393: Nothing Is So Perfect™


00:00:00   [

00:00:09   relay FM]

00:00:10   From relay FM, this is Upgrade episode 393. Today's show is brought to you by Bombas,

00:00:15   Squarespace, Fitbod and Membrful. My name is Myke Hurley, I'm joined by Jason Snell.

00:00:20   Hi Jason Snell.

00:00:21   Hi Myke Hurley.

00:00:22   Jason has a sore throat today.

00:00:24   I do.

00:00:25   So we're just going to get that out of the way up front. Jason is not going to sound

00:00:29   his usual wonderful self.

00:00:30   Yeah. Is it allergies? Is it something else? The one thing I could take a test for came

00:00:36   back negative. So whatever it is, this is what you're getting. I have lots of tea.

00:00:41   Perfect.

00:00:42   My apologies for my voice.

00:00:44   Jason loves getting a sore throat because it means he can have even more tea than usual

00:00:47   and nobody can tell him otherwise.

00:00:48   I'm having like a whole pot of tea here with me right now. I have a cup, I have a mug,

00:00:53   and then I have a thermos full of the rest of the pot.

00:00:55   Well, I have a Snail Talk question that's going to make you feel better because you

00:00:58   Sorry, Myke, I gotta go to the bathroom now.

00:01:00   E-readers.

00:01:02   And Ryan wants to know,

00:01:04   "I know you prefer E-readers

00:01:06   that have physical buttons for page turning.

00:01:08   Which side of the E-reader do you prefer the buttons

00:01:11   to be on and which button out of the top or bottom buttons

00:01:14   is set for next page and previous page?"

00:01:17   Okay, Ryan, let me blow your mind.

00:01:19   Uh-oh.

00:01:20   E-readers, modern E-readers,

00:01:23   if you turn it upside down, the whole thing flips over.

00:01:27   So it's on whichever side you want them to be.

00:01:29   - Yeah, but which side do you want?

00:01:32   Like, so when you, you know, you don't just, I'm sure,

00:01:34   you're a man of opinions,

00:01:35   you don't just have it randomly all over the place, surely.

00:01:38   - Well, I, but the truth is, if I'm reading somewhere,

00:01:42   so I think the right side is I'm more comfortable,

00:01:47   but after a while, you know, you kinda wanna mix it up

00:01:49   and then you go to the left side and I just flip it over.

00:01:51   Like if I get a little tired, a little uncomfortable

00:01:54   over here with my right arm,

00:01:56   I'll just go over to the left.

00:01:57   - If you hold it with the left hand,

00:01:59   does it feel like somebody else is reading to you?

00:02:02   - It does not.

00:02:03   It's just the same.

00:02:04   It's just like a paperback book.

00:02:06   You might adjust your grip.

00:02:07   And in this case, you flip it over

00:02:09   so that the buttons go on your thumb.

00:02:11   And I have the bottom button set for next page

00:02:16   because the way I hold it, the grip that I use,

00:02:20   I'm gripping the bottom of the e-reader

00:02:21   with my thumb on the bottom button.

00:02:24   And since the bottom button is what I'm primarily using,

00:02:27   because I seldom read books backward,

00:02:31   sometimes you need to turn the page back,

00:02:33   but I seldom do that.

00:02:34   So what I want is hold it in my right hand,

00:02:37   primarily thumb on button,

00:02:39   and then I click the button without moving my thumb.

00:02:41   I just squeeze a little and click the button.

00:02:44   And I will point out that all these modern e-readers,

00:02:47   Kobo and Kindle, let you set which button does which,

00:02:52   let you lock orientation if you want to.

00:02:54   All of those things are options,

00:02:56   but that's how I prefer it is more right than left

00:03:00   and bottom button is forward.

00:03:02   - If you'd like to help us open an episode of Upgrade,

00:03:05   just send in a tweet with the hashtag snow talk

00:03:07   or use question mark snow talk

00:03:08   in the relay FM members discord.

00:03:10   What do you want to know?

00:03:11   Let us know.

00:03:12   Do you like that?

00:03:14   Was the new little--

00:03:15   - That's intriguing.

00:03:16   - Just threw that in there.

00:03:16   I don't really know where it came from.

00:03:18   I have a couple of Mark Gurman rumor round-up things for you.

00:03:23   Oh, good.

00:03:24   Mark, some stuff published to Bloomberg, some stuff in his newsletter.

00:03:28   It's all about kind of future product releases.

00:03:31   Mark is reporting that Apple is currently targeting March the 8th for their next event.

00:03:37   This event obviously will be a virtual event and they're going to be bringing people back

00:03:41   together for this one.

00:03:43   current plans indicate that the event will focus on an iPhone SE3 and an updated iPad Air. This is

00:03:50   what Mark knows about. If this is all it was, this is not worth it, and press releases would 100% do

00:03:57   the job, right? I kind of agree, but I wonder if our standards are too high in this era where Apple

00:04:04   does video events, you know? I feel like they've always, even like, so the one I can think of with

00:04:10   this is when they had like I think it was they did the purple iPhone and an

00:04:17   iPad maybe an Apple watch but like that was enough I feel like an iPhone se3 and

00:04:22   a new base sorry and a new iPad air I feel like it needs like one extra thing

00:04:27   I wasn't gonna say one more extra thing and this is why additionally mark has

00:04:32   suggested that a new Mac could be announced at this event as well but

00:04:37   there seems to be some chopping and changing about the timing of that from Apple's side.

00:04:42   Mm-hmm.

00:04:43   I think the possibility is there for the Mac.

00:04:45   Our hope is that it's the iMac Pro.

00:04:48   Yes.

00:04:49   My guess is that if it's not that, it's what we talked about, which is upgrade the Mac

00:04:54   Mini with the M1 Pro and Mac's chips, potentially even do that for the iMac, the smaller iMac,

00:05:02   but they could do that.

00:05:03   chip bump because they've got those faster M1s now, the Pro and the Max, but that we

00:05:09   would really, really, really, really like it.

00:05:12   Please, if you could, Apple, do a new iMac now.

00:05:16   I think there has to be one, like it can't just be the, for me, I just feel like those

00:05:20   two things, it's like not enough.

00:05:23   A new iPhone, a new iPad Air, or a new iPhone, a new iPad, and a new Mac.

00:05:26   Are you getting it yet?

00:05:27   It's three products.

00:05:28   I think that would work, even if those three products didn't change really that much, but

00:05:33   they've all just got some important changes to them.

00:05:36   Plus they could talk about, I don't know,

00:05:37   some software stuff or whatever, you know,

00:05:40   like that would do it.

00:05:41   - I mean, it's still not a lot,

00:05:42   but I think that was my point was you,

00:05:45   the bar is lower if you're not inviting people.

00:05:48   - Definitely.

00:05:48   - You could do an hour video.

00:05:50   It's not a major, major announcement,

00:05:52   but it's better than a press release, I think.

00:05:54   It would be the judgment of Apple.

00:05:55   Like it's enough to get people's attention for an hour

00:05:58   to roll out these products.

00:05:59   They do risk making their products,

00:06:02   their product events less essential

00:06:05   if they do one that's minor.

00:06:07   That's I think one of the untold lessons of Steve Jobs

00:06:12   when he came back is I think Steve Jobs,

00:06:14   first thing he did was basically say,

00:06:18   we're not gonna call people down for an event

00:06:20   if it isn't worth it.

00:06:22   'Cause the old Apple before jobs,

00:06:23   right before jobs got there famously for me,

00:06:26   at least as somebody who was covering Apple,

00:06:27   they invited us down all the time

00:06:29   for things that were secret, super secret.

00:06:31   And you get there and it's nothing.

00:06:33   It's just nothing interesting.

00:06:34   And I think that they need to walk that line, right?

00:06:38   The bar is lower than it used to be, but don't take it down too low where it's kind of a nothing

00:06:43   and everybody shrugs at it.

00:06:45   Because the last thing you want to do is get people shrugging at Apple announcing that

00:06:48   they're doing a live event, right?

00:06:49   Because that's it, isn't it?

00:06:51   It's not about bringing people in.

00:06:53   It's that they want people to come and watch.

00:06:56   And if you risk their attention, you've got their attention now.

00:06:59   And if you start making these events not interesting,

00:07:02   you risk losing some of that attention.

00:07:04   And it's a real asset of Apple

00:07:06   that you don't wanna give away.

00:07:07   - 'Cause they'll be doing another one

00:07:08   three months later, right, WWDC.

00:07:11   And so you don't want people to say like,

00:07:13   "Ah, watch that last one."

00:07:15   - Which is why I look at this and I think,

00:07:17   maybe if it's just an iPad Air,

00:07:19   'cause the iPad Air already has the iPad Pro styling,

00:07:21   so it really is gonna be like an M1 iPad Air.

00:07:24   And the iPhone SE, I mean, yeah, they can be like,

00:07:26   "Oh, 5G, and here's a guy from T-Mobile,

00:07:29   and yay, right?

00:07:30   They can do that.

00:07:31   That's fine, but again, not super exciting.

00:07:34   What's the third thing?

00:07:37   What's the thing that wraps up the event?

00:07:38   And iMac Pro would do it, but I don't know.

00:07:43   Mark Gurman seems to not know.

00:07:45   What's fascinating about Mark Gurman's reporting on this,

00:07:47   since we pour over his Sunday morning emails like we do,

00:07:51   is he doesn't seem to have a lot of vision

00:07:55   into what's going on with the iMac.

00:07:56   And I think that's fascinating.

00:07:58   Mark did report that Apple is planning on releasing

00:08:01   four M2 Macs later on this year.

00:08:05   The expectation is a MacBook Air,

00:08:07   an updated MacBook Air with a new design.

00:08:10   So like the first kind of Apple Silicon MacBook Air

00:08:12   as it were, as in like, you know, imagined four.

00:08:17   - Right, 'cause the M1 MacBook Air looks like

00:08:20   the classic MacBook Air going back to 2010.

00:08:23   This will rumored is gonna be the, you know,

00:08:26   designed externally and internally for Apple Silicon.

00:08:30   - A new base level Mac mini to replace the one

00:08:33   that currently has an M1 chip.

00:08:34   iMac to put new chips in the current iMac.

00:08:38   - Right, so M2 24-inch iMac, which is logical,

00:08:41   but I don't think I'd seen that one actually reported before

00:08:45   but it makes sense.

00:08:46   - And a new 13-inch MacBook Pro.

00:08:50   So new kind of entry-level MacBook Pro.

00:08:52   Mark expects that Apple will remove the touch bar

00:08:55   from the MacBook Pro, but it will not feature a ProMotion or HDR display.

00:08:59   I wonder if, I wonder about the design of that product, honestly.

00:09:04   Like, what that's going to be.

00:09:06   I'm a little bit intrigued about that one.

00:09:08   Yeah, I wonder if it really is just do the minimum to keep the price down, to have the

00:09:13   base model.

00:09:14   I think you're right.

00:09:15   And just keep it, right?

00:09:16   Just so it's cheaper and it will look like the one, basically my thinking is it will

00:09:21   look just like the current one, right?

00:09:24   the one that had the M1 chip in it,

00:09:25   or has the M1 chip in it, but they removed the touch bar,

00:09:28   so they're kind of bringing back the escape version.

00:09:32   - And keep in mind that the MacBook Air being redesigned

00:09:36   will probably push the MacBook Air away

00:09:38   from the MacBook Pro a little bit more,

00:09:40   'cause one of the problems with that 13-inch MacBook Pro

00:09:42   is differentiation with the MacBook Air,

00:09:44   and they're not very differentiated now,

00:09:46   but they may become more differentiated in design

00:09:51   because the air is not inheriting the design.

00:09:55   - When they redesign the MacBook Air,

00:09:57   they're gonna keep the old one, aren't they?

00:09:59   - I would not be surprised if they kept the old one.

00:10:01   - I think they will.

00:10:02   They'll keep the old one even for a little bit

00:10:04   'cause you know it's gonna be, well not no,

00:10:06   but I would expect the new one might be

00:10:08   a little bit more expensive.

00:10:09   - Yeah, make that Air an 899 M1

00:10:12   and then have the new one be a 1049 or 1099 M2.

00:10:17   - Yeah, I'm surprised, honestly.

00:10:21   Am I? About the iMac. I'm trying to think, like what do I think about that?

00:10:24   So that would be what, maybe 18 months? Yeah. Yeah, a year and a half-ish.

00:10:31   I'm not sure how I feel about Mac processes being updated so frequently again.

00:10:39   I kind of have good and bad feelings about it. Well what's weird is the M2 is based on the A15,

00:10:45   so we're going to get in a position here where M2 Macs are going to be shipping and the A16 is

00:10:50   is gonna be shipping.

00:10:50   And maybe that's just how it's gonna go from now on.

00:10:53   But there's a question of like the cadence

00:10:55   and do the Mac chips pick up the new cores

00:10:57   from the iPhone chips every year or not?

00:10:59   But because Apple makes these chips

00:11:01   or designs these chips and has Taiwan Semiconductor

00:11:03   make them, it does allow Apple to do.

00:11:06   This may be what happens is Apple updates Macs all the time

00:11:11   with whatever their new chip is.

00:11:14   And then does the bigger spec changes from time to time.

00:11:17   But right, like if you made the M1

00:11:20   and now you have the M2 in volume,

00:11:22   why would you not cut the iMac over to,

00:11:24   or all of those computers over to the M2 as soon as you can,

00:11:29   because it's better. (laughs)

00:11:33   And it's probably not a huge change to the internals of that

00:11:38   because remember you're designing the whole thing now,

00:11:40   including the chip.

