509: Save the Fines


00:00:00   [Music]

00:00:08   From Relay FM, this is Upgrade, episode 509. Today's show is brought to you by Squarespace,

00:00:16   Lada, and Vitally. It is April 22nd, 2024. My name is Mike Hurley and I'm joined by Jason Snell. Hi, Jason!

00:00:24   Hi, Mike Hurley! It is 905 a.m pacific time!

00:00:29   Boop!

00:00:29   It's good to be here.

00:00:30   Boop!

00:00:31   Boop!

00:00:31   I just, you know, you were very specific on when we recorded this episode, so I thought I'd get more specific.

00:00:34   I always say the date.

00:00:36   I don't think you do.

00:00:38   I do, I do say the date. I started like a month ago, maybe longer. I say the date.

00:00:42   It's weird.

00:00:43   I have the receipts, you can just go back and listen to the beginning.

00:00:45   Okay. The receipts are great, I'll take the receipts.

00:00:46   I usually don't say it in that order. I usually say it before I say the names of our sponsors.

00:00:51   That might be it.

00:00:52   But I got it wrong today. I said it too fast.

00:00:54   You are? Okay. Alright.

00:00:56   Which is the only show I say the date for, you see. And so I'm still kind of like working that into my intro.

00:01:03   I don't think you need to say the date.

00:01:05   I like saying it.

00:01:06   The date is unnecessary.

00:01:07   I like saying it. It's just so...

00:01:09   The reason I did it was after that Vision Pro news.

00:01:13   Oh.

00:01:14   Right? Where like we had to like chop out a huge chunk of the episode.

00:01:19   So now it's like, alright, we're just saying this is the day, so you know.

00:01:22   I do it for downstream and that's the reason I just say recorded on this date so people can understand that.

00:01:29   Exactly.

00:01:30   Just to be clear for those who are not aware, I record Upgrade at 9am on Monday.

00:01:36   So I do it at 5pm on Monday.

00:01:38   This is how I start my week.

00:01:40   This is how I end my day.

00:01:41   This is it.

00:01:42   But also start the biggest thing on Monday.

00:01:44   It's all downhill from here.

00:01:45   We have a Snow Talk question. It comes from Sasha and Sasha wants to know,

00:01:48   Jason, are there any TV shows that you rewatch every few years?

00:01:53   If so, what's high on that list?

00:01:54   What is high on the Jason Snell have rewatched television show list?

00:01:59   It's funny Mike, right before we got started we were talking about Friends and how I know that people have rewatched that.

00:02:06   And I literally only watched the one time which was when it was on NBC on a Thursday.

00:02:11   So like I just watched that week by week.

00:02:13   And then my daughter watched it in probably like a week.

00:02:18   Just binged the whole thing.

00:02:20   Anyway, my answer here, I don't rewatch a lot.

00:02:24   I don't.

00:02:25   There's a lot of TV out there.

00:02:27   And there's a lot of stuff I have to watch for the incomparable.

00:02:30   A lot of movies, a lot of TV, a lot of stuff going on.

00:02:33   And my wife Lauren is not a big rewatcher either.

00:02:40   So the true answer here is it's more sporadic.

00:02:45   It's not, oh, every few years I go back to this TV show at all and nor do I watch the whole thing.

00:02:52   We did a Buffy rewatch for the incomparable, which was fun, but that was not the same thing.

00:02:58   That was homework.

00:02:59   I'd say the shows that I revisit the most as kind of comfort viewing are Doctor Who and Star Trek.

00:03:07   Especially original Star Trek, although sometimes TNG.

00:03:11   And actually I've gone back and revisited Strange New Worlds as well because I love that show, the current show.

00:03:18   But that's very much like I just feel the vibe of I want to have this comfortable, familiar thing.

00:03:26   So that's it.

00:03:27   That's the whole thing I think about rewatching a lot of shows.

00:03:30   And I thought it was going to be Star Trek for you.

00:03:32   That would have been what I would have assumed.

00:03:34   It's not dedicated.

00:03:35   It's not like let's watch.

00:03:37   I very rarely will do that.

00:03:38   Like I'm going to watch through.

00:03:39   I'm grinding through.

00:03:41   I mean, I love it, but Lauren doesn't really want to see it again.

00:03:44   Ken Burns Baseball, which is a, what is it, 20 hour documentary about the history of baseball.

00:03:52   Boy, oh boy.

00:03:53   And I love it.

00:03:54   And I've already seen it a couple of times and I'm watching it again on the PBS app.

00:03:59   But I only really do that on Thursdays when Lauren works until eight and I'll just make myself some dinner and watch a couple hours of Ken Burns Baseball.

00:04:08   So I'm slowly going through that, but that's a little bit different.

00:04:11   Mostly my rewatching comes at a comfort time of like, I'll think of an episode of Doctor Who from 2007, or I'll think of a TOS episode.

00:04:21   It'll come up in conversation or a TNG episode.

00:04:23   And I will, I have them all on my Plex.

00:04:25   I have all those shows, every episode on my Plex.

00:04:27   So it's very easy for me to just pop one on.

00:04:30   Sometimes I'll bring those with me on a trip or something, but usually it's just at home.

00:04:35   And sometimes it even happens because it's a Plex server.

00:04:37   It like, that server is mounted on my Mac.

00:04:40   Sometimes it will just, I will open a video file on my Mac and watch it for 10 minutes and then close it out and go on with my day.

00:04:48   And just, cause I was thinking of something that happened in some episodes.

00:04:51   So that's my, that's my answer.

00:04:52   I have things that I keep meaning to rewatch in a more systematic way, but it just never, or almost never seems to happen.

00:04:59   If you would like to send in a question for us to open up a future episode of Upgrade, just go to upgradefeedback.com and send in your own Snell Talk question just like Sasha did.

00:05:10   Jason, last week we spoke about the AI pin from Humane, and then later on in the week, basically all of the conversation turned to reviews.

00:05:21   And it was a lot of it was focused around MKBHD's review and if, or if not, someone with MKBHD's reach should negatively review a product because it can kill said company.

00:05:36   This is like a big topic of conversation online.

00:05:39   And I just wondered if you had anything you wanted to add to that kind of conversation of if bad reviews kill companies and if they're ethical or not.

00:05:48   Yeah, I talked about this a lot on the Six Colors podcast that I do with Dan Morin.

00:05:53   I think we talked about it on MacBreak Weekly, so I feel like I've talked about it.

00:05:58   I just, I guess I haven't talked about it here.

00:06:00   The bottom line, so let me, let me try to, to bottom line this to make this slightly shorter of a long story, which is, I think a lot of people in the tech industry misunderstand the role of independent reviewers and media people.

00:06:16   They think of them as being, some of them, not all of them, but some of them think of them mistakenly as being because they're part of their marketing plan.

00:06:27   They think they're doing their marketing for them.

00:06:29   And of course that's not the case.

00:06:31   The reason that the outside, the outlets have value is fundamentally because they don't just repeat what you say in your marketing.

00:06:39   They, if they filter it and you take a risk that they're not going to like it, but you, you stand to benefit from positive distribution to an audience that is loyal to the creators or the brands or whatever you want to, whatever it is.

00:06:53   Like there, there's a whole understanding there that is not that sophisticated, but it is somewhat sophisticated that, uh, there, that's the exchange is I'm not going to tell you what to write.

00:07:04   Uh, but if you write or speak or whatever about this product, it benefits me because it gets my product name out there.

00:07:10   And if you endorse it or like it, that is, uh, that's a win for me because I didn't, I couldn't control it.

00:07:16   It's a, it's an honest review as the saying goes.

00:07:20   Um, but the, uh, there is also a certain class.

00:07:23   I think this is what happened when that guy on Twitter said this.

00:07:26   I think there's this also a certain class of Silicon Valley tech industry, bro, who really believes that a they're changing the world for the better and the technology industry in general.

00:07:35   And B everybody in the tech industry is sort of like, we should all be in the same boat rowing in the same direction.

00:07:41   Cause we're all here to change the world for the better.

00:07:43   Um, and first off that attitude is I think fundamentally silly, but I think some of those Silicon Valley tech bros think that the tech press is part of the boat and it's not.

00:07:58   And then they're not on the same team.

00:07:59   We're not on the same team as you.

00:08:01   We're, we're doing something different and we interact, but we're not on the same team.

00:08:05   And I think that that gets confused.

00:08:07   Now, my other big point that I wanted to make about this is people are talking about responsibility and about the power of reviewers and they're really focused on MKBHD, which is a credit to him because he is, he's so good and he deserves all his success.

00:08:21   But this was true when it was Walt Mossberg at the wall street journal.

00:08:25   It wasn't just Walt.

00:08:26   It was the wall street journal or David Pogue at the New York times, like, or Steven Levy in Newsweek magazine.

00:08:32   Like it's, it's not just the people back in the day it was people, but it was also the brands that they represented that had a lot of, a lot of power.

00:08:39   And that's, that's just the truth of it at Mac world.

00:08:42   We were well aware that if we gave a product a bad review, we would severely harm its sales because of who we spoke to in our market.

00:08:53   We were well aware of that.

00:08:54   And that means two things.

00:08:55   One is you gotta be responsible.

00:08:59   Be sure, be right.

00:09:00   Don't get this wrong because a bad review will do damage.

00:09:04   And if it's honest and that's what really happened, then so be it.

00:09:08   But be sure, right?

00:09:09   Because be aware that if you get it wrong, you could crush your product and it was your mistake.

00:09:14   And right.

00:09:15   And so, so you need to be aware.

00:09:16   We actually had a rule that if it was going to be like a two mouse review or lower, that we had our reviewers contact the vendor.

00:09:26   Not to warn them that a review was coming necessarily a negative review, not to get permission to say bad things about their product.

00:09:33   That wasn't it.

00:09:34   But to make sure that what they were seeing was legitimate.

00:09:38   Right.

00:09:39   Cause you have those moments as a reviewer where you're like, it can't be MKBHD was saying this, how, you know, embargoed reviewers also talk with each other.

00:09:48   And they're like, are you seeing this?

00:09:50   And I've definitely had that where I'm like, is this, is this right?

00:09:54   And that is because you don't want to be wrong.

00:09:57   You, you know, that you've got a responsibility to your audience, but also just in general, you know, the power that you potentially wield over this company's product to get it right.

00:10:06   But that's it.

00:10:07   It's just to get it right.

00:10:09   So I think this is healthy in the sense of everybody having a discussion about what the role of reviewers is.

00:10:18   Honestly, people are not paying attention to how the media works.

00:10:23   Everything I write and have written for my entire career has been referred to by somebody as a review.

00:10:29   Even when they're not reviews, they're called reviews.

00:10:31   News stories are reviews.

