341: Pale Shade of Fun


00:00:00   [Music]

00:00:08   From Relay FM, this is Upgrade, episode 341, and today's show is brought to you by TextExpander, Bombus, and DoorDash.

00:00:18   My name is Myke Hurley and I'm joined by Jason Snell. Hello, Jason Snell!

00:00:21   Hello, Myke Hurley, how are you?

00:00:23   Happy March to you!

00:00:25   Happy March- it's March again!

00:00:26   We're back here again!

00:00:28   Hmm...

00:00:29   I have a #SnellTalk question for you.

00:00:32   For you-

00:00:33   For you- I did it again, I said "from you" again.

00:00:35   For you, from Landon, and Landon wants to know, "Jason, what is your favorite breakfast cereal?"

00:00:41   Um...

00:00:42   I feel like we might have done this before, but I'll just say it again.

00:00:45   Cap'n Crunch, Cap'n Crunch, apostrophe N, Cap'n Crunch is my favorite, sort of like, traditional- I never have it,

00:00:54   because I don't really eat kid cereal. I rarely eat cereal.

00:00:58   When I do eat cereal, it's something boring that an adult would eat, like...

00:01:02   I think Multigrain Cheerios is my current-

00:01:06   We bought, like, the store had one of those sales where it was, you know,

00:01:10   "Buy five boxes and get the sixth box free," and I sort of shrugged and was like, "Well, I'll eat it eventually."

00:01:16   Now I have six boxes of cereal I don't want.

00:01:18   Cheerios, yeah.

00:01:20   But that's, you know, Cap'n Crunch is classic.

00:01:24   There are others that I liked, but I think that was my favorite.

00:01:27   And I know that's very controversial.

00:01:30   Why?

00:01:31   But...

00:01:31   Oh, a lot of people don't like it.

00:01:33   It's got this texture where some people, like, say it kind of scrapes the roof of your mouth, and it sort of does, but it's-

00:01:40   I love that flavor, and that was my favorite.

00:01:42   How else are you gonna feel alive in the morning, Jason? You know?

00:01:45   That's right. It's like a little brush with death, but with sweetness, and you combine them together,

00:01:50   and that's part of this complete breakfast.

00:01:54   That's the Cap'n.

00:01:56   Cap'n. Don't forget it.

00:01:57   One day he hopes to be an admul-

00:01:59   [laughter]

00:02:01   If you'd like to send in a question to help us open an episode of Upgrade,

00:02:05   just send in a tweet with the hashtag #SnailTalk, or use question mark #SnailTalk in the Relay FM members Discord.

00:02:10   So on the last episode of Connected, me and Federico were talking about Spotify HiFi,

00:02:16   which is something that was announced while we were recording last week,

00:02:19   which is Spotify's high fidelity audio streaming tier that they're gonna be unveiling at certain points.

00:02:26   Spotify HiFi.

00:02:27   Spotify HiFi.

00:02:28   Spotify Fi.

00:02:29   Spotify Hi.

00:02:31   And me and Federico had this conversation, and you wrote an article about it as well,

00:02:35   basically saying that Apple are kind of behind here,

00:02:39   and I figured that you might wanna touch on that this week.

00:02:41   Yeah, I mean, I loved your conversation with Federico.

00:02:43   He's somebody who cares about high quality audio.

00:02:45   I like what he said, which is like, basically, don't at me about high quality audio being imperceptible and what that-

00:02:50   he enjoys it.

00:02:51   And my Macworld article, I wrote a little thing about how I realized I kind of probably needed

00:02:56   to explain how lossless audio compression works.

00:03:01   So very briefly, the idea that low bit rates, you can tell-

00:03:06   I can tell on 128 MP3s, I could always tell the symbols,

00:03:11   all the high shimmery stuff sounded flangy and weird, and I'd be like, "That doesn't sound right."

00:03:16   I think most people, for most people, the bit rates on streaming services now,

00:03:21   if you're not paying for Spotify and you're getting Spotify free,

00:03:24   you're getting a low bit rate, and it sounds terrible.

00:03:26   But to me, and my satellite radio in my car sounds terrible to me because it's a very low bit rate.

00:03:32   But Apple Music streaming and Spotify is using a similar bit rate.

00:03:37   I think they're using a higher bit rate, but it's MP3 instead of AAC, so they're about the same quality.

00:03:42   But some people like higher resolution.

00:03:44   They say they can tell the difference.

00:03:45   They want CD quality or they want even higher resolution than that, and they will-

00:03:49   And so services have started to add high quality audio as an upgrade plan for people who want it.

00:03:58   And I think Federico's point of "Don't @ me about this" is good

00:04:02   because my point in my article was it doesn't matter if you use it.

00:04:07   It doesn't matter if you care about it.

00:04:09   What matters is that Apple is the only remaining music streaming service

00:04:17   that doesn't have a high quality option, and that looks bad.

00:04:23   That's it. It looks really bad.

00:04:24   It is a war of features, and every article written about comparing music services now is going to say

00:04:32   Apple doesn't offer a high quality option.

00:04:34   And that leads to this perception that Apple Music is low quality, which it isn't.

00:04:38   I get it. It isn't.

00:04:40   Believe me, I get it.

00:04:42   But it's one of these things that is a marketing issue. It's a perception issue.

00:04:49   I guess literally and figuratively a perception issue

00:04:53   because some people can perceive the sounds and other people can't.

00:04:56   But I have been meaning to write an article about this for a while

00:04:59   because I felt like Apple had a real opportunity here with the spatial audio stuff that they've been putting in AirPods,

00:05:09   which is all for movies. It's multi-channel audio for movies and TV because they offer multi-channel audio.

00:05:16   And then Apple processes it and does spatial processing and it sounds really great.

00:05:21   And I used to buy, I mean, I bought like five of them.

00:05:26   It wasn't around that long, but in the early 2000s, there was this DVD audio and Super Audio CD kind of format thing,

00:05:33   and it failed, but the idea there was that it was high bit rate audio, but also multi-channel audio.

00:05:39   So like a 5.1 mix of your favorite album.

00:05:44   And so Amazon is experimenting with this.

00:05:48   It turns out they've got some Dolby Atmos things that they're doing that are,

00:05:52   I think, maybe even like a demo with Dolby to try to sort of bring this technology back in the streaming context.

00:06:01   But that would be a way for Apple to push the ball forward a little bit and say,

00:06:05   "We're going to not just do a high quality tier, we're going to use the spatial audio feature in your AirPods

00:06:12   to make a music experience that's even more immersive, right? Like, and sell that."

00:06:17   Which strikes me as a very Apple thing to do.

00:06:19   So I wonder if they'll do that, but it feels like they have to do something

00:06:23   because right now they're just sort of sitting there using essentially iTunes Plus quality audio streams,

00:06:31   which are fine, but the perception is that they're the only, literally the only service that doesn't offer a quality story.

00:06:42   And that's not a place you want to be if you're Apple.

00:06:44   Even if nobody or most people don't care about the quality or can't tell the difference,

00:06:51   it just, from a marketing standpoint, it looks really bad to have, to be the one that doesn't have a story to tell about that.

00:07:00   I mean, for me, frankly, it just comes down to if you're the company that sells what is publicly perceived as overpriced audio gear,

00:07:08   you should have an overpriced high-end audio streaming service.

00:07:11   Yeah, right? I think that that's the truth of it.

00:07:14   And if, again, I don't know, they may be working on this,

00:07:17   but knowing about the existence of the multi-channel audio stuff

00:07:21   and finding out that Amazon's been experimenting with the Dolby Atmos thing,

00:07:26   it feels like there's a real path here for Apple to do the most Apple-like thing

00:07:29   and not just say we're going to do high-quality stream,

00:07:32   but to say we're going to do this amazing program where we're going to offer,

00:07:35   if you pay a little bit extra, you get all of these at enhanced quality.

00:07:41   You get some other stuff at enhanced bitrate.

00:07:44   You get some stuff that's going to be even, it's going to blow your mind

00:07:48   because it's going to be spatial audio with Dolby Atmos.

00:07:52   There's a story to be told here, which sounds very much like a story that Apple would tell.

00:07:58   So I hope they do it because as somebody who has those,

00:08:02   you know, handful of 5.1 mixes of albums that I like,

00:08:06   I don't listen to them often because I usually listen to music while I'm working.

00:08:13   But when I want to have, and it's sort of what Federico does,

00:08:17   right, which is the sit-down kind of I'm going to experience music kind of thing,

00:08:22   sit down and listen to music.

00:08:24   Yeah, I will put those on.

00:08:26   And it's great because like your the vocal is coming out of the center speaker in my in my home theater at home.

00:08:35   And the music from the right and the left and there's part of it that's coming from behind me

00:08:39   and I'm kind of inside the music and it's pretty cool.

00:08:41   And I've played some of those as movies that are not movies,

00:08:46   right on using spatial audio on the AirPods Pro.

00:08:51   And they don't, you know, they don't sound quite as impressive,

00:08:55   but it still sounds pretty good and different.

00:08:57   And again,

00:08:59   having a spatial component like that to music beyond the just sort of stereo tracks that are standard,

00:09:04   right, left and right is again,

00:09:08   it's not for everyone.

00:09:09   It's kind of a novelty.

00:09:10   It's probably not something that's ever going to be taken super seriously by most people,

00:09:15   but it would give Apple an opportunity to tell a story about how high quality they are and how committed they are to quality and music and etcetera,

00:09:23   etcetera.

