44: A Plague With Very Minor Effects18 Dec 2013
Do you want to give us 5 stars, keep your criticism to yourself, or be asked again every week?
- What if the new USB connector is too similar to Lightning? (John Gruber on Lightning)
- Potential for 5120-wide Retina displays to overcome Thunderbolt bandwidth limits by using "dual-input displays"?
- John's "quick" tips for TV calibration. (THX TV-calibration app)
- "Rate This App" dialogs:
- The Talk Show's excellent discussion.
- Marco's post.
- Underscore David Smith on App Store quality standards.
- How Apple could process "report as inappropriate" at scale.
- The effects of web popularity on Casey and Marco's respective unpopular apps (Fast Text and Bugshot).
- 5 Whys exploring why developers use "Rate This App" dialogs.
- What could Apple do to improve this?
- App Store discoverability vs. search, and how search could be improved.
- How much developers should be responsible for their own app marketing, and the uncomfortable reality that many apps just aren't compelling enough to sell well.
⏹️ ▶️ John What does your application have going for it brand wise? It has a hideous icon that happens to include feet.
⏹️ ▶️ John And so following that brand, like you’re going
⏹️ ▶️ John through a rebranding effort, all you’ve got going for you is the fact that your icon had feet. And
⏹️ ▶️ John so getting a non-hideous icon that has feet, it’s like you’re owning it. You’re
⏹️ ▶️ Casey So but what if I don’t really need to worry about brand recognition because only like three or
⏹️ ▶️ Casey four hundred people I’ve ever bought the damn thing in the first place.
⏹️ ▶️ John It doesn’t matter. It’s not like people are going there looking for the feat. That’s what you got is feat. And you know, I think
⏹️ ▶️ John being whimsical, like that was your instinct. That’s what you brought to the application. You drew feet on that terrible icon.
⏹️ ▶️ John You brought that. That came from you. That is your own personal creative input into the branding of this application.
⏹️ ▶️ John If you got some other creative input, put it in. But don’t, like, I wouldn’t just throw that away. You wanted feet, you got feet.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Hey, your app is basically UIKit plus feet.
⏹️ ▶️ John Here’s one from John Dark spelled with an E at the end of dark. That’s a pretty awesome name, although he should really have an H
⏹️ ▶️ John in his first name. But anyway, he brought up an interesting point that I didn’t think of when we were talking
⏹️ ▶️ John about the Apple lightning connector and the upcoming
⏹️ ▶️ John USB connector that we don’t know anything about other than it’s not going to suck and it will be bi-directional.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Wait, we don’t know it’s not going to suck. Well, it’s still very
⏹️ ▶️ John much can suck. Yeah, I guess I suppose but they’re saying all the right things about it And when we talked
⏹️ ▶️ John about that, I was saying like it’s hard to think of that connector being anything except for something
⏹️ ▶️ John like the lightning connector not exactly but You know reversed with it with the contacts on the outside and a solid metal
⏹️ ▶️ John thing instead of being like micro USB and mini USB where it’s like a little bent piece of metal with crap on the inside
⏹️ ▶️ John because that is very delicate and annoying and crappy and
⏹️ ▶️ John And it seems crazy to me that they would make a new connector and make it like it’s like micro USB only now it’s reversible
⏹️ ▶️ John That’s not really great or that wouldn’t be a very big improvement, but Marco’s right. I suppose
⏹️ ▶️ John they could still do that But anyway, this blog post says okay So say my speculation
⏹️ ▶️ John ends up being close to right and they produce a connector that is in the
⏹️ ▶️ John style of the lightning connector, but isn’t obviously not a lightning connector and and say that
⏹️ ▶️ John Apple eventually adopts that because it’s a better connector than the current full-size USB and they put it in all their products and all that stuff,
⏹️ ▶️ John you would end up with a cable like the one that’s drawn in this blog post. Did you open the link yet? Yeah,
⏹️ ▶️ John I actually read this post earlier. That cable would be kind of a nightmare, don’t you agree? Because it looks
⏹️ ▶️ John like lightning on one end and a made-up USB connector on the other that looks kind of like lightning, but not really,
⏹️ ▶️ John like it’s a little bit thinner and the contacts are longer. And you lose all the advantages of the
⏹️ ▶️ John reversible cable the new USB thing and everything. And you know, consumers would
⏹️ ▶️ John have trouble figuring out which end is which because they look so similar. And you know, regular nerd would be able to know every time but
⏹️ ▶️ John maybe even we would mess it up if we’re bleary eyed in the morning trying to plug something in.
⏹️ ▶️ John So that’s kind of like the curse of being first where Apple came up with lightning connector while the USB
⏹️ ▶️ John guys kept screwing up their connectors making their crappy things. And you know, for a while now, we’re like, you see, Apple’s got these
⏹️ ▶️ John great connectors on their devices. And of course, the big fat ugly other end that connects to your computer is
⏹️ ▶️ John you’d never get that computer lightning connector right but if the new USB connector it looks something like lightning
⏹️ ▶️ John Apple could find itself in a strange or uncomfortable situation and I don’t think they can go USB
⏹️ ▶️ John on both ends because of all this you know planning they have for the lightning connector and how it works with all their devices
⏹️ ▶️ John and how it lets them change the insides while keeping the connector the same and all that good stuff
⏹️ ▶️ Marco well first of all I’m guessing that the USB reversible… so this guy’s calling
⏹️ ▶️ Marco it USB Type-C. Is that an official name? The Type-C plug?
⏹️ ▶️ John Yeah, I think that’s what they call it in the thing that he links from the…
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Alright, good. So we can call it that. So if this Type-C thing ends
⏹️ ▶️ Marco up coming out being reversible and resembling Lightning in its general design,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco I would guess almost certainly it would be wider by a substantial amount
⏹️ ▶️ Marco to accommodate all the pins necessary to do USB 3 at a reasonable cost.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Because the lightning connector has very, very tiny little contact pads and
⏹️ ▶️ Marco the port is required to have these little tiny pins. All that super-miniaturization, I’m guessing,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco might run afoul of USB’s desire to be super cheap and
⏹️ ▶️ Marco to have pretty broad tolerances so that any idiot can make one of these connectors or ports and it’ll
⏹️ ▶️ Marco work. I’m guessing the connector would not be nearly as small as Lightning, and that alone would be a pretty big
⏹️ ▶️ Marco switch. Also, let’s think about realistically speaking here, like how likely
⏹️ ▶️ Marco is it that the USB people are going to make a spec that’s as good as Lightning to be
⏹️ ▶️ Marco actually easily confused with it? Like, I’m guessing it’s going to be in some way clunkier, and I’d
⏹️ ▶️ Marco love to be proven wrong on that, I hope I am proven wrong on that, but I’m guessing, you know, looking at their
⏹️ ▶️ Marco history of how they do things and what they prioritize, I don’t think what they make is going to end up
⏹️ ▶️ Marco being confusingly similar to lightning.
⏹️ ▶️ John The Apple’s easy out would be that no matter what the connector looks like, make the plastic grommety end thingy
⏹️ ▶️ John on the lightning connector just massive so that it’s like the same size as the current USB connector on a
⏹️ ▶️ John lightning cable except maybe it has a little dinky thing. So even if they made the connector exactly the same size, Apple, since
⏹️ ▶️ John it more or less controls the lightning connector market or the people who want to use lightning connectors, could dictate
⏹️ ▶️ John that the end that’s not lightning has to be this big fat chunky thing.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco I think also, I’m pretty sure we can safely rule out the latter two
⏹️ ▶️ Marco possibilities in John’s blog post about either Apple basically killing
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Lightning and adopting USB, or Apple working together with the USB
⏹️ ▶️ Marco forum people to make one better standard together. I think we can
⏹️ ▶️ Marco pretty safely rule those things out. It’s very, very unlikely.
⏹️ ▶️ John Yeah, I don’t know what Apple’s motivation would be to standardize, since they love having
⏹️ ▶️ John their very own connector with their own particular attributes that they can license to accessory manufacturers
⏹️ ▶️ John and do all that good stuff.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Exactly, because they do make a lot of money off those licensing fees. And I think
⏹️ ▶️ Marco more than the money, I think the money is a secondary concern for them. I think the bigger reason they do it
⏹️ ▶️ Marco is control. They love having control over what their devices
⏹️ ▶️ Marco can and can’t do. They love having control over what accessories can and can’t
⏹️ ▶️ Marco do, how they interact with the device. And I think they also like that if you make a lightning port device,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco it’s not going to work on somebody’s Android phone. All these things really benefit Apple, and there’s really no motivation
⏹️ ▶️ John And the best thing about it is, finally, Apple has found a market and a position in that market
⏹️ ▶️ John where this lack of compatibility with the other guys does not hurt them. Because back in the day, it was like, well,
⏹️ ▶️ John real keyboards and mice use insert connector here, but Apple uses this crazy thing called ADB.
⏹️ ▶️ John And so you have to buy a special Apple keyboard. You can’t just buy a regular keyboard. and Apple
⏹️ ▶️ John eventually adopted USB, and now more or less you can take a USB keyboard and connect it to either computer. So during the whole
⏹️ ▶️ John Mac PC era, the Mac was dinged on every single area where it didn’t conform to the rest
⏹️ ▶️ John of the industry. Now in the portable device space and the iPod space,
⏹️ ▶️ John Apple so dominated the portable music player space that 30-pin became sort of the de facto standard.
⏹️ ▶️ John And now in the phone market, people might not buy an iPhone because it doesn’t have a big enough screen or like other things
⏹️ ▶️ John like that, but I don’t think people are saying, Well, I was gonna get an iPhone, but it doesn’t use USB. It
⏹️ ▶️ John uses this lightning connector type thing. People may still gripe about lightning connector and the cost of it, but it doesn’t hurt
⏹️ ▶️ John them as much as I think all their special Apple specific weirdness used to hurt. And
⏹️ ▶️ John this Apple always wanted to have its own weird thing, but it was the negatives were
⏹️ ▶️ John not overwhelming, but kind of must’ve annoyed Apple. And now finally they have, you know, in the portable
⏹️ ▶️ John device market, a place where they can do their proprietary stuff and only take a minimal hit in the market
⏹️ ▶️ John for it, almost non-existent, people will just grin and bear it.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey You say that though, but Gruber made a post about this, I don’t know, maybe a week or two ago, about how the
⏹️ ▶️ Casey lightning cable, I think he was talking about the lightning cable, is the epitome of
⏹️ ▶️ Casey the difference in perspective between Apple users and Android users. And I actually pointed
⏹️ ▶️ Casey this out, I sent this article to a bunch of my Android-loving friends, and they were like, yeah, that’s stupid, why would you
⏹️ ▶️ Casey want a proprietary cable? And man, it’s just, to me, that makes no sense.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey Like, I don’t need to have a really clunky cable that I have 300 of. I’d
⏹️ ▶️ Casey rather have one cable that works very well all the time. And I don’t know,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey it just struck me as so weird that that was the thing.
⏹️ ▶️ John That post was right about the difference between the users, but those are users who have already made their choice or who have some
⏹️ ▶️ John sort of, like, some allegiance to one side or the other. Regular people who have no allegiance to one side or the other don’t care or know anything that’s
⏹️ ▶️ John different about them. And like they expect when you get a new thing, there’ll be new accessories that
⏹️ ▶️ John have to come with it. I don’t know if people are like, well, if I can’t reuse my charging cables, then forget it
⏹️ ▶️ John because across Android phones, maybe you can’t reuse the same cables or the same charger. So they
⏹️ ▶️ John don’t work as well. It’s not that big a deal. Besides they come with, you know, one or two cables
⏹️ ▶️ John or whatever the iPhones come with these days. I think the experience of using the lightning
⏹️ ▶️ John cable, like you said, Casey, for regular people is more important than the
⏹️ ▶️ John theoretical advantage of being able to reuse cables across phones that you buy.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey Yeah. All right. We also got a lot of feedback about dual
⏹️ ▶️ Casey input displays. Because during the, I believe it was the last show, we talked. Wait, was it a lot or was it one
⏹️ ▶️ John Well. I saw one tweet. Now, people kept tweeting and saying, isn’t it possible
⏹️ ▶️ John if they just hooked up two cables?
⏹️ ▶️ John From two cables from your Mac Pro to your monitor, then doesn’t that solve the resolution problem? Or do you
⏹️ ▶️ John think Apple could do this? do you think Apple will do this every variation? So there were a lot of tweets about
⏹️ ▶️ Casey that. Right, but John, you have put one specific tweet into the show notes.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey Do you care to expound upon that?
⏹️ ▶️ John Yeah, it’s a slide from Apple’s most recent presentation about the Mac Pro that’s showing
⏹️ ▶️ John the back of the machine. It says next generation video up to three 4K displays, single
⏹️ ▶️ John and dual input displays. And I don’t even know what that means. I remember that being on the slide,
⏹️ ▶️ John but I guess I just forgot about entirely. I’m not even sure what they’re getting at. Either one of you want to venture a guess?
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Well, in last episode, we talked about how it was going
⏹️ ▶️ Marco to be pretty impossible for them to ship a 5120 pixel wide monitor,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco which would be a perfect 2x of the current 27 inch. That it would be impossible because
⏹️ ▶️ Marco it would use more bandwidth than a Thunderbolt 2.0 cable will support.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco And now back in the forever ago days, when the 30 inch cinema display first
⏹️ ▶️ Marco came out, It was one of the first monitors in the market to require dual link DVI. And what dual link DVI
⏹️ ▶️ Marco basically is, is a whole bunch more… It’s basically like, you know, two
⏹️ ▶️ Marco regular DVI channels in one cable that has just a ton of pins.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco And it required special video cards that would support this, and everything was very expensive and
⏹️ ▶️ Marco everything. That was pretty much the same idea, which is like, you have this standard… And forgive me if I’m
⏹️ ▶️ Marco getting this wrong. please email us actually if I’m getting this right, I’m curious. But, it was, you know,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco the standard is not fast enough to support all this resolution, so they basically, as far as I know, they basically divided
⏹️ ▶️ Marco the display in half logically in the controllers and just like had each channel render one half of
⏹️ ▶️ Marco it. So, by doing something similar, if you could link together, say,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco two Thunderbolt cables into one monitor that was made to handle this, and the video cards were made to handle
⏹️ ▶️ Marco this as well, you could theoretically then have enough bandwidth to drive
⏹️ ▶️ Marco a 5120 pixel wide display off of the new Mac Pro. And
⏹️ ▶️ Marco doesn’t the new, actually yeah, the old one too, the new Retina MacBook Pro
⏹️ ▶️ Marco that also has Thunderbolt 2, so far it’s the only Thunderbolt 2 computer that’s shipping from Apple,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco that has two ports on it as well. And I don’t know if it has this capability, it might not.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco I don’t think they’ve advertised it, but it’s worth noting that that does have two ports. But this would
⏹️ ▶️ Marco be a way now. So last episode we were saying it’s impossible for them to offer this monitor. Now
⏹️ ▶️ Marco with the proof from this slide from Vegard Nielsen, thank you, with the proof from this slide it actually
⏹️ ▶️ Marco shows that if a dual input display exists and that works the way
⏹️ ▶️ Marco you think it would, which is being able to combine the bandwidth of both cables into one display, like dual
⏹️ ▶️ Marco link DVI, although that was one cable, but regardless. If this works the same way as that,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco that theoretical display now is possible again for the new Mac Pro.
