230: The General Drift of Sentiment


00:00:00   [Music]

00:00:08   From Relay FM, this is Upgrade, episode 230. Today's show is brought to you by

00:00:13   Pingdom, Care/of, and Luna Display. My name is Myke Hurley, I'm joined by Jason Snow. Hi Jason Snow.

00:00:19   Happy, happy Upgrade Day, Myke. I didn't say that it's Monday because, you know, who knows when people

00:00:25   are listening to this. Upgrade Day could be any day. It could be like weeks away, it could be years away.

00:00:31   Do you know people still listen to like really, really old episodes of this show? I take my hat

00:00:35   off to people that do that. Like if you enjoy this show enough that you want to go back to listen

00:00:40   to old episodes, I have great respect for you, but it must be wild to listen to us talk about old news

00:00:45   stories. Yeah, I don't even want to know. I don't want to go back there. No. We must move forward.

00:00:51   Just full of things that we were wrong about. I guess what I'm saying is nobody wants to hear

00:00:55   about that. I guess so. Our #snowtalk question comes from Brian this week. Brian wants to know,

00:01:00   "Jason, what is your 'Desert Island' album?" Myke, you can answer this question. Do I even need to?

00:01:05   You know, it's kind of funny. Didn't we do this? Yes, but you know what? I forgot. Like when I saw this,

00:01:10   I forgot that like it didn't put two and two together that obviously me and you have had a 41

00:01:15   minute discussion about your favorite album. It didn't jump into my head, honestly. I didn't even

00:01:19   think about it until you put the link in the notes. Interesting, yes. I used to do a series, part of my

00:01:24   Inclusive podcast. This was back in 2015 where I brought on a bunch of really interesting people in

00:01:31   our kind of wider podcasting community and asked them, "What is your favorite album?" And Jason

00:01:37   picked Crowded House, the self-titled album by Crowded House. So yeah, so that was a really good

00:01:44   album. I like this pick because it's an album that I have full memories of. So that's the one,

00:01:50   that's still the one you'd pick. It's like not even just your favorite album, but the one album

00:01:54   you'd be happy to listen to forever. I mean, I think that's going to be the easiest answer I

00:02:00   could give. I didn't do the calculation of like, could I cheat and pick like some sort of greatest

00:02:06   hits compilation box set album that's like eight discs or something and all that. And I just

00:02:10   decided I'm not going to go down that path. The best of music compilation box set. That's right.

00:02:17   That's right. All the music on an iPod that I then bring with me, but that's not the question here.

00:02:22   It really is like, what's the desert island? And I'm going to say Crowded House from Crowded House,

00:02:28   1986. Thank you to Brian for the Snell Talk question. If you would like to send in a question

00:02:35   of any kind for us to open a future episode of Upgrade, just send out a tweet with the hashtag

00:02:39   Snell Talk, and it may be included for future selection. So thank you so much to Brian for the

00:02:44   suggestion. We have some follow-up. Foldable phones. It was the week of foldable phones last

00:02:49   week. We picked it as something that we were interested in and turns out the rest of the

00:02:54   internet was as well, which is brilliant. Nice and timely. This was mostly spurred on by the fact

00:03:01   that it was like the day after, so Wednesday, Xiaomi, the Chinese phone manufacturer,

00:03:08   they showed off a prototype of what they think a foldable phone should look like. And it's

00:03:13   completely different, which I love. I love that it's completely different. You know, like the

00:03:17   Flexpie Royale was just a phone that folded in half like a book. But Xiaomi's phone, it's like a

00:03:24   rectangle and you fold the two sides around to make it like a smaller rectangle. I like this

00:03:32   idea because my thinking was you could fold only half of it, right? And then you could have like a

00:03:38   like basically have three different aspect ratios. Xiaomi gave no information about it,

00:03:44   just that this is their idea. And I thought, again, it looked interesting. I don't know how

00:03:50   usable it is, but it looked interesting. And then Lauren Good kind of posted an article about this.

00:03:57   "We've just the best headline that sums up this whole trend. Have phones become boring? Well,

00:04:02   they're about to get weird." And that's, I think, kind of the cool thing about this. Like,

00:04:07   and you, you meant you pulled this out like in your link post on Six Colors. There's going to be

00:04:12   a lot of this stuff that is rubbish that's going to happen in these phones. Oh, yeah. Including like,

00:04:17   what Samsung's about to do. They're about to put a hole in the front of the phone where they just

00:04:20   put the camera. Who knows if that's going to be good or not. But the point is like this year,

00:04:24   maybe next year, there's going to be some stuff that is good, but we're going to go through a lot

00:04:29   of weird to get there. But that's fun and exciting because phones have kind of maybe gotten a little

00:04:34   bit boring. Yeah, we're going to end that period where, and I think this is going to be less true

00:04:39   of Apple because Apple is more careful about this. This is what we talked about last week,

00:04:44   my piece for Tom's Guide about foldable phones and how Apple tends to sit on the sidelines a little

00:04:48   bit until it feels like it's really got a good idea because it doesn't feel that pressure to

00:04:52   be first out the gate with something that's not very good, but is new. But a lot of other people

00:04:58   are going to buy phones that have super weird features in them. And we're going to go through

00:05:01   this cycle for the next year or two, or maybe more, who knows, where everybody's trying out

00:05:06   all these different things. And the phone makers themselves are going to find out

00:05:12   based on the reception of them, whether people actually use these features,

00:05:16   actually like these features. If they hate these features, they make the phones worse.

00:05:19   So you'll end up with even more of the kind of point and laugh products than we usually get.

00:05:28   Every now and then there's a weird product and everybody just kind of goes, "Ha ha ha,

00:05:32   that's ridiculous." We're going to get a lot of those. And that's what Lauren Goode's really

00:05:36   saying here is there's going to be experimentation. Experimentation is good. There will always be some

00:05:43   company that is willing to make a product based on a feature that is half-baked and impractical

00:05:52   because they feel like it will get them attention. And it will, although not necessarily the good

00:05:58   kind of attention. And that's just, I mean, the tech industry has been doing that, and I think

00:06:01   products in general, but tech in particular, for a very long time. There have been all sorts of

00:06:06   outlandish phones and before that computers. And you look back on some of them and you're like,

00:06:12   "What were they thinking?" And the answer was, "They didn't know what they were thinking. They

00:06:15   just were trying stuff to see." And sometimes you try stuff and it works. And that's why they try it

00:06:20   in part. So yeah, it will be very entertaining to watch.

00:06:25   So the thing is, I completely agree with you. A bunch of companies will just jump on this like

00:06:31   Royale, Royole, and they will make a bad product. But the point, why the technology needs these

00:06:40   companies? Because it pushes the technology forward. If someone's forcing some company,

00:06:45   like some display manufacturer, to make these displays for them, it's at least beginning the

00:06:50   process of going down that road to where it could be a good product. So I think that everybody needs

00:06:56   it as well, because you never know what's going to take off. And it might be some weirdo design that

00:07:02   catches the eye of someone somewhere else and then they make a better version of it. So I like it

00:07:06   because it's interesting. And I applaud these companies for taking these swings, even though

00:07:12   most of the time they end up in misses. But I think 2019, we will remember it, this is the year

00:07:18   of the first flexible phones. Yeah, I draw a line between, there are the companies that are really

00:07:25   trying to do something unique and they fail because the tech's not ready yet and they were

00:07:33   too soon, they were really enthusiastic, but they just couldn't get it together. And then there are

00:07:37   the companies that are just shamelessly shoveling garbage into their phones. Yeah, of course,

00:07:41   because they're just trying to jump on a bandwagon to sell some stuff. And I respect the first group,

00:07:46   although I feel bad for them. And I guess I think you're right in the sense that this is part of the

00:07:51   evolution of technology is that you get this first generation of tech that some manufacturer comes up

00:07:57   with and they sell it, but they know it's not very good and everybody knows it's not very good,

00:08:02   but at least it's new and they'll give it a try. And eventually everybody learns and it gets

00:08:07   refined. I think I might argue that if you didn't have, if you only had the major prestige

00:08:14   manufacturers in the game instead of these smaller companies, that the pace would probably be a

00:08:21   little slower because they might be a little more reluctant to put out something that is nonsense

00:08:25   just to see what happens. And the truth is if Apple were the only one, what would happen is

00:08:32   that nothing would happen for three years and then they would be like, "Ah, now we've got it." And we

00:08:38   wouldn't know whether they'd got it or not because I do think Apple does learn from the mistakes of

00:08:42   others. And that's one of the reasons Apple waits around. So yeah, I think in the end,

00:08:46   it's an entertaining time and it's mostly necessary. Some of it is unnecessary and

00:08:51   those are the ones that are probably the easiest to point and laugh at. But no, I think it's fun.

00:08:56   We're entering a period where if you're a smartphone buyer, the right thing to do may

00:09:00   just be to do nothing and sit on the sidelines while this goes on because that's quite frankly

00:09:05   why they're doing it is they're trying to get you off the sidelines to buy new phones by giving you

00:09:09   shiny new features that you didn't know you wanted and you may not actually need. And that's where we

00:09:16   are with smartphones now, I think. - Jason, I wanted to tell you too, I have a new favorite

00:09:22   iPad stand. I've been holding this one for a bit. I didn't wanna talk about it until I was completely

00:09:28   convinced, but I think I may have found the perfect iPad stand. - Okay, so I've been spending

00:09:37   most of my time with the Viazon stand. I did buy that other stand, the Tabitha that you recommended,

00:09:41   which can get slightly taller, but I don't like it as much because it's more kind of weird and

00:09:46   fiddly to put it in the stand. So here's before we get to this. So I saw your Amazon link in our

00:09:53   shared show document and I went and looked at it and it looks interesting, this stand. But the

00:09:58   question I have is always the question I'm gonna have, which is, does it make the iPad go appreciably

00:10:04   higher? Because the one problem I have with the Viazon stand is as much as I like it and I use it

00:10:10   all the time, it could be higher. It's not the most ergonomically appropriate height on my table.

00:10:16   - Yes, 18 inches from the table. It is wild. I can sit at a table now in perfectly straight and the

00:10:26   iPad is at my eye height with this thing. It's called the ClearLook stand. I found it on Amazon.

00:10:30   There'll be a link in our show notes. It's ClearLook with a K. Even at 18 inches,

00:10:36   the stand is surprisingly stable. I can tap on the screen and look, there is a little wobble,

00:10:42   of course, physics, but it's not anything which makes me concerned that it's gonna fall over.

