423: Fort of HomePods25 Mar 2021
Our walls are full of pipes and wires, our wheels are covered in spray paint, our photos have left the filesystem behind, and our HomePods need to lose a few amps.
- What would it take to get Marco into a concert?
- Tesla Wheel of Shame
- Hong Kong (via Cilver Aullet)
- DC (via TG Cid)
- Houston (via Aaron Farnham)
- App Store Pricing Policing (via Tim)
- Games and Notarization
- HomePod follow-up
- Tesla Wheel of Shame
- Some Membership Housekeeping
- Refunds for a very small group of you! 💰
- ATP Membership can be paid in 💶 or 💷! 💸
- ATP’s mid-year 👕 (& more!) are coming soon! 🤑
- Mac OS X 10.0 is 20 years old today!
- Google Play Drops Commissions 30% → 15% for first $1M in revenue
- When did photos become more than just files? (via Matt Fenselau)
- What’s up with Apple’s awful user experience with OS updates? (via Dan Young)
- How would we wire our houses if we could do it all over again? (via Matt Youens)
- Post-show Neutral:
- Casey’s new dongle
- Flatfile: Spend less time formatting spreadsheet data, and more time using it.
- Squarespace: Make your next move. Use code ATP for 10% off your first order.
- Backblaze: Unlimited cloud backup for just $6/month. Start a free 15-day trial today.
Become a member for ad-free episodes and our early-release, unedited “bootleg” feed!
- Marco’s 50th
- Post-COVID concerts
- Worldwide Wheels o’ Shame 🖼️
- App Store pricing policing
- Sponsor: Backblaze
- Game devs giving up on Macs
- More on HomePod
- Sponsor: Squarespace (code ATP)
- Annual, €, £ memberships
- Mac OS X’s 20th birthday
- Google drops to 15% as well
- Sponsor: Flatfile
- #askatp: Photos as just files?
- #askatp: macOS software updates
- #askatp: Home network wiring
- Ending theme
- Carlinkit wireless CarPlay adapter 🖼️
⏹️ ▶️ Marco So my day started out interesting. I got an email from my neighbor
⏹️ ▶️ Marco who was forwarding me the New York announcement that you can now get COVID vaccines age 50
⏹️ ▶️ Marco and up. And he was like, I’m not sure if you make it, but here, this might be useful to you. I am 38.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey Brutal. Well, let me really twist the knife because I’m that kind of jerk friend. So,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey I had an occasion to be standing in the line today for reasons we’re not going to talk about and
⏹️ ▶️ Casey somebody asked me, oh, are you from one of the local colleges? And I looked at that person and
⏹️ ▶️ Casey I was like, thank you. Thank you so much. And not even close. I turned 39 last week,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco you. Well, did they think you were a student or a professor?
⏹️ ▶️ Casey Wow, you know, you’ve ruined it for me
⏹️ ▶️ Casey, John because I thought— No, it’s gotta be
⏹️ ▶️ John something. It’s all about context, Marco. The assumption
⏹️ ▶️ John of your neighbor that you would have to be approaching 50 to have a house on Fire Island
⏹️ ▶️ John is a safe bet, demographically speaking. And if you’re hanging around with a bunch of college students
⏹️ ▶️ John and someone mistakes you for a college student, it’s all about context, right?
⏹️ ▶️ Casey You know, that’s the least exciting, interesting, and funny, but also probably most
⏹️ ▶️ Casey accurate explanation of
⏹️ ▶️ Casey, John what’s going on. And also the
⏹️ ▶️ John hair color. Those piano keys.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey Hey, I’m getting a lot of salt in my pepper, if you know what I’m saying. So I shouldn’t really be throwing stones on that
⏹️ ▶️ Casey Marco, what would get you to actually leave your house, like in COVID notwithstanding,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey and go see a concert? Like we’ve established that you’re not a fan of Phish concerts. Is there a concert
⏹️ ▶️ Casey or perhaps a musical or some other sort of theater-like thing that you
⏹️ ▶️ Casey would be willing to attend? Or are you, again, COVID notwithstanding, are you totally
⏹️ ▶️ Casey hands off on anything that even vaguely smells like a concert?
⏹️ ▶️ Marco My thinking on that has kind of changed recently.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco as everyone knows, I’m a huge Fish fan and Fish is very much a band about their
⏹️ ▶️ Marco live shows. That’s that’s very much, you know, the focus of the fandom and most most of the music that
⏹️ ▶️ Marco comes out of them is from live shows. Since COVID, there have been no live shows. And so I’ve
⏹️ ▶️ Marco been accustomed for the last decade or so to getting
⏹️ ▶️ Marco like 15 new Fish shows a year or whatever, you know, whatever the number is.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco And I buy them off their website. I get all the downloads all legally and everything and it’s like
⏹️ ▶️ Marco my favorite band produces basically 15 new albums a year In the form of these live shows
⏹️ ▶️ Casey as much as I love to give you crap about fish That is really incredible and you can do similar things with a lot of other
⏹️ ▶️ Casey artists including the Dave Matthews band But they are not soundboard recordings like you’re getting there, you know
⏹️ ▶️ Casey at this point reasonably sophisticated But nevertheless still audience recordings
⏹️ ▶️ Casey where somebody put two microphones on a stand and just recorded the loudspeakers which is
⏹️ ▶️ Casey nowhere near the quality you’re talking about. So how much, just ballpark, how much is it for like
⏹️ ▶️ Casey a year or season pass to whatever service it is that does this?
⏹️ ▶️ Marco It’s from Live Fish and I think it, they don’t do like year passes, they do like tour passes.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco So if there’s like a summer tour, it ends up being like 10 bucks a show, whatever that is. So like,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco, John you know, a tour might be like 150
⏹️ ▶️ Marco bucks or something, but it’s not, you know, it’s not like a huge, you know, massive thing considering that’s like, you know, so
⏹️ ▶️ Marco it’s so much music. And as you said, it isn’t just like a microphone in the audience. The Fish
⏹️ ▶️ Marco community has that as well. You can listen to the same show through tapers versus the actual official
⏹️ ▶️ Marco releases. And it’s, I mean, it’s no contest. It’s the official releases are way better.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco And so I’m accustomed to my favorite band releasing a pretty large amount of new music
⏹️ ▶️ Marco every year. And then to go from that to nothing for probably a year and a half or whatever it will
⏹️ ▶️ Marco end up being once this all opens up again for concerts. When the time comes,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco when they start doing concerts again, I’ve thought about going to one of the first ones. I’m sure it’s gonna be insane to try to
⏹️ ▶️ Marco get a ticket, but I’ve thought about going to one of the early ones that I would be able to go to geographically because
⏹️ ▶️ Marco I can only imagine the jubilation, the energy that would be in that crowd,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco coming out of this, going into that, I think would be really something to see. I think
⏹️ ▶️ Marco that could be, my parents went to Woodstock, the original
⏹️ ▶️ Marco one in 1969. I didn’t know that. Yeah, my mom was only like 19. But yeah, it’s like my parents went to Woodstock. That
⏹️ ▶️ Marco was like a, you know, generation defining thing. And I don’t think, you
⏹️ ▶️ Marco know, a Phish concert in 2021 or 2022 is a generation defining thing for most people.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco But I think the idea of having all this time off, where
⏹️ ▶️ Marco we were forced not to have live music, once it opens up again, whenever that is,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco I think there’s going to be just a massive celebration from people. I think it’s gonna feel incredible
⏹️ ▶️ Marco and if I was ever tempted to go to another concert, that’s the time to go I think, like
⏹️ ▶️ Marco to feel that. Even though, when Phish hasn’t played in concert for a while, they tend
⏹️ ▶️ Marco to be worse. They tend to kind of suck, like they make more mistakes and you know it’s not as tight and everything because they haven’t had
⏹️ ▶️ Marco as much time to practice and everything. But like I think this moment in live music is gonna be really
⏹️ ▶️ Marco felt by everybody. I think it’s gonna be a really big deal and I can’t I
⏹️ ▶️ Marco can’t think of a cooler way to celebrate like the world reopening again whenever that happens
⏹️ ▶️ Marco than going to a Phish concert. Even though normally I’m, as you mentioned at the beginning, normally
⏹️ ▶️ Marco I’m not super into going to concerts. I love listening to them, but I’m not super into going to them.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco There are no other bands at this point that I would really consider going to see in concert just because concerts,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco I find, most of the time I find that my attention drifts I get tired and I kind of just
⏹️ ▶️ Marco want to like leave after a while. They’re not
⏹️ ▶️ Marco usually, you know, very appealing to me. But again, I think in this particular instance, whenever that event
⏹️ ▶️ Marco happens, I would be interested in going to that.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey I hear you. Now, I feel like your destiny, if all the stars align,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey is to go to one of the New Year’s Eve shows. What is it Madison Square Garden? Is that right? Yeah.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey that, which I’m sure in so many ways would be a disaster, but a beautiful, beautiful disaster.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey And I think that would, especially if it happened in 2021, which I’m super skeptical, but just hypothetically,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey like, you know, Fish finally was able to do their New Year’s Eve show again, uh, and, and you were able
⏹️ ▶️ Casey to get to it. I think I could see you really enjoying that. And then saying, I’ll never do that again.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco I mean, like, well, ideally, I mean, Madison Square Garden, I, that, that, that is actually the one place I saw Fish.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Um, The one time I went, it wasn’t a New Year’s Eve show, but it was at Madison Square Garden. And
⏹️ ▶️ Marco you know, it’s fine, but it’s a giant indoor arena. Like one thing I really don’t like about concerts
⏹️ ▶️ Marco is all the cigarette smoke.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco better in recent years, like since it’s mostly illegal in most places now. But like being at a concert
⏹️ ▶️ Marco where you’re just constantly breathing in everyone’s smoke really sucks.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey At Fish, the entirety of Madison Square Garden will be one big hotbox.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Yeah, exactly. So ideally, it would be an outdoor venue. And
⏹️ ▶️ Marco what’s really close to Fire Island? Jones Beach. Ah, yeah, I’ve actually
⏹️ ▶️ Casey seen a concert there.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Fish has played there. So that I think would be ideal. Like if they go there, I’ll pay whatever
⏹️ ▶️ Marco it takes to get that ticket.
⏹️ ▶️ John Everything’s better at the beach.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey Of course. Do you have any interest, Marco, in any other concert adjacent things, like musicals or
⏹️ ▶️ Casey live theater or anything like that? Like if the original cast of Hamilton was back on Broadway for 10
⏹️ ▶️ Casey nights and you scored a ticket, would that be interesting to you? Or is there nothing there for you?
⏹️ ▶️ Marco If I’m with other people who are into it, I’ll go and I’ll have a good time, but I’m never really like initiating
⏹️ ▶️ Marco that kind of thing.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey Fair enough. And John, I know you do enjoy musical theater, but similar question, like,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey is there anything that would get you to go to, I don’t know, a U2 concert or perhaps some other concert for someone that you’re interested in?
⏹️ ▶️ John I don’t think there’s anything special about the end of COVID times. I’m always game to go to a concert. Last one
⏹️ ▶️ John I think I went to was Amy Mann when she came to Boston. I loved it. One of the best concerts I’ve ever been to. I’m not a
⏹️ ▶️ John big music concert goer, and it would have to be a band that I really like, but if it is a band that I
⏹️ ▶️ John like, and I don’t have to travel that far, I go to it.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey Good deal. What was the, was it Rectifs or was it Dubai Friday, where Merlin was talking
⏹️ ▶️ Casey about what it’s gonna be like coming out of the end of times?
⏹️ ▶️ John Probably both. We definitely talked about it in Rectifs.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey That was a really, really good conversation and worth listening to. Both shows are excellent.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey In fact, it really makes me grumble how great both those shows are.
⏹️ ▶️ John All part of the MPU. Yeah. That’s
Worldwide Wheels o’ Shame
⏹️ ▶️ Casey All right, we should probably start with some follow-up. And we have some reports from the field.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey Coming in live from the field, we have reports of the wheel of shame.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco I love that we could put out the request saying, hey, if any Tesla owners have gotten flat tires
⏹️ ▶️ Marco and have gotten service wheels, let us know how they were spray painted. And we actually had
⏹️ ▶️ Marco listeners respond.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey It is ridiculous that this is my life, that I can talk about some stupid flat tire on some expensive car and have
⏹️ ▶️ Casey people from all over the world send me pictures of these things, but I love it and I’m thankful
⏹️ ▶️ Casey for it. So we got several reports. Apparently in Hong Kong, the Wheel
⏹️ ▶️ Casey of Shame is a solid red and we’ll put a link in the show notes.
⏹️ ▶️ John Well, I wouldn’t go that far. So this is a several who wrote from Hong
⏹️ ▶️ John Kong and sent us a picture of a Tesla with a Wheel of Shame. And it is indeed spray painted red.
⏹️ ▶️ John And it’s not like the ones that Marco has showed us where it’s a silver wheel and just kind of haphazardly spray painted in
⏹️ ▶️ John a zigzag pattern red. but it is also not carefully sprayed entirely
⏹️ ▶️ John red. If you zoom in on the wheel, you will see that they’re maintaining that this shouldn’t look
⏹️ ▶️ John like a red wheel. It should look like a silver wheel that a small child’s
⏹️ ▶️ John tried to spray paint red, but got bored and left before actually covering the entire
⏹️ ▶️ John wheel. So it is a slightly better paint job, but no one will mistake this for
⏹️ ▶️ John a red wheel, they’ll say. Someone tried to spray paint their wheel really badly, but there’s splotches of gray showing
⏹️ ▶️ John through. So this is Hong Kong. This is a worldwide phenomenon, not just the Metro
⏹️ ▶️ John Worldwide, the memo went out to all Tesla dealerships, hey, take your wheels, get
⏹️ ▶️ John a can of spray paint from the hardware store, and go to town on them because we don’t want people
⏹️ ▶️ John not bringing their car back to get the quote unquote real wheel.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco It looks like the really big version of, you know how when you’re in school and you try to color
⏹️ ▶️ Marco something with a Sharpie, you try to
⏹️ ▶️ Marco, Casey change the color of your
⏹️ ▶️ Marco, John something like it looks
⏹️ ▶️ Marco like that, but just really big.
⏹️ ▶️ John And you don’t get good coverage and you kind of get tired out because you do one area and it gets darker red, but then the other areas, you’re
⏹️ ▶️ John just like, ah, forget it.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey So true. And then TG Sid writes that apparently just a couple hours north of being DC,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey the red haphazard spray paint has not made it to the DC area. Down here, it’s blue.
⏹️ ▶️ John this blows my mind. It’s red in Hong Kong. It’s red in New York, but in DC, it’s
⏹️ ▶️ John blue. What’s going on? Is there, I mean, is DC just a, you know, a rebel, a rogue? They’re just
⏹️ ▶️ John not, they didn’t follow the manual correctly. They ran out of red spray paint. Well,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco down there, red means something else politically. I don’t
⏹️ ▶️ John know. Anyway, this is the world’s dumbest corporate policy and I can’t wait until they change it. Are red wheels ruined
⏹️ ▶️ Casey Red, pretty much everything is ruined at this point. And then finally, Aaron Farnham writes that the Tesla spare wheel
⏹️ ▶️ Casey graffiti is different in Houston. My two experiences have resulted in a wheel with the Tesla logo neatly
⏹️ ▶️ Casey stenciled on the rim. Unfortunately, no pictures.
⏹️ ▶️ John Oh, there you go. That’s exactly what I was talking about. But neatly stenciled makes me think, do you mean someone held up a piece of
⏹️ ▶️ John cardboard with a Tesla logo cut out of it and then took that same can
⏹️ ▶️ John, Marco of spray paint and sprayed it?
⏹️ ▶️ John Or do you mean actually neatly stenciled? Because there’s neatly- There’s like the drip mark coming down.
⏹️ ▶️ John Right, there’s neatly stenciled and there’s neatly stenciled. So I think we need more photos of this, but that
⏹️ ▶️ John is an interesting variation. Someone just couldn’t bear, they probably got the instructions, randomly spray
⏹️ ▶️ John paint it, please. And I said, randomly spray paint? I’m at least going to take these scissors and some construction paper and cut out
⏹️ ▶️ John a stencil of a big T and then spray it
⏹️ ▶️ Marco on there. Well, and do you think that would be less effective at making people return it? Cause it like, it might, it might look
⏹️ ▶️ John Well, that’s what I’m saying. I’m expecting it doesn’t quite look as good as the phrase neatly stenciled
⏹️ ▶️ John is making it sound. Cause it’s not an even surface and it’s not easy
⏹️ ▶️ John to do. And it’s not like a fact, a pre-made factory decal that you apply. So someone
⏹️ ▶️ John had a sort of, Someone had to do an arts and crafts project to make this.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey So here’s the thing, Aaron Farnham, if you really want to be an excellent listener
⏹️ ▶️ Casey and an above and beyond feedbacker, I need you to pop one of your tires and get a spare wheel
⏹️ ▶️ Casey and then take a picture for us.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Drive over a spike strip. Yes,
App Store pricing policing
⏹️ ▶️ Casey All right, John, do you want to tell us about App Store pricing policing, please?
