MacBreak Weekly 446 (Transcripts)
Leo Laporte: It's time for MacBreak Weekly, our Saint Patrick's Day edition. Mark Gurman from 9to5 Mac joins Rene and Andy, we'll talk about all the latest Apple news, is Apple Pay really dangerous? Why the Apple Watch is priced just right and a whole lot more coming up next, you stay right here.
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Leo: This is MacBreak Weekly, episode 446, recorded Tuesday, March 17th, 2015.
Leo: MacBreak Weekly is brought to you by Shutterstock.com. With over 50 million high quality stock photos, illustrations, vectors and video clips, Shutterstock helps you take your creative projects to the next level. For 20% off image subscription packages on your new account, go to Shutterstock.com and use the offer code MacBreak0315. And by SmartThings. SmartThings lets you monitor, control and automate your home from wherever you are using your smartphone. Right now SmartThings is offering MacBreak Weekly listeners 10% off any home security or solution kit and get free shipping in the US when you go to SmartThings.com/twit and use the offer code TWiT at checkout. And by Blue Apron. Blue Apron will send you all the ingredients to cook fresh, delicious meals with simple step by step instructions right to your door. See what's on the menu this week and get your first two meals free by going to BlueApron.com/twit. BlueApron.com/twit. It's time for MacBreak Weekly, the show where we cover the latest Apple news. And man we had, we're still recovering from a marathon last week, this will not be a three hour edition I promise you. But we do have many of the culprits from last week back again. From the Chicago Sun Times, Mr. Andy Ihnatko is here.
Andy Ihnatko: Does this make us recidivists?
Leo: Yes. We can't stop.
Andy: Just another indicator that the podcasting prison system does not work.
Andy: I've become hardened in that three hours I spent in that podcast.
Leo: Podcast is the new black my friends. Also here from Montreal, Canada, Rene Ritchie is here.
Rene Ritchie: I'm ashamed to admit Leo, I just kept talking. I didn't know the show ended.
Leo: For a whole week, that's what Meerkat's for. You want to just keep talking. And lo and behold, you know we should call this show Mark Break Weekly because it's Mark Gurman from 9to5 Mac, every week he's got the scoops. He's here in studio, well sort of, via Skype. Mark, great to have you back.
Mark Gurman: Thanks for having me, I really appreciate it.
Leo: Yeah Mark Break Weekly was your idea, I give you credit for that. And by the way kudos because you nailed it. In every respect, you nailed it with a Macbook, you got that story months ago.
Mark: Yeah that was first week of January, during CES. It was a pretty big one.
Leo: And I didn't even believe you.
Mark: I didn't believe it either. Just kidding.
Leo: One connector? What are you crazy? 12” Retina, okay maybe but what?
Mark: Those are the best stories, the ones that nobody believes and then when they come true everyone's just like whoa.
Leo: Yeah because they remember it. They go oh that Gurman he's got good sources.
Mark: Well here's the thing though, like if you get something right no one cares. But when you get something wrong everyone comes after you, so...
Leo: You know, a friend of mine named Jauncy Dvorak who's spectacularly wrong most of the time has learned and told me the opposite. He says no no, you've just got to be bold and let the chips fall where they may. Maybe he's trying to sabotage me, I don't know.
Rene: I still can't believe Mark managed to force Apple to make one connector just to fit the narrative in his story. It's ridiculous.
Mark: Good one.
Leo: Very clever. Actually we could talk a little bit about the Type-C connector because I just got a Chromebook Pixel. The new Pixel uses, I think Apple could have done this, dual Type-C, one on each side. Which would have solved some of the negative comments because then you could power and video or power and charge or power and hard drive. But just the one, maybe that sells more $79 dongles, I don't know. I do like it, having now had some experience with Type-C you'll like it Andy because it's not going to fall out. I actually pulled... I had foolishly to hold it in place wrapped the Type-C connector around a pair of hands holding a giant malachite ball that weighs about 20 pounds, and I forgot that I had done that, grabbed the Pixel and the Type-C connector's strong. It stayed in, the whole thing went flying, 20 pound malachite ball, whoosh.
Andy: Are you at Gryffindor or something? What are you doing with hands holding a malachite ball? That's...
Leo: I use that for incantations.
Andy: Is that how you try to get inside information on what's happening at Apple?
Leo: Yeah you can see how well it works.
Rene: Palantir, I think.
Leo: (laughing) Whatever you're doing Mark, I want that. But no, it's firm in there, it's hard to get it out a little bit.
Andy: Yeah I mean it's a secure connector, I got my first USB C device about a month and a half ago and yeah it's a pretty snug, as someone who's been complaining about how the weak the MagSafe 2 connector is, this is like wishing on a monkey's paw you got what you asked for but not what you actually wanted and given how many times I've pulled a notebook off of a sofa I'm glad that it's not going to be happening to a really heavy machine that has a lot of heft behind it. But we'll see how well that works, I am just glad to see that Apple's now using some sort of industry standard connector.
Leo: Oh yeah.
Andy: I know that they had a large hand in creating it but it's always, every time I pack for a trip even if it's just for one day there's always the power stuff I need for the Apple stuff and then the cables, the one cable I need for absolutely everything else so it's nice to have a relief from that.
Leo: Who did invent Type-C? Mark do you have any idea? Because Google is also taking credit.
Mark: Right, so John Gruber said that Apple had a large hand in it and something about them coming up with it, based on the documentation available on the USB foundations website it seems like a lot of different companies had a hand in it. But it is interesting that Apple was first to announce actual shipping hardware with it and Google came out just the very next day.
Leo: And Apple does have a patent on something that looks a lot like a Type-C connector, patently Apple has a... basically a reversible cable which seems to be very similar. This is a video from Stefan Svartling, but you can kind of see the patently Apple... I have to see if I can find the original post somewhere.
Rene: Yeah I heard the same thing Gruber heard, I mean it definitely was a team effort but sometimes there are people who lead a team or have ideas or contribute to a team or just get the team going in the direction they want and this is very much the direction they want.
Leo: Well in an industry standard, you wouldn't expect one team... I mean Apple worked with Intel on Firewire.
Leo: You know, 1348. I don't know, Thunderbolt's a standard, right?
Mark: That patent you showed, I think that's actually Lightning.
Leo: Oh is it Lightning? Okay.
Mark: USB showing a patently Apple, a lot of times some of those patent websites, they mix up the things that have happened years ago.
Leo: Well and as you know, you can't credit a patent. Everybody patents everything, it doesn't mean they're doing anything.
Rene: And that was the same team involved with USB C as far as I know.
Leo: So this is the PDF from the USB 3 promoter group. (laughs) Good lord.
Andy: Could you have a more 1986 logo too? That doesn't inspire confidence.
Leo: Superspeed+. Is the Type-C on the Macbook a... it's a 3.1 connector isn't it? It's the latest.
Rene: And to your point earlier Leo there's some discussion about whether this precise Broadwell chipset that Apple is using supports the dual side ports or the architecture of the Macbook would allow them to have a controller on both sides because this is going for ultra thin, ultra light. Not for...
Leo: Nor does it have 2 channel, some USB 3.1 has 2 channel but this is I think one, I mean 10 gigabits is plenty but it's one 10 gigabit channel. I think.
Rene: Plus you choose your compromises in your design.
Leo: So some have raised the issue of USB is a somewhat dangerous interface. We've seen bad USB it's called, which is malware that infects USB firmware and can be used to then infect the computer it's put into. This is typically with thumb drives because weirdly enough virtually all thumb drives, even the most secure have electronically erasable proms.
Leo: E-proms that you can put new firmware in. Bad USB takes advantage of it by hacking the firmware of the USB and then infecting everything you plug it into. Now I understand that the Apple power adapter does not have any firmware in it, it can't be reprogrammed so it doesn't have that capability. The issue is though, not Apple's adapter, or even Google's adapter, but maybe going to a coffee shop, you know, a hacker's corner and plugging into their USB to charge might have an adverse effect.
Rene: It's the cost of being a standard. I mean you want to have standard compatibility, it's not unique to USB C, it's not unique to Apple. The Chromebook Pixel is the same thing.
Leo: Absolutely, anything.
Rene: Absolutely and, it would be difficult to secure it, I mean there are ways to hardware secure it but then you break compatibility especially with older devices and it's something that, you know maybe Apple could do a prompt on OSX the way they do on iOS where it says do you want to trust whatever you're plugging into this device?
Leo: That's a good idea.
Rene: But Apple's pretty, I mean they're pretty good with interfacing with the Intel circuitry so hopefully something will come of it, but it's the cost of using USB for business now.
Andy: Well but there's also a difference there because if you are really really concerned about security, and we're not just talking about I don't want to surf a porn site and get malware, I'm talking about I am entering another country where I feel as though my laptop is going to be a target of something, if you have more than... if you have a different kind of port, then you have the option of simply not plugging... I'm sorry, if you have a separate port that's just for power you have the option of never connecting a data device to that machine ever, however given that there's only one port and it is the only way to get power into the thing, it would be possible for someone with an unusual interest in your machine to compromise your power adapter and because, what are you going to do like keep buying... travel with like ten fully charged up Macbooks and then just throw them every time the battery dies? No you're going to have to plug something in there some time and that's an opportunity for someone to get access. Now obviously we're not talking about a threat that anybody really is going to be, is going to be facing but it's not a threat that nobody will face, and you like to have at least one option there.
Rene: It's like iOS where you have just a lightning port and juice jacking was common for a time and that's why they created the trusted device requester to begin with, so I imagine, it's probably best to think of the Macbook as like an iOS, almost an iOS device based on how it's set up and how the ports work, so I think an iOS solution would be the best thing there.
Leo: So other questions people are asking and I don't know answers, I'm sure you guys do. Is it like say Micro USB which we now know, which you use with your smartphones and by the way Apple I think has implied that they might use this for the iPhone in the next generation, and I imagine other phone manufacturers might. Is it like that where you can use any charger?
Leo: It is? So if it's over voltage it will correct, if it's under voltage it will just charge slowly or not at all?
Rene: Yeah... sorry Andy.
Andy: It is just bog standard, if you have power it's supposed to be powered across the entire thing. It will have the exact... pretty much exact same things that you would assume about USB 2 or USB 3 connectors that yes I suppose it would be possible for someone to put 17 volts across that if they wanted to but that would not be using the USB standard. It's a carrier for an existing standard and that existing standard says here's the amount of current and here's the amount of draw you can put across that port. Really anything that powers it should work and so long as there's not something funny going on inside that Macbook that tries to figure out what the user is trying to connect to it and reject anything that it doesn't specifically like, I was, I had assumed for my conversations with people last week that the new Macbook would not discriminate against sources of power, so if you happen to have a 12,000... one of those big honking Toblerone size batteries that can jump start a car, if you wanted to use that to get an extra two or three hours of battery off of your Air it would allow you to do that. I assumed that was to be the case and now we're seeing reports from people who say that they have talked to the right people and said that no it's not going to discriminate power sources. So anything that gives more flexibility like that is a really good deal for me.
Leo: We should be, I mean, obviously this is not actually the first device using Type-C, there's a Nokia tablet that uses Type-C, MSI has announced motherboard that will have Type-C connectors on it. I would love this just to replace Micro USB, and on the one hand for data, and power adapters for laptops. If they were all standard, kudos to Apple because this is the first time I can remember Apple's ever done a non... an industry standard power adapter.
Rene: Well since iMac right? I mean they went with, well for power adapter yeah, but that was the whole plan. They want this to be standard, everyone wants this to be standard and then everything should just work with it.
Leo: But you're right with the iMac, the first one, the colored ones they really promoted USB, that helped get USB off the ground.
Leo: And they might do the same thing here.
Andy: There are a lot of these like little delightful features where it's not a game changer like having, like having a 2 pound, 13.1 millimeter laptop, but things like you will have to buy one cable and that's it. And whatever source you want to find for that one kind of cable, that's it. And it's not going to be a case like I was in a couple months ago where I needed... I had two devices, one was Lightning one was Micro USB and of course it was the Apple cable I couldn't find and the battery was going down down down, I had a big a big big juice box, no problem plugging into it but I could not find that cable and I had 45 minutes before needing to find some store that had the right cable, could not find it. Just again, little bits of delight that you no longer have to have multiple cables, you no longer have to worry about can I find this one proprietary thing at a drug store, office store, anything like that. So that's little bits of delight that really make the experience so much better.
Leo: And since Mark, you're here, we're going to quote Jordan Khan from 9to5 Mac now.
Mark: Or I could just tell you, I mean I was going to say it's a big deal because third party accessory developers weren't allowed to use MagSafe which is still on the Macbook Pro.
Leo: So they never even licensed MagSafe, it wasn't even a question of license they just said no.
Mark: No, not only did they never licensed it they actually went after some accessory makers and battery pack developers who tried making their own MagSafe adapters by cutting and putting together some of Apple's cords but now anyone who makes an external battery pack will be able to sell something geared towards this new Macbook.
Leo: Well and you wouldn't really even have to get a new one if you just get the USB type 2 to the USB... or whatever it's called, Type-B to USB Type-C.
Leo: Is it A? What happened to B, did we never get a B?
Rene: A is data, B I forget.
Leo: They make a cord that goes from new to old right?
Rene: It's not a very human nomenclature.
