283: The Anger of the Panel


00:00:00   [Music]

00:00:08   From relay FM, this is Upgrade, episode 283. Today's show is brought to you by Pingdom,

00:00:14   Squarespace, and KiwiCo. My name is Myke Hurley and I am joined by Jason Snow. Hello, Jason Snow.

00:00:20   Hello, Myke Hurley. How are you? I am fine and dandy, my friend. Fine and dandy indeed,

00:00:25   but I have a #snowtalk question for you. Okay. This comes from James, and James

00:00:29   wants to know if you're out on your own while traveling in a new city,

00:00:33   what is your favorite kind of snack or meal to seek out in different places?

00:00:37   Um, that's a fun question. I'm not on my own traveling in a new city very often. I'm generally

00:00:44   with my family or I'm with friends doing like an event of some kind, but it does occasionally

00:00:50   happen. I did especially when I was working at IDG. I'd have to go to some thing like IDG thing

00:00:58   somewhere and it's like, okay, I'm in Copenhagen. What will I do? And so my historical answer is,

00:01:07   I would like to find a place that is really good that serves local beer is my answer.

00:01:16   That's my answer. I have been to such a place with you in Dublin?

00:01:20   Yeah, sure. It was in Dublin. Yeah, in Dublin. There's the microbrewery there where like

00:01:26   everything is just Guinness everywhere, but you could go to the Porter house in a temple bar,

00:01:33   I think is where we went. And they have like microbrews from Ireland and elsewhere. And it

00:01:39   was recommended to me by a waiter from the Guinness storehouse, which is, oh, the irony of that. It's

00:01:44   like, if you like beer, you should try it. Beers that are not Guinness. Don't go to this place.

00:01:49   Yeah, this is fine. But that was good. And yeah, and I did that. I went to, I don't know where I

00:01:54   went, but I had in Copenhagen, I had a, like a Mickler beer that was really good. Yeah. And now,

00:02:00   of course I'm not allowed to drink a regular beer. So sad, but that's my answer is that was,

00:02:06   that was always my thing was, was seeking out new local beer in wherever I was.

00:02:11   Was that the night where me, you and James Thompson found ourselves in a very small

00:02:16   Irish pub after yes, that we did end up in the very small Irish pub that was right,

00:02:22   sort of down by where we were staying. And I discovered that place when I was there with IDG,

00:02:28   cause it was just down the road from the place we were staying for the IDG meeting in Dublin. And I

00:02:32   thought, I thought, oh my God, this is like, perfect. This is exactly what I imagine an Irish

00:02:37   pub to be in that it was very small, completely packed, everybody talking. And then you and James

00:02:43   and I did the same and it was exactly the same, which I loved it. That was great. It was one of

00:02:48   those places where you walk in and the music stops kind of thing. Right. And everyone looks at you,

00:02:54   right. That was kind of what this place was like. Well, I ordered a Guinness. I remember the first

00:03:00   time I was there and they're like, oh, American. And they said from, you know, from looking at you,

00:03:04   you might as well be Irish. And it's like, well, it is genetically that's about right. So, uh,

00:03:09   but I thought that was a funny moment of like, yeah, I fit, I fit in. It's like, I had not opened

00:03:14   my dumb American mouth. Uh, no one would have known. Whereas you an Englishman in Ireland would

00:03:19   have, uh, you're lucky that you, you left with your life. On that note, if you would like to

00:03:25   send in a Snell Talk question to open a future episode of the show, just send out a tweet with

00:03:29   the hashtag Snell Talk and it may be included. Thank you to other James for sending that in.

00:03:34   Yeah, that was great. But I'm just saying that there are statues all over Dublin of

00:03:38   people who killed English people. It's amazing. Anyway, uh, should we, should we do just, just

00:03:46   watch your back when you're there. Don't try to, don't try to take over when you're in Ireland.

00:03:50   That's all. Now I'll just be begging for citizenship, Jason. That's where you're going

00:03:54   to have to, you're going to have to show, you know, do your proper entry procedures now,

00:03:58   but we don't want to talk now. We really don't want to talk about that. Not now, but maybe at

00:04:02   some point. Um, we have a packed show today, um, but we want to talk a little bit about

00:04:09   Fantastic Cal three, right? You want to start on that today? It's kind of like follow up. We

00:04:13   got an email from a listener that I thought was, uh, that he made a nice point. Uh, and I wanted

00:04:19   to just mention, so Fantastic Cal three came out last week. I wrote about it. Federico Viticci

00:04:22   wrote about it. Other people wrote about it. They did a, you know, they prepped us. We got the beta

00:04:26   and advanced and all of that. Yep. Got a lot of nice new features. Um, I'm very impressed with

00:04:30   the new features. It also adds really great. Yeah. It also adds a subscription model, which,

00:04:36   um, everybody, everybody knew would be controversial because every time there's

00:04:40   a subscription model, people are angry because a lot of people don't like subscription software.

00:04:46   Um, and so it's, uh, the way they did is really interesting. They released it. The new, the new

00:04:50   app is an update for version two. It, uh, so if you paid for version two, you get all the features

00:04:59   of version two for free. Um, and the new features are under the subscription model, which is $40 a

00:05:06   year. Yep. Um, now I have some criticisms about this. Like, first off, a lot of people are like,

00:05:12   well, why didn't they release it as a new app and leave the old app there? And they could have done

00:05:18   that. I'm not sure that would have been better because what it would have meant is that that

00:05:23   old app was just going to sit there and rot and you know, they could have like pushed a notification

00:05:30   or something that there's a new version and going to get it. I think there would have been a lot of

00:05:33   problems with like allowing the upgrades from the previous version. It would have been a choice they

00:05:39   could have made. I, I don't know why they didn't make that choice, but I think it's complicated.

00:05:44   It's more complicated than like, Oh, well they just could have done that and they didn't. That

00:05:47   was dumb. I think as a maintaining thing, that's an issue, right? Like, yeah, with this model that

00:05:52   they have right now, because of the way they've developed and implemented it, they can still

00:05:56   maintain an update. What is effectively the free version, right? For people. So you can still get

00:06:03   updates. It will still work with future versions of iOS where if you'd stayed on two, maybe it

00:06:10   wouldn't. Right. Also, uh, sipping a fruit cider in the chat room, James Thompson points out that,

00:06:16   uh, uh, you lose your search visibility when you have a brand new app. Um, you break, you break

00:06:21   continuity. Um, and then you've got your existing app that's still floating around unless you hide

00:06:26   it. And then you've lost it too. It's my point is it's complicated. And there are a lot of people

00:06:31   who are very easily like, well, they should have just done this. And like, they're not really

00:06:34   necessarily considering all of the issues involved. Cause the thing is with it, with a situation like

00:06:40   this, with the market that we're in right now, I will tell you, there is literally no good option.

00:06:45   There is just options with varying levels of bad and you choose your bad. That's the bottom

00:06:51   line here is all of this is precipitated by Apple's policies being bad, right? Like this is Apple not

00:06:56   allowing a sensible upgrade policy for software. And it has driven everybody to subscriptions

00:07:01   because Apple wants to report subscription revenue. Um, Apple wants everybody else to

00:07:05   report subscription revenue that goes into their subscription revenue. Um, it is, uh,

00:07:11   it is something that the developers are trying to find a way to build a sustainable business

00:07:16   with their software and releasing a single app for a single purchase. Um, and then you walk away

00:07:22   forever is not sustainable, especially if you've been paying attention to iOS releases, how every

00:07:28   iOS release like breaks apps and apps have to. So like, you can't just take the money and walk away

00:07:35   and never update the app. Imagine you buy an app and then Apple releases a new version of iOS and

00:07:39   the app breaks, are you going to be mad at Apple or are you going to be mad at the developer? Well,

00:07:43   you're probably going to be bad at the developer. And at that point you have an expectation that the

00:07:47   developer is going to continue to maintain this software to keep it running for you,

00:07:52   except you haven't given them any more money and they still have to eat. So I, you know, I think,

00:07:58   I think it's, it's a, it's a difficult situation that Apple has made largely itself, but that

00:08:06   developers are trying to find ways through now, you know, so what fantastic I'll decide to do was

00:08:11   release a new version with a new code and give everybody who bought fantastic L2 the features

00:08:16   for the new code. And this is Mac and iOS and Apple watch actually. Um, I would say, you know,

00:08:22   there are things that I want to criticize about their rollout. I feel like they,

00:08:26   they have a little too, they're a little too pushy in terms of sort of nagging you and saying,

00:08:33   Oh, that's a thing you can't do unless you pay us, uh, for a new feature. I feel like a way to

00:08:38   silence that a way to say, yes, I get it. Don't show this to me again. Like there's literally

00:08:43   some views on iOS where if you tap or slide a divider, it throws up a thing that says, Oh,

00:08:48   this is a premium feature. You can't do that. It's like, that's, it's a bit, it's a bit much.

00:08:52   You should just be able to say, okay. And then don't show that to me again. So it's a little

00:08:56   overzealous. They didn't come out with a family plan. So basically if you've got to, let's say a

00:09:01   couple who wants to use fantastic Cal they're, they're like, well, that's $80 a year, which

00:09:05   I don't know. I mean, if they want to do that, that it's fine, but that seems more like a,

00:09:09   like an error. If you've got your kids that you also want to share calendars with and,

00:09:13   you know, you, you could share calendars using a different app, but it just seems like maybe

00:09:16   there's a missed opportunity there to be, to sort of like for your existing customers to allow them

00:09:21   to add users or team plan, not just family plan. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. It's just, uh, so, so that's,

00:09:27   that's, I know, and I know that's complicated, but it seems like that's something that they, they

00:09:32   could have given more time to before launch. They have a new account system, which led to a lot of

00:09:38   confusion. And basically what they're trying to do is be able to pass, uh, your like metadata around

00:09:45   and also be able to create kind of helper services. So things like they do meeting scheduling and the

00:09:50   meeting scheduling is in the cloud. So you need to be logged into the FlexiBits account to do your

00:09:55   meeting scheduling in the cloud and the problem. And it's, and it's good. And that like, they

00:09:59   promised that part of this whole subscription thing is they're going to roll out new cloud enabled

00:10:03   features to users as well. Like they're, they're able to do app development and cloud development.

00:10:07   Now that they're going to have a subscription base, um, the challenge is the confusion,

00:10:12   which is first off, people are like, well, wait a second. Um, why can't I use this app unless I

00:10:18   subscribe? And the answer is, well, signing into making a new account is not subscribing. They're

00:10:23   separate, but that's complicated. Right? Like, and then there's another confusion, which is

00:10:28   wait a second. They have a cloud account now. Well, I have my work accounts in my calendar.

00:10:33   And if, and I can't give my work calendar credentials to a third party that would be

00:10:37   insecure. So I can't use this product, which is not true because the calendar stuff still happens

00:10:43   on device on the app. It has nothing to do with the cloud service, but that's complicated. So

00:10:48   it's one of those things where I know why they did it. And I'm not sure how much better they

00:10:52   could have done it, but it is extra layers of confusion with people who are already kind of on

00:10:57   edge. Um, I also noticed this week, a lot of people complaining about, cause people were going,

00:11:03   if you wrote about fantastic out, like I did in Federico did people were like doing Twitter

00:11:07   searches and finding you and then just replying the same reply to everybody. It was just this

00:11:11   outrage machine that cracked up, which, you know, I get being outraged. I'm not interested in your

00:11:16   spam. Um, but, and I did things like, wow, this seems like a nice update. And somebody's like,

00:11:21   the subscription is so right. I said, well, you know, my story says you have to decide if this

00:11:27   is worth it for you. It's right there. But I think the features are nice. Um, I did notice a trend

00:11:31   where a lot of people remember having features that they didn't actually have before. This is

00:11:34   outrageous. I, I, you know, I used to rely on calendar, calendar sets on my iPad, and now it's a

00:11:40   premium feature. I was like, I don't think there were calendar sets on the iPad before. Um, so

00:11:46   that's interesting. So, uh, here's what listener Nathan said, listener, Nathan wrote in and that

00:11:52   was prompted this mini topic. Follow-up is I'm passionate about tech and I want to use the best

00:11:56   possible apps and tools in my personal life, but I don't feel like getting enough value out of

00:12:00   subscriptions like this for what I see as quite limited use. And I think that's a perfectly valid

00:12:05   feeling. This is what listening, Nathan is describing is I like nice things, but sometimes

00:12:11   like nice things count cost more than I would like to pay. Yeah. And I think if I'm thinking

00:12:16   it's the same person, Nathan was saying that they would love to use this stuff for work,

00:12:22   but they can't like, this is just not the type of thing that they're allowed to do because of

00:12:27   all these security procedures. And I know that there's like, well, you don't have to give them

00:12:31   the account stuff, but then you also don't benefit from some of the features that you're now paying

00:12:35   for. Sure. Sure. But I think Flexibix could be more clear about that, but again, all the calendar

00:12:41   data stays on device unless you give them, cause you can now choose to give them API access to

00:12:50   calendars. Yeah. But you it's, you have to do very specific things in the cloud that are not required.

