MacBreak Weekly 447 (Transcripts)
Leo Laporte: It's time for MacBreak Weekly, Andy and Rene are here, Serenity Caldwell too, we'll talk about the new book about Steve Jobs, early reviews coming in. Also what's it going to be like to buy an Apple Watch? We've got more details thanks to Mark Gurman of 9to5 Mac and has Apple banned any viruses from the app store? We'll find out next, on MacBreak Weekly.
Announcers: Netcasts you love, from people you trust. This is TWiT. Bandwidth for MacBreak Weekly is provided by CacheFly. That's C-A-C-H-E-F-L-Y dot com.
Leo: It's time for TWiT's annual audience survey and we want to hear from you. Please visit TWiT.tv/survey and let us know what you think, it only takes a few minutes and your anonymous feedback will help us make TWiT even better. Thank you so much for your continued support. TWiT.tv/survey. This is MacBreak Weekly episode 447, recorded Tuesday March 24th, 2015.
Leo: MacBreak Weekly is brought to you by Casper, an online retailer of premium mattresses for a fraction of the price, because everyone deserves a great night sleep. Get $50 off any mattress purchase by visiting Casper.com/macbreak and enter the promo code MacBreak. And by LegalZoom. It's national start your business month at LegalZoom, and the best time to create the business you've always dreamed of. LegalZoom is not a law firm but they can connect you with an independent attorney. Visit LegalZoom.com and use the offer code MBW in the referral box to save more. It's time for MacBreak Weekly, the show where we cover... why am I sounding like Bullwinkle all of the sudden? We cover the latest Apple news, Andy Ihnatko is here from the Chicago Sun Times, hello Andrew.
Andy Ihnatko: If we're Bullwinkle can I be like the announcer from Frostbite Falls?
Leo: Can you do that voice?
Andy: I can, if I adjust myself from the microphone.
Leo: I love that voice.
Andy: At last we turned in, Apple announced a brand new wrist watch costing $10,000. Bullwinkle thinks he can raise the money for the sport edition.
Leo: I don't know Rocky. It looks like... (laughs) these are made of gold! Also with us Rene Ritchie.
Andy: There's no used case for a smartwatch yet.
Leo: Oh no! Bullwinkle what have you done? I don't know who that is. Also here Rene Ritchie from iMore.com, I'm so sorry.
Rene Ritchie: Hi everyone, I can do a high voice too!
Leo: Hi rock! Oh it's Natasha! Hello!
Rene: With moose and squirrel.
Leo: Hello, Serenity Caldwell from iMore.com. Hello moose and squirrel.
Serenity Caldwell: I am bad at Russian accent.
Leo: Yes. No, you good! So hello everybody.
Leo: Hello Serenity, how's things?
Serenity: Things are good.
Leo: I had to do math in my head, it was only two weeks ago that you were here and Rene was here and you and you and you were here and we were talking about the Apple Watch.
Serenity: It's true.
Leo: Yep, and one of the reasons that's germane is the Apple Watch goes on sale pre-order April 10th which is only about two weeks away, two or three weeks away. And then April 24th we can actually put one, strap one on so to speak. That was six weeks, that's a long time for Apple between announcement and availability. Is that the longest ever?
Andy: Longest I can remember.
Andy: In terms of...
Leo: Oh wait a minute, no. iPhone.
Andy: If we don't count like the iPad being announced and then a few months.
Serenity: Yeah the iPhone, yeah.
Rene: Yeah the iPhone...
Leo: The original iPhone was six months right? Or something.
Rene: And then they announced the launch date and I know it was a few more weeks.
Andy: But I think the precedent is more like the September event where they said okay well now obviously we have to able to let these out in the world so people can actually use and test them and plus we have to follow the design, we're not going to announce when it's going to be available apart from a time frame so this is probably unprecedented in the sense that we've got a firm launch date but you've got a couple of months to, we realize you probably are going to have to roll some pennies to get that $10,000 so...
Andy: Start heading down to the coin counter machine at the supermarket, don't put the $10,000 in pennies in all at once.
Rene: Apple TV was a little bit similar because it was shown off the fall before as iTV and then during the original iPhone event they showed it off again as Apple TV which was several months later.
Rene: So they do these teases sometimes.
Rene: New products are hard Leo.
Leo: New products are tough. What should we talk about? Lets talk about the becoming Steve Jobs. Have you all read it now?
Rene: I'm half way through.
Serenity: In the process, yeah.
Andy: I got my hard cover yesterday and I read about a quarter of it while I was, while I was donating like blood platelets yesterday.
Leo: Oh nice, good man.
Andy: And then like I got, I was reading it for so long I checked my email and it said oh your Kindle Edition that you bought, pre-ordered a month ago has arrived. Okay, so now I can put down the book and go into Kindle, so I'm about half way through.
Leo: Yeah that's how I've been reading it as well.
Andy: He has just taken Next off the rails and bad things are happening.
Leo: So... I've only read kind of the forward, I haven't had a lot of time to read it, I was reading it with my breakfast cereal this morning. The guy who wrote it, what is it, Brent Schnedler? (laughs) That's not his name... BS is his initials, that's the only... (laughs). Actually two people wrote it but Brent was a reporter for the Wall Street Journal when he first met Steve Jobs in 1986 so he claims as a result of many interviews, 25 year... friendship probably isn't the right word. Acquaintance with Steve Jobs.
Andy: One of the important things to note is that he started his journalistic relationship with him well before like the big clamp down on press really started with Steve. He had access that no one would have granted to him in later dates. Like being able to hang out, being able to see parts of his daily routine that wouldn't be shown. He came in when he was trying to get Next off the ground and he writes about esquire followed him around for an entire week pretty much 24/7 and it's a sign of how important it was to Steve that Next get good publicity and be launched as an equal to Apple almost out of the gate that he gave so many members of the press this kind of access. So it's very very interesting and it's probably my favorite Steve Jobs book so far.
Leo: Interesting. Because some have cast this as the anti-Walter Isaacson biography. That this one was supported by Jobs' friends and is more truthful about Jobs. Is that...
Rene: They've had a lot of smart things said about the Isaacson book and I think some of the most apt was John Syracuse and John Gruber when they talked about it and said that Isaacson had all the access but he didn't have the insight, he didn't write the book that a lot of us who followed Apple really wanted to write, the things he focused on weren't the things we wanted to know about Steve Jobs, like all the Next era things and how he designed products and how he worked on it and this book seems to focus on those things. This seems like the Steve Jobs book for people who were fascinated by Steve Jobs as a technologist and as a product guy.
Andy: Early on I think that he makes a really good point which is that, I'm sorry, I should say a point that I've agreed with wholeheartedly which is the most interesting portion of his life to an outsider would be the period between Next and his return to Apple because the Steve Jobs who led Next to the place where Next wound up is clearly not the same Steve Jobs that took Apple from the ashes and returned it to primacy. So what happened, it's... there is so much about I think, the more you read about the man, the more you realize that people seemed, it seems as though a lot of writers seem to know here is what the guy was like, as though he didn't change through twenty or thirty years of his life from the time he founded Apple to the end of his life, when actually every person is an evolving person and they're capable of doing things later in life they were incapable of doing earlier, that there are faults that they have identified and corrected as they go and then again, I'm only, I'm barely half way through it but I'm very very pleased to see that the author seems to have an idea of what the progression is like and a broader perspective not only on Apple but of the entire industry, so he understands things I think in context, I don't think the Isaacson book was bad, I think it was necessary for what it was. But my one big complaint about it was that I thought it lacked that sort of broad perspective and the sort of informed nature of here is what the technology world is like.
Serenity: Yeah it's a weird kind of dichotomy there because I think that in general the book from what I've read of it feels much more personal than the Isaacson book does but it does touch on sort of those grand subjects and those grand topics. So it's... it feels a lot more like you're being invited into Steve's hearth so to speak and hearing, you know... basically like sitting around and shooting the (expletive) as opposed to sitting and reading an academic book about the... listening to a lecture about the life and times of Steve Jobs.
Leo: Is it... but you know, sometimes reporters will do that artificially. Is it genuine that he is in fact sitting around with Steve Jobs? Do you sense that as... is it a trope of the book or is it actually true? I don't get the sense...
Serenity: I think whether or not... yeah. I don't necessarily think it entirely false but whether or not it's you know, whether or not they're stretches of the truth in terms of the way that they crafted the narrative, it just feels very... it feels very genuine. Whether or not like 100% of the crafting was genuine, it feels genuine and it's... again, I've only read the first chapter or two so I can't comment on the entire book quite yet but I'm really (audio cuts) and it feels very natural to me.
Leo: Brent... I should, Brent deserves his real name. Brent Schlender and Rick Tetzeli and in the preface they say even though we both wrote this book and researched it over many years we're going to use the first person pronoun, I, throughout and when it is used it refers to Brent, right?
Rene: Yeah it works really well and the thing I like best about this, at least so far from the parts that I've read is that sometimes you feel like the author is going to push a narrative like Steve Jobs was a jerk or Steve Jobs was the greatest thing since slices bread and this really seems like he presents the anecdotes and it doesn't sugarcoat them, you can choose to interpret them and they sort of give some rationale about why he might not have been very nice in a situation or why he might have been generous in a situation, but it feels more like I can sort of take from it what I want rather than certain angles being shoved right at me.
Andy: Yeah I like that sometimes it seems as though things that he's read in other biographies have sort of like stuck in his croar, they collect of his. There's a section that actually highlighted that some writers have tried to cast Steve's obsessiveness and his hunger for the spotlight and success as a Freudian attempt to bring down the birth parents who “rejected” him by letting him be adopted. It always struck me, however, that at his childish worse Steve was really nothing more than a spoiled brat.
Leo: Whoa. Okay.
Andy: There is lots of stuff like that. I'm not talking like mean stuff, I'm talking about like here's...
Leo: Right. Well it's not hate geography, that's a good sign. It's not...
Andy: But it also takes time to point out that you feel, you hear like half of the story of how he yelled at these people and then walked out, he has the other half of the story where someone chased him out there and found him like crying in his car and he decided I've screwed that up so badly, oh come on Steve come back to me. No, I'll have to come back in to apologize abjectly but then I have to leave again because oh my god I screwed that up so badly. So that's the sort of stuff that even early on the book, really makes you want to see what else these guys have to say.
Leo: So it sounds like all three of you recommend it. This is not approved by Apple.
Rene: No but Tim Cook and several other of the Apple executives and Laurene Powell Jobs who were interviewed for the book, he said they declined at first but he persevered and he managed to get a lot of them on board towards the end.
Leo: It's approved in the sense that he had cooperation but then so did Walter Isaacson, in fact Isaacson had the most important cooperation, that of Steve Jobs himself.
Andy: Which is why it's an important book, I mean even if there are holes in it, and I'm not qualified to say what those holes really are, the fact that here are the stories that Steve Jobs wanted to tell at the end of his life, even that for its strengths, for its omissions that is a significant and important part of the story.
Leo: Mhm. And the anecdotes you refer to, it feels like at this point we've heard them all, is there new stuff so far?
Rene: Oh yeah.
Leo: I know none of you have read it all. Yes there is, okay.
Leo: Good, I can't wait.
Andy: Yeah and I think part of what makes it so strong is that if there is a story you've heard a million times like how Steve might have Woz out of some money for developing Breakout, but is like a whole chapter in some other books is just a couple sentences here because...
Leo: They know you know it.
Andy: He takes the details that are important for the narrative but assumes okay, I think you've heard of this before.
Leo: Right. Alright, can't wait to read it. Again, just came... the reason we're all atwitter is because it just came out this morning officially, although I see some of you have received a copy earlier. The name of the book is Becoming Steve Jobs, you know what I love? Right from the start, that's not the photo of Steve Jobs everybody knows, they probably could have used you know, more iconic photo but I think using this was really good because it almost says look, this is about the young Steve Jobs and a Steve Jobs you might not have seen.
Andy: Actually it kind of looks like the transition because you've got like the hippie flannel shirt but he's also got the iconic turtleneck underneath it.
Leo: He does have a turtleneck.
Andy: As though he's bursting out of his chrysalis into the modern Steve.
Leo: And to answer...
Serenity: Half old Steve.
Leo: And to answer ReverbMike's question in the chatroom, no Steve doesn't wear deodorant in this book either. Brent Schlender is the author and Rick Tetzeli, published by Crown, it is available now. Is it available on iBooks? That would be telling.
Leo: It is. (laughs)
Rene: Yup. Got it at midnight from iBooks.
Leo: Alright, there you go.
Andy: I got my Kindle plugged in at midnight plus one.
Serenity: Even... they did a little highlight on it.
Leo: That tells you that even though it's not, and I also love it that it's not hate geography, it's not fulsomely praiseful of Jobs but it sounds like it's... they said he was a spoiled brat, that's, you know. That's a good sign.
Andy: Well I mean this is, but it's part of the story. Like I think he underscores that you really can't reduce an entire man who lived for sixty years into just a cartoon character.
Andy: I mean I've always thought that this must be something that's quite painful for people who were his actual friends and his family, that there are people who have to tell like a reality story, like a reality show where you get these people and then they're doing what they're doing but you have to cast one of them as the hero, one of them as the villain. You have a person that's the wise person, the other person as the fool.
Andy: And so you can create this narrative where, I want to cast Steve Jobs as this brilliant genius that yes, he had his faults but oh my god he smoked the ground with his magic staff and up from there, all by himself arose the iPhone. And there are people who have to simply say, oh yeah he was just such a jerk and he was mean spirited and he was full of himself and I think anything you want to say about any individual you could say is true to one extent or another but you really, that's just like one point, one pixel in a larger picture and you have to really see the whole picture.
Leo: Can't wait to read this actually. Looks really good.
Rene: Also available on Audible.
