352: Living Inside an Orange


00:00:00   [Music]

00:00:08   From Relay FM, this is Upgrade, episode 352, and today's show is brought to you by Pingdom,

00:00:16   ExpressVPN and Ooni Pizza Ovens. My name is Myke Hurley and I'm joined by Jason Snow. Hi Jason Snow.

00:00:22   Hi Myke Hurley. How are you? I'm doing okay, how are you? I'm very good and I have a #snowtalk

00:00:28   question for you coming from Zach and Zach wants to know, "Jason, do you use night shift on any of

00:00:33   your devices and if so, at what intensity and do you, if you do use it, it's a secondary if you do

00:00:38   use it question, do you feel like it helps you wind down in the evening?" Now I'm going to add a

00:00:43   little bit of color to Zach's question here, which is that there were some stories this week about

00:00:48   studies that suggest that the, I would say, already quite tenuous idea that not having

00:00:54   blue wavelengths late in the evening helps people sleep, which when night shift came out,

00:01:00   I was actually really careful about this because a lot of people were like, "Oh yeah, it'll help

00:01:06   you sleep," and there's no, there was really no good solid evidence that that was true,

00:01:11   and there's more solid evidence that it's not true now. So that's the background. That said,

00:01:19   on my iPad and actually on my e-readers, on my Kindle and Kobo e-readers, I do have their

00:01:29   orangey light feature turned on and so on my iPad at night after sunset it turns on a little bit,

00:01:39   it's not super intense but a little bit. This is not because of any belief really that I have in

00:01:45   blue light making it not as easy to go to sleep or anything like that. It's more that

00:01:51   I kind of like warmer colored light. Most of the lights in my house are warmer. If you could see

00:02:00   me now in my office, I have a wall that is painted orange and I have a wall that is painted white

00:02:07   with an orange tint and I have a bunch of lights that are also warm orangey colors. It's like I'm

00:02:14   living inside an orange and that's the way I like it. But what I'm saying is I actually kind of like

00:02:23   it when things are kind of that warm color and also I feel like the warmer, the redder,

00:02:29   oranger wavelengths don't light up a room as much. They don't do that and that is good if you're

00:02:35   sharing a room with somebody who's trying to go to sleep. So I've got some reasons for it. I do it a

00:02:41   little bit. I don't do it on my Mac. I don't do it on my iPhone but because the iPad and the

00:02:46   Kindles are the things that I'm reading in bed with, those are the ones that I have it on just

00:02:51   because I find it kind of more comfortable but it doesn't have anything to do with any expectation

00:02:56   that it's helping me in any way medically because I'm pretty sure it is. I use night shift on all

00:03:02   of my devices just because I find it more comfortable to have the orangey light than the

00:03:07   blue light in the evening. I just like the way it looks more. I never really thought that it – I

00:03:16   never really put much thought into the science of it. I kind of didn't really care honestly because

00:03:22   I feel like it's probably better to use no devices late in the evening if we really want to go down

00:03:28   that road. But I don't – I like the way that the orangey light looks. I have it do the sunset to

00:03:36   sunrise thing automatically. I think it's really nice. I guess I have – I mean I have true tones.

00:03:42   So in my living room for example or even in my bedroom with the lights on, I think the color

00:03:49   would be more yellowy orangey. They work nicely together. The problem is that then you turn the

00:03:55   light off and there's no light. And I did this as a test knowing that this question was coming. I

00:04:00   actually turned off night shift briefly last night and I was like, "Ew, yuck." I turned it back on.

00:04:06   So I just like it. It's purely aesthetic. I'm also not doing anything that requires

00:04:10   serious color fidelity in any context where night shift is on. It's not about that. So I'm not

00:04:18   worried about it. If you'd like to send in a question to help us answer – to open an episode

00:04:23   of the show just like Zach did, just send in a tweet with the hashtag #snowtalk or use question

00:04:28   marks #snowtalk in the Relay FM members Discord. We have some color-based follow-up. This is all

00:04:33   color, this first section of the show. Let's talk about night shift and we're going to talk about

00:04:37   colorful computers. So Jon Prosser, who previously was correct about the iMac being released in a

00:04:42   variety of colors, has another report that a future MacBook will get the same treatment.

00:04:48   This computer is expected to be a consumer laptop, probably an Air, but maybe a new MacBook. Now I'm

00:04:57   actually going to put my flag in the ground here and say this is a MacBook, not a MacBook Air.

00:05:04   That's just what I think is going to happen. There was a previous report from Ming-Chi Kuo and there

00:05:10   have been some other reports that there would be a new MacBook of some kind released in late 2021,

00:05:15   early 2022 for refresh design, maybe an M2 chip if that's where we are, and the mini LED XDR display.

00:05:25   I think it would make a lot of sense to be like, "Hey, MacBook again," you know,

00:05:29   the way it was supposed to be. Yeah, this is something that's been hovering out there. I know

00:05:34   we've touched on it before. When they did the retina MacBook Air, it was kind of a surprise,

00:05:38   right? Because the feeling, I think all of us sort of felt like Apple was really trying to get rid of

00:05:42   the MacBook Air and they failed. And so they said, "Fine, we'll do an update to the retina MacBook

00:05:47   Air." I'm not clear that, remember their idea was to do a MacBook and a MacBook Pro and it just

00:05:52   didn't work. They were too expensive and people resisted and they kept buying the MacBook Air.

00:05:57   And so now you have to ask yourself, is Apple really committed to MacBook Air as a product in

00:06:03   the long run? Is Apple committed to that particular design of MacBook Air in the long run? I don't

00:06:10   know. I honestly don't know. I think the scenario you describe where they're sort of like replacing

00:06:18   the Air with something that's more like a MacBook and it's a thin light thing, kind of like the old

00:06:24   MacBook. They kind of like playing the game they already played, playing that game again. I get it.

00:06:31   However, it gives me some pause because that's what they tried the last time. It didn't work.

00:06:39   Yeah, but there's a few things that I would expect they would learn in my scenario. So one is

00:06:46   it's not overly expensive. It has to come in at the same kind of price that a MacBook Air comes out.

00:06:51   Not if it's got a mini LED XDR display.

00:06:56   Well, I mean, they've got it in the iPad. This is what I'm saying. As well, all of the devices

00:07:04   are going to get these XDR displays. This is going to be eventually across the entire line.

00:07:09   And again, who knows if it will actually have the XDR display? That's one report. But this is my

00:07:15   kind of scenario that I'm painting here. You wouldn't bring in a new MacBook and price it

00:07:19   more than the MacBook Air because you've learned that it didn't work last time. Make sure that it

00:07:24   has enough IO on it. We're going to talk about that with another product in a minute. Make it

00:07:28   look really cool, come in a bunch of colors and people will buy it. Like, I personally don't

00:07:33   believe that there is a particular affinity for the Air part of the MacBook. It was just

00:07:38   the MacBook you could afford and it had the ports that you wanted.

00:07:42   Well, this is my problem with this. My problem with this idea, because I think it makes perfect

00:07:47   sense to say, "Why don't we just make it the MacBook and we're going to retire the Air name,

00:07:53   but it's going to fill that slot." The problem is, are they really going to do it that way?

00:07:58   Because one way, yes, you're right. You're 100% right. The way to fix this problem is to say,

00:08:09   MacBook Air is gone and in its place is the new MacBook and it costs the same,

00:08:13   starts at the same price. However, Apple, in modern times, tends to do a lot of this stuff

00:08:23   where they're like, "We're going to keep the old model around because it's a little bit cheaper

00:08:28   and it's a little more affordable." And if they do that, they're back where they were before,

00:08:32   where people are going to be like, "Yeah, but the MacBook Air is fine. I'll just get the MacBook

00:08:36   Air for $999. I don't need to get this new MacBook." So, Myke, I think that's the real question is,

00:08:41   is Apple going to attempt to do a switcheroo? Because you're talking about potentially a new

00:08:48   Apple Silicon chip. I kind of assumed that the M1 MacBook Air would stick around for a while.

00:08:52   Again, nicer screen, better processor, color options. Great. That's all great. I just keep

00:09:04   thinking, but if they keep the old one around at a cheaper price, I feel like they may be stepping

00:09:09   into the exact same situation they were in before, where by keeping that other one around, it's

00:09:17   literally all people need. That's the great thing about the MacBook Air is the reason it's sold,

00:09:22   not Retina, for so long and still sold well is because for a lot of people, it was like, "Look,

00:09:28   this is the base price Mac laptop that I can buy new and that's all I want." And all these other

00:09:33   fancy features that cost a few hundred dollars more, I'm not going to even worry about it.

