163: U2 Red


00:00:00   [Music]

00:00:06   From Relay FM, this is Connected episode 163. Today's show

00:00:11   is brought to you by Blue Apron, Bombfell and Mac Weldon.

00:00:15   My name is Stephen Hackett and I'm joined by Federico Vittucci.

00:00:18   Hola Federico. Hello Myke, how are you? I'm good, how are you? I'm doing well, I'm

00:00:25   I'm doing well. Yeah. And to the second Steven Hackett. Hello, Steven.

00:00:28   Hmm. I'm finding any way I can to avoid the naming thing.

00:00:33   So I'm just like, hmm, co-opted my trying to throw you off.

00:00:37   You've stolen my identity is what you've done.

00:00:40   It didn't work this week, though. You didn't do it. So.

00:00:42   What perfectly for me, crime doesn't pay, Myke.

00:00:45   So I'm saying, OK, OK, we should do follow up.

00:00:49   Right. That's where we start.

00:00:51   I don't know what we're doing anymore. You stole my name.

00:00:53   I don't know who I am. I don't know what I'm supposed to do in the show.

00:00:55   Yeah, you see when things go wrong, they can mess you right up.

00:00:58   And so now I'm putting it on you, putting that hate on you.

00:01:00   I'm telling you, a lot of started going downhill

00:01:03   when we dropped the sound effects for the follow up.

00:01:05   That was a long time ago, man.

00:01:08   That was like 163 weeks ago.

00:01:11   Three years ago.

00:01:13   That's what I'm saying.

00:01:15   Really went downhill when we started our own podcast company.

00:01:18   That literally should have stayed where we were.

00:01:22   Okay, so follow up Kate Matthews, friend of the show, friend of all the shows, has made

00:01:29   a dongle duffle.

00:01:30   Out of paper.

00:01:31   Out of paper.

00:01:32   There's an Ethernet thunderbolt dongle in one of these pictures for scale.

00:01:38   This is the most adorable thing I've ever seen.

00:01:40   It even has a little movable shoulder strap.

00:01:43   There's like a tweet thread, a really important hashtag thread that we're gonna put in the

00:01:48   the show notes, which has all of the pictures and gifts that you want to see

00:01:53   of Kate's unbelievable work who is in the chat room right now. Thank you Kate

00:01:56   for your incredible mastermind that you have to create these wonderful works.

00:02:02   This is lovely. I imagine if the Smurfs had a dongle problem, this is

00:02:07   the kind of duffel they would want, you know? It's just perfect. We see this case

00:02:12   color, these colors, they are chosen because I have a knock case that Brad

00:02:17   and Jeff made in this color way. So Kate understands. They call it unicorn buff the color way. That's

00:02:26   how the dongle duffle is. So I'm petitioning Brad and Jeff to try and make one of these

00:02:30   for me. I don't know how well I'm doing on that front yet. He keeps saying "yeah yeah

00:02:34   we'll do it" but I think that means he won't do it. So I'm trying to get him to make one

00:02:39   for me so we can have a real life dongle duffle.

00:02:42   Yeah, dongle duffle IRL, if you will.

00:02:47   Okay, we've been speaking about reachability in context of the iPhone X, and Myke, I think

00:02:53   you're the one who brought it up where in iOS 11, reachability doesn't work to invoke

00:02:59   a notification center or I guess the cover sheet, whatever it's called today.

00:03:03   It used to, right?

00:03:04   So you could double tap the home button and then you could pull down from the center and

00:03:08   you get your notifications.

00:03:09   That hasn't worked in iOS 11.

00:03:11   There's a story on MacRumors saying that Craig Federighi has replied to an email, which is

00:03:17   how all news is broken now, saying four words, "We are fixing it."

00:03:23   So I guess they're gonna fix it?

00:03:27   I don't know.

00:03:28   There you go.

00:03:29   Yeah, there's 11.1 beta 2 is out.

00:03:33   It's not fixed there, so maybe it will be fixed before the release.

00:03:35   I mean, there's still a couple of weeks, I guess, before 11.1 comes out.

00:03:39   Maybe it'll be in there.

00:03:41   I think that they've done something to rewrite some of this reachability stuff for the iPhone

00:03:47   X and something's gone wrong here.

00:03:49   Yeah, because there's a lot of weird things that have happened, right?

00:03:52   You know, like the multitasking gesture thing went away and came back and now reachability

00:03:57   is broken but it's going to be fixed.

00:03:59   Some stuff is going on with Springboard and I expect it's something to do with the next

00:04:05   iPhone just the way that a lot of that stuff's going to work.

00:04:07   - It may be like how iWork was.

00:04:09   They sort of reworked iWork and then like,

00:04:11   oh, all this stuff we got rid of, we have to add back.

00:04:14   Or when they redid Final Cut.

00:04:15   It's a pretty common thing with Apple software.

00:04:18   I think it's pretty well understood Springboard

00:04:20   got a lot of work this year,

00:04:21   and so they're sort of like adding back things as they go.

00:04:24   Maybe they're using customer feedback as a metric.

00:04:26   Maybe no one really complained about this in the beta,

00:04:29   so it didn't get resolved,

00:04:32   and now people are realizing that it was out intentionally

00:04:35   and now they're saying something,

00:04:36   so Apple's prioritizing it.

00:04:37   I think that sort of workflow would be really interesting to have a view into, but I'm glad

00:04:43   it's coming back because I don't use reachability very much, but I can imagine that people who

00:04:47   do, and we heard from lots of people who do, that this is a big part of it.

00:04:52   So I'm glad to see that they're going to be bringing it back for those users.

00:04:55   Me too.

00:04:56   Yeah, I think Myke has a point about that something is going on with Springboard because

00:05:00   even if you look at the second beta of iOS 11.1 and the way that they brought back the

00:05:05   the 3D touch gesture to invoke the app switcher.

00:05:08   It's obviously different from the previous version

00:05:11   and it's kind of inspired by the iPhone 10

00:05:14   in that not only can you press longer

00:05:17   to open the full app switcher,

00:05:19   but you can press slightly and then swipe

00:05:21   to just navigate between apps,

00:05:22   which is kind of inspired by the same gesture

00:05:25   on the iPhone 10.

00:05:26   And it seems to me like they're sort of trying

00:05:28   to rewrite the entire stack to make sure

00:05:31   that it's somehow consistent between different iPhones.

00:05:34   even if of course on the iPhone 10 it's all gestures

00:05:36   and on this, you know, on the iPhone 7 and the iPhone 8

00:05:39   it's still 3D touch and the home button.

00:05:41   But I think they're sort of rewriting that for consistency,

00:05:44   which explains why they didn't have the time to do so

00:05:46   this summer with the 11 beta phase.

00:05:49   - Yeah, I can buy that, so.

00:05:52   Moving on to another iOS feature,

00:05:56   do not disturb was a big topic last week.

00:05:59   Kyle pointed out that you can have

00:06:01   do not disturb override for individual users.

00:06:03   So this is, I guess it works in conjunction

00:06:06   with the favorites list or sort of on top

00:06:08   of the favorites list.

00:06:10   You can allow someone to be in that emergency bypass list.

00:06:13   I don't know if this is new in 11, but it's there.

00:06:18   He pointed it out.

00:06:19   So I'm gonna say that it's new and that he discovered it.

00:06:22   - How ugly is that UI?

00:06:25   - It's the worst.

00:06:25   - It's so bad. - Look at that little

00:06:26   popover.

00:06:27   - It's like you're looking at the contact entry, right,

00:06:29   in case you can't see the picture.

00:06:32   and you hit where it says ringtone and then like a mini, I don't even know what you'd

00:06:37   call it, like a mini scrollable list pops up in a popover, it's a really just not good

00:06:42   looking PC UI. There's so many lines, alright, none of the lines match up, right, obviously,

00:06:48   because it just, yeah, it's bad, it's bad news. But it's there if you want it. It's

00:06:51   a good feature to have, it means that like you don't have to have your doctor in your

00:06:55   favourites list, for example, right? Because I don't need that. But now you can do that.

00:07:00   But now you can set them as an individual.

00:07:03   We also got some feedback from Maurice and JXPX777

00:07:07   on Twitter that the old Sony Ericsson phones had

00:07:11   Do Not Disturb based on context as early as 2005.

00:07:15   So you could set up profiles, like home, meeting, et cetera.

00:07:20   And the phone would automatically

00:07:21   switch to the meeting profile, for instance,

00:07:23   when you had an appointment on your calendar

00:07:25   and then switch back at the end.

00:07:27   Basically, the exact thing we talked about,

00:07:28   Sony was crushing this game in 2005.

00:07:32   This makes me quite sad that in 2017 my iPhone can't do this.

00:07:36   But there you go, Sony Ericsson once again leading the way.

00:07:38   - Is that once again?

00:07:39   Is that once again?

