This Week in Google 296 (Transcript)
Leo Laporte: It's time for TWiG, This Week in Google. Gina Trapani is back with Jeff Jarvis. We're going to talk about the EU. They're attacking Google - oh, what's going to happen there? We'll also have a little bit of a discussion about over-the-top television and some of our favorite TV shows. And it's the return of the Google Changelog. It's all next on TWiG.
Voiceover: Netcasts you love from people you trust. This is TWiT! Bandwidth for This Week in Google is provided by Cachefly.com.
Leo: This is TWiG, This Week in Google, episode 296, recorded Wednesday, April 15, 2015.
Smells Like a Pivot
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It's time for TWiG, This Week in Google. The show where we talk about the latest from Google. Jeff Jarvis is here from CUNY, the City University of New York where he's a professor of journalism, and a blogger at buzzmachine.com. Author of so many great books, What Would Google Do?, Public Parts - you don't have to hold them all up. Geeks Bearing Gifts. I always want to say News but it's Gifts.
Jeff Jarvis: Same difference.
Leo: Same thing. And Gutenberg The Geek. Thank you for being here, Jeff. I love that. You know who's back and we're so happy to see her?
Leo: From thinkup.com, it's Gina Trapani!
Gina Trapani: Great to be here. Hi!
Leo: Did you do “All About Android” last night too?
Gina: I didn't, I didn't. I haven't been on All About Android for a while but Jason and I are scheming. We've set up dates. Yes, that will happen soon. I had this crazy bronchitis - walking pneumonia thing happen and I was just laid up for a couple weeks there.
Leo: Oh, no. You feeling okay now?
Gina: Yes, feeling way, way better but yes. It was six days in bed. I've never been - yes.
Leo: Jeez. That's what winter does to you.
Gina: Crazy, crazy. So I didn't get on All About Android this month but I'll be back.
Leo: Well, we're just thrilled to see you. Gina, of course, has given up show business for her startup, ThinkUp. You can see my ThinkUp - I'll log in as me but you can see it if you just go to leolaporte.thinkup.com and you can see what it does for you. So, good!
Gina: Yes, we've been having a lot of fun. I miss you guys but we've been heads down, building all kinds of - a few new things I'm really excited about. I can't talk about it yet.
Leo: Does it scare you that Twitter is pulling the plug on the Firehose - you're not a Firehose consumer?
Gina: No, we're not. We're not. We're a per user - we're old school. We use the per user rest API. So we weren't affected by that.
Leo: I get it. So they got - the whole point of this was these were companies that - can you believe, by the way?
Gina: I knew you were going to say something.
Leo: I spend a lot of energy crafting - handcrafting tweets, making the best possible tweets and then some weird API goes off. There's a site called Twitter Counter that's been around for ages, it's how we used to keep track of who was number one on Twitter back when it was me versus Kevin Rose. And I had set up, like three weeks ago, their email thing so I could email tweets, never used it. And I think something weird happened because all of the sudden, I tweeted, “Hi,”
And I'm looking - my Twitter stream lights up and I'm like, “What? Four minutes ago I tweeted 'Hi,?'” No, I'm lying in bed. So of course, I immediately went down the hall to Michael, to the kid, and said, “Michael, were you on my computer?” He said, “No.” I said, “Well, okay.” I never figured it out but finally I figured out it was from Twitter Counter.
They can't figure it out either but it doesn't matter. “Hi,” was not only the big tweet of the week, the big tweet of the year. 250 replies, 456 favorites, 164 people retweeted, “Hi,”
Gina: That's incredible.
Jeff: Now we're all going to do it.
Gina: Your fans are thirsty for engagement, Leo.
Leo: Is that what it is? I'm just going to tweet non sequitor greetings every few days and I'll be huge.
Gina: You know, it's so funny. I've had people say to me, “I read your tweets and I don't know what you're talking about most of the time.” I think that just happens when you're passionate about a topic or when you're talking to folks who you feel like - you know, like the TWiG audience. You know where I'm coming from. I think you kind of just make assumptions. So I think when you say something like, “Hi,”
Leo: Then everybody understands.
Gina: People like it.
Leo: Well, there's a real Insight there. Wow.
Gina: That's my theory.
Leo: I love the Insight that you wrote, “Whatever Leo Laporte said must have been memorable!” I'll never forget it.
Gina: I thought that comma was a bug on ThinkUp's part, but no, it was, “Hi,” and that was it.
Leo: It was “Hi,”
Gina: It was also really a cliffhanger over tweet.
Leo: Maybe that's it. Maybe that's the key.
Gina: “What now?”
Leo: Punctuation is central to the -
Jeff: How many “Bye”s did you get?
Leo: The first thing I got was from Jeff Needles, who tweeted, “There.” He completed it.
Gina: It's like people's brains can't abide by those kinds of things just hanging there out in space. It's like unclosed parentheses.
Leo: That's when you're really glad you have ThinkUp because you can immediately - this is stuff you can't easily see but ThinkUp will surface this stuff. It's also really fun to go back in time and see, you know, your big tweets from a year ago and two years ago. I love that. That's one of the reasons we subscribe to Timehop, many of us.
I used 33 exclamation marks, 33 tweets with exclamation marks. I do like the exclamation mark a little too much.
Gina: It's good. It's a love of life.
Leo: I wish you would do a ThinkUp for podcasts. You could say, “Leo said 'actually' 27 times this week.” Wouldn't that be useful?
Gina: Or a soul destroyer, I don't know. Somebody once did a mash-up of every time I said, “Uh.” And I apologized to everyone who ever listened to TWiG because I do that and it was just like, “Kill me now. Just let me crawl under my desk and never speak again.”
Leo: We all have verbal crutches. “Uh” is not a good verbal crutch but “actually” is bad. There's a lot of bad verbal crutches out there and all of us have some. So.
Gina: NPR just did a piece on, “No, totally,” as a linguistic. “No, totally.”
Leo: “Totally.” You know what I hate and I do it all the time? “Yeah, no.” Yeah, no. It's like, but I just said two contradictory things in once sentence. “Yeah, no.” I say that a lot.
Google Ventures - this makes me happy, can thank me for 185 thousand more people seeing their tweet.
Gina: You can include that in your pitch to them when you try to raise for TWiT.
Leo: “I'm bigger than you.”
Gina: Or not.
Leo: Did you guys watch Silicon Valley on Sunday?
Gina: I did. I did.
Leo: I did. I love that show - wait a minute, what?
Jason: Yes, [Jeff] dropped.
Gina: Jeff left in protest. I love that show. So many people hate it.
Leo: I love it, too. I know people hate it.
Gina: It's a satire. It's hilarious. I think it's funny.
Jason: I think it's great.
Gina: Listen, some jokes aren't but it's interesting - (crosstalk)
Leo: You know, there's a little too many dick jokes. I understand that and unfortunately Sunday was really full of them. But if you're in the scene, you recognize so many things. I was just sure - and I was wrong, but I was just sure that there were like, tons of venture capitalists, real ones, sprinkled through that episode on Sunday.
Leo: Because they're out - the story is that at the end of last season, they won TechCrunch Disrupt and so, Pied Piper, which is this fictitious company that's created this new compression algorithm that's better than any - what is the stat?
Gina: The Weismann?
Leo: “We got 5 on the Weismann scale. Nobody's ever done that!” And there's a Google analog called Hooli. But so the story this season begins with them going, now, out to get their A-round of financing. And actually, I really - you can't spoil a comedy. Can I spoil a comedy?
Gina: You can spoil - I thought it was a great commentary. So I'm going to. You don't have to spoil it; I'll spoil it. So the bigger jerks they were in each meeting - like, the bigger jerks, the most dismissive and condescending they could be, the bigger offers they would get. I think this is why the show is so great. There's a commentary, kind of, on what sort of behavior gets rewarded in the industry.
It's so funny because, you know, people say, “That show is so sexist. There are no women. How do you like this show? It's so sexist.” It's a satire! It's a commentary. No, the industry is sexist. It's sexist because it's a commentary on the industry. I will point out that one of the few women in the show is like, the only competent, capable person.
Leo: The only nice, intelligent person in the show is that woman right there. Yes.
Gina: Right, right. So it was great. I loved, having been through a lesson in tens and certainly a smaller round of fundraising, I really enjoyed watching those meetings. It was a good episode. Listen, it's a half hour.
Leo: It's fun. I like Veep a little better but that's okay because Veep, you've got to watch three times because the jokes are so fast. But here's the thing that I thought was - the real reason I'm bringing it up. Yes, they went and they were able to get insane evaluations. Finally, the last evaluation was that they get - what? $50 million and for a valuation of $2 million. That was the top they got.
Then somebody, the smart woman, didn't want to take that money. That's death. You need to negotiate down because if you take too much money, then there's too much pressure to turn it around and you'll be out of business. You'll lose your company because you can't live up to that. You're not worth that. And I thought that was a great - I thought, actually, that was very astute.
Have you experienced that, Jeff, ever? I mean, is that real? Is that a thing?
Jeff: Oh, yes. You know, I love to tell the story that Nick Denton, when I was on the board of his last company, Moreover, he raised a lot of money. It was in the early 2000s. When we hit the bust, I said, “Boy, Nick, the best thing you ever did was raise too much money so we have a safety net.” He said, “No, Jarvis. Worst thing I ever did was let the CEO try things we shouldn't have tried. Too much money is bad.”
It's a very Nick thing to say, hey, Gina?
Gina: Yes. Yes. He's extremely - yes. That is a very Nick thing to say. He's very bearish on that kind of thing. No, I was just reading about, I think it's Get Satisfaction? Lane Becker's company, they just got sold and he was one of the founders. He didn't make a dime. It was a fire sale, his word. And when asked what went wrong -
Leo: Oh, I love Lane.
Gina: Yes, I love Lane too. He tweeted very frankly about what happened but he basically said, you know, “There was a point in the lifetime of the company where we had acquisition offers and then we had this round of fundraising that we could do and we took too much money. The company wasn't worth that.”
Leo: So it's exactly - so this was prescient. Silicon Valley, of course, recorded before this but this is prescient. This is exactly - wow. You know who's writing for them? I didn't know this. Dan Lyons, for Silicon Valley. The TV show.
Gina: Oh, well. I didn't realize that, wow.
Leo: So many Nick told Dan and Dan told them. I don't know.
Jeff: Well, it's not just Nick. It's - you know, it is wisdom. Yes, I've seen that.
Leo: But that's the kind of reason I kind of like it, because it's actually - there's some real reality in all the comedy. There's an insider knowledge that's going on there that's pretty accurate and I think maybe some of that does come from Dan Lyons who, as you know, was the fake Steve Jobs and is a character and a half. For five weeks or less, he was editor-in-chief of Valleywag and then quit and apparently - I didn't know this because I'd seen it somewhere else. But then I saw it on the credits that he's a contributor.
Wow, so Lane sold Get Satisfaction.
Jeff: That's too bad. Lane is a really good guy, you're right.
Leo: I love Lane. He raised $50 million. Wait a minute - oh, a $50 million valuation. He had raised $21 million.
Jeff: Preference will kill you every time.
Leo: He was pushed out of the company in 2010 and -
Jeff: Well, that's even worse. It's one matter if you kind of do it to yourself but then you're powerless?
Leo: But, boy, you know, I hear that from a lot of entrepreneurs who have been pushed out of their companies. It's not at all unusual.
Jeff: No, not at all. In fact, that's almost in the script.
Leo: I had a prenuptial with Lisa so she can't push me out of the company.
Gina: You're not kidding about that, are you?
Leo: No, I'm kidding, but I did ask her, “You're not going to push me out of the company now that you're married to me?” So he didn't make any money.
Now, it was sold in a so-called fire sale to Sprinkler. I don't even know who Sprinkler is, there's an irony there.
Gina: Yes. I felt bad about this for him. I told him, “I'm sorry it happened this way. This is tough.” You know, but when you're a founder, particularly when you're going out and trying to get funding. I mean, your job is to sell - is to be as optimistic, to the point of absurdity, about the possibilities that are within your business, right? So I think, you know, particularly when you get into a bidding war situation, which is basically what they had in the show, which is fictional of course.
But, you know, more money feels like more success. It's more staff you can hire. That's an office. That's - you can do so many different things. So it's a tough thing, I think, for a founder at that early stage, especially when a company is basically just an idea, to say, “We're not worth this much.”
And in the show, he says, “Can we do that? Can we ask for less? Does anybody do that?” But yes, sometimes it's the right thing to do.
