180: Too Much Speaker


00:00:00   Ahoy HomePod! Play podcast upgrade.

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00:00:13   From Relay FM, this is Upgrade, episode 180. Today's show is brought to you by Squarespace,

00:00:19   Casper, and FreshBooks. My name is Myke Hurley, I am joined by Mr. Jason Snell. Hello, Jason Snell.

00:00:25   Hello, Myke Hurley, how are you?

00:00:26   Very good. We have a largely music device focused show today.

00:00:31   We're going to be discussing our thoughts and impressions of using the home part.

00:00:36   So I figured that our #snowtalk question, which comes from Connor this week, could be music themed.

00:00:42   Connor wants to know, "Jason, do you use any EQ settings when you listen to music?"

00:00:47   Is this some kind of setup? This is the kind of question that I have no good answer to.

00:00:53   because people have, as we're going to find out

00:00:58   as we get to the HomePod, people have opinions

00:01:01   about how you properly to listen to music, some people.

00:01:05   So, okay, in truth, I use EQ settings on some devices

00:01:11   where I feel like it is necessary.

00:01:14   It sort of varies by device because the devices vary.

00:01:18   I looked on iTunes on my Mac and I do have the rock EQ set.

00:01:23   That happened a long time ago,

00:01:24   but that is for the iPod Hi-Fi

00:01:28   because it didn't sound good enough.

00:01:30   So I used an EQ preset there

00:01:33   and that is most of the stuff I listen to

00:01:35   sounds better with that.

00:01:37   On most other things, I don't.

00:01:41   - So you use it when it feels like the device

00:01:44   could do a bit of a helping hand?

00:01:46   - Yeah, when the thing I'm listening to

00:01:48   doesn't sound right to me in some way,

00:01:51   I will, it needs to be at that level of a threshold where I finally decide, oh boy,

00:01:59   I need to change this, this doesn't sound good, but that really happens.

00:02:03   Thank you to Connor for asking the question. If you would like to submit a question to

00:02:08   open the show, just send a tweet with a hashtag SnellTalk and it may be picked out for a future

00:02:13   episode. Now we do have some follow up today, Jason, first of which is the iOS 11 battery

00:02:20   information is now appearing in the beta of iOS 11.3 and Apple have updated a support

00:02:28   document which was talking about the battery and CPU throttling stuff.

00:02:33   So I'll give you a little bit of details.

00:02:35   So there's some new screens.

00:02:36   There will be some new screens inside of the settings app in the battery section and it's

00:02:41   called battery health beta and you tap that and it takes you through to another page.

00:02:45   And if you have an iPhone 6 or later, this is where you'll be able to see if your phone

00:02:50   is being performance managed, which is the term that Apple give to what everybody else

00:02:55   is calling throttling, right?

00:02:56   Performance managed.

00:02:57   Well, it's the first step before you fire your battery.

00:02:59   Yes.

00:03:00   You put it on a performance management plan and then if it still doesn't perform, then

00:03:04   it's time for it to find other employees.

00:03:06   Oh, boy.

00:03:07   Manager humor.

00:03:08   We've both been in those situations.

00:03:09   Yeah.

00:03:10   So this performance management screen, like if your phone is being performance managed,

00:03:15   it will only appear with any options or any information after the first unexpected shutdown

00:03:22   has occurred after iOS 11.3 has been installed. So none of this information about performance

00:03:30   management or none of the options will even appear until there's been a problem and

00:03:35   then it tells you you have these options because your phone has experienced an unexpected shutdown.

00:03:41   So the option to turn it off is kind of not what you would expect, which is very telling

00:03:47   to me. The option to turn off the performance management, so therefore your phone may shut

00:03:53   down and you won't be throttled, it is not a button nor a switch. There is a paragraph

00:03:59   of text that explains that your phone has had a shutdown and that performance management

00:04:03   has now been applied to it. The last word of this paragraph is the word "disable"

00:04:08   a

00:04:28   of informing people which we were all hoping they would do in the first place.

00:04:32   If the battery health has seriously degraded on your phone, because you also get battery

00:04:37   health information here, if you have or have not got the performance management option,

00:04:41   in the battery health section you will see a percentage of your battery health.

00:04:46   And if your battery health has seriously degraded, another warning will pop up to recommend that

00:04:51   you get your battery replaced.

00:04:53   You can also see what your battery's maximum capacity is here so you're able to check what

00:04:57   the health of your battery is like. So they're the options. I would still hope to see that

00:05:03   Apple would do something to actively bring you to this screen, like a notification at

00:05:08   some point. But I think that this is this is a step in the right direction from them.

00:05:14   But the I take a look, I recommend looking through the support document just to look

00:05:18   at the screenshots because they are quite interesting.

00:05:19   Yeah, and this is fitting with, you know, what they've been saying part of the thing

00:05:23   that they have to do is this is matching their statements on this, which is, "This is complicated,

00:05:30   and here's what goes on, and here's why it's there." And I think what's interesting about

00:05:34   it is you can kind of see—I mean, it depends on how you view this, but you can see now,

00:05:43   like, when people say, "Well, why does Apple not let me do X? Why does Apple put that in

00:05:48   the black box and take care of that for me, and then I don't ever see it?" Well, here

00:05:53   Here now we've got an example, this is rare, where Apple has for various reasons decided,

00:06:00   been dragged into pulling this out of the black box. And what you get is something that

00:06:06   is kind of complicated. So you can see on one level why somebody at Apple would look

00:06:11   at the whole thing around battery performance and battery health and say, "Wow, if we put

00:06:15   a UI on it, what is that even going to look like? And it's going to be like complicated

00:06:19   and it's not going to be easy and have somebody say,

00:06:23   "Oh, well, let's not do it then.

00:06:24   Let's just not give anybody any choice.

00:06:26   We're just gonna just do it in the background.

00:06:28   It's gonna seem magical."

00:06:30   Which I can see both sides of that, right?

00:06:33   Like I understand the drive for simplicity,

00:06:36   but it does lead you into places

00:06:38   like where Apple ended up with the battery issue,

00:06:40   where everybody was accusing them

00:06:43   of doing all sorts of things,

00:06:45   some of which they were doing

00:06:46   and some of which they weren't doing.

00:06:48   So it's just a fascinating little lab of user experience

00:06:53   when you see a design like this one.

00:06:58   - Yeah, it's like maybe this is the way

00:07:00   that they maybe discussed about it initially

00:07:02   and decided not to do it because they felt

00:07:03   the only way to do this was to put this text there.

00:07:06   So like, you know, just Apple being Apple,

00:07:08   like no, we don't wanna have a confusing setting,

00:07:10   so we'll just, we'll take care of it for people.

00:07:12   But in this case, it came to bite them

00:07:14   because I mean, I think a lot of people in agreement,

00:07:17   I'm also in agreement about this, that a little bit more upfront would have been better, and

00:07:22   I think that that's proven to be the case.

00:07:25   I saw you tweet an article from VentureBeat in the past couple of days about tablet sales,

00:07:32   which was interesting to me just to compare this to our discussion on Apple's earnings

00:07:37   last week and just kind of the overall tablet market.

00:07:40   So this is from the IDC research group, and they are stating that the tablet market as

00:07:46   as a whole, has declined 7.9% year on year in Q4, which is the 13th straight quarter

00:07:53   decline. So year over year quarter just keeps going down for 13 quarters in a row. Amazon

00:07:58   is now the second place tablet seller overtaking Samsung and they estimate that they sold 7.7

00:08:05   million tablets in Q4. So again for comparison, it's just interesting to compare this against

00:08:09   what's happening with the iPad, because the iPad sold basically close to double what the

00:08:14   second place did, Amazon, so that Apple sold 13.2 million to Amazon 7.7 and saw a year

00:08:21   of year increase. So Apple is bucking the trend. They are going against what the market

00:08:26   is doing.

00:08:27   Right. We talk about this a lot in the context of the Mac where, you know, PC sales are down

00:08:32   and the Mac sales are flat to up from time to time. And that is, you know, you grow market

00:08:39   share in a shrinking market by not declining, but we don't talk about it so much about the

00:08:45   tablet market and that was what struck me about this is according to IDC the tablet

00:08:49   market has declined 13 straight quarters and we know like the iPad has declined, declined

00:08:58   for many many straight quarters.

00:08:59   For like 11, right?

00:09:00   Like, you know, it was in line.

00:09:01   But in the last three it has sort of turned it around and this is more impressive when

00:09:09   you see what the overall tablet market is and how huge the iPad is in the in the

00:09:16   tablet market that it's number one by twice and that's over Amazon which is

00:09:23   selling a very different kind of product right because I imagine a lot of the

00:09:27   tablets Amazon is selling are there you know $60 $90 tablets which Apple's not

00:09:33   even attempting to sell something like that so the talent market is is a is

00:09:38   is rough and if you imagine it without the iPad, it's rougher.

00:09:42   Alright, let's do Upstream. So we have some media news

00:09:46   for you. Viacom has acquired VidCon. VidCon

00:09:50   is the YouTube and online video

00:09:54   conference. You may have remembered hearing me talk about PodCon.

00:09:58   Well, VidCon and PodCon, they were run by the same company and were

00:10:02   kind of intertwined, right? It's a similar idea. So PodCon was

00:10:06   the VidCon for podcasts. There are no details on the terms of the deal, of how much money

00:10:12   was paid, or if it was stock or whatever the situation was. Hank Green, who created VidCon,

00:10:19   he had stepped away from running the company, I think maybe like six months ago. And Jim

00:10:24   Laudeback was the CEO and he is remaining the CEO. Apparently Viacom have said, and

00:10:30   the VidCon team have said, and so did Hank in a video that he posted, which I'll put

00:10:34   in the show notes, that VidCon will be running independently as a part of Viacom and they

00:10:39   wanted to do it because they wanted support and assistance both financially and in expansion.

00:10:46   Quite interestingly for me, PodCon is not a part of this deal and the PodCon team including

00:10:54   Hank Green have confirmed that they are currently attempting to run another PodCon within the

00:10:59   the next 12 months. I found that interesting. So it's like a separate, it was kind of like

00:11:04   it was a part of the same company, but they obviously set it up differently, and whilst

00:11:08   it was the same people running it, it's not going to be, and it isn't a part of Viacom

00:11:12   now. It's a big deal, because who knows what VidCon's going to look like going into the

00:11:17   future now, as it's becoming part of a big media machine, as opposed to being run by

00:11:21   independent creators.

00:11:22   Yeah, I'm fascinated by this story mostly because I, you know, unlike you and Gray and

00:11:28   other, you know, YouTube oriented people, I don't really care so much about VidCon.

00:11:34   I am fascinated by the fact that Viacom bought it, like a, that an entertainment conglomerate

00:11:40   got this thing that is a fan event about, and a creator event too about YouTube, basically.

00:11:47   That is fascinating on a few levels. It's interesting. The PodCon is not included in

00:11:51   that. And then, uh, and yeah, yeah, I actually know Jim louder back, at least tangentially.

00:11:57   I figured you did. I figured you would have crossed paths at some point. He used to work

00:12:01   as if Davis and was involved in the early days of, um, tech TV when it was ZDTV. And

00:12:07   uh, so I crossed paths with him. One of my old bosses worked for him for several years.

00:12:12   So it's kind of funny to see that that's what he's doing now. But anyway. It is also

00:12:17   funny if there's something in your mind where you're like, "Why do I know Viacom and YouTube

00:12:23   in the same sentence?" Well, because many years ago, maybe like 2006 or something, I

00:12:27   think before Google acquired YouTube and YouTube was being dragged through the courts, they

00:12:31   were being dragged through the courts by Viacom, like for copyright stuff. So like, it's very

00:12:37   interesting to watch this kind of all start to turn around now where Viacom want this

00:12:42   is part of their business, like this, the YouTube creators. It's just a funny turn of events.

00:12:46   Showrunners Brian Fuller and Hart Hansen have exited Apple's Amazing Stories anthology.

00:12:54   What is going on here? So this is really interesting. So Brian Fuller,

00:12:58   I made a joke on Twitter about this because this is the third TV show that Brian Fuller has bailed

00:13:02   on or I think what Variety always called it was "Ankeled," which I don't even know what that means,

00:13:07   but it makes me laugh. The three shows, like he bailed out of American Gods, he bailed out of

00:13:14   Star Trek Discovery, and he has now bailed out of Amazing Stories as well. So I think Brian Fuller,

00:13:18   even if he had really good reasons for all three of those, that is fascinating in terms of like

00:13:24   getting a reputation maybe as somebody who can't finish what he starts. But the backstory here is

00:13:30   really interesting in that it sounds like Brian Fuller was developing an amazing stories

00:13:37   relaunch before Apple got involved, before Steven Spielberg got re-engaged in it, and

00:13:43   he was really viewing it as a brand that he could use to do Black Mirror, basically, to

00:13:49   do his take on an anthology series, a sort of sci-fi/fantasy anthology series in the

00:13:55   vein of Black Mirror which is a fairly adult themed TV series that's on Netflix now. So

00:14:05   then Apple gets involved and is going to write a bigger check and Spielberg is going to get

00:14:10   involved at some level with it. And it sounds like, one, it sounds like Apple's desire to

00:14:18   have this be something that they could show on a screen at an Apple store. In other words,

00:14:23   TVMA-like adult material like Black Mirror is. Something you can't watch on an airplane.

00:14:30   And/or depressing and anti-technology as Black Mirror can sometimes be.

