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

312: Fashion Phase

Angela Ahrendts leaving Apple, Spotify buying Gimlet, adding MagSafe to USB-C, and Marco’s hideous vector code.

Episode Description:

Sponsored by:

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MP3 Header

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


  1. ATP_progrm_chptr() 🖼️
  2. Follow-up: Apple-Facebook
  3. Follow-up: FaceTime bug 🖼️
  4. Sponsor: Eero (code ATP)
  5. USB-C “MagSafe” 🖼️
  6. USB-C LED charging cable 🖼️
  7. Screen-protector update 🖼️
  8. Sponsor: Molekule (code ATP)
  9. Ahrendts leaving Apple
  10. Sponsor: Squarespace (code ATP)
  11. #askatp: Hard-drive brands
  12. #askatp: Reopening windows
  13. #askatp: Gimlet-Spotify
  14. Ending theme
  15. Gas station update


Chapter ATP_progrm_chptr() image.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey I see you writing really heinously named C functions, and so

⏹️ ▶️ Casey I know you’re in your happy place.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco See, those names make perfect sense in the context of the other Accelerate

⏹️ ▶️ Marco framework functions. Like, I’ve now, if you look at the names of the functions in the Accelerate

⏹️ ▶️ Marco framework, they are crazy. They at first make no sense,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco but they are named with a convention, and I now understand that convention, So I’m now able to

⏹️ ▶️ Marco like guess function names and even what the parameters are based solely on their

⏹️ ▶️ Marco their Signature which is not obvious because it’s like, you know const float a

⏹️ ▶️ Marco float B in C Like it’s very very like, you know, it’s names. It’s single letter names like that.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Usually, you know ABC and you know, and and I’ve used these so

⏹️ ▶️ Marco much now that not only can I guess the names of the functions most of the time and get it, right? but

⏹️ ▶️ Marco I can also guess the parameters most of the time and get them right too. So I’m not sure if that’s a good

⏹️ ▶️ Marco thing or a bad thing. I might be using Accelerate too much.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Can we just talk about how hideous this… I’m looking at your tweet, which if this

⏹️ ▶️ Casey makes the show, we’ll put in the show notes. Line 41 reads as follows, and I’m going to read this whole frigging thing

⏹️ ▶️ Casey because it’s awful. inline__space__attribute

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Int space capital

⏹️ ▶️ Casey N, close parenthesis. How do you not vomit all over yourself reading this? And this is where

⏹️ ▶️ Casey all the Objective-C people are going to come and bite me on Twitter and be like, oh, well, it’s Swift, it’s so ugly.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey How can you look at this and not vomit all over yourself? It’s hideous.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco It follows conventions. Oh, God. Hell, if you want to make fun of me, make fun of the actual

⏹️ ▶️ Marco content of these functions, which also makes no sense.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco, John Why is the end

⏹️ ▶️ John capital in the argument?

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Because in the DSP functions they always capitalize that. I don’t know why. Well, actually,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco they capitalize almost all their function arguments. Because usually it’s like A, B, C, N. Like that

⏹️ ▶️ Marco kind of thing.

⏹️ ▶️ John But here input DB and output DB don’t start with an initial capital.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco That’s true. I’m trying to match the convention reasonably well. Now, if I matched it completely, that

⏹️ ▶️ Marco would be const float capital A and float capital B. But I decided to make

⏹️ ▶️ Marco my variable names a little bit nicer since I don’t write documentation.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey That’s not true. I see two comments on this. That

⏹️ ▶️ Casey, Marco is the documentation. And

⏹️ ▶️ Marco actually,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey also, truth be told, as much as I’m making fun of really the language in which this is written by

⏹️ ▶️ Casey making fun of you, as I’ve gotten older as a developer, I have found that

⏹️ ▶️ Casey I don’t know if mimicking is the word I’m looking for, but kind of conforming to the code around you

⏹️ ▶️ Casey is almost always a wise choice. Because even if the style is not your style,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey it’s going to stick out as such a sore thumb and actually be more of a stumbling block

⏹️ ▶️ Casey when you try to figure out, okay, all of this code looks identical except this

⏹️ ▶️ Casey one other class over here. There’s these two other functions over here that look nothing like anything

⏹️ ▶️ Casey else. What the hell is happening? So as much as I’m poking fun at you, you’ve actually made the correct choice here, even though it

⏹️ ▶️ Casey is fricking idiot.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey, Marco And

⏹️ ▶️ Marco you can see, in this screenshot, I call five vector functions, three of

⏹️ ▶️ Marco which are the VDSP syntax. And you can see, vfil, that’s, okay, it’s vector

⏹️ ▶️ Marco fill, right? vsdiv is vector scalar divide. vsmul is vector scalar multiply, which

⏹️ ▶️ Marco means that the first argument is a vector, the second argument is a scalar, third argument is where it goes, right?

⏹️ ▶️ Marco And same thing,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco, Casey vvpowf is

⏹️ ▶️ Marco a different vector library, the vv part, and it’s dealing with vectors. Powf is a C function. This

⏹️ ▶️ Marco is the vector version of the pow f function. And pow is the power function, and f is

⏹️ ▶️ Marco the floating point version as opposed to the double version. The names make sense when you are familiar with

⏹️ ▶️ Marco their conventions. I always had to look at the doc. Really, until this week, I had to look at the documentation

⏹️ ▶️ Marco every single time I called any of these functions. And it still proves hard to

⏹️ ▶️ Marco read sometimes. But they are ridiculously fast and powerful, so I really do enjoy

⏹️ ▶️ Marco them.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Now, is it possible for you to write these as kind of standalone,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey what is it like audio units or something like that? Such that they could be used in other apps?

⏹️ ▶️ Marco I don’t know how to write audio units like in the Mac sense where like you can have like plugins for logic

⏹️ ▶️ Marco and stuff. I looked into it a long time ago when I had a crazy idea to make a logic plugin

⏹️ ▶️ Marco to record who was talking at any given time in a podcast so I can embed that as metadata

⏹️ ▶️ Marco and then display in the app like somebody’s pulsing Twitter head as they talked so you could tell who’s talking.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Great feature idea, totally unimplementable in practice because it requires editor support basically and

⏹️ ▶️ Marco I don’t control an editor. This is one of the reasons I want to write an editor. So I did look into how to create

⏹️ ▶️ Marco an audio unit back then to see like maybe I could provide a logic plugin that could do this

⏹️ ▶️ Marco and output it along with the files and the answer really ended up being no I can’t. But

⏹️ ▶️ Marco what I discovered back then was that the documentation for audio unit plugins

⏹️ ▶️ Marco or any kind of plugin on Mac OS is pretty much non-existent. It’s

⏹️ ▶️ Marco and or very outdated. And when I started playing with it, I very

⏹️ ▶️ Marco quickly realized this is not an area I should be playing.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey If you’ll permit me a small tangent, you know, we talked over the last couple of weeks about my adventures with HomeKit

⏹️ ▶️ Casey and HomeBridge and things like that. And we had talked a little bit about how I would like to, and if someone started

⏹️ ▶️ Casey writing a HomeBridge plugin, I think in this case it would actually be called a platform in

⏹️ ▶️ Casey their parlance. But anyway, a thing wherein I can control my thermostat from HomeKit because

⏹️ ▶️ Casey I don’t think I would ever do it. I just want to be able to. It annoys me that I can’t. Well, I went looking through

⏹️ ▶️ Casey the Homebridge documentation and oh boy, you think your

⏹️ ▶️ Casey documentation is bad. At least this is only code that will ever be used by you, hypothetically,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey until you sell Overcast. But that joke’s probably a little old now.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey, Marco Anyway. week to

⏹️ ▶️ Marco give that joke.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Yeah, actually. No, it’s all come back around. See, I’m smarter than I thought. Woohoo. Anyway,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey your code is only for you. You know how you work, et cetera. But Homebridge is by design,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey like a plugin-based architecture. And about half their documentation

⏹️ ▶️ Casey is, just look through the code, you’ll figure it out. And oh my goodness, I have forgotten, and

⏹️ ▶️ Casey I guess I’ve just gotten spoiled. I have forgotten how disheartening and awful it

⏹️ ▶️ Casey is when you’re trying to use an API and the documentation is, just look through the code, you’ll get

⏹️ ▶️ Casey it. It’s truly maddening and I don’t understand how Homebridge specifically

⏹️ ▶️ Casey has the unbelievable breadth of support that it has, because I’ve looked at this a

⏹️ ▶️ Casey few times and it’s made me want to jump off my roof because there’s nothing there.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey It’s seriously one of the, there’s a bunch of like, and I don’t know what the equivalent is in JavaScript

⏹️ ▶️ Casey because I’m not really the best JavaScript programmer, but there’s like structs and enums and things like

⏹️ ▶️ Casey that, that you have to, in protocols that you have to like adhere to and implement and so on and so forth.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey And their documentation for all these is, oh, here’s a 3000 line JavaScript file, you’ll figure it out.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey It’s just terrible. Like, I don’t understand how people think that’s okay. And again, the, the,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey you know, 22 year old developer in me would, you know, would totally just pew, pew, pew, you know, shoot from the hip

⏹️ ▶️ Casey and who cares? They’ll figure it out if they really want to do it that badly. But the old man developer in me is like, no, no, no,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey no, no, no, no, no, no. Now, if you’re going to make some sort of API, you need some frickin’ documentation, and some documentation

⏹️ ▶️ Casey that doesn’t require you to go spelunking through the code in order to figure all this out.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey It’s just infuriating. So yeah, I don’t blame you for kind of punting on this audio unit thing.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Yeah, this is also why I work alone. Just

⏹️ ▶️ John going

⏹️ ▶️ Marco to let Casey

⏹️ ▶️ John get away

⏹️ ▶️ Marco with enum. That’s how I pronounce it in my head. It’s not enum. Yeah, it’s

⏹️ ▶️ John for enumeration. It sure is enum. Oh, come on.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco No, it’s because it’s

⏹️ ▶️ John enumeration. I understand what it’s short for, but I’m saying that you say that word is enum.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco If you can say enum, I can say mob.

⏹️ ▶️ John Mob. Mob is just you. Enum. Casey has a posse, but it’s a

⏹️ ▶️ John posse that’s wrong.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco It’s

⏹️ ▶️ John totally

⏹️ ▶️ Casey enum. Nope. No, it is absolutely enum. And also, since we’re airing grievances, who knew it was Festivus,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey I would like to ask the ATP listeners to come to my defense and explain to Mr. Syracuse

⏹️ ▶️ Casey that P-I-C-T-S is not a thing. Yes, it may have been a thing in 1983 when I was

⏹️ ▶️ Casey a year old, but it’s not a thing. If you’re talking about pictures on the computer, PICS, no

⏹️ ▶️ Casey T, no T is necessary. Stop trying to make T happen. I

⏹️ ▶️ John was writing pics before you’re even on the internet, son. PICTS is a perfectly

⏹️ ▶️ John valid alternate spelling of the thing we’re both talking

⏹️ ▶️ Marco about. No, I’m with Casey on this. It’s pics. It’s not pics or it didn’t happen. It’s pics.

⏹️ ▶️ John People abbreviated the word picture long before that meme existed. There was a thing called Usenet,

⏹️ ▶️ John youngins. I’m familiar with

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Usenet. Yeah, me too. It’s a wonderful highway full of trucks.

⏹️ ▶️ John, Marco Anyway, picked is

⏹️ ▶️ John perfectly fine. It’s a perfectly fine variant.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey You know, here it is, I think I’m old. And then I talked to you, John, and I’m reminded I am but a wee

⏹️ ▶️ Casey whippersnapper.

⏹️ ▶️ John A little bit older, but it’s the little bit that counts.

Follow-up: Apple-Facebook

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Last we spoke, when, uh, last we saw our heroes, which really isn’t us,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey uh, if I recall correctly, Facebook’s enterprise cert was pulled and Google

⏹️ ▶️ Casey had confessed that they had been doing similar shenanigans, but there had been no punishment

⏹️ ▶️ Casey at that time. Since we recorded, Google got punished and I think

⏹️ ▶️ Casey they’re back up now. Is that correct? They, they had their enterprise cert revoked and I think that they’re

⏹️ ▶️ Casey restored.

⏹️ ▶️ John Everybody got everything back.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Delightful. Basically, they were punished for just long enough for us to record our podcast.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey I think the kids call that a hot second, Marco.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco They call it pics. Yeah, they call them

⏹️ ▶️ Casey pics. A hot second. Tss. So anyway, so Facebook

⏹️ ▶️ Casey did get a pretty severe wrist slap. And then Google tried to avoid it by confessing. And then

⏹️ ▶️ Casey they got a pretty severe wrist slap. However, these wrist slaps only lasted for a couple of working

⏹️ ▶️ Casey days. It really wasn’t that bad in the grand scheme of things. On the one side, I kind of want to be like, man, they should have

⏹️ ▶️ Casey been out for like a week or two just to really show them who the boss is. But on the other side of the coin, like being immature

⏹️ ▶️ Casey like that is really not constructive. And so this is probably the right way to do it, in my opinion, but I don’t

⏹️ ▶️ Casey know. Marco, what do you think about that?

⏹️ ▶️ Marco What Facebook did was pretty severe. I was hoping for a more severe reaction from

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Apple in the sense that, you know, not pulling their apps from the App Store because that wouldn’t be justified and that would hurt Apple.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco I don’t think Facebook should have enterprise distribution anymore, period. The fact that they got it back

⏹️ ▶️ Marco after like a day is a little less of a punishment than I think they deserved. That

⏹️ ▶️ Marco being said, you could make the argument like, yeah, Apple made their point. I think Facebook got off pretty easy considering what they

⏹️ ▶️ Marco did.

⏹️ ▶️ John Yeah, I think both parties are just highlighting what everybody already knows, is that this is a special relationship, as we used

⏹️ ▶️ John to say between the US and the UK, between the big companies. It’s

⏹️ ▶️ John not the same. The App Store is not the same for Facebook as it is for you independent developers, just not. Everyone knows

⏹️ ▶️ John that, everyone agrees to it. Apple, if pressed and actually forced to answer a question, would also admit

⏹️ ▶️ John it if you press them on like,

⏹️ ▶️ John, Casey hey, I

⏹️ ▶️ John heard Netflix has been paying 15% long before you extended that deal to everyone else. Why is that? And they would say,

⏹️ ▶️ John they wouldn’t say this, but the truth is, it’s because Netflix is Netflix and you’re not Netflix. Like it’s the truth that’s out there and we

⏹️ ▶️ John see it. Like if you had some kind of rule violation as egregious as that, you wouldn’t get your cert back

⏹️ ▶️ John in a day. Like you wouldn’t even get an email response in a day. Like it would be, if you

⏹️ ▶️ John got it back at all, if they could bother to pay attention to you, It would be a long time and you’d have

⏹️ ▶️ John to do a lot of groveling because you don’t have any power in that relationship and like I said last week This is more or less

⏹️ ▶️ John how it should be because we’re not all the same and I think a system that did treat everybody exactly

⏹️ ▶️ John the same would be bad for everybody because you know It would just as we stay as we

⏹️ ▶️ John start World War three like it doesn’t matter if the if the big superpower Crushes

⏹️ ▶️ John a tiny individual but if two big superpowers get angry at each other we all die in the hail of missiles

⏹️ ▶️ John or whatever. Anyway, that was last week’s analogy. We’ll move on. The world is

⏹️ ▶️ John the way it is. We’re just living in it.

Follow-up: FaceTime bug

Chapter Follow-up: FaceTime bug image.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Apple has made some more comments on the FaceTime bug. If you recall,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey you were able to snoop on somebody’s audio and or video if you did a series of steps quickly and in just

⏹️ ▶️ Casey the right order. We, especially I, had gotten pretty fired up about the fact that Apple didn’t

⏹️ ▶️ Casey seem to take the security report on this seriously, and eventually told the mom of the

⏹️ ▶️ Casey individual who discovered it to create a developer account and file a radar, which I still think

⏹️ ▶️ Casey is the biggest screw you I’ve heard in a while. But Apple has commented on this. They

⏹️ ▶️ Casey say, quote, we have fixed the group FaceTime security bug on Apple servers, and we will issue a software update to re-enable the feature for users

⏹️ ▶️ Casey next week, which as we record is this week. We thank the Thompson family who reported it for reporting

⏹️ ▶️ Casey the bug. Uh, we apologize for customers, blah, blah, blah. One, we’re sure customers that we’re not idiots,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey yada, yada, yada. And then back to actual quoting. We are committed to improving the process by which we receive and

⏹️ ▶️ Casey escalate these reports in order to get them to the right people as fast as possible. We take the security of our products

⏹️ ▶️ Casey extremely seriously, and we are committed to continuing to earn the trust that Apple customers place in us.”

