MacBreak Weekly 387 (Transcript)
Leo LaPorte: It’s time for MacBreak weekly. The quarterly results are in for Apple’s first quarter. The holiday buying quarter and boy are they good even though Wall Street didn’t like them too much. We’ll talk about that with our panel next on MacBreak Weekly.
Netcasts you love, from people you trust. This is TWIT. Bandwidth from MacBreak Weekly is provided by CacheFly at cachefly.com. This is MacBreak Weekly episode 387 recorded January 28th 2014
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Leo: It’s time for MacBreak Weekly. Look, we’ve reassembled the crew. In fact someone said that if Merlin Mann were only here then the band would be complete. It’d be like the Beatles reunion at the Grammys. Unfortunately Merlin is no longer with us and Scott Warren but we have the wonderful Andy Ihnatko who has been with this show almost since the beginning I believe.
Andy Ihnatko: You’re making it sounds like the Hunger Games only with tech news. Alright Alex, you’ve been training in the high altitudes of Rwanda but you know what?
Leo: Put a pile of weapons in the middle of the studio floor. By the way, Merlin is not dead, he’s no longer with us. Alex Lindsay: Is the guy who created MacBreak before I even did anything with it. He did the video version of MacBreak and you were the guy who suggested we do MacBreak Weekly as an audio program.
Alex Lindsay: I think we actually did is for a little while before – you were involved in a couple of the early MacBreaks.
Leo: In the videos.
Alex: And then even in the audio I believe and then the problem was every time you were on the audio it was so much more popular and I was like; you just take this, here have this.
Leo: There you go, and by the way speaking of you – where are you?
Alex: I’m in Washington D.C.
Leo: Is this your new facility?
Alex: This is our other office. It’s not really new; it’s been around a little while. Hold on I’ll show you. This is when you really get crazy about writing hangouts; you have a facility that looks like that. So that’s the control room and that can bring in fiber, satellite, from all over the world.
Leo: What kind of pipes do you have in there?
Alex: It’s 100 by 100 up and down but then we have video pipes, so we can use the switch or vivix or avoc, HD fiber and then we also have 26 satellite dishes on the roof. We don’t own them all but we have access to them.
Leo: You can book them when you need them basically.
Alex: Yes, we can book satellite time up and down from the roof –
Leo: Are we allowed to say what you’re doing or is that a secret?
Alex: No we’re not allowed to say.
Andy: Basically when the Whig Party wants to do their response to the State of The Union, there is going to be a guy awkwardly sitting in your studio.
Alex: We do a lot of work for the Whig Party… No, we’re obviously doing some stuff here that I have to manage. We do a lot of things here. Basically we run almost all of our major hangouts from this facility. There are all the servers in the back that you can see and then there is a whole other set of servers that sit in the tech – This is actually where all the European television stations are hosted, so all the way down the hallway from here is Russia 1 and then there is Belgium 1 and Deutsch something or other, BBC is upstairs. It’s a pretty densely populated building.
Leo: Neat! Are you across from the White House? Where are you?
Alex: We’re about 8 blocks but the fiber from the White House actually terminates about 100 feet from our office.
Leo: Can you smell the big block of cheese from there? No? Alright I’m moving on. Thank you Alex Lindsay and also Rene Ritche here from iMore.com. He is sitting in front of the “Vintage Apple T.V.
Rene Ritche: My setup just seems so meager now. I have a web cam, I have a cable modem…
Leo: I know, we are all put to shame by Alex Lindsay. It’s worse for me because he’s also got an office right here in the building. I look at what we do and then I go over there and it’s like oh dear!
Rene: It keeps you warm though.
Alex: I’m all jealous because you do the same thing in the same place every day. I think if I could just get up and turn this stuff on, if I didn’t have to put it in pelican cases… Last night I was at Dulles Airport moving 6 800 pound cases in and out and sometimes I just wish I could just work at TWIT.
Leo: By the way Beat Master tells me Rene that you actually put an article on iMore about your podcast setups. So if people want to know what Rene’s using…
Rene: Not after Alex…
Leo: Don’t bring that up now he says. Why are you bringing that up now? An update on the Mac Pro and I’m curious because I think I’m the only one in the bunch that actually has one, thanks to Ed Ingberg; who has very kindly let me buy his from him. This is the new cylinder Mac Pro. What was that picture from? That was a good picture because that’s exactly what it looks like.
Alex: This is from John. John Salinas sent us an email and it’s all German. You can see “Blu-ray –Laufwerk..
Leo: I’m going to bring a picture of my Mac Pro because that’s exactly what it looks like. On the left you see the cheese grater which has everything internal and all right, it’s big but it does look kind of tidy. On the right you see the elegant Mac Pro with 3, G-tech drives that connect to it, a cd burner, a DVD burner, USB, a hub, all of that stuff you need to go along with it.
Alex: Apparently from GIGA.de.
Leo: Let me just mention couple of little things. Rene you have been keeping up on the Maverick’s bugs and I think these are related. Audio comes and goes randomly.
Rene: Core audio is not your friend.
Leo: That’s core audio – that’s a Maverick’s bug. I use a magic track pad, wireless and a wireless keyboard and they just stopped working. Bluetooth is on. I haven’t gotten to the point of trying Bluetooth on other things but I can’t get my keyboard and track pad to – I actually had to buy a wired keyboard and a USB mouse. Is that a known...
Rene: I haven’t heard of that yet. My good friend and co-host Guy English got his Mac Pro and he said it is the best Gotham Archam Asylum game playing machine he’s ever had.
Leo: I will vouch for that. Bio Shock Infinite – Wonderful! Turn everything up.
Rene: We haven’t dived too deeply into it yet because it’s so scarce still.
Leo: Of course I changed the batteries in the keyboard and track pad. You think I’m nuts.
Alex: We just recorded a couple of the MacBreak Studio’s for final cut and motion. We’ve got a loaner Mac Pro over at the office just for a day to do it. Mark Spencer brought it in and I can say for final cut it’s screaming.
Leo: Oh I bet.
Alex: Four times faster! There was stuff that the lap top was just chugging on. It made it like a really well built retina that it just breezes through it like nothing happened. It just cuts right through it like butter.
Leo: You mentioned that you wanted to try it so I’m going to bring mine in for you Saturday.
Alex: I want to try it because I want to play with it on 3D. The video stuff is all great. What I want to do now is to open up Cinema 4D and look at how it renders global elimination. No just using Cinebench but really playing around with it.
Leo: You heard that – one of your people said that it spontaneously was shutting down on him.
Alex: We’ve had a couple folks say that they had this issue where it just kind of restarts. So we’re really not sure exactly. It definitely had us… When we heard the report of a couple of folks that I knew saying that, we were like maybe we won’t make it a live event box just yet. Restarting is fine if you’re going to post and it happens really instantly. It’s concerning but not the end of the world. On a live event it would be unfortunate.
Leo: As you know I love it. You saw the fondle cam, I love it. Like a man – oh excuse me, like a WOman. That’s actually an in joke around here because we had a woman on the radio show who called up and she was from Chicago. She was great. She said I got rid of my iPhone and I’m now using a Note3. I said oh that’s a big one, do you like it? She said I don’t like it, I LOVE it – like a man!! So I’ve been saying that. It actually works pretty great all the time now. I finish all my sentences LIKE A MAN!
Andy: I loved her on 227. I thought she was the (unintelligible) of that show.
Leo: Anyway just an update on the Mac Pro. I’m not sure I would recommend against it. You know if you need it and you probably want it. Maybe it’s just a Maverick’s problem, I don’t know.
Alex: We’re giving it some time. We know there’s a little bit of time to wait for it and we’re not in a real rush. We’re going to let things sort themselves out and then casually get them when they’re – when version 2 or 3 is already running.
Leo: I think that’s sensible with anything but this is new hardware and it does seem like there might be some issues early on. So I think it would be sensible. The good news is you can’t get it until March anyway.
Rene: If you go to iMore right now Peter Cohen just put up an article about his least favorite Maverick’s pet peeves. It’s got a bunch of little things in there that make you pull your hair out that we really hope Apple fixes in the next update.
Leo: Apple’s first quarter results are in. This is of course the big holiday shopping quarter and a big, big story. We will break it down for you; all the numbers and all the news, coming up for you in just a bit. Rene Ritchie, Alex Lindsay, Andy Ihnatko; you’re watching MacBreak Weekly. Our show today brought to you by personalcapital.com. This is something people might think “I don’t need yet because I’m young, I’m just starting out, I don’t have a lot of money so I don’t have to worry about investments”. You always should be paying attention to this stuff. Personal Capital lets you keep track of your money. Not like a check book balancing program but making sure your financial life is planned out. That’s a pain, I never did it before and I wish I’d done it a little bit better when I was younger. There are 2 kinds of problems with people and how they manage their money; 1 is of course it’s hard to keep track of. Not only do you have your pay check but you probably have a 401k or IRA’s. You’ve got bank accounts, mortgages, charge cards and all of that, all on different sites, names, passwords. The other problem of course is that if you do want to make investments you’re paying someone to manage your money and you’re probably paying too much. Along comes Personal Capital, it’s free, you see all of your financial life from 1 screen, how each asset is preforming. Your computer (they also have iPhone and iPad apps) clean color coded graphs, shows you how much you’re paying in money managers and fees, just the fees on your mutual funds. Now you can reduce those and also get specific advice in how to improve your investment strategy. This is all free. Personal Capital is a smart way to make your money grow quicker. That’s why they’ve been featured in Time, Forbes, Bloomberg and more and we’re going to get you a free account right now if you go to personalcapital.com/macbreak. Getting set up just takes a minute, it’s free but you have to go to personalcapital.com/macbreak and sign up today. That way they know that you heard it on the show and you get extra special treatment. Personalcapital.com/macbreak, we thank them for their support.
