534: On the Cheerleader Bus


00:00:00   I actually don't really mind Google Docs and I don't use Google Drive, I don't care for that, but Google Docs and Sheets and whatnot, it's all fine.

00:00:08   But my favorite thing with having no air quotes around it at all, my favorite thing is that every two to three or maybe four weeks I go to record ATP and it happens at about the same time every week.

00:00:20   And Google Docs is like, "Hey, you've been signed out!" Why? I don't want to be signed out. "No, you've been signed out, you've got to do your password again."

00:00:28   And it's always right as I'm sitting down to record, which is just super fun.

00:00:32   I wonder if that's another whatever the hell the thing is where you get a customer name, Google Apps for whatever, because I'm using the regular one and I can't remember the last time I signed in.

00:00:44   Well, maybe.

00:00:45   I've always signed in, like years.

00:00:48   Yeah, that's how mine is. I have to sign in basically whenever I buy a new computer, which despite your jokes aside, only happens every few years usually.

00:00:57   What? I think you want to re-evaluate that estimate.

00:01:01   Laptops don't count as computers.

00:01:03   Oh, they don't. I would partially agree with you, but not really.

00:01:06   Whenever I buy a new desktop. And that includes desktop laptops.

00:01:11   It's like whenever I buy a new car, which rarely happens, now I buy trucks and SUVs.

00:01:15   Right, right.

00:01:16   They don't count either.

00:01:20   Marco, you seem to be going through KOBOs like you go through computers, which is to say you're on number 17 at this point.

00:01:27   I'm on KOBO number 2. Everything was fine about it. However, I found the Sage, which was the first one I bought, to be a little bit big.

00:01:37   It was just a little bit large in the hand compared to my wonderful Kindle Oasis that I liked so much.

00:01:42   Then I saw that they sell a model that's pretty much the exact dimensions of the Kindle Oasis and almost the same weight.

00:01:48   It's called the Libra 2. And the other thing that happened in the meantime is I had to charge the Kindle Oasis.

00:01:56   And it's micro-USB.

00:01:58   Oh, that's not happy. Yep, that's the way mine is. And it is not happy at all.

00:02:02   I think the new Paperwhite might be the only USB-C Kindle. Oh, the big one. The Kindle Scribe now is too.

00:02:09   But anyway, once I realized that KOBO had one that was basically Kindle Oasis dimensions and has the page turn buttons like the Oasis, I thought, "Let me try that one."

00:02:22   So I ordered that one. Sure enough, it's wonderful. It's perfect. It was so good that I sent back both Kindles. I'm like, "I'm done with Kindle. That's it. This is better."

00:02:31   The other thing that happened was I tried Pocket, and it's good.

00:02:36   Oh, no. No! That's not good at all.

00:02:40   No. I'm not using it for anything else other than Kobo. That's going to take a while. Other than Kobo reading.

00:02:48   But I've got to say, the experience of saving stuff to Pocket to read on a Kobo and then reading it on the Kobo is really good.

00:02:57   And it kills me to say it because I have that old beef with Pocket, and I'm not going to use it for anything else.

00:03:02   But the Kobo has a full-blown Pocket client for the most part. It probably doesn't have every feature under the sun.

00:03:08   It has what you expect. The list of your articles, you read them, you can page through them at the end and ask whether you want to archive, delete, whatever. It's really good.

00:03:15   For my purposes of reading a mix of ebooks and web articles, the Kobo is a better device. It's simple as that.

00:03:23   The Instapaper has Kindle functionality. I made it a long time ago. As far as I can tell, it hasn't changed.

00:03:29   It's fine, but it's way more clunky and limited compared to this. So for that purpose, I've got to give it to Pocket on the Kobo.

00:03:37   It is a better experience for reading web stuff on e-ink. Otherwise, I've been happily reading on it, and it's great.

00:03:43   I do still have the issues that I brought up about the ebook availability. Another thing that I think is worth noting is that Amazon, by its sheer scale,

00:03:55   has tons of useful information, just stuff like its reviews and recommendations. And the Kobo store, just by nature of being way smaller, I think you can tell if you look at review counts and everything, way smaller.

00:04:09   You just don't get a lot of the user ratings, the recommendations. It's not nearly the scale of Amazon.

00:04:16   Obviously, you can use stuff like Goodreads, which I know Kindles can log into Goodreads now. I didn't try that, so I don't have an account there. I don't know how much integration there is there, but there is that.

00:04:27   Anyway, I think the Kindle is probably still the better device if you read a lot of ebooks, first of all, just a lot.

00:04:34   You need to make sure they're always available and easily available, and they should be the cheapest. We'll get to that in a moment. You also want to use their built-in recommendation engines and read reviews and stuff like that.

00:04:48   The Kindle is still going to be better for that. For my purposes, I don't read that much stuff, and so that's less of a factor for me.

00:04:55   Otherwise, I'm so happy with the Kobo. It's wonderful. The Kobo Libra is pretty much exactly the same feature set as the Kobo Sage, minus the Sage supports a stylus that you can use to take notes by drawing on the screen.

00:05:08   It doesn't actually come with it. I never did that. If I was taking notes, I would probably use something even bigger.

00:05:13   Anyway, Libra 2, great device. And then some quick follow-up, a bunch of people pointed out that Kobo has a price match policy on ebooks. Not only was their availability not always as good as Amazon, but they were sometimes more expensive.

00:05:29   Apparently, they will price match Amazon if you fill out some claim or something like that. In practice, I'm probably never going to actually do that because I don't want to go through the hassle.

00:05:38   And speaking of hassle, I bought the Kobo -- I bought the Libra 2, the new one that's always this size, from Amazon.

00:05:45   I strongly recommend, if you're going to buy a Kobo device, buy it from Amazon. Because the process of now returning the Kobo Sage, it's a 30-day return window. No questions asked. Great.

00:05:58   You have to do a web chat. It took 25 minutes of a web chat. They sent in -- they have to email you a return label. That takes two days.

00:06:06   And so it was a very clunky return process. We are spoiled by how good of a retailer Amazon is for the customers. I know it's not great for the sellers, in part for reasons like this, but Amazon makes it so easy to get stuff.

00:06:23   It arrives quickly, and if it doesn't work out or it's broken or there's a problem, you can return it really easily. Not all retailers work that way, and buying a Kobo hardware device from Kobo, if you have to return it, is miserable.

00:06:38   So I can strongly recommend, buy your books from them, fine. Don't buy your devices straight from them. Buy your devices from Amazon.

00:06:47   And fortunately, Amazon seems to sell the entire Kobo lineup of physical devices and cases and everything. So it seems like there's a good reason to buy from them.

00:06:55   At least if you suspect there's even a chance you might be returning it. So definitely do that.

00:07:01   The other thing is, people kept recommending me that I try these DRM stripping tools to strip the DRM off of my Kindle ebooks and bring them into Kobo DRM-free.

00:07:12   I do not recommend this, and also I couldn't get it to work on most of them. Apparently there are new versions of Kindle DRM that these packages have not learned to crack yet.

00:07:23   And because these were all relatively recent purchases running on a relatively recent device, they were all that new format. So I was only able to crack one which looked like it was a different format.

00:07:34   All of the other ones I couldn't crack at all, so I just re-bought the couple that I wanted to keep reading and sent the Kindles back to Amazon.

00:07:41   One more thing on Kobos. Some people have suggested that they have really good integration with your local library.

00:07:47   So you can essentially borrow books from your library without doing anything else? You can do it all from the Kobo?

00:07:53   Yeah, I didn't get a chance to try this yet because not only do I not have a library card because there isn't a library on the island I live on, but none of the nearby libraries issued online cards.

00:08:03   I tried. If you go to the Libby or OverDrive, whichever one of those is the company that's OverDrive, if you go to their site they will link to all the participating libraries that do these electronic library cards that will work with their system.

00:08:14   And it's pretty much every library, except most of them require you to go in in person to get a library card, and I currently don't have one, so there's that.

00:08:22   But that does sound like a really good option that I want to check out because you can borrow both e-books and audio books, which is pretty cool.

00:08:29   That's a really cool feature, and I've never seen it in use before, but a lot of people wrote in. So tell me, how is it?

00:08:37   I've only done it a couple of times, and I'm doing this on a Kindle. Well, I should back up a half step.

00:08:44   So when I say I'm doing this, what I mean is I am going on a computer to find the book I want to either put it on hold or check it out or what have you, and then there is an integration.

00:08:55   It's so long since I've set it up, I have no idea what the setup process was like, but there's an integration where you can say basically, yes, I would like this on my Kindle, please, and then the next time your Kindle syncs, it will pull down that book, and you can read it until the loan ends, and then it will replace the book with a PDF that basically says, "Tough nuts, you're loan ended."

00:09:14   And it all worked really, really well.

00:09:16   Does it actually say tough nuts?

00:09:17   No, no, that would be extremely inappropriate but also hilarious.

00:09:21   But nevertheless, it does work very well, but again, I'm not doing any of the browsing on the Kindle itself, and my limited understanding of the way the Kobo works is that you can do that step on the Kobo too.

00:09:33   You can actually go browsing through Libby or OverDrive.

00:09:36   Like you, I always forget which one is which, but it basically means the same thing to us in this context.

00:09:41   You go browsing on Libby or OverDrive, what have you, I guess, and you can find the book you want and potentially even take out a loan right then and there, which is slick.

00:09:49   But no, I strongly recommend it. I actually worked from a local library today. We're very, very lucky where I am that we have excellent libraries.

00:09:56   Libraries are great. Like if you want to read a book and you want to read it once and potentially never again, you can go to a building, if you're not doing it on a Kindle, you can go to a building and you can borrow the book, and then you can bring it back and somebody else can read it.

00:10:09   It's a very novel idea. I strongly recommend checking it out. It's quite slick.

00:10:13   All right, moving right along, let us talk about breaking the fourth wall, particularly around video games.

00:10:22   And I swear we talked about this last episode, but Jon, you put this in the show notes. So I guess we're either talking about it again or my memory is getting even worse.

00:10:30   Which one do you think it is based on past history as in the last several years of this podcast where you seem to not remember anything that we've done on the previous episode?

00:10:38   Well, that's the thing. I feel like we did do this on a prior episode.

00:10:41   Do you re-listen to episodes?

00:10:43   No, I used to very early on.

00:10:45   You totally should because that's why I know what we talked about because I listen back.

00:10:49   Fair enough. All right, so I talked about it in my head, but never talked about with you fine folks.

00:10:54   Do you want me to tell you why this is in here?

00:10:57   Oh, sure. Okay, go ahead.

00:10:58   Because we did talk about this game and this thing last episode.

00:11:01   Oh, okay. So I can have credit.

00:11:03   But we had some questions about it and this answers one of the questions. That's why it's follow up.

00:11:07   All right, so David writes, "Metal Gear Solid did indeed include a system where Psycho Mantis would read your quote-unquote mind by using controller port 1.

00:11:15   Switched port 2 and he couldn't anticipate you anymore. That's a separate thing from the memory card trick."

00:11:20   Yeah, because I was talking about the memory card thing where he would look in your memory card to see what other games you've played and say things that would freak you out.

00:11:26   How does he know that? Oh, is it because he's reading your memory card?

00:11:28   But the person who wrote it said there was a thing about switching ports and I didn't remember that.

00:11:32   So apparently those are two entirely separate things.

00:11:34   Basically when they say anticipate your moves, you'd be trying to beat the boss.

00:11:38   And it had it programmed to be more difficult if your controller was put into port 1 or whatever.

00:11:44   That's what it boils down to because, you know, it's software.

00:11:47   It could also read your controller on port 2 if it wanted to.

00:11:49   But that was what you were supposed to do, is figure out that you had to change ports.

00:11:53   Fourth wall breaking.

00:11:54   That is very slick. And I played Metal Gear Solid. I loved it and I have zero recollection of that whatsoever.

00:11:59   Andrew Clark writes, I'm actually fairly perturbed to myself for not thinking of this because I loved this.

00:12:05   Andrew Clark writes, "There's a fantastic mind-bending fourth wall breaking puzzle game for iOS called BlackBox."

00:12:12   I feel like all of us met the developer whose name is escaping me like many, many years ago, WWDC, and he was a super nice fellow.

00:12:18   BlackBox is amazing. If you've never played it, you absolutely should grab it.

00:12:22   It is super, super fun and extremely clever in the puzzles that you have to solve.

00:12:29   I cannot recommend it enough. I absolutely love this thing.

00:12:32   So we'll put an App Store link in the show notes. You should check it out.

00:12:36   David Kong writes, "I enjoyed the discussion on HP 533 about The Fool's Errand and especially Metal Gear Solid and the memory card corruption fears of Eternal Darkness.

00:12:45   My favorite memory of that was during the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 era playing Batman Arkham Asylum.

00:12:51   Late in the game, Scarecrow doses Batman with fear gas, but it's subtle and the game looks like it's crashing.

00:12:56   Since this was during the Red Ring of Death era, many people were fooled.

00:12:59   I had a PS3, had been warned, and still thought the game had crashed and restarted my system before I realized I had been had.

00:13:05   Fortunately, the game realized people would do this in autosaves right before, but still, it was a memory I will never forget."

00:13:11   That'd be cruel if it did an autosave and wiped all your progress because you thought your thing crashed.

00:13:16   Then you got to the same point. It crashed again? What are the odds?

00:13:20   Michael Lechter writes, "On the subject of 15-inch MacBook Airs and businesses wanting them, I'm of two minds on that.

00:13:26   Our standard corporate setup for employees globally is a desk configuration with either dual 24 or 27-inch displays.

00:13:32   We have 12,000 desks set up this way in multiple countries with Plain Jane, Dell, Thunderbolt docking station,

00:13:39   and unfortunately, the M1 or an M2 MacBook Air won't light up that second display where a MacBook Pro does.

00:13:47   Needless to say, we don't buy Airs because end users believe the Mac is broken when that second display doesn't light up or just mirrors their first one.

00:13:54   It's seemingly an artificial limitation that Apple places on the Air line to push Pros in deeper-pocketed businesses to pony up several hundred more dollars and purchase a Pro."

00:14:02   So, okay, first of all, I don't think it's an intentional limitation. I think it's a real limitation.

00:14:09   Apple doesn't intentionally restrict product capabilities that would otherwise be technically very simple and reasonable to implement.

00:14:18   So, that's not really a thing.

00:14:21   Do you remember when we originally talked about this? When these things first came out and said they could only support one monitor?

00:14:27   And I think we threw the question out there, like, "Hey, what's the deal? Why do they only support one monitor? What is the limitations that's causing them?

00:14:32   Is it a GPU limitation? Is it the video driver? What provides the limit?"

00:14:38   I don't think we ever got a satisfactory answer. I generally agree that Apple doesn't intentionally cripple things, but the fact that I don't actually know what the limitation is, where the limitation resides, is it the circuitry in the SoC? Is it a VRAM thing?

00:14:54   I still say the jury's out on why this is the case, and even if it is a hardware thing, that still comes down to, "Hey, when they were designing the plain old M1 or plain old M2 and it comes time to design the video driving circuitry, that's a choice they make at that point to be that limited.

00:15:12   Does it save power? Does it save money?"

00:15:14   I don't actually understand this tradeoff, so I kind of understand the frustration because it seems like a regression because the Intel MacBook Air that everybody loved from 2011, couldn't that drive more than one display?

00:15:26   And that's over a decade ago. It does seem not great that this otherwise amazingly capable computer has this limitation.

00:15:36   Even if it's a real limitation, as in, you know, the hardware just can't do it, I think that might have been a bad choice.

00:15:42   Matthew Kraft writes, "Two years ago, my wife and I each did extensive research before buying standing desks. She chose Fully, that's the one that I bought, and I went with the Uplift V2.

00:15:54   When I assembled the desks, it immediately became apparent that they were from the same OEM. The control box, keypad, etc. were all essentially identical. This is not a big deal, we love our desks, and perhaps there are other components that differ between the two.

00:16:05   I just thought it was hilarious because we spent so much time debating between the two options only to learn how truly similar they are. This is news to me. I can't say I'm surprised, but news to me if this is true."

00:16:15   I mean, part of what you're choosing is the surface material too, and the shape and details like that, so I can believe that the sort of mechanism underneath it is probably from some common manufacturer, but maybe you just like the, you know, the wood choices on one better than the other.

