The Talk Show

393: ‘An Asterisk on the Bento Box’, With Marco Arment


00:00:00   Well, running the gamut here, it's the third and final of the ATP Triumvirate in a row, back to back to back. I don't think I've ever done this before.

00:00:09   No. Closest was when I had you three guys on stage before I upgraded to Apple execs at the live show.

00:00:16   I admit I was getting a little nervous because you had John and Casey on and then I just didn't hear from you for like a month. So I was like, damn, am I getting snubbed here? Like, what's going on?

00:00:25   Well, you know how money falls through my fingers like water and also time. Yes, I'm not good with money and I'm not good with time. But you and I missed our somewhat traditional in-person summer recording, which we've been doing for several years.

00:00:42   Well, me and my family have been guests at your beach house. And then you and I, the fun loving vacationers that we are, always take an entire afternoon to record an episode of the show in person.

00:00:56   But we missed that last summer. And I think you haven't been on since February, but here you are.

00:01:02   I mean, this is a good one. I'm happy to take this one.

00:01:04   Yeah. So in the big picture, I feel like there's three big things on the agenda. There's this Apple Watch patent situation with Massimo.

00:01:16   There's this app store external payment link entitlement. I think I'm getting the link. EPL, I remember that whole fiasco.

00:01:27   And then I don't know if you've heard, Apple has a major new product coming out.

00:01:33   Talk about bad PR timing for the company. How bad is it that at the time they are launching this major new product that has been years in the making, lots of the company contributing lots of different pieces to it?

00:01:45   Like it's a huge ordeal to launch Vision Pro and Vision OS and this whole platform. And now we're talking about these dumb lawsuits and app store BS instead.

00:01:53   Like that's got to irritate people. It should irritate people there, especially the parts of it that are their fault. It should absolutely irritate them.

00:01:59   At the very highest level, I do feel all three stories come together and the watch one is a little more random, but I still think there is to repeat the theme from our most recent episode of dithering, Apple reaps what it sows, right?

00:02:14   That's the theme of all of this. I just got done listening to the most recent ATP. Well, I'm going to get the number here.

00:02:23   570. And my favorite part about the whole episode was how fired up Casey was. Oh, yeah. Right?

00:02:34   Casey, the polite one, right? The one who I think is most likely to, well, John's not really a cursor, but he was dropping F bombs.

00:02:44   He's raising his voice. He's very upset, but I think you guys captured that moment, right? It is true.

00:02:53   Ideally, Apple would have nothing on its plate. And I think in general, Januarys and Februarys are very good times to launch tech products and get a lot of attention to yourself.

00:03:07   The Macintosh back in 1984 launched on January 24th. That anniversary is coming up. That's another thing, too. If there's one other thing that would be a nothing but high note for Apple, it's that the 40th anniversary of the Macintosh is falling while this episode you and I are recording is going to be current.

00:03:27   And instead of having nothing but this exciting new platform with which everybody has incredibly strong opinions about for good reason and a celebration of the great Macintosh platform.

00:03:44   There's all of this stuff that just stinks. It just smells bad. It's awful. Nobody outside the company looks at this and thinks, oh, this is a or it's not fun to talk about. Doesn't make Apple look good.

00:03:58   You're the one who said it on ATP, but I totally have been thinking this all along. Some of these people at Apple have been working for this Vision Pro launch, I think since like 2017. I forget when Rockwell joined the company. And who knows?

00:04:12   It certainly feels like we're looking at like a five to seven year lead up to this. This is a huge operation to get this done.

00:04:19   Yeah, I would say you can definitely pin it as a plan. Like, OK, this is greenlit. We don't know where it's going to end up, but let's go when ARKit became a thing in iOS. It just couldn't be more transparent, literally, in some ways. That ARKit was not about doing AR on a five inch screen that you hold in front of your face.

00:04:46   It did pretty well for Pokemon Go. Yeah, and there were uses, you know, like IKEA and other things have had the furniture drops and stuff like that. But it's clearly leaning towards this. And now we know.

00:04:57   I think AR type developers who've been embracing those APIs had a big leg up for Vision OS in the way that like when the iPhone came out in the App Store in 2008, that Coco developers from Mac OS X had a leg up because there was this, oh, I'm familiar with all of these frames.

00:05:16   Well, you know, UIKit was different than AppKit, but it's like going from America to England. You're speaking the same language. Well, you know what I mean? It's not like going to Italy or France where you're like, I don't know what the hell you're saying.

00:05:31   These people have been working on this for a very long time. It's also been interesting that compare and contrast with Project Titan, the car project or whatever it's going to wind up being, there have been seemingly no turmoil within the ranks, right?

00:05:47   There's Mike Rockwell got hired and here he is on launch day. He still leads the project. There have never been reports of upheaval or resets within the project. They have been slowly and steadily, consistently.

00:06:01   This seems like a very successful project, but an enormous amount of work. I know that there are a lot of engineers inside Apple who have been full time on this project for a long time and here their launch the week before is dominated in the press by this App Store external link entitlement thing and secondarily the watch thing.

00:06:27   Yeah, I think we're seeing the best and the worst of Apple simultaneously. You look at what it takes to get something like Vision OS and Vision Pro out there.

00:06:37   And they went over a bunch of this at WBC during the unveiling, but it's worth going back and paying attention to that because there's so many little details in Vision OS and just the basics of putting on this headset and being able to see the room around you. That alone, huge amount of work. All the different subsystems that are required.

00:06:57   The hardware, the software, all the different algorithms that are required to make that at all useful and good and not to mention as good as it is. It is a massive amount of work.

00:07:09   And then you throw in like, oh, by the way, now that you just have basically a blank desktop to work on, now we have to also run applications on top of that and the application layers and the way lighting reflects off the windows, the way like the sound is positioned, how it reacts to your environment.

00:07:27   Like there are so many subsystems and techniques and details that they did to get this right. I mean, what a tremendously massive effort this has been. And it appears to have been, setting aside whatever happened in the market, but it appears to be on the technical level, a pretty substantial win.

00:07:47   It looks like they really nailed it. And to the limited experience I've had with it, I can agree. They have nailed it. It's really, really good. And then at the same time, this is coming out into the world after all this, you have maybe different parts of the company causing all this consternation and criticism and inviting, just as you mentioned, like provoking regulators almost, like just inviting tons of hell to rain down upon them because they just will not give an inch.

00:08:15   And the watch and the App Store thing are kind of the same. They're two different sides of the same problem of like, Apple does not negotiate. They just don't. If you look at historically areas in which Apple had to negotiate where they weren't in positions of power, they're not very good at it.

00:08:31   We always hear like, wow, Steve Jobs walked in and talk people into stuff and in more recent years, maybe at EQ or whatever. But if you look at areas in which Apple does not really have the upper hand, they don't do very well in those negotiations typically. The outcomes of those tend to be a lot worse for them. And I think the reason why is because they're not very good at negotiating when they don't have the upper hand. Kind of the corporate attitude and ethos is, we know we're awesome. And if you don't like it, there's the door.

00:08:56   And as a result, when they're in a position like it seems like the room with with Massimo with the Apple Watch patent, or when they're in a position with like regulators or courts, they don't do super well in that kind of context, because they don't really know how to budge or they refuse to budge.

00:09:12   And it seems like the not budging technique has worked so well for them so often over time, that they don't really seem to be able to recognize when that's the wrong move.

00:09:23   I think ultimately, I wrote this in one of my posts this week that the buck stops at Tim Cook's desk, right? He's the CEO. He's been the CEO. He's overall and from certain perspectives done a phenomenal job. And in some ways, I think I, I forget Have you watched The Godfather?

00:09:42   Yeah, not not recently, but yes, I have. But there's, but only part one.

00:09:57   A wise advisor, and you want a very different sort of person in peacetime, when you're getting along with the other mafia families, and a very different mindset when you're expecting gunfights and assassinations.

00:10:13   And there's so many what ifs, but the what if where Steve Jobs had ideally never gotten cancer, or if he had somehow stayed at one step ahead of it for longer or until now. I do think Tim Cook is seriously a better CEO from a traditional what is the role of the CEO of a major Fortune 500 or Fortune One, right?

00:10:38   Fortune One or two company than Steve Jobs, because Jobs had a sort of impulsive streak that was very, very much the mindset of the sort of guy who starts a company like this in his garage, a real startup founder, and just little things, right? Like it just in a history of Steve Jobs's tenure, like that stupid, backdated stock options scandal, you know?

00:11:03   Yeah, all the employee poaching stuff like this.

00:11:08   The employee poaching stuff like I think Steve Jobs came very, very close or maybe technically broke the law. It was a gray area with those backdated stock options. It wasn't about committing outright fraud. I think what he wanted to do was more or less in common sense. That seems fair. But common sense isn't what applies when the SEC comes and wants to look at your books and wants to see when things were actually signed, right?

00:11:37   The spirit of the law doesn't really matter to the SEC.

00:11:40   Yeah, I'm pretty sure a valid defense of the SEC never begins with, "Eh."

00:11:45   Yeah. What was your other example?

00:11:48   The employee poaching thing.

00:11:49   Yes, right, right. Where he had like emails to, I can't believe, as bad as I've gotten with names, I remember the then CEO of Adobe was Bruce Chizen. And it was like just a real testy email from Jobs to him.

00:12:06   Are there any other kinds of emails from Jobs?

00:12:08   Well, I think that they're either really testy or they're extremely friendly, right? You've seen them. Some of them are like really, really, it's like, "Oh, man, when Steve Jobs is smiling at your work, you feel like a million bucks."

00:12:22   And when he said it was like, "Bruce, I thought we..." It's like Jobs found out that Adobe had hired some Apple engineers and he sent them like, "Bruce, I thought we had agreed that we weren't going to poach each other. If you disagree, we'll open the floodgates."

00:12:37   Sort of a nice staff you have there at Adobe. Right? It was like a mob threat, right? Nice staff you have. Let's see who can win in a bidding war trying to poach each other's employees.

00:12:50   And then Bruce Chizen was like, "Oh, oh." And like the next day sent like a thing to Adobe HR that was like, "Hey, let's not hire any Apple employees." All of it, illegal.

00:13:00   And again, both letter of the law and spirit of the law, right? It's hard to work up as much sympathy for highly paid start in the six-figure range engineers in Silicon Valley compared to Starbucks's unionizing around the country where the baristas are not making six-figure salaries.

00:13:24   Or warehouse workers at Amazon or like when UPS negotiated a new union contract last year. We all admit all those of us who spend our days warm inside with our fingers on keyboards and trackpads can appreciate or should appreciate that these are really good jobs that pay a little bit more and aren't as physically grueling.

00:13:45   But common sense, it is not right for the conspiracy, a literal conspiracy, not like a conspiracy theory between the CEOs of the biggest companies in the industry who are all consolidated, you know, and this whole thing happened before the work from home thing in the same area to all say we're not going to hire each other's engineers.

00:14:08   And bad luck. Tim Cook doesn't get caught up in those sort of things. I can't think of one, right? I can't think of one.

00:14:15   Well, it's kind of hard to, I mean, obviously from the outside, we haven't seen one like that, but it's fairly difficult from the outside to get a good read on Cook's leadership style and techniques.

00:14:25   We don't see almost any of it. So it's a little hard to judge. I mean, we've heard stories here and there. Sometimes people have written about what he's like. It seems like there's a lot of force of will going on there, which I think sounds like it was very much like we heard about Steve Jobs too.

00:14:40   It seems like people around him just very quickly realize what he needs and get on it because he just kind of stares them down or dismisses them very abruptly, it seems from these stories. And who knows if that's true or not, but in both cases between Steve and Tim, I think we see a similar theme of Steve really didn't care that much what was legal and what was right as defined by other people.

00:15:04   Steve had his own morals and they mostly aligned with the law and what they're allowed to do and contracts and everything, but he did whatever he wanted most of the time and just kind of let people make it work for him somehow.

00:15:17   And I think we see a lot of that with Tim Cook as well in different style, of course, Tim's a very different style of person, but that kind of sheer force of will type of leadership.

00:15:26   And it goes back to what I was saying a minute ago, I get the feeling that's how they negotiate too with sheer force of will, which is not much of a negotiation. I see it as a developer, of course, as we'll get to.

00:15:37   When Apple dictates terms to developers, we basically just have to say, "Okay," because we have no leverage in that negotiation and Apple is accustomed to having leverage.

00:15:48   And so when they are met with another immovable force, like a government or a court, they really don't deal well with it.

00:15:58   I think they have a profound and I'm not sure if it's intentional or not inability to read the room in those kind of situations.

00:16:07   They say things that are outrageous sounding to a lot of people listening, not just the commenters like me, but even the judges, the courts, the regulators, the things, the way Apple defends itself, the actions they take in these contexts are pretty brazen a lot of times.

00:16:21   And it seems like it's working against their cause a lot of the time. And again, it just seems like when they are in a position where they cannot just dictate through sheer force of will and leverage whatever they want, it seems like they do poorly.

00:16:34   So let's start with the watch thing, just get it out of the way, because I guess it's the least interesting. But it is sort of nothing like this has ever happened before.

00:16:44   I mean, and I think as a summary, there's a company called Massimo. They've had patents on these blood oxygen sensors for a long time. That's sort of their core business.

00:16:58   Yeah, they're a big medical device company. And we've heard from a lot of people since talking about an ATP, we've heard a lot of feedback from like, doctors and other medical workers saying like, yeah, they're actually a pretty big deal. And they've revolutionized specifically blood oxygen sensors. So this is actually like this is their thing.

00:17:13   Right. And I believe until somewhat recently, the only way to monitor your blood oxygen was to actually get the blood, which sucks. There's no way to actually get blood out of a patient, whether it's a one time test, or like an IV or if you're hospitalized for some kind of condition, the way that they have these sensors that can read this continuously.

00:17:35   And like the ones, some of their sensors aren't consumer devices, they're pro grade hospital, 24 hour a day, constant monitoring of a patient whose blood oxygen might be problematic, and to do it non invasively, in other words, without puncturing the skin.

00:17:50   Yeah, and in particular, we heard this is extremely important for infants.

00:17:53   Yeah, it's kind of hard to get like an IV and an infant, of course. And so but apparently, they have revolutionized that area as well. And it's really quite beneficial.

00:18:01   Right. And I don't even know the details of what the condition is. But apparently, one of the how is the outcome better for the infant is avoiding blindness.

00:18:12   I don't know. I don't think about this. All I know is that it isn't just some patent troll, like they're a real company making real medical devices that seem to have a pretty good impact on the world.

00:18:21   Right. But it's if the basic story is the doctors come and say to you, we have terrible news, your infant has a condition, and we need to watch them. And the good outcome is they can see and the bad outcome is they're going to grow up with either very low vision or no vision or something like that.

00:18:39   And the sensors can help them steer this towards a good outcome. This, you know, great, great. This is medical progress at its very best with very high stakes that mean a lot to people.

00:18:51   Anybody who would any parent who would find themselves in that situation would be like, Oh, thank God this technology exists. So that's the company.

00:19:00   They've won in the International Trade Commission has ruled that there's at least two patents I believe they hold doesn't really matter. But some of their patents were thrown out but they've got enough that the ITC instituted an import ban for the Apple Watch as violating Massimo's patents.

00:19:19   And we all remember a month ago the song and dance that conveniently worked out where the Apple was allowed to sell them up and throw until December 23, or the 24th. I forget how close to Christmas they got.

00:19:32   But it was so interesting as a close Apple Watcher watching the way Apple messaged that right. And it was so curious that they they gave like the initial statement of the deadline to chance Miller at nine to five Mac, who I've met. He's a very I met him at.

00:19:51   I think I saw him at the iPhone event in September, maybe it was WWDC but a very, very nice, very nice guy. I'm very happy for him that he got an exclusive statement. But yeah, they gave it only to him. Right? Yeah. And and he I was chatting with him about it was among the he was as as surprised as anybody that nine to five Mac was the one and only outlet that got the statement.

00:20:12   And I guess the calculus on Apple's part, this is where it's fun to sort of do the Cupertino ology was, they didn't want to make it big news that that they're losing this patent fight. So they didn't want to go to like the Wall Street Journal.

00:20:28   They're not going to go to Bloomberg because they kind of don't like Bloomberg. Right? The Wall Street Journal is often their friendly sort of here's where we'll go with something to appease the stock market. They went to nine to five Mac. But but they wanted to get it out there to let people know, hey, if you're going to buy anybody, if you've got Apple Watch on your Christmas list, get it now. Right?

00:20:51   What that was that was reading between the lines. It was crystal clear, but they never came out and said that. Right? I mean, certainly, I think choosing nine to five mag, I think what that does, and choosing specifically only nine to five Mac is, it seems like maybe it was a strategy to like, look, we don't want everyone to know about this, because it's kind of embarrassing for us.

00:21:11   So let's just make sure like the enthusiasts and the press know about it, and not every consumer in America. Right? Even though I'm sure they had to consider the fact that there were lots and lots of average, truly average Americans who pay attention to these details, like an average person, which is to say not at all. Right?

00:21:34   I mean, I remember like halfway through December, I got a call from Amy's uncle, because he knows what I do. And we get along great. And all he wanted to say he wanted to buy his wife an Apple Watch for Christmas. And she had an older she still has an older iPhone. I forget he knew which one it was. It was like, I don't know, maybe like an iPhone eight or something.

00:21:56   I don't know, four or five year old iPhone, would it still work with a new Apple Watch? And I said, Yes, it will. I looked it up, whatever it was. That's the type of question people have. And he knew he thought he would be better to ask me than to ask Apple Store. So people don't pay attention to stuff like that.

00:22:14   The last thing they're going to know is, hey, Apple Store is going to be unable to sell them on the 24th. Right? So they wanted to get that out. But anyway, the other thing that happened this week was who had it where there was a link to it where somebody talked to the CEO of Massimo. Oh, this is a very fun quote.

00:22:33   Because Bloomberg, right? Yeah, I really feel yeah, blue, German again, I said this on dithering the other day, Germans last two weeks have been absolutely phenomenal. He's been all over the vision pro news all over the App Store stuff with Netflix and Spotify, etc, not being there. And even this stuff like it's sort of outside what we were now, German for for leaking or knowing whispers of a year in advance Apple products, just like the breaking news on the Apple Watch.

00:23:02   Absolutely killing it. And if you actually go through tech mean, everybody writing about this stuff. Ultimately, if you follow where the sourcing goes, it goes back to German at Bloomberg. So really just all star month so far for Mark Gurman at Bloomberg. He got a quote from this Massimo CEO, what's his name here, Joe Kiani. I really feel wholeheartedly that consumers are better off without it. I mean, he's just throwing apples. He's saying it's inaccurate. It's nowhere near as good as it is.

00:23:31   And I think he's doing it because he knows that gets under Apple skin. Oh, yeah, right. I mean, well, and part of it is like, I mean, look, Massimo is like they're making quote real medical devices like this. This is a company that is operating in a very different environment than Apple. They're making actual medical devices for use in hospitals. Like, that's a very different ballgame than a sensor in an Apple Watch for a couple hundred bucks that is meant for a kind of more cash flow.

