MacBreak Weekly 427 (Transcript)
Leo Laporte: Time for MacBreak Weekly! Alex Lindsay and Rene Ritchie are here, Andy's got the week off. We're going to talk about all the new iWatch rumors, or I'm sorry, Apple Watch rumors. What's changing at the Apple Store to accommodate the new watch and a whole lot more, MacBreak Weekly is next.
Announcers: Netcasts you love, from people you trust. This is TWiT! Bandwidth for MacBreak Weekly is provided by CacheFly. That's C-A-C-H-E-F-L-Y dot com.
Leo: This is MacBreak Weekly, episode 427, recorded November 4th, 2014.
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Alex Lindsay: How's it going?
Leo: It's going well. I see you've got the crane up and you're starting to rebuild the capital.
Alex: That's the new office actually, so we thought it'd be really great if it was right next to the capital.
Leo: Great to see you Alex, and it's fitting because it's an election day in the US.
Alex: I'm feeling very patriotic, I'm here in DC, not doing any politics though.
Leo: Did you see the networks there setting up for their coverage tonight and all that?
Alex: Yeah so the office that I'm in is actually Eurovision which is all the European TV networks are all right here, like on this floor. And the BBC is up on the fourth floor or fifth floor. So it is mass chaos here. This is the one safe room that isn't being used up in the whole building right now.
Leo: It's a big day. Also with us from Montreal where they are not voting today but will be voting several times in the next few weeks, Rene Ritchie of iMore.com.
Rene Ritchie: Alex looks so good it feels like we're in his studio.
Leo: Yeah, you know I think Alex is sucking all the bandwidth out of this show.
Alex: I think so.
Leo: It's all going downhill. Anyway, great to have you, Rene.
Rene: Thank you.
Leo: We are going to talk about Apple's annual report. Which came out right after our show, unfortunately. Did it, or did it not right after a show? It came out Tuesday at 3:46am. I guess we talked about it a little bit last week. In fact, we did. So forget it, nothing to say here. Moving on. Starwood Hotels is going to let you, this is good for you, you big travelers. And both of you I know travel quite a bit.
Alex: I can't wait.
Leo: You're going to be able to use your iPhone or your Apple Watch should you get one, to open the door. In fact you won't even have to go to the front desk.
Alex: Oh that's so awesome. And it will tell you what the room, I stay in a lot of different rooms and one of my big challenges is remembering every night which room I'm in.
Alex: I used to be really good at it, I used to have really good short term memory where I could remember where it was and now I get there and I'm like uh, I think that was last night's room and this room is something different.
Leo: I can only imagine.
Alex: And having it on my iPhone and being able to just say you're in 318 and walk up to the room and click it would be awesome.
Leo: They should give you walk in directions. Turn left at the elevator bank.
Rene: Eye beacons.
Leo: Eye beacons. This way Alex, your heavenly bed awaits! So it's not all the Starwood property, Starwood's a lot. I think Sheraton is Starwood, Weston is Starwood, it's going to be at the W which is a fancy Weston. So fancy they don't need the eston. The Element, I don't know what the Element is, a loft. A loft.
Alex: A loft is kind of their hip hotels that are you know, they're usually something they took over that was not as high end.
Leo: Oh it's like a boutique.
Alex: Yeah it's a little bit more boutique but really driven more towards business travelers and so on and so forth. They're cool, there's nothing about them that are really snazzy, like doesn't feel like big things but they figured out what all the amenities that most of us want that are traveling all the time and so it works out well.
Rene: And there's one right across from Cupertino.
Alex: Which I'm sure is like $1000 a month. The entire South Bay is super expensive and then the weekend is cheap, if you ever want to vacation, the South Bay, Cupertino and Mountain View those are places to go over the weekend because like $10 a night. But Motel 8 is like $300 a night during the week.
Leo: It's like where I used to stay in Toronto, The Drake. Where it was an old flop house, it was on Queen's Street. It was on the very end of Queen's Street and it used to be like where bums lived. And then they fixed it up and started charging $1000 a night.
Leo: Do you remember that Alex? We did a show on the roof there.
Alex: I do, it was really swanky.
They just made it all look shiny. Is it Joie de Vivre hotels that are all over
San Francisco and kind of like that but not quite as nice.
Alex: The Drake was much nicer, that was a great..
Leo: Ian Shrager does these things.
Alex: Was it?
Leo: I can't remember what we
did, it was on the roof we did one show, might have
been this show, I can't remember but we were on the roof.
Alex: I think it was TWiT, TWiT on the roof.
Leo: I also remember that hotel for its restaurant where they showed in a loop old computer chronicles episodes.
Leo: And I remember sitting there with Amber saying “Someday we'll be on that wall.”
Rene: You probably were for a decade.
Leo: I think we are. There's the old call for help episodes. Anyway, sorry I got distracted. So. Here's how this will work. And it's going to be soon, after booking and reservation at a keyless hotel, you have to be an SPG member. Starwood Preferred member. You'll be invited to opt in to keyless and then you'll register your phone, you'll have to have the Starwood app on there, approximately 24 hours before arrival Alex will receive his or her room number, giving him time to memorize and a Bluetooth key via the app. I guess that will just be, I don't know what.
Rene: Or some sort of token that lasts for as long as your reservation lasts.
Leo: That's clever. Upon arrival at the hotel, you can completely bypass the front desk where available. (looks confused)
Rene: Just walk to your room.
Leo: Where there's no front desk available you still have to bypass it, and go directly to your room. Then after ensuring your Bluetooth is enabled, the guest simply opens.. this sounds as bad as Currentc. Opens the SPG app, taps the smart phone on the door lock, waits for the green light..
Alex: It just depends how quickly that order is required.
Leo: Right. It might be easier than that.
Alex: It won't be a big deal unless you're sitting there waiting. I think it probably has a better chance than some of the keys that we use now, you know you get these keys that you have to do like 6 times.
Leo: It would be so cool if you could use TouchID.
Alex: Oh yeah, just tap it.
Leo: Then you no one could get
in your room except you.
Alex: And they have NFC, here in DC they have NFC hotels. The Meridian and a couple other ones where you just take your card, and you don't slide it anywhere you just tap it.
Leo: I prefer that. In London when we stayed in London they had that. I prefer that because the magstrips get demagnetized right away.
Leo: A loft is in Harlam. Cupertino, Beijing, Cancun, downtown New York, that's south of..
Rene: The usual haunts Leo.
Leo: Hollywood, oh the W Hollywood, I've stayed there. That's actually good, that's a fun hotel. Looks like the place they make porn movies. W Singapore, W Hong Kong, W Doha and Element Times Square. Sounds nice.
Rene: There's some people who are worried about security for this kind of stuff but it doesn't seem any less secure than trying to carry a card around with you, and if you go in and lock the door and put the lock on the door you'll be as safe as anything.
Leo: Yeah, when you hear this kind of thing you say well I wonder how long before that's hacked.
Alex: But they all get hacked.
Leo: Card keys are hacked.
Alex: And the security guys can get all get into your car, the guys who work maintenance and the people who are cleaning your room, hotels are not the most secure locations in the world. You always have to keep that in the back of your head.
Leo: So you do tap the smartphone on the door lock but I guess because it's Bluetooth, or is it using NFC? Because Apple.. doesn't Apple locked out NFC to Apple Pay?
Rene: Yeah NFC is currently only available to Apple Pay.
Leo: So you can't NFC.
Rene: Probably using BTLE.
Leo: BTLE yeah it says. Based on Bluetooth.. if I had just read the rest of the article... based on Bluetooth LTE, not NFC, it will work with all iPhones from the 4s onward. That's the good news, because if it were NFC it would only work with the 6. And of course you'll have the option of a physical key in case your iPhone battery doesn't.. oh that's a good point. I can't get in my room, my iPhone battery is dead.
Alex: I actually would have that problem often.
Leo: Yeah by the time you check your..
Alex: Although a lot less with the new one than I had before.
Leo: This makes it look fun, here's the ad from SPG. Is this it?
