343: Don't Call It a HomePod


00:00:00   [Music]

00:00:08   From Relay FM, this is Upgrade, episode 343. And today's show is brought to you by ExpressVPN,

00:00:15   Dev and Think, and Spokes. My name is Myke Hurley and I'm joined by Jason Snow. Hi Jason Snow.

00:00:20   Hi Myke Hurley. It is Daylight Savings Time Day today in America, which is exactly why we have

00:00:26   #snowtalk, so we don't talk about things like that. And Corey wants to know, Jason, have you ever

00:00:31   attended San Diego Comic Con? Corey has apparently not been following my work long enough. Yeah,

00:00:40   in fact, the story is that I, first of all, I went to college in San Diego, I had a lot of friends in

00:00:44   San Diego, so any opportunity to go back to San Diego is great. When the iPad was announced and

00:00:52   people started talking about how maybe the iPad would be the perfect digital comic book reader,

00:00:57   I registered for a press badge for Comic Con. I was like, "I have a reason to go to Comic Con now."

00:01:05   Excuse. For my work. Excuse. Yeah. And so, you know, we can put some links in the show notes,

00:01:12   but like I wrote a piece in 2010 about how people in the comics industry were viewing the coming of

00:01:18   digital comics, because digital comics had existed before, but you had to like read them on your

00:01:22   on your laptop or read them on a phone screen and it was not that great. And then the iPad came out

00:01:28   and I was like, "Oh, this is potentially something much more interesting." I went back to 2011.

00:01:32   It's kind of like eBooks before the Kindle, right? There are things you can read them on,

00:01:38   but there's something that might propel this and the iPad just did.

00:01:41   I read a bunch of digital comics on my laptop and let me tell you, it was terrible. I would take a

00:01:45   MacBook Air and like lay it on its side on my lap and read it because you have to get the shape of

00:01:50   the comic, which is sideways. It's not. Anyway, it was not great. I went back the next year.

00:01:56   I went back in 2014. One thing I learned about Comic Con is the best way to go to Comic Con is

00:02:04   when you can register for a media badge and not have to try and get an actual badge. That's really

00:02:09   great. And let's see, what else did I learn? The crowds are terrible and I don't particularly like

00:02:19   crowds and the crowds just kept getting worse. And even on the light days early in the convention,

00:02:26   like a Thursday, it was still ridiculous. And if anybody has ever been in downtown San Diego,

00:02:32   sort of like by the ballpark, like literally the whole Gaslamp District there is wall-to-wall

00:02:38   people, just entirely full of people. It's not just in the convention center. It spills out.

00:02:44   There are like weird storefronts. One year I went and there was like an anti-mutant demonstration

00:02:51   fake promoting an X-Men movie in front of a fake storefront. Like they spend money to rent out like

00:02:59   storefronts and stuff. It's cool, but there's so many people there. So after 2014, I haven't been

00:03:08   back since then, but the next couple of years, what Lauren and I would do is we would go down to San

00:03:14   Diego either right before or right after Comic Con and stay by the convention center. And you can

00:03:24   watch them putting up all the stuff or tearing down all the stuff, but there's nobody there.

00:03:29   And I would walk around like both the times we did that, I would walk around and we stayed right down

00:03:35   there and I'd be like, "Where are all the people?" Once you're used to it being completely packed

00:03:40   with the Comic Con crowd, it's so strange to not have them there. But I do love San Diego and I

00:03:47   love that neighborhood. I had that experience when Adina and I went to San Francisco on our honeymoon

00:03:54   and I was kind of walking through the kind of the area around Moscone. So there's nobody here.

00:04:02   I've only ever seen this place when it's absolutely teeming with nerds and there's just no one around.

00:04:07   So yes, funny kind of thing. - Yeah, Ian of Earth in the Discord says it's like downtown San Jose

00:04:13   during WWDC. And I'd say it's not because although that was, it is in the sense that it takes over

00:04:18   the downtown. That is true. The difference is for every person you saw in San Jose at WWDC, imagine

00:04:26   there are 10 people or 20 people. I'm not kidding. - And there are mutants. - I'm not kidding. And

00:04:32   they may be mutants. It's true. They may be. Anyway, Corey, yes, I have been. It was awesome.

00:04:38   I don't think I'll ever go back because the crowds are too much. And I don't know what it'll be like

00:04:43   in the future really post-pandemic because of the crowds and how severe the crowds were. I'm not

00:04:49   quite sure how they can make an event like that happen until we are back to zero spread essentially

00:04:56   of COVID because it was, yeah, if you didn't like crowds before, boy. But I'm looking forward to

00:05:04   going back to San Diego at some point because I love San Diego. - If you'd like to send in a

00:05:08   question to help us open an episode of Upgrade, just send in a tweet with the hashtag Snail Talk

00:05:12   or use question mark Snail Talk in the Relay FM members Discord and you can be cool like Corey is.

00:05:18   Some follow up for you, Jason. Photoshop and DaVinci Resolve have both gotten M1 updates.

00:05:24   I saw you post about this on Six Colors. Photoshop, there was a beta for a while,

00:05:28   but now it's official. And somebody at Adobe, spokesperson at Adobe said that Photoshop

00:05:34   runs about 1.5 times faster on comparable M1 machines than it did on Intel machines,

00:05:42   which is not surprising. But this was something I saw it. I was like, okay, I wanted to just

00:05:45   mention it because that's cool. But it did make me think that I never consider Rosetta on my M1.

00:05:52   Like having now used these machines for so long and I'm using mine every day,

00:05:58   I really never have to feel like I never have to think about it. Like it wasn't like the first time

00:06:04   around, you know, and I remember when I would download software, I would check like, oh, make

00:06:08   sure to check all am I going to get the universal version because it's going to be that much better.

00:06:13   I don't even think about looking because it's, you know.

00:06:18   - Yeah, I had several updates this week on my MacBook Air and I was like, well, that's great,

00:06:24   I guess. But like the only thing that I wish was running native on Apple Silicon right now is my,

00:06:32   you know, high-end audio processing stuff, Isotope, because that's always the faster,

00:06:38   the better with that. And that is some of those functions are slow in Rosetta, but

00:06:42   generally it's just fine. They've released a Photoshop beta the day that the M1 Macs shipped

00:06:48   basically. So it's been in beta, but they've gone final. And so like, if you do an update and you're

00:06:55   not on the beta, you can get the update and it just works natively. There are like a couple new,

00:07:01   it's funny, there are a couple new features that they added that are not on Apple Silicon yet,

00:07:07   because it's like it was running in parallel. So they're like, for those, you just need to

00:07:11   run it in Rosetta instead. But I doubt anybody's really built those into their workflow because

00:07:15   they're new features. And, you know, I wanted to highlight DaVinci Resolve just because that's a

00:07:21   great, you know, it's like a free high-end audio or video editing app. It's actually quite impressive

00:07:26   and they've updated that as well. And you're just seeing, you know, everybody is getting on the

00:07:31   M1 train, which is good because this is the future, but also there's gonna be more Macs.

00:07:38   And every day there are more people running on Apple Silicon. So the more the better.

00:07:43   - Min-Chi Kuo has said that AirPods 3 will not be launching until Q3 of this year.

00:07:49   This is contrary to some other rumors that are suggesting they're ready to ship now. I have

00:07:54   also seen, 'cause we spent some time a few weeks ago talking about what AirPods, the regular AirPods

00:08:00   version might look like, this new version. And it seems like from other rumors and leaks or what

00:08:06   have you, that it would appear that the new AirPods will be shaped like AirPods Pro mostly,

00:08:12   but without the rubber in the EarPod. So the part that you put in your ear is going to change shape

00:08:18   a little bit from the way that the AirPods are currently, but it's not gonna have the part that

00:08:23   goes inside of your ear. So we'll see how that ends up. - Still hanging out on the outside of your ear.

00:08:29   So if Min-Chi Kuo is correct, and I would assume that he is here because this is a pure supply

00:08:36   chain thing, right? And that is where the strength of these sources are. I guess what he's saying is

00:08:43   if there is going to be an Apple event this month, which I think the expectation is that there still

00:08:48   could be, that we will not see them until, we will not see them as part of that event.

00:08:55   Which is fun. - Yeah, I mean, it would seem weird if they aren't gonna be out for a long time and

00:09:00   yet they're going to announce it. - In this report as well, there was a kind of like a throwaway line

00:09:09   where Kuo states that Apple is expecting to sell just a million AirPods Max in its first year.

