558: Multilevel Pizza Oven


00:00:00   we have to talk about the ATP membership and pricing.

00:00:04   And I really wish Apple did not raise their prices

00:00:07   on the day that we're talking about this,

00:00:10   because you know, there's something something headwinds.

00:00:13   So, we have some pricing updates to talk about

00:00:16   for ATP membership.

00:00:17   John, can you give us the bullet points at the very least,

00:00:20   and maybe we can talk longer, later on?

00:00:22   - We should actually talk about foreign currency

00:00:24   exchange rates.

00:00:25   (laughs)

00:00:26   - What kind of podcast does this hit?

00:00:28   - Foreign currency exchange rates,

00:00:29   they affect us, 'cause we do accept memberships

00:00:31   in different currencies.

00:00:32   Anyway, Oscar-winning performance, Casey, very good.

00:00:35   - Thank you, I appreciate it.

00:00:36   - So, we do have some ATP membership changes to announce.

00:00:38   We're gonna announce them briefly,

00:00:39   just the bullet points for now.

00:00:41   We will talk about them more in the after show

00:00:42   if you care about that type of stuff.

00:00:44   If not, here's the deal.

00:00:46   ATP membership, if you buy an entire year's worth

00:00:49   of membership, the price is decreasing.

00:00:52   Now, if you buy a whole year, you get a discount

00:00:54   that's equivalent to getting one month free.

00:00:56   - Wait, we did this all wrong!

00:00:57   We're supposed to be raising prices, John!

00:00:59   Raising prices!

00:01:00   - Yeah, we should be increasing prices to match inflation.

00:01:02   I don't know why we're not doing that, but we're not.

00:01:04   If you are an existing annual member, don't worry,

00:01:07   your subscription will renew at the new lower rate.

00:01:09   There's nothing you have to do.

00:01:11   Second item, we have a membership FAQ, or FAQ,

00:01:14   depending on how you wanna pronounce it.

00:01:16   Link will be in the show notes.

00:01:17   It's at atp.fm/membership/faq,

00:01:20   and it hopefully answers a bunch of questions

00:01:22   you might have about membership.

00:01:24   And if you have other questions, send them to us,

00:01:25   and I'll add them to the FAQ.

00:01:27   And then the final thing, and this is the weirdest thing,

00:01:29   and again, we'll talk about it more on the after show,

00:01:31   but not now, as part of our recent survey of listeners

00:01:35   about membership stuff, we got some feedback

00:01:37   where some people, not many people,

00:01:40   but some people said they wish there was a way

00:01:43   they could pay us more money for membership.

00:01:45   I don't think Apple got a lot of those things

00:01:46   about Apple TV+, but we got some about our program.

00:01:51   And so we figured that's a thing that we should do.

00:01:54   We now have a way for people who want to

00:01:57   to pay more than less price for ATP membership.

00:01:59   We will provide a link in the show notes,

00:02:01   and of course, it is described in the FAQ.

00:02:03   - We gotta start with some follow-up, as always,

00:02:06   and the entire internet wrote to tell us about something

00:02:09   that I actually already knew.

00:02:10   I was very excited that I was first to report this in.

00:02:14   One of my really favorite podcasts is "20,000 Hertz."

00:02:18   You can sorta kind of think of it as a 99% invisible,

00:02:22   but specifically around audio and audio-related things.

00:02:25   And I think it was literally the day after we reported,

00:02:28   or perhaps the day after we released.

00:02:29   - It sure was.

00:02:30   - Last week, Dallas Taylor and team did an episode

00:02:33   called "Auto-Tone," which I presume is a play on auto-tune,

00:02:37   which is all about automotive, noises, and things like that.

00:02:40   And wouldn't you guess, what did they feature prominently

00:02:44   in the episode but Rivian?

00:02:45   And sure enough, the Rivian sound engineers,

00:02:48   or whatever we're supposed to call them,

00:02:49   said, "Yep, they are based on nature,"

00:02:51   just as I think Jon had theorized last episode.

