of 2016. Cook has personally given $10,800 to Republican candidates and joint fundraising committee committees and $10,400 to committees on the Democratic side since 2008, according to reports filed with the Federal Election Commission. While he is by no means a large donor, Cook has increased his activity in this election cycle. Again, that's 2016, with about 90% of those donations coming since April 2015.

00:02:22   So yes, thank you for the clarification, John, and whoever it was that sent this to us. Thank you. Big Sur Beta 4. There's things that have happened. John, you want to walk us through it?

00:02:31   We spent a long time talking about the way things look in Big Sur, the areas where there's missing some contrast, the various line art designs for everything, the difficulty of telling what the active window is, all that stuff. Since then, Apple has made at least one significant cosmetic change in Big Sur Beta 4, which was not out at the time we talked about it.

00:02:52   And that is to change the one thing that I used as an example of really well-done, attractive styling that does not detract from usability, which is the subtle tinting of dark mode windows. I guess light mode windows as well.

00:03:08   But I was using dark mode as a specific example, where a dark mode window won't actually just be dark gray or black, but it will actually have a subtle hint of whatever the dominant color of the desktop background picture is, so it will be dark grayish with a hint of red maybe.

00:03:23   Just a little subtle, you know, to make it look not boring, but not in your face and bowling you over. It's a little bit less subtle in light mode.

00:03:32   Anyway, in Beta 4, of all the things they can add, of all the stuff we complained about, they added a checkbox to disable that specific effect. Just that specific effect. It's not an accessibility thing, it's not like where you turn off transparency entirely or increase contrast across the board.

00:03:47   This is a specific checkbox in the non-accessibility preference pane. It says "Disable wallpaper tinting in windows."

00:03:55   By the way, I don't like the fact that wallpaper has become the word they're using here. It used to be that we marveled at the fact that in system preferences you could type wallpaper and it would find the desktop picture preferences.

00:04:06   It's like, see, they know that windows users will type wallpaper, so they want to make sure that search term works. Now Apple's using wallpaper in their own copy. That's a regression, I think.

00:04:14   What was it before? Desktop background? Desktop picture, yeah. That's what it used to be called. Desktop picture. It boggles my mind.

00:04:26   I guess this has been the argument for graphite mode, where it's like, what if you're doing color work, you don't want everything on your screen to be subtly tinted by some other color.

00:04:35   If you're thinking your dark mode windows are neutral gray, but they're actually all tinted slightly blue, it's going to script your color perception. I kind of get it.

00:04:42   But on the other hand, that is such a narrow feature that I don't understand why that raises the prominence to be like in the general preference pane of where it is as opposed to buried someplace deeper.

00:04:51   So, I guess if you're looking for silver lining, it's that Apple is still at this semi-late stage, considering adding features to the OS that affect the way it looks, which we talked about a lot a show or two ago.

00:05:06   So, we had a lot of conversation last week about whether or not live photos are good for humanity, and John, you incorrectly said that they are not good for humanity.

00:05:16   Don't think that's what I said.

00:05:18   That's pretty much what you said.

00:05:19   Don't think that's what I said. It's a reasonable summary.

00:05:21   Yeah, I think that's a pretty good summary, as chief summarizer in chief.

00:05:24   You're fired.

00:05:25   Anyway, something that I don't know how clear I made it on the show, but I really honestly didn't know at the time, was that you could, and you said this, John, or maybe it was Mark, or one of you said this probably, John, that you can disable sending a live photo in like a text message, which I really and truly did not know.

00:05:44   And James Cocker wrote in to say a little bit more about that.

00:05:47   So, if you tap the live badge on a share sheet, it will disable the live photo only for that share, for example, to a shared album, messages, etc.

00:05:56   And there's no need to completely turn it off for the photo first.

00:05:59   So, to reiterate, and I think this was covered last episode, but it's good to say it again.

00:06:03   If you have a photo that you are sharing, and if you put it in a text message or iMessage compose window, so you've already pasted it in there, the little live photo indicator in the upper left is actually a button.

00:06:18   I had no idea it was a button. I thought it was simply an indicator.

00:06:21   And it's a button that you can actually hit, and that would disable the liveness, if you will, of that live photo just for that one iMessage or text message.

00:06:34   And again, it was brought up last episode, but it was news to me.

00:06:37   And ever since last episode, I've now been more aware of what I've been sending to people, because a lot of times I don't need the liveness, I hate that word so much, but whatever, the motion of a live photo.

00:06:49   And I just want the still. And now, it will make you very happy, Jon, I know that I can turn that off very easily.

00:06:56   Well, that's wonderful. I look forward to seeing your properly curated pictures appear on my shared photo albums.

00:07:03   Speaking of things not looking like buttons, you know, this is sort of famously an epidemic since iOS 7.

00:07:10   Things that are buttons not necessarily looking like them. The camera UI and picture UI in particular is very, its style is focused on not having a lot of chrome.

00:07:21   So the camera app and everything surrounding it tries not to have things that look overtly like buttons.

00:07:26   But that sometimes makes it confusing to people. How do I use these features?

00:07:32   For example, in the ancient version that I'm using, the camera app has the words on the bottom, I don't know if it's still like this, like photo, panorama, video, you know that.

00:07:43   And there's words, there's text, right? And you might guess that they were kind of like buttons, like well, how, because they fade out in the edges and it looks kind of like a timeline.

00:07:53   I suppose I could tap those words and that works. I suppose I could swipe those words and that works too. Eventually you learn, oh actually I can swipe anywhere on this entire screen.

00:08:02   And it effectively lets me scroll through those things to go from video to photo to panorama to portrait or whatever.

00:08:09   But that's not obvious at first glance, just like the live picture thing. Not obvious at first glance.

00:08:14   That the little indicator, I mean, I guess you just have to know that's the live picture indicator because I don't think it always says the word live next to it. It's just a circle in a circle thing.

00:08:22   That's right.

00:08:23   That you can tap that and it will, you know, act like a button and change modes. Live pictures in general have this problem.

00:08:29   If someone sends you a photo, the little dot will be there if it's a live picture and you may be wondering, how do I play the live picture?

00:08:36   I've always been force pressing on it just because I think that was the first thing that they advertised in like the keynote when it came out.

00:08:41   If you're force press or something, it plays the live photo and it does, but your finger is kind of obscuring the thing. I'm not sure if you can lift off of it.

00:08:49   There are other ways to play live photos, but there's no obvious sort of playback controls.

00:08:54   So I'm always sort of forcibly smushing my phone screen to get a live picture to play, only to be disappointed that once again Casey sent a live picture. There shouldn't be a live picture.

00:09:03   And there's nothing interesting in it.

00:09:05   Harsh.

00:09:07   But yeah, I feel like that aspect, live pictures, among their many problems, one of them is that I think a lot of people don't understand how to use them.

00:09:17   And even if you do, I think playback controls would seem, I don't know, too obvious for Apple.

00:09:26   You know what I mean? Like a little play button or the word live and a little play triangle. Even that, you have to know the...

00:09:33   I always wonder how many people know the things that we assume everybody knows.

00:09:38   We assume everybody knows a triangle facing the right is play and two lines is pause. But why do they know that?

00:09:43   What makes us think people know that? Just because we know it? Because we grew up with tape recorders and had the word pause next to those two lines?

00:09:50   I mean, it seems like a thing that most people would know. But anyway, that's not even there.

00:09:54   But if it was there, it would still require the shared cultural knowledge of what play, pause, fast forward, rewind, what all those symbols mean.

00:10:01   And you'd still have to know that the word live was referring to a thing called live photos, which I suppose you would know if you read Apple's marketing literature.

00:10:09   It's not like your phone comes with a manual. Anyway, technology is complicated and I feel like live pictures, there's a lot of hidden functionality and not great functionality.

00:10:17   I think in the absence of force press, which is going away, or whatever it's called, 3D touch, which is going away across Apple's line,

00:10:26   I guess it's just long press now, which is kind of worse because again, I've got to find a place to long press that's hopefully not covering the one interesting thing that's supposedly in this live picture.

00:10:35   Or I can just long press and then quickly remove my finger and hope I don't miss any of the playing. I don't know. My pictures are frustrating. Anyway, I'm done.

00:10:45   Okay. You know, the best part of all of this, which I don't think I really explained last episode, is John is painting it as though I'm sending him text messages hourly with useless live photos.

00:10:59   I can't remember the last time I've sent you a text message with a live photo. And yes, there is a shared album that's of kid pictures that occasionally live photos will be added to.

00:11:08   Occasionally, they have been 100% live photos for years.

00:11:12   That's not true.

00:11:13   The effect was cumulative.

00:11:15   Oh, God. I put a lot of big camera pictures on there, thank you very much, Dad.

00:11:20   But anyway, suffice to say this affliction apparently is much worse than I ever expected given the volume of live photos that John is receiving from me. So I am so sorry, John, to put you through this terrible difficult time.

00:11:32   To help you feel better, can you tell me about preparing one's app to be the default browser or email client?

00:11:38   I can't for the life of you remember if we neglected to mention, oh, yeah, in iOS 13, you can change the default web browser and email client, which is exciting and something we've been asking about for a long time.

00:11:55   And it's not everything we wanted, but you can set the default back for everything. But default app for email and web is a good start, right? Because those are two important applications.

00:12:02   Anyway, that feature exists.

00:12:03   The reason I put it in follow-up is just in case we didn't talk about it, but also that Apple has put up a web page on a developer site saying, hey, developer, if you want to ship an app that can become the default web browser on an iOS device or the default email client on an iOS device, there is a bunch of rules we have to follow.

00:12:22   And this is exactly what we've talked about many times in the past, like we're begging Apple to let people change their default app and say, Apple, you can define what it takes to be a default app.

00:12:33   Like set a bunch of criteria, people will follow it, right? It's no problem. In fact, we want this to happen.

00:12:37   And if you read the guidelines for what it takes to be a default client, you can see it's trying to stop people from making scam apps like, oh, download this and it becomes your default web browser.

00:12:47   And really, it's not a web browser at all. It's some kind of scam thing that steals all your keystrokes and sends all your Amazon links through their affiliate and does all sorts of other stuff or obscures the address bar or whatever.

00:12:58   I would suggest people read these guides because it's a very, it's what you'd expect.

00:13:03   And it's exactly the type of guidelines that we like from Apple where they're doing stuff to essentially protect consumers and the reputation of their platform saying, you know, we're opening this up.

00:13:14   Third parties, you can put an app on the App Store that can be the new default browser for users or the new email client, but we're trying to anticipate most of the shady things you will try to do and just say those are against the rules from the start.

00:13:27   And, you know, of course, it'll be a battle for someone to figure out how to make a scammy email client despite these guidelines and they'll evolve over time.

00:13:34   But anyway, I like this documentation. I'm glad it exists.

00:13:37   And I'm excited about finally, finally changing my default email client from an iOS for Mail, which I never, ever want to use.

00:13:44   And what will you be using instead, Gmail?

00:13:46   You got it. That's my actual email client. The only time I ever see mail is every single time I tap a mail to link.

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00:16:10   So it's been a busy, what, week and change since we've last recorded.

00:16:15   And the first thing that we should probably talk about is Phil Schiller is quasi-retiring.

00:16:21   He has been "advanced to Apple Fellow." And Joswiak is taking over marketing.

00:16:28   I did not see this coming. Maybe the two of you did, but this came out of left field as far as I'm concerned.

00:16:35   And I think I'm kind of bummed about it, all the stuff we're about to talk about notwithstanding.

00:16:40   But I don't know, I really like Schiller. Obviously, he was on the show many, many, many moons ago.

00:16:46   I think I've said this publicly, but one of my favorite professional experiences in my entire life was getting absolutely dunked on by Phil Schiller about car-related things at the end of that episode.

00:16:58   Because he made all of us, particularly me, feel very, very dumb.

00:17:02   I like Schiller a lot. I think, by and large, he does good work. And I'm a little bummed to see him go.

00:17:09   A lot more bummed than I was to see Ive showing himself the door. But, I don't know, Marco, what do you think?

00:17:15   Well, I think, first of all, it's interesting to consider, like, you know, is he leaving?

00:17:20   Because, you know, when you have a very high-up Apple person who's been there forever, it seems like they don't actually leave.

00:17:26   They just get promoted out of their job. And that's what happened to Johnny Ive.

00:17:30   Like, he got promoted into the sky and ascended into whatever the universe that he lives in now.

00:17:35   Yeah, exactly. Like, he just kind of got promoted and promoted and he's gone now. He just got promoted into being gone.

00:17:41   That seems to be possibly what's happening here, but there are a couple of differences.

00:17:46   I mean, you know, number one is that the little detail that live events and the App Store will still be Phil Schiller's responsibilities.

00:17:56   And that's really interesting to me. And that could just be a temporary thing. It could be, you know, he's transitioning those to other people over time. Who knows?

00:18:06   But the big thing is that he has been promoted out of his marketing job.

00:18:11   And, you know, and we've talked about this before, like, marketing is not what it is at other companies at Apple.

00:18:17   Like, Phil Schiller was not in charge of just, like, making the ads for the products.

00:18:23   He has been deeply involved in the product development and in what products get made, how they prioritize or include certain things or don't include other things.

00:18:33   He has been so deeply involved in product development at Apple for the...is there a term called foreseeable past?

00:18:44   I don't...rearseeable past? Anyway, he's been so deeply involved in all, like, what we consider modern Apple product development.

00:18:56   He kind of has his hands on everything. And so this is a significant change.

00:19:02   Even if he does what they literally say and just basically stays on doing live events and the App Store, that's still a massive reduction in what he's been doing so far.

00:19:16   Now, you know, we don't really know how much he's going to remain involved in all that stuff.

00:19:21   I mean, a lot of the things he did weren't part of his job title before, but he did them anyway, right?

00:19:27   So, like, now that his job title officially includes less, he might do less of that stuff.

00:19:33   He might do the same amount of stuff just with less responsibility or less time every week or something. Who knows?

