13: Animated Kale


00:00:00   Still booting.

00:00:03   This is the most interesting podcast ever.

00:00:04   Well, it's not a podcast yet.

00:00:06   Well, unless you keep this in the show, which you better not do.

00:00:11   I might put that in somewhere.

00:00:13   Oh, please, dear God, no.

00:00:16   First of all, I want to start this show with a story about the theme song.

00:00:21   Our theme song by Jonathan Mann, spelled the same way as Merlin Mann, but with Jonathan

00:00:27   in front instead of Merlin.

00:00:29   Our theme song, so here's what happened.

00:00:31   When we started this show, I went to Merlin Man because he made the theme song to his

00:00:37   Back to Work podcast.

00:00:39   And I went to Merlin and I said, "Look, I'm looking for, for this show that we're

00:00:42   doing, I'm looking for something that is kind of punchy the way those opening chords

00:00:47   are to Back to Work."

00:00:49   [music]

00:00:50   Hello.

00:00:51   Did you mention bleeps and boops to him?

00:00:53   I did not.

00:00:54   Damn it.

00:00:55   [laughter]

00:00:56   Just to irritate you.

00:00:58   So, anyway, so I went to Merlin and I said, "Do you have, you know, could you like whip

00:01:02   something up in GarageBand or something?"

00:01:04   Because he likes doing that kind of stuff and he's really good at it.

00:01:06   So I said, "You know, could you whip something up in GarageBand or something just to be like

00:01:10   a quick opener and a quick closer to the show?"

00:01:17   And he said, "Yeah, okay, I'll work on it."

00:01:19   And then like a week later, Jonathan Mann does this song and releases it on YouTube

00:01:25   during his song of day thing, which we will link to in the show notes.

00:01:28   Jonathan Mann did this awesome theme song that we've been using in almost every episode since then.

00:01:34   If not every episode.

00:01:35   ♫ Accidental ♫

00:01:37   It was so damn catchy.

00:01:38   Like, it came out shortly before Casey and I went on our big Germany car trip.

00:01:43   And we were talking about it on the trip, it was in our heads the entire time.

00:01:47   It was in our wives' heads the entire time.

00:01:49   It's so catchy, and we've gotten so many responses on Twitter saying

00:01:53   the show is stuck, or the theme song is stuck in my head.

00:01:56   It's been stuck in my head all day or all week or whatever.

00:01:58   And people just love this thing, and I love it,

00:02:00   and we love it, except Jon.

00:02:02   But the rest of us love it.

00:02:03   (laughs)

00:02:04   And so eventually I went to Merlin, and I'm like,

00:02:08   "You know, I think we're just gonna have to keep this

00:02:11   "'cause it's so good."

00:02:12   And he was like, "Yeah, I agree.

00:02:13   "You should definitely keep that.

00:02:15   "It's really good."

00:02:16   - Well, when you gave Merlin the assignment for the song,

00:02:18   did you make sure it had a budget,

00:02:20   a deadline, and resources attached to it?

00:02:21   I didn't and

00:02:23   Therefore I guess it wasn't it wasn't a priority project. No, it wasn't a priority I think

00:02:30   Priorities it didn't have like a level 10 priority. Maybe might have only had a level 8 priority, but there's 19 other level 8 priorities

00:02:37   Something like that. I think I'm getting this right right Merlin. Mmm anyway, so I think that was a Merlin impression

00:02:44   It's not that good of one. I

00:02:46   Don't have any cards to flat also be lemon grab

00:02:50   Well, no, that's more stressful.

00:02:54   I can't do it, because I don't even know what show that is.

00:02:57   I've heard Merlin do it enough times

00:02:58   that I know what you're talking about.

00:03:00   Anyway, so I went to Jonathan Mann, and I said, hey,

00:03:06   can we just keep using this?

00:03:08   Like, can we give you something for it?

00:03:11   Can we keep using it?

00:03:12   Because people love it.

00:03:13   And he said, all he wants is for us

00:03:16   to mention his site and his business.

00:03:18   Because what his business is.

00:03:20   So this guy, you've probably heard his songs before,

00:03:22   at least one of them.

00:03:23   One of the biggest ones is when Apple did the Antennagate

00:03:27   press conference back in 2010, was it?

00:03:30   Late 2010, whenever that was.

00:03:33   They opened the press conference with the song

00:03:36   about the Antennagate issue.

00:03:38   And that song was Jonathan Mann's songs.

00:03:40   I think it was just his song of the day for one of those days

00:03:42   or something like that.

00:03:42   He had released it right before then.

00:03:44   And Steve Jobs came out and said--

00:03:46   Good morning.

00:03:47   Thanks for joining us here.

00:03:48   We saw that on YouTube this morning and couldn't help but want to share it.

00:03:54   They opened the conference with that.

00:03:55   So Steve Jobs likes his songs.

00:03:57   His song gets stuck in your head, and he has a business where he can write a song for your company if you want him to.

00:04:04   So go to his site. It's JonathanMann.net.

00:04:09   And we'll put that in the show notes also.

00:04:12   You can also just follow his YouTube channel because he posts all these songs every day and they're really catchy.

00:04:16   catchy. He did a hypercritical song a few months back when that was still going, and

00:04:22   that was really catchy. So he's just really good at writing songs that get stuck in your

00:04:27   head. And so if you have a podcast or a company or anything like that, you kind of want that

00:04:32   because that's really good for you. One of the reasons I wanted to keep this song for

00:04:35   us is because it gets stuck in your head, that's good for the show. That's like promotion

00:04:39   for the show, and it gives you a good feeling when you hear us every week. So thanks a lot

00:04:44   to Jonathan Mann for letting us use this song. And check out his site. I'm willing to in

00:04:48   the show notes. JonathanMann@2n.net.

00:04:50   Yeah, I feel compelled to point out that when you say they're catchy, that's like the good

00:04:55   kind of catchy, not like the modern pop music annoying catchy, where it's like this thing

00:05:01   burrowing into your brain. It's the happy catchy, the one that you kind of giggle about

00:05:05   every time you hear somebody humming it or singing it as Tiff and all of us did for most

00:05:10   of the Germany trip. So it's the good kind of catchy.

00:05:13   Yeah, it's not like you know pop music that you want to you want to drill your brain out right with a spoon

00:05:17   Because you just cannot get it out of your head. I mean this is like yeah, you're right

00:05:20   It's the good kind and and this guy obviously

00:05:22   You know Jonathan has real talent here because he's he's made lots of songs that are that catchy

00:05:27   Like it's not like he had one that was really catchy and that was it. He was done

00:05:31   He seems to be really really good at specifically creating good catchy songs. He makes a song every day doesn't he still doing that?

00:05:38   Yeah, and I believe his reasoning for that was like to keep himself sharp and you know and develop these skills

00:05:43   And he really I mean you could tell this guy. Yeah, he's he's really good at it

00:05:47   Anyway, so thank you to Jonathan man

00:05:49   That was a freaking great to have this theme song and I love it and well at most of the hosts on this show

00:05:56   Absolutely. Love it two-thirds of the hosts

00:05:58   And the other one seems to be a lot versions of the song. I like this one is catchy. I like it

00:06:02   I just I'm partial to bleeps and boops

00:06:06   And I agree with the people who said that the bleeps and boops, the weakest of the bleeps and boops song is that it sounds

00:06:11   like there should be more song and there isn't, whereas the other one

00:06:14   it kind of is a complete thing, you know?

00:06:17   Oh, I should point it also. I even adjusted the EQ in the way I edit things.

00:06:22   I adjusted the EQ for starting in last week's episode just to make the song sound better.

00:06:27   Like it needed any help.

00:06:30   Well, yeah, just, well, because I was killing its audio quality with, because I was applying the voice EQ to the global track to all

00:06:36   of us, including the song track. So now the song track is untouched and so you get to

00:06:40   hear it in its full glory.

00:06:41   All right, so now that we have...

00:06:43   You know, at 64 kilobits.

00:06:46   Now that we have two consecutive podcasts about podcasts...

00:06:49   Yes.

00:06:50   ...a really quick bit of follow-up that I just wanted to mention. A lot of people have

00:06:53   come out of the woodwork and recommended a million different List Apps to me after my

00:06:58   complaining about the way that List Apps work and how I want something super simple. And

00:07:02   One of the things I heard a lot of is, "Dude, why don't you just use the Reminders app?"

00:07:06   Which at first I didn't even realize that you could share lists in that, but apparently

00:07:09   you can do it, I think, on the website and definitely on OS X, but not on iOS.

00:07:15   It's close to what I want.

00:07:16   It's not really what I want.

00:07:17   It's not worth discussing what I want because it's really boring and not that exciting,

00:07:20   but I just wanted to thank everyone for pointing these things out, but also say I've heard

00:07:24   every recommendation under the sun at this point, and if you really want to engage me

00:07:28   on Twitter to argue about this kind of minutia,

00:07:31   then you know where to find me.

00:07:33   Just listen to the song.

00:07:34   It's right in there.

00:07:35   (laughing)

00:07:37   - Yeah, I also, I was talking about List apps yesterday

00:07:40   because I was going grocery shopping,

00:07:41   and a lot of people brought this up to me also.

00:07:44   And I just, you know, my problem is I like the Clear app.

00:07:49   I actually like using that in the store.

00:07:50   It's because it has such a minimal interface,

00:07:54   and everything is like a big touch target,

00:07:55   and you can swipe everything.

00:07:57   it's really easy to use while shopping.

00:07:59   And I like that as you cross things off,

00:08:00   they fall off the list.

00:08:02   And so the view that you're looking at gets smaller.

00:08:05   It's actually really, really very nice

00:08:07   when walking around a store.

00:08:08   You don't have to look that closely at the phone.

00:08:11   You don't have to be that precise with your gestures.

00:08:14   Everything is big and friendly to one-handed use

00:08:17   while shopping.

00:08:18   And I was lamenting problems I was having

00:08:21   with it syncing to the Mac client

00:08:22   and not being able to multi-line paste.

00:08:24   Although apparently if you do a shake gesture

00:08:26   or something.

00:08:28   There was some kind of crazy gesture

00:08:29   that I would never have guessed to attempt

00:08:32   to multi-line paste something.

00:08:33   I don't know.

00:08:34   I didn't try it since then.

00:08:35   But anyway, so I was expressing my disdain

00:08:40   for shopping list apps.

00:08:42   And just like Casey, I got a billion recommendations

00:08:46   from everybody about their favorite shopping list app,

00:08:49   or in many cases, the shopping list app

00:08:51   that they make themselves.

00:08:54   It's so funny how so many of these apps were like--

00:08:59   they only did like a third of what I asked for.

00:09:02   What I asked for is fairly simple.

00:09:04   And I didn't even have the sharing requirement

00:09:06   that Casey had.

00:09:06   All I want is to have a sync between the Mac and iOS,

00:09:11   for the iOS client to be as easy to use as clear when

00:09:14   I'm actually shopping.

00:09:16   And if sync for some reason doesn't work very well,

00:09:19   let me at least type the list in the Mac, email it to myself,

00:09:23   and then copy and paste into the list in a multi-line

00:09:26   to multi-item action.

00:09:28   And so many recommendations couldn't

00:09:31   fit my fairly minimal requirements.

00:09:33   So anyway, the problem that I have

00:09:40   when people give me all these recommendations

00:09:42   is that it takes time to try these things out.

00:09:45   And if I have something that works 90% of the way,

00:09:50   or 80% of the way, the chances that I'm going to take an hour one day and try 14 different

00:09:56   other list apps, that's just never going to happen. The pain of using the one I'm already

00:10:02   using is never going to be great enough to make it worth even looking at the other ones.

00:10:07   Here's something else about recommendations, because I get them a lot, too. People do recommendations

00:10:12   kind of like they're participating in personal computer gamesmanship on the internet in 1992,

00:10:18   like they do with feature check boxes.

00:10:20   Well, this has X, Y, and Z and Q.

00:10:21   Well, this has X, Y, Z, Q, and P. Oh, well, then it wins, right?