00:09:14   Now a million of anything is great, but not for Apple. I don't know how many I would have assumed,

00:09:21   but what this immediately reminded me of was the sales expectations of the headset that we

00:09:27   were talking about a couple of weeks ago. - Yeah, I was also thinking about the idea that,

00:09:32   like the iPhone mini being a disappointment because it doesn't sell, you know, as many

00:09:41   units as the other iPhone models. So there's a real question here about what Apple's expectations

00:09:48   are, right? Because lots of products can be not expected to appeal to everybody, right? Like,

00:09:54   for the price of the AirPods Max, did they really think they were going to sell an enormous volume

00:10:02   of them? I mean, we speculated, I think even at the time, that pricing it the way they did might

00:10:08   have been a way for them to get this product out when they couldn't make the volume that would be

00:10:14   required for it if it sold, you know, more to more people. And like they reduced the appeal of it.

00:10:22   Was that on purpose? Because that is one way you deal with a constraint in supply and your ability

00:10:28   to make them is just price it higher and then fewer people will buy it and then you're good.

00:10:32   So I'm not sure whether to read this as a disappointment or not.

00:10:36   - I'm just looking on the US site right now and practically all of the models are two to three

00:10:41   weeks shipping time. So this product is selling well based on how many can be made at least,

00:10:50   right? So this could have been one of those things which we were talking about that like,

00:10:54   sometimes they maybe just want to do a thing or they want to do a thing, but they can't do it the

00:10:58   way they expected. And this it's still selling as many as can be made. And that isn't necessarily

00:11:05   a bad thing. And it is that idea like with the iPhone mini, maybe it isn't selling as many models

00:11:11   as a Barclays analyst thought it would, but what did Apple want to sell? That's the important

00:11:17   number. - And they look at the supply chain sometimes and say, oh, well, they cut back on

00:11:21   their order of this and you can read the tea leaves and like, they actually thought there would be

00:11:24   more, but we don't know for sure. I would say though, that the other possibility here is that

00:11:30   Apple went out with these and said, oh, these are going to be big hits. And then even despite

00:11:36   everything, or they weren't thinking about that and close, like it's only going to be about a million.

00:11:41   That's their expectation now, are they happy with it or not? It's not being reported here, but

00:11:46   I think it would be the other side of this is what if Apple thought that despite the price,

00:11:51   they'd sell a lot of these. And that would be interesting because they would have to rethink

00:11:57   the product and it's not unusual. We have some recent history about Apple coming out with a

00:12:03   product that everybody thought was priced too high and it never really sold well and Apple eventually

00:12:08   just killed it. It just happened. We'll probably talk about it in a little bit. So that's for me,

00:12:12   is like the big question is, do they look at the AirPod Max and say, yep, that's about right.

00:12:16   That's what we thought. Or do they look at it and go, hmm, what do we do wrong? Why aren't people

00:12:23   buying this? I don't know. All right. We do have a little bit more follow-up to do, but I think it

00:12:30   could be long discussion follow-ups. So why don't we take our first break now and we'll thank Spokes

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00:13:46   So we've spent a bunch of time in the past talking about why someone inside of Apple

00:13:55   may want to leak information to the media, right? Because we know that there are some rumors,

00:14:00   we're talking about Ming-Chi Kuo, we would believe that Ming-Chi Kuo is getting the majority of his

00:14:05   source information from the supply chain and that's I think much much harder for Apple to

00:14:11   stop. But it seems like people say like Mark Gurman, they must have some kind of sources

00:14:19   inside of Apple because they find out things really soon. You know, even like sites like

00:14:23   9to5Mac would be a similar thing. And we've spent a bunch of time wondering like why maybe someone

00:14:29   would want to do that. Well, there has been a bit of a, there has been a story in the past couple of

00:14:36   days about somebody called Simon Lancaster, who was a former product design architect at Apple.

00:14:43   They have been accused of selling trade secrets and details about unreleased products to the media

00:14:49   and Apple has filed a lawsuit with them. And I just thought it was really interesting because

00:14:53   this is very public, right? Like this is like a very public thing and I can't recall something

00:15:00   like this in recent history like that. There have been some similar things, but this is a very

00:15:14   interesting one. And also, right, we always talk about consider the source, why do they want to do

00:15:20   the leak? And this, according to this story and these allegations, it's the strangest. This guy

00:15:28   seems like he was deluded into thinking that he could barter favorable coverage of his startup

00:15:35   that he was doing for leaks about Apple. That seems to be the allegation here is that he was sort of

00:15:44   talking to a media member and hoping that they would get positive coverage of their thing if they

00:15:52   leaked this stuff to them. So strange. And was bragging about it. Because we could talk about

00:15:58   the ethics of... I mean, there's a question about whether you're trying to induce somebody to break

00:16:03   the law or break their contracts in order to give you information. Inducement is sort of a line

00:16:08   you're not supposed to cross. You're not supposed to go up to somebody and say, "Hey, you work at

00:16:13   Apple. Give me what you know." You're supposed to sort of... You need to be a little bit more

00:16:18   on the receiving end of something they want to give because you don't, as a journalist,

00:16:21   want to be basically convincing them to break their contract and to get themselves in danger.

00:16:29   You sort of just want to be there for them if they want to disclose. I know that that's

00:16:35   a weird distinction, but it is a distinction that a lot of journalists make. But let me tell you,

00:16:40   it is a whole other line to cross to barter favorable coverage of an unrelated story.

00:16:49   We'll write this story about your thing if you give us this leak about Apple. That is

00:16:54   beyond the pale. And I think there's no evidence that that happened, but it is a weird motivation.

00:17:02   - It seems like that there are some stories in the reports that have come out about this effect.

00:17:08   Lancaster saying it to people. And he may have been under that impression, or at least thought

00:17:15   that he would get a favor back. Like down the line could be like, "Hey, remember I gave you

00:17:21   all that information. You do me a solid." This is just a very strange story, but it shows one of

00:17:29   those reasons. This guy was leaving. It seems like he may have been wanting to start his own

00:17:35   project in the future and hope that he would make connections in the media because of his influence

00:17:43   to help him later down the line. - Yes, because of his influence,

00:17:47   which would no longer be useful the moment he left Apple. And then the way he goes about it,

00:17:52   where he's like, "I'm just gonna download all this stuff. Oh, I am giving my notice." And then

00:17:59   like an hour before he's getting his, or a couple hours before he gets his access shut off, "Just

00:18:06   downloading more important documents. No problem. Don't worry about it."

00:18:09   - And apparently go to some meeting that he didn't need to be at about some project known as Project

00:18:14   X, which I don't know, might be AR/VR, could be anything. Who knows?

00:18:19   - Could be a chimpanzee flying a fighter plane. We don't know.

00:18:22   - It could be anything. But Apple somehow found out about this guy. Like I wonder,

00:18:29   is this one of those things where maybe they weren't sure about him so they planted some

00:18:34   odd info with this guy? Like they found him somehow, like in the sense of like what he

00:18:39   was doing and maybe that he was giving stuff away. But it's super, super strange stuff. So

00:18:47   this is all going into court right now. Apple is making all these accusations. But you know,

00:18:54   we'll see. Weird. - Yeah, yeah. Well,

00:19:00   yeah, we will see. If this continues on, then maybe we'll get some more details about this.

00:19:06   But yeah, it is, obviously it's Apple also making a lesson out of this guy. Although,

00:19:14   how can you not when somebody breaks your confidentiality agreements like this?

00:19:18   - This one seems particularly bad, right? - And this is egregious. And it's another

00:19:25   kind of reminder to people who work at Apple that, and on one level, I would say as an employee,

00:19:32   it's probably scary. It's like, oh, wow, they're gonna try to lock that guy up.

00:19:36   On another level though, your employer entrusts you with secrets and you agree to keep them. And

00:19:43   that's kind of the terms of employment. And you don't have to be employed there. You could leave.

00:19:49   And what he did here is kind of beyond the pale, right? Like it is, this is an extreme, okay,

00:19:55   alleged to have done. The allegations are really extreme and weird. So I'm not sure that this is,

00:20:03   I'm reminded of that line about, I'm gonna get it wrong now, but about Watergate and the idea is

00:20:09   that these are, they're not very bright guys. Like sometimes the objects lessons you get are

00:20:17   not very clever people doing a very subtle thing. It's somebody bumbling and stumbling and doing

00:20:23   something incredibly dumb. And at least these allegations seem kind of more like that.

