00:00:08 ◼ ► From Relay FM, this is Upgrade, episode 229. Today's show is brought to you by Freshbooks,
00:00:15 ◼ ► Luna Display, and Squarespace. My name is Myke Hurley, and I am joined by Mr. Jason Snell. Hi, Jason Snell.
00:00:21 ◼ ► Hello, Myke Hurley. How is Seattle, Washington? I am, yes, I'm in a hotel room in Seattle, having just
00:00:27 ◼ ► attended the second PodCon. It was wonderful. I really like Seattle. I like that we're on—well,
00:00:33 ◼ ► I kind of like that we're on the same time zone. I don't like recording at nine in the morning, but
00:00:38 ◼ ► here we are anyway. Welcome to my world! It's 9 a.m. Pacific on—it's not Monday, it's Tuesday
00:00:43 ◼ ► as we're recording this, because I had some travel for the holiday weekend in the U.S., and so we
00:00:48 ◼ ► pushed the release back a day. But yes, this is what it's like for me. 9 a.m. podcast is what I do,
00:00:53 ◼ ► Myke. Nobody cares about this, Jason. We have a Snell Talk question from Mark, and today Mark asks,
00:01:03 ◼ ► if you don't know—"what position would you want to hold, and which Enterprise would you want to be on?"
00:01:19 ◼ ► chance of having to put on a red shirt and then being killed by an alien. So what I want to say
00:01:28 ◼ ► is, like, I want to be the cruise director on Captain Picard's Enterprise, the Enterprise-D,
00:01:34 ◼ ► because—is that a job? You know, basically, like, it's like a big cruise ship, right? No threats,
00:01:39 ◼ ► just hanging out like it's the love boat or something. You want to work on the entertainment.
00:01:44 ◼ ► Yeah, that's right. I do some, you know, I take reservations for the holodeck, stuff like that.
00:01:53 ◼ ► The fun answer would be, I'm going to be the navigator on Captain Kirk's Enterprise, because
00:02:02 ◼ ► there were lots of them over time, because, you know, Chekov wasn't there in the first season and
00:02:07 ◼ ► all that, and that seems like a fun job. There's lots of buttons and switches to flip, and you get
00:02:11 ◼ ► to, like, go, you know, warp factor eight and, you know, steer us hard about and all of that kind of
00:02:18 ◼ ► stuff, and that would be fun. So that's my fantasy answer, but my real answer is, what would be the
00:02:24 ◼ ► safest place for me to be on the Starship Enterprise? Yeah, I don't think that I would be
00:02:29 ◼ ► very well equipped to do any of that stuff. Like, if there was—I like the idea of cruise director.
00:02:35 ◼ ► That seems like a fun thing. Do they have podcasters on the Star Trek spaceships? I mean,
00:02:41 ◼ ► technically, I think we would be in the communications department, right? We'd have to,
00:02:44 ◼ ► like, open the hailing frequencies and stuff like that, and we'd say, "Lieutenant Hurley,
00:02:49 ◼ ► contact the Klingon ship," and you'd go, "Boop, boop, boop, boop. Hello, Klingons. Would you like to hear a podcast?"
00:02:56 ◼ ► I feel like I have a pretty high rank as lieutenant on that, just for that. That seems like a great
00:03:06 ◼ ► question to help us open a future episode of Upgrade, just send in a tweet with the hashtag
00:03:11 ◼ ► #SNELTALK. A couple of items of follow-up. So last week we were talking about the potential for the
00:03:16 ◼ ► iPhone to get three cameras, and one of the things we were talking about was a proposed mock-up based
00:03:21 ◼ ► upon "information," you know, in quotation marks, from an account, Twitter account @onleaks, who seems
00:03:29 ◼ ► to have had some interesting stuff in the past. They posted a different prototype based on more
00:03:34 ◼ ► information of the three camera setup. Now, you know, we spoke about the idea maybe they were
00:03:40 ◼ ► going to do that weird square with the cameras all at different places, maybe there's some benefit to
00:03:54 ◼ ► orientation in the middle of the back of the phone, but it looks very much like the current
00:03:59 ◼ ► kind of design with just like the oval with the cameras inside. Now, this feels way more
00:04:07 ◼ ► to me like something Apple would do visually, but again, I don't know how it helps by having the
00:04:15 ◼ ► three cameras in that exact arrangement. Yeah, that's the great mystery here is, is it a, you know,
00:04:21 ◼ ► is it a deeper zoom? Are they trying to, you know, there's lots of possibilities for what it could be
00:04:28 ◼ ► if it has three cameras on the back. It is a mystery. So I guess we'll see. But this is the
00:04:34 ◼ ► trade-off of not being able to have a super thick space in your phone for a big long lens,
00:04:39 ◼ ► is that instead they, you know, sometimes you just stack on a bunch of different cameras that are
00:04:44 ◼ ► built for different tasks and you kind of move among them. I don't know, it'll be fun to watch
00:04:50 ◼ ► as the rumors continue. These seem less like rumors and more like, you know, conceptions
00:04:59 ◼ ► based on a spec rumor. Yeah, some information leaked out somewhere and then somebody's made
00:05:05 ◼ ► a design that they think matches that information effectively. Yeah. But this one is much more
00:05:10 ◼ ► appealing to me visually than the one we spoke about last week. Sure. And at some point,
00:05:14 ◼ ► presumably, if it's like every other year that there's been an iPhone, there will be a different
00:05:20 ◼ ► kind of leak that will be more specific about the actual placement. And that happens a little bit
00:05:25 ◼ ► later in the year. Not too much later, but a little bit later. And that's the one where there's
00:05:30 ◼ ► almost like a, you know, somebody describes it or somebody has a really low resolution image
00:05:34 ◼ ► or something, and then somebody turns that into a render. And that's the sort of like, this is where
00:05:38 ◼ ► we think it'll be and how it'll look, but we don't have that now. It's sort of the, it's the early
00:05:43 ◼ ► part of iPhone rumor season. So we just have a vague idea that there might be three cameras on
00:05:47 ◼ ► the back of the max. Yes, of the max. Oh, so I've got some follow-up as well, Myke. Okay.
00:05:53 ◼ ► I just want, it's not really follow-up sort of, it's follow out, I guess, to the TV Talk Machine
00:05:58 ◼ ► podcast, but I want to mention it here because I think listeners of the show might like it.
00:06:02 ◼ ► There's a show currently airing on the National Geographic channel or Nat Geo, as they want all
00:06:08 ◼ ► the cool kids to call it, but they don't. It's called Valley of the Boom. It's a six part
00:06:15 ◼ ► miniseries about the early days of the web in Silicon Valley. It's three interlocking stories.
00:06:21 ◼ ► It's Netscape and the IPO of Netscape, which was dominant and then was crushed by Microsoft. It's
00:06:28 ◼ ► a site called The Globe, which it was Facebook before Facebook, a little too much before
00:06:34 ◼ ► Facebook, which is why nobody has ever heard of theglobe.com, and a streaming site run by a guy
00:06:40 ◼ ► who is a complete fraud, who just stole people's money. And so those three interlocking stories
00:06:48 ◼ ► happen. And then it's told in this hybrid format. It's similar to what they did on Nat Geo with
00:06:52 ◼ ► the show Mars. Although I think it's done a little more artfully on Valley of the Boom,
00:06:56 ◼ ► where you have actors who are acting out things that happened theoretically in the 90s and telling
00:07:03 ◼ ► that story like a drama would, like a traditional drama. But there are also interviews with the
00:07:08 ◼ ► participants from the present day and they go back and forth. So a lot of times you'll see
00:07:14 ◼ ► Jim Barksdale talking about the early days of Netscape, and then you cut to a scene where that
00:07:20 ◼ ► is going on. And his comments, he's almost commenting on what's going on, very cleverly
00:07:26 ◼ ► done. It's not the usual kind of drama format or documentary format. It's this weird hybrid, but
00:07:32 ◼ ► I liked it and it gets pretty meta at several points where characters talk to the screen. One
00:07:38 ◼ ► of the actors playing one of the parts poses as the person doing the present day interview until
00:07:44 ◼ ► they're informed that they're an actor and they're not the actual guy. There's some really kind of
00:07:50 ◼ ► quirky, funny stuff too. And the 90s on the internet, this is like, it's almost like the
00:07:56 ◼ ► Pirates of Silicon Valley for the birth of the commercial web and internet. So I don't know where
00:08:03 ◼ ► it's available outside the US or when it will be available there. Currently airing on Nat Geo if
00:08:08 ◼ ► you've got cable or access in some other way to National Geographic Channel on demand or something
00:08:14 ◼ ► like that, you might be able to dig it up. And I think it's airing for the next three or four weeks
00:08:18 ◼ ► too. But Valley of the Boom, it was fun. I've seen the first half of it so far and it's
00:08:26 ◼ ► pretty good. So for those who are intrigued, check it out. So let's move into Upstream. As of today,
00:08:33 ◼ ► it was announced the Academy Award nominations were announced and there's some interesting stuff
00:08:36 ◼ ► in there. But as it pertains to this segment, Netflix have received 10 Academy Award nominations
00:08:43 ◼ ► for their movie Roma, which they made a real big deal out of, as you can see, quite rightly. So
00:08:48 ◼ ► this is going to be big for Netflix because I would say the odds are on for them that they will
00:08:53 ◼ ► walk away with at least an Oscar for an original movie, which is a pretty big deal for them. So
00:09:00 ◼ ► we'll be talking about that later on next month when the Oscars happen. Yeah, it's good. It's an
00:09:07 ◼ ► interesting sign that in the end, the Academy cares more about the art of Alfonso Cuaron
00:09:13 ◼ ► than it does about the politics of Netflix. Which is great. Because that was the question.