00:10:47   Putting it in, it's got these, it's got an interesting mechanism. It's kind of like the

00:10:54   Viazon mechanism of clamping on the sides, but it has these two little string things that you pull

00:11:00   on the back of the clamps so it comes out really easily. You can just pull it apart very easily.

00:11:05   Also, because it's much thicker and sturdier, I can actually put my iPad with the smart keyboard

00:11:15   attached to it and fold it around in this stand so I don't need to take it out of the case that I use.

00:11:20   The only thing I have to do, which is slightly frustrating, it's the only frustration that I

00:11:24   have to take the Apple Pencil off the side because otherwise it won't clamp in, but because the base

00:11:28   of it is metal, it just kind of magnetically attaches so it doesn't roll, it's just there.

00:11:33   This, I think, for me is the perfect stand. It's very adjustable. You can turn it left and right,

00:11:40   move it up and down. You can just get it in the right way for you. I'm very, very, very,

00:11:47   very happy with this stand. All right, and you didn't just rush into it.

00:11:51   I've been using this for a couple of months. Ooh, wow. Okay. All right. All right, Myke,

00:11:57   well, while you were talking, I bought one, so we'll see.

00:11:59   This is the one. I think this is the one. Because it has all of the stuff that makes the

00:12:05   Vias on good, right? It's nice and adjustable, it's easy to get in and out, but it goes super high.

00:12:11   That's good. Yeah, that's good. Because that's the problem I have, and you mentioned it, which is

00:12:16   ergonomically, right? Ideally, you want your keyboard at a good height for your 90-degree

00:12:23   angle for your elbows and all of that, and then you want the screen to be level with your eyes.

00:12:29   And that's almost always going to be a long way off the countertop. And when I'm standing at the

00:12:36   bar in my kitchen or sitting, the iPad is definitely down. I'm definitely looking down,

00:12:43   which is not ideal for that situation. So, all right, I'll check it out, and I'll report back

00:12:49   and see if I agree or disagree. And now I'll have three iPad stands. I can make like a little

00:12:53   like group picture or something, or surround myself with iPads and just keep turning around

00:13:00   and there's an iPad everywhere I look, something like that. So we got a slightly different take

00:13:04   on Upstream this week, because we had some late-breaking news before the show about a

00:13:09   separate non-video media streaming service that Apple was apparently working on. There was a

00:13:16   report from Cheddar. Cheddar is a kind of BuzzFeed-style business reporting journalism outfit.

00:13:26   I actually really like Cheddar. It speaks in languages and terms that I understand,

00:13:32   but it's reporting on big business stuff, analyst stuff, stock market stuff, things like that.

00:13:36   They reported that Apple is apparently planning a gaming subscription service. They are citing

00:13:44   five sources, which are obviously the game developers that Apple has been talking to.

00:13:49   This is a quote from the article on Cheddar. The service would function like Netflix for games,

00:13:54   allowing users who pay a subscription fee to access a bundled list of titles. Apple began

00:14:00   privately discussing a subscription service of game developers in the second half of 2018,

00:14:05   said the people, all of whom requested anonymity to discuss unannounced plans.

00:14:12   I don't know why I think about this one. I don't like Apple in gaming in general,

00:14:16   because they're just not good at it. Also, there is like, well, what happens here? Because this is

00:14:23   obviously not going to be all games. So then it's going to be some games. What games get in? How

00:14:28   does the revenue get shared? Who is deemed good enough to be in this? I don't like the sound of

00:14:35   this on paper. The so there's an argument to be made that this is Apple

00:14:42   trying to reformulate what games on iOS look like, because right now what games on iOS looks like is

00:14:50   free to play with in-app purchases of coins and bundles and clothes and features and things like

00:15:00   that. And some people love it. I mean, it works. People love it, but it is also not a really great

00:15:08   experience because then you get kind of nickeled and dimed. And I can see Apple trying to find

00:15:16   another approach. I'm not sure I am convinced. So I appreciate that, but I'm not sure I'm convinced

00:15:22   that this will actually be an approach that solves anything. It's interesting that it's games and not

00:15:30   apps. So the idea here, and they built that new app store with the games tab separate from apps

00:15:36   tab, which is kind of interesting. So Apple really does think of this as a different market

00:15:40   from general purpose apps. The devil is in the details. It is very much like when we talked about

00:15:47   if you do any kind of subscription thing, it's all about the catalog. It's what's in the catalog. So

00:16:00   there's a Mac app subscription service, but it's all in the catalog. Do you use those apps? And,

00:16:06   you know, I've heard mixed things about how that works for developers because people have to use

00:16:11   your apps and your compensation is going to be... You're going to have more users potentially,

00:16:15   but you have lower compensation. So there's lots of questions here, but I can see why Apple is

00:16:21   trying to do this potentially, which is can they give game developers a different way to drop their

00:16:29   games on iOS that is not free to play? And I'd imagine this goes hand in hand with a la carte

00:16:38   sales. That's the other thing that struck me about this is that there are sort of two ways that this

00:16:41   can flow. This can be games that if you're not a subscriber, you have to pay $20 for, or it's games

00:16:47   that are free to play elsewhere, but here you just get unlimited everything. My issue is I like the

00:16:53   proposal that you are pitching, but I don't believe that in the long run it means in-app

00:17:01   purchase will go away even from the games that are in this service. I think that Apple would struggle

00:17:07   to convince a lot of the larger publishers who currently have a free to play model to drop all

00:17:12   in-app purchases because this is a thing in the wider gaming world, like even games that you pay

00:17:17   for that you straight up pay $50 for, try and get you to drop money, like extra money. Sure,

00:17:23   so that's part of the question is do they have a realistic view of that where they've created

00:17:28   guidelines that say you can do DLC packs at a certain level, but what we don't want is you

00:17:35   having coins in order to enable individual plays, which is a mess, right? How do you even begin that?

00:17:42   I look forward over the next week to hearing, next day or two, to hearing from game developers who are

00:17:51   reacting to this with skepticism and/or enthusiasm. I think it's interesting that Apple is trying,

00:17:58   apparently trying this, because it suggests that they're dissatisfied with the current way that

00:18:03   you interact with games on the App Store, which I think is not surprising. But the big picture for

00:18:10   me is like this is another subscription service. It's from Apple, like yet another one. How many

00:18:21   subscription services can one company offer? And here will be another one. I think it's one.

00:18:27   I think it's one subscription service. It's not five. No, this is the kind of report that makes me

00:18:36   much more certain that what Apple wants to do is create a subscription service that offers a whole

00:18:44   bunch of stuff mixed together, including magazines and games and who knows what else. iCloud storage,

00:18:52   maybe music, maybe video. Yeah. I don't think... So they're clearly making five or six different

00:18:58   offerings. I don't think they will sell five or six separate things. There may be a couple of

00:19:04   bundles. There may be one bundle. You can get music and video on their own, or you can get all

00:19:11   of it, which includes magazines and includes games. Because at least to begin with, the

00:19:16   magazines and games stuff is not going to be that large. I don't think they're going to have a huge

00:19:21   offering for either of these because they have to convince larger players in both of those industries

00:19:26   to trust them. And it's like, okay, here's all the money you make right now. We want you to gamble

00:19:34   that away by coming to us. This is exactly what we were talking about with the issue that Apple

00:19:39   was potentially having with the magazine stuff a few weeks ago, right? Like trying to convince

00:19:43   the New York Times to give up the $5 a month that they can get from someone and get a fraction of

00:19:49   $5 a month instead for the hope that they'll make it up in volume. I don't know if Apple,

00:19:55   even at their size and scale and with the amount of weight they can throw around,

00:19:59   can convince a lot of these companies to do this so they need to prove it.

00:20:03   I just am not sure if I am completely comfortable with a Netflix model for apps and games from

00:20:10   Apple. I don't know if it's the right thing to do. It reminded me of a couple of things that,

00:20:17   like this was the thing that James Thompson was talking about a few years ago. So I'm going to put

00:20:20   in the show notes an article and an episode of Clockwise, episode 64, where James broke this

00:20:26   down because this was like a real thought that he was kind of rolling around at the time. James is

00:20:32   the developer of Peacock about the idea of having an Apple subscription service that is for all apps

00:20:38   and then like a set app where you pay a fee and then based upon your usage, you get an amount of

00:20:47   money, right? The developer gets an amount of money depending on how much the app has been used.

00:20:50   And this is a good quote from the article that James wrote on iMod that I liked.

00:20:56   He says, "As somebody who makes a living from selling his own intellectual property

00:21:00   in the form of apps, these sort of wild fever dreams keep me up at night. I live in fear of

00:21:06   the streaming model being applied to software and only making a few pennies every time my apps are

00:21:12   launched." That's a real and I think it's a risk that I understand somebody in James's position

00:21:18   having. Like if you make a even popular utility application which isn't used for hours and hours

00:21:27   every day, what are you going to do? Like it reminds me of like YouTube watch time statistics

00:21:34   where, you know, if you make three minute videos once a week, you are not favored by the algorithm

00:21:40   or by the money making mechanisms. So it pushed all YouTube videos to like 11 minutes long,

00:21:46   because if you wanted to be successful on YouTube, that's the way that you had to be.

