71: Muffingate


00:00:00   [Music]

00:00:08   From relay FM, this is Upgrade, episode number 71. Today's show is brought to you by MailRoute and Fizzle.

00:00:15   My name is Myke Hurley and I'm joined by Mr Jason Snow.

00:00:19   Hello Mr Myke Hurley, how are you?

00:00:20   I'm very well sir, how are you?

00:00:22   Doing, uh, doing fine. It's a, uh, it's a, it's a Monday morning here in San Francisco as always.

00:00:28   It's a dark Monday evening here in London, as always.

00:00:31   This is our Monday, this is our kickoff.

00:00:33   People listen anytime they want, but for us, this is how the--for me, this is how the week

00:00:37   gets started, which is exciting.

00:00:39   It focuses the mind.

00:00:42   Upgrade your mind.

00:00:43   We don't have a lot of follow-up this week because it's been completely dominated by

00:00:47   Muffin Gate.

00:00:48   We have a lot of muffin-related follow-up.

00:00:51   It was funny when I was going through the Ask Upgrade questions for this week.

00:00:54   I said, "There's not a lot of Ask Upgrade," because it was all muffin-related.

00:00:57   There was no, there were very few actual questions like usual. It's all just muffins.

00:01:02   I want to just say, so I'll put a couple of tweets in the show notes.

00:01:05   Some people eat in muffins, some people showing us them in supermarkets.

00:01:10   I think this is one of those things where the United States of America has twisted my understanding of my own country.

00:01:18   Because it seems that everybody else knows what a muffin is and everybody else thinks of muffins as these.

00:01:24   I maintain that the average person on the street in the United Kingdom, if you say to them, "What's a muffin?"

00:01:30   They would say, "The chocolate chip muffin kind." Right? I- I- I- that's just how I feel. That's how I feel.

00:01:37   But what has been proven to me is that muffins run rife in this fair land.

00:01:42   And they are the Egg McMuffin kind.

00:01:45   Have you seen the muffin top episode of Seinfeld yet?

00:01:48   No, not yet.

00:01:49   Oh, that's- that's- that's the American kind of muffins.

00:01:52   Yeah, because that's what I think of. Chocolate chip muffins, blueberry muffins.

00:01:57   Yep. But it turns out what we in America call the English muffin is indeed what people in

00:02:05   Britain call muffins. And we actually had several people take pictures of muffins in

00:02:10   stores to assure us that they are, as Wikipedia said, available in every store.

00:02:14   I still say that that is incorrect. There are people that have contacted us and they

00:02:18   are basically stating that fact, I still say that that is statistically an incorrect fact.

00:02:24   We don't have any evidence, we haven't received photos from all the stores.

00:02:26   That's what I want now, okay? People of the UK, I want photos in all of the stores.

00:02:34   All the great stores. So yes, but they're apparently a kind of muffin, are these little

00:02:40   flat things that are not quite crumpets, but apparently based on crumpets and baked.

00:02:48   Well, crumpets are thicker and more spongy.

00:02:51   Yeah. Yeah. That's, that sounds like it. And that's what we in America call the English

00:02:56   muffin, and those are widely available in the United States. And that's what I have

00:03:00   for breakfast many mornings, is the English muffin. So the answer is, yes, English muffins

00:03:05   are available in England and they're called muffins, but it's a bit confusing because

00:03:11   you have other things that you also call muffins that are what we call muffins here.

00:03:16   And they're not called like America muffins or anything like that.

00:03:20   No. And the Egg McMuffin came up, which I thought was like a good precedent that neither

00:03:24   of us failed to set. I've eaten food at McDonald's. I don't know how long it's been since I've

00:03:30   eaten food at a McDonald's. So it just doesn't come up. But yes, Egg McMuffin is a McDonald's

00:03:37   meal where it's what, an egg and ham? And it's inside a...

00:03:43   I think it's sausage meat.

00:03:44   No, or sausage, something like that. And it's egg and meat, and then it's in between the

00:03:50   sides of the English muffin.

00:03:53   So the funny thing is, like even in the McDonald's here, you can get an Egg McMuffin and a muffin,

00:03:58   they're both called the same thing, they're both muffins. I feel like I need to add muffins

00:04:02   to my shopping list now to eat for breakfast just so I can fully indoctrinate myself in

00:04:06   something that everybody else seems to know so much about.

00:04:10   Yeah, you toasted. I'm surprised that we didn't get more commentary on the fact that I said

00:04:14   that I toasted and put peanut butter and jelly on it.

00:04:16   Why is that bad?

00:04:18   Because nothing, well, nothing makes the internet judge you more than when you express a preference

00:04:22   for food and especially, I've learned because peanut butter is my favorite food that lots

00:04:28   of parts of the world consider peanut butter a monstrous invention and so I rarely can

00:04:33   mention peanut butter on Twitter without somebody complaining that peanut butter is a horrible

00:04:38   thing and why would anybody eat it.

00:04:40   Because it's poison.

00:04:43   I'm still standing, Myke.

00:04:45   Poison for me.

00:04:46   It makes me stronger.

00:04:48   A peanut butter muffin, Jason, would kill me dead.

00:04:51   Oh, it's so good.

00:04:53   Sometimes I just have the peanut butter on it.

00:04:55   Yeah, I would die, I think.

00:04:57   So it's the best with some tea. So anyway, that's sometimes my breakfast. Not always.

00:05:03   Sometimes it's a yogurt. Sometimes it's cereal. I had cereal this morning. I'm not big into

00:05:06   cereal, but I had no English muffins this morning. So cereal it was. The cat loves it

00:05:12   when I have cereal because I let the cat have the milk at the bottom of the bowl.

00:05:15   Oh man, that's the best part of the cereal. You must love your cat.

00:05:19   Yeah, I decided that I wasn't getting enjoyment out of it and that I thought that the cat

00:05:23   might and it turns out now the cat like when I come back without the cereal bowl

00:05:27   he is you could I pay attention he is notably paying attention to me and then

00:05:34   is sad or at least stops paying attention to me and when I bring the

00:05:38   cereal bowl back he he keep he plays it cool for a while and then eventually he

00:05:43   like stands up and moves closer to me and sits like sits upright on the bed

00:05:47   looking at me and I think oh yeah here we are gotta wait for it I'm not gonna

00:05:52   rush myself here, Kat. But anyway, hopefully we'll get some new English muffins in and

00:05:58   then I can go back to that for my breakfast. I also mentioned in passing, sort of jokingly,

00:06:03   the Australian toaster biscuit, which was hilarious because I got a whole bunch of Australians

00:06:08   who are very upset because they have no idea what an Australian toaster biscuit is. So

00:06:13   we'll put a link in the show notes. It was a product made by a company called Oroweat

00:06:19   in the United States marketed as the Australian toaster biscuit. I suspect it's kind of like

00:06:23   a crumpet. We did buy them. They're softer and butterier and spongier than English muffins.

00:06:33   They're no longer sold. They died. They had their ad campaign. The link in the show notes

00:06:38   will have an amusing TV commercial for them. But what I need to explain to Australians

00:06:44   is that they – Australia, you don't understand. Americans consider anything Australian to

00:06:50   be exotic. Basically, you can slap a koala on some shampoo and it is now just magical

00:06:56   Aussie shampoo. Crazy. Put a boomerang and a didgeridoo on a mediocre steak restaurant

00:07:03   and now it's very exciting. These are things that we do in America. So just know that we

00:07:08   We call lots of things Australian for no good reason because it's just exotic and exciting

00:07:15   to have things that are Australian in the United States.

00:07:17   Don't ask me why.

00:07:18   I don't understand it.

00:07:19   Usually the reaction to foreign things in the United States tends to be to recoil and

00:07:24   run away but not Australian things.

00:07:28   No you put that koala on something or a kangaroo, it's over.

00:07:36   You gotta understand that, and that's the story of the Australian toaster biscuit. They're

00:07:39   crumpets, and then aren't made anymore, and they weren't Australian. Or perhaps they were,

00:07:44   because somebody went to Australia and had a crumpet and said, "This is brilliant," and

00:07:47   brought it back and said, "We've gotta stick a koala on this." But anyway, that's the answer.