Leo: It was right on and Lane Becker says, “Ask for less.” He says, “Although I thought it was more a game of chess, it's more a Game of Thrones.”
Gina: That's a great line.
Leo: “Venture capital is a game and we lost.” Poor guy. Now, of course, the current CEO did fine and the CFO, and late-stage investors did fine. But the guy who thought up Get Satisfaction, which is a brilliant idea, got nothing. So a little lesson there, ripped straight from the headlines.
Gina: And HBO.
Leo: And HBO. We didn't get your opinion. Do you think Silicon Valley's okay, Jeff?
Jeff: I haven't watched this season yet.
Leo: Well, you didn't miss anything, just the first episode was Sunday.
Jeff: I know, but I'm - you know, I'm in such a habit now of watching everything on my Nexus 7. I've been flying like crazy. I was in Copenhagen for 24 hours last week and I'm going to Italy and UK this week. So I just stock up on things on my Nexus 7 and that's how I watch TV now.
Leo: I was thinking that, on Sunday, because Sunday night, if you were a live TV viewer, was purgatory because you had Good Wife - you had a new Good Wife episode. You had a new Mad Men episode, the second in the season, the last and final season. And you had Game of Thrones, Veep and Silicon Valley, all on the same night and some against each other. That would not - I don't think that would have happened quite so readily in the pre-VCR, on-demand days.
Jeff: You had to have a little bit of that.
Leo: Well, you did it but if you did it, you did on purpose. You said, like, “We're going to take that guy down.”
Jeff: Bingo, yes.
Leo: But you knew it was bad for viewers and ultimately for you if they had to figure out, “Well, what are we watching?”
Jeff: I'm spending a fortune now buying shows. Yes, I'm buying content, people.
Leo: No, I'm with you.
Jeff: Like, Good Wife I actually don't want to watch too fast, now. I'm saving it up.
Leo: I know, because you're coming to the end, right?
Jeff: No, I'm on season three.
Leo: Oh, we're on season two. Good, we're with you. It is so good. You know what? It's a mindless show. It's good. You can sit there, you can - you don't have to - Game of Thrones, if you miss 30 seconds -
Jeff: I'm hopeless, hopeless.
Leo: “Who is that? Who are they? What is going on? Why did he do that? Oh my God.” Good Wife, you can miss the whole thing and understand what happened.
Jeff: I'm watching season one of Justified right now, which just ended last night. It's great.
Leo: Love that show. Yes.
Jeff: Banshee, I'm walking. Love, love Orphan Black.
Gina: Oh, Orphan Black. That woman is incredible.
Leo: She's an amazing actress. For those who don't know this show, she's a clone and plays many different versions of -
Jeff: Nine parts, I think.
Leo: And it's really amazing because it's like nine different actors. It's incredible.
Gina: It's wild.
Leo: Incredible. But I do have to say, we live in a golden age for people who want to consume television.
Gina: Yes, we do. You know, we cancelled HBO. We don't have HBO, we cancelled after Game of Thrones. Basically what we would do is subscribe during the Game of Thrones run, then watch Girls and all the other stuff during that time, so we didn't even subscribe to HBO this time, we just did HBO Now, which was nice and it worked really well for us. But I really liked that I could start the Game of Thrones new episode - it was available starting at 9 p.m. Eastern and we could start it when we wanted. We could, you know, pause it and we had a lot of functionality, and it's a free trial. You know, it's free for 30 days right now to get all the HBO shows.
Leo: Their timing is good. This is a good time to get people hooked on HBO. It's brilliant.
Jeff: You know, Leo, one of my many weaknesses is popcorn. I love to go to the movies just to have a sit down and greasy popcorn. I have not seen a movie worth even considering in two months, three months.
Leo: No, in fact, I actively don't go to movies so I have something to watch at home.
Jeff: There's so little to see, is my point. It's just crap. TV is so much better than the movies. I said that when I was a TV critic and it was partly true. Now, it is really true.
Leo: Now it is really true. In fact, we interviewed a guy on Triangulation, I highly recommend the book. His whole premise is the Sopranos changed everything, that with the rise of the writer/show runner, suddenly people who wanted to make movies shifted to TV because you had so much more scope, because instead of a two-hour story, you could tell a 60-hour story. You could really develop the characters.
And the power of the writer increased incredibly thanks to David Chase and, you know, it probably started with NYPD and shows like that, but now it's - there's no question about it. Even, you know, a lot of filmmakers are making TV now. Have you seen Daredevil on Netflix? That's supposed to be amazing.
Gina: No, I haven't yet.
Jeff: That's the basic one?
Leo: No, it's a comic book. Have you seen it, Jason?
Jason: I saw the first episode.
Leo: It's a Netflix Original and people are raving about it.
Jason: People are going nuts about it. I saw the first episode and I couldn't tell if it was just my disconnection with all things comic book because I was not a comic book kid -
Leo: Yes, me neither. Yes.
Jason: But it's a Marvel comic, from what I understand and I don't know. I felt like it was a little slow. Supposedly it picks up but - and some of the acting I thought was kind of eh.
Leo: Maybe it's not that great.
Jason: I put out that sentiment on Twitter a couple days ago after I saw it, and everybody came back and said, “Give it time.” Usually with these longer-form shows like this, yes. You almost have to put your faith in it that five episodes in, you're going to be hooked and usually by the time you get five episodes in, you understand where they're going, kind of the theme.
Leo: I think that's what's changed. So they made a movie of Daredevil but it's two hours. You don't have the leisure to waste the first hour - not waste, but take the first hour to gradually set up characters, set up payoffs and things like that. But when you know you're going to - especially nowadays, where you buy a whole season and say, “Here's $100 million, make 13 of them.” You've got at least 13 hours. That's a big difference. And for these grey writers, they're just loving this.
What was the name of the book, it was such a good book? You probably know the guy, he was a TV critic. Hm. I can go back through my Audible list and find it. But there was one other thing I wanted to mention to you real quickly, Jeff. The Whirly-Pop Stovetop Popcorn Popper. This will satisfy your need for high-quality movie theater popcorn at home and it kind of looks fun to have in your -
Jeff: Yes, it does. I'll get yelled at, though.
Leo: Why? Because it smells like popcorn in the house?
Jeff: No, I shouldn't be eating it.
Leo: Popcorn's good for you, isn't it? It's a whole grain.
Jeff: It's oily as hell. The fat content is - no.
Leo: Fat's good for you. Haven't you been keeping up? Everybody knows that.
Jeff: Well, I've got enough of it, Leo.
Leo: I do, too. God knows.
Gina: So the movie popcorn is actually about getting out of the house and hiding out, and eating something maybe your wife won't let you at home.
Jeff: I want it salty, and oily and bad for you. Too much of it and I'm happy. I hate people in movie theaters but I like the popcorn. They talk! They make noises, smacking noise.
Leo: I still go to movies but I notice now I'm much more likely to say, “Let's save that one for home,” that kind of thing.
Gina: We just finished Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt. That grew on me, it took a few episodes.
Leo: That weird show, I'm not sure how I feel.
Jeff: It's a very weird show. I'm trying.
Leo: For those who wanted another 30 Rock, it's not that.
Gina: It's very Tina Fey, like if you - it took me a few episodes but what drew me in was the song, the theme song is so funny.
Leo: I love the open.
Gina: The open is amazing and the premise is kind of amazing.
Leo: It's a play on memes, it's a play on - in fact, much of the show is a play on memes and you know, the modern world. The plot is that Kimmy Schmidt was in - what was the name of the Reverend who put her down there? Reverend Gary Paul Gary or something like that, took four Indiana women and told them the world had ended, “We've got to stay down here in the bunker.” She was there for a long time -
Gina: It's Don Draper. I mean, it's Jon Hamm who plays the reverend.
Leo: See, that's a spoiler because I haven't gotten to that part, yet.
Gina: Sorry, sorry.
Leo: The reverend shows up?
Gina: Yes. Yes.
Leo: They call them the Indiana Mole Women. So Kimmy Schmidt comes to New York to try to create a new life, somewhere where she's not known as a Mole Woman. Let me see, is this the open, because -
Gina: Richard Wayne Gary Wayne.
Leo: Yes, this is the open.
Jason: No audio, unmute.
Leo: Let me unmute so you can see it. What they've done - you remember, you know - what was the first one? Some tragedy happened and they were interviewing a bystander and he was crazy.
Gina: “Hide your wives, hide your kids.”
Leo: They made a song out of it. So the open to the show is that. This is it.
Okay, so they've got like four things in there already, “Known on Yelp to -” Okay.
This is the whole thing, they usually don't play it all. They're using Songify. This is actually all you really need to watch.
Gina: That's true.
Leo: I've never seen the whole thing.
Jeff: Me either.
Leo: “Females are strong as hell.” This is why I'm glad I live in the 21st century.
Gina: Seriously. It's so meta.
Leo: It's meta-meta-meta.
Gina: I mean, “White dudes hold the record for creepiest crimes.”
Leo: You've got to listen to every line he says. Apparently you can get the video of him just doing the talking and that's hysterical. But the rest of the show, it's less great.
Jeff: It's a different definition of cringe-worthy. It's not cringe-worthy because it's bad but cringe-worthy because the situation is just so - oh.
Gina: You know, I love it because they make fun of rich New Yorkers, the Broadway types, naive young white women. It's the whole gamut. It took us a few episodes and we got into it. Get to Richard Gary Wayne Gary -
Leo: I didn't know it's Jon Hamm. That's going to change anything. That changes everything.
Gina: (crosstalk) - than Mad Men, obviously.
Leo: Oh, I love him.
Jeff: You know what? Have you heard this confession from me?
Leo: You don't like Mad Men?
Jeff: I cannot get past episode one. I've tried four times, can't do it. Episode one is just cliche-ridden, overdone.
Leo: You're going to really hate this season because it is everything you hate about Mad Men and then some.
Jeff: I tried the other day. I think we talked about it last time, I tried and I went into episode two, went about five minutes and said, “I can't do this. Can't do it.”
Leo: I don't know why we love it but we do. This season is a little eh.
Gina: Brooding Don, ugh.
Leo: It's been a little bit enough of that, yes. Okay. There's the TV portion of this show.
Gina: Sorry, I didn't mean to do that.
Leo: You? What do you mean, you? I take full responsibility. We went there, man. We did. Actually, I was going to segue into HBO Now. This was the launch of the over-the-top version of HBO. People could, without a subscription to a cable company, pay $15, get HBO Now on Apple TV, iPad or iPhone, and watch Game of Thrones, and Veep and all of that.
I don't -
Jeff: And Android?
Leo: No, no Android yet. They have an exclusive with Apple and I think it's just for the first few months but so far, no. It's iOS only.
Leo: Well, I'm sure Apple has some -
Gina: Well, it's in-app purchases through the App Store. It was a weird subscription experience, I thought.
Leo: Did you do it?
Gina: Yes. I thought about subscriptions a lot. I signed up for HBO Now, I did it on my iPad and then I wound up - so if you signed up on your iPad or your iPhone, then you could watch it on the web. So I watched it on the web and cast it to my TV, I cast it to tab. Given all of that, it was very performing and this was Sunday night when Game of Thrones got released, so.
Leo: Well, that was the question mark because remember last year, HBO Go had horrible problems. Sling TV, similar problems during March Madness, the NCAA basketball tournament last month. So HBO had gone to MLBTV - the major league baseball network to supply the fee dthis time and it worked.
Gina: Yes, somebody got fired and hired.
Leo: Oh, yes, they had spent millions on their own thing in Seattle and they fired the guy, and -
Gina: Yes, they did a good job because it worked but the subscription process was a little weird. So you download the app on the iPod, iPad and then you would, you know, opt into this free trial which then just starts charging you automatically after 30 days, which I kind of hate, you know, don't charge - (crosstalk)
Leo: I know, because you always forget, yes.
Gina: So then you would do that, so now iTunes has all my information and I've opted into this free trial - 30-day free trial, which I gotta tell you, very generous. 30 days of unlimited HBO on the web, that's great. But then I had to create an account, which I was like “Why I am creating an HBO Now account when the App Store has my information?” I know that the App Store sandboxes that, still felt like a weird experience. And I also just wish that it'd been on my - I wish I didn't have to go through my iPad which I barely touch and is kind of slow. But, you know, there's still iOS first thing happening. So it was a good experience except I didn't like the opt out. You could go in and then edit your subscription and say “Don't auto-renew this,” but you had to opt out of that. But for the most part it was pretty great.