00:10:32   Opinion pieces are reviews.

00:10:34   Everybody sort of thinks of everything as a review, which is difficult.

00:10:37   They don't, you know, it's, it's, it's insidery stuff for us.

00:10:40   So anyway, I think having it, even though it was a dumb reason, an opportunity to talk about it and to make clear why we do what we do and who we serve is probably valuable.

00:10:54   I think it's interesting that MKHB got singled out here.

00:11:00   MKBHD got singled out.

00:11:02   Marques Brownlee, who's very, very, very, very good at his job.

00:11:05   Number one.

00:11:06   He's number one.

00:11:07   He is. Yeah, but he's, he's not just number, I mean, I, he's not just number one.

00:11:12   He's deservedly number one.

00:11:16   And we're fortunate that the most powerful and best tech reviewer is also, I think, a very thoughtful, reasonable human being.

00:11:25   Because that doesn't necessarily have to be the case, but in his case, it is.

00:11:30   So, you know, I really like his work.

00:11:32   I think it's too bad that he got singled out here, but at the same time, I think he handled it well.

00:11:38   His response to that guy on Twitter was amazing, which is, I don't think we agree on what my job is, which really does say it all.

00:11:45   A sentence fragment that says it all.

00:11:47   And so, yeah, I mean, that's it.

00:11:50   Our job here is not to repeat Apple's marketing.

00:11:54   We cover Apple a lot.

00:11:55   It's not to repeat the marketing.

00:11:56   It's to discuss and comment and interpret and say what we agree with and what we disagree with and talk about our experiences with the product and be honest and be forthright.

00:12:05   That's our job.

00:12:06   And if that, if that serves the greater, you know, ends of a tech company, then so be it.

00:12:15   But like the reason we get access when we do interviews, when we do, yeah, they want it to benefit them.

00:12:22   But they know that reaching a channel that isn't just receiving marketing is important and you stand to benefit if you can get through it and get out the other side.

00:12:34   But you've got, it's a risk.

00:12:35   And, uh, and the downside of it is if you, if you make a product that's bad, it is not the responsibility of the reviewer.

00:12:42   As, as, as Marquez said in his followup video, what killed, if it, if it did indeed kill the AI pin or that car that he reviewed, the answer is what kills a bad, a company that makes a bad product or a bad product?

00:12:57   Is it a bad review?

00:12:58   No, it's the bad product.

00:13:00   The bad review comes from the bad product.

00:13:03   Uh, and that's the bottom line.

00:13:05   It's not the job of any reviewer to call something good that's bad.

00:13:09   In fact, the reverse it's to warn people.

00:13:12   And yeah, I mean, there are always, we, we talked about this at Mac world.

00:13:15   Like we would get, we just share where reviews or little app reviews when the iPhone came out and it'd be for like an app nobody's heard of.

00:13:21   And what you want to do is boost the ones that are good.

00:13:23   The ones that are, are bad.

00:13:25   You don't even bother covering them because like, what's the point?

00:13:28   You're just, you're, you're, it's like kicking a dog.

00:13:30   Like why, why would you do that?

00:13:32   You want to boost up.

00:13:33   But something like a humane AI pin is like super hyped by a company with lots of funding.

00:13:37   And everybody.

00:13:38   They set their own table.

00:13:40   I mean, so you got to, I think it's extremely relevant to talk about it.

00:13:44   I saw somebody argue that Marques should have just passed it by because who really cares about the AI pin?

00:13:49   It's like, I mean, I'm sorry.

00:13:50   It is a hyped product with lots of funding and it does not meet the level of why, why single out a bad, weak product that nobody cares about.

00:14:03   This is not at that level.

00:14:04   Like that video got him 6.6 million views. Right.

00:14:08   So, and they sent it to him in advance.

00:14:11   So from his perspective, like he's not only doing his job, but it's also effective.

00:14:15   Like he obviously saw that and was like, Oh, I can make a good video.

00:14:18   And it was actually abnormal of him.

00:14:19   It's 25 minutes long.

00:14:21   Like he had a lot of stuff to say, and it's a very good review.

00:14:25   And so like, you know, it's like, Oh, we should have passed it by.

00:14:28   Well, one it's his job to make engaging content, which he does.

00:14:31   And he talks about in his do bad reviews, cool companies video, but also humane sent it to him.

00:14:35   So he did what he was supposed to do with the product.

00:14:41   The cost benefit analysis from humane's perspective is we send this to these reviewers.

00:14:45   One, it, the reviewers are going to reach people that are PR will never, ever, ever, ever be able to reach.

00:14:51   Right. Because they don't have loyal, humane customers, but all of these brands, all of these reviewers have loyal readers, listeners, viewers.

00:14:59   Right.

00:15:00   Okay. So that's their benefit.

00:15:02   The risk is that they're not going to like it.

00:15:04   Now I know some people in business who would say all presses, good press, and you know what, to a certain degree, it's right.

00:15:11   Your product is still known.

00:15:14   Now, universally paying a product is rough.

00:15:19   Although if they can survive, it also creates the potential for a comeback narrative down the road.

00:15:24   And if I was inside of humane, that's probably what I would be saying is this is going to be great because everybody's going to be following this.

00:15:29   And see what we do for our comeback.

00:15:32   Expectations are low for their future, you know?

00:15:35   Yeah, exactly. So you could say that, but like that's the benefit of it.

00:15:40   And so you take the risk and their problem is that they, I mean, from observing a lot of their company messaging, their problem is that they over promised and under delivered.

00:15:51   All right. So we closed the book on that for now?

00:15:54   I think so.

00:15:56   Let's do some follow up. So I got something from an anonymous up gradian who said,

00:16:01   "I love Jason's expansion on his thoughts regarding Vision Pro and the discussion about people judging it wrong.

00:16:07   In the section about spatial personas, however, I had a viscerally negative reaction to Mike saying they would be good for people in long distance relationships.

00:16:15   My partner and I spend roughly half or more of the year apart, and the last thing either of us wants is a simulated, quote unquote, performance captured virtual chat.

00:16:25   Regular FaceTime is great and spatial personas detract from what it does well."

00:16:30   So, to start off, I didn't say this, Casey said this. It wasn't even on the episode Jason was on.

00:16:35   Let's blame Casey.

00:16:36   No, we don't have to blame Casey because I agreed with him. I agreed that it sounds like a great idea.

00:16:40   Because the thing that I loved about the idea of this for somebody in this kind of relationship is it adds something to the types of ways in which you could communicate.

00:16:51   There are activities that you can participate in in a spatial persona call, like playing games in virtual spaces.

00:16:58   You just can't do that in FaceTime.

00:17:00   I'd argue SharePlay is probably better this way too.

00:17:03   Oh, 100%.

00:17:04   If you're two people with vision pros watching a movie or a TV show or something,

00:17:09   where their persona is sitting next to you and you're watching the same thing and the audio is all panned, that might be a superior experience too.

00:17:15   It's not all experiences, but yeah.

00:17:17   If you're talking, it's spatial audio. If I'm watching a movie with my wife and she says something, we're both still looking at the screen.

00:17:25   I'm not turning to look at her. And at least with the way that the spatial persona call set this up, it could add to that.

00:17:31   I understand that anonymous listener has false feelings about this kind of stuff,

00:17:37   but I ask in this scenario that you respect the fact that we've experienced this.

00:17:42   Because I get the sense that they haven't, and to say that you've viscerally negatively react to what I've got to say,

00:17:48   I think you're maybe not taking my view on this or our view on this as well.

00:17:53   I think there's a level of honesty in that reaction.

00:17:56   Because here's the thing, what we weren't doing is running down FaceTime.

00:18:00   I am sure there are so many things that FaceTime imparts well.

00:18:04   You're seeing the actual face of the person, of your loved one.

00:18:07   Did they get a haircut? What are they wearing?

00:18:10   They're going around, they're showing you the thing on their wall that they just put up, or their cat, or whatever.

00:18:15   There's a lot of that going on. That's not it.

00:18:18   I think what we're trying to get across is that there are some unique features of spatial personas

00:18:23   that can, in certain contexts, be beyond what other, including FaceTime, other kind of connections do,

00:18:33   because they bring some other data to the table.

00:18:35   So you lose the actual picture of their face.

00:18:38   But in trading it off for a pretty good spatial persona, you also get the audio,

00:18:43   and you get object interaction in a game or something like that.

00:18:47   I was also struck by the comment that spatial personas detract from what it does well.

00:18:53   Unless you've tried spatial personas, I think part of this is we're expressing the experience of using them.

00:19:04   I get the sense that a lot of the people who are talking about them haven't actually used them,

00:19:10   and that makes it harder to have a frame for a debate about what spatial personas do well and don't do well

00:19:18   if you've only used FaceTime.

00:19:21   I understand the idea of you want to be able to see each other every now and then,

00:19:27   but we have so much communication that is passed through some kind of digital facsimile.

00:19:32   The sharing of emotions through emoji, we're all good with that.

00:19:37   I think you've got to let these things play out over time.

00:19:40   Something like spatial personas may never, ever take off, but if it does, I think it would be fun for people.

00:19:47   I had a fantastic time.

00:19:49   I have been wanting to set up more of these hangout sessions with friends, because we had a great--

00:19:53   Every spatial persona call I've had was delightful in the way that it did what it did.

00:19:59   I actually think in a way that in all of those scenarios, if we had a FaceTime call--

00:20:04   The five of us, when we had that quite a FaceTime call, it would not have been as fun.

00:20:08   We would have just been hanging out on FaceTime.

00:20:11   I don't think we would have had the same level of interaction.

00:20:14   It is something different. It is not to replace. It is purely additive.

00:20:20   That's how I think people should consider it.

00:20:22   If it ends up shaking out to be a thing, it will be what it does best.

00:20:27   Honestly, my big issue, I want there to be a feature that does this.

00:20:33   I know there are privacy issues and all that, but I want to know when my friends have their Vision Pro on.

00:20:39   I could be more casually like, "Hey, let's chat," instead of having to schedule it.

00:20:46   I want to do more of those conversations. It was really great.

00:20:50   You were in my office with me.

00:20:54   The first one we did, you were in my kitchen with me. It was special.

00:21:01   That also is a really nice part of it.

00:21:04   We felt like we were with each other, even though we were seeing each other in different places,

00:21:08   because we were physically in the places that we were at.

00:21:12   Everyone was sitting. I was on my sofa and everyone was sitting around me.

00:21:16   That's how it felt. It felt like everyone was with me.

00:21:20   You don't get that from a FaceTime either.

00:21:22   Right. We're not saying replace from a FaceTime, but I do think that there are certain contexts and certain things where it is,

00:21:30   even though, and this is the thing, I think we said it, but I'll say it again, even though, yes, it is not their face,

00:21:37   it is a 3D model based on a capture that is then being animated using software.