⏹️ ▶️ John We talked about this a couple of shows ago, how Apple was telling certain people, essentially, your
⏹️ ▶️ John app is not worth the price you are charging for it, says us. So stop it. And this was in
⏹️ ▶️ John the context of scam apps, which are, you know, charging, you know, trying to get people to sign up for,
⏹️ ▶️ John you know, a five dollar a week fee for some app that does nothing or whatever. And Apple is trying to get them out of the store. And the way they
⏹️ ▶️ John do it is they send you an Instagram that says, no, you can’t charge that much because your app is bad.
⏹️ ▶️ John And we talked about it in the context of getting scam apps off the store. And I talked about it in the context of Apple having
⏹️ ▶️ John the ultimate control over pricing and now flexing that control. And because app store policies, even
⏹️ ▶️ John the ones that we agree with are haphazardly applied, you might think, well, I’m not a scammer, so I
⏹️ ▶️ John have nothing to worry about, but that’s never a safe bet with the app store. And so here’s one story from
⏹️ ▶️ John Tim who says, one of my B2B app updates just got metadata rejected with quote, specifically,
⏹️ ▶️ John can you confirm that X is the intended price of your in-app purchase product?
⏹️ ▶️ John Right, so he didn’t give the price, but it’s basically they asked him, they metadata rejected him and said,
⏹️ ▶️ John did you mean to charge what you’re charging? And he says, my plan hasn’t changed price
⏹️ ▶️ John in years. And the price is $49 a month, which might sound like a lot, but its competitors
⏹️ ▶️ John are 50 to $150. These are not supposed to be consumer apps. I replied that the price is intentional and they
⏹️ ▶️ John approved the app hours later. It felt icky though. My app has been on the app store
⏹️ ▶️ John since 2015 and the price hasn’t changed often. So this is kind of like, he didn’t
⏹️ ▶️ John get rejected, they didn’t tell him his app wasn’t worth that price, but they did say, are you sure you
⏹️ ▶️ John wanna charge $50 a month? Kind of implying that seems like a lot for your cruddy app.
⏹️ ▶️ John And especially for an app that’s been on the store for years and hasn’t changed price a lot. That’s,
⏹️ ▶️ John I mean, you know, you count it as a win if it was only a one or two day delay, but
⏹️ ▶️ John you start to get a little afraid that the next time you try to send a bug-fed update, they’re gonna be like, yeah,
⏹️ ▶️ John I’m sorry. It just doesn’t look like a $50 app to me.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey I mean, on the one side, I’m glad that they’re at least looking at this, but it seems like they should be
⏹️ ▶️ Casey taking more than just a cursory look. Like, look at the history of the app and look at what does the app do?
⏹️ ▶️ Casey, John should, in most cases- If the price hasn’t
⏹️ ▶️ John changed in years, then come on.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey Well, but I mean, even if it’s a scam app that hasn’t changed in years, It seems to me like in
⏹️ ▶️ Casey most, but not all cases, it should be pretty obvious what’s a scam and what’s not. Again, I mean, it’s never a hundred percent,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey but it strikes me as though this app smells very strongly of not
⏹️ ▶️ Casey scam. And most of the scam apps I’ve seen smell very strongly of scam. So
⏹️ ▶️ Casey a slightly more discerning eye would probably do some service here.
⏹️ ▶️ John There was a related story I didn’t put in the notes, but just reminded me that some people were getting their apps rejected
⏹️ ▶️ John simply because they hadn’t issued an update in a long time. One of them was like a sort of breakout style game
⏹️ ▶️ John that had been in the store for three years without an update. And Apple was just like, look, we’re gonna pull your app because it’s obvious
⏹️ ▶️ John that you’ve abandoned it. Right, and the developer was like, look, this app runs perfectly. It
⏹️ ▶️ John works on all the new iPhones and all the new shapes. Like you wouldn’t have no idea that this app wasn’t released yesterday.
⏹️ ▶️ John There’s nothing like broken about it. It’s 64 bit, it scales to the iPhone 10, it goes into the corners,
⏹️ ▶️ John it handles the notch. Like it does all the things. It’s a perfectly fine game. And
⏹️ ▶️ John the reason it hasn’t had an update in three years is yes, because the developer is not working on it anymore, but also because it hasn’t needed
⏹️ ▶️ John one. It’s fine. It made me afraid that someday, am I gonna get to the point with my apps where they work
⏹️ ▶️ John and I don’t have any features that I wanna add and Apple’s gonna say, oh, I’m sorry, we’re pulling your apps from the store because you haven’t
⏹️ ▶️ John updated them in a few years. Yeah. That’s, you know, if you’re gonna pull things off the store, by all means, pull abandoned
⏹️ ▶️ John apps that are crappy, but apps that three years is not abandoned, first of all. And second of all, if it’s like a
⏹️ ▶️ John game and it works fine, Like, ugh, just, again,
⏹️ ▶️ John inconsistent application of rules that make sense. And
⏹️ ▶️ John if you heard them explained to you, it’s like, oh yeah, certainly we don’t want zombie games on the store, but it’s all about the execution.
⏹️ ▶️ John And execution at the scale Apple works, it’s impossible to have any execution that is so perfect that it does not
⏹️ ▶️ John produce stories like this. And of course, all we talk about are the stories not like this and not the 10,000 other
⏹️ ▶️ John actual scam games that were pulled, right? So that’s just the nature of dealing with the app stories. You’re gonna hear about the stories
⏹️ ▶️ John that seem quote unquote unfair, and you won’t hear about the thousands and thousands of ones that work correctly, but that
⏹️ ▶️ John is the challenge before Apple when running something like this.
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Game devs giving up on Macs
⏹️ ▶️ Casey Moving right along, Brett Johnson writes, I’ve seen a lot of game devs giving up on Mac ports over the last couple of years.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey Deprecating OpenGL is often an issue cited, along with Metal just being difficult,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey especially for those running custom or smaller game engines. The drop of 32-bit support was a huge hit to a lot of devs,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey too. But I’ve also seen a lot that give up because the notarization process is
⏹️ ▶️ Casey unexpected and confusing. All these choices make sense for Apple, but they could be doing more to help devs
⏹️ ▶️ Casey over these hurdles. So can you tell me, John, in brief, what is AppStore or what is app
⏹️ ▶️ Casey notification? I almost said AppStore notification. What is app notarization? So these complaints,
⏹️ ▶️ John you know, OpenGL being dropped and, you know, the 32-bit and Metal
⏹️ ▶️ John versus the other APIs, right? And notarization are all kind of in the bucket of like
⏹️ ▶️ John hurdles, hoops that you have to jump through if you want to have a game on an Apple platform. Notarization, in particular, is the thing where you send your app
⏹️ ▶️ John to Apple and they sign it for you and then and you can distribute your game outside the
⏹️ ▶️ John app store. So it’s been signed by Apple, but it’s not being distributed by Apple.
⏹️ ▶️ John But all those things are nothing compared to the hoops you have to jump through
⏹️ ▶️ John to ship a game on any game console.
⏹️ ▶️ John want to ship a game on Nintendo game console, you will be begging for
⏹️ ▶️ John, Marco notarization.
⏹️ ▶️ John The things you have to do, the things that they care about in your app that you are forced to change, and the things
⏹️ ▶️ John you have to support, It just it is so much harder to ship for any game console
⏹️ ▶️ John than for the Mac, right? So when I see things like this, all this is true. It does discourage Mac ports and
⏹️ ▶️ John people Decide not to port to Mac because of these things But what it shows is
⏹️ ▶️ John how small of a hurdle it takes for people to bail on the Mac when it comes to gaming Because
⏹️ ▶️ John there’s not much money to be made Apple’s not particularly friendly to it’s all it takes is a little bit of inconvenience
⏹️ ▶️ John like say notarizing your app which is a thing that you know iOS developers or Mac developers
⏹️ ▶️ John are accustomed to and more going through app review and everything But it’s like now
⏹️ ▶️ John it’s not worth it anymore Oh, I had a 32-bit game and I don’t feel like porting it and because it’s the Mac It’s not worth it anymore
⏹️ ▶️ John Whereas when Sony comes out with a new game console no matter how Byzantine it is people say oh god This is so terrible,
⏹️ ▶️ John but it’s worth it It’s worth it because Sony wants my game on it because Sony is courting me because I know Sony’s
⏹️ ▶️ John going to sell a lot of these consoles and other people who buy them are the kind of people who want to play the kind of game I’m
⏹️ ▶️ John making. So yes, we are going to jump through all the hoops to get our game on these game consoles, but
⏹️ ▶️ John we are not going to jump through the hoops to get the games on the Mac. So situations like this are just more
⏹️ ▶️ John proof that the Mac, Apple has not made the Mac a platform that is attractive
⏹️ ▶️ John to game developers and that’s Apple’s job to do. And most of the things they do either
⏹️ ▶️ John are neutral with respect to that goal or make it worse like adding a few more little requirements
⏹️ ▶️ John that game developers weren’t used to. You know, when Apple added app signing to,
⏹️ ▶️ John you know, the Mac App Store and app signing and iOS, all those things they did were also hurdles
⏹️ ▶️ John for people making applications for the iPhone and making applications for the Mac. But Mac developers
⏹️ ▶️ John and iOS developers may have grumbled, but they continue because they well, this is our business. If
⏹️ ▶️ John we’re going to put apps in the phone, we got to do what Apple says. and even the Mac App Store, many companies went
⏹️ ▶️ John through heroic efforts because they thought that the upside of being in the Mac App Store was worth
⏹️ ▶️ John making the effort. In some cases, they’ve changed their mind on that. Sometimes they’ve changed their mind and then changed their mind back. But the point
⏹️ ▶️ John is, those platforms, the phone, the iPad, the Mac, are attractive enough
⏹️ ▶️ John for developers to be willing to deal with these hurdles and games on Apple’s platform
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Yeah, and I think a lot of this comes down to, I mean, some of it is definitely Apple’s
⏹️ ▶️ Marco attitude towards developers, which I think can mostly, most of the time, be described
⏹️ ▶️ Marco as tense. Apple doesn’t seem to have it in them or have any interest
⏹️ ▶️ Marco in attracting developers to their platforms. Apple seems to
⏹️ ▶️ Marco dictate certain things to developers. Certain things are nice. Like, I love a lot of the APIs
⏹️ ▶️ Marco and everything. A lot of the tooling’s pretty good. So, a lot of it’s good, but for the most
⏹️ ▶️ Marco part, The overall attitude for Apple towards developers, you know, Apple’s like sitting back
⏹️ ▶️ Marco waiting for people to come to them and putting up hurdles and saying, hey, you all, here’s a new hurdle,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco you have to deal with it, period. What are you gonna do? You know, like John was saying, when there is
⏹️ ▶️ Marco a large potential upside to a platform, we go through those hurdles.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco I’m willing to jump through all their stupid hoops and go through their stupid code signing that
⏹️ ▶️ Marco still is completely broken. if you use CarPlay, you have to do it all manually still.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco And you go through all this stuff, the notarization, like you go through all that stuff because, you know
⏹️ ▶️ Marco what, I wanna make a podcast app on the iPhone. And I wanna make it badly enough that all those
⏹️ ▶️ Marco hassles and costs and the app store tax and app reviews BS,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco all of that, I’m willing to go through all that because there’s a big market for making a podcast
⏹️ ▶️ Marco app on the iPhone. And also I use an iPhone and I wanna have my own podcast app, and so therefore I’m
⏹️ ▶️ Marco motivated even myself, let alone the business side.
⏹️ ▶️ John And let me just pause you there, and that is a key point. Like Apple has, Apple sells a ton of iPhones,
⏹️ ▶️ John right? Apple makes a platform that is attractive to use as a developer by selling tons of iPhones to
⏹️ ▶️ John people who have money and are willing to spend it on software. That’s why, it’s not like, oh, I just like the iPhone,
⏹️ ▶️ John so I’m just gonna make Overcast for it. The Overcast is where the customers you want are, and Apple
⏹️ ▶️ John really helped to make that happen. That’s not true of games. Apple sells a lot of devices, but
⏹️ ▶️ John the people who buy them aren’t waiting to shell out 60 bucks for games. People who buy game consoles
⏹️ ▶️ John are. So it’s like it’s where the customers are, and that is the job of the platform owner. If they
⏹️ ▶️ John want games on their platform, they need to sell enough devices to people who buy them and then wanna
⏹️ ▶️ John play games to make it worthwhile for games developers.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Right, and that’s where, you know, the iPhone is a pretty decent
⏹️ ▶️ Marco casual gaming device, pretty good casual gaming device. The iPad is also a pretty good casual gaming
⏹️ ▶️ Marco device. The Mac isn’t for lots of reasons, but you
⏹️ ▶️ Marco think about how many gamers buy Macs? It is to some degree a chicken or an egg
⏹️ ▶️ Marco problem. Not a lot of gamers buy Macs because in part, because there’s not a lot of
⏹️ ▶️ Marco good games on Macs, but also because Apple’s hardware choices,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco in especially things like GPU options,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco certainly the ability to make customizable towers at reasonable prices, like, things that gamers
⏹️ ▶️ Marco are really into, Apple has just given the huge middle finger to so often in their
⏹️ ▶️ Marco hardware offerings, and their pricing, and things like that. And so, most gamers don’t buy Macs. And therefore,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco there is not much reason for most game developers to go through Apple’s hurdles and hassles
⏹️ ▶️ Marco to bring their games to the Mac. Now, what I was hoping that the era
⏹️ ▶️ Marco of the, you know, Apple ARM Max coming in and the availability of iOS
⏹️ ▶️ Marco apps on Max, I was hoping that would improve things. So far, it seems
⏹️ ▶️ Marco like it hasn’t, but it is still early days. We’ll see what happens. I think,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco unfortunately, what I’ve seen mostly is, you know, Apple gave game developers, or gave all developers,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco the ability to opt out of their iOS apps being available on M1 and
⏹️ ▶️ Marco many large developers have taken that option. Many of them, for not particularly
⏹️ ▶️ Marco good reasons, just like, we don’t want to go through the hassle of testing that, so we’ll just disable it,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco because who will care, right? So I feel like that’s kind of a non-starter. Catalyst has been mostly a
⏹️ ▶️ Marco non-starter for most people. So the efforts to try to take that
⏹️ ▶️ Marco iOS effort that’s being invested on the iOS side and bring it to the Mac without much effort
⏹️ ▶️ Marco on the developer side, mostly hasn’t panned out or hasn’t panned out the way that we expected
⏹️ ▶️ Marco or wanted. So I don’t see this, like I think the only thing that might save this
⏹️ ▶️ Marco is if Apple’s laptop hardware for a while ends up having really
⏹️ ▶️ Marco good GPUs. And we’re seeing the beginnings of that, you know, like the M1 GPU
⏹️ ▶️ Marco is pretty good for an integrated GPU. It’s very good for an integrated GPU. It’s not very good
⏹️ ▶️ Marco for a gaming GPU. It’s okay, but it could be a lot better, and maybe the higher-end ones will get better
⏹️ ▶️ Marco options there, we’ll see what happens, but ultimately, until and unless
⏹️ ▶️ Marco a lot of gamers buy Macs, we’re not gonna see a lot of games
⏹️ ▶️ Marco being developed for the Mac. And I just don’t see, like, what gamers want in
⏹️ ▶️ Marco hardware and in customizability and pricing and everything, I don’t see Apple
⏹️ ▶️ John I think it’s good to have a reminder. You know, when we talk about this, I think most people are on the
⏹️ ▶️ John same page with us in terms of the context of the conversation. But the mobile gaming market is bigger
⏹️ ▶️ John than the non mobile gaming market. Mobile gaming, of which Apple has a huge piece,
⏹️ ▶️ John is the bigger piece of the pie. There’s more money flowing through mobile gaming than there is for, quote unquote,
⏹️ ▶️ John real gaming, right? The triple A games or whatever. The reason we always talk about it in this
⏹️ ▶️ John context of like, well, why is Apple so bad at games? We’re talking about the AAA games
⏹️ ▶️ John kind of for the same reason that we talk about blockbuster movies. I mean, it’s a little bit different, but like
⏹️ ▶️ John it’s because the people who are the most into games like those big AAA games. It doesn’t
⏹️ ▶️ John mean that’s where all the money is. There’s a lot of money in AAA games, but there’s more money in quote unquote, casual
⏹️ ▶️ John mobile games. So it’s actually kind of hard to pitch Apple and say, oh, here’s how you
⏹️ ▶️ John can get better gaming, they’d be like, we’re already making, you know, ton of money because mobile
⏹️ ▶️ John gaming is the biggest kind of gaming and we may have a big chunk of that. Why would we go after this smaller piece
⏹️ ▶️ John of the pie that you tell us maybe we can get some piece of if we fight against Microsoft and Windows PCs and game consoles?