00:09:24   And I think they need to do that now given what Spotify has done.

00:09:27   All right,

00:09:28   let's do some upstream headlines,

00:09:29   which is where we touch on some of the things going on in the world of streaming media.

00:09:33   Those who chose to believe were right.

00:09:37   Jason Sudeikis last night picked up best actor in a comedy at the Golden Globes.

00:09:42   It was Apple's only win.

00:09:43   They only had two nominations.

00:09:44   It was their only win.

00:09:46   Or did they have three?

00:09:47   But that name maybe had,

00:09:49   but it depends on how you looked at it.

00:09:50   At last it was also up for comedy and didn't win that one, which was not surprising.

00:09:54   But I think,

00:09:55   I think this is the,

00:09:56   this was the most logical result that it would be a Jason Sudeikis win and they got it,

00:10:01   which is great for Apple.

00:10:02   Like that is that,

00:10:03   yeah,

00:10:03   and it goes,

00:10:04   it also is funny,

00:10:05   right?

00:10:05   Like all of the talk that we had,

00:10:07   I mean,

00:10:07   they did win.

00:10:08   They won a Golden Globe last year too,

00:10:09   right?

00:10:10   For Morning Show.

00:10:12   So,

00:10:13   and the Golden Globes are silly and not to be taken seriously,

00:10:16   and I'm sure they want to win an Emmy and all of those things are true too.

00:10:19   But they're in like August.

00:10:23   Yeah,

00:10:23   they're a totally different time because Golden Globes are tied to basically the Oscar race and then they also throw in TV.

00:10:28   Right,

00:10:29   right.

00:10:29   Whereas the Emmys is,

00:10:30   is at a completely different time of year because it's traditionally sort of timed for the old-fashioned American TV Network season structure.

00:10:37   So it's yeah,

00:10:39   it's a thing.

00:10:39   But this is,

00:10:40   it's also funny,

00:10:41   right?

00:10:41   Like the idea that the Ted Lasso show is the,

00:10:45   is now like,

00:10:47   Apple's first two big awards are the Morning Show and Ted Lasso.

00:10:51   Like,

00:10:51   I mean,

00:10:51   this is not surprising now,

00:10:53   but it was surprising when they were putting together what their slate of shows was going to be.

00:10:56   That it shows you just quite how Ted Lasso really has taken off as a word of mouth kind of show.

00:11:03   And I've heard a lot of people,

00:11:05   I'm sure you have too,

00:11:07   talk about how they're using their Apple,

00:11:09   they bought an Apple device and it gets them their free Apple TV Plus time and they're using it to watch Ted Lasso because they heard so much about it.

00:11:15   I'm hearing that a lot.

00:11:18   I'll say like they were,

00:11:20   lucky is not the right word,

00:11:22   but like,

00:11:23   you know,

00:11:23   because Schitt's Creek,

00:11:25   you know,

00:11:25   they,

00:11:25   that they were who I thought would probably pick it up like with Eugene Levy.

00:11:30   Well,

00:11:31   Eugene Levy sure would have been in that category because Catherine O'Hara won for best actress and it also won for best show.

00:11:40   So,

00:11:41   you know,

00:11:41   there was a possibility that they were going to do that again,

00:11:43   but I think that shows to the,

00:11:47   you know,

00:11:47   just the quality of Sireikis' performance,

00:11:50   right,

00:11:51   that they wanted to give him it.

00:11:52   And I mean,

00:11:53   I don't know if you've watched it,

00:11:54   but it did not,

00:11:55   he did not look like he thought he was going to win that.

00:11:57   He was not prepared for a speech.

00:12:00   It was kind of funny really,

00:12:02   which I think is kind of cute in its own way.

00:12:04   Like it was a tough category,

00:12:06   I think.

00:12:07   And I'm pleased he won it because it was a show deserving of it.

00:12:11   And again,

00:12:12   like we've already seen Apple put a ton of money and effort and work behind this show and I think it's going to continue.

00:12:22   There was something kind of funny.

00:12:23   I watched some clips of a like a press thing afterwards and someone asked him about merch.

00:12:31   They want like,

00:12:31   this is like a why aren't you wearing a,

00:12:34   like why aren't you wearing a jersey of the team?

00:12:36   And he's like,

00:12:37   well,

00:12:38   as soon as Sony and Apple,

00:12:40   and I think one other company can come to some kind of agreement with want to do it.

00:12:44   So what it seems like is merch is a thing that is wanted for Ted Lasso,

00:12:49   but it's getting stuck somewhere.

00:12:51   Ah.

00:12:52   It's probably in who owns it,

00:12:54   right?

00:12:54   I would expect like who owns who would own those rights,

00:12:58   but I really want merch.

00:13:01   I wanted to just note while we were talking about Apple TV,

00:13:04   I'm up to date on For All Mankind now,

00:13:06   no spoilers.

00:13:07   It's really good.

00:13:08   I like the first two episodes.

00:13:10   Yep.

00:13:11   And there was something that I kind of,

00:13:13   when me and Adina were watching it last night,

00:13:15   we were saying the guy who plays Gordo,

00:13:18   Michael Dorman.

00:13:20   I really hope this show is a big break for him because he's such a good actor.

00:13:24   So he's the guy who also played the lead in Patriot.

00:13:28   Yep.

00:13:28   Sad spies.

00:13:29   And I,

00:13:30   you know,

00:13:30   this is obviously a big role for him,

00:13:33   but because of the way this show is structured,

00:13:35   I can't imagine he's in it past season three,

00:13:38   because they're doing these like decade jumps.

00:13:41   Sure.

00:13:41   Like all of the actors are going to age out of this show faster than they would

00:13:46   otherwise.

00:13:47   And I just think he's such a good actor.

00:13:50   I hope that this gives him his next big role as well because he's so good at everything.

00:13:55   I've seen him in.

00:13:57   Yeah,

00:13:57   and he really does the kind of messed up guy who's trying but is so broken.

00:14:03   So well,

00:14:04   there's a moment in a,

00:14:06   because I'm ahead.

00:14:07   I'm because I got secret secret for all mankind access.

00:14:12   I've been.

00:14:13   Oh,

00:14:14   yeah,

00:14:14   I've been testing these episodes for a little while.

00:14:17   And anyway,

00:14:19   there's an,

00:14:20   there's a scene later on in the season a little bit where where I literally expected him.

00:14:26   Somebody asked him how he's doing and I literally expected him to say pretty good.

00:14:31   That's what the character in Patriot says and listener.

00:14:34   If you haven't seen Patriot,

00:14:35   he's not doing pretty good.

00:14:37   He's never doing pretty good ever.

00:14:42   But that's what he always says.

00:14:44   So by the way,

00:14:45   Patriots on Amazon two seasons could go watch it.

00:14:48   Yeah,

00:14:48   if you have for all mankind is also mankind and you like the character of Godot.

00:14:54   You need to watch Patriot because it's it's absolutely just a fantastic show.

00:15:00   And I think and don't let the name again.

00:15:03   The name should be sad spies.

00:15:05   That is a more accurate depiction of what it is.

00:15:07   It is some sad very sad spies.

00:15:09   There is no patriotism in this show.

00:15:12   No,

00:15:12   not really.

00:15:12   No,

00:15:13   it's it's not.

00:15:14   This there's some misguided patriotism in it.

00:15:16   I guess is the what the title really is.

00:15:18   But the the it's a bits like I can't think of the right word,

00:15:23   but it's it's a it's like a misnomer like that.

00:15:26   Yeah,

00:15:26   the title purposefully CBS all access is becoming Paramount plus and Paramount plus is we've got a bunch of more

00:15:35   information about it.

00:15:36   This was a streaming service that we knew was coming.

00:15:39   This is from Viacom CBS,

00:15:41   but they are net they had their kind of day where they spoke about here are all of our plans and here's all of our content.

00:15:47   And quite frankly,

00:15:48   they got something pretty good going on.

00:15:50   So it's launching in March 4th in the US.

00:15:53   This is another service that I'm not sure is ever going to make its way to the UK.

00:15:58   $4.99 for the ad supported tier,

00:16:00   but that's coming in June.

00:16:01   The the ad free tier is $9.99 and that also include live sports and news.

00:16:07   But CBS all access is going to become Paramount plus and if you exist and subscriber you get your price kind of grandfather

00:16:14   in they have a huge back catalog of shows and movies with some new and original content.

00:16:19   They are doing a new Star Trek project every quarter.

00:16:23   So this is taking the Disney approach here.

00:16:25   If they've got a really popular.

00:16:27   Yeah,

00:16:28   it's not like new Star Trek every week,

00:16:31   but they announced they had a as part of their roll out of this that they want to have a new set of Star Trek dropping every quarter.

00:16:40   They have five shows in production right now,

00:16:42   which is kind of mind boggling to think of but they actually do have five Star Trek shows in production to animated three live action and more that are in development.

00:16:53   And the news item here that I thought was interesting and there was a lot of animated.

00:16:58   Series news because again,

00:16:59   they these streaming services they want to appeal to a broad audience.

00:17:02   They want parents to have content for themselves,

00:17:05   but also for their kids.

00:17:07   They were developing Nickelodeon Star Trek show.

00:17:11   So a show that was going to be on the Nickelodeon cable channel for kids animated series and their announcement last week is that that's actually going to premiere on Paramount plus first

00:17:24   and will later air on Nickelodeon.