00:07:54   Sorry Australia, we stole things that weren't yours and called them yours, and that's what

00:07:59   we do.

00:08:00   In other important technology news, in our recent Twitter corner that we've had, there

00:08:09   was some news that came out just after last week's show that Twitter is considering a

00:08:13   10,000 character limit for tweets.

00:08:16   The implementation of this currently is a little bit up in the air, like what people

00:08:20   believe it's going to be.

00:08:21   Yeah, and that's a key.

00:08:22   Yeah, exactly.

00:08:23   But I think the general consensus will be that it will be the original tweet and then

00:08:29   the ability to have a longer text or it cuts off off the 140 characters you have to click

00:08:35   to see more. So this is kind of something in the realm of what we've been asking for

00:08:42   recently in that it is proof of advancement of the platform right?

00:08:47   Yeah and it actually feels very much like a lot of the features that Twitter has added

00:08:51   which are trying to get see how people are using the service and add features that that

00:08:59   fit with that because, you know, @mentions and hashtags, there's so many things and retweets.

00:09:06   These are all things that were invented by users and then eventually supported by the

00:09:09   platform.

00:09:10   And although I saw a lot of people saying, "Oh no, Twitter, this is a disaster.

00:09:15   You should never allow more than 140 characters."

00:09:18   The fact is that users are already bypassing 140 characters by doing text shots, by posting

00:09:24   images of text.

00:09:27   And so obviously people want to attach more text to a tweet, and they're doing it in a

00:09:33   really bad way because images can't be indexed, they can't be searched, they can't be read

00:09:37   by a screen reader if you're somebody who has to rely on a screen reader in order to

00:09:42   read things.

00:09:43   There are lots of reasons why you would want it as real text and not images.

00:09:46   So you know, obviously the users want this feature.

00:09:50   >> So I think that the devil is in the details in how this is implemented because there are

00:09:55   are many ways that you could do nasty things or peculiar things in this. Like for example,

00:10:01   you could write a tweet and then have like 10,000 characters of @mentions.

00:10:06   Yeah, making it easier for people to spam things. I think, I mean I should mention also

00:10:12   that I wrote a piece on Six Colors about Notes app on the iPhone because this is, it turns

00:10:18   out, you can't unsee it once you hear this, but it is the most popular way for people

00:10:22   to do text shots on Twitter.

00:10:24   And especially when I--

00:10:25   - That's what I'm on Instagram.

00:10:26   - Yeah, yeah, see, so it's, and I noticed it a lot for football players, college football

00:10:33   players in the US when they commit to go to the NFL draft or when they're high school

00:10:38   players and they're committing to college or things like that.

00:10:40   A lot of athlete announcements are done this way where they take screenshots.

00:10:43   - I see what you're saying.

00:10:44   - They write a note in notes.app and take screenshots of it and then they post that

00:10:47   to Twitter.

00:10:48   It's a thing.

00:10:49   And then I wrote about this and not four hours later Jack Dorsey posted his thing about how

00:10:54   Twitter was considering this and his was a screenshot from Notes.

00:10:58   Which was fantastic, I thought.

00:10:59   I loved that he actually commented on it, right?

00:11:03   And basically just saying, "Look, this is where we started.

00:11:05   We started with it because it was a restriction.

00:11:09   We loved it, like the 140 characters, but the idea of what people are doing right now

00:11:14   with these screenshots, like what he's doing, it's not optimal, you know, it can't be searched

00:11:18   or anything like that."

00:11:19   They want to evolve the product, they're going to make sure they stay true to the core of

00:11:23   it, but they want to add more features.

00:11:25   And I think it's great, and what I really love is that they say we're going to tell

00:11:29   developers well in advance so they can prepare accordingly.

00:11:31   Yeah, yeah, that was an interesting little tip of the cap to what we were talking about

00:11:36   next week, about working with developers on this.

00:11:39   I'm going to guess that the way they're going to do this, a lot of people just assumed it

00:11:43   means your tweets are going to be 10,000 characters in length, but I'm going to guess that one

00:11:47   of two things is going to happen here.

00:11:49   you will still have a hundred and forty characters for your tweet, but you'll be able to add a text attachment or a read more

00:11:55   Back in blogging like for if you're using Mars editor or something and you know a lot of blogging systems have like the extended entry field

00:12:03   Which is essentially you know more of on this after the jump kind of things in the old blog days, right?

00:12:08   It'll be something like that where basically you can write a tweet

00:12:12   But you can also attach

00:12:13   text and that text can be up to 10,000 characters and it shows as a preview that there's more

00:12:19   text and you have to click to read more or they may just do it where above 140 characters

00:12:24   you get a warning that it's going to be truncated which is like some of those services like

00:12:29   Twitlonger do that where and I actually don't like that as much because what you end up

00:12:34   with is people crafting, they don't craft the first 140.

00:12:39   They just don't pay attention.

00:12:41   And they basically say, you know, "Too bad for you.

00:12:43   If you want to know what this sentence says, click on this link to go to this other service."

00:12:47   And I hate that.

00:12:48   So I would rather that Twitter give you a hard limit at 140 and then have this, you

00:12:54   know, "say more" kind of text attachment.

00:12:57   And that way, when you're in a Twitter client, whether it's the official Twitter stuff or

00:13:02   it's a third-party client, what you'll see is just like with a photo attachment or something

00:13:05   like that, you'll see that there's an attachment to this tweet.

00:13:08   then you'll need to tap to read more instead of having somebody's tweet flood your timeline.

00:13:14   I think that's the way to do it. I think that would be good because the fact is people use

00:13:19   Twitter this way already. Some people, not everybody, not everybody does anything on

00:13:24   Twitter. Everybody uses the service different, but this is clearly a need where people want

00:13:28   to express more information on Twitter and they don't want to do it with a tweet storm.

00:13:32   And I don't really love tweet storms either because then that does fill my timeline with

00:13:36   with 14 tweets from somebody. I think this is a good combination where the spirit of

00:13:42   Twitter still exists because the main tweet is 140 characters and then you have the ability

00:13:47   to express yourself in a way that is searchable and readable by screen readers, indexable

00:13:52   in all sorts of ways. I think that's a better way to do it.

00:13:56   I think this would be great if they implemented it in that way, right? Like the idea of you

00:14:02   write like a title it would be and then you could add the rest but like you just

00:14:07   know that like they're in two different fields even right so you get your 140

00:14:11   characters then you get your 10,000 characters and when they come up in a

00:14:14   little time in a timeline there's a little button that you press and you can

00:14:17   see more I think that that would be quite nice I wouldn't object to that at

00:14:21   all yeah I think I think that's the way to do it and we'll see how people use it

00:14:29   it, right? Because that'll be interesting too, is like style-wise, how do people use

00:14:33   this? Do they just say, "Hey, check out this thing I wrote," or do they write a headline,

00:14:36   or do they say, you know, "I had some thoughts about this thing that just happened and here

00:14:40   they are," and then attach it. It'll be interesting to see how that would evolve too if they do

00:14:44   this. But I think it's a good move because the text shot thing, it's just, it's a thing.

00:14:49   It's a real thing where people are trying to... Sometimes they're quoting other sites,

00:14:53   and that's problematic but not as problematic, but sometimes they are literally just writing

00:14:57   things and putting them on Twitter. And although I am not a big advocate of that, I'm somebody

00:15:07   who has a lot of different outlets where I can express myself without putting it on Twitter

00:15:13   at length, but not everybody does. And I think you're seeing a group of people who want to

00:15:20   do this and use the service this way. And I think it would be a mistake to do what I

00:15:26   I see some people do on Twitter and say, "Well, I don't want to do that." So they

00:15:29   shouldn't let people do that because I think Twitter is at its best when it

00:15:32   looks at how some of its users are using the service and says, "Oh yeah, we should

00:15:35   probably support that natively." And that's what they're doing.

00:15:37   Do you know what this feels like? This feels like an old-school Twitter move and you know who's back?

00:15:41   Jack.

00:15:42   Mm-hmm. Yep.

00:15:44   I think this is great. This is exactly what we're looking for. I think this could be done really well.

00:15:48   I'd be really interested to see if any, like, websites or bloggers just post their entire articles.

