252: Full Oracle Mode


00:00:00   (upbeat music)

00:00:02   - Hello and welcome to Connected episode 252.

00:00:11   It's made possible by our sponsors, ExpressVPN,

00:00:14   Hover and Moo.

00:00:16   My name is Steven Hackett and I am joined

00:00:19   by Mr. Federico Vatici.

00:00:21   - Hello Steven Hackett, how are you?

00:00:23   - I'm good Federico Vatici.

00:00:24   - Good to know, good to know, good to know.

00:00:26   - Yeah, I think everyone's good.

00:00:27   - I'm all right.

00:00:28   joined by somebody else. He is extremely under the weather. It used to be Myke

00:00:34   Hurley. Yeah, it's a husking shell, Myke Hurley. And we have limited Myke to

00:00:40   single word answers. So Myke, how are you? Fine. Good to hear it. We are going to

00:00:50   start the show with follow-up because that's what we do at the beginning of

00:00:53   the show. Good. You weren't asked a question? You will speak when spoken to,

00:00:58   sir. You should just say okay. Okay. I want to start with the MacBook Air. It was revised,

00:01:07   we spoke about it last week. And there were kind of rumors at the time that maybe one way to get

00:01:13   the price down is that Apple shipped it with a slower SSD. And it seems like that that could

00:01:19   be true. So there's an article over on Mac rumors, where someone compared the 128 gig version of the

00:01:25   2018 and 2019. Right speeds are the same or even faster. But read speeds seem to be up

00:01:32   like 35% slower and it's just tested on the base 128 gig storage is that we have numbers

00:01:39   for the higher capacities. This doesn't really bother me. I mean, these SSDs are really fast,

00:01:45   the T two makes them even faster. Like, I'm not particularly worried about this. I don't

00:01:50   think that you would notice this in practice, like, it's not a big deal.

00:01:55   Especially if you're coming from like an older MacBook Air, the old style,

00:02:00   everything else about this new machine is so much faster than, you know, you're not gonna,

00:02:06   you're not gonna miss that, that percentage. So.

00:02:09   It doesn't sound like a big deal to me. But then again, I don't have a strong opinion about these

00:02:15   things. So it's true. Myke, do you have an opinion about these things?

00:02:19   acceptable

00:02:22   ok good moving on

00:02:26   moving on we also spoke about zoom the voice over IP teleconference you know

00:02:34   phone calls on the internet software and how they had pretty nasty security bugs

00:02:38   including including running a web server on your max

00:02:42   that's what is it is it a bug if it's if it's been done on purpose like no it's

00:02:46   just a bad choice

00:02:49   Really bad choice. It turns out that Zoom software was white labeled to other providers like this.

00:02:57   So there are other companies like RingCentral and a couple in China that basically just bought

00:03:03   Zoom software and they sort of run the service themselves as a competitor, but I guess Zoom is

00:03:08   still getting money from them because they bought their software. Of course, that feature/bug/bad

00:03:15   decision followed that software to all these other all these other places and it now is being patched

00:03:22   as well and sort of the same situation as before these companies like ring central are patching

00:03:27   their software but if you uninstalled their software there's no way to do it because the

00:03:31   web server is still running so apple is using their mechanism to kill the web server components

00:03:38   of these other applications there's a link over on daring fireball that talks about how that works in

00:03:42   in detail, how that is on by default,

00:03:46   it requires no user action.

00:03:47   Like you'd have to go into system preferences,

00:03:50   software update advanced to go in and turn this off.

00:03:55   And I don't think anyone should do that.

00:03:56   I think everyone should leave it on.

00:03:58   Because I really believe that Apple only uses this

00:04:03   in the most extreme circumstances, right?

00:04:05   This is not something, I would imagine that the process

00:04:08   with an Apple to pull this trigger is complex

00:04:12   because they need to make sure that they're not abusing this power. And I think I agree

00:04:17   with Gruber that they seem to have the system done appropriately. Myke, do you think that

00:04:22   Apple is handling these sorts of things appropriately?

00:04:25   complicated

00:04:27   a one word answer that leads to other questions, but we'll never know.

00:04:32   It's I feel like this is exactly the kind of thing that I don't want to think about.

00:04:37   staying up to date on all the security fixes that I'm supposed to do myself.

00:04:45   Like in this case, you're supposed to stop the terminal, stop the server over the terminal and delete the files and make sure it never starts up again.

00:04:53   This is exactly the kind of thing I never want to worry about.

00:04:57   So I absolutely think this is the right approach of like issue this kind of silent update for

00:05:04   extremely bad security bugs and leave everything else for the standard security system software

00:05:11   update. And it feels like, you know, of all companies that may abuse this feature, it

00:05:19   feels like Apple is the one that I should be the least concerned about.

00:05:23   And it's interesting too, because Apple always, as far as we know, I guess, they've always

00:05:27   disclosed when they use this.

00:05:30   Maybe there's a—I mean, we would never know, right, if they've used it and not told us.

00:05:33   But I get the feeling that when Apple feels like they need to go down this road, then

00:05:38   they let people know, which is good.

00:05:40   I kind of want to believe that there's a secret—you know, what's it called?

00:05:45   The president of the United States has the football, right?

00:05:48   Right, the nuclear codes.

00:05:50   Yeah, I kind of want to believe that there's a similar thing for, you know, this kind of

00:05:54   silent security updates. It's like a secret room where you need to be escorted into as

00:05:59   an engineer with your computer, and then you write the code, and then there's a huge button

00:06:04   and Tim Cook looking over your shoulder, and he says something, you know, very dramatic.

00:06:10   I can think of a good phrase right now, but you know, something like "push it off" or,

00:06:16   know. I mean it's not very dramatic that one. Still, you know, I kind of, on a more

00:06:21   serious note, I'm really fascinated by the idea of like engineers working with

00:06:26   top security clearance at Apple. Like I love to be, you know, inside that process

00:06:33   and just see what it looks like. You know, you have these engineers handling source

00:06:37   code for software that runs on millions of computers, like when the whole FBI

00:06:41   thing went down a couple of years ago. Like that stuff is super fascinating to

00:06:46   me. Security and engineers and top level access to this stuff. There should be a TV show about

00:06:53   this. Maybe it should be on Apple TV plus. I have I have a sidebar about system preferences.

00:07:00   I know Frederick, you're going to be super into this. So sure. So software update used to be a

00:07:05   standalone app and they rolled it into system then it was in the App Store, which was dumb. I don't

00:07:10   want to open the App Store to update my OS. Oh, yeah, there used to be a thing. Yeah, weird,

00:07:15   right? Like for years, I mean, like several releases. Yeah. And then in Mojave, they put

00:07:19   it back into system preferences where it belongs. But here's my issue. Soft Why does software update

00:07:26   which lives inside of system preferences use the system preferences icon as its own icon? It's like

00:07:33   those those cogged gears from iOS. It's like that all the way down. And so I have a proposal

00:07:40   that Apple bring back the old software update icon, there is a link in the show notes, you can

00:07:46   go see this icon over in my screenshot library. Is it the globe? Yes. So it is a it is a sphere

00:07:52   with crisscrossing lines. Actually, if you kind of squint it, it doesn't look that unlike the

00:07:57   connected logo, honestly. Oh, maybe. So that's where it comes from. And it has arrows going

00:08:06   around it to indicate movement not unlike the relay logo.

00:08:09   Oh no! Guys, I feel like you need to have a talk with your graphic designer.

00:08:17   We have a problem. And here's the thing, the old logo still exists in Mac OS so again

00:08:27   there's some screenshots. The Xcode command line tools installer is in your

00:08:34   system library right now and it uses this old icon. So there's a screenshot of

00:08:40   that but then, because I was deep in the weeds at this point, then I remembered

00:08:44   the Java Web Start icon. So Federico I want you to look at this if you haven't

00:08:48   already. Open that up in your browser. It is a... if you could describe this please

00:08:53   for the audience. Exhibit B, we are looking at a cup of unspecified brown

00:09:02   beverage. Cup appears to have a handle reminiscent of a tea cup in that the

00:09:09   handle is very big and there are surrounding arrows that encircle the cup

00:09:15   in a clockwise direction. The arrows are gray and have a gradient and inside the

00:09:20   cup again there's a some kind of beverage. It appears to be an American

00:09:26   take on coffee or a very transparent hot chocolate.

00:09:31   So I am not sure what I'm looking at.

00:09:34   What is, is it because Java is like a beverage in English?

00:09:39   - Yeah, yeah, Java is related to coffee somehow.

00:09:42   I don't know.

00:09:43   - Okay.

00:09:44   - So if you are looking at this and you zoom in on it,

00:09:48   this is an extremely old school,

00:09:50   this has been part of Mac OS X forever.

00:09:52   It's so skeuomorphic that if you zoom in,

00:09:55   there's like a little half dozen little air bubbles

00:09:58   on the side of the inside of the cup

00:10:00   where the liquid meets the inside surface.

00:10:02   I love that detail.

00:10:04   Why can't icons be good again?

00:10:06   Make icons great again is what we're saying.

00:10:08   I think is what we're saying.

00:10:09   - Oh no.

00:10:10   - So Apple, if you want to replace the system preferences

00:10:14   gears for the software update,

00:10:16   bring the old software update icon back,

00:10:17   and look, we'll even let you use the artwork

00:10:20   because it's clearly so accidentally close to ours.

00:10:23   - Let's play a game, Steven.