Jeff: Yes. I learned that from porn.
Leo: That's exciting - you learned that from porn?
Jeff: Not that I know.
Leo: What haven't we learned from porn, after all?
Jeff: Exactly. Exactly.
Leo: By the way, Jeff -
Jeff: Auto-renew is something that - sorry.
Leo: We need to auto-renew your lighting system.
Jeff: Oh, tell me about.
Leo: They don't have auto-renew for Jeff's lights. Either that or they just think you're dead.
Jeff: Oh, jeez. I'm alive! I tell you, I'm alive!
Leo: Yes. Auto-renew is the bane of my existence in many cases, but - by the way Jeff, the name of that book was Difficult Men. Brett Martin, did you know him?
Leo: He's a TV reporter for- I think he was in New York Magazine, a bunch of other places, but the premise of this is there was a creative revolution in television that started with the Sopranos, The Wire, and up to more recently and he talks-
Jeff: I think the point is right but you can also go back in my era, it was Hill Street Blues and Cosby.
Leo: Yes. I think you're right, that's where it begins. In fact he talks about Hill Street Blues in it.
Jeff: Yes, okay. And it's not popular to say anything about Cosby these days, but I think he had a big impact on TV in its time.
Leo: Yes. David Chase, David Simon, David Milch, Alan Ball - he talks about Breaking Bad - Vince Gilligan. It's really good. Difficult Men is the name of the book, I highly recommend it. Let's take a break! There is, and I know Jeff will have something to say about this-
Jeff: I'm going to take my blood pressure pills.
Leo: Take your pills, Jeff! There's something going on in Europe and Jeff is not going to be happy about it. But first a word for ZipRecruiter.com!
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All right. So, of course, it's really interesting. I love hosting shows on TWiT because every host has a different take. Paul Thurrott was thrilled that the European Union was finally, finally going after Google! And you and I have had this discussion, a couple weeks ago, because of the FTC documents that were leaked out to the Wall Street Journal by accident. Apparently the EU is reading the Wall Street Journal and it has now announced an investigation of Google on two different fronts. One, in the shopping realm, favoring their sites over competing sites in search results. And two, the deals they make with Android phones, AOSP versus True Google Experience. Go ahead, Jeff.
It's kind of what I was saying, though, Jeff, that, you know, they need to be above suspicion, right?
Jeff: Okay, so you're aligning yourself with the EU. Good, Leo, good. That's a place you want to be.
Leo: No, I'm just trying to get you really revved up.
Jeff: I know you are. I was getting myself ready. Leo's going to do the devil's advocate thing here today. All right, a couple things. Number one, I'm shocked at how little they have on them, right? So BFD, Google points to its own shopping advertisers. And we've had this discussion last week and we've had it before that, of course, a media property promotes its advertisers, no big deal there, but that's all they came up with in the actual formal complaint? Is that - and that's the possibility of a $6 billion fine? $6 billion? Because it points to shopping advertisers. I got calls today from BBC, and ORF in Austria and others. And so they said, “What's Google gonna do?” And I said, one level, if Google just kills comparison shopping in Europe, it'll be a blip on the P&L. They don't make that much money from that. It's nothing. So kill it! Screw it. Okay Europe. What good did that do consumers in Europe? Nada! There's no consumer - absolutely no consumer damage that can be found here. And in the follow-up on the FTC story-
Leo: By the way, that is Google's response exactly on the official blog. They title it “The Search For Harm” and they point out that these companies are doing great.
Jeff: Well the FTC follow-up to that story was that it was not a political thing, it was both parties. It was a unanimous vote against going after Google because they found no consumer harm. So that's this entire $6 billion fine because they promote their shopping advertisers. Now again, the European - this is all European publishers, because they had agreements with the EU a couple of times, and the political pressure stayed on from publishers to keep going after Google and also from Microsoft - you know, you have no shame. You have no - is it pure schadenfreude?
Microsoft, really? Really? You went through this, you paid more than three billion dollars and just for the shear joy of seeing someone else screwed the way you're screwed, you join in on this? So, that's the one, is the shopping thing, and that's it! It's kind of ridiculous. The other pieces, they've announced they're going to invesitigate Android, but they're too - I just find this amazing. Apple doesn't give away its OS. It doesn't do anything. Google gives away -
Leo: Yes, that was my response to Paul. It's as if you're penalizing Google for offering a free version of Android. Yes, maybe it's limited, but Apple doesn't do that, exactly right.
Jeff: And you're perfectly free to put business conditions on that and any company can say “To heck with you, I'm gonna use Symbian.” You know? It's free. Is it undo market power? Well no, because Apple still gets the lion's share of the attention. This is a purely political act. It's not a consumer protection act, it's not an anti-trust act, it is an anti-American act.
Leo: I don't know exactly where I stand on this. I mean, I've heard both arguments. Paul is very strongly in the other camp. I think I tend more into your side, Jeff. I think, mostly because it's hard to show how Google has harmed anybody. Now the Android investigation is as much to see if Google has reduced competition in handsets and mobile phones. But if they've done it, they've done it by being successful.
Jeff: By being, A, successful. B, free. Can you accuse them of dumping an OS? In an open source world that kind of logic doesn't work anymore.
Leo: No, I don't think so.
Gina: The issue with Google's requirements over the fact that Android handsets with the Google logo or that run Googles proprietary software have to meet particular requirements, is that the issue?
Leo: If you want the Play Store, which of course you do -
Leo: You have to take everything else along with it.
Gina: Search, Gmail, Calender.
Jeff: Yes, and that's a quality control. That's a perfectly legitimate business demand. A, we're giving you the free website. The condition is you take the stuff that's going to benefit us. Don't want it, don't do it. No problem. B, you can go off an use one on your own, you just won't get the Play Store and our stuff, because that's alright to do.
Leo: And by the way, many have. Amazon has done that.
Leo: Microsoft has done that, frankly, there's a Microsoft Xphone that is based on AOSP, the “Google-less” version of Android. I guess that's what baffles me a little bit is that Apple is totally proprietary, doesn't give away a free version, they're okay. But Google giving away a free version somehow has made that worse? Made that bad? You know, I don't think that's the message you want to send to people.
Jeff: Once again, I'm going to argue that this is what I call Eurotechnopanic and Europe should beware the message that it has sent to the world is danger-danger.
Leo: Yes, I agree a little bit more on the first part. I do worry, and we've talked about this and I'm not going to belabor it, but I do worry Google has - and Google, by the way, is more of a monopoly in the EU than it is here in the States-
Jeff: But again, there's nothing illegal about being a monopoly. What's illegal is using monopoly power unfairly. So the argument here is-
Leo: I think if you ask somebody and say, “Do you think Google favors its own sites over competitor's sites in its search results?” Most people would say “Well of course they do, that's just good business.”
Jeff: In fact they do it a lot less, as we said on the show a few weeks ago.
Jeff: The origin of search-based advertising was to buy position.
Leo: Right. And I did in fact do that search that you recommended of videos on Bing versus videos on Google, and Google doesn't even show up if you search for videos on Bing. It's all Microsoft's stuff.
Leo: So everybody does that. I would argue that Google should be held to a higher standard. We'vehad that argument and I wish Google didn't have these related businesses.
Jeff: I was thinking about your argument, Leo. In part of your argument, you argued to split up Google. That it should be safe or they shouldn't do certain things. But as I was preparing for your counter-intuitive argument-
Leo: Oh, crap, you're prepared for this? Oh, shoot.
Gina: That's it, we're screwed.
Jeff: This goes to the European privacy issues, too, right? If you split, by one means or the other, by not allowing data to go across or by splitting up the company, whatever, if you split up Google in some form or another, Search will simply not be as good if it doesn't have Android. Android will simply not be as good if it doesn't have Search data.
Jeff: And on, and on, and on. Whatever you use for Google, the more you use it the better it's going to be for you.
Leo: I agree with you.
Jeff: That's a new business reality.
Leo: The big data aspect of it is very valuable to me. I use Google Now and the more it knows about what I do the better.
Jeff: I wish that were true for me, but that's another story.
Leo: You don't actually get the benefit of it. But speaking purely from my own perspective, and this is going to really come up because Google is changing the partnership agreements on YouTube, which may chase us from YouTube-
Gina: Oh. I didn't know about that.
Leo: Let's say they do, because right now, all of our shows are available on YouTube. If you searched for “This Week in Google” on Google and Google favored the YouTube version over some other version because it's YouTube and because they make money on it, that could be real detriment to my business.
Jeff: What proportion of your viewership is YouTube, by the way?
Leo: Well, it's not much. It's not a big deal. Let's put it this way, the way Google wants to do it is, “We'll take care of all the advertising. You don't have to think about that.” They don't like it that we sell our own advertising. That's why we're going to banned from Google eventually - our YouTube, eventually. But they take 45%.
Leo: So I'm not interested particularly in Google's participation in my advertising. I don't - it's too much.
Jeff: Well. So here's the secret. Where there is something worth watching from an anti-trust perspective is not about consumer services at all, it's about Google's power in advertising. That's where Google is a monopoly and we've had this discussion on the show-
Leo: But the search results are all I care about, and Google can put me out of business by making its search results favor Google properties, or at least, to stay in business, forcing me to sell - to use Google's ad sales instead of my own. And I feel like that's using its near-monopoly in search to enter a new market. There in the YouTube business all of the sudden. But you're right, it is advertising is the business and that's not a new market for them.
Jeff: And they're using their market power - the other funny thing about it is Google Fiber has pushed competitors to offer better service, and now the Google MVNO, the more we're starting to learn about it through leaks and such, the phone service, is going to push the phone industry. It's a weird thing. I don't know what the analog is for your example of before there's a YouTube there's no open platform you could've been on for the sake of - (crosstalk)
Leo: We don't use YouTube, we don't need YouTube.
Leo: But if YouTube - if Google, by changing its search results, forces us to use Google, to use YouTube, it will cost us a significant amount of revenue.
Jeff: I see, now I get it. Okay. Now I get it. Okay.
Leo: We don't want, but I'm willing to put stuff on - so here's the email I got, “Updated YouTube Partner Terms. Your fans want choices!” Hm. That's a bad start.
Leo: “Not only do they want to watch what they want, whenever they want it, anywhere, on any device they choose,” which by the way is a direct rip-off from a speech I gave ten years ago, “They want YouTube features built specifically their needs in mind. Over the past several months we've taken bold new steps to bring these experiences to life.” Blah blah blah. “To build on this momentum, taking another big step in favor of choice, offering fans an ad-free version of YouTube for a monthly fee. By creating a new paid offering, we'll generate new sources of revenue that will supplement your fast-growing advertising revenue.” By the way, from their point of view, that fast-growing advertising revenue is from them and them alone. “Launching a new paid offering will require us to update your terms through your creative studio dashboard, a process that should feel familiar.” If you look at it closely, what they say is if you - it's the same thing that they offered that musician we were talking about. “If you do not want to participate in this, no problem, we'll make all of your videos private.”
Leo: Yes, oh. So I say, “Have at 'em, European Union! And if you want anyone to testify, I'll be glad to!”
Jeff: Well this goes back to our discussions, Gina, about Twitter and developers over the years, too, and what you did by cutting off the Firehose people, when you become dependent on the platform, we had this discussion before but there needs to be some major discussion about definitions of what's ethical behavior.
Leo: In fact, this doesn't really bother me because they aren't an important - I never did build on the YouTube platform. I've always been against building on somebody else's platform, always. So we now aren't so at risk, but I think a lot of people might be.
Gina: I mean it seems like, to me, Leo, the best use of
YouTube for you, and of course this would require a lot more editing and that
kind of thing, but meme, 30-60 second mash-up of ads, ads for TWiT shows that
people want to share, you know, like best highlights.
Leo: And we do that, and if in the worst case scenario, which I don't know if it will, but if this all happens, I don't know if it will but if it all happens and they kick us off YouTube because we have our own ads, no problem, because that's exactly what we do is ad-free versions or short versions of our shows. We call them TWiT Bits, we do it right now. YouTube.com/TWiT, we do it right now.
Jeff: You need to do it for Facebook, too, because that's - Gina's kind of brilliant because they don't want you to have your own ads so you just become an ad instead.
Jeff: I like that, yes.