Leo: Even a dog could get into your room. Oh this happens to me all the time, my arms are full of shopping bags but now I can just wave my phone. Who's this? Oh this is from The Shining. That's the kid going down.. oh my god it's The Shining! Watch out! Don't open that door! That's kind of cool that they had that little … I like this, they're playing to the hip crowd right?
Rene: Sorry, I left my phone in my room and I can't get in.
Leo: Yeah! “I got it.”
Alex: He's the cool guy.
Leo: They're the band. Yeah that's the road manager obviously. And then who's this? Oh, Miley Cyrus is there. Wow this is a very hip ad. Open up and crosscheck. Oh this is funny. Yeah that's what businessmen do.
Alex: What I'm really amazed at is the...
Leo: Whoa whoa we've got children present.. we're going to close that.
Alex: What I'm amazed at is just being able to open your door has opened up all these other possibilities of finding a hotel that just didn't exist before.
Alex: I think it's quite amazing.
Rene: Until you're locked out.
Leo: I have never had that much fun in my life. Wow. That is awesome.
Rene: And just (indistinguishable, audio quality is poor).
Leo: (laughing) Um. Alright, so that's cool, they say it will be in 150 hotels by the end of next year, it's just rolling out in these few at first. If I have an android phone are they discriminating against me.
Rene: You have Bluetooth on the android phone, they just need to make an app.
Leo: Are they not pushing this? By the way Aloft in Silicon Valley, Jeff is reminding us is the one with the robot. That brings you stuff. They haven't mentioned that much lately.
Alex: I had no idea. I had no idea there was a hotel with a robot that brings you stuff.
Leo: Aloft Cupertino.
Leo: So you say I need a toothbrush, I forgot mine. They take a $50,000 robot, put a toothbrush on its head..
Alex: I have to admit I wouldn't feel as bad about asking for a toothbrush if a robot brought it. I always feel bad when some dude comes up and brings me a toothbrush.
Leo: I know! But you don't mind bothering a robot.
Alex: No, no I don't mind bothering a robot at all.
Leo: I've got better things to do.
Alex: I might even complain about it being late.
Leo: BonnieWorld is absolutely right in the chatroom, she's pointing out that Disney World has
those magic bands with RFID and you don't have to open an app, you just go
(makes clicking noise.) I think a key with RFID is actually a little bit
easier. But this has a cool factor, right? We do not think that the Apple Watch
is going to be out before Chinese New Year. That was the thinking, Ben Thompson
of Stratechery on TWiT last
week said I think.. he's in
Taiwan so he's very tuned into this.. given the size
import of the Chinese market that Apple will announce the iWatch right before
the February 19th Chinese New Year because that would be a very
popular gift in China. Remember that the Apple Watch showed up in China Vogue
its first appearance. But, Apple's retail senior vice president Angela Ahrendts has apparently sent a video to the crew saying
it's going to be a busy, busy time. We're in a, we're sprinting a marathon.
Going into the holidays, we'll go into Chinese New Year and then we've got a
new watch launch coming in the spring. It's a pep talk she was giving, but that
is a little bit of a leak. I know you've got your finger on the pulse of the
Apple rumor, Mark Irman had this. What do you think
Rene: I thought it was always going to be spring, I didn't know that was really up for debate. Apple has fairly set schedules even when they've announced things in January, they've shipped in March or April and just always appeared like a spring launch, Chinese New Year is more important in terms of manufacturing because they've got holidays and then the factories shut down, at least I believe they do. So they probably wouldn't try to do anything over that period which means there's usually a healthy distance between Chinese New Year and when products are released, but it's also unsure if this will be an international launch for the iPad, for the iPhone. Those both debuted in America first. It took a couple months for them to go international after that, and there's no indication that the Apple Watch will be any different. I believe on the US website it says coming early 2015 and everywhere else says 2015.
Leo: What does early mean to you? What is early?
Leo: First quarter?
Leo: January February March April.. May? No.
Rene: First or second quarter. March or April. Again that's when the iPad launched and it's when the Apple TV launched, the more recent version of the Apple TV. Apple just tends to do things according to.. they're not predictable but they do follow patterns.
Rene: Plus it's time, why put it out in January? Nobody's going to expect it and everyone will have just spent their money on the holidays. Use as much time as you can to get it as good as you can.
Leo: The analysts say look you already missed the Christmas season so after that it doesn't really matter. But normally the first three months of the year are the slowest time for Apple. Wouldn't you love to have a product in January February or March? Even if it's just the last few weeks of March so you could boost up revenues for that quarter?
Rene: The last few weeks of March makes a lot of sense, again that's when the iPad debuted but we also don't know how many they're going to make at first and if you put it out during a high volume quarter like Christmas or Chinese New Year if you're going to launch in China, you have to be able to supply all of those and Apple's been constrained before with Retina, we don't know what the constraints will be with the watch, if any. But the iPhone 6 was constrained. The iPhone 6 plus very constrained. So I think the spring is when they launch these new things for a reason. I think it lets them get enough space after the holidays but they don't have to meet crazy amounts of demand and it's a good quarter to launch things in.
Leo: And there were rumors, I don't know how credible, that there are.. minor I think they said, supply issues. I don't know what parts there.
Rene: All the time Leo. Apple announces a product and then they're constrained and not going to make the deadline and then they launch anyway.
Leo: I know, it's just kind of boiler play right? You just..
Alex: And one of the reasons that they have so much trouble with supply issues a lot of people say like why doesn't Apple just sort this out? They should just be able to make.. they're one of the biggest companies out there. But the thing to understand is that the way they make everything is the hardest way possible.
Leo: What how? What makes it so hard? What do they do?
Alex: They make decisions about for instance when they first came out I think I mentioned this in another show, but when they first came out with the trackpad for the Macs they decided that they really wanted to be a certain way and it wouldn't have the buttons, and it would have a certain surface to it and the failure rate on that was, and this is something we don't usually calculate into the cost of the product when we think of margins and everything else, is the failure of the trackpad was 40%. That was the rumor, so 40% of the ones they were making weren't working. And when you look at the finish of a lot of these products that Apple makes, they do things that are very difficult whether it's thinness, the way the glass bevels, the way everything fits perfectly together, and the QA is really high, also means that they a lot don't come out the other end. They literally may get a lot made and then some certain percentage especially in the beginning while they're still sorting out mass production because you really can't know what the problems are going to be with mass production until you're doing it. I mean I'm sure that they've sorted out most of those issues but I think that that makes it very difficult, and the watch is packing a lot into a very small piece. I imagine there's going to be a lot of issues when they get started on it.
Leo: Of course, when you have a new category you don't know how well it's going to sell and I don't think you can assume the Apple Watch is going to sell at the same clip as the iPhone or even the iPad.
Rene: Nothing is going to sell the same as the iPhone, that's a classic thing. The iPhone is the most valuable consumer electronics business ever. The iPad doesn't sell as well as that, nothing else does. So the question is really is it going to sell probably better than an Apple TV. Maybe not as well as an iPad, where does it fall in those range between the two. Is it more like a hobby or more like a tertiary device?
Leo: That's actually a greater question, more interesting frankly than the rumor question because who cares, all these rumor questions? And as somebody in the chatroom pointed out, even the idea that it would ship by Valentine's Day or Chinese New Year was merely something analysts made up. I like the quote, let me give him credit. “Analysts are the only people who can be 100% wrong 100% of the time and still have a job.”
Rene: Analysts and weathermen.
Leo: And weathermen. So yeah. But here's the larger issue. And maybe a more interesting issue is how Apple sees this watch. Is it seen as a.. do they wait for instances to say the Apple TV is a hobby and wait and see how it sells or do they kind of say “We know this isn't a front line product for us. But it's a category we're interested in.” What do you think?
Alex: I think they're going to go full bore on it. They've spent a lot of money on design, I think they've spent a lot of money on PR, they waited and probably put this announcement off quite a few times. I think that they definitely see this as a large category. A lot of people see it as a large category. I think that watches and wearables are probably one of the biggest things we'll see at CES in January. I think that figuring out ways to have us be able to do a lot of those things, and I think that it completes a lot of things that the iPhone starts when it comes to making payments, when it comes to going into your hotel room, getting through security on your door. In an office.. all of those things are great on a phone and much better with a watch.
