00:00:00 ◼ ► I've made a couple of just absolutely terrible errors. I've asked Marco Arment for advice on things to buy. Related to absolutely nothing at all. You know, ATP membership is a thing. If you wanted to go to ATP.fm/join, you could join and be a member of this very program.
00:00:25 ◼ ► Oh, the head--I thought you were talking about the flashlights. Who was asking about the flashlights?
00:00:32 ◼ ► Yeah, no, I've brought this on myself. I have made this bed. This is not really Marco's fault.
00:00:36 ◼ ► Just ignore his headphone advice when he tries to get you to buy a thousand-dollar pair of headphones. You can just ignore that. Go to the next one.
00:00:41 ◼ ► None of them were a thousand dollars, and I recommended one that was like $180 and one that was like $300.
00:00:48 ◼ ► No, I said that's what I use, but I wasn't saying he should buy it. It's a different kind than what he wants.
00:00:54 ◼ ► It's just I've known Marco for 20, 25 years, something like that at this point, maybe even more than that.
00:01:01 ◼ ► But anyways, you would think--well, I guess the first 15 of those years didn't count because neither of us had money.
00:01:21 ◼ ► I have not made any moves on either of these items, but I did put a $70 flashlight, which if I recall, I'll put in the show notes.
00:01:28 ◼ ► I put a $70 flashlight quietly into the Amazon shopping cart, and within a day, Aaron said to me, "What is this $70 flashlight?
00:01:41 ◼ ► I hope none of the product photos have a person's hand for scale because that's not going to help your case.
00:01:55 ◼ ► Oh, my word. But anyway, you would think after all this time I would know better than to ask Marco for help
00:02:01 ◼ ► because the problem with asking Marco for help when it comes to purchases is that you will be spending considerably more money than you would like to spend.
00:02:18 ◼ ► Well, there's a discontinuity or at least an area of that graph where the two lines diverge and do not ascend at the same rate.
00:02:31 ◼ ► The problem, though, is that it is often, if not nearly always, that the thing that Marco suggests is very, very good.
00:02:38 ◼ ► It's better, but it was like quality and price were tracking pretty nicely with each other with a similar slope.
00:02:44 ◼ ► And then at a certain point, price starts going up a little bit steeper, and then you just follow that graph out to the right for a while, and all of a sudden you're like, "Well, it is better."
00:03:04 ◼ ► Fair enough. Yeah, I solicited this advice because it's a long and involved story that I will cut down as much as possible.
00:03:10 ◼ ► Basically there's an old train tunnel that is being turned into a rail trail park thing.
00:03:17 ◼ ► And by donating a very small amount of money, I have gotten the perk of being allowed to tour it before it opens, presumably this fall.
00:03:27 ◼ ► And this train tunnel, I mean, it's something like a mile long, and it's pitch black in there.
00:03:40 ◼ ► And this flashlight will not, well, might, but probably won't illuminate a mile long train tunnel.
00:03:50 ◼ ► You can get some that are made for like super long throw, but then they have like a narrower beam.
00:03:54 ◼ ► Sure. And so I asked Marco, "Hey, you know, I need something that will last me something like, you know, an hour and a half, and that'll be pretty damn bright. What do you got?"
00:04:00 ◼ ► And so he recommended, and I will put in the show notes, the Olight SR2, 1150 lumens USB magnetic rechargeable variable output slides.
00:04:25 ◼ ► And Marco very graciously said he would record a video, and did end up recording a video of it at nighttime.
00:04:38 ◼ ► And of course, do you remember the name? I'll have to dig it up. The name of the channel I ended up on, it was like Sensible Prepper or something like that?
00:04:52 ◼ ► Well, the problem with researching any kind of like, you know, let me get a nice flashlight.
00:05:07 ◼ ► And so, like, it's really hard to get good opinions and reviews of anything that even goes near the "everyday carry" type category of like useful little gear things to have that maybe fit in a bag.
00:05:19 ◼ ► And it's like you so quickly fall into like a crazy rabbit hole of communities and priorities that you don't have and don't want to be in.
00:05:59 ◼ ► Yeah, some kind of, you know, August bugs. It sounded like, you know, cicada bug noise on parts of John's track.
00:06:05 ◼ ► And I noticed this during the edit. And normally I'd be able to remove such noise during the edit and nobody would ever know.
00:06:12 ◼ ► This time I tried a couple of ways to remove it, my usual techniques to do it, and I just couldn't get it out without like totally crushing the rest of his high-frequency audio and making him sound very weird.
00:06:24 ◼ ► And so I thought, you know what, it won't be that big of a deal. Let me just leave it in. Maybe nobody will notice.
00:06:30 ◼ ► Everybody noticed. We're still getting messages on Twitter, via email, saying like, "Hey, there's some kind of noise. Something wrong with the recording on John's track."
00:06:39 ◼ ► People saying it was really hard to listen to, that they thought something was wrong with their car.
00:06:51 ◼ ► And so if you re-downloaded it after a certain point, you would have gotten the edited version that didn't have the cicada noise.
00:06:58 ◼ ► Basically after the first few hours of it being out, some people recommended some different techniques.
00:07:03 ◼ ► What I ended up doing was basically a bandpass, but notching out like only like the 7 to 8,000-ish frequency range that these bugs were in, with a method that was working better than what I was doing before.
00:07:21 ◼ ► The funny thing is, I was actually really nervous that people would notice an audio problem last week, because I was using a new microphone for the first time in probably four years.
00:07:30 ◼ ► Oh, I didn't notice. No one noticed. Thank God. I was kind of hoping nobody would have a problem with it, or it wouldn't be a big shift for anybody.
00:07:38 ◼ ► But it mattered a lot to me to get this right, and we got zero people noticing that, because everybody was noticing these very loud bug noises on John's track.
00:07:47 ◼ ► And to answer some questions from the chat room and elsewhere, yes, I mean literal insects.
00:08:04 ◼ ► Like, I pretty much never see cicadas around here. We found a couple of dead ones on the sidewalk in our travels over the past couple of weeks.
00:08:11 ◼ ► So I think this is anomalous. It's unexpected for us to have any bugs that make this level of noise, and further unexpected for them to be so loud that, you know,
00:08:20 ◼ ► despite being closed into my little podcasting sarcophagus here with all the windows closed and no air conditioning on and everything all sealed up,
00:08:28 ◼ ► still they were so loud they were just coming through the windows and walls of this building into my microphone that should only be picking up my voice from six inches away.
00:08:38 ◼ ► Oh yeah, right. You have the world's most sensitive microphone. You have a large diaphragm condenser.
00:08:44 ◼ ► Like, that should pick up everything in the universe, and for some reason, every other week it doesn't.
00:08:50 ◼ ► Every other week your audio is perfect, and I have no idea how, because that kind of microphone, I can't get to work right in my rooms ever.
00:08:57 ◼ ► Because I'm in a room with, like, carpeting and a bookshelf and weird shaped walls, and there's lots of stuff to absorb the sound.
00:09:03 ◼ ► But, you know, I mean, yes, it does pick up a lot, but when I get far away from the mic it gets quieter, right?
00:09:07 ◼ ► So this bug, like, it was loud for a bug, but still, it's outside and all the windows are closed, and so it's not that loud. I'm kind of amazed that it showed up on the track at all, but obviously it did.
00:09:18 ◼ ► Yeah, so anyway, my apologies to everybody. I will be a little more aggressive in the future about trying to remove things like that that I think nobody will notice.
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00:11:03 ◼ ► MacRumors, not the website, just the rumors about Macintoshes. Apparently today is the day, and as we record this at 9 o'clock in the evening on August 19th, I guess West Coast is always a little behind.
00:11:20 ◼ ► And so maybe something will happen, but we were told at some point recently that we would get a new iMac, new AirPod Studio, new HomePod 2, new HomePod Mini. Have any of those things happened, gentlemen?
00:11:30 ◼ ► We got a new iMac, but not on August 19th. I just wanted to swap this down. I don't want to attribute to any source, like whatever.
00:11:38 ◼ ► We talked about it on whatever that show was a couple of episodes ago just because it was such a huge dump of rumor info. It's like, wow, someone's really laying it on the line with all these announcements and dates.
00:11:51 ◼ ► And now I think we can just ignore it forever because August 19th has come and gone and these things didn't happen, and even though the iMac did happen, it didn't happen on August 19th. So much for the Nostradamus-like prediction filled with dates.
00:12:03 ◼ ► And then would you like to add a clarification about the thing you were trying to quote last week?
00:12:09 ◼ ► This is the reason I think people should listen to our podcast because we're the only podcast in which one of the hosts will try to cite a half-remembered saying from a shareware website that really comes from something in ancient history that I couldn't even remember.
00:12:23 ◼ ► And then a listener will write in to tell us, I know which saying you were talking about. And also, turns out, as they say, the popular notion of the saying is a mistranslation. So here we go.
00:12:36 ◼ ► Nate Mavis says, "The quote you were reaching for is from Socrates, not Aristotle, and it's from Apology 30b." I have no idea about how classics work. Apology 30b? Do they like number and letter? Anyway, that's a thing.
00:12:48 ◼ ► "You have construed it as some ancient scholars have. Being virtuous will lead to wealth and other good things." This was me talking about Apple should concentrate on just trying to make good stuff and then they'll be successful because of that instead of the other way around.
00:13:00 ◼ ► He says, "But that's an incorrect translation. Socrates says, rather, that virtue makes wealth good. Not virtue will make wealth and other good things for you. Think of what you tell a kid playing against cheaters. If you cheat to win, winning isn't good. Playing by the rules virtuously is what makes winning good."
00:13:17 ◼ ► So M.F. Bernie proposes his interpretation in a paper from 2012, which we will link in the show notes, and no other tech podcast will. And Nate says, "I spent the chunk of my dissertation defending it in detail and now I'm in software. I leave it up to you which interpretation is more relevant to Apple's situation today."
00:13:34 ◼ ► So there you go. I meant the first sense that being virtuous will lead to wealth and other good things. But the other, perhaps more correct interpretation is also applicable, I think.
00:13:45 ◼ ► That is actually very interesting and I agree. You will not hear anyone else talk about that. Oh my goodness. So there was some hubbub in the last day or two and I saw that this video existed but I didn't get a chance to watch.
00:13:58 ◼ ► Apparently somebody has dropped a Big Sur beta onto a Lenovo touchscreen enabled, I presume ThinkPad, but a Lenovo laptop. And the touchscreen worked? Question mark? What's going on here?
00:14:11 ◼ ► So first of all, let me start by saying I have no idea if this video is real. But if it is real, the pitch of the video is, of course, if a touchscreen laptop works and you touch it, maybe it would just interpret that as mouse movement or mouse clicking and then why wouldn't it work?
00:14:24 ◼ ► But if you watch the video, the whole point is that the person in the video performs gestures, like pinch to zoom, in the Maps application in Mac OS, and the gestures work in the Big Sur beta on this laptop.
00:14:36 ◼ ► Again, I have no idea if it's real or not. The reason I included it here, and I'll put a link to the video, is just so you can see what it might look like. In what context might touch be useful on a Mac with a touchscreen?
00:14:50 ◼ ► Because whether it's real or not, you can see someone using a laptop with Mac OS on it with real Mac OS apps and occasionally pawing at the screen.
00:14:57 ◼ ► Now, the performance and responsiveness seems atrocious. It's almost like, is it working? Is it not working? And you see it's kind of working. So it looks really terrible. But A, it's on a Lenovo. Who knows what kind of support this is?
00:15:08 ◼ ► B, it might not even be real. And C, it's a beta. So I thought it was mostly a curiosity, but it's interesting to see, like, one of the first videos in the wild showing real hardware, presumably real hardware and real software showing someone touching a Mac in the screen.
00:15:23 ◼ ► Additionally, there's some changes with regard to the menu bar icon spacing. I can never remember what these things in the upper right are called. Is there a new--
00:15:32 ◼ ► Menu extras, menu bar icons. I think menu extras is what Apple calls them or what they used to be called under the covers. Anyway, we talked about this when we talked about Big Sur, that yes, there are all the different things being spaced out for touch, right? And we mentioned the menu. This is not a new feature. The very first Big Sur bit had this in it. But here is Ricardo Mori on Twitter complaining about the new spacing.
00:15:52 ◼ ► Not because, you know, necessarily he minds that it's like spread out so it's easy for your fingers to touch, but now they take up more room. And so here's a little screenshot. You can see in his tweet where he says, my icons used to take up about this amount of room.