00:14:36   It could be. It's unclear on whether the themes and the kind of like darkness of it or whether

00:14:41   it's the adult themes of it were about that, but it sounds like what Apple, who had written

00:14:45   the check, wanted from it was not really what Brian Filler wanted to do with it, and so

00:14:49   So he bailed out of it. And I think it makes more sense in that scenario, right, where

00:14:54   he wasn't building it for Apple. Like, he was not brought in as part of the deal to

00:15:00   do this show, which is sort of how they put it out there. He had been developing it, and

00:15:03   so he was already attached. But regardless, you know, he left, and then when he left,

00:15:08   they announced, well, Hart Hansen, who is a very talented writer on his own, he's

00:15:13   still there. And then he also bailed out on it. So they are seeking a showrunner now,

00:15:19   means that this thing has basically been pushed back again to zero, right? They've got to

00:15:25   reset the whole thing and find somebody else to run this thing.

00:15:27   It's dead in the water for the moment, right? Like it's just laying there. They need to

00:15:29   pick it up.

00:15:30   Well, the deal is made, but they have to hire somebody new. So creatively, I mean, who knows

00:15:33   if they've got scripts and if any of those scripts are going to be deemed acceptable

00:15:37   by Apple and Steven Spielberg and everybody else involved in this. So that one announcement,

00:15:44   this is going to happen. It's like everything else. Now that Apple's in this business, stuff

00:15:47   like this happens in this business but it I do wonder if it tells us something

00:15:50   about Apple and the relationship it's got with some creators in terms of what

00:15:55   kind of content it wants on its service and whether that's gonna rub some of

00:15:59   these creators the wrong way but I think most of the creators who have signed

00:16:02   with Apple have done so knowing who they're getting into business with and

00:16:06   in this case it sounds like Brian Fuller kind of came with Amazing Stories and he

00:16:12   didn't you know enter into that knowing what he was gonna get in terms of

00:16:17   of Apple launching it.

00:16:19   - YouTube have taken a page out of Amazon's book

00:16:24   and they have updated their Apple TV app

00:16:26   to look like their Smart TV app and their Android TV app.

00:16:31   The new YouTube app on the Apple TV

00:16:34   basically follows no Apple TV design conventions.

00:16:38   It doesn't have a standard media player.

00:16:40   It doesn't have standard controls.

00:16:42   It doesn't do any of the, what is it called?

00:16:44   Showcase or show something

00:16:45   that specific way they do the,

00:16:50   when you're on the menu and you get things up at the top,

00:16:52   right, when you're on the basic home menu,

00:16:53   I can't remember the names of these terms,

00:16:55   and the focus stuff and all of that,

00:16:57   all of that has been completely ripped out

00:17:00   of the Appletv app.

00:17:01   I will say, as a frequent user of the YouTube app,

00:17:05   whilst it is now clunky in places

00:17:07   and it's not great to scrub through that kind of stuff,

00:17:10   like scrubbing through the video feeds now

00:17:12   is a bit of a mess,

00:17:14   this app looks a billion times better

00:17:17   than what YouTube had made.

00:17:19   Like, YouTube made what I assume

00:17:23   is the most standard UI kit version of what an app could be.

00:17:27   It was just black with thumbnails and headers.

00:17:31   Like, it was the worst. - Right, really generic.

00:17:32   - And like, if you wanted to try and,

00:17:34   like sometimes if you wanted to reload what was on a page,

00:17:37   you'd have to like go to different tabs

00:17:39   or force quit things, it was a bit of a mess.

00:17:41   So my feeling is whilst this might not be perfect,

00:17:44   if it means that there's actually going to be some features and development going on

00:17:47   in the app, then great. And for example, there is a great one where you can now link your

00:17:52   phone to the Apple TV app so you can be on your iPhone and like almost like Chromecast,

00:17:58   send a video to your TV. So that's a feature that you can get now that YouTube has decided

00:18:03   to bring this in line with their other applications. I just think that like this is a sign to me

00:18:08   me that the Apple TV is not going as Apple maybe would have expected it to go for whatever

00:18:14   reason. Either the SDK isn't good enough or there just isn't enough buy-in. I don't know

00:18:20   what it is. But even developers that tried to do it Apple's way have moved away from

00:18:26   that.

00:18:27   Well, I don't know. I feel like this is a trend among everybody who's got multi-platform

00:18:33   experiences, which is they wanted to look the same. This is the classic argument. This

00:18:38   is the same thing. I had an hour-long, loud discussion at XOXO with a Google employee

00:18:44   about a thing I wrote about how I was bugged by the fact that Google's iOS apps use Android

00:18:49   conventions and of course his argument was, "Well, no, those are Google conventions."

00:18:54   And this is the question, is when you're using a platform, do you want everything on the

00:18:59   platform to feel like the platform or is the platform the app you're using, right? So which

00:19:04   Which is more important, to have every Apple TV app feel like Apple TV, or to have every

00:19:08   Netflix or Amazon Prime or YouTube experience to feel the same no matter what device you're

00:19:13   looking at?

00:19:14   And I can see both sides of it.

00:19:16   From a traditional computing, especially Mac perspective, right, there was nothing more

00:19:21   offensive than having Microsoft roll into Mac OS with Windows UI conventions and say

00:19:26   basically "Well no, this is Word.

00:19:29   the good news is if you use Word on Windows and then go to the Mac it'll

00:19:33   feel familiar and all the Mac users are like I don't do that. The argument with

00:19:37   mobile devices and and home boxes and stuff is totally different because we do

00:19:41   use multiple devices on multiple platforms so I can understand that

00:19:46   argument that the YouTube that you see and with with Google you know because

00:19:50   they've got so many web interfaces they have to build their own interface on the

00:19:52   web anyway there's no like platform specific really way to do that so they

00:19:57   got to build it one way for the web and they want the design language to reflect

00:20:00   on their apps. I get it and that includes the iOS app and it includes the

00:20:05   Apple TV app. So that seems to be really what's going on here is that there are a

00:20:09   lot of multi-device, big platforms multi-device and they want their

00:20:15   experience to be the same on or at least similar on all those platforms and this

00:20:19   is just like the Amazon app and the Netflix app looking the same

00:20:24   time across platforms. It's almost like YouTube did the minimum, like you said, required to

00:20:30   get it on Apple TV, and now they've got their real version. And the real version doesn't

00:20:34   look like the Apple TV because that was just because they were not making an effort to

00:20:38   make it look like YouTube, and now they are.

00:20:41   - Annoyingly, the new YouTube app shows you if a video is in 4K, but you can't play it

00:20:46   in 4K because nobody, neither Apple or Google, have moved on the codec problem.

00:20:50   So yeah, they're using their codec for 4K video and Apple doesn't support it and they

00:20:59   won't re-encode in a codec supported by Apple and Apple won't support their codec and we're

00:21:06   left with this thing where you just don't get to see those videos in 4K, which is really

00:21:10   dumb.

00:21:11   Brilliant.

00:21:12   It's really annoying and I stand by my personal position on this is that Apple should support

00:21:15   YouTube in this instance.

00:21:17   I think Apple should move to YouTube rather than YouTube move to Apple because I think

00:21:21   it's more important that Apple support YouTube than YouTube support the Apple TV. That's

00:21:26   my opinion on it anyway.

00:21:27   All right. And lastly, uh, Apple has added some live TV news options to the TV app on

00:21:34   Apple TV and I think on iOS as well. Uh, this is currently US only and there is support

00:21:38   for CBS, CNN, Fox, Cheddar, CNBC and Bloomberg. So if you see a live stream in the TV app

00:21:45   of live news, you tap it, it will open the application

00:21:48   for that news company and start playing the video for you,

00:21:52   or it will take you to the app store

00:21:54   to download the relevant application needed

00:21:58   to watch the live TV stream.

00:21:59   - I'm not sure this makes the TV app any more usable,

00:22:04   but I think this is Apple's,

00:22:05   this is like a long game for Apple.

00:22:07   Like they just wanna keep adding things to the TV app

00:22:09   because their goal ultimately is to have that be the place

00:22:12   everybody goes for everything.

00:22:14   I don't like the TV app on my Apple TV. I don't feel any benefit over just the videos

00:22:21   and movies and iTunes applications. I don't really know what it's giving me personally.

00:22:26   It doesn't really do anything for me. I would actually like the simplicity back of just

00:22:30   how it was before but such is life.

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00:24:46   All right, Mr. Jason Snell.

00:24:50   - Yes sir.

00:24:51   - Time to talk home parts.

00:24:52   We both had it over the weekend.

00:24:54   I think we've probably both picked us up on Friday, right?

00:24:56   - Yep. - I had no idea that,

00:24:58   I guess you did too.

00:24:59   So I've been putting it through its paces

00:25:02   over the last few days.

00:25:04   And I figure we'll kind of go through this piece by piece.

00:25:07   There's a lot to talk about with the hardware

00:25:08   and the software of this product.

00:25:10   And I guess we'll start with where it begins.

00:25:13   Packaging, very Apple, very nice, right?

00:25:15   Like it all, I like the plastic you pull off the top

00:25:19   and it all just like slides down the sides

00:25:21   and you do the friction fit,

00:25:24   taking of the box off the top.

00:25:26   It's all very, all very Apple-y.

00:25:28   And of course, something that people were mentioning a lot,

00:25:30   like the fabric covered cable, stuff like that.

00:25:34   It's all very nice.

00:25:35   - Yeah, it's, did it feel smaller

00:25:40   than you thought it would be?

00:25:41   - I mean, I know I've watched a bunch of videos,

00:25:43   I've read a bunch of reviews, everyone says it.

00:25:45   I know it's become like a meme, but yeah,

00:25:47   it is smaller and heavier

00:25:50   than I could have imagined it being.

00:25:52   It is a hefty piece of equipment.

00:25:54   - Yeah, it's definitely dense, it is smaller,

00:25:57   Despite all of the other coverage of it,

00:25:58   it still feels smaller.

00:25:59   I don't know what I was thinking it would be,

00:26:01   whether I thought it would be like

00:26:03   the weird jellyfish subwoofer that came with the,

00:26:07   with those Harman Kardon speakers back in the day,

00:26:10   you know, a big tub, but it's not.

00:26:12   It's bigger than the Sonos One, I guess, but not by much.

00:26:17   It is compact and that surprised me.

00:26:22   And yeah, the packaging is super simple.

00:26:24   It's just, you know, I mean,

00:26:26   there's almost nothing to it because there's like nothing,

00:26:29   there's nothing in the box, right?

00:26:31   Other than the HomePod, the cable is already attached.

00:26:34   There's no additional stuff

00:26:36   that you don't get a lightning cable with it

00:26:38   or anything like that.

00:26:39   So there's like, the HomePod is sitting in the box

00:26:41   and then there's a little like piece of paper in the bottom

00:26:43   that's like your getting started guide for the HomePod

00:26:45   and that's it, it's super, super simple.

00:26:48   - Did you go black or white?

00:26:50   - Well, black, which is of course space gray,

00:26:54   the color of space being gray, apparently.

00:26:58   That's what I did.

00:26:58   I saw some people who had the picture of the white ones

00:27:00   and that looks nice.

00:27:01   And I just thought, I don't need a white object

00:27:04   that is gonna get visibly dirty very quickly in my home.

00:27:07   - Exactly.

00:27:07   - Plus almost all the electronics I have are black

00:27:12   and almost all the, you know,

00:27:14   it would fit better in my house being dark

00:27:16   rather than being white.

00:27:18   I didn't really want it to stand out.

00:27:20   I wanted it to just fit in.

00:27:21   And so the black one was the right one.

00:27:23   Yeah, I went with black because if it's white plastic, right, you can do something about

00:27:30   that. You can wipe it down. But my thought is like, if it gets dirty over time and it's

00:27:34   white cloth, it's probably, it's going to be really hard to clean it, was my thinking.

00:27:39   So I went with black. But also in the same way for you, like, black would meet the aesthetic

00:27:45   of my front room more than white would. Like, if it was white, it would super stick out.

00:27:50   would really draw attention to itself in a way that black doesn't. So yeah, it works

00:27:56   pretty well. I guess obviously the biggest part of the hardware is the audio, but we're

00:28:03   gonna talk about that in a moment. I wanna talk about the microphones first. Now I wanna

00:28:10   like park the idea of multiple devices and how they all interact with each other, because

00:28:16   I've got a whole big thing I wanna talk about with that. But just from like a perspective

00:28:20   So how well did the microphone hear you when you were shouting the Ahoy telephone or Ahoy

00:28:26   HomePod command at it?

00:28:28   Did you find that to be pretty reliable?

00:28:31   Yeah, I found it to be spectacularly reliable even at high volume, which people who have

00:28:37   been testing it out have reported and I feel the same way, which is even when it was loud,

00:28:44   I could trigger it very easily.

00:28:46   And it seemed to understand what I was saying.

00:28:49   Again, it didn't always do what I wanted, but it understood what I was saying.

00:28:56   And even when it was noisy, it knew that I was talking to it.

00:29:01   Yeah, I felt like if I wasn't looking at it, it struggled a little bit more, right?

00:29:09   Like if I was just shouting into the room, it sometimes wouldn't pick me up very well,

00:29:13   especially when, this is interesting, when I moved it.

00:29:16   I moved it from its original location and it seemed to take a little while to get settled.

00:29:21   Which I know it's doing something with the way that it's mapping out the room, but after

00:29:25   I moved it for a little while it wasn't doing a great job of hearing me, which I thought

00:29:30   was quite interesting because that kind of matches what's going on.

00:29:34   But yeah I found the microphone to do a pretty good job.

00:29:36   I turned it up.

00:29:37   I can't turn this thing up very loud.

00:29:39   I live in an apartment building and I'm genuinely concerned because this thing is loud, it's

00:29:46   bassier than any other speaker that I own.

