The Talk Show

369: ‘18-Hour Bombing Mission’, With Marco Arment


00:00:00   Over the weekend, my coffee grinder broke.

00:00:03   - Oh. (laughs)

00:00:04   - And this is, I've never lost a coffee grinder before.

00:00:08   And I quickly realized this is a single point of failure

00:00:10   at my setup because I only have one.

00:00:14   I have never, I've never had any reason

00:00:16   to have a backup coffee grinder.

00:00:18   I have many different ways to brew coffee.

00:00:21   I have many different collections of coffee beans.

00:00:25   I have redundancy everywhere else in the system.

00:00:27   But the grinder is a single point of failure.

00:00:29   And after 12 years of solid use,

00:00:34   including the last six years

00:00:35   in a highly corrosive saltwater air environment,

00:00:38   it finally kicked the bucket.

00:00:40   - And I believe it's the same grinder I have,

00:00:43   the Baratza Virtuosia.

00:00:49   I just like every single piece of equipment

00:00:52   I'm using to record this podcast,

00:00:55   I just said, "What should I buy, Marco?"

00:00:57   And I bought it.

00:00:58   and I have the same coffee grinder, which I still love.

00:01:02   I don't know what I, you know.

00:01:05   - Yeah.

00:01:05   - I've got more local options.

00:01:06   - And there's nothing against them,

00:01:07   'cause I mean, look, it lasted 12 years,

00:01:09   and you know, again, like the last six

00:01:10   were in a pretty harsh environment

00:01:12   for any kind of electronic thing made of metal,

00:01:15   so I give it full credit, and nothing against them.

00:01:19   But now, see, they don't make this model anymore.

00:01:20   They make a few that are kinda different,

00:01:23   and I don't know, like, they're different in ways

00:01:25   that I'm not sure would be better for me,

00:01:27   So I actually ordered, so first of all,

00:01:29   I overnighted a replacement.

00:01:30   (laughs)

00:01:31   'Cause I'm like, first of all,

00:01:32   this would, you know, it broke on a Sunday.

00:01:35   And I'm like, well, this is gonna be a long time

00:01:37   before I can get a coffee cracker in my house.

00:01:40   And I could also just, you know, go buy pre-ground beans,

00:01:43   but you know, I'm not gonna do that.

00:01:45   So I'm lucky though, I, you know,

00:01:49   because I live in a beach town and it's the winter,

00:01:53   all of my neighbors are gone for the season.

00:01:55   It's basically an abandoned town.

00:01:57   - Right, it's like--

00:01:58   - And I know my neighbors there,

00:01:59   and we all have keys to each other's houses,

00:02:01   so I actually asked,

00:02:03   and I was able to go borrow my neighbor's coffee grinder,

00:02:06   you know, getting it out of their abandoned house

00:02:07   for the next few days. (laughs)

00:02:09   So I have, like, you know,

00:02:11   back to the regular spinning blade kind of,

00:02:13   you know, the little whirlybird grinder, the old kind,

00:02:16   and I'm really happy that I have it.

00:02:19   It's better than nothing,

00:02:20   but man, do I appreciate bird grinders more now. (laughs)

00:02:25   It's a big difference, turns out.

00:02:26   (laughing)

00:02:29   Yeah, so what's your best local option off season?

00:02:33   I mean, you can't, there's nowhere to go really

00:02:35   for decent coffee, right, or is there?

00:02:38   - Not really, well, I mean, there's like towns on Long Island

00:02:43   that I could drive over the bridge.

00:02:45   - No, that's too far.

00:02:46   - But it's, yeah, it's like a half hour drive,

00:02:48   so it's not something I wanna really do day to day.

00:02:51   So I just normally just brew my own, and it's fine.

00:02:54   I get the beans from Yes Please usually,

00:02:57   or from some kind of rando roaster from Trade.

00:03:00   But I will say that the coffee frozen cylinder thing,

00:03:04   that that's Cometeer.

00:03:06   And I'm really frustrated by Cometeer,

00:03:09   because I first heard about it on All-Consuming,

00:03:12   and I thought, you know, that's probably really stupid.

00:03:16   It's like frozen little capsules of coffee,

00:03:21   and you basically just pour hot water on them.

00:03:23   It's one of those companies that you'd see

00:03:24   on Instagram and you'd be like, that's really fancy,

00:03:27   but that's probably not very good.

00:03:29   And for some reason, I forget why,

00:03:31   but for some reason I decided to try it

00:03:33   after I heard it on All-Consuming.

00:03:35   And it's like stupidly good.

00:03:39   And it's totally ridiculous.

00:03:40   Like it's not super cheap and they have to mail you

00:03:43   this box with a absolute ton of dry ice in it.

00:03:47   Like it does stay frozen, you know, good for them.

00:03:49   Not a sponsorship.

00:03:50   Although I'm kind of hoping they'll sponsor my show

00:03:52   at some point, but it's the most ridiculous way

00:03:56   to get coffee, 'cause they have to basically ship you

00:03:58   this extremely frozen box with these little,

00:04:01   you know, aluminum capsules in it that you, you know,

00:04:03   you defrost, and they're single serving,

00:04:06   but it's frustrating because it's way, way better

00:04:09   than any coffee I've ever made myself.

00:04:11   Like, they just, it's a really, whatever their process is,

00:04:14   it's like a fancy, like, hipster coffee shop made it,

00:04:18   you know, like with the fancy pour-over,

00:04:19   but with actual strength of flavor,

00:04:22   'cause you get to control how much dilution there is.

00:04:24   So it's stupidly good.

00:04:25   And I treat myself to that every so often.

00:04:29   Maybe a couple times a year, I'll get a box of those

00:04:32   and I'll slowly dole them out to enjoy them.

00:04:35   But to be your everyday pick,

00:04:37   I think it'd be kind of ridiculous.

00:04:38   So normally I'm just using beans, mostly from Yes Please.

00:04:42   - We may have to scrap this.

00:04:47   - What happened?

00:04:49   Trade's one of the sponsors.

00:04:51   No, I mean, that's… I said I also use beans from Trade.

00:04:57   Well, let me take a break here and tell you about our first sponsor,

00:05:07   who Marco seredipitously… is that the right word? … mentioned.

00:05:11   Yeah, something like that.

00:05:13   it's trade coffee. This is not a joke. This was not set up. This show has…

00:05:19   Jared: No, see, what they're good for is variety because like normally, like my usual go-to is Yes

00:05:24   Please! And Yes Please! is really good for if you want consistency. They basically give you the same

00:05:29   thing all the time and it's good. But where I like trade is they give you variety. Like if you want

00:05:35   to like mix it up, get something fresh, get something new. That's why I maintain subscriptions

00:05:41   to both services, and I just have them come in alternate weeks.

00:05:43   Pete: I have had Trade Coffee at your house. That was actually, I remember the first morning over

00:05:51   the summer, I was, you were kind enough to have us over for a couple of nights and I had it there,

00:05:57   but I'd already been subscribed. Often, when I talk about Trade Coffee, I say I'm drinking it

00:06:03   right now, but I can't say that right now because we're recording at eight o'clock at night and I

00:06:08   I no longer am capable of drinking coffee

00:06:11   at eight o'clock at night.

00:06:13   And-- - I mean, you gotta sleep

00:06:14   sometime. - And getting to bed.

00:06:16   I used to be able to.

00:06:18   I used to think I was like one of those,

00:06:21   and they always said that that was one of the things

00:06:24   the Russians used for jet fighter pilots.

00:06:27   Everybody always knows fighter pilots

00:06:29   have to have great eyesight and reflexes and stuff,

00:06:31   and the Russians chose pilots

00:06:33   who had a very low susceptibility to caffeine

00:06:36   so that they could dose them with caffeine

00:06:39   to keep them up for 18-hour bombing missions.

00:06:42   I used to feel like maybe I was like that,

00:06:46   and now I realize I'm not,

00:06:47   and if I drink coffee after five o'clock,

00:06:49   I'm usually up until five a.m.

00:06:52   So I'm not drinking it as we speak.

00:06:56   I'm drinking Hal's Fizzy Water,

00:06:57   but I did have trade coffee here,

00:07:00   which was ground today through a, what is it?

00:07:05   I always forget the name of the goddamn bar.

00:07:07   - Baratza Virtuoso.

00:07:07   - Baratza Virtuoso, which I do, it's beloved.

00:07:11   What is trade?

00:07:12   Trade Coffee is a coffee subscription service,

00:07:17   just like Marco was talking about.

00:07:18   And they make it simple to discover new coffees

00:07:21   and make your best cup of coffee at home every day.

00:07:24   They don't make all this coffee.

00:07:26   They don't think they roast any of it.

00:07:28   What trade does is partner

00:07:31   with the nation's top-rated independent roasters.

00:07:34   And I mean, dozens, maybe hundreds, I don't know,

00:07:38   but certainly dozens.

00:07:39   I've been subscribed to them pretty much all year,

00:07:43   and I'm not sure I've gotten coffee

00:07:44   from the same roaster twice.

00:07:46   And they send you the best quality coffee

00:07:50   as a subscription service exactly at the pace that you want.

00:07:54   You want a bag a week, you want,

00:07:56   maybe you are like in an office,

00:07:57   or you have a family full of coffee drinkers,

00:08:00   you need multiple bags a week.

00:08:02   You want it every two weeks,

00:08:03   You want it every month.

00:08:05   Whatever schedule you want, you can set it.

00:08:07   And whether you already know what you like,

00:08:11   or if you're new to specialty coffee and need help,

00:08:14   Trade's website makes it easy and convenient

00:08:18   to discover new coffees.

00:08:19   They send it fresh to your home on your schedule.

00:08:24   I love their coffee.

00:08:25   I stay subscribed to it, and I would stay subscribed to it,

00:08:27   even if they weren't sponsoring the show.

00:08:30   It is terrific.

00:08:31   I do it for exactly the reason Margo said before,

00:08:34   it's variety, it tastes different,

00:08:36   and it's good, and I like it.

00:08:39   So what do you do to do this?

00:08:41   And again, I mention this every time I talk about coffee.

00:08:44   Coffee is produce.

00:08:46   It is like, coffee beans don't look like fruit or apples,

00:08:51   apples or oranges or something that goes bad,

00:08:54   but they really do.

00:08:56   Even though old coffee beans

00:08:59   don't really look that different

00:09:01   than fresh roasted coffee beans.

00:09:03   The taste difference is dramatic,

00:09:05   and the stuff you buy like on a supermarket shelf,

00:09:08   even from a good brand, is way, way older than,

00:09:12   yeah, you wouldn't buy fruit that's just bagged up

00:09:15   and is not in the produce section

00:09:17   where they're refrigerating it and stuff like that.

00:09:19   Coffee is exactly like that.

00:09:21   It is, among all the other factors

00:09:23   of what makes good coffee different

00:09:26   from mediocre or bad coffee.

00:09:29   Freshness is gotta be number one,

00:09:30   and the stuff you get from trade is super duper fresh.

00:09:34   It is like as soon as it's roasted, it's sealed,

00:09:36   goes into the mail, and is ding dong,

00:09:40   two days later, it's at your door.

00:09:42   Three days for Marco, because it takes an extra day

00:09:44   for everything to get to the sun.

00:09:46   - I'll tell you what though, like the difference,

00:09:49   like you were just saying, like,

00:09:50   oh, the grocery store coffee is much more stale.

00:09:52   I don't think people will fully appreciate to what degree.

00:09:55   So with trade coffee, you're getting it mailed to you,

00:09:58   and by the time it arrives to you,

00:10:00   even when it arrives to me in my crazy place,

00:10:02   it has been roasted maybe four days ago at most.

00:10:06   If you look in the grocery store,

00:10:08   I just did this, 'cause just last week I was out of town,

00:10:11   and I wanted to buy a bag of coffee,

00:10:12   and it was like a Whole Foods or something.

00:10:14   And so, you know, looking at all the fancy brands,

00:10:16   this one's local, this one's fresh,

00:10:18   this one's in New Jersey,

00:10:19   like you know, all these nice local things,

00:10:21   that roasters, some of which I even knew

00:10:23   where their roastery was, and I was looking,

00:10:26   and you turn the bag over, and you can usually see,

00:10:28   there's usually a sticker on any kind of good coffee bag

00:10:31   to see when it was roasted.

00:10:33   I could not find any that were roasted

00:10:35   less than three weeks ago.

00:10:37   And compare three weeks, at the best case,

00:10:39   was three weeks ago, there were many

00:10:41   that were much older than that.

00:10:42   Three weeks ago, compared to three or four days ago.

00:10:45   It's a massive difference.

00:10:47   - What do you do to get started?

00:10:48   Upgrade your morning routine with Better Coffee.

00:10:51   Right now, Trade is offering a free bag of coffee

00:10:54   with any subscription at drinktrade.com/thetalkshow.

00:10:59   That's drinktrade.com/thetalkshow

00:11:05   for a free bag of coffee with any subscription service.

00:11:09   Drinktrade.com/thetalkshow.

00:11:12   I would dare you, dare you to,

00:11:17   you know how like on your show,

00:11:18   you got like a little banjo

00:11:20   that separates the official markers

00:11:22   between the sponsorships and the show.

00:11:24   I would dare you, that was actually Merlin-esque

00:11:28   (laughs)

00:11:29   in terms of blurring what is the show

00:11:32   and what is the sponsor read.

00:11:34   Merlin, with Merlin, I know you listen to my show,

00:11:38   but I think you'd listen, I hope you listen to my show,

00:11:40   but you know with Merlin, I honestly,

00:11:43   to me, it's like I lose track of the show

00:11:45   and the sponsor read just becomes the show.

00:11:48   us talking about those slippers from Mack Weldon.

00:11:52   (laughing)

00:11:53   Honestly, God, I mean, that was like a 45-minute sponsor

00:11:55   read the one time.

00:11:56   (laughing)

00:12:00   Couple of things I wanna talk about.

00:12:01   A main reason I wanted to have you on this week

00:12:03   is I wanna talk about the new HomePods,

00:12:05   and I loved your review of them on ATP,

00:12:08   and more or less just wanna steal it

00:12:10   (laughing)

00:12:11   and put it on my show.

00:12:12   And I've been struggling to write my own.

00:12:17   But on the news front, I wanted to talk first.

00:12:22   I've actually spent my whole weekend working.

00:12:25   I haven't written anything about it yet,

00:12:27   but Joanna Stern and Nicole Nguyen

00:12:31   at the Wall Street Journal

00:12:32   published an amazing piece on Friday, a story.

00:12:36   You saw this, right?

00:12:39   - Yeah, I would call it a bombshell.

00:12:41   - Yeah, I really, and I spent all weekend working on it,

00:12:45   But the gist of their story in the Wall Street Journal

00:12:48   is that they found about a dozen people in New York,

00:12:53   maybe some of them are from outside New York,

00:12:57   who had their iPhones stolen.

00:13:02   Like, I think almost all the ones they talked to

00:13:05   when they were out at night socializing at bars

00:13:08   or something like that.

00:13:10   iPhone is stolen, and they realize the iPhone's stolen,

00:13:14   and next thing you know, in addition to being stolen,

00:13:18   they're locked, they're completely locked out

00:13:20   of their iCloud account.

00:13:21   So even if they have a friend

00:13:24   and they can get to a Find My iPhone

00:13:26   or they can get home and get to their iPad

00:13:31   or a MacBook that they might have,

00:13:33   those devices are also locked out of iCloud.

00:13:37   And it's effectively game over.

00:13:42   that the thief has access to everything on their phone,

00:13:47   everything in iCloud, and they can't get it back

00:13:53   or restore it.

00:13:54   This sounds so horrific that my first thought

00:14:00   when I read it was there's got to be some hole

00:14:03   in this story or some,

00:14:05   these victims did something incredibly foolish

00:14:10   reckless or something like that. But the basic gist of what I just said, it is completely true.

00:14:17   And with some caveats, it in theory could happen to anybody. And then in addition to the people

00:14:27   they found in New York and talked to firsthand, they talked to a police detective that she got

00:14:33   in contact with in Minneapolis who has investigated dozens of these cases, maybe more. I forget. I was

00:14:43   talking with Joanna last night. It's not like, oh, a handful. It is like dozens of cases.

00:14:49   Again, like you said, it's a blockbuster.

00:14:53   Jared Ranerelle - It seems like the biggest surprise to this,

00:14:57   because even people like us who are like Apple power users, it's our job to know this

00:15:03   stuff, we think we know it really well. The biggest surprise to me, which I think surprised

00:15:07   most people like us, is that, so you know, the main method of the theft here was that

00:15:13   the thieves would basically like look over their shoulder and see what their passcode

00:15:18   was when they entered it. And then go ahead and steal the phone. And to some degree you

00:15:23   can say, well, that's going to be pretty hard to protect against. But the big bombshell

00:15:27   for this is that you can re, apparently you can reset

00:15:31   an Apple ID password only knowing the passcode to the phone.

00:15:36   - Right.

00:15:37   - So what they're doing is they are shoulder surfing

00:15:40   the passcode, stealing the phone at some point,

00:15:43   and then quickly going and changing the Apple ID password,

00:15:46   and then being able to then log into the Apple ID,

00:15:48   do all the same secure stuff you can do from an Apple ID,

00:15:51   remote change devices, remote revoke devices,

00:15:54   and then have full access to your Apple account.

00:15:56   I mean, that to me, that's the hole right there,

00:15:59   is no, I don't think anyone in our circles knew

00:16:03   that you can reset an Apple ID password

00:16:06   by just knowing the passcode to a phone.

00:16:07   - Right, I don't think so either.

00:16:10   And I knew that there's a lot that you can do

00:16:12   with just the passcode.

00:16:13   And the one thing that's been on my mind for a while

00:16:16   is that with just the passcode,

00:16:18   it gives you access to the keychain,

00:16:23   or on the iPhone, you go into settings and passwords

00:16:28   and anything that's in passwords is visible

00:16:32   and you can see all the passwords,

00:16:34   you can see all the authenticator codes.

00:16:37   There's no other factors involved just to get into Keychain.

00:16:43   But the truth is, so like, again,

00:16:47   trying to explain this out the way my mind works

00:16:51   How I always want to know what these stories how exactly does this work because this seems so fantastic out so fantastic

00:16:59   That it there's got to be some step in here where you're like

00:17:02   Oh, that's the step where it wouldn't affect me because I'm smart and I've turned on blank, you know

00:17:09   like a smart person does

00:17:11   Yeah, like

00:17:14   go back in time to like the original iPhone and

00:17:19   passcodes weren't even a thing. One of the biggest demos of the original passcode was slide to unlock,

00:17:25   right? Because with nobody passcoded their phones, right? They're pre-iPhone. You just opened up your

00:17:32   phone and started doing stuff. And there, you know, maybe there would be like a button you would hold

00:17:38   for a couple of seconds to make sure you don't like pocket dial somebody. And I guess some people

00:17:45   could put a code on their phone if they had like a secure job or something like that, but I don't

00:17:50   recall ever putting a code on my phone pre-iPhone. It was not the norm. Most people didn't do it.

00:17:55   So, we went from, you know, and it makes sense that Apple designed the original iPhone to fit

00:18:04   in that world where it's like a phone and like an iPod where you just take it out of your pocket

00:18:10   and do something to make sure you're not pocket dialing or pocket playing songs or whatever else

00:18:15   could happen accidentally and slide to unlock was the their solution to it like okay this phone

00:18:23   won't do anything yet but here's slide to unlock and it was a in those terms of the pre-ios7

00:18:31   flattening a totally lickable interface like they spent time you know some designer like mike madis

00:18:39   spent like full effort and full power of a great graphic designer designing a little button down to

00:18:47   the pixels and like a little three-dimensional looking channel for that thing to go across and

00:18:53   that got you into the phone and you could do anything right so like if steve jobs had lost

00:19:00   his phone in 2007 and you found it you know like there was a picture of him one time at like one

00:19:08   one of his kids' soccer games or something,

00:19:10   just standing there with an iPhone.

00:19:12   I think it was a famous picture

00:19:13   because it was before the iPhone,

00:19:15   after it had been announced, but before it came out.

00:19:18   And it's like, holy shit, there's Steve Jobs' soccer,

00:19:21   a high school soccer game with an iPhone.

00:19:25   But if he had lost it, you could've gotten

00:19:28   into Steve Jobs' phone with just sliding your thumb

00:19:31   across the screen.

00:19:33   And then we've gone from there to here,

00:19:37   where we've realized, you know, there's, you know,

00:19:40   people have their entire digital lives on these phones

00:19:44   and we've protected them more.

00:19:46   And Apple has developed

00:19:47   Face ID and Touch ID

00:19:53   as these biometric things to encourage people

00:19:58   to have some protection.

00:20:00   Like a big problem Apple solved over these years

00:20:04   was encouraging people to put codes on their phone at all.

00:20:08   Right, like when it first started to become a thing

00:20:10   and Apple clearly realized, oh, everybody,

00:20:13   we should try to encourage everybody to have a phone

00:20:17   or a code on their phone.

00:20:19   I knew people who resisted it.

00:20:20   I'm not gonna name names, but there were people

00:20:23   in my household who didn't see the need.

00:20:28   And they did-- - Well, even now,

00:20:30   like you can still set up a phone without a passcode,

00:20:33   And it's funny 'cause I do it on a regular basis

00:20:35   because all my developer phones that are just,

00:20:37   I need a device that runs iOS 15,

00:20:40   so I have an old iPhone that I use for that.

00:20:42   And I always set those up without passcodes.

00:20:44   And they make it increasingly difficult

00:20:47   if you find the little hidden option to do it

00:20:49   and they yell at you a whole bunch,

00:20:50   like you really shouldn't do this.

00:20:53   You have to try pretty hard.

00:20:54   - It's almost like an anti-dark pattern.