Leo: Apple has a lot of money to keep track of themselves. I wonder if they’re using Personal Capital. 159 billion in their bank account. Interesting, Peter Oppenheimer the CFO said 70% of that is international; which shows you why it’s so difficult for Apple to either repatriate to buy stuff or to give it back to stock holders. There are huge tax consequences to repatriating that money. Record quarterly revenue – 57.6 billion in dollars, record net profit – 13.1 billion dollars. To put that in perspective, Microsoft which announced it’s results a few days earlier was half that much profit and the stock market didn’t like it for a few reasons. Net profit wasn’t up, it was exactly the same as year to year, 13.1 billion dollars. The gross margins were down a little bit – 37.9% compared to 38.6%. International sales accounted for 63% of the quarter’s revenue. I think that’s interesting. That’s what the stock market cares about. Here are the numbers we care about. Actually the stock market might care about this a little bit. The analysts were predicting 55 million iPhones for the quarter, 51 million sold. If you were going to pick one thing that is worrying the market, that might be it. However it’s a record number of iPhones, more than this time last year 47.8 million they sold 26 million iPads. Also an all-time quarterly record compared to 22.9 million a year ago. Mac sales were up. I’m a Mac lover and the Mac sales went from 4.1 million last year to 4.8 million this year. Now you compare 4.8 million Macs to a total of 77 million IOS devices – it’s not that important is the bottom line. Thoughts? Those are the numbers.
Alex: I think the difference between what the projections were and what they actually sold as far as the numbers for the iPhone most likely had to do with supply chain issues.
Leo: That’s what Peter Oppenheimer said that we could have sold more; we just had constrained supply until the very end of the quarter.
Alex: They probably would have met it. It wasn’t from a lack of demand but from a – and I think the same thing, they probably saw lower numbers with the Mac Pro sales both because it was a late release as well as well as a very constrained supply. So I think those were 2 things that were factors here. I do find it amazing that everyone’s disappointed - I mean how many records can you set?? I guess you’re expected to make – to have a record year every year, every quarter should be a record quarter, which is almost what it is for Apple.
Leo: We should point out Apple stock is over 500 bucks. It’s very well valued, it’s not that the market is saying Oh this company is in trouble, but it did drop 8% in after-hours trading. It’s now down 7.63%.
Rene: It’s doesn’t enjoy the ratio that a stock like Amazon or even Google enjoys which bothers some people.
Leo: The price to earnings ratio. Yes it’s an expensive stock.
Rene: They were also upset about Apple’s guidance even though Oppenheimer did a fairly good job explaining things like their deferring much more income now for iPhones and they are also doing it for Macs because Maverick’s is free, iWork is free, iLife is free; so that means billions of dollars moved from one quarter to the next. I think a lot of people look at the raw numbers and think it’s not as much as I’d like it to be for the next quarter.
Alex: I do think that one of the things they showed was a rise in the ASP, the average sale price. So I think that was an interesting selling price I believe which is – they’re getting more out of these than they have in the past.
Leo: But margins are going down.
Rene: Margins are down but they said they would go back up because they’ve gotten better at making the stuff. The iPhone 5C did not sell as well as they expected because the iPhone 5S sold better than they’d expected and Tim Cook said that was because of touch ID and some of what Apple calls the forward thinking features. It’s like 64 bit and the –
Alex: I also don’t think 100 dollars really distinguishes the 5C from the 5S. That was the number 1 problem. Go ahead Andy.
Andy: I was just going to say that “way to turn a negative into a positive thing; well we didn’t sell as many 5C’s because we sold so many 5S’s. It was the positive touch….I agree with Alex that 99 bucks is not a huge difference for people who are attracted to iPhones in general. I think that I’m inclined to take away the impression that people who buy iPhones do it with clear intentions and very clear purposes. That they don’t just buy it because they have their sights set on an iPhone and if you give them 2 phones side by side and tell them, “This one is better than this one which is the budget one”, they’re going to spend the 99 bucks to get the better one. They are not having as much success competing with the people who don’t really care, who don’t really see those distinctions. For whom they are going to say why is this 99 bucks? I can get a phone that looks exactly like this, that has a great software library for 50 bucks or for free. They’re still not going to be reaching those people but it’s likely that they’re never going to reach those people.
Leo: I think it’s fine for Apple to say “we’re the high priced spread” and you know, live with it. I just bought a 32 gig unlocked Moto-x unsubsidized for 350 bucks, brand new with a wood back!
Andy: I think there’s going to be a lot of new pressure from Android in 2014 that wasn’t there in 2013 because the 2nd half of last year was the time when lots of major makers started making it a priority to create an affordable bring your own device. And in the U.S with T-Mobile and other providers, providing so many great plans for people who bring their own devices in – I wonder how much pressure Apple’s going to feel to deal with these people who would much rather spend 350-400 dollars, even 200 dollars to own their own Android device and then take it where ever they want off of contract versus 200 dollars, you’re locked in and the differences between these hand sets are becoming a little bit more ingrained than they were in 2013.
Rene: There was a really good piece from Benedict Evans who is a telecom analysis analyst. He’s just moving to the U.S, he got a job with an investment firm, he did the math based on current volume what Apple can expect to generate. Like how many iPhones they can sell before they start to hit and it’s still something like hundreds of millions, half a billion and that’s still a huge market, bigger than any previous PC market. He was also pointing out that it’s changing so fast that he has no idea for example what install an app on an Android smart phone will mean in a couple of years and it’s hard to judge whether you should go lower in the market or higher in the market because it’s changing so rapidly.
Leo: Apple’s guidance for the 2nd quarter – revenue between 42-44 billion, gross margin not much change between 37-38%. They pointed out that their tax trade is 38.2% - so there, we pay taxes. When you have a profit of 13.1 billion dollars that’s a pretty big check you’re writing to Uncle Sam every year. I think – and again I’m showing my Mac bias here, my bias towards the computer but in a quarter where PC sales were down 10% for Apple to report an increase of something like 30% is pretty good news. It kind of gives lie to the idea that people aren’t buying computers anymore.
Alex: I think though also that the numbers for Apple that are growing are much smaller than the general PC number. So in the vertical that buys a Mac – obviously people are still buying those and they’re not competing at much. Mac’s don’t compete as much with iPads for instance as a net book does or lower cost computers. I’m not saying iPads but just tablets; a lot of them are moving towards tablets for that type of thing. I definitely use my Mac for what I think it has to be used for. I think that there are a lot of people doing that, it’s not just to check email.
Leo: I think you’ve got to say that Windows 8 is a flop and people are not – there were lots of reasons people are not buying PC’s but Windows 8 has to be a part of it.
Andy: I think that you always have to remember that the Windows market is totally different from the Mac market. A Windows notebook looks like a Mac book but it’s totally different type of person buying it with a different priority. When you look at the pie chart for the Windows operating system that are in the field a huge chunk of it is still Windows XP. I think it’s more significant to see how well Windows 7 is doing because right now that is perceived by the Windows community as “here is the non-experimental, the tried and true, the tested”; we’ve been through this and we’ve been through the upgrade, we’ve gotten people trained up on this operating system and that’s doing very, very, well.
Leo: It is, in fact Windows 7 sales were up in the quarter.
Andy: Especially now that more makers are understanding that Windows 8 has not been – there are very few people getting Windows 8 tattoos let’s say! So now more makers are going back to “Ok you know what? Why don’t we start offering our new hardware free installed with Windows 7 instead of 8” and…
Leo: HP really spit in Microsoft’s face saying “back by popular demand, Windows 7” in a big ad this week.
Andy: The big difficulty is that you sell Windows 8 by selling the multi-touch, by selling a touch screen device but unfortunately Windows, Microsoft has not been able to get enough developers on board to say well here are the really awesome apps that you would want to run on Windows 8 that could not really exist very well under windows 7. When you get people who are not terribly interested in multi-touch on a laptop then they see this as Windows 7 with more unfamiliar stuff on it. There’s a key cultural debate going on that is fascinating to track which is: Do people want to convert this device, do people want to spend 800 dollars one 1 device that does it all, especially now that we have devices that cost about the same as a nicely loaded iPad that aren’t a lot heavier than an iPad, they get the same battery life as an iPad; or just philosophically do they believe “I want to own a tablet and a notebook. I want to own a device that is specifically optimized for notebook things and then I want a tablet that even has a smaller screen than a full size iPad, that’s even lighter than a full size iPad. Because when I’m in tablet mode I want something as far away from my conventional laptop experience as I can possibly get. People like me like to think, “well geez it offends my delicate neo-realist sensibilities to be carrying 2 computers with me in my check in carry on” but I think most people are now proving they are actually cool with it. They’d much rather have a regular laptop and a side car in the form of a tablet.
