Unofficial Accidental Tech Podcast transcripts (generated by computer, so expect errors).

94: Spirited Defense of Pong

Push-notification ads, Apple vs. Today widgets, feasibility of pro podcasting apps, and Crossy Road.

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Transcribed using Whisper large_v2 (transcription) + WAV2VEC2_ASR_LARGE_LV60K_960H (alignment) + Pyannote (speaker diaritization).

Transcript start

⏹️ ▶️ John Why did you make me download this stupid game? You should play this while, while rocking. You get, get

⏹️ ▶️ John an infant in your arms.

⏹️ ▶️ John, Marco Yeah, you can do it one-handed.

⏹️ ▶️ John One arm, baby holding rock bounce, walking, tap, tap, tap, tap, tap, tap, tap,

⏹️ ▶️ John tap, tap, tap. All

⏹️ ▶️ Casey right. So, um, in the post-show from the last episode, we kind of had a post-show neutral and

⏹️ ▶️ Casey I was talking, or I thought I was talking completely hypothetically about cars

⏹️ ▶️ Casey for Aaron and myself, you know, now that Declan’s around. And I don’t know

⏹️ ▶️ Casey if I made it clear that that entire conversation was completely hypothetical. And of course,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey what with this being us, everyone came out of the woodwork to give car recommendations or car

⏹️ ▶️ Casey anti recommendations, you know, never buy this car, it’s terrible, etc, which is which is certainly appreciated. But

⏹️ ▶️ Casey I don’t think I made it clear that that it was all just hypothetical. I mean, I mean, neither of us is going to

⏹️ ▶️ Casey get a car anytime soon. And I still love my BMW, and I plan to keep my BMW for at least

⏹️ ▶️ Casey a couple more years, if not longer than that. And as I think I said on the show, Erin loves her Mazda 6,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey and I think she’d probably rather give me up than the car. And who can blame her? So

⏹️ ▶️ Casey I did want to mention that. Additionally, a lot of people came out of the woodwork to say the Golf R wagon

⏹️ ▶️ Casey is a thing, or if you’re not from the United States, the estate. I believe that’s right.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey And saloon is a sedan. Is that right?

⏹️ ▶️ John And you’re still saying golf

⏹️ ▶️ Casey apparently too. Yeah, golf, golf, whatever. It’s just,

⏹️ ▶️ John what is that? It’s not even an accent.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Is it G U or G O? Isn’t it a G O L F?

⏹️ ▶️ John Yes.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey So it’s golf R.

⏹️ ▶️ John Yeah.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Is that, why is everyone saying that’s wrong?

⏹️ ▶️ John You keep saying like the Gulf of Mexico. Oh,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey all right. Well, whatever. Anyway, that the GR,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey point being, I know that’s a thing. The reason I didn’t bring it up is because I don’t

⏹️ ▶️ Casey suspect that we’ll get it in the United States. And yes, I believe it was in Los Angeles briefly

⏹️ ▶️ Casey for the purposes of the Los Angeles Motor Show, Auto Show, whatever. But the likelihood of that arriving in the States is slim

⏹️ ▶️ Casey to none. Additionally, people have suggested various Subarus, including the Outback,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey also known as the BMW 3GT, as well as the Subaru

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Forester. And I owned a Subaru in the past, And that car had its entire

⏹️ ▶️ Casey drivetrain replaced over the course of the 60,000 or 80,000 miles that I had it. And although I drive like a jerk, I

⏹️ ▶️ Casey don’t drive like an animal. So I don’t think it’s my fault. And the likelihood of me getting another

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Subaru is not good. So thank you for all the recommendations for the cars that I’m not buying. And

⏹️ ▶️ Casey that will be enough of the car talk for now.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco You know, a TIFF’s 3GT has not had any parts on it replaced. It’s actually going quite well. In fact, we use it for our Thanksgiving trip

⏹️ ▶️ Marco this past weekend. And it was glorious. I love all the luxuries of having, you know, like

⏹️ ▶️ Marco all like the weird little hooks and stuff in the trunk and all like the little latch points and little things that can move around, plus the giant

⏹️ ▶️ Marco trunk space to begin with. It was quite pleasant. And yeah,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco I think we’re gonna sell you and Aaron on one of these next time. You’ll see, you’ll see. You’re denying

⏹️ ▶️ Marco it now, but I bet once you actually see it and give it a chance,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco and once Aaron sees it and gives it a chance, I bet we can convert you guys.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey That’s not likely. You could probably, you may be able to get me, maybe, but there’s no chance

⏹️ ▶️ Casey he’ll get Erin. Because I think she thinks it looks too much like a wagon, which she doesn’t like.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey And beyond that, I don’t think she particularly wants a BMW, much to my chagrin. I don’t know,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey that word I’m thinking of. It’s pronounced shag, Ryan. Much to my dismay. Let’s go with that.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey In no small part because all BMW drivers are jerks, myself extremely included. And she doesn’t want to associate

⏹️ ▶️ Casey with them. Anyway, sorry, enough of the car talk. want to tell us about something that’s

⏹️ ▶️ Marco cool? I would love to. In fact, this week we have a fourth sponsor

⏹️ ▶️ Marco and it’s a holiday miracle. It’s definitely not because of a clerical error last

⏹️ ▶️ Marco week. It was definitely a holiday miracle. That’s the reason we have four sponsors this week. Our

⏹️ ▶️ Marco sponsor, our first sponsor this week is Studio Neat once again with

⏹️ ▶️ Marco a whole bunch of cool stuff. So if you go to slash

⏹️ ▶️ Marco ATP. They have made a really cool ATP holiday cocktail guide

⏹️ ▶️ Marco for us. And they’ve made… you got to check out this page. I mean, first of all, the page looks incredible because

⏹️ ▶️ Marco they have incredibly good design skills over there. Go to slash ATP

⏹️ ▶️ Marco and they have actually made custom drinks. They’ve made the Casey List, the John Syracuse, the Marco Arment.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco You can tell they actually listen to our show and actually know us. So the Casey List is a vodka drink.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco The John Syracuse is non-alcoholic and is based on Sprite.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey That made me laugh so hard when they showed this to me, when Tom and Dan Studio

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Need showed this to me. The John Syracuse was far and away my favorite.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Well, because I was a little concerned because I saw this, you know, when we weren’t on the air when I saw this,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco and when I first saw they made drinks for the three of us, I thought, oh, well, I don’t know if John’s going to want

⏹️ ▶️ Marco to be associated with an alcoholic drink. And I saw, oh no, it’s

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Sprite. It’s fine. John, is that a correct assessment?

⏹️ ▶️ John I was happy that they made an alcoholic, but I’m not a big fan of mint. I’m

⏹️ ▶️ John not

⏹️ ▶️ John, Casey entirely sure I would actually like this one, but if the drink is just

⏹️ ▶️ John supposed to embody me more than be a drink that I like, then I don’t know, maybe it’s a combination.

⏹️ ▶️ John It might work. I haven’t tried this, so I can’t say whether or not it works as a drink.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Well, similarly, I don’t know if I’d like a Moscow mule. I mean, if you look at the constituent ingredients,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey it seems like something I would enjoy. But I don’t know that I’ve ever had

⏹️ ▶️ Casey, Marco one.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey So I know I hate old fashions, much to the dismay, not chagrin,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey of Mike Hurley and Marco. But this sounds like it would be all right.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco I think it’s funny. And mine is, of course, a coffee-based dessert drink, which sounds

⏹️ ▶️ Marco pretty good, if I can say. I think it’s even better that

⏹️ ▶️ Marco John has a minor complaint about his Yeah, like it wouldn’t be the John Syracuse.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Uh, if the real John Syracuse it didn’t have a minor complaint about it

⏹️ ▶️ John Well, I haven’t I haven’t talked about my vague dislike of mint things on the show before so they can

⏹️ ▶️ John be forgiven for not knowing This tiny detail about me.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Would you like to talk about that now John?

⏹️ ▶️ John, Casey I would not

⏹️ ▶️ Casey would you talk about that now John?

⏹️ ▶️ John We don’t need to we can move on

⏹️ ▶️ Marco, John Fair enough.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Well, we’re still in the sponsor, right? Oh, yeah. Sorry. My bad. No, we’re going to come back to that at some point.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Maybe not today. Maybe not tomorrow, but someday. Anyway, this is all at

⏹️ ▶️ Marco slash atp. You got to look at this page. It’s hilarious. They also have made

⏹️ ▶️ Marco a cocktail tool guide at

⏹️ ▶️ Marco And check that out as well. They’ve collected a whole bunch of gear, some stuff they make, some stuff

⏹️ ▶️ Marco that they don’t make and they don’t care if they make it or if they make it or not. They want you to have the best gear for making cocktails

⏹️ ▶️ Marco at home. And some of this stuff is really cool. And finally,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco they have this new thing called the Simple Syrup Kit. And it is exactly what it sounds like. It is

⏹️ ▶️ Marco a kit to help you make and store simple syrup. And honestly, when they first announced this, I was a little

⏹️ ▶️ Marco skeptical. Because I’ve made simple syrup before. It’s sugar and water. And I thought, what could you possibly

⏹️ ▶️ Marco need a kit for to make this? Like, couldn’t you make this in anything? And I have. I’ve been

⏹️ ▶️ Marco making my own simple syrup, usually for iced coffee recipes. And the fact is, making simple syrup by yourself,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco even though it is incredibly simple, it does have like two or three potential spots for annoyance

⏹️ ▶️ Marco and I watched the video and I saw the simple syrup kit tonight and I’m like, actually, that fixes

⏹️ ▶️ Marco those annoyances. Like I got a hand to these guys. I thought there was no room for a dedicated product in

⏹️ ▶️ Marco that space, but they made one. And it looks pretty good, I gotta say. I mean, check this out.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco These guys really have a knack for taking, taking things that you didn’t, maybe you didn’t think you needed,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco and then once you have them, you’re like, wow, this is, of course I needed this. This is great. How, like, how do I live without this?

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Check out Studio Neat. And you got to look at their cocktail tool as well as the

⏹️ ▶️ Marco studio slash ATP, where they created these awesome cocktails for

⏹️ ▶️ Marco each of us. And really, they are, they’re really funny. I got to say, and it pages

⏹️ ▶️ Marco are beautiful. The video they shot is beautiful. The simple syrup kit, check them out. They make great stuff.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco As I mentioned last time, they have the Covenant, they have the Glyph, they have the Neat Ice Kit, all this great stuff

⏹️ ▶️ Marco they make. slash ATP.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Yeah, and as the final quick addendum to that, Tom and Dan are the two guys that run

⏹️ ▶️ Casey studioneat and they’re they’re friends of ours. And they’re super, super, super awesome, awesome people. So

⏹️ ▶️ Casey if you’re going to throw if you’re going to throw a little bit of money their way,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey they’re well deserving and and the stuff they make is awesome. And I don’t know if we mentioned, But you get 10% off

⏹️ ▶️ Casey if you use the code ATP. And forgive me if we already talked about that.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Yes, forgive me for not talking about that. That’s very important. Use coupon code ATP for 10% off

⏹️ ▶️ Marco anything from the Studio Neat store. So thanks a lot to Studio Neat once again.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey All right. What are we talking about tonight? There’s not that much going on.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey All right. Well, that was a good show. Thanks a lot to our four sponsors this week.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Marco makes his own news, right? Yeah, you could say that. Marco what’s been

⏹️ ▶️ Casey what’s what’s been a bee in your bonnet these days?

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Well, I had the thing about about the the push notification ad which was I

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Don’t know how much of a topic that really is.

⏹️ ▶️ John It’s really a topic About each weed about it all day It’s less I say

⏹️ ▶️ John about you making your own news that could have come and gone But you felt like you needed to chime in about it And so you

⏹️ ▶️ John wrote a big long blog post about it and then argued with people on Twitter about

⏹️ ▶️ Marco it It was 195 words, most of which were not about that particular one.

⏹️ ▶️ John Really? I thought it was longer.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco No. There was an image in the middle that might have thrown you off.

⏹️ ▶️ John Make yourself useful and put a link in the show notes then.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco So basically, the other day, Apple sent out two push notifications

⏹️ ▶️ Marco advertising the Red App Store promotion from the App Store

⏹️ ▶️ Marco app. So if you had notifications enabled for the App Store. And if I remember

⏹️ ▶️ Marco correctly, I don’t think I ever actually enabled those. I don’t think I was ever asked to. Maybe

⏹️ ▶️ Marco the first time I launched the App Store app on some OS version, maybe it asked me and I said yes, but I don’t usually say yes

⏹️ ▶️ Marco to things like that. And mine were enabled, so I don’t know what that was about. If it’s

⏹️ ▶️ Marco actually enabled by default and it never asks you up front, that’s kinda crappy.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco But I can’t say for sure whether it was that way or not.

⏹️ ▶️ John Yeah, I was wondering why I didn’t see this. And now that you mention this, I realized that the whole time I was reading

⏹️ ▶️ John your tweets and your posts, I was like, well, I didn’t get that because I don’t have an iPhone, right? I didn’t get it, but I

⏹️ ▶️ John realized I do have an iPhone and then I went, wait, I have an iPhone, why didn’t I get that? And I realized the reason I didn’t get

⏹️ ▶️ John it is because anytime I set up any iOS device, I go to the notification screen, turn everything

⏹️ ▶️ John off and then selectively turn on like the two apps that I want to allow to send me notifications. Which

⏹️ ▶️ John are? I don’t know, like Messages and, is there another

⏹️ ▶️ John one?

⏹️ ▶️ John, Casey Messages and messages?

