229: The Year of Stephen


00:00:00   (upbeat music)

00:00:02   - Hello and welcome to Connected, episode 229.

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

00:00:14   ExpressVPN, Luna Display, and Hover.

00:00:17   I'm your host, Steven Hackett,

00:00:19   and I am joined by my friend and yours, Federico Vittucci.

00:00:22   - Hello, Steven, how are you?

00:00:23   - I'm doing well, how are you?

00:00:25   - I'm good, I'm good, where is Michael?

00:00:28   - He's here too.

00:00:29   Hi. Hi. Hello. Hey buddy. I don't wanna wait for follow up, are you still using the paper

00:00:36   like? I just need to know. Yeah. Yeah I am, yeah. Wow. Yeah, still using it. We dove right

00:00:42   in. Stuck around for a while. I'm still not sure though, like, I thought to myself last

00:00:48   night, mmm maybe the screen, well I know the screen looks better, maybe I want that, but

00:00:52   I'm like ahh, but it does feel really nice, so I'm still in that. I have, nothing has

00:00:57   changed. Okay. Okay, Steven, you may proceed with follow up. All right. We spoke about the just

00:01:05   banana story last week of whole deal with Facebook and Google having secret apps using enterprise

00:01:12   certificates. Apple bring down the hammer. Apple brought the hammer down on Google as well.

00:01:17   If you remember Facebook got caught, Google came forward and said, Oh, yeah, we're doing it too.

00:01:23   but we've stopped it. And Apple, I think, I think for consistency sake, took Google certificate

00:01:28   away. It seems like for a shorter period of time, although I'm not sure anyone's reported

00:01:33   exactly how long these companies were without these. But it seems like it was like a day or two,

00:01:39   really. Before they started, like before the report started coming out that maybe it was coming

00:01:44   back. So it wasn't very long, long enough to sting, I assume. Yeah, I mean, anytime you like

00:01:51   cripple a company internally. Any hour feels like an eternity, I'm sure, if you're on the inside.

00:01:56   I would assume that you get these back after long, very high-level conversations. Is this

00:02:03   Phil Schiller talking to the CTO at Facebook? Does it go even higher than that? They couldn't

00:02:09   use Group FaceTime because that was down all week. So I wonder...

00:02:13   Just one of the ones only.

00:02:14   Yeah, yeah. You want, it's a group FaceTime that you have Phil Schiller and Tim like crowded

00:02:20   in like a booth and like holding an iPad out. How close do you think they sit to each other

00:02:25   when they're in meetings? You think it's close? I bet they're...

00:02:28   I bet, no, I bet they have huge tables there.

00:02:31   I think so. I feel like Tim likes his personal space, but like Phil seems cuddly. So anyways,

00:02:37   Facebook and Google, they have their certificates back and this is now I think sort of wrapped

00:02:42   I guess my only thought like moving forward from here is

00:02:46   I mean, this is like a really big card in Apple's hand, right?

00:02:52   Like there's not much more they could do past this short of taking them out of the App Store and as we've spoken about

00:02:57   That seems like a bad idea for everybody

00:02:59   So did Apple sort of like use the most powerful weapon it has against these companies

00:03:05   And would it be willing to use it again if it felt like it was necessary?

00:03:08   Yes

00:03:11   Of course. It depends, right? Like this is a tool in the arsenal now

00:03:16   that they could find other ways to use I guess but like I feel like it would be weird if like

00:03:21   They did something in the App Store and then they revoked the Enterprise certificate just for Fonzie like for Fonzie's. My expectation is

00:03:29   the way that both companies

00:03:31   Got theirs back and I'll say like it wasn't

00:03:35   It wasn't Apple didn't make a statement that they revoked Google's

00:03:39   They made a statement to say they were helping Google get their credentials back

00:03:43   How did this appear down the down the you know?

00:03:48   It kind of I saw some people saying that like in Google's rush to get rid of their VPN app

00:03:55   They may have screwed up their own enterprise certificate in some way

00:03:58   that's like which was an interesting theory because

00:04:02   Apple were very quick to say that they you know, they were happy to make statements about Facebook

00:04:07   But anyway, Apple and Facebook have a different relationship than Apple and Google do right Apple Google

00:04:13   You're together on a lot of things and Facebook

00:04:16   Competitive but they don't like they don't throw words at each other like Facebook and Apple do right

00:04:21   and I think that because I think because of that that

00:04:24   Difference in tone and their relationships maybe Apple treated them differently publicly which is like totally fair within Apple's rights

00:04:32   But I do think it's interesting to think about the relationships between the three of them all being

00:04:36   really different from each other and

00:04:38   You know, I think that Apple

00:04:41   Doing this like it definitely shows the power they have over their platform

00:04:45   And then there's a lot of conversation sort of outside of our bubble

00:04:48   But sort of like one level up and like general tech podcasting in the last week or so about does Apple have too much power

00:04:54   Over its platform. I don't I don't know if I agree with that or disagree with it, honestly

00:04:59   But it is something to consider like Apple holds the cards here to a certain point

00:05:04   But then they also need these other companies right they need to have communication going both ways now

00:05:10   I'm just surprised when I see these tweets saying that Apple has too much power. It's called the Apple App Store

00:05:14   I mean if you were in violation of something on the Google Play Store

00:05:18   Google will probably act the same and when you're in violation of something on Facebook

00:05:25   Facebook removes your post like if you use a song that you're not supposed to as a devil's advocate

00:05:31   You the own the only way to get apps on phones on iPhones is through Apple Store

00:05:37   I guess you can do it in other ways on Android

00:05:39   So like it's different like that. That's the argument that people place. Is that illegal though? Like

00:05:45   iPhone you know that that's the only way to get software on the iPhone. Yeah. Yeah. I mean, I don't know

00:05:51   I mean, I don't know if the European Union has done what they do yet.

00:05:56   I don't know if they consider it a monopoly, probably not, because they don't have the majority of the smartphone

00:06:01   platform, right? Like, if iOS was the most dominant smartphone platform,

00:06:06   they would probably get into some trouble with the European Union.

00:06:08   Just because, right, this is what history has shown, like, well, they've done with Microsoft multiple times, and Google, in fact.

00:06:15   They got on Google, didn't they?

00:06:16   Yeah, Google got hit big time last year.

00:06:19   So that's all really complicated,

00:06:20   but it seems like the story is sort of wrapped up.

00:06:22   And I guess we'll just see how long it is until Facebook

00:06:27   makes some sort of other egregious error.

00:06:30   So I have just a wonderful conspiracy theory situation.

00:06:33   Please.

00:06:34   I want to hear this.

00:06:35   So my expectation is the way that this all got resolved

00:06:38   is there were some conversations that happened at a high level,

00:06:41   and there were some agreements that had to be made.

00:06:44   Apple were like, well you can't do this again and you have to do this and this and this

00:06:48   something kind of hilarious happened both within like

00:06:52   48 hours of getting their enterprise certificates back Facebook updated their

00:06:57   Facebook app to finally support the tennis max the 10 are and the iPad pro screen

00:07:03   Resolution and then Google updated Doc's sheets and Gmail also to support the new iPad pro screen resolutions

00:07:10   I'm not saying it definitely was related but the timing is super funny to me

00:07:16   You know

00:07:18   I'm sure that they were working on these things but it is kind of hilarious that neither of these companies had done anything

00:07:22   And then all of a sudden here it is and I know before you tell me

00:07:26   like in March so like something's like a deadline in March where

00:07:30   You have to build for the resolution to be accepted on the App Store for the iPad pros

00:07:36   But it's still kind of funny that they both happened within 48 hours of these problems occurring

00:07:41   Yeah, I feel there's definitely a cause and effect here

00:07:44   But you know it is pretty when I was a kid and I did something bad and I would drive my parents upset

00:07:50   Was it usually the result of a prank a bad prank would cause yeah, or maybe I came home late

00:07:57   You know that kind of stuff. I would show my parents like the next day

00:08:00   I would wash the dishes or clean my bedroom, you know that kind of stuff and Facebook and Google

00:08:05   have kind of done the same here. They upset Mother Apple and so now they're showing them

00:08:09   that they can be good boys. Yeah. Yeah. All right, what's next? FaceTime. Oh yes, this

00:08:23   happened and it's still not fixed with the software update, right? Yeah. No. Yeah. Interesting.