00:29:49   I'm just concerned about it in general

00:29:51   if it's too bassier and too loud.

00:29:54   I mean, I will wait to see if I get any complaints.

00:29:57   But like-- - Your neighbors

00:29:57   are gonna be angry. - I moved it

00:29:58   because I wanted it next to my TV,

00:30:01   but my TV is next to like a neighboring wall,

00:30:04   where I have my neighbor on the other side.

00:30:06   And I was kind of uncomfortable with that

00:30:08   after listening to it for like an hour.

00:30:09   So I moved it over to the other side of the front room.

00:30:12   so it's basically facing towards the inside of my house.

00:30:17   'Cause it is, as far as speakers go,

00:30:20   is a little bit more aggressive than normal,

00:30:21   so it can get a bit loud.

00:30:22   But I found that to do a pretty good job of hearing me

00:30:26   at basically all volumes,

00:30:28   which I thought was pretty good,

00:30:29   but it is expected though,

00:30:30   like I do expect that from it, and it met that.

00:30:33   But in regards to the hardware,

00:30:35   this thing doesn't have what I think every other device

00:30:39   in its class has, which is a mute button.

00:30:41   How do you stop it from listening to you?

00:30:45   - Well, there's two ways.

00:30:46   You can ask it to stop listening, and that totally works.

00:30:49   - And then how do you get it to come back on again?

00:30:51   (laughing)

00:30:52   - You tap and hold on the top,

00:30:55   like you're holding down the home button on an old iPhone.

00:30:58   - Oh, okay, okay.

00:30:59   - And it triggers the voice recognition at that point.

00:31:04   You can also permanently put it in that.

00:31:06   There's a setting on your iPhone

00:31:09   that you can do to check, you can,

00:31:11   there are a bunch of different settings.

00:31:13   You may not realize that they're even there

00:31:15   because they're not in the settings app.

00:31:17   (laughing)

00:31:18   Any guesses where they are?

00:31:19   Any guesses where the HomePod settings are?

00:31:21   - Home?

00:31:22   - Yep, they're in the Home app.

00:31:24   You have to go in the Home app

00:31:25   and then you have to long press or 3D touch

00:31:27   on the HomePod in the Home app.

00:31:30   And you get a screen with basically nothing on it,

00:31:34   which is really weird.

00:31:35   It doesn't have controls or anything,

00:31:38   but it's got a button at the bottom for details.

00:31:41   And then behind that are what you would think of

00:31:43   as the HomePod settings.

00:31:44   Now, I think it's interesting that they chose to use

00:31:47   their smart home interface for this.

00:31:49   There might be some reasons in terms of like

00:31:52   by having it present a profile as a certain kind

00:31:55   of smart home device, they can just pick up

00:31:56   the home interface and they don't have to write

00:31:59   a special app and that's all good.

00:32:02   They don't have to adjust the iOS settings app

00:32:04   or something like that.

00:32:05   So I can see why they did it.

00:32:06   although part of me thinks one of the reasons they did it is to encourage people to explore

00:32:10   the home app because they want more people to see that.

00:32:13   Yeah I think I would prefer to have it here than have an app called HomePod like I do

00:32:18   Watch. Right like I don't need another app on my iPhone.

00:32:21   I agree I had the thought of like I'm a little surprised it isn't just in settings somewhere

00:32:27   but where would it go because it's not a Bluetooth device and that's where the AirPods settings

00:32:32   are. Honestly I feel like you could just throw

00:32:33   line, right? When you connect to HomePod, it automatically shows up within your section.

00:32:37   Just the HomePod settings shows up. Yeah, I thought about that, but they chose to go

00:32:42   this way instead. So it's in the Home app and you click on or tap on details and you

00:32:45   get a bunch of settings, including Never Listen to Me, Touch to Trigger is in there, and there's

00:32:54   a bunch of other stuff in there that you can turn on and off. But that's where you have

00:32:58   to do it is inside the Home app. And then the other thing, while we're talking about

00:33:02   this that I wanted to at least mention was have you figured out how to remote control

00:33:07   the HomePod from your phone?

00:33:09   Yes.

00:33:10   And that's unusual too.

00:33:11   And this is done from Control Center, right?

00:33:14   There is some weirdness going on there but I actually kind of like it.

00:33:18   Yeah, the Control Center now, so instead of like opening the music app and picking the

00:33:24   HomePod as a source or something like that, that's not what you do.

00:33:27   That's what you do if you airplay to it.

00:33:29   you do is you go to control center and control center shows you all of the air

00:33:32   playable devices that you're connected to basically so like your device your

00:33:37   iPhone but also the home pod and also any Apple TV's you've got so if you tap

00:33:41   in in the audio controls and control center and then select home pod you can

00:33:46   then control play/pause volume jumping around next track previous track from

00:33:54   your phone which it's funny like sometimes I want to do that and I had

00:33:59   that moment where I thought, can I not do that

00:34:00   from this device?

00:34:01   Do I always have to talk to it?

00:34:03   And the answer is no, you can, but it's through this,

00:34:07   through the control center UI.

00:34:08   And something that I found that was a little bit quirky

00:34:11   is I flipped to that one and changed the volume

00:34:14   on the HomePod.

00:34:15   And then I went about my business on my iPhone

00:34:17   and played a video on Twitter and the HomePod stopped playing.

00:34:22   - Yeah.

00:34:24   - And I think it's because it's set as my airplay output,

00:34:29   even though I'm not air playing to it. Something weird is going on there where it's trying

00:34:32   to remote control that device. It's weird.

00:34:34   You kind of have to switch between the panes again, like back into Control Center.

00:34:39   Yeah. Because that's something that I actually

00:34:41   kind of like where if you switched in Control Center, so you kind of like whatever's in

00:34:46   the middle, whatever's the expanded box is where the audio, what you're currently controlling,

00:34:50   if you switch to the HomePod, you can then go to the Apple Music app and control what's

00:34:54   being played, but it's not, I don't think it's even air playing.

00:34:58   No, it's just happening on the interface. And I think I actually kind of like that,

00:35:04   honestly. I don't like it because I don't like the

00:35:07   idea that if I play, if I'm in that mode and I play a video on my phone that the music

00:35:13   stops. Like that shouldn't happen. My iPhone audio should be separate. And maybe this is

00:35:19   a software update involving AirPlay 2 kind of thing that happens later, but UI wise,

00:35:24   It seems like it's a lot of steps to be able to tell my HomePod to stop playing from my

00:35:28   phone and I get that I can talk to it and that's the primary interface but you know

00:35:33   every now and then I'm tired of talking to it and I just want to look on my phone.

00:35:38   Yeah see what I think is a bunch of steps.

00:35:40   What the iPhone wants you to do like again it's not ideal what it wants you to do is

00:35:44   to go switch back right so you pull down and now you're back on to controlling the iPhone's

00:35:50   audio and then you can go about and do whatever you want and no matter whatever you do including

00:35:53   setting up like playing a brand new song from Apple music the home pod will just

00:35:58   complete play can like continue playing by the way I really love that they did

00:36:03   that that if you play Apple music on another device it doesn't pause the home

00:36:08   pod I didn't think of that but when I heard somebody say that was the case I

00:36:12   was like oh boy I could have seen that going the other way so easily right that

00:36:17   it's like you get one instance because that's how it is everywhere else right

00:36:19   if you're on your iPhone and you want to play Apple music on your iPad you can't

00:36:22   play them both at the same time, but you can with the HomePod. It plays on its own, and

00:36:27   I think that's kind of great. I'm very happy about that.

00:36:31   So what songs did you play first? What was your first choice?

00:36:34   Uh, well, so, one of the things that happens, and I don't know if you did this, but it's

00:36:38   got a whole setup script. And so, one of the things it does, and it actually, and it's,

00:36:44   I don't know if you noticed this, but it's timed. So like, once you set it up, if you

00:36:48   do the standard setup, it actually says,

00:36:50   here are some things you can do and it lists them

00:36:52   and they appear on your phone as it mentions them.

00:36:57   It doesn't just bring them all up.

00:36:58   It says, you could do this and it pops up

00:37:00   or this and it pops up.

00:37:01   Like they did some real work to sort of synchronize

00:37:05   this setup experience.

00:37:06   And then it says, why don't you try something like say,

00:37:09   hey, HomePod, play some music.

00:37:13   So that's the first thing I did.

00:37:17   And at that point, what it's doing is it's picking a personalized item.

00:37:21   It's basically, because you can do that anytime from your, it basically

00:37:26   based on your, its knowledge of you from Apple Music, it picks a song for, and

00:37:29   is I think basically starting a playlist of songs, it's personal radio, basically.

00:37:35   So that's what I did first.

00:37:38   And it played a Husker Du song called Could You Be The One from the

00:37:42   album, Warehouse Songs and Stories.

00:37:44   And "husker du" you may not know is a Norwegian phrase that was turned into a board game in

00:37:52   Minnesota where the band is from, and it has umlauts.

00:37:56   It has an umlaut over both of the U's.

00:37:59   But of course, the lady in the HomePod decided to tell me what she was going to play, and

00:38:06   she said, "Now playing Could You Be The One by Husker Dudairisis?"

00:38:13   apparently it got really confused about what home louts are. Okay. It was very... so welcome

00:38:22   to the... there was like the good and bad, it was like this is a song from a band I like

00:38:25   that I like. Good job, boy what you said there was really weird. I immediately quit that

00:38:33   thing, because I picked out my song, I knew what song I wanted to listen to, so as soon

00:38:38   as it said "Oh playing" it was like "Oh hey home pod stop" because I wanted to pick my

00:38:42   my song. I have a specific song that I wanted to listen to first that I've been thinking

00:38:47   about and I didn't want it to start playing me something else. I wanted to pick a song

00:38:52   of my own.

00:38:53   Ah. Well, my next one, again, I decided not to do the "What Will Be the Momentous"

00:38:57   first song, but all the discussion about, like, mono and stereo information and what

00:39:01   it uses and if it tries to create something with a stereo sound field where there's

00:39:05   sort of like a left and a right and it sounds like, you know, basically no is the answer.

00:39:11   But my go-to song for that is "Norwegian Wood" by the Beatles, which pans the guitar

00:39:16   to the right and the sitar to the left.

00:39:18   And so I played that next and said to myself, "Yep, that's a mono speaker."

00:39:23   Like, it's all mixed together, there's no...

00:39:25   Oh, there was no, like, spacing of the instruments?

00:39:28   It's not trying to separate it, because it's doing its own separation, but it's separating

00:39:32   not by sort of left and right, but trying to pull out the vocals to the front and have

00:39:38   accompaniment kind of to the back. And so that was interesting. And then I played "Super

00:39:43   Bon Bon" by Soul Coughing, which has a nice rhythm section, nice bass, to see how rattly

00:39:53   the bass is on that. And then my fourth and my first sort of non-testing that I just wanted

00:39:59   to hear a song was that new song "Get Out" by Church's, because I like Church's, and

00:40:05   They have a new song and it's a good song.

00:40:08   We share a lot of churches.

00:40:10   Yes we do.

00:40:11   What did you play first?

00:40:12   The Chain by Fleetwood Mac.

00:40:14   Oh classic.

00:40:15   It's a song I love.

00:40:17   I love Rumors.

00:40:18   It's like one of my favorite albums of all time because it's one of the very best.

00:40:22   But I wanted to pick The Chain because it's a song that I like a lot and the bass is very

00:40:26   heavy right like and it is you know there is like the drums is I knew was going to kick

00:40:32   the bass off right.

00:40:34   So I wanted to hear how that was going to come through.

00:40:40   And it has obviously the great guitar solo.

00:40:43   I figured it was going to do an interesting job of putting the HomePod through its paces,

00:40:47   because there's a lot going on in that song.

00:40:50   And it was excellent.

00:40:52   I was pleased of my choice because it confirmed to me how good the thing sounds.

00:40:58   And then after that I was just picking up random stuff, like songs that I know well.

00:41:02   I went for some Beatles songs, some Beach Boys songs, I played some churches, I played

00:41:06   some Alt-J, like I was just picking out random stuff from Foo Fighters, just trying to run

00:41:11   the gamut of my musical tastes to see how it handled kind of everything independently.

00:41:18   What do you think on an overall basis of how the HomePod sounds, especially compared to

00:41:23   some of the, because I know you own more kind of professionally tuned audio devices than

00:41:28   I do, right? Like you have a home pod hi- uh, home pod. A iPod Hi-Fi, which again, that

00:41:33   was a- I do.

00:41:34   Considered to be a serious piece of audio equipment, right? I know that you have-

00:41:37   Ten years ago, yeah.

00:41:38   A Sonos or some Sonoses and-

00:41:40   I do. I have a Sonos Play One and a Sonos Play Five.

00:41:43   There you go. Like the most I have is some Numark speakers that are attached to my record

00:41:48   player and some Amazon Echos, right? Like I don't have an incredible amount of audio

00:41:54   speaker technology at home-

00:41:56   Right.

00:41:57   So, what did you think about the HomePod? How did it handle, and how does it handle

00:42:01   stacktop against some of the other stuff that you own?

00:42:04   Well, I'm gonna say upfront that while I am a music listener, and I listen to music

00:42:08   a lot, and I like music that sounds good, I am not an audiophile. You can take that

00:42:14   as a positive or a negative.

00:42:15   I think that is better for this discussion, that neither of us concern ourselves to be

00:42:20   this way.