00:10:24   And especially for iOS apps, I find that a lot of the time,

00:10:29   the application that I use, I like for reasons that have

00:10:33   nothing to do with the features.

00:10:34   I acknowledge that this lacks features and has an annoying

00:10:37   bug that drives me insane, but I like how it looks better.

00:10:40   Or I like where the three buttons that I press most

00:10:43   frequently, I like where they are because of the way I hold

00:10:45   it with my thumb.

00:10:46   Crap like that.

00:10:47   That determines which app I pick.

00:10:48   The one that recently came up was people yelling at me on app.net about why I should use other

00:10:53   app.net clients because I'm constantly complaining about netbots annoying bugs with not marking

00:10:58   replies as read and silly things like that.

00:11:01   I've bought every app.net client that exists, so I already have all these apps.

00:11:06   They're like, "This one has it, and this has had that feature forever."

00:11:08   I know I have all of them, but there's just something about how netbot looks, or it looks

00:11:13   like app.net to me, or I like where the buttons are.

00:11:16   The intangibles.

00:11:17   That could be why you end up using an application over another app.

00:11:21   It doesn't always have to be feature checkboxes.

00:11:24   It's crazy to me that people who are in the Mac community and in our circle, that part

00:11:29   of their brain shuts off when comparing applications.

00:11:33   "Oh, you should use this application because it has the feature you want."

00:11:35   Well, if it's ugly, I'm not going to use it.

00:11:37   Well, why is it ugly?

00:11:38   It's not really ugly.

00:11:39   It's just not to my taste.

00:11:40   I'm not impugning other people's applications that somehow they do a bad job laying it out,

00:11:43   but sometimes you like how one looks better than the other.

00:11:46   like where a button is or what's a button and what's a slide and what's not a slide,

00:11:50   and people don't like to hear that. Whenever people ask me about app recommendations, I

00:11:55   always have to do this whole song and dance about, "This is the application that I like,

00:11:59   but it's not necessarily the best one for you because maybe you like different things

00:12:02   than I do."

00:12:03   Oh, yeah.

00:12:04   Oh, that's exactly what I ran into with the recommendations to me because everyone said,

00:12:09   "Oh, you want something super simple. You want it to be shared. What's wrong with you?

00:12:12   not use reminders. And there's several reasons why I don't really want to use reminders,

00:12:17   none of which matter, and it's really not worth going into, but I tried to tell people

00:12:21   this, and they're like, "But that should work for you." And I'm thinking to myself, "Well,

00:12:26   I just told you it doesn't."

00:12:28   Well, now that you're a famous person, that's the thing, is that you want the famous person

00:12:31   to use your app, because it's like, "Oh, well, this is used by this person who has this voice

00:12:38   to the world," or whatever. But it's nothing against a lot of these apps. Some of them

00:12:42   I acknowledge are better applications than the one I'm choosing to use. But if one is

00:12:46   green and one is red and I really like red, I'm going to use the red one, even if the

00:12:50   green one is technically a better app. And that's how people actually are. And I don't

00:12:53   think we should be excluded from being allowed to be just like people are and just picking

00:12:58   the green one because you like green. As long as we're clear when people ask about recommendations,

00:13:03   it's like, "This is the app that I like, but there are plenty of other really great

00:13:06   apps too. Try the ones and see which one or do what I did and buy every single one of

00:13:10   and then pick the one that you like best.

00:13:12   Oh yeah, and what you said a minute ago, you said you like this button being red and the

00:13:17   other app is blue.

00:13:19   Back when I worked at—I've told this story a few times on Build and Analyze, so I'll

00:13:22   be quick—back when I worked at Vivissimo in Pittsburgh and we made the Cluste search

00:13:26   engine, among other things, we would get support emails from Cluste saying, "I use you over

00:13:31   Google because I like the color scheme on the site," or "I like your logo."

00:13:37   You would think, oh, Google in 2006 or 2005,

00:13:40   when we were doing this, they were on top of their game.

00:13:43   They were dominating the search market.

00:13:44   Bing wasn't around yet.

00:13:46   DuckDuckGo wasn't around yet.

00:13:47   Everything was Google back then.

00:13:49   And you would think an alternative search engine,

00:13:52   there'd be no market for it.

00:13:54   But there was.

00:13:55   There wasn't another market for a Google-sized company

00:13:58   to have their own search engine.

00:13:59   But when you had a little one, like we did,

00:14:01   run by only a handful of people, you

00:14:03   can pay them with the revenue.

00:14:05   you can be sustainable with a small company

00:14:07   having a small product with a small market share,

00:14:10   because the market is just so damn big

00:14:12   that if you can get half of 1% of it

00:14:15   to prefer your product over the other one,

00:14:18   you can support a company on that,

00:14:21   as long as it's not that big of a company.

00:14:23   And that applies to so many things.

00:14:24   It applies to the app store.

00:14:25   That applies to so many things where

00:14:28   you think there's no more room in the market for your product.

00:14:31   But there is.

00:14:32   There might not be a whole lot of room for your product.

00:14:35   You might not be able to have a ton of users

00:14:37   and make a ton of money, but there

00:14:39   is enough space for sustainable living

00:14:42   to be made by one or a handful of people in a lot more markets

00:14:46   than you think.

00:14:46   Cool.

00:14:51   Thanks.

00:14:53   You can always rely on me to break that awkward silence.

00:14:55   It's hard not to think of this position by Marco

00:14:59   as like a foreshadowing of his future endeavors.

00:15:02   It's going to be a to-do app, isn't it?

00:15:04   You can just admit it.

00:15:04   Yes, that's it. I already posted a screenshot. I posted my preview of the To-Do app with

00:15:11   filters.

00:15:12   To-Do? I missed that. Did you post it on your site or Twitter?

00:15:14   On Twitter. Yeah, because now I'm thinking there aren't enough apps in the App Store

00:15:19   that let you take a photo and apply a filter to it.

00:15:22   I saw it. That was one of your shopping lists, yes.

00:15:25   Yes. That market, I think, is underserved. There just aren't enough photo filter apps.

00:15:29   we just discussed, there are many to-do apps, but there aren't really any that we all

00:15:35   love. So I'm going to combine the two and maybe throw in a flashlight as well, because

00:15:40   those are pretty bad too. And I was thinking maybe a weather feature as well, because all

00:15:46   those things are dramatically underserved. And so it would be a flashlight weather shopping

00:15:52   list with filters.

00:15:53   For your shopping list, I have two words for you.

00:15:56   Animated kale.

00:15:57   Done.

00:15:58   Million dollar idea.

00:15:59   What?

00:16:00   And you should call it— Should that be the name of the app?

00:16:02   No, it should have animated kale in it.

00:16:04   When you write down kale on a list, I want to see kale leaves.

00:16:06   I know they want them to be animated.

00:16:09   Like as if you're shaking the water off of them from the fruit sprayers?

00:16:11   No, not at all.

00:16:12   Now you're getting it.

00:16:13   No, they should blow with— in proportion to the wind velocity where you're standing.

00:16:17   You can use the accelerometer and the gyroscope, you know.

00:16:20   Run with it, Marco.

00:16:21   You can figure it out.

00:16:22   Call it Instalist.

00:16:24   [laughs]

00:16:25   Well, I was saying too, I don't plan to ever reuse the prefix "insta" anymore

00:16:30   because ever since Instagram came out and became insanely popular,

00:16:35   that prefix has been so overused now that if I use it again,

00:16:42   I will look like I'm copying the trend and not just copying my own previous product

00:16:48   that predated most of the Insta craze.

00:16:50   And so I just, and you know, there's like, there's nothing I can really do about that.

00:16:56   You know, you just gotta accept that, you know, that phrase has been ruined and move

00:16:59   on.

00:17:00   Anyway.

00:17:01   Do you want to talk about Google I/O?

00:17:05   That happened today.

00:17:06   >> Do we care?

00:17:07   >> I think we probably--

00:17:08   >> I'm kidding, I'm kidding.

00:17:09   >> We probably should care.

00:17:10   >> No, actually there were some interesting--

00:17:11   >> I think it's relevant.

00:17:12   >> Yeah, there were some interesting bits.

00:17:13   I'm just trying to be--

00:17:14   >> So I didn't see any of it because I was working and then, you know, at dinner and

00:17:19   school concerts.

00:17:20   And really, I saw the tweets about it, but I really know nothing.

00:17:23   So hopefully you guys know more about it than I do, and then you can explain it to me who

00:17:26   doesn't know any of the stuff, and that will serve to also explain it to the listeners

00:17:31   who could not endure three and a half hours of that keynote.

00:17:34   Or maybe they have jobs and had to work.

00:17:36   Well, to that end, I did not watch the three and a half hour keynote.

00:17:39   And after I got home, I lazy Twittered for a brief recap, and my good friend Larry King

00:17:47   definitely called me out and asking basically all of Twitter to do my show prep on my behalf.

00:17:52   So thank you, Twitter.

00:17:53   But then Panzer did it for you, so there you go.

00:17:55   Yeah, but Panzer did it for me because who doesn't like Panzer? I mean, he's the man.

00:18:00   So anyway.

00:18:01   He has very tall hair.

00:18:02   He has extremely tall hair.

00:18:03   Don't be jealous.

00:18:04   I can't hide it. I am jealous. My hair cannot get that tall. And he can pull it off. Just

00:18:10   like Jeff Rock always has. Jeff Rock is a cool enough guy that he can pull off any facial

00:18:16   hair. Like, mutton chops, full beard, partial beard, goatee, anything. He can pull off any

00:18:21   facial hair combination. And I'm very jealous of that because I can't pull off anything

00:18:25   except clean shaven, which I don't do very well. Like, I'm sorry, guys. I did not shave

00:18:29   for the podcast.

00:18:30   I thought something felt just a little bit wrong tonight.

00:18:33   Yeah, I'm a little sharp. Anyway, so, Google I/O. Go on.

00:18:38   You watched it, didn't you?

00:18:40   No, I didn't, actually.

00:18:41   Oh, I thought you did.

00:18:42   watching Google I/O, I took a new allergy medicine this morning because my allergies

00:18:47   have been crazy and slept all afternoon. So I was able to tweet a few things in response

00:18:52   to some of the live blogs that I was reading before and after the giant nap. Amazingly,

00:18:57   I woke up from the giant nap and it was still going on.

00:19:00   Yeah, so apparently, so I'm going to recap. So let me try that again from the top. I know

00:19:07   almost nothing, but apparently of the three of us I know the most.

00:19:10   So based on Panzer's excellent punch list, which I'll try to find while one of you start

00:19:16   talking and put in the chat so we can put it in the show notes, there were a few different

00:19:20   things that I kind of grouped everything into.

00:19:23   And so the general themes that I saw were general stuff about Google's business and

00:19:30   Android and Android's business.

00:19:33   Then there was a bit about dev tools, of course a bunch about cloud services, and then finally

00:19:36   some hardware. In terms of iOS and Android or Google's business, they did note that they

00:19:43   have 900 million Android activations, which is quite a bit, and 48 billion apps downloaded.

00:19:50   Which given that Apple just rolled over 50 billion, I thought that was kind of interesting

00:19:54   and unsurprising that they had a me too moment about that.

00:19:57   >> Oh, definitely. >> So I don't know if you guys have anything

00:20:00   else to add on that before I continue. Doesn't sound like it.

00:20:03   OK, so DevTools, they mentioned a few different things.

00:20:07   Firstly, apparently there's a mechanism

00:20:09   by which you can ask for app translation to happen,

00:20:12   or maybe not ask for as though it's free,

00:20:14   but you can request app translation

00:20:17   to happen within the Google equivalent of iTunes Connect,

00:20:21   I guess.

00:20:22   Yeah, I wasn't clear on that.

00:20:23   Was that human powered?

00:20:25   I don't know.

00:20:25   My impression was you have to-- somebody is doing it somehow.

00:20:29   So yes, it's human powered.

00:20:31   And I don't think it's free.

00:20:32   but again, I'm not 100% sure.