00:24:00   consumer use and definitely not specific, precise medical use. Like what he's saying, basically, is Apple is saying they're offering a medical device and it's not that good. That's basically what he's saying. And I'm not sure Apple is saying that. Like, I think this is obviously strategy between the companies, I'm sure but like, I don't think Apple is overstating the medical value of the sensors in the Apple Watch whenever they either in the software or in the marketing of the Apple Watch.

00:24:29   Right. And in reality, I think the Apple Watch does, you know, very well at the things that it tries to do. It's not massively inaccurate. It's not as good as some kind of dedicated device would be. And we see the same thing like with the heart rate monitoring to like, if you wear one of those like chest mounted heart rate monitors for like, like certain that certain runners wear and stuff like that. Yeah, they're gonna be more accurate than a thing on your wrist that cost a lot less like, of course, but the Apple Watch does a really good kind of like, overall high quality.

00:24:58   It does a really good overall high level job at these sensors. It's not as good as dedicated things will be, but it doesn't pretend to be. And so I think this is mostly just the Massimo CEO. I mean, he has given a number of statements over the course of this trial that show that he really just wants to stick it to Apple. Like he just does not like the way Apple steps all over patents. He does not like how they do business and he's trying to make an example out of them. So he's gonna drag them any way he possibly can.

00:25:25   Yeah, I kind of feel like the analogy that comes to mind is like if there was some kind of patent dispute over and again, patents can be so fucking stupid that this isn't even ridiculous. But if there's a patent dispute over the door that closes a pickup truck, and Chevy were found in violation of a patent owned by Caterpillar tractor.

00:25:49   It's like Caterpillar tractor throwing a Chevy pickup truck under the bus for how much how much it can haul. And you know, this is construction equipment. You know what I mean? This is a different market.

00:26:02   This is like some kind of big tractor that you have to like climb up a ladder to get into versus a consumer pickup truck. But they're coming at it from a perspective of hey, our stuff is professional and he's slagging them because they're not medically certified. But Apple hasn't gotten them medically certified because that would be a whole nightmare of regulatory compliance in every single country they want to sell it.

00:26:23   And like you said, I think overall, as Apple Watch has added more health sensors, I was gonna say medical, but let's say health sensors over the years. It's only been an upside, right? And if they're not perfect in the way that a medical grade one would need to be, the downside isn't that bad, right?

00:26:44   Like so there are an Apple loves to keep track of these things. They make movies about them to open WWDCs with repeatedly and I think it's real that they're saving people's lives that somebody got like a thing on their watch that says hey, your your defibrillation rate, whatever it's called, was irregular.

00:27:05   Maybe you want to get a check it out and you go to the doctor and they're like hey, you got like a serious heart condition. You need help. People who wouldn't have gone to the doctor are going to the doctor for a thing and possibly saving their lives.

00:27:18   And what's the worst case scenario? You get that warning and you go to your doctor and they check you out and they're like, ah, no, I don't think it was a false alarm. That's not that bad, right? I mean, well, you went to the doctor.

00:27:30   I mean, so I think the general consensus is that these sensors have been very successful.

00:27:36   Yeah, I think if you compare like if you're looking at precision of a single reading or detail level of a single reading, yeah, maybe Apple won't do as well as a dedicated device but like the massive advantage of the Apple watch health sensors have is I think there's two. Number one is like if all of a sudden you need say a pulse ox sensor or a heart rate sensor or something like you might not have ever needed that before or might not realize you need it.

00:28:03   And so you might not have purchased one separately, but you just happen to already have one. And the second advantage is that it because it is part of this thing you're wearing every day anyway. It has history and it can it can do continuous or periodic overtime monitoring.

00:28:19   And so if you get one reading from like, suppose like when COVID was new, and we were all really getting freaked out by it and hearing all these stories about blood oxygen dropping precipitously and everything like if you had if you went out to the drugstore and bought a pulse oximeter and you brought it home, you took a reading like okay, well, I guess I'm 96 or whatever.

00:28:40   Well, what was I yesterday? I don't know what am I normally I don't know, with the Apple Watch, I know the sensor wasn't there at the time, but it came soon afterwards with the Apple Watch. If all of a sudden you have a need to look at one of these metrics that it's been collecting, you have a huge amount of context and history to say, what is what have I been before? What is my normal range?

00:28:58   And that's something that if the individual readings are a little bit imprecise compared to a dedicated device, that kind of stuff matters a lot less because the Apple Watch has this massive power of a you already have it, and be you have a history.

00:29:12   Yeah. So how did they get here? Right? This the same interview with Bloomberg. Now again, you have to take it with a grain of salt because it's all from one side and Apple seemingly they went to Apple, you know, it's a dispute when Bloomberg went to Apple for comment and Apple gave them a comment not on the record.

00:29:30   There's no there's no quote marks around it, but Apple disputed. Here's the paragraph reading from Bloomberg. Massimo's CEO said he hasn't spoken to Apple personally about a settlement. Weird, in my opinion, and that nobody from Apple has reached out about coming to an agreement.

00:29:48   Quote, there are court ordered mediations that I cannot get into that have been held before, and there will be additional meetings probably, probably in the future. Kiani added that he doesn't consider those meetings to be steps toward settling litigation.

00:30:04   Again, that is a really eye opening statement, in my opinion. Apple disputed Kiani's characterization that nobody from Apple has reached out saying that the company has held a mediation and that a future meeting has been set.

00:30:18   So it sounds to me like what reading between the lines of all that that Kiani is saying the court has ordered us to have mediation and we've had some of those and some of them are coming and because they're court ordered I can't really talk about them other than the fact that they exist.

00:30:34   But I don't think those court ordered mediations are getting us towards a settlement at all. Tim Cook just hasn't called him up and said, Hey, let's go get coffee and talk this out. No, that's that or Eddie Q, who might might be a better I don't know, but nobody has done that.

00:30:51   And Apple is responding by saying that these court ordered mediations are proof that there's been some they're not disagreeing with each other. They're just disagreeing whether the meetings they have had have been working towards a solution.

00:31:07   I read this to believe that this guy Kiani I don't know what he's after. I don't know if he has a dollar sign in his head and they're just nowhere near it or if he is just sort of like Apple, which we'll talk about with the App Store that he's just got it in his head that they're right and he's not even given them a number and he really thinks he's he's gonna win.

00:31:28   I mean, I don't know anything about this guy, but we do know Apple and I think we can look at Apple and we can say how likely is it that Apple is trying to license this patent and settle with them?

00:31:39   It seems like it's not that likely. It seems like the much more likely outcome or the explanation for how we got here is Apple is just digging in and refusing to even admit that they might be infringing here and they don't want to have to pay Massimo for every Apple Watch sold or have to buy some expensive patent or have to use Massimo sensor instead of theirs inside the actual physical device like whatever those options might look like.

00:32:03   Apple doesn't want any of those options and and we've seen like similar what they're doing with that back with the legal fees probably get to like if you come after Apple Apple comes after you hard and they like they don't want to give you a dime.

00:32:18   They want to ruin you like he's like they and it's part of legal strategy. I'm sure like they're using massive intimidation tactics to make sure that no one ever comes after them without knowing that they're going to get crushed which is not a great look in lots of ways, but that's what they're doing and I think what they want here Massimo came after them with a whole bunch of patent allegations Apple has gotten many of those patents invalidated.

00:32:41   Now that doesn't mean that like they can't use them against Apple. It means they can't use them against anybody. So what Apple is trying to demonstrate here is fine. You come after us with a patent lawsuit. We are going to invalidate all of your patents and destroy you.

00:32:54   That's that's what they're that's their attitude with this and I mean look neither of us are patent lawyers. This is probably a strategy that lots of companies use but it looks pretty gross from here and it's not like it's not a good look for Apple, especially that this is this is not just some patent role again like this is a this is another American company doing really good stuff in the medical field seems so there's not like it's not like some like non sympathetic troll that's irritating the company that we love Apple.

00:33:23   It's like no, this is just another American company that's trying to do good work. So Apple's in a pretty unenviable position here and I think they don't look very good while doing it, but it does seem like their negotiation tactics such as it is has been basically just no, we're not going to pay you. We're going to try to destroy you and they've now reached this impasse where they cannot get this last.

00:33:46   I think it's one patent this last one valid invalidated like they're just stuck and the right solution is just to settle but what Apple has done instead is screw their customers by saying all right, you know what this feature has been on our watch for three or four years now.

00:34:02   It's just gone now. Good luck like it and I and I think this is again like we see sometimes Apple's negotiation or attitude gets in their own way and I think look it was it was good for them to have fought this because I mean look for our show like we are no fans of the patent system.

00:34:19   Well, John John was on John really would like to see the whole thing scrapped right not like I would do honestly I would to like I am not a fan of the patent system at all. I think the story that we tell each other about what it does is not what it does and it causes a massive amount of harm and and burden in the process and the whole I think I think it's predicated on a fairy tale that doesn't really happen very often in real life.

00:34:42   So anyway patent system is a mess but the fact is Apple is a willing participant in it and when doing business in the world you kind of have to be but Apple Apple doesn't just participate in the patent system to the bare minimum.

00:34:55   They are a full-blown participant in it. So like they they filed tons of their own patents. They will gladly use them against anybody else at any chance they get so rest assured.

00:35:05   This isn't Apple being the victim of some broken system. This is Apple willingly participating in this system and just literally just not winning this particular fight.

00:35:15   So what they what they really need to do is play in the system pay the tax actually license this patent and whatever form that might take that they can work out with Masimo and it seems like they that is so seemingly unpalatable to Apple that they are trying to do every single thing possible to avoid that outcome.

00:35:34   Including now screwing their own customers and making their product worse.

00:35:38   Yep, they do it so often that they have the exact same text expander snippet that they put out. Apple occasionally buys smaller companies from time to time and blah blah blah.

00:35:51   We don't talk about what we plan to do with the acquisition and I think that they buy those companies from time to time when they think those companies are playing ball with them and not leaking.

00:36:05   I think that if you were if you and I form a company and Apple comes to us and sort of starts putting out feelers that they might buy us and we leak that Apple might be buying this.

00:36:17   I feel like there's a much higher likelihood that Apple is no longer going to buy us.

00:36:22   They bought tons of little mapping companies as they built out Apple Maps into the respectable mapping platform that it is today.

00:36:31   They really do do that, but they like to keep it quiet and Masimo did not want to keep it quiet.

00:36:37   And so here we are, but I do feel ultimately it falls on Tim Cook to just at some point and this is where it seems like Jobs had a gift that as stubborn as he was and as righteous as he could be.

00:36:52   That ultimately no matter what if he really needed to he could change his mind on anything.

00:36:58   There's multiple times it's been reported. I think Steven Levy had it. I just mentioned his great iPod book called The Perfect Little Thing.

00:37:10   Just it's like a 10 chapter book about the creation of the iPod back when I think it was published in 2007 like the same year the iPhone came out and the gimmick one of the gimmicks of the book was that every copy you bought had the 10 chapters in random order because they were shuffled.

00:37:27   Can you imagine the printing nightmare that must have been?

00:37:30   I wonder I bet it wasn't really random and that there were really what like I don't know five SKUs five different orders because 10 factorial is a pretty big number if you really randomized it completely.

00:37:44   But one of the anecdotes was the sort of behind the scenes of how did Apple ever decide to actually ship iTunes for Windows and Jobs was opposed on the grounds the end it turns out it was what we all thought from the outside that the original idea was the iPod as a Mac exclusive device would be a way to steer more people to buy Macs that this is a device to sort of bolster this platform that still needed bolstering.

00:38:13   And Phil Schiller and others were like, hey, we could sell a lot of these things if we just let it sell them to everybody, including Windows users.

00:38:22   And eventually Jobs was like the story was like, all right, fine, whatever you do it. I don't want anything. I don't want to know about it. Just go do it.

00:38:29   Change his mind.

00:38:30   There's a moment here with this massive thing where no matter how right Apple thinks they are no matter and I do get the impression I nobody I don't have any little birdies telling me the actual what they're actually thinking but because it's it's too too too legal right there not going to leak anybody.

00:38:47   But I really do. I just smell it. I can smell it that I think Apple really thinks that the other remaining patents should be thrown out to or that they can get them thrown out that they're going to win.

00:39:00   They're going to get these patents thrown out and just be able to walk away from this.

00:39:04   But it's too late. I feel like the time to do that was before this import ban came into effect and that somebody should have just said, well, it doesn't matter if we're right.

00:39:13   Either me and Eddie or Eddie or whatever. Let's just go meet with this guy and let's figure it out on a personal basis and that Jobs did things like that right there was like who knows what the hell they were talking about but it was like after the whole Android we're going to war with them when like the last year or so of Steve Jobs's life somebody snap in our industry.

00:39:36   There aren't many paparazzi pictures, but somebody snapped a picture of Jobs with Eric Schmidt who is still the CEO of Google at the time having tea or coffee at one of those strip malls somewhere between Mountain View and Cupertino.

00:39:49   Just hey, let's figure something out. I don't know you know that they weren't just shooting the shit about movies. They were talking about something right?

00:39:56   That's ultimately sometimes no matter how big the company is you just have to make it personal like the way that small indie companies work where you just go face to face don't bring lawyers will get the lawyers involved afterwards, but let's get a handshake deal.

00:40:11   Then we'll go back to our respective companies and then get the lawyers together and hash it out and it didn't happen and I think it's a bad look. I really do.

00:40:20   Once it starts affecting the customers like that's when you know all right this has gone too far. We now have to make our product worse for our customers because we don't budge in this thing.

00:40:29   Like look and obviously there's a lot of like accusations of Apple being a big bully here with how they went about going to visit Massimo meeting with them then making all their own stuff stealing their people.

00:40:38   There's all this history behind this right that has generated all this tension and bad blood up to this point and I think Apple it seems like if I can guess based on those different stories we've heard.

00:40:48   If I can guess I bet Apple did meet with them back forever ago before they made this they looked around at their patents and they realized you know what we don't need to license these we can just make our own and kind of sidestep around them and some of these patents look flimsy anyway so we can probably get rid of them if they ever get challenged and we'll be fine.

00:41:03   We don't need to work with this company after all we'll just steal a couple of their people they'll come here they'll make new versions don't infringe the patents and we'll move on with our lives and be free and that was a great theory and they almost did it, but they couldn't turns out like it now they're now they're at this point where they've almost achieved.

00:41:17   What they thought they could achieve with not paying Massimo anything just taking their people making their own stuff.

00:41:23   But it didn't quite work all the way and so now they have this one or two remaining sticking patents and that's just you know it was a good effort Apple good job trying to sidestep things and keep all your money for yourself.

00:41:34   I'm sure you really needed a lot but unfortunately it didn't work you thought you fought a fight you lost that fight now and it's time to end the fight.

00:41:40   Yeah one thing I found out I haven't written it yet so who knows if I'll get to writing it before this episode drops but I have been communicating with Apple with questions about this and most of my questions they won't answer like for example they will not answer even off the record.

00:41:58   Whether like let's say you go to the Apple store today and buy a new series 9 or ultra to watch where the blood oxygen sensor is disabled by software at my question is if this gets settled in the future will those watches have the feature re enabled.

00:42:16   I'm 99.8% sure the watches still have the sensor maybe even higher than 99.8% I know certain out is but Apple has not confirmed that to anybody they've never said it they don't talk about sensors they talk about feature the feature isn't there in the watch and they will not answer the they they're off the record remark with something to the effect of we can't comment speculating about future court decisions.

00:42:45   Which is reasonable I was what I expected from them and I actually think that's probably right I wish they would give me an off the record answer but one of the questions I had was okay let's say I bought an Apple watch and they're doing this by serial numbers right or whatever they call them part numbers.

00:43:01   Yeah they gave it a part number and I think that's the whole reason it took them five or six weeks to get this in action right German again German had it German said like when this first the band was first announced that Apple is working on a software solution but it's going to take some time.

00:43:19   And I think the time was to retool manufacturing to change the serial numbers so that they could identify these watches right because one of the I don't know some number of years ago they they changed the way they produce serial numbers for all of their products because they used to be sequential in some way.

00:43:41   Now they're randomized right now they're randomized so they're more more private totally private but they're part numbers though not serial numbers but I would imagine like you think about all the logistics that might be involved there like do they have to get new FCC clearance for a new part number like all these different things that they might have to do like that's it's it's a non trivial thing to launch a new model even if the model literally has identical hardware to a different model like somewhere in there that the model has to know that it is this part number.

00:44:08   It has to be able to report that it has to be able to be accounted for it has to be shipped and packaged and all this other stuff and registered God knows where so that's probably where most of that time comes from.

00:44:18   Right so it's the Jeff Williams Sebelle Khan operations team that had to rejigger something and I think they acted as fast as they could but it took him a month because if all they wanted to do is purely do it in software and have it apply to all series 9 and series 8 and series 7 and all the ultra one and two just say oh when you upgrade to watch OS 10.3 everybody loses the feature that would have been trivial right I mean that that.

00:44:45   Would have been very destructive I think right like as an owner of one of those watches I would have been very upset and I think I don't know legally they might have put themselves into hot water with their customers like maybe people with a class action against it.

00:44:56   I think they had to do it this way yeah I and I think a lot of these class action suits are nonsense and Apple just sort of settles them in really shouldn't have lost but that's one where I think you do actually the class action would be right that you paid for it so they're not doing that.

00:45:11   If you already had a watch where the sensor worked it'll continue to work as software upgrades go because it the software that knows about this was only going to do it for certain part numbers they will not confirm whether anything that might happen in the future if they settle this somehow.

00:45:27   But my question was what happens if you have a watch that has a functioning sensor because you bought it before this week and it needs service under warranty somebody somebody bitched at me on I forget I'm on so many social networks now I never remember where it was.

00:45:43   But somebody gave me a hard time for saying on this podcast or maybe dithering but one of them that typically what happens when you need service on a watch at a store is they take it in the back and come out with a new piece of hardware and give you a new piece of hardware they don't actually take it apart and fix it.

00:46:01   That's true as far as I know there might be and somebody disputed there might be certain problems you can have where they do fix the unit I don't know I like if the digital crown get stuck they can take it back and clean it and get the grid out if you think if you don't realize you can just like run it under hot water sometimes and get a piece of sand or whatever's in there out.

00:46:20   So I'm sure there are certain things that if they can fix it in person they do but for the most part like cracked screens or just stops working or doesn't hold a charge they just give you a new piece of hardware.

00:46:32   I confirmed that if your watch was did have the sensor and you go in for warranty service and have to get a replacement watch under warranty it'll still have the feature.

00:46:42   Oh that's good yeah we speculate on this on ATP back when this decision was first happening and I believe somebody wrote in to say the way the ban works is that Apple is still allowed to give you a replacement but only while it's under warranty.

00:46:57   So if you go in with like I believe the series six or seven had the sensor two and if you go in with a series seven without a warranty and you say hey I'll pay whatever you need me to pay to get you to replace this they might not be able to do that necessarily but that if it's being replaced under warranty they are apparently allowed to do that.

00:47:15   Alright so where do you when do you think Apple's going to settle this?

00:47:30   I mean I think if Apple is going to settle this and I don't know how long that will take I mean again like there's a lot of bad blood here between these two companies over this so it might not be an easy negotiation especially because I'm sure Apple's going to be as stingy as possible while negotiating it.