⏹️ ▶️ John That doesn’t sound like a fun time to us. We’ll just keep being dominant in mobile gaming because that’s
⏹️ ▶️ John where the money is and that’s where the future is. And everybody has a phone and everyone plays games on those things and only a few people have
⏹️ ▶️ John gaming PCs. But it’s still when we, you know, when they they sell machines that
⏹️ ▶️ John are ostensibly capable of these type of games. It’s got a keyboard, a mouse, a big screen, a
⏹️ ▶️ John fast GPU, a fast CPU. People buy them for a lot of money and say
⏹️ ▶️ John it’s a shame that I can’t play these popular games on this because the hardware is capable.
⏹️ ▶️ John And that’s where you get letters like this, say, oh, developers aren’t doing Mac ports of these games,
⏹️ ▶️ John right? I mean, not doing Mac ports of mobile games either, but the mobile games are already on the iPhone, right?
⏹️ ▶️ John And to your point, Marco, those mobile games could be on the Mac if the developers, I think the reason developers bail because if
⏹️ ▶️ John they’re like, if we ever decide to address the Mac, we’ll, we’ll sell them a separate skew, right? We don’t want to just let them have our
⏹️ ▶️ John existing game or, and we don’t want them to buy it and play it on the Mac. Well, we’ll have a Mac specific game, but we’re never going to do that because nobody
⏹️ ▶️ John games in the Mac anyways, who cares? But like the mind, it’s kind of like the alpha
⏹️ ▶️ John geeks when that are all Oracle from back in the day, O’Reilly wrote about the alpha geeks moving to the Mac in like 2003 and four, right?
⏹️ ▶️ John And this subset, this smaller subset of the gaming population, the people who are super into
⏹️ ▶️ John games, who are willing to get play games for hundreds of hours, that are very complicated and intricate
⏹️ ▶️ John and difficult and aren’t quote unquote casual, that minority of the
⏹️ ▶️ John gaming world has disproportionate influence because they are sort of on the bleeding edge of gaming technology
⏹️ ▶️ John and the bleeding edge of gaming complexity and of the advancement of the art form,
⏹️ ▶️ John you know, using the best technology available. And that’s why we always talk about it in this context. Obviously, that’s my bias too. Those are the type
⏹️ ▶️ John of games I like and play. But it is important to recognize that from Apple’s perspective, there’s nothing
⏹️ ▶️ John broken here. Mobile gaming is where it’s at, and Apple is doing really well there.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey Well, the good news is that Apple’s documentation is so flawless that if you ever have anything you’re
⏹️ ▶️ Casey confused about, you can look at their perfect documentation and find the answer every time.
⏹️ ▶️ John I don’t think people are refusing to port games to the Mac because of bad documentation.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey You say that, but if notarization was easily explained, then perhaps that wouldn’t be such a hurdle.
⏹️ ▶️ John I think it was looking for any excuse to not do the port. Oh, and I got a notarized too.
⏹️ ▶️ John That’s it. I’m not making a game. I’m just saying,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey I’m just going to throw that out there. Not that I ever brew up my butt or anything.
More on HomePod
⏹️ ▶️ Casey Anyway, Marco, tell me about what’s going on with your HomePods.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Yeah, so I wanted to just do a little bit of quick expansion on the HomePod discontinuation discussion from
⏹️ ▶️ Marco last week, because there were a couple things that I learned in the meantime or that I forgot about. So one of them, a bunch
⏹️ ▶️ Marco of people wrote in to point out that the Google Home Max was also
⏹️ ▶️ Marco apparently discontinued. This was basically like Google’s $300 big smart speaker. It apparently was, again, $300, so similar price.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco you know, big speaker, but that also had a home assistant built in. And
⏹️ ▶️ Marco it also had an aux in jack, apparently, which is what we were- Imagine
⏹️ ▶️ John that. Didn’t Google also have a sphere that they canned before they even shipped it? They had
⏹️ ▶️ Marco that TV box that was like the Q something. What was that? That never shipped, I don’t think.
⏹️ ▶️ John But there was, yeah, there was some Google, I thought it was a smart speaker that was spherically shaped that got canned before, but
⏹️ ▶️ Marco continue. So a lot of people were saying like, okay, well look, the Google Home Max, which was similar, you
⏹️ ▶️ Marco know, marketing wise, was also discontinued. So there must just not be a market for
⏹️ ▶️ Marco a premium smart speaker. And I don’t think that follows. No, because Google
⏹️ ▶️ Marco cancels everything. Yeah, Google discontinues stuff all the time and they suck at hardware and they’ve discontinued
⏹️ ▶️ Marco lots of hardware of all sizes, big and small, different prices and everything. So yeah, I wouldn’t necessarily say that says
⏹️ ▶️ Marco anything about it. There is an Echo Studio that is $200 and looks kind
⏹️ ▶️ Marco of like a knockoff HomePod. I’ve never seen one in person, but Amazon’s been selling it for a while.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco So, you know, that product seems to be similar and just exist there.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco And you look at the entire product line by Sonos, almost all of which costs significantly
⏹️ ▶️ Marco more than the HomePod, or at least in the ballpark of the HomePod. And they’ve been selling that stuff for
⏹️ ▶️ Marco years and they seem to not be out of business yet. So clearly
⏹️ ▶️ Marco the market is there. I mean, look at like any of the speakers Apple has sold in
⏹️ ▶️ Marco the Apple stores in throughout history, you know, not just like the Apple Hi-Fi, I should get to in a second, but like, you
⏹️ ▶️ Marco know, you look at like all of the, you know, Bose and B&W and B&O
⏹️ ▶️ Marco and all these things, like all these like big speakers and speaker docks and things like that over the years,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco and they’re all like $300. So I don’t think we can say there’s no market for this. I think there’s
⏹️ ▶️ Marco clearly a market for this if they’re good and if they’re compelling and the HomePod
⏹️ ▶️ Marco was not good and compelling enough for its price. I think that’s the real problem here. We
⏹️ ▶️ Marco also heard from a few people who pointed out something I should have thought of, but didn’t, that with
⏹️ ▶️ Marco both the iPad, or sorry, both the iMac Pro being discontinued and the HomePod being discontinued,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco one factor that I don’t think we mentioned, or at least didn’t mention a lot, is possible component shortages
⏹️ ▶️ Marco due to COVID. There’s apparently been a massive chip and component shortage
⏹️ ▶️ Marco in the industry. So it’s possible that Apple intended to have these things, these
⏹️ ▶️ Marco products in the lineup for longer before, like maybe until their replacements were ready, but
⏹️ ▶️ Marco they had to start making tough decisions because of some kind of component shortages that they literally just can’t get, you know, even if it isn’t Intel
⏹️ ▶️ Marco with the Xeon, maybe they literally can’t get like, you know, the speaker rim
⏹️ ▶️ Marco holder or like, you know, some, you know, the Bluetooth chip or something anymore for the iMac
⏹️ ▶️ Marco or, you know, for the HomePod, it could have been anything. Because when you look at what goes into a full-size
⏹️ ▶️ Marco HomePod, and this is kind of where I wanted to go with this, you look at what goes into a full-size HomePod compared to the
⏹️ ▶️ Marco HomePod Mini, and you see very, very different engineering
⏹️ ▶️ Marco and cost priorities in these things. You know, you look at the HomePod, the full-size
⏹️ ▶️ Marco one, and one of the headlining features of it was
⏹️ ▶️ Marco this automatic sensing of the room, where it would detect where the walls and stuff
⏹️ ▶️ Marco were, and it would bounce the sound off the walls and reflect it all around the the room
⏹️ ▶️ Marco to basically try to simulate it being more than just one speaker to say like, oh,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco you can make great sound room filling sound with just one speaker. And you look at all the
⏹️ ▶️ Marco product marketing, like depictions of the HomePod that Apple had at that time. And it was always like
⏹️ ▶️ Marco the HomePod magically with no power cord sitting in the middle of a table in the middle of a room
⏹️ ▶️ Marco and somehow filling the whole room with sound. And I think that’s how
⏹️ ▶️ Marco they design it. And they’re like, let’s make the maximum
⏹️ ▶️ Marco engineered thing we can here. And if you look at all the hardware that’s in the HomePod,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco it has, to quote their page, an array of seven horn-loaded tweeters,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco each with its own custom amplifier. So there’s seven amps,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco and that’s just for the tweeters, I assume that the woofer has its own amp as well it must. So there’s, you
⏹️ ▶️ Marco know, eight amps inside a HomePod, seven tweeters, they have
⏹️ ▶️ Marco this internal low frequency calibration microphone for automatic bass correction,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco direct and ambient audio beam forming, all this, all this like, you know, processing intensive
⏹️ ▶️ Marco stuff, all the tweeters to be able to fire 360 degrees in all the directions and, you
⏹️ ▶️ Marco know, be able to sense the room and adjust things and everything. Meanwhile, if
⏹️ ▶️ Marco you have one HomePod playing by itself without a second one paired to it,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco it sounds pretty good. But you know, it sounds a hell of a lot better
⏹️ ▶️ Marco getting a second one and making an actual stereo pair that actually has physical space between the two speakers.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco And when you do that, almost all of that custom processing is disabled.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Oh my. And so the way that I’ve heard HomePods for most of the time that I’ve been
⏹️ ▶️ Marco using them, I’m almost always listening to a stereo pair. And the stereo pair really does sound way better
⏹️ ▶️ Marco than a single one, way better. And it’s not even then using all that stuff, or
⏹️ ▶️ Marco it’s using very little of it, at least. If you want room-filling sound, you can
⏹️ ▶️ Marco do it, you can try it with like one thing in one place that’s doing all these tricks. You know,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco sound bars, which I hate as a category, often advertise similar kind of things. Oh, they’re bouncing sound off the walls.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco You don’t need rear speakers, you don’t need like and and you know what doesn’t really work that well
⏹️ ▶️ Marco I’ve never been fooled by these things I’ve never once thought wow it sounds like their speakers actually
⏹️ ▶️ Marco on the left and right of me or it sounds like I actually have rear speakers from this soundbar no you know why
⏹️ ▶️ Marco because of physics it’s not that easy to bounce stuff off walls in ways you can actually tell with reasonable
⏹️ ▶️ Marco volumes that doesn’t that don’t sound really overwhelmingly weird from certain angles, it’s just
⏹️ ▶️ Marco physics. You need multiple points of sound to actually fill a room with sound that sounds
⏹️ ▶️ Marco good. The entire idea of cramming all this stuff into one speaker,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco I think was bad engineering and cost management. I don’t think this product should
⏹️ ▶️ Marco ever have been released in the way it was. That added so much cost to it.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Meanwhile, you look at the HomePod Mini, a device that was almost certainly prioritizing
⏹️ ▶️ Marco cost over almost all else. It’s a hundred bucks compared to the 350 they were selling this
⏹️ ▶️ Marco thing for. The HomePod mini is actually kind of expensive for what it is
⏹️ ▶️ Marco because it only has one driver. It doesn’t even have like a dedicated
⏹️ ▶️ Marco like tweeter and woofer. It’s one single speaker driver that does both jobs, which is one of the reasons
⏹️ ▶️ Marco it doesn’t sound very good because that’s fairly hard to make work physics wise to make it sound good but
⏹️ ▶️ Marco just one thing doing everything. They really cut down so much if you look at the teardowns
⏹️ ▶️ Marco on iFixit versus the HomePod full-size one and you can see there’s just
⏹️ ▶️ Marco all this massive complexity and engineering and components in this thing
⏹️ ▶️ Marco and then you look at a teardown of the HomePod mini and there’s almost nothing in it and it’s it’s significantly
⏹️ ▶️ Marco stripped down way cheaper way simpler and it starts to seem obvious like
⏹️ ▶️ Marco the HomePod, the first HomePod, just it seems like Apple totally ignored
⏹️ ▶️ Marco cost when designing it. Like it seems like they totally over-engineered it thinking
⏹️ ▶️ Marco that they could just kind of walk into the market and just start taking money. And a lot
⏹️ ▶️ Marco of people have made the same, have made an analogy to the iPod
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Hi-Fi, the old speaker dock. It’s actually a very good analogy because because that was another area where
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Apple didn’t have a passion for speaker docks. They were not the first ones to the speaker dock market.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco I think Steve Jobs was jealous of all the money that Bose was making selling $300 speaker docks for their iPods, and they were like, we
⏹️ ▶️ Marco can get that $300 ourselves. And they made one that was a little bit more expensive
⏹️ ▶️ Marco and a little bit nicer in certain ways, not nicer in other ways, sounds familiar. And it flopped in the market
⏹️ ▶️ Marco because it turned out most people don’t need one of those at all. And the ones that did want speaker docks I’d much rather
⏹️ ▶️ Marco buy one of the like $100 JBL ones that sound pretty decent than
⏹️ ▶️ Marco buy the like almost $400 Apple or Bose or whatever ones.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco And I think the HomePod, it was a similar flaw and a similar flop in that
⏹️ ▶️ Marco they just over-engineered it so much in ways that they didn’t
⏹️ ▶️ Marco need to. Like it’s not like they made it sound too good. It doesn’t sound that
⏹️ ▶️ Marco good when you only have one of them. They just over-engineered it. You know, and the HomePod mini
⏹️ ▶️ Marco sounds significantly worse, not because it only had, not because it lacks seven
⏹️ ▶️ Marco tweeters and a special microphone to tune itself to the room. Like,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco you know how you can tune your woofer to the room for automatic bass correction?
