504: Tone 47


00:00:00   [Music]

00:00:08   From Relay FM, this is Upgrade.

00:00:11   This is episode 504 for March 18th, 2024.

00:00:15   Today's show is brought to you by Vitaly.

00:00:18   Only pizza ovens and delete me.

00:00:20   My name is Mike Hurley and I'm joined by Jason Snow. Hi, Jason.

00:00:24   Hello, Mike Hurley. It's good to be here.

00:00:27   We've got a lot of things to cover today, so I'm going to get straight into it.

00:00:29   We do.

00:00:30   The Snow Talk question comes from Ryan.

00:00:32   Ryan wants to know, when you're recording a podcast,

00:00:35   do you have your own voice coming through your headphones along with your co-hosts?

00:00:39   Or do you have yourself muted in your headphones and just hear yourself muffled through the headphones?

00:00:44   So, this is called, I think it's called "Return."

00:00:50   And I got advice very early on when I was using a blue snowball in my very beginning time,

00:00:56   where there's no return, so you can only hear yourself sort of through your muffled ears,

00:01:02   which is, you know, you can't even hear it like you normally talk because you got headphones in.

00:01:07   And I was given advice early on that, ideally, you want "Return" coming into your ears

00:01:13   because then you can hear how you sound, which is good.

00:01:16   It allows you to modulate your own voice to be an appropriate volume,

00:01:19   and you can tell if there's a problem with your audio that way.

00:01:24   So, I can't, I had to do, I forget where I was, maybe visiting my mom?

00:01:29   I ended up in a situation once where I had to do a podcast without a return, and it was terrible.

00:01:36   I hate it. It makes me feel like I'm sick, if that makes, like, because it's just like I know something's wrong.

00:01:41   Yeah, there's something wrong in my head. In my head, there's something wrong.

00:01:44   Typically, when we record in person, at least I, sometimes you two, will wear headphones for this reason,

00:01:52   even though we're sitting in the same room together, because it just, it just, it feels wrong.

00:01:56   Something feels wrong without the return. I call it monitoring, but I think return is the right phrase.

00:02:02   Yeah, and the, and the point, so like, why would you do it in person?

00:02:06   The answer is, because if you are doing it in person, like I said, you know when you're doing something wrong.

00:02:13   What would that be? The best example is, "Hey, my friend Mike is here, and we're doing a podcast together,

00:02:17   and I'm very excited, and now suddenly I'm talking to Mike over here,

00:02:20   and I'm not talking into the microphone anymore." With the headphones in and the return, I can tell if,

00:02:26   "Hey, dummy, get back on the microphone. That's what podcasts are made from.

00:02:31   You know, you gotta speak into the microphone." So that's, that's why we do it.

00:02:35   But so I would, that's my answer is to Ryan is, it's a must. It's a must.

00:02:39   Or something that is important for me is if I'm too loud. I get loud, and so being able to hear myself,

00:02:45   I know if I'm getting too loud, and then I can move away from the microphone a little bit.

00:02:49   That's true too. Which is why I have developed. People that watch the video version of the show will see.

00:02:53   When I laugh, I tilt my head back. Ah, the video people will see that.

00:02:57   That is a thing that I do all the time, but it's only because of podcasting.

00:03:02   Because I know if I laugh into the microphone. That's Mike technique, everybody. Mike, Mike technique.

00:03:06   That is Mike's technique. Mike, Mike technique.

00:03:08   So like, I'm the opposite of Tay, I'm kind of like Tay Zonday in a way.

00:03:12   It's an old meme for you original internet people. I move away from the mic to laugh.

00:03:17   Yeah, no, it's good. It's good stuff. And somebody mentioned something like this in the Discord too.

00:03:23   This is also something that you can't really do with software. Like Audio Hijack will route your audio back to you.

00:03:28   It's bad because, and it's not Audio Hijack's fault, it's like your brain needs, it needs to be a minimal delay.

00:03:35   It needs to sound as if it's basically coming right into your ears. Because if it's delayed even a little bit,

00:03:41   now you've got the resonance of your own voice in your head, and then a little bit later your voice returned back to you,

00:03:47   and then it will drive you mad. So it generally, it has to be in the microphone or the USB interface that you use,

00:03:55   or it won't work.

00:03:57   Yep, exactly.

00:03:59   If you would like to send in a Snowtalk question of your own, like Ryan did, just go to upgradefeedback.com

00:04:06   and send in your question. Thanks to everybody that does.

00:04:10   It's time for follow up. Jason, we're going to start with some bag follow up.

00:04:13   Do you remember last week we had a question from Ian who wanted a recommendation for a bag to carry two 16-inch laptops with them?

00:04:20   Will we have some suggestions? I'm going to run through these real quick.

00:04:24   Dan recommended the Tom Bihn Brain Bag because it was literally made to carry multiple laptops.

00:04:30   Of course it was.

00:04:32   Robert says, "I commute with two 14-inch MacBook Pros in my Peak Design Everyday Backpack."

00:04:38   So that is something that Robert's made work for them, but it's a bit of a squeeze they said.

00:04:42   Chris says, "I currently am carrying on a daily basis a Dell Precision 17-inch laptop, a 16-inch MacBook Pro,

00:04:50   a 15-inch Dell Precision, and an 11-inch iPad Pro."

00:04:54   So most of these people, and Chris did give more information, it's usually work and personal is the issue here.

00:05:00   And they use the Timbuk2 Authority Backpack.

00:05:04   Adam carries two to three laptops for IT work and can fit two 16-inch MacBook Pros and a MacBook Air in the Targus Drifter 2.

00:05:14   So there's some recommendations for you if you need them.

00:05:17   I do like the idea that if you have an old backpack, it may carry many modern laptops because modern laptops are so much smaller than old laptops.

00:05:31   But the difference is the old laptops, depending on how old they were, didn't have monitors as big as the ones, displays as big as the ones we have now.

00:05:38   So they're thicker, but not necessarily in terms of the overall size, width, and depth.

00:05:45   But I don't know. It's cool. I appreciate people. Like I said, I'm still using a backpack from the 90s, so I don't know.

00:05:51   Many people wrote in to say that if you have no named pets in your photos library, the section in photos is just called "People."

00:06:00   This is interesting. I'm going to assume that since they're upgrade listeners, they're all on Sonoma because this was a feature that was added in Sonoma.

00:06:07   And iOS too.

00:06:09   Well, yeah, and the corresponding version of iOS. That's interesting. I did not see that when I was testing it this summer, but I don't know. Maybe I just had pets. Or maybe they changed it in the beta.

00:06:19   You were too excited to get the pets in there, you know?

00:06:22   Maybe they changed it in the beta and I had already entered in pets and so then I never triggered it. I don't know. This is interesting.

00:06:28   We spoke about the M3 MacBook Air and the fact that the curvy M1 MacBook Air is gone. Except it's back again.

00:06:36   Yes. It's alive.

00:06:37   Apple isn't selling it, but Walmart is. For $699 you can get an M1 MacBook Air. This is the first time that Walmart has directly sold a Mac. It is a partnership between the two companies.

00:06:50   You could buy Macs at Walmart, but they came through third-party vendors before, but now you can actually buy them there.

00:06:55   There's a Walmart.com press release.

00:06:58   They're very excited about it.

00:06:59   On their website and select stores, which is interesting. Walmart. Ben Thompson wrote a thing about Walmart the other week.

00:07:05   That is a company that is being managed in some very smart ways in terms of how they're dealing with e-commerce.

00:07:11   I had a friend who used to work for Walmart.com, which was based in San Francisco. I don't know if it still is or not, but they had a whole outfit there to get tech workers to work on their website, which was also smart.

00:07:23   They're doing a lot of interesting stuff. This is really interesting. They'll put it in their channel in some places, but it's also on their website.

00:07:31   It's also, apparently, I saw this morning that currently, at least as we're recording this, it's their For Sale at DAS Buy website for $650.

00:07:40   I don't know if that's a clearance or if it's so. It sounds like. Well, I also heard from somebody that the educational channel can still buy them and even buy them in five-packs.

00:07:49   So it sounds like, I don't know if this is 100% for sure, but it sounds like Apple's still making it.

00:07:56   And they're just not selling it themselves. And they're making it and putting it in these other channels.

00:08:01   I wonder if it'll show up at Costco at some point. Because here's the thing. The M1 MacBook Air is still actually kind of great.

00:08:08   And this is the thing that gives Apple a sub-$700 computer. It's an old model, but in this case, it's still pretty great.

00:08:17   I thought about, because my daughter's still using an Intel MacBook Air. Sorry, it's our social media manager, Jamie Snell.

00:08:25   Not my daughter, who is my daughter. Let's identify her properly here. Upgrade employee, Jamie.

00:08:32   And one of the things she does, a little behind the scenes, she does a lot of our social media stuff. She does a lot of it on her phone.

00:08:39   No, no. It was just very funny to like the way she is my daughter, but she's also this.

