224: A Bearded Man Is The Hero


00:00:00   [Music]

00:00:08   From Relay FM, this is Upgrade, episode 224. Today's show is brought to you by

00:00:15   Squarespace, Pingdom, Lunar Display, and Green Chef. My name is Myke Hurley, and I am joined

00:00:21   by my partner in crime, Mr. Jason Snell. You're not supposed to talk about the crime, Myke. I told

00:00:27   we had a conversation about this. My partner in doing good, Mr. Jason Snell. That's right.

00:00:32   Yes, that's from my garage. It's me. Hi. Our #SnellTalk question comes from Brent this week,

00:00:38   and Brent wants to know, "When your Apple Pencil is on the top of your iPad to charge,

00:00:43   which way does the tip point?" Is this a trick question? I have no answer to this,

00:00:53   because I don't care. Okay, well, I do. I guess I'm that kind of person. So if I have it in

00:01:01   landscape with, as it would be, like home button that doesn't exist on the right camera on the

00:01:07   left, right? The Apple Pencil, the tip is always pointing towards the camera. So it, from my

00:01:17   perspective, is pointing to the left. Okay. So away from the USB-C port towards the camera.

00:01:24   That's my preference. Don't ask me why. I don't know why, but that's just the way it must be.

00:01:29   Yeah, I don't care. That's my answer. I will say, it is probably better to not care about

00:01:37   these types of things, but I do. Yeah, well, you can't change yourself. If you do care,

00:01:43   then you care, and you're one of those kinds of people, and I am not. I also am only leaving it

00:01:49   there. Well, we'll talk about my Apple Pencil habits later. I don't have it there all the time,

00:01:53   but I do have it there some of the time, which is better than the last time.

00:01:56   I picked this question, and it was because we're going to be talking about the Apple Pencil later

00:02:00   on in the show. If you would like to send in a question like Brent did, just send in a tweet with

00:02:04   the hashtag Snail Talk, and it may be used to open a future episode of Upgrade. We start today with

00:02:09   some follow-up. Apple Music is slowly rolling out in the US on the Amazon Echo. Right now,

00:02:16   it is US only. There is absolutely nothing to confirm or deny if and how long this is going

00:02:22   to be the case, that it will be US only, but it is. You can indeed, as we had hoped, set Apple

00:02:31   Music as your default music provider for the Echo. Yes, you can. It actually tells you, when you add

00:02:38   the skill, because I did this, when you add the skill, as I did on Friday, it says, "Great! Now,

00:02:45   if you want to make this the default, you can go to settings and do that," and I think there's even

00:02:53   a button that takes you there in the app, in the Amazon app, to control the lady, the lady in the

00:03:00   canister app. And then you go there and you say, "Yeah, this is my music service," and then that's

00:03:06   it. When you say, "Hey lady, play this playlist or play this song," it says, "Okay, I'm playing that

00:03:11   song from Apple Music," and that's it. From there, it kind of does everything that you'd expect it to

00:03:16   do. It ticks all the boxes. It also has some flaws, which you would expect. This is coming from a

00:03:23   great article on 9to5Mac. It doesn't seem that right now it will support iCloud Music Library

00:03:30   songs, meaning that these are stuff you upload yourself. The old iTunes match stuff. So,

00:03:35   if you upload something to your iCloud Music Library that doesn't exist in Apple Music,

00:03:39   you can't play it. It has to be in Apple Music. It seems like it's only looking at—it's not looking

00:03:44   at your personal library necessarily, this sounds like, just what is on Apple Music.

00:03:50   Yeah. But because this is integrated into the Echo as a default music provider, it can actually do

00:03:56   some things that the HomePod cannot. Like, for example, you can set an Apple Music playlist or

00:04:01   a station as an alarm. So, you can set alarms, like morning alarms on the Amazon Echo, and it

00:04:06   can be music. And you can choose music from Apple Music, which is not something you can do on any

00:04:11   iOS device or on a HomePod. So, I guess it's kind of fun. It is, as was feared, we had somebody ask

00:04:21   about this last week. It is currently limited to Amazon Echo speakers only. So, this is not for—I'm

00:04:29   just gonna say it—this is not for Alexa devices. It has to be for Echo devices. So, the Sonos stuff,

00:04:36   it's not gonna work there for now, and who knows how long. Honestly, this feels like this is not

00:04:40   something that is in Sonos' hands. How frustrating is that to have a device that does Alexa and also

00:04:47   does Apple Music, and they don't work together? Yeah, that's why it makes it worse. Like,

00:04:51   I would more understand it if it was like all of the other products that exist. But the Sonos—

00:04:56   I get the complexity of it in the sense that Sonos is already paired with Apple Music,

00:05:00   and this is through whatever the Alexa part of it is. And how do you reconcile those, or can you?

00:05:08   Is it impossible? Like, I get it, but it's super frustrating. And yeah, yep, yep, yep, yep. Also,

00:05:17   I should say the Echo has multi-speaker support now. So, if you have multiple Echos, I believe

00:05:23   you can do the thing where you say, "Play this on the other one," or, "Play this everywhere,"

00:05:26   and it will work with Apple Music, which is great. But what it won't do is also play on a HomePod or

00:05:32   some other AirPlay 2 device, because it's not supporting AirPlay 2. It's just supporting playing

00:05:37   Apple Music in the Alexa ecosystem. Yep. Which, you know, if you want to—this is probably the

00:05:44   most cost-effective way right now to get multiple speakers playing Apple Music in your home, because

00:05:52   Amazon have such a variety of devices, including that $35 one that you just plug into speakers.

00:05:59   Yeah, I was going to say, if you've got a receiver with an input or a set of powered speakers,

00:06:05   and you can get an Echo Dot and just plug it into there, even if you only use that remotely, and

00:06:11   say from your main Echo, "Play this on my speakers," or something, that will work. And that's

00:06:19   interesting. Basically, yeah, you've got Amazon Music access like you had—or Apple Music access

00:06:25   on these devices, the Echos, like you had with Spotify. And so if you've already invested in

00:06:31   those and you also are an Apple Music person, it's like, "Okay, great. Now they're way more useful

00:06:35   than they were." Or if you're like me, you can drop your Amazon Music device supplementary

00:06:42   subscription that you got just so you could play music on the Echo, because now if you're already

00:06:47   an Apple Music customer, you can just use that there instead. So that's good.

00:06:51   Yeah. So this is cool. It's interesting to see. You can correct me if I'm wrong, but there was

00:06:58   nothing from Apple, no press release. But it's officially today, right, is supposed to be the day

00:07:04   that they said it was coming, but they seem to be rolling it out a bit sooner. So maybe we'll see

00:07:08   something. Maybe, or maybe your conspiracy theory from Connected will be right, and they'll just

00:07:14   pretend that it never happened. Yeah. I'm going to keep my eye on the Apple Music

00:07:18   page on apple.com and see if they add anything there. Because if they add it, that's probably

00:07:24   where it should go, because they have little icons and stuff to denote that you can listen on Android

00:07:31   devices and Sonos devices. So in theory, they should add the Amazon Echo. So there's actual

00:07:38   products there. So we'll see. We'll see. Upgradies, voting is still open until December 24th. I can

00:07:45   confirm, as was prophesized on the last episode, this is now the most nominated slash voted for

00:07:52   Upgradies of all time. It has eclipsed last year. So there is lots and lots of wonderful

00:07:57   suggestions coming in. And if you're looking for some inspiration for your votes, the folk over at

00:08:05   MacStories today just introduced MacStory Selects, which is their awards, which is really cool to see.

00:08:11   So Federico and John and Ryan got together and they voted on what their favorite apps of the year are.

00:08:16   Very helpful for me, Jason, because the apps of the year stuff is always the ones that I

00:08:20   really struggle with. So I'm pleased to see that the MacStories crew are kind of giving me some

00:08:26   inspiration for what could be voted on. But it's really cool. They have beautiful little rosettes

00:08:32   in a beautiful Federico style. I'm excited also. Wall Street has reacted positively to the news of

00:08:38   the Upgradies showing year over year growth. So that's good to know. We're moving into services,

00:08:43   though. Oh, boy. Let's talk some upstream news. We have a couple of pieces of Apple related

00:08:50   signings, I guess. Apple has acquired JJ Abrams produced drama series starring Jennifer Garner.

00:08:58   It is called My Glory Was I Had Such Friends, and it's a limited series. It's based on a memoir of

00:09:04   the same name. This is now the second Abrams produced drama series coming to Apple's TV service.

00:09:10   And they also have picked up Peanuts. So they've done a deal to get the rights to produce content

00:09:17   starring Charles M. Schultz's roster of characters for the uninitiated This Is Like Snoopy and

00:09:22   Charlie Brown. So this may include new series, some shorts, or maybe even kind of like feature

00:09:28   length specials and is focused on STEM, so science, technology. Science, technology,

00:09:34   something in math. Engineering and mathematics. That's the one.

00:09:38   So it's two deals. So I mean, it's one overarching deal. One of the things they announced is they're

00:09:42   going to do short form STEM educational content, and they're also going to do specials or shows or

00:09:47   whatever else. There's all sorts of other stuff that they'll probably do. But I thought it was

00:09:50   an interesting, very specific thing that they're very specifically going to make educational

00:09:54   content featuring Snoopy that is about STEM topics. So the fact is, this is a lot like the

00:10:02   Sesame Street deal with HBO where Sesame Street episodes premiere on HBO now, and that was a way

00:10:07   for Sesame Workshop to get more funding because they were not essentially not funded well enough

00:10:12   by PBS. And the shows end up on PBS eventually, but they start on HBO. And I think it's interesting

00:10:18   in the sense that this is we get so focused on, as you mentioned the Jennifer Garner,

00:10:22   JJ Abrams thing, reunion of Alias people who that was one of my favorite shows, Alias,

00:10:28   which was JJ Abrams producing Jennifer Garner. This is the other part of that, right? It's not

00:10:34   just prestige dramas and star power and star producers and all of that. The other part of this

00:10:42   kind of battle for streaming supremacy is children's content. This is another front in that war,

00:10:50   which is I think everybody knows that one way you get parents to subscribe to something is that

00:10:57   there's stuff for their kids on it and that you can't just do adult. Well, you can, but it's an

00:11:02   extra benefit to your service to have kids programming on board, especially if you're

00:11:06   somebody like Apple who is trying to focus on family content. That is an important thing for

00:11:11   them to do. And of course, hovering in the background, it's coming next year. Everybody

00:11:16   knows it is a streaming service with the Disney brand. And if the Disney brand means anything,

00:11:23   it means family-friendly content and kid content. So they got to be there. And that's what Apple is

00:11:29   doing with this deal. One of mine are your favorite shows on Netflix. Recently, one of

00:11:37   their originals has just been renewed for a second season and that is David Letterman's

00:11:41   show, his interview show. So they're going to be doing another six episodes in 2019.

00:11:47   - Yeah, I wonder, they only announced this now. It's kind of funny because those episodes played

00:11:53   out into the summer. I'm a little surprised. I don't know whether this is Netflix considering

00:11:59   what they want to do or whether it was Letterman considering how he wanted to do it, or if they

00:12:03   gave him the nod six months ago and he's been working on this, but they've only announced it

00:12:07   now. I'm unclear on what exactly took them so long here. Netflix has had, we don't go into a lot of

00:12:13   the details here, but Netflix has definitely had ups and downs with talk show content where they're

00:12:19   trying to do, it's one of those things of like, how do you do something that is sort of timely,

00:12:25   but also bingeable and has a weekly release schedule maybe instead of being a binge drop

00:12:32   of a whole season. And they've tried a bunch of different things. Michelle Wolf had a show,

00:12:36   Joel McHale had a show that I really liked actually. They killed those shows. They gave,

00:12:43   Hasan Minhaj has a deal, the former Daily Show correspondent for his show Patriot Act,

00:12:48   which is very good. It is basically like John Oliver's show except no desk. He just stands

00:12:55   in front of a screen, but it's a very similar kind of topical comedy/information show.