00:12:54   Yep. So again, there's nothing groundbreaking about this comment that I like nice things,

00:13:01   but some of them are too expensive for me. That's life. And I guess what I would say is I get not,

00:13:06   I want a Tesla and it's too expensive, so I can't buy it. Right. And it's like, I'm not mad at Tesla

00:13:11   for not making their car cheaper. I want a nice thing, but ultimately look, if Flexibix

00:13:19   price this wrong, their business will not work, will not succeed. If they overpriced this and

00:13:24   they lose all their customers to other products, they, they made a mistake and they priced it too

00:13:29   high. That said, if they price it right and some people opt out because it's too rich for their

00:13:34   blood, that's fine. That's okay. That's an okay outcome. Not every product is going to be bought

00:13:39   by everybody. Sometimes the product is too expensive. Serving the largest number of users

00:13:45   is not Flexibix goal. Their goal is not the person with the most users wins. Making their business

00:13:52   sustainable is the goal. And we've seen this time and again with software development on Apple's

00:13:58   platforms, especially, which is there are always people who are up in arms who think the customer

00:14:03   is always right. And the solution is you should please everybody. And the truth is pleasing

00:14:08   everybody cannot be the goal. And it most, you know, there's some business models where it's

00:14:12   all about scale, but for the most part pleasing, everybody's not the goal. Getting a customer base

00:14:17   willing to pay you an amount of money where the customer base is large enough and the amount of

00:14:20   money is large enough and that it's sustainable, which means it needs to happen over time.

00:14:24   That's the goal. And sometimes, because especially because of the way Apple structured the app store,

00:14:33   things like this will happen. There are subscription apps that I look at and I go,

00:14:36   yeah, like that, that looks like a fun app. And I wouldn't mind having it around like this just

00:14:41   happened to me for the tool I make, we're going to talk about the Apple quarterly results in a

00:14:45   minute. The tool I make, I used to make the transcripts of that, just switched to a

00:14:50   subscription model. And so I used to pay like 15 or $20 per quarter to do that transcript.

00:14:56   As of later this year, I'm going to have to pay $60 to do it because they've switched to

00:15:03   a subscription model. Their lowest price is $60 a month. So I'll have to sign up for a month,

00:15:09   do all the transcripts and then cancel. I don't love it. I will consider alternatives. I will

00:15:15   consider the value that it provides to my business. And you know, if I abandon it, then so be it.

00:15:20   Like I feel it. We just had this with our QuickBooks online account for my business.

00:15:26   I've had that for apps like Ulysses, which is an interesting app that I try from time to time. But

00:15:31   I came to the realization that I probably shouldn't subscribe to it because I don't think I would use

00:15:36   it. I've had that same thought about drafts. I did actually buy a year of drafts, but I may not renew

00:15:42   that. Like everybody has to make their own decisions here. And Flexibits could have done

00:15:45   some things better. But in the end, while I have sympathy for people who are upset that this app

00:15:52   that they like is going to a place that they don't want to go, calendaring is standard. Every Apple

00:16:00   device comes with a calendar app. If you paid them for Fantastic Cal 2, you get those features

00:16:06   on version 3. Hopefully they'll make the nags go away. Like in the end, if you want nice things,

00:16:14   you should be willing to pay for them. Otherwise you'll just have to make a decision about whether

00:16:17   it's nice enough for you to pay. And it's okay for you to say no. And if enough people say no,

00:16:23   the business will hear it and realize they made a mistake. But there is a situation here where

00:16:29   you leave, some people stay, and the business is happy because again, their goal is to be

00:16:34   sustainable, not to have the maximum number of customers possible. And it stinks to be on the

00:16:39   outside of that, but sometimes that's how it has to be because everybody has different priorities.

00:16:43   You have one upstream headline you wanted to talk about today, right?

00:16:49   Yeah. So I forcibly added upstream to this episode just to say Hulu's CEO is out. A guy named Randy

00:16:57   Freer, he's the CEO of Hulu and he's out. And the reason that this is news is mostly because he's

00:17:01   not being replaced. Hulu's senior staff will report to Disney. And this is the most... Hulu's in a

00:17:08   weird place because it's technically still not entirely owned by Disney, although it will be,

00:17:14   but it is operated by Disney. And eventually the other partners will drop out and it will be

00:17:19   completely subsumed by Disney. But for now at least, Hulu still is kind of Disney, kind of not.

00:17:25   But this is the final shoe, essentially dropping of Disney taking control. The CEO has left,

00:17:33   he's not being replaced, Hulu will report inside Disney. So I just think that that's worth noting

00:17:40   that our conversations about Disney Plus and ESPN Plus, and now we've got Hulu as the third leg of

00:17:50   that sort of streaming strategy and Hulu is where they can place content that maybe is a little more

00:17:54   edgy and outside of the bounds of the Disney brand in Disney Plus. Well, that's what's happening.

00:18:01   Also this company that's got a little streaming service named Apple had a pretty good quarter.

00:18:06   - Apple's Q1 2020 results. So remember Q1 2020, that means, well, you would think it would mean

00:18:14   calendar, but it doesn't mean that. It means the sales of the fourth quarter of 2019. This is the

00:18:21   holiday quarter, the big quarter. Not only is it a big quarter, it is the biggest quarter ever in

00:18:29   both revenue and profit. I'm just gonna say, I think that slightly came out of nowhere.

00:18:33   If you just think about the way that the last year or so has gone, I know that we had guidance,

00:18:38   but I don't think I was personally expecting such a runaway success for this quarter.

00:18:46   - Well, they beat their guidance. I mean, that's the thing is they talk about being conservative

00:18:50   with guidance, but they beat their guidance. They really did.

00:18:52   - Oh boy, did they.

00:18:53   - And they had what turned out, it was like probably gonna be a record quarter.

00:18:58   Their previous record quarter was two years ago, actually. Last year was down a little bit.

00:19:03   But if you look at their growth rate the last four quarters, year over year, it was like down 5%,

00:19:10   down 5%, up 1%, up 2%. Apple's revenue has been kind of, this year has been kind of same as last

00:19:17   year. And they were up 9% year over year, the holiday quarter. And obviously they were up a

00:19:25   little bit from two years ago where they had that record quarter. So it's a little bit out of nowhere.

00:19:32   It's sort of like they beat expectations to have their best quarter ever, which I feel like there

00:19:36   was a period there where we were doing that every year and then we skipped a year, but here we are

00:19:40   again, the holiday quarter, we're back to... And also I'll just point out there, $91.8 billion

00:19:45   quarter means that probably in the next few years, we are going to see Apple have a $100 billion

00:19:50   quarter, which is bananas. - I'm just gonna say it's gonna be Q1 2021. - Maybe. - Who knows?

00:19:58   Well, it's either 2021, 2022, but I reckon it will happen. - I think so. I think you're right.

00:20:02   - Profit was 22.2 billion. The big story here is that the iPhone's back on top and back on top in a

00:20:10   big way, $56 billion of revenue. It's up 4 billion year over year. This is the second largest quarter

00:20:19   for the iPhone ever, which is a, again, big surprise, I think, because the big story from

00:20:25   Q4 2019 results was that the iPhone dipped below 50% of Apple's overall business. And we were

00:20:34   talking about it. There were lots of articles about it. We were entering this new world where

00:20:38   this is gonna be the way that Apple's gonna be, but now it's 61% again. So we can forget that new

00:20:44   world. - Well, if you look at the percentage numbers, the holiday quarter always tips toward

00:20:50   iPhone. People buy iPhones in that quarter because that's the new iPhone quarter. It's not just the

00:20:54   holiday. We focus on the holiday, but it's October, November, December. It's the new iPhone quarter,

00:20:59   and it's always over 60% iPhone. And it is again. - According to Apple, the iPhone

00:21:08   11 outsold the iPhone 11 Pro and 11 Pro Max every single week of the holiday quarter. So the plan

00:21:13   worked. Rebranding the XR to become 11 was a clear strategy from Apple to drive the price

00:21:21   of what seemed to be the standard flagship phone down when really what they were doing is making a

00:21:28   cheaper version of the phone. So if you had the X, for example, the X10S, you could see that the

00:21:36   XR was the cheaper version of that because it came afterwards. It had fewer features, but then with

00:21:42   the 11, they introduced them as like, "Here's the 11, and then we have these other ones as well."

00:21:47   They have very similar features across the board. It was a very different pitch that Apple gave.

00:21:53   So what they ended up was to create a strategy where the 11 was the entry point, where I think

00:22:00   previously the XS was the entry point, and then maybe you would go down to the XR. But I think

00:22:05   Apple put together a really compelling strategy for this holiday season, which has ended up working

00:22:11   in their favor. You pointed out in the article that you wrote, which I will definitely agree

00:22:16   with, that if you combined the Pro lines, it probably beat the 11. But just from APO handset

00:22:23   sales, the iPhone 11 was the most successful. I know that the XR had had previous great success,

00:22:33   but I think it was considered differently. I feel like the iPhone 11 was really just considered

00:22:39   differently, shown to be different. There's been less conversation, I think, about it being the

00:22:44   cheaper phone. It just is the standard phone. Lots and lots and lots of the reviews for these models

00:22:52   were just saying that there isn't really much need to go to the Pro. You don't have to do that.

00:22:57   You really should start at the 11. So I think it ended up working out well for them.

00:23:02   Yeah, if you view this as a multi-year kind of repositioning of the entire iPhone line,

00:23:06   which we're probably not done with even now, it's probably going to continue next year or this fall.

00:23:11   Well, all of the rumors say that we're going to four phones, right? Like this.

00:23:14   Exactly. Right. Four plus possibly an SE, right? So if you think about that, though,

00:23:19   but think about the old model. The old model was 6S and 6S Plus, 7S.

00:23:29   Then they added the 10 and then there was this kind of like, well, 10 plus the 10 Pro Max,

00:23:33   but also the 10 R and like, how are we going to all do this? And this year we got it like,

00:23:37   no, no, no, no. Now we've redefined it again. Like that 10 that was high-end and yet was also

00:23:43   kind of mainstream is now firmly high-end. And it's fascinating to see them do this because this

00:23:48   is a high wire act right there. This iPhone is everything, so you don't want to mess it up,

00:23:53   but it seems to be working and the iPhone did pretty well.

00:23:57   Yeah. I think it is pretty clear at this point that the 10 was a misstep in some ways,

00:24:05   especially around the way that Apple positioned it in the lineup. You know, we often make the joke

00:24:10   about like, remember the iPhone 8, right? It's just like the forgotten iPhone, right? Which

00:24:15   was just because we have a new iPhone, but you don't care about this one because we have that

00:24:19   other one, but by the way, that's too expensive. They sold a lot of 10s though, and that was the

00:24:24   record quarter. So I think, I don't know if I would say it was a misstep. I think, I think it

00:24:29   was a gamble and it didn't, you know, and it kind of paid off, but it did require them to do a lot

00:24:35   of cleanup afterward. And we're still kind of in the cleanup now. Yeah. I think they reeled a bit

00:24:39   though, right? Which is like, they had that big quarter. I agree because people were excited about

00:24:43   that, but I think it didn't do so well for them after. But anyway, we don't need to get into that

00:24:47   now and then I'll just speak for themselves. Mac and iPad saw the clients year over year,

00:24:52   from an article, I'm reading some quotes out from some articles that you wrote on Six Colors

00:24:57   and Macworld. Both products had a difficult year over year comparison due to the launches of Mac

00:25:01   Book Air, Mac Mini and iPad Pro during the December quarter a year ago, which is what Apple said is

00:25:06   the reason for this. That's the tough, that's the old tough compare argument. Tough compare.