00:16:29   And then Wade Tragaskis writes, "There is a downside to using the camera shutter to protect the sensor. Camera shutters are incredibly light because they have to move at incredible speeds and accelerations with as little jolting as possible, and that makes them extremely fragile.

00:16:44   If the shutter is down when you're swapping lenses and your finger slips just a little bit, you can easily damage the shutter, such that you can no longer take photos.

00:16:52   What you want is a camera that doesn't use a mechanical shutter at all and instead has a more robust sensor shield that's purely for sensor protection and can be much tougher.

00:16:59   Nikon is the first to start doing this with the Z9, but others will follow suit in time.

00:17:05   P.S. there was a similar problem before the mirrorless era when you could bump the mirror and knock it out of alignment. That could cause the viewfinder to become a bit soft or worse, cause the autofocus system to stop working properly."

00:17:16   I have a hard time imagining my finger ever going so far inside the camera to touch the shutter. I'm so careful when I change lenses. My finger is going to slip inside the camera body and I'm going to touch where the sensor would be, but the shutter is.

00:17:33   Anyway, that's something to watch out for, cause those shutters are delicate, but don't put your fingers inside your camera. Even by accident.

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00:19:01   There's some fun stuff on that page too, nice little message for ATP listeners. So steamclock.com/atp. Once again, your customers deserve a better app.

00:19:10   Visit steamclock.com/atp. Thank you so much to Steam Clock for making the world better by making better apps and also for sponsoring our show.

00:19:23   Apple is to release Final Cut Pro and Logic Pro on the iPad. The time has finally come. Apple is trying to do something "professional" on the iPad.

00:19:36   So we'll put a link to the newsroom press release in the show notes. The bare bones version of it is, these will be available in the App Store starting on Tuesday, May 23rd.

00:19:49   Final Cut Pro and Logic Pro for iPad will each be available for $4.99 USD per month, or $50 USD per year with a 1-1-3 trial.

00:20:01   Final Cut Pro is compatible with the M1 chip iPad models or later, and Logic Pro will be available on the A12 Bionic chip iPad models or later.

00:20:10   Final Cut Pro for iPad and Logic Pro for iPad both require iPadOS 16.4.

00:20:15   With regard to Final Cut Pro, there are some interesting features that I called out that I thought were worth discussing.

00:20:24   You can do live drawings, so users can draw and write directly on top of the video content using the Apple Pencil.

00:20:29   On the iPad Pro with an M2, the Apple Pencil hover unlocks the ability for users to quickly skim and preview footage without ever touching the screen.

00:20:37   So if you use Final Cut on a Mac, as you slide the cursor over the timeline, you're not clicking or anything, you're just moving laterally, then the timeline, you can see the video moving as you're scrolling left and right.

00:20:52   And apparently using the hover thing on M2 iPad Pros, you can do the same thing, which is pretty cool.

00:20:58   They also have some trick like circular control that apparently will also let you advance or rewind the playhead, which looked neat in the videos, but it was hard to tell because they only showed it very, very briefly.

00:21:10   Then they have scene removal mask. With scene removal mask, creators can quickly remove or replace the background behind a subject in a clip without using a green screen.

00:21:18   Auto crop also adjusts footage for vertical, square, or other aspect ratios, and with voice isolation, background noise can easily be removed from the audio captured in the field.

00:21:26   One thing I thought was very interesting, iPad users can go and export their Final Cut Pro projects to the Mac, but it was pretty clear that round tripping is not possible and going from Mac to iPad is no dice.

00:21:41   So Jason over at Six Colors writes, "Final Cut Pro for iPad seems to be a subset of the Mac version. You can start on iPad, move to Mac, but the migration won't work the other way, and a bunch of features from the Mac just aren't there on the iPad.

00:21:54   The lack of feature parity is unfortunate, but perhaps a bit understandable, but as someone who rarely uses those pro-level features, it's also frustrating to realize that even my simple projects won't be portable in case I need to leave home and run off somewhere with an iPad."

00:22:07   And then like we said earlier, Final Cut Pro for iPad can go on a 12.9-inch iPad Pro, 5th or 6th Gen, 11-inch, 3rd or 4th Gen, iPad Air, 5th Gen, and again iPad OS 16.4 or later.

00:22:19   Before we get to Logic Pro, any initial thoughts? I mean, obviously we haven't used it, but at a glance this looked like a not too watered down version of the "real" app. I mean, it looked pretty impressive in the very, very little that we've been shown so far. Marco, what did you think?

00:22:38   I'm going to reserve my comments for talking about the two together.

00:22:41   Okay, fair enough. John, any thoughts particularly about Final Cut?

00:22:44   I mean, one of the differences we'll get to in a second is the feature parity with the desktop version. We go back to the same thing we went back with with Stage Manager. Why is Stage Manager only on the M1? Oh, it needs virtual memory.

00:22:57   But what about this thing that doesn't have virtual memory but can still run it and it's just... Apple never wants to tell you technically why the limitations are what they are.

00:23:07   Setting aside which ones it can run on, I'm more willing to forgive that, but it's the feature parity. It's the inability to round trip.

00:23:14   The M1 SoC in the M1 iPads is fantastically more powerful than many, many machines the Final Cut Pro, the current version of Final Cut Pro ran on and still runs on.

00:23:26   The only thing that I can think of that it really lacks is RAM because you don't get to pick how much RAM your iPad has and even the biggest iPad does not have that much RAM. I think the max is 6 maybe, I don't remember off the top of my head.

00:23:39   But the minimum you can get on a Mac is 8. I don't quite understand why they wouldn't do round trip ability.

00:23:49   Maybe there are features that are too slow and those features would be locked out, but it really makes it... Not that it makes it feel like toy Final Cut because that's not fair. It seems like it's pretty much the full Final Cut minus features here or there.

00:24:01   But that just makes it so much less useful because what people want to be able to do, like Jason said, is you have a Final Cut project and you need to go somewhere where you don't have your laptop or you want to work on something quickly and you just have your iPad.

00:24:14   But you can't do that. It's just, "Oh sorry, that's a Mac thing and I can't work on it here." I find it hard to understand why they would have made that choice because it just locks out so much stuff.

00:24:27   Especially since iPads just get more powerful. I would say that the iPad should be more than powerful enough to work with the same projects as the Mac version of Final Cut.

00:24:38   Now maybe it's really bad at them. I don't know enough about video editing to know which features they locked out or maybe it would be terribly slow.

00:24:45   But by just saying, "Look, they're not even... The project format or whatever the file format is, they're not even the same thing. It's an export step to go to the Mac and Final Cut on the iPad just can't open Mac projects."

00:24:59   That is the most frustrating thing for me about this application. I wish Apple would have explained it. Maybe it will go away in the future. Again, iPads continue to get more powerful.

00:25:09   But maybe it's not a power thing. Maybe there's something else about the projects. The most optimistic take on it is that the project format on the iPad represents the future of the project format on the Mac and they just haven't gotten there.

00:25:22   This is a newer, fancier app and they've come up with a better format for the projects and eventually the Mac version will support that format and there will be parity. Something like that could have happened.

00:25:32   But I find that disappointing because it just makes it seem like, again, even though this is not fair, it makes it seem like the training wheels version or the mobile version. It's not as good or whatever.

00:25:43   The good thing about it though is looking at the screenshots is that it's not, obviously, we didn't think it would be, but just to emphasize, it's not the Mac version of Final Cut shoved onto a small screen.

00:25:53   It is made for the iPad. It is made for the things the iPad can do. For touch, for the pencil, for pencil hover. All that stuff is great.

00:26:01   I hope it works well. I hope when people who actually do video editing get it into their hands, they find it useful and find that it really does let them edit video in a way they couldn't on a Mac.

00:26:13   That's what you want out of this. Speaking of Jason at Six College, he edits audio on the iPad because you can edit audio on an iPad in ways that you can't on a Mac.

00:26:23   His workflow of using multiple touch with fingers and everything, like he has two finger tap to play/pause and stuff like that and sliding things around with the pencil and his fingers, you just can't do that on a Mac because Macs don't have touch screens.

00:26:34   Macs don't have pencils. They have different input devices. It seems like Final Cut does that on the iPad and I think that's great.

00:26:43   Just disappointed about the file format. The final thing, it's the same for Logic. It's the subscription pricing.

00:26:51   Some people are disappointed by that and I think the main reason, the main legitimate reason to get disappointed by subscription pricing for Final Cut and Logic is that they're made by Apple.

00:27:04   Apple has other ways to make money. What people want is they say "Hey Apple, you make so much money on other things that you do. Can't you subsidize your pro applications and sell them for an affordable one time price?"

00:27:20   Even though your continued development of them costs money, pay for it with your iPhone profits. Pay for it with the other stuff. Pay for it with your services revenue or whatever.

00:27:30   That's what people think. Even if they're willing to believe developers need to be paid some regular amount of money to maintain an application, Apple doesn't because Apple's got money from all sorts of other stuff.

00:27:39   That makes some sense but remember that Apple is also a platform vendor and they're already in this whole strategy tax situation where we want people to buy our hardware products and these software applications make our hardware products more valuable.

00:27:53   But they also compete with third party software products like Adobe Premiere. Obviously there are fewer competitors in this market because it's kind of the high end stuff.

00:28:02   Whenever Apple makes an application, it competes with third party applications and Apple wants third party developers to develop for its platform.

00:28:11   So it's this balancing act. How much does Apple compete with its third parties versus how much does it support them by making the APIs they need and so on and so forth.

00:28:19   Already Apple has a tremendous advantage because these applications only work with an operating system that isn't even released yet. Third party developers can't do that because they don't get to see the builds as early, they don't know what the plans are.

00:28:32   Yes there are babies or whatever but it's very difficult to exactly time your releases with a brand new version.

00:28:37   Especially since surely there's stuff in iPad OS 16.4 that is there specifically to support these applications.

00:28:43   That is an advantage that you don't have as a third party developer most of the time unless maybe you're Microsoft or Adobe.

00:28:49   So Apple has to be careful and the people who say Apple should subsidize it with their profits.

00:28:53   What you're saying is Apple should even more unfairly take advantage of the fact that it is the platform owner to even more unfairly compete with the other third party applications that do this same task.

00:29:05   And I think that would be unwise. I think Apple should try to have a somewhat sustainable business model for its pro applications.

00:29:18   Because the slam on Apple and its pro applications for years is that they kind of give up on them. Like what happened to Aperture?

00:29:23   Or what was the other one? Shake? Or you know, is Motion gone now? I don't remember.

00:29:28   Like at various times Apple has acquired and developed pro level applications and then just kind of said, "Eh, this is tough business and we're kind of losing so never mind."

00:29:37   And that's disappointing for people who invest in those applications.

00:29:40   We built our business around this one pro application and now it's gone.

00:29:44   Or I put my giant photo library into Aperture and then Aperture goes away one day and ugh it feels bad to have to make this terrible transition.

00:29:51   So I don't know if $5 a month or $50 a year actually is sustainable in terms of how much does Apple, you know, how much does it cost Apple to continue developing these versus how much money they get from them.

00:30:03   But I think the idea of a fairly low subscription price for these applications is fine.

00:30:12   And I would not be surprised if these prices do not cover Apple's costs but they come closer to covering the cost than a one time fixed fee probably does.

00:30:21   And the fact that there's monthly makes it way cheaper for somebody who just needs to edit video three months out of the year than if they had to buy the $100 Final Cut.

00:30:30   More than that. Just for reference, Final Cut is $300, Logic is $200. And these are $50 a year each for the iPad versions.

00:30:38   I mean for the people who know, well but I need it all the time and it's like, you know, it's not like you're going to buy that one copy of Final Cut and never buy another one.

00:30:47   Like they do have major upgrades and you have to buy it again.

00:30:49   They don't have paid upgrades in the Mac App Store.

00:30:52   No, I know what I mean. In terms of like when you have to buy the new version, like the old one that stops being supported, I don't know how often they do that with the pro applications.

00:30:59   But occasionally there's a new, you can't just keep using Final Cut Pro version 4 forever. Eventually you have to buy a new version.

00:31:05   Well, to be clear though, I mean I own both these applications on the Mac. I don't think they've done a version change since the Mac App Store versions came out.

00:31:15   Like I've been using the same version of Logic for, I don't know, probably seven or eight years that I paid $200 for seven or eight years ago.

00:31:22   So, you know, if I had to pay for my Mac version on this subscription plan, which frankly this is probably the future of the Mac apps and maybe it would be a unified purchase in the future as well.

00:31:33   Who knows, maybe the Mac apps become Catalyst apps, which I'm a little nervous about that, but honestly it wouldn't surprise me if that's the direction they go.

00:31:42   Like maybe this just is Logic Pro 11.

00:31:46   Like they did with the new version of iMovie, eventually it became the new version of Final Cut kind of.

00:31:50   Yeah, yeah, like kind of a redo starting from the iPad version as the Catalyst version to become the new Mac version.

00:31:58   Like that wouldn't surprise me if that's what they do and then maybe it would be a unified purchase.

00:32:01   Anyway, all that is to say, I've been using the same version of Logic for many, many years, so I would be paying more under this subscription plan, but not by that much.

00:32:11   And granted, I mean for the amount of use, like if you're using Logic or Final Cut for more than four years, then not only are you getting your money's worth, but that you can probably afford it if you're using those programs for that long.

00:32:26   You're probably doing something somewhat serious with your work.

00:32:29   And that idea that they haven't been updated in a while, that's another thing.

00:32:32   Like subscription pricing in theory provides a revenue stream that will give the customer a sustainable model for future updates.

00:32:42   That is not that, you know, that some, there's money coming in all the time to fund the continued development of this application.

00:32:50   And, you know, if Aputure had subscription pricing, maybe they would have had enough critical mass to keep going.

00:32:55   But the way they were selling it, apparently it wasn't a viable business for Apple and they bailed out of it, right?

00:33:00   So I think these prices seem low. Like if you've priced out, you know, Adobe Photoshop, I believe it does not cost $50 a year to get Photoshop.

00:33:09   Sure it doesn't.

00:33:10   So like, these seem like good prices, but I still think it should not be like free or one-time purchase of 30 bucks or one-time purchase of $100 or whatever.

00:33:20   Just because this type of subscription pricing, though it may be low and subsidized by other stuff, I think still leaves enough, leaves space for third-party applications to continue to exist.

00:33:31   So I have no complaints whatsoever with the pricing. In fact, I was shocked at how low it was.

00:33:35   And I love the fact that there is monthly because if I ever needed Final Cut Pro for, you know, just to try something or whatever, my previous option was pay a couple hundred dollars and then, you know, hope for the best.

00:33:47   And now I can pay five bucks and try it out. So I give a thumbs up.

00:33:50   Yeah, I too, I would have, like I would gladly have paid $5 for a month of using it because I hardly ever use Final Cut.

00:33:58   I bought it because I thought I would use it more than I did. I ended up hardly ever using it. And there goes $300, you know?

00:34:03   No, I think the pricing is reasonable and not unexpected.

00:34:10   The interesting thing, I believe this is Apple's first subscription price software. So that's interesting in the sense that you're not paying for any kind of service behind this.

00:34:19   You're literally just paying a subscription price to use the app, like many apps are price-easy. But, you know, that is new to Apple. So that's interesting. But otherwise, you know, I think it's fine.

00:34:29   Do you think they'll apply the same rules about, remember they had the whole thing when they first came out with subscription software where there was like these vague app store rules that you have to add substantial additional software on some regular basis to justify your subscription?

00:34:42   I have a feeling that Apple is not going to hold itself to that standard.

00:34:45   I don't even think they hold anybody to that standard anymore. Like all the apps in the app store that are there, you know, like you can crop photos for $3 a week. Like I don't think they're doing anything like that.

00:34:54   When subscription pricing first came out, there was like, what about, you know, productivity app? Remember it was like subscription if you have like content drops or whatever. If you're adding new content to the app, people can subscribe to that.

00:35:03   But if you want to, if you have a productivity style application, there was some vague wording about like, well, if you just have like a note taking application, you need to justify the fact that I'm assuming that went away.

00:35:16   Like many of the worst app store rules. But I just find it funny that like, even if that rule does still exist or did still exist, that's another example of how Apple doesn't have to worry about that.

00:35:27   Like they could, in theory, put Final Cut in the app store for the iPad and just not update it for six years and still charge subscription pricing and no one's going to stop them because they own the platform.