00:13:02   And they gave him like a 30-week deal and that show runs weekly. So Netflix wants, and I think

00:13:11   believes that there's something to it, to have these kind of shows that can extend, that can be

00:13:16   timely. I think they're looking at HBO and HBO having success with this and looking at, yeah,

00:13:22   Comedy Central and stuff like that and saying, can we do something as part of our portfolio that can

00:13:27   fulfill this desire from people to have this kind of talk show or otherwise kind of conversational

00:13:33   and topical stuff. I'm not sure they've cracked it yet, but they're trying a bunch of different

00:13:38   stuff. And bringing Letterman back, I mean, this is a monthly thing again like it was last year.

00:13:42   It's six episodes presumably dropped once a month. But it's still really interesting to watch how

00:13:49   Netflix struggles with this because like Hasan Minhaj, I read an interview with him where he

00:13:52   said their challenge is they want to be topical, but they also want for it to be kind of evergreen

00:13:59   so that if you don't watch and then you want to watch five or six of them in a row,

00:14:04   they don't feel outdated. That you can go back and watch six of them and not feel like,

00:14:12   why would you watch a news show from three weeks ago? They wanted them to be replayable.

00:14:17   And that's a challenge with Netflix where it's like people have expectations of Netflix that

00:14:22   don't necessarily work with traditional views of providing topical content. So it's a fascinating

00:14:27   thing to watch Netflix, which has done so well in so many areas. And this is an area where they just

00:14:32   haven't figured it out yet. Yeah, they put clips of Patriot Act, which is Minhaj's show on YouTube,

00:14:38   which I think is one of the things that Netflix has been missing. Yeah, and HBO does that with

00:14:43   John Oliver. Yeah, they all do it. They all do it. Like I was watching some people were sharing some

00:14:48   Saturday Night Live clips this morning. Sure, totally. It's part of the strategy. It's a little

00:14:52   different if you're a premium streaming service or like HBO, right? I always thought it was like,

00:14:56   and I think that's why that they've always kind of not wanted to do it, maybe Netflix, right? But

00:15:01   like, this is how I think you get people to watch these shows is they need to see those little clips

00:15:06   first because that's what the late night talk show is now. It's a bunch of attempts at going viral.

00:15:11   That's what they are. And finally, WarnerMedia have hired Kevin Reilly to run their streaming

00:15:18   service. Reilly has been a chief creative officer at Turner and was previously the programmer for

00:15:24   Fox and NBC. So you told me this is a big deal. Yeah, this is a big deal. And I know it's insider

00:15:31   baseball in the sense that it is just a name of a guy who's a suit, a corporate suit kind of thing.

00:15:35   But here's the thing with Kevin Reilly. He's a highly respected programmer. He was the programmer

00:15:40   at the Fox broadcast network. He was the programmer. And this means someone who sets the

00:15:44   television schedule, right? Not someone's sitting there coding in the backend. No, he's, yeah,

00:15:48   that's true. Sorry. This is the upstream segment. Upstream programmers are different from the rest

00:15:52   of the programmers we talked about on this show. Sorry, they're software engineers, Myke. Dr.

00:15:56   Drang has exploded somewhere. So the Fox TV network and the NBC TV network, he was the guy

00:16:03   who was in charge of what shows do we make? What gets the green light? What doesn't? What shows do

00:16:08   we cancel? He is very well respected. He is generally thought of as having a very good taste,

00:16:15   very successful as a programmer. Recently, he's been doing the programming at TBS and TNT, which

00:16:21   are Turner, which is of course owned by Warner Media now. And so I think this is an amazing,

00:16:29   great move. I think that one of the challenges that all of these services have is you got to have

00:16:32   good programmers. You've got to have good content people. And the New York Times did a big profile

00:16:37   over the weekend of the person who's in charge of the movies at Netflix. And once again, that stat

00:16:42   that you and I, I think I've talked about before that Netflix plans on releasing something like 60

00:16:47   movies in a year, which yes means that they're releasing more than one movie a week. That's an

00:16:52   original Netflix feature film, which is baffling. It's mind boggling. But these people matter

00:16:59   because these are the people who are making those decisions. They're shaping what the network

00:17:02   or service looks like. And if they have good instincts and good taste and good relationships,

00:17:10   they can produce an overall product, which is what you want if you're trying to convince somebody to

00:17:14   subscribe to your service, that can be really successful. And you see this with some of the

00:17:21   other people. It'll be interesting to see what happens with John Landgraf, who is the programmer

00:17:24   at the FX networks, which are going to be brought inside of Disney next year. Is Landgraf going to

00:17:30   be put in charge of Hulu maybe or something like that? We'll see. But Riley anyway, generally

00:17:37   well thought of guy and Warner, it's telling, I think for WarnerMedia to say, yeah, he's the guy,

00:17:44   like it's all going to go to him. We're not going to have all these different fiefdoms inside of

00:17:47   Warner. We're going to have Riley in charge of the content for Warner's streaming service. And

00:17:54   that's, I think, smart for them. So it's a background hire kind of thing or promotion,

00:18:00   really. But I think that's the kind of person you want in a job like that.

00:18:05   So the end of today's episode is going to be a Myke at the movies segment,

00:18:11   and we're going to be talking about the Christmas classic Miracle on 34th Street. So we've got that

00:18:17   at the end of the episode. And whilst we're talking about holiday classics, next week's

00:18:22   episode of Upgrade is going to be the holiday special, and it is very special and very holiday.

00:18:27   Yes, it is. It is. We've got it in the works. It is a special format, but it leads, it is not a

00:18:37   departure in the sense of it being not about Apple and tech, but it is a departure in format a little

00:18:44   bit. There will be special guests as there were last year, I believe. Should we say how many

00:18:50   special guests there will be? I think saying how many might give away what we're doing. So we'll

00:18:56   just say it is a classic format that, like, very classic. A very classic number of guests to have.

00:19:05   A classic number of guests, yes. The best. Today's episode is brought to you in part

00:19:12   by Luna Display. Luna Display is the hardware solution that turns your iPad into a wireless

00:19:19   display for your Mac. So you'll have a super portable second display with stunning image

00:19:24   quality and basically zero lag. Jason Snell, I have my Mac Mini now. Yes. And I've set it up with

00:19:30   my Luna Display. And I am consistently blown away with how well this thing works. You just plug it

00:19:38   in, and the app launches on its own. You get it set all up. And now I just have this Mac Mini just

00:19:44   sitting here, no display attached to it. And whenever I want to jump on it, I just open the

00:19:49   Luna Display app on my iPad, and I can sit and just use it like it's a Mac. I cannot believe how

00:19:56   well this thing works. Yeah, I've been using remote desktop software to connect to my Mac

00:20:04   Mini for a very long time. The difference is because it's using the hardware acceleration

00:20:11   and all the other kind of like magic stuff because the Luna Display has its little module that you

00:20:16   plug into it that poses as a monitor. You end up with a much higher quality and more responsive

00:20:23   screen sharing in your house than, and just on my Wi-Fi. I don't need to be tethered or anything

00:20:28   like that. It's pretty great. Like the initial concept of this thing was that you could use it

00:20:33   as a second monitor. And actually if you want a second monitor and you've got a beautiful iPad

00:20:39   with a retina display just sitting there, you could do that too. But as a screen sharing resource

00:20:43   to have a Mac somewhere in your house and then just have an iPad and be able to control it

00:20:50   natively, it's pretty great. And so I'm doing that now too in the house. I still have my screen

00:20:55   sharing software for out of the house or from my Mac. But when I'm on my iPad in the house with the

00:21:00   keyboard, it's just, yeah, I can turn it into a Mac and it feels like a Mac. Keyboard, Apple Pencil,

00:21:07   like that is perfect. The Apple Pencil is so good, right? Because the touch targets can be small.

00:21:12   The Apple Pencil does it perfectly. Yeah, I think it's fantastic. I'm so, so happy with it. And

00:21:16   listeners of this show can get an exclusive 10% discount on the Luna Display. Just head over to

00:21:21   lunadisplay.com. That is L-U-N-A-D-I-S-P-L-A-Y.com. Enter the promo code upgrade at checkout and you'll

00:21:29   get that 10% off. That is lunadisplay.com promo code upgrade at checkout. Our thanks to Luna

00:21:34   Display for their support of this show and all of Relay FM. Jason Stiles, should we talk about

00:21:39   magazines? Oh boy, people love magazines. I feel like with a topic like this, there is literally

00:21:47   nobody better placed to discuss magazines and Apple together. So we have a report from Jerry Smith at

00:21:58   Bloomberg. Apple is planning to put its purchase of the magazine subscription service, Texture,

00:22:04   which it picked up in March of this year to good use, as they are preparing to launch a new service

00:22:10   that has unlimited access to over 200 magazines and publications, possibly for $5 a month.

00:22:20   Did somebody say services revenue? Who said services revenue? We don't talk about it so much,

00:22:29   but the Texture purchase is absolutely another attempt for Apple to build another part of their

00:22:33   services business. I've completely forgotten about it, to be honest. Yeah, so it's still operating,

00:22:39   is the funny thing, and they have kind of cut it to this $5 a month. Whether they keep it there or

00:22:42   not, I don't know. Clearly the plan here is Apple wants to create a way where you can, inside of

00:22:48   Apple News, opt to pay for a service for like $5 or whatever a month. Again, recurring revenue,

00:22:54   more money to the bottom line of that services line. It's great. And what you get out of it is

00:22:59   access to paywalled content, basically, of a bunch of different publications. And we talk about it

00:23:07   being magazines. I think what this story suggests is they're trying very much to get away from the

00:23:13   idea of a print magazine replica and more into basically just content feeds that go into Apple

00:23:19   News. So that you spend $5 on this and all of the content from all these different magazines

00:23:26   and websites is just available to you to read without hitting a paywall. And when I think about

00:23:32   this, and this may not be what they're doing, but when I think about this, I think about this as a

00:23:36   way for Apple to say, "We made deals with a whole bunch of places that you get frustrated because

00:23:41   you try to read their stuff and you hit a paywall. But if you pay us $5 a month and subscribe to them

00:23:46   in Apple News, you'll never hit a paywall. You can read anything you like in any of these different

00:23:51   places." And it's an interesting idea. I think one of the big questions is, "Does it make sense?

00:24:01   Would the money that would go to the publications be enough to keep them running?" And I think the

00:24:05   answer is probably no, but it might be a good supplemental source. And that's how, when I think

00:24:10   about this, that's what I end up coming back to is, it feels like the right business model here is,

00:24:15   there are the premium websites that want to sell to you direct, they want you to subscribe direct.

00:24:20   And I think the more Apple can do to make it easy to subscribe to The New York Times, The Wall Street

00:24:25   Journal, Washington Post, whatever, from inside Apple News, but the money goes back to them,

00:24:32   the better. But if they can offer an all-you-can-eat kind of subscription

00:24:36   that unlocks the content in sites that you're not necessarily as focused on, you're not the--

00:24:45   The one that always gets me is, I click on a link and I go to a site somewhere and it's like a news,

00:24:51   a local newspaper site in Phoenix. And they're like, "You can't read this story because we want

00:24:56   you to subscribe." And I think, "I'm never going to subscribe to a newspaper from Phoenix, so I

00:25:00   guess I'll just close the window." Is there an opportunity there for that newspaper in Phoenix

00:25:08   to get a little bit of money from my reading of their article as a part of the $5 a month or

00:25:14   whatever Apple service? Some percentage of that goes to them because I read their article

00:25:20   and it's better than what they got from me, which was zero because I was not interested in

00:25:26   reading their-- or subscribing. I hit their paywall and I just left. So I don't know.