00:08:28   No. There hasn't been a software update in public for it. There's not. Is it in the 12.2

00:08:33   Do you know Federico? Not that I'm aware of but also my FaceTime is still off

00:08:38   They couldn't turn it back on server side, right? Like, you know, that's the problem, I guess. No

00:08:44   No, so what I've heard from several people now and maybe it's all conjecture, but I think it makes sense

00:08:49   Is that Apple's plan is to

00:08:51   Blacklist old versions of iOS against the group FaceTime server

00:08:55   So if you never update to 12 dot whatever fixes it you group FaceTime will just never come back for you

00:09:00   That makes sense. So I hadn't thought of that. Yeah, so I don't know if that don't think that it's gospel

00:09:06   But I've heard that several people talking about that

00:09:07   So I'm gonna go with the very least that's possible you got to think they're going to do something to protect everybody

00:09:11   but Apple did have a statement at the end of last week saying they'd fixed the security bug on the server and

00:09:18   There'll be a software update to enable the feature

00:09:21   Sometime supposed to be this week. It's Wednesday right now. We haven't seen it yet

00:09:25   It could be out by the time you're listening to this

00:09:27   They also thanked the family so remember at the beginning of this there was a kid who discovered this and his mom was an attorney

00:09:35   And she like contacted Apple. She did everything right

00:09:37   Some people got on to them about asking about the bounty program

00:09:42   Which I found really gross like they're trying to do good and report a bug like just don't criticize

00:09:47   but they apologize to the customers and

00:09:50   An executive visited the family saying they will receive the payment from the bug bounty program

00:09:57   So, so my question is, what is a visit in your home from an Apple executive like?

00:10:04   I assume it's Phil Schiller.

00:10:06   It could be somebody else, but like, do you offer Phil?

00:10:09   This feels like a Greg Joszczyk type of job to me.

00:10:13   This feels like a job.

00:10:14   Oh yeah, he's there.

00:10:15   He's there for weird, weird stuff, right?

00:10:17   He's like cleanup guy, you know, in Pulp Fiction, Wolf, right, who comes in and like cleans

00:10:21   up the room, right?

00:10:22   Like, I feel like that's what Josz is.

00:10:24   He's like the Wolf.

00:10:26   He just comes in and he's like Corvette, screeches into the corner and he's ready to go.

00:10:31   He also introduced the iPhone SE.

00:10:32   That was kind of a cleanup job too.

00:10:34   That's really interesting.

00:10:35   So do you offer him a snack?

00:10:36   Like what do you do?

00:10:37   I guess so.

00:10:38   Like do you put out your best china?

00:10:39   I don't know.

00:10:40   I don't know why it's necessary for an Apple executive to go to the home of the family.

00:10:44   You know what you do?

00:10:45   You know what you do?

00:10:46   You break the ice by saying so I have this idea for an app that I would like to work

00:10:54   on.

00:10:55   Do you have any tips?

00:10:56   That's the perfect icebreaker.

00:10:58   You want to make an app that nobody ever thought of, you have an idea.

00:11:03   Or maybe you say, "I have an idea for a product.

00:11:05   I have an Apple Watch and an iPhone and AirPods and I would like to charge them all at once

00:11:11   and maybe Apple could give me some sort of solution for that."

00:11:14   This isn't three products, this is one product.

00:11:17   Are you getting it?

00:11:18   It's called the AirPower.

00:11:20   I also personally feel happy that we got our apology.

00:11:23   got a sincere apology from Apple, which is what I was hoping that we would get that again,

00:11:30   because it felt pretty bad. And then I guess the last thing is the US government, probably

00:11:38   other governments, are looking into this.

00:11:41   Yeah, it's inevitable.

00:11:43   Which rightly so, I feel like this is kind of what we were asking for, right? There has

00:11:47   to be more government control, hopefully by competent politicians, as these technology

00:11:54   companies are throwing away our privacy on a daily basis.

00:11:58   Like it's just a thing that we have to look for now and hope that people that are competent

00:12:01   can actually try and hold them accountable.

00:12:04   And we said it about Facebook, right, specifically last time, but I think in this instance, like

00:12:09   Apple has some questions to answer too.

00:12:12   Right?

00:12:13   Like I think they definitely do to someone.

00:12:15   Lastly, we're mentioning this just to quell the rumors that we're doing this this week.

00:12:21   So Unicode has approved emoji for 2019.

00:12:26   Federico is in a full emoji media blackout, so he hasn't, he's not reading anything about

00:12:31   them or what they look like, what they're called.

00:12:33   No, I've only seen the hero image on Emojipedia because, you know, on Twitter I saw the image.

00:12:40   There's no harm in seeing the images.

00:12:42   You can see the images, you just can't know the names.

00:12:44   The hero image featuring the emoji of Zloth and cleaning ear.

00:12:50   That's what you think that is, right?

00:12:53   Yes, and the gray lines are the dirt that comes out of the ear.

00:12:57   I have a lot of questions.

00:13:00   I don't want to get into this right now. Let's just move on.

00:13:06   So we will be playing the game, Federico names the emoji,

00:13:11   when Apple announces they're coming in iOS,

00:13:14   I assume they're 13, that should be around World Emoji Day.

00:13:16   That's when it's been the last couple of years.

00:13:18   So hold your horses.

00:13:20   And I say this also as a public service announcement

00:13:23   that don't bait Federico on Twitter

00:13:26   into accidentally learning these things.

00:13:27   Just like play it cool.

00:13:29   It's only fun if he hasn't seen the names.

00:13:31   So don't ruin it for anybody.

00:13:32   - I don't need to know the names

00:13:35   because I'm going to win anyway.

00:13:38   I will guess them all just like last year.

00:13:40   So I don't even need to be informed about this.

00:13:46   Weird fish.

00:13:47   I will say, just as a serious topic, right?

00:13:51   This emoji set is going to cause some problems for platform vendors because of the mixed

00:13:57   skin tone support.

00:13:59   So they have people standing next to each other holding hands.

00:14:04   And one of the things that's in the Unicode kind of approved Unicode list is shared skin

00:14:11   tones and mixed skin tones.

00:14:13   Now iOS is like the current keyboard is not built for that.

00:14:18   So I'm really intrigued to see if and how the major platform vendors implement this

00:14:26   because it's not only like for couples, they also Facebook already has families with shared

00:14:34   skin tones is a thing that you can set up on Facebook, which is 125 emojis on its own.

00:14:42   And Windows has a viewer, which you can change the skin tone of any family member, like Facebook

00:14:48   set theirs up, and there's 52,000 combinations.

00:14:52   Woah.

00:14:53   Wow.

00:14:54   Because it's like four people and with the ability to change the skin tones of all four

00:14:59   individuals.

00:15:00   That's a lot.

00:15:01   really intrigued to see how this stuff gets supported. I'm sure Slack will be right on it.

00:15:07   There has to be a better way on iOS to deal with emoji. Like, if iOS 13 doesn't introduce some kind

00:15:15   of emoji search or just a faster way to find them, I will be really surprised. I feel like

00:15:22   we reached the tipping point years ago and it's only gotten worse. Like, we're getting hundreds

00:15:26   of new emoji every year. And with all these new combinations, like, the emoji keyboard

00:15:31   on iOS is bad, and whoever is in charge of the emoji department of the iOS team is doing

00:15:37   a bad job. That's a bad job. Like, the emoji keyboard is bad. Like, it's just bad. Like,

00:15:45   how... I don't know. The one in Gboard is good. Yes, it is. So, hopefully iOS 13 gives

00:15:54   me the new home screen dark mode and emoji keyboard with search. So that's all I want.

00:15:59   Well, that's a quick win. That is like a quick win for people, right? Like people will be

00:16:04   so excited about that. But like that would be genuinely like a huge feature of iOS 13

00:16:11   for tons and tons of people would be better emoji support. So it feels like an easy one.

00:16:18   All righty, we have a bunch of news to talk about. First, I want to tell you about our

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00:18:21   Steven is here mm-hmm are we gonna is every episode gonna have a topic that

00:18:29   begins with those words because I feel like that's been worse than when

00:18:32   Nintendo did the era of Luigi and they had to say it every single time like

00:18:36   you're yeah you're worse than Luigi is what I'm saying you are worse than

00:18:40   Luigi. You're like Waluigi. Wow this is the peak right like this is if I'm gonna

00:18:48   have any week where we celebrate this it's this week. Just this week like is it

00:18:54   can we just give you this week and you're gonna be done? Multiple weeks this is it.

00:18:59   I mean the tattoo is forever but so I had made a prediction it's an ungraded

00:19:07   I created a prediction. I accept that. Coward. Somebody's not brave enough. I should still

00:19:11   win a trophy for this. Nope. Nope. Well, I already ordered one. Well, I don't know

00:19:16   if you win a trophy if you buy one for yourself, but like if that's what you need, that's

00:19:20   great. Sure. You can buy yourself a trophy. You have your best life, my friend. You can

00:19:23   treat yourself to a trophy if you want. That's fine. I had predicted that there'd be a

00:19:27   change on the Apple leadership webpage this year, and we made it to February 5th and Apple

00:19:33   announced a change. So Myke, do you want to run us through the news while I sit back and

00:19:39   just like bask in the in the light of day?

00:19:42   Yeah, so Angela Ahrendts, who has been with Apple for a number of years now, five years,

00:19:49   who came from, I believe she was at Yves Saint Laurent before, or Burberry?

00:19:55   Oh, no, Burberry.

00:19:56   She was at Yves Saint Laurent, I think, before, but she came from, she was CEO at Burberry,

00:20:01   right? I think that's where she went over and then she moved to Apple and took over

00:20:05   retail after Apple hadn't had anybody in charge of retail for nearly two years, I think it

00:20:10   was. It's like a year and a half. So Angela, it was announced yesterday that she is going

00:20:17   to be leaving Apple in April and in her place, Deidre O'Brien will be taking over retail,

00:20:25   combining it with her previous role and still current role as head of HR at Apple. So, well,

00:20:33   people they call it. So she is going to be taking the joint role of people and retail.