Leo: And if that’s you there is very good news, Jason Snell on the occasion of the 30th anniversary of the Mac got to talk to Phil Shiller, Craig Feterikki and Bud Triple about a lot of things but if you scroll down a little way in the interview he asks Craig Feterikki who is now in charge of all software (and that might indicate that Apple is thinking of merging IOS and OS10) about that and Feterikki said absolutely not. He said the reason OS10 has a different face than IOS isn’t because 1 came after the other or because this one is old and this one is new; it’s because using a mouse and keyboard just isn’t the same as tapping with your finger. This device he said pointing at a Mac Air has been owned over 30 years to be optimal for keyboards and mice. Shiller and Feterikki both made clear Apple blaze competitors, in other words Microsoft would try to attach a touch screen to a PC or a clam shell keyboard are barking up the wrong tree. They say there will not be a convergence. To say IOS and OS10 should be the same independent of their purpose, let’s just converge for the sake of convergence is absolutely a non-goal. This is Feterikki again: You don’t want to say the Mac became less good as being a Mac because someone tried to turn it into IOS. I have to say that’s a great relief because after seeing what happened with Windows it’s pretty clear that’s not where you want to go.
Alex: Apple’s never said that they’re not going to do something and then gone ahead and done it.
Leo: He said it’s a non-goal.
Alex: Like saying no one is ever going to want that and then they make one.
Rene: They gave an answer specific to this time frame of thinking but I think that answer has been way too broadly interpreted.
Leo: Phil Shiller said it’s not an either or, it’s a world where you’re going to have as Andy said, a phone, a tablet, a computer and you don’t have to choose. So what’s more important and I like this philosophy, is how you seamlessly move between them all. Now if they could only get Air Drop to work between IOS and OS10 I’d believe them. It’s not like this is a laptop person and that’s a tablet person. It doesn’t have to be that way. When I walked in there they noticed that I’d brought a phone, a table and a laptop and used my ?? of choice for the interview. You had a bunch of tools Craig said and you pulled out the one that felt right for the job you were doing. Not because it had more computing power but because it was the most natural device.
Andy: You purchased 3 things from us, not just 1. You will be invited back for sure. I do think that’s absolutely on the money. I don’t think people are ready yet to really fully cast their lot with one device with that single device being a multi-touch. However I do think the momentum is heading there. This is something that we’ve discussed before that we get more people who are entering the adult job market who grew up with multi-touch that they just don’t have to think of their device as primarily keyboard. They are more open to simply saying well what if I just take this device that I just spent 600 for – this iPad and figure out how to do all of my editing, all of my creation and really all of my communications through it. It’s possible that they are moving away from having multiple mobile devices and towards having 1 really nice server at my house for applications and documents, I’m going to have 1 desktop for full desktop crunch mode but for every time that I’m not inside my office I’m going to have something that is light weight that can access all my data and all my apps.
Alex: When I look at my kids again you can see any laptop they touch there are all these little finger prints all the way across them because they –
Leo: I understand that, every time I try to use an iPad for the stuff that I would do on a computer like let’s say booking a reservation, it always feels like it’s a strain. I can do it but it’s hard.
Alex: I think also if you’re using a web page and trying to do that it’s really painful. I know that I book a lot of hotels on hotels.com on my iPhone because I’ll be sitting there thinking oh I’ve got to do this, because everything is built into it, If I’d go to a web page it’d take me half a day and I’d never bother but an app that is built for that, that has your information all built in is actually –
Leo: Yes but that means you’d need an app for everything you do.
Alex: Well anything you do regularly yes.
Rene: Will there be a 30th anniversary of IOS like there was a 30th anniversary of the Mac? That’s what I keep wondering.
Leo: Oh that’s interesting.
Rene: Will it have as long of product cycle or will it change much more rapidly?
Andy: But it hasn’t. If you were to look at a screen shot of system 1.2 or 1.1 whichever and put it next to Maverick’s right now and put an iMac next to a Mac 128, in terms of molecular interface to the human being you still have screen over here, keyboard over here and device right here. You still have Windows, the finer is still largely untouched. Of course there’s been a huge amount of power added to it but you’re still overlapping Windows that drag around that people have to manage manually and icons on the desk top that become way too cluttered with way too much data on it. Apple I think is wise enough to understand the value of the legacy that the Mac has and the value of the legacy that IOS has but they may have been free at 1 point to simply say when we get to Mac OS11 don’t expect to see a finer in any way shape or form. Don’t expect to see the same control services and the same control inputs the way that we’ve always done them. I don’t want to pre-empt my pick of the week but IOS 7 is a really good release for people to look at when they’re looking at Apple’s philosophy on developing things. At some point they said our old interface now sucks. It was working for a great amount of time and it took us where we wanted to go but now we’re willing to piss off a great deal of people, a great percentage of our users by giving them something unfamiliar that will look very freaky in the hopes that it will prompt our entire community to adopt to a vision of user interface that we would really like. Although the pain point was pretty severe in the fall when IOS 7 was first widely released now that we’ve got 5 months behind us and now that we’ve got developers that are spending more than close to a year, not only just looking at the user interface guidelines, but seriously thinking we’re going to throw our entire interface and now rebuild it with these new guidelines. Now finally here in January of 2014 we’re starting to see apps that really bear fruit, that really sell the idea of IOS 7 that you really couldn’t articulate in that way in IOS 6. I think that maybe we’ll be going that same way – Mac OS is going to have to have that point too. It’ll still be called Mac OS, but there’s going to be that point where we no longer recognize it as the window here, the icon here, the drop down menu there, pointing device, keyboard, here’s the screen.
Leo: I’ll tell you one thing, yes Patrick Delahanty points out in our chat room yesterday – 4th anniversary of the iPad so 30th anniversary is 26 years off. So we’ve got a ways to go. One thing that may not make it to it’s 30th anniversary – the iPod. Sales of the iPod down 52%; they sold a mere 6 million iPods. That’s 973 million dollars out of their 57.6 billion revenue. I don’t know when they’re going to kill the iPod but there were no new iPods this year. They didn’t mention it all year long. I think it’s soon, isn’t it.
Rene: Well they switched it to a 2 year product cycle a couple of years ago. They do a revision when they do the design for the iPhone and they do a new color when they do the S version of the iPhone. So this year we got space grey. This to me highlights what we were talking about earlier about Apple’s vision for products. Some companies would have held onto the iPod rather than until it fell out of their cold dead hands. They would have ridden it to the ground and they would have spent all their time and energy trying to prop it up; where Apple recognizes the iPod is going down and they fill in on one end with the iPhone, on the other end with the iPad and then an iPad mini. On one hand I’ll lament that it is going away but on the other hand we have much better options now. We have connective devices and large screen devices and soon they’ll have capacity beyond what an iPad or certainly an iPod could have.
Alex: I love iPod touches, we use them as these little utility vehicles. We don’t really use them as a viewer or to play music but a lot of our kids use them. I have a couple of them that I’ll use for clocks and interfaces and other things that I want to pop up as head’s up displays. They’re very inexpensive and very small and you can carry a couple of them to kind of manage stuff. I find that they’re great mini trucks, they’re kind of like golf carts, you don’t have to handle a lot of things.
Leo: That’s a more apt analogy – Golfing.
Andy: I think that Apple is definitely taking a user like you and saying why don’t you buy a iPad mini which is even better and also doesn’t require a monthly data plan if you don’t want to buy the 4g version or the LTE version of it –
Alex: I like the 5’s. Overseers a lot of our guys use them as a phone like with Facetime audio because a lot of people are calling in and out.
Leo: You are of course an outlier once again sir and it doesn’t…
Andy: But the other cool thing is how many apps do we all have on our phones right now that are used as remote controls for other interfaces for other devices that we have in our office and in our house. I would certainly be interested in buying a next generation iPod touch if only as “this is going to be the device that will always be my Roku interface, this will always be my cable box interface or this will always be my sling box interface.
Leo: Most people just say I got the iPhone in my pocket. Remember Steve Jobbs called the iPhone the best iPod we’ve ever made. That’s when he introduced it. They knew – In fact in 2009 Oppenheimer said “we know we’re cannibalizing our iPod sales”; that is part of the plan.
Andy: That’s a core philosophy of Apple, they believe that the only product that is worthy of cannibalizing sales of an Apple product is a newer Apple product.