00:16:04 ◼ ► But now that they all have a huge amount of white space between them, on a 13-inch laptop, like, the icons take up like more than half of the menu bar. And so if you have an app with a lot of menus, they're going to clash in the middle and your icons are going to get hidden.
00:16:17 ◼ ► And it's inconvenient. So this is the downside to sort of spreading Mac OS out for finger spacing or whatever it is they're doing. Whether they're doing it for finger spacing or not, bottom line is they're spreading stuff out.
00:16:27 ◼ ► There's all the new large controls. The menu bar can be enlarged. The menu icons are spread out from each other. And if you have a laptop with a small screen, suddenly it feels even smaller because there's all this extra white space between things.
00:16:39 ◼ ► So it would be kind of neat to have an option to sort of collapse that spacing if you don't have a touch screen Mac or if you just don't plan on touching your menu bar icons. But somehow I don't see that option forthcoming.
00:16:52 ◼ ► Yeah, it's so hard not to conclude that touch is coming to Mac OS because it seems like so many of these changes are curious, if not dumb, if that wasn't the end goal. And typically Apple does quietly orchestrate their future plans.
00:17:12 ◼ ► You know, things like auto layout is a great example. You know, it used to be that Apple didn't care if you laid everything out by the pixel or point. And then they started saying before we got bigger phones, you know, you might want to just think about like a relative layout where you're anchoring things to other things.
00:17:30 ◼ ► And that might be a good call. And then fast forward a few months and suddenly we had bigger iPhones. And so it certainly seems that we're getting touch screen Macs or some sort of alternate input mechanism if not touch. But I don't know, if not, this seems like such a weird choice to just add all this white space everywhere.
00:17:56 ◼ ► Yikes. Yeah, this is I spent all that time and we talked about on the show, I don't know, six months ago or something, picking out a mouse, trying a bunch of mice, seeing which I felt comfortable because I wanted a new one with my fancy new computer.
00:18:08 ◼ ► When I got my Mac Pro, I was using an ancient mouse and it was just not great. And I eventually settled on the Microsoft Precision mouse, which, you know, had some trade offs out of all the ones I tried. It was the one I liked the best.
00:18:19 ◼ ► I even after that, I'd used it for a month or so. I even considered doing the cheese grater thing, the actual physical thing that grates cheese from a cow and buying multiples.
00:18:29 ◼ ► Right. Because I'm like, well, I like this mouse. I found a mouse that I liked. It took a lot of, you know, buying multiple mice to see if I could find it. But I found what I like. So why don't I, you know, maybe they'll stop making this one or maybe they'll change it in a way I don't like. Maybe I should buy multiples. But I didn't because I figured, well, I don't know, I used the last mouse for like 15 years or something.
00:18:48 ◼ ► I don't, you know, I'm not going to wear. I don't need to buy a new one. Like if 15 years go by and I need to get another mouse, I'll do the research again. But now for a little while, I felt like there was like some kind of schmutz or something on the side of my mouse. And occasionally I would like scrape it with my fingernail, just like schmutz off of there and it would like go away.
00:19:05 ◼ ► And eventually I felt some of this thing under my thumb, under my left thumb gripping the mouse, and I tried smoothing it away and it didn't really go away. So then I said, let me look at it. I looked at the mouse and it wasn't schmutz. The side of this Microsoft mouse, the entire left side, and the right side for that matter, is like rubber coated.
00:19:23 ◼ ► The whole mouse is plastic, but it's like rubber coated plastic on the sides for grip, which I like. It's very comfortable and it's a very smooth rubber. But it is apparently so soft and smooth and velvety that the act of me just using my mouse and having my left thumb in like that same position on the side of the mouse, you know, is just how I use it.
00:19:42 ◼ ► I'm a side mouse gripper kind of person, has worn, doesn't warn it away, but has worn a little, like first it's like a little bit of a slightly shinier smooth spot and then there's like this little lip that I'm, it's not a lip, it's not the edges, it's the center of the rubber.
00:19:57 ◼ ► And I have just made like a little rough patch with my thumb and I'm like, oh no, I haven't even had this mouse that long. This is not going to last 15 years. So I don't know what I'm going to do about this.
00:20:06 ◼ ► I mean, the mouse is fine. And if now that I just know that's what it is, I don't pick at it. Right. It's not like I've worn through it in a hole and it's not like it's peeling off. It's just a little bit worn in that area.
00:20:16 ◼ ► If it would wear evenly, you know, like a baseball glove or something, just kind of wear down and get a patina, that would be fine. But when it wears so that it has like a little, a little flaky kind of rough bit, I don't really like that.
00:20:29 ◼ ► So I don't know what I'm going to do about this, but I just wanted to update everybody on my mouse woes that apparently buying five different mice and trying them each for weeks was insufficient.
00:20:37 ◼ ► And this is the thing with, I think about this with product reviews all the time. If you're doing a product review for a product review website or even just for yourself and your life, it's very difficult to know conclusively what is a good product from just using it for like a couple of weeks, especially if it's something that you intend to keep for a long time. Right.
00:21:04 ◼ ► You buy it, you grade a bunch of cheese, you do timing tests, you do like this was the easiest, we got the least tired doing it. It made the evenness, you know, gratings, whatever.
00:21:13 ◼ ► It was machine washable and it was like all, all this, you know, dishwasher safe rather. You say all these things about it.
00:21:19 ◼ ► Like this is the one. And then you publish that article and then, you know, you go off and forget about it. And one of your employees takes home the cheese grater and then six months later it breaks.
00:21:29 ◼ ► I feel like you have to go back to the article and say, don't buy this cheese grater. It breaks in six months. Right. It's not the best one. Yes, it had the best performance when it was working.
00:21:36 ◼ ► Like, you know, like in case it's BMW. Yeah, it's good when it's working. If it dies all the time, it's not actually the best choice.
00:21:43 ◼ ► So I'm disappointed in my Microsoft mouse. I did some Googling and I found someone with the exact complaint for a Microsoft mouse saying I used it for a little while and it wore in the exact same spot, but it's not actually my mouse.
00:21:57 ◼ ► It's an earlier Microsoft mouse with rubber stuff on the side. I think they just use very soft touch rubber for it to be like expensive feeling and nice.
00:22:04 ◼ ► And it is expensive feeling and nice, but I think that soft touch rubber is not particularly durable. So, and it's not like you can replace the rubber on the side or anything.
00:22:13 ◼ ► So I don't know what I'm going to do. I like this mouse enough that I would probably just like buy a new one every couple of years if after a couple of years it becomes dire.
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00:23:45 ◼ ► The drama continues. Actually if you'll give me about 90 seconds I need to go pop some more popcorn. Epic and Apple still killing each other.
00:23:55 ◼ ► Where did we leave off? Where were our intrepid heroes the last we spoke? I don't even remember. It's been such a blur of anger.
00:24:02 ◼ ► It was basically the very first night that this had come out and they had sued Apple and Google.
00:24:12 ◼ ► Fortnite had been taken down from the store but if you still had it installed it was fine and that's all that had happened.
00:24:18 ◼ ► There had been the lawsuits, there had been the video release, Fortnite was off the store but if you still had it you could still play it.
00:24:24 ◼ ► And there was a bunch of context that we didn't actually have time to get to and we'll probably go into it shortly here.
00:24:34 ◼ ► So I may leave something out but as best I understand what's new this week is that, you know, like we said Fortnite is removed from the App Store and Apple has told Epic that they have until a week from Friday, so the 28th, to basically cut the shit out and start acting nice again.
00:24:52 ◼ ► And if they don't apparently their entire development account, their developer account will be taken away, which means they won't be able to use Xcode, well, they won't be able to do anything really with Xcode, they won't be able to do anything with any Apple platforms.
00:25:07 ◼ ► And that would be a pretty serious bummer and I'm still not clear whether or not there would be a trickle effect on the Unreal Engine, which we can talk about a little bit more what that is in a moment.
00:25:18 ◼ ► But this is the, as I think Gruber has described it, or maybe it was Jason Snell, the nuclear option that, you know, this is the Apple saying you can go outside and play hide and go screw yourself option.
00:25:34 ◼ ► And there's been, you know, there's been a lot of all of the talking heads like us going around and around and around about what makes sense, what's fair, what's not fair.
00:25:44 ◼ ► And I think there's a lot more to talk about it about this case specifically, but God help me for the first time, I think in my entire life, I actually sat down earlier tonight and tried to do like a poor man's mind map to try to figure out what is really going on here.
00:25:58 ◼ ► Because I feel like there are maybe five different arguments that are all happening at the same time and are all interrelated about, you know, whether or not 30% is fair, whether or not app review is fair, whether or not Apple is being retaliatory baby and so on.
00:26:14 ◼ ► And I was going to try to force us to pick these apart one by one, and I just don't think we'll be able to do it because they are so intertwined.
00:26:22 ◼ ► But something I think that's been very difficult for me is picking apart and separating these different concerns.
00:26:37 ◼ ► I don't know, that's kind of the executive summary. Where would you gentlemen like to go from here? John, do you have immediate thoughts?
00:26:43 ◼ ► Yeah, like I think before we start talking about the other stuff, we'll just talk about the threatened punishment, right? So Apple said, what was it, were they going to terminate their developer account?
00:26:52 ◼ ► And so, I mean, the first question may be, is that a thing that Apple can do? And the answer, of course, before you even look it up, you know, is yes, because all those terms and conditions that everybody just clicks through and every service that you ever click through terms and conditions on, I guarantee you, they all say, we can do whatever we want and you have no recourse.
00:27:06 ◼ ► Like that's what they all say. And you agree to that because what are you going to do, not agree? I mean, you could not agree and not be a developer, right? But like most companies are able to put language in all of their agreements for all of their sort of third party, you're going to do stuff on our platform that basically says, if we don't like what you do, or even if we do, like for any reason, we could just wake up in the morning, decide, you know what, we don't like you today, we can take away all your things.
00:27:29 ◼ ► Because that's just the nature of the agreement. Apple's got the things you want access to those things. This is the agreement, right? So yes, the agreement says they can do this. And then any agreement says this is what it means if we do this, if we terminate your account, it says you will lose access to the following programs, technologies and capabilities.
00:27:44 ◼ ► Obviously, in these legal agreements, very often terms are defined elsewhere. So you have to kind of look up what they mean. So this first thing that I'm going to read is going to sound bad. But I'm sure it's defined elsewhere to be not as broad as you think. So you will lose access to the following.
00:27:58 ◼ ► All Apple software, comma. Now obviously, losing access to all Apple software, because that would mean like you'd go into the Apple Store to try to buy an iPhone, they'd be like, are you Tim Sweeney? Get out of here.
00:28:09 ◼ ► They'd give you an iPhone with no software on it. Like you can have this iPhone, but no software for you. Right. Anyway, all the sentence reads differently. All Apple software, comma, SDKs, comma, API's, comma, and developer tools. Now, I think that's maybe just poorly written or Apple software is a term defined elsewhere, though the S is not capital.
00:28:27 ◼ ► So anyway, you don't get to use the developer tools and stuff. I'm skipping over a bunch of stuff just to get to the meaty stuff. One of the things you lose access to is the notarization service for Mac OS apps. Now remember, it's not like you have an iOS developer account and a Mac OS developer account and tv OS developer account.
00:28:43 ◼ ► Although at various times there have been distinctions related to platforms, you essentially have a developer account. A developer account is a thing that puts apps on the stores. Now companies can have multiple developer accounts, I imagine, depending on how many legal entities they have, and we'll get into that in a second. But anyway, they have a developer account, right?
00:29:01 ◼ ► So this agreement is not specific to saying, you know, if you get a developer account, you can make any of those kind of apps. You know, Marco can make a Mac app, I can make an iOS app, like from our own single developer account if we want it. It's not limited by platform.
00:29:14 ◼ ► So when they terminate the agreement, of course it's going to say, we terminate your access to the notarization service. You can't make notarized apps because you don't have a developer account. Right?
00:29:22 ◼ ► And it seems weird because we're talking about an iOS app, you know, Fortnite on iOS and iPad OS, right? But now you're losing access to Mac OS things? Like you can't notarize a Mac OS app? It's like you weren't even mad at us about a Mac app, right? We're talking about, it doesn't matter. This is the developer agreement.
00:29:38 ◼ ► You lose access to developer ID signing certificates. So not only can you not notarize an app, which is like sort of giving it the Apple stamp of approval by sending it out to Apple and then they sign it and send it back. You can't even sign it yourself with your own developer ID certificate.