00:09:17 ◼ ► Yep. It was like, will they downgrade? And they still might for the final voting. It's probably
00:09:21 ◼ ► not going to win Best Picture. Probably not. Although it might. It's got a chance, I would say.
00:09:26 ◼ ► But we'll see how that goes. But it tied for the most nominations. So clearly, whatever suppression,
00:09:34 ◼ ► you know, the politics of Netflix versus the Academy regarding, you know, it's a streaming
00:09:38 ◼ ► service versus a traditional theatrical release and all of that seems to have not had any
00:09:42 ◼ ► appreciable impact here. And NBCUniversal is working on a streaming service, of course,
00:09:51 ◼ ► because who isn't? They are looking to launch an ad supported, but I'll get back to that in a
00:09:56 ◼ ► minute, direct to consumer service in 2020. Bonnie Hammer, who was previously the cable chief,
00:10:03 ◼ ► has been put in charge of the effort. So NBCUniversal are going to be showing their own
00:10:08 ◼ ► content, new and old, and also offering some content from outside partners. So here's where
00:10:13 ◼ ► it gets a little bit confusing, but it is interesting. If you already pay for NBC via a
00:10:19 ◼ ► cable provider, you're going to get the service for free potentially with ads, maybe would not,
00:10:24 ◼ ► right? They are also planning a paid version with no ads if you don't have cable as well. So you can
00:10:30 ◼ ► get it straight over the top. Okay. It is confusing enough that you've only described two of the four
00:10:34 ◼ ► ways you can get this. Oh my God. Okay. So I believe what they're saying is, if you have
00:10:39 ◼ ► cable, this is so the easiest way to think of this is they're kind of doing a CBS All Access,
00:10:43 ◼ ► where in the US CBS All Access, the way it works is they've got original shows like Star Trek
00:10:48 ◼ ► Discovery, which just came back and The Good Fight, and they're doing a new Twilight Zone
00:10:52 ◼ ► version, and they're doing a bunch of other Star Trek and a bunch of stuff like that. Those are
00:10:55 ◼ ► their originals. And you also have access to basically all the CBS shows that are on the CBS
00:11:00 ◼ ► network and their library, and not just like the latest five, like on Hulu, but like the whole
00:11:05 ◼ ► season and all the previous seasons, and it's all there for you. So, and you pay for it. And there's
00:11:10 ◼ ► one price for CBS All Access that shows it to you with ads, and there's another price that shows it
00:11:15 ◼ ► all to you without ads, which is actually kind of fun for the network stuff, because it means that
00:11:19 ◼ ► you can watch their network programming without ads if you pay them enough. What NBC wants to do
00:11:25 ◼ ► is, and they made a big deal of, is this idea that primary, the primary audience for this is going to
00:11:31 ◼ ► be people who already have cable. So it's a streaming service where they're talking up the
00:11:35 ◼ ► non-cable cutter aspect of it, which is kind of bizarre. But what they're basically saying is,
00:11:39 ◼ ► and this is them walking away from Hulu, I think, because they still own 30% of Hulu and they play,
00:11:44 ◼ ► they're playing it coy about whether they'll sell it to Disney, which owns basically the rest of it.
00:11:49 ◼ ► But this is basically their own Hulu, which is, if you're paying for cable, you will get to log in
00:11:54 ◼ ► to NBC streaming service and watch it for free with ads. So it's basically a replacement for
00:12:01 ◼ ► NBC.com video streaming. They'll take all the Saturday Night Live content that they put on there
00:12:06 ◼ ► and they'll put it on this service instead, and they'll put it behind a wall, but it's not just
00:12:10 ◼ ► a paywall. It's a login wall if you've got cable. So that's option one. Option two is, if you don't
00:12:16 ◼ ► want to see the ads and you're a cable subscriber, you'll be able to give them money and turn off the
00:12:20 ◼ ► ads like CBS All Access. If you're a cord cutter, you can pay, I believe the plan is a little bit
00:12:26 ◼ ► like CBS All Access to get it with ads and more to get it without ads. So four different options
00:12:33 ◼ ► based on whether you have cable or not, and you want to see ads or not. It's super confusing. Tim
00:12:37 ◼ ► Goodman wrote a great piece, who I do the TV Talk Machine podcast with, where he basically said,
00:12:42 ◼ ► this is a fascinating example of a company kind of embracing the reality of streaming services in the
00:12:49 ◼ ► future while also being in complete denial about how it changes the business model. Because they're
00:12:54 ◼ ► like, we did a streaming service and let's tell you about how it'll work for cable subscribers.
00:12:59 ◼ ► Like, what are you doing? But that's what they're doing. But this is the reality though, right?
00:13:03 ◼ ► Like this is probably the best thing for NBC Universal. Follow the money is what I mean.
00:13:10 ◼ ► That's a classic thing, but do it here. Where's the money coming from? The people who make money
00:13:14 ◼ ► at NBC Universal on the NBC side, where are they making their money from? They're making money from
00:13:19 ◼ ► selling ads and they're making their money. Well, I mean, so it's ads and it's on the broadcast.
00:13:25 ◼ ► It's from like cable deals and stuff like that. So we're going to give this as a reason for you
00:13:31 ◼ ► to hold onto your cable subscription. They're owned by Comcast, by the way. So this is a key part
00:13:35 ◼ ► of how Comcast makes money is people pay for cable, right? So this increases the value of
00:13:41 ◼ ► your cable subscription, one. And two, the primary tier that people will be watching on has ads and
00:13:47 ◼ ► NBC's ad sales force will presumably sell those ads like they do ads now on NBC's website and also
00:13:53 ◼ ► obviously on their TV networks. So I think it's actually smart. It's too complicated, but I think
00:14:00 ◼ ► it's smart in the sense that it's them admitting they need to build their own streaming service
00:14:06 ◼ ► while also being accepting the fact that there's a current way they make money and they need to keep
00:14:13 ◼ ► the money rolling in that way. But this is an example, I think, Myke, when we talk about all
00:14:19 ◼ ► these streaming services and all the silos going up, like it used to be everybody had their own
00:14:24 ◼ ► business. And then there was this ancillary business for streaming where you just chucked
00:14:28 ◼ ► a bunch of your archival content and your old shows into it. And that's basically Netflix at
00:14:32 ◼ ► the beginning. It's just like, sure, Netflix, whatever, blah, blah, blah. And then they did
00:14:36 ◼ ► their own things on their primary business. And now all of them realize they can't do that.
00:14:40 ◼ ► Netflix is the primary business. They need to take their stuff back and build their own Netflix,
00:14:45 ◼ ► build their own silo. And so everybody's doing it. Disney's doing it. Warner's doing it. NBC's
00:14:51 ◼ ► doing it. CBS did it. And then obviously there are other players like Apple. So this is just,
00:14:57 ◼ ► this is where we're going to end up. And it's interesting if we bring in the other piece here,
00:15:03 ◼ ► which is, and I think we've got an item about it in a minute, is Netflix is aware that providers
00:15:11 ◼ ► of content like NBC Universal are going to be less inclined to sell a lot of their content to
00:15:16 ◼ ► Netflix in the future because they're going to want it for their own service. Just like how Disney
00:15:20 ◼ ► is going to build up Marvel shows on Disney Plus and the Marvel shows are going to get cancelled
00:15:27 ◼ ► at Netflix. So we're seeing this realignment happen where all the big players have realized
00:15:34 ◼ ► that Netflix is not going to, they don't, it's not an ancillary revenue stream anymore. It's like the
00:15:39 ◼ ► revenue stream of the future and they want to own it. And so they're all going to build their
00:15:43 ◼ ► own silos and pull their content off of Netflix eventually. You know, with the exceptions of,
00:15:47 ◼ ► like we mentioned a few weeks ago, that Friends deal where Warner Brothers basically got paid a
00:15:53 ◼ ► huge amount of money by Netflix to keep Friends on Netflix because it's a huge show for Netflix.
00:15:58 ◼ ► But in the end, they're going to put it on their own streaming service because of course they are.
00:16:10 ◼ ► Very keen to see what that ends up looking like. And mentioning Netflix and popular TV shows,
00:16:16 ◼ ► Steve Correll is going to be starring in a new Netflix comedy about Space Force, which is
00:16:29 ◼ ► Yeah, I've struggled to really explain it because my brain can't effectively conceive it.
00:16:40 ◼ ► who is responsible for adapting The Office for the US. Now that is important for this reason.
00:17:00 ◼ ► often number one. It's not always the number one show, but The Office is often the number
00:17:09 ◼ ► my daughter is responsible for a large number of those views because she watches The Office
00:17:15 ◼ ► I found a report on Recode for data from Netflix for 2018, and The Office accounted for 7.19%
00:17:32 ◼ ► Yeah, so it's a big show for Netflix. So here's Netflix. And this is why we don't talk about
00:17:48 ◼ ► pertaining-- so NBCUniversal owns The Office. So it's entirely possible that either NBCUniversal
00:17:54 ◼ ► is going to take its ball and go home when it launches its streaming service, and The Office
00:17:58 ◼ ► is only going to be available on NBC's streaming service. Or they will hold it for ransom for
00:18:03 ◼ ► Netflix and crank up the price even more and probably demand that it not be exclusive to
00:18:08 ◼ ► Netflix. So Netflix-- The Office is going to get really expensive for Netflix as time goes on.