Leo: It is! Oh good, I don't have to read it. I can listen. (laughs) I will immediately, I did buy the Kindle version of it but I will immediately get the Audible version. Thank you. We're going to take a break, when we come back of course there's lots to talk about, Apple has really started the... I think it's pretty obvious, the PR drumbeat for the Apple Watch. Even now to the point where if you ask Siri, let me try this here. (Siri activation tone) What are you doing?
Siri: Just doing a little traveling at the speed of light, it's fun. Although time gets a bit sluggish in the outer galaxies.
Leo: Oh. (Siri activation tone) Yeah, but whatcha doing?
Siri: I'm learning some new tricks.
Leo: (Siri activation tone) What are you doing?
Siri: I was just chatting with the Apple metallurgy team about the durability of Ice-nine.
Leo: The metallurgy team. (Siri activation tone) What are you doing?
Siri: I'm helping round up jellyfish for the Apple Watch. Ouch.
Leo: Jellyfish? Oh yeah, because of the little...
Rene: The animated time thing.
Leo: (Siri activation tone) Whatcha doing?
Siri: I'm eagerly awaiting the arrival of Apple Watch.
Leo: There's a lot of Apple Watch pros in there all of the sudden. It's just the beginning of the PR drumbeat, we've got a video and lots more coming up in just a little bit. Rene Ritchie and Serenity Caldwell from iMore are here, Andy Ihnatko from the Chicago Sun Times, our show brought to you by those great... my mattress. Why not? Those great folks at Casper, one thing that unites all of our advertisers is all of them have found new ways to do business thanks to technology, thanks to the Internet. Casper is an online retailer of premium mattresses, made in the US with high technology for a fraction of the cost. And they're really changing the mattress industry, because by eliminating showrooms and re-sellers they save you money. Now, you might say but what good is that? I need to lie on this thing, well Casper knows and I think you probably know and I know for sure because I did it, going to a showroom and lying it for five minutes is not the best way to buy a mattress. I ended up buying a mattress that was really uncomfortable, we actually spent a lot of money on that mattress, thank goodness for Casper. There's my Casper for those of you watching on video, it comes in a small box, that's a queen size mattress in that box. When you open it up it comes out and goes whoosh and suddenly you have this beautiful, comfy mattress. Better than that, you have a hundred days to try it. One hundred days! So they, shipping is free, they get it to you, they'll take it back, it's completely risk free. You need to sleep on this mattress, for as long as three months and then if you decide you don't want it, they'll take it back absolutely no questions asked. It is a great mattress, I think you're going to like it so much you're going to want to change all your mattresses. Casper mattress, combines latex and memory foam. Now it's funny, I always thought the memory foam was in the top, no the memory foam is the main part of the mattress, latex on top of it. And if you go to the website you can see how they make it. And it gives you a combination of firmness but give that is exactly right. At least for me. You should try it. I'll tell you what, these are great mattresses, they start at $500 for a twin, king size $950. And they're really to get up stairs and I like that. I ordered one for my son, he's on like the third floor and he said I need a mattress dad, I gotta get furniture, I need a mattress and I sent him a Casper queen and they got it up easily, he loves it by the way. And if you mention the offer code MacBreak you will save $50 as one of our audience members. Casper.com/macbreak. The latex keeps you cool, the memory foam gives you firmness, it's a really nice combination. Just the right amount of bounce and give but I need a little bit of firmness. Casper.com/macbreak. Use the promo code MacBreak to find out more and to save $50 on your mattress purchase. Bed that loves you back, aw. Isn't that sweet? Inside Apple's top secret health and fitness lab. ABC had the video they actually talked, it's interesting with Jay Blohnik who is the guy who came over from Nike, the fitness guru who came over from Nike. And gave them a tour of Apple's not so secret health lab. This is an ad, I think this is an ad. That doesn't look like Jay.
Andy: Remember the days when Apple would only show the inside of their labs when they were in big big trouble?
Leo: (laughs) Real interesting, does this mean...
Andy: No no no, I mean it's a different policy where they realize that there's really very little to be gained by maintaining such absolute air tight secrecy and that sometimes if you really want to show off all the work you put into a project why it's such a good thing. Why not show people how much work you put into it?
Andy: People are interested in the story behind it.
Leo: This is ABC's Nightline, and notice they top secret.
Rene: (humming theme music)
Leo: Look, we're going inside!
Andy: Don't say it's top secret unless you're being shot at while you're filming.
Leo: It looks like the lab contains rowing machines, treadmills, and stair masters. And lots of people wearing gas masks.
Leo: Those are...
Serenity: They're all Bane.
Leo: It's Bane. I don't think you understand. The Apple Watch...
Rene: Well one of the things we asked at the event was because like I have a rowing machine and I wanted to know if it would track that because a lot of fitness bands won't and they said yes it will and they spent a lot of time figuring out how to track...
Leo: I row every day and that's one of the big frustrations of every fitness band I've ever used, all the previous ones are for walking and running. Period.
Serenity: It's not helpful if you want to do anything else.
Leo: Right. So, in fact I've been known to put the fitness, the jaw bone up on my ankle while I bicycled hoping that it would measure bicycling. So that's good news, I hope does do that.
Rene: Yeah it does, it's one of the settings, like it has different modes and you can put it in the mode for rowing machines or for one of the other bits of gym equipment.
Leo: Nice. That is fabulous. The reason I think that they had masks on is that they're measuring oxygen consumption. It's interesting that they're doing that, I'm not sure what that has to do with the Apple Watch.
Andy: Probably because remember it's calculating your, how much you're exerting and how much you're moving around.
Leo: It's the vio to max that they want to measure, right?
Andy: I bet that they're just trying to figure out how to dial in one of those rings to say here is how much work you've been doing today.
Leo: Uh huh.
Andy: So they have actual data that can be compared to their guesses just to come up with a good guess.
Leo: I tell you, if Apple's figured out how to do that, that's huge. That's one of the things that no one else has yet figured, the Op 3 I'm told, Dr. Mom who's a customer, will do that but she says it's not out yet, will measure the rowing and other stuff. This is ABC really, hey look they got a great interview, it's a great story, people are interested but this is massive PR for the Apple Watch.
Serenity: Very much so, and I think it's really interesting that we're (audio cuts) … Jeff Williams be so out in front, especially because we haven't seen a lot of public appearances from him aside from the Apple Watch most recently, the event where he kind of got introduced to research kit but actually being able to for him to be able to go out to ABC news and be sort of the spokesperson for the health, the health initiative that Apple is doing, that's huge. That's, I mean that's... it's a big sort of step forward into the spotlight for him.
Leo: Apple, Jay is Apple's chief operating officer but this is Jay Blahnik, Jeff is...
Rene: No, Jeff Williams is the chief operating officer, Jay Blahnik is in charge of fitness.
Leo: Right, is Jeff going to show up on this later?
Serenity: Yeah yeah.
Leo: Is Jeff going to show up on this later?
Rene: He was in the beginning, he was the guy at the very beginning.
Leo: Oh he was the guy at the beginning?
Leo: Yeah Jeff Williams is the COO. And there's the ABC correspondent, actually running on a treadmill so that you believe that she was there. And then more PR video from Apple, there's a lot of it salted in here.
Rene: I think Jeff's official title is Senior Vice President of Operations, I don't think it's technically...
Leo: Not COO but he's the... he took Tim Cook's job.
Leo: When Tim was moved upstairs, yeah.
Serenity: Essentially yeah.
Rene: And he's in charge of all the health stuff at Apple I believe. Which shows you how important those key kind of Voltron executives are at Apple. He's the operations guy but he's also got all this underneath him.
Andy: Voltronic executives?
Rene: Well that's the joke, they all kind of combine together to make Apple from that page.
Leo: Oh somebody reminds me that this company, ABC, is owned by Disney.
Andy: By Disney.
Leo: Which has very close ties to Apple.
Rene: Alike on the board.
Leo: Shared board members and of course the Jobs family is the largest shareholder at the Disney company. That would, that explains the access.
Andy: Yeah, again it's so... maybe it's just because I spent the past day just reading about like early Apple and Steve Jobs, he opens up the book by talking about how the first time he was sent by the Wall Street Journal to interview Steve, basically the first fifteen minutes Steve was interviewing him as if to say, let's first see if you're qualified to talk to me about technology. I don't think that this ABC reporter had to go through anything like that, so this is... she's useful, she looks... I don't know who she is and she certainly looks capable but like whether she is capable or not she would have gotten this interview.
Leo: Yeah. Well this is, like I said it's PR.
Andy: Yeah. Is the PR starting to get a little bit oppressive because I've got to say I'm starting to tune out a little bit.
Leo: When Siri starts saying things like I'm waiting for the Apple Watch, now... admittedly that doesn't get intruded into you know if you say “Hey Siri what time is it?” you have to ask what are you doing?
Rene: If only you had an Apple Watch, you could ask the watch!
Leo: Yeah now if she starts saying that I'm going to get pissed off. But this is a big push for Apple, and you know what Andy? To your point that Apple didn't used to do this until they were in trouble, I don't know... I don't... I think you almost could say Apple's a little nervous about the watch and on about its success and maybe is pushing a little hard right now.
Andy: I don't know if they're nervous, I do think that this is a device that they have extreme faith in. This isn't Apple TV where they think this is the time to release the hardware, we don't know what it's going to do but we know we're in this long haul. They feel as though if we strike right now and strike hard we will have, we will have one of the greatest product launches in Apple history and I think that's why they're really using every asset they can possibly use. I think they also understand that this is not a device that anybody wants, and that's not meant as a criticism of the device, it means that nobody has... almost nobody owns a smartwatch at this point and so nobody can say “Oh my god I've been waiting for a device just like this.” Not only has nobody been waiting for it, nobody knows what this device is or why they would even want it in the first place. So that's why there's so much education that has to happen in that time. Maybe one of the reasons why they decided to do this announcement the way they did where they're giving people six weeks before they can start ordering is to fill that six weeks time with education, education, education. And just say well you know what? Maybe we're not going to be interested, maybe you wouldn't have been interested in this after seeing a few commercials but after seeing six weeks of coverage in every media outlet we can possibly get at including high end you know, $8,000 an issue fashion magazines, okay I'm lying but you know what I mean, this is going to get people off the fence from maybe this is sort of interesting to I definitely at least want to take a look at this, oh wow I can actually go to my local Apple store and try one on, that's great.
Rene: It's a big challenge too because it was such a... like they were going to get thousands of those things onto employees arms out in Cupertino and they were going to get seen so there was a big gap between September and now and it's really challenging to maintain initiative and momentum in PR for that long and you don't want to do too little and people forget about it, you don't want to do too much and they feel oppressed by it. But you want to do enough that it sort of builds and gains that momentum and to Andy's point, there was this great article in a blog to watch by Ariel Adams where he laid out the problem that Apple and things like the iPhone taught people they didn't need watches any more, now they have to teach people why they might want them again.
Rene: From a watch person's perspective, it was really interesting because he thought the way that Apple was tackling the bands for instance was stuff that even watch makers were doing and the way that they were manufacturing these things, it wasn't like... he thought a lot of the current smartwatches were like the little plasticky toys and this was really like a watch aficionado's kind of watch and it was just interesting to see again from the watch perspective how they're marketing this.
Serenity: Yeah I also think it's...
Andy: Go ahead, I'm sorry.
Serenity: I was going to say I also really think that this is the first real brand new product, like not just an iteration but brand new product that Apple's had to release since Steve Jobs' death, and while I don't necessarily think that anybody's nervous about that, it is a... you know, a pretty big thing to have to do. It's a brand new product, a great deal of which is clearly directly inspired from Tim Cook and his leadership team and as a result I feel like they want to make sure that it launches on the best foot forward. I think everything that Andy and Rene said as well is absolutely true. But the double combination I think is very important.
Leo: Is that me dinging? Did you notice?
Serenity: Oh no, that was all me.
Serenity: I had my sound on earlier, I was waiting for an Instacart delivery.
Leo: It was such a clear ding. You want to go get your Instacart?
Serenity: Oh no, I got it. I got it right before the show, I just forgot to...
Leo: Is that your shopping? Is that groceries?
Serenity: Yeah, I hadn't actually tried it until today but I'm recovering from a cold and was running around and I'm like I don't have time to get groceries.
Leo: Wow, they deliver in an hour.
Serenity: Yeah, it's pretty cool.
Leo: Does that work?
Serenity: Yeah. And they like subbed in some cheddar because they didn't have the right kind at the store and that actually worked fine so it was cool. It was very fast, very efficient and not having to worry about getting in my car while I'm you know, sniffly and unhappy.
Leo: Yeah. What's, is it a particular store or is it a variety of stores?
Serenity: In Boston they offer support for I think Whole Foods and Shaws and Star Market.
Serenity: So I think it depends on where you're living, I know they don't...
Leo: A&P in the northeast, A&P owned Super Fresh. Huh. I had not heard of this, because we don't have it in beautiful downtown Petaluma of course. Instacart.
Serenity: The one nice thing about living in a city is you get to try out all of the crazy startups. Not so much in Boston as in San Francisco but yeah, I had...
Leo: This is interesting, they have surge pricing on delivery.
Leo: Oh dear. They call it...
Rene: You want that cheddar? It's 1.8.
Leo: It's gonna cost ya! Wow so when they're busy, when more customers want a delivery they're going to, it's going to cost you more.
Rene: Neighborhood auction.
Leo: Wow that's interesting.
Serenity: Yeah. Who will deliver it fastest?
Rene: Who will get that cheddar?
Andy: See, another advantage of being single and living, and working out of your home office. You can order things at 3:20 in the afternoon when nobody wants anything delivered ever.
Leo: And of course whenever you have something become digitized, technologized, you get big data and here is some big data, the top foods searched in 2014 on Instacart, cold brew coffee followed by Crimini mushrooms, artisan marshmallows, oh dear, and Brussels sprouts.
Andy: Artisan marshmallows?
Leo: Artisan marshmallows.