00:47:58   And it seems like Massimo is in no hurry to get this to be over because they hold all the cards at this point so it might be a while but also Apple's going to keep getting all this pressure from their customers the press that hey we want this feature back or I mean honestly maybe I'm totally wrong maybe we're going to go all the way until the series ten and it won't even have one of these features.

00:48:23   Like it wouldn't simply maybe we're still talking about this in September when the next watch launches and we're like I wonder if it'll have the sensor or not.

00:48:30   Like it just who knows.

00:48:32   I think it would though because this import ban is specific to the United States. I don't even know why that is. I don't know I don't even understand why that is because it's the International Trade Commission but for whatever reason this ban I guess because the patent is only a US patent.

00:48:46   I think that's a US agency.

00:48:48   It's like a world series that only involves the US. Something like that and it's the US patent that applies.

00:48:54   Yeah.

00:48:55   But I would and honestly it's too late at this point.

00:49:00   I know how Apple hardware production works.

00:49:02   Series ten and ultra threes are already there. I mean I guess taking a sensor out and filling the spot in the watch with a do nothing piece of plastic to just hold the space where it was is possible.

00:49:19   I mean but they're not going to do that because they can still sell the sensor even if this current situation extends through September which I find extremely hard to believe they'll still sell it all in every other country around the world with the functioning sensor.

00:49:34   But what a weird announcement like that that would be excruciating for them to say it it's still what they're just I guess what they would do if it if it actually goes that far is they would have the feature in the series ten and ultra three and they'll just never mention it in the keynote in September.

00:49:54   They'll just won't even mention the feature. It'll just be listed on the web page with the asterisk that is not available in the United States.

00:50:01   Yeah, you're right.

00:50:02   But they literally I don't think they could even mention it or and what would they do with it even when they put up like the bento box slide of features.

00:50:09   Are they going to have an asterisk on the bento box right.

00:50:12   They probably won't even mention it because it isn't the new feature of the Apple Watch this year.

00:50:16   We've had it for a few years now so they probably won't even really call attention to it and the actual sensor itself.

00:50:22   I don't know much about this but I know that you can go buy a pulse oximeter to drugstore for like 20 bucks so I would guess the actual sensor itself is probably not a huge parts cost like it's probably just a couple LEDs and a couple of light sensors and then I would imagine most of the complexity is in the algorithms of reading that data.

00:50:39   So it's probably not a big problem for them to just make all of them with the sensor maybe down the road they can enable it later with software for the US users and the meantime just maintain the status quo for a while but I mean but again like Massimo doesn't need Apple to do this at all.

00:50:55   Like it isn't like Massimo needs nothing out of the settlement like they don't need Apple's business.

00:51:00   They don't need Apple's money like they have their own stuff going on.

00:51:03   They had their own company so Massimo can wait forever.

00:51:06   They're gaining untold value in publicity right now.

00:51:10   And I think their CEO sees that I never heard of them before I never would have there's no way I would have heard of them before.

00:51:16   And now and I think that's why he keeps emphasizing how good their medical grade sensors are.

00:51:22   And it's not fair, but he is he's he's he's doing a publicity campaign to associate Massimo with world class blood oximeter medical sensors, right?

00:51:34   Yeah, which why not? I don't blame him but Apple's the one who loves playing the patent game and here they finally lost so yeah, and it's it's only it seems like Apple has basically no leverage left here.

00:51:46   So they might as well just figure out a way to settle this because I don't see this going their way if they don't do that.

00:51:53   Yeah, and whatever appeals are pending or whatever else they can do.

00:51:56   It's not on their schedule.

00:51:57   They can't they can't move them forward and it seems like only Apple thinks they any of them have a chance.

00:52:03   Yeah, anyway, let's take a break here.

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00:54:31   Yeah, thank you. Yeah.

00:54:32   Well, I'm always generous with you guys.

00:54:34   Yeah, you forget what I gave a shout out to something for Casey.

00:54:39   So next let's do this goddamn. Let's just get all the ugly stuff out of the way because that's what everybody else is talking about.

00:54:45   Yeah, because I want to talk about the vision pro because it's much better than all this.

00:54:48   I know the what's it called again external payment link entitled.

00:54:56   I came up and I saw a man liked it and if man Reese liked it then I know I might be onto something.

00:55:02   It came to me in the shower yesterday like so often a good thought does where I thought you know what the proof that this stinks or is bad faith as I called it.

00:55:12   Is is any developer actually going to choose to use it and I honestly wonder I really do whether any will because to use the number one they're only complying with this because to try to make a really long story very short.

00:55:30   The one thing they lost in the epic first Apple lawsuit was on this anti steering provisions, which is steering is apps being able to tell users from within the app that you can go to our website and buy it there.

00:55:43   You could go to our website and save money.

00:55:47   I because right now like the current the rules before this were and have been for all of the app store that if you if you don't want to use apples in app purchase system and you want to instead direct people to go to your website to purchase something you like you can't do it in the app and you could have a website that has a purchase but there can be no way that people can get from the app to your website and they went hard on this like we've heard stories from lots of developers over the years of like if you have say a link in your setting screen that opens up like a web view in the app.

00:56:16   That's on one of like one of your support pages and and it is possible to navigate in that web view from that support page down to the footer go to the home page of the site and then go to a purchase page from there.

00:56:27   They'll reject your app for that like and the app reviewers will poke around as much as possible it like just to make sure there is no way to get from your app to a way to purchase outside of the app and this is how it's been since the app store began.

00:56:39   I mean like everybody thinks like oh at the top of every web page there's a company logo and you tap the company logo to go to the company homepage.

00:56:48   I've heard the same stories as you where people companies have made help pages where they remove those headers to avoid this but in the bottom there's like a copyright statement and the copyright statement you tap that and it goes to a page where there's like a legal terms of agreement and at the bottom of the legal terms of agreement there's a link to it.

00:57:08   There's a link to the home page and now you're at the home page where you can find out and they documented they'll just say I tap this then this then this and then I could buy something on the website you so therefore your app is yeah they like this is not like a rare or unusual thing to happen like they this was this is what has been regularly happening in the app store for a decade.

00:57:27   So, Judge Gonzalez ruled that that was I guess illegal is the word whatever that they had to and Apple appealed it and that was the appeal that the Supreme Court said we don't even want to listen to this.

00:57:41   So they technically lost at the Supreme Court not by arguing their case but because the Supreme Court just said we're not taking this and Epic I don't even know what Epic had petitioned them for they said now we don't want to hear that one either.

00:57:54   So everything under the Supreme Court stood that's the end of the when the Supreme Court says either here's our decision or our decision is we don't even want to hear it you're done because there's nowhere that that's what the Supreme and Supreme Court me.

00:58:09   Yeah, you know it's it's actually a very good name honestly it's it's it the plain language of the name Supreme Court is actually very descriptive Apple obviously had this ready to go because I believe they announced that the next day and it's it's really something.

00:58:27   I think I'm covering all the all of the reasons why it is onerous undesirable a pain in the ass undesirable why developers might not want to do it first and foremost to use it.

00:58:39   You still have to offer in app purchase the official in app purchase that goes through Apple, you still need to do that, which is the main thing I think developers who might want to do this would want to get away from you must follow Apple's very strict very stringent design

00:58:54   guidelines for how you present the link. It is one and only one link, it has to go to a generic page like your company.com slash buy from iPhone, but you can't put URL terms in there like user equals Gruber at whatever my email address.

00:59:17   com. You can't put like an identifier number in there like slash question mark customer ID equals 11257 nothing like that. Everybody has to go to it, it has to be one URL yet.

00:59:36   You still need to track those users. Oh yeah, so you have to track them for a week. Right, but those users are starting from scratch, they may not be logged into your website, especially if they're new customers, right, you, they may not even have an account with you first that's the whole point you're doing but whatever they've entered in your app can't be transferred over it just goes to a lay a landing page with no tracking parameters.

01:00:01   You know, it has to be a landing page specific to your app, then you have to track them, which does seem incongruous with Apple's anti tracking privacy statements over the last 10 years, then any purchase made by those users who've you've been tracking within seven days, even if they leave your website, they start in your app, they click through, they go to your website, they don't buy anything.

01:00:28   They close the tab, and maybe I guess go to another computer, go to their Mac or whatever and then sign up. You still somehow are supposed to be tracking them and then if it's within seven days, then you owe Apple a 27% commission on those sales or 12 if you're in the small developer program.

01:00:48   And if it's a subscription after the first year, instead of 30 to 15, it goes 27 to 12, they're subtracting 3% for the credit card processing. It's very generous of them. There might be other Oh, you you you must submit to Apple every single month within 15 days of the end of the month, complete accounting of all of these transactions and click throughs.

01:01:10   Apple is tracking the click throughs from their side because to present these links, you have to use their API and presentation. So they know and then you have to at Apple's demand, submit to an audit.

01:01:22   So for if you're like, Oh, well, we'll just use this system and never actually report any sales to Apple, Apple will be able to detect maybe not with precision, but in the aggregate, they'll be able to see if you have a suspiciously low conversion rate from the people clicking out of these external purchase link entitlement screens.

01:01:45   If you have a very suspiciously low conversion rate, they demand the right to audit your books. I suspect that if your conversion rate is suspiciously high, Apple will will will not investigate.

01:01:59   So why use it right? But why would you use it if you have to use in app purchase and succumb and submit to all of these accounting issues and still pay them the exact same amount of commission and honestly, and I think you probably know this firsthand.

01:02:15   You're one of the people who've taught me this, that even if in a successful credit card transition where there's no chargeback, the customer never wants a return, it's a happy purchase, you might be paying two point something percent credit card fees.

01:02:31   Yeah, the ballpark depends on factors. But yeah, something like that.

01:02:34   And if you do big amounts, you get a lower rate if you're a big, big business and if you accept Amex, it's a slightly higher rate, but two point something. So three percent seems like a reasonable number.

01:02:47   But in practice, when you take into account chargebacks and fraud and everything that can and does go wrong with some number of transactions, the average amount that a company pays in credit card fees is over three percent.

01:03:07   I've seen people say from their firsthand experience that really four or five percent is actually a fair estimation when all things are said and done, in which case you're actually losing money compared to Apple's system.

01:03:22   Right. Like if they instead of subtracting three percent, if they subtracted five percent, you might be able to say, well, we'd actually come out a little bit ahead, but still not by much.

01:03:33   So who's going to use it? Right. And if nobody wants to use it, how is this possibly a good faith solution?

01:03:40   Well, it's not a good faith solution. I mean, you answered it right there. This was clearly designed by Apple because again, like, again, going back to earlier discussion, Apple does not give an inch, ever.

01:03:54   Like they do not give an inch that they don't have to give. And in this case, this brings in such a huge part of their ever important services category of revenue.

01:04:05   They will not give an inch more than they have to on this issue. They don't care what developers say. They certainly don't care what big company partners say.

01:04:13   They will only respond to legal and regulatory action. And even then, they will only do the bare minimum they need to comply.

01:04:22   This entire system was not designed to actually be an alternative. This entire system was designed out of spite.

01:04:29   This is Apple's version of when Mossimo is suing them, they come back and say, we're going to destroy your business as much as possible because you came after us.

01:04:38   This is them saying that in response to this court order. This is them saying, you know what, fine, we will do something that we think maybe we could argue is compliant with the ruling,

01:04:50   which that's something to be worked out over the future as well, like whether this is even compliant. I certainly don't see how it possibly could be, but I'm not a lawyer.

01:04:57   But Apple is basically saying, you know what, because you dared to question this thing that we are so convinced that we are entitled to, and believe me, there is a lot of entitlement around this at Apple.

01:05:11   And we can get into whether they're entitled to it or not, it doesn't really matter at this point, but they certainly feel that they are extremely entitled to a third of all money that goes through the platform that they...

01:05:21   So anyway, you can tell how I feel about it. Apple is saying with this, fine, you come after us, you want to actually have your own business outside of the store, we'll destroy that too.

01:05:33   We will make it impossible for you to get any value out of this, because if for some small number of customers, they actually go through with this, through the scary sheet they make you put up on the part of the app that's not the purchase flow,

01:05:47   and they decide not to use our wonderful secure system over here that's nice and easy and baked in, they actually go to your dirty, scummy, scammy website and have your website install viruses all over their phone and take all your money and drain your retirement accounts.

01:06:01   If they actually go through all that, then you gotta give us a third of that anyway, good luck, and we're gonna audit your books and make it as painful as possible.

01:06:07   It's obviously designed completely out of spite. They do not want to be doing any of this, and they are going to give zero inches more than they have to.

01:06:18   And I have no doubt, I believe the Epic CEO even said that he's going to challenge whether this even is a valid, compliant response, and frankly, I think it should be challenged in that way.

01:06:29   But I have no doubt that we are nowhere near the end of the situation, that it's going to be probably going back and forth in courts for many years to come as everybody tries to work out,

01:06:40   "Alright, does this comply?" Someone's gonna sue and say, "No, it doesn't." They're gonna argue in court, it's gonna go through appeals, Apple's gonna make some minor change to make it comply slightly,

01:06:51   they're gonna be sued again because they didn't change enough, and now they're gonna go back again. It's gonna just be an ongoing court battle for many years to come,

01:06:59   as Apple gives as little as possible and makes this as painful as possible for any users to ever actually go through.

01:07:08   And if you actually dare to use this as a business, first of all, again, you have all those problems with the accounting of this, you gotta track the users,

01:07:17   you have to pay Apple somehow, you gotta have them audit your books, and they're gonna be all over that. Second of all, because they're making this an entitlement,

01:07:24   that makes it very easy for App Review to look at this and say, "Oh, wait, this app coming through, this has a special entitlement."

01:07:30   So App Review doesn't have to check every single app for this link, they only have to check the ones that apply for that entitlement.

01:07:35   And so what they're going to then do, every single update to your app is going to get the highest level of scrutiny from App Review,

01:07:43   which is not known for being super consistent. So to me, I would never do this. First of all, my app doesn't really need any other purchase types than the in-app purchase system that Apple offers.

01:07:55   I'm fine with it for my needs, and most developers are fine with it for their needs, which is one of the reasons why Apple inviting all this regulatory scrutiny over this is, I think, kind of a self-own.

01:08:06   Because the reality is, even if Apple were forced to compete on a more level playing field in this area, most apps for most people would still continue to use Apple's system, because it would have higher conversion rates, and it's easier for us.

01:08:18   Like, they can compete on merit. That's how their system got big in the first place. Anyway, so, even if Apple gives an inch, and you somehow get in here, and you have your app use the system,

01:08:32   if you have to get a quick bug fix update out, suppose you got some big problem, some big bug, you gotta get a quick update out there, no app with this entitlement is ever going to sail through App Review quickly.

01:08:44   And any one of your updates could all of a sudden be delayed by having to go through some higher level review board, because you're on the edge of something, or they think you might be on the edge of something, and then your app is sitting in limbo for two weeks or a month.

01:08:56   And so nobody, like, no sensible developer would adopt this system for so many reasons, and Apple knows it.

01:09:04   Yeah. I mean, you have a first-hand experience with how many reasons and ways that an app might be bounced, an update might be bounced back for, "Hey, you need to fix X."

01:09:16   Actually, I'll tell you what, I don't, because Apple has a very effective system here, keeping all of us developers in line. They know that once we all see some other sheep walk up to the fence and get shocked, they know that the rest of them won't do it.

01:09:32   And so Apple has a pretty clear pattern over time of making examples of people that they know will get out there. They will reject an app that they're pretty sure, like, that's kind of on the edge of some rule they don't really want to officially document, that they know that that story will get out.

01:09:48   And they know that, oh, then other developers will see that, and then they can avoid the uncomfortable position of having to write a rule, and instead they'll just kind of, you know, they'll know. And this used to be a lot worse in the early days of the App Store. That has gotten a little bit less disgusting over time, but actually a lot less.

01:10:05   It's been a pretty big improvement, honestly, from where it was, because it started out in such a bad place. But they know, like, most developers, we hear about the rules and we don't go near them.

01:10:14   And that's how I operate. I'm pragmatic. What my app does, I'm not trying to get away with anything, sidestepping Apple's rules. I'm not near some edge, but I'm also, you know, I wouldn't do something that was near the edge of what I thought was okay, because I know I've been scared away from going near the edges.

01:10:31   And I think it's worth considering, like, Apple's way of doing this over the years. How many apps have just not even been made? How many businesses haven't been possible or haven't been tried because it would be near the edge of a rule that we're just too scared to go near because we know Apple could just kill it at any moment?

01:10:50   I guess the point I'm going towards, though, is like, I don't know, let's just say there's some random rule that you're not supposed to use the word Apple in certain contexts. I'm sure there are.

01:11:01   Oh, there are.

01:11:02   Right. All right. And somebody just doesn't even know and or somebody writes the string, makes a mistake, and there's a use of the word Apple somewhere on some screen and it should be flagged. It actually is a violation. And reviewer doesn't see it. It goes through.

01:11:18   I don't think that reviewer is going to get in trouble for having missed that. Whereas I think that an app that is trying to press the limits of external link entitlements gets away with something in just a 0.1 bug fix update but changes something in the flow there and all of a sudden something fishy.

01:11:42   That's the sort of thing where I feel like the reviewer who missed it is going to get called into the manager's office and is going to get a rap on the knuckles, right?

01:11:52   So I don't know that there's going to be, you know, I think it is. Effectively having this entitlement is going to be a red flag, right? And I don't think it's because Apple has to tell the reviewers, "We're out to spite every developer who wants to use this entitlement."

01:12:10   They don't have to say it to the reviewers. The reviewers are going to know it. That you're going to get in trouble if an app that has this entitlement isn't following the letter. This is an entitlement where the higher up at the company, they want apps to comply with this explicitly. So I'm going to look at it every time.

01:12:29   Oh yeah. I don't know if this has ever actually been confirmed by Apple, but when you're in the system for a while, you kind of get the feeling that there are definitely different levels of review that apps go through. And if you're just submitting an update where not much has changed and your app is free, whatever, that's going to go through a pretty fast review process.

01:12:46   And then it seems like, this has definitely been true at times in the past, it seems like it still is, that there are certain higher level cues that you get kicked to if your app is considered a higher risk for something. And so one of those is the first time you add an in-app purchase to your app, and especially the first time you add an in-app purchase subscription to your app.

01:13:06   Those are always more scrutinized than any other update. And certainly, I would guess that, oh, and the symptom of that, the way you can tell that you've been in that, usually is that your app will go from the waiting for review status to the in review status.

01:13:23   And then normally, it stays in review for less than a day, but if it stays in review for more than a day, usually that means it is waiting for some higher level of approval, like the lower level reviewer seems to have kicked it up to some higher level to say, hey, take a look at this, maybe I can't decide this myself, or it's vague, or whatever else.

01:13:42   And it would not surprise me at all if your app uses this new external link entitlement, it wouldn't surprise me at all if every update you submit gets automatically kicked to that higher cue, which again means longer review times, more chance of things being kicked back to you for minor little details.

01:13:58   So again, I don't know any developer who has any experience in the App Store who would take on this burden for so many reasons, including that.

01:14:06   Right, like when I was in school, I wasn't really bad, bad, like call the police for what Gruber did. But I was very well known at the principal's office for disciplinary reasons.