00:25:10   Tough compare. I don't. Yes, tough. The compare was very tough. I feel like this tough compare is

00:25:14   a tough compare, honestly, because we had a 16 inch MacBook Pro and a Mac Pro, like, and I feel like

00:25:20   that should have helped balance out a little bit. I think Mac Pro is insubstantial because it shipped

00:25:26   very late, if at all, in the quarter and is a low volume product. I do think 16 inch MacBook Pro,

00:25:31   there's at least a little bit of an argument there. But that said, huge pent up demand for

00:25:37   the Mac Mini and enormous pent up demand for a retina MacBook Pro. And I do, I do, so I do buy

00:25:43   a certain degree of this tough compare, but it's an excuse. And on the iPad side, I actually do

00:25:48   agree that that new iPad Pro came out and people were really waiting for it and everybody loved it

00:25:52   and they sold a lot of them. And this year, kind of nothing happened. I get that. I see it with the

00:25:56   iPad for sure. I mean, because there was a lot of movement in iPad last year. There was a new iPad

00:26:02   Mini, there was a new, like the iPad Air and the new iPad, right? All of those products came out

00:26:10   in that year. So they would have been focused on the holiday quarter to replace some of those.

00:26:16   There was nothing. There was barely anything that we got, especially around the Pro line in 2019,

00:26:23   that could have pushed that. So I see it with the iPad more than I see it with the Mac.

00:26:27   But there is a thing where it's like, whilst the MacBook Pro is a highly desired machine,

00:26:33   it's probably Apple's best selling laptop at this point. Maybe, maybe Apple's best selling laptop. I

00:26:39   think it could vary between the Air, right? But we know it sells well. But the thing is,

00:26:44   it was the larger model and I reckon they sell more 13s than they do 15s or 16s.

00:26:49   Yes. I think that's probably true.

00:26:51   They're mostly going into business, right? And I assume people had already made purchasing

00:26:56   decisions. Like it's going to take a while to move back to the 16. Like that's going to

00:27:01   slowly turn over. Wearables up 37% year over year to $10 billion. This is the now 12th straight

00:27:12   quarter of over 20% year over year growth, which is just absolutely bananas, right? Like,

00:27:22   I know we spoke about it like last week, we've been speaking about it in the weeks before,

00:27:26   both wearables and services. It is easy to pay attention to what we always think about,

00:27:33   right? iPhone, Mac, iPad. But these growth levels are absolutely insane and are going to continue

00:27:41   to significantly change Apple's product mix. Because when you are seeing areas of your company

00:27:49   growing 37% year over year, you are onto something. So you have to keep focusing on it.

00:27:58   Did you see the Roger Kuo rumor of the head pods?

00:28:01   It's a Ming-Chi Kuo, codename Roger, only a codename Roger. But yes, the head pods,

00:28:05   that there's another Apple over your headphones coming out. And we talked about that. Like,

00:28:11   how could you not look at this category and say, because Tim Cook said AirPods were a record,

00:28:18   Apple watch was a record in terms of revenue. And I think two interesting points. One is,

00:28:24   they couldn't make enough AirPods Pro. And they asked him as the analysts always do, I love it.

00:28:31   They're like, when do you think you're going to get in balance with the AirPods Pro? And Tim said,

00:28:34   I don't know. Like literally we can't make them fast enough to sell them. And then the

00:28:41   other thing that was an interesting tidbit is also in this quarter, they couldn't make enough

00:28:45   series three Apple watches. Because it turns out you sell an Apple watch for $199. People get

00:28:52   really interested in that Apple watch who maybe didn't do it before, which is probably one of the

00:28:56   reasons why 75% of Apple watch purchases in the quarter were to people who had never had an Apple

00:29:01   watch before. So that's pretty good for them. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. That's pretty good. Pretty good.

00:29:08   Keep in mind, they're almost certainly in the Apple ecosystem because you can't buy an Apple

00:29:12   watch without an iPhone. Although Tim Cook did say he has some suspicion that at least some of

00:29:16   the people who are buying into the Apple watch, they're doing it as a, I want to get an iPhone

00:29:22   so that I can get an Apple watch. I'm sure there is a little bit of that, but there are so many

00:29:26   iPhones out there that there's a huge group of iPhone users who Apple can still kind of

00:29:30   finally break down the barriers and sell them an Apple watch. And the fact that I'm sure the Apple

00:29:36   watch series five did well, but the fact that the series three, that they did not anticipate

00:29:40   its demand, they said, he said that one is back in balance, or they think it will be back in

00:29:45   balance this quarter. They'll make enough of them. But what a great sign that is, right? That Apple

00:29:50   didn't expect the demand and, you know, $199 or $299 for cellular, but let's, I mean, I imagine

00:29:55   the bulk of it is the $199. Having a cheap Apple watch, it's a big deal. I would also say, well,

00:30:02   I don't think this would be such a huge driver, but I bet there was definitely a difference

00:30:06   because of the amount of variance Apple offered in the series five with the different materials,

00:30:11   right? They were able to maybe cover a larger market for price, right?

00:30:19   - Yeah, no, that's it. That's exactly it. This is the Tim Cook strategy, right? Which is let's

00:30:24   leave that older model around at a low price so that people have a way in. And I think it works.

00:30:30   And honestly, that series three Apple watch is great. Like what you're missing is you're missing

00:30:34   the wider, the bigger display and the always on, you know, and yeah, there's some other things,

00:30:40   but like, it's really great. And for $199, like, yeah, that's actually a great deal. And that's,

00:30:47   you're in Fitbit territory then, which is, it's good for Apple to be down there. So it's no

00:30:52   wonder that it did well. - But then for people that want it, you know, you can go up to a thousand

00:30:57   or more dollars and they have more options there now than they did before. - Totally. And then on

00:31:03   the AirPod side, what we said before, like, yeah, if you're Apple and you're looking at this, how

00:31:07   could you not be like, let's pour as much, this is hot. Let's do as much as we possibly can because

00:31:12   we have struck on something with this stuff. And people make, you know, sometimes people roll their

00:31:18   eyes about services, which we're gonna get to because services is sort of not traditionally

00:31:22   Apple and it's sort of like selling more things into existing Apple customers. But I think

00:31:27   wearables, which has actually been growing faster than services because it's starting from a lower

00:31:32   point, but growing faster than services for the last two plus three almost years. These are Apple

00:31:39   products, right? These are core Apple products, Apple doing what it does well and having them

00:31:43   be received well in the market. - Yeah. And you gotta, you gotta, right, we all have our fiefdoms,

00:31:48   right? You know, you're a Mac person or iPad person or whatever your fiefdom ends up being,

00:31:53   but both services and wearables made significantly more money this quarter than both of those

00:32:00   products, right? Like Apple probably made more money in wearables than they did in iPads,

00:32:06   like, sorry, in AirPods than they did in iPads, right? Like $10 billion they made and they made

00:32:12   like six on the iPad and seven on the Mac. Like these are not just growth areas, they are areas

00:32:20   that are actually making them more money. Like, you know, and if you're thinking about like a

00:32:25   fiscally responsible company, like a company responsible to its shareholders,

00:32:29   keep doing it because as well, we're gonna talk about the Apple report card later on as well.

00:32:34   Apple's customers, including people that are like critically thinking about Apple,

00:32:41   people that are really tied to their fiefdoms, the areas that are scoring like the highest on the

00:32:47   report card is like wearables because the products are so good. So why would you not continue to pull

00:32:54   money into that? So I think we're going to obviously going to continue to see that plus

00:32:58   services up 17% to $12.7 billion. It now accounts for 14% of Apple's overall business, which is more

00:33:07   than any other product line, except for the iPhone, of course, it's twice the size of the iPad, almost

00:33:14   twice the size of the Mac. Apple's gross margin on products, so their physical products they sell is

00:33:19   34.2%, its gross margin on services is 64.4%. So they actually make more profit on services as well.

00:33:28   Yeah, twice as much.

00:33:30   A dollar for dollar. Yeah, which is, you know, look, you got to think about what this company

00:33:36   is now. This company is an iPhone company that wants to give you headphones and have you watch

00:33:41   their TV shows. This is primarily who Apple is now. And that's totally good, right? Like totally

00:33:48   good, but it's just worth remembering. There were, this is a wild one to me, all this growth, it came

00:33:55   from outside of Asia, which is not what we've seen when Apple's had big growth in the past. You know,

00:34:02   big growth in the past, you can tie it to Asia, but they were actually flat year over year in the

00:34:07   Asian territories. A lot of growth in America, growth in Europe and elsewhere. But that was

00:34:13   a surprise to me when I was looking through the results. And I think probably Apple's pretty happy

00:34:19   about that because they've been able to show that they can turn growth, they can turn the key

00:34:24   to make their products better, to make people want them, not just because they tap into markets where

00:34:29   there's lots of people who don't have their products, right? So I think that that was,

00:34:33   this is probably a good shackle for them to shed in this quarter. - And then, I mean, they did turn

00:34:39   around, they actually showed growth in China, which is, they were down the last few, like last year

00:34:48   plus they were down. They were down in Japan, which is weird, 'cause that's one of their

00:34:52   stronger markets. There was a question in the analyst call about that. And it sounds like

00:34:55   Japan just went through a big phone unbundling like the US did a few years ago, where you can't,

00:35:03   there's only so much the carriers can embed and then beyond that you have to buy it. And

00:35:07   what Tim Cook basically said was, that means that there's sticker shock and we have to put in the

00:35:13   trade-in programs and people are gonna hold their phones longer and then it's all gonna work out.

00:35:17   But he said, Japan's a great market for us. And then like China, not only did the iPhone

00:35:23   kind of come back in China, but Apple is, we talked about in the early days of the iPhone,

00:35:27   the halo effect from first off the iPod, but the iPhone about people getting into Apple

00:35:33   through that product and then buying Macs and iPads, that's happening in China still.

00:35:37   Like he said that they are selling a huge number of Macs and iPads, like records in China.

00:35:43   And that's because Apple is there with the iPhone and that iPhones were all among the top six

00:35:52   sellers in China in the quarter of phones that it's benefiting their other products. So they

00:35:59   have lots of positive stories in a bunch of places, but yeah, Japan, they definitely took

00:36:06   kind of a whack, but yeah, US and Europe, this was by far just like a way, way better quarter

00:36:13   than they've had in a while. - Estimates for Q2 are between 63 to 67 billion, which would be the

00:36:21   largest ever Q2 in revenue. - Be another record if they did it. Now it's a wider guidance than

00:36:27   they normally do because they're a little concerned about the coronavirus, especially

00:36:31   given their operations in China, they decided to be a little more conservative there and provide

00:36:38   wider guidance, but they're guiding, and this is, I've said it before, every three months we say

00:36:42   this, this is what the Wall Street people look at. Like the Wall Street people are good to have

00:36:46   their confirmations or to find out if Apple over or undershot for the holidays, but what they really

00:36:51   want to know, because the stock prices are all based on the future, is what does Apple think

00:36:55   they're going to do in the current quarter when they report it in three months? And they said,

00:37:00   yeah, it's going to be a record and they're going to grow again. They're going to have another

00:37:03   growth quarter after this one, and that's a big deal. - All right, this episode is brought to you

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00:38:30   use the code upgrade at checkout to get a massive 30% of your first invoice. Our thanks to Pingdom

00:38:35   from SolarWinds for their support of this show and RelayFM. So it has happened again, Jason Snell

00:38:42   has compiled and published the Six Colors report card for what is, I was surprised to see, the

00:38:48   fifth year that you've been doing this. Is that right? Yeah, well, that was the surprise. The

00:38:53   fifth year we've been doing this too. I know but I didn't remember, I knew that but I didn't remember

00:38:57   that the report card has been going for this period for that amount of time too. So this was a really

00:39:01   great idea that you had. It wasn't my idea, it's Koi Vin, the designer who said I've been looking

00:39:08   for a sucker who thinks that this is a good idea and would do it every year and I was like, well,

00:39:12   I just started my site, let's try it. And so now I have to do it every year, which is fine, it's good.

00:39:17   Well, I would say you were a smart man for taking it because it's just one of those things that now

00:39:22   people look forward to it and it always generates, I think probably quite, it's quite successful. I

00:39:29   always see people talking about it in publishing. Yeah, people talk about it, it was on Techmeme,

00:39:33   which is kind of fun and there's always at least one person who thinks all of the quotes in it are

00:39:37   me. So they send me their comments about the things that I said that I didn't say because it's not me.

00:39:42   It's hilarious every time. Also, I would say for those who haven't read through it,

00:39:46   I tried to intersperse, my panelists said some funny things so there are some laugh out loud

00:39:50   moments in there. I laughed many, many times in the compiling of it and thank you to CGP Grey for

00:39:57   the funniest moment in the entire thing. Maybe we'll go read it if they want to find out which

00:40:01   one that is. So you send out this survey to a vast group of individuals and commenters in the Apple

00:40:06   community. You ask them to grade Apple in a series of areas on a one to five scale, then you take in

00:40:12   all of that. So as we do, we typically will go through the report card, well, we have gone through

00:40:17   the report card every year on the show, so it's also become like a little tradition here too.