00:11:42   - Yeah, I just, my concern,

00:11:45   And it's not really something for me to worry about specifically.

00:11:49   It's like, if this is just going to happen, this is just going to be the churn, right?

00:11:53   That there will be, they'll just keep doing it over and over and over again.

00:11:56   Maybe that's not a problem.

00:11:57   I don't know.

00:11:58   But it's just, there's something about it where it's like, is it going to realistically be every calendar year at some point it will get the new one?

00:12:06   Because if they put the M1 in it, then the M2 in it, they're going to put the M3 and then the M4.

00:12:13   'cause if you skip it, then what, you know what I mean?

00:12:15   And it's like, is that gonna be the plan now?

00:12:18   Like that there will be a new processor,

00:12:20   which is incrementally better than the previous one,

00:12:23   every calendar year for every Mac?

00:12:25   - Or every 18 months?

00:12:27   I think maybe, I think maybe now that Apple controls

00:12:29   the processor thing.

00:12:30   And I think the challenge is gonna be how we look at this,

00:12:34   because when Apple was updating things less often,

00:12:38   it took on more weight.

00:12:40   And it may be now that, I mean, think about the iPad, right?

00:12:43   Like, iPad Pro has gotten three updates

00:12:48   in its current look and feel.

00:12:51   And some of them, the processor updates,

00:12:55   it was like from the X to the Z and then to the M1.

00:12:59   And like there have been some other things

00:13:01   that the port changed, the screen on the big model changed,

00:13:04   but you could look at that and say, not a lot changed,

00:13:08   except they updated the chip on the inside.

00:13:12   So, you know, I think that could happen.

00:13:14   I think that we could get in a situation where every year

00:13:17   or year and a half, there are new Mac models

00:13:21   with new chips in them, separate from every

00:13:25   and maybe minor updates,

00:13:27   kind of like an iPhone or iPad schedule, right?

00:13:29   Where it's like, they're not that different.

00:13:31   This year's iMac is different from last year's iMac,

00:13:33   but only a little bit, because basically it's the same.

00:13:37   And then every so often there's a big change.

00:13:40   I think that's probably what Apple's goal is,

00:13:43   is to be able to swap in the new tech fairly easily

00:13:47   like they do with the iPhone and iPad,

00:13:50   and then just every few years do a more dramatic revision

00:13:55   in terms of specs.

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00:16:15   I did not want to have to talk about this again.

00:16:20   I don't want to talk about it either but I think we have to at least a little.

00:16:22   Oh we have to.

00:16:23   But this is, we're going back, me and you Jason, we're going back to the Netherlands.

00:16:28   - To connect the Netherlands.

00:16:29   And I wanna just send a message out there

00:16:31   to explain what goes on when a citizen of the Netherlands

00:16:35   is interested in a different citizen of the Netherlands.

00:16:38   They might use some sort of an app to connect

00:16:42   and like, do we share interests?

00:16:44   Are you somebody that I might wanna meet?

00:16:48   - Is this like the birds and the bees or something?

00:16:51   - By the Prinzengracht in Amsterdam one evening

00:16:55   and we could go for a bike ride

00:16:56   because there are lots of bikes in Amsterdam.

00:16:59   And anyway, so when two Dutch people love each other

00:17:02   very much, they probably used a Dutch dating app.

00:17:06   - All right, so. - That's all I got, I'm out.

00:17:10   - Apple has published, all the fun stuff's over.

00:17:12   Now we get into the--

00:17:13   - Yeah, sorry, that was your entertainment part.

00:17:16   - Jason did a good job for you all, now I'm here to,

00:17:18   I'm like the Krampus.

00:17:20   - The Krampus of Dutch dating, that's you.

00:17:24   - That's me. - That's you.

00:17:25   the Grinch of romance in the Netherlands.

00:17:27   That's you, Myke Hurley, you.

00:17:29   - I think Apple's that.

00:17:30   I'm just telling the story, you know?

00:17:32   I'm like the representative here.

00:17:34   So Apple has published more details

00:17:36   for the dating apps in the Netherlands stuff.

00:17:38   So they've actually now kind of gone through

00:17:41   the financial part of it,

00:17:43   which is the kind of the last piece

00:17:44   that we're waiting to find out.

00:17:46   So I'm gonna give you a couple of key parts.

00:17:49   We're gonna do them in an order of amount of stuff.

00:17:52   We're gonna have to talk about them, I think.

00:17:54   So they're only going to allow one link for external payment

00:17:57   options.

00:17:58   So remember, you could do two things.

00:17:59   You can either link people out to the web to pay,

00:18:02   or you can throw up an in-app purchase thing,

00:18:06   in-app purchasing screen.

00:18:08   It's not in-app purchase.

00:18:09   Please excuse me.

00:18:11   So say, here are the other payment methods

00:18:12   that you can make.

00:18:14   And you have to apply for an entitlement for each.

00:18:17   Apple's only allowing you to have one link that goes out,

00:18:19   and that link is specified in the application itself.

00:18:24   So you can't change it.

00:18:25   It's like a whole thing.

00:18:26   It's coded into the app.

00:18:28   So that's one part.

00:18:29   Ridiculous, but that's whatever, kind of what we expected.

00:18:33   For both this, though, and the I want to pay in-app using

00:18:37   a third-party provider, you have to show to users

00:18:41   an in-app modal sheet.

00:18:43   This means something you can only

00:18:45   get rid of by pressing one of either the yes or no buttons,

00:18:48   basically.

00:18:49   This has to be shown before sending people for payment

00:18:52   or giving them their options.

00:18:53   There's a bunch of wording on there.

00:18:55   I want to read a couple of parts of it.

00:18:56   So I'm going to truncate this a little bit,

00:18:58   but some of the wording that you have to include,

00:19:01   this is just a thing that comes up,

00:19:02   says, "This app does not support the App Store's

00:19:05   private and secure payment system."

00:19:08   Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah.

00:19:09   "Only purchases through the App Store are secured by Apple."

00:19:12   Now, a lot of people, I think,

00:19:14   are very rightly reading into this,

00:19:17   that basically Apple is trying to paint the picture,

00:19:20   that you can only trust them.

00:19:22   they're the only secure ones, right?

00:19:24   It's like the implication of what they're saying

00:19:27   is that the App Store has a private and secure payment

00:19:30   system.

00:19:30   So if you don't use this one, maybe it's

00:19:33   not private and secure, which is a terrible thing to say,

00:19:37   really.

00:19:38   And it does-- I've seen a bunch of people--

00:19:40   I think I saw Matt Burch just said this on Twitter.

00:19:43   Well, what about the third-party payment systems

00:19:47   that already exist in apps like Uber and Amazon?

00:19:50   They don't have to show users this stuff.

00:19:54   Why is that?

00:19:55   You know what I mean?

00:19:56   It's like, just if you want proof that Apple wants to make this a bad experience out of

00:20:01   spite, I think, this is part of that proof.

00:20:05   What is your take on this whole like showing the modal thing?

00:20:09   I said a while ago when we first saw Apple's results in Korea and Japan that it feels like

00:20:20   like Apple's strategy is to make everything as unpleasant as possible.

00:20:29   It's follow the letter of the law, but show your resistance in every possible way.

00:20:36   And this dialogue box is part of that.

00:20:38   Actually it reminds me, I mean, Apple does this reflexively.

00:20:42   I think this is part of a strategy, but Apple does this a lot where you see Apple's kind

00:20:47   of, I think they view it as being concerned for the user, but it's weaponized a lot.

00:20:55   And sometimes pointlessly, like I'm reminded of how on M1 Macs, when you install Audio

00:21:02   Hijack, the excellent sound utility from Rogue Amoeba, they have to use an Apple-approved

00:21:10   method of capturing system audio.

00:21:14   And Apple makes you reboot twice and go to a system setting and say, "Lower security

00:21:21   settings," and it has text there that basically says, "You are endangering yourself by doing

00:21:26   this," and then you have to agree and reboot, and now you can use AudioHijack.

00:21:31   And it struck me as funny because AudioHijack's using Apple-approved methods.

00:21:38   It's not a kernel extension.

00:21:40   It's just a system extension that Apple has approved the methodology of it, and yet they

00:21:45   put up the scare text. And I think that it's just part of the good side of it. It is their

00:21:52   culture of concern for the user and wanting to disclose to the user. But when I say it

00:21:57   can be weaponized, anything they don't like, they can turn on that language and try to

00:22:06   scare the user. And so, you know, all of this stuff is like that. All of this stuff is,

00:22:12   Apple's argument all along is that, boo, spooky, other people processing your credit cards

00:22:18   are bad and they may be fraudsters and only Apple is trustworthy. And so why would they

00:22:23   not create a scary dialogue box? Because they're trying to create so many barriers that nobody

00:22:28   uses this. And more to the point that developers don't even bother because they're like, "I'm

00:22:33   I'm not gonna put, like, I'm not gonna get,

00:22:35   why would I do this work?

00:22:36   If nobody's ever going to agree to the thing where you tap

00:22:40   and a ghost appears and says, no, this is haunted.

00:22:45   So I don't know.

00:22:47   I mean, it's, are we surprised?

00:22:49   But I think the counter argument would be,

00:22:51   and this is the, I dare you portion of Apple strategy,

00:22:54   which is the counter argument is,

00:22:57   are you going to tell us how to write our dialogue boxes?

00:23:00   are you going to tell us when and if we can warn our users

00:23:05   about legitimate security threats?

00:23:07   And I think they believe that they probably won't be,

00:23:11   that the regulators and the lawmakers are not gonna say,

00:23:15   it must be a nice dialogue box that is fair

00:23:18   and has texts that is approved by a regulator.

00:23:21   That's their gamble that they're taking here

00:23:24   is that they're gonna be able to get away with this,

00:23:26   but it is weaponizing their stated concern

00:23:30   for the user and turning it into a concern.

00:23:33   We're very concerned that you might

00:23:35   use someone else's systems and it could be dangerous.

00:23:38   Are you sure you want to do that?

00:23:40   You know, it's mom saying, "You can drive the car,

00:23:43   but are you sure you want to go to that party?"

00:23:46   - And the worst part of it is the part

00:23:49   that we all expected would happen,

00:23:50   but honestly, when you see it written down,

00:23:52   it's just so much worse than when you imagined it, I think,

00:23:55   is that Apple will be charging developers

00:23:58   that use third-party payment systems

00:24:00   27%, a 27% fee on every transaction.

00:24:04   - Isn't that funny too, that choice?

00:24:06   I mean, it's generally thought that 3%

00:24:08   is the credit card transaction.

00:24:09   And so they're literally like, okay,

00:24:11   so we'll subtract that from the 30 we take

00:24:14   and we want the rest.

00:24:15   And they didn't try to like say, oh, well, 25.

00:24:20   It's just a natural number, 25.

00:24:22   I don't know what you're talking about.

00:24:23   Or 20, yeah, no, whatever.

00:24:25   They're like, no, it's exactly,

00:24:26   we have imagined how much you're gonna be spending

00:24:29   on the external and that's what we spend too.

00:24:32   So we'll let you have that part.

00:24:34   And then we want the rest because we want our money

00:24:37   and we want our money no matter what transactions you use.

00:24:40   It's just, yeah, it's clear.

00:24:43   And they're so lucky that Google went to this before them

00:24:47   in terms of the strategy of we want our money

00:24:51   whether or not we are skimming it

00:24:53   off of our transaction or not.

00:24:56   But still, it's very much,

00:24:59   and maybe this is a negotiation,

00:25:00   maybe they're gonna start, come on hard,

00:25:03   and then eventually they'll back down a little bit.

00:25:05   But it's them saying, "We want all our money,"

00:25:08   and it doesn't matter what transaction processing system

00:25:10   you use, you can use that if you want to,

00:25:12   but it's not gonna save you any money.

00:25:14   So why bother?

00:25:15   - Just for reference, for Google,

00:25:18   I think it's by a large, most transactions

00:25:20   are somewhere between 11 and 15%.

00:25:23   So like, I agree with you,

00:25:25   and they were, I guess, waiting to see what Google did.

00:25:28   But I think Google has picked a number

00:25:31   for whatever reason they've picked their number.

00:25:33   Apple's picked its number by being like,

00:25:35   "No, we deserve every penny."

00:25:37   - And also they don't wanna,

00:25:39   and fundamentally Apple doesn't want to create an incentive

00:25:42   for developers to build this app.

00:25:44   So they've got the scary dialog box

00:25:45   that has to be a separate binary in the app store,

00:25:48   separate from their existing app.

00:25:50   And so you do all of this

00:25:53   and then you're not gonna even make any money.

00:25:54   - You know, you just know that your app review time

00:25:58   is gonna be worse for this.

00:25:59   - Probably, 'cause they're gonna have to check this

00:26:01   against all the things,

00:26:02   and you're gonna have to get special approval.

00:26:04   And that's all to make it so unpleasant

00:26:06   that nobody wants to do it,

00:26:07   and then you know what happens.

00:26:08   The next step is people agitate for laws to be changed

00:26:12   or for Apple to be held to account.

00:26:14   And Apple says, "Hey, we did it,

00:26:16   "and nobody's taking us up on it."

00:26:18   Like, nobody wants this.

00:26:20   Why are you regulating us

00:26:21   to provide alternate payment methods

00:26:23   when the truth is in the real world in Dutch dating apps,

00:26:27   nobody uses the feature.

00:26:29   We're innocent here.

00:26:31   You're making us build things. - We get all this work.

00:26:34   - And nobody is using it 'cause they just don't want it.