00:21:51   And so this kind of stuff makes me a little bit skittish for app development, because

00:21:59   our app are going to create some kind of class system where only the very, what they consider

00:22:05   to be the very best gets to go in these subscription services. So it actually makes

00:22:09   it financially viable for the companies that they put in it, because you can't have thousands of

00:22:13   developers in these because then nobody makes any money. Like I'm really in a lot of different minds

00:22:20   about something like this. Yeah, it's complicated and messy and I'm sure everybody who's involved

00:22:28   with this at Apple, assuming that this story is true, has walked through all of this and they're

00:22:34   trying to figure out the right balance, but it's really tricky and there are lots of questions from

00:22:39   lots of different angles here. Which is why my initial reaction is I appreciate that they're

00:22:45   trying this because they seem dissatisfied in the current state of affairs, as well as seeing

00:22:50   an opportunity here for a service. Which... Well, see, my argument would be if they're doing this,

00:22:56   if one of the reasons they're doing this is because they're unhappy with the problem they

00:23:00   created, then they need to find a better way to fix it rather than just like deeming other people

00:23:05   the joy of maybe getting given some money every month. Well, yeah, I mean, they created it in

00:23:12   large part because of the model they chose, which was very much the iTunes single model for how the

00:23:19   App Store works. But unfortunately, that is how the App Store works. And they didn't create it,

00:23:24   assuming it would go this way. They very much wanted it to be pricier apps and games and stuff,

00:23:31   but that's just not how the world has gone. So this is them trying to solve that problem in a

00:23:39   way, but seeing through the lens of a company that really wants to add services revenue too. So,

00:23:45   yeah, right? It's super fun when you look back and you see the two or three decisions that they made

00:23:50   that seemed so good at the time that resulted in the situation we're in now, right? Where it's like

00:23:56   there were no free apps. It's like, oh, we'll add free apps and then we'll add in-app purchase for

00:24:04   them. We'll add in-app purchases as well, but only in paid apps. And it's like, oh,

00:24:08   we'll put in-app purchase in free apps as well. Like this was the kind of the things that they

00:24:12   decided to do that then got us to the situation that we're maybe in now. But anyway, before we

00:24:18   move on from this, Yemi Rambo at 9to5Mac also discovered in iOS 12.2 in the beta of 12.2,

00:24:25   a landing page in the news app that references Apple news magazines for Apple news. There are

00:24:32   mentions of the term bundle subscription in this splash screen. And the image on the landing page

00:24:39   shows some publications like Vogue and Bon Appetit, who are large and like is also a magazine called

00:24:45   Shape. Now here's the thing. They're not, okay, they're cool magazines, like great publications.

00:24:50   I think ESPN is in there too. It's definitely not the New York Times and, and you know, Time and,

00:24:57   and you know, maybe some of the magazines you'd really want to put front, but to be honest,

00:25:01   they may have not done deals with any of those magazines. They could just be placeholder images

00:25:05   because this is not a public thing. Yemi just found this. I think it's interesting too, that

00:25:11   people are really jumping on this idea that it's Apple news magazines in one place, but in another

00:25:15   place that's referred to as Apple news. So I'm not entirely convinced that Apple news magazines

00:25:21   is really the name of it. It may just be your Apple news subscription. And the magazines are

00:25:28   there, but it is another subscription that we've been talking about for a while that they seem to

00:25:33   be moving forward with. And it just keeps going where we're seeing these subscriptions in the

00:25:41   works in lots of different places, which makes us come back to that question. What are these? What

00:25:46   is the subscription? Is this the Apple one master subscription? Because nobody, and this is the

00:25:52   thing is there will absolutely undeniably be subscription bundles because there's no way,

00:25:59   like 99%, I'm going to say here, confidence that I have that Apple is going to say, "Oh,

00:26:06   would you like to subscribe to our services? You can subscribe to Apple music. You can subscribe

00:26:10   to Apple video. You can subscribe to iCloud. You can subscribe to Apple news magazines. You can

00:26:16   subscribe to Apple's gaming, whatever it is." How much confusion is there if they have like

00:26:23   10 different subscription products? Well, fundamentally as well, there is a financial

00:26:27   incentive to Apple to bundle this because they're paying a credit card processing fee for every

00:26:31   single one of these transactions. So they don't want you to subscribe to six different bundles if

00:26:36   they have them, like six different services. They want you to subscribe to it once because they'll

00:26:40   probably make more money that way. Yeah. So some combination of this. Now they might offer, as you

00:26:46   said, they might offer some of these separately. Yeah. I think the high value ones, music and video,

00:26:52   they will offer them on their own. But everything else that we've been talking about, even including

00:26:58   iCloud, these are like add-ons. These are niceties. They got to add a brand name and say, "This is what

00:27:04   you get." And you get iCloud storage and you get... And it's one of those things where as a somebody

00:27:09   paying for a two terabyte iCloud account, I'm kind of anticipating that some of these services,

00:27:14   I'm just going to get them. Like that I'm already paying them a monthly fee for all of that storage.

00:27:20   I have this suspicion and maybe they'll change the price, but I have this suspicion that they're just

00:27:24   going to say, "Those are the... That the iCloud account things are going to be turned into

00:27:32   a larger bundle of stuff that includes your backup and your photos." Because those are services too,

00:27:38   if you think about it. Like backup, even though we all say iCloud storage, it's like backup

00:27:42   and photos are really two different services that they've bundled together. Really, they could have

00:27:50   separated them. They chose not to. And then you throw in some more and you've got multiple use

00:27:54   cases already going on here. And that to me feels like a more likely scenario that they're not going

00:28:00   to offer. Again, whole different sets of subscription bundles for different things.

00:28:05   And which four bundles do you want to buy? That's also too confusing. So yeah, it'll be interesting

00:28:10   to see how they do it. It feels like this year is going to be fascinating year. Tomorrow as we

00:28:14   record this, Tuesday, January 29th is Apple results for that holiday quarter where they miss...

00:28:22   - The disaster quarter. - Forecast. Well, the disaster quarter,

00:28:25   which will still probably be their second largest quarter ever.

00:28:27   - It doesn't matter. It's a disaster quarter.

00:28:29   - Yeah, apparently. - It is. Because we all know now,

00:28:32   we know this having spoken about this so many times, the pure amount of money is not important.

00:28:38   - Yeah, it's all about expectations. - Yeah, to the game that is being played,

00:28:42   the money is not important. It's growth. - This will be the quarter that they missed

00:28:47   expectations. They're going to show a year over year decline in revenue. They're presumably going

00:28:53   to show a year over year decline in iPhone that will be dramatic. They'll have more detail that

00:28:58   we haven't heard yet that is probably going to make people, depending on what they're looking at,

00:29:02   even more concerned about aspects of their business. - And also, for a lot of us, it will

00:29:07   make our brains leak out of our ears when they start talking about headwinds and all that kind

00:29:13   of stuff. But there's going to be a lot of that. - Yes. And this is the quarter where they're going

00:29:17   to stop reporting unit sales. So we won't get any unit sales. So there's going to be more residual

00:29:22   grousing about that. So it's going to be really interesting. So what I'm saying is check back in

00:29:28   episode 231 of the upgrade program where we will discuss the fallout of that because this is all

00:29:34   interrelated and it's kind of fascinating. And we'll see what happens next. But we'll find out

00:29:40   a lot more tomorrow. - My bold prediction here, Jason, is we're not going to get any specific

00:29:46   details, but I think that we're going to come away from the call with a somewhat clearer idea of what

00:29:53   the Apple services story is going forward. - I think you're right. In order to get the scrutiny

00:30:00   off of them about this rather than their kind of typical, "Oh, we got a great pipeline," right?

00:30:06   It was like, "Great, whatever. Fill that pipeline." I think that, yeah, you're right. That was my

00:30:12   thought too. - There needs to be a positive set of headlines. - They're going to do a harder sell on

00:30:17   services where they're like, "We've got in 2019, you'll see us enter new media areas." And even if

00:30:24   they're vague about it because it's Apple, I think they're going to push even harder on services

00:30:29   because services has been their whole thing to counteract slowing iPhone sales. It's been that

00:30:34   way obviously for like four years now they've been talking about it. And of course, they're going to

00:30:39   put their foot on the gas when it comes to services. They will also probably spend a lot of

00:30:43   time on their global geographic breakouts in order to say, "We're doing great in these countries and

00:30:52   these regions to take some of the load off of China." But I think you're right that they're

00:30:57   going to really, really push services even more with some details in order to kind of get everybody

00:31:03   excited and to calm down about what Apple's doing next. - This episode is brought to you by Luna

00:31:09   Display, the makers of the hardware solution that turns your iPad into a wireless display for your

00:31:14   Mac. Have you ever looked at your iPad screen and thought to yourself, "You're a beautiful display,

00:31:18   little iPad. Wouldn't it be amazing if I could use you for even more when I sit down at my Macintosh?"

00:31:23   Well, you can. All you need is a Luna Display. You plug it into your Mac. It's a lovely little dongle.

00:31:28   And then your iPad is up and running as a second display. A beautiful display,

00:31:34   retina quality, crystal clear image quality, reliable performance. Luna Display just had

00:31:39   a big update. They've massively improved the performance of their engine, and it's better

00:31:45   and faster and clearer than ever before. If you have a Wi-Fi connection, you're ready to go,

00:31:49   but you can also use USB as well if you're somewhere without Wi-Fi, if you don't have a

00:31:53   strong connection. So you'll be able to use your iPad as a second display for your Mac where you

00:31:58   can put... So you're working on something, you're full screen on your Mac. Maybe you're working on

00:32:02   some art, but you still want to maybe see some reference materials. Your iPad is right there

00:32:06   for you to use. It's really wonderful. I absolutely adore my Luna Display that I use with my Mac Mini.

00:32:12   I use it every single day. I use it for lots of little things. There's just some stuff

00:32:17   that you cannot do in a web browser and iOS. You just can't do it. But I can do it with my Luna

00:32:24   Display because I just go into my... I open the Luna Display app and I have a Mac there for me

00:32:29   to use. So like for example, stuff with YouTube. So if I want to create a playlist for a YouTube

00:32:37   channel, you can't do this stuff on iOS. Even in an app, you can't do it in the web browser,

00:32:42   you can't do it anywhere because it just doesn't work. But I can do it with my Luna Display.

00:32:46   So I love Luna Display. It works so seamlessly. I often forget that I'm not using a Mac or that

00:32:54   I'm not using something native and I just find myself using the Luna Display for like 30 minutes

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00:33:22   So I actually did this this morning. I was moving some things around from my Apple Notes to Google

00:33:27   Docs, right? And on iOS, you lose all your formatting, but you don't when you're on the Mac.

00:33:33   So I just went in and I moved something from my notes document, like a bullet list from my

00:33:37   notes document into Google Docs. 25 minutes later, I was still working on the upgrade

00:33:41   notes with my Luna Display app instead because I kind of just forgotten what I was doing.

00:33:47   So I'm just sitting there just doing it on the Mac instead via my iPad. It was beautiful.

00:33:52   So Jason, it is that time of year again where you have assembled a meeting of the minds

00:33:58   to create the 2018 Apple report card, the scorecard. Jason, what is this project that you

00:34:06   embark upon? So this was suggested by a designer, Koi Vinh, four years ago.

00:34:17   When I started Six Colors and he emailed me and he said, "I have had this idea where somebody asks

00:34:24   a bunch of people to rate Apple on a bunch of different categories, and then you do it every

00:34:29   year. And basically, I'm not going to do it, but you could do it." And I thought, "Okay,

00:34:34   that's a good idea. Let's do that." And it's kind of a lot of work because you got to compile a list

00:34:40   and you're going to ask people and then you got to check and see that nobody actually responded.