Gina: But yes, no, look. It's always, always a risk when you become dependent on a platform. Listen, we just went through this with ThinkUp. We bill ThinkUp's billing system using Amazon payments and Amazon deprecated a sunset of the product and they didn't offer any sort of - well, they haven't yet, I actually think they're changing their mind, but they didn't offer a way to take existing subscribers and move them into their new system, and it's gonna be a big hit to us. I mean it's subscribing customers who pay us through Amazon are going to have to come back and repay. And, you know, it's tremendous and actually I'm working with them now. They are maybe going to create some sort of transition tool because so many people were so upset.
But it's one of those things, you know, particularly as a small startup or any kind of startup, you're going to depend on APIs and services and hope that they're going to do the right thing. And you hope that these huge platforms like Amazon, YouTube, Twitter and Facebook are going to do the right thing.
We're going through a similar thing with Facebook. Facebook, the Graph API 2.0 is way more limited than it used to be, ThinkUp has to kind of pull back the data that we pull which limits the insights we can create, but it's kind of like life in the big city, I mean I think it's really important for all of us as consumers of APIs and consumers in general to ask these companies to do the right thing, and Leo, you have a right to complain, although I would definitely keep doing the TWiT Bits or TWiT Pics the way that you're doing-
Leo: Yes. We have a - yes -
Gina: You were smart to not become dependent on YouTube being your distribution channel.
Leo: I specifically did that, yes. But it's very tempting because it's free right? So people would say “Oh, this is great, you can get” - and a lot of people built their business YouTube. Now, when you do that, all along you knew you were only going to get 65% of the ad revenue.
Jeff: Yes, there's other examples of using - you know I thinkthat we saw eBay got people addicted to them as a service and then when they owned the market they increased the rates, opening up the door, by the way, for Amazon to come in business. So the market does take care of it.
Leo: Right. It does, it does create cost distribution. Part of the problem is that there's no competition for YouTube at this moment, but my larger issue wasn't with this. This is my example of how monopoly in search could promote a subsidiary business, in this case Google Search favoring YouTube results would harm me because I either have to exceed to Google's demands for 45% of my revenue or not be on YouTube, and if YouTube is what shows up when you search for This Week in Google, that may not be - I may not have a real choice. So that's where they can use the leverage of Search to enter a new market, streaming videos, but it is all ad sales so I don't know if it's a new market. I don't know, you know? I'm just - by the way, this process with the EU is much faster than it is in the United States. Google has, I think, ten weeks to respond, and Google has immediately responded on their blog.
Jeff: So here's the question I got asked today. “If you were Google, what do you do? Do you negotiate? Do you go to court? What do you do?”
Leo: Yes, because I don't know if there's an appeals process in that. I don't know what the process is, but I don't know if it's-
Jeff: I think you can go to court - if you don't agree, then you send Google-
Leo: Then you can go to court.
Jeff: Then you go to court. Oh, whippie. The European court that's done the right to be forgotten decision. Yay.
Leo: Right, right.
Gina: It seems like this is the core of Google's business. They've got to stand up as hard as they possibly can for what they're doing and fight it out.
Leo: So the memo that went out, internally, of course, Re/code got. “Googlers,” as this, I presume, comes from Larry but let me - I don't know, I have to go down to the very bottom. It doesn't say. “As the Financial Times has just reported the European Commission will tomorrow issue a statement of objections” - blah blah blah. They say, “It's very disappointing. We have a very strong case with especially good arguments. Especially when it comes to better services for users and increased competition.” So they've laid out in this internal memo their defense and some of the same graphs that they've showed today in the blogs. I think this is to tell the employees “No, we're going to fight this, and I think we have a good defense.” “This is just the start of a process, does not mean the EC will necessarily take action. For example, they opened and closed an inquiry into iTunes a few years ago. We have a very strong case on Android as well. Finally, we know the upcoming announcements will be distracting, but you can help in two ways. First, by not commenting on pending legal issues, internally or externally and second, by focusing on what you do best, building great products.” So -
Jeff: And meanwhile today I think that something has leaked out about the MVNO, the new phone service. Is Google saying “New business two, let's keep going?”
Leo: Yes, good, because there might be some temptation to say “Oh, well, let's not watch new business at this point.” You know, keep going.
Jeff: Again, and I've said this before, I think Google did blow it to a rather considerable extent by not understanding the political clout of the, especially, German publishers.
Jeff: And they're late to the party now because those guys are saying “Okay, now your position's the weakest, what are gonna do to make us happy?” They could have had a better relationship with them earlier, of mutual interest, it was possible, but publishers were all FOS about their Leistungsschutzrecht and all that stuff, but it was a game, and the game went way too far and they didn't understand the political clout, they didn't understand paying heed to politicians in the EU, because they were all going after Google. They've been doing it for about five years, and there's the Silicon Valley/American hubris here, which is going to have some measure of business impact on them.
Leo: And not just the German publishers but the Wall Street Journal, which really kind of-
Jeff: Well. Murdoch.
Leo: Stirred the pot there a little bit.
Jeff: That's purely - Murdoch has an obvious vendetta.
Leo: But look at this. So here's an article in the Wall Street Journal, “Five Ways Europe is Gunning for Google.” “Europe, feeling left behind the digital revolution and scared its manufacturing and automotive industries could be next in line to fall to Silicon Valley, is legislating on all fronts to create what it calls a level playing field for all digital companies. Google is the main target of this legislation.” This is a very - is Rupert having it both ways?
Jeff: Oh yes.
Leo: “I didn't go after Google, and by the way, I believe in America!”
Jeff: Yes, yes.
Leo: It's pretty funny.
Jeff: I think there's story to be done here but it isn't going to be done.
Leo: Amir Mizroch wrote this. Anti-trust tax, that's right, that's another front Google's fighting on. The right to be forgotten, we know about that. Copyright, that goes back to the Spanish attempt to get Google News to stop snippeting. And data protection, the privacy stuff.
Jeff: Meanwhile Google stock is marginally up.
Leo: Oh, really?
Leo: That's interesting.
Jeff: So I think the market is saying this is Europe blowing smoke up America's rear.
Leo: Wow. That sounds painful.
Jeff: I'll get some tweets for that. I got one guy already-
Gina: Sounds like Leo's toilet.
Leo: Where is the “blowing smoke” button? I need that button!
Gina: Yeah, we need the “blowing smoke” button.
Jeff: I wish more people would blow more smoke up my - yes.
Leo: I just thought of a new feature.
Jeff: Now, by the way, let's try find the etymology of that. What does “blowing smoke up your rear” come from?
Leo: I don't think -
Gina: I'm Googling. Google Now and I are going to have a lot of fun with this.
Leo: I think it's a conflation of two different sayings, because “blowing smoke” was like blowing smoke rings, and wasn't there a saying like “blowing up your skirt?” According to Gizmodo -
Jeff: Used to be literal.
Leo: Used to be literal, yes.
Jeff: I didn't know if I could use the “A” word.
Leo: This is - no, this is-
Gina: (crosstalk) - medical procedure. I think this is-
Leo: Not. No. They actually did do it but I don't think that's where the saying comes from is what I'm saying. It just shows they've been doing high-colonics since before the beginning of time. Google is not reluctant to enforce its power in interesting ways. We talk on Security Now all the time about how Google's telling websites “You have to use SSL, you have stop using SHA-1,” and now with Chrome, the latest edition of Chrome, Chrome 42, which came out, I think, today, I just got it, they're turning off NPAPI, “N-P-appy” or “N-pappy.” How do you say that, Gina? “N-pappy?”
Gina: I say “N-pappy.”
Leo: Which really should've been deprecated a long time ago. It comes from Netscape, mid-90s. It stands for the Netscape Plugin API, and that's how Flash worked and Silverlight worked.
Gina: Silverlight, Java.
Leo: If you are using - if you're on a site that uses NPAPI to turn on Java in your browser it wont work. Now IE dropped it version 5.5, so I have a feeling there aren't many sites that still do this. If you're using Safari or Firefox you can still use the NPAPI extension, but this is an example of Google using its weight for good -
Jeff: For our benefit.
Gina: Yes. There's been incredible leadership, I think, with Chrome. Just making the web better.
Gina: Using - (crosstalk)
Jeff: Farhad Manjoo - sorry Gina.
Gina: No, go ahead.
Jeff: Farhad Manjoo in the Times after Google - after the EU thing, did look back as everyone was going towards the Microsoft decision and said “How absurd now that not including your browser was the right thing to do.” Of course you're going to include the browser. What's wrong with that?
Leo: That's what Microsoft got in trouble for.
Jeff: I know, that's what I'm saying, is that's the perspective of the Time, and he's saying now look back at the basis of the Microsoft decision and how absurd its assumption was.
Leo: Right. Right. That's also the issue with how slow, in the US anyway, these things move.
Leo: And tech moves so fast that -
Jeff: Yes, so basically he said that Google was going to outgrow this issue quickly and that the next - and that web advertising is probably topping out, I think that's a fair statement, and that the next - and this goes back to your YouTube discussion, the next wave of advertising disruption is going to be broadcast advertising coming to the web and guess who's in a great position to get that? Google.
Leo: Yes. Google!
Leo: Hey, are you in the mood, Gina - do you ever, while you're sitting there with your hot gyro sandwich in hand, do you ever say, “Gosh, I wish I had a Google Changelog to do?”
Voiceover: The Google Changelog!
Leo: The trumpets can be raised at any moment!
Jason: They are at the ready all the time, even when Gina's not here, just in case Gina flies in suddenly and says, “It's time for the changelog.”
Leo: Before you do the changelog, we're going to do an ad, but would you be willing?
Gina: Absolutely. Let's change it up.
Jason: Cool. We'll get the trumpets again.
Leo: You can't ever have too many changelog trumpets.
Jeff: That was a waste of a great transition there, oy.
Leo: I should have warned you I was going to go to an ad.
Jason: I hear the words, Leo. I've got an itchy trigger finger. I'm like, “Yes, let's go. Let's do this.” Waste no time.
Leo: Our show today brought to you by Freshbooks. If you're a freelancer or a small business, you know the worst part of the month is the last day of the month when you send out those invoices. Well, for me it was the last day. Probably, you're more organized, right? You send them five days before the end or ten days before the end. I would wait till the end of the month, going, “Well, I can send them out on the 30, the 31.” Then I'd wait a little longer and say, “Oh, I missed this month, send them the 30 next month.” Then I'd wait another month and by then I had five invoices and it was just not nice.
Back in the old days, when I was doing my own thing as a freelancer, it was Amber MacArthur who saved my life. I was complaining about this to her - I would go up to Canada once a month for a week and do shows up there, and I had to invoice Rogers. She said, “You need Freshbooks. Nice Toronto boys created a nice little company.” Cloud accounting, here we are ten years later with 5 million customers using Freshbooks. Everybody knows about Freshbooks. It's the super simple, Cloud accounting software that helps over 5 million people save time billing and get paid faster.
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Just go to freshbooks.com/TWiG. It's Tax Day today and I bet you're wishing you'd been using Freshbook so for the last 12 months, I bet you anything. Next April 15, you'll feel much better. Freshbooks.com/TWiG, this is the time. Don't put that off. You know you want to change how you do it. Today's the day, freshbooks.com/TWiG and just do me a favor, there's a section where they say, “How did you hear about us?” Just write, “This Week in Google,” or “TWiG.” It'd be a great benefit to us, thank you.
And now, ladies and gentleman, the Google changelog.
Voiceover: The Google changelog!
Jeff: Encore, encore.
Gina: I'm a little rusty, so I may ask your help for this one.
Leo: That's all right. We're here for you, baby.
Gina: So we were talking about Chrome 42 stable earlier, deprecating the NPAPI API. Chrome 42 also got a really cool, interesting new feature which I am very excited about particularly for the app I work on - push notifications. Web push notifications are now available to everyone, this is in the stable version of Chrome 42. What this means, if I understand it correctly. I'm still researching and trying this out. Basically, your browser can send you push notifications even if it's closed or the tab has closed, similar to your phone and this is happening on Chrome on Android as well. So this is giving web apps the ability to send you push notification - of course, you get the ability to opt out and say, “This site should never send me notifications.” This just went stable and I actually was trying to find some examples of sites that are using this so far - I haven't found any except for, like, developer demos but I'm excited about this. Chrome has had little pop-up notifications but the key here is that apps can push to you even when the tab is closed.
Leo: Thank goodness Gina was here to explain that because I had no idea - because I thought I had been asked by websites, “Do you want notifications?” But I didn't know that's the difference. So now even if you - but Chrome has to be running?