00:10:24   You sent us a screenshot of this finder directory.

00:10:29   It's located into system library core services.

00:10:33   I am going to go through five of these

00:10:37   well-hidden Mac utilities.

00:10:40   And in two seconds, or three seconds,

00:10:43   just a very quick sentence,

00:10:45   you need to tell me what it does, each app.

00:10:48   - Oh boy, okay.

00:10:49   Can I be looking at this folder as well?

00:10:51   Or do I need to have it closed?

00:10:52   - Okay, ready?

00:10:53   Okay, image of image events.

00:10:56   I don't know.

00:10:57   Help viewer.

00:11:00   That shows the help files within applications.

00:11:03   Memory slot utility.

00:11:05   That is for the Mac Pro to manage the PCI slots.

00:11:09   NetAuth agent.

00:11:13   That I believe is used to log into remote like if you're using remote home folders, but I'm not sure.

00:11:18   Keychain circle notification.

00:11:21   It tells you about your keychain.

00:11:23   Can you pick the doc? I know what that one does.

00:11:25   Last one, last one, last one.

00:11:28   Jar launcher.

00:11:29   That launches Java applets.

00:11:32   Are you serious?

00:11:34   I think so.

00:11:35   You have an answer?

00:11:35   .jar is like Java applets, right?

00:11:37   Well done.

00:11:38   Jar files.

00:11:39   Sure.

00:11:40   Jar files, yeah.

00:11:41   It's Java stuff.

00:11:42   I knew that. I knew that.

00:11:43   Was a test.

00:11:44   There's some amazing things.

00:11:45   This is a kind of like a catch all folder.

00:11:48   Like there's the app that you use when you add a printer.

00:11:51   That's in here.

00:11:52   you know, the dock is in here. Like if you want to where the dock lives,

00:11:54   it's in core services, all sorts of fun stuff,

00:11:59   spotlights in here. Good stuff. So that's a,

00:12:02   that's a place that we worked. We went today.

00:12:04   I've been told by sources who typed it in the Google document that Myke wishes

00:12:09   that max could install updates on shutdown like windows does because no one

00:12:15   wants to restart their machines.

00:12:18   Do you think that would mean security updates would be installed less often?

00:12:22   More. Okay, we got that covered.

00:12:26   This is like, we have a, we have a, we have like an oracle and the oracle has spoken

00:12:36   single word answers. It's like, hey Mr. Oracle, what do you think about this? Yeah. Good.

00:12:48   So yeah, I mean, Jason's now in big trouble here.

00:12:52   If Apple brings back the six-color Apple logo

00:12:55   and calls it the six-colors edition,

00:12:57   it's gonna be awkward. - It's gonna be awkward, yeah.

00:12:59   - I hope not. (laughs)

00:13:01   I hope they call it like the, you know,

00:13:03   in classic Apple, sort of vintage Apple,

00:13:07   classic Apple, not six-color,

00:13:10   because that could be confusing.

00:13:12   - Yeah, this is a weird rumor.

00:13:13   So MacRumors has this, and I love this.

00:13:16   In the article, they say this could very well be untrue.

00:13:20   Which is like, is that how they report rumors?

00:13:24   That's great.

00:13:25   - I like that there's a risk component involved

00:13:28   with this rumor.

00:13:29   It's like we're playing roulette here.

00:13:31   - Except there's no real consequences, right?

00:13:33   Like is the logo on the new laptops the colors?

00:13:36   I don't know.

00:13:37   Like the very low stake.

00:13:38   I think it is exciting.

00:13:39   So the rumor says that Apple could reintroduce

00:13:42   its classic rainbow logo to some of its new products

00:13:45   early as this year and they have mock-ups of course of the iPhone XR but

00:13:51   next year's iPhone XR so not without the no this is this year she's got the blue

00:13:56   one in there so rainbow logos on that and then a what is a shockingly shiny

00:14:02   MacBook Pro with no bezels and the back seems to be like a mirrored stainless

00:14:06   steel Apple please do not ship this laptop with a stainless steel lid but if

00:14:10   they put that aside, a glowing rainbow Apple logo on the back. I think these look

00:14:17   awesome. I for a long time, Jason does that did this on his old MacBook Air,

00:14:22   there was like vinyl stickers that you could cut out and put over your Apple

00:14:25   logo on your laptop so it was it was the six color logo. I love this and I think

00:14:31   Apple should do it and you know what I think it's I think it's a good idea.

00:14:35   I would honestly consider one because it looks fun and vintage and I like that

00:14:40   even though I actually never lived through the six-color Apple era, I like to pretend I did,

00:14:47   or that I knew about it, at least. So I would actually consider one, and it could be a fun way

00:14:56   to sort of spice up the lineup a little more. Instead of the classic red and blue and white

00:15:02   that we have now, they could go beyond that and do something a little more extra, something a

00:15:08   a little nicer. So this could be fun. I like it.

00:15:11   Do you think this would be like a special edition or would this just be like how all

00:15:14   the iPhones come?

00:15:15   I think it could be a special edition. I'm struggling to find the kind of special occasion

00:15:21   for that special edition. Maybe there doesn't need to be one. You know, this is the same

00:15:25   company that celebrated the App Store's 10th anniversary on its 11th year with the poker

00:15:29   game.

00:15:30   That's still, that's still, every time I think about that, I die a little inside. Come on,

00:15:34   Apple.

00:15:35   So they might as well celebrate the iPhone, the iPhone's 10th anniversary the next year.

00:15:41   So a couple years off now.

00:15:43   Myke, is this something that you would buy?

00:15:45   Yes.

00:15:46   Good to know.

00:15:47   Good.

00:15:48   Very good.

00:15:49   Before we move on, we are recording this on July 17th.

00:15:51   August is quickly approaching and August, as you may know, is Relay's anniversary month.

00:15:57   The network will turn five years old this August, which is hard to believe.

00:16:02   We're going to do we're doing several things to mark the occasion one you know about we're doing a live show in San Francisco

00:16:07   We would love if you would come out we sell some tickets for sale

00:16:11   We are going to have a wide range of relay hosts doing a whole bunch of different things

00:16:17   So this is not like a live connected

00:16:19   We've done that for this year, and we've put that back in the box for probably a long time because Federico can't get any more tattoos

00:16:26   He's almost out of body space so those are now

00:16:29   You would like to think so. Yeah, sweet sweet neck tattoo, but it's gonna be like a hodgepodge of relay

00:16:35   Content and hosts we're looking forward to that. So there's a link in the show notes

00:16:38   August also is sort of our membership drive

00:16:42   We're gonna be talking about this more in the coming weeks

00:16:44   But every episode does every show does a special members only episode

00:16:48   So we are hard at work on planning those as a lot of fun stuff coming so you can learn more about that at relay.fm/membership

00:16:56   And there's probably some more stuff coming that I can't talk about but it's gonna be awesome

00:17:00   So those links are all in the show notes

00:17:03   We're going to move on to our we basically have a collection of tiny topics this week. It's kind of a weird week

00:17:09   We've got a sort of a grab bag of stuff

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00:18:38   Our thanks to ExpressVPN for their support of connected and all of Relay FM. Tiny topic number one,

00:18:44   And this is I was I would say inspired

00:18:46   But basically I just ripped it off from another podcast Dubai Friday recently on episode 140 had a conversation about how

00:18:53   They name their devices and I realized in the 26 years of doing the show together

00:18:59   I'm not sure we've ever talked about this and

00:19:02   So Federico, let's start with you. How do you name your devices? Well, I try to

00:19:09   brand my devices with my name as much as possible because I don't have an ego problem.

00:19:16   Therefore my phone is called either "Tichi Max" or "Max Tichi".

00:19:23   Lately I've been playing around with "Max Tichi" more and of course it's camel cased so no space between them.

00:19:30   Sort of like you would write "Max Stories" for example. So "Max Tichi" is the name of my phone.

00:19:37   My AirPods are the T-chipods. So of course, you know, they go well together.

00:19:42   Take a different approach with the iPad for some reason.

00:19:45   Because I have two, I have the 12.9 and 11 inch Pro, I call them Big Pro and Small Pro and

00:19:52   again, camel case, no space. And the Mac Mini is just called Mini so that when I'm on my home network

00:19:59   I can just type in mini.local and it can, you know, SMB or

00:20:02   SSH connects to my Mac Mini like that because it's just called Mini.

00:20:06   I don't have a strong preference for the Apple Watch. I think in previous years I used to rename

00:20:12   Federico's Apple Watch, which is a default name, to like Series 3 or Series 4,

00:20:18   but I haven't done it since my last restore of WatchOS, so I should pay attention to that again.

00:20:24   Again, I'm not too happy with my big pro/small pro naming scheme. I prefer the iPhone one and the AirPods one. It's very fun.

00:20:30   Oh, and the Apple TV? It's called Big TV,

00:20:33   Because it's connected to a big television set like 55 inches. So it's a big TV

00:20:37   And that's how I name things. I feel like your iPad names are probably the weakest part of that system

00:20:43   Maybe you do like big t.t small t.t

00:20:47   You know, I don't know but that but that would imply a big me in a small me, but you have max t.t

00:20:54   So I don't know maximum Federica. Yeah, and that's and that's good. You don't want minimum t.t, right?

00:21:02   Mine is really simple and pretty boring.

00:21:07   I basically just stick my Twitter handle ISMH in front of it. So like my

00:21:11   Mac Pro is ISMH 15. It's 15 inch. My iMac Pro is ISMH Pro. iPad is ISMH 11.