⏹️ ▶️ John I can’t think of anything offhand, but certainly not App Store.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Well, anyway, so regardless of whether it was… If it’s on by default, it’s even worse. But regardless,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco what I was pointing out, and it kind of got… The idea kind of got muddied a little bit because the

⏹️ ▶️ Marco message they sent was promoting something for the Product Red charity

⏹️ ▶️ Marco thing, which is… And I don’t… Honestly, I don’t know the details of how the product Red Corporation works.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco I think it’s not technically a non-profit and there’s some kind of weird stuff. I don’t know the details. It doesn’t matter. And please don’t

⏹️ ▶️ Marco email us. It really doesn’t matter for the conversation. A lot of people took issue with

⏹️ ▶️ Marco me complaining about a push notification that is for this good cause.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco And the fact is, I’m not taking issue with notification. I’m taking issue with…

⏹️ ▶️ Marco or rather, I’m not taking issue with the content of it. I’m taking issue with the the fact that Apple sent

⏹️ ▶️ Marco a promotional push notification. And there is specifically a rule in the App Store Guidelines, rule number 5.6.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco And the rule says that apps cannot use push notifications to send, I forget the exact wording, but it’s something

⏹️ ▶️ Marco like marketing or promotions of any kind. This rule, if you’ve ever had

⏹️ ▶️ Marco any apps installed on any iPhone ever, and you’ve ever said yes to push notifications to anything besides messages,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco John, if you almost certainly know that apps violate this rule constantly.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Apps always send push notifications for advertising purposes. There’s always like,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco hey, come back to our game. New bombs are 50% off today only, like crap like that. And it is

⏹️ ▶️ Marco so incredibly common, and it’s really unfortunate. And so my post is basically saying, this

⏹️ ▶️ Marco is really unfortunate how common this is, that it is against the rules, and Apple doesn’t really enforce

⏹️ ▶️ Marco that rule. And to some degree, they kind of can’t enforce that rule. And we talked about this a little bit before.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco And now it’s even worse that Apple itself doesn’t follow that rule. And

⏹️ ▶️ Marco so that’s my main complaint here, after all this preamble, that yeah, it was a little thing.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Yeah, it was, you know, essentially for a good cause. Yeah, it was only two push notifications

⏹️ ▶️ Marco sent in one hour on one day. But this is really setting

⏹️ ▶️ Marco a bad example. It’s setting a bad precedent, and it’s showing once again, this is not that different from

⏹️ ▶️ Marco the U2 album being shoved into our libraries. This is not as bad as that, I don’t think. But

⏹️ ▶️ Marco this is Apple showing that they don’t respect or they don’t see

⏹️ ▶️ Marco that this is a boundary that they shouldn’t cross. Like an advertising push notification

⏹️ ▶️ Marco to me is really offensive. And I totally

⏹️ ▶️ Marco understand why like the Target app or the Kohl’s app or some

⏹️ ▶️ Marco kind of crappy news sites app, yeah, they will do it, of course they’ll do it. They’re crappy retailers and they’re shameless

⏹️ ▶️ Marco because most giant retailers have to be shameless to survive. And certainly news sites

⏹️ ▶️ Marco generally do as well. So that’s fine. If somebody with really terrible low standards with no

⏹️ ▶️ Marco self-respect, and who doesn’t respect their customers either, wants to spam people, that’s

⏹️ ▶️ Marco not a surprise. But those are not usually terms used to describe Apple or their products, and especially

⏹️ ▶️ Marco things that are the default in their products. And so what worries me here is that not only

⏹️ ▶️ Marco is Apple setting a bad example that this practice is okay by doing it themselves.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco But also that it just shows that Apple is, like, there’s stuff getting through. And, you

⏹️ ▶️ Marco know, Apple is not one person. Apple has lots of people, and maybe some of them, you know,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco don’t follow the same standards or make mistakes sometimes, that’s fine. But it’s a worrying

⏹️ ▶️ Marco trend. First we had the U2 album that somehow got out, and that, like, no one was able to stop that and say, you

⏹️ ▶️ Marco know what, this is kind of a bad way to do this. And now we have this message. And

⏹️ ▶️ Marco again, it’s a little thing, but we’re starting to see a trend here. And that, that worries me. It worries me that

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Apple doesn’t seem to respect this boundary and doesn’t seem to think this is a problem.

⏹️ ▶️ John Um, I think my issue with it is not so much everything that you said about push notifications and boundaries

⏹️ ▶️ John and the YouTube album and everything. It’s part of a pattern of behavior,

⏹️ ▶️ John uh, with Apple and the app store, where if this was the only thing that happened, it probably

⏹️ ▶️ John wouldn’t have bothered me that much and it would have just been a silly aside, but this has happening in the context

⏹️ ▶️ John of an Apple with an app store and a long history of

⏹️ ▶️ John really weird, arbitrary, nonsensical enforcement or half enforcement

⏹️ ▶️ John of some rules when they feel like it, but not other rules. Like if Apple didn’t have that pattern of behavior

⏹️ ▶️ John where an Apple be fine in the app store for three years and then get pulled and Apple will get pulled and put in after a bunch

⏹️ ▶️ John of stories appearing websites, you know, or they’ll reject an app for reasons that don’t

⏹️ ▶️ John seem to make sense or be fair. You know, like that whole history

⏹️ ▶️ John and the fact that all of us are kind of close to people who write applications and come in contact with

⏹️ ▶️ John those sort of weird arbitrary rules and all that stuff over the years, that makes this

⏹️ ▶️ John thing more egregious because it’s like, it’s like the rubbing it in our face. Yes. We know the rules

⏹️ ▶️ John don’t really apply to Apple because they run the store. Like we’re aware of that, but it’s like,

⏹️ ▶️ John or at least for me, anyway, my, my sort of bitterness and anger by proxy because I don’t even have an

⏹️ ▶️ John app in the app store. But I know a lot of people who do when I read these stories and like this person did everything right. They made

⏹️ ▶️ John a great app. They tried to do something. It seems if I could never predicted they would have got a pulse, not a borderline

⏹️ ▶️ John thing. Seems like it’s exactly what Apple wanted. And then the app gets pulled for some crazy reason. And Apple doesn’t

⏹️ ▶️ John care. And it’s this person’s livelihood. And they spent all this time on it. And they could not have predicted ahead of time that this would have been

⏹️ ▶️ John the result. And yet now they could be potentially out all that time and

⏹️ ▶️ John money they spent developing in the application now may be wasted for reasons that don’t make

⏹️ ▶️ John sense. Like, you know, we all sit out here and try to divine what is Apple’s motivation? What kind

⏹️ ▶️ John of store are they trying to make? Because they’re sure as hell not going to tell us. Like they list all these rules, but they don’t say

⏹️ ▶️ John why. And their decisions, you look at them and you try to figure out based on this decision, are they trying to

⏹️ ▶️ John not have a store where junky apps are on there? No, there’s plenty of junky apps. Are they trying to not have a store

⏹️ ▶️ John where apps have advertising? No, they’re trying to not have free apps. They don’t want apps, like it doesn’t even make any sense. you know,

⏹️ ▶️ John with the exception of some simple stuff like no porn apps, like the, you know, that kind of thing makes sense.

⏹️ ▶️ John And they’ve been consistent on almost everything else. I can’t figure out what it is that they’re aiming for. What,

⏹️ ▶️ John why enforce this rule and not that one? Why come down here and not there? What kind, what is the shape

⏹️ ▶️ John of the app store they’re trying to make by these rules? So it just seems arbitrary. And in the context of

⏹️ ▶️ John all of that, then doing something like this just seems egregious. And it’s not, it’s not the incident. It’s

⏹️ ▶️ John the, it’s the surrounding, you know, sort of sadness. And the reason this incident is so galling, you put the

⏹️ ▶️ John text of the the rule 5.6 in your your thing in case people think this is some big legalese thing or

⏹️ ▶️ John whatever. Here’s the full text of the of this rule. And the App Store guidelines.

⏹️ ▶️ John Apps cannot use push notifications to send advertising promotions or direct marketing of any kind. That’s

⏹️ ▶️ John it. That’s the whole thing. There’s not like 20 paragraphs of stuff. That’s it. And it is not ambiguous, advertising

⏹️ ▶️ John promotions or direct marketing of any kind. This is clearly either it’s an advertisement, or it’s a promotion,

⏹️ ▶️ John or it’s direct marketing. It’s certainly one of those things like that, that pretty much covers all your bases. And so they do this

⏹️ ▶️ John one little thing like we were already kind of upset that, you know, they don’t catch all these ads that are spamming

⏹️ ▶️ John us with, you know, come back to our store to buy as an app purchase. And then when they do it themselves, it’s for

⏹️ ▶️ John me, it’s not so much about the push notification, which I never even saw. It’s about like,

⏹️ ▶️ John someone at Apple had no problem doing this. And it’s just it’s just, it’s like just rubbing it in your face.

⏹️ ▶️ John And that’s maybe Maybe that’s like transference, like it’s not fair to come down on whatever this one little incident

⏹️ ▶️ John was, but really it is. It’s about everything else that has to do with the App Store and it’s just being focused

⏹️ ▶️ John on this one little. Maybe for Marco it’s also about the push notification, but for me this is just

⏹️ ▶️ John the flashpoint of a much larger sort of sadness about the App Store.

⏹️ ▶️ John Do you think that people who aren’t in our little circle of tech nerd people

⏹️ ▶️ John know or care anything about this specific notification? Like if they don’t read sites that covered it

⏹️ ▶️ John as news, they don’t read Marco’s blog, they don’t follow anyone on Twitter, but the notification did come

⏹️ ▶️ John on their phones, did they even take note that it was, did they even

⏹️ ▶️ Marco notice? I mean, I would imagine most people who have any reasonable

⏹️ ▶️ Marco number of apps installed probably get regular spam notifications. Like, I

⏹️ ▶️ Marco mean, so many apps send them, especially like big retailer and publisher

⏹️ ▶️ Marco apps.

⏹️ ▶️ John Or games, free to play games are the worst.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Yeah, like all of those apps, it is so incredibly common. This is mostly what Unposted was about.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Abuse of this system and directly breaking this rule is so incredibly common that I would

⏹️ ▶️ Marco imagine most people who have a reasonable number of apps installed are accustomed to seeing

⏹️ ▶️ Marco push notification ads all the time. So they probably didn’t think anything of this one. Maybe

⏹️ ▶️ Marco even the people who run the App Store promo team, Like maybe the people at Apple who sent this

⏹️ ▶️ Marco ad aren’t even aware that it’s against the review rules, because these are different teams.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco They probably have, I bet the people who’ve sent this ad don’t even know about this.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco And maybe on their phones, maybe they see enough push notification ads from other apps, they just think it’s a

⏹️ ▶️ Marco normal, acceptable thing to do.

⏹️ ▶️ John Well, that’s what I think. I think it is a normal, acceptable thing to do for other people. Like again, that’s

⏹️ ▶️ John why I’m getting back to the theory that it’s our closeness to people who make and sell apps on the

⏹️ ▶️ John App Store, and the history of Apple dealing with the App Store rules and those people that makes us in any way

⏹️ ▶️ John sensitive to this. Whereas I think other people who don’t know anyone who makes apps, don’t care what it takes to make apps, don’t care what

⏹️ ▶️ John the rules are for the App Store, this totally disappears into the noise. Noise that is mostly not

⏹️ ▶️ John of Apple’s making, maybe just through their negligence of not enforcing this rule on other applications, which as you

⏹️ ▶️ John pointed out somewhere, maybe in the blog, it’s really hard to enforce this. And

⏹️ ▶️ John Apple historically has not been good at sort of crowdsourcing this kind of enforcement, because basically, when you’re reviewing

⏹️ ▶️ John the app, if you review the app, and you never get an ad push notification, you can’t

⏹️ ▶️ John determine whether the ad will never send a push notification, the ad is the app is the

⏹️ ▶️ John app is approved, it goes into the store, then here come the push notifications to people like it’s, it’s really

⏹️ ▶️ John easy to do that. So there needs to be some mechanism whereby people can report notifications. But

⏹️ ▶️ John I think is this you also said like, you can’t, how do you you don’t put that in the UI to say report this notification as

⏹️ ▶️ John spam or something is that’s kind of mucks it up and like, it’s kind of the maps thing all over again, where people were trying to send

⏹️ ▶️ John corrections when Apple had things in the wrong spot. And Apple was not good at integrating those corrections, at least initially

⏹️ ▶️ John into improving the map data. This is not Apple’s forte. So if they are going to

⏹️ ▶️ John have a sort of very clear, unambiguous rule against push notification ads, they also need some

⏹️ ▶️ John mechanism for enforcement independent of what of them sending it themselves, which I, and I totally buy what Marco

⏹️ ▶️ John said is that the people who send it either didn’t know that this was a rule or didn’t care. And

⏹️ ▶️ John both, I think, are equally likely. But again, I think the only reason that it’s talked about in our circles

⏹️ ▶️ John is because of our former contact with the App Store. And it has poisoned us on this entire issue. Everyone else doesn’t

⏹️ ▶️ John care at all because their entire life is dismissing stupid notifications about come back to the game now because your

⏹️ ▶️ John seven sprouts have blossomed and you need to pluck them and you can get this new 50 gems or 20% off, whatever.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco We shouldn’t just accept that, oh, well, this rule violated all the time so we might as well not

⏹️ ▶️ Marco even try to enforce it like that’s not good enough to me that’s that I’ve heard a few people say that

⏹️ ▶️ Marco like oh well this is too common who cares it’s just one notification and the fact is it isn’t just one notification

⏹️ ▶️ Marco and the entire experience of your phone of using your phone changes

⏹️ ▶️ Marco in a pretty important and and non-subtle way if you routinely get

⏹️ ▶️ Marco ad notifications like that’s that is not a small thing just wait until they start showing

⏹️ ▶️ Marco up on your watch. Right, like that that is not a small thing. Notifications should

⏹️ ▶️ Marco matter, you know, or you should at least be allowed to treat them as if they matter. Whether you do

⏹️ ▶️ Marco or not is another story, but like it is an interruption to you.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco It is literally pushed, you don’t ask for it, it is literally pushed to your device at any time.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco It alerts you, it is meant to interrupt you to show you something that you care about seeing.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco An ad is never going to be one of those things. And it’s like the idea that

⏹️ ▶️ Marco you that oh well Apple can’t really enforce us very easily and lots of people break the rule

⏹️ ▶️ Marco so we don’t need to even try to enforce the rule. No that’s that is not good enough

⏹️ ▶️ Marco and that is not like Apple shouldn’t think that’s good enough and what worries me

⏹️ ▶️ Marco is whenever there’s any sign that maybe they do think it’s good enough and I think that’s why this

⏹️ ▶️ Marco that’s why this this irritated me so much.