00:09:36   So that's my worry about this is that if you keep the MacBook Air around, people will still

00:09:43   buy it. So is Apple prepared to wipe the M1 MacBook Air off the price list and replace it

00:09:51   with a new, whether they call it an Air or just a MacBook, a new low price laptop? I don't know

00:09:59   if they're capable of that, like mentally capable of it. Like can they manage to not do the Tim Cook

00:10:06   doctrine, just keep the old one around at a lower price kind of thing? Yeah, my hope would be that

00:10:13   they do what they did with the iMac, where to get the 21-inch iMac, which is still available

00:10:20   on apple.com, you have to really, really hump for it. And I expect they're only really keeping it

00:10:27   around at the moment because they're in a bit of a chip transition, so they want to just make sure

00:10:31   that that's available in one configuration for people. So I'm kind of like, I'm putting my hopes

00:10:37   on this because this is what I want them to do, right? Like I want them to get rid of the MacBook

00:10:42   Air and replace it with a comparable in kind of all of the IO that you'd need, plus it's going to

00:10:49   look cooler and it's going to be nicer and truly built around the M1, the same way that they did

00:10:54   that with the iMac and it's treated with the iMac. You go to the iMac page, the only iMacs you can

00:10:59   find are the 24-inch iMacs. And if you go all the way to the bottom of one page, you can see a tiny

00:11:06   link, which lets you find the old one. That's what I hope that they do. I could see them doing it,

00:11:11   but I understand where you're coming from because history has shown that they really do struggle.

00:11:18   But my hope will be that Apple will continue to be so proud of the machines that they're making

00:11:23   right now, like more than they have been maybe in years, that they will be willing to do the shift

00:11:30   that should have happened a long time ago. Every other product has product and pro, right? Like

00:11:35   product and pro, this is where they're going. But then when it gets to the Mac laptops, where it

00:11:40   should be the simplest because they have a MacBook Pro, but there's no MacBook, right? It's like,

00:11:45   that line doesn't really make logical sense anymore. And I think the MacBook Air is stuck

00:11:51   around for so long just because when they tried it, they tried it wrong. They did it wrong,

00:11:56   right? Like the MacBook was the wrong product for that time. And it wasn't just that it was more

00:12:00   expensive. It was also less capable. It had a retina screen, but it was a slower processor,

00:12:04   essentially. And that was the killer. That thing, I mean, I had one for a bit. It was very easy to

00:12:11   get it into a situation where it was draining battery when plugged in, fasted, and charging,

00:12:15   which is a thing that I used to have with that machine. Like if I was, you know, like if you're

00:12:19   doing anything intensive, like exploring audio, exploring video, not only did it take a long time,

00:12:24   it also would burn through battery faster than you could charge the thing up. Like that machine was

00:12:29   just beautiful and really cool. And one of my favorite Mac designs, like visually, but when it

00:12:37   came down to using it, it just couldn't go the distance. But that really is that product, that

00:12:42   kind of physical size and weight. That's what the consumer laptop should be. It should be thin and

00:12:48   light and incredibly portable, more so than the current MacBook Air is. I think the current

00:12:54   MacBook Air is too big. I think 13 inches is too big for that product, personally.

00:12:58   - Let me throw out a scenario here, which is what if Apple has a new laptop design that is a little

00:13:06   more like that MacBook, a little less like the MacBook Air? It's a little smaller. Maybe it's

00:13:10   a 12-inch display instead of a 13-inch display. And we've had some rumors that that might exist,

00:13:16   but there's also a lot of wish casting from people who remember the old MacBook.

00:13:19   I could see a scenario where maybe what Apple does is replace the MacBook Air with a MacBook,

00:13:25   but what they're really doing is kind of having an old MacBook Air and a new MacBook Air.

00:13:31   And follow me here. Imagine a scenario where introducing the new MacBook. Oh, isn't it

00:13:39   amazing? It's got the new M2 processor. It comes in all of these colors. It's got this beautiful

00:13:44   retina, mini-LED, XDR 12-inch screen. It's state-of-the-art. It's amazing. And it starts

00:13:52   at the old MacBook Air price of $999. And then we go to the product page and we find that, well,

00:13:57   the $999 model only comes in silver and it has the M1 in it. And you're like, "Oh, you just took the

00:14:04   guts of the old MacBook Air and put it in the $999 MacBook." And then the fancy stuff with colors and

00:14:12   a new processor and maybe even the better display, but maybe not, that's in the more expensive models.

00:14:18   That's in the $1299. That they might do. - As long as it has the new design, maybe not the colors,

00:14:25   but it has like new design and some of the new features, again, not all of them. - Maybe it has

00:14:30   the display and the new design and an M1, but instead of an M2 and doesn't come in other colors,

00:14:36   or maybe it's got two colors or something like that, like they do with these iMacs that are

00:14:40   coming out, that the base model doesn't get all the great stuff, even though they're all M1s.

00:14:44   So that would be a scenario where they could maintain the MacBook Air price point

00:14:49   without giving away all of the... 'Cause that's what my stumbling block here is. They're like,

00:14:53   "XDR display and an M2 chip." And all these colors. And I think, okay, but now it sounds

00:15:01   more expensive than the MacBook Air and people are still just gonna buy the MacBook Air, but they

00:15:05   could do a little switcheroo kind of thing, deprecate the MacBook Air, but replace it with

00:15:10   something that is the MacBook Air-esque at the base of the... And then you don't have two models,

00:15:18   even though you really do, you just have different configurations of MacBook. And that is a very

00:15:25   modern Apple thing to do. - So I've been talking about the new laptops. On today's episode,

00:15:30   actually, there's a bunch of stuff that I wanna catch up on that's been happening over the last

00:15:35   few weeks, but we've been completely in new product territory. So some stuff is about the

00:15:43   other laptops in Apple's lineup. So there are supply chain reports coming from Taiwan that

00:15:47   suggest that the upcoming MacBook Pro would also feature the same XDR display that we've seen in

00:15:53   the new iPad Pro line. So, I mean, that was something I guess we kind of assumed, but now

00:15:57   we know more about it. I think when we were talking about mini-LED before, I kind of didn't

00:16:02   really know much about it. And I'm really keen to see the displays, 'cause I remember, I think it was

00:16:07   the Pro, or the iPhone 12, or maybe it was the 11, one of the things was like, "Oh, and the display

00:16:14   is so much better." And it was kind of, I didn't really see it. So I'm really keen to see what the

00:16:19   XDR display looks like on the new iPad Pros, but that should be coming to the new laptops.

00:16:25   And there was a really weird story where some schematics were stolen from a supplier that

00:16:30   Apple uses called Quanta Computing. And this, I think Reevil, Reevil is this group, and they were

00:16:38   kind of putting these schematics to ransom and Apple didn't do anything about them, so they

00:16:42   started releasing them. And it confirmed some of the previous reports about what the ports are

00:16:48   going to be like on the upcoming MacBook Pros. So these schematics seem to suggest that the new

00:16:54   MacBook Pro line, the 14 and 16 inch, will have on the right hand side, a HDMI port and an SD card

00:17:03   reader and one Thunderbolt USB-C port on the right side, and two more Thunderbolt ports and a MagSafe

00:17:09   charger on the left hand side. The current 16 inch, so the newest design, has four Thunderbolt

00:17:18   ports. So on the new models, you'll lose one Thunderbolt port, but you gain HDMI, SD card,

00:17:26   and MagSafe. So really, if you're charging, you're at the same amount of ports, right,

00:17:33   with the additional ones. Because if you had to charge on the current ones, where you just lost

00:17:37   a USB port, right, the schematics also seem to confirm that the touch bar is going to be removed

00:17:45   from the new laptops. - Not too much of a surprise, right? And again, I feel like we need to say this

00:17:55   about a lot of these things. Sometimes we condemn something, we're not condemning you liking it.

00:18:02   I know there are fans of the touch bar out there. - I like it. - I think the problem here is that

00:18:06   Apple never, essentially never updated the software. - No, they didn't do enough of it.

00:18:10   - No, you could hack it with better touch tool and stuff like that, but like really,

00:18:14   they, if Apple wanted it to succeed and for a lot of people to love it, they needed to really

00:18:20   support it properly. And they never really did, which I find mystifying. I think that they,

00:18:24   this is one of those cases where you, if you're going to do that, you need to do it right.