⏹️ ▶️ John But is that what it means on the slide when it says dual input displays? I’m not sure that what it means
⏹️ ▶️ John is a display that has two inputs and you need both inputs to drive the display at its native resolution. It could just as
⏹️ ▶️ John easily mean a display that has two different inputs so that you can switch between
⏹️ ▶️ John them so two different Macs could share the same monitor. I don’t know what dual input display means. That’s what I’m getting
⏹️ ▶️ Marco What value would, and I don’t know, I mean, I’ve never bought, like, you know, like, maybe this, maybe there’s something
⏹️ ▶️ Marco about pro display, but this is a common feature. What value would there be in Apple advertising their
⏹️ ▶️ Marco ability to plug into, like, a switched monitor that has two different inputs for two different sources?
⏹️ ▶️ John Like, I know, that’s what I’m getting at. I think there’s some context we’re missing from people who, from pros, video pros,
⏹️ ▶️ John or something that might use this. I’m sure we will get email from the people explaining to us, but because they put it on a slide, but
⏹️ ▶️ John the expectation that everyone knows what it means. And I hadn’t heard anything about it meaning you know
⏹️ ▶️ John the equivalent of all was it because if you don’t have bandwidth to run the resolution You can run two of them on so
⏹️ ▶️ John Overall the people asking is it possible that they could do this it seems technically
⏹️ ▶️ John Plausible vaguely plausible because dueling DVI wasn’t a standard that Apple made I don’t think it was part of
⏹️ ▶️ John the you know whatever the DVI consortium is or whatever
⏹️ ▶️ Marco No, I think they were just some of the first ones to use
⏹️ ▶️ John it all right this this sounds a little bit weirder You know, especially since it would be two actual cables and they like
⏹️ ▶️ John bundle them together or something I don’t know but it’s within the realm of possibility. Will Apple do this?
⏹️ ▶️ John I think the cost probably the cost of a display at that resolution is Puts
⏹️ ▶️ John it outside the realm of things that Apple will do even if they could technically do it But I think the wild
⏹️ ▶️ John card is What did Apple mean by dual input displays and it seems like none of us know for sure
⏹️ ▶️ John So if anyone out there knows for sure exactly what Apple meant by dual input displays, let us know.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco The other thing we should point out right now is that we’re recording this on Monday, December
⏹️ ▶️ Marco 16th at night. It is very, very likely that the Mac Pros are coming out tomorrow.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco So it’s very likely that by the time most people hear this, the new Mac Pros will already be
⏹️ ▶️ Marco out. And if Apple is going to make any kind of display announcement at that time,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco that might have already happened as well and other people might have already gotten these and tested them and we’re saying all this before
⏹️ ▶️ Marco the new Mac Pro is actually out so this all could be irrelevant in 12 hours.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey Why do you say that tomorrow would be the day which would be Tuesday the 17th?
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Because today they’ve rushed out on a 10.9.1 update that supports the new Mac Pro
⏹️ ▶️ Marco and it’s what this is one of the and they like to do the releases on Tuesdays and this is one of the last
⏹️ ▶️ Marco potential weeks for them to release something and still be in December because half of Apple shuts down next week.
⏹️ ▶️ John And this was the rumored date as of a couple of weeks ago anyway,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco right? Right, yeah. So it’s it’s I’d say I would say the 10.9.1 release today all but confirms
⏹️ ▶️ Marco it. I would say it’s almost certain that they’re being released in 12 hours.
⏹️ ▶️ John Although I think hasn’t Apple released hardware in the recent past where if you buy the new hardware
⏹️ ▶️ John you get a newer newer build of the OS than you could get on an existing Mac? I don’t know if they’ve
⏹️ ▶️ John ever done it where you where you get you know you can get 10.9.1 but only if you buy a Mac Pro and then a week later it
⏹️ ▶️ John comes out for everybody else but they have definitely done things where you if you want to buy this new hardware you get a newer build
⏹️ ▶️ John of OS X than anybody else can get and you got to wait until the next update.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Yeah that they definitely have done that. So with its with its release imminent
⏹️ ▶️ Marco John are you buying one tomorrow?
⏹️ ▶️ John I’m definitely not buying one tomorrow. No I have to wait even if everything was just right
⏹️ ▶️ John I want to wait until every people test it I want to see I want to see gaming benchmarks.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco As far as I know, I don’t think I’m going to buy one tomorrow. Unless they
⏹️ ▶️ Marco actually announce some kind of retina display, in which case I would buy both immediately.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Besides that, I think I’m also going to wait and see. I’m really curious to see from reports from people
⏹️ ▶️ Marco about how it compares to the 2010 Mac Pro in practice. It has
⏹️ ▶️ Marco all sorts of, besides the CPU improvements, which are, they’re there,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco but it’s not really what you’d expect from three years of CPU progress. So besides the CPU
⏹️ ▶️ Marco improvements, which are, say, moderate, I want to know, like, you know, is this whole new version
⏹️ ▶️ Marco of the system architecture, like this all PCI Express everywhere, maximized for throughput,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco and then these GPUs being super high power, like, I want to know, is it, how big
⏹️ ▶️ Marco of an upgrade is that in practice, in regular use, using not just,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco you know, 3D rendering apps that will use the GPUs, but using just general apps, development apps, apps, photo,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco audio, production stuff, that kind of stuff. I would love to know how
⏹️ ▶️ Marco much of an upgrade is this really, if you already have a 2010 Mac Pro.
⏹️ ▶️ John With a gigantic PCI Express SSD in it already.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco That’s true. Well, my SSD is mediocre.
⏹️ ▶️ John That’s another thing, the disk throughput, the quote unquote disk throughput of the solid
⏹️ ▶️ John state drives in this thing, I’m interested in that as well, because I think that will have more of an impact
⏹️ ▶️ John on my daily life than the speed of the CPUs.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Right, exactly. And you know, because in theory, the way this is architected, there’s a
⏹️ ▶️ Marco lot of stuff missing from it. And one like all you know, various card slots and
⏹️ ▶️ Marco a few old interfaces like Firewire. One of the reasons they did all that was so they could basically like
⏹️ ▶️ Marco devote all of the PCI Express lanes available in the chipset and from the CPU, devote
⏹️ ▶️ Marco all of that to, you just maximum throughput for the core components.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco And I want to know, can you feel that? Is that noticeable? We are sponsored this
⏹️ ▶️ Marco week by our friends at Backblaze. It is unlimited and unthrottled
⏹️ ▶️ Marco online backup. Backblaze, and I use Backblaze personally. I’ve used it for years, long before
⏹️ ▶️ Marco they were a sponsor of anything I did. It’s just $5 a month for unlimited space.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco It’s really fantastic. And I’ve used other online backups. Backblaze is my favorite.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco You can’t beat that price. And with other ones, I’ve had problems with throttling.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco That’s why they say unthrottled in their ad readout. I think this is a problem in the industry where sometimes,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco apparently, some providers will throttle you after you’ve uploaded a certain amount per
⏹️ ▶️ Marco time period. Like you’re going too fast, they can’t handle it, or it’s causing them too much, they’ll slow you down.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco My problem with some of the other ones is not necessarily that, but that their servers are just too slow.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco I have this nice Fios upstream of 65 megabits, which is amazing.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco And most providers just can’t take the files that quickly. Backblaze, I’ve never had that problem.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco It is always rock solid. It is always uploaded as fast as I’m willing to send the files.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco And it’s really fantastic. So they have these cool features too. They have Selective Restore.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco You can just pull one file off if you want to. Very handy if there was one time
⏹️ ▶️ Marco I took a vacation and there was a file on my home computer that I didn’t have in Dropbox,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco I just had it somewhere on the hard drive, and I wanted to access that. And I had no way, you know, back to
⏹️ ▶️ Marco my Mac worked for like a year, and then stopped working in 2011,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco so I haven’t had back to my Mac working for years. I couldn’t pull it off that way. Backblaze, I
⏹️ ▶️ Marco just logged in, I was able to restore that file, and get it and work on it. It was fantastic.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Everything worked exactly as you’d expect. They have an iOS app. You can also browse your files
⏹️ ▶️ Marco directly from their iOS app. So it’s like you have access to all your stuff wherever you are.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco And Backblaze was founded by ex-Apple engineers. It runs natively on your Mac
⏹️ ▶️ Marco and works perfectly with Mavericks. I’ve had zero problems with Mavericks. So that’s pretty much it. There are
⏹️ ▶️ Marco no add-ons, no gimmicks, no additional charges. $5 a month per computer for unlimited,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco unthrottled online backup. It is the simplest online backup program to use. Just install
⏹️ ▶️ Marco it and it does the rest. Go to backblaze.com slash ATP. And
⏹️ ▶️ Marco thanks a lot to our sponsor, Backblaze. Five dollars a month for unlimited and unthrottled backup. Backblaze.com
⏹️ ▶️ John And everybody should have an offsite backup of some kind and online is the easiest and
⏹️ ▶️ John probably also the cheapest offsite backup you can get.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey Yeah, we just received, at least John and I received a tweet from someone I don’t have it handy saying, oh
⏹️ ▶️ Casey my goodness, I should have listened to John about backing up because I just lost 12 months worth
⏹️ ▶️ Casey of work because I didn’t have a backup.
⏹️ ▶️ John It could have just installed a piece of software in five minutes and paid $5 a month, which is not that much in the grand scheme of
⏹️ ▶️ John things. Just don’t go out to lunch one time a month and you’re fine. And he would have had all his stuff
⏹️ ▶️ John and some peace of mind.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Yep. Yeah, it’s really great. And it’s also, you know, this is a great thing too. If you’re like, if you’re visiting,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco say your parents or grandparents and they have a computer, Like I use online backup for my mom because
⏹️ ▶️ Marco I got her a computer a few years back. She loves it. She puts everything on there. But I know she’s
⏹️ ▶️ Marco never going to manage time machine. You know, it’s a laptop. It’s all over the house. Time capsules are unreliable.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco I don’t even want to mess with that. I just want to know that she has online backup and I can check in.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco I can go online and I can make sure her computer has been backed up recently. And Backblaze provides all that
⏹️ ▶️ Marco nice peace of mind, fantastic for yourself and for setting up things for your
⏹️ ▶️ Marco relatives who you don’t want to lose data.
⏹️ ▶️ John It’s a Christmas gift idea when you do the annual visiting the relatives and fixing all their computer stuff.
⏹️ ▶️ John Just install Backblaze on them for it. For casual users who are not downloading multi-gigabyte
⏹️ ▶️ John things all the time and everything, you say, well, their internet connection is not fast enough to use online
⏹️ ▶️ John backup. The initial backup is probably going to take a long time on their terrible DSL connection or whatever crazy thing they’re
⏹️ ▶️ John using. once they get through that initial backup, casual computer users don’t produce data
⏹️ ▶️ John that you know, and that high volume in fact, plays will automatically, you know, not back
⏹️ ▶️ John up stuff that doesn’t have to, right? So you don’t have to worry about Oh, what about all their cache files from
⏹️ ▶️ John safari when they do web browsing? It’s not going to back up that stuff. It’s just going to back up the data, their own data
⏹️ ▶️ John and casual users don’t produce that much data. So it will have no problem keeping their update their backup up to date.
⏹️ ▶️ John Uh, you know, in practically in real time every day once it gets caught up and it won’t take that long. So,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco oh yeah, I mean, my mom’s entire backup set is 30 gigs.
⏹️ ▶️ John And how much does it grow a day? Like, you know, the daily, the daily, the daily churn in that is
⏹️ ▶️ John probably like a megabyte or two. No problem uploading
⏹️ ▶️ Marco that. Right, and I, and you know, I can tell you too, like, I mean, I have, on my computer,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco I have about 800 gigs in Backblaze. My wife has about one and a half terabytes in Backblaze. And
⏹️ ▶️ Marco I said, we’ve used this for years and we’ve never had a problem, even with that much data.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey All right. We have a little bit more follow up, specifically around TV related things. John, you went
⏹️ ▶️ Casey on an absolutely fantastic rant last episode about your new TV. And one thing in
⏹️ ▶️ Casey particular, that and the dual link display idea, we got
⏹️ ▶️ Casey a lot of feedback about. So would you care to talk about how to calibrate your TV?
⏹️ ▶️ John Yeah, I talked a little bit about calibration. Last episode, there’s lots of settings
⏹️ ▶️ John that I was playing with all, I’m trying to get it dialed in. And then I got a bunch of tweets people asking about this topic,
⏹️ ▶️ John including some tweets from Daniel Jalka who just recently bought a Panasonic plasma television, and I was talking to him
⏹️ ▶️ John about it. It was making me realize how few people know anything about it. I mean, even you guys are like,
⏹️ ▶️ John calibrate my TV. What are you even talking about? So I figured I would
⏹️ ▶️ John go over just a couple of basic things you can do to make your television look better. Almost anybody.
⏹️ ▶️ John You don’t need to have a fancy TV. It doesn’t even need to be a plasma TV, but you can make your
⏹️ ▶️ John TV a lot better. And basically what it comes down to is that your TV looks bad now and you probably don’t even know it.
⏹️ ▶️ John So the first thing that lots of people tweeted about was a calibration app that’s on the app store from the THX company. Well,
⏹️ ▶️ John I guess Lucasfilm, or whoever owns them now.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco I believe it’s pronounced Thix.
⏹️ ▶️ John I don’t think so. Oh, God.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey, John John, I thought
⏹️ ▶️ Casey you were better than that.
⏹️ ▶️ John No. And it works if you have an iOS device
⏹️ ▶️ John and either an Apple TV so you can AirPlay it to your TV or some way to connect the iOS device
⏹️ ▶️ John to your TV with an HDMI cable. I used AirPlay to my Apple TV. I
⏹️ ▶️ John think it had options for HDMI but I don’t know what the options are there in terms of cable. So anyway it’s like $2.00. Don’t
⏹️ ▶️ John buy the application if you can’t do one of those two things. You can read the description to see if you can.
⏹️ ▶️ John I bought it just out of curiosity because I already have a THX calibration thing that came with my TiVo
⏹️ ▶️ John that is basically the same tests. The iOS one has a little bit of integration with your camera, which is only
⏹️ ▶️ John so-so, but it’s really simple, really basic, but even
⏹️ ▶️ John without that, you can probably find somewhere where you can download some test patterns
⏹️ ▶️ John or something to adjust your television. The THX app just happens to make it easy to do this stuff. The tricky
⏹️ ▶️ John part is you need to get a picture on your television and you don’t want it to go through anything that
⏹️ ▶️ John screws with the picture. So if you got an image on your computer and tried to use like airplay
⏹️ ▶️ John mirroring onto your TV, I would worry that that would not be a good simulation of
⏹️ ▶️ John the image. Or if you wanted to adjust your Blu-ray player, really you’d probably need something on a
⏹️ ▶️ John Blu-ray to go out the Blu-ray player and onto your television. That’s not to say that you need to calibrate every single
⏹️ ▶️ John input of your television separately, but it is possible that some devices you have connected to your computer could
⏹️ ▶️ John output different kinds of signals than other devices, so be careful about that. But anyway,
⏹️ ▶️ John here’s my quick tips for calibration. The first one is make sure the devices that are connected
⏹️ ▶️ John to your television are outputting what you think they’re they’re outputting to your television Set
⏹️ ▶️ John so for example if you get a cable or satellite TV or whatever something like that It’s sending
⏹️ ▶️ John you your television shows in a particular format and say you have
⏹️ ▶️ John Comcast and the television comes over as 1080i Make sure that it’s going
⏹️ ▶️ John into the back of your television as a 1080i signal You’d be surprised at how many people
⏹️ ▶️ John have things configured where their television shows are 1080i, but through the series of boxes or devices
⏹️ ▶️ John or inputs they’re going through it’s being converted to 720p to be shown on their television or vice versa you have a
⏹️ ▶️ John 720p signal and your TV could show 720p but it’s set up to show it as 1080i. Most televisions
⏹️ ▶️ John and the boxes and receivers and things in between will convert between 1080i and 720p and you know and even 1080p. They will
⏹️ ▶️ John upsample, downsample, do whatever it takes. You want it to go through sort of natively, whatever the native
⏹️ ▶️ John is. If the native is 720, have your TV show at 720. If the native is 1080, IRP, have it show that way.