00:07:40   Why are we once again? - Man, those phones were awesome.

00:07:42   - Okay.

00:07:43   - They were awesome.

00:07:44   You never had a Sony Ericsson phone?

00:07:46   - I used to have Sony Ericsson Walkman phone.

00:07:48   - Oh. - Yeah.

00:07:50   - Wow. - Yeah.

00:07:51   It was great. - It was the precursor

00:07:53   to the Rocker, man.

00:07:56   - I think it was actually.

00:07:57   It was like black and orange.

00:07:59   W something, it was one of the W series ones.

00:08:03   I'll see if I can find it.

00:08:05   Oh, well here it is.

00:08:06   It's the W810.

00:08:08   - Wow, look at this.

00:08:10   - W810i, that's what I had.

00:08:13   - I can get one for $35 on eBay.

00:08:16   - Why do you want that though?

00:08:17   Don't start branching out into Sony Ericsson products.

00:08:20   - I'm gonna give it to you.

00:08:21   - I don't want it though.

00:08:22   I really don't want it.

00:08:23   Like it was great when I had it,

00:08:26   but I don't need it anymore.

00:08:27   Like it had a camera on it, a two megapixel

00:08:30   with autofocus camera, and it had some games on it as well.

00:08:34   Like this was the phone that I had before the iPhone.

00:08:37   Like this was my last phone before the iPhone.

00:08:40   I love this phone.

00:08:41   - Yeah, well yeah, of course you did

00:08:43   because it had cool do not disturb features.

00:08:46   Of course-- - I don't think

00:08:48   I was worried about that, but sure.

00:08:50   - I mean you had a lot of meetings in 2005.

00:08:51   Of course a bunch of Android phones can do this.

00:08:53   We heard from a bunch of people.

00:08:54   Again, it's time for Apple to do something.

00:08:56   That's the moral of the story here.

00:08:57   Come on, Apple.

00:08:58   It's no excuse.

00:09:00   - Talking about it being time to do something.

00:09:02   Federico, does Google Docs have drag and drop?

00:09:06   - I'm gonna say that in Italian,

00:09:09   if people can understand, no.

00:09:11   - Okay, great.

00:09:12   So if people can-- - Can you say that

00:09:13   more slowly and louder-- - Yeah, just so we can

00:09:15   make sure people can pick it up?

00:09:16   - Maybe even with more of an Italian accent

00:09:19   and pronunciation, no.

00:09:21   - Okay, great. - No.

00:09:22   So if people can translate what that means, then they'll get the answer for themselves.

00:09:26   It's like a treasure hunt.

00:09:27   Yeah.

00:09:28   Yeah.

00:09:29   Google Translate should be able to figure out that it's Italian.

00:09:32   I hope so.

00:09:33   So we do have a couple of announcements here at the end of follow up.

00:09:37   We will be live in Chicago on Sunday.

00:09:41   Unfortunately tickets are sold out, but if you have a ticket we will see you Sunday from

00:09:45   6 to 8 p.m.

00:09:47   This is gonna actually be the first real live recording of Connected.

00:09:52   Like the first actual time.

00:09:53   What do you mean real?

00:09:54   Because the last time we did it, we were only all together for like 15 minutes.

00:09:59   Oh, okay.

00:10:00   But that was real though.

00:10:01   It's not a Connected if John Syracuse is in it.

00:10:03   Yeah, exactly.

00:10:04   And Grey and Jason and Red, everybody was in that thing.

00:10:08   This is gonna be the first time that the three of us sit down and do a full show with follow-up

00:10:12   and everything.

00:10:13   Oh, we're gonna do follow-up live.

00:10:16   Follow-up live.

00:10:17   Can people follow up from the audience? Is that possible?

00:10:20   No, absolutely not.

00:10:21   Silence from the audience.

00:10:22   Okay.

00:10:23   Don't want that.

00:10:24   I'm just asking guys, I don't need to be upset.

00:10:28   We're going to set that precedent now.

00:10:31   You can throw flowers at us at the end though. That's fine.

00:10:34   And Federico will allow underwear to be thrown at him too.

00:10:39   Wait what?

00:10:40   Nothing. Nothing.

00:10:41   Okay.

00:10:42   You should be there on time because there's gonna be a special opening act maybe potentially. Yep

00:10:47   Yeah, and

00:10:51   For the Friday before so Friday

00:10:53   October 13th, is that Friday? Okay stay at the yeah

00:10:57   Spooky stay of the year. We are doing a meetup at the field notes headquarters in Chicago

00:11:03   There's a link in the show notes to a Facebook event that has all the details in it

00:11:08   We'd love to see you so we will be there that evening hanging out. Mm-hmm, and then we will be doing the

00:11:14   Live show on Sunday and all three of us will be at the release notes conference

00:11:18   So if you're going to release notes, be sure to say hey

00:11:20   Like we're gonna be Chicago for seven days. It's gonna be a fun week together. So that's

00:11:25   So the next show sounds exciting and people are screaming. It's because we're live not not because someone's broken in mega office

00:11:32   Because the people are seeing Federica everyone's just gonna start screaming. Yeah, I have I rented a fog machine

00:11:38   machines if Federica could come out and uh wow it's gonna be really good and a

00:11:44   wind machine yeah you gotta keep that hair moving you know exactly yeah yeah

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00:13:23   So we have a mini topic here.

00:13:25   I'm gonna talk about my MacBook Pro for a second.

00:13:29   And Myke, I'm gonna talk about yours too.

00:13:31   So we both have the late 2016 13-inch MacBook Pro.

00:13:35   My iKey has a little piece of debris under it.

00:13:38   Now these keyboards are very thin,

00:13:41   and they're kinda loud, and I like the way they sound.

00:13:43   They don't feel super great.

00:13:45   But they seem to be very prone to failing

00:13:48   when they have any bit of debris or like sandwich crumb

00:13:53   or little microscopic piece of dust under the keyboard.

00:13:58   So my, the iKey basically got real spongy,

00:14:00   it wasn't working.

00:14:01   Apple has a support document on how to clean the keyboard,

00:14:06   basically use compressed air and hold it at 30 degrees.

00:14:09   It's all very, very complicated.

00:14:12   And it didn't work, and now my iKey actually is broken.

00:14:15   The bottom little brackets just like fop around.

00:14:17   So if I hit the key too hard to make it actually work,

00:14:22   then the bottom of the key flies off.

00:14:24   It's really not-- - Oh.

00:14:26   - Not awesome.

00:14:27   - Yeah.

00:14:29   - So I was going to take it to the Apple Store.

00:14:32   I said last week that those trips come in threes.

00:14:35   This is the third.

00:14:37   - Oh. - But they couldn't guarantee

00:14:38   they'd have it back to me in time

00:14:40   for me to come to Chicago.

00:14:41   I need a laptop for Chicago

00:14:43   'cause we have to edit a bunch of shows.

00:14:45   And so I am bringing, I guess,

00:14:47   99% of my MacBook Pro with me next week.

00:14:50   And I'm very upset about it

00:14:51   because the keyboard is not good and it is not a good system.

00:15:01   As someone who's used a MacBook Air with a bunch of broken keys for a few years really,

00:15:07   I think you're maybe overreacting here man, it's fine.

00:15:10   You can keep using that computer.

00:15:13   I speak from experience really.

00:15:15   You just need to press hard on the naked logic board and it's kind of fine.

00:15:20   It's okay, you can see the light peeking through the computer.

00:15:24   It's actually kind of dope, like when Nintendo used to make the transparent Game Boy and

00:15:29   you could see the inside, you know?

00:15:31   That's basically the same visual.

00:15:33   Really basically, you should actually pay more to get that kind of look on your computer.

00:15:39   Wow.

00:15:40   Maybe.

00:15:41   Yeah.

00:15:42   Maybe.

00:15:43   So I have an issue with my keyboard.

00:15:46   Everybody knows about my issue because it's the same issue that Marco had with his keyboard

00:15:50   because I bought the keyboard from him. And I, every now and then, I can't remember what

00:15:54   key it is, but it's one of the vowel keys, it's either the I or the O. It gets stuck

00:15:59   every now and then in the same way, right, like that you have, Stephen, but it's not

00:16:02   so bad, like I don't have it every single time. I probably would if I used it every

00:16:05   single day, right, like it would be a problem that would hit me more, but I do notice a

00:16:10   weirdness to the keyboard at points where it's like, oh, this doesn't feel right, like

00:16:15   something's lodging this. There is a problem, there is a widespread problem with these keyboards.