00:21:19   My phone is ISMH 10S. Very boring.

00:21:22   I've done that for years, you know. I used to, if I broke a phone then I would name

00:21:28   its replacement, I would increase the number,

00:21:32   so like ISMH seven plus two, but that got out of hand.

00:21:36   And then every time I saw my phone's name,

00:21:38   I was reminded of my occasional drop damage.

00:21:43   So I got rid of that system because it made me sad.

00:21:46   Myke, in a single word, do you have a naming scheme

00:21:51   for your devices?

00:21:52   - No.

00:21:54   - Do you wish you had one?

00:21:55   - Yes.

00:21:56   - Okay.

00:21:57   on. Federico, tell me what is happening with Airmail. It's happening that

00:22:04   Airmail released a new app on the App Store and I should clarify that

00:22:10   Airmail Zero, which is the new app, is the sponsor of my website this week and it's

00:22:16   a new client that works exclusively with Gmail. I haven't really paid much

00:22:21   attention to this, first of all because I don't handle my sponsorships and second

00:22:27   because I'm busy writing my iOS review.

00:22:29   My understanding is that in doing this and in updating,

00:22:33   they have released a new app,

00:22:35   but they've also updated the business model

00:22:36   for the standard Airmel app experience.

00:22:40   And they, in doing this,

00:22:43   they have rethought some of the decisions

00:22:47   around charging for features.

00:22:50   And so what they're doing now is push notifications

00:22:53   that used to be available

00:22:55   as part of the standard RML purchase until last week,

00:23:00   basically, they now require an annual

00:23:03   or monthly subscription.

00:23:04   So it used to be a free feature,

00:23:06   now it's part of a subscription.

00:23:08   And there has been a lot of outrage

00:23:10   and a lot of pushback from users

00:23:12   and a lot of blog posts all over the web

00:23:16   about this outcry from users about

00:23:19   previously free feature becoming a subscription.

00:23:23   And I think that this whole controversy, it sort of taps

00:23:28   into all of these underlying feelings that people have

00:23:36   about subscriptions.

00:23:37   And I think it encapsulates what people dislike about

00:23:42   subscriptions.

00:23:42   And again, I feel bad for these guys.

00:23:44   First of all, because I know them personally.

00:23:45   They are Italian.

00:23:46   They are a small team.

00:23:48   They won an Apple Design Awards a couple of years ago.

00:23:50   And I met up with them at WWDC.

00:23:53   They are, as far as I know, super nice people.

00:23:56   And again, I don't say this

00:23:57   because they're sponsoring my website.

00:24:00   I just, I happen to know them personally.

00:24:02   They are fun and they obviously care about Airmail,

00:24:04   which I personally used as my client for a long time

00:24:08   before switching to Spark.

00:24:09   But I feel like they made, this is just a bad decision

00:24:14   and it was communicated poorly.

00:24:16   If you're planning to switch the business model

00:24:19   for a feature that people are already using in their apps.

00:24:23   You need to tell them months in advance.

00:24:26   You need to have a plan.

00:24:27   You need to have a blog post.

00:24:28   You need to outline a strategy.

00:24:29   You need to explain why.

00:24:31   You can't just release an update on the App Store

00:24:34   and people, when they next open the app,

00:24:37   they will be presented with a splash screen that says,

00:24:40   oh, and now notifications require a subscription.

00:24:43   'Cause that is just a bad business practice.

00:24:46   And it wasn't even communicated poorly.

00:24:48   it was not communicated at all, which makes it even worse.

00:24:52   And second, there's an argument to be made for the fact

00:24:54   that this is against apps or guidelines.

00:24:57   In theory, if you were to follow the law exactly,

00:25:02   you're not supposed to take a feature

00:25:04   that used to be part of a paid upfront app

00:25:08   and lock it behind the subscription suddenly

00:25:11   without any previous warning.

00:25:12   Then again, do all developers follow?

00:25:17   Does even Apple follow their own guidelines by the letter?

00:25:21   Not necessarily.

00:25:23   So there's a second argument.

00:25:24   I think the main argument here is the idea of

00:25:27   indie developers are struggling,

00:25:30   and we're talking about $5,

00:25:32   but it's not just the monetary amount of the subscription.

00:25:35   I think it's the practice,

00:25:37   and it's the leaving people with a bad feeling,

00:25:40   because I feel like, and this may sound,

00:25:44   it may sound ridiculous,

00:25:45   But if these developers warned people six months ago,

00:25:50   or last year, and they said, look, very clearly,

00:25:53   we are a small team, running push notifications,

00:25:56   costs us money, we need to start charging for this feature.

00:26:01   And here's what we're gonna do,

00:26:02   and here's how we're gonna handle the transition.

00:26:05   People, and I'm very confident

00:26:08   that people would have even paid $10 or $15,

00:26:13   even more than what they are charging now.

00:26:15   But you catch them by surprise,

00:26:17   you don't communicate at all,

00:26:19   you just bring up a pop-up that says,

00:26:21   "Surprise, now you gotta give us money."

00:26:23   And you just leave people with a bad feeling, you know?

00:26:26   And they get angry and they are frustrated

00:26:29   and they get upset, and now it's a whole mess.

00:26:33   This is my interpretation of the story.

00:26:34   - Yeah, I mean, I understand their position of,

00:26:38   you need your app to make money so you can keep building it,

00:26:41   and they've tinkered with it over the years,

00:26:42   business model. But so I don't envy that problem. But I think

00:26:47   to your point, there are better ways you could handle this. And

00:26:50   I think all of their errors come down to just the communication

00:26:53   with their users, you know, you can't surprise people with this

00:26:56   sort of thing. If you need to take something that was part of

00:27:00   the app and section it off into a subscription, you know, I would

00:27:05   think, are there other things you could do, you know, if you

00:27:09   you need to pay for the notification server, just for instance. Maybe you can leave notifications

00:27:15   in the app but have new features that are behind some new subscription. But it feels

00:27:20   like taking something that was there and removing it and putting it behind a subscription, I

00:27:26   think that's why people are upset. And I totally understand that.

00:27:29   Yeah, and look, at Max Stories we deal with a lot of indie developers. So we are very

00:27:37   aware of the struggles of the independent developer or the indie development studio

00:27:44   made of two or three people in 2019. But we also need to face reality in that if you want

00:27:52   to survive in the App Store these days, you may be an indie, but you need to behave like

00:27:59   a serious, big studio. Being indie does not excuse you from just charging money without

00:28:07   explaining anything. And this is something that I learned as the owner of an indie website years ago,

00:28:14   that just, you know, slapping this term, being indie, does not excuse you from following basic

00:28:21   business practices that customers appreciate and customers demand. And I feel like in this case,

00:28:27   this is a good example of indie developers thinking, "Oh, you know, the App Store is

00:28:32   is unsustainable, we need to start asking for money and everybody will understand.

00:28:37   And I sort of, I can sort of see how and why this might have passed as an acceptable strategy

00:28:47   years ago, maybe five years ago.

00:28:49   You know, these days when many more apps are based on subscriptions and it feels like every

00:28:56   other day there's a new subscription service or an existing product or app is switching

00:29:01   into subscriptions, even though you're indie, does not mean you don't need to communicate

00:29:06   it beforehand, does not mean you just can't go without outlining your plans. And so, you

00:29:15   know, the situation has clearly changed. Five or six years ago, I remember because I used

00:29:21   to do this, we would have criticized all those people that were upset about the developer

00:29:28   asking for money, for more money. But now, when a developer switches to a subscription,

00:29:34   which is the popular business model these days, it's just common to complain about it.

00:29:40   Because we are, you know, I think everybody has a bit of a subscription fatigue going

00:29:44   on, that's also a factor. So, and you know, there are a lot of arguments to be made about

00:29:50   whether it's Apple's fault, in that Apple is not enabling a more traditional, you know,

00:29:56   upgrade business model, that's a separate discussion, but in this case I feel like,

00:30:00   you know, with all due respect to the Airman folks, because it's a really good app, it's

00:30:05   a bit buggy, but it's always been buggy, we've always said that, but you know, it's got,

00:30:10   it's still got that kind of functionality that you cannot get anywhere else, but in

00:30:13   this case, they should have taken the time to explain what they were doing beforehand,

00:30:19   And they not only, I think they would have avoided all of this, they actually, I think

00:30:27   they would have been able to ask for even more money if they were, and it's not a matter

00:30:31   of being honest, just a matter of being proactive and thinking about it beforehand.

00:30:37   That's at least my take.

00:30:38   Yeah, the idea of having some sort of trust with your users, that is the heart of so many,

00:30:46   you know, the app store is weird, right?

00:30:47   There are a bunch of users who download an app

00:30:49   and they don't understand that there's a person

00:30:52   or a company behind them, right?

00:30:54   A lot of people think these apps come from Apple

00:30:55   or whatever, especially these like, you know,

00:30:58   if you're not Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram,

00:30:59   it's like, oh, I don't know who makes Airmail.

00:31:01   Probably just like some people somewhere.

00:31:03   And I think people, a lot of users just assume

00:31:06   that developers make good livings, and a lot of them do,

00:31:08   but a lot of them really struggle as well.

00:31:10   And I don't know where Airmail is on that spectrum.

00:31:13   But when you are indie and you've like crafted

00:31:16   this persona for yourself in sort of the ecosystem of users

00:31:21   who care about indie development,

00:31:22   like people who read your website or listen to this show.