Leo: Now, drop in momentum, sriracha sauce, kale, quin... what is it? Kin, keenwa? Kinoa?
Leo: Quinoa. Bacon. Bacon was big, what happened? Greek yogurt and coconut water. Those were the big foods of last year. They're dropping.
Serenity: Apparently no one likes kale any more.
Leo: I love big data, I love this kind of stuff.
Serenity: It's interesting.
Leo: They have fifty grocery retailers in fifteen cities.
Rene: I want some advanced analytics though, I want to know who's doing the the combined searches. Let's get some market basket analysis going here.
Andy: I think it would actually be more fun if I have access to those analytics, I would like to see like... what am I buying, how often am I buying it and after a year or two, is there a seasonal drop in my healthy eating? Is there a time where I start to decide that I want to start having more vegetables?
Leo: Andy Ihnatko has been eating too much prosciutto and drinking too much Rosè.
Rene: Mama mia.
Andy: There's no such thing as too much prosciutto.
Leo: Fortunately his consumption of Himalayan pink salt has dropped, along with an increase in artisan marshmallow consumption.
Andy: Yeah, we need like an app for the Apple Watch where you have like three bands for your nutrition where like you know, vitamins and minerals and then pretention.
Andy: You're buying an expensive vinegar but you could be buying a more expensive vinegar.
Leo: (laughing) I don't know why they say this, the most hipster cities. Although...
Andy: Everybody loves being associated with that, that's how you sell more.
Leo: Yeah, I think the list is correct. Starts at Austin, then Boulder, Colorado. Portland, Oregon. Los Angeles? Really hipster? I guess so. I guess there's pockets.
Serenity: Parts of LA, yeah.
Leo: San Fran, Philly.
Andy: Serenity, we still live in the most nerdly city ever. We are not hip, we are the opposite of hip!
Leo: Hoot, hoot.
Andy: Total win.
Leo: Apple retail stores planning for the watch, Mark Gurman has the story. They're going to give you fifteen minute appointments, now does... that's starting April 10th. So does that mean I go... I guess I would go online and they'd say “What would you like?” and I'd say “I would like to see the watch” and they'll say “Good, your fifteen minutes of fame is at 2:00.”
Rene: Yeah you can walk in too but you'll have to wait.
Leo: Ten or more try on stations per store and there will be a special experience (laughs) if you register for the edition.
Andy: There's a champagne room in most Apple stores.
Leo: A champagne room.
Rene: You get a mani-pedi while you're trying it on.
Serenity: They've removed the bathroom form the back of house and they've changed it into like a gold plated special room. I was actually... go ahead.
Andy: I was going to make a snide remark, that snide remark being that I think the edition... those are the people for which they will actually sanitize the band before they put it on you.
Leo: (laughing) It would actually be sanitized.
Serenity: Aw, womp womp. No it's interesting, I was talking to Neil Cybart about this last week too, right before Mark put out his piece and we were hypothesizing about how Apple might go about doing this, and this is almost exactly how we were... how our theories were playing out. I'm like it's probably going to work like a normal personal, like Apple has had personal shopping appointments available for before I was working there and after I left. Where it was like fifteen minute slots where you could go in and get a computer, but now I mean it makes perfect sense. You tie it to the watch, you have a specific appointment time, you come in, you meet your... personal specialist.
Leo: I'm your Apple Watch specialist for today.
Serenity: They're going to guide you through the process, they're going to show you your bands.
Leo: My name is Nikita. Would you like an artisan marshmallow?
Rene: It's going to be horrible, can I have the gold link bracelet but this on the side? Can I get this one with that but can I get this on the side?
Leo: That's what I'm thinking, fifteen minutes is not enough.
Serenity: So frustrating.
Andy: The lighting here in this store is terrible, can I see what it looks like in the hallway outside the store near the parking lot?
Leo: I don't think so. Most stores will be provided one table with at least ten surrounding Apple Watch try on stations, while some Apple stores will have more tables to meet demands, obviously in those hipster cities. Apple stores will begin setting up the Apple Watch tables on April 9th and 10th during special overnight sessions for employees. I'm sure the employees look forward to those every year. They'll also begin a few hours of more extensive Apple Watch training in the following couple of days, he wrote this on the 18th so presumably they're doing it right now. And we do know that people were here for training around the spring forward event because we had quite a few Apple retail employees stopping by the studio.
Rene: They had a bunch of cities people went to for training in Canada and the US and other places.
Leo: We're close enough to Cupertino that it was easy for them to come up. They say Cupertino, Los Angeles, Austin and Atlanta in the US. Apple will split its retail staff into four zones when those hands on trials and sales begin. Zone one, station to the Apple Watch try on area to assist customers in trying on the aluminum sport watch or the stainless steel Apple Watch if you can't afford better. Zone two for sales will include two lines. Get ready for this. One for people who know exactly what Apple Watch they want to purchase, the others for those who are still undecided about the right watch casing and band choice. Group three, of employees will answer general questions about the watch's functionality and explain features and then group four, dedicated to assisting buyers of the gold Apple Watch Edition models.
Rene: At selected outlets only.
Leo: Yeah, it's not every store so don't just be going right down to the Valeo store because they ain't gonna have it. This group of employees will be made up of experts, Apple store employees who have worked at the company for an extensive period of time and have completed extra customer service training.
Rene: Ben Stiller and Adam Sandler.
Leo: Their grooming will be impeccable. A pair of experts...
Andy: I was actually thinking about that, one of the things I really like and respect about the Apple store is that I will see Apple store employees of every description imaginable.
Andy: I enjoy the fact that there are Apple people working at the Apple store who have like full sleeve tattoos, that wear short sleeves, they don't have to hide anything, they don't have to take off, they don't feel like they have to take off their piercings and they feel as though whatever they want to be they're going to be accepted as employees there. I wonder if there's going to be a different sort of rule for the people who attend to the Apple Edition people.
Leo: Ah. Gosh, that's a tough thing for Apple to do. Because you're right, they've been so accepting in the past.
Serenity: Um, woo. I just ducked out. Can you still hear me?
Leo: You've got to think roller derby girls will not be allowed to demonstrate, no I'm just kidding. Yeah were both you and... it's probably us if both you and Andy are having trouble.
Serenity: Yeah I can't see you guys all of the sudden.
Andy: Yeah I can hear you, can't see you.
Leo: We'll fix this in a moment.
Serenity: Oh, there we go. Aha! Yeah, I think...
Rene: I can both see and hear you.
Andy: I guess Jason likes Serenity more than he likes me.
Leo: He fixed her first, I admit.
Andy: I'm more Apple Watch sport edition customer service than Apple Watch Edition.
Leo: I think we know who's sport here and who's...
Jason: Get in the proper line, Andy.
Rene: Serenity had $34,000 of Apple gold on her wrists a couple weeks ago.
Leo: The stores have, if you've been in an Apple store, the stores have already started putting up lovely bioluminesecent displays, these are those glowing duratrans screens that...
Rene: And it's interesting that they went from displays like that to the very photography oriented people holding technology using it in real life and now they've gone back to the product shots again.
Serenity: Well when the product shots look like that.
Leo: Yeah they're pretty gorgeous aren't they?
Serenity: I'm just sad they're not gifts. I just want that Milanese band, yeah. Moving back and forth.
Rene: That would be amazing.
Leo: I love that video. That and I just want to see Mickey tapping his toes. Come on, I want to buy the watch! Come on! Let's see... Apple has also considered utilizing the same new text message based... I'm reading again from Mark Gurman, from the good book. Apple has once again considered utilizing the text message based appointment system, its genius bard uses to organize Apple try-ons. That's really I think what I'm interested in, and I'm sure people at home who are interested in buying the watch which is undoubtedly a small percentage of the total. How is that pre-order going to happen? I'm not going to... am I going to... can I... well for instance, I can order online right?
Serenity: In theory, yeah.
Leo: Yeah, go to store.apple.com say I know what I want, I want the stainless steel with Milanese loop and boom. They deduct it from your credit card and April 24th it arrives by FedEx yeah?
Rene: Well or a specially designed...
Serenity: I have to wonder if you're going to be able to do that for... yeah, the edition.
Leo: No. Well...
Rene: On the site like the Edition is there with a price button and everything right now.
Leo: I'm sure you can if... look, if your credit card is good for it, you can do it.
Rene: They'll take your money.
Leo: Why not?
Andy: There's so much that's interesting about how this experience is going to be different. Not just who's going to be serving these people but also will they give people that same occasional oh, you here to pick up your order? Let me scan your bar code with your phone, okay someone will be out with your purchase in about thirty seconds. Here you go, goodbye. But I just spent $18,000. Thank you for the $18,000, goodbye!
Leo: I'm also concerned...
Andy: Will there be chairs? I'm not even joking here. Will they be, sit down here's a beverage. Here's a special area, I know it's very crowded in the store but here's a quiet common area where you can check it out and we can show you how it works.
Leo: I think they have to, because anybody who's spending that much money on a watch expects that right?
Rene: They should really just buy blue bottle coffee, put one next to every genius bar and let you try on editions right at the coffee bar, I mean that would just be the confluence of everything that's good.
Leo: I think that if you go into an Apple store to buy an edition, whether it's the $10,000 or more likely more often, I would suspect $17,000 and maybe you buy a few bands, over $20,000, that they will not treat you as if you're... well maybe they will. I mean you can easily spend 20 grand on Mac Pros.
Rene: They'll treat you like you're Alex Lindsay.
Leo: Oh hi Alex! We haven't seen you in a while.
Rene: Get a Mac Pro to go.
Andy: We're also presuming that the people who are buying these watches are all like Thurston Howell and Lovey Howell.
Leo: Why not?
Andy: A lot of people who can afford these watches are really just, they happen to have the money for that kind of stuff but otherwise they drive not crazy cars, they dress in not crazy clothes and they're okay with simply hi I bought the watch, please... they don't request or require that their feet be licked, they just want to be handed the watch that they payed for and be shown, make sure they know how it fits and how it works.
Leo: The one billionaire that I know well enough to say I'm a friend of and spend some time with is... you would not know from a distance that he's a billionaire, he doesn't usually wear socks. He'll pull up in a nice car, it'll be a Mercedes or a high end car, but you walk in the door and you wouldn't say oh there's Thurston Howell, this is just a normal looking guy. He will almost, he's a geek, he will almost certainly want to get an Apple Watch. He could certainly afford to get an expensive one. Now I don't know what kind of experience he would expect. Remember when Oprah went to the Swiss store, the handbags and wanted to look at some expensive handbags and the saleswoman tried to steer her to less expensive handbags and she was incensed, and that was a big deal.
Andy: And was very right to be.
Serenity: The thing about the pretty woman... you know. Big mistake, big huge...
Leo: You know, in defense of the salesperson, it's a very expensive... if you think it was because she was African-American, or just because it's an expensive bag. Most people aren't going to buy that bag, maybe you'd like to look at a less expensive bag.
Andy: Yeah but, it's hard to not simply... you have to start with... convince me that it wasn't a racist sort of thing.
Leo: Yeah I guess, alright.
Andy: And even then, then you come down to oh so it's a classist sort of thing, even though this person has clean hands, clean clothes, it costs you nothing to simply show someone this bag and then make...
Leo: I don't know.
Andy: It's just...
Leo: I'll give you an example, which doesn't reflect well on me at all. We were in Las Vegas last week for Debbie's birthday, Lisa's sister, and we were having a great time. We went to a nice restaurant, Michael Mina's new restaurant in Bardot it's called, like Brigitte Bardot, it's a brasserie and I ordered a half bottle of wine and I misread the price. And the price was ten times more than I had read. I thought it was... and it was... and I would have very much appreciated it if the waiter or sommelier had said “You know, that's a $1,000 bottle of wine you just ordered.” In some way I'm sure there's got to be some gentile way to do that. But they didn't, and I know why they didn't because in Vegas, a high roller probably some jerky jerk would say “What do you mean? I can afford that wine, I know what I'm doing!” and yell at them. I would have been very grateful because of course we opened and drank the wine and at that point we owed them $1,000.
Andy: Yeah there's a great book from, I'm looking up the name of the author because I can't remember it off hand, Steve Dublanica. I'm sure I'm murdering that name, has a great book called Waiter Rant. He used to be a waiter at a bistro in the New York City area and he wrote an entire book about the experiences of being a waiter and part of it is the ways to say “Okay, I've served enough people who buy $1,000 bottles of wine to know this person cannot afford a $1,000 bottle of wine.” But you're right, it's the precision with which you can sort of indicate that there is a door towards buying a $10 bottle of wine and you're free to take it or not. That skill people have, maybe this is part of the skills of why you need to be trained to sell $10,000 watches as opposed to $350 sport watches.
Leo: That's probably it, yeah. Don't you think the Apple store that they have been saying, they have said things like people will come in to buy expensive watches that do not look like they can afford it, please do not say “Oh you should look at the sport model.” But there must be some way to say... I don't know, I don't buy enough super expensive things to know, but I'm sure jewelry stores do this right? Oh you don't want that... Lisa and I when we were looking for engagement rings went to a store and looked at a quarter of a million dollar ring, and they didn't say “Oh this is a quarter of a million dollars.” They did make sure we were in a locked room when they showed it to us.
Andy: See, I think that's the distinction. It costs you nothing to show anybody anything they ask for and if you're afraid they're going to grab it and run you probably have a bad security system in your store. That's usually the sign of a store that doesn't know what it's doing. That they simply assume that I'm going to walk someone towards a cheaper bag or as often happens, walk someone straight out of the store. I'm amazed that in the past six months I have walked into really expensive jewelry stores and sometimes without even calling ahead to explain my mission and said just “Show me an $800 stainless steel watch, show me a $10,000 watch no matter what it is, and show me a mid-range watch that's solid gold.” And granted, I'm not like in flip flops and a Disney World sleeveless T-shirt or something like that, but I'm dressed like the way that a nerd journalist would be dressed, and almost none of them had any problem with showing me whatever I asked them for.