Gina: I don't think that Chrome even has to be running. I could be wrong - chat room, correct me if I'm wrong, but that's what makes these different than the little notifications you've probably seen on different apps. Yes, it's pretty crazy. I mean, it also has the potential to be super noisy and I have a whole sort of interesting - I've got this whole rumination about how everything is notifications now, from the watch, and the phone and it seems like push notifications because email is a complete mess and users don't have homepages any more, this is how apps re-engage people, by pushing. Sometimes, not so well. Sometime's it's noisy but hopefully these notifications - I haven't played with them too much. They'll be a little richer and let you do things with them the way that the notifications sheet on Android lets you do things. I don't thinkt hat the're at that level now but it seems like that's the inevitable path that they're going down. So I'm excited about this. I think that this will be pretty cool.
Leo: Jeff, did you - I'm sorry, I think I stepped on you. Did you have a question?
Leo: I'm trying to figure out, I have some notifications working on some sites. I'm just trying to figure out which ones. Does Hacker News do it? I get notifications - oh, that's from Push Bullet I'm getting Hacker News.
Gina: Yes, I've been using Push Bullet for a long time and I really like it. Lance Seidman[?] in the chat room is saying - the GCM connections, or Google Cloud Messaging, or - so yes, even if Chrome is closed. So that's pretty new and amazing.
Leo: It's really interesting, this strategy because I now have the Chrome App Launcher on my dock on Mac, which means that all the extensions I add on my Pixel show up as apps available on my mac in the doc. It's a relaly interesting kind of move into the desktop, like - but I like it.
Gina: Yes, that's cool. This is huge just for web developers who say, “You only need to make an app for push notifications, you don't need to make an app.” This will work through the web which is huge.
Jeff: Oh. So news sites could use this?
Leo: News sites, yes. Absolutely.
Gina: Right, so ideally, with ThinkUp, when you get a new Insight, you know, my sort of dream of the native app was like, “Hey, just let me know when I have a new Insight. Push to me when I get a new Insight.” Now we can do that through the site.
Jeff: Where will it all push to you? It'll push to you on your desktop. Will it also push to you on mobile?
Gina: Anywhere you're signed into Chrome, yes. This is working on Android as well. So this is kind of a big deal.
Leo: So presumably, it'll use the notification system native to the OS, so on OS 10, for instance, it'll use the notifications there, right? Or is it going to give you its own unique style.
Gina: I'm not sure. I think it actually might be a browser-implemented notification. So I'm not sure if it's going to use a notification bar on that one. Yes.
Jason: Possibly similar to how you get the Google Now card kind of overlay on the desktop, sometimes you see the Google Now notifications drop down. Maybe it'll be tied in to something like that.
Gina: Yes, might be similar to that.
Leo: I've got to look at my settings. There must be a setting for notifications.
Gina: This is really new and I looked all around - I was asking on Twitter, “Where can I try this out?” There's a couple Mozilla Docs that are documenting the very new sort of Web API that exists and I saw one that said, “Hello, world.” But I haven't actually seen this in action yet. But this is pretty new and we're definitely going to look into it. Yes.
What else do we have?
Leo: Lance Seidman[?] says, “Use GCM/onmessageevent.”
Gina: Right, so Google Cloud Messaging.
Leo: And you could just send a message to that and boom, you'd have a pop-up? Nice.
Gina: Yes, I mean, this is the dream - this is the Google IO conversations, a couple Google IOs ago about how all your devices are signed into your single Google account, across all your devices and the devices are aware - have you dismissed a notification here? So it gets dismissed across all your devices. I mean, this is the - you know, the multi-device world that we're living in and so hopefully, all these notifications will be smart that way. Google Cloud Messaging.
Leo: I'm looking in the settings, it's in the content settings on your Chrome browser. I'm sorry, it's under privacy/content settings and you have to scroll down a long ways and you'll get to notifications. You can block globally - allow all sites to show notifications, ask when a site wants to show notifications. That's the default. Do not allow any site to show notifications and then you can manage the exceptions.
Jeff: This is what we went through last week.
Leo: We see this again - yes, this is what you were getting, Jeff. In fact, that's what you were getting last week is a notification. Are those gone?
Jeff: They're gone and that worked. Boy, people got mad at me on Twitter. “You took up an hour on TWiG with your little problem.” Leo told me to.
Leo: No. First of all, that was something we all needed the benefit from and it was a kind of - not malicious but an aggressive Chrome extension, Netflix extension that was called - I can't remember the name of it but no.
Jeff: That's the one thing I fear about this, Gina, is that -
Leo: Bad guys will use it.
Jeff: You may sign up for something and not know how to get rid of it. It keeps on bugging you.
Gina: I think, actually, on the notification panel itself on every single notification, there's a, like, “adjust these settings,” or, “Never show me this again.” I know that's how Push Bullet does it. It'll say, you know, “Never show me this again,” or, “Dismiss this across devices.” So I think there's a pretty high-level, front row-level control and the permissions prompt is similar to when a webpage wants to use your location. So before a site can send you notifications, it'll say, “Hey, can this site send you notifications?” So you actually opt in.
That's the default setting that Leo just showed us. So, you know, hopefully it'll be a good user experience that a user can control.
Leo: What else you got?
Gina: The Google Handwriting Input App is now in the Play Store. Now, Leo, you and I have sort of made fun of these handwriting things before. We have and I get you. You know, I'm not going to be drawing on my screen very often but I tell you, I downloaded this thing and I started writing and it was fun. Like, it was pretty good. What I really like about this input - now, this is an alternate input. It's not a keyboard and they're not calling it a keyboard. They're calling it an input. So like voice input or an alternate keyboard, you can draw the letters on your screen and write that way and Google - you know, that's how you can write text.
It also works with emoji, so you can draw emoji to enter emoji which, I got to tell you, is kind of fun. I spent a lot of time drawing a bunch of emoji just to see how they came up. So this, the handwriting input, supports 82 languages and it's fun and fast. It's just kind of an alternate keyboard to, you know - if you feel like you've got a device with a stylus, for example.
Leo: So it installs as a keyboard?
Gina: Yes. It installs as a keyboard and you can switch the input, just the way you would switch to, say, SwiftKey or some alternate keyboard, you can switch to this and yes.
Leo: You just tap that little -
Gina: Yes, and you scribble. It does cursive, does handwriting, does emoji. It's fun.
Leo: Installing it right now. Search for Google Handwriting Input.
Gina: So I got a new thing that just came in, thank you to Alex Dennis in the chat room. This is on Google's Google+ page. I haven't had a chance to try this - maybe you can try this, Leo. You can now ask your computer where your phone is, so if you've lost your phone or it's stuck under the couch cushions, I guess you can say, “Find my phone?” They don't actually say what you need to say.
If you know where your computer is, you can now ask Google to find your Android phone from your desktop. If the pesky phone is hiding nearby, Google can ring it for you.
Leo: So, wait a minute. You're in Google and you type, “Find my phone,” in the Google search results and then you have to sign in. “For your security, sign in to get your phone's location.” I'm going to sign in. Wow, this is in the search results. By the way, 1,840,000,000 results. I think that's all of them and you can choose the phone, too. So it's looking for my Nexus 6 but I want it to search - Nexus 6 is in Petaluma, yes. Let me search for the phone I've got in my hand right now.
Wow, this is great. So this is the Android Device Manager. You must have to have that installed.
Gina: Apparently you have to have the latest Google Search app installed and yes, it's got to be talking to Device Manager. So this says - (crosstalk)
Leo: I'm getting a pop-up notification that says, “Google Play services device location shared. Android Device Manager located this phone.” There it is.
Jeff: What do you want, a pat on the back?
Leo: That's so funny. Let me search for the phone I've got right now. There it is. Wow, that's pretty good.
Gina: Yes, pretty fun.
Leo: You know, Google Search.
Jeff: Uh-oh, Google knows where you are all the time.
Leo: Wait a minute, let me push the ring button because also in the search result is a button to ring it. “Your phone will ring at -” (phone rings)
Gina: “Five minutes.”
Leo: How do I stop it? It says it's going to do this for five minutes.
Jeff: You can't! (laughs evilly)
Jason: Just kidding. There's probably a way. There's got to be a way.
Leo: Ah! By the way, did you see my new phone? It's such a pretty phone. This is the Galaxy S6 Edge.
Jeff: You still loving it?
Leo: Yes. The battery life is just horrific but - well, it's ten hours but I carry a quick charger with me in my pocket now. What else are you going to do? You can't have an internal battery, so you have an external battery. But it's worth it.
Gina: Wait a minute, I thought you were doing the Watch? I thought you were going iOS for the Watch.
Leo: Yes, but it's not out yet. Give me a break. Wait a minute.
Gina: Okay, okay, sorry. It's a few days from now so for some reason I thought - on Instagram I thought I saw you getting set up to order it.
Leo: Oh, I ordered the Watch. Lisa's - the Apple Watch. I guess now we just call it the Watch. The Watch comes a week from Friday. That's actually Lisa's, the 38 mm. Mine will come a couple weeks after that but Lisa's very generously said, “You can wear mine until yours comes.”
Gina: Oh, that's nice. So no iOS, phew.
Leo: Well, not yet. Don't fence me in, man. I love this phone. The battery life is so horrible but boy, I love this phone. The camera on the S6 is unbelievable.
Gina: And your fingers - did they disable touch on the edge there?
Leo: You get a few extra little flicks and plugs but mostly it's - I don't think it's disabled. They should do more to disable strange clicks.
Jeff: Is there any practical value to the curve?
Leo: There's a very minor practical value. You can activate - it can be a night clock and I can never get this right, so forgive me, but if you do this weird -
Gina: Are you kidding me?
Leo: This weird little swipe, then you get some edge material, the weather, date and time. It has notifications - checking for news updates. It'll do sports scores. That's completely - oh, what's a ticker? I think that's a Twitter ticker. There's stock results and stuff like that. I don't know what the value to that is, but - because you can't see it if it's face down. It's still upside down - I thought I had gotten that fixed but maybe not. It's still upside-down. Samsung, it's like - there we go. But I still don't know why I'd want to do that.
Then there's another thing. You can have up to five people with their own individual color - here, I need to unlock the - I don't know what this watery thing it does is. It's so weird. But you can have up to five people have their own individual color and the edge will glow in one of those colors if you get a text or phone call from them and it's face down, which is like, “Okay, great. Thank you.”
Jason: But there is no bezzle to prevent your screen from scratching if it's face down, right?
Leo: Well, I kind of don't want to put my screen like that.
Jason: Exactly, why encourage that?
Leo: It's kind of begging to be scratched. But the whole thing is glass, so it's all begging to be scratched.
Jason: That's true. That's true.
Gina: It's pretty cool looking but it also seems - (crosstalk)
Leo: I love the Edge because it just feels so nice. This is the best-looking, best-feeling smart phone I've ever used. It's just gorgeous. They've really done a nice job, looks just like the iPhone. Just kidding, just teasing you. No, it's really gorgeous. You hold it and it just feels like quality.
Jeff: It looks so dinky.
Leo: It is dinky. It's only 5.1 inches. Who ever thought that some day we'd think 5.1 inches was dinky?
Gina: “Only 5.1 inches.”
Leo: Only 577 dpi, that's what's crazy. I wish you could see this in person, it's like, “What?” Let's move on.
Gina: Okay, last thing in the changelog. Sorry, divergence. That's what I love about this show, it's a feature.
Leo: It's all about divergence.
Leo: Snapseed! Snapseed!
Gina: Snapseed is that Google photo editing app that I think was powering a bunch of Google+ photo stuff there for a while. Well, the mobile apps haven't gotten an update in two years but they just got updated for both iOS and Android. It's pretty good. I played with it for just a few minutes and it's pretty cool, lots of new features. Stacks let you go back in your edits and undo particular edits, much like, kind of like - well, I guess not comparable to layers but each edit that you do is its own thing you can undo.
You can copy edits from one image to another, got a bunch of new filters, lens blur, tonal contrast, glamour glow.
Leo: You can even do it for Instagram. I mean, this is nice.
Jeff: App Advice is complaining.
Leo: What are they complaining about?
Jeff: They're complaining that the grunge filter has been taken off.
Gina: That grunge filter.
Jeff: What the heck is a grunge filter?
Leo: I don't know.
Gina: The lens blur is really nice.
Leo: There's so many great things and you can undo, redo, once you select it. You see, it becomes part of a stack of changes that you've made that you can go back through. This is Photoshop in a can. I mean, this is amazing.