00:31:25   And you do something to damage that trust,

00:31:29   like that's really hard to come back from.

00:31:33   And I don't think it helps Airmail

00:31:34   that they're in a situation where like,

00:31:36   they've built an app that is in a category

00:31:40   that is full of failure, right?

00:31:41   Like how many good mail clients have come and gone

00:31:44   over the years?

00:31:45   really hard business to be in. And part of me looks at this and

00:31:49   thinks, airmills done like, I don't know that I hope that's

00:31:51   not true. I really I mean, I don't I really don't wish that

00:31:54   on them. But if you're making changes to try to shore up the

00:31:58   business, and you do it in a way that burns a lot of user trust,

00:32:00   like that's a real, that's a bad combo. And I hope they pull

00:32:03   through this I really do. But I just worry about it. So best of

00:32:06   luck to those guys. But I think that hopefully they've learned

00:32:09   their lesson about about communicating clearly with their

00:32:12   users because that's a that's a pretty bad error in my book. Myke, do you think

00:32:18   that email apps are good on iOS or do you think they are bad on iOS? Bad. We

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00:34:38   Okay, this is going to be tricky because Tiny Topic 3 and 4 are basically about Myke, and

00:34:46   Myke is in full Oracle mode.

00:34:49   So Myke, I know you bought a new Echo show, which for listeners is the Echo with the screen

00:34:56   built into it so you can interact with your voice, but it can also show you stuff like

00:35:00   time, music playing, recipes.

00:35:03   Occasionally you can play YouTube videos

00:35:04   depending on how Amazon and Google feel about each other.

00:35:07   It's a pretty neat device.

00:35:08   The first one was really, I thought, really ugly

00:35:11   but I think they've come a long way

00:35:12   in their industrial design.

00:35:13   But Myke, you had an Echo as well,

00:35:17   I think in your kitchen.

00:35:18   And so have you replaced your Echo with an Echo Show?

00:35:22   - Yes.

00:35:23   - Is that because the Echo wasn't doing something you wanted?

00:35:28   - Old.

00:35:29   It was old, okay, and you can't stand old technology.

00:35:32   I know you get the heebie-jeebies coming in my office.

00:35:35   Or did it have some sort of problem?

00:35:38   - No.

00:35:40   - Okay, and the Echo Show resolves that, I guess.

00:35:42   - Yes.

00:35:43   - You also have--

00:35:44   - Hearing.

00:35:45   - You had a hearing problem?

00:35:47   Okay, this is going to be very exciting to edit.

00:35:52   - Yes.

00:35:53   - You have a HomePod as well.

00:35:55   Are you using the HomePod more or less

00:35:58   than the Echo devices?

00:35:59   Okay. Do you have the Echo devices stood their ground because they do things the HomePod

00:36:04   cannot do?

00:36:05   Yes.

00:36:07   Is an example of that showing recipes?

00:36:09   Yes.

00:36:10   This is difficult. I'm just working through the bullet list. You also, I believe, had

00:36:14   a kitchen iPad. Does the Echo Show replace that as well?

00:36:18   Yes.

00:36:19   Interesting. So you are showing recipes, viewing timers.

00:36:25   Groceries.

00:36:26   Groceries doing your grocery. Oh, yeah, because you use a grocery service that ties in with the echo, correct?

00:36:30   Yes, so the echo shows like a kitchen computer for you, really?

00:36:33   Yes

00:36:35   Okay, does it sound good? I know the original echo show

00:36:39   I was not impressed hardly with any of the hardware, but it didn't sound very good to me

00:36:44   Of course the home pot I think sounds really good. But does the does the echo show sound good?

00:36:48   Basie. Oh

00:36:50   So it drops the bass

00:36:52   Yes

00:36:54   Do you do you throw parties with the echo show no, why not

00:36:59   Boring

00:37:03   Wait

00:37:07   Don't answer this but you're boring or the echo shows. I will just move on from that. Have you found that having the screen?

00:37:13   Improves what you were doing with the echo before

00:37:17   Yes, I also know that the echo show does like digital photo frame stuff

00:37:23   are you utilizing that? Yes. It pulls images from what photo service? Like how

00:37:30   do you get pictures on it? Amazon. So you're uploading photos to Amazon Photos

00:37:36   I guess or whatever they call it? Yes. Okay and you've just uploaded a subset

00:37:41   of images that you really want to see there? Yeah. I don't know this is the

00:37:44   Echo Show a touchscreen device can you touch the screen and it responds? Yeah.

00:37:48   - Yeah.

00:37:49   - Are you doing that in the kitchen?

00:37:51   Sometimes?

00:37:53   - Yes, yes, sometimes.

00:37:55   - Okay.

00:37:56   You know, when the HomePod came out,

00:37:58   I think we talked about it on the show,

00:38:00   it was like, well, is there room for Apple

00:38:01   to slap an iPad Mini to the front of a HomePod

00:38:04   and call it the HomePod show?

00:38:06   And I think that is interesting,

00:38:08   but what's so great about Voices is,

00:38:10   in my mind, is that when you're in the kitchen,

00:38:12   your hands are dirty, right?

00:38:13   You've got some sort of meat juice on them

00:38:15   where you're cutting something up

00:38:16   and you don't wanna touch something.

00:38:18   Federico, you have a lot of HomePods, I think like six.

00:38:21   - Yeah.

00:38:22   - Do you have one in--

00:38:23   - No, I have three.

00:38:24   - Three, three.

00:38:25   Just remind me, is the, do you have one in the kitchen

00:38:27   for kitcheny type stuff?

00:38:28   - Yes, but it's way up on the shelf.

00:38:33   It's not near the meat juice, Steven.

00:38:37   - That's good.

00:38:38   I mean, the HomePods covered in cloth,

00:38:40   you would never get that out of there, honestly.

00:38:42   - Yeah.

00:38:43   - And Federico, you moved from Echo devices

00:38:45   to the HomePod just like I did.

00:38:47   Do you have any anything like in sort of like again like talking in the domain of the kitchen

00:38:52   that the echo did better or that you miss having moved to the HomePod?

00:38:55   Sidviel likes to say that the echo was more accurate in understanding our commands.

00:39:03   I don't see that. I think my accent is always problematic to an extent with this assistance.

00:39:13   I'm trying to think, is there anything that I missed?

00:39:15   I feel like it was fun to play around with the integrations,

00:39:19   with the echo, like you can enable a web service

00:39:23   and you have all these skills to play around with.

00:39:25   But then again, I enabled more skills

00:39:28   than I was actually using.

00:39:29   And it's also hard for me to compare

00:39:32   because since I got a HomePod, was it last year?

00:39:35   I think, by going all in with the Apple ecosystem,

00:39:40   multiple home pods and the watch and using reminders instead of a third-party task manager.

00:39:45   I don't see the advantages of having an Echo at this point. I don't use any services that

00:39:56   cannot be integrated with Siri and I use the Apple TV a lot now. I use Apple Music. Back in the day

00:40:04   when I was using Todoist and Spotify and all these third-party services made sense for

00:40:10   me to have an Echo, but it feels like at this point I don't miss it.

00:40:15   I guess you could say that I miss the -- something that is fun about the Echo, I think, is the

00:40:20   fact that Amazon continuously updates it and just like new models, new versions, new features,

00:40:26   it feels like more of a product in development, whereas the HomePod feels sort of like a mistake

00:40:32   that Apple made and that they've been trying to rectify over time, which is a very different

00:40:38   mindset.

00:40:40   But I guess the Echo has more of a community around it, of all the skills and new models

00:40:47   and new versions and constant updates from Amazon, whereas we're lucky if we get one

00:40:55   software update for the HomePod a year.

00:40:57   So it's very different from that point of view, but otherwise I don't miss the Echo.

00:41:01   pretty much how I feel about it too. I still have an Echo out here in the office just to

00:41:07   keep an eye on it, but I don't really miss the Echos in the kitchen. We have a HomePod

00:41:13   in the kitchen and one in the bedroom, and I have one out here, so I have three as well.

00:41:17   And really the last holdout for me was multiple timer support. And when they added that to

00:41:23   the HomePod, that basically solved my last issue with it, especially in the domain of

00:41:28   kitchen. Like you can name your timers as you can ask it, you know, how much time is left on

00:41:32   this timer or that timer and it keeps up with it all. And I actually, I think I might disagree

00:41:38   disagree with y'all's assessment at home. Like I feel like the HomePod does better under early

00:41:45   better listening than the Echo did. And I know like with the kids, the HomePod seems to understand

00:41:52   them better than it did than the Echo did. I don't, that's a hard to prove. Like I've done

00:41:56   no testing right but it seems to me like my kids when they ask the HomePod for something it gets it

00:42:01   right basically all the time and I feel like the Echo that wasn't true. Yes. Is that true with the

00:42:08   kids in your household Myke? Yes. Do you have any kids in your household? No. Okay just want to

00:42:15   clarify that. So it sounds like okay so Myke on a scale of one to ten, ten being the most happy,

00:42:21   one being the most unhappy. Where do you rate the echo show? Seven. Where would you rank the

00:42:28   old echo that you replaced? Six. Where do you put the home pod? Seven. Okay, wow, that's high praise

00:42:36   for the echo show, I think. All right, so we got through that one somehow. I'm just gonna,

00:42:43   I'm just going to call an audible and cut the next one. We'll come back to Myke and the iPadOS beta.