00:42:21   If you're an audiophile, don't listen to us, right? Like, don't listen to, don't

00:42:23   what we have to say because we're not coming from it from your perspective and also I'm

00:42:27   not sure I entirely believe you. So let's just go our separate ways on that. There are

00:42:33   some amazing posts. There's a couple of guys who are in the audio file Reddit which I followed

00:42:37   a link to and was horrified when I got in there because I have just my beliefs and you

00:42:43   can take them for what they're worth that a lot of audio file stuff is all about justifying

00:42:47   purchases and about, you know, just people believing what they want to believe in a placebo

00:42:55   effect and I totally believe that there are actual things going on. I think there's also

00:43:00   a lot that's not going on in the head of the listener. But anyway, there are people who

00:43:04   consider themselves audiophiles who are going to town on testing in detail everything that

00:43:10   happens with the HomePod and if you're somebody who cares about that stuff, you should go

00:43:14   go listen to those people because I'm not one of those people. I'm just a music listener.

00:43:18   No. I mean, I was even coming into this a little bit concerned about if I would be able

00:43:23   to tell anything. Because like, when I hear people talking about like, mids and like,

00:43:30   you know, what's the treble? Right. It's like, I couldn't even tell. I don't know what that

00:43:33   is. Separation of the cymbals. Yeah, like, I can't hear it. Now, like, I can, I feel

00:43:37   like I can appreciate when something sounds really good. And I could be like, Oh, I like

00:43:42   the sound of that, but I struggle to be able to tell you why except for the fact that this

00:43:47   sounds different in a way that is appealing. That's the most I can ever really tell you.

00:43:54   I don't really have a lot more vernacular than that. But I think that for the idea of

00:43:59   this discussion, I think it's better that we feel that way because honestly that's how

00:44:03   the majority of people that will buy this thing or even consume music will feel. It's

00:44:09   like you know something you like sounds good or sounds bad, the ability to describe it accurately,

00:44:14   I think, fails most of us. And I think that disclaimer out of the way, nobody will now

00:44:21   probably hopefully write in and say, "How dare you talk about things you're not qualified," because

00:44:25   first off, everybody's qualified to talk about things that they experience and you don't need

00:44:29   a certificate. But I'm not coming from the perspective of an audio file. So yes, the iPod

00:44:35   Hi-Fi, let's get that out of the way. Stephen Hackett did a video that was

00:44:39   funny where he had the iPod Hi-Fi and also the HomePod. The iPod Hi-Fi is not

00:44:46   even like... I listen to it every day, Myke. I listen to music on my iPod Hi-Fi

00:44:51   attached to my Mac via iTunes every day. Every day. It sounds terrible. It sounds

00:45:00   - It's terrible.

00:45:00   - Did it sound terrible at the time?

00:45:03   Like...

00:45:04   - No, no.

00:45:05   In the category of these iPod speaker dock speakers

00:45:10   at the time, it was overpriced and over-engineered

00:45:14   and sounded probably better than what the market wanted.

00:45:18   But compared to any of these other like...

00:45:22   - Like the JBL on stage and the Bose sound dock.

00:45:26   - Bose sound dock, right.

00:45:27   So the truth is, and actually I was looking

00:45:29   one of the founders of Sonos was tweeting on Friday.

00:45:32   And he was talking about how he has opinions about,

00:45:36   and he's retired, he's no longer at Sonos.

00:45:39   And he said very positive things about the HomePod

00:45:41   and said there are places where it falls down

00:45:43   and places where it does well.

00:45:45   And as a first effort from Apple,

00:45:46   he was very impressed with it.

00:45:48   But he also said, as somebody who was deeply involved

00:45:51   in his entire career in trying to improve the quality

00:45:54   home audio, he said, "These products are so much better than what used to be around."

00:46:02   And I think that's true, that the HomePod and the Sonos Play 5 that I have, and the

00:46:07   Sonos Play 1 that I have, and I have the Play 1, the one without the Amazon Echo integration,

00:46:14   but I do have one of those, they all sound really good. And I think they all sound better

00:46:19   than the iPod Hi-Fi. Even though the iPod Hi-Fi is huge and has two speakers and will

00:46:27   do true stereo, they all sound better than it. So first off, and the Amazon Echo's don't

00:46:33   sound any good. I've got a couple Amazon Echo's. They sound in complete isolation where you're

00:46:38   in your kitchen and it's the only thing around and you tell it to play music. It plays the

00:46:41   music and you're like, "Alright, there's music." But when you put it up against these other

00:46:46   it's not even like it's not even close. It shouldn't even be it's part of the

00:46:51   conversation because they're a popular voice-driven device but in terms of

00:46:58   audio quality it's just not close. Now do people care? I mean people enjoy

00:47:03   listening to music on their Amazon echoes. I enjoy listening to music on my

00:47:07   Amazon echo but so there are contexts where maybe you don't care so much but

00:47:11   isn't it nice that there are also these devices that have much better audio and

00:47:15   and in the case of the HomePod it's so small that it can go almost anywhere. That was my issue with

00:47:21   the Sonos Play 5 is I wanted to put it in my living room and it's huge. It's huge. It's bigger

00:47:26   than the iPod Hi-Fi. It's this huge block, rectangular block. It's wide and it's tall and I

00:47:32   couldn't find any place to put it. Plus it's pretty directional which the HomePod is.

00:47:36   - Wow, this is big. I've never, I never already paid too much attention to, you know, I've never

00:47:40   looked into Sonos myself, but this is like a boom box. This is not a small piece of equipment.

00:47:45   Yeah, I don't know if it's actually volume-wise bigger than the iPod HiFi. It's taller and it's

00:47:50   almost as wide as the iPod HiFi. It is a big block and I couldn't fit it and because it's also

00:47:55   very directional, you know, I couldn't—there was no place to put it in my living room. None.

00:48:00   Whereas the HomePod will go—there are all sorts of places that I can put the HomePod in my living

00:48:06   living room because it's this little thing that looks like a facial tissue dispenser

00:48:11   or a ball of yarn. In fact, my wife being a knitter, she had a spool of yarn out on

00:48:18   the counter and I said to her, "Once you see a HomePod, everything looks like a HomePod."

00:48:23   Trash cans, balls of string, they all look like just a little HomePod. Is that a big

00:48:28   HomePod? Anyway, so compared to the Sonos One, I think it sounds better than the Sonos

00:48:34   it's also more expensive than the Sonos one. But it sounds, I think it sounds

00:48:38   better, although the Sonos one sounds pretty good. For a little speaker it

00:48:41   sounds pretty good, but I think the HomePod's better. Is the HomePod better than the

00:48:44   Sonos Play 5? I thought I would say no. And my answer is, it depends. It actually,

00:48:51   in some circumstances, I prefer how it sounds. It doesn't have stereo

00:48:54   separation and all that because it's a mono speaker and it's just building its

00:48:59   own sound field instead. But it sounds really good, and yes, in some ways

00:49:03   versus even a calibrated for the room Sonos Play 5, there are some cases where

00:49:08   I preferred the HomePod and other cases where I preferred the Play 5, but that's

00:49:12   an expensive big speaker that should sound better, I think, than the HomePod

00:49:16   and it was close enough that I thought the HomePod acquitted itself pretty well.

00:49:23   And again, the size is a huge thing with the HomePod. So that's my

00:49:27   story is that it is definitely playing with the Sonos of the world in terms of

00:49:31   the good audio quality, the bass response, there's a lot of things

00:49:38   about it that I really liked how it sounded. It is, and you know, you've

00:49:43   seen this and I was talking to Stephen Hackett about this, like it's processing

00:49:47   the audio to build this sound field and my experience back in San Jose was like

00:49:52   this and I've had a little bit of that this time which is some, you know,

00:49:57   every track you throw at it it's going to do its magic and sometimes it is

00:50:03   great and sometimes you you go "well, is this... does this sound right?" and you know its

00:50:11   algorithm is making judgments about what that audio is and how it should sound

00:50:15   and they've tuned it for a lot of different music but I think because it's

00:50:19   a single speaker trying to do a lot of clever things you will run into tracks

00:50:24   where it really sounds spectacular,

00:50:26   and other ones where it's kind of muddy.

00:50:28   And I think that's just the name of the game

00:50:30   when you're trying to process audio like this,

00:50:31   that you don't have an engineer living inside it

00:50:34   that's tweaking it.

00:50:35   They've had to program the software to do it,

00:50:38   take its best shot.

00:50:39   And for the most part, it's pretty impressive.

00:50:41   Every now and then you have something where you're like,

00:50:44   essentially it's a remixing it on the fly

00:50:47   and you can agree or disagree with some of the decisions

00:50:50   it makes when it's remixing them.

00:50:51   But generally, I think it sounds really good.

00:50:53   Yeah, I've mostly been really impressed by, I don't know if there's a term for it, but like the way I've been thinking it was like audio shaping, like the way it takes the song and what speakers it's sending it to and stuff like that.

00:51:03   You know, I've had instances where it sounded like the bass or the drums are further away from me and the vocals are closer to me. And when that works well, that is very impressive.

00:51:15   Like if you're just sitting and listening, you're like, there's some like, it feels like there's

00:51:20   some movement to this. I mean, I've experienced this in a very serious scenario in your home,

00:51:25   because you have 5.1 surround and some 5.1 surround songs, right? Like some albums,

00:51:33   where you can literally walk around the room and pick up different parts of the music louder or

00:51:38   quieter. And whilst obviously the HomePod does not have the ability to be that good, I did feel that

00:51:44   Like if I was getting closer to the HomePod, it felt like everything was more compressed,

00:51:49   but the more, like, you know, like it was all, as you would expect, like it just sounds

00:51:52   normal, but as I moved away, I was able to pick up some things differently, so the way

00:51:56   that the bass or the drums sounded, and I was pretty impressed with that.

00:52:00   And it's not directional in that way.

00:52:03   If you're off to the side on a traditional forward-firing speaker, it's just sort of,

00:52:08   you're off to the side, and you lose a lot of it.

00:52:11   And the HomePod tries very hard not to do that, where you're supposed to be able to

00:52:16   go.

00:52:17   And I've got a long, you know, you've been in a long front room that is kitchen and dining

00:52:21   room and living room all in one.

00:52:24   And so it's very hard to do, if it's facing right at you, it's all the way across the

00:52:29   room and that's not ideal.

00:52:31   And so this I put in the middle of the room against a wall and it did a pretty good job

00:52:36   from any location including the kitchen in filling the room with music, which was great.

00:52:40   I was very surprised at that too in mine and again you've been in my front room

00:52:44   I don't have as long a room as you but it's like it's a kitchen

00:52:47   It's a combined kitchen and front room area and no matter where I was

00:52:51   You know

00:52:52   I could have it the other side of the room and it felt honestly like as loud as if I was next to it and I

00:52:57   Found that to be quite impressive because I've never owned any

00:53:00   Audio equipment that would come close to being able to do something like that

00:53:05   You know if I was if I'm connecting to my echo

00:53:08   on the other side of the room, I should just crank the thing up, right? Like there isn't

00:53:13   really an option. It's not doing a good job of filling the room with sound. You just make

00:53:17   it louder. But I didn't really feel like I had to make it louder just because I was further

00:53:21   away from it. I found that to be quite impressive.

00:53:24   Yeah, it's, uh, yeah. I mean, again, I think in listening to this thing, it is clear that

00:53:32   this is a product that has been designed over many years of research, apparently, to be

00:53:39   as good a sounding—this is Apple the music company. This is Apple the company that, you

00:53:44   know, Steve Jobs would stand on stage and say, "Music's in our DNA. We love music,"

00:53:48   right? And this is Apple—don't think of Apple as a—they used to be a computer company,

00:53:54   and now they're like a platforms company with mobile devices of various kinds. Think

00:53:59   about that this is a product that's from that segment of Apple that you thought

00:54:03   of more when they were the iPod company, which is they care about music and audio.

00:54:09   Ironically, the iPod HiFi came out of that, but it's that strain of the

00:54:14   company that's in this product, because this is a product that is engineered so

00:54:18   heavily to make music that Apple thinks sounds the best. And again, everybody's

00:54:24   going to have an opinion about that, but I think it sounds pretty good. I think

00:54:28   you're right that one of the things that it's doing is increasing the loudness

00:54:33   and showing off that it can get pretty good bass out of that little tiny

00:54:38   woofer that it's got pointing upward on the device on the inside to the point where I wonder about

00:54:47   people like you who are in places where a rattling bass is just going to get somebody pounding on the

00:54:54   wall telling you to turn it down.

00:54:56   We haven't had any, I mean I've been playing music significantly more than I normally would

00:55:00   basically all weekend and nobody's complained but I will tell you we probably have the audio

00:55:07   at about 10%. Like I actually think that the HomePod is too loud in general. I think that

00:55:16   what I honestly what I want is to cut the audio in half and be able to control it that

00:55:20   way because the increments that I'm moving it up and down in the kind of the control

00:55:25   center UI, it's all down in the last kind of 10 to 15 percent. And so like when I'm

00:55:31   moving it, I'm even making it, I want to make a small adjustment, but it's making

00:55:34   a large adjustment. You know, like I cranked it for a quarter of a second and it nearly

00:55:39   blew my brain off, right? Like…

00:55:41   I had it at 90 percent, which is very funny because it says, "That will be very loud.

00:55:45   Are you sure?" And I said, "Yep." And it cranked it up and it was really loud. It

00:55:49   was really loud.

00:55:50   I really don't think people need it to go that loud.

00:55:55   I would honestly just like to be able to have some kind of setting where I can have more

00:56:00   fine control over lower parts of the audio.

00:56:05   At such small...

00:56:08   I have it at 10% and it is listenable anywhere in my apartment.

00:56:13   And I just figure that's probably too loud.

