317: We’re Customers Too


00:00:00   So WWDC has been announced. It is time, ladies and gentlemen. As per usual, I've thrown my hat in the ring for the lottery. John, what did you do?

00:00:10   Same as usual. I'm glad it was the dates we all thought it was going to be, and I entered the lottery. How has your luck been going on the lottery system?

00:00:18   Every year except the last one at Moscone, I have been extraordinarily lucky, and I am very, very thankful for it. Here's hoping that the WWDC gods treat me well again this year. We'll see what happens.

00:00:29   I think I'm like, whatever, I don't know how long Laurie's been going, like five for five or something? I've gotten it every single time, and I would love that streak to continue.

00:00:36   I think about this every year we enter the lottery, not that we're a super special people, but I ask myself, are we not press? Which is a reference that neither one of you will get.

00:00:46   It seems like a thing that could possibly happen. Maybe we should just ask. Hey, Phil, can we get some press passes?

00:00:51   Sure. I mean, it's sold out, but getting in is pretty easy. Just use my name and passcode at the door. You'll get right in.

00:00:59   See how easy that was? We should have done this years ago. What's the passcode?

00:01:02   Courage.

00:01:03   So we'd like to introduce Apple's Senior Vice President of Worldwide Marketing, Phil Schiller. Thank you so much for being here, Phil.

00:01:12   Sure. Thanks for letting me barge in on the podcast and talk about WWDC.

00:01:17   Alright, so there's a lot going on around Apple, as usual, and we will get to the rest of it later, I promise.

00:01:25   Phil has been generous enough with his time to come here today to talk about WWDC, so that will be the focus of our conversation.

00:01:33   And I gotta say, WWDC to me, this is like the Super Bowl for Apple fans. To me, it's the biggest event of the year.

00:01:39   Because it isn't usually very hardware focused. It's usually more about the software.

00:01:43   And hardware is exciting, especially exciting in the moment. But software ultimately matters more.

00:01:49   And WWDC is so fun to me because we get to see what the whole next year of software will bring to all of our devices, and for developers, what it lets us bring to our apps.

00:01:59   And for those of us who are fortunate enough to be there in person, or to get press passes, there's nothing like feeling the energy in that room when like 5,000 developers are all cheering for a new Mac Pro or a new awesome API we've been waiting for.

00:02:11   So I'm always very excited about WWDC, and we are very thankful to have a chance to talk to you about it.

00:02:17   So I believe our first question comes from a Mr. John S. Is it Siracusa?

00:02:23   Close enough. Yeah, leave it to me for my first question to look back into the mists of time.

00:02:28   You mentioned that WWDC is the Super Bowl. There's only one Super Bowl a year, but long ago, back in a time that Phil will remember, Apple did a whole bunch of like annual keynote things.

00:02:37   They did Mac World Expo, they did Apple Expo in Paris, and every one of those, it was like they had to announce something cool, which apparently was a thing they could do.

00:02:45   But I don't know how many years ago, many years ago, they narrowed it down to just one. So now you've just got the one WWDC, which is like this self-imposed yearly deadline where all of us out here expect Apple to announce something.

00:02:56   My first question is, what is that like inside Apple? You're doing this to yourself. You decided we're not going to get rid of all of the fixed states.

00:03:02   And of course, we expect an iPhone every year, whatever. But WWDC is your show, and you put pressure on yourself to have something cool to show. What is that like?

00:03:09   Yeah, we do have, you know, still a lot of shows all throughout the year, but WWDC is unbelievable in its consistency in the run.

00:03:18   It's been, I think, 30 years now that we've been doing WWDC once a year, every year, around the same time.

00:03:25   There was a while it was in May, and now it's in June. That week worked out better. But generally, the same time every year.

00:03:32   I was trying to recall, I think I've been to 28 of the 30, and run just about 20 of them through the years in the team.

00:03:44   So, incredibly consistent, a lot of fun to be a part of, and through the years, it's been pretty remarkable. If you just think back to all the great innovations that have been launched there, we could just spend a whole hour just on that.

00:03:59   But everything from QuickTime, that was a great one, to Mac OS X, to the App Store itself was launched there.

00:04:07   And to your point, thousands, literally thousands of engineers worked super hard all year long, and for multiple years at a time, depending on the technology, to bring out what they've been working on and announce it at WWDC.

00:04:22   And a deadline is a great thing. Yes, it imposes rigor, and it makes it something you have to artificially set for yourself, but it also is a great thing.

00:04:37   And I'd say, net, to your question, it's nothing but a pro. It's a positive thing to have a goal and a deadline, and have everyone working all together towards that same thing. So, all good. It's a wonderful thing.

00:04:55   We talked about that on the show back when iOS 12 was out, and Apple was messaging that they were going to not slow down, but make a quality, a very high priority, not to ship anything before it's time, and there were all these rumors about things that didn't get cut.

00:05:10   And it made me think about how deadlines interact with software development, because Apple's reputation has always been, "We will ship no product before it's time. If it's not ready, it's not ready. It doesn't ship."

00:05:21   And usually we don't show a product before it's time either. But you've got this date, so does it just become an exercise of three months out figuring out what makes the date and what doesn't?

00:05:31   Or does it actually... It's so hard on the outside to see how these giant shows can come together, because we don't see all the things that don't ship until years and years later.

00:05:38   So, do you feel like it's the same now as it's always been, say 1990s WWDC, or is the internal attitude towards hitting that date different?

00:05:46   Oh, it's a lot changed. A lot changed. The processes have evolved a lot. It's moved from one operating system platform to multiple platforms, and those platforms intersect with products that they work on that have also different schedules of their own and features that are coming out.

00:06:09   As you know, for example, when you're introducing iOS, you're introducing iOS for iPhone and future iPhones and for iPad, and it's also the foundation that works and builds...

00:06:21   that we build a watchOS with, that we build tvOS with, that runs inside HomePod, and of course, the shared technologies that work in macOS.

00:06:31   So when you want to create something like continuity that then works across those different products, all the interdependencies really matter.

00:06:40   And the things we're announcing at WWDC are a lot of the things we're working on months and months in advance of when you know you can finish them, but you have to have a good line of sight that you believe you will, and high confidence.

00:06:52   You have to be able to release them at least into a beta form for most of the features, not everything.

00:06:57   And then there are features that we can't talk about yet because they're tied to hardware things that may come later on down the road.

00:07:03   So all of those things are going on with just dozens and dozens of teams that have their own interdependencies, and it's a complicated air traffic control system that has a lot of very smart people and technology involved in trying to land it all as best as possible.

00:07:22   Because ultimately we care about quality, and we care about delivering on the things we promise to customers.

00:07:28   And we're not perfect at it, but we care deeply about it.

00:07:32   And so just a lot of great work goes into that, and it is different and more advanced than it was five years ago and ten years ago and twenty years ago.

00:07:44   Yeah, it must have been simpler when all you had to do was come up with a modern OS strategy for the Mac, and that was it.

00:07:49   Yeah, and we thought that was really hard and complicated and amazing, and now you look at what goes on and it's just a different world.

00:07:58   So at W2C, it's attended every year by, I don't know, I don't think you published the number, but let's say a few thousand people.

00:08:05   And you've scaled the reach of this because you have millions of developers.

00:08:09   So you've scaled the reach of this conference with changes like live streaming, faster video releases, which are great.

00:08:15   Occasionally you do traveling tech talks in different cities, but it's still ultimately a huge supply and demand mismatch.

00:08:21   It's still hard to get tickets, and the total cost of attending, especially with hotels being so expensive, makes it simply inaccessible for many people.

00:08:29   So what else could be done, do you think, to make W2C and its content more accessible to more people?

00:08:36   Yeah, we think about that a lot. Well, first, to your question, there's over 5,000 attendees and another over 1,000 Apple engineers and guests.

00:08:46   So more than 6,000 people in that hallway. We hold the keynote and wander around the building all week long.

00:08:53   So it's an amazing audience. And to start with, nothing will ever be better than just being at W2C.

00:09:01   It really is built around this experience that for decades now we've said will always be Apple engineers presenting and interacting with developers.

00:09:12   And there have been plenty of requests through the years to have other kinds of presentations with marketing people and business people, and I hold the line.

00:09:19   Nope. The greatest benefit of this is engineer to engineer. That's the core of it.

00:09:25   And so nothing can replace that. That is a unique experience.

00:09:29   But on top of that, you're right, we know that we can't reach everybody in that way, and there's so much great content.

00:09:34   And we want to get that content out to the widest audience possible, help developers take advantage and adopt the new features and technologies quickly and give us feedback.

00:09:43   And so we're constantly working on this challenge. We certainly livestream more and more of the W2C week, not just the keynote but other events throughout the week to as many people as possible.

00:09:58   Making that livestream available on as many platforms as possible.

00:10:01   We put video on demand up available very quickly, and we work really hard every year to accelerate the time that that gets posted from it used to be months, now down to weeks and then days.

00:10:12   We try to localize that into other languages with subtitles and content as quickly as we can to get that out to people in different countries.

00:10:21   And then we do, on top of that, a number of programs throughout the world. Of course, Tech Talks have been beloved and are a way of sort of bringing the content of W2C on the road.

00:10:33   And we've got our developer academies that we've now built in some countries, like Brazil and Italy. We've got accelerator labs, like in India.

00:10:41   We've got our new entrepreneur camps we've started to bring women and other groups in to start to get more direct access to Apple engineers and developers.

00:10:51   And so we're just continually trying to create new methods to bring this content out to everybody as quickly and broadly as we can.

00:10:59   Like when we've talked about the supply-demand mismatch on the show, sometimes we think, "Why don't they make W2C bigger?"

00:11:04   Because there are bigger conferences like the Salesforce, Dreamforce, whatever the hell it is. It's like 55,000 people.

00:11:10   But listening to you talk about it when you phrase it as engineer to engineer, even if you let 55,000 attendees in, I suppose you can't multiply your employees to match that.

00:11:19   It doesn't seem like a scalable solution. So yeah, the videos being live streaming and being available immediately is awesome.

00:11:25   Exactly. Sure, you can create a bigger event and have people standing in a street milling around, and I've seen those.

00:11:33   For us, it's about the sessions you're in and how that experience is, and it's about the labs that are run constantly all week long.

00:11:41   And can you get down in there and can you get some face time with somebody to help with solving a UI problem or adopting some new technology quickly?

00:11:49   And if you scale it too big too quickly, then those things all break.

00:11:55   So I'm curious, this kind of overlaps a little bit with an adjacent area. A lot of developers will have special relationships and they'll know certain engineers in Apple, or they'll have connections to developer relations people that maybe aren't available to other developers.

00:12:13   And in general, there's a big versus small developer dynamic in lots of areas. How do you balance the needs of large developers versus small developers, or well-known versus not well-known?

00:12:27   And what are some other ways that you could enable small developers to succeed?

00:12:33   I think that's a great question. First of all, I just want to say we think about the small and independent developers all the time. Every day, every week, all year long, it is a passion for many of us in the developer relations team.

00:12:49   The App Store itself, when we had a chance to think about apps on iOS over a decade ago, one of the core principles we started the whole idea with was how do you make it open up the technology and the access to developers of all sizes.

00:13:07   From an individual kid at home trying to make his or her very first app to the biggest company, the old model way back before the App Store was much more of a partnership managed individual big developers get most of the resource kind of model.

00:13:23   That was the old shrink wrap world. With the App Store, by design, we made a core principle that it's much more open to developers of all sizes. And so we try really, really hard to make sure that all resources, access to people, the services, the systems, the programs, the guidelines apply equally to everybody.

00:13:45   And I'll never say we're perfect, nobody is, but we try incredibly hard to make sure that everything about the developer program is one to many, one to all developers, not who you know.

00:13:57   And so while we all value the personal relationships we have and the ability to handhold and help somebody who calls and that, you want to encourage that, you want that to happen, you still have to do everything you can to build the programs and the services and the content to make it available to everyone.

00:14:12   And so we do that all the time. I think the latest example I'll give is the new App Store design. The new App Store design was to make it an even better, more modern App Store based on how we know customers use it.

00:14:23   And to build up editorial resources so that we can feature more and more apps in the developers who make those apps right there on the front on Today, on the App tab, on the Game tab.

00:14:35   And I can tell you the editorial team thinks constantly about making sure that that resource is being used to help small and independent developers throughout.

00:14:45   And a lot of effort goes into that. And probably the, you know, I don't know if you know, the traffic to the App Store is approximately half a billion visitors a week.

00:14:54   I mean, it's unbelievable the size of that traffic. And we try to reach, you know, all these users and put developers in front of them with a sense of how do we support the widest base of developers who are making great apps.

00:15:10   I mean, I'll say it's certainly developers come in saying, "Hey, how do I make sure that I can be in front of that? Are you favoring certain developers?"

00:15:17   The first motivation is what's a great app? And if it's great, we want to show it to everybody. We want to help users.

00:15:24   In fact, I think the biggest program we do every single year consistently is The Best Of.

00:15:29   So at the end of the year, The Best Of gets incredible traffic and attention.

00:15:33   And again, the team tries to make sure that we're giving love and attention to the small and independent developers as part of that program.

00:15:41   That's really important to us. So throughout, I think the team, the system's been built to better provide access to small and independent developers.

00:15:50   And we think about that throughout every part of the process.

00:15:53   Yeah, honestly, the new App Store has been wonderful for me because Overcast has been in a whole bunch of those lists. I'm very thankful for that.

00:15:59   I'm curious, you know, like the App Store redesign, it was a massive change and I think tremendously for the better.

00:16:06   And I like your goals for it and I think you've achieved that, but I only have my own perspective on it.

00:16:13   Do you have some way to have metrics about how many good small apps you're servicing and whether that's better with this design versus the previous design?

00:16:22   I don't even know how you'd measure that.

00:16:24   Yeah, we do. Some of it's qualitative. A lot of it is quantitative, so you have to track on all sides.