00:17:26   And I thought that was an interesting little window into again the priority of these companies that are launching these streaming services to say the streaming service gets to eat first and then the network can follow.

00:17:38   So they want they want to have that as one of their Star Trek shows and also it allows them to bulk up their animated catalog,

00:17:45   which is also great for fans of Avatar the last Airbender and Korra Legend of Korra because they're going to like make a whole franchise out of those on Paramount plus to

00:17:55   they're creating Avatar Studios to create a series of films and TV shows in that universe.

00:18:01   They are they're actually doing the Frasier revival is going to star Kelsey Grammer.

00:18:06   This has been something rumored for a long time.

00:18:09   So far Kelsey Grammer is the only person set to be in the show reprising his role of Frasier.

00:18:15   If he is not a podcaster, I quit everything.

00:18:19   If Kelsey Grammer is not a podcaster, I do not know what they're doing with themselves over at Paramount.

00:18:24   It's like that's what it should be right?

00:18:27   Like it seems like such a perfect fit.

00:18:29   I will be so mad if they don't do that.

00:18:32   Frasier the podcaster and then the Italian Job, Flashdance and Fatal Attraction are all getting TV shows.

00:18:41   So an interesting mix of stuff they got over there.

00:18:43   There was also I saw as well because you know Paramount they own a lot of great movies like The Godfather and they're going to do like a behind the scenes documentary of The Godfather type thing.

00:18:53   Well, it's you know, a lot of this stuff is going to flop right a lot of the franchise everything franchise all the things is going to flop but I I think maybe you got to try it because one of the things that we've talked about in upstream for over the years is the value in having a franchise that draws people to your service.

00:19:16   And the only way you can get that access to that franchise is to be on your service.

00:19:22   And so they got Star Trek which is good like this is our conversation with mostly about Apple not having something like that.

00:19:27   So Apple has to build things up from the ground up which they can do but it is going to be longer and harder than like Disney being like,

00:19:34   hey Marvel Star Wars and you're like,

00:19:36   okay,

00:19:37   got it get it got it Disney Disney movies Marvel and Star Wars sold and at least CBS all access now Paramount Plus is going to say Star Trek,

00:19:44   but they're like but more we need more of those things.

00:19:48   So yeah, I don't do I think that the Flashdance franchise is going to make it on Paramount Plus probably not but you never know Cobra Kai seemed like a real eye roller real head scratcher.

00:20:03   And that was on YouTube and now is on Netflix and has actually been successful and that's like,

00:20:08   why are we reviving the karate kid again?

00:20:12   But you know,

00:20:13   they they did a pretty good job at least,

00:20:15   you know,

00:20:15   a good enough job for it to be successful and get multiple seasons.

00:20:20   So probably worth the try but most of them it'll be like,

00:20:25   oh,

00:20:25   that was a terrible idea to revive that or reboot that and nobody wants to see it,

00:20:29   but they may they may happen on something that will work.

00:20:35   And Disney announced and finalized a bunch of release dates for some shows.

00:20:40   They're just a couple that I wanted to mention because I'm excited about them.

00:20:42   The Falcon and the Winter Soldier will be coming on March 19th,

00:20:45   which is good.

00:20:46   So there'll be a short break between one division ending and the next Marvel show Star Wars the bad batch comes on May the 4th.

00:20:53   Of course Loki is coming on June 11th,

00:20:57   which is a I believe is a bit of a delay for Loki then when it's expected.

00:21:02   So there'll be a longer gap it would seem between the Falcon and the Winter Soldier and that then there was one division in it and their monsters at work,

00:21:09   which is the Monsters Inc show which I didn't know is actually not following the title characters of Monsters Inc.

00:21:17   It's like a new character but set in that world in between Monsters University

00:21:23   and Monsters Inc is where it's set.

00:21:25   But that's coming in July.

00:21:28   All right.

00:21:30   Yeah, it's I don't expect that there will be literally a Marvel or or Star Wars premiere every single week on Disney Plus.

00:21:37   I feel like you could do that.

00:21:39   But it's not going to be especially now that the pandemic has really changed schedules.

00:21:44   It's going to be a little more Rocky than that.

00:21:45   But I think the goal is like again going back to Paramount Plus Star Trek every quarter sort of makes sense,

00:21:50   right if you if every Star Trek show was 13 episodes long it would be one a week,

00:21:56   but it's not and they're not and it's okay right like their goal is to basically make it very very hard for you to cancel because there's nothing coming for six months,

00:22:06   right that's the that's the idea Disney will probably want to be like.

00:22:09   Every six weeks there's going to be either a Marvel Star Wars or Pixar show.

00:22:15   Yeah, and if you throw in the bad batch, which is you know,

00:22:17   it's Star Wars and it's animated and so it's not going to appeal to necessarily the same people who are watching the Marvel stuff.

00:22:22   But like they're getting to the point where they're having premieres basically every week and of original series and that's a that's really good.

00:22:30   Like I think again the catalog we've talked about this so much the catalogs important for some people and it's nice to have the catalog there.

00:22:39   But providing an impetus for people to open your app and watch an episode and then like see what else is there like it's good to provide that impetus

00:22:47   and also to make people not be able to say well,

00:22:50   I'm just going to cancel Disney Plus for a while because I'll come back in six months and watch more Disney movies was like,

00:22:57   oh, but that new Marvel show and then you Star Wars show like it's important to have that strategy

00:23:02   and Disney has finally gotten there and it's going to be very powerful for them.

00:23:08   So I wish I wish Paramount Plus luck in doing the same.

00:23:13   It's going to be a harder thing for them.

00:23:15   But although I kind of like that service it's I've had CBS all access for a while because of Star Trek,

00:23:20   but like they've been slowly importing all the Viacom stuff,

00:23:24   which is what makes this thing Paramount Plus and being able to get like Stephen Colbert is great.

00:23:30   Now you can also get The Daily Show with Trevor Noah on there and they're going to do a weekly show as well.

00:23:37   That's like an extra topical thing with Trevor Noah like they're putting some money into that kind of stuff

00:23:45   and Viacom's got a lot of interesting a lot of interesting channels that they're putting in the mix.

00:23:49   So it's going to be a much CBS all access was okay,

00:23:52   but Paramount Plus will have a pretty interesting set of content.

00:23:57   They're going to have to find their way but it's it's I don't know.

00:24:01   I think there's a lot to be said for it.

00:24:03   This episode of Upgrade is brought to you by our friends at Smile and we'll talk to you about about TextExpander.

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00:25:37   So we have some new Mac rumors, Jason.

00:25:41   So the first one is related to the MacBook Pro.

00:25:44   So you remember back in January, Ming-Chi Kuo reported that the next MacBook Pro's would have more ports,

00:25:50   but we didn't know what they were going to be. Kuo followed up last week by saying that two of the ports

00:25:56   that will be returning of a HDMI and SD card slot.

00:26:01   Now SD card, I'll say that felt like a lock, right?

00:26:05   Like that one kind of felt like that's probably one that's going to come back

00:26:09   because there isn't really anything to replace it because of the way that you pull stuff from an SD card, right?

00:26:15   It's not like with USB where ultimately USB-C is going to replace USB.

00:26:21   If you needed to take stuff off of an SD card, you were always going to be using a dongle

00:26:25   if there's no SD card slot on the side of the laptop.

00:26:27   Or a USB card to connect to the device and read it off the device via USB,

00:26:33   which is what I mostly do and is a pain.

00:26:37   It's a MacBook Pro, right?

00:26:38   Like I know that a lot of people are like, "Well, I don't use an SD card.

00:26:43   What's that for?"

00:26:44   But it's like the story of pro media people using a MacBook Pro and getting media off their cards,

00:26:50   their video cameras, and their big fancy cameras,

00:26:55   and other equipment like us with podcasters having audio recorders,

00:26:59   like telling that story that media pros want an SD card slot for the MacBook Pro,

00:27:05   like it's a little, it's really a little slot.

00:27:10   And it tells the story of listening to pros, right?

00:27:14   The classic narrative we heard from Apple for the last like four years,

00:27:17   which is we're listening to our pro customers.

00:27:19   SD card fits directly into we're listening to our pro customers.

00:27:23   I don't anticipate the MacBook Air is going to get an SD card, right?

00:27:26   But the MacBook Pro, yeah, I could see it.

00:27:29   HDMI is interesting to me.

00:27:31   Now, my assumption is HDMI is to help people connect to like projectors and other screens at the workplace.

00:27:40   Right.

00:27:40   Yeah, no, it's presentation, right?

00:27:43   It really is just having a universal plug to present on a TV or a projector.

00:27:50   I think that's the story there, which is a different kind of pro workflow,

00:27:53   but I think it is a legitimate pro-ish like business professional in that case.

00:27:57   But and you know, one of the things we've talked about here repeatedly is at the importance of Apple maintaining space between their products.

00:28:07   I'd like that.

00:28:08   iPad Pro and the iPad Air are perilously close together.

00:28:12   And the MacBook Pro and the MacBook Air, the M1 models are almost identical, right?

00:28:17   Almost identical.

00:28:19   So, you know, if you push it apart and you're like,

00:28:22   well, if you want to do you plug into HDMI to do presentations a lot?

00:28:26   Do you use an SD card a lot?

00:28:28   Well, you need the MacBook Pro then.

00:28:31   Pretty clear.

00:28:31   It kind of feels like that is like a real tangible difference, right?