Leo: Showing me is one thing, you're right.
Andy: Unless I got...
Rene: You might have just sold your start up to Google, Andy. They have no way of knowing.
Leo: Nowadays they don't, and you go into an Apple store you just can't judge. And yet there must be some subtle way of saying “Oh you don't want that.” (laughs)
Rene: For you.
Serenity: Well I mean I think, I actually think that Apple stores already do a great job at kind of finessing the customer's needs by asking... I mean the traditional thing was always ask probing but polite questions, so instead of being like what Apple watch do you want? You start off with being like...
Leo: What's your price range?
Serenity: Well not even what's your price range, but what do you plan to use your watch for?
Serenity: What activities are you interested in? Are you interested in wearing the watch as a day watch, as an evening watch? Are you interested, do you like metal bands? Do you like plastic bands? Do you like leather bands? Like you probe around the question rather than saying like alright, what's your price budget? Sometimes it comes down to that, sometimes people come into a store and are like I have a specific budget, I cannot spend more than $1500 and I need x y and z in my computer and then the sales associate is like alright, well let's look at the computers we have that fit your needs. But other times people come in, they don't offer that kind of stuff and I feel like the Apple specialists are usually very well trained in terms of what questions to ask to sort of give away what the customer is looking for without ever having to be like “Oh you're dressed in a Disneyland T-shirt and bucks?” Yeah.
Leo: I don't think we'll be allowing you in the store. That's the problem with going from you know, selling computer stuff to selling $17,000 watches I think.
Andy: Yeah. I'm humbled by my preparation to write about Apple Watch stuff because when it comes to luxury items I mean, I am just clueless. I don't know what these people expect and I think the mistakes that someone like me makes in writing about this stuff is making an assumption about what they want.
Leo: Right. Okay. We will find out. Another question I have. April 10th is also when the Macbook goes on sale, but Mark Gurman says between 75% and 90% of store retail staff will be allocated to watch. So is it going to be hard to buy anything else?
Rene: It's never been lineups for new Macs or new iPods. They always have a little bit of staff on the side that handles that while the chaos...
Leo: There's going to be one poor guy. That will be the guy with the tattoos and piercings who says “Oh you're buying a Mac? Go see that guy.”
Rene: And typically for launches it's all hands on deck for the first hours if not most of the day and then it goes back to normal so they're really good at staging that stuff.
Leo: Should I get in line at midnight?
Rene: For the try on?
Leo: I guess not for the try on.
Rene: The Macbook just... I would order it, I don't think there's any extra value in going to the store.
Leo: Yeah because there's not a lot of BTO stuff, it's just... right.
Serenity: Yeah. There's very little.
Leo: There's two choices right?
Andy: I wonder how they're going to handle traffic though, because they are going to have a lot of people coming in just to see the watch and it's not as though there's a lot of breathable air inside an Apple store on weekends anyway.
Leo: Two words Andy: velvet rope.
Andy: Are they going to have...
Serenity: Queues. Queues forever.
Andy: Thank you for coming in to see your fifteen minute demo, here's a coupon for a free cup of coffee at a kiosk that we've put outside the store.
Leo: Jare in New York City in our chatroom says exactly the right thing, which is high price luxury items, it's not about the item it's about the experience. So this is why Apple really has to create a kind of velvet rope white glove experience of some kind. And you know, they're smart. Why do you hire Angela Ahrendts for this?
Andy: It is an interesting question, when I joined the Google Glass explorers program which is a fancy way of saying he's $1,500 for beta hardware, it really was a complete concierge experience, it was here is... we're inviting you to what looked like a hair salon, someone is going to be taking care of you for an entire hour, there are beverages. Coca-cola, sugared Coca-cola in glass bottles, whatever I wanted. They spent an entire hour like fitting it and making sure that I knew how to use it, and setting up with my phone and with my computers and stuff like that and that was a $1,500 thing with very little purpose, I can't imagine what a $10,000 thing with very little purpose merits.
Rene: Like that but with shrimp. Shrimp dip.
Leo: Shrimp. There will be shrimp.
Andy: Two kinds of sauce. The sweet kind and the spicy kind. You buy the Milanese band, you get to have both kinds.
Leo: You know, I was very pleased because I like the Milanese band. Probably seduced by that ridiculous animated GIF where it goes (makes whirring noises.) I was very pleased to see it's not a super expensive and, as I thought it might be.
Andy: I was surprised. That looks like the expensive, fancy band. Whereas the link band where they say every single link we start off with a solid cube a yard wide of aluminum and we hack away everything but this one link and we throw out three out of every five that we make. It's like, but that doesn't... my dad had a watch with a band like that. The Milanese band is like, that is super fancy shmancy as far as I'm concerned.
Leo: Right, I actually... Dr. Mom who is apparently an expert in everything, including jewelry. I believe she makes it. Tells me that that actually, that kind of style, first of all it's never been called Milanese. But that kind of style is not expensive. It's not an expensive style to get. But you're right, the link band, when I look at it looks like something for the pocket protector brigade.
Andy: It's not ugly, but it's not like wow I could either have an extra... I could have like a second hand pickup truck for moving things around and own it, or I could have this little band.
Rene: Again though if you go to a blog to watch, you go to hoteki and you read the watch people talking about it, their eyes are just full. They're like... spend fifty years and watch people couldn't do this, how could Apple just walk in and engineer this stuff, so it's definitely got appeal to people who like those sorts of things.
Leo: Yeah, yeah.
Andy: But that's hard too. All of us have been now more aware of expensive watches, anything else. One of the things I like that I often do when I'm trying to evaluate something that costs x hundred dollars, even the stainless steel one costs $800, I put myself in the mind of okay I've got $800 budget to buy a really nice stainless steel watch, what's out there? And when I look at like what's available as a $10,000 luxury watch, my eyes pop out at how gorgeous some of these watches are and how interesting they are whereas it's not like the Apple Watch is ugly by any means but it doesn't look... again, if I have a $10,000 budget, I would much rather have a sport edition of this and then spend the rest of the money on two or three of these really amazing $3,000, $4,000, $5,000 watches. So again, that's not a complaint about Apple Watch, that is another data point on my own ignorance about what do people like about a $10,000 digital watch. I am clueless.
Leo: Yeah. Alright, let's move on. I think we've done our required, our requisite Apple Watch half hour.
Rene: We're into government regulations, we're good.
Leo: Government regulations require half an hour each day on Apple Watch until we get one, and then we'll spend an hour or two. Or maybe not. What's the chance that people get it and go “Yeah, no. It doesn't work on bicycles, it doesn't work on rowing machines, it's crappy at measuring steps...”
Rene: There will be a percentage of people just like with the iPhone or iPad for which that is absolutely correct, and then there will be a percentage of people who really like it. It's going to...
Leo: You don't think that there is a risk that this could technologically be a flop?
Rene: No, they've had... I forget the exact number, I think 2,000... close to 3,000 Apple employees wearing them for six... three, four, five, six months.
Leo: Bane's been tested for months. I love my Apple Watch!
Serenity: No, I know a couple people who will have them who are engineers and being able to actually, I was hanging out with a couple of them last week when I was... or two weeks ago when I was in town in San Francisco for the event, and it actually was really impressive to me just how naturally they were using the watch and in fact, they had specific instructions not to demo it to anybody so it wasn't like they were doing this just to be like look what I'm using! Look at this! It was just literally you know, we're having dinner or something and they get a notification, they look at it really quickly and they're like alright, let's talk or oh let me program in directions or you know, let me call an Uber. It was a lot of really really simple, really quick stuff.
Leo: Oh but they were doing stuff. That's interesting.
Leo: So they weren't hiding that they had it or...
Rene: People are paying in stores with it. And people say “What is that? Is that a Samsung?” they go “No no no, this is the Apple Watch.”
Leo: (laughs) Enjoy it while you can because everybody's going to have it someday.
Andy: I wonder is it going to be... the core stuff that people really respond to, is it going to be materially better and easier to use than Android Wear?
Rene: I'm going to say yes.
Andy: Notifications are really really cool, voice commands are really really cool. What do you do above and beyond that?
Leo: Yeah. Well we'll find out. You know, I've mentioned this before but I feel like obligated to get two. One for me, and one for my honey so that we can try it. You know, I mean I'm not going to be sending you my heartbeat Rene, I gotta tell you.
Rene: Leo, why must you hurt me so?
Leo: Okay, if you insist. I was just waiting for you to ask.
Rene: I just want to know that you're out there and that you're okay, Leo.
Leo: Thump thump, thump thump.
Rene: I hear the sound of rapping, someone gently tapping on my door.
Andy: I just want to know that you haven't lost your ridiculous $10,000 watch that you just bought two days ago so if I don't get a heartbeat back I know that you've screwed up again, you left it on the top of a car.
Leo: What about you Serenity? Do you feel the need to get two, one for you and one for your sweetheart?
Serenity: I'm just going to get one because I know that my sweetheart is probably going to get one himself.
Leo: You see? You see? That's right.
Serenity: But no, I mean I'm actually genuinely curious to try out the so called gimmicky chat features. Because as creepy as like getting a heartbeat from a random person would be, I actually think it's kind of a nice way... I was talking about this last week, it's a nice way to let the people in your life know that like, hi mom I'm alive! I landed from the plane, I'm no longer sitting in an airport. Whee!
Leo: How has that been going by the way? Have the parents agreed to get an Apple Watch just so that they'll hear from you?
Serenity: That's a good question. I know my dad will probably get one. I'm curious about my mother, we'll see.
Serenity: She really likes...
Rene: Sorry, I was going to say Gruber said his son is getting one so he can just tap on his wrist and tell his son he's waiting outside for him to come out of school.
Leo: Yeah I think that's cool. I think that's really cool. Text would work too.
Rene: Yeah but text it pings or vibrates or does something that's less discrete.
Serenity: Well the other thing about text is again, if you're driving it's a lot easier for you to send a like quick tap tap tap tap while you're driving rather than having to be like “Siri, tell my son that I'm going to pick him up in five minutes.” You know, there's more ways for that to get complicated.
Leo: I do wonder though if Android and other device makers will say “Oh you know this might be a whole area we can get into, customized beeps or boops or buzzes, actually you can do customized buzzes, but I don't think you can trigger them via text. Maybe you can. I bet you can, actually. You can assign a customized vibration to a text message from Dad.
Rene: You can do that on the iPhone now.
Rene: You can set up custom vibration. But it's on your end; the sender's not choosing what they send you.
Rene: You're choosing how it's received.
Andy: Also —
Leo: But that would be good enough for Groober to text his son. [Imitates vibration.]
Rene: But it'd still bzz, bzz, bzz, bzz in your pocket.
Rene: It's not a subtle tap.
Leo: It's not a taptic. Andy?
Andy: No, I was going to say exactly that. I mean, I've experienced both kinds, and I don't think that the difference between the haptics that are on a watch like this and the taptics that are on the Apple Watch are miles apart. But it's sort of like how the MacBook Air has a fan; the MacBook nothing does not have a fan. And there's a difference between a taptic that is completely silent and the kind of a taptic that is almost completely silent. And that will be a defining thing, I think.
Rene: The Pebble was loud.
Andy: Yeah. This one is okay. It's not a buzzer sort of thing; but if someone is close enough to me —
Leo: You can tell.
Andy: —they might hear something happening on my wrist.
Leo: There's something to be said for stealth. Absolutely. I'm excited about the Apple TV set-top box, and I'm very interested what you guys think about this. The leak came from John Paczkowski, who is now working for BuzzFeed. John still has the great connections and — formerly at Recode — and apparently has decided to effect Kiss makeup.
Andy and Rene: (Laugh)
Leo: He's the managing editor for BuzzFeed San Francisco, and he says — actually, he's repeating what the Wall Street Journal says, but I think BuzzFeed also got some of their own information — that Apple is about to release, at the Worldwide Developers' Conference, an SDK for an app store for a new Apple TV.
Serenity: Gosh, Rene, sounds like you just wrote about this, like, a week ago.
Leo: Did you — oh, did Rene get that? Who had that scoop?
Rene: A couple weeks ago.
Rene: I don't write scoops, Leo; I posit the immediate future.
Leo: I see. So you just guessed, but it's been confirmed.
Rene: You know what? Well, I mean, it's not — like, a lot of the stuff is — like, John absolutely has great sources, and he gets a lot of dates and things. A lot of it is, like, we know what processors Apple has now. We know what technologies, like Metal, they have. The SDK's been around for a couple of years, and there's been renewed — like, people are going to Apple to test stuff on the SDK now. All this stuff is — a lot of rumors just — really understanding the company well and reading the signs around Apple that sort of look at this stuff. But yeah, a couple weeks ago, I did something on the future of the Apple TV, where you take a Cyclone, you take the Metal graphics stuff, you put it in a very nice box, and you add an SDK to it. And it makes for a very compelling product. It's probably higher-end than we've seen before, which explains a lot why the 69-dollar, current-generation Apple TV is just the beginning. And I think there's still a lot of questions about how it's going to be controlled. You still have the remote app; the watch has a remote app. But if Apple's going into apps and gaming, how does that manifest? I think Mark, on the show last week, said that there's a slightly bigger controller; but is the MFI program wrapping up so you can have substantial game controllers to play those games with? I have a lot of questions about it, but I think it's about time they get that box out. They've been working on it for a couple of years.
Leo: Yeah. We had been saying there'd be an app store, but I just kind of had given up. I just thought, Oh, yeah, someday.
Rene: The project's had a lot of ups and downs.