00:19:38   So it's hard to get a read on exactly what level of promotion into retirement this is and how much involvement he's going to have still.

00:19:50   We really don't know.

00:19:51   But assuming that this is kind of a graceful retirement for him in a way that won't, like, you know, freak out investors and everything too much,

00:19:59   which I think is probably roughly close to what's happening, I am really going to miss Phil in this role.

00:20:06   Phil is really old school Apple. Like, he's one of the only old school people Apple left in leadership.

00:20:13   And that's good and bad. He is razor sharp at, like, the things he cares about, like, how deeply he can cut on things.

00:20:25   He really has incredibly good product sense. He's always kind of -- I've always seen Phil as keeping the best parts of old Apple in current Apple.

00:20:38   In the products, in the priorities, in the style, in the attitude. But that also cuts both ways.

00:20:47   He also keeps some of, like, the real, like, you know, hard-assness of old Apple in areas that we see, like, in the App Store.

00:20:56   It's funny. The first interaction I ever had with Phil Schiller, he sent -- I wrote an article forever ago.

00:21:05   Thanks for App Review or an ode to App Review or something like that. We'll find the link.

00:21:09   And the idea was I was thankful for the concept of App Review because as a developer, you know, not only did it catch bugs for me,

00:21:14   but it let people feel safe installing my apps. And that's something that we didn't have really in the world before that.

00:21:23   It was a much more Wild West in, like, the world of PC and Mac, downloadable software, an era that Apple seems to pretend doesn't exist.

00:21:30   But the other part of the BS App Store defense that they're spouting now is true about, like, the App Store really did make a very safe environment that people trusted to try out new apps.

00:21:44   And as we'll get to probably later, I actually don't want to get rid of App Review. I don't want to create alternate App Stores.

00:21:51   I feel differently on some of the payment questions, but, you know, the actual concept of the App Store I think is good.

00:21:56   Anyway, so I wrote this article basically thanking the App Review for existing for that reason.

00:22:01   And I got an email from Phil Schiller, which I'd never heard from him before. I was quite honored.

00:22:06   And this was during Instapaper days. And he said something online. He's like, you know, "Thank you for your piece. I've shared it with the team." Something like that. He was a nice guy.

00:22:14   And then he was like, something along the lines of, like, "Good job with Instapaper. It really deserves its four and a half star rating."

00:22:21   [laughs]

00:22:26   I just love that so much because that, like, as I have gotten to know Phil better over the years, that is so Phil.

00:22:38   And I've read that story to a couple other people in the Appleverse over the years, and they all say the same thing, like, "Yeah, that's so Phil."

00:22:45   He is a very, like, nice person, very capable. I love most of his work. I'm doing the gym now. I love most of his work.

00:22:56   But he has that, like, sharp edge. He can be kind of a dick about things. And I love that.

00:23:03   Because he's an East Coaster who's stuck in the West Coast.

00:23:07   Stuck in.

00:23:09   Possibly why he's ascending into fellowship. To actually have time to go back to the East Coast and enjoy it.

00:23:17   But, you know, East Coasters. So I'm an East Coaster. When I go to the West Coast, everyone on the West Coast thinks I'm an asshole.

00:23:25   And I don't try to be an asshole. I'm just being me. And I have a bit of an attitude, and I tell it how it is.

00:23:34   And some things I care a lot about. That comes off as being asshole-ish to certain people, especially West Coasters.

00:23:42   And I think that's how Phil is. I think he has that same kind of dynamic of, like, he's not a mean person.

00:23:49   He really cares about certain things. And he's very warm and welcoming, except when you step in one of those things, he can be an asshole sometimes.

00:23:58   Because he has to be, like, as part of those roles.

00:24:01   And so he rubs some people the wrong way. But I've always liked him a lot because of that.

00:24:06   Even when the ways that he can be an asshole negatively affect me, which isn't honestly that common, but even when that happens, I still appreciate, "Oh, well, you know, he's being Phil."

00:24:18   Like, okay. Like, I'm okay with it. I accept it. Because it's kind of like, we had that discussion a few months back about how it's kind of like finally accepting Swift, even though Swift is always such a dick.

00:24:29   Because I'm like, "Well, you know, sometimes I'm friends with people who are total dicks."

00:24:33   And it's like, you know, that's just, like, you can be friends with people and appreciate that they can be dicks in certain ways, but you're still friends with them.

00:24:39   And that's always how I've seen Phil. I really respect him. I really like his work.

00:24:45   And even though he can be a real jerk about things sometimes, about certain things that he cares a lot about, in a very, like, old-school Apple way, for all of its good and bad that brings in today's world, I still really like him.

00:24:58   And so to have him be reducing his role in the company, I am a little sad about that.

00:25:05   Sounds like you're saying that Phil really deserves his 4 and 1/2 star rating.

00:25:09   I hope he doesn't listen to this in the years. I like him even though he's a jerk sometimes.

00:25:15   I think he would agree.

00:25:17   So the wordsmithing on this press release from Apple is wonderful because, like, these type of press releases, it's very difficult to walk the line that Apple wants to walk.

00:25:29   Because I think Marco laid out a bunch of different possibilities there, but they don't really want to pin it down.

00:25:34   If someone is slowly on their way out of Apple, you're not going to have a press release and say, "Phil Schiller gets one foot out the door." That's not the headline that you want on that press release.

00:25:45   So the wording here is, "Phil Schiller advances to Apple Fellow."

00:25:50   Now, first, Apple Fellow. Apple Fellow is a title they give. Not many people have gotten it. It's like the most distinguished title you can get. It's kind of like the gold watch.

00:25:59   Thank you. If you look at some of the names on the list, we'll link to a list on the Apple fandom wiki. I'm not sure if this list is complete.

00:26:05   But some of the people who are Apple Fellows are Steve Wozniak, another person who got a kind of a slow exit.

00:26:09   Alan Kay, Don Norman, Guy Kawasaki, I don't know if you remember him, Bill Atkinson, Steve Capps. There's not a lot of names. There's like 10, 20 names on this list.

00:26:19   These are sort of distinguished people who were very important to Apple who didn't apparently want to leave Apple.

00:26:27   And Apple didn't want to get rid of them, but Apple kind of wanted to say, "It's time for somebody else to get a chance to do that thing that you were doing."

00:26:36   So if you become an Apple Fellow, it's not a demotion for sure. It's like the highest honor that Apple has to give you in terms of title except maybe CEO.

00:26:46   So you're not being demoted, but you're also not being promoted either. You're not getting more responsibility. You're not becoming more powerful within the organization.

00:26:56   In fact, you're probably becoming less influential and less powerful. You're a Fellow now.

00:27:00   You're the wise elder who's still hanging around and still getting a paycheck, but really the decisions that you used to make about Apple, other people are going to make those decisions now and not you.

00:27:11   And even though you might want to still make them, oh, you're an Apple Fellow. So stay over there, right?

00:27:16   So he advances to it. He's not promoted. He's not demoted. It's not a lateral move. It's not a move upward. How about advance?

00:27:25   Advance says you're moving forward, but not upward, but not down, but not out, but not sideways. And twirling. Oh, he's twirling. Yes, okay. That was Simpsons.

00:27:34   I got that one.

00:27:35   Yay. So that in itself is interesting, the wording on the press release. And then there are a few sort of realities that we have to be aware of.

00:27:46   So first one is that for many, many years now, Phil Schiller, financially speaking, has not needed to work. Right? So it's not as if, and he's never struck me as someone who craves more money and power.

00:27:58   So at any point, many people in his career, many people would have said, okay, I'm done. I'm a multi-gazillionaire. I have everything I wanted.

00:28:07   I don't know how many years left I have left on this earth. See you later. I'm retiring to go live on the beach or something. Right?

00:28:16   He could have done that years and years and years ago and had a storied career that we would talk about for years. Like he has nothing to prove to anybody.

00:28:24   He's not hanging in there just saying, I just got to get one more win. Like he's, you know, his career and legacy is set.

00:28:31   He is a massive success. Right? But people who work for Apple and love Apple, love Apple. So I guess he didn't want to leave. Right?

00:28:40   But there's always for those type of people, it's like, well, when, when does that seesaw tip? When does it become, okay, I love Apple and I love working, but you know, I am getting older and I do have all this money and it's stressful to work at Apple.

00:28:54   And I love it, but it's stressful, but I love it, but it's stressful. And I don't know. And the second thing is since he's been there for a really long time, one of the things that you have to deal with in organizations like Apple that are big and powerful and do important things,

00:29:07   is that we've talked about this before. You want to attract and retain top talent. But if the extremely famous, extremely competent, extremely well established people never retire, they're clogging up the top part of the org chart.

00:29:27   And that means people who are looking for advancement internally might say, well, I can't go anywhere because Phil is still there and if Phil is still there, then my boss can't advance it. If my boss can't advance, then I, you know, and so on and so forth. Right?

00:29:39   And also attracting new people. You know, I want to be hired into the marketing org. Oh, but I'm not going to do that because I know I'll have no room for advancement because Phil's never going to leave.

00:29:48   And how are you going to displace Phil? Right? Like, it's not like I'm going to, he's going to do a bad job on quarter and suddenly he's going to get booted. Right? That's not going to happen.

00:29:57   So the organization also has a reason to, you don't want to get rid of him. Like you just like the organization probably didn't want to get rid of Johnny Ive.

00:30:04   And in fact, they got rid of a forestall because they had to pick between Johnny Ive and forestall and they picked Johnny Ive. Right?

00:30:11   You don't want to get rid of him, but at a certain point he is kind of gumming up the works a little bit and you want to get some new talent. Because if you don't, if you just leave those people in place, everyone else will just go to a different company.

00:30:20   And when he does retire, there'll be nobody to take his place. Right? And by the way, related to this, you know, Apple is continuing to work on their diversity and inclusion and so on and so forth.

00:30:29   And if you look at their leadership page, there's a lot of white dudes you see there. Phil leaving opens up a spot. Of course, the spot is just filled by another white dude who is also a long time employee. Right?

00:30:40   So you might think that's not making any progress. You do have to get rid of the people at the top to make room. It just so happens that their bench is filled with a bunch of old white dudes.

00:30:51   So they're working on it. Right? Baby steps. Obviously, it's not the positive move we think it could be to make room, but it's better than no motion because if Phil was still there, you know, it would be even worse.

00:31:02   The final thing is App Store. We're going to talk about a bunch of App Store stuff soon. We've talked about a bunch of App Store stuff all this summer. We've talked about it for years for the entire history of the App Store.

00:31:12   And those types of stories seem to get more dramatic and more numerous, not less. The most recent flare up of the hay thing right before WWDC was a perfect storm in the bad sense, in the George Clooney movie sense of things that landed right on Phil's doorstep.

00:31:30   So I'm not saying, "Oh, there was a big App Store kerfuffle and then Tim said, 'Okay, Phil, I've had enough of this App Store stuff. You had a chance to clean it up, but get out.'" That didn't happen. Right?

00:31:40   But if you combine all those three things that I just said, he doesn't actually need to work. You do need to make room in the org and the App Store is a pain in the ass.

00:31:50   I think that combines to both make Phil perhaps finally slightly more amenable to "advancing" and it also makes Tim Cook perhaps lean a little bit harder on Phil to say, "Do you really want to keep doing this? Because I know the App Store is a pain in the ass and you're doing a good job, but it's such a pain and you've worked so hard for so long. How do you feel about being an Apple fellow?"

00:32:16   You can never tell from the outside what the hell is going on inside Apple. I think you can obviously imagine a dramatic version of this where Tim Cook has hated Phil Schiller for his entire career and just waiting to get rid of him.

00:32:29   And you can imagine the totally benign one, which is like, "This has absolutely nothing to do with anything that we know about and it's just entirely a personal decision on Phil's part." And everything in between there.

00:32:38   But the bottom line is, as Marco said, he's not gone, but he's less there than he was. Which is sad for all of us who like Phil and like the old school Apple stuff that he brings, but it's also good in that it's hopefully letting in new ideas and new approaches.

00:32:57   And that will add at least perhaps some more unexpected things. Now, Greg Joswiak is also a very long time Apple employee, so I'm not sure how much of a fresh take he's going to have versus Phil.

00:33:10   But it's a different person making decisions and when different people make decisions, things can happen. When Phil took over the App Store, a bunch of stuff happened very quickly that was all beneficial.

00:33:19   So we'll hope things keep moving in the right direction. So I will miss him. I have the personal curiosity to know exactly what was happening, but I choose to believe that he is on his way to enjoying the pleasant retirement that he so richly deserves, assuming we were all not killed by a virus.

00:33:42   Well, we can just put that at the end of every segment. That's true. Yeah, these new iMacs are great if we don't all get killed by a virus. Yep, that's true. Right.

00:33:52   That is true. New iMacs, so new Intel CPUs, new AMD graphic cards, SSDs across the line, although you can option the Fusion Drive. There's also options for four terabyte and eight terabyte SSDs. There's True Tone.

00:34:07   Wait, wait, wait, you can option the Fusion Drive? I believe that's true. Yeah, well, on the 21-inch model you can still get a Fusion Drive because it's the cheapest way to get tons of storage.

00:34:14   No more iMacs come by default with a spinning hard drive, but one of them you can ask for. I was about to celebrate that.

00:34:22   You can still ask for it. On the non-retina, by the way, 21.5 inches, the non-retina Mac you can get with a spinning drive.

00:34:29   That's why every time they update the iMac and you can still buy it with that terrible old hard drive and the terrible non-retina screen, I always make fun of it. I'm like, "Why in this day and age can you still buy a spinning platter Mac or a non-retina Mac?"

00:34:45   And this time they, I guess asterisk now, but they mostly got rid of the spinning platter. So finally, every Mac comes standard with an SSD. They're still a little bit small, but okay, we'll work on that some other time.

00:35:00   And they're very expensive for the amount of space, but again, we'll work on that for some other time as well.