00:26:37   And the truth is that that's part of the game

00:26:41   they're playing is they wanna make it

00:26:43   as unpalatable as possible so that they can have proof

00:26:46   to say nobody is using it.

00:26:48   So that's all what's happening here.

00:26:52   - Talk about unpalatable.

00:26:53   Alright, bear with me a minute, there's stuff to read. I want to read from Apple's pages.

00:26:57   So in regards to the 27%, this is a reduced rate that excludes the value related to payment

00:27:04   processing and related activities. Developers using these entitlements will be required to

00:27:09   provide a report to Apple recording each sale of digital goods and content that has been

00:27:14   facilitated through the App Store. The report will then need to be provided monthly within

00:27:19   15 calendar days following the end of Apple's fiscal month.

00:27:24   Qualifying developers will receive an invoice based on their reporting and will be required

00:27:28   to remit payment to Apple for the amount invoiced within 45 days following the end of Apple's

00:27:34   fiscal month.

00:27:36   In the future, if Apple develops technical solutions to facilitate reporting, developers

00:27:40   will be required to adopt such technologies.

00:27:44   Please note that Apple has audit rights pursuant to the entitlement's terms and conditions.

00:27:50   This will allow Apple to review the accuracy of a developer's record of digital transactions

00:27:55   as a result of the entitlement, ensuring the appropriate commission has been paid to Apple.

00:28:01   Failure to pay Apple's commission could result in the offset of proceeds owed to you in other

00:28:06   markets, removal of your app from the App Store, or removal from the Apple Developer

00:28:11   Program.

00:28:12   This is disgusting to me.

00:28:15   So there's a few things here that I find so terrible about this.

00:28:19   And it's not even the money.

00:28:20   The first thing I was annoyed about was the 27%.

00:28:23   But then when I read this, I was so much more annoyed.

00:28:26   Because the implication that they are making here is that they cannot trust developers

00:28:31   to accurately tell them what the charges will be.

00:28:33   Not only do they want a detailed report, they threaten you with audits and punishments if

00:28:39   if you don't give them the correct number

00:28:41   because they need every single cent

00:28:45   and they are so upset if they don't get it.

00:28:47   Like, ah man, like they have engineered this in such a way

00:28:51   that it's probably also going to cost developers more money

00:28:55   to go with this route than to stick with Apple.

00:28:58   Like, where is the partnership?

00:29:00   There's just, they do not care about partnerships, right?

00:29:02   It's like, you are lucky to be here with us.

00:29:06   We have ordained to give you real estate

00:29:09   on our incredible product and in our app store.

00:29:12   And we deserve every single cent of it because just we do.

00:29:16   It makes me sick, man.

00:29:18   I'm so annoyed about this.

00:29:19   - So a couple of things, right?

00:29:21   Like it's hard to ask somebody to forego money.

00:29:24   I get it.

00:29:25   And Apple's culture comes from that time,

00:29:28   that near death experience where, you know,

00:29:30   I think Steve Jobs really set them on the path of everybody,

00:29:34   get your take every time from everywhere.

00:29:37   In fact, it reminds me of our joke about IDG back in the day,

00:29:41   the way IDG business units were budgeted.

00:29:45   I was told it's like the mob.

00:29:46   Like they don't really care what you do

00:29:49   as long as you give them their money

00:29:50   at the end of the year.

00:29:51   And it's a little like that.

00:29:53   It's like, we just want the money.

00:29:54   Like we just want the money.

00:29:55   That's our culture is you give us the money

00:29:57   for everything you do on our platforms,

00:29:59   you give us the money.

00:30:01   And although there are arguments that are strong here,

00:30:05   like look, Apple does spend money

00:30:07   on building App Store systems and building Xcode

00:30:11   and building external APIs for third-party developers.

00:30:14   Like there is actual money that Apple spends.

00:30:17   The funny thing is I don't know of any developer,

00:30:21   no developer I know, let's put it that way,

00:30:23   I have ever seen say that they don't believe

00:30:25   that Apple doesn't deserve a portion, right?

00:30:28   - Oh, I 100% believe that they deserve a portion.

00:30:31   - Yeah, so there's an extreme argument

00:30:33   that people can make which are like,

00:30:34   oh, I just wanna set up my own thing and box Apple out.

00:30:37   And that's sort of the Epic Games argument and all that.

00:30:39   It's like, I don't, but what is interesting here

00:30:42   is that you're putting everyone in a position where,

00:30:47   you know, Apple wants it the way they want it

00:30:49   and they wanna tell everybody what to do.

00:30:51   And the extreme side is we wanna bypass Apple.

00:30:56   And I don't, I mean, the challenge there is,

00:30:58   could you bypass Apple?

00:30:59   I, even if you were to pass laws or set up regulations where Apple couldn't take a higher

00:31:05   than a certain percentage from transactions, or you set up alternate app stores or whatever

00:31:09   else it would be, there's other layers to this, right? I saw a developer on Twitter,

00:31:13   and I can't remember who it was, whether it was Steve Trout and Smith or somebody else.

00:31:17   Somebody speculated that, you know, where this is going to end up going is an Xcode

00:31:21   enterprise access fee based on your total sales on Apple platforms, and you pay a percentage

00:31:27   of it to Apple and it needs to be audited and it becomes like basically, "Okay, we'll

00:31:31   back out of the whole thing, but you're still going to pay us our money." That is their

00:31:35   strategy here. The tragedy to me, and again, maybe some of this is because it's negotiation

00:31:39   ploy and this is how they've decided to do it and they've decided to be really hard about

00:31:43   it. The tragedy to me is I feel like there's a strategy, there's an approach that they

00:31:48   could take that would make most of this stuff go away and it would make the remaining arguments

00:31:55   so blunted that they would never gain any headway.

00:31:58   But Apple hasn't done that.

00:31:59   Apple hasn't said, "Okay, we're gonna change

00:32:03   and we're gonna make this."

00:32:03   Instead they're like, "We will do the minimum possible."

00:32:05   That is their strategy.

00:32:07   So this is where we are

00:32:09   and this is why it has eroded the relationship

00:32:13   between developers and Apple.

00:32:15   Oh, the other thing that I know I've mentioned before

00:32:17   but I failed to mention just then is,

00:32:19   it also, there's this implication that

00:32:23   Since Apple built the platform and built the,

00:32:26   built Xcode and built all the APIs and all of that,

00:32:29   that Apple deserves a portion of the revenue

00:32:33   of the apps that are generated

00:32:34   because Apple laid the foundations.

00:32:36   Apple benefits, developers benefit, Apple benefits.

00:32:41   Of course, the truth is that Apple benefits so much

00:32:44   from the sale of devices that run all those apps.

00:32:49   And that if the apps didn't exist,

00:32:52   Apple's products would not be as popular.

00:32:56   And you only need to go back to the Mac versus Windows to see that if you have one platform

00:33:00   that's got all the software and the other one doesn't, guess what happens?

00:33:03   The one platform kind of struggles.

00:33:06   And so it's disingenuous to say that Apple needs to share with – or developers need

00:33:11   to share with Apple because Apple laid the groundwork of the platform.

00:33:16   Because I would argue that at that point you should say, "What percentage of iPhone sales

00:33:20   are you going to give to developers?

00:33:21   And they're not going to do that, right?

00:33:24   0% is the answer there.

00:33:25   That's the answer.

00:33:26   So it's 27% over here and 0% over there.

00:33:29   - We made this, how dare you, right?

00:33:31   - Yeah, yeah, no, we're 100.

00:33:32   And that's why, and again, forgive me,

00:33:35   but having worked with people who dealt with Steve Jobs

00:33:39   for business regarding the Mac world brand,

00:33:42   there is, and it comes straight from Steve,

00:33:47   there is still inside Apple this idea that everything positive is due to Apple. And so

00:33:54   the iPhone is 100% successful due to Apple's greatness. All of those sales are 100% due

00:34:00   to Apple. The App Store is probably 100% due to Apple's greatness, but we can't take 100%

00:34:07   from you. So we'll take 30% from you. And that's just their attitude. And I think that

00:34:13   That is still underpinning a lot of this strategy.

00:34:16   And I don't know what the answer is.

00:34:18   It does sort of feel like, unless this is a rope-a-dope kind of thing where Apple's

00:34:22   like, "Oh no, we're gonna be mean."

00:34:24   And then they're like, "Okay, oh right, we changed."

00:34:26   They're really just saying, "Regulate us, make us."

00:34:29   See, this is the thing.

00:34:31   No one outside of the Netherlands should be paying attention to this story, in theory,

00:34:38   right?

00:34:39   But you're making us all see it.

00:34:41   So if this is your plan, what you've pointed out, of like, "Oh, we're going to go hard

00:34:47   and then pull back," in doing that, it makes everyone feel bad.

00:34:53   Everyone feels bad.

00:34:54   And is that good?

00:34:55   I don't think that's a good tactic.

00:34:56   And I don't think that's a tactic.

00:34:58   I just think that they are asking for what they think they deserve.

00:35:02   If you have a person you have a relationship with, let's not say it's a friend, but

00:35:06   it's a colleague or it's a business that you do business with.

00:35:11   And they do good work, and it helps your business that you work with them.

00:35:15   And they provide you with some of your revenue for your business, and it's all fine.

00:35:22   But over time, what happens is everything that they do, they keep.

00:35:28   And they keep maximizing how much of what you do they want to charge you for.

00:35:33   Like it's this business, it becomes this thing where you feel like you're being taken advantage

00:35:37   of.

00:35:38   while you're still making money and building your business, you feel like the other group

00:35:44   is not your friend, and they're not really even your colleague. They're kind of lording

00:35:49   it over you and are giving you enough to survive, but they even view it almost as if they're

00:35:56   giving it to you and as if it's largess. Now, this is—you don't have to be a Sherlock

00:36:02   to realize what I'm describing as the Apple developer relationship, but if you abstract

00:36:07   it just a little bit, that's what's going on here. And it doesn't mean that the developers

00:36:13   are not going to keep developing software for Apple's platforms. But what has happened

00:36:17   is, if you think about that abstracted argument, you no longer give the benefit of the doubt

00:36:23   to your business partner. You begin to protect yourself from that business partner. You begin

00:36:28   to view that business partner as untrustworthy, as an adversary. And here's the kicker. When

00:36:36   When the bad times come and something that that that business partner adversary needs

00:36:42   something of you or needs to call in a favor, you won't because they never showed that to

00:36:49   you.

00:36:50   Apple is behaving like a company that will never have the bad times come and never needs

00:36:54   a favor and that every bad thing that happens on Apple's platforms can be papered over with

00:36:58   money.

00:36:59   That's their that's their approach.

00:37:01   And you know what?

00:37:02   So far since the launch of the App Store in 2008, that's been true.

00:37:09   It has been true.

00:37:10   And it will probably be true for a while that no matter what the relationship is with app

00:37:15   developers and Apple, that there's too much money to be made for it to make enough of

00:37:19   a difference for the people who are developing apps to abandon Apple and abandon that money.

00:37:25   but they are they are corroding the relationship and it's a dangerous game because you are

00:37:35   basically betting on the fact that even when your relationship is bad you're going to give

00:37:40   them enough money that it's not going to matter and that's great as long as you've got the

00:37:44   money to give them.

00:37:45   Tell you one place where I can see this as like a potential thing because I really love

00:37:49   what that energy you've just made right and what it seems like is on the horizon like

00:37:53   There's nothing, right?

00:37:55   When is Apple ever going to need to ask these people for anything?

00:37:58   One thing I can think of is like new platforms, stuff like the mixed reality headset.

00:38:03   Apple needs apps for it, but I can imagine a lot of people either A, don't want to get

00:38:08   into the business at all because it seems too stressful, or B, they're in it but they

00:38:12   don't want to do any more because it's just more aggravation.

00:38:16   And Apple needs these apps.

00:38:17   Well, they're asking people to take a leap, right?

00:38:19   Yep.

00:38:20   with us and invest a lot of money in this new platform that is not going to be successful

00:38:26   for a little while. And what Apple is saying is, "This is a straight-up investment. You

00:38:31   invest in our platform now, we'll make you money later. That's all you need to care about."

00:38:35   And that's one way to go, but I would argue that if somebody is more predisposed toward

00:38:40   Apple and be like, "Oh, I love Apple stuff and this is really fun and we're going to

00:38:44   take an adventure and we're going to break new ground and maybe we'll make money at the

00:38:47   end of it too. Great. You're going to get more and more enthusiastic investment in your

00:38:52   new platform than if it's just, also who's investing, right? They're the people out there,

00:38:58   and we know a lot of them who are developers, who although they make a living from being

00:39:01   a developer, they also take great pride in what they do. They are often very small companies

00:39:07   or individuals. They've got limited amounts of time to spend. And then Apple comes in

00:39:12   and says, "Well, we've got this thing. It's going to be a big investment. You're going

00:39:15   to buy hardware, you're going to have to do all this stuff, learn totally new ways, but

00:39:18   in the end it's going to be this." Well, what's going to happen is a lot of those people are

00:39:21   going to be like, "I can't. I can't. I've got to maintain the stuff that's making my

00:39:25   living now. This is expensive. There's no return on investment." The people who will

00:39:30   come in are everybody else who's willing to put in money with the hope of getting rich

00:39:34   down the road. So I would argue that the composition of the developers that you're bringing in

00:39:40   for your new thing. If you don't have good vibes with developers, the people you bring

00:39:47   in will be kind of bad and jerky and they're all in it to get rich quick. And I know it's

00:39:53   capitalism, like everybody wants to make money, but what I'm saying is sometimes what happens

00:39:58   on Apple's platforms is there's the stuff Apple's proud of and the stuff Apple's not

00:40:02   proud of. And I would argue that most of the stuff Apple's proud of is coming from kind

00:40:08   of good developers who care. And yes, they want to make money too, but they care. And

00:40:14   the stuff Apple's not proud of is the people who are super mercenary and the businesses

00:40:18   that are mercenary, and they just are in it for the money. Apple's big, we're gonna spend

00:40:23   a few million bucks on this AR thing, hopefully it'll pay off later. And again, you could

00:40:28   do that. Like, it's a perfectly reasonable solution to do that, but if you're Apple,

00:40:33   what you're risking is that you're scaring away all the people who do the work you're

00:40:37   actually proud of on your platform and you're going to be left with the kind of

00:40:40   crappy stuff that's in the App Store that you make money from but don't

00:40:45   really talk about or don't really promote heavily because it's kind of

00:40:49   soulless and bad. And so what I'm not arguing here is that the

00:40:54   sainted indie developers are where Apple makes its money.