Leo: I have to say that I'm a little more convinced of the category having worn the Moto 360 for about 6 weeks. I actually do use it, and I would miss it if it weren't on my wrist. You agree? Jason, you wear one too right? Jason Howell is a producer but also the host of All About Android.
Jason Howell: Yeah I mean I completely agree. There have been a couple of days where I've accidentally not charged it and I authentically miss it the next day. Which is kind of weird because what are we using it for? Every once in a while I look at it for the time, but I think what it is is siphoning off the important notifications that wake you up. You know what I mean? Otherwise it's just this phone that's in your pocket and you almost like, continue to ignore it because it goes off or you're so used to it being there and going off and just ignoring it. If it's on your wrist and you've set it up properly and I'm sure the Apple Watch is going to do the same thing then those notifications actually become very useful.
Leo: That's actually a big point, which is that it takes you a while to kind of configure it.
Leo: To make it useful. So out of the box it may not be that useful, for instance I think out of the box all notifications go through, and who cares about half of them? But if you configure it so that the really important stuff is what you're notified about, I think it could actually be very useful. And it does the steps and the heart rate. It says get up and get off your butt, stuff like that. I think it's good.
Rene: It's interesting because the Apple TV was cast as a hobby because of an entrenched media television sort of network that Apple was going to have a very hard time moving anywhere, so they always wanted to set expectations like we're feeling this area out but because of cable companies we're only going to be able to go so far. With the iPhone almost everyone was moving to mobile phones, they just had to convert people from mobile phones to iPhones. And that's different than not everybody wears a watch, not everybody wants a smartwatch. A lot of people wear watches as jewelry or Rolex because they're patternized or Omegas. So there's not this entrenched base of people who are going to naturally as part of the replacement cycle all move over to smartwatches. So it's a little bit different, it's not quite the same as both. It might be more like the iPad where it's this extra thing that nobody got right before and there's a market for it but it's not like the phone where you have to have it, sort of like do you want this instead of a laptop? And it will be a little more nuanced and a little less complicated. I do think notifications are interesting, I think for a lot of people notifications start off being interesting and quickly become interruptions so you turn them on then you realize “Oh this is stopping me from living my life,” and you turn them off again. But the sort of passive modes where it's just logging everything, where notifications aren't really notifying you but they're keeping track of things so when you want to go there you can see them without pulling out your phone. It's sort of like this is a little shuttle craft and your starship is your phone. And it's going to be dependent on that to begin with the same way the iPhone was utterly dependent on a Mac or a PC to begin with. But over time it will get more and more independent and it will be able to do all these sort of useful tasks, these passive tasks for us in the background and it won't bother us, it won't disturb us, it won't take over our lives. But it will just let us control our Apple TV or find out who the last person was who called us or see how many miles we walked, all of that when we want it to.
Leo: Not a hobby in other words.
Alex: I don't think so.
Rene: No, it will make a lot more money than a hobby.
Alex: I think it's a big category, I think a lot of people are trying to figure out what to do with their fitness bands, and the fitness bands are trying to get to being a watch but I think it's going to be hard because building the platform, it's not... like the iPhone and like the iPad, the iPhone started off as just being ahead because it was a really great interface but really what made it as popular as it is is the platform. And I think that, and of course the iPad was able to build on that and I think that the platforms are going to work, I think that it's going to be. And I think that's going to be the hard part for the fit bits and a variety of other ones that are trying to move into that is can they build a platform that's as compelling as what Apple's able to do.
Leo: You saw the HP Chrono Wing. (laughs) At least HP did one thing right, they got a designer; Michael Bastian.
Alex: I really want the computer. I want the 3D computer, I don't know about the watch thing.
Leo: 3D computer? I don't know that one.
Alex: HP came out with this computer that's a mixture of 2D and 3D.
Leo: Forget it, you really want that? What are you nuts?
Alex: It looks fun. I build those from scratch, I build stuff like that.. well not the 3D but all the other stuff.
Leo: It's kind of like the postcard where it's looking at you or whatever.
Leo: You don't want that, trust me.
Rene: Apple is hiring, apparently.
Leo: Go ahead.
Rene: Oh I was going to say, Apple is apparently hiring a dedicated advance list for watch kit. Just to help developers get applications moved over to the watch.
Leo: Yeah, they should.
Rene: Yeah because it's not a 1:1 transport, you have to re-evaluate and re-imagine your application for the watch. And that will be a big deal, you know if Twitter is a really great experience, if a bunch of the apps that you use and love every day on the phone are a really great experience then that makes the watch more valuable to you.
Leo: That could be as much of a holdup as anything else. You want it to launch with some useful stuff. So this is the Chrono Wing smartwatch from HP. This is all LCD by the way. There's no physical, but it does have a bunch of buttons. No touch screen, no microphone. Just a bunch of buttons. (laughs) And apparently the Yankees beating the Red Sox. I think that HP doesn't understand that that is a loaded thing to say. 7-2 9th inning. This is a notification watch, not a health watch. I think everybody, you know what everybody's doing? They're getting it all out before Apple does, because they know once Apple does it..
Alex: Well but I think the problem they have, this is exactly why Apple made the announcement was Apple, unless there's a lot of people, I mean Samsung talked about how their quarterly earnings were lower because everyone was waiting for an iPhone, and the same way Apple really has kind of sandbagged the industry, everyone's going to put out a whole bunch of ideas. But anybody who's really serious about this is maybe not going to buy the Apple watch, but they're not going to buy something else before it comes out. They're going to want to see it.
Leo: So you were talking about the HP Sprout?
Leo: Okay. It's not exactly 3D, it's virtual reality. Augmented reality computer.
Alex: But it can scan, and then they have 3D printers coming out as well. So there's a lot of..
Leo: I would want one of these, this is cool.
Leo: Yeah this is cool. And of course it will be available sometime.. oh and it's next week.
Leo: You know what this looks like? You can get something like this for the iPad that's really cool. What is the name of that little hood you put over your iPad camera and then it has … $70, you've seen that. Your kids would love this. What's the name of it chatroom, you know what I'm talking about? iPad hood. A little hood, it uses the camera. Oh I'm never going to find it that way. We should order one, it was a Kickstarter I think and now it's out and you have actual real world blocks, the iPad camera can see them and then you can do a tangram and it will show it on the screen and you try to match it, and it goes “bing” when you get it right, so they're already doing this on the iPad. It's kind of the mix between real world and digital world.
Alex: Well I think with this PC I think what will be interesting is getting a way, finally someone's doing something. I don't know if it's going to work or not, but someone is finally doing something different than a keyboard and a mouse and everything else. They're going to experiment with it and it gives them a little R&D to work with.
Leo: Yeah. Here's the Osmo, this is actually really cool. It's available for $70. You play on the iPad with real people and real objects. They have several games. Let me make this fullscreen so you can see it. This little thing, all that really is is a mirror that goes on your iPad's camera. And now she's going to do the tangram. So put the tangram on the screen, she arranges it, and it kind of knows what she's doing because it's got the camera. And then there's other ones for like... have you seen this Alex?
Alex: I have seen it, it looks pretty cool.
Leo: I think it's available now, $70. And they have a variety of little games besides that that you can do. There's a word game. And... this is cute, they show little kids doing it. I want to get past the tangram though. There's the words too.
Alex: Tangrams, I think the problem for me was when I was in school that was kind of detention for me.
Leo: How about this, this one you draw a picture, and it's a physics.. you actually create a physics game with real markers.
Alex: That's cool.
Leo: Now that's awesome, right?
Alex: Yes, it is.
Leo: I think this is really interesting, so HP is just stealing this. I'm sorry. Of course they don't have a 3D printer. Oh look! The dinosaur becomes part of the game! You put a little rubber dinosaur on the piece of paper.. see now I like it. Now how much would you pay? I'm going to order this.
Alex: Whether it's this or Osmo..
Rene: Wait, there's more!
Alex: ..what's really interesting is being able to add, using really this interface that can constantly be upgraded, can constantly be improved, so you just have to figure out, how do we get it into that computer? And I think that we're going to see a lot of these things where we're trying to figure out how to just get something into the computer because then we're able to constantly improve it, rather than constantly building hardware devices and shipping out different kinds of blocks to schools and everything else. A lot of it's going to become more and more virtual.