00:56:17   And I'm assuming that like, I'm not the only person who's gonna have one of these in an

00:56:21   apartment.

00:56:22   And I think that it might, it might just be a bit too much.

00:56:26   And I feel like honestly, the volume of this thing, it almost feels like a hubris thing,

00:56:31   or it's just like, look how loud we can make this tiny speaker.

00:56:35   Like nobody who needs, who needs that 100%?

00:56:39   Like who's ever going to use that?

00:56:40   I don't get it.

00:56:41   I don't really understand the choices made for the volume of this thing.

00:56:47   Are they showing off? I think they are in part. I think very clearly, very clearly many

00:56:54   of the people who worked on this product live in single-family homes.

00:56:59   But even then, a single-family home, a detached home, the home product 100%, you will be bothering

00:57:06   your neighbours.

00:57:07   It's not, I have to say that I do occasionally take the Sonos 5 and I turn it up almost all the way while I'm sitting here working,

00:57:13   and I imagine that people walking by on the street outside are like, "What is happening in that garage?"

00:57:19   Um, but generally, yeah, yeah, no, you're right. I think I have a hard time imagining what scenarios would use the HomePod at 100%,

00:57:30   because if you were in even a large room, um, it would be like, "Don't go near the center of the room."

00:57:37   Yeah, you have to like carve out an area, right, where no one can go because the thing

00:57:45   will blow your eardrums.

00:57:47   Next Christmas I'll just put a home pod on the roof and put Christmas carols on it and

00:57:52   crank it all the way and the whole neighborhood will hear the Christmas carols. That's what

00:57:56   I'll do.

00:57:57   So, Kate made a point, right? Apple stores? Like, is Apple stores the place? Also, no,

00:58:02   There's stuff going on.

00:58:05   People are trying to work there.

00:58:07   I know this is going to be a problem for them, that people are going to be cranking that

00:58:11   thing up.

00:58:12   So I was in an Apple store buying mine.

00:58:14   I went to pick it up and someone was playing it pretty loud and it was too loud.

00:58:18   I don't think it was at the top but it was like you were disrupting everything in this

00:58:21   store with this one little speaker.

00:58:24   It's interesting.

00:58:25   Yeah, I don't know.

00:58:28   I don't know what they're going to…

00:58:29   I don't really know what the use case is.

00:58:32   If you're ever going to play this at maximum volume in an environment, then the place that

00:58:37   you're playing it in probably doesn't...

00:58:39   You want more?

00:58:40   You're going to fill out a nightclub with this thing, you have a PA system.

00:58:46   It's just interesting to me.

00:58:48   I'm not really complaining as such because the fact that it gets very loud is not going

00:58:54   to be a problem for me because I'm never going to turn it up.

00:58:56   I'm just kind of questioning what the thinking was.

00:59:00   Maybe they need like a mega mode where it's like you disable mega mode and the range becomes

00:59:06   less and you can do a little more fine control.

00:59:08   Although you can also just tell it what volume percent.

00:59:10   Like when you're turning up Apple headphones, right, like either the AirPods or the EarPods,

00:59:14   I don't know if this is in America or if this is just a European Union thing.

00:59:19   That's right.

00:59:20   There's that, you can set, you can cap the top of it so you don't damage your ears.

00:59:24   Yeah, and you have to like, it gets into these colors, right, so it starts off white, then

00:59:28   goes yellow, then goes red as you get up to the top. And you have to do this thing where

00:59:32   to get past, I think, the yellow on the, kind of the volume indicator, you have to press

00:59:37   the volume twice because you're like engaging, like, you know, everyone's turning their keys

00:59:42   at the same time kind of situation, so you can pump the volume up. And I would, basically

00:59:48   I would like to see some options.

00:59:50   Limit is the name of the feature and it's an iOS too, I believe, and it was on the iPod.

00:59:56   The idea there is, yes, people... To get back to the battery thing, there are a bunch of

01:00:02   stories about people ruining their hearing by turning their iPod up all the way, which

01:00:06   led to the typical response of like, "Well, whose fault is that? Why did they turn it

01:00:10   up all the way?" And then other people saying, "Well, Apple should protect users from themselves."

01:00:16   and Apple was like, "All right, here you go.

01:00:18   Volume limit, here it is.

01:00:20   You can set what the top volume is

01:00:23   and it won't go above that."

01:00:24   But I agree for somewhat different reasons

01:00:26   that actually would be a great feature on the HomePod.

01:00:29   Like, so your friend doesn't come over

01:00:31   and crank it up all the way and get you evicted.

01:00:35   - Yep, I would really like that.

01:00:37   So that would be a lovely feature.

01:00:39   And again, I would just assume this is one

01:00:42   of those situations where the majority

01:00:44   people testing this product do not live in apartments. It can be my only assumption because

01:00:49   they're testing it in these chambers inside of Apple, right, where it doesn't matter about

01:00:55   how loud the thing goes. One of my favourite things though is what this product does when

01:01:05   it's playing music and you ask it a question. I think this is just a wonderful Apple-like

01:01:12   feature that it doesn't just lower the volume, it's doing something, I don't know what the

01:01:20   exact terms are, but some kind of audio distortion. So it sounds like if you're at a bar or a

01:01:27   club and there's music playing and you go into the bathroom or you go outside of the

01:01:31   main room and you can kind of hear a muffled version of the audio, that is what Apple is

01:01:36   doing. So I'm going to put a link in the show notes, I posted a video on Twitter that tries

01:01:41   to highlight this and I think it does a good job of showing it. I just, I heard it and

01:01:45   it really made me smile and I think that it's just a nice little touch.

01:01:50   Yeah, it'd be, I agree. I had that same note where I said something and then I just heard

01:01:57   the sort of like muffle echo effect and again, you're right, it's an apple touch which is

01:02:02   all they had to do was dip the volume. Yep. But they didn't. And I think it's wonderful.

01:02:08   I like that kind of stuff.

01:02:09   That's why we buy these products, right?

01:02:11   Let me ask you a question.

01:02:13   Music isn't on the kind of audio.

01:02:15   What do you think about trying to play other kinds of audio

01:02:19   on the home pod?

01:02:20   - I haven't done a lot of that.

01:02:23   I did a little bit of it.

01:02:25   You know, it's AirPlay, you get the two,

01:02:29   what, two second, three second delay.

01:02:31   - I tell you, man, I must not have ever used AirPlay

01:02:34   for audio.

01:02:37   because I am like enraged that I will press play

01:02:40   and overcast and I am waiting literally three seconds

01:02:43   for the audio to start.

01:02:44   Bluetooth doesn't do this, right?

01:02:47   And yeah, I cannot believe it.

01:02:50   I've been playing overcast, right?

01:02:52   - Myke discovered AirPlay, everybody watch out.

01:02:55   He's got takes from 10 years ago or whatever,

01:02:57   five years ago.

01:02:58   - But now I can see why AirPlay 2 needs to exist

01:03:02   because AirPlay kind of sucks for audio.

01:03:04   - It's like you're in the mud.

01:03:05   you're just like wallowing and moving very slowly because everything is... and the best

01:03:09   part is when you're like, "Alright, I'm done, I need to pause this now." And you press pause,

01:03:13   and then you wait for three seconds for the audio to pause.

01:03:17   It's like I understand when I'm sending it, right, because it's buffering, but why am

01:03:22   I waiting on the other side? Like if I'm listening to the audio on the home pod and I press pause,

01:03:27   why do I now need to wait again? Yeah, it's very... it kind of sucks, and I'm assuming

01:03:32   that Airplay 2 fixes some of this and I'm looking forward to it. You know what I would

01:03:36   say for listening to podcasts? The HomePod is not very kind to John Siracusa.

01:03:41   Interesting. What does it do? What's it saying about him?

01:03:45   It's very mean. Very mean. I was listening to ATP and whatever the bass is in the HomePod

01:03:52   just doesn't really do a good job for John. Like I was cooking and I could hear Marco

01:03:57   and Casey fine, but with John it kind of sounded a bit muffled when I was trying to listen

01:04:03   to him. So it was a bit difficult for me to hear him. So John Sirkius has a bassy voice

01:04:08   and the HomePod doesn't like that. What do you think about the fact that you know, you

01:04:15   can't use other services here? Like all you get is Apple Music, right? Like that, I mean

01:04:22   you can AirPlay anything to it, but you know, the Echo, you can use Spotify and Amazon have

01:04:29   a subscription service, on the Google Home you can use Spotify and Google has subscription

01:04:34   services. Do you think that Apple should allow for companies like Spotify to be able to hook

01:04:39   into this product?

01:04:41   I think I could take it further and say I think that Apple needs to extend Siri and

01:04:50   Apple needs to extend that both in terms of talking to apps on devices and also

01:04:56   talking to web services. I don't think Apple needs to necessarily build, you

01:05:02   know, build its own Spotify integration with the HomePod, but it probably needs

01:05:09   to, I mean, it doesn't need to do anything, it can do whatever it wants. I think it

01:05:12   would be good for Siri if it had more links to apps that are on your phone

01:05:18   that you could control remotely by voice, and that includes media, and that includes podcast apps and

01:05:24   other music providers, and also web services like the skills on the Alexa side. I think there needs

01:05:33   to be a story about it on Macworld. I think there needs to be an app store for Siri, basically,

01:05:40   that lets people get qualified to connect to their web services and have them available as things

01:05:47   that Siri knows about or that can be triggered. I think that's just the long-term health of Siri

01:05:52   as an ecosystem unto itself. It needs more capabilities than it's got now, and we're in

01:05:57   the stage now where if Apple doesn't add it, it isn't in there, and Apple has to move past that,

01:06:02   because there are lots of things that are going to be interesting that Apple is never going to

01:06:05   prioritize as one of the things that it's going to do. That said, you know, I don't get too rageful

01:06:13   about their not being spot--first of all, I don't use Spotify, I use Apple Music, so I don't care.

01:06:17   But I do use Overcast, and Overcast knows where all my podcasts are, and while you can play

01:06:22   podcasts now using Siri on iOS devices and on the HomePod, it doesn't know, you know, it doesn't know

01:06:29   where my Overcast stuff is. I'm not sure if it knows where my Apple Podcast stuff is, and if I'm

01:06:37   halfway through an episode of a podcast on the podcast app, if it knows where to play it, it

01:06:43   seems like it's way simpler than that and it's just using the directory to

01:06:46   play a podcast but I would benefit from that from from being able to let demand

01:06:54   my latest podcasts or from a playlist for overcast and yeah I mean I would

01:06:59   like it it's I again I don't think it's going to be that you're going to be able

01:07:03   to just talk to Siri on the home pod and say play something on Spotify you'll

01:07:07   probably have to have and even if they do this an iPhone that's on Spotify

01:07:12   where there's been an update to SyriaKit to allow it and then you'll be playing

01:07:16   it'll essentially be playing it via AirPlay over the network to your HomePod

01:07:23   but adding the voice control would be a good thing but you know I

01:07:28   don't know I just I think it is a thing that if you're if you're not on their

01:07:34   music platform this product is not really relevant to you but I have a hard

01:07:38   time getting up in arms about it because I already feel that way like Sonos is

01:07:42   the only one that plays everything. Like, you know, Sonos plays Apple Music. Amazon

01:07:47   tries very hard to have you either use Amazon's music service or then they'll kick it back

01:07:52   to Spotify, I think partially because they didn't have a good enough music service when

01:07:56   they launched the product. Yeah, but in the end, sure, yes, I would like Siri to be more

01:08:01   useful and that includes supporting other music services.

01:08:06   There's a lot more to talk about with Siri and the home part and we should dig into that,

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01:09:38   So I did some tests with the Siri trigger word, which we will call as we always do a

01:09:46   high telephone, because I wondered what was going to happen if I had this turned on all

01:09:52   my devices, right?

01:09:54   Like how good is the HomePod going to be at picking up the trigger word instead of my

01:10:00   iPhone or my iPad or my Apple watch?

01:10:02   I usually have this turned off because I just don't use it.

01:10:06   I mean, I never talk to my iPhone.

01:10:09   I talk to the Amazon Echo or whatever if I'm just around the house.

01:10:12   So I turned it on my iPad.

01:10:14   I turned it on on my iPhone and my Apple Watch, and I would just ask questions.

01:10:19   I'd be sitting in the house and I'd say like, "Oh, hi telephone, what's the weather?"

01:10:22   And what would happen is typically my iPhone and my iPad would both light up

01:10:28   and would immediately kick off and then the HomePod would answer.

01:10:32   So there's two things going on here.

01:10:34   One, it's good that the HomePod does pick up the question,

01:10:38   because if I'm asking something out into the world in my home,

01:10:41   I want the best speaker to give it back to me.

01:10:44   But the other thing is all my devices are lighting up.

01:10:47   And if I'm as I was, I was listening to music and I'm on my iPad

01:10:52   and I'm doing work and I'm asking the HomePod to change the song or whatever.

01:10:56   And then the iPad just gets this full screen

01:11:00   UI pop up for half a second, it's kind of frustrating.

01:11:04   Right? Like I don't need that to be happening, right?

01:11:07   Like something I want. I know it's difficult, right?

01:11:09   Like how else are you doing it?

01:11:11   But that was something that I was noticing and was a bit frustrating to me.

01:11:15   The one issue that I was having consistently was my Apple

01:11:20   Watch. So if the face of the screen is lit up on my

01:11:25   Apple Watch, the request always went to my Apple Watch, which is not what I

01:11:30   want. So I was finding that I would ask for some music to be played and it would be like,

01:11:37   "Oh, and then my iPhone would start playing the music." So then I was like, "Hmm, okay,

01:11:41   let me think about how I could fix this." Like if I noticed that my Apple Watch picks this up.