Andy: Yeah. I mean, the stories you hear about Apple TV are all about how they were hoping for X year, and then they waited until the next year, and then they felt their window closed for that; and now they're waiting for the next window to open. And so talk about playing the long game. This is a par 8 that Apple's playing with the Apple TV. (Laughs)
Serenity: Yeah. Well, I mean, it had to also be the — there had to be enough demand, right, to satisfy what Apple wanted to do with the box. And I do think it's interesting. I think the HBO deal that they made is, again, step one in kind of their master plan of, Let's see what we can do about the future of television and the future of content streaming and how we can kind of take that over and make that the best experience possible. I've been hoping for an — I mean, we've all been hoping for an app store for years, for years and years and years; but I do feel like this is probably the closest it's going to be. Like, this year is the best bet that we're going to have one in quite a while because Apple's not looking at any other major platforms besides Watch in terms of apps; and they're kind of setting the groundwork so that — like, WWDC seems like the perfect place to announce, say, an SDK for developing for Apple TV as well as developing for Watch without just Watch extensions. It also — Rene and I were talking about controllers because God knows I lose that tiny little aluminum remote everywhere, and I feel like everyone else does, too. It's tiny. It has three buttons.
Leo: Yeah, I already lost mine. That's right.
Serenity: Yeah. And the phone is unfortunately just not a great controller for it right now; so in theory, having something like the watch is an interesting alternative controller for the television. Being able to develop Siri further with the watch might be interesting as an option for the television, although I'm still skeptical about controlling things with voice when they can be triggered by the things that the TV itself is spewing. See Ahoy Telephone anytime you're like — I'm not actually going to say it because if I say it, I will trigger like 10 million people's phones and they're going to get mad at me.
Serenity: But if you were to say the Siri key word that would trigger a phone that's plugged in, that irritates a lot of people and that happens; so I can't imagine that the Siri commands for a potential Apple TV would be allowed to be triggered without necessarily pushing a button first. (Laughs)
Rene: That's super interesting —
Serenity: But no, I just — yeah.
Leo: It's —
Rene: I got to go to Nuance last week. Nuance had an open house, and they have a major office in Montreal. And they were showing off a lot of what they were doing with living room, with car, with watch and things like that. And they do something called — it's not exactly — but it's like voice ID, where they lock on a specific voice; and it's almost — they use it for bank aps security, so it's at the point where it's almost like touch ID where they can really make sure it's you talking and not some random person. And they also do things like beam forming, where if it's in the living room product, you snap twice; and then all the microphones — and if there's a camera — lock on you, and it isolates all other audio in the room; so it's only you speaking. There's a lot of technologies that already exist for this kind of thing, to make technologies like Siri or Amazon's — I forget what it's called — the Echo product work in living rooms; it's just a question of: Is Apple going to adopt them? How fast are they going to adopt them? And there's also a case to be made — and I tried making it in the same article, and I've gotten no information going ahead with this — where you could take Apple TV logic and put that inside the phone the way CarPlay lives inside the phone, and then just have a little Google ChromeCast dongle for people who really only want streaming. They don't care if the stick by itself can do anything. And then you just plug that in; everything works on the phone. It beams the TV, and that becomes a super cheap product. And then you have sort of layers of Apple TV. But I think there's a lot of room for them to do a lot of interesting stuff here.
Andy: Yeah, so long as they just move forward with this. I mean, Apple has — sometimes waiting for the right moment is Apple's greatest strength, as with the phone, as with tablets, as with what I refer to as Apple's netbook; and sometimes, you're just delaying something and letting more brave people make more awesome things than you. Because right now, the Apple TV is — it's not a piece of junk, but it really looks like it belongs in, like, Obama's first term, as opposed to a box like the Roku that maybe doesn't have the perfect app store environment, but it means that Sling player can have a SlingBox app; Airio can have an Airio app; everybody can roll their own apps for pretty much anything. I can have an app that will attach to automatically find all the media on all the servers on my house; and that wasn't necessarily a built-in feature of the Roku, but I was able to simply install this with one click. And so you wonder how long people are going to have to wait to get what other people would consider basic functionality while Apple tries to figure out what's the perfect way to do app store? What's the way that benefits the entire ecosystem more than the way we were going to do it last year? So Apple, I think, is smart enough to know that people are going to buy Apple TV once they produce the final package; so it's not as though people are going to be running elsewhere and never buying Apple TVs. But it's too bad that the people who did buy Apple TVs a few years ago have to deal with a seriously substandard product for many years.
Rene: It's also —
Leo: We should mention that when you say it's Obama era, you're not talking about the physical design, which actually is very nice and looks a lot like a Roku. You're talking about the UI, which is sucky.
Andy: No, I mean the software, the UI, the speed of it, the fact that I have — my Roku is on HDMI 1; my Apple TV is on HDMI 2. And sometimes, I will flick over to that to do something or to check out some Apple content, and it's like, Oh my God. What's that thing I'm looking at? I haven't seen it in years on that screen. Oh, that's right; it's a spinning "please wait" cursor.
Andy: It's like, Oh, it's a "please wait as we authenticate you" box. Oh, I have not seen that in, like, several months. Isn't that adorable? I remember when I was young and innocent and — oh, boy. Remember when comic books used to be 89 cents? That's the last time I saw one of those.
Andy: Ah, memories.
Rene: Not to excuse anything, but the Apple TV is under Eddy Cue, which is a very different dynamic than the iPhones or the iPads, and it probably means that they're more susceptible to things like content deals, holding them up. Like, for example — and I think we talked about this before — there's no universal search on the Apple TV. Other boxes have it; Apple, apparently, is not allowed doing it, the same way they weren't allowed getting DRM-free MP3's when other people like Amazon were allowed getting them. So the way that that product is set up puts an awful lot of constraints and a lot of different pressures on them that maybe something like the iPhone or iPad doesn't have to deal with in its generally yearly cycle.
Andy: Two quick responses. Consumers absolutely don't care about that.
Rene: No. Absolutely.
Andy: And secondly — okay. So — I shouldn't get into it. It's like — I acknowledge that possibility, and that's a good point; however, if they willfully read the contracts that they signed and said, We're not going to allow voice search, we're not going to allow this, we're not going to allow apps on this, that was a dumb thing to do, just as stupid as having a remote that's about as thin as a slice of processed cheese and making that the standard remote. So I don't —
Rene: (Laughs) You will be happier this summer.
Andy: Good point, yeah. I believe so, too. (Laughs)
Serenity: Fingers crossed.
Andy: Let's keep our fingers crossed. Alongside Rene, I'm very — I believe that we're going to be happy with what we see at WWDC.
Leo: All right. And do you think that they're going to make the content deals? Because that's, I think, a lot of what we're talking about here.
Rene: As a Canadian, do I think that I'll get content deals? No.
Leo: No, you're not going to get crap. We know that.
Andy and Rene: (Laugh)
Serenity: Sorry, Rene.
Leo: Bad news, Rene.
Rene: Yeah. I think you guys will get stuff.
Leo: So the rumors — and I think we've talked about this — that NBC's not going to play along, but the others will, blah blah blah. Accurate?
Rene: ABC Disney will be on board.
Leo: (Laughs) We know we'll have ABC.
Serenity: Yeah. I mean, NBC is a question. I know they're heavily invested in Hulu and that sort of avenue, but you also have to remember that all of these networks are kind of two-partner arms, right? You've got the actual broadcast networks, and then you've got the networks that own the shows that are developing. And sometimes those are the same networks, and sometimes those are different. A great example of this is The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, which has been, like, a huge blow-up hit for Netflix.
Serenity: That's actually produced and owned by NBC studios — [inaudible], Universal, Comcast, whatever the super-umbrella is called now. NBC sold that show to Netflix for distribution rights. So there's stuff like that where I think that, although Apple may not be able to make traditional content deals directly with the networks, they may still be able to get some of their shows by making individual deals for those specific areas.
Andy: I wonder if people will react to these sort of packages the same way or differently than I react to them, where broadcast TV and cable have their problems, but you pay a very, very simple fee or pay nothing; and I get NBC, I get ABC, I get CBS, I get FOX, I get PBS, I get a couple other stations. It's not, Well, we're going to give you ABC and NBC. We can give you CBS news and 60 Minutes, but we can't give you The Big Bang Theory, which you like. David Letterman show, you're going to have to go to the website to get that. The uncrackable coconut here is, Give me everything I want in one package instead of having to launch separate apps, or even separate devices, to get there. And I'm not sure that — it's such a fragmented set of deals between all these different content providers that it might even be an unattainable thing in the next five or six years.
Rene: Let's please the customer.
Andy: I mean, just to show you how weird it is, I haven't done stuff for the CBS network morning show in a few years; but I was going to demonstrate a video app, and I had ripped an app from a certain very popular CBS show. Just kind of figured, Well, okay. But then I'm going to have to get permission to use that. And they said, Well, here are the shows you can use, we don't have to really ask permission with. We don't have a good relationship with this one show.
Andy: And it's like, Okay. I'll get something else. But this is a really popular network-owned show. Okay. (Laughs)
Leo: Well, and that's because it's produced outside the network, right? or — no?
Andy: I don't want to give anything away.
Andy: All I'll say is, it surprised me that, even though it in this case would have been, I'll walk three blocks away from your studio right now to talk to the people at this studio to get permission —
Andy: It's like, No, even though they're three blocks away, it's easier if you just use something else. Okay.
Andy: So it's really complicated.
Leo: So credit where credit is due — Rene predicted it; but Buzzfeed confirmed it.
Rene: I would say John's got awesome sauces — sources. And sauces.
Leo: With their sources. And sauces. They have awesome sauces.
Serenity: He does. Sources and sauces.
Leo: (Laughs) I didn't realize — I saw that Buzzfeed had broken the story, and I thought, Wow, I don't usually see Buzzfeed break stuff. And then I saw that Paczkowski went over there, and I go, Oh, I see.
Rene: Mat Honan's running their West Coast bureau now.
Leo: I saw that Mat Honan went over there.
Serenity: Yeah, they've collected a bunch of things.
Serenity: They've collected a bunch of good people.
Leo: I hope they snap up some other good people like some of the MacWorld staff. Of course, Serenity's already been snapped.
Serenity: (Laughs) I think most of us are in new —
Leo: Are they somewhere? Good.
Serenity: — positions now. Yeah, you've got Dan [inaudible] over at WireCutter. Yeah.
Leo: Now we have GigaOhm to get jobs for. (Laughs)
Serenity: Those poor guys.
Leo: Those poor guys.
Rene: I think [inaudible] just knocked up one of the GigaOhm people.
Leo: Good. Glad to hear it.
Leo: That's kind of inside baseball. But they're our friends, so we like to talk about them, and I think, probably, your friends, too, since a lot of them are on these shows.
Now, tell me about this. We talked about this yesterday on iPad Today. Apple seems to be yanking anti-virus apps from the iOS app store. Intego said, We've been yanked. Lookout was apparently yanked, according to 9to5Mac. If you search for these anti-viruses, you'll only find games or FindMyiPhone-esque apps. Intego says the takedown was the whole category. Intego makes the Virus Barrier. On the one hand, you might say, Well, this is Apple PR saying, Oh, well, you don't need an anti-virus. But the way Apple designs iOS, it may, in fact, be that an anti-virus can't actually do anything.
Serenity: Yeah —
Rene: Yeah, those apps were — sorry.
Serenity: No, I am inclined to agree with you, Leo, in that there's very little that an anti-virus app can really do on iOS. I don't know. Rene, do you want to — you know a little bit more about the super technical aspects than I do.
Rene: It's just — a couple of the posts of the people whose apps were taken away weren't very outraged; they were more like, Uh, yeah, I guess.
Leo: Yeah, we weren't really doing anything.
Rene: Well, because — yeah. We weren't doing — we were checking your email attachments if they were stored on the cloud in this way or that way; and we understand why it could be confusing that people think they're buying anti-virus like they're used to on some computers, and it doesn't do that.
Leo: Here's one thing I would like, and tell me if this is possible. And this is really mostly what happens on Android, too. Most of the time on Android, those so-called anti-virus apps are not doing what anti-viruses do on computers. They're not scanning, looking for virus signatures. They only check downloads against a database of known malware and flag it if it's there. Isn't that the case?
Andy: Yep. They'd kill the battery in a second if they did the same things that a desktop app did.
Leo: It can't. Right. And in the case of iOS, they can't scan the file system; nothing can except Apple. But I'll give you an example, and this is why I mention this. You know about FREAK, which is an exploit that basically is a downgrade in encryption technology exploit that takes advantage of servers — you have to have a malformed server and a malformed app talking together. All the browsers now, including Safari on iOS have been patched, so they're not vulnerable to FREAK; but FREAK would allow a man in the middle to see what you're doing in SSL and steal stuff. But according to this article by Dan Goodin — who's very good — in Ars Technica, he's actually talking about a FireEye study — FireEye, also very good. They searched Google Play and Apple App Store. They found 1,228 Android apps with 1 million or more downloads were vulnerable to FREAK; 771 of the top iOS apps — they only scanned the top 14,000 — are susceptible. That's 771 apps that could quite reasonably be in a database for Intego or somebody else to say, Hey, you have on your iPhone a vulnerable app. You might want to consider not using it. That would be — now, I don't think viruses are a problem on any mobile platform, but this is an example of where a security program — let's not say anti-virus — could be very useful. Can any iOS app do that kind of thing, Rene?
Rene: No. I mean, there's very, very few things that actually have unrestricted background access, and one of them is, like, audio streaming. And anyone who's used Skype on iOS knows if anything ever goes wrong with that, you're battery — like Andy said earlier — just starts diminishing because these machines were not designed to do that kind of thing. But moreover, all those apps — at least in iOS — if they're using the default web view, as soon as iOS is updated, all those apps are updated because they're not creating their own web browser. They're pulling Apple's UI web view, or now WK, the web kit version, web view.
Leo: No, but iOS has been patched.
Leo: iOS 8.2 is FREAK free. But those apps remain vulnerable — oh, I'm sorry. I didn't read the following clause — when they run on earlier versions of iOS. So you're exactly right; they're using web kit, which has been patched; so it's only an issue on older iOS versions.