Gina: Yes, I mean, for these devices, there's a brush tool that you can apply affects to sections of an image, spot repair, re-healing and retouching certain pieces. Transform, adjust perspective. Yes, I mean, it's a very professional, full-featured imaging app that does a lot on a tiny screen and I think it's worked for tablets as well.
Leo: I'm crazy about it because I was using Adobe's Aviary and as soon as I - I didn't even know they changed it but as soon as I saw they have a new icon that's like a little leaf thing. I said, “Wow, that's different,” and then I went, “Oh my God, this is so much better than ever before.” I love it, I love it. And the UI is really a good education in what can be done in a touch-first environment, I think. They've really -
Gina: Yes, that sliding up and down, the sliding menus, having just a freeform slider across to adjust values. Yes, it's really great.
Leo: So you choose the filter like this way, up and down, and then you strengthen or weaken it by sliding left/right. Just fabulous. You can then pull up more choices - nature, people. This thing is so - it's deep, it's just deep. I love it. And you can always go back which is massive.
Gina: You can go back and you can even undo something that's quite far down the stack, actually. So if you've got a stack of edits, you can undo one that's two or three down. It's very Git-like, actually.
Leo: Look, I can say, “I don't want that spot repair. Let's get rid of that.” Or you can change it. Really nice, this is an amazing piece of programming and it's free, so you combine that with this camera. This is my new favorite photo tool. I mean, this blows me away.
Gina: Is that the best Android camera you've used?
Leo: Easy. It's the best camera ever in a phone, easy.
Leo: I'll point you to a - you can look at some pictures at leolaporte.smugmug.com. I put them there because I could guarantee that these would be the un-retouched JPEGs. Google was enhancing everything, so that kind of -
Gina: They do that.
Leo: They tend to do that, so I realized I was showing - these are un-retouched. These look as good as an SLRs picture in terms of color, accuracy, reproduction, total range, detail. Low-light is phenomenal. There's some panoramas in here you'll see. This is just amazing, just amazing.
Gina: Yes, that's gorgeous.
Leo: It makes you really, I feel like I don't need to carry an SLR with me.
Leo: I mean, I do but I don't know why.
Jason: How is low-light?
Leo: It's very good.
Jason: Like, in a dark room, talking -
Leo: It's superb. It's the F19, the fastest shutter, fastest aperture made in a camera phone, which makes a difference but also it's got - look it, no camera phone is super great in low-light because you have to pump it up and get grainy. This is a panorama. It does a great job with the pans. It took it just a few seconds to take this. You just, you know, don't take multiple images, you just slowly turn the camera.
So this is an example of low-light, see, the light p here is off. Looking in there, it's fairly murky. This was lit from a window that was on the other side of the room, so to the naked eye, you couldn't see the detail inside the closet. Then I turned the light on, so this is with a single bulb. I would say spectacular, just really great. So very happy, very, very happy.
Yes. If the battery life were twice as good, I'd be happier, but I'm starting to realize that that's an unreasonable expectation now. Nobody - if you're going to have a small, light device that doesn't have an interchangeable battery - even the Galaxy Note 4 is ten or 11 hours, but you could put another battery in it. That's just an expectation I have to let go of.
Gina: I won't do it.
Jason: That's a hard one to let go of.
Gina: I won't do it.I can't let go, especially with the OnePlus One.
Leo: The OnePlus One still does 20 hours. This is half that.
Gina: Yes, oh.
Jason: Well, and the OnePlus One is narrow, like, it's a thin phone as well but it doesn't have this crazy low resolution display.
Leo: It's 1080p, yes.
Jason: It's almost like nowadays you need two things. You need to not go too nuts on the high resolution, you know, screen, and you need fast charging.
Leo: Right, I'm willing to give it up because it has turbo charging. I found, by the way, one - and there may be more than one, but Aukey makes an external battery that does quick charging, 10 thousand milliamp hours, so I can charge this quick charge -
It takes about half an hour to get 50% from 0 but in an hour, you could fully charge it to 100%. But I can do that with a portable battery now, so I just carry the portable battery with me and just plug it in. And frankly, it's worth it to have a phone that's this beautiful and compact. I'm just - I have to recalibrate my thinking, that's all.
Gina: For the rear-view camera, I just think that seems a little gimmicky. But for a great camera, I can see it.
Leo: For $100 less, you can get the square one. I just think this looks unique and is beautiful. Once you handle it, you kind of go, “Oh.” By the way, I was sad because T-Mobile only offered the black and the white, but they have, like, emerald green and blue. They have different kind of subtle, built into the glass or something.
Gina: And secretly, you're a Japanese teenage girl, Leo.
Leo: I am. I got this great new emoji app. I love it.
That, my friends, is the Google changelog.
Huawei has announced a new phone with a 5.2 inch full HD display, 8 megapixel front, 13 megapixel back camera, 64 bit [1:27:11.9?], 930 octo-core CPU, 2600 milliamp battery, 475 Euros. I don't know why we would be excited about that, sounds very kind of, eh. Hm.
But there you go. If you want 1080p - with that battery and a 1080p screen, it probably does decent. Samsung does say, by the way, the S6 is selling better than they thought it would, much higher than planned for. They said demand for both the flat and curved-screen models, very, very good. Investors and analysts say new devices will generate meaningful earnings momentum in the quarter the phones go on sale across the world. So they're not available everywhere, they just entered the U.S. market this week, last week.
I, you know, am not crazy about - I haven't been in the past crazy about Samsung. I'm crazy about this phone.
Jeff: So tell us the software. There's still got to be some irritating software.
Leo: There's TouchWiz but I immediately - first thing I always do is replace the launcher with one of my own, whether you want the Google Now launcher or I use - actually, there was a bug. I think in Novalauncher that I've seen in other Android phones. I used to use Novalauncher and it was causing problems on this phone as well, so I went to Apex, which is very comparable. So I use Apex and that makes it look - you know, Samsung has done their own weird skin of Lollipop. I don't know why. The same problem I had on the Note 4 - I don't use S-Finder or Quick Connect. I don't want to waste space on it and there's no way to get rid of those two dedicated buttons, which drives me crazy.
But it is Lollipop, sort of. It's Samsung Lollipop. You know, they have to have their little quick buttons. Although I kind of appreciate that. But, you know, you don't see a lot of TouchWiz if you use your own launcher. I wouldn't use the Samsung launcher. It has Flipboard on the left. Unless you're like a major Flipboard advocate, I wouldn't bother.
But it's not junked up. For instance, remember how awful the camera app was on the Samsung's - because they had all these special modes? Well, you still have modes but they don't put little pictures in them. They're just buttons now. And actually, all these modes are useful. There's a promo that has completely manual -
It's like somebody shook them and said, “Hey, stop it.”
Gina: Where does Google Now fit in? You said that Flipboard's to the left. Is Google Now -
Leo: If you use a Google Now launcher - yes. Google - so that's the other thing that Ars Technica was complaining, is that the - you have to use S Voice if you want to talk to the phone with the screen off. But I don't want to talk to the phone with the screen off, so I've disabled Samsung's S Voice, which I loathe and I just use Google.
It's got the same - by the way, the fingerprint reader really works just like Apple's fingerprint reader. You just put your finger on it and I can still do, “OK, Google,” and it still launches. It's not super fast but it still launches so I don't - that's just how I do it. And Google Now, I can't remember what - I think I've -
Jason: I think if you hold it down.
Leo: I've attached it to something. Yes, there we go.
Gina: Oh, I see.
Leo: But you can - you know, all these launchers let you have a variety of push buttons and stuff. So - the hell is that?
Gina: That sounds like a great device.
Leo: Well, you're still happy with your OnePlus One.\
Gina: It's getting a little long in the tooth. I'm not sure what my next device -
Jason: Did you get your Lollipop update?
Gina: No, no. It is allegedly coming now, next few days? I keep - the system is up to date, Jason. That's what it keeps telling me. They lie, they lie!
Jason: It's not true.
Gina: It is not true and at this point, I feel like there's going to be a new version of Android that comes out before I get Lollipop on this thing.
Jeff: I love my Nexus 6, love it.
Jason: Me too.
Leo: You know, can I - I think I'm tired of big phones.
Jason: It's begun in the other direction.
Leo: Smaller and smaller. I don't know. Nexus 6 is fine. The camera is very disappointing, it's very average. Screen is very disappointing, it's very average. This screen will blow your socks off.
Jason: Now that Leo's going in the reverse direction of size, this is where he will be in approximately two or three years, the world's smallest phone.
Leo: I thought 4.7 was actually perfect, the Moto X size. I thought that actually was perfect. This is fine. 5.1, this is good. It's big enough - the screen is so good that you can hold it right up here and read stuff, so I'm fine with that. Anyway.
Gina: I'm glad. I'm glad Samsung is doing well with this phone.
Leo: I am too because it was touch and go. I don't know - if they'd done another crap-ass phone like the S5, they would have been in trouble. I like the Note 4 because it is industrial, so what I think Samsung is going to do is this is going to be the pretty phone for people who care more about looks than functionality and the Note 4 will be the pro phone where you can change batteries, add SD card and all that stuff. I like this.
But, of course, with the Apple Watch, all of this - I'm just going to send it to Goodwill.
Gina: “That's it, that's all out the window.” I really can't wait to hear what you think of it.
Leo: I don't know how I'm going to feel about it.
Gina: All the reviews so far have been kind of meh about it, but that's kind of the same for Android Wear.
Leo: My biggest fear is having to carry an iPhone for any length of time. I do not like - I've gotten a little bit miffed, peeved a few iPhone fans on Sunday on TWiT. I got into it with Ben Thompson of Stratechery because I said, “If an alien from space came down and looked at a good-quality Android phone and compared it to the iPhone, there would be no question the Android phone is far superior.”
Gina: Oh, I'm going to download that episode.
Leo: The reason people keep choosing the iPhone is because they're swayed by marketing - the same reason people chose Windows, because everybody has one. “Oh, it's the iPhone. I don't know the difference, but I know that it's the iPhone. It's a safe buy.” He says, “You're saying 75 million people were dumb to buy an iPhone last quarter.”
I said, “Not dumb, not at all. That's not stupidity, that's just -” You know. I don't think you're dumb to carry a flip phone. You should get the phone that fits your needs the best but it seems to me, Android has lapped iOS.
Jeff: Yes, but you know, it's so irritating all the coverage, including the New York Times, about the Apple Watch didn't even make mention that Android Wear existed.
Gina: Yes, I felt really similarly. It was these weird revelations about smart watches and I was kind of like, “Guys, there's been -”
Gina: Yes, I guess not - eh. It felt a little bit like, “Yes, this is what -” (crosstalk)
Leo: Well, but the Apple Watch is - yes, I know.
Gina: It's like it doesn't exist until Apple does it and that's to their credit. I mean, they've done that.
Leo: You know, I use Apple computers. I mean, I love my Macs. I've been an Apple fan since 1984 when I got in line and paid $2500 for a very limited computer. So I'm not an anti-Apple guy by any means but I think I have to be objective and iOS is so hobbled by Apple's insular point of view. “No, no, no, only we can do that.” So they have NFC but they don't let it do the things that NFC can do, you know?
They say, “Well, they allowed third-party keyboards in this latest addition of iOS but not well.” So you still want to use the Apple keyboard, which is a terrible keyboard. It's just all these little things, like Apple says, “We know the right way. You don't. Shut up and do what we say.”
Jeff: It's Google that's getting investigate for anti-trust on Android.
Leo: Well, I don't know - I wouldn't want Apple to get investigated for anti-trust. I don't see any - I don't see Apple -
Jeff: Yes, but what I'm saying is for what? For controlling something. Anyway, I won't go back there.
Leo: I mean, I don't see that Apple's doing anything.
Jeff: That's what I'm saying, by comparison because Google is open and yet that's why - as you said before, that's what gets it in trouble.
Leo: Yes. The only thing that bugs me at all - hey, if you want an iPhone, get an iPhone by all means. I'm not saying you shouldn't get an iPhone by any stretch of the imagination but I just feel like it's - Apple is not exactly innovating at this point on iOS.
Leo: So to point to Apple and say, “All the innovation and excitement in the space that's happening there,” is to miss a lot of really interesting things that are happening out there in the real world.
Jeff: I love not having an OS, essentially. I just don't worry about it.
Leo: And you shouldn't. That's what the promise of the Cloud is that it's OS independent. It doesn't care. So you're saying with your Chromebook?