00:16:33   We look at everything from traffic to the store, engagement with users, the number of apps we're able to put in front of customers for views throughout the week,

00:16:49   how successful that is with how long people want to look at stories, read stories, again entirely anonymous and aggregated data.

00:16:59   But we try to understand the traffic and usage and then look at how are we helping the broadest base of developers we can with that.

00:17:08   And there are metrics and tools, but in the end, the qualitative side of it matters too.

00:17:13   What kind of engagement we have with different developers, what opportunities there are when they have great new things happening for us to make sure they get the exposure and maximize the opportunity.

00:17:23   And there are a team of people that work specifically on that, on the business of the app store for all developers.

00:17:30   And some of them target specifically the small and medium developers to make sure they're getting the best of the new opportunities as we build them.

00:17:38   You might say that sometimes dealing with small developers is actually easier than dealing with the big developers.

00:17:42   Yes, there are certainly times when it can be easier, but not always. Every situation is unique. But there are just so many great small developers doing beautiful creative work and just wanting to get their shot, wanting to get their chance.

00:17:59   And often wanting to make it their lifetime career now to maybe have started as a part-time thing and would love the chance to just make this their life's work and nothing makes us happier than to be able to do that and help them find that success and make it their business.

00:18:15   That's incredibly important to us.

00:18:18   So I'd like to pull the curtain back on WWDC to the best that you'll allow us.

00:18:23   And one of the things I've been wondering is, you know, the WWDC keynote is interesting to me and to us because it's ostensibly for developers, but it's really so much more than that.

00:18:33   So how do you guys go about balancing the developer-focused content with information that's of interest to all the non-developers that may not be in the room but are watching at home or at work or whatever the case may be?

00:18:45   We think about the audience for the keynote at WWDC as really three unique audiences.

00:18:54   And the opening keynote is different than the rest of the week's events and activities.

00:18:59   That opening audience is developers, it's customers, and of course that's the press.

00:19:06   So three unique audiences. And we love that more than any other event we do, it has that broad and diverse range of interests in what we're doing in the keynote.

00:19:17   And because it's WWDC, we still are talking about the platforms and the technology, so it does allow us to kind of geek out more than most shows.

00:19:25   And it gives us a chance to let some people really, really run with the content.

00:19:31   So for example, Craig does an incredible job and really gets to lead a lot of what we talk about there.

00:19:37   So we can and have to talk to the developers that are in the room, and we talk to the developers who are watching around the world, but we can't get completely deep into every API and every technical change because we do have customers watching and they're going to want to learn some things as well and understand those things in context of what it means to them and how it will benefit the products for them.

00:19:59   And the press are watching and they're trying to figure out what story they want to write and what does this mean and how does it relate to whatever else is going on in the world.

00:20:07   So all three audiences matter in the keynote, and we've got to kind of balance that, and that's actually kind of the fun of putting on the keynote.

00:20:16   But it doesn't stop there, as you know, like right after lunch we've got State of the Union and that's there we can say, "Okay, all right, not everyone's watching now so we can go much more engineer to engineer here and truly get deep into it."

00:20:27   And still we'll get deeper further as the week goes on, but it's sort of the transition from the broader audience to the developer audience and the setting up of the rest of the week.

00:20:40   And so we have that kind of, that outline to it, which is keynote is one level, State of the Union goes another level, and then the rest of the week gets really deep.

00:20:51   Yeah. So you said developers, customer, and press. Well, two out of three ain't bad. I'm almost there, Phil. I'm almost there.

00:20:57   So my next question is how does Apple gauge the reaction to what's announced at WWDC? I mean, quite obviously you can look at the press, but what other sorts of things do you look at to see if people are excited?

00:21:10   And longer term, how do you measure how well new APIs are adopted? Like are you looking through source code or are there any metrics that you're capable and willing to share that tell you, "Hey, of course everyone's excited the day of, but a month on, two months on, a year on, are people really still excited about this stuff?"

00:21:29   We care a lot about that. First of all, getting input on what people think about things, anything, is really easy nowadays. So as you all well know…

00:21:41   We provide a whole lot. You're welcome.

00:21:43   Whether you ask for it or not.

00:21:44   You get a ton of input from so many sources, so that's never a problem. And from what's happening live, as you're introducing things during the keynote, I mean, when we introduced Swift, you could tell that moment what the reaction was and was going to be.

00:22:03   And you could tell live all things that were going on, both in the show and on social media, and then immediately afterwards, immediately afterwards on everything from the emails we're getting, the blogs that people are writing, the podcasts you guys are creating, the forums, the developer forums, and what people are saying on social media, you name it.

00:22:24   I don't know if people realize it, but we all watch and read and follow that stuff all the time. And I'm always laughing when I'm listening to a podcast from you guys or someone else, and people are like, "Well, if Apple's listening, here's three things."

00:22:39   Are you kidding? We're trying to listen to everything. We love the input and the feedback. So we hear a lot, and we monitor and listen to those channels as much as humanly possible.

00:22:51   And specifically the technologies as we roll them out in the platforms, oh yeah, we have so much work that goes into everything from the latest version of Core Media to some new technology like Core ML or ARKit.

00:23:11   And we want to help these things be successful. We want them to enable new kinds of apps and experiences because they're adopted quickly. And so we have targeted programs with our developer team to go out and reach out to a list of developers that we think about ahead of time of who can really use this.

00:23:30   The second we announce it, how do we help them get started quickly? What resources can we apply? What help can we provide? Because it becomes self-fulfilling. You put something out there, you help someone use it, it turns into a great success and more developers want to use it.

00:23:44   And it all advances the platform at an even faster rate. And probably the biggest advantage we have in doing that is the rate of adoption of the OS.

00:23:55   And as you know, the second we have an event like WWC, we put out the beta releases. The beta releases get millions of users. So very quickly, we didn't used to have that program years ago, now we do, the ability to sign up for developer beta and then a public beta.

00:24:13   And that gets very quick utilization of the technology so developers can start using things, they can get users trying things out. And then as it rolls out to the general release, you know, iOS 12 are up to over 80%.

00:24:29   This quickly into the year, that means that the new technology we put out there, the incentive for developers, if they see the benefit to take advantage of it quickly and put it out to the world as new features and new capabilities is massive.

00:24:45   So we do, we look at all the new technologies, we target goals for how we think they might be adopted by developers of certain classes of apps. We try to get those things out into the market as quickly as we can and help them to do that and try to build awareness around it so people create more demand for more developers to do it and it all builds on itself and it moves the platform forward.

00:25:10   We've seen you on stage a lot over the years in various keynotes. Do you still get nervous when you have to present part of a keynote?

00:25:17   No, I wouldn't say nervous, but anxious is the word I'll use and excited. I get very anxious and excited. I literally stopped counting how many keynotes I've worked on when it crossed 100.

00:25:31   So I've been on many of them and still today, just like the first one, I can't sit down during them. I am so internally amped with adrenaline and energy that I paced the entire keynote backstage.

00:25:47   I cannot sit down for a second back and forth and like everyone else at Apple, I care deeply how it goes and we all know how important these keynotes are. We look forward to them.

00:26:02   Mostly it's because behind everything we're talking about, there's hundreds or thousands of engineers who have worked on something for a good part of their life and they've poured their heart and soul into something and then we get to stand on stage and try to explain it and tell people why it matters and why it's so great.

00:26:21   That's an incredible honor and it's an important responsibility. We care, like how is this going to go? Will people like what we have to show? Will they understand what we're saying? Have we done justice to the work that's gone into the product?

00:26:36   The reason I do what I do, like everyone else that I work with, is we're customers too. We love this stuff. We love the products. We love the work that goes into it and we're just proud to be the customer on the inside and bring it out the way all of us sitting in the audience watching want it to be brought out.

00:26:55   We want to live up to that expectation. When the keynote's going on and things are being announced or a video is being played, I'm on my edge of my seat, metaphorically I'm standing, waiting to see what the reaction is going to be.

00:27:09   Are people excited? Are they cheering? Are they happy? Are they odd? Are they silent because they get to absorb all this? How's it going to go? Again, no we're not perfect, but we look at each situation as how can we be better next time? What can we do different?

00:27:26   What do people want to hear more about? That's the way I certainly feel about it and everyone I work with feels about it. The feelings, the emotion, and the energy hasn't changed one bit in 30 years and it's still just as important and exciting.

00:27:43   So I was going to say, you haven't been this wise and experienced your entire career. What is the most anxious, let's say, that you've ever been during a presentation? If you can think back to the archives.

00:27:56   I don't know what that means, I haven't been so wise my whole career. I don't know what any of that means.

00:28:02   You came in on day one and you're like, "Put me in front of millions of people. I can do it. I'll jump off the stage."

00:28:07   Yeah, that's exactly what I was thinking about. 1999, Macworld, New York. Does that ring any bells?

00:28:12   Oh boy, yeah. I wish we had enough time. I tell you there is a whole long fun story behind that.

00:28:18   So the short version of that is, as you know, we were introducing the iBook and the world was wondering about this iBook and what was it going to be.

00:28:30   One of its marquee features was the very first implementation of Wi-Fi. Boy, was that an exciting time. Wi-Fi did not exist in computing and we were bringing the first wireless communication into it.

00:28:44   Something we all had dreamt, a real George Jetson thing, to bring that to the world.

00:28:49   Steve had been charging us with, "Okay, we've got to figure out how we're going to demonstrate that wireless networking is really going to work."

00:28:56   And we came up with a couple things. One of them he did on stage, as you remember, was the hula hoop. He passed it over to the iBook and said, "See, it's really wirelessly communicating."

00:29:05   And that was at one end of the spectrum of degree of difficulty as a demo.

00:29:10   The other end was we came up with this idea of using an accelerometer and we were going to throw a doll, a big giant, it was a flick from Bugs Life doll, with some bungee cord on it off of the ceiling and have it bounce.

00:29:26   And then wirelessly you'd see it communicated from that iBook to a PowerBook, the G-forces as it bounced in the accelerometer. I thought, "That was so cool!"

00:29:36   And Steve, in his incredible salesmanship, said, "This is such a good demo, but it needs to be a person, not a doll."

00:29:44   And he looked at me and said, "Phil, you're going to do that. You're going to jump with this."

00:29:48   But if you do it, this will be the greatest demo of all time. You will never have to do another demo again in your life. You will go down in the demo hall of fame and this is it.

00:29:59   And in my youthfulness, I went, "Sure, okay, I'll do it." I said, "But..." and I kid you not, I said, "But here's one deal. I'm not going to sign any waiver or any license.

00:30:12   If I fall splat on the ground and die, I want my family to be able to sue Apple for everything they're worth, because why not?"

00:30:19   And he said, "Okay, that's a deal." So then, as we were working on it, we did it at Jacob Javits in New York. And Jacob Javits, they had union rules we weren't aware of and different guidelines, and I couldn't bungee cord off the roof.

00:30:32   That wasn't going to work, and they wanted this big truss all over me and everything. And so we just said, "Forget it. We'll just jump off a platform. I'll just set up a platform and jump and fall, and that'll work too.

00:30:44   We'll create the G-force when I hit the ground. We'll have a pillow on the ground, a little cushion just like in a movie, and land on it, and that'll do it."

00:30:52   And so that became how we did the jump. And one really funny thing. So that morning, we had set up a backstage practice area that was, because it was about three stories tall.

00:31:05   And on the video now, gosh, I look back and it's like, "Well, that wasn't that high." But trust me, when you're standing on the roof of Jacob Javits looking down, it's a lot higher from one side of the jump than the other.

00:31:16   And so I'm rehearsing backstage, and we're getting ready to go. And somebody from the Jacob Javits Center comes over and says, "Hey, we see that you haven't signed a waiver for the Jacob Javits Center, and we don't want anything to happen if something bad happens to you.

00:31:31   So you need to sign a release where we won't let you jump and start the show." And I said, "No, you don't understand the deal." I said, "I'm not signing anything.

00:31:40   If I hit the ground, my family can sue all of you. I don't care." And they said, "Well, you can't start the show." And so the show wasn't starting.

00:31:49   And the whole audience is clapping, "Steve, Steve." They thought there was some reason they're delaying the show, and it was just because I wouldn't sign the release form, and they wouldn't let us start the show.

00:31:59   So our chief legal counsel took a business card and wrote on her business card that Apple resolves Jacob Javits Center for any legal liability, and that was the contract was on a business card.

00:32:10   And so they let us start the show and did the jump, and that was how that demo all happened. So yeah, it was definitely one.

00:32:20   But the only thing that wasn't true was the very next show Steve started talking about demos, and I said, "No, no, no, no, no. You promised. This is it. Demo Hall of Fame. Done. No more." And he's like, "No, not going to do more." So it never ended, still to this day.

00:32:34   You should bring us up with Federighi all the time when he complains about his demos. You're not jumping off anything. You've got an easy kid.

00:32:39   Demos are the greatest thing. I love demos. Demos, because it's real. You're using the product. You're trying to explain something and show through how it works rather than just slides and words.

00:32:52   I think demos are underrated in the power and importance in technology. I love demos.

00:33:00   Well, because I think it really shows something because the stakes are higher, because it could break. It could go wrong. It's hard to say you have something that's a product or that works and then do a demo of it unless it really does work, unless it's pretty close to done.

00:33:12   Totally agree. Totally agree. It shows the state of things, and it's a high-wire act. If things go wrong, they go wrong in front of the whole world. So it's even one more forcing function to get things done, and that's a great thing.

00:33:30   So, WVDC is surrounded recently in probably the last five, six years by a lot of other events now. This includes things like AltConf, Layers, other alternative conferences, as well as live podcasts like what we do, like what John Gruber does and what Relay does.

00:33:45   What role do you think, if any, Apple should take in promoting or helping or otherwise participating in the adjacent community events around WVDC?