00:21:45   But I will say it's good enough that in context with the spatial audio, I think it goes across the uncanny valley

00:21:54   much more easily than I thought it would. You stop thinking about it.

00:21:58   So it's not a replacement for FaceTime. It's not their real face.

00:22:01   But in certain circumstances, I think it makes connection on some wavelengths that might not be there with something like a video chat.

00:22:11   Keith wrote in to say, "Regarding the Kobo Kindle advice in last week's episode,

00:22:17   an additional consideration for those in the UK is that Kobo can integrate with the Libby app.

00:22:22   This is not possible with Kindle devices in the UK, and one of the reasons I switched to Kobo."

00:22:27   I'm trying to give that as a little PSA for UK e-reader people.

00:22:31   In North America, that's not the case.

00:22:34   Kobo was owned by the same company that owned OverDrive, which is the Libby app.

00:22:41   I think they sold, I think Rocketon sold OverDrive.

00:22:45   But the Kobo integration with OverDrive is great. It's on device.

00:22:49   You can actually look at your library on the device and choose a book.

00:22:52   The truth is I just use the Libby app for that.

00:22:54   And then you can just say, once it's checked out in OverDrive, if your Kobo is logged into your OverDrive account, it just syncs the book.

00:23:01   There's nothing more you can do.

00:23:03   That said, the Kindle integration has gotten so much better.

00:23:06   You basically tap in Libby and it opens your Amazon account and you press send to Kindle and it syncs it.

00:23:11   So it's not that much different.

00:23:15   I will say-

00:23:16   - provided it's available to you.

00:23:18   - Yeah, provided it's available to you.

00:23:20   Yeah, that's right.

00:23:21   That's the thing.

00:23:24   So in the US and I think in Canada as well, that that is possible.

00:23:28   But anyway, let this also be a public service announcement that

00:23:32   checking out books from your library on e-readers is a thing and it's really great.

00:23:36   And once you get into that lifestyle, it can be, it'll save you money.

00:23:40   And also it's really convenient.

00:23:42   I put books that I hear about, I just put them on my holds list.

00:23:45   And then weeks later, I'll get a push notification that says, this book is ready.

00:23:49   And you can say, I don't want it right now and defer it, or you can just take it.

00:23:52   It's great.

00:23:53   Great app, great service.

00:23:55   People should check it out if you've got an e-reader and you're a local library.

00:23:59   You may need to go get a library card.

00:24:01   You may be able to sign up online, but once you get that, it's all digital.

00:24:05   And good news for all mankind has been renewed for season five, which is excellent.

00:24:11   But it was expected, I think.

00:24:13   But even, but surprising good news, a spinoff show from the USSR's perspective

00:24:19   has also been ordered from the same creative team that's produced for all mankind.

00:24:24   It's going to be called Star City.

00:24:26   And it's going to go back to the beginning when the cosmonauts landed on the moon.

00:24:32   So it's going to go back and tell the other side story.

00:24:35   I am so hyped.

00:24:37   Because I assume we're going to get all of our fan favorite characters back.

00:24:41   I would think there's room for some cameos from, because remember, the show is set across decades.

00:24:49   So those characters have aged out or died.

00:24:51   And you could bring them back in Star City.

00:24:56   Plus telling that story from the other perspective of the Soviets being the first to land on the moon

00:25:01   and then being in the continual space race with the Americans.

00:25:04   That's really fun.

00:25:07   And they had, there was a strong Soviet plot line in season four.

00:25:12   I mean, they're there the whole time, but like going to Star City for the first time in season four.

00:25:18   And so I think that maybe that was a little bit of an inspiration for them.

00:25:22   So I love that Apple cares enough about the show, which is a great show, to not only renew it for a fifth season,

00:25:28   but to do a spinoff. That's awesome.

00:25:31   And regarding it being unannounced, but it seemed likely, Dan and I talked to the showrunners.

00:25:38   In an episode of our NASA vending machine podcast, which is at the incomparable,

00:25:44   where we talk about every episode of For All Mankind, Ben and Matt, the showrunners.

00:25:49   And it sure seemed like they were planning for season five, but they were also being diligent and polite

00:25:56   in saying they hadn't actually gotten the official or it hadn't been officially announced.

00:26:02   But it's been announced now.

00:26:04   But I think this was like, it's not surprising because of the way the show was pitched initially, right?

00:26:09   The creator, Ron, who's the show's, what's the show's creator's name?

00:26:17   Like the guy who came up with it?

00:26:18   It's Ron Moore.

00:26:19   Ron Moore, that's it.

00:26:20   He had always pitched it as like, I have like 70 years worth of idea for the show, right?

00:26:26   Like that was always kind of like the original idea that it could go on for series after series after series.

00:26:32   I'm happy that Apple continues to order them though. That's the key part.

00:26:36   Yeah, it's true.

00:26:38   You know what I like to as well, like like to think about as well,

00:26:42   is like once this show's like Star City is a couple of seasons in, someone could create like an optimal viewing order for the show.

00:26:49   Oh yeah, that'll be great, right?

00:26:51   Because it will cross over, right?

00:26:52   Yeah, so you'd be like, watch these two episodes of For All Mankind, then these three episodes of Star City.

00:26:57   And then like, that would be really fun. That would be really, really fun.

00:27:00   Talking about rewatches, that would be a great way to rewatch For All Mankind at some point in the future.

00:27:05   Yeah, Apple could maybe even innovate there and put some links into the apps so that you can like jump from one to the other or connect the dots or all that.

00:27:12   That would be, there's a lot, not enough of that in streaming apps these days.

00:27:16   Or comics.

00:27:17   Clever curation or comics.

00:27:19   Yeah, you should be able to link that stuff together in a better way than,

00:27:22   I hyperlinks, what an idea.

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00:30:08   Saddle up, partner. It's time for a Rumour Round-Up.

00:30:12   YEAH!

00:30:13   This is the weirdest rumour of the week.

00:30:16   According to display analyst Ross Young, the upcoming 12.9" iPad Air may feature a mini-LED screen.

00:30:23   I did not expect this.

00:30:25   Now, the way that Young explains it is, well these are left over from the iPad Pro.

00:30:30   So they have these screens. They already know how to make them. They've worked out how to make them well.

00:30:36   This is the only 12.9" iPad screen that they make, so they're just continuing.

00:30:41   But if this is the case, I would also expect that the 10.9" would still just be an LCD.

00:30:47   That makes the line up BONKERS!

00:30:50   We thought it couldn't get weirder, right?

00:30:53   And if this is what happens, the line up has gotten even more perplexing than it already was.

00:30:59   I think this report suggests that the strategy for these new iPad Airs,

00:31:06   which is to use the sizes of the iPad Pro current models and the accessories of the iPad Pro current models,

00:31:13   is an even broader sort of Tim Cook-era Apple thing, which is,

00:31:20   they seem to have been conceived as using parts from the iPad Pro.

00:31:25   Like, literally, how do we take the iPad Pro stuff and make it maybe cheaper to produce?

00:31:31   But really, if they looked at this and they're like, "Well, you know, it would be cheaper for us to just use the screen from the 12.9" iPad Pro,

00:31:39   not make a new screen."

00:31:41   And then somebody said, "Great, then let's just do that." Right?

00:31:45   I mean, it's all about operations. It's all about efficiency.

00:31:48   And sometimes it's, you know, complexity of the product line be damned.

00:31:52   So, I mean, they're a real win. This is a real win for 12.9" iPad Air buyers.

00:31:57   But that's going to be great.

00:31:58   That screen's really great.

00:31:59   But it is also telling me that, like, well, that's going to be probably expensive, right?

00:32:06   I don't know. I mean, again, if it's the same screen that they've been making for years,

00:32:10   it is going to come down in price over time. And maybe that's the reason they choose it.

00:32:15   Like, I mean, one reason you make an iPad Air out of parts of the iPad Pro is to make it cheaper.

00:32:21   Like, because they've been making that iPad Pro in various versions since 2018.

00:32:25   And if they're going to a new process for this new model, we'll see,

00:32:29   then this is one way to make an iPad Air, is to just roll down the existing stuff.

00:32:36   Like, that's why Apple reuses so many parts of their products in the lower-end products,

00:32:43   is because they use them, they build them for a few years, and the cost of making them becomes way less.

00:32:50   And it's easier to do that than to make a new thing that does the same thing, right?

00:32:56   Like, I would have a hard time imagining that somebody didn't literally look at a spreadsheet

00:33:00   of the cost of continuing the production line for the existing iPad Pro 12.9 display

00:33:05   versus engineering a new 12.9 display for this iPad Air and say, "Yeah, it's worth it. Let's just use the old one."

00:33:13   It's like, "Come on, Apple. I'll tell you what you gotta do here. iPad Studio. It's not an iPad Air."

00:33:20   Like, for me, genuinely, like, calling, saying, "Oh, here's the new iPad Air.

00:33:25   It comes in two different sizes, and it's exactly the same except for the screen, which is better on the 12.9."

00:33:33   Well, you've literally just described the iPad Pro.

00:33:36   I know, but that was supposed to be fixed, right?

00:33:39   You were hoping that this would fix that, I get it.

00:33:42   The mini-LED screen, that was definitely supposed to come to the smaller one, too.

00:33:47   Like, I don't see a scenario where that wasn't the case, but maybe they couldn't get it done.

00:33:52   To be honest, if they do this 12.9 one, that further tells me that that was the case, like, that the plan was, right?

00:33:58   So we'll do the 12.9, then we'll bring it to the smaller one, and then in a couple of years down the line,

00:34:03   we'll be able to bring the mini-LED technology to both iPad Airs.

00:34:06   Like, that, to me, feels like a sensible strategy, and you put that strategy in place,

00:34:11   but then for whatever reason, you can't get the 10.9 mini-LED working, and now look where you are.

00:34:16   And then you look at it and say, you know, OLED's coming down the line, let's not worry about it.

00:34:20   So you don't bother building that display, and the OLED iPad Pros will happen.

00:34:25   That's true, but how many years is it going to be before the iPad Air gets OLED?

00:34:30   Oh yeah, I'm just saying that they looked at that for the iPad Pro, and maybe they said,

00:34:34   "Well, let's not bother, because we've got OLED models coming in 2024,"

00:34:37   but where does that leave the iPad Air?

00:34:39   Yeah, but then the iPad Air product manager's like, "Oh no! We had such a clear idea for what we're going to do here."

00:34:46   And now, here we are.

00:34:47   Alas.

00:34:48   I'm so anxious at this point for these iPads.

00:34:52   Like, I feel like I can't remember a time where a product has been so impending for so long.

00:34:58   I know, right?

00:34:59   And we're still finding out potentially new things.