⏹️ ▶️ Casey OK, so they’re kind of admitting that something broke. That’s a step, right?

⏹️ ▶️ John Well, the statement we read last time was just like, hey, there’s a problem, blah, blah, blah. This one has two important features that

⏹️ ▶️ John you just read. One is acknowledgment of the family that found and reported the bug, which wasn’t mentioned

⏹️ ▶️ John earlier. It’s like, why bring up the fact that you missed this for

⏹️ ▶️ John a week and that someone reported it? They weren’t even mentioned at all. But since then, all the sort of

⏹️ ▶️ John media coverage of this or whatever has made it the correct PR move to acknowledge what everyone else is saying,

⏹️ ▶️ John that, hey, not only is this a bug, we’re not super, we may or may not be super mad at you about the bug, but the real problem is

⏹️ ▶️ John that you ignored these people who are trying to do the right thing. So the people get acknowledged, and then they

⏹️ ▶️ John say, not only here are the facts about the bug, but also we are committed

⏹️ ▶️ John to improving, is a way of saying we recognize that there was a problem with the process by which we receive and escalate

⏹️ ▶️ John these reports. So, you know, good second PR statement on this issue from

⏹️ ▶️ John Apple. And they also, apparently an executive went to meet the kid who found the

⏹️ ▶️ John bug. I

⏹️ ▶️ Marco would love to know who that was. Like, this Eddie Cue you show up

⏹️ ▶️ Marco, John at your house. I’m not to say that.

⏹️ ▶️ John If Eddie Cue shows up like on his way to work with his shirt untucked,

⏹️ ▶️ John, Marco you know,

⏹️ ▶️ John, Casey rides a Ferrari right

⏹️ ▶️ John up to your house and just screeches through a halt and says, hey kid, heard you found a bug, good job. Wanna go ride in the Ferrari? And then

⏹️ ▶️ John young Casey comes out and says, yes please. Wait, why is it me? Because you got to ride in your

⏹️ ▶️ John neighbor’s Ferrari.

⏹️ ▶️ John, Casey Oh,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey okay. Fair enough.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey, John You forgot that story that you’ve told twice in this podcast? No. Hey, did

⏹️ ▶️ Casey I ever tell you about the story? It’s so weird though.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey How is it that we all assumed it would be Eddie? Shirt undone, shirt untucked.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey, Marco Because

⏹️ ▶️ Marco that would be the funniest. He doesn’t have anything else to do. Joey’s

⏹️ ▶️ John not busy, right? Oh, gosh. Bye.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco We are sponsored this week by Eero. If you want rock solid Wi-Fi coverage in

⏹️ ▶️ Marco your home, you need a multi-router system. One router just doesn’t cover it. It leaves dead

⏹️ ▶️ Marco spots and slow areas. You got like the one room where it’s always a little bit slow in. Get Wi-Fi that works, and that’s

⏹️ ▶️ Marco a multi-point system. Eero is by far the best one I have seen, the best one I have

⏹️ ▶️ Marco used. I’ve given them as gifts to multiple family members so far because they’re just so good.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco It’s super easy to set up. It’s the easiest router setup of any router I’ve ever seen, single or multi-point.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco It has a wonderful app to manage all sorts of features. The hardware is rock solid.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco You never have to reboot it or unplug it or anything like that. And it’s really high-end radios. Everything’s

⏹️ ▶️ Marco the latest, fast technology and everything. There’s great support if you ever need it, although honestly you probably won’t because it’s that easy

⏹️ ▶️ Marco to use. They have tons of great features like guest networks and you can monitor bandwidth per device.

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⏹️ ▶️ Marco of sites against known threats to make sure you don’t accidentally visit a malicious site. You can do content

⏹️ ▶️ Marco blocking per device. You can, for example, block your kids’ devices from being able to see illegal or

⏹️ ▶️ Marco violent or adult content. You can have ad blocking across your entire network centralized. So that

⏹️ ▶️ Marco way you don’t have to have all these different ad blockers on every single device. you can have ad blocking at the network level.

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⏹️ ▶️ Marco unit, two of the beacons, which is probably the combo I recommend for most houses, and one year of Eero

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USB-C “MagSafe”

Chapter USB-C "MagSafe" image.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Once again, slash ATP. Code ATP at checkout to get $100 off the Eero base unit

⏹️ ▶️ Marco and two beacons package with a year of Eero Plus. Thank you so much to Eero for sponsoring our show.

⏹️ ▶️ John So I’ve got this MacBook Air. I think I talked about it when I first got it. And it’s replacing the MacBook

⏹️ ▶️ John Air that my children destroyed, one of my children more than the other. Not that you’re angry. Yeah.

⏹️ ▶️ John The old one was a 2011 and it had a MagSafe. And this is a laptop shared by two kids, and they’re constantly taking

⏹️ ▶️ John it from the charger and just yanking it off and putting it back on. Now we changed to a USB-C only

⏹️ ▶️ John world, but now they have to deal with USB-C connector, which for all its can’t put it in the wrong

⏹️ ▶️ John way attributes still is much more problem prone, let’s say,

⏹️ ▶️ John for kids who don’t care than MagSafe because you have to kind of pull it straight out. You can’t yank

⏹️ ▶️ John it sideways. And it’s just not the type of connector that I want to be plugged in and unplugged all the time. So

⏹️ ▶️ John after I talked about the laptop and the various things on the show, I did get

⏹️ ▶️ John one of those like, turn a USB-C port into a MagSafe-like thing, connectors.

⏹️ ▶️ John We’ll put a link in the show notes to the one I have. It’s a typical Amazon product with

⏹️ ▶️ John a description that is a mile long. USB-C to USB-C magnetic charging power cable charger adapter replacement

⏹️ ▶️ John for MagSafe and BrakeSafe compatible with MacBook Air 2018, new iPad Pro, Google Pixel 3, XL, Samsung

⏹️ ▶️ John Galaxy S9 Plus, and more. Is that all? That is the name of this product. That’s just the

⏹️ ▶️ John name, that’s not the description. It’s from Leonis Tech or something, but it’s like, you’ll see

⏹️ ▶️ John lots of products that are like this. Now, I’ve had this thing for, I don’t know, I got

⏹️ ▶️ John the 2018 MacBook Air, whatever that show was a couple weeks ago, a month ago. So I haven’t had it for a long time.

⏹️ ▶️ John So I can’t vouch for the quality of this thing. I can’t say that it’s not gonna burn down your house if you buy it.

⏹️ ▶️ John Maybe it’s gonna flake out in a week. I have no idea. I do know that the little tiny nubbin

⏹️ ▶️ John you put in the USB-C thing seems like it’s in there really good and I’m wondering how I’m ever gonna get it out

⏹️ ▶️ John without like somehow prying it out, carry carefully with some kind of tool that’s not gonna scratch my laptop.

⏹️ ▶️ John But whatever, nothing ever goes in those ports because we don’t have anything that goes in those ports because nobody has anything that goes in those ports except for dongles.

⏹️ ▶️ John So the only thing that ever, I think it’s fine to just sort of dedicate that part to this. And we’ve been using

⏹️ ▶️ John it and the other important attribute this connector has is it’s a right angle connector because the place

⏹️ ▶️ John where the MacBook Air was, like the cable goes to the back of the desk, right? So it goes to the side of the laptop

⏹️ ▶️ John from the back of the desk. And I have a little thing that holds it so it doesn’t fall down. Anyway, it’s been working fine.

⏹️ ▶️ John Like it provides the attributes of MagSafe in exchange for this little nubbin on the side of my

⏹️ ▶️ John computer. I hope it continues to work fine, but you know, the cable is a little bit stiff. That’s

⏹️ ▶️ John probably the worst thing I can say about it. But otherwise it’s working and the kids

⏹️ ▶️ John are successfully able to plug and unplug it without really breaking anything. So I have

⏹️ ▶️ John put yet another Band-Aid on my computer that already has a giant Band-Aid underneath the entire keyboard.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Wonderful. Yeah, I’m actually, I’m curious to hear how that works out long-term, because I also looked into if

⏹️ ▶️ Marco any of those fake MagSafe USB-C adapter things were good. And when

⏹️ ▶️ Marco I looked, which was admittedly about a year ago, the conclusion I came to was

⏹️ ▶️ Marco that this is one of those product categories where everything is terrible. You know, so like I just didn’t get any of them. But yeah,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco so if that works out, let us know.

⏹️ ▶️ John Yeah, if something’s gonna be terrible about it, like I knew out of the box, the only thing I can say is the cable was a little stiff.

⏹️ ▶️ John Like it’s like the kinks that are in the cable, they don’t straighten, it’s a braided cable or whatever, but they didn’t straighten

⏹️ ▶️ John out that well. But the connection felt solid. It never failed to power

⏹️ ▶️ John the computer or anything. Like it just, it works exactly like you’d expect it to work. Now, long-term

⏹️ ▶️ John it could wear out or get crappy or start arcing or do something terrible. So I have no idea. I think it’s gonna be these sort of

⏹️ ▶️ John brands I’ve never heard of with these really long descriptions always, you know, make me a little bit worried, but

⏹️ ▶️ John it seems to be working fine. So I’ll definitely let you know if it catches fire. Please do

USB-C LED charging cable

Chapter USB-C LED charging cable image.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Alright, Marco, speaking of USB-C things, tell us about your light-up charging cable.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Yeah, I think I mentioned this a while ago that I had just gotten it and I just wanted to say that I’ve been really enjoying it. So

⏹️ ▶️ Marco I have solved my main issue with the bad USB-C

⏹️ ▶️ Marco power brick transition, which was that we lost the little LED on the cable

⏹️ ▶️ Marco that told us whether our laptop was charging or charged by lighting up orange or green.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco And company Moshi, M-O-S-H-I, makes one for about 30 bucks

⏹️ ▶️ Marco that is a USB-C power cable, just C to C, and on one end of it, it has an

⏹️ ▶️ Marco LED that works exactly that way. And it’s not totally perfect for all devices

⏹️ ▶️ Marco because I’m assuming that it distinguishes charging versus charge based on just like how much power

⏹️ ▶️ Marco is going through it, a little bit or a lot. So like some devices, it can maybe show the

⏹️ ▶️ Marco like charged green state when it’s actually still charging. But for the most part, like for computers, it works fine.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco For iPads, you know, for everything else, like it works totally fine. And definitely for every laptop I’ve tried it on. And

⏹️ ▶️ Marco so it’s wonderful. So I now have light up charging cables back, something that

⏹️ ▶️ Marco was standard on all Apple laptops until a few years ago. And it’s still, it is exactly

⏹️ ▶️ Marco as useful as I remember it. I’m very happy I went back to this. So we’ll put a link in the show notes to these

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Moshi cables.

Screen-protector update

Chapter Screen-protector update image.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Since you seem to be augmenting all of your naked robotic cores, would you like to tell me about your

⏹️ ▶️ Casey screen protector on your iPad?

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Sure, yeah. So, when we last spoke, I was trying the paper-like

⏹️ ▶️ Marco screen protector. This was probably about a month ago now, it’s been a while. And I said that I had one

⏹️ ▶️ Marco of the tempered glass fancy ones on the way. And I have since

⏹️ ▶️ Marco tried them both. I have, I spent a lot of time with the paper-like screen protector. I spent

⏹️ ▶️ Marco a little bit of time with the tempered glass one from some fancy company that is Japanese

⏹️ ▶️ Marco that everyone says makes the best ones I forget the name and I gotta say

⏹️ ▶️ Marco I’m currently rocking a naked robotic core iPad Pro and the funny is

⏹️ ▶️ Marco in the meantime our friend Mike Hurley on the connected podcast has started using the paper like

⏹️ ▶️ Marco kind of because I did and and he uses the Apple pencil a lot more than I do and

⏹️ ▶️ Marco one of the benefits of it was that it provides a much nicer texture when using the pencil.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco And he sounds like he’s similarly on the fence about it because it does make the screen look worse, but

⏹️ ▶️ Marco it makes it feel better. I went back to just Naked iPad after trying.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco The tempered glass one I found actually even worse than the paper-like in

⏹️ ▶️ Marco pretty much every aspect. It was harder to install correctly. The resulting texture

⏹️ ▶️ Marco was not as nice. It was much more harsh. It felt more like sandpaper. It

⏹️ ▶️ Marco was not a very nice texture in my opinion. It was not nice with the pencil or touch in that way.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco It just wasn’t very good. I kept it on for like two days and I’m like, all right, I’m done with this. And

⏹️ ▶️ Marco I haven’t yet put back the paper-like because to make a matte finish, you basically

⏹️ ▶️ Marco have to make a whole bunch of tiny bumps that diffuse light. And so what it ends

⏹️ ▶️ Marco up looking like is a kind of slightly blurry film over the entire

⏹️ ▶️ Marco screen. so the screen itself ends up looking worse. One big issue I had with it

⏹️ ▶️ Marco was when I would take it out of the house, when sun hit it, the glare was way higher

⏹️ ▶️ Marco on the matte screen than it was on the naked iPad screen. And so it was actually harder to use in

⏹️ ▶️ Marco the sun also because of that glare. I’d have to crank the brightness way up to even have a chance. And then

⏹️ ▶️ Marco of course I’m using way more battery and it still wasn’t very legible in bright sun.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco So I noticed how bad it looked more often than I appreciated

⏹️ ▶️ Marco how good it felt. And the transition back to going naked

⏹️ ▶️ Marco again was rough because when you’re used to your finger gliding smoothly over that

⏹️ ▶️ Marco wonderful feeling matte texture, and then you go back to glass that

⏹️ ▶️ Marco starts out with no fingerprints on it, so it has no greasy coating to help you move faster,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco it was actually unpleasant to use my iPad for like that first day. the transition coming down from a screen protector is really

⏹️ ▶️ Marco rough. But after a couple days I stopped noticing and I’m you know I’m back

⏹️ ▶️ Marco to the old way of just using it the way everyone else does. And while I’m not happy with how incredibly

⏹️ ▶️ Marco fingerprinty it is now, I’m not happy with the status quo of using it the normal way.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco But I was more unhappy with the downsides of the screen protector

⏹️ ▶️ Marco than I am with the downsides of the regular screen. So for now even though I have

⏹️ ▶️ Marco an extra paper like in the drawer that I can stick on at any time I’m I’m I think I’m just not gonna

⏹️ ▶️ Marco use it I think I’m going without it because even though the the stock screen setup

⏹️ ▶️ Marco is totally flawed with how greasy and horrible it gets and even though the paper like does

⏹️ ▶️ Marco feel better and is better with the pencil those were not strong enough advantages to make

⏹️ ▶️ Marco it worth its disadvantages for me.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey That makes sense. I’m somewhat surprised that both of you stuck with it even as long as you did,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey but it can’t hurt to try, so I’m glad you

⏹️ ▶️ John did. So what’s the flaw in the screen? How would you make the stock screen better?

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Before the Apple Pencil, before the iPad Pro, the oleophobic coatings they would

⏹️ ▶️ Marco use on iPads and iPhones would not get as visibly fingerprinty as these

⏹️ ▶️ Marco do. Ever since the Pro came out with the Pencil support, they have changed the oleophobic coating

⏹️ ▶️ Marco and I assume it’s because the pencil wasn’t good with the with the previous kind of coating maybe it scratched the coating

⏹️ ▶️ Marco off or maybe the coating did weird things to the pencil who knows but whatever the case the old coating

⏹️ ▶️ Marco was not suitable to work with the Apple pencil and so the new coating it just doesn’t seem

⏹️ ▶️ Marco as good at repelling oils and so it just gets really greasy looking really

⏹️ ▶️ Marco fast and it looks gross and it makes content on screen kind of hard to see sometimes like

⏹️ ▶️ Marco he’s a different way to the screen protector. Like you gotta wipe it on your pants to just

⏹️ ▶️ Marco be able to see like all this stuff on screen.