00:35:04   So thank God the era of the spinning disk coming on new Macs is actually over, but who would have guessed that the era of spinning disks would end before they stopped selling non-retina screens?

00:35:20   It's because that model is totally in Apple's weird world. The price-conscious model, it's the cheapest of everything they can put in it. It's the reason Fusion Drive is still there. It's like, "Well, I've got a lot of photos, but I don't have a lot of money." Well, we have this option for you at Fusion Drive.

00:35:34   And by the way, Fusion Drive is a brilliant innovation that I talked about as a fantasy years and years before it existed because you know me and File Systems.

00:35:42   And when it came out, it was a great idea that gave great value and great performance. You could get tons of storage for way less money and still get way better performance than a spinning disk.

00:35:53   It's just that that era was a transitional period, and we've now left that era. And now, SSDs are big and cheap, and Apple should just ship them everywhere.

00:36:01   In this non-retina model, for the price-conscious people, they're like, "Oh, well, what if I want the cheap one, but I want a little more storage? Try upgrading. How about try advancing to a Fusion Drive?"

00:36:13   It's not a downgrade because you're getting way more space, but it's not an upgrade either, I'll tell you that. And they've always been a little bit weird with their software support and everything like that.

00:36:23   And like I said, the non-retina screen, that whole iMac model probably needs to die. But that brings us to the other point about these new iMacs.

00:36:32   We say new iMacs, we don't mean new new. You look at them, they look exactly like the iMac has looked for eight years or whatever. It's the same case design.

00:36:42   As far as I'm aware, this is an open question, maybe one of you will know the answer to, same thermal design as the old 5K iMac, right?

00:36:50   I haven't looked at the teardowns, but I'm pretty sure that's true. They don't all look like iMac Pros inside.

00:36:57   Yeah, so it does not have the iMac Pro thermal, so you still want something that will be relatively quiet while under load. This is not it.

00:37:05   But otherwise, it's got a whole bunch of other Pro-ish features, like the nanotexture display, which used to be a $1,000 option on a $5,000 monitor.

00:37:16   Which I do not like, by the way. I did not get the nanotexture one on purpose because I saw it in person at WRC and I did not prefer it.

00:37:25   But if you do prefer it, you can get a new iMac, obviously the expensive 5K one, for a mere $500 additional cost with a nanotexture display.

00:37:36   Obviously, this is the old iMac, so there's nothing really new about them, they're just different insides, and of course the nanotexture display, and True Tone with presumably the new sensors, and yada yada, but it's not an entirely new industrial design.

00:37:50   And we spent past couple shows talking about, mostly in the context of Big Sur, touch-based Macs.

00:37:56   One of the things you will not do with the screen with the nanotexture display is be touching a lot.

00:38:00   In fact, you're not supposed to do anything to it except touch it with the special cleaning cloth that Apple gives you, and only the special cleaning cloth that Apple gives you.

00:38:07   So, I mean this doesn't say much of anything about the future of touch Macs, because obviously if they're going to offer a touch Mac with a screen the size of a 5K iMac, it's going to have to be on some kind of hinge thing, like the Surface Studio Pro or whatever, and this is not that machine.

00:38:23   So the fact that you can get the nanotexture display on what I assume is the last gasp of this very old design of the iMac, doesn't say anything one way or the other about touch-based Macs.

00:38:34   But it is kind of weird, and many people have noted this, that on this iMac you can get the nanotexture display, but you can't get it on the "Pro" iMac.

00:38:46   It's not even an option on the Pro iMac. The iMac Pro has not been revised in any way other than, you know, the internals being bumped, I think they bumped the GPU recently.

00:38:54   They got rid of the 8-core version right, and the 10-core is the default now.

00:38:58   They've balanced the line, so if you look at it, you say, "Oh, I see, the Pro 1 starts where the non-Pro 1 leaves off." Except for the nanotexture display, which is kind of weird.

00:39:07   Yeah, I'm calling it now. The iMac Pro will never be updated.

00:39:10   Yeah, oh, and this one, does the iMac Pro have a 1080p FaceTime camera, or no?

00:39:14   I didn't think so.

00:39:16   Anyway, they gave this thing a better, the 5K iMac has got an upgrade to its camera, so it's a better camera for all of your coronavirus teleconferencing, you know, better resolution, better low-light performance.

00:39:28   Their "studio-quality" microphones, which everyone says do not sound as good as the ones they put on the new 16-inch MacBook Pro, but whatever.

00:39:36   This looks like, if you need an Intel Mac, and if you think you're going to need an Intel iMac, and you think you're going to need an Intel iMac for a while, because say, the application you're running on it, you're not confident will even be ported to ARM or something.

00:39:50   This is a great machine, with the only caveats being, it's not going to be as quiet under load as the iMac Pro, the case is as dark a color, and you can't go up to 12 cores or whatever the high-core count.

00:40:05   And I think everything else about it is basically the same between this and the iMac Pro in terms of the specs, obviously, and the nano-texture.

00:40:13   So, all this is to say, if you want a really good non-Pro iMac, get this machine. It's really good.

00:40:20   If there was no ARM transition, we'd be saying, we'd probably be saying, well, this is the last great iMac before they redesigned them.

00:40:29   In this case, what we're going to say is, this is probably the last great iMac before they A, redesigned them, B, use a different CPU.

00:40:34   So, it's a boring announcement, but in some respects, if you were just waiting for that, you know, for a really good 5K iMac with great internals, you can spec this machine to be like that.

00:40:46   And you can even get it nano-textured, but you shouldn't, because it doesn't look as good. Anyway.

00:40:51   See, I disagree. I mean, I only saw the nano-texture at the same time you did it at the WDC thing last year when they had that demo building set up.

00:40:59   But I thought it looked great. What would turn me off from potentially ordering it, though, is, as we discussed when you were ordering yours, like, how difficult would it be to get a fingerprint off of that thing?

00:41:11   Or, like, you know, I'm a person. I cough and sneeze sometimes, and sometimes a little dot of grossness gets on my monitor, and I have to wipe it off with like a microfiber cloth or something.

00:41:21   How hard would it be to clean those little dots of grossness off of the nano-texture? I don't know, but I don't think I'd be willing to spend an extra $500 to find out.

00:41:31   And then to have basically an uncleanable iMac screen in front of me, or one that's much harder to clean than flat glass.

00:41:38   Like, I love the idea of a matte screen. I would like it a lot more if it was somehow possible to have the matte texture be on the inside of the glass instead of the outside.

00:41:47   Although I don't think that is reasonably possible. But anyway, otherwise, I'm actually pleasantly surprised at how much they did update for this.

00:41:57   Because they could have just done a CPU spec bump, and that could have been it. Like, say, a CPU and GPU, and that's it.

00:42:05   And you would think, for a product line that's about to go through an architecture transition here, you would think, as you said, this is probably the very last Intel iMac update that's going to happen.

00:42:18   And you would think that they would just phone it in, and only do a spec bump, because at this point, people who are real power users are looking at this and probably thinking, "Can I skip this and just wait for ARM?"

00:42:30   Like, if you've been eyeing the iMac, and you see this update, are you going to jump on it, knowing that ARM is about to happen?

00:42:40   Some people are. It's still probably a great computer, it's probably a great buy, but if you can wait, you probably are going to wait.

00:42:48   And they know this, so they could have just phoned it in, because the only people buying this are people who really can't wait, who really need something now.

00:42:55   And can't afford to wait up to another year and a half, maybe, for whenever the ARM one comes out.

00:43:02   So, they could have phoned it in, and they didn't. To have things like True Tone in the display, the nano-texture option, to be messing around with the default storage and everything, that's pretty nice.

00:43:16   The new microphone array, the FaceTime camera improvement.

00:43:19   The same video card that's in my Mac Pro.

00:43:21   Yeah, that's all nice upgrades that they didn't have to do, and they did them anyway.

00:43:27   I love seeing this. This is the kind of thing, again, during the dark old days of the butterfly keyboard generation of MacBook Pros, it really seemed like Apple was giving the Mac as little attention as possible.

00:43:44   And that has turned around so much in the last couple years. It really shows that they really have their eye on the ball for the Mac again.

00:43:51   And they do upgrades and advances like this that aren't necessary.

00:43:56   Again, this could have just been a boring CPU and GPU thing, but instead they gave it a whole bunch of other stuff.

00:44:01   And that's really nice to see. Now, I am disappointed that this does basically say the iMac Pro is dead.

00:44:09   And I'm only holding myself together here because I'm waiting for the ARM transition to see what actually happens next. It's going to change everything probably.

00:44:18   But what they did, you said it, Jon, they basically just moved everything down a notch in what configuration you get for the base.

00:44:27   The base model now comes with a higher configuration than it came with before.

00:44:32   But the options that are available, the components that are in the iMac Pro are the same that it launched with.

00:44:39   Just now you get the 10 core instead of the 8 core, etc.

00:44:42   And they did the same thing with the Mac Pro in the past when it was going to be a while before the next one.

00:44:49   They would do that same move.

00:44:51   And so I think what this is saying is the iMac Pro is not being touched anytime soon.

00:44:56   And therefore, if it isn't being touched anytime soon, it's probably not going to be touched before the ARM transition happens.

00:45:02   So therefore the iMac Pro is effectively dead.

00:45:05   Which, again, would make me very sad because I'm using mine now. It is still the best computer I have ever owned.

00:45:13   If they never replace it with something like it, I'm going to be pretty upset.

00:45:19   But I'm hoping that the ARM transition makes the iMac itself so good that maybe the iMac Pro wouldn't be necessary anymore.

00:45:27   Or maybe they would actually still have something called iMac Pro that just has Apple Silicon in it that is really amazing.

00:45:35   And still has the ridiculously over budgeted thermal design so it can stay silent no matter what.

00:45:40   And still has all the high end workstation parts and other areas.

00:45:44   I would love that. And I hope that's what they plan to do.

00:45:47   It is a little bit disappointing though that it's going to be a while before there's a new one.

00:45:52   I don't know if it's going to be a while. The iMac Pro isn't necessarily dead.

00:45:56   It's just we don't think there's going to be another Intel iMac Pro. That's what we're saying.

00:45:59   They bumped the iMacs. Another Intel iMac. Doesn't seem like there's going to be another Intel iMac Pro.

00:46:04   We're all assuming that the next set of iMacs that are not Intel won't look like these.

00:46:10   Because this industrial design is very, very, very old. It needs to be revised.

00:46:13   When they revise it, it's essentially a marketing exercise because you can imagine them taking the exact same industrial design.

00:46:20   You know, some new industrial design. But that same one across the entire line and using it for the plain iMacs.

00:46:26   And then just decide, hey, if we put a Z-ion in it, we call it the iMac Pro.

00:46:30   But just like they did with the current iMac. The iMac Pro case is the same as the iMac case on the outside.

00:46:35   And on the inside it's a little bit different. And the cooling system is very different.

00:46:38   But we're all hoping that they take what they learned from the iMac Pro and put a robust cooling system into the next generation iMac.

00:46:44   And that can accommodate Z-ions, but also take that same cooling system and just put it on, you know, whatever the arm equivalent of Z-ions is.

00:46:53   Maybe you won't need a big, beefy cooling system for the arm-based Macs or whatever.

00:46:57   But you could have a line of iMacs that spans the same capability range.

00:47:02   And you could make one a slightly different color and put Pro at the end of it.

00:47:06   And that's just an arbitrary marketing distinction.

00:47:08   But yeah, hopefully they'll all be redesigned.

00:47:12   This is, the wildcard of course is touch. There's a special iMac with the hinge for touch, but the other ones don't have it.

00:47:17   Who knows? We can all fantasize about what future iMacs will look like.

00:47:20   But it seems like this is the end of the line for Intel iMacs.

00:47:24   And the iMac Pro will still go out on top because you can still get an 18 core one.

00:47:28   And it's still the most powerful iMac you can get and yada yada.

00:47:31   But the 5K iMac got one last chance to make itself better.

00:47:36   It's still noisy, but it's way more powerful than it used to be.

00:47:39   And by the way, real-time follow-up, the iMac Pro does have a 1080p FaceTime camera already.

00:47:43   So that distinction between them is gone as well.

00:47:45   Yeah, I'll be sad if this was a one and done effectively for the iMac Pro.

00:47:50   But, I mean, we still don't know what Apple Silicon is going to look like.

00:47:55   And it could be that it's so darn fast that the distinction is, like you said,

00:48:00   it's just a color of the case and little else.

00:48:03   And, I don't know. I'm still super excited.

00:48:07   I don't want to get down on this tangent because we have a lot more to cover.

00:48:10   But I'm still super excited to see exactly how fast this Apple CPU will be,

00:48:15   or the Apple CPUs will be in Macs.

00:48:17   Because what we've seen so far is really an iPad CPU.

00:48:21   And goodness only knows what a proper Mac Apple CPU will look like.

00:48:27   But here's what it is.

00:48:29   I do love this machine. Two-thirds of ATP hosts swear by the iMac Pro.

00:48:33   And also, I think so much of whatever direction the product line takes in the future

00:48:38   depends on the thermal characteristics of Apple Silicon.

00:48:43   How do they work that out?

00:48:45   How hot do their chips have to run to achieve certain levels of performance

00:48:50   in different product lines?

00:48:51   Whatever their flagship laptop is, currently the 16-inch,

00:48:55   whenever there's an Apple Silicon version of that,

00:48:59   how much power do they give that CPU?

00:49:01   Is it a 45-watt part, like the current one?

00:49:04   Or can they get enough power out of a 30- or 25-watt part?

00:49:09   Who knows?

00:49:10   In the case of the iMac, right now you have pretty big, hot Intel CPUs

00:49:14   running in the regular iMac line.

00:49:16   But then the iMac Pro has a larger thermal capacity, a whole different design,

00:49:20   in part to accommodate higher wattage Intel CPUs.

00:49:23   What do they do with Apple Silicon iMacs?