Leo: So you could, if it, I guess it would have to have enough wattage to move the needle. Has any... we don't know, we just don't know because nobody has a Macbook lying around.
Rene: Well Apple's adapters have power and like they split it apart, several of their adapters so you can plug in power and you can plug in the video or you can plug in the adapter.
Leo: I need to, since I have the Pixel I need to go out and buy that old USB to Type-C cable and just try this and see what happens.
Mark: I believe B is the Micro USB and A is the full, so C is this new one.
Leo: Got it, got it. So an A to C would be very useful.
Rene: My camera uses the Mini USB which... appalling.
Leo: Oh I remember that, yeah that was... yeah, thank god that's gone. But yeah I have a lot of stuff with that and it's like oh crap now I've got to dig through my cables.
Rene: Yeah it's impossible to find now, you have like 800 Mini USB cables and no... sorry Micro and no Mini plugs any more.
Leo: Can we just stop the insanity? The hyper juice's battery packs will work, but what... but you, this is Jordan's article at 9to5 but what you really want I think is... how many watts does that Macbook draw do we know? The power?
Andy: Do not know.
Leo: You'd need something, it's like charging an iPad from the old USB, you can't because it's just too slow. Or is that something Apple says? Because in some devices you can kind of trickle, it just won't charge very fast. Trickle it.
Rene: Yeah trickle charges.
Leo: Oh well, questions, we've got questions.
Andy: Any drop of water in a desert. So.
Leo: Mhm. How about the force trackpad first... thing? Thingamajig.
Andy: Oh god.
Leo: Anybody got one yet? Because you can get it on the new Macbook.
Andy: I've been having conversations with my contacts at Apple and I had my first experience with a force touch trackpad and I had to have the dumbest conversation... sometimes I just have to abject myself to make sure I'm understanding things properly and I had to ask three times in a row with three different kinds of phrasing, you're saying there's nothing mechanical clicky underneath this trackpad? No there isn't. So what I'm saying is that if I were to, if I were to cut the power to this Macbook and I were to press my finger down on the trackpad as hard as I can and then press my finger down on the table as hard as I can, I couldn't feel a difference between the two? Nope, absolutely not. Because the sensation of feeling a click underneath my finger was so potent that I'm like I'm about to say that this is one of the most incredible tactile experiences I've had with a computer and I don't want someone to say yeah actually there is a little spring underneath it. Okay, sorry.
Leo: It feels like it, it's so cool. It really tricks you.
Andy: It's incredible.
Leo: So has anybody got the new 13” Macbook Pro? Has anybody... iFixIt tore it down, of course.
Andy: They're actually, they're at the Apple store so if you want to check them out for yourself, I believe that they've all been replaced so, and again I did so many gestalt checks on that to make sure I had the new one so if you want, anyone can go check it out right now.
Leo: I might run down... it's so interesting isn't it? It really tricks you.
Rene: Well it says, like I think they call it proprioception, and it's just like your body doesn't understand sensation the way you think it does which kind of messes with your mind.
Andy: The thing that surprised me was that there's actually sort of a two stage sensation, so if you press down a little hard you feel a click, if you press harder you feel a second click. So that's a way of transmitting okay I understand that you're pressing harder now.
Leo: Well that's nice.
Andy: Which really again, it was such an impressive demo that I just can't get over it.
Leo: That's really great.
Rene: If you do the desktop where you do Quicktime you can get I think three or four levels of that which just blows your mind because you feel like you've pushed all the way and there's a little bit of resistance and you can go further and further and developers can map that out, there's like a range of sensitivity and they can pull out points on there to make them feel like click levels. It's crazy.
Andy: That's my only little concern, it's going to be hard to create a new language for this kind of force click. You can go into iMovie, iMovie is now wired up so that it will respond to a force click on when you're scrubbing forward or backward with the little forward and backwards buttons. It was not innately easy for me to figure out how much force I'm applying versus how much faster I want it to go, I would actually much rather have seen some sort of a visual slider that or tap it once or tap it twice, tap it three times like on your TiVo to fast forward it faster or slower. So I think we're going to have maybe a few growing pains as we figure out how what that should map to in the human mind, but the technology works like a charm.
Leo: Mark what are...
Rene: I don't think Mark agrees with me but I'd love to have it hooked up to Mars Edit so you can press the publish button and force click it to blog angry.
Mark: Yeah. (laughs) I haven't used Mars Edit so hopefully maybe they'll have like a web API for developers to add it to websites, but...
Rene: Wordpress blog angry.
Leo: Oh you have to use a Web CMS to post to 9to5?
Mark: Maybe. Yes. I mean, you don't have to...
Leo: I'm sure that's good because then you can use anything anywhere so it doesn't...
Mark: Right, but my colleague Dom from 9to5 he picked up one of the new 13s with force touch and he really likes it so far, it's quick to learn, he put up a really cool video, 15 cool tricks you can do with the trackpad, it's really helpful for panning around in maps and in 10.10.3 which is the next update to Yosemite to Mac operating system if you force touch in a certain way, I believe it's with three fingers you can get additional context. So if you force touch on a website link in Safari, you could actually load up the website as a pop up over the current website so you don't actually have to leave what you're doing, you can quickly browse the website you want to click through to before actually going to that page so it's not only the perception of it in the technology side but it will actually speed up some of the stuff that you do every day on the computer which is a pretty big deal and it's going to be interesting to see how this translates to the iPhone this year and the iPad eventually.
Leo: Well I was going to ask you
what your sources tell you as how generalized both Type-C and force touch will
Mark: Force touch I mean, it's not like... it's not going to be as generalized as Type-C because you won't see Google picking this up through an Apple built technology but I believe the goal is to put force touch as the next big Apple technology, so like we saw Siri start with the iPhone and move on to other devices and then the same with TouchID, the next one is force touch, so you're going to see it on the watch in April, you're going to see it on the Macbook, you already see it on the Macbook Pro and the iPhone will be the next spot for force touch, you'll see that when they announce the new phone around September, that's going to be one of the cornerstone features, and they'll have a former force touch for the iPad Pro as well to sense different types of pressure for some apps. The really big deal here is going to be with what developers will be able to do with it, the trackpad on the Macbook is small comparatively, it's about the size of an iPhone but like on an iPad, you'll be able to do some crazy stuff with different drawing apps and productivity and movie editing and creative stuff. So I think force touch on the Mac is nothing to what it's going to be on the iPad or the iPhone eventually.
Leo: I love that idea. I really do.
Rene: There's some super, all this stuff is based on 20 year old research, I forget the lady's name but Brad Victor was tweeting about it during the show but Disney's doing some crazy stuff with this too and you can start, right now Apple's letting you push in but sometimes things can push back. We could get to a point where the glass is, like there's a lot of research on simulating buttons or simulating piano keyboards or simulating things so your fingers feel like there's actual keys on a glass surface, and that might assuage a lot of peoples’ problems with typing on glass. It's going to be super interesting technology.
Leo: Push back... so you say, I love how Mark goes... oh yeah, you know the iPad Pro. So you feel pretty confident that's coming?
Mark: Yeah, yeah. For sure. It will be here by the fall.
Leo: And it's what we've heard, like the 12.9” with force touch?
Mark: Well they were testing 12.2 and 12.9.
Mark: So I'd say just under 13 is fair to say.
Leo: Somewhere in there, yeah. And you don't think this fall though, they're not going to do a mid year update.
Mark: No, I mean the mid years already really really packed with some stuff they're planning for June, we can talk about that if you want, but I'd say the iPad Pro toward the fall is going to be one of the highlights of the fall because the iPhone update is not going to be huge as last year, it's going to be more of an S cycle upgrade so they'll put a lot of attention on the iPad seeing that the iPad hasn't really had a big update since 2013.
Leo: Can they get rid of the home button? Could they do fingerprint on the screen somehow?
Mark: So they've actually been working on that for I believe it's already been two years, to be able to do TouchID in the screen but that's actually quite far away because they have to embed the cameras in between the pixels in the actual display, but they are working on that. They were actually working on that when they were developing the first Apple Watch, so one of the things they wanted to do was incorporate TouchID into the screen because there's no room for a home button but the technology is far from ready for mass consumption. So I'd say probably within 3 or 4 years we'll have TouchID in the screens across the latest lineup.
Leo: Yeah. We're going to take a break because I want to know more about June. I was about ready to buy something, maybe I should stop. We've got Mark Gurman on, he can tell us. Actually Rene Ritchie is no slouch in the rumor department either. Andy Ihnatko and I are just sitting here ignorant. No, I'm sure you have your sources as well.
Andy: I'm so envious because people tell me things but they do so with the understanding that I'm not going to write about it, so it's basically me from saying stupid things like saying oh you know I think today is definitely the time to buy a new iPad because Apple's not doing anything interesting in the future.
Mark: That's no fun Andy. No fun.
Andy: I know, it isn't.
Mark: It's no fun.
Leo: How do you get your sources to let you do that Mark? How do you do that?
Mark: This is MacBreak Weekly, not Mark Break Weekly so I can't...
Leo: Oh, I'm sorry. Oh see he's not going to reveal any of his magic. I'll let you have my malachite ball.
Leo: Alright let's take a break.
Andy: I'd make him show you the ball first Mark, I've been fooled this way before.
Leo: You can't see it. I'll show you mine if you show me yours, coming up in just a second we're going to find out what's coming in June, Mark Gurman is here from 9to5 Mac, Rene Ritchie, iMore.com, Andy Ihnatko, Chicago Sun Times. I have my sources, it's you guys. That's all I need, I just ask you guys every week what's going on? What's happening? What's the latest? That's why I do MacBreak Weekly, so I keep up on this stuff. It's funny how irate, and I'm sure Paul Thurott will be irate, but how irate Windows users are, I've been seeing this in the chatroom. Apple did not invent Type-C! It's not even the first product with Type-C.
Rene: Google Plus was horrible too today.
Leo: They did not invent it! Nobody, in industry standard no one company is ever going to be responsible for.
Rene: They're ideas that get put on a table.
Andy: But isn't this hysterically funny? You have to a large extent, Apple fans who don't know what they're talking about saying that well you know Apple completely invented USB C and then Windows and like Android people who don't know what they're talking saying hey Apple had nothing to do with it, it's an industry standard! Can you just like shut up and...
Leo: Chill, man. Chill dudes.
Andy: There's a lot of great things on TV and Netflix, why don't you binge watch something and calm down.
Rene: Angry about Macbooks too.
Leo: I was watching Netflix the other night, watching House of Cards as a matter of fact. No spoilers, don't worry. I say the words House of Cards everybody goes no! But at the in the credits it says thanks to Shutterstock.com. And I thought what? But I realized Shutterstock isn't... and we talk about Shutterstock all the time, the place to go for royalty free photos, illustrations, vectors and video clips. And this is kind of interesting because House of Cards is shot on red cameras in 4k, probably 5k. And they're able to use clips from Shutterstock because Shutterstock has those high res clips, save yourself running a helicopter and getting aerial shots of Washington DC, go to Shutterstock.com. Whatever your image needs are, Shutterstock is a great place to take your creative projects to the next level. 49 million high, actually it's not 50 I think, high quality stock photos, illustrations, vectors and video clips. It goes up all the time, they add 370,000 images every week. Whether it's for your website, your publication, an advertisement, your next HBO TV series, your next Netflix Original, Shutterstock, it's a place more people use all the time to get great images. And I find sometimes, an image can inspire a blog post. That's why I invite you to create your free account at Shutterstock.com. You don't even need to use a charge card, no credit card needed. That will allow you to search the entire collection, they've got great search tools. Save images that inspire you or excite you or you know, just bring your chimes to their light box. You can share the light box, look at it later. I found it a very nice way to kind of keep imagery in somewhere I can collect it and look at it, their iPad app is really great for that, it's kind of just like fun to browse. And you can download any image in any size and you pay just one price. Choose from individual image packs, or a monthly subscription, that's what we have. That's the best deal. We get 25 images a day, a lot of publications do that. I don't know if 9to5 does, but a blog typically will do that and then they say that whenever you use images, please use these royalty free images. You're going to love it. It's totally international, they've got multilingual customer service in more than a dozen countries. Full time customer support throughout the week. Kitty cat, doggies and kitty cat. The search is great because you can search by emotion, by gender, by whether there's people in it. So you can say I want cats but there has to be two people in it and the cat has to be happy but the people have to be sad. It's really kind of amazing. Shutterstock.com. No credit card needed to start your account, begin using it to help imagine what your next text project could be like. Save your images to light box, once you decide to purchase. By the way we have a new offer code. The old one does not work for some reason, I want you to use the new one. MacBreak0315. Macbreak0315. And you want that offer code because that's going to get you 20% off an image subscription package with your new account. That is a great deal. 20% off. Macbreak0315 at Shutterstock.com. We use the clips, the video clips because you have video clips with transparent alpha channels so you can use them like an overlay and put it on the video and stuff. Alright Mark Gurman, 9to5 Mac. What's coming in June? So WWDC is in June, right?
Mark: That's right and I believe the keynote is Monday, June 8th.
Mark: So that's been planned for a while, they have their whole schedules on the Mosconi website under corporate event, so that's a known thing. Apple's been planning this year's conference for June 8th through that week.
Leo: Good, I'll set that day aside. What do you think they'll be talking about?
Mark: Yeah, so I'm thinking it's going to be a really jam packed year for the developers conference, we reported that they're going to be unveiling their new streaming music service.