Leo: I'm excited about the iWatch, I'll buy one. I'm also skeptical. I'm excited and skeptical.
Rene: Which one, stainless steel, aluminum, rose gold?
Leo: Oh, rose gold. No, of course not. But I don't want the sport one either. So I think the middle one. These things are already $350 and we don't know what the middle one is going to be. What do you think the stainless steel one is going to be?
Rene: Closer to $1,000.
Leo: Yeah. Sheesh. This habit of mine is very expensive.
Leo: A very expensive habit.
Rene: It's for the listeners, Leo.
Leo: I'm doing it for you!
Leo: Just for you. According to other information, it's not a rumor, but they're telling the folks at the Apple store, employees will get extra training to sell the watch and you will be able to try it on. It will be more like going to a high end dress store and you'll get to.. “Well I don't know, what do you think? Does this watch make me look fat?” Try different bands and different accessories, different colors.
Rene: That go with my eyes..
Leo: They're pointing out that normally when you go to the Apple store, everything is tethered with a cable. But.. and I don't know if this won't be, but I think it probably won't be if you're going to be able to try it on.
Rene: It needs some interesting remodeling.
Leo: Yeah it's a whole new thing isn't it? They're going to end up looking like Macy's. They're going to have glass cases with haughty people standing behind them. The watches in there “Would you like to try one?”
Alex: Well once you start charging that kind of money for a watch, you really are buying your way into that.
Leo: You have to.
Alex: That's kind of part of the thing, if someone's going to spend that kind of money, it's not something that's a well-known thing like a tablet or a phone or something like that so you really have to, you're going to have to put it on and take a look at it. However I order everything online so I don't need that but I think a lot of people are going to want it.
Leo: I remember, Lisa drags me into expensive jewelry stores, I remember going to a jewelry store, probably in London. And she says “Well can I try that ring on?” And the woman says “..that ring?” She has to get a key, get a manager. We get ushered into a separate room, they practically lock the door behind us for her to try it on. I said “Well just out of curiosity, how much?” “$250,000.” No wonder!! But if you have a $10,000 watch you're not just going to let.. some Joe comes in off the street you're not going to go “Try it on, see what you think, go look at it in the sun!” You can't do that. Right?
Rene: Different buying experience.
Leo: It's a very different experience. So they're going to have to redo the stores and.. it will be interesting to see what they do. Alright let's take a break, we got a great one. I got lots more to talk about, and we got the best guys here in the business to do it. I miss Andy, we miss Andy. Taking the week off, but we've got Rene Ritchie from iMore.com and the debug podcast which is an awesome podcast and so much more, it's all at iMore.com. Alex Lindsay who has nothing to plug because he now works for the federal government in a secret role.
Alex: I'm coming to you from an undisclosed location.
Leo: Yeah I can't figure out, where the hell is he?
Alex: See and I even have a little ear thing so I can go..
Leo: Did you zoom in on the capitol building?
Leo: Yeah do that. Would you do that? I think you zoomed in on the capitol building.
Leo: Did they move your little cube out farther on the..
Alex: Yeah, it's on the..
Leo: High rise? There is a place on that roof there, because I've been there. Actually you're in a different one because that used to be The White House behind you.
Alex: Yeah, this is a different picture.
Alex: I know, I know.
Leo: But it's moving!
Alex: Exactly, it's.. you know. Well you know there's feeds. In this building there's feeds from all over the place.
Leo: Oh, so what else can you
put behind you? Can you put The White House? Can you be like in the press room?
Alex: I'll see if I can get The White House.
Alex: No, everybody's busy. All the switches are busy right now because of the election.
Leo: Oh because of the elections. So you're stuck in the capitol.
Alex: I'm stuck in the capitol, it's going to be hard. There's a lot of congestion here in DC due to the election.
Leo: I just love, Alex is like.. it's like knowing a fantasy video wizard. Like some guy and it's just always amazing to see what you're doing.
Alex: You should wait, I've gotten very.. Andy got me thinking about that.
Leo: The crane cam 3000, the future of video podcasting?
Alex: I've been working on my own version of that.
Leo: Oh Andy's not going to be happy.
Alex: Well you know, I'll send Andy one. And Rene one. Right now it's a little bit of hardware so.
Leo: Is it going to be like a jib and it's going to float?
Alex: Yeah it's something like that.
Leo: Steady cam for a mini cam.
Alex: Yeah, exactly. You'll have to have gloves and virtual reality, get an Oculus.
Leo: I have an Office 365 subscription, I confess. You know, some people need me to use Microsoft Office and it's cheap, it's like $7 a month. Plus by the way you get unlimited now. Unlimited One Drive storage. Not a Terabyte but unlimited. But I still can't, I should because I know people want to know, I can't bring myself to download Outlook for the Mac.
Rene: (laughing) Because you looked at it first.
Leo: No, I hate Outlook. I hate it. What do you think?
Alex: I have to admit, I'm on the verge of getting rid of all local mail apps.
Leo: Yeah, who needs it?
Alex: I think that I work on different computers and one of the biggest things I get concerned about when I think about losing my computer, like if I misplaced it or whatever, is all my email. And so part of me is just thinking I'd rather just log in and get it all on the web. Once you get kind of used to that process, I think that it's actually a pretty doable thing. I haven't decided yet, the only problem I get into is when I'm on a plane, not being able to read my email. But outside of that, now that most of these flights have WiFi anyway I've been thinking of just ditching the whole email client altogether just to make sure that I can, you get it faster. If you're on Google Mail a lot of times the delay between when you get it on the web and Apple Mail can be minutes, which to me seems like an eternity sometimes. Somebody will be on the phone and say “I just sent it to you,” and if I go to the web, I can get it right then otherwise I can kind of wait around until iMap..
Leo: People still need Outlook though. There are some businesses. Like Premier Radio will send me calendar invites in Outlook and I say to them “What do you think? Who uses this? What are you, crazy?”
Leo: But it's Enterprise,
exactly. So tell me Rene that you installed Outlook on the Mac.
Rene: I can't do it Leo. I worked with Enterprise for so long and it was so painful that once I got out I just ran and never looked back.
Leo: Alright, that means I have to download it and install it.
Rene: I saw the interface that leaked and it was just horrible, it was like a button explosion.
Rene: It was not human.
Leo: You know, they say now it looks the same as it does on Windows.
Leo: That's a selling point.
Rene: It's the inhuman interface.
Alex: We have a producer without plugin and every time she opens it up I'm like “What is this, what are you doing? I don't understand, this is horrible. This is a horrible life.”
Leo: Well, okay..
Rene: They have an inability to say no to features, which is not always the best thing.
Leo: But if you're in enterprise, exactly right and you know Ars Technica says the new Outlook for Mac shines. Lee Hutchinson writing. But he does say licensing confusion gets in the way. Outlook for Mac, because they haven't upgraded Office for the Mac in four years, I mean we really are due for an Office upgrade, that will come later.
Rene: They even updated iWork.
Leo: Right. Apple's not doing it either. Do people not do work any more, is that it?
Rene: I mean they just did update iWork, they ported everything to the iOS engine.
Leo: They stripped everything out. Yeah.
Leo: Yeah that's not an update. (laughs)
Rene: It's a cross-date. It's compatible now and moving forward they're going to update it. But yeah it does seem like there's no pressure on productivity.
Leo: Yeah, like nobody really needs it any more. What the hay, who needs productivity.
Rene: We've got Photoshop we're fine.
Leo: I'm installing. Believe it or not, I'm installing it.
Alex: I just find that when I want to be collaborative we typically are using Google, when we want to go fast and make it look pretty then we use the Apple products, and the Windows products are kind of those bad middle ground that don't seem to really make any sense if you're an Apple user, unless you have to integrate with enterprise.
Rene: They're compatible.
Leo: So I've run the installer
and it just silently quit and that's all. I don't know what I'm now supposed to
do. That's it? What do I do? Outlook.. there we go. I guess it just didn't, oh there I see. There.