00:08:46   Also, I just want to identify her by her employee badge number. The point is, she does a lot of our social media stuff on her phone.

00:08:55   Of course.

00:08:56   And part of that is, the apps are on her phone, right? So she's uploading to TikTok on her phone and Instagram and all that. It's fine.

00:09:02   For now, TikTok for now.

00:09:04   I think YouTube just uses the computer. Well, just stay tuned for that. But yeah, will we still be?

00:09:10   Well, it'll be okay. We may have to find a European social media sub-manager for TikTok.

00:09:15   So, just anyway, you gotta laugh to keep from crying. I'm powering through this, Mike. I'm powering through this.

00:09:23   So, I have thought about getting her one of these MacBook Airs because it would be such an improvement over her Intel system.

00:09:31   And that might be enough for her to be doing more stuff on the computer instead of just her phone.

00:09:38   Because anything with video, that computer has a hard time.

00:09:42   So, I don't know. It's just an interesting... Like, we prompted Chip, our video producer, to buy an Apple Silicon laptop.

00:09:51   Because he used his Intel Mac to work on the videos and we brought it to its knees.

00:09:58   I think we may have broken his laptop. So, anyway, I think it's great. I love the M1 MacBook Air. I love that it's not dead.

00:10:05   Upgrade is a very powerful podcast. It just breaks computers.

00:10:09   We break things with the sound of our voice and honestly the size of our video files.

00:10:13   So, this is great. M1 MacBook Air. It rides again. I love it. This is like an extension of the Tim Cook doctrine.

00:10:21   Which is, well, you keep a product around a while and then you finally get rid of it and don't.

00:10:27   And then it goes to Walmart and Costco and Best Buy and it continues to be made and sold.

00:10:33   This is great. This is the perfect way to do it. Where Apple.com, that is like the top tier product.

00:10:41   That is where the flagship products are. But you can still put other things out into the world.

00:10:48   I think it's smart. I like this more as a way of like...

00:10:54   When you go to Apple, if you go to Apple, there is like a clear "this is what you get".

00:10:59   But then there are still other things that exist.

00:11:01   And I think the other thing they're doing there is they're like creating this, almost this Apple universe.

00:11:09   Where like in the Apple universe, the M1 Air is gone. Right?

00:11:14   Like if you want to buy direct from Apple, Apple is like, we have two... We don't have three Airs.

00:11:18   We have two. We have the M3 in all these varieties and then we've got the $999 M2.

00:11:23   And that's it. Right? And the M1 Air can still exist, you know, for years maybe.

00:11:28   I mean certainly for a while out in the world. And they can still make them even.

00:11:32   But like in Apple's little direct to consumer world, it's discontinued. But it's not really.

00:11:40   I think that's fascinating. But it simplifies what's available directly from Apple.

00:11:44   And they don't really want to steer you to the $699 computer. Right?

00:11:48   They want to find a new market for that. And if Walmart has never sold a Mac before,

00:11:51   like this is a new market for them. I wonder what the select stores will be and how it will sell in stores.

00:11:58   But certainly from Walmart.com, like it's a cool idea. I think we'll see how it works. Right?

00:12:05   It could be as cool an idea as possible. But like it may not sell. It may not make sense.

00:12:10   It may not last long. I don't know. But I love that they're trying this. I think it's great.

00:12:14   Quick bee tales follow up. Bee tales. There you go. Thank you.

00:12:20   Well, I want to talk about Mac virtual display again on the Apple Vision Pro.

00:12:25   I'm on 1.1 and 14.4 now. Like I guess most people listening are.

00:12:30   And I say unequivocally Mac virtual display is a higher quality on Vision OS 1.1.

00:12:38   It is much more readable even with small text. Like they have made some significant improvements to Mac virtual display.

00:12:47   Wouldn't you agree?

00:12:48   Yeah, I would. I would. It looks better. Seems more stable. Yeah.

00:12:54   The only thing that I notice now is the volviated rendering. Like that's the only part where I notice that it's blurry.

00:13:01   It's in my peripheral vision. And I really only see this when using the Mac.

00:13:05   And I think it's just because I don't know the windows large or there's a lot smaller text than there would be on a vision OS app.

00:13:13   I'm not sure exactly why, but I do notice it more here than anywhere else.

00:13:17   Here's my theory. My theory is one, yeah, the nature of that virtual display is a little bit different.

00:13:24   And two, I think as a Mac user, you have a little bit more awareness of all the interface elements on the screen in front of you on your Mac.

00:13:34   And that you notice it a little bit more. Because I'm used to it a certain way.

00:13:37   Yeah. Is there something they could do?

00:13:39   And this comes down to a fundamental of how Vision Pro works and Vision OS works. Because I suspect the volviated rendering of the display is a very deep, low-down system that's happening in real time on the R1 in order to maximize performance.

00:13:58   And when you put it in high quality screenshot mode, capture mode, using Xcode, in Reality Composer, it gets weird.

00:14:10   It starts to blink and flicker and the performance suffers. And the reason is it's not volviated rendering anymore.

00:14:19   It's giving you the full res, but it all kind of bogs down.

00:14:25   So my question is, could they, either now or in a future OS, build a subsystem that allows, say, specific windows to have volviated rendering turned off?

00:14:39   Because it strikes me that saying, "Don't do volviated rendering on the Mac window" is the thing that would probably solve this problem.

00:14:46   And the Mac window is maybe never so big and so high resolution that it would cause a lot of performance problems with the rest of the display.

00:14:55   But for all I know, it's either technically impossible because it's too low level or they tried it and it didn't work very well.

00:15:00   But it's funny. It's just funny that I think maybe what's going on here is just that the context of a Mac display makes us expect some clarity at the edges that we don't get.

00:15:12   Yeah, I mean, even if they were able to just change how heavily they are, they are volviating that rendering, which might, you know, basically me and you had a FaceTime call a couple of days ago.

00:15:23   Personas look much better too. And we were talking about this too. And I think that this might even be something that over the years, over the hardware revisions, I'd be able to software revisions.

00:15:32   This just gets better and better over time, becomes less of a thing that they need to worry about.

00:15:36   That they're putting some effort into it because it's definitely one of the good use cases for Vision Pro and it just it needs to be better.

00:15:43   And I think and I thought it was good to begin with, but like it's getting better.

00:15:48   And I think there are rumors out there that they are working on this more to see could we do a second display or there are other like making it getting more of the Mac in the Vision Pro, I think is a really great direction for them to go.

00:16:02   I don't think we're going to get to the case where you could like take a Mac window and pull it out. Maybe.

00:16:08   But certainly having the ability to change the sizes of the windows, have multiple displays, stuff like that.

00:16:16   There are things that could be very interesting that they could do and put in Vision OS.

00:16:21   And I hope that they continue to pursue it because I do think this is a nice feature.

00:16:26   Also yeah, personas definitely look better. And my report about this is a I have no mouth and I'm a scream corner.

00:16:36   Your mouth, it moves more now but still doesn't open reliably because it's seeing.

00:16:46   I know because the cameras on the Vision Pro are blocked by your beard and are not trained at like the movement of a beard to represent the movement of the mouth beneath the beard.

00:17:00   Oh, the mouth beneath the beard. That is a detective novel from the 50s if ever there was one.

00:17:06   There is something super funny about the idea of a technology product built in California not being able to work with beards.

00:17:14   I feel like there's got to be a pretty big overlap but who knows. Maybe beards are just too complicated.

00:17:21   Maybe. I don't think that's true. I think that more training needs to be done. But anyway, it's better. It is actually better but not good enough.

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00:18:15   This episode is brought to you by Vitaly.

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00:19:39   It's time for DMA Today, the non-stop segment.

00:19:45   Today!

00:19:47   So last Tuesday Apple made some more tweaks to their DMA proposal/rules.

00:19:53   I'm going to break these down for you.

00:19:55   Later this spring Apple will add a new web distribution feature that lets developers distribute their iOS apps directly from their website.

00:20:03   This is sideloading.

00:20:05   However with some caveats.

00:20:08   So this will mean that an iPhone user could go to a developer's website, they could download the app, they don't need to use an app store or an alternative app marketplace.

00:20:17   Developers who want to offer this have to have a legal entity within the EU.

00:20:21   They need to opt in to the new app store business terms which means they will pay the core technology fee for each first annual install over 1 million units in the past 12 months.

00:20:31   These apps still need to be notarized by Apple.

00:20:34   The apps can only be installed from a website domain that the developer has registered in App Store Connect.

00:20:40   The developer must also be a member of good standing in the Apple developer program for two continuous years or more and already have an app that has had 1 million first annual installs on iOS in the EU within the prior calendar year.

00:20:56   So this is one of those things where the more Venn diagrams we put on this, there is a tiny amount of developers who can actually offer web distribution.

00:21:06   Yeah, it is, I think the thing that bothers me about this is that Apple has decided to create in the name of security, right, a platform security, a very high bar for people to distribute their apps this way.