⏹️ ▶️ John That’s not even a calibration step. That’s just, you know, look at all the settings on all the devices in your train and make sure you’re
⏹️ ▶️ John not messing up the signal. That sometimes is easier said than done. Like old TiVos used to have
⏹️ ▶️ John a whole bunch of different settings where you put a, like the cable goes into your TiVo, like the television signal,
⏹️ ▶️ John and then HDMI comes out of your TiVo The Tivo used to say okay I can take the signal coming in and I can
⏹️ ▶️ John convert it to any format you want and send it to your television or I could not touch it at all and just pass it through
⏹️ ▶️ John and that’s always the one you want they used to call it native Or whatever nowadays with the modern Tivos I don’t think they even have
⏹️ ▶️ John that option you just have to know what the input signal is and match it up for the output signal and the second thing for Tivos
⏹️ ▶️ John in particular is If you hit the up arrow button on the five-way selector It will
⏹️ ▶️ John change the format and if you have children in your house They will accidentally hit that up arrow selector many many
⏹️ ▶️ John times and so you will have everything configured Then one day sit down to your television and wonder why things look
⏹️ ▶️ John a little weird It’s probably because one of your kids hit the up arrow while they’re watching television and change the format you check for that
⏹️ ▶️ John the second thing is about the size of the image on the screen and This is another thing. I’m
⏹️ ▶️ John surprised that a lot of people know about if you buy a television like oh 1080p It’s got full
⏹️ ▶️ John HD 1080 resolution, right? And if you know what the resolution I think it’s it’s 1920
⏹️ ▶️ John by 1080 if you were to do it in pixels And so you figure if you’re watching a television show
⏹️ ▶️ John and that television show put up a test pattern image that showed a one pixel wide Rectangle that was 1920 by 1080
⏹️ ▶️ John Pixels you would expect to see like around the edge of your screen that one pixel wide border You know
⏹️ ▶️ John say it’s like a white a white rectangle in a black background in reality on any television you buy pretty
⏹️ ▶️ John much, you will see nothing because they will cut off the edges of the screen. That’s called overscan
⏹️ ▶️ John or lots of other different names for it. It’s from the the CRT days where the images at the edges
⏹️ ▶️ John of a CRT were really low quality and they would cover them on television sets with like
⏹️ ▶️ John a plastic part of the bezel and everything. And someone was giving more historical context
⏹️ ▶️ John on why they did that, but the bottom line was that there was a safe area where you can show an image where you were sure it would show up on everybody’s
⏹️ ▶️ John television set, and there was the unsafe area which on most people’s television set would be covered by some other plastic trim
⏹️ ▶️ John piece. There are no plastic trim pieces covering the edges of your televisions. If you have an HD television
⏹️ ▶️ John and it has 1080p resolution, you can see all those pixels. But all
⏹️ ▶️ John those televisions will take your television signal and zoom it so it’s bigger than your television, so you can
⏹️ ▶️ John only see sort of like the inner, you know, that it’ll cut off a frame of the thing. So that does two things. One, it makes you misinformation,
⏹️ ▶️ John things that are outside of that area you won’t see at all. And the second thing is it takes all those nice native,
⏹️ ▶️ John if you’re lucky, 1080p or 1080i pixels, and it will stretch it. It’s like taking a picture,
⏹️ ▶️ John taking a desktop background picture that exactly fits your monitor and then making the size bigger by 5%.
⏹️ ▶️ John You’re missing part of the picture and the part you see is blurry. So almost all televisions, not
⏹️ ▶️ John just the fancy ones, have a setting somewhere in them where you can tell it, don’t do that. Don’t
⏹️ ▶️ John turn off overscan, sometimes they have different, what size should it be? Size one, size two, look in the manual for your
⏹️ ▶️ John television. This is another tip if you can’t find the manual for your television just google for your television’s
⏹️ ▶️ John model name manual PDF. You’ll find the manual PDFs online somewhere. And find that
⏹️ ▶️ John setting. Because if you paid for a 1080p television or a 720p television or whatever,
⏹️ ▶️ John you should see all those pixels at their native resolution to think of it in
⏹️ ▶️ John television parlance. These two steps, input resolution and the size of the picture are two things that
⏹️ ▶️ John anybody can do. You don’t need an application to do it. And there are pretty much no downsides to it. Some
⏹️ ▶️ John people were saying that if you do that you might see booms in the shot, like microphone booms, because people
⏹️ ▶️ John expect every television to be over-scanning that. In my experience running television at the proper size for four
⏹️ ▶️ John years now, since I got my first HDTV, that has not been a problem. I have not seen a
⏹️ ▶️ John bunch of boom mics coming down from the top of the screen or things from the side. But even
⏹️ ▶️ John if I did, I would say that’s the problem of the show, it’s not mine. I don’t want all of my television to all the images on my television
⏹️ ▶️ John to be zoomed in and A little bit blurry with stuff cut off around the edge Third item
⏹️ ▶️ John I would say that everyone should adjust and here’s where you need a calibration thing is brightness and contrast the two calibration
⏹️ ▶️ John things that you’ll look at and either this THX app or any other type of thing are one shows you
⏹️ ▶️ John a bunch of gray boxes going from white down to black and You will adjust your brightness
⏹️ ▶️ John until a certain number of boxes are visible They’ll usually have it so you’re not supposed to see all the boxes,
⏹️ ▶️ John like you shouldn’t see the last box or the second to last box or whatever. Adjusting that level is important because
⏹️ ▶️ John it lets you see some shadow detail, but not too much.
⏹️ ▶️ John The test images often say, you should see a person in front of a background, and if that background looks entirely black to you,
⏹️ ▶️ John your thing is not dialed in correctly. And if you see too much stuff on it, then
⏹️ ▶️ John it’s too bright, so you should adjust it until you get just the right boxes visible. It’s a pretty easy test to do. don’t need
⏹️ ▶️ John any special equipment you just need your eyeball. They’ll say something like make it as dark as you can so you can still see box 7.
⏹️ ▶️ John That’s something anybody can do just by looking at it. Maybe you want to do it in a light room or a dark room depending on how
⏹️ ▶️ John you watch television. And contrast similarly they’ll show you something like a series of four white
⏹️ ▶️ John boxes and they said if this just looks like a big white rectangle your contrast is too high. Turn the contrast
⏹️ ▶️ John down until you see actual four distinct white boxes of varying levels of gray. There
⏹️ ▶️ John should be lines between the white boxes. If you’re losing the line between the last two white boxes and they’re starting to blend together
⏹️ ▶️ John you need to dial your contrast. Those two settings plus the size plus the input resolution
⏹️ ▶️ John will improve the picture on your television set not just making it more accurate to what it’s supposed to look like
⏹️ ▶️ John but generally making things look nicer not look washed out not look too dark not look too bright
⏹️ ▶️ John and I haven’t even touched anything having to do with color in terms of exactly dialing in the red the
⏹️ ▶️ John green and the blue and all this other stuff but just brightness contrast size and input resolution will go a long way and
⏹️ ▶️ John the The final thing, I talked about this in the last show, was turn off all the crazy effects. If your
⏹️ ▶️ John television has crazy effects, and it probably does, you just need to turn them all off.
⏹️ ▶️ John LCDs you might want to leave motion interpolation on if motion looks weird to you without it, but
⏹️ ▶️ John other than that, all the things about vivid color and extra brightness and the title of the last
⏹️ ▶️ John episode, Brilliance Enhancer, you just need to turn that off. I actually pasted it into the show notes because I wanted to know these actual
⏹️ ▶️ John names. I didn’t have them in front of me last time. are the actual names of the settings from my fancy new television
⏹️ ▶️ John set. These are not made up and these are not like gathered from several different models these
⏹️ ▶️ John are all on one television set. Caption smoother, MPEG remaster, motion smoother,
⏹️ ▶️ John resolution remaster, video NR, CATS, acronym with periods between the letters,
⏹️ ▶️ John photo enhancement, vivid color, color remaster, black extension, and automatic gamma control.
⏹️ ▶️ John And all those things of explanations in the manual trying to explain what they do. The bottom line is just turn
⏹️ ▶️ John them all off. Every single one of them turn them off. What if I like cats? Do you know what cats
⏹️ ▶️ John is? Nobody knows like this. They have terrible names too. You can look up what they do.
⏹️ ▶️ John What basically what all of them do is mess with the picture in a way they think might be helpful,
⏹️ ▶️ John but generally is not helpful, especially on a plasma television that doesn’t have the problems that need to be compensated for by
⏹️ ▶️ John effects like this. The motion smoother is the one that really goals me on plasmas.
⏹️ ▶️ John On an LCD television you will have similar settings. If you turn them all off and it looks like crap, figure out
⏹️ ▶️ John which one or two you need to turn on to make it not look like crap to you. But do not leave them all on.
⏹️ ▶️ John Especially things like vivid color or color remaster, things that are gonna screw with your colors, those just make everybody
⏹️ ▶️ John look like clowns and make things look totally wrong. So you don’t need
⏹️ ▶️ John to hire someone to come into your house to do a professional calibration to improve the picture
⏹️ ▶️ John of a television. Those four things just turn off the effects, check your input resolution, check your size,
⏹️ ▶️ John and check your brightness and contrast. It’ll make a big difference in your life.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco I actually hate cats.
⏹️ ▶️ John What about CATS though? You might like them.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco I don’t know. I haven’t read the manual. We are also sponsored this week by Hover. Hover is
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⏹️ ▶️ Marco they’re in Canada, which means they’re going to be really nice of course, and a little bit cold maybe, but really nice, you’re
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⏹️ ▶️ John We’ve got a couple more things on calibration. You? Yeah. One is
⏹️ ▶️ John a frequent suggestion by many people who either have the same television as me or have other similar television,
⏹️ ▶️ John they say, they go into a forum. CNET has forums like this. There’s AVS forums. There’s tons of
⏹️ ▶️ John websites about high-definition televisions on the web where people buy televisions,
⏹️ ▶️ John them either professionally or sort of by hand by themselves and then they post to the forum group what their settings
⏹️ ▶️ John are. So there’s a million different settings for brightness, contrast, color, tint, gamma, like tons of things you
⏹️ ▶️ John can adjust and they will adjust it to their liking or have it professionally calibrated
⏹️ ▶️ John and post those numbers to the forum. And CNET, the people who review televisions on CNET will also post their
⏹️ ▶️ John settings and say we calibrated this television before we did our testing for a review, here are the settings we used.
⏹️ ▶️ John I tend not to just Take those settings and use them on my television because particularly
⏹️ ▶️ John with plasmas each individual example of a particular model Varies enough that you’re
⏹️ ▶️ John not going to I don’t think you’re gonna get I Mean, these are like, you know, ten
⏹️ ▶️ John point fifteen point white balance adjustments of tiny minute Degrees, I don’t think
⏹️ ▶️ John those settings that they use for their television set are going to work for mine Even if we have the exact same make model
⏹️ ▶️ John in year just because of variations within individual televisions And and then
⏹️ ▶️ John on top of that there’s aging where the televisions look different as you use them or again particularly the plasmas
⏹️ ▶️ John So I wouldn’t blindly take any of those settings and apply them to your television and expect you are seeing what they’re seeing
⏹️ ▶️ John But I’ve been looking at them to give myself Sort of a ballpark idea of what are people doing in particular
⏹️ ▶️ John look at the gamma settings to see You know what what gamma values that are using and there’s lots of
⏹️ ▶️ John weird stuff, especially with Panasonic televisions where they’ll have a bunch of presets and then a custom
⏹️ ▶️ John setting and if you pick one gamma level and the custom it’s not the same as if you did it on a preset so you have to look at all the
⏹️ ▶️ John details like they started with the setting they tweak these things so they started with that and they tweak those and there’s also
⏹️ ▶️ John the super duper professional mode where you can expose all the settings in the television through some crazy
⏹️ ▶️ John interface by you know typing in weird codes on your remote to get even more settings and screw with those and
⏹️ ▶️ John at that level you mean it once you’re doing that I would say don’t do that hire a professional to do that. But if you want
⏹️ ▶️ John to look at these these forums and to get an idea of what things people are setting for example if you did it visually
⏹️ ▶️ John like you did those tests with the black levels in the contrast and you got some numbers dialed in and then
⏹️ ▶️ John you go to a forum post and you see seven different forum posts on different websites and everybody has
⏹️ ▶️ John their contrast set at like 63 or 62 and you have yours at 12 you probably did something wrong
⏹️ ▶️ John right that it’s just like a sanity check so I wouldn’t say copy those numbers for me. But that’s
⏹️ ▶️ John a lot of people have talked about that and asked me if I had used the settings. No, I don’t use them directly, but I do use them
⏹️ ▶️ John to just check that I’m not entirely crazy. Good thing that can be verified. Well, you know,
⏹️ ▶️ John it’s supporting evidence against for or against.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey All right. So everyone has been talking about rating things.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey So I think now’s as good a time to any as any to say rate that rate or show on iTunes. Now,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey do you want to do that now, later, or not at all?
⏹️ ▶️ Marco No, no, no. Do you want to rate our show well now, or do you want to email us your negative
⏹️ ▶️ Marco thoughts, or do you want to be reminded to rate us well in two weeks?
⏹️ ▶️ Casey Or how about with every episode of the podcast, we’ll just ask you again during the show,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey do you want to rate us? That actually is what a lot of podcasts do. Yeah, I realized about halfway
⏹️ ▶️ Casey, Marco I was sticking my foot
⏹️ ▶️ Casey right down my throat. So let me move on and say, Marco, do you happen to have any thoughts about rating
⏹️ ▶️ Casey apps and asking and soliciting users to rate apps?