00:42:49   Yeah, because that was that was painful. Moving on, then there are some more iPhone. I don't

00:42:56   want to say rumors. But it's something so we talked about a second ago about the six

00:43:01   color logo coming back. But there are now some, what do we call these Federico like

00:43:09   production mod? Like what are these dummies production? Dummy, dummy, dummy units? Yeah.

00:43:16   I think so. So these are, they come out this time every year. They are not functioning iPhones,

00:43:26   right? But they are enclosures. I think they're basically designed for case makers to start

00:43:31   working on their products. And so some of these have come out. There's a video in the

00:43:37   show notes of an MKBHD video he posted last night of this, of two or three models. So the

00:43:45   for lack of better naming what we will call the 11, the 11 R and the 11 Max and we've seen the

00:43:53   these renders before where they're you know the the 11s have three cameras the R has two but the

00:44:02   camera bump is the same on both it kind of looks like an Apple watch is like slowly rising out of

00:44:08   the surface of the back of the phone what do you think about this look Federico and what do you

00:44:13   do you think about a third camera what you would want out of that? I love the

00:44:17   idea of a third camera right I think the more especially because I was sort of

00:44:23   not maybe bored with the with 10s and with the you know we've talked about the

00:44:28   pictures that come out from the 10s camera by default so I'm all in with the

00:44:33   idea of let's bring in a third camera and see what we can do so that sounds

00:44:37   fun especially if it's gonna be an ultra light camera I watched the NK BHD

00:44:42   video and it speculates how you may end up shooting like ultra-wide 4k video, which sounds

00:44:48   incredible on a phone. So I'm all into that, right? But this design, I feel like we need

00:44:53   to talk about it because it's not good. I mean, if this is, of course, we don't know

00:44:58   if we're going to get the person says, "Oh, you guys are all talking about, you know,

00:45:02   this is all rumors." Okay, sure. So to that guy, we respond that we are aware of the fact

00:45:08   that we are talking about rumors at this point.

00:45:11   Although they proved to be quite accurate in the past.

00:45:15   - Yeah, yeah, very much so.

00:45:17   - I don't, at this stage, I don't like it.

00:45:20   I think it is, there's multiple problems

00:45:25   going on here for me.

00:45:27   So let's just dispense with the mock-ups

00:45:32   that we saw until a few weeks ago.

00:45:35   The ones where there used to, there was a huge camera bump,

00:45:40   the huge camera square, whatever you wanna call it,

00:45:44   tile, I've seen some people call it a camera tile,

00:45:47   which I guess it makes sense.

00:45:48   But the ones with all the trypophobia going on

00:45:52   with the holes, that was terrible.

00:45:55   That was a terrible look.

00:45:58   I couldn't even bring myself to look at those mock-ups

00:46:00   because I very much suffer,

00:46:03   like I think everybody else on Earth,

00:46:05   I suffer from that, you know, the fear of holes.

00:46:08   Do not Google it, trust me.

00:46:10   - So what you're referring to is,

00:46:11   there are kind of two versions of this.

00:46:13   One-- - The older version,

00:46:14   the older version that used to float around

00:46:17   until a few weeks ago.

00:46:18   That was terrible.

00:46:20   - Right, so in that one, the island that the cameras are on,

00:46:24   you know, right now, like on the iPhone X and higher,

00:46:27   the cameras are sunk into black glass.

00:46:29   And so unless you are under direct light,

00:46:31   you can't really see where the lenses start

00:46:33   and the black area begins.

00:46:35   The earlier version of this, that raised section,

00:46:37   instead of being black, was the body color of the iPhone.

00:46:41   So instead of a camera bump, it's all black,

00:46:45   and there's lenses kind of embedded in it,

00:46:47   it was a camera bump in silver or gold or whatever,

00:46:51   and the lens is very noticeably kind of floating

00:46:54   in the middle of it, and it's not good.

00:46:58   I agree with you.

00:46:59   Not a good move.

00:47:00   And now the rumors seem to point to, okay,

00:47:03   It's the same sort of construction of camera bump

00:47:05   that we've had where it's raised,

00:47:07   there's a lip around it, and it's all black,

00:47:10   the surface is all black glass,

00:47:11   and the lenses and the flash and everything

00:47:14   are sort of embedded into that.

00:47:16   It kind of hides the details,

00:47:18   and it avoids the horrific problem that you described.

00:47:23   - I agree though with MKBHD

00:47:26   that the new version of these dummy units

00:47:31   also does not look great in that the camera bump is huge and it really doesn't look nice

00:47:40   because it's not centered.

00:47:41   He compared this camera bump to the one in the Huawei Mate 20 Pro, I want to say.

00:47:51   One of those, anyway.

00:47:54   And that looked a lot more balanced to me.

00:47:58   Because in the Huawei phone, it was smaller and centered.

00:48:02   And I think my greatest issue with these mockups is the imbalance of this huge camera bump

00:48:10   that's tucked all the way into the upper left corner of the phone.

00:48:15   It just looks like, it just looks imbalanced to me from a visual standpoint.

00:48:20   To the point where, you know, phones always had a camera bump in the upper left corner,

00:48:25   But when it was small, when it used to be a small bump, it didn't bother me visually.

00:48:32   It's gotten bigger and bigger progressively over the years as Apple has added a second

00:48:36   camera and made the whole thing, you know, the whole bump bigger.

00:48:41   But there was still like a fine line between the bump is bigger but it doesn't look visually

00:48:47   imbalanced.

00:48:48   And now when you have a square, it looks like half of the phone is one thing and the other

00:48:53   have is another device completely. And so having it be in the upper left corner really

00:48:59   does it for me. I don't like it. And I look at that dummy unit and I look at any other

00:49:06   Android phone including the Huawei one and I'm like, "Yeah, this looks so much nicer.

00:49:11   It looks so much better." If Apple were to go with this design, of course it's not finalized

00:49:15   and all of that. But I look at the Huawei phone that MKBHD had in the video and that

00:49:22   iPhone 11 dummy unit and the iPhone 11 looks terrible to me.

00:49:26   And then you add in things like, it's sort of a boring design because yeah, we get it,

00:49:30   it's the same iPhone 10 look with the notch and all of that.

00:49:33   Not a huge issue for me, but then again, I look at other, you know.

00:49:37   I was recently, I discovered, this is a quick aside, I discovered that in the mall that's

00:49:43   five minutes away from me, they replaced one of the shops inside the mall with a Xiaomi

00:49:50   store.

00:49:52   And the Xiaomi store is basically, it looks like a weird, like a, it looks like a bizarro

00:49:57   Apple store that in addition to phones also sells toothbrushes and like thermostats and

00:50:05   stuff like that.

00:50:06   And I was in the store because I'm actually intrigued by some of the smart home devices

00:50:12   stuff that Xiaomi is doing because I can sort of look it up to HomeKit and sort of make

00:50:16   it act as a bridge for Zigbee, which is another smart home automation protocol.

00:50:23   But that's a different topic.

00:50:26   And I was in the Xiaomi store and I saw the, what's it called, the Mi Note or the Redmi

00:50:30   phone, whatever.

00:50:31   It looks awesome.

00:50:33   It looks futuristic.

00:50:36   It looks new and it looks like the iPhone X looked to me two years ago.

00:50:42   And so I get why some people are saying, you know, Apple is still doing the notch, and

00:50:48   Face ID is better than anything else, but you look at these Android phones, and they're

00:50:52   all screen, and you literally do not see the notch, and you have the hole punch display.

00:50:59   I like that look myself.

00:51:02   So the combination of that, and with this huge camera bump that's not in the center

00:51:09   of the unit leads me to say if it's gonna look like this, not the best design, Apple.

00:51:17   Actually one of the worst that you've done in 12 years of iPhone.

00:51:22   So we'll see what they do.

00:51:24   But if it does look like this, I can already imagine, you know, even though they're obviously

00:51:28   not true, I can already imagine the hot takes of "Johnny Ive is gone, this is what Apple

00:51:32   makes now."

00:51:33   Even though technically this is a "Johnny Ive phone," people are gonna say that, because

00:51:38   that's how people think. So I don't look forward to that. I really hope that Apple

00:51:44   has some big surprise up its sleeve, even though at this point, you know, it's August

00:51:48   basically and we're gonna have an iPhone event in less than two months. It's very

00:51:52   possible. The design is pretty much locked in. The design was locked in months and months

00:51:56   and months ago. And if these dummy units are circulating now, it means that the design

00:52:00   is done and accessory makers have the, you know, all the renders and the CADs to start

00:52:05   making cases and whatnot. So it's probably going to look like that. And it's, I don't

00:52:11   know, it's, it's not nice to me.

00:52:14   I agree with all of what you said. I think it's awkward. I think it looks extremely unbalanced

00:52:20   with all of that to one side. I think being centered maybe would look nicer. But the,

00:52:26   the thing that kind of kills me about this is, and you touched on it, is that the rest

00:52:30   the phone is also just kind of the same. MKBHC actually took issue with something in his video

00:52:36   where he said Apple does a design for the 6 year and the S year and they change it. That used to be

00:52:41   true but it's not anymore. The 6, 6S, 7, and 8 are all effectively the same design. The 8 swapped out

00:52:49   glass for the aluminum back, but even the 10 is a descendant of the 6. It's got the rounded edges

00:52:56   And they've changed it over time, but the XS looks way more like the 6 than the 6 did

00:53:03   the 4.