00:33:55   Yeah, this is really important. A number of years back, we realized that WVDC is not just an event. It's a week with a lot of things happening for the developers who attend.

00:34:07   And if we think about it from their perspective, shouldn't everything be part of a great experience? And that experience is not only what happens in the hall with the activities Apple puts on, but everything else around it.

00:34:19   And that was a pretty big realization that changed a little bit about how we run WVDC. So we decided that the right thing we should do is embrace some of these other activities and help their events be great too.

00:34:35   And so now there's just some things that have been already going on around WVDC and we're happy to partner and help them. So Layers, CocoaConf, AltConf and other activities are part of the week.

00:34:49   And so to the extent that we can help make those things better, we do. We help if we can with them with getting the best space possible in the area, scheduling things around what we're doing so that we don't have things happening at the same time that would be counterproductive for the engineers who want to go to it, and on and on.

00:35:10   So sending people if they want us to help a little bit in participation and whatever. So yeah, we love this. Once we realized it, we're like, "Oh, why didn't we think of this before?"

00:35:22   This is a whole week of activities. Like, why not WWDC take over San Jose and everywhere you go you feel like there's just great stuff happening. Doesn't that make it even better? And it does.

00:35:34   So we have, we saved our most important two questions for last. Try explaining this. Go ahead.

00:35:41   So we've discussed in the past in this show our wonderful trials and tribulations with the WWDC box lunches. So what do you like to see in a box lunch?

00:35:53   Let's see, a box lunch.

00:35:58   I mean, have you eaten the box lunches? Because some of them are pretty good.

00:36:01   I have. I have. I have. But I'll get philosophical here. Let's see. Think about it like a scientist. So first of all, it's waxy cardboard.

00:36:13   So you can't have, in an ideal box lunch, you can't have anything that doesn't work in cardboard. So nothing probably too greasy. It has to handle changing temperature, right? Because it sits all day.

00:36:24   You don't know if you can't really keep 5,000 box lunches warm. So probably something you don't probably want fish or french fries because they stink when they get cold and, and, or cooked vegetables probably get pretty tough on you.

00:36:39   It's a square container so you want something that can utilize the space because I want to maximize the opportunity to have a good meal out of this thing.

00:36:47   So when I think about that, I guess there's only one best food. Mac and cheese.

00:36:54   Huh. What? At room temperature?

00:36:57   Oh, are you kidding? Cold mac and cheese can be great. Well, room temp, not freezing cold. Oh, come on. Little chilled mac and cheese, nothing wrong. There are foods, as you know, that get worse when they get cold. French fries, as I said.

00:37:09   And there's foods that get sometimes better. Pizza, right?

00:37:12   It's kimchi all the time.

00:37:13   Chinese food. Mac and cheese can be great.

00:37:16   So there's my vote.

00:37:18   See, I'm with you on pizza, but man, that's, that's a tough one. So first of all, I think you should put this to the test. I think you should somehow work with the venue and the staff and everything and see if you can get that as added as an option this year.

00:37:29   And then we can like see like, you know, which, which box piles get depleted first, like let the people vote.

00:37:34   It's metrics. We'll get metrics on this.

00:37:36   There you go. Right.

00:37:37   Well, but there's a variable that a lot of people are healthier eaters than I, so I'm not sure if that's the only judge of what's best.

00:37:43   Honestly, I would try it. I mean, I don't think I've ever had room temperature mac and cheese.

00:37:47   Jon, is this, is this like, does this violate your religion?

00:37:50   I would skip it. I would let you try it.

00:37:53   Just live a little, Jon. You'll be all right.

00:37:55   Well, what are some of your recommendations now since we're talking about ideas for future box lunches at WWDC? What would you guys recommend with your supreme wisdom?

00:38:06   Jon?

00:38:07   I always, I always like sandwiches, but the problem with sandwiches is moisture. Like, so if the bread gets soggy, it's the, it's the end.

00:38:13   So I don't know how to solve that. But sometimes there have been sandwiches where the bread is not, not damp.

00:38:18   And that works great because it's something you can pick up in your hand. Like you don't have to try to eat it with a fork, like on your lap or whatever.

00:38:24   Sandwiches are an important invention for a reason. So I feel like a well-executed sandwich is ideal.

00:38:29   I'm not sure about the container shape. And a dessert, cookies. Cookies. All I have to say about the desserts is don't know, like lemon squares, no pieces of cake, no weird things we can identify.

00:38:37   I like the lemon squares.

00:38:38   Again, you can pick it up.

00:38:40   And I think like, like a wrap, in so many ways, a wrap is a really mediocre food. It's like, a wrap is like the corporate boardroom, like designed by committee of sandwiches.

00:38:50   But it actually, I think, works really well here because like, you know, the wrap itself has a lot of fat, so moisture doesn't get through it very easily. And as long as you omit, obviously, bad ingredients, like tomatoes aren't so good because they have too much moisture.

00:39:03   So in this scenario, tomatoes and probably lettuce are a tough sell. But if you have a wrap with, I'm going to say, chicken salad, my favorite food.

00:39:11   Oh, you're brave. You want that chicken salad sitting in the sun outside?

00:39:15   Well, it's, it's, it's in a wrap. I know, it's probably not sealed.

00:39:18   The wrap is magic, I see.

00:39:19   You got to think about mayo and I'm not sure about that. But, but, but you are right. I mean, a wrap is like an entire meal in its own container, right? So, so I think there's something to the wrap idea.

00:39:31   There is actually special speaker food, is there not? I know we're not supposed to know about the existence of this, but it just stands to reason.

00:39:37   Oh, I don't know about special. There's food.

00:39:42   Special in terms of geography, perhaps, but not cuisine.

00:39:45   Exactly. You don't have, at least you don't have to worry about fighting, you know, thousands of people to get to it. But, but other than that, no.

00:39:53   Now, a lot of times, personally, I don't even get lunch. And I don't say that for sympathy. It's just you get done with the keynote, we start meeting with press and analysts and we dive right into it.

00:40:04   I'm usually living for the next six hours on about two pots of coffee and a couple of power bars and, and that's my afternoon.

00:40:14   It seems like it must be a long day, but it's a long day for us. And I can't imagine what it's like for you, much less the months leading up to it.

00:40:20   It's the best day. Are you kidding me? I love it because here you've been like keeping things bottled up in secret for months and months and months.

00:40:28   And now there it is. You can talk about it. And so like try shutting me up. I'm going for six, seven hours meeting with everybody as fast, as much as we can.

00:40:37   And we're talking, talking, talking and, and, and always asking like, so what did you think? What's your reaction? You're seeing this for the first time.

00:40:44   We've been living with these ideas for a long time and, and it's just fascinating. So no, I think it's still full of energy all through the whole afternoon.

00:40:52   You sleep well that night?

00:40:54   Depending on the reactions. Yeah.

00:40:57   That's fair.

00:40:58   No, you know, I, I often don't. Usually that night, I'm up all night reading every blog and every news report and every.

00:41:05   This is not healthy, Phil.

00:41:06   Yeah, just can't. Yeah. I'm just curious.

00:41:10   Just listen to our podcast and you can go right to bed. It's fine. It'll put you right to bed.

00:41:13   Well, it's, I'm always amazed at podcasts that are longer than the keynotes.

00:41:19   Well, it takes longer to talk about it. You just get to say a thing, but then we have to talk about the thing. So the about the thing is always going to be longer than the thing.

00:41:25   And we talk about keynote plus state of the union. So we really, we really have like a four hour budget there.

00:41:31   True.

00:41:32   Something like that. All right. So our final question. So I can tell by virtue of your Twitter, like header picture, whatever Twitter calls it, if nothing else, your biography there that you are at least passively interested in cars.

00:41:44   And this very show that you're on kind of spurned itself from a short lived car related show that the three of us did.

00:41:51   And so I thought I'd get your take on this. So imagine, Phil, that you could have a car, any make, any model, any year, doesn't matter.

00:41:58   It's in mint condition and by virtue of magic, it is guaranteed to stay in good working order for the entirety of your life.

00:42:05   What would you choose?

00:42:07   That is a really hard question. Really hard. Because I mean, I love cars, love them.

00:42:15   And it's, I'm not sure I could be happy with one car for the rest of my life.

00:42:21   But all right, I'll give you a couple. I'm going to maybe this violates the request, but I'm going to, I'm going to list a couple cars, any one of which I would be happy with the two to answer this question with.

00:42:36   But then I'll pick one at the end of it. But, but it sounds good. But, but I, because I just, they're also great.

00:42:43   Absolutely. I'd have to have the Aston Martin DB4 GT Zagato. I mean, that is stunning. And I love that car.

00:42:52   And I'd be happy with that one. Or I'd take a Lamborghini Miura, like the first true supercar. Oh God, that would be incredible.

00:43:00   McLaren F1, that dream car, dream car. Jaguar XK SS, that's amazing. Bugatti 57 SC Atlantic, there's something.

00:43:15   And so any one of those, and I could list 25 more that just would also be great answers, but I'm going to settle on because I'm forced to answer. So I will answer Porsche 550 Spyder. That would be the one. Pure, raw, lightweight.

00:43:33   And if you've ever heard one, the engine idle sounds like Alex Van Halen playing drums on Hot for Teacher. Just what it sounds like. It is so cool.

00:43:47   I was going to say, a lot of these cars are like before your time, but that reference is of your time for sure.

00:43:51   I'm just more impressed. Like I think you have more car knowledge than the three of us. And we did a car podcast.

00:43:57   Well if you ever bring that podcast back, let me know. I'd love to be on it and talk cars for a while.

00:44:05   Alright, that can happen.

00:44:07   We talk a lot about Honda Accords, how do you feel about those?

00:44:09   Oh God, no.

00:44:11   Well, you know, there's a model car for everyone I guess.

00:44:16   That's the one for Jon.

00:44:18   Well what are some of your answers on that question?

00:44:23   You know, for me, so when I was growing up, my dad had a 1977 Corvette, which is by most metrics a terrible car. A truly and utterly terrible car.

00:44:32   But I am the eldest of three boys, and so that was as close as I had to an older brother or sister or what have you.

00:44:39   And when I turned 16, my dad effectively bartered that for a new roof on the house we were living in.

00:44:47   And I love my parents to death, they're both still around, I get along great with them, but on the very short list of things I will never forgive my parents for is getting rid of that Corvette.

00:44:57   And because of that, I would love to have not any '77 Corvette, but that '77 Corvette. If I could just will it into existence, well I'm sure it's still around somewhere, but if I could will it into existence today, I would love to have that and have my older brother back.

00:45:14   What color was it?

00:45:16   Please say it white.

00:45:17   No, it started life as beige, and then my dad totaled it. He actually rebuilt the car from the frame up, which when you live in New York, that was very unusual.

00:45:25   And so once he redid it all, it was jet black, and I actually quite liked that car.

00:45:30   And again, it was the bad era of Corvettes by almost any reasonable metric, but it has a special place in my heart.

00:45:37   Even more, I mean, he actually now has a Z06, which is a very different animal, a year old Z06, and that's a very unique and different animal, but I'd still take that '77.

00:45:47   Beige, one of the worst car colors, and jet black, one of the best.

00:45:51   Yeah, oh, I couldn't agree more. Absolutely. It was truly terrible.

00:45:55   How do you feel about white?

00:45:57   You know, it depends. First of all, there are like a thousand different whites, so you can't just say white.

00:46:06   Like, I mean, a classic Porsche 911 in a Carrera white, incredible.

00:46:12   Aston Martin has a range of whites that are just sublime, so it depends.

00:46:18   But on other cars, it's just nothing but looking like somebody just didn't have time to pick a paint color.

00:46:23   So it depends.

00:46:25   I think it's the most popular paint color of cars in the US.

00:46:27   Like, our theory from neutral, or my theory from neutral, was that if a car has a nice shape, you can put it in white.

00:46:33   But it's like when you wear black clothing to conceal your figure, right?

00:46:36   If a car has some awkward curves, and you put it in white, the awkward curves just jump out.

00:46:40   So you have to have a beautifully shaped car. Then you can get away with white. If not, go with a darker color.

00:46:45   Well, what's interesting about white cars is that white cars look great in the flesh, but they photograph horribly.

00:46:54   So you have this nice white car, and then it blows out in the photo, right?

00:46:58   Because it has a white balance. And you show friends pictures of your car, and they're like, "Oh, wow, look at that thing.

00:47:04   It's got no lines and no curves or nothing."

00:47:06   Well, nah, it's just the picture.

00:47:08   And so sometimes you pick a color for how it looks in real life, and sometimes you want to share it and show your friends, and you want it to look good.

00:47:16   Well, you have Auto HDR on the iPhone camera app that will take care of that for you.

00:47:20   Yeah, they need some kind of system to map those highlights to a wider dynamic range, and that way it will look better.

00:47:25   All right. Well, I know you were very generous to give us this much time, so I really want to thank you.

00:47:33   First, as a developer, even though we're not talking about the App Store much today, I want to thank you for the significant App Store improvements over the last couple years since you've taken it over.

00:47:45   Because I know nothing's ever perfect, and lots of people still have access to Grind, including us probably.

00:47:51   But I think every developer I know would agree that the App Store is in a much better place now, and it's improving at a very healthy rate.

00:48:00   And so since we never really, as a community, have a way to directly tell you this otherwise, I wanted to, I don't know, speak for all developers to say thank you very much for the App Store improvements.

00:48:10   We see them, we recognize them, and we appreciate them.

00:48:13   Well, thank you. That's super nice of you.

00:48:16   And I'll accept that on behalf of the whole team that worked so hard on it.

00:48:19   It's not me. There's a team that just cares deeply about making things better.

00:48:25   And I just hope to be sort of like a magnifying lens and try to help point them on the things that I hear that people most want that we can do in a year, and try to help focus them on the changes that people will feel, and sort of increase momentum of improvement.

00:48:43   And the team's doing all the hard work. So on behalf of them, thank you for saying that.