00:28:35   Like the MacBook Pro is the laptop that has the ports on it.

00:28:39   That's the thing, right? And it's like you know if you're the type of person that needs them and that might be enough for you.

00:28:48   I'll say for me personally, the SD card slot I don't really use that much, but I wouldn't, you know, it's like whatever.

00:28:57   I just put it on there.

00:28:57   I might, I could see myself maybe using it in the future.

00:29:00   I've used them in the past.

00:29:01   It's not wild.

00:29:02   HDMI, I don't really feel like I need it.

00:29:06   Like for my own, you know, it's like it's fine that it's there.

00:29:09   Like for my own personal usage, like I would airplay to my TV or whatever and but HDMI is fine.

00:29:15   What I personally would want the most though is at least one regular USB port.

00:29:21   That's what I want.

00:29:22   USB A?

00:29:23   Yes.

00:29:24   Yeah, I don't think that's going to happen.

00:29:25   No, neither do I.

00:29:26   But this is like my dream scenario would be like two or three,

00:29:29   maybe three USB C and one USB A just because there's just so much stuff still that I'm dealing with which is regular USB.

00:29:37   So here's here's my argument against that which is most USB devices that you're attaching have cables and you just change the cable.

00:29:44   Right, but that's not always something I have right like this isn't necessarily all my stuff right like I'm innocent like in the same way that you would find yourself in a scenario where you need a HDMI port.

00:29:56   When you could conceivably use a different cable or dongle.

00:29:59   I'm making the same argument but for USB A.

00:30:02   Right, right.

00:30:03   I get it, but I feel like it's a lower priority because in many cases people things are shifting over to USB C and I had just have a hard time seeing Apple go that far back like that.

00:30:15   That would be wow.

00:30:15   Oh, I don't think they're going to do it.

00:30:17   I'm not asking for it.

00:30:19   It's what I would want right like if I was choosing my own.

00:30:22   Yeah, I'm on stage and he's like and and look at this great USB A port.

00:30:26   It's just like the one in the iMac that we rolled out in 1998.

00:30:30   The future.

00:30:32   Right, but I don't think you know, it's like putting HDMI on it to just be like look we know that we've heard from our customers that people in work settings need HDMI and you can say the same for you as well.

00:30:41   That's that is how they do it.

00:30:43   I just I have a hard I think that would be that's the toughest the toughest ask of all of these is

00:30:48   Be a tough compare that one.

00:30:49   Retreat it would be the toughest of all compares.

00:30:51   To compare that giant port to the Svelte little USB C's and I think there is a size issue here too because it does take up so much space.

00:31:01   But you're right.

00:31:02   I mean there is a I your argument is not unreasonable.

00:31:06   I think it's less of an issue maybe than the others, but I think it is it's still there.

00:31:14   Can I can I share my my theory by the way because this is something that I feel like we haven't gone into yet.

00:31:20   And there was an ask upgrade.

00:31:22   I think that we didn't answer about it.

00:31:25   Which is my theory about magsafe.

00:31:26   I just want to throw it in while we're talking about this which is we're talking about ports on new max.

00:31:32   Maybe I have mentioned this before I'm just throw it in there though.

00:31:34   I I really want to see that magsafe port that is recommended or that is rumored.

00:31:40   I want it to do data that for me.

00:31:43   That's the trick with that one because then you get an extra port you get an extra USB port that magsafe port is actually.

00:31:49   Also a data port it does power and data via USB C,

00:31:54   but it uses the magsafe connection to attach to it.

00:31:57   And if you do that, then you've got an extra extra wait.

00:32:00   I'm confused.

00:32:01   Can you explain this to me?

00:32:02   I'm not a hundred percent sure what you're saying.

00:32:04   This is what old magsafe just did power right?

00:32:06   So what I'm saying is new magsafe does power and data so you can use it as a if you let's say that there's an apple designed monitor.

00:32:15   Right that has some ports on it, right?

00:32:18   Instead of attaching one plug for power and one plug for data like they used to do.

00:32:24   They just have a magsafe and you plug it in and now it was going to drive that monitor and power that laptop.

00:32:31   What data you were sending from the wall socket, but now I understand what you're saying.

00:32:35   This is the thing right is that you could also use it for other stuff like especially in a docking station kind of thing,

00:32:41   but it gives you an extra USB port.

00:32:43   I don't again do I think do I know they're going to do that?

00:32:46   Well, of course not but it would be cool and it would allow them to say the magsafe is more than it used to be.

00:32:51   You're asking that magsafe is is basically thunderbolt with magnets.

00:32:58   Yeah, that's right.

00:32:59   Yes.

00:33:00   Yes.

00:33:00   It's like thunderbolt but with magnets because then you would free up a port or two on the laptop itself,

00:33:06   right?

00:33:07   You could even you know,

00:33:08   depending on what you've plugged what you've got plugging in you've got more going on for you.

00:33:12   And I think the docking station thing is probably the reason you do something like that

00:33:16   because otherwise as somebody who used to have a thunderbolt display and plug the laptop into it every day.

00:33:22   You have to plug in power and data in order to get those ports on the back of the of the monitor to work.

00:33:30   You have to connect it to the computer and they use a different path.

00:33:36   So you have to plug in two things because they provided like a magsafe on the thunderbolt display.

00:33:43   So what if they could do that with one plug because you could I mean,

00:33:48   there's nothing intrinsic about magsafe that means that it only has to be power.

00:33:53   It really is a connector.

00:33:55   So why not make it a USB obviously an Apple proprietary USB C connection

00:34:03   and ideally if they do that they would also make it that it wasn't wired hardwired into the power brick

00:34:09   but was just magsafe on one end and USB C on the other end.

00:34:14   And then you know,

00:34:16   you've basically got another USB C port if you want it that does just like existing USB C does power

00:34:23   and data maybe I don't know throwing it in there.

00:34:29   Moving on to the iMac Jon Prosser is reporting that the next iMac will be coming with color options.

00:34:36   Quick sidebar.

00:34:38   I just want to say I don't really like Jon Prosser's style.

00:34:41   I find him to be aggressive and it doesn't match and I don't I don't like it.

00:34:45   And his track record has been spotty but he does get some stuff right

00:34:49   and this report this report is interesting to talk about.

00:34:52   I think in the same way that the AirPods Pro discussion

00:34:56   like the AirPods 3 discussion was interesting from last week.

00:34:59   So I want to talk about it, but I just want to say that because there's like a new I don't know.

00:35:06   Maybe this is making me an old man Jason.

00:35:08   I don't know but there's like a lot of like newer people that are leakers,

00:35:12   which I don't know why we needed a new word,

00:35:14   but we do they're leakers not they don't report rumors they report leaks

00:35:19   and there's like a weird culture in this new group of people

00:35:25   and Jon Prosser is one of these people and he has accurate information.

00:35:29   He also has a lot of not accurate information,

00:35:32   but I just don't like the way he presents his information.

00:35:35   But nevertheless the colors that are suggested to be included as the options

00:35:42   for these IMAX are silver, space gray, green, sky blue and rose gold.

00:35:48   So it's effectively a mixture of some of the colors we've seen on iPads

00:35:53   and the AirPods Max the report from Prosser states that these colors are expected to trigger nostalgia

00:35:59   for the iMac G3, which I just think is wrong.

00:36:01   I think that that's a misunderstanding of nostalgia

00:36:07   because these aren't the colors of the iMac G3.

00:36:10   In the sense that colored iMacs haven't happened since then I guess but beyond that no.

00:36:15   I think if Apple were doing it to trigger nostalgia, they would choose different colors.

00:36:21   I think they're doing it because they if they're going to do this

00:36:24   it's because they've been putting these colors on their products.

00:36:28   I don't think that it is to make people feel nostalgic for the iMac G3.

00:36:32   And I don't like these colors.

00:36:35   Mostly they're very pale.

00:36:38   They're not very bright.

00:36:39   I think they're boring.

00:36:42   I like that Apple's doing colors.

00:36:43   These are not the colors that I would choose.

00:36:45   I think that they're really timid and not that interesting.

00:36:48   If you like them great like we don't have to agree on that.

00:36:50   But I don't particularly like them and they certainly don't.

00:36:53   I would be bummed out if these are the colors because it's like I've been wanting color for so long.

00:36:57   And I mean, this is like a thing.

00:36:59   I have not enjoyed the colors of the iPads or the AirPods.

00:37:02   I don't like the colors that they've had like the aluminium colors.

00:37:06   They're way too pale for me and they're not vibrant enough.

00:37:10   I'll be into the black one.

00:37:11   I'll get the black one, right?

00:37:13   Like because I just think that that will probably look cool.

00:37:16   But it would just be a shame to me to not get.

00:37:19   Honestly, the iPhone colors are better, right?

00:37:24   Like some of the more recent iPhone colors are better than the colors we've seen on the iPads and stuff like that.

00:37:30   So I would hope that if they were going to do it, they would maybe go back to some of the colors we've had on iPhones more recently.

00:37:37   Not necessarily this way around.

00:37:39   I wouldn't mind the blue of the Pro.

00:37:44   It's a better blue than they've done on some of the blue on the iPad.

00:37:49   Like the blue on the iPad doesn't even look blue.

00:37:52   You know, so but what do you think about this though?

00:37:56   Do you do you personally think that they will have the iMac come in colors?

00:38:02   I don't know. I've been advocating for colors on Macs for a long time.