00:02:55   - I didn't theorize, I was just telling you.

00:02:56   - Okay, sorry. - 'Cause I had heard this

00:02:58   from the Rivian people for many years.

00:03:00   I mean, as you would imagine,

00:03:00   the PR push for their electric trucks,

00:03:03   they've been talking about this a lot.

00:03:04   But yeah, I listened to the episode as well,

00:03:05   so I'll link it in the show notes.

00:03:06   - Yep, and it's genuinely really good.

00:03:08   - In all fairness, first of all, I love the show.

00:03:11   It's a great show, this is a great episode.

00:03:13   But as a new Rivian owner and a sound nerd,

00:03:16   I can tell you, they have twisted and turned these sounds

00:03:20   so far from the natural sources.

00:03:22   Like, listen to the episode, they'll play you,

00:03:23   like, here's what it was based on,

00:03:25   here's a wolf howling or whatever.

00:03:26   - I thought it was weird that you were saying,

00:03:28   like, oh, it doesn't sound like nature sounds to me.

00:03:29   But I think the one that sounds like a bird chirp,

00:03:32   yes, it's messed up, as you'll hear in the episode,

00:03:34   like it's pitched up or whatever,

00:03:35   but it still sounds like a bird chirp.

00:03:37   Like, are you not getting that?

00:03:38   I don't know, it was going over your head.

00:03:39   - Well, that sound I never hear.

00:03:41   I'm just talking about the whirring sound

00:03:43   and the turn signals, those are the ones I actually hear.

00:03:45   It does sound very nice.

00:03:47   I really enjoy the sound design of Rivian.

00:03:50   But it's like, well, we started with this owl noise,

00:03:53   and then we stretched it and pitched it down

00:03:54   and added this river and tweaked it up.

00:03:56   And when you hear, on the episode,

00:03:58   they're like, here's the sound we started with,

00:04:00   and then you hear the final sound,

00:04:00   you're like, there is no part of that

00:04:03   that sounds like an owl.

00:04:04   - You just gotta feel the nature.

00:04:06   - It's in there.

00:04:07   - Yeah, okay. (laughs)

00:04:09   - Yep, so anyway, that's the deal, Rivian confirmed.

00:04:12   Sounds are at least nature-inspired, if not nature-like.

00:04:17   So here we are.

00:04:18   We got a lot of feedback, many of which was quite,

00:04:21   many pieces of feedback were quite interesting

00:04:22   with regard to this whole updating iPhones

00:04:25   while they're still in the box.

00:04:26   And a lot of this was anonymous,

00:04:28   but we have a couple of people that we can cite.

00:04:30   Ryan Emenecker writes, "I tried a quick experiment

00:04:33   "to charge my iPhone 14 Pro Max

00:04:35   "through the original packaging.

00:04:37   "The iPhone 14 line's packaging did have the back

00:04:41   "of the phone facing up.

00:04:42   "It didn't work with a MagSafe puck,

00:04:44   "but it did work with two large multi-device charging pads."

00:04:48   And I don't think Ryan was the only one to try this,

00:04:50   and I don't have any other examples in front of me,

00:04:52   but I feel like at least a couple of people said,

00:04:54   yeah, yeah, it might take a little bit of effort,

00:04:56   but it definitely does work as is,

00:04:58   which is kind of interesting.

00:04:59   Anonymous writes, "What Apple is most likely to do

00:05:02   "is just stage the updated software on the device,

00:05:05   "which would mean transferring the installation image

00:05:07   "and having the onboard firmware verify its integrity.

00:05:10   "Then, once the customer unboxes the device and turns it on,

00:05:13   "it will perform the rest of the installation process.

00:05:15   "If the device arrives without enough battery juice

00:05:17   "for this process, the firmware could prompt the user

00:05:19   "to plug it in before finishing the installation."