⏹️ ▶️ John I can see the fingerprinting when the screen is not on mine, but when

⏹️ ▶️ John the screen’s on, I don’t really notice it that much. I don’t know. I mean, do you actually know for a fact that they changed the

⏹️ ▶️ John coding or are you just guessing because the screens look so different?

⏹️ ▶️ Marco No, I know for a fact it has changed and it was pencil related. I mostly see

⏹️ ▶️ Marco it when I’m scrolling content. So like, even if you’re using it, like, especially if you have

⏹️ ▶️ Marco a light background being displayed, like a webpage, and you’re scrolling, you can see all the crap and grease

⏹️ ▶️ Marco that’s staying still on the screen as you’re scrolling the light content under it.

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Ahrendts leaving Apple

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⏹️ ▶️ Casey Angel Arents is out at Apple, which took me by quite a bit of surprise,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey not to say that Apple is of the habit of running executive departures by me or anything, but

⏹️ ▶️ Casey I didn’t hear any sort of rumblings and didn’t see any smoke to indicate

⏹️ ▶️ Casey that this was coming. But Apple has said that Angela’s leaving

⏹️ ▶️ Casey and that Deirdre O’Brien, who apparently was senior vice president of people,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey which I take to mean HR, is now going to suck up retail as well,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey which seems like a bit of an odd pairing, but, you know, whatever. But Angela was there for about five years.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey I have some different things that I’d like to talk about, but my initial reaction

⏹️ ▶️ Casey was That it was a bit of a bummer because to me, it seems like she’s a very, very,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey very smart woman who certainly has plenty of great experience and seemed to

⏹️ ▶️ Casey be making some really interesting changes to the Apple store. And so my initial reaction

⏹️ ▶️ Casey was, well, oh, that’s stinks. But then I thought, and we were in a, you know, we’re in a couple of slacks where

⏹️ ▶️ Casey this was discussed. I was thinking about how I do or do not really

⏹️ ▶️ Casey like going to the Apple store. And we’ve talked about this before on the show that for East coasters

⏹️ ▶️ Casey going to the Apple store, it’s kind of frustrating because there’s no

⏹️ ▶️ Casey order to it and no lines and no places where you can go and find a cash register or anything like

⏹️ ▶️ Casey that. So none of that necessarily was Angela’s fault. In fact, I think most of that predated her, if not

⏹️ ▶️ Casey all of it, but I don’t know, it would, it, it, it seems like it would be interesting to

⏹️ ▶️ Casey be able to tweak the setup a little bit. And like I said, I have some other thoughts about this, but I wanted to give you guys

⏹️ ▶️ Casey a chance to have, I don’t know, like an opening statement, if you will. So John, how do you feel about this?

⏹️ ▶️ John John Greenewald Well, anytime there’s any big executive news like this, there’s always, you

⏹️ ▶️ John know, two obvious angles on the story. One is to talk about like the sort of, you

⏹️ ▶️ John know, palace drama or court intrigue or whatever phrase that I’m not pulling out of thin air

⏹️ ▶️ John that applies to this of like, you know, why is this person leaving?

⏹️ ▶️ John Were they fired? Were they not performing well? Why are they on their way out?

⏹️ ▶️ John Whose power is ascendant? What does it mean that the new person got the job? Stuff like that.

⏹️ ▶️ John Part of the reason we can have that discussion is kind of like the Netflix and Facebook

⏹️ ▶️ John and Google versus individual developer situation. When you’re a regular

⏹️ ▶️ John person and a regular employee and you get fired, they just fire you. I’m high enough on the

⏹️ ▶️ John org chart, very, very rarely are you actually fired.

⏹️ ▶️ John Even if they do want to fire you, they let you leave

⏹️ ▶️ John in a way that makes it seem like you weren’t fired. So that’s why we can have these discussions

⏹️ ▶️ John like, is this person actually leaving to spend more time with their family or is that just

⏹️ ▶️ John the, you know, the phrase they use when they want someone to leave, but they’re so important that they can’t say, yeah, we

⏹️ ▶️ John didn’t like the job this person was doing. so we fired them. And it’s easy to get caught up in that

⏹️ ▶️ John aspect of the thing, like the personal drama or whatever. Palace intrigue? Maybe that’s, I’m getting closer.

⏹️ ▶️ John But the fact is, we don’t know any of that stuff. We don’t work for Apple. We don’t have any line on the executives.

⏹️ ▶️ John Certainly, Apple’s not going to talk about that type of stuff. So we can speculate to some degree, especially

⏹️ ▶️ John about whether someone was sent on their way in some fashion or encouraged

⏹️ ▶️ John to leave, because that does have some relevance to the future of the company and the direction of the company or whatever. But

⏹️ ▶️ John the details, we can’t really know. Although I do find myself getting sidetracked in this thing and thinking,

⏹️ ▶️ John much more so than the individual developer versus Facebook, Google, or Netflix situation,

⏹️ ▶️ John how incredibly unfair it is that the most important jobs with the most responsibility

⏹️ ▶️ John and the most influence on the lives of the most number of other people get

⏹️ ▶️ John to have this graceful exit, even if everybody hated them and they did a bad job. So we can’t fire them.

⏹️ ▶️ John Well, then what? They would have trouble getting another job. And what, you know, like, no matter what they do, like,

⏹️ ▶️ John you know, I don’t wanna get, say they’re sexually harassing somebody, but say they’re just terrible at their job.

⏹️ ▶️ John Say they don’t show up and they yell at people and they make bad decisions all the time and the company goes down

⏹️ ▶️ John the tubes. It’s like, well, but they’re an executive. So give them a multimillion dollar golden parachute and say, we thank

⏹️ ▶️ John this person for their service and they’ve done such a great job. And that just rubs me the wrong way because it’s like the exact opposite

⏹️ ▶️ John of the way it should be. Like the person who has a manager who hates them for some

⏹️ ▶️ John reason that no one else can discern, but gets to fire them with cause, they get to, everyone knows they

⏹️ ▶️ John were fired. So when they get another job, it’s like, oh yeah, we’ll totally tell them that we fired you from this job. But the executive,

⏹️ ▶️ John who has much more important job, like they get all the perks,

⏹️ ▶️ John but they don’t get the downsides. Oh, and also, no matter how bad you do in this job, you will leave

⏹️ ▶️ John rich, and we won’t even say that we fired you. So I don’t want to go down that tangent. I don’t

⏹️ ▶️ John think that’s what happened here or whatever. But anytime I see that it just strikes me as the opposite of the way things should be in it makes me very

⏹️ ▶️ John angry. Unlike Facebook, Google and Netflix getting better treatment in the app store, which seems like the way it probably

⏹️ ▶️ John should be and is probably the best for everybody. All things considered. Anyway, that’s I want to put that aside

⏹️ ▶️ John for now and just briefly say that the the other angle on this that is much more relevant

⏹️ ▶️ John to us who doesn’t we don’t have any connection so that you know the higher ups

⏹️ ▶️ John in Apple is let’s look at you know, so and just leaving How do you pronounce

⏹️ ▶️ John her last name? Arentz? I thought it was Arentz, but I am not confident. She’s leaving,

⏹️ ▶️ John I assume, for exactly for the stated reasons, although we have some other theories about that that we’ll

⏹️ ▶️ John get to in a little bit. But we can look back at her tenure and say, I don’t know what her metrics

⏹️ ▶️ John were inside Apple. Was she tasked with increase this number to this, increase that to that, or do like, we don’t know if she did a good

⏹️ ▶️ John job according to executives. What constitutes a good job? What’s

⏹️ ▶️ John on her, like a scorecard, another fun thing, Another fun business term for Marker to learn. What’s

⏹️ ▶️ John, Marco on her scorecard for the year? I have no idea.

⏹️ ▶️ John But I can say that as a person who goes to Apple stores, we can all have an opinion about,

⏹️ ▶️ John have Apple stores gotten better, worse, or the same in her tenure? What has she done

⏹️ ▶️ John that is externally visible and felt by customers to the thing that she was responsible? She was

⏹️ ▶️ John responsible for retail. How is retail going? And

⏹️ ▶️ John I think we all know most of her big initiatives because she got a lot of keynote time. Her initiatives got a

⏹️ ▶️ John lot of keynote time. She did certain things to the Apple stores that Apple told us about

⏹️ ▶️ John a lot. The town square kind of concept, the making the Apple

⏹️ ▶️ John store a meeting place, the real ramping up of the classes and everything

⏹️ ▶️ John, Casey that they did. Today at

⏹️ ▶️ John Apple? Yeah, today at Apple. To some degree, slightly redesigning the Apple stores.

⏹️ ▶️ John That’s what she did during her tenure. And I think we can evaluate that and say,

⏹️ ▶️ John do we like that? Do we not like it or is it neutral? And not worry about at all

⏹️ ▶️ John whether Apple kicked her out or whatever. I feel like

⏹️ ▶️ John there’s no scenario in which Apple hated everything she did, because they promoted it for many years.

⏹️ ▶️ John They weren’t like, we hate all this stuff, but we’re going to give you the number one slot in every keynote for two years to talk

⏹️ ▶️ John about your initiatives. They talked about it a lot. I think the entire company was on board with all

⏹️ ▶️ John of her initiatives. But were they good for the Apple Store? question.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey I don’t know. It’s hard to say because it to my eyes,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey a lot of these changes have also been coinciding or commensurate

⏹️ ▶️ Casey with whatever word I’m looking for that starts with C with Apple becoming more and more and more and more and more popular

⏹️ ▶️ Casey with regular people. And so it’s hard for me to separate the fact that my

⏹️ ▶️ Casey local Apple store has gotten busier and busier and less and less fun to be in.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Is that because of Angela or just because Apple in general has many more

⏹️ ▶️ Casey users and to some degree many more products? And it’s very, very difficult for me to separate

⏹️ ▶️ Casey the two, but something that I’ve heard a lot of people say, which seems

⏹️ ▶️ Casey odd to me that this is the time it’s come up, but a lot of people have been saying, and I agree with them, that it seems

⏹️ ▶️ Casey like a couple of years ago was the right time for Apple to add a whole bunch more stores, and

⏹️ ▶️ Casey they clearly haven’t. They’ve been redesigning a lot of stores. Like my local store moved within the

⏹️ ▶️ Casey same mall a few spots to become bigger. And I’ve heard a lot of people say their local stores have gotten bigger and prettier

⏹️ ▶️ Casey in many cases, but it seems like there’s definitely a pretty big

⏹️ ▶️ Casey appetite for more stores. I’ve heard people in large metropolitan areas say this. I’ve heard people in more

⏹️ ▶️ Casey rural areas say this. As I’ve lamented on this show numerous times, Virginia is a reasonably large

⏹️ ▶️ Casey state, certainly a heck of a lot bigger than a hilariously small state like Massachusetts

⏹️ ▶️ Casey and for two-thirds of Virginia, the closest Apple

⏹️ ▶️ Casey store to these places, which is four hours from the one near me, is four hours

⏹️ ▶️ Casey away. I totally gave away the punchline there. That’s okay. Uh, somehow Marco will edit that to make it sound good. Not

⏹️ ▶️ Casey, John really. I don’t

⏹️ ▶️ Casey, Marco think.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey, John But anyway,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey, Marco yeah, no, you’re

⏹️ ▶️ Casey stuck with that one. That’s right. The point is though, uh, a

⏹️ ▶️ Casey lot more stores would help a lot. Now, was that Angela’s decision not to open more stores? Maybe, maybe not.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Are all these stores a lot prettier now? Yeah, I’d say so. Do they have other things going on there? Yes, certainly. Today

⏹️ ▶️ Casey at Apple is new. Is going to the Genius Bar very much fun? No. Was it ever

⏹️ ▶️ Casey really fun? No. But does it seem less fun now than it was in years past? Probably.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey I don’t know. And I have, again, more thoughts on this, but before I go down the rabbit hole, Marco, what

⏹️ ▶️ Casey is your kind of hot take to start?

⏹️ ▶️ Marco I mean, just looking at Angela Arntz and what she did and why

⏹️ ▶️ Marco she might be leaving, it’s hard to say because, again, we don’t know

⏹️ ▶️ Marco what was her decision, what was not her decision. These things could have been decided above or below her.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco But I do think it is worth discussing the state of the Apple retail

⏹️ ▶️ Marco stores and the experience there. The time that she has spent as the head of retail here

⏹️ ▶️ Marco has been easily characterized in a few ways of certain things changing. So number one is

⏹️ ▶️ Marco the architecture has seen dramatic improvements. Like the ones that have been remodeled,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco they look stunning. They look incredible

⏹️ ▶️ Marco until you go into them. And it, like, you

⏹️ ▶️ Marco know, this can be a metaphor for so many things. They look great, but

⏹️ ▶️ Marco they don’t work very well. There was actually, there was a great post by our friend Dr. Drang

⏹️ ▶️ Marco yesterday about the Apple SVP changes and the retail and he likened

⏹️ ▶️ Marco the latest retail era where things are looking great but not working very well in a

⏹️ ▶️ Marco similar way to like when Johnny Ive took over software design in addition

⏹️ ▶️ Marco to hardware design. Modern Apple software looks great but it doesn’t

⏹️ ▶️ Marco work as well like UI wise as it used to. And so I

⏹️ ▶️ Marco think, you know, we can summarize this with something you said earlier, Casey. I don’t enjoy going to the Apple Store. And I would

⏹️ ▶️ Marco also question, like, do you know anyone who enjoys going to the Apple Store today?

⏹️ ▶️ John Mm-hmm. I think some people are excited to see the cool products. Maybe they’re not there to purchase,

⏹️ ▶️ John but I think there is still, because the stores do look nice and because they have all the shiny products on tables,

⏹️ ▶️ John if you can take yourself back to the less jaded time when you were excited to see a shiny product that you hadn’t seen before

⏹️ ▶️ John going into a cool looking place to see the shiny product, even when it’s packed full of people, or maybe even

⏹️ ▶️ John especially when it’s packed for people. I’m thinking mostly of probably young people doing this. I think there probably are people who still find that

⏹️ ▶️ John an exciting experience. And you know, the architecture itself is a draw. You see people taking pictures of themselves by the fancy

⏹️ ▶️ John location based Apple store. So I’m not to say that like the overall argument of like the store is getting

⏹️ ▶️ John better or worse, not taking a position on that quite yet. But I do think there are people who enjoy the Apple store

⏹️ ▶️ John way more than we do.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Okay, so I mean that’s fair. When I go to an Apple store, I’m going there for a purpose.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco It’s usually either to buy something, which I already know what I want and I just want to go buy it, or I need to

⏹️ ▶️ Marco get something serviced or something. And when you go there with that purpose in mind,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco it’s really a pretty poor experience a lot of the time. Not all the time, but a lot of the time.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco It fundamentally comes down to overcrowding, I think that seems to be the main issue. And Casey, I think you made a good point.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco It does seem like they probably just need a lot more stores and who knows why they haven’t opened more.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco I’m sure they have their reasons, but I think they have a significant overcrowding issue at many of

⏹️ ▶️ Marco their stores much of the time. And you can see this for yourself if you try to make a Genius Bar appointment

⏹️ ▶️ Marco to get something serviced and you oftentimes can’t get an appointment for like a week at least.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco There’s clearly scaling problems here and this goes from every level from the

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Genius bar for or whatever the genius arbor is called now. Yeah, yeah.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco From that, it works, whatever that is, that’s a whole other thing, whether that was a big mistake or not.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Or, you know, from that to like even just when you go into the store, you are,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco you’re supposed to talk to the person up front, which often isn’t obvious because the person up front is often talking to somebody else already and you

⏹️ ▶️ Marco can just walk right past them and not even realize they were there.