⏹️ ▶️ John And see the thing is even though Apple is bad at this, at sort of crowdsourcing, a type of thing that can’t be done

⏹️ ▶️ John in app review really because it’s so easy to circumvent, it has to be sort of done in the field and they have to collect that

⏹️ ▶️ Marco information. Right and and most people don’t realize app review only spends a few minutes

⏹️ ▶️ Marco with each app. Yeah

⏹️ ▶️ John so the other alternative is to collect all the information and that Apple is not

⏹️ ▶️ John good at but the other part of it they’re in such a powerful position to,

⏹️ ▶️ John if they can get any kind of collection, they’re in such a powerful position to enforce it because all they have to do is kind of

⏹️ ▶️ John have a sort of, you know, I don’t know, three strikes you’re out or some sort of demerit based system where,

⏹️ ▶️ John you know, the first time, all right, so what, maybe you didn’t know about this rule. Maybe you didn’t see this in the guideline, by the way, app developer,

⏹️ ▶️ John we noticed that a lot of people reported your app sending push notifications, uh, maybe confirm with

⏹️ ▶️ John the app developer. Is this the case or these people, I don’t know how you determine authenticity because it’s so easy to fake this, like, or whatever, but

⏹️ ▶️ John in consultation with the thing that, hey, you know, not an automated kind of YouTube is taking down your movie because

⏹️ ▶️ John someone was playing copyrighted music in the background. Right. But in a in a human to human way, which I think they can afford

⏹️ ▶️ John to do with developer relations. Hey, we got a lot of complaints about your app sending an ad somehow, somehow

⏹️ ▶️ John collect those things and said to the person, you know, you’re not supposed to do that, says this guideline. OK, my bad.

⏹️ ▶️ John That’s one struck. And the second time they do it is a like, you know, hey, we told you about this before and it seems like you’re still doing it.

⏹️ ▶️ John You really need to stop doing that, because if we get more reports of you doing again, we’re going to pull you out from the store. and then whether it’s three

⏹️ ▶️ John strikes because it’s a baseball analogy or something entirely different like they are totally in a position to talk

⏹️ ▶️ John to the people about something because it’s not it’s a willful violation. It’s not like, oh, I accidentally use something that calls

⏹️ ▶️ John a private API like those things happen all the time. People aren’t doing that intentionally. There’s no accidental push notifications

⏹️ ▶️ John for ads happening. Right? Maybe once you don’t know about it, maybe twice, oh, you didn’t quite

⏹️ ▶️ John get it worked out. But like, three or four or five times, or maybe it resets after a year or whatever. They are in such

⏹️ ▶️ John a powerful position to tell anybody in the app store, you need to stop this. And they don’t need to be perfect. They don’t need to catch

⏹️ ▶️ John every single one. But it has to be there has to be repercussions right now. People are terrified to

⏹️ ▶️ John make it and we’ll talk about this maybe the next topic terrified to make notification center widgets and stuff in iOS

⏹️ ▶️ John because they’re afraid they’re going to get pulled but nobody’s afraid to send push notifications because there’s no repercussions and Apple

⏹️ ▶️ John has all the power they can at their leisure whenever they want according to whatever schedule they want.

⏹️ ▶️ John Put the fear of Apple into every single developer and say, Yeah, we may just pull your app if you keep doing that.

⏹️ ▶️ John But they don’t, there’s no consequences. They don’t collect this data. There’s no three strikes policy. It’s just,

⏹️ ▶️ John you know, it’s completely falling through the cracks.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Well, that’s the thing. And you hit the nail on the head and that they’re enforcing the wrong stuff. They’re

⏹️ ▶️ Casey they’re tearing apart all of these today widgets, which maybe we should take a pause and then talk about that. Yep.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Rather than rather than going after all these ridiculous push notifications. And, you know,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey a lot of people have called for And I think they’re right. You know, like you, I think one of you just said this, but

⏹️ ▶️ Casey having some way of reporting them. And I think it was Paul Haddad had said, you know, if you

⏹️ ▶️ Casey do what is it, a right to left swipe, did I get that correct? Anyway, it doesn’t matter if you do the swipe, the one

⏹️ ▶️ Casey direction to to take action on the particular push notification you just

⏹️ ▶️ Casey got, well, let’s use swipe in the other direction to like report for spam or something along those lines.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey And I don’t think that’s a bad idea. And I don’t think most regular users have any idea

⏹️ ▶️ Casey that you can get pretty granular with your push notification settings more

⏹️ ▶️ Casey so than almost anything else I can think of in iOS. And so I think a lot of people just live

⏹️ ▶️ Casey with all the spam. And that begs the question, you know, if there’s this much spam coming onto their phones, at what

⏹️ ▶️ Casey point do people start feeling like that degrades the experience? Well, I love my iPhone, except that it’s constantly

⏹️ ▶️ Casey buzzing with weird messages that I really don’t care about. And I wish I could make them go away. You know, I don’t

⏹️ ▶️ Casey know. Marco, you want to tell us about something that’s cool?

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⏹️ ▶️ Marco about them before. I like Harry’s razor I think I said before I would say it is comparable

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⏹️ ▶️ John You know what I like best about the Harry’s handle, the shaving handle thing? It’s not shaped

⏹️ ▶️ John like some part of a transformer. Like,

⏹️ ▶️ John, Marco it’s

⏹️ ▶️ John not like I’m holding a tiny skinny robot in my hand. I don’t know when that started, maybe some, I think it started even

⏹️ ▶️ John when I was a teenager. Razor handles had to look like transformers. It doesn’t make any sense. make it comfortable.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Am I supposed to say H so the British people understand what I’m saying even when I spell it out?

⏹️ ▶️ Casey The way they complain about hover, you probably should.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco H-A-R-R-Y-S dot com. Harries.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Alright, so do you want to talk about Today Widgets because as if this episode wasn’t grumpy enough, let’s get

⏹️ ▶️ Casey even grumpier. So one of the friends of the show, Greg Pierce, writes an iOS app called Drafts and

⏹️ ▶️ Casey he had a pretty cool Today Widget from what I gather where you there are several

⏹️ ▶️ Casey buttons that will let you do several different things including start a new draft in

⏹️ ▶️ Casey the app and apparently he was told by apple was it today or yesterday

⏹️ ▶️ Casey recently that if he wants to continue to have his app in the app store he needs to

⏹️ ▶️ Casey take away those buttons from his today widget which was effectively the entire today widget

⏹️ ▶️ Casey so here it is he’s getting told you cannot have anything really interactive in the today

⏹️ ▶️ Casey widget that’s not fair anything that Involves like creation if I forget how he phrased it on the tweet

⏹️ ▶️ Casey in front of me But it’s something along the lines of it’s it’s for viewing data only

⏹️ ▶️ Marco right well So and I think we need to be very clear on this because a lot of the tweets and stuff flying around have not been

⏹️ ▶️ Marco And Greg clarified this too, but it’s important that if we’re talking about this we’re talking about the right thing

⏹️ ▶️ Marco so it appears and Unfortunately this seems to be constantly shifting But it appears

⏹️ ▶️ Marco that the reason why Apple is not letting them have those buttons in the app is not because they are

⏹️ ▶️ Marco buttons, necessarily. It is because they launched the app from the

⏹️ ▶️ Marco widget to complete a task or to do a task in the app. And that is what Apple

⏹️ ▶️ Marco is saying you can’t do. Whether you agree with that or not, we can talk about it. But

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Apple is not saying you can’t have buttons. They’re saying you can’t launch the app

⏹️ ▶️ Marco from the extension to complete a

⏹️ ▶️ John task. the task. Was that something that was known beforehand or did they just decide that now or seemingly make it up?

⏹️ ▶️ Casey They seemingly made it up.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Yeah, I’ve heard and yes, and you know, Monty underscore underscore in the chat room is saying

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Dash Evernote does that exactly, Marco. I know that. And there are other apps that do that. This is,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco as John was saying earlier, part of the problem with app review that a lot of times the rules are not enforced consistently.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco And a lot of times like Evernote might have been approved and they made like a little note to their boss

⏹️ ▶️ Marco saying, hey, we might want to consider the policy and whether they can do this or not.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco And then, you know, eventually they make that decision and then drafts get hit by it. And then maybe Evernote will get hit by

⏹️ ▶️ Marco it, you know, in the future, next time they try to update, or maybe Apple will send them a pleasant phone call.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Who knows? But the point is, these rules are evolving. And it’s really a bad

⏹️ ▶️ Marco scene for all parties involved. I think Apple is obviously, you know,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Apple is never going to say, These are the rules. They are set in stone and they’re complete. They even say

⏹️ ▶️ Marco in the rules document, I think it says in the intro that it’s like a living document and it will be changed over time. And

⏹️ ▶️ Marco and they are going to change their mind on rules. They’re going to they’re going to figure out new rules.

⏹️ ▶️ John I’ll see the fact that they change over time, like we’d expect them to change over time to be to change in response

⏹️ ▶️ John to changing markets, to be refined and made more specific and clarify things that are unclear.

⏹️ ▶️ John That’s why it’s so important to do the thing that Apple seems not to do that well, which is explain

⏹️ ▶️ John the motivations, because if you say here’s a set of rules, and what we’re trying to do with these rules is

⏹️ ▶️ John and then explain their motivations because the motivations let you say, well, the rule doesn’t say anything about

⏹️ ▶️ John this specifically, but it doesn’t violate the spirit of the law. We have the letter of the law, we don’t

⏹️ ▶️ John necessarily have the spirit. Is there a good chance this this is like borderline and might get rejected

⏹️ ▶️ John or, you know, usually you can tell if you’re trying to skirt a rule like you know you’re doing that, but sometimes you just

⏹️ ▶️ John like the example I just put in the show notes is James Thompson’s peacock, where he made

⏹️ ▶️ John a calendar application calculator for iOS and the Mac,

⏹️ ▶️ John and he made a little calculator in the Today widget, you know, just a number pad

⏹️ ▶️ John with plus minus multi, you know, it’s a calculator, right? And I bet the whole time he was making that

⏹️ ▶️ John he’s like, boy, this is a perfect example of a Today widget, because it just so happens that an extremely

⏹️ ▶️ John simplified version of the functionality of my application fits within a Today widget, because you know, the big

⏹️ ▶️ John calculator app it’s very complicated it’s got a customizable keyboard and you know a tape and scientific notation

⏹️ ▶️ John and programmable functions like that but I can give you a simple add a bunch of numbers together thing here and

⏹️ ▶️ John he got rejected and I haven’t talked to him about this so I don’t know whether this is the case

⏹️ ▶️ John but from from seeing his tweets about it it seems like he spent the entire time since WWDC

⏹️ ▶️ John since iOS 8 was announced until now working on this widget never

⏹️ ▶️ John in a million years thinking this widget is gonna get rejected because you’re not allowed to have calculators

⏹️ ▶️ John as in a today widget, right? It just didn’t even occur to him because looking at the rules, there’s nothing from

⏹️ ▶️ John what he could define from the spirit of the rules that said this type of thing would cause it to be rejected.

⏹️ ▶️ John Now, I’m pretty sure this was fairly quickly reversed. I think it’s back in the store now or whatever. That’s correct, but

⏹️ ▶️ Marco it was reversed after we all loudly publicized it.

⏹️ ▶️ John Yeah, after we all, you know, because he’s a well-known developer, a long time Apple developer, there was lots of

⏹️ ▶️ John stories. Is that why it got reversed? maybe, maybe not, maybe it was just a mistake or whatever. But that

⏹️ ▶️ John type of experience where you think you’re doing exactly what Apple wants, like you’re coming

⏹️ ▶️ John home from WWC and you’re like, boy, I’m totally on board with this thing, I’m gonna make a great, I’m

⏹️ ▶️ John going to take advantage of these new APIs you made, like that’s what WSC is trying to get you to do. Here’s this new software,

⏹️ ▶️ John here are these new APIs, now go out there and make something great with it. And you do it and it’s just like, nope, reject it. And you’re like, what do

⏹️ ▶️ John you mean reject it? And you know you have no recourse, you know, there’s the appeals process, but like, it’s so difficult to

⏹️ ▶️ John talk to someone And you just don’t understand you say I didn’t think I was skirting a rule I didn’t think I was even close

⏹️ ▶️ John to any lines nothing in these things would indicate to me that I would Ever get rejected and you just get rejected

⏹️ ▶️ John and would it have been reversed if he wasn’t such a well-known person in the Apple community Maybe maybe

⏹️ ▶️ John not you’re never getting an explanation of why it happened or at least in a public one And there’s just

⏹️ ▶️ John nothing in there, you know What are you trying to do with these? What are you trying to prevent from happening? You’re launching

⏹️ ▶️ John another application No, you’re putting advertisements in there. No, are you putting a tiny little game inside there? No, it’s just

⏹️ ▶️ John it’s exposing some functionality your application. It’s like it’s exactly what you think you were supposed to do. So that type of

⏹️ ▶️ John stuff, you know, again, frustration by proxy. I don’t have an app in the app store. This doesn’t affect me, but

⏹️ ▶️ John it’s just it makes me it makes me upset that this that this happens. It’s just it’s like

⏹️ ▶️ John mismanagement. It’s like, especially when it’s immediately reversed. It’s just bad blood for no good reason.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Right. And I think, you know, what you just said about like, oh, well, he wasn’t like putting a little game in there or anything like I

⏹️ ▶️ Marco think that should be allowed to like. I think what we’re seeing here is Apple

⏹️ ▶️ Marco is obviously still trying to figure out what the rules around this are. And I think the rules

⏹️ ▶️ Marco should have already been decided for the most part and should be pretty clear to them. And I think they are exerting

⏹️ ▶️ Marco a lot more like nanny state level control over this than is warranted. Because

⏹️ ▶️ Marco you know from their point… and secondarily maybe the reason they don’t want apps to launch

⏹️ ▶️ Marco themselves or other apps from notifications or from the today view maybe

⏹️ ▶️ Marco there’s a security angle on that I don’t know if there is a security angle on that Apple should fix that security

⏹️ ▶️ Marco angle and then allow it because that’s that’s stupid so you know maybe

⏹️ ▶️ Marco maybe there’s a security thing and that’s the reason we haven’t been told that but regardless you know that’s something worth

⏹️ ▶️ Marco fixing and then and then allowing I think what we’re seeing here is Apple saying here’s this

⏹️ ▶️ Marco great new system we’ve made very powerful, but we’re going to be extremely