00:05:21   This is one of those things that as soon as I read this,

00:05:24   I was like, oh, of course.

00:05:25   That didn't even cross my mind, but it makes perfect sense.

00:05:28   - When I heard that, I thought, no way.

00:05:30   'Cause it's like, that doesn't really,

00:05:32   that only half solves the problem.

00:05:33   Like, if the problem is these phones take too long

00:05:36   to set up in first run, like, it's not gonna really be

00:05:39   that huge of a time savings if they're only gonna, like,

00:05:43   download the installation image,

00:05:44   but not actually install it.

00:05:45   - And based on the first feedback,

00:05:46   like, the whole idea is if you can charge it

00:05:48   when it's in the box, you don't have to do

00:05:50   this staging thing, so that's an interesting solution

00:05:53   if you're like, well, we can't figure out a good way

00:05:54   to charge them while they're in the box, so,

00:05:56   but we can, you know, they probably have enough juice

00:05:58   that we can just shove the image on there.

00:05:59   That would shave some time off, but it seems like

00:06:01   if you can get electricity through to them,

00:06:02   you don't have to do it this way, we'll see.

00:06:04   - And like, most of our speculation last time

00:06:06   and discussion was based on, we were, I think,

00:06:08   assuming that they probably couldn't get enough

00:06:10   charging power to them, but, you know, with all this,

00:06:13   you know, information and experimentation people have done

00:06:15   in the meantime, it turns out, yeah, actually,

00:06:17   it seems like they have plenty of power available.

00:06:18   Like, they can charge through the box, it's fine.

00:06:20   They don't even need to change the packaging

00:06:21   from where it is now.

00:06:22   - Yep.

00:06:23   Different anonymous person writes,

00:06:25   "I work in an Apple store.

00:06:26   "Updating iPhones in the box would be really useful

00:06:28   "for the setup process.

00:06:29   "If a customer uses iCloud and their existing iPhone

00:06:31   "is an iOS version that's newer than what's in the box,

00:06:35   "an update has to be performed before they can restore.

00:06:37   "This extends their stay and their frustration.

00:06:39   "If 20 minutes can be shaved off anywhere,

00:06:41   "that's a huge plus."

00:06:42   Yeah, makes perfect sense.

00:06:43   - That, to me, you know, when we were, again,

00:06:46   we were speculating about this, we were saying, like,

00:06:48   how could this possibly work in the stores?

00:06:50   It seemed like it would be, you know, not enough volume,

00:06:53   or not enough capacity to deal with the volume

00:06:55   and everything, what would this possibly be worth?

00:06:57   And this is the part that I was not thinking of,

00:07:02   because when I buy new iPhones, I don't do in-store setup.

00:07:07   A lot of people do.

00:07:09   And if you can imagine, and you see this,

00:07:11   like if you've ever been to an Apple store on launch day,

00:07:13   a huge part of the, of like what's going on in the store

00:07:17   is just massive quantities of in-store setups,

00:07:20   as much as, you know, anywhere there's a table

00:07:21   and an employee, there's somebody doing an in-store setup,

00:07:23   and it's a huge bottleneck, 'cause it takes a long time.

00:07:26   And so, anything they can do to speed up

00:07:29   in-store setup times, that actually is

00:07:32   a pretty strong incentive for them to do this.

00:07:36   - Yeah, I think, remember last time when I got,

00:07:37   like my camera was bad and I got a replacement iPhone

00:07:39   and I had to sit there in the store,

00:07:40   because at that time Google Authenticator didn't sync,

00:07:43   right, so I had to manually transfer

00:07:45   all my Google Authenticator stuff.

00:07:47   I think I was there, you can go back

00:07:48   and listen to the old episode, was it two hours

00:07:50   or three hours or something?

00:07:51   It was a huge amount of time, because as you can imagine,

00:07:53   my phone is chock full of stuff,

00:07:56   and I had to run an OS update from the one that,

00:07:58   you know, the new one they gave me.