00:40:56   It's not, but I think there is an intangible aspect to it which is that

00:41:01   that's the kind of stuff that when there's love and commerce going on you

00:41:05   You get a better product and it's a product that Apple's prouder of and they do App Store

00:41:08   features about and all of that.

00:41:10   And I think that that does matter to Apple.

00:41:13   And I think it's a very proud company that is proud of stuff that it enables on the App

00:41:18   Store.

00:41:19   And I'm just saying there's lots of fallout from making your core developer community

00:41:27   hardened and mercenary.

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00:43:05   our thanks to bombus for their support of this show and relay fm

00:43:08   Alright Jason it is time for the six colors report card for apples 2021 can you explain

00:43:15   to listeners maybe new listeners what the six colors report card is?

00:43:19   uh sure every year um for since 2015 when i started six colors i have tried to get a

00:43:28   a panel of people, a few dozen people, people who I know, or I read their stuff on Twitter,

00:43:35   people who seem to focus on Apple with a lot of their attention.

00:43:39   I ask them to fill out a survey about 12 different Apple-related categories, and I ask them to

00:43:50   score Apple one to five, five being best, one being worst, for each of the categories,

00:43:55   And then they also can fill out a little text field and tell me more about how they're feeling.

00:44:01   And I compile those results.

00:44:02   So for people who like numbers, there are numbers.

00:44:05   And for people who like words, there are lots of words because I, although I trim it down,

00:44:10   there are a lot of words from people whose names you know and some that you don't.

00:44:15   And so because I've been doing it since 2015, it also means that I can track the sentiment

00:44:21   over time and see how people's opinions have changed.

00:44:24   The panel changes every year,

00:44:25   but it's got a lot of continuity.

00:44:27   I try to add people and I also invite people

00:44:30   and then not all of them opt to take the survey.

00:44:33   So that varies from year to year.

00:44:36   I need to be better at inviting more people in the future.

00:44:40   I'm actually gonna try to build a better system

00:44:42   to keep track of my, it's a little scattershot,

00:44:44   but I'm gonna try to be better for next time.

00:44:46   But yeah, so it's a measure of sentiment about Apple

00:44:51   in a bunch of different categories.

00:44:52   And really, my goal is not to prove anything scientifically.

00:44:56   That's not the point here.

00:44:58   My goal is really to get a sense of the temperature,

00:45:03   get the sense of the vibe among people

00:45:06   who pay attention to Apple.

00:45:07   How do they think it's going?

00:45:09   And I think in aggregate, you end up

00:45:12   with some interesting insights into how people feel

00:45:15   Apple is doing from year to year, how the trends are.

00:45:18   It's a point to begin conversation, I think,

00:45:23   more than anything else, but I think it's a fun idea

00:45:26   and it's been fun to do, so I'm doing it.

00:45:29   - So we're gonna run through the grades.

00:45:33   We'll maybe pick out some of the points that were made

00:45:35   and we can look at why things have maybe gone up or down.

00:45:39   I am gonna give my grades

00:45:40   and I'm gonna ask you to give yours

00:45:42   because you do not vote in the report card,

00:45:44   so I would like to have that so we could--

00:45:46   - And in fact, I have not prepared any grades.

00:45:49   So we will figure it out together.

00:45:51   - Well, I mean, really this is kind of just how I fill out

00:45:53   the report card.

00:45:55   I just, as I'm going through, I just fill it out

00:45:57   like how I'm feeling when I get to the question.

00:45:59   So we're gonna do the same with you today.

00:46:00   - You don't do like a sentiment analysis

00:46:02   of all the words that you've said during the year

00:46:04   and try to gauge the, no, of course not.

00:46:06   - Well, I mean, of course this is incredibly important to me

00:46:09   so yes, I am doing that.

00:46:10   Of course, of course, of course.

00:46:11   - Yes.

00:46:12   - We'll start with the Mac, which is an A+

00:46:15   with a 4.6 score, which is down a little from 4.7.

00:46:20   This was something I was very surprised about,

00:46:22   but you tried to tell me why that was okay, right?

00:46:25   - Yeah, well, a lot of people were like,

00:46:27   "How did the max score go down?"

00:46:29   And the answer is, 'cause it went up by 1.1 on average,

00:46:33   a huge leap last year as Apple Silicon came in.

00:46:36   And that is hard.

00:46:37   When five is the most you can give anything,

00:46:40   and you've got a group of 53 people,

00:46:43   and the score is 4.7, it actually doesn't

00:46:47   have a lot of room to go up.

00:46:50   It's almost up at the top.

00:46:51   So it slid a little to 4.6.

00:46:53   Looking at the sentiment of the comments,

00:46:55   I think there are a couple of reasons for that.

00:46:57   One is that there are still some Apple Silicon Macs that

00:47:00   have not made their debut.

00:47:01   And also, I'd say a general kind of uneasiness

00:47:06   about the state of the software side of the Mac.

00:47:09   And this is not a Mac hardware question.

00:47:11   It is a Mac question.

00:47:12   and people can interpret that as they like.

00:47:15   And so I think that there are a few people

00:47:17   who ratcheted down the score a little bit.

00:47:19   - Stephen Hackett, I think may have been one of them.

00:47:21   Stephen says, "I can't shake the feeling

00:47:23   "that once again Apple software is letting its hardware down.

00:47:25   "Mac OS Monterey has been the smoothest running version

00:47:27   "of operating system in several years.

00:47:29   "Parts of Mac OS continue to feel outdated,

00:47:31   "if not outright forgotten by teams

00:47:34   "who have moved on to other projects."

00:47:36   So you can assess some of that part there.

00:47:40   I graded it a five and my quote was one of the quotes

00:47:45   that you did publish in the report card,

00:47:47   which I always enjoy when I see those,

00:47:48   is that in the 10 years that I've been covering Apple,

00:47:50   this is the most excited I've ever been for the Mac.

00:47:53   And it's true.

00:47:54   I think, I mean, to me, like just for,

00:47:56   obviously I'm biased, but I just can't believe

00:47:58   that anyone wouldn't rate this year a five.

00:48:00   Like to me, that's wild because the Macs

00:48:03   that we have seen this year are absolutely unbelievable.

00:48:06   And I mean, maybe people are kind of like,

00:48:08   I'll put it at four now because I'm waiting for more later, but I'm just kind of like just just live your life

00:48:13   Just you know, we'll give her all fives. We'll just do five five five

00:48:16   You don't have to like grade down because of what the future might bring just be happy

00:48:21   You know five five five all over the place. So what's your score?

00:48:24   Four. Ah, you're one of these people

00:48:27   Yeah, I I think Stevens exactly right which is I want to and I had several people I tend to take out the things where

00:48:34   People explain their rating system to me because that's the thing

00:48:37   I hate it the most about like Goodreads or something like that.

00:48:39   So I'm like, I would have given this three and a half,

00:48:41   but since you don't allow half ratings,

00:48:42   I guess I'll give it a three.

00:48:44   But there were several people who said,

00:48:46   if this was just the hardware, it would be a five.

00:48:48   And I agree, if this was hardware,

00:48:50   I would give it a five out of five.

00:48:51   But the fact is, macOS Monterey,

00:48:54   like it's great that Shortcuts is there now.

00:48:56   I'm so happy about that.

00:48:58   It was a mess when it shipped and it's still kind of weird,

00:49:01   but it's getting better.

00:49:03   And I agree with Steven exactly.

00:49:05   There are so many, and this is true,

00:49:07   across the board, but it's especially true on the Mac.

00:49:10   There is so much Apple software that feels abandoned.

00:49:13   And it's embarrassing.

00:49:17   Like there's stuff on Apple's platform

00:49:20   that is core to Apple's platform

00:49:22   that doesn't feel like it's changed much in a decade.

00:49:25   And things have changed in a decade, right?

00:49:27   And yet there are apps that are way behind

00:49:29   and apps that don't support shortcuts.

00:49:32   And we give them a lot of praise

00:49:35   when they do a makeover of one of their apps,

00:49:37   which is great, but I think it's interesting

00:49:39   that they can only really ever manage it

00:49:40   for one or two apps a year.

00:49:42   And, you know, a third party app can't afford

00:49:47   to go five years between major changes, right?

00:49:50   Like they can't do it, but Apple thinks that they can.

00:49:53   Maybe they can get away with it,

00:49:55   talking about our previous conversation,

00:49:57   but I think it's bad and I think it hurts the platform.

00:49:59   So I am withholding that point for the fact

00:50:03   that the software between macOS

00:50:05   and their apps on Mac OS.

00:50:08   And also like the indistinct sort of like weird situation

00:50:11   they're in where it's unclear about like,

00:50:13   what is catalyst and what is UI kit

00:50:15   and where is this all going?

00:50:17   Like, and the feeling among developers

00:50:19   that it's not moving along as fast as they really want it to.

00:50:22   Like there's just a lot there.

00:50:23   So I can't, again, I was trained back in the day

00:50:26   to not give five mice unless something was perfect.

00:50:29   And the Mac is close, it's real close.

00:50:32   It would be four and a half mice,

00:50:34   But I'm gonna withhold that last point

00:50:36   because the software side does,

00:50:39   this is the truth,

00:50:41   is Apple could not be doing a better job on Mac hardware.

00:50:44   Could not be.

00:50:45   It is amazing.

00:50:46   And maybe the fact that people have caveats about the Mac

00:50:52   should suggest to Apple

00:50:55   where they need to put their attention.

00:50:57   Like Apple is rapidly becoming a company

00:51:00   that is not the synthesis of hardware and software,

00:51:03   but great hardware let down by software.

00:51:06   And that's not a really great brand to be.

00:51:08   - So what you're saying is nothing is so perfect

00:51:10   that it can't be complained about.

00:51:12   - Nothing is so perfect that it gets five out of five,

00:51:15   is what I would say.

00:51:16   - Speaking of John Syracuse, it says every new Mac

00:51:18   Apple introduced in 2021 was a hit.

00:51:20   Alex Cox says, for the first time in years,

00:51:24   I found myself reaching for my MacBook Pro

00:51:26   instead of my iPad or my iPhone even to do small tasks.

00:51:30   And Federica Vittucci says, the greatest compliment

00:51:33   I can pay to Apple's renewed approach to the Mac is that for the first time in a decade,

00:51:38   they've got an iPad user like myself interested in the Mac again.

00:51:41   So let's do the iPhone.

00:51:44   Got an A-minus 4.0 down from 4.3.

00:51:49   I gave it a 4.

00:51:53   I think I probably gave it a 5 last year.

00:51:56   I would expect that I did.

00:51:59   And that was why I graded it a 4.

00:52:00   I really love ProMotion.

00:52:03   I'm fine with the design being unchanged, but the other part for me as I mentioned,

00:52:10   I think I mentioned on the show, I definitely mentioned Upgrade Plus, I have some issues

00:52:14   with the scratchability of the screen because my screen is all scratched up and Lex Friedman

00:52:20   says I think Apple's glass is getting a little less awesome over time.

00:52:24   My 13 Pro shows more scratches and nicks than the other recent iPhones did, though no worse

00:52:29   treatment through no worse treatment.

00:52:31   I think this is that ceramic shield. Ceramic shield seems to, as I've been told this by

00:52:36   somebody at Apple, protects against breakages, but actually opens it up to get scratched

00:52:40   more. I'm not sure what is the right tradeoff for that. So I went for four. What would you

00:52:45   rate the iPhone at this year?

00:52:47   And I just point out that the iPhone scores track, they go up when it's like sales, right?

00:52:52   They go up when there's a new model with new design.

00:52:54   I think that makes sense, right? Because they're the big ones. That's when the biggest features,

00:52:58   when it should be the most exciting.

00:53:00   You know, I would have rated it higher last year

00:53:02   'cause I love the design.

00:53:03   And so like, I'm happy to keep it at a four

00:53:05   because I love the design.

00:53:06   I'm fine with it being unchanged.

00:53:09   But aside from ProMotion,

00:53:11   the iPhone 13 is kind of just like, you know.

00:53:15   - Yeah, I'm not gonna score Apple down

00:53:19   because it can't do a new design of the iPhone every year.

00:53:24   I guess I get that there's an enthusiasm gap there.

00:53:26   I'm gonna give it a four

00:53:28   because I think nothing is so perfect, but also,

00:53:32   there's issues, shortcuts again didn't work, right?

00:53:37   Like there's some OS issues.

00:53:39   I do think iPhone software is in a better place

00:53:40   than Mac software is.

00:53:42   I could see giving this a five.