00:15:55   Yeah, I was seeing this argument about Medium today. There was a discussion about Medium

00:16:02   and I'm not sure whether it was just happenstance or whether they were seeing each other's posts,

00:16:06   but it was a bunch of people talking about Medium. And one of the arguments was, you

00:16:10   know, why would I not set up my own blog and post something on Medium? You know, Medium

00:16:15   is not my site. I don't own Medium. You know, I don't get the benefits of it. And there

00:16:19   was an argument that Medium provides you with exposure, but I think the question is, well,

00:16:24   the web is accessible from everywhere. So is posting on Medium good just because there's

00:16:28   enough of a social network on Medium where people are looking on Medium to find things

00:16:32   to read? I don't use Medium that way. I don't know many, any people who do. But maybe, but

00:16:41   this is an interesting approach for some people where it's like they're not even going to

00:16:45   have, they have no, a lot of people have no place to post things. They don't. They're

00:16:49   not bloggers. The place where they get their thoughts out on the internet is Twitter or

00:16:53   Facebook or Twitter and Facebook and so give it give them a space to do this

00:17:00   does it it turns a microblog platform which is what Twitter was always sort of

00:17:05   called into a blogging platform in a way and while I would not choose to have my

00:17:10   blog be Twitter because again it's not my service they have the content what if

00:17:16   something happens in the content gets wiped out you know it's it's for me I

00:17:20   I would be hesitant there, but I'm a bad example here, right?

00:17:25   The good example is all these people who are trying to get their expressions out

00:17:28   to the widest possible audience and their widest audience is on Twitter and they have no other way to do it.

00:17:35   Let them express themselves. In fact, they're doing it already just in a bad way. Let them do it in a good way.

00:17:40   Let them do it in a better way where it's not gonna clog up everybody's timelines because there's gonna be a way to put it in

00:17:45   there as an attachment,

00:17:46   But to let them do it and just embrace the fact that this is a way people want to use Twitter if I'm at Twitter

00:17:52   I like to find ways that people like Twitter and encourage them to continue to use it that way

00:17:57   But it's like oh, yeah, you you all of you future millionaire

00:18:01   Athletes want to use Twitter to announce what you're doing. We're gonna make that even easier for you

00:18:06   You're not gonna have to use the Apple Notes app anymore

00:18:08   It's like it for me if I wanted to post something somewhere

00:18:12   I would want to post it on Twitter rather than Medium if I was going to post something

00:18:16   like this somewhere because Twitter for me feels more like my home on the internet than

00:18:21   Medium does. Like, it's where I talk, it's where I go.

00:18:27   You have more followers on Twitter than on Medium, right? That's the reality of it,

00:18:32   is most people have more followers on Twitter than Medium. Because who has followers on

00:18:37   on Medium, unless you're one of these brands that's posting on Medium, and even then,

00:18:43   are people really checking their Medium list, or are they checking Twitter?

00:18:47   For the posts that people link to on Medium, you're on Twitter to find links that people

00:18:52   send to Medium and other places. One last thing I find quite interesting about this

00:18:57   is Ev Williams, CEO of Medium, is on the Twitter board. And this is clearly a shot at Medium.

00:19:04   I think so, although who knows?

00:19:06   there's a... And the Notes app. Yeah, and then we're coming for you Notes.app. I don't know,

00:19:13   it depends on how they do it too, because do they style it kind of not particularly

00:19:18   styled? Do they create something that's more kind of medium-like? Do they provide like

00:19:21   an API so that blogging services can, you know, feed the text of a post into a text

00:19:27   attachment on Twitter so that you could post it at medium and say attach this to Twitter?

00:19:32   I don't know what the details are there, but I look at it and think that, you know, if

00:19:40   Medium is trying to give people a place to post, and it's pretty and it's got a nice

00:19:43   CMS and all of that, yeah, Twitter is a great place for people to post things instead of

00:19:49   something like Medium, if they just need a place to put their text.

00:19:52   I think it's clear something's happening, and we'll keep our eye on it, because, you

00:19:56   know, Jack has basically said they're looking at it, which probably means it's happening.

00:20:01   ends the Twitter vertical for this week.

00:20:03   Should we thank our sponsor?

00:20:06   I think that's a good idea.

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00:22:12   I'm so happy the mail bagging is back.

00:22:15   It's back.

00:22:16   Alright, do you want to know something that's not back, something that's going away?

00:22:21   I don't, but I know you're going to tell me.

00:22:23   The 3.5mm headphone jack.

00:22:25   This has been rumbling around for about a month or so.

00:22:31   We'd originally planned to talk about it a while ago, but decided not to because Jason

00:22:34   got really mad.

00:22:36   Yeah.

00:22:37   I believe what I said is these rumors are too early, and there's no point in me getting

00:22:42   really angry about something that Apple hasn't done. And that may happen today too, but it

00:22:49   feels like there's at least more evidence that this may happen. The rumblings are confirming

00:22:57   rather than denying that this might happen, so it's probably worth talking about.

00:23:03   So, in the last week there's been a bunch of stories, but I guess the most interesting

00:23:07   one is one posted over Fast Company. And the Fast Company article to many people, and I

00:23:14   think I feel this way too, feels like one of those anonymous sources inside of Apple

00:23:20   articles. It's very much along the lines of like, "This is gonna happen. We had a person

00:23:26   say it." And...

00:23:28   It doesn't feel like an Apple source to me. It feels like a Cirrus Logic source to me.

00:23:34   That's the company prominently named in this story by Mark Sullivan, who I, disclaimer,

00:23:39   I worked with Mark, he was an editor at PC World.

00:23:43   But that's what it struck me, is that this wasn't necessarily an Apple source, this was

00:23:46   a partner source.

00:23:47   Okay.

00:23:48   Because Apple tends to leak from the supply chain and from partners.

00:23:51   Well, there's someone is leaking it somewhere.

00:23:55   But anyway, there's no smoke about fire and this one really feels like it's heating up.

00:24:00   the idea in case you're unaware or would like a summary is that for the iPhone 7 that it

00:24:06   will be slimmer and one of the ways that they're going to make it slimmer is by removing the

00:24:09   3.5mm headphone jack because it's one of the components that Apple has the least control

00:24:14   over and is one of the wider components on the phone and on the inside of the phone as

00:24:19   well it's like a little box that goes around the circular port which is taking up a lot

00:24:24   of space inside. So one of the ways that they're able to get rid of this and make the well

00:24:28   Well one of the ways to make the phone get thinner is to get rid of that port.

00:24:34   So if they do this it will obviously cause some issues in that basically every set of

00:24:39   headphones you or anybody else on the planet owns will not work with your iPhone unless

00:24:44   it is bluetooth or what is starting to happen now, lightning.

00:24:49   And so this is kind of where we're at right now and there's many things to discuss.

00:24:53   But Jason, I want to ask you first and foremost, do you think this is going to happen?

00:24:58   JASON HARRIS I would say I think it's increasingly likely,

00:25:03   but I don't think that the reports we've seen so far are quite strong enough for me

00:25:11   to be completely resigned to it yet.

00:25:14   I feel like, um, the-- although there was, I think, did 9to5-- I'm not sure if 9to5Mac

00:25:21   has done a story that it's gone.

00:25:26   They've heard that there's going to be cord-free beats with charging cases and stuff like that

00:25:33   ahead of the iPhone 7.

00:25:35   Which is an interesting story in its own right in terms of that it's really cord-free, which

00:25:39   is one of my big complaints about wireless headphones.

00:25:41   But we'll get there.

00:25:43   I'd say that again, it is a possibility.

00:25:48   I don't feel like super confident about it.

00:25:51   The Fast Company report, although it cites specific sources,

00:25:54   it cites specific sources saying

00:25:55   that there's no headphone jack

00:25:57   and there's wireless charging and it's waterproof,

00:26:00   which is a lot of detail and it could all be true,

00:26:05   but I remain a little bit skeptical of it.

00:26:08   There are some sources that are cited in that story

00:26:12   that are not quite right,

00:26:14   which decreases my confidence a little bit.