00:18:27   Otherwise, why did you bother? And obviously somebody made a call that they thought they were

00:18:33   going to be able to make this work. And they either thought it was perfect as is and never

00:18:37   needed to be updated, which it wasn't, or they thought they had sway over software choices that

00:18:43   they didn't have sway over, but it's not surprising to have it be gone, I think. - And my personal bet

00:18:50   is that I bet you get ethernet on the power brick. I bet they do that. It wouldn't surprise me if they

00:18:57   did that. - That's an interesting idea, right? You dock and well, okay, so MagSafe is the rumor,

00:19:05   right? And I think that's the question is, I've said this before, I'm just going to throw it out

00:19:11   there again. What else is on the MagSafe connector? Because it could just be power,

00:19:16   but MagSafe to just do power is a very Apple of a decade ago product, right? Apple introduced it

00:19:25   that way, but I still don't think we should think of it that way. If I'm going to have a magnetic

00:19:29   connector, I want more stuff on it, right? I want at least, yes, you said we have this with the IMAX

00:19:35   now. You can put networking on the brick because the ethernet adapter, otherwise you've got to

00:19:40   have an ethernet dongle because the ethernet plug is way too big for a laptop, but you could put it

00:19:44   on the brick. You could also put USB, you can make the brick a USB-C hub. You could put ports on the

00:19:52   brick. That would be great, especially if you're losing ports on the device because you're adding

00:19:58   MagSafe. What if you're losing ports on the laptop when you're plugged in, but when you're plugged

00:20:04   in, you're gaining ports on the plug. - I would love that. - That is actually pretty nice, right?

00:20:09   So I'm going to hold out hope that they do something like that. And the fact that they did

00:20:15   it on the iMac is a good sign. - I don't think that they would have gone through the amount of

00:20:22   work that surely they had to go through to make that work just so they could put ethernet on the

00:20:27   iMac power brick, right? Because I feel like you would want to do it for more than one product,

00:20:34   right? But we'll see. So yeah, there's a lot of intriguing stuff. I'm personally really looking

00:20:43   forward to these new MacBook Pros. They sound super cool. - As excited as we all were about

00:20:50   Apple Silicon, which was the right thing to do, right? Chip transition, what does it mean? Apple's

00:20:54   prowess in making chips on iOS devices coming to the Mac, that's all great. But the 2020 Apple

00:21:03   Silicon Macs are reruns with new chips in them, right? Like the whole point was like, we're not

00:21:08   going to change the computer. What's exciting about 2021 Macs is I'm getting the feeling that

00:21:13   2021 is the year where we see redesigned hardware. That it's not, you know, this is the great

00:21:20   opportunity. It's always been something that we've talked about regarding Apple Silicon, you know,

00:21:25   transition to Apples on processors is they can revisit fundamentally what it means to be a Mac.

00:21:30   Like they don't have any Intel constraints. They can build their hardware and guide the chip design

00:21:36   to the place they want it to go. And I also get the sense like the iMac is a good example where

00:21:42   they held off on making changes. Cause I'm like, look, we're going to do that after the chip

00:21:46   transition. If we do it now, we have to make it work with Intel. Let's not bother. We'll wait.

00:21:50   It'll make our chip running on Macs look better because it'll also be on a bunch of snazzy new

00:21:56   models. And won't that be great. And so this year we seem to be getting a whole bunch of new

00:22:01   Mac designs. Um, the IMAX were one, but these laptops are another and that's great because

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00:26:11   We're through to week one of Apple versus Epic. I'll put some links in the show notes. There was

00:26:17   a really good kind of breakdown of each day on 9to5Mac. They kind of just pulled out some of the

00:26:23   more interesting things that happen on each day. Were you keeping up with this story actively at

00:26:29   all during the last week? - Actively, no. Passively, yes. I'm not interested in covering this story.

00:26:38   - Honestly, I feel bad for people that have to listen to the whole thing. - Yeah, well,

00:26:42   apparently it actually sounds terrible. The audio quality is terrible. I think one person said that

00:26:48   it sounds like these people are testifying while a pillow is over their face, basically. But I did,

00:26:56   you know, again, this is a good use of Twitter because people who are paying attention will say,

00:27:03   "Oh, well, this is an interesting thing that somebody said," or, "Here's a document that

00:27:06   came up," or something like that. And that stuff is fine. But yeah, I have no interest in investing

00:27:13   time in listening to the live trial stuff. No, thank you. Recaps are good. People who

00:27:22   it is their job to listen to the whole thing and report back, that's great. But I've decided it's

00:27:27   not my job. Yes, exactly. - Yeah, because it was like one of the things where I was thinking,

00:27:31   "Do I want to?" And then I tuned in at one point and heard how bad it sounded. And then kind of,

00:27:36   I was like, "I don't want to do this right now." And then, honestly, as the week was going on,

00:27:41   I was kind of realizing that it wasn't really important to listen right now. I mean,

00:27:46   that might change throughout the time. I believe Tim Cook is testifying at some point,

00:27:52   and that might be intriguing. But the thing about when they're on the stand and they're being

00:27:59   questioned, they speak like we hear them speak all the time, right? They speak like executives,

00:28:07   and everything is polished. And not only are they speaking like it's a marketing exercise,

00:28:13   it's also a legal exercise, right? It's like buttoned up, you know, that kind of thing.

00:28:18   But the things that have been really interesting for me, the stuff that I've actually enjoyed,

00:28:22   is seeing a lot of the emails that are being shown that are in evidence. So I saw, I think,

00:28:30   both Ben Thompson and Eli Patel say this in different ways, and I really liked the thought

00:28:35   that one of the biggest risks to Apple through this process with Epic is that their dirty

00:28:40   laundry is being aired in public. We are seeing how the executives talk to each other and about

00:28:47   things and other people. And I feel like with this kind of thing, the veil slips a little bit,

00:28:53   and we see that Apple are a regular company staffed by regular people doing regular business things.

00:29:00   But they like to pretend or show the world that they're not that. It's not the picture

00:29:04   that they paint. Like my favorite thing so far has been the Phil Schiller emails. Like Phil Schiller

00:29:09   sends angry emails about scam apps with a ton of exclamation marks, and there's loads of them,

00:29:13   and they're all fantastic. I love reading them. It's like, "Is nobody approving this stuff?" It's

00:29:18   so good. Some of these things are so good. Well, and this is something that I've found,

00:29:24   you know, over the years talking to people who work at Apple. But yeah, first off,

00:29:27   it's a big company, and they don't, I think for good reason, they don't want to have that stuff

00:29:35   into the public. Right? They're like, "Oh, no, we have our policy." And really the truth is that

00:29:40   Apple is more disciplined than almost any other company or government in terms of messaging.

00:29:45   That's the trick. This, however, is the problem. I liked the fact, right, that it's not just us

00:29:55   on the outside and people writing stories about Apple needing a bunco squad and all that,

00:30:03   like Grouper has been doing it a long time, and there's that guy on Twitter who

00:30:05   has done such a great job of finding all these scam apps. I really like seeing Phil Schiller

00:30:13   send angry emails too about like, "Why is this thing in the App Store? It's a rip-off."

00:30:17   Of course, then he would go out publicly and say, "Oh, no, we're very carefully curating."

00:30:22   But behind the scenes, he's yelling at people because they allowed this stuff to slip through.

00:30:30   And I think the broader question is why after more than a decade and with all of this money

00:30:35   at your disposal, does this stuff still get through? I think that's an ongoing question

00:30:41   that we all should be asking, especially when Apple talks about the benefits of its

00:30:46   curation of the App Store, that it's not doing a good enough job even now. But yes, it is nice to

00:30:52   see executives and PR people, like there was that moment of like, "Well, should we communicate this?"

00:30:59   One of their PR guys is like, "Should we communicate this?" And it's like, "Well, no,

00:31:02   we shouldn't." And it's like, "But we're doing this." And they're like, "Yeah, but we shouldn't

00:31:06   communicate that we're doing it." It's like, "Okay, yeah, that makes sense." But it was also

00:31:12   a question of like, "Well, why not? Why not communicate this? It would solve this problem."

00:31:15   It's like, "Yeah, but we're not going to talk about it." Michael Gartenberg, who used to work

00:31:18   at Apple and is on Twitter @Gartenberg, and I would say friend of the show, Michael Gartenberg,

00:31:24   he tweeted, he worked for Phil Schiller. And at one point this week, or last week,

00:31:30   he tweeted something to the effect of, "This is why they told all of us not to ever put anything

00:31:34   in writing. Don't ever put anything like this down in email." So he was kind of amazed that people

00:31:41   put this stuff in email, which that's the other part of this, right? It's like,

00:31:44   these are the outliers. These are the ones that got in email. Presumably, this is a teeny tiny amount,

00:31:53   a little bit of a view into what happens inside Apple.

00:31:57   And this is the stuff that isn't redacted.

00:31:59   Yeah, exactly. So think of it that way too, which is this is the stuff that somehow got in email by

00:32:06   people who were not as disciplined as they should have been about it. Because as Michael Gartenberg

00:32:09   pointed out, everybody at Apple knew the kind of stuff that gets subpoenaed, you never put it in

00:32:16   an email. They can't subpoena your voice in a meeting or on a phone call. So that's what you

00:32:25   need to do to talk about this stuff. Because otherwise it gets down in email records,

00:32:29   and then the public sees it. And that's not so great because it does eliminate some of the...