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Yeah, don’t. Moving on. Fastest topic ever. We
⏹️ ▶️ Marco mean, this was discussed at length in last week’s episode of
⏹️ ▶️ Marco John Gruber’s The Talk Show with Daniel Jalkut, and it was a really good discussion,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco so I don’t think we need to rehash most of it. The gist of my position is really,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco you know, so we’re talking about those, in case you couldn’t tell. We’re talking about those rate
⏹️ ▶️ Marco this app dialogues that pop up in many iOS apps, big
⏹️ ▶️ Marco and small. Hey, rate this app! You want to go leave a great rating now or remind
⏹️ ▶️ Marco me later or never do it again? They’ve kind of become this plague on iOS devices,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco a plague with very minor effects that it’s like slightly
⏹️ ▶️ Marco annoying everybody. Gruber started out about a week ago
⏹️ ▶️ Marco now saying, I’ve often thought about starting a campaign online to just make
⏹️ ▶️ Marco everybody rate one star when they see one of those. Which is his nice way of kind of
⏹️ ▶️ Marco seeding the idea without saying, I’m telling you all to do this right now. It’s a masterful
⏹️ ▶️ Marco phrasing. You know, we’ve had a lot of discussion here and there between various smart
⏹️ ▶️ Marco people in the community about the pros and cons of these rate this app
⏹️ ▶️ Marco dialogues and the pros and cons of what would happen if you started retaliating and
⏹️ ▶️ Marco rating everything one star or rating everything only three stars instead of five or whatever the case may be.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco My position is not that you should necessarily take any particular action towards the apps that do this. My
⏹️ ▶️ Marco position is really just telling developers you should not have this in your app.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco And I think Grouper had a really good point in the talk show about why
⏹️ ▶️ Marco this is so irritating. that a modal dialog box that pops
⏹️ ▶️ Marco up in your face when you’re trying to do something with an app, a modal dialog box should be reserved for
⏹️ ▶️ Marco basically exceptions, like in a programming parlance. Like something that is not supposed to be the common
⏹️ ▶️ Marco case. You know, like, there was some kind of weird server error and we can’t do what you asked.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Or you just tried to authenticate and you couldn’t log in because it refused your password.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Or like, you’re trying to do something right now and you we can’t do it because you turned off cellular data
⏹️ ▶️ Marco or location services or something like that you know that’s the kind of conditions in which a modal dialogue block
⏹️ ▶️ Marco is appropriate interrupting people to serve
⏹️ ▶️ Marco the developer like rating an app doesn’t do crap for the people who are doing it it doesn’t serve them at
⏹️ ▶️ Marco all it only serves the developer you’re asking people to promote you or to make you
⏹️ ▶️ Marco feel good about yourself either way you’re asking you, you the developer, are asking people
⏹️ ▶️ Marco to do something for you. And you’re asking them that by interrupting them in the middle of them trying
⏹️ ▶️ Marco to use your app and probably trying to get something done. You’re interrupting them to say, Hey,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco help me out here by, you know, reviewing me and, you know, pimping me in the store. And that
⏹️ ▶️ Marco seems like a very inappropriate use of an interruption to your user like that.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey You know, I almost wonder if now is a decent time to expose Marco
⏹️ ▶️ Casey to corporate culture. And what I mean by that is, I wonder if
⏹️ ▶️ Casey now is a good time for the five whys. So, Marco, put on your
⏹️ ▶️ Casey not so awesome developer hat and your thinking right now
⏹️ ▶️ Casey about putting this into your app. Or actually, let’s say you just did put this into Overcast
⏹️ ▶️ Casey for the sake of conversation. Well, what I know you never would just try hard
⏹️ ▶️ Marco well and and for me Let me just say for while we’re on the overcast topic. I said right in my post
⏹️ ▶️ Marco I am putting a thing in the settings screen that like a button to say
⏹️ ▶️ Marco leave a review for this app in the store like I’ll just a button there That is different if you want to make
⏹️ ▶️ Marco it easy for people who do want to leave a review for you if you want to give them a shortcut or
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Suggest they might want to do that in a passive way like a button in an about screen
⏹️ ▶️ Marco That’s very different than interrupting them with a message box in normal use of the app.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco I don’t have any problem with a button in an About screen. You can put whatever you want there, I don’t care.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco That doesn’t interrupt me, and if I’m browsing in Settings or About, I might actually consider
⏹️ ▶️ Marco doing that, because I’m like, hey, I’m playing with stuff, or I’m exploring this app. But when you’re actually trying to do
⏹️ ▶️ Marco something, and you get interrupted by a modal dialog box, that’s the problem. So, I want
⏹️ ▶️ Marco to draw the distinction. It’s not that asking for reviews at all is bad, or providing
⏹️ ▶️ Marco a shortcut at all is bad. It’s the way you’re asking by interrupting
⏹️ ▶️ Marco people in a modal way like this.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey Right. So you’re writing Overcast, and you had a brain fart,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey I don’t know, maybe you had too much shimmy one night, and you’ve put this into your app.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey Why did you put a… I love the idea of a drunk feature edition. Right?
⏹️ ▶️ Casey That’s when the best work is done. Why would you put a solicitation
⏹️ ▶️ Casey to rate your app into Overcast? If you were the kind of developer that would do that sort of thing.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco The main reason why people do this, and the reason why hypothetical drunk me would do this
⏹️ ▶️ Marco on Overcast, if I somehow… I don’t know, when I have a lot of shimmy, I don’t get bad taste.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco But… In fact, I would argue if you’re
⏹️ ▶️ Marco getting drunk on shimmy, I think you have a pretty good taste. But,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco you know, in all seriousness, to borrow one of your phrases, I think the reason people do
⏹️ ▶️ Marco this is very clear. It works. In the definition of works, where
⏹️ ▶️ Marco it does get you more reviews.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey Now why would you want more reviews?
⏹️ ▶️ Marco The theory is, I’ve heard different things. Obviously, we know from just like
⏹️ ▶️ Marco a customer perspective, we know that when we are browsing for apps, usually we do read the reviews.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Or at least we’ll glance at them or glance at the star rating, the average star rating. And
⏹️ ▶️ Marco there is a distinction between ratings and reviews. You don’t have to write a written review to leave a star rating. But I don’t
⏹️ ▶️ Marco think for the purposes of this discussion, I don’t think it really matters. So there’s one argument
⏹️ ▶️ Marco to say that when customers find it, they will read the reviews. And if you don’t have a lot of reviews
⏹️ ▶️ Marco or if you have a couple of bad reviews and no positive ones to offset them, then that will
⏹️ ▶️ Marco make them less likely to buy your app. That I can’t argue with. That is true. However,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco I’ve heard a lot of people also say that reviews are correlated with rank. And I
⏹️ ▶️ Marco don’t think we have any evidence to confirm that. And a couple people said that it specifically
⏹️ ▶️ Marco doesn’t do that. So that’s all over the map. I would love to hear from anybody who has actual
⏹️ ▶️ Marco evidence to support whether that’s true or false or not. As far as I know, rank is all about
⏹️ ▶️ Marco sales volume. It’s like sales volume per time interval. I don’t think it has anything
⏹️ ▶️ Marco to do with reviews, but it could change. I don’t know.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey Why do you want a higher rank?
⏹️ ▶️ Marco To get rich in the app store.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey Why would that make you rich in the app store?
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Because nobody pays for apps anymore?
⏹️ ▶️ Casey All kidding aside, the line of questioning I’m trying to lead you down is that, and I I believe that to some degree,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey underscore David Smith talked about this in his really good blog post today. But
⏹️ ▶️ Casey I feel like the end of the five whys of this conversation
⏹️ ▶️ Casey is that discovery is broken. And if not discovery, then
⏹️ ▶️ Casey finding a way to pitch your app so that I
⏹️ ▶️ Casey don’t need to double check your work. What I mean by that is if I throw up a bunch of
⏹️ ▶️ Casey really awesome screenshots and I throw up a really nice description, you’re
⏹️ ▶️ Casey going to want to double check from real people that I’m not full of it, that I’m not
⏹️ ▶️ Casey lying. And I think it’s a combination of discovery and representation
⏹️ ▶️ Casey of the app that makes this sort of gross behavior necessary.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey Because if discovery was really good, then I would be able to find
⏹️ ▶️ Casey apps very easily. And then once I found the app that I think I might want,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey if the selling of it, if the marketing of it within the app store was really good,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey then say if we had a video, for example, or maybe if you had a trial, and I’m not trying to
⏹️ ▶️ Casey go down that road, I’m just saying hypothetically if you had like a one-day trial or whatever, then
⏹️ ▶️ Casey it wouldn’t matter what the reviews or certainly wouldn’t matter as much what the reviews say and it wouldn’t matter
⏹️ ▶️ Casey as much what the ratings are. But because developers have almost no
⏹️ ▶️ Casey levers to pull in order to improve their performance to find performance
⏹️ ▶️ Casey however you want in the app store, this is one of the only levers they’ve got. So darn it, they’re going to pull
⏹️ ▶️ Casey on it. And that was the exercise, the five wise exercise I was trying to bring you down.
⏹️ ▶️ John I think the reason this comes up at all, like the reason it ends up on daring fireball or or
⏹️ ▶️ John whatever is not so much because apps do annoying things, because I think the app store has always
⏹️ ▶️ John been, you know, like the two Americas thing from whoever that guy was who tried to run for president. There’s
⏹️ ▶️ John the two app stores. There’s the one that’s full of crap that we just ignore.
⏹️ ▶️ John We being, you know, the Mac nerd, blogger, whatever people. And there’s the good
⏹️ ▶️ John app store with the apps that we like and we use. The reason this rate me thing comes
⏹️ ▶️ John up is because it’s not limited to the crap app store. Apps that we all like
⏹️ ▶️ John and use every day do this. Instagram, like our favorite Twitter client,
⏹️ ▶️ John you know, our favorite note taking application. Everybody does it. The super high class,
⏹️ ▶️ John well designed, well regarded. We love the application. Couldn’t live without it. Everything
⏹️ ▶️ John about it is awesome. Responsive developer releases bug fixes, has reasonable prices, great application
⏹️ ▶️ John all around. they have stupid rate me dialogue boxes on them. Not all of them, but
⏹️ ▶️ John it’s an infection of annoyance that has crossed over into our world. And that’s why
⏹️ ▶️ John you get someone like John Gruber saying, well, this has got to stop. I mean, I love these applications that I use
⏹️ ▶️ John every day, but they got to get out of my face. If there are tons of terrible things
⏹️ ▶️ John that happen only in the crap app store, like blinking ad banners in your face and, you know, just
⏹️ ▶️ John all sorts of ugly UIs and, and things that are modal when they shouldn’t be.
⏹️ ▶️ John And just, you know, there’s tons of crap applications. We don’t care what happens over there. It doesn’t affect us
⏹️ ▶️ John because we, you know, we feel like we’re discerning and we talk to each other and say what the good applications are and make recommendations.
⏹️ ▶️ John And then when we get one of these good applications that we use every single day, and it throws up one of those rating dialogs boxes, it’s
⏹️ ▶️ John like a betrayal. It’s like, that’s not supposed to happen here. This is the good app store where I’ll talk to my friends
⏹️ ▶️ John and get all my stuff. And that gets back to the discovery thing Casey was talking about, where if we had a way
⏹️ ▶️ John to look at an application and it said something like and I know this is getting all Facebooky it’s gonna scare everybody it’s
⏹️ ▶️ John gonna be like oh six of your friends use this application they like it it means so much more than
⏹️ ▶️ John waiting through a hundred possibly paid for five-star reviews from you know Amazon
⏹️ ▶️ John Mechanical Turk or whatever these developers do to get their scam reviews and especially when you’re
⏹️ ▶️ John going into an area that you’re not that familiar with on the App Store these sort of social proof
⏹️ ▶️ John that people who you know and trust have decided this application is good, that’s all you need, is to
⏹️ ▶️ John see, like, from three other people saying this is good or this is bad that you happen to know. That would
⏹️ ▶️ John be, make so much more difference to you than just these random reviews, but there’s no way to put that in there. There’s no way to,
⏹️ ▶️ John you know, I guess we have the reputation of the developer, which maybe we know, maybe we don’t. And then we just have a whole bunch
⏹️ ▶️ John of reviews that we can’t even tie back to individual people, even if we see a name that we think we recognize, unless we know that’s the name under
⏹️ ▶️ John which some friend of ours leaves reviews on the iTunes star we have no idea. So
⏹️ ▶️ John the reaction to this in terms of putting up a thing that says, what if we, you know, I’ve always, I’ve been thinking about asking people to one star
⏹️ ▶️ John rate this as a weird way to suggest one star rating of it. It’s in effect,
⏹️ ▶️ John that’s not the way to go about it. The actual campaign suggestion of a way to campaign to go about it. But
⏹️ ▶️ John what we want to happen and what I think is going to happen is not that kind of one one-star campaign,
⏹️ ▶️ John but a socialization of the idea that putting up rating dialog boxes is unacceptable
⏹️ ▶️ John in the quote-unquote good app store. And that’s what we’re all looking for. You know, get that stuff out
⏹️ ▶️ John of the applications that we like, the high-quality, well-designed applications from good developers that we use every
⏹️ ▶️ John day, that are really popular, that we like. We’ve already got this whole thing of like when an application goes bad,
⏹️ ▶️ John like people used to like Tweety, and then Twitter bought them, and it was still okay, and then they changed it and now it’s crap
⏹️ ▶️ John and now nobody uses the official Twitter client for iOS if they can help it at all. That’s
⏹️ ▶️ John an application going bad. It was good, it did conform to sort of our, you know, taste
⏹️ ▶️ John and social norm guidelines in at least in the, you know, the Mac nerd or iOS nerd community and
⏹️ ▶️ John then it didn’t anymore and we kicked it out, right? But all these other applications are still doing this. We need to
⏹️ ▶️ John socialize all of the, you know, software reviewers, developers,
⏹️ ▶️ John consumers of it, people who think they have a good taste and everything, socialize the idea that
⏹️ ▶️ John you can’t put up these Rate Me dialog boxes otherwise we will look down on you in some way.
⏹️ ▶️ John That’s all you need. You don’t need to one-star ratings, you don’t need to attack people or to punish
⏹️ ▶️ John their applications. If you socialize everybody involved in this good half of the ecosystem
⏹️ ▶️ John that putting up rating dialog boxes is unacceptable, the problem will take care of itself because no one wants to be that
⏹️ ▶️ John app that puts up the rating dialog boxes. And the problem is that somehow we got to a point where that was deemed acceptable by
⏹️ ▶️ John almost everybody involved. And I think this exercise is going to turn that around if we keep
⏹️ ▶️ John at it without any stupid campaigns to rate things one star, to retaliate, or send people email.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Yeah, I mean, that was kind of the main argument of my post is like, yeah, you can
⏹️ ▶️ Marco do this, and it, quote, works, but at
⏹️ ▶️ Marco what cost to quality and to your reputation, to your brand?