01:11:45   So I said, "Oh, hey, a high telephone, can you play churches on my HomePod?" And my watch said,

01:11:52   "No, I can't do that." Which was really annoying to me.

01:11:57   Yeah, what it's supposed to be doing is, um, if you have been actively using, or I think if you

01:12:03   raise an Apple watch or raise an iPhone, it's trying to detect what you're talking to. It's

01:12:09   trying to intuit what you're talking to. And I think the HomePod wins unless you're actively

01:12:15   using some other device. It's trying to let the HomePod be the one to answer those requests. And

01:12:20   it's, they're supposed to be talking to each other and determining like who can field this request.

01:12:24   but it seems like it's a work in progress. I didn't do, I mean, I used it with other devices

01:12:31   around and I didn't really notice anything about it, so it was working okay for me. But,

01:12:35   you know, that's my understanding is that Apple is trying to intuit based on the status of all

01:12:39   of your Apple devices that are within speaking distance of who should take it.

01:12:45   And I found that by and large it was making the right decision, except the Apple Watch would be

01:12:53   bumping in every now and then and trying to do what it could do.

01:12:57   And the other problem I have with this is I want to jump ahead just a moment to talk

01:13:01   a little bit about SiriKit and its issue there.

01:13:05   Because let's say that I wanted to order a Lyft, right?

01:13:11   So if I'm in the US I want to pick up a Lyft.

01:13:13   We don't have Lyft here unfortunately which is a shame because I actually really like

01:13:16   Lyft.

01:13:19   The iPhone can take that request because that is an intent with SiriKit.

01:13:24   So I would say, "Oh, hi, telephone.

01:13:25   Order me a lift."

01:13:27   And my phone would say, "Okay."

01:13:29   But if I'm at home and I'm used to doing this and I say, "Oh, hi, telephone.

01:13:33   Order me a lift," my HomePod will say, "I can't do that."

01:13:37   Now that's not good, is it?

01:13:41   That's not...

01:13:42   - It's SiriKit, but, right?

01:13:45   Like, it is, the HomePod is connected to your phone

01:13:50   if you want to let it,

01:13:52   but, 'cause that's a setting you can turn off,

01:13:54   when it's present on the same WiFi network,

01:13:57   but not all of the SiriKit stuff is connected.

01:14:01   And so the, like, ride sharing is not connected.

01:14:06   So, it doesn't work.

01:14:07   - And so I feel that there are things

01:14:09   that should have been done here.

01:14:10   Either one, they should have made that work,

01:14:12   or two, they should send it back

01:14:14   to send the request to my iPhone.

01:14:17   Why can't the HomePod do that?

01:14:19   - Right, that's true.

01:14:20   Like it could kick that up on the iPhone

01:14:22   and the iPhone could start talking to you and say,

01:14:24   "All right, well now I'm over here and I've got this thing

01:14:27   "and I can do that."

01:14:29   - Like my HomePod should say like,

01:14:30   "Okay, check your iPhone.

01:14:32   "Like I'm taking care of that for you."

01:14:34   - I need to, you need to do that on your iPhone,

01:14:36   you know, go check that out

01:14:37   and we can do it over there or something like that.

01:14:39   and start to kick it off on the iPhone.

01:14:42   Yeah, and the answer is it should do it.

01:14:44   Like this is one of those things that if you're gonna

01:14:46   connect to the phone, connect to the phone

01:14:48   for all the things that you can do on the phone.

01:14:50   There are several instances with the HomePod

01:14:51   where there are things you can do on an iPhone

01:14:55   when you're driving using hands-free.

01:14:59   And I think there should be no difference.

01:15:01   Like I know the HomePod is a separate device.

01:15:03   It's not just a speaker, but like if I've got it connected,

01:15:07   My iPhone has set it up, my iPhone is present,

01:15:09   my iPhone is on the same network as the HomePod.

01:15:13   I should be able to behave in my home

01:15:16   like I behave in my car, and you can't.

01:15:19   Not only is the SiriKit stuff not there,

01:15:21   but although Apple makes a big deal

01:15:23   about how you can use it as a speakerphone,

01:15:25   you have to initiate the call,

01:15:27   or answer the call, I believe, on the phone,

01:15:29   and then transfer it to the HomePod.

01:15:32   - Why, why?

01:15:33   And like, Raffola on the chat room has made, like,

01:15:35   the most baffling one for me, calendar.

01:15:37   You can't ask your HomePod to tell you

01:15:40   what calendar events you have.

01:15:41   And it's like, but why though?

01:15:43   Because you can do my notes and my messages

01:15:46   and my reminders, why not my calendar?

01:15:48   - I think the answer is why,

01:15:50   is the same as the answer to why is AirPlay 2

01:15:53   and why are stereo pairs and why is Multiroom not there?

01:15:56   Which is, this is not a product where the software's done.

01:15:59   Like, it's not done.

01:16:00   - So should they have released it now?

01:16:01   - And they decided to release it.

01:16:02   - Why did they do this?

01:16:03   Like, I really can't understand that,

01:16:05   that there are things that they should have added,

01:16:08   like the calendar stuff,

01:16:09   but we don't know if they're ever going to,

01:16:11   but we know there are software features for this device

01:16:13   that are supposed to be here but aren't.

01:16:15   - They will, they will.

01:16:17   I think they decided that it was good enough

01:16:18   as a music player,

01:16:19   that they wanted to get it out in the market

01:16:21   and have people start experiencing it,

01:16:23   and that they would add features as they go.

01:16:25   And they just decided, look,

01:16:26   great artistship, real artistship,

01:16:29   let's get it out there and we'll update it.

01:16:31   And the nice thing about it is,

01:16:33   these are all software things,

01:16:34   are all services things. I think that the HomePod can be made to do an awful lot

01:16:37   more than it does now, but they're going to have to, you know, don't buy this

01:16:41   product hoping that it will talk to your calendar because it doesn't now and you

01:16:45   shouldn't count on that. But if I had to guess, I would guess that all of that

01:16:50   stuff is happening in the background and they just wanted to ship it and they're

01:16:53   going to ship all these other features and they're going to keep rolling them

01:16:55   out, which is good, but again I just had that. I never really thought of it before,

01:16:59   but I was standing there thinking about all the different things that I could do

01:17:02   and I realized I considered because the HomePod is connected sort of to my

01:17:09   iPhone, I really do put it in the in the same category as talking through a

01:17:15   Bluetooth speaker in my car and that's that's my frustration is that it's not

01:17:20   like there's a whole category of things that it just won't do and I'm sorry but

01:17:25   like the phone thing like why have the capability to have it be a speaker phone

01:17:30   but not let you actually just make the call from the device and have it pipe the audio.

01:17:36   Why do I have to use the phone? If you're going to make that a feature, make it a whole

01:17:40   feature, not half a feature. It just seems so strange. And it's one of those areas where

01:17:45   the thing seems unfinished and where it is harmed by kind of the lack of functionality

01:17:50   that Siri has right now that Apple needs to work on if they want this product to improve.

01:17:56   So I want to talk about personal requests. It is the part of the HomePod that allows

01:18:04   you to connect to some things that are going on on your iPhone. So messages and notes and

01:18:11   reminders. And during the setup process there's a warning that pops up that says "Allow anyone

01:18:16   to use this HomePod to send and read messages, add reminders, create notes or more with this

01:18:21   iPhone when it is connected to the same Wi-Fi network. I honestly feel like this warning

01:18:28   indicates that this isn't the way it should be. Like, the fact that this warning exists

01:18:34   saying like, just making sure that you know that anyone will be able to send messages

01:18:40   or read your messages in your home when you're at home is like a really weird thing. Like,

01:18:46   This is very, very strange and is something that I imagine that a lot of people want to

01:18:53   have turned on, not even just from like, "Oh, someone's going to super my messages," but

01:18:58   just so you don't end up people sending random messages.

01:19:01   It's a very strange thing.

01:19:05   This is, and we should say, I mean, all of these assistants struggle with this to a certain

01:19:10   degree.

01:19:11   Yeah, of like picking voices out.

01:19:14   Some of them say they do it, but it's never perfect.

01:19:17   No, and we live in a world where our IDs are us, our stuff lives in our IDs, and you need

01:19:26   a device to be able to say, ideally, "I know who you are, you're somebody you recognize,

01:19:31   I know what user you are, and I'll use your calendar and I'll tell you."

01:19:35   That's the ultimate goal of all these assistants, is that if I ask for a calendar and my wife

01:19:40   asks for a calendar, we should get different calendars.

01:19:43   That's how it should be.

01:19:45   But we're right now in this really weird in-between state.

01:19:47   And so with a phone and HomePod, you've got this case where Apple wants to take advantage

01:19:55   of all the richness of the stuff that it knows about you based on your relationship with

01:19:59   your phone and what's on your phone.

01:20:01   It doesn't want to not have that, especially in a product like this that, as we pointed

01:20:05   out, is missing features right now, missing announced features.

01:20:08   And then there are other things that are clearly lacking.

01:20:10   last thing it wants to do is say, "Nope, there's nothing on your phone that we can help you

01:20:14   with. We're not connecting them at all." But at the same time, they also recognize that

01:20:20   they can't actually lock that stuff out behind a security code or by voice recognition or

01:20:27   anything like that, so you basically have to flip a switch in the details in the Home

01:20:34   app. You have to flip a switch that says "Don't," or on Setup you say "No, I don't want to do

01:20:39   do that, at which point all of that stuff is sheared away and is no longer part of the

01:20:44   functionality. And it's like, this is where all of these assistants are kind of right

01:20:47   now, but it's frustrating and it does lead you to believe like, wow, this is a much more

01:20:53   powerful device if you live by yourself.

01:20:57   Yeah. And it's a shame because I kind of want to be able to use all of these features and

01:21:05   and I've left it on for me, but I can totally understand why basically everyone that has

01:21:12   this product will probably turn this feature off. And I get that until it can be at a place

01:21:17   where it really can understand different voices. And I've been thinking about this, right,

01:21:24   because in theory this device can do this because my iPhone apparently can do this,

01:21:32   you know that if I say a high telephone a Dinos phone is not gonna go off and every now and then it will but not

01:21:37   Always and I think part of the problem that Apple are having here is the home pod can't work like that, right?

01:21:44   It has to be able to understand anybody's voices so it can change the music in the home

01:21:50   so they're struggling with

01:21:53   It feels like it's a binary thing, right?

01:21:56   it's either can do voice detection or can't do voice detection and that they're struggling to

01:22:01   maybe implement it on a case-by-case request-by-request basis right that like you want to be

01:22:08   able to have anybody to control audio but not anybody to control messages and that that is

01:22:13   something that they may have they may be struggling with right now is working out kind of how to

01:22:19   separate that stuff. HomeKit. HomeKit's a big part of this. Is it working for the stuff

01:22:28   that you have? Are there like a lot of things that the HomePod can't control in your home

01:22:32   or kind of how does that shake for you? Well, so I've really tried to put everything in

01:22:37   HomeKit ever since I got my light switches, especially that did HomeKit, and I installed

01:22:43   HomeBridge on my server, so I've even got like non-HomeKit things on my HomeKit network

01:22:49   now through the Homebridge app, the command line servery thing that basically, yeah, my

01:22:56   server, there's an article at Six Colors that you can link people to, but I've got it running,

01:23:00   so it's talking to like the Nest and a couple of smart switches, like a Wemo switch that

01:23:04   aren't HomeKit related, and it basically acts as the bridge there, and I'm surprised that

01:23:10   people, that that hasn't been turned into a product. I've heard from people who've just

01:23:14   bought it like a $40 Raspberry Pi, and the only thing they put on it is HomeKit, or Homebridge,

01:23:19   And that's all it does is just act as a home kit bridge for all of the older stuff you've got that doesn't support home kit.

01:23:26   So anyway, because I did that, because I wanted, I've kind of gotten used to using the home interface,

01:23:32   I like the home control center interface for turning lights on and off and stuff like that.

01:23:37   Because I did that, it just works, you know, it's great.

01:23:40   It like, it all works because I'm already there.

01:23:43   I'm already there on the home kit side.

01:23:44   So now I'm just telling the lady, you know, set the living room lights to 70%

01:23:48   and it totally does it just like it does with my Amazon Echo.

01:23:52   It's basically like the same stuff and it works the same and it's fine.

01:23:55   Yeah, and I've been pretty happy that I don't find the HomePod to be too verbose.

01:24:01   You know, like what I like about the Echo when I ask for the lights is it just goes okay.

01:24:06   And the Google Home will not stop talking.

01:24:09   You know, like I have a Google Home Mini and I ask it to say like I'll turn off the desk lights

01:24:16   because I have lights on my desk now. Stephen bought me one of those hue strips for my birthday

01:24:20   and I put it around the edge of my desk on the back and it's awesome. So I can light

01:24:24   my desk up. But the Google Home would be like, "Okay, turning off the desk lights." And

01:24:28   I don't want that, right? Like I don't want the full sentence. And I found that HomeKit

01:24:32   to be okay.

01:24:33   I think Siri is still a little too talkative and it's funny, one of the things, another

01:24:36   thing I mentioned in that Macworld article that I wrote, when I asked a bunch of people,

01:24:40   like what are their wishlist items for Siri, one of them was basically that they want the

01:24:44   carrot weather feature for those who we've talked about care whether on this

01:24:48   show care whether by default is sort of like super snarky and makes jokes but

01:24:51   there's a setting and you can basically dial it all the way back to just tell me

01:24:54   what the weather is dummy I don't know I don't care see yeah yeah and and I think

01:24:58   I think there might be a place for that for somebody to be like I stop with the

01:25:04   joke stop with the references keep it as minimal as possible for Siri because I

01:25:07   know it bugs some people but I agree it's not super verbose but it's more

01:25:11   verbose than Alexa is.