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Remove one word, automatic, and offer an EQ or
⏹️ ▶️ Marco at least a bass knob in the adjustment panel for the HomePod in software.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco which by the way, as a HomePod owner and as someone who has heard from a lot of other HomePod
⏹️ ▶️ Marco owners, we all want that. If there was adjustable bass on the HomePod,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco that would solve the vast majority of issues people have with its audio.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco It works pretty well for me, but yeah, there are times where I would want to adjust it. And I’ve heard from so many people
⏹️ ▶️ Marco who are like, I tried it, but it’s too much bass. So many people would love
⏹️ ▶️ Marco a software adjustment of just a bass knob in the control panel in the software,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco and they can get rid of that microphone. And they can also design a product that’s made
⏹️ ▶️ Marco to either be firing in one direction or paired with a second one, and get rid of
⏹️ ▶️ Marco most of those seven tweeters and seven custom amplifiers that are on each one. They can
⏹️ ▶️ Marco get rid of the direct and ambient audio beam forming, because again,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco if you don’t try to fill a room with one single point and just
⏹️ ▶️ Marco say, all right, here’s one point, it’ll be inexpensive. If you wanna fill a room, get two of them and pair them. That is
⏹️ ▶️ Marco such a different engineering goal and that makes for such a different product and then you can make that
⏹️ ▶️ Marco product cheaper. And maybe you could make a really good sounding one for 200 bucks. And then
⏹️ ▶️ Marco a pair would be 400 bucks instead of 700 bucks. And that’s a really big difference. Like
⏹️ ▶️ Marco that would be, that alone, even ignoring the input issue and the Siri issues,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco That alone could have been a huge deal. And then finally, they put all this engineering
⏹️ ▶️ Marco and all this cost into the HomePod. And then the CPU they put into it was
⏹️ ▶️ Marco the A8 from the iPhone 6. And when you ask it a
⏹️ ▶️ Marco question of Siri, it’s slow to respond.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Now, this has been one of the only things that I miss about
⏹️ ▶️ Marco the Alexa ecosystem when I switched over to this. Alexa is faster, faster to respond,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco like way faster, and always has been, even on their very first generation hardware. And I have to wonder, you know,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco obviously most of that is probably the service side, but I have to wonder how much of that
⏹️ ▶️ Marco could Apple have solved with a higher end or faster processor or some kind of different
⏹️ ▶️ Marco processor choice, like they spend all this engineering and all this cost in all these
⏹️ ▶️ Marco fancy audio features that nobody was asking for, for a goal that they couldn’t actually achieve of filling a room
⏹️ ▶️ Marco with sound with one point. And yet, the actual main interaction
⏹️ ▶️ Marco method to this thing is slow. Now, the HomePod Mini moves from the A8
⏹️ ▶️ Marco from the phone chip to the S5 CPU from the Apple Watch Series 5.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco So the HomePod Mini actually has an Apple Watch CPU in it. I couldn’t find many good direct
⏹️ ▶️ Marco comparisons of how the performance between the A8 and S5 is. The one benchmark
⏹️ ▶️ Marco I found, which was not very reliable, suggested the S5 is way faster at certain things than the
⏹️ ▶️ Marco A8 was, so that the HomePod Mini should in theory be way faster than the original HomePod at certain things. I don’t
⏹️ ▶️ Marco know if that actually plays out. Anecdotally, it does seem like the HomePod Mini responds
⏹️ ▶️ Marco faster based on my limited experience here, but it certainly does seem like
⏹️ ▶️ Marco they gave the original HomePod a way too slow processor and spent
⏹️ ▶️ Marco way too much money on all of the other stuff inside of it that mostly wasn’t necessary
⏹️ ▶️ Marco or was over-engineered. And the HomePod Mini was able to be so much cheaper because they designed it that way from
⏹️ ▶️ Marco the start. And so I think they’re totally able to make
⏹️ ▶️ Marco a really good larger HomePod for 200 bucks if they
⏹️ ▶️ Marco actually go and go into it with that goal in mind with some kind of degree of
⏹️ ▶️ Marco like humbleness. Like the first HomePod was like, we’re gonna waltz into this market, we see what
⏹️ ▶️ Marco everyone else of charging, we’re gonna charge two and a half times as much or whatever it is. And people will buy it
⏹️ ▶️ Marco because it’s good. And I think hopefully they can reenter this market when
⏹️ ▶️ Marco they’re ready with a little bit more humbleness and reality check
⏹️ ▶️ Marco and engineer a higher end product that sounds way better than the
⏹️ ▶️ Marco HomePod Mini, which again is not super difficult, and can actually be sold
⏹️ ▶️ Marco at a compelling price of I’d say around 200 bucks. And I think that could be a really good product. People
⏹️ ▶️ Marco like me who want bigger sound can buy two of them significantly more affordably than when it was $350.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco And ideally integrate it better into the ecosystem and
⏹️ ▶️ Marco give it a little bit faster processor so we can respawn faster. And that could be a really good product. So I’m looking forward to where
⏹️ ▶️ Marco this is going. Although at least I was until I saw the rumor
⏹️ ▶️ Marco from German this week about apparently they’re working on future home pods with screens.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco What do you, that?
⏹️ ▶️ John I think that’s a good idea because a lot of the possible utility, I mean, especially if they make it kind of a home hub
⏹️ ▶️ John thing, like yes, the, the, the using it as a speaker, as you described, they could definitely make that product fewer drivers,
⏹️ ▶️ John less smarts, uh, lower price, and now you can get two of them more easily
⏹️ ▶️ John and you’re all set, but it’s still just a speaker and all the things that the home pod can do.
⏹️ ▶️ John Like you can all the questions you can ask Siri, you know, a lot of them would
⏹️ ▶️ John benefit from having a screen. Show me the weather. Don’t just tell me when I wake up in the morning,
⏹️ ▶️ John have a little display ready for me, have a rotating, you know, thing of picture is if
⏹️ ▶️ John I asked to see a picture of somebody, put it on the screen for me. If I’m looking at a recipe, show me your recipe like
⏹️ ▶️ John this. The the Amazon products and the Google products that have screens, I think
⏹️ ▶️ John enjoy popularity because a screen is a really useful thing to have for a voice assistant
⏹️ ▶️ John in your house. If you stop thinking of it as a speaker, which is mostly what you were talking about, and start thinking of it as a
⏹️ ▶️ John voice assistant that happens to have a non-terrible speaker, a screen is very attractive,
⏹️ ▶️ John and I think plays much more to Apple’s strengths because there are lots of things that I just
⏹️ ▶️ John described that are already possible on watches and phones and iPads.
⏹️ ▶️ John So Apple has already done some of the work for it, and if Apple half butts
⏹️ ▶️ John it, as Marco says, They could do a poor job of it, but you can imagine a really good implementation of
⏹️ ▶️ John all I roll out of bed and in the kitchen, there’s my home pod with a screen showing me today’s
⏹️ ▶️ John schedule and a weather forecast. And I can ask it to do things and I can intercom to wake the kids
⏹️ ▶️ John up and like the ad rights itself. Like Apple, I think once Apple has a screen, they are more comfortable. Whatever
⏹️ ▶️ John that thing is on top of the, the, the home pod is not a screen and the product is
⏹️ ▶️ John lesser for it because without a screen, an apple doesn’t know what to do, and then it has to lean entirely
⏹️ ▶️ John on its sluggish and not so smart voice assistant.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Yeah, and by the way, thank you for hoofed in the chat for giving me the word that
⏹️ ▶️ Marco I was looking for with humbleness. Apparently there’s already a word for that called humility. I couldn’t get it.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Like, as I was saying, I’m like, I know there’s a word for this. I can’t think of what the word is. Humblebility, they call it.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco That’s it, yeah. Humbilosity.
⏹️ ▶️ John Oh, and one more thing, on the chip shortage thing of like all the different, you know, that COVID has caused a
⏹️ ▶️ John shortage of parts or whatever, and that could explain why stuff’s getting canceled early or whatever.
⏹️ ▶️ John Some of, this is just, I don’t know if this is a real thing, but I saw it three or four times on Twitter and
⏹️ ▶️ John on websites, so who knows? But it was people buying HomePods. Like I said, hey, get them while supplies last.
⏹️ ▶️ John So people are like, okay, well, fine, I guess I’ll get one now. So they would order a HomePod to get one of the last ones and,
⏹️ ▶️ John you know, before they’re all out of stock, right? And they would receive them, and reportedly the manufactured
⏹️ ▶️ John date was the launch date of the HomePod.
⏹️ ▶️ John they made a bunch of HomePods in like 2017 or whenever it was, and they never made any more.
⏹️ ▶️ John And they just have been trying to sell those, like us with the ATP pins, which we made many years ago.
⏹️ ▶️ John And we’re still trying to sell them because apparently everybody who wants an ATP pin has one, right? And we just have
⏹️ ▶️ John a handful of the left, but if you buy an ATP pin today, you’re getting a pin that was made three years
⏹️ ▶️ John ago. Luckily there are no electronics in it and it’s still supported by all our software. by
⏹️ ▶️ John an ATP pin. But yeah, so shortages could have contributed to
⏹️ ▶️ John the early, as we discussed, the Xeon being discontinued and stuff, the early demise of the iMac. But it seems like from people buying them
⏹️ ▶️ John that HomePods are not suffering from a lack of parts because Apple isn’t making HomePods anymore.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Yeah, Apple hasn’t made HomePods in years
⏹️ ▶️ John apparently. Right, they’re just trying to sell through the warehouse filled with HomePods. Someone’s built like
⏹️ ▶️ John a fort out of HomePods in the back room.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey It’s like that, I remember that, I don’t remember what magazine or company it was whatever, but that did the,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey the wheel, Oh, I Mac boxes. You know what
⏹️ ▶️ Casey, Marco I’m talking about? Yeah.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey Uh, same, same basic idea.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Yeah. And, and like, I’m, I’m kind of surprised, like, as of now when we record, they still aren’t sold
⏹️ ▶️ Marco out. I assumed that when they announced that they were discontinued, that they would sell out
⏹️ ▶️ Marco within a day. Right. And, and the, the space gray ones did, they sold out pretty quickly, but the white ones,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco which is actually my preferred color of them are still for sale now, like two weeks later or
⏹️ ▶️ John been. Did they introduce the Space Gray one later, or was that at launch day?
⏹️ ▶️ John I don’t know. Maybe that was just the more popular color. Or maybe they misguessed when they manufactured them
⏹️ ▶️ John all originally, whatever year it was. Yeah.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco but I really, and I’ve been tempted to buy one now, because I really do enjoy
⏹️ ▶️ Marco them. Because you have so many and they need friends. Yeah, right, but I just, I don’t really have anywhere else I could put a full-size
⏹️ ▶️ Marco HomePod. You could make a fort. Yeah, but if any of mine die,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco and if they haven’t released a new one by that point, I will actually really regret
⏹️ ▶️ Marco not having one. You need to have spare HomePods.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey This is how you end up with a closet full of cheese graters.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey, John Except for you, it’ll be a closet full of HomePods.
⏹️ ▶️ John My thing that I’m collecting costs like $9 each though. It’s a little bit easier
⏹️ ▶️ Casey Yeah. It won’t be too long until those are $9 each as well. So
⏹️ ▶️ John cheese graters only appreciated in value.
⏹️ ▶️ John, Marco The price of Octo Cheese
⏹️ ▶️ John Graters has never gone down, Casey. Uh-huh, uh-huh, sure.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco No, but like, honestly, like, as, you know, ever since the HomePod’s death was announced and as I’ve kind of waffled
⏹️ ▶️ Marco on getting any spares, I’ve started to realize, like, I really like the way it works
⏹️ ▶️ Marco for the most part. First of all, if anyone out there does not yet have
⏹️ ▶️ Marco AirPlay 2 in your household, I would strongly recommend giving it a shot in some form,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco whether it’s playing stuff to an Apple TV or to a HomePod mini or a regular HomePod or whatever.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Or any of the other ecosystem stuff that supports it, like obviously all of Sonos’ stuff, or all of Sonos’ recent stuff
⏹️ ▶️ Marco supports it. A lot of other manufacturers starting to add it as well. AirPlay 2 is
⏹️ ▶️ Marco awesome. It is by far my favorite household slash multi-room slash whatever
⏹️ ▶️ Marco audio management thing because, as I mentioned a few weeks ago, you can control it not only from
⏹️ ▶️ Marco the voice assistant that’s built into the speaker, but you can also control it from your phone and from your iPad.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco and everyone else can in the house too. So if you have like an Apple household where everyone has iPhones or iPads or whatever,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco everyone can control it. And it just shows up in Control Center and you can hand off from your music app to it
⏹️ ▶️ Marco or from it to your music app. And it’s really nice. It’s a wonderful
⏹️ ▶️ Marco interaction method if you are in Apple’s ecosystem and especially if you use Apple Music. Now here’s
⏹️ ▶️ Marco the thing, like I understand that everyone who uses Spotify,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco everyone, 100% of you, I think that everyone uses Spotify.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco And that’s not that far off. Spotify is very popular, but not everyone uses
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Spotify and I get the Spotify people. Look at many of
⏹️ ▶️ Marco you are my friends, but Spotify is not everyone. It’s
⏹️ ▶️ Marco not everything. It’s not all music. It’s not the way everyone wants to listen to music. Their app honestly
⏹️ ▶️ Marco is garbage. Apple Music is also garbage in their apps, but you know, it’s like,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco there’s a lot of problems with Spotify that I have. But if you’re not a Spotify user,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco there are dozens of us, dozens, the HomePod is actually amazingly good because if you’re not a Spotify
⏹️ ▶️ Marco user, you’re probably either an Apple Music person or if you are especially
⏹️ ▶️ Marco old, like my neighbor thinks I am, you might be an iTunes slash like
⏹️ ▶️ Marco music on the Mac person. And if you are still keeping a music library,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco again, Spotify people, you think, quote, nobody does that anymore. I assure you there are people
⏹️ ▶️ Marco out there who do it. I recognize it isn’t the majority anymore, but we’re out there. And
⏹️ ▶️ Marco nothing integrates better with an iTunes music collection than a HomePod.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Nothing, like none of the other speaker things come close. And so I have, you know, I have
⏹️ ▶️ Marco between me and Tiff, we both use Apple Music. we both used iTunes before
⏹️ ▶️ Marco that. I have playlists in there. I have a music collection in there. I have all
⏹️ ▶️ Marco my fish stuff that I’ve downloaded legally from their site, but then like that’s not listed in Spotify or an app or
⏹️ ▶️ Marco an app music’s online directory. But I have my own collection merged in with that. Tiff has her own
⏹️ ▶️ Marco stuff. The HomePod recognizes each of us by voice. And if Tiff wants to play one of her playlist,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco she asks for it. And it just knows it’s her and knows which collection it’s in. If I asked for something, it knows
⏹️ ▶️ Marco it’s me and it plays stuff tailored to me based on my collection that I’ve built up over years, my ratings,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco my play frequency and stuff like that, and it has all my fish stuff. So if I want to say, hey, play my,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco you know, best of fish playlist that I maintain on my own devices and with my own collection, it has access to that
⏹️ ▶️ Marco and it can do it. That’s one thing that whenever we had Alexa stuff in the house, it can’t do that, doesn’t have access to it.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco And Amazon has ways to upload stuff to it. So does Spotify. They suck and they don’t work.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Believe me, I’ve tried them over the years, they don’t work. And so the HomePod
⏹️ ▶️ Marco is really good for this set of needs. And if
⏹️ ▶️ Marco you don’t care about audio quality, or can’t afford the
⏹️ ▶️ Marco really high price tags of some of this gear, or if you are super into
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Spotify, and all you listen to is stuff that’s available on streaming,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco well, that’s a pretty big percentage of the population. And for all of
⏹️ ▶️ Marco those people, this might not be the best choice or might not be a choice at all, but. That’s
⏹️ ▶️ Marco not everyone. And for those of us who still do things kind of the old way or more into
⏹️ ▶️ Marco the Apple music ecosystem for various reasons, the home pod is great and the other solutions
⏹️ ▶️ Marco out there are not. And so I really, really hope that Apple
⏹️ ▶️ Marco is just again, taking a step back to regroup and we’ll come out with better offerings here as
⏹️ ▶️ Marco opposed to abandoning this market forever.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey It’s funny, I’m a devout Spotify person when it comes to music. Obviously, I have many problems with what
⏹️ ▶️ Casey they’re doing in the podcast space. But I just in the last 48 hours paid for another
⏹️ ▶️ Casey year of iTunes match because I still do use it from time to time and there’s still plenty of music that I have
⏹️ ▶️ Casey in my library that with time I listen to less and less often. But nevertheless,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey I do want it available and I want it available without having to carry my entire library on my phone
⏹️ ▶️ Casey or my iPad or what have you. And just today when I was in the car for a few hours, I was listening to some of
⏹️ ▶️ Casey my library that was in iTunes Match. And so I think I have a foot
⏹️ ▶️ Casey in both of these worlds. I have never used a HomePod ever, ever, ever. I’ve never heard one playing to my
⏹️ ▶️ Casey recollection. I don’t debate anything that you’ve said. I’m not trying to say you’re
⏹️ ▶️ Casey wrong. I will say that my experience with the Echo in Spotify is actually pretty good.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey I’m not asking you to do a lot of the things that you’re doing, like I’m not a heavy playlist person and I
⏹️ ▶️ Casey basically, our entire family just uses my Spotify account as the canonical Spotify account. And
⏹️ ▶️ Casey it works pretty well for our needs, so it depends on what your needs are. I don’t think it would work well for
⏹️ ▶️ Casey your needs, Marco, but it does work pretty well for our simplified needs. But
⏹️ ▶️ Casey ultimately I agree with you that I think would be too bad if Apple just pulled an airport extreme slash
⏹️ ▶️ Casey express or whatever, and just walked away from this market. Because I think for a company that seems to claim
⏹️ ▶️ Casey to really care about music and in once bought a company that was entirely around making
⏹️ ▶️ Casey speakers and particularly headphones for music, it seems like this is something Apple should do
⏹️ ▶️ Casey well, even if they haven’t yet. And God, gosh knows my AirPods are some of my favorite
⏹️ ▶️ Casey devices in the entire world. Those things are freaking magic. So I would hope that they take a second crack
⏹️ ▶️ Casey at this. I don’t really or maybe a third crack. I don’t really consider the HomePod Mini to be
⏹️ ▶️ Casey but a refinement of what they’ve already done. but a perhaps complete rethinking of what they’ve
⏹️ ▶️ Casey already done would be pretty good.