00:32:35   We talk about Apple's product magic and the black box approach to this stuff, and it's just magic

00:32:42   stuff comes out of the black box. How do they do it? We don't know. It's a mystery.

00:32:46   But this also punctures Apple's whole... The way that they're viewed by the public,

00:32:55   it punctures some of the little fibs, little lies that they can tell about...

00:33:01   Even that is a little bit too mean. The story they tell about a particular product or policy

00:33:09   or something, they create a narrative that is a PR narrative and it's not always based entirely

00:33:14   in truth. It's also not usually entirely a lie, although some PR narratives are just generally.

00:33:19   But you do this and it's like, "Oh, well, the jig is up to a certain extent." And it's not

00:33:27   an existential crisis or anything, but these are wounds. These are wounds to the way Apple

00:33:33   refers to itself and the way Apple portrays itself. And when we talked last week about Apple

00:33:39   winning the battle but losing the war or that both sides were going to probably come out wounded,

00:33:45   this is the kind of stuff we're talking about. Is this stuff going to matter in terms of Epic

00:33:51   winning this court case? All the observers I've seen looking at it seem to think that it's still

00:33:57   a very difficult case. You never know what might happen, but it seems unlikely to them that Epic

00:34:02   is going to triumph here. But Apple is not going to walk away unscathed, which I think is kind of

00:34:09   Epic's point. Friday, the 3rd of February, 2012. "Privileged and confidential." From Philip Schiller.

00:34:18   "Subject. Urgent. Temple jump. Exclamation mark, exclamation mark, exclamation mark, exclamation

00:34:23   mark." What the hell is this? Remember our talking about finding bad apps with low ratings? Remember

00:34:29   our talk about becoming the Nordstrom of stores in quality of service? Clearly Schiller loves

00:34:35   Nordstrom. How does an obvious ripoff of the super popular Temple run with no screenshots,

00:34:40   garbage marketing tax, and almost all one-star ratings become the number one free app on the

00:34:45   store? Can anyone see a ripoff of a top-selling game? Anyone see an app that is cheating the

00:34:52   system? Is no one reviewing these apps? Is no one minding the store? This is insane. Seven exclamation

00:34:59   marks afterwards. I love it so much. Phil loves Nordstrom but doesn't know that it's not called

00:35:07   Nordstroms, by the way. So I wanted to make... I guess my kind of point on this is like, this stuff

00:35:15   still happens. Like if there's a big popular game that's out on a console, you know, something like

00:35:20   Among Us or whatever, or Fall Guys was a good example, you give it a week or so and you go to

00:35:27   the app store and there's a bunch of ripoffs in the top charts. It's still happening. So the other

00:35:32   one that is good is from 2015 and it from Phil Schiller and it is... Tim received a complaint, I

00:35:40   love that, right? It goes from the person to Tim to Phil. Tim's like, "Forward, Phil." Well also

00:35:47   that is the evoking the boss thing in a corporate environment, right? But like, if the boss got this

00:35:53   complaint, you have to deal with it. Yeah, Tim's asking why this is so, so we need to deal with

00:35:58   this. Tim received a complaint about this app being a scam. Doesn't do what it says, promises

00:36:04   bonus features for five-star reviews, creates fake marketing videos, etc. It is a great example of the

00:36:09   stuff we should have automatic tools to find and kick out of the store. I can't believe we still

00:36:14   don't. It's been three years at this point. Many one-star reviews, many mentioned scam and fake.

00:36:20   Then I look at the developers other apps and see the same issue repeated. Please look into this.

00:36:25   I expect we need to remove the developer from our program and please, all capital letters,

00:36:30   develop a system to automatically find low-rated apps and purge them to exclamation points.

00:36:35   I just want to say for the record, Phil Schiller later went on to take over the app store and they

00:36:41   didn't develop a tool then either, it seems like. So, you know, can't be as easy as you think.

00:36:45   The fact is with Apple's growth, it's possible that they did develop a tool and then the scammers

00:36:50   just moved to a different, moved to a different approach. But yes, I look at this email that is

00:36:55   to among other people at EQ and Greg Joswiak, but also Philip Shoemaker who ran the app store,

00:37:01   Ron Okamoto who recently left Apple, a bunch of people. I look at this and I also think,

00:37:07   "All right, Phil, why don't you run it?" Somebody said that at some point, maybe Tim.

00:37:12   All right, Phil. That's why he got the job, because he wouldn't shut up.

00:37:17   You care so much about this, it's yours. Because keeping in mind, although he runs the app store

00:37:23   now and make no mistake, even though he's on the roof, he runs the app store now. Phil didn't go

00:37:28   anywhere, people. He's still around. Keep in mind though, he didn't back when these emails were sent,

00:37:33   which I like thinking that too, because it's somebody who's thinking, he's thinking big

00:37:38   picture about how this affects Apple, but it's not what he's directly in charge of. And knowing

00:37:43   that he was later put in charge of it, like either that's a, "Phil, nobody else is doing it and we

00:37:51   know you care about it, you fix it." Or it's a, "Okay, Phil, stop talking about it. Do something

00:37:56   about it. You're in charge of it now." The third is that he said, "I'm sick of this.

00:38:00   I want this part of the business now." I'm just going to take it over.

00:38:03   Yeah, it's like they're not doing a good enough job. Someone needs to go.

00:38:07   Who are these clowns running this stuff? I'm going to clean it up.

00:38:09   Honestly, seeing how much he seemed to care about it, I wouldn't be surprised if that was

00:38:13   what happened. Him and Tim had a conversation one day. It's like, I think the only way to make the

00:38:18   change I want to see is to go do it myself. So Phil Schiller, okay, Phil Schiller is like

00:38:23   a character in the Apple story now, right? And we all have seen him at events and he's been

00:38:28   interviewed by like Grouper and we've seen Phil around. So there's that Phil and then there's the

00:38:34   Phil and he's a spokesperson, right? He was the head of communications for the longest time product

00:38:39   marketing. So- The most polished.

00:38:41   Of course, he is somebody that everybody knows from his public appearances and public statements

00:38:45   and all of that. However, he's been at Apple for more than 20 years. He once gave a demo of a

00:38:51   version of OS X to us in the conference room at Macworld, right? He goes back a long time.

00:38:58   And one of my colleagues made him really angry at that meeting. He never came back to our offices

00:39:03   after that. Anyway, so this is what I want to say about Phil Schiller. There's Phil Schiller,

00:39:11   the character who appears and makes public pronouncements and that's his outward facing job.

00:39:15   But in these emails you see, yeah, he's a, I would say opinionated marketing executive and there's

00:39:24   stuff that is in these emails that you're like, "Oh wow, he's really mad here and all that."

00:39:28   My perception of Phil Schiller over the years is that he really cares. He really cares. He really

00:39:35   cares about Apple. He gets really mad when there's bad stuff. And depending on if you're the person

00:39:41   reporting the bad stuff, sometimes you get a little bit of a, "Oh boy, somebody inside Apple

00:39:45   is really mad about this now or that I wrote this or that I said this." You get that sometimes,

00:39:51   and it's an adversarial relationship sometimes and that's fair. But what I've always liked about

00:39:56   Phil Schiller is that he's a passionate guy who cares about the products. He cares about the

00:40:01   company and he gets mad when bad stuff happens to the company, especially if it happens because we,

00:40:10   and I'll tell, somebody did something dumb on the inside. And I only say this because not every

00:40:17   executive at every company really cares like this. They care more about their own standing or ego or

00:40:25   their golden parachute or their stock price. He may care about all those things too, I can't say.

00:40:34   - We can sympathize because we cared for this degree too.

00:40:37   - And this is the thing is there are, and I'm not saying that every Apple executive doesn't

00:40:42   care about this stuff. I don't know. I haven't interacted with enough of them to tell,

00:40:46   but there are a few of them who are, they are lifers. They legitimately care about this stuff.

00:40:53   It is not just their job to communicate or to run these departments, but I know for a fact that they

00:41:00   obsessively care about it. And Phil Schiller is one of those people. And so separate from his role

00:41:09   as a person who's going to extol the virtues of the various products that he's marketing,

00:41:13   these emails are fun because they show that, yeah, Phil Schiller thinks the app store sucks too,

00:41:19   or at least in 2015, and that Apple should do a better job, which is what we were all saying at

00:41:23   the time. And Apple is of course like, no, no, it's all fine. But internally, it's like, this

00:41:28   is not good enough. And I like that. I like to see somebody actually concerned that their company is

00:41:35   not doing a good enough job. That's, yeah. I mean, I think we could have all expected that this kind

00:41:40   of thing was happening, but here we get to see it. - Couple of, just a little handful of details

00:41:46   that came out that were of interest, I think, over the week. Apple's app review team consists

00:41:52   of 500 people. I think that feels small, maybe. I'm not sure if I feel like that's a lot of people.