00:35:01   Next week or two.

00:35:02   Yeah, I mean, it's got, not got to be, but that's the, like, in Mark Gurman's newsletter this week,

00:35:06   he was saying, like, it seems like supply chain is starting to dry up now, so it should be within the next couple of weeks.

00:35:13   MacRumors has put together a round-up of camera rumours for the iPhone line coming later this year,

00:35:19   which is very helpful, so I wanted to share them with you.

00:35:22   The iPhone 16 and 16 Plus will be getting a vertical camera layout.

00:35:27   This is similar to what it looked like on the iPhone X, so like an oval shape.

00:35:31   So this will have a new look for the iPhone for as much as the camera layout would excite people,

00:35:38   but could also allow for spatial video recording on all iPhones.

00:35:42   Yeah, that's how you do it.

00:35:43   But I like the look.

00:35:44   I think it's nice.

00:35:45   Especially if there's only two lenses, don't make it square.

00:35:48   That's how I feel.

00:35:49   There's two lenses, just make it a rectangle or an oval and just get it going.

00:35:56   The ultra-wide lens will be upgraded on the Pro phones to get better low-light performance

00:36:01   from what will be a 48 megapixel lens, up from 12 megapixels.

00:36:05   I'll be excited about this, because the ultra-wide is used too often in the new phones,

00:36:12   like for when you get close to stuff, like the macro mode comes into play way more than I would want,

00:36:19   and getting a higher quality lens here would make that better, so I'm excited about that.

00:36:26   This is also your spatial capture lens, and I think it's your continuity camera lens for doing center stage.

00:36:37   Center stage, stage manager, that's it.

00:36:40   Right, and so a lot of benefits to that extra megapixels, even if you're thinking,

00:36:45   "Well, how often do people use ultra-wide?" But that's the answer, they use it in different contexts.

00:36:50   And then this would match so that you could capture spatial video at a higher resolution.

00:36:56   Super Telephoto Periscope on the Pro Max.

00:37:01   I don't think this is the name, but this is just like, what could it be?

00:37:04   It's probably not.

00:37:05   So it would be increasing the focal length of the periscope lens from 77 millimeters to 300 millimeters,

00:37:13   although it's not periscope, but tetra prism they call it.

00:37:15   Yeah, right.

00:37:16   So both phones would be getting the tetra prism system this year,

00:37:20   but because they've reduced the size of the part so it will fit in the regular Pro phone,

00:37:26   it will allow for an even greater zoom in the Max phone.

00:37:30   Sounds good.

00:37:31   Which is intriguing.

00:37:32   The one that I may be most excited about here though is reduced lens flare.

00:37:36   So Apple is testing a new anti-reflective coating, so when you take photos or videos,

00:37:41   sometimes you get those little green spots that appear,

00:37:44   which is light bouncing in the lenses somehow.

00:37:47   I don't fully understand it, but I know that's what causes it.

00:37:50   And they've been trying for years apparently.

00:37:53   It always seems like Apple is like, "Oh, they've reduced it, they've reduced it!"

00:37:56   But I don't feel like it's reducing.

00:37:57   Hopefully this will be an actual useful reduction.

00:38:01   And the capture button.

00:38:03   So we've heard about the capture button before, right?

00:38:05   To take photos and/or video with a capacitive button that sits on the side of the phone,

00:38:10   where the millimetre wave antenna is on the phones that have that.

00:38:15   But new reports suggest that this capacitive button,

00:38:18   because it is capacitive, it's not like a moving button,

00:38:20   it's just like a touch sensor that's on the AirPods Pro for example,

00:38:24   it would allow the user to be able to swipe on the button for controlling zoom.

00:38:29   So you could swipe right and the camera would zoom in.

00:38:31   But also do like you would on a big camera, like a DSLR,

00:38:35   a light press could focus and a harder press could shoot the image.

00:38:39   I think that's fantastic! All of that sounds great!

00:38:41   It's a camera button.

00:38:43   Yeah, it's a true, true camera button.

00:38:45   I mean we've extolled the virtues of physical buttons to do specific tasks here before,

00:38:49   and it's just like, it's a good idea.

00:38:51   The idea that you could train your muscle memory to shoot a photo

00:38:55   is better than having to tap around in a smartphone software interface.

00:38:59   And I love that they would do more than it than just press this area to take a photo.

00:39:03   Like you can actually take that and make it really helpful.

00:39:06   Mark Gurman is reporting that Apple's initial set of AI features

00:39:10   are indeed expected to run entirely on device,

00:39:13   with "no cloud processing component".

00:39:16   So this is backing up what we've been hearing.

00:39:18   Apple would tout privacy and speed benefits for this,

00:39:22   and would continue to work with something like maybe an open AI or Google

00:39:27   to have web-based processing for more complex things.

00:39:31   Once you've got a model running on device that is capable of doing queries,

00:39:35   so the thing is it's not entirely on device, it's the model runs entirely on device, right?

00:39:39   So just like with Siri today, the answers are out on the internet,

00:39:44   and so what you do is you can train your model to look things up

00:39:49   from various known data sources.

00:39:51   And if those data sources are good, and they could be search engines,

00:39:54   they could be other AI models, they could be specific APIs for various kinds of content.

00:40:00   And the benefit here is ideally that this is much more advanced

00:40:06   than something like what we have with Siri today,

00:40:09   where the model can have a conversation with you,

00:40:12   and the model knows what you want, and then the model knows how to query those cloud services,

00:40:16   get the data back, and then interpret it properly for you.

00:40:19   So done well, I think this is great.

00:40:21   And the idea here is that over time, you could have it interface with other models and other APIs,

00:40:29   I like it, I mean, that makes sense.

00:40:32   All the conversation about Apple and AI, what I keep coming back to is that,

00:40:38   and thinking about the AI pin too, what if that classic Steve Jobs line,

00:40:43   which is, and I forget even what he said it about, was it TiVo?

00:40:47   I don't know, was like, that's not a product, it's a feature.

00:40:50   And I think about that with some of these large language models,

00:40:53   is it a product or is it a feature?

00:40:56   And everything will have AI and everything will have language models.

00:41:00   And I think that there's some truth in that.

00:41:03   Like it doesn't mean that the people who have the most powerful models will not benefit and have success,

00:41:10   but that in the end, the challenge might be,

00:41:13   how do you create a product that serves the needs of the humans who use the product

00:41:21   that uses the power of AI?

00:41:24   That's the challenge. And Apple, I feel like Apple has a lot of potential there,

00:41:29   because that's what Apple generally has been good at,

00:41:31   is making products to fulfill needs of users, not,

00:41:35   and the story of this goes back for all of Apple's history,

00:41:38   not taking parts off of a shelf, taking a new technology feature and saying,

00:41:42   how can we jam this into a product because it's new?

00:41:45   Apple has always had this philosophy of, no, no, no, no,

00:41:49   what do people want to do and what technology exists for us to do it?

00:41:52   So I'm not saying they'll succeed, but I'm saying that I feel like this is within Apple's capabilities to succeed,

00:41:59   because ultimately what they want is to create,

00:42:02   is to use these technologies to make the users get what they want.

00:42:08   Right? It not because nobody, maybe our listeners,

00:42:12   but nobody is out there going, I want to use AI on my phone,

00:42:16   or I want to use a chat bot on my phone.

00:42:19   Like that's not what they're saying.

00:42:20   What they're saying is I want to do these things that are amazing and are enabled by that technology.

00:42:26   And so you got to identify what those things are,

00:42:28   and then you got to make it easy to use those things and be able to actually do them.

00:42:33   And like, I feel like that's in Apple's capacity to do that,

00:42:37   but no guarantee, but this sort of reporting, it, you know, I'm not, I'm not turned off by this.

00:42:44   I think this is an interesting approach.

00:42:46   I feel like I'm gearing myself up for the WWDC presentation that was going to blow my socks off, right?

00:42:53   Like I'm going to be like, whoa, and then I'll get it and be like, oh, okay.

00:42:56   It wasn't exactly what I thought.

00:42:57   And then we're, it's, oh yeah, get ready for the ride.

00:42:59   Right. But buckle up.

00:43:00   Right. Cause we're going to go way up.

00:43:01   Not that it's bad.

00:43:02   We're going to be like, oh, I can't believe it. I can't believe it.

00:43:04   And then we're going to try it.

00:43:05   It's like, uh, hmm.

00:43:06   The perfect example of this were shortcuts, right?

00:43:09   When they showed us shortcuts, it's like all of our worlds changed forever.

00:43:14   Sure.

00:43:15   And we got it and was like, oh, okay.

00:43:16   It doesn't do everything we wanted, but it's really, really great.

00:43:19   And that's what I expect this to be.

00:43:21   Like the presentation is going to be like, okay, everything's completely changed.

00:43:25   And then it will be like, oh, okay.

00:43:27   It's different, but it's not like the best it could possibly be.

00:43:31   That's what I'm thinking.

00:43:32   Right. I think you're right.

00:43:33   I think they will obviously show off the best circumstances.

00:43:36   Also when they release it, it'll like the first developer betas will come out and it won't be on.

00:43:41   And then they'll be like, no, no, no.

00:43:42   Later this summer, we'll turn them on and then they'll turn them on and they won't work.

00:43:44   Right.

00:43:45   And then, and then they'll ship and they'll be like, yeah, it works.

00:43:47   Okay.

00:43:48   And then like a month later, they'll be like, oh, but we did a 0.1 release and now it works great.

00:43:52   Like we we've been, we've seen this story before, but I would like to see their ambitions.

00:43:56   Right.

00:43:57   Like I want to see how they, just as Apple is pretty good, usually at creating a product design designed around what people want to do instead of saying, well, we got this new chip, so let's stick it in there.

00:44:09   They're also very good at telling the story about it.

00:44:12   I think those skills go together.

00:44:14   I think those are, that's part of Apple's deal.

00:44:16   And so the way they tell the story about AI, because they know they have to tell an AI story.

00:44:21   They have resisted for years and years and years, but they are clearly, they're on the train now.

00:44:26   They're going to do it.

00:44:27   I want to know what that story is.

00:44:29   Like what do they emphasize?

00:44:30   What do they deemphasize?

00:44:31   It could be a real surprise.

00:44:33   Like I don't think any of us were expecting spatial computing out of the vision pro announcement that that was the vision there.

00:44:37   Like tell us the story.

00:44:39   I want to, I can't wait to see it.

00:44:41   But then yes, we're going to feel a high and then we're going to come crashing down to earth.

00:44:46   And then at some point, going back to our conversation about reviewers, at some point in the fall, we will finally get an idea of what reality is.

00:44:56   But it'll be a ride until then.