00:29:54 ◼ ► So developer ID is where the developer can just sign an application and give it to somebody and it'll run even though Apple hasn't signed off on it. Right? You lose access to the universal app quick start program, which is the thing that gives you the DTK. So if you've got a DTK, you have to send it back to us. You can't have that anymore.
00:30:11 ◼ ► And then finally, this is a little extra FU for Epic. You lose access to engineering efforts to improve hardware and software performance of Unreal Engine on Mac and iOS hardware. So what Apple is saying is up until now, we here at Apple have worked on our stuff on like our OSs and our 3D engines and our drivers and all that stuff, you know, our 3D, you know, driver software and everything.
00:30:36 ◼ ► So that it performs well with Unreal Engine because Unreal Engine, which we'll talk about in a little bit, is a very popular engine for 3D applications on many platforms. And it has been important for Apple for Unreal Engine based software to run well on Mac and iOS hardware.
00:30:51 ◼ ► So what Apple is saying is not only are we going to terminate all this stuff and not give you access to any of our dev tools or anything. Also, we're going to stop making sure that Unreal Engine runs really well on our products.
00:31:04 ◼ ► Which, I mean, on the one hand, it's like, well, most people don't get that kind of service from Apple where you make some kind of third party library and then Apple spends its own resources making sure that your library runs really fast on their hardware.
00:31:16 ◼ ► But that just goes to show the nature of Unreal Engine. And what Casey was getting at before is like, okay, given all this, this is the agreement, they take away all this stuff. What does that actually mean aside from like Fortnite's not on the App Store anymore?
00:31:29 ◼ ► Does it mean, for example, that other applications that use Unreal Engine are going to have problems? And briefly, Unreal Engine is a 3D engine that you can license from Unreal, from Epic, and use it to build the game on it.
00:31:42 ◼ ► Because 3D engines are really hard to make and Epic's Unreal Engine has been really good for many, many years. It comes with all sorts of stuff. It comes with an entire development environment for you to make your game.
00:31:51 ◼ ► It's how a single person developer shop can make a good looking 3D game. That single person is not writing the 3D engine from scratch. They're licensing an engine and then building a game on top of it.
00:32:01 ◼ ► And it gives you much more than just the 3D engine. It gives you physics and scripting and, like I said, an entire IDE. It's a very complicated, big thing.
00:32:07 ◼ ► And the Unreal Engine actually has really nice licensing terms where I think it's like free to use until your game makes over a million in revenue.
00:32:14 ◼ ► And then after that, Epic gets like 3% of your revenue or something. But it's used all over the place. It's used on consoles, it's used on PC games, and it's used on iOS games and Mac games, you know, the whole nine yards, right?
00:32:25 ◼ ► So, on the App Store now are many, many games that are built on Unreal Engine. Does this happening to Epic, like their developer account being terminated, does that mean that anything bad happens to applications not made by Epic but that happen to use Unreal Engine?
00:32:42 ◼ ► The short answer is like immediately no. Like, so they terminated Epic's account, do those games all break? No, they're all fine.
00:32:50 ◼ ► But the medium to long term answer is that if you would imagine that this developer account is the only way that Epic has to continue development of Unreal Engine on Apple's platforms,
00:33:03 ◼ ► eventually Apple would release an OS where the Unreal Engine and/or the tools stop working or have show-stopping bugs in them. And the game developers would be like, "Oh, I need to update my game for the new whatever OS.
00:33:16 ◼ ► I'll need the new version of Unreal that works with the new whatever OS." And Epic would say, "Sorry, we can't actually make a new version of the Unreal Engine for whatever OS because whatever OS is an Apple OS and we literally can't build anything for Apple OS because we don't have access to the dev tools."
00:33:31 ◼ ► If you take a very narrow reading, yeah, that's a thing that could happen. But in reality, all right, so you terminated, Apple terminated this developer account.
00:33:41 ◼ ► It's kind of a game of whack-a-mole to say, "Okay, well, what if Epic just makes another developer account?" "Uh, we noticed it uses the same legal entity."
00:33:47 ◼ ► "Okay, well, what if Epic's parent company, was it Tencent or whatever, makes, has another shell company and they get a developer account and they become the Unreal development company that is separate from Epic and Apple's not mad at them?"
00:33:59 ◼ ► Like, this could go around forever and ever. Like, bottom line is there's no practical way for Apple to stop continued development of Unreal Engine and Apple's platforms.
00:34:09 ◼ ► Right? Legally speaking, technologically speaking, they could chase each other forever. There's no way to actually stop it, assuming both parties are invested in making this happen.
00:34:21 ◼ ► So, the punishment, given everything that I said, the punishment is actually kind of bad, but it's not the end of the world and it probably won't affect everybody who built on Unreal Engine, but it probably is where the damage is done.
00:34:36 ◼ ► Say it never does affect any other person who builds on Unreal Engine. If they think it might affect them, they might be like, "Eh, do I want to use Unreal Engine? Because they're fighting with Apple and I'm not quite sure how that's going to turn out."
00:34:48 ◼ ► It seems like it'll probably be fine, but now I have doubts and maybe I'll use Unity instead, which is a competing 3D engine that works on Apple's platforms and other PC and game consoles and stuff, right?
00:34:58 ◼ ► So, this is actually a fairly strong move from Apple. What they're doing, even if it never actually "does" anything,
00:35:08 ◼ ► A) of course, the damage is epic because Fortnite gets off the App Store and they can't make the money from people using Fortnite on iOS devices, and people who use iOS devices spend a lot of money, so that's bad for them.
00:35:20 ◼ ► And B) it makes people, in epic's words in all their lawsuits, "damages their reputation." It makes people more wary about building games on top of Unreal Engine, because Unreal Engine is made by the company that's fighting with Apple, and maybe something could happen could affect my game.
00:35:36 ◼ ► And so I think this is the nuclear option, maybe, but it's a strong move. It's something that has to, you know, Epic has to take this seriously.
00:35:47 ◼ ► And again, Epic could have anticipated they'd do this move because of course, what does Epic have that Apple can take away from them?
00:35:54 ◼ ► Their apps in the store and then eventually their developer account, right? So I'm sure they planned for this, but I think a lot of people watching this are thinking this is where Epic is going to blink.
00:36:04 ◼ ► Because Apple, in their benevolence, you know, put a press release that says, "Asterisk." The App Store is designed to be safe, blah blah blah, there's a bunch of stuff about how great the App Store is, and Apple goes on to say, this is quoting from their little thing they sent to the press,
00:36:18 ◼ ► "We very much want to keep the company, meaning Epic, as part of the Apple developer program and their apps on the store. The problem Epic has created for itself is one that can easily be remedied if they submit an update to their app that reverts it to comply with the guidelines."
00:36:33 ◼ ► It actually says, "Revert it to comply with the guidelines they agreed to, which apply to all developers." I love that every time Apple references the guidelines after the congressional hearing, they always say, "The guidelines, which by the way are totally the same for everybody. The guidelines which apply to everyone equally. The guidelines, which as we know, are the same for every single person. The guidelines which have no exceptions."
00:36:54 ◼ ► Like they always had a modifier. You can say it all you want, Apple. Every time you say guidelines, you can say, "Which apply to everyone equally." It doesn't make it true. You can't just keep it. Anyway, that's setting that aside.
00:37:07 ◼ ► So Apple's giving them an out. First of all, they gave them this deadline, whatever it was, the 28th, and then they're saying, "Just fix your game. Just take out the little thing that lets you pay with a credit card and change it back to the way it was, and all will be forgiven."
00:37:18 ◼ ► So a lot of people are thinking, "Well, maybe Epic has made its point, and maybe Epic will continue to pursue the lawsuits, but maybe just to come back to a safe position while the lawsuits grind on through the courts."
00:37:29 ◼ ► Maybe they just released a version of Fortnite that removes the—or they didn't even have to release it. They can just turn off the server-side thing that enables that feature. No more paying with a credit card and getting 20% off. It's back to normal.
00:37:41 ◼ ► Or they could just stick it out and say, "We're willing to take the potential reputational damage. We're willing to have Tencent open a shell company to take on Unreal Engine development." Whatever. We're in it for the long haul.
00:37:51 ◼ ► So I don't expect this is the end of the story, but it's a bold counter move by Apple. More next week, I assume.
00:38:02 ◼ ► I think bold is being generous here. This should erase any doubt in anybody's mind whether Apple is the IBM in 1984. Yes, clearly they are. Oh my god, they are really not doing well in the court of public opinion right now.
00:38:24 ◼ ► They couldn't possibly have made a worse counter move if they're trying to at all seem like the good guys.
00:38:33 ◼ ► And by the way, the reason I think people are saying they look like a bully, just to make this very clear, is that the fight, such as it stands, you could just say, "Okay, well, you submitted an app that violated the rules and we're angry at you and we pulled the app, right?"
00:38:46 ◼ ► And that could be like, "That's it. Well, you did a bad thing with the app and we rejected your app, right?"
00:38:53 ◼ ► Right. Well, all I'm saying is that that would seem proportional. It's like you submitted a bad app or you rejected your bad app and you broke our agreement. You did a sneaky thing. You broke the agreement.
00:39:02 ◼ ► And technically, yes, we have, according to our agreement, we can do all sorts of stuff because, of course, our agreement tells us we can do whatever the hell we want.
00:39:08 ◼ ► In fact, like I said, Apple can terminate your agreement for any reason if they just feel like it, right? There doesn't even have to be a reason.
00:39:14 ◼ ► But as Marco was saying, it seems mean to say, "Well, we're just fighting over this one app. You really got to terminate my whole developer account? We don't just develop Fortnite. There are other games by us on the store. We do other things."
00:39:27 ◼ ► That's why it seems like bullying because it's like, "Okay, well, this happens all the time."
00:39:31 ◼ ► And the only time we've seen entire developer account termination is if you're putting up malicious software, which I think would be a proportional response.
00:39:39 ◼ ► You have shown you are not responsible enough to have a developer account. You are putting out software that spies on people, tries to steal information.
00:39:45 ◼ ► Yeah, but talk about treating all developers equally. Facebook's account should have been terminated many times. Ubers, too.
00:39:55 ◼ ► Yeah, so that's the thing. It's a measure of how big is Epic? Is Epic as big as Facebook? No.
00:40:02 ◼ ► Are they as important to Apple's platform as Facebook? No. Is they important to Netflix? Probably not, right?
00:40:06 ◼ ► You can kind of go by the market cap of the company. You can size it up. Epic is a big, important company, and their parent company is even bigger and even more important.
00:40:17 ◼ ► So, anyway, that's why we're all saying this seems like bullying because they had a response that would seem more proportional that would fix the problem, which is like, "Hey, someone's app is on our store violating the rules."
00:40:30 ◼ ► Which, this is another thing, not to go off on a tangent here, but I'm slightly confused about this. All right, so the app's not on the store, but if you still have it, you can play it?
00:40:37 ◼ ► That's the kind of compromise we would expect because Apple doesn't want all of these kids to get mad because they can't play Fortnite, right?
00:40:42 ◼ ► But on the other hand, we can't have Epic breaking the rules, right? But those kids who are still playing Fortnite, they can still use their credit card, whatever, to get 20% off, right?
00:40:53 ◼ ► And that's the thing about the app enabling new features after it goes out, which is the thing that all apps do but is technically against the guidelines if you read them, right?
00:41:01 ◼ ► That Apple actually doesn't have a good way to stop those transactions other than pulling the app entirely and breaking it for everybody, which they don't want to do because then people would really be angry, like, "Hey, my kid can't play Fortnite, right? Now I'm super angry."
00:41:14 ◼ ► And I don't want to say kid. Adults play Fortnite too, whatever. The user should be very upset if you broke a thing.
00:41:19 ◼ ► So Apple has to just kind of grin and bear it and while this grinds on, yes, new people can't get Fortnite, but honestly, a lot of people already have Fortnite on iOS devices. It is a very popular game.
00:41:30 ◼ ► And in the meantime, they can all be buying V-Bucks for 20% off and that's got to burn Apple, right?
00:41:36 ◼ ► So I feel like maybe this bullying response is in response to sort of Epic having one over on them because they can't, it would hurt Apple more to literally stop Fortnite from working for everybody, which, that's one more question.
00:41:54 ◼ ► That's a good question. So as far as I know, so like there's multiple ways of, you know, Apple developer account expiration/termination. So if your account just expires, like if you don't renew your developer account, your account expires, you can't submit new builds to your app and your app disappeared from the store.