00:53:04   They have kind of been in this place for a long time.

00:53:09   And I'd love if they went to something sort of inspired by the iPad Pro or the MacBook

00:53:14   Pro, you know, flat edges again.

00:53:16   Yes, that's going back to the 4 or 5 sort of generation.

00:53:19   There's only so many things you can do with these phones, right?

00:53:21   There's only so many things you can do.

00:53:22   I understand that.

00:53:24   But we've kind of been in this slippery bar of soap territory for a really long time,

00:53:28   and now they've bolted this abomination to the back of it.

00:53:34   But I will say this too, I, as you know, guys, and as our listeners know, I for a long time

00:53:41   was a person who did not use a case on their iPhone, and after smashing several phones

00:53:47   in quick succession, I've been using the Apple leather case now basically all the time on

00:53:53   my XS and it does make the whole issue go away a little bit like yeah there's a

00:54:00   there's a bump but look like I got my phone right here the Apple leather case

00:54:04   is this thick or even actually a little bit thicker yeah then the camera bump

00:54:08   and if you have the black leather case which is the one I use or a dark color

00:54:12   it's all going to kind of blend together anyways so like yeah it's really

00:54:16   startling when someone's just carrying a phone without a case but the case I

00:54:21   I think Apple relies on the cases to forgive some of this stuff and like to a degree it works, right?

00:54:27   Like the camera bump on my XS doesn't bother me when it's in the case, but if I carrying it out of the case,

00:54:33   I definitely notice it more and I think that will continue to be true, maybe even more true now that this

00:54:39   camera bump is basically the size of a small planet. I think it's more of a discussion on principle, right?

00:54:45   Yeah, like when you look at the design

00:54:47   in isolation, it doesn't look good. It doesn't look...

00:54:51   It looks like something has been bolted onto the back of the phone and that was it.

00:54:56   It's inelegant. That's, I guess, the word that I would use.

00:54:59   And it's not, you know, if we were to go all

00:55:03   Johnny Ive on it, I would say that it feels like

00:55:07   there's a disconnection in the purity of the object itself,

00:55:13   in that you have the main object, which is the phone,

00:55:17   and then you have this extra sort of this extraneous component that was added to it,

00:55:22   so almost like it was attached to it as an afterthought. That's what it looks like to me.

00:55:26   Again, I really hope that it changes somehow by the final release, but I'm losing hope,

00:55:37   you know, day after day. Myke, do you think this looks good?

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00:57:38   Federico

00:57:41   Apple is rumored to be getting into the podcast

00:57:43   Content business. There's an article over on

00:57:46   Bloomberg is saying that Apple is looking at this to go against

00:57:50   Rivals such as Spotify which of course bought Gimlet media and a bunch of other podcast content

00:57:56   companies and content creators over the last few months

00:58:00   Apple has the largest podcast player in the world. It is the most popular podcast client

00:58:06   And hats off to them for that. It's been a huge success for them

00:58:10   But they've been very hands-off in this particular arena you couple that with the fact that Apple is increasingly a content company, right?

00:58:18   There's Apple TV+ coming they're working with all these directors and famous people

00:58:21   So you can kind of see maybe they'd want to put these two things together

00:58:24   Spotify stock fell 1% on the news

00:58:29   Which you know is probably understandable and I'm curious Federico. What do you think about this?

00:58:36   I kind of a lot of ways we could talk about this

00:58:39   but what do you think about Apple getting into this business that others are already playing with I

00:58:44   wonder if

00:58:46   Exclusives for podcasts can fare better than what exclusives for music did

00:58:56   I'm thinking about you know Apple and both Apple and Spotify and Spotify they've tried to

00:59:02   Entice people to subscribe by having some kind of exclusive

00:59:08   exclusive content

00:59:11   You know Spotify at one point at the Spotify sessions

00:59:15   Going on and Apple was doing you know I think they used to do some iTunes

00:59:21   extras as well or

00:59:24   you know, timed exclusives at least on Apple Music. And I don't think, you know, for the

00:59:29   kind of scale that a music streaming service has, and the kind of demand that there is

00:59:33   for music, I don't feel like exclusivity necessarily plays into adding subscribers. In that, I

00:59:42   feel like whenever I see an exclusive album, you know, a title would be a great example.

00:59:48   There's only frustration around it, and there's, you know, people are upset because they are

00:59:53   unable to listen via the service that they're paying for. That creates a lot of friction

00:59:58   for the artists, it creates a lot of frustration among users, and it's sort of why we've seen

01:00:08   both companies sort of move away from that type of deal, doing the exclusives, because

01:00:13   it didn't benefit the bottom line of adding subscribers after all. And so I have to wonder

01:00:20   if podcasting, which has a smaller scale, smaller audience, doesn't have the kind of

01:00:26   expectation, you know, Beyonce drops a new album and the album is all available on Tidal.

01:00:33   People get upset. And it's a whole discussion of here's where, you know, and I've seen these

01:00:39   articles like here's where you can listen to the new Beyonce album for free or here's

01:00:44   how you can pirate the new Beyonce album. Here's how you can listen on YouTube. If I

01:00:49   If Ira Glass drops a new podcast on Apple Podcasts and it's an exclusive, I don't think

01:00:55   we would see that kind of backlash from people.

01:00:59   You wouldn't see the articles like, "Here's how you can listen to the new Ira Glass podcast

01:01:03   for free."

01:01:04   Like, people, I feel like there's, you know, the smaller scale and the smaller audience

01:01:10   wouldn't create that kind of anticipation.

01:01:13   And so you would be in a situation where, and I'm speculating here, you would be in

01:01:17   situation where maybe 10,000 people or 20,000 people or 50,000 people just hit up and just

01:01:23   hit the subscribe button and sign up and they're listening to an exclusive podcast now. So

01:01:28   I could see why this approach could work for podcasting. On the other hand, as a podcaster

01:01:36   myself, I'm not in love with the idea of, you know, everybody's doing its own custom

01:01:41   thing now, so why not do it for Apple Podcasts as well? We have all these proprietary and

01:01:50   locked down podcast platforms, and I'm very much, if you know me, you know that I'm very

01:01:55   much against the idea of locking down podcasts into silos, just like I'm very much against

01:02:02   the idea of folks who want to have a blog and instead of setting up a blog with their

01:02:09   on domain name, they use Medium or things like that.

01:02:13   So I'm very much against locking the platform, locking an open medium to a closed platform.

01:02:20   Again, though, everybody's doing it, right?

01:02:25   Everybody's doing it these days, and everybody is searching for the YouTube of podcasting

01:02:30   or the Netflix of podcasting, call it whatever you want to call it.

01:02:34   And there's an argument to be made for Apple to, you know, they have the biggest and the

01:02:39   stronger and the strongest platform. They have the built-in app on hundreds of millions

01:02:45   of devices. Anybody who doesn't have a vested interest in the freedom of podcasting, in

01:02:54   the free nature of the RSS spec behind podcasting, would say, "Why are you not doing this yet?"

01:03:01   I can see the arguments on both sides. I'm really fascinated by the idea that exclusives

01:03:07   could work better for podcasts than they did for music.

01:03:10   I feel like there's a discussion there about the podcasts done here, even though there

01:03:18   are super popular podcasts, I don't feel like there are podcasters that can move the kind

01:03:26   of audience that Kanye West or Beyonce or Shawn Mendes, for example, can move.

01:03:32   And so those big artists cannot afford to do exclusives anymore.

01:03:36   And that is why they're making money in a bunch of other ways.

01:03:40   But maybe podcasters can maybe podcasters will would not run into those kinds of problems.

01:03:45   It does feel like if anyone can do this successfully, it's Spotify and Apple and Apple Apple's market

01:03:51   share at least of the of the player is way, way bigger than Spotify's I mean, and the

01:03:57   The Apple podcast app is the app in this world.

01:04:01   Even among shows like ours, where a lot of people use third party clients, the Apple

01:04:05   podcast client is extremely popular.

01:04:07   If you look into podcasting on the whole and other types of shows outside of tech, it's

01:04:13   the vast majority.

01:04:14   It does feel like if anyone could have the number of people, the number of users to make

01:04:22   it even possible, it's Apple.

01:04:24   something where something like Luminary,

01:04:26   like they still have any users

01:04:28   and they're not going to be able to build a business

01:04:32   to make all this work without some sort of critical mass

01:04:36   of listeners and Apple has that, right?

01:04:39   Because their player is so big.

01:04:41   I do agree with you.

01:04:42   I am firmly in the camp that podcasting should be open

01:04:47   to the point where I actually don't consider

01:04:51   like platform specific content.

01:04:53   those aren't podcasts, right?

01:04:54   Like it's audio content.

01:04:56   Podcasting is something that is open

01:04:58   and you can listen anywhere you want

01:05:01   because it's based on the RSS spec.

01:05:04   This in my mind is slightly different.

01:05:07   It may, the content is obviously very similar,

01:05:09   but one thing that makes podcasts special

01:05:12   is that the ecosystem around it is so flexible.

01:05:16   And so I agree with you on all of that.

01:05:19   I do find it interesting that they are looking into this.

01:05:23   Apple TV+ is going to be coming this fall, right?

01:05:28   Apple Arcade is coming this fall.

01:05:30   Apple News is already here,

01:05:32   but that's doing its thing, I guess.

01:05:36   Apple is continuing to push into this world

01:05:38   where they have multiple content offerings,

01:05:43   and we still assume or still hope

01:05:47   that there's gonna be some sort of grouping

01:05:48   of those things, right?