⏹️ ▶️ Marco There’s lots of things that work. telemarketing and spam work. But, you know, most
⏹️ ▶️ Marco reasonable people hate those things. And the telemarketers would
⏹️ ▶️ Marco argue, well, you know, we’re just calling you up and, you know, it’s once a week maybe
⏹️ ▶️ Marco for two seconds and you hang up if you don’t like it. Like, I’ve gotten… It’s always good when
⏹️ ▶️ Marco you attack a portion of your own audience. That’s when you get the biggest feedback.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco But I’ve gotten so much feedback since I published my post about this from developers saying
⏹️ ▶️ Marco it’s no big deal if you don’t like those you just hit dismiss and you don’t see it for a little
⏹️ ▶️ Marco while or something but that is a big deal that’s like if you’re annoying
⏹️ ▶️ Marco somebody slightly you’re still annoying them and that builds up over time
⏹️ ▶️ Marco you you get the the image in people’s minds the brand image of
⏹️ ▶️ Marco like of kind of being mediocre on quality or on standards. That matters. It
⏹️ ▶️ Marco all adds up. And I don’t know, I’m torn on this.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco It’s hard for me to talk about this because anything I say, people jump down my throat immediately
⏹️ ▶️ Marco saying, well, you didn’t have to do all that because you were popular or something.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Forgetting that the way I got popular was because of Instapaper.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco I wasn’t popular before launching that. So
⏹️ ▶️ Marco it’s hard for me to say anything and for anybody to take it seriously in this regard because they just pulled the that’s fine for Merlin argument
⏹️ ▶️ Marco against me. But I can’t say enough
⏹️ ▶️ Marco how much those little quality decisions matter and they add up. And that’s how you
⏹️ ▶️ Marco get popular. That’s how you get respected is by caring so much about quality that you won’t annoy
⏹️ ▶️ Marco your users for a split second every two weeks. That really matters.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco I don’t know how else to tell people that without sounding like I’m attacking them. But
⏹️ ▶️ Marco it is annoying and it does matter. Let me take a quick break right now before I get to my next bigger
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⏹️ ▶️ Marco Now Casey, I’ve heard through the grapevine that you have recently listened to a book or read a book.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey Indeed. Indeed. I recently read, and this was actually recommended by someone on Twitter a few months ago
⏹️ ▶️ Casey when I was going to the beach and I wanted to have some books to read, and so I solicited
⏹️ ▶️ Casey recommendations on Twitter, and somebody recommended Machine Man by Max Barry, B-A-R-R-Y.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey I just finished reading it. I did not read it on Audible, but I read the book book.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey It was extremely weird, and I don’t know if I liked it or not, but it was very different,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey, Marco alone— Strong
⏹️ ▶️ Casey Yeah, exactly. For that alone, though, it may be worth checking out. And the TLDR
⏹️ ▶️ Casey version is—I’m sorry, the summary, John—is that there’s a
⏹️ ▶️ Casey guy who’s a PhD and he accidentally chops off
⏹️ ▶️ Casey one of his legs working in his lab because he works with like this big equipment. And so
⏹️ ▶️ Casey he gets a prosthetic leg and then realizes, well, you know, I could build a better one.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey And so he builds himself a better prosthetic leg and then realizes, you know what, this would be better as a pair
⏹️ ▶️ Casey instead of just one. And I’ll let you read the
⏹️ ▶️ Casey book to fill in kind of where this goes, but it was very, very, very different. And so
⏹️ ▶️ Casey I double-checked, and it of course is available on Audible, and Audible has been kind enough to sponsor ATP
⏹️ ▶️ Casey a handful of times. And every time I think of a book recommendation, even if it’s slightly esoteric,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey I go to Audible to see before I recommend it, hey, is this available on Audible? every
⏹️ ▶️ Casey single time the answer’s been yes.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco So feel free to go to Audible and get Casey’s weird book recommendation. What was it called again? The Machine Man?
⏹️ ▶️ Casey It’s called Machine Man by Max Barry. B-A-R-R-Y.
⏹️ ▶️ John Did he win Pulitzer Prize for that or no?
⏹️ ▶️ Casey I don’t think so, but it’s a lot shorter than your recommendation.
⏹️ ▶️ John Just asking, these are just questions.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Less than 60 hours. I think it was 600,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey wasn’t it? I don’t know. The length is 9 hours and 27 minutes on Audible. Awesome.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco So thanks a lot to Audible once again for sponsoring our show, go to audiblepodcast.com.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey And really quickly to build on not the book but Audible, you know, we’re going on a car trip
⏹️ ▶️ Casey to go to my family’s soon, and the best way
⏹️ ▶️ Casey in the entire world to kill time on a car trip other than listening to this
⏹️ ▶️ Casey show is to get a book on quote-unquote tape. So get to get something
⏹️ ▶️ Casey from Audible. And right now, I I mean they’re offering you a free audiobook to fill
⏹️ ▶️ Casey in the case of this particular selection a 10-hour car ride How can you say no to that? there’s no reason not
⏹️ ▶️ Casey to go check it out
⏹️ ▶️ Marco or you can get John’s pick which is the power broker and And fill your next three
⏹️ ▶️ Marco years of car rides All right, so the point I wanted to start
⏹️ ▶️ Marco before I put that breaks I knew this might be a little bit long so back to Apple and discover ability
⏹️ ▶️ Marco and searchability I I would take the position, and I know this might not be
⏹️ ▶️ Marco popular, but I think it’s realistic, that it’s no longer Apple’s responsibility,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco and it might never have been, but it’s no longer Apple’s responsibility to promote your app.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco The app store is just huge. Back in the early days of the
⏹️ ▶️ Marco web, Yahoo had this directory where they were trying to make a directory of every website, basically.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco And it worked in like 1995, because the web was a really small place.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Eventually though, that was abandoned, I think. Am I still running? I don’t know. But
⏹️ ▶️ Marco I think it was abandoned, because the web just got too big, and a directory paradigm
⏹️ ▶️ Marco was… It just… There was too much data, too much out there on the web. It just didn’t fit.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco And so that was pretty much abandoned in favor of search. And
⏹️ ▶️ Marco search has all sorts of challenges. It has ranking, it has spam issues,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco but the directory paradigm did not scale. And on the web,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco you’re on your own to get attention for your site. You’re on your own to get traffic. You know, some of it will be merit-based
⏹️ ▶️ Marco if you can get good people to link to you, but in general, you’re on your own.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco And making something good enough is still on you anyway, to get people to link to you. So
⏹️ ▶️ Marco I think the App Store has reached that point very clearly where discoverability
⏹️ ▶️ Marco is a word thrown around a lot with this. I don’t think it’s Apple’s problem. I really don’t.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco I think they can have their editorial picks which will cover some discoverability.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco But relative to the whole store, chances are you’re not going to get featured that often to matter.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco You might get featured once or twice if you have a good app. Chances are you’re not going to be featured every two weeks or anything. So
⏹️ ▶️ Marco discoverability through Apple’s official editorial channels is going to help you occasionally, if ever.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Everyday discoverability is not Apple’s problem. It’s your problem. It’s you as a developer,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco you have to get your own attention. You have to get your own traffic. And whether you have to buy that traffic, or whether you have to
⏹️ ▶️ Marco earn it, or whether you have to look into it, if some influential person happens to use your app and link to
⏹️ ▶️ Marco it or talk about it or something, you might get that. But you have to do your own marketing.
⏹️ ▶️ John That’s the right attitude from a developer’s perspective because you want to be motivated to do the right things, right? I think that’s
⏹️ ▶️ John the correct way for a developer to think about it. But in the grand scheme of things, it is Apple’s problem
⏹️ ▶️ John in that if they have a customer who buys an iOS device and they say, I would really like an
⏹️ ▶️ John application to keep track of my shopping list and they search for shopping list on the app store because they don’t know what else to do. Like
⏹️ ▶️ John they shop, they, the Google for shopping list app or they find the app store, luckily type
⏹️ ▶️ John shopping list into there and they, and they get search results. And those search results are filled with tons
⏹️ ▶️ John and tons of crap, that the person looking at those screens has no way to determine whether they’re being lied
⏹️ ▶️ John to, whether these are all automated reviews, whether you know, it just feels lost. That’s a bad experience
⏹️ ▶️ John for the customer. And they’re like, I just want a shopping list. And there’s, there’s too many of them. And I can’t tell which is which. And I
⏹️ ▶️ John think that’s, that’s a problem for Apple, because they want people to get their thing and be able to have a cool shopping list
⏹️ ▶️ John app. And surely there are many cool shopping list app. But the chances of them being anywhere near the top of the results
⏹️ ▶️ John for shopping lists in the app store are slim. Like so many people are talking about, you know, we all know the handful of really great Twitter
⏹️ ▶️ John client apps out there. If you search for Twitter or Twitter app or something like that in the app store,
⏹️ ▶️ John all the apps that we know and love that we think should be at least on the first page of results or someone near the top are
⏹️ ▶️ John very often are buried. And, you know, is that a problem for it’s like, the
⏹️ ▶️ John app developer can’t say, Oh, Apple, it’s your fault. I’m not selling my stuff because I’m buried. You’re right, the app developer has to do their own
⏹️ ▶️ John marketing and everything. But from Apple’s perspective, want everyone who buys an iOS device, who types in Twitter
⏹️ ▶️ John app to end up with a good one, like one that Apple agrees is good one that everyone agrees is good and
⏹️ ▶️ John not have to sort through tons and tons of crap. And I think that’s a bad experience for Apple’s customers, not
⏹️ ▶️ John on any individual base, a developer deserves to be at the top or whatever. But just in terms of how
⏹️ ▶️ John satisfied is the user with that experience of typing in shopping lists and finding a good shopping list, especially with no
⏹️ ▶️ John trials. And even if they had trials, they’ll just be another form of torture, because you’d be like download, trial, delete, download, trial delete
⏹️ ▶️ John download trial delete we want some way to like Casey was saying to look at an application
⏹️ ▶️ John and to be able to tell is this going to be good am I being scammed am I being fooled
⏹️ ▶️ John by reviews or can I not trust these people in these reviews
⏹️ ▶️ Marco right and you know that’s why I think it’s very important to draw a distinction
⏹️ ▶️ Marco here that you know in air quotes discoverability that
⏹️ ▶️ Marco word alone that’s not Apple’s problem. Search is Apple’s problem
⏹️ ▶️ Marco and search ranking and you know so making it so that if you search for shopping list
⏹️ ▶️ Marco in the App Store and you know making it so that mostly good slash popular
⏹️ ▶️ Marco apps show up on top that’s important and their search engine sucks I mean I there’s no better
⏹️ ▶️ Marco way to say it. App Store search has always sucked so you know that’s
⏹️ ▶️ Marco that they have tons of room for improvement and they really should be working on that. However,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco you’re still mostly on your own. You know, assume they give, assume they make good search.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco You know, let’s say they fix up search, which honestly, it’s probably not happening anytime soon. Let’s be realistic here. But
⏹️ ▶️ Marco assume they actually did make really good search. Then, and so it would be kind of Google-like,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco which is like the most popular, generally, you know, the most like validly
⏹️ ▶️ Marco popular things would generally rank on top for for any given terms.
⏹️ ▶️ John Well, they can’t use Google’s thing because Google is all based on when other people link to them. But the app store is this closed
⏹️ ▶️ John ecosystem. And the problem with a closed ecosystem of the app store in terms of searches, you what is your signal for
⏹️ ▶️ John determining what’s good or not, you can’t use user activity as a signal, because
⏹️ ▶️ John users are not, they’re not like independent entities, like because if you if you keyword spam,
⏹️ ▶️ John you will get boosted. If you spam people, rating dialogue boxes, you will get boosted up in terms of all we don’t know
⏹️ ▶️ John how that ranks, but there’s lots of scummy things that you can do. And that’s the only thing that affects the signals is user activity.
⏹️ ▶️ John So if you can convince tons of users to download your application, and they all give
⏹️ ▶️ John it one star reviews, but you pay for five times more five star reviews from just random people around the world, you will
⏹️ ▶️ John be high ranked have all the signals that the app store says good, which is why their search algorithm puts this crap
⏹️ ▶️ John near the top, because those people have, you know, sort of game the system to get near the top. And if that’s the only input
⏹️ ▶️ John signal, then like, you know, Apple’s at the mercy of its own rule set. And every time it changes
⏹️ ▶️ John the rules, people, the scummy people game it again, which is why the top results for almost any category
⏹️ ▶️ John of app is filled with crap applications. And like one solution
⏹️ ▶️ John is to open up that ecosystem, like the web where, you know, you have to do all
⏹️ ▶️ John the, what do you call it? The SEO battling stuff that Google does, where they figure out when people make link farms and
⏹️ ▶️ John they combat that. just a constant stream of battling, but within a very narrowly
⏹️ ▶️ John defined app store with no other signal coming into this, you know, like for example, a social networking
⏹️ ▶️ John type signal of I’m friends with this person, therefore their opinions and ratings mean more to me than these random other people who I don’t
⏹️ ▶️ John know, or some other source of signal. It’s difficult for Apple to ever make a search that
⏹️ ▶️ John doesn’t suck, not because they don’t know what they’re doing, but because any criteria that you choose
⏹️ ▶️ John to rank on will be gamed inside this little bubble.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Oh, yeah. I mean, that was always a problem. My first job was Enterprise Search, and that was a big problem
⏹️ ▶️ Marco in Enterprise Search even. If your job as a search engine is to search through this company’s
⏹️ ▶️ Marco intranet and there are tens of thousands or millions of documents they have on
⏹️ ▶️ Marco file stores and stuff, there’s no page rank information there. There’s
⏹️ ▶️ Marco no helpful way to rank results of any kind of importance
⏹️ ▶️ Marco or popularity there.
⏹️ ▶️ John If you do the sort of incompetent but not evil thing, and you just say, well, I’ll just track activity. And you can
⏹️ ▶️ John say, well, people searched for vacation schedule, or people searched for the word vacation on the
⏹️ ▶️ John internet. And 80% of the people who searched for vacation and clicked on this
⏹️ ▶️ John link, it must be really good. Well, all it means is that link probably came up near the top for whatever reason, and everybody clicks
⏹️ ▶️ John on it because it’s near the top, and everyone goes to it and is disappointed by it because it’s like three years ago’s vacation schedule.
⏹️ ▶️ John And as more people do that, it gets higher and higher in the rankings, and just gets cemented as the number one match. And
⏹️ ▶️ John everybody who clicks on it says, no, this is two years ago’s vacation schedule. Like, that’s an example where you don’t have any
⏹️ ▶️ John other input signal. So any errors that you have in your algorithm just become magnified
⏹️ ▶️ John by things that you didn’t intend. I totally see that on the App Store. Oh, the top lists work exactly like that. Yeah,
⏹️ ▶️ John because if you get, you know, what is it? There’s some expression that I can’t remember that someone in the chat room
⏹️ ▶️ John will. The Rick’s got Rickshaw? That’s not it, but it’s like that. Anyway, that’s good. We’ll go with that. But yeah, you get on the top
⏹️ ▶️ John of the top list, and everyone sees you on the top list and they buy you, which makes you higher in the top list. And when you talk
⏹️ ▶️ John about discoverability, I think what you’re talking about is like, say I’m not on the top list, I’m unknown, I didn’t
⏹️ ▶️ John scam my way to the top, and I don’t have a popular application. How do I break through?
⏹️ ▶️ John How do I get people to know that I exist? I believe I have a good application. That’s this quote unquote discoverability.
⏹️ ▶️ John And that’s where marketing, you have to do your own marketing. You can’t expect Apple to help you
⏹️ ▶️ John get in the face of, get on the top list. How do I break into those top results? You could do all that scummy stuff that Apple is
⏹️ ▶️ John hopefully battling, or you have to do something else. It’s not Apple’s problem to figure out how do I go from zero into the top
⏹️ ▶️ John list. But it is Apple’s problem to say, look at the ecosystem of apps. Within any search
⏹️ ▶️ John term or any category, there’s a handful of applications that we think are great. And we can’t editorially handpick
⏹️ ▶️ John every single category of app. We should have some kind of algorithm that will put up the applications
⏹️ ▶️ John that, if you talk to anyone on the street, would agree are good, are popular or
⏹️ ▶️ John high quality or not pieces of crap.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco And that’s also worth a bit of exploration too. And you know, this is hard for a lot of people to
⏹️ ▶️ Marco even recognize as a possibility or to judge or accept, but it’s also possible that your
⏹️ ▶️ Marco app either isn’t that good or isn’t that compelling. You know, like what if no one’s
⏹️ ▶️ Marco buying your app because they don’t really want it or they don’t really need it enough to justify the price to them?