00:42:15 ◼ ► But anybody who has it, it can still run and you can still redown it from the purchases tab.
00:42:19 ◼ ► Same thing, if your developer certificate just expires and you still have your account, but like your distribution certificate that you built the last copy of the app with, if that expires, nothing bad happens.
00:42:29 ◼ ► You just have to make a new one before your next app update. But otherwise, like it still stays in the store, people can still download it and use it, et cetera. That's all fine.
00:42:36 ◼ ► If Apple revokes your certificate from, like in like a malware kind of way, where they actually like revoke the thing that says it's okay to run this, then you have a Charlie Monroe situation, which we, I still want to talk about.
00:42:51 ◼ ► Then you have a situation where the app on iOS, I think, just crashes on launch and just refuses to run without any explanation. On the Mac, that's when you get the dialogue that says, this app will damage your computer and you should move it to the trash.
00:43:05 ◼ ► Oh, I have so much to say about that. But anyway, that's like revocation at Apple's level. Not just like, you know, this is no longer valid, but like all previous signed things are now invalid from this app.
00:43:17 ◼ ► So I don't know what happens if Apple terminates your developer account, but not for like a malware kind of reason.
00:43:26 ◼ ► I think if you have the app, it continues to run. I think we've seen this like with various times, whenever people have tried to like put emulators in the iOS app store and they're up for like a day and Apple figures it out and takes them down, I think they still run after that for people who already had downloaded them.
00:43:44 ◼ ► So if that's the case, I don't think all copies of Fortnite out there would be remote killed if their developer account got terminated.
00:43:53 ◼ ► Yeah, I mean, so what you described are the various options. What we don't know is inside Apple, when you hit the big terminate account button, like, does that make any of which of those things does that make happen, if any?
00:44:04 ◼ ► Obviously, Apple can do whatever they want, regardless of what that button normally does. They can decide a la carte, we're going to terminate the developer account and we either are or aren't going to revoke your certificate.
00:44:13 ◼ ► But it's on the table as one of their options. And it's not clear from their threat, what they'll choose to do when they do this termination. To give an example of emulators, like I downloaded NES emulator, like on day two of the iPhone or something, somebody put up an NES emulator, and that worked for years.
00:44:28 ◼ ► Now, when somebody put up the NES, this is early days, but when whoever put up the NES emulator, that's a violation of the rules. But it's also not malware. But it's also kind of a blatant violation of the rules. And there's also intellectual property things.
00:44:41 ◼ ► It's kind of a judgment call whether Apple, to think, would Apple have terminated that developer's account? Again, it's not a clear cut case of like you're trying to do something like really terrible, you know, like steal people's personal photos or something like that.
00:44:55 ◼ ► But you were breaking the rules. So I would imagine that they didn't terminate that developer's account, they just rejected that application. But who knows? But either way, it seems clear that they can choose to let the app live on. But the caveat in the case of Fortnite, if you let the app live on, literally millions of people will continue to be able to bypass an app purchase and get V bucks for 20% off, giving epic money.
00:45:20 ◼ ► Obviously, it's not sustainable long term because, you know, you want new customers and stuff like that. But boy, it really makes me think that I can't imagine Apple tolerating three more years of 100 million people bypassing their purchase just because they refuse to reject the certificate for the game.
00:45:37 ◼ ► But on the other hand, does Apple want to break Fortnite for every single one of its customers? So they're starting to get between a rock and a hard place here.
00:45:46 ◼ ► That's the least of the problems. I mean, my big problem with this, so lots of people have pointed out what Epic's real motives here might be. Yeah, they want to make, they want to bring their app store to iOS and take 12% of everybody's, you know, cut instead of having to pay Apple 30%, whatever.
00:46:01 ◼ ► That to me is separate. That's like, what Epic wants to do with their money and everyone else's money is not really material to this conversation. What's material to this issue is like, first of all, whether Apple's rules are anti-competitive and whether they've overreached or whether it's too big now and has to change or whatever else.
00:46:23 ◼ ► And then secondly from that, their treatment of Epic in this, whether that's kind of, you know, quote, "fair" or not whatever people think.
00:46:32 ◼ ► And I think no matter what you think of Epic, because I don't know anything about Epic, I don't care, but when I see what Apple's doing here, if you look at it kind of a big picture scenario here, Apple's in a really questionable place with antitrust and control and monopoly and anti-competitive behavior.
00:46:54 ◼ ► I think it's well supported by lots of evidence around the world, the EU, the US congressional committee, their position is worthy of arguing, is worthy of consideration whether regulation needs to be applied.
00:47:08 ◼ ► It is not a given that they are 100% in the right with the status quo. So Epic has filed a lawsuit to challenge this.
00:47:18 ◼ ► Whatever you think of Epic and how they're doing this, the idea of filing a lawsuit to challenge Apple's policies and control in this area, I think is a valid argument to have.
00:47:34 ◼ ► What Apple is doing in response to this is such a bullying move that what they're effectively doing is shutting down the potential to have this be argued in court.
00:47:47 ◼ ► They are throwing such a bullying move here that what they're basically saying is we're not even going to allow this to get anywhere near arguing in a court or in front of a judge or anybody.
00:48:05 ◼ ► Well, they're not destroying their business, but they are doing the strongest move they have available in the attempt to scare them into presumably not pursuing a lawsuit.
00:48:12 ◼ ► There's nothing Apple can actually do to stop them from filing. You can sue anybody for anything.
00:48:17 ◼ ► But this is an intimidation tactic. Here's our threat. Here's our big hammer. We are going to do this thing. Here are the consequences of this thing.
00:48:31 ◼ ► I don't think Apple's platforms are their primary source of money, although it might be almost 50% of their money getting close to it.
00:48:43 ◼ ► And by the way, I listed Tencent as their parent company. They're just an investor. They don't have a majority share.
00:48:50 ◼ ► So this is... it's an intimidation move. It's a bullying move. It's a counter move in the current thing just to see if they blink.
00:49:01 ◼ ► It was also at the end of that other little thing. It says, "We hope you're able to cure your breaches of the Apple program license agreement and continue to participate in the program."
00:49:09 ◼ ► What Apple wants is for them to get back in line. And it's saying, "Here's the carrot. You get back in line, you can continue having Fortnite.
00:49:16 ◼ ► We'll go back to making sure Unreal Engine works real well. You keep your developer account and we just go back to the way things are."
00:49:22 ◼ ► Right? And, you know, so yeah, I think it's not going to immediately destroy Epic's business.
00:49:32 ◼ ► Now, let's say they do this. They say, "Okay, okay, Apple, fine. Here you go. We changed Fortnite back. We didn't even have to release a new version because it's all done server side.
00:49:39 ◼ ► We changed it back to the way it was and now it's just backed in that purchase and you get your 30 percent."
00:49:44 ◼ ► The lawsuit still exists. The letters that Apple has sent, as far as I'm aware, do not say, "Hey, Epic," and also, by the way, you have to drop your lawsuits. Right?
00:49:53 ◼ ► So, I don't know if you want to put that into Apple's credit column or whatever, and I don't know if there's been a back channel, but Apple is not making dropping the lawsuits an explicit condition of this.
00:50:04 ◼ ► It's clear that they want them to go away and it's clear they're trying to intimidate Epic as much as they possibly can, but it doesn't, like, Epic could release the new version and say, "Okay, we're in compliance now. See you in court."
00:50:18 ◼ ► Well, but, you know, Epic, I think the reason why they didn't just file a lawsuit, you know, without changing their app, they didn't just file a lawsuit saying, "You should change your policies and then keep their app compliant."
00:50:32 ◼ ► Instead, they intentionally provoked the rule so that their app would be kicked out of the store, so that they could be damaged, so they could have standing to sue.
00:50:42 ◼ ► I'm not a lawyer, so forgive, you know, I'm going to try to not get too far into the legal side of this because I don't know it, but I think their case is probably easier to make if they are more damaged.
00:50:54 ◼ ► Like, if they can show that Apple had so much power that they got, you know, that they lost X millions of dollars a day or, you know, whatever with this one thing, that actually might help their case or it might help illustrate that Apple has too much power.
00:51:09 ◼ ► Now, when I look at this move by Apple, this developer account threat, my first thought was, "Oh no, Apple lost their cool."
00:51:17 ◼ ► If you're fighting with somebody and they lose their cool, usually it's good for you because if they lose their cool, they will start making moves that are maybe hastily thought out, that are maybe, you know, going to hurt them or can be used against them later.
00:51:38 ◼ ► And so in this case, it looks like Apple lost their cool with this and made a threat that was really big and really over the top, I think.
00:51:49 ◼ ► And I don't think it was a good idea for Apple to have made this threat because not only does it make them look even more like jerks, and honestly, I think it kind of makes them look desperate,
00:52:00 ◼ ► but it also shows to the world, to all the world's governments, to all the world's consumer protection agencies, to all the world's congresses and legislators and to the courts, quite how much power Apple has.
00:52:16 ◼ ► And it's too much. And that's the whole thing right now with the legislation possibly or regulation around them.
00:52:23 ◼ ► They do have too much power. They should be regulated. They should have an injunction granted against this action while this lawsuit's pending.
00:52:38 ◼ ► And so for them to have made this extra move, you know, taking it off the App Store, as you said earlier, that's all they had to do.
00:52:49 ◼ ► To also then threaten this, I think makes the case better for everyone who's fighting against them to say, "No, look, they need to be regulated. They are acting as an abusive monopoly now.
00:53:02 ◼ ► They are trying to actively shut down not only competition but legal challenges against them in ways that they probably shouldn't be able to."
00:53:10 ◼ ► So I think this actually hurts Apple's case and makes it even more likely that they will be more heavily regulated down the road.
00:53:24 ◼ ► Yeah, it was clear from day one that Epic doing this stuff like, you know, they knew they were going to get kicked out.
00:53:29 ◼ ► They weren't surprised about what happened. And getting kicked out was part of their plan because, like you said, it's not like, legally speaking, you need to do that because you can say,
00:53:37 ◼ ► "Here's how we would experience harm," but you have a stronger case, you can say, "Here's how we did experience harm."
00:53:42 ◼ ► It's not a hypothetical anymore. It's a literal thing because if you argue in court, if we did this, then Apple would do that and Apple could say, "How do you know we would do that?
00:53:48 ◼ ► We do weird things all the time. You have no idea what we would do." It's like, well, here's what you actually did.
00:53:52 ◼ ► The downside for Epic, especially with what I, you know, if we're right about this thing still being in the store where the 20% option is, is now Apple can show damages too.
00:54:00 ◼ ► Because they can say, "For the last year that this has been, you know, in court, Epic has been on the store not paying us our 30%, which they should be as part of the agreement.
00:54:10 ◼ ► So we've continued to allow users to download their app, and here's how much money we lost in V-Bucks."
00:54:15 ◼ ► So Apple can cite damages as well. Again, not just a hypothetical where Apple could say, "Well, if we let people do that, they wouldn't give us our 30%."
00:54:22 ◼ ► And they could say, "Actually, they didn't let us give our 30%, and we were nice and didn't kick it off the store because we didn't want to anger our users, but here's how many millions of dollars we lost."
00:54:29 ◼ ► So it's a double-edged sword there. But for sure, having all of these bad things happen in all cases, like they did with Google too.
00:54:37 ◼ ► They went on Google, they got kicked out of the store, they sued Google, they're going to cite the fact they were kicked out of the store.
00:54:41 ◼ ► Like, it's a clear strategy, it's just a little bit tricky. Something people have discussed on and off about this.
00:54:49 ◼ ► Epic is complaining about all the stuff with the App Store, they take too big a cut, they have too much control, yada yada.
00:54:55 ◼ ► Lots of people say, "Well, Epic and Unreal and all that stuff, they participate in the game console world as well."
00:55:00 ◼ ► And the game console world is essentially exactly like the App Store. You can't release something for the Xbox or the PlayStation without going through Sony.
00:55:08 ◼ ► Sony decides what goes into the platform, Sony's rules about qualifying your game for the PlayStation are way more draconian than Apple's.
00:55:15 ◼ ► There's a reason the App Store has hundreds of thousands or millions of apps and the PlayStation does not have millions of games.
00:55:25 ◼ ► Sony tightly controls their store. Back in the day it wasn't an App Store, it was literal plastic discs.
00:55:32 ◼ ► But these days, there's a digital version of all these games and you can also buy plastic discs and that's a whole other discussion for another time.