00:07:59   So, I mean, 20 minutes, yes, 20 minutes being saved

00:08:03   would be great, but like, it's not like you're taking it

00:08:05   from, you know, 40 minutes to 20 minutes.

00:08:07   I was there for hours, so yeah, please,

00:08:10   anything to make this shorter, and you know,

00:08:11   obviously this is not something I normally do.

00:08:13   I don't set up in the store, but had to in this case,

00:08:15   so they wouldn't let me leave with the new phone

00:08:16   without giving them my old one, but I do see it

00:08:19   as a common experience, especially on, you know,

00:08:21   iPhone launch week or whatever.

00:08:23   - Excellent, another anonymous person writes,

00:08:25   your recent episode triggered my memory

00:08:27   of an old Apple patent application.

00:08:28   It was about charging and transferring data to devices

00:08:31   while still in the packaging in the retail stores.

00:08:33   Now, I read the, or I skimmed the actual patent application,

00:08:38   and I didn't look closely at the date,

00:08:40   and it was very weird because I'm looking at this,

00:08:43   and first of all, the diagrams all have home buttons in them.

00:08:45   Secondly, they're talking about like USB connections

00:08:48   and like wired network connections

00:08:50   and all sorts of wired this and wired that,

00:08:52   and I'm like, what is going on?

00:08:53   Turns out it's from December 12 of 2011,

00:08:56   so 12 years ago, and that explains why

00:08:59   all this tech seems so old, but nevertheless,

00:09:02   a US patent application for active electronic media

00:09:04   device packaging, and again, we'll put a link

00:09:07   in the show notes, a couple of pull quotes from here.

00:09:09   The active packaging may provide power data

00:09:12   or both power and data to one or more electronic media

00:09:15   devices housed within the packaging.

00:09:17   The data signal may include promotional information,

00:09:20   for example, advertising or media content,

00:09:22   for example, digital audio or video content

00:09:23   for presentation on the electronic media device

00:09:26   while inside the active packaging.

00:09:27   The data signal may also include firmware

00:09:29   or software updates, bug fixes,

00:09:30   or application customizations to be applied

00:09:33   to the electronic media device.

00:09:34   - That's fun because like this bit, you know,

00:09:36   it's an old patent and obviously companies patent everything

00:09:38   doesn't mean they're ever gonna make them,

00:09:40   but this patent was not just, hey, we can do updates

00:09:43   or charge them while they're in the box.

00:09:44   The idea with this is that you'd be able to see the thing

00:09:48   in the device and through the active packaging,

00:09:51   put in like video signals, basically, you know,

00:09:54   advertising or thinking they're not gonna run ads.

00:09:56   It would be just like, you know, what do they call it?

00:09:58   A track screens on a video game thing,

00:09:59   showing like Apple advertisement or like the screen servers

00:10:02   on some of the Macs in the stores, you know what I mean?

00:10:05   Obviously they never did this, right?

00:10:07   But it's not just, yes, we can do software updates

00:10:09   and bug fixes, which is what we're talking about,

00:10:12   but also it would make the packaging like,

00:10:14   we could have the phones in the box

00:10:16   and they'd be playing a little video

00:10:17   telling you how great the iPhone is.

00:10:19   That definitely does not fit with Apple's current,

00:10:22   not current, Apple's years long move

00:10:24   to make the packaging smaller and simpler

00:10:26   and made it more recyclable material.

00:10:28   So back in 2011, someone thought

00:10:30   this was a good enough idea to patent.

00:10:32   - Couple other interesting bits that I read.

00:10:34   The encasing may allow for at least the display portion

00:10:36   of the electronic media device be viewed from outside

00:10:39   of the encasing, this is what John was describing.

00:10:41   The backing may be printed or in molded

00:10:43   with one or more wire traces to supply power,

00:10:45   ground and data to the device.

00:10:47   So they're talking about actually having wiring

00:10:48   within the packaging, which is kind of funny.