00:35:37   Well, and to be fair, I don't know about Final Cut because I don't really use it much, but Logic is updated all the time. Like they actually do a really good job of updating Logic on the Mac. It's never with anything that benefits me as a podcaster because Logic is not made for the kind of use that I do at all.

00:35:50   And it never stopped reminding me of that at every single turn. But for actual like musicians who are using it to compose music, which is what it's really for, there's constant updates to it.

00:36:01   So I trust them to not abandon these things. At least on the Mac, on the iPad, we'll see.

00:36:07   I mean, to me, I think the big story about these apps, first of all, there's kind of the meta story of why did this drop now before WWDC?

00:36:17   And the likely answer is it's going to be a pretty full WWDC of other stuff, which is very promising and very exciting.

00:36:24   So that's, you know, I love like the May Apple drops of like stuff that gets kicked out of the keynote for space, generally speaking.

00:36:31   You kind of release it now or in July or whatever. So that's always fun.

00:36:36   The big story here is these are pretty serious professional apps being released on the iPad.

00:36:43   Now, everyone has a hot take on this, I'm sure. There's the good thing in the sense that if you use an iPad for your work and you've run into limitations of the existing video and audio editing options that you had, this might help you.

00:37:01   And that's great. This also might help Apple sell more iPad Pros, which will kind of reinforce the chicken and egg situation and make it better, make there a larger market for Pro apps to be made on the iPad.

00:37:15   So that's good, too. However, using the iPad Pro as a professional, doing stuff, doing the kind of things these apps do, which often involves moving files around, getting different assets together from different places,

00:37:30   lots of data management, asset management, file management, downloads, moving stuff, converting stuff, integration with other tools.

00:37:37   Those are all areas that the iPad OS is just not good at. Like, many of those things are not possible.

00:37:45   Many of those things are possible, but clunky and, you know, kind of a hindrance to actually do.

00:37:51   I see a lot of people saying they're really happy these apps exist. I have not seen a lot of people saying, "I will use these apps on my iPad Pro to do my work."

00:38:02   I don't think I've seen anybody saying they're going to use them. Obviously, you know, I have a small sample size of the handful of people I follow on the social networks that we're going to talk about in a little bit.

00:38:10   But I see a lot of, like, "Oh, that's good for other people who use iPads." Not me, of course. No, no, not me. But other people. Yeah, they'll use this like crazy.

00:38:19   Well, I mean, so speaking of other people, though, we just got done talking about pricing. I do feel like that is one of the important upsides of these applications.

00:38:28   It's the person who currently is not editing video with Final Cut because they didn't have $300 to spend on it, and maybe they don't even have a fancy Mac, but maybe they can swing an iPad.

00:38:41   In fact, maybe they already have an old M1 iPad Pro, right? Suddenly, they realize, "You know what? I can get Final Cut Pro. I've never even used it. I don't know how to use it, but it's an iPad app. I'm comfortable with an iPad. Let me give it a try."

00:38:54   The new creators who maybe, like, you know, for the same way that, you know, I can't think of a good example, but like many times there's people who are in an industry using a technology stack and a software stack that is familiar to them,

00:39:07   and they say, "You can't do real work in field X unless you do what I'm doing," and some kid comes up using much worse stuff on much worse hardware and much worse software using an application that the old focus had never even heard of,

00:39:20   and they become the next generation that does all that stuff. I'm sure there's an analogy of like how the original YouTubers did their stuff versus how the next generation of YouTubers did their stuff.

00:39:28   So, you know, you can't have a $5 a month to try out Final Cut on an iPad you might already have. Granted, it's the Pro iPad and they're expensive, but, you know, maybe you've got parents who are well off and they got you an iPad Pro.

00:39:39   I mean, one of my kids has an iPad Pro.

00:39:42   You know, give it a few years and it'll probably run on most iPads that are available then. Even though right now, you know, the iPad Pro is so absurdly expensive, I don't think a lot of people, not just kids, I don't think a lot of people, period, buy the iPad Pro now.

00:39:58   I mean, it is still limited, but it is less limited than convincing your parents to buy your $300 software application, right? Whereas a $5 a month thing, you could swing that on your own, you know, income of a job, right? So I think that is important for Final Cut because it is not the leader in its industry.

00:40:14   And so if you can get a new generation to try it out, like you see the people who are like, we know those are the people who existing Final Cut users probably have some big fancy beefy Mac that they do their work on.

00:40:27   Like, there's some kid somewhere who's going to, you know, try this out for $5 a month and learn Final Cut or like, they'll take a course in video editing and the course will give everybody iPads or something, you know, like that, not that I'm saying that's the, you know, the killer app for this thing.

00:40:42   I just think it's an additional upside to consider when thinking about who is going to use this.

00:40:47   As for the pro people who are saying like, I think it's good that it exists. Yeah, they might be like, oh, if I'm on the go with my iPad, I can try it or whatever. But I did immediately when I saw this, I thought about, you know, all the fancy YouTubers essentially that I'm aware of that they ever talk about their work.

00:41:02   And I was like, well, here's my SAN with my giant, you know, stack of storage that costs more than all of your cars combined. And here's how I connected it, connect to it with 10 gig ethernet. And, you know, it's like, the iPad does not have that kind of connectivity.

00:41:17   And for the idea of like, oh, I'm going to take it with me and do some editing on the plane. How are you going to get the media files onto the iPad? I guess it has Thunderbolt.

00:41:24   You have to find some way to connect your iPad with a Thunderbolt cable to your 10 gig SAN. No, that whole story. That's why I don't think the lack of round tripping is that big of a deal with the Mac version, because I don't think there's a lot of people who are going to be trying to round trip stuff between their iPad and their Mac who are doing Final Cut Pro projects.

00:41:43   It's not sending the data back and forth. It's bad. It's the fact that they're a different format, like that they're not even compatible. But it's also sending the data off. Like the current, like the ways to send large amounts of data to and from iOS devices are not great.

00:41:57   The iPads better than the phone in that regard, but it's not that much better. You have speed issues, you have interface issues. Like that's why I don't think there's going to be a large market of people who are using these apps as satellites with the Mac apps trying to work concurrently on the same projects.

00:42:14   I don't see that happening. I see this as the new market. So like what you're saying, like this is going to be people who don't have the Mac apps, maybe don't even have a Mac who want to try these out or want to like, you know, amp up their ability to do stuff on their iPads.

00:42:28   That's going to be what this is for. I can't see professional video editors taking an iPad on a plane and oh, I'll just pop the project over here. Like no, that's not going to be a market.

00:42:37   Well, I say that's why it was kind of miss out not Apple not having this in the keynote because if it was in the keynote, I think they would like try to show scenarios like this.

00:42:45   And I think they might explain like one of the things I wonder again, I'm not a video editor, but I know back in the bad old days, proxy editing was essential.

00:42:52   You couldn't edit and mess with in real time, like the full resolution stuff and part of the revolution of, you know, oh, hardware gets better.

00:43:02   You've got more memory and dedicated encoders like you can do non proxy workflows where you're actually working with your own real video files and you can scrub them in real time and see effects applied in real time and not wait for things to render.

00:43:13   And it's like, wow, great. Look at all the new technology we have. But going to the iPad version, it's not like the iPad doesn't have that power again.

00:43:20   M1 iPad is fantastically more powerful than most of the machines that have ever run Final Cut. But the iPad itself is so anemic in terms of IO that I do wonder if it uses a proxy workflow, not for computation or rendering reasons, but purely so they don't have to find a way to bring the full fledged media files to and from your iPad.

00:43:41   Right. That maybe it will, you know, there's some kind of, oh, well, when you when you bring a project onto your iPad, it will, you know, from from these full media files, it will only work with the proxies just so you need to reduce bandwidth.

00:43:53   But that doesn't make sense either, because if you can't bring them from the Mac onto there, they have to be created on the iPad to begin with. So I don't know.

00:43:59   I would have liked to see an apple try to I know there was that video they released showing people messing with it, but they didn't really talk about, you know, here's what we think you could do.

00:44:08   You could, you know, they showed like you can use the iPad to record video with the amazing iPad camera and it records in ProRes, which is great.

00:44:17   OK, and now we're taking, you know, video of this guy skateboarding and then we get edited right here and real Final Cut.

00:44:23   Is that really a common scenario? Again, for the kid in the bedroom? Yes, sure.

00:44:27   Because it's an all on one amazing video editing station. But for anybody doing, quote unquote, real video work, even YouTube is probably aren't if they can avoid it unless it's they're just starting out.

00:44:37   You know, capturing video with the iPad camera. So that leaves you with the question, how do I get the video onto this thing?

00:44:43   How do I get the video off? Did I put the full video on it? Do I just do a proxy workflow and then have the real videos elsewhere?

00:44:48   And how does it all come together? I don't know the answers to all those questions, but it just I'm still stuck on the fact that is a different format because I don't like thinking that this is the lesser Final Cut.

00:44:59   I would I would want it to be full real Final Cut that works on full real Final Cut projects and whatever the limitations are caused by a small amount of RAM or whatever.

00:45:08   Throw up a dialog and say, oh, on this project, because it's an 8K project and we just can't deal with them here.

00:45:13   We can open the file and we can let you scrub through it. But I can't actually do the work because I don't have enough RAM.

00:45:18   So put it back to your Mac. But it being a separate format, you know, I'm still crossing my fingers that this is just the new Final Cut format and the Mac version will catch up.

00:45:26   But Apple hasn't said anything one way or the other. So it makes me think that this is, you know, Final Cut Pro Junior.

00:45:33   Some of that I think is unavoidable, just because when you look at it, you know, a lot of stuff you were just mentioning.

00:45:37   When you look at the the actual needs of Final Cut Pro users in the field today, they scale up dramatically past what the iPad could do or what you could easily get into or onto or off of the iPad.

00:45:50   So they can't really do everything that Final Cut Pro does on the Mac on the iPad. So there had to be some omissions and cuts and everything.

00:45:58   The file format stuff, you know, that could be for other reasons. You know, it could be that this is the future format of Final Cut.

00:46:04   It could be, you know, that the old format or that the desktop format just has stuff that the iPad can't do well or won't handle well.

00:46:12   So there's all sorts of plausible reasons for that.

00:46:16   It would be easier to make technical arguments if Macs didn't literally have M1 SoC. Like this is not an iPad SoC. The M does not stand for iPad.

00:46:26   It's like, you know, it was like again, the only thing that it really has against it is just lower RAM.

00:46:32   And I don't even know off the top of my head, some of the big iPads might even have eight and you can find Final Cut in eight, which is, you know, not great.

00:46:39   But anyway, Apple didn't explain. So this is an area to watch in the coming years, assuming this application continues to be a thing.

00:46:47   iPads will get more powerful and eventually will be at the point where like the cheapest iPad Pro you can get is more powerful than, you know, the Macs that are running.

00:46:57   You know, the minimum spec Mac that you can run real Final Cut on today.

00:47:01   So in the interest of being completionist, we should probably have a little bit about Logic Pro specifically.

00:47:07   Creators can make precision edits and draw detailed track automation with the Apple Pencil and connect to smart keyboard fully or magic keyboards, utilize key commands that speed up production.

00:47:17   That's also true of Final Cut Pro. Logic Pro for iPad supports round trip capabilities.

00:47:21   Hey-oh! Making it easy to move projects between Logic Pro for Mac and the iPad.

00:47:26   But then Jason Snell clarifies, except there's just one thing. Many Logic users also use third party audio plugins.

00:47:34   You may not know it, but iPad OS supports Apple's audio unit plugin format and has for a while now.

00:47:39   But the only catch is that the maker of the plugins you rely on must make iPad versions available or your quote unquote round trip Logic project really won't be.

00:47:46   Some pro filter makers like FabFilter support the iPad. Others like iZotope seem to have not even heard of the iPad.

00:47:53   Sad trombone. Sorry Marco. Your mileage may vary.

00:47:57   So full marks for supporting round trip in principle, but a bit of a bummer. And I guess it's at least partially beyond Apple's control, but a bit of a bummer that the plugin story is lacking at this moment.

00:48:10   Well, and this, I mean again, like this is, this particular thing, you know, I actually don't use iZotope's plugins.

00:48:19   I use the iZotope editor app because I find the use of plugins adds a lot of latency and burden to the actual logic editing process.

00:48:26   I just, I preprocess the files in iZotope's own app and then I import them into Logic.

00:48:30   But like, again, trying to figure out how to do that kind of stuff on an iPad, think about all the limitations that iPad OS will fight me on this.

00:48:36   So first of all, my podcasting workflow. I use Audio Hijack Pro to record and do a bunch of other stuff.

00:48:42   It broadcasts the live stream, it records a different backup format, you know, it splits the format into different parts.

00:48:47   I'm also, I'm recording the contents of our Zoom call. This is all stuff you literally cannot do on iPad OS.

00:48:54   And then I take those files, I upload one by dragging and dropping to our CMS.

00:49:00   You can do that on iPad OS, it's clunky, but you can do it.

00:49:04   And then I run a command line script that I wrote, a bash script.

00:49:10   Well, what's that? What's that? I don't understand.

00:49:12   Oh, because meanwhile in the background, my Dropbox app, which is actually my Strel, but my Dropbox client was running and got the files that the two of you put in the shared folder that we have.

00:49:22   I run a shell script that I wrote in bash that takes those files, puts them in the right directory that I actually like, you know, run some stuff on,

00:49:29   runs ffmpeg to convert a couple things like between formats and sample rates and whatever else,

00:49:34   then runs a custom app I wrote to line up the tracks that I've never released and I'm probably not going to, so please don't ask. It's sloppy, you don't want it.

00:49:43   But anyway, so it automatically syncs up the tracks, runs them through my voice boost command line utility that I also haven't released,

00:49:50   applies EQ and volume normalization to each of our voices based on a profile I've created for each of us.

00:49:55   Then it gives me those wave files that I can either import into iZotope if I need to do any kind of de-reverb or in most cases I don't, so I just import them directly into Logic.

00:50:03   Those files, by the way, are about a gig each, so a gig per person per ATP episode.

00:50:09   Now imagine the process of trying to do that kind of workflow on an iPad, because on my Mac, it's running one shell script that I wrote, you know,

00:50:18   eight years ago and I've been reusing this entire time. You can do some of that with shortcuts.

00:50:23   Some of those apps exist on the iPad, but it's a way, way smaller ecosystem and the process of dealing with all these different files and different processes is much more clunky and much more cumbersome on an iPad OS.

00:50:38   Some of these things aren't possible at all, like the application that records the output of another application that doesn't cooperate with it normally.

00:50:45   So again, I think these apps will be good for people who have, first of all, very different needs than me.

00:50:53   Obviously, Logic is not made for podcasting. Again, it never stops reminding me of that when I'm using it.

00:50:59   But, you know, these are apps that people who use these have complicated workflows sometimes and complicated needs that iPad OS is going to keep getting in their way.

00:51:11   So on one hand, I'm really glad that Apple did this. I was not expecting this. This came out of nowhere for me.

00:51:16   It shows that they, you know, this is a large amount of software effort that they put in here.

00:51:21   And Apple does not put in large amounts of software effort for their applications these days.

00:51:27   Like, when's the last time Apple made a really great first party app? Not OS, not platform, app.

00:51:34   They're few and far between these days. And so to do this kind of effort is unexpected and very, very good to see.

00:51:43   That being said, it also does highlight for a lot of people, and will highlight for a lot of people who try to use it, the limitations of iPad OS for doing this kind of work where you're having to integrate stuff from a lot of different apps.

00:51:55   You're having to pull in different files and different formats and use different tools to operate on them.

00:52:00   That's not the strength of iPad OS at all. It fights you at every turn.

00:52:04   So hopefully this is one part of a larger effort to maybe make iPad OS better at dealing with those things.

00:52:14   And I know that's a tall order because, you know, we've seen over time it's very difficult to add power to iPad OS without making it confusing for the people who want it to be simple.

00:52:25   And so that's going to be something that hopefully we'll see more of at WWDC. Maybe we'll see some kind of direction for iPad OS that is more than what it seemed like over the last year or so, which is basically, you know, half abandoned.

00:52:38   I would rephrase that, though. You said we've seen that it is difficult to add more functionality without making it harder for the casual user.

00:52:47   I think Apple has been unable to do that. I don't actually think it's difficult. What Apple has always been trying to do is to sort of strike a balance to have their cake and eat it, too.