00:55:38 ◼ ► Game consoles are very much like this and the game console vendors, the platforms take a big cut.
00:55:45 ◼ ► According to Apple's research and that paper they put out, the cut is actually similar to the App Store, 30% ish depending on all sorts of deals or whatever.
00:55:52 ◼ ► So why isn't Epic suing Microsoft? Why aren't they suing Sony? Why aren't you suing them?
00:55:59 ◼ ► They're doing exactly the same thing to you. They take the same big chunk out of your thing.
00:56:03 ◼ ► They don't let you do all the stuff you want to do. They don't let Epic have its own game store inside PlayStation.
00:56:08 ◼ ► Every single thing they're saying about Apple is the same situation. Why aren't you suing them?
00:56:13 ◼ ► And I think before we get to antitrust, which Marco has already weighed in on and I've mostly not been weighing in on yet because I think there's so much talk about before even considering antitrust.
00:56:24 ◼ ► Getting back to my argument from last week, the reason that Epic is not suing Sony and Microsoft, it's the same root problem that Apple has.
00:56:36 ◼ ► The platform owners, Apple, Sony, Microsoft, their job is to try to create that win-win-win situation where developers, users, and the platform owner all succeed together.
00:56:55 ◼ ► That's the job of the platform owner, to make sure that people aren't so mad that they sue them.
00:57:02 ◼ ► And so the simple explanation is that despite Epic having butted heads with console makers at various times, in fact having very similar sort of head-butting arguments about internal purchases and selling inside and outside the store.
00:57:16 ◼ ► These things have played out in the console world, in fact, sometimes specifically with Epic many times.
00:57:22 ◼ ► The game console platforms have better managed their relationship, this little triangle relationship between users, developers, and the platform.
00:57:29 ◼ ► They've managed it better enough, better enough, not like their developers aren't mad at them sometimes, not like users aren't mad at them sometimes, but they've managed it better enough that they're not in the situation.
00:57:39 ◼ ► It's not that the rules are different, it's that the platform owners have, better than Apple, been able to say, "It's our job to make sure that people don't get so pissed that they sue us."
00:57:51 ◼ ► And that sort of relationship, if you wanted to pin it down to what have they done that's better.
00:57:56 ◼ ► Game console makers understand gaming and the gaming market better than Apple does in many ways.
00:58:02 ◼ ► One of those ways is that they understand it's an entertainment industry, and it works more like making movies and TV shows, where those platforms actively cultivate talent and participate in this win-win scenario where they will help pay for the development of a flagship game for a timed exclusivity.
00:58:22 ◼ ► They will recruit talent, they will invest in studios that make games, they will help you market your game, they will sell branded versions of your console that are Gears of War branded.
00:58:33 ◼ ► All this relationship between Sony and developers is why developers hate Sony less than Apple, or why Epic does anyway.
00:58:39 ◼ ► Because Sony is there saying, "Here's a bucket of cash we're going to dump over your head."
00:58:44 ◼ ► Or Microsoft says, "Develop Gears of War. Here's millions of dollars to develop it. Keep it on our platform only. We'll make a special Xbox that's Gears of War branded, and we'll sell it in the store with Gears of War."
00:58:56 ◼ ► And Epic is like, "Yes! We like you! This is good!" And Apple's like, "Put your app on a store that gives 30% and $99 a year."
00:59:04 ◼ ► It's not that type of relationship. Consoles have first-party games, consoles have timed platform exclusives mostly. I'm not saying that Apple has to do that. I'm not saying just about games or whatever.
00:59:17 ◼ ► All I'm saying is that the game console makers have better managed their relationships, and that's what Apple is doing wrong. They're not making sure everybody is happy.
00:59:27 ◼ ► Many things spin out of that. Once the war starts, once the shooting starts, it just gets worse and worse. Like Marco said, losing your cool is not good. I wish I could remember this specific example.
00:59:36 ◼ ► There's actually a specific example of Epic intentionally going against the rules and butting heads with one of these console makers, and they settled it more quietly and more amicably than Apple has done so far.
00:59:49 ◼ ► This isn't over yet, but you're always going to have flare-ups, and the big players like Epic who are cranky are always going to butt heads with you. You've got to manage that at the end of my "Art of the Possible" thing.
01:00:01 ◼ ► Do you want to be right, or do you want to be happy? Do you want to just be like, "We're just sticking to our principles," and then get sued and have this giant disaster?
01:00:09 ◼ ► Are you going to say, "Even though I think I'm right, let's get back to the part where we all win. Let's get back to the part where we at least find an acceptable compromise, because we get an advantage from you being on our platform, and you get an advantage from being on our platform, and our customers want your game, so let's facilitate. You've got to get back to that win."
01:00:26 ◼ ► It's not as if what Apple is doing is a separate argument. Is it more important or worse for Apple to be doing it versus game consoles or whatever? And again, I'll say that for later, but just bottom line, the game console makers have historically done a better job of managing their relationships, and I feel like Apple needs to go to a corporate relationship counselor.
01:00:49 ◼ ► Epic is on the couch. How do you feel when Apple tells you they're going to terminate your house? Epic's like, "I feel bad. I feel like Apple doesn't appreciate me." Apple, tell Epic how you appreciate it. I don't know. This could be a whole skit. I can't do it on the fly.
01:01:05 ◼ ► Yeah, and this is the kind of thing that Apple is historically not good at. Apple dealing with other companies in general, it's not very good at, especially when the negotiations are actually negotiations and compromises on both sides, as opposed to Apple just being able to dictate things.
01:01:36 ◼ ► And by the way, that scenario happens all the time in the App Store. When it's Apple versus an individual developer, Apple tends to find a way to definitely handle those conflicts because they have all the power, and so they're not usually super jerky about it, at least not intentionally. Sometimes, again, Charlie Monroe, accidentally jerky, but in general, in these scenarios where it's single, lone developer versus giant Apple, Apple finds a way to get past them.
01:02:00 ◼ ► We've talked about a million of those App Store things over the years, like, "Oh, some developer had a thing with Apple," but because Apple has literally 100% of the power in every possible way, they get resolved and we move on because Apple essentially just runs you over.
01:02:14 ◼ ► You comply or you go away, but either way, it's solved. But when it's not one dinky little developer and instead another billion-dollar corporation, Apple doesn't know how to use its words and talk about its feelings and we head up here.
01:02:28 ◼ ► Oh, my word. I don't know. It's tough because on the surface, I can see why Apple is acting the way it is. I completely disagree with their course of action, but I can understand it at a surface level.
01:02:44 ◼ ► So Epic did something that is expressly forbidden. Not only did they do this runaround where they downloaded this update directly into the app, which I know for games that's sort of kind of allowed, but it seems like the way they did it probably wasn't allowed.
01:03:00 ◼ ► But beyond that, they had this third-party payment system that is expressly not allowed, and it seems like there should be a consequence for that. I mean, that seems pretty straightforward. And then they escalated by suing Apple.
01:03:14 ◼ ► Well, you know what? F*ck you right back. Now you're not allowed in the store anymore. Again, on the surface, I can understand how this seems like a reasonable series of actions.
01:03:26 ◼ ► And I just feel like nobody at Apple has taken a step back and said, you know, as we said last time, "Are we the baddies?" Nobody has said, "Is this really appropriate?" Because we are not the scrappy upstarts anymore.
01:03:42 ◼ ► And I'm not the first person to say that in the last couple of weeks, and I won't be the last. But so much of Apple appears from the outside to be thinking of themselves as the beleaguered upstart, and they're not. They are IBM now.
01:03:55 ◼ ► And if you want to enjoy the spoils of being IBM, then you need to act like a grown-up. And Apple is not acting like a grown-up right now. And it's just crummy.
01:04:06 ◼ ► And the other thing about it is, and this is what I was alluding to earlier, like so much of this is intertwined with so many ongoing kerfuffles that Apple is involved with, if not directly started.
01:04:19 ◼ ► And why did Epic decide to do this end-around and try to take money directly? Did they do that because they want a direct relationship with the customer? Well, maybe. But I don't think that's it.
01:04:32 ◼ ► Did they do that because they wanted to make it easier on the customer? Well, certainly not, because in-app purchase is unequivocally easier on the consumer. It may not be easier on the developer, but it's easier on the consumer.
01:04:44 ◼ ► It's not easy on the consumer's pocketbook. Well, fair, fair. That's a good point. But it's easier. Epic was saying that more than half of the customers picked the cheaper option. And I'm like, really? It was only slightly more than half? I thought 100% of the customers.
01:04:56 ◼ ► Maybe they were suspicious because they're like, wait a second, this must be some kind of scam. But yeah, customers want it to be cheaper.
01:05:03 ◼ ► Yeah, absolutely. And so why did Epic do it? Well, I mean, obviously they wanted money. They wanted more money. But I think that in a large to a large degree, Epic, as many other people have said, this 30% is just too darn much. The rent is too dang high.
01:05:20 ◼ ► And I don't think that's an unreasonable perspective. And then like the App Store, like this is another different topic. Like is the App Store and App Review reasonable today?
01:05:35 ◼ ► Well, actually, before you get to that, the 30%, 30% being too darn high. Again, consoles also charge 30%. You have to add a slightly qualifier. It's too high for what Epic feels like it's getting for its money.
01:05:47 ◼ ► That's, you know, that's the difference. Why aren't they mad at Microsoft? They're paying Microsoft 30%. Why? How are they happy with that? Because I guess they feel like they're getting value for their money.
01:05:58 ◼ ► Again, maybe they're going to do a branded console. Maybe they're going to help them with marketing. Maybe they're going to advertise their game in their marketing materials. Maybe they have a close relationship about exclusive future games. Like that's corporate relationship management.
01:06:09 ◼ ► Right? That's what the console makers are doing better than Apple. So when we say 30% is too high and someone says, "Uh-uh, Microsoft charges 30% how is that different?" Microsoft is managing the relationship better.
01:06:18 ◼ ► It's more than just that 30% number. Clearly, Epic thinks for this 30%, A, we're not getting enough value and B, there's extra pains in our ass.
01:06:27 ◼ ► Dealing with Apple is worse than dealing with Microsoft. Even though it is harder to get something onto the consoles than it is into the App Store, as far as Epic's concerned, at the level that it plays, it has less of a problem.
01:06:42 ◼ ► Not no problem, because again, I think that Epic is super mad at the console makers too. But so far, not as mad as they are at Apple.
01:06:48 ◼ ► And so, yeah, if you are a platform and you're dealing with an Epic and Epic is important to you and Fortnite is a popular game, manage that relationship better.
01:06:57 ◼ ► So 30% is too high for the value that you think you're getting. That's the qualifier on everything in any sort of relationship. Are we all okay enough with the terms not to literally go to war?
01:07:09 ◼ ► And so far the answer with Apple is, "No, we're not okay." And the other console makers are like, "For now, we're okay enough."
01:07:16 ◼ ► Yeah. And the other thing that got me thinking as I was talking to a friend of mine, and mostly about the idea of like side loading.
01:07:26 ◼ ► So, you know, should it be possible for an iPhone to install an app that somebody downloads over the internet?
01:07:34 ◼ ► So yes, you can side load now with like a developer certificate. And if you sort of kind of know what you're doing, you can even side load using, what is it, Alt Store or something like that.
01:07:43 ◼ ► That again is fiddly and complicated, but you can do it. But should side loading be allowed?
01:07:50 ◼ ► And at first my initial reaction was, "Hell yeah!" Because this is no longer just a phone. This is your primary computing device.
01:08:00 ◼ ► Even for some people like myself, like I spend more time in front of a computer than most people, like a traditional computer.
01:08:08 ◼ ► But nevertheless, in so many ways, I would say my iPhone is my primary computer. And this is getting into the whole like, is the iPhone a console?
01:08:18 ◼ ► Which has floated around many of our friends' podcasts, but particularly on dithering recently.
01:08:23 ◼ ► And whether or not you consider the iPhone a console, I do think that the iPhone is for many people their primary computing device.
01:08:31 ◼ ► And if it's their primary computing device, shouldn't they be able to put whatever software they want on it?
01:08:36 ◼ ► And that's a very slippery slope. And at first I would say yes, and then I thought about it and I was like, "Well, I don't think so actually."
01:08:45 ◼ ► So then that brings up this topic of curation, which is what my friend brought up. Like the App Store is curated.
01:08:51 ◼ ► Now you can take "curated" to mean only the best. You can take "curated" to mean not actively hostile.