00:40:20   I broke from tradition this time in the past. I have never given you quotes for the report card.

00:40:28   This time I did. You didn't do anything with them, but I will now read them all to you on the show.

00:40:33   [laughter]

00:40:33   MATT: I got to reword the thing. I put a thing in about whether you wanted to be quoted or not,

00:40:38   and you checked the box of "Don't quote me," so I didn't quote you. So yeah, we'll have to work on

00:40:42   that for next time.

00:40:43   IAN: Well, that was my fault then, wasn't it? Because I did not want that to be the case. But what I did was, I knew

00:40:50   that no matter what, you're not going to use everything I say verbatim. That's hilarious that I

00:40:55   take that box. Because I will read them to you along with giving my personal scores, and I want

00:41:01   to get your scores as well.

00:41:02   MATT Okay. I also didn't vote or participate, so this will be new.

00:41:07   IAN So that's why I want to get the raw Jason Snell scores on this episode. So we'll go

00:41:12   through each category. I've picked out a few of the comments that I think sum up a lot of the

00:41:18   views that people had, and/or I just thought were interesting. So we can talk through any of those

00:41:23   if you want to, and then I will get your scores, your comments, and then I'll give my score and my

00:41:28   comment as well for each category. So we'll start with the Mac. It scored 3.6 out of 5 overall,

00:41:35   which is up 0.2 from last year. The new keyboard in the 16" was praised, I think. People are happy,

00:41:44   but there are still reservations held by the community about this. So for example,

00:41:48   Christina Warren said they should have sorted the keyboard out faster, and also should have been

00:41:52   more transparent about the issue itself. And John Maltz, I think, put it quite nicely. You shouldn't

00:41:57   get that much credit simply for fixing your long-term mistakes. I just thought that it was

00:42:03   very succinct there, and it made a lot of sense to me. There were a lot of people, a lot of people,

00:42:08   in the hardware category, which we'll get to. This was a theme, which is a lot of my panelists were

00:42:13   like, "I'm glad that they fixed the butterfly keyboard on that one MacBook Pro, but do I really

00:42:19   want to grade them up for fixing a problem that they should have fixed several years ago, and

00:42:24   it's still in the other laptops?" So it's like everybody's optimistic about it and saw it as a

00:42:28   good sign, but is not sure they want to give them a lot of credit for it because it was lingering the

00:42:33   whole year. I do give them credit, but we'll get to that in a bit. John Siracusa says, "The Mac Pro

00:42:39   is a bright spot in Apple's 2019, a long-expected party for high-end Mac users. Apple has listened

00:42:46   to its customers, they can always use more power and expandability, and are willing to pay for it."

00:42:51   And John Gruber says, "I don't know a single expert Mac user who is not seriously annoyed by the heavy

00:42:56   handy security design of macOS Catalina." So Jason, I would like to know your score out of five for the

00:43:02   Mac and any comments that you have for it. Well, I'm just making it up now because I literally don't

00:43:07   vote. I want your score now, I want you to give it to me now. Yeah, yeah, I'm gonna give it a three.

00:43:15   So I'm gonna score it lower than the average. Wow. So here are the reasons. The MacBook Air

00:43:24   and the 13-inch MacBook Pro continue to ship with the butterfly keyboard. Yeah. It's great that they

00:43:29   fixed it on the one. I am not going to give Apple credit for fixing something that was a mistake

00:43:33   they made more than two years ago and that have failed to rectify over all of this time.

00:43:37   That has tarnished the brand of the MacBook and Apple and made a lot of users really unhappy.

00:43:44   We're going to come to it later with software, but like Catalina, difficult beta. When it ships,

00:43:53   you know, the 32-bit apps are away, Catalyst has been a disappointment.

00:43:57   All I can say is it's great. I think they're positioned well for next year,

00:44:04   but I can't give them credit for turning it around in the last couple of months. The Mac Pro is

00:44:10   great. I'll also point out that although John Siracusa is right, there's a party for high-end

00:44:15   Mac users, he's also right when he says it's long expected. Apple promised that Mac Pro more than

00:44:20   two years ago and they shipped it on, you know, the last month of 2019. So I'm not going to give

00:44:26   them a lot of credit for that. I'm glad they finally did it, but that took forever to come out

00:44:30   too. So yeah, that's, I give it a three. I'm going to be harsher than the panel, I think.

00:44:36   I'm kinder than you and the panel at large. I give the Mac a four this year. Honestly, for me,

00:44:42   if Catalina wasn't what Catalina was, I think I would have scored it. Well, I definitely would

00:44:48   have scored it higher than a four because, you know, I feel like that this wasn't good. Like,

00:44:54   Catalina overall wasn't good. There were a lot of issues with it. And again, we will actually touch

00:44:58   on these again in a little bit. But, and I just feel like it really kind of sucked the air out

00:45:02   of the room with the Mac this year. I agree. I think that Apple have done a really great job

00:45:07   with Mac hardware this year. I will give them credit for fixing the laptops. I mean, I'm not

00:45:12   going to punish them for not fixing them, but I'm also not going to give them credit for fixing them

00:45:16   quite yet because they're not all fixed. That's the other problem is they're not all fixed. We

00:45:20   make some assumptions, but like, I really want to see that keyboard out of all of the laptops.

00:45:24   I am making assumptions. But basically, my feeling is that like,

00:45:28   I would not have been surprised if Apple never fixed it because they may have never considered it

00:45:37   quote unquote broken. Well, that's why they get a three. And if they don't fix it next year,

00:45:41   that's why they'll get another bad score and the anger of the panel.

00:45:46   And I also do rate them for the Mac Pro. I think that that is really incredible hardware. And I

00:45:50   know that they, you know, I know what you're saying about it was promised a long time ago,

00:45:56   but that was, but I also feel like they deserve credit for that even because they told us

00:46:01   basically when they started the project. So that was like a good thing to have done then. And I

00:46:06   think honestly, like I know people don't like the price and I get it, but people that are interested

00:46:12   and are and or willing to pay the money for this machine, they're getting like one of the best Macs

00:46:18   maybe ever made for what it does. Right. Like it's incredibly powerful and incredibly expandable.

00:46:24   Like I am genuinely very excited about that computer. Like it maybe, maybe like if I wasn't

00:46:31   such an iPad person now, there may be a Mac Pro sitting under my desk. Like if I was as heavy into

00:46:35   the Mac as I used to be, I think that I would struggle to have resisted it. Right. Like in the

00:46:40   same way, basically what happened to Steven Hackett. Let's talk about the iPhone overall

00:46:46   4 up 0.1. Federico Vittucci says the iPhone 11 Pro camera has made me fall in love with taking

00:46:52   pictures on my iPhone all over again. Carolina Milanese says the strongest portfolio yet. I

00:46:58   particularly liked the iPhone 11 being their mass market option aimed at younger users as well as

00:47:03   more price conscious ones. And Steven Hackett says, I'm not sure what lessons Apple needs to

00:47:08   learn over the release of iOS 13, but I hope that we won't see another cycle like this one.

00:47:13   Jason, what is your score and comments please? Jason

00:47:25   My, my daughter took one off to college. It's great. And she still loves it. Um,

00:47:29   the camera stuff was really great. They did what they needed to do to upgrade the camera

00:47:33   and this would be a five, but for the debacle of iOS 13.

00:47:38   Matt Walter Yeah. I'm a four and basically for the same reasons. This is the most compelling

00:47:42   lineup of iPhones since they changed to the design model. And I say this in such a way,

00:47:48   it's like, well, yeah, of course it is. But I don't, you know, looking back, like the 10 S

00:47:52   wasn't really that much more over the 10 really, you know, but like the 11, I think has really

00:47:58   stepped up. Like whilst looking the same, I think as like maybe more than many phones in a long time

00:48:04   has actually really earned its number change. Like I understand that people think of these designs as

00:48:10   incremental changes, but the increment quote unquote incremental changes that they made to

00:48:15   the camera and the battery this year were huge, like really big changes. The way I use my phone

00:48:24   kind of changes and they don't come along very often. Like just the battery alone,

00:48:28   the way that it changes how I use my phone is really amazing for me. So I give it a four.

00:48:35   It would have got four marks if iOS 13 wouldn't have been so buggy. If iOS 13 would have just

00:48:40   come out and was as stable as it should have been, this would have been a four marks from me.

00:48:45   But because iOS 13 itself, I don't have any problems with, I had problems with how bad it was

00:48:50   right from a quality perspective when released. So move on to the iPad. Overall 3.9 down 0.1 year

00:48:58   over year. Davindra Harduwa says the new iPad is a tremendous deal. It's getting to a point where

00:49:04   every gadget geek should own one. This is like the regular iPad. Casey List says iPadOS is definitely

00:49:10   a step in the right direction. And David Sparks says we just need Apple to keep the gas down on

00:49:15   iPadOS improvements. John Gruber says to say that I am not a fan of iPadOS is an understatement.

00:49:21   Getting the split screen and slide over stuff to work is utterly unintuitive. It's madness.

00:49:26   And Federico Viticci says there's still plenty left to address from refinements to multi window

00:49:31   and the files app to bigger questions that are looming large over the iPad's role in Apple's

00:49:35   ecosystem. What have you got, Jason? - I'm gonna say four again for a lot of the same reasons.

00:49:41   By the way, John Gruber over the 10th anniversary of the iPad, he wrote a lot about the iPad stuff.

00:49:48   And it's funny because I hadn't seen much of that before 'cause it was his submission.

00:49:52   And then he kind of like riffed on it. And I ended up coming up with this after the fact.

00:49:57   And I put those two quotes from Gruber and Viticci together because there's somebody who doesn't get

00:50:05   the iPad and doesn't like it. And there's somebody there who loves the iPad and uses it all the time.

00:50:09   And people are always like, "Oh, you guys should argue about the iPad." It's like,

00:50:13   well, did John and Federico not basically agree? Federico puts a more positive spin on it,

00:50:18   but they both are saying there's more work to do here. And as David Sparks said,

00:50:23   you named this thing iPadOS. So now are you gonna keep the improvements coming rather than taking

00:50:29   another year off? And that's my concern. But this year they did add a bunch of improvements that I

00:50:35   wanted. I think it could be better. I'm looking forward to a new iPad Pro. Their hardware lineup

00:50:41   for the iPad is spectacular. We talked about the Apple Watch and having a low-end product and a

00:50:48   high-end product and having a little bit of a range. The iPad has a better range than any

00:50:52   product line I think that Apple provides. That cheap iPad, like one of my panelists,

00:50:58   I didn't put it in the story, but one of my panelists says, "We bought a couple of iPads,

00:51:04   low-model iPads for cheap at Costco." And it's like, that should be an option, right? You should

00:51:10   be able to go from that, an iPad at Costco, all the way up to the iPad Pro. So four, almost five.

00:51:17   I feel like iOS 13 and the fact that some of the iPadOS quirks are still there. There were some

00:51:25   letdowns. The file stuff that got introduced is still not really consistent, which is frustrating.

00:51:33   I was just trying to connect to my local server via SMB today, which is a feature of iOS 13.

00:51:38   It just didn't work. It just didn't work. So there's more work to be done. But otherwise,

00:51:43   generally, super positive and four out of five. >> Yeah, I give it a four too. I'm happy that

00:51:49   iPadOS exists and cursor support has been huge for me this year. I'm really, really excited about it.

00:51:53   I'm so happy they added that feature. That's something I've wanted for a while and it's made

00:51:58   big changes for me this year. I think multi-window is the worst part of iPadOS because it just isn't

00:52:05   implemented properly. And I want to see them do the tweaks to that that they have done to

00:52:09   multitasking. I understand that people don't like multitasking, but I kind of disagree with a lot of

00:52:16   the criticism. I feel like all computer systems are unintuitive until you learn them. And it's

00:52:23   just like a general feeling about how you learn them and what works for you and what doesn't.

00:52:27   Honestly, I think it is a little harsh to just blanket call it unintuitive. I don't think that's

00:52:34   accurate to just say it as a fact. I feel like it's better when these things are placed as opinion

00:52:41   because I use my iPad to great effect every day and find it so much easier to use than the Mac.