00:16:20   it's like it is a thing. There are lots of like personal reports but the amount

00:16:26   of people that I've known this to happen to it shows as an issue especially as

00:16:32   well when Apple creates like a specific k-base article for this right like it's

00:16:37   very specific with very specific instructions and images with Mac books

00:16:42   that appear to somehow be glued to somebody's disembodied arm when they

00:16:47   create something like this it is a an obvious problem right like hold your

00:16:53   Mac notebook hold your notebook your Mac notebook Mac notebook at a 75 degree

00:16:57   angle so it's not quite vertical use compressed air like all of this stuff I

00:17:01   think it shows that there's something going on there mm-hmm

00:17:05   it's not it's not a good situation it's it's frustrating so I'm curious with

00:17:10   mine because the tabs are broken if they're gonna give me grief and try to

00:17:14   charge me for it, which I'm not gonna take well.

00:17:17   But hopefully they'll be okay.

00:17:20   I've talked to some people who've had similar failures

00:17:22   and Apple basically seems to take care of them.

00:17:24   It's still under AppleCare obviously,

00:17:25   so hopefully it will be pretty painless,

00:17:28   but I expect to spend several days

00:17:31   without my laptop pretty soon because the IKEA's broken.

00:17:34   I can't live like you Federico, I can't do it.

00:17:36   I don't have the patience and wisdom that you do.

00:17:40   - Yeah, it was really not wisdom,

00:17:41   was just too lazy to get a new computer. But yeah, I got like, seriously, you use your

00:17:52   MacBook all day. And if something, I mean, I was at the beach, I was on vacation and

00:17:58   my iPad was bent and I drove back from my vacation to Rome just to exchange my iPad

00:18:05   because I just couldn't live with it. So I can imagine like if this kind of thing happened

00:18:09   to my main computer, I would exchange it right away, so I totally understand. It's also not

00:18:14   a good look. It looks ugly. And I'm so relieved that I'm now using a new MacBook Pro. I mean,

00:18:21   a 2015 one, but still, the MacBook Air, the corpse of the MacBook Air really is in my

00:18:27   closet, you know, kind of in the back so I don't see it. It's really sad. It's really

00:18:32   sad.

00:18:33   It is sad.

00:18:36   Let's talk about Sonos. We've been discussing the Amazon Echo a bit over the last few weeks

00:18:41   and we knew that this event was on the horizon. Like Sonos announced this event in like August

00:18:46   or something like that. And it was pretty obvious based on the invitation which was

00:18:49   a mouth, was the image, that they were going to be doing some kind of smart speaker stuff.

00:18:55   I'd assumed that it was an Amazon related thing and it is. They have a new speaker called

00:19:01   the One which is mostly the same hardware as their previous Play One speaker which is just

00:19:08   this nice little self-contained unit. Do either of you have a Play One? No, I sold mine like a year

00:19:14   and a half ago. Is the Play One like the one that looks like a home pod basically like a smaller

00:19:20   home pod? Yeah. Like the standard one? Yeah. Okay yeah I have the one in a box because we don't use

00:19:26   it anymore. Okay. But yes, okay, yeah. Why do you, why did you both get rid of it by the way? I'm

00:19:32   interested to know. Personally it just was so annoying to have to use like a separate app.

00:19:38   I think Silvia and I would have used the Sonos a lot more because we love the audio quality,

00:19:43   but being unable to share music directly from the Apple Music app was really annoying. So,

00:19:52   you know, it was too many steps and there was always something, you know, we needed to refresh or like to mark certain things as favorites

00:20:00   and the UI was really different from Apple Music and Sylvia has no time for this stuff.

00:20:04   She gets really upset when she has to learn new apps or new systems.

00:20:10   So I just got rid of it and I'm probably gonna sell it because it's, you know, it's useless in a box.

00:20:16   I don't know, maybe if we, and this is a topic for I guess the next episode, but if we are going to switch back to Spotify

00:20:24   it really depends on Silvia, what she likes best, but I think they have the Sonos playback built in now, maybe, I'm not sure.

00:20:36   Like you can beam wireless audio directly from the Spotify app, so I'm not sure how that works today.

00:20:43   Yeah, Spotify has the ability to play on speakers.

00:20:46   Like I think I can play on my Echo, like if it's connected.

00:20:49   Yeah, yeah, yeah.

00:20:51   That's great. Like the Spotify connect thing.

00:20:54   I know that it works for the Echo, which we really like.

00:20:57   I'm not sure if it works for the Sonos Play one.

00:20:59   But anyway, the main problem a few months ago

00:21:03   was that Apple Music had no Sonos option,

00:21:07   which is kind of strange

00:21:08   because they have this partnership, right?

00:21:09   You can connect your Sonos to your Apple Music account.

00:21:12   And I assumed that eventually we would get like a Sonos option in the speaker UI of Apple Music.

00:21:18   But I guess with iOS 11 and with AirPlay 2 we know what's happening.

00:21:22   That basically Apple wants everyone to use AirPlay 2 instead of like custom integrations.

00:21:25   So this is probably never going to happen unless Sonos adds AirPlay 2 support.

00:21:29   Which I think they announced but not in the Play one.

00:21:32   It's they're adding it to this, to the One, along with a lot of other stuff.

00:21:37   But before we get to that, Stephen, why did you ditch the Sonos?

00:21:41   Basically the same reason as Federico.

00:21:42   The sound quality was great, but at least at the time,

00:21:45   using the app was really frustrating

00:21:46   and you couldn't stream anything to it,

00:21:49   so you couldn't listen to podcasts on it really at all.

00:21:52   It just didn't fit with what I wanted,

00:21:54   so I got rid of it and replaced it with the Echo

00:21:57   that we still have in the kitchen.

00:21:59   - So this new speaker, the One,

00:22:02   seems like Sonos' answer to everything

00:22:05   is effectively what they're doing.

00:22:07   So it is a Sonos and you can use it as normal

00:22:10   with the Sonos app and connect it to your Sonos system,

00:22:13   like you can do all of that.

00:22:14   But also it currently has the Amazon Assistant,

00:22:18   the Amazon Echo Assistant in it.

00:22:20   It's going to be getting AirPlay 2 in 2018

00:22:23   and the Google Assistant in 2018.

00:22:26   It is unclear right now whether you can run

00:22:28   both the Echo Assistant and the Google Assistant

00:22:32   at the same time.

00:22:33   So like if you can have one device

00:22:35   and just ask for different trigger words,

00:22:37   They haven't confirmed that anywhere that I've seen yet.

00:22:40   It might be a choice or it might be both.

00:22:43   If it's both, that is an incredibly compelling product.

00:22:46   It's $199 available for pre-order right now,

00:22:49   shipping on October 24th.

00:22:51   So there are things that are yet to be known, right?

00:22:53   Like how good are the microphones?

00:22:54   Are they gonna be as good as the Echo?

00:22:56   Like how good do the speakers actually sound?

00:22:59   Like everybody says that the Sonos speakers are better.

00:23:02   Like I mean, I don't know, I haven't experienced one,

00:23:04   but like it's gonna be, I think the proof is gonna be

00:23:06   in how it performs.

00:23:08   So, Stephen, I noticed that you'd put in here,

00:23:11   there's a note that Spotify support is coming,

00:23:14   it's not available right now, but it's coming,

00:23:16   and currently they can only use the Amazon stuff.

00:23:18   But you mentioned about the voice can't direct Apple Music.

00:23:22   - Right, so you have a couple of different things

00:23:26   going on with this.

00:23:28   So it does all the Sonos stuff it's always done.

00:23:32   It has the Echo Voice Lady sort of layered,

00:23:36   there as well and that voice assistant can do all the things that voices it can

00:23:41   do but it can't talk that voices it cannot talk to Spotify even though it

00:23:45   can on normal echo Spotify says it's coming soon like you said and that voice

00:23:50   lady can't talk to Apple music so the Sonos sort of in its category and its

00:23:54   column of things it can do can deal with Apple music like it always has to the

00:23:58   app but you can't tell it with your voice to do something with your Apple

00:24:02   Music Library and there is a, I wrote a blog post about it over the weekend, there's a

00:24:07   support form, a forum post about this and basically Sonos is saying yes, like we

00:24:13   want to do this, go ask Amazon if we can do it. Like this is sort of the problem I

00:24:17   have with this speaker is that because Sonos is just putting everyone, you know,

00:24:22   packing everyone in a little clown car of voice assistants, it's very confusing

00:24:26   about what you can do with different things.

00:24:29   And it is not on par with the HomePod,

00:24:32   because the HomePod you can talk to Siri

00:24:35   and play Apple Music.

00:24:36   It is not really on par with the Echo,

00:24:38   because you can talk to the Echo

00:24:40   and have it play music from Spotify.

00:24:42   So this kind of falls down in this area.

00:24:45   And for me, like if I,

00:24:47   like I haven't canceled my Echo pre-order,

00:24:50   that's still coming.

00:24:51   But if I wanted something like this,

00:24:55   I would want to be able to talk to it and have Apple Music play.

00:24:59   And for right now at least, and for the foreseeable future,

00:25:01   that's not something Sonos can do.

00:25:03   So here's my question then.

00:25:04   What does AirPlay 2 do?