00:18:14 ◼ ► And there are going to be strategic reasons why the makers of The Office, the owner of The Office,
00:18:20 ◼ ► doesn't want it on Netflix without it being a high price to pay. So what does Netflix do to hedge
00:18:25 ◼ ► against that and to counter that is make a deal with the star of The Office and the executive
00:18:30 ◼ ► producer of The Office to make a new show on Netflix because they know that people like
00:18:35 ◼ ► what those guys do. And it gives them something that Netflix will own. That's Steve Carell and
00:18:42 ◼ ► Greg Daniels. So it's fascinating to view this through the lens of, like, why did they make this
00:18:48 ◼ ► deal? It's like, oh, that's why. It's because The Office is huge on Netflix and might be going away.
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00:20:15 ◼ ► this show. Squarespace, make your next move, make your next website. Jason, let's talk about foldable
00:20:22 ◼ ► phones. Oh, foldable phones, you say. You mean like how the iPhone 6 could like bend? Well, sure,
00:20:31 ◼ ► but like I think more intentional folding than unintentional folding because of the differences
00:20:38 ◼ ► in air grade aluminium or whatever it was. Was it like air grade? That was it, right? Like airplane
00:20:44 ◼ ► spec aluminium was what they ended up using? I don't know. I can't tell the difference between
00:20:48 ◼ ► the airplane grade aluminium and the surgical stainless steel. I don't know how this stuff is.
00:20:55 ◼ ► This is like food grade. I don't know what these are. Anyway, foldable phones have long been
00:21:03 ◼ ► considered as like a potential future form factor, right? Because you could have a phone that you
00:21:09 ◼ ► could fold in half so it's smaller and you can open it up and you've got a small tablet. And this
00:21:14 ◼ ► has been something that people have thought about for a while. Flexible displays have been a thing
00:21:18 ◼ ► that have been shown off at CES for multiple years, right? As they've been building that
00:21:21 ◼ ► technology up. But this year, kind of the tail end of 2018 beginning of 2019, is where we're
00:21:28 ◼ ► actually starting to see it become somewhat of reality. So you may remember a few months ago,
00:21:33 ◼ ► Samsung had a super short demo at the developer conference where they turned all the lights off
00:21:38 ◼ ► and showed a phone that could open up, right? Like it was a prototype so they didn't want to show it,
00:21:42 ◼ ► but they could show that they had a phone which had a screen and you folded it in half and there
00:21:47 ◼ ► was another screen. So this is currently being referred to as the Galaxy F and we will probably
00:21:53 ◼ ► see it for sale at some point this year. I don't think that we're seeing this at the Galaxy event,
00:22:00 ◼ ► which I think is within the next couple of weeks. This will probably be, I reckon, announced
00:22:04 ◼ ► alongside the Note, which is like in September or October. Yeah, it's unclear. It's unclear,
00:22:08 ◼ ► but it seems like it's going to be a real product. They're not going to make a huge number of them.
00:22:11 ◼ ► It's probably going to cost a fortune, but they are going to do it. Well, we'll come back to this
00:22:15 ◼ ► a little bit later on, but kind of probably like the original Galaxy Note, right? Like,
00:22:19 ◼ ► maybe didn't sell a ton of them at first. It was a weird product. It had a bunch of strange downsides
00:22:25 ◼ ► but ended up becoming something quite interesting. But let's put a pin in that. We'll come back to
00:22:29 ◼ ► that in a minute. Because also at CES, the first foldable OLED phone that's available for purchase
00:22:35 ◼ ► was shown off. It's called the Royal Flexpie, which is just, that name by the way is spelled
00:22:41 ◼ ► in none of the ways that you would expect. Right, if you can think of how you would spell Royal
00:22:46 ◼ ► Flexpie, it isn't that. Yeah, no, let's do it because this will be, everybody's going to go
00:22:51 ◼ ► on a little journey now. Okay, R-O-Y. Okay, you're feeling good? Yeah. O-L-E. Oh, royole. Oh,
00:23:03 ◼ ► that's totally different. F-L-E-X. Yep, we're all good. We've got that part. Capital P-A-I.
00:23:11 ◼ ► Royal Flexpie. Everybody knew that, right? Royal Flexpie. Royal Flexpie. So as you can imagine,
00:23:20 ◼ ► the Royal Flexpie being the first phone of its kind isn't very good. There's a really good video
00:23:28 ◼ ► on The Verge from Vlad Savov and he kind of eviscerated the thing, right? I don't know if
00:23:35 ◼ ► you've seen this video, Jason, but he really just like, okay, it's cool that this thing exists,
00:23:40 ◼ ► but it's broken in every fundamental way. It doesn't work very well. He referred to it as
00:23:45 ◼ ► delightfully terrible or something like that. I mean, it's pretty funny. Yeah, so I mean,
00:23:51 ◼ ► but this is kind of what I think what you would expect for something like this in its first
00:23:55 ◼ ► iteration. Like I find it really funny, like, because I've seen a few videos about this.
00:23:59 ◼ ► Everyone's like, you feel like you're about to break it every time that you kind of bend it
00:24:05 ◼ ► around to where it's like that to the kind of the folding in half thing. Also, I actually think that
00:24:09 ◼ ► the way that they're doing the folding is is wrong. So the way that this phone works, I think this is
00:24:16 ◼ ► the way it will end up probably not being in a lot of instances. But the way that this phone works is
00:24:20 ◼ ► you have the screen and then you fold the screen in on itself. So you have a screen on each side
00:24:27 ◼ ► of the phone, right? So when it's folded in half, there's two sides. And when it's opened up, you
00:24:32 ◼ ► have a larger screen where it looks like, at least from what we could make out from Samsung is they
00:24:37 ◼ ► had a screen that you folded onto itself. And then there was an extra screen on the outside.
00:24:42 ◼ ► Now that probably logically makes more sense unless there's some way that you can like kill
00:24:49 ◼ ► half of the screen or whatever, because then you have like, you're holding the phone, but your hand
00:24:53 ◼ ► is touching an active screen. Like it's, it's, this is a complicated thing that I don't think
00:24:58 ◼ ► we've, well, we definitely haven't seen anybody make a good version of this yet. But this is how
00:25:03 ◼ ► it goes, right? The form factor isn't necessarily bad just because the first iteration of it isn't
00:25:09 ◼ ► great. And I will bring up phablets at this point. This was the joke. Nobody calls big phones phablets
00:25:16 ◼ ► anymore, right? That's the portmanteau of phone and tablet because all of our phones are that big
00:25:21 ◼ ► now, right? Like the phones that are available now, they're just smartphones. There isn't a
00:25:25 ◼ ► phablet anymore because anything bigger than what we currently have is just straight up a tablet.
00:25:29 ◼ ► Now, if you remember, like this was something that everyone was laughing at the original Galaxy Note,
00:25:35 ◼ ► right? We're all laughing at. And I bet like the iPhone 6, I bet is bigger than that now. I didn't
00:25:39 ◼ ► look this up, but I bet it is. And the thing about this is right, we're thinking about what the,
00:25:44 ◼ ► because obviously we're talking about it, would Apple ever do this? Would Apple ever make
00:25:59 ◼ ► Philip Michaels, who's an editor at Tom's Guide. And I would, you know, every two weeks when I write
00:26:04 ◼ ► for them, I say, "Any ideas, any thoughts? What do you want?" Like, I take requests. And he said,
00:26:10 ◼ ► "What about," and it's interesting because, you know, I'm sort of writing every other week about
00:26:13 ◼ ► the iPhone for them. And they are steeped in all of the other phones that are going on in a way
00:26:18 ◼ ► that like Mac world does not. I mean, PC world is, but Mac world does not. And so he comes with like
00:26:23 ◼ ► a lot of pitches for me that are, "What's the Apple take on this thing that's happening with
00:26:29 ◼ ► all the other phones, like 5G or something like that." And so he said foldable phones. And I was
00:26:34 ◼ ► like, he gave me a couple other items and I'm like, "I don't know." And then I thought about it
00:26:38 ◼ ► and I was like, "Actually, there's probably a conversation to be had about this. If we assume
00:26:43 ◼ ► that foldable phone tech is happening, when does Apple, if ever, embrace it? And what does that
00:26:51 ◼ ► look like? And what are the pros and what are the cons?" And that's basically what my piece
00:26:56 ◼ ► on Tom's Guide is about, which is, you know, yeah, Apple is not a company that rushes in because they
00:27:05 ◼ ► say, "Oh my God, everybody else is doing this. I have to get in on this now." You know, primarily
00:27:11 ◼ ► because unlike every other phone maker, Apple has a whole bunch of other things that differentiate
00:27:16 ◼ ► it, right? Like if you were Android phone maker X and you don't rush to this new thing,
00:27:21 ◼ ► your competition does, you know, you don't have, I mean, you might have some extra junk that you
00:27:27 ◼ ► loaded on the phone's home screen or something, but basically you have nothing else to differentiate
00:27:32 ◼ ► yourself because it's Android. And so, and this is how it worked with PCs back in the day. Apple did
00:27:37 ◼ ► the same thing because Apple was not playing quite the same game. They could afford to wait and say,
00:27:43 ◼ ► "It's not time yet. This stuff isn't good enough. Everybody else is rushing to get the checkbox that,
00:27:48 ◼ ► you know, on the spec sheet that says, yes, we have that thing. It doesn't do anything,
00:27:52 ◼ ► but we have it." And Apple can afford to wait until it feels the time is right. And I feel like
00:28:00 ◼ ► that is probably what will go on with this is that they'll wait. And you mentioned phablets,
00:28:06 ◼ ► it's the same thing. They can wait a little bit. They can even be skeptical about it, or they might
00:28:11 ◼ ► be super into it. There have been rumors that Apple has worked on foldable tech too. But if
00:28:18 ◼ ► there comes a moment where they feel like they figured it out and can put it in a phone
00:28:22 ◼ ► that they can price, I would say reasonably, but I think maybe not even reasonably, that they can
00:28:29 ◼ ► sell a lot of at a price that will give them the revenue that they want. Because maybe the first one
00:28:34 ◼ ► is a $1,200 phone, right? - Yeah, this feels like it would be the most expensive phone.