00:20:34   It's still very good though, because

00:20:36   you know, I've always rallied

00:20:38   in favor of

00:20:40   good voiceover support in apps

00:20:42   to the point where I think Apple should be testing

00:20:44   apps with voiceover on during app review

00:20:46   and rejecting the ones that are

00:20:48   unusable or otherwise terrible

00:20:50   for voiceover users.

00:20:52   And my reasoning for that would be to get more apps to do this fairly trivial thing to support

00:21:00   accessibility better.

00:21:03   And I think it would be interesting if somebody were to do the same thing with basic

00:21:06   localization.

00:21:07   The way Google...

00:21:08   Like now that Google has this infrastructure in place where

00:21:11   you can very easily localize your app or at least do the basics

00:21:15   right within their developer portal.

00:21:18   Like what if Apple did that and made it a basic requirement of

00:21:22   app review? That like you have to localize all

00:21:25   important strings in your app for, you know, strings that are important to use it.

00:21:29   That was a question I had about the localization thing, because although I didn't watch it,

00:21:32   I saw tweets going by about it.

00:21:34   Is this a service they provide?

00:21:37   You give them some money or something and then people localize your app?

00:21:40   Or is this just a way for you to localize your own app?

00:21:45   My impression was that it was a service and somebody in the chat is saying that yes, it's

00:21:51   human powered and you pay per word.

00:21:53   If your name was pronounceable in the chat, I would pronounce it, but it's a series of

00:21:57   consonants.

00:21:58   And so I guess your name is G-G-G. But anyway, so they were saying that it's human powered

00:22:03   in pay per word.

00:22:04   And I agree with you, Marco, that voiceover support is so unbelievably trivial in iOS,

00:22:09   it's really just saying, hey, for this UI element, this is what you should read to a

00:22:13   vision impaired user.

00:22:15   And when you got on a kick about this, geez, I don't know, it was like two years ago now,

00:22:19   I did that with my really crummy and really simple app in the App Store and it took me

00:22:23   about an hour.

00:22:24   And I expected it to take forever.

00:22:26   So that's not translation, that's a little bit different, but I completely agree that

00:22:32   not having voiceover support is inexcusable, and shame on you if you don't.

00:22:36   This translation thing highlights, if it is as you described, how is the difference between

00:22:43   Apple and Google?

00:22:44   Because I can never imagine Apple offering a service like that, because what Apple would

00:22:48   want you to do is to get your own translators and work closely with them to make sure it's

00:22:54   exactly the way you want it because it's not that it's automated translation or machine

00:22:59   translation it's just that this generic pool of translators aren't going to know your particular

00:23:04   application to the same degree that someone that you hired personally and worked with

00:23:09   would know.

00:23:11   It seems like what you'd end up with is more applications that are translated but the ones

00:23:15   that are translated would not be very good translations and it seems like Apple would

00:23:18   be like "just don't even bother translating if you're not going to sweat the details over

00:23:22   the exact precise word in this other language is going to be the right word for your application.

00:23:27   And you're going to go back and forth with your guy 50 times about it, you know?

00:23:30   One thing, too, like one of the reasons why I never localized Instapaper, which honestly

00:23:34   was probably very bad for business, but the reason I didn't localize the app is because

00:23:39   Instapaper is much more than just the app, and there's the entire website that would

00:23:43   go along with it. And the Instapaper app and website and the way they interact, the bookmarklet,

00:23:50   installation procedure, all that stuff. It's very text intensive,

00:23:54   very language intensive, and the language is very nuanced in a lot of cases.

00:23:58   And also, there's the question of, you know, shouldn't you also,

00:24:02   if you're selling an app in a language, giving the impression that you support that

00:24:06   language, do you also need to provide support

00:24:10   in that language? Like, that's another question. So there were all these,

00:24:14   the task of localizing Instapaper would have been so large to do it well

00:24:18   that I never got around to it as my limited time and resources permitted. I just never

00:24:24   got around to doing it because I knew that it wasn't just localizing a few button labels

00:24:30   in the app. It was much, much more than that. And localization, even when it is just localizing

00:24:36   button labels in an app, that alone is not trivial. There's a lot of problems with, again,

00:24:43   with nuance, you know, not the company, with nuance the noun, of, you know, just when you

00:24:52   say, you know, "accept" or "okay" or if you say "read later," what does that mean, you

00:24:56   know, in another language? Like, it would, if you directly translate that, you know,

00:25:01   is there a better alternative than what you come up with or is it confusing if you directly

00:25:05   translate it? There's all these little exceptions that, as you said, John, like it's not as

00:25:10   as easy as, here, just blindly take the strings file

00:25:14   and give me the output.

00:25:15   And then there's other issues like, do the new strings

00:25:18   fit on the buttons?

00:25:20   Do they overflow the boundaries of the labels?

00:25:22   [INAUDIBLE]

00:25:23   Oh, yeah.

00:25:24   Hence German and their expensive spaces.

00:25:26   Right, or like Japanese, where you

00:25:27   should be using larger font sizes slightly

00:25:29   or different fonts.

00:25:31   There's all sorts of differences that you need to consider

00:25:35   and edge cases all over the place,

00:25:37   to the point where they're not even really edge cases.

00:25:40   It's just regular cases.

00:25:42   Localization is not a trivial thing.

00:25:44   And just translating the strings is step one.

00:25:49   And there's a lot more to it than that.

00:25:53   But at the same time, you could possibly

00:25:54   argue, is a badly translated app better than an app that

00:25:59   is not translated at all?

00:26:00   Yeah, and I'm not making a value judgment about it.

00:26:03   Apple's system of priorities is such

00:26:06   that they would prefer that you do a super awesome job or not do it.

00:26:11   Whereas Google, their philosophy is definitely it's better to make translation as easy as

00:26:17   possible even if the translations aren't going to be that great, because we think it's more

00:26:22   important to just have 10,000 okay translated apps out there instead of 100 ones with great

00:26:30   translations.

00:26:31   But yeah, but the same thing with the layouts.

00:26:34   and forget about, you know, when you were doing Instapaper testing, having your 17 Kindles,

00:26:38   your 800 iOS devices, now multiply that by the number of languages, and make sure you

00:26:42   check every screen in every language, because you never know when that label's going to

00:26:44   poke out of the button or get truncated. It's just a nightmare.

00:26:47   Oh, yeah. Like, I remember when we, back in Tumblr, before I even left to do Instapaper,

00:26:53   when Tumblr started localizing, it was just a massive amount of work. And fortunately,

00:26:58   I didn't have to do it, but it took a dedicated staff of, I think, two people, one being—and

00:27:05   it's hard enough to find a good translator, for one thing, because you have to find somebody—generally

00:27:09   speaking, it's better to find somebody who is a native speaker of the destination language

00:27:15   that you're translating to. So, you know, if you want to translate to Japanese, you

00:27:20   should probably find a Japanese person who has grown up in Japan who knows enough English

00:27:25   to be able to understand your app and translate it well

00:27:28   to Japanese.

00:27:28   But then it isn't just enough to find

00:27:30   somebody who speaks the language and knows it well.

00:27:32   You have to also find somebody who's good at writing interface

00:27:35   text.

00:27:36   Think about how hard it is to find people

00:27:38   in your own language to do that.

00:27:42   That's not an easy job.

00:27:43   And that really can make a very, very big difference

00:27:47   in how people perceive and use your product.

00:27:49   And so you can't just find anybody.

00:27:52   But here's the worst part.

00:27:54   you can't really judge the quality of somebody for a language you don't know very well.

00:27:58   You can't judge how good they are at that. It's very, very difficult.

00:28:01   So there's the issue of how do you find good people to do this even.

00:28:06   Yeah, Google's automated. The tools are actually a problem, because I've worked at companies

00:28:10   where we extensively localized everything, and the tools to give to the people who are

00:28:16   doing the localization, that is actually an issue, because we would hire the best people

00:28:21   to do localizations, we could, but they weren't necessarily tech savvy.

00:28:25   So you wanted to give them a really simple way for them to be able to update things quickly

00:28:29   that integrated with the rest of your process.

00:28:31   So this tool that Google is providing provides that piece of the puzzle.

00:28:35   And I can also imagine a way for them to help with the problem that you were just describing,

00:28:39   Marco, where you're like, "I hope this guy's doing a good job at these translations, because

00:28:42   I can't read them."

00:28:45   You could have a system whereby people rate the quality of the translations of those applications

00:28:50   in the store.

00:28:51   crazy for us in the iOS ecosystem to talk about adding features to the store or the

00:28:55   backend to it, but for Google, they'd be like, "Oh yeah, we should do that."

00:28:59   So then the people who participated in this human-powered translation process could be

00:29:04   rated by the customers of the applications to say, "Is this application localized in

00:29:09   your language very well, or did it read like when we read those manuals on how to assemble

00:29:14   something that are clearly badly translated from Korean or Chinese or something?"

00:29:18   And you can tell, right?

00:29:19   And eventually you would probably start narrowing the pool of your human-powered translators,

00:29:25   or at least marking this guy as like five-star.

00:29:28   All the things you can do with the internet and the web could be brought to bear on these

00:29:33   aspects of the translation problem.

00:29:36   The difficulty of finding tools, finding people who are going to use the tools, and making

00:29:39   sure those people—like having some sort of feedback mechanism whereby the people get

00:29:45   better or at least you can see how good they are during translation.

00:29:49   I think that also brings up an interesting side discussion related to this, which is,

00:29:55   I think, seeing all the stuff that Google was adding to their developer portal today

00:30:01   really makes iTunes Connect look terrible in comparison.

00:30:05   I mean, iTunes Connect, which is what iOS developers use to manage their apps and upload

00:30:09   them and everything, it's always been pretty terrible.

00:30:13   It has gotten better over the years, but I would still not call it anywhere near good.

00:30:20   There's lots and lots of old cruft there.

00:30:22   It's very clearly made for the music industry to upload their stuff to iTunes back forever

00:30:29   ago and they just kind of tack all this stuff onto this ancient infrastructure to support

00:30:33   apps.

00:30:34   I can't say it's just a website, right?

00:30:35   Yeah.

00:30:36   Because I never upload an iOS app.

00:30:38   It's amazing to me that if you think of how far the tools that Apple's developers use

00:30:42   have come since Project Builder when it was—was it still called Project Builder in Mac OS

00:30:47   10? 10.0? I don't remember. I wasn't there for that.

00:30:50   Way back when, Xcode did not look like it does now, and it was in as many complaints

00:30:55   as people have about Xcode 4. It's leaps and bounds of where it was when things started.

00:31:02   It's clear that Apple has invested very heavily, with some bumps in the road, fine, in its

00:31:07   native IDE. But then if you look at any part of the development process that's not as

00:31:12   not in a native application like Radar Web or apparently iTunes Connect, which I haven't

00:31:18   used, or even just like the ADC side, which is kind of limped along.

00:31:22   Those have not made the kind of progress that Xcode has over the same period of time.

00:31:27   And it's frustrating for everyone involved.

00:31:29   It doesn't make sense to me because in this particular case, it's not like they don't

00:31:33   prioritize the developer experience.

00:31:35   I mean, look at what they're doing with Xcode.

00:31:38   they made their own compiler for crying out loud, or acquired/commandeered their own compiler.

00:31:44   They're not afraid to do the hard things when it comes to trying to make great tools for

00:31:48   developers, but somehow the web doesn't count.

00:31:51   It's like, "Oh, we'll just suffer through this website," and I don't understand that.

00:31:55   We're going to get to that if we get this far, since I'm on point one of Google I/O

00:32:00   and we've already run for a few minutes.

00:32:02   We'll get to that later in that Google announced a lot of cloud services, and that really made

00:32:06   think about the comparison to Apple.

00:32:08   But yeah, iTunes Connect definitely stinks.

00:32:11   And in my, what is it, three or four years that I've been

00:32:15   piddling with iOS as a developer, it has

00:32:18   always been awful.

00:32:19   And I couldn't agree with you more, Marco, that it's

00:32:22   unsurprising to me that Google, who is so strong in web

00:32:26   services and cloud computing sort of things, it's not

00:32:30   surprising to me that they're doing so much better or appear

00:32:33   to be doing so much better than Apple is at these sorts of

00:32:36   of bits.