01:25:13   It kind of sits somewhere in between the two of them so I find it to be okay.

01:25:17   If I'd never tried the Google Home Mini I probably would have gotten pretty annoyed

01:25:21   by it but I was expecting it to be just as bad as Google Home but it's not.

01:25:26   I really like that the Echo just says "okay" because that's all I need to know and it

01:25:31   only tells me more if there's a problem and Amazon really nailed that.

01:25:36   Let me ask you, talking about the Echo, do you think the HomePod is going to replace

01:25:40   anything in your home and you have more of these types of products, but you have so many

01:25:44   of the stuff we were talking about, right? Do you see, well one, I guess where are you

01:25:48   leaving the HomePod in your home and two, do you think it's going to replace any devices

01:25:52   that were previously in that environment?

01:25:53   Well, it's too early to tell. My gut feeling is that I'm going to leave it in the living

01:25:57   room or on the bridge between the living room and the dining room like there's a couple

01:26:03   of pieces of furniture in there like I had on the top of the piano and I think that was

01:26:07   actually a pretty good place for it. It's a little too high for anybody to see

01:26:10   like that it's been activated because the one of the nice things about the

01:26:14   Echo is that it's got like the tube Echo has a ring around it so from

01:26:19   basically any angle you can see when it's been activated but the little

01:26:21   serial light is on the very top of the HomePod so if it's a lot up too high you

01:26:24   can't see it. But it's a good place for it and it sounds pretty good there and

01:26:31   if that's where it ends up I think the net result is going to be that we're

01:26:33   going to stop playing music on the Echo and we're going to start playing music

01:26:36   music on the HomePod. But I'm not going to replace the Echo. I have an Echo Show

01:26:41   in the kitchen and the fact is I kind of like this. I kind of like the screen. It

01:26:46   does so little with that screen but like when you're you get used to it like

01:26:52   when you're playing music you can look and see what music is playing. When

01:26:55   you're doing timers you can see the timers and where they are instead of

01:26:59   having to ask when where the timers are and that screen has maybe spoiled us a

01:27:05   little bit. I could see with some functionality increases on the HomePod,

01:27:09   I could see maybe ditching the Amazon Echo entirely, probably not, but I think

01:27:13   what will happen is that I may ditch the music component of the Echo and just

01:27:19   tell everybody, "Look, if you want to play music in that room, play it on the HomePod."

01:27:23   That's what it's there for because it sounds that much better. And the

01:27:27   reality is, even though I've got a little Sonos box attached to my big speakers

01:27:30   set up for my home theater. I never use that because it's too complicated to turn

01:27:36   it on and get it going when you're in that room and you can just say, "Hey, play

01:27:41   this music." So I think that's most likely where it'll go. Seems like a waste in my

01:27:47   bathroom even though I do have a Sonus One in there and I do listen to

01:27:52   music on it sometimes. It's not really like... plus it would just... it's too much

01:27:59   speaker for that location anyway.

01:28:01   - Just rattle the tiles off the wall.

01:28:02   - It would be, yeah, there'd be a lot.

01:28:06   What about you?

01:28:07   - Okay, for me to be able to explain this,

01:28:10   I need to give my entire summary,

01:28:13   my overall conclusion of the HomePod.

01:28:15   - All right, okay.

01:28:15   - So I think that the HomePod is kind of showing

01:28:20   that Apple need to do a better job

01:28:23   of integrating their products together

01:28:25   inside of their ecosystem.

01:28:27   like they have all of the ecosystem, it's all there, right?

01:28:30   I can access all of my stuff and all of my devices,

01:28:33   but the devices don't talk very well to each other, right?

01:28:36   Like I can't tell my watch to play audio on my home pod,

01:28:39   right, my home pod can't give commands to my phone

01:28:43   to continue with actions that it can't complete, right?

01:28:46   Like I can play music from anything on my iPhone,

01:28:50   any app, and it works in my AirPods, right?

01:28:53   But I can't do it in the exact same way

01:28:56   with like Siri doesn't work for some like for Spotify and overcast but it works fine for my

01:29:02   music and it's like things are too disjointed and I think there needs to be some serious thought put

01:29:08   into how these devices talk better together and a lot of that I think can be helped with Siri and

01:29:14   that requires Apple to open up Siri kit more much more broadly so that is a big frustration for me

01:29:23   and I'm kind of annoyed at Apple right now because I don't like the HomePod for all of the reasons

01:29:30   that I didn't think I was going to like it. That it wasn't going to be able to replace a lot of

01:29:36   stuff that I do in the kitchen because the timer support is just not as good, right, and I'm not

01:29:41   interested in setting alarms and stuff like that. I don't want to work around. I just want multiple

01:29:46   timers that I can name. It's not rocket science. I knew that I was going to have trouble getting

01:29:52   all of the audio sources that I wanted onto this thing and that it was just going to be

01:29:57   weird in a bunch of places and I've got all of that. But the audio that comes out of this

01:30:01   thing blows me away. Like I can't fathom the quality of audio that comes from a speaker

01:30:11   of this size. Like it's sounding so good across my entire front room in the way that it does

01:30:18   and I'm hearing things in music that I haven't really heard very clearly, right?

01:30:23   Like is the better quality you get, the more you can get out of it.

01:30:26   And I consider it to be incredibly impressive.

01:30:28   And the audio has won me over.

01:30:32   I'm going to keep it, and it's going to replace

01:30:34   all of the audio functions that would be used with my echo.

01:30:39   You know, we would listen to music on it,

01:30:41   or I'd listen to a podcast on it and stuff like that when

01:30:43   cooking or washing up and stuff like that.

01:30:46   and now I think the HomePod's gonna have all of that, because I honestly have my fingers crossed

01:30:52   that a lot of things that I don't like about this product can be fixed as software,

01:30:55   but the hardware is so good. It is so good. So it won me over. I feel like we have, this has been a

01:31:05   theme the last few weeks here, which is when we were talking about the Apple report card story,

01:31:13   it was the same theme as here, which is Apple is really killing it with its hardware.

01:31:18   And it's being let down by its software and services. And the HomePod falls right into

01:31:24   that same category where this is a pretty remarkable piece of hardware. There are things

01:31:29   that I'm sure you can criticize about it. We talked about like, it is very loud. So there's

01:31:34   like limited, you know, you may want to warn your neighbors that you're getting one, but it's just

01:31:40   it's just a really remarkable... it doesn't... like setting up the Sonos to

01:31:45   compare it, the Sonos Play 5 to compare to the HomePod, to the HomePod when it

01:31:50   moves because it's got an accelerometer, it knows that it's been moved. And

01:31:55   in fact at one point I jostled it and the sound like really changed on the

01:31:58   speaker and I realized that was because it went back to a flat setup because it

01:32:02   got jostled and then it was going back to being... to doing its

01:32:07   thing and it does its training by using all of those microphones to kind of

01:32:11   like measure the room as it's playing music for a couple of minutes and then

01:32:16   it uses that. Whereas the Sonos, I have to open an app and it emits a weird tone

01:32:22   and I have to wave my phone around up and down while I walk around my room for

01:32:26   45 seconds until it finally is like, "alright, now I'm set up." And that's just

01:32:29   you know, there's an example of like Apple built this thing in, they don't

01:32:32   want you to do any training, it'll figure it out, it uses its microphones, it does

01:32:36   the training itself, just great hardware.

01:32:39   And then the software, it's like, you know,

01:32:40   the software is the reason it didn't ship last year,

01:32:42   probably, almost certainly, I would say.

01:32:44   And it's still missing features.

01:32:46   And there's still stuff that needs to get better on Siri.

01:32:49   And in terms of like its connection with the phone

01:32:51   and Siri kit needs to be more, I mean, the list goes on.

01:32:55   But the point is, if we have to draw a line somewhere,

01:32:57   it's not, you know, I'm gonna say Apple is at the top

01:33:01   of its game still when it comes to designing hardware.

01:33:03   - Yeah. - And this product

01:33:04   is another example.

01:33:06   without a shadow of a doubt, I agree with you completely.

01:33:08   Is that kind of your overall feeling on it?

01:33:10   Is that like your conclusion of the,

01:33:11   the ComPod as it stands right now?

01:33:13   - Yeah, I think so.

01:33:16   I think it's a great piece of hardware.

01:33:18   It sounds way better than I expected compared to some of

01:33:22   these other devices like the, like the Play 5.

01:33:24   It's that's, the size is really remarkable.

01:33:28   I think that keeping in mind the size of it

01:33:32   and what it sounds like, they packed a lot in there.

01:33:34   And bottom line is, I'm reminded of arguments

01:33:39   about Apple trying to make the iMac thinner,

01:33:42   people saying, "Who cares if it's thinner?

01:33:43   It's just an iMac, it sits on your desk."

01:33:46   I can see how people would say,

01:33:48   "Who cares about the size of a speaker

01:33:51   that you're parking somewhere?"

01:33:52   But I can tell you in my home,

01:33:54   I care because I can't put the Play 5 in my living room.

01:33:57   I tried, it doesn't work, it's not in there, can't do it.

01:34:01   And I can put the HomePod in there.

01:34:03   And that's huge that I can put it in my living room

01:34:07   and I can fill that living room

01:34:09   with a small space that it's in.

01:34:10   - I wouldn't want it to be any bigger

01:34:12   because then it would be too dominant as a item in my room.

01:34:15   - Right.

01:34:16   - And so I actually--

01:34:17   - And in fact, I could probably put a second somewhere else

01:34:21   when they do the stereo pair thing and see how that sounds.

01:34:25   That's kind of intriguing too.

01:34:27   But yeah, so it's a work in progress.

01:34:29   And I think a lot of the reviews I've read

01:34:32   come to this conclusion and I think I agree with it which is this is step one

01:34:36   for Apple. I think there will be more products with Siri embedded in them and

01:34:40   I think this product will get a lot better.

01:34:42   I think it will probably get a lot better without even needing new hardware

01:34:45   because I think a lot of the the ways it can get better are software-based and

01:34:50   it's a start for Apple in this and it's late and it's not all there and some of

01:34:56   its competitors have you know built whole product lines while Apple is just

01:35:00   rolling out its first product here, but you know, that's happened before with Apple, and

01:35:05   it doesn't necessarily mean that Apple is going to be doomed to being third or fourth

01:35:11   place in this category. They're in the game now, and the next step is for them to keep

01:35:16   playing it and not, you know, the alternative is that they just release this product and

01:35:20   it just sort of sits there and they drift away to do other things, and that would be

01:35:23   bad, but they're in the game now and it's a very encouraging sign and a fun product

01:35:28   with a lot of limitations.

01:35:29   Yeah, like I said, it is often said about Apple to the point that it's almost a meme

01:35:33   now.

01:35:34   You know, they show up late, but they always like blow everything else away.

01:35:38   I don't think they've done that here.

01:35:41   Because there are more, you know, Apple is saying, oh, this is a speaker, it's music,

01:35:47   it's music.

01:35:48   But they're also trying to do the smart stuff, right?

01:35:51   Because why does this thing even connect to HomeKit then, right?

01:35:54   Like it's got that in it, right?

01:35:56   So this has entered a market where there are good speakers like the Google Home Max, right?

01:36:03   Like that's intended to be a good speaker, but it also has all the Google Home stuff

01:36:06   in.

01:36:07   So they've entered this market and they've definitely done an incredible job at one portion

01:36:10   of it, but they haven't at the other.

01:36:12   So they've not blown everybody away yet.

01:36:14   They've not blown their competition out of the water.

01:36:18   So this isn't that, right?

01:36:19   They haven't come in and shown everyone how to do this.

01:36:22   although let me tell you the Google Home Max, I got to listen to that in a demo room provided

01:36:29   by mysterious people who might be Apple. It was not a secluded grotto this time but very

01:36:34   similar and the Google Home Max is not good. It does not sound good. It does not sound

01:36:40   good at all. I think I would rather have a Sonos One than a Google Home Max. I mean honestly,

01:36:46   it's not very good in my limited experience with it.

01:36:50   I would like to see, and I haven't really seen some reviews comparing them where it's

01:36:55   not an environment controlled by Apple personally.

01:36:57   Right.

01:36:58   Like I want to see what that looks like.

01:36:59   Absolutely.

01:37:00   Right.

01:37:01   And that's, and I don't have one, so I can't test it personally.

01:37:03   The other ones I have here and I can test it personally.

01:37:05   I'm not saying that they like stuck a screwdriver into the back of it, but I'm sure they picked

01:37:10   music that sounded really good on the HomePod.

01:37:12   Oh sure.

01:37:13   Yeah, they did all of the standard calibration stuff and then they picked the stuff that

01:37:15   made the HomePod sound the best.

01:37:17   There's no doubt about it.

01:37:18   That all said, compared to just the Sonos Play One, I thought the Google Home Max didn't sound very good at all.

01:37:26   And it's big. Like, it's not necessarily as big as a Sonos Play 5, but it's big, too.

01:37:33   So, yes, it'll be interesting to see. But this is why Apple's positioning where it is.

01:37:38   Apple's basically saying, "Look, if you want something that sounds really good and is a Home Assistant,

01:37:45   this is the product for you. If all you want is a home assistant and you don't really care about it

01:37:49   sounding pretty good, then it's not the product for you. And I think that is completely accurate.