00:26:17   You know, it's another log on the fire here, but I feel like it's not enough to tick me

00:26:27   over into, "Yeah, that's probably happening."

00:26:29   Or at least not until it's certainly happening.

00:26:31   I feel like it is gonna happen.

00:26:32   Well, I think there's a good chance, because we have seen a lot of talk about this, and

00:26:39   there hasn't been any kind of counter-argument saying, "No, no, no, that's not actually happening,"

00:26:45   which oftentimes you would see, often I think from inside Apple leading out somewhere just

00:26:51   to kind of downplay something that isn't going to happen, and we haven't seen anything like

00:26:55   that either. So, you know, I think I'd say it's more likely than not, but I don't feel

00:27:00   like complete confidence that it's definitely going to happen yet.

00:27:03   >> Because one of the things that I think about when looking at this is, and I know

00:27:07   you don't like this logic, it's going to happen eventually. The 3.5 million--

00:27:13   The sun will expand and swallow the earth eventually too.

00:27:15   On an infinite timescale, Jason.

00:27:17   But the 3.5mm jack is one of kind of the last bastions to fall.

00:27:22   It is an older technology and it's just, nothing's happened to it.

00:27:26   It hasn't really changed in many ways.

00:27:29   It's kind of dumb, you know, in like the sense of smart and dumb that we have these days.

00:27:33   It is kind of a dumb technology.

00:27:35   You just plug your headphones into it and that's all it does.

00:27:38   And it has to happen at some point that it will go away.

00:27:41   It will be replaced.

00:27:42   So to be fair, it does also carry your microphone signal and your remote control clicker.

00:27:49   But all of that stuff is not like incredibly smart and it's been around like that for a

00:27:53   very long time.

00:27:54   Like that's been the exact same technology since the original iPhone.

00:27:56   Sure.

00:27:57   There isn't a lot of advancement in that field whilst everything else is advancing.

00:28:02   So it has to go away at some point and be replaced.

00:28:06   And I think that that time is—may as well be now as any other point.

00:28:12   So this is my question for you is, okay, it's been around a long time.

00:28:17   Something being around a long time is not in and of itself a reason to get rid of it.

00:28:22   There needs to be something that is gained by it.

00:28:24   I have really been amused—maybe not amused, maybe amused is not the right word—I've

00:28:30   been interested to see how, once these reports started to come out, a lot of people who follow

00:28:34   Apple and like Apple products have been saying essentially kill it with fire, we must destroy

00:28:39   this port, it is old and must be destroyed. And this question of like why suddenly now

00:28:43   is this thing that we've relied on and that is on every set of corded headphones that

00:28:47   have essentially that have been made in the world except for a handful of weird headphones,

00:28:55   why the sudden need to kill it? What… I don't feel like it has to die, like I don't

00:28:59   like it must die but it's like if it's gonna then why not now like we have

00:29:04   Bluetooth now Bluetooth headphones are getting better I just got my first pair

00:29:07   of Bluetooth headphones and I really like that what I don't like is that they

00:29:10   have to be charged right that that is frustrating because you could be out

00:29:13   somewhere and they die I still get all sorts of stuttering issues with Bluetooth

00:29:18   where things were and and that happened in iOS 8 happens in iOS 9 where things I

00:29:24   don't know what it is things get out of sync I have to turn my headphones off

00:29:26   and back on to get them to work right. Podcasts stutter, music stutters or stops and then

00:29:30   stutters again. I've had it happen in my car the same way. It's like, I don't, I'm not

00:29:35   entirely convinced that Bluetooth is reliable enough. It's better than it was. It's a lot

00:29:39   better than it was. People who remember it from not syncing properly, having lag and

00:29:44   stuff like that, they've, it still does actually have lag, but they built it into the OS. Like

00:29:49   if you watch a video with Bluetooth headphones on iOS, it delays the video essentially so

00:29:54   so that it syncs with the headphones and it works. It works quite well actually. I used

00:29:58   that over the holiday when I was cooking. I had Bluetooth headphones in and iPad playing

00:30:03   video worked great. So you know it's got issues. I'm not sure that Bluetooth, I think it's

00:30:08   arguable that Bluetooth is good enough. It might be but it's arguable and yes now you

00:30:13   need to charge your headphones. But then the other option is lightning headphones. And

00:30:19   It's like, alright, you probably don't really gain a lot.

00:30:22   I mean, I don't really know if you're gonna get any noticeable change in audio quality.

00:30:28   But I think with Lightning headphones, it's just as the headphones as you know them just

00:30:32   have a different port.

00:30:34   And I really do feel like the majority of people that own iPhones use the headphones

00:30:41   that come in the box.

00:30:44   So let's set aside the EarPod users, because I agree with you.

00:30:48   the majority of people use ear pods with the iPhone.

00:30:53   I'm one of those people, like I've just got those Bluetooth ones, but up until then I

00:30:56   just used my ear pods.

00:30:58   Yeah, the majority of people I would say do that, even though Applebot Beats, which is

00:31:02   an entire company whose business is predicated on the idea that they can build headphones

00:31:06   with this plug and you can plug them in anywhere, and that is a sizable audience and those people

00:31:10   spend money, but, and so that's what we need to talk about here, because I think you're

00:31:15   In the premise that if you just use earpods and the earpods that come with your iPhone

00:31:20   are lightning, then those people just don't care. It means that their fancy earpods won't

00:31:26   plug into their laptop or any other device anywhere, but it does give them earpods that

00:31:32   they can use on the iPhone, and so maybe it doesn't matter. But if you think about

00:31:37   everybody else, there are so many issues about compatibility because all the old headphones

00:31:44   are no longer compatible without a dongle. Any new headphones that get made that are lightning

00:31:48   only work without products, so they're not repurposable the other direction,

00:31:52   which is problematic. So you've got to buy an adapter. And I think that there are problems

00:31:59   with that. I agree that that's just for the group of people who are using third-party headphones,

00:32:04   but that's a lot of people. I don't think saying it's not going to bother EarPod users is a good

00:32:11   enough argument because I will completely grant that it's not enough for them. But there is this

00:32:15   whole market segment that is important. You know, Beats shows it. I think a lot of Apple users are

00:32:20   people who care about third-party headphones. And you end up in the situation where, unlike some

00:32:27   technology changes where it's painful and Apple does it early and then the world catches up and

00:32:34   then eventually it's not painful anymore, this isn't a transition that everybody's making to

00:32:38   lightning headphones because lightning is owned by Apple.

00:32:41   Nobody else is going to do-- lightning headphones are not going to show up everywhere to the

00:32:45   point where now everybody just uses lightning headphones.

00:32:48   It's always going to be an Apple thing.

00:32:50   And so then you invest in a pair of nice headphones and you either will always need an adapter

00:32:55   for your iPhone if they're wired headphones or you will buy lightning headphones and never

00:33:00   be able to use them on any other device that isn't an Apple device with a lightning port

00:33:04   on it.

00:33:05   I think that's problematic.

00:33:07   It's not a deal breaker, right, because you can have adapters. It's just, it's not the

00:33:15   same as a lot of other transitions where, you know, yes we got rid of Mac, ADB and serial

00:33:23   and went to USB, but everybody went to USB so in the end the pain kind of went away.

00:33:28   That's not the case here.

00:33:29   It's a quick question for you, and we'll get back to this. What happens to Macs? Did I

00:33:35   I get lightning bolts on them? Maybe? I don't know and the problem there too is

00:33:40   that then so are you then forced to buy an adapter that has a mini jack on it so

00:33:44   you can plug in some external speakers? If you're at a yeah yeah I mean if

00:33:49   you're at a party with your iPhone and there's a speaker that you can plug into

00:33:54   to play or in a conference room or something and you don't have your audio

00:33:57   adapter with you you can't plug in your iPhone to the speaker system it's

00:34:02   there's a lot of that but yeah the Mac I think that's a real question is

00:34:05   what's happening with lightning and if Apple does this and puts lightning on

00:34:09   the iPhone lightning is the only audio connector on the iPhone 7 also I have

00:34:14   some questions about what that means for the future of lightning because that

00:34:19   would seem to me to suggest that lightning will be around for a long time

00:34:22   and it's weird because there's also USB C which Apple at least adopted with the

00:34:27   with the the MacBook and it's very similar but not the same as lightning so

00:34:33   So, how do they get along? Will you see a Macbook that's got Lightning and USB-C on

00:34:38   it?