00:41:59   It's a lot of people, but they review a lot of apps. - Not when you consider the volume of apps

00:42:04   in the store. - Yeah. When asked, Tim Sweeney said he would have accepted a special deal with Apple

00:42:10   if they offered it. This got a lot of, saw a lot of people talking about this as if to try and

00:42:16   undermine the whole argument, but I don't see what it does. - I know the point they're making here,

00:42:20   which is that Epic has wrapped themselves in this kind of cloak of being a freedom fighter and that

00:42:24   they've gotten other people to join their coalition for app fairness. And they're like, oh, this is,

00:42:30   we're fighting the good fight because Apple is doing this and it's wrong. But I mean, really,

00:42:34   seriously, he's the CEO of a company. And if Apple cut him a deal to get him more money,

00:42:39   he would take it. Of course he would. So they made him say it. - I mean, because I see both

00:42:42   could be true, right? They could take the deal and still feel it's wrong. I'm not saying that

00:42:46   that is the way they are, but you know. - Sure, sure. But you know, they're just trying to puncture

00:42:51   Epic's PR blitz here a little bit because one of the points in this trial is that this was

00:42:55   a calculated PR move by Epic. Epic could have gone through this in a different way, but they decided

00:43:02   to have their video ready to go and their lawsuit ready to file and then performatively release

00:43:10   a thing that violated the rules so that they would get pulled out of the store so that they

00:43:14   could release their video and file their lawsuit. And so this is just another little puncture of

00:43:18   that of like this, you know, you say you're a freedom fighter, but if Apple would just give you

00:43:23   more money, you'd stop fighting. And the answer is, well, yeah. I mean, he is the CEO of the

00:43:27   company. Ultimately the thing that his job is, is to make Epic Games as successful as possible.

00:43:36   That's it. - Because I think one of the things for me that is intriguing in this is there are also

00:43:42   like a lot of emails between that Tim Sweeney sent to various people, including Tim Cook, and he's

00:43:47   asking for Apple to be more open. So it's not like it's a new thing for him to feel this way,

00:43:51   but as you say, he's still the CEO. They would have offered him a special deal. They would have

00:43:54   taken the special deal because this is his job. Sweeney also confirmed that 30% is a similar deal

00:44:00   to what Epic have with the games consoles, which again is like another thing that people keep

00:44:05   pointing out of like, oh, well look, it's, you know, why aren't they taking the games consoles

00:44:10   to court too? My kind of feelings, it's a very different relationship. I wish I could remember

00:44:16   what episode of ATP it was, but I don't remember, but John Siracusa went into it in a really great

00:44:20   detail once of basically just saying like, these are corporate relationships. Like you can, if you

00:44:25   get something in return from the business that you're working with, you might be more happy to

00:44:30   take the 30%. And it seems like Apple give nothing in return, right? Where like games consoles,

00:44:36   they will pay for marketing for your game if you have that kind of relationship with them.

00:44:41   Apple's not doing that. So Apple's argument would be that Apple does a lot of App Store marketing

00:44:48   in the App Store app and highlights apps and those drive sales and that therefore Apple's control of

00:44:55   the App Store front end, which in a different story, they talked about how like, if you pull

00:45:00   all your in-app purchase like Netflix or something out of the system, we're just going to not feature

00:45:03   you on the App Store anymore. And the fact is there's an argument to be made that at least for

00:45:08   some apps, maybe not for apps at the scale of something like Netflix, having promotion in the

00:45:14   App Store matters. And then we know that that's true for smaller apps, but even for large apps,

00:45:20   it may matter. Even if a lot of us don't use the App Store that way, people do and it does actually

00:45:26   make a difference. So that would be the counter argument. I think the argument about what the

00:45:30   business model is of the hardware being sold is ridiculous on its face because I don't think there

00:45:37   are any laws about how you should only make a certain percentage of profit from your total

00:45:42   environment. And that if you make a certain percentage of profit from your hardware sales,

00:45:46   it means you can't make a certain percentage off of the sales of the software sold on the device.

00:45:51   Like I just think it's a bogus argument to say, oh no, consoles are different. And because consoles

00:45:57   are sold without a big profit margin, they have to do it this way. I just, I don't think that there's

00:46:04   any show, show me the law that says, well, if you don't make money on hardware, then you can do this.

00:46:12   But if you do make money on hardware, you can't. It doesn't exist. It doesn't exist. There isn't

00:46:16   like a law that should say that just because you take one percentage from one company,

00:46:22   that you should have to take the same percentage from another. Right? Like there's no law about

00:46:28   like, oh, because they have a 70/30 split with Sony, Apple were allowed to do a 70/30 split with

00:46:33   them. Right? No, it's, it's a, this is true, but I think, I think the point of, of saying let's, if

00:46:41   your argument is 70 is too much or 30 is too much, 70 is too little. And then you point out to all

00:46:47   these other places where you participate, where it's 70/30 and your response is, well, yeah,

00:46:51   but that's different because I have sympathy for them because their business model is executed on

00:46:57   the premise that that's the only money they get. So they have to take it from me. Like,

00:47:03   I just don't buy it. I just think that that's a dumb argument. Like it's Sony because of the

00:47:09   competitive nature of the hardware, it's Sony's choice and Microsoft's choice to, if it is even

00:47:15   true and Nintendo's choice to sell the razors at cost and make it up on blades. But I don't see the

00:47:24   law somewhere that says razors must be sold at cost and blades can be marked up. So, but if you

00:47:30   reverse it though, like, so I'm a little bit more sympathetic to it, I think, than you. It was just

00:47:36   fine. Everyone, we're operating on a spectrum of our opinions here. Like, I think if you reverse it,

00:47:40   so the business model of 70/30 set, say on PlayStation, because Sony don't make any money

00:47:46   from the hardware, because Apple make so much money from the hardware, should they also make

00:47:52   all of the money that they want from the software? When arguably the apps drive the sales there too.

00:47:58   I just don't think it's like one business model means that all business models should be the same.

00:48:03   - Well, I agree with that, but I would say back to you, who says? Who says it needs to be this way?

00:48:12   Like who measures this? And that's the absurdity of this argument is there's this absurd argument

00:48:17   that, and I'm not talking about what business models companies should do. I think companies

00:48:21   should be free to do whatever business model they can do in terms of competition. Competition

00:48:26   is the reason why there are apparently very low margins on consoles is because there is brutal

00:48:33   competition there. So competition should be the thing that controls this. And people will say,

00:48:39   well, you can define competition how you want. I would say that the competition is that Apple

00:48:43   is in a very competitive smartphone market. And other people would say, yes, but there's

00:48:48   no competition on the iOS app store. It's like, okay, you're defining the world of competition

00:48:54   very narrowly there. It's literally Apple's own platform. - I don't think that competition in

00:49:00   smartphones is even nearly as strong as competitions in consoles. - Maybe not, but my point here is

00:49:06   I don't see where there's any legal standing of any kind here. I just don't. I just don't see that

00:49:12   the margins on different parts of your business is somehow, I mean, correct me if somebody out there,

00:49:19   if there's a law that specifies this, but it seems like in America anyway, you don't get to tell

00:49:23   companies where they put their profit margin, how they make their money. It doesn't really happen

00:49:28   that way. And so, if I'm a company that has decided that selling razors at a huge profit and

00:49:35   making the blades cheap is a better business model for me, I don't think anybody's gonna step in.

00:49:40   Or if somebody's like, wait, wait, like let's say that Sony very carefully over time has increased

00:49:46   the margins on the PlayStation. Can somebody sue them and say, well, now you're making,

00:49:52   open your books, show us your margins. Oh, you need to reduce your cut now, because now that

00:49:57   you're making a little more money on your hardware, we need you to make a little less money on your

00:50:01   software. It doesn't make any sense to me. So I think it's a really stupid argument and that

00:50:07   there are much better arguments to be made here about Apple's total control over its platform

00:50:12   than the fact that consoles do it or don't do it and that's different. It's like, I don't think

00:50:18   it's different. - I actually, but see, for me, I just don't think that we should be talking about

00:50:23   any other platforms. The argument here is whether what Apple is doing is right. I don't think that

00:50:29   we should start talking about Sony or Microsoft in comparison to this. It's not the same.

00:50:34   - I think the reason it's relevant is because Epic is making the argument that 30% is an out-of-bounds

00:50:48   amount when there are lots of places that do 30%. I think the percentage is not the argument. The

00:50:55   argument is there's no alternative, right? That it's 70/30, but if you're gonna say,

00:51:00   "But 30 is unfair," I think it's fair to say all these other stores do 30.