00:20:40   Should we call it like reeple? Or p-tail. Yeah, you see, I thought of that one first,

00:20:46   but ducked out of it. So that one didn't sound like it didn't sound fun anymore. It sounded

00:20:53   terrible. It's upsetting, really. So, yeah. So, Deidre O'Brien is now taking over the role.

00:20:59   She's actually already been updated on Apple's leadership page as having that role,

00:21:03   even though Angela's also still there, which is interesting. So, there's two heads of retail at

00:21:11   the moment. And that's kind of where we are. And lots of people have lots of opinions, as you could

00:21:17   imagine, right? Because she's leaving and like, why is this happening? And a lot of thoughts about

00:21:21   like Angela's legacy at Apple, I guess.

00:21:24   So I want you guys to take this because I think I feel a little bit different.

00:21:30   OK, so I'll go first.

00:21:31   Oh, can I just say one thing?

00:21:33   Sorry, I can say one thing.

00:21:34   I don't want to say it first because I really want to get to it.

00:21:37   If it's one, or if it's one.

00:21:39   I find it a great shame that another female executive

00:21:43   like with down another female executive on Apple's leadership page.

00:21:46   I hope that they find a way to rectify that faster than whatever it was

00:21:49   they were doing before because now it's one it was already bad and now it's one less person

00:21:55   so it just makes their leadership mix even even worse than it was before.

00:21:59   I agree.

00:22:02   So that was the one thing.

00:22:03   Okay thank you.

00:22:04   So I'll go first.

00:22:05   I feel like this is this departure is sort of like a Rorschach test for what you think of modern Apple

00:22:13   and I sort of don't want to play that game.

00:22:15   It is though!

00:22:17   That's brilliant!

00:22:19   It is. I can only offer the perspective as an Apple customer, as somebody who uses the

00:22:27   Apple online store and the Apple, the physical Apple stores. I don't know. Nobody knows really,

00:22:35   of the three of us or other people on Twitter what really happened. It does feel, from the outside,

00:22:42   it does feel like a sudden departure, like something that was not planned months ago. Angela

00:22:48   was on stage at the October event, had a big presence, big section about the Apple retail

00:22:53   stores, this multi-year vision for what the Apple store should be. She was profiled in

00:22:59   Vanity Fair last week, I think. I don't know. It doesn't feel like something that was planned.

00:23:04   I think it was Vogue. It was a Vogue business.

00:23:07   Yes.

00:23:08   Yes. Yeah.

00:23:09   But my perspective as a customer is that I can appreciate, visually speaking or architecturally

00:23:17   speaking, the new Apple stores. We don't have them in Rome, but I've seen them in London,

00:23:23   I've seen them in San Francisco, I think, a few years ago. They're beautiful, and they are really

00:23:30   extraordinarily unlike any other store that I've ever been to. But as a customer in Italy,

00:23:39   who doesn't have the fancy new Apple stores, I can tell you that over the past few years,

00:23:47   the experience of going to the Apple stores has gotten worse and worse.

00:23:52   The Apple store used to be organized as a customer.

00:23:55   Like, I knew that I could walk into the Apple store

00:23:58   if I had made a reservation before, if it was the Genius Bar,

00:24:02   or if I needed to buy something, therefore I didn't have a reservation.

00:24:06   But that I would feel the organization behind it.

00:24:09   Like, it was not messy, it was not chaotic.

00:24:15   Now whenever I go to the Apple Store, I sort of dread going to the Apple Store, because

00:24:20   even if I make a reservation, it doesn't matter.

00:24:23   They are prioritizing walk-ins, everybody's sort of, every employee is telling you a different

00:24:29   thing, like there are multiple lines for the same sort of problem that you have, like different

00:24:38   employees telling you different things.

00:24:39   I don't know if this is a thing that happens only in Rome, but judging from the replies

00:24:44   that I've gotten on Twitter, I think it's kind of a common thing. It doesn't feel as

00:24:50   simple and as organized and as... what's the opposite of anxious? Like, it was relaxed

00:24:58   years ago. Like, I could go to the Apple Store and chill for a bit and it was fine. Now it's

00:25:02   always messy and chaotic and I don't like it. The Apple Online Store I used to like

00:25:09   before they did the redesign a few years ago.

00:25:12   And I said these years ago, I said it multiple times

00:25:15   unconnected, and I still maintain this opinion

00:25:17   that the new Apple Online Store is also confusing

00:25:20   and also difficult to use.

00:25:22   Whenever I just wanna browse for accessories

00:25:26   on the Apple Online Store,

00:25:27   I found that the easiest way to do this

00:25:30   is to just type accessories in the search bar,

00:25:33   because it's like I cannot figure out

00:25:35   how to navigate the Apple Online Store on my computer.

00:25:38   It used to be so simple, you could go to store.apple.com and then say iPhone and then browse.

00:25:45   Now you gotta go to the product page and then you gotta select buy and then you gotta find

00:25:51   the accessory.

00:25:52   It's super weird.

00:25:54   So again, I don't know, and my third point, sorry, is that we also covered this years

00:26:00   ago on Connected.

00:26:02   I still believe that the idea of thinking of a store as a town square is more inspirational

00:26:10   than functional.

00:26:12   I can appreciate, and we actually have an article on MacStories about this, the idea

00:26:16   of today at Apple and sort of using the Apple Store as a place that can foster the creativity

00:26:23   of a local community with courses for photography, for drawing, for learning how to use the iPad,

00:26:30   that kind of stuff.

00:26:31   beautiful. People who've gone to this today at Apple sessions, they really seem to like

00:26:36   it. That's fine. But the general idea of it's not a store, it's a town square. Like, it

00:26:43   feels something that reads well on a press release that goes well on a website. But in

00:26:50   practice, I don't want to hang out at the Apple store.

00:26:54   You know, like I don't...

00:26:55   - Hey, can you just meet me at Apple after the show?

00:26:56   I don't want to meet you at Apple, not because you're, you know,

00:26:59   I want to meet you at WWDC. We can hang out.

00:27:02   I don't want to hang out with my friends in a store.

00:27:04   Like it's not like going to a coffee shop. I don't go to Apple as they say,

00:27:09   to hang out. And so it feels like it's a combination of,

00:27:12   if I were to speculate, so if we were a Rorschach test,

00:27:16   and if I were to read into it, what I see,

00:27:19   I would say that a combination of form over function,

00:27:25   So, inspirational ideas against the practicality of a store and certain decisions that made

00:27:36   the store experience more chaotic and messy and confusing may have maybe contributed to

00:27:44   Angela's departure from Apple. That's my perspective.

00:27:47   I agree with all of that. From the consumer perspective, the stores are overwhelming,

00:27:53   and I think Apple's mistake and I don't know if it's hers or or what but someone

00:27:58   made the mistake and he said it so like the store is not a destination right no

00:28:04   one wants to have an experience with an Apple retail you want to go and do what

00:28:08   you have to do and you want that experience to go smoothly and like to be

00:28:11   helpful and be positive but I feel like they've gone too far in that direction

00:28:18   so like my Apple store here has the redesign but it's a very small story the

00:28:23   The Memphis market is small and even in our small market, it is just always chaotic in

00:28:31   there.

00:28:33   I don't ever go in unless I've got to have something for repair or order something

00:28:38   for pickup, in which case I can go in, talk to the person at the door, and get in and

00:28:43   out as quickly as possible.

00:28:45   It's not someplace I just want to drop by and do something quickly.

00:28:49   That's a problem, right?

00:28:51   I think the other angle to it is the service angle,

00:28:56   which is sort of the way I think about it first.

00:29:00   Now I've been gone from Apple retail for like 10 years,

00:29:01   so nothing I experience then is relevant now.

00:29:06   It's ancient history.

00:29:07   But the service is an important aspect of the store,

00:29:10   and having the Genius Bar replaced by like,

00:29:14   you go sit in these uncomfortable chairs

00:29:16   and someone will just yell your name

00:29:17   until they come find you,

00:29:20   That's, it's stressful waiting,

00:29:23   and it's not a pleasant experience

00:29:26   to kind of be stuck at a table with somebody

00:29:28   as they take your machine in for repair.

00:29:31   And it's again, it's just chaotic.

00:29:33   That's the word I keep coming back to

00:29:34   at these Apple stores.

00:29:35   Some of that was in process

00:29:37   well before Angela ever showed up,

00:29:38   like the getting rid of the point of sale system.

00:29:40   That was happening 2006, 2007 when I was there.

00:29:44   It's been gone for a decade, that's not coming back.

00:29:46   But I do think there are ways

00:29:47   that there could be processes and structures put back

00:29:51   into retail to help it function more

00:29:55   like a regular store again.

00:29:57   I don't know if we'll see that.

00:29:59   It's 506 stores, it is like 70,000 employees.

00:30:03   It's a lot of things to deal with, but I'm hopeful.