Sponsor: Squarespace (code ATP)
⏹️ ▶️ Marco We are sponsored this week by Squarespace. Start building your website
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⏹️ ▶️ Marco this and the resulting site that you make at Squarespace is going to look and work
⏹️ ▶️ Marco like a professional site. These are professionally designed templates that you’re starting from,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco you can customize them as much as you want and everything is intuitive and visual and
⏹️ ▶️ Marco live previewing and easy to use. All of this is super great at Squarespace.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco I’ve personally built lots of websites there both for myself and for other people and it’s
⏹️ ▶️ Marco really great especially like with you know, when you’re handing it off to somebody else to maintain, you know that they’re never going
⏹️ ▶️ Marco to have to worry about software updates or security patches. You aren’t going to have to be involved
⏹️ ▶️ Marco once you hand it off. Like Squarespace has their own dedicated, amazing support team. So you can just like,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco you know, make a website for somebody or direct them to Squarespace and say, Hey, build it here. And then you’re out of the
⏹️ ▶️ Marco picture as like the nerd friend who recommended them, you know, where they build a website. So it’s just a wonderful place to
⏹️ ▶️ Marco make websites from anybody. Again, novice to professional. It’s just great building on Squarespace,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco you get tons of functionality built in stuff. It’s honestly kind of hard to do yourself. And it’s
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Annual, €, £ memberships
⏹️ ▶️ Casey right, moving right along. We have to do a little bit of housekeeping, but it’s a happy kind of housekeeping.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey This is for ATP membership. Marco has been doing a lot of work, and I say
⏹️ ▶️ Casey that with not an ounce of sarcasm. Marco has been doing a lot of work to add a couple of options that… I’ve been
⏹️ ▶️ Casey Take credit. Take credit. Marco’s been doing a lot of work to
⏹️ ▶️ Casey, Marco add… For me,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey it’s a lot. for that people have been asking for for a fair bit of time now and we’re
⏹️ ▶️ Casey approaching one year of ATP membership we’re getting there and we wanted to try to
⏹️ ▶️ Casey add a few options for those of you particularly those who are not American so
⏹️ ▶️ Casey we have new options for annual billing both in US dollars of course but
⏹️ ▶️ Casey also in euros and in pounds Marco can you talk through kind
⏹️ ▶️ Casey of what what the situation is there and perhaps how you would switch from monthly billing to annual billing?
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Sure. Yeah. Although first a little bit of housekeeping. If you see a bunch of refunds
⏹️ ▶️ Marco on your bill this month, that is because we had a bug where under
⏹️ ▶️ Marco certain like billing failure and renewal scenarios, it was possible to have two subscriptions active
⏹️ ▶️ Marco at once for the same member. I detected those. I ran a script to cancel all the duplicate subscriptions
⏹️ ▶️ Marco and issue back refunds for anybody who would have had like, you know, four months of double payments, whatever,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco I’d go refund half of them. And so, some people out there, I think there was like 40 of you totaled,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco not a large number, some number of people out there will have some refunds this month. So if you see that, that’s why,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco and that should be not possible in the future. Yeah, so now, back to the good news. Yeah, so
⏹️ ▶️ Marco we now have Euro and Great British Pound options
⏹️ ▶️ Marco for currency, And we also have an annual billing option instead of monthly. That was another
⏹️ ▶️ Marco very hotly requested item, because a lot of people, for whatever reason, either don’t want
⏹️ ▶️ Marco a certain number of small charges to happen every month as opposed to one big one every year, or people
⏹️ ▶️ Marco who maybe it was easier to account for that or whatever else, so annual billing is now a thing,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco as well as euro and pound support. We tried to make the prices pretty
⏹️ ▶️ Marco reasonable on those so that they all equate to about $8. So, you know,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco it’s seven euro or six pounds. The one thing that a lot of people have asked is
⏹️ ▶️ Marco how do you switch their existing account, like people who are already in one of these countries, to switch your
⏹️ ▶️ Marco account from US dollars, where you already created it, to euro or pound.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco And there is a way to do it, it kind of sucks, and I’m sorry, but there’s reasons.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco So, we always heard from people who are like, who tell us why it’s
⏹️ ▶️ Marco so hard to move an Apple ID. If you move to a different country and you need to move your Apple ID,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco apparently you have to cancel all your subscriptions and wait for them to all lapse. So it might
⏹️ ▶️ Marco be like a year out and then they can move your Apple ID. There’s something like that.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Well, that’s kind of how this works too, probably for the same reasons. For various reasons
⏹️ ▶️ Marco dealing with how Stripe deals with customers and credits and refunds
⏹️ ▶️ Marco currencies and international currencies, things like that, you can switch your account to a
⏹️ ▶️ Marco different currency, but you have to cancel the existing subscription, which doesn’t actually
⏹️ ▶️ Marco cancel it instantly, because people don’t expect it to work that way, so I had to change that last summer. When you cancel
⏹️ ▶️ Marco your subscription, it just turns off auto-renewing, but you still get the rest of whatever, you know, the
⏹️ ▶️ Marco month or whatever you paid for. So you have to wait for that month to be over, and then
⏹️ ▶️ Marco your membership will still exist, but it go into like the expired state and it’ll tell you and say, Hey, you got you should
⏹️ ▶️ Marco renew. At that point, then you can sign up with any currency you want to. So
⏹️ ▶️ Marco yeah, short version is to switch currencies with an existing account, you have to cancel your existing membership, wait for that
⏹️ ▶️ Marco month to expire, and then re re enable it with the new currency.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey Additionally, coming soon, and we don’t know exactly when but coming soon, there will
⏹️ ▶️ Casey be the WWDC merchandise coming up. We are
⏹️ ▶️ Casey definitely going to have an all-new shirt design. We are not going to talk about what it is.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey But nevertheless, it’s going to be something pretty cool. And John
⏹️ ▶️ Casey has spent a lot of time working on this. Basically, I’m the slacker of the three of us this month. John has spent a lot of time working on this,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey and I’m really excited for it. Although I guess I’m not entirely slacking, I’ve also come up with
⏹️ ▶️ Casey an entire new product. Well, kind of. That’s overselling it a bit, but nevertheless, here we are.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey Uh, I’ve come up with an entirely new product to the ATP world, uh, which I’m very excited about and
⏹️ ▶️ Casey the spiritual return of something from several years ago, so, uh, I’m
⏹️ ▶️ Casey really excited about that too, and we don’t have an exact date for this, but we bring this up in part
⏹️ ▶️ Casey to say that members, ATP members get 15% off
⏹️ ▶️ Casey on all ATP merchandise. So if you wanted a reason to join, but we’re holding out for
⏹️ ▶️ Casey annual billing or we’re holding out for billing in weight, I mean pounds, uh, then
⏹️ ▶️ Casey now is the time and the merchandise is just the icing on the cake. So, atp.fm.join.
Mac OS X’s 20th birthday
⏹️ ▶️ Casey John, today is a big day for you and particularly you. Mac
⏹️ ▶️ Casey OS X 10.0 is 20 years old today.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey I was still a teenager 20 years ago today.
⏹️ ▶️ John Lots of people are tweeting about it and posting articles and stuff. And it, you know, we just, it’s just a coincidence
⏹️ ▶️ John that today, literally the day of the recording this March 24th is the exact day that is the 20th anniversary
⏹️ ▶️ John of the release of Mac OS 10 10.0. I didn’t do anything for it. Sorry, Mac OS X, I didn’t get you anything this year.
⏹️ ▶️ John Part of it is because, you know, I wrote all those reviews way back when, right?
⏹️ ▶️ John And then I did a five-year retrospective when Mac OS X was five years old, and then I
⏹️ ▶️ John did a 10-year retrospective when Mac OS X was 10 years old. I just feel like not only am I done
⏹️ ▶️ John reviewing Mac OS X, I’m also done writing retrospectives on it. It’s like, well, you did a five-year
⏹️ ▶️ John and a 10-year, you gotta do a 20-year. Apparently I don’t. But it’s
⏹️ ▶️ John worth marking the occasion. If you want to look back at some of my old reviews, we’ll put a link in
⏹️ ▶️ John the show notes to, I collected all the links on my website when I stopped writing
⏹️ ▶️ John them. So there’s the reviews of the releases, 10.0, 10.1, so on and so forth, up to when I stopped.
⏹️ ▶️ John There’s also links to all the pre-releases, so developer preview three, developer preview
⏹️ ▶️ John four, the public beta. And then there’s the links to my retrospectives
⏹️ ▶️ John that I just talked about. I think the retrospectives maybe are the most interesting because like 20 year
⏹️ ▶️ John is, it’s a retrospective moment. Let’s look back. And especially because what we’re looking back on is Mac
⏹️ ▶️ John OS X. I know it’s not such a big deal if they change the name, they change it to OS X and then they change it to Mac OS. But
⏹️ ▶️ John I do feel like Mac OS X sort of ended.
⏹️ ▶️ John And now we’re just in the age of like modern Mac OS because a lot of the defining characteristics
⏹️ ▶️ John of Mac OS X slowly faded. Not that I’m saying this is a new operating system. It’s obviously
⏹️ ▶️ John Mac OS X. It’s the same thing that it always was. It’s the next drive operating system’s got a dock, it’s got a menu
⏹️ ▶️ John bar, it’s the same OS, right? But I do feel like there’s sort of been
⏹️ ▶️ John a slow changeover in the OS. So I feel like the era that we are celebrating,
⏹️ ▶️ John 20 years ago today, Mac OS X 10.0 was released. That era has a beginning, middle, and an end.
⏹️ ▶️ John And now we’re in this new era of sort of the modern Mac. Maybe this era will come to be defined is like the arm
⏹️ ▶️ John transition being the turning point or whatever, but anyway, it’s always fun to look back on those things. Unfortunately,
⏹️ ▶️ John some of my old reviews are slowly deteriorating through bit rot on the internet, not literal bit rot,
⏹️ ▶️ John but just like, if you write something on the web and it stays there for 15 or 20 years, and
⏹️ ▶️ John the site that it was written on has gone through like five different CMSs on the backend, things inevitably
⏹️ ▶️ John get a little bit creaky. I also always push the limits of the Ars Technica CMS by writing like custom
⏹️ ▶️ John Kind of like doing custom UI in like a Mac or iOS app. You come to regret it as the OSs
⏹️ ▶️ John keep changing and your custom stuff starts breaking. I did that with all my articles, right? Someday
⏹️ ▶️ John I will probably put up, like, I used to have a quote unquote
⏹️ ▶️ John blog over at Ars Technica called Fat Bits. And I have reproduced every
⏹️ ▶️ John single one of those Fat Bits posts with permission on my own personal website, hypercritical.co.
⏹️ ▶️ John Someday I will eventually ask ours and say, hey, it looks like my reviews are getting creaky. You probably don’t get any traffic
⏹️ ▶️ John on them because they’re super old. Can I just put up, you know, versions
⏹️ ▶️ John of them on my website where I’ll make sure all the links work and all the screenshots are there and all that other stuff.
⏹️ ▶️ John Unfortunately, one of the big factors here, and I was going through this this weekend, is that a lot of the,
⏹️ ▶️ John you know, the thing you can’t avoid is actual link rot. As in, you know, if you’re anyone, If you’ve ever read any one of my Mac
⏹️ ▶️ John OS X reviews, like every 15th word is a link. That’s just my style of writing on the web. I make
⏹️ ▶️ John lots of links. And those links all went somewhere when the review was published,
⏹️ ▶️ John but 15, 20 years later, a lot of those links don’t go anywhere anymore, right? You click on them
⏹️ ▶️ John and they’re 404. You click on them or they go to a page that doesn’t look anything like it did before.
⏹️ ▶️ John Some of those you can pull from archive.org. That’s what I was doing this weekend. It was fixing a bunch of broken links from Fat Bits
⏹️ ▶️ John posts, actually. linking a lot of them to the archive.org page, just to say, hey,
⏹️ ▶️ John if you were reading this at the time and you clicked on this and it took you to this section of Apple’s website, this is what it looked
⏹️ ▶️ John like back in 2002 or whatever. And that’s fun to do, but archive.org doesn’t have everything either.
⏹️ ▶️ John And then there are things that are just obscure or just don’t exist in any fashion or were never spidered
⏹️ ▶️ John because of robot.txt. I feel so weird saying spidered. Kids don’t say that these days, do they? They say
⏹️ ▶️ John crawled, I guess. Back in the day, we called them spiders they were cool.
⏹️ ▶️ John yeah, so, but I would like to have sort of a modern local incarnation
⏹️ ▶️ John of my stuff just so I can point somebody to it and they can essentially just enjoy the screenshots or whatever. And then I could
⏹️ ▶️ John fix some of the typos and remove the smileys. Yes. And some of my earlier reviews, I put literal ASCII smileys.
⏹️ ▶️ John, Marco It was a long time ago.
⏹️ ▶️ John It was, it was literally the nineties. Please have mercy on me.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey I love that you say that as I was spending a few moments, just a few moments ago,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey exactly the right emoji for the some membership housekeeping section of the show notes.
⏹️ ▶️ John Did emoji exist when I wrote the first one? I don’t think so. Maybe in Japan it existed.
⏹️ ▶️ John I feel like we’ve had this debate before, but that’s okay. But anyway, whether or not it existed, it certainly wasn’t a viable
⏹️ ▶️ John thing that I could type into a webpage in 1999. That’s
Google drops to 15% as well
⏹️ ▶️ Casey Speaking of curious Apple decisions and
⏹️ ▶️ Casey that same decision made better by somebody else, Google Play has dropped commissions to 15% from 30%
⏹️ ▶️ Casey following Apple’s move last year. This is from TechCrunch. Google is reducing
⏹️ ▶️ Casey the service fee for Google Play to 15% down from 30% for the first $1 million of revenue
⏹️ ▶️ Casey developers earn using Play billing system each year. The company will levy a 30%
⏹️ ▶️ Casey cut on every dollar developers generate through Google Play beyond the first million in a year, it said. This
⏹️ ▶️ Casey is the way it should have worked for Apple, but no, because they’re either
⏹️ ▶️ Casey cheap or annoying or a combination of both. You have to join the small business program,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey then you have to get approved, and then you have to make sure you make less than a million, but
⏹️ ▶️ Casey you have to make less than a million in order to get the 15%. And then if you make even a dollar more than a million, you get 30% on
⏹️ ▶️ Casey everything, not 30% on the news. It’s just preposterous
⏹️ ▶️ John everything the next year. Yeah, yeah, I’m sorry. That’s true. So you get punished the whole next year.
⏹️ ▶️ John It’s not like a marginal tax rate where your millions and first dollar is charged at 30%. I think you get 15%
⏹️ ▶️ John for that whole year, but because you went over a million that year, your whole next year is blown. From day one of
⏹️ ▶️ John the next year, you’re at 30%.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco No, you don’t get it for the whole year. You get it until the next payment. So it’s like every month,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco, John you get paid out. Is it a monthly cycle? I thought it was the whole year.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco No, no, I think it’s monthly, and for the rest of the year. People have run the
⏹️ ▶️ Marco numbers or estimated how many apps or developers are affected by Apple’s
⏹️ ▶️ Marco new program and everything, and people are trying to figure out what would it
⏹️ ▶️ Marco cost Apple to run their program the way Google’s is running, which is
⏹️ ▶️ Marco a similar kind of deal, but way simpler and removes some of these weird like anti-incentives
⏹️ ▶️ Marco and removes the need to apply and try to get approved and everything, just applies automatically. And
⏹️ ▶️ Marco it’s not a small amount of money. It’s a significant amount of money that
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Apple, like by Apple doing it their weird way they’re doing it, they actually are
⏹️ ▶️ Marco saving a lot of money, but it’s not like, it’s not make or break the company kind of
⏹️ ▶️ Marco money. So it’s something that like, I think you might notice it on the quarterly earnings report for some
⏹️ ▶️ Marco tiny percentage of one department would be smaller by a noticeable amount. But
⏹️ ▶️ Marco it’s not like, it’s the kind of thing, the reason Apple is doing it the way they’re doing it is because they’re
⏹️ ▶️ Marco being cheap. That’s the real answer. And
⏹️ ▶️ John though, I wonder if that estimate accounted for the extra cost of Apple doing the bookkeeping
⏹️ ▶️ John for its Byzantine program. This simple program, because as you noted,
⏹️ ▶️ John pretty much nobody makes more than a million dollars in terms of percentage on the App Store. Like
⏹️ ▶️ John there’s just so many developers, only a tiny, tiny part is making that million. So who
⏹️ ▶️ John is a potential member of the small business program? Essentially everybody in the App Store. That’s a lot
⏹️ ▶️ John of stupid applications to deal with and doing the bookkeeping to make sure that you apply the rules
⏹️ ▶️ John and make sure you count their revenue when they go over, then they have in the other bracket, but they wanna get back into the other one. Like
⏹️ ▶️ John it’s complicated to run a complicated program. One of the beauties of Google’s plan is nobody signs
⏹️ ▶️ John up, These are just the new rules and the rules are so simple it can explain them in a paragraph. That’s it, right? It’s
⏹️ ▶️ John easier to run that program because it is a uniform set of rules for everybody. You don’t have to like sign
⏹️ ▶️ John up all these people and you don’t have to carefully watch and do the monthly billing cycle rollover.