01:08:57 ◼ ► You can take "curated" to mean, well, it may be garbage, but at least it doesn't steal your data and crash.
01:09:03 ◼ ► Maybe it's not actively hostile and that it doesn't steal your data, but it also doesn't crash.
01:09:13 ◼ ► And I think that most Apple customers want a more curated experience, however you define curated.
01:09:19 ◼ ► But we are how many years into the iPhone? 13 or something like that? It was 2007, wasn't it?
01:09:25 ◼ ► Okay, so we're 13 years into the iPhone. At this juncture, I feel like it is reasonable to let consumers make more choices for themselves.
01:09:38 ◼ ► I don't know that we really need Big Brother Apple to be running interference for us quite as much as they have been.
01:09:46 ◼ ► Now I wouldn't necessarily take that all the way to allowing sideloading, but for example, the, what was it?
01:09:53 ◼ ► The Xbox thing from last week? I already forgot the name of it. Xbox Live or something like that.
01:10:03 ◼ ► Fair enough. Well, whatever. You know, these streaming gaming services, or even like an emulator.
01:10:08 ◼ ► Like take a Nintendo emulator. One of the things that Apple said is, "Whoa, whoa, whoa, hold on.
01:10:13 ◼ ► We can't verify that all these games are not trash. So no, you can't have that in the App Store. Uh-uh."
01:10:19 ◼ ► Why? Like, let the consumer decide. Well, because they couldn't verify that all these games are going to use an app purchase.
01:10:29 ◼ ► We can't review all these games to comply with this extremely anti-competitive problematic rule that we have.
01:10:33 ◼ ► Right, no, you're right. And so at this point, 13 years on, I mean, the iPhone is almost old enough to get a learner's permit in most American states.
01:10:42 ◼ ► Thirteen years on, I think that customers understand what the iPhone is about, and the iPad too. I'm picking on the iPhone.
01:10:50 ◼ ► But, you know, what iOS is about. And I feel like we should be allowed a little more choice.
01:10:55 ◼ ► And I don't think that we're the scared little children in the corner wondering how to use this new computing platform.
01:11:03 ◼ ► Again, I don't think sideloading is the answer, but I feel like there should be a relaxation of what is allowed on the App Store.
01:11:10 ◼ ► And that doesn't necessarily explicitly relate to Epic, but I think that that's one of these boiling points that I'm seeing lately,
01:11:17 ◼ ► is that people are saying, "We want more choice," and Apple's saying, "Mm, no." And that's crummy, and I don't like it.
01:11:32 ◼ ► Yes, I like that a lot. And I actually don't want sideloading or alternative App Stores.
01:11:42 ◼ ► That's not what I would hope for as an outcome here. I'm totally fine having the App Store continue to be the only way to get apps.
01:11:51 ◼ ► And as a slightly further step from that, I would be okay with sideloading long before I'd be okay with alternative App Stores.
01:12:11 ◼ ► And if that were still allowed, if apps could be installed through enterprise distribution, basically, through that kind of managed sideloading procedure,
01:12:23 ◼ ► but they couldn't themselves then install other apps, so you could have apps that were distributed on websites,
01:12:30 ◼ ► but you couldn't have good alternative App Stores unless they would just be giant web views or something.
01:12:34 ◼ ► But I'd be fine with that too. But ultimately, I actually don't really think either sideloading or alternative App Stores are incredibly necessary or compelling on iOS.
01:12:46 ◼ ► However, the App Store, I think, overstates its value. Apple overstates the App Store's value in terms of curation and user safety.
01:12:59 ◼ ► There's lots of apps in the App Store, I would say the majority of apps in the App Store, that are total garbage.
01:13:06 ◼ ► There's lots of apps in the App Store that steal your personal information in ways that you don't necessarily think or expect or are fully disclosed on.
01:13:13 ◼ ► Many of them by Facebook. There's lots of apps in the App Store that do crash or that don't work as expected or that don't work as advertised
01:13:22 ◼ ► or that don't provide all the functionality because App Review is neither perfect nor thorough nor consistent.
01:13:29 ◼ ► The App Store is not actually providing a huge degree of safety, consumer protection, stuff like that.
01:13:37 ◼ ► Most of the safety and consumer protection come from the operating system. They come from the technological limitations that it isn't that apps aren't reading each other's files and installing persistent demons behind the scenes that you can't uninstall.
01:13:54 ◼ ► They aren't avoiding that because App Store policy wouldn't let them. They don't do that because they can't on iOS.
01:14:01 ◼ ► The OS blocks that kind of behavior. It is literally impossible to do those kind of things on iOS unless you've found some kind of security exploit.
01:14:09 ◼ ► I know the point you're getting at. It's mostly true, but the thing is, practically speaking, if you were able to very easily get people to download applications that Apple never looked at,
01:14:19 ◼ ► the way it would be damaging is because those are the applications that would use private APIs to find the exploit to do the thing.
01:14:28 ◼ ► It's not to say that you can't get something with an exploit through the App Store because if you find a really good exploit, you might not have to use private APIs or do anything that they can detect.
01:14:37 ◼ ► But once you have that side channel, it's way easier once you find an exploit to say, "Now we're home free."
01:14:44 ◼ ► The OS is supposed to stop all of those things, but if you find an exploit and I feel like unfettered access to private APIs and to be able to poke around like that,
01:14:52 ◼ ► that's how you find a hole in the sandbox more easily. In fact, many of the jailbreaks require some kind of in like that where you can get arbitrary code execution so you can get to a private API.
01:15:01 ◼ ► So all I'm saying is it makes it more challenging for the technical limitations you just described to hold.
01:15:07 ◼ ► Because obviously they're not foolproof. And App Review is, even App Review is not foolproof, but App Review is one more stage where Apple can say,
01:15:14 ◼ ► "Okay, are they trying to bypass our technical limitations? Let's use our tools to detect it." Without that extra step, you're just relying on technical barriers and they're never perfect.
01:15:23 ◼ ► Exploits are found all the time. So it is not a completely black and white situation, but certainly most of the benefit that we enjoy is from the technical barriers, not from the "curation."
01:15:39 ◼ ► Sure, but many of those same tools are running through the notarization service. So when you submit your binary for notarization, it's scanning it for a lot of those same kinds of things.
01:15:49 ◼ ► But if you had a side channel, you wouldn't have to notarize it either. The whole point of a side channel is I can somehow distribute this app to users and Apple never sees any part of it.
01:16:01 ◼ ► No, I don't think that's necessarily a given. They could have it work the same way that enterprise distribution works. Well, I don't know, enterprise distribution, I guess, are those binaries ever going through Apple servers?
01:16:11 ◼ ► Well, anyway, it could be like on the Mac, where on the Mac, now with modern OSes, you really have to jump through hoops to run something that's not developer ID signed and I think soon or already notarized.
01:16:23 ◼ ► So they could do the same thing on iOS where they would have to be notarized binaries and everything. So some of that attack area could be reduced. There are ways to get around that.
01:16:31 ◼ ► You can construct the selector from strings. There's all sorts of ways that you could get around their static analysis tools.
01:16:37 ◼ ► And the thing is, companies like Epic, I think the reason Epic wants to relax the rules is if you would just relax the rules a little bit, Epic would find a way to essentially bootstrap their entire store. All they need is a tiny little corner. It's like, "Hey, go to our website and click this link," and it will use some weird exploit to get their foot in the door to bootstrap the process, which will pull down.
01:16:57 ◼ ► It doesn't take much. This is the thing with security flaws. Once you can get that little thin end of the wedge in, and you see it from the easy jailbreak stores and the ways they try to make enterprise certs less annoying, if you can get that in there.
01:17:11 ◼ ► It's worthwhile for a company the size of Epic to play that whack-a-mole game with Apple. We'll use this weird exploit to get the thin edge of the wedge in to be able to bootstrap our store install process, and then once we get that, we're off to the races.
01:17:27 ◼ ► It's worthwhile to them, monetarily speaking, to go through heroic measures to make it as less annoying as they possibly can than all the things that Apple throws up.
01:17:43 ◼ ► I don't think Apple wants to engage in that war. It's more cut and dry when it's like, "There's the App Store and nothing." That's why every time we talk about sideloading, it becomes like, "Eh, eh."
01:17:57 ◼ ► From both perspectives, it seems like it can't be as good from a user's perspective, and then from Apple's perspective, if they open that door even a little bit, it's a new war you're waging on a new front.
01:18:11 ◼ ► Now all of a sudden, we allowed this, but now we have to find everybody who can find the little path that we've allowed and use that to bootstrap their entire universe that is filled with Bitcoin mining or God knows what.
01:18:24 ◼ ► This is why I'm not pushing for sideloading or alternative app stores. I don't think the world would end if we had that, but that's not my ideal outcome. My ideal outcome is the App Store policies get slightly relaxed in the most problematic areas.
01:18:40 ◼ ► I really would not want Apple to totally lose control of distribution and software quality on iOS. They've already lost a lot of it just by size. The value of the App Store from any kind of store perspective, like you were mentioning earlier about game consoles and you have things like cooperative marketing efforts between the platform vendor and the apps and the games and everything.
01:19:03 ◼ ► And here, the App Store does not do much for any apps marketing anymore. There are way too many apps. Not a lot of people are just casually browsing the App Store as a thing that you do every day.
01:19:15 ◼ ► Like when the phone was new, you would just kind of casually browse the App Store because you had no apps. It was like a fun thing to just browse around. "Hey, let's install whatever's here. This looks nice. I'm going on a plane. Let me go to the games page and see what games are new and install some games."
01:19:29 ◼ ► These days, it's a much more mature system with a billion apps in the store. The marketing value is nearly nothing. Even the apps that get featured, they have less traffic going to them than they used to because people aren't doing that in the same way that they used to anymore.
01:19:47 ◼ ► And the App Store design doesn't help either. It's very low information density. You have very few apps per page, etc. So all these things combine to be like this is providing very little marketing benefit.
01:19:57 ◼ ► The hosting benefit is something that exists, but it's something that you could host yourself for pennies or dollars per month. It's not significant that they're offering that.
01:20:09 ◼ ► What the App Store mainly is offering here is that app review process and the payment integration for the upfront purchasing and everything and the ease of the payment integration. That's what they're offering.
01:20:21 ◼ ► So anybody who says 30% is not worth it for that, I agree with. It's not worth it. For Apple to be in a position where they can dictate, "We are going to take 30% of all your money that goes through this platform," was a totally reasonable-ish--
01:20:46 ◼ ► I mean, it was never incredibly great--but a reasonable-ish position to take when they were small. And the argument I made last week is, like what Keesh was saying earlier, this is now a major computing platform.
01:20:57 ◼ ► This is a huge part of lots of people's lives in really critical ways. Imagine a couple of scenarios here to help make this point a little bit better.
01:21:09 ◼ ► A. Imagine if Windows PCs and Macs were this way from the start. Imagine if all PC and Mac software for the entire history of those platforms, Microsoft and Apple respectively, were controlling everything that could possibly ever get written on them and forcing everyone to put 30% of all commerce through them.
01:21:32 ◼ ► Imagine if Google Chrome and Apple Safari and every browser--imagine if web browsers required that all web commerce had to pay them that happened through their browser or they would make their sites un-browsable in their browser.
01:21:50 ◼ ► Imagine, now you might say, "Oh, well, you know, Apple built this whole system on mobile." Okay, that's interesting. Apple's not the only company that has contributed massive critical infrastructure on mobile.
01:22:04 ◼ ► I would argue that if Apple deserves 30% of all transactions that happen on phones, so does your carrier. What if AT&T all of a sudden decided, "You know what? We're going to demand 30% of all transactions that happen through our network." Or you have to remove your phone from our network.
01:22:21 ◼ ► ISPs, broadband, cellular, component makers, network providers. Like, what if Cisco decides, "You know what? All this traffic that's routing through our switches, we built this infrastructure, we deserve 30% of all money that goes through it."
01:22:35 ◼ ► It's a ludicrous argument, and you can start to see how if any company really did this for a large portion of the economy, it would crush that economy and it would severely restrict it. It would cause lots of problems, and everybody would probably be better off.
01:22:53 ◼ ► The entire economy would probably be better off if those gatekeepers did not do that after things get to a certain scale. And you look at game consoles, and game consoles are fundamentally different. They just are.
01:23:08 ◼ ► They're not general purpose computers. They serve a significant part of an economy, but not like a broad part. They serve a narrow part in certain specialized ways, and that's it. General purpose computers, PCs, Macs, and yes, mobile phones, are a much more broad tool.