00:38:05   And so I think it would be great and these colors would disappoint me.

00:38:09   But I do think they should do colors.

00:38:11   Do I think that this is the time?

00:38:13   I don't know.

00:38:13   I mean, I feel like they could have done it years ago and they haven't bothered.

00:38:17   So is now the time?

00:38:19   Maybe like if it's a real redesign where it's a new iMac adding colors in it is a selling point.

00:38:28   They can say, hey, remember the iMac started with colors and now we have colors again,

00:38:33   even if the nostalgia isn't what I'd say,

00:38:36   but they could use that as a as a story point for these to say we're bringing fun back or whatever.

00:38:41   We're bringing a very pale shade of fun back to the iMac.

00:38:45   But maybe the nostalgia thing if they are going to do it is that they're going to force it right where it's like,

00:38:51   you know, the original Mac had this and now it's a new generation for the Mac with Apple Silicon.

00:38:57   So we're bringing colors into it, you know,

00:38:59   and that's like that's not nostalgia at that point huge you're forcing me to feel a thing.

00:39:03   But I think they I think they could and they should I I think these colors are that are rumored are unfortunate.

00:39:10   If they're matching the colors that we've seen and in fact that there's a there was a mock-up that's using a

00:39:15   it's like using an old Apple display basically as a proxy for a iMac.

00:39:19   It seems to me but looking at that mock-up.

00:39:23   I was like, give me the space gray like which is me.

00:39:26   This is me talking who is very excited about color being kind of like not impressed with those particular colors.

00:39:34   I'm not sure. I'm not sure color on an iMac really works.

00:39:37   Anyway with the the way that you use it and you're staring at it.

00:39:40   You're not taking it out into the world and most of the color space would be on the back.

00:39:44   It's not like the iMac where the side panels were super brightly colored.

00:39:49   And so there was there was color where it wherever you looked at it.

00:39:51   This is like the back of your iMac has a color

00:39:55   and then maybe a little bit on the front not that

00:39:58   I mean there's another reason why it doesn't really strike the nostalgic tone that it's it's kind of hidden away.

00:40:03   Whereas laptops are where the color really could shine.

00:40:07   Yeah, and that's where I want to see it processor also shared some supposed details in the smaller Mac

00:40:13   Pro saying that it will look like three to four Mac Mini stacked on top of each other compute unit on the bottom big heatsink on the top.

00:40:22   Okay. That's kind of how I felt about this like I don't know man.

00:40:27   I could have said that like I that this I wanted to just share that as like an additional thing.

00:40:31   Maybe it will look like that. It would be kind of boring.

00:40:33   If it looked like that if it just looked like four Mac Pros stacked on top of each other.

00:40:37   I don't think that would go in it. That's what I meant.

00:40:39   So for Mac Pros would be imagine the horror of all of those circles.

00:40:43   Yeah, I mean that would be the most boring design they could do.

00:40:50   Yeah. I don't know.

00:40:53   I don't know. I think I think you Apple can be predictable.

00:41:00   But I think you predict future Apple designs by essentially taking an existing Apple design

00:41:07   and stretching it at your peril because Apple very rarely does that like they could do that because they're playing with the same sort of design language.

00:41:16   They could do that. But I think there's usually another story there like the I'm the Mac Mini works as it is,

00:41:25   but a tall Mac Mini not sure that makes sense,

00:41:29   but I guess I guess we'll find out if this product ever actually exists.

00:41:34   Do you think they are going to do it? You can put money on the table right now.

00:41:39   Well, I mean the I'm not entirely sure whether this is another source

00:41:44   or whether it's literally the echo chamber of Apple rumors going on here because if if this is not the echo chamber,

00:41:51   then it's like okay. Well, there's some momentum building here,

00:41:54   but the momentum may just be the echo in the echo chamber.

00:41:59   I I think German sources are very good.

00:42:03   I don't know about prossers because like you said he's been spotty.

00:42:08   German sources say this is happening.

00:42:10   And so I think I'm inclined to believe that there is something going on here,

00:42:16   but Apple could always change direction and what the sources leak is not always the whole story of something.

00:42:22   So whether this is like a new Mac or what this is the new take on Mac Pro or they're doing like a this is the the Apple Silicon Mac Pro,

00:42:31   but they're going to keep around the other Mac Pro like there's a lot of a lot of questions here.

00:42:36   And how many how many Pro Max do they need?

00:42:41   But you could also argue that this is basically the Pro Mac Mini essentially

00:42:46   and that they're they're going to do the low-end Mac Mini.

00:42:49   That's the M1 and then they're going to create this Pro Mac Mini and that there's room for it.

00:42:53   I don't know like this is a product. They don't need to make they only need one Mac Pro.

00:42:58   And so either they're doing this because they have something very particular to say

00:43:02   or because they're going to be moving the other Mac Pro out the door.

00:43:05   I feel like but I don't know. It's a perplexing thing because it would be a really different move for them.

00:43:12   But in the Apple Silicon universe, maybe like this product,

00:43:15   maybe this product makes sense for them. Maybe this product showcases everything that they have been doing with Apple Silicon in terms of higher-end processors

00:43:25   and that they really want to put an enormous amount of processing power in a small container.

00:43:33   Because you know a Mac Pro that you can get into and deal with all the you know stuff on the inside.

00:43:41   You know Apple doesn't love that right like they do it because they have customers who want it.

00:43:45   But you know Apple doesn't like that right Apple wants everything to be sealed and perfect.

00:43:50   That's what they want. So this rumored thing feels much more like an Apple product than the Mac Pro,

00:43:58   but they made the Mac Pro. I don't know.

00:44:01   It's I'm really looking forward to seeing because there's a change here.

00:44:04   It's like Apple saying like we want you to be happy for developers

00:44:08   and pro users and all that kind of stuff. We want you to be happy so we'll make this Mac Pro.

00:44:12   But we would be happy if you were happier with something where you didn't have the expandability.

00:44:18   So what if we make that right like if we can make something that makes you happy

00:44:23   and it makes us happy we're all happy and that could be what this smaller Mac Pro is.

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00:46:39   So Twitter last week had an investor day and at their investor day,

00:46:45   they had like a little presentation and they announced some upcoming features

00:46:48   and one of the things that they're working on is something called super follows.

00:46:53   Now, this is Twitter's first foray into asking people for money.

00:46:57   It's not the one I think we were necessarily expecting like I think most people assumed

00:47:02   they would have some kind of thing where you would pay the money

00:47:05   and there will be no ads anymore. What Twitter are going to be doing instead is basically rolling out

00:47:11   a creator focused monetization system

00:47:14   wherein you pay people you follow to get access to special content.

00:47:19   So in their slides, they showed some examples of some of the perks that could be added to the system.

00:47:24   It was $4.99 a month was the amount that was being charged

00:47:28   and some of the perks included bonus tweets.

00:47:30   So these are tweets that are otherwise hidden to non paying followers.

00:47:34   You would get a supporter badge on your profile,

00:47:36   you know, maybe it says like I support at JSNL or something like that.

00:47:40   Or maybe there's like a little zipline or something.

00:47:43   You could get newsletters and Twitter's bought that newsletter company review

00:47:47   and that this is one of the perks for that something called Community access,

00:47:51   which maybe thinks maybe you could tie into Discord like they would have a thing

00:47:55   that if you're a super follower of a certain person,

00:47:58   you can get access to a Discord which is kind of like what Patreon does.

00:48:02   And Memberful do it as well.

00:48:04   So that's who we use for our membership system and it ties people in

00:48:07   and it checks who's a paid member that kind of stuff. Also fleets,

00:48:11   which is their stories. They looks like they're basically an Instagram close friends type things.

00:48:17   You can have super followers fleets and access to join into conversations in Twitter spaces.

00:48:22   So super followers would be able to actually say hey, like join into a conversation.

00:48:27   So there isn't a timeline on this feature going live yet,

00:48:31   but it's in development at Twitter. They're clearly comfortable with the idea being out there,

00:48:35   right? If you show something like this, everyone's going to write about it.

00:48:40   There's no idea of the money yet.

00:48:43   They're not actually saying how much someone can charge. Like do you set the price?

00:48:46   Are there tiers? And also they're not talking about, you know,

00:48:50   how much money anybody's going to make because no creator using this feature will make $4.99

00:48:54   a month from a user because there's going to be an App Store cut.

00:48:56   There's going to be a Twitter cut. I expect it to be kind of like Twitch,

00:49:00   which would mean on $4.99 you'd make like a $1.50 or $1.60 per user.

00:49:06   So in kind of one move here, Twitter's going after a bunch of companies.

00:49:11   Like Substack, Patreon, Clubhouse, Twitch, YouTube in a way.

00:49:16   YouTube have their own kind of like behind the scenes type thing.

00:49:19   And I think that there's something smart here because creators and personalities have spent years encouraging

00:49:24   their audiences on other platforms to follow them on Twitter so they can share what they're up to.

00:49:29   Now these creators can offer these audiences more access to them

00:49:34   than they could get before. What do you think of all this, Jason?

00:49:38   I think it's good that Twitter is trying things because they should have been trying things a long time ago

00:49:43   and have done very little.

00:49:46   Interestingly, they addressed this. Jack Dorsey addressed this exact thing at the beginning of the call

00:49:52   and said that like, we know we've been slow. We have not kept up the pace that our competitors have.

00:50:00   And we've spent a long time over the last year or so changing a lot of our business

00:50:05   and a lot of our architecture to make sure that we're not going to be like that anymore.