00:20:27   - Especially downloading stuff because, I mean, my assumption is that's all tracked. Like if you're

00:20:36   downloading files, like if it's a confidential files, it will be trackable, traceable. At least

00:20:43   like when I worked in a bank, it was. If something was marked as confidential, everyone that

00:20:49   downloaded it or printed it, it could be traced as to who did that. - Exactly. And they do that

00:20:54   with like screenplays, all have like watermarks on them. And in fact, I get a chuckle about this.

00:21:00   I've been watching "For All Mankind" season two, which I've got, Steven and I got screeners of,

00:21:06   and Dan Morin has screeners of, so we're in advance. And we're recording all of our podcast

00:21:11   episodes about episode by episode through "For All Mankind" season two in advance. We're recording

00:21:17   them sort of two at a time, which means I'm using Apple's screener process. And again, you could

00:21:25   theoretically capture the video of season two of "For All Mankind" and release it on the internet

00:21:30   for all to see, except it's watermarked. And where I noticed this is sometimes there'll be a very

00:21:35   dramatic scene and somebody will walk into a room and they're about to say something and suddenly

00:21:39   right next to their face, the word J period Snell appears. And I'm like, "Hey, that's me." My brain

00:21:46   is like, "Oh, it's me." "Oh, right. It's the watermark." But for a moment I'm like, "Ooh,

00:21:50   how do they know?" And they're like, "Well, they know 'cause it's the screener." But that's their-

00:21:53   - I hope at some point they put up like a signup sheet, you know, like to who's getting on a

00:21:57   certain mission and it's just your name. - Yep. Yep. How do they know? It's like, "It's just for me."

00:22:07   - Apple is amending the wording in Apple podcasts in iOS 14.5 to say, "Follow" rather than "Subscribe"

00:22:19   for when you add a new show to your library. Apparently 47% of people think that subscribing

00:22:26   to a podcast means that you have to pay. This is being used a lot. I keep seeing this in reports to

00:22:32   suggest why Apple might wanna do this. I don't think that this will do any... So here's the thing,

00:22:38   I don't think changing the word from "Subscribe" to "Follow" is going to make any meaningful change

00:22:43   in people signing up to like getting a podcast. Like I just don't think that there is a real cause

00:22:49   and effect here that in meaningful numbers. I don't know. - I think meaningful, I don't know.

00:22:54   I think it's an interesting example, I mean, if we back up for a minute, of nerd tool builder culture

00:23:04   'cause the nerds who build the tools name the tools, right? And sometimes what that means,

00:23:10   for big stuff, there's like Apple has marketing department and they come up with names and even

00:23:13   those names are occasionally, you know, pro max. So they don't always do a very good job either.

00:23:18   But a lot of times it's the nerds building the tools and it's the nerds naming the tools. And

00:23:24   sometimes the user experience, the labels are not the best because the people who are building them

00:23:30   are really good at building the tools, but they aren't necessarily good at coming up with the

00:23:33   names. And this is an example where we have RSS feed culture, dating all the way back to Dave

00:23:38   Weiner presumably. And the idea of subscribing to an RSS feed, the subscription model, it's not a

00:23:46   bad example. It's not a bad word to use necessarily. It sort of explains what you're doing, but

00:23:53   from that you end up with it being repurposed into the podcast model. Again, not a bad choice

00:24:01   at the time I would even argue 'cause I think it really describes, it is a subscription model.

00:24:05   It's very much like, I say to people about podcasting that as somebody who worked in

00:24:10   magazines for a long time, I feel like the relationship between the podcaster and the

00:24:15   audience is very similar to if you're a magazine or a newspaper because there's an expectation

00:24:19   that you're gonna be getting new installments every so often. It's very different than if

00:24:23   you're just putting articles up on the web and hoping people come to your webpage. It's a

00:24:27   totally different kind of feel. That said, subscribe on a button in an app has got a

00:24:34   different context now. So I don't mean to blame the nerds who build the tools. I kind of get

00:24:39   where they were coming from. It depends where you're coming from though, 'cause as Kate pointed

00:24:41   out in the Discord, YouTube has subscription and it's free. Yeah. Right. Yeah. Which is arguably

00:24:48   a bigger market than the old newspaper market. But they also have follows, right? So now you've

00:24:54   got a button and a bell that you have to ring in order to- Well, one's notifications. Notifications.

00:24:59   Here's the thing, the other part to my point of why I don't think this is gonna help, 'cause I

00:25:03   actually think step two harms it more because probably the reason Apple's done this is not

00:25:09   because 47% of people think you have to pay for podcasts. It's to set the points in place

00:25:16   so you can actually have paid podcasts and Apple podcasts. And if you introduce paid podcasts to

00:25:22   Apple podcasts, more people will think you have to pay for podcasts than the amount of people

00:25:27   that thought it before. So I don't really think that this is helping anything. I think you make

00:25:32   a valid point. I don't know if I'm entirely convinced, but I think you make an important

00:25:38   point, which is even if they're not doing like paid podcasts per se, but maybe there's some other

00:25:43   kind of... There's things that you get with your subscription or whatever, and they don't call it

00:25:47   like, "There's no button that says buy this podcast." You still want to separate the concept

00:25:54   of connecting to a podcast to a term that is often perceived as being a payment relationship.

00:26:02   As a podcaster, I think this is great because I think it makes a point I'd never really considered

00:26:07   before, which is that people may not be wanting to subscribe to my podcast because they're afraid

00:26:14   that it causes some sort of liability on their part. And follow is a social media term. It's

00:26:22   something people understand. And honestly, a lot of the way podcast apps are designed,

00:26:30   like so many people are listening to podcasts and they're streaming them. They're not even

00:26:34   downloading them in advance. There are a lot of podcast apps that don't even download in advance

00:26:39   anymore. They just stream the podcast. And so you tap and then what you're really doing is

00:26:45   subscribing. You might be downloading it. You might just be having it appear in a list of new

00:26:49   podcasts for you to listen to, which is actually pretty close to a social media follow. So I'm okay

00:26:55   with it. And I think that maybe there is a little bit of a benefit and I'm tickled by it because I

00:27:01   think it's a great example of looking at terminology that makes perfect sense from one angle,

00:27:05   from a different angle and realizing that all of us who have been working with RSS feeds for a

00:27:12   long time and understand the subscription relationship and call it a subscription, then

00:27:17   you look at a poll or a survey that says almost half of the people misinterpret the word. And I

00:27:24   love that because I had no idea. And yet when prompted, when given that piece of information,

00:27:30   I think to myself, oh, actually that makes sense. Yeah. Like, oh, oh yes, this has been

00:27:36   miscommunicated or at least it's less clear than we might've thought. So I'm fascinated by this.

00:27:43   I don't think it's going to revolutionize podcasting. This is going to do it, Myke.

00:27:46   Finally, people are going to get podcasting now that there's one word different on a button.

00:27:50   I had to one follow a vast amount of people, like more than three people who were reporting

00:27:57   on this news of that. It's just like, I'm done with these bad takes. Like I follow a lot of

00:28:01   journalists. Do you reply to them and say unsubscribe? No, I was just done. I guess it's

00:28:06   just like, I'm kind of fed up now of the, finally, this is the thing that's going to mean that

00:28:13   everybody gets into podcasts. Like this is what I mean about like this 47% survey. It's like,

00:28:20   I don't know if these, if these are the people that would have even been listening to podcasts

00:28:24   anyway. And I don't mean that in a bad way. It's just like, these are people that clearly

00:28:28   had never really looked into it. It was like, Hey, do you pay for podcasts? Uh, yeah. And then

00:28:34   move on. I don't know what the intent of these people is. Neither do I really think that changing

00:28:39   this wording is now going to make people go like, finally, I didn't think I could get this content.

00:28:45   I find this stuff frustrating a lot of the time of like, I've made a point and here is the survey

00:28:52   to back up my point. Like, okay, but what is, what was this survey? Nevertheless, I don't like follow

00:28:59   as a phrase for podcasting. I just don't like it. It doesn't feel right to me. I don't like,

00:29:04   Hey, follow upgrade. In your podcast app of choice. I don't like it. Cause also, I mean,

00:29:10   it's not going to work unless everyone now adopts it. So. Which we'll, we'll see. We'll see what

00:29:16   happens. I think they'll have to, because like, I think Spotify call it following, I believe.