00:25:06   Federico, if it gets AirPlay 2 functionality,

00:25:10   can I get it to play music?

00:25:12   Don't you know?

00:25:13   I mean, you read these.

00:25:16   I don't remember everything. I read it one time.

00:25:22   Okay, so it's basically, it builds upon the old AirPlay protocol. So it's a spec that Apple wants

00:25:30   apps and accessory makers to adopt. And among the main improvements there are enhanced buffering.

00:25:38   So let's say that you have multiple speakers around the house and you want to, you know, you

00:25:43   want to walk around the house. Previously AirPlay would buffer like 30 seconds of audio. So if you

00:25:49   walk out of AirPlay distance the audio cuts off. Now the idea is you should be

00:25:54   apps should be able to buffer several minutes of audio and they're basically

00:25:58   cached on the you know by AirPlay 2 and so you can walk around the house and the

00:26:03   audio doesn't cut off. So you want to take the garbage outside or whatever you

00:26:08   can do that and the music will keep playing. That's also the idea of

00:26:12   long-form playback. So apps that are music players or podcast clients or

00:26:19   audiobook players can mark at the API level, can say look iOS 11 we are

00:26:25   players of long-form audio. So whenever we are playing audio on an AirPlay 2

00:26:30   speaker, if a system sound comes in whether it's an iMessage notification

00:26:35   or a notification or a phone call, do not pause the music playing on the speakers

00:26:41   but separate the system audio on a different, like, put it on a different path and just play that back on the device.

00:26:48   The idea is that you're hosting a dinner with friends, for example, and you're playing music in the background

00:26:53   and then a message comes into your phone.

00:26:56   It doesn't lower the volume of the music or the song playing on the speakers or, you know, stuff like that.

00:27:00   It's really the same system that Sonos had for a long time.

00:27:04   Like, you can play music on the speaker and you can still receive audio on the phone.

00:27:08   You can even watch a YouTube video and the music keeps playing on the speakers. So that's the idea

00:27:13   And from my understanding I talked to Apple about this

00:27:16   There's a bunch of hardware makers that will need to release new hardware for this

00:27:22   But also a subset of existing ones that either have been working with Apple over the past few months that can issue software updates

00:27:29   For Apple A2. So it's a combination of both you either require new chips inside the speaker or if you have a compatible

00:27:36   chip inside you can release a software update, you know, I guess with iOS 11.1

00:27:41   I'm not sure I haven't seen Airplay 2 support in the beta yet

00:27:45   But that's my assumption that it's gonna launch at least before the home pod arrives

00:27:50   But does Airplay 2 give the third-party speakers any ability to talk to Siri by command?

00:27:57   I don't think so because that's what like Sonos are kind of saying in all of their press stuff

00:28:01   Oh, you'll be able to talk to Siri. It's like I don't know what that means yet

00:28:04   I don't really know what they're saying.

00:28:06   But if there is a way to activate Siri via this thing...

00:28:09   Well, okay, okay.

00:28:11   I understand what they're going for here.

00:28:13   So I should add that AirPlay 2 speakers

00:28:17   are also a special type of device

00:28:20   in your HomeKit configuration.

00:28:22   So you can say to Siri stuff like,

00:28:25   "Play Oasis in my kitchen."

00:28:28   And it should be able to understand.

00:28:31   But you need to say it to a different device though, right?

00:28:33   like you're saying it to your watch or your phone or your iPad, you're not saying it to the Sonos speaker itself.

00:28:38   Exactly, because it would have to run iOS software inside the speaker to do that.

00:28:43   You know?

00:28:44   Alright.

00:28:45   So yeah, I guess that's what they're going for.

00:28:47   They're gonna...

00:28:47   Once you have an Airplay 2 speaker, it's gonna show up into the Home app

00:28:51   and you can assign it to a specific room in your HomeKit configuration

00:28:55   and you can talk to Siri on your iOS device or Apple Watch and

00:29:00   ask him to ask her to play music somewhere else.

00:29:03   So my feeling about this Sonos device is like

00:29:07   situation is a little rocky right now because there's a bunch of like questions around it.

00:29:13   But if it does end up with the Echo and Google Assistant and the Airplay 2 stuff all in there

00:29:19   and it works as expected, it could be a really interesting device, right? Like if I could use

00:29:24   both assistants, I could use the Echo to do all of the stuff that I normally do with it.

00:29:28   I could use the Google Assistant if I had like a complex question because it has the

00:29:32   ability to search Google.

00:29:34   I could get like a Chromecast so I can do all of the fun stuff that you can do when

00:29:37   you have a Chromecast and a Google Home.

00:29:39   Right, like all of that stuff is very interesting and then with the ability to be able to play

00:29:43   stuff from my Apple Music on the devices via HomeKit, like that is a compelling product

00:29:49   if it can do all of that stuff.

00:29:51   Like if next year it's doing all of that, like that's a product that I want to own because

00:29:55   because that is a kind of omnivorous service, right?

00:29:59   Like it's an omnivorous box,

00:30:00   such as like pulling in all of these services

00:30:03   and making them available to me

00:30:04   so I can take advantages of all of the things

00:30:06   that they're each good at.

00:30:08   - So I think this is really compelling.

00:30:10   My only fear, I guess, long-term maybe,

00:30:13   is that by embracing everyone,

00:30:17   Sonos does not get to make any kind of decision here.

00:30:21   So let's say, for example, that in two years,

00:30:24   Amazon or whatever decides,

00:30:27   we are not going to open up this specific API

00:30:31   to third-party speakers.

00:30:33   If you want to, let's say that Amazon now

00:30:36   can generate a playlist for your day,

00:30:39   and Amazon decides, well, this feature,

00:30:41   the Amazon Daily Playlist,

00:30:43   is not gonna be available on third-party speakers,

00:30:46   but you can only get it on the Amazon Echo

00:30:47   for some fake reason,

00:30:50   like we need to tie it to the Echo hardware or something.

00:30:53   But my concern is that I wonder if eventually these companies,

00:30:59   Apple and Amazon and Google,

00:31:01   will want to push people to buy their own hardware

00:31:05   and their own speakers and will artificially limit

00:31:09   third-party speakers that integrate over the API,

00:31:12   like Sonos, and cut off access to some specific features.

00:31:15   We are already seeing this with the Amazon platform

00:31:18   because there is the Amazon Echo Web Services API

00:31:23   and developers can do basically everything with it.

00:31:26   They can use skills, they can issue commands,

00:31:28   they can control your home accessories

00:31:31   and there's a bunch of iPhone apps

00:31:32   that replicate the Amazon Echo experience,

00:31:34   but on your iPhone.

00:31:36   The problem is that Amazon is limiting

00:31:38   some of the API features like music playback, for example,

00:31:42   so that you cannot listen to music

00:31:43   over the Amazon Echo Web Services on your iPhone.

00:31:46   You can only do so on the Amazon Echo speakers.

00:31:49   And that's my concern that down the road,

00:31:51   if everybody says, well, the Sonos one is just better

00:31:56   because you can buy one speaker, it sounds great,

00:31:59   and you get all the services.

00:32:00   And then maybe all these other companies will wake up

00:32:03   and say, why should we let Sonos access all the things

00:32:07   that we should control on our own speakers?

00:32:10   And so they're gonna start saying,

00:32:12   well, this feature is not available over the API yet,

00:32:15   we're sorry, buy the Amazon Echo, buy the HomePod or buy the Google Home, whatever it's called.

00:32:20   Yeah, and I saw you tweet something a couple of days ago, which is also interesting to me,

00:32:27   it's like, what is Sonos' root here?

00:32:30   Like they can differentiate on hardware for now, but like for how long?

00:32:34   Right. You know, there's the HomePod is coming, which is supposed to sound great.

00:32:39   We're going to talk about the Google Home Max in a little bit, right, which is supposed to

00:32:42   sound great and they're on the high end but once these companies start to like

00:32:46   once Apple and once Amazon and once Google start to really get a foothold

00:32:51   into making great sounding speakers if they start pushing that down the line

00:32:55   and making them cheaper like where does Sonos live at that point and can they

00:32:59   survive? Yeah it's it's easier to make a good sounding speaker than it is to make

00:33:05   a good voice assistant people care about. Hence why there is no Sonos voice

00:33:08   assistant right that's why they're integrating everybody else's but yeah

00:33:13   the risk is I mean it's already showing right like it's limited because why

00:33:17   isn't why isn't Spotify there right like if it can integrate with everything that

00:33:22   Amazon echo can why is there no Spotify like that is a chink in the armor before

00:33:26   the things even been released so yeah I've got my eye on it right like if it

00:33:31   turns out to be the product that they're saying it will be it will be a great

00:33:35   product but we'll have to see for how long that would last. I'm pleased to see

00:33:40   they're doing something. Honestly I thought they would have been bought by

00:33:43   now but I think maybe nobody needs or wants them anymore. Again I mean what

00:33:48   they solve is not... I mean they have impressive products, they're nice people

00:33:52   but what they're doing is the easier side of things. But I do want them

00:33:57   to succeed because I do think it's really interesting that they're sort of

00:34:00   combining all of these things. But I do think over you know the history of every

00:34:06   you know consumer technology platform there's two desktop OS's. As of this week

00:34:12   Windows Phone is now like officially not a thing anymore. There are two mobile

00:34:19   operating systems and I kind of think they're gonna be you know right now

00:34:23   there's three sort of voice assistant systems you have Amazon Google and Apple

00:34:27   and you know maybe this is the first time that three stick maybe not but I

00:34:32   don't know if there's room for somebody who kind of straddles the line does both

00:34:36   or does you know some combination of all three so it's it's a new ground it's new

00:34:41   territory I hope they do well but I I'm gonna say other reviews do I want to see

00:34:45   if they can make it all work before I jump in I'm not pre-ordering this thing

00:34:48   at this point for for what they know for it I'm not pre-ordering it either but I

00:34:52   I do have my eye on it intensely.