00:21:20   I am a little skeptical. I guess the question, we'll get into this in a little bit, but I guess the question is who is the European Commission really defending here and protecting here?

00:21:33   Because I look at this and say if the goal is to provide access for developers to go outside of Apple's App Store, making them live inside Apple's App Store for years and be successful distributing apps inside Apple's App Store at a very high level in Europe, that's a very high bar.

00:21:52   That seems unfair to me. I get what Apple is saying here in terms of not wanting somebody to quickly create an account, launch a scammy thing, take the money and run, take the data and run.

00:22:05   I get that, that Apple needs to apply a level of scrutiny to anybody who's distributing apps this way for platform security, but I'm not sure, I'll put it this way, I'm sure there are a bunch of very good developers who have interest in doing something like this in Europe,

00:22:26   who have been developing Apple apps for a long time, who haven't reached a million annual installs in the EU. To me, this bar seems too high and against the spirit of the DMA, but it may be, because I've heard a lot of people make this argument, it may be that the European Commission doesn't care so much about indie developers wanting to have freedom,

00:22:49   and it's more about big companies that are complaining that Apple is elbowing them out of more of their freedom and revenue.

00:22:57   I agree with that, provided that this passes. This is already an amendment to the original proposal. I've seen people suggest that maybe the EU is telling Apple what they want and they're doing this,

00:23:09   or it could just be the case of it's been the way it's been, where the EU's like, "No, that's not good enough, you need to enable this." This is Apple's attempt at that, and who knows, by the end of this week, this could change again.

00:23:18   Yeah, we may have another Apple newsroom post on Tuesday that says, "Thanks to feedback from our developers, we've changed what being a member of Good Standing is to be this other thing."

00:23:31   Because this is a proxy. Look, these numbers are a proxy for the concept of a trusted developer who's not going to be destroying their entire track record in order to scam people.

00:23:43   I totally get that. This seems extreme. If Apple's previous behavior is a guide, Apple was told to do sideloading, and they're like, "All right, can we protect security?"

00:23:56   They're like, "Well, of course, that's part of the deal, is you can still do platform security." They're like, "Great." They said, "Well, this is how we define it."

00:24:03   It's entirely possible that then the regulators will come back to Apple and say, "That's too high a barrier, you need to change it," which we've seen in other areas.

00:24:11   Watch this space. That's just what struck me here. It seems unlikely. I think this is sometimes a guide for seeing Apple's compliance with these things.

00:24:21   Is the goal here to make something fair, or is the goal to make something that fulfills what the EC has asked them, but nobody will use it?

00:24:32   This bar seems to be set at a level where nobody's going to use it or almost nobody, and that's not what the point of it is.

00:24:43   Again, I'm not saying that Apple doesn't have the right. I think it's very clear, and the European Commission agrees, one of the things Apple still has the right to do is keep its platform secure,

00:24:54   or as secure as possible, given the horrible things they have to do now in Europe. But either way, I can read this as an attempt to keep the platform secure. It just seems too much.

00:25:07   On that, Zach in the live chat shared with us a link from a friend of the show, Steve Trouton Smith, who I don't fully understand what's going on here, but it says, "Basically there was a DMA workshop that took place today,

00:25:23   where the European Commission made it clear that Apple also needs to comply with the spirit of the law," which the European Commission feels like they're not,

00:25:31   "and that it is an iterative process and Apple is expected to update its compliance plan as the details are hashed out in the coming weeks and months."

00:25:38   Glad we did that DMA Today art.

00:25:40   Hey, this is one of those jokes that's just play dividend, because this is the thing to talk about.

00:25:46   As a side note here, because we have more to talk about in this segment, I just want to say, I had this strange sort of sad feeling last week,

00:25:55   and I realized that one of the reasons is that I don't love this topic. I think it's super important. I think it's super important.

00:26:04   I also don't like getting mad at Apple for its behavior, which I absolutely was last week, because I think that they behaved egregiously.

00:26:12   I don't love that. I don't love feeling that anger. I don't love channeling it, but at the same time I felt like it was absolutely necessary.

00:26:21   I actually said to you this weekend, "I don't really want to cover this, but here's what we should talk about if we do."

00:26:30   And then you're like, "Oh yeah, but they announced all those things on Tuesday last week. I'm like, "Alright, yep, we got to talk about it."

00:26:35   So I don't love it, but I think it's important, not only for the present, but also for the future of Apple's policies all around the world.

00:26:42   So we are going to cover it, but I'll just say I'm not covering it with glee. It's just, but we need to talk about it.

00:26:50   I find it to be a very interesting thing because it is rare, I think, that we get to see Apple working something out in public.

00:27:00   So I find that to be quite interesting because we don't see this.

00:27:05   Yes, and one of my favorite things to talk about is how Apple works, right? And so much of it is in the black box. We can't tell.

00:27:11   But the problem with it is what you mentioned, is it makes me upset. I get angry about it. I get frustrated and I get disappointed.

00:27:19   And that's not necessarily a nice thing to keep feeling, but I do find great intrigue in this.

00:27:26   And also just the kind of unprecedented nature of it that like the European Union is like a cat and it's just batting Apple around.

00:27:36   And they're just having to, they don't have a choice really. They have to just keep doing what they're told within the limit that they will.

00:27:45   And nobody really does this to them.

00:27:49   So my Macworld column last week was about the idea of people like, friend of the show Steve Trotton Smith, talk about malicious compliance.

00:27:59   And I think based on especially what happened last week, I've decided that what they're doing is what I am calling incremental compliance.

00:28:07   And this is their strategy. Their strategy is do the minimum and then be told what else they need to do and then do that.

00:28:14   And I think that's interesting because going into this, I could have read it two ways.

00:28:18   I know that Apple doesn't want to do the equivalent of paying more than they need to in their taxes.

00:28:22   Right? Like I get it. Especially Apple, they don't want to pay. They minimize their taxes. I get it.

00:28:28   My point is that they don't want to do that, but it is interesting.

00:28:34   They also don't want to be put in a position where they have to change their rules every week based on an outside entity telling them yes, no, yes, no.

00:28:43   They don't want that. But that seems to be the way that they're handling this and I think maybe the only way they could handle it.

00:28:48   Especially if they don't want to just give away the store. They literally need to do it this way.

00:28:54   And so this is where we are now is in a fascinating kind of give and take where Apple keeps going, well, how about now?

00:28:59   Okay, well, how about now? And hoping that over the course of time, that the net result of all of this effort is less than if they had done it,

00:29:09   just thrown a bunch of things at the wall themselves and it'll be essentially the minimum.

00:29:14   The danger they have is antagonizing the regulators who get frustrated that Apple is not getting it and get grumpier and demand more from them.

00:29:25   That's their sort of danger is that they actually make it worse on themselves by doing it this way.

00:29:30   But either way, this is the strategy now. It's very clear is we're going to do this and it's what we think is the minimum compliance.

00:29:41   And then you tell us where we did it wrong. It's like a game of 20 questions or something.

00:29:46   It's hot and cold, hide and seek kind of stuff where it's just like, how about now? No. Okay, how about now?

00:29:53   And that is, I mean, the right way to do this is to negotiate all this with a regulator in advance, but apparently that's not how it works.

00:30:01   So instead, we're going to do it in public.

00:30:03   I mean, I see the route in which you get to this.

00:30:09   And I also see that there is a scenario in which the European Union just gave them a big rubber stamp in the first place, right?

00:30:16   Apple had a bunch of very smart people look at this law and they created what they thought was the best possible outcome for this, but it's not worked out for them.

00:30:25   And it seems like it's not working out for them.

00:30:27   So now the problem that I believe that they are seeing with this approach is one, antagonizing European Union and potentially other governments and regulators.

00:30:37   But they are also alienating and upsetting the developer community when realistically the amount of people that would have ever been affected by this from their larger partners is slim, but they are now upsetting everyone.

00:30:51   Everyone is upset, right? Because we've spoken about it, right? Facebook are upset, Microsoft upset. Everyone is upset with them.

00:30:58   And so I'm not sure that this is going to be in the long run the right way to have gone about this.

00:31:05   And my guess is that in six months or a year when Apple has changed its policies dramatically from the original policies based on the feedback that they've gotten from the European regulators, that if they had taken that policy, which they didn't have, I grant you, but if they had taken that end result policy and announced it when they announced their DMA compliance, people would have been a lot less angry, right?

00:31:33   They would have been like, "Oh, sideloading and this thing and that thing and these terms seem reasonable."

00:31:38   But instead what they're doing, look, you said it, this is a negotiation happening in public.

00:31:44   And this is why you don't want a negotiation happening in public.

00:31:49   This is why. When we talk about labor and union negotiations with management, there are initial offers and they're outrageous and then there's pressure and then they come to an agreement ultimately.

00:32:02   And it's compromised and all of these things.

00:32:05   And but generally, I mean, there are leaks with high profile ones, but generally what ends up happening is both sides come out and say, "We have reached an agreement that we're both satisfied with and here it is."