00:44:58   And according to Lika Kosutami on Twitter, Apple has ended production of their fine woven cases and are likely going to look at another replacement for leather.

00:45:08   Kosutami has reported accurate information about cases, including fine woven and accessories in the past.

00:45:14   So there's some how.

00:45:15   Like think how many fines are not going to die for their weaving now.

00:45:19   They saved the fines.

00:45:21   They saved the fines.

00:45:22   I mean, when I was in New Zealand, we were driving around and there's like, there's like all these sheep and then all the fines are out there.

00:45:28   Well, the thing is the European Union will benefit from those fines from Apple.

00:45:34   Oh, they do. They do love fines in Europe.

00:45:36   So the European Union is going to take the fines from Apple that Apple no longer weave into cases.

00:45:41   Oh, that's good. That's good.

00:45:42   That's like paying a fine in pennies.

00:45:45   And as we spoke about before, they're going to take those fines and then they're going to distribute them amongst the Europeans so they can have their project.

00:45:52   So Lauren has a fine woven case that she's had on her phone since day one because she got a new phone this year.

00:45:57   Because two years ago I bought an iPhone mini and she refused to take it.

00:46:01   So we bought her a new phone this year too.

00:46:03   And it's battered, man. It's battered.

00:46:08   And not in a good way, right?

00:46:09   Like her leather case was battered.

00:46:12   And then it went to Julian and he battered further.

00:46:15   And it was, by the time it got through a teenager's hands for a couple of years on top of being used by Lauren for a couple of years.

00:46:22   I mean, it was starting to be a wounded soldier, right?

00:46:26   But like for the longest time, I know this is a cliche, but like the leather, it really does sort of,

00:46:32   not feel cheap when it's battered.

00:46:36   It sort of feels worn and in a good way.

00:46:40   Lauren's fine woven case, I mean, she's only had it since the fall.

00:46:44   And it's just the plastic around the edges is smashed and the back doesn't look very nice.

00:46:53   And it's got a discoloration from where it goes on the charging spot.

00:46:59   And like, it's just bad. It's just a bad case.

00:47:03   I mean, it does the job, I guess, but it's substandard.

00:47:07   And this is, I'm not trying to take a victory lap here, but like we all knew it.

00:47:11   We all called it. And the issue is not that it's fine.

00:47:15   It's that Apple's charging the leather case price for it and it's not acceptable.

00:47:19   So I hope they have a backup plan here.

00:47:23   I just think go all silicon and then make a nicer silicon, like do something to make like a pro silicon case or whatever.

00:47:29   And it's just, I don't know, got metal buttons and some other nice features.

00:47:33   I'm just, I don't think anyone's going to be happy with whatever they try and replace the leather case with,

00:47:41   because it's not going to be the same thing.

00:47:43   And so just let it go or just let it go.

00:47:46   Right? Just let it go.

00:47:49   This episode is brought to you in part by our friends over at Ladder.

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00:49:34   Our thanks to Ladder for the support of this show and Relay FM.

00:49:39   Jason, we're pulling into emulation station.

00:49:43   Doo doo.

00:49:45   This is not a new segment, but I couldn't resist it.

00:49:48   I couldn't resist it. Here we are. We've left Rumour Roundup, we got on the train and now we're in emulation station.

00:49:57   This has been undoubtedly the biggest news story of the week.

00:50:01   We spoke about it a little bit last week that emulators were starting to appear in the app store, mysteriously disappearing.

00:50:08   But this was, we were waiting for something that did happen, which is Riley Testaert's Delta emulator was launched worldwide.

00:50:16   And in the new alt store PAL in Europe, the first app marketplace has arrived.

00:50:24   Really, which is kind of interesting.

00:50:26   The week that the first app marketplace arrived, which we've been talking about for months now, that's not the news.

00:50:32   The news is Delta, which is really interesting.

00:50:35   Couple of pieces of information for this.

00:50:38   So as I said, if you are in Europe, you can get Delta through alt store PAL. It's not in the app store.

00:50:44   If you're outside of Europe, you can get Delta from the app store.

00:50:49   Worldwide, Delta has been either number one or number two app in the whole of the app store every single day since it launched on Wednesday.

00:51:00   Here in the UK, it's only been eclipsed by the London Marathon app, because the London Marathon was yesterday.

00:51:07   In the first two days, Riley posted on Mastodon that the app had received 1.4 million downloads.

00:51:15   So I'm expecting it's probably somewhere between 5 to 15 million downloads now, which is unbelievable.

00:51:25   It's completely free.

00:51:27   I said to Riley on Mastodon, "You should have some kind of paid component for this app."

00:51:33   And he reminded me, we have a Patreon, which I loved as an answer.

00:51:37   And I was like, "You know what? Fair enough. But still Riley, at least premium themes and app icons.

00:51:43   Come on, let's get this done."

00:51:45   Yeah, and app for icons and themes or something, just to let people throw money at it a little bit.

00:51:48   And we'll get back to Delta and alt store in a second, but just to kind of talk about emulators, there are more established emulators on the way.

00:51:55   So there is an emulator called Provenance, which is an emulator that can run systems that Delta can, so a lot of the old handheld Nintendo systems.

00:52:05   But also the Provenance emulator on other platforms runs Sony Playstation games, GameCube games and others.

00:52:13   It's going to be interesting to see exactly which systems are going to run in Provenance, because the Dolphin GameCube emulator,

00:52:21   they have said that they cannot run on the iPhone as Apple does not allow for just in time compilation on the iPhone, aka JIT.

00:52:31   This is needed for Dolphin to achieve the performance required to run these games.

00:52:35   For one of the developers on the iOS project, they said, "The GameCube and Wii have a PowerPC-based CPU inside them."

00:52:42   That's just funny to me, like with the history of the Mac.

00:52:45   "All modern Apple devices use an ARM-based CPU. It isn't possible to directly run PowerPC code on an ARM CPU and vice versa.

00:52:56   We submitted a DMA interoperability request to Apple for JIT support, but it was denied."

00:53:02   So I don't know how many more systems will actually appear, right?

00:53:10   So like a lot of the handheld Game Boy, Nintendo DS, that kind of stuff, that's all there in Delta and I'm sure is going to be in Provenance.

00:53:18   Will we get PlayStation games, PSP games, GameCube games, like that we don't know yet.

00:53:26   Have you spent any time with Delta at all?

00:53:30   You know, I opened Kirby Pinball and made all the beeps and boops and my wife looked at me and was like, "What is happening?"

00:53:36   And I said, "Sorry." And I closed it and that's been about it.

00:53:39   So I am of a generation where we got the first video game, Home Systems, so that was for me it's the Atari 2600 or maybe people had like the Odyssey or the Intellivision.

00:53:52   And then I got into computers and I didn't buy a game console again until the 90s when I got a PS1.

00:54:03   So this whole generation in between has no nostalgia for me.

00:54:11   So I would love a PS1 emulator because I'd be playing NFL Blitz 2000 on that all the time.

00:54:18   But until then, it's of less interest to me, I guess is what I'm saying.

00:54:24   I completely understand that. I kind of thought that you would probably have checked it out for professional curiosity.

00:54:30   I checked it out.

00:54:31   You weren't going to be spending a lot of time.

00:54:32   Sure. And that's the question about the 1.4 million downloads is how much of that is, "I heard about this, I'll check it out."

00:54:38   And how much of that is people who are actually going to use it. We don't know.

00:54:42   Well, I can count myself amongst the have been using it.

00:54:46   I think I've played about 15 hours of Pokemon over the last four or five days.

00:54:53   Delta is incredible. I've tried a lot of emulators over the years on Android phones and stuff like that. And it really is superbly done.

00:55:04   One of the things that I was very surprised about is it has a save syncing system with Dropbox.

00:55:10   So today I was using the Delta iPhone app in compatibility mode on my vision pro with a Sony PlayStation controller playing Pokemon.

00:55:20   And then was able to pick it up on my iPhone and continue.

00:55:24   It's so well thought out. At the moment it is only on the iPhone.

00:55:28   Which is intriguing because Delta does run on other systems.

00:55:31   If you're on the Patreon and you'd use the old alt store or you were on the test flight, which is how Delta has run for years, there is an iPad app.

00:55:39   So I don't know what their plan is. My hope would be maybe that's a paid upgrade.

00:55:45   You get it on other systems and stuff like that.

00:55:47   So I don't know what their plan is. But if you're playing Game Boy games, using it in compatibility mode is totally fine.

00:55:57   Because these are tiny, like actual tiny games anyway. So it works great.

00:56:01   And at the moment everything is seemingly fine.

00:56:08   The question I have is, and I do wonder the risk element of all of this.

00:56:13   Will the success of Delta draw the ire from Nintendo and Sony and others?

00:56:19   The legality of emulation is messy.

00:56:24   There doesn't really seem to be an agreed upon convincing.

00:56:30   There are a lot of laws that people throw around, I understand.

00:56:34   But it doesn't stop companies like Nintendo from shutting this stuff down.

00:56:40   And they have done that in the past.

00:56:42   It's going to be really intriguing to see what happens.

00:56:44   Is everyone just going to let this go still? Is there a level that it gets to?

00:56:49   Are Apple actually going to do something about it?

00:56:51   Do they have a rule about what retro means and they won't accept games past a certain level if they even can run on the iPhone?

00:56:59   Maybe that's why they don't offer just-in-time compilation.

00:57:02   Because it will stop more modern systems from being able to run.

00:57:06   I'm not sure about the answers to these questions, but I do wonder if they're going to try and do something.

00:57:13   I don't know.

00:57:14   Because they could just send a scary letter to Riley, which is what Nintendo has done before, to other companies.

00:57:21   I think the question is what the laws are and what's allowed.

00:57:25   I feel, as a non-lawyer, I feel the same about this as I do about ripping DVDs that you own.

00:57:37   Which is, if you sell me games and then you stop making a device and it dies, and I still want to play the games, and you're like, "Too bad."

00:57:48   I should be able to play those games. I should find a way to do it.

00:57:50   So it feels to me like in the spirit of the Betamax ruling, which was about shifting, recording things off of a VCR,

00:57:57   and that I have a personal license to that particular medium.

00:58:02   But I can also see an argument made by a game console manufacturer that the emulator itself is containing...

00:58:14   To be compatible, it has to contain details of the platform that the platform owner believes are copyrightable and that they own.

00:58:26   Again, I'm not sure the law is on their side there, although that wouldn't stop a giant company from threatening and saber rattling and maybe forcing expensive litigation.

00:58:37   But I keep coming back to the fact that if there are legal ways to let legal owners of cartridges, for example, dump the ROMs from their devices and put them on this system,

00:58:52   that they should be allowed to do so. As long as there's a legal way, you can't outlaw it.