00:49:26   They can kind of choose whatever thermal envelope they want

00:49:29   and just maximize whatever performance they can get out of that.

00:49:31   But we don't know. How hot will the Apple Silicon CPUs spike up?

00:49:36   What kind of fan noise do we expect? How will they configure all that?

00:49:40   Those are all massive question marks in how they're going to allocate their product lines

00:49:45   and the power they give each one and the cooling they give each one,

00:49:48   what kind of fan noise they will tolerate,

00:49:50   what kind of fan noise they will deem unacceptable, lower the power,

00:49:54   or build bigger heat sinks. We don't know.

00:49:57   That's all stuff I'm super excited to see.

00:49:59   I don't honestly care as much about how much does the new iMac with Apple Silicon

00:50:05   outperform the old one in Geekbench.

00:50:08   That, to me, is interesting, but that's not the heart of it.

00:50:13   What I want to know is, can they make a regular 27-inch iMac

00:50:18   so silent under load that the iMac Pro has a lot less reason to exist?

00:50:22   That I want to see.

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00:52:33   All right, so as we record, it is Thursday the 13th, lucky number 13.

00:52:39   And over the course of today, there's been some activity.

00:52:44   And I've been plowing through popcorn all darn day watching this all go down.

00:52:52   So I'm going to do my best to summarize. Please interrupt me because I'm talking way out of my comfort zone

00:52:58   because we're talking about video games now, something that Marco and I know just so much about.

00:53:02   But there's a very popular game called Fortnite. It has been out for at least a few years now.

00:53:08   And it is on iOS. And you can buy coins or points or what have you that you can spend in the game.

00:53:16   And up until today, you had to do that via Apple's in-app purchase if you're playing it on an iOS device.

00:53:22   Exactly what you would expect.

00:53:24   So you have to use--Epic, who makes Fortnite, would have to use Apple's APIs.

00:53:29   It would give Apple 30% cut, et cetera, et cetera.

00:53:32   Well, today, a couple of--well, several interesting things happened.

00:53:36   First of all, apparently there was an update to the game that came in outside of any sort of app update.

00:53:44   So the game updated itself.

00:53:47   And I would assume that that's because it's using like Unreal or whatever, some sort of game engine under the hood.

00:53:53   But one way or another, the game updated itself.

00:53:57   And as part of that update, it allowed you to buy these coins, credits, whatevers, directly from Epic, the people who make the game.

00:54:07   And they would give you a 20% discount against the IAP price if you went direct through them.

00:54:14   Naturally, Apple didn't like that.

00:54:18   And so Apple said, "You can't have Fortnite in the App Store anymore.

00:54:23   Those who already have it can still play it, but no new people can download it, and this isn't going to work for us."

00:54:31   All of this so far was surprising, but not.

00:54:35   You know, okay, it's a bold strategy, Cotton.

00:54:38   That's a reference, Tron.

00:54:39   It's a bold strategy, Cotton, but we'll see how it plays out.

00:54:42   And Epic apparently knew exactly how it was going to play out, as we all did, because they immediately said, "We're suing you, Apple."

00:54:51   And they put up a 45-second--and I thought it was just hilarious, the absurdity of it.

00:54:57   It seems to be getting very mixed reviews from our kind of circle.

00:55:03   But a very funny parody of the original 1984 Macintosh ad called "1980 Fortnite."

00:55:09   And I found it quite enjoyable, even knowing nothing about Fortnite, but maybe you guys didn't.

00:55:15   And so one way or another, Epic seems to be going to war with Apple.

00:55:19   Not legally. I mean, they are suing Apple, or they've brought a suit against Apple.

00:55:24   But one way or another, they are definitely starting a war with Apple in the court of public opinion.

00:55:31   I have some mixed feelings about this, but the more activity that we've seen lately--and some of it we've talked about on the show, some of it we will talk about on the show, some of it we haven't yet talked about on the show--

00:55:44   a lot of things that Apple is doing with regard to the App Store is starting to seem more and more gross and more and more actively anti-competitive.

00:55:53   And so on the one side, a lot of people have been saying, "Oh, well, you know, don't get too riled up about two complete corporate juggernauts getting into a fight with each other," which is true.

00:56:05   But at the same time, I am very here for watching this all play out, because this is something else.

00:56:11   I don't know which one of you would like to start, but maybe Marco will make Jon suffer even longer and have you give your opinion as the other non-gamer, and then Jon, you can tell us what the reality is.

00:56:23   I think really, if we wanted to make Jon suffer, I should also try to summarize what Epic and Fortnite are.

00:56:29   Yes, please! I would love that.

00:56:32   I'm not going to do that, just for Jon's sake.

00:56:35   But yeah, first of all, with a disclaimer, this all happened within the last few hours.

00:56:42   And so this is a developing story, we're trying to comment on it as much as we can in a somewhat intelligent way, but everything's changing all the time.

00:56:50   So for instance, they also have already gotten kicked out of the Google Play Store and have already sued Google, just in the last few hours.

00:56:56   So Google is also now involved. They had a suit ready to go for them as well.

00:57:01   So this is a big thing. I think, I'm going to call this now, I think we're going to look back on this as one of the biggest stories of the year.

00:57:10   This is a very big deal, and I think it's going to have very important outcomes, however it goes.

00:57:18   And it's part of a bigger conversation, of course, but this is a big deal.

00:57:24   And I'm also sitting here for popcorn because I really side with Epic on most of this. Not all of it, but most of it.

00:57:34   And I say this as the biggest Apple fan, but Apple, when it gets so big that it no longer needs to compete, they get greedy and they get complacent.

00:57:48   And we've seen, you know, we see the complacency aspect play out in things like the butterfly keyboard and like the kind of crap Macs they shipped for a little while there in the middle.

00:57:59   And you know, they fortunately have fixed that. The greedy side we see in things like the pricing of SSD upgrades, and then we see it in a really big way when it comes to their services revenue push.

00:58:14   And we've seen for a little while now the way that they're willing to make their products worse, or at least not as good as they could be, in order to push services revenue.

00:58:27   And this is going to continue to be, and is definitely being, a corrupting and corrosive influence on Apple and its products and its customer satisfaction.

00:58:39   Because in order to extract more and more services revenue, you can make things that people like and are willing to pay for willingly, and they do that.

00:58:49   But you can also like tighten the screws and extract rents and taxes from things that you have control over because of your position that you didn't necessarily earn, but that no one has a choice but to pay you.

00:59:03   As we saw in some of the documents that came out of the congressional hearings a few weeks back, it sure looks like Apple makes a lot more money from the latter than the former in the services category.

00:59:13   The App Store was by far the biggest slice of their services revenue, and services revenue is the biggest growing section of Apple's revenue.

00:59:22   So they need that. They need that to not only keep their revenue growth going, but then that also keeps the investors and the stock market happier with Apple's future because they can show, "Well even though our product growth is slowing in various ways because it's such a mature market, we can now grow in services."

00:59:39   And what we've seen with these documents that have come out so far is basically that what that means is not necessarily like making another news plus magazine subscription, it's extracting more money from the App Store.

00:59:54   Which is basically, you know, it's some of Apple making things that people want and getting paid for that, but it's a lot more of Apple extracting the tax on all transactions that go through this entire commerce ecosystem here because they can and because they can dictate that no one else can make any other choice.

01:00:15   That is a recipe for just incredible greed and a lot of self-distortion on their part of telling themselves why they're doing the right thing and trying to tell the world that same thing and we can kind of see through it and they seem not to.

01:00:34   And there's been a good discussion on a few recent episodes of Dithering about this too. And this kind of plays into the cloud gaming thing with Microsoft xCloud that also happened since we last talked. A lot has happened since our last episode.

01:00:49   You have a lot of Apple fans saying, "Well, Apple built the store. They deserve to be paid for it. No one should be in the App Store for free." I guess you don't count things like Facebook and Instagram, but okay, we'll rule out most of the biggest apps in the App Store that are there for free because they don't have any in-app purchases for anything because they're advertising-based businesses, but okay, we're going to rule all that out.

01:01:12   Suppose we actually say, "Apple deserves something for their store." I agree. Apple does deserve something for their store. 30% of all transactions or 30% of most transactions and 15% of the rest, that's a lot. And when that's the only option, that's an overreach.

01:01:30   Apple also has built something that has gotten so big that you can no longer make comparisons to things like game consoles. You can say something like, "Well, if you want to have your app on the Xbox, you have to play by Microsoft's rules." And they take a certain percentage and have all these terms and they review everything. Yeah, that's okay. That's true. That's a game console.

01:01:53   A phone these days, especially one of the two major phone OS platforms, is much larger in its role in society and much larger in its role in business than any one game console has ever and will ever be.

01:02:12   You reach a point when you have a general purpose computing device that an Xbox is something that is used solely to play games or I guess occasionally DVDs or whatever, but pretty much it's a game console. It's a specialized piece of hardware that plays a special type of software.

01:02:32   It doesn't have a lot of general purpose computing uses. People aren't logging onto their game console to pay their bills or to have video chats with their school. It's a specialized thing that is not becoming the default interface to an entire era of commerce and communication the way that computers have.

01:02:53   And I think you can look at a similar example back when the phone system was being built. When the phone system was being built, we established all sorts of useful precedents of how to look at what's going on today with this.

01:03:05   Because the phone companies basically form monopolies and they built out a whole bunch of infrastructure all across the country. That was a very big, expensive project. They built it out and they deserve to succeed commercially for that.

01:03:20   And they did. They got paid handsomely. And they also abused the crap out of their monopoly and eventually had to be regulated and broken up and eventually reformed, but we'll skip over that part.

01:03:31   So they built infrastructure that got so big and became such a critical part of everyday life and modern commerce and communication and everything. It became so big that they weren't allowed to simply dictate everything that happened to and with it anymore.

01:03:54   Because it was too much a part of modern life. It got so big that it had to be regulated by some kind of external government forces, antitrust regulations, consumer protection stuff. All that stuff had to come into play because it had gotten such a big part of society and so important to entire, like, massive sections of the economy and of everyday life and businesses and everything.

01:04:20   It was so big that it transcended its initial thing of this is somebody's private playground and it became this is an important part of society that needs protection and regulation around it.

01:04:32   And I would argue, I am arguing now, that the iOS platform, in particular the phone, honestly the iPad hasn't gotten this big to matter so much to this degree, but the iPhone in particular, and Android, but Android works differently, but the iPhone has reached that point now where it is such a massive market.

01:04:55   And so much of society and business and commerce and communication and just functioning in everyday life these days, so much of that relies on phones that you can't just say, "Well, Apple can do whatever they want. They built it. They can regulate what happened through it."

01:05:14   Because most of the economy happens through it. So you could say that when the iPhone was really new and for years and years and years Apple has earned all the money, well, some of the money they've made from the App Store.

01:05:27   That's another discussion another time. But for years you could make that argument, "They built the store? They should profit from it how they see fit and we have the right to go somewhere else."

01:05:37   We don't have the right to go somewhere else anymore. If you make certain kinds of businesses now, you have no choice but to have an app on iOS. You have no choice but to play by Apple's rules and pay Apple's taxes.

01:05:49   Once you cross a certain size, it becomes necessary for consumer protection and for economic protection and for economic regulation and growth to take that control away from Apple to some degree.

01:06:01   So the only question to me is to what degree is that warranted? And I've made my position on this pretty clear in recent discussions on this topic, back when Hey happened a few weeks back.

01:06:14   I don't actually want Epic to be able to make their own App Store. I actually don't want sideloading either, although that might be forced by, "Oh, God, that's yet another thing we didn't have time to talk about."

01:06:25   But the whole TikTok being forced to sell and possibly WeChat, "Oh, God, that's a mess. We'll get to that at the end of the time."

01:06:34   I'm not pushing for sideloading or for alternative App Stores because I see there are other problems with that for the platform, for potential security and everything.

01:06:46   I'm hoping that's not where this goes. What I want to be the solution here is for Apple to get rid of the reader app distinction that allows Netflix to have their own payment system and just not talk about it, but not, "Hey, get rid of that distinction."

01:07:03   And let any app do what Netflix does, and let any app say in the app, "You can go to our website to either sign up or purchase credit or whatever."

01:07:16   That is a compromise that I think would remove almost all of these problems from Apple.

01:07:23   But Apple has shown, now more than ever, they are not going to budge on this unless somebody compels them to.

01:07:34   A government, consumer protection agencies, the European Union, US antitrust, that all might compel them to.

01:07:43   But now Epic has sued them, and this is also going to push on that. Epic's a big company, and Fortnite's a big deal.

01:07:55   It's a huge deal that I don't know anything about. I have never seen Fortnite. All I know is that it's a massive game that a lot of people play. It's a really big deal.

01:08:05   And that is an Epic's only game. Epic's a big deal. So for somebody this big, it's as if Microsoft or Google or Amazon sued Apple.

01:08:15   This is such a massive thing. I think we're at kind of a breaking point now. Between the European Union looking into this, the US antitrust hearings that I mentioned a minute ago,

01:08:28   you have Spotify filing complaints in various governments and agencies about this, and now you have Epic suing them and having this massive public campaign about to happen or happening now.

01:08:40   I think we're at a breaking point. And Apple, if they don't know that, they should. I think this is actually, finally going to change Apple's rules.

01:08:53   Because here's the thing. If Apple doesn't change anything, if they just keep going hard-headed into this, making everything not only the same strictness but increasing strictness over time to extract even more money out of people in the app store,

01:09:06   they're going to be compelled to change it in a much bigger way. If they keep tightening their grip, they're going to lose control much more so than if they loosen that grip just a little bit still on their terms.

01:09:25   And I think if Apple wants to preserve the app store as the only way to get software on iOS, they have to relax that Netflix rule. They have to let everyone do what Netflix does, and they have to let people doing that say so in the app, go to our website to sign up or pay them.

01:09:44   That they would make less money from the app store, for sure, but I don't think they would make a ton less. Because Apple still has this amazing payment system that has a lot of really big strengths.