00:25:31   This is the challenge is the economics are problematic if you've got literally every magazine,

00:25:38   every magazine brand and other website brands-- because I think newspapers need to be involved

00:25:42   in this too-- in a content unlocking system because they're sharing that money based on how many

00:25:49   people are reading them. I don't know. It's a tough one. I'm pretty skeptical about it,

00:25:55   but it's possible it could work, but they're going to have to get it right. I'm concerned that the

00:26:00   all-you-can-read thing just is never going to be able to support any of these news organizations,

00:26:04   but it would be nice. As a reader of stuff on the internet, it might motivate me to use Apple

00:26:11   News more if I knew that I would be less likely to hit a paywall and an annoying blocking thing,

00:26:19   and that I was supporting the sites that I was reading. But I don't know. I think talking about

00:26:25   this in the context of magazines is actually a bad thing because what they're trying to do here is

00:26:30   lead these magazines to be more sort of Apple News native with their content. So Apple's not gonna--

00:26:40   I would be very surprised if Apple embraced the idea that they're going to put page replicas

00:26:46   up somewhere from a magazine that is in print. I don't think that's going to happen.

00:26:49   Why don't we just go back to those wonderful digital interactive magazines?

00:26:53   So the problem is we don't have another word to call this. If you read a story on The Atlantic

00:26:57   or The New Yorker, those are magazines, but you wouldn't call them newspapers. They are

00:27:02   content websites, and that's really what I think is going on here. What do you do with a lot of

00:27:07   these long-form content websites, some of which also do some news, that are struggling because

00:27:14   they used to be magazines and they maybe still have a magazine component? How do you get more

00:27:18   revenue to them? And the truth is people aren't going to subscribe to more than a handful,

00:27:24   but this Apple subscription service might be able to give you access to a bunch of them all in one

00:27:29   go. That's kind of interesting. So it seems like the current plan would be that this is going to

00:27:37   be an add-on feature inside of Apple News. And as you say, what it probably means is there'll

00:27:42   be some mechanism to get your paywalled web content, which is technically the magazine

00:27:47   content. A lot of it is actually the same stuff. If you do actually a company that has a magazine,

00:27:53   or you're a company like Bloomberg, I wonder if Bloomberg, I wonder if this is where Bloomberg

00:27:58   found this out, but anyway, that you could offer this stuff from your paywalls through Apple News

00:28:05   and everybody gets a cart of an amount of money. Apparently this could launch as soon as spring.

00:28:11   This is before WWDC, which makes me think along with the TV service, they maybe do a big

00:28:18   like content event. I would you, would you allow even a little bit of the spotlight for your TV

00:28:25   service to fall on magazines instead? I wouldn't. If they're going to bundle it all up into one

00:28:30   subscription, maybe. Yeah, maybe. That's a question we get a lot that I think is worth asking, which

00:28:35   is, would it be, at what point does Apple roll out a prime like kind of bundle that is just like,

00:28:42   you know, given all the things. That's the only reason that I can imagine them doing it that way.

00:28:46   I could even imagine them like showing it off then very quickly and doing a bigger thing later

00:28:55   down the line. Like maybe it doesn't come to the same or whatever, but I can, I would be surprised

00:29:01   to see Apple with like multiple separate services that you pay for. I don't think they will go that

00:29:07   way. You mean like now? Like now. But I mean, but when they have like content services, like my,

00:29:13   one of the things I can imagine they will sell them all individually, but I also imagine a bundle

00:29:18   where you get them for a slight discount. But I could be wrong. So according to Bloomberg,

00:29:24   Apple's plans are to entice companies like the Wall Street Journal, New York Times,

00:29:29   companies like that. But they are getting some pushback as is feared that Apple would cannibalize

00:29:36   the subscribers that these publications could or already do have. And then just give them a small

00:29:42   fraction of the sum rather than getting a much higher price if sold directly. Yeah. This is what

00:29:48   I said earlier, which is the top tier stuff. They're, they're not going to want this, right?

00:29:54   They're going to want to sell like if I'm the New York Times, my goal is not to get a fraction of a

00:29:58   fraction of something from Apple. My goal is to convert people to online subscriptions to the New

00:30:04   York Times. And I don't think that's going to change. So what Apple needs to do is make

00:30:08   those companies either provide, I think they already do this in Apple news, right? Where

00:30:12   they provide a limited number of stories for free if you read it in Apple news. But like in the long

00:30:19   run, they want, you know, they want people to pay them directly or more or less directly. And

00:30:25   if you can make it easier to sign up for the wall street journal inside Apple news for a subscription

00:30:30   and unlock everything, then great. But if I was the wall street journal, I would never ever,

00:30:34   ever want to be part of a $5 a month all you can read plan for all my content, maybe for a subset,

00:30:40   but they may go from making $4 and 50 cents profit after fees to 50 cents, right? Like if they're

00:30:48   split up between all these other companies, it seems, it seems like a tough ask. Apple is saying

00:30:54   apparently to the companies, they'll make it up in volume, which is like, it's like such a tough

00:31:00   thing to say, oh, you'll just make it back in volume. We'll get you so many people.

00:31:04   I don't know. I don't know about all of this. I have a question for you though.

00:31:08   Would you do it with six colors? No, because I don't have a paywall. Right. But like, no,

00:31:14   I mean, that's my answer is no, I don't have a paywall. And if I were going to do a paywall,

00:31:19   I don't think I would do a paywall where I take a fraction of Apple's $5 all you can read,

00:31:25   because my site is appealing to a relatively small number of people who are intensely focused on the

00:31:32   subjects I write about. And if I ever were to convert six colors to something more like

00:31:37   Stratechery, which would require basically the bottom to drop out of what remains of the

00:31:42   written word freelance world that I still work in regularly, there's no way that I would put that

00:31:50   inside of somebody else's service to get fractional revenue. I would sell it direct to people like Ben

00:31:54   Thompson does for a hundred dollars a year or something. And that's what I would do. So

00:31:58   no circumstances would I use something like this. I really struggle with this thing, this service

00:32:05   like one. Okay. So there's a couple things. One, it doesn't interest me anyway, really like,

00:32:09   this is not something I'm probably going to sign up for because this is content that I'm not really

00:32:13   looking for, but there's this, there's just like a bunch of like weird parts to it where it's like,

00:32:18   are we really going to go through this again? Like newsstand didn't work. Right.

00:32:22   Right. It's totally true. I mean, there are, there are lots, this is much better than newsstand in

00:32:27   the sense that it is not requiring publishers. Newsstand was a disaster and it was a disaster

00:32:31   because Steve Jobs saw demos of WYSI apps and thought this is the future. At which point,

00:32:38   instead of giving publishers a standard format, like in iBooks or Apple news to write their

00:32:46   content to, they suddenly all had every single publisher had to be an app developer. It was

00:32:50   really good for app development contract shops because they suddenly had a lot of business,

00:32:55   but it was very bad for everybody else because it was super expensive and the results were poor.

00:32:59   And this is better in the sense that it's just a content feed and Apple built the app and it's

00:33:05   Apple news and you have some control over it. You've got some, you know, richer layout features.

00:33:11   It's a much better experience. So it's better than that, but you're right in the sense that it is

00:33:16   maybe some struggling publishers hoping Apple will provide them with a lifeline. But when you

00:33:21   start to pencil it out, it becomes a little bit harder to imagine what this lifeline is. And if

00:33:26   you're, you know, in the end, it comes back to, uh, the, you know, we'll give you pennies, but what

00:33:33   you really want is to convert everybody to be a premium subscriber and get access to all this,

00:33:38   uh, above and beyond stuff. And, you know, that means that the best this service I think could

00:33:42   hope to be is to provide a little bit of incremental revenue to publishers from people

00:33:47   who are less casual readers and maybe convert them into, into, um, into subscribers later. But I just

00:33:54   don't see the service being something that, you know, saves the business of you name it, you know,

00:34:00   saves the Atlantic, saves Wired. Like now Wired just gets its money from Apple and everybody is

00:34:06   happy. I don't think that is, um, reasonable at all. Because then like, it also opens up all these

00:34:14   other problems of like, who does Apple let in? And then what does that mean? Right? Like what

00:34:21   publishers get let into this? Like from what political leanings and what groups? And then it's

00:34:26   like, well, it's like, it's just like, it just feels like this is, there's a lot of potential

00:34:31   issues with something like this and I'm not necessarily sure I can see a real huge upside to it

00:34:38   for anyone really. Yeah. It's a, uh, Apple news is a weird beast in general. Um, Apple thinks,

00:34:50   I mean, this is Apple's RSS reader, right? Like Google killed Google reader. Apple wrote

00:34:55   Apple news. Like Apple wants to, to have this experience. They care about it. It's a weird app.

00:35:01   I don't love it. I don't use it very much. Um, but people do use it. It doesn't make money for

00:35:08   publishers, but people do use it. So, you know, I don't, I don't know. I like, wouldn't it be nice

00:35:14   if you could pay a monthly fee to unlock all the content inside Apple news and know that money was

00:35:20   going back to the people who made that content and that money was substantial enough that it

00:35:25   helped them keep their businesses afloat. Absolutely all true. I have, I have skepticism about

00:35:31   many, if not most of those points in that scenario, but wouldn't it be nice? Sure. It would be great.

00:35:38   I feel like in the end, what's going to happen is what, something speaking of Ben Thompson,

00:35:43   that Ben has been writing about for ages on Strychtery, which is you're going to get,

00:35:47   uh, publications where you are willing to spend money and you're going to get publications that

00:35:53   drive, uh, massive amounts of traffic for ads. And, uh, not a lot in between. And those publications

00:36:01   that'll get you to spend money could be large publications like the New York times, the Wall Street

00:36:05   journal, the Washington post. It could be niche publications like Strychtery, but, uh, and then,

00:36:11   you know, and then there's the buzz feeds of the world, but that may, you know, that might be it.

00:36:18   Like there may be a few, what, what happens to the New Yorker is some people will pay for the

00:36:22   New Yorker and no, and other people won't. And hopefully they'll get enough people that they can

00:36:26   stay in business, but that's kind of, you know, can Apple somehow make this work on the inside?

00:36:31   I appreciate that they're trying, but yeah, it's hard to really imagine how this is going to

00:36:36   actually work. I'm glad that's not my job. Yeah, no thanks. Today's show is brought to you by

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00:37:27   Yeah, it's uh, well, so we got the vegetarian, which was interesting because I'm not a vegetarian,

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00:38:13   uh, it was pretty great. Not having to do the meal planning is like my favorite part. Right. And they

00:38:19   have a family plan with two dinners for a family of four. We ended up with the, the, the, the three

00:38:24   for a family of two and my daughter was on vacation with friends that week. So it was a weird thing

00:38:29   where we were actually kind of extending the meals for two to serve, uh, two or three, depending on my

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00:38:58   yeah, yeah, it's a very convenient and fun, uh, and the, the vegetarian, and again, I'm not

00:39:03   predisposed to like vegetarian stuff. Uh, and it was all really good, like really, really good.

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00:39:22   show and relay FM. There's that, uh, as a top four member special, right in the relay FM members feed

00:39:29   at the salad episode. Yes. That shows your, uh, predisposition to vegetables. Yeah. It's not just

00:39:36   me. I mean, Dan and, uh, and Tiff and Marco are in there and we, uh, there was a lot of cheese and

00:39:41   croutons picked in that one, but yeah, the best salad of all time was created. Yes. Yes. It's

00:39:47   cheese croutons. Uh, what else is in there? Salad dressing. Are there vegetables in there? Maybe.

00:39:56   So Jason and apple pencil sitting in a tree T A P P I N G. You've, uh, professed your love for the

00:40:04   apple pencil. Do I have to say hashtag Myke was right. You just did it. So that's all I need.

00:40:10   The mere utterance of the phrase gives me power. That's all it takes. I've made a horrible mistake.

00:40:16   So I was very excited, uh, to see this headline over on Macworld in your more color, um, column.

00:40:24   The new apple pencil made me a believer. So I was very, very excited about this,

00:40:30   but before we talk about what you love about the new apple pencil,

00:40:33   can you give a refresher as to your previous usage of the apple pencil?