00:52:48   I'll give you an example, Jason, just like in a general, how frustrating is this to use? I'm using

00:52:53   my MacBook Pro today and I wanted to have two Chrome windows side by side and I had to sit and

00:52:59   drag each one of them until I could get them at the right sizes to fill up half of the screen,

00:53:03   right? Because it's just like window management stuff. You should use Moom, by the way,

00:53:07   for many tricks. Right, but that's the thing. So I have to install third-party software to

00:53:10   get split screen to work properly. This is just a... I feel like this is a... You either comment it

00:53:16   one way or another. Yeah. And you have different... Because everybody understands things, uses things

00:53:22   differently, but I have not enjoyed the rhetoric of the last week where there is just iPad is a

00:53:29   failure, you're an idiot for using it, and everything they do is wrong. And I just feel

00:53:34   like that this is the perception that is then whipped up, right? And I just don't agree with it,

00:53:40   is basically what I want to say. Yeah. I think that's... I don't entirely agree with it,

00:53:44   but I think there's plenty to criticize. I agree that there is plenty to criticize. And as you

00:53:48   said, I think it's also true that if you've ever looked at somebody who's a novice computer user

00:53:52   using Mac, you'll see just how unintuitive the Mac is too. Everything's got their issues. I had

00:53:58   a back and forth with Dave Naney, a software developer yesterday where he basically said,

00:54:06   "If I had all my Apple devices, the one I'd give up is the iPad." And I said, "That's funny. I did

00:54:09   give up my laptop." But the point was that I thought was good that came out of that was

00:54:15   the Mac is built around multi-window, lots of things floating in your face multitasking,

00:54:22   and that's the primary use of it ever since they introduced multitasking on the Mac,

00:54:26   and really since they had multi-window from the beginning. And the iPad is... fundamentally,

00:54:33   its default is a full screen. And I think Mac full screen is actually really weird and bad.

00:54:38   And I think multitasking on iPad is weird and sometimes very frustrating.

00:54:43   And I think we can all say that. They're different. They're different. How about that?

00:54:51   >> Yeah, I think that the bones of multi-window are there, but they need to do a better job

00:54:56   of making it more intuitive. The multi-window stuff was not implemented very well.

00:55:02   But multitasking, the bones of iPad multitasking, I think are there and all they need to do is just

00:55:08   refine on it. It is by no means a solved issue, like all of the multi-app stuff on iPad, but I

00:55:17   think that where they are right now is more than usable. And the reason I know this is because I

00:55:22   use it every day to run my company. >> Me too.

00:55:24   >> So... >> Yep. Yep.

00:55:25   >> Anyway, Apple Watch, overall 4.1, down 0.2. Lex Freebens says, "I love the Apple Watch Series

00:55:34   5 so much. My favorite feature is the time. It tells me the time all the time."

00:55:38   Which is just a very great Lex quote, but just really perfectly says why. The best feature of

00:55:44   the Apple Watch Series 5 is the Always-On Display. And as Dan Provost says, "The significance of the

00:55:49   Always-On Display cannot be overstated." Steven Hackett says, "The Always-On Display has brought

00:55:54   me back to the Apple Watch. It fundamentally changed the way I think about the Apple Watch

00:55:58   for the better." Carolina Milanese says, "Apple owns the smartwatch category. Apple Watch is no

00:56:04   accessory." That is very true. I mean, and Carolina, very smart analyst, has said that.

00:56:10   And then you come to the earnings report, and then Tim Cook saying, "Yeah, people buy iPhones

00:56:14   because of Apple Watches." So she nailed that one completely, right? Like, it is not an accessory.

00:56:19   It's actually a driver for them for some people now. And CGP Grey says about the Apple Watch,

00:56:24   "Let's not even talk about Apple Watch faces five years on, and nothing really actionable is being

00:56:28   done with all the health data that it has as well." So Grey is complaining about watch faces

00:56:34   and health data. Where are you with this, Jason? - Apple Watch. I never give the top rating to

00:56:46   anything because you can always be better, and you've seen that because I keep giving things

00:56:50   fours. So I'll say four again. I really like Apple Watch Series 5. I think they ticked the last box

00:56:59   in terms of the features that they needed to do that fundamentally make this product what it needs

00:57:05   to be. Plus, the Series 3 is still available at 199, which is pretty good. WatchOS update. All

00:57:11   the OS updates were a little bit shaky, and we'll see where it goes from here. But I think it was a

00:57:18   good year for the Apple Watch. - The Apple Watch achieves one of my lower ratings. I give it a 3.

00:57:22   The Apple Watch hardware is incredible. So the Series 5 hardware is absolutely fantastic

00:57:30   in the way it is built, the options that they have for it now. And I have the white ceramic,

00:57:35   which I love that thing just to look at it. And the always-on screen is the only reason that I

00:57:40   would consider ever wearing an Apple Watch. And just as an update, I wear it. So I tend to rotate

00:57:46   my watches that I own. I own four watches now, including the Apple Watch. And I wear them like

00:57:52   a week at a time. I just will leave one on for a week unless I want one for a specific reason.

00:57:57   And my Apple Watch is still in that rotation. I will wear it, and I'm very happy to wear it.

00:58:01   But the watch faces are just poor still. I'm not happy with the customization ability of the Apple

00:58:09   Watch face when it is a computer. In theory, I should be able to do a million things with it.

00:58:16   I feel like they are not giving enough customization to what could be very customizable.

00:58:21   Notification preferences are still a nightmare to the point that I think Apple's never going to do

00:58:26   anything to really make the best that they can of granularity of notification on that device.

00:58:33   And they should have added sleep tracking by now. And I honestly can't believe they haven't done

00:58:37   that. So I think watchOS is pulling, and it has pulled the Apple Watch down for me. I think they

00:58:44   haven't done enough on watchOS. I think they're putting a lot of really great resources and time

00:58:49   into the hardware. And the major watchOS features that are being added are necessary for their

00:58:54   hardware improvements. I don't think they're doing enough about the actual operating system itself

00:59:00   and the fundamentals of it. So that's where I am with Apple Watch.

00:59:06   Wearables is a 4.6 overall, and you added wearables as a new category this year, right?

00:59:11   You split it out from just Apple Watch. Yeah, well, wearables is now a category in a way that

00:59:16   it wasn't when I started the survey. And I have never changed a survey category before. But what

00:59:21   I decided to do is add in wearables with an eye toward possibly removing Apple Watch at some point

00:59:28   and using the historic data from wearables. But in order to keep that data continuous,

00:59:33   I need to kind of have them both live there for a while. So I think it makes sense to have them

00:59:38   separate, honestly, because I don't think of the Apple Watch as wearables in the way that Apple

00:59:43   does. I know that's how they count it. But I do think of it as different because none of the other

00:59:49   wearable products have an operating system that developers can make apps for yet, right? So I feel

00:59:56   like that adds a different area to this. So wearables got a 4.6. Josh Senter says,

01:00:03   "I think it's impressive that Apple is selling out of the $250 wireless earbuds that they make."

01:00:08   Steven Aquino says that AirPods Pro are without a doubt his favorite Apple product of the year.

01:00:13   And Christina Warren says the AirPods Pro are an incredible upgrade in almost every single way

01:00:19   and are a great example of quintessential Apple refinement. What is your score for wearables?

01:00:24   I'm going to give it a five. Me too, five. There's nothing else to say.

01:00:29   I'll say I gave a four to the Apple Watch and you throw in the AirPods and let's just round it all

01:00:35   the way up to five because the AirPods are great. And we have talked about them at length here. The

01:00:39   original AirPods were the most kind of quintessentially Apple product, as Christina said,

01:00:46   in a long time. And the AirPods Pro kind of continue that. And the fact that they're both

01:00:50   out there and so they've got, again, a range. You can get the cheap product, you can get the

01:00:53   kind of higher end product with the noise canceling, more please, right? Like for people

01:00:58   who want over-ear headphones, let's do that. Let's see what that product looks like. But they're

01:01:02   firing on all cylinders. They're really good at this. It makes me really curious and a little bit

01:01:06   trepidatious about what they are thinking about augmented reality because that's a wearable too.

01:01:10   And part of me thinks I don't entirely understand what that product is going to be and how it would

01:01:16   be rolled out whenever it might be rolled out. And part of me thinks, well, they are doing a

01:01:20   really good job with wearables, so maybe they've got this down. I don't know.

01:01:24   And then Apple TV has overall 2.7, which is up 0.1 from last year. Adam Angst says,

01:01:33   "Talk about ignored technology." Mark O'Arment says, "The TV app changed, but still an unintuitive,

01:01:39   buggy mess designed like a magazine instead of usable software, fitting in nicely with the

01:01:44   rest of TV OS." And Benjamin Mayo says, "Apple TV hardware is too expensive for what it offers

01:01:49   in 2019." Yeah, I'm going to give it a three, but that's because I like what happened this year

01:01:58   where Apple rolled out the TV app on other platforms. I feel like I'm starting to define

01:02:03   what the Apple TV category is a little differently and have it include not just the hardware.

01:02:08   I think looking at the results, there are two ways to view this, and one is to view it as a

01:02:13   question about that little black box, and another is a question about sort of like Apple as a TV

01:02:18   platform. And Apple as a TV platform came a long way because they're on other devices for the first

01:02:24   time because you can get access to your Apple streaming service, but also like your iTunes

01:02:28   movies and like all of that stuff is available on all sorts of TVs and other streaming boxes,

01:02:32   and I think it's a big deal. The Apple TV itself is fine, but it's not great. The remote is not

01:02:40   great. I don't have as big a problem with some of the interface stuff as other people do. I think

01:02:45   it's a perfectly fine thing. Somebody in the survey said it's the Apple product I use the most

01:02:51   and I hate it, basically. I had two panelists who said the Apple TV feels like something Amazon

01:02:59   would have shipped because it's all about selling you other things, which is I think a really good

01:03:03   burn that both Rob Griffiths and Josh centers came up with. So, you know, it's mixed and it's

01:03:10   overpriced. Like that's the other thing, the hardware, the Apple TV hardware. I understand

01:03:14   maybe having a premium product like that that provides premium features if you want to spend

01:03:18   more money. I'm unclear on how premium it really is. It doesn't seem like it does a whole lot more

01:03:24   other than giving you access to Apple's app ecosystem. Then, I mean, I bought a 4K

01:03:30   Amazon Fire Stick for like 25 bucks for my daughter's room for the TV that we put in there

01:03:37   now that she's not in there most of the time. And, you know, 20, 25 bucks. And is it as good

01:03:43   as the Apple TV 4K? No, but it was 25 bucks and it has an Apple TV app on it. So, yeah, yeah,

01:03:51   it's a tough one. I think the hardware I'd rate a lot lower, but I do like what they did with

01:03:56   their approach to apps with getting them on other platforms. I gave it a three and I had no comment.

01:04:02   It's just like, it's like what it is what it is. A three with great reservations and yeah, this is

01:04:08   one of those categories that's very much like everybody kind of went like just yeah. I should

01:04:15   have graded it lower, but I kind of was just apathetic to it rather than annoyed. If they

01:04:19   hadn't rolled out those apps on other platforms, I probably would have called this two, but,

01:04:24   or one. But I like that. I like that Apple broke out right now. This was a year where Apple said

01:04:30   Apple TV is not just going to be inside that little black box. Yeah, and I am happy that they

01:04:36   made that decision because it would have been ridiculously stupid to do this any other way.

01:04:42   Like Apple TV+ will not work if Apple locked it down to their hardware. It will never succeed

01:04:50   that way. And I was pleased that they had the forethought to break from their traditional

01:04:57   ways of doing things, to embrace making applications for other platforms. We've seen

01:05:04   Apple do this in the past when it benefit them, right? Like iTunes is a great example,

01:05:08   right? They put iTunes on Windows because they want to sell iPods. They put the TV app on TVs

01:05:14   and other devices because they want people to watch their content. And it's the only way they

01:05:18   can get the world to watch their content is by making it available to everyone in theory.

01:05:24   So I'm pleased that they did it. All right, let's take a break and we'll continue with the report

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01:07:53   to KiwiCo for their support of upgrade and all of Relay FM. So we now move into services.

01:07:59   Overall 3.7 up 0.5 on last year. Carolina Milanese said that the weakest link in the

01:08:07   services portfolio is Apple News Plus. John Gruber says that they mostly nailed Apple TV Plus. The

01:08:13   one year free promotion is just what the doctor ordered for a new service with a very limited

01:08:17   library of content. James Thompson says Apple Arcade is an aggressively priced service with

01:08:22   significantly more good games on it than I have time to play. And Dan Morris says Apple Card has

01:08:28   been fine, not as revolutionary as could have been hoped, but also about what was expected.

01:08:33   Jason, where are you on services? >>So Apple Pay and Apple Card, yes. Apple TV Plus, yes.

01:08:46   As everybody pointed out, Apple News Plus, no. Flop, yeah. Apple Arcade, yes.