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00:36:56   Google News, the Google Home, Google Home Mini.

00:37:00   It is a smaller Google Home like the Echo Dot.

00:37:04   This is one of the products that was announced in Google's big kind of.

00:37:08   I guess it's the pixel event, right?

00:37:11   Like that's what it is now.

00:37:12   Like it is the hardware event, you know, like the made by Google hardware event.

00:37:16   But I guess over time, this is going to become the pixel event.

00:37:21   I think so.

00:37:23   I think they're going to do like what Apple does the phone.

00:37:26   eventually be the heart of it and have this other stuff, you know this year like Google home and

00:37:31   Pixel I think sort of shared time kind of more evenly

00:37:34   Yeah, but I think if the the phone takes off it will become the phone event and the other stuff falls in the line

00:37:40   So the Google home mini it is

00:37:44   This I said it's a small one cycle size of a donut

00:37:47   It has the fabric covering on it that apparently all home technology has to have now

00:37:52   I don't know what happened like is this the thing that happened? Why does all

00:37:57   smart home technology have a fabric on it? I think it looks nice because it looks

00:38:01   softer and more gentle and not like a machined piece of you know black plastic

00:38:07   or aluminum sitting in your kitchen. It feels more organic. I like it. Do you have any

00:38:10   other items in your home that have fabric on them that sit out? That's a good

00:38:16   point. Like it doesn't blend in it's just it's such a different type of design.

00:38:21   It's friendlier, you know, more approachable. You won't touch it.

00:38:25   I don't get it either. When I see this device, it's constantly...

00:38:29   I'm always thinking that I'll either drop coffee or

00:38:33   sauce on it and it's gonna look ugly for some reason. Like, it

00:38:37   attracts liquid. That's my thinking. Like, I don't

00:38:41   get it. So, like, I have my Echo in the kitchen, right? It's on the kitchen counter. It's kind

00:38:45   of gross now, right? Like, because it's just in and around me cooking all the time.

00:38:49   time. Like, so even just odors, odors would be absorbed.

00:38:53   What are you doing in your kitchen?

00:38:54   I'm cooking, Steven, is what I'm doing. So you know, like I've got things in the

00:38:57   pan and oils going all over the place and you know, like it's just, I'm just cooking.

00:39:01   Like it sits basically really kind of next to the stove top is where we have it. But

00:39:07   like just, just odors, right? So like smells would be retained by the fabric. I don't

00:39:11   know. It just seems like a strange thing. Like I say, I understand why all of these

00:39:16   products have this kind of soft fluffiness to them, but all it is is like that's just

00:39:23   what smart home things look like now. So like it hasn't really solved the problem I think

00:39:27   that they're going for.

00:39:28   You're going to have to put your Echo in the washer, Myke.

00:39:31   Like at least the Google ones come off, right? So like you could like the home one, the Google

00:39:38   home ones, like you can twist that base off and put on a new one. I guess you could clean

00:39:42   it maybe but it's like the echo the echoes will soft the home pods got this

00:39:46   soft covering the Google Home Mini has got this soft covering everything's got

00:39:50   it it looks like all of our home devices are going to the gym it's got that thing

00:39:55   around it right like I don't think that that's a hard material I think it's like

00:39:59   in my brain that was like metal but I guess I'm looking at the pictures yeah

00:40:03   that's like looks like a mesh to me like a like a cloth mesh type thing yeah so

00:40:07   the Google Home Mini is $49 so it it is the echo dot right like it's Google's

00:40:12   echo dot. Totally. It does look cool like it looks it it looks nice right like it

00:40:18   does look nice the the mute switch looks silly like the where the mute switch is

00:40:23   and that doesn't seem great I watched MKBHD's video of it today so you can ask

00:40:28   the Google home to mute right so you can like via voice you can say please mute

00:40:33   but then to unmute it if you want to use the switch you have to put the switch

00:40:37   into the mute position and then into the non muted position to get it to unmute

00:40:41   which is not ideal.

00:40:45   Not great.

00:40:46   Right? Like, maybe just take away the ability to do it by voice, I don't know, or like make it a button rather than a switch because then the button state could change because it's not, you know, it's not physical if you're just pressing the button.

00:40:59   But yeah, I just thought that that's really strange. But as always MKBHD did a great video on it so you can go and watch it.

00:41:05   and watch it. This is an interesting product. One of the things that

00:41:11   they're doing is, we're gonna talk about the Pixel phones in a minute, they're

00:41:14   giving these away to people for a limited time. Like if you buy a Pixel

00:41:17   phone you just get one of these. I can't believe that Google, be Amazon, are giving

00:41:22   away their small home assistant for free. Like the whole, for such a long time I

00:41:28   have been wondering when Amazon gonna give Echo Dots to Prime customers?

00:41:32   Just just they throw them out into the into the ether like a Mardi Gras, you know

00:41:37   They throw beads of bead necklaces

00:41:39   Just like when you sign up right you sign up for prime you give them like

00:41:42   $120 or whatever and they just give you one right like I'm really surprised that they haven't worked that out

00:41:49   Yeah, because that is such an Amazon thing. It's like that your echo plus comes with a hue bulb, right? Like yeah

00:41:54   That's that's perfectly Amazon. But so I'm really surprised that Google

00:42:00   Beat them for that like to just give it to you when you get to get one of the expensive new shiny phones

00:42:06   Well, the problem is that you need to get a pixel to the

00:42:10   Give it away

00:42:13   Why is that a problem Federica? No, no, give him the ground to troll. All right, so we can shoot him down

00:42:18   I'm just saying that

00:42:20   It in the past. It wasn't easy to get a Google pixel phone

00:42:24   We've all seen the problems with people, you know, you go to the website

00:42:27   there's not even an option to buy a Google Pixel phone.

00:42:30   - They changed that.

00:42:31   They changed that.

00:42:32   - Okay, so we'll see if it goes well.

00:42:34   - So not only have they said,

00:42:36   not only have they said that they are going to

00:42:38   do a better job,

00:42:39   like they were like mea culpa on the stage, right?

00:42:41   Like we did not do a good enough job of making these.

00:42:45   We're making more,

00:42:45   but they did also make a change to the Play Store,

00:42:47   which is dumb, it should have been the case.

00:42:48   If it's out of stock, you just put your order in

00:42:51   and they'll ship it to you when they got it.

00:42:52   Previously, it was just like, no dice, which was dumb.

00:42:55   It's a silly way to deal with things.

00:42:57   But there you go, you can do it.

00:42:59   If you want to, you can go on their website,

00:43:01   and if they're out of stock, you can just buy one,

00:43:04   and then they will send it to you.

00:43:05   But yes, I get your point, Federico.

00:43:07   They were difficult to buy.

00:43:08   So they also unveiled the Google Home Max,

00:43:14   which sits on the top end, right?

00:43:16   This is the HomePod competitor.

00:43:20   It has two 4.5-inch woofers,

00:43:23   and what Google is calling room-filling sound,

00:43:25   and they spent a bit of time talking about this.

00:43:27   So they're doing some stuff to adapt and form the audio

00:43:30   to fit the speaker's placement in the room.

00:43:32   So it understands the room that you're in, right?

00:43:34   Sounds like the home pod for this.

00:43:36   But then also, like they were saying stuff,

00:43:37   like if you put it on a, if you take the speaker,

00:43:39   you put it on a shelf and the shelf is next to the wall

00:43:41   and you put it in the corner,

00:43:42   you kind of give it a minute and you hear the audio change

00:43:45   because it's kind of scanning the room,

00:43:46   it's understanding where it is,

00:43:47   and then it kind of forms the audio to match the room stuff.

00:43:52   So they're also, as you can imagine,

00:43:54   put in all of their machine learning abilities into this.