00:50:09   I think their audio thing is a good example.

00:50:12   And the groups that they suggest, like groups is such a good idea.

00:50:16   I think it's a good fit within Twitter that you can have sort of like little sub-conversations among people in a group.

00:50:23   That's obviously, it's Twitter's version of Facebook groups or whatever.

00:50:26   But like I think Twitter is a community. There are communities on Twitter right now.

00:50:30   Everything is organized by hashtags or their messy threads.

00:50:33   If you could clean that up and make that a part of the service,

00:50:36   I think that could be, or of the service, that would be an asset to Twitter.

00:50:42   The clubhouse feature, right? Audio conversations or whatever.

00:50:46   Well, yes, this goes with what we were saying last time about clubhouse.

00:50:51   Like the biggest peril for clubhouse is that clubhouse, casual audio chats and stuff,

00:50:56   it's a feature, not a service. And that if you put it on somebody else's social graph,

00:51:00   like Twitter or Facebook, you've got it.

00:51:03   Like does clubhouse need to exist at that point?

00:51:06   So I think it's smart for them to do that.

00:51:09   The supporter thing I think is fascinating.

00:51:11   And you know, the internet, everybody wants to say everything's like it's brilliant or it's terrible.

00:51:16   And it's never either of those things usually except for Quibi, which is terrible.

00:51:20   I think it's a good idea because I think there are some people who will,

00:51:27   you know, their primary interface with people is Twitter.

00:51:30   And so getting support for like premium Twitter from that person is like their best move.

00:51:38   And then they get all these other features along with it, theoretically.

00:51:42   That said, there are a lot of us out there who have already put our membership stake in the ground somewhere else.

00:51:48   And I think that's going to be a challenge for Twitter is that they've,

00:51:51   a lot of their great creators on Twitter have already built something somewhere else.

00:51:58   And the way I read this is Twitter wants this to be a thing that they control,

00:52:03   that Twitter is the interface, you pay Twitter, they kick it back,

00:52:07   and you get all of this access to stuff.

00:52:10   And I have a lot, so first off, you're asking people to either abandon their other membership thing

00:52:15   or to make a second membership fork that is offering different things, which is weird.

00:52:23   I'm unclear on the concept of like, they're like, "Well, we can also do Substack. We're going to let you do a newsletter."

00:52:29   It's like, all right, Twitter is building a newsletter interface like Substack?

00:52:34   Are they really doing that?

00:52:36   It surely can't be close to best in class, right?

00:52:39   It's probably going to be not as good.

00:52:42   I also worry that it's going to be, "Here are your tweets for the week," which is not a thing.

00:52:46   No, no, it's like a full-on like write a new--

00:52:49   Substack.

00:52:50   Yeah, they bought, the company that they bought was called Review.

00:52:53   Okay, so they bought someone who does it.

00:52:55   Okay, that makes sense.

00:52:56   So this is my thing, though, is like, okay, so somebody new starting out who wants to do a newsletter

00:53:02   can now do it through Twitter instead of Substack,

00:53:05   and the question is, what is the financial deal there, right?

00:53:09   Like, what is the financial deal?

00:53:11   Is it more money, less money, same money as Substack?

00:53:16   Because combining your social media following that is driving your membership,

00:53:23   with also having the newsletter be rolled right in there, you know, maybe it's competitive,

00:53:28   but we would have to see the quality of the tools, and we have to see what the money is.

00:53:31   As you said, it may be way worse than something like Substack and not worth it,

00:53:37   but it's possible that it could be something interesting.

00:53:40   My problem with it is I've already got, you know, through Relay, through The Incomparable, through Six Colors,

00:53:45   I've got all sorts of existing membership stuff that we built ourselves on top of Memberful,

00:53:50   that's the provider that we use, and so, you know, Twitter is not going to give me access to Twitter features, right?

00:53:57   It would be, unless they offer something where I like, I pay them for access to their API or something like that,

00:54:03   basically, I can't go to Twitter unless I shut down my other things,

00:54:06   and Twitter's not going to provide the level of service, almost certainly, that something like Memberful does to me.

00:54:14   You don't have to shut down other things, because it depends on what people are paying for, right?

00:54:18   So, like, because, you know, you've mentioned, right, Six Colors, you know, upgrade memberships,

00:54:25   and you've also got The Incomparable. People are paying for content, right?

00:54:30   I know some people pay to support, but some people pay for content.

00:54:33   The problem is it's the same...

00:54:36   So, for example, this weekend, CGP Grey did a video release.

00:54:40   His Patreon post had two links to videos on YouTube, one of which I could see,

00:54:46   and the other of which said, "You must be a member to view this."

00:54:49   And I don't know if he's... I don't know the details there, but my point is,

00:54:53   the challenge, especially if you're an individual creator of stuff, is if you...

00:54:58   You can either say to your supporters, "You just have to keep paying in different places,"

00:55:03   or you have to say, "You can pay there, you can pay here, you get the same stuff,

00:55:08   but now you are, as the person behind it, you have to fulfill them,

00:55:13   and that means you now have to do this thing over here because only Twitter people get that,

00:55:17   and you've got this community over here that's different, and you don't want to leave them out."

00:55:23   And I can set my price over here, but can I set my price over on Twitter,

00:55:28   or do they just have a standard $4.99 a month and that's it?

00:55:32   Because that is a limitation too. So anyway, my point is, I'm fascinated by this.

00:55:37   I think it's great that Twitter is trying to do this because there are people for whom this is the perfect fit.

00:55:43   But I've also got a lot of skepticism that in the beginning here,

00:55:47   it's going to be a very particular set of features that will work for a very particular subset of people,

00:55:53   and not everyone else, and that if Twitter is serious about being in this business,

00:55:58   they're going to need to... Maybe it's all my years following Apple,

00:56:02   when Apple makes big claims about stuff and entering a new category,

00:56:06   but the danger is that you sweep in and say, "Oh, we are going to change this,"

00:56:11   and boom, here we are with the first iteration, and then they just let it sit there.

00:56:15   And I look at this and I think, "Well, this is a great start to Twitter,

00:56:20   but you will need to do a lot more for this to be a serious contender in this area."

00:56:25   But you're right, it is a good start, and if they would have done something like this some time ago,

00:56:30   I think we'd all be using it. But as you say, at this point,

00:56:35   I think everybody... A lot of content creators are over-indexed in the ways that you can support them anyway, right?

00:56:42   There's a lot of options.

00:56:43   I'd love to be able to offer my members a perk of being a super follower on Twitter,

00:56:48   but that's not going to happen, right?

00:56:50   No, because that doesn't make any sense.

00:56:51   Because Twitter wants their money.

00:56:53   Yeah. So, like, you know, I'm not going to say I won't do this,

00:56:58   because at some point, Twitter might come up with some feature that it does make sense for me,

00:57:02   but with the current set of features, I just don't have content that I think I could offer you, right?

00:57:08   There are also a lot of people who are like, "What they do is Twitter."

00:57:11   Yeah.

00:57:12   And what they do is like threads and pictures and whatever on Twitter accounts,

00:57:15   and that is, they don't have another platform.

00:57:17   No.

00:57:18   And for them, I think this is fantastic.

00:57:22   But also, I think a lot of people that have tried and have tried to launch a Patreon

00:57:26   and what they do is this kind of stuff, moving to Twitter's platform would make sense,

00:57:31   because it's going to be more integrated and it's going to be easier for people to support you

00:57:36   for the thing that they know you for, which is like your Twitter jokes or your Twitter commentary, right?

00:57:42   But for most people, you know, like the financials of Patreon are going to be way better than this,

00:57:49   because, you know, like Twitter is an app that exists on the App Store, Patreon exists on the web.

00:57:56   So, Patreon, you're only dealing with Patreon's cut.

00:57:59   You're not dealing with Apple and Google's cut as well, right?

00:58:03   So, you know, you're going to, you lose money there, right?

00:58:06   Everyone's going to lose money there.

00:58:08   But like, you know, I think it's important to remember for a lot of people that there is the content thing.

00:58:14   So, like I started doing Twitch and Twitch has its monetization thing and I have that stuff on

00:58:18   and some people choose to support the Twitch streams directly,

00:58:21   but they may also be relay members and they're getting content through there.

00:58:25   But like, I just don't feel like I as a creator right now have something to put into the system

00:58:32   that I would suggest people to pay me for, right?

00:58:35   But if we didn't have a membership program,

00:58:38   maybe I would do that for the people that would want to support me just because they enjoy all of my stuff, right?

00:58:44   Yeah, yeah, yeah.

00:58:46   No, I think it's really interesting.

00:58:47   Like, again, I don't have a yay or nay here other than to say they should have done this a long time ago,

00:58:52   because honestly, so many, not all, but so many of the Patreons and Substacks and things that are out there

00:59:00   have been dramatically improved by Twitter marketing of those personalities.

00:59:07   And Twitter got completely cut out of that because they weren't there with their own approach

00:59:13   until sometime this year when they arrived.

00:59:16   So they kind of blew it, but I still think there's opportunity for them here.

00:59:21   Yeah, I think Substack probably stands the most to lose here of all of the companies that I mentioned earlier.

00:59:27   Well, yeah, so here's the thing about Substack, which is it's good.

00:59:33   My impression, I subscribe to a couple of Substacks, but it's a newsletter, right?