00:58:59   The example that I've been using is you can put a pirated book in iBooks or Apple Books. You can do that. You can put a pirated book in there.

00:59:09   You can play a pirated movie on your Mac or on your iPad. You can do that.

00:59:16   But just because you can doesn't mean that they can't be allowed, because there are plenty of legitimate uses for playing video files or loading in EPUBs.

00:59:25   I think this holds for this too, personally. John Vorhees wrote a story that I feel like was designed for people to point to during debates about this, which I love.

00:59:38   Which is, here is a USB device that you can put a cartridge in and it dumps it to a file on your Mac and then you can use it on an emulator.

00:59:47   The whole point of it is not just it's news you can use. If you've got a bunch of these cartridges, you can buy this device and then put all of your saves and all of the device data on an emulator.

00:59:59   But it's also to say, here is a legitimate use of emulators that is not about piracy.

01:00:05   There's the whole idea of, these are old games nobody cares about from a business standpoint and they may be locked in copyright prison where nobody knows who has the rights to them, so they're completely lost forever.

01:00:20   And I'm sympathetic to that, absolutely. But there's also the more specific argument, which is, I have the game, here it is, I'm gonna use some technology to put it on a device and then I'm gonna play it, and that you can't prevent me from doing this.

01:00:38   That I believe is absolutely moral. Is that legal? Will somebody try it? I would hope that if somebody got, if one of these console makers so objected to this that they attacked, and the Yuzu example, that is a different example I think.

01:01:01   But some of these older consoles that are long gone, I think, I would hope that some organizations would come to the defense of the makers of those projects.

01:01:14   Because it's a bad precedent to set that it's impossible to emulate old devices because Nintendo has the right to prevent anybody from ever playing a Game Boy game again.

01:01:32   Well, there's a couple of things in this thing. Obviously, I think of this from the Nintendo examples because it's the company that I'm most familiar with, like how they work and all this kind of stuff. I mean, you're right, the Yuzu thing, I thought that they were within their rights to do that.

01:01:47   It was emulation of the Switch, which seems madness to me why they couldn't allow that. I don't think, because as well, it was just piracy mainly that people were doing rather than emulation.

01:01:58   And there's always that element here, right? But it's not just that element. And you can tip over into that. That's why I like Jon's story because he's like, this is not piracy.

01:02:05   No, I have that thing too, the GB operator. It's cool. I believe that you should be able to emulate a game if you own it. I don't see, like you said, I think that is perfectly valid. Why not? I already own this. I've given you the money. Here we go, this is fine.

01:02:23   The issue with Nintendo though is a lot of the games that people want to emulate, they're not lost. Nintendo still sell them. You can get a lot of these on the Switch.

01:02:33   So it becomes a little bit more complicated to say that I want to play Mario 3 and it can't be lost to time.

01:02:41   So this is my thought about why some of these arguments need to not be made, which is the argument that I want to play a game that's lost forever. I am sympathetic to that from a history standpoint. There are lots of games out there that nobody cares about, that maybe you care about.

01:02:58   But the truth is that Nintendo, I wish they were better stewards of this because emulation would be a lot less of an issue if they were better stewards of this and let you play games on their current consoles. There are some, but there are others that are not available on current consoles.

01:03:19   Including the Pokemon games, they don't have those.

01:03:22   Right, and I don't like the idea that saying, "Well, you can play this on the current Switch, so buy a Switch and then buy the game again on the Switch." And you're just getting what you got before that you already have in a cartridge.

01:03:35   And that's what I have a problem with is Nintendo should be making these available and saying, "Well, our business is that we put the work in to build this emulator and validate all of these things that we own, and people who want the convenience of buying it can buy it and they can play it, and isn't that great?"

01:03:51   But I don't, if I own that game, like, hmm. I mean, it's not a remaster or anything. It's not a new thing. It's literally the thing that I own. My argument is, "No, I'm not buying it again for your new console. I don't want to do that. I just want to play it."

01:04:10   And again, I don't know if that's legal, but that would be my moral argument is it's great. I want everybody who makes hardware to make available all the stuff they used to have, but the problem is, yeah, some of it they can never make available.

01:04:25   I just got, okay, here's a tangent. I just got a book last week in the mail from Amazon. I preordered it like six months ago. It is my favorite comic book of all time. It's called The Micronauts. It came out in the '70s.

01:04:38   It is my favorite comic book of all time. It has been out of print since it was printed. And the reason is it's a licensed comic book. It's not a Marvel comic. It's a Marvel comic with Marvel characters that also contains licensed toys owned by the MeeGo Corporation, which is now part of Hasbro.

01:04:59   And so it went out of print forever. And could you download digital scans of those issues? Sure you could. Do I have the originals? Sure I do. But my point here is saying a lot of stuff is never going to be available because it was a license that was made.

01:05:18   Nintendo was like, "Yeah, Pokémon! We'll do Pokémon and we'll license it from the people who own Pokémon." And the license drops and like, they can't... Whenever the license drops, it's gone. Like, you can't do it anymore.

01:05:33   It's like how I can still play Carcassonne by Code Monkeys. Is that who did Carcassonne? But that's because I bought it like 10 years ago on the iPad. But like, there's a Carcassonne in the App Store now and it's not that game because they lost the license.

01:05:47   Sometimes it's like music that's in the game is the problem. Like, there are games that they're kind of lost to time because no one can agree the rights on the music again.

01:05:57   It's true for movies and TV shows, but it's really bad for code, especially code from the early days. Like, I really believe that one of the reasons Apple doesn't just say, "Here's an Apple II emulator. Like, here's all the source code for the Apple II. Go to town."

01:06:12   I mean, I know they did it to the Lisa, but they did it to the Lisa in the Computer History Museum. Like, the danger is you're still a big corporation with lots of money.

01:06:20   And if there's like a library that was written by somebody and licensed to you in 1979 as Apple and nobody remembers it and nobody knows that it's there,

01:06:32   but the person who owns the rights to the company that had that library is still alive or their heirs are still alive or they sold that license to someone else,

01:06:42   they could sue Apple for distributing Apple IIe system software from the '80s because it contains an esoteric thing that nobody knew was there.

01:06:53   And the fact is, they would be in the right if they own the license to that, but nobody knows. And as a result, there's paralysis, right?

01:07:02   Where people are just like, "I can't. We can't clear this. We don't know." So that's the value of being able to go. Like, you could go on eBay and buy old issues of the Micronauts, right?

01:07:11   Like, they can't. They're not destroying the stuff that's out there. Well, a Game Boy cartridge is that, right? Which is, "I have the thing."

01:07:19   And I know it's not, you don't own the game, you own a license to the game, but I do think that if you get a physical cartridge, you should be allowed to play that.

01:07:29   - Yep. I agree. I think we're very aligned here. The moral stance is one, but the legal stance is untested.

01:07:37   - I don't know the legality. I know that there's some, and then there was like the Java Oracle case too that might even come to play here,

01:07:45   but there's some thought that if there's software in the emulator that is doing some very specific things to emulate the hardware in a way that is actually containing things that the console maker could exert,

01:08:02   are there controlled intellectual property in some way?

01:08:06   - Well, Delta is interesting because the Nintendo DS emulation in Delta, you have to provide your own BIOS files. Now, where you get those, who can tell?

01:08:20   - You can dump them from your hardware, but you can also just download them on the internet. Well, yeah, I mean, I've got, honestly, I have an Apple II emulator,

01:08:28   and it is running with a ROM file that you have to supply, and the ROM file is not the file from my Apple II. I could have dumped the ROM from my Apple II, but you know what?

01:08:38   I didn't bother. I just got one off the internet, but I feel like I'm in the moral right here because I've got one right behind me, and also the Apple II who cares is another argument I would make.

01:08:49   Like, just let it, if I want to play Choplifter, if I want to play Karateka, so be it. You should let me do that.

01:08:56   - You know what, Jason? No one's going to stop you from playing these games. No one should, or maybe somebody should stop you.

01:09:02   - Well, I mean, I'll just put it out there. What happens if somebody puts an Apple II game emulator on the store? Is that not a retro console because it's also a computer and you could put other software on that?

01:09:11   - I can't wait to see how far it could end up going, like, in that. Why can't I emulate classic Mac now, too? Why not?

01:09:21   - Well, that was, so that's one of the thoughts that I had is there are a lot of great classic Mac games. There are a lot of great classic iPhone games from the early days of the iPhone that you could probably play on a modern iPhone in emulation.

01:09:36   And so, like, I know that Apple's paying developers to put up new versions and recompile them and all of that, but wouldn't it be amazing if Apple just opened the gates to a whole bunch of old, no longer compatible with the iPhone games, just by saying,

01:09:51   "Oh, yeah, iOS whatever, future version, now contains an emulator for older versions of iOS, so those apps just continue to run."

01:09:59   Like, that would be amazing, right? You could totally do that if you wanted to, but I think that there are some challenges with, you know, I don't know, I'm skeptical that Apple would ever allow somebody to put a Newton emulator or an Apple II emulator or a Mac emulator in the store.

01:10:15   They're like, "No, it's not a console." It's like, "Guys, come on."

01:10:19   - Gotta say, though, Jason, we didn't think this would happen either. We're in Uncharted waters.

01:10:25   Darren wrote in to say, this is an interesting wrinkle for me, "As someone in the European Union, Delta isn't actually available in the App Store. If I want to get Delta, I need to subscribe to Alt Store and pay the one euro 50 cents plus VAT a year or go to the side-loading route via the Mac."

01:10:42   So European's a disadvantage. Thanks, EU.

01:10:45   Okay, this is kind of interesting. I looked through some posts that Riley was putting online to talk about this.

01:10:54   So, effectively, they don't have a choice about this if they want to make Alt Store. They accepted the terms, so that's the end of it.

01:11:03   Because they accepted the terms and they accepted the terms before the terms allow for that one-time switchback wouldn't have made a difference anyway, but because they've done that, they want to be an alternative app marketplace people, any app that they release is now going to pay the CTF.

01:11:18   So they need a way to do that. So to pay the core technology fee, they need to offer it through Alt Store and charge you a euro 50 a year for that so they can cover it.

01:11:27   But Alt Store has other free apps that you otherwise can't get. And there's going to be other benefits that non-EU citizens will never get. Like there's that clipboard manager Federico was trying out and freaking out about because it was so cool.

01:11:39   Those things are going to be in Alt Store. So yes, you pay a euro 50. I wish I could pay Riley a euro 50 a year for this application to be honest because Delta is that good.

01:11:48   So yes, in a way you have to pay, but you do get access to other stuff.

01:11:54   I think if Riley had known everything up front, he might have made a slightly different choice. Because I think that the way you would do this is you would put Delta in a different company and let Delta have its own account and put it available on the App Store for free worldwide.