00:30:08   It could always be worse.

00:30:11   I just wanna put this in historical context.

00:30:12   There's a link in the show notes to an article I wrote

00:30:15   a couple years ago called Apple Cafes.

00:30:17   Apple had this like wild concept in the 1990s of

00:30:21   Well, basically the store they built at the new campus where there's like a restaurant

00:30:26   it's all there's seating and like there's a bar and one of these pictures just go check that out and and

00:30:31   be thankful that's not the future that we live in but

00:30:35   Boy, what a mess. What what's that? What's that expression? What has been will be will be again

00:30:42   What has been done will be done again. There is nothing new under the Sun. I

00:30:46   I read this somewhere a few days ago.

00:30:49   The Apple cafe thing is totally something they're doing again.

00:30:53   We've been to one.

00:30:55   They have one.

00:30:57   It's on the company store as a cafe now.

00:31:00   It's half cafe, half retail store.

00:31:02   Well one third cafe, one third and then they've got the visitor center.

00:31:05   One third weird AR experience that made the iPad really hot.

00:31:10   I think my view on a lot of this is pretty different.

00:31:13   I don't personally feel like the Apple store is any worse than it's always been.

00:31:18   Like the idea of not having checkouts or like places you can buy stuff from.

00:31:24   I can't remember an Apple store

00:31:26   I've ever been into that had a defined place where you would buy something.

00:31:30   Like it's always like find random person

00:31:33   and the cash tills are in the desks, right?

00:31:37   Like they it's just like always for me felt like a kind of you go in

00:31:41   and you just keep walking around and around with something in your hands until you can

00:31:44   try and get somebody's attention. I feel like it's always been that way for as long as I've

00:31:49   been going into them. I also never have once set up an appointment or been to the Genius

00:31:55   Grove for anything. So I just want to say that as like, oh, so you're one of those people

00:32:00   you never got to like, who's never been there. Well, like it's, I'm not one of those people.

00:32:05   I've just never had a need. I can never had a reason. I had a reason, but I couldn't do

00:32:08   anything, right? Like, breaking my iPad screen, I wasn't gonna pay for it because it was too

00:32:13   much in of AppleCare, so...

00:32:14   So you never made a reservation for the Genius Bar in your life?

00:32:17   Never.

00:32:18   Oh, interesting. Okay.

00:32:20   I've never been to the Genius Bar. I've never made a reservation. I've never been.

00:32:23   Oh, I had no idea. Okay. Okay.

00:32:25   Right, so my view of Apple Stores not being any better or worse could be tainted by that.

00:32:31   I also, like, I don't know how I feel about the idea of, like, the Apple Stores are bad,

00:32:36   is why Angela's gone because it doesn't look like they fired her. So it doesn't look like

00:32:44   it. But I don't know. But something's happened. But even if it is, even if they have fired

00:32:49   her, this is the reason. Because nothing bad has happened that we can see that, like, they

00:32:55   were clearly all in on this idea, right? So like, she could just do this on her own.

00:33:01   we consider that tweet by Mark Gurman that it looks suspiciously close to, you know,

00:33:08   the company reports iPhone sales are down and then the head of retail leaves. Like,

00:33:13   it's maybe not related but it looks a certain way.

00:33:17   But I don't think the reason that people weren't buying iPhones was because of the retail experience.

00:33:22   Right? Like, I don't think anyone's thinking that, right? That like, "Oh, I couldn't buy

00:33:26   an iPhone. That wasn't the case. I can understand the tantalising nature of an opinion like

00:33:35   that, right? But Angela wasn't responsible for China, right? That's what Apple was blaming

00:33:44   it on. You know what I mean? If they would have had a big store problem, that would have

00:33:49   been really easy to be like, "Oh no, people really want it and they just destroyed our

00:33:52   stores because of over demand. I don't know. I don't know what's going on here. But I definitely,

00:33:58   definitely am in the camp of like, this was a surprise to someone.

00:34:02   Yeah. Yeah. I mean, either to her to Tim Cook, right? One of the two was probably surprised.

00:34:09   The flip side of this, I want to talk about too is what they're doing moving forward. So

00:34:16   combining this role of HR and retail. I said 70,000 retail

00:34:24   employees drinks, Dr. Drank said this 32% of Apple, but Apple PR

00:34:28   says there's 100,000 total employees. So like, it's I

00:34:31   think it's more than 32%. But either way you cut it, it's a

00:34:36   large number of people to manage and 506 stores. It's a lot of

00:34:40   locations and my concern with this is, and I said it yesterday, is that this

00:34:48   means that retail doesn't have a full seat at the table anymore, right? That it

00:34:52   is shared somehow with HR and yes, these departments are way more than this

00:35:00   one individual, right? They have tons and tons of people and there are people

00:35:02   directly under her who are completely responsible for retail, completely

00:35:06   responsible for HR. But the highest level it being merged is just not something

00:35:11   that I saw coming but Gurman had another tweet talking about the the turnover

00:35:17   we've seen at Apple's very highest level since Tim Cook came and the most

00:35:23   turnover they've seen is in retail right they had Ron Johnson who sort of

00:35:29   started it and then he left and did JC Penney and that didn't go very well now

00:35:32   he has a startup and then it was empty for a while and

00:35:35   And then they filled the position

00:35:38   with a guy named John

00:35:41   Browett and the disaster guy from the UK and that was like a real bad and he got fired like

00:35:50   Apple let him go

00:35:52   And then and then Angela came in so there has been turnover here. So

00:35:57   part of me thinks that maybe this isn't permanent and

00:36:01   It's just to make sure someone can oversee it, but then at the same time like maybe it's not maybe that's okay, too

00:36:07   It's just unusual for Apple. It feels like but

00:36:11   At the same time I think something another factor to consider is like if you look at Apple's other

00:36:17   Segments so like Craig Federighi in charge of software

00:36:21   Well, he is technically in charge of like all of their software platforms

00:36:25   But of course he has chiefs in charge of Mac OS iOS watch OS and the intern running tvOS

00:36:31   Right and Johnny is back in charge of the two design departments that they split up for him

00:36:36   Right, I split them up. So maybe this time away from it

00:36:39   So maybe this isn't while it's new to retail in HR

00:36:42   Maybe it isn't as unusual with an Apple as it seems like it is what you begin software the software and design roles

00:36:49   like the two subdivisions

00:36:53   They are inherently the same thing.

00:36:56   Human resources and retail stores are not the same thing.

00:37:01   They don't ladder up naturally into one person.

00:37:06   My assumption here is just they didn't want this space to be open again.

00:37:12   So they've given it to someone that they feel has the right skills

00:37:16   to look after it until they can find a more permanent replacement.

00:37:20   Right, like it feels super strange to me to give one person these two roles because they

00:37:30   don't have a natural fit together and this clearly wasn't the way it was thought of before,

00:37:38   right? They haven't had a great idea of like, "I know what we do. Deidre should have both

00:37:43   of these and we'll fire Angela." That's not the reason that they've done this. They just

00:37:47   have an empty seat and for whatever reason I don't I will say I don't know a

00:37:52   lot about Deidre O'Brien I know that she's been at Apple for like 30 years

00:37:56   yeah she's a she's a lifer as they say like yeah I don't know yeah I don't know

00:38:02   much else about her I hope to see a big profile about her soon right because

00:38:08   she's clearly taken on an important role so I have some other thoughts about

00:38:12   about Angela Ahrendts, it is the general assumption

00:38:16   that she was brought in to help Apple transition

00:38:19   to become more of a fashion conscious brand.

00:38:21   She 100% succeeded at that, right?

00:38:26   Like if you look at the Apple Watch,

00:38:28   and again the Apple Watch has changed,

00:38:30   but a lot of the verbiage and the way that they do

00:38:34   the seasonal releases of watch bands and stuff like that,

00:38:38   if we're still assuming that she had a hand in that,

00:38:40   which is what people assumed at the beginning, like she has been successful. I'm kind of

00:38:45   a little bit, I feel a little bit uncomfortable that like over the last 24 hours everyone

00:38:51   is like, yeah, of course I fired her. But nobody was saying it like two weeks ago, right?

00:38:57   Like I've seen a lot of people say a lot more harsh things than you guys are. And it just

00:39:03   seems strange to me. Like I don't really feel anybody had the, yeah, I guess. But like I

00:39:08   I just don't think that we can know enough.

00:39:13   This genuinely feels more to me like she decided to leave than Apple knew they were getting

00:39:18   rid of her.

00:39:19   That's how it feels to me.

00:39:21   Maybe she just was done with technology and wanted to go back to fashion again.

00:39:25   Who knows?

00:39:26   Yeah, it'd be interesting to see where she lands and that may lead into some more insight

00:39:32   about what happened at Apple.

00:39:34   Also I have one quick hot take about chairs.

00:39:37   I've been seeing a lot of people complaining about chairs, right?

00:39:39   There are no chairs with backs on in Apple stores.

00:39:42   Of course there aren't.

00:39:43   Because they don't want you to sit and hang out in there.

00:39:47   Be like, be realistic about this.