01:05:49   We don't have to pay for them all separately, who knows?

01:05:52   But it feels like this is just in line with that, right?

01:05:54   This feels like a very natural extension to me

01:05:56   of everything else they're doing.

01:05:58   And I could even see Apple leveraging podcasts

01:06:02   in ways to benefit their other content areas,

01:06:07   and not necessarily putting it behind a paywall.

01:06:09   So like, you know, I, for instance,

01:06:12   a show that I really love is "Better Call Saul."

01:06:14   It's, you know, kind of a before the time of "Breaking Bad."

01:06:18   And there's an excellent podcast with the producers,

01:06:20   the writers, the actors, and it's out every week.

01:06:24   And so that's a podcast I've listened to for four years now,

01:06:27   however long the TV show's been on,

01:06:29   'cause it goes behind the scenes

01:06:30   and talks about the process.

01:06:31   And that sort of content Apple could do with Apple TV+,

01:06:36   or even Apple Arcade,

01:06:38   talking to the creators behind this content.

01:06:40   And they can just put that in the podcast directory, right?

01:06:43   And I'd like, if Apple's gonna do this,

01:06:46   they're gonna have a paywall with audio content,

01:06:48   like whatever, that's fine.

01:06:50   But I would hope that they could also see the benefit

01:06:53   of having open content,

01:06:56   even if it is to benefit their other stuff,

01:06:59   I think people would be really interested in that.

01:07:01   You know, there are a couple of Apple TV+ shows

01:07:03   I'm really interested in watching.

01:07:05   I'd love to hear more about them.

01:07:06   So Apple could use their podcast directory and their size

01:07:09   for more than just making a few bucks.

01:07:13   So it's a very interesting story.

01:07:15   There's also some breaking news about Spotify.

01:07:17   We should squeeze in here.

01:07:19   You guys ready?

01:07:20   You guys sitting down?

01:07:21   - I think I know what it is.

01:07:22   - What is it?

01:07:23   - They support Split View and Slide Over now on the iPad.

01:07:26   - What year did those features come to the iPad, Federico?

01:07:29   - Yeah, it was iOS 9, so that would be 2015,

01:07:34   which is four years ago.

01:07:38   - Four years ago.

01:07:39   So, yeah, well done, Spotify iOS team.

01:07:43   I look forward to the day in 2021,

01:07:48   when they will support drag and drop.

01:07:50   So looking forward to that.

01:07:53   - Yeah, Spotify doing stuff.

01:07:55   Myke, do you have anything you wanna add to this?

01:07:58   - Yes.

01:07:59   Yes, but he cannot add it now.

01:08:02   - Yeah, maybe it's follow up.

01:08:04   - I think it means that next time we will talk about it

01:08:07   because he has thoughts,

01:08:09   but those thoughts cannot be shared

01:08:11   because of physical reasons today.

01:08:14   - So Myke, will you put this in follow-up for next week?

01:08:16   I'm on vacation, so it's up to you.

01:08:18   - Yes.

01:08:19   - All right, to round out today's episode,

01:08:23   we are here to celebrate World Emoji Day.

01:08:26   Before we get into this,

01:08:27   we've had a lot of tweets about this.

01:08:29   Last year, we had Federico guess the names of the emoji.

01:08:34   We did that based on Apple's full set of artwork.

01:08:39   Apple has shown at this point is a couple of samples and so

01:08:43   Federico is is restraining himself from looking at these things and we're actually not going to talk about the new emoji today because that would be

01:08:50   Spoiling him for the future episode

01:08:52   But that's when we'll do it when Apple unveils the full set that should be in the fall generally

01:08:58   It's with you know a point update for iOS. So maybe iOS 13.1 or 13.2 would have these new emoji

01:09:06   So we'll do that then so it is coming

01:09:07   It's just not today.

01:09:10   There are a couple links in the show notes.

01:09:11   I've only seen one.

01:09:13   Okay.

01:09:14   Actually a couple.

01:09:15   I've seen one because I saw the article on Mac stories.

01:09:21   And we'll talk about it this fall when they actually come out.

01:09:27   But I saw one that almost looked like a robotic Italian gesture.

01:09:36   like a, you know, you're not the, the Italian, the Italian hand, we like the typical Italian

01:09:42   gesture, like in it, like with the, with the, with the hand closed, you know, and the fingers

01:09:48   facing upwards. Yeah. There's a robot making that gesture. So I think that it, that will

01:09:55   be called a Italian robot or Italian robot arm. Yeah. So that, that's my understanding

01:10:03   that it's that, you know, a real breakthrough in emoji design, Italians and robots together,

01:10:11   finally at last. There's others that I just very quickly glanced over, and I will, you know,

01:10:19   I have a couple of months to think about them. I haven't read any of the image captions or

01:10:25   explanations or details, you know. I have blocked Jeremy Bird from my contacts.

01:10:32   It's not actually, I haven't blocked Jeremy.

01:10:35   I haven't blocked Jeremy.

01:10:36   - Actually, I spoke to Jeremy the other night.

01:10:38   We knew this was coming.

01:10:39   I said, "Hey, are they gonna show the whole set?"

01:10:41   He said, "No, no, they just showed the,

01:10:42   "they're just gonna do like what they normally do,

01:10:44   "showing the," 'cause he believed they would show a preview,

01:10:46   which is what they've done.

01:10:48   So we're just gonna park all that until the fall,

01:10:50   so September, October, whenever that happens.

01:10:53   But it is World Emoji Day,

01:10:55   and there's a lot of, a lot of brands are doing things.

01:10:59   Literally, as we're talking,

01:11:01   The university that I went to has a tweet about World Emoji

01:11:04   Day, which is very troubling.

01:11:07   But Adobe went out, and they have performed

01:11:11   this massive study--

01:11:14   I guess is what you would call it--

01:11:15   looking at trends of emoji.

01:11:17   And I found this really interesting.

01:11:19   So I thought, Federico, you and I could talk through it,

01:11:21   and we'll ask Myke some questions.

01:11:23   OK.

01:11:23   So this is looking at users of emoji,

01:11:27   looking at the top three favorite emojis.

01:11:30   And I gotta say, I'm not sure there's many surprises in here.

01:11:35   So one is like the laughing guy with tears coming out.

01:11:39   You know, your laughing's so hard to crying.

01:11:41   Number two is the red heart.

01:11:42   And number three is the little blowing a heart kiss.

01:11:46   You know, like a mwah kinda person.

01:11:48   - Oh, I like that.

01:11:49   Can you do that again?

01:11:51   - Mwah, like that.

01:11:52   - Oh! - Good.

01:11:53   Did that heal you, Myke?

01:11:56   - Yeah, no.

01:11:57   (laughing)

01:11:59   I'm not surprised by any of those, I don't think.

01:12:01   Myke, are you surprised by any of those?

01:12:04   - No.

01:12:05   So we have LOL guy, heart, and case.

01:12:10   - Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah.

01:12:12   So we're gonna keep going here.

01:12:13   So a majority, 81% of the emoji users,

01:12:18   believe that people who use the emoji

01:12:20   are friendly and more approachable.

01:12:23   Which like, there's some bias in that, right?

01:12:24   'Cause everyone views themselves as friendly

01:12:26   and approachable.

01:12:28   Do you think that that's true?

01:12:29   Do you think that people who use emoji say in text messages or in tweets, do they feel

01:12:35   nicer to you, Myke?

01:12:37   Yes.

01:12:38   What about you, Federico?

01:12:42   I've met some real a** for you so much.

01:12:48   Sorry Steven, you'll have to beep this one.

01:12:51   Yeah, fixed.

01:12:58   Let's just talk about Casey less for a second. Casey uses more emoji than any grown man I've

01:13:02   ever met. And I think most people would say Casey's a pretty nice guy. So like, this is

01:13:07   an example. But, uh, that's, that's debatable though. Still. Um, I think, I think, um, generally

01:13:17   speaking, I could see why people who people think that other people who use, you know,

01:13:25   little characters, these little figurines, they have a fun edge to them, maybe. Like,

01:13:33   "Hey, I can be fun. I can use emoji. I can have colors in my text." Whereas some of my

01:13:40   friends, for example, super nice people, right? But I have a friend in particular who uses

01:13:48   punctuation whenever he texts me. It's like, "Hello, period. How are you?" He's a super

01:13:56   fun guy, but he has this punctuation thing going on. I don't know why. He sounds constantly

01:14:02   upset even though he's not. And that's because we come to see proper punctuation as a sort

01:14:09   of looking down upon someone. I don't know, but he just feels... He would never use emoji.

01:14:17   is a fun person in real life. So it's, it's a, I feel like this is a fun type of

01:14:23   study that, you know, somebody should do. My dad does that, but some, for some

01:14:28   reason on his iPhone, he just learned to type, and so he like, types a sentence and

01:14:34   then a space and then the punctuation. So it's like, "Happy birthday," space,

01:14:39   exclamation point. No. It's very upsetting. When asked about emoji's greatest benefits, and the

01:14:47   Federica this is going to be for you. 94% of people said that it makes

01:14:51   communicating across language barriers easier and 90% said that it's it's a way

01:14:57   to instantly share thoughts and ideas. So Federica you live in a world with more

01:15:01   than one language. Does emoji help you cut through that? No one needs a pizza emoji.