00:20:56   It's like a light pattern of bad user interface,

00:20:59   or not bad user interface,

00:21:02   but obtuse user interface,

00:21:06   where this should be obtuse and discouraging, right?

00:21:10   And we typically think of those techniques

00:21:12   of being ways to like make it hard to unsubscribe

00:21:17   from a service you've already subscribed to,

00:21:19   and they were a real jerk about it,

00:21:21   and they, or just to think about the way,

00:21:25   the dark pattern I run into every single day

00:21:29   is you get a marketing email from somebody,

00:21:31   and the unsubscribe link is in six point type

00:21:36   and it's set to 40% gray at the bottom of the email, right?

00:21:40   It's like, I don't know that the email clients

00:21:46   would render typeset at a smaller CSS point size

00:21:50   and it's gray text on a white background.

00:21:53   They definitely do that to discourage people

00:21:56   from trying to set up a phone without a passcode.

00:22:00   was famous back when Trump was president.

00:22:04   He had Kanye West in his office for some, you know,

00:22:09   of course, nonsensical meeting and clown show,

00:22:13   and with cameras and press and people,

00:22:16   and Kanye had his phone and wanted to show something,

00:22:20   and his passcode was 1111.

00:22:22   (laughs)

00:22:23   And it was completely visible.

00:22:25   Hold that thought, but completely visible to the world,

00:22:28   and I think it was one.

00:22:30   It was either 1111 or 1234.

00:22:32   I'm pretty sure, though, it was 1111.

00:22:34   - That's probably the most common passcode.

00:22:38   Like if you actually had the numbers,

00:22:40   like what are the most common passcodes?

00:22:42   I bet 1111 is by far the most common.

00:22:44   - I don't know that it's, so I haven't done it in a while,

00:22:46   but while doing things like testing review phones,

00:22:51   I've set up phones and tried to make it stupid easy.

00:22:53   Like here's a review phone that I'm not actually

00:22:55   going to put a SIM card in.

00:22:57   I'm just gonna play around with it in my house,

00:23:00   so I'm not even gonna leave the house with it.

00:23:02   And if you try that, it actually will tell,

00:23:04   I think, at least the last time I tried it,

00:23:07   with certain of those passcodes, the iOS will tell you,

00:23:12   that's a weak passcode.

00:23:15   Do you wanna maybe try something that's not easily guessed?

00:23:19   You know.

00:23:19   - You wanna try literally anything else besides 1111.

00:23:23   (laughing)

00:23:25   So we're in a world now where everybody has these passcodes,

00:23:30   but the thing that's not obvious,

00:23:33   it's sort of mind-blowing to me and to you,

00:23:40   probably everybody who's listening,

00:23:41   and I suspect a lot of people who are listening

00:23:43   who didn't spend their entire weekend researching this

00:23:48   are still listening to us thinking, it can't be this bad.

00:23:53   I can't be this exposed if somebody knows my passcode.

00:23:57   But the truth is, if you have the phone

00:23:59   and you know the passcode, you're in God mode.

00:24:05   You have access to anything and everything on the phone.

00:24:09   There is nothing on the phone

00:24:11   that you can't do or change, nothing.

00:24:15   There's every single thing on the phone.

00:24:18   Now, you might use an app, a third-party app,

00:24:22   like a bank app or like a password manager,

00:24:27   or even a notes app.

00:24:30   I remember getting the feature requests from Vesper users.

00:24:34   You know, a notes app sometimes will let you set

00:24:38   your own password within the app,

00:24:41   and that has nothing to do with your key.

00:24:43   It doesn't go in your key chain.

00:24:45   And so something like that,

00:24:48   you still would be protected from.

00:24:50   - No, you wouldn't.

00:24:51   See, I was just thinking about this,

00:24:53   'cause one of the security things that I do

00:24:55   is I don't store my main banking password

00:24:59   in a password manager.

00:25:01   I don't store it anywhere, I just know it.

00:25:03   And it's a very secure password

00:25:05   and it never goes in a password manager.

00:25:07   'Cause I figure that's, of all the important passwords

00:25:08   I have, that's probably the most important.

00:25:10   And so I was just thinking, like,

00:25:13   oh, well, at least I'm protected there, but no, I'm not.

00:25:15   Because I've set up Face ID for that app, for convenience.

00:25:20   - And face--

00:25:21   So, face ID, that's the passcode, right?

00:25:24   So if you had my phone and the passcode,

00:25:27   I realized like five minutes ago, I was thinking about this,

00:25:29   I'm like, oh my god, wait a minute, I'm exposed there.

00:25:32   Because if you have my phone and you should reserve

00:25:33   my passcode and you get my phone,

00:25:35   then you could log into my bank app.

00:25:38   Because I have a face ID log in there.

00:25:40   And anything like that, anything where you have face ID

00:25:42   or touch ID protection, that is only as good

00:25:45   as your passcode, and if your passcode is known to somebody

00:25:48   and then they gain physical access to the device,

00:25:51   can get into anything protected by face ID, including not only, you know, any apps that

00:25:55   have it, but also, as you mentioned earlier, all of your saved passwords and Apple's password

00:25:59   thing. Or if you use a password manager like 1Password and you have face ID for that, there

00:26:03   you go. That's also then exposed.

00:26:05   Right. So you're only anything, the only thing that wouldn't be protected would be something

00:26:10   that's protected by a third party separate password and you don't have face ID or touch

00:26:17   enabled to get into that.

00:26:20   I'm gonna just say face ID,

00:26:21   because I think that's what most everybody's on now.

00:26:24   I'll get to, there's some specific differences

00:26:27   with touch ID on some of the implications of this.

00:26:29   But for brevity, I'll just say face ID.

00:26:34   Face ID, the other thing I've learned over the weekend,

00:26:40   and I guess I knew this, but now I know it,

00:26:44   is that Face ID is only an accelerant for your passcode.

00:26:49   It's not two things, like a left hand and a right hand.

00:26:57   The only thing that protects your phone is your passcode.

00:27:06   And Face ID is a layer above the passcode

00:27:10   that gets you into the passcode.

00:27:12   They're not two equal methods of getting it.

00:27:17   And therefore, every time anything that you do with Face ID,

00:27:20   and I learned this daily during COVID

00:27:25   while I was out wearing a face mask in public,

00:27:28   and at most, 90% of that time

00:27:32   before Apple had enabled Face ID to work with a mask on,

00:27:37   where I'd bring my phone up and Face ID fails,

00:27:41   and then immediately gives you to the passcode entry

00:27:45   as an option.

00:27:45   Everything, anytime you ever are prompted for face ID,

00:27:49   if it doesn't work, you have the option

00:27:51   to use your passcode instead.

00:27:54   And that's because those biometric methods

00:27:59   are just accelerants for the passcode.

00:28:02   So if you have the phone and you have the passcode,

00:28:05   you're in God mode on the phone.

00:28:07   Everything is possible.

00:28:09   The other thing that to me I just didn't know, I really didn't, is what you mentioned

00:28:16   before. And this is the level that takes you out of God Mode just on the phone and lets

00:28:24   you take over the account is you go to Settings, iCloud, which is that thing at the top with

00:28:32   your picture, right? And your name.

00:28:34   and get the terrible UI where you never think

00:28:37   to look there at first,

00:28:38   'cause it doesn't even look like a button necessarily.

00:28:40   - Right, so you're at the very top of settings,

00:28:43   it has your name, and it says Apple ID,

00:28:45   iCloud, median purchases.

00:28:48   Second level down is password and security,

00:28:50   and, or I think that's where this is.

00:28:55   Is that where this is?

00:28:56   Or no, you have to go down to, where do you do it?

00:28:59   I just did it three times over the weekend,

00:29:01   but I can't figure out exactly where it is now.

00:29:03   But anyway, there's somewhere on the--

00:29:05   - Somewhere it's in there. (laughs)

00:29:07   - You go down there and it says password

00:29:13   and you can go reset password

00:29:17   and then you just enter a new password

00:29:20   and reenter it to confirm it's the same one

00:29:23   and boom, you've changed the iCloud password

00:29:26   without ever entering or being prompted

00:29:31   for the old password, right?

00:29:33   And the surprise thing to me about that

00:29:37   is that I just, I don't think I've ever done it that way

00:29:40   'cause I don't, I don't know,

00:29:42   I've probably only changed my iCloud password

00:29:45   a handful of times in, I don't know, 20 years, right?

00:29:48   I mean, I've been using it since it was mac.com.

00:29:51   - Yeah, and if I wanted to change my iCloud password,

00:29:54   I would do it on the website, like from a computer.

00:29:56   - Right. - Like I would never,

00:29:57   I would never think to do it on,

00:29:58   I mean, of course you can do it on the phone,

00:30:00   that makes sense, but I would never have thought

00:30:01   to do that, so I would never even

00:30:03   thought to look for this feature?

00:30:05   - Oh, here it is, it's right at the top.

00:30:08   So you go to, at the top of settings, into iCloud,

00:30:11   second level down is password and security,

00:30:14   and the very first item at the top is, it's blue even,

00:30:19   it's even more prominent.

00:30:21   You just hit change password, and it spins for a little.

00:30:28   - And as with everything iCloud.

00:30:30   - But then all you have to do,

00:30:31   it does just let you change it.

00:30:33   What it asks you for is your iPhone passcode.

00:30:37   And you type your iPhone passcode,

00:30:39   which is the only two factors the thief needs,

00:30:43   physical possession of the device

00:30:45   and knowledge of the passcode.

00:30:47   You enter it, here I am entering it.

00:30:49   And boom, I have a field

00:30:55   where I can change my iCloud password.

00:30:58   - Without knowing the old one.

00:31:00   - Right, without knowing the old one.

00:31:01   And the second you complete that,

00:31:05   the second you've entered a new iCloud password,

00:31:11   the very next thing the iPhone does is prompt you,

00:31:15   do you want to lock out all the other devices

00:31:18   that are currently logged into this iCloud account?

00:31:21   - Oh, God.

00:31:24   And there's two options, like decline or accept,

00:31:29   or lock 'em out.

00:31:32   And you hit lock 'em out, and then boom,

00:31:35   the other devices are locked out.

00:31:38   And then that's it, game over for the victim.

00:31:43   And there's no way for them to get back,

00:31:47   certainly can't get back the iPhone,

00:31:49   can't control that the person who has the iPhone

00:31:53   has access to everything on your iPhone but they can't get back their iCloud

00:31:58   account there's nothing they can do nothing Apple can do and you could say

00:32:04   oh but I set up the recovery key and I have it I know I know I have that stored

00:32:14   safely I printed it out and put it in a safe place in my house it's too late the

00:32:20   The recovery key is only for, I tried this over the weekend.

00:32:25   There's no way to get to any area

00:32:27   where you can just use this recovery key.

00:32:30   - Oh, that's interesting.

00:32:31   So you can't go to like a forgot password thing?

00:32:34   - No, you can go to the forgot password thing,

00:32:36   but there's no path at that point

00:32:38   to use the recovery key to get your account back.

00:32:43   Same thing for a recovery contact.

00:32:47   Like if I say I trust Marco so much

00:32:50   that I'm gonna make Marco Arment my recovery contact.

00:32:54   And vacationing in Hawaii,

00:32:59   and while I'm taking a picture of a volcano,

00:33:01   drop my iPhone right into a volcano and it just melts.

00:33:05   And now I don't have an iPhone.

00:33:07   And I've forgotten my,

00:33:14   I've also forgotten my iCloud account password.

00:33:17   So I can't even get into iCloud.

00:33:19   There, you could help me, because what I could do

00:33:25   is go back to, I could go to Verizon,

00:33:29   tell them what happened, and I'll prove that I'm still me,

00:33:33   and I'll get a new phone, and now I've got

00:33:35   my phone number again.

00:33:37   And I can go to IForgot.apple.com, and there's a path.

00:33:42   I won't go through all the DB good. You know, it's not easy, you know, it's not supposed to be obvious

00:33:47   But I go there but they'll say at some point and and they'll say you know, well what you you don't know your password, huh?

00:33:53   Well, how about we'll send?

00:33:55   code to your trusted phone number and then I get the trusted phone number and that lets me into my

00:34:04   my

00:34:05   iCloud account

00:34:06   But I won't have access to any of my encrypted stuff

00:34:11   So I won't have access to my keychain. I won't have access to my health data

00:34:17   They've start right on my right. They've started encrypting your photo library now, right?

00:34:22   Is it that way by default or do you have to opt into the the whole encryption thing?

00:34:28   I can't believe I forgot about this because I've written about it so much

00:34:32   But you don't get access to any of your encrypted stuff if you read it keychain

00:34:40   But what I can do to get access to that

00:34:43   encrypted stuff and then get full access is I can I can say I have recovery contact or I have that

00:34:51   recovery key the 28 digit and number mixed character thing and

00:34:57   I can use that

00:34:59   To as a

00:35:03   Key to decrypt to give you know, I can give that to Apple

00:35:08   Digitally type it in and then that will decrypt my encrypted stuff that they have an iCloud and now I'm back to having a full thing

00:35:15   But you can't do that if you don't have the phone number

00:35:21   There might be I'm not quite sure maybe there's a path here where the thief

00:35:29   You can go to Verizon and prove that somebody stole your phone and you could still get your phone number back even though

00:35:36   you know, even though the thief still has your phone, right?

00:35:41   I think that, you know.

00:35:44   - Oh yeah, that, I mean, that's the whole thing

00:35:46   with like, you know, SIM card cloning attacks

00:35:48   is you go to a carrier store and you say,

00:35:50   oh sorry, I lost my phone, give me a new, you know,

00:35:53   clone my SIM onto this new phone I'm buying,

00:35:55   and that's why like two-factor stuff

00:35:59   to a phone number is not super secure.

00:36:03   but it's calm. So I'm not quite sure. So I'm not quite sure why some of the victims that Joanna

00:36:08   and Nicole talked to still are locked out of their iCloud account. It might be that I'm not

00:36:14   100% sure on some of these details. Yeah, that's why, like I said, I've been working on it all

00:36:18   weekend. So it might be that that gets you, it might be that that still doesn't help you because

00:36:24   the thief changed the password. It's still, you still might be screwed. I think that that's the

00:36:31   problem. Yeah, that's right. That's the problem. The problem is in my scenario where I dropped my

00:36:35   phone in a volcano, my iCloud password hasn't been changed. And so your recovery key that has my

00:36:42   trust, that's is this is right. You still are, you're fucked. Even if Verizon gives you your

00:36:47   phone number back because in the, in the innocent scenario where the phone was destroyed or lost off

00:36:54   a bridge or whatever, the iCloud password is still there. You just forgot it in your head.

00:37:02   And so your recovery key will still decrypt my stuff or the recovery key that I've printed out,

00:37:08   the 28-digit thing will still work. But in the case where the thief has changed the password,

00:37:14   that invalidates all of those previous things. Oh, and the other thing you can do, once you're

00:37:19   in the phone with this is this is the other thing once this is where it is i should back up i've

00:37:27   just forgotten it there's so many little details here this is why i've been working on it all

00:37:30   weekend this is the thing because you got access to everything on the phone the checklist of things

00:37:36   that a thief and one of these rings will do is immediately go in and when after they've changed

00:37:42   their password they'll go down and just delete the recovery keys because you can always you can

00:37:47   always revoke a recovery key and you can always revoke a recovery contact, right? So, you know,

00:37:56   you and I break up as friends and I no longer trust you, then I, you know, of course I can

00:38:02   remove you as my recovery key, right? Or contact, right? If you get a divorce, of course you can

00:38:10   change your recovery contact so it's no longer the spouse who you've broken up with, right?

00:38:16   Of course, and so it's, you know, there's like a checklist of like seven things that a thief in

00:38:22   one of these rings would do, and one of them would be revoking those recovery keys, which all you need

00:38:27   to do is know the passcode. This is all. Yeah, because if you have a phone with a passcode,

00:38:35   and then you have control of the Apple ID from that, the phone is also a two-factor device,

00:38:39   so you have any two-factor code from Apple. Like, it's just, you have everything at that point.

00:38:44   if you have the Apple ID and a logged-in phone, that's it. That's everything.

00:38:49   Dave: Yep, that's everything. And this is all by design. This is not an oversight or a bug,

00:38:56   right? Remember back in the early days, I mean, like early years, because it would,

00:39:02   every couple, I don't know, once a year or so, one of these glitches would come up.

00:39:06   Remember, there'd be like these lock screen hijacks where it would be

00:39:10   just some kind of weird bug in iOS where if you entered the numbers super fast,

00:39:18   you could somehow get through even if it wasn't the right number.

00:39:20   Some sequence of events you could operate some part of the phone that was supposed to be locked

00:39:28   without unlocking it. Right. Or it was like if you did it right when a notification first arrived,

00:39:35   you could get through without it or the head, you know, something that you would do like

00:39:41   there's always been a handful of things you could do with a locked phone, like the way that you can

00:39:46   take pictures without unlocking it. And you'd go into that mode and swipe up, swipe down,

00:39:55   and then all of a sudden you're in. And they've, you know, they seem to have closed most of those

00:39:59   bugs. This whole scenario we're talking about is not some kind of oversight. It is something that

00:40:06   Apple designed to work this way. And this is simply a known danger in the design. And you

00:40:19   might say, "Well, why in the world would they design it this way?" And the reason is there are

00:40:28   vastly more people who forget their iCloud password,

00:40:33   but of course still know their phone passcode

00:40:40   'cause they have to, almost nobody forgets that.

00:40:43   So they know how to get in their phone,

00:40:45   they don't know their iCloud password,

00:40:47   and there are vastly more of these people,

00:40:50   and being able to change it this way is by design.

00:40:55   is by design.

00:40:57   And knowing though, so there's like, let's say,

00:41:02   hundreds of people, I don't know, a year,

00:41:05   hundreds or thousands of people who get their phone stolen

00:41:09   and lose everything this way to a thief

00:41:14   and tens of thousands of people or more,

00:41:17   I don't know if it's orders of magnitude or what,

00:41:19   but what I have been told by people who would know,

00:41:24   It is vastly more people are saved and regain access

00:41:29   to their iCloud account than who are victims of thieves

00:41:35   through this, which is why it's designed this way.

00:41:38   And it is the true, and it is the case

00:41:42   that with an Android phone, you can do the same thing.

00:41:46   You can reset your main Google account password

00:41:51   knowing nothing but the passcode to the Android phone.

00:41:55   - I mean, that's the hard part, right?

00:41:58   Like, you know, when you're designing these things,

00:42:00   especially for the mass market,

00:42:01   and especially for something as important

00:42:02   as someone's phone, you know,

00:42:04   there's huge trade-offs with security

00:42:07   that you have to account for the humans being forgetful

00:42:10   and making mistakes, and this is always such a hard balance

00:42:14   in security design, and, you know,

00:42:16   I don't envy Apple's position here,

00:42:18   and I'm not looking at this saying like,

00:42:21   oh, what idiots they were.

00:42:23   Instead, it's more like, oh, wow,

00:42:25   I did not know this hole was there.

00:42:27   And it makes sense, if you think about it,

00:42:29   it makes sense why it's there, as you were just saying,

00:42:31   'cause lots of people forget their passwords

00:42:33   and passcodes all the time.

00:42:34   And they are more likely to forget the Apple ID password

00:42:38   than they are to forget the passcode of the phone

00:42:40   they're typing in three times a day.

00:42:42   But the big shock here is like,

00:42:44   during COVID, as you mentioned earlier,

00:42:47   when we were all first having a grocery shopping,

00:42:50   all masked up and everything before Apple had face ID

00:42:53   recognizing mask, which really came fairly late

00:42:56   in that process.

00:42:57   We were all having to type in our passcodes all the time.

00:43:01   And before that, I had switched to an alphanumeric passcode,

00:43:04   like a password.

00:43:05   And when that happened, I was having to type it in so much,

00:43:10   oftentimes like wearing plastic gloves

00:43:12   in the grocery store and everything.

00:43:13   It was such a pain that I would,

00:43:16   I had switched pretty early in COVID,

00:43:18   but I switched back to a numeric passcode.

00:43:22   And I had kept that numeric passcode until today.

00:43:26   When I heard about this story, I'm like,

00:43:29   "Oh my God, wait a minute."

00:43:30   Because if you can reset the Apple ID password

00:43:33   by knowing the phone passcode,

00:43:34   then effectively, my Apple ID password

00:43:37   was just a six digit number.

00:43:39   And that's not the level of security that I want for that,

00:43:42   or that I think is warranted for that.

00:43:43   And so, Apple has all these requirements.

00:43:46   The Apple ID password has to have certain characteristics,

00:43:48   has to be a certain minimum length,

00:43:50   has to have letters, numbers, whatever the requirements are,

00:43:53   because that's a really high security password.

00:43:56   The Apple ID means a lot.

00:43:57   It's a huge risk surface, right?

00:43:59   But if you can have a phone with a few numbers on it

00:44:03   that might be 1111, and you can then take the Apple ID

00:44:07   from that, well then that's effectively

00:44:08   the Apple ID's password security level.

00:44:11   And so, like many security loopholes or security rules

00:44:15   loopholes or bugs or tricks, you learn,

00:44:19   oh, you have this big wall of security over here,

00:44:22   your Apple ID password, it's really secure.

00:44:24   But you didn't realize that you could just walk around

00:44:27   the wall in this way and have a much lower security version

00:44:30   of something get right around that.

00:44:32   So I think it's wise for nerds like us

00:44:35   to treat your phone passcode the same way you'd treat

00:44:39   your Apple ID password in terms of security,

00:44:41   because they are effectively, one leads to the other.

00:44:44   - Yeah, so I looked it up just for people

00:44:47   who are gonna email me, I've done it.