Rene: Those are probably abandoned apps that wouldn't be updated.
Leo: He did say that 7 of the 771 apps — so 7 apps on iOS — are susceptible to FREAK even on iOS 8.2.
Rene: I'd have to look at those.
Leo: Now, unfortunately, they didn't identify those. So now my question is — so you're saying, because an app can't run in the background, there's no way Lookout or Intego could say, Well, let me see if you have one of those seven apps. They can't do it unless you run them, right? If you —
Rene: No. Yeah, they could make an app. There's different ways to detect what apps are on your phone. Some people use the — I forget what it's called. The URL scheme to determine if an app has registered that URL with the system.
Rene: And other ones try to read what background tasks are running, and they try to —
Leo: But they'd have to be — that anti-virus or security app would have to be running in the foreground, couldn't run in the background.
Rene: You'd have to open it up and then look. And then it would have to look and compare that against its list, and you hope that its lists were updated and no false positives or negatives.
Leo: Right. Yeah, admittedly, it's only 7 apps out of 14,000; but it's still 7 apps, and that's just the top 14,000. These are the top apps downloaded. These are not the millions of apps on the app store. We don't know how many of those are implicated. So there is a — my point being, there is a use — and even a capability — for a security program to run on iOS.
Rene: Yeah, but then you get into — I think Steve's mentioned this before. Once you start granting access, then bad guys start using the same access.
Leo: But without additional access. I could make a security program that would check at least for those seven apps; but then the second part of the question is, Is Apple blocking those anti-viruses? Is it blocking a program like that?
Rene: They only allow VoiceOver IP background navigation and streaming audio as full background APIs. The rest is all in the —
Leo: No, I understand. So I'm acknowledging that. But I'm saying, I could still write an app that would, via URL schemes or some other technique — when it's in the foreground, when it's running — check to see if there's bad apps on my phone.
Rene: Yeah, you'd have to submit it, and we'd see if they'd approve it or not. I don't know of any apps that do that already.
Andy: Yeah. Also, with everything like this, even in the real world, you compare what is the actual level of threat and what is the amount of trouble and the amount of inconvenience and the amount of insecurity willing to introduce in order to attack that threat? And because Malware on the iPhone is not a problem at this point, it seems like a bad move to try to make great trouble for other people — sorry.
Leo: No, you're misunderstanding me, Andy. Without opening any holes, or without in any way modifying the iPhone as it works today, you could have a security app that would find seven programs no one should be using on iOS. Those seven programs are in the app store, according to FireEye. It is conceivable of a program that would do that.
Leo: So I'm not asking to open holes; I'm not saying there's no malware. It's not exactly malware, but there are programs you should not run on iOS in the app store.
Rene: You can make it; you just have to submit it and see if they approve it, and if they approve it, if they leave it approved.
Leo: Yeah. I mean, don't you agree, Andy, if such a thing existed, you should be allowed to download it?
Andy: I have to be careful here because I'm half-remembering something someone told me a couple years ago about how an app with that function would work and an explanation of why that would not be a good thing.
Andy: But I stress that I'm half-remembering it, and it might be old to begin with; so that's why I have to simply say I would not be surprised if it turned out that that was a bad idea. But it's possible that you're right, there's no reason for them not to do it. Rene has posited what is always the only way to find out what Apple will or will not allow.
Leo: Just try it. (Laughs)
Andy: You have to write it; you have to submit it, and then see what they do with it.
Rene: And it's possible that Apple will bring the same sort of malware — like on OS 10, they already scanned for malware, and it's conceivable that that sort of system would come from Apple themselves at some point.
Leo: Yeah, I mean, Google does that on Android as well, but there are additional apps — like, Lookout is an example on Android. I don't know what Lookout does on iOS, but on Android that's exactly what Lookout does. It has a database of known apps you shouldn't be running. It would include those 1,441 —
Rene: See, I ran those on Windows, and I would always — once in a while they get updated definitions, and it would suddenly flag, like, Win 32 as a bad app.
Rene: So it's hard to educate people about the intricacies of that stuff.
Leo: Yeah. Okay.
Andy: Also, that's part of what's possible with Android that's not possible with iOS.
Leo: I agree.
Andy: Android is the wild wild west, which is both — like Homer Simpson's definition of beer as the cause of and solution to all our problems. The openness of Android means that it lets in the possibility of malware but also lets in the possibility of running apps that combat malware.
Leo: Right. I just want to — all I'm asking — and there is no answer — is, is Apple doing this just as sort of a PR move? "Hey, there's no viruses."
Andy: I don't think so.
Andy: That's just my article of faith. We've had enough history with them to know that they don't tend to — I can't think of a single instance in which they baninated an app simply for PR reasons, even when it looked like, Oh, well, look how you're now turning down this Google Play app, or turning down this Comicsology app that sells content. No, it's not because they wanted to keep Google Play out; it's because they had a link to their store that is not allowed for any developer in any circumstances.
Andy: So that's why my default position until shown otherwise is that Apple is not using app store approvals in any sort of a strategic way.
Leo: Yeah. They haven't said they're cracking down on anti-virus apps; Intego says they are. Intego has a little bit of a dog in this hunt since it makes an anti-virus app, and I think it's just as likely that Apple says, You know what? There's no way an anti-virus app could actually be useful on iOS because we've structured it that way, so we're just going to kick them all off. In other words, these apps are snake oil. They don't do anything. This is the question. Why —
Rene: And Apple —
Leo: — did they get approved in the first place?
Andy: Just like there was a moment when you could get a fart app approved, and then Apple said, Look. We've —
Leo: That's enough.
Andy: We really don't want to see any more of these.
Andy: We don't think they're good for anybody. Oh, yeah. No, there's a conversation that I might not be able to talk about of someone who had a — it wasn't a fart app. It was a fart adjacent app, let's say, okay?
Serenity and Leo: (Laugh)
Andy: An app that simply tapped into the universal and accessible humor of bodily gas emissions. So it wasn't like, Hey, look at the noise this makes. It was part of a game in which there was a — farting could have been part of the humor of the game. And Apple rejected it because they said, No. [Fake British accent] No farting. No farting. We will not have farting. Take your farts out. Go be gassy somewhere else.
Rene: I think Steve, at one point, just wrote into the rules. You can actually see it's written in a way that makes —
Serenity: No fart apps. (Laughs)
Rene: Yeah. "We don't need any more of that," or something.
Leo: It was handwritten by Steve Jobs.
Andy: Fart apps and flashlights, yeah.
Leo: No flashlights, either?
Serenity: Yeah, I mean —
Leo: We don't need them anymore because it's in the —
Serenity: yeah, we've got control center. Honestly, I mean, I think that some of those apps that are now being taken off the store — again, they had potential uses in that, if you give them access to your email, you give them access to your contacts, they can screen through potential bad attachments or things like that. But ultimately, that's not necessarily something that a third-party app should be doing on iOS.
Leo: Can I ask you guys a question? Because you're the experts on the new Photos app which will be out in 10.10.3, which will be out soon; right? I think? Seems like it's done.
Leo: Soon-ish. As you said, there was another update yesterday, wasn't there, to the beta?
Leo: It used to be, when I hooked up — this is a stupid question, and it's completely my question; but maybe somebody else listening's had the same issue. When I hooked up the iPhone to the computer and copied my photos off, iPhotos would say, Okay. Would you like to delete those photos from your phone? And I would say yes because I don't want thousands of photos on my phone jamming up the works. I've already copied them to the computer. Photos doesn't seem to ask that. Is there any way to get — (Laughs)
Serenity: There's not.
Leo: Is there any way to get rid of these old photos?
Rene: That's an old way of thinking, Leo. The new way of thinking is that Apple will near-line manage it for you. So those photos aren't really on your phone anymore anyway; it's just the most popular and recently accessed ones. And the rest are in the magical cloud.
Leo: What do you mean, they're not on my phone anyway? I took them.
Rene: Yeah, but —
Serenity: You did.
Rene: — if you're using — sorry. Go ahead.
Serenity: Yeah. If you're using iCloud Photo Library, basically what will — and you have optimized storage turned on, what will happen is a certain percentage of those photos that you took will remain in full quality on your phone; and then everything after, say 200 photos will go automatically up to the cloud.
Serenity: And all you'll see is a tiny little thumbnail that, if you want to see it, you just tap on it; and then it pulls down from the cloud. Or if you want to make sure that it stays on your device, you tap the Favorite heart and then it permanently stays on your device.
Serenity: But otherwise, yeah, Apple is really trying to get people away from the idea of, We want you to delete photos once you've taken them. It should be that, in theory, the magical software that is on your device manages this all for you so you never have to worry about, Oh, I'm losing space. Oh, I have too little space. Oh, I've taken too many photos, and nothing's backed up.
Serenity: Everything should be automatically backed up. Everything —
Leo: No, this is good because I do know many, many people who just leave everything on their iPhone, and then they complain, Oh, my God, my iPhone's full.
Rene: Well, think of it this way, Leo: If you deleted the photos, it would just sync them back anyway; so it's saving you the pain of having to —
Leo: (Laughs) All right. But — okay. So let me show people. If you go into Settings, Photos and Camera, you need to have iCloud Photo Library — and by the way, it still says "beta" — turned on, and "optimize phone storage" checked.
Leo: And then it will only keep the last few hundred. It'll put little optimized thumbnails; it'll do all the things you want.
Leo: What if you don't have those checked and set?
Rene: Well, you're probably not using — I mean, if you're using that and not using the Photos beta, that'd be an odd combination.
Leo: But let's say when this comes out. Is this going to — will there be a way in Photos to delete?
Serenity: Yeah. So you can still delete your images.
Leo: You can?
Serenity: But I mean, you're talking about deleting them, period.
Leo: I want to delete them from the phone because they're taking up a lot of space, and I don't want to use iCloud Photo Library beta. How do I do that?
Serenity: So if you're going to do that and you're going to have iCloud Photo Library turned off — which is totally an option —
Serenity: — when you connect your phone to the Photos app, as long as you have both iCloud Photo Library turned off in both places, it should treat your phone just like a regular old camera that it's being connected to.
Leo: So it will offer me the option to delete.
Serenity: It should in theory, yeah. I haven't personally tested it, but I suspect that's the way it'll work. And then, worse case, you can always use Image Capture. And Image Capture allows you to delete things —
Leo: It — ah, image capture. So Image Capture continues to have those capabilities.
Rene: Yeah, and iPhoto and Aperture.
Leo: Yeah, but iPhoto's going to go away, as is Aperture.
Leo: I'm just preparing for —
Serenity: I mean, if you've already downloaded it.
Leo: Yeah. I'm preparing for the new Photos future. And I was just surprised because in the past, I've copied it off and iPhotos said, Now, do you want to delete them? And then I never saw that. And I was just wondering.
Rene: It's a mental leap because it really would be deleting those photos just to have them sync back again because the state of the phone is no longer — those are just the photos you took. Those are all — they really want a world where Photos is an OS-level service, and it's all your photos and all your devices on demand.
Rene: That's not congruous with deleting them off your phone.
Leo: I love our chatroom. ScooterX is saying, Well, in the new iOS 8.3 B today, it no longer says iCloud Photo Library beta. But I might point out, ScooterX, the whole freakin' thing is beta!
Leo: So — (Laughs)
Rene: You're beta! I'm beta!
Leo: You're beta! I'm beta! It's all beta! So of course it doesn't have to say beta there. We'll see when 8.3 comes out if it stops saying "beta." Apple has just ceded the second public build of iOS 8.3 beta 4, iOS beta.
Rene: Yep. Four betas done.
Leo: In case you want. And am I — so maybe I'm dumb. Is there a button in the phone that says delete these photos?
Rene: If you delete them on the phone — again, if you're living in the iCloud Photo Library world, there's no phone anymore; all your photos are everywhere. If you delete them, you're deleting them from everywhere.
Rene: Otherwise, the phone is going to manage it.
Leo: But I know I can delete them one by one. I can click on the photo and delete it.
Rene: Yeah, and that'll go to delete it.
Leo: But if I have 3,000 photos, which I did, that was kind of onerous.
Rene: But if you're using iCloud Photo Library, you're not deleting them from your phone; you're deleting from iCloud Photo Library.
Leo: Everywhere. Which is okay in this case.
Rene: Yeah. It's easier to do in Photos in Mac. You can just select huge amounts of stuff and delete them.
Leo: Ah. Yeah, on the Mac. All right.
Rene: Or you could pick all moments. I think you can still go to moments or collections and choose them and —
Leo: I just think about people who have, like, a 16-gig iPhone or a 32-gig iPhone.
Rene: That's the beauty of iCloud — I mean, that's, supposedly, the beauty of iCloud Photo Library.
Serenity: Yeah. I mean, in terms of the way that it optimizes storage, there's no specific amount that it takes away. It is entirely dynamically based on how big of phone you have. So if you have 16 gigabytes, for example, and 8 gigabytes of that is taken up by music, it'll only sync a small amount of photos.
Serenity: But if you have more space available, it'll dump a few more photos. And it automatically prioritizes based on whatever photos you've been looking at most recently or editing most recently, which I think is really cool.
Leo: Right. That's great. And for a lot of people who are just living an unexamined life, that's great because then it just happens and you don't know about it and you're happy. But there are people, foolishly — like me — who say, But I want — where's the button to delete them all? (Laughs)
Rene: Auto-pilot off.
Leo: And it's a little frustrating, and it makes me feel stupid because I'm going, Isn't there a Select All? How do I ...
Serenity: Yeah. Well, I mean, you can delete all of the photos on your phone if you want to turn off iCloud Photo Library; and that way, you don't have to worry about that —
Leo: yeah, one by one.
Serenity: No, no. You can delete them all.
Leo: There's a Select All?
Serenity: Well, okay. So there's a section in Moments. So if you go to the Photos app and you go to photos collections —
Leo: I'm in Moments. Yeah, I'm in Moments.