Leo: Yes, yes.
Mark: Using the Beats technology during this conference.
Leo: They won't use the Beats name you think?
Mark: I doubt it. Maybe they'll call it Apple Beats or iBeats or something like that. I particularly think it's a cool name.
Leo: I like Apple Beats, that's actually a good name. I'd go for that.
Mark: Apple Pan, Apple Beats, Apple Pie.
Leo: Apple Pan Dowdy.
Rene: Sounds like Applebee's.
Leo: Apple Beats. Applebee's. (laughs) Oh you're right, I guess we won't be using it.
Mark: But yeah, I doubt it. It will probably be called Apple Music or just the music app, the new feature for the music app. Something like that.
Leo: But it's kind of time to re-brand iTunes too, in fact this would be a great time to just throw iTunes out the window and do it all.
Mark: You know, I don't think that's happening this year to be honest. I think that this is just going to be a part of iTunes, so I don't see that changing. It's basically going to be if you've used the Beats music app, when you load it up for the first time there is a bunch of floating bubbles where you get to choose different genres and artists that you're interested in and then once you're in there there's a few menus where you can create your own playlist based on your mood and what you're doing and you can browse through different curated playlists based on certain artists. Curators who are known in the music industry and different genres.
Leo: Like this BBC radio guy they hired, right?
Mark: Right, right. And different activities such as being at the gym, running, partying et cetera.
Leo: Well we can do that now with radio. I think radio is under utilized and really good. But I presume this would add to it.
Mark: iTunes Radio App? That's not going away, they're going to keep that too.
Leo: Well that's confusing.
Mark: I think they'll separate it well, I think iTunes radio is just going to be a feature that's remaining there and they'll probably up the curation with the hire of that DJ from England.
Leo: It kind of overlaps doesn't it?
Mark: Not really, I mean one's a streaming music service which is really a replacement for the actual musical library that you would have used to in the iPhone, it will basically just make your library a cloud-based library where you can add tracks from the cloud library and then put different mixes in curation onto that and you'll be able to have playlists and all that, and iTunes radio I guess will be similar in regards to the custom playlists. So they'll probably blend the iTunes radio feature with the feature called the sentence which is from Beats music of today.
Leo: Yeah. That's such a weird feature.
Mark: They'll overlap in that regard. I mean I tend to like it, it works well for me.
Leo: You like it? You make a sentence where you say like I want to boogie down with my homies with my pants off to EDM music while watching a podcast. Something like that right?
Mark: Yeah, so they'll probably blend those together, I think that makes a lot of sense blending the iTunes radio with that, but iTunes radio as a whole won't go away, nor will iTunes match so it's going to be another leg for the service. They'll have to clean it up eventually but as of right now the plan is to completely upgrade the music app that comes with the iPhone and update iTunes to a new version of iTunes 12 so it's not going to be a total revamp, it's just going to be integrated into the current system so maybe next year or the year after iTunes will go away, but right now the plan is just to get this streaming music service out there. It's to be seen you know, what it launches with and when exactly it launches. So they'll announce it in June and they haven't decided yet if they're going to release it in iOS 8.4 update or an iOS 9 update. I think they'll know closer to June whether...
Leo: Well that's interesting, yeah because 9 comes out in September with the new iPhone.
Mark: Right. I think it will depend on when they get the record labels struck and when the technology is ready. We've been hearing for weeks now that they're having a lot of internal problems getting the new streaming service out the door, lots of people are leaving, the head of engineering for the music service who was the senior VP of technology at Beats prior to the acquisition left at the end of 2014. A lot of the Android developers have already left, those were the people working on Apple's first Android app.
Leo: Oh crap, why are they leaving? What's going on?
Mark: You know, they're just not happy. They're not happy with the integration between Beats and Apple has not gone as well as you would think.
Leo: Well these were the Beats guys that came over with Beats but there was a corporate... I'm sure, that happens all the time. There's a corporate mismatch of culture.
Mark: Right, right. And when the merger initially happened there were layoffs in the hundreds of people but those weren't really developers on the technical side, that was more of the different staff that's required for a company to run.
Leo: You need those Android guys, you really do.
Mark: Right. So there's a possibility that the Android app will be delayed because of, I know Rene doesn't like the word delayed but the plan is for the Android app to be announced with everything else but it could be delayed if they don't have enough developers to finish it up.
Leo: What's wrong with the word delayed Rene? You don't like that?
Rene: Well we had, no, Mark and I have these discussion sometimes about semantics and mostly my concern is that I deal with people in my comments who then like, they build up a tremendous amount of expectational debt. Like they see a button and if that button doesn't ship they get really upset because someone stole their button. So I like to just make sure that I'm really clear when something is like development cycle because everyone in a development cycle knows that you can't predict a headline ahead of time because you've never done it before. It's all new and things move around and they shift and that's different then like the white iPhone or some other things where it's announced and this is the day it's coming and then it just doesn't come that day. That's a very public sort of delay.
Mark: I mean the only difference here is that like one is a public timeline and one is an internal timeline. Their internal timeline and internal hopes could be delayed. It's just that.
Rene: Yeah absolutely. That's like the developer of any apps, like you make an app, I'm going to finish this app in 4 weeks and you finish it 6 weeks and nobody ever knows because you're not Apple.
Mark: It's still a delay.
Leo: Right. Spiritual delay.
Rene: He is right, it's internal versus external. I just like to differentiate those.
Leo: It's good to clarify that, I understand that now. And I also understand why... picky commenters might drive you crazy.
Rene: Well we had the same thing last week when they were talking about the invitation for the beta of iOS and a bunch of people didn't get it and they were super angry about it. I went through and said you know, not everybody is getting it.
Leo: Apple didn't say that. Right.
Rene: Well no, they sent out invitations, I called it invitation only. Mark called it public, it's both correct it's just I have a ton of, like 50 people saying where's mine where's mine where's mine? And I want to make sure they know that not everyone is going to get it.
Leo: Only some of you. What else at WWDC will we see?
Mark: iOS 9.
Leo: Yeah, that's, you can expect that because they want developers to take a look.
Mark: Right, there's going to be a big focus in iOS 9 on stability and performance, they might even announce that as a homework feature but the developers at Apple who are working on iOS 9 which is code named Monarch, they're really focusing on that with everything they do. So as they're adding new features it's not all about adding new features, it's about really adding new features with making sure that the core isn't broken or nothing else is getting affected which has really been their problem over the last three years or so with iOS 7 and iOS 8 when they've been constantly adding new features and support for new hardware features. So they're really taking a step back with iOS 9.
Leo: Kind of a Snow Leopardy kind of thing?
Mark: Yeah, that's how a few sources put it, that it's more of a Snow Leopard type of thing and Apple had no problem marketing Snow Leopard as an OS with no new features so they wouldn't have a problem doing it again.
Leo: Oh I think they'd make a lot of people really happy.
Mark: No, I know that's what I'm saying. That's, yeah.
Leo: I would cheer.
Mark: That's not entirely going to be the case, there will still be new features, so maps, they're ready to give transit another try, they tried last year with iOS 8, they ended up blowing it at the last minute.
Leo: What's transit?
Mark: So transit directions and maps, so you'll be able to get navigation to between bus stops and all that, subways. So they're progressing quickly on that and they're moving towards that so it's probably highly likely that they'll talk about that finally this year.
Leo: A new OSX or are they, they have had a yearly update schedule which maybe is too fast too much.
Mark: Right, so OS 10.11 is also in the works and they're actually switching up the code names this year. So usually they call them wines internally, I think they ran out of wines, like they ran out of cats.
Leo: Oh you can never run out of wine my friend.
Mark: Now they're moving to apples which is...
Leo: OSX vignette. There are fewer Apple varieties than there are wine varieties dudes.
Mark: So they'll move on to something else, but this first Apple one is going to be Gala.
Leo: A gala.
Mark: Gala, gala. Next year will be Granny Smith maybe.
Leo: The public name will be California Landmark again though I presume.
Mark: Yes, yes.
Leo: And is that for this year? Was that scheduled for this year or next? Probably next.
Mark: No, from what I understand they're not as far on 10.11 as they are with iOS 9. But I still think they're going to stick to that yearly schedule, we'll see. But I don't see why they wouldn't at this point.
Leo: I really think that's a bad idea. Talk about expectations Rene, to say we're going to do... set up an expectation we're going to do it yearly.
Rene: It was a great explanation from a former Apple program director who said that you have a bag and it just takes a certain amount of time to fill it, so if you have less time you put less in it, and I think that that's the way going forward that they want to keep a yearly schedule is just don't schedule as many features.
Leo: Less in your bag.
Rene: Yeah so you can still do that update, you can still push out 10.11 or Gala or... but you don't put all the things in it you might have previously wanted to put in it.
Leo: Hey new iPods coming out in June, what do you think? New iPods?
Leo: What are you laughing at?
Mark: What is this 2005?
Andy: I've just never heard the word iPods spoken in a podcast in a number... it just gave me this nice burst of like 2008 nostalgia.
Rene: It's called an Apple Watch now Leo and it ships in April.
Leo: (laughing) You mean never again will I be able to say the new iPods are here! The new iPods are here!
Andy: We are back to like 1,000 songs in your pocket only now it's on your wrist.
Leo: Good news by the way, red bob in our chatroom has checked Wikipedia, there are 7,500 varieties of Apple.
Mark: So a little bit more...
Leo: Is that your favorite? Braeburn?
Rene: I actually have a bag of Gala.
Leo: I love the Gala. There's a new one that I think is probably genetically engineered called Honeycrisp. That's a good name, right? Don't you want to...
Mark: That's the one from McDonald's?
Leo: Don't you want to eat a Honeycrisp?
Rene: Too many cereal box connotations.
Leo: Can't stop eating those Honeycrisp. So when are they going to just kill the iPod? Just do away with it. Ever?
Mark: Well the classic's already dead. I don't think that they're going to get rid of the touch.
Leo: The touch they need to keep up to date right? Because that's...
Mark: Well it's not up to date, it's... let's see. They haven't meaningfully updated the touch since 2012 with the 5th gen, and that's still on the A5 chip which was from 2011.
Leo: It's kind of ironic that the Macbook has a worse camera than the 2012 touch.
Mark: So yeah they're really behind on the touch and maybe they'll update it specs-wise but for that price, and I was going to say they really should lower the price on that and they could probably make a killing on Christmas shelves if they slashed it to $99 for maybe an 8gb model, with the smaller screen and all that because the pricing of components and manufacturing costs has gone down after they've been producing it for a certain amount of time. So perhaps they'll do that but I don't see them... I don't know, I think it can go either way, they can do a pretty significant update or they can do a price cut.
Leo: I'd love to see high res playback. Is that too much of a niche for Apple?
Rene: It would be interesting to see if like over time Apple Watch becomes more like iPod and there are devices for people who don't necessarily need screens the same way there are iPods for people who don't necessarily need screens and just want fitness tracking or just want something else.
Leo: I have to say, storage on my phone has become less and less important as I move more towards streaming music. I don't store as much on my phone, and maybe that's what Apple's saying is well why even bother having a storage device for music when you can stream any song you want any time?
Mark: Well I don't think that's entirely the case, because like with this new streaming service there's still going to be a significant offline component, so you'll be able to download and store any of those streaming songs.
Mark: Right. So there's going to be a switch there, and if you flick the switch you'll be able to save any playlist or portion of your library that you like.
Leo: That's what Google does now, that's what Amazon does now.
Rene: It's nearline, it's like what the photos app does as well.
Rene: iTunes matches, what they want is to have the most frequently used favorite stuff that they believe you're going to want instantly on the device for you and then everything else gets kept offline so you have a much larger library available but it's not keeping up storage and then it's like a fusion drive on a Mac, it intelligently manages really fast, really available with really big almost available.
Andy: Yeah. It's interesting to see how well these devices kind of disrupt how people would plan to buy devices because with all these streaming services now there's less of a demand for, there's less of a rational demand for 128 gig iPad, or even a 64 gig iPad. Not only that but if people really catch on to the watch, if that is now their first point of contact with their p hone, maybe it's going to take them an extra year or an extra two years to realize that gee I've got this iPhone 5S in my pocket, it's looking kind of ratty, it's not the new flashy one. Well you've got the flashy watch that's giving you all these new features that would have slaked your thirst for a new phone so maybe we'll start to see instead of people replacing phones every two, three, or four years now every three, four, five years.
Mark: I doubt that's the case. Are you saying that like because of the Apple Watch, upgrades for the iPhone will slow down?
Andy: I'm not predicting anything but I think it's kind of interesting that my own experience with my Moto 360 for instance is that whereas I was pretty much planning on buying a brand new phone this winter, now I'm like actually a lot of the problems that I was having with my old phone are kind of negated by having this watch. Also you have kind of an itch to sort of upgrade something and have something better for your experience and now I don't feel quite as compelled to go to a new phone and also whereas I used to basically tell people buying an iPad back when 64 was the top that get as much storage as you possibly... as you rationally can afford because it really stinks if you want to pack a lunch so to speak for a couple of days and you can't put the movies you want to get on there, now that you're getting a lot of that stuff streamed and it's so effortless, there is not that much compelling sort of thing. I'm just sort of interested to see in the next two or three years if how the popularity of an Apple Watch is going to affect peoples’ buying decisions going forward.