00:34:39   I really don't see Apple mov- 'cause I've heard people mentioning this and considering

00:34:44   this. I don't see Apple moving to USB-C on iOS devices. I just don't see it happening.

00:34:49   They will be on Lightning for as long as USB-C is around, in my opinion.

00:34:53   So do Macs get Lightning ports?

00:34:56   I think that they do. I think that they do. If they're gonna start saying, like, the-

00:35:02   Because it will mix the message, right?

00:35:04   Because when they announce the iPhone 7, they will say that it's the best way to listen

00:35:08   to music, is by using the lightning port or Bluetooth.

00:35:12   So continuing to have headphone ports on Macs would be kind of weird, I think, in that regard.

00:35:17   Or then you have to have like a 3.5mm jack and a lightning port and Bluetooth, right?

00:35:22   That's the only way it works.

00:35:24   When you think about the keyboard and the trackpad and the mouse all charging via lightning,

00:35:28   those are all Mac products that charge via Lightning. You could argue that the writing

00:35:32   is on the wall there, that Lightning is coming to the Mac because the peripherals already

00:35:36   -- Mac peripherals already have Lightning ports on them.

00:35:39   But you can't -- there aren't Lightning-to-Lightning connectors, are there?

00:35:42   Not yet, but if there was a Lightning port on the Mac, there would be, right?

00:35:45   Then they could -- I don't know if it could -- if it would work, but then you could just

00:35:48   have Lightning ports in the plugs as well instead of USB.

00:35:51   You could. You could. Or the answer could just be, look, it's USB, and we also sell

00:35:55   an audio adapter for USB because USB and Thunderbolt will go out to audio. My audio actually doesn't

00:36:03   come from my Mac because I've got this Thunderbolt hub. So the speaker on my desk is fed by the

00:36:09   Thunderbolt hub, not from my Mac. So it's already using an adapter.

00:36:12   >> Yeah, mine goes through USB as well because I use the pre-to and all my equipment.

00:36:18   >> So I did want to mention while we're talking about this that why you make this change,

00:36:25   I do think you have to ask the question, "What is gained?" And I think Apple is going to

00:36:29   have to sell that. Apple is going to have to say, "Here's why we did it. Here's the benefit."

00:36:33   Because if the benefit is, "Well, it's thinner, so we dumped it. Sorry, suckers. That's not

00:36:36   good enough." They're going to sell this, right?

00:36:41   There'll be some software features that they'll say couldn't have existed otherwise that we

00:36:46   don't see yet.

00:36:47   I saw some posts this last week where suddenly people were talking about noise cancelling

00:36:54   regard to this move and I thought well that's interesting because that seems to

00:36:57   have come out of nowhere and I wonder if that is the start of the Apple

00:37:02   explanation campaign of like why would you do that but I think you need that I

00:37:07   think you need the reasons why like like you said the headphone jack is dumb with

00:37:11   something like a lightning connector you could add more stuff outboard you could

00:37:15   you could you know because because lightning is configurable you could have

00:37:20   have all sorts of things happen in those lightning devices that were smarter than

00:37:24   standard headphones can really be with the headphone jack and maybe noise

00:37:28   cancellation is part of that. I wonder if you could provide more power so that

00:37:32   if you built hardware that needed more power for sensors or microphones or

00:37:36   noise cancelling or something. I'm not sure if lightning can provide more power

00:37:39   I would assume that it can. So there are probably reasons and Apple's going

00:37:44   to need to make that case. Like here's why we did this and why you shouldn't be

00:37:48   angry at us because you get benefits by switching to this.

00:37:52   Hooray, we're providing all these good things for the user.

00:37:55   What we will hear from some people who are already

00:38:00   sort of defending this move that hasn't happened yet

00:38:02   is stuff that's completely misinformed.

00:38:04   And the one that really kills me is that,

00:38:06   well, these will be a pure digital connection

00:38:07   instead of the analog connection in the headphone jack.

00:38:10   And that's completely wrong

00:38:13   'cause headphones are fundamentally analog

00:38:15   'cause sound is fundamentally analog.

00:38:17   All you're really doing,

00:38:18   at some point there are wires going to speakers, right?

00:38:20   So the question is, audio has to be converted

00:38:23   through a digital audio converter, a DAC,

00:38:26   and there's a really good DAC in the iPhone.

00:38:29   And so you could move the DAC out into the headphones,

00:38:33   although that's really expensive,

00:38:35   and my understanding is Lightning has

00:38:38   an analog audio pass-through already.

00:38:40   So presumably, in most cases,

00:38:42   you would pass through analog audio

00:38:45   from the iPhone out to the headphones anyway.

00:38:47   presumably you would do that. So, and even if you didn't, you would still need to convert

00:38:51   digital to analog in order to get it in the headphone speakers. So the DAC, the digital

00:39:00   to analog converter, is, it has to be a part of the process anyway. So if somebody tells

00:39:06   you it's pure digital, until it's like going directly into your brain, I guess your brain

00:39:10   isn't even digital, your brain is also analog. So, no, that is not a reason that it's now

00:39:16   now not in analog, we're going from analog to digital. It's a bad, bad reason. But there

00:39:19   could be good reasons. And I think Apple is going to need to make those cases, because

00:39:23   it would be possible to have a much smarter device if you attached it via Lightning.

00:39:28   Let's talk about adapters. Yeah.

00:39:32   They have to make one, right? Flat out, they have to make one.

00:39:36   Absolutely. Absolutely.

00:39:37   My feeling would be, you don't put it in the box, because that undermines the change.

00:39:42   Most people use ear pods. Yep.

00:39:44   They don't need it.

00:39:45   Yeah, even if people didn't, right?

00:39:47   Even if most people didn't use AirPods, you still don't do it.

00:39:50   Because it's like admitting that you made the wrong move, in my opinion.

00:39:54   Like if you put an adapter in, it's like saying you still should be living in the past rather

00:40:00   than coming with us into the future.

00:40:03   Which is why they didn't put any adapters in the MacBook box either, and made you pay

00:40:06   $80 for them.

00:40:08   But these ones have to be cheap, in my opinion.

00:40:11   They just have to be.

00:40:13   I've seen speculation.

00:40:14   What do you think the Apple lightning to classic audio adapter costs?

00:40:20   It should be $5.

00:40:21   Wow.

00:40:23   I was going to, uh, I I'm going to predict 19.

00:40:27   All right.

00:40:28   Uh, which is lower than I've seen some people predict 29.

00:40:32   I'm going to predict 19.

00:40:33   I feel like Apple doesn't make any products that are less than $19.

00:40:39   But, um, uh, I do agree.

00:40:41   It should be cheap.

00:40:42   Also, I saw that somebody made a really good point.

00:40:44   - Here's one, here's one for you.

00:40:46   - Yeah.

00:40:47   - Apple make an iPhone micro USB adapter in Europe

00:40:51   because they have to.

00:40:52   - Right.

00:40:53   - It's seven pounds.

00:40:54   - All right.

00:40:57   All right.

00:40:57   - Well, the old, let me rephrase that.

00:40:59   The 30 pin one, seven pounds, and it always was.

00:41:02   The lightning one is 15 pounds.

00:41:04   - All right, well see--

00:41:05   - So it's still cheaper than usual stuff that they do.

00:41:07   - 15 pounds though, that's a $20 product, right?

00:41:10   - Yeah, yeah.

00:41:11   They still do make a £7 one.

00:41:13   'Cause yeah, and it was £7 when it came around as well.

00:41:16   But then they moved to Lightning.

00:41:18   - I think the Lightning adds cost too.

00:41:20   I did see something that I wanted to mention,

00:41:22   which is it's also how this adapter works,

00:41:25   that if it's a rigid adapter that sticks out

00:41:28   half an inch or an inch, that's gonna be awful.

00:41:31   Just like in your pocket with your iPhone.

00:41:33   So I saw somebody-- - So I have a thought

00:41:35   about this.

00:41:36   - Yes.