00:34:43   And then you got to email them again, and then you got to do it again and remind them

00:34:46   and remind people because it's happening over the holidays at the end of the year and everybody I'm

00:34:51   asking is very busy doing their own stuff. And then in the end, you get back not only their

00:34:56   votes, which is how the report card is compiled, but there's a little field for people to put in

00:35:01   their thoughts. And some people put in lots and lots and lots of thoughts. So I ended up with

00:35:04   30,000 words of thoughts from people. And I end up pulling out little quotes here and there,

00:35:13   and I leave the rest of it because it's just too much. It's great color and I'm glad that

00:35:18   they presented it to me, but I don't want to publish a 30,000 word thing. I might post

00:35:29   a more extended verbatim replies later depending on how people feel about that. But for now,

00:35:37   basically the idea is how do people who spend a lot of time thinking about and observing Apple,

00:35:45   what are their perceptions about Apple in a given year, in 2018 in this case?

00:35:52   And also that gives me the opportunity to compare that now to previous years and see sort of how

00:35:59   people are feeling. So it's not scientific or anything like that. It is what I don't want.

00:36:06   I keep expecting that somebody is going to complain about it and say, this is dumb. This

00:36:11   is just what the commentators think. It's like, yes, that's the entire point is what do the

00:36:17   commentators think? What do the people who spend a lot of time thinking about Apple and its business,

00:36:21   what are they feeling about Apple from year to year? So it's a kind of a group, a summary

00:36:28   report card about the general drift of sentiment about Apple from this year, 55 people who write

00:36:38   and talk and in some cases work with Apple or for, it's a pretty good group. There's a list at the

00:36:47   end. So that's the idea is we're trying to get a sense of the sentiment of how was Apple's year

00:36:52   and how did that change from the year before? And maybe are there any trends over time?

00:36:56   And that's really the goal of it. It's not a definitive anything. Also, I don't vote in the

00:37:02   survey. It really is just meant to reflect the 55 people I asked to participate.

00:37:08   - So we're gonna go through the categories. We're gonna talk about the scores, how they've changed,

00:37:15   and then me and you can discuss them. And we have some quotes as well that we've pulled out

00:37:20   of the article so we can add more color as you would say to this now to this. So we'll go in

00:37:28   order of the article itself. So we'll start with the Mac. The Mac got an overall B minus grade,

00:37:34   which is up from a C last year, which kind of makes sense. I think Casey List kind of

00:37:39   summed this up quite beautifully with the word roller coaster as it's been for 2018 with the Mac.

00:37:45   And I mean, really this all kind of came to head in October, I think. By that time, we'd assumed

00:37:55   we were gonna see everything we're gonna see this year. Whatever came out in the October event,

00:38:00   that was the end of it. And there was a lot tied up in the hopes and dreams for it. Like,

00:38:05   what is the cheap laptop? Will there be a Mac Mini? Will we maybe get a surprise about the Mac Pro?

00:38:09   And are they gonna do anything else about the laptops? We got all those answers. So

00:38:14   I think part of the roller coaster is there were 10 months of speculation about the Mac and waiting.

00:38:21   And basically all of our answers came in October. And there was a lot of praise in the article for

00:38:28   the Mac Mini, but cause of it being a little too late for the MacBook Air and whilst being a good

00:38:34   computer is too expensive. And I think expensive is a theme throughout the entire scorecard,

00:38:41   the report. I mean, everybody knows this. And there's also lineup confusion from Christina

00:38:46   Warren. She says, I honestly don't know why the 13 inch MacBook Pro with touch bar is even being sold.

00:38:51   Yeah. Yeah. She says, and later she says, I just don't get it.

00:38:55   Like, this doesn't make sense. Yeah. Yeah. And Christina also said, I didn't put

00:39:00   all of it in cause she wrote a lot. She was, it was great. She said the other challenge is that

00:39:09   their competitors, you know, on the PC side at the low end, and she works for Microsoft

00:39:14   and developer relations, but I do trust her judgment. She points out that there are a lot of

00:39:19   premium feeling laptops on the PC side that are way cheaper than what Apple is selling. Now,

00:39:25   obviously Apple is never going to be cheap, but she's just pointing out it's kind of,

00:39:29   they're in a very weird place given the widening gulf between what Apple charges and what its

00:39:35   competitors charge. Microsoft is also making really interesting premium hardware.

00:39:39   Yeah. That is probably similar to what Apple prices. That's the thing. It's the, it's the,

00:39:44   it's the ASOS of the world that are, that are not charging a thousand for something, but instead

00:39:49   charging 600. So Gabe Weatherhead says the Mac quality is slowly turning back towards something

00:39:55   Apple can be proud of. Do you agree with that statement? Uh, yeah. I mean, I think one of the

00:40:01   things we focus so much on the MacBook and how that their choices in the MacBook line,

00:40:05   uh, in 2016 are still kind of reverberating. When you say MacBook, do you mean all laptops?

00:40:11   I mean all the Mac, all the MacBooks, all the laptops. Um, I think it's fair to say that if

00:40:18   you took them out of the equation, which some people said is like, let's leave that aside for

00:40:21   a second. And the rest of the Mac stuff is pretty great. And even within the MacBook line, there

00:40:29   are people who are very focused. It's it, there's definitely a split between people who are like,

00:40:35   it seems like this third generation keyboard has solved a lot of the major problems. And now it's,

00:40:40   yes, there are ones that fail, but it's much less common. And then there are other people who are

00:40:43   saying, Oh no, it's still a disaster. And that's just a matter of perspective, a matter of who's

00:40:48   got what information. I don't know. But some people, some people feel like at the very least

00:40:53   the MacBook line is turning around even if they haven't solved all the problems yet. And that

00:40:59   the MacBook Air is a good example of Apple starting to do some iteration to make it,

00:41:04   uh, to solve. Cause I mean, all of us, I think, uh, perceive that MacBook Air as being a product

00:41:10   that exists because they didn't get it right in 2016, that they thought the MacBook Air was going

00:41:15   away and, um, it didn't because of all the issues that they had. And so that maybe that's a positive

00:41:21   sign too. So there's definitely some feeling, some sentiment that, um, Apple is addressing this issue,

00:41:27   but slowly addressing their, their hardware quality slowly. And there's more hardware talk

00:41:31   later in the survey. I think that among all the categories, uh, for people that respond to a

00:41:38   survey and also listeners for this show, this is the category that the most is to play for in 2019,

00:41:45   the Mac. Yeah. I will say the Mac, you know, the Mac went up half a point. It did, it did go up

00:41:50   from a C to a B minus and that was, and that was down to the Mac mini and the MacBook Air.

00:41:57   I mean, Mac mini, I think especially, right. Everybody loves the Mac mini. No, no. I, you know,

00:42:02   the, the, the MacBook Air, uh, still has some questions about it, right? Like it still suffers

00:42:09   from the keyboard, right? If you don't like the keyboard, well, you're out of luck cause it's the

00:42:13   same keyboard that's on the MacBook pros probably or similar enough. Uh, and it's highly priced. But

00:42:19   my thinking is right with this one, with the statement that I made there is this is the year

00:42:24   for the pro stuff. So we're going to see the Mac pro or we should, could be, probably should be

00:42:32   iMac pro updates. And are they going to do anything with a MacBook pro? Yep. Like that,

00:42:39   that, and those three products probably matter the most to this in the group of individuals

00:42:44   that you're speaking to. Because even if they don't buy these products, they understand the

00:42:50   importance of them, right? That like, if you really kill it on the pro side, everyone's going

00:42:55   to benefit over the next few years because the technology will trickle down. Um, and so I'm,

00:43:01   I'm really keen to see what Apple addresses in June, because that's the time when if we're going

00:43:07   to see anything, we'll probably see all of this at WWDC, even if it's not for sale, right? Like,

00:43:12   this is when they will talk about it because this is the market that they're selling those products

00:43:15   to. Yeah, maybe, maybe. I mean, I'm not entirely convinced of what is influencing the opinions of

00:43:22   this group in terms of the Mac, but definitely there were positive things in the Mac this year,

00:43:26   and it showed in the survey with the second largest improvement of any category.

00:43:31   So move on to the iPhone, which I think naturally is down from an A grade to B plus this year.

00:43:39   I don't think it ever would have been possible for Apple to kind of maintain the performance year

00:43:44   over year because I will tell you that if you look in the history of the survey, um, the, the tick

00:43:50   tock, uh, approach to iPhone models is in the survey too. If you have a major year with a major

00:43:58   change, the score is a lot higher than in the off year where there aren't as many changes. Now you

00:44:03   could say with the 10 R there actually, this was not quite the same kind of thing, but, uh, it's,

00:44:09   it's certainly you lose, um, you're, you're going to go down year over year to use financial terms,

00:44:15   uh, just because of that, that the 10 was so exciting. Um, but there's a lot else going on

00:44:19   around the iPhone that people are concerned about. I would make a guess that without the 10 R this

00:44:24   grade would have been lower. Yes. I think, I think absolutely it would have been, there was definitely

00:44:28   a lot of praise for the 10 R in the survey and a lot of complaint about, um, the, uh, the pricing.

00:44:35   So, you know, as well as the pricing, I think probably the main thing that people were feeling

00:44:39   from looking through the report is just that it was a bit of a boring year in most instances.

00:44:45   Um, I like that Shahid Kamal Ahmad, who's a host on remaster here at relay FM says we probably hit

00:44:50   peak iPhone and he might be right. Like the iPhone 10, like that's probably going to be it for a

00:44:57   while, right? Like as, as like, wow, that was an incredible year. It's like, okay, feel that because

00:45:04   we're probably in for this design and this style for, for quite a few years. Right. Which is how

00:45:09   we saw with the iPhone six. Um, I expect that our iPhones are going to look and act very much like

00:45:15   the 10 probably for the next three years, at least, um, because there's only so much that Apple is

00:45:22   willing to or can do. Right. Right. Federico Viticci thinks that Apple is losing their advantage

00:45:28   in mobile photography and quickly. What do you think about that? Well, this is the, this is the

00:45:33   question about, um, about the camera and my Mac world piece last week was about that too. And I

00:45:41   actually, I actually referenced Federico. I said, some people I know say that the iPhone doesn't

00:45:46   have the punch that the pixel three has soured on, on smart HDR. We've been talking about this

00:45:53   a lot and connected recently, unconnected people can listen to it there. It's definitely the case.