Serenity: Yeah, Moments.
Leo: So you have to go to Collections and Moments. You press Select.
Serenity: I believe — yeah. You can —
Leo: And you can one by one —
Serenity: Well, you see at the top of that, there's a plain that says Select.
Rene: The other Select, Leo.
Serenity: You see where it says — it turns from —
Leo: The other Select?
Serenity: So you press Select — press the big Select.
Leo: There's one Select.
Serenity: And then there's little Select under each moment. You see that?
Leo: Yeah, I have to go like this.
Serenity: No, to the right.
Leo: Oh, you can go moment by moment.
Leo: Aaaaaaaaah. So if I go moment by — well, if you have a lot of moments, it's still something; but it's better than nothing.
Rene: It might work for selections.
Leo: Okay. So there's no Select All, but you can select all by moment.
Leo: And if —
Serenity: So it's not that —
Leo: I only have to go back 365 days ... 365. Select. Okay.
Serenity: And then, worst case scenario, you just plug your phone into your computer and use Image Capture and delete it all.
Leo: Yeah. That's probably what I'll end up doing because I'm —
Rene: And turn off the sync so it doesn't all sync right back.
Leo: And then it will come back. (Laughs) So sometimes "just works" doesn't for people who are paying attention.
Andy: Yeah. That's the problem with cloud services.
Andy: If you do them wrong, it's like having pantry moths in your house.
Andy: Where you feel like you can get rid of all of them, but —
Leo: You can't.
Andy: — at some point they're back, and you don't know how they got back.
Leo: (Laughs) Pantry moths.
Launcher is back. The banned iOS widget that let you launch other apps is back.
Rene: Yeah. I have mixed feelings, but I think it would behoove Apple to make extensions for control center and then allow developers to make apps that go into control center because control center feels to me like where I want to go to launch apps; and notification center feels like where I want to go for information.
Andy: Yeah, I'd like to let users decide that because I do swipe down to get a look at an overview sort of thing. In any event, there needs to be a place to put favorite apps because the current app launcher is just terrible. It's just —
Serenity: Yeah. It's not the greatest.
Andy: It is exactly like what the Newton MessagePad had in the late 1990s, and I think we can do a little bit better than that. Call me a crazy dreamer with too much faith in Apple, but I think they can surpass what happened 20 years ago.
Leo: (Laughs) Survey says, 85 percent of iPhone 6 owners in the U.S. have never tried Apple Pay.
Serenity: I was just looking at that. I'm a little —
Leo: It's from payments.com.
Rene: I don't know — there's no —
Rene: There's no context for it. Like, how does that relate to other service? Like, maybe they haven't tried AmEx. I don't know.
Leo: Well, I should point out that this was not exactly a scientific survey. It was a survey of 1,188 participants of the payments.com Innovation Project 2015 Mobile Payments Conference.
Leo: But now — well, you expect those people would be all trying it.
Rene: Like high adopters.
Leo: Nine percent said they'd played around with Apple Pay. I'm in that group.
Rene: Do they all work for Current C?
Rene: I mean, if they all work for Current C —
Serenity: Yeah. That's the question, though. It's like, who's attending? I was trying to Google payments.com because I don't know much about them.
Serenity: But if the folks attending the Innovation Project 2015 Mobile Payments Conference — if 75 percent of them have Android and the people surveyed were the — let's say 85 percent of the 150 people who have iPhones at the conference.
Leo: Right. Right.
Serenity: Like, that might be a little bit different.
Leo: Here's why this is — I agree. This is a useless number because of the way it was performed. But it's not a nun-believable number to me because I am an iPhone user who has set up three or four credit cards on Apple Pay and have never used it, just because, even when I'm at Whole Foods where I cd use it, it's like, eh, whatever. I know how this works. I don't want to mess with it.
Andy: Also, I don't like the nature of that headline, where it really wants to paint Apple Pay as a failure because of low adoption —
Leo: Yeah, I agree.
Andy: — when really, there are going to be so many factors like where do you shop, and does the place where you shop happen to take Apple Pay? And are you just simply wired up to simply say, I know I've got two objects in my pocket: one is a phone; one is a wallet. I'm going to suppress the natural instinct to pay with my wallet, and now I take my phone.
Andy: I am one of those nuts who uses Google Wallet all the time because I just like the security, and also — I will admit it — I like the fun of paying for something with my phone. But it's really going to take a number of years for people simply to change their habits; and it's going to take a device like Apple Watch, I think, to get people really on board with this idea that — here's a more convenient way of paying for things.
Serenity: That's almost worse.
Leo: And I should say, I also have Google Wallet, touch to pay with Google Wallet, for a long time and never used that, either.
Rene: I used to use it constantly.
Andy: I'm on that exact same page. My Nexus 5 had both wireless charging and the ability to pay for things with NFC; and I used neither of those things over the past almost two years until, like, just a couple of months ago when I realized, Oh, that's right. I can charge this more easily. Oh, that's right. I can — with all this Apple Pay news, I have always been able to do that. I wonder how well that works. Again, it's such a — like we were talking about earlier with the apple Watch, so much of the problem is not engineering; it's just educating people on, Here's something that is possible, and here's why you want to break a ten-year-old habit and start a new, much better habit.
Leo: I would say, just judging from what I'm seeing in the chatroom, most of the people in the chatroom who have the capability have used Apple Pay. But again, that's a self-selective group. Gardner in the chatroom said, "In a survey taken at WWDC, Google was found not to have sold a single phone." (Laughs)
Leo: You know, it's — yeah.
Rene: As someone who doesn't have Apple Pay yet — but we've had contactless payment for years here. It's just ubiquitous. Everybody goes in whenever they can, which is most of the time.
Leo: And you've used it?
Rene: I tap to pay all the time. I can't remember the last time — once in a while, I have to put the pin and chip in because they dropped the machine and the NFC's not working anymore. But I'd say 90 percent of the time, I tap the gas tank; I tap at the fast food place; I tap at the coffee shop — I mean, it's all I do. It's crazy to me that people don't use it.
Leo: I suspect — I get a —
Andy: I could actually use it - the Panera closest to me where I do a lot of my field writing, they've got four terminals, of which one does not have contactless payments. And whenever they say "next, please," it's always the clerk with the non —
Andy: I'm standing there with my phone in my hand, ready to — oh, goddamn it. Now I've got to get my wallet —
Leo: Get my wallet out.
Andy: — and find out, do I actually have money with me?
Rene: See, I'm actually curious to see if it's going to be as reliable as the card because the last time I was at — I forget. I was at our equivalent of Chipotle here; and the guy in front of me was trying to get his phone to pay, and he kept saying, "Oh, hold on a second. Oh, hold on a second." And I just walked up, hit my card, and left because old analog card always works, doesn't need an interface, doesn't need any input. So it'd be interesting for me to see just how different it is when it's on the phone.
Leo: Patrick Delahanty in our studio here says Panera in Petaluma only has NFC on half the registers, and it's never the half that are open.
Andy: That's sickening.
Serenity: It's always the truth.
Andy: Either all or nothing.
Leo: (Laughs) I know. I don't understand.
Serenity: This happens in Cambridge, too. It's so annoying. So annoying.
Rene: It's not acceptable, people. You have to raise the bar of your NFC deployment.
Leo: My suspicion is that there is this little hump to get over — which I have not gotten over — and once the dam breaks, you just do it all the time. Like, it's like, Oh, I can't wait. I'm going to look for it. But I just — there is some reluctance in me, maybe because it's a new way of paying and I'm very comfortable and familiar with swiping.
Rene: One time, credit cards —
Serenity: Well, think about how long — yeah. Think about how long credit cards really took to adopt across the nation.
Leo: Yeah. It doesn't mean it's a failure; I just think that there's a little resistance to get over. But I'm sure, once you get over —
Andy: That's absolutely true. And another interesting data point for me is, Apple Pay — these payments have never been more popular now that Apple Pay is out. Apple Pay has been out for almost half a year now, and I can't tell you how many times I will use contactless payments and I'm the very first customer they've ever had on this grease-soaked payment pad that has NFC, happens to be on it. I thought, Oh my God, I've never, — how'd that happen? The register just told me you've paid. How'd that happen? And I'm like, I used the thing that your register's been able to do for the past year.
Leo: (Laughs) That's part of the reason I don't do it is I don't want to get in a conversation about, What did you just do? I'm worried about the clerk not knowing what I did, right? And I don't want to — you know how —
Serenity: "Are you stealing money?"
Leo: Yeah. That is actually part of the resistance.
Andy: It's the opposite. It's kind of like how it was hard, when I had the iPad the first month it was released, to — I almost don't want to use it in public because I actually have work to do. I don't want to demonstrate the iPad to people.
Leo: (Laughs) Yeah, exactly.
Andy: And I'll be in line in this place. "Oh, how did you do that?" "Oh, I used the phone." "Oh, my God, will my phone do that?" "What kind of phone do you have?" "A Galaxy S4." "Yeah, you can do that; you just need to Google—"
Rene: Andy Ihnatko, technology evangelist.
Leo: That'll do it. It'll do it.
PWN2OWN, which is an annual Vancouver-based event at CanSecWest the security conference every year — it happened last week. Every year, what they do is they set out computers with the latest browsers, the latest operating system patches and so forth; and teams of white hat hackers — I think they're white hats — are given the opportunity to hack them. If they do, they get a cash prize and they get to keep the laptop. On March 19, the second day of the PWN2OWN conference, a significant — now, I'm looking at one article that says $255,000 in prizes were awarded because Safari was hacked, FireFox was hacked, Microsoft's Internet Explorer was hacked, Chrome was hacked, Adobe Flash was hacked, Adobe Router was hacked. One guy who wasn't even on a team got the lion's share of this at PWN2OWN.
Rene: They're bounty hat hackers.
Leo: Yeah. What do you call them? Because in some ways, I don't like this because what happens is, these guys are looking all year for exploits; and when they find them, they keep them to themselves because they want to make some money. So this guy — South Korean hacker Jung Hoon Lee — made, by himself — I think $255,000. He hacked IE, Chrome, and Safari. He got a couple of laptops —
Rene: Not bad for a year's work.
Leo: Now, once it's over, they are required to reveal the exploits so they'll be patched and won't work next year. He took out IE 11, stable and beta, versions of Google Chrome and Apple Safari, got $225,000 in prize money. Not so bad. Total of half a million dollars, I think was handed out. And just for those of you Mac users who say, Well, we're safe, Safari absolutely was hacked. There were two bugs in Apple's Safari that they were able to use. And by the way, it's not just like they find a bug. It's like they can use the bug to take over the machine. Enough said.
Rene: Security would be perfect if it didn't have to let humans in.
Leo: I do have to say that Lee did say Google Chrome was the hardest to hack. His Chrome exploit took over 2,000 lines of code. Wow. And he got into Safari using a UAF vulnerability in an uninitialized stackpointer. So there. And then he jumped out of the sandbox to execute a program in OSX. The program was non-malicious, but of course it could have been.
All right. Let's take a break, come back. Your picks — oh, wait a minute; one more story. Remember that Apple bought Beats? I think you probably do remember that. HP continued to make Beats computers, Beats-based audio computers, because they had a deal. That deal has ended. Beats has now exited the HP arena, and HP's going to team with B&O, Bang and Olufsen.
Rene: They declined to renew the deal.
Leo: Apple did?
Rene: I don't know. I'm just saying someone declined to renew that deal.
Leo: Somebody did. (Laughs) Not really a surprise.
Leo: The B&O Play label will be on Pavilion PCs, the Specter Omen NV. You know, I've never noticed it makes any difference at all. It seems to me just like a label. But there you go.
Let us take a break, come back with your picks of the week, lady and gentlemen. But first, a word from LegalZoom.com. Not a law firm. Better, in a way. If you're thinking about starting a business, now would be a great time because it's National Start Your Business Month at LegalZoom.com. Makes it easier than ever to start building your future. LegalZoom provides the support you need. We did the LLC through LegalZoom ten years ago. LegalZoom's been helping people for more than ten years, more than a million business owners. Get the paperwork done, get the trademarks, the patents; and now, if you need advice for your business, no problem. Even though LegalZoom is not a law firm, they have built a network of trusted attorneys to provide the guidance you need for your specific situation. And to celebrate National Start Your Business Month, LegalZoom is offering an attorney consultation for only $50. So for instance, you could go to LegalZoom.com; start the process to create an LLC — which you should do, by the way. If you're starting a business, you should not just be a plain old company because then your liability issue is significant. And you, as I did, come to the part in the form where you say, Oh, what state? And I was trying to decide between Delaware and California. And I'd heard different things. It would have been great to have a 50-dollar consultation with an attorney and say, Which state? And he could have told me the pros and cons in each. If you're unsure about the best way to start, or if you've already run a business and you need some advice, this software is for you. Get legal advice for your business, no further obligation, all at a one-time low cost of $50. Go to LegalZoom today to find out more. Attorney consultations are provided by independent attorneys available in most states. Get the legal help you need for your business at LegalZoom.com, and enter the offer code "MBW" in the referral box; you'll save even more. "MBW," LegalZoom.com. Try it today. That's a good deal. I don't know any attorney that will even answer the phone for $50.
Andy Ihnatko, your pick of the week, my friend.