00:32:37   So along the line with DevTools, another thing

00:32:40   that they announced is native beta testing.

00:32:43   And to be honest, I don't know specifically what that means.

00:32:46   I'm assuming it's a TestFlight sort of setup, which

00:32:49   is interesting because last I heard TestFlight was just

00:32:51   becoming available on Android.

00:32:53   But that is available now.

00:32:54   And the other thing that I thought was very interesting

00:32:56   is staged rollouts.

00:32:57   So you can say, hey, for this new feature,

00:32:59   perhaps for this new binary--

00:33:01   again, I'm not totally clear on how it works--

00:33:04   you can target or say only 10% of my users can see this new feature or new binary or

00:33:09   whatever the case may be.

00:33:10   And that strikes me as really useful and relevant for things like, what was the trendy mail

00:33:16   app?

00:33:17   Was it mailbox?

00:33:18   Is that right?

00:33:19   It doesn't matter.

00:33:20   It doesn't matter.

00:33:21   You got it right.

00:33:22   So yeah, so mailbox who famously had or infamously had a queue system and I think a couple other

00:33:27   apps have done that since.

00:33:28   Instead they have this native mechanism

00:33:31   wherein you can do a staged rollout, which I thought was really cool and interesting, but speaking of support

00:33:39   problems, I can only imagine the support

00:33:42   snafu that that would cause. So I don't know if this is more, if this would do more harm than good, and I'm curious Marco

00:33:47   to hear your two cents about this. But it certainly, on the surface it sounds excellent,

00:33:51   but as soon as I dig deeper mentally into what this would mean, it strikes me as maybe not the best idea in the world.

00:33:57   Well, I think it really, it's necessary in the Android ecosystem more so than it is in

00:34:03   the App Store or iOS ecosystem because, you know, the Android ecosystem is kind of this

00:34:09   wild west where you can upload a binary at any time, there's no app review, it's just

00:34:15   kind of, you do what you want whenever you want to. And so having something like a staged

00:34:19   rollout actually makes some sense because you don't have that, first of all, that long

00:34:24   delay between when you ship some code and when people can actually get it. And there's

00:34:29   also not that big step of app review happening in the middle where there's someone else trying

00:34:37   your app in an isolated environment and catching most really obvious major bugs. And therefore

00:34:44   preventing you from submitting that to your customers.

00:34:48   So I think with iOS, if you had a stage rollout, how would that really benefit you if you can't

00:34:57   send a new binary up there for another week anyway? The benefit there is less so than

00:35:04   if you just had, than in the Google case where you can just upload things whenever you want

00:35:08   and it's pretty much immediate.

00:35:10   Well, but that presupposes that an issue is with your binary and not with the backing

00:35:15   web service that in this phantom app presumably is under your control and presumably you could

00:35:20   fix whenever you want.

00:35:22   Yeah.

00:35:23   Did that make sense?

00:35:24   Yeah, it did. I mean, yeah, I guess if you're rolling out something that's going to put

00:35:27   a lot of strain on your servers or you don't know how it's going to be at scale and you

00:35:31   might have to re-index some databases or optimize some things, then I could see some value there.

00:35:37   But I think the overhead of having such a system probably is not worth it in most cases.

00:35:43   I don't even know how much it's worth to Android, really.

00:35:46   I think what we're seeing here, though,

00:35:48   is that Google has to make all their tools awesome.

00:35:52   They have to make all of these things for Android developers

00:35:56   great, because they have to attract developers.

00:35:59   Google needs developers to really start

00:36:01   taking Android more seriously.

00:36:03   And they are, slowly.

00:36:04   But it is slowly happening.

00:36:05   But Google needs to be attracting developers

00:36:09   as hard as they can.

00:36:10   Apple doesn't need to do that, because all the developers

00:36:12   already go to Apple. So Apple, they don't need them as badly.

00:36:16   And so that's why Apple can sit there with iTunes Connect

00:36:20   being as mediocre as it is, and they can

00:36:24   not support all of these cool new things that Google's doing

00:36:29   and they can have app review and things like that. They can do all that because

00:36:33   we go to them already. We're like knocking down the door. We are desperate to get

00:36:37   into the Apple App Store because that's where the people and the money and the influence all are.

00:36:41   And the Android app stores have been kind of this mixed game of usually not simultaneous release with iOS.

00:36:50   Things usually debut on iOS first if they're going to be cross-platform at all.

00:36:55   Certainly they almost never debut on Android first and then go to iOS.

00:37:00   And most of the buzz of new apps happening is still happening on iOS.

00:37:04   So Google really needs people to go to them first.

00:37:06   So they need to be doing all this stuff, whereas Apple really doesn't.

00:37:10   Yeah, I would agree with that.

00:37:11   And the other thing that I forgot to mention

00:37:14   in terms of developer tools on an iTunes Connect

00:37:16   sort of scenario is I heard some rumblings of,

00:37:19   I guess there's some sort of lead tracking

00:37:21   or referral information like analytics-ish kind of,

00:37:25   analytics is a poor choice of words,

00:37:26   but some sort of referral information

00:37:29   so you can see why somebody downloaded your app.

00:37:32   And I don't, again, I don't know any of the details

00:37:33   beyond that, but I heard some rumblings about it.

00:37:35   And I know that would be really exciting

00:37:37   if you take your presence in the App Store seriously,

00:37:40   which I do not, but I know Marco, you certainly did.

00:37:43   And--

00:37:44   - Still do.

00:37:44   - And still do.

00:37:45   And so I can only imagine how awesome that would be

00:37:48   if Apple provided even a rudimentary amount of information

00:37:52   about where you've gotten downloads from.

00:37:55   - Oh yeah, I mean, I've been yelling about that for years.

00:37:57   That it is, and yeah, I think what they said was,

00:38:01   like later this summer they're tying it in

00:38:02   with Google Analytics and something like that.

00:38:05   And so you could have App Analytics and the website

00:38:07   and track where they came from and all that stuff.

00:38:08   Basically everything iOS people want.

00:38:11   As an iOS developer, it's very hard

00:38:13   to know why people are buying your app.

00:38:16   You can look at your rank, and you

00:38:17   can see how well you're doing relative to other apps

00:38:19   and everything like that.

00:38:20   You can see your sales every day.

00:38:21   You can see how many you're selling.

00:38:23   And you can attempt to correlate, like, OK, well,

00:38:25   I just did a big ad buy, and then the next day

00:38:28   my sales were up.

00:38:29   So that might have been because of the ad buy.

00:38:32   Or it might have been because a lot of people just

00:38:34   bought new iPhones that day.

00:38:36   or I could have been featured somewhere in the App Store

00:38:40   and not even known about it because they don't tell you

00:38:41   when you're featured.

00:38:42   There's all these conditions.

00:38:45   And you don't know even,

00:38:47   did somebody search for your app by name?

00:38:50   Or did they browse an App Store section?

00:38:52   And if they were browsing an App Store section

00:38:54   and it popped up, what kind of section were they browsing?

00:38:56   Was it a feature?

00:38:57   Was it a top list?

00:38:59   Was it a category list?

00:39:00   It would be great to know where these people

00:39:04   are coming from, why they bought your app,

00:39:05   how they got there. If you're on a web campaign, there are things like Tapstream that will

00:39:11   try to track people between things. But even those, they can't work all the time because

00:39:17   Apple doesn't have any kind of hooks into their stuff. And so it would be great to know,

00:39:23   "Oh, my app was downloaded from browsing the top list here, and therefore I might want

00:39:28   to consider staying in the top list and maybe adjusting my price as a result." Or it'd

00:39:33   be nice to know, well, most people download my app by searching for it by name. Therefore,

00:39:39   I don't need to rely as much on the top list, and I can concentrate more on advertising

00:39:42   my name and branding and all that stuff. It would be great to know that stuff, and you

00:39:48   just have no insight into any of that with Apple today. You can attempt to get some of

00:39:53   it through various hacks and services that attempt to tie IPs to purchases and things

00:40:00   like that, but it's really, it would be so much better

00:40:04   if Apple integrated that somehow,

00:40:06   and they just ignore that completely.

00:40:09   - Which is kind of their MO.

00:40:11   Which is unfortunate, but it's certainly true.

00:40:15   - So what if iTunes Connect, and all this stuff

00:40:18   having to do with sales tracking and uploading new versions

00:40:21   of your application and everything,

00:40:23   was written as a native application instead of a web app?

00:40:25   Does that solve the problem for us?

00:40:27   Is that the only way we can make this happen?

00:40:29   because maybe it would start out as kind of like the first version of Xcode 4 and be kind

00:40:33   of a disaster and it would be like, "Oh, this is so much worse. At least the website

00:40:37   worked." But maybe over time they would iterate on that native application, whatever

00:40:42   it might be called. Hopefully it would not be called iTunes.

00:40:45   Well, they already have a native app and Xcode integration doing part of the job. It used

00:40:51   to be that you would prepare your binary with the special—you'd have to export it with

00:40:56   the distribution signing profile and all this crazy certificate and profile stuff.

00:41:02   And then make sure you upload that version of it into the file upload form.

00:41:06   And now, first they had this application loader, I think, or I think that was the one that

00:41:11   did it.

00:41:12   First they had this app that you would do everything in iTunes Connect to prepare for

00:41:14   the upload.

00:41:15   You'd enter all the metadata, the screenshots, everything else, and then it would say, "Ready

00:41:19   for upload."

00:41:20   And then you'd launch this app and that would do it.

00:41:21   And now that's built into Xcode.

00:41:23   So Xcode itself can do that.

00:41:25   People were super excited—I think this was last year's WWDC—when I think someone was

00:41:29   discussing this feature of the integration of—and they were like, "Oh, do they integrate

00:41:33   iTunes Connect into Xcode?"

00:41:35   And everyone was excited about that, I think mostly because they figured if we can hook

00:41:40   on to the train that actually has iterative improvements year after year, that'll be a

00:41:45   good thing.

00:41:46   And then everyone was disappointed an hour or two days later when they realized, "Oh,

00:41:51   they didn't integrate it entirely.

00:41:52   it's just slightly more stuff happens in Xcode,

00:41:54   but still you're going to be going to that website.

00:41:56   Right.

00:41:57   And the stuff they integrated does work well.

00:41:59   And it is better and faster and way less error-prone

00:42:02   than the old way of doing it.

00:42:04   But it's still not the full experience.

00:42:07   But I don't even know if integration would really

00:42:10   solve the problems of iTunes Connect.

00:42:12   Because it's not that web apps are always terrible.

00:42:15   There's lots of great web apps.

00:42:16   I don't think this needs to be a native app to do the stuff

00:42:19   that iTunes Connect mostly does.

00:42:21   I think it just needs to be a better web app, and there's plenty of room for that.

00:42:25   Are Apple's web apps always terrible? I don't think they are. Some of the iCloud apps, like the little

00:42:29   fake mail application they have, they suffer from trying to look too much like native applications.

00:42:33   Yeah. But other than that, there's competence there

00:42:37   to do it. Competence that is not reflected in, for example,

00:42:41   Radar Web. Oh yeah, Radar Web is way worse than iTunes Connect.

00:42:45   Right, because they had, I think Apple helped fund/hired a bunch of

00:42:49   the guys from SproutCore, and they had PastryKit, their internal thing that was doing emulated

00:42:55   UI kit stuff in JavaScript. There's little fits and starts of web stuff that goes on,

00:43:00   and then of course there's the WebObject guys toiling away, doing whatever it is that they

00:43:04   do. But clearly, Google, the entire company, is focused on web development. And their web

00:43:11   apps, you may not like them aesthetically, and you may not like Google and the things

00:43:15   they collect or whatever, but they know how to make a web app, let me tell you.

00:43:18   Oh yeah, they work great. Even if the visual design is often questionable, in fact I think

00:43:25   it has always been questionable, functionally they work extremely well.