00:45:56   And then there are other people who, who think, uh, that smart HDR has a lot of advantages in

00:46:03   certain circumstances and then in others, not so much, but I think it's undeniable when you look at

00:46:08   what Google did with night sight, which is something that is entirely. Software. I mean,

00:46:12   yes, there's camera hardware there, but they rolled it all the way back to the original pixel.

00:46:16   So it's the pixel three, two and original pixel all got night sight. And the idea of air is that

00:46:20   that is really smart software that notices you're trying to take a picture in the dark and says,

00:46:25   would you like to use night sight? At which point it does multiple exposures, extended exposures,

00:46:31   uh, does some machine learning processes. It does it all together and makes a picture that looks

00:46:36   like it was shot. Um, if not in the day in a much better lit location than was actually shot. And

00:46:43   the Apple photos are just kind of noisy and dark. And that's an example of Google pushing software

00:46:51   features to improve photography. And that's the kind of feature that I would expect from Apple,

00:46:55   right? I would expect Apple to say, it's too dark. Here, let me help you either by asking or by just

00:47:01   doing, and, uh, Google did it and Apple didn't. And it does show you a sign that although Apple,

00:47:07   it's, it, this is a recurring theme of this survey and of all of 2018, which is this feeling like

00:47:12   Apple continues to push its hardware in lots of amazing ways successfully. And then on the

00:47:17   software side, there's just something missing. I really wonder how much this might be a maps

00:47:25   problem, right? Like I think of this as like a maps situation where Google just got a headstart

00:47:31   and that headstart is gonna keep them with an advantage for a while. And I wonder about what

00:47:37   Apple can do. I mean, they don't have to beat Google, right? They don't have to beat them,

00:47:42   but I think they have to get closer and I just wonder how much closer they can get.

00:47:46   So my gut feeling, and this is based on nothing, and I'm sure there's somebody working at

00:47:50   photography at Apple who would deeply disagree with this, but my gut feeling as an outsider

00:47:54   is that right now, Google is much more focused on crowd-pleasing photography features

00:48:00   and Apple still is carrying around some cultural baggage about the fact that professional

00:48:07   photographers use iPhones. Historically, their audience is people who are designers and

00:48:13   photographers and other people in professional creative spaces. And as a result, Apple continues

00:48:20   to be focused on color gamut and on having the most accurate photo instead of the most pleasing

00:48:28   photo. - Right, that these photos aren't real, right? And that they want real. - Exactly,

00:48:32   exactly. And the problem with that is most of the iPhone audience is not somebody who cares about

00:48:40   accuracy. They care about pretty photos. And again, this is just a theory of mine,

00:48:48   but that's my theory is that Night Sight doesn't exist on iPhones, not because Google got some kind

00:48:55   of a head start in terms of this technology, 'cause Apple's been doing software massaging

00:48:59   of photos for a long time. They don't talk about it, they don't put it in your face as much as

00:49:02   Google does. They just have it be magic like Smart HDR is, but there's something missing where

00:49:08   they're like, "No, we don't wanna do that. We don't wanna get in their way. We don't wanna take a

00:49:12   photo that doesn't look real. And so we're just gonna let it go." And that's Smart. The Night

00:49:17   Shot thing is the one where I look and I go, "I think you missed it." I think if you're Apple,

00:49:22   you missed the application there, which is if somebody is in a bar with their friend and they

00:49:27   wanna take a shot, they want it to show up and look good, even if it's not well lit, even if it's not

00:49:32   accurate, they want it to look good. And Google nailed that and Apple, I am convinced could have

00:49:37   done it and chose not to. Maybe they didn't think of it, or maybe they actually chose not to. But I

00:49:43   think that this is like an entire podcast episode in a nutshell, but I do wonder if that is behind

00:49:48   some of Apple's decisions here where Google doesn't care, they're just making crowd placing decisions

00:49:53   and Apple cares, which is getting in its way. Which again, if you're somebody who cares about

00:49:58   what Apple cares about is great. I just question in a broad consumer product like the iPhone,

00:50:04   whether that might be the wrong approach to take. - So I think the discussion around price was

00:50:12   probably most keenly felt in the iPhone category. So Alin Sim says, "Apple needs to reevaluate its

00:50:18   market strategy. Their current pricing is cost prohibitive for many people." And Merlin Mann

00:50:24   says, "I feel like the iPhone's price umbrella is developing some copious holes." - Yeah, I mean,

00:50:30   that's definitely one of the big stories of last fall is that people are increasingly uncomfortable

00:50:35   with Apple's pricing, especially on the iPhone. - And could, we don't know, could have been part

00:50:40   of the issue that led to them not getting where they wanted to be with the iPhone sales. - Yeah,

00:50:45   we don't know. - So moving on to the iPad, A minus, no change. I think this one is very simple,

00:50:50   amazing hardware, nothing on software. I don't remember what I graded it as when I gave you my

00:50:57   scores, but I remember you specifically picked that out as when you were surprised

00:51:01   how I graded it, but it was because of this. I just think that this is the best iPad hardware

00:51:07   that's ever been made, but the software just did nothing and it needs to do something. So

00:51:13   Carolina Milanese says, "The biggest issue Apple has is perception of whether or not the iPad Pro

00:51:18   is as good as a computer. Mostly that perception is driven by software rather than hardware."

00:51:23   Which is, they did some interesting hardware stuff, they put USB-C on it, but all the discussion

00:51:28   was around the fact that you couldn't access an external hard drive, whether people actually

00:51:32   need to do that or not is not the point, but it showed holes in the iPad. - Yeah, unsurprising.

00:51:40   One of the things that I've noticed is these surveys are a measure of the vibe, the overall

00:51:47   vibe. And while they're individual outliers, what we're really doing here is saying this was the

00:51:53   overall vibe of 2018. And it's clear that the iPad, that was the takeaway was, I think what I said,

00:52:03   and I've seen it in a couple other places as well, the hardware is willing, but the software is weak.

00:52:07   That's basically it. This is spectacular hardware and everybody's waiting for the other shoe to drop.

00:52:12   And in a year where you would expect maybe the iPad with the iPad Pro, and I will point out,

00:52:17   and I think some people maybe forgot about this, that sixth-generation iPad that's cheap,

00:52:21   which is a great deal. And a few people mentioned it and I'm very glad that they did because

00:52:25   it is- - It was like a long time ago that that product was released.

00:52:30   - I had several people say the best deal in Apple's entire portfolio, Stephen Hackett is

00:52:36   quoted in the story, but a couple of people said that. If you put that together, you think this is

00:52:40   a really banner year for the iPad and yet its score, its average actually went down about a

00:52:45   10th, but it's basically the same score as it was a year ago. Why is that with great new iPad Pro

00:52:50   hardware and the new iPad? And the answer is the software because Apple chose to take the year off

00:52:55   in terms of the iPad and it hit them because the software, the iPad software story in 2018

00:53:02   was not good enough for the hardware. - We can't round this category out without

00:53:06   the quote from Federica. Federica Viticci says, "Apple needs to devote plenty of attention to

00:53:11   advancing the iPad platform in 2019." And you've got to hope, I mean, it feels like a

00:53:16   foregone conclusion, right? That iOS 13 has a huge iPad focus purely because of this hardware.

00:53:22   You would be a extremely disjointed company if you created hardware of this caliber without

00:53:31   beefing up the software, right? Like at that point, you feel like a PC manufacturer, right?

00:53:36   Where it's like the hardware and software don't interact. It's just, we make amazing hardware

00:53:42   and hope that Microsoft will do something to Windows to make it more desirable to people.

00:53:49   Because this is so good, but literally nothing changed that was specific. Like there are still

00:53:57   bugs in like the Files app that were in iOS 11, right? And so you would, I have my expectations

00:54:06   are set very high for the iPad with this coming WWDC, but I do also feel confident that we will

00:54:15   see something. Like I feel confident about that just because I, you know, it's like everybody in

00:54:22   this, again, I'm sure you would agree, right? Like I feel like I have observed enough about Apple

00:54:26   over time to see the seeds being planted, right? That like you would not make the next, this current

00:54:34   iPad so good if you were not going to do more with it. Especially with Photoshop coming.

00:54:40   - No, it is as we speculated at the time, possibly one of the great examples of seeing the

00:54:47   effect of Apple's longer lead time for hardware design. And that if we believe all of the reports,

00:54:55   you know, this hardware was in obviously in the designs pipeline for a while. And early last year,

00:55:04   there were reports that Apple had decided to take its foot off the gas in terms of iOS and Mac OS

00:55:10   in order to focus on stability and getting the old iPhones to work better and you know, all of

00:55:17   that stuff. And I think it's very hard not to read that as they knew this hardware was coming. They

00:55:24   were going to do software to take advantage of it. And they decided that they couldn't do that

00:55:29   because they needed to get their house in order. They needed to increase stability, make the old

00:55:33   phones work better. And so they chose to focus on that and let the iPad kind of twist in the wind

00:55:37   for six months. And that's where we are right now. So hopefully they will pivot to an iPad year

00:55:45   in 2019. But that seems to be the story here. And it in what otherwise I think would have been

00:55:52   a banner year for the iPad. It's why everybody kind of is, you know, it didn't go down, but it's

00:55:59   like people felt really mixed. Like it should be great, but and there's this big question mark

00:56:04   hanging over the whole thing. So yeah, we'll see 2019. We have yet to get to the best performing

00:56:10   product category. We're going to do that just after we take a break and thank Care/of for their

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00:58:16   AFM. Vitamin, vitamin, vitamin, vitamin, vitamin, vitamin, vitamin, vitamin, vitamin, vitamin,

00:58:22   vitamin, vitamins. I feel like that's one of the words I can't let go, vitamin. I feel like that's

00:58:28   one of them. Put your vitamin in your beta. Vitamins in your betas. I don't say beta,

00:58:34   I let that go. I say beta because I prefer the way that sounds. But to my ears,

00:58:39   vitamin just doesn't sound right. You say herb or herb. Herb. Herbal.

00:58:45   Okay, anyway, as we learn from the upgrade is people love the Apple Watch Series 4 and the

00:58:55   Apple Watch scored an A grade for this year up from an A-. It wasn't the biggest jump of any

00:59:03   category, but it is the highest scoring category, right? There is no other straight A grade across

00:59:10   the board. Yes, highest scoring category and I'll point out that it was the highest scoring overall.

00:59:17   It was the highest scoring obviously in the five main Apple product categories. When I started

00:59:22   doing this survey in 2015, it was by far the lowest scoring in all of those categories and

00:59:30   has progressively improved every single year. So people have come around on the Apple Watch.