⏹️ ▶️ John Now you’re in the 30% bracket or whoever it works in the Apple one. It’s easier to run a simple program.
⏹️ ▶️ John And I don’t think that any cost estimate is factoring in. Now I agree that even when you factor that in, it’s still
⏹️ ▶️ John to Apple’s advantage to use their ridiculous program because it saves them more money. I
⏹️ ▶️ John heard, I think Ben Thompson and Dillering was chalking it up to just simply, if you’re incentivized
⏹️ ▶️ John to run your business in a way that you make the most money possible from the app store, if you’re in charge of the app
⏹️ ▶️ John store financials or whatever, of course you’re gonna pick the complicated program because you want the goodwill,
⏹️ ▶️ John but you also don’t wanna give up too much money. I feel like that flies in the face a little bit of Apple’s supposed
⏹️ ▶️ John philosophy for many years ago, where there’s just one profit and loss for the whole company
⏹️ ▶️ John And we don’t think about it as, okay, well, you in charge of the app store, you’re going to be judged on the
⏹️ ▶️ John profit and loss from the app store itself. And so you are incentivized as king of your little
⏹️ ▶️ John kingdom here to make sure that you make the most money possible from those developers,
⏹️ ▶️ John rather than thinking about big picture, what’s good for Apple, what’s good for Apple is to make developers happy,
⏹️ ▶️ John even if it is slightly worse for this specific aspect of app store
⏹️ ▶️ John revenue. Right. Do you think Apple thinks that? I mean, that was the whole pitch with their whole, we’re a functional
⏹️ ▶️ John organization, and we have one profit and loss, like even in the Tim Cook era, before
⏹️ ▶️ John Jobs, but also in the Tim Cook era, the idea that we don’t have each individual department worrying about
⏹️ ▶️ John their individual profit and loss, and at the end of the year when they do the big report, they don’t say, okay, well,
⏹️ ▶️ John the Mac team did great, but the iPhone team did not so great, oh, it’d probably be the reverse, but anyway,
⏹️ ▶️ John it’s like, how do we do as a company? Because if you don’t do that, You create perverse incentives for someone
⏹️ ▶️ John to make their little corner of the business very profitable at the cost of the big
⏹️ ▶️ John picture, at the cost of Apple as a whole, at the cost of the brand, the cost of something that doesn’t show up on their individual
⏹️ ▶️ John profit and loss. That has always been the pitch in the modern, in the post-Steve Jobs
⏹️ ▶️ John II era, was that’s why Apple is great, because they do this thing that other companies don’t
⏹️ ▶️ John do. There are no little tiny subsets that are fighting for themselves
⏹️ ▶️ John inside Apple. It’s all one big Apple and we all work together. And that way, people aren’t
⏹️ ▶️ John punished in their careers for, for example, forgoing a bunch of revenue in the app
⏹️ ▶️ John store if overall, Apple does better because of it, because developers are happier or more developers
⏹️ ▶️ John come to the platform or whatever. All that said, that sounds like a pretty ideal
⏹️ ▶️ John and there’s a reason lots of other companies don’t do it that way. And I can imagine, no matter how much Apple says that’s
⏹️ ▶️ John the case, there’s still a little bit of that going on inside. It’s still though,
⏹️ ▶️ John it baffles me why Apple came up with this plan because I
⏹️ ▶️ John don’t think it, you know, it’s like if you had a company that was really ruthlessly,
⏹️ ▶️ John every individual subset has its own profit and loss numbers and has to live and die on
⏹️ ▶️ John its own. This is the type of pricing system I can imagine it would come up with. But Apple, that’s the other extreme. I
⏹️ ▶️ John refuse to believe Apple is at the other extreme. I can believe they don’t necessarily achieve their ideals, but
⏹️ ▶️ John I think that is their ideals. And I think a lot of other things they do look that way. But here
⏹️ ▶️ John is Google showing Apple how it’s done. This, like we would have said, this is the Apple plan.
⏹️ ▶️ John Oh, Apple doesn’t do things complicated. They just want it simple, just like 7030 was simple. We may not have liked it,
⏹️ ▶️ John but they said, well, it has that Apple feeling to it because it’s like, look, it’s just 7030. Nevermind about Netflix and everybody
⏹️ ▶️ John not getting 7030. Just
⏹️ ▶️ John, Marco ignore that. Everyone is treated the same
⏹️ ▶️ John in the app store, right? But to a first approximation, everybody except for literally companies
⏹️ ▶️ John that you can count on your hand got 7030. It was not a complicated graduated scale where you
⏹️ ▶️ John sell this much and you get different. It was just 70 30 very Apple like Simply in its
⏹️ ▶️ John simplicity and when they did the small business program is totally un Apple like both
⏹️ ▶️ John in its conception as let’s pinch as Many pennies as we possibly can You know and try to get
⏹️ ▶️ John goodwill at the same time It’s clear that we don’t want that much goodwill because we don’t lose that money Right and then
⏹️ ▶️ John Google does the Apple style which is like Google. There’s nothing for you to do There’s nothing to install you
⏹️ ▶️ John just get more money now, and it’s easy for everyone to understand done and done So I like Apple really
⏹️ ▶️ John embarrassed Google here Google really embarrassed Apple here And I don’t I hope Apple responds
⏹️ ▶️ John this I hope Apple feels Suitably chastened by Google doing the Apple thing
⏹️ ▶️ John and I hope they realize you know like a part of it They’re saying well yeah Google has to do that because their store sucks, and we’re our store is
⏹️ ▶️ John awesome So we’re we have more to lose so of course where our plan is more complicated Google’s desperate right?
⏹️ ▶️ John But Google is doing the thing that actually produces more goodwill. Like, why squander
⏹️ ▶️ John any of your goodwill? If you’re gonna forego this money and have any kind of, you know, go from 30% to 15%, why
⏹️ ▶️ John squander an ounce of that by making the small business plan and making people apply and
⏹️ ▶️ John having this rule that incentivizes people to stop selling their application at a certain point so they don’t go
⏹️ ▶️ John into the higher quote-unquote tax bracket or whatever? Which is dumb because tax brackets don’t work like that.
⏹️ ▶️ John Tax brackets are marginal like the
⏹️ ▶️ John, Marco Google thing. Yeah, it’s the opposite.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco I think the idea, first of all, that Apple
⏹️ ▶️ Marco is kind of more holistic in its incentives and everything and doesn’t have these divisional,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco dysfunctional goals and everything, I think that’s a wonderful idea and I think many people
⏹️ ▶️ Marco at Apple think it’s that way, but the reality that we hear over and over again from people inside is that it’s very different
⏹️ ▶️ John When they say that, though, Apple’s saying like in a formal, literal sense, like when when they tally up the numbers at
⏹️ ▶️ John the end of the year and how they report things, they don’t do individual profit and losses. Like that is a provably
⏹️ ▶️ John true statement, right? But what you’re saying is, okay, that’s fine. That’s the financial reality.
⏹️ ▶️ John But everybody kind of knows that, you know, you have an interdepartmental rivalries and people, you know,
⏹️ ▶️ John wanting, not wanting, wanting to get glory for the good stuff and not wanting to get blamed for the bad stuff and wanting quote
⏹️ ▶️ John unquote their numbers to look good, even though we all know that’s not how Apple reports things, right? But this
⏹️ ▶️ John is not just totally BS. Like this is how Apple reportedly, internally,
⏹️ ▶️ John physically runs its company in terms of, you know, financials and year-end reports and
⏹️ ▶️ John all the type of things they do inside the company to keep track of things.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Yeah, I think the reality is that they’re a big company and whenever you have
⏹️ ▶️ Marco a company big enough, you’re gonna have like inter-manager
⏹️ ▶️ Marco disputes and weird incentives that are bad for the company as a whole but
⏹️ ▶️ Marco happen because they benefit certain people certain ranks and everything, you’re gonna have all that. So, set
⏹️ ▶️ Marco that aside. I also think that Apple does not, like,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco when Apple doesn’t have their heart in something, you can usually tell.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco They’re not good, you know, from Steve on forward, they’re not good
⏹️ ▶️ Marco at hiding when they are contemptuous or half-assed about something. And
⏹️ ▶️ Marco the developer small business program is clearly in this category,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco they clearly don’t think they need to be doing this. They clearly hate that they need to be doing this.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco And they want to put in the least amount of effort possible. And the only reason they’re doing this
⏹️ ▶️ Marco is because of regulatory pressure. Because if they don’t do this, they’re going to lose a lot more, or they
⏹️ ▶️ Marco stand to lose a lot more.
⏹️ ▶️ John They want to lose the least amount of money possible, but they’re doing that by putting in more effort to make this complicated
⏹️ ▶️ John program that they have to
⏹️ ▶️ John I wonder if they probably had to hire people, perhaps temporarily just to deal with the influx of applications
⏹️ ▶️ John to the small business program. They’re making their lives more miserable because they want to pinch every one of those pennies.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Yeah, well, if anything, they could, this probably shows that
⏹️ ▶️ Marco there actually is a decent amount of money in the App Store middle class. Basically,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco the numbers in the App Store, the people who are affected by this, there actually is money
⏹️ ▶️ Marco there that Apple is making for real. I mean, it’s all the money I’ve made for them.
⏹️ ▶️ John It’s not the middle class, it’s everybody, but like the top fraction of a 1%. Like, isn’t
⏹️ ▶️ John it like 99% of the store qualifies for the small business program? Like it is essentially
⏹️ ▶️ John the entire store, cause there’s so many developers.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Yeah, but I think it also like, it shows like how much money the app store
⏹️ ▶️ Marco makes as a whole, even though most of it is from that top 1% that is not gonna
⏹️ ▶️ Marco qualify for this. It just makes so much money for Apple because they are doing so
⏹️ ▶️ Marco little. Yeah, Apple has, I’m sure a lot of people on staff for things like app review,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco and I’m sure maintaining the store has some costs, and they are spending some money on servers and bandwidth
⏹️ ▶️ Marco and everything, but it’s such a massively high margin business for them. They are making a killing
⏹️ ▶️ Marco on the app store, even at 15%, let alone the 1% that’s paying the 30% that’s getting
⏹️ ▶️ Marco probably most of their money in. Like, they’re making billions and billions and billions of dollars
⏹️ ▶️ Marco from just being a rent seeker, being in this gatekeeper position. Like they’re putting in
⏹️ ▶️ Marco very little relative to what they’re making. So there is enough money in there that they can afford
⏹️ ▶️ Marco to hire an army of probably relatively low to middle wage workers to actually go through these applications
⏹️ ▶️ Marco and do all that. And that’s still worth it because they’re still, even at 15%, making a
⏹️ ▶️ Marco killing from those of us who were in this App Store middle class thing.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco It just shows quite how egregious this whole scheme has been how incredibly profitable
⏹️ ▶️ Marco it still is for them.
⏹️ ▶️ John I don’t know if this falls under the category of rent-seeking, but it’s the other common analogy here for how to make money.
⏹️ ▶️ John Is that, yes, Apple certainly is gatekeeping and rent-seeking from if you want to get your thing on
⏹️ ▶️ John our platforms, you got to go through us and give us our cut, right? But they’re also doing the cliche thing of, oh,
⏹️ ▶️ John if there’s a gold rush, you should be selling shovels. Because all of the people who want to come and make their
⏹️ ▶️ John fortune, fame and fortune on on Apple’s platforms, make an iPhone app, every one of those people has to buy
⏹️ ▶️ John Apple shovels first. Right? Like it’s not about rent, they haven’t done anything yet. They haven’t made any
⏹️ ▶️ John apps yet. It’s like, well, come over here and pass our $99 a year, which if you add up times the number of developers
⏹️ ▶️ John is not a small chunk of change, just to get there to get your shovel. And then you get to start digging
⏹️ ▶️ John and then you get to try your luck. Try your luck in our market, right? So field an app.
⏹️ ▶️ John And if you do well, we’ll get our cut. But if you don’t, you already did give us $99 and it costs us almost
⏹️ ▶️ John nothing for you to try launching your app on our platforms, right? So this is what we got into
⏹️ ▶️ John many times about the incentives for our services company are very different from the incentives of a product company. Product company
⏹️ ▶️ John wants to sell products that people like and a service company wants to find a way to sell you a service
⏹️ ▶️ John or insert itself between you and the thing that you want. And for customers, you know, they’re inserting
⏹️ ▶️ John itself between them and the apps that they’re gonna buy and taking money from that purchase. But for developers, they’re inserting
⏹️ ▶️ John themselves as the shovel salesman and saying, OK, well, if you want to come and try your luck and pan in for
⏹️ ▶️ John gold in them thar hills, start by giving us $99. Not
⏹️ ▶️ Marco the $1,200 you had to spend on our computer to
⏹️ ▶️ Marco, John build you. Yeah, and also buy
⏹️ ▶️ John all the equipment from us to develop for
⏹️ ▶️ John, Marco it, obviously. But you’re
⏹️ ▶️ Marco buy that anyway. And your $1,000 iPhone. But
⏹️ ▶️ Marco, John I still feel like,
⏹️ ▶️ John again, selling the products, the incentives are aligned. Do you want an awesome computer that you’re happy with that helps you do your job? We will sell you
⏹️ ▶️ John that. And we are incentivized to make that computer more and more awesome for your particular job. and the incentives for running the
⏹️ ▶️ John store are very different.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Yeah. Oh, don’t forget about search ads. Still making a killing on that.
⏹️ ▶️ John almost feel good that Apple is so bad at doing things based on ads, because they
⏹️ ▶️ John always say, oh, Google does stuff based on ads, but Apple doesn’t. Apple does. They’re just terrible. They’re
⏹️ ▶️ John, Marco just not good at making
⏹️ ▶️ John money from it. Can you imagine if Google had the
⏹️ ▶️ John, Marco same platform? It would make
⏹️ ▶️ John a lot for me. If Google had the same platform that Apple has, like it switched the management,
⏹️ ▶️ John and now you told those Google people, can you figure out how to make money from ads given this platform, Google would be like, are you kidding me?
⏹️ ▶️ John Yes, we can make a ton of money from ads. Look at all your customers, look how much money they have. We can
⏹️ ▶️ John sell ads in every, but Apple’s like, well, we’ll sell search ads, just enough to make our search even crappier,
⏹️ ▶️ John but not enough to really make us a lot of money. Or didn’t they have ads in your apps? Do they still have that?
⏹️ ▶️ John, Marco No, they discontinued the
⏹️ ▶️ Marco ads in your app. That was called iAd, which, yeah, because they did a bad job of
⏹️ ▶️ Marco, John it. They’re bad at,
⏹️ ▶️ John and I’m glad, I’m glad they’re bad at that. It’s just too bad they’re not bad at services too. Not in the sense,
⏹️ ▶️ John we used to say Apple needs to get good at services. We meant like reliably running iPhoto
⏹️ ▶️ John in the cloud, right? We didn’t mean finding a way to insert itself in every transaction in your life so they can take a cut.
⏹️ ▶️ John But they’re really good at
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#askatp: Photos as just files?
⏹️ ▶️ Casey Can we do some Ask ATP? Let’s
⏹️ ▶️ Casey Let’s start with Matt Fenselow, who writes, listening to your 10th anniversary discussion
⏹️ ▶️ Casey about photo libraries, I return to a question I’ve always had. Why aren’t photos just treated as files,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey which can be selectively shared using any file sharing approach, iCloud dropouts, et cetera? When was the
⏹️ ▶️ Casey fundamental decision made to treat photos as anything other than files, John?
⏹️ ▶️ John I think we covered that last time we were talking about, what is the difference between an album and a library, right?