01:23:27 ◼ ► Much more essential to everyday life. In the same way that certain services like your water and electric supply are regulated as essential services. That's how these computing devices are. They are essential.
01:23:40 ◼ ► And it makes no more sense that Apple deserves 30% of everything that goes through their platform and can dictate everybody that goes on and off of it, than if AT&T, or Comcast, or Cisco, or so many of those other things, if they would do the same thing.
01:23:56 ◼ ► No one here deserves to lock up an entire market in a way that has this much impact on the economy, and has massive anti-competitive forces at play as well. We're beyond that level of companies can do whatever they want because it's their company.
01:24:11 ◼ ► Again, once things get to a certain size, they go beyond that. It is the monopolists' style, and role, and duty to always say, "We built this. We put all this money into it. We deserve to retain our control."
01:24:24 ◼ ► They always say that. Standard Oil, I'm sure, said that. The railroads back in the day, I'm sure they said that too. That is their job to play that card, and to try to drum up public opinion, and the court's opinion to say, "We built this, and we deserve to run it however we want."
01:24:41 ◼ ► But that's not how society works. Capitalism, in its purest sense, doesn't work. You need exceptions and regulations that are part of the system to keep it healthy, and to keep the economy from being locked up, and having these giant monopolies form and crush everything under them.
01:24:57 ◼ ► And this is that size now. This is that kind of thing. And in the same way that AT&T shouldn't be able to say, "We are now going to just take 30% of all your money that goes through our network," Apple is now too big for that.
01:25:12 ◼ ► And their platform needs to be regulated to preserve this entire section of our economy, of our society, of everyday consumer and business usage of their platforms. They need regulation. They are too big to have the control that they have, and the way they exercise their power.
01:25:33 ◼ ► They are just too big and too important for that now, and the needs of society are now above that.
01:25:39 ◼ ► I've still been studiously avoiding the antitrust stuff, and I don't want to delve into it at this late stage in this episode, but I will leave it in the topic list because I'll give my take on antitrust stuff maybe next episode.
01:25:49 ◼ ► But I do want to save myself from another flurry of emails, assuming there's no bugs outside my window. First, the name of the XCloud thing, Project XCloud was their streaming gaming thing.
01:25:59 ◼ ► It's just going to be part of Xbox Game Pass, which is their subscription gaming service. It'll be part of Xbox Game Pass Ultimate.
01:26:06 ◼ ► Second item, I mentioned Microsoft and Gears of War branded Xbox and all that other stuff.
01:26:13 ◼ ► Microsoft actually bought Gears of War a couple years back, bought the entire franchise. That, I imagine, is another example of corporate relationship management.
01:26:24 ◼ ► It's not like Microsoft stole it from Epic. They bought it with lots and lots of money. We'll make a game that'll be exclusive for your platform, and then, "Oh, well, actually, we'd like to make a new franchise," and Microsoft's like, "Well, we kind of like Unreal. Let's come to agreement. Here's a giant bucket of money. Can we have Gears of War? Here you go. Here's Gears of War."
01:26:45 ◼ ► That's better corporate relationship management and talent retention than Apple is doing. Somebody in the chat room earlier said that, "I can't believe he's listening to Apple fans arguing against the walled garden. Why don't you just use Android if that's your argument?"
01:27:00 ◼ ► I don't think any of us are arguing against the walled garden. We're just saying we'd like the garden to be better tended, right? Or we'd like the rules of the garden to be different. In fact, we just got done talking about sideloading.
01:27:11 ◼ ► We're not arguing against the walled garden. It's not a walled garden anymore. It's more of a walled prison. It's not fun to be in here. We're not frolicking through the flowers and sitting on a bench and appreciating nature. Some people are angry.
01:27:23 ◼ ► It doesn't mean the concept of a walled garden or a curated space is bad. Again, game consoles. Game consoles are the most walled garden. They have extremely closed walls, very tight control. I like game consoles for those reasons because the platform owners who succeed learn how to cultivate with both money and encouragement and marketing and every tool they can possibly imagine talent that makes creative things.
01:27:49 ◼ ► We talked about this with Apple Arcade. Apple kind of got a tiny bit of a clue of like, "Hmm, maybe we should give people money to make good games for our platform." But the scale they're doing with Apple Arcade is nothing compared to the scale the console makers do it.
01:28:05 ◼ ► Console makers, how much money does Sony pay to Naughty Dog to put The Last of Us exclusively on that platform? That bucket of money could pay for all of Apple Arcade 75 times over. Now, Apple might say they're being savvy in saying, "We're not putting all our money into these big buckets."
01:28:19 ◼ ► But there's a reason when everyone says AAA games, most people don't think of phones or iPads. Even though there are some really great games for phones and iPads, I still think Apple doesn't quite understand.
01:28:30 ◼ ► But anyway, getting back to walled gardens, I personally love walled gardens that are beautiful gardens. They have walls, but the beauty of the garden is worth it enough for me to pay the admission, to get the console, to sit down and play the set of games that Sony has decided are allowed to be on their platform.
01:28:46 ◼ ► And given the amount of time I have, I appreciate the fact that of all the games on the platform, I could actually scroll through the list of all of them, and there's a small enough number, and the best ones are really, really good. That's why I keep buying Sony consoles.
01:29:00 ◼ ► So, like I said, I don't want to get into my personal take on the antitrust stuff now, because we have so much Ask ATP that I think I want to get to, but I wanted to address those small items just so we get slightly less feedback.
01:29:10 ◼ ► And by the way, if you already tweeted at me before you got to this point in the show, that happens. What can you do?
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01:31:29 ◼ ► I'm going to put this together. This is a search engine for Ask ATP questions and answers. This was born from me saying, "Why is it that we're asked how to move things between computers 85 times a year?"
01:31:43 ◼ ► And so Brendan took it upon himself to put this together and it is stupendous. So thank you Brendan for doing that. That is extremely cool and I'm sure took forever.
01:31:52 ◼ ► Moving on. Nathaniel Cohen writes, "I have a three external monitor and laptop screen setup. Two of those monitors are identical with the same make and model. The OS therefore seems unable to reliably identify them.
01:32:06 ◼ ► Their identities frequently become swapped and I usually have a once per day fun time with the Mac OS monitor arrangement/resolution configurator.
01:32:15 ◼ ► This functionality for configuring monitors as exposed by the OS is horrendous. The arrangement tab does not identify any of the monitors even when you click and drag to adjust their position. You have no idea which monitor you are affecting.
01:32:25 ◼ ► Similarly, the UI for display configuration is needlessly spread out across N windows if you have N monitors and it's impossible to tell if two monitors have the same make and model, which window corresponds to which monitor."
01:32:49 ◼ ► First of all, it's been so long since I used multiple monitors that I actually had to connect to my external monitor, my external monitor, the surrogate, which is my sidecar iPad to confirm this.
01:33:04 ◼ ► I don't mind too old to remember how it used to be, but I double checked and of course now I forgot again. Anyway, Mac OS has pretty much always had a way to do exactly one of the things he's asking for, which is, "What monitor is this?"
01:33:15 ◼ ► In the arrange panel where it shows you little squares or rectangles, each one represents your monitor.
01:33:20 ◼ ► If you have one big monitor and one small monitor, it's easy to tell which is which. The big one is the big monitor and the small one is the small monitor.
01:33:26 ◼ ► But what if you have monitors that are exactly the same size? How do you tell which is which?
01:33:31 ◼ ► If you just click and hold on the little rectangle, it will put a red border around the monitor that you are clicking and holding on.
01:33:37 ◼ ► You'll click and hold in the little preference pane on a little tiny representation of your monitor, but then that actual monitor will get a giant red outline around it in real life if you look at it.
01:33:46 ◼ ► Anyway, that feature does exist. It's not obvious that it's there, but you can identify the monitors in that way.
01:33:55 ◼ ► The other part of this, though, has a tie-in to one of my Switch Glass War stories, which I'm not going to have time to go into entirely here, but I will give the short version of it, which is when you have monitors connected to your computer...
01:34:08 ◼ ► Actually, before I get to that, the thing about the windows being spread out, this is the thing that Mac OS does and has always done, I think, for adjusting monitors.
01:34:16 ◼ ► If you try to adjust the settings on the monitor, you have system preferences open and you've got the monitor preference pane.
01:34:21 ◼ ► And when you pull up the monitor's preference pane, whatever your main window is that has system preferences on it will show the monitor's thing.
01:34:29 ◼ ► But then on every other monitor, you'll also see a little miniature monitor's preference pane that has the settings that apply to that monitor.
01:34:38 ◼ ► So if you want to change the resolution of a particular monitor, you bring your mouse cursor to that monitor where there is a window sitting there that says pick one of these resolutions, pick this color depth, whatever, pick this rotation thing.
01:34:49 ◼ ► And the window in that monitor applies to that monitor. That's a system that they use for a long time. It's a little bit easier than having to do like, okay, well, first I click the little representation of my monitor and then now I know my future changes apply to that monitor.
01:35:02 ◼ ► Like, it's better when they, I think, it's better when every single monitor has dead center on it, a window, and that window controls the monitor that it's on.
01:35:11 ◼ ► In fact, I like that feature so much that when I made Switch Glass, one of the features I wanted to have is that the little switchy palette thingy, you get one of those on each monitor.
01:35:20 ◼ ► And if you want to adjust the settings, I made one preference window, or I tried to do this, I muddled it a little bit. Anyway, I made a preference window.
01:35:31 ◼ ► And if you want to adjust the settings of the little palette on that monitor, you use the preference window that's on that monitor.
01:35:36 ◼ ► So I used the same approach, which most people maybe aren't familiar with or that seems weird, but to me it seems a fairly clean way to do it.
01:35:43 ◼ ► I muddled it because I put global settings at the bottom, but then I labeled them global settings. Anyway, it's whatever.
01:35:48 ◼ ► Anyway, this problem of like, okay, that's the app that I wanted to make in Switch Glass. Seems easy.
01:35:55 ◼ ► I'll walk through the list of monitors and I'll put a little, on first launch, I'll put a little palette on every single monitor.
01:36:02 ◼ ► And then when people make, you know, preferences, they'll change the settings. And then when they change the settings, I'll save them.
01:36:10 ◼ ► But I have to save the settings for each monitor. Like, all right, I made this palette like really big in the upper right.
01:36:16 ◼ ► So I got to say, okay, really big in the upper right applies to this monitor. Well, what is this monitor?
01:36:28 ◼ ► I need some way to identify monitors. So I'm going to save, I'm going to save this state. I'm going to save somehow this monitor.
01:36:34 ◼ ► And I thought foolishly this would be an easy thing to do. There's probably some API you call that just gives you some kind of identifier for the monitor that's unique to that monitor and you just save it.
01:36:42 ◼ ► But, you know, nothing, nothing in software development is ever that easy, especially in this weird edge case areas that I'm wondering in Mac OS, right?
01:36:51 ◼ ► Turns out there is no really good way to do that. There's a bunch of ways to look super tempting. One of them is like a monitor ID or display ID that you get.
01:36:59 ◼ ► And the very first thing I did is that display ID. There you go. That's easy. And it's like some big number.
01:37:04 ◼ ► And if you save that number when you launch it again and you set and you look up the just go through all the displays, you'll find the same ID and it matches up like this is great.
01:37:14 ◼ ► I'm like, oh, but what if this number changes every time you reboot? So I rebooted my computer. Number stayed the same.
01:37:19 ◼ ► I'm like, well, problem solved. This is like day one. What a great developer I am. I've just solved this problem. No, that's a trap.
01:37:27 ◼ ► So I forget what it is. Like Apple doesn't promise that this thing does what it does, but it's called like ID or something. And practically speaking, it works.
01:37:35 ◼ ► So like I figured I was done. And then I started getting weird bug reports from people. And it turns out if you have a Mac laptop with a discrete and an integrated GPU, when it switches from the discrete to the integrated GPU, that number changes.
01:37:48 ◼ ► And the bug reports I was getting for this were mind bending because I was like, A, this never happens for me. And B, what in the world are you talking about?
01:37:58 ◼ ► Like, what do you mean? Like when I do it? Because again, they would do something unknowingly that triggered the use of the discrete GPU.
01:38:05 ◼ ► And if they did that and then they launched the app, like it would pull the settings from the discrete GPU number because the numbers were stable, but they were different numbers for discrete and integrated.