00:59:36   There's some great quotes for this one that I think perfectly sum it up. So Christina Warren

00:59:41   says, "Honestly, after a very shaky start, the Apple Watch has become one of the most consistent

00:59:46   and exciting products in Apple's lineup. It's best in class and keeps getting better." Federica

00:59:51   Vittucci called it the highlight of the year and Charles Arthur says that adding the ECG function

00:59:56   to the Apple Watch Series 4 is very clever. Only good stories come out of it, which I can 100% agree

01:00:02   with. Nothing bad comes out of having that and you end up with more of these stories, which Apple

01:00:08   loves for good reason of, the Apple Watch saved my life. You cannot have better marketing for your

01:00:15   product than stories of it literally saving the lives of its users. Right? It writes itself. It's

01:00:22   perfect. Of course, this isn't everything, right? So Frasier Spears pointed out something like,

01:00:28   I think reminded me of a complaint when the Apple Watch came out with, is it version five of Watch

01:00:35   OS? I think it's Watch OS 5, right? Yes, Watch OS 5, yes. Because one of the Apple Watch has got

01:00:41   two versions, didn't it, of Watch OS. Yes, yes. The original, they turned it over very fast. Yes,

01:00:47   because they realized how people actually want to use the product was not the way that Apple

01:00:52   first anticipated. So Frasier says, the new watch faces have a number of confusing and

01:00:56   inconsistent elements and could use a bit of fresh thinking. And then we have two quotes from

01:01:02   developers. So from Marco Ahmet, Watch OS's limitations on third-party apps and our inability

01:01:07   to develop third-party watch faces still hold us back from taking full advantage of the excellent

01:01:12   hardware. And from James Thompson, it's time to unlock UI kit apps for third-party developers,

01:01:17   so we can finally take advantage of it all for ourselves. I mean, I like this because it's like,

01:01:24   users are very happy with the product, but developers remain frustrated because they

01:01:28   know they can do more to make it even better than it currently is, which I think only spells good

01:01:33   for the Apple Watch, right? Like people love it already, but there is still untapped potential.

01:01:39   Yeah, exactly right. And I choose to be encouraged by the fact that the developers in the panel

01:01:46   basically said, we want to use this more. Well, cause I think that wasn't the story a couple of

01:01:52   years ago. It was like, it was nice, but they weren't like hungry for it. But now I think

01:01:56   developers won it. And they tried, they tried and it was no good. And they're like, forget it. And

01:02:00   now it seems like they are interested in unlocking that power now that they've seen what the new

01:02:07   watch is capable of, which is exciting. And I'm glad that Frasier Spears mentioned that the watch

01:02:13   faces, which I wrote a thing about and we've talked about, which is that inconsistency of

01:02:17   watch faces is also something that people brought up that the, uh, John Gruber mentioned it. I don't

01:02:22   think I quoted him, but like the new faces only work on the new watches and the old faces only

01:02:26   work like design wise work that you can put them on the, the old faces on the new watches, but they

01:02:31   don't really make sense. And there's a need for a real rethink of how it does faces, which I'm

01:02:37   hopeful will be a 2019 thing. What watch face are you using right now? Um,

01:02:43   it is one of the, I, I go back and forth between the two, um, new faces, the two infographs. I go

01:02:51   back and forth between them and I'm not happy with either of them. I would really much rather

01:02:54   have a more capable version of modular, which was my favorite, but modular, I grew a Gruber

01:03:00   modular on the big watch face, what they did to it. Like it doesn't, it doesn't work. So I'm mostly

01:03:05   on the analog hand infograph face and I have the, um, other infograph face right next to it. So I

01:03:12   can swipe to it if I want more data and I I'm sort of doing a two face lifestyle now. Hmm. That's

01:03:17   weird. That's like a Batman villain. And we move on to the forgotten product, the Apple TV. Uh,

01:03:23   it is D plus down from a C this is not a surprise because this is a product in limbo. It's the iPad.

01:03:32   I mean, the hardware is an amazing, but the hardware exists for software that doesn't exist

01:03:36   yet. It is waiting for the streaming service. It is waiting. Um, you know, like Fraser Speer says

01:03:42   stagnant. June Darable says there's a lot missing. Christina Warren says the price is ridiculously

01:03:47   high and it is compared to competitors because the Apple TV in 2019 and 2018, all it does is what,

01:03:56   what the fire TV does, what Chromecast does the future of TV apps. No, it's not. That was wrong.

01:04:03   And Apple tried and to make a box which could have capability to play games on it and stuff,

01:04:09   they needed more power and nobody uses it by and large. It is a, that was a miss. That was a swing

01:04:15   and a miss from Apple. Um, so I think not only this year, will we see, uh, obviously the, the,

01:04:22   the streaming software to, as the other shoe to drop with this whole product line,

01:04:26   we may well see a better focused, cheaper device. Um, we'll see, or maybe Apple just completely goes

01:04:34   down the route of trying to get their services everywhere as opposed to releasing something

01:04:37   cheap themselves. Um, but I think it would be remiss of them to try and at least give it a go

01:04:43   to create just something that plugs directly in the back of the TV that you could sell for,

01:04:47   for 35, $40, something like that. Hmm.

01:04:52   Poor Apple TV. Um, so we're out of the hardware and let's talk about Apple's favorite category,

01:04:59   at least, which is services. Services are a C plus down from a B minus. And this is a,

01:05:04   as you mentioned in the article is a mixed bag, which seems mostly kind of just like informed

01:05:09   from people's personal experiences, but that's a bad thing, right? Yeah.

01:05:13   Yeah. There it's all over the place. I will say when this survey started,

01:05:16   people's view of Apple and cloud services was, um, I think much, it was much more negative.

01:05:23   Um, but even then there was the sense like that Apple was getting it together. And I think if you

01:05:28   look back five, six, seven years and how everybody thought about Apple services and how they think of

01:05:33   them today, um, like Apple services are way, way better. They have come a long way in, in the last

01:05:40   few years, they're far more reliable. Um, I am struck by the fact that there are definitely

01:05:46   people on the panel who will never forgive Apple for what they were like seven years ago in cloud

01:05:53   services and will never trust Apple. And that's, I think it's interesting to look at the long

01:06:01   memories of people who've used Apple's cloud services. Like I had somebody say, um, I will

01:06:07   never trust, uh, Apple's photo syncing service. And I've been using Apple's photo syncing service

01:06:14   since they launched the photos app. And I think it's great, but that person had a bad experience

01:06:21   and will never come back or it will take them a very long time. And I think that's part of

01:06:25   Apple's challenge with a lot of their services stuff is they're, um, they're still trying to

01:06:30   live down the past. This is the, um, down a little bit from last year, this score, but it's higher

01:06:36   than the two previous years. So I think there is this sense that like people are not super trust,

01:06:41   trusting of Apple in terms of services, uh, begrudgingly acknowledging that they've gotten

01:06:46   better, but that there are lots of, uh, issues still. Um, and there are a lot of different

01:06:51   services too. So I think a lot of people lumped Siri in here to say that Siri, like they liked

01:06:56   all the other services, but Siri was a disappointment. The people, you know, there's

01:07:01   the, it's a, it's a mixed bag for sure. But I think it's interesting that Apple is clearly

01:07:04   making progress and yet not necessarily winning everybody over. Anything that touches the internet,

01:07:10   right? That's the services. And I just think that they're not, there's a lot of places that they are

01:07:16   not doing a great job in that for right. Like, yeah, I, if I had to say there's an overarching,

01:07:21   uh, comment, it would be that Apple is trying to do a lot and it's unclear what level of focus

01:07:28   in general, but especially in services, what level of focus they have on the individual products.

01:07:32   Like, you know, is for a company that has saying services are the future. I think there's an

01:07:38   overall feeling that maybe it feels like a lot of Apple services are not a focus and do not improve.

01:07:45   Whereas Google is iterating their services for one example, all the time is the perception and that

01:07:50   Apple, uh, will let their services get dusty for a while. And I think that's, but at the same time,

01:07:57   you get something like, um, you know, so Steven Hackett says things are better than ever,

01:08:01   but iCloud sync should be Bulletproof. Dr. Drang said, um, the two terabyte iCloud plan is a

01:08:08   better value than Dropbox. I'm nervous about switching over, but I think 2019 is the year.

01:08:12   And I know people who have dropped Dropbox for iCloud drive, which is amazing. Uh, and I'm not

01:08:20   one of those people, but I get it, but I get it because it is, it is a lot better. And the photo

01:08:26   service I use and it is great. And I have had nothing but good experiences with it. And I think

01:08:32   they do a very good job with it. Um, so it's, it's again, mixed bag, it's all over the place.

01:08:38   And of course, right. This is the thing that you think about, like the, how, how big this,

01:08:42   this is overall, like what, how many issues areas this touches Apple music, right? Jessica

01:08:47   Dennis thinks it's like solidly okay music service, which it is right. It's kind of all

01:08:50   it needs to be, but then Carolina Milanese says, and she brings up a great point, right? You think

01:08:55   about Apple and the services, Apple music and echo devices that happened in 2018, and it shows a

01:09:01   change in Apple that she says playing by different rules going forward. HomeKit got a C minus with no

01:09:08   change. And this one is not a surprise to me. And this one is very mixed in the responses. Uh, I

01:09:14   think there's no change because nothing really happened. Well, it's the highest score HomeKit

01:09:18   has ever gotten by so little that the grade didn't really change. Right. Um, it is, but it is the

01:09:25   highest average score that it's gotten. And this is one of those cases where I was surprised at how

01:09:30   negative the comments are because one, my experience, I would have rated it way higher than

01:09:36   the panel did. The panels medium grade for it was two. It makes me wonder if the panelists split in

01:09:41   two groups, groups that use it and groups who don't bother using it and think it's bad because

01:09:48   HomeKit's gotten a lot better. Yeah. I think one of the big differences is are you in the

01:09:52   United States of America? Well, because the amount of products available to you are very different.