01:14:20   And then once you get a reputation like that at school, you get away with less, right? Like I had to get better at whatever it was that I was getting in trouble for, get better at hiding it because I knew I was going to be looked at.

01:14:35   I mean, it was, yep, I'd go to the principal's office. And it was like, what'd you do this time?

01:14:40   Yeah, right. You're walking in, you're calling the secretary by the first name, hey, how's it going?

01:14:45   Exactly, I was very, very well known. That's where apps like this are going to be in the App Store. You mentioned the word entitlement. And I, what was my headline in one of my pieces this week? I wrote, "Coming to grips with Apple's unshakable sense of entitlement to its commission from third party iOS apps."

01:15:07   And I gave a lot of thought to trying to rewrite that headline to take the word entitlement out because, you know, it's like two uses of the word entitlement.

01:15:18   Yes.

01:15:19   The one developers have to ask for and get, and me saying Apple has a sense of entitlement. But I could not think of another way to write it that didn't water it down, right?

01:15:27   No, I think that's the right word in this case. That certainly describes their attitude well.

01:15:32   Right. And part of, like for me, I wasn't surprised. And I know Ben in particular, Ben Thompson was not surprised at all. And in fact, was only mad because he had written a column for the next day predicting exactly what Apple was going to do.

01:15:49   That they were going to ask for a 27, demand 27% commission and was just one day too late getting it out ahead of Apple announcing it. I thought it was up in the air whether, I'm not surprised at all that Apple pursued exactly this and wants their 27%.

01:16:05   But I also wouldn't have been shocked if Apple had gone the reader app route, which was, and I forget who qualifies and who doesn't. And they're not, they call them reader apps because the first ones that come to mind are like Kindle and Kobo and whatever else.

01:16:22   And apps that cannot sell their books and pay Apple the commission without losing money on every sale because, like, I think for most books, like ebooks, like Kindle books, Amazon has a 70/30 split with the authors.

01:16:43   And so they're only getting 70% of that. Let's just say, if the numbers are different. And if they have to pay Apple 30% and the author gets 30% of the sale price, then Amazon loses money on every sale. Well, it doesn't work.

01:16:56   So that's why you've never been able to buy ebooks in any, or comic books or anything like that in any third party apps in iOS because it doesn't work unless somebody, even Amazon doesn't want to sell them at a loss. They're not idiots.

01:17:11   And so they grant it at the behest of the Japanese trade commission. This was the thing that went into place, I think in January, 2020?

01:17:21   Yeah, it was a little while ago.

01:17:23   It was a while ago, but Apple just said, okay, fine. And they had very, apparently very gracious relationships with the JTT.

01:17:32   And there's a quote from Phil Schiller in the press release saying, "We've long had, we have great respect for the Japanese trade commission. We always get along with them."

01:17:40   Seemingly, I think Apple really liked that the Japanese trade commission kept that whole thing that wasn't fought in the press. It never helps to go to the press.

01:17:50   Except it always does.

01:17:51   They kept it quiet and they announced a thing. And now if you are in the reader app category, you can link out and you don't pay Apple anything.

01:18:00   Netflix, to name one conspicuous example, does this. So if you go look, if you're already logged into Netflix, just quick log out or put Netflix on your phone.

01:18:10   And there's a, right there on the first screen, if you don't have an account, you're not signed in, you can go to Netflix.com/more.

01:18:18   You tap that and you get the scare sheet. I love this term.

01:18:23   You're about to leave the safe confines of this app and you're going to go out to the scary web and Apple can't, you won't be transacting with Apple.

01:18:33   Apple can't guarantee anything. Apple subscription policies don't apply. Continue or cancel.

01:18:39   And if you hit continue, you go to Netflix.com/more and you can sign up for an account. You can give them your credit card number on a webpage.

01:18:46   And now you have a Netflix account and you're paying Netflix directly and Netflix doesn't pay Apple a nickel.

01:18:52   I, and this is for reader apps. Now, I don't know why Spotify doesn't do this. Spotify does not. I kind of feel like it's Spotify being spiteful.

01:19:01   I can't believe Spotify wouldn't qualify as a reader app, but Spotify doesn't do that. I just tried it the other day.

01:19:08   I don't have a Spotify account. I re-downloaded the Spotify app and I looked and it doesn't seem like they take advantage of this.

01:19:14   I don't know why. Famously, it came out in the Epic Google lawsuit, which Epic won for reasons because the Google App Store is actually quite different than the Apple App Store in many ways, especially in terms of the consistency and the direct relationship with customers.

01:19:34   But with Google, Spotify has a true sweetheart deal where they do their own in-app transactions in the Android app that goes through the Play Store.

01:19:45   And more or less, Google was just like, "Screw it. We're sick of fighting with you, Spotify. Just do whatever you want. To hell with it. We'll give you an exception. You don't have to pay us."

01:19:54   And I actually think that that actually hurt Google. I think it's the—Ben's talked about this a lot—these sort of like, "Ah, we'll do this for this company and this for that." They make a lot of exceptions.

01:20:04   And I think that actually fares poorly in a court, especially with a jury where it's not necessary—sometimes with a jury, it's not really the letter of the law. It really is the spirit of the law.

01:20:15   Whereas Apple is—say what you want about them throughout all of this—much, much more consistent, right?

01:20:21   I don't know why Spotify doesn't do it. But anyway, there are reader apps that do this. They don't pay Apple anything. They do have to go through a scare sheet.

01:20:29   I know firsthand from talking to developers who work at some of the companies that use this that, yes, it is extremely stringent, these design guidelines.

01:20:37   And that they get their apps booted back to them if they're not following some little detail of how the scare sheet works.

01:20:45   I kind of thought it was possible that Apple would just extend that to everybody, that the scare sheet would be enough to sort of tilt things in favor of in-app purchasing.

01:20:56   It was very clear from Judge Gonzalez's ruling, I think—maybe not 100% clear. It's one of those things where there's like a comma and a phrase, but it was like something in her ruling that said,

01:21:06   "These anti-steering things have to be loosened. You have to allow external links, in addition to in-app purchasing, blah, blah, blah," the rest of the ruling.

01:21:16   It seems pretty clear that her ruling was, "You have to let people link outside, but you can still require them to also offer in-app purchasing."

01:21:27   I thought for the non-reader apps, the difference might just be that they still have to offer in-app purchasing, but if you go through the scare sheet, you're on your own.

01:21:36   And I think that would have been—this would have been the perfect opportunity to—it's never too late to do the right thing, right?

01:21:42   The right time to do this was 10 years ago, to start loosening up some of the R-way or the highway for payments and apps, to loosen regulatory pressure, to just do the right thing.

01:21:56   But doing it now would be better than still not doing it. And I kind of thought it was possible, but when Apple didn't, I also wasn't surprised.

01:22:04   But boy, oh boy, were a lot of people extremely surprised by Apple's policy.

01:22:11   I think only people who were not really paying attention for the last few years were surprised.

01:22:15   I mean, look, it's not everyone's job to pay attention like we do, so I understand why there's a lot of those people out there, but I mean, I wasn't surprised at all.

01:22:24   We know the feeling at Apple that they are entitled to a cut of all commerce on their platform, and granted, there's limitations on that.

01:22:35   If it's anything physical in the physical world, that's messy. Apple doesn't want to deal with that.

01:22:40   So not only are you not required to use in-app purchase, you actually aren't allowed to use in-app purchase.

01:22:45   You're not even allowed to. Not allowed to.

01:22:48   But Apple so firmly believes this, and this isn't just like a Tim Cook thing, many people at all levels of the company are really very strongly feeling that they are entitled to a cut of everything that happened on the platform.

01:23:03   And I mean, it's kind of a tricky argument because people make comparisons to game consoles and whatever else.

01:23:11   You know, you've talked about this forever on Dithering with Ben 2, and I think in all these cases you have to look around and think, well, what role does this device play in the world?

01:23:21   The foundation of capitalism is wonderful. Companies can charge what they want, and you can buy it and you can deal with it or not deal with it.

01:23:28   But as we know from other areas of capitalism, once something becomes really big, to keep the system healthy, regulation is usually required in some forms.

01:23:38   And since the iPhone is such a huge part of all commerce now, like all commerce, in the whole world, and obviously there's different parts where it's more or less representative,

01:23:52   but the iPhone is such a huge part of all commerce that regulation starts becoming necessary after a certain size, and I think they are past that size.

01:24:02   Just for the functioning of the economy and of business and of people's lives. When private companies get something really, really big, regulation has to start happening.

01:24:12   And so I think we are past that point with commerce on the iPhone, and it seems like many regulators and judges around the world seem to be coming to that same conclusion, so I don't feel too out there saying that.

01:24:23   But there's people at Apple, many people at Apple, who still feel like this is ours, we created this, we enabled all this, and by the way, that's highly arguable.

01:24:33   You know, how much of it Apple enabled versus customers coming and searching for it.

01:24:38   But setting that aside, it's very clear that the iPhone is now so big and such a big part of commerce that regulation is necessary to keep a healthy economy flowing through it.

01:24:48   And Apple seems to disagree and think that it's all theirs, but unfortunately the world doesn't agree with them, and that world includes judges and legislators and things, so they're going to be out of luck there.

01:24:59   But that's one of the reasons why they're digging in. It's just like the Massimo thing, like Apple is not good at the world not agreeing with them.

01:25:07   And in this case, the world is saying, "Hey look, you're a monopoly in certain ways, or you're a huge president in certain ways, this is anti-competitive, this is bad for the economy, this is bad for whatever."

01:25:17   So we need some protections in place to preserve competition and the healthy economy.

01:25:23   But because Apple doesn't believe it, they will dig in like crazy, they will not budge an inch, and they will think they're a...

01:25:30   Like, I honestly think this is not just Apple saying, "Well, we're kind of screwed, but let's extract as much as we can."

01:25:37   Like, I think they truly believe, from the high to the low levels of that company, the people who believe this, I think they truly believe they are in the right.

01:25:46   And that's why they seem totally flabbergasted whenever anything is decided against them.

01:25:51   They seem totally caught off guard, totally unprepared for it, and really, really just flabbergasted and blown away that they somehow...

01:26:01   That the world is not seeing what they think is so obvious to them.

01:26:04   Yeah, they see... And I don't agree with them, but I feel like it's why I am who I am and my little niche in the Apple media world is I'm good at seeing how Apple sees things, even if I don't agree with it.

01:26:20   And one of them is, I see the way Apple sees digital content consumed on the device as this, like, there's this wall between it and everything else.

01:26:34   And that's why... Because I'm telling you, the people who don't see that difference, they just see, "Oh, you're hitting a buy button in an app in your phone, and it doesn't matter what you're buying,

01:26:45   whether it's DoorDash or an Amazon cardboard box full of new headphones, or coins to play Candy Crush to get extra credit in a video game, or to subscribe to Paramount Plus.

01:27:01   Most people see this as you're just hitting a buy button and you're buying a thing, and sometimes it's physical and sometimes it's not.

01:27:08   And Apple sees the hard and fast difference between it. And it really is. Ben describes it as marginal cost.

01:27:14   There are marginal costs to actually getting your ass into an Uber with a human being. There's an actual car and an actual human being driving it, and there's a marginal cost to that.

01:27:27   And even though... I was just saying on dithering this week, Uber and Lyft are a perfect example of companies that literally could not exist without the iPhone revolution.

01:27:36   There's no way that they would have existed if phones had continued on the path they were through 2006. It just wasn't going to work.

01:27:44   I don't know if I agree with that.

01:27:46   Well, maybe.

01:27:48   I mean, this is phone kind of...

01:27:50   Or phones, period. Not the iPhone mat. Somebody... Maybe phones would have still gotten to that point. Like if Apple had never gotten into phone distance.

01:27:58   But the fact of phones that have GPS and have screens that can render maps and stuff like that, there were things that needed to happen, but Apple doesn't try to take any money from your Uber rides because it's not digital content consumed in the app.

01:28:12   Well, I think it's also messier. I mean, if you look at the realities of, say, for instance, credit card charge disputes. Like when you have a physical good that was exchanged or a physical service, there's different mechanics for dispute resolution. There's different liabilities involved.

01:28:27   So I think part of it is not Apple seeing... Apple not thinking they deserve it. I think Apple thinks they deserve a lot of everything. But I think there's probably major differences in just the mechanics of like, "Well, we'd rather stay out of that business because it's messy to us."

01:28:43   Yeah, I actually do think that there are the hardest core religious believers in Apple being right in the company are like, "We do deserve some of that money, but it's unfair to us that we can't really lay a claim to it."

01:28:57   Yeah. And I think there's also like, there's so much of this entitlement from people within Apple. And again, this is not just like Tim Cook. This is like, everyone in the company seems to believe this. A lot of the entitlement is of the nature you were just talking about. Like, "Well, if we didn't create this platform, none of these things would exist."

01:29:14   And first of all, I think that's wrong. I mean, we've seen what happens in tech that like, a lot of things tend to develop simultaneously, and Apple tends to do really good versions of those things. But even before the iPhone, smartphones were still being developed and coming up at that same time.

01:29:31   And they were having things like apps and GPS and mapping like that was already happening and would have continued to happen. Apple just did it really well and did push a lot of things forward. In terms of like who deserves to have created this platform and reap the benefits forever.

01:29:46   It's like, well, do the cell phone companies deserve a 30% cut of all transactions that happen over mobile? Like, how about Qualcomm for the modems? How about Samsung for the displays and the memory? I mean, you can look at almost all levels. What about the ISP, the backbone ISPs that are doing this? How about Supermicro for the servers that are accepting the transactions?

01:30:05   I mean, there's so many. How about Cisco for routing all the packets that go between them? It's the argument that having created the platform entitles you to a cut of all money through it is ridiculous. Once you start looking at all the other parties that would have similar claims.

01:30:21   And imagine the development of the web if Netscape and Internet Explorer took a third of all the money that was exchanged over the web. I mean, you can see like when you take this to its logical conclusion, the argument does not hold up at all.

01:30:35   Apple is imposing these fees because they can. And I think when the iPhone was smaller, and when this was a much younger, tinier market, and it was more like a game console, I think that was much more defensible. I was there. We saw it. Like, I was in the App Store.

01:30:53   And I was glad to give them their 30% because I was like, you know what, I wouldn't build all this stuff myself. That's a tradeoff I'll take. And again, that's a tradeoff I still take. But I think now it's much less defensible now that it's such a big part of all commerce.

01:31:08   And I think all the regulators and lawmakers seem to be on my side on that. It's a different ballgame now. And I think Apple has been adequately rewarded for the value they've created with their platform. Much of this value would have been created by other companies and some of it has been created by other companies in the meantime, even in the absence of what Apple has done.

01:31:29   Apple, I think, continues to be well compensated. And if they were actually forced to give more than they've given on this in terms of flexibility, if they were forced, say, to have the reader app exemption where you can link out to your site from any app and not pay Apple anything, if that's how this all ends up, I don't even think we would notice the difference in their quarterly reports.

01:31:49   I think the actual loss of revenue that would happen if apps were more able to link out and freely have whatever they want on their website, pay Apple nothing, what Netflix does, the actual difference in their revenue, I think, would be tiny and probably not even noticeable because, first of all, most of the big companies already don't use an app purchase.

01:32:11   They've already either bounced out of it years ago or never adopted it in the first place because it's too much money for them and they're like, fine, taking the Netflix approach, we're just not going to do this. So I think many of the big companies, they're already out. So there's no loss to be had there.

01:32:25   And most of the income from the App Store seems to be from games. I believe we have numbers to that effect from the Epic trial. It was something like in the 80% range.

01:32:34   It varies, but I think everybody's common sense guess is actually right. It's most of it, right?

01:32:41   Apple were forced to do the reader app exemption even for games. I know your argument is that games should be in-app purchase only and honestly, I'd be fine with that because of the zero marginal cost aspects of all this. I wouldn't complain about that. But even if they were forced to give on that and give the reader exemption for that where you can link out freely, I still don't think they would lose that much because the in-app purchase system is convenient and built in and has things like the built-in parental controls and stuff like that.

01:33:08   And so I think the sad part about this fight is that it's costing them so much and it's inviting so much more regulatory scrutiny that, you know, and one area that I don't want this to go is with the alternative app stores thing.

01:33:21   I really don't want alternative app stores to happen on iOS. As a developer, I think that's a very bad idea. I really don't want that to happen. And it seems like it's going to be at least forced in the EU and possibly end up being forced elsewhere down the road.

01:33:34   And that runs huge risks of making the platform worse for everyone, for developers, for users, for Apple. That is a big risk of platform damage.

01:33:45   And part of the reason that risk is there is because Apple won't give an inch on this app store cut thing and all of this to save how much money? Maybe? Like, I don't think it would be that much, is what I'm saying.

01:33:57   So that's, again, I think this is a long-term strategic failure of judgment by Apple's leadership to have not given anything on this front and therefore inviting much more onerous regulation that will probably make the products worse for everybody.

01:34:11   Yeah, and that's exactly where I'm really confused by Tim Cook, where, like I said, I think in general, overall, he is far more, I mean undeniably more disciplined than Steve Jobs. He's not impulsive. He's very disciplined.

01:34:28   He's lowercase c conservative, I think, where you just, he doesn't, I don't think he likes surprises. And I think he's very, very good at that. And I think Apple today, the fact that Apple is overall more regular is a sign of his leadership compared to Steve Jobs.

01:34:50   And by regular, I mean the way that, like, the annual cadence of everything. Now all of the operating systems get annual upgrades. And it's, as the years go on, it's more and more consistent annual, annual, annual.

01:35:06   I think that's a reflection of his leadership. Whereas under Jobs, I kind of feel like maybe if he was still around today, he would have been so excited about Vision Pro that Vision Pro would have drawn resources from other things.

01:35:21   And that used to happen. I mean, it was, they just came right out and said one time that there was a major version of Mac OS X that was supposed to come out at WWDC in June, and they said, nope, it's gonna, it's delayed till October or November because we pulled a bunch of engineers to help get iOS 1.0 out the door.

01:35:38   They were a smaller company then too, but it's a reflection. But on the other side, I really do think ultimately as conservative and as safe as Tim Cook has run Apple on this regard, antagonizing regulators and legislators, which are different, right?

01:35:56   Regulators are like the European Commission. Well, I guess they're legislators. I guess they write laws. But, you know, like the way Senator Amy Klobuchar and Senator Warren crossed the aisle, you know, it's bipartisan, rare, exceedingly rare in US politics today that there are Republicans like Senator Mike Lee from Utah, who's collaborating with Amy Klobuchar on some of this proposed legislation.

01:36:21   Why piss them off? It seems incredibly risky to me.

01:36:27   Yeah, I think we've we've lucked out in tech so far that we've had relatively little regulation. Yeah, what we see over and over again from I don't know much about the rest of the world, but certainly in the US, we see whenever our legislators whenever our legislators talk about tech, it's not good. No, they don't show an understanding for it. And usually the response from for most people who know about tech is fear that this might actually happen. Like whatever they're talking about, like, oh, we're talking about tech.

01:36:56   And whatever they're talking about, like, oh, no, please don't let this happen. Because usually the things they threaten to do are misguided at best and could be highly damaging. It's very clear that like, as a tech business, we really should try to not let the government feel like it has to regulate us too much, because that is rolling the dice, and it could have really damaging effects. And so by Apple, basically given the middle finger at every opportunity, they're inviting the government to regulate us more.