00:43:57   Like, yeah, it's kind of this big effort, right,

00:44:02   that Google is doing as they always are.

00:44:04   You know, they say machine learning

00:44:05   a million times on stage,

00:44:07   and they're kind of building this speaker

00:44:09   to try and do its best to fill any and all rooms.

00:44:13   Google also showed two of these being used together,

00:44:16   which is a question that people have asked a bunch

00:44:19   that I've seen about the HomePod.

00:44:21   like can you use multiple home parts to get stereo sound? Well we don't know the answer

00:44:25   to that yet I don't think. Did Apple talk about that?

00:44:30   They're silently googling in the background.

00:44:32   Okay thank you for doing that. But the Google Home Macs, they explicitly showed you could

00:44:37   do it. They also did something which I kind of like, it has an audio jack so they show

00:44:40   it with a turntable. It's like you can listen to your fancy hipster records and then it

00:44:45   will still do all of the room filling sound stuff, right, so it does its best to fill

00:44:49   the room but you're able to play with the setup that you have which I kind of liked.

00:44:55   $399 US only for now shipping in December. So this is $50 more than the HomePod which

00:45:01   is a curious decision. Mind boggling really. But you do get a free year of YouTube Red.

00:45:08   There you go. That's some of that money. Apple I don't think are giving away Apple

00:45:13   Music or at least I haven't said right? I feel like they should do that. You should

00:45:16   get like a year of Apple Music if you buy a HomePod I think.

00:45:19   Yeah, can you imagine that?

00:45:20   That should just be a thing that you get.

00:45:21   No, you get a year of Apple Music but you can only listen to U2. That's all it is.

00:45:27   A year of U… They give YouTube red and Apple is just like U2 red and that's what they

00:45:32   get, right?

00:45:33   Oh God.

00:45:34   That's the way that they…

00:45:35   It's really good.

00:45:36   Come on.

00:45:37   It's good, Myke.

00:45:38   Give it to me. Give it to me. It was good.

00:45:39   No, you can have it. It's good.

00:45:40   No. No. I disagree. But yeah, they should totally give it away. Especially because,

00:45:44   I think it's important with these speakers that they create a locking effect.

00:45:50   Because I struggle to imagine that iPhone users are really into the Apple ecosystem.

00:45:56   Maybe you own an iPad, an iPhone, an Apple Watch.

00:46:00   And I struggle to imagine that you might want to buy a Google Home Max.

00:46:03   Even if it looks great, I just think that we're now approaching this stage where speakers are the next step in the locking effect of these companies.

00:46:13   And so to further that lock-in, I think it totally makes sense to bundle up some kind of subscription of your own services.

00:46:21   So I think Google has been extremely clever here in bundling up YouTube Red.

00:46:25   And I think Apple should do the same with Apple Music.

00:46:28   Not even iTunes credit, not even App Store credit, but just six months or a year of Apple Music.

00:46:34   Unlimited, you know, individual accounts, not families.

00:46:37   Maybe even a family plan, I don't know, but I think they should consider the option.

00:46:42   I don't know if this exists outside of the UK like in other countries

00:46:46   But like there are certain networks that if you buy the iPhone from they will give you six months of Apple music for free

00:46:51   So like yeah, this is do we review have you seen this like in Italy or in the US? Yes. Yep. Yep

00:46:58   Yep, Steve indeed. Does this happen in the US to your knowledge? I mean t-mobile's while we tried it, but I don't know for sure

00:47:04   Yeah, but like so, you know

00:47:06   It's not outside of Apple to give away

00:47:08   Apple music subscriptions for a bit and and I do I really do feel like if you are spending

00:47:14   $350 on a speaker for a music service the music service should you should get it for free for a bit, right?

00:47:22   Like I feel like it's not fair. Otherwise, it's like

00:47:25   $350 and then $9.99 a month it kind of feels like a bit of a slap in the face

00:47:31   So even even if it's just a limited time thing, it's cool

00:47:34   Like and I think a year is good for that

00:47:36   right? Like if you buy a HomePod I think you should get a year of Apple music

00:47:39   like you do with the Google Home Max. So I wanted to know if what you two think

00:47:43   about this product right? Like is this compelling? Have Google lost their

00:47:47   mind? Can they charge this amount of money for a product like this?

00:47:52   Like how does this compare to you guys when compared to the HomePod? Like what

00:47:58   do you think? I think it's fine and it depends on again what kind of ecosystem

00:48:03   you're into. I think what we're seeing is that all the major tech companies are now making

00:48:09   accessories and other kinds of artwork to build on top of the smartphone.

00:48:15   And so I think you know we're now seeing all these speakers come out and I just see them as

00:48:20   extensions of the main device that you currently prefer. So Android users will probably be

00:48:27   interested in the Google Home line and Apple people will likely want to buy the HomePod

00:48:34   and everybody else who maybe likes to tinker more and to have more integrations will probably

00:48:39   go for the Amazon Echo line of products.

00:48:44   I think it makes total sense from Google's perspective to upsell their most loyal customers

00:48:51   on a speaker.

00:48:53   I have no particular opinion on this because I just think it makes sense. Everybody's doing it and

00:49:00   I think I will get a HomePod

00:49:03   just because I think we're going to stick with Apple Music and we

00:49:07   own multiple HomeKit accessories and we tend to use Siri a bunch and

00:49:14   I just feel like the speaker shouldn't be intended as a Bluetooth speaker anymore

00:49:20   But these smart speakers are just part of the ecosystem that you that you're part of and so I

00:49:26   would not buy a Google Home speaker as my primary kitchen or living room speaker as an iPhone user because I think you will

00:49:34   somehow you will still get the best usage out of these speakers if

00:49:38   You're on the native platform that they were designed for even if they support Bluetooth or audio jack connections

00:49:48   The tight integration between the smartphone and the web services and the company that makes them all I think is key to understand the speakers

00:49:55   What about you Steven to something like the Google home max interest you do you think that Google are going down a good path I

00:50:03   Think they are and I think if you were in that

00:50:06   ecosystem already then this is a

00:50:09   Great product. I mean if you want to have the Google assistant, it's really this and you and you want good sound quality

00:50:17   it's this or that Sonos speaker we just spoke about.

00:50:20   And this seems like a surefire win over the Sonos.

00:50:24   Now, for someone, you know, maybe like me,

00:50:27   who's in the Apple League system and pays for Apple Music,

00:50:30   I'm not particularly interested in it, but I'm glad it exists.

00:50:32   I'm glad those people have an opportunity

00:50:34   to have something high-end with all the smarts built into it.

00:50:38   I think this is a, you know,

00:50:40   a growing corner of the smart speaker market.

00:50:43   You know, really it's,

00:50:45   to go back to the previous conversation,

00:50:46   Only Sonos has been here before in the high end, expensive,

00:50:49   high quality end of things.

00:50:51   And by the end of the year,

00:50:52   Apple and Google are gonna have moved in.

00:50:54   And I'm curious to see if Amazon follows suit at some point.

00:50:59   The new Echo's supposed to sound better,

00:51:00   but it's not one of these things.

00:51:02   - No, it's not.

00:51:02   - So I think it's a super exciting time

00:51:04   for this corner of the market,

00:51:06   and it'll be fun to see how it plays out.

00:51:08   - Yeah, it's like for me, I'm like, oof, Google,

00:51:10   that's a really expensive speaker.

00:51:12   But I feel the same about the HomePod as well.

00:51:14   I don't think that Google are doing something silly here, because I think that they are

00:51:18   very clearly, with the made by Google line, positioning themselves as a premium hardware

00:51:23   maker.

00:51:24   This is the thing that they have, this whole thing is about.

00:51:26   They are putting the effort in, they bought a ton of people away from HTC, they want to

00:51:31   make a real shot at this, and all reports say that their stuff is good, their stuff

00:51:36   is really good.

00:51:38   So this is just another thing where I think they're just pushing in and being like, "We

00:51:42   can do this."

00:51:43   "We had the people to do this, we can make an amazing speaker and we can charge you $400

00:51:47   for it."

00:51:48   And I'm kind of just like, "I don't know if these things are really worth that amount

00:51:52   of money," but I feel the same about the HomePod.

00:51:54   I have no desire to get one of those because I think $350 for a speaker with Siri that

00:51:59   plays Apple Music is way too much money.

00:52:03   I don't think that that's enough.

00:52:06   If anything, I feel that maybe the Google Home Max might be a better deal because it

00:52:12   has a really competent assistant fully featured inside when right now what we've seen is it's

00:52:17   only most of Siri that's going in there and even then like I personally don't find Siri

00:52:23   to be that helpful but every time I've ever used Google the Google Assistant has been

00:52:27   great I don't have a ton of experience with the Google Assistant but at least the things

00:52:32   that it can do seem to be a little bit more full full featured than what Siri can do because

00:52:36   it has Google search built into it so I don't know your mileage may vary right but and I

00:52:41   feel like you kind of don't want the Google Home Max unless you have other things in that ecosystem.