00:29:21   If Apple do it too, all of the other apps are going to have to start to do it and I'll just

00:29:25   get used to it. Whatever. Like I'm not that stuck up on it. Uh, I'm not going to do like the net

00:29:29   casts model here. Um, but I just, personally, I just prefer the word subscribe to the show,

00:29:35   then follow the show because follow. I don't know. Like I like to think that there is a personal

00:29:41   element to the shows that I make and it's a choice that people make to want to listen to the content

00:29:46   and follow just seems too passive to me, to the, to the way that I think about podcasts.

00:29:51   Well, anyway, um, follow us on iTunes. Subscribe to us on iTunes would be the better one, right?

00:29:59   Follow an Apple podcast, subscribe in iTunes. Subscribe on iTunes.

00:30:02   Talking about podcasts, you, uh, put something in our document that just says, Jason in capital

00:30:09   letters loves this feature. And you're talking about the new overcast watch app, uh, as somebody

00:30:14   who doesn't use an Apple watch. Can you explain to me what's so great about this feature?

00:30:18   So a new version of overcast came out and it has a brand new watch app and Marco did a really good

00:30:25   job. I, I am somebody who runs several times a week and I run with the AirPods in my ears and

00:30:32   the watch on my wrist. And I leave my phone at home and cause I don't want it like wiggling

00:30:38   around in my pocket, right? Like there's no, it's freeing to not have stuff weighing down my pockets

00:30:44   when I go for a run. Um, and on ATP, Marco always talks about how nobody uses that feature.

00:30:49   Like it's so depressing. He's like, oh, it's just, it's a tiny fraction. Like more people use this

00:30:55   other obscure feature in overcast more than they use the watch app. But I do think, so I despair

00:31:00   about him updating it and he didn't update it for awhile. And it does feel like this is like the

00:31:04   third time I've heard like there's a new overcast watch app. Like I feel like it's something he

00:31:09   struggled with. Well, the first time it was really just like a remote for the phone. And then the

00:31:13   second one, it can do standalone, but it's limited. And the third one really is a standalone app and

00:31:18   it kind of parallels the evolution of what an Apple watch app is supposed to be. Cause they

00:31:22   were originally just phone apps that ran that's displayed on your watch. And, and then there was

00:31:27   this weird middle point where they were supposed to be independent, but they kind of weren't and

00:31:32   now they're much more independent. So Marco finally built this. And I think it's interesting

00:31:38   because he must feel like there is a competitive advantage to do this because like he keeps saying,

00:31:44   not that many people use it, but it is important to have a podcast app with this feature because

00:31:48   people think they want it or they're shopping for an app and you need to be able to say, yes,

00:31:53   we have an Apple watch app, but he did a great job. It is truly independent. You it's got a

00:31:57   reload button on it. Myke, like literally you can be somewhere without an iPhone with just a cellular

00:32:04   Apple watch and tap the reload button and it will talk directly to the overcast servers,

00:32:09   find out what podcasts are new, put them in your playlist. And then if you tap them,

00:32:13   it will play them. Now, some of that the old app did, but what I always found was the old app

00:32:20   really wanted to talk to the overcast app on the iPhone. And that was the definitive source of what

00:32:26   podcasts existed in the world. Right? Like, so it could, once it knew a new episode of a podcast

00:32:32   came out, but it didn't have it locally and I was out running, it would stream it, right? Because

00:32:36   it knows what the URL is of that podcast file. So it would stream it and I could listen to it.

00:32:40   But if a new episode came out and I hadn't synced up my iPhone and my Apple watch overcast together,

00:32:47   the Apple watch wouldn't know about that new episode. Ironically, it was off an ATP,

00:32:52   go for a run and be like the new ATP episode dropped and it wouldn't be on my watch,

00:32:57   wouldn't be listed. And there's literally nothing I could do at that point because if it

00:33:02   is not in the universe of what's on the Apple watch, it can't play it. The new version doesn't

00:33:07   talk to the phone. Like it doesn't talk to the phone. It talks to overcast web service.

00:33:11   And so now it will, you know, I still, I built up this thing where I would launch before I go

00:33:19   for a run, I launch overcast on my watch and on my phone and I let them sort of talk to each other a

00:33:24   little bit. And now really what I need to do is just launch overcast and tap the reload button

00:33:29   before I go out the door. So I'm on my wifi and all of that. But anyway, it's much more stable.

00:33:33   It's much more freestanding, which is important for me because I'm using a cellular watch and I'm

00:33:39   leaving my phone behind. It's got chapter skip now. It's got variable speed now, a bunch of

00:33:46   other really nice stuff. He did a great job. It's a really good app. So for me, when the Apple watch

00:33:54   was announced, I had this idea that, Oh, wow. I could, I could go out with just the watch

00:33:59   and go for a run with just the watch and some headphones and leave my phone behind. And the

00:34:06   truth was in those early days, that was not a possibility, but it's gradually become that.

00:34:11   And this software update just pushes it forward that much more. So I'm, I'm grateful. I'm glad

00:34:16   that he did it. I use this feature so much that I actually stayed off the overcast beta for quite a

00:34:22   while because I was afraid it was just going to break my thing and, and my thing was working

00:34:28   pretty well, but, uh, I finally dove in and, uh, it's, it's a lot better. So I'm, I'm glad he did

00:34:34   it. And it's a, it's an app. Like I said, I use several times a week when I'm running and, uh,

00:34:40   I'm very happy that it, uh, it is, uh, it's a real app now. So I love it. I do. It sounds cool. I

00:34:48   mean, I remember when I, I only ever had one, um, LTE watch, which is the series three. Uh, I think

00:34:57   a later one, I think the most recent one, I have the five, six, six. It has, um, cell

00:35:04   needle connection, but I've been struggling with my carrier to move over from one to another.

00:35:08   And I just gave up in the end. Um, but I remember when I was trying to really, you know, use the

00:35:16   series three, it always felt like, even though it has a connection, the watch desperately, every app

00:35:22   I used wanted to find the phone. Just like, even when they were not connected, you know, you'd get

00:35:28   the little phone with the line through it or whatever. And all the watch wanted to do was find

00:35:33   the phone and it, you know, that was the real growing pain. Part of the Apple watch is a

00:35:36   platform, right? It is. So it starts out and the only way they can get it to work is to make every

00:35:42   watch app essentially subservient to the phone. It's the phone. It's just a little sidekick to

00:35:47   the phone. The phone is the source of all knowledge. You got to go back to the phone.

00:35:52   If the phone's not around the Apple watch is essentially useless and Apple, you know,

00:35:56   realize that was a problem, but they had, that's where they had to start. They felt they had to

00:35:59   start right there. And then you end up in this period in the middle where they're like, well,

00:36:03   kind of, you know, it's kind of standalone. It can do some stuff when it's away from the phone.

00:36:11   And the overcast app is a perfect example, right? Which is it won't sync to the web service,

00:36:15   but if it syncs the data, it'll stream it over the internet. Like that was the compromise and

00:36:19   every app was different. And some of the apps didn't do that. And some of the apps did do that.

00:36:23   It's very frustrating. And I feel like the Apple watch is now creeping forward into a world where

00:36:30   it's really expected that your app is going to work without the iPhone around and that you should

00:36:35   build the app. Like if you've got a calendar app, it should talk to your calendar servers,

00:36:39   not check with the iPhone, whatever your app is. It should go out to the internet itself on wifi or

00:36:47   cellular if it has it to do that rather than go back to mommy and say, please give me the

00:36:55   internet now. And so we're getting there, but I understand why they didn't make that decision

00:37:02   at the beginning. They just couldn't in order to do it. And it is given that they made that

00:37:06   decision. It's not surprising that they had those growing pains, but it was very painful,

00:37:09   right? Like there was nothing. It was a really bad experience. They're going to the right place,

00:37:13   but you end up in this weird middle ground where you can't tell before you leave home,

00:37:18   if this app will work or just cease to function because the iPhone is not around. It's better now.

00:37:29   - And those kinds of feelings that sets a bad long-term precedent in the user, right? Like if

00:37:36   it doesn't work, you like, and you, you have a big failure point, uh, you might not use it again for

00:37:43   a while, you know, like, Oh, this sucks. And then you just stop using it.