01:37:25   And that has huge risks to not only Apple and its products, but the entire industry.

01:37:31   Yep. I mean, there's no better example of that than encryption, where it's very, very clear that a lot of legislators who seemingly have a significant interest in encryption don't understand how it works at all. And the big fear is that they will pass laws that are impossible to comply with, because they're they're literally impossible given the way encryption works.

01:37:55   The UK came extremely close to passing a law that the only way to comply would have been to just eliminate all end to end encrypted messaging platforms, because to comply with the law would require a magic good guy only backdoor that cannot possibly exist. And it's, it's a perfect example.

01:38:14   And I think the Digital Markets Act in Europe, the one that's coming into effect on March 7, and we still don't know the details of how Apple is going to comply. I have I don't know if they're going to announce it next week and hope that the hype over vision pro gets that lost in the shuffle or if they'll wait, but I have had there's a part of me that thinks they might announce it next week, but I get the feeling I think given especially their compliance.

01:38:43   With this in the US, that their compliance with the DMA is going to be without getting speculating as the details of how they're going to comply with these mandates for sideloading and third party app stores. I believe it'll be just as palatable to any to yes, spiteful to any developers who would like to maybe take advantage of these opportunities in Europe as this external link entitlement thing.

01:39:11   And I don't think that's going to please the European Commission who wrote it in the first place. And what we've gotten like the word monopoly gets thrown around a lot. And again, I'm not a lawyer, but I kind of, you know, know enough about it and dating back to Microsoft's case in the 90s, that a in the lay person's idea monopolies are illegal, that that's monopolies are bad, and therefore they're illegal, and the government's supposed to bust them up. But that's not true at all in any way.

01:39:40   That's not true at all in any business. Basically, monopolies put you in a different category of business, and you then have to play by different rules because you have a monopoly.

01:39:50   It's not even an entitlement that it will invite more scrutiny by reviewers.

01:39:53   Spotify just this week, objecting to the link entitlement thing, described Apple as having a monopoly. And in the US, they're definitely barking up the wrong tree because the ruling from Judge Gonzalez that Apple made this whole controversial external link entitlement thing in regards to specifically ruled that Apple does not hold a monopoly in mobile gaming.

01:40:16   And you cannot call a monopoly on iPhone gaming a monopoly. That's not a monopoly. You have to look at the whole market and with the switch and with the PlayStation and the Steam Deck and Android.

01:40:28   I don't know if you've ever heard of it. Pretty popular platform. No, they don't have a monopoly. So they're not breaking any monopoly laws.

01:40:35   But what happens is, okay, you don't have a monopoly. And so these laws that already exist don't apply to you. We'll just write new laws that apply exactly to you.

01:40:45   And that's what the Digital Market Act does in Europe. It's just specifically targeting five companies, really. And I know here and there, there might be other companies that fall under the categories they've described.

01:40:56   But more or less, they've written this very big, very onerous, lots and lots of regulations that comply with law that applies to Apple, Google, Amazon, Microsoft, and Meta.

01:41:09   That's it. Just targeting them for just being big and successful and having so much power over the way things work.

01:41:17   And honestly, being arrogant about that power as opposed to, hey, let's just be friends with them and protect the stuff that's most important to us.

01:41:28   Control over our platform and we'll just give some concessions. And yes, we'll make a little less money here and there.

01:41:35   And just make them happy and then let them leave us alone. And instead, it just seems like they're poking a stick at them.

01:41:44   Yeah, totally unnecessarily.

01:41:47   Totally unnecessarily. So we shall see. I do think with all of our talk at the outset about, hey, why are they doing all these things that are going to distract from the Vision Pro launch?

01:41:57   I feel like this DMA thing is still hanging over their heads and is going to be even more explosive than this because the European Commission is way more adamantly opposed to these companies than US courts and regulators.

01:42:13   Right? They're the ones who are the most stringent. And I can go off on a tangent that I think that it's actually hurt the overall European economy.

01:42:21   I think their economy has suffered over a regular, overzealous regulatory structure in recent decades. I don't think it's any coincidence at all that none of the what we call big tech, which is really big computer, right?

01:42:36   Because what we're calling tech is all computer companies. Cars are technology. BMW is a technology company. Indoor plumbing is technology, right?

01:42:44   If you went back in time and brought Ben Franklin to the modern day, and you were like, I can't wait to show Ben Franklin the iPhone. He's just going to be so friggin excited that he can take a shit without going out to an outhouse in the middle of winter in Philadelphia.

01:42:58   And you just go in this seat and you press a button and it just goes away? I mean, it's amazing technology.

01:43:06   It's a remarkable world that we live in.

01:43:07   Nobody's calling, you know, what's that company Standard American Standard?

01:43:11   American Standard.

01:43:12   I love so much that the name American Standard was used for a toilet company.

01:43:17   Toilets and urinals. But it is, it's fantastic technology. That's not what anybody's talking about with big tech. They're talking about big computers and none of them come from Europe.

01:43:30   And I don't think it's a coincidence. Spotify is probably the biggest relevant leading tech company and relative to these other companies, they're very small.

01:43:39   And I don't think it's a coincidence. And you and I both know, we know lots of people who were born in European countries who now work at big companies here in the United States because that's where you go.

01:43:51   That's a whole side rant. And I don't think it's a coincidence that they're more interested in cracking down on big tech companies because they're not European companies.

01:44:00   But that's the way it is, right? It doesn't matter. Doesn't matter if I'm right that that's sort of a, hey, it's not on our territory, so let's regulate the hell out of them.

01:44:09   It's going to happen. You've got to play the cards you're dealt with. And it's a huge market, right? It's an enormous market that they can't ignore.

01:44:17   In large part, I think that typically ends up helping consumers quite a bit. It's kind of good to have this as a check and balance on American tech company policies and behavior.

01:44:32   Because here, like in the US, we have relatively little regulation on what the tech companies can do. And in the EU, they can have a more aggressive regulatory approach and kind of similar in many ways.

01:44:43   I mean, the way California actually has a lot more stringent consumer standards in a lot of areas compared to the rest of the US. So the rest of the US, yeah, we can not comply if we want to.

01:44:52   But California is such a big market that generally speaking, the regulations in California, many companies will just make their products to that regulation for everyone so that they don't have to make two different ones and they don't have to lose that market.

01:45:03   I think the EU is working in the same way here in a lot of cases where a lot of products and services and everything is like, well, if the EU requires us and it's not that onerous for us to comply with it, we'll just do it for everyone and then we can sell to that massive market.

01:45:16   And largely, I think having that be its own huge market, separate from us, but that it is separate from us. So like, things can develop here without a lot of regulatory burdens. But when things get mature, they can step in from over there and kind of tame the most egregious abuses, privacy, economic factors, things like that.

01:45:38   So I actually like the dynamic that we have between the US and EU with tech companies. I think it actually ends up working pretty well for everybody.

01:45:46   Yeah, and whenever I bring this up, I wasn't even trying to argue with people. Threads is so much, we don't have time to go off on which social networks have which cultures.

01:45:57   We haven't mentioned Vision Pro yet.

01:46:09   Well, I tweeted something about the Europeans and European citizens like their regulatory bodies. They're popular there. And I tweeted in response, a little snarkily, that they also enjoy having a slower economy and posted a link to the GDP of the United States versus Europe over the last like 50 decades.

01:46:29   And there's a real, it used to be very, very even and in the US pulled significantly ahead in recent decades. And I got a bunch of factors that they're ahead of us on so I wouldn't push that too hard.

01:46:40   But I said they enjoy having a slower economy and it's snarkily put, but it is true and Europeans on Threads responded. But yeah, what about our healthcare system and what you like yours? What about the fact that the quality of life and when you just pull people in countries like how happy are you with your overall life?

01:47:01   And there's in many of the countries in the European Union significantly higher than the average in the United States. I fully acknowledge all of that. They are happy. That's what I'm saying. They're actually happy trading economic growth for the things that they get instead.

01:47:16   I put it a little snarkily because I am an American and I sort of have a, I put more value on economic growth than I think a lot of people in Europe do. I have a sort of American mindset, but I know that I do. And I know that Europeans are happy with this, right?

01:47:31   And so it is an interesting split. It is a, we are culturally different countries. It's not the big cultural splits aren't just between the United States and China like a communist dictatorship or something like that. Even Western democratic liberal countries like the European Union, United States, very different cultures.

01:47:54   And I really think one of the bottom lines about this, and I think Apple, perhaps more than any of the other companies that are targeted by the DMA, is blinded by the fact that they honestly believe they're so much smarter than the regulators in the European Commission.

01:48:14   And they probably are, to be honest. I think they are smarter, but I don't think they're as smarter enough as they think they are.

01:48:21   Certainly they have different opinions.

01:48:23   Yes, definitely. And I think, you know, they might be in for some surprises. All right, let me take a break here and thank our other sponsor of the episode. It is our good friends. And I mean this sincerely at Trade Coffee. Trade Coffee is here to help you do more in 2024. You need trade if you want to hit the ground running with one of your New Year's goals, because sometimes some of the smallest changes make the biggest impact and Trade Coffee is a great addition to your new year routine.

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01:51:17   All right, now we get to Vision Pro, which we could have talked about for three hours on itself.

01:51:23   If I had mean old Apple in there, their mean policies hadn't forced us to go on massive digressions.

01:51:30   So we're sort of in the midway point of the launch. Pre-order started two days ago as we record. They're not delivering until two Fridays from now.

01:51:44   I guess every new platform always has a unique launch. No launch is really like any of the others. But there's a couple of surprising aspects of this one.

01:51:54   I think it was really weird that they didn't announce the storage tiers and prices before the pre-orders opened.

01:52:02   I understand why though. When they unveiled the Vision Pro at WWDC, they announced that it was "starting at $3,500" and everyone has been talking about the price since then as being very high.

01:52:17   So I can understand why they would want to low-play as much as possible that, well, that's just the base price and if you want more storage, it's going to be a few hundred dollars more.

01:52:28   And frankly, I don't know why they even offer this product in multiple storage tiers. For version one of a $3,500 product, why didn't they just make them all 512 or a terabyte and just call it a day?

01:52:44   I don't know. But regardless, I understand why they didn't want to be that forward with that information.

01:52:49   Right. And even the first iPhone though had multiple storage tiers. Remember there was like a 4 gigabyte one in it.

01:52:58   Yeah, 4 gig and 8 gig.

01:53:00   And it was terrible, right? It was like 4 was not enough.

01:53:03   They only sold it for a few months, right? Didn't they just continue the 4?

01:53:06   Yeah, I think Moltz bought one. I swear to God. And he regretted it. He was like, "Ahh." It sounded like, well, it made sense. 4 gigabytes sounds like a lot for a phone.

01:53:17   It wasn't really a lot for a computer, and it was a computer. But I guess the thinking, I could see them launching with just one storage tier.

01:53:26   Again, at these prices, it could have even been the terabyte, I guess. I know we're spending Tim Cook's money, but I think the idea is because they're already laying the groundwork for annual future generations, that in the future they're going to want to have good, better, best storage tiers.

01:53:43   Yeah.

01:53:44   And so it's better to start with them. And I think you're right that the reason they didn't pre-announce any of that, even the night before or anything, was that they didn't want to give any fuel to anybody who wanted to write any kind of article arguing, "Oh my God, this thing's way too expensive," would immediately jump on the higher storage tier and start calling it a $3,900 device instead of a $3,500 device.

01:54:11   Yeah, they would quote the fully loaded, "Can you believe it could be this?" Because that thing is like, every single article about the Vision Pro since WWDC, when it was announced, has mentioned the price because it is very expensive for its category.

01:54:24   So that's already the story here, which I think Apple would prefer not to be, of course, but the reality is, look, they entered a market with a high-end device. So it is very expensive, and that's what everyone's going to say in every article about it for this entire year.

01:54:41   So on one hand, yeah, I know why they didn't want to push it higher. On the other hand, it's kind of inevitable. People are going to talk about the price no matter what you do.

01:54:49   The reason it annoys me is I was ready for it. I was fully prepared, and my only question was, are they going to charge iPad-style storage tiers or iPhone-style ones?

01:55:00   And I think it's exactly like the iPhone 15 Pro, where to go from $256 to $512 costs plus $200, and then it's another plus $200 to go from $512 to a terabyte.

01:55:13   And there is no two-terabyte option, which is true for the iPhone, it's true for Vision Pro, whereas the iPads have two-terabyte options. And it's more expensive to go to one terabyte.

01:55:25   $200 Deltas, I can't imagine how they would have charged less, right? I mean, I don't know if that's quite fair for solid-state storage, but it's not bad.

01:55:36   But my knock against it is everybody who was waking up to order at the crack of pre-order starting Friday morning, the last thing they needed was to make a decision they weren't ready for, right?

01:55:48   So some number of those people who were so excited, and whether they want it professionally because they're developers or they just want it as users, but they want it and they're worried that it would get backordered right away, which doesn't really seem to have happened.

01:56:03   If they only thought there was going to be one storage tier at $3,500, and then all of a sudden they're like, "Oh, shit, I wasn't ready for this. Oh, my God, what am I going to do? I don't want to one terabyte because I don't want to screw up."

01:56:16   And then they're going to get it and never use more than 128 gigabytes of storage and be like, "Ah, why did I do that? I should have thought about it."

01:56:24   Not a big deal, but the other thing is I would say as somebody in the shortlist of media people who've been getting these demos for the spatial video in November and then my own being able to look at my own spatial video in December,

01:56:41   and then last week going to New York and getting a sort of final hands-on demo with Apple under their guidance sort of on their rails, reading Gherman's description of what the in-store, like 25-minute,

01:56:59   "Hey, if you make an appointment in an Apple store to sort of get a sales pitch for Vision Pro, that's what they gave us in the media."

01:57:07   Exactly. It sounds like it's the exact same sort of, "Oh, well, we'll use our phone to scan your face to get the light seal and the headband size and bring them out and put them on you,

01:57:21   and we're going to guide you through trying Safari and trying whatever else and having—"

01:57:26   Yeah, you got the dinosaur and the butterfly and all this.

01:57:28   Right. And the tightrope walk thing on a mountaintop and I got all of that.

01:57:35   Which is cool. It's a good pitch, honestly. I think it's very compelling, but that's exactly what I got again.

01:57:41   So I've had a little bit more experience since the last time I've done an episode of the show and I haven't really written about that because I've had so much else to write about.

01:57:48   I more or less just answered questions on Mastodon and threads from people with my extended experience with the Vision Pro.

01:57:57   What else is weird about the launch?

01:58:00   I mean, it's a weird launch logistically because the nature of this kind of product is you have to deal with people's face shapes, head sizes, eyeglass prescriptions.

01:58:13   There's so many variants that you have to accommodate or specify when ordering.

01:58:20   And part of the reason why—I was able to score day one delivery and I think part of the reason why is that I was able to breeze through certain parts of it because I was prepared, I don't need a glasses prescription,

01:58:31   I did the little face scanning thing quickly enough that I didn't lose too much there.

01:58:36   But even without needing eyeglass stuff and everything, it still took a while to get through that.

01:58:41   And then when it arrives, I know there is some risk.

01:58:45   What if I got the wrong size face shield? What if it doesn't quite fit right? Who knows?

01:58:50   So it is a kind of a complicated and messy product to try to buy just because of the realities of being stuck on someone's face.

01:58:59   Yeah, and I wonder too, like I've had four demos, WWDC back in June, then November where I got to see Apple's spatial videos and stuff,

01:59:10   then December I went back and got to see my own spatial videos and panoramic photos,

01:59:17   and then last week where I got this sort of final sales pitch.

01:59:21   I thought—and none of those demos did I find it uncomfortable, and none of them did I find like a bad light seal,

01:59:30   although I kind of feel like it's gotten better each time.

01:59:33   I felt like in June at WWDC, I had to fiddle more with it to keep any kind of light,

01:59:41   literally just the purpose of a light seal, keep light from leaking in.

01:59:45   And I really did think last week it was the most comfortable it's ever been for me.

01:59:50   And I don't know if it's just because I've had four times with it, and by two aggregate hours of usage,

01:59:56   you just kind of get better at adjusting the strap and knowing what feels right.

02:00:02   But I also wonder if I've been getting slightly different light shields each time,

02:00:07   and there's one that I got last week that was really good.

02:00:10   I almost thought like, should I reach out to Apple PR?

02:00:12   Can they look up which one they gave me last week?

02:00:15   Because that was a really good one.

02:00:17   Like, don't make me use the app.

02:00:19   Let me take advantage of the fact that I had a demo last week,

02:00:22   and I can't imagine how it would be more comfortable than that one.

02:00:25   I really hope I got the same one this time.

02:00:29   It is a little weird.

02:00:30   I guess it seems like the 256 gig one is, for some people, punted out to March now,

02:00:36   but if you get the 512 or 1 terabyte, I slept in because I was up late writing and working the night before,

02:00:43   and I had my alarm set for 7.30, and I was like...

02:00:47   Didn't you go on sale at, was it 8 or 9? It was 8 a.m.

02:00:50   8 a.m., but I was up to like close to 4 a.m. writing and linking to things,

02:00:57   then needed to wind down a little bit before I could fall asleep, so I didn't fall asleep until 4.30.

02:01:02   My alarm went off at 7.30, and I was like, "Ah, I'll take my chances."

02:01:07   Oh my God.

02:01:09   You know, it's like the Seinfeld skit.

02:01:11   Late night John always thinks early morning John can just suck it up,

02:01:15   and early morning John is always like, "Ah, I don't need this."

02:01:18   And so I woke up at like 10.55 and thought, "Well, now I better go see."

02:01:23   And I ran downstairs, started making coffee, and still had the option of February 2nd as a delivery

02:01:30   or February 3rd in-store, and I took the in-store just out of curiosity.

02:01:36   I don't think I need it, but I kind of felt like, "Ah, I'm going to do the in-store and see what they do."

02:01:42   I don't know. I'll probably regret it when I actually go there and they're just telling me things I already know,

02:01:48   but I just wanted to see what it was like.

02:01:50   But I thought that was pretty--I was like, "Huh, I'm actually surprised."

02:01:53   I kind of thought it would probably be mid-February or something like that.

02:01:57   Yeah, I figured in-store would be best just because in case the light seal is not a good fit.

02:02:02   I thought that too.

02:02:03   I'm guessing they probably take it out and set it up with you as part of that.

02:02:07   I don't think we actually know this yet, but I'm guessing that's what will happen.

02:02:11   Yeah, and I think that's why I also only got a 6.30 p.m.

02:02:15   The earliest appointment I could get at our Philadelphia Apple Store was second day, 6.30 p.m.

02:02:21   So I'm thinking it's sort of like iPhone Day where they give a lot of help to people getting carrier stuff taken care of when they get their new iPhone, right?

02:02:31   It'll be like that.

02:02:32   And I had the exact same thought where it's like, "I've done the face scan multiple times now,

02:02:37   and especially the last three demos from November onward, it seems more like the final software."

02:02:43   As I recall, the one in June was different.