Mark: Right. I mean my concern is that like future generations of the Apple Watch and even Moto smartwatches and from other companies is how much they're going to require new phone hardware as well to take advantage of the new features. So let's say maybe the iPhone 5 won't be compatible with the third or fourth generation Apple Watch. So you'll need to upgrade your phone in order to make it compatible. So I think this is going to become a cycle for Apple. They're going to get people to upgrade their hardware on both ends and even make higher margins and more money. So I think this is a big marketing and operational play as well.
Rene: Mark said it earlier in a post a while ago about how Tim Cook's goal is to sell even more iPhones and for me when you look at Apple Watch, you look at HomeKit, you look at CarPlay. All of these things take the logic from your phone but put the interface somewhere else so I feel like I'm going to be updating, even if I weren't already I would be updating even more frequently because it's easier to update my phone than my car. I may keep the watch for a couple generations, get the new phone because I get all the benefits of that sort of projected interface and interactivity.
Leo: Oh that's interesting. You think the Apple will be thinking that way as well? That it won't update the watch as fast?
Rene: I think that's why they... well I don't know if they'll update the watch as fast, but you're not going to update your car as often as you'll update your phone.
Leo: Well that's obvious.
Rene: To get better CarPlay, to get better AirPlay.
Leo: But I kind of think that that's an interesting point is that if you update the phone, the watch gets an update in a way.
Andy: But where's the pain point? At what point do you say I'm sick and tired of dealing with this fill in the blank, I'm going to buy a new one right now. I think one of the major dividing lines previously was does this have a Bluetooth LE or does this not have Bluetooth LE? And that's the sort of stuff where you see friends who have an iPad that can do really wonderful things just with proximity that the earlier generation device can't have, even though they can both run iOS 8, it's... I do hope the people get weened off this idea of new shiny shiny, must have the new shiny shiny because I think that's very counter-productive. I hope this really gets people’s attention back on actual features and functionality. It would really suck if somewhere in a conference room in Cupertino the number one bullet feature of the Apple Watch 3 is that we figured out a way to make people hate their iPad Air 2s finally. You know?
Leo: (laughing) I hope that we can kind of slow down the upgrade cascade but I fear that you're right Mark, this is so good for the bottom line that Apple's going to make...
Mark: Right. And that's a huge push. It's one of the reasons they're going to be allowing people to come into the Apple store and preview the Apple Watch two weeks before it ships is because they have a whole marketing diagram for retail employees that they really want to talk to potential Apple Watch customers about not only what watch they want but if they don't have an iPhone or if they have an older iPhone model or even an iPhone 5 or 5s to convince them or push them to upgrade to the iPhone 6 and 6+.
Leo: Yeah we saw that leak that you had last week of the instructions for retail.
Leo: Encourage them to upgrade the phone.
Mark: Yeah so really I mean Apple has you know, three really big pillars right now under Angela Ahrendts retail, that's the iPhone. Because of the huge margins, China because they're really really trying to go in China and accessories now with the watch bands. And we can get into that later, but...
Leo: Oh lord, the $7,000 watch band.
Mark: Right. But we can transition now into talking about that new plan where Apple's opening the first ever Android phone trade in program for Apple stores.
Mark: So this timing is really not coincidental, the Apple Watch requires an iPhone. The newer iPhones provide a better experience in Apple's opinion so when they're showing people the Apple Watch two weeks before it comes out and they have an Android phone or a Windows phone, a Samsung, a Blackberry et cetera, et cetera, it will be able to now tell them hey, we can buy your phone back. We can recycle it and we will give you a gift card that you can use right now towards a new piece of iPhone hardware. So this is an entire cycle about buying people into the ecosystem and then locking them in there. So this is a really big approach and I think that Apple's pulling this off because of how well connected their marketing and hardware division and software, they're all together.
Leo: Your article in 9to5 Mac says the Apple employee will be the one to determine the trade in value of the old phone.
Mark: Right, so they're going to have their easy pay system and what they'll be able to do is plug in information about the phone. The brand, the operating system, the cosmetics, if the screen works correctly, there's water damage or not. Obviously it's not Apple hardware so it will be able to have less specific data on the device because they are able to tap into the iPhone, not like Android phone but to be able to get a dollar amount and then they'll tell the customer hey, this phone is worth $50, $100, $200. They'll give them an Apple gift card and they will tell them that you can use this Apple gift card towards the purchase of a new iPhone 6 or 6+ and they'll probably gain millions of new iPhone sales over the next couple quarters because of this new program.
Leo: You point out it's not the first time Apple's done something like this, and certainly every other phone company has done this. T-Mobile has done it.
Mark: No it actually is, I mean it is the first time that Apple's doing it.
Leo: I thought they had a recycle...
Mark: Right. They had a recycling program where they'd take back anything.
Leo: But they didn't give you money for it.
Mark: Right. This is a new trade in program.
Leo: Got it.
Mark: So this is a really big deal for Apple, they're really stepping into... really taking more over the mobile phone market, really taking anyone's phones back and giving them trade in value for it. So I think this is going to be a major thing. I think it's going to be a really really big program for Apple.
Leo: Are they going to try to match what T-Mobile or Gazelle or others are offering?
Mark: No. So actually Jordan Khan my colleague at 9to5, he did a whole profile of Apple's trade in program, I believe right after it launched in the summer of 2013 for iPhones discussing that the prices aren't as great as perhaps Amazon or some of the carriers, but the convenience of being able to do this at the time of purchase in an Apple store is pretty much unbeatable given the amount of Apple stores there are across the world.
Leo: Very interesting. So new Apple TV in June?
Mark: New Apple TV hardware is in the works and it's been kept back by this new web TV service that we're hearing a lot about this week, the new hardware I mean it's basically a set up box like the current one but it's noticeably smaller, it has a new remote that's actually bigger with bigger buttons that are easier to press without actually looking at the remote. Right now the buttons are flush with the actual controller so this will be an improvement, it will also be enhanced to have some maybe voice control features or serve as a controller for games of some sort and the new Apple TV will also have an app store so they're actually pushing forward on that.
Mark: And the user interface will be refreshed, not a complete complete overhaul but I won't be surprised to see some universal search, bigger icons and such. So they're really moving forward with the new Apple TV set up box. So again it's a box not a screen.
Leo: A box not a screen.
Mark: It's a box, like the current Apple TV, there's been rumors for years.
Leo: Oh oh I see, like a TV set. Okay.
Leo: Okay. No, they're not doing that. I'm sorry they're not doing that.
Andy: Leo as you know the Apple TV has been delayed.
Leo: (laughs) Is that an internal or external?
Andy: Very embarrassing, very embarrassing.
Rene: Very complicated.
Leo: There's so much more to talk about and we're really thrilled to have Mark Gurman here from 9to5 Mac. We're hearing it form the horse's mouth so to speak. Mark Break Weekly we're going to call it from now on. Rene Ritchie, iMore.com, Andy Ihnatko, The Chicago Sun Times. There's so much more to do. Let me do a commercial, take a break and come back, we have lots more to talk about. But first a word from SmartThings, we talked, I know we'll talk about HomeKit and home automation. SmartThings is right there smack dab in the middle of the solution because they start, in fact they started this with a Kickstarter project to make the SmartThings hub, to solve the problem of how do you get, talk to all these disparate devices? You've got Hue lights and a Sonos music player, you've got a garage door opener, you've got a thermostat. The SmartThings hub solves this by talking to everything. With SmartThings you can customize the way your smart devices even talk to each other. Using their free iOS Android or Windows Phone apps. Yes, they have Windows Phone apps, love you SmartThings! All your stuff. Your lights, your locks, your thermostats, your home security, connected through a single app. So you can customize the way your devices talk to one another. Tap good night on your phone, the lights turn off, the thermostat turns down, the doors lock, set your lamps to brighten each morning at sunrise or when you want to wake up, even keep your home protected with SmartThings home security, motion detection, water detection and more. I want you to try it, visit SmartThings.com, browse around, CES's 2015 Editor's Choice Award from this year's CES. If you want to get started setting up your smart home right now, here's what I would suggest. One of the home security or solution kits, because you get the hub, you get a bunch of useful sensors depending on what you want to do and you get 10% off and free shipping in the US if you got SmartThings.com/twit. Use the offer code TWiT at checkout, it's SmartThings.com/twit and you get 10% off any home security or solution kit. And this is a good way to start. And then of course you can add more all the time, which is what I love. SmartThings.com/twit. And I'm sure, I don't know, I'm sure it will work with HomeKit. I'm sure it will. Just a matter, I'm pretty sure I've heard that in the news story. There's a whole list of compatible products on the SmartThings page so you can see what it, it's long too. It's a long list. Look at all that stuff. So tell us a little bit about, will we hear more about HomeKit in June at WWDC you think?
Mark: I wouldn't be surprised to see some HomeKit announcements. Apple has been working on its own HomeKit hardware, not necessarily a thermostat but they've been toying with some things. Maybe in the speakers or lighting arena. I think, or I wouldn't be surprised to see some sort of HomeKit repository now that it's integrated with the Apple Watch. And the Apple TV and all that so maybe a singular app on iOS 9 where you can control your lighting and all that sort of like the health app and passbook on the iPhones, maybe like a homebook or a HomeKit app, whatever you want to call it. I think that could actually be a huge new feature on the iPhone, just pushing it all together into creating those API's and being able to control everything from one app versus having to jump between your Lutron app, your Nest app and all that.
Leo: It's so complicated, yeah.
Mark: Right, so honestly I think that's pretty much a given to be honest. A HomeKit app, maybe not this year maybe next year but it has to be coming, they've definitely been working on this.
Leo: You kind of broached the topic, let's talk a little bit about the web TV service that Apple seems to be planning in the fall. The Wall Street Journal has a story today that says Apple's talking with everybody but maybe has lowered their expectations as to what they might be able to do this fall. This is always the difficult thing, you know you can be Apple and you can walk into a lot of places but it doesn't mean they're going to make a deal with you. And historically they negotiated for a long time with Time Warner and Comcast and didn't make any headway, now they're apparently talking to ABC, CBS and Fox.
Leo: What about NBC?
Mark: So NBC, NBC is not in there because of the issues they're having with their parent company, Comcast.
Leo: Oh Comcast, cable town. Yeah.
Mark: Right. But actually as we reported today, NBC still wants a piece of the pie even if they're not going to be part of the new web TV service so basically they're just going to use the legacy tech, you'll be able to hook up your cable network log in through your cable account through an NBC Apple TV app and just get all the NBC content but as the source said today, it's not purely Hulu style. It's also going to be a live streaming app with local affiliates as well.
Leo: Oh, that's great.
Mark: So it's going to be cool but again it doesn't solve any problems here because you'll be just still connected to cable. What Apple's trying to do this fall, and they're, according to the journal, wanting to announce it in June at the World Wide Developers Conference I'd say, they're just trying to eliminate that completely and have one subscription that you pay Apple a month through the iTunes store or whatnot and get the channels you want a la carte or different packages and you know, they're starting small with 25 to 30 channels, 30, 40 a month. But as we saw when the iTunes store first launched almost a decade ago the other providers will follow in due time. We've seen this with Apple Pay, we've seen this with countries with the app store so Apple just needs to get the ground floor ready to go with a sizable amount of content and the rest of the networks will just fall into place over the next few years after that.
Leo: And this is over the top, so this would be for a cord cutter.
Mark: Absolutely. This web TV would be for cord cutters. But that NBC thing that I just talked about, they're not part of that so that wouldn't be for cord cutters, that would be for people who have a cord in an Apple TV.
Leo: We're getting close. I mean Sling TV is already like almost there.
Mark: Right, so they’re going to have their easy pay system. And what they’ll be able to do is plug in information about the phone. The brand, the operating system, the cosmetics, if the screen works correctly, if there’s water damage or not. Obviously it’s not Apple hardware so it will be able to have a lot of specific data on the device because they are able to tap into the iPhone, not like Android phone. But to be able to get it a dollar amount and then they’ll tell the customer, “Hey, this phone is worth fifty bucks, a hundred bucks, two hundred bucks.” They’ll give them an Apple gift card and they will tell them they can use this Apple gift card towards the purchase of a new iPhone 6 or 6 Plus. And they’ll probably gain millions of new iPhone sales over the next couple quarters because of this new program.
Leo: Let me point out this is not the first time Apple’s done something like this and certainly every other phone company has done this, T-Mobile has done it.
Mark: No, it actually is. This is the first time that Apple’s doing it.
Leo: I thought they had a recycle…
Mark: Right, they have a recycling program, where they’ll take back anything.
Leo: Ah, but they didn’t give you any money for it.
Mark: Right, this is a new trade-in program. So this is a really big deal for Apple, they’re really stepping into really taking more over the mobile phone market, really taking anyone’s phone’s back and giving them trade-in value for it. So I think this is going to be a major thing. Like it’s going to be a really, really big program for Apple.
Leo: Will they try to match what T-Mobile or Gazelle or others are offering? I mean…
Mark: No. So, actually Jordan Kahn, my colleague at 9to5, he did a while profile on Apple’s iPhone trade-in program I believe, right after it launched the summer of 2013 for iPhones, discussing that the prices are not as great as perhaps Amazon or some of the carriers. But the convenience of being to be able to do this at the time of purchase in an Apple store is pretty much unbeatable, given the amount of Apple stores there are across the world.