00:48:48   And finally, I wanted to thank you for just the work you've done and continue to do more broadly at Apple.

00:48:57   You know, we as both the audience in general as well as the three of us, we give you a lot of s*** when you get things wrong, or when we think you've gotten something wrong.

00:49:07   But we care so much because of how often you get things right.

00:49:12   That's why we're all here. That's why this show exists. That's why we care so much about these products and the company.

00:49:19   We give you s*** because we care and because you get so many things right.

00:49:23   And I know that your role at the company involves far more than developer relations.

00:49:29   And that you personally have played a key role in making so many world-class products, including many of our favorite things.

00:49:36   And without the work that you do and the things you've helped make, all of our lives would be very different and probably not for the better.

00:49:43   So for all of that, we sincerely thank you and please keep up the good work.

00:49:48   Well, thanks. That's really nice. I just hope everyone knows that we strive to do everything to be the best.

00:49:58   Not the most, not the cheapest, not the fastest. Those all matter, but the best.

00:50:03   And that's a never-ending task because it's always something you can do better.

00:50:11   And I hope people realize that while we're not perfect, the motivations are great.

00:50:18   Everyone I've ever worked with at Apple cares deeply.

00:50:21   We all have different opinions about what is best and what we can do next and what's the smart choices.

00:50:27   But it's not for lack of wanting to do better.

00:50:31   And I'm just like all of you. I mean, I love technology. I love this company and the people who work at it.

00:50:38   And want to live up to the huge expectations everybody has and what Apple can do and what Apple can mean in the world.

00:50:46   And that's what gets you up in the morning and has you go to work day after day, year after year, decade after decade.

00:50:51   Because so many people care and feel like you guys do and it's pretty remarkable to be able to represent that inside the company.

00:51:01   And be just another fan, another customer who wants everything to be great for as long as the eye can see.

00:51:10   And that's what you get to go in and keep that spirit alive. And that's a fun and important thing.

00:51:18   And so I just feel like all of you do. And like all of you, we all see the things that drive us crazy and wish we're better.

00:51:27   And see all the things that we love and are better. And we just keep plugging away to live up to the high expectations.

00:51:35   And so it's critical that you and everyone else keeps expectations high and keeps respectfully saying,

00:51:43   "Hey, I get it. You guys are trying your best. But boy, here's 10 more things we would love."

00:51:47   That's our next hierarchy of what we want. And everyone will do the best we can.

00:51:53   But thank you. We're all part of the same system of making Apple and Apple products meaningful to us.

00:52:00   So the feeling's mutual.

00:52:02   Well, we are happy to oblige on our duty on that.

00:52:05   And so given the reasons that we usually see you on stage, I really hope we see you soon.

00:52:11   Thank you. I'll see you at the next show.

00:52:15   We are sponsored this week by Mac Weldon. Better than whatever you're wearing right now.

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00:53:57   Thank you so much to Mac Weldon for making almost everything I wear these days and for sponsoring our show.

00:54:03   Alright, so speaking of WWDC, we have an announcement to share with everyone.

00:54:11   ATP will be doing a live show during WWDC, as is our tradition now.

00:54:17   We will be doing it on Monday evening, as is our tradition now.

00:54:21   We don't have any specifics about where or when other than to say Monday evening.

00:54:27   But it will be somewhere in the San Jose area Monday evening and we will get details out

00:54:31   as soon as we can get them hammered down and nailed down and so on.

00:54:35   But I just wanted to put it in your calendars if you're like me in a super type A planner.

00:54:39   Monday evening of WWDC, somewhere, somehow, the three of us will be there doing a live show if all goes according to plan.

00:54:46   So keep your calendars open if you please.

00:54:49   And yes, if we can, we will live stream that. And by we I mean Marco.

00:54:53   We'll live stream that if possible, but no guarantees are made nor implied.

00:54:57   We are just going to do the best we can.

00:54:59   Jeez, how the heck do we follow that up, man?

00:55:02   I don't know, I guess we're done, right?

00:55:04   Talk about all the stuff that we didn't talk about with Phil. That's what we do.

00:55:07   So let's talk Spotify.

00:55:09   Oh gosh, okay, let me loosen the collar a little bit here.

00:55:12   Alright, so this has been Making the Rounds and if for some reason you are not familiar with what's going on,

00:55:17   a couple of days ago as we record this, Spotify came up with a website called timetoplayfair.com.

00:55:24   And at the top of that website, there's a video which is on YouTube.

00:55:27   We will link both of these in the show notes.

00:55:29   And Spotify is making a case that Apple is not being fair with the way they run the App Store.

00:55:37   And this basically comes down to three key points that Spotify has enumerated themselves.

00:55:44   And so I'd like to very quickly just talk about what the three key points are,

00:55:48   and then we can go through the kind of ins and outs of each of these.

00:55:52   So the three points they make are, number one, Apple denies customers true choice.

00:55:57   And their claim, again, we'll get to it in a minute, Spotify can't promote deals that they may have,

00:56:03   like sales and things, and Spotify claims that Apple has deliberately rejected their app at "business critical moments."

00:56:12   Their second issue, Spotify's second issue, is the 30% tax, as they call it.

00:56:17   So this is the 30% that Apple, I shouldn't say skims, but takes off the top when you're in the App Store for anything that's digital.

00:56:25   So if you have a paid app, they take 30%. For the first year of subscriptions, they take 30%.

00:56:31   And for digital goods, they take 30%. But they don't take that 30% for things like Uber or Lyft or DoorDash or stuff like that.

00:56:41   And then their third point, Spotify's third point, and this is where it gets real kind of interesting and ugly,

00:56:46   is that Apple's actions violate the law. And I'd like to read a very small excerpt that Spotify has written.

00:56:52   "Apple has intentionally made it worse and worse for Spotify and other app developers.

00:56:57   And it's unnecessary. There's enough market potential for newer companies to thrive in this space.

00:57:02   It's not Apple's role to decide who the winners and losers will be. They must stop interfering and let competition work."

00:57:08   So again, real quick, Apple denies customers true choice, the 30% "tax," and Apple's actions violate the law.

00:57:15   And so the summation of all this, other than a PR blitz, is that Spotify, which is based out of, oh gosh, I'm going to get this wrong, Sweden?

00:57:23   I should have looked this up in advance. Somewhere Nordic, I hope. Somewhere in Europe.

00:57:28   Oh, we're going to hear about it.

00:57:29   Oh, God, I'm so sorry.

00:57:30   You're making it worse with the Europe stuff. They're all very cold and very angry.

00:57:33   Yes. But anyway, they're based somewhere wherein the EU cares.

00:57:37   And so they have filed a formal complaint with the EU or European Commission, perhaps, saying, "Hey, this is messed up. You should look into this."

00:57:44   So that's the kind of state of the world. Are there any other things that you guys would like to add before we go through this point by point?

00:57:52   Well, I think we can save ourselves some time, if you two agree. The legality thing? None of us know enough about EU law to know about legality.

00:57:59   And honestly, I mean, I know it has big repercussions for Apple, but I'm the least interested in whether they're in violation of some law,

00:58:06   because the law has very little to do with what is actually right and best for consumers or companies or whatever.

00:58:13   So I'm just happy to dispense with the law thing and say, "Good luck with your case," yada, yada, yada.

00:58:18   But I don't think there's anything you can dig out there to figure out. We're not going to figure out whether they're in violation of law. A bunch of lawyers will.

00:58:25   We can even figure out what country they're in.

00:58:27   Yeah, exactly. We don't even know U.S. laws on this stuff.

00:58:30   I mean, I think we'll talk about it for the other points, because at least I have some visceral experience with antitrust in the U.S. with the Microsoft stuff.

00:58:37   But I have no idea how their court case is going to go to the EU. So it's probably a problem for Apple, but it's not a thing, I think, that's for real for us to discuss.

00:58:44   Yeah, and I'd also like to point out that there's been a lot of kind of complaining and pointing out that,

00:58:52   "Hey, Spotify isn't this innocent angel," because Spotify doesn't pay artists as much as they probably should,

00:58:59   and, depending on who you ask, has been taking legal recourse in order to try to pay artists less than maybe they are being told to pay.

00:59:08   I don't think—I'm not interested in having that debate. I think that that's probably true, that they probably don't pay artists enough.

00:59:15   But it is possible to think that Spotify doesn't pay artists enough, while also thinking that it pays Apple too much.

00:59:22   Like, these, to me, are very separate issues. I am not interested in debating whether or not Spotify is a good company,

00:59:28   whether or not they're doing what's doing right by artists. All I'm interested in is how is their relationship with Apple, and what should it look like.

00:59:37   So I understand that a lot of people, particularly musicians, are very upset about the way they treat musicians,

00:59:42   and I'm not trying to take away from that. I just don't think that's germane to this conversation.

00:59:45   Well, that's part of this whole sort of—you know, so there's the legal part of it, which probably constrains what they can do in public,

00:59:50   but Apple has a press release response to it, and we'll get to the responses in a little bit.

00:59:53   This is all just like talking in the press, and looking at the two press releases, they're totally talking past each other.

00:59:58   Which is fine, because your goal is not to actually rebut their arguments or something.

01:00:02   Your goal is to win in the form of public opinion, and if you want to win public opinion, you don't have to actually address people's points.

01:00:07   You just say, "Look, over there, they're talking past each other."

01:00:09   It's very unfruitful as someone who's watching the two sides, because they don't address each other's points.

01:00:19   Probably for good reason, because you shouldn't address them in public if there's some pending lawsuit about it.

01:00:24   So what I'm most interested in talking about is—so Spotify is just one of many companies that may or may not have various complaints about the App Store,

01:00:31   and just sort of the state of the App Store and the people who put their stuff in it, and the balance of power.

01:00:36   We talked about this before. Apple has a certain amount of power as the platform owner,

01:00:40   and big companies like Spotify have a certain amount of power as well, and what does that balance of power look like,

01:00:45   and setting aside what they say in public and what the court cases do, how are the superpowers going to come to an agreement?

01:00:53   Has the balance of power shifted, or could it shift? That's the most interesting angle for me.

01:00:57   So I just as soon as also skip what Apple's responses are, because I feel like they don't address anything that Spotify said,

01:01:02   and I feel like all the stuff Spotify said is irrelevant, and I find it very frustrating.

01:01:07   Marco, any other thoughts?

01:01:09   First of all, I should disclaim that I have conflicts of interest on both sides of this here.

01:01:16   I just made a lot of money from Spotify buying Gimlet, and also I make my entire living on the App Store,

01:01:22   and we just five seconds ago had on the show my favorite Apple executive.

01:01:27   So it's hard to be unbiased here, but I'll do my best.

01:01:34   I think both Apple and Spotify, as Jon said, they're trying to bring up in these posts points that I think are separate arguments,

01:01:44   and I am willing to totally ignore those. To me, this boils down to exactly one argument,

01:01:50   that Spotify is being required to use in-app purchase for subscriptions that are purchased in the app.

01:01:57   Everything else I think is secondary.

01:01:59   Spotify made a bunch of weird arguments about they weren't allowed on the HomePod.

01:02:04   Well, the HomePod barely works. It's brand new.

01:02:07   You should be complaining about Overcast not being allowed on the watch for so long.

01:02:10   I can't believe they did that to Overcast.

01:02:12   Right, exactly. I know better than most people the limitations of watchOS APIs for audio apps over time,

01:02:19   and I can tell you 100% it was not targeted at Spotify.

01:02:22   Apple wanted very badly for people like us to make watch apps, and the APIs just weren't there for a few years.

01:02:28   Now they are.

01:02:29   It wasn't targeted at Spotify.

01:02:31   It was just like the APIs were young, and the HomePod is the same thing.

01:02:36   The HomePod is a young product. The APIs are still young, and Siri and SiriKit and everything,

01:02:41   to have Siri access to music library stuff requires a way more sophisticated type of SiriKit access

01:02:49   than any of the APIs exposed today.

01:02:52   So while enabling Spotify probably makes that sort of API development low of a priority for Apple,

01:03:01   the fact is that API doesn't exist for anybody, and it would be very complex to build.

01:03:06   You can't just take what SiriKit is today and add two lines to an entitlements file and say,

01:03:11   "Okay, now we allow audio," and just have it all work.

01:03:14   There's way more to it because you have to have some kind of catalog indexing.

01:03:18   There's all sorts of stuff you'd have to have to make that work that is way beyond what current SiriKit offers for apps.

01:03:25   So I think it's probably not Apple saying, "Ooh, we're going to be mean to Spotify and target them specifically."

01:03:32   It's more like this is a very big feature that we haven't gotten to yet.

01:03:37   And maybe the reason we haven't gotten to yet is because we don't need it, maybe,

01:03:40   but the fact is the Siri integration, the HomeKit integration, and until this year,

01:03:46   the watch capabilities I think are all totally separate things that had little to nothing to do with Spotify.

01:03:52   I think there's actually two things here. You said just the one about the in-app purchases and the percentage,

01:03:58   but the biggest issue is Apple is they run the platform and they also have apps on it.

01:04:06   So that's the fundamental that's the original sin. They run the App Store.

01:04:10   See, I don't think that's it. It's not about the Microsoft way.

01:04:14   You mentioned Microsoft, and I'm sure you'll mention them again.

01:04:16   In the Microsoft way, they got in trouble for bundling Internet Explorer with Windows,

01:04:20   and that was a big deal back then. I think that's less of a big deal these days.

01:04:23   That seems to go on all the time in tech, and we kind of accept it as just a thing people can do now.

01:04:28   So I don't think that's really the problem. To me, I think this whole thing boils down to the strict requirement

01:04:36   and the rules around that you have to use in-app purchase and therefore take Apple's 30%

01:04:42   for anything purchased within the app itself. And everything else, I think, is not the argument here.

01:04:49   It all comes down to that.