02:02:46   But I had the exact same thought where if I did get a bad light seal, and again, I did it five minutes after waking up, so who knows what my face looked like?

02:02:54   Well, I don't think it changed its shape that much during the day.

02:02:57   I don't know. Who knows?

02:02:59   Amy says I look pretty bad when I wake up in the morning nowadays.

02:03:04   But I thought, "Eh, what the hell?"

02:03:06   And it's not far from me, so it's literally a walk away.

02:03:09   So I figured I'd take it.

02:03:11   What else is going on that's weird?

02:03:12   I guess the other weird thing we have to talk about is not really what Apple wants in the week running up to preorders is a drip-drab of,

02:03:20   "Hey, there's a big-name developer who everybody was kind of helping with have software on day one, and guess what? Nope."

02:03:27   No Netflix, no YouTube, which I think are really big, and then no Spotify, which I'm not as surprised about because, boy, those two companies really don't like each other.

02:03:39   And I think this is part of the reaping what you sow thing.

02:03:44   Yep.

02:03:45   Apple is, again, they're not good at negotiations where they don't have a strong upper hand, which is not much of a negotiation.

02:03:51   So in this case, the story for developers to try to adopt this platform is basically, "You should do this because it's cool."

02:04:00   And that works for indies like me.

02:04:03   We love cool stuff. We love buying it. We love using it. We will gladly make our software for platforms that we know we won't make any money on just because we think it's cool and we want to do it.

02:04:16   Big companies are not that way.

02:04:19   Big companies could not care less about bending over backwards to satisfy Apple, who they probably don't like very much from the App Store policies, for a platform that is going to have very few users.

02:04:33   And we see this over and over again with Apple that they think, based on success of the iPhone App Store, they think that big companies will just jump on this.

02:04:42   And whatever they make a new platform, the iPad, the Apple Watch, the Apple TV to some degree, they think everyone will kind of come rushing to get in.

02:04:51   And I think that kind of misattributes why everyone rushes to the iPhone.

02:04:56   People rush to the iPhone first because we all had them and they were cool, and then second pretty quickly after that because there were lots of them out there, so the market was huge.

02:05:05   And then with every other platform Apple has tried to launch App Stores on and have third-party apps on, the cost-benefit analysis there has been a lot weaker because there just aren't as many of them.

02:05:16   And they might take a certain degree of custom work.

02:05:19   And so if you look at the Mac, for instance, many of these services do not have official Mac apps because they can just have the web browser work on the Mac and it's fine for the most part.

02:05:30   It's limited but in ways they don't really care about and for them to have a Mac app would require a more substantial degree of custom work.

02:05:37   This was of course more true before Catalyst, but it is still to some degree true that to have custom work on a platform that doesn't have a lot of users where you could just use a web app or some kind of cross-platform thing like Electron, that's going to be a tough sell for companies.

02:05:50   Well, again, same thing with the iPad. So many companies who have iPhone apps still don't have iPad apps because they've made that calculus and realized even though it is not that much more work to bring an iPhone app to an iPad, it's way less than bringing it to the Mac, at least again pre-Catalyst,

02:06:08   they see that trade-off as, "Okay, well, yeah, we could bring it to the iPad but our web app works fine and it's not really worth it for us."

02:06:15   Well, then you go to Vision Pro. Vision Pro and Vision OS, it is very different from iPad apps. Now, you can check that checkbox and let your iPad app run and that has its own ups and downs, but to really make a good native Vision app, you have to use the native SDK and it is pretty different in how you need to design and build it compared to any of Apple's other platforms so far.

02:06:41   So again, you're looking at custom work for a platform that's going to have almost no users effectively. Like, when you're a big company, suppose the rumors are correct that there might be a few hundred thousand, up to a million Vision Pros in this entire year, which who knows if that's correct, but even if that's in the ballpark of correct, if there's only going to be a million of them in a year, why would a big company with a big streaming service adopt it?

02:07:08   It's a tough sell. I can come up with some reasons why they would want that, but if you look at the numbers, if you look at it analytically, it's a tough sell. And then when you combine with that the problem of a tense relationship with Apple and not wanting to give Apple more power when Apple has already been using that power in ways that were against these companies or that were at odds with them or causing friction with them, yeah, of course the big companies aren't going to be there on day one.

02:07:34   So I think it's going to be very much like the very, very early Apple TV. Like, this is going to be something that is going to be Apple's own apps, a handful of third-party apps, not a ton, and most of the third-party apps are probably going to come from smaller developers, not the big companies.

02:07:52   Now, I'm going to set Spotify aside because I think Spotify's relationship with Apple is uniquely contentious and it's very specific to Apple Music versus Spotify, but Netflix and YouTube are two really, really interesting examples.

02:08:07   And YouTube was built into the iPhone before there even was an app store. People still don't believe me, but I mean, it really was true. Apple made the app. That's why the icon was so weird. It was an old-timey TV set.

02:08:21   It fit in for the time.

02:08:22   It fit in for the time, but I still think that there had to be some branding people at Google who were like, "Why are we agreeing to this? That is not our logo."

02:08:31   Has Google ever had strong branding though? Who knows?

02:08:34   No, that's why I think they got overridden by somebody who was like, "Ah, who cares? We're on the iPhone." I'm sure somebody was like, "Well, all right, even if it's an old-timey TV set, can the old-timey TV set, can the picture tube show the YouTube logo?" And they're like, "No."

02:08:47   But it was built in. There were no third-party apps, and there was a YouTube app on the iPhone. And it was built into iOS even after the app store came out. I couldn't believe this. I didn't remember this, but Germin wrote it, and I was like, "That can't be true."

02:09:03   And it was true. When the first iPad came out, YouTube was still built in. So you opened your iPad in 2010 out of the box, and you didn't even sign into the app store yet. You already had YouTube right there on the home screen.

02:09:17   That's the relationship Apple had with YouTube back then.

02:09:20   Netflix. All right, Apple TV is not as big a deal as iPhone and iPad. But Netflix was built into Apple TV before Apple TV had apps. That was the old original, and it was sort of a regression. I mean, I've been an Apple TV user since the first one.

02:09:36   And those first Apple TV apps were better than the ones that came when they switched to the sort of new, "Okay, now they're real apps."

02:09:46   Oh, yeah, because it was all like Apple. It's very similar to the YouTube thing on the phone. Like, Apple had written all the code that was running, and it was basically like fetching API calls from other people.

02:09:55   Right, and so it was like Apple designing the Netflix experience for Apple TV at the time. But it just shows the relationship that they had with Netflix at the time. They're like, "Hey, we'd like to put your thing here."

02:10:06   Sure, they had the iTunes store selling TV shows and movies and stuff, but they're like, "It's a big platform, and we love Netflix. We'd love Netflix to be built into this thing." They had it built in, right?

02:10:17   And now it's so contentious that Netflix isn't even letting their iPad app run, which I've mixed feelings. I've heard from people, little birdies in the Cupertino area who've had Vision Pro for a while now that it really was a surprise to Apple that Netflix wasn't there.

02:10:37   They knew they weren't going to be there with a native app, but the testers at Apple, people who had Vision Pro hardware, were able to run, or at least try, any iPad app they wanted to up until recently.

02:10:51   I forget when App Store Connect added the flag to allow developers to opt out, but until that flag existed, people at Apple who had Vision Pro could try any iPad app they wanted to, and Netflix worked. Maybe Netflix thinks it didn't work up to their standards. They do have high standards.

02:11:14   Well, I mean, so for whatever it's worth, that same checkbox has existed for iPad apps to run on Apple Silicon Macs ever since the introduction of the first M1 Macs. And we see when you go to the Mac App Store, you have that separate tab for iPhone and iPad apps.

02:11:28   And so I've had Overcast available that way since the beginning of M1 Macs, because I thought, "Hey, I can just do zero work here and just get more users or serve my existing users better. Why would I not do this?" It's literally free.

02:11:43   And that was almost true. It's not free, though. It is mostly free in the sense that I don't have to do that much. However, by letting my iPad app run on the Mac, I have run into a few small issues that I had to work around.

02:11:57   There were a couple of random crashes, because some API call that was supposed to be automatically handled wasn't. Or some availability check where I say, "If you're on iOS 16, run this code." Some of those things would fail in ways they weren't supposed to and crash when running on the Mac.

02:12:14   And it wasn't because I was calling the code wrong, it was because there was a bug. To be clear, I will own up to my bugs. This was not my bug. And this has happened a number of times in that environment. There's a number of little exceptions there.

02:12:25   I tried adopting the Vision Pro environment for my iPad app, and the first beta version that I shipped with that crashed for people on a certain version of iOS 16 for a similar reason.

02:12:37   That some availability check was not working right and the linker was crashing the app. And again, that's not my fault. That's a bug in the tooling or a bug in the libraries.

02:12:45   And so the reason I learned about this when it was happening on the Mac is because I was getting one-star reviews in the App Store from people who ran my iPad app on the Mac and it crashed for them.

02:12:55   And I hear about certain limitations. For instance, I think this is still the case, I think AirPlay doesn't work from the Mac version of the iPad app. And Vision OS has the same limitation.

02:13:06   Vision OS cannot initiate an AirPlay session from the app. I don't know why, but that limitation is there. And so by being on these platforms, it is not zero support cost.

02:13:16   It is not zero development cost. It does have cost. It isn't just leave the box checked and you get free users. Those costs aren't very high, but they're not zero.

02:13:26   And so it totally makes sense for many of these big companies to say, you know what, we don't want to deal with this. So or this is not worth it to us. We're not going to add any work to our development or support teams in order to serve maybe a couple thousand users.

02:13:41   When you're at a certain scale, that's the calculation you have to make. So even that, like I understand why they would uncheck that box if this is not a platform that they are super interested in yet or ever.

02:13:51   I get it, but Apple was surprised, right? And that to me is surprising in return, like that as of a couple of weeks ago or sometime in this calendar year since New Year's, Apple found out, hey, the Netflix isn't even going to allow their iPad app to run.

02:14:07   And whatever communications there are between the companies, that's to me a failure. And it shouldn't be a surprise. I don't know. And who knows? I mean, obviously, Apple has a special relationship with Disney with regard to this headset.

02:14:22   They had Bob Iger on stage at the keynote back at WWDC. Disney has gone all in and it's not just allowing their iPad app for Disney+ to run. They've truly embraced the platform. It is really, really cool.

02:14:36   I mean, does it make the movie better to be sitting in the land? Luke Skywalker's land speeder on the outskirts of Tatooine in a completely immersive environment to watch a Star Wars movie?

02:14:48   Doesn't make the movie better, but it sure is cool, right? In the same way that like, hey, did the fact that the original iPhone interface with these lickable 3D buttons and a slide to unlock animation that just perfectly tracked your finger.

02:15:03   Did that make it a better phone functionally? No, but it sure was fun. And fun is important, right? Did Apple get a deal with Disney where they're like, OK, Disney said, we'll go all in and we'll build a native vision app and do these cool things, but we want to be your exclusive streaming partner for that level of integration?

02:15:25   I don't know. Maybe. And so maybe Apple was like, screw you, Netflix. I don't know. Who knows?

02:15:31   Who knows? But I think this is going to be interesting to see like, does Apple actually start realizing that their relatively arrogant developer relations situation is costing them when launching a new platform? Frankly, I don't see them changing their behavior or positions at all.

02:15:49   I think it's going to be no change. And that's my fear here, because ultimately, I am extremely excited about Vision OS. I think this is a really cool platform with some really cool uses. And ultimately, I am like I ordered one in part just because I'm a developer and podcaster and have to talk about it.

02:16:06   I also just think it's really cool. And like I was talking on Under the Radar this week, that Apple is pushing spatial computing. This is a thing spatial computing. And for me, I see it more as recreational computing. This is something that I think it is very difficult to justify the vision pro on business grounds for anybody, for developers, for certainly the big company developers, even for users, if you're saying, well, I'm going to buy this very expensive item, because then it'll improve my productivity, because I won't need to carry it anymore.

02:16:35   I'm going to buy this very expensive item, because then it'll improve my productivity, because I won't need to carry a big monitor or whatever you think it's going to do for your productivity. It probably won't. It's just really cool. And that's okay. You could like lots of tech we buy because it's really cool. If you have the means, then no harm done. You can you can buy it and just enjoy it for an entertainment, cool device. And if that's all it ever is, it can still be a success. But that would be a pretty big waste of its capability if that's all it ever is. Because again, they've built in some of the most expensive devices in the world.

02:17:04   Because again, they've built in some really incredible tech into this. And there is just so much depth to what they have done. It is so good. And it would be a real shame and a real waste of potential if most like big company developers never adopted it. So we will see how that goes. I think, again, the potential for this is so, so big. Even if it's only ever entertainment and experiences. Those are still massive markets.

02:17:33   Yep. I don't I don't honestly see a big productivity angle here. I could be proven wrong later. I don't think it's going to be a big productivity device. But I think there's there's enough other cool use cases that a lot of people want that it will have lots of really nice uses and people are going to have a lot of fun with it. And it's going to be really exciting for the people who buy it.

02:17:57   But it's going to take Apple cultivating a really healthy ecosystem of developers to to make that happen. And since it is going to be very entertainment focused for probably most of its first year at least, and if not longer than that, that also means they're going to have to work with a big entertainment companies. And that means streaming companies and TV networks and stuff.

02:18:16   And so I think they have to learn how to navigate those waters in a better way than what they have been doing. The fact that there's no YouTube on there is I think a huge letdown.

02:18:28   Yeah, no YouTube, no Netflix, like those are pretty big missing pieces. And, you know, for a device that is going to be used largely for watching video content. I mean, again, like, yes, it can do other things. But you know, many of them not yet.

02:18:43   And so that's, I think Apple needs to really evaluate their relationship with these companies and and start to look at the whole picture and say, again, maybe what we're doing by not giving an inch in the App Store stuff for all these years. Maybe that's harming us in other areas that we care about.

02:18:58   Yeah, I totally agree. And I feel like it just exemplifies this whole reap what you sow and slash institutional arrogance. And I know that people at Apple, I really think even up to the highest levels don't think of themselves as arrogant people.

02:19:13   They really don't, but that they're so they've gotten isolated. I think your success has isolated them from this and the whole point of Next was the frameworks and the way to write apps.

02:19:30   It was at a time when object quote unquote object oriented programming was a new thing and a trend. And it was like there was a couple of years where there'd be like the cover of magazines would be like object oriented programming.

02:19:45   What do you need to know? And it's like, that's just the way trends work, right? Like AI is having that moment now. And 10 years from now, AI is just something it's just part of our computing landscape.

02:19:56   That's what happens when new stuff happens. But the main point of Next was if you were a developer for application software, you could be way more productive writing against the Next frameworks than any other platform.

02:20:11   And I think it proved out to be true. And when they turn those frameworks into what they called Coco with Mac OS 10, developers who might have been resistant to it, ah, it's a new language, it looks funny, it's got all these square brackets, what the hell is this?

02:20:27   It does not look like C or C++ or any of the other. It just looks weird. But then developers who threw themselves into it were like, holy shit, like Brent Simmons wrote NetNewswire and it was like one person and he wrote this complicated app that had like a web rendering engine and all this stuff.

02:20:44   And lots and lots of developers were like, I'm doing way more than I ever would have been able to do on Windows or on the classic Mac where there wasn't so much. And it was, you're going to want to write software for this if you can because it'll be a great experience for you as a third party developer.

02:21:01   And what did Apple get out of it? Well, what Apple got out of it was look at all these great apps. These apps are better than the apps on any other platform. And because they were using their proprietary frameworks, you couldn't just take a Coco app and just click a button and put out a Windows version. So you could only get them on the Mac.

02:21:22   Apple wasn't getting money from them, right? There wasn't any kind of app store. There wasn't any kind of revenue share. But Apple did get something out of it, which was we've got all of these great apps that are only here.

02:21:34   And we're going to keep making these frameworks better and we're going to use them ourselves. We're making our own great apps. And when we make new frameworks for us, we're going to open them up to you and then you can use them too.

02:21:46   And it's just a great place for developers to be happy and to thrive. And I think they're kind of losing that, right? And I'm not saying that the frameworks for VisionOS aren't great for writing these sort of apps.

02:21:59   But they've lost sight of the fact that they kind of need to sell developers, right? They need to have this relationship. It's Apple's job to make developers, whether they are small indie developers like you with Overcast or big ones like Netflix.

02:22:13   Somebody should have been over there talking to Netflix at whatever level, whether it's Ted Sarandos at the CEO level or at a lower level where it's just dealing with the people who write the software, the Netflix clients for Apple platforms.

02:22:28   But somebody should have been over there evangelizing it, right? Getting them to want to be there. And if they were like, "Ah, we kind of don't want to be there. We don't think you're going to sell." Figure out a way to get them excited to be there.

02:22:42   And they obviously failed, right? I mean, it's not going to be there. And I'm a little hung up. I know I keep mentioning it when I write about it. But like, you can still go to the website for YouTube and still go to the website for Netflix.

02:22:56   But no offline downloads is a huge deal if you're going to be flying. And I can't help but think—I don't fly that often, but I do look forward to starting next month always having my Vision Pro with me when I do fly so that I can watch movies and not stare at an airplane cabin.

02:23:14   So are you going to wait until you see other people doing it first? Like, I don't think I want to be the first guy doing that on the plane. I wanted to talk about this with you. I think I know a lot of people—and I did the thing last week where in the press, now I'm one of what, like, I don't know, a dozen media people whose pictures from the thing are all over social media.

02:23:36   And a lot of people looked at our pictures of everybody who did it and said, "Boy, these people look like tools."

02:23:44   I mean, in all fairness, people said the same thing when the AirPods first came out.

02:23:46   They definitely did.

02:23:48   People will get used to a lot of things. This is a different level because it's covering your eyes, but it is a different thing.

02:23:55   So I get it. I get—and I thought the AirPods one, to me, I didn't get people's reluctance. People thought they looked weird. And I thought—but these AirPods, the first AirPods, they look exactly like the white earbuds that we've all been wearing since 2001 with the iPod, except without the cables.

02:24:14   So if it's actually less, it's the same buds, no cables, how does that look weird, but it was novel, and novel does look different, and people think it's weird to look novel?

02:24:26   I bet—I don't remember it, but I'll bet, like, when the Walkman first came out in 1979 that a lot of people thought, "This is really cool, but I don't want to wear it because I look weird with these orange Nerf balls on my ears out in public."

02:24:41   Right? So I get it, but I don't know. There's some part of me that—and I don't typically wear T-shirts that ask me about my T-shirt, right? I don't dress or act in ways that encourage strangers to come up and ask me.

02:24:57   And I get it that at least for the next year, wearing a Vision Pro might solicit strangers to come up to you—like, if you're sitting in a coffee shop working with it, right? You bring a Bluetooth keyboard and trackpad, and you set up at a table in a coffee shop, and you're doing your work with a Vision Pro.

02:25:15   There's a very high chance that strangers might work up the gumption to come up to you and say, "Hey, is that the Apple Vision thing?" It happened with the iPhone in 2007, for sure, right? Like, nobody comes up to me now and says, "Hey, is that an iPhone?" when I'm grocery shopping, checking items off.