00:32:16   And instead what we've got here is we're watching Apple's initial proposal and then we're watching it batted back by the EU and saying, "No, no, no, that's not good enough."

00:32:24   It is fascinating on one level, but yes, this is the challenge is that I think people are angrier at Apple than they would have been at the end result because they're seeing Apple being dragged to these conclusions and not going willingly.

00:32:40   And that I think makes people less thrilled about Apple.

00:32:45   And that's the point of my column was there. This is an eminently logical strategy. I do think it is from Apple's point. And I think that at the end, the idea here is they're going to give away exactly what they need to and nothing more and that they're going to be areas where Apple's doing stuff where the regulators are like, "Oh, it's fine guys. You just keep it's fine."

00:33:04   And they're going to get away with some stuff. But the danger is that the act of doing this will make it worse on them in the long run.

00:33:12   And this may be why the European Union does it the way that they do it.

00:33:16   Right? So then these companies get, they kind of get drug through or they maybe they'll give up more because they don't want the bad PR. I don't know.

00:33:24   So there were two other big changes here. So Apple has changed the policy that they had to say that now an app marketplace can exist and just have within it the apps from the developer of that marketplace.

00:33:40   For example, Meta could have the Meta app marketplace and it just include Facebook, Instagram, Threads, WhatsApp. That's it. They don't need to take outside apps.

00:33:49   This is Apple being a little cute with the definitions of this thing. Not only did they choose marketplaces instead of sideloading and said, "Oh, well, that's an and/or. So we're going to choose or," which now they have not been able to.

00:34:01   This is sort of like, "Oh, marketplace. Well, we're going to hold you to that and we're going to call this a marketplace and it must be a true marketplace that is not just for your own apps."

00:34:09   And the regulators are like, "That's not what we meant. No."

00:34:13   Nice try. And also, developers will be able to choose how they can design their own promotion discounts and deal screens as opposed to using Apple's templates.

00:34:22   Because previously, if you wanted to tell people you had a different price outside of the app store and then you did the link out to that, Apple will like, "Oh, you can only have it look a certain way."

00:34:32   This is now not the case. It does still require that you accept the new terms of the EU to be able to do this.

00:34:40   But yeah, that is a change. No longer is it going to scream at you.

00:34:44   Unless you are using a non-Apple payment processor in app, you still have some defined screens.

00:34:51   But if you're linking out, you can choose how that page looks.

00:34:54   This is one of the only legitimate laugh-out-loud moments I had last week was all those templates we gave you.

00:35:05   Well, they're more of a suggestion.

00:35:07   And it just exemplifies the way this whole process has worked where Apple's like, "Oh, we've got a whole system with a bunch of APIs for marketplaces and this is how it's going to be."

00:35:16   And then the next week, they're like, "Also, sideloading coming soon."

00:35:19   And this is like that too, where it's like, "You must do it this way. This is exactly how you must do it."

00:35:24   "Oh, no, no. If you want, we recommend you look at it as our example. Try to do this, but you don't have to."

00:35:32   And Apple will not say, Apple's messaging all along is like, "After discussing this with developers and other stakeholders."

00:35:42   Other stakeholders? Yeah, okay.

00:35:45   One really, really big stakeholder who is actually kind of the boss right now and we don't like that.

00:35:51   No, no.

00:35:53   Do you want to talk anything else about DMA today that you want to cover?

00:35:56   Yeah, I have some big picture kind of things to watch or questions to ask.

00:36:02   And I don't think we're going to get into it too deeply today, but I think just like, look, first off, I know that a bunch of people skip this chapter because they don't want to hear about this stuff and I don't blame them, but they're not listening now.

00:36:12   So all of you who've reached the end of DMA today, here are some things. Here's your homework if you want.

00:36:18   One is, who's watching this happen? Because it's not just us. It is other regions and countries.

00:36:24   And I think that it's important to keep in mind that this is also a stage that other regulators, other potential regulators, politicians in various locations are watching closely.

00:36:36   And not just the US, but throughout the world, they're watching this and saying, "How is the European Union pushing Apple around? What are they making Apple do? Do we like that? Could we get that for our constituents too?"

00:36:54   Because it is, and I honestly, I think that if I'm a member of the House of Representatives or something, this is not a campaign announcement, I'm not, but if I was and I was on like a tech subcommittee or something, I would look at this and say, "You know what? Better them than me."

00:37:10   Right? Like, let's let the European regulators hash this out with Apple and we just stand aside and like, "I don't want the back and forth. I don't want all this."

00:37:18   Let's see where they get. And then the end point of that, then we'll have an idea, but make no mistake, they're watching. So I think that's interesting.

00:37:26   Another question I have. Who is the European Commission protecting? And I mentioned this earlier. What's their priority? Is their priority to protect consumers?

00:37:39   Is their priority to protect companies, big companies, with the thought that by protecting them, the consumers will be protected because they'll be given choice?

00:37:56   But is that the case? Or is that not the case? Or is it just shifting money from one company to another and the consumers get nothing?

00:38:03   Are the consumers the end point here or not? Because a lot of cases they're not. The Apple book settlement is a great example of that, where the book, the ebook world would have greatly benefited from having a more competition in that market.

00:38:18   And Apple was trying to do that by illegally colluding with publishers, as it turns out. But in the end, what happened is Amazon basically got its competition reduced, which made less competition in the market, which is, I would argue, worse for consumers.

00:38:32   But that was the way that the rulings worked. And then the subcategory there is, are they protecting all companies, all developers, or are they protecting big developers?

00:38:45   And this goes to that rule about a million in the EU. Because I've heard this argument from people, and I think it's a fair one, which is, is the EU really concerned about an indie developer who wants to do a sideloaded app that's cheap or free?

00:38:59   And they need a lower bar set for them to be a trusted developer? Or are they only really concerned with Spotify, Epic, Big Fish, right? Like, which is it? Facebook, which is it?

00:39:12   Well, and also, she said, it's not just all developers, it's just all European developers. That could be, really, that should be their focus. That should actually be their focus.

00:39:21   I am dubious to that. I think that they're more concerned with, but this is a question, right? This is something to watch is, are they concerned with European developers, or are they concerned with all developers who are doing business in the EU?

00:39:36   It's a question. Ask yourself that. Let that be one of the lenses you use to look at the situation.

00:39:42   The million, like the million number? Apple made that up, right? So we'll see if that stands or not. I think this is Apple trying to be very specific and carving out a selection, a large swath of the potential.

00:39:59   Yeah, start big, right? And then be told to make it smaller. I think that's their whole incremental approach here.

00:40:04   Yeah, and so we'll see, because I really do feel like there are probably not that many companies that this affects.

00:40:12   Well, this is my point here. This is a good one to see, what does the EU make Apple do, if anything? If the EU, or the European Commission, is happy with a million installs in the EU and two years in the App Store as a barrier, I think what it says is that they don't actually care about small developers at all.

00:40:28   I think that that's it. Also, and I can't look at that, I mean, talking about Steve Trond and Smith saying they're concerned about the spirit of the law. The spirit of the law is that people should have access and freedom to be able to do things like sideloading.

00:40:41   The way it's written now, even if you want to make a sideloaded app, if you're not a developer now, you have to register as a developer, wait two years, and in the meantime, distribute an app in the App Store that's a hit.

00:40:56   That's a big hit. It's entirely contrary to the entire spirit of the law, so we'll see if it changes.

00:41:04   I don't think that's going to stand, I really don't. Yeah, Unconnected last week, we did a draft of things that we think will change in the next month, and this is one of mine.

00:41:11   This whole, like, there will be this developer- understanding thing.

00:41:16   What's a trustworthy developer? Yeah, yeah.

00:41:18   I don't see it. I don't see it holding water, because it's like-

00:41:21   It doesn't make any sense.

00:41:22   All it is is the gatekeeper. The company currently, like, described as a gatekeeper keeping another gate.

00:41:30   Yes, well, and it's to be free of our gatekeeping, you must enter the gate, live within it for two years, be successful within the gate, and then we'll open the gate and let you out.

00:41:39   It's like, no, that's not what this is supposed to do.

00:41:43   So, but again, I've also heard the argument that in the end, the European regulators won't care about the little guy, and we'll see, right?

00:41:52   I mean, I really think this is a great test of that, is that million barrier is designed to make it hard for anybody who isn't a giant developer to take advantage of this freedom, and we'll see.

00:42:04   Apple have made it quite clear that, like, well, Apple have insinuated that Spotify and the European Union are working very closely together, right?

00:42:15   They have insinuated this in the press releases that they put out. This will be a key to that, understanding that, right?

00:42:22   Like, if it ends up that all this stuff kind of stands, then yeah, the EU is being swayed by the larger companies that are lobbying with them.

00:42:31   Yeah, so we'll see. Another thing to watch.