00:53:44   I'm also a little concerned about the future

00:53:47   of the iPhone mini. - How can you ever give a five,

00:53:49   Jason, with this,

00:53:50   with this what you set out? - It could happen.

00:53:52   - If nothing can be perfect, how can you ever score a five?

00:53:56   it's just gotta be a magical moment.

00:53:58   You really have to feel it, Myke.

00:54:00   When one Dutch person loves another Dutch person very much.

00:54:05   - That's a five, five out of five.

00:54:07   - Five out of five.

00:54:08   - Chrisuna Warren says,

00:54:10   "Software quality does continue to get worse,

00:54:12   particularly with things like autocorrect

00:54:14   and the continued embarrassment that is Siri.

00:54:16   iOS 14 was one of the worst iOS rollouts in history

00:54:19   and iOS 15 is definitely better than that.

00:54:21   From a hardware perspective, as good as the iPhone 13 is,

00:54:25   It also feels like the weakest upgrade

00:54:26   from the previous version that I can maybe ever remember.

00:54:30   John Gruber says the iPhone 13

00:54:31   are very nice year over year upgrades.

00:54:33   The cameras are better than ever.

00:54:35   Performance improved by typical margins

00:54:37   while at the same time battery life improved too.

00:54:39   Battery life is one of those things that I think,

00:54:42   you know, I had to keep in mind as like,

00:54:45   okay, this is another reason to keep the score good

00:54:48   because that battery life improvement

00:54:50   was significant across all the devices.

00:54:53   and I was really happy about that at the time,

00:54:55   but it's easy to forget about over time

00:54:57   because you just get used to your phone being better.

00:54:59   - Yeah, I mean, I'm not a big fan

00:55:00   if I look at the big picture here of the fact

00:55:02   that I had to choose between my small size phone

00:55:04   and the third camera and the promotion display.

00:55:07   And I did choose.

00:55:09   And I understand why those differentiators are there,

00:55:12   but I don't have to like it.

00:55:13   And I will like it even less next year

00:55:15   when I can't buy a phone.

00:55:16   - Next year they'll make you choose

00:55:17   'cause it just won't exist.

00:55:19   - Wait for my score next year.

00:55:20   (laughing)

00:55:21   - It's gonna be a mini score.

00:55:23   for a mini phone.

00:55:25   iPad B grade, 3.7 out of five, both years in a row.

00:55:30   I was generous and gave it a four purely because

00:55:36   of how much I adore the iPad mini.

00:55:39   I would have probably, without the iPad mini,

00:55:41   I'd probably be at a two out of five this year,

00:55:45   but the iPad mini is so perfect for me.

00:55:48   I went with a four and there's actually,

00:55:50   I'll get to your score in a moment

00:55:52   'cause there's a couple of people who agree with me,

00:55:54   Steven Aquino being one of them.

00:55:56   I'm very excited by the new iPad mini.

00:55:58   After years experiment of using an iPad

00:56:00   as a laptop replacement, the redesigned mini

00:56:02   feels like just what I'm looking for

00:56:04   out of a tablet these days.

00:56:06   Federico said that I'm glad they revived this product

00:56:10   in 2021, but I just hope we won't have to wait three years

00:56:13   for another update, which is the problem.

00:56:16   What is your score for the iPad 2021?

00:56:19   I'm similarly conflicted because I think the hardware updates were good, although I...

00:56:27   Which hardware update do you highlight?

00:56:28   Do you highlight the existence of the iPad mini, which really is a remarkable piece of

00:56:31   hardware?

00:56:32   It's so good.

00:56:35   Or do you highlight the M1 iPad Pro that sort of is just like the old one, even though it's

00:56:40   got an M1 in it now, it's really just...

00:56:42   - Well, if you don't mind me interrupting...

00:56:44   - The display is great.

00:56:46   depending on which hardware you highlight,

00:56:48   tells a very different story,

00:56:49   because the iPad Mini is this great hardware

00:56:52   that runs iPad OS.

00:56:53   How amazing is that?

00:56:54   Like this tiny hardware,

00:56:56   and it can run with the full power of iPad OS.

00:56:58   Or you say, "Look at the iPad Pro,

00:57:00   "it has an M1 chip in it,

00:57:01   "and it only runs what we have in iPad OS."

00:57:05   It's like two very different outcomes

00:57:08   for running through the same track.

00:57:09   - Yeah, so I'm gonna give it a three.

00:57:12   - I think that's perfectly fair.

00:57:14   I love the iPad mini, I think it is great.

00:57:18   I bought an M1 iPad Pro 12.9 and I love it

00:57:21   and the screen is great.

00:57:23   Apple loses a lot of my enthusiasm for the iPad

00:57:27   with the fact that iPadOS is coming along so slowly.

00:57:30   They haven't shipped Pro apps for it.

00:57:32   They haven't come up with an external display solution.

00:57:35   They, you know, it's just, what is the iPad gonna be?

00:57:39   You've had an iPad Pro now for a very long time

00:57:42   And yet is the iPad, one of my commenters said,

00:57:45   it seems to be settling in, was it David Sparks, I think,

00:57:48   who said, I've come to a new understanding with the iPad.

00:57:53   And essentially what he means there is it's an in-between

00:57:56   product between the Mac and the iPhone

00:57:58   and not like another product that can do everything

00:58:02   that the Mac can do.

00:58:02   And I think that I am disappointed by that

00:58:05   because I think the iPad should do more than it does

00:58:08   and be an alternative as Federico would say

00:58:10   better than anyone.

00:58:11   It's another kind of computing device

00:58:14   that has a lot of benefits,

00:58:15   including touch and including portability.

00:58:17   And the app story on them is quite good.

00:58:21   It has a lot going for it.

00:58:23   And it's frustrating if its creator sees all

00:58:27   that it has going for it and says,

00:58:28   "Yes, but it's still sort of lesser."

00:58:32   - Yeah, I'm definitely on that David Sparks train.

00:58:34   Like it's like almost Zen way of thinking.

00:58:37   But David said, "I no longer judge it

00:58:39   by what I want it to be,

00:58:40   but instead what it actually is.

00:58:42   And that's kind of how I feel about the iPad in general now.

00:58:45   - This is what hit me in the feels was,

00:58:47   I realized Apple looks at the iPad

00:58:49   as something between the iPhone and the Mac and no more.

00:58:52   So now I'm only using the iPad for things

00:58:53   the iPad is good at

00:58:54   and no longer trying to move mountains with a shovel.

00:58:56   And on one level, it's like, yes,

00:58:58   that's probably the right thing to do.

00:59:01   On the other level, it's like, why is it that way?

00:59:04   Why has Apple decided either through its action or inaction

00:59:09   that that's what it needs to do with the iPad,

00:59:11   is sort of just sort of let it be in the middle.

00:59:14   - It shouldn't be that way,

00:59:15   but I have definitely decided to stop fighting it,

00:59:20   and I'm happier this way,

00:59:22   but I understand why people want, I mean, especially--

00:59:25   - That's the secret.

00:59:26   - People like Federico, right? - Give up.

00:59:28   - Just give up and they'll be happier that way.

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01:01:52   So we move now into wearables.

01:01:54   So this is, there's kind of two categories in one, right?

01:01:57   Wearables and Apple Watch.

01:01:59   I think initially they were together

01:02:01   and you split them out, is that correct?

01:02:02   - Yeah, I launched the survey when the Apple Watch existed.

01:02:06   And then what Apple did is they broke out wearables

01:02:09   as its own category and included things like AirPods.

01:02:11   And I realized I probably wanted a wearables category

01:02:15   and not an Apple Watch category,

01:02:16   but I also didn't wanna give up the historical value

01:02:21   of the Apple Watch question.

01:02:23   So now I asked two questions.

01:02:26   How do you feel about wearables, including Apple Watch?

01:02:28   And how do you feel about Apple Watch?

01:02:30   And I chart them both.

01:02:31   And so, you know, you get a sense of this time.

01:02:35   I mean, the wearable score has always been higher

01:02:36   than the Apple Watch score.

01:02:37   And I think that's because Apple Watch has figured

01:02:39   into the wearable score,

01:02:40   but then they also throw them in like AirPods

01:02:42   and people like AirPods.

01:02:44   So.

01:02:45   - I mean, for me, I judge it as AirPods in wearables

01:02:49   and then Apple Watch on its own.

01:02:50   That's how I always think of this category.

01:02:52   - Well, you're not reading the instructions

01:02:54   which say wearables includes Apple Watch, but that's fine.

01:02:56   At some point I will probably--

01:02:56   - Jason, it doesn't make any sense to me.

01:02:58   Like for me personally,

01:02:59   why would I score the Apple Watch inside of a category

01:03:02   and then also scale it on its own?

01:03:03   Like to me that doesn't make any sense.

01:03:04   - At some point, because of people like you,

01:03:06   I will just drop asking the Apple Watch question

01:03:08   and only ask wearables.

01:03:08   - Maybe the problem is people like you

01:03:10   asking a weird question.

01:03:11   Anyway, A minus.

01:03:12   - Yeah, it's always the questioners who are at fault,

01:03:14   not the answerers.

01:03:15   - category 4.0 again, year over year, no change.

01:03:20   I went with a three for me, this is status quo, honestly.

01:03:23   It's just kind of like, yep, okay, fine.

01:03:25   Everything's the same.

01:03:26   What did you give, what would you give for wearables?

01:03:30   Obviously including the Apple Watch,

01:03:31   'cause that's the way it makes sense.

01:03:33   - Yeah, I think your three for status quo

01:03:35   is probably about right.

01:03:36   I think Apple, I bought a new Apple Watch this year

01:03:38   and I like it.

01:03:39   I like the bigger screen and the brighter always on

01:03:42   and all of that.

01:03:42   Like I actually think that I'm enthusiastic

01:03:45   about the latest series seven.

01:03:49   Are we up to now?

01:03:50   I don't know.

01:03:50   - We're on seven now, yeah.

01:03:52   - Yeah, I like it.

01:03:53   I think it's good.

01:03:56   And just because Apple's being incremental,

01:03:58   I think it was actually a pretty nice update.

01:04:00   And AirPods, you know, they did the new AirPods

01:04:03   that are depending on how they fit your ears,

01:04:06   you're either enthusiastic about or not enthusiastic about.

01:04:08   Yeah, not a lot of change in this category.

01:04:11   And so I could go back and forth on it.

01:04:15   'Cause I think how's Apple doing in wearables?

01:04:17   I think it's doing really well.

01:04:18   How was the year and was there new stuff this year

01:04:21   and all that?

01:04:22   Well, there wasn't.

01:04:23   So what do I grade it on?

01:04:24   If I'm grading it on, was there new stuff?

01:04:26   Yeah, it's kind of a middle of the road.

01:04:29   If I'm grading on how well I think they're doing

01:04:31   with the wearables business,

01:04:32   I would probably give it a four.

01:04:34   - The Apple Watch is a B at 3.6 down from 3.8.

01:04:38   I went with a three.

01:04:39   I like the Apple Watch Series 7 a lot.

01:04:42   I actually liked the bigger screen.

01:04:44   I think it looks really nice.

01:04:45   I like the keyboard that they added.

01:04:47   I think that's really smart.

01:04:48   But I wanted more from the design,

01:04:50   you know, it says at the time,

01:04:52   I'm over the rounded edge design.

01:04:55   And I was really hoping this was the year

01:04:57   that they were gonna change that, but they didn't.

01:04:59   So for me, it's kind of balanced out as a three out of five.

01:05:03   - I'm gonna say four here,

01:05:04   just because I do like the Series 7 a lot.

01:05:07   I don't mind that it's the same recognizable shape.

01:05:11   The fact that I can use Apple Watch as a platform, right?

01:05:14   Like I've got a cellular model,

01:05:15   I can see it really clearly in the daylight.

01:05:17   I love the always on display.

01:05:19   And I go for runs with this.

01:05:20   Like I go for runs where I'm running an app

01:05:22   that's doing running intervals

01:05:24   and broadcast actually is streaming audio to my AirPods

01:05:29   as I run while intervals is telling me when to run

01:05:33   and when to walk and when to run.

01:05:34   And like, that's amazing.

01:05:36   And honestly, when we talk about software quality

01:05:39   and we're gonna talk more about it in a bit,

01:05:41   that's all been solid for me the last year.

01:05:44   I've actually not had frustrations like I used to have

01:05:47   where, I mean, other than the fact that when my watch

01:05:50   sees my wifi network, it seems to say,

01:05:52   "Oh, I'll stop playing your audio now when I get home,"

01:05:55   which I find very weird.

01:05:56   Like I'm playing the audio.

01:05:58   You can keep playing it even though we're home.

01:06:00   I'm not, I haven't taken my headphones out yet.

01:06:03   But in general, it's just, I'm kind of amazed

01:06:05   that I have the ability to do that.

01:06:06   And people send me messages.

01:06:08   And I was listening to Connected Live while running

01:06:11   and just out in the middle of Mill Valley.

01:06:12   and I sent a text message to Steven

01:06:14   to correct something you said.

01:06:17   - Still doesn't make any sense to me.

01:06:19   - Well, it's 'cause I wanted it during the show

01:06:21   and not after the show when your Do Not Disturb turns off.

01:06:24   It's pretty easy.

01:06:25   I wanna, you see, this is my method, Myke,

01:06:27   is I wanna affect the show.

01:06:29   I wanna be in the show.

01:06:32   - Yeah, a lot of people like to try and affect Connected.

01:06:34   This is a trend of the show.

01:06:36   - It's a triple J plot is basically what it is.

01:06:39   Anyway, so I'll give it a four because I did buy a new one

01:06:41   and I really like it and I'm very impressed.