00:37:46   - Yeah, exactly. And, and that was a, that was a tough time, but now, you know, obviously this has

00:37:50   been a real push at Apple like last year, or I guess two years ago, they did the app store

00:37:56   on the watch. Right. And like the app store on the watch is kind of silly, but it is part of a

00:38:02   message that the watch is its own platform and that it can do stuff itself because the end goal

00:38:09   is that you should be able to buy an Apple watch without an iPhone. Right? Like that's the end goal

00:38:13   is that it should stand on its own at least. Yeah. Better with iPhone for sure. But that you should

00:38:19   be able to just do everything on the device. And I don't know if they'll really get there. It would

00:38:24   be a weird experience. A lot of it seems unnecessary because most people are going to have a phone that

00:38:28   they can use to manage it. But, um, I, I appreciate the drive for that because we don't, you know,

00:38:36   you don't want to leave the house with just the Apple watch and realize that some key piece of

00:38:40   information is, you know, it's probably in the cloud, but the stuff on your watch doesn't

00:38:47   understand that. And we'll only look back at its phone and it can't talk to that phone because the

00:38:51   phone's not nearby. So that, that, that has to end. But the good news is it does seem like

00:38:58   that is getting that all that stuff is getting shaken out of the platform.

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00:41:23   So Apple has given a statement to TechCrunch which reads as following.

00:41:32   HomePod Mini has been a hit since its debut last fall, offering customers amazing sound,

00:41:38   an intelligent assistant and smart home control all for just $99. And you're thinking,

00:41:42   "Oh, this sounds great. They just love the HomePod Mini." We are focusing our efforts on HomePod

00:41:47   Mini. We are discontinuing the original HomePod. It will continue to be available while supplies

00:41:53   last blah, blah, blah, blah. Apple will provide HomePod customers with software updates and

00:41:57   service and support through AppleCare. Goodbye to our friend, the big HomePod.

00:42:03   - We can sign this HomePod to the deep.

00:42:06   - So two weeks, two products going away. I think it's pretty fair to say that the difference

00:42:15   between the iMac Pro and the HomePod, it is like the Grand Canyon in between these two things.

00:42:22   - And yet, boy, it feels like Apple settling all family business, right? Doesn't it?

00:42:27   - This is the going to the mattresses. They're like, "All right, you're out. You're out too,

00:42:30   HomePod. Get out. Get out." I find it fascinating that they said we are focusing our efforts on

00:42:35   HomePod Mini because that is such a strange little phrase that I think probably is only intended to

00:42:45   explain that HomePod Mini continues to exist, right? Which is why that they have added

00:42:49   all of... They add this two sentences about HomePod Mini before mentioning they're discontinuing

00:42:54   the HomePod. I don't know if I will take it as evidence that there will only ever be a HomePod

00:43:00   Mini and there won't be any other HomePod-like products from Apple. I think that's debatable,

00:43:06   but watching Apple grapple with product discontinuation is just... It's a fascinating

00:43:12   thing. At least they didn't put it on ice like the G4 Cube. So there's that.

00:43:16   - Do you think that the HomePod is a failed product? Is it a failure? I know obviously

00:43:21   it's going away, but the iMac Pro wasn't a failure and it's going away. Is the HomePod a failure?

00:43:27   - I mean, yeah. I mean, I cannot tell you how hard Apple pushed the HomePod

00:43:41   in when they released it. At WWDC, it was a blitz. That was where they put me in the room where I

00:43:49   could describe the Grove or whatever where I could listen but not describe...

00:43:57   - You could talk about how it sounded? Is that it?

00:43:57   - Yeah. I could talk about how it sounded, but not any of the details of how it was used because it

00:44:02   was so early. And they were obviously really pushing it hard and it's so brilliant. And

00:44:11   everybody immediately said, "Woof, that price is too high," given the competitive market there.

00:44:18   And Apple's response was something like, "But it sounds good," which it does. I actually think the

00:44:24   HomePod sounds great. I have a stereo pair and I think they sound great, but it did cost a lot.

00:44:32   And when they cut the price, it still cost a lot. - The price never got cut to a level that it was

00:44:38   sensible for most people. - Yeah. And I think for a good reason, which is it was over-engineered.

00:44:42   They made this thing and it was almost like money was no object. They over-engineered the product.

00:44:47   They created essentially like a Sonos kind of product, except more expensive even than Sonos.

00:44:53   And it was a mistake. And you can't cut the price beyond a certain point. You're losing money on

00:45:01   every one. And the HomePod mini is the answer. The HomePod mini is Apple going back and saying,

00:45:06   "What if we make one that we can sell for a low price?" And people generally seem to like the

00:45:11   HomePod mini. It sounds like... I don't have one, but it sounds like people generally like them.

00:45:16   They're not a HomePod, but the key is that they are priced very differently than the HomePod,

00:45:23   and that that makes a difference. Now, whether the HomePod mini will work or not,

00:45:26   I don't know either, but it certainly seems to be a case where Apple realized that they just

00:45:31   they overshot. They made this over-engineered, super high quality, all of these speakers and

00:45:37   all these sensors. And then it was a price that they could never cut enough to make it

00:45:45   be worth it. So what do you think from here then? Like,

00:45:51   the HomePod mini is obviously a product that they believe in and seems to be doing fine.

00:45:59   Will they make any other products? Is it just going to be the HomePod mini? Like,

00:46:05   if it is, is that really the best name for it? Like, where does Apple go from here?

00:46:11   Yeah, I think it's a great question. I think HomePod mini... That's the part. We're focusing

00:46:18   on HomePod mini, which itself conjures up the HomePod, right? Like, it's like the ghost of the

00:46:23   HomePod hovers over it. This is the small one of the one we don't talk about, right? Like, you can't...

00:46:28   It's like Junior was much more successful than his father.

00:46:31   Exactly. Exactly. So it's like, don't think about him. Think about me. And it's a little bit like

00:46:38   that. I feel like there's probably room here, although I wonder if Apple is wary that they are

00:46:45   continuing to make products in this category and haven't seen a hit because their hits are

00:46:50   headphones, their hits aren't speakers. Like, is the problem that Apple's competition is too

00:46:56   strong here, that Siri is too weak? I think seeding the home speaker space on one level seems like a

00:47:03   mistake for Apple because the competition is fierce and their competition in terms of voice

00:47:10   assistants and all of that, they're all in here and they're all playing and playing hard. So Apple

00:47:14   needs to be there too. On the other hand, if you think about Apple's home strategy and their

00:47:20   complete lack of participation in huge swaths of the smart home world, you look at the HomePod mini

00:47:26   and you think, "Really? That's your product? It's a little speaker? You're not doing mesh Wi-Fi?

00:47:34   You're not doing all these other things, but you're doing a little speaker that looks like

00:47:38   a candle? That's an interesting choice." So it comes back to something that I know we've

00:47:43   talked about before, which is what is Apple's home strategy? And I don't know. Not knowing what their

00:47:51   home strategy is, I can't answer the question, is this the only HomePod that we're ever going to see?

00:47:56   I would like for them to make maybe a better sounding, more capable HomePod that was a little

00:48:02   more expensive than the HomePod mini, but not the HomePod. Or like a soundbar version that's

00:48:08   sort of an Apple TV HomePod Fusion, which I've written about a few times now. It's like, "That

00:48:13   would be an interesting product." There are a bunch of ways that they could go, but I'm not entirely

00:48:18   convinced that Apple is convinced that this is a market that they can excel in, right? That's my

00:48:23   concern is that with the AirPods, they got immediate feedback that it was a hit, and they

00:48:30   leaned into it. With HomePod, it was a flop, and they had to re-envision it. So how is that going?

00:48:40   I don't know if we really know whether HomePod mini is a footnote, or if it's showing signs of

00:48:48   being, if not a hit like the AirPods, at least a strong product. Because until I know how Apple

00:48:56   thinks about this category, it's very hard to predict what they're going to do here. And I'm

00:49:00   kind of baffled. I don't really understand. Either they need to say, "Nope, we're just out. Other

00:49:06   people will play here. We're going to focus on the stuff that we're good at." Or they should probably

00:49:11   commit to doing more stuff in the home, and instead they're just in this weird space where they've got

00:49:15   an Apple TV that's kind of mystifying, and you've got the HomePod mini. Don't call it HomePod.