02:25:31   But in 2007, people came up to me who did not know who I was. They didn't know, "Oh, you're John Gruber, the guy who writes Daring Fireball." They were just like, "I know what that is. That's the iPhone. What do you think of it?" I was thinking about buying one, right?

02:25:45   Yeah, that definitely happened.

02:26:10   And if people come up to me and ask me, or this flight attendant asks me, "So be it. I'll put up with it." I get it why other people won't. I think it'll become normalized very quickly. And I don't care that it costs $3,500. I mean, my laptop costs $5,000, I think. I guess other people don't know that my MacBook Pro is maxed out to the gills. It doesn't look that much different than a $1,200 MacBook Pro.

02:26:34   Well, also, I think the society accepts that you can have a computer. Everyone's like, "Oh, yeah, well, of course, computers are normal for people to have. They are needed. Maybe that's your business computer." But a lot of people are going to look at this for a while and say, "Oh, look at that guy. He spent a lot of money on this unnecessary thing."

02:26:51   Yeah, I personally just don't have that self-conscious gene. I don't know what it is, but I understand that other people do.

02:27:19   Right.

02:27:21   Now you add sight to that. Now, you can't see their eyes. People already--that kind of makes you uneasy. When you can't see someone's eyes, it makes you a little bit uneasy. That's deep biological roots.

02:27:33   I remember once when our dog was a puppy, our vet told us that we should keep the hair trimmed around his eyes so that other dogs could see his eyes because they couldn't. They would think he was weird. Weird behavior might result. It's this deep biological thing. You want to see people's eyes.

02:27:52   I think that's a weird thing to see, or it will be, because if you see that person, you can't tell if they can see you at all. You can't tell if you can get their attention at all. It's going to be a little bit weird. You're going to have to go up and tap their shoulder for certain things, maybe.

02:28:15   I know there's the breakthrough features, but those aren't going to work from all angles 100% of the time. I think there's going to be a weird transition period of getting used to seeing these things in places where it would not be acceptable to, say, wear a sleeping mask.

02:28:30   On a plane, I think it's okay. On an overnight flight, you're given these sleeping masks or whatever, and you can wear them, you can sleep, and no one cares. If the flight attendant has to wake you up to tell you to put your seatbelt on or whatever, they can tap your shoulder. That's acceptable in that context. I think having Vision Pro on a plane is going to be acceptable more quickly.

02:28:46   But then a coffee shop, that's a very different thing. Will the staff of the coffee shop be okay with all these people just being zombies in their headsets that they can't even see or alert to anything or make eye contact with? As of where we stand right now, that's well past my comfort zone. I can't see myself ever doing that, but who knows how I'll feel in one to five years.

02:29:07   Right, and Casey, our resident, likes to work in coffee shops or Wegmans, right? He loves to go to the—

02:29:17   And also seems stricken with self-consciousness with this, so it might be a while for him, but I think he should just suck it up and do it. But that brings us to EyeSight, right, which they went to great expense, in my opinion, because just adding a display—it's really, really weird that they've added a display that you, the person who bought the device, aren't really ever going to look at.

02:29:40   Can you ever think of a display that was not for you? I mean, it's really unusual. It's one of the reasons that I discounted the rumor before it turned out to be actually true.

02:29:51   And the truth is they still did not let us, last week in the media thing, try it ourselves. Now, part of the reason for that—it's not that they don't like the feature or are trying to hide it, but that you only get that feature when you've created what they're calling a persona.

02:30:07   You capture—that's the verb they use, too. You capture your persona, and the captured persona that you create is the same persona that will be used for FaceTime and Teams and Zoom and whoever else opts into that.

02:30:21   So if you do video calls with the Vision Pro in a FaceTime or one of these other apps that support it, where you get a 3D representation in a square, it's the same persona that shows your eyes through the EyeSight feature.

02:30:37   And I guess that takes time and maybe a lot more time than doing Face ID. I don't know. But there's all sorts of other things they didn't have us do in that 25, 30-minute demo.

02:30:49   We didn't get to log into our own iCloud account, which is a big one. All of that is to come. But they did let us go and see an Apple employee who had done a persona and see EyeSight live on a person.

02:31:03   We weren't allowed to take photos of it either. And again, not because they're trying to hide it, but I think because it's extremely difficult to photograph.

02:31:11   And so my firsthand experience with EyeSight is one Apple employee for about five minutes. My takeaway from it is, "Oh, I get it."

02:31:24   And it's exactly what you just said five minutes ago. It's that for other people around you being able to determine the attention of the person in the headset.

02:31:35   And then I went back and in my thought, I looked at this guy from Apple. I forget his name. It doesn't matter. I guess I'm not supposed to give his name. He's just a random product marketing person.

02:31:46   But I got to talk to him and I was looking at it and I'm just standing. He's standing. I'm standing four or five feet in front of him.

02:31:53   And I said to him, "Hey, look angry." And he like squinted his eyes and gave me like a fake. And it's no latency. I could tell that he was giving me like a jovial, fake, angry look.

02:32:05   You can definitely see expressions, but it's much darker than I expected. It's very hard to explain. And my impression after seeing him for five minutes for real was that Apple's marketing photographs of the EyeSight feature were misleading.

02:32:28   And that their marketing photos made it seem much brighter and that you saw more of their face. But then I went back and looked at the website and looked at their marketing photos and I realized, "Huh, no. Their photos are actually painstakingly fair. This is very accurate."

02:32:47   But one of the things that threw me off is the primary model who they've been using from June onward, right now till today when you go to Apple.com, is a young black woman. She's fairly dark complexioned.

02:33:03   And therefore, the dark nature of what you see in EyeSight, I actually think it works better for a dark complexioned person than a lighter complexioned person. I don't know how to say it.

02:33:18   But there's a fairly big dark ring of shadow affected. It's not really shadow, but it looks like shadow around the eyes.

02:33:29   It's like a vignette?

02:33:30   Yeah, it's like a vignette. And it's as though you're wearing safety glasses with a black border around the sides and only the front is clear. But because it's a black border around the sides, there's a lot of shade falling into their eyes around it.

02:33:47   So it's a much more subtle effect than I thought. And even when they announced it in June, I knew from the beginning it was way more subtle than we ever thought if they were just going to paint the eyes on the surface of the glass in front of it like googly eyes, right?

02:34:05   It really does look like you're looking at their eyes. Let's say that the glass surface of the front of the Vision Pro is, I don't know what it is, let's say it's two and a half inches in front of your literal eyeballs.

02:34:18   It looks like you're looking through a piece of clear glass to their eyes two and a half inches behind them, but that it's so shaded inside the goggles. I guess the best way I can think of it is that they're sort of like sunglasses, ski goggles, ones that are meant to shade the sun.

02:34:39   And it's a little bit dark and it's not perfectly clear in the way that like, oh, you're doing a chemistry experiment in high school, put these glasses on and they're perfectly clear and you can see right through.

02:34:50   And they're not, of course, like mirrored ski goggles. They're like semi-tinted ski goggles that are meant to shade out some sun.

02:35:00   I'm really curious how people are going to take to it. I think it's a very ambitious feature, but if you're working in a coffee shop and you're in pass-through mode, I'm not going to get that.

02:35:11   I don't know what Apple's lingo is, but the mode where you see the real coffee shop around you, the real coffee shop is visible to you and you've got windows for Apple Mail and for Safari or whatever else in front of you.

02:35:25   They'll see your eyes, but if you decide to go into immersive mode where you don't see the coffee shop around you and instead what you see is a beautiful mountaintop with a lake in front of you, then eyesight disappears and there's like a blue shimmer, they call it.

02:35:42   It's like a blue shimmer is on the eyes. And it's a lot like the shimmer you get from Siri.

02:35:48   It's a totally abstract, very attractive, screensavory-looking blue shimmer. And that's the indication to others that you're in an immersive environment.

02:36:02   And if they approach you within like three feet, they should still break through sort of like a ghost in your vision so that you see them.

02:36:11   They won't see your eyes until you twist the digital crown to turn off the immersion so that they can see you.

02:36:19   But once you do that, it really is like making eye contact. I will say that. It is very much like making eye contact.

02:36:26   It's exactly like eye contact. It does not seem like you're looking at a screen. It really does look like you're looking at their eyes.

02:36:33   Is that worth it? I don't know. Right? I feel like they've…

02:36:38   I don't know. It's so optimistic. Will people take to this and think it's not too weird?

02:36:45   I mean, you've seen it. I haven't. So it sounds like it has a chance of working out that way.

02:36:51   I wouldn't say we know whether it's going to be a sure thing or not. That's the thing I'm probably most skeptical about.

02:36:56   And when you think about both the kind of odd looks that result and then also the amount of cost involved in all the different parts and then the battery life cost to it and everything,

02:37:07   I can imagine that being the first major hardware change, like for whatever the next vision hardware device is down the road,

02:37:16   it wouldn't surprise me if that's the first thing to go, that whole system. Because if I had to guess, I'm going to guess society is not going to be that okay with it.

02:37:25   And it's always going to be a little bit weird. Because I don't know, like in the… I haven't seen any of the Persona stuff yet, except in the…

02:37:32   They did that guided tour video, which was pretty good. And there was a section there where the person was talking to someone else in FaceTime, like talking to someone else's Persona.

02:37:43   So you could… I think for the first time in public, you could see the digital Persona of someone else in the FaceTime context.

02:37:50   And I got to say, it looked weird to me. Like it's very uncanny valley kind of stuff, but like it looked weird.

02:37:58   And I think everything about the digital Persona stuff, trying to show a version of your face to other people that looks like you're not wearing a headset,

02:38:10   even though you are and everything's dark in there, so they have to kind of read your eyes with sensors and read your cheeks and whatever,

02:38:17   how are they doing it? Reading it with sensors and then reconstructing this digital version of you that looks kind of real.

02:38:22   I think that's only ever going to work kind of. I don't think it's really that possible with our current tech to make that work really well.

02:38:31   And it might never work really well. And so I can see many of those features kind of falling out of favor.

02:38:37   I would not want to be the guy in a FaceTime call represented that way. I would not want other people in my FaceTime call to be represented that way.

02:38:44   And I think the same thing is probably going to end up being true of the eyes feature on the front, which is it is very impressive that they've managed to do it.

02:38:53   It is impressive that it manages to look convincing at all. But I think it's still going to be too weird for people.

02:39:00   Like for the people on the outside of that, I think they're going to kind of recoil a little bit of that and say, nope, that's weird. Get it out of here.

02:39:07   And again, when you look at the costs that it has to the device, what are the Vision Pro's biggest challenges? It's too expensive.

02:39:14   And the battery is external. So battery life and size and weight and cost are all extremely important to improve for future iteration of this product.

02:39:26   Yeah, I can see that being the first thing to go because that would be a pretty big savings on all of those fronts.

02:39:30   Yeah, and I just so it's like I'm building up this checklist of questions that I know Apple's not going to answer until we have them.

02:39:37   But it's like, will there be a preference setting so you can turn off that screen? Like if you want to maximize your battery life and just say, I don't care what people see on my outside of my Vision Pro.

02:39:47   If I say five more minutes of battery life, I want the five more minutes of battery life. Turn it off.

02:39:52   Yeah. Or what if you're alone in your house? Like kind of a waste?

02:39:54   Right. It's a total waste. It's an absolute waste.

02:39:58   I don't know. And there's the other part of me that is like, what's the adage? Fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me.

02:40:06   Like I'm a little gun shy because I fell for the social features of the original Apple Watch.

02:40:15   Oh, the heartbeat and everything? The heartbeat and stuff.

02:40:17   The digital touch.

02:40:18   Yeah, it's probably the part of one of my reviews that holds up the worst of my entire, honestly, of my entire career.

02:40:26   Wow.

02:40:27   I mean, I'm not going to go back and edit it out. And I didn't say, I guarantee this is going to be a huge hit for teenagers flirting in high school.

02:40:36   But I kind of saw the potential. I saw it well enough to see why Apple did it, but I didn't see through to, you know what, people aren't going to do this.

02:40:46   And I feel the same way about eyesight, right? Like I see why Apple did it. Looking at it, it really does seem like there's a part of me,

02:40:54   like I'm sitting in an aisle seat on a plane and I'm fully immersed. And then all of a sudden I see the ghost of a, I'm going to guess it's the flight attendant.

02:41:04   And so I'll turn the digital dial. And yes, it is the flight attendant. She's going to ask me if I'd like something from the cart or something like that.

02:41:14   I'll turn the digital dial and now she looks at my eyes and I'm looking at her. I could see that being useful.

02:41:20   And again, it really, from the flight attendant's perspective, it really does look like you're looking through goggles at my eyes, not at a screen, even though it is a screen.

02:41:29   It really is compelling, but is it worth the cost? So I think it's a little different than the watch because it doesn't rely on somebody else having it, right?

02:41:40   Whereas the personas in FaceTime relies on both sides having it. And that I could see also. I don't know if people want to be like that.

02:41:48   And I have, they did not demo for that for us last week, which I thought I was going to get. I thought that would be part of it.

02:41:54   And again, not me being a persona, but to see somebody else from Apple who had their persona set up again, I got to see that in June, but that's the last time I saw it.

02:42:05   It wasn't so weird that I was like, get it away from me, but it was weird. It was uncanny valley.

02:42:11   I was a little gutted away from you when I saw the, in the welcome video that they posted. It's a little bit, but I think like with the flight attendant situation, I think it's going to be a, you get tapped in the shoulder and you take off the headset situation.

02:42:25   It's the same way like when you can't really tell if someone can hear you through their AirPods. It's polite to just take off your AirPods when talking to people.

02:42:32   I think it's going to be the same kind of thing here. If you have to interact with somebody and you're in Vision Pro, just pop it off for a second. It's fine.

02:42:38   Just pop it up on your forehead, right?

02:42:40   Yeah. I think going back to the Apple Watch thing, you're right. When the Apple Watch launched, Apple didn't really know what parts of it were going to take off, what parts of it weren't, and that was a very public experiment.

02:42:51   And we're seeing the same thing here. The Vision Pro is capable of many different things. Apple doesn't really know yet what types of uses are going to get traction and what aren't.

02:43:03   So very similar to the Apple Watch, they're launching it with, "You can do a little bit of everything with this thing." And what happened with the Watch was over the following years, we realized that it's really bad at certain things and really good at other things.

02:43:14   And that's kind of how it was focused after that. You still can do many of those things with it, but many of them have been edited, sidelined a little bit, made room for other things.

02:43:23   And I think we're going to see all that same stuff with the Vision Pro. Anybody who thinks that this is going to be just like a big iPad or a big Mac screen in space or whatever, it's not. It's different. It's a new thing.

02:43:36   It's going to be totally different, and it's going to be its own set of good use cases and bad use cases.

02:43:42   And Apple right now is in the position of, "Let's open as many doors as possible and just see what happens here, see what sticks."

02:43:52   And over the following couple of years, they're going to learn from this, and they're going to make cuts, and they're going to make changes, and they're going to realize that a third of what they thought people were going to use this for, no one's going to use.

02:44:02   And then this other whole thing's going to come out if developers adopt this. This other whole market's going to come out that they wouldn't have thought would be a big deal, and they'll be big deals.

02:44:10   Just like the watch. And we're going to go through this process, and this is version one. I would not expect anything, like don't hold anything dear from this point that you think, "Oh, this platform is either always going to be a certain way or always going to have a certain feature, or even that you're always going to be doing something on this platform."

02:44:29   I would say, if you're out there making an assumption and be like, "Oh, well, I'm going to buy the Vision Pro, and instead of taking my laptop screen out that I can bolt to the side of my laptop or whatever, I'm going to use this instead of multiple monitors."

02:44:42   Or whatever you think you're going to do with it, I would say, "Don't stick too hard to that assumption. Don't spend four grand on the assumption that you're going to do this one thing that will somehow justify that."

02:44:53   I would say, try it, and go into it with an open mind that maybe this is going to be different than what you expect it's going to be, because it's a brand new platform. Even Apple has no idea how we're going to use it yet.

02:45:02   They have some ideas. If I had to guess, everything about digital personas and probably FaceTime, because you are a digital persona in FaceTime, I'm going to guess all of that is not going to be a hit.

02:45:15   But that doesn't mean that this is some kind of massive failure. On the contrary, I think it's going to be amazing for other types of uses, but I think they're going to be mostly solitary types of uses.

02:45:26   Yeah, we still don't know what happens if, you know, we know that you're going to be a 3D persona if you have a headset on, and I have a Vision Pro headset on, and me and you FaceTime each other, we'll see each other in 3D. But if I'm in a regular work meeting and everybody else is just using their laptop, and I'm the one on a Vision Pro, I guess my persona just shows up in the Brady Bunch tic-tac-toe board of faces on the call, and I'm a persona and not me, and maybe at a small size person,

02:45:55   it won't even look that weird. I don't know.

02:45:58   I'm going to make a call right now. No one on that call wants you to be a persona.

02:46:02   I don't know.

02:46:03   That's going to be a big hindrance to using FaceTime on a Vision Pro. I think the other people on the call are going to think you're weird.

02:46:11   Yeah, I don't know. Here's the list of apps that Apple is shipping. First-party apps, App Store, of course, Files, so Files made it. Everybody loves that app. Freeform, which is curious to me. I'm intrigued by Freeform, but it certainly seems like, given the limited number of launch apps from Apple, it's a weird one to make the cut.

02:46:32   Keynote, which shows that while Apple loves all three of the iWork apps equally, they love Keynote more equally than the others because there's no numbers, no pages.

02:46:45   Mail, so email, messages, mindfulness of all things, music. Okay, music makes sense, right? And especially without Spotify. Notes, photos, which is great. I will say, looking at your own photos in this headset, because you can make them the size of a movie theater screen is extraordinary.

02:47:06   Safari, which is, again, I'll say is probably the most important app Apple has ever made. Settings, tips, and then, of course, TV. Watch a movie.

02:47:16   What about the dinosaur one?

02:47:17   Oh, and dinosaur encounter. I forgot. I skipped that one alphabetically because it doesn't exist on other platforms, and it has a three-dimensional icon. It's actually got texture and depth.

02:47:28   That's awesome.

02:47:29   What a miracle. And then, they're shipping. Now, those are the icon language is a perfect circle is a native vision app. And the squircle, which represents compatible iPad apps, they've got books, calendar, home, maps, news, podcasts, reminders, shortcuts, stocks, and voice memos.

02:47:51   I find that really interesting that after all these years and all of Apple's resources that they don't have native apps for some of those, but I'm also not surprised. Like, pick the core apps, and I guess the core apps of the Apple experience are Mail, Notes, Photos, Safari.

02:48:09   Yeah. Well, and also, you know, when you look at, like, for instance, what we used to call the iWork apps, pages, keynote numbers, it makes some sense to put keynote there because they have this, like, virtual presentation mode, right? Didn't they demo that?

02:48:21   Yeah.

02:48:22   And so that's a pretty good utility, whereas numbers and pages, I can see why they wouldn't do that because, first of all, those are older code bases. They're much larger apps than some of the other ones on this list, and so it would probably be a bit of an ordeal to bring those. I'm sure they will eventually. Maybe they just need more time on those.

02:48:40   And also, like, just using the iPad apps in Windows for those would not seemingly be a big downgrade.

02:48:47   Right.