⏹️ ▶️ John Because they have 900 doors when they’re like the ones that were just the entire front of the store opens up.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Right, so you walk into any of the nine hundred doors. You’re supposed to go talk to the person in front, but there’s nothing saying that

⏹️ ▶️ Marco and it’s often not obvious and the person often is busy doing other things. What you’re supposed to do is talk to that person

⏹️ ▶️ Marco and then they tell you, oh go stand over at that table and wait for you know

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Sarah and you’re like okay, I don’t know who Sarah is. I hope this problem will be

⏹️ ▶️ Marco resolved some other way. You know so you go over and you stand at whatever table you think

⏹️ ▶️ Marco they were waving you over to, but it was the outside of the store and you could be off by one because

⏹️ ▶️ Marco, Casey it’s a pretty

⏹️ ▶️ Marco far distance to just go off a hand wave. So then you get waved over to the table, you’re waiting for Sarah

⏹️ ▶️ Marco and then you walk over there like, all right, looking around like who there’s like three people also hovering around

⏹️ ▶️ Marco who you think are also waiting. You’re not really sure what order you all got there in and

⏹️ ▶️ Marco eventually somebody with the store colored shirt comes over who might be Sarah and they they’re talking

⏹️ ▶️ Marco to somebody for a long time and you’re like I don’t know, do they know I’m here? Am

⏹️ ▶️ Marco I next? I don’t even… like what the Apple Store really needs is

⏹️ ▶️ Marco an ancient innovation. Lines.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco, Casey This is a

⏹️ ▶️ Marco solved problem. Lines. And the funny thing is like what they are doing with

⏹️ ▶️ Marco their freeform system here is basically creating a bunch of virtual cues around the

⏹️ ▶️ Marco store anyway. They’re just disorganized and confusing and they’re trying to pretend like they don’t exist. But what they’re

⏹️ ▶️ Marco actually creating is a a bunch of terrible lines that are really hard to figure out.

⏹️ ▶️ John Well, these lines have a very important attribute, which is done in like Disney and other theme parks in a

⏹️ ▶️ John slightly different way, which is to intentionally not let you know exactly how long you’re going to be waiting. Right.

⏹️ ▶️ John Having the line snake around so you can never see the full, its full extent. Right. So if you think about the

⏹️ ▶️ John Apple Store, and we get back to the crowding thing in a second, but if you think about the Apple Store, if it was designed like a Target or

⏹️ ▶️ John a Walmart, you’d have a whole bunch of registers and a whole bunch of lines. I mean, you’ve seen Target where they double up

⏹️ ▶️ John the registers. Like, not only do they do it parallel, but it goes deep. So that each line feeds

⏹️ ▶️ John two or three registers, right? To try to make the most efficient use of space. And

⏹️ ▶️ John when the store is really slammed and all those things are running, the idea, as you’re going around

⏹️ ▶️ John with your cart and you go past the checkout section and you see this just massive humanity, and you’re like, oh, I

⏹️ ▶️ John better factor in an extra 15 to 20 minutes to wait on all these lines, right? it

⏹️ ▶️ John gives you the impression that it’s going to be a long wait. Whereas when everyone is dispersed like this,

⏹️ ▶️ John the store is so crowded anyway, and you can’t tell which people are there in a quote unquote line, and which people

⏹️ ▶️ John are just there playing with the iPhones or whatever. And so it just like, well, the store is crowded, but how many of these

⏹️ ▶️ John people, a are even in line and B are in front of me in line. And it makes that

⏹️ ▶️ John makes that question harder to answer. Like I think there are actually attributes of the system that

⏹️ ▶️ John are positive as far as the experience that Apple’s trying

⏹️ ▶️ John to provide. We can certainly all see the negatives of it, but to flip it around the other way, with the number

⏹️ ▶️ John of people that are there, they’d have to dedicate a huge amount of the store to lines and the store would look

⏹️ ▶️ John like, instead of looking like a store that’s really crowded, like a party, it would look like a place where

⏹️ ▶️ John if you go, you know you’re gonna have to wait a long time to get what you want. Whereas now when you see a crowded store,

⏹️ ▶️ John you can guess that, but it’s not entirely clear what every person in the store is doing. Like

⏹️ ▶️ John I can see reasons for them sticking with this, despite the fact that every time we ever talk about the Apple store, all we say

⏹️ ▶️ John is please make a line because we’re all from the East Coast and we just want to know what order we’re in, right? So I definitely

⏹️ ▶️ John think it is a problem, but I’ve thought about the other side of it to explain why

⏹️ ▶️ John they do what they do. And I know I

⏹️ ▶️ John, Casey didn’t want

⏹️ ▶️ John to mention scorecards, but Casey did bring up the let’s open more stores. Somewhere,

⏹️ ▶️ John I don’t know if it’s on someone’s scorecard, but somewhere inside Apple,

⏹️ ▶️ John there is someone who is measuring a dollar per square foot because they always brag about it or

⏹️ ▶️ John other people brag about it. Like the Apple retail store makes the most money per square foot. What they mean is given

⏹️ ▶️ John a store of this size, how much money leaves customers and goes into the store? If you

⏹️ ▶️ John open more stores and they become less crowded, your dollar per square foot probably

⏹️ ▶️ John goes down because you’re not probably serving entirely new people. What you are instead serving as people who have to

⏹️ ▶️ John drive less far to go to a store, or you’ll split the people from one big store, and some will

⏹️ ▶️ John continue to go to the big store, and some will go to the other store because it’s closer to the game. Like, it’s not, I feel like their

⏹️ ▶️ John dollar per square foot would go down. As far as I’m concerned, fine, make your dollar per square foot go down because the experience would be better

⏹️ ▶️ John because the store would be less crowded. But maybe it’s on somebody’s, you know, yearly

⏹️ ▶️ John metrics to make sure the dollar per square foot goes up and opening new stores would make it go down. So that’s

⏹️ ▶️ John a nefarious or banal business reason for them perhaps not opening new

⏹️ ▶️ John, Casey stores.

⏹️ ▶️ John And it might just be that they’re still trying to be strategic and cautious because the stores cost a lot of money and they don’t want to

⏹️ ▶️ John open a big fancy one and have to close it. I think they’ve closed like one or two Apple stores. I think it was a big deal when they closed

⏹️ ▶️ John the first Apple store that had ever opened up. So I think not every

⏹️ ▶️ John place can support an Apple store. And that’s why they’re all in these big cities and

⏹️ ▶️ John they’ll end up being filled with people. But getting back to what Angela Ahrens did to the Apple

⏹️ ▶️ John store, I, in the end, I think her signature initiatives, the,

⏹️ ▶️ John uh, you know, the today at Apple, the classes and the idea of a town square and a meeting place

⏹️ ▶️ John are fundamentally flawed. Like there is no situation

⏹️ ▶️ John in which an Apple retail store is going to become a town hall

⏹️ ▶️ John meeting place community thing for so many reasons. First of all, a community meeting place

⏹️ ▶️ John can’t be owned by a private corporation. Like I know we all want to be touchy feely and that’s great, but like

⏹️ ▶️ John that’s not the definition of a public space. A public space belongs to the public. A public space is not owned

⏹️ ▶️ John by a giant corporation that allows the public to come into it, right? And there is a difference that the one that’s owned by

⏹️ ▶️ John the private corporation can probably be nicer in some ways, but everyone knows it’s an Apple store.

⏹️ ▶️ John It’s not your store, right? Whereas Central Park does not belong to, God, please don’t tell me Central Park

⏹️ ▶️ John is owned by a bank now,

⏹️ ▶️ John, Casey but I’m assuming Central Park is still not owned by

⏹️ ▶️ John a bank And everyone is in it knows it’s their park, right? And so it

⏹️ ▶️ John can function that way. The second thing is, if you want to make a building, like all the Apple stores are some kind of building,

⏹️ ▶️ John where they become a community center, and a meeting place, and a gathering place,

⏹️ ▶️ John you basically have to have food and drink. Starbucks can do it, because Starbucks or bookstores that serve food

⏹️ ▶️ John and drink, people can’t come to your place and hang out and meet with each other. I mean, they can, but they won’t if there’s no food.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Starbucks, I think, is the best example. It seems like what they really wanted was to become another thing

⏹️ ▶️ Marco like Starbucks. Because Starbucks is a place where people go and meet, but

⏹️ ▶️ Marco I think you’re right, I think it basically needs to be a coffee shop to do that.

⏹️ ▶️ John Yeah, like Barnes & Noble’s a great example where at a certain point, Barnes & Noble stopped being a bookstore that serves

⏹️ ▶️ John food and started being a food store that there’s a bunch of books nearby.

⏹️ ▶️ John, Casey Like they make all their money

⏹️ ▶️ John off of the food part because nobody really buys books, but you can get people to come and gather and buy a

⏹️ ▶️ John coffee every hour or so and sit there on their laptops and do their, right? Like there’s no way that

⏹️ ▶️ John Apple Store ever going to get to the point, no matter how many classes you have, no matter how many like will show you

⏹️ ▶️ John how to do cool things, which those classes are probably great. And the people who go to them probably enjoy them greatly. And I think they’re an important

⏹️ ▶️ John part of Apple’s thing. But you’re never going to turn that from a place where I go when I want to take a class

⏹️ ▶️ John to a let’s all come meet at the Apple Store. Like, that’s it’s it’s a nice idea

⏹️ ▶️ John to have beautiful spaces that you build and keep clean and nice, where people can come and

⏹️ ▶️ John use their cool products that you make to do creative things together. it’s not going to happen. Like you’re

⏹️ ▶️ John not going to make this into the dream of the town hall meeting place. And

⏹️ ▶️ John all these things seem increasingly desperate, trying to get people. There’s a reason for you to keep coming back to the Apple store. Just

⏹️ ▶️ John come to hang out. You don’t have to buy something every time you’re here. In fact, we don’t even have that many products. You probably own all of them already

⏹️ ▶️ John anyway. Just come and visit and maybe we’ll talk about things. We’ll show you how to use stuff. There are

⏹️ ▶️ John so many people there. That’s the other thing. If it’s going to be that type of meeting place, it’s like Times

⏹️ ▶️ John Square could be considered a meeting place, but you’re not going to go there on New Year’s Eve because you’re like, Oh, forget it.

⏹️ ▶️ John, Casey If this guy knows it’s going to be a million people there,

⏹️ ▶️ John like it’s not a good time to go. And the law of crowded places is like the idea of like, you know, the Yogi

⏹️ ▶️ John Berra, no one goes there anymore. It’s too crowded. But like if you take a survey of people and say, how many

⏹️ ▶️ John people are the buses too crowded in this city? They’ll all say, yes, the buses are massively overcrowded. But if you actually measure how many people are

⏹️ ▶️ John on the bus, they’ll be like, you know, 2% utilized. It’s it’s it’s the it’s a it falls out of the natural thing.

⏹️ ▶️ John Like when when it is crowded, more people are there to see it. when it is not crowded, fewer people that receive it. Therefore, most people will say

⏹️ ▶️ John it’s crowded. That’s how crowding works, right? So I bet there are plenty of times where it’s dead at the Apple store

⏹️ ▶️ John when everybody else except for Casey and Marco are at work. You can go and get

⏹️ ▶️ John help right away. Maybe there’s seven people. I think we wandered past an Apple store. I think when I got my iPhone 7, we wandered past

⏹️ ▶️ John an Apple store where there was like 10 people in Apple retail shirts just twiddling their thumbs.

⏹️ ▶️ John And we just walked in there and like, hey, got any iPhone 7s? And seven people scrambled like, oh, we’ll get one. It’s like

⏹️ ▶️ John there’s nobody there. They’re just just like instant service by, you know, two people, one in the back to look for it, one person talk

⏹️ ▶️ John to me, like, you know, that’s, it’s a very different experience when there are not

⏹️ ▶️ John a lot of people there, but because people know that when I’m able to go there, every time I go there, I see that it’s crowded,

⏹️ ▶️ John it’s not a place where I wanna go. I can’t even get a coffee or a Danish. So I think her

⏹️ ▶️ John signature initiatives, while high-minded and interesting, were never a good fit for

⏹️ ▶️ John the Apple Store. The only thing I can say is that maybe the classes were a good idea, but

⏹️ ▶️ John I don’t think the physical infrastructure of the store is equipped to bear them, even though the classes

⏹️ ▶️ John like take advantage of those dead times, like it’s a way to fill those dead times. Hey, when nobody’s there, let’s have classes with filled with retired

⏹️ ▶️ John people and Marco and Casey to learn about their products. Uh, like it, I

⏹️ ▶️ John see how it looks good on paper, but it doesn’t fundamentally change the experience of the Apple

⏹️ ▶️ John store for most people for the better. It makes a new class of people perhaps have an attachment to the Apple Store,

⏹️ ▶️ John but I have to think that the vast majority of people who go to the Apple Store during those crowded

⏹️ ▶️ John times are there to either look at the cool products, buy a cool product, or get something done to a product

⏹️ ▶️ John they’ve already bought. And the classes are just sort of like a nice-to-have filler to

⏹️ ▶️ John populate otherwise idle things. But the town hall thing, or what is it, town square thing,

⏹️ ▶️ John and the community thing, the community building, it’s just never going to happen.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco I also wonder, part of why they brought on Angela Arendt in the first

⏹️ ▶️ Marco place was because when Apple was warming up to the Apple Watch launch,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco they fancied themselves a fashion brand and they really wanted

⏹️ ▶️ Marco to become a significant fashion brand because they wanted the Apple Watch to be a fashion

⏹️ ▶️ Marco item. And I think Angela Arendt comes from the fashion world.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco And so, you know, one of the reasons that I think she might be leaving, if she’s leaving voluntarily, it might be because

⏹️ ▶️ Marco she wants to get back to the fashion world because Apple’s kind of like, I feel like whatever role Apple’s going to

⏹️ ▶️ Marco have in the fashion world, they’ve had and it’s done. And that I think also,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco you know, whether it was her decision or not, that I think might play a big role in why she might be leaving now because,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco you know, Apple did fancy themselves as fashion company with the Apple watch that, you know, they made the gold one

⏹️ ▶️ Marco at first and everything. And I think what they have found with the Apple Watch is that

⏹️ ▶️ Marco it’s way less of a fashion item and they are way less of a fashion company than they

⏹️ ▶️ Marco thought. And it’s much more like their other products. It’s

⏹️ ▶️ Marco a nice electronic gadget that people use in a wide variety of ways

⏹️ ▶️ Marco that is fashionable in the way that new gadgets can be fashionable,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco but is not a member of the world of high fashion. You know, it’s a different industry. It’s a

⏹️ ▶️ Marco different thing. It works differently. It needs to be marketed differently. It needs to be sold differently. And they

⏹️ ▶️ Marco pulled away fairly quickly from that with the watch. I think their fashion phase or

⏹️ ▶️ Marco their phase of fashion aspiration is over. And so

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Angela might not be as much of an ideal leader for their retail operations

⏹️ ▶️ Marco as she was when they hired her when they really had huge aspirations in the world of fashion.

⏹️ ▶️ John Thompson had some similar thoughts, but the only thing I think of is how much influence do you think she actually has? I mean, like in

⏹️ ▶️ John the end, the product teams make the products. I know she can control how they’re displayed and how they’re marketed

⏹️ ▶️ John and how you would best sell them to people. But, you know, the timing definitely makes sense. And

⏹️ ▶️ John when she was hired, everyone was talking about her and the Apple Watch and everything. But in terms of retail,

⏹️ ▶️ John I’m trying to think of anything that the store did that they wouldn’t that they wouldn’t

⏹️ ▶️ John have done anyway, and that wasn’t basically dependent on the product itself being

⏹️ ▶️ John fashionable.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Oh, well, I don’t know. Maybe I’m missing your point, but if you recall, when the watch was announced,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey but I don’t think it was out yet, you could schedule a watch try-on and try on the

⏹️ ▶️ Casey, John different stuff.

⏹️ ▶️ John Maybe, I remember that for the fancy watches and stuff like that. I mean, I’m not saying this theory doesn’t make sense.

⏹️ ▶️ John It totally does. When she was hired, no one was shocked, because we’re like, oh, we know Apple’s doing wearable stuff and this makes

⏹️ ▶️ John perfect sense. And, you know, and Marco’s right, like they did figure out, oh, the watch is a fitness tracker,

⏹️ ▶️ John like it’s not so much a fashion thing, but watches are still fashionable. They still change all the straps all the time. They still try to make them

⏹️ ▶️ John look pretty. And I think the body of the fashion aspirations

⏹️ ▶️ John of Apple are still carried by the products themselves and to much less degree by the retail. And someone in the chat pointed

⏹️ ▶️ John out, if and when Apple ever comes out with AR glasses, we’re going to be back into a new phase where Apple has to figure out

⏹️ ▶️ John what is I mean, not that they’re going to become a fashion brand, but the the degree of difficulty keeps going up.