00:52:57   We want to add pro-level features, but we want to sort of make them accessible to casual users as well, which is an admirable goal, but they've been failing at that goal.

00:53:07   If you want to add pro-level features and not turn up casual people, it's real easy to hide them. It's real easy to have them all turned off by default, all completely invisible.

00:53:17   You know, like, that's not ideal. You don't want to do that. You don't want there to be this hidden underbelly or whatever, but you can do that.

00:53:24   An example of that is the Unix stuff on Mac OS. It's there, but if the casual user never even needs to know the terminal application exists, it's in the utilities folder, it's not even in applications.

00:53:36   They never even need to see it. But so much functionality is under there for the advanced users who know where it is, but it does not shove its head in, you know, shove, you know, it doesn't rear its head.

00:53:46   It's not in your face. You don't have to know it exists at all to be a casual Mac user. Apple could have done stuff like that on iPad OS.

00:53:56   They could have, you know, made it possible to have multiple audio streams and more generic file, complete file system access and all sorts of other things like, you know, a terminal, a command line, like all that stuff is under there and could be there in a way that does not impair the casual user.

00:54:12   It's just that every time Apple has tried to do that, they've tried to not bury it away. They've tried to integrate it. To give an example of when they've succeeded, cursor support on iPad OS.

00:54:22   That is a more advanced feature that they serviced in a way that does not interfere with casual users, but also provides casual users with additional functionality.

00:54:30   It meets them where they're at. You don't have to know every single detail of all the fancy stuff or whatever. It is very iPad like it's friendly and you can sort of gradually work your way up to it.

00:54:40   An example where they've not done that is multitasking. They keep trying to have new paradigms and things and they haven't paired the casual use and they've also been non satisfactory.

00:54:51   So yeah, the way I would phrase it is Apple has thus far proven unwilling to just do the simple thing, which is to hide all the advanced features away.

00:54:59   And I, you know, like I said, that's admirable. I admire them for not taking the lousy way out, which is, I would just hide it all under a terminal and you got to do all this stuff from the command line.

00:55:09   But practically speaking, it means that the stuff you were talking about just plain is impossible for anyone.

00:55:14   Like every time I see a 700 step shortcut, it's like it's impressive and the way the house of cards is impressive, but it's like, come on.

00:55:21   Like as clunky as your shell script might be for someone who knows programming, it's so much more tractable than a shortcut that scrolls for 17 pages.

00:55:32   Yeah. Also, it's a really short shot. Like it sounds like it's really complicated. Oh my God, I run my files through a shell script.

00:55:37   It's really not that it's like it's like 20 lines. It's not much.

00:55:40   If you did that in shortcuts, it would not be 20 lines.

00:55:42   No, definitely not.

00:55:43   Nope.

00:55:44   It wouldn't be possible, first of all, as you pointed out, like literally not possible due to sandboxing and restrictions and stuff like that.

00:55:49   But even if it was possible, it would be so much more complicated.

00:55:53   Yeah. So anyway, I think this is this is overall a very promising story.

00:55:58   Like, again, this shows a level of investment in the iPad platform that, frankly, I don't think anybody was expecting Apple to be doing right now.

00:56:06   Like, I think everybody who uses the iPad to get pro stuff done, if there's any of those people left, they had kind of felt like Apple's, you know, Apple has one foot at the door with this platform for pro use.

00:56:18   I don't know a lot of people who are happily using iPads for pro use in this past year.

00:56:23   I know I think stage manager really threw everyone for a loop and the the kind of built up frustrations over time and Apple's lack of progress in this area,

00:56:32   I think turned a lot of people off and sent a lot of people back to back to or to the Mac to do pro level work.

00:56:39   And I don't know that this is enough to change that.

00:56:41   Obviously, for people with certain needs, maybe it will be.

00:56:45   But it's a really good first step to show, like, no, they're not giving up on the idea of a pro iPad workflow platform.

00:56:53   And, you know, I don't know if it's going to work, but I'm really happy that they're doing it.

00:56:58   I think this is healthy for them as a user of Logic every week for my work.

00:57:04   I'm a little concerned that they're going to, you know, axe the Mac version and make this the new version by a catalyst.

00:57:11   And maybe it will be even less suited to podcast work than it currently is for some reason.

00:57:16   I don't know yet. Time will tell.

00:57:18   But as just an Apple watcher in general, this is a this is a cool surprise.

00:57:23   Again, it shows investment that I wasn't expecting in the platforms and in their applications, frankly.

00:57:28   So I'm tentatively optimistic. I think it's a pretty cool thing overall.

00:57:33   Hopefully it doesn't bite anybody in the butt in the future in terms of what these apps are on the Mac.

00:57:37   And we'll see what happens with the iPad.

00:57:39   I think I would like a little bit more bottom up on this. This is top down stuff.

00:57:43   Like you need let's make the pro applications for the iPad a similar top down type of thing is, you know,

00:57:49   we were wondering about asking for speculating about Xcode for the iPad.

00:57:55   Instead, we got playgrounds. Right. That's that's top down stuff.

00:57:59   It's like here is the stuff that the user interacts with. We're bringing pro level functionality to the iPad.

00:58:05   You need bottom up stuff as well. And they've added a little bit of that.

00:58:08   They added what they had virtual memory recently. Yeah.

00:58:11   The iPads that are capable of it. That's the type of bottom up stuff that you need to support the top down things.

00:58:16   But there's a lot of bottom up stuff that is that is lagging behind the top down stuff.

00:58:22   You know, logic and Final Cut could surely benefit from a more sophisticated audio video underlying system in terms of interaction between other applications.

00:58:33   You know, like Final Cut has the plug in system that it uses with audio units. Not Final Cut. Logic does.

00:58:39   Final Cut, I think, has some integration with if not third party stuff than like Apple's compressor.

00:58:45   Is that still a thing? Apple's compressor app is a separate app. It is. And I own it.

00:58:48   I don't know if it will continue to be a thing. It's basically Apple's version of FFmpeg.

00:58:53   Yeah, but that type of coordination is more difficult on iPad OS.

00:58:58   You know, even just like, you know, we can't do recording the audio subsystem.

00:59:02   The fact that audio hijacked, nothing like audio hijack exists on the iPad and can't exist.

00:59:08   And iPad OS itself seems to have limitations in terms of controlling multiple audio streams and multiple applications, let alone hijacking them or coordinating between them.

00:59:17   That's the lower level stuff that lets the higher level applications actually achieve parity with the Mac ones.

00:59:24   Right. Because the Mac can do all those things.

00:59:27   And now, you know, Apple can cheat. Like Apple's applications can use private APIs. Apple can put things in the OS only for them.

00:59:33   Again, without an Apple presentation about the technical underpinning of this, we don't know how much of that stuff they did.

00:59:38   How much bottom up stuff did they have to do in 16.4 to make these two applications possible?

00:59:43   And can that stuff benefit third party applications on iPad OS?

00:59:47   They feel like now they're a little bit top heavy.

00:59:50   And on that front, it's like it's great that they did these for the iPad, but it's all about the follow through.

00:59:55   Right. You know, are they going to continue to update them?

00:59:58   Is there some kind of target they need to hit in terms of usage to keep these teams together or are these teams going to go off and do something else?

01:00:04   Right. Are they really dedicated to this?

01:00:06   In those ways, it would actually benefit the longevity of this software on both platforms for these to be the secret future Mac versions.

01:00:16   Because then at least they have just, you know, everybody's working on the same project and they can try to improve it.

01:00:20   Again, kind of like they did when they made the new version of iMovie, which had which did such a bad job of covering the feature set of the previous version.

01:00:27   They can Apple continued to ship the previous version. I figure with the numbers were always like iMovie 8 or something.

01:00:33   It was, you know, it was kind of embarrassing, but like but Apple believed that the underpinnings of the new version of iMovie were important enough to get out there.

01:00:41   And eventually the underpinnings of the new version of iMovie became the only version of iMovie.

01:00:45   And I think they use a lot of that technology and foundation for the future version of Final Cut, which also was a disaster in its own way because it took away the features that the old version used.

01:00:54   And, you know, hopefully Apple learns from this, but I do worry about them spending what must have been years or however long to make these seemingly very good versions of Mac applications on the iPad.

01:01:08   And then just kind of like forgetting about them going, oh, we tried that and wasn't that great. So never mind.

01:01:14   Like it's like we talk about this with the Pro Max, you know, are they really, you know, dedicated to the Mac Pro?

01:01:21   Are they behind this machine? Are they going to update it? Pro software is the same thing.

01:01:26   They make these things. They seem like they're really great. They seem to support them.

01:01:30   And then some of them just kind of fade away or just like, you know, live on in undead form or get canceled unceremoniously.

01:01:38   That's the life of the quote unquote pro user of Apple stuff, both on the hardware and the software front. So fingers crossed.

01:01:45   Yeah. And I think ultimately, though, like the odds of these becoming the new Mac apps also, I think, is so high in part because of that factor that Apple does not multitask well.

01:01:56   And Apple does not like to repeat work between platforms.

01:02:00   I think we've seen over the last several years, whenever Apple has a chance to unify something between Mac OS and iOS, they'll take it.

01:02:09   And they don't want to keep making a Mac app if they have an iPad, an iOS app that they can just port over to the Mac and make it one unified app.

01:02:21   And frankly, I mean, while I wish this was different, I also can't blame them.

01:02:25   I mean, I don't like writing a Mac app either. Like, I'm currently like trying to do everything in Swift UI.

01:02:30   I'm like, you know, having to port everything over between, you know, all the UI kit stuff and all the NS everything stuff is terrible.

01:02:37   And it feels like wasted effort. And so anyway, I think what we've seen from Apple is that they will unify when possible.

01:02:46   And ultimately, as much as the transition kind of hurts in the meantime, you know, look at messages on the Mac.

01:02:53   It was pretty rough at the beginning when it became a catalyst app.

01:02:56   But now it is a better app than the old, you know, app kit native version of messages because now it has feature parity with the iOS version, which we were all using anyway.

01:03:06   And this is a little bit different in the sense that these apps were, you know, these pro apps are Mac apps first.

01:03:13   And so, you know, we're not crying for feature parity on the Mac. However, this is going to allow Apple to, you know, after maybe a bumpy intermediate period, to update them more often.

01:03:25   If they can justify the effort to say we're going to have one version of these apps that runs on all of our major platforms,

01:03:32   that will help them justify having engineering time on them.

01:03:36   And while it would be great if Apple could use their vast resources to work on both, like in parallel tracks, we know by this point, we know Apple will have to know they won't do that.

01:03:48   Like they will half ass one of them at least. And if you're lucky, it'll be just one. If not both.

01:03:55   And so if they have less of a surface area that they have to work on, odds are better they will keep it updated and keep it moving forward.

01:04:04   So this is probably going to be the future of these apps on the Mac at some point. I don't know when they'll make the changeover. Probably soon.

01:04:11   And I think at that point we will have round tripping between them and the pros will all complain about all the stuff they're losing in the transition.

01:04:20   And it'll be bumpy for a while and we'll get through it. And at the end of the day, we'll have apps that are eventually good and updated.

01:04:27   Can't wait for Final Cut Pro for watchOS.

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01:06:31   [Music]

01:06:35   All right, so in the show notes for two or three weeks now, we've had a heading "Mastodon, Blue Sky, Twitter, etc."

01:06:44   And I guess this was cued by an Ask ATP question from Steven Wood.

01:06:51   "How are you guys finding Mastodon engagement compared to Twitter? I've stayed on Twitter but missed some of the people that have moved away, including yourselves.

01:06:57   Just curious if you're enjoying it more."

01:06:59   And it seemed to me that, Jon, you had thoughts that you wanted to share. Would you like to share some thoughts?

01:07:05   Yeah, so Blue Sky, I believe we talked about it on this show ages and ages ago when I was talking about it as a...

01:07:12   I think maybe when we first talked about Mastodon, I said, "Well, there's this project Blue Sky that Twitter started that is trying to make a decentralized, you know, Twitter-like service.

01:07:23   And they're working on their own protocol and it's supposed to be all open and so on and so forth, and I don't know if that's going to come to anything.

01:07:30   But in the meantime, we've got Mastodon, right?"

01:07:32   I had signed up for the Blue Sky, whatever it was, like, "Hey, sign up here if you want to appear when we actually do anything."

01:07:38   I signed up for that, you know, months and months ago, maybe years ago, whenever the project first came out.

01:07:43   Eventually, my number did come up and they said, "Hey, Blue Sky's ready for you to check it out."

01:07:46   So I signed up for it, this was months ago, and got onto it and used the app on iOS and I was like, "Well, you know, here it is.

01:07:56   It's kind of like Twitter and it's on my phone and the app is not great and whatever."

01:08:02   And I just ignored it for a while.

01:08:04   And Mastodon, of course, we've talked about it in many past episodes.

01:08:07   We were all on it, we were all doing all sorts of stuff.

01:08:09   We talked about the various applications, Twitter continues in its slow decline in functionality and enjoyment.

01:08:16   Most of us are mostly off of it, some people are still there.

01:08:19   But recently, in recent weeks, Blue Sky has seen a surge in awareness, let's say.

01:08:27   I'm not saying a surge in popularity because Blue Sky is still invite-only.

01:08:31   And so the population of Blue Sky is being kept artificially limited by the number of invites, which is very small in the tens of thousands, I believe, as compared to the millions that are on Mastodon and the many, many more millions that are on Twitter.

01:08:45   But it is in the public consciousness.

01:08:50   And so I think it is worth talking about how these different platforms are shaping up.

01:08:55   And my main thought on this topic is that the way these platform services, protocols, so on and so forth, are developing has almost nothing to do with any of the technology on either one of them.

01:09:14   The technology itself is interesting.

01:09:15   We can talk about activity, pub versus AT protocol and versus Twitter thing or whatever.

01:09:20   But I really feel like that is not the story, and I think it is apt for social networks to not be driven by technology.

01:09:27   It is entirely driven by social aspects.

01:09:31   Who is going to each of these services?

01:09:34   Why and what forces are moving them there?

01:09:39   Because kind of like any empty building, the services are defined by who shows up.

01:09:45   Who shows up?

01:09:46   Who is there?

01:09:47   What do they want to do?

01:09:48   What do they do when they are there?

01:09:51   And that really shapes the services.

01:09:54   So despite the fact that all the activity pub people and the blue sky people are arguing back and forth about their technology stacks and stuff like that, that is not the story here.

01:10:03   The story is entirely about the people that arrive.

01:10:07   And in particular, blue sky, having been spawned off from Twitter, I believe it was started by Jack Dorsey, Twitter.

01:10:16   Maybe his baby or maybe the CTO who then became CEO's baby, and it got spun off of Twitter, so now it is not owned by them, I believe.

01:10:25   But anyway, blue sky was backed by money from rich people.

01:10:29   Let's put it that way, right?

01:10:31   I don't know if it is a venture capital thing or whatever, but Jack Dorsey is a rich person.

01:10:35   They have got not a lot of money, but millions of dollars behind them to develop this protocol to hire a bunch of people who worked for a while with nothing to show for it,

01:10:43   who are still working on this protocol and have shipped this sort of prototype application.

01:10:47   There is no business model, there is no money coming into this.

01:10:51   This is entirely a cost center that millions of dollars are being funneled into at this point, right?

01:10:55   Mastodon is an open source project started by one person.

01:10:59   So the sort of pedigree and origin of Mastodon versus blue sky could not be more different.

01:11:07   And I think that difference in origin actually does have a lot to do with who has shown up.

01:11:15   Blue sky being the thing that was started by millionaires with millions of dollars poured into it,

01:11:22   has ended up attracting people who did not end up on Mastodon because, not because there is anything wrong with this, this is not a value judgment,

01:11:34   but I am just going to say this as what I believe to be a fact, rich people know other rich people.

01:11:40   Like the circles that rich and powerful people travel in, they touch each other, right?

01:11:44   You are more likely to know a senator if you are a rich person.

01:11:48   Just the way it is. And if you are a senator, you will know way more rich people than you will if you are not a senator, let's say.

01:11:55   Same thing with celebrities, rich people, powerful people.

01:11:58   Not that they are all one big happy family and they all know each other, but you will have occasion to be fewer degrees separated from them.

01:12:05   The same way in a tech nerd circle that I may not know people who are like rust programmers for android or something,

01:12:11   but they are way closer to me in my Apple Mac circle than they are to someone who is into rock climbing.