⏹️ ▶️ John The photos themselves are files, although they do have embedded metadata, right, in the form of the EXIF
⏹️ ▶️ John and everything. But what makes something a photo library is the photos are just the starting point. Those
⏹️ ▶️ John files, that’s just the starting point. Then there’s everything you apply on top of them. All of your
⏹️ ▶️ John edits, all of your crops, all of your adjustments, all of that stuff, metadata that you add to them,
⏹️ ▶️ John adjustments that you make. Maybe you make adjustments to the date, but you don’t wanna actually change the EXIF data that’s embedded inside
⏹️ ▶️ John the file. You want that adjustment to be outside, right? You want to sort of manage your collection of things, tag
⏹️ ▶️ John them, favorite them, file them away, adjust the ones you want, rotate, crop, duplicate,
⏹️ ▶️ John do all sorts of things to it. That’s what makes a photo library. That’s what makes a collection. You know, you curate
⏹️ ▶️ John the collection. You sort things into bins. You put them into subsets. You modify
⏹️ ▶️ John them, right? All of that is metadata that is attached to the data
⏹️ ▶️ John that is your photos. Even the adjustments is metadata because a good photo library will not destructively
⏹️ ▶️ John make those changes. your original is always there as the file, but the value you’re adding to
⏹️ ▶️ John it is the metadata. And so you can’t just have it be files, you gotta keep all that metadata somewhere.
⏹️ ▶️ John The metadata could also be in files, but it’s probably in some kind of a database as well, and that’s what makes something
⏹️ ▶️ John a photo library. So it’s not a decision of them not being treated as files, it’s
⏹️ ▶️ John if you want to curate a collection of thousands and thousands of files, you need some form of metadata,
⏹️ ▶️ John and photos in particular is a bunch of obvious kinds of metadata that go along with photos. That’s why you’ve got photo
⏹️ ▶️ John libraries and not just folders full of files.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco I think it’s also, you know, you have the technical realities of doing this. You know,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco for many people, their entire photo library doesn’t fit on their local drive.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco And so you have to have some kind of like dynamic functionality to be able to offer the photo library,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco but not have it all stored there. Additionally, you have the issue of fast
⏹️ ▶️ Marco browsing through thumbnails of photos. And if all the photos are just like, you know, one-to-one
⏹️ ▶️ Marco files on your hard drive, then it’s gonna be really hard for the
⏹️ ▶️ Marco display mechanism, however you’re viewing these, whether it’s just, you know, Finder windows or whatever,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco to be able to render a whole bunch of thumbnails all very, very quickly for you to scroll through and scan for that one picture you’re looking for.
⏹️ ▶️ John Even if it pre-renders them and puts them off to the side, like essentially to try to solve this problem, like say you take photos
⏹️ ▶️ John in RAW, which is the thing that people actually do, You can’t fit, if you do the math, I’m like, I’m gonna scroll
⏹️ ▶️ John through this collection of thousands of photos, but I don’t have thumbnails, but they’re all on disk, it’s just plain files.
⏹️ ▶️ John I’ll just read all the raws. Figure out the IO in terms of gigabytes per second that you would need to read
⏹️ ▶️ John and decode, because if they’re compressed raw, or like a JPEG or something, to be able to
⏹️ ▶️ John scroll smoothly and then say, okay, well, I’ll just do that ahead of time, and I’ll cache the thumbnails, and you’re well on your way to making
⏹️ ▶️ John a photo library. It doesn’t take long. Once you start trying to solve this problem, yeah, you’re making a photo
⏹️ ▶️ John library. That’s why photo libraries exist. Once you try to accomplish the tasks that you think should be able
⏹️ ▶️ John to be done with just files, like, oh, just files in the Finder. I just have thumbnails. Like, that works up to a point.
⏹️ ▶️ John And then beyond that point, the Finder starts doing things like making thumbnails and hiding them from
⏹️ ▶️ John you in either an in-memory or a file cache or something. And the scrolling is still a little bit clunky. And then you’re just like,
⏹️ ▶️ John oh, I wish this was better. And you’re slowly inventing iPhoto.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Right, and then also, you know, you have the issue of different ways to browse photos. Like sometimes, most
⏹️ ▶️ Marco of the time, I’m browsing photos just in a big chronological list, just by time
⏹️ ▶️ Marco and I can scan back. Well, but sometimes I want to browse by location. So
⏹️ ▶️ Marco somewhere there has to be an index of all the locations from all my photos.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco And I want some interface to be able to browse them by that. Sometimes I make albums
⏹️ ▶️ Marco and want to share them. Oh, you want to share this photo? Oh, well, you’re going to need now a few versions of this
⏹️ ▶️ Marco photo to be shared. You’re going to need like the Heek original And then you’re going to want a JPEG
⏹️ ▶️ Marco that was rendered for sharing, maybe a smaller sized one to be shared in certain ways. Where are
⏹️ ▶️ Marco you going to put all those? Right next to it? Oh, what if it’s a live photo? That’s actually two different files.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Do you store the little H.265 video clip next to the JPEG?
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Or do you store them both in some kind of weird, complex HEEC format that nothing reads? And so again, you
⏹️ ▶️ Marco get into all this complexity of how you want to actually use this data most of the time, or across different
⏹️ ▶️ Marco devices, or across different technical needs. And it becomes very
⏹️ ▶️ Marco hard to just have them be a set of files and folders and also
⏹️ ▶️ Marco offer the kind of functionality that most people want these days.
#askatp: macOS software updates
⏹️ ▶️ Casey All right, Dan Young writes, what’s your take on Apple’s awful user experience with modern Mac OS updates? As
⏹️ ▶️ Casey someone who knows the value of OS updates, I already procrastinated on installing them. This seems
⏹️ ▶️ Casey like it will teach people that OS updates are bad and should be avoided. I’m not really
⏹️ ▶️ Casey sure what Dan’s going for here. Can one of you translate?
⏹️ ▶️ John It’s good you didn’t read the links. So this is on the Eclectic Light Company,
⏹️ ▶️ John which is a good website diving into the details of this. And the person who writes it has been
⏹️ ▶️ John very annoyed that the OS updates that have come recently, there’s been a bunch of security type packages,
⏹️ ▶️ John have been like two gigs, like no matter how small the changes, oh, we’re just patching
⏹️ ▶️ John one or two files and it’s just a minor security update, you still have to end up downloading like two to three gigabytes.
⏹️ ▶️ John And he’s been blaming this on the, what is it called? Sealed
⏹️ ▶️ John system disk or whatever, you know, the Catalina I think introduced the read-only
⏹️ ▶️ John system volume and now it’s like cryptographically sealed. And apparently it is easier
⏹️ ▶️ John or more straightforward to just ship a huge wad of the entire OS
⏹️ ▶️ John and install that as the new sealed system snapshot rather than trying to,
⏹️ ▶️ John you know, mount read-only one of, you know, mount the system volume read-only, put in the Delta
⏹️ ▶️ John changes and reapply the cryptographic signatures and stuff like that, right? That’s my guess as to why these
⏹️ ▶️ John updates are big. Now, that doesn’t make a lot of technical sense to me because
⏹️ ▶️ John part of the beauty of APFS and the snapshotting system is the ability
⏹️ ▶️ John to do diffs between snapshots. All that should make it much easier to send smaller
⏹️ ▶️ John updates because we can, it doesn’t, they don’t have to make their own system. Like, oh, how do I send the deltas
⏹️ ▶️ John and we have to write our own code to figure out which files we have to patch and make sure that the checksums are
⏹️ ▶️ John exactly the same after the patching. Snapshot diffing already does that. With the snapshot diffing, since Apple knows
⏹️ ▶️ John that you have a sealed system volume and we know every single bit that’s on your, your Mac
⏹️ ▶️ John OS 11.1 system volume, like down to the bit because it’s read only and it’s cryptographically signed. So we don’t have to
⏹️ ▶️ John speculate about what you have. It seems to me that they could make Mac OS 11.2
⏹️ ▶️ John do a snapshot diff locally in Apple’s headquarters between 11.1 and 11.2. And
⏹️ ▶️ John then they would know the, they would, you know ship that snapshot diff and have it applied
⏹️ ▶️ John because they know what they’re, they’re applying it to a known target. There’s no mystery about what’s on people’s
⏹️ ▶️ John disks out here in the world. But apparently that’s not what they’re doing. Apparently they’re shipping the entire
⏹️ ▶️ John new image no matter what change. So I hope this is a technical limitation where they’re just being cautious
⏹️ ▶️ John with how they do this. And I can understand why people are annoyed. And I know it is, you know, it is
⏹️ ▶️ John nice for me to sit here with my gigabit fiber connection and go, oh, I don’t care how big the OS updates are, but it does matter.
⏹️ ▶️ John And one of the supposed promises of the new, the quote unquote new update
⏹️ ▶️ John system that Apple touts, which is, I think I mentioned in the past show, is really mobile update from iOS and iPadOS
⏹️ ▶️ John and tvOS and probably watchOS. Anyway, mobile update. One of the supposed advantages, faster,
⏹️ ▶️ John more secure updates. The more secure part I buy, the faster? Not when you’re making us download 2.6 gigs.
⏹️ ▶️ John So I think it seems like it’s something that
⏹️ ▶️ John should be better, but it also seems like it’s the type of thing where, especially how slow they’ve
⏹️ ▶️ John been moving on this, where this seems like the sort of first, most cautious, most naive implementation
⏹️ ▶️ John that is wasteful. and I hope the underpinnings are all there to make this better over time.
#askatp: Home network wiring
⏹️ ▶️ Casey Finally, Matt Ewins writes, you’re given the green light to buy your spouses to take down all the walls and rewire
⏹️ ▶️ Casey your home networks. How do you plan your new networks? What is installed for now? And what is installed for later? What Ethernet or
⏹️ ▶️ Casey networking gear would you use? This is actually extremely pertinent, and it might as well have been written by me. Because
⏹️ ▶️ Casey sometime in the next couple of weeks, we’re going to get to the point on our house edition to do electrical
⏹️ ▶️ Casey and also a couple of Ethernet drops. So tell me, Marco, what what do I need to glean from your
⏹️ ▶️ Casey terrible, terrible mistakes and do differently for this?
⏹️ ▶️ Marco I’ve gotten various bits of advice over the years, some of which I’ve followed, some of which I wish I’d followed,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco some of which I regret following. One of the things that I heard from people was
⏹️ ▶️ Marco to have them run conduit, like little tubes in the wall,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco as opposed to just running the wire straight in the wall. The idea being that obviously
⏹️ ▶️ Marco no matter what wiring you pick, sometime down the road, and you know it takes a
⏹️ ▶️ Marco while for these things to change but sometime down the road the wiring you have will be obsolete and you will want to
⏹️ ▶️ Marco change it and ideally you want to change it without tearing open the walls again and having to
⏹️ ▶️ Marco run all new wires in like you know a very invasive way so the idea is if you run
⏹️ ▶️ Marco conduit through the wall and put those little like pull strings in along with the wires the
⏹️ ▶️ Marco idea is that you could just pull out the old wires and run some new wires in through these
⏹️ ▶️ Marco little tubes in the wall and then you can have modern wiring down the road
⏹️ ▶️ Marco without tearing open all your walls. In practice, I’ve been told
⏹️ ▶️ Marco by many people who install these things, that’s not really going to ever work.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco And I actually did install it in part of my house and and that
⏹️ ▶️ Marco as far as I was like yeah we probably can’t ever actually pull the wires through like the bends and everything.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco So like I think in practice If you have a very, if you have very simple like wall geometry
⏹️ ▶️ Marco and in a reasonably like straightforward construction, maybe that might work. In the real world
⏹️ ▶️ Marco I think you’re gonna have like a bend or two here or there that has to go around something and it’s gonna be
⏹️ ▶️ Marco very hard to get anything through there in practice.
⏹️ ▶️ John Although the real, the real barrier to conduit though is usually that walls and houses
⏹️ ▶️ John are not large enough to accommodate conduit without like entirely you know separating
⏹️ ▶️ John your 2x4 framing or whatever. However, conduit is much more commonly used in offices where it’s actually used like that. Like
⏹️ ▶️ John you can’t open up the walls every time you want to rerun wires. So they have to be conduits, especially during, it’s like
⏹️ ▶️ John roads, like the major highways are conduit and maybe some of the branches are not so much, but because offices,
⏹️ ▶️ John offices, office buildings get reconfigured a lot, there’s room in the gigantic office walls and floors
⏹️ ▶️ John and ceilings to run big conduits of networking cable everywhere. In houses,
⏹️ ▶️ John your walls just aren’t thick enough for you to put a giant PVC pipe in that run your wires through it. So normally the conduit
⏹️ ▶️ John has to be smaller and that’s where you get into, okay, well the conduit is barely the size of the wire. All that said, if you
⏹️ ▶️ John don’t have conduit and someone just takes a drill and drills a hole that’s the size of an ethernet cable through one of your 2x4s,
⏹️ ▶️ John there’s no way you’re ever getting anything back through that. So as difficult as conduit may be to navigate
⏹️ ▶️ John some corners, at least you have a fighting chance. Whereas if you don’t run conduit and just someone literally drills holes,
⏹️ ▶️ John it’s good structurally in that you’re not compromising the structural integrity of your wall framing,
⏹️ ▶️ John But you can’t even get the RJ45 back through that hole because it’s literally the thickness of the wire. And it’s also,
⏹️ ▶️ John by the way, embedded in your wall that you don’t want to open up. So it really depends on, you know,
⏹️ ▶️ John how much… do you plan on ever yanking out the wire and putting in new wire? If you do,
⏹️ ▶️ John it is a good idea to see if you can use conduit at least for the major runs, but don’t
⏹️ ▶️ John compromise the structural integrity of your house by putting a giant three-inch conduit through a load-bearing wall because
⏹️ ▶️ Marco not a good trade. That’s not a good trade-off. Right. And I mean, heck, the first time I did this,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco I did it in a wall that was then later being spray foamed. And then you just spray foamed right over the bare wires.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco And so those are in there forever.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco, John Yeah, those are not coming out. And that’s the beauty of
⏹️ ▶️ John conduit. If you have spray foam inflation with the conduit, just spray over the conduit. That’s fine, that’s the whole point
⏹️ ▶️ Marco of it. Right, exactly. So anyway, yeah, so that’s all right. I would say,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco you know, the easiest way to do this is to have as little
⏹️ ▶️ Marco wiring running through the walls as possible, and to have it instead all go like straight up
⏹️ ▶️ Marco to an attic or straight down to a basement, where then it can run in a more accessible place.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco So like you have all the runs that just are like, you know, straight, which is similar to how usually you’re runducting for air
⏹️ ▶️ Marco conditioning and stuff is that, you know, you, you have like the main, like, most of like the main
⏹️ ▶️ Marco trunks and the runs of it are mostly inaccessible areas. And then you like shoot
⏹️ ▶️ Marco straight up a wall to get to a room, but like, you’re not running side decide within the within like the deep parts of the
⏹️ ▶️ Marco wall. Otherwise, kind of just accept the fact that, okay, whatever I’m
⏹️ ▶️ Marco gonna put in there now, in X number of years, it’s probably going to
⏹️ ▶️ Marco be at least partially obsolete. And it’ll, and
⏹️ ▶️ Marco I’ll just, I’ll have to live with it, or we’ll have to move by then, or whatever.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco, John Or I’ll have been chewed through by rats.
⏹️ ▶️ John Yeah, right. Because that’s
⏹️ ▶️ Marco the other a problem with things in the wall. That’s true. But that being said, the first set
⏹️ ▶️ Marco of this wiring I did that got spray foamed in, that was, at this point, almost 10 years ago. And that
⏹️ ▶️ Marco was, at the time, I said, put in the best, and at the time, that was Cat6. And Cat6 today
⏹️ ▶️ Marco is still fine. Like, it can still do a lot. I’ve never had a problem with those
⏹️ ▶️ Marco wires on those walls. They just work 100% of the time, as good network wiring tends
⏹️ ▶️ Marco to mostly do. And it’s been great. So the amount of time you have
⏹️ ▶️ Marco is potentially long. And so even despite all this, it’s probably still worth doing.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco You might have longer than you think before you actually are hitting problems with that. And even though
⏹️ ▶️ Marco right now 10 gig ethernet stuff exists, and I think those
⏹️ ▶️ Marco old Cat6 wires, I don’t know exactly the tolerances that makes it
⏹️ ▶️ Marco so I can’t do all these things, but I’m pretty sure I can’t do 10 gig. I might be able to do like 2.5 or something like that.