⏹️ ▶️ John Like we talked about this before the watch came out, like getting a laptop, you know, a computer that looks

⏹️ ▶️ John nice. Well, whatever phone that people carry, oh, that’s much more personal. Then you’re going to strap something on people’s bodies.

⏹️ ▶️ John Now they better not think it’s ugly or embarrassing. Right. Once you put something on their face,

⏹️ ▶️ John it’s an even higher. It’s like probably the highest degree of difficulty. It’s like getting a face tattoo. Like not

⏹️ ▶️ John only does it not have to not be ugly or embarrassing, but it’s on people’s faces. So it’s like

⏹️ ▶️ John it’s much harder to do that. You really have to hide the electronics and figure out a way to fit people’s

⏹️ ▶️ John faces and you know, whatever. And this is all about a product that doesn’t exist. But if and when that happens,

⏹️ ▶️ John they can use some of the lessons from the watch. But I don’t think they need a retail person. I don’t think they ever needed a retail

⏹️ ▶️ John person with fashion expertise to to pull that off. So I think, you know, it’s not

⏹️ ▶️ John if she’s getting pushed out of Apple, it’s not because like their fashion time is over. They’re going to need that expertise again as much as

⏹️ ▶️ John they ever needed it. Uh, but I don’t, I don’t think they’re dead in the water without it. So I think,

⏹️ ▶️ John I think it did learn a lot from the watch and all the come and have a special try on thing, or just the general,

⏹️ ▶️ John the general idea of like how you, how you treat customers who have to try something

⏹️ ▶️ John on how you, how you sell a product to them, how you, how you make sure that they can be sure that

⏹️ ▶️ John they are getting the product that they want, like that you can try all the different straps, how you help them, how you make sure

⏹️ ▶️ John things don’t disappear from those tables, you know, how you make sure they don’t feel rushed, but guide them

⏹️ ▶️ John to the product that will make them happy, yada, yada, yada. Like it’s an extension of what they already do, but it’s slightly different, I suppose.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Yeah. I, I don’t know what to make of it. It is worth noting that there was a Vogue profile

⏹️ ▶️ Casey that came out about a week ago, um, which I thought was actually very interesting. We’ll put a link in the show notes

⏹️ ▶️ Casey and in that profile, it certainly didn’t hint to me that she was,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey you know, one foot out the door, but who knows, maybe she already

⏹️ ▶️ John was. She’s not going to enter. There was another aspect of the story that I saw elsewhere is that she has kids who are in

⏹️ ▶️ John college or just out of college or whatever, but they’re there in in the UK and that’s where she’s going

⏹️ ▶️ John back to. So she’s been for for many years. I think it was like for five years. She’s been separated from her kids

⏹️ ▶️ John because they went to college and in the UK or university as they call it or whatever.

⏹️ ▶️ John Who knows what the hell they call it? But she she said she’s going back over there. So

⏹️ ▶️ John like there are, You know, going to spend more time with your family, like, and also, as I think Ben

⏹️ ▶️ John Thompson also pointed out, all of her stock options are like vesting now. So like it’s, it’s, there are many

⏹️ ▶️ John legit boring reasons for her to decide, well, it’s been a good run. I’m ridiculously wealthy,

⏹️ ▶️ John even more so now. And I want to go hang out with my kids like that, that all actually,

⏹️ ▶️ John the going to spend time with family actually makes sense in this scenario. And maybe she’s also mission fashioning and mission

⏹️ ▶️ John your friends like, and Apple is a high pressure situation and so on and so forth. So I don’t think

⏹️ ▶️ John there is, I don’t have a read on it. Again, we don’t know what goes on inside there, but it doesn’t seem to me

⏹️ ▶️ John that she was pushed out for some terrible reason, but it also doesn’t seem to me that her

⏹️ ▶️ John signature initiatives were a slam dunk for Apple. A couple of other things that she’s done,

⏹️ ▶️ John I was trying to go through all of the articles I could to find what are people attributing

⏹️ ▶️ John to her tenure as Apple retail. One of the things was

⏹️ ▶️ John trying to make it So there aren’t lines outside the stores or aren’t the lines outside aren’t as big on launch

⏹️ ▶️ John days by having a pre-order system and everything like that was another thing that made me think that Apple really doesn’t like

⏹️ ▶️ John the idea of actual lines like actual queues of people anywhere related to their stores because that would happen

⏹️ ▶️ John outside the store before a launch, even though they make a big deal of it. It makes you not want to go towards the store when you see a line

⏹️ ▶️ John of people snaking out. So reducing those by having pre-orders someone in the chat said that you did

⏹️ ▶️ John did or increase the in-store pickup of purchases online. Like I think there’s been a lot of positive initiatives

⏹️ ▶️ John that she’s done, but her signature ones or at least the ones that she promoted that are the

⏹️ ▶️ John most sort of innovative and non-obvious, I just think

⏹️ ▶️ John were not a good fit for the Apple store. So I’m not sad to see

⏹️ ▶️ John a different take on how Apple retail might be improved because none of her initiatives resonated

⏹️ ▶️ John with me personally and I don’t think they were a good fit with the store as it exists.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey The only other thing I wanted to add was that an anonymous retail employee reached out to me and had some thoughts.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey One of the things that they said was that everyone they knew in their store and the surrounding stores,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey except for people pretty high up the chain, seemed to be happy that she was gone.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey This is just one individual. Take this for what you will. This is one individual who reached

⏹️ ▶️ Casey out. I am not aggregating anything. But the same individual said, a silly

⏹️ ▶️ Casey example of what’s been annoying is the dress code change over the last several years, which started

⏹️ ▶️ Casey as basically wear whatever the crap you want, just make sure there’s an Apple shirt over it, to apparently they have some

⏹️ ▶️ Casey sort of like quasi uniform now. I can’t say that I’ve noticed this personally, but I guess

⏹️ ▶️ Casey that, you know, a lot of the retail people are wondering how long until they basically look like Target employee clones, you know, with the khakis

⏹️ ▶️ Casey and the red shirts or what have you. And then this individual had a lot of complaints

⏹️ ▶️ Casey that to me seemed to basically boiled down to there was an increased

⏹️ ▶️ Casey focus on numbers within the store. So silly examples like the retail employees used to always get

⏹️ ▶️ Casey some sort of Christmas gift, and I guess they haven’t for at least a year, if not a couple now. This

⏹️ ▶️ Casey person said that there were considerably fewer in-store repairs and that the geniuses in

⏹️ ▶️ Casey the store basically just triage and then almost everything gets sent out to a repair depot

⏹️ ▶️ Casey to get fixed, which obviously dramatically increases turnaround time and it makes

⏹️ ▶️ Casey being a genius, I would imagine a little bit less fun because all you’re doing is figuring out where you need to ship

⏹️ ▶️ Casey something. Additionally, according to this individual, that geniuses were

⏹️ ▶️ Casey not quite as empowered as they once were to write off a deserving repair. Let’s say

⏹️ ▶️ Casey I’ve never had a problem with any of my devices and I didn’t put new RAM in my iMac, but it

⏹️ ▶️ Casey keeps shutting down spontaneously and I come in within the first month of ownership.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey In the past, they might be able to write something like that off and just be like, okay, here’s new iMac because you’ve been a

⏹️ ▶️ Casey loyal customer, you’ve never had a problem before, you’re probably not trying to fleece us. Here’s a brand new iMac.”

⏹️ ▶️ Casey And I guess according to this person, that’s not as easy anymore. And then finally, they said that the raises

⏹️ ▶️ Casey have not been as good recently as they were in years past. Again, who knows how much

⏹️ ▶️ Casey of that is Angela. But it seems like in summary, there’s

⏹️ ▶️ Casey just a stronger focus on retail, which I guess in some ways is good, but some of that focus is

⏹️ ▶️ Casey numbers related, which the retail employees of course, didn’t seem to care for. And some of it is just kind of

⏹️ ▶️ Casey the touchy-feely things like uniforms. So take that for what you will. Again, I’m not saying this is fact. I’m just telling

⏹️ ▶️ Casey you one individual’s perspective, but it’s certainly, I found it interesting.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Yeah, I’ve heard many of those same things from other retail people that basically

⏹️ ▶️ Marco the last few years have been characterized by a very much like, you know,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco optimization of the numbers thing with retail, which of course means a bunch of things that make the retail employees

⏹️ ▶️ Marco basically less well-paid, less happy, and more overworked.

⏹️ ▶️ John I think this is a trend that has started from the day the Apple Store was created. If you talk to anybody

⏹️ ▶️ John who’s been at the Apple Store in the past five years, ten years, however long it’s been, all the way back to being at the Apple Store,

⏹️ ▶️ John when the Apple Store first came out, it was super high-end. The people who were working

⏹️ ▶️ John in the stores were paid a ton of money, were vastly overqualified for the jobs they were in. It wasn’t crowded.

⏹️ ▶️ John was the opposite of regular retail. And over time there’s been a trend, probably

⏹️ ▶️ John a little bit bumpy, but generally a trend toward slowly, slowly, slowly getting more

⏹️ ▶️ John like regular retail. Probably out of necessity because like why are we spending all this money? Can we pay

⏹️ ▶️ John people less? Can we get less experienced people? Do you need to know that much stuff to be a genius or can we just take anybody off the street

⏹️ ▶️ John and train them to know the five things they need to know or 500 or whatever it is? Can we pay

⏹️ ▶️ John the employees less? Can we make them work harder? Can we make them more uniform? Like,

⏹️ ▶️ John, Casey you

⏹️ ▶️ John know, it’s just a question of scale. It’s very difficult to, especially since the people who

⏹️ ▶️ John are in charge of this are gonna be measured on the same things, it’s very difficult to continue to be like, this is totally

⏹️ ▶️ John different than every retail experience. And you get a job at the Apple store and it’s much better than any

⏹️ ▶️ John other retail job. And we pay you tons of money and it’s relaxing and you are empowered

⏹️ ▶️ John to do things. And you know, you can wear what you want and everything is nice and no

⏹️ ▶️ John one’s in a hurry. And it’s just, that can’t last forever because people are gonna

⏹️ ▶️ John be somewhere, someone’s gonna be looking at a spreadsheet and saying, this is how much money our stores cost, this is how much we bring

⏹️ ▶️ John in, is there a way to change that ratio? To squeeze out some more dollars? Okay, we can squeeze out some more dollars.

⏹️ ▶️ John Do we really have to be hiring these people so massively overqualified to be geniuses? No, no, we could probably

⏹️ ▶️ John institute a training program and hire people with less experience to be geniuses and then pay them less. Good, we saved some money, what

⏹️ ▶️ John could we do next? It just goes on year after year. So like Angela Arendt didn’t make this happen.

⏹️ ▶️ John She just came in at the tail end of a trend that continues and will almost certainly continue long after

⏹️ ▶️ John this, right? And so anytime there’s a change, you’re hoping like this new person is gonna change it. Now we’re

⏹️ ▶️ John not going to get these ridiculous hours. Now we’re gonna have more discretion at the genius bar. Now we’re all gonna

⏹️ ▶️ John get better raises. And then when it doesn’t happen, you’re like, she just made it worse. But she’s just continuing a trend that has

⏹️ ▶️ John been going on and on. And it’s very difficult to fight back against that unless you have massive support at the front end. Like

⏹️ ▶️ John Tim Cook probably thinks, oh, the stores are beautiful. And every time I go, the employees are there smiling.

⏹️ ▶️ John And there’s probably some net promoter score for employees. Like, how do you like working at the

⏹️ ▶️ John Apple store? And it’s like, well, if they leave, we can find more people. Because in the end, Apple retail probably is still better than

⏹️ ▶️ John most retail jobs. Like I’m not saying Apple is now like Best Buy, right? Or Walmart or Target or whatever.

⏹️ ▶️ John It is still probably better from the employee’s perspective. Like I bet the number of Apple store employees who

⏹️ ▶️ John have to get food stamps is much lower than in, say, Walmart, right? So they’re still probably

⏹️ ▶️ John the best retail experience and probably the best retail employment, but not quite as good as they were. And

⏹️ ▶️ John I don’t know how to balance this because I understand like if your job is ahead of retail

⏹️ ▶️ John is to figure out where where can we spend less money and get the same product and you know where are we wasting

⏹️ ▶️ John money and all that other stuff. But that’s generally what Apple has to fight about,

⏹️ ▶️ John fight against as you know a corporation. to fight all those instincts to, you

⏹️ ▶️ John know, in some ways hire the right people who will, who will hold their ground, who will

⏹️ ▶️ John remind everybody, Hey, we’re, we’re supposed to be better than Walmart. Our products are supposed to be better than Dell.

⏹️ ▶️ John Like all those things that we talk about, the reason we hold Apple tool higher standard. Um, I think Angela probably

⏹️ ▶️ John did that in the areas that she cared about and maybe other areas continued on, on the trend. Like maybe she, maybe

⏹️ ▶️ John she got to do those things because she was good at optimizing the other things and, you know, repeat for all the other people

⏹️ ▶️ John who’ve been involved in the retail. One other thing I forgot to mention that accredited her was, we mentioned it

⏹️ ▶️ John before, of buying online and picking up the store. The merging of online and physical retail,

⏹️ ▶️ John which was an important optimization because it was so silly that they were separate. And now it’s nice that when you buy something

⏹️ ▶️ John from Apple, all options are on the table. You can buy it online and pick it up in a store

⏹️ ▶️ John or you can get a repair. You can do a repair online or over the phone, but then drop your thing off at the store to get it done.

⏹️ ▶️ John I did notice when my wife got her watch fixed that they wanted to ship it out. I guess they just don’t do anything

⏹️ ▶️ John in the store anymore. Like everything was, no matter how, I think everything we’ve gotten repaired recently, except for the $30

⏹️ ▶️ John battery replacements, has been a ship out type thing.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Yeah, it’s increasing how many things are ship out things. Watch, I think Watchtuff has always been ship out.

⏹️ ▶️ John Because you can’t open it inside. I’m surprised they tried to repair it all and didn’t replace it. And that makes sense,

⏹️ ▶️ John again, from a numbers perspective. Like it probably is less expensive and the repairs are probably better because the people aren’t rushed

⏹️ ▶️ John and there’s more room in a nice, clean, factory type environment or whatever. But the turnaround

⏹️ ▶️ John time is not as good for the customer. So there’s a trade-off. We didn’t talk about the new person who got the

⏹️ ▶️ John job. Not that we know much about her, but it’s worth mentioning. It’s more

⏹️ ▶️ John of a tea-leave reading. The new person got the job is the head of HR, who is not the former head

⏹️ ▶️ John of HR. It’s the head of HR who now also is the head of retail. The title is like

⏹️ ▶️ John Senior Vice President of HR plus retail, or something like that, with an actual plus sign. It’s

⏹️ ▶️ Marco people, John, not HR. Yeah, I had not been paying

⏹️ ▶️ Marco attention to Deidre O’Brien much, because I don’t usually care about HR. I don’t really know anything about

⏹️ ▶️ Marco her. I guess we’ll find out.

⏹️ ▶️ John Yeah, I mean, if you don’t work for Apple, you probably don’t know who their head of HR, or sorry, head of people is.

⏹️ ▶️ John, Casey But she’s been there

⏹️ ▶️ John for 30 years, so she is

⏹️ ▶️ John, Casey a

⏹️ ▶️ John long-time person. She was there when their first retail effort’s gone. I don’t doubt that she has the knowledge

⏹️ ▶️ John and experience to do this. But the question a lot of people are asking is like, so she’s got

⏹️ ▶️ John two really big, important, I mean, I guess, important jobs now? I guess They both involve people, but is this

⏹️ ▶️ John just somebody keeping the seat warm while they look elsewhere to hire some outside executive?

⏹️ ▶️ John I feel like their track record of hiring outside executives is hit or miss for retail.

⏹️ ▶️ John Like even who’s the original guy who was credited with all the wonderful things and then he went off to try to

⏹️ ▶️ John save JC Penney, but it didn’t work? Ron Johnson.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey There you go. Yep, there you

⏹️ ▶️ John go. I heard a really good, I wish to God I wish I could remember, there’s a really good podcast interview with Ron. I think

⏹️ ▶️ John it was Without Fail on Gimlet, which we may talk about later. Yeah, Ron Johnson talk about his tenure.