00:49:21   What's the story here? So this is the, you know, you're saying about like,

00:49:27   focusing on what they're good at. This should be something Apple's good at. Like, they have

00:49:34   the pedigree in other areas to create. Now I know Apple have now had two failed, large-scale,

00:49:43   amazing audio products. It's kind of hilarious that when the HomePod came around, we all made

00:49:48   the iPod HiFi joke, and it has fulfilled the same fate as the iPod HiFi, that it was over-engineered,

00:49:57   too expensive, and people didn't want it. All right, I guess we can assume that's what's happened

00:50:01   with the HomePod here. But Apple make great audio products. They make devices that should go in your

00:50:08   home. They should be able to produce something here which is good. And not good's not the right

00:50:17   phrase. Works is a better phrase, because the HomePod in some areas is a great product,

00:50:24   but they seem to have not been able to deliver what their customers were looking for, I suppose,

00:50:32   because people have these products. Clearly, there are competing products that are vastly more

00:50:39   successful. Apple wasn't able to make this one one of those things for whatever reason.

00:50:44   - Yeah, and some of it, I think, is the challenge that Apple... I think the people inside Apple

00:50:50   misread the audience for these things. And the reason that the HomePod is so over-engineered,

00:50:58   and I'm not saying the HomePod sounds bad, it sounds really good. I think my point is,

00:51:04   most people who buy these things don't judge the quality of audio like the people who made the

00:51:12   product do. And that Apple made the mistake, maybe out of the pride of like, "Everything from Apple

00:51:18   is better, it's of a higher quality," of making like an audiophile home speaker, which was never

00:51:24   gonna sell in volume, even if it was labeled from Apple, when they should have made something that

00:51:29   just didn't sound as good. Like, I've played music on my Echo Show, sounds pretty good. It's not as

00:51:36   good as the HomePods, but the HomePods are sort of halfway across the room, and the Echo Show is

00:51:42   right in the kitchen, and sometimes I'll just play music on the Echo Show, it sounds pretty good.

00:51:46   And the pretty good, what strikes me about that experience is that pretty good is good enough

00:51:53   for lots of people. And Apple misjudged it and tried for great, and it turns out that people

00:52:01   didn't really see a lot of value difference between pretty good and great. Plus, you throw in

00:52:06   the assistance, like, "Siri's not that good. It's still not that good." And there were lots of issues

00:52:11   where Siri would misunderstand things and play the wrong thing. And even if that gets better,

00:52:20   you've got to throw that in the mix too. But I think ultimately they miscalculated what this

00:52:25   market is because, unlike Amazon, which tried a bunch of different stuff, Apple waited a long time

00:52:32   and then probably rushed this thing in that was their one shot and they missed, and then they

00:52:39   spent two years before they took another shot. So they were late and they miscalculated and they

00:52:45   didn't give themselves a chance to sort of recalculate for a long time until the Mini

00:52:49   finally came out. So it's a mess. But you're right, they should be able to make a product

00:52:54   that's good in this category. And it leads me back to my statement before, which is,

00:52:58   what is Apple's home strategy? What is Apple's in-home strategy? For a long time, it seemed like

00:53:04   Apple's in-home strategy was, "We don't need one. Everybody's got an iPhone and an iPad and a Mac,

00:53:09   and we don't really need a strategy because those devices are what's important in the home."

00:53:16   And, you know, okay, but your competitors are on the TV and they've got speakers that are listening

00:53:24   in your house and they have mesh Wi-Fi networks. And you have a TV box that hasn't been updated in

00:53:32   a few years and the HomePod. So are you in or are you out of the home? And it feels to me like

00:53:43   Apple's home strategy is, we've got this spinoff product, the Apple TV that we've kept around,

00:53:49   and we had this misguided HomePod that sort of led to a recalibration. But I don't see a strategy

00:53:53   there. I just see a couple of products they dropped. - Do you think there is any realistic

00:53:58   thought of some kind of Apple TV pseudo HomePod combo hardware? - Is there a possibility? Sure.

00:54:06   I think there's a possibility that Apple, who like a year ago hired a new person to be in charge of

00:54:14   their home stuff. I can't decide if that person is, you know, the least lucky person in the world

00:54:20   or not. But the idea that Apple could say, "Now that the whole home thing has, the home

00:54:31   kit wars have been settled and we're all using this chop platform." - Which any more news on this

00:54:41   would be fantastic. - Would be nice, right? - Is it actually a going concern for these companies?

00:54:47   - Are we still chopping? Is that still happening? I don't know. So maybe they're waiting for

00:54:52   something like that. But like, I think Apple could say, "We have a home strategy now. Here's

00:54:58   our vision for the home." As somebody said in the Discord, they built that big home set where they

00:55:04   have a set of like a home cut in half that they did that video of. It's like, "Well, you built

00:55:08   that. Why? What are you putting in there?" So I would love for Apple to be like, "Apple Home is

00:55:14   here and here's what you got. We got a new Apple TV. We got HomePod mini. We're gonna do Apple TV

00:55:21   that's also a soundbar." So you literally just plug it in once. I think they got the tech for it.

00:55:25   They could do that if they wanted to. "We are gonna do mesh networking. All of our other home stuff

00:55:32   also is mesh network. So you add this mesh networking to your router and Apple can secure

00:55:37   your internet and it's super easy to use and all your other Apple devices join and spread the mesh

00:55:44   network and isn't that great?" Like, they could go all into this if they wanted to. Do I think

00:55:50   they're going to? You know, it's possible but I see no evidence that there's any impetus at Apple

00:55:58   to actually press in this category other than, honestly, other than that they built that set.

00:56:02   So I have a problem. I'll say. It's time for me to replace my HomePod pair with my Apple TV

00:56:12   because it continues to be a horrific experience for me and I am at breaking point with how bad

00:56:20   this feature is. Like, it's in the past couple of days. I'm trying to watch a 45-minute show

00:56:25   and it pauses four times and one of those times I get an error telling me it can't connect and

00:56:32   I should change back to my TV speakers. So I hate how bad this feature is. I now have absolutely

00:56:38   zero faith that it will ever be fixed for me because I just assumed, well, obviously,

00:56:43   they're going to keep working on this but now I just don't think it's the case.

00:56:46   Are they? Yeah. Will there be software updates anymore?

00:56:48   I need to move to something else and I want to move. I have a couple of requirements.

00:56:55   I do not want to run a speaker cable literally anywhere, right? I'm not up for a wired home

00:57:02   cinema system. Neither do I want seven speakers. You know, I want something simple. We have a small

00:57:08   living room. I know sound bars are things that people like. I don't know if it will be ideal

00:57:15   for how we have our arrangement because our kind of TV cabinet is more to the left of our living

00:57:23   room than where we sit on our sofa. So we kind of tilt the TV a little bit. So I feel like potentially

00:57:32   a sound bar, depending on the size of them, because I think they could be pretty big.

00:57:35   If we set it up right in front of the TV, it would probably hang off the cabinet a little bit,

00:57:40   less than ideal. So I mean, and we could rearrange things if I really found the right product. I just

00:57:45   don't know what to go for. Just very cursory googling led me to the warm embrace of Sonos

00:57:53   because it seems like they have lots of arrangements from their like they have their

00:58:00   beam systems and then you can put two of their little other systems behind you and that could

00:58:05   work pretty nicely for us. But really what I'm looking for from the upgrade ions is suggestions.

00:58:12   Do any upgrade ions use some kind of home cinema system or home audio system that they really like?

00:58:20   And I would like to have features like Dolby Atmos support because especially with stuff that I watch

00:58:26   on my Apple TV, I get a lot of that. And I know Sonos has Airplay too. I do think I'm probably

00:58:31   just walking straight into the arms of Sonos here, right? Like already the Discord is exploding with

00:58:35   Sonos suggestions. But I just want to hear from people if they have any other suggestions.

00:58:39   I'll say again, keeping in mind Myke's limitations,

00:58:42   you will be instantly disqualified if he's running wires all over the place.

00:58:47   Yeah, I won't do that. I'm not going to do it. So like, don't tell me how good it is to use

00:58:52   wires because it's just not happening. I would tell you that right now that I want a wireless system.

00:58:59   And I guess the benefit that I would get here though is if I use something like a Sonos to

00:59:04   my understanding, it would work with everything connected to my TV, right? I wouldn't just be,

00:59:10   you know, because that's always been a thing for me. Like when I play games, I have to use the TV

00:59:13   speakers, which are fine, but I would love to be able to use whatever system is the best system for

00:59:19   me. So I reckon it will be Sonos, but I would, you know, I'm talking about this now because I want to

00:59:24   hear from people who like it, but I will also, I assume if there's big problems inevitably hear

00:59:29   those as well, which is always important. But I feel like now for me to get what I want,

00:59:35   it's not the HomePod because the HomePod's barely doing what I want now. So it's definitely not

00:59:42   going to do it into the future considering it is now a product in the lineup. So frustrating.