00:44:49   So it was just a few months ago,

00:44:51   which is why I'm surprised I forgot it already,

00:44:54   where Apple announced advanced data protection for iCloud,

00:44:57   end-to-end encryption for backups, photos, and more.

00:45:01   So if you have that turned on,

00:45:03   that that's included in the stuff that you lose access to

00:45:07   in the case where you would need like a recovery key

00:45:13   recovery contact. So, photos are included. All of this is. I have an alphanumeric password on my

00:45:23   phone and I have for a while. I did the same thing during COVID during the mask. There was just no

00:45:27   way I was going to type that in all the time. Not out of paranoia, but because it's very, this is a

00:45:36   very personal look into my psyche and my chronic procrastination is I've been

00:45:43   meaning to write for probably over a year a daring fireball piece

00:45:50   declaring that a six-digit passcode is actually more than secure enough for an iPhone,

00:46:00   even though you might not intuitively think it is. Thinking only about crackers,

00:46:08   somebody who just has the phone and is using one of those black market devices that can enter

00:46:13   passcodes very quickly. Because once you enter enough passcodes incorrectly, the phone gets

00:46:23   locked you can't try them that often and even if you somehow break the phone with

00:46:31   a jailbreak and get past that circumvention the iOS level of

00:46:37   preventing more than ten attempts the way that the secure enclave works

00:46:47   fundamentally, not in software, but cryptographically, is that I think there's like a theoretical

00:46:55   limit of only six attempts per second or something. I forget. The piece I want to write would

00:47:00   explain it and it would all make sense. But the gist of it is that for somebody who falls

00:47:06   into some trap and somebody with complicated apparatus, some kind of device and a jailbreak

00:47:15   that Apple doesn't know about and hasn't closed to get past iOS and has access to your secure

00:47:21   enclave.

00:47:22   I mean, obviously at this point, almost how many people would anybody target like this?

00:47:27   But let's say you're one of them.

00:47:29   They still a six digit passcode would take like on average, I don't know, like 50,000

00:47:36   years or a million years, some unbelievably safe number.

00:47:41   perspective of an attacker, a six digit passcode is really actually pretty secure.

00:47:46   Well that assumes that you have like you know six random to which most people don't like you know

00:47:54   like if you're making something like people often will overestimate the security value of certain

00:48:00   length strings or numbers whatever because they assume that somebody who's trying to brute force

00:48:05   it would just try, you know, AAA, AAB, AAC, and that's not how they do it. They, you know,

00:48:13   use databases of most common values that people actually use, and they try the most common

00:48:18   ones first. And so oftentimes you have way less entropy than you think you do if you've

00:48:23   chosen something that's, you know, beyond just pure randomness.

00:48:29   So what, here's the look into my psyche. My thing to myself was about a year ago, or

00:48:35   time at right after the mask thing was over. So it's probably been more than a year. But I changed

00:48:41   back to this alphanumeric passcode. Then I decided I looked into this and did the math and proved the

00:48:48   math and thought, "Ah, a six-digit passcode is safe enough for me. And I'm going to encourage

00:48:54   my readers that it's safe enough for them. But I'm not going to change it on my phone until I

00:49:00   write that article. It's like, that's the carrot to prompt me to do it. And obviously,

00:49:06   I haven't written that article. And so I've been using the harder to type alphanumeric

00:49:13   password to get into the phone ever since. And now we're here talking about this story.

00:49:22   And I'm like, huh, I've been feeling bad about this every single time I type my password to get

00:49:29   into my phone every single time I do it every time every time I restart it every time I

00:49:35   you know you don't have to enter it that often when you use face ID but every time I do

00:49:41   every single time I think god damn it I should freaking write that article so I

00:49:45   can't want to stop doing this I want to go to a much easier to type and you know

00:49:51   thumbable passcode and now this story's come out I'm like huh I'm kind of glad I never

00:49:57   encouraged people to switch to a passcode if they already had a password, alphanumeric password,

00:50:04   because I don't think that's a good idea. I really don't. I don't know. I mean, it seems like you

00:50:16   agree since you changed, right? Jared: Yeah, because, you know, I think in addition to the,

00:50:23   you know, probably better security in most ways

00:50:26   for most people for it being a password style,

00:50:29   I think, an alphanumeric password style.

00:50:31   I think it actually helps this particular problem

00:50:34   of somebody like shoulder surfing your code.

00:50:36   It helps if your code looks and works

00:50:39   like typing in a password because, you know,

00:50:42   people, I think, people don't necessarily think

00:50:45   when you're typing your passcode in public

00:50:48   if anyone's looking at them.

00:50:49   - Right.

00:50:50   - You know, if you're just typing in the numbers,

00:50:51   you know, one, two, three, four, you know,

00:50:52   you're used to having it so fast and the buttons are so big

00:50:55   and the screen is visible from all angles.

00:50:58   - Kanye West typed his 1111 in the Oval Office

00:51:02   surrounded by cameras.

00:51:03   - Right, so I feel like people will oftentimes

00:51:10   kind of more casually hit the buttons

00:51:12   for the numeric passcodes and not think too much

00:51:16   about who can see this, whereas when you're typing

00:51:19   in a password field for the alphanumeric one,

00:51:22   Not only is it just physically smaller

00:51:24   and a little bit harder for someone

00:51:26   to see what you're typing,

00:51:28   but also I feel like you might just psychologically

00:51:31   treat that like a password in the sense that

00:51:34   if somebody was looking over your shoulder

00:51:38   at your keyboard as you're typing,

00:51:40   you're not gonna type in your password.

00:51:41   You're gonna be like, "Excuse me,"

00:51:43   or you're gonna move to your back as to them or whatever.

00:51:45   And I feel like if you make your phone passcode

00:51:49   look and work like a password entry,

00:51:52   the way the alphanumeric ones do,

00:51:54   I think you will just kind of automatically,

00:51:56   behaviorally have better physical security around yourself.

00:52:00   You might turn your back to somebody,

00:52:01   or hold it closer to your chest

00:52:04   so no one can see it or whatever.

00:52:05   Like you might just kind of instinctively treat it

00:52:07   like the password that it is.

00:52:09   - I don't think that people,

00:52:11   I still think you could be safe with a numeric passcode.

00:52:15   I really do.

00:52:16   And I'm still thinking maybe after doing,

00:52:19   talking about all this, I still might switch. The thing that I think everybody—the number

00:52:23   one takeaway, to skip to the end, that I think everybody should take from this is that you

00:52:29   should be—and you just touched on it—you should be overly paranoid every time you enter

00:52:37   your iPhone passcode or password in public. Any time you do it, you should treat it as

00:52:45   secret and be a little creepy about it, you know, or reverse creepy about it. I remember,

00:52:50   I'm old enough that I remember when atms were a new invention, or at least newly

00:52:57   universal. I was like an elementary school and all of a sudden atms became a thing and you could just

00:53:06   if you need you know, your dad needed money at the at the mall, there was like a machine over

00:53:11   there and he'd added a thing that looked like a credit card that went in and then type a number.

00:53:16   And when I first got a bank account in high, like a savings account in high school

00:53:22   before I went to college, you know, they were new. And they were actually better machines because

00:53:28   they had like clicky buttons. You know, it's like my clicky keyboard thing. They had really,

00:53:33   they always, they had really good buttons back then. But everybody, it's just instinctively back

00:53:40   in the 80s and 90s or more of a 90s thing when I was actually using it, but I remember them in the

00:53:47   80s. But it was like a cultural thing. And I remember Amy and I were talking about it this

00:53:52   weekend as I was obsessed with this story when people entered their ATMs codes back then, they

00:53:58   would really physically hunch over the machine and really, really sort of obscure what they were

00:54:06   typing, I mean, as best you can physically. And it was also a cultural norm then, if you were next in

00:54:13   line for the ATM to stand like six feet away, like COVID distance, really. But it was a total social

00:54:21   thing, where if you were closer than about six or seven feet, as the next customer, it seemed like

00:54:29   you were weird. And it was just complete strangers, but the person who was up would look over their

00:54:37   shoulder and the person would be like, "Oh, sorry, sorry," and take a couple steps back.

00:54:41   It was always like, "Oh, somebody who was just like…" I wasn't really thinking, "Sorry, sorry."

00:54:47   And they'd back up. And everybody treated those numbers super secretly because this whole idea of

00:54:53   getting your cash out of a machine, having nothing but a credit card and a four-digit number

00:54:58   seemed so weird. Even though, and again, like all sorts of things,

00:55:05   people freak out when they buy anything financial happens new. I remember when buying

00:55:13   stuff over the web was like, some people thought it's crazy. They're like, you're nuts. You're

00:55:17   typing your credit card into a webpage? You're insane. Meanwhile, they go out to lunch and hand

00:55:22   the credit card to the waiter, you know, when the bill comes. And he walks away with it.

00:55:27   But something novel is naturally—it triggers something in the human brain. And when ATMs were

00:55:35   novel, people treated it like that. That's the mentality, I think, though, that everybody should

00:55:40   internalize permanently for their passcode for their phone. Treat it like we did back then.

00:55:47   Don't enter it within six or seven feet of anybody if you get a lot

00:55:51   You know somehow you need to enter it in public because you know like I don't know

00:55:55   it whatever reason you know or

00:55:58   Go to the bathroom if you're at a bar if somehow like you're you're you're at a bar and you had your phone sitting on

00:56:05   The bar because I think one of the tricks I'm trying I spent the weekend thinking about this is how did the how do you?

00:56:13   Get someone to have to enter their passcode when?

00:56:16   In a normal night out you just you'd never need more than face ID

00:56:20   It's it's unusual

00:56:22   but it's like a it's a classic social engineering thing where the scammers would do things and Joanna even had a

00:56:29   reference to the one guy where one of the tricks was to try to you know

00:56:34   Get get the victims to let let the perpetrator take a picture of them, right?

00:56:38   So like you meet a couple of women who are out celebrating and and you you know

00:56:44   You're there and you're the criminal and you're talking them up and it's cheerful and everybody's having a good time and you find out that

00:56:50   They're you know, it's one of the one of the women's birthday and you're like, let me take a picture of the three of you

00:56:55   For the night here. Give me your phone

00:56:57   I'll take a picture of you and you can the guy your phone and it's locked right?

00:57:01   It's you haven't unlocked the phone. You can just hand them the phone

00:57:04   that's why the camera is there and he can hit the camera button and

00:57:09   Take the picture or take a couple pictures and then as he hands it back all he has to do is squeeze the two side buttons

00:57:17   For two or three seconds and it puts it into the hard lock mode

00:57:21   I've written about this hard lock mode all the time where you squeeze the power button and either of the volume buttons for here

00:57:28   Let me do it to myself

00:57:30   It takes like two seconds maybe two maybe less than two seconds

00:57:36   It's the easily less time than it takes to hand the phone back and your hand positions on the phone

00:57:43   Don't look unusual, right?

00:57:45   it look it's exactly how you'd be holding the phone as you

00:57:48   politely hand it back to the person and they hand it back and now it's on this slide to power off and

00:57:54   You can or you can it maybe you hit cancel if you're clever so they don't yeah

00:57:58   You just hit the hit the sleep wake button again

00:58:00   I think then I think it you know, it'll dismiss that screen

00:58:03   but it's still then locked.

00:58:04   Right. And then all of a sudden, and that's a powerfully great feature of the iPhone,

00:58:10   and everybody should know that feature. I always recommend every time you go through

00:58:14   TSA or any time you go through customs, any time you deal with any kind of law enforcement,

00:58:20   just squeeze those buttons for a second or two. You get a little bit of haptic feedback

00:58:25   when you know that it's kicked in. You don't have to look at the screen. You could do it

00:58:28   when it's in your pocket or your purse. But at that point, the phone needs the passcode to do

00:58:35   anything. And then, you know, then you just, that's when you shoulder surf. And the next time

00:58:41   the person you're trying to steal the phone from unlocks their phone or wants to, it's like,

00:58:47   huh, I have to enter my passcode, huh? There it is, passcode. Joanna's story said that some of them

00:58:53   worked in pairs. The group in Minnesota was a group of 12. So you could imagine it might be

00:59:01   easier to have the person who took the photo on one side hand the phone back, have the shoulder

00:59:09   surfer on the other side, and say like, "Hey, look at the photos. What do you think? Did I get

00:59:15   it right?" And, "Oh, I have to unlock my phone first before I can even see this photo. I'll

00:59:21   unlock it and the shoulder surfers right there. Yep. Oh, man. I think that scenario, the "let me

00:59:29   have your phone to take a picture and then squeeze the buttons as they hand it and then the shoulder

00:59:35   surfer is right there" is probably the most common way of doing it. You know, there might be

00:59:42   other scenarios, but I think they all rely on similar things. And like I said, people like

00:59:49   sometimes leave their phones on the bar or on a tabletop, you know, when you're at like a,

00:59:54   you know, sitting at a four top. And if all you have to do, you don't have to take the phone

01:00:01   and people put their phones face down. All you have to do if you can surreptitiously just get

01:00:05   your hand on those buttons and squeeze them for like a second and a half, the phone suddenly

01:00:10   locked and then the next time that person picks up the phone, that's when you're looking to see

01:00:14   if you can glean the number and you can get a couple guesses. So if you think it's 1234,

01:00:20   but it's really 1233, you know, it might be, you know, you'd still have a good chance

01:00:26   of getting the guess. So my that's my top recommendation for anybody like me, who's

01:00:33   completely freaked by this is to treat entering your phone passcode as like state secret when

01:00:40   you're out in public, just if you ever need to do it. And I think back to how many times

01:00:44   I did it in line during COVID. And it's—

01:00:48   Oh, yeah. So, so often.

01:00:50   Oh, my God. It is—

01:00:51   Because we had to, you know?

01:00:52   Right.

01:00:52   And, you know, everyone—you know, the only thing is nobody was seeing our code because

01:00:56   they kind of had to look down at their phone and have them in their code.

01:00:58   Well, the other—the only thing we had going on in COVID to protect us from this was that there

01:01:02   was—all the stores had those, like, tape markers six feet apart. So everybody—your next customer

01:01:08   was six feet behind you. But the number one thing you can do to protect yourself—well, I mean,

01:01:13   I guess a longer passcode or an alphanumeric passcode would help too because those are

01:01:19   certainly harder. Something you type on the keyboard is sort of hard to glean.

01:01:23   There's talk of, I don't think anybody that, you know, none of the criminal cases that she

01:01:30   uncovered seemed to do it, but there's talk of what if, you know, can you use a camera to record

01:01:39   the person doing it and then zoom in and see it and do it in slow motion. In a bar scenario where

01:01:45   the the crooks hopefully don't own the bar, I think a camera would be tough, right? It's not

01:01:54   like you're going to get in there and place a camera in the bar and it would look weird if

01:02:00   somebody you just met is standing there with their phone camera on shooting video at a way

01:02:08   that would look at the level of your hand. Maybe though, if you practice and do it, and

01:02:15   then you can use that video footage to decode it. But an alphanumeric password would be

01:02:22   really hard to get, even if you had video of it. Although, as you type on an iPhone

01:02:29   keyboard, every letter you press pops up the letter you hit.

01:02:34   Yeah, that's not great. It's not. It's great for the innocent case of knowing that you typed the

01:02:42   right letter. It's not great for the case of somebody shooting 4K video of you typing

01:02:49   your password and figuring out exactly which letters and replaying it in slow motion, right?

01:02:56   4K 60 video and then replaying it in slow motion. Really, really just mind blowing.

01:03:04   And what should Apple do differently?

01:03:07   - That's the thing.

01:03:09   - Right.

01:03:10   - It's really hard to, 'cause again,

01:03:12   they have this massive support and data loss issue

01:03:16   for people who are forgetful of their stuff,

01:03:18   so they do have to make these things easy to recover from.

01:03:21   They have to make password forgetting easy to recover from.

01:03:25   I've developed a lot of web login stuff,

01:03:30   and one of the things that surprised me over the years

01:03:33   was quite how many people just hit forgot password

01:03:37   every time they log into something.

01:03:39   Because they don't even bother trying to remember it.

01:03:41   And, or they have so many passwords to remember,

01:03:44   they're just like, ah, this will be faster

01:03:46   than me trying a bunch of passwords

01:03:47   and forgetting anyway, you know.

01:03:48   So they just go straight for forgot password.

01:03:50   Like, people don't remember passwords, it's simple as that.

01:03:52   And especially, you know, your Apple ID, you figure,

01:03:55   well, that's, again, they have all those security

01:03:57   requirements for the Apple ID password,

01:04:00   and so that makes it easier to forget.

01:04:02   and it makes it more likely that you won't be able to use

01:04:07   your one password in your head that you use for everything.

01:04:10   I know that's bad, but that's what everyone does.

01:04:12   So they need ways for people to easily reset

01:04:16   their Apple ID passwords, and man,

01:04:19   this is just a hard problem.

01:04:21   And I think, did your research indicate,

01:04:24   I think I saw floating around earlier that like,

01:04:27   even if you have your account in the full encryption

01:04:30   end-to-end mode, whatever mode you can put your Apple ID in,

01:04:34   there is no mode that disables that, right?

01:04:35   - Nope, there is no mode that disables that.

01:04:39   - And I think that would be like,

01:04:40   the one thing I can think of is what Apple should do here

01:04:43   is maybe if you have end-to-end encryption on,

01:04:46   maybe that can be one of the things

01:04:48   that's different about your account,

01:04:49   that you cannot reset your Apple ID password

01:04:52   with a phone passcode.

01:04:53   - Maybe, and I can confirm that,

01:04:57   And I can confirm that Apple from, you know,

01:05:02   I reached out, I had some questions.

01:05:06   In addition to questions about this story

01:05:10   that Joanna reported, I was very confused over the weekend

01:05:16   by the fact that I could not figure out how to

01:05:20   even enter a recovery key or use a recovery contact.

01:05:26   Like I have a, not fake, but a testing iCloud account

01:05:31   that I've used for years to have like,

01:05:34   if I'm reviewing two iPhones at once,

01:05:37   or just wanna set one up with default settings

01:05:41   for everything, so I have a sort of throwaway

01:05:44   iCloud account, so I was trying to,

01:05:47   I set myself, my real iCloud account

01:05:50   as the recovery contact for that phone,

01:05:52   pretended that phone was stolen,

01:05:54   and I couldn't even enter those things.

01:05:56   There was no, I couldn't, there's no path to get to

01:05:59   where you just type the 28 characters

01:06:02   or use the recovery context, say I vouch for this person

01:06:05   and give it back to them.

01:06:06   So I had questions about that.

01:06:08   And talking to people at Apple,

01:06:10   I can confirm that they are thinking of,

01:06:13   and I've long been thinking about

01:06:16   things they could do for this,

01:06:17   but at the moment, this is the best balance

01:06:21   between the needs of the vast number of people

01:06:26   who forget their iCloud account password

01:06:30   and the terribly unfortunate but lower number of people

01:06:35   who fall victim to this path for crime.

01:06:39   It's really, it's, and I think the fact

01:06:44   that Google does it the same way with Android

01:06:47   is, you know, two doesn't prove it,

01:06:51   But both companies are known for,

01:06:55   justly so, for very good security policies towards users.

01:06:59   Google perhaps even more so.

01:07:03   And they do it the same way.

01:07:06   It's just sorta, and I think one of the reasons

01:07:10   we don't know about it is that we just didn't think about it

01:07:15   but the people at Apple who think about these security things

01:07:19   known this. This is not a surprise to them. But I think that, you know, for obvious reasons,

01:07:26   they don't like warn people about it because they'd rather, maybe they'd rather people

01:07:32   don't, the general public doesn't know how dangerous this is, right? It's like finding

01:07:40   out that we've been…

01:07:41   Jared: They know now.

01:07:42   Michael O'Toole Right. It's like finding out we've been

01:07:43   walking around with a powerful M80 firecracker in our pocket all the time, unbeknownst to us,

01:07:50   and it might go off. Again, protecting your passcode and not entering it in front of somebody

01:07:58   is the best thing I can say. The downside to that or the hole in that is the other scenario,

01:08:09   the mugging scenario where you are out in the street

01:08:13   and somebody, a mugger comes up with a weapon

01:08:18   and demands your phone and demands your passcode,

01:08:23   right there on the street corner.

01:08:25   Give me your phone, give me your passcode right now.

01:08:30   It's catastrophic.

01:08:37   That's always, like a week ago, I would have said,

01:08:40   "Yeah, you're kinda screwed at that point.

01:08:42   You're really screwed."

01:08:44   Now I realize you're really, really screwed

01:08:49   in that scenario.

01:08:50   I don't know, what do you do?

01:08:53   It's worrisome.

01:08:57   It's had me obsessed for like 72 hours.

01:09:01   The good news is, at least from the people Joanna

01:09:05   Nicole talked to. I don't think any of them had their phones taken by force that way. They all

01:09:11   had them, you know, in this or at least not their passcode. Sometimes, you know, they'd take the

01:09:18   phone by force but not the passcode. And the other thing about this is all these victims were

01:09:23   so confused because they didn't understand how this happened. They didn't know their passcode

01:09:29   had been gleaned over their shoulder. All they know is their phone was missing. I don't know

01:09:32   where my phone is, where is it?" And next thing they know, $10,000 have been taken out of their

01:09:41   bank account. And they're like, "How did that happen? All I did was lose my phone,

01:09:45   and all of a sudden I've lost stuff in my bank account." I wrote a story, and Joanna told me,

01:09:51   it sort of inspired part of her obsession to dig into this. This was in August of 2020.

01:09:58   So, actually, in the middle of COVID, there was a guy named Anriq Prong—I hope I'm pronouncing

01:10:04   his name right, or probably not—but on Twitter. I swear to God, I will put a link to this thing

01:10:10   in the show notes. The headline on Daring Fireball was "Can Thieves Crack 6-Digit iPhone Passcodes?"