02:48:48   And Freeform, I think, made it in part because the whole thing about Freeform is this infinite canvas approach.

02:48:52   Yep.

02:48:53   And so that's obvious, but also Freeform is a much smaller and simpler app that's brand new.

02:48:57   And because it's brand new, it was probably written with this in mind.

02:49:00   Yeah, exactly. You beat me to it. Exactly, right? Like, they've been thinking about this. Maybe that's even why Freeform existed, really. But otherwise, iPad apps, and I will say, they didn't give me a ton of time to play with iPad apps in my demo, but they do work better.

02:49:16   And I know I don't want to put you on the spot because I know you had a developer thing, but did you, and I don't want you to say anything you feel like they don't want you to answer, but did you get to use any iPad apps in your demo time?

02:49:26   Oh, I sure did. I used every single app that was on there that I could.

02:49:29   Right. It's not bad, really. Of all the various ways you've been able to use apps written for Platform X on new Platform Y in the Apple era, I think it's going to be the best ever.

02:49:41   I think iPad apps on Vision Pro are better than iPad apps on Mac, and they're definitely better than iPhone apps on iPad, where you get to choose between a tiny little iPhone-sized thing or a 2X thing that's just blown up.

02:49:55   They look legit. I think if they only had iPad apps, I think people would see it as a credible platform, right? They look that good and work that well with the vision-based eye tracking.

02:50:07   Oh, what you look at and what you pinch, you just activate, so we'll see.

02:50:11   I think what will surprise people, I mean, based on my experience using my own app as an iPad app for testing, I think it will seem more usable than you expect in general.

02:50:22   I would say I agree. When I was using Overcast, I felt that it was a pretty good experience to just use the iPad app.

02:50:30   That's not my long-term plan. I want to long-term have a native app, but for now, it's good enough, and it is better than the Mac.

02:50:37   It's not as good as using it on an actual iPad, of course, but it's better than using the Mac version with a mouse trying to scroll with the mouse and tuck GUI.

02:50:43   So it's better than that. But I think, again, I would caution people. The impression that I got trying to use my app and everything else and just seeing how it works in this space is that this is not going to be a platform where I'm using a whole bunch of apps.

02:50:59   The roles that I use my iPad for, which is kind of mixed productivity entertainment, the entertainment roles, no question, are going to translate very well.

02:51:10   You want to watch some video content, whether it's 2D or 3D, it's going to be amazing.

02:51:14   What I'm most excited for for Vision Pro is not productivity-related at all.

02:51:22   I really do not see a productivity story here, in part because I suspect that the density and placement and scaling of things is kind of wrong for that.

02:51:34   It kind of felt to me like I was using my app on an Apple TV, but like an infinitely large Apple TV.

02:51:41   And when you think about, like, if you were making an Apple TV version of, say, Notes or Mail or something, like, you're talking about different scales.

02:51:50   Elements have to be a certain minimum size to be easily targetable and to just look right at these simulated distances and things like that.

02:51:57   Our typical productivity app designs are not going to necessarily translate immediately.

02:52:02   And one of the major takeaways I had from the lab was that the design that I had in progress for my native Vision OS app was totally wrong.

02:52:10   I was kind of coming at it from the point of view of designing an iPad app.

02:52:16   And when I actually ran it on the hardware, I very quickly realized this was the wrong approach design-wise and that I have to make major changes.

02:52:24   Because just bringing over an iPad layout using native controls was not good enough.

02:52:29   It wasn't even close to good enough.

02:52:31   And I was very surprised when I actually tried to do various productivity tasks.

02:52:37   They weren't bad, but they were different from what I expected them to be.

02:52:40   And that's why I'm kind of trying to caution as many ways as I can to people without stepping all over Apple's NDA too much that, like,

02:52:46   I would strongly suggest that you not make too many assumptions about what kind of things will work here, what you'll do,

02:52:51   because it is a very different feeling when you're inside, when you're actually using a Vision Pro.

02:52:57   It's a very different feeling than just using iPad apps.

02:53:01   You are in a new medium. You are in a new environment.

02:53:04   And different designs are necessary. Different things are better or worse.

02:53:08   And my initial early gut feeling here is that I don't think it's going to be a major general purpose productivity device,

02:53:17   but I do think it's going to have massive value in entertainment and experiences.

02:53:23   Like, one of the things that I did in my time at the lab, which I don't think will offend anybody by saying,

02:53:30   is I just opened Overcast and just, I put it in one of the big environments, like the fully immersive environment,

02:53:39   where I'm like sitting on top of a mountain or something, and I just opened Overcast and kind of set it off to the side

02:53:44   and just played a podcast for a few minutes and just listened to a podcast as I was virtually sitting on this peaceful mountain.

02:53:51   And I loved it. It was a great experience. Here I was in the real world, there was an environment around me that was being totally blocked out,

02:53:59   and I was immersed in this peaceful, serene environment just listening to a podcast.

02:54:05   And I thought, kind of going into it, I thought, how big is the market really for an audio-only podcast app in a mixed reality headset?

02:54:14   I figured this is probably not going to be a big market for Overcast.

02:54:18   But that experience changed my mind a little bit. I don't think it's going to be a big market necessarily,

02:54:23   because I think this is going to be mostly a visual entertainment device for most people.

02:54:27   So an audio-only podcast app still has a limited use.

02:54:30   But that kind of opened me up to the possibility of this being especially useful for experiences and mindfulness, meditation, relaxation, virtual travel.

02:54:42   There are a lot of areas like that that I'm very excited about, just having spent a small amount of time trying it myself

02:54:50   and mostly just using my own app in the process, which was not at all designed for this yet, as I learned when I was using it.

02:54:56   But it was such a good experience that I am so excited. That's one of the reasons I ordered this on day one.

02:55:03   I'm so excited to get a Vision Pro and to start really getting into it more and start really thinking about the experience and the feeling of apps in it,

02:55:14   as opposed to productivity and feature checklists and how can I cram my iPad app into this?

02:55:20   That immediately became obvious to me as the wrong approach, and the right approach here is experiences and making it really nice.

02:55:30   Yeah, one of my very favorite quotes of all time is from Stanley Kubrick, and he said,

02:55:35   "Sometimes the truth of a thing isn't in the think of it, but in the feel of it."

02:55:41   And he's talking about movies, but that's true. Like, hey, why does 2001 make sense?

02:55:46   Just feel it. It's the feeling that makes as much sense as the logic of it.

02:55:51   And I think that's exactly what you were saying here.

02:55:53   The feel of being in Vision Pro's immersive environments is so different than what you think it's going to be like.

02:56:01   It does not seem like you're looking at a screen in front of your eyes. It feels like it's a feeling.

02:56:06   And until you have that feeling, you're not going to know what software should be like.

02:56:10   And another analogy I could have is when you move to a new house or apartment, which you were very reminded of recently.

02:56:18   Yes.

02:56:19   But you first come in, it's empty, and maybe you see floor plans too, or you get floor plans, and you think,

02:56:26   "Oh, here's how we'll set up the room, and we'll put a couch here and a TV here," and you think of it.

02:56:31   But then when you're actually there and you're setting up stuff, you're like, "Ah, that's not right. That's a terrible spot for the TV.

02:56:37   What was I ever thinking?" Because the feel of the room is different.

02:56:43   You just have to be there, and you kind of have to be in the room and see the way the light comes in through the windows and set things up like that.

02:56:49   That, by the way, the architecture kind of thing, I think that is a massive, awesome potential market for this.

02:56:56   I would love…

02:56:57   Absolutely.

02:56:58   There's already apps like PolyCam where you can scan a room and using LIDAR and 3D cameras and kind of get a 3D model of the room that you're standing in.

02:57:06   Being able to then, hopefully, I don't know if anyone has announced this, but being able to hopefully go into that room virtually in a Vision Pro would be amazing.

02:57:15   Similar like, you know, furniture layout apps, decor apps, "Let me see, how do I make this wall red? How would that make the room look?"

02:57:22   That's going to be amazing in Vision Pro. Also, even just basics of online shopping, like when everyone has the USDZ links on their Amazon pages viewing the room.

02:57:31   Like, yeah, you can do it on the iPhone and iPad, it's okay, it kind of works, but it'll be a lot better in the Vision Pro.

02:57:37   So, there's going to be a lot of use cases like that that are going to be just amazing.

02:57:43   I mean, heck, I would buy it just solely if it only came with the Photos app and I was able to play spatial video. I would buy it just for that.

02:57:53   And everything else is bonus for me.

02:57:55   Yeah.

02:57:56   I will say this, I bought a Quest 3, is that the name of it? The Meta Quest 3. Do you have the Quest 3? I know you're a Quest family.

02:58:05   My son has one, as a result, I have never gotten a chance to try it.

02:58:09   Not even like for five minutes?

02:58:11   No. I did try the Quest 2 a lot and it made me motion sick and I'm happy to report that I did not have that issue at all with the Vision Pro.

02:58:18   You know, we've gone long and I need to write about it. I'm glad I bought it and I know it's $500 versus $3500.

02:58:26   And it is fundamentally at the very highest level the same sort of product, but only to me in the way that like a BlackBerry 8700 in 2006 was fundamentally the same product as an iPhone.

02:58:39   It's shooting for such a different thing that it… there's nothing in the Quest 3, like in pass-through mode, you know you're looking at screens.

02:58:51   You see pixels, the dynamic range is so limited that when you look out a window, everything is in the middle of the day, everything's blown out.

02:59:00   I can't read my phone or like if I pick up my phone and put it in front of my actual phone and put it in front of my eyes, I can't see it because the brightness of the phone blows out the dynamic range.

02:59:11   Oh wow.

02:59:12   And all of that just works with Vision Pro.

02:59:18   It really… it doesn't quite look like just plain pass-through glasses reality, but it is so close to that that it's compelling for that in a way that all of the existing headphones I've tried, and my son has the PlayStation 1, I've tried that one extensively, I've tried…

02:59:38   you know, I can't say I'm an expert in these things, but all of those look like bright screens in front of your eyes and you see pixels and the frame rate is very, very low, like just waving your hand in front of your face.

02:59:53   You see trails that you don't see in Vision Pro and I don't get motion sick very easily, but I can totally see how I would get motion sick after a long enough time in the MetaQuest 3 that I don't think I will envision because there's distortion at the borders, waviness at the periphery of my vision that just isn't there in Vision Pro.

03:00:18   Anybody who has experience with something like any of Meta's products, it's fundamentally the same thing, but I really do think it is like BlackBerry to iPhone.

03:00:28   Now, is the success of this going to be like the iPhone compared to BlackBerry? I don't know. I really… I think it's a completely open-ended question, but in terms of the actual technology, it's that big of a quantum leap. It really is.

03:00:41   I mean, it feels very similar. I think a good analogy is that the quests are game consoles and the Vision Pro is a PC, basically. And obviously this is oversimplifying a lot of their benefits.

03:00:52   But if the reason that you want a headset is to play games, you should probably get a Quest because it already has game developers making stuff for it. It already has the infrastructure around that.

03:01:04   Its features are based much more on standing in the middle of a room and having a lot of motion in your body. It's a standing-up device because it's made to play games on.

03:01:13   And it comes with game controllers that…

03:01:15   Right. It doesn't have this giant battery thing that you have to put somewhere. The Vision Pro very clearly is really not optimized to be a standing-up device. This is a sitting-down device.

03:01:25   You're going to sit down and get some work done or experience something with higher specs, higher resolution, higher frame rates, all this much higher fidelity. That's what the Vision Pro is going for.

03:01:36   It's a higher-end market that is much more focused on non-game uses.

03:01:41   Now, I think it will be possible to make some really amazing games for it, whether anybody will. I mean, we'll see. That's a big question, probably, but I don't know how many up front.

03:01:51   But it's not made to be a game console the way the quests are.

03:01:56   It's almost shocking how little talk there is of games for day one, really.

03:02:01   Yeah. And I think that's probably… I mean, because even the quest line, like as game consoles, making VR games is pretty tricky in a bunch of ways.

03:02:09   There's a whole bunch of things you have to account for, certain types of games that just really don't work very well or aren't possible.

03:02:15   So the gaming market for VR has been kind of hit or miss. There's not that many breakout hits in that area yet.

03:02:22   And it's been a while. So if there were going to be a lot of them, we probably would have seen that already.

03:02:26   So it's probably always going to remain a bit of a specialized gaming market.

03:02:30   But for Vision Pro to not focus entirely on games and to focus more on this kind of broad, "It's a computer, you can do lots of different things on it," that's a very wise move.

03:02:39   And the market for it will be a lot smaller because of the cost and everything else.

03:02:44   But I think that market will get more use out of it.

03:02:46   And yes, you can play 2D games on a virtual screen in front of your face.

03:02:50   And yes, you can make that virtual screen bigger than, say, a laptop screen, which would be the biggest screen you could play while out of your house playing 2D flat video games.

03:03:01   But it's not that much better, right? Like, if the best you're going to do is 2D video games in a flat window, you're not going to do it on the headset.

03:03:09   It doesn't make sense.

03:03:10   That's not $3,500 better.

03:03:11   Just play it on your Switch, play it on your phone, play it on your iPad, or play it on your laptop.

03:03:16   And same thing with Apple. I'm not surprised that Books is an iPad app.

03:03:21   Some people—and I think this is one of those weird things you don't think of, but for an accessibility type thing, if you're low vision, being able to read a book on a screen that is virtually the size of a movie theater screen might be game-changing.

03:03:38   Like, "Oh my God, that's fantastic."

03:03:40   Me? I don't want to read a book on a 12-foot screen.

03:03:43   If I'm just going to read a book on an airplane, I'll put noise-canceling headphones on and just read on my iPad.

03:03:49   But honestly, I think—again, I hope nobody at Apple's mad that I'm describing that the environments are really awesome.

03:03:56   They are!

03:03:57   They are. And I think there is, I think, a bigger use case than most people would assume of just doing something that would otherwise be routine and would not require a Vision Pro in that kind of environment.

03:04:11   Right.

03:04:12   Again, be able to listen to a podcast on the side of a mountain when maybe if your surroundings are not that serene and not that clean and not that peaceful, to be able to immerse yourself anywhere you happen to be, in any kind of condition you happen to be in, to immerse yourself in your own completely isolated world that is peaceful.

03:04:31   Maybe you have mental health benefits from that and maybe it allows you to focus on what you're doing.

03:04:36   What you're doing could be very otherwise boring and technically not require much.

03:04:42   It can be something like reading a book or reading a document or listening to something.

03:04:46   It can be that simple.

03:04:48   But if you're doing it in an environment that you wouldn't have been able to easily simulate in your real life otherwise, that's very valuable.

03:04:55   So I think we are going to see a lot of that kind of thing.

03:04:58   What I really hope, I don't know what Apple plans to do here, but I really hope that they update the environments as often as the updates say the Apple TV screensavers.

03:05:09   I was thinking the exact same thing.

03:05:11   I'll bet they do.

03:05:12   I had the thought coming home from New York last week after my demo where I got to do more of the experiential immersive stuff and I take the train between Philadelphia and New York and I'm greatly looking, I keep talking about using it on airplanes.

03:05:25   I had the thought immediately, I left Apple and I was thinking about my experience and I'm thinking about notes I want to take and I went right to the train station, hopped and it was perfect timing.

03:05:35   Right on a train and I'm riding home and I thought this will be great on a train and then I immediately thought, oh no, no, maybe it'll be dangerous because when you ride the train up and down the East Coast, you get like three minutes at a stop.

03:05:48   And if you're fully immersed with headphones and fully immersed visually, you could just sail right through your stop and next thing you know, I'm in Delaware.

03:05:55   I'm like, holy shit, if I'm going to use this on Amtrak, I'm going to have to set like an alert, like actually like remind, hey dingus, remind me in 65 minutes to take off my head, take off this headset and see where the hell I am.

03:06:09   Anyway, we went long enough.

03:06:11   We never go too long here, but no, definitely not us.

03:06:16   I want to thank our sponsors. We had Squarespace where you can sign up for a website all in one and Trade Coffee, my favorite subscription coffee company.

03:06:25   Marco, I appreciate your time and I think you guys are killing it over on ATP.

03:06:30   I'm happy to have all three of you here on the show, one after another. Anything else you wanted to give a shout out to?

03:06:36   You mentioned Under the Radar, very good.

03:06:38   Other podcasts people might want to listen to with you and Underscore David Smith, who is ready for Vision Pro with Widget Smith.

03:06:47   Yeah, I'm just, I'm so looking forward to this. I really am.

03:06:50   Because like this is like as much as we complain about other parts of Apple making us upset or us thinking that they're making mistakes.

03:06:57   This seems like a really exciting, like look, how often do you get an exciting new product launch?

03:07:02   That's like a whole new product category, whole new family, like that's very unusual.

03:07:07   So this is, this is a lot of fun and I think all of the things about it that we've been talking about that might make it have a slower start or a slower cap, like the price, like the app situation.

03:07:18   In some ways that's going to hurt it, but also in some ways I think that makes a lot of this more interesting because it won't have certain pressures on it.

03:07:27   It won't have a certain known trajectory. It's kind of unknown how this is going to go.

03:07:31   And because of the lack of financial justification for making apps for it, I think the apps that we do see on it are going to end up being really cool.

03:07:43   Because it's going to be stuff that people made experimentally or for fun that they know they're not going to make any money on it and they decided to make this thing anyway.

03:07:52   And that's going to be kind of hobbyist based in a lot of areas. I think that's going to be really fun and it will open up a bunch of really new stuff.

03:07:59   So I'm looking forward to it. I can't wait to get it.

03:08:01   I saw screenshots yesterday on Mastodon from Carrot Weather. Brian Muller, I believe he pronounced his last name.

03:08:08   The sarcastic robot weather app. I don't know how else to describe it if you've never used Carrot.

03:08:16   The optionally sarcastic robot weather app. You can turn off all the sarcasm and just have it be a regular weather app.

03:08:21   But just looking at a couple of screenshots, I mean, do you need a weather app in Vision Pro? I don't know.

03:08:26   But I'll tell you, he went all in. Right. And it is exuberantly designed and just I can't wait to play with it. Right.

03:08:34   A weather app. I don't know. I mean, exactly what you said. There's an excitement here where maybe it's just like, hey, somebody with just passion has an opportunity to carve out the killer weather app for Vision Pro for now. I don't know.

03:08:46   Yeah, it's fine.

03:08:48   And I would definitely say, like, for example, in a way that in the broadest possible strokes, the iPad really is just a big iPhone. Right.

03:08:56   Like that. I've the iPad. There's hundreds and hundreds, I guess, billions of them in use.

03:09:03   But it wasn't this type of thing. Right. It's like, oh, it's just like the iPhone we had three years earlier, but now it's on a big 10 inch screen. Right.

03:09:09   This isn't like that at all. This is like the iPhone. And going back even further, the original 1984 Mac. Right. This is like the third time where they're trying to introduce a truly new metaphor and paradigm for personal computing.

03:09:26   And I know those sound like highfalutin words, but it really is. You know, I'm not saying it's a sure thing that any of this is going to work.

03:09:34   But other than the entertainment, which is absolutely sure thing, but the rest of it, I can't wait.

03:09:41   Yeah, me too. All right. Thanks, Marco. Thanks.