⏹️ ▶️ John No, I think you can do 10 gig over a Cat6, just over shorter runs.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Yeah, but who knows, like if they accidentally like bent it too close to a power line somewhere or something, who knows? But
⏹️ ▶️ Marco anyway, it does gigabit just fine, and still like now, 10 years
⏹️ ▶️ Marco later, that’s still fine. And when I put it in 10 years ago, gigabit
⏹️ ▶️ Marco wasn’t new. Like it was like well into its lifespan, but gigabit
⏹️ ▶️ Marco networking is still really fast. And for what you, like, it’s still the fastest internet
⏹️ ▶️ Marco connection you can get in a house. So the wire, at least, you know, in the US, in most places, and even
⏹️ ▶️ Marco that, like, you’re lucky if you can get that. And so, you know, I’m not being held back
⏹️ ▶️ Marco for internet connectivity by that. The only thing that’s really holding back for me is like computer
⏹️ ▶️ Marco to computer file transfers. And that’s not something I do so often that I
⏹️ ▶️ Marco need that to be super fast. As long as my internet connection is fast, which it is over Cat6
⏹️ ▶️ Marco just fine, then I don’t have any problems with that. And so if
⏹️ ▶️ Marco I’m going to continue to use Cat6 for another 10 years, it would probably
⏹️ ▶️ Marco still be fine and I probably would still not really be feeling a lot of like
⏹️ ▶️ Marco I’m being held back by the wiring on my walls. That would at that point be almost 20 years old.
⏹️ ▶️ John I would plan for 10 gig though, because I feel like 10 gig is gonna come around and not just because I have a computer with two 10 gig ethernet
⏹️ ▶️ John ports on it, just because I feel like it’s in shouting distance. And it’s kind of sad now, I was pointed out recently
⏹️ ▶️ John that the crappy USB connections on our computers are now significantly faster than our ethernet
⏹️ ▶️ John connections. Whatever
⏹️ ▶️ John, Marco the current,
⏹️ ▶️ John pick your ethernet, pick your USB standard. It can do 10 gig, 20 gig, 40 gig, right?
⏹️ ▶️ John Over, and forget about Thunderbolt. This is just, Thunderbolt, I guess, is the 40 gig one. USB is
⏹️ ▶️ John surprisingly fast. And we think of that as a thing we use to connect a mouse and a keyboard, right? So 10 gig
⏹️ ▶️ John ethernet, in the data centers, there are much faster variants of ethernet that are in common use all the time, but those are obviously super
⏹️ ▶️ John expensive. But I feel like 10 gig were in shouting distance, right? But that said, you know,
⏹️ ▶️ John the chat room just looked at the distance. Apparently, Cat6 can do 10 gig up to like 50 meters or something, 55 meters.
⏹️ ▶️ John Most houses are not that big, right? So just look at the length of your runs. I think it is worth future-proofing
⏹️ ▶️ John for 10 gig, but to do that, you might not have to do anything more than do Cat6
⏹️ ▶️ John in reasonable runs, like Marco said, like having them from a central point and everyone just drops down into, in between two
⏹️ ▶️ John studs and comes out of port, and you’re done, right? So if you don’t have a gigantic house and
⏹️ ▶️ John each individual run is not longer than 55 meters, not 55 meters total wiring in your walls, but like
⏹️ ▶️ John from the switch to wherever you’re going, then you’re all set for 10 gig. And I think that is
⏹️ ▶️ John reasonable future-proofing. Given Marco’s experience with the weird Cat 7 connectors
⏹️ ▶️ John and the videos I saw of the Cat 8 ones, I think it is not worth messing with that just because of the
⏹️ ▶️ John weird grounding sheath that you have to do and the size of the tiny connectors, but I wouldn’t
⏹️ ▶️ Marco No, I think there’s a Cat6a now or something. I don’t think that existed when I did my first set, but anyway,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco yeah. From what I’ve heard, Cat6a is totally fine for almost any modern use.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco So that’s probably what I would do if I was doing it again now. Now that being said, the second half of this question was about
⏹️ ▶️ Marco networking gear and stuff like that. And I have been a fan
⏹️ ▶️ Marco and user of Ubiquiti for quite some time now. I would never
⏹️ ▶️ Marco recommend it to a typical home user, but if you’re listening to this podcast, there’s
⏹️ ▶️ Marco a greater than average chance that you’re a nerd. And for those of you out there who like to have networking
⏹️ ▶️ Marco nerdy stuff, Ubiquiti is pretty cool, but it is very nerdy. That being said,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco their latest generation of stuff, the Dream Machine
⏹️ ▶️ Marco router and Dream Machine Pro have had problems. I’m using
⏹️ ▶️ Marco one now and the other day I had to reboot it to let new devices
⏹️ ▶️ Marco join the Wi-Fi network. And part of the reason why, and this is not the first time this has
⏹️ ▶️ Marco happened, and part of the reason why I’ve loved Ubiquiti for so long is
⏹️ ▶️ Marco that the previous gear I had, the old like edge router and then the old security gateway
⏹️ ▶️ Marco that I had after that, the previous Ubiquiti gear I would set it up
⏹️ ▶️ Marco and it would just run for years. And I had never, there was never a problem
⏹️ ▶️ Marco that I had that was solved by rebooting my Ubiquiti router. Like I never had to
⏹️ ▶️ Marco do that for any reason except like occasionally a firmware update or something or like it would lose power
⏹️ ▶️ Marco and then it would reboot. But like the uptime my routers had was ridiculous. And
⏹️ ▶️ Marco I always knew that the Ubiquiti gear was so rock solid that that was never the
⏹️ ▶️ Marco problem. Whatever problem I was seeing, It wasn’t the Ubiquiti gear’s fault, and that was a great place to be.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco I can’t say that right now, and that’s very disappointing to me.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco And a lot of Ubiquiti people are kind of, you know, having a bad time right now because
⏹️ ▶️ Marco their recent gear, they’re moving very fast on the software front. The software
⏹️ ▶️ Marco is like, you know, move fast and break things kind of philosophy, it seems like now, which is not what you want out of your router.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Like that’s not, you want something a little more slow and non-breaking conservative and
⏹️ ▶️ Marco you know and and that’s what Ubiquiti used to offer and all and their newer stuff it seems like they’re
⏹️ ▶️ Marco not there yet with the stability and it might be getting worse and they’re going through a lot of changing and
⏹️ ▶️ Marco everything keeps like oh now this new control panel is this new version it looks totally different and a third of the features
⏹️ ▶️ Marco are missing in the new version but just wait or go back to the old version to access them like there seemed to be a lot of flux
⏹️ ▶️ Marco going on with Ubiquiti right now that’s not good and I I hope they work this out and get
⏹️ ▶️ Marco back to the level of reliability that they’ve had for years, that they’ve built their reputation on.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco The whole reason I buy this stuff is because it was, in the past, rock solid
⏹️ ▶️ Marco and low maintenance. And right now, it’s not. So I
⏹️ ▶️ Marco really hope this is a temporary thing. Right now, with what is offered, I can’t recommend it.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco I’m using it, and I’m tolerating it, and it works well much of the time, but
⏹️ ▶️ Marco it doesn’t have the appeal that their old stuff had when it just was super reliable. It doesn’t do that right now.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco So hopefully they move past this and get better. Right now I don’t know what I would recommend.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Thanks to our sponsors this week Squarespace, Backblaze, and Flatfile.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco And thanks to our members you can now get an annual membership or you can get euro or pound billing
⏹️ ▶️ Marco and you can join with any of those options if you want to atp.fm join
⏹️ ▶️ Marco and we will talk to you all next week.
⏹️ ▶️ John Now the show is over, they didn’t even mean to
⏹️ ▶️ Casey begin, Cause it was accidental, oh it was accidental.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey 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 notes
⏹️ ▶️ John at ATP.FM And if you’re into Twitter,
⏹️ ▶️ John you can follow them
⏹️ ▶️ Marco at C-A-S-E-Y-L-I-S-S So that’s Casey Liss,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco M-A-R-C-O-A-R-M, Auntie Marco Armin,
⏹️ ▶️ John Syracuse, it’s accidental, they
⏹️ ▶️ John didn’t mean to You accidentally, accidentally, Tech
⏹️ ▶️ John Podcasts, it’s so long
Carlinkit wireless CarPlay adapter
⏹️ ▶️ Casey So my birthday was last week and my parents got me a new
⏹️ ▶️ Casey dongle for my car They got me the car link kit
⏹️ ▶️ Casey Wireless carplay adapter. So this is something that I think I’d obliquely mentioned many
⏹️ ▶️ Casey many many many episodes ago as a an adapter that you plug into the USB
⏹️ ▶️ Casey port in your car that is designed to accept a a lightning cable for CarPlay purposes.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey Well, you plug this adapter in and then your phone talks to the adapter, the adapter talks to your car, and that means you can
⏹️ ▶️ Casey leave your phone in your pocket and have CarPlay even if it’s not physically
⏹️ ▶️ Casey connected to the car.
⏹️ ▶️ John Does it come with a lowered, what is this, an
⏹️ ▶️ John R8 with a giant wing holding a canoe
⏹️ ▶️ John, Casey on top of it? I’m
⏹️ ▶️ John confused by the marketing of
⏹️ ▶️ John, Casey this website. So here’s
⏹️ ▶️ Casey the thing, there are several different manufacturers that do the same thing. They’re probably just, you know, different labels on the same
⏹️ ▶️ Casey guts. But this particular
⏹️ ▶️ Casey, Marco website- Yeah, I actually
⏹️ ▶️ Marco have one of these, but for like my dev kit, I
⏹️ ▶️ Marco one of these. Not this brand, but I bought like one of the other brand ones that said it might work and it didn’t.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey Yeah, well, so if based on this website, I would not have bought this particular one because it
⏹️ ▶️ Casey is rough, some of the product photography, but here we are. And so I had the occasion
⏹️ ▶️ Casey to be in the car for about five hours today. And I used the CarLink Kit adapter
⏹️ ▶️ Casey for four of the five hours that I was driving. And it worked
⏹️ ▶️ Casey actually quite well. It, I feel like I can tell, and maybe it’s all in my head. I feel
⏹️ ▶️ Casey like I can tell that it’s not hardwired CarPlay anymore. In the sense that like,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey there’s a little bit of lag, a teeny bit. When I would
⏹️ ▶️ Casey play like audio after Siri was talking, I feel like the,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey the Bit rate was like really low for a second or two and then it would do would figure itself out and it would be you
⏹️ ▶️ Casey know regular quality, but that being said It
⏹️ ▶️ Casey seemed to work just fine. This thing is about $130 and It’s the perfect kind
⏹️ ▶️ Casey of gift, right? It’s the sort of thing that you don’t necessarily want to spend $130 on but you don’t mind if somebody else spends
⏹️ ▶️ Casey $130 on you and gets you this thing that may or may not work. Well and and actually it’s worked fine
⏹️ ▶️ Casey What’s nice about this particular one, I presume the others are the same, is that it also has a USB power
⏹️ ▶️ Casey pass-through. So it has USB-C to USB, what is it, A or B? I always get it wrong.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey A? Thank you. If it’s a printer, it’s B. Okay, there you go. So it’s USB-C
⏹️ ▶️ Casey to USB-A. It’s a little stubby cable, and the USB-A goes in your car, USB-C goes in the little dongle.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey And then it also has a USB-A receptacle on the other side of it, so you can plug in your lightning cable and charge
⏹️ ▶️ Casey your phone while you’re using CarPlay. Now I don’t think it will
⏹️ ▶️ Casey use CarPlay. It’s not like a pass-through for wired CarPlay when that happens. I think what it’s doing is it’s
⏹️ ▶️ Casey just charging with, the power’s there, the data is not. But it worked well. And for
⏹️ ▶️ Casey the last hour I was in the car, I took it off the charger just
⏹️ ▶️ Casey to see how it did. And my battery plummeted by 15%, but also consider I was
⏹️ ▶️ Casey listening to Overcast at the time, and more importantly,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey, Marco I was using Wave. Hey, don’t blame me. Just hold on. Don’t throw it in
⏹️ ▶️ Casey the bus. hold on and more importantly, as I was starting to say, I was also using the GPS and
⏹️ ▶️ Casey, John is the actual culprit. Overcast,
⏹️ ▶️ John GPS, Waze, they’re equal battery hogs.
⏹️ ▶️ John, Casey Totally. Yeah.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey You know, so thankfully, Apple has this little thing where you can
⏹️ ▶️ Casey see what your battery usage is and it so happened that it was 11 to 12 this
⏹️ ▶️ Casey morning that I was on battery and using car planes on and so forth. And it was,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey uh, ways at 23% and overcast at 21%. So says
⏹️ ▶️ Casey Apple. I concur with you. I think that seems a bit ridiculous. I would expect ways would be
⏹️ ▶️ Casey the overwhelming majority of it, but nevertheless, uh, I don’t actually have that much else
⏹️ ▶️ Casey to say about it, to be honest, it is definitely a hack and it wouldn’t surprise me if this hack is somehow closed
⏹️ ▶️ Casey up in the future, but for now it works and I’m pretty satisfied with
⏹️ ▶️ Casey it. And it’s nice to be able to use CarPlay always. So the way I treated
⏹️ ▶️ Casey CarPlay in the past was if I was going in the car for like more than just a few minutes, I would probably
⏹️ ▶️ Casey plug in, or if like I’m in the middle of a text conversation where I want to be able to easily dictate and so on and so forth,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey I would plug it in. But otherwise I just would use Bluetooth to the car, like no
⏹️ ▶️ Casey CarPlay involved at all. I would just use Bluetooth to the car and stream, you know, overcast or
⏹️ ▶️ Casey music or what have you. And now, now every time I get in the car, I have the full car play experience, just like
⏹️ ▶️ Casey BMW drivers have had for years. And I think Audi is now starting to do wireless car plays, a few other makes that are doing it too.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey But yeah, I, it actually works and I’m really surprised and you know, the super discerning among
⏹️ ▶️ Casey you will definitely be able to see the difference. But for me, I’m willing to trade a little bit of latency and lag
⏹️ ▶️ Casey for a lot a lot of convenience and that works for me.
⏹️ ▶️ John The website says suitable for 98% car models. Not for 98% of car models,
⏹️ ▶️ John it says suitable for 98% car models. So assuming
⏹️ ▶️ John that they’re not talking about 98% cars, things that are 2% non-car. I guess that
⏹️ ▶️ John would be every SUV maybe, oh, it’s probably higher than 2%. I would really wanna know, is
⏹️ ▶️ John my car one of the 2% that I can’t use? What is it? If it’s a CarPlay adapter, why would it
⏹️ ▶️ John care what the car is? Isn’t it just tricking all the cars into, I don’t
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Well, no, first of all, the way it works, it doesn’t work with everything. Second of all, the website has other gems as well.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Have you scrolled down a little bit to the row of documents that includes things such as
⏹️ ▶️ Marco their US trademark document? Oh
⏹️ ▶️ John, Casey scrolled down to a
⏹️ ▶️ John heading that says, if the product worked normally, no need update.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey I did see that. Yeah, it’s something, but it worked for me.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey That’s all I care about. Actually, it’s down to $110 right now, I’m sorry.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey, John These are a lot
⏹️ ▶️ John of, I seem to recall a long succession of
⏹️ ▶️ John kind of not particularly nice looking car related accessories that
⏹️ ▶️ John I’ve purchased for things like iPods and iPhones in the past, especially back when cars were
⏹️ ▶️ John not as savvy about connecting to any kind of electronics. And they all look similar to this. They’re all like a,
⏹️ ▶️ John you know, nondescript plastic box with maybe a light on it and some wires that you connect to it.
⏹️ ▶️ John And I mean, they serve me well. Like I’m not putting down these type of products. Like when you need a thing that does the thing
⏹️ ▶️ John and you just need it, want it in your car and you just stick it in there and forget about it and either, you know, shove it up
⏹️ ▶️ John inside your glove box or inside a little console, or in the case of like adding aux audio
⏹️ ▶️ John input to like my original Honda Civics and Accords, just like, you know, it’s all entirely hidden
⏹️ ▶️ John underneath the plastic of the center tunnel. Yeah, so it’s money well spent. It improves the
⏹️ ▶️ John functionality of your car and you never need to think about it again. And then when you get rid of that car, the thing leaves with it and your next car has this
⏹️ ▶️ John built in. And so I think that’s a, is the reason this market exists, right?
⏹️ ▶️ John Modify a car to get a new capability and don’t worry about it. This thing doesn’t last too long cause you’re probably gonna get rid of that car
⏹️ ▶️ John eventually anyway, and your new car won’t have this problem. And there you go.