01:09:58   They could still give themselves an unfair advantage, which is still anti-competitive, just less so, where they can still have only their in-app purchase be the thing that apps can actually build into the app.

01:10:09   So what Epic did would still be against that rule, but it would be a lot more defensible on Apple's point of view if third-party things could even exist and be mentioned at all.

01:10:19   Apple has a payment system that I think I and most developers would still elect to use, because everyone has stuff built in and I don't have to try to convince people to trust me to enter their credit card stuff into my app and into my weird system and all that stuff.

01:10:36   I could just offer a payment sheet and have it be, you know, look at this, swipe here, double click here, whatever, and you're paid. That's great. I would gladly continue to use it.

01:10:46   But Apple would have to try a little bit harder to keep a lot of other people around. Apple would have to try a little bit to actually compete, to actually maybe offer lower rates.

01:10:58   Maybe they could offer better features. Maybe they could offer things like refund control that we were talking about last time we talked about this.

01:11:05   Right now, Apple doesn't have to compete, and they don't. Apple's internet-precursor system is not as good as other things, not only about the percentage they take, which is so massively high, but also, again, as I was discussing last time we talked about this, about features, things like control from the company's point of view, having a close relationship with the customers, being able to see exactly who paid what and be able to issue refunds if it doesn't work out and you have some kind of customer service issue.

01:11:31   Apple doesn't compete right now. Apple wins by fiat right now. They win by default because they've made rules that say that no one else can do it.

01:11:41   Apple does a lot better and produces better things and ultimately, usually, makes more money when they are forced to compete and make their stuff actually better than the competition.

01:11:51   That's true across their entire business. They do better both with output quality and with money when they have a bit of a fire under them and they have to actually compete in the market.

01:12:02   And so I really, really hope, I'm rooting for Epic here, not to get what they want in the lawsuit because I think it's too much. I want Apple to have to relax that rule because that would make a lot of problems significantly go away.

01:12:18   Not all their problems for sure. They still have lots of anti-competitive behavior in the app, in the App Store rules. They have lots of anti-competitive behavior in the OS.

01:12:28   Like that crazy thing they're doing with news promo links in the latest beta. We'll talk about that some of the time probably too. That's ridiculous.

01:12:35   They're starting to do a lot of really gross anti-competitive behavior in the push for ever more services revenue. And so if something forces them to take a small step back and loosen that grip a little bit in a really important way, that would actually really benefit them and their customers and their products and the app ecosystem.

01:12:59   I think that's a very good thing. And I've never before this, before this lawsuit, I didn't think it was going to happen. I thought like, yeah it would be nice if some government makes them do it but it's probably not going to happen.

01:13:14   Now this is, like we've been getting closer and closer to this recently. This is now I think the straw is going to break the camel's back. I think they're going to have to do something. And whether they're compelled to by a lawsuit or by a government or whether they finally just realize, okay enough is enough.

01:13:30   Like we're getting too much heat for this. We are at risk of losing much more control. We better just deflate this tension ourselves. I think there's a chance of something finally happening here.

01:13:40   And if that's true, that'll be the biggest news to happen in the App Store in 12 years.

01:13:45   All right, Jon.

01:13:47   A couple of months ago, I think was when we were doing the, talking about the Hey App Store thing, I wrote this blog post, my annual blog post. It occurs to me and it occurred to me after posting it. Well, feedback that I got that people might not know what the title was about. The title was The Art of the Possible. Do you know what I'm talking about in the title? It's a reference.

01:14:05   Nope.

01:14:07   I wrote this title the same way Dan Morton puts movie references in his subheadings, thinking of course everyone will get that reference. But then all my feedback from his article led me to believe people didn't.

01:14:18   Politics is the art of the possible. It's a famous saying, I forget who said it. It's trying to describe that like, you know, what does it mean to be into politics? You're trying to come to an agreement that everybody can live with. And it's the art of the possible because if you can't come to any kind of agreement, you get nothing.

01:14:41   Like if I can't get all of us or enough of us to agree on something, then we get nothing and we don't go anywhere. So politics is the art of the possible. And pretty much everything I wrote in this Hey article, I didn't spend much time dwelling on the details of it. It's applicable to the current situation as well.

01:14:57   The app store. There's a lot of stakeholders in the app stores, obviously Apple, there's the application developers, there's the users, there's the larger societal issues, but those three are the main ones, the Apple developers and users, right? And what Apple has expressed publicly and through its actions for the most part, especially in the beginning of the app store, and trying to get to is everything we know and love about the app store.

01:15:23   Marco talked about a bunch of it already, a place where an individual developer who nobody knows can make an application and sell it and actually make money from it because customers who trust Apple will be willing to try this app they'd never heard of from this person they never heard of called Instapaper because they trust that Apple is making sure that it's not going to destroy their phone or computer or steal all their money.

01:15:48   Because I trust Apple and by proxy I now trust Marco and I'll use his app and you know that that's kind of virtuous cycle there right? And then Apple is hoping that people with good ideas for applications like Instapaper, right those applications for iOS, because if people can get that application on an iPhone, then they'll buy the iPhone, because Marco's app makes the iPhone more valuable to customers. And that's the sort of virtuous cycle, right?

01:16:12   Customers want to feel safe, customers want to have access to good applications at a low price, developers want to get access to customers who are willing to spend money and not deal with all the hassles, and Apple wants to facilitate that because then they'll buy the phones and Apple will get a cut of those applications they sell. That's how everything works together.

01:16:29   That has been what has made the App Store the App Store. And I think that's still been Apple's vision, but they've been drifting from that vision because of things unrelated to the vision.

01:16:45   Nowhere in that vision is "Oh, and by the way, let's make the stock price go up." Nowhere in the vision is "We're the biggest company in the world, but let's also double our services revenue." That's not part of the virtuous cycle. The money comes out of the virtuous cycle. I tried to look this up online, but apparently Ambrosia software's website is down. But Ambrosia, I think it had an Aristotle quote or something, I don't know, it's not in English anyway, so it's a translation I imagine, but it was like, "Welth doesn't come, virtue doesn't come, it's not worth it."

01:17:14   "Virtue doesn't come from wealth, but instead wealth comes from virtue," or something like that. Someone in the chat room will find the quote for you. But it's basically, if you want to make a lot of money, don't set out to try to make a lot of money. Set out to try to make good products that people like and want.

01:17:31   And if you do that, money will be a side effect, because if people like your products and enjoy them and you make good ones and you keep doing that, people will be motivated to give you your money. That is the story of Apple's success. I'm not saying anything controversial, I think every single person who works and has worked for Apple in the modern era will be nodding their heads.

01:17:48   Yeah, that's how we work. We make good products, and that's what we're concentrating on. We don't even worry about competitors, we just want to make the best whatever we can make. We want to top ourselves, we want to be the best of the best. And yeah, we make a ton of money, because we make good things. It's so much simpler when you're just making a product. When you have an ecosystem, the calculus doesn't change that much.

01:18:08   That cycle I just described, where we want all the great apps to be on our devices, and we want developers to want to be on there, because they'll have access to customers who trust us and give us money, and it just goes around and around. Everybody's all smiles, right?

01:18:23   And Apple still seems very attached to that dream, but there's this fourth stakeholder, which is profit motive, power motive, paranoia. Calling it greed is like, I don't think there's a single person making these decisions who literally craves more money.

01:18:43   Everyone making all these decisions has more money than they know what to do with, and it's probably a hassle to them at this point, like the Brewster's millions. They have too much money. Power is different than that, and that can come from being an underdog and wanting to make sure you, as God is my witness, I'll never be hungry again. Apple will never be beleaguered again. It's like, all right, take off, ease off there. But none of this stuff is part of the virtuous cycle. Users don't care about that, they just care Apple stays in business.

01:19:09   Developers don't care about that. Developers just want access to the customers, and they want to be able to develop for the platform and make money. And Apple should just want everybody with a good idea for an app to put it on the App Store, and obviously they're going to make some money off of that and get a cut of it or whatever, but basically also their devices become more valuable because they have all the great apps on them, and that's the cycle.

01:19:33   And in the past several years, Apple has been stubbornly refusing to get back to that politics and the art of the possible and say, is it possible to do what we want with this set of rules?

01:19:48   Is it possible for every developer to really want to be on our platform and for those developers to be happy and for every developer who has a great idea for an app and for every developer, like Epic, that has an incredibly popular app?

01:20:00   Is it possible for them to totally want to be on our platform? And is it possible for the customers to want to buy from them and trust them and get low prices and so on and so forth?

01:20:08   And is it possible for Apple to facilitate that thing? Is that all possible with the current set of rules? And the answer increasingly has been no.

01:20:15   I talked about this ages ago when I wrote something about ebooks for Ars Technica when he was a book publisher, but Apple was in the mix then as well.

01:20:24   Not every business has 30% handy to give to Apple, like literally doesn't have it. Books are an example of that.

01:20:31   There's a bunch of people who make money off books. There's authors, there's the publishers, there's the retailers.

01:20:35   There's not an extra 30% oh, and by the way, also the iPhone vendor platform. There's just not that much money to go around.

01:20:42   And none of those groups want to shave, divide the 30% by four and shave that off of that. It's not viable.

01:20:49   And then there are big companies that, okay, maybe 30% is available, but I'm a big company too. Epic's not that big.

01:20:56   But anyway, Microsoft, Google, or a company that may be very tiny but instead just decides they don't want to give Apple 30%.

01:21:06   Basecamp, right? If Apple wants all the applications that they have to be the best that they can be, but these developers say,

01:21:14   "Eh, I'm not really jazzed about following these rules," then we kind of get to be at an impasse.

01:21:22   And even before people doing essentially civil disobedience here where they're like, "I know your rules. I'm breaking them on purpose to make you punish me,

01:21:31   and then I'm going to use that punishment as part of a PR campaign/lawsuit," right?

01:21:36   Even before we get to that stage, we were in a situation where Apple versus developers in this constant struggle was making the apps worse for customers.

01:21:47   And every time Marco says, "Oh, I want people to have different alternative payment methods, and I want Netflix to be able to tell people to go to Netflix.com to sign up,"

01:21:55   I think that's too little. That is like begging for scraps. Apps would be better if you could sign up for them in the app.

01:22:08   The Kindle app is better if you can buy e-books using your Apple ID inside the app.

01:22:16   Forget about all these people and these companies or whatever and just look at it from a customer's perspective.

01:22:23   A bunch of things in the app store are worse than they should be and could be, technically speaking, because of business crap that nobody cares about.

01:22:30   So we've all been dealing with these weird apps that are worse in dumb ways, ways that people probably don't even understand or think about.

01:22:39   And I don't want to say, "Oh, well, okay, you still can't sign up for Netflix in the app, but they should be able to tell you where you can go to Netflix.com."

01:22:46   No, they should be able to sign up for it because from a user's perspective, why can't I sign up? It's a computer.

01:22:52   I can sign up for Netflix. Why can't I buy Kindle books on my phone? How awesome is that?

01:22:57   I have a cell connection. I want to read a book two seconds. I go into the Kindle. I go bup, bup, bup, and I get a book and I read it.

01:23:03   And why can't I do that with all the trust and everything that Apple provides and the payment?

01:23:07   Trying to explain to a regular person who doesn't know about all this stuff why you can't do that,

01:23:12   either they're so young that they're just like, "I just thought that's the way it always was," or "I never really thought about it," or their eyes will just start to glaze over.

01:23:19   But the bottom line is, this leg of this three-legged stool here, the customers love the apps and they're the best they can be.

01:23:27   Apple has already failed in that regard because of this battle between Apple and developers.

01:23:30   Users are getting screwed by having apps that are worse in stupid ways.

01:23:34   And so the art of the possible is like, look, Apple, you're never going to get to or back to, depending on how you look at it,

01:23:41   that virtuous cycle if already you're making your product worse because of your fight with developers.

01:23:50   And then on top of that, if your fight with developers escalates to the point where the developers are like,

01:23:54   "Not only do I not like this, not only do I resent you for the things that you're making me do to be on your platform,

01:24:02   but I've had enough and I'm literally going to go to war with you.

01:24:06   I'm a big company too and I'm not just going to grumble with you in private, I'm not just going to complain in the press,

01:24:12   I'm going to file lawsuits and I'm going to try to get government to take you down.

01:24:17   I'm going to call on the refs essentially to say, "All right, I can't deal with you anymore.

01:24:22   I hate this so much that I'm willing to get kicked out of your store."

01:24:26   Not quite yet willing to say we're leaving the app store and not developing for it because they still want to be in the app store.

01:24:32   But they want things to change so badly that they're willing to harm their business to do it.

01:24:38   Still not quite at the point now, because these are big companies or whatever, where they're willing to all do it,

01:24:43   like collective action. Can you imagine if Microsoft, Google, Facebook, Netflix, HBO, Epic,

01:24:52   if they all made a joint press release and said we're all pulling our apps from the app store?

01:24:56   No one would do that because HBO is going to pull out and Netflix is like,

01:25:00   "Oh, HBO is gone. Let's stay in. We'll be the only team in town."

01:25:02   Because they're competitors. They're not going to collude with each other to punish another competitor.

01:25:06   That's probably illegal for some reason or whatever.

01:25:08   But we're not at that stage of collective action.

01:25:10   But individual actors, whether it be a tiny company like Basecamp or a larger company like Epic,

01:25:15   are deciding now to do more than just grumble.

01:25:19   That shows a complete breakdown in this virtuous cycle.

01:25:22   It was already pretty broken. Their fighting was already causing the apps and the experience to be worse for customers.

01:25:29   And when the experience is worse for customers, people like Apple's iPhones less.

01:25:34   And if Fortnite someday literally isn't available on the phone, that's going to make people like iPhones less.

01:25:40   And we've talked about this before in the context of Facebook and Netflix and the game of chicken.

01:25:43   As big as Epic is, if you could not watch Netflix or use Facebook on your iPhone, that would hurt Apple a lot.