⏹️ ▶️ Marco cautious so that we don’t allow users to make a bad experience for themselves.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco That is Apple’s typical MO. However, the way they’ve done it here is, first of all,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco the process of adding a Today widget to your Today View is pretty deliberate.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco You don’t just install an app and all of a sudden it’s automatically in your Today View. That doesn’t happen.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco You have to manually go and add it, and that’s It’s a process that I would imagine most users

⏹️ ▶️ Marco don’t know how to do, don’t care to do, and are certainly not going to be able to do accidentally too many times and

⏹️ ▶️ Marco not even knowing how they did it.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey And it’s considerably harder than say accepting push notifications for an app.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Right, yeah. Like the app can’t just present a button that does this. Like you have to actually go into your Today

⏹️ ▶️ Marco View and like go down to like the edit area or whatever it is and add it. Like you have to

⏹️ ▶️ Marco deliberately put these things there. Because of that, so you have chosen to

⏹️ ▶️ Marco download this app, you have chosen to add its widget to Today View,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco I don’t think Apple needs to be as protective of what’s there. Because the user has chosen,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco put this here, please, I want, this is so important to me, I want this in my Today

⏹️ ▶️ Marco View. Because the Today View, it doesn’t scale well to having tons of crap there. Like, you’re going to be picking

⏹️ ▶️ Marco a small number of things to put there in all likelihood. So Apple’s concern, if I

⏹️ ▶️ Marco had to guess, it’s about keeping that simple and lightweight. But they don’t have to do that

⏹️ ▶️ Marco because the process of adding those things is already so deliberate and difficult, and it doesn’t handle having

⏹️ ▶️ Marco a lot in there just design-wise already, that I think anything that an app

⏹️ ▶️ Marco is allowed to do in itself, it should be allowed to do there too. I don’t

⏹️ ▶️ Marco think Apple is doing itself or its customers, and certainly not its developers,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco favors by trying to say well you can you can put things here and it’s it’s a UI

⏹️ ▶️ Marco view you can you can render into it whenever you want and you can have buttons and stuff but

⏹️ ▶️ Marco we only want it to be for these quick glance kind of tasks like that’s a really hard line to draw we’re seeing the

⏹️ ▶️ Marco problems with them trying to draw that line and I think it’s it’s just it’s

⏹️ ▶️ Marco it’s a bad idea to even try to draw that line I think if somebody downloads a game let’s say

⏹️ ▶️ Marco it’s a game that puts pong in your notification center. It’s a Pong game and you can install the Pong

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Today widget and you can play Pong in your Today view. That’s, you know, that’s not a great

⏹️ ▶️ Marco idea for a game, but someone’s going to do it and make a billion dollars. I will take my royalty later. But

⏹️ ▶️ Marco if you want to do that as a user, why does Apple have to say, no,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco you can’t do that? That’s not what this is for. That’s you have to go to the app for that. Like you chose

⏹️ ▶️ Marco to get the app. You chose to put it in notification center. You chose to bring it down and play pong with it. Like,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco this is not something that I see ripe for abuse from developers if you let them just

⏹️ ▶️ Marco do whatever they want within their little view there. Do

⏹️ ▶️ Casey you suspect that AppReview is part of Federici’s organization?

⏹️ ▶️ Marco If I had to guess, I would say Schiller’s. Because

⏹️ ▶️ Marco, Casey it’s

⏹️ ▶️ Marco part of developer relations, I think, which is part of Schiller’s.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Right, I agree. Well, could it be something as simple as,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey you know, as far as engineering concerned. It’s it’s the Wild West in a good way, not in a bad way.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey But Schiller’s group is like, uh, that’s no good.

⏹️ ▶️ John But Schiller. Well, all right. So Eddie Q is the App Store guy, right? Yeah. Running the App Store.

⏹️ ▶️ John Right. And so so P Calc, the weird thing with P Calc, as Jason Snell pointed out in the chat room, is that

⏹️ ▶️ John P Calc was accepted. P Calc was promoted with like the big banner and the App Store with the big artwork

⏹️ ▶️ John and everything accepted to the App Store promoted and then rejected. It was

⏹️ ▶️ Marco rejected while it was in the promotion.

⏹️ ▶️ John Right, so people who are responsible for saying, hey, here’s an application that demonstrates like, this is a great iOS

⏹️ ▶️ John app. This shows a developer who’s using our new APIs, blah, blah, blah, whatever. Like they choose what to promote. That’s

⏹️ ▶️ John Schiller’s organization, maybe, but EddyQ runs a store where it’s promoted. I don’t understand how it’s working,

⏹️ ▶️ John but it seems entirely plausible that one hand didn’t know what the other hand was doing. On the one hand,

⏹️ ▶️ John some people are picking out applications they think are worthy to promote in the app store. And on the other hand, someone else

⏹️ ▶️ John is rejecting P-Cal because they think you shouldn’t have a calculator thing in the state. And eventually, those people got together and maybe

⏹️ ▶️ John talked, and then the app was unrejected. But it just, it does not inspire confidence

⏹️ ▶️ John in the organization when stuff like that happens. Because like, guys, talk to each other, figure out what’s going

⏹️ ▶️ John on here. And especially since, again, we’re trying to divine

⏹️ ▶️ John the motivations. We’re like, could we have foreseen this? Is there anything in what Apple has ever

⏹️ ▶️ John said from any public or private communication about today widgets that would

⏹️ ▶️ John indicate to you beforehand that this thing was even close to any boundaries of something that you didn’t want to have. Because

⏹️ ▶️ John it’s not, you know, as much as you’re spirited defense of the pong game, right? Because

⏹️ ▶️ John of the way Today Center widgets work. I think anybody doing that could have a reasonable expectation that you

⏹️ ▶️ John were outside the bounds of what a Today Center widget is supposed to be. Because it’s so far out of the bounds of anything that Apple has shown.

⏹️ ▶️ John But Apple has shown things that are exactly like a calculator type thing, like

⏹️ ▶️ John a small, vaguely interactive graph, or some information that you can swipe to do something,

⏹️ ▶️ John or a couple of buttons you can press. You know, it’s adding numbers for crying out loud. I mean, I know there are technical limitations

⏹️ ▶️ John on Today Center, which is in terms of like, Today Center, whatever the hell these things are called. These

⏹️ ▶️ John fricking games. Limitations on like, when your app is gonna be instantiated and how quickly you’re gonna

⏹️ ▶️ John be torn down. And like, you know, you’re not, you can’t cram in, you can’t take a long time to initialize.

⏹️ ▶️ John You don’t have long time to tear yourself down when you’re getting pulled out. Like there are limitations on putting it, but

⏹️ ▶️ John if you’re working within that context, So, you know, something like a procedurally drawn

⏹️ ▶️ John pong game or a calculator that has numbers, it’s perfectly fine. So it’s not,

⏹️ ▶️ John it just doesn’t make any sense. And so when Apple does stuff like this is the bad blood I was talking about when stuff like that happens,

⏹️ ▶️ John you know, like, it’s not a big deal, but it gave one developer a lot of stress for a day or

⏹️ ▶️ John two, and doesn’t make any sense. And it makes it look like Apple is an organization that doesn’t have

⏹️ ▶️ John its stuff together, you know?

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Yeah. it does have a chilling effect on other development. Like there’s a like,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco I mean, I don’t have any plans for today, which I don’t think it makes a lot of sense for Overcast, but

⏹️ ▶️ Marco if I had plans for it, I would certainly be reconsidering them now because I don’t know, like

⏹️ ▶️ Marco as a developer, like should I invest a few months into doing something that will

⏹️ ▶️ Marco very possibly get my app rejected in the future and have to pull it out? Like that’s, it’s such a big risk.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco There are so many, and for, you know, especially for apps like drafts, like Peacock, where it’s

⏹️ ▶️ Marco a bigger undertaking, it’s a bigger selling feature, I don’t know that I would be

⏹️ ▶️ Marco developing for a notification center widgets right now. Like it’s just not worth the risk. All

⏹️ ▶️ Casey right, why don’t you tell us about something that’s cool that maybe will make us a little happier than this fiasco.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Have you ever built a website, Casey? You know, once or twice. Building a website used to take a long

⏹️ ▶️ Marco time. You would just set it all up yourself manually, spend all day troubleshooting random errors and stuff.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco If you ever had to edit the site, it’d be pretty easy to break your links or even break the whole site, break the layout, put

⏹️ ▶️ Marco in like a space in the wrong place and break your PHP file. Sometimes even just changing the font color

⏹️ ▶️ Marco would be a huge headache. Now we have Squarespace, and you can build beautiful websites with it without a sweat.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco If you’re new to Squarespace, check it out today. If you’ve been hearing about Squarespace for a long time, well now there’s more

⏹️ ▶️ Marco with the brand new Squarespace 7. Squarespace 7 has a whole bunch of really new features,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco including a redesigned user interface, they have integration with Google Apps for your domain. So you can

⏹️ ▶️ Marco have like your Squarespace domain registered, there. You can have your apps there. You can have email, spreadsheets, documents, all that set

⏹️ ▶️ Marco up through Squarespace with the domain that’s hosted by them. They also have a new partnership with Getty Images. So

⏹️ ▶️ Marco you can get 40 million high quality photos for your site. I mean, you probably don’t need all 40 million of them, but I bet there’s

⏹️ ▶️ Marco something in there that you need. You need an image for your site. If you’ve ever tried to buy like a stock photo or

⏹️ ▶️ Marco officially commercially licensed photo from somewhere else, it’s usually very complicated to get the right license. It’s

⏹️ ▶️ Marco very expensive. I’ve done this for the magazine. I know how expensive that can be and how complicated that can be.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco They They worked out a great partnership with Getty so that you can pick any of these 40 million

⏹️ ▶️ Marco high quality photos for a post, for a header image, for a background image, whatever you need

⏹️ ▶️ Marco for just $10 an image. It’s really a fantastic deal and they take care of all of it for you. You browse

⏹️ ▶️ Marco right in the Squarespace interface. It’s really great. Anyway, they also have 15 new design templates

⏹️ ▶️ Marco with Squarespace 7. They have a great new feature called cover pages. This is basically, it’s

⏹️ ▶️ Marco either like an intro page for your full site or it can be your You can have like a nice single

⏹️ ▶️ Marco one-page site. You can put them up temporarily or permanently. You can do like a splash page

⏹️ ▶️ Marco to have promoting a sale you’re having, or promoting a special, or promoting a new post you did, or a new video you

⏹️ ▶️ Marco made. Or you can just have a nice trendy intro page to your full site. They make it beautiful,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco they make it easy, and I’ve seen this myself. It is really quite impressive.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco This kind of stuff used to be really hard, and now it’s really easy with Squarespace. All this

⏹️ ▶️ Marco very simple, very powerful, beautiful designs. You can customize them as much as you want. You can be a

⏹️ ▶️ Marco nerd like us and actually inject HTML, CSS, and JavaScript right into the template. Or

⏹️ ▶️ Marco you can use their drag and drop wizards and it’s all very easy. It is great. I love

⏹️ ▶️ Marco using Squarespace and there’s so much there that like I, you know, our site for the show is

⏹️ ▶️ Marco built on Squarespace. I built a Squarespace site for my kids’ preschool. I mean, it’s so,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco just so easy to use. so many use cases for that you don’t have, you know, even if you know how to build websites,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco you don’t have to build every website you make. And this is, I would recommend using Squarespace for so

⏹️ ▶️ Marco many things that previously you’d try to do yourself or you try to install some hosted CMS somewhere. And

⏹️ ▶️ Marco anyway, you can start a free trial today with no credit card required. Start building your website. When you do decide

⏹️ ▶️ Marco to sign up, plans start just $8 a month. If you prepay for a whole year up front, you even get a free domain

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⏹️ ▶️ Marco to get 10% off your first purchase and to show your support for our show. We thank Squarespace once again for

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⏹️ ▶️ Casey Do you want to go totally meta and talk about podcasting because people love that.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco So our friend Alan Pike of Steam Clock Software wrote a great post that we’ll link to in the show

⏹️ ▶️ Marco notes. They they basically considered and started researching the possibility of making

⏹️ ▶️ Marco a podcast double-ender recording app. And in the post,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco they go through the rationale for why they wanted it, why they think there was a market. And then as they did

⏹️ ▶️ Marco more research into the market and ran some numbers, they realized they actually shouldn’t make it

⏹️ ▶️ Marco because there just aren’t enough podcasters to really support it financially.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco The market is just not big enough for it. So our friend Rob Ryan at MartianCraft wrote kind of

⏹️ ▶️ Marco a follow-up, maybe a counterpoint argument to it that was really good, basically saying,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco you’re targeting professionals, you know, somebody who uses an app to make their, to get to

⏹️ ▶️ Marco do their work, basically, to make their job possible or easier or better, and when you’re targeting

⏹️ ▶️ Marco professionals, it’s easier to charge more money. And so maybe, so he was saying, maybe there’s a way to charge

⏹️ ▶️ Marco more money to the to the small number of podcasters who might use such a thing and and fund it that

⏹️ ▶️ Marco way. What did you think of these when you read them?

⏹️ ▶️ Casey I thought they were both really, really good posts. What I loved about Alan’s was

⏹️ ▶️ Casey that here was someone who actually put a little bit of thought into what he was doing, which

⏹️ ▶️ Casey if you know, Alan is of no surprise whatsoever. But he actually crunched numbers

⏹️ ▶️ Casey like you were saying, Marco, and really thought about, okay, is this a viable business, which is a much

⏹️ ▶️ Casey better way of going about things than just throwing something against the wall and seeing if it sticks.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey And I thought it was a really great post and then Rob Rines

⏹️ ▶️ Casey was equally great because he was saying, well, if you spin it one or two

⏹️ ▶️ Casey other ways that you may or may not have considered Alan, there may be something there.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey And certainly both of them have built successful businesses

⏹️ ▶️ Casey by making intelligent business decisions. And I think Martian craft is quite a bit bigger than steam

⏹️ ▶️ Casey clock. So you could make make an argument that Rob is coming from definitely a place of,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey of knowledge and experience. Not that Alan isn’t, but yeah, I think both of them make excellent points

⏹️ ▶️ Casey and whether or not you care about how the three of us make our podcast,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey it’s still an interesting thought process with regard to entering a new market.