00:59:39   Like, that's the thing is it's like Clubhouse, a feature.

00:59:44   It's a feature, not anything more than that.

00:59:48   It's not even a social network, although they're sort of trying that.

00:59:50   It's like, it's not, it's a feature.

00:59:51   It's, it's, Substack is, is a, is like blogger.

00:59:59   It's literally a content management system and a, an e-commerce system attached to each other.

01:00:06   That's all it is.

01:00:08   And so they're getting by with the, with the, the, the name of it, the quality of their tools

01:00:16   and the fact that they've got investor money to prepay a bunch of star creators to go to Substack

01:00:22   in order to kind of boot the thing up.

01:00:24   But Substack is replicable literally everywhere else.

01:00:28   Yeah, and especially as you say, when Substack, like creators and writers, their marketing tool is Twitter.

01:00:35   So like, right, we just cut out all of the middle clicks

01:00:39   because you lose so many people by sending them somewhere else to sign up for a thing or click a thing,

01:00:44   or like having that into their carton or whatever.

01:00:47   I already love their tweets.

01:00:48   Now I get all their tweets plus their newsletter and it's all in one place on Twitter.

01:00:51   Like not everybody has a Twitter user.

01:00:53   That's the other part of this is like, but if you're not a Twitter user, it's probably, it'll probably still work, right?

01:00:57   You probably go to a newsletter's Twitter.

01:01:00   You'll have a link that you can go to, to sign up for the newsletter and pay for it.

01:01:04   And you'll also get Twitter whatever, but you don't have to use Twitter for that.

01:01:09   And that'll probably work.

01:01:10   And, and you're right.

01:01:11   It is a Substack competitor.

01:01:13   And yeah, I think it's, we're getting very, we're in, we're in Ben Thompson's world now.

01:01:17   He writes about this stuff all the time, but like my take on this is that,

01:01:23   although Twitter missed a huge opportunity here,

01:01:26   if Twitter is a thing that is driving engagement for people who are,

01:01:30   who are building this stuff and then selling subscriptions for it,

01:01:34   then it would be a natural place for you to move your stuff.

01:01:39   If the, if the whole package is better than what's offered on something like Substack.

01:01:43   I'm skeptical that what they've offered here,

01:01:46   what they, what they've announced is so limited that Substack creators are going to be like,

01:01:51   I'm going to make way more money over here than over there.

01:01:55   The Twitter's taking more because it's giving you the sheen of having a magic Twitter account

01:02:00   now that people can follow and super follow and all of that.

01:02:03   And that that is, they're taking more money off the table.

01:02:08   They're reducing your flexibility and all those things,

01:02:10   but I don't know, the opportunity there,

01:02:13   if they follow through and they listen to what, what customers want out of them,

01:02:18   it could be pretty big and it could be threatening to Patreon and Substack and others.

01:02:24   Because, you know, what I was saying earlier about the money difference,

01:02:28   like again, you would make more money as a Substack creator than a Twitter super follow person.

01:02:37   But it's again, it's about like, but what is your total addressable audience?

01:02:42   You know, could you make it up in volume, that old phrase.

01:02:45   Right.

01:02:45   But there is a, but that's like a genuine thing here for something like this.

01:02:49   When if they're going to offer the same features plus more features

01:02:54   that could potentially entice more people, like you might not,

01:02:58   so you know, you might not be able to say to someone like, hey sign up for my newsletter.

01:03:02   They might not want that.

01:03:04   But if they sign up for my newsletter plus these extra tweets plus we can talk in spaces,

01:03:09   they might be like, yeah, okay, you've solved me.

01:03:11   Right.

01:03:11   And so like it's, I think for people that are in this world specifically,

01:03:16   I think it's going to be quite a interesting tool

01:03:21   and quite a difficult decision to make.

01:03:24   I think.

01:03:25   I think you're going to see a period of time

01:03:26   where people have their Substack newsletter

01:03:29   and their newsletter which is provided by Twitter super follow feature,

01:03:33   right until they've decided which one they want to, they want to stand by.

01:03:38   But yeah, it's definitely interesting

01:03:41   and I'm definitely pleased to see Twitter leveraging what they are good at to not just make themselves money,

01:03:50   but to get their creators paid.

01:03:52   Now, we, you've talked a little bit about how this is similar to what Twitch does

01:03:56   and I want to flip it around and say one of the interesting things that they could do is

01:04:00   they could still offer the Twitter Pro as a user.

01:04:03   I pay Twitter money and I get some features from it.

01:04:06   I imagine that one of the things you might get out of that is the ability to super follow.

01:04:11   Twitter Prime.

01:04:13   Right?

01:04:14   Yeah.

01:04:14   Yeah, because this is if you were an Amazon Prime subscriber,

01:04:18   you get one a month a credit to give to a Twitch channel that you like

01:04:23   and you get all of the benefits of being a subscriber to that Twitch channel.

01:04:28   And that's a very good point that I hadn't thought of because it's still like,

01:04:31   will they do some kind of Twitter Pro where they remove ads?

01:04:33   Well, they could also do that and give you one credit as Jason says

01:04:37   and you could throw that credit to someone and get all of the features like that you get for one month,

01:04:43   which is also like for what is good for Twitch Prime is it's also a taster of that experience for a channel

01:04:51   and you might want to then support it.

01:04:52   So very interesting.

01:04:54   This interesting time for this kind of stuff.

01:04:57   Again, it would have been better in 2017 or 2015,

01:05:01   but at least Twitter I use Twitter all the time.

01:05:05   I like Twitter a lot.

01:05:07   It's got its issues, but you know,

01:05:08   I find great value in it and I'm happy that they have finally gotten to the point

01:05:15   where they realize they need to do stuff like this.

01:05:19   It's not all going to be good.

01:05:21   A lot of it might be bad.

01:05:22   I don't know but not doing anything is not a solution.

01:05:27   So I'm glad they're trying.

01:05:28   I hope they bring these features to the API as well.

01:05:31   So everyone can get them.

01:05:32   Yeah.

01:05:32   Well, I think that's I actually think these go hand in hand.

01:05:34   So for people who don't know there was this long period where Twitter basically said we decided we want to own everybody in our app

01:05:40   and we're going to reduce access to our API for third-party apps

01:05:45   and you know, basically third-party apps buzz off and they never really quite buzzed off like Twitterific

01:05:50   and tweetbot are still out there, but it was a dark time.

01:05:55   And now there's a new Twitter API and theoretically those apps

01:06:01   and I guess tweetbot now does support this can be can work with the new API for Twitter

01:06:08   and create a modern Twitter experience that they've never had access to

01:06:13   because the old API is very old.

01:06:15   It doesn't doesn't support even things like polls,

01:06:17   right? It just doesn't support any feature Twitter has added in the last many many years.

01:06:23   So I assume that part of this whole thing is the new API that what they want to do is give access to all of these new features to the new API to get apps on the new API

01:06:38   because now Twitter has ways to make money.

01:06:42   The access to the API isn't free so that they get money from the app developers

01:06:47   and they've got money happening in the app in terms of super followers and other stuff.

01:06:51   And so yeah, my my expectation is that these new features will roll out in their API

01:06:57   and that means that third-party apps will get to support them too

01:06:59   because this is a lot less interesting to a lot of us if you can't use it in a third-party app.

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01:08:39   Let's do some #askupgrade questions to finish up today's episode.

01:08:45   Brayden asks, what is your opinion on anti-malware for Macs?

01:08:49   Now just before you answer.

01:08:51   When I put this question in I felt like I knew your answer

01:08:54   and I've known your answer for years on this.

01:08:56   I just wondered if it's changed in any way.

01:09:01   Uh, not really.

01:09:03   Not really?

01:09:04   Because there does seem to be more problems these days.

01:09:08   But I guess the problem with a lot of this software is

01:09:12   it does so much bad to your computer in its own ways.

01:09:15   Like anti-malware and anti-virus solutions, especially on Macs, they don't seem to add much.

01:09:20   But I do feel like I'm seeing more and more stories of like this exploit, that exploit.

01:09:25   Do you feel like you see more of them, but it just doesn't change your opinion on it?

01:09:29   There's absolutely, there is absolutely evidence that suggests that there are more attacks happening on Mac computers

01:09:37   than ever before.

01:09:40   That there are malware authors who have decided that the Mac platform is a big enough target that it's worth targeting it.

01:09:51   Um, I, it certainly hasn't reached the point now where I look at it and think

01:09:58   everybody should buy anti-malware software.

01:10:01   There's some free anti-malware software that you can run if you're worried.

01:10:06   Like I think Malwarebytes offers a free version.

01:10:10   But the truth is I think that there's, I think there's more fear

01:10:17   because it's still relatively rare than there is an actual need for this for most people.

01:10:22   Like, and the danger also is that a lot of this stuff, when the new stuff comes out,

01:10:27   so first off, Apple has a layer where they actually do kill stuff that's bad.

01:10:32   There's new stuff that comes out that Apple hasn't yet marked as bad that a lot of the malware stuff also hasn't marked as bad.

01:10:40   And then so there's a, there's a window where the malware can get on there.

01:10:43   But if you have a malware software and it gets updated and they find it, you know, so it can, I don't know, it can have value.

01:10:49   I have never run it and it's never at the top of my list to recommend to other people

01:10:54   because I think it causes issues with your computer.

01:10:57   It's more work on your computer and it probably doesn't,

01:11:01   you're probably not going to get anything like that.