01:08:56   So I don't know. I'm going to say four. Four? I feel like they're doing a good job with most

01:09:04   of their services, with the exceptions of free five gigabytes of iCloud backup and Apple News

01:09:13   Plus, which was a joke. >>Yeah, for me, I actually give it a five because I'm ignoring Apple News

01:09:20   Plus. I'm just ignoring it. Honestly, I just don't even think that it counts. >>Okay. >>I know that's

01:09:27   a peculiar thing to say, but it's just like the rest of their portfolio is so good that I feel

01:09:34   like it outbalances Apple News Plus, in my opinion, because TV Plus has delivered two of my favorite

01:09:42   TV shows in the last year, and Apple Arcade has an incredible lineup for such a low price.

01:09:49   I really feel that these two services met and exceeded my expectations in a way that I

01:09:57   thought that Apple services overall lineup this year is one of the most compelling things that

01:10:02   they've done, and I think is going to set them up really well. So I was very, very proud. I'm very,

01:10:07   very pleased, I should say, with what happened there, and so I would rate it that highly.

01:10:11   >>All right. >>So going to HomeKit and Home. >>Oh, everybody's favorite category. >>This is not good,

01:10:21   this one. It's overall down 0.1, it's at 2.8. So 2.8 out of five. Marco Ahmet says the Home app is

01:10:31   still an over-designed, form-over-function, unintuitive mess. Marco's not pulling these

01:10:36   punches on this one. And Stephen Hackett says HomeKit continues to move at a glacial pace.

01:10:42   I tried HomeKit Secure Video, and it is nowhere near ready. >>Yep, yep. I mean, I think Apple has

01:10:51   progressed with HomeKit, but they're doing it incredibly slowly. Glacial Place is about right.

01:10:56   They are finally opening it up. They've got the new standards body that they're trying to build

01:11:01   with their competitors. >>Home, was it Chip? >>Chip, Chip. >>Connected Home over IP, Chip and Chop? >>Yeah,

01:11:07   Chip Chop. So yeah, that's good. The Home app is a mess. There are incredible inconsistencies if you

01:11:18   try to use it. There are features it has, but they're really inconsistent. It's very weird.

01:11:23   There's just, it's like, I want to like it and I use it, but using it makes me like it less and

01:11:31   less through time. So I think there's some signs that they may have finally figured out the right

01:11:35   way forward here, but this feels like one of those areas where Apple had big plans and then just had

01:11:40   no follow through and we're all left kind of hanging. So two. >>I give it a two as well.

01:11:47   Poor design, poor device offerings overall. Adoption is super slow. Nothing significant

01:11:53   has been added and anything that has been added this year has not worked out very well.

01:11:58   And we've like, we passed the year with without like any router companies adopting the secure

01:12:05   router project, even though multiple companies said that they would, like we went the entire year

01:12:09   and none of that happened. And the secure video stuff seems to have been a bit of a disaster,

01:12:14   honestly. So the intentions are there, but they're not delivering. And I do hope that

01:12:20   Choi will change that for them in the future. >>But they're also going to need to upgrade their

01:12:25   HomeKit game. I've gone into it, I think on this podcast, but like I've spent some time the last

01:12:31   couple of weeks tinkering around with my HomeKit to try and make it smarter. And all I'm finding

01:12:35   is that it is super inconsistent and frustrating and things that it says that it does, it kind of

01:12:41   doesn't do. And you know, it's yeah, I want it to be better than it is, but they're going to need to

01:12:47   improve the home features themselves in the operating systems to do that. And that's,

01:12:54   that's the real mystery is are they really committed to doing that or do they think it's

01:12:59   good enough? Because it's not. >>Overall hardware reliability gets to 3.9, which is up 0.1 from the

01:13:07   year before. Steve Trout Smith says, "With the Mac keyboard issues addressed properly, I hope

01:13:13   things are going to trend upwards." And Alex Cox says, "There are still going to be butterflies

01:13:19   flying around for far too long." >>Yeah, another place where people are pointing out that although

01:13:27   it's great that Apple fixed this, that they still ship two laptops with the butterfly keyboard,

01:13:31   it's not really fixed. And they're going to sell those laptops through at least part of 2020,

01:13:35   because they're already out there. I think Apple's hardware in general is really good across the

01:13:41   line. That's a black mark, the keyboard on an otherwise, I think, pretty solid set of hardware.

01:13:48   So I'm going to give them four out of five, mostly out of spite for the keyboard. But I'm pretty

01:13:55   happy with the hardware. Or to put it in another way, hardware is not Apple's problem right now.

01:14:00   >>I gave it a five. >>Sure. >>I don't think about the keyboards as much as everybody else. >>Is

01:14:07   the butterfly keyboard a little bit like Apple News Plus to you? You're just going to,

01:14:10   what? No, I don't know what you're talking about. >>My feeling is, my feeling is they've,

01:14:17   they've shown that they have it in them to fix it. We haven't heard of any significant,

01:14:23   I don't think there's significantly widespread problems with the last version of the butterfly

01:14:27   keyboard. >>Well, I mean, didn't Steven Hackett lose his Delicke? >>He had problems, yes. But I

01:14:34   said widespread. Like Steven's the only person that I've seen that has had issues with that.

01:14:38   >>The fact that we know somebody who had problems with the new materials butterfly keyboard makes me

01:14:43   really worried about that. >>But maybe I just don't trust Steven's like laptop eating situation. >>He

01:14:47   needs to stop eating saltines right over his laptop. >>I feel like that's what he's doing.

01:14:52   But let me tell you why I come from, where I come from with my five. I'm thinking of the products

01:14:56   Apple released this year, right? So of the stuff that they released in 2019, I feel was very good.

01:15:05   That's how I feel, right? Like the iPhones were fantastic. The Mac Pro seems to have like

01:15:13   been great. The 16 inch MacBook Pro seems to have been great. Like they released a series of products

01:15:18   this year, which were all solid. So that's kind of where I'm coming from with this one. People take

01:15:25   it differently, right? They look at the overall category, but like, they didn't release any new

01:15:31   laptops this year other than the 16 inch MacBook Pro, right? >>New materials, MacBook Pros in the

01:15:39   spring. >>Yeah, but I mean like new, new, but anyway, yeah. So get your point. But I, I, I,

01:15:45   >>The iMac, the speed bump of the iMacs, the new Mac Pro. >>Yeah, I feel like, I feel like of the

01:15:52   stuff that was released in 2019, it was excellent. >>Also it's hardware, reliability is hardware. So

01:15:57   it's like, also it's the iPhone and the iPad and the Apple watch and like they're killing it on

01:16:01   all of those fronts. Yeah. >>Yeah. And that's, that's where I'm coming to it from. Like my

01:16:05   personal outlook is like, no, I think they did a really good job this year. So, because there was

01:16:11   no like widespread issues with the iPhones, right? People are always looking for them and there

01:16:15   wasn't one this year, which is a big surprise. Uh, overall software quality is 2.7 down 0.7.

01:16:23   CGP Grey says it's been a brutally buggy year. Renee Ritchie says iOS 12 should be the new normal.

01:16:30   Laurie Gill says this year shows an example of how it's better to ship late and ship right than

01:16:35   to ship on time with the risk of a poor user experience. And James Thompson says something

01:16:40   failed significantly in Apple software engineering process this year. And I hope lessons have been

01:16:45   learned. Jason? >>Yeah. I mean, it's hard not to argue. This is the, this is my feeling is,

01:16:53   is the software. Apple is a company that is in many cases, when you look at it,

01:16:59   appears to be incredibly well optimized and organized. They buy, they buy components in

01:17:07   advance based on the projections for the availability of those components. They have

01:17:12   factories that they've got a shipping set up. They, they are so their supply chain for hardware,

01:17:19   their hardware design stuff, you know, occasionally there's a thing like an air power,

01:17:24   but although that's more of a mistake of announcing a product before it was ready.

01:17:27   Um, but like so much of Apple, we look at it and we think this is a really well-run company

01:17:33   making great products. And that's why it makes a huge amount of money. The software group,

01:17:38   as anybody who's a keen observer of Apple will tell you, seems like it's a complete mess. And

01:17:47   I know it's hard and, and, and we've talked about like reasons why I suspect that at its core,

01:17:55   part of what's going on here is that Apple is bad at it at hiring and that they're,

01:18:01   they're understaffed. One of the other lines in the story was, um, Dr. Drang who said from the

01:18:07   outside, it looks as if the Apple software team just keeps running from fire to fire,

01:18:10   an understaffed group, barely able to take a breath between crises. And that rings true to me.

01:18:15   Um, anybody who knows people who've been approached to be hired by Apple or has gone through an Apple

01:18:20   hiring process, like it seems super long and inefficient and slow and confusing. And I think

01:18:28   Apple is still running itself. Like it's got the ambitions of 2009. And, um, and what we said

01:18:37   earlier about home kit, that line about how it's a question about like, did they just kind of build

01:18:42   something and then think it's good enough and run off to the next fire is really, I think,

01:18:47   endemic within a lot of Apple software where it feels like there's nobody, they build something,

01:18:52   it's, it's buggy, it's, uh, it's got problems and then they just walk away for a year or longer.

01:18:56   And it's hard to tell when you're, when you're on the outside looking in, cause it is kind of

01:19:02   a black box, which is why I like James's quote, which is something failed significantly. And I

01:19:07   hope they learned their lesson. And that's kind of all you can say. I don't want to provide a

01:19:10   prescription cause I don't know the details, but I will say that if I had to list like all of the

01:19:16   portions of Apple's business that I can view from afar, one of them seems to be broken and it's

01:19:25   software and it's all software. It's operating systems. Um, it's, it's the APIs for developers.

01:19:33   It's the user features. It's the beta process. It's their third-party apps. There's something

01:19:39   really wrong there and whatever it is, I hope they fix it. But more than that, I hope they

01:19:45   don't fix it for a year and then break it again because one of the most mind boggling statistics

01:19:51   in this entire thing is software quality over time by my panel, because they got a 3.4 in 2016

01:19:59   and it dropped precipitously to a 2.7 in 2017. And then it went up to a 3.4 in 2018 and then dropped

01:20:07   back down to 2.7 for 2019, which means we've done this twice now where they've had a good year and

01:20:13   then a terrible year and there's been a huge swing. And the lesson here is giving us a good year is

01:20:20   not good enough. You need to be consistent and Apple is unable to be consistent with software

01:20:24   quality. So two. Yeah, I completely agree with everything that you said. I give it a two as well.

01:20:35   It has been, it's been a very bad year. I feel like it has been plagued with problems and what

01:20:42   has actually been shipped, you know, by and large, even if there weren't problems, wouldn't have been

01:20:47   that incredible. Like you look at Catalina. Catalina's problem was not that it was full

01:20:52   of bugs. It's problem was that like that some of the steps that Apple had taken, it's just not good,

01:20:58   right? Like a lot of the security stuff is just like really frustrating and very difficult, right?

01:21:03   And it's not been great for users. And it seems like it's very good for some of the stuff Apple

01:21:08   wants to do in the future. But that doesn't always translate to being a very nice user experience.

01:21:14   And iOS 13 on the iPhone didn't really get a lot. I mean, dark mode's great. I'm happy to have it.

01:21:21   Like I really love it. But in regards to like new features for iOS, there wasn't a ton.

01:21:26   And they didn't really deliver on any of them in a stable way. So, you know, I can't help but agree

01:21:37   with Laurie to just be like, you know, I understand why you have to ship on time,

01:21:42   but really Apple should have a better fallback mechanism. You know, it's not that famous thing

01:21:49   about like you can have it like you can have a cheaper good or fast and you can choose to. Yeah.

01:21:54   Because I mentioned, I don't think they have enough developers. And some of that is also

01:21:59   their policy of like so many things they want core and Cupertino and it's very expensive to

01:22:04   live in the Bay Area and like their cultural issues that I think that they could address to have

01:22:08   a bigger and perhaps more distributed set of teams working on their software that Apple

01:22:13   culturally has been reluctant to do. It's not that they don't do it. Steve Jobs was very reluctant to

01:22:18   do it as we know from him telling James Thompson to move to California or leave. But it's not just

01:22:26   that. And I think there's probably some management and some processes. But the third part of that,

01:22:31   of the choose to is time, right? And that's what Laurie's quote is about, which is part of the

01:22:37   problem here is Apple's annual schedule where everything has to happen announced in June betas

01:22:43   over the summer ship in September with the iPhone and then Mac and ship a little bit later, but not

01:22:47   too much later because the features are all tied together. And that's the other part of this is like

01:22:52   can we blame the developers who might know exactly how buggy their software is for their management

01:23:00   saying it doesn't matter. You have to ship it like I don't think you can. So it's all of these things.