01:25:53   Obviously, it would hurt Netflix and Facebook a lot too, but it would hurt Apple way worse.

01:25:58   We're not at that stage yet, but this is a complete breakdown.

01:26:02   Apple's stance so far has been to cross their arms and say, "You may complain, but we are not budging."

01:26:12   And my argument has always been not to the refs and the government to say how they should regulate things

01:26:18   since I have no faith that our current government can do anything competently, as evidenced by Look Around You.

01:26:22   And not to try to say, "Here's some tiny modification that Apple can make to appease people enough so they go back in their corners and grumble."

01:26:30   Because I think the current situation is already crappy.

01:26:33   My appeal has always been to Apple to say, "You have lost sight of what has made the App Store the App Store."

01:26:41   They're already damaging their own prospects and their own potential future profits by insisting on rules that have been proven not to be satisfactory to all parties involved.

01:26:51   The current set of rules are damaging the situation.

01:26:54   I'm not even getting into whether it's your right to do it or it's illegal. I don't even care.

01:26:58   I keep not thinking about it or talking about anti-trust stuff.

01:27:01   Just from a business perspective, if they keep doing what they're doing, it's not working.

01:27:07   Politics is the art of the possible.

01:27:10   Don't just say, "Well, if I can't get everything that I want, then that's it."

01:27:15   Because they'll just continue to damage their platform.

01:27:18   They care. You don't have to appeal to them and say, "Oh, it's not fair. You're charging too much."

01:27:22   Forget about that. Forget about fairness. Forget about greed or anything like that.

01:27:27   You're doing the wrong thing for your products and platform.

01:27:31   It is making your stuff worse.

01:27:34   In the long run, it is going to hurt you.

01:27:36   It's hard to see that now because success hides problems.

01:27:39   "Hey, Apple, we're a huge company. Our stock price is at an all-time high. Service revenue is doubling. Everybody loves it."

01:27:43   What do you mean we're doing the wrong thing?

01:27:45   Every number I see and every chart I see says we're doing exactly the right thing.

01:27:49   This type of stuff is…

01:27:51   The damage from this does not show up in the moment. It shows up later.

01:27:56   You don't want it to get to the point where Facebook pulls off your platform.

01:28:00   You don't even want it to get to the point where Epic gets kicked off your platform.

01:28:03   It's already gone too far by that point.

01:28:05   But you say, "Well, don't worry. They'll be back."

01:28:08   Facebook has said the same thing about advertisers boycotting them.

01:28:11   It's like, "In the end, we have the power and they'll be back."

01:28:13   The thing is if Apple is right or if Facebook is right,

01:28:16   actually we can't hold this line because we do have all the power.

01:28:20   That is yet more evidence, which I think is part of Epic's plan,

01:28:23   yet more evidence that we do need to call on the refs.

01:28:26   Because if, in fact, a company can continue to do things that are harmful to developers and users but good for it,

01:28:34   and nobody can stop them, nobody in the market, the customers don't have the power to use it,

01:28:38   and the developers don't have the power to do it,

01:28:41   that shows there needs to be some government intervention

01:28:44   because they are being harmed to society and none of the other stakeholders can apparently stop them.

01:28:50   I don't think that's exactly the case now.

01:28:52   I think Apple's big developers do have enough influence to change things,

01:28:58   if only because Apple does not have 99% market share and Android exists,

01:29:04   although Android is modeled very much on the App Store.

01:29:07   I don't want to get into the Android Store stuff,

01:29:09   but the point is that if Apple stubbornly refuses to see that what they're doing is,

01:29:15   A, not the right thing for their business and, B, not working,

01:29:18   then Apple had better hope that developers like Epic can change their mind.

01:29:25   Because if Epic and Microsoft and Facebook and Netflix and HBO can't change Apple's mind,

01:29:31   if Apple really does have the power to just cross its arm and say,

01:29:34   "No, 30% of everything. Sorry, you don't like it, go someplace else,"

01:29:37   then Apple deserves to be regulated, needs to be regulated for the good of society,

01:29:42   and that's also not a place you want to be.

01:29:44   Just ask Microsoft. It's not great for your reputation,

01:29:46   and it takes a while to recover from that.

01:29:48   So I look at the Epic situation, and it looks to me exactly like the "Hey" situation,

01:29:54   exactly like every other argument.

01:29:56   It's like, developers, if you don't like the App Store, go someplace else,

01:30:01   and it only matters until the companies that go someplace else have an effect on Apple

01:30:06   and what will it take to see that people are not happy?

01:30:10   Obviously, Apple can't see that the Kindle app not being allowed to buy books is bad for Apple.

01:30:16   They obviously can't see it. It's been that way for years and years,

01:30:18   and Apple's like, "Eh, it's bad," but honestly, people should buy it from the iBook store anyway.

01:30:23   That kind of stupid strategy, Jack's thinking, "Epic, Fortnite, whatever, you should use Apple Arcade."

01:30:29   Apple can't own everything, can't be the best at everything,

01:30:33   and it's not okay to say, "Well, we don't care about Kindle. Everyone should just buy everything from us."

01:30:37   We cannot live in a world where everything is Apple and Apple is everything and they get a cut of everything.

01:30:42   That's not a world that anybody wants to live in.

01:30:44   In fact, that's not a world that Apple should want to live in

01:30:46   because your motivation to make good products disappears in that scenario,

01:30:49   arguably already happening in some areas.

01:30:51   I don't want Apple to be doing things to its product to advance its other strategies.

01:30:55   "Oh, we'll get more subscribers to our service revenue."

01:30:58   "Oh, let's make virtual workout tapes."

01:31:02   That's not what I want from Apple.

01:31:03   I know those are new ways to make money, but honestly, Apple does not need to make more money at this point.

01:31:08   I wish I could just sort of flip a switch and turn Apple into a nonprofit and see their decision-making change.

01:31:14   You're not going to go out of business tomorrow. You've got billions in the bank.

01:31:18   You're the biggest company in the world. Stop doing what you're doing. It's bad and wrong.

01:31:23   But Tim Cook does not listen to this podcast and cannot be convinced.

01:31:29   The very worst thing that can happen to Apple is they continue down this road and "win"

01:31:37   because I don't know anything about the legal things.

01:31:39   My impression is that I don't think these lawsuits are going to go anywhere.

01:31:43   But will be cited in any government action that takes place, assuming a government does anything ever again,

01:31:48   having to do with anything.

01:31:50   But that could happen. Conceivably, in a couple of years, government could start functioning again.

01:31:54   And if that happens and Apple finds itself on the receiving end of regulation, as I've said in past shows,

01:32:01   historically speaking, our ability to write laws that regulate the technology sector is not great.

01:32:08   And also, as much as I said that the refs should be called in, our refs are not great in this area.

01:32:13   Even the EU with the GDPR and everything, even when your heart's in the right place and you've got a lot of smart people doing it,

01:32:20   it's really difficult to do. It's much better if a company just wakes up and says,

01:32:24   "You cannot hold the line in this. You're already screwing up."

01:32:28   We all just want to go back to like it was in the beginning. Let's all be happy together.

01:32:31   We want developers to be excited to make money. We want users to have awesome apps that they can't get anywhere,

01:32:36   that are as good as they can be, and are not limited by non-technical limitations.

01:32:42   And we want Apple to be successful and make money from that. That's how it was in the beginning.

01:32:47   And somewhere along the line, we've lost our way. So, Apple, just wake up, man.

01:32:53   Because it's not that hard. It's not that hard to make a change.

01:32:59   The last thing you want to do is have someone dictate the change for you because it comes from the government.

01:33:03   It'll probably be dumb.

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01:34:47   [Music]

01:34:51   Yeah, we've said this a million times. I've said this a million times.

01:34:53   It's so frustrating because it just seems so much more gross because we don't know what's being talked about inside.

01:35:00   And all three of us know plenty of Apple engineers and all three of us are told constantly, "Yeah, the biggest Apple critics are on the inside."

01:35:08   And I'm not saying that's not true, but man, from the outside, it sure seems like Apple's just being greedy and selfish and has lost touch with what makes Apple, Apple.

01:35:20   And I keep thinking of 1980 Fortnite. The entire premise of that was Apple is the machine now. They are the conglomerate. They are big brother.

01:35:33   And they're the ones that are doing the gross things that a mere 35-ish years ago we thought were disgusting.

01:35:42   Well, not Marco and I because we were barely alive at that point, but maybe John had opinions about it back in '84.

01:35:49   And it's so tough because the thing, and I think we were talking about this last week, the thing that I like about Apple is that it seems like, as a sports team, if you will, it's a good team to root for.

01:36:05   They're not the ones that have won forever. They're not the ones that used to win but still think they're good.

01:36:12   You know, oh God, I want to make so many sports references, but I don't want to have the entire internet yell at me.

01:36:19   But yeah, it's not like they're the Cowboys. I couldn't resist. The Cowboys used to be good. They're not good anymore.

01:36:25   And hey, you remember football at all? But anyways, Apple is the team that stank and then got good.

01:36:33   And some of us more than others, but all three of us to some degree, were there for that team ascending.

01:36:40   You know, it's like, oh, the last dance that came out a couple of months ago about the Bulls was so good.

01:36:46   And it was about how the Bulls, in part, about how the Bulls stank. And then Jordan came along and Phil Jackson came along and they got good.

01:36:53   And having ridden the wave from bad, or maybe in Marco and I's case mediocre, to good was super exciting.

01:37:02   But now I feel like we've crossed over the top of the bell curve and we're now going downward on the other end.

01:37:10   And that's not a good feeling for someone who really likes his team. I'm having a real hard time reconciling that.

01:37:20   Because, like, I don't know, the butterfly keyboards never got to me as much as I think it got to you, Marco.

01:37:27   And that doesn't make me right or wrong, but that's another example of the team really kind of failing.

01:37:34   And I just feel like over the last year or two, or maybe four or five, what was a machine and a team that was firing on all cylinders maybe isn't anymore.

01:37:48   And that's a tough thing to come to terms with.

01:37:50   You know, the history of people making 1984 parody ads where Apple is the big brother is a long and storied history.

01:37:58   This is not the first time this has happened.

01:38:00   And even when it happened there with IBM is the big brother figure in the original Macintosh ad, right?

01:38:06   Those type of, that type of advertisement marketing where you position your competitor as being dominant and powerful and trying to crush opposition.

01:38:17   Like, in business, that's generally the case. The reason they're called your competitor is because they're competing with you.

01:38:23   And you like to say, "Well, they're big and mean and we want to do the right thing and they want to control you."

01:38:30   And Apple, given their tendencies of wanting to have things just so and have a system that is limited in ways that they think is beneficial to the product, is very often put up as big brother.

01:38:43   "Oh, I've got to do things the Apple way. I can't build my own Macintosh. I have to buy them from Apple and they're so overpriced."

01:38:50   Or, you know, "The App Store, the walled garden. I can't just load any software and I can only put certain Apple stuff on."

01:38:55   "Oh, I can't just use a regular mouse. I've got to buy an ADB mouse because Apple has to have everything their way. Apple wants to control everybody. Apple is big brother."

01:39:02   They've been calling Apple big brother since the company was going, you know, practically going out of business.

01:39:06   It was still big brother because, you know, depending on what constituency you're coming from, you're like,

01:39:11   "I want to do a thing. Apple won't let me do a thing. Therefore, Apple is bad."

01:39:15   Just having Apple be in the big brother position is not necessarily bad writ large.

01:39:21   It may be bad from one company's perspective or even bad from a user's perspective.

01:39:25   Say you want to build your own Mac and Apple won't let you. Apple is bad from your perspective.

01:39:29   But from a different perspective, you can say, "Well, that's what makes Apple stuff Apple stuff."

01:39:34   They have control of the hardware and it makes their computers have fewer problems and that's why people like them.

01:39:40   You may not agree with that because you want to build your own PCs, but there are a bunch of people who have a different opinion than you and they like Apple stuff.

01:39:46   So there's always going to be that divide of Apple is doing a thing, this other constituency does not like it and finds it limiting and controlling,

01:39:56   but there's another constituency that likes it and Apple's position has always been, "Yeah, we're doing this thing that we're doing even though a bunch of people don't like it because we think it makes our products better and we think by having better products we will be more successful."

01:40:08   And in the high-minded thing of like, "In the end, we really just want to make great products. We don't just want to make money. We don't just want to be successful."

01:40:17   This warped American mindset that the ultimate lofty goal of every company is simply to make money.

01:40:23   Apple has A) never professed that and B) I don't think they believe it. If only because everybody who runs the company doesn't need money.

01:40:31   Like they're not doing it, maybe they're doing it to win a corporate game or whatever, but at most levels people who work for Apple really do want to make good products.

01:40:39   And sometimes in making those products you have constraints and rules that either your competitors don't like or in many times in Apple's histories large portions of customers don't like.

01:40:50   Again, if you want to build your own PC you're going to spend decades not liking Apple because they don't let you do that.

01:40:56   But there is another constituency that does like you for doing that because it makes the computer simpler and those are Apple's customers.

01:41:03   Same thing with the iPhone. Android offers a different operating system with a different set of trade-offs that most people like because it's cheaper and because you can have a diversity of hardware.

01:41:13   You don't have to buy your phones from Google or whatever. Android sells many more phones, as if Android is an entity, but there are more Android phones than Apple phones.

01:41:21   But the trade-offs that Apple makes with the iPhone appeal to a certain set of customers, in particular lots of customers who want to spend money on software, which is good for developers.

01:41:29   So I think that dynamic of Apple as big brother and Apple "doing the wrong thing" and "are we the baddies" is very important when analyzing that to think just because someone doesn't like what you're doing,

01:41:43   and especially if they're a competitor or want to be a competitor. Like, Epic wants to have its own app store and take its own cut of everything. In fact, Epic does have its own store that competes with Steam, right?

01:41:53   Just because a company like that is mad at you doesn't necessarily mean that what you're doing is wrong.