00:40:37   It won't take long. Um, basically the apple pencil came out and whenever there was something new with

00:40:46   the apple pencil, I would find, try to find my apple pencil wherever I had left it last

00:40:51   and then realize it was dead and have to plug it in awkwardly to the bottom of my iPad and have

00:40:57   it sort of stick out and charge. And then I would, you know, go doo doo doo doo doo. Oh yeah, I could

00:41:04   write on this and it's searchable text or, Oh, I drew a stick figure. Yay. Here's a sun. Yeah.

00:41:11   And then I would be down and I would tree and I would put it away and I would not use it again.

00:41:15   Cause basically most of the stories about, especially early on, which is when I spent the

00:41:20   most time with it, right when the iPad pro came out, the 12.9 came out the first time in 2015,

00:41:25   I, um, would try that stuff out so I could have the experience of it, but like it was all kind of

00:41:32   in the context of note-taking or drawing. And I am not a, I'm not a pen and or pencil enthusiast,

00:41:40   Myke, unlike some, I have never liked handwriting. My handwriting has always been terrible.

00:41:45   The moment I could type my papers and turn them in at school, I did so, uh, the very moment that

00:41:52   that was allowed, I did so. Um, and I kept asking until they said, yes, I just, I've never, I don't

00:41:57   draw. I, my handwriting is bad. I, my relationship with, with stylists is, has always been poor.

00:42:04   So I had very little enthusiasm beyond sort of like getting the experience of what the Apple

00:42:09   pencil can do and how it feels like to keep going. Um, besides which, yes, there's no attachment

00:42:16   method and it rolled away and, uh, charging it was awkward. So like when I would think,

00:42:23   Oh, could I try the Apple pencil here? I would be like, I don't know where it is and it's not

00:42:27   charged and I just, I'm not going to bother. Yeah, yeah, exactly. So my relationship with the

00:42:31   Apple pencil probably over the course of the three years of the original Apple pencil, almost,

00:42:39   uh, was, you know, did I hold it in my hand for as long as an hour in total over that time

00:42:45   put together? Probably not. It was probably less than that. Yeah. Like the Apple pencil too,

00:42:50   has a bunch of nice features, right? The matte finish is nice to hold the flat edge means it

00:42:55   doesn't roll away so easy. There's no more cap, you know, and it has the little function thing

00:42:59   that you can do, but the single best thing about it. And I think the reason that it has made more

00:43:04   people excited about it is one, the fact that it's like, it is the inductive charging, but the two

00:43:10   points of that, which make it interesting, which is one, it's always where it needs to be. And two,

00:43:15   it always has power. Like that has so monumentally changed what this product, this accessory is.

00:43:22   It's made it like something completely brand new again. Yeah. It's, it's, um, it's around,

00:43:28   right? Even if it's not attached, it's around because you, you know, you don't just have some

00:43:35   money to at least place it somewhere. I mean, you can, but like, I feel like because it's magnetically

00:43:38   attached, you choose to take it off and you place it somewhere rather than it just kind of like,

00:43:43   you know, you're using your iPad and it doesn't attach. So it's laying there and then it gets

00:43:47   covered with something and it's gone. Like you choose to disengage it and place it somewhere

00:43:51   that makes a difference. It doesn't roll as easily off of tables and things, which is helpful.

00:43:58   The charging is not awkward. So if you're thinking you're going to use it, you can attach it. I never,

00:44:02   I never liked or really did use an iPad pro with the pencil charging sticking out. Cause I hated

00:44:12   it. I hated how it looked. I hated how it felt. It felt like it was going to snap off. Like I just,

00:44:18   it made me quite nervous and anxious and I didn't like it. Whereas this one, if you're like, oh,

00:44:25   I might use the pencil later, snap, you snap it on it's charging. It's, uh, it's with you.

00:44:30   And then when you take it off, you put it somewhere and think this is where the pencil's

00:44:34   going. So it has made it just that has made it more available, which I think makes a difference.

00:44:41   I also, yes, it's, uh, it's a little bit nicer to hold the, the mat finish is nicer. It just feels

00:44:49   nicer. So it's also more pleasant to you. So there are a lot of things they did in the hardware

00:44:52   upgrade side of it that made it more likely that I would be able to give it a try again, rather than

00:44:57   kind of leaving it where it was, uh, wherever that was. Cause I, you know, most of the time I didn't

00:45:01   even know where is that Apple pencil. Did it get, is it in the pencil with, in the little, uh, we

00:45:06   have a little like bowl that has a bunch of pens and pencils in it. I would often go over there

00:45:10   and find it in there. Yeah. And the pen cup, there'd be the Apple pencil would be in there

00:45:13   like, ah, it is there. Great. Yeah. So if you're, if you don't have right and you don't draw, what

00:45:22   are you doing with it? So for me, uh, this all came about because I wanted to use again, the

00:45:28   Apple pencil number two pencil, uh, for something to try it out. And in the intervening time, since

00:45:36   I really, since the first one came out, um, fair, right. Recording studio, the, um, the iPad audio

00:45:43   editing app podcast editing app that I use added a whole bunch of support for the pencil and a new

00:45:50   beta that is now released, added support for the gestures on the, or, you know, the double tap on

00:45:56   the pencil too. So I thought I would give it a try and I thought, let's edit. What, what would it be

00:46:02   like? Cause I, I added, uh, in ferrite a lot, but I do it with my fingers. It was like, what if I

00:46:08   brought the pencil in to the party? What would that be like? Um, so that's what made me try it

00:46:13   is, is I, I here's an app that is not a note taking app and it is not a drawing app. It is

00:46:18   something that I do that could perhaps be improved by the Apple pencil. That is not one of these

00:46:24   things that I don't, that I don't do that I don't like and I don't do. And, um, and it's really

00:46:31   great, like really great. Um, I have it set up so that the pencil is I'm double tapping on the

00:46:40   pencil to do play or pause, um, which is otherwise to finger tap on the screen I have set up, but

00:46:46   that requires my hands to shift position and tap on the screen. And I can do an awful lot of editing

00:46:51   with holding the iPad and writing on it with the pencil rather than, um, getting my fingers down,

00:46:57   which is actually great for selecting things, uh, to delete, especially I do a lot because of the

00:47:02   way I edit a podcast. I'm doing a lot of deleting cause I do strip silence, which pulls out all the

00:47:08   areas of silence, but there are still little areas where there was a slight amount of sound,

00:47:13   but nobody is talking. And I need to clean all of that up and delete it and then do some detailed

00:47:18   edits when people are talking as well. I can do most of that with the pencil. And then my fingers,

00:47:22   while I'm holding the iPad are really doing nothing more than sort of scrolling left to right.

00:47:27   Um, and I can go through and, and I found it, it's quite delightful actually to delete all the stuff

00:47:35   I need to delete the regions, uh, triple tap on, uh, on a track and then slide it to move everything

00:47:43   that's forward of it. All of these are gestures that I had before, but I had to do with my fingers.

00:47:47   The pencil is more precise for the edits editing detail in, in what people are saying was very hard

00:47:54   with my fingers because the fingers aren't very precise and the pencil is much more precise. So

00:47:59   not that I couldn't do it, it just took more steps and I would have to do some undos and I'd have to

00:48:04   re you know, move the editor around in order to get it exactly where I wanted. And with the pencil,

00:48:08   it's a lot easier to get it right the first time. So in the end, um, not only was it successful and

00:48:14   I added a whole episode of the incomparable using ferrite and the Apple pencil. I did that over

00:48:20   Thanksgiving when I was traveling, but I have edited the last five episodes of the incomparable

00:48:27   on the iPad. Look at you. Wow. Okay. So this is, this is when you know, the experiment worked when

00:48:34   it became the choice you made. Yeah. Right. Yeah. Yeah. And it's it. And I think it is a superior

00:48:41   experience to using my fingers. Like I said, mostly because the fingers, you know, the finger

00:48:47   gestures and stuff are, they're great. They're very powerful, but you know, the precision of the

00:48:53   pencil tip versus a, you know, meaty fingertip, it's just, it's, it's much more precise, which

00:48:58   means that now I'm editing some of the, in, you know, the way I edit, you get a block of somebody

00:49:05   talking and that's their kind of monologue. And it was always less likely that I was going to edit

00:49:09   in those blocks, edit in between when people are talking and clean things up. But now I will see

00:49:14   in the wave forms, I'll see somebody have a pause or an um, or they'll, or I'll hear them repeat or

00:49:19   stutter. And with the pencil, I could be like, and just take it out and it's gone, which is more,

00:49:26   I'm so I'm actually a more active editor using the pencil than I was. So it was that moment where I

00:49:31   was like, Oh, I see what they're talking about. I see what Myke was talking about with the pencil

00:49:36   and using it. So I don't, I don't use it to like navigate my iPad interface. I don't use it out of

00:49:41   the app to scroll around and stuff like that. I don't do that. But in this context, in this app,

00:49:46   I found an app that I use that uses the pencil. Um, and, and it was kind of a revelation just to

00:49:53   finally have an app that does something that I want to do because drawing and taking notes by

00:49:58   hand are not things I want to do. That was one interesting thing that you pointed out in your

00:50:03   article, which is something that I would love to see Apple take a crack at, which is like some kind

00:50:07   of handwriting recognition keyboard. Yeah. I got a bunch of emails from people who, um, who said,

00:50:15   Oh, there's this app that you can write in. There's no taking app you can write in and it turns your

00:50:20   handwriting into text. And, um, that's great. But I think in the macro article, I very specifically

00:50:28   said, you know, I don't care about note taking apps. I don't use them. What I, what I'm surprised

00:50:35   by is that Apple hasn't built a handwriting recognition keyboard, you know, to take the

00:50:43   keyboard space. And there's a third party one that I tried. And, um, that's one of the times I

00:50:47   use the Apple pencil actually for 20 minutes. Uh, and it was really bad. Like I'm surprised there

00:50:52   was not a first party, uh, keyboard that basically, if you have an Apple pencil in your hand and the

00:50:59   keyboard slides up, let's say you put your pencil down and instead of it being a keyboard, now

00:51:06   you're just writing out words and it does handwriting recognition and inserts those words

00:51:09   in whatever app you're in as though you were typing. I feel like that would be, uh, really

00:51:15   good for some people who like to hand write. And I'm surprised that Apple hasn't bothered given that

00:51:19   they've got the Newton technology and that they had a million years ago that probably is out of

00:51:23   date and they'd have to rebuild it. And that became ink in Mac OS, uh, which was there for way,

00:51:28   way longer than you would expect. But like, I'm a little surprised that Apple doesn't think that

00:51:33   handwriting might be a way to do text input on the iPad pro for somebody who's using the pencil. And

00:51:38   I wouldn't use it because I, again, I don't want to write things out by hand. Um, and I

00:51:45   appreciate that there are apps that let you do that and it converts it. But I was thinking

00:51:49   more broadly that wouldn't it be interesting if, if they had something that either worked as a

00:51:53   keyboard or that was even maybe more Newton like where if you had a, I mean, really it would still

00:51:57   be kind of keyboard like you've got a blinking text insertion point and you write something on

00:52:01   the screen in words that it would say, Oh, you're writing words. I'm going to put those words at the

00:52:05   text insertion point. Like that would be kind of cool. And I'm, uh, yeah, I'm just, they haven't

00:52:10   done that. And so that's, that's kind of too bad given that they've got this text input device that

00:52:15   has been used for, you know, thousands of years to do that. No, somebody who has used the Apple

00:52:21   pencil for a while, um, as a big fan, I wanted to make some recommendations, Jason, uh, to the

00:52:27   upgradients. There's none of these are for you. Uh, because I was going to say, are these note

00:52:31   taking and drawing apps? Yes, they most definitely are because this, I primarily, I use my Apple

00:52:38   pencil for navigating interface in lieu of using my fingers because it's really comfortable for me.