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Nursing clock. Yeah, nursing clock. I mean, I have Bugshot in the store now for
⏹️ ▶️ Marco a dollar, and it makes about two to four dollars a day.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Sometimes one, but usually two to four. I don’t do any promotion of it. In fact,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco mentioning it here is the first time I’ve even thought about it besides using it in months.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco That’s a good example of an everyday app. It’s paid.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco It’s only a dollar, though. It’s paid but really cheap and there’s
⏹️ ▶️ Marco no external promotion of it except a link on my, a relatively buried link on my site that nobody ever
⏹️ ▶️ Marco clicks on. And you know, it does poorly.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey Fastex is the same way. I get excited if I have one sale in a day. And I would say,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey you know, every two or three days I do get a sale and I’ve actually had a really good run of like
⏹️ ▶️ Casey three whole days where I’ve had one sale. But if I see more than one sale in a day, that’s like,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey baby, let’s go to dinner, because daddy’s rich. All kidding aside, it’s
⏹️ ▶️ Casey very much the same for me.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Right. But that’s a symptom. And that and the bug shot sales, that’s a symptom
⏹️ ▶️ Marco of a lot of different conditions, one of which, especially in my case, is like—and
⏹️ ▶️ Marco probably your case, too—there’s tons of competition. There’s tons of other apps, many of them free,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco that do roughly the same thing. And this is an area where Apple could do very well to improve
⏹️ ▶️ Marco how we’re able to communicate what our app does. There was a rumor a couple of weeks ago
⏹️ ▶️ Marco that they enabled a video in one app’s description. And people were thinking,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco oh, what if they enabled video for all apps in the future? And I wrote a post that comes with pluses and
⏹️ ▶️ Marco minuses. The pluses are you could show off more of your app, and it’d be easier to sell a paid app up front
⏹️ ▶️ Marco if people could watch a video about it right there in the App Store, and can kind of show off how good it is,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco assuming it’s good. But then the downside is, you’d be expected to make a video, which is time-consuming
⏹️ ▶️ Marco and potentially expensive. So there’s all sorts of pluses and minuses there.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco But the fact is, the App Store is a very crowded place. And if your app is
⏹️ ▶️ Marco selling very badly, especially if it’s paid up front—I mean, Instapaper was not selling very well in
⏹️ ▶️ Marco its last year before I sold it. I mean, it didn’t sell that well because I was it was a paid
⏹️ ▶️ Marco app in a crowded app store like people think I’m immune to all these effects but I’m not and
⏹️ ▶️ Marco again look at bug shot it’s it’s out there for a buck and no one buys it because I’m not immune to
⏹️ ▶️ Marco this like popularity on the internet it only takes you so far
⏹️ ▶️ Marco and so the bigger problem here is not that that Apple
⏹️ ▶️ Marco has to improve discoverability you know in quotes it’s the app stores really crowded
⏹️ ▶️ Marco and maybe your app just isn’t taking off in sales because it isn’t that compelling
⏹️ ▶️ Marco for that many people. Or there is the need for that kind of app, but someone else is doing it for free,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco or is spending more on advertising, or is
⏹️ ▶️ Marco sending promo codes to all the people who run all the Mac blogs or something like that. And those are things you have to do
⏹️ ▶️ Marco to get noticed. And if your app is really great, even if you just do a little bit of promotion, if
⏹️ ▶️ Marco your app is really great, it will get noticed and it will spread.
⏹️ ▶️ John Yeah, people will find it like that’s how all these apps that I’m saying, well, we all know what the good Twitter apps are, we could probably name all
⏹️ ▶️ John of them, right, even if we don’t use them ourselves. And the reason we know is because people who write about
⏹️ ▶️ John applications who review iOS applications who are use a lot of iOS applications who have popular
⏹️ ▶️ John technology blogs, talk about their applications. If they’re in an interview, sometimes they ask, what’s
⏹️ ▶️ John your favorite mail application? What’s your favorite to do? Like, people talk about things. And, you know, just through word of
⏹️ ▶️ John mouth and old fashioned, this is the, you know, of organic marketing in addition to the regular marketing people doing advertising
⏹️ ▶️ John on podcast buying ads and magazines giving promotion codes to everybody getting reviewed. If you
⏹️ ▶️ John actually make a good application that most people who review it to give it you know four or five stars or
⏹️ ▶️ John a thumbs up or generally positive review you will eventually start to gain traction
⏹️ ▶️ John and the tragedy of that situation is I made an awesome app it’s in a crowded market but like
⏹️ ▶️ John mine is a popular one it’s it’s people think it’s interesting people think it’s got a new take on this genre,
⏹️ ▶️ John or it’s a great example of the form. It has lots of features and it’s high
⏹️ ▶️ John quality application, everybody likes it. And people go to the App Store and search for that with a generic term because
⏹️ ▶️ John they can’t remember your name. If they remember your name, they can’t find it. And they just end up with
⏹️ ▶️ John tons of results of crap. And that’s where you’re just being handicapped by the App Store where you’re like, unless
⏹️ ▶️ John I have a direct link to my product with the exact iTunes URL, if people search for me, they’re very
⏹️ ▶️ John likely to find a clone application, an unrelated application, or just
⏹️ ▶️ John generally be distracted by crappy other applications that are not what they’re looking for. Even if I get them to go there to try to
⏹️ ▶️ John find my application, that is terrible. That’s where you feel like Apple is actively impairing what
⏹️ ▶️ John would otherwise be a success for you. I have a great application. It’s
⏹️ ▶️ John the new version of TweetBot. Go find it. People can’t remember what it was, but they just search for Twitter and TweetBot is on page 17
⏹️ ▶️ John and no one ever finds
⏹️ ▶️ Marco it. Right, I mean, obviously there’s a lot Apple can do there, but if your
⏹️ ▶️ Marco app is barely selling, it is not because you don’t have enough reviews.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco That’s not the reason. And let’s say you get a bunch of reviews by putting in one of these stupid
⏹️ ▶️ Marco dialogues, and then your sales go up like 10% the next week or something.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco How long is it going to last? And what else are you willing to do to keep that going? And is that really worth
⏹️ ▶️ Marco it? The fact is, if your app is selling very badly, chances
⏹️ ▶️ Marco are it’s because it’s not that necessary or not that compelling or not priced right or something like that,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco and you need to change something. It’s not about juicing the sales you have. It’s about
⏹️ ▶️ Marco either dropping your price, figuring out some other way to make money, make it
⏹️ ▶️ Marco free, do an app purchase, or drop it to a buck and see if that helps, something like that, because that’s
⏹️ ▶️ Marco what the market demands.
⏹️ ▶️ John Or find your audience. Because say you’re trying to sell Nursing Clock, and you’ve just been advertising on
⏹️ ▶️ John Mac tech websites. You’ve got to find where are new mothers hanging out.
⏹️ ▶️ John Maybe find the old days, you’d go to the Usenet group, and you’d post it there, and you’d get more sales from one Usenet
⏹️ ▶️ John group posting. I’m crossing the streams here. Usenet existing is an active thing at the same time
⏹️ ▶️ John as the App Store. Anyway, you have to find where your audience lives and advertise in that context. What podcasts they listen
⏹️ ▶️ John to, what websites do they visit. Maybe that’s the problem. not that your app sucks. Maybe you just haven’t found the audience
⏹️ ▶️ John or maybe there’s an audience for people who want really complicated nursing clocks and yours is a simple one. Find the
⏹️ ▶️ John people who want simple nursing clock and you know it’s it’s the same product marketing thing as you know as
⏹️ ▶️ John any other product find getting the right features at the right price and getting that message in front of the right people.
⏹️ ▶️ John But yeah, great rating applications are not the way to do that. Especially since as Marco said,
⏹️ ▶️ John if there really is no hard and fast evidence that getting more ratings or higher
⏹️ ▶️ John getting more ratings by bugging people is going to help move you up the rank in any significant way.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Well people say it works. I have no evidence to support this. Like I tweeted the other day that like there was this
⏹️ ▶️ Marco one version of Instapaper that that due to an App Store publishing bug this was when
⏹️ ▶️ Marco when everything was being published with broken signatures and they couldn’t launch it would crash on launch for like a day
⏹️ ▶️ Marco two years ago whenever that was. That version of Instapaper once it was fixed and republished
⏹️ ▶️ Marco was not reviewable. And it was in the store with no reviews for however
⏹️ ▶️ Marco long that was the latest version. I forget how long. I think it was at least a few weeks, maybe even longer, maybe even a couple
⏹️ ▶️ Marco of months. And it seemed to make no difference in what my average
⏹️ ▶️ Marco daily sales were. Like, none at all. And yeah, sure, not every app is going to be, you know, just like this. There
⏹️ ▶️ Marco are obviously different conditions around everything, but that was just one data point. A lot of people have given other data points saying
⏹️ ▶️ Marco like, oh well, one release I had no reviews and then I didn’t sell
⏹️ ▶️ Marco that many and then the next release I had a bunch of reviews and I sold a lot more. That could also be due to different factors.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco It’s hard to run controlled experiments in the App Store. So it’s
⏹️ ▶️ Marco hard to really say whether it works definitively or not. Chances are it works a little bit.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco The question is whether it works enough to make it worth it to you to have that quality
⏹️ ▶️ Marco reduction. And that depends on where your priorities lie.
⏹️ ▶️ John I think the reason that the good app developers are resorting to
⏹️ ▶️ John the rating dialogue boxes is as a way to combat the crappy
⏹️ ▶️ John developers. If you go to some crappy application, and you look at the little histogram,
⏹️ ▶️ John it will have a huge number of five-star ratings that they scammed their way into somehow, right? And then there’ll
⏹️ ▶️ John be a bunch of one-star, like U-shaped or whatever. If you make a really popular application
⏹️ ▶️ John that everybody loves, especially if it mostly plays to an audience that doesn’t spend its time writing reviews or
⏹️ ▶️ John rating applications, what you’ll see is a bunch of angry people who rate it one star because of backlash because they read
⏹️ ▶️ John about it on seven different websites, and they tried it and they didn’t like it. So like I read about these websites, and everyone
⏹️ ▶️ John said it was great, but I don’t think it’s great one star one star one star. And all the people who love your application are
⏹️ ▶️ John not going to rate it. And you’re like, geez, this is not a one star application, or a
⏹️ ▶️ John two star application. I really think this is a four star and every place that’s reviewed it and and every person that’s used it has said
⏹️ ▶️ John it’s great. Why am I rating so bad? And if someone does a search with their crappy search system
⏹️ ▶️ John and sees, well, this thing has an average of 4.8 and this one has an average of 3.2, they’re like, oh, that 3.2 one must suck. In reality, the 4.8
⏹️ ▶️ John one, that guy scammed all his reviews by paying people to rate
⏹️ ▶️ John it five stars or whatever, and no one rated it one star because there are no legitimate users of that application
⏹️ ▶️ John because no one would ever willingly download it or pay for it. And the application that is actually good
⏹️ ▶️ John just has the backslash negative backs back. Am I saying backlash? backlash?
⏹️ ▶️ John There you go. That’s the word. Backlash negative reviews, and not enough positive ones. Maybe
⏹️ ▶️ John there’s some positive ones, but not enough. And that will bring this developer to feel justified in saying, Look, I
⏹️ ▶️ John worked hard on this application, it gets great reviews, every magazine and website reviews, it says good. I know I have a lot
⏹️ ▶️ John of users whose people are buying it, please, can you go and rate my application? I think this is what leads
⏹️ ▶️ John good applications to go bad, good applications to throw in your face a dialogue box that says,
⏹️ ▶️ John please rate my application because they’re fighting against that crap. And that’s another case where I think if Apple
⏹️ ▶️ John did something about the crap in the app store, these developers would feel less pressure
⏹️ ▶️ John and they would feel less justified in saying, well, I’m just asking my happy users of my application
⏹️ ▶️ John that’s popular to rate things because if I don’t ask them and all the crap applications do ask them to
⏹️ ▶️ John or pay people to, my application looks worse and people buy it less.
⏹️ ▶️ John And again, that’s, that’s the role that Apple plays in this is to get rid of the bad stuff.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey Something you said earlier, John, kind of got me to think in a little bit. And I was
⏹️ ▶️ Casey wondering, you know, you had said something about like the Facebook, Facebookification,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey if that’s even a word, which it isn’t.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey It is now of the app store and, you know, Hey, 12 of your friends are using this app or whatever.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey It got me to thinking that, firstly, imagine if on the App Store you could
⏹️ ▶️ Casey see that X number of your Facebook contacts
⏹️ ▶️ Casey or Twitter followers or the people you’re following on Twitter would probably be an even better metric.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey X number of those people have downloaded this app. And then separately,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey Y number of that same group actually have this app on their device.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey And that would be really cool. you know, that would be a tremendous amount of data. And yes, it’s a little
⏹️ ▶️ Casey bit creepy, but if it was all, you know, anonymous, you could never find out who those people were. Maybe it would be OK.
⏹️ ▶️ John That’s when I said that Facebook vacation or whatever, I was saying in a negative sense, because that’s a
⏹️ ▶️ John privacy thing where the Facebook Facebook does that. But like, I would not want the app store to,
⏹️ ▶️ John by default, show even even just counts for because if you see an application like
⏹️ ▶️ John if, you know, if you friend like two people, right, and you see the
⏹️ ▶️ John number on like your guide to getting a divorce application go up by one you know
⏹️ ▶️ John that’s one of your two friends and you know which one is most like totally it can’t be the default it has to
⏹️ ▶️ John be totally opt-in it can’t be like facebook but that’s the reason facebook and all the other things do it by default
⏹️ ▶️ John is because they can harvest lots of good signal from these relationships and these
⏹️ ▶️ John activities and i don’t think apple should do that but there is a there is a there
⏹️ ▶️ John is a place between what apple is doing and what what Facebook does. Even if you just look at something like
⏹️ ▶️ John more like what Amazon does where Amazon still has, it’s basically like the app store and their reviews, where it’s just a bunch of anonymous people,
⏹️ ▶️ John most of whom are angry, writing things that may or may not be true. All what is Amazon
⏹️ ▶️ John ad one tiny extra thing that Amazon ads is the ability of other people to respond
⏹️ ▶️ John to review. So someone will write a big angry view and say I got this thing home, and it didn’t work as advertised
⏹️ ▶️ John and it is supposed to do this and it said it did that and blah, blah, blah, just be able to have one person to respond
⏹️ ▶️ John and say, you didn’t see the whatever switch or you have to know that you have to hook it up to the whatever and then it will do the
⏹️ ▶️ John thing that you wanted or if you had read the manual you would have realized that you have to do this that and the other thing.