00:42:33   And then my last one, and then this will close out DMA Today for this week, but we'll probably be back next week. Who are we kidding?

00:42:39   Let's be honest.

00:42:40   Is this, which is, and this came up last week on another podcast, but I think it is worth asking the question and keeping this in mind as we talk about all this stuff, which is, what is the result of all this?

00:42:57   Or to put it in another way, will anybody care? Will any behavior change?

00:43:03   Because one possible outcome of this is that Apple jumps through all these hoops to create a system where there's more freedom in the EU for app developers.

00:43:13   And almost every app developer goes, nah, it's not, the app store is fine.

00:43:20   With the exception of, you know, like Epic and Setapp, and, you know, there are some that are going to try it.

00:43:25   And then even beyond will any developer care, will any user care?

00:43:30   And I think this is a legitimate question to ask is, in the long run, after all of this is said and done, how many users in the EU are going to say, yeah, I'm going to use an alternative browser with an alternative browser engine.

00:43:45   Okay. And I'm going to go to an alternative marketplace. I'm going to sideload apps and all of that.

00:43:50   I'm sure some will, but I would not be surprised. I mean, I'm leaving this as an open question. We'll see.

00:43:57   But I would not be surprised if the answer is, you know, people are trained to just use the app store and they're going to keep on doing that.

00:44:02   And that all of this talk and all of this effort and all of the work by Apple in building their APIs and then putting out new features because they're told they need to.

00:44:11   After all of that, the average EU iPhone user is just going to keep doing what they're doing. And that's using the app store.

00:44:20   That would be an unequivocal success for Apple. That's what they're trying to make happen.

00:44:25   That they would do all of this work, but this was money that they invested so they wouldn't have to lose anything.

00:44:30   Yeah. And I just, I'm not saying that this isn't, I guess what I'm saying is never count out the inertia of the status quo wins a lot of the time.

00:44:42   The incumbent wins a lot of the time. That it's possible there will be a breakthrough here that causes something that people absolutely have to do.

00:44:49   And it's going to be the thing that has to be sideloaded or it has to be installed from an alternative app store and it becomes a hit.

00:44:57   And it's like a thing that opens everybody's eyes and that the way the iPhone works in Europe is totally unlike how it works elsewhere.

00:45:06   It's possible, but if I had to bet, I would probably bet on the status quo because the status quo usually wins.

00:45:16   What the European regulators are not doing is saying Apple must divest itself of the app store in Europe. It must set up an app store subsidiary in Europe that runs the app store completely separately.

00:45:32   They're not saying that. But short of that, as long as Apple is able to basically keep doing the app store the way it is, I'm not convinced that users aren't going to be just like,

00:45:42   "Look, it's easier to buy stuff through Apple than to put in my credit card somewhere else. I know that Apple has more."

00:45:51   Whether it's true or not, Apple is more concerned about security in the app store. There are lots of arguments. It's just easier to stay with the default.

00:45:58   "I'm not going to mess around with that stuff. I'm just going to stick with Apple."

00:46:01   And yes, you're right. The more people who decide that Apple benefits, Apple wins from that.

00:46:06   But I just think it's something to watch. Because in the end, the goal of this, all of this regulation has been to actually change user behavior for the better so that everybody has a better experience.

00:46:17   And I'm not sure it'll actually happen.

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00:49:57   Mark Gurman is reporting that Apple is in talks with Google to build their Gemini AI model into iOS.

00:50:08   So I'm going to read some quotes here from Mark Gurman's report.

00:50:11   The two companies are in active negotiations to let Apple license Gemini, Google's set of generative AI models,

00:50:17   to power some new features coming to the iPhone software this year.

00:50:21   Apple also recently held discussions of OpenAI and has considered using its model.

00:50:26   Apple is preparing new capabilities as part of iOS 18, the next version of the iPhone operating system,

00:50:32   based on its own AI models.

00:50:34   Those enhancements will be focused on features that operate on its devices rather than ones delivered via the cloud.

00:50:41   So Apple is seeking a partner to do the heavy lifting of generative AI, including functions for creating images

00:50:46   and writing essays based on simple prompts.

00:50:49   Since early last year, Apple has been testing its own large language model, codenamed Ajax,

00:50:55   some employees have also been trying out a basic chatbot dubbed internally as Apple GPT.

00:51:03   But Apple's technology remains inferior to tools from Google and other rivals,

00:51:07   making a partnership look like the better option.

00:51:10   So when I saw this today, my initial, like you see in the headline before I read the article, I was like,

00:51:17   "Oh no, this is terrible."

00:51:19   Apple has failed. It's a disaster.

00:51:21   Because also we've been talking about AI coming to iOS, right?

00:51:26   And so the idea that they would be in March, maybe three months before WWDC, still kind of like negotiating with people

00:51:35   seemed like a risk.

00:51:37   But maybe this is more, as it says in Mark's report, of using Google like they use Google, right?

00:51:44   They're using Gemini in the way that they use Google, which is as a component of search, as a component of whatever, right?

00:51:53   And so using them for something like that, which is quite interesting.

00:51:56   So think of it this way. We are in the very early stages of building these giant AI models.

00:52:02   We've got multiple competitors out there. Google is doing this.

00:52:05   OpenAI with Microsoft is doing this. Anthropic is doing this. There are others as well.

00:52:10   Huge leaps are happening. Lots of players.

00:52:14   And also, according to Ira, Ben Thompson did a good analysis piece on this in Techery.

00:52:21   Like, everybody's using GPUs. Apple can't get the GPUs. Apple has a bad relationship with NVIDIA.

00:52:30   It's not going to happen, right?

00:52:32   And if you want to do this stuff, NVIDIA is where you're going right now.

00:52:35   Like, this is why NVIDIA becomes so valuable.

00:52:38   So I look at this and I think, first off, for the large language model, the big thing,

00:52:45   Apple being flexible, finding partners, seeing where it goes, being able to change partners as they go,

00:52:53   if necessary, for this component of what they're doing is, I think, a better approach than saying,

00:53:00   "No, not invented here. We're going to build our own thing and it's not going to be as good."

00:53:05   Now, they may be working on their own thing too. They may not be.

00:53:08   We have to talk about what they've been working on.

00:53:11   But I'm reminded of Google Maps on the iPhone.

00:53:17   Remember, they did Google Maps as the Maps app for a long time, and then they were like,

00:53:20   "Aha, now we have our thing," and they switched.

00:53:22   And there were actually problems because they switched too soon.

00:53:25   But right now, you're launching the iPhone. Google Maps is the one to do.

00:53:30   And here you've got competing models.

00:53:33   I think the question is, what is this used for?

00:53:36   And I think that there's a way of envisioning this, which is, this is more of a plug-in.

00:53:42   It's more of a thing that happens sometimes for certain queries.

00:53:47   And I honestly think it's also a resource that might be queried by an Apple model running on your device.

00:53:58   So I think there was an easy way to portray this, which is, "Oh, Apple failed, and now they have turned to Google for help."

00:54:08   But I don't know. I think that it's way more complex than that.

00:54:12   And also, I'm not sure that I would read this report as, "Apple has decided to use Google's..."

00:54:16   Also, it says it's in negotiations. Nothing's announced.

00:54:19   But I think that if they are working with Google, they also are keeping a keen eye out on all the other players in here too,

00:54:27   because there's nothing stopping Apple from choosing a different horse at some point.

00:54:32   I know this isn't Rumor Roundup, but I just mentioned a horse.

00:54:35   So there.

00:54:36   I mean, it is a rumor.

00:54:37   Yeah.

00:54:38   It is a rumor.

00:54:39   Mentioning the Google Maps thing is interesting, and I would wonder how much that kind of thinking would play into any deal that Google did with Apple here.

00:54:47   Because if you're a Google doing this deal, you don't want that to happen, right?

00:54:52   Yeah.

00:54:53   How much control they would have in this, I don't know.

00:54:55   But Apple haven't built a search engine, right?

00:54:58   And so they still rely on Google for that.

00:55:00   Exactly.

00:55:01   Whatever that deal is, is probably what Google would like this deal to be.

00:55:05   Yeah.

00:55:06   And they...

00:55:07   This deal might even offset that deal, right?

00:55:09   Apple might be like, "Just credit us our AI costs from out of the search deal."

00:55:14   Well, until the point that Google works out monetization with Gemini, and then they'll probably rev-share that the same way they rev-share Google searches.

00:55:22   Yeah.

00:55:23   And I was thinking today, basically as the day has gone on, I have become more encouraged about this thinking.

00:55:29   Where it is that idea of, there is a strength in not trying to trick yourself or trick others.

00:55:39   If you're not capable of something, or if your work isn't as good, and you have the opportunity to benefit from better work, then you should do that, right?

00:55:46   Apple is new to this world.

00:55:49   Yes.

00:55:50   Just because this world only existed two years ago for every company other than the ones that were already in it.

00:55:55   Right.

00:55:56   You know?

00:55:57   And maybe they can catch up, and maybe they want to, and maybe they don't want to.