01:10:17   On Twitter, this guy wrote, "Stop using 6-digit iPhone passcodes. Do you think I am overly paranoid?

01:10:23   Keep reading. Last week, a friend of mine had his iPhone stolen. What follows is the secret

01:10:27   events that started as an unfortunate event and ended up with $30,000 in unauthorized wire

01:10:32   transfers, $2,500 spent on the App Store, and accounts of multiple services compromised. So,

01:10:39   how could the wrongdoers do all of that in less than five hours? After considering many options,

01:10:44   the only reasonable explanation is they cracked the six-digit passcode on the stolen phone using

01:10:49   some kind of device like GrayKey. The passcode gave them access to the keychain. They searched

01:10:55   for iCloud credentials, disabled the lost mode, and turned off the fine line. That's this guy's

01:11:01   story of his friend. And what I wrote was, "Did the thieves really crack his passcode with a gray

01:11:10   key or a gray key-like device? Impossible to say. We know it exists. Blah, blah, blah." But I wrote

01:11:18   all this, and it never occurred to me that I think it's exact. I think what happened to this guy's

01:11:24   friend on Twitter is exactly what is I think somebody probably just saw him enter the passcode.

01:11:30   That's it. It wasn't. Yeah, we all jumped to so I did we all jumped to some kind of mission

01:11:36   impossible style thing where the thieves have this complicated device and those devices do exist

01:11:41   right these these there's that a great keys I think the Israeli company there's a Florida

01:11:47   company you know and they make these devices and supposedly only sell them to law enforcement

01:11:53   And we all jump to this Mission Impossible scenario

01:11:55   where the thieves have this complicated thing.

01:11:58   And it's so much easier to think about the scenario

01:12:01   where you just saw the shoulder swipe,

01:12:05   shoulder glean the guy entering his passcode

01:12:08   and then stole his phone and now you've got his passcode

01:12:10   and now you've got all of this.

01:12:12   - Yeah, 'cause again, that's the hole

01:12:16   that most people I don't think knew about,

01:12:18   that you could turn an iPhone passcode into an Apple ID.

01:12:21   No one, I don't think any of us knew that.

01:12:23   - Yeah.

01:12:25   Yeah, I was onto it, honestly.

01:12:27   This article makes me so mad.

01:12:28   It's like here, I wrote, it never simply,

01:12:31   this is my words from August 2020.

01:12:33   It simply never occurred to me that if a thief

01:12:35   or law enforcement or any adversary has the device passcode

01:12:40   and your iCloud password is in your keychain,

01:12:43   they can get your iCloud password from your keychain.

01:12:46   That's what we were thinking.

01:12:48   All you need is the device passcode to access

01:12:52   all of the passwords in iCloud Keychain.

01:12:55   Try it, you can.

01:12:57   Now where I'm wrong there is you don't even have to go

01:12:59   into passwords, there's that feature we talked about

01:13:02   a couple minutes ago where you don't have to even

01:13:05   get the old passcode.

01:13:06   That's how ignorant I was though in August of 2020.

01:13:12   I thought you had to get the old iCloud passcode

01:13:15   to change it to a new one.

01:13:18   You don't, you just go into the top part,

01:13:20   the top thing in settings and the top thing in iCloud,

01:13:25   passcode and security,

01:13:27   and the top thing in that is change passcode.

01:13:30   And you just change it to something new and that's it.

01:13:33   Although I do know, this is a nice reminder,

01:13:36   I am now reminded, here's what I wrote.

01:13:38   So now I'm back on an alphanumeric passphrase,

01:13:41   inconvenience while wearing a mask be damned.

01:13:43   So that's what I did.

01:13:45   I changed back to an inconvenient alphanumeric passcode

01:13:48   in August of 2020 because of this story.

01:13:51   But I was thinking about, again,

01:13:56   Mission Impossible-style complicated villains

01:13:59   and not common street criminals

01:14:02   who just saw me enter the passcode.

01:14:04   But that's how long I've been using

01:14:05   an alphanumeric password.

01:14:08   Really, really unbelievable story.

01:14:11   I just can't stop thinking about it.

01:14:14   - Yeah, that's why I said this is a bombshell.

01:14:18   Like this, no one knew this, and this is very,

01:14:22   you know, this changes things.

01:14:24   - You know what it reminds me of,

01:14:25   and I don't mind the catastrophe,

01:14:28   and you know, you can go to your bank

01:14:29   and get the charges returned and, you know,

01:14:32   overturned and, you know, fraud detection

01:14:35   and stuff like that.

01:14:37   So I'm not drawing, I swear to God,

01:14:39   I'm not drawing any kind of comparison

01:14:42   to the repercussions.

01:14:44   But it reminds me of 9/11 in the sense of

01:14:49   that before 9/11, it just never occurred to anybody

01:14:54   that our airline policies for decades,

01:14:59   because like in the '60s and '70s,

01:15:01   there was a rash, it was common for

01:15:04   protest groups to hijack airplanes.

01:15:08   There were airplane hijackings

01:15:12   happened you know cup like every year in the 60s and 70s and they you know they'd

01:15:19   you know some group would want some somebody who's in prison in some country

01:15:24   released or something like that some kind of protest type thing and every

01:15:28   time all of these times when airplanes were hijacked they just the policy was

01:15:33   you just placate the hijackers land the plane keep everybody safe tell them you

01:15:40   will listen to your demands and every time they'd get out of it without people being killed.

01:15:47   I don't know if every time they didn't kill any passengers. But that was the policy. If somebody

01:15:54   tries to hijack the airplane, you say, "Okay, okay, how about this? We'll land the plane,

01:15:58   blah, blah, blah." You don't fight them. You don't do anything like that.

01:16:05   So it just never even occurred to anybody that all these all you'd have to do is go on an airplane

01:16:11   with box cutters

01:16:14   and

01:16:16   Demand that the that the flight crew comply with you

01:16:20   And if they do that and they know how to steer an airplane

01:16:25   That all of a sudden they could use a

01:16:30   Boeing 747 full of cross-continental tank of jet fuel as a bomb. It just never occurred to anybody.

01:16:41   Yet after they did it, it seemed like, "How did nobody ever think of this?"

01:16:48   How did nobody ever think of that? And to me, this is sort of that sort of psychological…

01:16:57   it's like the way optical illusions work. Like our brains just weren't hooked up

01:17:01   to see what was right in front of us. This is right in front of us when you look at the way

01:17:05   the settings app works on any iPhone or any Android phone.

01:17:10   Jared "Seth" Johnson Yeah.

01:17:12   Pete "Seth" Johnson I hope I know. You don't think I'm

01:17:14   going to get in trouble for comparing it to 9/11, do you? Because it's not the 9/11.

01:17:18   Jared "Seth" Johnson No, well, it's,

01:17:18   right, but it's a, yeah, like, it's, it reveals a vulnerability that we didn't know about,

01:17:25   really or that we didn't think about right it's just the most bizarre thing

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01:20:02   The only funny thing about this whole,

01:20:06   that whole iPhone, this whole iPhone,

01:20:09   hey, if you've got the passcode and the phone,

01:20:11   you're totally screwed.

01:20:13   if a thief has that, you're totally screwed. It's that. It works exactly the same way on Android,

01:20:23   but all of the victims had iPhones in Joanna's story. And when she talked to this detective in

01:20:29   Minneapolis, I docked it up. It was 40 cases. Just one detective had dealt with one detective

01:20:37   had dealt with 40 cases of the exact same thing. And he told her 99% of them are iPhones.

01:20:43   And that he thinks it's because iPhones have resale value and nobody wants to steal Android

01:20:52   phones or thinks that the people who have Android phones have anything worth stealing.

01:20:57   Oh God. Wow. Yeah, that's, I mean, that is both funny and also, you know, probably not

01:21:08   entirely untrue. It's not that, you know, obviously, yeah, we can poke fun as Apple

01:21:13   fans and, you know, but there is, you know, the markets are not equivalent. We know that.

01:21:19   We know in lots of ways they're not equivalent. It isn't just like, you know, a random selection

01:21:24   of whatever the market share is, 60, 40, 70, whatever it is.

01:21:28   It isn't a random selection of people

01:21:29   that go to one side or the other.

01:21:31   It's actually very different markets.

01:21:33   This is why I have a podcast app that is iPhone only.

01:21:37   And that doesn't really hurt me at all

01:21:39   in any meaningful way because

01:21:42   while there are more Android devices in the world

01:21:45   than there are iPhones,

01:21:48   the reality is that the podcast listening market

01:21:51   is extremely iPhone dominant still.

01:21:54   And so even though it is a bigger number

01:21:59   over on the Android side, it's way fewer

01:22:02   of my actual potential customers there.

01:22:05   And the markets aren't the same.

01:22:07   (laughing)

01:22:10   - There was, I think 9to5Mac had the story

01:22:13   that Apple should make an ad campaign out of it.

01:22:15   I know you're not heavily into sports,

01:22:17   but you might have seen the news

01:22:18   that LeBron James broke the all-time scoring record

01:22:22   in the NBA a week or two ago, which is a major record.

01:22:27   In other words, to be the one basketball player,

01:22:29   more than Kareem Abdul-Jabbar or Wilt Chamberlain

01:22:33   or Michael Jordan, the most points any player's ever scored.

01:22:37   And there's this picture, a really great picture

01:22:39   of him taking the shot that wound up

01:22:44   putting him over the record.

01:22:46   and of course a full crowd in the LA arena.

01:22:51   And you look, you can see the picture's big enough

01:22:55   and crisp enough and you can see that almost,

01:22:58   everybody's got their phone out there,

01:23:00   everybody's trying to take a picture of it

01:23:01   and they're all iPhones.

01:23:03   Or if they're not, or they're,

01:23:07   there aren't many of these.

01:23:10   But I think there's more of them in China.

01:23:13   but in theory they could be the rare Android phone

01:23:17   that is designed to have an iPhone lookalike camera array,

01:23:21   but as many ways that Android phones copy

01:23:26   or follow Apple's lead in design,

01:23:29   like oh, Apple's gone to flat sides,

01:23:31   we're gonna start making our phones with flat sides.

01:23:33   Oh, Apple's going back to rounded sides.

01:23:35   Next year all the Android phones have rounded sides,

01:23:37   but the camera arrays usually look very different.

01:23:42   It's, you know, and again, it's just the sort of people

01:23:46   who pay the tickets to that event were,

01:23:50   I don't know what they cost.

01:23:52   You know, they were hundreds and hundreds of dollars.

01:23:54   It was super expensive.

01:23:55   - More than the phone, probably.

01:23:56   - Oh yeah, but the ticket, oh, the tickets down close enough

01:24:00   to the floor that you would be in this photo

01:24:03   were probably thousands of dollars.

01:24:05   All of them were, you know, unless you had

01:24:08   like season tickets, but LA Lakers tickets,

01:24:11   Season tickets are very expensive anyway.

01:24:13   So the sort of people who get really good seats

01:24:16   to a Lakers game all have iPhones.

01:24:19   It's really, you know, like you said, a different market,

01:24:24   but kind of funny.

01:24:27   All right, HomePod.

01:24:30   HomePod 2, what should we call it?

01:24:32   What do we wanna call the new HomePod?

01:24:33   - Yeah, the new HomePod.

01:24:36   - How many do you have?

01:24:39   - Only two so far.

01:24:41   - Okay, but you have to,

01:24:43   you did side-by-side testing, same,

01:24:49   you set up a thing, did you do it in the kitchen?

01:24:54   - Yep, sure did.

01:24:54   - 'Cause that's where you listen to music.

01:24:55   - Yeah, I did, side-by-side.

01:24:57   Yeah, it's like, as much as a fan as I am of the HomePods,

01:25:01   you use different speakers for different purposes

01:25:04   and in different environments, and for me,

01:25:06   where the HomePod is by far the class leader,

01:25:11   where it defeats all of the competition,

01:25:13   is as a kitchen counter speaker.

01:25:16   It is so much better than everything else in that market

01:25:20   for a kitchen counter speaker.

01:25:22   And it's also good in lots of other ways

01:25:24   and lots of other uses, but that's where I use mine,

01:25:26   and that's where I've had the least luck

01:25:30   with anything else trying to replace it.

01:25:32   And that's where the HomePod really kicks

01:25:34   to everyone else's butts really pretty significantly.

01:25:37   - So what do you think?

01:25:40   - It's pretty good.

01:25:42   (laughing)

01:25:44   Yeah, so basically, I've used lots of things in this role,

01:25:49   I've tried them out.

01:25:50   I have, obviously I have the current HomePod,

01:25:53   I had the previous HomePod, I've had the HomePod Mini,

01:25:57   I've had stereo pairs of all of those,

01:26:00   I've had the Sonos One,

01:26:02   and a couple of ridiculously expensive things

01:26:05   from B&O that I briefly tried and quickly returned.

01:26:08   And I think I tried a couple of things.

01:26:11   Oh, and the original Amazon Alexa, or Amazon Echo, rather.

01:26:17   And then one of the, I think the current mid-range model,

01:26:21   Amazon Echo, which is kind of the big ball-shaped one.

01:26:23   So I've tried all of those.

01:26:25   - You had the B&O one when we were there this summer.

01:26:28   - I did, yeah. (laughs)

01:26:29   - It wasn't bad.

01:26:31   - It wasn't bad, but it sounded about as good

01:26:35   as the HomePod Minis, and it was substantially

01:26:38   more expensive than them, and so it wasn't really worth it.

01:26:40   So, and B&O had like, they had like a larger one

01:26:43   that actually sounded about as good as the HomePod,

01:26:45   but it was way bigger and way more expensive,

01:26:48   and so that also did not stick around.

01:26:51   So, you know, in other areas of the house,

01:26:54   I think you can find things that are a little bit

01:26:57   competitive if you're willing to adjust things a little bit. If you want great sounding speakers

01:27:04   for your TV, you have lots of options. They're mostly going to be way larger and they're

01:27:10   going to require a receiver or some kind of amplification setup that's going to be larger

01:27:15   or more complicated. If you want something on your desk, I actually don't use HomePods

01:27:20   on my desk because there is no good way to have them be speakers for your Mac. There's

01:27:24   There's a few bad ways, but there's no good way.

01:27:28   And so on my desk, I have regular speakers

01:27:31   with a little amp stuck to the bottom of the desk.

01:27:34   And so there's places where HomePods are not as competitive.

01:27:38   But when you want to beam sound in all directions

01:27:42   from a kitchen counter where you're frequently

01:27:44   going to be working to the side of it,

01:27:46   not right in front of it, and you want to fill a space

01:27:51   like that with good quality sound,

01:27:53   nothing is like the HomePod, the full-size HomePod.

01:27:56   The HomePod Mini actually does better

01:27:58   than most of the competitors do at any price

01:28:00   for that kind of use, but the full-size HomePod

01:28:03   really takes it to another level compared to the Mini also.

01:28:06   So it's a really great product line

01:28:08   for a few areas of my life that I really want them.

01:28:11   They're also really good as bathroom and bedroom speakers.

01:28:15   If you want just something to play a podcast

01:28:17   while you're in the shower, or you want to listen

01:28:20   to some music in your bedroom quietly

01:28:21   before you go to bed for some reason.

01:28:25   They're great for that as well.

01:28:26   And again, they're small and they're low needs.

01:28:29   You don't need a big box.

01:28:31   You only have the one power cable come out of it.

01:28:33   You have nothing else to deal with, no other wires.

01:28:35   And the HomePods themselves are small and tasteful looking.

01:28:39   If you have anyone else in your house

01:28:41   that has to approve of the look of things

01:28:45   that are going into these areas of your house,

01:28:47   the HomePods are pretty inoffensive looking.

01:28:50   come in the two different colors. We are a white HomePod family. I think they look very nice,

01:28:55   and it's just great for that. And there are alternatives from other brands. Most commonly,

01:29:03   people tell me to try the Sonos series, and I have. And they are good at many things. They are

01:29:10   not competitive on sound quality. And that's really important to me.

01:29:15   Right your pal Casey is on Team Sonos now newly

01:29:19   So I've been a huge fan of the home pods ever since they came out now. I don't have

01:29:25   Good taste in audio like you do. I just know that I don't you know and

01:29:31   In the way that I

01:29:35   Think you would probably admit I have a finer-tuned taste for

01:29:41   Autography than you do right? Oh, yeah, you might come to me and ask and you well that I actually you have come to me and asked

01:29:48   Yeah, typographic taste questions. I

01:29:51   Would come to you and I have for audio

01:29:56   Taste questions. It's it's it's almost it's not even that I have bad hearing

01:30:01   It's just that I don't my taste doesn't run that way and I've long been obsessed with the fact that people who?

01:30:08   lack taste in an area

01:30:11   sometimes fall into the trap of thinking who anybody who does have good taste in

01:30:17   that area is actually just full of shit and pretentious even though sometimes

01:30:20   that's true right like the people who buy thousand dollar gold cables to hook

01:30:26   up their speakers and think that that makes them sound better than copper

01:30:30   cables right the cables you know it's just running electricity it's you know

01:30:35   that there's there's scams in audio right there's audio many right I mean we

01:30:41   We could do a whole show about the scams in audio.

01:30:43   But there actually is refinement in headphones

01:30:49   and you've written super extensively about headphones.

01:30:54   But I do know what sounds,

01:30:56   I'm not completely without taste in audio quality.

01:31:01   And I think HomePod sound great.

01:31:03   One area, and I've been listening to you guys on ATP

01:31:06   talk about them for weeks now.

01:31:08   One area where I disagree, or at least I disagree personally, is I've been using HomePods for my

01:31:15   living room home theater since early 2020. Yeah, a while.

01:31:20   Yeah, we completed a home renovation by coincidence. Well, 98% completed a home renovation

01:31:28   before the world shut down for COVID, or 99%. It was, you know, literally like,

01:31:35   our contractors were in on the Friday that was the last day where it was legal

01:31:41   to be out in the world cleaning up some stuff and doing some final work. Now, one little bit of that

01:31:49   work is actually very specific to HomePod by pure coincidence. But on the last day, that Friday,

01:32:02   in March 2020, one of the last things I had the contractors do was we've got the living room,

01:32:12   the couch faces a wall, and that wall is very obvious. The whole design is that's where a TV

01:32:18   would go. I guess you could hang a big, somebody who doesn't watch TV and bought our house could

01:32:24   put some kind of very large painting there, but it's a wall with an inset, and in the inset goes

01:32:32   the TV. And then underneath it is a built-in cabinet, like knee-high, where the components

01:32:40   can go. And I knew that all of the components that we use now don't require line of sight for

01:32:47   the remote controls. So none of them, they slide and they can be covered up and it's nice and neat

01:32:53   looking and you don't see the TiVo, you don't see the Apple TV, you don't see the switch. It's all,

01:32:59   you know, you just slide a thing open. But what I wanted was on top of that cabinet,

01:33:04   I think they're called grommets or maybe the grommets are the things you put on,

01:33:08   but you drill holes on the top so that I could put cables through.

01:33:13   Yep.

01:33:15   And I had them already on the built—I have a desk in my office that's built into the wall,

01:33:21   and it has holes that are drilled in the top where I can snake cables through them because the

01:33:28   cabinet is built into the wall. You can't go behind the wall. And the guy said, "Okay, I got

01:33:36   and did them. Well, they are just not quite big enough to put the power cable of a HomePod through.

01:33:51   Because I was thinking of things like HDMI cables and power cables and every cable I could think of,

01:34:02   I thought, well, I thought he was like, how about the, you know, I was there with him.

01:34:06   I right there over his shoulder. He was like, how about this big? And I thought, I thought

01:34:10   of all the things I thought I'd ever want to go through that would easily be a big,

01:34:15   large enough diameter. And I was like, sure, because I'm also thinking I don't want it too

01:34:21   big. I don't want Amy to come in here and say, well, why the hell did you put a, you know, a

01:34:27   a golf hole size, grapefruit size hole on this thing, right?

01:34:32   And it was a hurry.

01:34:35   Like I couldn't like double check with her.

01:34:38   I couldn't wait.

01:34:39   It was, you know, we weren't like in a mad dash,

01:34:42   but it was like the guy was here.

01:34:44   He wasn't gonna be able to come back for,

01:34:46   well, at the time we thought weeks.

01:34:48   Turned out it was forever.

01:34:52   I was like, sure, that's big enough.

01:34:54   And then when I didn't know at the time

01:34:57   that I'd use HomePods for the audio,

01:35:00   it was weeks, a week or several weeks later during COVID

01:35:03   where I thought, let me try using a HomePod

01:35:05   as the home theater.

01:35:07   And lo and behold, the goddamn power cable

01:35:10   wouldn't go through the hole.

01:35:12   Just not quite enough, right?

01:35:14   But like definitely not the sort of thing

01:35:19   where there was like, oh, this is so close

01:35:21   I could maybe shave off plastic on the power cable or you know, no it just wouldn't fit and

01:35:27   One of the design aspects curious design aspects of the original home pods is that the power cables are built into the home pod

01:35:35   Well, they're not really removable right not not not reasonably so at least I don't know

01:35:42   I don't I forget if I pointed this out to you when you were at my house, but so one of the

01:35:46   Things I've heard about from other people in the house

01:35:51   is that our power cables for our home pods have to be pretty visible, even though the home pods are

01:36:00   literally sitting inches away from those grommets or holes. They're inches away from them. Those

01:36:07   holes are in the corners where the home pods sit, but the power cables have to go around them,

01:36:15   you know, in four or five feet away to the nearest power outlets that are not inside this cabinet.

01:36:22   So if…

01:36:23   Oh my god.

01:36:23   So my very favorite feature of HomePod 2, very favorite of all the differences,

01:36:30   is the fact that the power cable is removable. It's just a standard little… that figure

01:36:36   eight style power cable.