01:37:53   It is, on one level we have to judge it on what it is, which is an attempt to make a high-end

01:37:59   speaker with voice control like a Sonos, except from Apple. And that's what it is, and it's pretty

01:38:05   pretty good at that. What it's not is a sub hundred dollar Amazon echo. It's totally not

01:38:13   that. And it is, and it's a challenge because yeah, it's way more expensive and it also

01:38:19   sounds way better. So what do you care about? I mean, you care about the ecosystem, but

01:38:23   you also are going to care about the price tag and the sound quality and, and you're

01:38:26   going to make your decisions accordingly.

01:38:28   All right, let's take a break. Thank FreshBooks for supporting this week's show. And then

01:38:34   we will finish up with some #AskUpgrade.

01:38:38   Our friends at FreshBooks believe that it is super important for you to make smart decisions

01:38:42   about your business.

01:38:43   And they're right.

01:38:44   You want to save time is one of the big ones.

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01:38:47   This is what FreshBooks is all about.

01:38:49   Their cloud accounting software is so easy to use, it's going to save you a bunch of

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01:38:55   They simplify tasks like invoicing, expense tracking and getting paid online.

01:39:00   Freshbooks have dramatically reduced what it takes to get this done for their over 10

01:39:04   million people that use their system.

01:39:07   One of the things that I absolutely love about Freshbooks is all based around when you send

01:39:14   off an invoice, what happens next.

01:39:17   So there are a couple of things that I like here.

01:39:19   One, you can see when some, well one it's really easy to build the invoice.

01:39:23   Everything's super simple.

01:39:24   Everything can be prefilled, right?

01:39:26   you can just select from drop downs and pull in your most frequently used line items and

01:39:30   stuff like that. It's very easy. You build it in a WYSIWYG interface so you're going

01:39:34   to see it exactly how it shows up in somebody's invoice. Very nice to build. But once you've

01:39:39   sent off the invoice, you're going to see how long it takes for somebody to open it.

01:39:44   You're going to see when they've opened it, you're going to see when they received it,

01:39:47   you're going to even see if they've printed it, so you're going to know where that invoice

01:39:49   is over on the company that you're billing. And you can have late payment reminders set

01:39:55   up automatically so that can fire off.

01:40:01   One of my favourite things is that when you go to each individual client it shows you

01:40:04   how long it takes them to typically pay you.

01:40:08   Every company works how it works.

01:40:11   You may say "pay me the next amount of days" but companies work how they work and sometimes

01:40:16   it's going to be late.

01:40:17   But what I like about FreshBooks is that it will tell you what the average turnaround

01:40:21   is

01:40:39   FreshBooks. If for any reason you haven't, now is a great time because they are offering

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01:41:04   of this show.

01:41:06   It is time for #AskUpgrade.

01:41:10   And our first question comes from Neil Esh.

01:41:11   Neil Esh wants to know,

01:41:12   "How do you both manage your personal

01:41:14   and business email accounts?

01:41:16   One, do you even have separate email addresses?

01:41:19   Two, are they all in one app or in separate apps?

01:41:22   And do you use unified inboxes?"

01:41:24   So what about you, Jason?

01:41:25   How is your email set up like that?

01:41:27   - I have one, well, everything is mine.

01:41:35   So when I was at IDG, I had my macworld.com mail

01:41:38   or my IDG division email account,

01:41:41   and I separately had my personal.

01:41:44   At this point, they are the same.

01:41:46   I don't have a business email

01:41:48   and a personal email like that.

01:41:50   I am my own employer, so I just have one.

01:41:53   And I don't find it, I have many email addresses.

01:41:56   They all go to the same place.

01:41:57   And honestly, for me, I have no desire to separate them

01:42:02   and do extra work in order to check

01:42:04   different mailboxes. So I will do some labeling in Gmail based on where the message was addressed,

01:42:11   but they all go in one Gmail account. I don't see any need to separate them and take extra

01:42:18   effort to do that. I have like four email addresses that I've accumulated over the years.

01:42:24   Two personal, two business. At this point, I just don't have it in me to try and consolidate them

01:42:32   because there's so many different logins and stuff like that attached to each of them.

01:42:36   I set them all up in one application with a unified inbox. So they all look the same,

01:42:42   but they're coming in and going out with the kind of corresponding email address to them.

01:42:47   It is purely something that I have just built up over bad management over the years,

01:42:52   effectively is where I've been. So that's kind of where my situation is.

01:42:55   Kamal wants to know, "What should be my first gadget purchase this year?"

01:43:01   The choices are an Apple Watch, a 10.5 inch iPad Pro or a Nintendo Switch.

01:43:06   To give some context, Camo has an iPhone 7 Plus, an iPad Air 2 and an iMac currently.

01:43:15   Now we don't really know anything about this individual, so I would say personally considering

01:43:22   you already own an iPhone and an iPad and an iMac, I think you should get a Nintendo

01:43:26   Switch because the Nintendo Switch is amazing and I think that is going to be pretty awesome.

01:43:31   If it's even on your potential list of things to buy here, I would say sight unseen, that's

01:43:37   what I would suggest a Nintendo Switch.

01:43:39   Yep, same, I agree.

01:43:42   Because it's like you know you've got some good Apple products going on already, like

01:43:44   you're good, like you've got an iPad, you've got an iMac, you've got a great iPhone, go

01:43:48   for a Nintendo Switch, branch out a little bit, it's going to be awesome.

01:43:53   Kevin wants to know, Jason, what lessons, if any, do you think that Apple has learned

01:43:57   from the iPod Hi-Fi for the HomePod? Do you think anything's happened here? Do you think

01:44:01   they even looked at the product and thought, "Let's not do that again"?

01:44:08   I think the standard for what makes an Apple entry into an accessory category is higher

01:44:20   than it was. I mean, honestly, I think the lesson was when Steve gets really angry

01:44:25   about something, don't let him just create a product right away. Make him

01:44:30   wait. Like, I think they learned that lesson after the iPod HiFi. I think

01:44:33   Steve Jobs maybe learned that lesson at that point, too. Because that was, as I've

01:44:37   said many times, it's hard not to look at the iPod HiFi and see that was literally

01:44:40   Apple just trying to take sales away from the Bose sound dock because it was

01:44:44   wildly successful and Apple wanted that money. And they made a product that was

01:44:48   was too expensive and nobody wanted to buy

01:44:50   and they just kept buying the Bose Sound dock.

01:44:52   And that was the end of the iPod Hi-Fi.

01:44:54   So I think that's the big lesson is now

01:44:58   Apple still does that, right?

01:44:59   Apple still, Apple makes cases.

01:45:01   Like there was a time when Apple did not make iPhone cases

01:45:04   of its own and it makes its own cases now.

01:45:08   And I think what it learned was to make products.

01:45:11   First off, what it learned was have a thriving retail store

01:45:16   but you can put your own accessories in.

01:45:16   - Introduce those things at the same time,

01:45:19   like an iPhone leather case and the iPod Hi-Fi.

01:45:22   Didn't they come at the same time?

01:45:23   - There was an iPod leather case

01:45:26   that came at the same time as the Hi-Fi.

01:45:28   - Yeah, 'cause it was before the iPhone, right?

01:45:30   It was before the iPhone, yes, yes.

01:45:31   - It was like the prototype

01:45:33   and they did learn a bunch of things,

01:45:35   but now like I have an Apple iPhone case.

01:45:38   Like I, and yes, it is more expensive

01:45:40   than other cases that I can get, but it's nice.

01:45:43   And I like it.

01:45:44   And of course also an Apple case.

01:45:46   is the only case you can buy that has the Apple logo on it.

01:45:51   You see all these cases with like a hole cut out so you can see the Apple logo.

01:45:55   Apple doesn't have to do that.

01:45:56   I hate the hole. It kills me.

01:45:59   But I know why they do it because they're like, "Oh, people want to see the Apple logo."

01:46:02   You can just buy an Apple case and the Apple logo is on it and Apple knows it.

01:46:07   And that's an advantage.

01:46:08   But I think they have made it work where they are making accessories for their products

01:46:14   that are, that sell well but that people also don't have to buy and they can buy

01:46:18   something else. I think they, I think they fine-tuned it a lot in the

01:46:22   intervening years since the iPod HiFi. So I think, I think they got the message

01:46:27   that just, just sticking something out there for that, that was, you know, just a

01:46:32   me too product. I mean the iPad HiFi was kind of a me too product, unfortunately.

01:46:36   So I think they've learned some lessons and they, and they've made it work

01:46:40   because now they do Apple branded accessories and they're successful and

01:46:43   and bring in a lot of money for Apple.

01:46:45   - As discovered by the chat room,

01:46:47   you can still buy that $99 leather iPod case.

01:46:50   Like Apple will still sell that to you.

01:46:53   Like that is a product. - Nice $99 Apple leather case

01:46:56   for iPod classic and iPod.

01:46:58   - I can't believe they still sell that, it's incredible.

01:46:59   - Fine Italian leather.

01:47:02   - Mark's written in.

01:47:03   Say my international hotspot uses a metered LTE connection

01:47:07   that iOS and Mac OS see as wifi.

01:47:09   So background uploads and downloads occur

01:47:12   and quickly eat up my daily data allotment.

01:47:16   Is there a way to stop background data usage

01:47:19   when on a metered Wi-Fi connection?

01:47:21   - Yes, use Trip Mode, tripmode.ch.

01:47:24   - That will help you out on the Mac.

01:47:26   Now, for the iPhone, for iOS devices,

01:47:30   there is a setting that you can flip.

01:47:32   I don't know just how much stuff gets through

01:47:35   if you flip it, but if you go to iOS settings,

01:47:40   go to general, there is a setting called background app refresh, which you can turn off. And I

01:47:47   believe that will stop applications from being able to wake up in the background. So that

01:47:52   might help you. But stuff like photos uploading and downloading, I don't know. I don't know

01:47:57   if you can stop that on iOS.

01:47:58   It's hard. You may have to just, you may have to, yeah.

01:48:01   Just turn it off.

01:48:02   That's hard. I think ideally, I think there's a way for a Wi-Fi hotspot to communicate that

01:48:08   it's a cellular hotspot using Wi-Fi and that the device can see that and then it prioritizes

01:48:15   it as cellular traffic instead of Wi-Fi traffic, but it may not for, I think, I may be making

01:48:20   that up, but I think that is possible and it may be that this one doesn't do that. But

01:48:24   yeah, I mean the other thing to do is to start turning things off, you know, other things

01:48:29   like photo syncing and then you're losing those features, but if you've got a metered

01:48:34   connection then you may have to do that.

01:48:35   Finally today Elle wants to know what is the ugliest most offensive app that you have to

01:48:40   use regularly?

01:48:41   Elle says that Student View, which is a kid's school parent app, is an indecipherable disaster.

01:48:49   For me it is my banking app.

01:48:53   It exhibits the worst parts of cross platform design.

01:48:57   So no polish of any kind, like it doesn't look good on any platform, right, because

01:49:01   it's just trying to be the best for everything.

01:49:06   Everything feels like a webview, like it even throws up its own number picker, right?

01:49:12   Like if you're entering in an amount, it gives its own keypad, it doesn't even use the iOS

01:49:16   keypad.

01:49:17   And one of my, one I was going to find the most egregious, you update the application

01:49:21   in the App Store, you open it, and then it downloads updates from something, somehow.

01:49:25   Right?

01:49:26   So yeah, it is a, just a disaster of design.

01:49:30   What about you?

01:49:31   Yeah, the Logitech Harmony app, I'm gonna say, which is the Harmony remote.

01:49:37   And not only is it not great as a remote, because if you touch the wrong thing at the

01:49:41   wrong time, everything turns off or turns on, it's like, you know, not great.

01:49:46   But to get to the right place to change a setting, super complicated and weird.

01:49:52   You have to go through the right sequence of things in order to do it.

01:49:55   I think it also forces into portrait orientation.

01:50:02   So if you're on an iPad, you have to rotate your iPad.

01:50:06   Or you use it.

01:50:07   Oh, my banking app does that too.

01:50:08   Yeah, that's a classic.

01:50:09   So I can't use my banking app in landscape, which is horrific on a 12.9-inch iPad.

01:50:14   Yeah, it's not...

01:50:15   There's some bad apps.

01:50:17   Yeah, it happens.

01:50:18   And sometimes, I think that's the way to do it, is that those are apps meant for consumer

01:50:22   consumption.

01:50:23   that should be singled out. So I think that's the way to go.

01:50:29   If you want to find our show notes for this week, head on over to relay.fm/upgrades/180.

01:50:32   If you want to find Jason online, he's over at sixcolors.com. The incomparable .com is

01:50:38   @jsnell on Twitter. I am @imike, I-M-Y-K-E, and you can also find both me and Jason on

01:50:47   a plethora of Relay FM podcasts. You can go to relay.fm/shows to find this show and many

01:50:52   We have a great selection at Real AFM that you should consider checking out.

01:50:57   I want to extend our thanks one more time to Squarespace, Casper and Freshbooks for

01:51:01   their support of this show.

01:51:03   But most of all, I want to thank you for listening.

01:51:07   If you want to send in your questions to open the show, #SnellTalk can be about whatever

01:51:11   you want.

01:51:12   And then if you want to send in your technology-focused questions which you need our help or advice

01:51:16   on to close out the show, #AskUpgrade as always.

01:51:21   Thank you to everyone who continues to do that.

01:51:23   Every single week I have more than I can use and I really really really appreciate that

01:51:27   because we love doing those parts of the show and they couldn't work without your support

01:51:31   and without your involvement so thank you for doing that.

01:51:34   Jason Snell, until next time, say goodbye Jason Snell.

01:51:38   Goodbye everybody.

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