00:56:00   I'm sure they can. Who knows?

00:56:01   But what they don't want to do is ship something that is not good enough now.

00:56:04   But they do need to get in the game now.

00:56:06   And also there's an argument that in the short term, this is not one of those Tim Cook doctrine things, which is really a Steve Jobs thing, which is, you should build everything that is core to your business.

00:56:16   This is a little bit ancillary, and it's a little bit new.

00:56:20   And they might need to build this and work on it so that they can use it eventually and have their own model.

00:56:25   But right now it doesn't seem like they need to do that necessarily.

00:56:29   And there is other stuff that they can focus on that is very Apple specific.

00:56:34   So what I'm talking about here is, if Apple builds a model like that rabbit thing, right?

00:56:43   The whole idea of that little rabbit gadget.

00:56:45   The all one.

00:56:46   Is that they've got a model.

00:56:47   The rabbit all one.

00:56:48   All one, yeah.

00:56:49   They built a model that controls other models.

00:56:56   And that's what Apple should be doing, right?

00:57:00   Apple should have probably an on-device model.

00:57:02   And there's some evidence that they're working on kind of like the smaller on-device usable models.

00:57:07   What you want is a system that kicks it all off, which is Siri or next-gen Siri or Siri with AI or whatever they end up calling it.

00:57:14   Where you say, "Do this thing."

00:57:18   And then it knows like, "I can do a search.

00:57:21   I can do this on-device.

00:57:22   I can go to this data source.

00:57:24   I can go to this data source.

00:57:25   A bunch of different data sources.

00:57:27   I can control my apps on the system.

00:57:30   I can do shortcuts.

00:57:31   I can do all of these different things."

00:57:33   That's like Apple secret sauce, which is at that high level, user level, controlling all of that.

00:57:39   Now, some of the stuff that they do is going to need the big, whether it's Gemini or GPT or something like that, and needs to know how to use it.

00:57:49   So you train the model to know how to use Gemini.

00:57:52   And then it crafts the query so the user doesn't have to do it to Gemini to get very specifically back what it wants from Gemini.

00:58:00   And then maybe it just replays that or maybe it analyzes what Gemini gives back and then gives back its own summarization of that, right?

00:58:08   So the idea here is, Apple builds something at a very high level that the users interact with.

00:58:14   And one of its data sources is Gemini.

00:58:17   Because I don't envision this being that, "Oh, Siri is just Gemini now."

00:58:21   I don't think that's what it's going to be.

00:58:23   One of the things that I was thinking about was parts of Siri powered by Google Gemini in the way that the weather data used to say from the weather channel,

00:58:34   in the way that the betting lines come from DraftKings, the way that stock data comes from Yahoo.

00:58:39   Apple uses sources for stuff that they either don't have or don't want to have.

00:58:44   And this could be part of that, right?

00:58:46   That if you say to Siri, "Create an image for me," that it goes out to Gemini and does that instead of them trying to build something of their own right now.

00:58:56   There's a lot of reporting that Apple have been, and they've actually published some stuff, some research papers, of things that they are building.

00:59:03   And there are these models that look like they could run on device, but they are not as powerful as the text generation and image generation models,

00:59:10   partly because they maybe don't want them to be, maybe partly because they haven't gotten to that point yet.

00:59:16   But maybe they are focusing more on being able to talk to your computer and having it understand what it wants you to do and doing it locally,

00:59:24   like all local stuff.

00:59:26   Like, "Take that photo for me and flip it to 90 degrees and publish it on Mastodon."

00:59:31   That's the hope that I have, that you'll be able to do this kind of stuff on your computer.

00:59:36   But then if you say to it, "Write me a term paper on this," or whatever, that it's going to go out to Gemini and get that,

00:59:45   because that's where that stuff is going out. It's finding stuff on the web.

00:59:49   It is a different part of the stack.

00:59:52   And it is that idea.

00:59:55   You mentioned Ben Thompson's piece earlier, and he said something that he believes, and I think this makes a lot of sense,

01:00:02   that right now Google is the only company in the world that could provide the scale that the iPhone would use.

01:00:07   This is that scale problem that we've talked about before.

01:00:10   So many people use the iPhone, so you push an iPhone update, and then everybody is using the S.A.I. feature.

01:00:15   Even if you ship it as a beta and people have to turn it on or whatever,

01:00:20   you think that there is a lot of A.I. querying going on now. There's not.

01:00:26   But if every iPhone in the world is doing A.I. querying, you've got to have the scale to support that, and who can do that?

01:00:34   I don't know enough about the scale Google provides versus the scale that Microsoft and OpenAI have,

01:00:41   and what else is out there, but it's certainly, if not just Google,

01:00:46   it's a very small group of companies that can actually offer this kind of scale.

01:00:50   And again, this shows you why what you need, if you're Apple, is an agent on top of the iPhone

01:00:57   that is providing a barrier between you and the expensive and slower model that's out there in the cloud.

01:01:09   And you don't want every query to go out there.

01:01:13   You want it to start on your model on device, or maybe even your model in the cloud,

01:01:18   and then only in certain circumstances. It's like having caching or something.

01:01:24   But even if you're taking a fraction of a fraction of those queries and putting them to Gemini or GPT or whatever,

01:01:33   it's still going to be an enormous amount of data happening.

01:01:38   Can you imagine a Google executive coming on stage, quote-unquote "stage" at WWDC?

01:01:44   Absolutely.

01:01:45   Like back in the old days, where they bring out Eric?

01:01:49   Absolutely. Although, my guess would be it would be more like something like

01:01:54   we've worked with many providers, including Google and so-and-so and so-and-so as our data sources.

01:02:00   Something where it's not just like, "Thank you, Google!" But maybe.

01:02:06   I think, yes, it depends. If Google aren't going to be the main partner,

01:02:10   they're going to want to be very public and loud about it.

01:02:13   In the same way that Microsoft and OpenAI have their relationship, right?

01:02:16   They're both very loud about it.

01:02:18   Microsoft may be a little bit more loud about it, but Google's going to want that.

01:02:22   Yeah, yeah. And I can see it. I don't think it's a problem.

01:02:27   Again, there are a lot of people out there who are like, "That'll never happen."

01:02:31   I was like, "Well, totally. If it benefits Apple, it will happen."

01:02:36   And Bob Iger is part of the Vision Pro.

01:02:39   Yeah, that's a partner and more of a friend.

01:02:44   Google's a partner. They give a lot of money for that partnership. They are a partner.

01:02:51   It's absolutely the case. Part of me wonders about this Mark Gurman report.

01:02:57   I don't think Mark Gurman is generally the source who gets used by inside Apple

01:03:02   for stuff like this, but one way to read this is,

01:03:07   they're unhappy with their negotiations with Anthropic or OpenAI,

01:03:12   and so they're going to leak that they're working on this thing with Google

01:03:15   to put more pressure on them in negotiations.

01:03:17   I don't think that's what's going on here.

01:03:19   No, I think Google's the right partner.

01:03:21   Probably so.

01:03:22   If I'm Apple and I want a partner, they are the partner.

01:03:26   If anyone's going to be as ethically responsible as possible,

01:03:33   you'd expect Google would probably be that one because of their size.

01:03:37   Look what's happened already with Gemini.

01:03:42   They messed up and they are being dragged through

01:03:45   in a way that I don't necessarily think that other AI companies would be.

01:03:49   I think for Apple, Google's probably the best partnership

01:03:54   because they're not like the scrappy upstart.

01:03:56   They have an institutional way of doing things that probably will match theirs.

01:04:02   Keep in mind that I do think that this is one of those things that

01:04:07   if Apple makes a partnership with Google and they're unhappy with it,

01:04:10   that they could just go to another provider.

01:04:14   I do think that this is early days enough that they might sign an agreement

01:04:19   to use them for, maybe it's an even exclusive agreement,

01:04:22   that it's not going to be forever and if things go another way, they can do that.

01:04:26   But it also helps power Google.

01:04:28   It would just be an API.

01:04:29   That's just the way that this technology is being used by everyone.

01:04:34   This whole API.

01:04:35   You'd have to change your models maybe.

01:04:37   You probably tweak Apple's models.

01:04:39   You've trained them on using Gemini instead of GPT

01:04:42   and you might have to change that.

01:04:44   That's the idea.

01:04:45   I think this is right. At a high level, this is Apple knowing what it can and can't do,

01:04:55   Apple not building its own search engine.

01:04:57   It does have one and Siri uses it some, but there's no Apple search engine.

01:05:03   They use Google as their default.

01:05:06   That's an example of Apple being like, "No, no, no. Google is going to do that business."

01:05:11   Also, it keeps it at arm's length a little bit, which, like you said, I think is a good thing for Apple to be like,

01:05:15   "Well, it's there. You're using them."