01:36:38   Yeah, like a C8, I think, or C7.

01:36:41   Right. So I can go the other way. I can now plug the power thing into the power outlet

01:36:49   that's hidden inside the cabinet and then snake the cable out and then replug it into the HomePod.

01:36:55   And if they had changed nothing else, it just brought back the one that they discontinued

01:37:03   two years ago with no other changes but that, I would still buy two new ones

01:37:10   because it would make some people in the house very happy.

01:37:15   (laughing)

01:37:16   - So that's amazing.

01:37:17   - So that's one thing.

01:37:19   - Like at no point did you figure like,

01:37:21   why don't I like, you know, just widen the hole a little bit

01:37:24   like I know aesthetically it's tricky,

01:37:26   but like look, I'm not a handy person.

01:37:28   - See, I'm not a handy person.

01:37:30   It just doesn't--

01:37:31   - But one of the few tools I know how to use is the drill.

01:37:35   And I learned a few years ago

01:37:37   about this thing called a hole saw,

01:37:39   which is basically like a circle of teeth

01:37:41   you attach to a drill to make holes

01:37:43   that are bigger than drill bits.

01:37:44   And I figured out how to do that,

01:37:46   and so I went, the first thing I did

01:37:48   when I learned how to do that

01:37:49   was I went to our TV stand, which is made of wood,

01:37:51   and it has this cabinet under it,

01:37:53   and I went in the back, and I drilled some giant holes

01:37:56   to snake a bunch of cables through.

01:37:58   You know, it was glorious.

01:38:00   - You know, if I had heard more about this exposed,

01:38:04   these two exposed power cables,

01:38:06   I probably would have looked into it,

01:38:08   but eventually I stopped hearing about it.

01:38:10   And so I didn't look into that.

01:38:12   But who's the smart guy now?

01:38:14   I don't need it 'cause I'm gonna buy two new HomePods.

01:38:17   I have been a happy user of HomePod.

01:38:22   Now, again, maybe it's because my taste in audio

01:38:25   isn't good enough, but I previously,

01:38:28   and our other home theater setup,

01:38:30   which is upstairs in our guest room study area,

01:38:34   which we had used for years, had a Sony audio system.

01:38:39   It has a receiver.

01:38:41   It's the traditional home theater type thing.

01:38:44   It has a Sony receiver.

01:38:46   It has two left and right front speakers,

01:38:51   a separate subwoofer, a center speaker,

01:38:56   and two rear speakers for surround sound,

01:39:02   which I'd given up on at some point

01:39:04   'cause I never, I actually thought it was less pleasant.

01:39:08   It actually, to me, movies and TV shows sounded better

01:39:13   with everything coming from the TV in the front

01:39:16   and then from the rear.

01:39:17   But it's, you know, I don't know what I,

01:39:19   I didn't spend a fortune on it

01:39:20   'cause I bought it a long time ago

01:39:22   and didn't have a fortune to spend.

01:39:23   But I mean, it's, I don't know,

01:39:24   probably a thousand dollar system or, you know,

01:39:27   maybe more, I don't know, all told.

01:39:29   And it was good and I was happy with it

01:39:32   for many, many, many years.

01:39:33   all the years I used my pioneer,

01:39:36   I can't believe I forgot Pioneer's name,

01:39:37   my beloved Pioneer Plasma TV.

01:39:41   You ever hear of any? - Those are so good.

01:39:44   - Do we have any mutual friends

01:39:45   who are fans of Plasma TVs?

01:39:47   I'm drawing on the tip of my tongue.

01:39:49   - We might have a few.

01:39:51   So but like, what often gets lost in that

01:39:53   is that I also had one just a long time ago

01:39:56   and it was amazing.

01:39:58   It wasn't amazing as John's, of course,

01:39:59   but it was, oh man.

01:40:02   Plasmas were great and for the time,

01:40:04   just so much better than everything else.

01:40:08   - They really, really were.

01:40:09   So much better than generations of elves.

01:40:11   I skipped, so I've never owned an LCD TV.

01:40:14   I went from plasma to OLED.

01:40:17   - Yeah, that's the wise move, LCD is awful.

01:40:20   - Which again, I think is exactly what Syracuse did, right?

01:40:23   Is he went directly from plasma to OLED.

01:40:26   But I had-- - 'Cause he knew

01:40:27   LCDs are awful.

01:40:28   But I had this Sony home theater system,

01:40:32   and I had been complaining,

01:40:34   I've mentioned it on the show for years,

01:40:36   that especially with like HBO shows,

01:40:38   as like I could never understand

01:40:40   what the hell people were saying.

01:40:41   And I had a center, I had it,

01:40:43   and people would say,

01:40:44   "Oh, it's 'cause the dialogue's on the center channel."

01:40:47   And it's like, "I got a center speaker.

01:40:50   "I still get the,

01:40:50   (mumbles)

01:40:52   "you know, and I'm like, what the hell did they say?

01:40:55   "I can't understand it."

01:40:56   And then after COVID for a while,

01:40:59   what we did is we were only using the speakers that were,

01:41:03   'cause I wanted to get a good home theater system

01:41:06   'cause this was all part of the plan.

01:41:08   We spent a lot of money to redo the living room

01:41:10   and get it exactly the way we wanted.

01:41:12   And I got exactly the LZG OLED giant 77 inch

01:41:17   or whatever the hell big it is, OLED,

01:41:21   whatever the biggest OLED they make or made in 2020.

01:41:25   it was the best TV I could buy. It was great for me as somebody who's paralyzed by choice,

01:41:32   because all I knew was I wanted the biggest OLED I could get, and LG was the only company that made

01:41:40   one like that. And I didn't want a Samsung. I knew I didn't want Samsung. So it was this model from

01:41:45   LG, that was it. And I got it, and it's beautiful. But for months after we got back into our living

01:41:52   room when COVID started, we just played all the audio through the TV speakers. And they're not

01:41:59   bad. They really—and my wife and son agreed that the audio quality was really surprisingly good for

01:42:08   just coming out of the TV. Although I guess when you spend a lot on a TV, maybe that's not

01:42:13   surprising. But I was like, it wasn't good enough. And so I thought, well, let me try the HomePods

01:42:18   before I go and buy something expensive and tried the HomePods. And I was like, "This is fantastic.

01:42:27   I love it." And to me, this is the thing that I think—maybe I'm not 100% caught up on the very

01:42:33   latest ATP. I forget if I finished it or not. But I don't think—no, you're in the after show talking

01:42:37   about Rivians. So the thing that you guys were talking about and that Syracuse was talking about

01:42:47   Is if you only have two home pods something something blah blah blah the center and the center is where you get the dialogue

01:42:52   Mm-hmm. I'm telling you with two home pods and I have a big living room pretty big living room in an open floor plan

01:43:00   The whole it's a big because our dining room is right behind us. So it's not a contained room. It's a it's a

01:43:07   harsh audio scenario and

01:43:09   Because the TV is so big and it is a fairly big room. I

01:43:15   I think it's acoustically challenging. Two home pods left and right of the TV,

01:43:20   it sounds like stuff comes from the center. And I think that the complexity of modern

01:43:28   prestige TV and movies, audio mixes, and then just watching generic stuff on TV like sports

01:43:38   or whatever, whatever the home pods are doing computationally in the same way that they compute

01:43:45   the echo acoustics of the room. They fake the center better as good. There's no way that I

01:43:56   could spend $5,000 on an audio system and I wouldn't, it certainly could be louder I'm sure,

01:44:03   but I don't think it would sound better. And I'm sure I could get a lot more bass with an actual

01:44:08   subwoofer, no doubt about it. There's no question about that. And I know that we used to have more

01:44:13   bass with our previous system that had a dedicated subwoofer that wasn't even like super premium

01:44:19   model. I know we're missing out on bass.

01:44:21   Jared Ranerel And that's, and that's, by the way, that's

01:44:23   not really a fair comparison. It's like, the HomePod is really small. Like people, I don't

01:44:28   think people realize who don't have them, how small they are for the amount of audio

01:44:33   and quality you get out of them. Like, they have a four inch woofer, you know, a subwoofer

01:44:38   for a home theater, you're gonna you're looking at at least six inches and usually much larger

01:44:42   of a driver. For what it is, it's incredible, and you can't get anything that has that kind

01:44:51   of sound in anything that is that size or smaller. It's the same way in the 90s when

01:44:59   everybody was blown away by Bose and how Bose managed to make these really tiny speakers

01:45:05   that had really big sound, and part of that was good engineering, part of that was they

01:45:09   introduced the external subwoofer to the world for the most part. And so they have these

01:45:14   little tiny tweeters that would be your surround feeders and they have the giant subwoofer

01:45:17   that you tuck in the corner somewhere. But you know, for home pods are incredible for

01:45:23   their size. They're also really good in absolute terms. But of course, you know, when you have

01:45:28   a bigger room or when you when you're comparing it's much larger speakers, yeah, you can get

01:45:32   better than a home pod. But you cannot get anywhere near what the home pod offers. Anything

01:45:38   close to its size. Right. And you remember, you might remember this, but while I was doing this,

01:45:45   I was, of course, picking your brain over what I should be, might be, maybe should be looking

01:45:52   at speaker-wise for this setup. And you had sent me multiple selection, multiple possible things,

01:45:59   and I'd show them to Amy and got some pretty quick thumbs down.

01:46:06   Yep.

01:46:08   Visually now and I'm not making fun, you know, nobody's pickier about the way some things look than me

01:46:13   I'm pickier than I'm pickier about things

01:46:16   I'm picky about then Amy is about a way our living room looks so I'm not making fun of her. I love her for it

01:46:22   I love that. She's that you know, I I appreciate it, but some of them were very tall

01:46:28   and they all were

01:46:31   Forward and would have to be on the floor in front of it and the way that our living room is set up

01:46:38   up, it's not how it was designed.

01:46:41   And so visually, two white home pods

01:46:46   in the corner on this cabinet under the TV,

01:46:51   it looks like the room was designed for that to be,

01:46:56   in terms of the visual effect,

01:46:59   it wasn't just, okay, that's fine, we'll go with that.

01:47:02   She was like, that would be great, that looks awesome.

01:47:06   But I'm 100% satisfied with the sound

01:47:10   that I get out of them.

01:47:11   And especially the simulated center channel

01:47:16   that they produce for dialogue

01:47:19   and the what the fuck did that person just say

01:47:23   is it only happens to me now when I know that it's a show

01:47:28   that is deliberately produced to have mumble mouth dialogue

01:47:34   like Game of Thrones, right?

01:47:36   like famously, for whatever reason,

01:47:38   Game of Thrones makes everything way too dark.

01:47:42   I like the show, I don't like the new one that much,

01:47:44   but I like the other one.

01:47:46   But it's a very dark show, your TV isn't busted,

01:47:50   you don't have to turn the brightness up,

01:47:51   it's supposed to be that dark,

01:47:53   and they deliberately garbled the dialogue.

01:47:56   I don't know why, I don't know why you would do that.

01:47:58   It's like, to me, it's like there's certain,

01:48:01   there's always certain cinematic trends

01:48:04   that you can look at a movie,

01:48:05   if you've even if you've never seen the movie before you can say oh that movie was made in the

01:48:10   early 80s 100 you just know it you don't have to look at hairstyles you just there's just certain

01:48:16   you know cinematic things and mumble mouth dialogue is going to come across as like oh

01:48:24   that was like in the late 2010s guaranteed yeah so other than that though i love the center channel

01:48:31   for it. I think it's a fantastic home theater thing. And I do love and appreciate, and this

01:48:39   is like the sort of Casey List angle, I love the 100% simplicity of setup. One cable, it goes to

01:48:49   power, and that's it. I've always been, it's always been in the back of my mind with my other stereo

01:48:56   that I was never sure if I was hooking it up the right way, right? Because you can hook up like the

01:49:02   red, yellow, and green cables, or you could go buy an optical cable, optical lens. Should I use

01:49:09   optical? What am I doing? And it, okay, I've hooked this up, turned it on, and it sounds

01:49:15   great to me, and it's loud, but should I use the other type of cable? And then you've got all these

01:49:23   cables. There's all these cables running all over the place. And what do you do with them?

01:49:28   I love the just, and it, to me, it is epitomizes the Apple mindset towards things where it's just,

01:49:39   there's, there's just one way that's it. It's, and then you just hook it up to your Apple TV,

01:49:46   you know, through the Apple TV interface. And for me, and it might, here I am knocking on wood,

01:49:53   although I think this IKEA desk I sit at for the podcast isn't really wood, but you know, whatever

01:49:59   IKEA made this out of. I've had no problems with any, with like the Apple TV maintaining

01:50:08   connectivity to the HomePods. I think there was one time, so what was it, sometime in the spring

01:50:15   a 20 20. So we're just call it three years. It's short of three years. But in three years,

01:50:22   there was one time where one of the two home pods was sort of lost,

01:50:29   sort of confused and off, you know, unpaired and somehow refused, started wandering away. Yeah.

01:50:39   And the trick was to unplug both of them, because maybe the problem was with the other one,

01:50:46   and you know, the one that didn't seem to be, you know, was still playing the TV audio. I don't know,

01:50:52   unplugged them both, plugged them back in, and that's one time in three years where I had any sort of

01:50:57   reliability of, you know, does this thing still work? Really fantastic for home theater. Now,

01:51:08   We also have a pair in our kitchen that the kitchen one we put you that's where we play music and that's where I listen to

01:51:14   podcasts

01:51:16   And do those sort of things with home pods

01:51:18   Those have been pretty reliable to more than most in my testing

01:51:24   I've had a pair of the home pods to ever, you know since before they came out whatever they announced them and I've been testing them

01:51:30   I haven't written a review because I've I

01:51:33   Struggle because I feel like I don't have the audio

01:51:37   taste to review that aspect of them properly

01:51:40   These two have a hundred have been a hundred percent reliable for me once they were paired and I've had them paired non-stop ever since

01:51:48   and I've been

01:51:51   Doinking around with them testing things

01:51:53   100% reliable and I will say this

01:51:58   The Siri response time really is faster. Yes, definitely. I

01:52:05   I guess that's going to the S7 chip or whatever the second generation chip is.

01:52:12   Skipping a few years in chip to get a faster CPU and faster whatever else,

01:52:20   whatever audio signal, whatever they're doing to make it faster. They absolutely did. It's not

01:52:27   marketing trickery or that Apple set up optimized ones. It is noticeably faster. And I know that

01:52:34   that it's faster because I'm testing these new ones

01:52:38   in my office and I've got the old ones upstairs.

01:52:42   And so I'm, you know, it's like having,

01:52:46   spending half your time on a brand new iPhone

01:52:49   and half your time on a five-year-old iPhone every day.

01:52:53   Every day you're like, "God damn, this old iPhone is slow."

01:52:58   So for me, for me, I wanted,

01:53:03   I want you to talk more about audio quality,

01:53:05   'cause I don't notice it.

01:53:06   I can't tell any, to me it sounds just as good

01:53:10   as the original HomePods.

01:53:11   What I notice is it's faster.

01:53:14   And so that's enough for me.

01:53:18   But it sounds to me like, or from your review on ATP,

01:53:23   that you think they sound better.

01:53:25   - Yeah, and they do sound different.

01:53:29   Overall, they sound, they're in the ballpark of each other.

01:53:34   If you don't have them side by side,

01:53:38   if you just upgrade from the first one to the second one

01:53:41   and just start playing stuff,

01:53:42   you might not notice the difference.

01:53:44   It's that relatively small of one.

01:53:48   What you will most likely notice

01:53:50   is that the new one has less bass than the old one.

01:53:54   And that, honestly, I wish they would have that be

01:53:58   kind of EQ control because I would love to turn it up a little bit on the new one because

01:54:03   the old one, the old one, they often got complaints that it was too bassy, especially if you live

01:54:08   like in an apartment or if you're putting it in a smaller room where you'd really hear

01:54:12   a lot of that bass resonance or your neighbors might hear it. So it was good that they had

01:54:17   a setting called reduce bass that they added shortly afterwards, which basically is just

01:54:21   like a hard low pass filter. So it just cuts out all of the bass. It's a pretty coarse

01:54:27   I would love to have that be an actual, you know, a setting.

01:54:32   Maybe a slider that has like three or four positions on it,

01:54:35   you know, so that you can have a little bit less

01:54:38   or a little bit more.

01:54:39   I don't know, people have developed EQs and bass knobs

01:54:43   for decades and, you know, I know Apple doesn't like

01:54:47   adding unnecessary settings, but I think this is such

01:54:50   a situational and taste variable here of how much bass

01:54:54   you want your HomePod to have.

01:54:56   I would love to see a setting for that.

01:54:58   - Well, and--

01:54:58   - The new ones are a little bit lighter.

01:55:01   - They give you a little bit of that with AirPods, right?

01:55:03   And AirPods have a little bit of EQ settings, right?

01:55:08   - There's like a few things you can do,

01:55:10   but they're pretty limited.

01:55:12   - Right, but that's what I would imagine

01:55:14   they might do with HomePod,

01:55:16   would be a limited, very limited number of tweaks.

01:55:20   And like, a little more bassy, a little less bassy,

01:55:25   or just two settings, you know, like a little less

01:55:28   or a little more, I could see them doing, you know.

01:55:32   Just AirPods like, right?

01:55:34   AirPods certainly aren't fiddly

01:55:37   in terms of the amount of control you get

01:55:39   over their sound quality.

01:55:40   Just a little bit, I agree, would be nice.

01:55:46   - Yeah, and they still won't add my,

01:55:48   the one setting I want AirPods to have so badly

01:55:54   is I want to be able to, for a particular pair of AirPods,

01:55:58   to say never automatically jump to any other device.

01:56:02   (laughing)

01:56:03   - Oh, yes.

01:56:03   - 'Cause right now, the way AirPods work is

01:56:08   each pair of AirPods, by default,

01:56:10   will intelligently connect to any of your devices

01:56:13   that are nearby and the things you might be wanting to use.

01:56:15   And it'll also offer, it'll put that little dialogue thing

01:56:18   in the corner saying, hey, connect to, you know,

01:56:20   Marcos AirPods number two or whatever.

01:56:21   Like it'll offer that on Apple TVs, on Macs.

01:56:26   And it currently, if you want to have your AirPods

01:56:30   not auto switch, you have to go to every single device

01:56:35   that they might pair to.

01:56:37   Every phone, every iPad, every Mac, every Apple TV

01:56:41   I think even, like you have to go to every single device

01:56:43   they might pair to and go and connect to it first

01:56:47   and then go to the AirPod settings

01:56:48   and the Bluetooth settings and say,

01:56:50   Don't automatically connect this device,

01:56:51   like only when it's last paired or whatever.

01:56:54   And you have to go through that for every single device.

01:56:56   If you get a new pair of AirPods,

01:56:58   or if you get a new Apple device

01:56:59   that the AirPods might connect to,

01:57:01   you have to do it again.

01:57:02   Watch, you have to do it for everything.

01:57:05   And also, that setting conveniently

01:57:08   seems to get forgotten sometimes.

01:57:10   That's the most infuriating part,

01:57:11   is that you can go through the hassle

01:57:13   of setting this all up to say,

01:57:15   all right, I never want my AirPods

01:57:16   to automatically guess what I want them to connect to.

01:57:18   just connect to the last thing I had them connected to

01:57:20   all the time.

01:57:21   - Well, and the-- - You can do all that,

01:57:23   and then two weeks later, it'll forget that setting.

01:57:25   - Yeah. - And then you have to do

01:57:26   it all again, or just eventually give up and say,

01:57:28   fine, I'm just gonna have these be buggy.

01:57:30   Like, I cannot tell you, as an AirPods user myself,

01:57:34   how often it connects to the wrong thing,

01:57:36   and then also, again, being an audio app developer,

01:57:39   I get bug reports from people all the time,

01:57:41   saying something to the effect of,

01:57:44   Overcast just randomly stops playing sometimes.

01:57:48   And I actually, and I went and I added logging to the app,

01:57:52   and there's like, you know, when you send in a feedback

01:57:54   email to me, you can attach the logs if you want to.

01:57:57   And part of the logs, I log every play and pause event

01:58:02   for the last, you know, couple hours or whatever.

01:58:05   I log every play and pause event,

01:58:07   and I started logging what caused them,

01:58:10   why did this pause?

01:58:11   And there's different things like,

01:58:12   you tap the button in the UI, or a phone call came in,

01:58:16   or different, you tap the control center button,

01:58:20   and I can tell when it's most likely AirPods

01:58:23   disconnecting and reconnecting to something else,

01:58:25   because the most common case is someone has their AirPods in,

01:58:29   they enter their house or a device becomes available

01:58:33   within range, just barely or something,

01:58:35   and then the AirPods get automatically taken off

01:58:38   of their phone that was playing Overcast,

01:58:40   and it goes in pairs to their computer or something.

01:58:44   and I can see right on my log that it says their device name

01:58:47   and it's like, you know, Joe's AirPods, no longer available.

01:58:51   And I see that and people are emailing me constantly.

01:58:54   - 'Cause they don't know how it happened.

01:58:55   - Blaming me, blaming my app, saying that it's buggy,

01:58:57   it just stops randomly, when really,

01:59:00   it's AirPod auto switching doing something

01:59:02   that they didn't expect or want.

01:59:04   And I just, give me a setting so I can say,

01:59:08   on a particular pair of AirPods,

01:59:10   never auto connect to other devices.

01:59:13   just stay connected to whatever I last connected you to.

01:59:16   That's it.

01:59:17   And I, God, that one setting would make AirPods

01:59:21   so much better.