00:43:29   And I think the visuals have gotten better. Like leaps and bounds. When they did that,

00:43:34   they redesigned everything to be that kind of more widely spaced, sharp-cornered, Google

00:43:40   colors, gray and red and blue. I'm not that big a fan of that design, but applying that

00:43:46   coat of paint, at least it's finally giving them some kind of unified appearance across

00:43:50   their product lines.

00:43:51   And each new one that comes out, when they redid Google Images, it got a little bit better.

00:43:55   And the new Google Maps looks like a little bit more modern, a little bit better.

00:43:59   Gmail is still weird looking.

00:44:00   Google Plus, even in its short life, Google Plus has stepped up.

00:44:03   So the old thing we've said a million different times about a million different companies,

00:44:09   but in this case it's Google and Apple, Google is becoming better at being like Apple, faster

00:44:15   than Apple is becoming better, being like Google or whatever you want to phrase it.

00:44:18   Google becoming Apple, Apple becoming Google. But it seems like Google is upping its game

00:44:23   in all the areas where Apple is traditionally strong, and Apple is not really upping its

00:44:28   game. I guess kind of. Pulling off maps at all was kind of a leg up, like now Apple proving

00:44:33   they can kind of do this stuff. But that didn't come out great, you know?

00:44:37   Yeah. Let's come back to that in a minute. This is a good time to do our first sponsor.

00:44:41   Our first sponsor is An Event Apart, and I bring this up now because we were just talking

00:44:45   about web design.

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00:45:03   that the creators of great web experiences deserve a great learning experience, An Event

00:45:08   Event Apart brings together 12 leading minds in web design for two days of non-stop inspiration

00:45:13   and enlightenment, plus an optional day-long workshop on multi-device web design.

00:45:19   So if you care about code as well as content and usability as well as design, an Event

00:45:24   Apart is the conference you've been waiting for.

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00:45:30   So go to aneventapart.com/atpfm.

00:45:34   That's aneventapart.com/atpfm.

00:45:38   Thank you to An Event Apart for sponsoring this show.

00:45:41   I've been to Event Apart, and I highly recommend it,

00:45:43   especially if you're a programmer developer type nerd

00:45:47   and you've never been to a non-developer conference.

00:45:50   Not that Event Apart is a developer conference,

00:45:52   but it's not hardcore programming.

00:45:55   They're going to talk about HTML, CSS,

00:45:57   and they're going to talk a lot about design issues.

00:46:00   It's great to go to a conference like that, especially

00:46:04   good one outside of your core area of competency, right? Because maybe you're not a designer,

00:46:10   maybe you're just, you know, you're a JavaScript programmer. But just to go to a conference

00:46:13   where more than half the sessions are about things outside the realm of your little world

00:46:19   of programming really helps expand your mind to the fact that your product is more than

00:46:25   how nicely factored your classes are, you know?

00:46:28   Oh, yeah. And I went to one as well. I learned a lot there. And it really is a very good

00:46:33   balance of code and design and style. And it really is focused a lot on websites. Yeah,

00:46:40   highly recommended if you're a web developer or web designer.

00:46:45   And the quality of their speakers tends to be perhaps a notch above, in terms of public

00:46:49   speaking skill, the average speaker you'd get at a Python conference or something. Not

00:46:54   that I'm impugning programmers, but these people understand that it's part of their

00:46:58   job to be entertaining and engaging, and they are. So, highly recommended.

00:47:03   So back to what you said a second ago. I did want to talk a little bit about this, how

00:47:08   it does seem like Google is advancing rapidly. And Apple seems to be going at a relatively

00:47:16   stable pace that is noticeably slower than Google in a lot of these areas. And we had

00:47:22   on our previous shows, we discussed what happened with the WebKit project and how Google just

00:47:26   threw a ridiculous amount of engineering talent at WebKit and just totally blew past Apple's

00:47:33   contributions pretty quickly.

00:47:34   See, I don't know if it's so much as them throwing people at it, because that makes

00:47:38   it seem like they have taken resources and directed it a certain thing. I just think

00:47:42   they have more bandwidth. Like, they're a wider machine, you know? They just have more

00:47:47   bandwidth for all the types of--for these types of things. How many people does Apple

00:47:51   have to put towards making any kind of web application better, versus how many people

00:47:57   does Google have to put towards that? And pick any other thing. How many people does

00:48:01   Apple have to put towards their compiler versus how many people does Google have? It just

00:48:05   seems to me, I'd love to see the real head counts here, but it just seems to me that

00:48:09   Google has more bandwidth. They have more people. They have more smart people.

00:48:14   And they seem to, through what is often a failure of Google, which is they're relatively

00:48:21   hands-off management through most of their history, that always results in them having

00:48:24   a million different half-finished, half-assed products and services, and they go into betas

00:48:30   and they get shut down and then they get ignored.

00:48:32   And they've always been kind of all over the place,

00:48:34   but as a result of this lack of strict management for so long,

00:48:39   you're right, they do have a lot of bandwidth.

00:48:40   They can just get tons of stuff done

00:48:43   because it isn't all flowing through a narrow funnel at the top,

00:48:45   or at least it hasn't been so far.

00:48:47   And at Apple, it's always been the opposite.

00:48:50   At Apple, it's always been like everything goes through the top,

00:48:53   everything is directed from the top,

00:48:55   and so things that the top doesn't care about

00:48:58   or doesn't have time to care about generally get neglected or get on very, very slow development

00:49:04   cycles like iTunes Connect. And so I think--or the Mac Pro. And so I think, you know, Apple

00:49:14   has always operated much like a small company. And that has really given them a lot of benefits

00:49:23   in a lot of their products and a lot of their output.

00:49:27   But I think in the case of things like web services,

00:49:31   that just doesn't work.

00:49:33   You just need more throughput.

00:49:34   There's more to do.

00:49:36   There's more that needs to be able to be done

00:49:38   without the CEO having to approve everything,

00:49:41   or the chief director of whatever

00:49:43   having to approve everything, or be in all the meetings.

00:49:46   And you're right that Google is just

00:49:49   so capable of throwing tons and tons of bandwidth, as you say, at this problem. And Apple just

00:49:57   has not seemingly done that. I mean, it's hard to know with Apple, because so few people

00:50:01   really talk about what happens inside there. You know, they're not really allowed to. But

00:50:05   it just seems, it seems from the outside like Apple has just never cared that much about

00:50:12   things like web services, enough to get them as right as Google does.

00:50:16   I have to say something about this every show, so this will be my time this show.

00:50:21   Google seems so much more dedicated to caring about infrastructure, solving a general purpose

00:50:28   problem that will benefit the entire company in a general purpose way rather than having,

00:50:32   "Oh, the group that's working on this little thing will do whatever it takes to make it

00:50:37   great whatever they're working on."

00:50:39   So the Gmail team would like, "Oh, we really need to make storage work great for Gmail,

00:50:43   so we're going to do a storage project."

00:50:44   like, "Great, good job, we love Gmail, it came out great, we have people with good taste

00:50:48   like the Apple model, people with good taste deciding what's in and what's out, and we

00:50:51   really make a great product, but what did you do for the rest of the company? Great,

00:50:55   so you made a great product, did you help the rest of the company in any way when you

00:50:58   made that? Maybe some other projects in the company need some way to store stuff in a

00:51:02   similar way that Gmail needs to store stuff." And I get the impression at Apple, especially

00:51:07   before they went cross-functional, that it was like, the team working on iOS does all

00:51:11   all sorts of crazy things to make the first version of iOS awesome, with minimal eye towards

00:51:19   what are we doing that will help the rest of the company, not just today, but 10 years

00:51:23   from now. And with all their concentration on, we just need to make this the best operating

00:51:27   system it could possibly be. And there are pluses and minuses to both of those strategies,

00:51:30   because if you spend all your time trying to make infrastructure, you'll have an awesome

00:51:33   infrastructure and crappy products. And you can apply that slam to Google in many past

00:51:38   scenarios and present scenarios, right?

00:51:40   Because infrastructure is something that nerds love,

00:51:43   but great products are something that customers love.

00:51:47   But there's a balance.

00:51:48   And it seems like Google is starting

00:51:51   to get better at concentrating on making great product,

00:51:54   not having a million different products,

00:51:56   while retaining its religion about we

00:51:58   need to make infrastructure.

00:51:59   We need to make things better for everyone at the same time.

00:52:01   Whereas Apple just seems to be doubling down on the we

00:52:03   need to make the most awesome product.

00:52:05   But at a certain point, you can't make your products

00:52:07   more awesome if you just don't have the tools in place for your company to make great web

00:52:12   services, to make great cloud computing things, all that stuff.

00:52:17   It seems almost like they can't figure out why aren't our maps as good as Google's?

00:52:21   Why isn't our iCloud service as good as the equivalent one?

00:52:25   And soon they'll be asking themselves why Game Center isn't as good as this cross-platform

00:52:30   web.

00:52:31   And maybe it doesn't matter because iOS will still have better games than Google, more

00:52:36   Games that make people more money, like in the end, that's all that really matters, right?

00:52:39   But I worry about the infrastructure thing, and that's something that has historically been Google's strength.

00:52:44   And they're playing strongly to it, like you were saying. So,

00:52:48   the other section or grouping of things that we learned at Google I/O that I saw was just kind of cloud services.

00:52:55   So, you mentioned Google Play Games. I think that's what it's called. I don't even know.

00:52:59   They also have a

00:53:02   cloud messaging thing, which my understanding is it's not as much iMessage as it is a more

00:53:08   centralized version of push notifications.

00:53:12   And so the understanding that I got was that if you're using some application that uses

00:53:18   this service, say it's a website within Chrome, well, if you get a notification within Chrome,

00:53:26   it will only go to that Chrome session.

00:53:28   But the minute you leave that Chrome session, and I don't know by what mechanism it determines

00:53:33   that you've left, then you'll start getting these notifications on your phone instead.

00:53:37   And so this is the thing that all Apple users beg for, specifically around iMessage, but

00:53:41   would be awesome in general.

00:53:43   So if you say use Tweetbot, you would only get Tweetbot notifications on whatever thing

00:53:49   you're actively using.

00:53:50   And again, that would be really awesome for iMessage.

00:53:54   And the interesting thing that I caught myself thinking was, "You know, I bet that'll

00:53:59   work really well."

00:54:00   Whereas, if Apple announced the exact same thing at WWDC in a month, or not even a month,

00:54:06   I think my first thought will be, "Hmm, I hope that works."

00:54:09   They can't even get iMessages to show up in the right order within a single application

00:54:12   on a single device.

00:54:13   Like, it's so far in terms of the confidence level in getting this stuff right.

00:54:17   You know, speaking of Google Hangouts, which someone mentioned in the chat room and featured

00:54:21   in various ways in this thing.

00:54:23   It was integrated with the messaging stuff.

00:54:25   Remember when they showed Google Hangouts,

00:54:26   like Google+ came out and like,

00:54:27   and there's also this Hangout thing,

00:54:28   and you're like, some sort of like video thing,

00:54:31   and I have to install like some sort of plugin

00:54:34   from my browser so now we can do video chat

00:54:37   inside a web browser?

00:54:38   It seems lame.

00:54:39   And like, you know, no big deal, right?

00:54:40   Fast forward however long it's been

00:54:42   since Google+ came out, and at my work,

00:54:45   Google Hangout is now the way that we do teleconferencing.

00:54:48   We have all these fancy teleconferencing hardware

00:54:50   software which we do not use, everyone goes to Google Hangout in their web browser, and

00:54:55   that is the way that we can successfully video conference. And they share their screens with

00:54:59   each other and have different speakers doing things, and we do all the things that you

00:55:02   would see in those 80s futuristic, like in the future you'll be able to do this. We do

00:55:06   it and we're doing it all in a web browser in Google Hangouts.

00:55:11   Does that require Google+ or is that its own thing now?