⏹️ ▶️ John And I mean, he seems like, you know, a nice guy and everything. But hearing him talk about his tenure,

⏹️ ▶️ John I realized how much he was held aloft by Steve Jobs. Like,

⏹️ ▶️ John in other words, anybody could anybody could have done that job. But he was given a lot of rope

⏹️ ▶️ John and helped a lot by Steve Jobs decision making and taste. The things could have gone disastrously

⏹️ ▶️ John worse if he wasn’t in just the right environment. Right. I don’t want to take credit away from him

⏹️ ▶️ John to say, oh, he didn’t do anything because obviously, you know, he was important and did a good job.

⏹️ ▶️ John But in his own retelling of his history at Apple, other people, especially Steve

⏹️ ▶️ John Jobs, featured very heavily, despite the fact that at a certain point Steve Jobs was like, Look, I can’t be involved with this anymore. You

⏹️ ▶️ John just do something and figure it out. Right? So he deserves a lot of credit, but also

⏹️ ▶️ John maybe less glorification than I hear him receive is like the, you know, Apple retail

⏹️ ▶️ John wouldn’t be what it was without Ron Johnson. I think Jobs could have hired a large group of people and

⏹️ ▶️ John shepherded them towards the same end result, with a few exceptions where he really held

⏹️ ▶️ John his ground, which is an example of what Apple wants. So the Broward person they hired, they said, I guess it didn’t

⏹️ ▶️ John work out, and it was a quick departure. And it’s like, OK, well, when something doesn’t work, it doesn’t work fine. Angela

⏹️ ▶️ John Arendt seems to be working fine as far as everyone’s concerned. I still can’t get away from the nagging notion that

⏹️ ▶️ John despite the entire cooperation and Tim Cook buying into her vision that

⏹️ ▶️ John it still was a mismatch and wasn’t resonating with people like they wanted to work out better than

⏹️ ▶️ John it did. Like in the same way that the poor iPhone sales have the increasingly desperate calls to

⏹️ ▶️ John a call to action on the Apple homepage. Every time they told me more about how, you know, today at Apple and

⏹️ ▶️ John the town square stores, which the chat room wants me to point out, we’re not all the stories that we’re just doing that in certain locations in metropolitan

⏹️ ▶️ John centers. But anyway, that vision of what the Apple store could and should be, I don’t, I don’t think it

⏹️ ▶️ John is what the Apple stores are and will ever be. And so that I feel like is a, you know, a fundamental

⏹️ ▶️ John failure. So maybe Apple is disillusioned with what she was doing, or maybe they are still 100%

⏹️ ▶️ John on board and she just left to spend more time with her kids and do something different. But either way, this

⏹️ ▶️ John new person with two jobs, I feel like that’s that’s too much responsibility for one person.

⏹️ ▶️ John So that person is either keeping the seat warm, or they need to be taken off of their HR

⏹️ ▶️ John job or something because you can’t, Like being in charge of all the employees

⏹️ ▶️ John at Apple and also being in charge of all retail at Apple, that seems like too much.

⏹️ ▶️ John What is she, the new CEO? Maybe she’s promoted her CEO in Tim Cook and Rick and Dyer, but I think they need

⏹️ ▶️ John a new head of retail because despite the fact that they all involve a lot of people and she probably has the skills to do

⏹️ ▶️ John both I don’t think there are enough hours in the day.

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#askatp: Hard-drive brands

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⏹️ ▶️ Casey Steve Lowe writes, Hey, what external drives do you use, recommend and how long do you wait to swap them out?

⏹️ ▶️ Casey For some time I’ve used Seagate drives. This is still Steve. I recently started to use Western Digital drives again reluctantly

⏹️ ▶️ Casey after a major bad experience in college. I try to rotate swap out drives every year or two. I really want to go

⏹️ ▶️ Casey external SSD, like a Samsung T5 or other, but I can’t pull the trigger on shelling out the

⏹️ ▶️ Casey money to get a two terabyte one. So what do you recommend? I

⏹️ ▶️ Casey only use external drives for backups of backups of backups. So

⏹️ ▶️ Casey I don’t really have any particular opinions about this. Marco, do you have thoughts?

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Not really. It has been a very long time, over 10 years, since I’ve

⏹️ ▶️ Marco had a hard drive die and and part of that is just because for a while there, I would

⏹️ ▶️ Marco I would upgrade them to get a larger size after you know, two to three years of

⏹️ ▶️ Marco usage, and

⏹️ ▶️ Marco, John so it just

⏹️ ▶️ John wasn’t even keep them long enough for them to die.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Yeah, so it just was long enough for them to die. I have, however, like I’ve been running a NAS with

⏹️ ▶️ Marco a whole bunch of four terabyte hard drives in it for a while now and like from for at least three years

⏹️ ▶️ Marco and I’m so I’m kind of surprised none of them have ever died. I’m kind I think I’m on borrowed time here,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco but generally, like, you know, strategies you can use, you know, that that obviously is a valve

⏹️ ▶️ Marco strategy of just like just buy a new one every like two to three years and you can be pretty sure that

⏹️ ▶️ Marco your odds are very good that it won’t die. Other strategies you can use things like

⏹️ ▶️ Marco don’t buy two hard drives at the same time. Like if you’re if you’re placing order, if you need multiple drives,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco buy them from like three different stores or buy them if you’re going to buy them all from the same store, buy them like three different

⏹️ ▶️ Marco weeks. So that way you get different batches of the drive. So you don’t all have, like, in case something was a little

⏹️ ▶️ Marco bit off about one production run or one batch of a drive, like the one day it was made, you minimize your

⏹️ ▶️ Marco chances that both of your drives are gonna be part of that batch.

⏹️ ▶️ John This is like the advice about not buying a car that was like built on Friday

⏹️ ▶️ John, Marco because no one’s paying attention.

⏹️ ▶️ John Like the problem with both of those theories is you don’t know how the batching works. You could buy things three months apart

⏹️ ▶️ John and they can come from the same batch.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Yeah, it’s all about odds, really. But the biggest thing, which one of you has put in the show notes,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco is to look at data that is larger than what you have anecdotally. And

⏹️ ▶️ Marco my favorite source of this is the Backblaze occasional blog posts where they will talk

⏹️ ▶️ Marco about hard drive failure rates. Backblaze buys and uses a lot of hard drives

⏹️ ▶️ Marco because they’re an online backup company, of course. Frequent sponsor of the show, by the way. Anyway, so

⏹️ ▶️ Marco they buy a lot of hard drives and they publish about maybe once a year, I think, they publish failure rates by brand

⏹️ ▶️ Marco and model of the hard drives they use. And granted, Backblaze’s usage won’t exactly

⏹️ ▶️ Marco be the same type and pattern of usage that any other user might be doing, but it

⏹️ ▶️ Marco is good to see these high-level trends from a very, very large install base.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco And so basically, buy what Backblaze tells you is pretty reliable.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco That is the best I can tell you. The reputations that brands have over

⏹️ ▶️ Marco time, they are not stable. They shift with different model lines that are more or less reliable

⏹️ ▶️ Marco than others. Sometimes one brand will have a really bad model line, like the IBM Death Star

⏹️ ▶️ Marco ones, like that’ll just ruin their reputation forever and make them sell their whole business to Hitachi.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco But for the most part, brands go in and out of reliability. And

⏹️ ▶️ Marco check big data sets like Backblaze if you wanna actually know what to buy.

⏹️ ▶️ John How you remind me about the Death Stars. The worst thing about those is their price performance was amazing. That’s why everybody

⏹️ ▶️ John bought

⏹️ ▶️ John, Marco them.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco, John That was

⏹️ ▶️ Marco the last time I had a hard drive die. It was an IBM Death Star, because it was a great hard drive until

⏹️ ▶️ John it died. Yeah, everyone got them. And like, this is the obvious winner. This is the best hard drive. Everyone should

⏹️ ▶️ John just get this one. Done and done, and then they died. Like, oh, well, you

⏹️ ▶️ Marco know. But if anybody wants to know, it’s called the DeskStar 75 GXP series. And I had the 60

⏹️ ▶️ Marco GXP, which came out like a half year later, and those were also very unreliable. Yeah.

⏹️ ▶️ John The reason the backblaze thing is important to look at, one point you already brought up is that to remember

⏹️ ▶️ John that Backblaze runs these things in like a data center running their product, which is almost

⏹️ ▶️ John certainly different than your access pattern. Exactly. And you might think it’s tough, it’s like it’s harder than my

⏹️ ▶️ John access pattern because it’s so much more access. Maybe, maybe not, depending, right? But it is

⏹️ ▶️ John a really good data set. Just to give you an idea of like, in the 2018 thing that we’ll link in the show notes,

⏹️ ▶️ John like for each model, they say how many drives they got. And some of them, they only got a few of them because they’re new or whatever, but like

⏹️ ▶️ John a couple ones in the middle, like this particular CD drive, they have 14,000 of them. They have 24,000 of

⏹️ ▶️ John, Casey those hard drives. They have a lot of hard drives. The

⏹️ ▶️ John sample size is large, right? The other thing that I want to point out is that, and

⏹️ ▶️ John I think that Steve’s question reflects this, as consumer humans

⏹️ ▶️ John with low visibility into the world of hard drives, and as people

⏹️ ▶️ John that hold grudges, you tend to be like, I always buy Western Digital drives, or I never buy Seagate drives because I had a problem

⏹️ ▶️ John with the program. If you look at Back of the Lays’ stats, the reason you want to look at these because

⏹️ ▶️ John there is the brand, there isn’t like no best brand. You have to look at the exact

⏹️ ▶️ John model. Even sometimes you’ll see like the reliability of like the 10 terabyte versus the 12 terabyte

⏹️ ▶️ John one could be different significantly. It’s like, this is the same drive from the same manufacturers, different capacities. How could

⏹️ ▶️ John they be that different? You have to look at the exact model number which they give you in here to look at it. So don’t

⏹️ ▶️ John say like, I always buy Western Digital drives because they’re the best. Go sort by brand and look at Western

⏹️ ▶️ John Digital you’ll see a wide variance, wider variance within Western Digital than between the top drives.

⏹️ ▶️ John So pick your exact model based on the reliability here. Don’t say, looks like Seagate

⏹️ ▶️ John has the best drives. I’m just going to buy a Seagate and then go off and buy something that says Seagate on it. That is the important lesson of the backblaze

⏹️ ▶️ John thing, by looking at these huge differences in specific models from the exact same manufacturer.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Oh, the IBM drives. I remember

⏹️ ▶️ John those. I used mine and enjoyed them and got rid of them like just

⏹️ ▶️ John before they died. like I

⏹️ ▶️ John, Casey took all

⏹️ ▶️ John, Marco my

⏹️ ▶️ John, Casey data

⏹️ ▶️ John, Marco off.

⏹️ ▶️ John So I felt like I rode the Death Star wave and I was happy because they were great drives. And I was just like,

⏹️ ▶️ John all right, well, I’m not pushing my luck here. I gotta get all my data off that. And then I used it as like a spare drive and then it died. I’m like, success.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey I’m almost positive I’ve told this story on the show before, but it’s been a long time. When

⏹️ ▶️ Casey I was in college, because I was super cool, I had a, I think it was a Toshiba

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Pocket PC PDA. This was after POMS had mostly

⏹️ ▶️ Casey fallen out of favor amongst nerds. And the particular Toshiba I had, it was like a 740 or something

⏹️ ▶️ Casey like that. I don’t know. It was one of the first ones that had a Wi-Fi internal to it. And

⏹️ ▶️ Casey it had an SD card or no, not a, what was it? Compact flash. There you go. A compact flash card slot.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey And since dad worked for IBM, he was able to find himself and then give to me

⏹️ ▶️ Casey a microdrive. Do you remember these? These are what powered

⏹️ ▶️ Casey, Marco the iPods, if I’m

⏹️ ▶️ Casey not mistaken. And so it was a literal platter hard drive that was the size

⏹️ ▶️ Casey and interface of Compact Flash, which was the SD card of the day. So I had a

⏹️ ▶️ Casey one gig microdrive in my little PDA that I loaded full of MP3s, and oh man,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey was I a total badass at the time, walking across campus with my quasi MP3 player. This was back when

⏹️ ▶️ Casey the Rio was the new hotness. So it was very

⏹️ ▶️ Casey weird to see somebody plugging into anything but a Discman because I’m old. And

⏹️ ▶️ Casey I just remember those days and I thought I was so cool. In any case, moving on.

#askatp: Reopening windows

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Michael Heron writes, hey, how does this reopen Windows when logging back in feature work?

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Coming from Windows, this is incredible. It restores my terminal buffers, open documents, browser tabs, etc. It’s already

⏹️ ▶️ Casey an interesting history to it. And if you’re not familiar, for some reason, you’re not a Mac user. Basically, what happens

⏹️ ▶️ Casey is when you shut down a Mac, you have the option of telling it to reload everything pretty

⏹️ ▶️ Casey much as you left it. And by and large, as Michael’s saying, most everything will come back

⏹️ ▶️ Casey exactly as you left it, which is really, really surprising. So I’m guessing

⏹️ ▶️ Casey if we’re looking for Mac history, we need to turn to John. John, tell us what’s going on here.

⏹️ ▶️ John So this feature, actually, this whole idea is near

⏹️ ▶️ John and dear to my heart. I think the second blog post I ever made, my

⏹️ ▶️ John old Fat Bits blog at Ars Technica, was on this exact topic of state preservation.

⏹️ ▶️ John That was a long time ago before a lot of these APIs exist. The way it works on the Mac these days is

⏹️ ▶️ John the OS itself has the feature you just talked about that asks you, you know, you looks like you’re logging out. Like when you log back

⏹️ ▶️ John in, do you want me to reopen all the stuff that you had open before and you can say yes or no. And there’s a preference for that.

⏹️ ▶️ John When you crash, it gives you the option because it doesn’t want to keep reopening stuff that are causing crashes. So it says, Hey, it looks like you just crashed.

⏹️ ▶️ John Do you want to reopen stuff? Yes or no, regardless of what the preferences that will prompt you for that. But then there’s the

⏹️ ▶️ John application side of this where Apple has a whole bunch of API’s Coco APIs and various other maybe

⏹️ ▶️ John they were even date back to carbon, specifically made to handle state preservation and restoration.

⏹️ ▶️ John Of course, they have tons of this in iOS is how iOS has always worked, because you don’t even know when your app has been killed in the background. The whole point

⏹️ ▶️ John of an iOS app is when you relaunch, you’re supposed to bring it back to where it was where they left off to maintain that illusion.

⏹️ ▶️ John But a lot of those API’s also came to the Mac. And it really does depend on the specific Mac application,

⏹️ ▶️ John how they do that. Now the Mac being older than the iPhone by a lot has a

⏹️ ▶️ John long history of Mac applications implementing these features themselves before Apple ever did any features,

⏹️ ▶️ John any API’s or any OS integration at all. Good Mac applications would have like a preference or

⏹️ ▶️ John a setting or whatever that says, Hey, when I launched, you want me to open up all the stuff I had open last time. And then when Apple added

⏹️ ▶️ John API’s for this newer applications use the API’s older applications may have kept kept using their custom stuff.

⏹️ ▶️ John Some applications never did any of this stuff at all. But it is a sign I think, has always been a

⏹️ ▶️ John sign of a high quality Mac application, that it at least has the option

⏹️ ▶️ John to restore its state to just how you left it. Sometimes you don’t want that. And it’s nice to say, No, don’t do that. When

⏹️ ▶️ John you start, I want you to be fresh, right? But if that’s what you want, good amount of applications have always done it.

⏹️ ▶️ John And it’s easier now than ever to do it because of all the API’s and OS support that Apple provides.

⏹️ ▶️ John And I’m of course, a big proponent of that. Because if state is preserved and restored

⏹️ ▶️ John extensively, as extensively as possible, it It encourages you to

⏹️ ▶️ John manipulate that state, to put things where you want them, to open all the documents that are related

⏹️ ▶️ John to this project, to, it’s more efficient to like have the insertion point and the selection and everything,

⏹️ ▶️ John every part of the application exactly where you left off to be able to just quit the whole application, log off,

⏹️ ▶️ John you know, restart, do whatever you want. Not having that feeling like, oh, I’m just gonna lose my place in everything.