Jeff: Yes. Yes, I don't worry about having to install new software or this or that. I was looking for the - obviously, I had installed apps on this but it's so easy. There's just no concern. There's no, “Move this to there.”
Leo: People are saying iOS is simpler but here's a really strong example in my opinion. Apple for some reason - when the Mac came out, Apple had very stringent human interface guidelines. They said, “You'll do it this way. You'll do it one way and you'll do it the right way. We don't do modal dialogs.” There was all these things which I was thrilled about. I mean, that's - if you want to enforce rules, enforce user interface rules.
But they didn't for some reason in iOS, so every app has its own UI and there's - the only thing Apple provides is a home button. Your only recourse, if you can't figure out the UI, is to exit the application and say, “I don't know how to use this.” You know, so you have to really -”
But to Google's credit, it's rudimentary but they provide enough UI that you can go back, you can see recent apps. You can still go home and they have a menu button, a three-dot menu button that's standard and almost all apps support it. Android apps tend to be easier to use but so people think iOS is easier to use. It's not. It's baffling. Most apps, you have to figure out individually, app by app, what the UI is and it's possible - in fact, it's often prized by Apple fanatics that an app is completely out of left field.
Gina, do you think I'm off base on that? You're a developer.
Gina: I don't. I mean, I've had a similar experience but part of me thinks it's because I've been on Android so long I just maybe -
Leo: It could be that, I'm used to Android. Wait a minute, I have to stop the show. I see that Kanye West has just started following me on Kong. I now am retiring.
Gina: Wait, he's following you where? On what?
Leo: Do you know about Kong?
Leo: Oh my God, you are so last week. Dave Morin's new app, which is a complete ripoff of Kevin Rose's new app and Ev William's new app, which cracks me up. It's called Kong and it's Super.
Gina: Oh my god, it's Super.
Leo: Hello, Super. Oh, it's more than Super because it's also a little bit of Riff, Mark Zuckerberg's new app. So the idea is, it's a selfie app. This is where, for some reason, Kanye West is following me. Probably because, either it's not Kanye West or he's following me! Or, there's only four of us using this thing.
Okay, so here - go home and then what happens? That's it. Now I can make a new one but you want to - don't you want to make it with a hashtag, like #facepalm?
Gina: Go ahead.
Leo: Okay, now I'm going to post to join #facepalm. Okay, now the framerate is horrible. Now I've got to use a filter - where's the filter? I take everything back I ever said about Android UI. I don't even know what to do next - this thing? Doesn't that undo what I just did?
He says, “Yes,” but I did a perfect facepalm. Swipe my face? Oh, I don't know why I didn't think of that. Ginsberg, Rushmore, Midway, Citizen, Classic - ah, Herst. Oh, keep going? Warhol.
Jason: Don't worry, Leo. Jeff's got this.
Leo: Okay, I think that's a good face palm.
Jason: That's actually really good. I like that a lot.
Leo: Now I'm going to upload that - was I supposed to put some text on there? You can Super it with text? All right. I can also share this to Hangouts, Twitter, Instagram or a GIF. That's why the framerate is so bad is because it's a GIF. It's really an animated GIF. And there you go, now when Kanye responds to my facepalm - swipe it? Other way. Start at the end - Vogue, Instant - keep going.
(Jeff Needles giving more direction in background)
Leo: Android does not have Starwipe, I'm sorry. Oh man, whatever will we do?
Jason: Always left out from Starwipe.
Leo: So this is basically - he released this - hi, Sarah. I don't know why she popped up. He released this on both Android and iOS simultaneously today.
Gina: Oh, that's at least good.
Leo: Kong, yes. So here's what the Starwipe looks like - Starburst. Wow, I'm so sad I don't have that. See, iOS? You know what? I'm sorry, everybody. I was wrong. IOS is better than Android.
Gina: iOS exclusive, Starwipe.
Jeff: What is Kevin Rose's app?
Leo: It's gone now, right? What was it called? Tiiny.
Jeff: And Ev's?
Leo: Ev's is Super.
Gina: It's Biv's, actually, but yes.
Leo: That's right, Biv, not Ev. I confuse the two of them. Twitter founders.
Gina: Well, short names with consonants.
Leo: Masters of the universe.
Jeff: What is Path doing?
Leo: I think Path is nonexistent which is why Kong is the new Path. I used to love Path. I was a big Path fanatic.
Gina: It smells like a pivot.
Jason: I think I read somewhere - actually, that's a really great title.
Leo: Yes, we have the title.
Jason: I think the CEO posted somewhere late last year that Path is going to a multi-app approach as opposed to just -
Leo: Oh, there we go, because Dave basically does everything Mark does, only later. All right, I'm sorry. I like Dave Morin, actually, quite a bit and I think he's a very smart guy. IOS App Store wide Q1 revenue, 70% higher than on Google Play - worldwide. 70% higher, so that's why, if you wonder why apps come out first on iOS, revenue.
Jeff: What's the dynamic of that? Why is that?
Leo: Well, anybody who's stupid enough to spend $1000 on an iPhone is a sucker.
Gina: Wow, Leo. You're not earning any fans.
Jeff: Can we get him some Secret Service protection?
Leo: I'm just kidding. I love the iPhone and think it's a beautiful device but I think it is the case and we've known this for years, that iPhone users spend more money on apps.
Gina: They have accounts with their credit cards attached to them.
Leo: But everybody does. Doesn't Google Wallet automatically debit you?
Gina: Right, but you have to set up a - you can create a Google account without ever entering your credit card, right? I mean, you can have an Android phone, log into the Play Store and get tons of content for free but never buy something because you just never gave them your payment information, right? Whereas payment information is kind of central to creating - I mean, I don't know. I did this so many years ago, but iTunes users are trained to spend money on stuff in the store.
Leo: I think I was obviously being facetious but there's a little bit of truth to the fact that they're more affluent. They're willing to spend a lot more on a phone than others, so that would also carry on to apps. I guess then you could make arguments that maybe it's - the apps are deemed more valuable. I don't know how or why that would be true but maybe you could make that case.
Gina: Well, that might be the perception because apps are approved first and vetted. I mean, because the Apple culture is so - you know, revolves around design over functionality and customization, a lot of the apps are - the design of the OS is historically more beautiful than Android although I would argue that's not the case now with material design. But it's been a long journey to material design. I mean, just design, fashion and style is central to Apple's products and I think then, to the people who like them and buy them, right? So -
Jeff: But at some point, you're just playing damn Candy Crush and how is it 70% higher at Apple?
Leo: Well, okay. There's also the other argument which I think is true, it's that people who buy Android - remember, Android phones are a broad range. There's the top of the line Android phones but the vast majority of Android phones sold are under $200. So I think the other side of the argument is not so much that people are spending so much money on iOS but that people on Android don't spend any money.
Jeff: Which also argues, though, that there's a bit of technological redlining going on.
Leo: Yes. But that's self-redlining, in a way, because can't you - I mean, you could no matter where you are, buy any phone. I mean, Apple's in almost every country.
Jeff: No, no, by redlining I mean that if you can't afford an iPhone, you're also not going to get the latest apps.
Leo: Well, I think that's one other thing that's interesting about Android is that most apps are, or a lot more apps are free.
Jeff: Whether they're free or not, you're not going to get access to them because they're going to go to the rich people first.
Leo: Oh, I see what you're saying. Yes, Meerkat will come out on iOS and delay Android.
Jeff: Bingo. And for Meerkat, since there's no purchase issue - you know, there's not an in-app purchase or any money changing hands, why not go for the larger audience which is the Android audience?
Leo: Well, developers are not so different from real people. They have their favorits.
Jeff: Prejudices, biases.
Leo: I wouldn't say biases. I think everbody's thinking I'm somehow putting Apple folk down. I bought several iPhones. I spent far more than $1000 -
Jeff: No, let's keep getting you in trouble. I like this.
Leo: I am one of them.
Jeff: Yes, a likely story. Yes, you're just scared now.
Leo: Watch, I say that and they say, “Leo's such a yuppie, spends so much money on stuff.” I can't win.
Gina: You're not a yuppie, it's your job. I still feel sort of bitten by the iOS first stuff. It's not enough for HBO Now, I had to break out the iPad. There's just certain apps, like Instagram releases the new hyper lapse, you know, I would love to try that out and I've heard that -
Leo: And they said at the time that was because only Apple allowed them to do what they needed to do and as soon as Lollipop came out, they would come out for Lollipop and they didn't, maybe because hyper lapse kind of is over. I don't know. I love hyper lapse.
Gina: I feel like I just totally missed it and I have to say, the slo-mo thing that the iOS camera does, that has also inspired some jealousy on my part.
Gina: Like, I've seen some little slo-mo videos on Instagram and stuff.
Leo: This does exactly the same thing.
Gina: What app is that, the Samsung app or -
Leo: That's the camera built in. Slo-mo and fast-mo but not homo. No, I'm sorry.
Gina: When I'm using it, it has homo!
Leo: That's built in, that's just built in. There's no button for that. I'm so sorry. Jeff's leaving.
Jeff: It's not fair, Leo.
Gina: Is there a slo-mo setting in the camera app and here I'm complaining we don't have slo-mo? Now I'm checking. But is it as nice?
Leo: The Google camera does not have it.
Gina: Okay, so I'm not crazy. And I got to tell you, those slo-mo videos. I mean, I've seen my friends kids, you know, skiing off of mountains and -
Leo: It's really cool.
Gina: It's really clear and nice, I mean, just like super cool.
Leo: I don't know if this does it as well as that, because I agree with you, the iPhone is incredible, what it's doing. But this has the capability because this can do 60 frames per second - it can do 4K, 60 frames per second. There's such a fast processor in here, it can do all of that. So if they haven't done that, that's just Samsung not living up to what they could do. So there's nothing in here or the iPhone that makes that possible.
I should point out, there are apps that cannot be done on the iPhone because Apple will not give developers access to low-level features. So I can tap this phone to my camera and it will automatically copy all the images from my DSLR to my phone. Can't do that on iPhone because Apple, even though it finally has put NFC in, won't let anybody have access to it.
There's lots of things like that, that only Android can do because only Android allows developers access to low-level hardware. So -
Gina: Right, yes.
Leo: It goes both ways but I agree with you, the pot - and see, this is also part of it. It's the cool kids.
Gina: It's celebrity culture, too.
Leo: Exactly. It's the cool kids.
Gina: The only time you see an Android phone in a celebrity's hands is when Samsung is doing a sponsorship.
Leo: They haze Ellen to do it. She immediately goes back to her iPhone as soon as she gets backstage.
Gina: Right, and she tweets from her iPhone backstage, right? I mean, like -
Leo: Yes, yes. They go, “Oh, get that thing out of my hands.” But it's cool kid and it's the same thing with the app developers. They want to be where the cool kids are. I guarantee you, Kanye is not following me on a Samsung phone. He's following me on an iPhone. That's - so that's the other part of it is Meerkat - it's not about money for Meerkat because they're free, or Periscope. It's about being where the cool kids are, being a cool app. It's really important as you know this, when you're an app and you first come out, you've got to be cool.
Gina: Yes, the Periscope - (crosstalk)
Leo: I feel like that's sad.
Gina: It's so frustrating for me as an Android user, like, “Why can't I - I want to watch this stream.”
Leo: Because you're not a cool kid. You are just like me. We had to sit at the other end of the lunch room looking at the cool kids, eating our sad little bologna sandwiches.
Gina: Wow, now we're really - oh.
Jeff: Let's charge him for the therapy Gina.
Leo: I don't know, maybe. Gina, were you one of the cool kids with the beautiful -
Gina: Oh, hell no. I wasn't even in the cafeteria. I'd sit in the hallway alone.
Leo: Wearing all black, right? All black, big eyeliner. I know.
Gina: I wasn't goth. The nuns wouldn't have put up with that.
Jeff: Oh, oh.
Leo: I was out there with - we thought we were the cool kids. We weren't. We just thought we were. That's how we felt better about it.
Jeff: Oh, I was a dork. I was on the newspaper.
Leo: You were a dork, yes. I was in the chess club, so it was just pathetic.
Jeff: Leo, here's the big moment here. A/V club?
Leo: No, I didn't get that far down but I was a drama kid and that was sort of like the A/V club. So Gina was Ally Sheedy but she just couldn't do the eyeliner.
Gina: I worked stage crew.
Leo: See, stage crew. Yes.
Gina: Yes, I ran the spotlight.
Leo: Me too.
Gina: I like behind the spotlight.