Rene: that was the iPhone 5C as well, it’s got the packaging of an iPod now, It’s got the colors of an iPod now. It didn’t perform at the levels they wanted it to but the desire was for that to be the next popular sort of IOS device.
Andy: That’s an interesting topic though and I’m not creating a conclusion here, I’m just legitimately curious about this. I wonder if Apple decided to not package the iPhone 5C like an iPod device but made it look as close to the 5S as possible. It’s part of what was throwing people – the fact that you’ll be broadcasting the entire world that no no, you don’t have the good one, you have the cheap plastic one. I don’t know if Apple users are vulnerable to that kind of thinking or if they really do want the slick nice device, they don’t want to have the iPhone junior.
Leo: So he said that iPhone 5C represented the smaller mixer handset sales. The demand was different than we thought.
Rene: They really thought it was going to be the popular iPhone. It was the first smart phone my mom ever bought. She had a Samsung flip phone before. It was the first smart phone she ever bought because she saw the commercial “better together” and she thought it was Andy Warhall, the nicest thing she’d ever seen. She still thinks it’s way better than the iPhone 5S. Apple believed that it was going to be the popular iPhone and that people would like the colors and like the plastic being more durable and it would be a funner, more kid-friendly more non-tech savvy person friendly device.
Leo: Do you think the Wall Street Journal got it right? They claim that this year Apple will scrap the 5C. There will be 2 new iPhone models according to the Journal with larger displays, 1 bigger than 5 inches and they’re not going to be any plastic backed iPhones in the lineup.
Rene: As far as I know there aren’t 2 bigger iPhones in the pipeline. There is 1. So I don’t know how far out they’re looking out. Apple experiments with all sorts of different sizes. They could have the full range of Samsung sizes in the lab but as far as I know there is 1 bigger one in the works. I don’t know if they’ll scrap the 5C or – they’ll still have some device that fills the slot below whatever the premium iPhone is. Whether plastic didn’t work out and they go back to something else or they have something completely different in mind is another story. But instead of looking at certain devices Apple has certain slots they want to fill and they’re usually really consistent about those.
Andy: January is way too early to really feel they’ve got a bead on what Apple is going to be shipping in the fall. Especially where hand sets are concerned. I don’t think there is anybody listening who seriously believes that Apple is not going to be shipping a larger screen phone at this point. If they do not ship a seriously large screen iPhone in 2014 they will be making a really explicit statement. It’s not that they don’t think the time is right, it’s not as though they believe it’s aesthetical and pleasing, it’s not that the infrastructure isn’t there yet. It’s because they fundamentally believe that a phone should not be larger than “this” size. I don’t think they believe that.
Rene: There’s a whole bunch of people for whom the phone is becoming the primary computer. They don’t want a lot of laptop, they don’t even want a tablet and in emerging markets it might be because they can’t afford it but in a lot of established markets they just don’t want to have the inconvenience. They want to have a device that the phone button is there but it’s not the primary thing that they want to use. If Apple’s goal is to make better mainstream products year after year it’s almost inescapable – the conclusion now is that a larger screen iPhone would be a better mainstream product. It would increase their addressable market. The analogy I like to draw is the iPhone used to be on ATT and you had to choose between ATT’s iPhone or getting something else on Verizon. Then the iPhone went to Verizon and you no longer had to choose. You could get an iPhone on Verizon. Right now you have to choose between an iPhone and a larger screen device with another manufacturer. Those are premium devices, they’re not discount budget devices for the most part. Apple is going to want people to choose a larger screen device that is from Apple if they want to keep that premium segment on the market.
Leo: So the Journal says that the 4 and ½ inch model is further along in development according to their sources and is being prepared for mass production now. The bigger than 5 inch or however much bigger than 5 inch is still in preliminary development but you say your sources don’t agree with this.
Rene: It depends on how early a preliminary is, I guess that there are all sorts of sizes in the labs. The fact that one of them is ready and the other one isn’t is just more consistent.
Leo: Do you think that Apple will stick to its release cycle this year? They’re completely capable of changing it up.
Rene: They can release an iPhone O’Reilly in June if they want to. They can do anything they like. It’s the benefit of their model, they don’t pre-announce and they make all of their own stuff, but it makes sense given the marketing conditions that they have that they’ll want to stick to a fairly – they’ll change it if they have to. They’ll change it to be a little renegade and rogue once in a while or if the previous device was not great like an iPad 3 necessitated an iPad 4 6 months later. But all other things being equal they’re usually pretty good.
Leo: You don’t think that the disappointing results with the 5C are enough for them to do something different sooner?
Rene: Do we know if the 5C sold worse than if the 5 had been down 100 dollars – or compared to what the 4S sold at? We don’t know what those numbers are.
Leo: Right, they haven’t broken those numbers down.
Andy: There are still people coming in to buy iPhone 5S’s and on that basis there is not a problem that Apple needs to solve with an earlier phone release.
Leo: Apple did pay out 2 billion dollars to developers in the first quarter. That’s a nice chunk of change.
Rene: It’s amazing how their message over and over again was that “We are number 1”. They said that IOS7 is the most popular operating system, we’re paying out the most to developers. We have the highest usage demographics, more people are shopping on the iPhone. It was over and over again they hammered the fact that – I don’t want to say that it was “elitist thing“ that our customers are better than Android customers but they were making the arguments that value is to be had on the iPhone.
Leo: Who is that message for? Is it for developers?
Rene: At www.dc it’s for developers, at these calls it’s for investors.
Leo: It’s for investors. Does Apple think it’s important to get the message to consumers that we’re number 1?
Alex: I don’t know if the consumer needs to know but I do think it is important for them to distinguish raw sales numbers from actual impact. I think that’s definitely something they’re trying to distinguish there. We get that a lot of people are buying Androids but when you actually look at their usage rate, how many apps they’re buying and other things then you see that the iPhone and IOS environment is still superior according to them.
Leo: We’re number 1 where it counts.
Andy: I’ve always felt that is a really odd metric for them to really trumpet because for 1 thing there was 1 piece of snake oil, the talk about these signals. The single digit adoption rate for Android Kitkat which requires a little asterisk in the foot note that says it’s only available for Google branded devices. Which is in itself a very tiny sliver for the market when they release the code and make it available for the marketplace and then you start to look at that! I don’t think they’ve really made the point that we’re giving you lots of numbers that hopefully tell you that there are more people using our devices than other devices. I don’t think they’re making the statement of here’s how it makes our brand more valuable to you, the investor or how it makes our devices more useful to you, the user. It’s nice to see how many billions of dollars are being paid to developers but is it indicative of a huge app marketplace in which there are hundreds of thousands of valuable apps, or does it mean that a few developers who essentially know how to build a nice phone based slot machine, some sort of Smurf or Simpsons game, or is it just something as simple as that?
Leo: It is more than a 300% growth over this time last year, pay that to developers – that’s a big jump.
Andy: Nice for the developers but they – and I realize this is an analyst call – this is not an Apple commercial but a lot of people are going to be writing coverage based on that and drawing their own conclusions based on that. So I wish that Apple would spend some time really communicating how that benefits people who have money in their pocket and they want to spend it at an Apple store.
Leo: Here’s a consumer number that you will care about, 92% in a recent survey, 92% of Apple revenue comes from in app purchases – free apps from in app purchases – 4% paid apps and the remaining 4% from apps that –
Alex: The whole freemium thing drives me crazy.
Leo: Yeah but apparently it’s a way to make money, it’s what you want to do.
Alex: I stopped playing Clans versus Zombies, it was too much. But the in app purchase for field runners doesn’t bother me at all. I don’t know why. The way they implemented it in something like Plants versus Zombies as I said was a total turn off.
Leo: You can’t turn your back though if 92% of all the money Apple makes is coming from paid freemium. You’re right, I think the key is to make it palatable.
Alex: We’re about to move much more heavily into software development, we do some software development but we just hired a good programmer and we’ll be doing a lot more of that and we’re definitely, as we think about the structure of how we’re building it – that kind of data has really affected – like we’re going to build 1 really cool core app and then we’re going to add things to it, so people can basically A la Carte. The things that they think are important are basically some of what we’re doing, so I do think that it has definitely affected the way a lot of developers think including myself.
Leo: We don’t do our own TWIT apps, we rely on the kindness of strangers but if I were Houdini 7 or the developer who develops TWIT apps I would give the App away and maybe charge – hey for a buck you can get bundles. It’d be like a cable company. You want the Mac bundle – you get i5, MacBreak Weekly and iPad today. You know, like that!
Rene: It’s interesting, I think they gave out those numbers because there’s a lot of market share numbers floating around about how Android is so massive developers will inevitably turn towards Android first. They made the comment over and over again that games are launching on iPhones still, and exclusive games like Clumsy Ninja are doing well but also Plants versus Zombies had their biggest launch ever as iPhone exclusive. For the in app purchase stuff – and that’s all of our fault, I mean developers raced to the bottom, we said we wouldn’t pay 10 dollars for an app, we said we wouldn’t even give you 5 dollars for a racing game but boy we’ll give you 100 dollars if you let us get our cars back on the track faster.