01:12:18   Because just the social networking, like who knows who, I know this person knows how many degrees away are you from Kevin Bacon or whatever.

01:12:26   Like literal Kevin Bacon is way closer to the rich people who funded Blue Sky than he is to most of the people who are on Mastodon.

01:12:36   And I think, not that that is the one and only explanation for why celebrities are on Blue Sky and not on Mastodon,

01:12:42   but it has a surprisingly large amount to do with it.

01:12:47   And I say that because having used both services for almost their entire existence,

01:12:54   practically speaking, Mastodon has more people, has better applications, has more features.

01:13:01   And despite the fact that they are arguing about "Oh, but Mastodon makes you pick a server or whatever"

01:13:05   A. That is not actually true anymore. Mastodon defaults to one application.

01:13:09   B. Blue Sky gives you the exact same option. It says do you want Blue Sky or some other thing?

01:13:12   And there is no other thing you can pick right now, but that is not the difference.

01:13:16   The difference isn't that your favorite senator tried to sign up for Mastodon and got scared away by the thing where it asks you to pick a server.

01:13:23   That did not happen. Your senator did not ever try Mastodon. Your senator had never heard of Mastodon.

01:13:28   Or if they did, they heard it once and ignored it. But when enough of their rich, powerful friends mentioned Blue Sky,

01:13:34   that made them, the same way you are going to go try it if you hear something from a friend of a friend,

01:13:38   than if you just see it randomly on the internet, like "Oh, maybe that is something I should check out."

01:13:42   If you are thinking about checking out Blue Sky, think about where you heard it from.

01:13:46   How many degrees away from yourself did you hear about Blue Sky? And what made you check it out?

01:13:51   It is because you trust those two or three connections and say "Maybe that is something I might be interested in."

01:13:56   Because a friend of a friend of a friend says "Hey, Blue Sky, whatever."

01:13:59   Maybe you want to check it out because you heard your favorite celebrities on Blue Sky.

01:14:03   That is the degrees of separation. I am a fan of Tom Cruise. Tom Cruise is on Blue Sky. I don't know if he actually is or whatever.

01:14:09   Nothing to do with the actual services. Blue Sky is worse than Mastodon right now.

01:14:14   Because it is younger. It is younger, they are just working on it, the protocol is not done, the client is bad, the client is not done.

01:14:20   It is very young compared to Mastodon. Mastodon has been around for literally years.

01:14:24   Even though it has only had one person working on it, they have got a huge head start.

01:14:28   But there is the X factor. It is not an X factor.

01:14:33   Celebrities are on Blue Sky. Celebrities are on Twitter. Fewer, not none, but fewer celebrities are on Mastodon.

01:14:40   And right now, in the very very early days of Mastodon, that is defining the big difference between these platforms.

01:14:46   I have seen a lot of people say, "Blue Sky is more fun than Blue Sky is just better in this way."

01:14:50   That may well be true, but I think it is because of the people that are on Blue Sky.

01:14:56   That has nothing to do with the app, which I hate but the fiery passion.

01:14:59   It has nothing to do with the protocol, which actually is very interesting and cool.

01:15:03   It has some advantages over the Mastodon protocol. It has all to do with the people that are there.

01:15:07   That is the game in social networking. It is network effects. It is who is there.

01:15:12   You could call it marketing or whatever, but honestly, I do not think either Mastodon or Blue Sky have some sort of master marketing plan that is causing this to happen.

01:15:19   It is happening more or less organically because of the seed of where these things came from, what their pedigree is, and who knows who and whatever.

01:15:28   That does not mean it is set in stone forever. Things can change real fast. It is early days in both of these services now.

01:15:33   But if you are wondering what the difference is, technically speaking, that is not the answer.

01:15:38   Practically speaking, it is who is there and do I want to be there.

01:15:42   My favorite celebrity and/or government person and/or whatever is on this service and I want to be in there because I want to see their tweets.

01:15:48   The big fun threads, Revan is posting pictures of their butts and the hell thread and all that.

01:15:52   You are hearing about that because powerful people, people with big audiences, celebrities, they are all there.

01:15:58   When AOC is posting funny things off the cuff on Blue Sky, it is because there is only 50,000 people there and she feels more comfortable.

01:16:06   Why is she even there? Because of connection to connection to connection.

01:16:10   What I am rooting for right now is I really hope the Blue Sky apps will get better.

01:16:14   There are third-party Blue Sky apps but they are not any better in my experience than the first-party one.

01:16:18   None of them preserve my timeline position which is a deadly sin for me.

01:16:22   But boy, if you are currently on Mastodon enjoying the wide selection of really good applications, including the one really good one that I use, Ivory,

01:16:32   appreciate what you have but you maybe said that your favorite celebrity is not there.

01:16:37   I heard sometime in the last week or so, somebody described the two services approximately thusly.

01:16:45   They said if you were a Twitter person and then you decided to leave Twitter but you really, you like Twitter, you still enjoy Twitter,

01:16:54   then you are going to probably end up on Blue Sky because Blue Sky looks like Twitter, feels like Twitter.

01:17:00   I just got an account in the last two or three days and I am casually lurking and occasionally replying to things.

01:17:07   Blue Sky looks, feels, smells, walks, quacks like Twitter or Twitter of a year ago.

01:17:15   If you were on Twitter and wanted to leave Twitter but you were kind of sick of Twitter, then Mastodon is for you.

01:17:23   And I think that obviously there are exceptions and that's not a universal truth but I think by and large that rings true for me.

01:17:32   And I have been enjoying Mastodon quite a bit. I have been using Ivory and it's excellent.

01:17:37   I cannot begin to tell you how much I dislike the apps just like Jon had said.

01:17:42   The web app for Blue Sky is not great. The mobile app, well, I mean the web app and mobile app are both deeply impressive given that it hasn't been that long to my knowledge that they have been in development.

01:17:51   But they are not great. The whole vibe on Blue Sky is very different than Mastodon.

01:17:59   Mastodon is a bunch of nerds. It's good and it's bad. It's a little of both but it's a bunch of nerds.

01:18:06   Blue Sky is not. Blue Sky is, it seems to me anyway, to be a lot of people just kind of kicking the tires and kind of s*** posting for the fun of it.

01:18:17   Not necessarily in an angry, evil way like it used to be on Twitter, although I'm sure that's happening too.

01:18:23   But more in a haha kind of way. Which probably doesn't seem like a strong distinction but in my eyes it is.

01:18:30   It's not a bad vibe over at Blue Sky. It's just very, very, very different.

01:18:36   And I agree with you, John, that I think it will continue to be very different because regular people seem to be embracing Blue Sky to the speed that they can given that it's all invite only.

01:18:48   Whereas the nerds are embracing Mastodon.

01:18:52   And I do agree that up until very, very recently the onboarding process for Mastodon was gross.

01:18:59   And I understand why it was the way it was. I get the decisions that were made to land there.

01:19:04   But it was tough. It was gross. And Blue Sky is...

01:19:08   I wouldn't say it was gross but part of it was derived from the fact that Mastodon is many years old.

01:19:14   Because Mastodon is already decentralized. And so when you have a service that is already decentralized, you have to present that decentralization in some way otherwise it's not really decentralized.

01:19:24   Blue Sky doesn't have that problem. It's not actually yet decentralized, right?

01:19:28   In the beginning, Mastodon wasn't decentralized either. When that guy put up his first server, there was only one. Because he was the guy who just made it.

01:19:35   And there was no... But they're like, "Look, Mastodon is many years old. We have a rich tapestry of instances for you to choose from."

01:19:44   Because we're many years old, we're literally decentralized. Of course that has to be in the applications.

01:19:49   It's like a competitive advantage for Blue Sky to say, "We only have one thing for you to choose from."

01:19:54   But like I said, Blue Sky still puts up the screen that says, "Please choose your instance."

01:19:58   And the choices are the one that exists and "Please enter other..."

01:20:05   And there is no other. As far as I know, there's literally nothing else. But the UI is still there for it.

01:20:10   If we could fast forward seven years and Blue Sky still exists and it actually is decentralized, they're going to have the exact same problem that Mastodon has.

01:20:18   "Oh, Blue Sky is decentralized and there are 27 instances. Which one do you want to pick? We'll default to this one, but you get to pick from other ones."

01:20:25   I don't buy that argument at all, even in the hurdle type thing.

01:20:31   Because I feel like if those same people who came to Blue Sky and are all having fun in the big threads,

01:20:37   if those people all showed up on Mastodon, they would be having more fun because they'd be using Ivory, which is a way better client.

01:20:43   And they'd be posting all the same things. And because it's so few people now, it's not like all these people...

01:20:48   These are the people who could survive without the algorithmic timeline.

01:20:54   Mastodon doesn't have a big algorithmic timeline. I think Blue Sky has one bad algorithmic timeline called "What's Hot" that keeps changing all the time.

01:21:02   But the numbers are so small that if all these people showed up on Mastodon, they'd be having all the same amounts of fun.

01:21:08   The only thing they might get derailed complaining about is the quote tweets or whatever.

01:21:13   But it's so new on Blue Sky. It's like, "Hey everybody, check out this new thing."

01:21:17   And the reason I know this is because I remember Hive. Do you remember Hive?

01:21:21   This is the thing from a few months ago that was done by two kids or something?

01:21:24   Yeah, two million people signed up for it in two days.

01:21:27   Again, Blue Sky has 50,000-60,000 or something. Two million people signed up for Hive.

01:21:31   You know what Hive was like? It was like the Blue Sky health threat.

01:21:35   It was a bunch of people from a specific community and the celebrities from the game were there and they were all posting and having fun.

01:21:41   They were like, "Woo, isn't this a fun service?" And then of course it all collapsed because it was run by two people or whatever.

01:21:45   And that was centralized, setting it aside.

01:21:47   People can have this kind of fun if they all show up. It's like a flash mob.

01:21:52   Everyone shows up at a particular location and they have all the fun.

01:21:55   It's a question of whether they'll be able to stay there.

01:21:57   I don't think Blue Sky is probably not going to collapse like Hive did.

01:22:01   But then again, Hive did have way more users for a brief moment before it went down the tubes.

01:22:05   Mastodon is just a more mature platform that these people could have come and had fun on.

01:22:11   But then you get into the things that are actually different as in, what does Mastodon want to be?

01:22:15   What does Blue Sky want to be?

01:22:17   They do have different aims there in terms of, you know, Blue Sky is big on, they do want to have different pluggable algorithms and pluggable moderation systems.

01:22:25   Things that are not sort of in the goal set of what Mastodon is doing.

01:22:30   Blue Sky wants to be decentralized but Blue Sky hasn't figured out their protocol to the degree that ActivityPub has.

01:22:36   ActivityPub is an open documented protocol supported by, you know, W3C or whatever.

01:22:43   Blue Sky doesn't even have that protocol done yet.

01:22:45   So these are two things that are in different stages of development.

01:22:48   And the vibe is different on them because they're just doing different things.

01:22:52   They're different ages, they're different stages, they're different populations of people.

01:22:56   They're very, very different. But in the end, I think both of them do want to be like the best of Twitter.

01:23:03   Like Marco was talking about when he finally came on board Mastodon.

01:23:06   Once he started using Ivory, which is essentially Tweetbot for Mastodon, it was like, "Oh, this is essentially Twitter."

01:23:12   Because Twitter to me looks like Tweetbot.

01:23:14   And now I have essentially Tweetbot for Mastodon and I just slide right in.

01:23:18   Like, you know, if you love Twitter, you're going to love Ivory on Mastodon.

01:23:23   I think that is a totally valid statement.

01:23:25   You can, we'll eventually be able to make the same statement of Blue Sky.

01:23:29   I think they both want to be like the best Twitter ever was.

01:23:32   They're just at different stages along the path to getting there and they've taken a few different turns here and there.

01:23:38   I mean, I would say, though, the crowd being different, like what Casey said earlier,

01:23:43   that's a massive difference in what it's like to use these two services.

01:23:48   I mean, you're right. The apps are very different. The Mastodon apps are great.

01:23:52   The Blue Sky app is terrible. But, like, if you'll forgive a quick story,

01:23:59   in high school I was in the drum section of the marching band.

01:24:03   And so, there came a time when a few of the drummers were asked to ride with the equipment that would go to the away games,

01:24:13   but the equipment wouldn't fit on the bus with the rest of the band.

01:24:16   It would fit in an empty section in the little half bus that the cheerleaders took.

01:24:21   So, for about a year, whenever there was an away game, like three of us drummers would ride in the back of the cheerleader bus.

01:24:30   That would be so terrifying for me as a high schooler, oh my word.

01:24:34   Yeah, so, this sounds like it would be amazing. Like, if you just hear it, you're like, "Oh my God, that must, that, what a dream!"

01:24:42   And what it actually is, is kind of terrifying, because you're these, like, three dudes who are completely invisible in this environment.

01:24:53   And you think, "Oh, maybe they'll talk to us." No.

01:24:58   You gotta talk to them, Marco. You gotta go make some friends.

01:25:02   Yeah, well, they spent the time talking to each other, and we spent the time embarrassed to say a word,

01:25:08   and it was very clear, "Oh, this is the cool kids up in front of us here, and then there's us,

01:25:13   and we are probably better off not saying anything so we don't make, you know, asses of ourselves."

01:25:19   And so we just didn't. That's kind of how it felt when I got to Blue Sky, because I only got there recently, like a few days ago.

01:25:27   And that's kind of how it felt like, "Oh, God, this is, okay, first of all, this is where all the cool people are."

01:25:33   Not the nerds. And believe me, I love us nerds. But it's like, "Oh, this is where the cool people from Twitter went. They didn't go to Mastodon."

01:25:41   I'm gonna say the popular people, not the cool people.

01:25:43   Well, okay, fine.

01:25:44   I'm gonna draw that distinction.

01:25:45   Okay, there. This is where the popular people went, alright? And it was very clear.

01:25:50   And it was also extremely clear, right from the get-go, "Oh, this is where all the women and people of color went."

01:25:58   Because that's something you don't see a lot of on Mastodon. Maybe that's just the circles that I'm in, you know?

01:26:04   The thing is, with social networks, it's all about who you follow.

01:26:08   And your experience, your picture of the network is defined by who you have chosen to follow.

01:26:15   And so you might have a picture of something, like you might think the entire social network is person type X or is missing person type Y,

01:26:25   but in reality, you just don't follow them or you follow too many of this person or whatever.

01:26:30   So it's hard for me to say with any certainty that this is the case.

01:26:34   And obviously the numbers are very different.

01:26:36   But Blue Sky seems, at the moment, to be way less white nerdy, white male nerdy especially, than who I have found on Mastodon.

01:26:46   Now, again, part of that's my fault. I'm sure it's who I've chosen to follow.

01:26:50   I did notice, though, for the first couple days when it was only the popular kids, I was afraid to say anything.

01:26:59   It was just like being in that cheerleader bus, like, "I'm going to keep my mouth shut because I don't fit in here."

01:27:05   Like, I am not qualified to speak in the presence of all these cool people. Excuse me, popular people.

01:27:11   And it was exactly that same feeling again.

01:27:14   And then what happened was I found a couple of people I knew, then I started looking through their follower lists and their follower lists and their follower lists,

01:27:24   and I found, first of all, a bunch of people who I actually know, and I followed them.

01:27:29   I also found a bunch of new people of much greater diversity than what I've been finding in my crowds on Mastodon.

01:27:37   And I kind of found, "Oh, here's where the nerds are." The cool nerds still. Excuse me, the popular nerds.

01:27:43   But the cool people, the nerds on the list, like, "Okay, I'm starting to find my people. They're starting to be there. That's a good sign."

01:27:50   And so now I'm kind of making it my own. And the app does suck, and there's not a lot of people there, but the people who are there,

01:27:59   it seems to have a level of appeal and broad appeal that is more broad than what Mastodon has attracted so far.

01:28:09   And part of that is the people on Twitter who are getting it, part of it is the influence of the celebrities and the rich people, as Jon was saying,

01:28:16   part of that is just that this is where people are going. And it's hard to nail down what gives something traction,

01:28:25   what makes something popular or cool socially in different groups of people. It's a hard thing to pin down or control or predict or explain,

01:28:33   but there is traction there. And so what I think we are heading towards is hopefully a future where both of these networks will continue to exist and be healthy.