⏹️ ▶️ John That’s it. All they’ve added is just another level of sort of anonymous random garbage. Even
⏹️ ▶️ John that is better than the App Store where it’s just one big long linear list and if you’re lucky you can scroll through 20 pages
⏹️ ▶️ John and find some person correcting somebody who said something totally bogus and bad. That’s one tiny step
⏹️ ▶️ John towards the direction of I see that seven of my trusted friends have installed this and have launched it in in the last day, which is
⏹️ ▶️ John totally creepy Facebooky type stuff.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey It is creepy, but nevertheless, I feel like there’s a way in which it could
⏹️ ▶️ Casey be only slightly creepy, but very, very useful. And the actual point I was trying
⏹️ ▶️ Casey to drive at is, what if this is what Topsy was for? Because Topsy’s,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey my limited understanding of Topsy is that it was built for handling massive amounts of data.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey And to me, the only really massive amounts of data that Apple probably cares about,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey if not Twitter itself, is their retail stores and the App Store. And I’m not
⏹️ ▶️ Casey saying that Topsy necessarily is going to do this weird thing that I just concocted about
⏹️ ▶️ Casey how many of your friends have this and how many of your friends have this on their devices, but I could easily see
⏹️ ▶️ Casey Topsy being used for either one of these things. And the other popular thing that a few listeners have written
⏹️ ▶️ Casey in about and I think makes sense is if iBeacons are sprinkled throughout Apple
⏹️ ▶️ Casey retail stores, perhaps aggregating that data and seeing, speaking of being
⏹️ ▶️ Casey creepy, where people walking within an Apple store. Because at that point, with enough eye beacons,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey and if you have the app installed on your phone, presumably you would be able to maybe even know that much information.
⏹️ ▶️ John That’s more like usage data. That’s getting the Google creepy of like, what if Apple just tracks every time it launched an application?
⏹️ ▶️ John And I think someone was suggesting to Marco, or that you respond to on your blog, what if they tracked how long you use an application?
⏹️ ▶️ John Which almost any metric you pick up can be gamed, as I think Marco pointed out with the how long you use it, that’s punishing
⏹️ ▶️ John applications to get you in and out quickly. Like the application that’s efficient that you don’t need to spend a long time in, that application
⏹️ ▶️ John gets punished versus the one that like keeps you inside the application because it’s cumbersome to use. Like
⏹️ ▶️ John any metric you pick is gonna have some downsides, but there are tons and tons of venues to get
⏹️ ▶️ John some other signal in here. And you just have to be careful on how you pick them. But I think you need some
⏹️ ▶️ John more input than what you have, because if it’s a closed ecosystem, it’s much easier to game And then if you have
⏹️ ▶️ John lots of different kinds of input that are more difficult to control, like the app store reviewer,
⏹️ ▶️ John you know, the scummy people can pay people to leave our office, our reviews and stuff. They will have a much harder time.
⏹️ ▶️ John They can’t what they can’t do is pay every single website that reviews iOS applications to give them a good review. That’s much
⏹️ ▶️ John harder than just paying a bunch of people to give one star review. So that signal that external signal is harder to control
⏹️ ▶️ John than the internal one. Anything that just exists inside the app store is going to be a lot easier to gain than anything that involves all
⏹️ ▶️ John of us. And the trick is to find some way to get useful signal from us in a way that’s not creepy That
⏹️ ▶️ John doesn’t track every single thing that we do that doesn’t you know violate our privacy by showing everybody which applications
⏹️ ▶️ John We’re downloading and using it when but just get that signal somehow I suppose topsy couldn’t be involved
⏹️ ▶️ John in looking at that, but it’s like anytime Apple buys any company that you know They’re
⏹️ ▶️ John not gonna tell us what they’re gonna do and we just have to guess and it’s like yeah topsy could do that That’s that you know I I guess
⏹️ ▶️ John that prime sense company they could do that They could have a sensor for their TV or for the next iPad or for their
⏹️ ▶️ John next iPhone or for their watch or for a ring They’re gonna design or their glasses or you know,
⏹️ ▶️ John we don’t know. We’ll see Well, the only one that was easy was when they bought what was that called the
⏹️ ▶️ John the chomp company or whatever? They redid the store There they bought that company that but they’re
⏹️ ▶️ John gonna use them to read at the store and as far as I know, yeah, they did use in the region on the store and and Nobody
⏹️ ▶️ John likes it But at least people guessed right about what those people what they were gonna be doing with those that company when they bought them
⏹️ ▶️ Marco You know, I wouldn’t have high hopes for Apple doing meaningful things here. I mean,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco look at how they’ve improved the App Store since its introduction.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco This is where I would paste in the crickets sound effect.
⏹️ ▶️ John Well, they kind of shoved things in in one direction, then it pops out someplace else, and they
⏹️ ▶️ John shove it in over there, and then a new thing pops out. And so they’re kind of doing stuff, but it’s all just
⏹️ ▶️ John like equilibrium. You know, they shift in one direction, shift back in the other. There’s never any like
⏹️ ▶️ John big clean push into a whole new realm of win. It’s always address whatever the most egregious
⏹️ ▶️ John problem is, but accidentally cause another one and then address that one and cause another one and kind of staying in the middle.
⏹️ ▶️ John I mean, the big problem with the app store during this whole time is during the time that they’ve been working
⏹️ ▶️ John on trying to tweak it and make sure it doesn’t get too far out of line, the volume has gone up like crazy and it’s really difficult
⏹️ ▶️ John to do anything useful unless you get it exactly right when the volume is going up so fast because new kinds of
⏹️ ▶️ John problems, are cropping up all the time, and a solution that would have been perfectly viable when it was small is now useless,
⏹️ ▶️ John and you need to come up with a new solution. And you get that implemented, and then your volumes go up again. And like Marco said,
⏹️ ▶️ John if eventually you reach web scale, then this whole idea of having a directory,
⏹️ ▶️ John like, what are they gonna do? They’re like, they’re reproducing the web, you know? I guess
⏹️ ▶️ John Amazon does the same thing. Amazon, I assume, will always have more products than the App Store does,
⏹️ ▶️ John and they managed to do better are sort of searching your recommendations. It’s very rarely do I type something into Amazon
⏹️ ▶️ John and not find the thing I want. I can misspell it, I can misremember what it’s called, as long as I’m misremembering
⏹️ ▶️ John in the same way that a bunch of other people are misremembering, Amazon seems to have do a good job of keeping track, just like Google,
⏹️ ▶️ John keeping track of not the first bad result that people click on, but the first result that actually leads
⏹️ ▶️ John to like a sale or lingering on a page or whatever they’re doing over there at Amazon. There’s another company Apple
⏹️ ▶️ John should just acquire or merge with, you know, someone please help them. Amazon? Well, I mean,
⏹️ ▶️ John who who sells lots of things and makes them discoverable and has a reasonable system for
⏹️ ▶️ John buying stuff that people tend to like Amazon, right?
⏹️ ▶️ Casey Well, hold on, though. But yeah, you’re right about that. But you’re also talking about physical goods and
⏹️ ▶️ Casey and and audio and things like that. What I was just wondering is, how is Amazon’s app
⏹️ ▶️ Casey store for discovery and things of that nature?
⏹️ ▶️ John I think the problem is they don’t have a lot of apps. No one uses it.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey And nobody uses it. I mean, even amongst the 12 people that use it, is it any better? It may
⏹️ ▶️ Marco We’ve had a number of comments in the chat room during the show that apparently the Google Play Store is really good about
⏹️ ▶️ Marco reviews and rankings. And that makes sense. You know, if it’s true, that makes sense because Google
⏹️ ▶️ Marco is really good at search and ranking. They know how to do that well, and they
⏹️ ▶️ John They are probably totally not above keeping track of when every application is launched on an Android phone and how long people
⏹️ ▶️ John spend in it and all those stats that they get to Anonymously or however, you know, and they’re not trying to do it like
⏹️ ▶️ John but that is that’s because that’s what they do on the web They gather every ounce of signal they can and on
⏹️ ▶️ John the web and try to block out every Source of noise and gaming of the system they can for the entire web
⏹️ ▶️ John and that’s what the whole company was founded on So, of course, they’re gonna focus those same tools on their web
⏹️ ▶️ John store and of course, they’re gonna do better that there reminds me of the the funny replies to talking about that, uh
⏹️ ▶️ John That tweet I talked about last week about someone saying why isn’t anybody talking about this feature that didn’t ship in
⏹️ ▶️ John whatever? I was mostly talking about the why isn’t anybody talking about an angle, but a lot of people
⏹️ ▶️ John were like I thought it did ship I just thought it didn’t work and
⏹️ ▶️ John like some people are doing that as a joke, but some people were kind of like
⏹️ ▶️ John Half serious and I have to admit to myself like a lots of features that Apple ship you just mentioned back to my mat
⏹️ ▶️ John back to my Mac feature, which also has worked sporadically for me if Apple ships
⏹️ ▶️ John a a feature that has anything to do with the net, it’s very difficult to tell whether the
⏹️ ▶️ John feature is missing entirely or just isn’t working right yet, because they hide all of the nuts and bolts from you.
⏹️ ▶️ John So when Back to My Mac isn’t working, if we had told you that Apple removed Back to My Mac from OS X two years ago,
⏹️ ▶️ John versus, oh no, it’s always been in there, it just doesn’t work, as far as you’re concerned, the experience is the same. You just,
⏹️ ▶️ John it doesn’t seem to do what it’s supposed to do, and maybe there’s still a checkbox for it, but
⏹️ ▶️ John you know, that’s how far Apple’s reputation.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco tree falls in the woods and it never works for anybody.
⏹️ ▶️ John Yeah, that’s how far Apple’s reputation has fallen so far that if any feature has anything to do with online, people
⏹️ ▶️ John just assume it’s shit but it didn’t work.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco I think App Store search, because search is such a hard problem and
⏹️ ▶️ Marco you look at the difference between apparently Google does it very well, which is not a surprise, and Apple does it poorly,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco which is also not a surprise, I think this is the kind of problem that Apple would probably just never do
⏹️ ▶️ Marco that well. It’s just not in their DNA to really do
⏹️ ▶️ Marco search and management of this large dataset and management of spam and gaming and everything else.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco It’s just not what they do well. And they’ve never, ever shown an ability
⏹️ ▶️ Marco to do that kind of thing well, nor really a priority to really put a lot of resources into
⏹️ ▶️ Marco it. And so I would not expect the situation to change from
⏹️ ▶️ John their end. Before we leave this topic, there’s one more thing I wanted to briefly touch on, which which is the reason I have
⏹️ ▶️ John all these links in here. They’re linking to your blog post about rating this app, and
⏹️ ▶️ John then the other response is to saying that Apple, you said that they can’t ban
⏹️ ▶️ John the rate this app dialog boxes, and someone responded, and then you responded back to them. This idea
⏹️ ▶️ John that, this is based on the idea that one solution to this problem of rating dialog
⏹️ ▶️ John boxes is that Apple could just say you’re not allowed to put up a dialog box that asks someone to rate your application. And
⏹️ ▶️ John you were saying you could make that rule, but you can’t enforce it and you’re arguing back and forth. Right.
⏹️ ▶️ John Do you have anything more to add to that other than what you put in the blog post there?
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Not really. I mean, a lot of people have suggested ways they could add a report button or something
⏹️ ▶️ Marco to it, but it wouldn’t actually work in practice. Like, if they added a report
⏹️ ▶️ Marco as of use or inappropriate or whatever button to every UI alert view, that obviously
⏹️ ▶️ Marco is very costly in other factors. And then people would just stop using UI alert views.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco it’s not that hard to write your own popover view that looks and works like a
⏹️ ▶️ Marco dialog box and just attach it as a subview of the window. And what are they
⏹️ ▶️ Marco going to do? Add a button in every UI view? Obviously, they can’t do that. So there’s really no…
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Any kind of minor offense that lots of apps will do that will appear
⏹️ ▶️ Marco after app review time, such as spam push notifications, which are
⏹️ ▶️ Marco also against the rules, but they’re very prevalent anyway.
⏹️ ▶️ John I was going to say that that’s the perfect example because those already are against the rules. You’re not allowed to send people push notifications
⏹️ ▶️ John with advertisements in it. And yet many of us see push notifications with things in them
⏹️ ▶️ John that look a lot like
⏹️ ▶️ Marco advertisements. Right all the time. And this is the purpose of my post. It’s very
⏹️ ▶️ Marco similar to that problem, which is this thing already is against the rules. This spam push notification that’s
⏹️ ▶️ Marco already against the rules. But it’s really not enforced because unless the reviewer
⏹️ ▶️ Marco from AppReview gets this thing during the five minutes they’re spending with the app, unless they themselves
⏹️ ▶️ Marco get spammed and notice it’s against the rule, they’re never going to catch it,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco really. And once it’s already in the wild, after the fact, these are such relatively minor
⏹️ ▶️ Marco rule violations. It’d be different. If your app passes app review, and then you have it
⏹️ ▶️ Marco hard-coded so that two weeks later it becomes malware somehow,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco that would get noticed, and that would get shut down, because really bad. You know, you’d be kicked
⏹️ ▶️ Marco out of the developer program or whatever else. Fine. But for something like this, like a minor
⏹️ ▶️ Marco offense, like a push notification or a rate this app dialogue, those are not major enough
⏹️ ▶️ Marco PR problems, major enough offenses in the App Store that if it happened
⏹️ ▶️ Marco after review time, Apple would make a big effort to crack down on that and eliminate that. Like, it’s
⏹️ ▶️ Marco just not important enough relative to everything else they have to do. So, realistically speaking
⏹️ ▶️ Marco it’s very unlikely that Apple would ever ban these dialogues and if they
⏹️ ▶️ Marco did it’s very unlikely it would be enforced.
⏹️ ▶️ John So my position on this is that I mostly agree with the difficulty of enforcing this although
⏹️ ▶️ John I also agree with the you know like just because it’s difficult doesn’t mean it can’t be done but I think that
⏹️ ▶️ John if if this if this agreement within Apple that this is a
⏹️ ▶️ John an experience they don’t want people to have that they’re using their application a dialog box pops up and asks you to rate applications.
⏹️ ▶️ John They should absolutely add it to the guidelines just like the thing that says you’re not supposed to get ads and push notifications because Apple’s
⏹️ ▶️ John decided that getting advertisements to push notifications is not the experience they want on their phones. Enforceability
⏹️ ▶️ John I think should be not entirely separate but mostly separate from making the rules. I think the
⏹️ ▶️ John rule against advertising push notification is a good rule. It’s kind of like the you know the the school
⏹️ ▶️ John zone speed limits which are usually set like super low. It’s so So that if they wanted to,
⏹️ ▶️ John they can give every single person in the school zone a ticket, right? It gives you, it makes it so that like everybody’s breaking
⏹️ ▶️ John the law and then you can, you know, you can pull anybody over. But in this case, I think it’s a reasonable
⏹️ ▶️ John speed limit. If you just put in a rule that says you can’t put up a rate me dialogue box, you’re right. It’s not like it’s going to turn to malware. How
⏹️ ▶️ John are you going to know that this thing really put up the dialogue box? And who was it that
⏹️ ▶️ John had that blog post explaining like a big system of a sort of a social engineered system where different
⏹️ ▶️ John people could report violations. And then if their accuracy of their reporting gives
⏹️ ▶️ John their reports a higher ranking. And there’s lots of systems that are possible. Yeah, that
⏹️ ▶️ Marco was the Chuck one.
⏹️ ▶️ John Yeah, I wouldn’t get too bogged down in the details of that. I would just say, if this is an experience that Apple thinks you shouldn’t have,
⏹️ ▶️ John put it in the guidelines. And maybe it’s incredibly sporadically enforced,
⏹️ ▶️ John almost never enforced. The fact that it’s there, and I think it’s probably easier to enforce than the
⏹️ ▶️ John push notification one, because the push notification comes from elsewhere. The rate me thing, I guess it could be triggered by an
⏹️ ▶️ John external server based thing, but the code to put up that dialogue has to be in your application somewhere.