Leo: You know what I would pay 5 bucks for? No NSA back door in my Angry Birds. I think that would be nice. How about that?
Alex: We had a hard time finding out exactly how that was implemented.
Leo: According to this – another Snowden link coming out from the Guardian: U.S and U.K, they include the GCHQ in the U.K spy agency, piggy back on apps, they specifically called out Angry Birds and Google Maps. The data pouring onto communication network from the new generation of iPhone and Android apps ranges from phone model and screen size to personal detail like age gender and location. Some apps according to the link you can share users, most sensitive information: sexual orientation, sexual preferences, and political beliefs. What’s not clear is, Is this a back door and the Apps Review denied it. I’m sure Google went, What, are you crazy?? Maybe they’re tapping into the data coming out of the apps somehow.
Rene: It might be a 3rd party advertiser that they’re plugging into.
Andy: I think that really points to what we really need is Federal Legislation identifying what kind of ownership you have over the information you are generating with your iPhone. It’s such a broad spread problem, it could be exploited by so many different people and there is so little down side to an app manufacturer putting this sort of stuff into their apps that the only thing that is going to stop them is that there is a law saying that you have to have an explicit warning, you have to have explicit controls and you have to have an easily discoverable page that says here are switches for each piece of information that we’re trying to collect from you. You need to turn it on or you can turn it off and it will be defaulted to on but when you installed it we told you where this page is and how to get it.
Leo: Did you see the Golden Nugget slide? Look at this slide. Golden Nugget, exclamation mark! Top secret by the way! Perfect scenario – Target uploading photo to a social media site taken with a mobile device. What can we get? Including bad clip art.
Alex: I think that one of the things that is always eye opening for me is when you have something else and you sign in via G-plus or whatever for example into an app and then what does happen with G-plus is you get this whole list of this is what I’m willing to give this app. Immediately I go in and go no, you can’t have all my contacts. It’s like there’s no reason for this app to have all that information.
Leo: We’ve got to find all your friends Mr. Lindsay.
Alex: Exactly, so I go through there and turn everything off. Sometimes they make it pretty manual to turn it all off but I do like that interface that it tells me ok we’re going to tie into this and there are some things that are useful to tie into and a lot of things that are not. I want to make that choice as the user.
Rene: John Siracusa recently said that he would like to see HIPPA style guidelines for personal information where it can only be used for your benefit and if you use it for anything else there has to be a lot of disclosure but also the penalties have to be severe enough that the manufacturer and the service provider care when they get discovered because it’s just a small fine that is a tiny percentage of the income they derive from exploiting you.
Andy: We’ve been talking sometimes about the new rash of Apple apps that have been more vague and Zephyrs hovering in the midst while kids chase after Elves while holding an iPhone. I don’t dis-like these apps but I look at a situation like this and say “Oh Apple put out an ad that says here’s how secure the iPhone is here’s how hard it is for an application to get access to data that you’ve told it not to get access to.
Leo: That would be great.
Andy: I really want see more ads like that because that’s something that Apple can still absolutely kick everybody else’s butt on. It’s not something that they put in as a response to – Snowden’s disclosure is something they did simply because that is the philosophy of the company. We want to work for the best interest of the user and for nobody else. We set up our company so that we make our money from the users and nobody else. So we’re going to be protecting the users and nobody’s more important than them. I’d like to see more stuff like that.
Rene: Tim Cook said that he was really impressed with the ABC interview. He said you’d have to carry it out in boxes if you wanted to get their servers. It’s a hyperbolic statement to make but there are a lot of people at Apple –
Leo: We’ll bring the boxes next time.
Rene: They feel passionately about this and they aren’t any happier than we are about these kinds of rumors and they probably make it their life’s work to make it inaccessible and I think that is absolutely right. They should market that as the differentiator.
Leo: I agree. I know there’s some people who would say oh they protest too much, they are in cahoots but I believe them, they seem to be pretty incensed about the whole thing.
Andy: There is no company I trust more than Apple. Which means I don’t have blind trust in them, but if there was 1 company that I believe is going to defend my data and my interests it’s going to be Apple and not another company.
Rene: It’s hard to walk back the things they’ve said now. It would fundamentally alter the nature of relationship with Apple if they turned out to be lying about any of those things.
Leo: Our show today brought to you by legalzoom.com. I want you to visit Legalzoom to save on your legal needs, and if you need a lawyer you can even get 1 through Legalzoom. There are some things like starting a business, protecting your family with a will – they’re not like your other new year’s resolutions. You can’t afford to blow them off, you should be doing them and you probably shouldn’t be doing them on the back of an envelope. So yeah it’s okay to say “I’m going to snack less or I’m going to exercise more but you really ought to also think about incorporating or forming an LLC for your new start up. You’ve got to protect yourself and they’ve got a simple questionnaire at legalzoom.com. It starts at 99 dollars and there are over 1 million entrepreneurs who’ve done it. You know what I like about legalzoom besides the fact that I like them and I use them? 90% of the customers like me who use legalzoom recommend it to family and friends. A will – 69 bucks, or even a living trust; you don’t need a lawyer to do this. It’s quick and easy, you’ll get peace of mind and you get protection. No surprise fees, no hassle, no headache. Legalzoom’s step by step process was created by a team of experts in law and technology. Now I want to tell you, they’re not a law firm but they do connect you if you need it to 3rd party attorneys. You can see the profiles and the reviews of the attorney before you sign up and it’s a pre-negotiated flat rate so they will help you with their self-help services. From wills to business formation, trade-marks and power of attorney and more, legalzoom.com and when you visit legalzoom.com please use our discount code MBW. Let them know you heard it on MacBreak Weekly and we’ll give you 10 bucks off at check out as a way of thanking you. Legalzoom.com, 10 bucks off when you use MBW as the offer code. We thank them so much for supporting MacBreak Weekly. Andy Ihnatko is here from the Chicago Sun Times and Ihnatko’s Almanac and the 5x5 network fivebyfive.tv. Rene Ritchie at imore.com He does like 8 million other podcasts at the iMore network. Good stuff, some very interesting interviews and so forth, really well worth checking out at iMore.com. Alex Lindsay who’s work is so secret we cannot even mention it. I just want to point out he’s in Washington D.C with a perfect connection to the internet.
Andy: Ah so is that where they’re headed in Star Wars 7.
Alex: Turns out they were talking about oh let’s do Star Wars in LA and I was like why don’t we do it in Washington D.C. We’ve got a lot of fiber here.
Leo: DC, it’s the natural place.
Andy: It’s only 2 steps away from – in terms of political ultimates.
Leo: And you know why not make it easier for the NSA to spy on you right?
Leo: Just embrace our new –
Alex: They’re right down the street.
Leo: Apple’s pushing deeper into mobile payments. Wall Street Journal article: Physical good, Eddy Q is meeting with industry executives to discuss Apple’s interest in payments for physical goods and services on it’s devices. Jennifer Bailey who runs the online stores has moved into a new role: to build a payment business with in Apple according to 3 people. Not 1, not 2 but 3 people with knowledge of the move. Ms Bailey did not comment. Apple has sat on this passport for a while now – what is it called? Passbook. I don’t even use it, nobody uses it because it’s got stuff, it’s like your starbucks card in there. You can’t really use it.
Rene: I use it for boarding passes, for starbucks, for movie tickets.
Leo: It’s not living up to it’s potential until you can pay for stuff with it. Right?
Alex: I agree.
Andy: I think it comes back to what we were talking about a little bit earlier. There is no company that is more trusted than Apple. When Google started Google Wallet there is going to be some amount of trepidation about what happens to the information I’m giving you. Another company there would be some trepidation about – I’m really not sure I want to give you access to my bank account, cause I don’t know if you’re really secure, but if Apple decided to be go between my bank and anybody else I wanted to do business with that’s what would be fascinating to me and I don’t think there is another company that would be as capable.
Leo: Well they are also leaving money on the table. You can book an uber car and pay for it all with in your iPhone but none of that money goes to Apple because it’s all in the Uber app. It would be good for Uber and it would be profits for Apple if you could pay for it with your iTunes account.
Andy: It’s a pain to have to type in your account information. It really bummed me out the first time I used the Amtrack app to just buy my ticket from the airport back to my house and realize oh you’re not going to just let me push a button and charge it to iTunes. Ok I’ll do it but it would have been so slick.
Leo: Well especially if I could just press my finger on the finger print reader and it goes right through.
Rene: That’s the remarkable thing that Tim Cook actually said that yesterday during the conference call which was probably unusual but he said we build touch ID for a reason, we’re only using it for a few things now but – and he goes back to what they said about the demographics and how much people shop on IOS, but given the demographically reported you can easily see what kind of business that is and that’s probably the closest to a statement we’ll ever get from Tim Cook on a conference call.
Leo: Well the numbers are strong. Apple has 575 million registered users, more than half a billion credit card numbers so that’s a lot of people. A forester analyst said Apple is a sleeping giant in the payments world. They have the capability – they just haven’t tied it all together.