01:04:51   I think that's a sub-item of a larger item. The fact that they run the store and they also have apps in it

01:04:55   has tons of consequences. It's not saying that it's a bad thing, and Spotify complains about it,

01:05:01   or Elizabeth Warren complains about it as if it's ipso facto a bad thing. It's not necessarily a bad thing,

01:05:05   but it is a situation that has consequences.

01:05:08   Obviously, Apple is not paying itself 30%. It doesn't make any sense.

01:05:12   And you could say right away, if Apple decides to make a music service and we make a music service,

01:05:18   it's unfair that they don't have to pay somebody else 30%. But why would they? They run the platform.

01:05:23   This is inherently "unfair." There's no getting around that.

01:05:27   I always wonder what people say to the solutions would be, like, "Split up the company from the app store

01:05:32   and then the Apple thing," or "Apple should pay somebody else 30%." It's like, no.

01:05:35   When you make the store, it is an inherent tension there, but what's the alternative?

01:05:39   That you don't charge anyone any percentage or that you charge yourself or whatever?

01:05:44   That's baked in, and that has to do with all the APIs and everything like that.

01:05:48   It's like, well, they're not done yet, but internally you might be able to use them to test them out.

01:05:51   Oh, hey, that's unfair. But don't you want Apple to--

01:05:54   They can't make the API external until they try it themselves.

01:05:57   They do that all the time on Apple platforms, where they want to make an API,

01:06:01   they use it themselves for a few years and deal with all the bugs and change the APIs in breaking ways,

01:06:05   and they break their own apps and they fix them, and then they publish them as public APIs.

01:06:08   That's just the way development works.

01:06:10   But this inherent setup where they are on the store and they run the store

01:06:15   just seems fundamentally unfair to people, and I think you just have to get okay with that.

01:06:19   Now, bringing in the Microsoft thing, Microsoft's deal--

01:06:22   This is my perspective. I don't know what the legal perspective is, but

01:06:25   Microsoft's deal has always been--

01:06:27   The antitrust stuff is like, from my perspective, the only thing that matters

01:06:32   is how dominant Microsoft was.

01:06:36   It stops being a choice to ship something on Windows

01:06:40   if everybody has Windows for a reasonable approximation of everybody.

01:06:43   So that's what I'm always looking for with the Apple stuff.

01:06:46   Apple does all this stuff. You can't be on their platform. There's no sideloading.

01:06:49   You have to use their payment system.

01:06:51   There's all these rules that derive from their decisions of how to run their platform.

01:06:56   I'm only interested in those ideas if and when we cross some threshold where it's like,

01:07:00   "Well, as you know, it is impossible to run a business selling applications

01:07:04   if you don't sell on iOS."

01:07:06   I don't think that's true, but I'm always watching to make sure that someday

01:07:10   when that does become true, a new set of rules apply.

01:07:12   Apple does not have dominant market share in smartphones. They probably never will.

01:07:16   It's possible to argue that they have dominant money share in smartphones

01:07:19   in terms of how much money flows through the system, and maybe some lawyers can argue that.

01:07:23   But when I think about people complaining about the rules of the App Store,

01:07:27   of course you would like the rules to be different.

01:07:29   But it's Apple's store, and they can make whatever rules they want.

01:07:32   And the way it works is if you don't like those rules, you don't go in the store.

01:07:35   And that's the tension. Oh, well, Spotify, why don't you just pull out?

01:07:38   And Spotify says, "Well, we can't pull out because we have millions of users."

01:07:40   It's like, well, then you deal with the rules.

01:07:42   But I don't think Spotify goes out of business if they're not in the App Store.

01:07:45   I don't think Apple goes out of business if Spotify's not on the iPhone,

01:07:48   but it hurts both of them.

01:07:49   So we're in that situation that we talked about in past shows

01:07:51   where there's a tension in the rules.

01:07:53   And I don't—like, this arguing about the rules in public or in private or whatever should go on,

01:07:58   and it should be healthy.

01:07:59   But the balance is, here's the deal we want, here's the deal you want,

01:08:02   you can be in there, you can be in not.

01:08:03   And the only place, as far as I'm concerned,

01:08:05   where this becomes an issue that we have to all think about and fret about

01:08:08   is when there's no longer any choice, when it's like,

01:08:11   Apple has all the power because you have to be on the iPhone.

01:08:14   Otherwise, it is impossible to run a business.

01:08:16   And I think that's just not true.

01:08:18   Android has 80 percent market share,

01:08:20   arguably you have to be on Android, depending on what your service is,

01:08:23   to be successful.

01:08:24   But Android is fragmented, and so there's no one party controlling everything.

01:08:27   That's where my eye is on all this stuff.

01:08:30   And so all the arguments about the percentage they take from things,

01:08:34   and subscriptions, and so on, I just think of it all as like,

01:08:36   yeah, Apple makes the rules that you don't like,

01:08:38   and your choices accept the rules or don't accept them.

01:08:41   And there are negative consequences to all the choices on all sides,

01:08:45   and that's just the way things go.

01:08:46   And so I can't get caught up in the idea of them arguing about the rules

01:08:49   and the idea of them arguing about things, like just work it out.

01:08:52   Decide whether you're going to be in the store or whether you're not going to be in the store.

01:08:54   Try to shame them into changing their rules and see if that works for you.

01:08:56   I probably think it won't, but I don't know.

01:08:59   I just get frustrated.

01:09:00   I know lots of people have different opinions about this,

01:09:03   especially the Elizabeth Warren breaking up Apple stuff,

01:09:05   and Ben Thompson talks a lot about that.

01:09:07   But I keep just keeping my eye on Apple and saying,

01:09:09   are they the one and only massively dominant,

01:09:12   cannot be avoided source of anything?

01:09:15   And the answer that I think right now is no, they're not.

01:09:18   - See, I think the argument of, well, Android has more market share.

01:09:22   I don't think that really holds water in determining whether this is a bad enough thing to matter

01:09:30   or whether Apple has a monopoly.

01:09:32   Because iOS is still, even though it doesn't have the most market share,

01:09:37   it's still really important.

01:09:38   It also still has disproportionate usage.

01:09:41   It has much higher usage than you would think from its market share

01:09:44   of certain types of services, certain types of usage.

01:09:47   It tends to be higher end usage, more money involved.

01:09:50   So it's almost like, oh, God, I'm gonna offend the entire world.

01:09:53   It's almost like if the US doesn't have the majority of people in the world.

01:09:59   But if you try to operate a company that can't sell to anybody in the US

01:10:05   and your competitors all can, that's gonna hurt.

01:10:08   That's a pretty big problem for a lot of types of companies.

01:10:12   So it's kind of like that.

01:10:14   Yeah, iOS does not have dominant market share by numbers,

01:10:19   but it's still really big and really important market share.

01:10:22   So I don't think that argument really holds water.

01:10:24   Well, it is important, but it's not dominant.

01:10:26   What I'm getting at is all these rules, like the rules like you do,

01:10:30   I don't like these rules or whatever,

01:10:31   it only matters that you don't like them if you have no choice but to accept them.

01:10:35   And I think you do have a choice.

01:10:37   It may not be a choice that you like, but it hurts Apple and it also hurts you.

01:10:41   The Windows deal was you don't have a choice.

01:10:44   Nobody freaking uses Mac.

01:10:45   Windows runs the world.

01:10:46   They argued in short, they were like,

01:10:48   "Hey, everyone here who uses a Windows computer at work, raise your hand."

01:10:51   And everybody in the room raised their hand.

01:10:52   You can't do that with Android or Apple right now.

01:10:54   So we could be approaching it.

01:10:56   And there's the money share thing.

01:10:58   It depends on the room.

01:10:59   Yeah, well, don't do it at WWDC.

01:11:02   In a generic courtroom.

01:11:04   I'm keeping an eye on that because I think the money share argument is real.

01:11:07   It's like, yeah, Android has 80% market share,

01:11:09   but if you look at how much money flows through app stores, what does Apple share?

01:11:12   And that's for the lawyers to argue, but as far as I'm concerned,

01:11:14   the rules that Apple makes that developers don't like only start to matter

01:11:19   when it's obvious that there is absolutely no choice,

01:11:23   where they have Windows-style domination.

01:11:25   I don't think they're quite there yet.

01:11:27   We need to keep looking at it, not just assume they'll never have it,

01:11:29   because they might.

01:11:30   And it could be argued that they have it today in terms of money.

01:11:32   I don't know the exact numbers.

01:11:33   But that's the only point where it starts to matter.

01:11:35   Until then, it is just a negotiation between powerful parties

01:11:39   about who's going to be hurt more by me pulling my thing out of the store.

01:11:42   I don't know, though, because I feel like even amongst normal people that I know,

01:11:48   most Android users that I know are fairly ambivalent about Android.

01:11:54   You know, "Oh, I have a Galaxy this time," which is still Android,

01:11:57   "and then I got a whatever next time," and, you know,

01:11:59   "Oh, I actually just had an iPhone before this, and I might have an iPhone next."

01:12:03   But most iPhone users I know are extraordinarily loyal.

01:12:07   Now, can you really make a legal argument based on the fact that one group is more loyal than another?

01:12:12   I don't think so.

01:12:13   But I would argue that since iPhone users tend to be extremely loyal,

01:12:18   and now I'll just pick on myself, like, the likelihood of me switching to Android is almost zero,

01:12:23   because so much of my life, both professionally and personally,

01:12:26   is caked into the Apple ecosystem.

01:12:28   So I don't feel like I have a choice.

01:12:30   And I actually am a Spotify user.

01:12:32   That's a silly argument. Yeah, you like the phone better, but you always have a choice.

01:12:35   Like, to give an example, my sister will never buy an Apple phone because they're too damn expensive for her.

01:12:39   And so she's just the flip side of you.

01:12:41   You will never buy an Android one.

01:12:43   You have to look at the aggregate.

01:12:45   The aggregate is what matters, and I feel like we should keep looking at that aggregate.

01:12:50   And for the legal crap that I said I want to get into, there are other rules, like the EU needs to foster competition.

01:12:54   They don't have this.

01:12:55   This rule that I'm making up in my head is like, "I only care when it's dominant,"

01:12:58   but the EU doesn't work like that.

01:13:00   Their law is like, "We want to foster competition."

01:13:02   So you don't have to be 100% dominant or 95% dominant to get smacked down by their laws,

01:13:06   but I'll let the lawyer slide that out.

01:13:08   But my personal opinion is that these people should deal with each other

01:13:13   and have concessions and negotiations like they did with the Netflix with the 15% subscription thing

01:13:18   and going from 30 to 15.

01:13:20   The rules change over time in response to these negotiations,

01:13:23   but I don't think we're quite yet at the point where Spotify's argument,

01:13:26   their argument is essentially, "We have no choice to be on the iPhone."

01:13:30   I don't think that's true.

01:13:31   They have a choice. They just don't like the alternative.

01:13:33   So that argues--when I think about this, I know Spotify would not like to hear this,

01:13:37   but I think Apple could probably charge you more money, or not just Spotify,

01:13:42   because they don't even pay it anymore, but anybody.

01:13:44   The 30%, 30% seems like a lot for what we get,

01:13:46   but how many people would leave the App Store if they changed to 31%?

01:13:50   You're getting into finding the ceiling like we did on--

01:13:52   For God's sakes, don't tell them this.

01:13:55   But that's the negotiation.

01:13:57   The idea is that you think the rules are bad now, but what is the power dynamic?

01:14:01   If Apple had 99% market share, Apple could make it 50%,

01:14:04   like they're trying to do with news or a reported thing.

01:14:07   That's how we can tell when the power dynamic has gone bad,

01:14:09   when there is no negotiating power on either side.

01:14:11   And right now I think there is negotiating power on both sides,

01:14:14   and we see adjustments.

01:14:16   We don't see Apple saying, "I'm going to change it to 31%, 35%, 45%."

01:14:19   They haven't been doing that, not out of the goodness of their heart,

01:14:22   but because they're calculating that that would be bad overall for their business.

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01:16:23   I'd like to get back to the Spotify thing if possible,

01:16:28   because to me, this is starting a whole bunch of discussions everywhere,

01:16:33   not just here, in all these different directions.

01:16:35   And that's ultimately, I think, what they want with these two different press battles.

01:16:39   But I still think this really is one issue, which is that 30%.

01:16:44   And so to me, I see, so the issue is twofold.

01:16:47   It's that Apple requires In-App Purchasing to go through their thing that charges 30%.

01:16:52   And they have a thing where, if it's the new kind of auto-renewing subscription,

01:16:58   the first year of a subscription, it's charged at 30%.

01:17:02   But then, if the same customer stays on and stays subscribed,

01:17:06   from year two onward, it gets charged at 15% instead.

01:17:10   So the commission gets cut in half after the first year of a subscriber.

01:17:13   And so they're kind of doing 85-15 for some people.

01:17:17   And we've heard, from the links here and there, that 85-15 was always a deal for people like Netflix.

01:17:21   And Netflix recently left the App Store as well, in this way, and we'll talk about that.

01:17:26   But they have this thing where you have to use their system,

01:17:30   and then they also are very strict about if you choose not to use their system.

01:17:35   For instance, like what Netflix does now, you can no longer sign up for Netflix on the iOS app.

01:17:40   If you are brand new and you don't have a Netflix membership yet,

01:17:43   you can open the Netflix app and it basically has a login form.

01:17:47   And there's no way to sign up for a new Netflix account.

01:17:50   To do that, you have to go to Netflix's website.

01:17:52   And there's rules that basically say Netflix is not allowed to link to their website from their app,

01:17:59   to tell people, go to a website to sign up, or to have any kind of call to action in that way.

01:18:05   To allude to the website's existence in any way.

01:18:08   They aren't allowed to have there be a path between the app and a website where you can sign up externally

01:18:15   if the app doesn't offer an app purchase.

01:18:17   And so, to me, that is the real key problem here.