01:09:58   Like, so like Federico says like me, Apple needs to convince me to stay on their platform in 2019

01:10:04   because Google and Amazon are becoming more and more compelling by the day. And it's like, I know,

01:10:08   I look at the, the products that are available to me and there aren't many, like I can see that

01:10:14   Apple is doing stuff to make like software certification better, but a lot of the big

01:10:19   companies that you have products from, we don't have. And I'm kind of, as we spoke about, like,

01:10:24   remember a few weeks ago, we're talking about like plugs, plugs that I, and I would love to have a

01:10:28   plug that I could use on HomeKit and on the Echo. And my options were for companies names that I've

01:10:34   never heard of before. Right? I can't get Belkin products with that have HomeKit support. You know,

01:10:39   like a lot of the cameras I can't, I can't use. So, and again, it's like, what can you put in

01:10:45   your home? If you live in a house, maybe you feel a bit differently if you live in an apartment,

01:10:49   right? It's like I can't put security cameras or I can't put the, like the locks that you have

01:10:54   because I don't have the ability to do that. So, you know, it's like, there was a lot of personal

01:10:58   experience that comes from this. Maybe that's the split is there's the split between people

01:11:03   who have, who are in a circumstance where it all has started to work. And I'm in that where like,

01:11:09   it's all started to work now. And I'm like, Oh, HomeKit isn't, is a thing now where it was

01:11:14   previously not a thing. And then if you're in a place, whether it was a geographic location or in

01:11:22   terms of your housing situation where it's still not a thing, then it's still not a thing. And you

01:11:28   get, I just, I was struck by this and I think what says it all about HomeKit is it's the highest score

01:11:33   it's ever received. It's still not a very good score. So like progress yet a lack of enthusiasm.

01:11:40   And as, yeah, as Carolina Milanese said, puzzling, right? Like nothing has been happening for a while

01:11:49   was, is this not a priority for Apple and what's going on? And again, that comes up in a bunch of

01:11:54   areas where we view Apple as this. And I think maybe there's some truth to this. We view Apple

01:11:59   as this enormous and enormously successful company. And sometimes when you look at what

01:12:05   they're doing, you start to wonder if what they really are is a, an enormously successful hardware

01:12:11   design system with a struggling but okay software organization. And then a whole bunch of poorly

01:12:24   funded, poorly staffed, not focused on ancillary businesses where Apple's DNA says we have to own

01:12:34   this and do our own thing, but they refuse to actually prioritize that stuff. And HomeKit's

01:12:39   a great example, right? Where it's like Apple did HomeKit because Apple didn't want to seed

01:12:44   this market to Amazon and Google, but it does feel like Apple also didn't do HomeKit right.

01:12:51   And it's still trying to live it down. And it's unclear that they've actually turned it around.

01:12:55   So they started wrong with their like chip certification, the way that they were doing it

01:12:59   before. But then they changed it, right? iOS 12 changed it. And that's why there are more

01:13:05   products, but like it's going to take more time still. Um, hardware reliability, B plus down from

01:13:12   A minus and oh boy, this is where the MacBook keyboards, this is the effect. This is where it

01:13:18   was. This is where people were talking about it. Um, David Sparks says, I realized recently that

01:13:24   I no longer take Mac hardware reliability for granted, which I like, right? Like I like that

01:13:29   phrase. And then of course, let's, let's, let's run through the ATP boys. So Marco says the

01:13:34   continued problems with the Mac book and Mac book pro keyboards, despite the reductions from 2018

01:13:39   keyboard membrane, tarnish their reputation in a big way. John Siracusa says the butterfly keyboard

01:13:45   really has to go. And Casey says, I'm not calling for anyone's head to roll, but I do think there's

01:13:51   a legitimate problem here that needs to be addressed. This is a sore point. I think it's

01:13:56   telling. So 2016 is really when the new Mac book pros came out, right? Um, the Mac book was out

01:14:03   earlier. I think it's telling that if you look at my, uh, my results over time, Apple's perceived

01:14:12   hardware reliability among the panel has dropped every year. Yep. So this was a 4.4 average in

01:14:21   2015. It's now a 3.8, not horrible. It's still a B plus, but I do think there's something in the fact

01:14:29   that over the last four years, as the new Mac books rolled out, uh, especially that the perception of

01:14:36   the reliability of Apple's hardware has, uh, has dropped from basically a straight A to a B plus

01:14:43   from a 4.4 to a 3.8. It is to me, meaningful. This is the category they should always score highest

01:14:54   on. This is what they should be and have been good at. Apple make great hardware.

01:15:01   The median score among my panelists, my 55 panelists was a four. And I think that that

01:15:06   may be telling too, that, um, that even people who feel like, and I had, I had several of them

01:15:13   in the survey, like they, they bank on Apple hardware. They don't have any problems with it.

01:15:17   Even among that group, there's this effect. That's very much what David Sparks said, which is

01:15:22   even if I'm feeling good, there's something wrong because of especially the, uh, uh, the,

01:15:31   the keyboard, but it's, it's more than that. Um, uh, Peter Cohen, my former colleague at Mac world

01:15:37   back in the day, uh, did a nice list, which was iPhone seven's returned in large quantities.

01:15:42   Thanks to manufacturing problems that rendered them unable to work on cellular networks.

01:15:46   Mac book keyboards continue to fail despite three redesigns and Apple stores were choked

01:15:50   with people rushing in to get those batteries replaced. Like these are all signs that are

01:15:55   partly a function of Apple's products popularity, but it's also a function of the fact that

01:16:01   Apple just didn't engineer those products, um, to be reliable enough. So it's definitely,

01:16:07   you know, this is about as much, uh, as much about perception as reality. That's the deal

01:16:12   with a survey, but I can tell you that among people who carefully watch Apple, uh, their

01:16:16   opinion of Apple's hardware has declined in terms of reliability has declined every single year

01:16:21   since I started the survey in 2015. Then on the flip side, software quality went from a C minus

01:16:27   to a B minus and it should have iOS 12, especially. And to a degree, Mojave MacOS, Mojave had a focus

01:16:36   on stability and this showed Charles Arthur says iOS 12 was a great improvement for stability and

01:16:42   speed. Mojave has been a quiet update. I haven't noticed anything from it, but good software is

01:16:46   when you don't notice it. And Federico Vitucci says iOS 12 is the best version of iOS I've

01:16:51   tested in years. The work Apple put into optimizing performance on older hardware truly shows.

01:16:57   Yeah, this is, um, for all of our comments about the iPad, this is the other side of that,

01:17:06   which is they did and people individual, I had individual people with individual gripes

01:17:12   about iOS or Mojave, but on the big picture, I think everybody in the panel pretty much agreed

01:17:17   that last year was shaky. Again, not saying that everything's perfect, but I think what you see,

01:17:22   cause the score was a 3.4. It went down last year to a 2.7 average and back up to a 3.4.

01:17:27   I think what you're seeing there is 2017 was really shaky. The feeling was those updates,

01:17:32   iOS 11, uh, especially were shaky and people were like, well, what is Apple doing? There were a lot

01:17:38   of bugs. There were a lot of weird things going on. And when Apple decided we're going to slow it

01:17:43   down and we're going to focus on stability and getting old phones to run better and all of that,

01:17:47   the panel at least felt like they came through and that although there's some frustration about

01:17:53   where they're going and how, how fast they're going to get there, there, there was generally

01:17:58   an acknowledgement that they, it did pay off in focusing on that stuff. Yeah. And, uh, Steven

01:18:06   Hackett points out that he has some concern for the future of MacOS, right? That the apps,

01:18:12   the Marsapan apps are not good Mac apps. And that maybe that is a thought, right? You can think

01:18:20   about that. What do you think about that? That's true. Software quality does include those new,

01:18:25   uh, Marsapan apps in Mojave that are generally not unanimously, but generally thought of by a lot of

01:18:31   people to be inferior. Um, and that that's just an open question, right? Is what does that mean?

01:18:36   Because it's entirely possible that they are just a work in progress and that what the,

01:18:41   what they ship in 2019 will be, um, much better. Uh, it's also possible that no, that's what they

01:18:48   intend to ship. Uh, I don't believe that, but it is an open question. So I, I get the concern for

01:18:54   the future. Um, especially since, to be honest, you know, we're, we're leaving the year of stability

01:19:00   and entering a year of potentially a huge change. And so does software quality suffer in a year of

01:19:07   change? I would argue that it almost certainly does, right? Because it seems to me that the way

01:19:13   that you keep the quality up is by slowing way down and focusing on tightening all the screws.

01:19:18   Um, and 2019 doesn't seem like a screw tightening year, right? It seems like a, add a whole bunch of

01:19:25   new stuff and they're going to be bugs and it's going to be weird. And, uh, it's natural to view

01:19:30   that with trepidation, I think. All right. There are a couple of, of more categories that we'll

01:19:36   round out real quickly, but we'll do that. Um, after we thank our final sponsor for this episode,

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01:20:51   of this show and relay FM. So the last two categories were developer relations and societal

01:20:58   and environmental impact. So developer relations was a B minus down from a B. And I think if I

01:21:05   would like kind of sum it up that review times got faster, but scam apps exist and Apple isn't

01:21:10   seem to really be doing anything about it. Yeah. And this is a category where, um, the fact is in

01:21:15   2015, when I started this survey, um, maybe much more relations were a, were a real concern. And

01:21:23   that average score in 2015 was 2.2. It was by far the lowest score that any, but the lowest average

01:21:32   that we've ever gotten in anything on the survey, uh, developer relations were at a very low point.

01:21:38   That's also when Phil Schiller took over and started making major changes. And, uh, and that

01:21:44   score came up and has, uh, you know, is now at a B minus. It went down slightly from last year,

01:21:49   but basically it's a, it's a pretty good score. And that's the truth of it is I think developers

01:21:54   are relatively happy. There are, there are issues. Definitely. There's complaint about, um, about

01:22:00   scams and frauds. And John Gruver mentioned that for sure. Um, uh, uh, Lex Friedman mentioned like

01:22:06   panic coming back to the Mac app store was a big one. Um, there's a lot of positive stuff. It's not

01:22:12   a perfect thing. It's always a work in progress. There are everybody's got kind of pet issues that

01:22:16   they wish that Apple would do better. But I think what I take away from the developer relation

01:22:20   category is that today, if I were building the survey and not trying to repeat it every year,

01:22:26   I wouldn't ask this question because I just don't think it's a burning question like it was

01:22:30   in 2015. And that, that is meaningful to me that I think when Phil Schiller took over developer

01:22:36   relation stuff, took over the app store, um, they, they made appreciable changes fairly quickly that

01:22:43   seemed to have solved a lot, not all a lot of the pain that went into it. So that's, I think that's

01:22:49   the most interesting thing about it is just that it's not as relevant as it was, uh, four years ago.