⏹️ ▶️ John When I read the, uh, the original post about, Hey, we’re thinking about making this podcasting app, which is something I

⏹️ ▶️ John think we’ve talked about on the show before about the weird hodgepodge of things we use to do the podcast

⏹️ ▶️ John and how one app that put it all together would be nicer. But we always said the same thing as Alan did in this thing. Well,

⏹️ ▶️ John one app that puts all the other would be nicer, but the total market for people who need this app is small.

⏹️ ▶️ John And you know, probably those those people, even if you sold every single one of them, it’s probably still not a viable business,

⏹️ ▶️ John which is what these two posts are about. But the real the real thing that I think about when reading the

⏹️ ▶️ John original post about this app is just how incredibly hard it would be to do this app well, because

⏹️ ▶️ John it encompasses so many other applications that are in themselves complicated, hard to do applications.

⏹️ ▶️ John And connecting things together is I think even harder than making a good audio editor,

⏹️ ▶️ John a good audio recorder, you know, a good, you know, Skype type application,

⏹️ ▶️ John whatever you want to call those voice communicate, like, trying to either integrate

⏹️ ▶️ John multiple apps or build those things in and have them all work together. It’s just incredibly hard to do

⏹️ ▶️ John a good job. And so I think that just the development job on this would,

⏹️ ▶️ John I’m not gonna say it’s harder than Photoshop, because Photoshop is a very full featured application, but it’s harder than Photoshop 1.0.

⏹️ ▶️ John I can tell you that, right?

⏹️ ▶️ John, Marco To do

⏹️ ▶️ John all the all the things that all the things that we do with these separate applications, as well as we’re

⏹️ ▶️ John able to do them with these separate separate applications in the first version, because that’s what would need you’d be like,

⏹️ ▶️ John especially for a tech nerd type people’s like, well, we get the job done now, but it would be nice if we didn’t have these hassles.

⏹️ ▶️ John But how much, you know, how much money am I willing to give up for that? And that’s what the other follow up post

⏹️ ▶️ John is about. The also how much quality am I willing to give up for integration?

⏹️ ▶️ John You’re like, well, if I got this application and the pricing isn’t a problem, but I get better results when I

⏹️ ▶️ John use these seven different applications that I’m already using. So is the downgrade in control

⏹️ ▶️ John or quality or whatever for the 1.0 version of this product? You know, it’s a tough sell even for the people

⏹️ ▶️ John who, you know, money is no object, we don’t care about the pricing, you can make it really expensive. What

⏹️ ▶️ John are you giving me that is an improvement over what I have? And especially just out the gate,

⏹️ ▶️ John I just don’t see how it’s going to be as good as whatever system everyone’s using. If you’re gonna sell to new people,

⏹️ ▶️ John hey, you don’t know how to use these seven applications to make a podcast, it’s really annoying.

⏹️ ▶️ John If you don’t want to have to deal with that stuff or learn all that sort of witchcraft get this one application

⏹️ ▶️ John Then I think you’d have a better shot at selling them because they don’t know what it’s like to use logic and Marcos weird audio

⏹️ ▶️ John aligner and Skype and all these other things that we use to sort of make this all work together

⏹️ ▶️ John They don’t know how to do all that so you’re giving them a shortcut to getting up and running But that market

⏹️ ▶️ John of people who want to do podcasting but don’t want to learn all the other applications. Like how many

⏹️ ▶️ John new podcasts are coming on the scene at this point? And how many of those people have Macs? And you know,

⏹️ ▶️ John the whole idea of like, well, you be able to send someone a link and they’ll download an application and it’ll hook them into this

⏹️ ▶️ John app or whatever. Like, man, I would not want to try to make the first version of that application

⏹️ ▶️ John at any price even if there was a huge market. So this application terrifies me from a development

⏹️ ▶️ John perspective, because I think it would be really, really hard to do. And I

⏹️ ▶️ John still think no matter how you price it, the market is really small. Now, the

⏹️ ▶️ John one good thing it has going for it is there it for not for integrated applications,

⏹️ ▶️ John but for sort of expert level applications. There is a market

⏹️ ▶️ John for a really, really difficult to use tool that is really capable,

⏹️ ▶️ John but is also like full of bugs in the vendor is annoying. Like there’s a long history of applications that you can think

⏹️ ▶️ John of some whatever application you use like logic, avid logic, you know, even Photoshop

⏹️ ▶️ John to some degree, like those things exist. So that must be a that maybe that’s less

⏹️ ▶️ John possible today than it was. But I still think those those type of applications exist.

⏹️ ▶️ John But I don’t know if people want to be in that software, even something like not Final Cut.

⏹️ ▶️ John Final Draft is actually kind of a weird example of that where you know, listen to those those john august podcasts

⏹️ ▶️ John where like there’s one application that everybody has to use, they got entrenched, and the vendor is not the best

⏹️ ▶️ John vendor and people kind of have this love hate relationship with it. But it’s like it’s the thing that everybody uses.

⏹️ ▶️ John Someone else suggested Pro Tools like that that is the thing that happens. That’s like kind of like a dysfunctional

⏹️ ▶️ John customer and software vendor relationship, I feel like so I wouldn’t I wouldn’t want to go

⏹️ ▶️ John into that even though it appears to be a viable business. Quark Express is another example that kind of eventually went sour, right?

⏹️ ▶️ John So I think that that is what I see as a way to make a a business out of

⏹️ ▶️ John this, but I wouldn’t want to go. I wouldn’t want to be in that business. And the other side of that I was talking about,

⏹️ ▶️ John like, hey, make it a easy to use integrated my first podcasting app that will not give you as good a results

⏹️ ▶️ John as using these dedicated expensive applications in this mishmash with Marco special custom code, like it won’t give you

⏹️ ▶️ John those kind of results, it will be buggy and weird, and it will be really hard to pull off. That

⏹️ ▶️ John I think is less viable, because I just think there are fewer people trying to do podcasting that way.

⏹️ ▶️ John If anything, I think the only way you can get an entry level like that is to target iOS and not the Mac and somehow

⏹️ ▶️ John get an audio interface in there with like the USB connector or something like that. But man,

⏹️ ▶️ John my head hurts just thinking about this.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Yeah, I mean, that’s like the there’s a number of big problems with trying to make an app for podcasting.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco And you know, you nailed most of them. It’s like, like the, first of all, like the having to work with everybody’s

⏹️ ▶️ Marco setups is not trivial. Because This is a world where

⏹️ ▶️ Marco there’s a huge variety, a huge range of diversity of

⏹️ ▶️ Marco hardware and hardware types, hardware setups,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco logical setups of like, do you have four people together in a studio recording onto a multi-track

⏹️ ▶️ Marco mixer? Do you have four people on Skype who are all trying to talk at the same time? Do you have,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco are you recording church sermons and putting that out as a feed? Are you recording off of a phone?

⏹️ ▶️ Marco You have one person on a phone in Australia, while three people are in the UK trying to talk without latency.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco There’s so many variations there. There’s also the huge variations in budget.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco A lot of podcasts are produced in radio studios, and a lot of them are produced

⏹️ ▶️ Marco on people’s laptops, and there’s everything in between. And all of that

⏹️ ▶️ Marco you have applied to what really is a very small number of producers. Overcast’s entire

⏹️ ▶️ Marco directory, every feed I know exists, I think I have a little over 200,000 of them.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco From what I’ve heard, I’ve heard rumors about the size of iTunes’s directory being somewhere around the 500,000 number.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco And if I look at the number of, so Overcast right now has about 180,000 users.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Of those, only about, I think something like 40,000 podcasts actually have

⏹️ ▶️ Marco any subscribers. So obviously not everybody uses Overcast,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco but I think that can give you some idea of roughly how many distinct podcasts

⏹️ ▶️ Marco are even listened to by more than a couple of people. And so I would put the number

⏹️ ▶️ Marco around 50,000 maybe. And so you think about, all

⏹️ ▶️ Marco right, so how many producers is that? Not every one of those 50,000 that has listeners

⏹️ ▶️ Marco is produced by a unique producer. There’s a lot of people who produce many shows,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco radio stations, podcast networks. So how many people actually

⏹️ ▶️ Marco edit podcasts that are listened to by more than a couple of people? That number starts getting

⏹️ ▶️ Marco smaller and smaller. So as you go through these steps, you start saying, all right, well, how many

⏹️ ▶️ Marco people could even use an app I make? And I would say generously.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco The number of unique podcast producers is probably less than 10,000.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco possibly a lot less than 10,000. How many of them would be even willing

⏹️ ▶️ Marco to use my app? Because a lot of these people have their own workflows. And this is like when you get into the pro

⏹️ ▶️ Marco content production or the pro software markets, you got to fight with people’s existing workflows.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco So you have to say, all right, well, I probably wouldn’t use an app like this because I edit this

⏹️ ▶️ Marco show and I use Logic. And Logic is not perfect,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco but it works. And it’s only 200 bucks I think or 300 I think it’s 200.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco So it’s only 200 bucks, it works, and I know there’s a

⏹️ ▶️ Marco fairly decent chance I’m not the only person using it. I know the number of

⏹️ ▶️ Marco using it for podcasting is small, but like the number of people using this is gonna be big enough that if there’s like a major bug

⏹️ ▶️ Marco it’ll probably get caught and fixed before it hits me. And I know that I

⏹️ ▶️ Marco can buy this knowing that it’s going to probably work on the next version of Mac OS X, so I won’t be stuck

⏹️ ▶️ Marco after an upgrade. It’s probably maybe going to be maintained in the future.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco All these fears that no one ever got fired for buying IBM, that kind of thing. You generally

⏹️ ▶️ Marco want to be conservative in your choice of pro tools. And so a small

⏹️ ▶️ Marco app would have to fight against all of those factors for the chance to possibly win

⏹️ ▶️ Marco a small percentage of a small number of people’s business. The

⏹️ ▶️ John worst thing for the other app competing in this area is that the

⏹️ ▶️ John other applications that people are using just have to add a few features to their existing mature

⏹️ ▶️ John applications. Like so audio editing apps, right? There’s plenty of established audio editing applications. they

⏹️ ▶️ John have to do is add one or two or three features focused on podcasting, say if they built in your audio

⏹️ ▶️ John alignment thing for multi track stuff. It’s like, Oh, well, like if each one of the each

⏹️ ▶️ John one of the constituent apps that you use for each function, like if Skype adds some features focused on podcasting

⏹️ ▶️ John of logic, and some features focused on podcasting, you know, like, you know, Squarespace already has features focused on podcasting,

⏹️ ▶️ John like the integration of like all the different pieces that we put everything together, if they just kind of say, Oh, I guess podcasting

⏹️ ▶️ John is a thing now and I make an audio editor, so I should have a template for podcasts, I have some tools that are

⏹️ ▶️ John useful for people who do large multi track podcasts and like, and that’s it. And then it’s like, well, now why am I using your app, right?

⏹️ ▶️ John And it was so easy for them to do because they’re already a great audio editor. They’re already a widely

⏹️ ▶️ John used application for talking to people over the internet. It’s just so hard to compete.

⏹️ ▶️ John And all this said, like if someone did an amazing job on an application like this, even if it didn’t do everything in

⏹️ ▶️ John house, even if it said, you know, edit audio and external editor and threw you into logic or something like Like

⏹️ ▶️ John if it didn’t do the whole thing, but it just kind of integrated stuff together. Even that I think

⏹️ ▶️ John we would all be willing to try because we would like it to be easier. So I don’t

⏹️ ▶️ John think it’s not like the idea of the application is bad. It’s just that the environment for pulling it off,

⏹️ ▶️ John the degree of difficulty is really high. And I mean, maybe someone just did it for free

⏹️ ▶️ John out of the goodness of their heart and was an amazing developer. It would be a benefit to the world. But as a

⏹️ ▶️ John business, it’s tough.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Right. And I’m worth clarifying two points. One, there is an app for editing called

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Hindenburg, which H underscore underscore B mentioned in the chat. I actually tried this.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Honestly, I kind of find the name distasteful, because that’s kind of a tragedy that killed a bunch of people. But anyway,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco so it’s a dedicated radio journalism, podcast journalism kind of app.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco It’s made for radio journalists to produce that style of podcast.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco It is $375 to use commercially. And so logic is half the price.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco So they’re fighting that battle already. Like they have to, like, and I’m not saying they should charge less because I don’t think they

⏹️ ▶️ Marco could charge less and make enough money to survive because the number of potential customers are so small here.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco But so that’s another thing to consider. Like there are alternative editing apps and they,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco I don’t know anybody who uses Hindenburg and I mean, granted, I don’t know a lot of radio journalists but you know, I’m sure they have

⏹️ ▶️ Marco users but that’s a tough sell to a lot of people. Second thing to clarify is that,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Alan Pike’s potential product was not an editing product. It was just something to do the double-ending

⏹️ ▶️ Marco recording. And the number of people who do that style of podcast production is even smaller than the

⏹️ ▶️ Marco number of producers. Cause that’s a fairly rare way to produce a podcast where everybody records their

⏹️ ▶️ Marco end and then an editor combines them all. And that’s what we do here. That’s what a few other shows

⏹️ ▶️ Marco do that we know. But most shows that have remote guests just record Skype and it’s fine.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco And it’s not the best audio quality, but then you avoid sync issues. You avoid trying

⏹️ ▶️ Marco to get the other person to select the right input for the program that’s recording the thing, or having them

⏹️ ▶️ Marco have to buy Piezo, or call recorder, or something like that. It

⏹️ ▶️ Marco avoids a lot of issues to just record a Skype feed, so that’s what most people do.