00:41:36   - 'Cause I, yeah, I thought the exact same thing.

00:41:38   One of the reasons I thought it should be cheap

00:41:40   is you buy a bunch of them and you attach them to the headphones and they fix to the

00:41:44   headphones. So it's not sticking out of the phone, it sticks out the end of your headphones.

00:41:48   Yeah, but still, if it's rigid, then it's sticking out of the, um, it's sticking out

00:41:54   of your pocket. Yeah, but so a lot of headphones, like the

00:41:57   3.5mm jacks anyway, like on over-the-ear headphones, they're larger, they're quite large.

00:42:02   Yeah, but now you've got even more, because you're extending it. I think somebody mentioned

00:42:05   the idea of having it be a flexible cable, that it's as small as possible lightning adapter,

00:42:11   and then what it comes out with beyond that is flexible instead of just straight. And

00:42:15   I think that's a good idea, and I hope that's what this is if Apple makes this, just because

00:42:20   it makes it a little less painful for people to use. And I love the idea of having it be

00:42:25   cheap enough that you can attach it. I mean, most people don't have eight different sets

00:42:29   of headphones, so you attach it to your favorite set and forget it. I think that's perfectly

00:42:33   a perfectly reasonable use case and I think a lot of people will do that.

00:42:38   Stephen pointed out in the chat room that the MagSafe to MagSafe 2 converter is $9.

00:42:42   Yes, that's true. I was actually going to mention that, but that's like a piece of metal.

00:42:46   I know.

00:42:47   So, it's pretty dumb. But yes, that is the cheapest thing you can buy in the Apple store,

00:42:50   I think.

00:42:51   And what about what goes in the box now? What goes in the box? Do they go crazy and go Bluetooth

00:42:57   or do they put some Lightning EarPods in there?

00:42:59   Lightning EarPods. That'll be it.

00:43:00   Because this is where that 9 to 5 Mac story comes in, right?

00:43:03   Because what it looks like is Apple is developing something called AirPods, which they would

00:43:07   be the additional one that you would buy.

00:43:10   Like they used to be that in-ear, but it has always been the in-ear AirPods or iPhone or

00:43:15   iPod headphones that they've always done.

00:43:18   Yeah, so this is the markup.

00:43:20   This is the, you can, we'll give you a pair of boring old headphones.

00:43:25   I can hear the keynote pitch here, right?

00:43:28   It's the, "Well, wired headphones, they get in the way.

00:43:30   Look at all these ways that your iPhone headphones get tangled."

00:43:34   We made a video of how annoying it is to have the...

00:43:38   We got the lady from the Apple Pay commercial back to say, "Oh, no, my headphones have been

00:43:42   tangled in the doorknob.

00:43:45   Aye."

00:43:46   But imagine a wireless headphones and everybody will be like, "Yeah, we've seen Bluetooth

00:43:52   headphones."

00:43:53   And then Tim Cook says, or Phil Schiller or whoever says, "Aha, but they still have a

00:43:56   wire because they have a wire that connects the two parts across the back

00:44:00   of your your neck or the front of your neck and it's really annoying and it

00:44:03   bounces around and makes sound that ruins the sound of your headphones. What

00:44:07   if both of the things you stuck in your ears were themselves wireless and not

00:44:11   connected to one another? That's what we've done. I think that's what the rumor

00:44:15   is from from 9 to 5 and as somebody who's got a set of Bluetooth earbuds

00:44:19   I'm totally on board with that because that the wire that connects them is

00:44:23   really annoying and it does make noise and it bugs me. So, but then you've got two of

00:44:29   these things, you have to keep track of them, don't lose them, you're gonna lose them, and

00:44:33   they both have to be charged. So apparently there's a charging case, that's what this

00:44:38   thing comes with. Yeah, that has battery in it. You charge the battery in the case, and

00:44:43   then you pop them in the case and it charges. Right. I like that as an idea. That's smart.

00:44:46   The battery could be quite large really, because it's just a case, and you pop them in there

00:44:50   and it charges wirelessly. So whenever you're not using them you don't lose

00:44:53   them and they are recharging on the battery that's in the case and then when

00:44:56   you get home you plug in the case with the with the air pods in them and they

00:45:02   charge. It's smart. That's a very smart idea. And if it charges by

00:45:06   lightning all the better. Sure. They're everywhere right? Lightning cables are

00:45:11   everywhere in my house. I could just plug them in anywhere because like these new

00:45:15   Sennheisers that I've got they charge by mini USB. Yeah. And I only have mini USB

00:45:19   ports in like one room. Yeah my blue buds are the same way. Because I just don't

00:45:24   have as many requirements for mini-USB as I do Lightning. You can just pull

00:45:30   the mini-USB cable out of the BB-8 dock. Not a bad idea. That's what I do to

00:45:37   charge mine now. BB-8, I steal the power from BB-8 and charge my headphones. Poor BB-8.

00:45:43   Yeah, yeah. So it's, it's a, you know, I think that is an interesting idea and I

00:45:48   I think people will lose them, but I would be,

00:45:50   I would actually be excited about that,

00:45:53   depending on how they sound,

00:45:54   because I do wear in-ear headphones,

00:45:56   so something that I stick in my ear is not,

00:45:58   it's not a problem to me.

00:46:00   And when I use the wireless headphones,

00:46:01   although I like the fact that they're wireless,

00:46:03   they are, that cord that runs between them is not great.

00:46:07   I'm not a fan of it.

00:46:08   I would love to be rid of it.

00:46:10   As somebody who does use third-party headphones

00:46:12   with my iPhone all the time to listen to podcasts and stuff,

00:46:15   - Yeah, I mean, I'm not thrilled with having

00:46:18   to have an adapter for it.

00:46:20   And I think that, I actually think one of the big problems

00:46:22   here is that it feeds into public perception,

00:46:25   negative public perception of Apple.

00:46:26   And they're just, it's something you're gonna have

00:46:28   to deal with, is public perception of Apple is that Apple

00:46:31   likes to ruin the stuff that you own in order to force you

00:46:33   to buy new stuff.

00:46:34   That's the public perception of Apple.

00:46:35   People are still complaining about the conversion

00:46:38   from the 30 pin connector to lightning,

00:46:40   which I think is unfair because the 30 pin connector

00:46:42   was around all the time.

00:46:43   if you look at Apple's competitors like Samsung and you see what connectors that they put

00:46:47   on their products, they have been all sorts of proprietary connectors that are on a single

00:46:51   product and then they're never seen again. And Lightning is much better. 30-pin was around

00:46:57   for a long time. Lightning is going to be around presumably for a long time. I think

00:47:01   we just said that we think it will be. So I think it's unfair there. I think the defense

00:47:07   is a lot weaker with a move like this. I think this feeds into perception that Apple's making

00:47:11   all these headphones that are out there obsolete, it's forcing you to buy a dongle if you want

00:47:15   to use them. The party scenario I mentioned where there are mini jack plugs everywhere

00:47:21   in the world and now you're going to be in a situation like you were with a Mac that

00:47:26   doesn't have the right video connector on it where if you don't happen to have your

00:47:30   audio dongle with you for your iPhone, you can't plug into that sound system that you

00:47:36   were going to plug into. It just it's it's not enough of a reason not to do it but it's

00:47:43   worth considering as part of the the math that perhaps Apple's already considered about

00:47:50   what do you gain what do you lose and how do you sell it.

00:47:53   And I still think it's happening. I still think it's happening.

00:47:59   It's a very Apple move it's got all of the forward thinking you know it is it's like

00:48:05   a combination of arrogance and forward thinking that is required for this. And Apple's always

00:48:08   been very good at this, and Steve Jobs was great at it, which is, we want to drag the

00:48:13   world ahead, but the world doesn't want to go. And then you have that moment when

00:48:16   I say arrogance, then you have that moment where it's like, well, you know what, they're

00:48:19   going to come along with us. Even though they don't like it, they're going to come along

00:48:23   with us because we're great. And that's a very Apple move. And it would not surprise

00:48:28   me at all if they did it, because even though I can complain about it, and I'm not entirely

00:48:32   sure that I believe all of the reports and that it's 100%. From the beginning, it's been

00:48:41   very clear, and we talked about this off air a few months ago, that it is a quintessentially

00:48:47   Apple thing to do. So on that level, it's like, would Apple do this? Hell yeah, Apple

00:48:53   of course would do this. Will they do it? You know, probably, maybe, possibly, but it's

00:49:01   It's complicated and how they do it is going to be interesting to see if they do it.