Andy: Or there is the other question, do they have the desire, because this is such a huge and obvious opportunity we have in the world… because everybody in the world is so sick and tired of identity theft and also a world where everyone is sick of their banks, making things more difficult and more cumbersome and not evolving as fast as devices are. If Apple decided to go one step more and not simply use iTunes as a payment system but to try and create a money services cloud sort of thing, OK granted that you are now into the one territory that Apple kinda stinks, cloud services, but this is definitely an area which some company is going to come along and absolutely change everything. And Apple has all the pieces, the question is that Apple always wants to have a really nice, lean product portfolio that they can pay either full attention to, or something that’s going to pay off for them big in two or three or four years’ time, so they might not like the distraction, also there is the problem of what happens when you use an iTunes transaction to pay for something and then the transmission on the car breaks and now you can’t get,…. and now you have no leverage against this company, and you feel though that Apple is partly to blame for it, because Apple will not re-invalidate this transaction that was fraudulent or some-one who scammed you for some reason so maybe Apple simply says that, I really don’t want…. We, we dodged the big bag of hurt known as blue-ray why would we want to pick up this bigger bag of hurt, known as being the Mom that these two squabbling brats come to when there is a disagreement.
Rene: If I wanted to intermediate though and do what they do at the App store and take a small percentage of the transaction in exchange for validating it on the device and processing it on their end.
Andy: Just as way to say that I… we have this users credit card information and we are not going to give to you the person, we are not going to give it to anybody but we will verify that we have given this, credit card number to the transactor and was sent back to us and we are communicate back to you the seller that this transaction is viable and will go through. The one thing I want more than anything else for me to be able to check into a hotel without this front desk ever having to see any of my credit cards, or to be able to pay for a meal. Even when I travel and even when I am home I pay cash for all the meals that I take because I just don’t like this idea that I am going to give you this credit card and you are going to walk away with it, and then you are come back and give it back to me. That just scuse me out like nobody’s business, but
Leo Laporte: Chip and pin my friend,
Andy: Yep Chip and pin,
Leo: Yesterday Apple released, what is now becoming a regular report on National Security and Law Enforcement Orders…..Apple joining a number of other companies like Google I think who started it on FaceBook…. These are transparency reports letting you know what they are giving to the government. A couple of things I’d point out on this one. First of all the raw numbers themselves, they say that they have received somewhere between 0 and 249 National Security Orders, that’s all they can say, because they are National Securors don’t like to reveal any more information than that. They have received 927 law enforcement account requests from…. within the United States, a total of 2330 accounts, the number of accounts for which data was disclosed 747, Apple objected in 102 cases, no data was disclosed in 254 cases, 81% of all requests were responded to with some data 81%. But remember the warrant Canary Clause that Apple included a couple of years … couple of months ago in their transparency report they quote was that Apple has never received an order under Section 215 of the USA Patriot Act. And the thinking was that call it Canary because if that language were to no longer to appear in the transparency report then you would know that they had received National Security letter – clever way of revealing what they’re not have supposed to reveal, and that language is no longer in this report, so I don’t know whether you accept… so is that the Canary triggered? Or maybe the Feds said, “You know you can’t do that, get that out of there”!
Renee: Either way something changed
Andy: I wish that…..I wish the numbers are encouraging when you compare, especially how many devices are just being sold, much less used. But, I believe that this is more of an indication of how little the government needs to actually go to the top…..go to Google, go to Apple because our lives are so leaky that it’s like that I can either go through all the rigmarole of getting a warrant to search your house, or I can wait for the second or every alternate Tuesday for which I could take all of your papers and put on them on the kerb and we can just simply get there ten minutes ahead of the recycling truck and will have everything we want. I wish it were as simple as saying that the government is not that interested in peoples’ transactions.
Alex Lindsay: It’s amazing what you can get from just by doing a Google search, I mean, when you think about the government in having a little more than that, its amazing how much of a cloud of information can be generated without a lot of extra work.
Leo: They did say the thing that Andy wanted them to say, and maybe they should say this in a more public fashion than this PDF on the Apple website.
”We work hard to deliver the most secure hardware and software in the world, and we will continue to provide our customers with the best privacy protections available. Personal conversations are protected using an end in end encryption over iMessage and Facetime and Apple does not store location data, maps or series requests in any identifiable forms. So that’s the kind of language you wanna hear …right….?
Andy: I kinda want to see it in a commercial, so it will sell so many more cells, so many more phones.
Leo: Big update iWorks, we got the Apple script back in numbers, the spread sheet program in iWork, password protected, sharing web and mobile. Apple is keeping true to its promise, and this is what they said we’ve got to rewrite all this stuff to bring it up into the 21st Century in 64 bit, but so as a result as we did with iMovie and Final Cut we took stuff out, but we are going to slowly edit, and updates went out about less than a week ago to iWorks across all platforms and IOS OS 10 and iCloud, a lot of new things a vertical ruler, pages customised pages
Andy: Gorgeous web app, even outside of the rum of Apple, that’s a gorgeous web app and should impress anybody and what a modern browser is capable of.
Leo: Ya, I agree do you have to go to iWork.com to use it? Or its part of your iCloud, I had it as Beta, is it generally available now at iWork? How does that work?
Andy: I haven’t checked, I mean I haven’t fired up my Chrome Book to test it out, in the previous ederation you could use all these great iWork tools for $249.00
Leo: It works great on the Chrome Book.
Andy: Ya, so good that some Mac users who are budget minded might even seriously consider if I really want an 11 inch Mac-Book Air but I really don’t really have a thousand dollars to spend on that, if you can get a look at iCloud on a Chrome Book, you might find that if you are using iWorks as your main document store and you have an easily predictable list of requirements for a notebook you can save 200 to 750 bucks, and you feel very little pain in the outcome of it. I have not tried the new one and I’d be surprised if it didn’t work, because the old version, just worked like a charm.
Leo: It still says Beta in the upper right-hand corner.
Renee: It’s open, not developers only, non developers have gotten in.
Leo: I think they have just really - what’s great is that they are updating across all platforms, so a new feature in…. immediately on the web means that it is instantly reflected everywhere else and vice versa.
Renee: That was the benefit of the pain we went through, they took the IOS core and went over to OS 10 and it hurt really badly but now we are going to benefit.
Leo: Ya, I think that this is great, and I am very pleased, and you’re right I mean it looks like a web app and, infact I am running it in Chrome, it looks almost as good as a desk-top app, I guess it does look as good as a desk-top app.
Renee: It’s phenomenol!
Andy: The new version of iWork really threw me, when they went into a single window interface, they had a lot of fear that they had really dumbed it down in order to make it universal like that. But now I have built three, four, different really complicated presentations, and, keynotes, I can’t really identify anything that I have lost, or anything that they have taken away that their website will point out to me what exactly they have taken away, at least you just love when you get your draw and it will drop attitude to realize that, and they simplified it, and they didn’t make it dumber. That’s neat; I think that Apple does that very well.
Alex: This all you can do with Google Docs in the browser, and that is why it is so limited, and not because of the browser. It turns out that it is limited because it is limited.
Andy: Think about how much hell Google got when they moved a single like button in Gmail, when you have so many people who are devoted to this, and not really fans of it and not really believers in it, but people who use it day in day out, who simply that this is a hammer that they pick up and they wack things with it.
Once they decide to change the shape of the handle, its not supposed to be that shape.
Alex: I am the first one to do that with Google. We do Hangouts everyday, you know 300 Hangouts a year, and Google’s constantly changing the interface for the Hangout. And we always wake up and one day the buttons are in a different place, and then a whole bunch of emails, why did you that. …Blah…blah…blah. So I definitely understand, and we are the worst of that bunch.
Andy: Also Google is really good in that how they completely re-wrote Maps, and they have a really good policy of how they roll these things out. When its ready for Beta, they will simply give you a little pop-up that says, we have a Beta new idea, if you want to use it, if you don’t want to use it we will do nothing. That is almost exactly what the box says that if you don’t want to do this nothing will change, and it will be OK. And so they get the people who are enthusiastic for the new experience while holding onto the people with the old experience. And there is the point to be made that if Google Docs works the way it does right now is because that is the way Google wants it to work.
Leo: So the Apple script is back in numbers and not yet in pages and keynotes, but perhaps soon. It’s gratifying that they haven’t orphaned them and continued to update them. Ya Umm Well, we should mention the MAC 30th, I feel that we have talked a lot about it. The whole big thing on TWIT this week, on January 22nd 1984 the Super Bowl had why 1984 won’t be like 1984. I like it that was good, what was the copy, in January Apple will release Macintosh and you will learn why 1984 won’t be like 1984, I just remember the young woman running down the chair with a sledgehammer.
Andy: I think that is like the test if you are a Mac fit or not, just the grunt that that woman exerts when she is throwing the hammer, if you can identify that instantly then you a really a MAC person. I am sorry you can come to the party, but you can’t come to the velvet-robed part of the room.