⏹️ ▶️ John That was one of the big pitches of this, is the difficulty of getting guests. So if you’re going to have a

⏹️ ▶️ John podcast where you have guests and you don’t want to limit yourself to guests who know how to do podcasting,

⏹️ ▶️ John you have to have some way to say, hey, person who probably owns a computer but knows nothing about podcasts,

⏹️ ▶️ John do these simple steps and you will be able to talk to us over the internet in a way that you will be participating in

⏹️ ▶️ John a live podcast or in a pre-recorded podcast. And it’s kind of like the same problem that like a Fog Creek copilot was

⏹️ ▶️ John trying to solve or whatever where you have, you need to screen share with your relatives to help them with their computer

⏹️ ▶️ John problems. it’s difficult over the phone to, you know, get them to initiate

⏹️ ▶️ John screen sharing. So here, you just send them an email, it has a link, they click the link, they click three buttons, and you’re connected to them,

⏹️ ▶️ John right? That’s a very difficult problem. And I think that

⏹️ ▶️ John problem is easier than the problem of, hey, do these simple steps, person who’s not too familiar with

⏹️ ▶️ John computers, and you’re now talking live with me, and possibly recording your end locally on your disc that is surely

⏹️ ▶️ John fast enough to keep up with this, and you won’t have, like, it’s just, and your audio input will be through the right stuff, And it’s

⏹️ ▶️ John just doing that part of it, just the guest application, even just that is really hard to do because co-pilot,

⏹️ ▶️ John I don’t even know if that’s still a thing. I’ve tried to use it a few times. The Mac version did not go well

⏹️ ▶️ John for me. I kind of, I kind of sort of got it to limp through what it was. I’ve paid for it like

⏹️ ▶️ John many times. Like they had a business model where you pay some amount and you can use it for like an hour or something

⏹️ ▶️ John in desperation, I’ve tried it. It’s a good idea, but it was not smooth sailing at all. And so

⏹️ ▶️ John even that’s not a solved problem. many people have tried including Apple with with the iChat

⏹️ ▶️ John stuff.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco And podcasting too, it has a certain degree of built-in complexity like you’re dealing with microphones

⏹️ ▶️ Marco and people’s random computers, random environments, and random internet connections.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco And like it there’s a reason why like you know if you have a regular show with regular guests

⏹️ ▶️ Marco like the three of us it’s worth it’s worth it for the three of us to have like you know each end recorded

⏹️ ▶️ Marco separately because was we’re always the same people. All three of us were willing and able to buy

⏹️ ▶️ Marco a nice microphone and have a quiet room where we record and

⏹️ ▶️ Marco use software that records it, and we’re technically able to do that and to do it reliably. And

⏹️ ▶️ Marco all of our internet connections we know are solid enough, and we even live geographically close enough that it’s not usually a problem.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco So none of these things were problems for us. So that’s why we choose to do the show that way. But again,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco like if you’re having a new guest every week, that’s a tough thing to coordinate. And it’s

⏹️ ▶️ Marco hard enough getting them a microphone to even use Skype properly. And to

⏹️ ▶️ Marco add in the complexity of, are you recording the right thing? And you’re going to send me your file? It’s

⏹️ ▶️ Marco just not worth it. So yeah, I think the market for that is extremely small. And it’s not- And the way the

⏹️ ▶️ John big shows do this, by the way, the way the big shows do the, how do you get a guest up and running and everything,

⏹️ ▶️ John is they throw humans at it. So someone will contact you the day or week before. They

⏹️ ▶️ John will mail you a microphone in the mail. The person will contact you and make sure your setup is correct and walk you through

⏹️ ▶️ John laboriously over the phone, over video, over whatever they can do to make sure your setup is correct so

⏹️ ▶️ John that when the actual show goes, you have a setup that is known and validated to be working by

⏹️ ▶️ John a member of their staff. That is incredibly expensive. That’s way more expensive than buying a $300 application or a $500 application

⏹️ ▶️ John or a $1,000 application or a $100 month application, but that has a much higher chance of success,

⏹️ ▶️ John I think, then the application will take care of it for you. You’re probably still going to need that human

⏹️ ▶️ John to walk the person through the supposedly so simple setup because of physical factors,

⏹️ ▶️ John not even the software, even if the software is perfect.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco And beyond all that, like if you go to take Rob Reins’ approach of saying like, well, hey, charge more money, like this is worth it to people.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Beyond all the problems of it being a really small market of people who are producing these things and willing to try your app,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco there’s also some severe budget problems for most people. Podcasting well, using high quality stuff,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco is already a tough sell. Because you’re already asking people to spend

⏹️ ▶️ Marco a few hundred dollars on a decent mic and some kind of setup there, maybe a pop filter, maybe

⏹️ ▶️ Marco an anti-shock thing, or a mount and all this stuff. Then oh, call recorder, it’s another 30

⏹️ ▶️ Marco bucks. And something like, maybe Logic, another $200, or maybe

⏹️ ▶️ Marco GarageBand, but GarageBand keeps getting worse for podcasts in each new version.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco You’re already asking people to spend a lot of money. Already, most people are not willing to do that. Most podcasts are not produced

⏹️ ▶️ Marco that way. Most podcasts are produced from people’s built-in mics and headsets and iPhone mics and stuff like that.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco They don’t sound very good, but a lot of people, you can’t ask, maybe

⏹️ ▶️ Marco some church recording its sermons and everything, they don’t have maybe the money to buy Logic. There’s

⏹️ ▶️ Marco so many podcast producers out there who are not gonna be spending hundreds thousands

⏹️ ▶️ Marco of dollars on software and gear to do this. And that

⏹️ ▶️ Marco will always be the case. There’s always going to be most producers who are going to be doing it as a hobby

⏹️ ▶️ Marco or on a low budget, and you have to account for that. And so I agree

⏹️ ▶️ Marco with Rob Ryan that a professional app should be priced accordingly,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco but I don’t think there’s enough podcast producers to ever support something like this anytime

⏹️ ▶️ Marco soon.

⏹️ ▶️ John In defense of Rob’s post, if you could snap your fingers and make the theoretical application

⏹️ ▶️ John come into existence that is awesome at all this stuff that does everything as high quality, as integrated, as relatively

⏹️ ▶️ John bug free, that really provides the benefit, then all of his various pricing strategies

⏹️ ▶️ John could probably work out. But the prerequisite is you actually have an application

⏹️ ▶️ John that helps people make money, that is more convenient for them, that produces better results in less time, that has

⏹️ ▶️ John fewer bugs that has features that that would be difficult, you know, like they can replace a

⏹️ ▶️ John fractional portion of a staffer that you would need, right? Then it may be viable.

⏹️ ▶️ John And but like, even then, it’s borderline, because you don’t have the benefit, I think it was another Joel article,

⏹️ ▶️ John like the different kinds of software you sell, the cheap, free stuff that random person buys off the street, the

⏹️ ▶️ John sort of consumer applications that you could sell to an individual, who’s going to buy,

⏹️ ▶️ John you know, application for like, you know, buy Photoshop for themselves or whatever. And then and that’s like

⏹️ ▶️ John a hundred bucks, a couple hundred bucks, or maybe like a small monthly subscription fee. Then there’s a gigantic chasm

⏹️ ▶️ John and then you’re starting prices 30 grand, right? And that’s like enterprise enterprise software. You’re selling it

⏹️ ▶️ John to a business to business. This is such an essential part of their business that 30 grand or

⏹️ ▶️ John you know, let’s use the Oracle pricing model. How about percentage of revenue? How does that feel? How much

⏹️ ▶️ John money do you have?

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Not profit revenue? Yeah, contact us for pricing.

⏹️ ▶️ John That is just a huge, huge gap between like a couple hundred bucks, maybe pushing a thousand

⏹️ ▶️ John and then up into the multiple thousands. And there’s not much in that middle ground there. And I don’t know. Podcasting

⏹️ ▶️ John is not at the point now where it can be sold as enterprise software. For the most part, there are enterprises that are

⏹️ ▶️ John doing it. Maybe kind of like, I don’t know, maybe like Twitter or TV network trying

⏹️ ▶️ John to do a podcast or like The Daily Show. But even those I think of like The Daily Show podcast is not, you know,

⏹️ ▶️ John you couldn’t sell them 30 grand podcasting. set up. They’re just putting stuff together. And anyway, I don’t know if that

⏹️ ▶️ John market will ever exist for sort of enterprise level sales, because even in the entertainment industry, like, you know, Maya,

⏹️ ▶️ John whatever is a couple grand, but it’s not 60 grand, whereas Oracle, you know,

⏹️ ▶️ John sells to businesses and their their checks have a lot of zeros on them. So

⏹️ ▶️ Marco well, and all the pro podcasters who were doing it, like from studios, or as part of bigger companies, they already have

⏹️ ▶️ Marco their workflows established. Like you’re probably not even going to get them with a with a new tool like this, because they already have

⏹️ ▶️ Marco they’re already set up with how they do things.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Wasn’t it on Corn Tuition semi recently that Daniel Jalkin was talking about

⏹️ ▶️ Casey how I think it was maybe Fast Scripts. Is that his? Is that right?

⏹️ ▶️ John Yeah, Daniel Jalkin’s Fast Script, the little script menu thing with the keyboard shortcuts.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey And so he had written it and had like Percy licensing

⏹️ ▶️ Casey model or something like that. And then he got approached by some company and they said, we

⏹️ ▶️ Casey want to buy it for the entire company. I forget exactly how he phrased it, but apparently

⏹️ ▶️ Casey he came up with some number that he thought was so ridiculous they would basically laugh at him, and that’s what they paid.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey And that’s kind of what you guys are talking about is, you know, you find there’s eventually a time when

⏹️ ▶️ Casey a company will pay just absurd amounts of money in order to get this app. But

⏹️ ▶️ Casey I agree with you that finding podcasters to do this is going to be challenging.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Yeah, and maybe someday there will be enough podcasters to make this a viable market. But

⏹️ ▶️ Marco today there just simply are not that many. And we’re so far from that. Like, it’s not

⏹️ ▶️ Marco like there are almost that many. It’s not like there are going to be that many next year, but it’s going to be finished making this app. We

⏹️ ▶️ Marco are pretty far from there being enough to support things like this.

⏹️ ▶️ John So in conclusion, somebody make this awesome app. We will all buy it and tell you what’s wrong with it.

⏹️ ▶️ John And you go out of business. The end.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Honestly, I probably wouldn’t buy it. I already have our workflow.

⏹️ ▶️ John We would totally get it to look at it. We would make you buy it, Parko.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey we would send one of us to go get it, probably Marco, and Marco would try it and not use it because he doesn’t like things that other

⏹️ ▶️ Casey people make. And additionally, that’s a good, that’s a good summary. And

⏹️ ▶️ Casey moreover, on top of that, um, we are, well, maybe not you, John, but, but certainly

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Marco and I are of an age where we grew up trying to find ways

⏹️ ▶️ Casey to acquire things without paying a lot of money. And

⏹️ ▶️ Casey while I think I speak for all of us in saying we’re willing to spend money here and there

⏹️ ▶️ Casey when it’s appropriate, when we think it’s reasonable, if we have a workflow that works,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey that is not something that we necessarily, that’s not a problem we necessarily want to throw money at. And,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey and that’s what I think Marco is saying is that we have something that works and if it’s a lot, if it’s just

⏹️ ▶️ Casey way easier than, okay, but if it’s just a bit easier, eh, whatever.

⏹️ ▶️ John I’ve been afraid to upgrade to Skype seven. That’s free.

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⏹️ ▶️ Marco If you’re like me, you like to know a little bit about a lot,, and this is why this ties into what we were just

⏹️ ▶️ Marco saying, was a big help to me in learning how to use Logic to edit this podcast and to

⏹️ ▶️ Marco make the audio sound good with things like compressors and EQs and limiters and stuff like that.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Really like, this is why this ties in, like you can just buy Logic,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco spend 25 bucks a month on and learn how to do all this yourself with those tools and then you don’t

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⏹️ ▶️ Casey All right, John, tell us about the video games on the iPhone that you’ve

⏹️ ▶️ Casey been playing lately.

⏹️ ▶️ John Just one game, which I think Marco has played it. I guess you haven’t, Casey. The game is Crossy Road.

⏹️ ▶️ John Everybody’s playing it. It’s very popular these days. I like the name until I realized that it’s probably

⏹️ ▶️ John an attempt to cash in on the flappy bird. I didn’t even make that connection, but you’re right. I liked

⏹️ ▶️ John it so much better before I made that connection, but I still think it’s a good name. It’s adorable. Anyway, the game is like

⏹️ ▶️ John kind of like Frogger if you remember that if you don’t you can Google it. It’s like infinite Frogger

⏹️ ▶️ John That’s not what I want to talk about about this game what I want to talk about is the monetization

⏹️ ▶️ John strategy of this game which is Simultaneously confusing and depressing but maybe I

⏹️ ▶️ John still don’t quite understand the way things are working these days. So

⏹️ ▶️ John It’s a it’s a popular game. It’s really well done I think they could have easily sold it for 99 cents, but they didn’t

⏹️ ▶️ John they decided to go free-to-play fine That’s what you know big people are doing these days But

⏹️ ▶️ John crossy road is either Really bad at free-to-play Which makes

⏹️ ▶️ John it a good or or I don’t understand the how the stuff works So

⏹️ ▶️ John most free-to-play games have to find some way to get money from you somehow in the game

⏹️ ▶️ John by buying things that help you in the game or showing you ads or both and

⏹️ ▶️ John Crossy Road has both of those things. It has characters that you can use in the game.

⏹️ ▶️ John You can buy different characters. It starts you off with a chicken. You can buy all sorts of other characters. There’s an in-game currency that you

⏹️ ▶️ John get that you can find these little coins and you get some currency. And you can use that currency

⏹️ ▶️ John to redeem. It’s kind of like a gumball machine that gives you characters for free. It is a time-based

⏹️ ▶️ John mechanic where you get a free gift based on how long you play. It’s got all the type of things you see, kind of an energy mechanic. How long do you have to play?

⏹️ ▶️ John How much longer until I get a new free gift? How many coins do do I collect and you buy the the players

⏹️ ▶️ John with actual real money you know 99 cents each or whatever and it seems like a reasonably good monetization

⏹️ ▶️ John strategy but the characters don’t make the game any easier for

⏹️ ▶️ John you so they don’t give you extra powers they don’t give you extra lives they don’t give you anything like that in fact a lot of the characters

⏹️ ▶️ John make the game harder for you instead of easier so the only

⏹️ ▶️ John motivation to buy them is kind of like buying hats in Counter-Strike or whatever like you know it’s a frivolous

⏹️ ▶️ John thing that and that has worked in the past so maybe I’m not quite understanding it but It

⏹️ ▶️ John did they’re not pressuring you they’re not pressuring you to buy things in the game. You can play it

⏹️ ▶️ John and You don’t have to buy things and they have little Thing where you can see an ad and they just present you like

⏹️ ▶️ John a little icon that shows like a little movie Which I don’t think yeah team fortress 2

⏹️ ▶️ John sorry chat rooms correct me where the hats were

⏹️ ▶️ Marco anyway I was wondering how that would look in Counter-Strike.