Leo: Very interesting. So, new Apple TV in June?
Mark: New Apple TV hardware is in the works, and it’s been kept back by this new web TV service that we’re hearing a lot about this week. The new hardware, it’s basically a set top box like the current one, but it’s noticeably smaller, it has a new remote that’s actually a bit bigger, with bigger buttons that are easier to press without actually having to look at the remote. Right now the buttons are flush with the actual controller, so this will be an improvement. There will also be some apps, maybe voice control features or serve as a controller for games of some sort. And the new Apple TV will also have an app store. So they’re actually pushing forward on that. They’re working on that. And the user interface will be refreshed. Not a complete, complete overhaul, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see some universal search, bigger icons and such. So, they’re really moving forward with the new Apple TV set top box. So, again, it’s a box not a screen.
Leo: A box, not a screen.
Mark: So it’s a box, like the current Apple TV, there’s been rumors for years ….
Leo: Oh, oh I see, like a TV set.
Mark: Yep. You’ll be able to plug and play.
Leo: I’m sorry.
Andy: Leo, as you know, the Apple TV has been delayed.
Leo: (laughing) is that an internal or external?
Andy: Very embarrassing, very embarrassing today.
Rene: Very complicated.
Leo: There’s so much more to talk about and we’re really thrilled to have Mark Gurman here from 9to5mac. We’re hearing it from the horse’s mouth, so to speak. MarkBreak Weekly we’re goning to call it from now on. Rene Ritchie, iMore.com. Andy Ihnatko from the Chicago Sun Times. There’s so much more to do. Let me do a commercial, take a break and come back. We have lots more to talk about. But first a word from SmartThings. I know we’ll talk about Home Kit and Home Automation. SmartThings is right there smack dab in the middle of the solution because they, in fact they started this with a kick starter project to make the SmartThings hub, to solve the problem of how do you get, talk to all these devices. You’ve got Hue Lights and a Sonos Music Player, you’ve got a garage door opener, you’ve got a thermostat. The SmartThings hub solves this by talking to everything. With SmartThings you can customize the way your smart devices even talk to each other using their free iOS and Android or Windows Phone apps. Yes, they have Windows Phone apps! Love you, SmartThings! All your stuff: your lights, your locks, your thermostats, your home security connected through a single app. So you can customize the way your devices talk to one another. Tap “goodnight” on your phone, the lights turn off, the thermostat turns down, the doors lock. Set your lamps to brighten each morning at sunrise, or when you want to wake up or even keep your home protected with SmartThings Home Security Motion Detection, water detection and more. I want you to try it. Visit SmartThings.com, browse around. CES’ 2015 Editor’s Choice Award from this year’s CES. If you want to get started setting up your Smart home right now, here’s what I would suggest. One of the home security or solution kits, because you get the hub, you get a bunch of useful sensors depending on what you want to do, and you get 10% off and free shipping in the US if you go to SmartThings.com/twit. Use the offer code TWIT at checkout. It’s SmartThings.com/twit you get 10% off any home security or solution kit. And this is a good way to start. Then of course you can add more all the time. Just what I love. SmartThings.com/twit. And I’m sure, I’m sure it will work with Home Kit. I’m sure it will. Just a matter, I’m pretty sure I’ve heard that in the news story. There’s a whole list of compatible products on the SmartThings page so you can see, and it’s long too. It’s a long list. Look at all that stuff. So, tell us a little about, will we hear more about HomeKit in June at WWDS, do you think?
Mark: I wouldn’t be surprised to see some HomeKit announcements. Apple has been working on its own HomeKit hardware. Not necessarily a thermostat, but they’ve been toying with some things. Maybe in the speakers or lighting arena. I think, or I wouldn’t be surprised, to see some sort of HomeKit repository now that it’s integrated with the Apple Watch and Apple TV and all that, so maybe a singular app on iOS9 where you can control your lighting and all that, sort of like the Health app and Passbook on the iPhone. Like a Homebook, or a HomeKit app, whatever you want to call it. I think that could actually be a huge new feature of the iPhone, just pushing it all together, integrating those APIs and being able to control everything from one app vs. having to jump between your Lutron app, your Nest app and all that.
Leo: That is so complicated, yea.
Mark: Right, so, honestly I think that’s pretty much a given, to be honest. The HomeKit app. Maybe not this year, maybe next year, but it has to be coming, and they’ve been definitely been working on it.
Leo: Let’s talk about, you kind of broached the topic, let’s talk a little bit about the web TV service that Apple seems to be planning in the fall.
Leo: The Wall Street Journal has a story today that says Apple’s talking with everybody, but maybe has lowered their expectations as to what they might be able to do this fall. Well, this is always the difficult thing. You could be Apple and you could walk into a lot of places, but that doesn’t mean they’re going to make a deal with you. And historically, I mean they negotiated for a long time with Time-Warner and Comcast and didn’t make any headway. Now they’re apparently talking to ABC, CBS and FOX. What about NBC?
Mark: So NBC, yea NBC is not in there because of the issues they’re having with their parent company, Comcast.
Leo: Oh, Comcast, the cable town, yea.
Mark: Right. Actually as we recorded today, NBC still wants a piece of the pie, even if they’re not going to be part of that new web TV service. So basically they’re just going to use legacy tech, you’ll be able to hook up your cable network, log-in through your cable account through an NBC / Apple TV app. And just get all the NBC content. But as the source said today, it’s not purely HULU style, it’s also going to be a live, streaming app with local affiliates as well.
Leo: Wow, that’s great.
Mark: So, it’s going to be cool, but again, it doesn’t solve any problems here, because you’ll be just still connected to cable. What Apple is trying to do this fall, and they’re, according to the journal, they’re wanting to announce it in June at the World Wide Developers Conference I’d say, they’re just trying to eliminate that completely, and have one subscription that you pay Apple a month, through the iTunes Store or what not, and get the channels you want ala cart or packages. And you know, they’re starting small with 25-30 channels for thirty or forty a month. But, as we saw when the iTunes Store first launched, almost a decade ago, the other providers will follow in due time. We’ve seen this with Apple Pay, we’ve seen this with countries with the Apple Store, so Apple just needs to get the ground floor ready to go with a sizable amount of content, and the rest of the networks will just fall into place over the next few years after that.
Leo: And this is over the top, so this would be for a cord cutter.
Mark: Absolutely, this web TV would be for cord cutters. But that NBC thing that I just talked about, they’re not part of that, so that wouldn’t be for cord cutters. That would be for people who have the cord and an Apple TV.
Leo: We’re getting close. Sling TV is already like almost there.
Mark: Yea, I’d say so. But like this whole Apple TV model that’s existed the last couple of years, and you know, with the Google TV and the Amazon Fire TV, I just have found this whole process pointless. It’s just, you’re using cable anyways, it’s not solving any problems.
Leo: It’s an interim. It’s an interim solution, as we head towards IP TV.
Mark: It’s solving nothing, in my opinion. I mean it’s good for Netflix, it’s good for Beats, it’s good for iTunes, good for Amazon Prime content, good for all that, like different internet based TV shows, and I think these apps for NBC, ABC, FOX and HBO that are just being thrown on top of the Apple TV interface, it’s just a way to keep people in the Apple TV interface. And the interfaces of these competing set-top boxes. Because they really do nothing. They add absolutely nothing. It’s the same as what you get on your cable program.
Leo: And you will still have to sign up through your cable company so you can verify, at least with NBC, you’d verify that you…
Mark: That’s where that. Right, the NBC thing is very separate from the web TV service. It’s going to be all Apple.
Leo: Not Apple. Apple you won’t have to have a cable company subscription for those channels.
Leo: I would hope not, because they’re going to be charging a lot of money for it.
Mark: Right, and that’s the whole point of it. And that’s why they’re striking the deals. You know, it’s to be seen how these companies, these cable networks are looking at it math-wise, to see if they actually thing they’re going to make more money in the long run from partnering up with Apple, rather than sticking to this, you know, go solo approach. But it looks like they’re willing to give in. And it’s very helpful that Apple has all these connections with the media industry, they’ve got Bob Iger from the Disney board, or, I’m sorry, the CEO of Disney, Bob Iger’s on Apple’s board. And of course his connections, being the CEO of Disney, that puts them with ABC, that puts them with ESPN, a lot of other big guys, the Disney Channel, Fusion, Univision, different foreign channels, so, I think they have a good start just with that one. Got Bob Iger on the board. And of course they’re already talking to FOX and all those. So I think the initial launch, it won’t be incredible, but it’s a good starting point.
Leo: They’ve been working on this for a long time with little success. What makes you think they’ll succeed now?
Mark: It really has come down to the deals and really the sense of urgency. I mean, for the last couple years they’ve been pushing back on this new Apple TV hardware, with the apps and all that, waiting to be able to go the Apple way. To be able to launch new hardware, software and services at the same time. And I think now that they have these deals progressing, and they’re really pushing towards these, and they have these new connections, it’s finally going to happen. And I think they realize that you just can’t go all in anymore. They can’t expect they’re going to launch a 1.0 with one hundred, one hundred or two hundred channels. They’re understanding that, you know, we’re going to get the best of the best, we’re going to split it down, and then over time, we’ll build up. Sort of like Apple Pay. They started with a couple banks, a couple cards and over the last few months you’ve seen it greatly expand.
Leo: Yea, much to the chagrin of those banks. Let’s talk about Apple Pay. Krebs on Security a couple of days ago, the New York Times today, it kind of fleshed out this issue. Don’t feel like because you’re using Apple Pay you’re at risk. Apple Pay is well implemented and you’re not. The issue really is more that because of the onboarding process for Apple Pay is so streamline, that’s what Apple wanted for your cards, that it makes it easy for people who have stolen credit cards to use Apple Pay to go into brick and mortar stores, buy stuff and defraud the banks. And so, particularly in big box stores, this is becoming a kind of an issue. And Apple apparently, according to the New York Times, is, to protect our privacy, not giving the banks much information when you onboard a credit card.
Rene: It’s kind of… those reports are quasi-irksome because I think in order to shove Apple into the headline, they take a lot of short cuts, and often the contents of the article doesn’t really fit with the narrative that they put there. And this was happening last week, it was happening this week, and it was happening so often, and with such single cited sources, that it was really weird. And I saw Charles Arthur, formally of the Guardian, ask a couple times, you know like, “Did you second source this?” And people were like, “No, it made sense. We printed it.” A lot of the numbers. And like one of the parts that struck me, and I forget, it was in the Wall Street Journal’s article or one of the other ones, was the banks said that a lot of this was happening with the cards that were stolen from Home Depot and from Target, and they did not destroy those credentials. They didn’t cancel those credentials because they thought they would lose more money off of doing that, and off of hassling their customers than they would off fraud. So not only did they not cancel all these cards, but then they approved them for Apple Pay. Ironically, Apple Pay uses a one-time token, so, you know, they wouldn’t have gotten these credentials to begin with. And I think the banks saw the fraud level, and they panicked, and they threw Apple under the bus because that’s the biggest headline. And a lot of the journalists were super happy and super eager to join in on that all off one blog post. And even Krebs I think is really good, I think there’s a lot of stuff that’s just missing from that. They do acknowledge, you know, almost in a throwaway line at the end, that this applies to any digital wallet technology, it’s not unique to Apple Pay. Apple Pay is just a very successful implementation of it. But it’s super secure and the vulnerability is happening where vulnerability has always happened, the social engineering attack launched on banks. Apple has very detailed, yellow… you know, there’s green path and yellow path, and green path is a very high likelihood that’s it’s an authentic transaction, yellow path is where they can escalate it to customer service. And they were sending people to customer service instead of to security, and it just, it reads to me like this was a classically, like a massive blunder on banks’ parts who maybe were not as familiar with the technology, or who maybe were over eager to get their name associated with Apple Pay. And I think, you know, Apple, because they get a lot of attention, they get both the positive and negative attention off of that.
Andy: Also there’s so much responsibility on the banks’ shoulders. I bought a new iPad Mini just the other day, and of course as soon as I permissioned it for Apple Pay, I immediately got an e-mail from my bank saying, “Oh, do you realize that Apple Pay has now been connected to this new device. If that’s a problem, here are eight different 800 numbers to call.” So, as always… but the pain point has always been exactly the same since the first time I started looking into credit card fraud about 15, 16, 17 years ago. And I look at it again every three years. And unfortunately, that’s what Rene says, is the absolute truth. They do the numbers and figure out how much does it cost for us to protect our customers, versus how much does it cost for us to simply, basically cover the cost of fraud when our customers discover it. And it’s always less expensive just to simply say, “If someone buys ten Xboxes on your credit card, let us know, and we will happily pay for those criminals’ ten Xboxes because it costs us a lot less money than better policing.”
Leo: Yea. Ok. It’s not Apple’s fault, obviously.
Leo: But, tap to pay solutions like this make it easier for bad guys because you don’t have to present the credit card or the CVV, that security code, you just tap it. And as long as Apple and the bank, obviously the bank has to approve this, have arranged this transaction, you can with impunity go in and charge, you know, big screen TVs and stuff. You don’t… the good news is, as always at least in the US, the customer is not liable for these transactions.