01:12:12   Then again, Riley may be approaching this as a way to get people to use the App Store or the old store.

01:12:18   So someone asked Riley this and he said, "If we made another developer account and put Delta on it, Apple could terminate it and our main one for violating the terms of service."

01:12:25   Oh yeah, for sure. I'm just saying there might have been a way to let somebody license Delta and put it up. They might have been able to do something like that.

01:12:35   But I think the point is, yeah, in the EU what they're trying to do is he's trying to use Delta and the clipboard manager and some other stuff to bootstrap Alt Store.

01:12:44   That's the goal here. I know that that stinks, but the CTF means this is how it has to be.

01:12:50   It also means that in any other country or region where laws change to create alternative app stores or sideloading and therefore the CTF comes into account,

01:13:04   it will be a decision point for Delta about whether they enter in those regions and go to the CTF route or they just stay with it free in the App Store.

01:13:15   So just a fun little wrinkle on that one, but Alt Store does seem cool. I do wish I could get it, but that's not going to happen.

01:13:24   Yeah, I'm surprised that they are allowing, because remember, Apple still sort of has to approve your app because you've got to submit it and it's going to get notarized.

01:13:37   Something like that clipboard manager, which is operating and would never have been allowed in the App Store, has been allowed to run.

01:13:47   But apparently the emulators that use a JIT, even though they made a DMA petition, Apple rejected it.

01:13:56   So the emulators that use a JIT are not allowed?

01:13:59   Yep. It's weird, right?

01:14:01   That's weird.

01:14:02   It's because that clipboard manager, it is effectively abusing an API.

01:14:08   A public API, not a private API.

01:14:10   A public API, yep.

01:14:11   Private APIs are where it's not allowed and no JITs is a rule that Apple has.

01:14:15   And so it seems, if you can twist a public API to do what you want, they maybe don't have grounds to reject you.

01:14:23   It's what I expect is happening.

01:14:25   I don't love this narrow interpretation of the rules and I feel like there may be some more challenges there.

01:14:33   We'll see. Where the EC might say, "No, no, no, Apple, that's not good. You need to give them the freedom to do that."

01:14:39   Especially because JIT is now available on iOS because of the browsers.

01:14:45   Now I know that there are security risks around it, but it's not like this can't happen on the iPhone because it now does.

01:14:51   So we'll see.

01:14:53   And you throw up, I hate to say this, but throw up another warning dialogue, right?

01:14:57   Throw up a warning dialogue that says, "This app contains a just-in-time compiler and Apple can verify the code that gets compiled."

01:15:04   Make me go enable a developer tools setting or whatever, right?

01:15:08   Which is kind of, you have to do a lot of this nonsense to even get Alt Store running anyway still.

01:15:12   You have to go to settings and tick a box and all that kind of stuff.

01:15:16   Let me do it. I want to do it. I want to play GameCube games.

01:15:20   Yeah, and I want to play PS1 games.

01:15:22   It's against the spirit of what the EC is trying to do to have it be like, "Well, Apple still doesn't want you to run that kind of emulator."

01:15:33   And I hate it.

01:15:35   And I wish that that was not the case worldwide, right? Because again, I want to play NFL Blitz 2000 on my iPad.

01:15:41   Yeah, but this is it. Don't forget that you have said that they're not in accordance with the DMA.

01:15:47   So who knows where this is still going to go.

01:15:50   Sure. It just may not help you and me.

01:15:53   Yeah, I know. Well, you never know, right?

01:15:55   You never know.

01:15:56   The whole thing about this, the reason they changed this emulator was because they knew how popular Delta was going to be and they were right.

01:16:02   And I guess Apple is also kind of hoping that maybe Riley will put some kind of payment thing in there because then they get the benefit too, right?

01:16:10   Because now the most popular app in the world right now, in the sense of being newly downloaded, is Delta.

01:16:16   And so Apple knew that, you know, they were going to be, there would be Europeans, I guess they'd done it anyway,

01:16:22   but people would be going wild to try and get this stuff. So they've enabled it in the App Store.

01:16:27   But it's about time.

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01:17:50   Let's finish out today with some Ask Upgrade questions.

01:17:54   More on ebooks. This question comes from Josiah who says, "Upgrade seems to be the e-reader podcast, so I thought I'd ask here. Is there an e-reader that can use custom fonts?

01:18:07   My ability to read and focus is significantly higher when using the open dyslexic font, but I want a device to read on that is less distracting than my phone but smaller than an iPad."

01:18:17   So I got two answers here. One is, Kobo lets you sideload fonts. I think Kindle lets you sideload fonts onto the device too. You attach the device to your Mac and it comes up as a USB thing.

01:18:29   On Kobo you can just drag fonts in and I think you can do that on Kindle and not 100% on that one. I think they changed that. But you don't have to do it Josiah because I believe all modern Kindles and Kobos come with open dyslexic font already installed.

01:18:42   Amazing.

01:18:43   So there you go.

01:18:44   You love to see it.

01:18:45   Should be fine. You love to see it. Yep.

01:18:48   Do Kindle fonts look good now? I know there was a lot of people that were unhappy. I think Grey was unhappy with that for a long time.

01:18:53   They're better.

01:18:54   About something with a justification.

01:18:55   When I went down into Kobo land a few years ago, it was in part because I was frustrated by the sluggish changes to the Kindle over time. I'd used a Kindle for so long and it really hadn't changed at all.

01:19:10   Of course, inevitably three months after I switched to the Kobo, they updated the Kindle software and it's a lot better now.

01:19:15   Thanks.

01:19:16   It's a lot better now.

01:19:17   You made that up.

01:19:18   Yeah, it is. It's a lot better now. I would say it's not as good as Kobo, but it's real close. It was not close before.

01:19:26   Is the typography better? It is. I think the Kobo typography is still a little bit better.

01:19:34   I would say most of the ways that motivated me to switch have been improved now. I don't know if I would have switched or not.

01:19:44   There are nuances about the Kobo that I like better and I like just not being entirely attached to Amazon.

01:19:51   At that point, I'm already attached to Amazon in so many other ways.

01:19:54   The truth is the typography is better, the interface is better, the library integration that we spoke about earlier is better.

01:20:02   So Kindle is a lot better than it used to be. Unfortunately, Amazon has decided that page turn buttons don't matter.

01:20:14   I hate e-readers without page turn buttons, so that alone will probably keep me on the Kobo.

01:20:20   But yeah, modern Kindles do a lot better. When I set it to the right font at the right settings,

01:20:26   the only issue, and this is true with both, is some publishers publish their books with forced justification and hyphenation turned on.

01:20:34   You can't turn them off. I want no hyphenation and I want a ragged write.

01:20:39   I don't want random amounts of space between each letter on a line so that they fill up the complete column.

01:20:45   It is the dumbest. Justification is the worst.

01:20:48   That's strange to me because it's essentially a computer that it would force it, right?

01:20:53   Well, there's an EPUB setting to force it and I hate it because what you should be able to do is turn it off.

01:20:58   But on these e-readers, you turn it off and it doesn't turn off. And the reason is it's in the file.

01:21:05   And I know this because speaking of piracy and fair use and things like that,

01:21:11   I will frequently find a book like that and I will bring it into Calibre on my Mac, strip the DRM off of it because I have to,

01:21:19   change the setting to allow it not to be justified, and then sync that file back to my e-reader so that I can turn it off.

01:21:28   So I know it's in the file. I know it's in the file specified by the publisher and I hate it.

01:21:33   So anyway, yeah, but they're all better than they used to be.

01:21:37   It used to be, I think Kindle used to not let you do anything with justification.

01:21:41   And now it's got some of that too. So yeah, I mean Kindle is good.

01:21:46   Kindle is good. I think Kobo is maybe a little bit better.

01:21:49   But this came up, I think last time that I still think the Kindle Paperwhite is probably the go-to e-reader for like real casual people,

01:21:58   because it's affordable and very good.

01:22:01   I like the Kobos because they've got the physical page turn buttons and they've got a small one that's fairly affordable.

01:22:10   And then a larger one with a flush screen that is a little more expensive, but also very nice, like reading a hardcover.

01:22:16   And so I recommend them. But if you look at them and you're like, "Whoa, that's too much."

01:22:19   A Kindle Paperwhite will get you by. You just got to tap on the screen to do anything.

01:22:24   Did you get the color ones yet?

01:22:26   So the last round of new Kobos, I contacted their PR people and I got review units.

01:22:33   And this round they have been, that person that I dealt with is gone and they've been completely unresponsive.

01:22:40   So I have a pre-order. People keep asking me what I think. It's like, they're not out yet.

01:22:44   What do you think, Jason? We must know.

01:22:47   I know. I need my honest review to be... Anyway.

01:22:51   Jason, I need you. I will not trust anybody else's review. I only want your honest review.

01:22:55   Well, I ordered it the day that they announced it. So I'll get it as soon as I can.

01:23:01   I wish I could have gotten it three weeks ago so I could have been a part of that set of reviews.

01:23:06   There aren't that many people who care at all about e-readers.

01:23:09   But then Amazon has never sent me anything or considered me at all relevant to e-readers.

01:23:15   So Kobo did them one better by actually sending me review units at one point.

01:23:19   So yeah, I don't know. Anyway, yes, I've got them on order.

01:23:23   I've got the one color version of the one that I already use and I will review that as soon as I get it.

01:23:29   Is that the Libra?

01:23:31   Yeah, the Libra color with a U in color because it's Canada.

01:23:35   It's a funny shape.

01:23:37   It's very much in the same style as the Kindle Oasis where it's...

01:23:45   They want to make it as thin as possible, but there has to be a thick part where you hold onto it.

01:23:51   So they put the battery and stuff, they put in the thick part, but there's also the thin part.

01:23:56   It's very comfortable to hold.

01:23:59   It still doesn't look like it's what I want. I just want an e-reader for comic books.

01:24:03   That's what I want. And I just maybe want... I'll get it. One day I'll get it.

01:24:07   I feel confident one day I will get it.

01:24:09   Yeah, oh, for sure. For sure. The color e-ink has actually come a long way.

01:24:14   I mean, honestly, I'm kind of flabbergasted that color e-ink actually exists.

01:24:20   That feels like something that we wanted for a long time and it just wasn't happening.

01:24:26   So I kind of got the impression that it just wasn't something that could be done.

01:24:30   So I think it's cool to see it now that it exists, but we want to keep seeing that that tech get better.

01:24:37   Roman writes in and says, "I get the argument that the humane AI pin needs iOS or Android integration to be viable.

01:24:45   How do you think this integration could work without thoroughly compromising the iPhone experience?

01:24:50   The AI pin gets hot and overheats because of high modem or compute usage.