00:51:04   Because I don't think you should be making the argument that 30 is unfair. I think you

00:51:09   should be making the argument that there is no alternative to them taking 30. They could take 50,

00:51:15   they could take 70, they could take 90, and we couldn't do anything but just not be on their

00:51:21   platform because they control the whole thing. That's the argument to make. - Yes, yeah, I agree.

00:51:27   So I don't know how much we're gonna come back to this. We will come back to this

00:51:31   because other stuff's gonna happen. I mean, I don't know how interesting any of it's gonna be.

00:51:37   I mean, obviously, the main thing will be coming back to how it ends. I feel pretty confident,

00:51:42   just listening to people that are smarter than me and talk about this stuff, like,

00:51:47   "Apple's gonna win this," but it's about how they win it, and it's about how Epic come out

00:51:52   on the other side. And, you know, as we were, I still pretty, honestly, I still feel pretty

00:51:59   confident about what we were talking about, even last week or the week before, about Apple basically

00:52:04   just, their way of getting out of this whole mess, which will just keep continuing, is just to make

00:52:09   some big changes to the App Store this year. - Yeah, the question is, how bloody do they feel?

00:52:14   How in danger do they feel? And what changes do they make? - How much do you wanna keep going

00:52:21   through this, right? - Right, and make no mistake, they will make changes to seem benevolent,

00:52:25   right? That will be, look at how they rolled out the small business program, right? It's like,

00:52:31   "Oh, it's Apple's largess here," but, you know, it's not. It's Apple moving with the times because

00:52:37   the pressure is on. - What was it Tim Cook said? That nothing's in concrete? - Nothing is cast in

00:52:43   concrete. We have to move with the times. You know, sometimes there's just this trend where we

00:52:48   have to take less money or we get regulated. It's just a trend, you know, it's a zeitgeist.

00:52:53   So we'll take a little less money now 'cause that's trendy to not be sued out of existence.

00:52:58   So we'll do that. - This episode is brought to you by Pingdom from SolarWinds. While you've been

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00:54:16   Winds for their support of this show and Relay FM. So we are now, Jason, four weeks from WWDC,

00:54:23   so we are really turning that corner now. I'm very excited. It's happening very fast. I'm so excited.

00:54:29   Like, I wasn't that excited for last year's WWDC for obvious reasons. Like, we didn't really know

00:54:36   what was going to happen. Everything was just very upsetting around that time. Things are

00:54:41   in some areas of the world less upsetting now, or at least we've gotten used to things.

00:54:46   And we didn't really know how good or not WWDC was going to be. I think we all had pretty

00:54:53   calm expectations, like lowered expectations of what they would actually be able to have shipped.

00:54:58   But it ended up being great. So I'm now really excited. I'm really looking forward to WWDC.

00:55:04   And so far, I think the most notable rumors have come from Mark Gurman. He published a report a

00:55:11   few weeks ago. Not very detailed. I'm expecting now maybe over the next couple of weeks, we'll

00:55:16   start seeing more. That tends to be how it usually goes, but we'll see. Yeah. Presumably the software

00:55:21   that's being worked on will roll out in a few more places where more people will see it. And then

00:55:25   those are where the leaks happen. Yeah. Cause I feel like usually, you know, within the week,

00:55:30   the weeks leading up, we start getting like the multi-release 9 to 5 max stuff. You know,

00:55:36   like it starts coming out, but this is the earliest that I've seen what I would have considered to be

00:55:41   from a credible source is from Mark Gurman. And there's really just a couple of things that Mark

00:55:46   was able to touch on. Uh, so one of the big things coming to iOS 15 and iPadOS 15 is notive,

00:55:52   more notification preferences. So users will be able to create profiles. So you could create like

00:55:59   different profiles with different characteristics and notifications, like how much noise they make,

00:56:06   what the prominence is, or maybe you have certain apps on and everything else off and you could

00:56:11   maybe set them up for driving, sleeping, working, and you'll be able to choose between them

00:56:16   apparently from either the lock screen or control center. So I kind of like this, right? Like I

00:56:20   could imagine setting up like a, uh, working, um, notifications and weekend notifications,

00:56:27   you know, and I get different apps allowed to notify me during different times. This is

00:56:31   kind of cool. I hope that this comes along with way more customization around notifications in

00:56:38   general. I hope that they're not just, which is what I probably aren't going to do, bolt this on

00:56:42   top of the existing system. I would like more. Does this excite you all, this notification

00:56:50   preference thing? I, uh, no, I mean, it's good. It is good. They need more of this. What gives

00:56:59   me pause is that the notification system is already so complicated and my, I need to see this.

00:57:06   I need to see this and see how they implement it and how they make this so that it's not

00:57:10   a slog to, cause like every, you got a lot of apps on your phone and then every app is going to,

00:57:16   if you have to go through every single one of them and turn them like which, which place do I

00:57:20   want them to be? That would be annoying. So the idea of profiles, I like the idea of profiles is

00:57:27   good because then what you're doing is you're saying, I want this app to behave in this way.

00:57:32   And presumably it's going to add that notification preference or variations on it to the different

00:57:38   profiles. Um, also, you know, a more global kind of like this time of day, don't do this and this

00:57:45   time of day. Like I want those features because notification is kind of a mess on iOS and it

00:57:51   frustrates me and I want it to be better. But what I don't want is like, um, some of the stuff that

00:57:59   I've seen over the years on Android where you, you know, that's always the great thing about

00:58:02   Android is like, you can set every setting. It's like, Oh my God, there's too many settings. Like

00:58:06   there's already too many settings on iOS notification. It's too much. So I hope that

00:58:11   this is a way, uh, to make it easier for us to, to set these preferences and to get the notifications

00:58:18   we want to see. Because the other thing is we know that apps want to just notify you all the time.

00:58:24   Like there's no real reason for apps to stop being as obnoxious as possible. So it really is kind of

00:58:32   on the platform and the user, uh, to control what the, what the apps do. So more control is great.

00:58:39   I'm just a little worried about how fiddly this is going to end up being. I'm going to read a quote

00:58:44   for the iMessage section cause I frankly have no idea what this means. I think this is just one of

00:58:51   those things that Mark was told and he wrote about it, but I don't get it. The company is also working

00:58:56   on upgrades to iMessage with the eventual goal of acting as more of a social network and better

00:59:01   competing with Facebook's WhatsApp. Those changes are still in early development and could come

00:59:06   later. The people said, WhatsApp is not a social network. It's a messaging platform. So I don't

00:59:13   really know, understand how these things go together. Like there are lots of things that

00:59:21   Apple could do to iMessage to make it more like WhatsApp, like WhatsApp has way more features

00:59:27   and maybe it's easier to find people, especially like who are on Apple platforms. You just find

00:59:32   them by their phone number or whatever and you can kind of be found anywhere. But these two things

00:59:38   are not the same and they're very different products. I don't really understand what this

00:59:46   could mean honestly. Well, I will prepare to be surprised, but it's not wrong for Apple to be

00:59:53   investigating more things for it to do with iMessage. iMessage is a powerful tool. I want

00:59:57   iMessage to always, or messages to always get better cause it's probably my most used app in

01:00:03   general. I'm messaging people all the time. I always want it to get better. I like the replies

01:00:10   feature, but it's clunky. There's a bunch of stuff, Federico always has good lists cause he uses

01:00:17   more of these apps than me. He uses WhatsApp a lot. And I honestly, I only use messages

01:00:23   much to the annoyance of my friends and family here in the UK because people always tell me that

01:00:30   the only person that they talk to through messages is me in their lives cause everybody else uses

01:00:35   WhatsApp. I have family groups and stuff in messages and that would otherwise be in WhatsApp.

01:00:41   It frustrates people. I am in some WhatsApp groups with larger extended family, but everybody here

01:00:50   and in lots of places in Europe and I think in India as well, a lot as well, WhatsApp is the tool

01:00:56   and it's got a lot more stuff that you can do in it. And maybe Apple just wants to continue

01:01:02   down that line. I still think that there is a potential one day for them to have

01:01:07   messages for Android. I don't think that it's outside of the realm of possibility. I think

01:01:11   it's a card they keep in their back pocket. They are continuing to creep outside of the iPhone with

01:01:17   their services and make people pay a small amount of money for it. Like go wild, right? Like,

01:01:22   I don't know. iPad home screen is apparently going to get the most significant changes since

01:01:29   its original debut. The only thing that Mark spoke about was widgets.