Leo: Here we go, I might as well go ahead and play it, we have talked enough about it … here we go (played an old MAC commercial) if you were one of the drones, tell us about it.
Andy: Something that’s just occurred to me, that has never occurred to me no matter how many times I watched that. I am so surprised that all the. …Cowboy conventions that I have been I have not seen one woman in that outfit. That would be the most awesome costume ever, because, because everybody who would see that, they would say: Oh my God I have to get my picture with you. That is the most awesome thing ever.
Leo: No kidding, wouldn’t that be amazing.
Andy: I almost like right now want to go to Dunking Donuts and buy a hundred dollars Dunking donuts and my Starbucks gift card and have that waiting in my wallet, so that the first time I see some-one, female ideally I will be open-minded, really I am looking for a woman and not a hairy guy. But again I am open-minded. If I ever see that I want to be able to reach in may pocket to say please accept these hundred dollars in pastries and high-end coffees with my compliments.
Leo: So that was January 22nd and that was the Super Bowl, 24th Steve Jobs did that famous announcement at the Flint Center in Cupertino it was actually a shareholders meeting. This was a proto-type for future Job’s keynotes. It wasn’t exactly how it would be in the future and it wasn’t even open to the public for one thing and he pulls the Macintosh out of the bag and the Macintosh talks back to him and the Chairman fires him. And then Harry McCracken wrote about this in the Technologizer at TechlandTime.com. Apparently, then January 30th Jobs went to Boston and the Boston Computer Society, you weren’t a member of the Boston Computer Society at that time…
Andy: That was about three years, four years before my time.
Leo: Harry was, he says he unaccountably decided not to go to that meeting and he regretted it forever. Well, if you didn’t go to the meeting, here is some good news, apparently all the Boston Computer Society meetings were recorded on video tape, with professional recording, good audio, better infact than the share-holder meeting and they were all stored on pneumatic tapes and recently digitised. So if you go to this Times magazine page you’ll see this video for the first time, available to the public, and this is pretty much the same announcement (Jobs Video Playing) he goes through the history of the computer. The difference by the way that Jobs is now talking to enthusiasts, to potential customers, no longer is he talking to shareholders, he pulls the MAC out of the bag, and the MAC talks and the Chariots of Fire theme (more Jobs footage) PC came out in 1981, so that was the competition. So Harry says that the shareholders meeting was a rehearsal for this, this was the more polished version of the Macintosh reveal January 30th 1984 thirty years ago. He sticks the floppy in the drive a single 400K floppy in the drive, this is pretty You Tube, and they may have never seen this before, probably haven’t actually. So people think they have seen this before. You have seen the shareholders meeting and this video is much higher quality video, the geeks are excited about this, this is a very smooth scrolling like bit map font
on the Macintosh screen, you I think the Xerox alto did, Lisa might have done for a lot more money.
Andy: A lot of this was the excitement they hadn’t seen in things, there were built in features for a computer, which would have been 800 dollars, right. Even Jobs would have said it was good to get out of that bag.
Leo: That was amazing, but not unheard of as you were saying, amazing for a general purpose,
Leo: It’s not a sound card, what’s really great and different in this is that he has got the MAC team with him, you’ll for instance this is it Andy Hertzfeldham demonstrating MAC paint, (more audio footage from commercial), much of the team is there from the software. And Wasch shows up in the middle, unannounced to start plugging in the Apple tube; umm it’s really fun. And then at the end, this the question Steve did not want (more footage). What’s going to happen to the Apple Three (more inaudible footage), Steve just said I wouldn’t have called on you to ask the question and then lies (answer) 100 percent failure rate. The cast did not want the Apple Three, and did die shortly after and they also this is really fun. Afterwards they show the question and answer session, here’s Wasch talking (more audio footage). So this is a great video, it’s about an hour long and if you haven’t had a chance to see it, it’s on the Times Magazine Technologizer Blog.
Andy: It’s also cool just to see how the user groups worked earlier in the eighties. I just have such deep-rooted nostalgia for these kinds of videos for these kind of things. Every month 250 to 300 of all skill levels getting together to get information that they are not going to be able to get otherwise, and these were places where OK so here comes Bill Gates to give a talk and he is going to hang around for a while to chat with everybody afterwards for…..there are handlers there but he knows it all in the user group….I don’t need you all because I am talking to people who are not going to say stupid things.
Leo: It really is, you know BCS dissolved a few years ago may be three or four years ago.
Andy: 93, 94 it was hanging in my office like a few doors down I have my the Boston Peer Society MAC Group trade show banner covering the entire wall of an office to remind of that non-cynical… that that little boy who walked into a meeting and thought that the world was ahead of him, instead of realising that this was a world of crushing, crushing.
Leo: You had the BCS on the East Coast and we had the Mackintosh users group B-MUG on the West Coast and you were going to the BCS meetings and I was going to the B-MUG meetings. And that was really the hey-day of the user group and in many ways I think that we still need user groups but nobody goes to many more so. That’s Time Techland.com if you want to watch that video.
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Ladies and gentlemen it is time now for our picks of the week’s list, lets start all they way over on my right with Rene Ritchie of iammore.com, Rene
Rene: I realized a long time ago that there is absolutely now way to keep up with Alex when it comes to picks of the week. So what I could do though is, I got my boss the guy who actually founded Moghul Nations, he ordered the new MAC PRO, and it didn’t arrived yet. But his three 4K monitors did,
Rene: He ordered the Dells when they were on sale in New Haven, by sale I mean only like 3 grand instead of four grand, and like any self respecting nerd he wasn’t going to just let them sit there, so he started trying to see if he could hook them up to his MAC- BOOK PRO. He started out by putting all three of them in and it didn’t really work because they could drive two of the displays but the one in the HTMI port would be blank. So he unplugged that and he found out that if he plugged two of them in they would infact work. But there were few problems like Chrome does not really work on 4K; you have to do a bunch of hacks to get Chrome to work if you are a Chrome user.
Leo: Oh that’s a bit disappointing.
Rene: They are updated about eight times a day. I am sure that they will get to it
Leo: Well it reminds a lot of when the retinas came out and the public were happy for a while.
Rene: Chrome on MAC is like one of those movie sets where it looks like a real house
And when you go behind it and it is held up by ya you can hack it the 30 megahertz, they have 30 hertz refresh rate, he says you get used to it after the cursor moves around for a little while, but he has not got an ungodly amount of pixels. It will better when OS10 properly supports the sort of scaling they do on retinas display, where they take real retina images and down scale them and size the interface appropriately, because right now they are either really big or really small, but apparently you get used to that too. But I just like the idea that even on a retina MAC-BOOK PRO that amount of pixels cannot be enough for a human being. And if you have the money to spend you can get a couple of 4K screens right now, not in February or March when your MAC-BOOK PRO you know ships and enjoy them immediately.
Leo: And we should mention the reason you have the Apple TV up there…… there is an article ……by the way that 4K display is an article on iammore.com right.
Rene: Yes, if you want to do that at home, if you have a couple of spare 4K screens lying around.
Leo: See I have the MAC-BOOK PRO, it’s the opposite, see I don’t have the 4K screens, I don’t think I will either. You point out there is now tab on the Apple store, you know it always said shop MAC, shop iPad, shop iPhone but there is still a shop iPad tab but now there is a shop Apple TV tab, nothing new to say, but you speculate and you may be right there might be something new coming. You think?
Rene: You know both Mark Herman and I had articles up in the last couple of days to say there was an update coming from their sources that there was an updating. Also there are some more things I think that I said this before, that if you know where to look, the talent that has been transferred to the Apple TV division over the last half a year, or so is astounding within Apple, the abilities of these people alone means that there is something pretty special coming.
Leo: Yah, Interesting, we shall watch with great you think it’s a new software update or is it hardware?
Rene: Any really meaningful soft-ware that would let it run apps or games would require new hard-ware, because there is so little, there is a single core A5 chip and its only 8 gigabytes of LAN flash memory which is really too little to do anything substantial with so if they are going to get it to gaming, if they are going to get it to entertainment programming, they are going to need to soup it up quite a bit.
Leo: Seems like the A7 has been great.
Rene: I want an A7 in my house.
Leo: Alex Lindsay in Washington D.C.- your pick of the week.
Alex: It’s cold here.
Leo: Is it?
Alex: Ya it is cold but I can tell exactly because of my pick of the week, I can tell exactly what its like. Have you seen; have you seen the Dark Sky?