00:52:45   Um, but so like that's one use stuff like what Jason's doing is another use where there are

00:52:50   a bunch of like professional applications that are integrating the Apple pencil as a secondary

00:52:55   input method to allow for some cool stuff. But the Apple pencil is primarily supposed to and designed

00:53:02   to be used for note taking and creative work. So there's just a small list of applications that I

00:53:09   wanted to read out and I'll put links to them in the show notes. So I use two different note taking

00:53:14   apps, notability and good notes. These are like your general handwriting apps. They have different

00:53:20   like paper types that you can use. You can create your own paper types for some of them. And these

00:53:25   are, these are just really good apps. They have basic like shapes you can draw on highlighters

00:53:29   and different types of pens and stuff like that. Um, that they're slightly different and they both

00:53:34   have slightly different feature sets. If you are super keen on taking notes by hand on your iPad

00:53:40   pro, get them both and try them both is my recommendation because most people I know that

00:53:46   do this, they prefer one or the other. I prefer notability, but I couldn't tell you why I just do.

00:53:51   And so that's just how that is. Um, paper, which is owned by WeTransfer now, which was a surprise

00:53:59   to me when looking this up today. You remember that paper by 53? Remember that app?

00:54:03   It's bought by WeTransfer. Uh, that is just a fun sketching app. It's, it's got a nice little

00:54:08   design. I've always enjoyed playing around with it. It has simple tools, but done in a really nice

00:54:13   way. Um, it is a kind of low barrier to entry, uh, kind of drawing app, uh, linear by the icon

00:54:20   factory, similar in that way where it's like, it's got a lot of basic features that you'd want,

00:54:25   but they are getting really clever really fast with some other stuff that they're doing like

00:54:30   automatic shape recognition now and stuff like that. I, linear is an app to watch, I think,

00:54:36   because it started off as a very simple drawing app for the iPad pro, but is getting more and

00:54:43   more powerful all the time. So that's a fun one. Um, procreate, I mean, I don't know how to use

00:54:49   procreate, but people like it like, but it's, you know, it is the artist's tool of choice for the

00:54:55   iPad. Um, for a lot of people like it's, it is the one right procreate it's very, very, very powerful

00:55:01   until Photoshop comes along. It's like, it seems to be the thing that illustrators and artists

00:55:06   want to use. There is an app called art set for, which was recommended to me by Tiffany Arment,

00:55:12   who hosts make do on relay FM, which is a creative podcast along with many other great shows. And,

00:55:18   you know, Tiff is a prolific podcaster and that's one of the things that she does is a creativity

00:55:22   podcast. But art set is like, it feels like the most realistic for traditional tools like

00:55:29   watercolor and, and all that kind of stuff, right? So different painting styles and different drawing

00:55:35   styles, and it has tons and tons and tons and tons of options. So this is like a fun one to play

00:55:40   around with where procreate I think is one that people tend to use more to create something that

00:55:46   they can use digitally. And then one of my very, very, very favorite apps is pigment, which is a

00:55:50   coloring book app, which I love pigment. It's so much fun. It's really nice to use. They since I

00:55:57   maybe last spoke about them, they went to a subscription model, which I think is probably

00:56:01   the best idea for them from a business perspective. But now they have a bunch of like Disney content

00:56:06   and stuff. So you can color in the Lion King if you want to. And they have they even have, I think,

00:56:12   a specific Marvel version, which I've played with. So if you want to color in Spider-Man, Jason,

00:56:20   you can now if you want to. So they're really fun. They're just some recommendations to some apps

00:56:25   that that I've used a lot. I'm always willing to hear about any others. So if anybody out there is

00:56:31   using their Apple Pencil and other applications to great effect, I would love to hear about it.

00:56:35   Especially especially if you're using it in an app that supports it in a non traditional way,

00:56:42   I would really like to know about that, you know, something like ferrite, right, which is,

00:56:47   you wouldn't necessarily assume that it would support the Apple Pencil, but it does to great

00:56:51   effect. I would love to hear more about those. But Jason Snow, I'm so happy to hear that you love

00:56:56   your Apple Pencil. I do. I do the combination again, stuff that I could probably have done,

00:57:02   you know, a couple years ago, but I think the combination of the software support being there

00:57:07   where it wasn't when I first tried this and the new hardware like the Apple Pencil, even even I

00:57:13   like appreciate the new hardware in the sense that I think it makes the it makes it a tool that I

00:57:19   might use right like again if it was just the old hardware even if I realized how great this was,

00:57:23   I would suddenly be in a position where I need to keep track of the of the Apple Pencil and make

00:57:27   sure it's charged and all these things and those are barriers that would make me be like forget it,

00:57:31   right? And the new pencil doesn't do that. Today's episode is brought to you in part by our friends

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00:59:06   and Relay FM. It is time for #AskUpgrade, Jason Snow. Oh, Myke, I'm warming up. I'm warming up.

00:59:16   This is very exciting laser news, laser-related news. Okay. Warming up the red and green

00:59:20   Christmas lasers for the holiday special next week. They are beautiful and they have

00:59:29   interesting defensive properties too. If we're ever invaded by, I don't even know what would

00:59:36   invade a podcast during a holiday special, those green and red lasers will be ready.

00:59:40   To help protect us. Yeah, I think so. From whatever happens on Christmas Eve.

00:59:46   Yeah. Oh, man. Who are we going to call? Our first question comes from Tom this week. Tom says,

00:59:52   "Setting aside pro apps on the iPad, why is there no weathering calculator app included

00:59:58   iOS on the iPad?" Seems like a simple thing. So whilst we of course do not know why,

01:00:03   right? Like we don't know the answer to that. It is still a super strange oversight, but I think

01:00:10   it is a great advantage for third-party apps. Some of my favorites like Peacock and Carrot Weather.

01:00:15   One of the reasons that I use Peacock and Carrot Weather on my iPhone over the built-in ones is

01:00:21   because they're the ones I use on my iPad as well. So, for the sake of applications that I enjoy,

01:00:27   I hope the iPad never adds a calculator or a weather app because I really love those

01:00:31   applications and I'm sure that their businesses are helped by the fact that there are some iOS

01:00:37   devices that don't include these applications. Undoubtedly. I do wonder, given what we have just

01:00:42   seen in terms of those marzipan apps coming to the iPad as well as the Mac this year, like stocks,

01:00:49   socks, and voice recorder, that I wonder if part of this transition is going to include

01:01:00   these same apps being on all devices. So I wonder if there will be a marzipan calculator

01:01:06   that will be on iPhone, iPad, and Mac and you can count your marzipan with it.

01:01:10   I wouldn't be able to use it personally because I'll be allergic to it.

01:01:14   Oh, and it gets your hands all sticky if you try to use a marzipan calculator. I don't recommend it.

01:01:20   Doesn't it seem though that weather and calculator probably would have been

01:01:26   better things to end up doing? I don't know. Who knows?

01:01:29   I don't know. I mean, yeah. I don't understand it unless there's something super weird about

01:01:34   patent somebody has for putting weather on a tablet or something. I don't understand why

01:01:40   it's not there. I don't get it. I don't get it. I think they just built those apps for the iPhone

01:01:45   and when the iPad came out, they were like, "Meh." And we've been stuck ever since, just like with

01:01:52   the others, just like with voice recorder and stocks. Why would stocks not be on the iPad?

01:01:58   It's like, well, they built it for the iPhone and they just didn't bother. And so maybe they'll

01:02:02   bother. And then that'll be a sad day for James Thompson and for the carrot people because they

01:02:09   will lose one of their advantages, but they've got others. It's fine.

01:02:14   You know that Apple's calculator is never going to have a full featured racing game in it.

01:02:17   It's definitely not going to have a giant hidden 3D racing game and augmented reality

01:02:24   features as well. So yeah. In a similar vein, Frank asks, "Do you think that the Shortcuts

01:02:31   app could make the move to the Mac via Marzipan?" That's a lot of M's.

01:02:35   When I read this question, at first, my initial reaction was, "No, of course not."

01:02:41   But then I started thinking about it and I was like, "Well, I guess maybe."

01:02:45   Right? At first I was like, "No, there's no way. They would just build it natively."

01:02:50   But then I thought to myself, "Well, we don't even know if it's worth doing that in 2019."

01:02:57   Right? Because we have no idea what's going to happen over the next couple of years at WWDC.

01:03:02   And it might be that it's not worth Apple building new Mac apps in the old way. So yeah, maybe.

01:03:10   So Marzipan is, I think, part of this conversation.

01:03:16   So question one is, "Do we think that Marzipan apps on the Mac are going to be controllable via

01:03:24   Automator or AppleScript?" And the answer is no. No, of course they aren't. Of course they aren't.

01:03:29   All right. Well then, how do you control them? And the answer is, "Well, Shortcuts,

01:03:33   which doesn't exist on the Mac." Okay. Automator exists on the Mac and Shortcuts is inspired by

01:03:39   Automator. It is very much an iOS take on Automator. Like Shortcuts, Automator has a lot

01:03:46   of actions that are literally just things that are commanding an app to do something. They're not

01:03:52   cross-app things, right? They're just, "Have Mail do this. Have Safari do this." Or, "I send you

01:04:03   data and you send me back data." So I'm actually kind of optimistic that what we're going to get

01:04:09   ultimately is that Shortcuts will come to the Mac and a lot of the stuff that's in Automator,

01:04:15   a lot of those items will appear in Shortcuts, as will new items that are using the new method

01:04:22   that Shortcuts controls on iOS that will come with Marzipan. Because I think you could actually mix

01:04:29   and match them fairly easily. I don't want to say that it's easy and there wouldn't be an

01:04:33   engineering challenge there, but given that the legacy Mac app stuff for Automator is all these

01:04:39   individual block items, you should be able to have those blocks be available in Shortcuts.

01:04:46   Because what you're doing is you're passing data out and saying, "Hey, do this and then give me

01:04:53   back something." And that's not any different from what Shortcuts does. So I think they could do it.

01:05:00   I also think at that point then Shortcuts on the Mac would have the possibility to do like,

01:05:04   run Shell script and run Apple script or something like that, which would be fascinating too.

01:05:08   So I think it's possible and I think it will probably happen eventually.

01:05:12   I would be surprised if it takes them years to get there.

01:05:17   Adrian asks, "Given the choice, would you rather get a new iPhone X, so last year's iPhone X,

01:05:25   or a new XR?" I would rather have the X than the XR.

01:05:28   Okay, why is that? I don't like the big phones. I think the XR is beautiful and it's not as big

01:05:33   as I anticipated, but I prefer the size of the iPhone X. It's that simple. I mean, if you weigh

01:05:40   in the money part of it, if the iPhone X was $999, like the iPhone XS is, maybe I would feel different

01:05:48   about it. But at $899, it would still be $150 more expensive, but it would be the size I wanted.

01:05:56   Yeah, I would probably take the iPhone X, even factoring in the price being more and the tech

01:06:05   being a little bit older, just because of the size issue. But it would be an interesting question.

01:06:12   It is an interesting question. Thank you, Adrian. But I think in the end, I would probably just

01:06:16   stick with the X. I like my X. I think the X is great and it would be enough for me.

01:06:22   I would go XR. Of course you would.

01:06:26   A lot of the inverse reasons to you, right? Like it's closer to the size that I want.

01:06:30   Yeah, yeah. I get it.

01:06:31   The screen is still fantastic and it's got all the new tech in it.

01:06:35   No, I get it. I get it. And that's unfortunately, the iPhone X not available. So it's not a question.

01:06:41   Oh yeah, of course it's not. And finally today for Ask Upgrade,

01:06:46   David asks, if Apple introduces a low-end Apple TV, what are the chances of going game focused,

01:06:52   maybe with controllers on the high-end model? They're already comparing the iPad to the Xbox

01:06:59   One and their chips are getting better and better. So whilst that was on my recent hiatus,

01:07:05   well hiatus, my assignment, that's it. Well, I was on my recent assignment.