⏹️ ▶️ John Like I had everything all arranged. I was doing all this stuff. I got a web browser open, and I’m editing this thing. I’m building

⏹️ ▶️ John this over here. I got a terminal window and like everything and I remember that highlight and I put a mark over here so I know how to get

⏹️ ▶️ John back to that spot and like, and I just can’t even bear the idea of having to log out and back in or restart for

⏹️ ▶️ John a system update or something like that. Because I’ll lose everything I’ll lose my place, I’ll lose all my state, there’s still the mental

⏹️ ▶️ John aspect of it that you may lose. But I love the idea of that stuff being restored. And as good as

⏹️ ▶️ John it is, it is not good enough as far as I’m concerned, because there is lots of smoke and mirrors,

⏹️ ▶️ John most state restoration, like when you log back in, the OS saves basically pictures of all your windows

⏹️ ▶️ John of what they look like. And it shows you the pictures. But those are not your windows, those are pictures of your windows.

⏹️ ▶️ John If you try to do anything with them, you’ll quickly see a little spinner appear over them that you’ll see the spinner anyway that says,

⏹️ ▶️ John Yeah, this is a picture of what you’re going to look like before, I really hope the application that’s behind this will restore

⏹️ ▶️ John this window to exactly the state. But you can’t manipulate it yet, because we’re still launching that application. So just

⏹️ ▶️ John cool your jets. And hopefully everything will come back to the way it was. So state restoration takes time, it is

⏹️ ▶️ John not up to the standard even iOS, I think iOS applications do a much better job because it’s been the iOS

⏹️ ▶️ John convention rule and practice with APIs from day one is that, hey, if we kill you

⏹️ ▶️ John and you come back, come back to where you were because that’s, we don’t want people to know that you’re killed. Or in like the pre-multitasking

⏹️ ▶️ John days, every time someone hits the home button, you’re gone. And when they go back to you, you better be where you

⏹️ ▶️ John left off because otherwise it’ll feel really weird, right? So iOS has a leg up here, but like I said,

⏹️ ▶️ John great Mac apps have always done it. Um,

⏹️ ▶️ John, Casey so

⏹️ ▶️ John anyway, I hope that answers whatever questions and whatever interesting history you think is behind it. But I just

⏹️ ▶️ John want to further endorse the idea of this because you know, I’m not going to go off on a rant about the spatial

⏹️ ▶️ John finder, but I think this is a key feature of an efficient working environment is the

⏹️ ▶️ John ability to do this when you want it. And by the way, even apples apps sometimes have a preference to this. So for example, safari

⏹️ ▶️ John has a thing that says, what do I, what do you want me to do when I launch? If you don’t know that features there, go into safari preferences

⏹️ ▶️ John and pick the option that says, like, reopen the last windows that were open or whatever. Because even if you pick

⏹️ ▶️ John the OS feature of like, bring everything back to where it was, if you quit Safari and relaunch it, the preference, I think

⏹️ ▶️ John the defaults of the preference is like, just open a new window or show favorites or some stupid crap. Change

⏹️ ▶️ John it to the state preserving one, which Chrome does by default. If you’ve never tried it in Safari, try it and

⏹️ ▶️ John see if you like it. I obviously do.

#askatp: Gimlet-Spotify

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Steve McLaughlin All righty, and then finally, Alex Kades writes, Hey, Marco, what do you

⏹️ ▶️ Casey think about Spotify’s acquisition of Gimlet and what will that mean for the future of the podcasting industry? Are you

⏹️ ▶️ Casey still involved with them? Let’s start by, if you don’t mind, providing a little history and context for

⏹️ ▶️ Casey me and then if you if you wouldn’t mind answering Alex’s question, please.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Marco Marconi Sure. Yeah. So anybody who listened to the early season of Startup

⏹️ ▶️ Marco probably heard an episode where I was on it saying that I was going to invest some

⏹️ ▶️ Marco of my money in Gimlet. And I did. So I’m an investor in Gimlet.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco That being said, I’m a pretty hands-off investor. So I really

⏹️ ▶️ Marco have not been, you know, I’ve never even been to their office. I’ve met with them,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco I think, twice in the last five or four years since it’s been.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco And I’m very hands-off because I just you know I have my own stuff going on here and I don’t have time to be

⏹️ ▶️ Marco very active with other people like that. So and I don’t even know if they would want me to so anyway.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco So I I am an investor, but I don’t have any inside information.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco The only thing I know about this acquisition is what has been publicized like I

⏹️ ▶️ Marco literally I had no advanced knowledge of the deal. I learned about it in the press like everyone else and the only thing I know are things

⏹️ ▶️ Marco that Spotify and you might have said publicly. So people have been asking me all day what

⏹️ ▶️ Marco I think about this and you know admittedly I will make some money from this and so my opinion

⏹️ ▶️ Marco is probably colored by that to some degree but I don’t think

⏹️ ▶️ Marco this is gonna be a huge deal for the majority of the podcasting world you know people

⏹️ ▶️ Marco are freaking out a little bit and I get that because I I often would do that too

⏹️ ▶️ Marco for you know when when there’s signs of big business taking over podcasting I don’t like that

⏹️ ▶️ Marco and that makes me nervous whenever it happens. But I don’t think this is going to

⏹️ ▶️ Marco end up having major effects like that. And I’ll tell explain why. So first

⏹️ ▶️ Marco of all, Gimlet, you know, they produce some really big shows. And

⏹️ ▶️ Marco one of the things people suggested would be a problem here would be what if Spotify locks down their

⏹️ ▶️ Marco shows and make some Spotify exclusives that you have to listen to Spotify. You can’t listen in other RSS

⏹️ ▶️ Marco based podcast players anymore. Gimlet has come out right and has come right out and said they are

⏹️ ▶️ Marco not going to lock down their existing podcasts, but they will also be making exclusive

⏹️ ▶️ Marco content for Spotify. That sounds a little good, a little scary, but Spotify

⏹️ ▶️ Marco already has exclusive shows. This is not the first time they’re going

⏹️ ▶️ Marco to have them. Spotify has a pretty major presence in the podcast space now,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco and they have exclusive shows already. Gimlet also has

⏹️ ▶️ Marco already been producing a lot of podcasts for other companies. You know, like when you think about what’s a

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Gimlet podcast, you probably think of like the five or six big ones, but they also have been producing

⏹️ ▶️ Marco podcasts for other companies as a large arm of their business. That being said, this is a little

⏹️ ▶️ Marco bit different in that creating exclusive shows

⏹️ ▶️ Marco that are exclusive to Spotify Spotify is now a button they can press

⏹️ ▶️ Marco that will increase Spotify memberships on command. And whenever companies

⏹️ ▶️ Marco create a button they can press to increase a key metric of their business,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco they can say, oh we’re not going to push that button too often, don’t worry. But no

⏹️ ▶️ Marco company can maintain that long-term. Like eventually they’re going to start pushing that button over and over again.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco And no matter what their intents are now, like that’s just a thing that happens in business,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco regardless of everybody’s good intentions. So I do expect a lot

⏹️ ▶️ Marco more of this content to become exclusive to Spotify over time. Maybe not the

⏹️ ▶️ Marco existing shows, because they have said they don’t plan to do that, but probably more of the new shows.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Again, I don’t know what their plans are. I’m speculating here. The other thing is that

⏹️ ▶️ Marco there are other big services that combine public podcasts with

⏹️ ▶️ Marco exclusive audio shows. We don’t usually hear about them, but they are out there. Audible does this,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Stitcher does this, TuneIn has this. SoundCloud is a big one. SoundCloud has,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco like you can host a podcast on SoundCloud that is public, but you can also not set up your channel on SoundCloud

⏹️ ▶️ Marco that way. And a lot of people publish on SoundCloud, they think they’re publishing a podcast,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco but they’re actually just publishing a private SoundCloud channel that does not have an RSS feed can’t be subscribed

⏹️ ▶️ Marco to in a podcast client. Sirius XM, you could even say, and talk radio stations

⏹️ ▶️ Marco do something like this in the sense that they have podcast-like content that

⏹️ ▶️ Marco is exclusive to their service. So there are these other major services

⏹️ ▶️ Marco that exist. These all have big name exclusive audio shows,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco exclusive to them, that have substantial followings. These have all coexisted

⏹️ ▶️ Marco with the open world of podcasts. Now, I don’t call these podcasts because

⏹️ ▶️ Marco if you can’t play an audio show in any podcast app out there,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco it’s not a podcast. They can call them whatever they want, but if it’s a podcast,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco it plays in Apple Podcasts, Overcast, Pocketcast, Castro,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco any podcast app somebody could make today that reads RSS feeds and can play in Clojure files, that’s

⏹️ ▶️ Marco a podcast. If it can’t play in that kind of app, it’s not. But anyway,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco so all these big services have co-existed with our world, with

⏹️ ▶️ Marco exclusive content blending in with our podcasts. And it’s been okay

⏹️ ▶️ Marco so far. We have our world, they have theirs, nobody has

⏹️ ▶️ Marco posed any fatal threats to anybody else so far. This is a little bit different

⏹️ ▶️ Marco though in that Spotify now has a lot of power in podcasting

⏹️ ▶️ Marco and they’ve gotten it very quickly. Spotify only launched podcasting I think less than a year ago.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco It’s been pretty recent. They’re accumulating share very quickly and

⏹️ ▶️ Marco that’s probably going to keep going up because Spotify is huge. But as they’ve accumulated the

⏹️ ▶️ Marco share, I think it has been mostly additive. It is mostly adding new

⏹️ ▶️ Marco listeners to podcasts, not like a whole bunch of people switching from Apple Podcasts

⏹️ ▶️ Marco or Overcast or Pocket Casts to Spotify as their podcast client of choice.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco So I’m not so worried about it there, but they do have a lot of power. And the fact that they have

⏹️ ▶️ Marco a lot of power and run their own proprietary lockdown ecosystem that is not podcasting,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco that does give me some pause. But the world of standard

⏹️ ▶️ Marco open podcasting has faced a lot of large, well-funded challenges

⏹️ ▶️ Marco over the years. And it has proven every single time so far to be remarkably

⏹️ ▶️ Marco resilient and to outlast all of them. This world of podcasting that we

⏹️ ▶️ Marco live in, that we publish in RSS feed and any app can download it and can play the files

⏹️ ▶️ Marco and there’s no intermediary necessary, that world has existed

⏹️ ▶️ Marco for a long time, is very strong, very diverse, and

⏹️ ▶️ Marco exists mostly independently of any particular giants.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Nobody can stop us from making shows like this. And nobody

⏹️ ▶️ Marco can stop standard podcast apps from playing them. And nobody can stop you all,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco the audience, from listening. That is the beauty of this ecosystem.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco So we will be fine as long as you, the listeners, as long as you

⏹️ ▶️ Marco stick around, we’ll be fine.

⏹️ ▶️ John I think the concentration of power thing is the key one here. So lots of big players have come and gone,

⏹️ ▶️ John but as they consolidate and as the big players get bigger than they previously were, there is kind of like

⏹️ ▶️ John a critical mass point that I find worrisome. So Apple is already at the critical

⏹️ ▶️ John mass point, but as we pointed out in the past, they have been nice to us. They have benign

⏹️ ▶️ John neglect or just general niceness, like whether they don’t see it as strategic or don’t wanna

⏹️ ▶️ John lock it down or just don’t care or whatever. They have the most important podcast index

⏹️ ▶️ John and they continue to basically not be evil and not try

⏹️ ▶️ John to become the masters of podcasting and lock everything into an Apple-only

⏹️ ▶️ John ecosystem, yada, yada, yada, right? Spotify is big enough that they’re probably

⏹️ ▶️ John the biggest player in the audio space. I feel like they’re bigger, they have more customers than Audible, they’re bigger than any other big

⏹️ ▶️ John company that’s tried to come into the podcasting space and they’re acquiring popular original content. They could reach that critical

⏹️ ▶️ John mass where suddenly being in the iTunes podcast index

⏹️ ▶️ John is at best equally important to being the Spotify one, but maybe less so because they have

⏹️ ▶️ John the people. Like, and the podcast will go where the people is. And if they amass enough power and enough users,

⏹️ ▶️ John it could be that like, yeah, you could do have an independent podcast, but if you ever want anyone to listen to your podcast, you have to

⏹️ ▶️ John be on Spotify. And then once you’re in Spotify, they have you, right? That’s what we’re all afraid of, I think, is

⏹️ ▶️ John letting any one player with ambitions to own and control the content of podcasts, which Apple

⏹️ ▶️ John thus far has not had. They don’t have that ambition. If that player gets so big that they

⏹️ ▶️ John become synonymous with podcasts and that if you want anyone to listen to your podcast ever, you have to be in that

⏹️ ▶️ John thing. And the resiliency of it is kind of like the resiliency of the open web where the

⏹️ ▶️ John web is open, nobody owns it, it’s the platform nobody owns, we can all make web pages, it’s great and everything, but it’s possible

⏹️ ▶️ John to subvert such an ecosystem if you get big enough. Witness Facebook and Google, where

⏹️ ▶️ John even though it’s open And even though Facebook and Google are probably more open about what they do on the web

⏹️ ▶️ John than Spotify is in relation to podcasting, nevertheless, the web becomes Facebook

⏹️ ▶️ John for a majority of people. And you get to the point where it’s like, well, if you want anyone to see anything you’re doing, you have to be on Facebook. I

⏹️ ▶️ John really hope we don’t get to that place because I don’t want to go there, but that’s why

⏹️ ▶️ John I don’t really feel good about this move at all.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Yeah, I mean, that is definitely a risk. Like, and that’s, and I’ve, I have talked ever since launching Overcast, I’ve talked

⏹️ ▶️ Marco about that risk of like of any one podcast app getting so much market

⏹️ ▶️ Marco share among listeners that you have to play ball with them especially when that one

⏹️ ▶️ Marco podcast app is not based on the open standards when it is its own walled garden

⏹️ ▶️ Marco and it has its own like you have to add your podcast to it to participate in it because it is not playing

⏹️ ▶️ Marco things off your off your server it is copying things to its own infrastructure and playing things itself

⏹️ ▶️ Marco and like, you know, doing everything in its little walled garden that is not actually podcasts.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco That does worry me quite a bit. And that is my concern with Spotify big time.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco I don’t, though, I don’t think that the Gimlet acquisition

⏹️ ▶️ Marco is going to be a major factor in whether that comes to pass or not.

⏹️ ▶️ John You know, I think the original content having quality, high quality original content that people want is a draw.

⏹️ ▶️ John It will get more podcast listeners to go

⏹️ ▶️ Marco there. Oh, sure, but they already had that, and they’re producing even more of it.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco And these other platforms, that, you know, like Audible has their own stuff, Stitcher, Premium,

⏹️ ▶️ John like. Yeah, but Gimlet has good stuff. More, and even if they already have good

⏹️ ▶️ John stuff that is just as good, now they have more of it. Like, it’s like Netflix buying up talent to make good shows

⏹️ ▶️ John and movies for them. Like, it’s like getting more, you reach a sort of a

⏹️ ▶️ John critical mass point, and we just never get there, where everyone’s just assumed

⏹️ ▶️ John to have a Spotify account and a Spotify player, and all of a sudden, Overcast becomes, oh, I have to have a second

⏹️ ▶️ John app to listen to podcasts. It’s stupid because Spotify one doesn’t play open podcasts or something. They don’t even need

⏹️ ▶️ John to take control over it and rehost it. They could be entirely open, but just say, oh, in terms of service,

⏹️ ▶️ John we get half your money if we even list you in your index. And by the way, if you’re not in our index, you’re invisible

⏹️ ▶️ John because the iTunes index is gone because Apple got bored, and so we’re the only index that matters. And by the way, you can’t scrape our index

⏹️ ▶️ John to make your own. There’s lots of terrible scenarios for podcasting that I see coming out of this. And I really, really

⏹️ ▶️ John hope Spotify fails to be successful in podcasting after they give Marco all their money.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco I definitely do share a lot of those concerns. I really do. But again, you look at Stitcher Premium.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Stitcher Premium has been around for a while. It is a pay service that’s add-on to the Stitcher. Stitcher is now,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco I think, mostly a standards-based podcast player, but they also have this premium service that has

⏹️ ▶️ Marco a whole bunch of big-name shows put in their archives or their early releases there, or whatever,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Stitcher Premium is a pretty big deal in absolute terms, but it

⏹️ ▶️ Marco has had basically no effect on the world of podcasting. It has not affected us at all. It

⏹️ ▶️ Marco has not drawn people over to Stitcher en masse. Yeah, they don’t have critical mass. Right,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco but they could. They have very strong exclusive content there, but

⏹️ ▶️ Marco it hasn’t happened. It hasn’t caused problems. They have people with very

⏹️ ▶️ Marco big followings have stuff exclusively on on Citra Premium and like it’s been fine. So

⏹️ ▶️ Marco again like I am worried about Spotify’s control over podcasting from a market share perspective,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco but I’m a lot less worried about any particular exclusive content

⏹️ ▶️ Marco causing the entire balance of things to shift because we’ve had other big services

⏹️ ▶️ Marco with strong exclusive content and that hasn’t happened.