01:22:54   Yeah. I think that was the big change, right? Was, was Phil taken over from Eddie and then things

01:23:00   started to move from there and little things like to get added and over time it has made things

01:23:04   better for everyone. Right. Yep. And the last one is societal slash environmental impact where, uh,

01:23:10   Apple got a B grade down from a B plus. And I think if I was going to sum this up, it would be

01:23:15   that kind of Apple talks a good game in a lot of areas. There's a lot of great stuff, but it seemed

01:23:19   like there was a consistent concern with Apple failing to stand up against the U S government

01:23:24   in a lot of key areas and that leadership diversity whilst they're still doing some

01:23:29   efforts to change stuff is still moving very, very slowly. Yeah, the definitely there's a sense that

01:23:34   people appreciate, um, that Tim Cook speaks out about lots of issues that the company is focused

01:23:41   on user privacy and security and all of that, but also pointing out that, you know, but then they

01:23:47   also play ball in China where they're going to let China into the data centers and look at the user

01:23:52   data and, uh, that there are places where they, they, uh, talk a good game and then they sit down

01:23:58   with the current administration and they're definitely panelists saying, um, they're going

01:24:02   to regret that historically by, by playing ball with them. Um, again, debatable, everybody's got

01:24:08   an opinion about it. Um, this is another one of those categories that, uh, I think is still

01:24:13   relevant, but the meaning of the environmental and social impact category in the survey has changed

01:24:19   almost every single year, which I find fascinating. Uh, it's what people focus on.

01:24:24   And it's actually something that, um, Dr. Drang mentioned, which is, uh, in the early 2000s,

01:24:30   Apple Greenpeace, especially like call that Apple for its environmental practices. And what's funny

01:24:36   is that they decided to fix that and make a commitment to it. And that slide that they put

01:24:40   up after every product with its green checklist and all that, that is all because Apple really

01:24:45   did over the last 15 years, completely changed its processes to focus on making, um, less of a

01:24:50   negative environmental impact and being a positive impact whenever they could. And that is a place

01:24:55   where they, where they changed. And I think you still see that where in 2015, quite honestly,

01:24:59   the survey was in there because there was a lot of stories in the news about Apple's factories

01:25:03   in China and suicides at the factories and the feeling that the people in the factories were not

01:25:07   being treated well and that Apple was benefiting from the terrible work conditions there. But over

01:25:12   time, it has also evolved to mean other things. It has been about Apple's political connections in

01:25:18   the U S it's about Apple standing up to the FBI. Uh, it was about Apple's diversity on stage or

01:25:25   diversity in its management team, or, um, I quote in the story, Aline and Jean from AppCamp for girls,

01:25:33   talking about their entrepreneur camp for women developers. Um, like there's a lot of stuff that

01:25:38   people can kind of, um, heap into this category, which is why I think it's interesting. I'm not

01:25:43   sure it's consistent from year to year, but I think maybe it's lack of consistency is, uh,

01:25:48   is good in that it shows like, what are people thinking in terms of these intangible things about

01:25:54   Apple? Cause Apple is a company that takes stands and says it believes in things and its executives

01:25:58   go out and make pronouncements. And I think it's worth, uh, so I think that they're calling

01:26:03   by doing that they're, um, opening themselves up to analysis about where they succeed and where

01:26:10   they fail, that a faceless corporation might not, uh, have, there might not be anything relevant

01:26:18   to analyze about it, but Apple is in this game. And so it is relevant for them.

01:26:23   So good year for interesting stuff in the scorecard. Um, I'm pleased that you put this

01:26:29   together cause it's so nice to have a record going back. Yeah. I, that is one thing that I,

01:26:35   I really value in it is that it's not just taking the temperature of the, you know, the pundits and

01:26:40   the Apple watchers at any given time, but it's also seeing how their, um, their views evolve

01:26:45   over time. And with the direct quotes, you can get the sense of the, you know, the real like

01:26:50   feelings that everybody's got in detail. And then with the numbers, you can just get an overall

01:26:55   kind of sense of the trends and the sentiment. And, um, again, I don't think it proves anything

01:27:01   per se, but I think it's interesting to see, to get a snapshot of this. And the first year I did

01:27:06   it, I actually did an open version of the survey for people who, um, you know, saw the link on six

01:27:11   colors where they could fill it out before it was published. And I stopped doing that. And the

01:27:15   reason I stopped doing that is, uh, the, the scores were different, but the, the relationship

01:27:21   between the scores were identical. So, you know, it might've been not a 3.4, but a 2.4 and not a 3.9,

01:27:28   but a 2.9, cause all the scores were a little bit lower for the general public, but their relationship

01:27:33   to the pundit survey was the same. And I think honestly that comes out of the fact that

01:27:40   on average as a whole, uh, and this should not be surprising, the people who consume all the content

01:27:47   from the people who think and talk about Apple have their opinions to a certain extent shaped

01:27:52   by those people. So again, not proving anything. Reality may be completely different, but in the

01:27:58   end, I think it's still worth, uh, polling the Apple observers. And I said earlier that I asked

01:28:03   55 people to be on the panel. That's not actually true. I asked about a hundred people, maybe a

01:28:06   little bit more. Um, many of them don't do it. So these are the 55 people and there's a list at the

01:28:11   end. These are the 55 people who said yes. And so they're the ones in the survey. Um, I gave them

01:28:17   the option to not be quoted. Um, plus people could just not give me feedback. Um, so yeah, which is

01:28:24   fine. I think thanks to everybody who didn't give any quotes, cause going through the quotes is

01:28:28   really hard work, but thanks to the people who did because they provided good, uh, good color,

01:28:34   let's say for, uh, for the, the bare survey results. Jason, before we finish today, I have a

01:28:41   follow-up item for you before we do a couple of ask upgrade questions. It's unorthodox, but I'll

01:28:46   allow it. It's because during the episode today, uh, Apple published a behind the scenes video on

01:28:52   how they made that iPad pro ads. And you can now see that yes, it was LumaFusion that was used to

01:28:58   edit and filmic and filmic pro used to shoot it. So for all of the people that were doubting that

01:29:06   Apple made their videos on the iPad pro, well, they did. You can see it now. Um, and I think

01:29:11   that's really great. I'm really pleased that they decided to show this. Um, obviously it was always

01:29:16   part of the plan because they were filming it. Um, but I'm really pleased to see that yes,

01:29:21   LumaFusion is being used because that was what me and you said. Well, they, they're obviously using

01:29:26   it because that's how you could do this. So there you go. So there you go. Hey, it's your video,

01:29:32   right? You'll ask for it. And there it is. They did do it. Um, the iPad pro is very capable and

01:29:38   very powerful. And I'm very pleased that Apple decided not only make this campaign, but make this

01:29:42   specific video because it proves a point to ask upgrade questions before. So just two lasers,

01:29:49   please, Jason, uh, before thank you before we, uh, finish off today's episode. First one comes

01:29:54   from Matthew. Do you think Apple would create a web version for their video service similar to

01:30:00   Netflix or Amazon prime? Um, currently you need to have an Apple maybe in the future,

01:30:05   a device that supports it. Do you think they'll make a web focused version of their streaming

01:30:10   service? I'm going to say yes. Okay. It's a coin flip for me. I see how much, um, my daughter

01:30:23   watches, you know, Netflix in a browser and stuff. And I feel like, you know, she could,

01:30:28   she, well, I mean, on, on the Mac, there is no Netflix app. You have to use a browser

01:30:33   and Apple could put this in iTunes. I just feel like, uh, that technology exists and why would

01:30:40   you not? Because then anybody who's paying you money can watch it anywhere. And I think that's

01:30:44   probably what Apple wants is to just, uh, I say yes, because of the same reason that it's on TVs

01:30:49   and stuff is that it just gives them another outlet for people to give them money and watch their

01:30:53   stuff. And the, uh, one of the other things is that, uh, a lot of the ways that these smart TV

01:31:04   stuff works, it's all web based, right? So they're already building a, essentially a web player.

01:31:09   Yeah. Like, or at least they are creating what would need to be the underpinnings for a web

01:31:15   based system on the TVs. So, I mean, I don't know how much harder it would be for them to build a

01:31:21   front end, but they may have had to go a lot of the way there themselves. So, and, and also that

01:31:29   really just, it stops them have, and it's probably why Netflix do it too. It stops them from having

01:31:35   to have to support everything because, well, if it has a web browser, you could just watch it.

01:31:40   The apps are better, but you can just get them via the web. And here we go, Jason. This question

01:31:46   comes from John. Now that we're in iPhone rumour season, what will the next iPhone be called?

01:31:52   iPhone 11? iPhone 11 with Roman numerals? iPhone pro? What's it going to be?

01:32:00   Um, I mean, I think it will be 11. I do think it will be 11. 11 with the numbers.

01:32:07   I think it's going to, I think they will go back to numbers because it's going to get too messy.

01:32:11   I think there will be an iPhone 11, there will be an iPhone 11 Max, and there will be an iPhone 11R.

01:32:16   And we're in complete agreement.

01:32:18   If there's a new R phone, it might also just be the 10R will remain,

01:32:22   and they won't update that every year. That would not surprise me at all.

01:32:26   Yeah. I am, I am in agreement with you on that one, I think. At least for now. If you would like

01:32:33   to ask a question for us to finish out the show, you can send it or do it with the hashtag #askupgrade.

01:32:38   We've got a lot, we had a lot we didn't get to today because we, the scorecard is a big topic

01:32:44   to get through and we don't want to have you sit here for four hours while we get through everything

01:32:48   we had to get through today. And if you want to find our show notes for this episode, you can go

01:32:52   to relay.fm/upgrades/230. Jason is online. He is at sixcolors.com where you can find the scorecard

01:33:00   and all of its glory. There is a lot of charts and there is a lot of information that we didn't cover

01:33:06   in today's episode. So I do, uh, employ you to go and check it out. There's a lot of really great

01:33:10   quotes from a lot of really, uh, intelligent and smart people. There's some cool stuff to say,

01:33:15   so you can go and check that out at sixcolors.com. Jason is @jsnell on Twitter. I am @imike, I M Y K E.

01:33:22   This show is a part of relay.fm. You can find upgrade and many, many other shows. In fact,

01:33:27   some would say pretty much all of the great shows over at relay.fm/shows and you can pick up a new

01:33:33   show there. Um, and we'll be back next time. Thanks again to our sponsors, the fine folk over at

01:33:40   Pingdom, Care Of and Luna Display. Until next week, Jason Snell. Say goodbye. Myke, I give you an A.

01:33:46   Oh, thank you, Jason.