Alex: I really. …weather means a lot for our productions. It is so cool… now obviously cool to see that it is overcast, its 18 but it is rising, but it feels like its 12 and you go through it and it will draw a little graph of exactly. I mean it is a really well designed, pretty app, you know that visually tells you everything you want when you are looking at it. And you know, I don’t know, it looks they spent a lot of money on the weather for broadcasts as well, and you don’t know if you need all of this, bit it sure makes the weather though fun to watch. You know there’s so many things there, so much information so if I scroll sideways ofcourse I get more information. But if I do a quick scroll down I get the actual 3D earth, with the actual live weather, you know precipitation, clouds, I can do precipitation or temperature, I can close that, I you know there is just so much information packed into it that, but again it doesn’t, you know overwhelm you like, so for instance where it says overcast 18, feel like if I tap I get to see the wind is 35 percent an hour, the humidity is 10, and you know pressure 10-28 and mba and falling, invisibility is 9.8 miles, I don’t know if I need all of this stuff, but I love the fact that it is in one application and it is so well built, pretty, and anyway it’s the best weather app you know ever made, and you know I just love the fact that somebody went through the trouble to make this and I was quite happy to spend three dollars and ninety-nine cents, the cost of latte on having this super awesome app, and just really showing you how all this big data, but all this data, that often at times escapes us and being available, is available and can now be on our iPhone. So anyway it’s um really cool.
Leo: Buck 99 Dark Sky I am sorry 3.99 I just made it cheap.
Alex: I was like how did it that drop while I was reading all that.
Leo: Based on forecasts that I owe I’d keep that bookmark there in my web browser, because it’s all the same content, and it’s just great. Umm….. love it good choice Dark Sky.I’d keep it as a discount but they didn’t.
Andy: Tell’em Leo sent you.
Leo: Tell’em I sent you, cut that price, Andy Ihnatko your pick of the week.
Andy: My pick of the week was a weather app, called Dark Sky.
Leo: No, No.
Andy: It was.
Leo: Oh! My God
Andy: But I had that in a Google Doc, that nobody had picked that, but I picked it first, but that’s alright I am fine. But it’s an endorsement for the app. I was talking about this earlier that it’s one of the first generation IOS 7 that show why this was so important for Apple to make such a big change. It’s a gorgeous app, absolutely a hundred percent task focused, and provides minimal amount information and clutter too, to re-provide the maximum amount of mission purpose, and so that’s what I like. So instead I’ll choose two alternative picks, which I just ran out of the studio, into the living room to get. Moonrise Kingdom, which I just bought on Amazon.
Leo: Love that movie.
Andy: West Anderson is a very devisive sort of film-maker a lot of people think that he just does these really like twease sort of things. This is I think the best movie made yet because you really have to understand that it the really distinctive set design and direction, the flat direction set and the props and the cuteness of the story on the surface of a larger stories. It’s rare that you see, I love the fact that this is a very, very simple, but very, very beautiful story about two kids and their first crush, and this a sort of a pre-tease this is Diana Damrau’s new cd. One of my favorite operatic sopranos. This is a combination of Strauss and Broadway believe it or not. And so A she’s absolutely fantastic, if you want to do a Google search for her work at Del Strada’s she’s at the La Starda doing La Bohoeme. I think that she has just finished that run right now, do some You Tube searches for some videos for matches to show exactly you how fantastic she is. When I found out that her next album would also have stuff from Westside story, The Phantom of the Opera, The Wizard of OZ and the Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs and Mary Poppins. When she’s singing stuff from My Fair Lady she is a German who is trying to sing the part of a Cockney, in German. And these kinda of songs don’t often work out because you’ll have you know Placido Domingo singing….. I could have, but she really knows how to suit her instrument, to suit the material and it’s really absolutely beautiful, its Diana Damaru singing Stephen Sondheim. That’s worth it. Unfortunately, it’s not available in the US yet because we’re dummies, we don’t like beautiful music, but you can special order it and it’s about the cost of a regular CD anyway. I kept, if anybody at Warner Classics is listening to this I have been trying to get the US release date, I actually waited like a month and half and then I emailed directly and they said it is available in the US, and I said, “No it isn’t.’’ Someone in your company thinks that it’s being released in the US and it hasn’t been yet, and it needs to be releases, because it is like really really cool. That’s my desperate alternative picks of the week, and also CVS brand flexible bandages. You know 99% of infections are not due to tsetse flies, it’s due to a simple cut that has not been sterilized, with this budget brand fabric it’s slightly waterproof, and smells really good after three days, and you haven’t changed it yet. CVS flexible fabric.
Leo: And Anderson in our chatroom gave the single most incorrect thumb nail of Moonrise Kingdom. It is actually factually perfectly correct, he said, ‘’It’s a Bruce Willis Movie.” It’s technically true.
Andy: And it’s like, I want to see Bruce Willis do more roles like this.
Leo: Technically true but it’s not a Bruce Wiilis…..
Andy: He was clearly cast to type, but the awareness that Bruce Willis cannot be the only kinda guy who climbs into a dangerous situation to save some-one, but he can also be the guy who can be very, very sad and disappointed with himself and the world around him.
Leo: And by the way I will have to take issue with one thing you said, it is not West
Anderson’s best movie that title goes to the fantastic Mr. Fox.
Andy: O.K.I will amend that happily to that I don’t believe that he has made a better film than Moonrise Kingdom. I love Moonrise Kingdom.
Leo: We can argue.
Leo: And he has a new one coming out, Istanbul Hotel?
Andy: It’s a hotel…..looks good.
Leo: And the Undersea world of Steve Isitzhou… what’s his name Steve Isitzhou.. …. was also very good. But I think that fantastic Mr. Fox. So that’s my personal vote……….so Tenna Bobs.
Andy: It’s kind of an acquired taste.
Alex: I get about halfway through and ok, I fall asleep. There’s not enough edits,
Leo: And, it’s the Grand Budapest Hotel.
Andy: Do you have a gaping void in your chest and you kind of put out something hard and black and cold in its place.
Alex: I don’t sleep very much, so I am really good as long as things keep moving, and so if I sit down, we get the like, slow edits.
Andy: All I will say is that there is a scene in which Bill Murray emerges from a closet, naked from the chest up, holding a bottle of red wine in one hand, and an axe in the other, and modestly announces I want to go in the backyard and find something to chop down. And then walks across the scene and leaves from the other door.
Leo: In this kind of oddly constricted set, it is you know, any movie with Bill Murray is a good movie. Well I’m just going to move, we have spent enough time on all of this, and say I move for an adjournment, ladies and gentlemen.
Andy: I second it.
Leo: Do I hear any nays?
Leo: All in favor, let’s go. The motion carries. Let’s go
Rene: So say we all.
Leo: So say we all, Rene Ritchie is at imore.com, a better place there is not for MAC News but also great stuff too, and you will find it on the web in your favorite browser and there is Podcaster too, and thank-you Rene for being here, and I bet you can top Alex Lindsay’s fuller vortex of 18 degrees.
Rene: it was so cold; my Mom called me and said she was watching TV in gloves. I was blogging with my hoodie up, and even that couldn’t counteract it.
Leo: The Canadians are made for that weather, they are made for it.
Rene: What I don’t understand Leo is that people cross over from Siberia over the land bridge, and they we are so tired of walking they stopped in the Arctic Circle, and the ones who kept walking to Florida, hated them so much they never went and told them that it got warmer.
Leo: By the way the Darjeeling Limited is not on that list.
Andy: I would agree with that, and not every movie can be amongst his best movies. I would say that Moonrise Kingdom was his best, I would agree with Fantastic Mr. Fox, Moonrise Kingdom, Tenna Bobs and they are three of the very best and I don’t think he has ever made a bad movie.
Leo: Now I will have Alex Lindsay’s reaction. Alex is in Washington DC for a reason.
Alex; I think that they are great movies, I just fall asleep, whenever I see a great movie I fall asleep.
Leo: Like a lullaby. They are soothing.
Leo: Alex Lindsay is in Washington D.C. and for no apparent reason we won’t delve any deeper. He is also at pixelcorps.com and you can follow Alex Lindsay for further clues. And, of course, the wonderful and the talented Andy Ihnatko of the Chicago Sun Times gathered together all of us. By the way what is that picture? Area 51, what is that?
Andy: No, that it is the opportunity of Rover over to Mars after ten years.
Leo: Oh, that is Mars, we have got a panel of Mars for the ten-year-old rover.
Andy: I like the fact that we are all for, you know, like international brotherhood like scientists. But there is a whole bunch of people who cannot help but point out that yes, we’ve had Mars Rovers that were supposed to last a month, but they lasted for ten years. China, too bad that your 30-day lunar rover only clapped out after ten days. I think it’s adorable that you even tried.
Leo: Don’t be mean.
Andy: Everybody, say Good job China, with the Rover job. Good Job China. This is when they first landed and the a little find of Martian Dust.
Leo: Look at that, but it’s there and its working.
Andy: That is the inside of your cheese grater in your MAC BOOK PRO.
Leo: There is a banner that they can set back, really a beautiful banner.
Alex: Yes that’s right, it’s a Rover.
Andy: It looks really dusty and the worse for wear, but I am alive. We were made to suffer. That’s our lot in life.
Leo: We do this show 11 am every Tuesday that’s Eastern Time on Twit Tv, if you watch live you will be rewarded somehow. If you do not then you will always be able to watch on demand audio and video MBW ……You tube/mac-break or your favorite podcast like iTunes I hear its really good. Thanks for being here. Now get back to work, break time is over!