00:10:50   And then finally, in some embodiments,

00:10:52   the wire traces are routed to the appropriate pins

00:10:54   or connectors on the electronic media device

00:10:56   through the hooks or clasps that hold the device

00:10:58   onto the backing.

00:10:59   For example, one hook or connector may interface

00:11:01   with a dock connector interface

00:11:02   on the electronic media device.

00:11:04   So this was talking about like,

00:11:05   how do you hook the iPhone or what have you into the box?

00:11:08   And they're saying, oh, well, the physical thing

00:11:11   that hooks the iPhone into the box

00:11:13   might also provide the data or power or both,

00:11:16   which I thought was quite fascinating.

00:11:17   - Yeah, this is all pre-mag safe,

00:11:19   pre-ubiquitous wireless power and data and stuff like that.

00:11:24   So yeah, older tech, but a similar idea.

00:11:27   - Yet another anonymous person writes,

00:11:29   I was an Apple employee for nearly eight years,

00:11:31   and I remember how much of an operations headache it was

00:11:33   to have hardware tied to its corresponding software RC.

00:11:36   Millions of iPhones have to be manufactured

00:11:38   only to be stored on the side waiting for the RC,

00:11:41   this is release candidate in this.

00:11:43   - Release candidate of the operating system, yeah.

00:11:45   - From Cupertino to be delivered.

00:11:47   Once signed off, there's a gargantuan effort

00:11:49   to flash all these devices, box them,

00:11:50   and ship them all over the world.

00:11:51   If the RC turns out to contain a late ship stopper,

00:11:54   all of these phones need to be unboxed, reflashed,

00:11:57   and re-boxed, which is an utter catastrophe

00:11:59   as far as ops are concerned.

00:12:00   I've personally attended a meeting

00:12:02   where one of these bugs was discussed.

00:12:03   The estimated cost of halting production,

00:12:05   unboxing, reflashing, and re-boxing millions of iPhones

00:12:08   at this stage was mentioned by someone in the know.

00:12:11   It was mind-boggling.

00:12:13   Operations would like nothing more

00:12:14   than to completely eliminate this risk.

00:12:16   It is well worth the cost of designing such a system

00:12:19   and having every Apple store in the world

00:12:20   follow a hopefully simple process

00:12:22   before the iPhone goes on sale.

00:12:24   Moreover, software teams would also appreciate such a system.

00:12:27   It would remove a huge weight off their shoulders

00:12:30   and allow them to deliver the release candidate

00:12:32   with a bit more flexibility if the need arises.

00:12:35   - This is something people usually don't think about.

00:12:36   Like, they think like, oh, if there was a bug,

00:12:39   you know, the phones haven't shipped yet,

00:12:41   so they'll just put the new bug fix version

00:12:44   on all the phones.

00:12:45   And I guess they imagine there's some magic robot

00:12:48   or something that does that.

00:12:49   Or like, but it's, you know, the bottom,

00:12:51   like someone has to take those phones

00:12:55   and connect them to something to,

00:12:57   and then wait for the thing to put the new OS on it.

00:13:00   And that can be automated a little bit,

00:13:02   but especially if you've already got them all boxed up

00:13:05   and sealed up and you thought they were gonna be ready

00:13:06   to ship and you have to unbox them and then reseal them

00:13:10   without making it look like every single new iPhone

00:13:12   is basically used at this point.

00:13:14   So you can, it's not like you can just do it

00:13:15   in a haphazard way.

00:13:16   It has to be done carefully.

00:13:18   - Yeah, and I love the idea of they manufacture

00:13:21   millions of phones and they're just sitting

00:13:22   in big piles somewhere, but you can't put them in boxes yet

00:13:25   because they don't have an OS on them

00:13:26   because the software isn't done.

00:13:28   That's always the way with these things.

00:13:30   You're always waiting for the software.