01:11:04   That said, some people, I mean, like if I had a relative who clicked on,

01:11:15   I did actually have this once with my sister, who clicked on one of those, like, you know,

01:11:20   "You have a problem, click here to download things" that is on the web that deploys malware.

01:11:25   I would probably guide those people into running anti-malware software

01:11:30   because I feel like the biggest way you get malware on a Mac is somebody who doesn't understand what they're seeing does something that they shouldn't.

01:11:39   But, you know, and I make, I make all the malware people very angry when I say this,

01:11:43   but it was like, the truth is I've used a Mac for ages and I don't use malware software.

01:11:47   And I don't think the threat has risen to the point where everybody should get it.

01:11:53   There are people who probably, if you're taking care of their computer life and, and they're,

01:11:57   you don't think they're trustworthy that you might want to just load some malware software on there because they may do bad things.

01:12:02   But I do think that it is worth watching this because if this trend continues, it may become necessary.

01:12:10   Like there's a story out there about how, oh, it's the first M1 malware in the field.

01:12:16   Like that was a big deal. Like it's not like literally, it's fine.

01:12:20   The Intel malware will still run in Rosetta.

01:12:23   It's like, I'm not sure it makes any difference, but it is a trend and it is a worrying trend.

01:12:30   And, and so it's worth, it's worth keeping our eye on it.

01:12:34   And if you administer computers, whether it's an institution or, or for your friends and family, it's worth watching.

01:12:42   But like personally as a Mac user, I'm not really interested in it.

01:12:47   And I am not willing to make a recommendation that people use it.

01:12:51   And it's very hard to test this stuff too, right?

01:12:53   I can be like, oh, well, you should all go out and download this software and pay for it and, and it will solve your problem.

01:12:59   But it's very hard to test malware stuff because what about, it's always the next thing.

01:13:04   What about the next thing?

01:13:05   Will it, will it catch the next thing?

01:13:07   I don't know.

01:13:07   Does how quickly do the definitions update?

01:13:09   What's its approach?

01:13:10   And I, I am, I don't feel that we've got really good answers about that.

01:13:14   We used to try to test that stuff back in my computer magazine days, and it's extremely hard to do.

01:13:20   So I don't know.

01:13:22   My opinion is sort of like a general general skepticism and I don't use it myself and I don't recommend it to other people, but I can see where it has some value in certain circumstances and that it is a rising threat that may become much more relevant in the years ahead for Mac users.

01:13:38   Jon asks, do you ever use the clock clock app icon to check the time on the iPhone?

01:13:49   No.

01:13:50   I have some very specific times where I've done this.

01:13:54   I use it to know if I need to know the exact moment a minute is going to change.

01:14:01   I use the clock app icon.

01:14:03   So a good example of this is if we ever have an embargoed release on an episode of upgrade.

01:14:09   I am hovering over the publish button watching the second stick away.

01:14:15   So I know when it's going to happen and as soon as it goes, I hit it.

01:14:19   So I don't have to wait for the number to change.

01:14:21   I can count it down in my head.

01:14:23   So I use the clock app icon for that.

01:14:25   Or like if something if I'm waiting for something to go on sale at a certain time or whatever, I can watch it so then I know when to refresh the page.

01:14:33   So I use the clock app icon for that because I figure it is the one of if not the most accurate seconds counter that I have available to me.

01:14:43   I would use the Apple Watch if I was wearing the Apple Watch for the same deal.

01:14:48   So very particular use.

01:14:50   But I also do have the clock app on my home screen anyway for alarms and stuff.

01:14:56   Rajeev asks, do you think Apple will ever update system apps like music and photos through the app store?

01:15:04   No.

01:15:07   I'm just going to answer no to every question then.

01:15:10   No, I don't.

01:15:11   And my reason is, well, no one lets a court orders them to.

01:15:16   How about that?

01:15:17   Is that a good answer?

01:15:18   But failing that every system, how many times a year does Apple do a system update?

01:15:23   Like many times a year.

01:15:24   They can update those apps and do sometimes at any point along with it.

01:15:28   The thing with a lot of these apps is that they are using specific system APIs.

01:15:33   And it's they're deeply tied into the system.

01:15:37   They really are deeply tied into the system.

01:15:39   And if you, you know, you're like, oh, well, this new version of the OS includes a new version of the music app that adds this new feature that requires this new version of the OS.

01:15:49   You move that version to the app store and now you've got to have like, well, you can't get this version because you aren't on this other version.

01:15:55   So you need to wait and you update it to the new version, but it's not using the new version of the app because you haven't updated there.

01:16:02   It's like unless a court makes them do it, I think that that these things are one they're integrated with the system.

01:16:09   That's why they update them along with the system.

01:16:11   And two, they update the system frequently enough that it is very rarely an issue that you're waiting around for an app update because the system update hasn't come out.

01:16:24   And, you know, I suppose the big issue is if there is a catastrophic bug in one of these apps and then you wait for a system update for six months, I get it.

01:16:35   That's annoying.

01:16:36   But if it's catastrophic, they should just do a system update and fix the bug.

01:16:40   So I think Apple likes it the way it is because it's tied in with all of their system stuff and they prefer it that way.

01:16:46   And that if a court said you can't do that anymore, then they would have to not do it.

01:16:50   But other than that, I think they're going to keep it forever like that.

01:16:53   I would like the idea of Apple system apps updating more frequently.

01:17:04   But as you were saying, I am aware that like that's not most of the time it's really a thing that can happen anyway.

01:17:11   Like the updates would be small, if any.

01:17:14   I like how frequently shortcuts updates.

01:17:17   I feel like we get multiple updates to shortcuts a year, which I think is really good.

01:17:21   I wouldn't mind seeing some things popping out every now and again.

01:17:25   I feel like an app like Notes, Reminders and Mail only ever receives updates when the OS changes over.

01:17:35   And some of the stuff maybe doesn't need to wait for, but I don't think that I would get what...

01:17:40   If they did decouple it from an operating system, I don't think I would get what I want, right?

01:17:44   Which is like significant updates like how the third party apps would do.

01:17:48   If it was magic like that, where it's like, "Oh boy, if music is in the app store, suddenly music gets an update with bug fixes and general improvements every three weeks."

01:17:56   It's like, "Great! That's not going to happen."

01:17:58   Yeah, because it's like, that's too much of a dream scenario, which I'm totally aware of.

01:18:04   But in my dream scenario, it would be super great if they weren't tied to it.

01:18:08   And P. Habbad says, "Does Jason still prefer writing with an iPad and external keyboard over using a laptop? If so, why or if not, what's changed?"

01:18:20   Yes, I still do.

01:18:25   Okay.

01:18:26   And the reason is I like iOS. I like iPad OS. I like writing on it.

01:18:33   I feel it's less distracting to have the single window interface with an app.

01:18:38   Even though I can do that on the Mac, it's different. It's different.

01:18:41   And I also like having my little case and or my little stand thing and my external keyboard, which is different than a laptop, right?

01:18:49   It's not in my lap. Putting the laptop up on my desk is not...

01:18:54   Or up on the barstool, let's say.

01:18:56   It's not great. Like the iPad setup is better there.

01:18:59   And even I was writing in my backyard on a warm day last week, and I did that on iPad with Magic Keyboard.

01:19:06   Because, again, I kind of like the shifting gears and being super focused.

01:19:12   And it's a lot harder to flip over to... It's not impossible.

01:19:15   It's just a little bit harder to flip over to Twitter or Slack or whatever in my feeling.

01:19:20   Like just mentally, I'm more focused on writing when I do that.

01:19:24   And it's a change of pace from when I'm sitting on my desk looking at a blinking cursor in BB Editor Mars Edit, right?

01:19:30   It's different. And being in a different place with a different kind of setup helps me write, too.

01:19:36   So I do now have an M1 MacBook Air. I do use it occasionally.

01:19:41   When I'm writing about the Mac and I don't want to be in my office, that's a good one because I can use the laptop for reference.

01:19:49   And so sometimes it's helpful to write about the Mac on a Mac, not because of some weird, like, "I must write about the Mac on the Mac."

01:19:56   But literally I have to refer to what's going on on a Mac and look at the menus and take screenshots and stuff.

01:20:02   And it's obviously very difficult to do that on an iPad because I'm not on the Mac then.

01:20:07   So sometimes I'll do that. But for the most part, yeah, I'm still writing.

01:20:10   When I'm away from my desk, I am writing on an iPad using an external keyboard or a Magic Keyboard.

01:20:17   If you would like to send in a question for us to answer on the show, just send out a tweet with the hashtag #AskUpgrade.

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01:20:51   You can find more information about this episode, links to stuff in your podcast app of choice,

01:20:56   but we also put them on the web at Relay.fm/upgrades/341.

01:21:00   Thank you to Smile, DoorDash and Bombas for their support of this week's episode.

01:21:04   And thank you for listening. If you want to find Jason online, you can go to SixColors.com, go to TheIncomparable.com.

01:21:10   Jason hosts many shows here at Relay FM, like I do as well. You can go to Relay.fm/shows to find those.

01:21:16   Jason is @JSNEL, J-S-N-E-L-L-L. I am @IMYKEY-E.

01:21:22   And we'll be back next week. Until then, say goodbye, Jason Snell.

01:21:25   Goodbye, everybody. Goodbye, Myke Hurley. Goodbye, all plus symbols attached to streaming services everywhere.

01:21:33   [Music]