01:01:32   Well, I think we heard that they were probably working on this for last year alongside the iPhone

01:01:41   updates and then decided that they couldn't do both and they said, "We'll just finish this job

01:01:47   next year." So this is one of the least surprising things to be in the next version of iPadOS is

01:01:54   adding, you know, updating the home screen to be more than it is currently and allowing you to

01:01:59   place widgets arbitrarily on home screens and presumably add app library in some form and all

01:02:04   of that kind of thing. I'm curious about how they implement it because with the iPad, you really

01:02:08   have orientation issues that you don't have on the iPhone. There's horizontal and vertical and how

01:02:14   does that work and how do they move around and that's something that they have to figure out,

01:02:18   although there have been a bunch of like mock-ups on the internet that have said you could do it

01:02:21   like this and I'm sure they've worked through all of those things. It's just maybe a little more

01:02:25   complex than they have on the iPhone. And I'm looking forward to that because I do use widgets

01:02:30   on my home screen and right now I've just got my little sidebar widget thing that they can live.

01:02:35   - Yeah, I wish, you know, for me, like more over time, only more widgets have found their way onto

01:02:41   my iPhone home screen, like over the last year. Like I keep at, I'm like, "Hmm, you know what,

01:02:46   this might be kind of cool." And I add another one, right? Like, and I feel like I would love

01:02:50   to have that flexibility just on the iPad. Honestly, I think we said it at the time,

01:02:55   the iPad screen, it's kind of better for this than the iPhone screen, honestly. Like you could have

01:03:00   your like status board, like that app that Panic used to make, right? Like you could just make that.

01:03:05   I was talking to a friend of the show, Mr. Widget himself, underscore David Smith,

01:03:10   and he was saying that he kind of expect they would do different sizes, maybe larger,

01:03:15   there'd be a larger size maybe for the iPad, which would be intriguing or just maybe different sizes

01:03:21   in general. But yeah, I'm super into this, but I am still hoping much more for iPadOS than what

01:03:28   Gorman is suggesting. And I'm hoping that one of the reasons that they took a year for widgets

01:03:34   is because they're changing the way that multitasking works and stuff like that. Like,

01:03:37   they wanted to make a much bigger change to the way that like Apple calls springboard,

01:03:43   which is the way that you look at the home screen and everything kind of works and you launch apps

01:03:48   and manage apps. I hope that there's been some bigger changes there because I would like to see

01:03:52   that. And then finally, the last part that Mark mentioned was privacy. So quote is more privacy

01:03:58   protections are coming too. One new feature in the works is a new menu that will show users which apps

01:04:04   are silently collecting data about them. I'm not surprised that Apple is going to continue down

01:04:09   this train. It seems like app tracking transparency has really worked the way they wanted so far.

01:04:15   There's been lots of reports over the last week or so that everyone is turning off tracking.

01:04:20   And this is what Apple wanted. And I wouldn't be surprised to see them continue going down this

01:04:26   route because this was a thing that could have been quite contentious for them. And there were

01:04:33   a lot of companies that tried to make it so, and it seems to have so far worked completely the way

01:04:38   that Apple wanted it to. So I wouldn't be surprised to see them continue going down this route.

01:04:42   - It's awfully consistent of them to do this, right? To just keep pushing on this point

01:04:47   and adding more features. And I do wonder what those privacy protections are.

01:04:51   You know, I've theorized for a long time now, whether Apple might add a VPN

01:04:55   service on their own, which would be very bad for other VPN services, including ones

01:05:02   that sponsor upgrade, but I could see them doing it or other network related service kind of things.

01:05:08   And then adopting obscure but emerging standards for privacy in various areas in the internet and

01:05:16   like saying, well, we're going to adopt this and use that to sort of drive the uptake of those

01:05:22   things. Like that all sounds like something that Apple is going to just continue trying to do,

01:05:26   that they're going to keep pushing forward on this because they know that it's an advantage

01:05:30   and they use it in their marketing, but they know that it's a product advantage and that people buy

01:05:34   their devices in part because of this perception that they're more secure and more private than

01:05:39   other devices. So I'm not surprised by that. That all said, this is a very limited number of things

01:05:45   to start as you pointed out at the beginning. And so I look forward there to there being more,

01:05:52   because this isn't a lot. So there's gotta be other stuff going on. I did see somebody reported,

01:05:57   was it Steve Tratton Smith? It was somebody who reported a sighting of some sort of virtualization,

01:06:02   something that is suspicious. Like there is something going on here. I feel like,

01:06:09   and we'll draft these at some point, but I feel like virtualization, I've heard enough rumblings

01:06:15   about that, that there's going to be something there, but I wonder if it will not be something

01:06:19   as exciting as people think it'll be. Because there's definitely, there's an undercurrent of,

01:06:23   oh, well now that the iPad Pro has an M1, it could run like a Mac virtual machine. You could run M1

01:06:29   on or a Mac OS on iPad Pro and maybe, but more likely it's going to be something like, you can do

01:06:37   Linux, you can run Docker, you can do like it's pro for developers and stuff and not something

01:06:46   bigger than that, but it's all just kind of speculation at this point. So I look forward

01:06:50   to more leaks, although if there aren't more leaks, then our draft is going to be amazing.

01:06:54   The fewer leaks there are, the better the draft is because then we're just making wild choices.

01:06:58   Yeah. It's like, I look forward to it to talk about it, but if there isn't none,

01:07:02   I'm not going to be upset about it. I'll be excited about the fact that I know nothing

01:07:04   going in. Right. Like for me personally, I'm cool with either, right. I either feel like I know a

01:07:10   lot of stuff and then wait to see if it comes true and I still always delight in the details,

01:07:16   or I know nothing and I look forward to the surprise. Like for me personally, they both

01:07:20   come with their own positives and negatives. Like, so I'm, I'm just, uh, now we're like on

01:07:25   that train. We're like on the road now. I started today, like moving shows around, right. To make

01:07:31   sure that I was as free as can be that week. Cause I made a terrible mistake last year and didn't do

01:07:36   that. So I'm now just recording the things I need to record. Like I'm starting to get into the mode

01:07:41   now. Like, all right, like we're in WWDC preparation time. I'm excited. This episode is

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01:09:53   and all of Real AFM. Let's do some #AskUpgradeQuestions.

01:09:58   Brant wants to know, is Jason still using the 12 mini? If so, what has been the biggest pro

01:10:04   and biggest con of using it a few months in? Brant, yes, I'm still using the 12 mini.

01:10:10   The biggest pro is that it's small. And the biggest con is that they might not make it down the road.

01:10:20   And I'll be super sad because I love it. That's it. I love it. I pick up other iPhones and I think

01:10:26   this is ridiculous because they're all larger than the 12 mini. I love it. It's all I need in a phone.

01:10:33   I have nothing bad to say about it. Do you think that this could change if you're traveling?

01:10:39   Do you notice the battery? I always hear people say that the battery just isn't as good as you

01:10:43   would want it to be. You know, if I'm in one of those times where I'm out and about and not having

01:10:51   any opportunity to charge for a long period of time, which is really rare, then possibly. But

01:10:58   I don't know. That doesn't happen very often. I always think back to like XOXO back in the day,

01:11:04   where there'd be like a day where I would literally not be able to charge from 8 a.m. until

01:11:09   1 a.m. And that's bad, right? Then you got to bring a battery pack or something like that anyway.

01:11:16   But most cases I'm in and out of a car or whatever. I have someplace where I have to charge. So for me,

01:11:22   it's not something that I've noticed or cared about. But I'll leave myself open to that

01:11:31   possibility, but I just like the size of it too much. It's great. All right. Next up comes from

01:11:36   John and John wants to know, going forward, do you think that AirTags or U1 devices could work

01:11:42   with home kit or shortcuts for more precise geofencing? So like when I entered a living room,

01:11:47   do this. So like I was thinking about this is kind of interesting to me. Like imagine if

01:11:51   you have your HomePod mini in one room and you've got your iPhone with you and if you walk into the

01:11:55   room, the lights come on. Yeah, I think the idea behind ultra wide band is that that sort of thing

01:12:02   should be possible. The problem is in order to do it, because ultra wide band's range is not enormous,

01:12:09   what you really need is a constellation of ultra wide band sensors or something. And this is the

01:12:16   challenge, right? This is the issue. I think in the future, that is the idea, right? Like if you've

01:12:21   got an Apple TV that's got an ultra wide band chip in it or a HomePod that's got an ultra wide band

01:12:27   chip in it or something like that, you will be able to say when I'm close to this object,

01:12:34   when I'm within this range of this object, or maybe even like build a map, like how the Roomba

01:12:40   builds a map. The Roomba goes around and it builds a little map and there's even a beta feature where

01:12:45   it looks for Bluetooth LE devices and it puts them on the map too. So you can sort of like map out

01:12:50   your house. That's the thing is you need to have the ability to build kind of a map in order to do

01:12:56   this kind of automation. But that would be the nice thing about it is if you're carrying your phone

01:13:00   and you go into a room and it knows you're in that room, so turn on the light or whatever. Yes,

01:13:05   that would be, I think that's the end stage of this, but it's going to take a lot because it

01:13:10   takes multiple devices to get to that point. You can't just like a phone with a U1 chip in it

01:13:15   doesn't know where it is. It knows its relationship to other objects that have ultra wide band chips

01:13:20   in them. And so you need to know what that object is and where it is in order to do anything. But

01:13:26   that said, yeah, I think this is one of the futures of home automation is going to be having your

01:13:30   devices know precisely where they are in your home. One of the things I'm looking forward to

01:13:35   is smart locks because I have a smart lock that's based on Bluetooth LE. And so it has this whole

01:13:41   thing that it goes through where it has to see me leave and know that I'm gone. And then it says,

01:13:48   okay, now Jason's gone. Next time I see that phone again, I'm going to unlock because that means he's

01:13:53   back. But that's the only way it can work. Whereas with ultra wide band, a smart lock would say,

01:13:59   oh, you're at the front door unlock, right? Like that's like with precision, I you're at the front

01:14:05   door unlock. And even with precision, oh, you're leaving the area of the front door now. I'll lock,

01:14:12   right? And that will be great when it finally happens, but we're not there yet.