Product deactivated. Thank you! This must be that licensing hell that they're
talking about, so okay. Don't show my screen. I have to sign in now to my
Office 365. Anyway. Ars Technica says the issue is, it's
great. It's wonderful, love it. And licensing is a nightmare. It can only be
used if you have certain, not all Office 365 subscriptions. If you don't pay
for a monthly subscription or you buy a box, they call that the perpetual
version, you're going to have to wait until next year to get the new.. aww.. Not all subscriptions are eligible
apparently, so you have to have the right licensing. Let me see if mine is, I'm
just curious now.
Rene: I had a similar problem with Adobe, because I got the Retina iMac and I wanted to put Photoshop on it but I already had it on two Macs and I can't pay them more money to add another license, I have to either create a second account, or I have to log off of one machine, go log into another machine, which I never remembered to do and then they get cranky if you do it too often.
Leo: Yeah, at least Microsoft with the Office, some of the Office subscriptions. The one I have lets you install it in five different machines, so that's nice. That's kind of why I got it. Okay, sign in to activate Office. Sign in failed.
Alex: And Rene, so Photoshop gets cranky if you go into too many different computers? I haven't had that happen yet so I'm..
Leo: How many can you install on? I thought it was just for one?
Rene: It's two. You can do two and if you're on a machine that's not licensed you can tell it to forget all other licenses but it doesn't like you to do that more than once every 24 hours but you can log out of a machine if it's near you and then go log in.
Leo: That's good to know, I thought it was just one. That's good.
Alex: Once you install it, you can have two of them running at any point in time. I guess I don't' do it often enough to run into that problem, but I very frequently am on another computer and I just log in as myself and tell it to forget the other ones and I figure I'll get back to them later.
Alex: As long as they have LastPass. Because of course I gave it some long hash and it's the one place that doesn't, LastPass doesn't work as well because Adobe's got their crazy cloud weird flash thing that they install on your computer.
Rene: Yeah, I used the wrong password, I cut and paste like an animal.
Alex: Yeah, it's just like ugh. When you're used to LastPass and anything does anything other than the way it's supposed to work you're just like “Oh what am I doing here, this is stupid. What are these people.. they hate..”
Rene: We just want it to work, why do we jump through the hoops?
Alex: I know, I know. I just want to be able to click and have it go away.
Leo: Oh I give up. (laughs) I'll talk about it next week I guess. I should have, I feel bad, I should have installed it earlier.
Alex: Well this is the thing to talk about is the fact that it's a pain in the neck.
Rene: Dell and a group of ninjas are on their way to help you, Leo.
Leo: It's because you have to.. the licensing means you log in to your account, right because it's subscription and I've had problems with doing this in the past, but you know what it's me and this happens to me all the time when I use Microsoft products. I think that my mind doesn't work that way. And other people go this is obvious, Lee Hutchinson who wrote this is a senior reviews editor, he likes it so it must be good.
Leo: “Although one upshot of Microsoft's confusing licensing,” he writes, “is born out at Ars. Many of us at Ars use Macs with the enterprise version of Office 365 but we've found that most of the staff is unable to upgrade.”
Alex: That's Ars Technica. That's not like, the business guy somewhere or whatever. That's Ars Technica is having trouble upgrading their thing.
Leo: So maybe I don't feel so bad. “The problem appears to be that while Office 365 consumer accounts have access to the new Outlook, not all tiers of Office 365 commercial accounts do, and even if you have the new Outlook because of a personal consumer subscription it will not allow you to connect to an exchange server account that is not licensed at the appropriate Office 365 level.
Rene: That's such a headache now.
Leo: Shame on you.
Alex: Just imagine someone like waving this big red flag of we might have wanted to not make it hard to actually upgrade.
Leo: I give up.
Rene: Negative Ghostrider, the pattern is full.
Leo: This is why people use libre office. So Trent Reznor, many people you know think of Beats, they think of Dr. Dre. They think of Jimmy Iovine but they don't think of Trent Reznor who is the front man for Nine Inch Nails. He is in fact chief creative officer. He declined to have a headphone named after him.
Alex: And it would have been a good headphone, the Reznor.
Leo: The Reznor.
Rene: I'm declining.
Leo: He says “Yeah, no.” But he is going to do some stuff at Apple. He says that he gave an interview to Bill Boards saying he is fully in it right now. On an unannounced music project. Reznor's role is described as an evolution of his role at Beats. Quote “It's related to that, Beats was bought by Apple and they expressed direct interest in me designing some products with them. I can't go into the details but I feel like I'm in a unique position where I could be of benefit to them. That does mean some compromises in terms of how much brain power goes towards music and creating.” I think this is one reason you don't see Dre a lot at Cuperitno, because he's still in the studio recording and producing people. But Reznor says its' very creative work, it's not directly making music but it's around music. “I'm fully in it right now, it's challenging, it's unfamiliar, it's kind of everything I asked for and the bad thing is it's everything I asked for.” He says he believes streaming music is the right model for music distribution.
Alex: And he's been, Nine Inch Nails has been ahead of this for a long time.
Leo: Oh yeah.
Alex: So one of the things that they did in the early, I don't know how long ago, five or six years ago it was. Was they released, they actually put their album up on Bit Torrent and let everybody download it and then they had a CD that went out for $15 but then they did a collectors’ edition that I think there was 3,000 copies at $250 each and they signed the album and they signed the CD and they made an album and the CD and there was all this extra stuff in it, and they sold out of that in like a week or two.
Leo: Didn't they also do Garage Band projects so you could remix projects?
Alex: He took a whole song, they bounced an entire pro tools so they didn't build it in Garage Band but they took, they took one of their songs and they bounced all the tracks out of pro tools and put it all into Garage Band and it is like a master's course in how to mix.
Leo: Isn't it awesome?
Alex: It was both overwhelming and exciting and you could just sit there and dig into it for hours of looking at the transitions and how they're setting everything up, so he's definitely really seen that there's got to be new and interesting ways of engaging listeners. And there is a lot of tiers, I think one of the things that the music industry thinks of is everybody just buying singles or albums but what about the higher quality, the 24 bit audio, what about releasing albums that you can remix or pieces that you can remix and charging people a premium, there's a certain group of people that would do that and I think those are all things that he more than almost anybody out there would be thinking about.
Leo: I think it's very interesting, he sounds like he's redesigning the Beats streaming music thing. He says the quote “The right streaming service could solve everybody's problems,” and this coming a day or two before it was announced today, Taylor Swift has pulled all of her music off Spotify. Artists don't like streaming because they make so little money on it.
Alex: Part of it is it's a tiny little market right now, so of course people aren't making enough money because not everybody's doing it. But once you have 17 million or 15 million users, yeah that's a drop in the bucket but the artists are getting a percentage of the entire bucket. And so the thing is that as that, as you end up, and the trajectory is regardless of what artists want or wish for you know, 80% of the market's going to be subscription in the next probably five years. But as that happens the other thing is that you now are going to have, the pot that they're all sharing is going to be a lot bigger. And I think that is, I think a lot more artists are going to make a lot more money that way, in the long term. I think discoverability is still a challenge with a lot of these things.
Leo: Right. But I tell you, I think that the music industry will be very happy to hear that it's not a label guy, not an R&D guy, not a tech guy but a musician who is giving them input on what a streaming music service should be. Those are the people who it needs to serve us as listeners but it needs to serve them as creators.
Alex: It's awesome, it's great that it comes from a creator. It's also a musician who's told the music industry where to go for a long time.
Leo: Screw you. Right! Right on.
Alex: Yeah so he's like you guys are all crazy this whole thing doesn't make any sense and so..
Leo: I am going to revise my down signal on the Beats acquisition because I've thought this was dumb in every respect but I didn't count Trent Reznor in and the fact that they got Trent and that he's going to work on.. and I don't know if they're going to re-brand it, it would be a shame to throw out the Beats name, but a new subscription service from Apple early next year with the support of the musicians would be very exciting. I don't know how you can make musicians happy though. Apple's making noises about reducing the price. Spotify's already got their family plan down to $5 a month.
Alex: I think that Apple, while it didn't go off well, I think the kind of thing that an Apple subscription service can do is what they saw with U2 where there's big launches and Apple can do a lot of things that a lot of other subscription services can't do. I think that the U2 one didn't go as well.