01:23:07   And I don't know like what's easier for Apple to do change their entire shipping concept,

01:23:14   change what they put in releases and slow down the pace of releases, which requires them to really

01:23:18   swallow their pride about rolling out new features that are going to blow people away. So like hire

01:23:24   more people, slow down the releases, uncouple themselves from this annual calendar that they

01:23:30   built up for themselves. They can do these things, but what do they choose to do? Or what I fear is

01:23:36   the case, do they choose to just kind of fake it and apologize and slow down for a year and then

01:23:42   everybody forgets that they slowed down and say, well, geez, it's been two years now. We need to

01:23:47   push it again. And then we have another bad year because that's the cycle they're in now is good

01:23:51   year bad year TikTok. It's not appropriate. It's bad. Yeah, it's just like maybe if they had a way

01:23:59   to somehow release iOS 13 like three or four weeks later, things would have been way better, but

01:24:05   they couldn't do that because they had the iPhone. But then that begs the question of,

01:24:11   should there have been a better contingency plan than the one they had, which was release a buggy

01:24:18   version of iOS 13, which was so buggy that they actually didn't release it to everybody, right?

01:24:22   Like we're not going to release the one that shipped on the iPhone and then didn't alert

01:24:27   people to some of the updates or accident or people to install them. It's like, if that is your

01:24:31   contingency plan, I'm sure you have seen now that you probably need a more full contingency plan,

01:24:39   right? Like maybe when this wasn't a problem before that your contingency plan, which is the

01:24:44   one that they seem to roll out this year would be fine. But then when you actually put that

01:24:49   contingency plan into effect, you realize that it's not great. So maybe you need something more.

01:24:54   Developer relations 3.4. It's the same, didn't change. Casey List says Apple's documentation

01:25:02   is exultingly bad and non-existent. If Apple wants third-party developers like myself to embrace new

01:25:08   technologies, the answer can't be watch a WWDC video, then get out a divining rod and hope for

01:25:13   the best. They need to provide documentation for all of these new APIs. No excuses. And Paul

01:25:19   Cofasas says, "Notarization of macOS apps has thus far worked out better than I would have expected.

01:25:25   So long as Apple uses a very light touch with this, it can be a win for users and developers.

01:25:30   Nevertheless, I live in fear of a capricious use of this to kill something legitimate that Apple

01:25:37   simply dislikes." Yeah, this, when we launched the survey, there were a lot of really big app store

01:25:44   and app review complaints, which got addressed. And so the survey started at its low, which was

01:25:49   a 2.2. And the average has gone up to 3.1 and then 3.6. And now it's been sort of leveled out at 3.4

01:25:55   for the last couple of years. So this is one of those things that I'm not sure I would have put

01:25:58   on the survey if I was creating it this year, but it was a real pain point back in 2015. And I think

01:26:05   the answer is Apple's doing better at this, but there are still issues. Like it's not quite the

01:26:12   house is on fire like it was, but there are still a bunch of issues. Casey's thing about documentation.

01:26:18   Steve Trotton-Smith talked about how perhaps governing bodies really do need to regulate

01:26:24   the app store and set the rules so that Apple has to change its behavior in times of killing apps or

01:26:32   categories of apps. Yeah, I think I'll give it a, I'm not a developer, so I should probably even not

01:26:39   answer, but from the outside, I would say I'll give this a three. Like there are issues, but also

01:26:44   it's not a mess like it was a few years ago. I gave this a four. I feel like I maybe graded it

01:26:51   too highly. The reason I gave it a four is because I don't have any personal attachment to this one.

01:26:57   Right? Like I don't get frustrated because of my lack of relations with my developer rep,

01:27:01   because I don't have one, because I don't need one. And I kind of based it on the fact that like,

01:27:07   I can't recall any scandals in 2019. Right? Like that there are these, as we have, you mentioned,

01:27:14   as seen in the past, right? Like these big problems that had occurred, that sort of stuff

01:27:19   has mostly gone away and it's frustrations now. I would maybe, if I look like thinking about it now,

01:27:25   reading the comments from the report, I would maybe grade it a three after getting like information

01:27:29   from people that care, right? Like after reading the opinions of others. But I originally graded

01:27:34   it a four, but I would amend that to a three, I think. Just because it's like, things seem fine,

01:27:39   but there's still work to be done. And the work that needs to be done seems to not be being done

01:27:44   and is only causing more issues, stuff like the documentation. They've been talking a lot about

01:27:48   that on ATP over the last month or so. And I kind of didn't really know how bad of a situation that

01:27:54   was until I heard people talking about it. So. And we're at the final category now, which is

01:28:00   societal impact. This is overall 3.3 down 0.4. I have quite a lot of comments here because there's

01:28:07   a lot of areas that this touches on. So, Philip Michael says, "I hope Tim Cook likes being featured

01:28:12   in Donald Trump re-election ads because footage of him standing next to Trump in an Apple factory

01:28:17   heaping praise on the economy is going to get replayed roughly a billion times between now and

01:28:22   November." Carolina Milanese says, "I really expect more from Tim Cook than letting himself

01:28:27   be manipulated into an election campaign photo moment." Christina Warren says, "I was personally

01:28:32   disappointed by Apple's decisions to bow to China a few times this year, especially in regards to

01:28:37   the Hong Kong protests." Steven Aquino says, "In terms of accessibility, Apple continues to push

01:28:43   forward both product-wise and in general advocacy. The introduction of C is at the forefront of this.

01:28:48   It is very much representative of the company's institutional love for accessibility and the

01:28:52   disabled community." Aline Sims says, "Apple is, as always, stellar at accessibility. Voice

01:28:58   control introduced by iOS 13 enables people with disabilities to do more than ever before.

01:29:03   I'm still not impressive to diversity and inclusion statistics." Jim McDonald says, "I'm glad to see

01:29:08   Apple promoting its second year of Entrepreneur Camp for companies with women founders,

01:29:12   CEOs, and lead developers." This is a category that has, it's an empty vessel into which the

01:29:19   panelists pour their sentiment about whether Apple is lifting up to its own lofty goals as

01:29:24   a corporation, its ideals, right? And what it's about changes every year. I think when we started,

01:29:30   it was about environmentalism and also the conditions in factories in China. That was a

01:29:36   hot topic. And it's been about green power. It's been about diversity and inclusion. It's been

01:29:43   about accessibility. It's about anything. It really is. And this year, it's about politics.

01:29:48   Yeah. And this year, it's not just about that, but that was the one that bubbled to the surface.

01:29:52   I think two big issues, because it really is about, is Apple living up to its ideals,

01:29:57   because Apple says it is a company and promotes that it is a company that wants to be good and

01:30:01   change the world and leave the world a better place. And so this is sort of holding them to

01:30:05   that. And the two trends in the comments this year were, first off, working with Donald Trump

01:30:12   and the American government and, or as what James Thompson said, "Authoritarian and corrupt

01:30:19   governments," read that to refer to whatever governments you prefer. That was part of it.

01:30:25   And Trump going to that factory that wasn't actually an Apple factory and having that photo op

01:30:30   with Tim Apple, that was a thing that came up again and again, and working with China and

01:30:36   suppressing that app in Hong Kong. And then the other thing that came up was privacy and security

01:30:43   and things like encryption and being an advocate for user privacy and user encryption and things

01:30:51   that will allow people to keep their phones as a relatively private space that they can use to

01:30:57   communicate with other people and not be viewed by their government or other governments and have

01:31:03   their private things brought out into public knowledge or at least into government knowledge.

01:31:08   And Apple is generally seen positively in the one light, the last one, and in the first one,

01:31:14   it took a hit this year. I'm going to give it down the road. My score would be probably a three

01:31:20   because I think there are areas where Apple is living up to its promise and there are areas where

01:31:23   it's falling down. And so just sticking it in the middle is probably the right way to do it.

01:31:28   I think, as we've said on this show, Tim Cook basically has to be a diplomat. He has to deal

01:31:35   with the government of China and the government of the United States. He literally has to be a

01:31:39   diplomat to the two most powerful governments in the world who have their own desires and he has to

01:31:48   try to walk a line so that he can continue to have his company stay in business. And the challenge is

01:31:52   sometimes that pragmatism leads him to make decisions that make a bunch of people feel

01:31:58   like he's letting us down and he's letting Apple's overall values down. And this is the,

01:32:03   I think, inherent contradiction in any corporation talking about their idealism is that it's great

01:32:09   for corporations to have idealism and belief and want to leave the world a better place,

01:32:15   but they're also publicly held profit-driven corporations owned by shareholders and the

01:32:19   shareholders want profit and growth. And it's easy to have ideals when they don't conflict with

01:32:28   profit and growth, but when there's that moment where it's like, "Oh, no, what happens if we

01:32:32   are cut off from the Chinese market?" The answer is they will make decisions to not do that and

01:32:40   those will not necessarily be in line with their ideals. Tim Cook has talked about it. He said,

01:32:45   "We think it's better to be in the country and involved than to turn our back on it,

01:32:49   but I think there's a real strong case to be made that's the other direction. So

01:32:53   I'm just going to park it at three and say it's a mixed bag. It's a mixed bag."

01:32:57   - I gave it a three. I would usually want to give it much higher. And I've really struggled

01:33:04   over this because I have very, very strong opinions in this area, as listeners of this

01:33:08   show have definitely heard over the last few months. But I struggled to grade it much lower

01:33:16   because Apple is... Their environmental stuff is so good compared to a lot of other companies.

01:33:22   And I also struggle because I appreciate the situation that Tim Cook is in to a point.

01:33:28   He is a world leader without a world to lead. He is effectively as important as

01:33:35   the prime ministers, the presidents of countries, in his importance to the world as it stands right

01:33:41   now because Apple is so vast. Their influence is so great. But the way that he has had to handle

01:33:51   himself this year has been embarrassing. The Mac Pro and Trump thing, it's very embarrassing.

01:33:58   The Hong Kong-China stuff is just really out of the character that he seems to have set for himself.

01:34:05   He appears to be a very principled person, but has the importance of world leaders. But I feel

01:34:16   like he is letting some of his political standing win out in favor of his principles. And that is

01:34:27   changing a lot of the way that we see him. And it's for the sake of the shareholders, right? Because

01:34:34   he seems to have... He is very outspoken in places that he can be, where it's not going to have too

01:34:40   much of an impact on the company. But there are places where he could be more out... He could have

01:34:45   been way more outspoken in regards to the Donald Trump stuff, which would make sense for his,

01:34:54   what seems to be his political views to be more outspoken. But he is not being because of how

01:34:59   difficult it will make the tariff stuff for him. Where it's like, well, Apple also could have taken

01:35:04   a smaller profit margin, right? And just ate the cost of the tariffs if they wanted to. But that

01:35:11   affects the shareholder stuff, it affects the stock price, it affects revenue and profit.

01:35:17   So they didn't do that. It's like, well, okay, so where are the lines drawn for Tim Cook and

01:35:24   his principles? And I think this is the thing that we're all struggling with this year and I

01:35:27   am struggling with, because it's this duality that I can't reconcile myself with properly yet. So

01:35:36   that's kind of where I am this year with this stuff. So that's the report card.

01:35:42   That's it?

01:35:42   No, I think that there's lots of frustrations. There's nothing hugely monumental this year.

01:35:50   So the variances are small. The things that...

01:35:53   The software quality taking a dive is really the story of the whole thing.

01:35:57   Even the dive that it took was not absolutely massive, right?

01:36:03   Well, in terms of this survey, it is. The survey doesn't change by... And I'll say services up by

01:36:09   half a point is on average is actually also a fairly large thing. Moving by five to seven

01:36:14   tenths of a point is big in terms of the survey. So the software quality going down is big and the

01:36:19   service is going up as big.

01:36:21   Okay. All right, should we do some last upgrade to wrap out today's episode?

01:36:25   Great idea.

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01:37:58   support of this show and all of Relay FM. Squarespace, make your next move, make your

01:38:02   next website. Okay, the first #ASKUPGRADE question of today's show is from Graham.

01:38:12   Graham says, "If you had Apple's money, is there a company that you would buy just for the fun of it?"

01:38:18   Um, well for the fun of it, like, and if I had Apple's money is a real great question. Does that

01:38:26   mean what would I like Apple to buy or what would I buy as a person with Apple's money? I don't know.

01:38:30   I'm expecting it's like you are in charge of the money at Apple. What would you do with that money?