01:41:59   You have to always look at it from the lens of "are we doing this thing that people are mad about because it makes for better products, because it makes our products more valuable and useful and desirable to customers, which in turn leads those customers to want to buy our stuff, which in turn leads to our success?"

01:42:17   It's such a simple formula. Apple professes it all the time. Every earnings call, every time someone asks, we don't think of it that way. We think we just want to make the best products.

01:42:24   And nothing about the situation with the app store can be backed up by that. "Oh, we just want to make the best products." Really? You think it's the best product when I can't buy an eBook in the Kindle app? Is that the best product?

01:42:34   Well, hmm, service revenue, but no. What happened? What happened to the reasoning? It's right there in front of you. They have to bail on it. And that's how you know when you're the baddies.

01:42:43   It's not because someone puts you into a 1984 ad as big brother. It's because if your reason is not simply "this makes the product better for customers, which in turn makes the customers want to be our customers, which in turn gives us money, blah, blah, blah." It's a straight line. That's how it's supposed to work.

01:42:57   If you deviate from that, it's time to say, "are we the baddies?" Or more importantly, like I said, it's time to say, "is this working?"

01:43:04   Is it going the way you want it to go? Do you have the very best apps that are the best they can be, and customers love it, and developers love it? That hasn't been true for a really long time.

01:43:16   I feel like I'm talking in circles. We're not going to have time to dive into the cloud gaming stuff here, but I think I can briefly touch on it. We didn't really talk about the gaming aspect of Epic, just because it's not really an issue.

01:43:28   There is an interesting side conversation about the ability to update apps after Apple approves them, which is a thing that has been available to all developers through various means, but it doesn't change the fact that Apple is going to boot you out of the store.

01:43:38   There's really no way that Apple can solve that problem unless they also solve the halting problem.

01:43:42   The cloud computing thing. We talked about this when we talked about Google Stadia, which was the last big entry on the show that we discussed. Briefly, the idea is instead of buying a thing that runs games and installing it in your house and using it, instead the thing that runs games is somewhere else far away from you in the data center, and you merely access it remotely.

01:44:08   You see the pictures that have been generated by that thing in a faraway data center, and your control inputs are sent to it, and in response to your control inputs, you see the results.

01:44:17   People call it streaming gaming, remote gaming. It's basically like you have a game console or a gaming PC, but it's not in your house. It's really, really far away.

01:44:26   There's a bunch of tactical hurdles to that, and as we said when we discussed it in Stadia, hopefully someone will find the episode number. The reason people keep trying to do something like this is because there are lots of benefits, both financial and technological, if it can be done in a way that is satisfactory.

01:44:44   Thus far, it's good for some kind of games. It's not really good for other kinds of games, but as we said when Stadia came out, people are going to keep trying to do this because the upsides are just too big. So there's a bunch of things that do this.

01:44:56   Google Stadia, NVIDIA GeForce Now, Microsoft's XCloud was the code name. I forget what it's called. Microsoft, I don't know. Some of the chat room will get it. Microsoft Xbox Gaming, Streaming, whatever. Microsoft XCloud.

01:45:08   It's a market that's not going away. It's also a market that Apple didn't think about when they made the App Store rules. It didn't exist when Apple made the App Store rules. It came into being and Apple did not change the App Store rules to allow for it.

01:45:22   And so, all of these services are against the App Store rules. Now, in some respects, people come up with new technologies, new business plans, new schemes for doing things all the time.

01:45:38   And it's okay to give Apple a little bit of time to think about it and how they want to handle it. But at this point, they're enough that these services are out and none of them are allowed in the App Store. And so Apple is once again being left out of a thing that everybody else is doing.

01:45:53   Customers clearly want these services because people keep making them. So if someone is signing up for them, right? And if you own an iOS device, you might want to do this.

01:46:03   And if you can do this on your iOS device, it makes that device more valuable to you. And if you can't do it on your iOS device, it might make you consider a different product. All of that is bad for Apple.

01:46:13   Apple wants all the apps that anyone cares about to be available on their phone. Good quality apps from big name companies like Microsoft and Google and Sony and whatever.

01:46:25   These are not minor players in the market. Epic for that matter. This entire category of product seems to be excluded not because Apple thinks it will make its products worse, but because they think it's a threat to their ability to extract money from everybody who goes through the App Store.

01:46:41   Because we don't want these little miniature App Stores hanging around. That's the reason it's against the rules. Oh, so you're going to go into the streaming thing and then within the streaming thing you can get a bunch of games?

01:46:49   Epic wants to have its own little store, its own little Epic store where you buy games. And Apple's like, "Whoa, whoa, whoa. You can't make many App Stores inside the App Store. That's been a rule since forever. That way would lead to madness."

01:47:00   Alright, fine. But Apple's job is to figure out a way for your users to be able to use these services so that the iPhone retains its value and doesn't become, "Oh, that's the place where I can't use any of the streaming gaming services."

01:47:16   Because even though they're not super popular now, the fact that people keep trying to do it and the fact that they keep getting better means that someday eventually streaming gaming is going to be an important enough application.

01:47:25   It would be as if iOS did not support any streaming video services because the iOS App Store had come to fruition at the time before streaming video services and when streaming video services came along, Apple said, "Well, that's like having a miniature store where people will be able to, like, you know, subscribe and sign up for a service or buy movies.

01:47:42   And we don't want to do that because we already have our Apple TV+ service, so we don't want any of those things on our platform because we already have a place for you to buy all that stuff."

01:47:49   Can you imagine an iPhone that could not do streaming video because of some BS business reason to protect revenue for Apple?

01:47:56   That is a less valuable, less useful product and in the long run, it would have made Apple less money if the iPhone couldn't play Netflix.

01:48:02   Now, I'm not saying streaming gaming is the next Netflix because honestly, I think the technology is still not there.

01:48:07   But it's getting better all the time and a bunch of these services are out and if Apple's rules do not allow for it and they don't change their rules to allow for it or come up with some kind of compromise with all the companies by recognizing, "Hey, this is the thing. We'll have to come to some agreement where we can work out."

01:48:22   Again, the art of the possible. Google, Nvidia, Microsoft, tell me what it's going to take to get you onto the App Store.

01:48:28   Let's find something that we can both agree on.

01:48:31   We're not going to be super happy but we're also not going to say, "Nope, it's against the rules and we're not changing the rules at all and we're going to play a game of chicken with you."

01:48:39   And in this game of chicken, Apple basically lost because all the services said, "We're mad at you, Apple, but guess what? We're not going to be on your platform. You won't let us on your platform.

01:48:48   We could not come to some kind of an agreement where we can be on your platform, so we're just not on your platform.

01:48:53   And if you get an iPhone, you can't use any of these services from it or your iPad or whatever. And maybe Apple thinks that's a victory. "Haha, Apple Arcade will win out."

01:49:02   Apple still does not quite understand gaming for a variety of reasons that we don't have time to get into,

01:49:08   but I think getting rid of all these gaming services on iOS devices does not really increase the attractiveness of Apple Arcade.

01:49:20   And in the end, it would be better for Apple if it could find some way to accommodate these type of applications on its platform.

01:49:29   Just deciding that they're not going to and declaring victory when those things leave your platform is not a winning strategy.

01:49:36   So, it's the same argument over and over again. I really wish Apple would come around on this sooner rather than later.

01:49:45   Thanks to our sponsors this week, Linode, ExpressVPN, and Mac Weldon. And thank you to our members who support us directly.

01:49:52   You can learn more about that at ATP.fm/join. Thank you everybody, and we will talk to you next week.

01:49:59   Now the show is over, they didn't even mean to begin, 'cause it was accidental. Oh, it was accidental.

01:50:11   John didn't do any research, Marco and Casey wouldn't let him, 'cause it was accidental. Oh, it was accidental.

01:50:22   And you can find the show notes at ATP.fm. And if you're into Twitter, you can follow them at C-A-S-E-Y-L-I-S-S.

01:50:36   That's Casey Liss, M-A-R-C-O-A-R-M-N-T, Marco Armin, S-I-R-A-C-U-S-A, Syracuse. It's accidental. They didn't mean to, accidental.

01:50:56   Tech podcast, so long.

01:51:03   There was news a couple of weeks ago, maybe a month ago, that the three-pedal Accord is dead. I'm sorry, John.

01:51:12   So, my question is, let's assume, and I'm sure you're gonna blow a bunch of holes in this question, but I'm going to, because I'm an idiot, I'm gonna try one more time to ask you a question and see if you'll answer a hypothetical.

01:51:25   If you were to buy a new car, a new car today, what would you buy? I'm gonna buy an Accord six-speed.

01:51:35   Right, 'cause today it's still sold. Okay, right. So, thanks for, thanks for, thanks for, uh, Syracuse-ing that question. All right, so.

01:51:42   Seriously. The funny thing is, I left a parenthetical in the show notes for myself, but I chose not to read it. The parenthetical...

01:51:48   The listeners can't see the show notes, Casey.

01:51:50   The parenthetical reads, "Assume for the purpose of this question that the six-speed Accord is unavailable new and you want something new."

01:51:58   So, I guess we go into the future when they're all sold?

01:52:01   Correct. They are all sold, but it's otherwise the lineup of cars available is the same as today.

01:52:06   So, you know, based on my past actions, what actually is gonna happen here. I'm going to keep using my extremely low mileage, well-loved six-speed Accord for way longer than most people think I should, just like my Mac Pro, while I wait for something that I find a satisfactory replacement.

01:52:25   I mean, that's totally on brand for me, and I've proven that I can do it with something that ended up being about as expensive as a car. So, I, that's, that's honestly my answer. It's like, I like my car the way it is now.

01:52:39   Obviously, if my car got into an accident or something and I needed to get another one, I have available to me other copies of essentially my same car, if not identical than the, you know, the current generation one.

01:52:51   Like, those will exist in the market and will be available for me to purchase, right? So, it's not like I can't get that. So, there's nothing really to stop me from using a six-speed Accord for a very long time.

01:53:05   If you told me I wasn't allowed to, some sort of game show rules, like, "But you're just not allowed to have one. You have to pick some other car." Then I would, you know, there are other, there are a few, but other six-speed cars that I considered when I bought my Accord, like the Mazda 6 stick shift.

01:53:17   Now, I don't know if they're also getting rid of the stick shift. They probably are, but assuming they weren't, that's what I would look at. And if I can't get an Accord, I can look at a used one of those, right?

01:53:26   If you continue to narrow the game show rules saying, "Okay, well, you can't have a six-speed Accord, newer used, and you can't have a Mazda 6, six-speed, newer used." It's like, what are you trying to get me to do?

01:53:36   Like, you're just going to eliminate every sedan with four doors that has a stick shift until I pick a different car? Like, that's not much of a fun exercise, right?

01:53:43   The real answer is that I will continue using my Accord for way too long, and eventually, if there are no more stick shift four-door sedans available for me to purchase in any reasonable way, because I keep my car so long that even the used ones are super old, like, I'm going to replace it with electric, right? That's the goal, right?

01:54:01   Oh, thank God.

01:54:02   Like, I mean, what else are you going to do? But right now, there's no electric that fits my criteria, because my price range, unlike the price range of my Max, is very, very low when it comes to cars. Like, I've never spent more than 25 grand on a car in my life.

01:54:17   So don't expect me to hop into a Model S, even though I think it's a great car. But I do kind of just like Tesla. Anyway, and all electric cars are super expensive.

01:54:26   Name an electric car that has four doors and, you know, is like basically like an Accord but electric? They're all way out of my desired price range for cars.

01:54:35   So if I keep using this Accord until it's 15 years old, hopefully by then I will be able to get, whoo, it might even be a Honda, a reasonable electric four-door car, and that's what I'll replace it with.

01:54:49   But that said, I'm not entirely giving up on the whole six-speed thing. Obviously they're disappearing from cars all over the place, but the places where they remain and the places where they may even spring back up are weirdo cars for weirdos.

01:55:00   So, like, specialty, you know, weird specialty cars, especially if like if my kids go off to college and I don't need a four-door anymore, I, you know, the, what do you call it, the Civic Type R and the Civic Si is also gone too.

01:55:14   But anyway, it'll be back. Like, the next generation of Civics, I think they still have sticks.

01:55:18   I would love to see you driving a Type R. That would be amazing.

01:55:21   I mean, obviously not this generation, right? But generations change, Honda's cars change, and you know, like I, what I'm saying is I could find myself in a smaller car when the kids are gone.

01:55:31   I don't need a big Accord anymore if they're out living on their own, right? And this is the timeline I'm thinking about for replacement. It's like, well, how long are you going to use my Accord? Like my Accord, what is it? It's a 2014 and it's got under 30,000 miles.

01:55:45   I don't drive a lot. I take pretty good care of it and Honda's last a long time and I could continue keeping this Honda running, assuming it doesn't crash by just putting money into it. Like what needs to be replaced? I get new brakes, new tires.

01:55:57   Yeah, yeah. You know, I don't, it doesn't, it has a timing chain, not a timing belt. I put a new battery in it recently. The water pump and alternate air and air conditioning compressor are going to go eventually.

01:56:07   Maybe, you know, in seven years I'll need a new clutch, but like it's possible to keep, you know, and it's not hard to find Honda Accord parts. Let me tell you, it's possible to keep this car going for a surprising amount of time.

01:56:18   Assuming one of my children doesn't crash it when they're driving. So my current plan is, now I'm not, I haven't been looking for a new car. I'm still not looking for a new car. History has shown that I tend to skip Accord generations because they always come out with a generation that I hate and I have to wait five years for it to be gone.

01:56:33   But then they come out with one that I like. So I'll just be sitting back here driving my car that I like, hoping that a stick shift Accord comes back. And if it doesn't, by the time I'm really ready for a new one, maybe a $30,000 electric will be on the market.

01:56:47   And I'll buy that and I'll be the most expensive car ever bought, but I won't get the nano texture.