Leo: Yeah they could force it down your throat.
Alex: They didn't really force it down, it's people who said that they want it, I didn't get it.
Leo: But I turn on auto download because I don't buy that much music and when I do I want it to go on my phone.
Alex: Right, right. I didn't do it, because I'm on Spotify. But with Spotify I downloaded almost everything. If a U2 album showed up on my phone, I guess I wouldn't think that that was an upsetting thing. I think a lot of people made a lot of hay out of that for nothing. But I think that there is, Apple can do a lot of those things and be aggressive about, exclusive, pay people in ways that Spotify can't to have exclusive releases on their platform. I think that, again I think one of the big things that a lot of people are starting to talk about not just for the music but for video and everything else is really thinking about how the taste makers are remunerated as well, I think that's part of the calculation that needs to be figured out. It's no longer going to be radio, it's no longer going to be product placement for music and so on and so forth. What you have to figure out is how how you get the 18 year old kid that everyone's listening to their mixes, how does he get to do that full time. I think that figuring out a way to spread that out so that you have the kids that are figuring this out or the adults that really know jazz or the whatever and having them actually get a little bit a cut of that pot so that they can make that their business, that is to me the future of radio.
Leo: Isn't that what Beats is all about? Isn't that Iovine said is that it's all about human created playlists.
Alex: It is but I don't think it's going to be human created playlists by a bunch of employees of Beats. I think it's going to be figuring out ways that humans can figure out those playlists, my brother for instance has great taste in rap music and these underground rap and all kinds of edgy stuff and I love, he makes me mixes and he always asks me what I want for Christmas and I'm like I just want another mix. And I think there are people out there like that that can make those, that we want to listen to. That we want to get those mixes from.
Leo: I guess.
Alex: I don't know, I do. I don't want to listen to the radio, I don't want to listen to..
Leo: Right. There needs to be some discovery system and it probably is almost always somebody you know saying “Hey you would like this.” ultimately, right? Even if it's a DJ on a.. I don't think these exist any more, on an album oriented rock station picking the music.
Alex: And that was the thing, I think we talked about it at one point in time, there was a lot of us when I was a music director for a radio station. My caller ran in San Diego. All of us looked at his playlist. When he picked something and all the rest of us at least listened to it seriously.
Leo: He was a taste maker. “I am on the side of streaming music,” says Trent Reznor. “And I think the right streaming service could solve everybody's problem, ownership is waning.” I think that's true. Remember Steve Jobs was the one that said “Oh no, you want to own that record.” he says “No, everybody's comfortable with a cloud now. Your documents, who knows where they are? They are there when you need them.” That's what you were just talking about with your email. “The idea that I've got my records on the shelf..” this is Trent Reznor, “..doesn't feel even to me as it used to. I just think we haven't hit quite the right formula yet.” By the way he grew up in north Pittsburgh, did you know that?
Alex: I did.
Leo: In the middle of a corn field.
Alex: I don't know about that.
Leo: It says it here, it says it right here.
Alex: I knew that he was from Pittsburgh, I didn't know..
Leo: He's a farm boy like you. He's a farm boy.
Alex: Yeah. His best album still is Pretty Hate Machine, in case anyone is wondering. You probably haven't heard that one.
Leo: Well. And Trent, by the way the occasion for this interview on Billboard is that he's turning 50. So kids today are not thinking of Trent Reznor as a hip guy. Yet he's doing music for films. He did The Social Network, he did a great soundtrack for The Social Network. His most recent is Gone Girl. Another Fincher film. So he's definitely making music that people are listening to, even if it's not Nine Inch Nails. He did, by the way, he says I was with Bono during the fated release of the U2 album, he says “I was with Bono that day, I was at the Apple event. We were hanging out after they did it. There's an immense sense of pride towards the album he just spent several years making, he was very proud of what he did but I think the misstep was the wording. If it would have been, here it is, if you want it, come get it. This is, by the way what I said, because Apple has a mechanism for that. I'm assuming the momentum of the situation led to the oversight in not thinking people might think intruded upon, so he's a little sensitive to that.
Alex: I think also guys that are moved out of alternative rock or any other, whether it's Stewart Copeland or Danny Elfman or Trent Reznor, they really see this is as a business.
Leo: Well it is, you have to make a living.
Alex: Exactly, and so they're figuring it out and they know that selling songs for them long ago probably hasn't been the thing that primarily payed their bills. Making music is still paying their bills but they're looking at it from a different angle.
Leo: Well I for one am thrilled that, I would hope that more musicians would get involved in this discussion and I would guess that Jimmy Iovine, Dr. Dre and Trent Reznor could probably bring in a pretty big crew of people and say “What is it that you need?” but I think it's interesting, I mean they're basically acknowledging that, look, people don't buy records. They listen to streaming music, so how do we make this work for musicians?
Alex: And once you change over to subscription service, I mean it took me a little while and I didn't quite get it and I had a couple false starts but once you get into subscription services you really stop buying songs.
Leo: Oh yeah, I love it. I like the hybrid. So I have to say, I use Google Music. Amazon would be the same where you can... actually not so much with Amazon. But with Google Music you've got the subscription but all your, it's kind of like iTunes match plus subscription, and I think that's something Apple could do where all of everything you've ever bought and everything you've ever owned and digitized is in the cloud and available to you on all your devices, plus this great streaming music service and maybe that's the key because I don't think musicians.. musicians aren't going to be happy unless they make more money. Period. Out of this stuff. So maybe if it ties into kind of “Hey you like this? Maybe you'd like to give some money to the artist and get some extra stuff or maybe you'd want to download it,” that kind of thing.
Alex: Well and I think also we're looking at different generations of musicians. I think the next generation of musicians aren't really when you talk to them, a lot of them aren't thinking about making millions from their..
Leo: Right. The platinum era is over.
Alex: It's going to be their concerts, it's going to be the T Shirts, it's going to be a lot of the other stuff that happens around their music and not as much selling it directly.
Leo: So what do you think? I understand why Taylor pulled her stuff out of Spotify, is that a mistake though? I mean there is promotional value to it. It's like saying “You guys can't play it on the radio anymore.”
Alex: You know, I think that she's in a unique position because she has a very intense fan base.
Leo: Well she has a brand new album. And they're young.
Alex: Yeah she has a brand new album and very young and very.. it is interesting, I think it's a big experiment to see how that turns out. I think that her label seems to be doing a lot of experimentation of holding back certain songs in Europe and taking it out of Spotify and I think that they're experimenting with, and they can afford to because they have 16 year old girls that are saving up all summer to see her four times. And I'm sure she's making a lot of money on her new album but I'm sure she's making more money on her concerts and so I think that they can afford to experiment. I'm not sure that it's going to work, but she's one of the few artists that can afford to do it without paying a heavy price.
Leo: And she's super savvy, I mean, if you look at her Instagram feed, she really used Instagram I think quite nicely to promote the album. Now it's pictures of her and people buying the CD. But before that, it was pictures of the lyrics- This was before the album came out. -It was pictures of the lyrics in different forms to promote it. And it would say, here's the bonus track. Two days 'til release. One day 'til release. So I think she really did a great job in promoting.
Alex: We have had the opportunity to work with a variety of artists and a lot of them have a lot of very savvy teens whether it's Alicia Keys or Taylor Swift, Bruno Mars... I mean, these guys are all folks that have big teams working on it and are working behind them planning this stuff out.
Leo: Look what else she's done, the physical CD of the new album comes with 13 polaroids, there are five different sets, 65 in all, collect all five, with a hand-written lyric from 1989 at the bottom. I mean, this is how you sell physical objects, right?
Leo: Brilliant. You might sell 5 CD's to a true fan who really just wants all five sets of polaroids.
Alex: I think that looking for ways to add value- For instance, when it got out that Apple was going to have stores and all of the Apple resellers were like, well you're cutting into our business. Well Apple wasn't cutting into the value ad business to the stuff that we provide for the video market or the business market. What they were doing was, you can't just sell Apple stuff. You need to truly add value as a reseller of our... And I think that there's a lot of places for artists to make money from working with their fans and providing goods that their fans really want. And I think that there's a huge opportunity there and thinking about it in the way like, I want to sell songs, is a very myopic view of what's possible.