⏹️ ▶️ John Not really the right setting. No, not. A little movie strip and then a little coin symbol, whatever,

⏹️ ▶️ John saying, hey, if you watch this movie, we will give you coins. And of course, that’s an ad. If you tap on that, it shows you an ad for some other game.

⏹️ ▶️ John You know, they get some money for that ad. And then you get this in-game currency that you can eventually redeem in a little gumball machine for

⏹️ ▶️ John random characters that you can get. These are the same characters that you could buy otherwise. And I forget

⏹️ ▶️ John who pointed this out. It might have been Jason in his thing that he was writing about Carsey Road. The fundamental problem with their monetization

⏹️ ▶️ John strategy from the outside, from someone who’s playing is, I think it’s more fun not to pay

⏹️ ▶️ John any money to play this game. It’s more fun to play, the game itself is fun.

⏹️ ▶️ John Getting coins in the game is fun. Redeeming them in a little gumball machine for a random guy is fun.

⏹️ ▶️ John And you don’t feel like you’re missing anything because you’re like, boy, if I could pay the 99 cents, I could finally get the power that lets me like, walk

⏹️ ▶️ John on water for two steps, and that would really help you. Like, there’s none of that. And so it isn’t entirely like,

⏹️ ▶️ John for the most part, friendly to the user, not in your face. does prompt you a couple times say, Hey, do you

⏹️ ▶️ John want notifications when essentially our energy meter runs out? And you can when you should come back to the game and play again,

⏹️ ▶️ John but you can say no, like it presents that in game, maybe presents it a few more times than it should. And maybe

⏹️ ▶️ John little kids like watching my kids play it, they will watch the ads to get the coins, because they want to get the other characters.

⏹️ ▶️ John So I guess they’re getting some ad revenue for that. But I just look at this game. And I’m like, boy, I wish I could

⏹️ ▶️ John give you some money for this game. But I don’t want any characters like I’ve I’ve got all the ones I got. I got, it was more

⏹️ ▶️ John fun for me to get them for free. And now I have them and they don’t make the game any easier anyway. So I’m concerned,

⏹️ ▶️ John what I’m saying is I’m concerned about Crossy Road. This developer is probably a millionaire right now. Is swimming in his bathtub full

⏹️ ▶️ John of money saying, that’s great kid. You tell me how I should run my business. But like, it’s puzzling to me because

⏹️ ▶️ John it seems to do everything wrong. Like from the perspective of the evil free to play game that like learns to extract money from

⏹️ ▶️ John people. So I guess what I’m saying is you should all go out and get Crossy Road. It’s a great game. And I really hope

⏹️ ▶️ John the developer is swimming in a bucket full of money, but I just don’t figure out how they would

⏹️ ▶️ John be unless everybody’s looking at those damn ads.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Yeah, it wouldn’t surprise me. I’m trying to look around. I’m trying to look, I just looked at the app store. Do you know where it places on the top grossing list?

⏹️ ▶️ John Oh, I don’t know. I don’t look at those things.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Because it’s number four on the top free list. But it would not surprise me if it actually,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco if you’re right, that it actually isn’t making that much money. I didn’t even, when you were describing that, I’ve only played it a handful of times.

⏹️ ▶️ John Yeah, your score stinks.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Yeah, because I only played it a handful of times. I don’t really like this kind of game, but

⏹️ ▶️ Marco when somebody says, oh my god, this game is great, you have to play it, I’ll go and buy it in the App Store, and I will

⏹️ ▶️ Marco forget what the upfront price is, whether it was free or not. Like, I just don’t even remember, because it’s like, okay, it’s usually

⏹️ ▶️ Marco so cheap, it’s a dollar, who cares, or it’s free. And so I didn’t even realize this was the

⏹️ ▶️ Marco monetization scheme. I’ve played the game a handful of times. Like, you can probably expect many

⏹️ ▶️ Marco people to have done who have downloaded it. I didn’t even realize that’s how it was monetized. Like,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco so that’s a problem.

⏹️ ▶️ John He might make it up in volume though, because this is a super popular game. And like I said, little kids do want to see the

⏹️ ▶️ John ad. So maybe all of his money is made by showing ads to little kids to buy other games. But, and I think people

⏹️ ▶️ John will buy the other characters, but I mean, my other yardstick is so far, my son who has sent an undisclosed

⏹️ ▶️ John amount of money, spent an undisclosed amount of money on Clash of Clans. And the amount is large. Well,

⏹️ ▶️ John that’s very different though. But he is susceptible to in-app purchase. He has not asked me once to

⏹️ ▶️ John buy him one of these things for 99 cents. Nice. And it’s not for it’s not he’s not shy about asking me to,

⏹️ ▶️ John you know, press this button. You know, like I think I read a tweet someday the other day about someone who woke up

⏹️ ▶️ John and found their their kid slowly trying to move their finger onto the touch ID on their phone

⏹️ ▶️ John while they were asleep to try to do an app purchase. So you got to watch these kids like he’s not shy about asking.

⏹️ ▶️ John And he has not asked once. That shows me that as whoever it is who wrote this, again, maybe Jason,

⏹️ ▶️ John It’s more fun to play the game to unlock this stuff for free than it

⏹️ ▶️ John is to buy it. That is more fun. So why would you ever… The other thing is less fun. You’re paying money to have less fun.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Yeah, I mean, like, it would not surprise me if this really isn’t doing that well. Like, as I said,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco like, so I just scanned through the whole list. I couldn’t find in the top 150, top grossing. So I don’t know where it is, but it’s probably not

⏹️ ▶️ Marco high. Somebody said there’s ads in there. Are there ads in it?

⏹️ ▶️ John Like I said, you can click on a little thing that says, Look at this ad and we’ll give you you know 20

⏹️ ▶️ John coins or whatever

⏹️ ▶️ Marco But it’s not even showing the ads during regular gameplay like the way the way Flappy Bird did well They puts

⏹️ ▶️ John up a dialogue box it puts up a dialogue box here are your options if you have more than 100 coins you can Redeem 100

⏹️ ▶️ John of them right now in the gumball machine if you might have a free gift on the time-based mechanic Which will just give you

⏹️ ▶️ John one of those things that you could buy because you’ve been playing for a long time or press this thing Will show you an ad and give you 20 coins

⏹️ ▶️ Marco But like but as a player like when do I even need to do that like yeah?

⏹️ ▶️ John And one of the, you never need to do it. And one of the things, one of the things that I got from the gumball machine was 500 coins,

⏹️ ▶️ John which is basically like five free characters. Like it’s just, it’s, I don’t understand it.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco So I just opened it up to see like, you know, how this is, and like, so, so far

⏹️ ▶️ Marco I’m playing this game and I’m seeing no ad, I’m seeing no solicitation for buying these coins or

⏹️ ▶️ Marco doing

⏹️ ▶️ Marco, John it.

⏹️ ▶️ John Go die and you’ll see a little thing that says free gift. And if you have over a hundred

⏹️ ▶️ John, Marco coins. Oh yeah.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco I, you know, I saw that before and I had no idea what that was.

⏹️ ▶️ John And that’s why I said like the little icon that shows the film strip I don’t know if kids know what film looks

⏹️ ▶️ John like the little you know the celluloid with the little notches So when you do an icon, it’s like the old telephone handset

⏹️ ▶️ John icon But I guess kids are kind of socialized to no means phone because it’s the icon on our phones But

⏹️ ▶️ John whatever it is celluloid film strips with the little holes in the edges I don’t know if people know what that but anyway,

⏹️ ▶️ John there’s a little symbol looks like that and then it shows coins

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Oh, here’s this gumball thing. Okay, so I’m seeing this now. I saw this once before I

⏹️ ▶️ Marco had no idea I could even pay anything in here. I thought it was literally a free gift, and I just

⏹️ ▶️ Marco get this You know this weird cow or something

⏹️ ▶️ Marco, John yeah,

⏹️ ▶️ John but you can’t pay there You can go like when you start the game when you start the game There’s a little thing where you can

⏹️ ▶️ John change your character in the lower left and if you scroll through all the characters have 99 cents Underneath this is the

⏹️ ▶️ Marco worst monetized popular game. I’ve ever seen well,

⏹️ ▶️ John but that’s what I’m saying I don’t know if it is like we’re on the outside We don’t know how much my again this person could already be a millionaire, and we

⏹️ ▶️ John have no idea what’s going on But it’s

⏹️ ▶️ John, Marco just

⏹️ ▶️ Marco honestly I feel bad for this developer because whatever they’re making they could be making a lot more

⏹️ ▶️ John Yeah, I would have paid five nine to nine for this game. It is an amazingly well done game I mean, yeah granted. It’s just frogger,

⏹️ ▶️ John but you know, he didn’t make up frogger or whatever but execution wise and like fit for

⏹️ ▶️ John you know for input method and Viewing context and retina screens and everything is

⏹️ ▶️ John it’s it’s beautiful. It’s amazing

⏹️ ▶️ Marco I mean even if there was just an I had on the top or bottom like just the way flappy bird did it that would Annoy me and it would make

⏹️ ▶️ John the

⏹️ ▶️ Marco game

⏹️ ▶️ John less fun.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Well, and you can pay a dollar to hide it I would have paid that instantly right like that

⏹️ ▶️ Marco that itself that I guarantee you whatever monetization they’re doing with this app, with this weird coin thing,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco I guarantee you what I just said with an iAd and a dollar to hide it, would have done at least 10 times better

⏹️ ▶️ Marco for them.

⏹️ ▶️ John But you wouldn’t have done that because you would have felt bad about an app like that. If you buy all these characters,

⏹️ ▶️ John there’s 99 cents to like 20 of them. I think you could spend like 20 or 30 bucks on this game.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco But as you said, there’s really no reason to.

⏹️ ▶️ John Well, I mean, again, maybe it’s just in my experience and in my kids’ experience, it

⏹️ ▶️ John seems like there’s not, but maybe other people, again, with buying the hats in Team Fortress 2 and all that stuff, like

⏹️ ▶️ John maybe people want horse armor. There’s another gaming reference for you. Like maybe people do

⏹️ ▶️ John want to buy them and don’t want to unlock them and just can’t live unless they have the Dark Lord as their character. The characters

⏹️ ▶️ John are cool, and they do change the game. They’re really neat.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey You know, I can’t help but feel like we spent the beginning of this episode talking

⏹️ ▶️ Casey about how the spammy push notifications are really cheapening your product, and

⏹️ ▶️ Casey it’s a terrible way to go. And now we’re ending the episode by saying, oh, you should’ve put ads on this thing. you would have made a

⏹️ ▶️ Casey fortune. Thanks a lot to our sponsor.

⏹️ ▶️ John I’m saying this is a good game that people should buy, but they can’t buy it. I tell you what,

⏹️ ▶️ John everyone go download this game for free, play it for five or 10 minutes, and if you think it’s worth something,

⏹️ ▶️ John pay 99 cents for the favorite character you chose. And by the way, when I said they changed the game, they changed the graphics in the game.

⏹️ ▶️ John They don’t change the gameplay only to sometimes make it harder. But for example, if you buy the penguin, spoiler,

⏹️ ▶️ John it makes everything all snowy. It’s adorable. Just get the game.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Well, but even like what you said, what you said like like the whole idea of like oh I got this game for

⏹️ ▶️ Marco free I’m enjoying it so much I want to give them money I forgot how much I pay for the game days after

⏹️ ▶️ Marco buying

⏹️ ▶️ John it and it was free maybe you thought you already had given this money but you didn’t well exactly

⏹️ ▶️ Marco so many people I bet like they don’t like you know a lot of people only buy free stuff or download

⏹️ ▶️ Marco free stuff and that’s fine but there’s a lot of people like me who were like you’ll pay a dollar for

⏹️ ▶️ Marco a game without really thinking about it and so like if you see game that has no ads

⏹️ ▶️ Marco in it and no obvious spam to try to monetize I would assume I probably paid a dollar for

⏹️ ▶️ Marco this and not even think about giving them more money in the future. All right I think we’re done.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Anyway thanks a lot to our four sponsors this week Studio Neat, Harry’s, Squarespace and

⏹️ ▶️ 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

⏹️ ▶️ John And if you’re into Twitter, you can follow them at

⏹️ ▶️ John C-A-S-E-Y-L-I-S-S

⏹️ ▶️ Casey So that’s Casey Liss, M-A-R-C-O-A-R-M, Auntie

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Marco Armin, S-I-R-A-C-U-S-A-C-R-A-Q-U-S-A

⏹️ ▶️ Casey It’s accidental, they didn’t mean to

⏹️ ▶️ Casey You

⏹️ ▶️ John guys

⏹️ ▶️ John should both get this game and I think I’m game center friends with all of you I have this game and we’ll play it more.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco I just played it on the air I can’t like I this is we had a podcast about podcasting followed by playing crossy road on the

⏹️ ▶️ Marco air Yeah,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco, John this is the worst episode this podcast

⏹️ ▶️ Marco ever.

⏹️ ▶️ John It really is My favorite feature of this game, which I feel bad almost spoiling because when you see it, it’s

⏹️ ▶️ John it’s just really really, really well done is that your game sender friends when they

⏹️ ▶️ John play, of course, it records a score and you can see a leaderboard and doing all that stuff. But when you’re playing the game, you will see the name

⏹️ ▶️ John of the person written across the farthest distance that they’ve made it. So their highest score I was

⏹️ ▶️ John I always see Marco Arment on like, you know, 30, whatever your pathetic score is across the ground.