01:18:23   I see three real solutions here.

01:18:25   Solution one is you keep the status quo, which is honestly probably the most likely solution for now,

01:18:30   unless there's a legal decision.

01:18:32   Keep the status quo and you have people like Spotify weighing whether they want to stay in the store

01:18:40   and keep getting rejected for them trying to get around this in-app purchase thing, but still offer it,

01:18:45   like what they're doing now, or whether they want to remove that ability, remove in-app purchase,

01:18:52   and just deal with the fact that there is no call to action anywhere in the app to sign up.

01:18:56   And you just have to kind of know.

01:18:58   And this is what Amazon and Netflix do now.

01:19:01   Amazon was first to, Amazon started this party years ago.

01:19:05   So this is what they do, and it's not great for anybody, really.

01:19:09   It sucks for Apple because they get nothing.

01:19:11   It sucks for Amazon and Netflix and anybody else who might do this because their apps are worse

01:19:18   and they probably get fewer new customers than they would otherwise

01:19:21   because it's hard to become a new customer because you have to go to the app, see log and form,

01:19:25   and then somehow know, oh, I have to go somewhere else to sign up.

01:19:30   And it sucks for the customers because they have to go through that terrible experience.

01:19:33   It's inconvenient for them.

01:19:36   So that choice is just kind of mediocre.

01:19:40   It kind of sucks for everybody, and that's the status quo, though, for a lot of these big companies.

01:19:46   When you get to a size like Netflix, that becomes worth it.

01:19:49   The ones you mentioned, in these cases, Amazon was with the eBooks originally and Spotify with music,

01:19:56   and Netflix, I'm not sure what their business is exactly like,

01:19:59   but I can tell you for both music and eBooks, part of the reason those companies resisted giving Apple 30%

01:20:04   is not because they're like, oh, we don't want to pay Apple 30%.

01:20:06   Those businesses don't have 30% to spare.

01:20:09   Everyone is getting paid.

01:20:11   They have to pay the publishers and the authors and the artists and the labels.

01:20:15   There's not an extra 30% hanging around.

01:20:18   That's like a make-or-break type of thing in a lot of these businesses,

01:20:20   depending on whether they're in VC mode where they're running out of loss anyway and no one cares

01:20:23   and they're just trying to build market share.

01:20:25   The only point before about I only care about the rules until Apple is dominant,

01:20:29   that doesn't mean I don't think Apple's rules are dumb.

01:20:31   A whole bunch of them are dumb.

01:20:33   I can argue, Apple, this is one of your dumb rules.

01:20:35   If you want to have businesses like this on your system

01:20:38   and you know there's not an extra 30% hanging around for you,

01:20:41   it's just not there.

01:20:42   You can't get blood from a stone.

01:20:43   It's not like Spotify is hoarding that 30% and could give it to you and still make a profit.

01:20:48   They're probably taking losses everywhere.

01:20:50   If you want businesses like that on the App Store,

01:20:53   you should change this rule because it's dumb.

01:20:55   It doesn't mean you need to be legally forced to unless, again, you are massively dominant,

01:20:59   but that's kind of the argument I would make from Spotify,

01:21:03   not just like it's so unfair that you don't let us use another payment method.

01:21:07   It's like let's find a way.

01:21:09   Let's find a way to yes here.

01:21:10   You know we don't have 30% in our business,

01:21:13   but we want to be on your store,

01:21:15   and it's so dumb that we can't tell people go sign up for us because, honestly,

01:21:19   that's where Apple seems petty.

01:21:21   What are you afraid of?

01:21:22   That now you lose a tiny percentage of your massive advantage of having Apple Music shut on every damn iPhone

01:21:28   because people can go to Spotify and sign up right in the app?

01:21:30   What happens there?

01:21:31   Yes, it's worse than it is now, but is it going to destroy Apple Music?

01:21:34   I really hope not.

01:21:36   So there are plenty of good arguments to be made, presumably, that are being made behind closed doors,

01:21:40   but I think there's lots of these situations that are just intractable,

01:21:44   where there's never going to be a meeting of the minds because there's not 30% to spare anywhere.

01:21:49   Yeah, I feel like if I were to pick just one issue that's at the heart of this,

01:21:54   it's the thing that Marco brought up about not being able to punt people to the web to do the sign up.

01:22:01   And as Marco said earlier, our understanding is if you even obliquely hint at the fact

01:22:09   that you can go to the web to sign up, then your app will be rejected because they don't want you to do that.

01:22:15   And that just seems kind of wrong to me.

01:22:19   And like you said, Jon, what does Apple fear? Why is this such an issue?

01:22:24   Well, I can think of a few things.

01:22:26   So for instance, you have to figure with App Store policy,

01:22:30   anything they allow somebody like Spotify to do or somebody like me who has good intentions

01:22:35   is also going to be abused by a lot of other people who don't have good intentions

01:22:40   and are trying to scam people or anything else.

01:22:43   I can see why they don't do this because you would have games that would want you to put your credit card

01:22:51   into their system to buy your gems.

01:22:53   And that of course leads to all sorts of potential problems and liabilities

01:22:57   and everything that Apple probably doesn't want.

01:22:59   So I understand totally why they do this.

01:23:02   Also, obviously, they are trying to grow their services revenue.

01:23:05   So they have both a financial incentive to be very strict about this.

01:23:10   And also, they've had this user experience and safety and security incentive too.

01:23:17   They always say that, but they make it seem as if the choices are safe and secure at 30% and Wild West.

01:23:24   And that's not true.

01:23:25   They could give people payment processing essentially at cost for way lower percentage.

01:23:30   They don't want to do that though.

01:23:32   Those aren't the only two choices in the world.

01:23:35   It's just like, if we give you a safe payment method, it's got to be 30%.

01:23:38   Nope, that's not true at all.

01:23:40   Especially if all you're doing is processing the payment.

01:23:42   And we're not even talking about processing the payment.

01:23:44   We're just saying send them somewhere else to a website.

01:23:46   And that was one of the funny parts of Apple's reaction of how they're dedicated to making the App Store safe and secure.

01:23:51   They totally are, but practically speaking, scam apps fill the App Store.

01:23:55   It's a hard problem to solve.

01:23:57   I always wonder, if you made it worse in some way, how would we tell?

01:24:01   Because the scam apps are just amazing.

01:24:04   Speaking of scam apps, there was that thing where you could go to this website and they were abusing their Enterprise certificate to give you all these casino gambling and porn games.

01:24:13   It had been there for years.

01:24:15   That whole world, I had no idea existed.

01:24:17   Yeah, I didn't know either.

01:24:18   I bet Apple didn't know either.

01:24:20   That's why I feel like they need to have a meeting of the minds and not just be like it's 30% or the highway.

01:24:26   Because if you said, "Okay, we're going to take 1% and in exchange you get an awesome, safe credit card method that people can do by staring at their phone."

01:24:33   People would take it in a second, right?

01:24:35   Well, it depends. I bet people like Amazon still wouldn't because Amazon is razor thin margins.

01:24:41   There might be 1% to spare in ebooks.

01:24:44   Maybe.

01:24:45   I do think just lowering the commission in general.

01:24:49   One option is to just use 85.15 for all subscriptions.

01:24:55   Now, this won't cover things like Amazon ebooks because that's not subscription priced.

01:24:58   But if you just use 85.15 for all subscriptions, that does, I think, open the door a lot wider to have a lot more people and companies say, "Okay, we'll play ball with that because that works better with our economics or that's more reasonable or whatever else."

01:25:14   15% is still a lot compared to other payment processors.

01:25:17   But it's a heck of a lot more friendly of a price than 30%.

01:25:24   And honestly, some of us are kind of, you know, we, like I have for overcast subscriptions, I've had the same thing for, I have the same in-app purchase now for over two years, I think.

01:25:39   So I've had time to get those renewals at 85%.

01:25:42   And I went earlier and did the research and my current actual effective price I'm paying is 20% because there's so many renewals that go multiple years for overcast premium that I'm actually, on average, only paying a 20% commission.

01:25:59   And that still feels like a lot of money to me, but I feel a lot better about that than 30%.

01:26:03   Apple pointed that out, by the way, in their thing of like, you know, here are the things you got, and you said it too, here are the things you have to pay 30% for and here are the things you don't have to pay 30% for.

01:26:11   And one of the things you don't is if you sell advertising in your application, you don't need to give Apple any of that, which is an interesting decision and has consequences for the various business models of the apps.

01:26:19   But as Matt and Reece pointed out in his blog post about this, like, basically what I was getting at before is these decisions, okay, digital goods 30%, if you sell ads in your app, we get 0% of that, if you sell physical goods, we get 0%.

01:26:32   Those are all just arbitrary lines that Apple has come up with, and it's a good idea for Apple, Apple could choose a different line, and it should revisit those lines and say, do these lines still make sense?

01:26:41   You know, can we adjust these? And I know this is counter to what Phil just said, when he was like, we want to treat all developers the same, but as I've said before, treating all developers the same, like, there is an aspect of that, that is a noble, important goal, but there's another aspect of that that just frustrates both consumers and Apple.

01:26:57   In the end, Netflix, Amazon, Google, Spotify are not the same as indie developers, which is why Apple negotiated that secret 15% deal with Netflix, and that did not bring the store crashing down.

01:27:08   And honestly, I think small developers are like, okay, well, it's Netflix, like, there should be, and even small developers have argued for this, like, small developers, I remember IconFactory talking about this with Twitter and everything,

01:27:18   some kind of reputation system where I'm not treated the same as random scam app developer, because you know me, you know my company, and we have a track record together.

01:27:30   I know it's like bringing back the bad old world of like the haves and the have-nots, but it's the way the store is working effectively anyway, and if you made it an actual path, like the 8515, which is like an actual defined path,

01:27:41   where it says, if you want to get in our good graces, keep your people subscribed for a year, and you get this benefit. That's another avenue that they could pursue.

01:27:48   Apple decides what all these rules are. None of them should be set in stone, and all of them should be revisited.

01:27:55   It seems like a lot of the rules, like, oh, you can't send anyone into a website, like, may have outlived their usefulness, or may have outlived their usefulness for the big players.

01:28:02   Like, put a roadmap down to say, hey, if you don't want to be limited by that, here are the steps you have to take, and anybody can take them.

01:28:08   You don't have to be Amazon. You can be an indie developer and take those same steps and be super successful, but put a roadmap out for people to better their business,

01:28:17   because that's a virtuous relationship where you're like, I want to do those things, because I want to get the 15%, because I want to be able to send people to my website.

01:28:24   What do I have to do to make that happen? How can we make it so that it's a win-win? I should negotiate this for Apple.

01:28:29   Oh, yeah, so you'll lose them all their money. Yeah, so, like, because, you know, the fact is, like, any change you make to this has potentially massive costs to Apple in, like, reduced App Store revenue.

01:28:40   You know, like, that's why, like, anybody who says, oh, well, they should just lower it to, you know, the same, like, 3% that Stripe charges, like, no, that's not going to happen.

01:28:48   Or even me just saying, maybe they should do 85, 15 for all subscriptions, period. That could have massive consequences.

01:28:55   So, for instance, you know, not only is that just a lot of money off that year one charge of all those subscriptions, but also, like, that creates a strong financial incentive for things like games to just turn everything into subscription pricing.

01:29:08   Which, yes, App Review could have a policy about, but those aren't necessarily that consistently enforced or enforceable, and it's, like, is that really the world we want?

01:29:19   Like, where all games all of a sudden have a huge advantage to pricing things, you know, subscription price instead of in-app purchase, single purchase.

01:29:27   So, like, that, anything they do here is going to have massive ramifications that you have to consider, like, when talking about these rules.

01:29:34   That's why, like, I think, you know, so, of the, to me, there's three options, you know, keep the status quo, do 85, 15 for everything subscription-based, at least.

01:29:44   Or, I think, the most sensible rule is to just relax the rule about mentioning your website to pay for things.

01:29:51   And you don't even need to go that far. So, you know, one question is, like, can you just have a link?

01:29:56   You know, you could maybe, so, like, this rule could take a bunch of different severities.

01:30:02   You know, you could say, you could link, but it has to be Safari View Controller.

01:30:06   Or you can say, you can link, but it must not be in-app. You have to kick people out to Safari, the app.

01:30:11   Or you can say, you can't be a link, but you can mention the app, like, or mention the website in text.

01:30:17   Say, you know, go to Netflix.com in text and have them manually do it.

01:30:20   Or you can have it all the way to the other end, which is, you can't even mention it at all.

01:30:24   And that's where we are today. Right now, you can't mention it at all.

01:30:27   And I think that is the part that is most customer hostile, that is causing most of the drama,

01:30:34   and that probably is going to be what antitrust people have a problem with.

01:30:41   Like, that, again, we're not legal experts, but I think that is going to come down to being the biggest problem,

01:30:46   is that they can't even mention, you know, other areas to pay.

01:30:49   And if they relaxed that, even if they just went one step back to say, you can mention the website in text,

01:30:56   and just not link to it, even that, I think, would make most of this problem go away.

01:31:02   Yeah, I couldn't agree with you more. And I think that that makes the most sense, is to make that a little more relaxed.

01:31:08   And I'm glad you brought up, you know, punting out to Safari proper, because that can,

01:31:14   it is surprising how much control an app developer can have over what goes on in a Safari View Controller.

01:31:20   So I don't think that's unreasonable to say, hey, you need to go to full bore Safari in order to do all this stuff on device.

01:31:28   I think that's reasonable.

01:31:29   Well, also, like, back forever ago, that was the policy.

01:31:32   Like, back in the original, like, early, early, early days of the App Store, that's what Amazon did.

01:31:37   Because that was allowed. You could kick people out. There was no Safari View Controller at the time.

01:31:41   But you could kick people out to Safari and do your thing there and kick people back to the app.

01:31:46   Like, that was allowed for a while. And over time, this rule has gotten more and more strict to lock that down further and further.