00:39:49   They want to make you uncomfortable.

00:39:51   They don't want because people will hang out in Apple stores.

00:39:54   You've seen tweets about chairs in the Apple.

00:39:57   What kind of people do you follow?

00:39:59   I don't know the same people as you.

00:40:01   Like people, people are complaining about the little balls and the growth thing

00:40:06   with the trees. But they're supposed to be because they don't want people hanging out

00:40:09   and they're using the Wi-Fi all day. Let's be realistic about this for a second. There

00:40:14   are going to be some things you have to design your stores to get people in and out of them,

00:40:19   not like in and hang around. Then we're building the Apple Cafe.

00:40:23   They used to have theaters with real seating and a screen and stuff, and they got rid of

00:40:28   all those. But the Genius bars, when they were around, they basically had kitchen stools,

00:40:33   barstools. So again, no back. And the idea was you sit down for 20 minutes, I take a

00:40:37   look at your iBook and then you go home sad because your iBook's broken. So that's not

00:40:41   new. I think it's one of those things that people latch onto because it's a newer thing

00:40:46   in the store design. And you know, it's easy to poke fun of things that are new. But yeah,

00:40:52   we'll see if there are any changes coming. It's not going to be anytime soon. I don't

00:40:57   think right these things take time. And it's a huge part of Apple's business and they're

00:41:01   not going to rush in and up end. My guess is we're going to see very little change.

00:41:06   My guess is that Apple is pretty happy with the way retail works, especially from like

00:41:11   the layout and design perspective. So if there's any processes or like sort of internal structures

00:41:18   that change, that'll take some time to leak out.

00:41:22   Because they committed to a plan, right? For a certain period of time. You can't, you can't

00:41:26   turn a ship that big, that fast.

00:41:29   The Apple Store ship.

00:41:31   Goodbye Angela, we hardly knew you.

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00:43:33   and Relay FM.

00:43:34   It's beta season.

00:43:36   It's always beta season now, right?

00:43:37   As I said that, I realized that it's basically just beta

00:43:40   year round now, but--

00:43:41   - Some are more interesting than others, though,

00:43:43   and this is maybe a little bit more interesting

00:43:46   than 12.1 was.

00:43:49   So one of the big features of the iOS 12.2 beta is the beginnings of the HomeKit TV support.

00:43:58   And Federico, my understanding is that you were able to, via some means, get your what

00:44:06   should be unsupported LG TV with the HomeKit TV support to be supported via Homebridge.

00:44:13   Yes, that's what happened.

00:44:15   So, soon after the first beta of 12.2 came out, I saw on Twitter Kaos Tian, he's a developer

00:44:26   for... he works at a company that I don't remember the name, is one of the top contributors of

00:44:35   Homebridge, the plugin that allows you to add HomeKit support to unsupported devices.

00:44:41   He makes a bunch of Homebridge plugins and configuration stuff.

00:44:46   And he was playing around with initial support for bringing these native HomeKit APIs for

00:44:53   televisions to his old LG TV running WebOS.

00:44:58   And I think we actually have the same TV, WebOS one from 2017.

00:45:04   he got in touch with me, he sent me an early version of his plugin for adding the WebOS

00:45:12   TV to HomeKit on 12.2, and eventually, a couple of days later, the plugin that I was already

00:45:20   using for HomeBridge, it's called the HomeBridge WebOS TV, was updated with native support

00:45:25   for HomeKit and iOS 12.2. So, for the past 10 days, 2 weeks, I've been... I had my TV

00:45:37   in the Home app as a native television for iOS 12.2 instead of... I used to have the

00:45:47   old Homebridge plugins to do that, and they worked by essentially letting you fake certain

00:45:55   TV controls as either a light bulb or a switch. So for example, with the old

00:46:01   plugin that I had, the TV volume was a light bulb, and so increasing and

00:46:07   decreasing the brightness actually changed the volume of the TV. So you

00:46:12   could use a slider to adjust the volume. Or, for example, if you wanted to switch

00:46:18   between channels or to switch between inputs, with the old plugin you would

00:46:23   have switches in HomeKit as if they were electric outlets.

00:46:28   And so you could turn off the switch to say,

00:46:31   "Switch to HDMI 2 on the TV," and stuff like that.

00:46:35   With the new HomeKit support for televisions,

00:46:39   some of these features are native integrations of the Home app.

00:46:46   Others still require, at least for my needs and for my tastes,

00:46:51   still require the old plugins. So if you guys want I can go over some of the

00:46:57   details of what you get with HomeKit. So the idea is in the Home app you get a

00:47:03   new type of accessory called the television. It's got a new icon, it looks

00:47:08   like a TV. You can tap and hold it, you can press it with 3D Touch and

00:47:14   it expands into a switch. So at a basic level what you can do is you can turn

00:47:19   off and turn on the TV. There's a Settings button in the bottom right

00:47:26   corner, as always. The thing that's new and different for televisions is in the

00:47:31   bottom left you get Input as a new button of this UI, and the Input button

00:47:36   lets you switch between inputs of your television, so HDMI ports or in the case

00:47:43   of WebOS. And again, I'm testing a third-party plugin, this is not an

00:47:48   official integration, but this plugin allows me to switch between inputs but

00:47:52   also native webOS apps. This plugin uses the native webOS API that LG makes, and

00:48:00   so as a developer you can write software that allows you to control your

00:48:06   television both for inputs, I have four HDMI ports and I can switch between them,

00:48:11   but also you can open webOS apps. So the built-in television apps like Netflix,

00:48:17   like the TV Guide or, I don't know what, I have an Italian streaming service,

00:48:23   you know, that kind of stuff, or the YouTube app, which I prefer to the

00:48:27   YouTube app on the Apple TV. So, at a basic level, what you do is you open the

00:48:32   Home app and you expand the television button and you can either turn off the,

00:48:37   you know, toggle the power state of the TV or switch between inputs. In Settings,

00:48:42   you can change the names of these inputs. And this is all you can do for now in the Home app.

00:48:50   You also get, of course, this is actually my favorite way to control the TV from Control Center,

00:48:57   from the Home button of Control Center. If you add your television as a favorite, you will find it there.

00:49:06   You can expand it with 3D Touch and you can switch inputs from Control Center,

00:49:10   you can turn off and turn on your TV from Control Center.

00:49:13   I should specify that HomeKit support does not equal AirPlay 2.

00:49:19   HomeKit support for televisions means controlling them, not streaming media using AirPlay.

00:49:26   So those are two separate things, and to the best of my knowledge,

00:49:31   I don't think there's a way to enable AirPlay 2 support using something like HomeBridge.

00:49:37   Homebridge. Because Homebridge, what it's doing is it's basically saying you have

00:49:41   this HomeKit accessory on your network and it works with the Home app. I don't

00:49:47   think there's a way to do this with AirPlay 2, but I could be wrong. Still,

00:49:50   HomeKit does not mean AirPlay 2. Two separate things. And finally, the other

00:49:56   part of HomeKit support for televisions is the remote that you get in Control

00:50:02   and this is the thing where I have the most complaints about.

00:50:08   So the remote looks like a very basic digital remote in that you get a directional pad with four arrow buttons

00:50:17   to navigate the UI and a click button in the middle.

00:50:22   This remote is available in the same Control Center screen where the Apple TV remote is,

00:50:31   remote is, which is kind of confusing because when you open Control Center

00:50:35   it's got an Apple TV logo but actually if you expand it and you open this

00:50:40   menu you will see your television remote.

00:50:44   Are there two different ones you can switch between them?

00:50:47   Yes, you can switch between the Apple TV remote and the television remote but when Control Center is in its

00:50:53   initial state you just see the Apple TV icon which is kind of confusing.

00:50:57   So the remote is not in the HomeKit?

00:51:00   No. No.

00:51:01   It's in the Apple TV part?

00:51:03   It's in the Apple TV part of Control Center.

00:51:05   Alright, that feels like something that could be changed,

00:51:08   like the glyph could be changed, maybe.

00:51:10   So you get this directional pad,

00:51:13   then you get a large empty space,

00:51:16   and then at the bottom, at the very end of this remote UI,

00:51:20   there's four buttons, play and pause, back, exit, and info.

00:51:25   So back and exit, they behave as the remote that you will get

00:51:28   on the physical remote of your TV.

00:51:31   In my case, back means navigate back,

00:51:33   and exit means close the current view or the current app.

00:51:36   Play and pause only work at least with my plug-in

00:51:40   and with my TV for stuff like YouTube, for example,

00:51:44   or Netflix.

00:51:45   Depends if you're looking at an item that is playable.

00:51:49   And info just opens the info view,

00:51:51   the detail view of what it is you're currently doing.

00:51:54   So if I'm watching TV,

00:51:56   WebOS shows me an info UI for the current channel,

00:51:59   but if I'm watching Netflix, it brings up the detailed view

00:52:03   of the episode, stuff like that.

00:52:06   And that's about it.

00:52:07   The remote is not customizable.

00:52:08   That's my main problem with this.

00:52:11   You cannot add inputs to the remote.

00:52:16   This is something that I do all the time.