01:05:17   The truth is, Apple has decided that it's very important that they get into this

01:05:23   because everybody's getting there and they're worried that they're going to get left behind

01:05:26   and that it's going to change the nature of Apple's business and threaten the iPhone in particular,

01:05:31   and devices in general, potentially.

01:05:34   If they want this to work, you've got to use the best.

01:05:38   You've got to use the best possible.

01:05:40   If you want this to work and you're working on a model and it's not good enough,

01:05:44   you can't launch with it.

01:05:46   You have to use the good models. You have to.

01:05:48   You cannot launch and say, "Oh, we're committed to AI,"

01:05:51   and then have a laggard, an afterthought kind of product.

01:05:58   You've got to have it work at your level of standard, even if it's outsourcing.

01:06:04   The beauty of it is, like I said, I think the right way for them to approach it,

01:06:08   at least right now, is to build on top of the model.

01:06:11   You build the intelligence that you control that is on your device

01:06:18   so your users are interacting with your model.

01:06:21   Presumably, because again, I'm a big fan of this idea,

01:06:24   it's also going to be able to not just use--

01:06:27   It's not like it's going from Siri to Gemini.

01:06:30   That's not what it's doing.

01:06:31   It's going from Siri to a decision about where it goes next.

01:06:36   Does it go to Gemini? Does it go to an app on your phone

01:06:40   that it knows how to talk to and get data back

01:06:44   and then put in a different app?

01:06:45   All those shortcuts, intense things are ripe for API control

01:06:51   or by an AI model.

01:06:54   So then you've built the secret sauce and yeah, okay,

01:06:57   Gemini is underneath it somewhere.

01:06:59   That's like saying, "Powered by Bing" or "Powered by Google Search."

01:07:02   It's a part of the bigger product.

01:07:05   It's not the product.

01:07:06   That's why I'm more positive about this report too

01:07:09   than when I first saw it.

01:07:11   I'm kind of picturing--

01:07:13   This isn't like Apple hands its AI ambitions to Google.

01:07:16   This is Apple needs this other piece of its AI product for now

01:07:22   and it's going to plug in a partner to do this kind of stuff,

01:07:26   especially if you're in pages and you're like,

01:07:29   "Give me a paragraph here."

01:07:31   Then like, "Well, what model is best at that?"

01:07:34   And then use it.

01:07:35   I think that's probably what their approach is going to be

01:07:40   and I think that that's probably a good one,

01:07:41   which is not to say that they might not keep trying to build

01:07:44   a replacement in the background so that in five years

01:07:47   they can do a Google Maps, Apple Maps kind of thing,

01:07:52   but maybe less disruptive.

01:07:54   But who knows?

01:07:55   Or maybe they become a partner with Google or somebody else

01:07:58   and say, "We're going to actually work with you

01:08:00   to improve your model and we share in it."

01:08:03   Because there's a lot of--

01:08:04   A lot of proprietariness of stuff in the tech industry

01:08:07   is kind of broken down as things end up with this AI stuff.

01:08:12   Everybody's like, "Oh, we need a partner for this

01:08:15   because this is really expensive."

01:08:16   Who knows?

01:08:17   Maybe something like that happens

01:08:19   and Apple actually partners with Google on Gemini.

01:08:21   That's also a possibility.

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01:10:57   It's time for some Ask Upgrade questions.

01:11:01   - Mike, I have a note before we begin Ask Upgrade.

01:11:04   - Okay.

01:11:05   - I have two notes.

01:11:06   One is, hi out there to everybody who skipped the DMA chapter.

01:11:10   We hear you.

01:11:11   We don't always love talking about it either.

01:11:13   It's okay. You're absolved.

01:11:14   Two, I was listening to ATP last week while making dinner,

01:11:20   and they got to the Ask ATP portion, and Casey said,

01:11:24   "Hey, let's do some Ask ATP,"

01:11:26   at which point alone in my kitchen, I went, "Choo, choo, choo, choo."

01:11:30   - That would make sense that you would do that.

01:11:33   - It made me laugh, right?

01:11:36   The lasers just happen when people are asking questions on podcasts, I guess.

01:11:41   - You're like the Winter Soldier, you know?

01:11:43   - It's just I'm triggered by--

01:11:45   - When I say--

01:11:46   - I've been brainwashed.

01:11:47   - All you need to hear is, "Hey, let's do some Ask,"

01:11:49   and you're just like lasers flying everywhere.

01:11:51   - Choo, choo, choo, choo, choo, choo, choo, choo.

01:11:52   - Yep.

01:11:53   - I would love to know the other scenarios in your life

01:11:55   where that sentence could be uttered and you would fire off lasers.

01:11:58   That would be great.

01:11:59   - I don't know, but listening to ATP,

01:12:01   it's the first time that's happened, but I just laughed.

01:12:03   I was like, "Oh, geez."

01:12:04   I just didn't even think about it.

01:12:06   I just made laser sounds.

01:12:08   - Ben has the first question today, who says,

01:12:11   "I recently rediscovered photographic styles in the iOS camera app

01:12:15   and enjoy using the settings that Austin Mann suggested."

01:12:18   I'm gonna look into those.

01:12:19   "Do you use photographic styles still?"

01:12:22   - Yeah, I use, it's like warm, something warm.

01:12:26   All my photos are a little warmer.

01:12:28   - That's what I do too.

01:12:29   I'm gonna, I'll get mine for you.

01:12:31   I have a particular, I've adjusted mine a little bit over time.

01:12:35   - I'm using my phone to shoot the show, so I can't look.

01:12:37   - I'm vibrant warm.

01:12:39   - Vibrant warm.

01:12:40   - Tone 47, warm 40.

01:12:44   - Oh, tone 47, that's my favorite tone, 47.

01:12:47   - Exactly, that's the best one.

01:12:48   - Good tone, good job.

01:12:49   - And you know, as I say, I tweaked it over time.

01:12:50   I like it.

01:12:51   You know, it saves me some editing

01:12:53   because I do like my images to be a little more vibrant

01:12:56   and a little more warm than Apple's default.

01:12:58   And I also love that they provided that feature.

01:13:03   It feels like a rare thing for them to do

01:13:06   instead of just being like, "No, no, no,

01:13:08   we've got this for you."

01:13:09   - All photos must represent reality

01:13:11   as Apple has determined, stop.

01:13:14   Yeah, we talked about AI

01:13:16   and I mean, I imagine there's gonna be a lot more AI stuff

01:13:21   in photos next year 'cause it's an obvious place

01:13:24   where they've been restrained from doing it.

01:13:27   Like they're like, "Oh, no, no, no, no, no."

01:13:29   Like the fact that you can't do a photo,

01:13:31   like scrub over something like you can in Google stuff

01:13:35   or in a photo mater and just sort of say,

01:13:38   like take this person out.

01:13:39   But like there's so many photo editing things you could do

01:13:42   that they have refrained from doing.

01:13:43   And I imagine that somebody at Apple was like,

01:13:46   "Okay, go do them all now."

01:13:48   But we'll see.

01:13:49   - I mean, the camera is machine learning anyway.

01:13:52   Like the camera is doing that anyway.

01:13:54   - It's not a real photo frame anyway, right?

01:13:59   And again, as we said before,

01:14:00   the act of taking a single still in a constrained frame

01:14:05   with a location determined by where you hold your camera

01:14:09   has since the dawn of photography been not a pure,

01:14:13   true representation of reality

01:14:15   because it's always mediated by all of those things.

01:14:18   So that's the footnote here is like photos have always been

01:14:21   not true in a certain way.

01:14:23   They're just more not true now.

01:14:25   (laughs)

01:14:27   - Matthew writes in to ask,

01:14:29   "Oh, no, for the DMA skippers,

01:14:30   "do the DMA rules on iOS also apply to Vision OS?

01:14:33   "Vision OS is more closed off like iOS

01:14:36   "versus something like macOS.

01:14:37   "So it seems like it would fall under aspects of the DMA."

01:14:40   - Great news, Matthew.

01:14:41   - It will not.

01:14:42   - Great news, skippers.

01:14:44   - DMA rules only apply to iOS, not iPad OS,

01:14:48   and it's all to do with market size.

01:14:50   So it's not gonna apply, it doesn't apply to anything else.

01:14:53   It doesn't apply to the watch, doesn't apply to the iPad,

01:14:55   doesn't even apply to the Mac

01:14:57   because they're not considered to be so dominant

01:14:59   within the, I don't, honestly,

01:15:02   I feel like maybe this should be adjusted

01:15:06   to percentage of market share

01:15:08   because the iPad has a greater market share percentage

01:15:11   in its category than the iPhone does.

01:15:14   - Right.

01:15:15   - Right?

01:15:16   Does anybody use a tablet that's not an iPad?

01:15:18   Really?

01:15:19   Other than kids using Kindles?

01:15:21   This, or Fire, whatever they call them, Fire tablets?

01:15:25   I don't even know.

01:15:26   - Yeah, sure.

01:15:27   - Amazon Fire tablets?

01:15:28   - Shots fired.