00:52:46   You know, we're talking about this for the entire show, right? Like, these products make sense if

00:52:50   you're in the ecosystem already. So if like you decide that you want all of your home assistants

00:52:55   to be Google Homes and you already have like a regular one, you're going to get a Mini and

00:52:58   you're going to get a Max. Great names, by the way. Mini and Max, that's great. Then this is

00:53:04   probably a good product for the front room, right? If you want to have a nice music device.

00:53:10   But that's on you.

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00:54:50   So the Pixel 2. This was the main event. Two sizes of the Pixel 2, same as before. Got

00:54:56   a 5 inch phone which is called the Pixel 2 and then a 6 inch phone which is called the

00:55:00   the Pixel 2 XL. It's very confusing that they called them both the Pixel 2 and one of them

00:55:06   the Pixel 2. This is a very confusing thing for me. Like when they were talking on stage

00:55:11   it was like I don't understand what we're talking about anymore.

00:55:14   What do you mean? That's exactly what Apple does. iPhone 7, iPhone 7 Plus.

00:55:19   They're not like "these are the iPhone 7, here's the iPhone 7", right?

00:55:24   I don't, okay. Carry on.

00:55:26   Apple don't call the entire, oh yeah, maybe they do.

00:55:30   Well, I feel like Apple do a better job on stage

00:55:33   of differentiating them than Google did.

00:55:35   - I will give you that, yeah.

00:55:36   - And I guess it's 'cause they have more experience with it,

00:55:38   but they kind of very quickly went into calling

00:55:41   the five inch and the six inch,

00:55:43   which is not what they are, right?

00:55:44   Like it's not the product names.

00:55:46   When I was watching it, I was finding myself

00:55:48   getting confused even in taking my notes

00:55:50   as to what's going where.

00:55:52   I feel like maybe they need to spend a bit more time

00:55:54   firming that up on stage.

00:55:55   The Pixel 2 doesn't look good to me. It is, looks old. It still has the regular large

00:56:01   bezels. And the bezels, I mean I have to get like a measurement here to check, but the

00:56:06   bezels always look bigger on the Pixel than the iPhone. And I don't think that it looks

00:56:11   very good. The Pixel 2, I would be, I don't know why people necessarily would want that

00:56:16   phone over a Galaxy Note or S8 I should say. That doesn't make sense to me. The main event,

00:56:22   the one that I like the look of is the Pixel 2 XL. It still has bezels, but it doesn't

00:56:27   have the huge forehead and chin. They're thin. This is also the look. The way this phone

00:56:32   looks is the way that people who hate the iPhone X notch want the iPhone X to look.

00:56:40   It's just a straight line right at the top. I think this looks boring.

00:56:45   Yeah, yes it does. I agree with you.

00:56:47   So I look at this phone, I look at the XL, and it doesn't have the allure to me in design

00:56:54   like the Samsung phones or the iPhone X. They have a thing to their screens that make them

00:57:00   different and kind of exciting, like the infinity display and the notch. So you've got these

00:57:05   looks to them which are distinctive. So I look at the Pixel 2 XL and I'm like, "Okay,

00:57:10   there's a big screen there." But it kind of just looks like a big screen on a phone. It

00:57:14   It doesn't strike me as here is something which is interesting.

00:57:19   It's kind of just like we did the thing that you were expecting us to do and we've done

00:57:24   that.

00:57:26   Yeah, I can see that and I think that they try to make up for that with some other things

00:57:33   in the design that are interesting.

00:57:35   But yeah, I mean, I mean this phone is trying to be I think a bunch of different things.

00:57:44   like it's trying to be a full screen, but it's also trying to have dual front firing speakers,

00:57:50   which means you have to have a bezel at the top and bottom, but they don't want to be Samsung's,

00:57:53   they don't run the screen over the edges, maybe they can't yet. But I think the back of it,

00:57:59   like they've got the window shade looks a lot better than last time, they have some

00:58:01   interesting colors. I think they're trying to distinguish this where they can, without

00:58:08   doing something, you know, like the notch or the infinity display,

00:58:12   All the essential phone, right? Like that is a more striking design.

00:58:16   It's something. So I don't know, I think the phone looks good, but yeah, it's not as distinctive

00:58:21   or as like if this was side by side with, you know, like the LG V30, I'm not sure anyone could

00:58:26   tell the difference. Like this is more generic looking than other phones, I think is the point.

00:58:32   They have a bunch of colors with names like Kinda Blue and Just Black.

00:58:36   I love their names.

00:58:38   Me too. The XL comes in one edition of them, it's two colours, it's black and white with an orange sleep/wake button.

00:58:45   I love it.

00:58:47   Me too. This is the phone I would get. Like if I was going to get one of these, I would get the black and white with the orange button.

00:58:52   But I know that Federico hates the orange button.

00:58:55   Yeah, I really don't get it. Like, I don't understand why, and I'm counting Apple in this,

00:59:04   but why there's a need to add these colored accents to the default line of devices.

00:59:11   Like the red dot on the watch?

00:59:14   Yes, I want my devices to be as neutral and unassuming as possible.

00:59:19   I want them to be either plain black or plain white or just gray because I don't want colors.

00:59:25   I decide if I want to add colors either via a band or some stickers or a case,

00:59:30   But I don't understand why the default appearance of these devices needs to have these

00:59:36   accents that a company decides play well together. Just give me a piece of plastic

00:59:43   or just give me a slab of aluminum and call it a day. I don't want colors. I decide if I want to

00:59:48   add colors. I just don't get it. I guess I don't know. I'm turning into that guy. I just don't want

00:59:56   this special edition whatever. Like, it doesn't look funny or elegant to me and I want my stuff

01:00:03   to look elegant. And Apple is also to blame here with the Apple Watch and the Red Crown.

01:00:08   I thought initially that it was distinctive and it was fine, but after looking at a bunch of

01:00:13   pictures it really... there's no reason why it should be red. Because other people that look at

01:00:20   my wrist don't need to know that I have a cellular watch. It's not like I have an atomic bomb

01:00:25   strapped to my wrist and like people walking around me need to know look at the guy it's got

01:00:28   the red dot it's gonna you know better keep a distance like there's no reason why i should have

01:00:34   that mark on my apple watch and with the pixel too there's no reason why i should have this colored

01:00:39   button that's because google thinks that orange looks okay i mean orange looks awesome when i see

01:00:45   stuff like this i i figure that like you know you're saying about like the neutral design thing

01:00:51   I think maybe some designers don't want to make a device that doesn't have a thing to it, right?

01:00:56   It's like this is why this phone you can get it in black and white, right?

01:01:00   Like it's like they want to do a thing which is more than just black rectangle, you know?

01:01:05   But by doing this, it's the same with the red dot, I do agree that like you are making a divisive

01:01:12   decision which might not work out to be the best in the long run, right?

01:01:16   Like you are making a strong statement which means that people might not like it.

01:01:20   Like the blue one, the kind of blue one, that has a different blue color for the sleep/wake button,

01:01:28   which I think is more palatable to most people. You're already buying a blue phone,

01:01:32   like having it just be a slightly different shade of blue to make it stand out is whatever,

01:01:36   but on a black and white phone to have an orange button, like you're making a very bold decision.

01:01:41   Yeah, I mean imagine this is a slippery slope, right? Imagine like now suddenly your television

01:01:47   as a green bezel and your expression machine as like a yellow line all around the frame

01:01:55   and your light bulbs are purple.

01:01:59   Or like your iMac has flowers on the side of it or something.

01:02:03   Yeah, pretty much.

01:02:05   We were there like 20 years ago and I guess we moved on from that.

01:02:08   But now add colors to whatever you think is possible.

01:02:12   Okay, fine.

01:02:13   I just don't get it.

01:02:15   Apple opened the door, Google, walked right in, this phone doesn't have a headphone jack.

01:02:24   Comes with a dongle, but no headphones.

01:02:26   This is the thing that's like curious to me about this decision, and a thing that I find

01:02:33   which is more frustrating, right?

01:02:34   Like they took away the headphone jack, but they haven't really given you all of the options.

01:02:39   They should be including USB-C headphones in the box, but they don't.

01:02:43   And I find that kind of like a frustrating thing.

01:02:47   But I don't think the previous Pixel had headphones with it either.

01:02:51   I don't remember.

01:02:52   You can correct me if I'm wrong.

01:02:54   The dongle solves part of the problem but it doesn't really do all of it.

01:02:58   You're saying to people, "If I use a dongle I'll get USB-C headphones."

01:03:02   And I don't even know how many of those exist.

01:03:04   It's probably like as many lightning headphones exist which are not many and you probably

01:03:07   don't want those.

01:03:08   Their dongle costs $20 if you need another one.