00:28:39 ◼ ► - This is the next step above the iPhone 10. Yeah, that's right. This is another like quantum leap
00:28:42 ◼ ► where it's like, it's way more expensive. And maybe the iPhone 10 tech has come down at that
00:28:46 ◼ ► point and then this thing leaps in above it. But I don't think they wouldn't do it. I think if the
00:28:52 ◼ ► tech is good so that they can make a good product with it, Apple actually has a lot of advantages
00:28:57 ◼ ► to this kind of approach, but it also has some disadvantages, like the fact that they don't make
00:29:04 ◼ ► their displays, right? Like this is a display tech, which means that in the end, they're going
00:29:09 ◼ ► to be relying on Samsung or LG to make these foldable OLED displays for them, unless they have
00:29:17 ◼ ► a Skunkworks project where they're working on foldable phones, which the only rumors we've
00:29:20 ◼ ► heard are about the OLED, the micro OLED stuff that Apple is working on, but not the foldable
00:29:30 ◼ ► OLED stuff. So they may have to wait for this tech to come from a provider. But if they feel
00:29:37 ◼ ► the time is right and they've got a good product and a good story, I don't know. They've got some
00:29:43 ◼ ► advantages too. I thought it was a worthy exercise of like, what would it be like? Because this is
00:29:48 ◼ ► something that we've talked about foldable phones and we've talked about what will Apple do in the
00:29:54 ◼ ► future, but I hadn't personally at least walked down that path of what would it look like.
00:29:58 ◼ ► Will Barron So when I was thinking about this, I kind of broke it down into four areas that Apple
00:30:03 ◼ ► would have to overcome or would have to have answers for, for why they would make this, like
00:30:08 ◼ ► looked up looking up on previous decisions that they've made. So like, is the market proven?
00:30:12 ◼ ► Right? Like Apple tend not to release products that are brand new, right? Like nobody, nobody else is
00:30:20 ◼ ► Sometimes they do, but it's in rare cases. And it's not usually when, like in this case, unless
00:30:26 ◼ ► they have secretly built a factory that makes foldable OLED screens, like they're going to be
00:30:32 ◼ ► using a part from a partner, which means it's going to be on other devices. It's not going to
00:30:36 ◼ ► be, they're not going to be first out with this because they can't, they can't be, they're going
00:30:39 ◼ ► to be using a Samsung widget or somebody else's widget. So they can't be that. Like Siri was,
00:30:45 ◼ ► was first, right? They do that occasionally and they think they can make a big splash, but
00:30:51 ◼ ► the conditions have to be exactly right. And for this, it seems like not. So instead they're going
00:30:55 ◼ ► to play the waiting game, which is, you know, when do they think it's a product that, or a feature
00:31:01 ◼ ► that is worthy of the Apple level of quality that is expected? And I'm making air quotes there,
00:31:06 ◼ ► but you know what I mean? Like from Apple's perspective versus it being sort of a silly thing
00:31:10 ◼ ► that isn't practical that people are doing because they can, but they don't have any idea of how to
00:31:15 ◼ ► do it. And then Apple sweeps in and goes, aha, we figured it out. And then the first ones to do this,
00:31:19 ◼ ► right? Cause that's, that's Apple. That's what they do. It seems, you know, to them to do that
00:31:23 ◼ ► stuff for software, right? With hardware, it is way harder for them to, or they are way less likely
00:31:29 ◼ ► to kind of roll into an unproven market and be like, aha, we made a new thing. Nobody's doing
00:31:34 ◼ ► anything like this. Like that's less likely for them. Unless they invest in it enormously over
00:31:39 ◼ ► the course of many years, like with the PA semi acquisition, which led to all of their processor
00:31:44 ◼ ► capabilities. Now they can do that with processors, but it took them a long time to get there. And
00:31:50 ◼ ► they may be doing that with displays now with this rumor about micro OLED stuff, but who knows? And
00:31:54 ◼ ► it might be years before we see that if ever. Can they do it elegantly? Because here's the thing
00:32:00 ◼ ► that the, all of these first models, what they are not going to be as elegant and that's understandable,
00:32:04 ◼ ► right? Because we're in kind of the infancy of this technology being available to consumers,
00:32:10 ◼ ► but it's why like, you know, the mechanisms of bending these things is going to be super
00:32:14 ◼ ► awkward. They're all going to have, well, at least I reckon that most of them will be like this
00:32:18 ◼ ► Royale where it's kind of like that surface book where the join isn't flat. It means air that you
00:32:25 ◼ ► can see through. So like it doesn't actually close completely. Right. So like all of this stuff,
00:32:30 ◼ ► has to be maybe ironed out or at least accepted upon. But like when we see these phones,
00:32:41 ◼ ► it's called the Royal with cheese. Um, yeah, I think you're right. I think, I do think this is
00:32:47 ◼ ► a place, a case where maybe Apple and Samsung actually, I think maybe there's some hardware
00:32:53 ◼ ► design prowess that comes into effect because Samsung's got a very good hardware designers too.
00:32:57 ◼ ► We can, we make fun of Samsung for knocking off Apple's phones, but you know, they, they
00:33:01 ◼ ► among Android phones, you know, they do a very good job. Um, Oh, and also like, don't forget,
00:33:06 ◼ ► uh, we had all those beautiful Samsung phones while Apple was still rolling out the iPhone
00:33:11 ◼ ► 6 design, right? Like Samsung for awhile, in my opinion, like they way eclipsed Apple in what they
00:33:17 ◼ ► were actually producing. Well, I mean, regardless of, of those kinds of opinions, I mean, there's
00:33:22 ◼ ► no denying that they have hardware. They're good at hardware. Um, so, but Apple is good at hardware
00:33:29 ◼ ► too. So I do think that that's a possibility here where, all right, we built flexible OLED screens,
00:33:34 ◼ ► but only a few companies are going to at first, at least build them in a way, if it's possible,
00:33:42 ◼ ► that isn't super awkward and, and janky, right? Like that's, and I'm not entirely convinced that
00:33:46 ◼ ► that first Samsung phone won't be that where it's really like, well, we want to, we want to sell
00:33:52 ◼ ► these displays and we'll make one, but it's not there yet. But at some point, and this is where
00:33:58 ◼ ► Apple can bring it skills to bear. Apple's going to get samples if they don't have them already,
00:34:01 ◼ ► a foldable OLEDs, and they're going to be, maybe they've been spending the last couple of years
00:34:04 ◼ ► with samples from Samsung and they've been figuring out like, how would you do this? And do you do
00:34:09 ◼ ► a sandwich kind of thing where there's a folded layer and then there's another screen? Or do you
00:34:14 ◼ ► do it where it it's actually the screen that folds around and does the folded around part?
00:34:18 ◼ ► How do you get it to deactivate? Or do you, could you put, could you put data on the backside? Do
00:34:24 ◼ ► you put an Apple logo back there? What do you do? What do you do with the backside? And, and think
00:34:31 ◼ ► about that stuff. And that's all like hardware design that Apple's good at. And they've got the,
00:34:36 ◼ ► they've got their own platform that they can customize for it. So that's their advantage
00:34:40 ◼ ► in this scenario is that ultimately, you know, I think iOS being on devices as small as the SE,
00:34:48 ◼ ► all the way up to the big iPad pro gives them some, and the fact that apps are on iOS are better
00:34:57 ◼ ► suited for large screens, like very large screens than on Android because of the iPad. You know,
00:35:03 ◼ ► maybe not phablets, but even then, I mean, my experience with Android has always been that
00:35:07 ◼ ► even on very large Android phones, it feels a little empty because of the way that Android apps,
00:35:14 ◼ ► most Android apps are built. They don't like, and the lack of popular Android tablets makes me
00:35:20 ◼ ► skeptical about large screens on Android in a way that I'm not at all about the iPad because,
00:35:27 ◼ ► you know, Apple, Apple has done a pretty good job getting iPad software there. So I think there's
00:35:32 ◼ ► lots of advantages that are in Apple's, on Apple's side here, including the fact that they would have
00:35:38 ◼ ► to design something like this so that it didn't feel super weird and unpleasant to use. It would
00:35:44 ◼ ► have to be a pleasant experience. And, you know, that might not happen until the screen tech gets
00:35:50 ◼ ► a lot better. I don't know what the state of affairs is. Is this something they could do in
00:35:56 ◼ ► I think there are a lot of questions until we see what Samsung have done. Right, like that's the key.