00:52:18   With my physical remote, I either

00:52:20   control the playback of the TV or change the volume,

00:52:24   or I switch between inputs. My remote has buttons for Netflix and Prime Video, for example,

00:52:29   but this digital remote, despite the fact that it's digital and in theory could be changed,

00:52:34   right now it's not customizable. So if you want to change inputs, you gotta use the HomeKit tile,

00:52:41   which means first you gotta press on the Home icon in Control Center,

00:52:47   then you gotta press on the Television button,

00:52:50   Then you need to tap input and only then you can select the input that you want to switch to.

00:52:56   So switching inputs is a bit slow right now

00:52:58   And I would like to see the remote to be customizable

00:53:01   How does it work with Siri?

00:53:03   Doesn't work yet. So that's the other problem. I don't know if it will

00:53:07   I assume it will because it will be super strange.

00:53:10   It will. It has to, right? Like it has to, it's home.

00:53:13   But if you... It must.

00:53:15   If you... I mean it...

00:53:17   It only seems natural that you should be able to say "switch to Netflix on the television" or stuff like that, or "switch to HDMI 2".

00:53:26   Do you get access to them in shortcuts?

00:53:28   No.

00:53:29   So you can only set up scenes for...

00:53:35   Because I told you right now the television in HomeKit behaves like a glorified outlet,

00:53:43   So it behaves like an accessory that can either be on or off.

00:53:47   It doesn't have actions to say "Switch to a different channel",

00:53:53   because it behaves like a switch.

00:53:56   So when you create a scene, you can say "Turn off my lights", and, I don't know,

00:54:01   "Dimm, use this color", and turn on the TV.

00:54:04   But you cannot say "Make the lights blue and open Netflix", or stuff like that.

00:54:09   You can only toggle the power state.

00:54:11   So you can create scenes that turn off or turn on your TV, but that's about it for now.

00:54:16   And yeah, it's convenient. I like the fact that when you open the remote from Control Center,

00:54:24   and you leave it open, and you lock your phone, the moment you tap your phone,

00:54:30   you will see the remote instead of the lock screen. So the idea is you're watching Netflix,

00:54:35   you're watching YouTube, you tap your phone, you see the remote. That's convenient, and I

00:54:40   I really like it actually.

00:54:42   But it should be customizable and you should be able

00:54:44   to control your TV from Siri.

00:54:46   Now, this is super early, I'm using a third party plugin,

00:54:49   there's a chance that the problem is the plugin.

00:54:54   - For all we know, right, like this is like the most basic

00:54:58   of basic support, but if you have an actual television,

00:55:02   which is HomeKit enabled, it might do more.

00:55:04   We just don't know that yet, right?

00:55:06   - Then again, I'm skeptical about that

00:55:09   because the plugin is using the official HomeKit APIs and those are all there are.

00:55:14   No, I think it's probably closer to what you're using, but I just don't want to...

00:55:20   We don't have all the information yet, right?

00:55:24   Yeah. But I like it. Once Apple gets the Siri integration going,

00:55:32   the idea of asking the HomePod to control the television, that's going to be real nice.

00:55:37   I, at this point, considering the fact that a third-party developer was able to build

00:55:45   a plugin using the WebOS API in a couple of days, make it work with HomeKit, I really

00:55:52   want to hear LG's argument if they do not bring HomeKit support to the older TV sets

00:56:00   running webOS because the new webOS TVs from 2019 and those from 2017 or 2018

00:56:07   are going to run the same version of webOS. So to artificially limit HomeKit

00:56:14   I'm not talking about AirPlay which may or may not require some other dedicated

00:56:19   chip, again I don't think it will, but I'm talking about HomeKit and to limit

00:56:24   that to just the 2019 models while I understand commercially speaking why LG

00:56:29   may want to do that. Technically speaking it seems like a sort of a like a fake limitation

00:56:35   because again some indie developer got it going in two days and yeah I want to see what

00:56:42   they do but I don't know any other questions? I don't think so. It's exciting to see what's

00:56:49   possible and I agree with you I hope this goes as wide as possible right this isn't

00:56:55   limited to just TVs you can buy this year.

00:56:58   Yeah, I really don't want to change my TV just to get HomeKit.

00:57:03   And for... let me clarify before

00:57:06   listeners ask. At the moment I'm still...

00:57:10   I'm running the plug-in called Homebridge WebOS TV

00:57:14   and I'm running it in a sort of mixed

00:57:18   environment. There's an article on Mac Stories with screenshots about

00:57:21   shows this stuff in the sense that I have the

00:57:26   television accessory as an official HomeKit one, but I still have other

00:57:31   accessories, other items in HomeKit based on the legacy mode for this plugin because there are some things that

00:57:42   this new HomeKit integration doesn't do. So I still have the slider to adjust the volume

00:57:49   Which looks like a light bulb actually Sylvia asked me about this last night. She was looking at my phone

00:57:54   It's like why are you changing the volume of the TV, but it looks like a light bulb and it says brightness

00:57:59   So I still have that I still have

00:58:02   switches to

00:58:04   To open individual channels like channel 5 channel 6 on my TV. I still have

00:58:10   Switches to open apps that cannot be opened by the new plug-in and stuff like that

00:58:17   So it's a mixed environment right now, but it works well.

00:58:20   So we'll see if future betas open up new endpoints

00:58:26   for the HomeKit API or a customizable remote.

00:58:29   That would be really nice.

00:58:31   So there was some other stuff that came out in 12.2.

00:58:33   One thing was found by Guillermo Rambo,

00:58:37   which is lots of references to Apple News magazines.

00:58:42   Kind of like they found some splash screens,

00:58:46   which seemed to indicate that magazines are in fact coming to Apple News.

00:58:50   This included references in the code,

00:58:54   I assume somewhere to the phrase bundle,

00:58:56   which makes a lot of sense or bundle subscription. Um, so yeah, that's,

00:59:00   this is going to be a part of Apple's upcoming media services bundle.

00:59:04   It would have seen, it would see.

00:59:05   Which makes sense, right? They've been moving towards this since buying texture.

00:59:10   There's the point.

00:59:12   There are other rumors,

00:59:13   I think saying that the video streaming service

00:59:16   could be as early as April.

00:59:18   That's not really in the show notes for today,

00:59:19   but it just seems like all this stuff

00:59:21   is inching closer and closer.

00:59:23   - Yeah, I reckon we're gonna get an event in March.

00:59:27   - Feels like it.

00:59:28   It really does. - Which has a lot

00:59:30   of this stuff.

00:59:31   And there's new animoji.

00:59:34   A giraffe, a boar, owl, and a shark.

00:59:37   So I'm, you know, fine.

00:59:42   They look fun.

00:59:43   I guess the giraffe is brilliant.

00:59:46   So good.

00:59:46   The boar, the boar I also like.

00:59:49   The owl and the shark I'm less excited about.

00:59:51   I don't know why.

00:59:52   The shark is sort of strange.

00:59:54   There's a lot of body in there.

00:59:55   You know, those are just dismembered animal heads.

00:59:59   Yeah.

01:00:00   There's a lot of body.

01:00:01   And especially when you see it in the list,

01:00:05   it's like the whole animal, which

01:00:07   is different to everything else.

01:00:09   But maybe it's-- I don't know.

01:00:11   Is it difficult to show a shark just its head?

01:00:17   This is not a question that has ever been asked before in a podcast.

01:00:20   I guess so.

01:00:22   Can you visually depict a shark just by its head?

01:00:25   If a shark doesn't have a body, how can it swim?

01:00:31   Where does the head of the shark end and the body begins?

01:00:34   Nobody really knows.

01:00:35   Yeah, science is out on this.

01:00:37   They haven't figured it out.

01:00:39   They've tried.

01:00:40   So much time, energy and money has been poured into the answer to that question.

01:00:44   How does Apple pick these animals?

01:00:46   Like do they have stats to decide the next animoji?

01:00:50   Do they have like a draft?

01:00:51   Oh, they should totally have a draft for the next animoji.

01:00:56   They should ask Jason to run it.

01:00:58   They can license the Jason Snell technology.

01:01:04   I don't feel like I understand.

01:01:06   Are there any animals you would like to see, Federico?

01:01:09   Squid fish would be interesting as an animoji I think.

01:01:14   But also, okay, let me look at the animals on the emoji keyboard.

01:01:19   Why is it all just animals too?

01:01:21   I want more other things.

01:01:26   I would like to have...

01:01:27   Like they have the robot, I want like an alien, there's got to be some others.

01:01:30   I would like to have squid.

01:01:33   Squid should be an animoji.

01:01:34   Okay.

01:01:35   Goat should be an animoji.

01:01:37   I still want the emoji face. Just the regular emoji face.

01:01:40   Hedgehog should be an emoji.

01:01:42   What else?

01:01:49   I kind of want the emoji for a duck.

01:01:52   That could be fun.

01:01:54   Okay.

01:01:55   Yeah, these are my four.

01:01:57   Weird fish, goat, duck.

01:02:02   There's no cow, right?

01:02:03   There's no cow.

01:02:04   That seems like a pretty obvious one.