01:38:34   I'm Jason Apple at that point. Jason Apple, yeah. Okay, all right. Well, I mean, first,

01:38:39   and this is kind of breaks the entire premises, I'd spend like a billion dollars on the

01:38:42   Incomparable Incorporated and pay myself that. And then I would, but if that's not allowed,

01:38:48   because I'm already working at Apple apparently. But when I came up with this ViacomCBS, I think

01:38:53   Apple should buy some content companies with content libraries and build out Apple TV+

01:38:59   to be more than just their originals. Now they seem to be going down a direction where they're

01:39:04   happy to be HBO because HBO isn't anymore or isn't going to be anymore and just do like premium

01:39:10   originals. But I feel like one of the challenges is that they don't have franchises. So they could

01:39:16   buy like MGM, maybe they could buy ViacomCBS. There's some, they could get some stuff. And not

01:39:22   only would they have catalog for their streaming service, but they would have franchise stuff that

01:39:27   they could build out. So imagine having the Daily Show and having Star Trek and having, if they buy

01:39:35   it at the MGM, having James Bond and not just the archives, but maybe there's a James Bond

01:39:41   series on Apple TV+. To do that stuff, they're probably going to have to buy some of these

01:39:48   smaller companies that are going to get swallowed up by one of the big companies in the media space.

01:39:54   And the nice thing is that Apple is not Disney or Comcast or Warner Media. It doesn't have

01:40:01   an existing equivalent of this. So we could probably collect some of these small players

01:40:06   and build something. So if I had Apple's money, that's what I'd do. I mean,

01:40:10   I've seen people say, "Oh, or you could just buy Netflix." I'm like, "Yeah, I don't think Apple

01:40:14   wants to do that or would do that." Although that would be interesting if they had the money to do

01:40:18   that. But I think they could buy ViacomCBS and MGM and Sony Entertainment maybe and make themselves

01:40:28   a media giant by doing that. Put Spider-Man on Apple TV+. Yeah, well, I mean, but Disney.

01:40:36   Disney, so they'd have Sony, but not Disney. And so would they? I don't know. We'll see.

01:40:40   Dropbox. Yeah. Because I want both iCloud Drive to be better at what it should do and

01:40:46   Dropbox to be better at what I want it to do. So I would like to see Apple buy Dropbox and

01:40:53   use all of their good technology and integrate it better and get rid of the stuff that I don't

01:40:58   care about. Okay. For fun. For fun and for my own usefulness. Sure. Sarah asked a question,

01:41:06   building on a question from last week's episode. So Sarah says, "May I ask, what is the benefit

01:41:12   of using 1Password over Keychain built into iOS and macOS? I've used Keychain for a while and I'm

01:41:19   wondering if it would benefit me to switch to 1Password." So I feel that Keychain has gotten

01:41:25   way better, right? Yes. On iOS especially, a lot of the stuff like the recommended password stuff,

01:41:31   and that's been really great. Actually, one of my favorite features of iOS 13 is all of the...

01:41:36   where 12 and 13 is all of the improvements they're doing to password stuff, especially with Keychain.

01:41:41   But I know I'm speaking for you too, in that my 1Password usage predates these improvements.

01:41:47   So I have years and years of information in there that's not in Keychain, but also you can save more

01:41:53   information. So notes, but I also have banking info and stuff and you can't... you can save cards in

01:41:58   Keychain, but you can't save the verification numbers. So you still need those, right? But

01:42:03   Dropbox, you can save all that stuff and pre-fill it and have it filled for you. But you can also

01:42:08   save bank account numbers and stuff like that. 1Password is also cross-platform. So when I use

01:42:15   Windows or Android, I can also get to 1Password, which I can't with Keychain. And I also find

01:42:21   1Password nicer to navigate. I've heard many say this before and I agree, Apple should make a

01:42:26   Keychain app now. It's becoming more and more useful to be able to look at Keychain and you

01:42:34   have to go into multi-levels of settings. They should just make their own version of 1Password

01:42:39   at this point, I feel like, but... So you could save more information into it if you wanted to,

01:42:44   but just having a passwords app on the phone, I think would be nicer.

01:42:49   - Yeah, I agree. - Have I given enough there?

01:42:51   - Yeah, I think that's solid. Right, I've always got that question, like, would I use 1Password now

01:42:56   if Keychain was as full featured as it is now? I think you should start with Keychain, but

01:43:00   1Password does have some other stuff and if you're cross-platform, you need to use 1Password.

01:43:04   But Keychain has gotten so much better that yes, I have had those questions myself. Of course, now

01:43:08   you can set 1Password to use the autofill API and turn off Keychain so you can get those features

01:43:16   within 1Password so you can choose. - Yeah, that was built like,

01:43:20   you know, I know some of the people on that team, so I feel like I can say this from a place of

01:43:25   authority, like, that was built by people who care about people's security more than how good their

01:43:31   own features are, right? Because like, that is such a good feature set, right, to be able to

01:43:37   just pre-fill all those passwords. Like, Apple could have just kept it for themselves, but opening

01:43:41   it up so other companies can do that with the QuickType keyboard thing is really awesome and

01:43:46   I'm so pleased that they did that because it does promote better security. Like, I have more secure

01:43:54   passwords now than I ever have before because I can just pre-fill them with Keychain and it's easy

01:43:59   for me to get to them that way, right? Like, for like, if I buy something from some website that

01:44:05   I've never used before and may never use again but I set up an account, usually I'll just throw in

01:44:09   some like, standard password or whatever, but now I just have randomized huge passwords for them all

01:44:14   because it's so easy to do, but then I can also very easily, using the same system, pull up on

01:44:18   my 1Password stuff. So I'm very happy that they implemented it that way. Yep. Fuzan says, "If you

01:44:24   could bring any Apple product feature to the entire 2020 lineup from watch to Mac Pro, what would you

01:44:31   choose and why?" This can be new feature, old feature, whatever you want. I have so many things

01:44:37   that I want to do, so I came, I'm going to do the classic technique of talking about three things

01:44:46   but only picking one of them. That's good, that's good. So you cover all your bases. Yeah, so OLED

01:44:51   on the iPad Pro, that would be beautiful. Yep, because then it would, and then I guess the Mac as

01:44:58   well, right, would be also what you'd be getting out of that. If you're bringing it to the entire

01:45:01   lineup because it would be nice to get all those screens on the Mac, why not? I guess, yeah, I

01:45:05   guess entire lineup is the tricky thing here. Multi-touch because it would go on the Mac. Okay.

01:45:15   Apple Pencil, I'm thinking more about iPhone, but why not Apple Pencil on anything, whatever.

01:45:21   Apple Pencil on a big trackpad or on the screen, right, would be nice. And Scissor Keyboard,

01:45:30   and that, yes, that means the iPad Pro, yes, yes it does. And the iPhone? Not just all,

01:45:36   Scissor Keyboard on the Mac, well, it would be an option, you can get a Scissor Keyboard and attach

01:45:41   it to the iPhone, but I wouldn't recommend it. But if I had to go across the entire line instead of

01:45:47   tactically, yeah, I might say OLED, I might say Apple Pencil, yeah. I would like high refresh rate

01:45:54   displays. That's a great answer. ProMotion, yeah, everywhere, all the things. I really desperately

01:46:01   want that for the 2020 iPhone, that'd be super. I was willing to let it go with the 2019 phone,

01:46:07   but like, that iPad ProMotion display is so good. Yeah, I'll be so disappointed if they do not put

01:46:13   that in the iPhone this year. And finally today, Tude asks, which Apple executives tell-all book

01:46:20   are you most excited to read? And this is assuming that they will obviously write them, but let's just

01:46:24   assume that from this question that every Apple executive ever is going to write a tell-all book,

01:46:30   which book do you want to read most? You go first. I want Johnny Ive's book. I think he has the most

01:46:38   interesting story to tell, right? Like, we still want stories about Steve and we know he has

01:46:44   stories that nobody else has, right? Like, you just know that because he was his closest collaborator,

01:46:49   right? Like, he has stories about Steve Jobs that I want to hear, but nobody, you know, has had the

01:46:58   kind of history at Apple that Johnny's had, you know? Like, he's been there for so long and he was

01:47:04   there since it was failing. And I know you've got people like Phil Schiller, right, who have been

01:47:08   there for the same period of time, but the impact that Johnny Ive had, you know, like the way that,

01:47:14   you know, you could tie so many of, well, you can tie like basically pretty much all of Apple's

01:47:20   success to him in some way, right? Because people love Apple's design and he did it. I want to hear

01:47:26   the story of iOS 7, right? Like, what was that like from his perspective, from being given the

01:47:33   task to do it, doing it and how it went? Like, what was it like building the campus? Like,

01:47:39   I want to know all of that from him. You know, why did he never want to go on stage?

01:47:44   I want to know what he has to say about all that stuff. Like, I would love, love to read his book.

01:47:52   I'm going to say Phil Schiller just because, I mean, Johnny Ive, I absolutely agree. I would

01:47:57   love that. Although you know what Johnny Ive's tell-all book will be. It's just going to be

01:48:00   pictures with no captions. Hey, as long as the pictures are detailed enough, as long as these

01:48:05   pictures can tell all, I have no problem on that. Yeah, it's like that Apple history book that they

01:48:09   released. That's just pictures. But I'll go with Schiller because Phil Schiller's been at Apple a

01:48:15   long time. He's seen it all, right? Phil Schiller was very close to Steve Jobs. He's a marketing

01:48:20   guy, but he's more than a marketing guy. But he is, he is at the heart of everything that Apple

01:48:27   has done over the last 20 years. I would want to read Schiller's book to find out why his actual

01:48:33   job is, right? Because his job title at this point doesn't make sense, but it feels like it's never

01:48:40   really made sense. Like you say, like, it feels like he is involved with everything. Well,

01:48:45   marketing means something different at Apple. It does. It was embedded into their entire company,

01:48:50   right? They are a marketing company. I do have one additional one to throw in here. Scott Forstall.

01:48:57   Oh, sure. Yeah, I mean, I think Scott Forstall's tell-all book would be fascinating and we might

01:49:03   get that if he wants to do it since, you know, at some point he'll be presumably contractually

01:49:08   free to say whatever he wants. I really want them all to write books one day, like, please. I agree.

01:49:14   For the sake, for history's sake, right? It would be nice to know what actually happened at Apple.

01:49:19   I was going to mention, like, maybe Johnny Srouji or somebody, somebody involved. I want somebody

01:49:26   involved in the chip thing. I would love to hear the story of PA Semi being bought by Apple and how

01:49:32   Apple became the preeminent mobile chip maker in the world. I, I would love to hear that story. And

01:49:40   again, that, these don't have to be tell-all books, but those are the best chances to get

01:49:43   them right. Because otherwise you can have a journalistic book about it, but you're going to

01:49:46   need lots of people to talk who are your sources and that's always hard. And so that would be the

01:49:51   other way to view this is I don't necessarily need it to be a tell-all book, but I would,

01:49:54   I want more views into the history of a lot of different things that Apple has done over the last

01:49:59   25 years. And we've only gotten a handful so far, but you got to think there will be more at some

01:50:04   point. We could throw like John Rubenstein in there too. I think his, his book would be

01:50:08   fascinating because then he went to Palm and that all kind of fell apart. And like, I think that

01:50:13   would be, I think Ruby's book would be an interesting one too. I want autobiographies of

01:50:18   all of these people. Like I want, I want autobiographies. I don't want biographies, right?

01:50:24   Like, or like official Isaacson books. Like I want Johnny Ive for as much as it is him writing his

01:50:32   own book and telling me everything. Like that's what I want. I'm probably, of everyone, I don't

01:50:37   think he would do it. I feel like there are many other executives that would be more likely to do

01:50:41   it. I don't think he would do it because he seems so private, right? Like I just can't imagine him

01:50:45   doing it, although I would love it. So. All right, that wraps up this week's bumper episode

01:50:51   of Upgrade. If you want to catch our show notes, go to relay.fm/upgrade/283. You can find Jason

01:50:57   online at sixcolors.com, the incomparable.com. He helps many shows here at relay.fm as I do.

01:51:02   You can go to relay.fm/shows to find out more about the product offering that we have for you.

01:51:08   Uh, we'll all score five out of five, um, on the, uh, relay.fm report card. Uh, Jason is

01:51:16   @jsnell on Twitter. I am @imike, I M Y K E. Thanks so much to Pingdom, KiwiCo, and Squarespace for

01:51:23   the support of this episode. Most of all, thank you for listening and we'll be back next time.

01:51:28   Until then, say goodbye, Jason Snell. I give you a five out of five as a co-host, Myke.

01:51:32   Oh, thank you.

01:51:38   [Music]