00:36:04 ◼ ► They should be able to make the best one. Yeah. And have it do what they want it to do because
00:36:09 ◼ ► it's their display. Right. So that should be, they should do that. It's not to say that though,
00:36:15 ◼ ► so I was starting to envision what an iPhone foldable iPhone display thing would be like.
00:36:21 ◼ ► And I have two different thoughts about it, which is, you know, the first one is the obvious one,
00:36:25 ◼ ► which is you take something the size of the 10S or the 10S Max, and you have it flip open
00:36:31 ◼ ► and suddenly it's got double the screen size. And it's like a little, it's like a mini iPad.
00:36:37 ◼ ► So it's a big phone that becomes a tablet. And I think that's the most kind of obvious answer,
00:36:42 ◼ ► but I did have this thought about if this was a way to make a smaller phone, because I'm not sure
00:36:48 ◼ ► people love phones with big screens. I'm not sure they love a big screen in their pocket. They love
00:36:55 ◼ ► it, you know, in their eyeballs basically. And so could they instead make a phone that was smaller
00:37:02 ◼ ► that folded out into something that was bigger? And would that be a thing that would be popular
00:37:07 ◼ ► with people? Something that's maybe even more like the SE, more like that dumb like Palm phone that
00:37:14 ◼ ► was your second phone kind of thing. The idea that if you could fulfill the, you know, Steve Jobs'
00:37:20 ◼ ► law of iPhone design, the everything must get thinner and lighter and smaller. Well, it wouldn't
00:37:26 ◼ ► get thinner, but you could have something that was smaller in your pocket and then you opened it up
00:37:30 ◼ ► and flipped it out and it was a big phone. And then when you were done, you just closed it and
00:37:35 ◼ ► stuck it back in your pocket. And I wonder about that as an opportunity for basically making a
00:37:42 ◼ ► phone that has a big screen, but still fits in people's pockets in a way that the XS Max maybe
00:37:47 ◼ ► doesn't. - Yeah, I was thinking like, how would I want to use this? And I was thinking about that
00:37:51 ◼ ► example, right? Because if you had a small phone going to a big phone, so like, imagine you were
00:37:56 ◼ ► looking through Twitter and you were like kind of scrolling things on the smaller screen and
00:38:00 ◼ ► you see a video and you open up the phone and press play on the video. So you have a bigger screen for
00:38:06 ◼ ► the video and then you close it back again and go back to Twitter, right? Like I kind of think that
00:38:10 ◼ ► that's an interesting way to use your device. - Check your notifications and see what the time
00:38:16 ◼ ► is and do something really quick. And then if you want to dive into something, you pop it open and
00:38:21 ◼ ► then you've got a bigger thing. It's possible. - It's very science fiction, isn't it? - It is.
00:38:26 ◼ ► In fact, I would imagine that if you're somebody at Apple who designs iPhones or at Samsung, right?
00:38:32 ◼ ► And you get your hands on one of these as a demo, as demo tech, or even you don't have them and
00:38:38 ◼ ► you're just mocking them up in hardware. Like one of the first things you've got to do is have a
00:38:44 ◼ ► whole bunch of people try to use it. And like the early days of the iPhone where they had things
00:38:50 ◼ ► hooked up to like Macs with a cable in order to pretend that you were holding a phone in your hand
00:38:57 ◼ ► like in Ken Kachenda's book, right? It's a little like that because I'm not quite sure what all the
00:39:03 ◼ ► ergonomic ramifications of this are. It might be that if you make a foldable phone that's like an
00:39:07 ◼ ► SE, people are like, "Oh yeah, I mean, it might be whatever it is that people hate unfolding it,
00:39:14 ◼ ► right? Like we could make a foldable phone and the world says we're not interested in that."
00:39:19 ◼ ► It might be, we don't know. And the first thing I would do if I was working on a project like
00:39:25 ◼ ► this would be to try it out with as many people as I could, presumably secretly inside Apple or
00:39:31 ◼ ► Samsung, and just discover, you got to learn what the issues are with this stuff. Even if it's an
00:39:38 ◼ ► idealized version of this, like do people want to do this? Are people ever going to open it up?
00:39:43 ◼ ► Are they going to get frustrated? What are all the issues there? And that's fascinating. And that's
00:39:48 ◼ ► a huge amount of work, which is why this is, you know, those people presumably hopefully get paid
00:39:52 ◼ ► a lot of money to do their jobs well. There were two other points that I was thinking about as to,
00:39:58 ◼ ► you know, if Apple would want to do this. One of them is if they can do it at large scale,
00:40:05 ◼ ► If they can only sell 500 of these a year because of the technology, well, they're probably not
00:40:11 ◼ ► going to get into that market. But the other is can they do it without too many trade-offs?
00:40:15 ◼ ► And in your article, you mentioned something that you referred to as Jobs's Law. What is that?
00:40:21 ◼ ► Yeah, right. Yeah, yeah. Well, I mean, I mentioned it earlier. It's the short version is the Jobs's
00:40:25 ◼ ► Law, which is every iPhone, every Apple product should get thinner and lighter, basically, is the
00:40:29 ◼ ► Jobs's Law. That is the ongoing push. It doesn't always happen, but I think the idea there is that
00:40:37 ◼ ► Apple is always pushing its product designs to be thinner and lighter. Now, are there...
00:40:44 ◼ ► I'm not saying that that's like an ideal form. I'm saying that I think Apple feels it's an ideal,
00:40:48 ◼ ► it's something to strive for. And so if you can make your laptop smaller and lighter instead of
00:40:53 ◼ ► bigger and heavier or keep it the same even that Apple... It's like you've got a manager saying,
00:40:59 ◼ ► you know, could we make it lighter? Like, not that you have to, but like, let's strive for that.
00:41:07 ◼ ► Let's try to make this thinner and lighter. And that's the question with something like this,
00:41:13 ◼ ► is that this is totally new tech and I'm not... Just looking at it, it seems unlikely that this
00:41:23 ◼ ► how does Apple handle that? You know, and is Apple's goal to make it thinner when unfolded
00:41:35 ◼ ► It's like, oh, at its thinnest point, this is the thinnest iPhone we've ever... You know what I mean?
00:41:42 ◼ ► Right. It's like the most surface area display per gram or per volume that we've ever put in
00:41:49 ◼ ► an iPhone. Right. I'm sure there's some spec that Apple will come up with. Most screen density in
00:41:59 ◼ ► You know, and it's like, I guess the way you would... The easiest way to get away with that
00:42:02 ◼ ► idea is it's a brand new phone in the line. Like the XR is thicker than the X, right? And they
00:42:07 ◼ ► kind of like was because it's brand new. So... And this would be like that, right? This would...
00:42:11 ◼ ► If they did something like this, it would have to be a completely new part of the product line.
00:42:16 ◼ ► Yeah. It's above the 10. It's this other thing that goes beyond it and is even more kind of
00:42:23 ◼ ► expensive and aspirational, at least at first. This very much could be a brand new product line,
00:42:34 ◼ ► the iPhone 12 flex or whatever. Like they might give it a new name even because it is this weird
00:42:43 ◼ ► I would imagine they'll call it an iPhone just because the iPhone is such a big product.
00:42:47 ◼ ► It's such a great brand, but it would be a very different kind of product. And potentially,
00:42:52 ◼ ► it might not be. It might really be a phone and even unfolded. It's not really even iPad screen
00:42:58 ◼ ► size. It's still a phone with an alternative view. So I would imagine they would call it an iPhone,
00:43:10 ◼ ► genuine. I cannot wait to see what they've done. Well, I mean, people can roll their eyes and be
00:43:16 ◼ ► like, "Oh, this is ridiculous." It may well be ridiculous. But what's interesting is that a
00:43:20 ◼ ► product that has been a category that has been talked about for ages, since the beginning of the
00:43:25 ◼ ► conversations about OLED, people are like, "Oh, you know what? They're going to be able to make
00:43:28 ◼ ► flexible displays." And there were demos of this thing. But 2019 seems to be the year where these
00:43:34 ◼ ► products will actually be released that use this technology. Now, will they be good? Will they be
00:43:38 ◼ ► practical? Who knows? Probably not. But it's a starting point and it makes you start to think,
00:43:43 ◼ ► "Okay, what if this is a real thing?" And we'll find out. Maybe it's not. Maybe Samsung will.