01:28:47   Blue Sky, again, it's super early days. They're going to have a lot of challenges ahead of them, especially once things get messy.

01:28:55   Right now they're really small, and it's invite only. Well, at some point they're going to either die or they're going to get bigger.

01:29:01   And when they get bigger, they're going to have bigger problems to deal with. Just like we were saying with Mastodon a few months ago,

01:29:07   they're going to have to deal with abuse and Nazis and harassment and racism and all these threats.

01:29:16   They're going to have to deal with all the stuff that makes it hard to run social networks and hard to moderate. Jack Dorsey does not have a great track record in that area.

01:29:25   Well, I mean, the protocol has some ideas in that area, which are different than the Mastodon ideas. But in theory, people might say, oh, they're ignoring the issue.

01:29:33   They're not ignoring it. They're just way, way farther behind on what they think their path is to dealing with it. Will their path be successful?

01:29:41   There's reason to doubt, again, based on what they've done in the past. Maybe they learned from their mistakes.

01:29:46   They have some interesting ideas that have not been tried in the same way. So that's part of what's interesting.

01:29:51   But when you're invited only to 50,000 people, you can get away with stuff that you cannot get away with when you're multi-instance 10 million people.

01:29:59   So we'll see how that turns out. But I do think a lot of the things you're experiencing are more explicable than just like, oh, it's just the people you follow.

01:30:08   Because Mastodon is more mature, because there are multiple instances and because it is decentralized, it has allowed, by design,

01:30:17   and I would say it's a good thing that it has allowed communities to form with surrounding certain sets of values.

01:30:27   That's what decentralization provides. You can have an instance with a set of rules that you find comfortable and acceptable.

01:30:34   This is where you want to be. These are the people you want to be with. There's lots of different instances with lots of different sets of rules.

01:30:41   People disagree about the rules, but that's what's great about being decentralized. Because Mastodon was inherently a nerdy thing and was founded many, many years ago,

01:30:50   the seed, the sort of the seed of the communities was a bunch of weird nerds. That seems to have been the seed of many Mastodon communities.

01:30:59   But the Mastodon communities have had years to grow and develop their own cultures and their own sort of values and their own moderation rules and their own moderation systems.

01:31:09   And communities have already had time to grow and then fizzle out and die on Mastodon multiple times over, like stars coming into existence and then fading away or supernovae-ing.

01:31:18   That's happened many times over in Mastodon. What that meant was that when new people show up to Mastodon, it's like you showing up on the cheerleader bus again.

01:31:27   There is an established community there, and you're not a part of it. There are multiple established communities.

01:31:34   And I think a lot of what has happened on Mastodon is people would show up, especially people who did not fit into the same mold as the seed communities, and they felt like this is not a place for me.

01:31:46   And granted, Mastodon has multiple places, but you can't try them all. Maybe you try one place and it doesn't feel like the place to you. And maybe you're like, that's it.

01:31:54   That's your impression of Mastodon. You don't know if there are other short buses with different groups of people who are talking about computer stuff.

01:31:59   But you're like, the short buses with the cheerleaders, that is not the place for me. And so you just bail on that.

01:32:05   So I have heard from many people of color who have come to Mastodon and said, it's not welcoming me, because they would come into a community and they would say, my concerns as a black person seem to fall on deaf ears in this community.

01:32:19   Because what they tell me is, oh, in this community, here's our set of rules and here's the way we deal with things.

01:32:24   And I'm telling them as a black person, those rules don't work for me because reasons X, Y, and Z, and they're not hearing me.

01:32:31   And that person bounces off Mastodon. It's like, well, you didn't try all of so many other communities. Like, what am I going to do? Try every single community and figure out if I can find the one that fits with me?

01:32:41   So that is the strengths and the weaknesses of decentralization. It allows sub communities to form, but the weaknesses sub communities form.

01:32:50   And they're their own rules. And there's no way you can have a universal view of every Mastodon community and know exactly where you should go and where you'll become.

01:32:59   But maybe there isn't a Mastodon community that works the way you would like it to be. Oh, you should form your own. That is way harder than just signing up for one simple thing.

01:33:07   Blue Sky doesn't have that problem. Invite only, seeded by fancy people who invite other fancy people. Like, again, the invite system makes it hard coded, dictates essentially you will be, it's not just open to everyone.

01:33:22   The seed round of people invite other people who invite other people and it's people who you know or whatever. And it's small enough that it doesn't matter.

01:33:29   And so then when somebody shows up there and says, I felt unwelcome in the one Mastodon community that I tried. When I show up here, it's a bunch of celebrities and a bunch of people, you know, shit posting.

01:33:42   And I don't know if this is my community, but I feel like I have just as much of a right to be here as anyone else because it's just a bunch of invite only people. Like it's early days.

01:33:52   And that is an advantage of being young and not having established communities, of not being decentralized. If, but if Blue Sky wants to travel that road seven years from now, if it really is decentralized and if the decentralization really does have like algorithmic, you know, plug in algorithms and plug in moderation systems in different instances, it'll be in exactly the same situation as a Mastodon just with different seed groups.

01:34:16   So then maybe at that point, maybe a nerdy person shows up to Blue Sky and they feel like, oh, I don't, I can't find my community here because all these communities are talking about, you know, things that I'm not interested in or whatever.

01:34:26   What we want to see as we like in the whole people who promote the idea of no more centralized social networks because we've tried that many times and they all suck eventually.

01:34:36   What we want is for there to be lots of different communities and for everyone to be able to find a place where they feel comfortable. We're so far from that. It's not even funny, right?

01:34:45   We don't even know if that's a feasible thing that could even happen because the closest things we have, like people keep comparing it to email, but there's not really any culture in email.

01:34:53   Your inbox doesn't really affect other people's. In fact, they shouldn't really cross over with each other.

01:34:58   So email is federated and it is decentralized and you can choose your provider. But honestly, it does not really change your experience that much.

01:35:05   Whereas social networking totally does. And I think any kind of like bridging between Blue Sky versus ActivityPub versus AT Protocol versus whatever is going to be extremely tricky and very unlikely to happen.

01:35:19   And so currently I'm in the terrible position that I do not like of, you know, previously I was still checking Twitter, but spending most of my time and energy in Macedon.

01:35:28   Now I'm still checking Twitter and still spending most of my time and energy in Macedon, but now I'm also checking Blue Sky. This is untenable. I'm checking three places.

01:35:38   I never left Twitter and now I'm not leaving Macedon and now I'm on Blue Sky too. Three places to check, it's just too many.

01:35:47   But the problem is, the reason I didn't leave Twitter was there were people still on Twitter who weren't on Macedon and I was still getting value from them.

01:35:53   And I try to put most of my energy into Macedon, but I'm like, but then I still want to read what people say on Twitter. Now there's Blue Sky.

01:36:00   And on Blue Sky, unfortunately, it's not just like I want to read people who are over there. I also want to participate a little bit over there.

01:36:06   So it's like, oh, this cannot, I cannot scale like this. I cannot be continuing to check three places.

01:36:13   So I think there will be some sort of, I'm hoping there will eventually be some sort of consolidation and resolution.

01:36:20   I'm excited by the fact that people are trying lots of different things. I'm excited by different protocols and different apps.

01:36:27   I'm not excited by checking three different places. So I will, I will live in this world for as long as I can.

01:36:34   But I would, it's not that I want one thing to win, but that's the beauty of decentralized things and open protocols is if an actual open protocol decentralized thing wins, you just need the one.

01:36:46   We don't need seven competing versions of web technology. We've got the web, we've got HTTP, we've got HTML, we've got CSS.

01:36:53   We don't need, oh, we'll use HTTP. Well, I use Gopher. Like, no, we don't need that. Just the web is fine.

01:36:59   We just need the one web. I think that will also be true of if this type of decentralized social network can work at all, which remains to be seen.

01:37:07   We only need one. It just needs to be at least as good as the web in terms of being open and the platform that nobody owns.

01:37:15   And despite the fact that W3C is populated by Apple, Microsoft, Google, like, oh, it's the web is corporate controlled or whatever.

01:37:23   It's not ideal, but it's the best we have ever had. I love the web.

01:37:28   If tweet like social networking could get to the same level of openness and decentralization as the web, I would call that a big win.

01:37:36   But you don't have seven webs despite the web three idiocy. You just have the one.

01:37:42   So I would like, I would like us eventually to come together. Now, what was the web? It was a thing started by one person.

01:37:50   I'm not saying that means that that Macedon is going to win because it was started by one person and so is the web. Doesn't mean that at all.

01:37:56   All I'm saying is that you don't have to have millions of dollars funding you. Although technically that one person did kind of have millions of dollars behind them.

01:38:03   And he was using a next to do it, for crying out loud. Nobody, no person in their bedroom has a ten thousand dollar next cube to develop their funny idea of how to publish scientific papers so that other people can read them.

01:38:15   But I, I want there to be one of these things. I and I want the one thing to be good and I want there to be a lot of third party applications for it.

01:38:23   Right now I have three things and one of them is hopefully going down the tubes for just Twitter and the other two are intriguing, but at very different places in their life.

01:38:30   And I'm checking all three of them. Yeah. And I think when you look at the protocols and everything, yeah, they're different. I don't anticipate the servers like, you know, Twitter is Twitter has isolated itself because of its leader and, and his decision making.

01:38:45   They have isolated themselves so that they're off on an island. They have nowhere to go but down.

01:38:49   Whatever you think of their current state, the, the age of Twitter getting better or bigger is done. Like Twitter is only ever going to stay the same or go down from where it is now.

01:39:00   So that problem will slowly solve itself. Then you have Mastodon and whatever else comes along. You know, Mastodon I think has enough mass and enough usage. It's not going anywhere. It's not going away. You know, like for the foreseeable future. It's here.

01:39:13   So let's take a look at, at blue sky now. You know, I think if, if you look at these two, the amount of traction blue sky has is strong. It's very, very strong.

01:39:26   So it is probably going to be here for a while too. Hopefully I don't, I don't see, I don't know enough about the protocols to know on the server side how complicated and possible it would be for following to work across servers, say, you know, between AT protocol and activity pub.

01:39:47   I don't, I don't think that's going to really become a thing at the server side, but that can probably become a thing on the client side. So what I expect is that in the near future, or maybe even already, I don't even know, like whatever people are doing in test flights and stuff.

01:40:01   I think it is probably pretty reasonable to expect there to be unified client apps where you can log into your Mastodon account and log into your blue sky account and follow using both protocols, see the tweets and post the tweets in one app.

01:40:18   That will probably come soon if it isn't here yet. And, and I think that will solve a lot of these problems for us because solve them.

01:40:25   I mean, I think sure you can make that happen. It's great that you can do that because Twitter explicitly, by the way, didn't allow that at all because they're a centralized company and they just said no.

01:40:33   But it doesn't solve the problem for me because yeah, that can be implemented from a technical perspective, but you, that's not, you can't like reply to one.

01:40:42   Like you can't have a unified conversation in that context because like if threads can only take place on one platform, you can't have a thread with mixing people from two different platforms. Like it's insanity that you would never be able to keep track of who can see what and who's replying to what and I'm not replying there.

01:40:57   Even if you try to duplicate all your replies to the like, it just, it just doesn't work.

01:41:01   In all fairness, that's a problem on Mastodon too. In my experience, Mastodon, it works pretty well because Mastodon is designed for everyone to have the same conversation and the same thread.

01:41:12   I see threads all the time on Mastodon. That's the whole point of it. That people from different instances, they're all participating in the same thread because they can all see the same things in the same thread.

01:41:20   Not true when you're crossing, when you're crossing between Mastodon and Blue Sky.

01:41:25   Well, in practice, there's a lot of things that subtly break on Mastodon when you cross instance boundaries. It shouldn't, but it does.

01:41:33   There are rough edges there, but like the basic model of like every thread I've ever participated in Mastodon has people from different instances and they're all more or less seeing the same thing.

01:41:42   Yes, there are rough edges. Yes, there's annoyances and that some of that is client stuff. Some of that is protocol stuff.

01:41:47   Blue Sky hasn't even come close to dealing with any of those issues. They don't even have their basic single instance functionality down yet, let alone their multi-instance because they're going to have to deal with all the same stuff, right?

01:41:56   But across Blue Sky and Mastodon, a unified client can exist and would save me swapping apps.

01:42:02   But combining them into a single chronological timeline, for instance, like a unified timeline across services, I don't think is tenable.

01:42:10   I don't think it will ever be tenable. And honestly, who would want to do that?

01:42:14   The only people who would be like super nerds who are like, "I'm across all social networks," or whatever, even the most, as they say, extremely online people, they just want to be extremely online in one thing.

01:42:25   So I don't think, it's kind of like saying, "I have a single application that lets me browse gopher sites and websites.

01:42:33   And I can combine all the comments on this YouTube article with the people who are commenting on gopher and the people who are commenting on the web."

01:42:39   No. Yes, you could do that technically speaking. There's nothing stopping you. Gopher is an open protocol. HTTP is an open protocol. You could make it work.

01:42:47   But the people who are only using gopher would only see the gopher comments. The people only see the web comments.

01:42:52   And it would make no sense to either one of them because they don't know if some people can see both of them.

01:42:55   I'm not optimistic about that kind of scenario. I prefer there to be, for this to be, you know, the platform nobody owns is not 17 platforms nobody owns.

01:43:06   We just need one platform nobody owns that covers the problem space and that has a viable path forward for continuing to advance.

01:43:15   And the web, it's been a bumpy road. If you look at the, "How has the web advanced?" says the platform that nobody owns but nevertheless is massively influenced by trillion dollar corporations.

01:43:23   It has not been smooth, but it has mostly worked. And I can say it has worked way better than Twitter has worked.

01:43:30   So that's all I'm saying is like, you know, if we could get half as good as the web, I think that would be great.

01:43:37   I just don't, I wish I could think of a third one. Gopher, the web, I guess Usenet?

01:43:42   We have like the phone system. That's a social network in a way.

01:43:46   Kind of, but like, but yeah, like that's more peer to peer even though we have party lines and stuff.

01:43:51   Anyway, I'm not, I don't see a future in which Blue Sky and Astana both thrive as in like a decade from now.

01:44:01   And if we are in that situation, I mean, it's kind of like, you know, we were in that place where we're like, "Oh, well there's Facebook and there's Twitter and there's the web."

01:44:10   And it's like, yeah, kind of, I guess. But these centralized social networks have burned us all so many times.

01:44:17   They've burned the people invested in them, they've burned the people who worked with them, they've burned all the users of them.

01:44:21   And everyone who thinks like Facebook will live forever, it won't, I hope.

01:44:26   But it's lasted much longer than the previous ones. So there is kind of a lengthening of the timelines.

01:44:31   We are still in the Friendster phase of non-Twitter, you know, Twitter-like services.

01:44:38   And in the Friendster phase, a lot of names came and went, no one remembers them.

01:44:43   We're not even at Myspace yet. Like Mastodon is not Myspace and Blue Sky is not Myspace.

01:44:49   One of them might become Myspace, but I don't think either one of them is Facebook either.

01:44:53   And again, that's an analogy with the centralized systems. I want the web.

01:44:57   I want the web for Twitter-like social networking because I think Twitter-like social networking is a valuable form.

01:45:05   Email is valuable, the web itself is valuable, instant messaging in the form of WhatsApp and iMessage and all that is valuable.

01:45:13   This form, like the way Twitter, that thing that Twitter established, that is useful and valuable and apparently very hard to do well.

01:45:23   I hope we come up with a better way to do that that is not owned and controlled by a small group of people who make terrible decisions.

01:45:32   And part of, you know, so just before I move on, the unified client app thing, you know, maybe we won't see unified timeline.

01:45:41   Maybe we will start with the way that multiple accounts show up in an app.

01:45:46   Maybe you can have multiple account types and you can like, you can have the same interface, but you have to switch between the two accounts, fine.

01:45:53   That's probably how we start and I don't think that's necessarily a bad thing because there's a lot of feature overlap and that's probably pretty straightforward.

01:46:00   But ultimately, my biggest concern with Blue Sky is the same concern I have with Mastodon.

01:46:08   I don't know how these things are going to scale in either the technological sense or the financial sense or the moderation sense.

01:46:16   Those are the three big areas and Mastodon is way ahead of Blue Sky in its scale and they've had a long time to work out some of those things.