Rene: Ironically, Apple retail’s been one of the biggest targets. And you know, so they’re suffering from…
Leo: Yea, anywhere that sells expensive stuff is going to be a target, right? And the banks will have to fix this, it’s not something Apple can fix. Although, in the Times article they did say that Apple, and is this wrong, to protect our privacy was reluctant to give much information, like phone numbers, as part of the on-boarding process.
Rene: Well, it’s not accurate. All the stuff that is public information, Apple has all the Apple Pay stuff in a white paper, it’s an iOS paper, it’s also on the Apple Pay site, and they’ll give you the last four digits of the phone number, they’ll give you the account associated with the iTunes. I think they give you quite a bit of information.
Leo: So they give the bank enough information that it could prevent fraud, if it cared.
Rene: It could look at those last four digits and match them to the account numbers, see if that’s the address that went to the bill… I mean, the bank has to do a little bit of work, but that’s why I have a bank.
Leo: Well, right, that’s their job.
Rene: Yea, absolutely. And again, I think those articles, like the article, the contents of the article was largely accurate, but the headlines and the overall narrative that they used I think was meant to make people afraid of Apple Pay. And why it irks me is that we’ve had a bunch of people, we’ve even had an accessibility writer, Steven Aquino, so like, he’s hard of sight. And there are people that are blind, that for the first time can with confidence use a payment technology, it changes their lives and this narrative is trying to make them afraid of that technology instead of afraid of the general problems with digital wallets and you know, bank fraud in general.
Leo: So we should absolutely emphasize this. This is not an issue that puts you at risk because you’re using Apple Pay. That’s not the issue at all. The issue is people that have stolen credit card numbers may prefer to use Apple Pay because banks are, for a variety of reasons, it’s easier to get away with it.
But that’s not going to affect you.
Rene: No user should be afraid of Apple Pay.
Leo: You should not be afraid of Apple Pay, in fact you should use Apple Pay, because as you rightly point out, Rene, had people been using Apple Pay, Target, the Target heist would not, the breach would not have been an issue. Because Target wouldn’t have had any of that credit card information.
Andy: I will prohibitively use Tap-To-Pay if I can. As a matter of fact, I actually switched drug stores because if I have the option of either using a Tap-To-Pay system and not using it, and I only have to cross the street to have a better payment system, I will definitely do that.
Leo: Anything else more to say about the watch? It was very predictable, you saw a lot of people say, “Seventeen thousand dollar douchebag watch.” Even my friend, Kevin Rose, who is a watch collector and a fanatic, wrote in Tech Crunch that the Apple Watch, the Edition is a “douchebag detector.” Was it in hindsight a mistake to even, to make a high-end watch like that?
Rene: Well, here’s the problem, the problem I have with it, I think that everyone’s entitled to their opinion. If you don’t like the Apple Watch, I think that’s great. If you want to make an argument as to why it’s a terrible product, I think that’s great. It’s the same thing with the new MacBook. If you want to say I don’t like it, perfect, not the right MacBook for me.
Leo: Fine! Don’t buy it!
Rene: But if you don’t like that it exists, and worse, if you don’t like the people who like that it exists, I think that’s bad journalism. I don’t think that should be published, especially not in major magazines. Because there was a douchebag article, there was the “MacBook is a Betrayal” article, there was an Apple Security article in Market Watch saying that someone could take off your arm to get around the security, and they could hold you at gunpoint to get your security card. And these are major publications, that just to get a lot of attention on this story, I think they’re doing a profound disservice. The Apple Watch Edition exists because it gets Apple into high-end fashion conversations like Vogue China and all the fashion reporters that we saw there in Paris Fashion Week. And it also exists because there are people who just, you know, they’ll buy a twenty thousand dollar dress that they’ll wear once, they’ll take a twenty five thousand dollar cabin trip to the Emirates. They’ll stay at a six star or a seven star hotel. They might be interested in an Apple Watch and they’re only going to buy it if it’s gold. And it’s a limited edition, it’s not for everybody, but it’s there for people who want it. And I would not spend that much money on a watch, but I am not upset at all, nor do I dislike the people who would.
Andy: Yea, I have a different point of view, and that’s separate from the price of the watch. I just think that it’s a very, very odd, I still feel it’s an odd decision that Apple decided to introduce all three models, launch day at the exact same time. Because they had to know that introducing an X-many thousands of dollars watch was going to be a distraction from their primary message of launching this mysterious new object that no one has ever used before. They had to know that it’s going to take them at least a year to get all the bugs out, to get all the features that they were hinting at a year ago, in September, to actually make it to fruition. They had to know it’s going to take a year for the app base to really catch up with this technology. And, given that the people who are going to be buying this out the gate are going to be buying it no matter what, these are people who bought the first iPhone, even though it wasn’t a 3G phone, even though it had a crummy camera, even though it didn’t have cut and paste, all these sort of things, but they were not just early adopters. They were early believers. And they were going to help Apple to develop the iPhone into what it eventually became. I just keep imagining a different reality in which Apple decided to just release the Sport Edition, and not only that, but also increase the price by maybe fifty or a hundred bucks. And then, next year, they have, I can so easily picture that keynote in my mind, in which they talk about how many millions and millions they’ve sold of these, and it’s the most popular watch ever sold, that it’s a really incredible product category, and look at all these apps that have been written for it, but we found that people are even wearing their $350, excuse me, their $450 Sport Watch with $10,000 suits because they like it, they consider it jewelry, so we decided to start making the cases that are just like jewelry. So we are here to introduce Apple Watch Edition. Applause, applause, applause. It’s just, it’s such a distraction, again, the smart watch is like the very first iPad. It’s so hard to explain to someone who has never used one exactly why they might want to have one. And so it just seems like it might be a hindrance to the message that they have to get out for the Sport Watch.
Leo: Yea, the price probably became the story instead of the product.
Andy: And people shouldn’t be blamed for it. I was a little bit bummed out when John Greiner and a couple others were saying, “Oh, let’s take bets on how the press is going to freak out over the price.” Well, it’s a $17,000 gadget, no one should freak out about it, but it’s definitely worthy of at least a discussion of the first time a big company, not like this little boutique has decided to actually, unabashedly going to create a really high end object. That in itself is a news story. No one should freak out about it and no one should, that D word, I hate it, there’s only about half a dozen words that I absolutely hate and if you use it without being sarcastic, or ironic, I have to start thinking that maybe you’re an idiot. That D word is one of them. It’s the same reason why I thought that people that were like, you know, you’ve never used Google Glass, you’ve never met anybody who’s used Google Glass, but you’re willing to call someone who has Google Glass an a-hole. Ok, you’re an idiot. But that doesn’t mean that the idea of a ten thousand dollar watch with a plastic band is not an interesting topic of discussion.
Leo: I think you can make the argument that somebody who uses Google Glass and is videoing things as they walk around is a jerk without trying.
Rene: I almost got killed by Meerkat at the show, Leo.
Leo: Meerkat, that’s another problem.
Rene: There were two different people both trying to claim Meerkat domination of a table, I almost got squashed in between.
Leo: Don’t let me get started on the Meerkat, I know.
Rene: But to Andy’s point, I mean there are people at Apple who drive ten year old Camrys and people at Apple who have multiple super cars. It’s a diverse group. And this is not like, a smart phone was just emerging technology, Apple was taking the phone and trying, there were a lot of smart phones, but they were trying to mainstream the smartphone. Watches are already mainstream. It’s something, it’s very different sort of, like, I’m not trying to say like it’s a good decision or a bad decision, but I can understand why someone would say, we’re going to roll out this watch, and we want to, we definitely need to think about the athletes, we’ll going to make a sport version. We definitely need to think about people who are into, you know, I forget what they call them, krono-horology?
Leo: Horologists, yea.
Rene: To make the high-end version, and I could see that discussion taking place.
Leo: I don’t think the high end versions for that. I think the chatroom’s got it right. It’s for nouveau riche, people in China, it’s for people who are status focused. It’s for people who are status focused, it’s for people who, you know…
Andy: I wouldn’t label it, I wouldn’t guess. It’s for people who see, who feel as though that’s a good use of their money, and I look around me and I only have to go into my inbox…
Leo: It’s patently not a good use of your money.
Andy: Again, I’m not going to tell somebody… if somebody who has that kind of income, if they simply like it, they don’t have to justify to me or anybody else.
Leo: Well, yea, which is also in my mind a patently bad use of your money. But it’s free world, it’s a free country as they used to day. You can do it.
Andy: I don’t want to be dishonest here about my own feelings. I will tell you that I do feel as though the gold watch is absolutely silly. But, again, I look through my own inbox of receipts of things I bought on E-Bay and paid way too much, because…
Leo: Yea, I buy silly stuff too.
Andy: And because, here, hang on. One second here.
Rene: I already told you, she had both the golds on at the show, and she was immediately…
Leo: And she liked it? She was drooling?
Rene: I tried it too and it’s hard not to like in person.
Leo: Really? It’s so beautiful?
Rene: You put the Mickey Mouse face on it and it’s just…
Leo: You know, it is though unusual, especially in the tech sector, you pay a lot more for something, you don’t get more memory or a faster processor or some technical benefit. All you’re getting is appearance benefit. It’s something we’re not used to, that’s all.
Andy: Again, we don’t, and there are reasons why. This just happened to be nearby. This is my R2D2 cookie jar.
Leo: We love him, yes.
Andy: I bought years ago on E-Bay, and it’s not like it cost a fortune, but it cost more money than I should bought on a cookie jar.
Leo: If it cost $17,000 I would have to …
Andy: But again, yea, and imagine that someone has the level of income above $17,000 that my income was at that time, above the eighty or ninety or a hundred bucks I spent for this all those years ago. I would not want to have to explain to somebody why, again, as a little kid, I saw this in catalogues, and said, “Oh my God, that’s the coolest thing ever.” And of course, I’m a little kid so I can’t afford to get it, now I can get it, and it’s on a shelf. I enjoy it a lot. I didn’t just simply look at it for three weeks and then throw it away. This is, things like this is the reason why, again, I personally think the gold watch is a dumb product, but I’m not going to judge somebody else for it. See that, R2, don’t let people say that you’re a stupid product. You’re a lovely product.
Leo: Mark, what’s your thought on all this?
Mark: I agree with Rene’s initial point on the watch. It exists for whoever wants it, no one’s forcing you to buy it. There’s no reason to call someone out for buying it. Just like, people calling out people for wearing Google Glass. It doesn’t look as ridiculous as Google Glass. I feel like if you see someone wearing one outside it won’t be that easy to tell it apart from the other models, just because of how things shine in the sun. I think, even the gold phone looks like the silver phone. So, I really don’t think it’s a big deal. It’s more of a statement, a status symbol type of thing. Apple really is shooting for comprehensive product launches, as we see with this upcoming Apple TV. So I think it made sense from that perspective. And from the perspective to get it into Vogue and for marketing-wise, and to drag people into retail stores, to launch all three collections as the call it. I think the gold watch is going to be a huge driver to retail stores. People will want to come play with the gold Apple Watch and they’ll settle for the ones that Apple knows that they’re trying to sell in the first place. I mean, Apple in terms of their guidance and internal metrics and whatnot, I mean, I don’t even know what percentage, what fraction of one percent of gold watches they’re expecting to sell out of the whole portfolio. I don’t even think they care if they sell one. It’s a driver for marketing-wise, it’s a driver getting-people-into-stores-wise, it’s a driver-conversation-wise, and all conversation is good for Apple in this product, hardware space. So I think it’s a good thing for the company. That said, I’m not going to buy one obviously, I strongly believe, and a lot of people have pushed back on this, but I strongly believe that buying a gold Apple Watch for 15, 10, 17 grand that will stop working in 2, 3, 4 years is a foolish thing from a technology perspective.
Leo: And that’s all we can talk about is technology. We’re not fashion reporters; we’re not haute couture experts. But from a technology point of view…
Rene: I do like that Apple, for long time we heard that Apple’s not innovating, and Apple’s boring, what else can Apple do, they’re doing the same thing over, and we’ll complain if they do things, we’ll complain if they don’t. Maybe there will be a second generation gold watch, third, forth, maybe there won’t. They’re trying things. It’s interesting. We’ll agree, we’ll disagree, we’ll discuss it, but it’s interesting.
Leo: You got, however you feel about it, you have to read that amazing article about the manufacture of the watch, put together by a Portland product designer who apparently has a lot of experience in manufacturing. It’s called, “How Apple Makes the Watch,” from the Atomic Delights blog, it is written by a fellow called Greg Kernig. I thought this was, this made me want the gold watch. Really interesting. Apple clearly showing it’s prowess at industrial, of not merely design, obviously they have prowess at design, but at production.
Rene: Ask Gale, he said he could make every part of that watch once, but to make hundreds of them a minute is just insane.
Leo: He starts off by saying, “Apple shipped a Boeing 787 weight’s worth of iPhones every 24 hours last quarter.” And only a company that can make seventy five million iPhones, twenty five million iPhones a month has the production prowess to make something like this. And the choices that they made are really interesting. The way they are hardening the watch, the gold watch, the alloys that they’re using. Some are common, the steel watch is a common, probably the most popular form of stainless steel, sometimes called incorrectly surgical grade stainless steel. The way they use ultrasonic testing to make sure that there are not imperfections in the gold body of the watch. The way they polish it. The way they manufacture it. I think the digital crown is really interesting to me. Precise, he says, precise grippy serrations. And how they do them after the polishing, because they don’t want the polishing to polish down the serrations. It’s all very interesting.