00:55:13   I don't know what people are doing to do it. I think it might require Google+, but the

00:55:18   point is all you need is a web browser. No one has to install any software, works on

00:55:22   a Mac, works on a PC. I don't even know if everyone's using Chrome. Maybe they all are,

00:55:26   but it's the one thing that actually works. It's amazing to me to see these people who

00:55:32   have not been evangelized, as far as I know, by anyone from Google. Just a bunch of managers

00:55:38   coordinating their non-technical people, coordinating their own five-person multimedia presentation

00:55:45   in three different locations, and it just works in a web browser.

00:55:50   It's amazing to me that if you had said, "Maybe Apple will be the one to bring us," because

00:55:54   iChat and VideoChat was the first VideoChat that actually worked, and people could do

00:55:57   it as long as everybody had a Mac.

00:55:59   FaceTime works great, too.

00:56:00   If everyone has an iOS device, FaceTime just works, so kudos for Apple on that.

00:56:05   Things like Hangout that seem stupid and silly to begin with, just Google keeps hammering

00:56:08   on them.

00:56:09   Even just adding the ability to do screen share, integrating instant messages, and having

00:56:12   file attachments. They'll just keep integrating that until you—you know, Hangout becomes

00:56:17   this be-all, end-all, multi-person communication thing, and it started out as this weird chat

00:56:23   roulette type thing attached to a social network that nobody wanted to join.

00:56:26   Well, and apparently, according to Marcos Carr in the chat room, it still does require

00:56:31   a Google+ account, which I think I have one, but God knows I haven't looked at it in

00:56:35   like two years. But what's interesting about the way you describe it, John, and I think

00:56:39   you're right is that it's been iteratively improved upon, which is a very Apple-like

00:56:45   approach. It seems to be working really well for Google. I know that I've heard regular

00:56:52   people talk about, "Oh, let's just do a Google Hangout real quick." I look at them like,

00:56:56   "Wait, what? Really?" Obviously, I'm the one that's crazy because you're getting the

00:57:01   same thing.

00:57:02   But people can do it. They are successful at doing it. Whereas, think about any other

00:57:05   way that you would do that. Let's all get on Skype video chat. Oh, forget it. Skype

00:57:08   Skype is a train wreck, and try to get everyone to have it.

00:57:10   I don't have Skype installed.

00:57:11   Are I installed?

00:57:12   Or does it see your camera and this and the other thing?

00:57:14   FaceTime?

00:57:15   FaceTime is pretty good.

00:57:16   FaceTime works.

00:57:17   The only problem with FaceTime is finding the other person.

00:57:18   Like, what name do I put in?

00:57:19   What Apple ID are you signed into?

00:57:21   And that gets back to what you were talking about before.

00:57:23   That insanity.

00:57:24   And it rings in your iPad and not your computer.

00:57:26   Right.

00:57:27   And then eventually, when it finally works, you have to get your parents to turn the thing

00:57:30   sideways.

00:57:31   So they're not--

00:57:32   So true.

00:57:33   So their image fills the screen.

00:57:34   God.

00:57:35   Someone at Apple--

00:57:36   So true.

00:57:37   have some sort of mode that just, like, you can do that for vertical video shooting on

00:57:41   the iPhone. Just force people to put it sideways. Because if you just put the image on the screen

00:57:45   sideways, they will turn it sideways so the image is right side up and we will all thank

00:57:48   you for it.

00:57:49   So quick, quick. Let me channel neutral for a second. When we were going around the Nürburg

00:57:54   ring and I was driving, I looked over briefly and saw Erin recording what was going on with

00:57:59   her phone in portrait. And I very, very sternly explained to her that that was just not going

00:58:06   cut it for a video of me driving around the Nurburgring.

00:58:08   Yes, we actually had that discussion while Casey was driving the Nurburgring. We were

00:58:12   discussing why you don't want to shoot video in portrait.

00:58:16   It's called multitasking. Anyway, it's weird because I think FaceTime does work

00:58:22   extremely well, but the problem with FaceTime is it's one-to-one. And just like you were

00:58:26   saying, Jon, if you want a multi-person thing, that very quickly eliminates FaceTime unless

00:58:33   I'm missing something.

00:58:34   And that's like, even iChat video thing used to be able to share a document kind of off

00:58:38   to the side in this weird thing.

00:58:39   It still wouldn't work for business, because in business you want to put the big spreadsheet

00:58:42   up so people can see it, or you want to share your web browser screen so you can demonstrate

00:58:46   a web application while they can still hear your audio.

00:58:49   We're not asking for the moon, but Apple's conception of this in iChat video chat was

00:58:54   like that little thing where the people would have the little reflections like they were

00:58:57   on this big virtual infinite black mirror finish plane, and then when you share a document

00:59:01   that would come in and another one of those little things.

00:59:03   But they weren't expecting you to share a picture of your baby you can all look at,

00:59:06   right?

00:59:07   It wasn't made for business where you wanted to fill the screen with stuff.

00:59:10   Google Hangout has lots of features, and they're complicated and picky or whatever, but people

00:59:15   can figure them out.

00:59:17   They're not elegant and beautiful or whatever.

00:59:18   At some point, just having those features means something.

00:59:21   Why doesn't FaceTime have multi-person chat by now?

00:59:24   Was that team, "Oh, okay, we're done with FaceTime.

00:59:26   It works fine.

00:59:27   Now go off and work on the next great thing, but we're not going to improve FaceTime anymore,

00:59:30   or we're not going to add multi-person FaceTime,

00:59:32   or maybe it doesn't work over 3G, who knows?

00:59:34   But it's kind of depressing.

00:59:38   It is.

00:59:39   It is.

00:59:39   And there are a few other things that Google announced.

00:59:43   What else do they do?

00:59:44   Well, they have the Google Play games,

00:59:48   and then they also have Google Play Music All Access, which

00:59:51   my friend Brad Lautenbach had tweeted that they really

00:59:55   need a brand manager helper.

00:59:57   I forget how he phrased it.

00:59:58   he phrased it much better than I'm giving him credit for, but they need a way to come

01:00:02   up with better names. But there's Google Play Musical Access, which is basically Spotify

01:00:06   by Google.

01:00:07   That's a terrible name.

01:00:08   Oh, it's atrocious. It's really—

01:00:09   It's just like we were talking about last week, how Microsoft puts Windows in front

01:00:13   of everything, and they used to put Windows Live, blah, blah, blah. And now Google has

01:00:18   put Google Play in front of all these different product names, and it just sounds ridiculous.

01:00:22   Google Play itself is just no good.

01:00:24   No, it isn't.

01:00:25   That, whatever they came up with, like Google Play is going to be our, like, flagship brand for the way we sell you things for, like, that should not have, because you can't go anywhere from that. There's nothing you can put after Play that's going to improve it. Bad.

01:00:37   Yeah.

01:00:38   Yeah, so, I don't, to me, a Spotify-like clone by Google really, I don't think I care.

01:00:48   I care because I don't actually don't care because I don't use streaming music

01:00:52   But if I did use streaming music, I would be more comfortable in

01:00:56   investing in in the

01:00:59   Google to like they'll stream me music

01:01:01   They'll let me upload all my stuff or whatever because I would have more faith that Google is going to be around long term in Spotify

01:01:06   like

01:01:07   Not that Spotify is a fly-by-night company or whatever

01:01:09   But I just if something is going to involve mass uploading or mass downloading. I

01:01:15   I like it to involve a big company that it would take a lot to kill.

01:01:20   Well, but even somebody as fickle as Google who always kills things?

01:01:24   That's the wild card, but for something where there's a business model that makes sense,

01:01:29   like where they charge you money for it on a monthly basis, yeah, maybe the thing could

01:01:32   just go away, right? So that's a risk with anything. Like, should I start buying iTunes

01:01:36   music the day the iTunes store is open? You try it and you find out, but it's not like

01:01:41   Google Reader where it's a free service that costs a tremendous amount of money to run

01:01:44   you can't figure out how they make money. They charge you every month, and presumably

01:01:47   they charge you enough money to cover their costs. So it's the same as with Spotify.

01:01:52   This is one of Google's strengths. And Amazon's too, for that matter. Amazon's streaming service

01:01:57   or whatever, they're always selling you things. They like to sell you digital things. That's

01:02:01   not going away. Amazon's probably not going away. I feel more comfortable with that than

01:02:04   I do with just some random company like Spotify. And maybe Spotify becomes as big as Google

01:02:11   in ten years, and I'll trust them as much too, but I think there is something to be

01:02:14   said for that type of thing.

01:02:16   I don't know, but there's also something to be said for Spotify, that's their whole business.

01:02:22   Whereas Google, this is kind of like the side business, it's brand new, and Google often

01:02:26   tries things that don't work and then they shut them down, and Google doesn't really

01:02:30   need this to succeed, they have other things they could be doing. Spotify, this is their

01:02:34   entire business. So if you're going to try to figure out one company of those two that

01:02:38   want to invest your time and effort into, I'd still pick Spotify.

01:02:42   Well, I mean, it also has to do with integration, too. The reason we like the Apple thing is

01:02:46   if you buy all Apple devices, you're sure that you'll be able to watch—you'll

01:02:49   be able to listen to your iTunes music if you do iTunes Match on all your iTunes devices

01:02:53   and your Apple TV, and you're all set, right? Well, Spotify has to do that as well, but

01:02:58   they don't own any platform. So they're coming from the outside, whereas at least

01:03:02   Google can put it on Android, and you know they're going to have an awesome version

01:03:04   on the web, and then they're okay about making iOS apps, so they've got something

01:03:08   covered there, but Spotify doesn't have any sort of native platform.

01:03:11   Well, by that rationale, you shouldn't use Netflix.

01:03:14   I was just about to say the same thing.

01:03:18   That's the thing.

01:03:19   If Apple had come up with a Netflix-like service, I would probably be using that instead of

01:03:23   Netflix, but they didn't.

01:03:24   You know what I mean?

01:03:25   There's no reason Apple couldn't have done exactly what Netflix did around the same time

01:03:30   Netflix did it, but they didn't.

01:03:33   Netflix was out there alone making it happen.

01:03:36   So that's why we're all doing it.

01:03:37   And Dropbox is another example.

01:03:38   Why aren't we all using Google Drive?

01:03:40   Because Dropbox got there first, earned our trust,

01:03:42   and Google Drive came out,

01:03:43   and then Google Drive looks like the Me Too.

01:03:45   And you're like, well, you know what?

01:03:46   Even though Google might be around longer than Dropbox,

01:03:49   Dropbox has proven itself to me,

01:03:51   and it's stable and everything.

01:03:52   I also don't like the Spotify app.

01:03:53   I've tried it a few times,

01:03:54   and it's a little bit offensive to me.

01:03:56   - Oh, it's gotten better too.

01:03:57   That's the sad thing.

01:03:58   I agree with you.

01:03:59   It's rough.

01:04:00   It's not intuitive at all,

01:04:01   or at least not for the way my brain ticks,

01:04:04   but it's actually gotten a lot better

01:04:05   since the early versions.

01:04:08   So I think that's the majority of the cloud services.

01:04:12   The only thing we haven't really talked about, which

01:04:14   looks reasonably exciting-- and I do not say that

01:04:16   sarcastically--

01:04:17   is the new version of Maps, which seems to be a kind of

01:04:21   quasi mashup of Google Maps of today with Google Earth, with

01:04:28   just generally improved visuals, and everything just

01:04:32   gets better.

01:04:32   They've kind of-- I can't believe I just

01:04:35   thought about saying this, but I was going to say they kind of

01:04:38   +1'd everything, and now I think they need to shower.

01:04:41   But no, I saw a very brief video that Google

01:04:44   made of the new Google Maps.

01:04:45   And it looks really darn good.

01:04:47   It really, really, really does.

01:04:49   They have really great representation

01:04:52   of all the different directions you can take between places.

01:04:55   And if you're lucky enough to live with somewhere that

01:04:57   has public transport, they'll show that.

01:04:59   They'll show car.

01:05:00   They'll show bike.

01:05:00   They'll show walking.

01:05:02   It really, really looked good.

01:05:04   It apparently uses-- what is it-- WebGL?

01:05:07   The 3D API, if you will, for web browsers.

01:05:12   So presumably it runs really, really quickly.