00:43:48 ◼ ► It'll be a complete flop. Maybe that LG TV that rolls up that was shown at CES that is apparently
00:43:54 ◼ ► actually going to ship this year, maybe it will be a flop. Maybe it won't. Maybe it has weird issues
00:43:58 ◼ ► that they're not talking about that the reviewers were discovered. That's all to play for. But it is
00:44:03 ◼ ► interesting in the sense that we might be at the point where this tech that has been promised for
00:44:14 ◼ ► Will Barron Alright, today's show is also brought to you by our friends over at FreshBooks. I use
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00:46:09 ◼ ► So there's been a bunch of interesting ads that Apple have been putting out recently and there
00:46:23 ◼ ► are interesting in their execution because of how they're displayed. A lot of the time,
00:46:28 ◼ ► the only time you ever see them is by going to Apple's YouTube page and watching them. Or
00:46:34 ◼ ► otherwise they tend to be used in online media like these ads, these ones that we're talking
00:46:51 ◼ ► They're kind of like little tutorial videos. But they're interesting because of their focus. So
00:47:03 ◼ ► a new way to create a presentation, a new way to take notes, a new way to design your space,
00:47:07 ◼ ► a new way to go paperless and a new way to host your own podcast. And the reason that I saw about
00:47:13 ◼ ► these ads in the first place is because a bunch of people sent to me the podcast one because
00:47:17 ◼ ► naturally it's cool to see Apple focusing on that. So they use a bunch of apps, they use actually
00:47:23 ◼ ► pretty much all third-party apps for these so that's cool as well because they're showing them
00:47:27 ◼ ► off. So they use Good Notes which is a wonderful app that just received a new update which is
00:47:31 ◼ ► really great. Notability which is another app that I really love. I use both of those, they're
00:47:36 ◼ ► like note-taking apps on the iPad. But for the podcast one they show off Anchor and it's a really
00:47:41 ◼ ► good one because they show how you can just plug a USB-C microphone in and you can record and then
00:47:47 ◼ ► you can go to GarageBand and make your theme song. I actually really like it, I think it's really good
00:47:51 ◼ ► and it shows off the tools that Anchor have to allow you to put a show together really quickly.
00:47:55 ◼ ► Maybe it would have been nicer as Jason points out to use Ferrite because that's the actual
00:48:07 ◼ ► Ferrite you can record in and you can edit but Anchor because it's made by a hosting company,
00:48:14 ◼ ► it's a good app and it has some features that Ferrite doesn't like. It will just post your
00:48:21 ◼ ► podcast right, like it will then upload it to Anchor servers and your podcast episode is live.
00:48:25 ◼ ► And I think I'm unclear, I need to follow up on this, but I think they've got it set up that if
00:48:30 ◼ ► other people are running the Anchor app on iOS you can call them inside and everybody records together.
00:48:36 ◼ ► I'm not sure if you can do that if you're not running the Anchor app. I'm not sure if you can
00:48:40 ◼ ► do that with desktops on the web or not. I think it might just be app only but yeah it is a thing
00:48:45 ◼ ► you can do. They have a lot of features right? And also as well, I'm sure that Apple's super
00:48:51 ◼ ► aware of Anchor. They have business relationships right, so it's not surprising to me that they'd
00:48:56 ◼ ► feature them. But it probably is the right thing. I think using Ferrite in an ad like this would be
00:49:01 ◼ ► too much. It's maybe a little bit overboard. Yeah I will tell you, I will admit, and this may happen,
00:49:07 ◼ ► it depends on how much time I have and I don't have a lot of time, but I have been tempted to
00:49:11 ◼ ► set up my camera and my table and replicate that ad with Ferrite. I don't have a white table with
00:49:21 ◼ ► a white background so it would not be exactly the same, but I have been tempted to do that because
00:49:25 ◼ ► it is a little more complicated but it does actually work. Right, but Jason will you go
00:49:30 ◼ ► the whole way because these ads they all say, well most of them say at the end that they are filmed,
00:49:36 ◼ ► edited, designed, and made with the iPad Pro. Yeah, yeah that's true. I saw on Twitter there
00:49:44 ◼ ► were some people who were like really skeptical. They're like, you know, what is this? Do they
00:49:48 ◼ ► really mean this? It's like, yes they mean this and you can like the new iPad Pro. There is no
00:49:51 ◼ ► benefit to lying about this. The camera is good and shoots 4k and there are many video editors and
00:50:01 ◼ ► I was surprised that people were surprised. It shows you I think how skeptical people are about
00:50:07 ◼ ► this do real work on the iPad thing and I will point people back again to Serenity Caldwell's
00:50:13 ◼ ► review of the sixth generation iPad that she did last spring which was entirely drawn, written,
00:50:20 ◼ ► edited, and produced on the iPad. You can do a lot of stuff on the iPad folks. It's not surprising.
00:50:30 ◼ ► It should not be surprising at this point. That's the reason they did it is they want to just throw
00:50:34 ◼ ► it out there in every single one of these that like, yes we can absolutely do this all on iPad
00:50:39 ◼ ► Pro. There's some conspiracy theories out there that are like, oh they were secretly using a new
00:50:43 ◼ ► version of Final Cut Pro 10 for iPad. LumaFusion is incredible. Yeah, it's fine. It is an absolutely
00:50:50 ◼ ► amazing application and you could 100% make a video like this with LumaFusion. Sure. It's
00:50:57 ◼ ► possible. I find it funny because it's like they don't need to say this. If they didn't do it,
00:51:05 ◼ ► if these videos were not made with the iPad, people wouldn't go, "Aha! You can't do real work
00:51:10 ◼ ► on the iPad." It just never would have come up. I actually think it's really great that they did
00:51:17 ◼ ► do this because it's proving a point which I think is really important. This is dogfooding in public.
00:51:24 ◼ ► They're like, "We did this too. We made these videos with the iPad Pro. You can do all of this
00:51:30 ◼ ► stuff." I like to believe that the pro workflow team made these ads. That's what I like to
00:51:41 ◼ ► they were consulted. Involved in the, you know, I, and I'm gonna obscure all the information here,
00:51:57 ◼ ► It's tied into their system, but it's very simple to use and does all the things and lets you edit
00:52:06 ◼ ► and all that. I should say on that podcast, they also go to GarageBand at one point to make a theme
00:52:11 ◼ ► song, which made me laugh. I thought that was really funny. I love that. I think it's funny.
00:52:15 ◼ ► Yeah. I don't know. I saw this and I was like, "I wonder if that's why they asked about Anchor."
00:52:26 ◼ ► But it totally is. And it's a good video. You know, it's funny. This is not a podcast where
00:52:30 ◼ ► we talk about, like, Apple released some ads a lot because it's just like it's marketing from Apple.
00:52:35 ◼ ► And I generally am not super thrilled about it, but I thought these were interesting enough to
00:52:39 ◼ ► talk about, especially since you and I care about the iPad Pro a lot. And I think they're very well
00:52:43 ◼ ► done. And I like that they filmed and edited and designed them on the iPad Pro. I did want to
00:52:50 ◼ ► mention, since we broke the seal and talked about Apple ads, I wanted to mention another Apple ad,
00:52:58 ◼ ► which again, we never do on the show, but it's watching sports the last few weeks. I keep seeing
00:53:06 ◼ ► the Color Flood ad, which is for the iPhone XR. This is an ad. This is the ad where there are
00:53:12 ◼ ► people in various colored outfits running around in like streams of color all over a city.
00:53:19 ◼ ► You know it if you've seen it. And I just wanted to say, I loved this ad before I even discovered
00:53:27 ◼ ► it was an Apple ad. It immediately caught my attention. And I thought it was a great ad.
00:53:34 ◼ ► I didn't know what it was for. It turns out it's all the color. It's like the colors on the back
00:53:39 ◼ ► of the iPhone XR, which is okay, fine. But I love it as a piece of commercial art. I think it's a
00:53:46 ◼ ► really cool ad. And the song that goes with it, which has come along by Cosmo Shell Drake,
00:53:51 ◼ ► great name, is super catchy. And I think it's a cool little short film, basically, that also
00:53:59 ◼ ► happens to be an Apple ad. So I wanted to plug it and mention that I love it. I can't believe I
00:54:06 ◼ ► haven't seen that ad yet. Like this just feels like something that should have been shared on
00:54:10 ◼ ► the internet, like as a look at this incredible ad, because it is beautiful. Yeah, I really like
00:54:15 ◼ ► it. Again, like how difficult must that have been to make? That is a very expensive shoot, right?
00:54:21 ◼ ► Yeah, my assumption is there's two things going on here. You know what it reminds me of? Do you
00:54:24 ◼ ► remember the bouncy balls ad from Sony, where they let all the bouncing balls down a hill in San
00:54:31 ◼ ► Francisco? Oh yeah, yeah. Right, it was set with, I think it was Teardrop, or was it Heartbeats by
00:54:37 ◼ ► Jose Gonzalez, right? That was the song which made that song famous. But what they did with that ad
00:54:44 ◼ ► is they actually did let a ton of bouncy balls down a street in San Francisco, but they also
00:54:50 ◼ ► put some in with CGI, right? So like they did a bit of both, right? And I expect that that's what's
00:54:56 ◼ ► going on here. There's too many people running way too close together. It feels like there is a
00:55:03 ◼ ► bit of both, I think, going on with that one. Yeah, it may be that there's some cleanup or
00:55:08 ◼ ► there's some doubling and all that, but it is very impressive. And there's things they do where they
00:55:12 ◼ ► like jump, they do like high dives off of a level. It makes it look like a waterfall. And then the
00:55:18 ◼ ► one guy flips back off of one level and is caught by the people. And there's a disclaimer at the
00:55:23 ◼ ► bottom that says, "Don't do this." But it is, yeah, it's cool. It's cool. It is now. I don't
00:55:29 ◼ ► know, as a sales tool for the iPhone XR, I don't know. It doesn't make a difference. The point is,
00:55:34 ◼ ► I think, to get people's attention. And that is part of Apple's marketing campaign. It's like when
00:55:39 ◼ ► they did that Christmas, you know, they do the Christmas ad every year. It's not a showing off
00:55:44 ◼ ► all the features kind of ad. It's a branding campaign. Yeah. Which I think are very important.