00:49:05   How do they sell it?

00:49:06   How do they explain it?

00:49:07   What are their reasons?

00:49:08   Why is this a benefit to users?

00:49:09   And then how does the public react to it?

00:49:12   It'll be interesting to see if it happens.

00:49:14   We've only got like eight months to go.

00:49:18   Yeah, that's right.

00:49:21   Let the speculation about products to be announced in September begin.

00:49:25   Should we do some ask upgrade?

00:49:28   I think it's time.

00:49:29   I'll warm up the lasers while you tell us about our sponsor.

00:49:32   This week's episode is brought to you by Fizzle.

00:49:35   Fizzle is for anyone creating a personal business or side project.

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00:49:49   Chase Reeves is one of the founders of Fizzle and he's a very good friend of mine and he's

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00:49:55   He's given me lots of things to think about over the last couple of years as I've been

00:49:59   thinking about doing this. He was one of the people that pushed me to think about doing

00:50:03   Relay in the first place. He was very inspiring to both me and Steven when we were looking

00:50:08   at starting all of this. And the reason is because the way that Chase approaches this

00:50:12   stuff and the way that Fizzle approaches this stuff is in a humane, not sleazy, and very

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00:51:16   on your personal business this year.

00:51:18   Thank you so much to Fizzle for supporting this show.

00:51:21   [imitates air-hissing]

00:51:22   Ask Upgrade.

00:51:23   So, with Richard, do you know where your biggest share

00:51:27   of your audience comes from?

00:51:29   Is it podcast app, iTunes, or any others?

00:51:31   And do you use statistics?

00:51:33   Jason?

00:51:35   -Well, you are the co-founder of Relay FM,

00:51:38   so you might want to talk about this, too.

00:51:41   I did look up the upgrade statistics,

00:51:43   and for Upgrade Overcast is our number-one client,

00:51:47   and then after that, it's the podcast app

00:51:51   the iOS podcast app, and then iTunes, and then Pocket Casts. Those are the top four,

00:51:56   and those are by far the most substantial four in upgrade history and current. I actually

00:52:02   checked last episode and then also the aggregate for the history of upgrade, and it's basically

00:52:06   the same.

00:52:07   So for all of Relay FM, depending on where it's obviously different, it's the same as

00:52:12   those statistics. Like, you look at material, which is our Android show, Overcast is not

00:52:18   gonna be number one.

00:52:19   I would imagine Pocket Casts does very well there. It does very well.

00:52:23   The developer of Pocket Casts is on that podcast.

00:52:26   It's funny, I looked at the incomparable stats

00:52:30   and on the incomparable podcasts, the podcast app is number one.

00:52:34   And Overcast I think might be number two. It might be like neck and neck with

00:52:38   iTunes, but the iOS podcast app is number one.

00:52:41   And I'm not surprised because that is a more general interest

00:52:45   show. It's not just for Apple nerds, even though Apple nerds are my audience. And so

00:52:52   that's sort of where it started and so many of my panels audience too, but it's grown

00:52:55   and changed since then. And you know, not all Apple nerds are interested in pop culture

00:52:59   stuff and there are other pop culture people who are interested in that show that aren't

00:53:03   Apple nerds. So for that it's the podcast app. But it is amazing. And I would not be

00:53:09   surprised if this is generally true, maybe not as extreme as it is for us, but generally

00:53:13   true that the Apple podcast app is on iOS is the number one because it's on

00:53:18   every iPhone and the iPhone is huge and Google has not yet you know even when

00:53:24   Google Music assumes all podcasts bodily into heaven it's not going to be a

00:53:30   podcast app right it's going to be a an app called Google Music and so I feel

00:53:35   like Android still is not doing podcasts right until there's a thing called

00:53:41   podcasting, you know, a podcast app that is on the deck of every Android phone. So it's

00:53:47   not surprising to me that the iOS podcast app is sort of number one in a lot of places.

00:53:51   Do you use stats?

00:53:52   >> Oh, yeah, of course I do. I have to.

00:53:55   >> Yeah, I mean, we tell our advertisers actually how many people, you know, download, how many

00:54:00   downloads the shows get, and that's important. And podcast stats are a thorny subject that

00:54:05   perhaps we will never get into here, but if we do, it'll be another time. But it is difficult

00:54:10   measure podcasts. There are unique things about podcasting that make it not like other forms of

00:54:16   media or not like forms of web media because you can't measure exactly what people listen to. Now,

00:54:23   if you're somebody like Marco or if you're Russell with Pocket Casts and you make an app where people

00:54:29   listen, they could, and I'm not saying they do, I'm not sure what they measure. - Or that they should.

00:54:35   - Yeah, I'm not saying they should, but they could if they wanted to, and Apple could do this,

00:54:39   and who knows again if they're doing it or not, measure what actually gets played,

00:54:44   how long you listen to it, when you stop it, and you could get some very different statistics

00:54:49   about it. But from the perspective of the provider of the content, when you download

00:54:56   the file, that's it. Unless you're on a web page and you're sort of scrubbing around

00:55:01   and listening to it because then you can actually look at the web server if you've got sophisticated

00:55:05   stats and see sort of like when the web client is sort of streaming the file and where in

00:55:11   the file it's seeking and pulling down data. But if you're on an app, the app just downloads

00:55:15   the MP3. It downloads it and that's it. And then you never see anything more unless somebody

00:55:21   clicks through to a link in the show notes. And guess what? People don't click through

00:55:24   links in the show notes, mostly. So basically it's just a mystery. All we know is that the

00:55:29   MP3 got downloaded. We don't know if it got listened to. We don't know if it got redownloaded

00:55:33   somewhere else we don't know so it's it's an interesting thing very different

00:55:37   from the web where you know like every single click that happens yeah our

00:55:41   statistics come from our host our audio host which is Libsyn yes where yeah and

00:55:47   I and I I use Libsyn for the main comparable show and the rest of them I

00:55:51   don't but I have the RSS feed runs through feed press which has a podcast

00:55:58   stats add-on. So that's where I get my non-main-show incomparable stats to.

00:56:06   Solomon has a similar question. It goes like this, "AAC is ubiquitous and

00:56:11   superior to MP3 at low bit rates, but you choose MP3 for podcasts. I'm curious as

00:56:16   to why." For me, it's simply because not all devices can play AAC and we used to

00:56:21   get lots of complaints from people that used Android devices, so I decided when

00:56:26   we started Relay FM that we would be using MP3 because it is more widely

00:56:30   accepted and used. Yeah and it may be that in you know that in 2016 this is

00:56:37   not true anymore AAC may play everywhere but it certainly didn't used to and I

00:56:44   would go back to our argument about why do you get rid of the headphone jack and

00:56:50   and say, "Okay, we've got a format that plays everywhere."

00:56:55   Like literally, it's like any device

00:56:59   that's capable of playing audio can play an MP3 practically.

00:57:01   It is such a broadly supported format.

00:57:05   So if we're gonna switch to something like a AC,

00:57:07   what do we get out of it?

00:57:08   And Solomon says, "Superior at low bit rates."

00:57:13   What I would say to that is,

00:57:15   for spoken audio at the bit rates

00:57:18   we export our files. 96 kilobytes per second. I do 64 for incomparable 64 mono and it's fine.

00:57:27   I would say at the bit rates for spoken audio it doesn't matter. And even if the AAC at that

00:57:34   bit rate would be superior you probably wouldn't lower the bit rate and it's just there's no gain

00:57:39   to be made there. And it used to be the argument was the AAC had had chapter support and MP3 didn't

00:57:45   but MP3 does actually have chapter support now and clients are increasingly supporting

00:57:50   it including Overcast which is our number one and so yeah that's the reason there's

00:57:56   no reason to switch because it will lead to more potential incompatibilities and the fact

00:58:02   that it might sound slightly better and it probably doesn't sound better for spoken

00:58:07   words like the stuff we do it's just not worth it.