Rene: And it’s based on his knowledge of manufacturing as he applied them to the video. So he says he’s not sure he’s 100% right, but he’s highly knowledgeable in this, and this is his best guess is.
Leo: That’s what great about this. He’s basically deconstructing very short videos. Sometimes one frame is enough to kind of inform, ah, I see what they’re doing here.
Andy: The section on aluminum…even if you’re not interested in the watch, it’s a fascinating look into manufacturing processes. Like he’s talking, I think he’s talking about oxidation on aluminum, on how rust on like steel is a bad thing, but oxidation on metal is kind of like a metal enamel on top of everything else, that for a short, brief time, it’s like a honeycomb lattice of oxidation that you can then put colors into, almost any color you want. It’s really, really cool stuff.
Leo: It’s the adonization process.
Andy: It’s interesting to compare this, though, to other high end luxury watch and other product videos, where you see the watch, for these half million dollar watches, where it’s like forty five minutes of just tiny little tweezers with human hands, carefully putting tiny things into place. And there’s the Lika video for, what is it, the M1 or something? Where they show, it’s just forty two minutes of like human hands in white gloves carefully like, carefully like sanding like a part like, shook, shook, shook, shook, careful look, shook, shook, shook, careful look. And in contrast to both these Apple saying, no we use computers and machines because they’re real good at this stuff.
Leo: And we have to make a thousand a minute. Yea, even the aluminum. If you’re feeling bad that you have to buy the three hundred fifty dollar watch, probably what I’ll end up buying, even the aluminum is an amazing process involved in this.
Andy: How much are those machines getting paid though? Are they getting paid a fair wage?
Leo: I think it’s slave labor. I really do. So just have to recommend that. Atomicdelights.com and I’ve recommended it on a few other shows, but you’ve got to read it.
Andy: Even if you have no interest in the watch whatsoever, it’s just such a great piece.
Leo: Absolutely. But it is, it does tell you a lot about Apple, and about Apple’s abilities, and about how Apple is a unique company and so forth.
Rene: And their priorities.
Leo: And their priorities. They are polishing and buffing stuff you will never see. They’re laser cutting the insides so its smooth, even though you will never see that. That’s Johnny Ive.
Andy: Uhhh… ok. I’m sorry, we’re making conclusions based on facts not on evidence. There might be, there might be some part of like reclaiming stuff they don’t need, that’s a positive thing. I’m not, I wouldn’t put it past Apple to say, “Let’s put in this extra step just to make the insides look good.” But, yea.
Leo: We’ve seen them do that before with…
Rene: Yea, if the inside of a computer is green, what were they thinking?
Leo: We’ve seen them do that before with the Macs. You know, do stuff that nobody sees, that makes it nicer for aesthetically. One week from today Apple, the new book, we’re just going to have an onslaught of books about Steve Jobs for the rest of our lives, so you might as well get used to it. Some better, some worse. The new one’s “Becoming Steve Jobs” and you can read a pretty big excerpt on Fast Company, but I think we’re all be kind of getting up early next Tuesday to download and read this book before MacBreak Weekly. You have an assignment.
Andy: Only when you scrolled, when you showed that picture in that article just a second ago, only then did I realize that Tim Cook is having sort of an Obama sort of thing going on with his hair, where he used to have this dark hair, but as soon as he had to lead the company…
Leo: It’s gray, baby. It’s gray.
Andy: He lost the color in his hair.
Leo: So among other stories, I’m sure you’ve heard the one about Tim Cook offering part of his liver to Steve, and Steve saying, “NO!” Cook says one of the five times Jobs ever yelled at me. He also, and this was interesting, said that the Isaacson book did Steve Jobs a disservice.
Rene: That’s what many reviewers said at the time.
Leo: Interesting. I mean, it’s all we had. I mean, those were the interviews Steve gave.
Rene: I just think that they, the general feeling that was that he didn’t ask the sort of questions that Apple, that people who would have been interested in Apple would have asked.
Leo: That we would have asked, yea. But Cook did day, “the person I read about in Isaacson’s book is somebody I never would have wanted to work with overall this time.” And there’s a new movie that came out by South by Southwest, which also kind of has that subtext of, “What an a-hole.” What a D word.
Andy: I don’t know, I mean the clips that have emerged from South by Southwest don’t, basically show yes, now that he’s been gone for a few years I can be very honest and say it was a very, very difficult working relationship to have, but I still maintain an enormous amount of respect and fondness for the time that I spent there.
Leo: Yea, there’s that clip with Bob Belleville where he cries, and he says, “It’s the worst thing to ever happen to me and I hated every moment of it and I’d do it again in a heartbeat.”
Andy: It’s hard to find people who are saying that the times with dealing, when working with Steve Jobs was unpleasant, it’s because he was arbitrarily unpleasant, and he was taking something out on me that he should have taken out on somebody else, or that had nothing to do with the project we’re working on. Really, the thing that you respect is it’s always about here’s the results that we want to get from the company, and here’s why I’m happy with the results that you’re giving me right now. Which is not to say I would have lasted more than eight seconds working in that capacity, but that still, it’s different than having these bosses who are just like, “This croissant is stale, and therefore I’m cancelling your project.
Rene: Omega beams, Andy. Omega beams.
Leo: I never had to work with Steve Jobs, I spent one weekend with him twenty years ago. And, it’s ahrd not to admire the man’s intelligence, and not to notice his, he was in a hurry. He was brusque. He didn’t tolerate fools lightly. Arrogance might have been a word to describe it. But here’s something that I think is very important, and this is a quote from Becoming Steve Jobs. “The belief in Apple as a special place, as a company as magical as perhaps as an iPad, was something Steve shared with Cook, and was certainly part of the reason he urged the board of directors to sign off on Cook as his successor. There was a significant common thread we had,” says Cook. “I really love Apple, and I do think Apple is here for a bigger reason. There are very few companies like that on the face of the earth anymore.” And that’ an interesting cultural thing that I think is absolutely true. And we as Apple fans probably feel something of the same thing. I know early on in Apple, you know, somebody that used every, CPM computers, and MS-DOS, and early PCs, Apple was clearly hewing to a different path and was trying to do something transformative instead of just a business. And I think that that’s culturally very significant and important to Apple.
Rene: It’s why we got Research Kit, and why we have shareholder meetings when they’re asking what the business model for Research Kit is, and we get fiery Tim Cook for a few seconds.
Leo: He says, “Eight weeks after Steve told Cook he was making him CEO, things, his health, took a sudden turn for the worse. ‘I watched a movie with him the Friday before he passed away,’ Cook remembers. ‘We watched Remember the Titans.’” That will make you cry, if you watch that movie. IT’s a football story about an underdog high school team. “I was so surprised he wanted to watch that movie. I was like, are you sure?” Remember, Tim Cook, college football fanatic. Steve Jobs, not so much. “’Steve was not interested in sports at all,’ Cook says. ‘ And we watched and we talked about a number of things. And I left, thinking he was pretty happy.’ And all of a sudden, things went to hell that weekend.” I will read this book, and I will watch, I’m very interested in this biography, this new documentary about him.
Rene: Which Eddie Cue didn’t seem to like.
Leo: Say again?
Rene: Is that the one that Eddie Cue didn’t like?
Leo: Well, I think a lot of people won’t like it because it… I don’t know. You get to feeling, and again, I haven’t seen it, only people at South have seen it so far, and I will be very anxious to see it. But you get, yea, Eddie Cue called it “mean spirited and inaccurate portrayal.” But the documentarian starts off with Steve’s death, and showing how people, and he includes himself, went to the Apple Store. They were just drawn to the Apple Store that day to kind of remember Steve, and in a way thank him. And then the movie apparently goes on to portray a much more complex individual. And the question really, apparently, again, I haven’t seen it, just read the reviews, that is raised by this biography, is why did people revere this man when he was such a dick? (Laughing) basically, I think, in a nutshell.
Andy: I don’t like to use that term.
Leo: The D word. That’s another D word you don’t like.
Andy: No, that’s different. I mean, I refer to the winter weather as a dick.
Leo: That is dickie.
Andy: And I definitely meant it, it’s just hard to, the more we learn about how he led his life and how he ran Apple, the more you appreciate that it’s really hard to encapsulate his experience in any one sentence.
Leo: It’s very hard, he was very complex.
Andy: In any one sentence.
Leo: It’s absolutely true. But I think that the one thing that is true is he did not, he almost knew he did not have time to waste on pleasantries. Although, I’ll tell you, he could be, socially, very socially graceful, and kind. And Tim, I think Tim has that sensation, Tim Cook says that Steve Jobs was a very kind and generous man. And he wouldn’t take my liver. Even with a bottle of Chianti and a plate of fava beans. I’m sorry I made that joke. Should we, anything else we want to say before we move on to our picks of the week? Mark? Anything else June? Anything else coming? Any rumors you want to share with us?
Mark: Stay tuned to 9to5mac, we’ll have some stuff, some cool stuff soon.
Leo: (Laughing) We do, as you know, stay tuned. Rene Ritchie, any stories I missed, anything?
Rene: No, I don’t think, busy week.
Leo: It was crazy. There are about eighty stories in the run-down that I didn’t get to, but I tried to cover the highlights.
Andy: I think we delivered value for money here. Thanks to Mark’s contributions and my contribution on basically sitting and being quiet and not interrupting Mark.
Leo: You guys, very good. Mark, that never happens. Alright, let’s take a break and when we come back you’re picks of the week. We can wrap up another addition of MarkBreak Weekly. Our show today brought to you by Blue Apron. I am so hungry right now. Somebody’s cooking. There’s something magical. Cooking is one of the few things that separates humans from every other entity, every other creature on the planet, we cook. Nothing else cooks. And Blue Apron is about cooking, but if I think that you work, we all do, right, and you’re busy, it’s the shopping – I love to shop – but it’s the shopping that gets in the way of the cooking. You know, you’ve got to, you get off the job, and what, you’re going to go shopping for ingredients, then you’re going to start dinner and you won’t be eating until nine o’clock tonight. Blue Apron solves this. Blue Apron is so cool. If you enjoy cooking, and you love eating fresh ingredients beautifully prepared by yourself or your loved one, Blue Apron is amazing. It makes cooking delicious meals easy and fun. They bring you all the ingredients. They’re very creative. The recipes are amazing. You’ll feel like a master chef when you cook short rib burgers on pretzel buns, or spicy Thai chicken noodle soup. All the ingredients are there, they give you recipe cards. They’re laminated, they’re… or glossy anyway, they’ve got pictures and all the instructions. Anybody can cook, but there’s no trip to the grocery store, no waste from unused ingredients, you always get fresh, nothing frozen, fresh ingredients, perfectly proportioned with the instructions for less than ten dollars a meal. And once you cook it once, you have the recipe card, you’re going to do it again, I promise you. It’s great, it’s like a cooking class in a box. Perfect for date night, for cooking with friends, they even have family plans, with kid friendly ingredients. The whole family can eat well and have fun preparing meals together. Every balanced meal from Blue Apron is 500-700 calories per serving. So delicious but good for you. Cooking takes about half an hour, they’re not really long, elaborate things. So literally, you get home, your Blue Apron box will be sitting on your doorstep, it’s refrigerated so it’s fresh. You bring it in, you start cooking, half an hour later you’re eating. Shipping is free, the menus are always new, you’ll never get the same meal twice. And by the way, don’t worry about a box sitting on your doorstep for too long, they work around your schedule, your dietary preferences. The Blue Apron chef’s source only the best seasonal ingredients for incredible meals. Corned Beef – this is good for St. Patrick’s Day – Corned Beef Spiced Steak with Braised Cabbage and Buttered Potatoes. Yum! Have St. Patrick’s Day next week. Salvadoran Papusas, I love these, with black beans and cheese and gordito on the side. You’ll cook incredible meals. You’ll be blows away by the quality and freshness. And right now you’re going to get two meals free. How about that? If you go to blueapron.com/twit. Two meals free, blueapron.com/twit. You’ve got to try this. I see you moved the microphone down, Jason, is that because you’re a Blue Apron user? Do you like Blue Apron?
Jason Howell: You picked up on that. Yea, I checked it out myself, and there’s some awesome meals.
Leo: Pretty cool, isn’t it?
Jason Howell: Yea, I took pictures and video of the whole process, because we cook all the time, actually at home. So what this did is kind of take a layer out of the whole process, right, instead of us having to kind of coordinate what recipes we’re going to do, and then figure out, you know, what items we need to fulfill those recipes and everything. They do all that stuff. And then pretty much, you just have it all laid in front of you and ok, put it all together and make it.
Leo: It’s so fun, isn’t it? It makes you feel accomplished, too, like, I’m a pretty good cook.
Jason Howell: And I know, and every meal, we’ve tried three different meals, they were all fantastic.
Leo: Yea they’re good. And stuff you probably wouldn’t think of making.
Jason Howell: Oh, totally, keeps it original.
Leo: Oh yea, I like to make El Salvadoran Pupusas, Friday night’s Pupusa night at the Laporte house. No, no. But it might be now. Blueapron.com/twit. That’s Jason Howell, our esteemed producer and host of All About Android. Your wife is a personal trainer, so health is a big deal at home.
Jason Howell: Yea.