01:07:09   John Voorhees stepped in for me on remaster with Federico Vittucci and they spoke about gaming on

01:07:16   the iPad Pro and what that is like today. It's a very interesting episode because there was a bunch

01:07:23   of stuff that I learned, which I didn't know about, which I think says a lot about Apple's

01:07:27   current attitude to games. For example, there are really restrictive limits on the sizes

01:07:35   of apps and games. The maximum size you can download from the app store is like four gigabytes.

01:07:42   And then if you want any more, so you want to get more data and get more files or more graphics packs

01:07:49   as some of these games do, you then need to download these as free in-app purchases, which

01:07:54   also have limits on them. So if Apple wanted to make something that was truly graphically impressive

01:08:01   or have this stuff made for their system, all of that stuff needs to change because games are huge

01:08:07   if they're supposed to look good. So this is even more restrictive on tvOS as it stands currently

01:08:13   right now. And this is before you even get into all the pricing and business issues and the

01:08:19   perception shifts that would need to occur because I don't know why a game on the app store

01:08:26   should be free but you download it, but a game on the switch online store can be $50. I don't know

01:08:34   what it is that has broken that in people's brains, but it has. And I cannot ever imagine,

01:08:41   well I cannot imagine in the near to mid future, Apple producing a box that sells $40 software and

01:08:48   nobody and everybody's fine with that. It just doesn't seem to make sense to me, even if it was

01:08:54   the same game. Because I see it a lot, right? Like one way or another, like an iOS game go to the

01:09:01   switch or a Switch game or a console game to go to iOS and the prices are completely different.

01:09:05   There are a bunch of iOS games popping up on the switch now that have been ported over and they tend

01:09:10   to be more expensive and everyone's fine with that. So these are like two massive things from

01:09:16   technical perspectives where it's just people that want to make really deep and beautiful games

01:09:23   struggle with the size constraints put on them. And there are already these business model issues,

01:09:29   let alone the fact that like, I mean, Apple don't even currently make a very good remote control for

01:09:37   their TV box, let alone controllers. So. Yeah, there are different kinds of games.

01:09:45   These are separate. Console games are popular with a subset of an audience that is, I would argue

01:09:52   actually that Apple is the best at the most important segment of gaming, which is mobile

01:09:56   gaming. Like people playing on their phones and their iPads and stuff.

01:09:59   Yeah, there is no mobile game platform better. I mean, I'm kind of excluding the Switch from this

01:10:05   because it's different. That's different, but. But it's, yeah, I do think it's different. I'm

01:10:10   not saying the Switch is not a mobile gaming. Switching is a game console that is mobile.

01:10:14   It is a different market with different pricing rules. As you just pointed out,

01:10:18   it is not your phone. It is not your tablet. It is a game, a dedicated game device. Also a dedicated

01:10:24   game device controlled by Nintendo that is not going to allow lots of, you know, the ad

01:10:31   freemium kind of model like Nintendo not interested in that. Right. So you're not going to be,

01:10:36   they're not going to let you do that. Whereas Apple's like, all right, we're going to do that,

01:10:38   which is kind of weird, but that's just where Apple ended up because of the app store.

01:10:42   It's been very successful for them. But like, so, you know, the question was what are the chances?

01:10:46   I think the answer is there's no chance. I think the Apple TV at best is going to be viewed as

01:10:51   a way for you to get games that are written for iPhones and iPads on your TV if you want to see

01:10:56   them there. And that's fine, but you know, Apple's focus, if it can have any focus on gaming at all,

01:11:04   will be in mobile gaming in iPhone primarily, and then other platforms secondarily. They're not going

01:11:10   to build a console. They're not going to take on Microsoft and Sony and Nintendo. Not interested.

01:11:15   They've never been interested in gaming. They're interested in gaming only in that it suits them

01:11:20   when they show off their graphics power of their latest processors, or, you know, when it's throwing

01:11:26   off so much money that they have to sort of pay attention to it, but they kind of don't care.

01:11:30   And I don't think that's going to change. I just don't think they've got it in them.

01:11:34   So all these dreams of the Apple TV being a—could Apple really invest in making the Apple TV a

01:11:41   console-like device? Yes, but they won't. And even if they did, I don't think it would be much of a

01:11:46   success because of all of the other challenges. Like, you know, Microsoft spent an enormous amount

01:11:53   of money and lots and lots of time to establish Xbox as a player in the gaming platform wars,

01:11:59   and Apple's never going to do that. So, you know, the Apple TV is an extension of the iPad and the

01:12:04   iPhone, and it's really all about the iPhone, and it's the mobile gaming space. It's just a different

01:12:08   kind of gaming. And if you're expecting Apple to be an Xbox, even though they talked about the

01:12:12   graphics power of the Xbox and all that, like, again, using it to show off the power of their

01:12:17   processors in their thousand-dollar iPad Pro is not the same. If you would like to send in a

01:12:24   question for us to answer on the show, just send in a tweet with the hashtag #AskUpgrade to do that.

01:12:31   Thank you to everybody that has for today's episode. So after this break, we are going to go

01:12:36   to the movies for Myke at the Movies and talk about Miracle on 34th Street. So this episode

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01:14:12   make your next move, make your next website. So, Jason, we are here again, back at the

01:14:21   theater. - At the movies, yes.

01:14:23   - And we are going to be talking about a miracle on 34th street today. So...

01:14:28   - You keep wanting to put an article in front of it. It's not the miracle on 34th street.

01:14:33   - I know, I can't help it. - It's not a miracle on 34th street.

01:14:36   - I can't help it because it's so hard to say otherwise. It's so hard to say.

01:14:39   - It's just a miracle on 34th street. - We're going to be talking... I hate that.

01:14:43   - From 1947, 1947. - I hate the title, Jason. I hate it because I

01:14:48   can't say it. It's so hard for me to say 34th, right? So I'm struggling so hard with that anyway,

01:14:55   because everything just becomes F sounds otherwise. - Yeah, 34th.

01:14:59   - 34th street, right? - 34th.

01:15:03   - And that's what my brain is telling me to say and I'm already fighting against that. And then

01:15:08   there's no article. I can't. Anyway, what did I know about this movie beforehand? Nothing, really.

01:15:16   I knew that it was a classic, right? I knew it was a classic. I thought it had that scene

01:15:23   where the guy runs down the street screaming at the end, but that's a different movie, right?

01:15:28   - Yeah, that's It's a Wonderful Life with Jimmy Stewart.

01:15:32   - There you go. So that was what I thought. I was waiting for that to happen in this movie.

01:15:35   Didn't happen. -

01:15:37   Nope, did not happen. It's true. - I initially bought the 1994 version

01:15:43   by accident because that was what was recommended when I did the search on iTunes. It was the first

01:15:49   result. So I bought that one and only found out that there was a difference in version because

01:15:56   somebody tweeted asking whether we were watching the 1994 or 1947. And I was like, well, this is

01:16:01   news to me. So then I went and bought the 1947 version and I watched it in black and white

01:16:06   because that also was what the Apple TV gave me. - Yes.

01:16:11   - But there is a colorized version too, right? - Yeah, in the 80s they colorized it,

01:16:16   don't watch the colorized version. - Okay. I probably would have

01:16:19   watched the colorized version if I could have found that as an option, but the black and white

01:16:24   worked perfectly fine for me. I was very happy with it. Like all nicely produced, it was very

01:16:34   good resolution, right? Like it looked really crisp even though it was in black and white.

01:16:39   Has it been remastered at all? Do you know when it came to digital?

01:16:41   - Yeah, when I started watching this, it was a standard def copy and now it's high def and

01:16:47   it looks a lot better. - Yeah, it looked really good. I

01:16:49   like the way it looked. I need to just say that I really struggled with this movie.

01:16:55   - Well, it's old, right? It's a very different kind of movie.

01:16:58   - I think so. The dialogue is really strange in places. The exposition is super weird at times.

01:17:08   Just some of the conversations that the characters are having are just so weird.

01:17:15   What is going on kind of way? As is some of the super strange behavior by some of the people in

01:17:22   this movie that I'll get to in a bit. But I will say the last third loved it. When the court stuff

01:17:29   started happening, loved it. I loved all that. - One of the weird things about this movie is

01:17:34   that it is a bunch of different movies in one. And when they get to the court,

01:17:37   I always have that moment where I say, "Oh yeah, it's a totally different movie now. We're now in

01:17:41   the courtroom phase of this movie." Because there's a romantic comedy in here. There's this weird

01:17:50   story about human resources at the department store that is going on. - They somehow get to

01:17:58   send people to mental institutions. I'm not really sure how that lines up, but they can do it.

01:18:02   - Yeah. And then there's the courtroom stuff at the end. I like it all, but the courtroom stuff

01:18:08   is amazing. - It felt like a bunch of scenes. It just felt like a bunch of vignettes in places

01:18:13   put together this movie. Have you been watching this movie your whole life, Jason? Has this been

01:18:19   a staple since childhood? - No, this is my wife's favorite Christmas movie. And I didn't see it

01:18:26   before 10 years ago. - Okay, okay. So I was wondering if that was a thing to it. But

01:18:31   like, I just really struggled with it. All of the things that usually bother me about movies,

01:18:42   this and all of them. You know my little things that bother me about believability and just

01:18:48   general strangeness in movies. This movie is full of it. And it's probably because it was made in

01:18:54   1947. That's probably why. Is this movie funded by Macy's? What is going on with Macy's in this

01:19:06   movie? - Well, I mean, it's set in Macy's, right? And the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade and all of

01:19:12   that. - The focus on Macy's being this wonderful, wonderful, helpful to the world company is super

01:19:18   weird? - Well, then again, Macy's also has the drunk Santa for the Thanksgiving Parade. So there's

01:19:24   a little bit of that. And then there's Gimbels, the department store, which is like the other

01:19:30   department store across the street, which is kind of legendary. You know, the best part about this

01:19:35   movie is that it came out in the summer. - No way. - It did. - Why? I guess I just weren't focusing on

01:19:42   it or whatever. - Good question. Good question. And I don't have an answer for you. Yep. - That

01:19:49   is wild. It came out on the 11th June, 1947. - It did. It did indeed. - It came out in a bunch of

01:19:57   other places around the world later that year, like Italy, Japan, Netherlands, Brazil, France,

01:20:04   like all these countries got it in December. But in the US, it was released in June. - Uh-huh.

01:20:11   That's so strange. - Why did they do that? - I don't. You have a Christmas movie,

01:20:16   you released it. Also, I'll point out, interesting, it won the Academy Award for Best Writing,

01:20:25   Original Story for Best Screenplay. It was nominated for Best Picture. And Edmund Gwen,

01:20:31   who plays Chris Kringle, won the Best Supporting Actor Oscar for this. So it was not one of those

01:20:38   movies that was not recognized at the time. But yes, why was it released in June? Good question.

01:20:44   No good answers. - Chris Kringle, Edmund Gwen, he's the best thing in this movie, in my opinion.

01:20:49   Every time he's in a scene, I enjoyed it. It was a lot of the ancillary stuff around it that was

01:20:55   super weird to me. The whole start part is so strange. Why is this child going to this man's

01:21:02   house? Why does the man take the child to the zoo? It's all like, considering the pet, he'd never met

01:21:10   the mom. It's so weird. I know I'm looking at this with 2019, 2018 eyes, right? So it makes it

01:21:20   extra weird. But it's so weird. I can't help but watch it and be like, "Stranger danger!"

01:21:25   It's very peculiar to me. - Yeah, so one of the things that, if you think about it,

01:21:31   is going on here, and I asked Lauren about this while we were watching it this weekend,

01:21:35   is there's that scene where the, where Maureen O'Hara as Doris Walker meets John Payne as Mr.