01:14:18   Scott Walker asks, since the release of app clips, have either of you naturally come across any of

01:14:23   them? I forgot about this feature because I've never seen them. I don't go outside very much.

01:14:29   And I think that's true for a lot of people. So no, I could have slowed the down, the kind

01:14:34   of adoption of them in general. I think app clips was always intended to be a long term thing. I

01:14:40   think when I wrote about it originally last summer, I said, this is something that'll be

01:14:44   a big deal in your life when you're trying to pay for parking at a meter in 2025. Like that's the

01:14:50   kind of approach that's happening here. So I haven't seen them, but I'm not surprised by that

01:14:55   because I literally, I could probably, if you gave me a piece of paper, I could probably write down

01:15:00   the number of places that I've been outside my house in the last year. Right? Like I could

01:15:05   probably write it down and it would fit on a piece of paper and it's just not a good nut. So I haven't

01:15:09   seen it. It just maybe has been the worst possible like such like world for it to be launched into,

01:15:15   you know? Right. I mean, the idea, some of the demo stuff is really great, right? The idea that

01:15:20   you could order from a table at a restaurant by tapping on an app clip and then it knows what

01:15:26   table you're at and it loads the app clip and you can place your order and then it'll get delivered

01:15:30   to you. Like I think that sort of stuff is going to happen, but you know, restaurants have been

01:15:35   broken by the pandemic and you know, like all of this stuff and updating like parking meters is a

01:15:41   great example, but that is going to require infrastructure updates and those happen over

01:15:46   the course of years. So I don't think we can judge app clips as a success or a failure based on not

01:15:52   seeing them around because I think this is a long-term thing. Like this is Apple saying,

01:15:58   if you want to build parking meters with a tap to pay, we have a function to let you do that now

01:16:06   or a tap to log in or whatever it is. We let you do that now, but it's going to take time for those

01:16:12   things to get adopted. And Jamie asks, now that we've seen a new consumer iMac, have reports of

01:16:21   the death of the iMac Pro being greatly exaggerated? This is a weird question because a new consumer

01:16:28   iMac, and it is in quotes, but like the iMac has always been a consumer product. I think what Jamie

01:16:35   is saying, and I didn't do a good job of reading that question, I should have put a better emphasis

01:16:39   on it, is basically saying like, it seems like we have the iMac and then there's going to be the iMac

01:16:44   Pro, which is the bigger one, right? Like it's kind of the way that it would seem to be telling

01:16:48   the story of itself. I mean, that's a scenario, but every, like literally every iMac has been

01:16:54   a consumer iMac, except for any iMac Pro is the one outlier. And we still have the 27-inch iMac

01:17:00   being sold with Intel. That is a consumer in quotes iMac. So I see no evidence to say that

01:17:09   this is the consumer iMac and the larger one will be a Pro iMac. It doesn't mean it couldn't happen.

01:17:14   It means I see no evidence for it. The fact that they introduced a smaller iMac and that there's

01:17:20   also this larger iMac is not evidence of anything because those are the two iMacs that were there.

01:17:24   There's totally a scenario where they could call the larger one iMac Pro. It goes back to what you

01:17:29   were saying earlier, Myke, the idea that you've got product and product Pro throughout Apple's

01:17:32   lineup. They could totally do that and say, well, Pro iMac is the big iMac and the 24 is already

01:17:37   pretty big. So really what we're saying is that this new 27 or 30 or whatever iMac is more of a

01:17:43   Pro model and they could do that. Or they could say, let's not call it Pro because some people

01:17:49   will buy it and they would be turned off if it was Pro. Or let's do two versions of it. We'll do

01:17:54   a regular version and then we'll do a Pro version that's got extra features. They have lots of

01:17:58   choices. Who knows what choices they've made? We'll know when they announce it. But iMac Pro,

01:18:03   as currently defined, is defined by the fact that it used a totally different cooling system

01:18:08   because it was using Intel Xeon processors. The existence of the Xeons is why the Intel iMac Pro

01:18:14   existed. And those processors are gone. So that premise for the iMac Pro is gone. The name remains

01:18:20   available, right? So the question is all marketing. It's marketing. Does Apple want to make that larger

01:18:26   iMac marketed as a Pro model or not? I don't think it really changes what it is other than it might

01:18:33   give them some freedom to raise the price and pour a few more high-end features into it. But I think

01:18:38   they would do that anyway. So it's a coin flip to me because it really is just in the hands of the

01:18:44   marketers, what they want to call that product. Yeah, for me, I think at the company that is from

01:18:51   very similar, but slightly different perspective of like, you know, we were saying that the iMac Pro

01:18:55   was one and done, right? Like they released it and they never updated it and then it went away.

01:19:01   And that that's the end of the iMac Pro. We're not saying it's the end of the name is the end of what

01:19:07   that product was supposed to be. Like that product was supposed to be the only Pro Mac. Like the top

01:19:14   of the line Mac was supposed to be the iMac Pro. Right. There was no Mac Pro in that scenario when

01:19:19   it was designed. And it was designed for an Intel era that has also passed. So it's doubly

01:19:24   out of date. But if they release an iMac called the iMac Pro, which I do think they will,

01:19:31   it's not going to be like the iMac Pro that it quote unquote replaces. It replaces the largest

01:19:38   iMac, right? But it's not going to be fulfilling the same place in the lineup that the iMac Pro was

01:19:46   supposed to. Honestly, the only way that an iMac Pro, a new iMac Pro would fill that same ecological

01:19:52   niche is if they announced we're doing a new iMac. And also there's this iMac Pro variant that's got

01:19:59   a different color scheme and it's got a more powerful processor and it's got more RAM. They

01:20:03   would need to like do a loaded version that's very different. And even then it would be a stretch

01:20:08   because it's basically going to be the same as the other. So yeah, that's why I've been saying that

01:20:12   it's a marketing decision because that's essentially all it is. How do you define your bigger

01:20:16   iMac? Do you call it Pro or do you not? You can choose, but it's not going to be the same

01:20:21   differentiator as the iMac Pro original was. If you'd like to send in a question for us to answer

01:20:28   on the show, just send out a tweet with the hashtag #askupgrade or use question mark #askupgrade in the

01:20:32   Relay FM members Discord, which you get access to if you're a member and you sign up for Upgrade Plus.

01:20:37   Go to getupgradeplus.com and you can sign up and you will get longer ad-free episodes of every

01:20:43   single upgrade every week. Even if we do two in a week, which we do sometimes, you'll get longer

01:20:48   ad-free versions of those ones too. That's at getupgradeplus.com. I would like to thank Express

01:20:54   VPN, Pingdom, and Ooni Pizza Ovens for their support of this episode. If you want to find

01:20:59   Jason online, you can go to sixcolors.com. You can also go to Twitter. Jason is @jasnell. I'm @imike.

01:21:08   I-M-Y-K-E. And we both host shows here at Relay FM. Jason also hosts many shows at The Incomparable.

01:21:15   Jason, would you be able to tell me a little bit about another Relay FM show called Rocket?

01:21:20   Jason: Sure. Rocket is not a podcast about space and related subjects. That's liftoff. No, Rocket

01:21:26   covers all the hard tech news of the week in a fun, some would say wacky way from the latest

01:21:31   Apple news to scams with fake blood testing companies, stuff like that. Rocket is there

01:21:38   and you could be there too. Ride the Rocket. That's what I've decided their slogan is now.

01:21:42   Really.fm/rocket or search for rocket wherever you get your podcasts. It's not about space,

01:21:47   people. It's not literally about rockets. Thank you so much for listening to this week's episode

01:21:52   of Upgrade and we'll be back next week. Until then, say goodbye to Jason Snell.

01:21:56   Goodbye, Myke Hurley.