Leo: See, I think that's why geeks are so susceptible to this because we weren't the cool kids. So now we are the cool kids - people like Dave Morin, going, “Oh. We want to be the cool kids. Finally, we're the cool kids.”
Gina: (crosstalk) - got an iPhone, for sure.
Leo: My son broke his iPhone 5, he's been using it to open beer bottles. I told him that was probably not a good idea.
Jeff: How do you do that?
Leo: It turns out the iPhone 5 has a nice sharp edge. He showed me, he said, “Look, dad, it's all squared up.” I said, “You -” (makes strangled noise) So he broke it. So Jennifer said, “I'm going out to see him. Why don't you give me an old phone?” I said, “Great, I have like four Android phones. I'd be glad to give him one, they're unlocked.” He says, “No, I want an iPhone.”
Gina: Stop opening those beer bottles, kid.
Leo: Use your teeth like a normal frat boy!
Jason: That's not cool kids that he's talking about, by the way, in wanting an iPhone. That's ecosystem, Leo, right?
Leo: What do you mean?
Jason: It's not the cool kid drive, it's that he's invested himself completely in the iOS ecosystem.
Leo: No, I don't think so. Everything Henry does, he could do on Android. You know that. There's nothing he does - he's not a Meerkat'er.
Gina: There's an exclusive beer opening app. Some people get really into iMessage, they get real embedded in iMessage.
Jeff: That's part of it, yes.
Jason: Yes, right.
Leo: I'll grant you that and I miss - yes, you want to be one of the green kids, not the blue kids and I do miss not having iMessage, not being able to send the audio with the up swipe and that's frankly why I want to get the iWatch, because I can do the same kind of creepy 3G emojis to my wife.
Jeff: All right, Gina, how long is he going to be still in the virtues of saying - let's do bets now, start the pool. How long before he says, “You know, iOS is good. It's the right thing to do.” Then how long before he switched back to Android, what do you think? Over/under here, what are you thinking?
Gina: I think Leo is going to have a brief love affair with the Watch. I'll give it a couple weeks. I think the Watch is going to do a couple things a little different than Android Wear. Maybe it's going to be a little fancier, whatever. You know, I'm going to give about a month and then I think back to Android.
Leo: I think there's a serious risk I might be permanently an iPhone user.
Jeff: He's already preemptively getting ready for this.
Gina: Oh, boy.
Leo: I'm kind of gearing myself up. I'm going to be a self-loathing iPhone user.
Jason: You'll be back.
Gina: I really can't wait to see what you think. The first of you - (crosstalk)
Jeff: He just spent time saying how the OS isn't as good.
Leo: All right, I've told you. I think this is my theory, though, but we'll see if this is true. One of the main things that I miss on Android is the fact that I can, without launching an app, see what's going on with the widgets. I really feel that uses the screen well. I even have on here - I'm not sure if I'll ever use it but the Samsung bundles Peel because this phone has something - another thing that the iPhone does not have, an infrared sensor.
So you can use this phone as a remote control - let me unlock it. Peel puts a widget on the screen that's actually the remote control. I use widgets a lot, as you can see, for quick and easy access to information. My whole calendar is here and all that. So on iOS where you merely get this, a grid of icons and that's it, I feel it seems so primitive. But I feel like the Watch is going to help because that's basically widgets. The Watch is all of the UI stuff, all the sugar that I'm missing.
We'll see, though. You know, I'm really sad that the Galaxy S6 Edge came out because if I'd hated this, it would be so much easier. Now it's going to be a challenge.
Jeff: I like how you love turning it in your hand, feels good, huh?
Leo: Also, it's slightly warm.
Jeff: That's your battery draining, yes.
Leo: Oh, God, yes. You can feel the battery actually going out of it like a life force draining from it and then it gets cold and dead.
Gina: Leo's more than just friends with this phone.
Leo: Oh, yes.
Gina: We went from inner child to, “Going to cuddle with this thing.” Okay. (Leo kisses phone) Now it's really getting weird.
Leo: I'm sorry. I'm a terrible, terrible person.
Jeff: Leo redefines phone sex.
Leo: Actually with your phone. All right, we're going to take a break, come back. We have your tip, tool, number and pick and all that stuff. I don't know, Gina, if you even remember what we used to do.
Gina: Yes! I got a tip.
Leo: All right, yay. Our show today brought to you by LegalZoom. Oh, man, LegalZoom is awesome. Five things you can count on when using LegalZoom for your business: number one, reliability. More than a million people, including me, have trusted LegalZoom to help start their businesses - our LLC. Lisa did her will. It's beautiful.
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Gina Trapani has a tip for us. How nice to be able to say that.
Gina: Yes. So let's talk about Google Keep. I don't know how long it's been -
Leo: I love Keep.
Gina: Man, Keep is awesome. Keep is like the most underrated and unrecognized -
Leo: And no iOS app.
Gina: Oh, really? Is that true?
Leo: It's frustrating because I use it and Lisa and I use it for our shopping lists, everything. She has to use the web version on iOS.
Gina: I wonder, how does the web version do on mobile Safari? Okay?
Leo: It's fine. But it'd be nice if she had an app.
Gina: Well, that's the thing, the Android app for Keep, particularly the home screen widget, is amazing. It's just got so many features, like, look. I make a to-do list app and Keep is just awesome. You can do lists with it. You can share. We do the same thing in our house, we do shared grocery lists and shared - “Order this on Amazon next time you're placing an order,” list. It got a couple of new features.
Recurring reminders, so once a week remind me or once a month - you know, “Wednesday, remind me that TWiG starts.” Their reminders are great, you can do by location, so you can say, you know, “When I get to the office, remind me to do this.”
Leo: Yes, or when you get to the store, don't forget to get milk. That's awesome.
Gina: Yes. Remember the milk. They've got - you can color - you can make notes different colors and they also added labels, so you can label your notes as well, similar to the way you would label things in Gmail.
You know, you can export all this stuff to Google Docs. You can very easily, if a note gets long, just convert it to Google Docs and go from there. But yes, this is - there's the widget, right there. Love the widget. You can do voice input, camera input, start a new note - house crap, that's awesome.
Leo: That's our list.
Gina: That's what all our lists look like.
Leo: That's our house crap list, things we've got to do in the house.
Leo: Whole Foods shopping list, that's automatically set, when I go into Whole Foods. That's what I have to buy. This is our Petaluma Market, same way.
Gina: Yes, certain stores when you get there - it's fantastic. It's such a great app and I just feel like it's kind of undersung. So now we've got recurring reminders and labels. Yes, the widget's great. It's awesome. Google Keep, I didn't realize there wasn't an app on iOS. Sorry, iOS users. I mean, I don't think we have any iOS users actually listening any more.
Leo: Not any more, we don't!
Gina: I'm sure that we lost all of them about 20 minutes ago but for the two or three masochists that are still around, I'm really sorry there isn't an iOS app. When I get my hyper lapse - so yes. Google Keep.
Leo: I love Google Keep, yes. Good recommendation. They keep adding new features. I like the recurring reminders, that's a really useful feature. So it's good, yes. Jeff, who has a number for us?
Jeff: Well, just as your expensive, overpriced, snob-wear comes out, Google dropped the price on Google Play or whatever they call it now of the Motorola 360 down to $165 from $249.
Leo: Yes, yes. That's obviously motivated by the snob-wear, so you can thank the snob-wear. What is it, $170?
Gina: That's reasonable! So they're going to compete on price, the Google/Android watches, which is smart because I think the Apple Watch is overpriced.
Jeff: And they're going to write Android Wear for iOS, and so -
Leo: That's what I'm really interested in, but see, that's where you're going to run against Apple's sandbox where - yes.
Leo: There's a lot of potential there, yes.
Jeff: Another little late-breaking number, Etsy priced its IPO at $16 a share, they're high end. So it is worth $1.78 billion.
Leo: Jesus! I'm in the wrong business.
Jeff: Yes, you need to make crocheters happy.
Leo: I have an app that I installed when we went to Vegas called SilverCar. You guys know about SilverCar? It is a new kind of car rental system. They -
Jeff: Oh, I heard about this, yes. All the cars are silver.
Leo: And they're all Audi A4s with free GPS, free WiFi, free satellite radio and a much better fuel plan, so it's really interesting. You download the app - yes, they have it for iPhone as well as Android. It's unfortunately not available everywhere yet but I think they're rolling out a lot faster very quickly.
Jeff: What's it cost a day?
Leo: Good question, don't know. It's affordable. The thing is, you don't - you kind of miss the upgrade thing and all the little things, the fee thing, the fuel thing, all the little ways the car companies kind of hurts and all the others get you in the long run. I haven't used it yet because it hasn't been in an airport that I've been at. It's Dallas - it's limited, Austin. But it's cool because you don't go to a counter, it's like Uber. You book it on the phone and then you walk up to your car and scan the QR code in the car's windshield. You get in and you go.
Gina: That's kind of like Zip Car.
Leo: Same idea, yes.
Jeff: So in that case, do you have a key at all or not?
Leo: That's a good question. What does Zip Car do, they leave it in the car?
Gina: Yes, there's keys in the car.
Jeff: Those newfangled keys that aren't actually a key?
Leo: I like those. I never take my key out of my pocket no more.
Jeff: We were up at one final college visit with our daughter and I went off to get gas, and my wife went up the hotel room and she had the car key in her purse and the car keeps running. And I saw this error sign, and I thought, “What the heck is that?” Good thing I didn't stop the car at the gas station, because it wouldn't have started again.
Leo: Oh, yes, you need the dongle. You lost your dongle. Not the first time, either. Austin, Dallas, Denver, Los Angeles, Miami, Phoenix and San Francisco. Yes, Johhny Jet, our travel guy, told me about this. SilverCar. He likes it, a car rental that doesn't suck.
Jeff: I love not having to go to the counter. I mean, that's why I do Emerald Isle, so I can just go.
Leo: Same kind of thing, yes. My friends, I hate to do it but we must call an end to this party.
Leo: Gina, don't leave us, no.
Gina: Next month it'll be a shorter time. I had so much fun. I really do miss you guys.
Leo: I tried to make it a fun show for you.
Jeff: The audience misses you.
Leo: We all miss you and I get tweeted all the time, “Why doesn't Gina - go get Gina, do whatever you need to do.” But we respect you. We honor your need for space.
Gina: I appreciate that, Leo.
Leo: I promise not to text you in the middle of the night any more.
Gina: It's not Leo. It's totally me, not you. It's me.
Leo: It's not me, it's you.
Gina: I'm so glad that I get to come back on and it was really fun. It was great to see both of you, with hair and everything.
Leo: You know how you get Gina back on TWiG? You all sign up for ThinkUp, turn it into a massive success, she sells it to Rupert Murdoch for $1.5 billion and then she does whatever she wants.
Jeff: Then she buys TWiT.
Leo: You can have it. I'll give it to you, special deal.
Gina: Yes, perfect. It's a bundle deal.
Leo: I got it figured out. Everybody, thinkup.com, sign up today. You've got a free trial, right?
Gina: Yes, free trial and no credit card required, unlike HBO Now. No payment, no auto-renew. You opt in and decide to pay when you want to pay.
Leo: I love ThinkUp and full disclosure, Gina gave me an account but I would pay for it because it's really great.
Gina: Aw, I appreciate that.
Leo: Jeff, we love you too. Thank God you're still here.
Jeff: Love you too, Leo.
Leo: Get your dongle out of your wife's purse.
Jeff: Oh, my God. I don't love you anymore.
Leo: Buzzmachine.com, the great books, Public Parts, Geeks Bearing Gifts. He's a legend, that Jeff Jarvis. We love you. Thank you for being here, we love you. Don't forget, even if you use an iPhone, it's okay. I won't hold it against you. My wife's sitting over there. Of course, what does she use? I've got to be careful what I say.
Jeff: Mixed marriage?
Leo: Yes, we're a mixed marriage. She was a Windows user for a while, oh boy.
Leo: She still uses Windows. We do this show every Wednesday afternoon, 1 p.m. Pacific, 4 p.m. Eastern time, 2000 UTC. If you watch live, we appreciate it because we love seeing your interaction and the energy we get from you but if you can't, don't worry. You can, of course, get on-demand versions of all our shows on the website, in this case, TWiT.tv/TWiG. Also, iTunes and all the places you subscribe. Don't forget the great apps, TWiT apps, that are all over.
We thank you for watching, hope you have a great week. We'll see you right here next Wednesday on This Week in Google. Bye, bye!