01:06:43   And I actually think the state of the Apple Watch platform

01:06:45   is okay, I'm getting what I want out of the apps.

01:06:47   I wish there were custom watch faces and stuff.

01:06:49   Look, it's not a five, nothing is perfect,

01:06:51   but I'll give it a four.

01:06:52   - John Maltz really likes the third generation AirPods

01:06:54   and a strong improvement over the previous model.

01:06:57   Alison Sheridan says the Apple Watch Series 7 was panned

01:07:00   as not having breakthrough features,

01:07:01   but the increase in screen size

01:07:03   was a huge increase in usability.

01:07:05   - Agreed.

01:07:06   - And I like what Christina Warren said

01:07:08   about the Apple Watches,

01:07:08   the Apple Watch update this year was boring,

01:07:10   but the Apple watch is still wearable to beat.

01:07:13   And that's just a fact.

01:07:14   - Yeah.

01:07:15   - Apple TV.

01:07:17   - Oh baby.

01:07:18   - C grade, 3.1 up from 2.1.

01:07:22   You're over here, the biggest jump

01:07:24   in the scorecard this year.

01:07:26   - I've seen some people say,

01:07:27   "Oh my God, why did people like the Apple TV so much?"

01:07:30   And I'll just point out the Apple TV

01:07:32   was a very, very low grade

01:07:34   and it's come up to a C grade.

01:07:36   So not, it went up a whole point, huge,

01:07:39   the biggest mover in the whole survey,

01:07:41   but it's not like it went from good to great.

01:07:45   It went from bad to okay.

01:07:48   And I gotta say,

01:07:50   what is the value of a new remote control?

01:07:52   Friends, the value is one point

01:07:56   in the Apple report cards.

01:07:58   - It's so good that remote,

01:07:59   like I've internalized it now,

01:08:00   which is the remote and it's excellent.

01:08:02   I love it.

01:08:03   I gave it a three, four because of the remote.

01:08:06   Otherwise it would have been maybe a one

01:08:09   because just like they're not really doing anything.

01:08:11   Like Federico said this, it's so true.

01:08:13   If you were to ask me to recall what's new in TVOS 15

01:08:16   at the top of my head,

01:08:17   I don't think I'd be able to answer that.

01:08:19   He's not doing anything anymore, really.

01:08:22   - Yeah, again, we come back to whether it's about the year

01:08:27   or how they're doing and how you, everybody's gonna,

01:08:30   like I could have voted this a two, a three or a four,

01:08:34   quite honestly, because this was the year

01:08:37   I went all in on Apple TV. That remote prompted me to cut the cord, get a new receiver for my

01:08:46   speakers, and everything we watch in the house is now on the Apple TV. Everything. We are all

01:08:54   Apple TV with one remote. It's the new Apple TV remote. So on that level, I actually am pretty

01:09:01   happy with Apple TV. I think it does what I—for what I do, I think it does a good job.

01:09:06   However, we just posted—and it's a member post, but I actually unlocked it for everybody—Joe

01:09:12   Steele wrote a piece for Six Colors last week about universal search on Apple TV, which is

01:09:16   amazing and true, which is there are pieces of it where it's just like, it's bad. And the question

01:09:22   is, like, does Apple care that it's bad? It feels like Apple TV doesn't have the resources to fix a

01:09:28   fix a lot of its software problems. If you stay in some very tight constraints, which

01:09:32   I try to do because I've been taught basically not to go outside them, I think it does a

01:09:38   pretty good job. But the reason I'm going to give it three and be generous in giving

01:09:44   it three is there are lots of software issues and app interactions. I love these apps that

01:09:50   have built their own multi-view. It's really great. Watch two things at once, four things

01:09:54   it once great for sports, especially ESPN has it, Fubo has it. TVOS 15, I believe, introduced

01:10:01   a new picture-in-picture system, or maybe it was 14, but apps don't support it, and

01:10:08   the multiview apps don't support it, and it just, it frustrates me that if I've got the

01:10:12   Olympics on Peacock and a soccer match on Paramount Plus, I really want to do a, like,

01:10:21   by two of the video from them, and I don't think either of those apps support picture

01:10:27   in picture. So like I've got some frustration with new features in the OS being supported.

01:10:33   Obviously the player, they introduced a new player UI that everybody's building like their

01:10:38   own player UIs. Some of them are good, some of them are terrible. There's a lot of work

01:10:42   to be done here, and yes, in terms of the competition, like my understanding, I haven't

01:10:48   seen it in a while, but the Google TV stuff is actually getting pretty good. I have a

01:10:52   Roku and a Fire TV stick, and I gotta say, I think the Roku stuff is okay. I think the

01:11:01   Amazon stuff is real bad. Like, you can do everything, but the interface to it is like

01:11:08   you're on Amazon.com. I hate it so much. I think Apple, interface-wise, is really pleasant,

01:11:16   I think that their solution to a lot of the app development issues and things like that,

01:11:21   I think it's pretty good. But it's too expensive and so even though I like it and I'm actually

01:11:27   very happy with my Apple TV, I think that Apple is not paying enough attention and it's

01:11:31   not being aggressive enough in getting people into the box, especially now that you can

01:11:35   watch Apple stuff on other platforms.

01:11:37   David Pembroke - Yep. Guillermo Rambo says the new Apple TV 4K, especially the new remote

01:11:41   is a huge improvement over the previous model. However, I'd like a more powerful chip in

01:11:46   Apple TV since the software seems to struggle quite a bit. Which is just this

01:11:50   is an interesting take for me because I mean I'm just not you I'm clearly just

01:11:54   not using the software that Kim is using. Like I'm assuming this is like more

01:11:59   powerful stuff maybe games or something like that but I could imagine it's

01:12:03   starting to get a little bit long in the tooth if that's the stuff you're doing.

01:12:06   Yeah yeah it's it's a it's a funny one like again as my monologue just said I

01:12:14   I actually think that there are aspects of Apple TV

01:12:16   that are really good.

01:12:17   My problem with it is mostly, I think, momentum.

01:12:20   Like I think they built a pretty good product

01:12:25   and that Apple, and by fixing the remote,

01:12:27   Apple has gotten to a pretty good place,

01:12:30   especially with software support from developers.

01:12:32   But it really feels like not enough attention

01:12:37   is being given to it and that it could be a lot better.

01:12:42   And some of that I think is a victim of Apple's inattention

01:12:45   and some of it I think is a victim of Apple

01:12:47   having some grand designs.

01:12:51   I think Netflix not being part of the data sharing system

01:12:55   really kneecaps Apple.

01:12:57   And Netflix is sharing data on some other platforms,

01:13:01   but not on Apple TV.

01:13:03   - This is Apple and its partnerships, right?

01:13:06   They should be going to Netflix and saying,

01:13:07   "Netflix, what will it take?"

01:13:10   - Yeah, what do we need to do?

01:13:11   because I'll tell you the TV app,

01:13:12   we joke about the TV app and it was bad for a long time.

01:13:14   - I love the TV app.

01:13:15   - I use the TV app all the time.

01:13:16   I use the up next in the TV app to see my next episodes.

01:13:19   - All the time I do this.

01:13:20   - It shows me when live sports is on.

01:13:21   Like there's a lot of good stuff in that TV app,

01:13:24   except you know what?

01:13:25   No Netflix.

01:13:26   - It's not even just Netflix.

01:13:28   There's like a bunch of stuff that isn't there.

01:13:29   But for us, most of the services that we watch

01:13:32   do integrate with it, Netflix doesn't.

01:13:35   And it's like, what is it going to take?

01:13:36   Like do what it's going to take, like just do it, right?

01:13:40   Like I'm already using Netflix.

01:13:42   Like don't protect me, you don't need to protect me.

01:13:45   - Your big business machinations

01:13:47   are directly impacting this product.

01:13:51   And as a user of the product, I don't care.

01:13:55   You are adults, you two giant corporations, figure it out.

01:14:02   Find a way to compromise so that the users of this platform

01:14:06   actually can have the Netflix content in that app

01:14:08   because it's gonna make Apple's platform better.

01:14:11   And I know like Netflix doesn't wanna share information

01:14:13   with Apple and all that.

01:14:13   It's like, work it out, work it out.

01:14:16   Find a way to work where Apple doesn't get everything

01:14:18   at once, Netflix doesn't get everything at once,

01:14:20   but the Netflix experience is better on Apple TV.

01:14:23   And they should both be motivated because I'll tell you,

01:14:26   as somebody who uses Apple TV as my primary,

01:14:29   I have stopped using Netflix.

01:14:31   Well, not stopped entirely,

01:14:33   but like my Netflix use is dramatically decreased

01:14:37   because when I'm shopping for shows in the TV app,

01:14:39   guess what's not there?

01:14:40   - Yeah, I agree with you actually.

01:14:41   - And so I don't think about it.

01:14:42   - I have to think to go and open Netflix.

01:14:45   - Let's open Netflix and see what is there.

01:14:47   And if Netflix's grand strategy is,

01:14:48   well, we just wanna be number one.

01:14:50   It's like, well, guess what guys?

01:14:51   You're not number one.

01:14:52   You're part of a larger world.

01:14:53   And on Apple TV,

01:14:54   the rest of the world is in the TV app and you're not.

01:14:57   And from Apple's perspective,

01:14:58   your product is worse 'cause Netflix is bad on it.

01:15:01   Like, working out people.

01:15:03   So I hope they do.

01:15:05   Services, B grade, 3.6 down from four.

01:15:10   I don't really understand why for this one,

01:15:12   maybe you can help me.

01:15:13   Like I don't really know why services could go down.

01:15:16   So I gave it a four because I was really surprised this year

01:15:21   that when we did the upgrade-ies,

01:15:22   most of my favorite TV shows were on Apple TV Plus

01:15:25   and I would not have expected that from them this soon.

01:15:29   So yeah.

01:15:30   - Services is what you make of it, is what I would say.

01:15:33   So if you view it as, hey, how's Apple doing with services?

01:15:38   And you use some of Apple services

01:15:40   and you're like, I like them, they're good.

01:15:42   And I think that's like, I use Apple Music,

01:15:44   I use Apple TV Plus, but if you want,

01:15:48   I even use iCloud more than I used to.

01:15:50   But if you wanna be a negative Nelly,

01:15:54   you could do that too, right?

01:15:55   'Cause you're like, News Plus is kind of a nothing.

01:15:57   iCloud storage tiers, they're too small for the price

01:16:02   and the free tier is still embarrassing.

01:16:04   But then I go, for me, I'm on the positive side of this.

01:16:09   'Cause not only do I think Apple services

01:16:11   are more good than bad,

01:16:13   that it used to be that Apple doing services was a joke

01:16:17   and now it's very, very serious

01:16:19   and they do a good job with most of them, not all of them.

01:16:21   Like Fitness Plus is good.

01:16:23   Apple Arcade really figured it out this year.

01:16:26   - Yes.

01:16:27   - With the classics and the App Store greats

01:16:30   and bringing that stuff back

01:16:31   while also still commissioning some other stuff.

01:16:33   Like is Apple Arcade the greatest service ever?

01:16:35   No, but I use, I'm playing Apple Arcade games

01:16:38   all the time now. - I think they found

01:16:39   a better mix now of like these big, broad commission stuff

01:16:43   plus a bunch of just like good iPhone games.

01:16:47   - Apple TV Plus is better than I expected it would be.

01:16:51   Honestly, it's a lot better.

01:16:53   So I think there's a lot going for it.

01:16:55   I also understand people who might vote this lower

01:16:57   because there's some uneasiness about Apple

01:16:59   focusing on services.

01:17:02   And I get all of that, but I would say, I think that they,

01:17:06   I mean, I also use the Apple card and I use Apple Pay

01:17:08   and I use Apple Pay Cash and like I'm in the US.

01:17:10   So I'm at the core for all of that.

01:17:13   But like, I feel like they're doing a pretty good job,

01:17:16   not perfect, but better than I expected.

01:17:19   And we remember when iCloud

01:17:21   and Apple Cloud strategy was a joke

01:17:24   and they're actually pretty good.

01:17:25   Oh, Apple lost listen Apple music,

01:17:28   multi-channel audio in Apple music this year.

01:17:32   Like there is so much stuff, custom domains

01:17:35   for iCloud email, which I'm not gonna use,

01:17:37   but you know, they're doing stuff.

01:17:39   Like in fact, I think you could argue

01:17:42   that Apple is paying way more attention to services

01:17:44   than they are to software right now,

01:17:45   which is not great for software,

01:17:47   but I think they've done a pretty good job.

01:17:49   So yeah, even though it's not perfect,

01:17:51   I think it's pretty good.

01:17:52   - Well, I think what you just said

01:17:54   about they're paying more attention to services

01:17:56   than software might be one of the reasons

01:17:58   that some people grade it down a little bit.

01:17:59   - Sure, absolutely.

01:18:00   And again, people can do it again,

01:18:03   that they're right to do that if they want to.

01:18:05   It really is how do you feel?

01:18:07   It is a measure of sentiment.

01:18:08   So if you don't like services

01:18:09   because you feel like Apple is sort of

01:18:11   misguidedly focusing on them, grade them down.

01:18:14   It gets in there, it gets in the scores.

01:18:16   - Casey Liss says, "For the most part,

01:18:17   "I'm pleased with Apple's services.

01:18:19   "I don't love that they're becoming

01:18:20   "an ever larger priority for Apple.

01:18:23   and I feel like I'm continually being nickeled and dimed about everything.