⏹️ ▶️ John So you literally hop over their name when you’re beating their score. It’s brilliant. Cool. Yeah,

⏹️ ▶️ John I was trying to I kept trying to contact Jason. I think he left. I sent him private messages. I sent to my M’s. What I was trying to

⏹️ ▶️ John do is send a friend request from my son’s Game Center account to his because Jason has the

⏹️ ▶️ John highest score of anyone on my friends list but my son I think has beaten him and I wanted to give my son motivation

⏹️ ▶️ John to beat somebody’s score so I said if they could just get him to be friends with Jason then he would have you know I just basically I just

⏹️ ▶️ John want Jason to be knocking to second place.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Alright so I have an I have an account on app figures and app figures lets you browse other apps rankings

⏹️ ▶️ Marco so I’m showing you know the ranking is pretty consistent it is if you if you look at

⏹️ ▶️ Marco just free, like on the free chart, it is in the top

⏹️ ▶️ Marco five most of the time. So Crossy Road is really in the top five depending on how you look at it, like what category you’re looking at.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco It’s in the top one through four in games. Oh, it’s number 12 overall, maybe number 13 when

⏹️ ▶️ Marco you look at it. So we’re talking like this is the number 12 most downloaded free app in the App

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Store for the last while. So that’s a very, very high rank. Probably tens of thousands

⏹️ ▶️ Marco of installs per day. Now if you look at the top grossing, in iPhone,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco top grossing is around the 200th place. So

⏹️ ▶️ Marco it’s placing number 15 of top downloads, number 200 in top grossing

⏹️ ▶️ Marco on iPhone. On iPad it’s like number 300, so it’s even worse on iPad. That is,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco I mean, I’m sure the developer’s making decent money on that, but the money they’re making is

⏹️ ▶️ Marco not proportional to the downloads they’re getting at all. That’s a very bad

⏹️ ▶️ Marco ratio for how popular this game is, how popular it has been for the last week or

⏹️ ▶️ Marco two, however long it’s been out. That is not generating a ton of money for that level

⏹️ ▶️ Marco of downloads. I think it shows, just getting a bunch of people, if

⏹️ ▶️ Marco you have some kind of freemium monetization scheme like this, you have to also

⏹️ ▶️ Marco set the pain point of what you’re paying for. set that with

⏹️ ▶️ Marco some thought as well, like just to be smart business. You know, ranking in the 400 in the App Store,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco I’m guessing, off the top of my head, I’m guessing that’s $5,000 a day or less.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco For a game this popular, that’s not great. That’s really, like, the developers getting

⏹️ ▶️ Marco really ripped off on this basically by their own creation here,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco by not giving enough of a reason for people to pay and also not putting an ad in it or not putting a front price on it. Like

⏹️ ▶️ Marco it. I don’t know. I just I feel bad for it for whoever made this because it’s it’s clearly

⏹️ ▶️ Marco like the world is getting a lot more value out of this than what they’re being ultimately paid for.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey So real time follow up. I am playing this game and it’s weird. But I’m looking

⏹️ ▶️ Casey at my leaderboard and it’s going from bottom to top me

⏹️ ▶️ Casey with 28 my friend Derek Wielander with 34, Marco with 43, Adam Swindon with 63, John

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Syracuse at 157, and coincidentally,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Dan Provost of Studio Neat, 384. Wow.

⏹️ ▶️ John Yeah, I haven’t really broken through in this game yet.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco You got to get on that, John. I mean, we don’t stand a chance, but you might.

⏹️ ▶️ John My problem is with the control scheme and I have my own sort of energy meter in the game

⏹️ ▶️ John where. I’m just

⏹️ ▶️ Casey hearing excuses now.

⏹️ ▶️ John If I play it more than two times, I have diminishing

⏹️ ▶️ John, Marco returns.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Blame the controller. No, the computer’s cheating, Marco. Oh, yeah, it was a

⏹️ ▶️ John computer error. Now, the ultimate, I mean, like, obviously, the tap interface,

⏹️ ▶️ John, Marco this

⏹️ ▶️ John is one of those games where the ultimate interface, I feel like, would be if I could hook up a D-pad

⏹️ ▶️ John or a joystick to this.

⏹️ ▶️ John, Casey Oh, of course. Suddenly, the game would be a million times easier. Of course, John. So

⏹️ ▶️ John part of the game is like, you know, part of the game is that the control scheme is not quite, you know, because

⏹️ ▶️ John they use tap to go forward but swipe for the other three directions. And frequently I will

⏹️ ▶️ John initiate an action and get the wrong action. Like basically it’ll hop forward when I really meant

⏹️ ▶️ John to be a swipe back or to the left or the right because the controls are not that precise. But that’s all part of the game.

⏹️ ▶️ John Anyway, really when I do best is when I’m not paying attention. Like I just

⏹️ ▶️ John sort of look absentmindedly at the screen and run the algorithm and I’ll find myself crossing into the hundreds. Then I’ll notice I’m

⏹️ ▶️ John crossing into the hundreds, get nervous and die. But

⏹️ ▶️ John, Marco really I only

⏹️ ▶️ John play two or three games and then I go back to desert golfing or something.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Yeah, I’ve actually been playing a lot of desert golfing. It’s amazing. Wait,

⏹️ ▶️ John desert golfing? Crossy Road is a better game than desert golfing. I think we can say that.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco I

⏹️ ▶️ John spend a lot

⏹️ ▶️ Marco more

⏹️ ▶️ John time in desert

⏹️ ▶️ Marco golfing,

⏹️ ▶️ John I’ll tell you that. I know, I believe it, but that’s not, I don’t think it’s-

⏹️ ▶️ John, Marco I’m

⏹️ ▶️ John currently on hole 217. Yeah, I’m farther than that, but my-

⏹️ ▶️ John, Marco Of course

⏹️ ▶️ John you are. My desert golfing score is not good. Desert golfing is brutal.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Yeah, I’m at 743 strokes for being on hole 217. Yeah, my score is just terrible.

⏹️ ▶️ John Because like it’s, we should have a whole gaming section. Desert golfing

⏹️ ▶️ John is punishing in that like, it’s brilliant and pure in that you’ve launched the game and you start playing and that’s it. When

⏹️ ▶️ John you relaunch the game, it puts you back to where you were. That’s it, no saves, no loading screen, no menus, no undo.

⏹️ ▶️ John You can’t even reset it, can you? No start, you can uninstall it and you can install it again. Like that’s it, the

⏹️ ▶️ John game is the game.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco The best thing would be like, if they actually stored your score in iCloud, so that you couldn’t even

⏹️ ▶️ Marco reset it.

⏹️ ▶️ John Right now, but no, but then you need to have like, it would be like sinking and everything. It is just brutally like, this

⏹️ ▶️ John is the game. You are now playing the game. Oh, didn’t like that stroke? You never get it back. There’s no mulligans,

⏹️ ▶️ John there’s no undo, there’s no resetting, there’s no anything. It’s just an endless desert, scrolling from left

⏹️ ▶️ John to right, and a terrible physics engine that is just filled to the brim with BS. Because

⏹️ ▶️ John I cannot believe, however they program that. I mean, you’ve played it, Marco. Like, oh, you’re not

⏹️ ▶️ John gonna roll down that hill, huh? That doesn’t make any

⏹️ ▶️ Marco sense. Yeah, it just like stops in the middle of one hill, but any other hill, it rolls down the entire thing slowly. Right.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco And

⏹️ ▶️ John even just the physics of bouncing, like the angle of incidence does not equal the angle of

⏹️ ▶️ John reflection in any universe. Forget about sand simulation. It’s just not even like accurate rigid body physics.

⏹️ ▶️ John, Marco So it

⏹️ ▶️ John is total BS in this game. And yet I play it because you just launch it. And what are you

⏹️ ▶️ John doing? You get in the ball in the hole and you quit it whenever you want. When you come back, you’ll be right where you left off.

⏹️ ▶️ John Yeah, I did 16 strokes in that hole because it was pissing me off, but the next one I got a hole in one You just keep going

⏹️ ▶️ Marco yeah I love in fact speaking of Alan Pike on his on his video game pockets But I believe it’s called

⏹️ ▶️ Marco up up down down is that right John yeah anyway He interviewed the creator of this

⏹️ ▶️ Marco sometime recently and I listen to that I love how the guy even said like you know like you

⏹️ ▶️ Marco the first time you get a hole-in-one you expect like some kind of like Congratulations, and just nothing happens like you guys it goes to

⏹️ ▶️ Marco the next hole. That’s it no different than any other

⏹️ ▶️ John score It is a lesson about life. This is really the next game We need to get John Rotter

⏹️ ▶️ John to play although I think he’ll probably bounce off of it, but if he ever comes out of his three stupor Desert

⏹️ ▶️ John golfing desert golfing can teach you something profound about life I think kind of in the same way the demon

⏹️ ▶️ John souls can I absolutely love it

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Marco real-time follow-up I now have 46 to your 43 so I can put the game

⏹️ ▶️ John down. Did you hop over his name? Didn’t you wasn’t that fun?

⏹️ ▶️ Casey It didn’t look like his name. It looked like gobbledygook.

⏹️ ▶️ John I assume you’ve never actually played Frogger or had heard of it before I mentioned it Casey.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey I had heard of it you big jerk but no I’ve never played it. Oh well. I think I’ve even seen

⏹️ ▶️ Casey the segment on Seinfeld and I didn’t even watch Seinfeld.

⏹️ ▶️ John That’s where you know Frogger from yeah. Anyway this is better than Frogger. Well that isn’t hard.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Yeah. Now I can’t concentrate I’m just playing this stupid game. What have

⏹️ ▶️ Casey you done to me? Ah I hate you two.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Just install Desert Golf it will calm you back down. Desert golfing

⏹️ ▶️ John in that desert

⏹️ ▶️ John, Marco go

⏹️ ▶️ Marco yes sorry desert golfing

⏹️ ▶️ John I kept calling it as a golf to people are gonna search for a date to find it does it desert golfing is you pay money for

⏹️ ▶️ John it and that’s it you pay money you get the game this is the game was it a dollar or two are now playing the game I don’t remember what it

⏹️ ▶️ Marco was I’ve gotten so much enjoyment out of this game because I keep and I know how like how

⏹️ ▶️ Marco abusive it is and yet I keep playing because it’s like it is satisfying and it like the

⏹️ ▶️ Marco guy was saying it’s like like there’s so many games it just it just like a constant like showering

⏹️ ▶️ Marco you with praise and with rewards of any time you do anything you’re amazing

⏹️ ▶️ Marco here’s some fireworks you get a bonus coin for your cow and it’s like this is there’s none of that

⏹️ ▶️ Marco like you just play the game and when you succeed in doing each hole you just move

⏹️ ▶️ Marco on to the next hole that’s

⏹️ ▶️ John it and again and the game is cruel and arbitrary and incorrectly programmed

⏹️ ▶️ Marco but you

⏹️ ▶️ John love it just like life

⏹️ ▶️ Marco the only thing that makes me mad about this game is that I didn’t make it because this is like I’ve always kind of wanted

⏹️ ▶️ Marco to make a game

⏹️ ▶️ Marco, John and

⏹️ ▶️ Marco you could have made this yeah and there’s not a lot of games that I’m technically qualified to make and I totally could

⏹️ ▶️ Marco have done this I just never

⏹️ ▶️ John thought of it well the trick the tricky part is the procedural generation with a twist of the levels

⏹️ ▶️ John I think that is the because the genius of this game is it just goes on and on and on you’re like how can

⏹️ ▶️ John it go on and on to the human layout all these levels no it’s procedurally generated but not just is it yeah

⏹️ ▶️ John it is there’s an article that you can see interview where it’s procedurally generated but not random so there is human

⏹️ ▶️ John influence over it somehow that like particular holes have certain attention paid to them I don’t

⏹️ ▶️ John know the details he didn’t reveal details but it’s for the most part procedurally generated but with the human touch to you know

⏹️ ▶️ John when you’re stuck on a hole that is particularly difficult I always see the you know

⏹️ ▶️ John the touch of the human you know screwing with you there

⏹️ ▶️ Marco right like there’s been like a like a big ramp up to the hole on both sides so you instantly roll off of anything

⏹️ ▶️ John and weird little ledges and so like so you can sit kind of see the human touch there but there’s so many levels like you know Did

⏹️ ▶️ John you even get up to the cactus yet? I don’t know how where

⏹️ ▶️ John, Marco that appears. There’s a cactus Yeah, I don’t want to spoil it for you. Just keep

⏹️ ▶️ Marco playing. Okay, I I will I mean I I actually enjoy this game It’s crazy.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco, John Like I just

⏹️ ▶️ John I took so many freaking screenshots of that cactus I knew it was coming. There are other things

⏹️ ▶️ John out there in the distance, too But I don’t want to I don’t want to ruin what it’s not frog fractions,

⏹️ ▶️ John which you’ve both never heard of but trust me That’s an apt uh comparison. So it is not frog fractions. It is

⏹️ ▶️ John desert golfing is the opposite of frog fractions So just keep playing.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco The funny thing is, in the nothing, the little thimble full of game development I’ve done,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco one of the things I’ve done is a procedural terrain generator for a Scorched Earth style game, which

⏹️ ▶️ Marco is this style. I actually already have an algorithm to do that. And I don’t have the things that make sure

⏹️ ▶️ Marco that the hole is reachable in some reasonable

⏹️ ▶️ John way. Yeah, so that’s what I’m saying. Like, procedural generator is dangerous because you could get unwindable holes, especially with

⏹️ ▶️ John this BS physics. You could get unwindable holes. Oh, yeah. So you have to be careful. And the other thing is like,

⏹️ ▶️ John so you procedurally generated, you hope you have rules so you don’t make hominid holes, but you have to play through them all to

⏹️ ▶️ John make sure. And that’s

⏹️ ▶️ Marco the

⏹️ ▶️ John worst

⏹️ ▶️ Marco punishment of all. Wait, so is my hole 203 the same as your hole 203?

⏹️ ▶️ John Yes, yes, it’s deterministic. There’s a seed and everyone’s levels look the same. Although he

⏹️ ▶️ John said he might change that in the future and might change some of the later levels. I won’t tell you what later means, but you’ll be

⏹️ ▶️ John depressed if you’re in here.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Like over a thousand? Just trying to- I’ll keep going.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco, John I’m just kidding. Just trying not to

⏹️ ▶️ John think about it. Like, if I never uninstall this game, like, I’ll run this until it doesn’t run on my phone anymore,

⏹️ ▶️ John right? It’ll just keep going. Like, the numbers will keep going up. The ball will keep going in the hole. I will keep getting angry at the

⏹️ ▶️ John physics.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Well, was it you, John, that tweeted about how YouTube has to go 64-bit now because of Gangnam Style?

⏹️ ▶️ John Yeah. Oh, I retweeted somebody.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey So it’ll be the same thing. Oh, on

⏹️ ▶️ John the view counter, you mean? Yeah. Wow. They’re using sign 32-bit, like animals.

⏹️ ▶️ John Yeah.