01:03:12   is twice the price of Apple's dongle. Headphone jacks, they're like, this is it, they're gone,

01:03:17   they're dead. They're raking in those dongle dollars. You know, and it's like, it's easy to

01:03:24   say, like, basically a massive part of Google's ad campaign last year was making fun of the fact that

01:03:30   the headphone jack was gone on the iPhone, and now they've done it. Okay, this is how it works,

01:03:38   right? Like this is just how it works. Like they took a swipe at Apple this time by being like,

01:03:42   all of our phones have the same specs. Like we don't hold camera stuff for different devices,

01:03:48   right? Like Google still takes swipes at Apple because that's where they are. They kind of have

01:03:54   to, right? Like the fans enjoy it. The people that they're talking to enjoy it. I get it. They

01:03:59   are in an underdog position. So they take swipes at the big dog. Like that's, that's how they do it.

01:04:04   but it is a funny thing to me to see like now everybody you can all come to the no headphone jack

01:04:11   playing like the rest of us because this is just how all phones are going to be

01:04:15   over the next few years they're all going to lose them.

01:04:17   Always on display is a feature of these phones that I really wish that Apple could do

01:04:24   especially now that Apple's going OLED because these phones both have OLED screens in them

01:04:28   so you get the time and date always on the screen you get little icons for the applications that

01:04:33   that have notifications and something which is kind of incredible it has a

01:04:37   persistent now playing thing so it's like automatic Shazam if you are in a

01:04:42   room and the room is playing music your lock screen will tell you the song you

01:04:46   don't have to ask and it's doing all of this on device it's not sending any

01:04:49   information away machine learning that's amazing they're matching it against

01:04:54   their system it seems like a silly feature why do you think it's silly what

01:04:59   Who needs Shazam on all the time?

01:05:01   I would turn this off the second I got this phone.

01:05:03   But how does it hurt you though?

01:05:06   I don't want to see it.

01:05:07   It's clutter.

01:05:08   But it's on a screen which is off.

01:05:11   Until it's on, until you look at it.

01:05:12   Then it's there.

01:05:13   Old man.

01:05:14   It just seems silly.

01:05:16   You can call me an old man after he yells about the orange button.

01:05:19   Come on.

01:05:20   Okay you're both old man.

01:05:21   Come on.

01:05:22   about like a permanent physical mark on a device.

01:05:27   And this is like a useful software feature.

01:05:32   It's not like a useless orange dot or whatever.

01:05:37   Yeah, this has a practical purpose,

01:05:40   which also being software you can disable,

01:05:42   you cannot disable the red dot on the crown

01:05:45   unless you want to run some sandpaper on it.

01:05:47   I don't know what you want to do about that.

01:05:48   - Watch dots. - Yeah.

01:05:49   I mean, this sounds amazing to me

01:05:51   And I'm honestly surprised that Apple isn't doing more of this.

01:05:54   I know that Siri in theory should be able to identify songs, but that has never ever

01:05:58   been as reliable and accurate as Shazam or SoundHound are in my experience.

01:06:04   So this is pretty incredible, especially if Google is doing this on device.

01:06:09   This is someone who constantly like I'm watching a TV show with my girlfriend or a movie and

01:06:14   I'm constantly reaching out for Shazam on my iPhone.

01:06:17   So this is pretty much a t.g. feature right there.

01:06:19   That's amazing.

01:06:20   Squeeze for assistant. Do you want to do that? Squeeze the phone, Google Assistant comes up.

01:06:26   Wow.

01:06:27   I don't know about this.

01:06:29   Okay.

01:06:29   Like, I don't know about this.

01:06:31   I mean, okay.

01:06:31   It seems really weird to me, but like a lot of Android phones are implementing this now.

01:06:36   Like, squeezing the phone seems to be like a thing. I don't know if I want to do it, right?

01:06:42   Like, I feel like it's bad in all of the ways that 3D touch is bad, but feels kind of worse.

01:06:48   plus. What I don't like about 3D touches is you're just smooshing your fingers into the

01:06:52   screen and you're just squeezing the entire, I don't know it seems weird. It's a way to

01:06:58   activate the assistant but I don't know. It's very strange to me. The camera got the highest

01:07:06   DxO score again. I don't really know if this means anything, I don't really know what it

01:07:11   means. But there is this gallery of photos that I saw being shared around yesterday which

01:07:17   and videos from the Pixel 2 which are apparently untouched and I believe that they are because

01:07:22   like whatever like they're fine they look incredible like just I can't believe a phone

01:07:29   took these pictures they are unbelievable. Google has their own portrait mode now as well

01:07:34   which they're doing in software with hashtag machine learning and all of the photos that

01:07:39   they're doing here with the portrait mode also look amazing. What did you guys look through this

01:07:45   album yeah yeah it's really good looking it's incredible right like some of these

01:07:49   pictures I can't believe they came off of a phone yeah they're great really

01:07:52   good so I'm very intrigued to see camera comparison tests you know like the

01:07:58   camera comparison tests last year that I thought I was looking at I preferred the

01:08:02   way that the pixel images and the essay images look to the iPhone images yeah

01:08:08   the problem I think with the DXO stuff is like you can't rate this stuff just in

01:08:13   numbers. People just they they they want to have different things from photos.

01:08:17   Some people like more saturation than others.

01:08:19   Right. Like it's just a thing.

01:08:21   But these photos just they do look incredible.

01:08:23   And doing all this with one sensor and they've got a bunch of interesting stuff in

01:08:26   there. The thing that is the most surprising to me is how Google came out of nowhere

01:08:32   with an incredible camera.

01:08:33   Right. Like they made their first real phone and then they leapfrog everybody last

01:08:40   time. I'm intrigued to see if they're going to be able to do that again with this phone.

01:08:45   I think it shows a lot of what software can do for you if you have this software per OS.

01:08:50   This is what they can do.

01:08:52   Or they came up with incredible software which from that perspective it's not really surprising

01:08:56   considering that it's Google.

01:08:58   Yep, it's like the sensors take in whatever they take in but what you do with them I guess

01:09:02   is what can push you ahead and this is what Google is able to do. The Pixel 2 is $649,

01:09:08   The Pixel 2 XL is $849 so they're cheaper than the iPhones and as we mentioned earlier

01:09:12   you get the free Google Home and Google is promising to have better availability.

01:09:16   I think it's a good showing.

01:09:17   I'm not going to buy one.

01:09:19   I have a regular Pixel, that's my Android test device.

01:09:22   I don't feel like I need another Android test device.

01:09:25   But if I was somebody in the Android camp, like this is probably the phone that I would

01:09:30   end up buying, the Pixel 2 XL.

01:09:32   So like the design doesn't push my buttons in the same way that the Samsung phones do

01:09:37   or in the same way that the Essential phone does.

01:09:39   But these phones are two things,

01:09:42   they're hardware and software.

01:09:43   And I personally would want stock Android

01:09:46   over anything else, that's what I would want.

01:09:49   And that's what this phone gives you.

01:09:52   Very impressive. - Yeah, it looks great.

01:09:54   - They had a bunch of other stuff at the event,

01:09:56   like this Chromebook Pixel thing,

01:09:58   which doesn't interest me.

01:10:00   Looks like one of those convertible laptops.

01:10:03   They had some other stuff too,

01:10:04   like their Pixel Buds, which is their AirPods,

01:10:08   look kind of interesting.

01:10:10   They had this translation feature, which is kind of cool.

01:10:12   But yeah, I watched the event, the event was good.

01:10:14   They seemed really confident in their stuff.

01:10:17   This made by Google line, it's shaping up to be a real deal.

01:10:20   Like Google is making good hardware.

01:10:22   And again, I'm interested to see what the reviews look like

01:10:25   of the Pixel 2, especially when compared to the iPhone X,

01:10:28   which is soon, soon, a couple of weeks,

01:10:30   and we can put in our pre-orders.

01:10:32   and then wait for months.

01:10:34   - And wait forever.

01:10:36   - All right, that's it for this week's show.

01:10:37   As you said, next week,

01:10:38   we're gonna be giving you a live episode,

01:10:40   so look out for that next week.

01:10:42   That might be out on Monday.

01:10:44   We might have that episode out on Mondays

01:10:45   a little bit earlier than usual,

01:10:47   'cause we're gonna be recording earlier than usual.

01:10:49   If you wanna find our show notes this week,

01:10:51   go to relay.fm/connected/163.

01:10:54   Thanks again to our lovely sponsors

01:10:56   for this week's episode,

01:10:57   the fine folk over at Macworld and Blue Apron of Bombfell.

01:11:00   If you would like to find us on the line,

01:11:02   few places you can do that you can go to maxstories.net for Federico's work and

01:11:06   he's also @Vatici on Twitter, Steven is @ismh and he's at 5topixels.net

01:11:11   and I am @imyke, thanks so much for listening we'll be back next time

01:11:16   until then say goodbye guys. Adios!