Leo: And you’ve got two lovely young daughters, and you want to feed them properly. Do they, now did you get the family one or did you get the …
Jason Howell: No, we were actually sent the two serving…
Leo: The regular one.
Jason Howell: Yea, the regular one. So…
Leo: And the kids? Did the girls like it?
Jason Howell: Yea, the girls had some, you know we made them their thing and kept the good stuff for us.
Leo: Yea, the Kraft Mac & Cheese.
Jason Howell: They had bites here and there though.
Leo: Michael’s so funny. He’s twelve and he, it’s, you know, he’s still ordering his hamburgers with nothing. Nothing. No ketchup, mustard, lettuce, tomato, onion, nothing. Bun, burger.
Jason Howell: But if they had their way, they’d just eat pizza seven days.
Leo: Exactly, exactly. Hey, it’s time for our picks of the week. Andy Ihnatko, will you kick things off for us?
Andy: Two picks that have been around for a while and people might have even heard of, but these are personal recommendations for a couple of different reasons. People are doing a lot of keyboard reviews, and I’ve been carrying around the Microsoft Universal Mobile Keyboard. This does not fold like other keyboards that I’ve used, but what I love and why this is now my favorite travel keyboard if you can’t afford to carry like the full sized Apple wireless, is that look at well it’s designed. It’s like one, nice, hard package like this. When you open this up, though, you have a full-sized, excuse me, a mobile sized keyboard, but it’s still very type-able, I wrote about two thousand words on an Amtrak train in New York on this last week. But, you have a built in laptop, a built in tablet stand that is big enough to pretty much hold anything securely, so it really works extremely well. On top of, and you can also pull that off if you actually want to. In theory.
Leo: You’re a keyboard fanatic, aren’t you?
Andy: Well, I write for a living, and I like to write in places that aren’t necessarily inside my house. So I’m very aware of these things. The other cool thing is that it’s a Bluetooth keyboard, but it’s a triple stack keyboard, so you can actually pair it with a Bluetooth, three different devices and just choose which device you’re using it with. So if you have, like you can use it with your phone, and then click the switch in another position and use it with your tablet, and click it in another position and just use it as a detached keyboard for presentations and stuff like that. $69 bucks and again, I just like something that’s really nice and compact, and can be tossed, and is not uncomfortable to work with for long periods of time. The second thing is actually the iPad Mini 3, which I just bought for myself just this week.
Andy: And I think that it’s an interesting story, and I’ll try to make it brief, but I had budgeted money, about 5 or 6 or 7 hundred dollars to buy an iPhone 6 or a Nexus 6, some kind of a large, like 6” phone, because I figured that I had a real use case for a phone that can be used for just little offsite writing tools, like when I have about an hour free or two hours free, and for a couple of reasons, I didn’t decide that I wanted to switch back to the iPhone 6, and I also decided that the Nexus 6 was not the one I wanted, so I just kind of held off, held off, held off. And oddly enough, the experience of using an 8” tablet, an 8” Windows tablet that cost $60 on that train, made me realize that the actual perfect use case I have is not for a large phone, but for a small tablet. So, because, to me there’s a, this is, like my little, sort of like day purse. And I need something that’s small enough to fit inside this, and still have room for my camera and my water bottle, and other things I’m going to be spending, like for a day, in New York to have, just like one meeting and come back for. It’s a large enough size that it’s eminently useful. Because it’s iOS as opposed to an Android tablet, you have real, world class productivity apps for it, whereas Android has great phone apps, but almost, but still almost next to nothing in terms of really, serious hard core productivity apps, and it’s an iPad. Nothing else is an iPad. The other interesting thing is that, as has been proven time and time again, there is, the only real difference between an iPad 3, an iPad Mini 3 and an iPad Air 2 is the size and the price. And if you really don’t mind having a smaller screen, you’ll get, pretty much the same CPU, the same speed, the same experience, it has touch ID. My previous iPad was an iPad 3, the one that’s sort of been orphaned a little bit, by a lot of features and by a lot of its hardware limitations, I am holding out for the big purchase of an iPad Pro if and when it gets released later on this year, and I just realized, that wow, I can actually make, even if and when that comes out, and if and when I buy it, I will still have a use for a compact tablet that can fit inside something tiny and doesn’t have to make an excuse for itself. I bought the 64GB version, not the 128GB version because I do like to have lots of comics, and lots of movies, and lots of files on there, and I don’t want to have to choose on what I need to delete to make room for something else. I did not get the GPS version, or the LTE version because, in the year since I bought my iPad 3, it’s so easy to simply activate a hotspot, even on Android I simply like flick a button on my watch, and suddenly the hot spot feature on my phone is activated. That it wasn’t as big a deal as anything else. So I was surprised to find out, as soon as this idea occurred to me, that well, gee, for years you have not been interested in the iPad Mini for yourself because you feel as though you really need the big screen experience of the full sized iPad, you’ve just demonstrated to yourself, by the virtue of the fact you were almost willing to use a 6” screen for actual work, that argument is no longer valid. So, I think that if you’re looking for something that is a good gap computer, something that’s only going to be able to help you out for about, that 2-3 hour spate of work you’re going to have during a day out of the office, it’s a really, it’s a good value and it’s a good choice, you can buy cheaper tablets, but none that will fulfill that role I think as well as an iPad Mini 3.
Leo: Wow. Because it’s very similar, and I presume that they’re going to do a bigger update this fall, it’s very similar to last year’s iPad Mini.
Andy: It’s a major CPU upgrade plus Touch ID.
Leo: That makes a difference, yea.
Andy: And as with the iPhones, as with the iPhone 5 and the iPhone 6, you don’t really notice what a big advantage Touch ID is until you don’t have it and now you do have it.
Leo: I hate it, because I have an old iPad, and I still have to enter my password. It’s really frustrating.
Andy: Yea, but that’s again, one of those tiny little convenience features, that you are not frustrated that you have to type in a password, just like I’m not frustrated that I used to have to pull out my phone to, like, actually activate hotspot. It’s only when you suddenly don’t have to do that anymore that you realize how much you’re glad that you don’t have to do that anymore.
Leo: So it does have a CPU upgrade? I thought that they didn’t upgrade the CPU.
Andy: Oh yea, no, benchmarks, when I wrote my original piece on the two, back in the fall, I, again, sometimes you have to like, I have to challenge and re-challenge my conclusions because they make no sense, and I know that I could be stupid and make mistakes, and it’s like, no, I’m basically like saying that anything I want to do on the iPad Mini I could do just as fast as I can do it on the iPad Air 2, so. But not to say that a larger screen doesn’t have benefits, I would much rather spend an afternoon writing on a screen that’s larger than 8”, but given that my use case for this is not to have a big, convenient screen to work on, but simply to have something that can handle the four food groups of my workday, when again, I’m on a train for 3-4 hours to New York, or just need to get a little bit of work done on a column while I’m boogying out of the office, or on my way to someplace else. It’s very much the best choice that was available to me.
Leo: Thank you, Andy Ihnatko. Mr. Rene Ritchie, you got a pick for us?
Rene: I do, I have to couch it by saying that I thought it would be available by now, it’s going to be available shortly, hopefully today, maybe tomorrow. But it’s an app by Tumult called Hype 3. It’s the latest generation app version of their, the best way to describe it is Flash without Flash. It’s an HTML 5 animation, you know, almost like classic time-line animation tool, you can make almost anything with it that you could make in Flash, but instead of proprietary format, it does everything in HTML 5. It’s just a fantastic app, it’s made by an amazing team, former Apple engineers are behind it. And they’ve got an interesting new model with this. They have the app itself, it’s free to try. It’s fifty dollars to buy it, and then if you want professional version, it’s a fifty dollar in-app purchase. So, professional gives you things like physics based animation for example. And Serenity Caldwell is going to have a full review of it as soon as it’s live, but she did like a quick video game in just a few minutes. Well, more than a few minutes, but she, in a short amount of time, she managed to do a very basic video game. And for anybody that wants web animation, but wants web animation that’s compatible everywhere, that’s portable everywhere, that just looks great, and they let you try it out on different screens, so you can test it.
Leo: That’s so cool, look at that.
Rene: It’s amazing. I started using it a couple years ago, and I never, I never looked back because my background in Flash was classic time-line animation, it wasn’t any of the later interface sort of stuff. And I just, I love it. They do a fantastic job, it’s super clean, it’s super quick, it’s lightweight. If you want to make banners, if you want to make games, if you want to make anything that you would have used Flash for before, Hype just, in my opinion, does it better and cleaner and with standards compliant code. And I can’t say enough great things about it. I think Hype 3 is an utterly fantastic update. And I think Hype professionals, Serenity called it almost like going from iMovie to Final Cut Pro. And I think that’s very apt. Because it is sort of, a next sort of professional level tools. And everything I’m saying now is on their website, so I’m not spoiling it by giving you the information early but its, yea, Jonathan Deutsch is the main driver behind the company and just really, really good stuff from really, really good people.
Leo: Are you supposed to shake Guinness before you open it? I’m just wondering.
Rene: Are you supposed to shake it and then stab the …
Leo: Well it has this thing in it, right, like the little paint ball.
Andy: Well you should definitely shake it more, but especially if there’s going to be video running when you open it. I’d shake it for another good ten seconds.
Rene: Warn Mark to duck.
Leo: Mark Gurman, did you bring anything along as a pick? Did ya, because if you didn’t, it’s ok.
Mark: Nothing today.
Leo: Alright. I brought, obviously I brought my St. Patrick’s Day Irish potato chips.
Mark: Where can I get a pair of those glasses?
Leo: Oh, aren’t they awesome? St. Patrick’s Day, I hope you’re wearing green or I’m going to have to come there and pinch you. Nothing.
Andy: You’ve already pinched us all with your intellect, Leo.
Leo: That’s right. So, I just want to mention a couple of great games. If you’re a retro game person, have come to the Macintosh finally, I love Command and Conquer. It’s the category, I wish we’d see more of these top down, real time strategy games like Age of Empires, a lot of people, Starcraft, a lot of people think Command and Conquer was the best in the category. It is now out in a port for the Macintosh. I a little pricey, twenty dollars, but that’s still a lot less than you paid when you bought it back in, when was it, 19, maybe in 20 something. And then the other one I really love is, and has now been slowly ported to a lot of things, it just came out on the PlayStation I think, Abe’s Odd World: Stranger’s Wrath. What a heck of a good game this one is, this is only ten dollars. And a really nice port as well, I didn’t download it on this machine because I don’t have enough room, both of these are fairly hefty. 692 megabytes for Stranger’s Wrath, but boy, a great game. So if you’re in the mood for some retro-gaming action to go along with your Guinness Harp, couple of choices there for you. Mark Gurman, thank you so much for making this MarkBreak Weekly, every week we quote you all the time, you’re the best. Thank you, and come back, come back. Be a part of this show.
Leo: Love having you on.
Mark: I love being on here. Thank you so much for having me.
Leo: Alright, we’ll have you back soon. Mr. Rene Ritchie, iMore.com. You come back, too, it was so nice having you and Serenity here with me in the studio.
Rene: Yea it was fantastic.
Leo: Yea, yea.
Rene: And Jason.
Leo: And Jason Snell, I’m not forgetting Jason Snell, no, no.
Rene: You can’t, he won’t let you.
Leo: And by the way, you recommended Alto’s Adventures last week and a number of people are mentioning that they can’t stop playing, so, curse you?
Rene: Serenity, again, Serenity, the same thing she did with three. She makes a guide that makes you think you can get close to her score, then you just can’t stop trying to get close to her score.
Leo: Andy Ihnatko, Chicago Sun Times, great to have you as well, my friend.
Andy: Always a slice, Leo.
Leo: Always the best. We’ve got such a good team on this show. We do, don’t miss a minute of MacBreak Weekly. Somebody tuned in and said, “Did you guys start early again?” You know, whoa….
Rene: We started less late.
Leo: We started… we have changed to Daylight Savings Time here in the United States of America, we do it earlier than anybody else just to screw with you. So, we are now at 11:00 AM Pacific Daylight Time, that’s 2:00 PM Eastern Daylight Time, 1800 UTC. So make the UTC adjustment for you. I know this is a little frustrating for people in Europe who have not yet moved, it seems like we’re starting earlier. We move, so you have to move. Watch live if you can, but if you can’t, you know, it’s ok. Even if you missed the first hour, we make on demand audio and video of this show available always, on all our shows at TWIT.tv in this case TWIT.tv/mbw or you can get it at iTunes or wherever you get your podcasts, the podcast app, Overcast, whatever you use. You can also use our great apps; we didn’t do them, but we have such a good community, apps on iOS, Android, Roku, Windows Phone, everywhere you are. So please get an app, subscribe, do whatever you need to do, but don’t miss another episode. We want you here each and every week. Now, back to work, and a little Guinness, because break time is over!
Andy: Is the top of that can bulging?
Leo: Yea, I’m a little nervous (laughing).
Andy: Yea, that’s a…
Leo: Is that a bad sign?
Andy: Do you have a 4K camera you can turn on at this point?
Leo: (laughing) so the hole is here, so I should make it go, which way should I make it go? Right to you Jeff, right? Stay right, no come here, come here a little closer. A little bit closer, Jeff. Whoa, no, it’s going to blow!
Andy: This is just like the Apple Watch event. All that build-up but very little release.
Rene: Jump around, jump around, jump up, jump up and jump down.