01:31:54   And that's why I think, like, you know, whenever that was, 10, 11 years ago, like, back then,

01:32:00   there was a little bit of controversy over this, but it was mostly not that big of a deal.

01:32:03   It was mostly like, alright, well, I guess we'll just have people use the website and that'll be it.

01:32:06   It's only been in recent years that it's causing a really increasing amount of friction between Apple and the big companies.

01:32:14   And it also hurts small developers, too. Like, there's stuff that I would love to enable for Overcast.

01:32:19   There are business models that I have thought about and, you know, abilities that I would have launched.

01:32:24   Things like tipping podcasters or paying podcasters with some kind of premium plan that pays out.

01:32:29   And there are things like that that I have thought about doing but have decided against doing because the requirements of that 30%

01:32:38   just make it economically not work very well. Or the rules about not being able to mention the website just make it not work very well.

01:32:45   And so this affects not only the giants like Apple or like Amazon, Netflix, Spotify, but it also affects almost anybody who uses subscriptions

01:32:55   and also has a website or, you know, business models that could maybe exist if not for these rules being the way they are.

01:33:02   Or these commissions being what they are. So I do think this is a very important issue and I think ultimately Apple is probably going to be forced

01:33:11   by some kind of regulatory agency somewhere to change something about this at some point soon. I know that's very vague.

01:33:18   But I think ultimately if they just allow people to mention their websites to direct people there, even if it's just via text,

01:33:27   that gets you a lot of the way there and I think doesn't bring most of the downsides to Apple that the more lenient solutions would.

01:33:34   It's actually worse for small developers because the odds of you downloading the Kindle app and knowing that you have to go to Amazon.com are pretty high.

01:33:41   Because Kindle and Amazon are pretty big brands. If you're a small developer, no one has any freaking idea where your website is.

01:33:46   It's actually way worse for them.

01:33:48   Oh yeah, like if I launched a feature on Overcast that was only available on the website and never mentioned in the app, pretty much nobody would ever use it.

01:33:55   I still feel like there's a virtuous cycle that is being missed out on. Even if you like, it's a nice compromise and a negotiating position to say you can put the text there,

01:34:02   you can link it up to Safari View Control, but we all know the better user experience is to let people buy stuff in the app.

01:34:07   And from a customer's perspective, that's what you want. But then you have the whole, like you mentioned all the scam stuff or whatever,

01:34:13   but I feel like that's where we should be trying to get to. We should be trying to get to a situation where financially it works out for everybody involved

01:34:19   because for the good of the children, for the good of the customers, the best customer experience is to be able to buy freaking Kindle books on your phone without being kicked out.

01:34:26   Everyone knows that's the best experience. What is stopping us from getting there? How can we find a deal that is tolerable to everybody involved

01:34:36   because I think there is a pretty significant win to getting to that point. The fantasy of Apple saying Amazon is just going to pay us 30% is never going to happen.

01:34:44   There's not 30% there. If we have to start with a compromise version to convince Apple the world doesn't end if you let them put unclickable text,

01:34:51   good, that's a good starting position. But I feel like we need to get to the best user experience. That's what Apple is ostensibly trying to do.

01:34:58   It's very frustrating when I see things that Apple is doing that make sense financially but don't make sense from the perspective of let's make the best product.

01:35:07   Like Phil said, nobody's favorite.

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01:36:53   All right, so we'll start tonight with Gustavo Posadonio who writes, "I'm starting to do a bunch more stuff on a Unix command line at work which involves a lot of text processing.

01:37:04   So far I've been able to hack together little bash scripts that just barely do what I want and they're pretty much completely unmaintainable and difficult to modify if I need to adjust my task.

01:37:13   And this got me thinking that I should probably pick up a "utility" programming language that will serve general purpose needs on the command line.

01:37:20   After listening to Jon for years, I thought that I'd take a look at what Perl looks like these days, but there are many on the internet who say that nobody should be learning Perl in 2019 or 2000 or 1980.

01:37:30   And instead I should look to Ruby or Python. What are your guys' thoughts on this? Is Perl dead or will I get mileage out of learning it?" Go ahead, Jon.

01:37:38   I feel like we've answered this question before, but the answer is you will absolutely get mileage out of learning it.

01:37:42   In particular, because you're talking about your alternative, is I'm going to write bash scripts. And let me tell you, it is harder to write an adequately correct bash script than an adequately correct Perl script.

01:37:54   The reason Perl exists is because all the individual Unix tools, both shell scripting and all the command line tools, there are so many sharp edges on there.

01:38:01   And it wouldn't be nice if there was just one glue language that incorporated all their functionality but was internally somewhat more consistent and just easier and nicer to use.

01:38:10   If you're doing any kind of non-trivial thing with bash scripts, you'll be better written in Perl. Now, comparing it to Python and Ruby, those will also, for the most part, work for the situation.

01:38:21   So you can pick one of those to learn instead. Mostly I'm saying stop writing shell scripts, because I'm going to say that almost nobody alive and still working today knows how to write shell scripts in a way that is remotely safe.

01:38:33   Like, people just write stuff and then it works and then they have a file with a space in the file name and they erase their disk and it's just a reason these other languages exist.

01:38:40   So use them and learn them. If you're making a server-side application, then maybe Perl isn't your best choice.

01:38:45   But if you are just doing automated scripting, Perl, I feel like, has earned its spot now alongside grep, awk, sed, bash, all these things that you just expect to be there in Unix, vi, whatever.

01:38:55   Perl should be one of those things and often is one of those things. Even if it's an old version of Perl, pick that any day over trying to write a bash script. And also, Perl is fun. Way more fun than bash.

01:39:04   That's the first time it's ever been stated. Perl is fun.

01:39:07   No, totally. You don't know Perl's reputation. Perl is totally fun. Its initial reputation was that it's fun and I think even today people would say Perl is fun. Maybe in a bad way, but still, it's fun because it's got character and style and is interesting.

01:39:19   Like, Python would be the opposite. Not as much.

01:39:22   I love how much fun you're having with this. This is great.

01:39:24   No, I would honestly, I mean, granted, I should say that I don't know Perl or Ruby or Python. I do write bash scripts extensively and when it doesn't do what I want, I go out to PHP.

01:39:38   But that giant disclaimer aside, I would say learn Python. Again, I don't know Python, but it seems like it is the more modern thing to learn that is good at these tasks that also has a lot of value elsewhere.

01:39:53   You know, if you were going to learn one of these languages today, I think Python is a great example of like, you can learn it for this, but then you can also use it in all sorts of other ways.

01:40:03   There's tons of people using Python for all sorts of things, including web backends and that seems to be the place to go for this kind of need today.

01:40:11   Python is boring and not fun. And Python is not as well suited to replacing a bash script as Perl is.

01:40:18   Please email John Sirquhousa.

01:40:20   Everybody writing Python knows that's true and they say that's a good thing because they're like, well, Python forces you to be disciplined and strict and blah, blah, blah, and you can't just dash off these little one-liner things in Perl, but Perl is way more efficient.

01:40:32   I mean, again, we're talking about the turn of its bash scripts here.

01:40:35   Yeah, I don't know. I feel like I come down on Marco's side on this, but I do think that Perl is a very reasonable solution to this problem and I wouldn't necessarily advocate against Perl, but if you were interested in learning something more modern, I think Python is a reasonable answer.

01:40:57   Poor Ruby. It was so popular and no one was even mentioning it.

01:41:01   I mean, to be honest, I think part of the problem is I've written a little bit of Perl, not a whole lot. I've written a little bit more PHP, but still not a whole lot.

01:41:08   And I've written a teeny, teeny tiny bit of Python and I've written effectively no Ruby. And I think that's, maybe it's my familiarity that's tainting my answer, but I don't know.

01:41:20   I feel like Perl or Python are the best answers here if you're getting beyond what bash will give you.

01:41:26   I'm biased against Ruby because every time I do a homebrew update or anything, I see it run through a billion Ruby commands and it takes forever.

01:41:36   And so I just had this opinion of Ruby of being insanely heavy and slow for this type of use.

01:41:41   Yeah, and the RVM is really weird and I don't really know what I'm talking about. I'll be the first to tell you.

01:41:46   And neither do I.

01:41:47   And neither of us is looking to get corrected. Not today anyway.

01:41:50   We will.

01:41:51   But I ditched CocoaPods in no small part because of the reliance on Ruby. And it was just a frickin' nightmare to keep myself and other developers all on the same version of Ruby, all doing the same thing at the same time.

01:42:05   It was just awful. And that's why I use Carthage now, because it is so much simpler to not have to rely on anything Ruby-related to do these sorts of things.

01:42:14   I understand that once you see the matrix, it's all "easy," but I haven't seen the matrix and honestly I'm not interested in seeing it right now.

01:42:22   Alright, moving on.

01:42:24   Anonymous writes, "I wonder about the potential long-term degradation of hearing that I may be causing by using AirPods many times per day.

01:42:30   Often I end up cranking up the volume just to hear a podcast, book, or phone call that I'm listening to, especially in noisy environments.

01:42:36   Do you have any sense of whether AfterShocks, which is a prior and I believe future sponsor, would have better long-term hearing impact?"

01:42:44   Or which that is to say, I think, that they would be better on your ears.

01:42:47   "Is that method of sound conduction safer or essentially the same in terms of how the volume impacts the ears?"

01:42:52   So I should clarify that I am not an audiologist or an ENT.

01:42:58   And we don't have any spouses of listeners currently with us here on the show to correct me who are ENTs.

01:43:05   So this is all my speculation.

01:43:07   But long-term hearing damage from volume, I think, would occur regardless of whether it was volume that was generated by exterior pressure versus the vibrations that are induced in your cheekbone from bone conduction headphones like AfterShocks.

01:43:25   Because it's still volume being picked up by the eardrum and the inner ear and everything else.

01:43:31   So I don't think that should change things.

01:43:35   What matters is that volume.

01:43:37   How much loud content are you listening to for how long? How loud is it?

01:43:42   That is, I think, what is the more important factor here.

01:43:45   And if you're talking about having to crank up the volume to hear things, that is still cranking up the volume.

01:43:54   So if you think about the extreme here, like, if you are at a loud concert and you want to put on headphones and hear something in the headphones, you're going to have to crank it up really loud.

01:44:06   It's still really loud.

01:44:08   If you're in a dead silent room and you put on headphones and you want to hear what you're listening to, you can have that volume be very low and still hear it.

01:44:17   So I think if you're concerned about preserving your hearing and not damaging your hearing and listening to things in loud environments, the best thing to do is to get headphones that are very well isolating against outside noise and possibly have active noise cancellation.

01:44:32   Because that way you can have the material in the headphones be playing at a quieter volume and because you're well isolated from the outside environment, you can still hear it at those low volumes.

01:44:43   So that to me, if you just have AirPods and you're cranking them up, you're adding loud sound to the already loud sound from your surroundings in order to distinguish what you're hearing.

01:44:54   That's still loud. That's still going to be a problem.

01:44:56   So the best thing to do is make your ear environment quieter, whatever that takes, whether it's noise cancellation or whatever else.

01:45:03   And AirPods and Aftershocks are both not very good at that.

01:45:07   You're better off getting a pair of larger noise cancelling headphones that have good isolation and then play the content in them more quietly.

01:45:14   And most Apple things have a volume limiter. Most people use it for kids, like, "Oh, I don't want my kid to listen to this thing too loud because it'll hurt their little hearing."

01:45:21   But it's the exact same on adults. Adults aren't impervious to it. Set the limiter.

01:45:24   Like your example, Margot, of being in a concert and like, "It's so loud in this concert, but I want to hear this podcast."

01:45:30   So you turn the podcast up and you're like, "All right, great. I can hear my podcast."

01:45:33   The best experiment is to go out to the parking lot where there's no noise and play it at exactly the same volume you're playing it inside.

01:45:38   And all of a sudden you're like, "Oh my God, how was I ever listening to this?"

01:45:42   Hearing loss is so insidious because music sometimes does sound better and more exciting when it's loud.

01:45:47   But as your hearing degrades, you just keep turning up louder and louder. You build up a tolerance.

01:45:51   Like, there is an end point where eventually you can't hear half the frequencies anymore and you'll just end up chasing it.

01:45:57   So what stops you from chasing it? Don't rely on your intuition about how loud it seems to do that.

01:46:02   Put an actual limiter, which means, yes, sometimes you'll be in the concert, you'll try to listen to something, and you won't be able to hear it.

01:46:08   That's the sign that your ears are already under a tremendous audio load or whatever the technical term is.

01:46:13   The solution is not remove the limiter and crank it up unless it's like an emergency or something.

01:46:17   The solution is get out of that environment or do something to protect your ears from that.

01:46:21   Like, you only get one set of ears and they don't replace them.

01:46:24   As I tell my kids with their adult teeth, they don't grow back if you knock them out.

01:46:28   That's it. That's the one set you get, so take care of it.

01:46:30   I've lived that and they do not grow back.

01:46:33   You know, I should also point out that Aftershocks, part of the appeal for them is that they are open.

01:46:41   And so if you're like me and you like to listen to podcasts while you run and you run on a road,

01:46:46   that is a perfect time for Aftershocks on account of them still giving you the awareness of the environment.

01:46:52   I can still hear a car coming much sooner with my Aftershocks than if I were wearing my AirPods.

01:46:57   And I know that isn't directly about hearing loss or anything.

01:46:59   But there's a reason that Aftershocks have made a lot of the choices that they've made.

01:47:03   And they're not the only bone-conducting people, but they're the ones that I have the most experience with.

01:47:06   And so that's actually a feature, not a bug in a lot of scenarios.

01:47:11   All right, thanks to our sponsors this week, Mac Weldon, Squarespace, and Audible.

01:47:16   And we will see you next week.

01:47:18   [Music]

01:47:20   Now the show is over, they didn't even mean to begin.