01:02:06   you know I actually want the animoji with the creepy face of the moon I want

01:02:14   that animoji creepy moon face that's my actually my top pick weird fish second

01:02:22   snowman snowman would be nice it would be Drang's animoji yeah what what if they do

01:02:30   like the animoji for the petal for playing ping-pong. Imagine that. Can you

01:02:38   imagine if they like enabled you to make an emoji of your own face? Imagine what

01:02:43   that would be like. What would you call that? Like a self-emoji. Anemojme.

01:02:48   That's probably it. If you have an animal you would like to see as an animoji

01:02:55   please tweet at Federico and he'll get he'll get it done if it's a really good

01:03:00   one I will thumbs up there you go so you can send them to him but they've got to

01:03:05   be good but I need you need to motivate your your decision and explain convince

01:03:10   me of its validity that's how it works so you're not asking for papers is what

01:03:16   you're asking I'm asking for people to pitch me an animals animal candidates

01:03:21   for Animoji. And with the good ones I will forward to Jason Snell for the draft.

01:03:29   Perfect.

01:03:30   Yes.

01:03:31   Great.

01:03:32   I don't know where I'm going with this. Jason will probably hate me, but I'm going

01:03:34   to do it. I don't care.

01:03:36   Jason loves email. That'll be fine.

01:03:39   Mm-hmm.

01:03:40   All right. We have one last topic to round out this week, but before we do that, let

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01:05:48   Also in the 12.2 beta, Ahoy Telephone for AirPods.

01:05:52   I feel like this rumor just like comes around every three or four months or so that new

01:05:57   AirPods could have always listening Siri and it seems like maybe that's again getting closer.

01:06:05   I mean this was rumored last year and remember at the Apple event where they showed the video

01:06:13   and everybody thought "oh they leaked their own AirPods" and then they didn't announce

01:06:18   those AirPods.

01:06:19   They did it.

01:06:20   I mean, this is...

01:06:21   Your friend has been holding this up.

01:06:23   AirPower.

01:06:24   Oh, it's my friend.

01:06:27   Now you're...

01:06:29   I don't feel responsible for my friendships and in this case I don't understand your subtle

01:06:37   criticism of my apprehension for air power state. Therefore I take no offense in your

01:06:46   joke, Myke.

01:06:47   Good. That's perfect.

01:06:48   That is...

01:06:49   What just happened? I don't know what happened.

01:06:53   I was setting myself up for being tall enough, but it was actually perfect.

01:06:58   Really nice and loving.

01:07:01   Um, anyway, yes.

01:07:03   (laughing)

01:07:05   Where are these AirPods?

01:07:08   - Where are they?

01:07:10   So is this something that we want?

01:07:13   Like I feel, I know Myke, I know you don't like tapping

01:07:18   the AirPods when they're in your ear,

01:07:19   and I totally understand that,

01:07:20   I feel like a lot of people probably feel that way.

01:07:22   It doesn't bother me personally.

01:07:24   I'm not, like this would be nice to have for me,

01:07:26   but I guess I'm saying like I don't feel like

01:07:27   my AirPods are incomplete because they don't have

01:07:30   this feature. I wouldn't use it. Really? You're surprising me today. First you never made

01:07:38   a reservation to the Genius Bar. Now you would never use Siri on the AirPods. Do you even

01:07:43   use Apple products? Look, I don't want to talk about that today. I just can't imagine

01:07:49   myself calling Siri in a crowded environment for one, like I'm out in the world, right?

01:07:56   I just don't imagine doing it then.

01:07:57   And then more than that,

01:07:59   what would I use it for?

01:08:02   Right. Like, would I use it to send a

01:08:04   message? I never want to send a

01:08:06   message without seeing what it's

01:08:07   saying.

01:08:08   Play music.

01:08:09   Yeah, but it's...

01:08:11   It does that now.

01:08:13   You just have to tap it.

01:08:14   It's so...

01:08:15   Yeah, it's so infrequent that I

01:08:17   would want to make that change.

01:08:19   I would just be as happy grabbing

01:08:22   my phone out of my pocket.

01:08:23   Do you talk to your AirPods now?

01:08:25   Like if you... Well, you don't tap.

01:08:26   Never.

01:08:27   Do you, Federico?

01:08:28   No, because Siri sounds terrible right now on the AirPods.

01:08:32   Yeah, I don't have double tap for Siri enabled on my AirPods.

01:08:38   No, no, no.

01:08:39   I have the gesture, the double tap is play/pause on both sides.

01:08:45   Same. I do that because I don't think I would be able to remember which side I set the gesture for each.

01:08:51   Oh yeah, that's impossible.

01:08:52   I didn't change it.

01:08:53   Yeah.

01:08:54   So my trick for this, when I used to have the setting, was that Siri starts with an

01:09:01   S and in Italian left is "sinistra", which also starts with an S, therefore Siri was

01:09:08   on the left. That was my old trick.

01:09:11   But "stop" also starts with an S.

01:09:13   Well, that's your problem because you're American, I don't care.

01:09:18   What is the Italian word for "stop"? What's the letter? What does that begin with?

01:09:22   For "stop"?

01:09:23   Yeah. Yeah. It's stop. Right. Well then it also applies to you.

01:09:28   You're an American. That's why I said it. Cause I got, you're an American,

01:09:32   but like it's the same for you. Stop is also like,

01:09:35   I was talking about Siri. I don't care about stop. Um, but play pause,

01:09:40   I guess starts with something else other than an S. I get it. It's good.

01:09:44   It's good. Um, I use Siri on my AirPods, not a ton,

01:09:48   but you know, so I use my AirPods basically in,

01:09:51   in three situations.

01:09:53   One, I am traveling,

01:09:56   and like walking through an airport or something.

01:09:58   We talked before about how using AirPods on a plane

01:10:00   is a terrible idea, I don't use them on the plane,

01:10:01   but traveling I use them.

01:10:04   And if I'm walking through an airport,

01:10:05   you know, I don't mind tapping and asking Siri something.

01:10:08   I use them at the gym, in which case,

01:10:10   I never wanna talk to Siri,

01:10:11   because then you're just the guy at the gym muttering,

01:10:14   which is just like not a good look.

01:10:16   Now, and then I use them around the house

01:10:17   doing like yard work or doing dishes or something like that,

01:10:19   in which case my phone isn't always on me,

01:10:23   like maybe it's on the counter,

01:10:24   or if I'm mowing the grass,

01:10:25   maybe it's like on the back porch

01:10:27   and I'm just out in the yard,

01:10:29   in which case it is nice to have it enabled.

01:10:32   But again, I don't feel like the lack of Ahoy! telephone

01:10:36   breaks the experience for me.

01:10:38   But I do find it useful to talk to Siri

01:10:40   when that's all I have with me.

01:10:42   - I've had a problem with my AirPods

01:10:46   for the past few months.

01:10:47   - Oh no.

01:10:48   Yeah, I linked it on Mac stories a couple of weeks ago.

01:10:53   I've noticed that my day one AirPods,

01:10:57   I actually got them in December 2016 when they launched.

01:11:01   Their battery doesn't last as long as it used to,

01:11:06   and also the volume in one of them is quieter than it used to be.

01:11:11   And, yes, I cleaned them,

01:11:13   and I tried a bunch of different things,

01:11:15   like setting up the AirPods from scratch.

01:11:18   I think it's just that they have aged, and I've used them basically every day for the

01:11:23   past two years and something.

01:11:27   So I'm in the market for new AirPods.

01:11:29   I really can't wait for Apple to release the new models, because I used to be able to run

01:11:37   through an entire episode of Cortex or upgrade, and at full volume, because I usually use

01:11:43   AirPods when I'm doing something else around the house, and therefore I want the full volume

01:11:47   to cover, like the sound of washing dishes or having a vacuum cleaner, that kind of stuff.

01:11:55   And even at full volume, after going through some 90 minutes of podcast, I still had plenty

01:12:01   of battery life left. Now, if I do the same, I get the low power chime at some point before

01:12:09   the podcast ends.

01:12:10   It's the saddest sound Apple has ever used in their software.

01:12:15   It's the "I'm dying" sound.

01:12:18   It makes me feel real bad.

01:12:19   It feels like a pretty low quality audio file, as well as it sounding sad.

01:12:25   Well, it has to be a death cry, so of course it has to sound bad.

01:12:31   And so I was thinking a few days ago, what do I actually want to see in the new AirPods?

01:12:38   besides support for Siri, which as I said,

01:12:42   sounds terrible right now, but it's like,

01:12:44   it sounds like Siri on Bluetooth 1.0.

01:12:47   Like it sounds really, really bad.

01:12:49   Yeah, for me at least, I don't know.

01:12:50   Like when Siri, like when you use Siri on the AirPods,

01:12:54   does it sound like Siri on the phone for you?

01:12:57   It sounds so bad for me.

01:12:58   - Not as good, but I don't think it sounds like garbage,

01:13:01   but now I'm gonna pay attention to that now.

01:13:03   Maybe you've ruined it for me.

01:13:05   - Maybe I just have higher standards than you do.