Andy: My pick of the week are a couple of really cheap and very good cases, both of them made by Inateck, another one of those names that they tend to slap on — that tends to land on a variety of different things. We recommended a SSD drive case a while back. as I said last week, I bought a new iPad Mini. I don't like flip cases or keyboard cases; what I like are sleeves. And so I bought this one chiefly because it looked — I like things that are inexpensive and cool and clever, and this is all three. So this is a — technically, it's a sleeve case. It's felt, so it's nice and warm and cuddly. You can put it on your hands to prevent frostbite during the winter that we had. But when you need to use your thing, you pull it out like this; but it has this really cool, clever little thing where you can just flatten this end of it, put in — there's a magnet that holds the end of the strap like that.. And then you get a very, very simple little stand that you can use for reading or doing whatever. It's such an easy thing for them to have to add to this very, very simple sleeve, and yet it just makes it perfect for — I'm having a burrito, and I just want this tilted enough to read. And it also keeps it useful for the things I use tablets for. I don't like those flip-over cases or those hard cases because I often wind up putting these things into keyboard docks — little portable keyboards that have a little stand — and sometimes that thick case will prevent it from going through the little slot. That one's just twelve bucks on Amazon. This other one — which I bought only because I was next door to it and I've been sort of looking for a simple protective padded sleeve for my 13-inch MacBook — also made out of warm felt. If you leave this out, your kitty is probably going to climb inside it because it's just so warm and snuggly inside there. But it is a 16-dollar sleeve. Couldn't be simpler, but it's slim; it doesn't add extra bulk to the thing; and meanwhile, for a cheap 17-dollar sleeve, it is nonetheless fully lined. And the lining allows it to do cool things like — well, what if we were to put in an extra little pack right here so that people can still put their mini tablets inside there? And we'll put little tabs back here so people can carry their phone someplace. And it's not here with me to show off, but it also comes with an identically nicely tailored little elastic bag that you can put your — you can see in that picture there — you put your charger in. It was such a nice little bag that — I went to New York and went to the opera, and I needed to take my little binoculars, so I just used that as a mini binoculars case. So you get a lot of value for $16. Very, very happy with both of them, so much so that I probably won't be looking for other ones for either one of these.
Leo: Nice. Inateck. You must have a pipeline to the Inateck factory.
Andy: It's kind of fun when you find yourself shopping, and you say, Oh wow, that looks like exactly what I want; and you realize, Oh, that's from the same company from which I've bought three or four different things. That means that they're probably doing things that are very much aligned with my own personal interests.
Leo: It's a kind of generic name. And the only reason I remember it is because it's so close to the name of the company in Office Space, which was Initech; right?
Leo: (Laughs) That's the only reason I remember.
Andy: I don't know about that. It's quality products at low prices.
Leo: Serenity —
Serenity: There are no staplers involved.
Leo: (Laughs) [Imitates a character from Office Space] "You have my stapler? [Inaudible]."
Serenity: (Laughs) My pick of the week is CARROT Weather.
Serenity: I have Federico Viticci to blame entirely for that. CARROT Weather.
Leo: Have you been growing carrots?
Serenity: Yes. I have not been growing carrots, but I have been growing snarky AI, which is what CARROT Weather is.
Leo: Oh. I like it.
Serenity: It's a weather app that talks to you like you're a little bit of a jerk.
Leo and Andy: (Laugh)
Serenity: So this one — let's see. And it has special forecasts, too. So it not only forecasts your own weather, but also has secret locations, like the Lars homestead on Tatooine, that says, "May the force be with you, unless you like the prequels. Then you can go jump off a bridge."
Serenity: So it's basically a snarky little AI that just talks to you while it's giving away information about the weather, and it has the same kind of live realtime forecasts that Dark Sky offers.
Serenity: I tried it out based on Viticci's glowing review, and I'm like, "You know what? This is actually really fun. And now it's temporarily replaced Dark Sky in my first home screen. I don't know if it'll stay there; but for now, I'm really enjoying it.
Leo: Yeah. See, I have Dark Sky. So what's it — why are these better than the Apple weather app?
Serenity: Well, for one thing, Dark Sky, in specific, I like better because you get realtime feedback on whether or not it's about to rain or how heavy the rain currently is, rather than just an overview of, like, your barometric pressure.
Leo: Right. Yeah. Mine says next hour, no precipitation. And the nearest precipitation's 13 miles to the north, that kind of thing.
Serenity: yeah. So I think that kind of stuff is really interesting and very helpful, and I like being able to see temperature changes and seven-day forecasts.
Serenity: Apple's weather app is perfectly perfunctory; it's just kind of boring.
Leo: Right. But you say CARROT Weather is similar to this, but snarky.
Serenity: I like an app that's willing to talk back to me a little bit.
Leo and Rene: (Laugh)
Leo: Like you, I might temporarily put Dark Sky in a folder somewhere and try CARROT app. Thank you. (Laughs)
Andy: You're like Steve Jobs; you enjoy having people in your organization that are willing to challenge you.
Leo: All right. If you say so, I'll try it. Mr. Rene, Ritchie, your pick of the week?
Rene: Yeah. I just want to second Serenity's pick first. I mean, Brian Muller, who does all the CARROT apps — there's like CARROT To-Do and CARROT Fit and CARROT Hunger — they're all snarky and wonderful.
Leo: Oh. (Laughs)
Rene: So you might not want to use them every day; but every once in a while, you just need that hit, that reality check, to bring you back.
Leo: So here's the CARROT To-Do talking task list. That's $2.99. CARROT Tough Love Pack — (Laughs) $7.00. You can add even more snark. There's CARROT Weather; that's $3.00; CARROT Alarm ...
Andy: You can have people abuse you.
Leo: Yeah. CARROT Fit. This is what I need — the seven-minute workout, but with some snark.
Leo: Yeah. I like it.
Rene: I don't know; it's just refreshing. I mean, a lot of stuff is bland or, like Serenity said, perfunctory; and he's got some attitude. And I like that kind of stuff.
Leo: CARROT Hunger, a talking calorie counter. And that one's free, if you want to get an idea of what CARROT can do.
Rene: If you want to sample your CARROT.
Leo: What CARROT can do for you.
Rene: My main pick —
Serenity: I like the one that it's showing me right now.
Leo: What's it say?
Serenity: Go ahead. Oh. Now is the winter of our disco tent.
Leo: (Laughs) Okay. I'm downloading it.
Leo: Right there on that. What do I get in the Tough Love bundle? What is — oh, I see — that's the three of them together.
Leo: Oh, I should probably do that. Oh, it doesn't include Weather. Darn it!
Andy: You're a dirty little piggy. Dirty little piggies should be outside so the rain will wash them out, dirty little piggy.
Leo: (Makes pig noises) Yes, I'm a dirty little piggy! I am, I am! I'm sorry, Rene. Go ahead.
Rene: Oh, no worries.
Andy: In-app purchase. Give me 5 more dollars right now.
Rene: My actual pick of the week is something I sadly can't talk very much about because it's embargoed until tomorrow morning, but —
Leo: You stole this. I knew you were going to do this.
Rene: We argued about it last week, and I figured if I put it in there really quickly, I'd get away with it.
Leo: Dang you.
Rene: So again, I can't tell you anything about it except that I've been using it through the beta period, and I like it a lot. Fantastical 2 is what I'm talking about. Fantastical 1 has been my go-to calendar on iOS and Mac since it came out. Fantastical 2 is a reimagining of what it means to be Fantastical, similar to what Fantastical 2 was on iOS, just in the context of the Mac. It comes out tomorrow. It's by Flexibits, and it's really good. So sometime tomorrow, it'll magically appear on the App Store, and a bunch of news outlets will write about it and tell you all about it. But I'll just say that if you care at all about getting stuff into a calendar fast and getting it out of a calendar fast, you're going to really want to check out Fantastical. It's a great team; it's a great app.
Leo: I don't know anything about it.
Rene: I know. I'm trying to be really careful here, Leo.
Leo: Well, I was kind of mad because we got to talk to Simmons because —
Rene: He's got to make it Tuesday, right?
Leo: Tuesday would be better. Just saying.
Rene: I know.
Leo: You do a Wednesday, we're probably not going to mention it the following Tuesday. Just saying.
Rene: Yeah. It's a risky thing.
Leo: All you app guys. It's a risky thing. I got CARROT.
Rene: Well, the thing is, Leo, for the app store, Thursday is the sweet slot because that's when Apple does their feature.
Rene: So if they ask you to go on a Thursday, you're going to want to do that. But I kind of think that otherwise, if you can't get Apple, you should definitely target MacBreak.
Leo: Good to know. I had two picks. I'll do them quick because they're not that interesting. The first one is from — Instagram has a new framing app, and I can't — where did I put it? Oh, here it is. Layout. (Laughs) Which will take all your pictures — if you have any pictures on your phone, but of course I've deleted them all now — and make an interesting layout. It's actually really nice. It's very simple to use. You just select the pictures you want, and it will offer you some nice layouts; and then it will give you a chance to flip things around, which is kind of cool. And then it will give you a chance to save it and post it on Instagram — of course, because it's from Instagram — or Facebook or use the Share button; and it's free. What's cool about this is — and I hope Instagram does more stuff. They did Hyperlapse as well, and they're good developers. This is iOS only, but they're good developers. I would like to see more stuff. This is very simple. Lots of people already have frame apps. You don't need another one, probably; but I thought I'd mention it. The other one — I know at least you, Rene, are a Sonos fan. And we were having a heck of a time in the house because the Sonos — we have several systems spread out quite a bit; and the system the farthest away from the Sonos bridge would constantly die. And what Sonos does which is bad — this really got bad when they added this new ability to not have a bridge but to do it all via Wi-Fi. Sonos has its own kind of mesh style network that really works. The advantage Sonos has over any other solution is, everything's in sync. I don't know how it does it. So if you turn on all the speakers into party mode, everything sounds the same. You don't get weird delays and echoes throughout the house. It's fabulous. Lots of other good reasons to like Sonos. They came out with a solution that has fixed my problem, and I wanted to tell people who — if you're having trouble with Sonos speakers losing track of where they belong or suddenly becoming Wi-Fi — the symptom of that is you suddenly don't have a system, or part of the system disappears. This is a great solution, and Sonos should have done this ages ago. This is a Wi-Fi — basically, a Wi-Fi access spot called the Sonos Boost. It's not very expensive. I think it's a hundred bucks. And what it does is it has three antennas — it's like a massive, massive Wi-Fi adapter. You plug this into your router via Ethernet, and everything else can be unplugged — that's how Sonos generally works. And this really solved our problem. So if you've had problems with Sonos because you have it spread out or there's Internet getting in the way — which is another problem because we have a lot of Wi-Fi going around — the Boost is well worth it. Fixed our problem. Now, we had similar problems here in studio, and it did not solve our problem here. But I think we have a different issue with interference. If your issue is that your stuff is spread out a lot, the Boost really fixed it. And I put it basically in the same location that the Sonos Connect was, so it's demonstratively better at creating the network than the Sonos Connect is.
We're out of time. But we are not out of wonderful people. I want to thank Serenity Caldwell from iMore.com for being here. Always a pleasure.
Serenity: it's always a pleasure to be here.
Leo: Is the snow melting? Is it melting? Is spring coming, ever?
Serenity: Supposedly, it's going to be in the 50s next week, this week. Fingers crossed.
Leo: I'm hoping for you.
Serenity: Maybe. I still believe in spring. (Laughs)
Leo: If not, you know you can always come out here.
Serenity: I know.
Leo: It'll be 80 degrees this weekend. Just saying. It's actually beautiful today. It's a gorgeous day, isn't it? Yeah.
Serenity: If only you're not slowly sinking into drought.
Leo: Oh, that. Oh, there won't be any water, no. You don't need water.
Serenity: I like my showers, Leo. I'm sorry.
Leo: No, no, no. You don't want to come here then. This is the place where you shower with a friend to save water.
Leo: There are lots of other bumper stickers, but I won't continue. Mr. Rene Ritchie, iMore.com, nice to have you. Montreal — is it patio weather?
Rene: So Leo, it went up to 1 degree Celsius, and I opened my window just because I wanted some fresh air.
Rene: I fell asleep and I woke up, and it was -25 with windchill. My iPhone felt like it had liquid nitrogen poured on it. There was frozen condensation on my table. And I'm not leaving my house again till June.
Leo: I saw your post. That's why I brought it up. (Laughs) I felt so bad for you. Geez Louise. Great to have you, Rene, always. Rene does a great podcast — actually, Serenity also does great podcasts, The Incomparable. Rene's Debug is a must-listen for anybody who's a Mac fan. All of that you'll find at iMore.com. And you'll find Serenity's podcast at TheIncomparable — is it .net?
Serenity: TheIncomparable — I believe .com is ours. Yep.
Leo: Nobody types "net" or "com" anymore. They just type into the Google "The Incomparable," click the link.
Serenity: Show me The Incomparable, yes.
Leo: That's all you need. Andy Ihnatko's at the Chicago Sun Times. Always a thrill. You're the best of sideburns and technology. Thank you for being here.
Andy: Best of technology — I'd have to argue with that. Sideburns and technology — now that Asamov is very much not with us anymore — I could be talked out of that, but that's not ridiculous.
Leo: You know who gave you a run for your money recently? Joaquin Phoenix, the last movie he did — what was it called? It's the one based on the Pynchon novel.
Leo: He plays a 1970s detective, stoner detective.
Andy: He was rocking it. Actually, now that I think of it, Burt Rutan has nice sideburns, and also, as the CEO of Scale Composits, I probably have to say — the makers of low altitude spacecraft — I just have to say probably more tech-savvy than I.
Leo: Nobody's more tech savvy than you. The movie was Inherent Vice.
Leo: And he plays a character named Larry "Doc" Sportello and has sideburns much like yours.
Andy: I don't want to brag, but if your iPhone's having problems, I think I could probably fix it before he can.
Leo: (Laughs) Hey, thanks for being here, you guys. thank you all for watching the show. We do it every Tuesday, 11 a.m. Pacific. That's 2 p.m. Eastern Time, 1800UTC on live.twit.tv. But if you can't watch live, on-demand audio and video always available after the fact. Twit.tv/mbw. But better than that, subscribe. Use Overcast or some podcast app or iTunes — whatever you need. Make sure you get every episode. You don't want to miss one, and we appreciate it when you subscribe. That way, we know you'll be here each and every Tuesday for MacBreak Weekly. Thanks. Now get back to work because break time is over!