⏹️ ▶️ John Oh, if the next cereal comes out on Spotify only I’m going to be worried. You should find that link to that you were

⏹️ ▶️ Marco, John on.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco No, here’s the thing. If the next serial comes out on Spotify only, it won’t become the next serial.

⏹️ ▶️ John So Spotify has a lot of customers.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Yeah, but you know what? There’s also a lot of podcast listeners who aren’t Spotify customers.

⏹️ ▶️ John Anyway, there was a podcast you were on. It was a podcast with Lex. What was the name of that?

⏹️ ▶️ John The Wolf’s Den. Yeah, you should, we should find that episode for the show. If you want to hear Marco talk more about this

⏹️ ▶️ John in the context of Stitcher and not Gimlet, but I think it’s relevant. It’s worth listening to that because I think you

⏹️ ▶️ John did a good job of voicing the concerns of podcast

⏹️ ▶️ John producers and listeners to some degree. But like if you’re just a podcast customer,

⏹️ ▶️ John you’re like, well, I’m already Spotify subscriber, so I think this is great. What do I care? I don’t care about the economics

⏹️ ▶️ John of podcasting. Like, but there’s a reason, you know, people who create podcasts don’t want to

⏹️ ▶️ John stop and probably as a listener, you probably don’t want to tap into this kind of concentration of power is because

⏹️ ▶️ John All these situations are a place where the player that gets critical

⏹️ ▶️ John mass inserts itself financially and in all other ways, like

⏹️ ▶️ John user experience wise and everything. They insert themselves between the listener and the

⏹️ ▶️ John creator. That’s where the big bucks are. YouTube, for example, is between

⏹️ ▶️ John you, the viewer, and the creator. And YouTube has critical mass. And if you want people

⏹️ ▶️ John to see your video, it is very difficult to get that done if you are not on YouTube. And

⏹️ ▶️ John anything that inserts themselves there has different motivations than the creator and

⏹️ ▶️ John immediates that relationship to the benefit of themselves, not to the benefit of the creator and also not

⏹️ ▶️ John to the benefit of the viewer. So there’s money being siphoned away and there is experience

⏹️ ▶️ John that’s getting worse on both ends. And the beauty of podcasting is thus far, like the open web,

⏹️ ▶️ John there doesn’t have to be an intermediary. we can make the podcast, you can listen to it.

⏹️ ▶️ John Nobody gets between that financially and nobody has to get between that user experience wise.

⏹️ ▶️ John There is the player application that’s in the mix there, but the point is that even that’s a direct relationship. Nobody

⏹️ ▶️ John likes middlemen or middle people, but probably middlemen. That’s what we’re fighting.

⏹️ ▶️ John It misaligns incentives. It sucks money out of an ecosystem

⏹️ ▶️ John to from the people creating them to the people who are facilitating. but there’s

⏹️ ▶️ John no facilitating that’s required for podcasting. Podcasting does not need help getting audio

⏹️ ▶️ John to customers at all at this point. Like, it’s fine, it’s a thing we can do. If you have a phone, you can choose from 20

⏹️ ▶️ John different applications that can all get you podcasts. I swear it works, and those applications are probably easier to use than

⏹️ ▶️ John signing up for Spotify or whatever. So, like, maybe it’s, you know, maybe this is inside baseball

⏹️ ▶️ John and it’s like hearing a bunch of podcasters complain about podcasting, but like, it will be worse.

⏹️ ▶️ John It will be worse, not just for us, but also for you, listener. And so that’s why I think you should listen to Marco

⏹️ ▶️ John argue with Lex about this very issue on that podcast.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Yeah, and if you care about such things, use the open podcast

⏹️ ▶️ Marco ecosystem. Use an app. I don’t care if it’s my app or someone else’s. Use an app that

⏹️ ▶️ Marco is part of that ecosystem that doesn’t try to lock things away for itself in some kind of proprietary thing. So basically

⏹️ ▶️ Marco everything except Stitcher, TuneIn, Spotify, Google Podcasts, anything

⏹️ ▶️ Marco else, any other podcast app. Apple Podcasts is actually a very good citizen of this ecosystem.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Pocket Cast, Castro, you know, like all the, there’s a whole bunch of podcast apps out there now in addition to

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Overcast that are part of this ecosystem. So I don’t care if you use my app or someone else’s, just I very

⏹️ ▶️ Marco much encourage you, if you want this open ecosystem to continue, and I think you do,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco use an app that is part of it instead of an app that is fighting against it.

⏹️ ▶️ John Oh, and I don’t know if I mentioned before, YouTube is an example, and you may be thinking, You said it’s going

⏹️ ▶️ John to be worse for me as a viewer, as a listener. Like how is YouTube bad for me? I love YouTube. I go there. There

⏹️ ▶️ John are cool videos. I have lots of fun. YouTube is great for customers. It’s an awesome site. I don’t understand how there’s

⏹️ ▶️ John anything bad about YouTube. Maybe it’s bad for the creators but I don’t care about that. I just want my videos. It seems like it’s great for me.

⏹️ ▶️ John There was a recent example I heard on I think it was the most recent episode of Hello Internet. If you want

⏹️ ▶️ John to hear people, creators complain about YouTube, listen to Hello Internet, although you might have to find the episodes where they actually

⏹️ ▶️ John talk about that. But anyway, a very recent example is YouTube has a feature called annotations

⏹️ ▶️ John to let you put things over the video to like highlight regions and have you click on them and go off to

⏹️ ▶️ John some related content or whatever. I think you could also put like text and I don’t know how the annotations work. I don’t

⏹️ ▶️ John do that for my videos. But feature has been there for a really, really long time. And

⏹️ ▶️ John YouTube sort of put it on ice and said, we’re not going to really let you make any new annotations. But don’t worry, all

⏹️ ▶️ John your old annotations will continue to work. And then more recently, they said, yeah, you know, your old annotations,

⏹️ ▶️ John those are going away, right? Because as the intermediary, as the

⏹️ ▶️ John company that has inserted itself into the middle or has always been in the middle between, you know, the creators and

⏹️ ▶️ John the viewers, they don’t want to support or have or use that feature. It’s counter to their corporate strategy

⏹️ ▶️ John or whatever, but hundreds, probably thousands of people, certainly thousands of

⏹️ ▶️ John people have annotated their videos and put them up on YouTube. They did work

⏹️ ▶️ John and created content that’s part of their creation with those annotations on them and because it wasn’t

⏹️ ▶️ John convened anymore for the middleman, all that work is gone. And

⏹️ ▶️ John people who are viewing those videos get a worse experience because if you come to a video and the person in the video

⏹️ ▶️ John is saying click here to see whatever and you can’t click there or there’s nothing to click or clicking

⏹️ ▶️ John there does nothing, which has been true since mobile came along because they didn’t bring annotations to mobile either.

⏹️ ▶️ John That’s a worse experience for you as a viewer. So yeah, it’s worse for the creators because their video works, but it’s worse for you as the viewer,

⏹️ ▶️ John there are 1000s and 1000s of very, very popular videos on YouTube that

⏹️ ▶️ John used to have annotations that don’t anymore. That is not a choice that those 1000s of creators would ever have

⏹️ ▶️ John made on their own. And it’s not good for you the viewer. That’s just one of many examples where when there’s someone

⏹️ ▶️ John in the middle of this relationship, they will act in their best interest, which is not the interest of you the viewer, and

⏹️ ▶️ John not the interest of the creator. So it’s pretty terrible. And YouTube is a great counterexample

⏹️ ▶️ John of like, we never really had an open website ecosystem for video for a variety of reasons that I think

⏹️ ▶️ John we’ve discussed in the show in the past, but we do have a podcast, and God, just please let us preserve it.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Amen,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco brother. Thanks to our sponsors this week, Squarespace, Eero, and Molecule. and we will see you

⏹️ ▶️ Marco next week!

Ending theme

⏹️ ▶️ John Now the show is over, they didn’t

⏹️ ▶️ Casey even mean to begin,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Cause it was accidental, oh it was

⏹️ ▶️ Casey accidental. John didn’t do any research, Marco and

⏹️ ▶️ John Casey wouldn’t let him, Cause it was accidental,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey oh it was accidental. And you can find the show

⏹️ ▶️ John notes at ATP.FM And if you’re into

⏹️ ▶️ John Twitter,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco you can follow them at C-A-S-E-Y-L-I-S-S

⏹️ ▶️ Marco So that’s Casey Liss, M-A-R-C-O-A-R-M, and

⏹️ ▶️ Marco T. Marco Armin,

⏹️ ▶️ John S-I-R-A-C-U-S-A-C-R-A-Q-U-S-A It’s

⏹️ ▶️ John accidental, they didn’t mean to

⏹️ ▶️ John Accidental, accidental Tech Podcasts, so

⏹️ ▶️ John long

Gas station update

⏹️ ▶️ Casey John, you punted last week, you teased

⏹️ ▶️ Casey at least your hosts. I don’t know if this made it in the release show, probably not, but you said your gas station has

⏹️ ▶️ Casey been updated. What does that

⏹️ ▶️ Marco mean? Did it get gas OS 5? Yeah, it might as well

⏹️ ▶️ John have. It kind of took away a fun little, I don’t

⏹️ ▶️ John know, homey feeling. So this is my local gas station. It’s the one closest to my house. What’s a gas station?

⏹️ ▶️ John, Casey Yeah

⏹️ ▶️ John It’s a place where I can put 300 miles of range on my car in like two and a half minutes And

⏹️ ▶️ John It and for a while I knew that like one of the pumps like the the little I have the it’s a mobile

⏹️ ▶️ John station I have the little mobile speed pass. Do you guys remember that? That’s still a thing? Yeah like it was it used to be

⏹️ ▶️ John like it’s like a little dongle look like a little like I think a crayon and break off about An inch of it and

⏹️ ▶️ John it would go in your keychain It was a little like, you know, about the thickness of a crayon and maybe an inch long. And

⏹️ ▶️ John you would just, like, proximity, you’d just like hold it up to the pump, like a little spot that had on the pump, you hold it up by the logo

⏹️ ▶️ John and the logo glows like it’s activated. It was like NFC before NFC, basically. And you didn’t have to

⏹️ ▶️ John take your wallet out. So you could gas up your car with just your keys. If it’s on your key chain, you turn off your engine, take your keys with you, smack

⏹️ ▶️ John the keys against the thing, and then you’re fueling, right? Which

⏹️ ▶️ Marco I loved. This magical thing where you add 300 miles of range to your car in five minutes, you have to pay

⏹️ ▶️ John for it? If I ever catch up to the cost of your car, I’ll let you know.

⏹️ ▶️ John So anyway, I’m using the SpeedPass. And it’s a great, whoever came up with that idea, mobile was really smart, because I

⏹️ ▶️ John would seek out mobile stations just for the convenience. I have a credit card, I can dig it out of my wallet. I can slide it in the thing and slide

⏹️ ▶️ John it out after I figure out how, which way the magnetic strip goes. And I can type in my zip code because I’m doing gas at

⏹️ ▶️ John a different place. Like I can get it done the other way, but I love the convenience, kind of like Apple Pay. It doesn’t seem like a big

⏹️ ▶️ John deal, but it’s so convenient, you really want to use it. thus Casey’s quest forever to find all of his favorite

⏹️ ▶️ John junk food stores to support Apple Pay, which is going well, going well

⏹️ ▶️ Marco for him. Well, I mean, to be fair, I remember from my time so long ago at gas stations, anything

⏹️ ▶️ Marco you could do to touch fewer things would be a bonus.

⏹️ ▶️ John Yeah, although my gas station is very clean. But anyway, I knew one of the machines, the speed pass didn’t work.

⏹️ ▶️ John And it hasn’t worked for years, so I just didn’t go to that pump or whatever and just felt like, oh, this is my gas station. I know the

⏹️ ▶️ John quirks, right? I know the best way to get in the pump and go anyway.

⏹️ ▶️ John So they replaced all their pumps. And I went to the pump, like this is great. Brand new pumps everywhere.

⏹️ ▶️ John Now I can go to that other one that I never go to because everything’s brand new, so everything will work. So I go to it, get

⏹️ ▶️ John out of the car, and there’s no place for me to put my speed pass. I tried shoving

⏹️ ▶️ John it against the pump in a couple of places that looked like they might be it. Nope, none of them were it. But I did

⏹️ ▶️ John see the thing that we’re all now familiar with, of I guess probably like the industry standard symbol for NFC, where it

⏹️ ▶️ John shows the oval with the Wi-Fi fan type thing in it. And it was clear

⏹️ ▶️ John that they had NFC type payments. But I was still looking for the SpeedPass thing.

⏹️ ▶️ John Because I have my phone, and it’s with me. But it was in the back of the car. I don’t take my phone out of the car.

⏹️ ▶️ John I put it in the little place where you put your phone in the car place. Everyone’s either they have a holder, or there’s a little

⏹️ ▶️ John rubbery area. That’s where my phone is. Or even if it is in my pocket, I don’t want to dig out my

⏹️ ▶️ John, Marco phone.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco So you just sit there pumping gas, just staring into space, like it’s 1995, like what is this? No, speaking

⏹️ ▶️ John of that, for a long time, SUVs did not have the little thing that locks the, you know, the little flicky thing

⏹️ ▶️ John that locks the pump

⏹️ ▶️ John, Casey thing down. They didn’t

⏹️ ▶️ John have that, I guess, probably by law. They brought that back a few years ago. I’m like, oh, thank God. Anyway,

⏹️ ▶️ John this is just to activate the pump thing. I have my keys, I have to have them in my hand. I just turned the car off.

⏹️ ▶️ John I would like to use them, but I can’t. Now I have to use my phone. So every time I go to the gas station, I gotta take my, you

⏹️ ▶️ John know, turn off the car and then get out my phone and go bloop with, I mean, it’s not that

⏹️ ▶️ John bad, it’s fine. I’m sure I’ll get used to it, but I kind of miss speed pass. An example where a purpose-built

⏹️ ▶️ John custom super low-tech, no batteries, by the way, the little NFC dongle thingy, it’s completely

⏹️ ▶️ John inert and passive. Never failed, it’s the only one I ever owned, never got broken, never

⏹️ ▶️ John wore away, never chipped off, worked every time, and you know, unless the pump was broken.

⏹️ ▶️ John I really miss that. And also, by the way, they have an app. Like, who the hell’s gonna use that? They have an app you can get,

⏹️ ▶️ John the SpeedPass Plus app, and they have a QR code on the pump. So you can take out your phone, launch an

⏹️ ▶️ John app, show the camera, scan the QR code, no thanks. Gross. So, I mean,

⏹️ ▶️ John unless you get like 50% cash back, no one is ever gonna use that. So I just use the NFC thing with Apple Pay and

⏹️ ▶️ John it works fine. And welcome to the brave new world. But all I wanted to say is that I missed the original SpeedPass

⏹️ ▶️ John because it was a great idea while I executed it and I used it for years, probably decades.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Goodbye, KeyTag, hello app. The SpeedPass KeyTag will fully retire by June 30, 2019. Get

⏹️ ▶️ Casey gas, earn rewards, and get going. Switch to the SpeedPass Plus

⏹️ ▶️ John app. Maybe I’ll look at the rewards. I don’t think I could ever scan a QR code. Like what are they even thinking?