00:58:11   Jon would like to know do you guys still use specific RSS feed apps or just social apps

00:58:15   like twisted to keep up with news. Jason? I'm on the record about this. I don't

00:58:21   use RSS feed apps. I have never really reliably used RSS feed apps. Even when I

00:58:26   was using NetNewsWire I didn't open it a lot of the time. So I've always been a

00:58:30   bad RSS user. I'm still a bad RSS user. The number one way I read in a feed at

00:58:37   this point is Nuzzle, which I've written about. It's great. It aggregates links

00:58:43   from Twitter and Facebook and puts them on a page, a web page for if you're on a Mac

00:58:50   and there's a nice app if you're on iOS and it uses your Twitter account but you can also

00:58:55   see feeds from that other people are following. If you have Twitter lists it'll generate story

00:58:59   lists based on that and it looks like a news reader. It's a socially powered news reader

00:59:04   so it's showing you the headlines and summaries of the articles that your people in your social

00:59:09   media are sharing and floats the ones that are most shared to the top and in fact and

00:59:14   also sends out alerts you can you can have it send out alerts when there's a story that's

00:59:18   trending where a bunch of people are sending a story. In fact that's how I found out that

00:59:23   David Bowie died was I opened my email this morning and I had the daily nuzzle email and

00:59:28   the top shared story in the last 24 hours when it sent the email out was that David

00:59:33   Bowie died and that's and then I went to Twitter and I read a bunch of stories and a bunch

00:59:37   of remembrances of David Bowie but it came from Nuzzle because everybody on my timeline

00:59:43   was sharing articles about David Bowie after he it was announced that he had he'd passed

00:59:47   away. Yeah I found out on Twitter. Yeah I mean I essentially found out on Twitter time

00:59:52   delayed through Nuzzle because I was I watched last night I closed my iPad apparently and

00:59:59   watched TV for a couple hours and then went to bed and didn't check in and that was right

01:00:05   I would have seen it last night, but I didn't, I didn't, I just, I just went to bed after

01:00:11   after we were done watching TV, so.

01:00:14   Yeah, I'm Twitter only.

01:00:16   If it's, if I don't see it on Twitter, I don't see it anywhere.

01:00:19   Yeah, I agree.

01:00:20   That just works for me so well.

01:00:21   Yeah, it works for me too.

01:00:23   In fact, I would say I use just scanning Twitter more than I, than I use Nuzzle, but I do,

01:00:28   when I'm trying to think of, you know, I want, I want to see something that I want

01:00:32   to read.

01:00:33   What do I want to read right now?

01:00:34   Nuzzle because Nuzzle will find links that I didn't notice because I don't read every

01:00:38   single tweet that's in my timeline. I will miss things and Nuzzle's really great at floating

01:00:42   that stuff back up.

01:00:44   I didn't remember this or I didn't know this about you that you didn't use an RSS app and

01:00:49   that does surprise me because of the work that you have done in the past as well as

01:00:55   what you do now is very link-based and finding out what's happening and being able to respond

01:01:02   to stuff. It's just interesting to me that you don't…

01:01:05   If I was running a breaking news site or I was the news guy at a website, I would have

01:01:11   to do it. But I have never been that. When I was a news guy, it was always… it was

01:01:19   either in the days when instant reaction wasn't necessary, and there weren't, you know,

01:01:24   because it was before there was all of the web media that we have today.

01:01:28   It went into a magazine, like, "How instant can you be?"

01:01:31   I've got a month to write that story now.

01:01:33   Or I was in management and I had people who were the ones who were doing that and I was

01:01:37   not doing that anymore.

01:01:38   So I never had to do that.

01:01:40   And my social media sphere is really great at pointing out everything that is interesting.

01:01:45   So when I started Six Colors, which is not intended to be a breaking news site, since

01:01:50   then I have paid more attention to things like Nuzzle, because I do want to see those

01:01:54   links as they happen and get them posted before John Gruber posts them.

01:01:57   I've got a little personal like, it's not that I want to beat Grouper, it's like if

01:02:01   Grouper posts the link, I feel like there's no point in me posting it because I'm going

01:02:06   to assume almost everybody who reads my site also reads Daring Fireball. So I want to get

01:02:10   it before John gets it. So that's one of my little points of, or anything before anybody

01:02:16   else gets it. If I see something really interesting, it's usually not even news, it's usually like

01:02:20   an interesting, like a Dr. Drang post or something. I'm like, "Aha, I got the Dr. Drang post,"

01:02:25   then I'll link to it. So, or a Stephen Hackett post, I'll be like, "I got that one first!

01:02:30   He wrote about another old Mac and now it's on the site." So I pay more attention to that,

01:02:37   but still, that's why I never needed to do RSS. And I found it just, I just don't live

01:02:44   that way where RSS, we just get out of control. I was always very web-focused. I have my favorite

01:02:51   sites bookmarked, I would read them on the web once Twitter happened that solved that

01:02:55   problem entirely where all the good links were passing through. So I've never had to

01:02:59   really do it.

01:03:00   >> Last question comes from Ayyan. "Didn't you have Apple TV? It does not have Siri in

01:03:06   my country." Ayyan is in the Netherlands. "Is it still worth it to upgrade from version

01:03:10   three?"

01:03:11   >> I--I think so. I--I don't think--I thought this was an interesting question. I don't

01:03:18   think Siri is the reason to get the new Apple TV anyway. No I don't ever ever ever use it.

01:03:25   I almost never use it. I have to say, I'll put this on record now, I like my Apple TV.

01:03:32   I like it. I'm using it for airplay to the TV in the occasions where we're watching something

01:03:38   downstairs because we're watching like Seinfeld, which maybe you did or didn't know this internet,

01:03:44   In the United Kingdom you cannot get Seinfeld digitally, you cannot buy it, it is impossible

01:03:49   to do or stream.

01:03:51   So we are having to watch it from other means.

01:03:55   DVDs of course ripped via Super Drive.

01:04:01   So we're using it for that.

01:04:02   I use it for YouTube and stuff, like when I eat lunch I go downstairs and sit in front

01:04:06   of my computer and I like put YouTube on or something or Netflix and yeah I'm liking it

01:04:10   for that.

01:04:11   That's all I use it for though, just that top four row.

01:04:13   I never play games on it or anything like that.

01:04:15   - Right.

01:04:16   - But I'm using it.

01:04:17   - I think the larger point is that a lot of the benefits

01:04:20   of the new device are that it's faster,

01:04:21   it's got the new interface, it's got the new remote,

01:04:24   it's got all the apps, and those are reasons to upgrade.

01:04:28   Siri alone is not, I would say.

01:04:30   So don't let that stop you, but you still need to weigh

01:04:33   whether you're happy with your version three Apple TV

01:04:37   or whether you want to go up to the fourth generation.

01:04:39   But Siri, it's nice and I use it occasionally,

01:04:42   but it's not the reason that that product exists.

01:04:45   In fact, if you had given me,

01:04:48   had me list all the reasons to upgrade to version four,

01:04:52   that I would probably not have placed that high on the list.

01:04:55   - Agreed.

01:04:57   Right, so I think that wraps up today's episode.

01:04:59   If you wanna catch our show notes for this week,

01:05:00   head on over to relay.fm/upgrades/71.

01:05:04   Thanks again to our sponsors, Fizzle and MailRoute.

01:05:07   If you wanna catch us online,

01:05:08   you can go over to sixcolors.com,

01:05:10   that's where you'll find Jason's work.

01:05:12   He also is the host of Clockwise and Liftoff on Relay FM as well as a whole slew of podcasts

01:05:18   over at The Incomparable.

01:05:20   You can also find Jason on Twitter.

01:05:21   He is @jsnelljsnellll.

01:05:24   I am @imikeyke.

01:05:26   We'd love it if you checked out our new shows on Relay FM, Canvas and Remaster.

01:05:30   There's a couple of great editions there that you should go and check out.

01:05:35   But we'll be back next week.

01:05:37   Until then, say goodbye Jason Snell.

01:05:39   Goodbye everybody.

01:05:40   [MUSIC PLAYING]

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