01:18:26   That's true, right? Like, they won't stop telling me about all the things that they want me to get

01:18:32   the money for. And then on a different side, James Thompson says iCloud has been very unreliable from

01:18:38   a developer perspective since the autumn OS updates. This is something I wasn't really aware

01:18:42   of, and James was telling me about it the other day, that there's been serious sinking problems

01:18:46   of iCloud. Yeah, I actually, so I first heard about this through Becky Hansmeyer, I want to say,

01:18:55   who's a developer and a great Twitter follower, by the way, because it's Cute Animals and Yarn and

01:19:03   an App Development Commentary. It's a great, it's like, it's awesome. Becky's an accountant.

01:19:09   But she was complaining about how, like, she's got apps that rely on iCloud. It's like,

01:19:15   it doesn't work. It doesn't work." And then that started a bunch of Twitter developer type people

01:19:23   started tweeting about it. And it sounds like maybe they actually bumped the jukebox and got

01:19:30   Apple to be like, "Huh? What? Huh? Oh." So that may be since this survey was taken, I think maybe

01:19:35   Apple is aware of the issue and has made a statement about it. Anyway, maybe this is in

01:19:41   in process. But yeah, it was apparently iCloud was unreliable and any app that was sinking

01:19:46   its data store with iCloud was getting errors and it was very frustrating for developers.

01:19:51   And I think that's, it's funny because it used to be, you just be, of course, but I,

01:19:55   I think this actually illustrates that, that iCloud is much more of a solid product than

01:19:58   it used to be. And it's actually, people are relying on it now. So when something goes

01:20:02   wrong, they get really upset. It used to be when something went wrong with iCloud, you're

01:20:06   like, look, it's iCloud. What do you expect? But I think they expect more now. And, and

01:20:10   That's good, but not great if it fails.

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01:22:18   So we move into the doldrums of the homekit category.

01:22:22   Oh boo boo boo.

01:22:25   D+ 2.7.

01:22:26   Lowest score, yes.

01:22:28   Down from 3.1.

01:22:29   I gave it a 1.

01:22:31   this is my lowest score.

01:22:32   I don't understand what they're doing over there.

01:22:35   I mean, honestly, it feels like they're doing nothing

01:22:38   is what they're doing.

01:22:39   And I genuinely hope that the reason

01:22:42   is that they're working on something.

01:22:44   Like that can be my only real hope with this.

01:22:47   - Yeah, I'm gonna give it a two, but I agree with you.

01:22:51   I use HomeKit stuff and it works,

01:22:54   but I also use HomeBridge to bridge it.

01:22:56   I've had some HomeKit, weird HomeKit errors

01:22:59   that I can't decide whether it's my network or HomeKit,

01:23:03   but that's part of the problem

01:23:04   is that it doesn't really tell you.

01:23:06   I do rely on HomeKit for some stuff

01:23:09   and it does work for that stuff.

01:23:12   I also like the fact that Apple is moving

01:23:14   toward this system where they're gonna have thread radios

01:23:16   and everything and then the matter spec is coming out,

01:23:19   but it's not out yet and it wasn't out in 2021.

01:23:22   So I think they're poised to maybe do more here

01:23:27   and that's good 'cause there's not a lot here.

01:23:29   Like they built that set, but to what end?

01:23:32   And then several people pointed out,

01:23:35   I think it's Federico said they have this HomePod mini,

01:23:38   but it's not a mini of anything

01:23:41   'cause the old HomePod is gone

01:23:42   and the old HomePods are dying

01:23:44   and there's nothing to replace them.

01:23:45   So people who invested in the HomePod architecture

01:23:49   and system are like, well, what do I do now?

01:23:52   Again, for a couple of years,

01:23:56   it's felt like Apple was about to turn the corner

01:23:58   on the home stuff.

01:23:59   and it hasn't happened yet.

01:24:00   Also a lot of hate for the home app in there,

01:24:01   and I feel that the home app is also not that great.

01:24:04   So, you know, I think this is really an interesting area

01:24:08   where Apple needs to decide, are they really in this

01:24:10   or are they just gonna abandon it

01:24:13   and let third parties integrate with matter

01:24:17   and deal with that.

01:24:19   But it's ugly, it's an ugly category.

01:24:22   And I should also say,

01:24:25   there was optimism in this category for a long time.

01:24:27   It went up most years between 2015 and 2020

01:24:30   to a high of 3.1.

01:24:32   Everybody's kind of come off their optimism in 2021

01:24:36   and it's back down.

01:24:37   - Alison Sheridan says,

01:24:39   "The Home app really and truly needs to be redesigned

01:24:41   from the ground up."

01:24:42   - Speaking of Apple apps that aren't very good

01:24:44   and that need attention.

01:24:45   - Alex Cox says,

01:24:47   "HomeKit could position itself as the home OS

01:24:50   for people who care about their privacy,

01:24:52   but Apple needs a smart hub that's more robust

01:24:54   and reliable than the HomePod mini."

01:24:57   They need one with a screen.

01:24:58   That's what they need.

01:24:59   - Well, they need,

01:25:01   I think Apple needs to make some products in this category

01:25:03   and they also need to make their home interface better.

01:25:05   And who knows,

01:25:06   maybe there's a screen bearing HomePod out there

01:25:09   and that part of that product is a redesign of the home app

01:25:12   and it's all gonna come together.

01:25:13   The problem is I think looking at the survey

01:25:15   like the panelists, I'm kind of over waiting for it.

01:25:20   I hope they do it,

01:25:21   but we've been waiting for some movement in that category

01:25:24   for a long time.

01:25:26   Hardware reliability got an A, 4.5 out of five again.

01:25:31   I gave it a four 'cause I have my particular bug there

01:25:35   about scratches on my iPhone screen.

01:25:38   But overall, I feel like all of the hardware that I'm using,

01:25:43   I have no big problems with it.

01:25:47   What would you grade this category as?

01:25:49   - This is tough 'cause some people are doing

01:25:50   like their personal experience with it.

01:25:52   Some of it it's like their observations of all of that.

01:25:55   I do think that this year it really can only be

01:25:58   to knock it down to be personal experiences

01:26:01   'cause there hasn't been like a thing this year, you know?

01:26:05   Like no gates.

01:26:07   - No gates, David Sparks pointed that out.

01:26:09   No gates in 2021.

01:26:10   Yeah, I'll give it a four 'cause nothing is so perfect.

01:26:14   I actually, I can't decide whether this gives it,

01:26:17   well, I thought about a five.

01:26:20   So the question, a lot of people mentioned

01:26:21   AirPod Pro replacement program that's scratchy.

01:26:25   - That's not a 2021 thing.

01:26:27   That's like a 2020 thing.

01:26:28   - No, but it's ongoing.

01:26:28   Mine were replaced in 2021.

01:26:31   But I think what I would say is when you've got a problem

01:26:33   with a product and you go into the Apple store

01:26:35   and they just give you the new product, it's pretty good.

01:26:38   Like, I know it's not just,

01:26:40   you're rolling in some customer service in there.

01:26:42   In fact, one of the quotes that I thought

01:26:43   was most interesting is Gabe Weatherhead said,

01:26:47   "AppleCare is part of the hardware reliability.

01:26:49   The hardware rarely fails, but when it does,

01:26:51   I can be pretty confident that it's not the end of life

01:26:54   because I have AppleCare and the new keyboards are nice.

01:26:56   Everybody's still basking in the glow

01:26:58   of killing all the butterfly keyboards and that's all fine.

01:27:00   But I do think there's something to be said.

01:27:02   AppleCare is not always great, but it helps.

01:27:06   And I repaired two old butterfly keyboard era laptops

01:27:10   this year too through Apple

01:27:12   and was fairly happy with that process.

01:27:15   - I think that the AirPods replacement program

01:27:19   really is like, we should raise the score, not lower it.

01:27:23   Because when you do that,

01:27:25   you get a little bit of actual life out of your AirPod too,

01:27:27   because bit more battery, you know?

01:27:29   - Yeah, I think you could judge it either way.

01:27:32   You could say it is a failure,

01:27:34   or you could say it's a success

01:27:36   because they fixed their failure and you get new ones.

01:27:39   And that's-

01:27:40   - I had someone tell me once recently,

01:27:42   I don't remember what it was in relation to,

01:27:46   that apparently there was a revision to the AirPods

01:27:49   Pro to stop this from happening at some point like the issue.

01:27:53   Yeah somebody we were talking about we were speculating about that and somebody said that

01:27:57   they seem to have made some sort of a change midstream to try and prevent this from continuing.

01:28:05   Yeah because I think it was when we were talking about AirPods Pro 2 and I think that was one

01:28:10   of the things I mentioned that maybe they would do something to stop the inevitable

01:28:15   It is an actual inevitable failure, basically,

01:28:18   of every Apple Pro that it will, at a certain point,

01:28:21   that one of the ears, usually the right one,

01:28:23   but not always, will start to rattle,

01:28:25   make like a rattling noise.

01:28:27   Software quality, B minus 3.4 down from 3.5.

01:28:33   I gave this a four because I think that really,

01:28:37   and Christina Warren put it so greatly earlier,

01:28:40   compared to last year, this has been fine.

01:28:44   What's funny is that the software quality score last year wasn't bad, and it came down

01:28:50   slightly from that after a big sort of like seesaw back and forth.

01:28:56   But you're right, it was, you know, it was not, other than the Safari, you know, summer

01:29:04   of Safari that happened.

01:29:06   But I don't have a problem with that, because like it didn't come out.

01:29:09   Exactly.

01:29:10   You know?

01:29:11   There's a mark in its favor, I feel like, because Apple were listening to the feedback

01:29:17   and they adjusted course quite a lot.

01:29:20   Shortcuts, quality issues were not great.

01:29:23   Yeah, Rosemary pointed that out.

01:29:25   A couple of people did, but Rosemary said that shortcuts clearly needs extra support,

01:29:29   which I agree with.

01:29:30   A bunch of people pointed out Rosetta 2, which basically just doing it and not...

01:29:38   To go through a chip transition and essentially not worry about it, that's an invisible but

01:29:44   very impressive bit of software engineering.

01:29:48   We remember the Intel transition, and when you were downloading software, you would be

01:29:51   very careful to check, like, is this a universal binary?

01:29:56   I do not ever think about this with the Apple Silicon transition.

01:29:59   I don't care.

01:30:01   I'm assuming that at some point I'm going to get the Apple Silicon version, but if I

01:30:05   have an Intel version, it does not matter.

01:30:07   I can't tell, you know, so it's great.

01:30:10   - Yeah, I'm gonna give it a three.

01:30:12   - Okay.

01:30:13   - And I'm being generous.

01:30:15   - Oh, wow.

01:30:15   - The stuff that I said before goes,

01:30:17   there is too much Apple software that is covered in dust

01:30:21   and some of it is infested with bugs.

01:30:24   And there are bugs, there are little bugs everywhere.

01:30:25   I run into bugs all the time on my iPad,

01:30:27   I run into them all the time on my iPhone,

01:30:29   I run them all the time on my back.

01:30:31   I can do my job.

01:30:32   I'm not, you know, my systems aren't crashing

01:30:35   and stuff usually,

01:30:36   but there's a lot of weird stuff going on.

01:30:38   Plus, yeah, introducing shortcuts.

01:30:40   That was a mistake to not label it a beta,

01:30:44   and I appreciate that they fixed a lot of those issues,

01:30:47   but there was a lot going on there.

01:30:49   Like, I wanna pat them on the back

01:30:51   for their OS update being not cataclysmic,

01:30:55   but geez, that is not a high bar.

01:30:58   Like, good job, you shipped an OS

01:31:00   that people aren't avoiding,

01:31:02   which, you know, if you talk to a lot of administrators,

01:31:04   Big Sur, they kind of avoided it. A lot of people avoided it. And then they're embracing Monterey.

01:31:10   Well, you know why it wasn't so bad last year? Because '13 was even worse. iOS '13 was even

01:31:15   worse than iOS '14. Yeah. So I can't give them a higher score than this because of all the stuff

01:31:22   around the edges. If this was OS quality, I might give it a little bit higher. But even then, the

01:31:26   OS or OS update experience or something like that, but Apple has a software problem. I think Apple

01:31:33   has a software problem at its core. It is not able to maintain the software that it thinks it

01:31:39   needs to have on its platforms at an acceptable level. And it's really only got two decisions

01:31:44   to make there. It either needs, well, I guess, and then the non-decision, it either needs to

01:31:49   abandon things and say, "We're not going to do this anymore," or it needs to pay people to do

01:31:56   the work. Imagine, like, I know that Apple software is not indie software, like, not

01:32:02   even close, but like, I can't imagine that Apple couldn't afford to hire and build some

01:32:07   small teams that stay on a product, show it, and I know they do this for some products,

01:32:11   right? Stay on a product, show it love, or always thinking about the next thing and have

01:32:15   a trajectory to it like shortcuts actually does. And like, sometimes I see that from

01:32:18   notes and reminders in some areas, not in others, but like every Apple product, if you're

01:32:23   going to have it, somebody should care about it and be pushing it forward all the time.

01:32:28   And I get the sense that if there is somebody assigned to some of these products, they're

01:32:31   not allowed to put time into it. They have to do some other stuff instead, or they're

01:32:37   understaffed. They don't have the people required to do it. So the other option is the inaction

01:32:43   option, which is where they are, which is stuff just lays there. And the problem is

01:32:48   that when Apple has products in their operating system especially, it dissuades anyone else

01:32:54   from building a product like it because Apple already built it. Even if it's no good or

01:32:59   old or updated, there's always the threat that Apple's going to come in strong and blow

01:33:04   you out of the water. So I think it's been like this for a decade now and it's not gotten

01:33:10   any better. And I think it's one of the areas that Apple really needs to improve on is,

01:33:16   Are you in or are you out?