01:46:25   I don't like looking at the realities of how ActivityPub works, the realities of running large instances or having people with large followings.

01:46:35   ActivityPub does not seem to scale very well. It seems like it's holding up okay under the existing scale of Mastodon most of the time.

01:46:44   That's a lot of qualifiers. Mastodon does not feel like something that has a lot of headroom in its design in terms of technical scaling.

01:46:52   Blue Sky, obviously a way smaller scale currently but because there are so many Twitter people designing it and running it,

01:47:00   Twitter for all of its faults and even though it had a rough start, scaled really well to a scale that none of these other servers can even dream of.

01:47:09   Eventually. This is what we talked about when we asked about it. Early Twitter was very much like Mastodon and absolutely did not scale and they basically redid it.

01:47:18   Granted, it had a rough early time but that's ancient history now. Modern Twitter scaled really well, really impressively.

01:47:28   Everything was extremely fast, extremely reliable, hardly ever had any downtime, hardly ever had delays and stuff showing up.

01:47:36   That is not how Mastodon is right now and it's at a fraction of the scale and so I'm concerned about Mastodon's and ActivityPub's ability to scale.

01:47:44   In some of the protocol arguments, the people who were attacking the AT protocol on technical means, it seems like the AT protocol, again I don't know much about it yet,

01:47:54   but it seems like they have taken scaling in a different way that is probably more likely to scale better.

01:48:01   I would trust the people who are building Blue Sky to know that stuff better at the scale that we're talking about with possibly becoming a Twitter-like replacement.

01:48:10   I would trust those people to know how to do that better than ActivityPub does it.

01:48:15   Mastodon, interestingly, uses very similar technology stack to early Twitter, which is kind of why we know it's not going to scale well.

01:48:23   But because it's decentralized, there's always the out of like, well, individual incidents can never get that big or whatever.

01:48:29   But anyway, I will point out that Mastodon is only one order of magnitude away from Twitter scale.

01:48:34   Which, granted, order of magnitude is a lot. They're at 10 million, Twitter is a couple hundred million, right? This is one order of magnitude away.

01:48:41   And that may be sufficient, you know, with decentralization they could potentially get there.

01:48:46   Blue Sky looks like they have a better handle on scaling, at least a better idea of how scaling will work, but you don't know until you actually try it.

01:48:54   Because we have to see them actually do it. The other thing about Twitter, Twitter started off like a Ruby application that didn't scale with a bad database backend.

01:49:06   And then they fixed it all and redid it all with the addition of millions and millions and millions of dollars. Don't forget that.

01:49:14   It's not like the person who wrote the original implementation of Twitter gave it a second try and it worked out. No.

01:49:21   They have many employees, tons of money, a lot of that was VC, but eventually they found a business model that did actually produce many millions of dollars in revenue.

01:49:31   Not enough to make them a gangbusters successful corporation, which is why they sold to that idiot.

01:49:37   But still, that is an ingredient that is absent from both Mastodon and Blue Sky.

01:49:45   Because Blue Sky, yeah, they got millions of dollars poured into them, but nothing like the amount of money Twitter had poured into it.

01:49:50   And also, Twitter eventually found a way to have revenue and Blue Sky is not a glimmer in their eye.

01:49:57   So the decentralization as your ultimate out to scaling is not entirely valid, but if you just want to scale a little bit more, you can be like hand wave, hand wave.

01:50:10   As long as we have more instances instead of bigger instances, and as long as our bigger instance scales up.

01:50:16   When I look at ActivityBub, I think of someone looking at the web in the 90s and saying, "Oh, this will never scale."

01:50:22   And they were right. HTTP 1.0 with Apache or whatever, NCSA web server, NCSA HTTP, that wouldn't have scaled to the current scale of the web.

01:50:32   But somehow, starting off with that janky technology, through a very bumpy path, we got to where we are today, where the web is, as they say, web scale.

01:50:43   And it's not because the people who originally made it had the forethought to make something that was scalable, because they didn't.

01:50:49   They just made something that they thought worked or whatever.

01:50:51   And it had to be revised and it had to be improved and lots of other third parties had to come up with ideas.

01:50:57   A company funded by something else entirely, which is Google figured out how to search the web and made bazillions of dollars,

01:51:04   has now contributed to the advancement of the web by coming up with the new versions of HTTP that are in turn more efficient and making browsers that are efficient.

01:51:12   ActivityPub looks way more like the early web than Blue Sky does.

01:51:19   Now, Blue Sky is like, "Well, why do we repeat the same mistakes?"

01:51:22   The people making Blue Sky understand how to scale and they have some interesting ideas about how this could be done well.

01:51:26   But the thing about interesting ideas is they're interesting because they're like, "Oh, I don't think anyone's tried that before."

01:51:32   And that's kind of a danger zone where it's like, you know, it's the worst is better thing.

01:51:36   We've done the thing where you start off with something simple and unscalable and figure out how to make it bigger.

01:51:42   The ones where you start out with something that is novel and interesting and scale better than anything that came before it, it happens.

01:51:50   It can be done. But even in the best case scenarios, which I'm thinking of this because part of what they're doing with the data model and everything is a little bit like Git.

01:51:58   Not really, but they use some of the same terminology as in terms of having a repository, the approvably correct repository with transactions committed to it.

01:52:06   You squint and it might look like a database, might look like Git or whatever.

01:52:09   Git is a good example. It is a very interesting model for dealing with change management and fantastically successful partially because of its pedigree, kind of like perhaps Blue Sky maybe one day.

01:52:20   But Git is not universally better than all the centralized services that came before it.

01:52:25   Git does not scale as easily as some of the centralized ones due to the way it's designed.

01:52:30   If you have a single repository with millions and millions of files doing anything, Git all of a sudden starts slowing down.

01:52:36   And the answer to that from Git perspective is don't do that.

01:52:39   Don't have a repository with millions and millions of files.

01:52:42   Have fewer smaller repositories. Use Git modules. Do this, do that, do the other thing.

01:52:46   It's not to say that Git is bad. It's just that like as novel and interesting as Git was and it brought all this value with, you know,

01:52:54   again, the fact that it was novel and it did have features other things didn't have, it's not universally better.

01:53:00   So I don't know how Blue Sky is going to turn out.

01:53:03   Again, they're not done making Blue Sky. They're still working on the basics of the protocol.

01:53:08   They're just getting around to figuring out how blocking works, for crying out loud.

01:53:11   Like they're in very early days. And I do like a lot of the ideas they have, in particular the fact that when you change instances, you bring your posts with you.

01:53:19   Although the way they do that seems a little janky.

01:53:22   But anyway, I applaud the efforts in these areas, but I do right now, I kind of feel like ActivityPub for all its warts is following a path that looks familiar to me.

01:53:34   That where you start out primitive and not great and having scaling problems, then you eventually figure them out.

01:53:40   And Blue Sky, the reason I signed up for it, like when I, you know, when they first came out, it was like these people have thought hard about the problem.

01:53:49   These people are not just coming in blind and saying, "Oh, I'll just get something simple working and I'm sure it'll all work out."

01:53:54   They're not doing that. They're saying, "We know here are the hard problems to solve and we have some ideas about how to solve them.

01:54:00   And we're going to come in and we're going to start off on third base."

01:54:03   And I was like, "Yes, these guys get it. They're going to do it. I'm rooting for them. I just don't actually know if they're going to do it."

01:54:11   And so it seems like a higher risk factor where it seems unfamiliar.

01:54:14   And the fact that Jack Dorsey is involved doesn't really make me that excited anyway.

01:54:19   I do appreciate his millions of dollars. I don't appreciate his personal involvement in any way.

01:54:23   The good thing is he's been distracted and has gone off to deal with N-O-S-T-R.

01:54:27   No-ster? No-ster?

01:54:28   He's involved with that too?

01:54:29   Yeah, what is that?

01:54:30   Oh yeah, he's given up on Blue Sky. That's his new darling, is that.

01:54:35   And that I know even less about and it seems like their goals are different.

01:54:39   When I read the AT Protocol thing, I felt like, "Yeah, they're thinking about the hard problems."

01:54:44   When I read about the No-ster stuff, I was like, "You're thinking about different problems and I'm not really interested in what you're doing."

01:54:53   Even if you succeed doesn't sound cool, whereas I read the AT Protocol thing and said, "If you succeed, yeah, that'll be a thing I'd want to use."

01:55:00   So we'll see how this shakes out.

01:55:01   I don't need another app.

01:55:03   Yeah, and I checked four places. I did sign up for No-ster twice.

01:55:09   Oh my word.

01:55:10   Accidentally. Because that's how it works. It's confusing.

01:55:14   Anyway, more updates on No-ster in 2045. Stay tuned.

01:55:18   Not my word.

01:55:20   To me, those scaling questions, that's the biggest thing.

01:55:25   Who knows how this is going to end up, but what Blue Sky is going through now, this is the easy fun phase.

01:55:33   You have only the cool people. You have a small number of people. You don't have a lot of scaling challenges.

01:55:40   You're spending someone else's money. You're not thinking about how to make money later. That's the stakes there and now.

01:55:46   It gets so much worse after this.

01:55:49   You tell people, "Oh, it gets better," with some different kind of things.

01:55:53   When it comes to running a social network, it gets worse. Everything just gets worse over time running a social network.

01:56:00   What do you even know about that, Marco?

01:56:02   So they're going to have to start facing these tough problems.

01:56:06   And the new cool darling phase we're in now is going to end.

01:56:12   And they're going to face, "How do you pay for this? What does that do to the openness and the protocol and the client and everything else?"

01:56:20   They're going to face, "How do we deal with Nazis and blocking and everything else?"

01:56:24   They're just starting to deal with that now. That's going to quickly ramp up.

01:56:29   The fun part will be, "How do you deal with technical scaling?"

01:56:32   Because that at least is a little less controversial.

01:56:36   But the harder problems of, "How do you pay for this and how do you handle moderation?"

01:56:41   I don't see any evidence that, as smart as Blue Sky is on the technical side,

01:56:48   I don't see any evidence that they're going to have an easier time solving those other problems than any other big social network has in the past.

01:56:56   I do think it is where a lot of people are and it's where a lot of people are going.

01:57:01   And it's pulling people off of Twitter who never made it to Mastodon.

01:57:05   It was delightful. As I was going through and following people on Blue Sky, reading other people's follower lists,

01:57:11   I was finding people that I've missed these last few months that I haven't been on Twitter because they never came to Mastodon.

01:57:17   They've just been on Twitter. Mastodon didn't bring everyone over who I wanted to follow.

01:57:23   So I'm happy that this other place is attracting them so that I can see their stuff and I can keep contact with them and keep following them

01:57:32   and have them keep following me without having to go back to Twitter where I really don't want to go.

01:57:36   So I like that part of it, but again, the challenges have yet to come.

01:57:42   The technical side is one thing, but the messy problems are not technical.

01:57:48   And so far, we have no idea where Blue Sky is going to land on that.

01:57:54   Mastodon does an okay job of that stuff, not even a great job.

01:57:58   Blue Sky is a question mark, so we'll see.

01:58:02   Anyway, thanks to our sponsors this week, Steam Clock and Backblaze.

01:58:07   And thanks to our members who support us directly. You can join us at ATP.fm/join.

01:58:12   And we will talk to you next week.

01:58:16   Now the show is over. They didn't even mean to begin.

01:58:21   'Cause it was accidental. Oh, it was accidental.

01:58:27   John didn't do any research. Marco and Casey wouldn't let him.

01:58:32   'Cause it was accidental. Oh, it was accidental.

01:58:37   And you can find the show notes at ATP.fm.

01:58:42   And if you're into Twitter, you can follow them at C-A-S-E-Y-L-I-S-S.

01:58:52   So that's Casey, Liszt, M-A-R-C-O-A-R-M.

01:58:57   And T. Marco Arman, S-I-R-A-C-U-S-A, Siracusa.

01:59:04   It's accidental. They didn't mean to. Accidental.

01:59:12   Tech podcast so long.

01:59:17   I've been fighting SwiftUI so much. It's been good though.

01:59:20   It's been like, I talked about it a little bit on Under the Radar this week.

01:59:24   Yeah, I was listening to that earlier today.

01:59:26   My main pattern has been, I'll run into a problem.

01:59:29   I will explode my solution in complexity, trying to solve the problem.

01:59:34   Then I will find a really simple way around the problem.

01:59:38   And I'll delete all the complexity.

01:59:40   And so I'm left with like a one-liner.

01:59:43   Some modifier or some weird little technique.

01:59:46   Or, oh, this state should have been a binding.

01:59:49   You know, like something like that.

01:59:50   And I'll fix the problem. It'll be glorious.

01:59:53   I ran into this earlier this week.

01:59:56   I was working on tapping on a person's picture or a movie poster or what have you.

02:00:03   And zooming in and taking up basically the whole screen.

02:00:07   And I was like, oh god, I'm going to have to do geometry readers up and down and inside now.

02:00:13   Which is, there's probably one or two geometry readers in Call Sheet right now.

02:00:18   But there's very, very few. There's not a lot of them.

02:00:21   Hey, for the record, I know there's a lot of people who are like,

02:00:24   geometry readers make it hacky or whatever.

02:00:26   I think geometry readers are fine.

02:00:28   There are ways to use them very easily, very well, very cleanly.

02:00:32   They are totally fine.

02:00:34   I do not hesitate to use a geometry reader if I have to.

02:00:37   I would hesitate a little bit.

02:00:39   It's not because they're bad.

02:00:40   It's just that very often when you use a geometry reader,

02:00:45   there's a cleaner way to do it without one.

02:00:48   Sometimes there's not. Sometimes you've got to use it.

02:00:49   That's why it's there. It's there for you to use it.

02:00:51   So don't be afraid to use it when you have to use it.

02:00:53   But not, I'm going to say, in every instance,

02:00:56   but in many, many of the instances that I started out using geometry reader,

02:01:00   I came back later and realized, oh,

02:01:02   there's actually a way to do this without geometry readers that is cleaner.

02:01:05   Sure.

02:01:06   And that feels good to get rid of them.

02:01:08   And the problem is, because, well,

02:01:10   this actually gets into something that I've been thinking about

02:01:12   when I hear you talking about SwiftUI and UKC as well,

02:01:15   with the complaints about it.

02:01:17   Geometry reader can be thought of as a lower level of abstraction

02:01:21   than the rest of SwiftUI.

02:01:22   Because it's like, look, when you've got to drop down a level,

02:01:24   here you can get at the raw geometry.

02:01:27   And it's kind of a weird clunky way to do it,

02:01:29   where this thing exists and this whole point is like,

02:01:31   I'm not a thing. I just exist to extract these numbers for you

02:01:35   that you're going to find really handy, so use them for something.

02:01:38   And you do, and it solves your problem, right?

02:01:40   What I found is that a lot of the difficulty in SwiftUI,

02:01:45   when people say, oh, if it does what you want, you're fine,

02:01:47   but if you want to do something fancier, you have a problem,

02:01:50   it's because SwiftUI doesn't have enough layers.

02:01:55   Like, it's not built on-- everything that's cool in SwiftUI

02:01:58   is not built on slightly less cool pieces

02:02:00   that are built on slightly less cool--

02:02:02   like, you know, the sort of-- the layer of abstraction.

02:02:04   A good API or a mature API will say,

02:02:08   here, you can do the easy thing, drop down one level.

02:02:10   Here is another whole world that is also really nice,

02:02:13   has public APIs, is well thought out,

02:02:15   but the pieces are just a little bit lower level.

02:02:17   And guess what?

02:02:18   Every one of those pieces is built on other pieces

02:02:20   that are also really nice,

02:02:22   also with a really nice public API.

02:02:24   In fact, you could write your whole application on this level

02:02:26   if you wanted, and it's all beautiful,

02:02:28   and it's just documented, and it works in a sensible way,

02:02:31   and like that all the way down.

02:02:33   That makes it so easy to do whatever you want,

02:02:37   because if you're doing everything at the very top level,

02:02:40   it's beautiful, and if you want to do one custom thing,

02:02:43   peek underneath the covers,

02:02:44   and there is another layer underneath that

02:02:46   that is also beautiful.

02:02:48   It's not underneath there is pipes and wires

02:02:50   and, like, sparks are flying everywhere

02:02:52   and everything's made of oatmeal.