01:13:07   (laughing)

01:13:09   Sorry.

01:13:12   - No, the AirPod battery thing, that's a real thing.

01:13:14   I replaced mine over the summer because I was like,

01:13:17   they just fell off a cliff and I was--

01:13:20   - Very unfortunate. - Not the AirPod.

01:13:21   The battery life-- - How did you do that?

01:13:23   What, what you see, what you did?

01:13:25   You go out of cliffs now?

01:13:26   - I'm just rock climbing all the time with my AirPods.

01:13:29   That's a terrible idea.

01:13:30   And I see that a lot on Twitter and people talking

01:13:33   that the battery life is starting to decline

01:13:36   these original ones. And that's... you're in a bad spot, right? Like, do you buy them now?

01:13:42   Or try to like push through until the new ones show up? That's complicated.

01:13:47   I almost had the half idea of "maybe I should just get new AirPods, I don't want to wait."

01:13:53   But then it feels like it's 180 euros. Like, they're not cheap. They're expensive and they're

01:13:59   they're not exactly disposable. So I'm gonna wait, but yes, besides Siri I would

01:14:06   actually like them to be a bit louder. I don't know if this is because the volume

01:14:11   has suffered on mine, but if possible I would like them to be a bit louder and to

01:14:15   have more bass. Yeah, I know that they don't get as loud on

01:14:21   planes and stuff, I feel like I could always do with a little bit more

01:14:25   volume than I get so yeah longer battery life because why not I don't know if

01:14:33   this is possible but I would like at least the case to be easier to clean

01:14:39   again I don't I don't lint gets in that hinge area yes possible you cannot get

01:14:45   it out it's it's almost like my lint is made is there for all time just like

01:14:50   impossible, like you can't remove it. It's wild.

01:14:54   And finally, it would be really nice if the AirPods could double as a heart rate monitor.

01:15:00   Somehow, I know there's a patent somewhere for Apple doing this, like using

01:15:11   earbuds as a heart rate sensor, but I don't know if it is at all possible in the second generation

01:15:19   AirPods. I would be content with just a louder volume, longer battery life and even the case

01:15:26   could be optional. Just giving more battery, giving more volume and of course air power support.

01:15:33   Oh just change, yeah that would be fine. Doesn't need to be specifically for air power.

01:15:40   Well I could accept that but air power would be preferable.

01:15:48   provided air power is available. Oh right, your uh... Air power support is useless if there's no air

01:15:54   power, Matt. Right, you're uh... I'm sorry. An air power truther, as they call them. Yeah, and the truth is

01:16:03   there's no air power. Well, okay. Wow. Okay. That is the truth. Yeah, the air power was staged in

01:16:12   Hollywood. Well actually yes, it was almost like in the video. You can see the way that the wind

01:16:19   affects the cable. You can see that it's all fake. A bunch of fake moon dust all over it.

01:16:24   Myke, do you have any desires for updated AirPods? What would you have changed in this product,

01:16:30   if anything? Faster and better device switching. Yes, yes, this is where I am.

01:16:37   it is very good. I wished it was more. It's just like sometimes I'm like, I feel like I'm waiting

01:16:43   for a while and honestly I would like to have to never manually switch, right? And I saw this video

01:16:52   that MKBHD reviewed Federico's favorite headphones, the Sony WH-1000XM3, just rolls off the top.

01:17:03   And he spoke about like he made reference to being able to like be connected by Bluetooth to multiple devices.

01:17:09   Wait, how?

01:17:09   And when you just press play, I don't know, he made a reference to that.

01:17:12   I don't know. I don't have these things.

01:17:14   I think it's Bluetooth five point something or five something that you can have multiple devices connected

01:17:19   and whatever one you start playing audio on, it will just take over.

01:17:23   Mine don't do that.

01:17:25   Have you tried though?

01:17:27   But do you have devices that support that Bluetooth spec?

01:17:31   Oh, because the iPhones don't?

01:17:33   And like, I don't know.

01:17:34   I don't know. I don't know.

01:17:36   All I know is like he made reference to this and I would like that.

01:17:40   I would like that. I would like that.

01:17:42   If it doesn't exist, I want Apple to do that.

01:17:44   Like, yes, all my devices are connected and whichever starts playing audio.

01:17:47   Most recently, my AirPods switch to it.

01:17:50   Yes, I want that. Make it happen.

01:17:52   Myke, tell. That's what I want.

01:17:54   Do something. OK.

01:17:56   I've done all I can, which is ask for it.

01:17:59   Okay.

01:18:00   Um, and what else would I like?

01:18:04   Hmm.

01:18:06   What if the AirPods could, what if the AirPods could make an appointment to the Genius Bar

01:18:10   for you?

01:18:11   Then, that would be useless for me.

01:18:14   I would like more than just white.

01:18:16   I don't know exactly what I want, but I want more options than just white.

01:18:20   What about green?

01:18:21   Black.

01:18:22   Black, please.

01:18:23   Maybe, it depends.

01:18:25   Maybe black, maybe.

01:18:26   What about indigo?

01:18:27   But definitely white, more than white.

01:18:28   Wow.

01:18:29   Flower power

01:18:30   You found yes those two

01:18:32   Indigo and flower power. They're the two color options that I want and also also some way to do native volume adjustment on there

01:18:40   But on the air. Oh, yes. Yes

01:18:42   Yeah, it seems like that would always be really super difficult but I would I would really I would really love that

01:18:50   Is that it? I think so. Do you have no wishes? Oh

01:18:54   y'all covered mine like

01:18:56   Faster switching a hoy telephone would be nice, but not a deal breaker for me and I'd love them on black

01:19:01   What about like?

01:19:04   Some kind of noise cancelling II think I do not like active noise cancelling and I would turn it off

01:19:09   I can either and if it was not able to be turned off, I would not buy them. I do not like it

01:19:15   Yep, I think I'm probably in the same

01:19:17   I want to try it, but I probably would feel it makes my brain feel fuzzy and a very makes me feel

01:19:23   Nauseous. Yep

01:19:25   - Before we wrap up, I just want to, as I forgot to mention this, I've been trying to

01:19:33   understand after last week's show what porridge actually is, because I got some tweets from

01:19:41   people.

01:19:42   - It's breakfast risotto.

01:19:43   - I still don't get it.

01:19:44   It still looks like breakfast risotto to me, but you made fun of me for saying this, and

01:19:49   some people on Twitter also did.

01:19:51   I still don't understand what this is supposed to be.

01:19:53   - I don't think people were making fun.

01:19:55   I think people thought it was hilarious.

01:19:57   Like, it's hilarious.

01:19:58   So, is it, like, is it sweet?

01:20:02   Usually?

01:20:03   Not unless you sweeten it.

01:20:06   Okay.

01:20:07   What do you usually put on it?

01:20:09   A lot of people like honey in it, or like fruit, or like some maybe maple syrup, or

01:20:15   like brown sugar or something.

01:20:17   Is it warm or cold?

01:20:19   You should eat it warm, I think.

01:20:22   Most people do.

01:20:23   Okay.

01:20:24   Okay. I should try it. I wonder if there's any place in Italy where I could order some porridge.

01:20:31   I'm gonna call "no" on that one, but we'll hook you up. We'll find a way. Next time you travel somewhere else.

01:20:40   Yes. Next time I'm in London.

01:20:42   It doesn't really feel like an Italian food, to be honest.

01:20:45   If you order some porridge for dinner in London, do they look at you like a crazy person?

01:20:51   Well, yeah, because it's not dinner. It's a breakfast food. What I can do, I can just

01:20:56   get porridge and make it for you. Interesting. Okay. Okay. And we can do that.

01:21:02   Okay. Thank you. That was my follow up. Sorry. I'll take us home. If you want to read more

01:21:07   about the stuff we've talked about this week, find links to these stories. You can head

01:21:11   over to relay.fm/connected/229. They're also in your podcast app you're listening to. But

01:21:18   If you go to the website, you can do additional things.

01:21:21   You can send us an email with any feedback or follow-up,

01:21:25   or if email is too old-fashioned for you,

01:21:28   you can do it on Twitter.

01:21:28   All three of us are there.

01:21:30   You can find Myke there as I-M-Y-K-E.

01:21:33   Myke is the host of a bunch of shows here at Relay FM.

01:21:36   So if you like connected, there's probably something else

01:21:38   that Myke does that you would like.

01:21:40   You can find Federico on Twitter.

01:21:42   Remember, this is where you need to submit proposals,

01:21:46   written proposals for Animoji, future subjects.

01:21:51   You can find him there, Evitichi, V-I-T-I-C-C-I.

01:21:56   Federico is also, of course, the editor-in-chief

01:21:58   of maxstories.net, a website that you should read

01:22:01   every single day.

01:22:03   You can find me on Twitter @ismh,

01:22:05   and I write over at 512pixels.net.

01:22:08   I'd like to thank our sponsors this week,

01:22:10   ExpressVPN, Luna Display, and Hover,

01:22:13   And until next week boys, say goodbye.

01:22:16   Arrivederci.

01:22:17   -Ciurio. -Adios.