01:56:51   You know, it's, it's not in your price range of $25,000, but I think we've briefly mentioned on the show that my parents got a Chevy Bolt, probably about a year ago now.

01:57:03   In as much as I want to say it's a piece of garbage, it's actually pretty nice. And given how relatively affordable it is at about $40,000, which is a crud load of money, don't get me wrong, but given what it is, I think it's reasonably affordable.

01:57:21   It's actually a very good option for you. And hopefully over time it would get cheaper. I've heard the e-Golf is, which is discontinued now.

01:57:28   Why do you keep naming these cars that I would literally never own or drive or be seen in or near? Are you kidding me? A Bolt? I would buy a stick shift Civic before that. I would buy a used stick shift Civic before that.

01:57:41   I do not like, anything that looks like an SUV, eliminate it. Anything that looks like a turd, like the Bolt, eliminate it. No Prius, no Bolt, no hatchbacks. You know what, like, just because I drive an Accord, you think, oh, he doesn't care what a car looks like. I do.

01:57:54   I like how the Accord looks. It looks like a car. It's a car-shaped car. I've got a dog-shaped dog in a car-shaped car. The Bolt is not, I don't know what shape the Bolt is, but no. No Nissan Leaf, no Bolt, no e-Golf. I don't even like that weird Honda electric thing that Marco likes.

01:58:10   The e?

01:58:11   Yeah, that's not to my taste. I'm not saying these are bad cars, they're just not for me. Not for me.

01:58:18   Speaking of dog-shaped dogs, this is a complete tangent. I have been getting a lot of pressure from the homestead that it's dog time for the List family and I'm resisting.

01:58:27   Already, hmm. You're getting pressure from, where is this pressure coming from? Is this pressure coming from the little ones or the larger one?

01:58:35   The larger one, which is in vertically larger, and the elder, the larger of the two littles.

01:58:41   Is this a collaboration between Aaron and Declan? Like, who's the leader in this?

01:58:45   It's more Aaron than Declan, but he's definitely on board.

01:58:48   You're doomed because...

01:58:50   It's only a matter of time.

01:58:51   If it's just the kids asking, you'd be like, "Ah, kids. They always want things." But if it's your wife asking, you can get a dog.

01:58:58   Yeah, it seems like it's going to happen despite my protestations. It's just a matter of time.

01:59:04   I know Jon has a different opinion, of course, but I will say having a small, non-shedding dog has its benefits.

01:59:16   Oh, it would have to be a non-shedding dog. I will not stand for dog hair everywhere.

01:59:20   And plus, I don't think I'm allergic to shedding dogs, but I know I'm allergic to cats and I know it's not apples to apples.

01:59:26   But even beyond the allergies, I just don't want frickin' dog hair everywhere.

01:59:32   Yeah, there's a lot of practical, real... I mean, look, I love any dog, but there are a lot of practical benefits to small, non-shedding dogs.

01:59:42   Oh, yeah. So when I was growing up, we had... Well, when I was really little, we had a standard poodle, then a wheaten terrier, then a different standard poodle, and then a cockapoo, which is a cocker spaniel poodle.

01:59:55   And I think I would want something more along the cockapoo size class, which is a little bit bigger than hops, but not by a lot.

02:00:05   Cockapoo is a lot bigger than hops. Have you seen hops? Hops is tiny.

02:00:08   It depends on the cockapoo. That breed has a wide size range.

02:00:13   Yeah, I see a lot of cockapoos around here and they're not hop size.

02:00:16   They can be typically between about 20 and 40 pounds. They span a very big size range.

02:00:22   Hops is like 15 pounds, right? Yeah.

02:00:25   Yeah, the one that we had, I think, was in the 20 pound range. But yeah, two of my brother-in-laws... Brothers-in-law? Brothers-in-law?

02:00:32   Brother-in's law. Yeah, brother-in's law. They have dogs. One has a German Shepherd, like, purebred and so on and so forth.

02:00:39   And I like the dog. I would not want that to be my dog. The other one is just a rescue mutt.

02:00:46   And I've been around both of them a lot. I don't think I'm allergic to either of them. So I don't think allergy is the problem.

02:00:52   But especially with the German Shepherd, I just do not want that much damn hair in my house. No, thank you.

02:00:57   Yeah, German Shepherd's a whole other category. I had a non-shedding dog and a shedding dog.

02:01:01   And if you don't want dog hair, don't get a shedding dog. But I have to say, having had both of them, maybe it's just like, because now I've got the other kind,

02:01:07   not having to groom my dog and having my dog, essentially.

02:01:10   I was thinking about this, musing about this out loud when we're all stuck here in coronavirus and getting at-home haircuts or worrying about not getting at-home haircuts.

02:01:20   My dog always looks perfect. Never needs to be shaved or styled or groomed. It's just always perfect.

02:01:27   Can you imagine if people like that? You didn't need to get a haircut and your hair always looked absolutely perfect. That's my dog. She always looks perfect.

02:01:34   So that every time you sat on something, you'd get up and your hair would be all over it.

02:01:37   Yeah, exactly. Her hair is all over the house. That's true. But I'm saying, at this point in my life…

02:01:43   She looks perfect. The house is covered in hair.

02:01:45   At the first point in my life, it's like, well, it's great that there isn't dog hair over everything. Although, by the way, depending on the dog, dogs can be stinky, too.

02:01:54   Although, stink doesn't show up, it's still there. So anyway, that was nice because not a lot of shedding. Right? Great.

02:02:01   But the hassle of having to remember to groom the dog and be procrastinating about grooming the dog and having your dog become overwhelmed with fur, which is a phenomenon that Marco is very well familiar with.

02:02:10   We feel bad because the dog can't see anymore. It's just a giant fur thing and then getting it shaved.

02:02:14   The hassle of having to bring the dog in… I find it a hassle to give myself haircuts. And now to have another being that I'm responsible for my haircuts to.

02:02:21   I already had to do it with the kids. And now I have to give the dog a haircut. It's a nice break to say, yes, we'd have to bring the dog to the vet and everything and walk the dog and do all the other things.

02:02:30   But one thing we don't have to do with the dog is get the dog a haircut. So, yeah. Anyway, if you don't want shedding, get a less-sheddy dog because no dogs are zero shedding.

02:02:39   No, humans aren't zero shedding either. There's always going to be some hair in your house. But as long as you're in a larger queue, you'll live with it.

02:02:46   My only thing that I would ask you… My one request to you is kind of like… Well, it's not like the live picture request because honestly, what do you care what I think about your dog?

02:02:53   But I think there's an epidemic of big goofy dogs with curly hair. I know people love that. It's part of the Doodle series. It's like Poodle mixed with something.

02:03:03   But I think there's too many of them. I think we need more dog variety in the world.

02:03:10   This is coming from the guy who insists on a dog-shaped dog. But yes, okay, let's have me do the non-dog-shaped dogs so we have more variety.

02:03:19   No, no. Arguably, these doodly dogs aren't particularly dog-shaped either. They're just big goofy pieces of fried chicken.

02:03:25   What?

02:03:27   Have you seen the fried chicken thing? It's like… Identify this picture. Is it a cockapoo or a piece of fried chicken? That's actually very hard to tell.

02:03:35   And I also think, personally speaking, that it's nicer to pet a dog that doesn't have a really, really tight perm.

02:03:41   That's true. I'll agree with that. So I agree with some of what you're saying. So first of all, on the haircut versus shedding thing, I think while having to get your dog a haircut is inconvenient, it's also like a once every three months kind of thing as opposed to having to vacuum up dog hair constantly every day. I think it's a very…

02:04:03   You don't have to vacuum it up every day. You just learn to live with it. Part of the stage I'm in in my life is I'm not cleaning up human's poop anymore. I'm still cleaning up a dog's poop. But the fact that there's dog hair all over my house, I'm able to live with. I mean, I think I would always be able to live with it. Some people just can't abide by that. They're just like, "I can't have dog hair all over my house. Fine. You do you." Right?

02:04:23   Some people don't care at all. I care a little bit, but I find as I get older, I care less about dog hair all over my house. Yeah. So that's… You know how nice to… Obviously, when you look at your car cases, it's clear that you want to keep your things very nice and neat.

02:04:41   And by the way, if you're going to bring your dog to the vet in a vehicle, one of your vehicles, if it's not going to have dog hair in it, it's going to have a dog in it. And good luck protecting your vehicle in all possible ways from dog because hair is not the only way that they can screw up your car.

02:04:58   Anyway, it's just part of having a dog, I feel like, is they're going to mess up your life in some minor way. If you get a very small dog, like Hopps, they mess up your life in less ways. That's part of the reason people like these little tiny toy dogs look like tiny little rats. Hopps is not a rat dog, but Hopps is just outside the rat category.

02:05:16   He's 15 pounds.

02:05:18   Right. He's not a rat dog, but he's… I don't know. What's the next step up from that? Beaver dog?

02:05:22   I don't know.

02:05:23   Oh my God. What is happening?

02:05:24   I will say, I don't have a lot of these problems that you have. I would also say on the shedding front, you said that no dog sheds zero. There are different degrees between a basically non-shedding dog and a fully shedding dog.

02:05:39   Of course, there's the constant sheddingness of most dogs. There's the phased, blowing their coat sheddingness of things like Huskies.

02:05:55   When you have the various doodle combo kind of things, what most people don't realize is that if you want a dog that doesn't shed, both of the parent breeds have to not shed. If one of those parent breeds that it's mixed with sheds, you will have a partly shedding dog.

02:06:14   How much of a part depends on the dog. That's kind of like luck of the genetic lottery at that point. It varies, but like… So, golden doodles. Golden retrievers shed like crazy. Poodles don't. So, that dog has a pretty good chance that it's going to shed somewhat, and it varies per golden doodle.

02:06:30   Cockapoos. Guess what? Cocker Spaniels shed. And so, cockapoos do shed somewhat. As you know, Casey, your parents have them, right? So, like, you've seen this. They shed a little bit.

02:06:41   My wonderful little hops doesn't shed at all because neither shitsus nor poodles shed.

02:06:46   This is assuming you're getting any kind of precise breed mix. If you get like we did and just have a rescue dog where you have no freaking idea what dogs contribute to your dog, you just get what you get.

02:06:56   Kind of like your children. It's just a random connection, you know? It's you and Aaron and whatever, and trace your family trees and whatever combination that is, that's what you're getting in your kids.

02:07:06   So, I have no idea what my dog is, but it's obviously some kind of shedding dog, but also some kind of dog that I don't have to cut the hair on.

02:07:14   Yeah, rescue is obviously the way to go. Like, we went to a breeder merely because I am allergic to shedding dogs, and I wanted to be really sure that I was getting a dog that would not cause allergy problems for me.

02:07:26   And sure enough, hops doesn't. But even when I go to my in-laws house, they have two cockapoos. I do have to take allergy pills more when I'm there, because if I don't take one, I can feel my eyes start to get itchy within a few hours of being there.

02:07:41   It's not like a severe thing. Not like the way it is. If they had a cat, I wouldn't even be able to sleep there.

02:07:45   But it is minor allergy irritation that I notice every time I go there, because even cockapoos shed a little bit. But meanwhile, I have my face in hops all night, and I have nothing to bother me.

02:07:57   Are you all done with cleaning up human poop, Casey?

02:08:02   Yes, asterisk. So, Michaela got potty trained a couple of months ago, three, four months ago, during quarantine. But she still has diapers for nap time and nighttime. That being said, it's been a minute since she's done a number two in a diaper. It's been quite a while.

02:08:20   You can see the light at the end of the tunnel, but I feel like it's good not to overlap them. It would be good to give yourself a little grace period, and then you go back to cleaning up another dog's poop routinely.

02:08:32   And also, by the way, you might want to get into the part where you could potentially sleep. I don't know how early your kids wake up, but depending on the dog, your dog may actually want to...

02:08:41   You get to the point where finally the kids are sleeping past 6 a.m., and you're like, "Ah, now finally I can sleep past 6 a.m., because what the hell do I got to wake up for?" And then all of a sudden the dog's like, "Uh, hello?"

02:08:51   Not every dog's like that. Not every dog wants to wake up at 6 a.m. Sometimes you could train them to sleep later. But it is nice to have a break between now my kids are finally sleeping, and I don't clean up their poop, and I can live like a human being for a month and a half, and then I go back to having a new baby that is literally never going to grow up and go to college, and I'm always going to be carrying its poop around.

02:09:10   That's a dog for you.

02:09:12   Yeah, you're really, really selling it, John. Really selling it well.

02:09:15   It's part of the experience. I had a longer break from all of that, but we eventually got a dog, and now we're back in...

02:09:21   When we went on vacation, and unfortunately the place didn't print loud dogs, we would have brought our dog if the place allowed dogs.

02:09:27   So we had the dog stay with... We have someone that watches our dog. And she likes it there. It's fun for her to be there.

02:09:35   But when we're on vacation and we don't have a dog, part of the vacation is not having to wake up, but the cracker doesn't take the dog out.

02:09:41   Like, as bad as that sounds, that's part of it. So be prepared to have a glimpse of the good life where you get to sleep past 6 a.m.

02:09:50   and then to give it all up again in exchange for the undying love of a dog.

02:09:54   Let me append my earlier statement. There is a lot of practical advantages to small, non-shedding, late-sleeping dogs.

02:10:01   I don't think late-sleeping is a thing that you can count on, though. It might happen, it might not. It really depends on the dog.

02:10:09   Other than age, I don't think there's any really good indicator of how late the dog is going to sleep.

02:10:16   I mean, obviously you can influence this. You can try to adjust the dog's schedule to not wake up that early,

02:10:22   but my impression is that the smarter the dog is, the more difficult it's going to be for you to get the dog not to do what it decides that it wants to do.

02:10:32   And some dogs just want to wake up early and go outside. At least they're not freaking nocturnal like cats.

02:10:37   Oh yeah, we can all agree that cats are the worst.

02:10:39   Yes.

02:10:40   [BEEPING]