01:38:14 ◼ ► It took me so long to figure that out. Anyway, that doesn't work. So I need some other way to identify it.
01:38:21 ◼ ► There's a bunch of info you can get using weird-ass C APIs that tell you the vendor, the make, the model number, and the serial number.
01:38:29 ◼ ► Like, I'm home free because even if you have the exact same monitor, they're not going to have the same serial number, right?
01:38:44 ◼ ► Maybe you need -- in case you should know, this is your computer engineer. Hardware sucks.
01:38:49 ◼ ► You buy some random-ass monitor and you call these APIs, oh, this one doesn't return anything for serial number.
01:38:56 ◼ ► This one doesn't return anything for model number. This one doesn't return anything for vendor.
01:39:01 ◼ ► And the API is to say you can call this API and it will return a number representing the vendor or it will return FFFFFFF.
01:39:11 ◼ ► And monitors in the real world -- and I need all three. I can't just do make and model because, again, if you have two identical monitors, which a lot of people have, I still can't tell what monitor is.
01:39:26 ◼ ► And then the internal display sometimes returns weird stuff because the internal display is made by weird different manufacturers, right?
01:39:33 ◼ ► So that little API is out the window. Can't use that because hardware is like, gosh, I don't have a serial number. I don't know what you're talking about.
01:39:39 ◼ ► Finally, what I settled on was there's a color -- what is it? Color sync? Some color space -- there's some API that does some crap that I don't understand out of the covers that gives me a number that is my best effort.
01:39:52 ◼ ► It is like -- it's stable across GPU switches. Even on monitors that don't return a serial number, it returns a stable identifier.
01:40:00 ◼ ► I honestly have no idea where it's coming from and I think it's related to color sync thing, but the OS does have some way to identify the monitor.
01:40:07 ◼ ► I don't think that is even 100% reliable, but it's reliable enough that I no longer get these bug reports.
01:40:12 ◼ ► All this long story has to say that the act of identifying a monitor so that you know the next time the computer breaks up -- that's the same monitor I saw before -- is actually extremely difficult.
01:40:23 ◼ ► And it would not surprise me if the Herculean efforts that I went through to make sure this works in all weird scenarios is not what the monitor arrangement handling of Mac OS proper goes through.
01:40:38 ◼ ► Because I can imagine Mac OS proper might use, for example, the make, model, and serial number and just say, "Well, of course everything always returns a serial number," and then just not care about some cheap knockoff monitor that doesn't do that.
01:40:50 ◼ ► Or maybe the color sync thing or whatever it is that I'm using -- one of the failure modes is in Nathaniel's specific case with his specific monitors.
01:41:00 ◼ ► So I don't have a good answer for you, but I can tell you that this problem is not well solved in Mac OS, and it doesn't surprise me that you're having these problems.
01:41:10 ◼ ► And I would love -- I mean, I'll just file this on a radar at some point or a feedback or whatever -- I would love for Apple to provide APIs that perform this function because I think being able to identify the same monitor across boots is important.
01:41:24 ◼ ► I kind of feel frappled, though, because if you literally have an identical monitor and that monitor just lies or just doesn't tell you anything about itself, and there's another one right next to it that does the exact same thing, how do you tell which monitor?
01:41:37 ◼ ► Maybe someone under the covers -- again, the GPU identifier -- but on boot up when it senses these two monitors, maybe you could tell what port they're connected to? I don't even know.
01:41:47 ◼ ► Anyway, this is a hard problem. I'm sorry, Nathaniel, and it's one of my many miniature war stories about dealing with switch glass, and I feel for all of us.
01:41:57 ◼ ► Just have a single monitor. That's the solution. Get a really, really big $5,000 monitor. That's my advice.
01:42:05 ◼ ► You know what? I had actually forgotten about the stand until Marco said that, so thank you.
01:42:12 ◼ ► Let's not forget. Mike Milonazzo, or perhaps Casey List, writes, "As a part-time developer with no design skills, I struggle with finding ways to improve the look and overall design of my apps.
01:42:23 ◼ ► I can't afford to pay anyone to help at this point, so I'm looking for resources that I can learn from.
01:42:27 ◼ ► I often look at popular apps as well as other apps in the same space as my apps, but I feel like it's one of those 'you don't know what you don't know' situations where I might not recognize small details -- buttons with a slight shadow, spacing on different elements, etc.
01:42:40 ◼ ► Do you know of any websites or YouTube channels that do app teardowns that could be a good way for me to hear experts give constructive feedback?
01:42:46 ◼ ► Any other resources you can recommend a part-time developer with little artistic sensibilities?
01:43:05 ◼ ► I, too, have been a developer with no design skills that couldn't afford to pay someone else for help.
01:43:12 ◼ ► I have now moved into being a developer with some design skills who doesn't feel like paying people for help because I like doing everything myself if I can, and it has all sorts of benefits for things like speed and workflow and everything doing it that way.
01:43:26 ◼ ► First of all, there's no shame in this. My apps are kind of ugly and I don't know how to help and I can't afford a designer.
01:43:45 ◼ ► And don't be afraid to actually address this and call it out in public and be vulnerable in this way and solicit feedback from people who will give it.
01:44:08 ◼ ► Because when it comes to things like sizing of controls, spacing, a lot of design comes down to just following the platform standard.
01:44:37 ◼ ► I was going to say, are they looking to flirt with you or something? Is this like a late 90s, early 2000s date movie?
01:45:25 ◼ ► And this goes to not only how you lay out your text, but where you lay it out in the UI,
01:45:33 ◼ ► what style of text you use for different elements, what sizing, what spacing, how you word things,
01:45:45 ◼ ► And all of the, the style of how to do that is all spelled out in various style guides all over the place.
01:46:50 ◼ ► So for instance, if you want to do something like add a custom font, that's a risky move.
02:06:46 ◼ ► Not always, it doesn't have to be that way, but often if you're driving with the quickness
02:06:56 ◼ ► And then on the way out of the turn, you're going to want to stand on that gas as much as you can
02:07:05 ◼ ► So the idea is, you will start your braking and then press your foot on the clutch to come down a gear
02:07:12 ◼ ► And then as you're braking and your foot is on the clutch, you're already on top of two pedals
02:07:18 ◼ ► You would like to do that blip of the throttle to do the rev matching that we were just talking about
02:07:28 ◼ ► And so what you would do is, you would blip the throttle with potentially your heel, potentially your toe
02:08:34 ◼ ► And if you're popping the clutch or doing a whole bunch of things in serial rather than parallel
02:08:51 ◼ ► Because again for me it's a roll with the left side of the foot on the brake, right side of the foot on the gas
02:10:43 ◼ ► Or if you're in a situation where you, maybe you're on a slick road or something like that
02:11:08 ◼ ► It had four gears plus an overdrive button and second gear was not going to send you anywhere
02:11:53 ◼ ► It had more than a giant Volvo wagon that probably weighed a million tons with a 75 horsepower engine
02:11:59 ◼ ► All I'm saying is if you're in a modern car and you're in like snow or something like that
02:12:28 ◼ ► Although in a modern car you're probably going to need to turn off traction control and all that jazz
02:12:45 ◼ ► I'm of this podcast the only person who has successfully taught another human how to drive stick as far as I know
02:13:21 ◼ ► But it is more stress on the clutch in a situation when you wouldn't be doing it at all
02:13:34 ◼ ► Then the transmission is connected to the engine and all of a sudden it speeds the engine up
02:20:10 ◼ ► The same exact pedals that you would get for shifting that Corvette if you didn't have a stick
02:20:16 ◼ ► I don't think it said rev match at the top, but otherwise I think we're saying the same thing
02:20:23 ◼ ► I was laughing at that part, like, "Why the hell does this car have these giant paddles?"
02:20:26 ◼ ► Like, "Oh, so it can be the same steering wheel, so they don't have to have a second part"
02:20:54 ◼ ► I don't know if it's because my little Hondas don't have pedal spacing or positioning that is amenable to it
02:20:58 ◼ ► But I am so bad at it that I've never been successful enough at it to find it to be enjoyable or useful
02:21:07 ◼ ► With the things I already described, just like human rev matching and careful clutch engagement
02:21:36 ◼ ► I assure you that none of the Hondas that I've ever owned had a notion that people are going to try to heel-toe
02:21:52 ◼ ► And double clutching, they said, "Yeah, you don't need to do it because of the synchros"
02:21:55 ◼ ► And by the way, the synchros are the thing that make sure that when you engage the gear
02:21:58 ◼ ► That the actual gears that are going to engage with each other are turning at the correct speed
02:22:02 ◼ ► So you don't take a tooth gear turning faster than another tooth gear and try to mesh them
02:22:06 ◼ ► Double clutching on the big trucks, I don't actually know how they work on behind the scenes
02:22:20 ◼ ► And I think you're actually also responsible for modulating the throttle to get the engine up to speed
02:22:28 ◼ ► You're essentially taking two big metal gears moving at different speeds and trying to mesh them
02:22:35 ◼ ► But for cars with synchros, I don't know if I just, there's this crop of weirdos that I went to high school with
02:23:01 ◼ ► But unless you're driving a semi that requires it, double clutching is not a thing you need to know exists or learn how to do
02:23:38 ◼ ► But anyway, if you're going to drive stick, like, don't let this conversation turn you off of it
02:23:51 ◼ ► So it's like, I drove stick for all that time and, yeah, never had to do almost any of this stuff
02:24:18 ◼ ► Everyone like, oh, well, you know, everyone knows how to drive and people are good drivers and bad drivers
02:24:22 ◼ ► But the range of, like, the things I've seen people do in a car where they're ostensibly driving stick sometimes boggle my mind
02:24:44 ◼ ► Like people who own stick shift cars and you get in the car with them and you're just, like, biting your tongue
02:24:49 ◼ ► And saying, what are you doing? And you're jostling around and they don't know how to engage the clutch and everything
02:25:02 ◼ ► The more this problem will solve itself because the only people who have them are hopefully people who know how to do it
02:25:14 ◼ ► Yeah, and like Marco said, this is expert level and extraordinarily fast data dump as to what Jon and I think about driving a stick
02:25:26 ◼ ► And you probably won't hear 80% of this because Marco doesn't care about it and he'll cut it before it gets released
02:25:37 ◼ ► You'll find somebody who will look like a wise expert and will tell you that you should double clutch your car with synchros
02:25:49 ◼ ► If you don't I feel like your car is less safe because you have way worse braking power
02:25:57 ◼ ► Do not stop your car from 80 on the highway down to zero with the clutch depressed the whole time
02:26:14 ◼ ► And then I eventually developed that skill and that was like a significant betterment of my stick driving abilities
02:26:20 ◼ ► I actually don't think it makes any difference in terms of the ability for the brakes to stop the car
02:26:50 ◼ ► You know the kinetic energy as translated through the wheels through the axle into the transmission
02:27:07 ◼ ► Well not only that but the engine vacuum is doing way more than just like spinning up the engine every time you shift
02:27:23 ◼ ► So you are bleeding off speed by using it to constantly spin the engine up from a lower RPM
02:27:33 ◼ ► And then the second thing is even if the brakes have the ability to stop in the same distance
02:27:51 ◼ ► If you ask the brakes to do the whole job themselves you're asking a lot of your brakes
02:28:01 ◼ ► Maybe drum brakes in the back and tiny little you know discs with you know wimpy calipers in the front
02:28:12 ◼ ► Suppose you're driving down a mountain and so you're going downhill for like 15 minutes straight
02:28:47 ◼ ► And then you suddenly need to use the accelerator to swerve around a child or a dog or something
02:28:54 ◼ ► You want to be in gear already so all you have to do is slide your foot off the brake and onto the gas to get power
02:29:02 ◼ ► Such that you're either going to bog when you try to go or you're just not going to have any forward motion at all
02:29:07 ◼ ► Yeah and if you're in gear if you're in the correct gear for the whatever speed you're decelerating in
02:29:26 ◼ ► Like I said even if you're just downshifting through the gears even if you don't even engage the clutch between some of them
02:29:31 ◼ ► Just constantly being in the right gear is getting you so that if you did need to use the gas for whatever reason
02:29:41 ◼ ► Because the process is not just getting into gear the process is decide what gear is appropriate for the current speed
02:30:16 ◼ ► As you slow down automatic transmissions will downshift to be ready to be in the appropriate gear and to do you know so
02:30:25 ◼ ► Like you can't just put the DCT in neutral very easily and coast to a stop like it really fights you on that