01:15:29   - iPad is the thing, but anyway.

01:15:30   But no, they don't count.

01:15:32   - No, don't care.

01:15:33   - Hasnain writes in to say,

01:15:35   "Jason, you've been covering the Mac for a long time."

01:15:38   I don't know if they're calling you old, but you know.

01:15:40   - That's okay, I'll take it.

01:15:42   - Do we ever tell the story when we were at WWDC

01:15:46   and we were having dinner, I think,

01:15:50   and someone came up to you to tell you

01:15:51   they've been reading Macworld since high school

01:15:53   and they were an adult, and then you just like,

01:15:55   I think you put your hoodie on your head

01:15:58   and pulled the strings, I think is the--

01:15:59   - Yeah, I think that's what you do.

01:16:00   - That sounds like me.

01:16:01   (laughing)

01:16:02   Yeah, yep.

01:16:03   - Hasnain writes in to say, "Jason, since you've been

01:16:05   "covering the Mac for a long time,

01:16:07   "do you ever get nostalgic for older Mac

01:16:09   "hardware and operating systems?

01:16:11   "Those early OS versions have more whimsy about them,

01:16:13   "a charm that I think is somewhat missing today."

01:16:16   - You know, I would love to be, you know,

01:16:21   just poetic about the old stuff,

01:16:26   but the truth is no, I don't.

01:16:29   The computers are better now.

01:16:30   Everything is better now.

01:16:32   And I don't find, like yeah, there was some whimsy

01:16:36   about them, it's true, but like,

01:16:39   it's like now, even for stuff like,

01:16:42   now I have a satellite photo of the Earth

01:16:46   over California and the Pacific Ocean on my desktop

01:16:50   that updates every 30 minutes or whatever.

01:16:52   Like, on a 5K display.

01:16:54   That's, I don't know if that's whimsical,

01:16:56   but that's super cool.

01:16:57   And like all the other stuff that we do,

01:16:59   like, I don't know, it's kind of amazing

01:17:02   the stuff that we have now.

01:17:04   Also, my Mac, I mean, I don't get nostalgic

01:17:07   for swapping floppies.

01:17:09   I don't get nostalgic for all the times OS 8 crashed,

01:17:12   which was at least once a day, if not more.

01:17:14   Hard crash, lose your data.

01:17:16   I don't get nostalgic for nervously typing Command + S

01:17:20   while I was writing anything endlessly,

01:17:23   because the last thing you needed to do

01:17:24   was not have your data saved.

01:17:27   I don't get nostalgic for when Word introduced Fast Save,

01:17:31   'cause it used to be, when you press Save,

01:17:33   it saved your whole document again,

01:17:35   which took like a minute, and they introduced Fast Save,

01:17:37   which just like saved the differences,

01:17:39   and if no differences were there, it didn't do anything,

01:17:42   'cause then you could just hit it,

01:17:43   go there and go, "command SSSS SSSS SSSS SSSS SSSS", and then write a little bit, and then, "SSSSSS SSSS SSSS", that's what we used to do.

01:17:51   So what I'm saying is, I get it, I have some old hardware. It's kind of fun to look back at that era, but y'know, they were slow, and-

01:17:58   I think I would find a lot of that today, a lot of the whimsy, that I experienced as well, right?

01:18:04   Like I've been interested in this stuff for a really, really long time at this point.

01:18:09   I think I would find a lot of that stuff annoying now.

01:18:12   Like, I kind of-

01:18:14   I think as computers become more and more powerful, they become more efficient tools.

01:18:19   And the idea of like, if I delete something, there's a little puff of smoke that comes up, it's like, "no, I don't want that anymore."

01:18:27   Like I don't- I think that the whimsy can come in the visuals, maybe, but a lot of the whimsy that Mac OS used to have, I feel like,

01:18:37   was kind of designed to slow you down a little bit because the computer was slow.

01:18:42   So it's like, don't worry about it, we got it.

01:18:44   I don't think I look for that anymore. I look for him to be impressed in other ways, right?

01:18:52   Like, the Vision Pro is impressive, and it's doing really cool stuff.

01:18:56   I want that more than like, if I put on the Vision Pro and I don't know, like, "oh, everything's black and white and it turns to color" and things, y'know what I mean?

01:19:06   I don't want that. Like, I just want it to be as high-tech as it can be. I find that more impressive now.

01:19:12   I- also, I mean, talk about nostalgia. I don't get nostalgia for the computers.

01:19:18   I mean, sometimes I appreciate their design, but again, I use them all.

01:19:22   And they're better now. So really, it's hard to get nostalgia.

01:19:26   Like, I have a 12-inch PowerBook, which was my favorite Mac of all time.

01:19:30   It's so thick, and I'm sure if I used it, it would be so slow, using some old version of OS X.

01:19:37   I do get nostalgic for the feeling I had back then.

01:19:42   Yes.

01:19:43   Because, especially in the early days of OS X, Apple, like, I came to the Mac in like, 1990, 1989.

01:19:52   Yeah, 19- yeah, like late '89, early '90.

01:19:55   And the Mac was already fully formed. I know System 7 was just around the corner and all that, but like,

01:20:02   the Mac, we were in System 6, it was fully formed.

01:20:05   And while System 7 was interesting, like, it was the Mac that I learned, and I wasn't there at the start.

01:20:15   OS X, I was there at the start.

01:20:19   And those early years of OS X were a wild ride.

01:20:22   Because it was, like, first off, there was like, the classic environment where you had like, apps that like,

01:20:28   ran a virtual machine of OS 9 in OS X.

01:20:32   So, Apple was virtualizing itself, and like, it was so weird, and that there were like, features missing,

01:20:39   and then they would add them, and then like, we did, 10.1 came out and we're like, "Oh!

01:20:45   People could maybe use it now."

01:20:47   Like, because literally, in 10.0, we're like, "Well, no, I'm using it, but you should not use this."

01:20:52   Right? And then, or you reboot into OS 9 to get your job done.

01:20:56   And then with 10.1, we're like, "Oh, I think you could do it now."

01:21:01   But like, then 10.2 would come out, and a bunch of those other things that you used to use in Mac OS

01:21:05   that were not there anymore came back, and it was all a little bit faster, because it started out being so slow.

01:21:11   And like, I am nostalgic for that era because it was super groundbreaking for the Mac,

01:21:17   and that was really fun, and the Mac hasn't been super groundbreaking like that for a while.

01:21:21   Although, I will say, Apple Silicon era, also really exciting.

01:21:25   But like, that's why I'm excited about Vision Pro.

01:21:27   It's like, Vision Pro is a weird early product.

01:21:30   It is kind of a developer kit and early adopter kind of thing, and it's going to change and grow in strange ways.

01:21:37   And like, that's why I do tech, is because it's fun, but like, the stuff is so much better that I have no nostalgia

01:21:44   for using an old, slow version of OS X, or using that Mac that I used every day at Mac User that crashed.

01:21:54   I mean, I said at least once a day, that thing crashed every few hours with a full lockup, and I would have to reboot.

01:22:02   Like, I don't miss that at all.

01:22:05   And that's actually one of the reasons I was so excited about OS X, is that OS 8 and 9, they were real old and shaky.

01:22:13   And so, yeah. I miss the vibes, but I don't miss the actual using of that stuff.

01:22:19   Yeah, I think as well, people are nostalgic, obviously, for the thing that was their time.

01:22:26   And so, maybe you would consider the best kind of thing, someone would consider the best kind of thing to be the whimsy.

01:22:33   But then, as younger people, they prefer the thing that they like.

01:22:36   You know what I mean? It's just, we came from more of a whimsical time,

01:22:41   but now maybe it's more of a powerful time that is the thing that you care about, or apps in general,

01:22:47   just like that is a thing that younger people would appreciate. I don't know.

01:22:51   If you would like to send in your questions for us, even if they are reaching into the recesses of our brain to talk about our feelings,

01:22:58   you can go to upgradefeedback.com.

01:23:00   You can send in your Ask Upgrade questions, along with your follow-up and snow talk questions and everything there.

01:23:06   You can check out Jason's work at sixcolors.com, and you can hear his podcast here on Relay FM and at the incomparable.com.

01:23:13   You can listen to my shows here on Relay FM too, and check out my work at cortexbrand.com.

01:23:18   If you want to find Jason on social media, he's @jsnell.

01:23:22   I am @imike, I-M-Y-K-E.

01:23:25   You can find video clips of the show, we're @upgraderelay on TikTok, Instagram, and YouTube.

01:23:31   We have short clips, longer clips, and entire full versions of the show in living color over on YouTube.

01:23:38   Thank you to our members who support us with Upgrade Plus.

01:23:41   Thank you to our sponsors, Delete Me, Ooni, and Vitally.

01:23:45   But most of all, thank you for listening. We'll be back next time.

01:23:49   Until then, say goodbye Jason Snow.

01:23:51   Goodbye Mike Hurley.

01:23:53   [Music]

01:23:59   you