01:33:17   And if you're in, fund it.

01:33:20   Fund people to do it.

01:33:22   And I don't care where they are.

01:33:23   They don't need to be in Cupertino for some small app that's on a couple of platforms.

01:33:27   Put them in Pittsburgh, put them in Cleveland.

01:33:28   I don't care.

01:33:29   Put them in Ottawa, put them in Mexico City, put them in Tokyo, put them in Copenhagen.

01:33:35   Like I literally don't care.

01:33:37   Just put them somewhere and say, "You know what?

01:33:39   The only app you care about is this app."

01:33:43   And make it better every year.

01:33:45   And I just don't feel if that is their current strategy,

01:33:48   something is wrong with it.

01:33:49   'Cause it's not showing.

01:33:51   - Developer relations, C minus 2.8 down from 3.1.

01:33:55   - I'd like to refer you to our previous conversation.

01:33:57   - Yeah.

01:33:58   - I wish. - I wish.

01:34:00   - I gave it a two.

01:34:01   I would have given it a one, right?

01:34:03   Like if this news would have come out before

01:34:05   that we were talking about earlier,

01:34:06   but my comments is the same basically like,

01:34:09   I just feel like at this point,

01:34:12   Apple would prefer to fight in court every single developer rather than give up their

01:34:17   30% and I don't understand why they want to go to this trouble realistically. I feel like

01:34:24   as you, you know, you so rightly put and you put it today, I think I can understand why

01:34:29   Apple specifically are this way, but at the same time can't understand why anyone in their

01:34:35   position would do this. Like I understand you would do this if you were a company that

01:34:40   really needed the money, but they just don't. And I don't understand what the point is anymore.

01:34:46   Well, and it's not just a matter of like, do they need the money? Well, of course, they're

01:34:49   a corporation. The issue is that they're taking huge risks and alienating people for money

01:34:54   that probably isn't worth it, at least from the outside looking at it. It's like, why

01:34:57   is this the thing that you're doing to make everybody angry at you?

01:35:01   They do not need the money because there's a bunch of stuff that goes into the iPhone

01:35:05   costs them money that they don't charge people for, right?

01:35:09   But this is one thing where they feel like they have to,

01:35:12   and I don't understand why.

01:35:14   - I'm gonna give this a two.

01:35:16   And I was actually vacillating between a three and a two,

01:35:21   and here's why.

01:35:22   Everything we've said before is about Apple saying,

01:35:25   essentially, we wanna suck as much money

01:35:29   out of developers as possible.

01:35:31   They owe us for building this wonderful platform.

01:35:34   And as I've said before, Apple owes them

01:35:37   for building the iPhone and iPad to being what they are,

01:35:39   and yet it doesn't give a percentage

01:35:41   of its revenue back to them.

01:35:43   So maybe lighten up a little bit.

01:35:48   And arguing in court things that make developers look

01:35:52   and feel bad is also unpleasant.

01:35:56   The reason I'm giving it two is,

01:36:00   and this is something that James Thompson mentioned,

01:36:04   Actually, the group inside Apple that's not involved

01:36:07   in legal issues and is working on virtual WWDCs,

01:36:12   the new Tech Talk system, ways of integrating

01:36:17   without having people in person,

01:36:20   ways of communicating between people at Apple

01:36:24   and the developers, they've done a lot

01:36:26   of really good work there.

01:36:28   Like so good that it actually helps me think

01:36:32   that WWDC will never be what it was before.

01:36:35   And if they do anything ever again,

01:36:37   it'll be like a media event.

01:36:38   And we talked about that before.

01:36:39   It'll be like the keynote will become a media event

01:36:42   in Cupertino, but they're never gonna get

01:36:45   the developers together again,

01:36:46   because they've been building some stuff

01:36:47   that everything I hear is good about it.

01:36:50   And that said, there are also all of the,

01:36:52   as I think Casey Listz mentioned at one point,

01:36:54   there are all of the documentation problems.

01:36:57   There are lots of other issues going on here

01:37:00   that draw it down, the fact that the store is,

01:37:05   we need the money because we need to patrol the store

01:37:07   and yet there's lots of scammy apps in stores

01:37:09   while developers get in trouble and get their apps rejected.

01:37:12   And then these scammy subscription apps just slide on in

01:37:15   and knock off apps like Apple not doing its job

01:37:19   that it's supposedly getting the money for.

01:37:21   All of that is bad.

01:37:23   The reason I'm giving it a two instead of a one

01:37:25   is mostly that little glimmer,

01:37:27   which is there's part of Apple that's actually,

01:37:28   I think doing right by developers

01:37:30   and is building something that will be good

01:37:33   on an ongoing basis and shows that there's some hope

01:37:36   on that part, on all the other parts, it's bad.

01:37:41   - That's why I think it's a 2.8.

01:37:43   'Cause like that 0.8 is people like James,

01:37:48   people like Rich Segal who said a similar thing.

01:37:51   - It's like, yeah, the people I work with at Apple

01:37:52   about this stuff are doing a good job.

01:37:54   - And so it helps raise the score

01:37:57   because for me as somebody who does not deal with anyone

01:38:00   at Apple in this part of the organization at all,

01:38:03   I only see what they choose to put out in the world

01:38:05   and the face that they paint to the world

01:38:07   is their ugliest face when it comes to this stuff I think.

01:38:12   - Yeah, as Paul Kufasa said,

01:38:13   "Apple can afford to be magnanimous

01:38:15   yet they're being tight fisted, yuck."

01:38:18   - Yep, yep.

01:38:18   Social and societal impact is the final category

01:38:24   in the scorecard.

01:38:25   I know this seems like a weird category,

01:38:27   but over the years,

01:38:29   Apple always talks about holding itself to a higher standard

01:38:31   and believing in lots of things

01:38:32   and wanting to make the world a better place.

01:38:33   There are always controversies about Apple,

01:38:35   whether it's about their factories

01:38:38   or how they treat their workers around the world

01:38:40   or their work from home policies,

01:38:43   or there's so much that goes in here.

01:38:45   And that's why I keep a real light touch on it

01:38:47   and just say social and societal impact.

01:38:49   Because I feel like Apple brought this up.

01:38:53   Apple talks about it, wants to make the world a better place,

01:38:56   et cetera, et cetera.

01:38:57   So let's see how they're doing.

01:38:59   And this is a score that has gone down almost every year.

01:39:02   It went up a little bit last year.

01:39:03   It's back down this year.

01:39:05   It's trended down the entire time

01:39:07   I've been running the survey.

01:39:08   - And this is the one that you very rightly call

01:39:11   the Rorschach test, right?

01:39:13   - Yeah.

01:39:14   - You see in it what people put.

01:39:16   I gave them a four, and then after I read the comments,

01:39:21   I wished I would have scored it down a bit more.

01:39:24   I think I was too generous.

01:39:26   I think I would have preferred to go with a three.

01:39:28   Basically the corporate culture stuff

01:39:32   around working from home,

01:39:34   I hadn't really considered in this category.

01:39:36   As you say, people put in this what they want.

01:39:39   And I feel like I would have wanted,

01:39:43   that I would have, I want to see change there.

01:39:45   We spoke about it on the show in the past.

01:39:49   And so I would have maybe put this at a three

01:39:51   if I would have considered that in this too.

01:39:54   'Cause you know, I grade them, you know,

01:39:56   for the environmental stance

01:39:58   and they've been doing more charitable stuff this year.

01:40:03   There's a lot of work to be done in a lot of areas still.

01:40:06   So this is one where I feel like I always want to try

01:40:09   and grade them harshly on,

01:40:10   but I had completely forgotten something

01:40:12   that was important to me for this one.

01:40:14   - Yeah.

01:40:15   Yeah, I mean, I don't know how I would grade this.

01:40:18   I guess I'll give it a three, but I think really

01:40:20   that three represents the great dichotomy here,

01:40:24   which is Apple has made some great commitments

01:40:26   to green energy.

01:40:28   They've invested in lots of important social issues.

01:40:31   They're like, they are,

01:40:34   even if you look at the Chinese manufacturing stuff,

01:40:38   like you could look at that and say,

01:40:40   Apple relies on low paid, a mystery to Chinese workers,

01:40:44   potentially some of their subcontractors are using

01:40:47   potentially even slave labor, it's very controversial,

01:40:51   but it's possible, big question mark there.

01:40:55   You could also look at it and say,

01:40:57   Apple's insistence on certain standards in its factories

01:41:00   and in its contractors factories in China

01:41:03   has actually changed the standards

01:41:08   and that they are changing the culture

01:41:11   and standards of those factories

01:41:13   because they don't want that kind of abuse of workers

01:41:15   at the factories that are supplying Apple.

01:41:18   So it's six of one and half a dozen of the other.

01:41:22   Like, are they, is it good that they are changing things?

01:41:26   Is it bad that things are bad?

01:41:29   It's complicated.

01:41:30   And yeah, I agree with you.

01:41:32   We've talked about it here a lot.

01:41:34   I think they don't treat their people as well as they should.

01:41:38   And it doesn't mean that I agree with everything

01:41:39   that's come out in leaks and all of that about it.

01:41:41   But I think that their commitment

01:41:43   to their work from home policy

01:41:45   and forcing people back in the office

01:41:47   and having a bunch of people live and work in Cupertino,

01:41:51   even for jobs that don't require it,

01:41:53   that really don't require it.

01:41:54   Some of them do, a lot of them don't.

01:41:56   I'm disappointed that they aren't showing more flexibility,

01:42:00   but if there's anything we know about Apple,

01:42:02   it's got a very strong, powerful corporate culture

01:42:05   that gets reinforced.

01:42:06   And this is not in their culture.

01:42:08   They have come a long way from Steve Jobs

01:42:12   demanding that James Thompson move to California,

01:42:15   or lose his job. They do have people who work remote in all sorts of places, either by themselves

01:42:22   or in teams in different cities. That said, this seems to have been a bridge too far for

01:42:29   Apple's corporate culture, and that's too bad.

01:42:31   I like what you said about the China thing. John Siracusa was saying, "Apple's reliance

01:42:36   on China for its manufacturing continues to limit how much good Apple is able to do in

01:42:40   the world," which is, I think people bring to that what they want to bring to that. Alex

01:42:45   Cox says, "I hope management is having a wake-up call when it comes to their corporate culture.

01:42:50   If it wants to retain talent, they need to be more cognizant of their employees' growing

01:42:53   concerns over their own working conditions."

01:42:57   So I think that's the scorecard.

01:43:03   That's it. We've issued our report card grades. They range from bad to good. Good to see the

01:43:11   good to see what people are feeling. Again, I think people who read and listen to podcasts

01:43:15   about Apple will not be surprised by these results because in fact I think they are reflecting

01:43:19   the general tenor of the conversation for the last year. So, but that's kind of what

01:43:25   I'm trying to do is like let's get that down and say this is the general tenor of the conversation

01:43:30   for the last year. So, yeah.

01:43:32   Late breaking news before we finish the show.

01:43:34   The Dutch regulation authority that's part of this whole,

01:43:40   it's called the ACM, they've fined Apple again.

01:43:45   - Okay.

01:43:46   - For not fully implementing the system.

01:43:49   And they've said that they are disappointed

01:43:51   in Apple's behavior and actions.

01:43:53   They said in a statement, but could not comment

01:43:56   beyond its public statements on whether a 27% commission

01:43:59   would be consistent with its order,

01:44:00   but then followed up by saying that they are disappointed.

01:44:03   They're not angry Apple, they're just disappointed.

01:44:05   - They're just disappointed.

01:44:07   I don't think they're gonna date you.

01:44:08   - I don't think so.

01:44:09   There's no Dutch love there.

01:44:12   - No, none, zero.

01:44:14   - We didn't do Ask Upgrade this week.

01:44:16   Ask Upgrade will be back next week

01:44:18   'cause we would have been here forever, I think.

01:44:20   - Yep.

01:44:21   - Otherwise, and I'm worried that Jason's voice

01:44:24   is got mere seconds left on it.

01:44:26   - Better than ever now, I don't know.

01:44:28   We could go another five hours.

01:44:29   - All right, you ready to go?

01:44:30   No.

01:44:31   If you would like to send in a question for us next week, just send out a tweet with the

01:44:35   hashtag #AskUpgrade or use question mark #AskUpgrade in the Relay FM members discord.

01:44:40   If you would like to get longer ad-free episodes of Upgrade every single week, go to GetUpgradePlus.com

01:44:49   and you can sign up.

01:44:50   Five dollars a month, fifty dollars a year and you'll help support the show.

01:44:53   GetUpgradePlus.com.

01:44:54   Thank you so much to our sponsors of this week's episode.

01:44:58   is Membrful, Squarespace, Fitbod and Bombas. If you want to find Jason online, if you want

01:45:04   to read the, there's so much more to the scorecard, I recommend people go and read it. Go and

01:45:09   skim over so many of the great comments. We didn't even, I had way more that I wanted

01:45:14   to put in today's episode that we just wouldn't have time to pull in. So you should go read

01:45:17   them for yourself. Go to sixcolors.com and you can find that along with lots of work

01:45:22   from Jason and Dan and many more. You can find Jason online. He is @jsnell, J S N E

01:45:27   e-double-l. I am @imike. Thank you so much for listening to this week's episode of Upgrade

01:45:34   and we'll be back next week. Until then, say goodbye Jason Snow.

01:45:36   Bye everybody.

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