00:59:50   Look, I think you're going to end up with probably having a bar thing in front of your TV. I think

00:59:55   you're going to need to do that. Yeah. I mean, depending on the size of the bar,

01:00:00   it would work. I just need to do some, I need to just have some measurements done. I should like,

01:00:04   you know, so like once I work out a good product, then I just need to find a way to make it fit. And

01:00:10   I'm sure that we could find a way to make anything fit, but I just have to make some little adjustments.

01:00:15   It's not the worst thing in the world, but like, you know, the sitting in front of the TV thing is

01:00:21   not a deal breaker. I expect that there is a way around that. Like if we could move the TV further

01:00:26   back on the cabinet, you know, and that would give us the space like whatever. But yeah, RIP HomePod,

01:00:32   I really wish I wouldn't have spent a lot of money on you now. I haven't felt this feeling in a while

01:00:39   from Apple of being annoyed that I made an investment in something that they've abandoned.

01:00:45   But I definitely feel that way with these products because they are expensive. And I did buy my pair

01:00:51   when there wasn't deals. And I feel like that they've moved away from this one much quicker

01:00:58   than I would have expected them to without ever really, I feel, realizing what the product was

01:01:06   could have or should have done. Right. I feel like that there were potentially a lot of areas

01:01:11   that we were hoping to see Apple expand into with the HomePod that they kind of didn't with this one.

01:01:17   And maybe now they will with the smaller one. But I just do not by any stretch of the imagination,

01:01:24   imagine this software support is going to be more than just making sure the thing still turns on

01:01:29   every day. Like, I don't imagine a lot of features coming to the HomePod. And yeah, I just feel kind

01:01:36   of frustrated about this one. I feel like that they've abandoned it too soon, probably. Yeah.

01:01:43   Unless they can show me otherwise. This episode is brought to you by ExpressVPN. You know about

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01:03:49   Let's do some #askupgrade questions. First one comes from Mark. Is it

01:03:55   "screenshot" one word or "screen shot" two words? Oh boy, it's a style question.

01:04:03   I write... so AP style is screenshot two words, but writing for a technical audience and not being

01:04:13   a newspaper, I prefer screenshot as one word, I think, because "screen space shot" sounds very much

01:04:24   like you're trying to explain a screenshot to somebody who doesn't understand what it is,

01:04:30   which is probably the right thing to do if you're a newspaper using the AP style. But,

01:04:42   it looks like I have used it both ways on six colors, so the six color style guide,

01:04:48   inconsistent as ever. Hey, that is the style guide. It's inconsistency.

01:04:54   I think though that I have been progressing to one word with "screen shot". I think my,

01:05:01   you know, I'm not being consistent with it, but if I had to pick one and settle on it,

01:05:06   it would be one word, especially for technical audiences.

01:05:09   Home screen. Home screen.

01:05:14   Unlock screen. Two words. Because then you're describing

01:05:18   a screen, unlock screen, home screen, you know, that's what kind of... what screen is that?

01:05:26   I would say also, here's my funny thing, is when I was at MacUser in the 90s, we didn't call them

01:05:34   screenshots. We called them screen dumps, which is funny because people would say things like,

01:05:43   seriously, would say things like, "Can you take a dump of that?"

01:05:46   So then I went over to Macworld and I said, the first time I said screen dump at Macworld,

01:05:54   the editor looked at me like I was a monster, basically.

01:05:58   Yeah, because that is a monstrous thing to say.

01:06:00   We call it a screenshot. Yes, yes, it's a much better thing to say. Don't call it...

01:06:05   Kids, don't call it a screen dump.

01:06:07   No one's going to. This isn't a PSA you need to provide. Nobody was doing this,

01:06:12   except you, all the way back in the 90s.

01:06:14   Brian asks, "When do you think we can expect an update to the Kindle Oasis,

01:06:20   and what new features would you like to see, Jason?"

01:06:23   Oh man, we're gonna have to get Scott McNulty back to talk about Kindles.

01:06:26   Oh, that's a deep cut.

01:06:28   Woo! We did that.

01:06:30   Honestly, Brian, listen to Brian.

01:06:35   It's Brian Hamilton.

01:06:37   It is. The Kindle Oasis, which I love, which is the high-priced expensive Kindle,

01:06:44   I assume they're going to update it. I struggle to come up with things that

01:06:50   Amazon needs to do with the Kindle hardware, other than that they should put physical turn buttons on

01:06:56   all page turn buttons on all Kindles, because page turn buttons are good,

01:06:59   and you shouldn't have to tap the screen. You should be able to press the

01:07:02   button to go forward and backward. It's just, it's better. It's nicer.

01:07:06   But, um, I, so I don't have a lot. I would say always making the screen nicer is better.

01:07:13   Always make the screen nicer. That's, that's my number one thing.

01:07:17   I still think that the font rendering on the Kindle isn't very good.

01:07:19   Like, even now, I don't think the font rendering on the Kindle is very good. I have a

01:07:24   Kobo e-reader and the font rendering is so much better on that.

01:07:30   So I don't know whether this is just, you know, I think they're using the same kind of screen.

01:07:35   So I think this is a, an Amazon rendering problem, but I would say always improve the screen.

01:07:41   I'd like a clearer, prettier screen and, you know, increase the battery life, I guess,

01:07:46   but I don't really care. It lasts a week. Um, having it be light is always good.

01:07:52   Like, I feel like the Kindle is already pretty great. So I would hope that, especially the Oasis,

01:07:57   which is the high end one, I would hope that they would just keep bringing those features down

01:08:00   to the cheaper Kindles because I think Kindles are great and they should be cheaper.

01:08:05   And I'm actually disappointed. I thought we would reach the point where

01:08:08   Amazon would essentially be giving away Kindles to Prime members because they want to sell books.

01:08:14   And I'm disappointed that what they've instead done is they give away

01:08:19   books that I don't want to read to Prime members as a way to sell Kindles. It's not right, Amazon,

01:08:26   that you do, you went the wrong way there, but, um, that's what I want is I want, and they've done

01:08:30   a pretty good job. Like the base Kindle is way better than it, than it ever used to be. Um,

01:08:37   so keep it up. But, um, the Oasis, I honestly, I don't know what they could do with the Oasis.

01:08:42   I look forward to seeing it. Um, the last thing they did was like add kind of the color temperature

01:08:48   adjustment, which is just such a minor feature. Like it's already waterproof. It's already got

01:08:51   page turn buttons. I'm very happy with my Kindle. I'm not sure what Amazon could do to get me to

01:08:57   buy a new one, but you know, Amazon probably does. So.

01:09:00   >> What about color? Would color be something you would be interested in?

01:09:04   >> Color E Ink kind of isn't there. Like color E Ink is a thing, but it kind of isn't there. And

01:09:10   I just read text. I actually want them to avoid color as much as possible because I don't, I'm

01:09:16   not really interested in degrading my reading experience in order to get some color. Cause

01:09:20   I'm not really in it for the color and the size of Amazon's Kindles, like the, the color you like,

01:09:27   it's not good enough for comics or something like that. So I guess you could have, like,

01:09:30   if there were photos and things, you could see them in color.

01:09:32   >> Oh, do you remember the Kindle DX, the big one?

01:09:34   >> Yeah. >> Wow. That was silly.

01:09:36   >> You know, I think the way color E Ink works is that you can do it, but it's at a lower

01:09:40   resolution. So you'd, you'd, you'd click through from text to a picture page and the picture would

01:09:46   be color, but kind of crappy. And then you'd go back to the high resolution text the next time.

01:09:51   I'm not sure it's worth it, but I'm open to it. I love, I love the e-reader, you know, format.

01:09:57   I love it. It's not, um, the problems that the e-readers have is mostly the software and not the,

01:10:03   not the hardware. So I, I, I look forward to whatever Amazon send, you know, puts on

01:10:10   sales. So I buy one because that's almost inevitable, but, um, I'm a little doubtful.

01:10:15   >> Ryan wants to know, do we think the AirPods Max are destined to have the same fate as the HomePod?

01:10:22   >> Oh, destined. Don't ever believe destiny. Um, I think I'm going to say,

01:10:34   I'm going to say yes. >> I'm going to say yes too.