00:55:49 ◼ ► I hope that companies continue to do this. It's my favorite type of advertising. It's when you see
00:55:55 ◼ ► the brand and it just makes you go, "Oh, they're so cool." And like that is incredibly powerful if
00:56:00 ◼ ► you can do it. So yeah, I think it's a great ad. I think it's a great example of something. I did
00:56:06 ◼ ► want to just go back to those iPad Pro ads just for a touch. Oh yeah, okay, fine. I just like what
00:56:11 ◼ ► they're focusing on. They're focusing on a bunch of just real work that you can do on the iPad.
00:56:17 ◼ ► I like the things that they've picked, you know? These are a combination between purely creative
00:56:23 ◼ ► stuff and also kind of just like regular stuff like make a presentation, take notes, things that
00:56:29 ◼ ► the iPad is really good at and in some places uniquely good at, especially when you put the
00:56:34 ◼ ► Apple Pencil in and stuff like that. So I really like him. I think that they chose some really good
00:56:38 ◼ ► stuff. And again, I want to reiterate how happy I am that they chose some really good third-party
00:56:43 ◼ ► apps to show this stuff off with. Because if they would have, for like Notes, it's like, "Oh, great.
00:56:49 ◼ ► Look how great Apple Notes is." It's like, "Yeah, I know, but Apple Notes can't take handwriting and
00:56:54 ◼ ► convert it into text. And it can't really mix all the mixed media in as nicely." And so I'm pleased
00:57:00 ◼ ► that they actually did choose some of these third-party apps to really give them that shine.
00:57:05 ◼ ► And I also hope that it results in a lot of sales for these companies because they do good stuff.
00:57:15 ◼ ► Approved. Now it's time, Myke, for us to put on our full body blue jumpsuits and run through a park.
00:57:24 ◼ ► Okay. So we're going to do that while we're talking about lunar display. Okay. So this...
00:57:29 ◼ ► No, I'm not going to do that. It's brought to you by our friends over at Lunar Display. They are the
00:57:33 ◼ ► makers of the only hardware solution that would take your iPad and turn it into a wireless display
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00:57:48 ◼ ► be easier. You just plug their wonderfully small red dongle into your Mac and you're good to go.
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00:57:56 ◼ ► same Wi-Fi connection, you can jump back into your Mac when you're away from your desk, or you can
00:58:00 ◼ ► have it with you while you're at your desk and have that second display experience. But it also
00:58:04 ◼ ► works over USB. So if you're traveling, I think about someone being on a train. I've taken some
00:58:10 ◼ ► long train journeys in my life and you get a little bit more space on a train maybe than on a
00:58:14 ◼ ► plane. Maybe you've been lucky enough to get one of those four seat table dealios and you're all
00:58:19 ◼ ► on your own and you can put your laptop down and then you can plug in your iPad with a USB cable.
00:58:24 ◼ ► And then you have with Lunar Display two displays right there so you can get your work done.
00:58:34 ◼ ► I love my Lunar Display. I use it all the time. Whenever I'm at home, I'm jumping into my Mac Mini
00:58:38 ◼ ► now performing little tasks when I need to. It is truly a wonderful thing for me to have Mac OS live
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00:59:14 ◼ ► I'm sure it wouldn't work with screen face up, but do Qi chargers work with the screen facing down
00:59:24 ◼ ► I don't know what it is, but there is a maximum distance that the phone can have to a Qi charger.
00:59:32 ◼ ► It seems to work fine through regular cases, but like I have a pop socket on my phone, right?
00:59:36 ◼ ► It will not charge to the pop socket. If I take the plastic part off and I just have the rubber
00:59:41 ◼ ► part that's underneath on the pop socket, it will charge. There is a distance from how far away
00:59:47 ◼ ► your phone needs to be to a Qi charger. So if your case is thin enough and you have two credit cards
00:59:52 ◼ ► in it, it might work. It might be within the distance. You kind of have to play around with it.
00:59:58 ◼ ► The thing is, Qi charging does not work with the iPhone screen face down because the coil is in
01:00:02 ◼ ► the back of the phone. So that just doesn't work. Would it fry your credit cards? I have no idea
01:00:07 ◼ ► about that, Jason. Do you know? I don't know. It might not. I mean, your credit card company will
01:00:17 ◼ ► send you another one if it does fry them. I would be more skeptical about whether it actually will
01:00:21 ◼ ► work to charge them. Screen facing down, by the way, it's not going to work. That's not how it
01:00:26 ◼ ► works. It has to be the back because that's where the coils are. And you could give it a try.
01:00:35 ◼ ► You could give it a try and see. And the worst thing that happens is you have to get them to
01:00:39 ◼ ► send you a new credit card because your credit card stops working. The magnetic strip won't.
01:00:43 ◼ ► I'm a little more worried about what might happen to the little chip. It might be okay or it might
01:00:50 ◼ ► not or it might die over time. It's not something that I've tried. My more concern would be that if
01:00:55 ◼ ► the cards are in the way, it's going to stop working because it's going to be too much material
01:00:58 ◼ ► between the charger or it's going to be a lot less effective in transmitting through all of that.
01:01:05 ◼ ► I will point out, you might want to, if you really want to do cheat charging, you might want to look
01:01:09 ◼ ► into like a folio case. Apple makes one, but there are others where you put your cards in the front.
01:01:14 ◼ ► That didn't used to happen before the 10, but the 10 and now the 10s and 10s max, Apple actually
01:01:20 ◼ ► makes a folio case and there are third-party ones. They have a hall effect sensor now on the iPhone
01:01:25 ◼ ► where it locks and unlocks when you open and close the folio, like on the iPad cover. The iPhone does
01:01:32 ◼ ► that now too. So that would be one way to go. Not everybody likes folio cases, although I know people
01:01:37 ◼ ► who really love them and there's official Apple ones now if you want to go that route where you
01:01:42 ◼ ► put your cards in the front and then it, you know, flip over backward and you know, close it.
01:01:52 ◼ ► Joannic asks, "First time iPad comic book reader. Jason, do you recommend buying a comic on the
01:01:58 ◼ ► Kindle or Apple bookstore? Which app is better for reading? I'm gonna assume you say none of the above.
01:02:03 ◼ ► No, no, I don't say that. Well, I mean, this is an interesting choice because I do most of my
01:02:09 ◼ ► reading in other apps, but I did write a story on six colors about comic reading on the iPad Pro,
01:02:24 ◼ ► No, I got it. You got it. All right. Thanks, Myke. So my answer is I don't like how iBooks does comic
01:02:30 ◼ ► reading. They do it. It feels to me, just my personal opinion, I don't like their really kind
01:02:39 ◼ ► of skeuomorphic approach to it where they want to show you like the spread and then zoom into one
01:02:43 ◼ ► page and then you flip the page and stuff like that. I much prefer the Kindle stuff because the
01:02:48 ◼ ► Kindle stuff is ComiXology integrated into the Kindle app. And if you did not know, not only did
01:02:54 ◼ ► Amazon buy ComiXology, which is the leading digital comics exclusive seller, they have their own app,
01:03:04 ◼ ► which was the best app for reading comics that you could, you know, not sideloading comics, which is
01:03:10 ◼ ► a separate issue where you've got files and you want to display them, but like to buy them,
01:03:14 ◼ ► ComiXology was great at reading comics that you bought. When Amazon bought them, they began a
01:03:20 ◼ ► process. The guy who's in charge of ComiXology is actually, I think, in charge of comics at Amazon
01:03:26 ◼ ► too, digital comics at Amazon. Basically ComiXology is Amazon's digital comics shop too,
01:03:32 ◼ ► kind of, or at least they work together. As a result, the Kindle app basically has ComiXology
01:03:37 ◼ ► in it. So when you open a comic in the Kindle app, you're getting a good comic reading experience.
01:03:49 ◼ ► purchases sync to ComiXology. I'm not sure if it goes back the other way. But anyway, I would
01:03:54 ◼ ► choose the Kindle over iBooks or books because I just don't like how the Apple Books experience is
01:04:01 ◼ ► for comics. But other people disagree and that's fine too. I don't need, like my article details
01:04:07 ◼ ► it. Like there are things you want out of a comic reader experience. And right now I would choose
01:04:13 ◼ ► Kindle or ComiXology first in terms, and I do, in terms of reading comics on the iPad that I
01:04:20 ◼ ► bought from Amazon basically. Gareth asks, "If the price of OLED screens come down to the point that
01:04:27 ◼ ► Apple can use one in the cheaper phone, so like the R series, is there still a place for three
01:04:32 ◼ ► phones in the lineup? If they both use, if they all use OLED, what distinguishes the R from the
01:04:37 ◼ ► standard phone?" So this is the assumption here that OLED will be the only distinguishing factor
01:04:45 ◼ ► in the difference of these phones going forward, right? So if you look at the R line, right now
01:04:51 ◼ ► it doesn't have OLED because OLED is the core new technology that makes the phone more expensive.