01:47:25   'Cause it was accidental, oh it was accidental.

01:47:31   John didn't do any research, Marco and Casey wouldn't let him.

01:47:36   'Cause it was accidental, oh it was accidental.

01:47:41   And you can find the show notes at ATP.fm.

01:47:47   And if you're into Twitter, you can follow them at C-A-S-E-Y-L-I-S-S.

01:47:56   So that's Casey List M-A-R-C-O-A-R-M.

01:48:00   And T-Marco Arment S-I-R-A-C-U-S-A-C-R-A-C-U-S-A.

01:48:08   It's accidental, it's accidental.

01:48:11   They didn't mean to, accidental, accidental.

01:48:16   [Music]

01:48:20   Man, Casey, I have so many questions that we probably don't have time for today about your analog episode most recently.

01:48:27   I want to know about you quitting video, 'cause I think I might also be quitting video.

01:48:31   I want to know about your app that you're launching.

01:48:33   Well, I'm not quitting video, but I am.

01:48:35   You're quitting video, it's just a matter of time.

01:48:36   And I totally agree with you, by the way.

01:48:38   It's petering off.

01:48:39   Yeah, I think I'm gonna do a couple more, because I do enjoy it, but it is, the priority that I was giving it has dramatically sank.

01:48:48   I'll just keep making my videos.

01:48:50   That was here before you came, I'll be here after.

01:48:52   Yeah, you'll be here forever.

01:48:54   I put up a new one recently anyway.

01:48:55   Oh yeah, I missed it. It wasn't recommended to me in YouTube's after.

01:48:58   Yeah, I don't understand why you're so into Destiny videos.

01:49:00   You feel like you'll be at the top of your recommendations.

01:49:02   Oh my God.

01:49:03   YouTube.com/saracusa.

01:49:05   Please like and subscribe or something.

01:49:09   You know, you think you have to hit a bell now.

01:49:11   Oh yeah, mash that bell.

01:49:13   Yeah, I have recently come to the conclusion that I hate making video.

01:49:19   Like, I have the ability to do it now.

01:49:23   I can make video.

01:49:25   I just hate making video.

01:49:27   And there's never, like, whenever I have a few free moments,

01:49:31   I always, video to me has become an obligation in my head

01:49:36   that I feel like I'm not properly giving this project that I wanted to do the time it needs.

01:49:43   And so it's like, here's this giant undone task that I'm slacking off on, right?

01:49:48   Whereas like, everything else I love doing.

01:49:51   Like, I love writing code.

01:49:53   I love making podcasts.

01:49:55   So like, I feel like everything else I'm doing I enjoy.

01:49:59   Whereas like video, it's such a slog for me.

01:50:02   And part of that's just because I'm not that familiar with it and I'm not very good at it.

01:50:05   But when I do it, it doesn't make me want to get better at it.

01:50:10   It makes me hate doing it.

01:50:12   And like, there's all this stuff in my house now,

01:50:16   and all this stuff in my office to make video and to deal with video and to make better video.

01:50:22   And I still suck at it and I'm going to still suck at it for a long time.

01:50:26   And I just never want to spend the time doing that.

01:50:30   Yeah, I mean, it's tough because I really, really love the recording of this stuff

01:50:39   and trying to come up with interesting and different ways to record.

01:50:41   Not to say that I've achieved this goal, but that's my goal.

01:50:44   And I enjoy having access to some cars that I wouldn't have otherwise had access to.

01:50:49   I don't love editing.

01:50:53   I don't dislike it, but I don't love it either.

01:50:57   And I think that part of the reason I don't love it is because I know that I should really...

01:51:03   If I had another two or three grand to spend on a little bit different equipment,

01:51:09   particularly microphones, just get really tremendously great microphones,

01:51:13   I would maybe be more enthusiastic.

01:51:15   But I feel like I'm fighting some equipment problem every single time.

01:51:18   I'm telling you, I have really great microphones.

01:51:20   It doesn't help.

01:51:22   It helps a little bit, but it's still really hard to get good audio.

01:51:26   There's always something.

01:51:28   Either there's an audio problem or there's a video problem.

01:51:30   There's always something.

01:51:32   And that never ends.

01:51:34   Even if you get good at it, you still have things that fail or that you didn't set up correctly or whatever else.

01:51:39   But it's such an ordeal to make that kind of good video.

01:51:43   I've often felt like one possible alternative to what I'm trying to do now

01:51:48   is just to become okay with making really shitty video.

01:51:51   And just film everything on my iPhone, holding it up to my face, doing it on Instagram.

01:51:56   Like what people do on Instagram stories who suck at it.

01:51:59   Just iPhone to your face and just make really shitty video and have that be okay.

01:52:04   But I just have a hard time doing that.

01:52:06   And also, this is not a huge concern necessarily,

01:52:11   because I think it's predicated on me assuming I'm getting very popular,

01:52:15   but I see what happens to people and how their fans start getting to be a problem in their life

01:52:24   if they get really popular in video.

01:52:26   That seems to just not happen to podcasters.

01:52:29   And I don't want the kind of life where I worry about being recognized at the wrong time by somebody

01:52:38   or people getting too obsessed with me and harassing me.

01:52:42   And yeah, this is all based on this crazy assumption that I would get that many fans.

01:52:45   But it seems like if you succeed in video, you enter a world that I don't want to go to

01:52:51   and I have no interest in being in.

01:52:54   Whereas we have succeeded in audio and that simply doesn't happen here.

01:52:59   - Yeah, it's just tough.

01:53:01   And to recap for those who may not listen to analog, first of all you should.

01:53:05   But second of all, what I said on analog was basically, as Marco alluded,

01:53:09   I'm kind of pumping the brakes a little bit on the video stuff.

01:53:12   My Tesla video I will release.

01:53:14   It is definitely going to be released at some point.

01:53:16   But I was hurrying to get it done.

01:53:18   And then this app that I started as a proof of concept and is ever increasingly becoming more real,

01:53:26   which I think I talked about on this show, but in case I didn't,

01:53:29   basically, hey, look through your contacts list and based on email addresses and Gravatar,

01:53:34   which is a kind of globally agreed upon avatar repository,

01:53:38   could I update those contacts to have new images based on what's in Gravatar?

01:53:42   And since I have proof of concept, I've expanded it and made it quite a bit better

01:53:45   and quite a bit more versatile.

01:53:47   But I started working on that app as a proof of concept, like I said,

01:53:52   and then Mike seemed really genuinely enthusiastic about it.

01:53:54   And the more I thought about it, the more I feel like they really might have some legs.

01:53:59   And I'm not going to retire on this app.

01:54:02   In fact, it may not be that much money that I'll ever make on this app.

01:54:06   But I think I have this gut feeling I can make more than just pennies, more than fast text.

01:54:11   And so I feel like I'm going to try to see this through.

01:54:15   And because of that, I've really put the Tesla video on pause and filming anything else on pause.

01:54:19   With that--

01:54:21   - Can I give you some suggestions for your app?

01:54:23   - Yeah, absolutely.

01:54:24   - By the way, I think this app is a great idea.

01:54:26   The whole episode that you were talking about, I'm like, yes, that's perfect.

01:54:29   And then when Mike came up with the business model, I'm like, yes, of course, that's perfect.

01:54:33   Although that's way too little money.

01:54:34   So the business model you were suggesting is like, have the app be free to download, which it has to be.

01:54:39   Show people what images it will add to their contacts, let them preview it, and then to apply it, they have to pay.

01:54:46   I think that's genius.

01:54:47   That is the best possible business model for this.

01:54:50   But at that point, you don't need to be thinking with App Store economics where like a dollar's expensive.

01:54:55   At that point, I think the minimum you should charge is $3, and maybe even four or five.

01:55:00   But I'd say three is your baseline there.

01:55:02   - Yeah, and before I solicit feedback from John, one of the things that we kicked around on the as yet unreleased episode of Analog,

01:55:10   which will come out this coming Sunday, one of the things I'd said was, you know, I could see doing like consumable in-app purchase.

01:55:17   So, you know, you get a thousand updates at a batch.

01:55:19   And Mike made a really great point, which I think is correct, which is, yeah, that may be not a terrible idea,

01:55:25   but explaining that is gonna be real hard.

01:55:27   And what happens if you are one contact shy of updating everything and yet you've run out of your batch of a thousand or 500 or whatever the number may be.

01:55:36   So Mike, spoiler alert, Mike has said, "Oh, you should really make the subscription because this is the sort of thing you might come back and do periodically."

01:55:43   And I'm not sure how I feel about that one way or the other.

01:55:45   - No, I would say no on that.

01:55:47   - Yeah, and so we'll see what happens.

01:55:49   I mean, I'm on step five out of step 5,000, so I have a long way to go.

01:55:55   But I'm making progress on it.

01:55:58   I am pleased with how it's going so far.

01:56:03   I have a really terrible alpha on TestFlight that I haven't sent to you to because it's so terrible, but I will do that as soon as I finish talking.

01:56:11   It is rough, it is really rough, but I feel like, you know, it's like a fixer-upper house, which I would never do in a million years.

01:56:20   But it's like the bones feel good, you know.

01:56:23   The bones are there. I just got to refurnish the whole thing and refinish the whole thing.

01:56:28   But with that said, John laid on me, what should I do?

01:56:31   - So this is one of those third-party opportunities because Apple does such a bad job of letting you manage your contact photos.

01:56:37   Like, I remember they used to import stuff from Facebook way back when before they got rid of that integration, but that's why there is an opportunity here.

01:56:43   It's because people do appreciate having nice pictures on their contacts, but very few people want to go through the hassle that Apple puts you through to do that.

01:56:51   And there are so many pitfalls, we talked about them before, about the format, the size.

01:56:55   I'm sure we've all seen situations where we make a contact photo and adjust the crop, and then we go look at it on our phone and the crop is totally different than what we adjusted and it's showing the whole picture, or it's like off-center, or it's re-centered it.

01:57:06   Like, it's a mess. So there is definitely an opportunity to have an app here that helps with that.

01:57:10   - So pulling from Gravatar obviously is a good way to go, but what I want from an app like this is, yes, that, but also I have my own sort of growing collection of contact images that I keep sort of off to the side of photos that are not people's Gravatars, but like, "Oh, I got a good picture of that person. That's going to be that person's contact photo."

01:57:28   And I like to have it around somewhere so the next time I need to set their contact photo, or if it gets unsaid or something doesn't sync or whatever, like that I have it around.

01:57:36   So I think you need to have, I don't need to, but it would be really cool if you had a way for you to say, "Yes, pull from Gravatar if you've got nothing else," but I also have my own personal collection, probably pull it from my photos or whatever, of contact photos that I can apply and that it remembers my crops and that this application deals with all the inane stuff that will inevitably constantly change about what the hell does it take to get this photo correctly scaled and sized into this contact so that it appears everywhere on Apple devices.

01:58:01   That's the value your app is bringing. Your app will deal with this crap, so users are just like, "I'll take Gravatar for that one. I'm going to leave that one blank. I'm going to take my personal photos for these ones and be able to sort of manage their contact photos in the way that I want," because I know I wouldn't take this thing and just run it and let it put Gravatars down because I have a bunch of custom contact images that I have hand-selected, right?

01:58:22   So that's where I would like to see the app go, especially if you can charge a lot more for that type of thing. The value proposition is, "Fix the thing that Apple doesn't do well," and the people who are most interested in paying money for it are people like me who care a lot about their contact photos.

01:58:37   Yeah, I completely agree, and the way that this is handled right now is basically as it's churning and trying to download from Gravatar, and it also looks at some other sources too, but as it's churning and looking for all of these pictures, it's basically populating a table view, and when all the churning is done, it just pre-selects everything and checks everything, but gives you the opportunity to go through and say, "Oh, I have my special picture for Aaron. You have your special picture for Tina. Marco has a special picture for Tiff. Don't update those."

01:59:05   I have special pictures for all of you. What are you talking about? I have special pictures for everybody.

01:59:09   Well, in that case, maybe you wouldn't want this app.

01:59:11   But you don't need this app.

01:59:12   Yeah, exactly right.

01:59:13   I do, because you know how hard it is for me to get those pictures and have to keep a little folder in my Dropbox filled with contact photos and remember what the crops were when the sink fails and stuff, and every time I see one that has no picture or it's an old picture, just the thought of what hassle it would be to fix that.

01:59:26   If I could just launch an app and just see all my photos and my currently set ones, and like, "Here's what you have set now. Here's the option from Gravatar. Do you want to adjust the crop on either one of these? Do you want to mess with it?"

01:59:36   I would launch that app, but right now, instead, I just go, "I really should get a new photo for that that's older. That one doesn't have a photo, but I don't know where I'm going to find one."

01:59:44   It's so daunting that I don't do it. I only do it for my top 10 or 15 contacts, but I would do it for all of them if I could.

01:59:52   What was really funny is, as I was developing this, I realized that I don't even have a picture from Marco in here. It's not from lack of caring. I just never bothered, because it's just annoying.

02:00:02   I've got some great Marco pictures, so I'll trade them to you.

02:00:04   My current avatar is a Syracuse picture.

02:00:07   I think my Gravatar is ancient. It's like 10, 15 years old.

02:00:10   You're a teenager.

02:00:11   I think that's actually the one. I think that's the one I have for you as well.

02:00:14   I don't look like that anymore. I don't have that hairline anymore. None of us do, John. Sorry.

02:00:19   None of us do. But anyway, I do feel like this thing has legs.

02:00:23   Does it have feet?

02:00:24   Would you say it has feet?

02:00:26   Oh, God. I hate you two so much. I hate you two so much.

02:00:29   Anyway, the point I'm trying to make...

02:00:33   Fast Contacts, coming soon from the Fast franchise.

02:00:36   From the Fast franchise.

02:00:37   Too fast, too contacts.

02:00:38   [laughter]

02:00:40   (beeping)