01:05:15   Everything about it just looks like Google Maps, which

01:05:19   almost everyone I know really likes,

01:05:21   myself very much included, but better.

01:05:23   And that's never a bad thing in my eyes.

01:05:25   So did you guys see this?

01:05:27   I think they didn't plus one it.

01:05:28   I think they like, plus 100 it.

01:05:30   It strikes me as like, that depressing thing that Apple used to do and still kind of does

01:05:35   is particularly on hardware, where Apple comes out with an amazing hardware device and then

01:05:39   for a year, the rest of the industry bends over backwards to try to come up with something

01:05:43   that's even remotely as good.

01:05:44   And as soon as they start getting close, Apple just leapfrogs itself.

01:05:47   And they're like, "Oh, God, we just barely caught up with whatever the previous iPod

01:05:50   model was, and now they have this thing.

01:05:52   The iPhone was one of those things.

01:05:53   We were just finally trying to get our digital music players to be half of it, and now they

01:05:57   have this phone thing and everyone is screwed."

01:06:00   Apple has not yet caught up with plain old, before this announcement, Google Maps.

01:06:04   And, you know, Apple's working hard to make them better, and so on and so forth.

01:06:07   And now they do this, and it's like, what?

01:06:09   Oh, God.

01:06:10   You guys, if you just stay still for a minute, we could catch up with you.

01:06:13   But they won't.

01:06:14   Like, they're driving forward, you know, every aspect of this map thing.

01:06:18   It's not like we just have new data, or we added new features, like all new UI,

01:06:21   all new look, all new vocabulary, all new set of things you can do,

01:06:24   all new technology to run the thing.

01:06:26   By the way, WebGL still freaks me out a little bit.

01:06:29   I'm always afraid that I'm going to accidentally root my phone by…

01:06:33   Yeah, security on that is tricky.

01:06:36   I don't know.

01:06:37   Yeah, that bothers me a little bit.

01:06:38   But you can't say that Google is just adding tiny incremental improvements to maps.

01:06:42   They're not resting on their laurel.

01:06:43   Some team had been working on these maps to vastly improve it, and they already had the

01:06:48   best map data.

01:06:49   And it's just going to get better from there.

01:06:52   Yeah, I don't see Apple catching up to that, honestly.

01:06:55   I don't see, I see Google Maps always being way better than Apple Maps.

01:07:00   Apple has never shown an ability to catch up with things of this nature at all, to even

01:07:08   survive at all, let alone to be able to surpass Google.

01:07:13   Google's so good at services and big data type stuff, and Apple is so bad at that.

01:07:19   And leveraging the crowd, like the OpenStreetMap initiative.

01:07:24   If I was counseling Apple on what their only chance to be competitive in the map space

01:07:27   is, you have to go community-based, collaborative, find an open project, get the entire world

01:07:35   behind it, because then it can be you and the entire world versus Google.

01:07:38   I'm sure Google's doing the same thing with trying to...

01:07:41   They'll do it on their own.

01:07:42   They'll integrate feedback from all the people.

01:07:44   That whole mechanism of if someone sees something that's in the wrong place, correcting it...

01:07:48   Daniel Jackett was talking about this on Twitter the past week, about how he wishes if a store

01:07:52   was in the wrong place he could correct it on his phone and he would at least see that

01:07:55   change immediately even if everyone else didn't and then by doing that it would eventually

01:08:00   filter upstream but it's like why torture himself with his own phone if he knows the

01:08:03   pin is in the wrong spot let him drag it to the right spot and let that change stick local

01:08:07   to his phone and everyone on Twitter told him how that wouldn't work because what if

01:08:10   you share the map with somebody else and people could put in bad information and blah blah

01:08:13   those are they're all correct those are all the hard problems solving those hard problems

01:08:18   on a massive scale is how you get better map data you know you can't just do it on your

01:08:22   You can't hire 10 people to improve your maps or sort through the backlog of 8 billion requests.

01:08:26   You really have to just let the whole world participate.

01:08:28   In fact, I wish the entire world, as I've said many times in the past, were all working together to provide the best map.

01:08:34   This is only one planet. There's only one Earth. There's only one set of roads. There's only one set of buildings.

01:08:38   There's no reason, other than good old capitalism and competition, that we couldn't all be collaborating to provide the single most accurate, unified set of information

01:08:48   that individual companies could sort of average out and smooth

01:08:50   off the edges and decide how they want to pull from that

01:08:53   to make their maps better.

01:08:54   But alas, that kind of cooperation

01:08:57   between Apple and Google seems to be in the past.

01:09:00   Well, it worked well with WebKit.

01:09:02   For a little while.

01:09:04   I was being sarcastic, actually.

01:09:05   So a couple really quick thoughts,

01:09:06   and then we can move on to something different.

01:09:09   Firstly, in contrast to all the things

01:09:11   that we said about how hideous Google properties tend to be,

01:09:15   I actually think that the new maps looks really,

01:09:17   pretty and I was very impressed by that. And the other thing on a more global

01:09:22   scale in terms of Google I/O is that a bunch of people joke every year that

01:09:28   this year's, whatever this year may be, this year's Google I/O is last year's

01:09:33   WWDC. And to some degree I think that's true, especially let's look at the Game

01:09:38   Center knockoff whatever you call it thing. But this year there were a lot of

01:09:42   things that as even an amateur Apple developer I looked at them said hey man

01:09:46   that would be really nice." Or, "Wow, I kind of wish Apple would do that." And

01:09:49   I just think it's interesting that this year, and this comes back to what you guys

01:09:53   were saying about how quickly Google is moving in this space. It's interesting to me that

01:09:58   rather than being like, "Oh, ha, look at these copycats." Now we're saying, "Man,

01:10:02   Apple, you should copy some of that because that's really good." And I don't know,

01:10:05   maybe I'm the only one who thinks that way, but I thought it was very different than it

01:10:08   was in the past. Oh, definitely. All right, moving on. Our second sponsor for this episode

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01:11:12   That's pretty big, Jon.

01:11:13   I think that beats our previous record, right?

01:11:17   No, I thought that was half off.

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01:11:23   I mean, let's not shake our fists at 20%, though.

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01:11:25   This is a higher ticket.

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01:11:39   guys for sponsoring also.

01:11:41   You know, I feel like this is like, we have two sponsors on this show that are both conferences,

01:11:46   and they don't really overlap that much at all. You know, an event apart is really web

01:11:51   apps and design of the web apps, and CocoaConf is iPhone, iPad, and Mac native Cocoa development.

01:11:59   So really I think most most people listening can identify very well with one of these conferences. You can't really go wrong with either of them

01:12:06   Alright so next up I wanted to talk about

01:12:12   Apple's new Objective-C JavaScript bridge, which actually John you had tweeted about earlier today, and that was the first I had heard of it

01:12:18   First are we talking about bridges with John, Syracuse?

01:12:23   We are and that the chat was guessing that we might go here and I'm already getting pestered about the potential for a

01:12:30   Syracuse a county title and I should probably tell you that I'm I'd find it unlikely. We'll go there

01:12:36   I find it unlikely that John would let us go there

01:12:38   Even if we wanted to and I'm not sure I do but I should point out to begin this

01:12:43   Conversation that there is a picture of two Golden Gate bridges beside each other in this article, which I'll put the URL in the chat and

01:12:51   The caption on this article of the picture of two Golden Gate bridges right next to each other is and I quote

01:12:58   Syracuse a county is on the left. Don't you recognize that picture Casey? I don't actually

01:13:02   WWC, isn't it Marco? I don't remember

01:13:06   Their teases it was either for WDC or oppressive. It's from apples like, you know, they send out like a picture

01:13:12   You know come to whatever someone in the chat room, please tell me I forget what it was

01:13:17   Maybe it's a metaphor for the forking of WebKit. But anyway, no, no, it was it was from a past

01:13:21   A. Pike in the chat room says it's from the WWDC 2008 invitation.

01:13:26   Oh, that was before my time, so I wouldn't know.

01:13:28   Me too.

01:13:29   Anyway, they didn't make it up, that's what it was.

01:13:31   Well, clearly they did not make up the fact that Syracuse County is on the left.

01:13:34   I mean, that is geographically and factually fact.

01:13:38   Factually fact?

01:13:40   It is. There's a title if I've ever heard one.

01:13:42   So anyway, so, John, since you brought this up by way of tweeting it earlier,

01:13:47   Would you like to give the executive summary and get your first comments in?

01:13:51   Yeah, well, because I've been busy today, I Instapapered this article and I skimmed

01:13:55   it, but I have not yet actually read it.

01:13:57   I tweeted it, I skimmed it, and I Instapapered it.

01:13:59   That's what I do with all links that I run across now.

01:14:02   Looking at it, first of all, this is a feature of WebKit, and I've already seen some people

01:14:06   say that this is not new, that something similar to this has existed in the past, so I don't

01:14:10   even know how much this is an improvement of an existing feature or an expansion of

01:14:14   an existing feature.

01:14:16   It's certainly not a bridge in the sense that the Cocoa JavaScript bridge was, where you're

01:14:19   now writing your native applications in a language other than Objective-C. That's not

01:14:23   what this is either.

01:14:25   And since it's specifically related to WebKit, well, the JavaScript core part of WebKit,

01:14:31   it's not a general purpose thing.

01:14:33   But they've got the plumbing there where you can write JavaScript code that manipulates

01:14:39   Objective-C objects and vice versa.

01:14:42   And so just having skimmed this article, if you will ask me what I think it means, I think

01:14:46   what it mostly means is all the developers I've seen complaining over the years about

01:14:50   how little control you have

01:14:54   over WebKit views in your native application.

01:14:58   I would like it if I could intercept whenever this happened and make this happen

01:15:02   in my Objective-C application, and I would like it if my Objective-C application

01:15:06   could cause this to happen and manipulate the WebView in this way. This seems

01:15:10   like a way where you could arbitrarily connect JavaScript code running in

01:15:14   in a WebView with the state of your application and its objects and its methods in memory.

01:15:19   And that strikes me as a much more powerful way to let people use WebKit views to do things.

01:15:24   Now, could that same mechanism be used to let people write code as part of their native

01:15:28   application in JavaScript for the hell of it?

01:15:30   Perhaps, but the API you have now where you make a JS context and you just pass it strings

01:15:34   and stuff, that's not the same thing as writing your application in JavaScript or whatever.

01:15:39   So I don't even know if you would call-- I mean, I guess it is kind of technically a

01:15:42   because they're calling objectives from JavaScript

01:15:44   and the other way around.

01:15:45   But it's not what people think of when they read the title.

01:15:48   Like, oh, now I'm going to write all my Cocoa and UI Kit

01:15:52   applications, but I'm going to use JavaScript instead

01:15:54   because now I don't have to worry about pointers anymore.

01:15:57   That's not this.

01:15:58   Well, and there already are a lot of cross-platform frameworks

01:16:02   that work on that principle of you write things in JavaScript

01:16:06   and on both iOS and on Android, they

01:16:11   have these shell apps that interpret that for you.

01:16:13   So you already can write apps in JavaScript

01:16:16   on the mobile platforms.

01:16:18   And there's certainly nothing stopping you

01:16:20   from doing it on the desktop as well if you want to.

01:16:23   But I think what's interesting about this-- there's

01:16:27   two big points I think worth thinking about.

01:16:29   One is this might not necessarily

01:16:32   be how they want to move forward to say all apps will

01:16:36   be JavaScript coming soon.

01:16:39   it might just be like right now people do tons of hacks

01:16:43   with like passing URLs back and forth between the WebView

01:16:47   and the Cocoa code, you know, passing URLs

01:16:51   and evaluating JavaScript string literals and stuff like that. It's just a pile of hacks right

01:16:55   now. Having a WebView that you communicate with your app and going

01:16:59   back and forth. So they might just be trying to improve that. Certainly it would improve performance

01:17:03   and it would make things a lot cleaner and a lot less bug prone and error prone

01:17:07   and everything else.

01:17:08   Oh, this is also-- like, you said that it's so hacky the way you had to do it before.