01:04:56 ◼ ► My assumption would be that if the R does stay around, which I am inclined to think that they
01:05:02 ◼ ► are going to maybe give this a bit more of a college try than they did the C line, right?
01:05:13 ◼ ► My thinking is that as new technology finds its way into the more expensive phones, it doesn't all
01:05:22 ◼ ► find its way into the R line, right? So let's imagine Apple adds X new wonderful feature to
01:05:29 ◼ ► the iPhone 12. Maybe it's the three cameras, maybe the cameras get a little bit better in some way,
01:05:33 ◼ ► maybe there's some new technology, and maybe the R at some point picks up the OLED, but it doesn't
01:05:38 ◼ ► get feature X, right? The thing that's pushing the phone to make it more expensive. Because if the
01:05:44 ◼ ► price of OLED screens comes down, then they don't need to keep OLED away from that phone.
01:05:49 ◼ ► You know, maybe it never gets 3D touch because 3D touch is more expensive. So even when they move to
01:06:06 ◼ ► - Yeah, I think this is, you've hit on the real question about this line, which is, is the R,
01:06:14 ◼ ► the XR there because Apple wants to establish a line of phones that are cheaper than their super
01:06:22 ◼ ► high-end line that have some but not all of the features? Is that what they're doing here? Or is
01:06:29 ◼ ► the R, the XR a side effect of where they are currently in their product cycle, where they
01:06:37 ◼ ► need to have a phone like this, or they want to have a phone like this because the OLED stuff is
01:06:41 ◼ ► too expensive and they want to have something that costs a little bit less? If the last couple of
01:06:49 ◼ ► years of Apple and the iPhone is any indication, I would expect change more than I would expect
01:06:55 ◼ ► things to stay the same. Will the XR or a version of it be there next year? Maybe, but in the long
01:07:02 ◼ ► run, do I expect something like the XR to stick around? Maybe something like it, but I also would
01:07:10 ◼ ► not be shocked if it went away at some point. And then if a different kind of outlier phone came back
01:07:16 ◼ ► some other time, it really depends on what Apple's strategy is going forward. And that has to do with
01:07:24 ◼ ► do they think that the 10 line as the regular line is price right? Do they think there need to be
01:07:28 ◼ ► more phones that are cheaper? Do they think the 10 line needs to be cheaper, but there could be
01:07:32 ◼ ► phones above it? There are a lot of options there, but I think there's some validity in this idea that
01:07:38 ◼ ► they build a nice phone that's got a lot but not all of the features that they can sell for cheaper
01:07:44 ◼ ► that is going to be more of a crowd-pleaser. I think Apple wants that to be true, but since we
01:07:49 ◼ ► don't know how well it's selling and how Apple is interpreting those sales versus other sales
01:07:55 ◼ ► elsewhere in their product line, it's very hard from the outside to say, but it does seem like
01:07:58 ◼ ► they want there to be a market that allows them to sell a super expensive high-end fancy phone with
01:08:05 ◼ ► all the features and another phone that's good, but they can price it for $200 or $300 less.
01:08:12 ◼ ► I think they would like to do that if they can get away with it. I'm not sure whether we know
01:08:16 ◼ ► if they can get away with it. This question comes from Brian Hamilton. We have two doors,
01:08:22 ◼ ► a front door and a back door. If we get a smart lock, do you think it should be the main way to
01:08:28 ◼ ► get into the house with the back door as a backup, or should the smart lock be the backup to a front
01:08:32 ◼ ► door with a key? Does that make sense? Yeah, the front door is the backup, the backdrop is the
01:08:45 ◼ ► the whole reason you get a smart lock is for convenience. So it would be the front door,
01:08:49 ◼ ► because then if you come to the front door, it unlocks itself. And if you want to let somebody in
01:08:57 ◼ ► temporarily as a guest, you can give them a temporary guest coat and it can come in the
01:09:07 ◼ ► And so it seems perfect to be a backup unless your back door, like the house I grew up in,
01:09:12 ◼ ► the front door was never used and the back door was everybody's access point. But I would say
01:09:17 ◼ ► it's supposed to be your primary access point that you use a smart lock on, because what you're
01:09:26 ◼ ► And then you can hide a key in a rock somewhere in the backyard to get in the back door or whatever
01:09:31 ◼ ► you need to do. Luke asks, do you know if the new battery cases would fit the iPhone 8 Plus?
01:09:42 ◼ ► I have not done it. I was enjoying Renee Ritchie and John Gruber talking in depth about these
01:09:48 ◼ ► battery cases. And I haven't even been to the Apple store to see one. I don't really have a
01:09:54 ◼ ► need for them because I work at home and I travel infrequently enough that bringing a battery
01:10:08 ◼ ► you're always using your iPhone and it's always out of battery. That's when you go to the case.
01:10:16 ◼ ► unless you've got very particular needs or no pockets or whatever it is, in which case,
01:10:20 ◼ ► I understand that. So yeah, but by all accounts, they are incredible for battery life. They have
01:10:27 ◼ ► the secret sauce because they're built by Apple that the phones talk to the batteries and it knows
01:10:42 ◼ ► not the right size, so they don't work. Yeah, like for me, I have more devices than just my iPhone.
01:10:49 ◼ ► So I typically prefer to have a big external battery that I could also use to charge my iPad
01:10:55 ◼ ► or my Nintendo Switch or whatever when I travel, you know. On a daily basis, even when I'm out and
01:11:00 ◼ ► about, my iPhone does not need more than what I already give it. It just doesn't need it.
01:11:08 ◼ ► I'm very happy with the battery life on my 10s Max. But I'm pleased that they're doing it for
01:11:16 ◼ ► the people that want it, right? Like if you've been waiting for this, that would be great. And
01:11:20 ◼ ► it was weird that they didn't make them for the last generation of phones, which just seemed very
01:11:27 ◼ ► strange to me that they didn't do that. Yeah, I wonder if they're charging tech people were
01:11:35 ◼ ► working on a different product instead. Oh, Jason Snell. Finally today, Jeremy asks, "Do you think
01:11:51 ◼ ► Apple will experiment with more region-specific iPhone models in the future, like the dual SIM
01:11:56 ◼ ► 10s Max in China, to compete stronger in markets where maybe they need a little bit of a leg up?"
01:12:02 ◼ ► I think it's possible. I think that the reason they went with the dual SIM was so it would sell
01:12:07 ◼ ► better in China, right? I think that was why they did that. Yeah, I think Apple is open to this. But
01:12:12 ◼ ► what I would say is that every design variation has a cost, and Apple needs to see potential payoff
01:12:20 ◼ ► for them to do it. And building a phone for China, given Apple's commitment to China and wanting to
01:12:27 ◼ ► be appealing in China, makes sense. Building region-specific phones for markets where the
01:12:34 ◼ ► iPhone is less appealing because it's too expensive basically means making region-specific
01:12:50 ◼ ► Do that. They would be purpose building a new cut rate cheap iPhone for markets that can't afford
01:13:00 ◼ ► the iPhone. And there's a question of like, does that devalue the iPhone? Maybe. The iPhone brand
01:13:06 ◼ ► and its perception it's a high quality product, maybe. But if you're in a market, if you're
01:13:12 ◼ ► failing to get any traction in a market like India, because you're just out completely out
01:13:17 ◼ ► of range for anybody, I wonder if they would do that saying, we can't be a luxury brand in India
01:13:29 ◼ ► that will be priced like a luxury brand in India that people who have the money, who are middle
01:13:37 ◼ ► class in India will buy. And right now it seems like most of their phones just can't crack that.
01:13:43 ◼ ► And that price is one of the big reasons why. So, I think not impossible, but that would be a real
01:13:50 ◼ ► change in strategy for them over just building a, just selling and leaning into the models that are
01:13:57 ◼ ► cheaper and trying to sell them in those markets. It would be, Hey, Apple just had their big oopsie
01:14:04 ◼ ► with their forecast for their sales. iPhone sales are slowing. Would it be unlikely for them to take
01:14:12 ◼ ► a totally new approach to a market like India or Brazil or any of these other kinds of markets where
01:14:18 ◼ ► they have not had as much traction? No, I would say, although it would be a big break for them,
01:14:24 ◼ ► I feel like they're in a position now with the iPhone where they might be willing to take some
01:14:34 ◼ ► I think it's a coin toss kind of like they might do it, but it would be a big change. So,
01:14:46 ◼ ► Will Barron Alright, if you would like to send in a question for us to finish the show with,
01:14:51 ◼ ► just send in a tweet with the hashtag #AskUpgrade and it may be picked for a future episode. If you
01:14:56 ◼ ► want to find the show notes for this episode, you can find them in your podcast app of choice
01:15:00 ◼ ► or at relay.fm/upgrades/229. Jason is the host of many shows here at Relay FM, like I am. Go to
01:15:07 ◼ ► relay.fm/shows and you can find something new if you are looking to find more podcasts for your
01:15:13 ◼ ► listening enjoyment. But, Jason also hosts a bunch of shows over on the incomparable as well.
01:15:17 ◼ ► Jason writes at sixcolors.com and he is on Twitter, he's @jsnell. I am @imike. Thanks again to our
01:15:25 ◼ ► sponsors this week, the fine people over at Freshbooks, Luna Display and Squarespace. But,