01:15:08   Yeah because the egg once again the pizza emoji is wrong it's a it's not we

01:15:13   We don't need to do that.

01:15:14   It's not pizza.

01:15:15   There's an episode of Connected that you can listen to for an explanation about this very

01:15:20   problem that is sadly not fixed in iOS 13.

01:15:24   But I feel like I cannot think of any examples of an emoji that you guys sent me that didn't

01:15:31   make sense to me or that it was culturally different or that I just didn't understand.

01:15:41   I think there is some truth to the fact that they are emojis are sort of like a universal

01:15:48   language. There's I'm sure there are cases of certain characters or objects, meaning

01:15:55   sound something profoundly different in another country or another language. But I feel like

01:16:01   from a from, you know, Western civilization type point of view, Italy and the US are close

01:16:10   enough that I get what the eggplant emoji means. Obviously you want to cook some pasta

01:16:18   and so therefore you need the eggplants. I think it would be interesting to compare common

01:16:25   emoji uses between Italy and India for example, or Greece and Brazil. I bet you would see

01:16:34   some fascinating differences there. So, I don't know, you know, it's a very, again,

01:16:42   very fascinating topic from the point of view of, you know, what it means on a cultural

01:16:47   level to share certain emotions or objects or characters via emoji. Somebody should write

01:16:56   a paper about this.

01:16:57   The second part of that's interesting to me, that you could instantly share a thought or

01:17:03   because I think actually a lot of the emoji are clear but there are definitely

01:17:07   certain examples that are very open to interpretation and then you add in the

01:17:13   fact that you may be texting somebody not on the same platform as you are so

01:17:16   this has gotten better over the years but there are a couple of characters

01:17:20   that on iOS and Android are rendered differently enough where like it could

01:17:25   be confusing so I don't know if I'm in that 90% there I mean lots of times it

01:17:30   does work like a thumbs up or you know the the kissy heart guy or something

01:17:34   like that's like it's a point across but I do think that in certain

01:17:38   circumstances emoji actually add confusion to things so you know maybe

01:17:45   I'm just showing my age a little bit. Alright we're gonna move on we're gonna

01:17:49   talk about emails and brands. Over half, 58% of emoji users are more likely to

01:17:55   to open an email from a brand that has an emoji in the subject line.

01:18:00   Myke, should I include emojis in the subject line of the Relay FM membership newsletter

01:18:05   now?

01:18:06   Yes.

01:18:07   All right.

01:18:08   Can I decide emoji?

01:18:10   Yes.

01:18:11   Oh, no.

01:18:13   Good.

01:18:14   Good.

01:18:15   Very good.

01:18:16   The Oracle has spoken.

01:18:17   65% of emoji users say they are more comfortable expressing their emotions through emoji than

01:18:24   phone call. I'm gonna keep reading. This is especially true for Gen Z. 83% of

01:18:29   those people say that's true of them. Of course, just to clarify, Gen Z is people

01:18:34   born between 1997 and 2015. Maybe this is me being old, but I can see this, right? I

01:18:44   can see the same way that text is easier than like calling somebody if you need

01:18:49   to share something. But again, like maybe this in my mind plays into the emoji can

01:18:56   be misread and confusing at times. I don't know Federico, like what like if I

01:19:01   ask you this question Federico are you more comfortable expressing your emotions

01:19:04   through emoji than a phone call? Oh phone calls? That's what it says. Really?

01:19:09   Oh, mmm. No. See, I... and I'm not joking here. I have blocked people in my address book because

01:19:22   they call me on the phone too early in the morning. I... yes. I very much despise talking

01:19:33   on the phone. Even though I understand that in some cases it is much faster than coordinating

01:19:40   something over a text message. So I use phone calls, but I always make sure that I can call

01:19:46   somebody beforehand. I don't drop in on somebody and just call them on the phone and be like,

01:19:52   "Hey, let's talk on the phone." No, I don't do that. So I feel like the phone call is

01:19:56   always agreed upon beforehand. I very much prefer to use text or emoji or whatever. What

01:20:05   is it to share emotions? Was that the question?

01:20:07   Yes. Yeah. Are you more comfortable sharing emotion with the emoji or via phone call?

01:20:12   I don't know. Am I supposed to like call my girlfriend on the phone and say, "Love you.

01:20:16   Good night," instead of sending like a heart emoji when I'm away? Like, yeah, we FaceTime.

01:20:22   So like, I don't understand what sharing emotions via emoji involves.

01:20:29   You're too old.

01:20:30   We finally found something you're too old for.

01:20:32   Yeah, I guess I'm too old for that.

01:20:35   Myke, do you find yourself expressing emotions via emoji?

01:20:41   Yeah.

01:20:43   Man, I really love this approach, Steven, where we can just summon, you know...

01:20:52   - It's like a magic eight ball.

01:20:53   - It's like thus spoke, Myke Athustra, you know?

01:20:58   The Nietzsche, thus spoke Zarathustra.

01:21:01   No, nobody study philosophy here.

01:21:03   - No.

01:21:05   - Anyway, moving on.

01:21:06   This is just a reference for two people out there.

01:21:09   What else do we have about emoji?

01:21:12   - So to wrap this up, 78% of emoji users

01:21:17   agree that emoji should continue to strive

01:21:21   making themselves more inclusive, you know, bringing more people in. 73% of

01:21:25   people wish they had more emoji customization options to better reflect

01:21:30   their personal appearance and identity. This has been something that's been going on

01:21:33   the last several rounds of new emoji, right? You can change hair color and skin

01:21:38   tone. In the future there's even more options for this sort of thing and I

01:21:43   think that's awesome because they're, you know, if you're going to send an emoji

01:21:48   to share an emotion, you know, for example,

01:21:53   that emoji should look like you.

01:21:54   You should feel like you identify with it

01:21:56   and the receiver identifies it with you.

01:21:58   And so I think there's absolutely always more work

01:22:01   to do here and so I'm part of the 78% here.

01:22:06   - Yeah.

01:22:07   - Little more emoji news.

01:22:08   The most popular of the new emoji that came out last year

01:22:16   The smiling face with hearts. This is the smiling face with the three little hearts sort of in orbit around the face Myke

01:22:24   Is that an emoji that you that you like?

01:22:26   love

01:22:29   Love love just to round out the top list. There's that one. There's pleading face, which I don't think I've ever actually used

01:22:35   There's woozy face, which is very upsetting looking

01:22:39   Overheated where the face is red and the tongue is sticking out like a sweat bead. I find that one kind of funny

01:22:45   Partying face and then freezing face those sort of round out the top six but by far

01:22:50   Smiling face with hearts took this took this away. This is based on page views on the emoji PD a website

01:22:57   Over over the last year. I think it's a great emoji. I think it's uh, it's warm

01:23:04   It makes me feel fuzzy inside. So I think this is a well-deserved award

01:23:08   Myke uses it a lot. I think yeah, I've seen yeah

01:23:14   Yeah, yeah, yeah. Mm-hmm. So, uh, nice. This is very nice. Very interesting data points here.

01:23:21   I almost wonder, you know, Apple should participate in this kind of stuff because they

01:23:26   they probably can see, you know, with the whole differential privacy thing that they have on iOS.

01:23:32   I bet they have some interesting data to share, but still, you know, it's fun to

01:23:38   It's fun to to have this kind of data from emoji PDA and Adobe so very nice very nice

01:23:43   so we're gonna round this out a little bit by talking about how emoji are selected it is a

01:23:49   Complicated process through the Unicode committee our friend mark over at welcome to Macintosh

01:23:55   Went through this process a while back and actually

01:23:58   submitted an emoji that got like in the standard so that the yoga emoji that was Mark suggestion

01:24:06   Which is really cool. He's the only person I know who has had an emoji put in Unicode because of his work

01:24:12   If you didn't listen Jeremy, well Jeremy Jeremy infinity emojis that doesn't count. Ah

01:24:17   Yeah, that's two words Myke the yeah. Yeah. So anyways Unicode

01:24:22   Story going on going around

01:24:25   Unicode is making it easier to suggest new emoji. It is still very much a very complicated process. They basically sort of like

01:24:34   Skinned the website a little bit. So there's a lot of work you submit it. It goes to committee people vote on it

01:24:40   Jeremy's part of that committee and

01:24:42   It's it's quite the process

01:24:44   Definitely go check out welcome to Macintosh

01:24:45   If you didn't listen to that like you need to go put that in your podcast client because it is

01:24:49   It was so fascinating to hear the process as someone went through it

01:24:54   It's a great idea for a show. So I think that I think that about does it

01:25:01   Federico and half of Myke it's been a kind of a nutty week with some oddball stuff

01:25:05   But we made our way through it Myke. Do you think the show is time to you think it's time to wrap up the show?

01:25:09   Yes, if you want to find links to stuff we spoke about you can find them in your podcast app of choice

01:25:16   But they're also on our website relay.fm

01:25:18   connected

01:25:20   252 while you're there you can send us an email with feedback or follow-up or you can do that on Twitter

01:25:25   You can find it Myke. There is I am y ke and Myke is the host of a bunch of shows over

01:25:30   on Relay FM. You can find Federico on Twitter @vittici

01:25:36   and he's the editor-in-chief of MacStories.net. You can follow me on

01:25:40   Twitter as @ismh and find my writing at 512pixels.net. I thank our

01:25:46   sponsors this week, ExpressVPN, Hover, and Moo. And until next time gentlemen, say

01:25:51   goodbye. Adios.