01:59:22   In the same way, I want one setting on HomePods,

01:59:27   in addition to the base boosting, that's one thing,

01:59:29   but HomePods have this mode that,

01:59:32   by far the most bugs that I've seen on HomePods

01:59:36   relate to this behavior, that if you are playing

01:59:40   from your iPhone and you wanna play something

01:59:43   on your HomePod.

01:59:44   There's two different modes this can be sent in.

01:59:47   There's AirPlay and there's Handoff.

01:59:49   Or I think, I don't know if they,

01:59:50   they don't really describe it,

01:59:51   so I'm gonna call it Handoff

01:59:53   because it seems to work like Handoff.

01:59:56   But so in AirPlay mode, your phone continuously streams

02:00:00   the audio of whatever you're playing to the HomePod.

02:00:03   Your phone remains the source, it remains in full control.

02:00:06   And there's a buffer, you know, so you can like,

02:00:09   you know, take the trash out, come back in

02:00:10   probably won't skip because it's a buffer of about two minutes, but your phone is still

02:00:15   in control. So if your phone has to reboot or something or whatever, the music will stop.

02:00:23   Then there is handoff mode where if you have something from Apple Music in particular,

02:00:32   not the service, the app, if you're using Apple's Music app and you tell it to play

02:00:37   on a HomePod. Your phone does not keep that connection alive itself. Your phone tells

02:00:43   the HomePod, "Hey, go play this thing from Apple Music or from my Apple Music collection,"

02:00:49   or whatever it is. It works with iTunes Match and stuff too, but it's, you know.

02:00:52   - But how-- - Go play this thing using Apple Music. And

02:00:53   then the HomePod kind of like wakes up its own software stack to launch some version

02:00:59   of a music app on the HomePod, and then your phone is out of the picture. So your phone

02:01:04   is then your phone is, your HomePod says,

02:01:07   "All right, I got this from here,"

02:01:09   and it takes over and it plays.

02:01:10   And then this does allow some convenient behavior.

02:01:13   So for instance, when the HomePod has taken over

02:01:15   the session like this for Apple Music playback,

02:01:19   anyone on your WiFi network can go into Control Center

02:01:22   and take over the HomePod and see all the things

02:01:25   it's playing, what it's about to play.

02:01:26   You can take over the whole session,

02:01:27   the same way like when you connect to a HomePod

02:01:31   from Control Center and it opens it up in your music app

02:01:34   and then you're controlling it.

02:01:36   Anyone in your house can do that.

02:01:37   So it doesn't have to have been the phone that started it.

02:01:39   Anyone can do it.

02:01:40   And you can also do it if you have it play

02:01:43   through a Siri command.

02:01:44   If you tell it via Siri,

02:01:47   hey, go play the Rolling Stones,

02:01:48   and Apple Music is not down that hour,

02:01:51   if it actually works,

02:01:53   then anybody in your house can then connect to it

02:01:56   from their phone, take over the session,

02:01:57   and direct it or edit it or change what's up next

02:02:00   or whatever else.

02:02:01   The problem is, this behavior is really slow,

02:02:06   and historically has been really buggy.

02:02:08   Now it is less bad on the new HomePods,

02:02:11   because they're faster, and they might have

02:02:13   a newer software stack in some way,

02:02:15   'cause it's kind of a different situation there,

02:02:17   but for the most part, they're just faster,

02:02:19   and that makes a lot of these problems less bad,

02:02:20   but that is by far the biggest source of bugs

02:02:24   that I've seen, where, you know,

02:02:26   and not just with the new ones,

02:02:28   I haven't had the new ones for long enough

02:02:30   to really have a good idea yet of how big of a problem it is on them. On the

02:02:33   old ones and also on the HomePod minis, which are much newer, this has been a

02:02:39   big problem where so often a stereo pairing will fail that way or where one

02:02:44   of them will drop out or it will you'll you'll try to send it over to the

02:02:49   HomePods and it'll attempt the handoff and it will fail and then and

02:02:53   and the HomePod will then not play the music or it'll play the music but then

02:02:58   it'll like reset your phone's situation in the handoff and then like your phone

02:03:02   will have the wrong track showing and will not be able to control the home pod

02:03:05   like there are so many ways that fails so in addition to my air pods setting

02:03:10   request of never auto connect to anything please for these air pods I

02:03:13   would love a home pod feature a checkbox in the home pod preferences to disable

02:03:19   handoff to make it never do that because there are ways around this so if the app

02:03:25   that you're playing music from on your phone is not Apple's music app. It won't do this.

02:03:30   So I'm constantly going between Apple's music app and Overcast. And so with Overcast, this

02:03:35   problem never happens because it's never, the HomePod is never taking over the session.

02:03:41   It's always streaming it from the phone. And so it's always rock-solve reliably. You'll

02:03:44   also notice, like when you're in this mode, it's when you are on the phone and you say,

02:03:48   go play this on, you know, Kitchen or whatever, whatever the HomePods are, it's way faster

02:03:52   to connect and start playing.

02:03:54   And then when you're done, it's way faster to disconnect.

02:03:57   When you go back to the AirPlay Picker on your phone

02:03:59   and say switch back to iPhone, way faster to disconnect.

02:04:03   And way more reliable as well.

02:04:05   - Yeah. - There's tons of benefits

02:04:06   to this, and so, you know, I could just use Spotify

02:04:08   or something, but I don't want to, it sucks.

02:04:10   So I'd rather stay with Apple Music apps, which sucks less,

02:04:13   still sucks if I'm honest, but it sucks a lot less,

02:04:17   or at least in different ways.

02:04:19   But, so, and there's also, if you make a shortcut,

02:04:22   You can make a shortcut that says set playback destination.

02:04:27   And then you can have it either pick from a menu or you can set a particular one.

02:04:30   If you do that while playing from Apple Music, I actually have these shortcuts configured

02:04:34   on my phone to do this, you can force Apple Music to stream the behavior, to do the stream

02:04:40   behavior and not do handoff.

02:04:43   And it is so much better.

02:04:45   And the way you can tell whether you're in this mode is at the bottom of the music app

02:04:49   where you have a little AirPlay picker,

02:04:51   and it shows you the destination name right on top of it.

02:04:54   So it'll say, you know, Marco's AirPods,

02:04:57   or if you're playing to an AirPlay thing called Kitchen,

02:05:00   it'll just say Kitchen.

02:05:02   If the Apple Music app just says Kitchen,

02:05:04   it's doing handoff mode.

02:05:06   If you use a shortcut to say set playback destination

02:05:08   to something else, that, instead of saying Kitchen,

02:05:11   it will say iPhone, arrow to the right, Kitchen.

02:05:16   And when you see that, that's when you know

02:05:18   you're in the streaming mode, that it's not doing handoff, and try that and you will see

02:05:23   it is so much faster to connect, to disconnect, to do anything. It's so much more reliable.

02:05:30   And so all I want is a checkbox in the HomePod settings to always make this the behavior

02:05:34   so that it will not try to handoff music app playback. It will just stream it from the

02:05:40   phone because it is, again, it's just like AirPods auto-connecting where it's like, it's

02:05:46   It's a smart feature that sounds like it's really magical and convenient, and maybe much

02:05:50   of the time it is, but for so many people like me, the 30% of the time it's not what

02:05:57   you want is too severe a penalty.

02:05:59   I'd rather have it not try to be smart in those ways.

02:06:03   And I know Apple won't stop trying, so at least give me a second to turn it off.

02:06:06   Darrell Bock Yeah, I was going to ask, how do you do that

02:06:10   from Apple Music?

02:06:11   But it's just by doing the obvious thing and going down to what I think of as always

02:06:15   being the AirPlay picker, but in other words, it's not always AirPlay, even though that's what I think

02:06:19   of that picker as being. Yeah, it's called, I mean, it has its own name in the API and stuff,

02:06:27   it's like the output route, basically. Right, right. Yeah, I guess that's what the icon

02:06:33   represents. Big picture, it's very clear, I think the thing that makes the HomePod 2 so fascinating

02:06:43   is it's it's not a rethink of the HomePod at all right like whatever went

02:06:51   wrong with the first HomePod they the people who made HomePod 2 are clearly

02:06:59   the same people I think I mean they seem to have the same taste in everything

02:07:03   same taste in design this physical design it's the same basic concept right

02:07:09   There's nothing other else

02:07:11   Almost nothing different like if you didn't take it apart and look at the insides you'd think it's version

02:07:18   1.1. I think you even said on ATP. It's like 1.5, but it is a 2.0

02:07:24   it's like an altogether different interior design and

02:07:27   The the people who made it art remains

02:07:33   Clearly remained as convinced as they were with the 1.0 that this is what the product should be

02:07:39   That it should have one way of connecting which is over the air through airplay

02:07:44   No line in and I know you know a lot the lack of a line in is is you know?

02:07:51   You know maybe not even a complaint, but just like a jeez you know or just a

02:07:57   Headphone jack input you know so that you could use a home pod to play the audio from any device

02:08:03   You know from the last that's a line in oh, that's line

02:08:06   - Yeah, whatever, I don't know what they, but just--

02:08:08   - Well, I mean, technically it's slightly different,

02:08:10   but yeah, it's basically, anyway.

02:08:11   But no, I mean, the line in also,

02:08:13   like that's not just a nice to have

02:08:15   if you're Neil A. Patel and like headphone jacks,

02:08:17   it's also, it gives you longevity to the product.

02:08:21   - Right. - Like long after

02:08:23   the electronics of this product are outdated

02:08:25   and they no longer run the latest version of Audio OS

02:08:27   or whatever they're calling it,

02:08:28   or try not to call it in public, whatever they,

02:08:32   long after the technology in it is obsolete,

02:08:35   still a really good speaker and it could stand alone and just dumbly play a line source if

02:08:41   it had an input and it doesn't.

02:08:44   I see why they didn't do it though, you know, and it is it's it's it's not spite. It's like

02:08:50   an aesthetic thing. It's the fact that like I said, like there's it gives you no other

02:08:56   no options of how to use it. It's just you use it the way it's meant to be used. If there's

02:09:01   a longevity angle, perhaps they're thinking… I mean, it also does lock you in, not even

02:09:07   longevity-wise. It certainly 100% locks you into the Apple ecosystem. And there, you can certainly

02:09:15   surmise maybe there's some amount of product marketing spite, for lack of a better word,

02:09:20   that it's designed to only work with it, as opposed to… AirPods are a good example, which

02:09:27   do work as generic Bluetooth headphones if you want them to. I really doubt that they sell

02:09:35   very many of them at all that aren't used by people who don't own iPhones and other Apple

02:09:43   products. But there's certainly a longevity angle there where you could, you know, a hand-me-down or

02:09:50   used pair of AirPods or something, you know, can be given to somebody who doesn't even have

02:09:55   an iPhone and they can use them. But that's Bluetooth and as much as everybody hates Bluetooth

02:10:01   and probably the people who work on AirPods probably hate Bluetooth more than anybody,

02:10:05   I'm guessing they hate it more than anybody in the world. It is wireless. So it fits in the Apple

02:10:11   aesthetic where wires are bad and plugs for wires are bad and should be minimized.

02:10:20   and being able to make a product that only has a power cable is, you know, aesthetically pleasing

02:10:27   in a way. It's just that, but overall, it's just that they're very hard to tell apart side by side,

02:10:34   you know, the graph or what are they not graphite slate, what do they call it? I forget,

02:10:38   I keep forgetting what they call the black one because it looks black. It is now it's midnight,

02:10:43   right? Midnight, midnight, midnight. That's the color, right? But of all of the, it's so weird

02:10:49   that they keep calling everything "midnight" in 2022 because some of the midnight things look

02:10:54   very blue. That's not black, right? Like the MacBook Air with the M2 is definitely not black.

02:11:02   It is a bluish dark color. It is a decided blue. Some of the Apple Watch straps that are called

02:11:11   Midnight are definitely blue, but others like the leather link bracelet that I convinced

02:11:19   you to buy one of. I don't know which color you got. Which color leather link did you

02:11:22   buy?

02:11:23   I got ink, which is mostly, it's a pretty dark blue, but you would not confuse it for

02:11:30   black.

02:11:31   All right, but that's why, yeah, but it's very slightly blue. This HomePod, which ones

02:11:39   did you get? You're a white family, you said, right? So, what Apple sent me was one midnight

02:11:47   and one white, so I could see them both. The side by side with my old black one, you can see it

02:11:54   in most light, but at nighttime, you can't even see the difference. You can get right up next to

02:12:00   it and it is so close to black. I have no idea why they did this. But it's like the most appley

02:12:08   of Apple Things. So, it's the same two colors effectively. The same basic concept with what's

02:12:17   the thing on the top. Is it a screen? Nope. It's just a swirly, Siri-looking, diffused,

02:12:27   whatever you want to call that thing. And they added hard-painted, hard-screen-printed

02:12:35   plus/minus buttons for the volume, which is a nice change and a nice concession against the

02:12:41   visual purity of it. You know, it's actually useful.

02:12:48   Yeah. Yeah. Well, and we can argue, you know, and who knows? It's a mystery, you know, but

02:12:52   it fits with the pre-Johnny Ive, post-Johnny Ive, you know, return of a couple more ports,

02:13:04   put some SD card slots in the expensive MacBook Pros, sort of, you know, relax, putting an actual

02:13:12   plus and minus. Who knows if Johnny Ive had anything to do with not putting plus and minus

02:13:16   on there. But it's, you know, it's funny how all of these subtle little changes like the old HomePod

02:13:25   didn't have plus and minus screen printed onto the hardware on top. And the new one does.

02:13:33   And that one was in the Johnny Ive era. And this one is clearly post Johnny Ive. All of those

02:13:42   changes have happened in one direction, right? There's not a single Apple product that has

02:13:49   gone the other way and has less things printed on it and fewer ports. So I think it's probably true

02:14:00   that some of those things, you know, Johnny Ive was obviously very influential there.

02:14:05   You know, it's a little less Johnny Ivey, but I mean, it is like 99% physically identical.

02:14:11   I think to me, the acoustics, I mean, would you at least agree they're very similar? I mean,

02:14:18   I mean, you hear a difference, but it's,

02:14:20   would you, put it this way, it's designed by people

02:14:24   with the same acoustic taste.

02:14:27   - Yes, and so, you know, the bass got weaker,

02:14:30   and the other large difference in the sound quality,

02:14:34   relatively, is that the mid-range and treble ranges

02:14:39   are substantially smoother and nicer and clearer

02:14:44   with less distortion and just kind of nicer responses.

02:14:47   So vocals sound really nice, very smooth, very clear.

02:14:53   It's a very good sounding speaker.

02:14:56   You can spend a lot more and get speakers that don't sound nearly this good for vocals.

02:15:01   Yeah.

02:15:02   I think that the acoustic taste of the HomePod team is very similar in spirit to the photographic

02:15:12   taste of Apple's camera team for the iPhone, where they value looking like reality, you know,

02:15:20   and sort of good, high quality. Quality, of course, being the most important thing,

02:15:26   but without exaggerating. And also, maybe even better than the camera team would be their

02:15:33   screen team and the way that they calibrate the colors for their displays.

02:15:40   You don't see it as much anymore because I think display technology has sort of coalesced around

02:15:45   very high quality OLED displays that all phone makers can have. But like, you know, like 10 years

02:15:52   ago, eight years ago, there were high end, you know, like Samsung phones, you know, their biggest

02:15:59   competitor, high end, high quality Android phones where the colors were punchier on the displays.

02:16:07   And Apple just doesn't like that.

02:16:09   People who work at Apple value, you know, we're not trying to wow you with this, you

02:16:15   know, the emphasizing the trouble in the base, right?

02:16:21   What's that called?

02:16:22   The U curve or the smile curve?

02:16:25   Yeah, the smile.

02:16:26   Yeah, yeah, yeah.

02:16:27   The smile curve, where you pump up the extremes and it is exciting and it's the sort of thing

02:16:33   like pumping up the extremes is what you might want to do in the entranceway of like a theme

02:16:40   park ride where it's like you come in and it's like you just want like boom wow exciting and

02:16:46   you've got like three minutes to wait before you get into the cart and go on the ride but it's to

02:16:53   me not definitely not what you want for like two hours of a movie or you know a you know hours of

02:17:00   of working while you listen to music.

02:17:02   You know, you want it to mean, and again,

02:17:05   that's not, it's not like boring,

02:17:07   it's just also not exaggerated.

02:17:09   And I think the acoustic, their acoustic take

02:17:11   is like that too.

02:17:13   I think it sounds good.

02:17:16   I think the Siri response time is noticeably better,

02:17:20   which was my biggest complaint about the old ones.

02:17:22   And now it's my super biggest complaint,

02:17:24   'cause I'm used to these.

02:17:28   And I just, the only other thing I don't know.

02:17:31   Like what the hell happened with the original HomePod, right?

02:17:35   What explains this two year discontinuity in availability?

02:17:40   It's not the most important mystery or curiosity

02:17:44   about Apple as a company,

02:17:45   but it's to me one of the most inexplicable.

02:17:49   Like if I have any gifts as a pundit,

02:17:53   it's that I'm often, I think, pretty good

02:17:56   explaining things that Apple itself doesn't want to explain. You know, I think people read me and

02:18:04   listen to the show because I'm pretty good at figuring that out. For the life of me,

02:18:11   can't figure out what the hell happened to the original HomePod. My best guess, and I have no

02:18:19   little birdies who've told me this. None. So this is totally my imagination. The only

02:18:26   way I, the only thing I can think of is that there was some sort of disastrous hardware

02:18:34   failure problem with the original design that they did not foresee and did not pick up in

02:18:42   pre-production, something that perhaps only manifested itself in actual production, right,

02:18:49   which can be, as anybody who knows what deals with the word production in whatever you do,

02:18:56   whether it's hardware or software, going to productions sometimes reveals problems.

02:19:01   Most famously I can think of would be the white iPhone 4. Was it the first white one?

02:19:11   Well, but they had a white 3GS, right? But that was just plastic. It was the white.

02:19:17   That was different. Yeah.

02:19:18   The white iPhone 4 was announced and came out ten months late. I mean, bananas. That

02:19:30   they announced it in June and it didn't come out until like April of the next year.

02:19:35   Apparently because when they went into production, it was like yellowing or something like that.

02:19:41   - Really, really weird.

02:19:42   My favorite side note about that, I think it was,

02:19:46   yeah, I think it was that,

02:19:47   and the iPhone 4 was the Antennagate phone, right?

02:19:50   - Yes. - Yeah.

02:19:52   So my funny story about that is they announced this phone

02:19:55   in June in white and black,

02:19:58   and they take pre-orders, blah, blah, blah,

02:20:00   and then they're like,

02:20:01   well, the white one's gonna be delayed,

02:20:02   and they don't wanna say how much,

02:20:03   and the black one comes out,

02:20:04   and then this Antennagate thing happens,

02:20:07   I forget what date, when the Antennagate thing was.

02:20:11   Maybe I can look it up.

02:20:13   I'm gonna guess it was August.

02:20:15   So, you know, like six weeks after the phone came out,

02:20:20   but the white one is still not available.

02:20:22   I go out to Apple for the Antennagate press conference,

02:20:25   and it's on Apple's campus,

02:20:27   and they're guiding us in the press.

02:20:30   You're not like free, you're of course not free

02:20:32   to just wander around,

02:20:33   but the way Apple's Infinite Loop campus was set up,

02:20:36   certainly get to do see Apple employees. And there were white iPhone fours everywhere,

02:20:40   like employees had them. And it's like, Whoa, that is weird. And it but it had been announced

02:20:47   it was supposed to be on sale. But they were there. But you know, obviously, something

02:20:52   went wrong in production there. Something like this is my guess something like that

02:20:56   was wrong with the original HomePod design. And they didn't foresee it. There are reports,

02:21:03   know, and you had some that got flaky and never got unflaky. But there are other people

02:21:09   I've seen who've had reports of ones that just stopped playing audio and stuff, right?

02:21:13   I think they they added,

02:21:14   Jared Ranere: they were actually they were pretty widespread reports of certain electrical

02:21:19   components, like slowly frying themselves inside. Right there. There was something there

02:21:23   that was wrong. I don't think that's what happened to me because I didn't have the same

02:21:28   symptoms as those. So I don't think that was a problem with my other with my my main pair

02:21:32   of HomePod ones, but certainly I had other problems.

02:21:37   - Just, yeah. - Slowly flaking out.

02:21:39   But it was hard for me to tell with mine

02:21:41   whether they were flaking out

02:21:44   in some kind of hardware flaw way

02:21:46   or whether they were just slow and buggy,

02:21:49   which they always were.

02:21:51   So it's a little hard,

02:21:52   and the new HomePods are fast and buggy.

02:21:55   So it's hard to tell, like, what's the real fault here?

02:22:00   - Yeah.

02:22:02   something like that and that it wasn't fixable with like a tweak and that they

02:22:07   engineering wise weren't prepared at all to do it to have a 2.0 ready to go and you know studied

02:22:15   it and when they ran you know everybody one of the famous things about the home pod was that

02:22:19   people could tell from the production numbers that they were all from like the original batch

02:22:23   you know that they never really made more they sold the ones they had and stopped making them

02:22:28   and that the team was already newfound,

02:22:33   once they found the problem, was heads down,

02:22:37   working as fast as they could to make one

02:22:41   that didn't have a new design, that didn't have a problem.

02:22:45   And this is how long that takes.

02:22:48   That something like two years is how long it takes

02:22:53   to go from, okay, let's start all over

02:22:55   and make an all new design that doesn't have this problem.

02:22:57   But that is still the design.

02:23:02   This is still the product we want to make.

02:23:04   We want this product.

02:23:06   We think this is the way HomePod should be,

02:23:08   that it takes two years.

02:23:10   And they didn't want to keep making the old one

02:23:13   with the problem.

02:23:14   Maybe they were losing money on them with the failure rate.