02:02:53   That's not what you want, like,

02:02:54   oh, I got to start swizzling symbols,

02:02:56   and I'm, like, you know, doing stuff with unsafe pointers,

02:03:01   and, like, that's not what we're talking about.

02:03:03   We're talking about when you open up one box,

02:03:05   inside is another beautifully wrapped box

02:03:07   with documentation and tests and everything, right?

02:03:10   And SwiftUI is not that,

02:03:12   and it's not because SwiftUI is the model is wrong

02:03:14   or it's inherently wrong.

02:03:15   It's just that that's not, like,

02:03:17   sometimes there are levels of pieces.

02:03:19   You can see piece X of SwiftUI is built on pieces Y and Z,

02:03:24   but very often it's like this is the top-level thing,

02:03:26   and underneath it is no user-serviceable parts,

02:03:29   as the saying used to go on the stairs.

02:03:31   Do not look, and it's,

02:03:34   and I feel that so much when I'm using it,

02:03:36   especially since I spend a lot of time at AppKit as well,

02:03:39   which does have user-serviceable parts

02:03:41   underneath lots of stuff.

02:03:43   You know, if you go all the way down,

02:03:45   there's, like, a hierarchy.

02:03:46   NSView is a class you can use and understand

02:03:49   and was designed and is documented for humans to use,

02:03:52   and it underlies so much stuff, so it's like,

02:03:54   "I hope I never have to drop down to NSView.

02:03:56   I hope I can use it at this level.

02:03:58   You know, I wanted to use NSTableView, NS-- whatever.

02:04:01   I don't know what the CollectionView is called in NSLan."

02:04:04   But there's, like, five layers,

02:04:06   and every single one of those layers is a public API

02:04:08   that is supported that you can use,

02:04:10   and you just need to drop down

02:04:11   until you can solve your problem,

02:04:13   whereas SwiftUI is so often one layer,

02:04:16   and there's no reason it has to be.

02:04:19   SwiftUI can't--and Geometry Reader is an example of that.

02:04:21   It's not that everything is built on Geometry Reader,

02:04:23   but it's kind of like they made a fake layer.

02:04:25   It's like, "Well, underneath the scenes,

02:04:27   Geometry Reader isn't what we're building on,

02:04:29   but you know what Geometry Reader is built on?

02:04:31   That's underneath all these other pieces,

02:04:33   but you can't see that part."

02:04:34   And so, like, I started off saying,

02:04:36   "You should feel kind of bad if you're using Geometry Reader

02:04:38   'cause there may be a simpler way to do it,"

02:04:40   which is true, but the main reason I'm saying that

02:04:42   is because Geometry Reader is not really

02:04:44   the next layer down in abstraction.

02:04:46   Geometry Reader is just, like,

02:04:48   them poking up a little thing as, like,

02:04:51   an apology of, like, "No user serviceable parts,

02:04:53   but if you just want the dimensions,

02:04:55   this thing will give them to you.

02:04:56   Good luck," and then you run away.

02:04:59   So I don't know how best to phrase that.

02:05:01   I think I used to have a better term for this.

02:05:03   I used to talk about it all the time

02:05:04   when I would make frameworks in my jobby jobs

02:05:06   is that you have to have--

02:05:08   you have to be built on layers and layers,

02:05:10   and each one of those layers

02:05:12   is a perfectly serviceable top layer.

02:05:14   Like, that's the beauty of it.

02:05:15   Whether you start from top down or bottom up,

02:05:18   it can't just be one amorphous blob,

02:05:20   and you can't say, "This is the interface,

02:05:22   and everything else is internals."

02:05:23   Great frameworks, great APIs are--

02:05:27   you can use them at whatever level you want to use them,

02:05:30   and every level is designed.

02:05:32   Every level is thought out.

02:05:33   Every level is documented,

02:05:34   and that makes for an experience that everybody loves,

02:05:37   and I feel like SwiftUI can get there

02:05:39   as long as the people making it have that philosophy,

02:05:42   because right now it seems like the people making SwiftUI

02:05:44   have the philosophy of, like,

02:05:46   "Oh, if you're having that problem, just tell me,

02:05:48   and I'll add another parameter to the top level API."

02:05:50   That is not a scalable solution.

02:05:52   We appreciate it. Sometimes you should.

02:05:54   Sometimes the top level API is too poor.

02:05:56   It is too--it doesn't have enough features.

02:05:58   It should have another parameter,

02:06:00   or there should be another method,

02:06:02   but sometimes the solution is

02:06:03   stop adding stuff to the top level.

02:06:05   Show me what's underneath it.

02:06:06   Oh, there's nothing underneath it?

02:06:07   You need to build something underneath it.

02:06:09   Like, whatever the next-- it's still SwiftUI.

02:06:11   It's just like, you know, NSView is part of AppKit,

02:06:14   and so is NSTableView.

02:06:15   They are part of the same family,

02:06:17   but they are different levels in the hierarchy.

02:06:19   SwiftUI needs that as well.

02:06:21   Yeah. - Yeah.

02:06:22   It's just funny, because, you know,

02:06:24   the thing I was running into is, you know,

02:06:26   this zooming stuff that we got sidetracked from,

02:06:28   and I thought, "Okay, well, I'm gonna need

02:06:30   to use geometry readers

02:06:31   and figure out where I am in the screen,

02:06:33   and then I'm gonna have to, like, do some crazy math

02:06:35   in order to, you know, move the frame of that view

02:06:37   and blah, blah, blah."

02:06:38   And then by sheer circumstance,

02:06:40   I stumbled on a matched geometry effect,

02:06:44   which is a view modifier that, basically,

02:06:46   you put this on two different views

02:06:48   and then say, "Okay, I want to go from one view to the other,

02:06:51   and magic happens."

02:06:52   And it's not perfect, but it's good enough.

02:06:55   And the conversation that you guys were having

02:06:57   on "Under the Radar" was very, very relevant,

02:06:59   because I know--

02:07:01   and if you look closely, and I probably shouldn't say

02:07:03   this out loud, 'cause other people will notice now,

02:07:05   but I know that the animation for the zooming of the images

02:07:09   is not 100% correct, but you know what?

02:07:12   It's close enough, and I have other things

02:07:15   I should be working on than making that pixel perfect.

02:07:18   I want it to be pixel perfect.

02:07:20   I will hopefully one day make it pixel perfect.

02:07:23   It's been--in the back of my head, you know,

02:07:25   Underscore talks a lot about this, you know,

02:07:27   it's just like my subconscious brain

02:07:29   has been chewing on it a lot over the last 48 hours

02:07:32   trying to figure out how to make it pixel perfect,

02:07:35   but ultimately, now is not the time to make it pixel perfect.

02:07:38   It is serviceable as it is, and that's better than nothing,

02:07:41   and that's what I plan to ship, at least for now.

02:07:44   But yeah, this week's "Under the Radar," they're all good,

02:07:46   but this week's certainly struck home for me

02:07:49   as I'm trying to figure out, okay,

02:07:51   what juice is worth the squeeze and what isn't?

02:07:54   - So how close are you, I think, to shipping 1.0?

02:07:57   - So I was saying to you privately before the show,

02:08:01   and I think it's very true, I need Underscore's

02:08:05   sailboat emoji, no new features, sailboat emoji,

02:08:08   you know, his little sheet that he'll put up from time to time.

02:08:12   - He'll probably send you a PDF if you ask him.

02:08:14   - He probably will.

02:08:16   In fact, knowing him, it'll probably be in my inbox

02:08:18   by the time I wake up.

02:08:20   But no, so I have 13 issues in GitHub at the moment,

02:08:24   but I have labeled all but two of them as not right now.

02:08:29   You know, here's a list of things I want to do eventually,

02:08:32   but not right now.

02:08:34   And there's only two things left for right now.

02:08:38   One of them is to see about improving the way I do layouts

02:08:42   such that there's some very, very small shifts

02:08:45   as images are loaded and things of that nature,

02:08:48   and the UI will shift around a little bit.

02:08:51   It's a little bit annoying but not devastating,

02:08:54   and I'd like to at least spend a few minutes

02:08:56   to see if I can improve that.

02:08:58   And then the other thing I need to do

02:09:00   is properly implement my paywall,

02:09:02   which is to say I'm gonna do the whole dance of,

02:09:05   you know, you get some number of searches for free.

02:09:08   I haven't figured out what that number is yet.

02:09:10   And then subsequent to that,

02:09:12   you're gonna have to pay in order to do anything else.

02:09:14   And so I was looking into, what is it?

02:09:18   Oh, NSubiquitous Key Value Store,

02:09:21   which I've never used before.

02:09:22   I'm using CloudKit for stuff in this app,

02:09:24   and I've used a teeny bit of CloudKit

02:09:26   in Masquerade, and I'm using a fair bit of CloudKit

02:09:30   in this app, but I've never used

02:09:32   the NSubiquitous Key Value Store,

02:09:34   and I was thinking about using that to store

02:09:36   basically how many searches you've done.

02:09:38   - It's so much better than any other iCloud thing.

02:09:42   - I actually quite like the CloudKit,

02:09:45   like, fake database thing.

02:09:47   I've written a pretty good facade in front of that

02:09:49   that I'm pretty happy with, but I've heard horror stories

02:09:52   about some of the stuff that preceded it,

02:09:53   like core data for iCloud.

02:09:54   I've heard it was a nightmare from the moment it launched

02:09:56   and it's still a nightmare today.

02:09:58   - Yeah, the Key Value Store was one of the original

02:10:01   three iCloud methods.

02:10:03   It was core data, that, and I believe the document-based--

02:10:07   - You mean CloudKit, not iCloud, right?

02:10:09   - No, I mean iCloud.

02:10:11   It was like when iCloud first launched as an API,

02:10:14   it was three things.

02:10:16   It was iCloud core data, which was a disaster

02:10:19   and is, I believe, totally discontinued.

02:10:21   There was also this Key Value Store,

02:10:23   and I believe a document thing.

02:10:25   This is the only thing that has survived.

02:10:27   - Right, but to John's point,

02:10:30   the thing I'm talking about,

02:10:31   the thing I just said I have a facade in front of,

02:10:33   that is definitely 100% CloudKit.

02:10:35   Yep, yep, yep.

02:10:36   But I've never used the Key Value Store before,

02:10:40   and so I need to take a quick look at that.

02:10:42   It doesn't look to be particularly complicated.

02:10:44   It looks to be pretty straightforward, knock on wood.

02:10:46   - No, it's really simple.

02:10:48   It's very similar to just using NSUserDefaults

02:10:50   or UserDefaults.

02:10:51   It's very, very similar to that.

02:10:54   You'll see.

02:10:55   You have to watch for some notification

02:10:57   when you get new data.

02:10:59   That's about it.

02:11:00   It's very simple, very old,

02:11:02   and that's what I use for Overcast's login account thing,

02:11:07   and it's been fine.

02:11:09   I've never had a problem attributable to that.

02:11:12   And I could be wrong.

02:11:13   I don't think that requires the user

02:11:16   to have iCloud Drive enabled.

02:11:18   Remember, I had that problem

02:11:19   when I was looking at CloudKit,

02:11:21   where CloudKit's database and everything does not work

02:11:24   for users who have iCloud Drive disabled.

02:11:26   That's where it stores its data.

02:11:28   As far as I know, the Key Value Store

02:11:29   does not have that restriction, I don't think.

02:11:31   I should probably test that.

02:11:33   But I think anybody with an iCloud account at all

02:11:36   signed into the device, I think, can do that.

02:11:39   The downside is that you are limited

02:11:41   in terms of it only allows a certain number of records,

02:11:44   and they have to each be a certain size or smaller.

02:11:46   But for what you're talking about,

02:11:48   it'd be totally fine.

02:11:49   - Yep, and so I need to do that.

02:11:52   So the two items are take away the shiftiness,

02:11:55   that's with an F, take away the shiftiness,

02:11:58   and set a total limit of free lookups.

02:12:00   - Flookups, would you say?

02:12:02   - Yeah, that's right.

02:12:03   - Is it a total per day, per week, or total all time?

02:12:07   - Honestly, I hadn't thought too much about it,

02:12:09   but my current thinking is all time.

02:12:12   And again, I don't know what the number would be,

02:12:14   but you'll get 10 searches or something like that.

02:12:16   Maybe it'll be five, maybe it'll be 50, I don't know.

02:12:18   - I'm kind of in favor of per unit time, but we'll see.

02:12:21   - Have you decided what price

02:12:23   you're gonna charge for the premium?

02:12:25   - No, I don't know, it's all over the place, right?

02:12:28   'Cause the feedback I've gotten,

02:12:29   which has generally been very, very good,

02:12:32   but some people are like, oh my god, take my money,

02:12:34   I'll give you infinite money for this,

02:12:35   which of course, they're being facetious.

02:12:38   But the point is, they would potentially pay

02:12:40   like $10 a month, which I think is too much.

02:12:44   - That's too much.

02:12:45   - And I've heard people say, you know,

02:12:46   I'll pay one or two dollars a month.

02:12:48   And for a month, I think that's completely reasonable.

02:12:52   For a year, that's not enough.

02:12:54   So I'm thinking, as we discussed

02:12:56   when we first had the conversation

02:12:58   about what is now CallSheet,

02:12:59   I'm currently thinking somewhere

02:13:01   to the order of $8 a year.

02:13:02   And the other thing I am having

02:13:04   really complicated thoughts about

02:13:07   is whether or not I should offer a lifetime unlock

02:13:12   for something to the order of like 40 or 50 bucks.

02:13:14   - No, don't.

02:13:15   - Well--

02:13:16   - Don't do anything lifetime.

02:13:17   Trust me, you will regret it.

02:13:19   (laughing)

02:13:20   - Well, that's the thing is, I don't know.

02:13:22   And I was talking to our friend Ryan Jones,

02:13:24   and he had extremely strong feelings

02:13:26   about how I should do the lifetime thing.

02:13:28   And he made some pretty compelling arguments,

02:13:30   which I'm not in a position to try to verbalize here

02:13:34   in the heat of the moment.

02:13:35   But suffice to say, his arguments were very compelling.

02:13:38   So I'm not sure what I'm gonna do.

02:13:40   - Here's what happens.

02:13:42   Your lifetime customers will be the fewest.

02:13:45   You'll make the least money overall in total from them,

02:13:48   and they will be your biggest pains in the butt

02:13:51   because the entitlement they will have

02:13:53   makes it not worth it.

02:13:54   Trust me, you do not want those customers.

02:13:56   And you won't get many anyway, so it doesn't matter.

02:13:59   Focus on your subscription price

02:14:01   that everybody else will pay.

02:14:02   That's your product.

02:14:04   I think a dollar a month or up to $10 a year,

02:14:07   I think you could easily do.

02:14:08   - Yeah, so I mean, again, this is all current thinking.

02:14:10   But knock on wood, I'm only gonna,

02:14:14   I'm gonna time box, which is a very corporate thing to say,

02:14:16   but I'm gonna time box the taking away the shiftiness

02:14:19   to like a day or something like that.

02:14:23   Just give myself a little time to see if I can improve it,

02:14:25   but if I can't, oh well.

02:14:26   And then I think the task for the remainder of this week,

02:14:30   what little is left, and next week

02:14:32   is getting the paywall squared away.

02:14:35   I need to rejigger the actual paywall screen itself

02:14:38   'cause it looks like garbage right now.

02:14:40   I need to rejigger that.

02:14:41   I need to actually track how many searches you've done

02:14:44   and so on and then put up a paywall

02:14:47   when you've hit your limit.

02:14:48   But hypothetically, as early as about a week,

02:14:54   week and a half from now,

02:14:55   I might be pushing the first bill to App Store review,

02:15:00   hopefully, maybe, famous last words.

02:15:02   - You gotta factor in time to get rejected

02:15:04   because your paywall screen doesn't comply

02:15:06   with whatever they want.

02:15:07   - Yep, that's true.

02:15:08   And this is my first time doing subscriptions

02:15:10   so surely I'll get some sort of issue with that.

02:15:13   Who knows?

02:15:14   But one way or another, that is the hope.

02:15:17   So given that I told you

02:15:18   I think it'll be a week to a week and a half,

02:15:20   that means it'll be about three to four weeks

02:15:23   before I push it to the App Store.

02:15:25   'Cause you always multiply by two is my lesson I learned

02:15:28   over my many years in corporate America.

02:15:30   Whatever I think it'll be, it'll be twice as long.

02:15:33   [HONKING]