01:24:55   If this was offloaded to the iPhone in a way that was controlled by Humane,

01:24:59   to keep an open connection to their servers and/or to run LLMs on the iPhone locally,

01:25:03   wouldn't this destroy the iPhone battery similarly?"

01:25:07   This sounds like Roman is making an Apple argument here, but I disagree with it.

01:25:12   First off, I don't think it gets hot and overheats because of the modem or compute.

01:25:16   I think it gets hot and overheats mostly because of the laser that it is using.

01:25:20   Or whatever it is, it's like the way it's been built. It's tiny, it's small, it's their first thing.

01:25:24   Whatever it is. I don't think an AI pin that only had Bluetooth and Wi-Fi and talked to your phone would behave like that.

01:25:34   I certainly wouldn't kill the iPhone in any...

01:25:38   I would have to construct a scenario where they're given unfettered access and do a terrible job

01:25:42   and use so much resources that it wrecks your phone.

01:25:45   I would just point to the Apple Watch as a suggestion that that's not the case.

01:25:49   I just don't think it would destroy the iPhone battery.

01:25:54   My answer is no. I think it could be built to work fairly easily without thoroughly compromising the iPhone experience.

01:26:03   What I would say is, I appreciate Roman's point here broadly, which is talking about integration with the iPhone is complicated.

01:26:11   It depends on implementation details. Apple is, I think, right to be concerned that third-party accessories

01:26:17   do things that wreck the overall iPhone experience.

01:26:20   That said, this question seems to be phrasing it in the most extreme way possible,

01:26:26   leading it to be one of these sort of like, "What can Apple do? They can't allow anything on their platform

01:26:31   because it could destroy the phone's battery. Destroy the phone's battery!"

01:26:35   I think that's a very extreme scenario that I think is extremely unlikely.

01:26:39   I think Apple could totally do this because Apple is a very capable company that could probably give access to its platform

01:26:47   at a limited way that would still be enough to satisfy the makers of devices like this.

01:26:52   In fact, that access may already be there, or they might need a little bit more.

01:26:57   That's debatable. But to take it to the extreme of like, "Oh, what if it destroyed the iPhone?"

01:27:05   I was like, "Well, that would be bad, but I don't think that is what would happen."

01:27:08   I feel like Apple could create a series of APIs that provide similar information to and through,

01:27:14   like what an Apple Watch can do, obviously. If they did something like that, you'd be a lot of the way there.

01:27:18   But also, if there was an inherent issue that large language models and the way that they work

01:27:26   could create battery issues and heat issues, then we're all in for trouble.

01:27:30   Get ready. This year's going to be real bad, I guess. Destroy your batteries.

01:27:34   Get ready for a double-thickness iPhone coming later on this year.

01:27:37   And I'm unclear about this because I do not develop a smartwatch.

01:27:41   The DOJ says Apple's implementation for the Apple Watch benefits the Apple Watch

01:27:47   and that other watchmakers who've investigated being on the iPhone have decided that they can't be

01:27:52   because they can't do a good enough job, that there are things that Apple does that prefer the Apple Watch.

01:27:57   I am not one of those watchmakers, so I cannot guarantee it.

01:28:01   I know that there's some stuff that is available that Humain could build on an iPhone in order to do some syncing,

01:28:06   but I've also heard that it's just getting a push notification and certain ways that--

01:28:13   Didn't Marco say even Apple Podcasts has some things that it can do that Overcast can't do?

01:28:18   Apple reserves some stuff, right?

01:28:20   But it's like, you can get, on another device, you can get notifications.

01:28:24   You just can't do anything with them.

01:28:26   Yeah, so this is my point, is an aspect of the DOJ's argument that I actually kind of agree with.

01:28:34   I don't want to create a regime where Apple can't build a product like the Apple Watch

01:28:39   and tie it all in together and release it because they have to instead build a huge array of public open APIs,

01:28:48   which is going to take way more time.

01:28:50   And it also, honestly, it blunts the advantage they should have as the inventor of the Apple Watch

01:28:56   to it being successful and integrated with their platform.

01:29:00   I am, however, open to the idea that after a certain amount of time,

01:29:05   and I know that's really squishy, that Apple should provide access to its platform to competitors.

01:29:12   And that includes things like the Apple Watch, somebody else should be able to make a smartwatch.

01:29:18   At this point, 10 years later, somebody should be able to make a smartwatch for the iPhone

01:29:22   that works as well as the Apple Watch if they want to invest in doing that.

01:29:27   And my understanding is the reason, because look, hey, anybody who's selling an Apple Watch in the United States right now,

01:29:33   and that goes for Google and Samsung and whoever else, Fitbit, whoever wants it,

01:29:38   they would all, and I know Fitbits work on the iPhone, but they would all,

01:29:42   and I know that Fitbit is owned by Google now,

01:29:44   they would all love to match the Apple Watch in terms of access on the iPhone

01:29:48   because it's more than half of the market.

01:29:51   But apparently, they kind of can't.

01:29:53   And I think that's a problem, right?

01:29:55   I think that's where I would put it.

01:29:57   And that goes for things like the AI pin because the AI pin is essentially a smartwatch of a sort, of a weird sort.

01:30:05   And over time, providing access to your platform so that other companies can try to build things on top of it

01:30:12   instead of it just being you is a thing that I think should happen.

01:30:15   Mm-hmm.

01:30:17   And Ben asks, "How do you feel about the action button?

01:30:21   What are you using it for now? How often do you use it?"

01:30:24   How are you doing on this one?

01:30:26   Oh, I love it.

01:30:27   So my action button, it's still set to the same thing that I had before.

01:30:30   It's all about task entry for me.

01:30:32   So I press the button and it pops up and it says, "What's your task?"

01:30:36   And I type my task and it says, "When is this due by?" is the next thing it asks me.

01:30:40   And I type it in in natural language like Wednesday at 2 p.m.

01:30:43   And then it says to me, "Where do you want to put this? To-do-est or due?"

01:30:46   And I'll choose and it will put it in the right place.

01:30:48   This is how I enter tasks on my iPhone.

01:30:50   I can do it from when the phone is locked.

01:30:52   I can just grab it and press it.

01:30:54   I can do it while I'm looking at an email.

01:30:56   I can hit the button, type in the task and continue with the email, whatever it is.

01:31:00   I love it.

01:31:01   I use it all the time and it's fantastic.

01:31:03   It makes me feel like what I get on my Mac, which is on my Mac,

01:31:07   I can hit a keyboard shortcut and enter a task to to-do-est no matter what I'm doing.

01:31:12   And now I feel like the action button has enabled that.

01:31:14   It's a shortcut that I built, a simple shortcut.

01:31:16   It's just like two text boxes and then using magic variables,

01:31:20   I can put in the task name and the task time.

01:31:22   It's very simple.

01:31:23   Yeah, but I love it.

01:31:24   It's like an easy one.

01:31:25   It's a quick one, but it works great for me.

01:31:27   And I use it a dozen times a day, genuinely.

01:31:31   I use it all the time.

01:31:32   It's fantastic because I add a lot of tasks, reminders and stuff like that.

01:31:36   And so it really is super, super useful for me.

01:31:40   And I'm very happy that it exists.

01:31:42   So my action button is set to a shortcut I wrote

01:31:46   that basically puts something on my main story list.

01:31:50   It's not all story ideas on there.

01:31:52   Sometimes it's also a triage list and they go somewhere else afterward.

01:31:55   But that's the list that I use day to day.

01:31:57   And it's where I write down ideas for stories to write.

01:32:01   And so I hold down the action button and then dictate basically what I want.

01:32:06   And it puts it in that list tagged as coming from dictation.

01:32:10   Now I could use Siri and say, add blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah.

01:32:17   Or remind me to blah, blah, blah.

01:32:19   It's the default.

01:32:20   So remind me to blah, blah, blah.

01:32:22   And in fact, if I'm out running and I have a story idea,

01:32:24   that's what I have to do is I have to bring it up in my Apple Watch

01:32:28   and say, remind me to Apple is doing this thing right and this thing wrong.

01:32:33   And it goes, all right, I'll remind you to Apple is doing this thing right

01:32:36   and this thing roast beef, because it gets part of it wrong.

01:32:39   I'm like, okay, good enough, good enough.

01:32:40   I'll do that.

01:32:41   So I have that on my iPhone.

01:32:44   I use it very rarely, but that's more a function of the fact that

01:32:48   I don't carry my iPhone around very much.

01:32:50   It mostly lives in standby mode on a charger in my kitchen,

01:32:55   because I work at home and I use an iPad and I use a Mac.

01:33:00   And so the phone really only comes with me when I am leaving the house,

01:33:05   but not to run or walk the dog.

01:33:07   Because if that's the case, I just use my cellular Apple Watch

01:33:10   to do all of that stuff.

01:33:12   So the amount of time that I am out and about and having any need

01:33:16   to use anything on the iPhone is fairly rare.

01:33:19   It does happen.

01:33:20   And then I'm happy to remember that I set up the action button to do that.

01:33:23   But I wish I had a more exciting story,

01:33:25   but this is one of the ways in which I am an outlier

01:33:27   for most of our listeners and probably most of our fellow podcasters is,

01:33:33   I just don't use my iPhone very much.

01:33:35   It's not my primary device at all.

01:33:38   And that's just how it is.

01:33:40   It used to be when I was riding the bus back and forth from San Francisco

01:33:44   every day, like that was different, but it's not like that now.

01:33:48   If you would like to send in a question to help us,

01:33:53   for us to help you, in fact, sometimes.

01:33:56   Help us help you.

01:33:58   Go to upgradefeedback.com.

01:34:00   You can send in your Ask Upgrade questions.

01:34:02   You can also send in feedback, follow-up, and snow talk questions too.

01:34:06   That is upgradefeedback.com.

01:34:08   You can check out Jason's writing at sixcolors.com.

01:34:11   You can hear his podcast at the incomparable.com and here on Relay FM,

01:34:15   where you can also listen to my shows too.

01:34:17   You can check out my work also at cortexbrand.com.

01:34:20   You can find Jason online.

01:34:21   He is @jsnell, J-S-N-E-L-L-I-M @imike, I-M-Y-K-E.

01:34:27   You can watch video clips of this show on TikTok, Instagram, and YouTube.

01:34:30   We are @upgraderelay.

01:34:32   Thank you to our members who support us with Upgrade Plus.

01:34:34   You can get longer ad-free versions of this show each and every week

01:34:38   by going to getupgradeplus.com.

01:34:41   Thanks to our sponsors, Vitaly, Ladder, and Squarespace.

01:34:45   But most of all, thank you for listening, and we'll be back next week.

01:34:49   Until then, say goodbye Jason Snow.

01:34:52   Bye.

01:34:54   [Music]

01:35:00   (music fades)