02:23:17   I don't know.

02:23:18   - Yeah, 'cause they were,

02:23:20   many of them were still under warranty

02:23:22   and were getting replaced by having whatever

02:23:24   the blown capacitor or whatever the problem was.

02:23:26   they were doing a lot of replacements.

02:23:28   - Yeah.

02:23:29   - I mean, but I think it's important too,

02:23:32   like you said, they didn't change the product much.

02:23:37   It's still a 300-ish dollar,

02:23:40   you know, technically they lowered the price

02:23:43   from 350 to 300, but for most of the lifetime

02:23:46   of the first one, you could always get it for 300

02:23:48   from Best Buy or whatever.

02:23:50   They were clearly doing a kind of out the back discount

02:23:54   certain preferred partners because that was like the price it was actually selling better.

02:23:59   So that was effectively the price it was for most of its life. And that's not a huge price

02:24:04   difference anyway. 350 versus 300, it's still a premium priced speaker. It's still way more

02:24:08   than an Amazon Echo and the Google whatevers. And so obviously they decided price wasn't

02:24:15   a problem. And also again, the existence of the HomePod Mini also changes things in the

02:24:19   sense that when it's not the only product in the HomePod lineup and there is one that

02:24:24   that is way less expensive, you know,

02:24:26   the HomePod Mini's 100 bucks, which I think is,

02:24:29   by the way, I think that's one of the best values

02:24:31   in Apple's entire lineup, but, you know,

02:24:33   when you have one that's 100 bucks,

02:24:35   it takes a lot of the pricing pressure off the $300 one.

02:24:38   But regardless, they clearly said,

02:24:40   okay, you know what, price obviously wasn't the problem.

02:24:44   So they didn't cancel the old one for price.

02:24:47   They didn't cancel it because it didn't have a line in,

02:24:51   'cause the new one doesn't have a line in either.

02:24:53   - Right.

02:24:53   know it did apparently lacking Bluetooth also didn't hurt it nope or lacking

02:24:58   lacking lacking a real screen on top that you know shows like a user

02:25:02   interface that wasn't it it's it's the same friggin product I mean yeah normal

02:25:07   did the same thing with minor modifications yeah I mean a normal

02:25:11   person most people if you put them side by side with the two of them you know

02:25:15   and we're not quite side by side but one on one side of the room on one on the

02:25:19   other side of the room would have a really hard time it'd be like one of

02:25:22   those puzzles, what's the difference between these two drawings? They would think they sound the same,

02:25:27   they work the same, they have all the same features. It's the same thing, but there was a

02:25:31   nearly two-year discontinuity in availability. And Apple being Apple left those of us who

02:25:39   loved the original HomePod worried nonstop until they announced the damn thing that we'd never have

02:25:47   one again. I mean, I was about to say her name, but I'll just say somebody in the house has

02:25:53   given me a hard time about the fact that I've squirreled away two more just in case,

02:26:03   because I was really worried that one of mine would blow and I wanted to replace it,

02:26:09   and I didn't think they'd ever make it again. Here's an update. I got an update from the

02:26:13   control booth. They say the Antennagate press conference was July 16. So it was only a few

02:26:20   weeks after the iPhone 4 had shipped. But…

02:26:23   Right, because the phone came out probably in June, right?

02:26:25   Right, right. But still, I also thought… In hindsight, that makes sense because I remember

02:26:29   thinking as I saw Apple employees with white iPhone 4s walking around, I remember thinking

02:26:35   that it was a clue that, you know, whatever was wrong, it would soon be unronged and they'd

02:26:42   out soon. Wrong. Yeah. You were only off by like seven months. Yeah. But anyway, the only

02:26:49   other thing about the HomePod set, I emphasize when I write about them is, and I don't know

02:26:55   how I, you know, I'm not Jaws, I'm not Phil, you know, and I wouldn't be good in their

02:27:02   jobs. I'm not a marketing person. But so maybe I'm wrong about it. But I it frustrates me

02:27:09   because I think the true HomePod experience is the $600 pair of two and it's great that

02:27:16   you can spend $300 and just get one.

02:27:20   And if you're in a dorm room, that might be all you need.

02:27:24   And if you're on the college budget, that might be much more amenable to your budget.

02:27:30   It's great that one of them sounds as good as it does and fills a room as well as it

02:27:36   does.

02:27:38   But two of them are so much better than two times better than one.

02:27:45   So much better.

02:27:46   I mean, I don't know.

02:27:48   They're like, two HomePods are like, to me, five times better than one HomePod in terms

02:27:53   of the audio quality.

02:27:55   Because it takes two of them to do the computational magic of making it sound like some sound is

02:28:02   coming from places where there isn't a HomePod.

02:28:06   When you only play one, the direction, there's no way to fake it.

02:28:11   You can close your eyes and you can tell exactly where that one HomePod is in a room.

02:28:16   When you've got two paired and you close your eyes and you're listening to a modern song

02:28:22   with spatial audio or modern mixed movies and prestige TV shows, you really cannot believe

02:28:29   that the sound is only coming from those two sources.

02:28:33   And it's so much better than two times better.

02:28:37   And I just don't think Apple markets it that way at all.

02:28:42   And therefore, I think people miss out on it.

02:28:45   And I really think that people think that buying two is spending $600 on a smart assistant,

02:28:54   which seems ridiculous.

02:28:56   Whereas what I think – and again, I'm not an audiophile, but just as someone who

02:29:01   who just wants the shows and movies I watch to sound good

02:29:04   and to have the music in my kitchen sound good.

02:29:07   $600 as home theater equipment is a bargain,

02:29:14   a bargain compared to what you would get

02:29:17   from Bose or Bang & Olufsen or Sony even.

02:29:22   And you have no wires cluttering and stuff like that.

02:29:25   It's a bargain.

02:29:27   And I think the lack of marketing and Apple's reputation

02:29:32   for selling stuff that's more expensive

02:29:35   than the comparable product categories

02:29:38   from any other company,

02:29:39   it's just a complete blind spot

02:29:42   to anybody who might otherwise,

02:29:45   or I would just say should,

02:29:47   just spend $600 on two HomePods

02:29:49   and save hundreds and hundreds of dollars

02:29:53   versus the equivalent audio experience

02:29:56   other equipment. Yeah, it really is extremely competitive in that space with me when you have

02:30:05   two of them. And yeah, you're right comparing to any kind of home theater setup like, yeah,

02:30:10   you know, a full blown home theater setup can fill larger rooms better. You can get, you know,

02:30:14   true surround and everything. That's all true. But yeah, you're going to be way past 600 bucks to,

02:30:19   you know, for something that sounds anywhere near this good. But yeah, like I think, you know,

02:30:25   You know, the huge advantage it has when you have a stereo pair is it just fills the space

02:30:31   better.

02:30:32   You know, it's very, very hard with just physics to have one speaker in the middle of a space

02:30:38   fill that space with sound.

02:30:39   It's always going to sound like it's coming from that one point.

02:30:42   You know, they can play tricks with, "Oh, we're going to bounce some of it off this

02:30:45   wall," or whatever, and that works a little bit, but it doesn't make a huge difference.

02:30:50   A stereo pair always sounds better in every case.

02:30:54   it always sounds better, and to the point where like,

02:30:56   I wish they would sell like a bundle of two

02:31:01   for some small discount. - Yes, yes.

02:31:03   - Even if it's only like 50 bucks.

02:31:05   Whatever the discount would be,

02:31:07   some small discount to sell a bundle of two

02:31:09   just to give people the idea,

02:31:11   maybe I should consider buying two of these.

02:31:13   - Yep, yep, that's exact,

02:31:15   I think that would make such a big difference.

02:31:17   Even if they didn't discount it,

02:31:18   even if it was still 600 bucks,

02:31:20   but it was called HomePods, but two at once.

02:31:24   I think in hindsight too, maybe something,

02:31:27   something to do with the way that this has worked out

02:31:29   in the market is maybe if they could do it all over again,

02:31:33   they should have shipped the HomePod minis first

02:31:36   and called them HomePods and said,

02:31:39   this is a HomePod and you can talk to it

02:31:42   and it sounds great and look how tiny and acute

02:31:44   and adorable it is, and then come out with the HomePod

02:31:48   plus the HomePod.

02:31:50   Ultra Max, you know, I don't know which which of their max ultra yeah home pad pro max ultra

02:31:57   And you know and and get you in the door with the

02:32:03   You know, I don't want to spend more than 100 bucks on you know

02:32:08   One of these things and okay. I'll buy this one and then oh man, I really like this but boy

02:32:15   I wish it sounded bigger and richer, you know, maybe

02:32:18   Maybe they've you know

02:32:19   They've mixed up

02:32:21   Calling this one the normal one and the other one the mini and should have called the other one the normal one and this one

02:32:27   The max or whatever they would call it. I don't know I again

02:32:31   Apple's naming is a black magic and it they've certainly been successful with it as as

02:32:38   Confusing as it is to us who love to analyze it and nitpick it. It's obviously been successful

02:32:43   So maybe not, but I can't help but think that that would help emphasize how good the product is,

02:32:49   right? Because that's the other thing. If they called it the HomePod Ultra,

02:32:53   it would emphasize this thing sounds surprisingly good. Anyway, let me take a break here. Thank our

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02:36:16   Last thing I know we've already talked a long time probably not a record for you and me but

02:36:21   No.

02:36:22   Just to wrap it up.

02:36:25   Just to wrap it up.

02:36:26   Out of the Blue, your last episode of ATP.

02:36:28   Let's do an ATP follow-up here.

02:36:31   You drove a friend's Rivian.

02:36:34   Yep.

02:36:35   And I drove a Rivian, and I never wrote about it.

02:36:40   I have somebody who, Andy, a guy named Andy Bowman, who used to work at Apple PR, left

02:36:46   Apple for Rivian because this is a really interesting idea to have an electric vehicle

02:36:55   company making a really groundbreaking electric vehicles and to have a professional press

02:37:06   team for PR so that they could deal with the media. I mean, it's a revolutionary idea.

02:37:16   I think perhaps other electric car companies should consider having PR professionals handle

02:37:28   press.

02:37:29   Tim Cynova Yeah, you know, you can maybe say that. There

02:37:33   might be some benefits there.

02:37:35   Jay Haynes Yeah, I mean, I could think of numerous ways

02:37:37   that it might help and that maybe, you know, hiring professionals. But through because

02:37:42   I'm not known, obviously, I am not known for my reviews of cars or electric vehicles. But I got

02:37:49   through, there was a, they had a media thing in New York, I think it was last summer. There's a

02:37:55   Brooklyn, you probably didn't even know where it is if you're even considering it, but there's a

02:37:59   Rivian dealership in Brooklyn. And you know, they have like a big garage where they can do service

02:38:05   and stuff like that. And I got to take an extensive test drive. I forget how long it was. But it

02:38:11   started in Brooklyn, went through Manhattan, and we got out on the highway.

02:38:15   And I was—I didn't write about it because, again, I often have these things I want to write about and

02:38:25   get stuck trying to do it, and they're stuck in my head. But I was floored by how great the

02:38:32   experience was driving a Rivian. I've driven briefly, more briefly, electric vehicles before,

02:38:39   and I get how different the acceleration curve is on an electric motor, how much better in every way

02:38:48   it is than with a gas engine. But what wowed me the most was the, what's it called, regenerative

02:38:57   braking? Yeah, it's very strong in the Rivian. Right, so for people who haven't done this,

02:39:03   I mean, I probably have a lot of listeners who have electric cars, but I knew about it.

02:39:08   But basically when you take your foot off the gas, it doesn't coast like a gas car.

02:39:15   It starts breaking and that breaking is taking the momentum of the car to recharge the battery.

02:39:23   I mean, basically it's sort of similar.

02:39:26   Yeah, like instead of actually applying the brakes, because you know, I mean, you know,

02:39:30   when you hit the brake pedal, it applies to brakes, of course. But when you just let off the gas,

02:39:34   the car will engage effectively a generator. And it'll take some of the energy from the wheels

02:39:40   to turn a generator, which causes resistance and slows the car down. And you're converting

02:39:47   the momentum the car had, you're converting some of that back into generated electricity

02:39:51   for the battery. So, what they told me was we took off and they explained this to me.

02:39:58   And they showed me all sorts of other things about the truck, I guess. I keep wanting to call it a

02:40:05   car. I drove the one, I guess it was the pickup truck one. What's that one called? The R1T.

02:40:10   But it's basically the same vehicle as the SUV. It's just what shape the rear has. It's the same

02:40:19   cockpit, same cabin, same interface, same engine. But they explained this to me and said,

02:40:27   once you get used to it, you won't need to use the brake for most part, even as you drive like

02:40:33   through Brooklyn, which it you know, or Manhattan, right where the sort of city driving, where

02:40:40   even if you're not gas pedal happy, it's you know, lots of gas, lots of braking, lots of gas,

02:40:47   lots of braking, gas, brake, gas, brake, and I've been driving for a long time. And I do like to

02:40:52   drive a little fast, although I don't drive fast in the city. And they said, "It'll take a little

02:40:57   bit of time to get used to, but you'll get used to it. And when you do, you won't need the break,

02:41:01   even as you drive through the city." And I just, you know, I was like, "Okay, I'll, you know,

02:41:06   I hear the words you're saying, but once I started driving, I couldn't help but put my foot on a

02:41:11   break." But you know, then I got, I was like, "Okay, okay." And then it's like, this is amazing

02:41:19   that it is so pleasant to drive through stop-and-go city traffic like this. It is amazing.

02:41:28   And it's—of all the things I thought I might prefer about an electric car compared to my gas

02:41:36   car experience, I didn't—that wasn't even on my list. And it's—after one, like, two-hour

02:41:43   experience driving a Rivian, it was by far and away my favorite thing about it.

02:41:48   by far. It's amazing. And if every car had always worked like that, and somebody invented a car,

02:41:56   all the other ways that you wouldn't invent a gas-powered car, you know, after everybody was

02:42:00   used to electric. But the way that gas-powered cars don't do that, and you take your foot off

02:42:06   the gas, and they just keep going, no one would ever do that. It would be, it is the,

02:42:14   It's one of those things you have to experience to drive it and it didn't again

02:42:18   I only had like a 90 minute or two hour two hour tops test drive, but I got so used to it and

02:42:25   Then you know we shook hands

02:42:27   And I thank them for their time and they answer all my questions

02:42:29   And then I got back on a train and came home and I'm on the train coming home to Philly

02:42:34   And I'm thinking oh my god am I gonna kill somebody as I get back in my Acura

02:42:38   Because I'm just gonna pick my I already used to this

02:42:42   I'm just gonna take my foot off the gas and just smash into the back of the car in front of me

02:42:47   Because I thought I might already be broken. I wasn't but

02:42:50   It's a very different way of driving

02:42:53   It really is like like, you know, I drove a Tesla Model S for

02:42:58   geez, six seven years something like that and

02:43:02   One of the characteristics of that is like it has pretty strong region not as strong as the Rivian pretty pretty strong regen breaking

02:43:09   when you let off the accelerator,

02:43:10   except if the battery is like 100% charged,

02:43:15   or 99% charged, or if I think it's extremely cold,

02:43:19   like if you go in the middle of the winter,

02:43:21   during certain conditions,

02:43:23   the regenerative braking doesn't function.

02:43:26   And so I would occasionally have times

02:43:29   where I would drive my car

02:43:30   and it wouldn't do the regen braking,

02:43:32   and you let off the gas and you're like,

02:43:34   "Oh my God, why am I still going?"

02:43:36   And all it's doing is acting like a gas car at that point,

02:43:38   drove for over a decade before that and it was fine because that's what I was used to,

02:43:43   but once you are used to that feeling, it's really disorienting. I have since had to go

02:43:48   back to a gas car because my Rivian reservation is not in yet and I had to go somewhere off

02:43:53   road. So I had to buy a Land Rover Defender for beach access here and it's a regular gas

02:44:01   car and going back to gas, that was the most jarring thing about it, besides the fact that

02:44:07   you step on the gas and nothing happens for a few seconds, and the gear changes, and having

02:44:12   to actually get gas, which is horrific and terrible when you haven't done it for seven years.

02:44:17   You're like, "Oh, wow, gas stations are stinky and inconvenient and not to mention terrible for the

02:44:23   environment." And the cleanest-

02:44:25   The cleanest-

02:44:25   "Sylvian, please hurry up on my reservation. I've been waiting a long time."

02:44:29   The cleanest-

02:44:30   But yeah.

02:44:31   The cleanest gas station you go to is filthy.

02:44:34   I mean, it's just-

02:44:35   Yeah, exactly.

02:44:35   because it's just full of cars which are filthy and gasoline which is a filthy liquid and you know

02:44:43   like i i love like there have been a couple of really good essays written over the last few years

02:44:48   um written from the point of view of someone who is accustomed to electric cars describing the

02:44:54   weirdness of gas cars because you know and they're like they're like satires of like you know people

02:44:58   write these articles about like well you know with electric cars you have to worry about your range

02:45:02   and you can't just get gas anywhere.

02:45:04   And so there's a few great essays,

02:45:06   I'll try to find some, it's in the links.

02:45:08   There was a good one recently that went around Mastodon,

02:45:11   where people talking about how weird gas cars are

02:45:16   once you're accustomed to electric.

02:45:17   And there's multiple things about that,

02:45:18   one of which is like, yeah, when you're slowing down to stop,

02:45:21   the gas car just wastes all the momentum you have.

02:45:24   Like you just don't get to recapture it,

02:45:26   you can't convert it back to gas.

02:45:28   Also, one of the greatest convenience additions when you get an electric car is something

02:45:36   you don't think about.

02:45:37   Before you get your first electric car, all you're thinking about is range.

02:45:39   And you're thinking about those long highway trips when you're going to have to stop at

02:45:42   a charger somewhere and you're worried about that.

02:45:44   And that's understandable to be worried about because it's unfamiliar to you.

02:45:47   I was too.

02:45:48   Before I got the first Tesla, I was very worried about that.

02:45:52   And then when I got the Tesla, I realized that's pretty well handled by fast charging

02:45:56   stations, long highways and stuff.

02:45:58   that's actually not a big concern.

02:46:00   And the other side of that is because most of the time

02:46:03   you're plugging in at your house,

02:46:06   you are leaving the house every day with a full tank.

02:46:09   - All the time, right.

02:46:11   - Yeah, so all the, the rest of the year

02:46:13   when you're not taking long highway trips to go somewhere,

02:46:16   you never have to stop anywhere.

02:46:18   So you never, like, you know, now that I'm back on gas

02:46:21   for hopefully a short time, please get my reservation

02:46:23   in soon, River Yoon, please.

02:46:25   Now that I'm back on gas for whatever time

02:46:27   going to end up being, I have to keep going to get gas.

02:46:30   And so every so often, I'll have to take 10 minutes

02:46:34   out of my trip or whatever and go stop somewhere

02:46:37   and go to these special stinky places and get gas.

02:46:39   Whereas when you drive electric,

02:46:42   you are almost never having to stop

02:46:45   because you're charging at home.

02:46:46   So every day you're leaving with a full tank.

02:46:48   Maybe you can even plug in at work or wherever you're going.

02:46:50   So you're always charged.

02:46:53   So you only have to think about range

02:46:56   when you're going on those occasional very long,

02:46:58   you know, multi-hour driving trips.

02:46:59   The whole rest of your life, you're just always full.

02:47:03   It's incredible.

02:47:03   And so, to go back to gas and be like,

02:47:05   you can only get gas at these certain places,

02:47:07   none of which are your house,

02:47:09   and it's a very different experience.

02:47:12   And yes, gas is more convenient on those long trips,

02:47:15   but all the rest of your life,

02:47:17   electric is so much more convenient.

02:47:20   - I was super impressed with Rivian's build quality

02:47:24   and design choices. Usually every time I read, in my experience, driving unfamiliar cars is rentals,

02:47:32   and every time I rent a car, you almost never get the same model twice or even vaguely so.

02:47:40   And I'm instantly, of course, surprise, surprise, very picky and upset about certain choices of

02:47:45   where certain controls are and which sticks are where and even what font they used for this and

02:47:51   that instantly. I have never sat behind a steering wheel for the first time and thought, "Boy, that's

02:47:57   in the right spot. That's in the right spot." I like where they put that. Never, ever more than

02:48:03   with Rivian. And again, it's like if you stick with the same brand and you buy an Acura after

02:48:11   an Acura or a Honda Accord after a Honda Accord, there's a... Or if you shift from a Honda Accord

02:48:18   to a Honda SUV, the controls, you know, there's a brand similarity there. Or if you stick within BMW,

02:48:27   you know, you don't get confused about where controls are. But Rivian doesn't have any heritage

02:48:34   like that. They're not derived from any other thing. And it's not at all like the Acura that

02:48:39   I'm used to. But I have never sat behind a cockpit and thought this is really well arranged, and

02:48:46   nothing annoyed me as much it and just all the little things and there's so

02:48:51   many little things that I personally do not like about Tesla's that I feel I

02:48:55   think feel cheap or I think feel poorly designed I can't stand their friggin door

02:49:00   handles I just can't I honestly god admit they've never made a good door

02:49:04   handle never made a good door I've never seen it they're all and they're all bad

02:49:08   in different ways and it all bad in different ways and then they've gotten

02:49:11   worse and to me I don't know that I can I honest it's in a way you know this

02:49:17   about me and my taste on watches I could never buy a wristwatch that has any any

02:49:23   bit of typography on the dial or the back of the case the back of the case

02:49:29   that I disagree with there been watches I've almost bought where that on the

02:49:33   back of the case there's like you know assembled in Switzerland or whatever is

02:49:38   and they typeset it in Arial, and therefore I will not buy it. It's out. I will not buy it and put it

02:49:45   on my wrist. To me, the Tesla door handles might be like that. I don't know. But I just think the

02:49:50   build quality is better. I think Tesla's interiors have a mid-range, you know, Honda Toyota sort of

02:50:00   Quality to them and the Rivian is the Lexus Acura

02:50:04   Even BMW I honestly I it's a really it's just great great interior

02:50:12   I just blown away by it from a new company that and you guys covered this on ATP the big sticking point for nerds

02:50:19   Is that like Tesla their?