01:21:46   Gailey for the first time. And he already has an extensive relationship with her daughter. The man

01:21:52   who lives across the hall, they've hung out. He took her to the zoo and her mother has never met

01:22:00   him. And I think some of that is just the screenplay has just kind of, it's just delighting

01:22:05   over the idea because they just need to get to where they're going. But as Lauren said, her

01:22:10   mother, when she was a little girl in New York City, would ride the subway places on her own as

01:22:17   a six-year-old girl. So it was a different time. But yes, I had those moments where you look at it

01:22:22   now and you're like, "What is going on?" At the same time, I do like the screwball aspect of the

01:22:28   fact that the man across the hall and the daughter are, he's manipulated her. Because that great

01:22:35   scene is where she's like, "Oh, our turkey's really big. You should have Mr. Gailey over for

01:22:40   Thanksgiving dinner." And she's like, "No, no, I couldn't." He says, "Well, I guess I could be

01:22:44   available, but not if it would be too much trouble." And she's like, "No, I insist." And then

01:22:48   the daughter immediately says, "Did I do a good job, Mr. Gailey? Is that what you wanted me to

01:22:53   say?" And it's like, "Oh, you've been revealed." - He says to her, "I heard that if you want to

01:23:00   meet a mother, you've got to get to know the child or something." And it's like, "Okay."

01:23:04   I'm like, "What is going on?" - That's definitely the romance part of the plot is a little bit

01:23:14   weird. In those scenes, I'm much more focused on a couple of things. I'm much more focused on Edmond

01:23:19   Gwynn, who, like I said, won the Oscar. I think he's great. I think he's like the definitive movie

01:23:25   Santa Claus. He's got his delightful English. He's got his delightful accent. He is Santa Claus.

01:23:31   And just like, "Yes, of course I am." He's got, "I'll tell you who the first president was, and

01:23:37   I'll touch my nose, and I can do all the tests and all of that." I like that part of it. And I also

01:23:42   am fascinated by the fact that Doris Walker, her daughter is precocious, but also has been taught

01:23:47   to not believe in anything that is not hard evidence. And it's not my favorite part of the

01:23:53   movie that the end result is, "Oh, that was just my silly common sense." Believe whatever crazy

01:23:58   stuff you like at the end. Because I'm like, "No, I don't actually agree with that." But I do enjoy

01:24:03   all the fact that she doesn't believe in Santa Claus, and she gets very confused when she pulls

01:24:08   his beard. And he's not a fraud. Santa, like all the other Santas who sit on Thrones of Lies,

01:24:14   that's a reference to Elf. You've seen Elf, right? - Yes. We actually watched Elf this weekend.

01:24:21   - That's also a great movie. Anyway, yeah. So the pursuing of Doris by Mr. Gailey is not my

01:24:30   favorite part of the movie. It's kind of weird. But I do like the daughter stuff, and I love

01:24:34   Edmund Gwynn. He's so great in that part. From the moment that he's the drunk Santa,

01:24:40   "Guy's gotta keep warm somehow!" The totally drunk Santa on the Macy's parade float. And they're like,

01:24:47   "We gotta get him out of here." But who are we gonna get as Santa Claus? And guess what? You're

01:24:51   gonna get the real Santa Claus as Santa Claus. He's ready. He's gonna step right in, and he's

01:24:56   gonna fix your customer service issues at Macy's. That's another thing I love about this movie,

01:25:02   is that it makes the point that the... Because the Macy's people are like, "Here's a list of

01:25:08   stuff that we have too much of. So if a kid doesn't know what they want for Christmas,

01:25:11   recommend one of these items." And Chris Kringle is like, "No, that's terrible." And he just

01:25:18   immediately says, "Oh, you can go across the street to Gimbel's and get that. Or you can go

01:25:24   down to this other obscure... I'd stay on top of the toy market," he says, because of course,

01:25:28   he's Santa Claus. And Macy's learns that good customer service is sometimes helping your

01:25:33   customer find a product somewhere else. And it's revolutionary. And then their competition

01:25:38   does it, and they spread it to their other stores. And I like that part of it, because I think that's

01:25:43   a good bit of real world recommendation. The best thing to do is to help your customer,

01:25:51   even if... Rather than doing a hard sell and trying to sell them something they don't want.

01:25:54   - Oh, I agree. It's cool. - Santa teaches them an important lesson.

01:25:57   - It is this weird obsession with Macy's. It's like, what is Macy's relationship to this movie?

01:26:05   It just seems so peculiar. - Yeah. Well, I don't think

01:26:08   they funded it or anything, but I do think there was a... Because they let them shoot at the parade

01:26:12   and all of that. I think that was all part of it. And the idea that Macy's, in New York at least,

01:26:17   is part of this holiday tradition, I think that was part of it. Elf is set at Gimbel's,

01:26:21   which no longer exists, but was prominently featured in Miracle on 34th Street, which is why

01:26:28   Elf is set at Gimbel's. And that let them set it at a department store everybody knows without it

01:26:37   being one that's actually in business. So they were able to not endorse anything.

01:26:40   - I'm just now getting the parallels between those two movies.

01:26:43   - Oh, yeah. - As you're mentioning,

01:26:45   I'm like, "Oh, because he's a real elf." - He's a real elf, right?

01:26:49   - But came from the North Pole, which is the opposite. Yeah, okay. That's fun. That's a lot

01:26:57   of fun. Obviously, because I don't really know this movie enough yet, even though I've seen it

01:27:03   once where I like to start making those... I bet now if I watched Elf again, I would see it more

01:27:09   than it being the other way. - Sure. Absolutely.

01:27:12   - It's so surprising that Santa does hit that guy in the head.

01:27:18   Gringo's just like, he just clunks that guy. - I guess that's the lesson that violence never

01:27:23   solves anything, because that is the fact that he whacks the guy. I mean, to be honest, that guy is

01:27:28   a fraud and a terrible human being. - Greville Sawyer.

01:27:34   - But you should not whack Sawyer on the head with your cane or umbrella or whatever. Don't do it.

01:27:38   Violence never solves anything, and that becomes the wedge that allows Mr. Sawyer to get him

01:27:43   committed at one point for being a crazy person. - Yeah, it may not have been the right option,

01:27:50   and it was just surprising to me that it didn't really take a lot. He kind of just got to the

01:27:55   point where it was like, "I don't want to argue with you anymore, so I'm going to hit you on the

01:27:57   noggin." - "I'm going to whack you on the head." Santa, no! - Please, Santa, stop beating that man

01:28:04   up. - Yeah, that awful, awful man. - And then it's just like, there's all these funny little things,

01:28:10   like the judge, the honest judge. Why is he going to be so honest? - So, the courtroom, right? So,

01:28:18   the courtroom is great. There's that scene that I really love that's at the Postal Service where

01:28:22   Jack Albertson is like, "Hey, I got an idea. We got this mail for Santa. What if we took it to

01:28:28   the courthouse?" - I have a question about this. Why does Doris mail the letter?

01:28:35   She lives across the hallway from the lawyer, right? Like, this is my, like, I'm sorry I do

01:28:46   this. I can't help it. - Is that the letter? Do they mail? I mean, it's just all the mail is going

01:28:50   to Santa. - No, but like, the first letter is written by the kids, Susan. - So, they put it in

01:28:58   the mail. You know, they put it in the mail. - They mailed it. - That's the thing you do. You mail

01:29:01   your letter to Santa. Isn't it fun? And then it goes to Santa Claus, Indiana. - The kid's not there,

01:29:06   right? The kid's not there. And it's mailed, like, the address is the courthouse. - Ah,

01:29:12   right. Interesting. Well, it's all part of the plan. - Sure. - It's all part of Fred's plan. - Ah,

01:29:16   they were all in it the whole time. - I have never even considered that. It's totally irrelevant.

01:29:20   The whole idea is just that they get this idea. Also, that scene in the post office is fascinating

01:29:25   because Jack Albertson is the guy who has the idea. He's really great. The other guy is Lou,

01:29:30   and he is, like, the worst actor in the movie, where he's like, "I just forget about it." He's

01:29:35   super, like, stylized. Very bad. But Jack Albertson's good. And he's like, "Ah, we'll send

01:29:40   him all down to the courthouse. I got a great idea." But the court stuff itself, okay, so,

01:29:45   the judge is great. - Hilarious. He's so funny. - The district attorney is great. So the judge

01:29:50   is worried that if he rules against Santa, they're gonna not vote for him. He talks to my favorite

01:29:57   character in the movie, other than, I guess, Edmund Gwynn, which is William Frawley, who was

01:30:01   Fred Mertz in I Love Lucy. He is the political fixer. - He's so good. - He spends most of his

01:30:07   time out in the court with his unlit cigar, gesturing it at the judge. And at one point,

01:30:13   when they're like, "Your honor, you need to rule on whether he's Santa Claus or not." And Fred Mertz,

01:30:18   sorry, William Frawley, is, like, pointing at the chambers, like, "Get out of here, get out of here,

01:30:23   you gotta get out of here. We gotta talk about this." And it's like you're gonna make a career

01:30:27   ending move if you tell people that, 'cause it's gonna be in the papers, that you're the judge who

01:30:31   said Santa Claus wasn't real, and you're gonna make everybody sad. - And I love the story that

01:30:35   he tells. It's like, "Then the kids won't won their toys anymore, which is gonna upset the

01:30:40   department stores. You should've said the department stores, you're gonna upset the toy

01:30:42   makers. The toy makers got the unions. You want those unions to come down?" And you're just like,

01:30:46   "Whoa, calm down!" - Yeah, oh no, the whole world would be destroyed if you say that this thing is

01:30:50   not true. He envisions also, 'cause there are lots of wacky newspaper, spinning newspaper things

01:30:55   here, my favorite of which, well, okay, my favorite of which is the headline that's all the Ks,

01:31:01   that is just ridiculous, "Chris Kringle Crazy, Court Case Coming, Calamity Crykitties." But

01:31:08   the second best one is the judge imagines what the story will be if he rules against Santa Claus.

01:31:13   And if you pause it and read that story, it's like, "Horrible judge made all children around

01:31:18   the world sad today by deciding that Santa doesn't exist. This judge is terrible." And it's this

01:31:24   amazing story that is written about him. So he's like, "Okay, I can't do this." So it's like,

01:31:29   everybody's playing along. The district attorney doesn't wanna be particularly brutal with this,

01:31:34   because he doesn't wanna be mean to the nice old man, nice crazy old man. - Yeah, I like that part,

01:31:39   'cause that would have been so easy for them to just paint him as the bad guy, 'cause he's

01:31:46   playing the bad guy in the room, but then they have that moment at home, right, where he's like,

01:31:50   "Oh, I don't want to do this, but what choice do I have now?" - "I should've married a plumber."

01:31:56   And he's like, "Well, depending on how this goes, maybe you might've." And the kids don't

01:32:01   wanna talk to him, 'cause they're like, "You're prosecuting Santa." And so when he gets up there,

01:32:04   he's like, "Are you Santa?" And he says, "Yes, I am." He's like, "We have no further questions.

01:32:11   The state rests." He doesn't wanna push it. He's like, "This should be enough. He thinks he's Santa.

01:32:16   I'm not gonna be mean to this guy." - I'm leaving it on the judge. - And of course,

01:32:18   that just opens the door for the shenanigans that Mr. Gailey does, and that the judge has to deal

01:32:23   with. - I have a question for you, Jason. - Yeah. - Can you subpoena a child? - Well,

01:32:28   yes, I think you can. I think it is funny that the district attorney is not aware and has not been

01:32:34   made aware by his wife, who is holding the subpoena, that his son has been subpoenaed

01:32:39   to appear in his own case. - Maybe bring up a breakfast, maybe. - But it does lead to a wonderful

01:32:45   double-take where he's like, "What?" And she's like, "I got the subpoena right here." And then

01:32:49   Mr. Gailey lifts up Tommy Mara, the junior, and puts him in the little chair and says, "Do you

01:32:56   believe in Santa Claus? Does your dad believe in Santa Claus?" He's like, "Oh, yes, don't you,

01:33:00   Daddy?" And he's like, "Uh, yeah, okay." And so all the adults are all trying to keep the

01:33:06   myth of Santa Claus alive. Nobody wants to say that Santa Claus doesn't exist, which does

01:33:12   ultimately lead to the state of New York and the federal government endorsing this man as the real

01:33:17   Santa Claus, which is just wonderful and absurd. - The way that it unfolds is genuinely very clever.