01:17:12   This is still kind of hacky, where you're applying the protocol to built-in classes

01:17:15   so they can have visibility to the JavaScript world.

01:17:18   Believe me, it's less hacky.

01:17:20   It is.

01:17:21   It's less like you're not sipping through a straw anymore.

01:17:22   You're not making up, you know, like, "I only have three ways to communicate with these

01:17:25   web views.

01:17:26   Everything must funnel through them."

01:17:27   Now you have a new way, and you can really hook up arbitrary stuff, but it's still, like,

01:17:32   it's still kind of creepy and weird, you know?

01:17:36   It's not even as good as the various other bridges they've had, like the Ruby, what is

01:17:41   the popular Ruby one, where it really is a fairly transparent bridge where things just

01:17:48   work and you don't have to worry about the plumbing.

01:17:50   This, the plumbing is visible.

01:17:51   You're manually creating the plumbing, you're hooking things up, but as you said, the ability

01:17:57   to do it at all is what I've heard many developers ask for over many years because it's just

01:18:01   so frustrating to have a web view and have just so little control over it.

01:18:05   seems to be solved, assuming this ships and is made a public API for developers and recommended

01:18:10   to everyone at WWDC. Right, because the other interesting thing

01:18:13   about this is that in WebKit, first of all, it was committed on New Year's Eve so that

01:18:19   nobody would notice. And a lot of this stuff is wrapped in compiler macros to not compile

01:18:25   it if it's not on 10.9. So it certainly looks like this is set to be a feature only of 10.9,

01:18:35   And so whether they will do anything more with it outside of the WebKit tree, if they'll

01:18:42   expose this API on a broader level or make a bigger deal out of it, we don't know that

01:18:46   yet. But I think that's really interesting that they seem to make some effort to do this

01:18:52   quietly.

01:18:53   Well, the fact that it's in WebKit is the only reason we've seen it at all, because

01:18:57   WebKit is open source. And I guess they could have still held the backup they wanted to

01:19:00   like they do a lot with a lot of their big WebKit changes. They just hold them and hold

01:19:02   them and then push them out. But yeah, like there's the question of will this even be

01:19:08   a public API to WebKit? Because if it's not, like it doesn't matter if you're writing a

01:19:11   Mac app, but if you're a Mac App Store app, it matters. And if you're certainly writing

01:19:14   an iOS app, I know the app, I know the UI is there, I can see the headers, but Apple

01:19:19   says they're private, so I can't use it. So you'd still be stuck if you're selling things

01:19:23   through Apple, any of Apple's app stores, you'd still be stuck using the crazy hacks

01:19:27   you had before. But like when I see stuff like this, I don't, it seems like the kind

01:19:32   of thing that Apple would not do for the hell of it. And it all seems like the kind of thing

01:19:35   that is not particularly useful to anyone outside Apple, because who else uses Objective-C

01:19:39   and WebKit at the same time? So it strikes me that it's probably there to help one or

01:19:45   more Apple applications. Maybe they're finally making the App Store apps better. I don't

01:19:49   know. What is that company they bought to redo their store with the worse appearance

01:19:54   and UI?

01:19:55   It doesn't matter. Yeah.

01:19:56   It was like starting with a "CH." Again, chat room can help me out.

01:19:59   It's not even worth disparaging them because they did just make everything worse.

01:20:02   Yeah, but maybe if they could do everything with a WebView.

01:20:07   Remember the iTunes store was done with these crazy XML descriptions of the data,

01:20:10   and then they had the iTunes app itself interpret the XML,

01:20:13   and then I heard they had slowly transitioned to using WebKit views,

01:20:16   but then they suffer from the thing of, well, you've got a nice WebKit view,

01:20:19   but it has to hook into this application, and the hooks are very bad,

01:20:22   and we're tired of doing these crazy hacks to do hooks.

01:20:25   And here is now a slightly better system for integrating WebViews and stuff,

01:20:28   stuff. So I would expect that the reason this API exists is because one or more applications

01:20:32   on either iOS or the Mac are going to use this API to better integrate web views with

01:20:37   the native application that surrounds them.

01:20:39   That's very possible. It might just be for Apple for their own apps to use. Maybe if

01:20:46   you're a Mac developer you'll be able to use it, but maybe they won't bring it to iOS because

01:20:49   there's no less of a reason, or who knows.

01:20:52   Chomp is the name of the company, says the chat room.

01:20:53   I was hoping we'd do without it. Everyone was so excited when they bought Chomp. They

01:20:58   "Oh, this is finally going to make everything better!" and it made everything worse.

01:21:00   I don't know if you blame Chomp. It was like, the technology that enables the store may

01:21:06   be better than the technology they had before, but it's just the choice of the UI that is

01:21:10   not nice.

01:21:12   So the passage of this article that I thought, Jon, you would be most fired up about and

01:21:18   where the bridges of Syracuse County come in is, and I quote, "The most interesting

01:21:23   possibility would be that this is the start of Apple's evolution away from Objective-C,"

01:21:27   by the way they're linking to Copeland 2010 Revisited, into promoting a higher level language

01:21:32   for their platform.

01:21:33   It's too early to say at this point, but if JavaScript core is going to one day displace

01:21:37   the Objective-C runtime, this would be a reasonable starting point.

01:21:40   And I guess I see their point, but I feel like that's a really big leap.

01:21:45   And to your earlier point, Jon, this isn't a bridge in the sense that you're making

01:21:51   JavaScript a first-class citizen of the OS X or iOS API, it's just a mechanism by

01:21:59   which you can call back and forth, which is a very, very, very big difference. And

01:22:02   furthermore, JavaScript seems like a peculiar choice to me of a high-level

01:22:07   language to choose in order to replace Objective-C. It's not that crazy because

01:22:10   it's so insanely popular now and so many people are working so hard and making

01:22:14   JavaScript fast, particularly Google, for example. But I don't like the

01:22:18   JavaScript language. So that's... Yeah, but you like Perl. Yeah, I know Perl. I like Perl much better than JavaScript.

01:22:24   Well, that's the funny thing about JavaScript is that nobody likes JavaScript, but it's everywhere. So everyone just kind of, you know, learns it eventually.

01:22:30   The thing is, some people I think do like it. If you work with low-level language for a long time, and JavaScript is the first and maybe the only in the primary high-level languages, you're like, "Oh my God, high-level languages! It's amazing! I can concatenate strings with ease and run substitutions and just, you know, it's just so amazing to not have to do that."

01:22:47   amazing to not have to worry about all these details of a strongly typed, low-level language

01:22:53   like C or C++. It's like, "Wow, JavaScript. It's amazing. I feel so productive." But if you've used

01:23:00   any other high-level language, you're like, "Oh, JavaScript." It has weird warts. It's kind of like

01:23:08   PHP but not as bad in that it was not designed by an expert language designer. It just kind of came

01:23:14   to be to scratch someone's itch under tight deadlines and progress from there.

01:23:21   Of course, PHP sort of metastasized, and JavaScript was pinned down by the fact that it was implemented

01:23:26   in web browsers and it couldn't advance that fast.

01:23:29   But it's a similar type of thing.

01:23:30   It's not, "Oh, we've got the world's best language designers together," and they come

01:23:34   up with a language.

01:23:35   In fact, most languages that end up being successful are not that way.

01:23:37   C might be an exception because it's made by some really smart people who really thought

01:23:41   about it, and that worked out pretty well.

01:23:43   JavaScript. There's like one guy, right, at Netscape.

01:23:46   Originally, yeah.

01:23:47   Under a tight deadline, came up with this thing. And it has crazy warts that are still there today,

01:23:52   because that's the way it was. And you can't break backward compatibility very easily when

01:23:57   it's in a million web browsers. So are you thumbs up or thumbs down to this, John?

01:24:03   I think it's good for integrating WebViews better with your native application. I think that's a

01:24:07   worthy advancement. I don't think it indicates anything one way or the other about Apple's

01:24:12   plans for anything. We've discussed this on past shows, like the path Apple has chosen

01:24:18   and continues to walk along is enhancing Objective-C, and it seems like they'll continue along that

01:24:21   path. And last year, WWCA was saying that, "Oh, you guys are going to have type inference

01:24:26   next year while we're approaching. We'll see if they have anything like type inference

01:24:28   or maybe just C++'s auto keyword brought into Objective-C." I think you can already use

01:24:32   in Objective-C++.

01:24:34   But yeah, advancing Objective-C by taking

01:24:37   the reins of the compiler and adding features to the language

01:24:39   seems like that will continue.

01:24:42   All right.

01:24:43   And with that, I think it's a good time to wrap up the show.

01:24:45   What do you think?

01:24:46   Sounds good.

01:24:47   Good.

01:24:47   All right.

01:24:48   Thank you very much to our two sponsors of this episode.

01:24:50   An event apart.

01:24:51   Go to aneventapart.com/atpfm.

01:24:54   It's the design conference for people who make websites.

01:24:57   And our second sponsor was CocoaConf.

01:25:00   CocoConf is a two-day multitrack conference for iPhone, iPad, and Mac developers.

01:25:04   Go to cococonf.com, use coupon code ATP for 20% off.

01:25:09   Thank you very much, guys.

01:25:13   Now the show is over, they didn't even mean to begin,

01:25:17   'cause it was accidental.

01:25:19   Accidental.

01:25:20   Oh, it was accidental.

01:25:22   Accidental.

01:25:23   John didn't do any research, Marco and Casey wouldn't let him,

01:25:28   'cause it was accidental.

01:25:30   It was accidental.

01:25:31   It was accidental.

01:25:32   Accidental.

01:25:33   And you can find the show notes at ATP.fm.

01:25:36   And if you're into Twitter, you can follow them at C-A-S-E-Y-L-I-S-S.

01:25:46   So that's Kasey Liss M-A-R-C-O-A-R-M.

01:25:52   Anti-Marco, Armin, S-I-R-A-C, U-S-I-C, R-A-Q-S-A

01:25:59   It's accidental, accidental, but you didn't mean to

01:26:05   Accidental, accidental, tech podcast so long

01:26:12   No, yeah, I've actually considered teaching myself to type the right way, but it seems like work.

01:26:18   Well, I mess with what works. Plus you have RSI anyway or whatever.

01:26:21   Yeah, exactly. I should just type all my talk on my code. Open curly base return.

01:26:27   Tab tab. Dollar sign foo space equal space. No.

01:26:32   Please put that in the show.

01:26:36   If that actually worked, do you think that would be fast?

01:26:39   No, definitely not.

01:26:41   Oh God.

01:26:42   I don't know because like a lot of the programming keys you have to hold down shift for

01:26:45   And maybe I could speak it faster, especially if you could abbreviate, like you'd say "curly"

01:26:49   or pick some other word that's like one syllable long for "gurlies."

01:26:52   The Ruby people would love it. And a lot faster to say that than to type it.

01:26:57   That's our show ending right there.

01:27:00   Yeah, it is.

01:27:02   You don't have to put that crap in.

01:27:03   Oh, do it. Do it. Please.

01:27:07   Maybe post-roll or something.

01:27:08   Yeah, people love that.

01:27:10   I love post-roll.

01:27:12   There's something I complain, like all the people say, "Oh, I love this song, blah, blah."

01:27:14   Now, it's already like two episodes after the song has been like, "Oh, I can't take

01:27:18   the song anymore. It's so long. I have to fast forward through it to see if there's

01:27:21   any post-roll."

01:27:22   Yeah, yeah.

01:27:23   It's like 30 seconds long. It's not even.

01:27:26   Yeah, I think the full version is like 45. It's really a short song.

01:27:31   And you don't have to hear the stupid gag at the end. You can just stop listening.

01:27:34   Well, yeah, but you know as well as I do. Nobody thinks that way.

01:27:38   I don't know. People can't please anybody.

01:27:42   Let me see.

01:27:43   if you put in bleeps and boops, which everyone loves.

01:27:45   It is one minute and three seconds.

01:27:46   Oh, listen to him! Oh my goodness, you are such a baby. It cracks me up. It's that spot

01:27:53   about kettle.

01:27:53   (laughs)