02:50:22   Computer stack is all their own and so they don't support airplay

02:50:29   Are not a car play so it's their maps. It's their stuff

02:50:34   I mean you can obviously connect your phone to play music. Yeah, it has Bluetooth right it has Bluetooth. I

02:50:40   Don't know how I feel about that but you

02:50:44   Seem having used both recently to be not

02:50:48   surprised to me surprisingly

02:50:51   Not that mindful of not just because you owned a Tesla for a long time

02:50:56   But you know having driven this Land Rover now for a while that does have carplay and you're literally a carplay developer

02:51:04   I mean, I mean car plays carplay support is a very significant part of making

02:51:09   an iOS podcast app, I mean, well, it's the thing it actually isn't because

02:51:16   You know the the way carplay is implemented for developers like me who are not Apple

02:51:21   You basically have like, you can choose from certain

02:51:25   templates that different screens will use,

02:51:27   and you can, you kind of like give it, you know,

02:51:29   structured data to say, okay, well, you know,

02:51:31   show the list template, and then show these cells

02:51:34   with these things in them, and here's title and artwork

02:51:36   for each one, but you don't have a ton of control

02:51:39   over all those little details.

02:51:40   You don't have a ton of options, you don't have,

02:51:42   you can't do a full, complete UI.

02:51:44   It gets limited in many ways, like, for instance,

02:51:47   the length of lists is limited by certain jurisdictions

02:51:51   for regulation reasons. So like sometimes you only see like the first 12 items in a

02:51:56   list and it'll cut it off. Like there's a whole bunch of limitations like that. And

02:52:00   of course there's rules also like you aren't allowed to use the CarPlay interface elements

02:52:05   to make some kind of game. Like you can't make a CarPlay game basically by you know

02:52:09   whatever you do with the list. You can't make like a you know a card flipping game

02:52:13   or whatever else. Like you could technically make one but it's disallowed by the rules.

02:52:18   But anyway, so CarPlay's a very limited environment

02:52:21   for developers to really do much.

02:52:23   What you're doing is pretty basic there.

02:52:25   And so I was fine, you know, I've only had

02:52:28   a CarPlay vehicle myself for the last seven months

02:52:31   or whatever, before that I just had these little

02:52:34   CarPlay test unit on my desk and that was enough,

02:52:37   combined with user feedback, that was enough

02:52:39   for me to develop it.

02:52:41   But for the Rivian, not having CarPlay,

02:52:44   again, it's something that I would like to have it

02:52:48   as an option. I hope they add it. They could add it via software if they wanted to, as far as I know.

02:52:53   So I would love to have CarPlay as an option, but the lack of CarPlay is not a deal killer for me

02:53:01   to buy the vehicle. Why do you think they don't? Why do you think they don't? Well, I know I always

02:53:08   heard that with Tesla, it was it was very much that kind of like the the arrogant engineering

02:53:15   culture of we want to own everything, which I get to some degree, you know, I do that

02:53:20   myself, so, you know, we want to own everything, but also the, I think where the main arrogance

02:53:26   comes in is you won't need it. That's the big, that's where like the attitude at Tesla

02:53:31   was always, why would you need CarPlay? You have our system and it's so much better and

02:53:36   look you can even play these dumb games in it and, you know, so that's, and that's,

02:53:42   there's many problems with Tesla.

02:53:44   So I get the feeling that Rivian probably has

02:53:47   that same degree of opinionation, if that's a word,

02:53:51   of like, they are, their screen design, their UI design,

02:53:55   the whole way their center console screen works,

02:54:00   the design is very much in the realm

02:54:03   of what Tesla strives to be.

02:54:06   I think Rivian does a better job of it, frankly.

02:54:08   And I think, you know, the experience of being

02:54:10   a Tesla owner is you get an amazingly driving car

02:54:15   with some really great, amazing features.

02:54:18   And there's a bunch of quirks that you

02:54:22   have to tolerate in order to access those features.

02:54:25   For instance, the door handles having to access your car.

02:54:28   But also, the design of the screen,

02:54:33   they'll send out over-the-air redesigns at the drop of a hat.

02:54:36   And all of a sudden, you'll get into your car,

02:54:38   you can't find the defroster.

02:54:40   And they have mixed success with Tesla over the years.

02:54:43   Some of their UIs are okay, some of them are terrible,

02:54:47   some of them are great, but for the most part with Tesla,

02:54:50   you're rolling the dice constantly

02:54:52   and they're all over the map.

02:54:54   Rivian so far seems to be much more disciplined

02:54:57   with their design and much more successful with it.

02:55:00   And Rivian seems to have the confidence

02:55:05   do not attempt things like stupid door handles.

02:55:08   'Cause Tesla is desperate to prove to the world

02:55:12   how innovative they are.

02:55:14   - Right, well look how different their trucks look, right?

02:55:16   So the best comparison is the Rivian,

02:55:18   both trucks versus the Cybertruck,

02:55:22   which honest to God, I think it's hard to believe

02:55:26   is not a, I still think it's hard to believe is not a prank.

02:55:29   And-- - I know, well until it's out,

02:55:31   we don't really know that, right?

02:55:33   those those real-world pictures that somebody snapped recently of a cyber

02:55:39   truck on the street where it's not photographed by Tesla's photographers in

02:55:44   a product product marketing scenario but just real world on the street the sheets

02:55:50   of what is it it is stainless steel is I believe so yeah that they're all warped

02:55:58   in a way that you would think they were it looks it looks like it looks like a

02:56:02   fantastic senior college student project

02:56:07   from the University of Michigan,

02:56:09   where these budding car engineers built this thing, right?

02:56:13   It doesn't look like a premium truck.

02:56:17   I know some people out there seem to love it,

02:56:19   but to me, it's, to me, the people who seem to love it

02:56:22   are these Elon Musk fanatics who also seem to think

02:56:27   he insists he's doing a good job running Twitter.

02:56:31   - Yeah, right. - I don't know.

02:56:33   But I mean, in terms of--

02:56:34   - You know, a few years ago, like I,

02:56:36   this is pre-pandemic,

02:56:38   during one of our California trips for an Apple thing,

02:56:42   I had the opportunity to visit the Facebook campus,

02:56:45   and I'd never been there before.

02:56:47   And overall, the feeling I got from the Facebook campus

02:56:51   was A, I don't belong here,

02:56:54   and B, I find it almost creepy in a lot of ways.

02:56:58   Like, it was very young people

02:57:00   who really thought a lot of themselves doing things

02:57:04   in ways that seemed a little bit immature,

02:57:08   a little bit unwise maybe,

02:57:11   kind of making this weird fantasy world

02:57:14   where everything they did was great,

02:57:16   but there were always like weird undercurrents of like,

02:57:17   well, if you actually use the baseball shop on campus,

02:57:22   you'll be fired for not working hard enough or whatever.

02:57:25   Like there's all sorts, it was a weird vibe.

02:57:27   And then I think it was that same day,

02:57:29   at least it was that same trip,

02:57:31   I also got a chance to visit the Apple campus.

02:57:33   That was back in Infinite Loop.

02:57:35   And I remember the vibe was so different.

02:57:38   It was striking, these two such different places,

02:57:43   such different cultures.

02:57:45   And you looked around the Apple campus

02:57:46   and it was very clear like,

02:57:47   oh, this is where the grownups work.

02:57:49   Like this is like, you go to the Facebook campus

02:57:52   when you want what you think of your college life,

02:57:55   whatever you think that is, you want that to last forever.

02:57:58   or you think it always will last forever,

02:58:00   or you think that's the best it'll ever be or whatever.

02:58:02   That's what Facebook is for.

02:58:04   And then when you, those people who don't want that

02:58:07   and who just want like a nice grown up job

02:58:10   where you do good work and then you go home at night,

02:58:12   that's Apple, right?

02:58:13   That's the feeling I got.

02:58:14   Whether that's actually true, I don't know,

02:58:15   but the feeling I got visiting those two campuses,

02:58:18   that's what it was like.

02:58:19   And to me, being a Tesla owner for so long,

02:58:23   I think it's much more like the Facebook culture

02:58:25   where it's like, you know, move fast, break things,

02:58:29   surely to a fault, and you know,

02:58:31   and everyone's like trying like, you know,

02:58:34   these big moonshot kind of ideas,

02:58:37   trying to prove that they're innovative,

02:58:39   and the thing is, they are innovative.

02:58:42   They don't need to prove it by things like

02:58:43   dumb door handles and weird UI designs.

02:58:46   Like, they don't need to do those things.

02:58:48   The cars themselves, without those things,

02:58:50   even if they had regular boring door handles,

02:58:52   are very innovative.

02:58:53   Rivian seems like they are much more confident

02:58:57   that their cars are good, and Rivians are very innovative

02:59:00   in lots of other ways.

02:59:02   Some of their useful utility features,

02:59:05   and the more adventure camping features,

02:59:08   the utility features, like even stupid things,

02:59:10   like their roof rack, their roof crossbars.

02:59:13   Super innovative, like the way you can just pop 'em on,

02:59:17   pop 'em off, you can stick 'em in the frunk.

02:59:20   They have thought of so many little details of that car.

02:59:22   These cars are extremely innovative from Rivian,

02:59:25   but they don't feel the need to show it off

02:59:29   in ways like weird door handles.

02:59:31   - Right, 'cause they're-- - Or quirks of the interior.

02:59:33   They just made a nice car that's really useful,

02:59:37   and it's designed in a more confident, restrained way

02:59:41   in those kind of flashy areas,

02:59:44   because they know they don't need to show off there.

02:59:46   They just made a nice car that works really well,

02:59:48   and they've thought of all these details

02:59:50   in a very Apple-like way.

02:59:51   It's like, we've thought of the nice things,

02:59:53   we've thought of the nice details, it works,

02:59:55   it has all these little clever features and nice designs,

02:59:57   and it won't get in your way,

02:59:59   and the door handles aren't gonna freeze,

03:00:01   and they're not gonna fail,

03:00:03   and all this problems that Tesla has.

03:00:05   - Yeah, I wouldn't say, like,

03:00:07   if you blindfolded me for a couple of years,

03:00:09   and then took me away, and then brought me back,

03:00:12   and put me in a unmarked, unlabeled Rivian,

03:00:15   and said, "This is the Apple car,"

03:00:18   I don't think I would quite believe it.

03:00:20   It's not quite Apple-y,

03:00:21   but I might believe it, right?

03:00:23   - Now there's too many buttons for it to be the Apple car.

03:00:25   - Yeah, exactly. - Which I consider a good thing.

03:00:27   - Right, exactly.

03:00:28   It wouldn't quite pass the sniff test for me,

03:00:33   but it would have me thinking maybe, I don't know.

03:00:37   But there is a similarity,

03:00:40   and I think it's why they invited me to drive it.

03:00:44   It's a similar, and again, I think what you're saying,

03:00:46   the thing I remember is I don't want a pickup truck at all.

03:00:50   If I were to buy a Rivian, I'd buy the other one.

03:00:52   But some of the things in the bed of the truck

03:00:55   that are clever, they're all,

03:00:57   none of them are clever for cleverness sake.

03:01:00   They all have obvious utility in some obvious way.

03:01:04   It's, anything that is different or original

03:01:07   is different or original in the name of a utility,

03:01:11   an obvious utilitarian purpose that maybe you won't use,

03:01:15   but you can imagine somebody would use.

03:01:17   And the other thing that comes to mind with that,

03:01:20   and to me is Apple like,

03:01:22   hey, what if the door handles were completely normal,

03:01:25   and nobody's gonna say anything about it,

03:01:28   is the mentality that Apple has

03:01:32   that they will ship iPhones

03:01:36   that look to most people exactly the same

03:01:42   for three, four, five years maybe, right?

03:01:46   iPhone 6, 6S, 7, 8, you know,

03:01:50   all looked exactly the same,

03:01:52   and aren't worried.

03:01:55   They're so confident that this is a good design

03:01:57   and this is good that they'll just keep selling it

03:02:01   for three, four years,

03:02:03   even though that's totally not exciting

03:02:05   and not gonna get a lot,

03:02:07   a lot of the tech press is going to ding them

03:02:09   for it immediately.

03:02:10   Like every single iPhone

03:02:12   that isn't an all new original design,

03:02:14   A lot of the reviews immediately ding it

03:02:16   because it looks just like last year's phone.

03:02:19   And they're confident that no,

03:02:20   'cause this is a good design.

03:02:22   I have been told by someone whose name

03:02:27   rhymes with Johnny Ive personally

03:02:31   that they will never make a change just to make a change.

03:02:38   That they will only make a change

03:02:42   if they're 100% sure that it's better.

03:02:47   Now, there are times where they've made changes

03:02:50   that I think all of us would agree are not better,

03:02:52   but they thought, someone at Apple thought it was better.

03:02:55   Someone thought it was better

03:02:56   to switch to butterfly keyboard.

03:02:58   Someone thought it was better overall

03:03:02   and the overall balance of things

03:03:03   to ship a MacBook that only has one USB-C port.

03:03:11   But that was, you know, mistakes are made, right?

03:03:15   Nobody's perfect.

03:03:17   But there's never any sort of ostentatious,

03:03:19   we're just going to radically change

03:03:21   the shape of the phone every year

03:03:23   just because we want new, new, new, right?

03:03:27   And Rivian to me has that sort of humility

03:03:30   of we'll show off, you know, we'll make it nice

03:03:33   where we will, but I don't know.

03:03:36   It's a product, I haven't spoken about it a lot,

03:03:38   and I wish I had, but I thought,

03:03:39   you on recently driving I bring it up the only other thing I'll mention to you

03:03:44   and I it's you know I you're probably gonna fucking buy ones knowing you so I

03:03:51   literally waiting to go no no I know I know I know you you're gonna find

03:03:56   someone who's selling it used one and you know probably have one by the time

03:04:00   the show's done editing but if I could I would I know that's I know you so you'll

03:04:06   get more experienced with this than me but you I believe you said on ATP did

03:04:12   not get to take it out on the highway that's correct right I did and and dates

03:04:17   and I said can I go as fast as I want and they said sure and I so I got it in

03:04:22   sport mode number one the sport mode on the Rivian is not like a do-nothing

03:04:27   button you know like when you press the the button you cross the street you know

03:04:31   it's like or you know yeah the door closed button in elevator yeah the door

03:04:35   close button and elevator that or something that just makes noise the sport mode in Rivian

03:04:44   is like in the Incredibles when Mr. Incredible turns his car into the Incredibles car you

03:04:52   know it it really does something it lowers it noticeably which I like as someone who'd

03:04:57   rather drive a car than SUV and holy shit does it does it change the way that it performs

03:05:05   when you go, let's say, not that anybody in the state of New York can give me a ticket

03:05:11   seven months later, let's say a little north of 100 miles an hour. It is unbelievable.

03:05:22   Oh, it is. I mean, honestly, if I could have bought one, I might have done it, but you can't.

03:05:30   you know, on the spot, I just thinking I was going for a press test drive. I came back to Brooklyn

03:05:37   and it was just like, I need to get one of these and somehow got talked out of it. It is unbelievable.

03:05:44   You can't buy them. I know, that's the whole problem. So, I hope that they succeed because

03:05:49   I really like what they're doing and I like their aesthetic. I worry that a company that, you know,

03:05:55   there's a limit, you know, when they need to get to a certain critical mass of production, I think,

03:06:01   to make, to be a successful company. It's frustrating. I, you know, we have, we both,

03:06:08   I know, we both already, not just you, I know several friends who are on the list.

03:06:12   And I don't know anybody who's gotten it off the list, even though they're obviously out there on

03:06:17   the road. The list is longer than the number of people who've already got them, which is

03:06:22   frustrating but understandable. But I really do hope that they succeed and can ramp up

03:06:28   production and become more of a name. It's a remarkable product.

03:06:34   Jared: Yeah, and what they're doing, I'm more excited about them than I am about most

03:06:40   or all other car makers right now. Because, you know, and I said this in ATP too, so forgive

03:06:45   me if you listen to that. But if you looked at the car market, there's like the old

03:06:51   way of doing things, where everything is like these different components everyone buys from

03:06:54   somebody and you know, you buy a computer module from this company, you know, you buy

03:06:58   your this module from this company and then you put the car together and it's exactly

03:07:03   like what you'd expect from something that's built from a whole bunch of components from

03:07:07   different vendors that no one was really integrating them that well. And it's like building a

03:07:12   PC and it's like the world of PCs.

03:07:14   Right. And that.

03:07:15   Where everything is like more complicated than it needs to be, doesn't really quite

03:07:19   work together as well as it could.

03:07:21   And then you have Tesla and Rivian,

03:07:24   who are doing everything like super custom,

03:07:27   a lot more in-house stuff, at least in-house designs,

03:07:31   a ton more integration work, custom UI and all the stuff.

03:07:36   The level of integration they have

03:07:38   and the way they're doing things,

03:07:40   and even some of the features they have

03:07:42   that no one else is really doing.

03:07:44   Like I was saying, one of the things I miss most

03:07:45   about not having an electric car right now

03:07:48   is the Tesla dog mode.

03:07:51   - Yeah.

03:07:52   - Where I can go on, like, we use this so much

03:07:54   'cause we're constantly driving back and forth

03:07:57   between different places.

03:07:57   So, like, the whole family will go,

03:07:59   we'll have the dog with us,

03:08:00   'cause we're going for like a weekend,

03:08:02   and oh, we wanna stop on the way

03:08:03   for a restaurant or something.

03:08:05   And then you gotta leave the dog in the car.

03:08:07   And like, okay, well now you have to get out of the car,

03:08:11   get out of the gas car, lock it, turn the remote start on.

03:08:15   The remote start gives you 30 minutes,

03:08:16   and you gotta run it.

03:08:17   "Okay, we have 30 minutes of heat for the dog."

03:08:20   And then the car is running,

03:08:22   spewing gas at the back the whole time.

03:08:23   And it's just, it's a mess.

03:08:26   And then you look at what you could do with Tesla and Rivian

03:08:28   you could put it in dog mode.

03:08:29   And it's, you could do it from, it's indefinite

03:08:33   and well until the battery runs out at least

03:08:34   but that's a very, very long time.

03:08:36   - Right, just-- - And it's such

03:08:37   a better feature.

03:08:37   Like, there's stuff like that.

03:08:39   So like, what Rivian and Tesla are doing

03:08:42   is so much nicer and better and more forward looking

03:08:45   than what almost anyone else is doing.

03:08:47   - And Rivian's doing a way better job than Tesla

03:08:49   at being that kind of company right now.

03:08:52   And unless Tesla has a major leadership change,

03:08:55   I don't see them solving the flaws they do have.

03:08:59   And look, I've been a huge Tesla fan

03:09:02   for most of the last seven or eight years, whatever it's been

03:09:05   I'm not saying Tesla's bad,

03:09:07   Rivian's just doing that playbook much better

03:09:10   in a much more mature and deliberate and controlled way.

03:09:16   And so I'm very excited for Rivian's future.

03:09:19   I really, really hope that they,

03:09:21   I don't really follow the financials

03:09:24   and stuff like that of these companies.

03:09:27   So whatever stage of the company that Rivian's in right now,

03:09:31   I hope they're on the good path

03:09:33   and that they scale up whatever they need to scale up

03:09:36   because they're doing such great work

03:09:40   with what they have so far.

03:09:42   And I really, really hope that they are rewarded for it.

03:09:46   - Well said.

03:09:48   I say we call that a wrap.

03:09:51   Thank you very much for your time as ever.

03:09:54   And thank you also for all of the advice

03:09:56   you give me on what to buy.

03:09:57   (laughs)

03:09:58   - Yeah, no problem.

03:09:59   - Although I guess I gave you some camera advice recently.

03:10:04   - Yeah.

03:10:05   - So I got to return the favor a little bit.

03:10:09   And let me thank our very fine sponsors,

03:10:13   our good friends at Squarespace,

03:10:14   where you can build your own website, make your next move,

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03:10:35   Of course, Marco's show with his fine co-hosts, John Siracusa and Casey Liss, is ATP at ATP.fm.

03:10:45   You're over on Mastodon now. How do we do this? What's your handle?

03:10:53   Tim Cynova I am @marcoarmint@mastodon.social. It's so awkward.

03:10:58   - Right, but if you're using any of these budding,

03:11:02   burgeoning clients, if you just search for Marco Arment,

03:11:07   you are guaranteed to find him,

03:11:08   which is perhaps the better way to do it.

03:11:10   It's like instead of, that's why I said,

03:11:12   how do we do this?

03:11:13   It's less, it's almost a better way, right?

03:11:18   In a sense, where the handles on Twitter

03:11:21   is an awkward sort of techy looking thing,

03:11:24   just search for Marco Arment

03:11:27   in your favorite Mastodon client and you'll find Marco

03:11:30   in the same way that you'll find me.

03:11:32   And you should, by the way, we didn't talk about it,

03:11:34   but join us there, it's friggin' awesome and fun

03:11:38   and doesn't seem to have any jerks.

03:11:42   I don't know, I don't know how long it's gonna--

03:11:44   - It has some, but it's such a smaller percentage.

03:11:47   You can just easily mute them.

03:11:48   - Yeah, it is like Twitter of old and it's wonderful.

03:11:53   That however long it's lasts, I'm all in.

03:11:56   So thank you, Marco.