Leo: Let's talk, PCalc. I like the PCalc folks, actually it's a single guy right Rene?
Rene: James Thompson.
Leo: James Thompson. He's really supported the podcast movement. For instance, he sponsored Jason Snell's page... It's just a calculator but he did something very interesting. He made the calculator work in the notifications bar so that you could install the app and then you would get an iOS 8 widget that would have a calculator in it. Apple yanked the app, saying, notifications center widgets on iOS cannot perform calculations. The weird thing is, it was already in the store, it had already been approved. Is it back now? I... What's the latest?
Rene: It's a complicated issue and it goes to the core of how the app store works or doesn't work, depending on your point of view. So Apple announced extensibility and part of that is today, the widgets. And they have it on both Yosemite and on iOS. Apple made their own widget calculator on Yosemite and did not make one for iOS. So James Thompson took PCalc and managed to get the entire calculator portion- It does a lot more than just calculations, it's a very sophisticated scientific engineering calculator. But he put the basic calculator functionality into the iOS widget. It got approved by the app store and got featured by the app store. And by the way, one thing that I'm not sure if everybody knows, but the app store isn't one thing. So, developer relations and app review are under Phil Shiller, who is the Senior Vice President of Marketing. Where app store management and app store review are under Eddie Q who is the Senior Vice President of Services. So Apple featuring something doesn't say anything about their review process.
Leo: Oh, so it wasn't rejected?
Rene: It was approved, by Shiller's review team and then was featured by Eddie Q's editorial team but the editorial team has no review previous. So it being featured means nothing other than, they saw it thought it was good and put it up on the store. Someone else maybe more senior in the review team said, wait a minute. This is not what we intended the widgets to be. We wanted them to be very quick, very light interactions or information - On iOS. On Yosemite, it's a different thing but on iOS, we don't want anything as fully-functional as a calculator here. We didn't expect it, and we didn't know anybody could do it. Because, frankly, James Thompson worked on the finder at Apple. He's a brilliant developer and this is one of those situations where- Apple has this group of situations called, unanticipated where they didn't think anybody could do it, and then they saw it so they called him- They didn't yank the app, they just said, we need you to remove this in a certain amount of time. And yeah, he was very classy about it, mentioned it on Twitter but didn't go running to the press or anything but a lot of us picked it up and looked into the story, and then Apple- I know I got an email about it that said, they removed it off of the chain- I don't know if it got all the way to Phil Shiller or not but they moved it up the chain, they evaluated it and then said, we're going to say this is okay. We weren't sure about it but took a little time to think it over and we decided this is fine. But this keeps happening, where it gets through review and then later they sort of deal with it. But it's hard to say what the solution is because, no developer wants several weeks of them trying to make up their mind of whether the app is approved. When new versions of iOS come out, developers are encouraged to use these new developments because they'll get featured, but if they use them too far beyond what Apple expected they might get rejected. And there are so many new apps to get reviewed by the time a new iOS version comes out, that the reviewers are going as fast as they can anyways so there's sort of a confluence of all the worst aspects of-
Leo: I can understand why that'd happen. What would their objection to the calculator be though?
Rene: Well, they would just remove the widget-
Leo: I understand, but why wouldn't they want it in the notifications?
Rene: They just thought it was too heavy for iOS. They didn't want you to be able to go to the notification center and just stay there. They were fine with you entering a formula and getting booted into the calculator app-
Leo: So you could put a tip calculator in the notifications.
Rene: It's supposed to just be you go there, press a button, and you're back out. Part of this, at least for how I'm thinking of it is, that there's no central app store. Angela Aarons runs Apple Retail and Apple Online but there's no Vice President of App store who's only job it is, is to make the app store awesome. Like a really passionate, really high-profile, really engaged individual who just wants to handle all of these things. So you have a bunch of different teams working on these things and I think as the app store makes more money maybe later in the year we will see more of a dedicated person in charge of that.
Leo: Got it.
Rene: Make it smoother for everybody.
Leo: I agree, they should have that. Angela is in charge of it now though, right?
Rene: Well she's in charge of Apple store, not app store. App store is the service is Eddie Q, the tutorial is Eddie Q, the management is Eddie Q, the review and the developer is Phil Shiller, the frameworks are Craig Fedderiki... So it's-
Leo: Yeah, you need one person. Because this happens again and again, it's got to be confusing for users and for developers who just don't know what the rules are.
Rene: And frankly, it's bad for Apple too because they get negative publicity and people think they don't know what they're doing. And a lot of people there actually used to be indie developers, they care about all of these things too, it's just navigating in the app store is not easy.
Leo: Alright now I get it. And by the way, it's back. They decided, oh you can have the calculator widget. But please don't put a Word Processor in there.
Rene: Well that's the thing, once they allow calculators, what's the next person going to try. Some things are very black and white, you can't have this you can have that, but some things are very blurry. The widgets are very constrained, they can't use a lot of memory because you need the memory to run the main application and what can you really fit in there and it's going to be interesting to see it shake up.
Leo: Patrick Delehanty says he wants Dune in the notifications. Christian Bale is out Seth Rogan is in, Christian Bale who was rumored to be playing Steve Jobs in the new Aaron Sorken movie Jobs, based on the Walter Isaacson's biography. Perfect choice for casting but Bale says, I'm not right for it. Too bad, back to the drawing board. But Seth Rogan, apparently is in, according to Variety to play Waz.
Rene: I think that's great for Waz, I think that's a much better pick than we've seen in other movies.
Leo: Much more sympathetic. I actually sent an email to Waz and he said he likes it. He's happy with the choice.
Leo: I would be, I'd be honored. Apple is opening a- Here it is. He's Waz-y. It's not about the looks and I think people focus on how much they look like that character, it's about persona. And that's why Bale was so good for Jobs because there's this artistic genius who is a little prickly, a little unpredictable, Bale had that volatile- You know, kind of you don't know what he's going to do. -Perfect for Jobs. It's not about a physical look, it's about the feeling. And Rogan has that cuddly, friendly, sort of goofy persona that I think is exactly right for Steve Wazniack. Apple is opening a Seattle Software office. Apple is opening a University in China. Apple is going to offer free Beats music on Southwest Airlines. You can already get Dish TV on Southwest with their Wifi but now you'll be able to get Beats music. They need to do more deals like that, you have to introduce people to Beats and I love the headphones on the airplane. Rocking out man!
Alex: Again, those are things that Apple can get really aggressive about in ways that, it's hard for a lot of their competitors to do. They can spend a lot of money on it.
Leo: Who's going to say no to that? Story from fiercewireless.com. We talked a little bit about the SIM that's in the iPad that lets you choose your carrier. Anybody but Verizon, they didn't want to play. It's just such a great idea because you could also if it wasn't AT&T who locks it, you could switch month to month and so forth. But don't expect that to show up in iPhones according to an Apple Exec. Jaz, Greg Jazwiack, he's the vice president of iPhone, iPod, and iOS so I think he knows what he's doing. He says the SIM makes more sense for the iPad than for the phone because most iPhones by far are sold by carriers. That's a good point, it's about the customer experience he said at Re/Code Mobile. Who you're going to use as a carrier and we want to make it as easy as possible, he's talking about the iPad thing. That's because they sell it retail through the store.
Rene: It'd probably still be better for consumers if they have Apple SIMs in the phones but it's not better for carriers.
Leo: I think really that's the subtext of this, is we have more clout with the iPad than we do with the iPhone.
Rene: I think you remember Leo, when they had a patent for a completely virtual SIM card and the carriers went bananas before they even floated it. Slowly we move.
Leo: He does think that perhaps the Apple SIM card will be available at some time. But he said anything that's new, people want to stop and evaluate it at some time.
Rene: Some countries still have dual SIM phones because of some places in India there'll be no reception in one area and there is in another. It'd be great for consumers if we had this technology.