⏹️ ▶️ John It’s the type of thing where once it becomes a guideline, that alone could push it off into
⏹️ ▶️ John the crappy section of the app store that I was talking about before. And all the good developers of the well-known applications
⏹️ ▶️ John that we all know and love and use all the time would comply with the guideline because those people aren’t willingly
⏹️ ▶️ John sending out push notifications for ads either because it’s against the guidelines. And so even, you know,
⏹️ ▶️ John just putting in that guideline, even though it can’t stop all the other crap apps from doing it, just putting it there
⏹️ ▶️ John at all would give a position that the quote unquote good guys in the app store
⏹️ ▶️ John would follow along with, I think, for the most part.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Well, but there’s already like, I think everyone for the most part knows that it’s
⏹️ ▶️ Marco kind of not okay. But most developers who have implemented it are probably implementing
⏹️ ▶️ Marco it because they’ve weighed that trade-off in their head and they’ve been like, well, I know it’s
⏹️ ▶️ Marco kind of annoying to some people and it’s kind of not okay, but
⏹️ ▶️ Marco everyone else is doing it and I need all the help I can get because my sales suck. And that same
⏹️ ▶️ Marco rationale, I think, would still be there.
⏹️ ▶️ John No, but that cost-benefit is going to be way different if it’s against the rules. You would never knowingly put something up in the store
⏹️ ▶️ John that violated a guideline, especially if it was a high-profile guideline that came into being under circumstances like this where
⏹️ ▶️ John now Apple releases new guideline not allowed to put up a rate me you would never put up an application that knowingly violate like
⏹️ ▶️ John it’s not even subtle like if a dialogue pops up and says please rate this application you’re in violation
⏹️ ▶️ John none of the good developers would willingly violate because suddenly the cost-benefit is like well I’m being
⏹️ ▶️ John kind of annoying but blah blah blah versus my app is gonna be rejected or there’s a chance my
⏹️ ▶️ John app is gonna be rejected or as soon as somebody sees this I’m gonna have all those backlash users saying
⏹️ ▶️ John you need to get this off the store it violates Europe as I read about on this website, like, I think all the good guys
⏹️ ▶️ John would follow it. You certainly would, right? You wouldn’t. I mean, you don’t even put it up now. But like, think of a guideline that Apple
⏹️ ▶️ John could come up with that you would willingly flout because you think it gave you some minor increase in sales.
⏹️ ▶️ John You wouldn’t. You would just say, well, Apple has changed the rules and made like my application unviable and you’d go do something else.
⏹️ ▶️ John You would not violate the rules. And I think that that’s the function that rules would serve not to eliminate the practice,
⏹️ ▶️ John but merely to further marginalize it and make it socially unacceptable
⏹️ ▶️ John to a degree, not socially unacceptable, but like the smart developers who have a clue who don’t plan on
⏹️ ▶️ John registering new Apple IDs for the Apple developer program every two weeks to keep their business in business would
⏹️ ▶️ John say, I can’t, you know, I can’t willingly violate this.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey You know, something I was thinking, and I know we probably shouldn’t get into the details of how
⏹️ ▶️ Casey to implement that kind of rating or to enforce, I should say that kind of rating, but
⏹️ ▶️ Casey what’s stopping Apple from as part of the scan that they do for private
⏹️ ▶️ Casey APIs, what’s stopping them from looking for rate and app
⏹️ ▶️ Casey as something that’s passed into a UI alert view, or just doing a string search within
⏹️ ▶️ Casey the compiled code for rate and app, only a couple of words
⏹️ ▶️ Casey away from each other. Maybe they don’t unilaterally reject upon finding that, but maybe that
⏹️ ▶️ Casey raises a warning to the reviewer saying, you should probably take a look at this.
⏹️ ▶️ John Yeah, that’s the kind of heuristics they could pull off. And again, that’s totally not going to stop anybody who wants to
⏹️ ▶️ John do it, because you could have the text fed from a server, you can obfuscate it, you know, whatever. But but yeah, that
⏹️ ▶️ John like because more so than push notifications, because those come from come from entirely elsewhere. Right.
⏹️ ▶️ John I think you’d have a fighting chance at an automated tool that might bring up a flag on this, you know.
⏹️ ▶️ John And even if the reaction to that was just that the reviewer would contact the developer and say, this thing doesn’t have a dialog
⏹️ ▶️ John box that would pop up to say, right, It doesn’t. And then they have to lie to you to get through. They have to say,
⏹️ ▶️ John oh, no, it doesn’t have anything like that. And now you’ve got them on records, you know, telling them a lie. And you know, it’s
⏹️ ▶️ John I think it would be helpful.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey All right. All right.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco I think we’re good. Thanks a lot to our three sponsors this week, Backblaze, Hover and Audible.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco And we will see you next week.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey Now the show is over. They didn’t even mean to begin. Cause
⏹️ ▶️ Casey it was accidental Oh, it was accidental
⏹️ ▶️ Casey John didn’t do any research Marco and Casey wouldn’t let him Cause
⏹️ ▶️ Casey it was accidental Oh, it was accidental
⏹️ ▶️ Casey And you can find the show notes at atp.fm
⏹️ ▶️ John And if you’re into Twitter You can follow them
⏹️ ▶️ Marco At C-A-S-E-Y-L-I-S-S,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey so that’s Casey Liss, M-A-R-C-O-A-R-M,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco D-N-T, Marco Armin, S-I-R-A-C-U-S-A,
⏹️ ▶️ John Syracuse. It’s accidental. They
⏹️ ▶️ John didn’t mean to. Accidental. Tech podcasts,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco long. I’m so upset I missed the joke. Somebody in the chat pointed
⏹️ ▶️ Marco out the much better joke of, it’s pronounced T-H-10. Yeah, that would have been a better joke.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco That’s much better. I wish I would have said that instead. But you didn’t.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco There was one other additional thing I wanted to tack on to the rate this app thing. Might as well put
⏹️ ▶️ Marco it here. The way these dialogues work, to kick you over to the App Store
⏹️ ▶️ Marco to review it, is they call special URLs that launch the App Store app to particular pages.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco And in iOS 6 and earlier, it was possible to link directly to the review form
⏹️ ▶️ Marco for an app. And in 7, that was no longer possible. In 7, the best you can
⏹️ ▶️ Marco do is link to the app’s page in the App Store. One thing
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Apple could do to combat this in a way that would actually be
⏹️ ▶️ Marco more effective than a policy is to make it stop working. Now they can’t make
⏹️ ▶️ Marco links to the App Store app stop working. But one thing somebody suggested
⏹️ ▶️ Marco on Twitter somewhere, sorry I forget who it was, is that what if they make it so that if
⏹️ ▶️ Marco the App Store is invoked by a URL from another app, don’t allow
⏹️ ▶️ Marco the input of a reviewer rating?
⏹️ ▶️ Casey That’s an interesting point.
⏹️ ▶️ John I think that could be frustrating from a user’s perspective because they’re
⏹️ ▶️ John like, I can’t rate the application and then it’s like well did you get that window there from a link from another
⏹️ ▶️ John and then they don’t remember know what that means and it’s just it looks like their website is broken I don’t
⏹️ ▶️ John I don’t know if we could that’s that’s like a you know the people who try to punish their dog for pooping
⏹️ ▶️ John and they don’t connect you yelling at the dog with the poop he made five minutes ago
⏹️ ▶️ Marco one of the thing they could do that that I thought of also is so they have I believe this was added an iOS 6
⏹️ ▶️ Marco it’s at least here in 7 where they have this ability to show a
⏹️ ▶️ Marco modal sheet for the App Store, like for an app within your app, without kicking you
⏹️ ▶️ Marco over to the App Store app. And so what if they removed the review input method
⏹️ ▶️ Marco just for those modal sheets, and then made it a policy that if you were going to
⏹️ ▶️ Marco link to an app, whether it’s yours or someone else’s, if you’re going to link to an app from your app, you have
⏹️ ▶️ Marco to do it through one of those modal sheets, and you are not allowed to kick over to the iTunes app.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco that would be an easier policy to enforce. You could even check for those URLs or even make those
⏹️ ▶️ Marco URLs stop working. It
⏹️ ▶️ John would be like institutionalizing the idea of something that
⏹️ ▶️ John is triggered from an application and lets you rate the application. I don’t know if that, I almost think that if that’s the,
⏹️ ▶️ John like it has to be, it should be on a springboard level type thing, but no one would ever do that. In
⏹️ ▶️ John an application, you can’t have everything that’s coming up. That’s why a lot of people were talking about the idea of making a
⏹️ ▶️ John new website, of gamifying a website where people could rate applications
⏹️ ▶️ John outside of the app store and outside of anything else but all you’re doing is kind of recreating a crowdsourced
⏹️ ▶️ John review website and there are tons of websites to review iOS apps. Some of the,
⏹️ ▶️ John I bet Apple people thinking about this have the same thought as I do sometimes, it’s like what if Apple just got entirely rid
⏹️ ▶️ John of ratings and reviews and everything and all they were was a directory of things that you could download and they had
⏹️ ▶️ John release notes and and that was it. And they used signal that they didn’t show you
⏹️ ▶️ John to rank the applications that was probably equally mysterious to whatever they do now, but would actually
⏹️ ▶️ John work. And when I search for Twitter, I would see the 10 best Twitter clients on the first page of results.
⏹️ ▶️ John And I wouldn’t care about the sort order. You know what I mean? But then people want reviews, and people want all those other things.
⏹️ ▶️ John And Apple has signed up to do that, and now they’re kind of stuck with it. Say they had never had reviews, but left it entirely
⏹️ ▶️ John to websites to review their stuff. That would be a different story and
⏹️ ▶️ John maybe that would be an acceptable thing to do, but we would probably just be asking for them to do reviews. So I don’t
⏹️ ▶️ John know. They’re kind of stuck. It’s like once you start censoring stuff, now you’re on the hook for anything that comes through. Once
⏹️ ▶️ John you start accepting ratings and reviews, now you’re on the hook for making them not suck. And Apple has not done that yet.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey Well, and they love, and they want the control. I don’t think they’d like that the official source of
⏹️ ▶️ Casey whether an app is good or bad is not controlled by them.
⏹️ ▶️ John Well, you know, this, this, this thing we didn’t even talk about that every, like everyone except
⏹️ ▶️ John for Apple agrees that it should be possible for the developer of application to leave a response to a review
⏹️ ▶️ John and for both parties involved in that process to update that thing, because nothing is more frustrating as developer
⏹️ ▶️ John having someone say, I got your to-do application, but it doesn’t let me defeat delete items. One star
⏹️ ▶️ John let the reviewer, right. Actually it does let you delete items. You have to swipe or something like that, right?
⏹️ ▶️ John It doesn’t mean that the developer is going to be correct or is official in any capacity, but just simple matter
⏹️ ▶️ John of like, because then, then, you know, you can edit your review and, you know, like the people who
⏹️ ▶️ John leave that non Casey review all the time are constantly editing it, right? You can edit your review so they could respond and say,
⏹️ ▶️ John actually, you can’t swipe and like, you don’t want to turn into like arguing back and forth. But if they just get, they both
⏹️ ▶️ John just have their one thing. So it’s one, one review and one response from the developer. And the two of them
⏹️ ▶️ John could fight continually updating their response and review if they although I think it’s counterproductive,
⏹️ ▶️ John but a smart developer would leave an authoritative response to the problems that were
⏹️ ▶️ John raised there, and that would be that. And I guess the fear there is
⏹️ ▶️ John you would have every single review having a contradictory response from the developer,
⏹️ ▶️ John and that would be annoying to read, like a big, giant argument. But they’ve got to do something like that. They have
⏹️ ▶️ John to have some way to have other people be able to upvote and downvote them.
⏹️ ▶️ John all roads lead back to Apple having to learn how to do social stuff which they don’t know how to do as evidenced
⏹️ ▶️ John by Ping. It’s a bad situation
⏹️ ▶️ Marco for everybody. I think what this boils down to is the need for reviews is
⏹️ ▶️ Marco to give to give more inputs when someone’s browsing and they stumble upon
⏹️ ▶️ Marco your app to give more signal as to whether the app is good and works the way
⏹️ ▶️ Marco it should and if there are more ways that Apple could could communicate
⏹️ ▶️ Marco that. And a trial would certainly help for paid apps, but I don’t think
⏹️ ▶️ Marco we’re going to get trials. If there were other ways, as I said earlier, videos,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco let people upload videos. Developer response to comments or to reviews,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco that is another way for developers to communicate their quality level. If
⏹️ ▶️ Marco a developer responds to every negative review in a really good way, like in a helpful way to
⏹️ ▶️ Marco say, even if the person reviews something negative and they’re right, and the developer is like,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco sorry, we’re working on that for the next update, and then you can diffuse all the invalid ones too,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco say, oh, actually this feature exists here, or the bug you’re reporting is fixed in this version that’s up now.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco That’s still another venue for you to communicate more signal to browsers to
⏹️ ▶️ Marco tell them, this is an app that’s worth checking out or that’s worth buying.
⏹️ ▶️ John As long as the developer doesn’t lie in every single one of their responses because then it becomes incumbent upon additional reviewers to say
⏹️ ▶️ John Don’t believe any of the developer responses. They are entirely fabrications. You know, like I’m what I’m thinking
⏹️ ▶️ John of now is a Formalized structured system for doing the equivalent of blurbs in the back of
⏹️ ▶️ John a book thrilling adventures as the New York Times or whatever and If you
⏹️ ▶️ John had a formalized structured system for that where you had to link back to the actual source That’s another way to pull
⏹️ ▶️ John an external signal Mac you know, Macworld gives it five mice, right? New York Times,
⏹️ ▶️ John a quote from the New York Times review of this application says, blah, blah, blah. Link back to that
⏹️ ▶️ John article. Link back to the Macworld thing so that people can read it. See, this is a well-reviewed
⏹️ ▶️ John application. In fact, I can follow these links to confirm that they didn’t make up these blurbs, and I can actually read
⏹️ ▶️ John the reviews. And again, it’s the whole thing of, well, how are you going to police that? And what if the link goes away, and blah, blah, blah? But these are
⏹️ ▶️ John all things that have worked in other contexts to give people signal that the thing they’re looking at is this
⏹️ ▶️ John book popular? Do lots of people like this book? You know, and some of it is like, Oh, I hear about it on the news
⏹️ ▶️ John all the time. Or this is a very popular book or it’s, I hear it on a monologues on a late night show or whatever. How
⏹️ ▶️ John do, how do we all know that the hunger games is an exciting thing? Oh, they’re making a movie of it. Or, you know,
⏹️ ▶️ John all those other ways the signal get in. Unfortunately, I was applications have not reached quite that level.
⏹️ ▶️ John I guess, angry birds, kind of maybe words with friends made it to that level, but that’s how people hear about
⏹️ ▶️ John these things. Oh, that must be the application. I like it. But even in that case, you’re like, oh, well, Words of Friends used to be good, but
⏹️ ▶️ John then Zynga screwed it all up, and now it’s annoying to use, and how do you learn about that later?
⏹️ ▶️ John It’s not an easy problem, and yeah, people are inscrutable little things, and I think Apple