01:33:23   Like, I really enjoyed the reveal of the three pieces of mail, and it's like, "Oh, that's not

01:33:29   nearly enough." It's like, "Ha ha ha!" - It's like, "Bring it in, boys!" I like how they—and this

01:33:34   is some theatrics that's great—they could just put the mail bags on the judge's desk, because the

01:33:37   judge is like, "Put them right here on my desk." But they don't. They empty the individual letters

01:33:43   out of the bags all over his desk, so he's completely covered in mail. - When I saw that,

01:33:47   I felt bad for the prop department. - Yeah, but I like—when I see it, I imagine that there's a

01:33:53   conversation that happens out in the hallway where Mr. Gailey says, "Okay, now here's what you're

01:33:56   gonna do. When the judge says to bring them in, don't just put the bags up there. Empty the bags

01:34:02   all over the judge, because that's what we want is just a flood of mail." And they're like, "All

01:34:08   right, whatever you want, whatever you say, Mr. Gailey." He's like, "Good, good, boys, good." And

01:34:12   then he goes back inside, and then he says, "Ah, bring them in, boys!" And they cover the judge

01:34:16   with mail. - What I also love is that the judge just rules so smartly, right? It's like, "Well,

01:34:23   the US government says this guy sent a 'so must be.'" - Cut to William Frawley in the audience,

01:34:29   who goes—who gives that nod, like, "Ah, see? You nailed—yeah, yeah, now you're getting elected

01:34:35   for sure, buddy." - "The DA, he's a Republican!" - Oh, that is maybe my favorite line in the movie,

01:34:43   is, "The only people who are gonna vote for you in the next election are you and the DA out there."

01:34:47   And he goes, "The district attorney's a Republican." It's so sad, the judge is like,

01:34:52   "Nobody will vote for me. I am going to be ruined." - There's a couple of really strange jokes in this

01:34:57   movie that I figure were really funny at the time, but you have to know what it is. And they're like,

01:35:03   "There's one where there's some guy in New York, and they think he's a Russian prince,

01:35:07   but he owns a restaurant. I don't remember his name." It's like, that's obviously a joke at

01:35:12   someone, but I have no idea. - Yeah, there was a real guy who thought that, but yeah, obviously

01:35:19   that's gonna be a pop culture reference that comes out. No, I think the idea—maybe the most

01:35:23   delightful thing in here is that this is a movie that knows that people view New Yorkers as cynical

01:35:27   people. So, like, Doris is like, "Don't believe in Santa Claus, don't even tell my kid that Santa

01:35:33   Claus is real when she's a kid. We're just gonna tell her that it's made up." There's the William

01:35:38   Frawley and the Judge who are like, "It's all political shenanigans that are happening."

01:35:42   Saying that Santa is real is all just part of their plot to get him re-elected as the judge.

01:35:49   So it lays all that in there, and then yet what comes out of it is that he has declared Santa

01:35:56   Claus, which he is. It also has that great ending where Susan is sad because she hasn't gotten her

01:36:04   dream house that she wants for her and her mom, for them to move out into the suburbs and into a

01:36:09   dream house. And it ends with—on their way back from the old folks' home, Chris Kringle tells them

01:36:14   which way to go to get from Long Island back into the city, which happens to take them right past

01:36:18   the house that's for sale. And Susan's very excited and they run in. It's exactly how she imagined.

01:36:23   And she's like, "I'm gonna go see if there's a swing. There is! There is a swing!" All that.

01:36:28   And that's all like, "Oh, Chris Kringle set this whole thing up." But then his cane is in the

01:36:32   quarter and that moment of like, the very last thing in the movie is like, "He's not really

01:36:36   Santa. Or is he?" And that's the end of the movie. I really like the line. I really like the line

01:36:41   where, you know, he's like, uh, Gailey's talking about like, "Oh, I must be a really great lawyer,

01:36:49   like this wonderful thing that I did." And then it moves on a little bit. And then he's like,

01:36:54   "Maybe it wasn't so wonderful after all." Right? Like, "I didn't convince everyone that some old

01:36:59   dude was Santa. He is Santa." It's very good. Yeah. Yep. Yep. It's good. And that's the last

01:37:04   line of the movie. It's pretty great. Yeah. It's, it's, and again, at that point, their relationship

01:37:08   moves very quickly too, where the romantic comedy plot where they're like, they're just colleagues.

01:37:13   And then before you know it, they're like, have been together for a long time. It's like,

01:37:17   how is that possible? The time doesn't, it's like, just go with it. Right. It doesn't make sense.

01:37:22   Just go back to the courtroom. We'll just spend more time in the courtroom. Yeah. So it is,

01:37:26   it is weird and absurd and I love it. It's great. The last half an hour, I genuinely loved it. Like,

01:37:32   I loved it. It was brilliant. There was like a line, I wish I remember what line it was,

01:37:38   but there was just like, oh, it was, it was just this one line where Gailey says,

01:37:43   "I intend to prove Mr. Kringle is Santa Claus." And I'm like, "I am in now." Like,

01:37:49   movie, you have gotten me. Like, I am, I'm all about this. But like, the first part is,

01:37:54   there's too much weird stuff and the little vignettes, what it feels like,

01:37:57   it felt a little disjointed to me up until that point. I wonder if this movie would have,

01:38:02   I mean, it's a classic, so it doesn't matter, but maybe the title should have been The Case Against

01:38:07   Santa Claus or something like that. Yeah. Just to highlight the fact that it ends up in a courtroom.

01:38:13   I loved A Few Good Men. I love that movie. Really, all I want is courtroom dramas.

01:38:17   It's basically the same, yeah. So there you go. I would say, like, basically, I was worried that I

01:38:24   was going to come to this episode and be like, "Hated this movie." Bah humbug. Yeah, but that

01:38:28   last, that was the last 30 minutes. Gonna be a screech, gonna be a cringe. That was just good

01:38:31   stuff. I would say revisit, some holiday in the future, revisit it and you may find, you may find

01:38:37   yourself appreciating the early stuff more. I expect I will. I have appreciated it more as I've

01:38:41   gone along because I get to, again, I kind of put aside some of the weirder details and I end up kind

01:38:46   of being delighted by Edmund Gwen's performance and Mr. Gailey manipulating the little kid played

01:38:52   by future movie star Natalie Wood to be, to like get him to Thanksgiving dinner and some of the

01:38:59   weird stuff at Macy's and how they, you know, again, echoes of Elf, right? Which is no, this

01:39:04   is how we do it at Macy's and Santa being like, "I'm not doing it that way," which is very much

01:39:10   the same thing that we see in Elf. There's a mailroom scene in Elf too that always, I always

01:39:14   think is a reference to the post office scene in Miracle on 34th Street. Yeah. I expect that upon

01:39:21   further what like rewatches of this movie, I would, I would come to it differently. Like it was

01:39:27   too weird to me. I'm like, I didn't understand what was going on and it was all very strange.

01:39:33   But now I know kind of the whole arc of the movie, I think I would find it less weird, right? Like

01:39:39   if I've watched those same parts again. But like the initial shock of like, "Why is this child

01:39:45   hanging out at this dude's house?" It's like, it was very, it was very perplexing to me.

01:39:50   It is very, very strange. Also, a bearded man is the hero. So there you go.

01:39:56   What more could you want? It turns out that if you leave your whiskers in the cold, they'll grow more.

01:40:00   Helps them grow. That's what Santa says. So I got to believe. Oh, there's, that's actually a moment

01:40:07   that I really like where you're trying to break the, break the illusion and it fails where he

01:40:14   says, "Oh, well, at the Old Folks' Home, we're going to do a thing on Christmas day. You could

01:40:17   come, you could come over and see us for that." Which they do. It's like, great, we'll do that.

01:40:21   And Dora says, "Well, you could, you know, tonight we're having dinner Christmas Eve,

01:40:25   we're having dinner at our house. You could come over for that." And he says, "I'm afraid I'm busy."

01:40:30   And she's like, "Oh, right. Because you're Santa Claus, you're busy on Christmas Eve." Right? And

01:40:36   it's that moment where everybody's like, "Right. Right. Don't invite Santa over on Christmas Eve

01:40:41   if he's the real Santa." I feel I was done talking about this, but I have more I want to ask you now.

01:40:45   Okay. So here's the thing. What is Santa doing? Why is he doing all of this? Why is he working

01:40:51   at Macy's? Like, what's happened to Santa? Why? So that's the great mystery of it is,

01:40:57   is he Santa? And if he is, why is he doing this? And I would say, it may be that he's magical,

01:41:03   just could be. And that this is a place where he has chosen to spend some of his, in order to

01:41:10   solve people's problems and spread holiday cheer in New York City this year. This is what he's

01:41:15   done. He's solving the problem of the drunken Santa at the Macy's parade. And then from there,

01:41:20   that leads him into this whole other succession of things. Or maybe Santa is a real person who

01:41:27   lives at an old folks' home and that just happens to be where he lives, but then he does his magical

01:41:32   thing. Who knows? That's the great mystery of it is, if he is Santa, what does that mean? And

01:41:37   there's no answer for that. Like, because maybe this is just what Santa does. He goes around the

01:41:44   world when it's not Christmas and just like helps people out. Right. You know, that's his other job.

01:41:52   Because what else is he doing? We know from other movies, the elves are making the toys, Santa just

01:41:58   does the delivery, you know, but then he only needs to do that one night a year. So he's got

01:42:02   other stuff to do and other times, I guess. Hmm. Yeah. Yeah. He's magic. He's magic.

01:42:09   If you'd like to find our show notes for this week, relay.fm/upgrades/224. Again, hashtag Snell

01:42:16   Talk and hashtag Ask Upgrade for your questions, but not for the next couple of weeks because we

01:42:21   have two very special episodes to round out 2018. So we have a holiday spectacular next week and then

01:42:29   the upgrade-ies the week after. So this will be the last time we remind you to vote in the upgrade-ies

01:42:36   and the vote will close on the 24th of December. So you have a week left. So this is your last

01:42:43   warning for the upgrade-ies. Please, please, please enjoy the holiday special. We're really

01:42:50   happy with it. I think that you're going to have a great time listening to that. It's a fun trip,

01:42:56   I think, that we all take together and you'll be able to enjoy. And then we'll be back now on New

01:43:03   Year's Eve for quite the spectacular, which is the fifth annual upgrade-ies. My excitement level,

01:43:12   Jason Snell, very high. Yeah, I can tell. It's hard to even contain it. Very high. I've already

01:43:20   started making my picks, you know, my own nominations. That's on my list for this week as

01:43:24   I gotta do my own choices for the upgrade-ies. It takes time to get it all set. It does. Gotta do some work.

01:43:30   But there are many categories that need your input. So if you were, you know, so you don't want to be

01:43:35   that person who's listening to the upgrade-ies and you're like, no, that my favorite podcast didn't win.

01:43:41   You know, play your part. Vote. There's a link in the show notes. You can answer all the categories.

01:43:46   You can answer some of the categories. It's totally up to you. You can find us both online.

01:43:50   Jason is @jsnell, J S N E double L on Twitter. I am @imike, I M Y K E. You can go to SixColors.com

01:43:58   and TheIncomparable.com for more of Jason's work. And we both host many shows here at Relay FM.

01:44:03   Go to relay.fm/shows and I'm sure you'll be able to pick out something new, especially with the holidays

01:44:08   coming up. You got some travel going on? Pick up a new Relay FM show to listen to. You might find

01:44:13   something new for yourself while you're making all of your holiday trips over the next few weeks.

01:44:19   We'll be back next time. Until then, say goodbye, Jason Snell. Goodbye, everybody.

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