Leo: Apple is rapidly approaching 1 billion devices sold, customers have download 85 billion apps from the app store. Jaz says Apple has a naive belief that if we just make a better product or experience that will be a market for it. That doesn't seem naive. If you build it they will come. Let's take a break, come back we'll get your tips and picks my friends. But first, a word from lynda.com. I do love lynda.com, we had Burt Monroy yesterday on Triangulation, he is the Photoshop guru and he does a weekly show about Photoshop that is so great and I love it so much. And it's free for the first week, you don't even have to have a lynda.com account, which I think is so cool. Lynda.com, you're going to want to make an account, because Burt also has courses- Let me show you Burt's courses, he has courses on how he made his newest painting, which he just released, which is Amsterdam Mist, he calls it, he has the pixel playground which you can go see free and he has the dreamscapes that are wonderful where he takes pictures and retouches them to make them dreamscapes. But then he also has the Amsterdam Mist, how he did it. The making of it and how he did it, the natural elements. He did a little bit of that yesterday on Triangulation and if you saw that, I think you probably immediately signed up for a course at lynda.com. That's the nice thing, you don't just sign up for a course of lynda.com you get free run of the place. You can take any of their thousands of their courses, all beautiful.
Rene: My connection with Burt other than TWiT and TechTV, he actually taught me Photoshop. He did a class in 1992.
Leo: You cannot get somebody better to teach you Photoshop.
Rene: There's a class in San Francisco for going from 2.5 to 3.0.
Leo: By the way, production value from Lynda.com is awesome. If you want to learn Photoshop from Burt Monroy you can. He is obviously on a green screen set because he is in the painting right now and it's amazing. It looks great, how did he do this? He did it with some Photoshop techniques and it's amazing. It looks great. I've got to say that's what's great about lynda.com, you're learning how to use applications from the masters. And they're not just very proficient at the program, they do it in real life. I don't know how lynda.com does it. But these are high-quality videos unlike homemade youtube videos, they break the courses up in to bite-sized pieces so you can learn at your own pace. Tools include searchable transcripts so that you can find the part you're looking for and jump right to it. Playlists, and you can get certificates of course completion which you can use on your linkedin profile. Whether you're a beginner, an intermediate, or an advanced user, lynda.com will have a course for you. While you're on the go you can learn with lynda's iPhone, iPad and Android. Lisa and I are doing a light room course on lynda.com. The best part is it's $25/month for unlimited access to over 100,000 video tutorials. You can get a premium plan too that means you can download courses and watch them offline. Premium plan members can also download project files and practice along with the instructor. Great stuff for Photoshop users but if you're interested in photography they've got amazing stuff, courses that cover composition and exposure, intermediate courses on lighting, and using Photoshop and the gimp to enhance photographs, advanced tutorials on things like color correction and mastering the Adobe Creative Cloud. And that's where Burt Monroy comes in, what a genius. Some of our favorite people, Derrick Story, Ben Gold, some of the best people are teaching at lynda.com. $25/month. Tell you what, apparently you don't believe me because you still haven't signed up. What if I gave you a free 7 day trial you just go to lynda.com/macbreak and now you've got the run of the place. In fact I think the real challenge would be, oh I'm going to learn that and ooh I want to learn that. If you're a developer you can learn Java, C, you can learn how to write for iOS, for Android, design patterns, game design, programming foundations, PHP, Python, Ruby, it just goes on and on it's such a great resource. I'm really glad to have a lynda account I've had a lynda account for years. Lynda.com/macbreak try it for a week today. You'll love it. Here's a good one, the nix software. This is the google plug-ins now, silver effects pro, which is the best black and whites tool, ever. Learn how to use these tools, you'll be so thrilled it will give you such satisfaction, lynda.com/macbreak we thank them for their support. Ooh, they've got a Swift Programming language course already, wow. Alex Lindsay, do you have a pick for us this week?
Alex: I do. So I do a lot of animation, like with logos and stuff like that, so a lot of things that have to be done very quickly. So one of the secrets of this is a company called Zaxwerks, they just released their new version, it's called Pro Animator. And this is a stand-alone piece of software that basically lets you bring in outlines so you can have your illustrator or EPS file and pop it into 3D and animate it and stuff like that, whether it's education or corporate. This is the secret weapon for almost every broadcast house I know so if you're looking for a way to do it, they make plug-ins for after effects and so on and so forth but they make the stand-alone one and they just released it and it's got all kinds of incredible new things. They've got this one that is called Ambien Occlusion that pays attention to whether objects are close to one another and it starts creating drop shadows and a lot of what's called instant scene, which takes a whole bunch of objects and does it automatically, throws them out there for you and there's a lot of these cool animations that really don't have to be an amazing animator to do this stuff. You can get a lot of this stuff very quickly so if you're thinking about a quick animation for your website or for your industrial video, or for broadcast. Because like I said, a lot of this is used for broadcast it's used for titles for movies. It's much easier doing it here if you're not going to make the commitment to really becoming a 3D guru. So I've used it since version 1, so I'm always excited every time. This is probably one of the biggest upgrades he has come out with. So this is a pro animator from Zaxwerks and it's a great value.
Leo: Zaxwerks.com. And it's only how many Alex's?
Alex: Only about one Alex.
Leo: It really looks cool, we're looking at the demo reel on the website.
Alex: When you look at the image based rendering, what's happening is you're literally taking something with your iPhone and throw it on there and say this is what I want to light my objects with so when you put your things back in the scene, it looks like there really in there. It's cool.
Leo: Mr. Rene Ritchie, you're pick of the week?
Rene: So like you, Leo, I've been playing with the new Retina 5k iMac. One of the things I wanted to do was test the gaming on it and I noticed that Batman Arkham City had been updated to support the Retina iMac so I downloaded it and then I wanted to control it and the keyboard wasn't doing it, and I have a trackpad, not a mouse and that was horrible so I bought an Xbox 360 controller. I plugged it in and of course, it didn't work. So I went to the usual place to get the usual driver that made it work but it hadn't been updated since Snow Leopard and while it continued working in Mavericks, it no longer worked in Yosemite. Some people said try an older one but that didn't work either so I did some searching around and I found a good hub depository that had an unofficial version of the driver. So I downloaded it and installed it. It makes it right in system preferences and once you have that installed, your Xbox 360 controller just shows up and you use it to play whichever games support game pads on the Mac. And the Xbox 360 is quite a good controller and I used it and was playing Arkham Asylum in 5k, admittedly, not at a fantastic frame right, but I was playing Arkham City with an Xbox controller in 5k. So it was fantastic.
Leo: Now somebody said in the chatroom that the PS3 and 4 controllers just work out of the box.
Rene: Yeah, I didn't have one and I was going to go buy one but I have lots of 360 controllers laying around.
Leo: Yeah, I have a bunch of 360 controllers. You don't know if there's an Xbox One controller mod.
Rene: I do not, I don't have an Xbox One. But I have enough 360 controllers and enough Macs that I could put one controller for every Mac.
Leo: Right, very cool. You're going to like this Rene because you're a real comic book guy. And I was hoping you'd be here for this too, Alex. Have you seen my new KeyCaps on my laptop? They are completely impossible to use. They have the little letters on there, it isn't just Marvel or DC but... These are from killerduckdecals.com. It was only $12. They have other skins as well and they came very fast, a couple of days after I ordered them. But it's awesome. They peel right off and so you can change your mind. Our show is every Tuesday 11am Pacific. And 2pm Eastern time and we've now retreated from Daylight Saving's Time and are now at 1900 UTC. We always make on-demand audio and video available after the fact at twit.tv/mbw. You can use our fabulous TWiT apps or your favorite podcaster. Thank you so much for joining us Alex Lindsay where you going next?
Alex: Thank you, I'm coming to San Francisco next. See you Friday and I know Mark Zuckerberg is doing his Q&A on Thursday but on Friday I'm doing my own Q&A. Go to askalex5 if you have questions on video so I'll be doing that. I'm thinking about kind of trying to make it a weekly thing.
Leo: Excellent. Rene Ritchie imore.com great to read everything there but also the debug podcast is a great thing to listen to. You do such a great job at it, imore.com/debug. Anything you want to plug?
Rene: We relaunched Vector recently so it went from an interview show to a panel show.
Leo: Hey thank you both for being here, Andy Ihnatko will be back next week and I hope that the both of you will be too, but meanwhile, time to get back to work because you know what? Break time is over!