01:10:40   >> I think the AirPods Max, they may survive, they may become something else, they may get cheaper.

01:10:46   But my concern is that they're over-engineered and overpriced. And then when Apple wants to lower the

01:10:50   price, they're not going to be able to, and they're going to end up saying, well, we're going to do a

01:10:55   new AirPods Max or a new something that's, that's, uh, more, uh, cheaper over ear headphones. Yeah.

01:11:04   That this will have been too high end for what Apple wants to do.

01:11:08   >> I think they made a series of mistakes with this product that they would have to change. Like

01:11:15   the case, you know, everyone hates the case and it is a bad design. They are on the heavy side

01:11:20   and maybe that isn't the best. Um, I was having a lot of battery drain issues. They did just

01:11:27   release a firmware update. I think it has improved it for me, which I'm really pleased about because,

01:11:31   you know, I was having these two pretty big problems, right? Where it was like,

01:11:35   my home pods were driving me mad with the TV thing and my AirPods Max driving me mad because

01:11:40   the battery kept dying. Uh, and I think they fixed the home pods Max thing, uh, the AirPods Max thing.

01:11:46   But ultimately for everything we said about the home pod, I think the AirPods Max will suffer

01:11:51   the same fate purely because as well, the other AirPods are so good and so popular. And they,

01:11:56   like that's, that's even a thing they don't have on the HomePod Mini. HomePod Mini has been doing

01:12:00   well, but it is not the level of success that the AirPods have. And I could imagine very quickly

01:12:06   in a meeting of prioritization that cut that product is getting cut straight out.

01:12:10   Ioki asks, with regards to your criticism of the Paramount Plus app, do you think Apple made a

01:12:18   mistake by pushing streaming video services to create their own apps for Apple TV instead of

01:12:23   making them go through an Apple controlled interface? Uh, no. And the reason is that they

01:12:31   don't want to. All you would have on the Apple TV is Apple TV Plus if that was the route that

01:12:37   they took. Cause none of these companies would have wanted to do it. There are companies who

01:12:42   would rather be in the warm embrace of Apple. And I feel like Apple essentially has provided them a

01:12:48   template. I mean, you could, my understanding is you can build an Apple TV app fairly straightforwardly

01:12:52   if you use the base stuff, it's all about modifying it. The old Apple TV was like that though, right?

01:12:59   And the challenge there is that it isn't a development priority and it's very generic.

01:13:03   And like, if they want to do anything that Apple hasn't foreseen, they just can't do it because it

01:13:08   doesn't fit in what Apple wants to do. So I think that in a perfect world where Apple's presence on

01:13:17   and the Apple TV was so important and so dominant that Apple could bend everybody to their wills,

01:13:24   maybe, but that's not the case. This could only have been the case if the iPod never existed,

01:13:29   because it was, this was the whole thing at the time and Apple have continued to suffer this

01:13:35   issue in certain areas today. Apple so controlled the music industry for a period of time

01:13:42   that none of these large companies like media companies would trust Apple, right? Like,

01:13:48   it's the same as the news plus type stuff, like irrespective of the deals and the cuts,

01:13:54   you don't want to lose your entire business to somebody else because they end up just controlling

01:14:01   the entire market, right? Like it's like a newsstand. Newsstand never took off for this

01:14:06   reason. iBooks never took off for this reason. Like none of these companies wanted to become

01:14:11   what the music industry became and companies, like we talk about this all the time, companies like

01:14:17   their own experiences. Yeah, that's the truth of it. Even if they're bad, yeah, even if they're bad,

01:14:25   they want to control them. Yeah, they want to control all of that and so Apple created this

01:14:31   idea where they share data with them so you can have the TV app and it launches those apps,

01:14:35   but also giving them the kind of power to do their own thing. So my realistic answer is I don't think

01:14:43   it's a mistake because I don't think it would have worked out for them. What Apple should have done,

01:14:48   and I don't know how they would have done this, is to try and make the TV app more appealing.

01:14:53   That's what they should have done. Found some way to do something, some kind of data sharing

01:14:59   thing or whatever, to make the TV app more appealing to more people, like to more companies.

01:15:06   I don't know how they could have done that, but I think they didn't do that. But ultimately, Netflix

01:15:12   needs to have a Netflix app, YouTube needs to have a YouTube app and they need to make them and they

01:15:16   need to look the way that they want because, again, irrespective of what Apple believes or irrespective

01:15:21   of what we believe, these companies think that the best UIs are the ones that they make. Yeah,

01:15:25   that's why they make them. And finally today, Andy asks, "Can you recommend a keyboard similar to

01:15:31   Apple's USB keyboard that was before the Magic Keyboard?" Andy, there is a company for you and

01:15:36   it's called Matias. Matias' whole thing is making keyboards that look like the various stages of

01:15:46   Apple's keyboard design and function similarly. So I think this is the closest you're going to get to

01:15:54   that style, right? The thin aluminium keyboard with the white keycaps is what I assume they're

01:15:59   referencing. Matias' keyboards, these are the ones, this is the keyboard company that makes these

01:16:07   types of products. Yep, they've got a whole aluminium keyboard line that is very much inspired

01:16:13   by that last generation Apple keyboard. Yep, and if you want something that is like, what are the

01:16:19   the root, like that big one that everybody loves, the popular one that everybody loves. Tactile Pro.

01:16:24   Yeah, they have all of those. They've got these keycaps that are like Alp's clicky keyboard

01:16:29   caps like the original Apple Extended and all of that. And they make those in various shapes and

01:16:36   sizes. I mean, they're all really big, which is why I don't use, I have one, but it's enormous.

01:16:42   And I don't like how enormous it was. They need to really change their design, but I guess it works

01:16:48   for them. If you are interested in hearing Jason and I talk about keyboards in more depth, if

01:16:55   that's your bag, that is what we spoke about in our Upgrade Plus segment today. That's what we have

01:17:01   for you. Would you say we discussed that with more travel? Unbelievable. Yes, okay, we can say that.

01:17:09   If that's how you want to try and sell this to people, yes, we can say it's that. You can go to

01:17:14   getupgradeplus.com and you can sign up. And not only do you get additional content for every episode

01:17:20   of Upgrade every week, the episodes are also ad-free and you get lots of other wonderful

01:17:25   benefits for being a Relay FM member, including, which is my favorite, the Relay FM members Discord

01:17:30   you have access to that. It's a wonderful place to spend so much time there every day. It's just full

01:17:33   of great people talking about all some stuff. So go to getupgradeplus.com and you can sign up.

01:17:38   If you have already signed up, thank you so, so much. We really, really appreciate it.

01:17:43   I would also like to thank ExpressVPN, Dev and Think, and Spokes for their support of this

01:17:48   episode. And of course, thank you for listening. If you'd like to find Jason online, you can go to

01:17:52   sixcolors.com, the incomparable.com. Jason also hosts many shows here on Relay FM as do I.

01:17:59   And talking about shows here on Relay FM, let me take a moment to tell you about another one

01:18:04   that you might want to check out. And that is Material. It is hosted by Andy Anatko and

01:18:07   Flores Ayon, who are both veteran technology journalists who have plenty to say about what's

01:18:12   going on at Google. If you want to follow Google's journey, find out the latest in Chrome OS,

01:18:17   in Android as well. Go and check them out at relay.fm/material or search for material,

01:18:23   I guess, and follow Material wherever you get your podcasts. I host many shows here at Relay

01:18:29   FM as well. You go to relay.fm/shows to find something new from your list. Start with Material,

01:18:35   maybe there's some more. I think that's it for this week's episode. Oh, we're also on Twitter.

01:18:41   Jason's Jason L. I'm iMyke, I am YKE. Are we on Clubhouse, Jason? Is that a thing? No. No.

01:18:48   No, I have, you know, I've never, I joined one room once and I opened the app, but I never find

01:18:54   anything that I want to listen to. Maybe that's my fault. I don't know. Get a lot of notifications,

01:18:58   though, for things I'm not interested in. There you go. You got to turn those off. You can turn

01:19:02   those right off. I think that was one of the first things I did. Maybe that's my problem, though.

01:19:05   I don't know about anything. Who knows? We'll be back next time. Until then, say goodbye, Jason

01:19:11   Snell. That was me typing goodbye, Myke. That was nice. I like that.

01:19:17   [Music]

01:19:23   [Music]