00:13:31   So yeah, it seems like, you know,

00:13:33   as ridiculous as this idea sounds,

00:13:36   there are lots of parts of the organization

00:13:38   that would love for this to be a thing.

00:13:40   - Yep, then finally, an anonymous Apple retail person

00:13:45   writes, "The pad is like a multi-level pizza oven

00:13:48   that can accommodate multiple devices at a time.

00:13:50   It charges devices while updating the software.

00:13:52   We are super excited about this innovation

00:13:54   as it makes the experience much better

00:13:55   for those excited to get started with their new device.

00:13:57   We are most excited about the charging capabilities,

00:13:59   especially with all the skews for watches.

00:14:01   If you buy a watch that's dead in the box,

00:14:03   it can take up to 40 minutes on a charger

00:14:05   before it even turns on, causing skepticism

00:14:07   that the watch will even work in the long run.

00:14:09   To be clear, it will support new phones first,

00:14:11   then watch an iPad and hopefully eventually

00:14:13   genius bar service parts, like when you swap a phone."

00:14:16   - Yeah, see, if this is true,

00:14:18   if this is actually what this thing is,

00:14:19   like the multi-level pizza oven thing

00:14:21   and going through all these different small products

00:14:23   that they have, that makes this make a lot more sense.

00:14:27   That's why I'm choosing to believe this anonymous report

00:14:30   because with these final details of what form it is

00:14:35   and how it would work, it makes it both plausible

00:14:39   and very sensible and kind of impressive, to be honest.

00:14:43   But, you know, 'cause I was concerned last episode

00:14:45   about, again, can they handle the volume?

00:14:47   How many iPhones and watches does a single store

00:14:49   sell in a day?

00:14:50   I think it's a lot, but if they can have these

00:14:54   stacked things that can do a whole bunch

00:14:56   of these things at once, that starts to become plausible.

00:14:59   And it does seem like there's pretty good reasons

00:15:02   from the store's perspective to do this.

00:15:04   - I think this is five anonymous bits of feedback

00:15:06   in a row that may be a record.

00:15:08   I mean, obviously we pick which ones go in here,

00:15:09   but yeah, a lot of people didn't wanna go in the record.

00:15:12   A lot of anonymous feedback here, but yeah,

00:15:14   I'm also choosing to believe that bottom one

00:15:16   because the original source of this rumor

00:15:17   was fairly reliable and everything that has been said

00:15:20   so far sounds at least plausible to me.

00:15:22   And the idea that if the watch is dead in the box,

00:15:24   it takes 40 minutes on a charger,

00:15:25   you know some Apple retail employees

00:15:27   has had this conversation where the person's looking

00:15:29   at them saying, "Do I really want this watch?

00:15:31   It seems like it's a dud.

00:15:32   Am I getting a lemon?

00:15:34   Is it supposed to be this way?"

00:15:35   We've all kind of experienced this sometimes,

00:15:36   like an iPad or whatever that's totally drained,

00:15:38   Marco in a drawer, drained its battery.

00:15:41   And how long does it have to be plugged in

00:15:42   before it will boot the OS?

00:15:45   You think it would boot immediately

00:15:46   'cause that's what laptops would do.

00:15:47   You plug them in and they'll boot immediately.

00:15:48   Nope, not a battery powered device like an iPad or something

00:15:51   because they have to be ready for you to yank the cord

00:15:55   at a moment's notice.

00:15:56   I guess in theory, a laptop does.

00:15:57   But anyway, it's having to wait for 40 minutes

00:16:01   while the Apple store employee assures you,

00:16:06   this is a working product.

00:16:08   This is normal, don't worry.

00:16:09   - I swear, it won't normally be like this.

00:16:11   - It's terrible, yeah.

00:16:12   - This is the first time it's ever happened.

00:16:13   - I wonder too, if this actually might occasionally

00:16:16   cause returns for Apple watches,

00:16:18   that maybe the system will reduce

00:16:19   the number of watch returns they get.

00:16:21   'Cause if somebody gets an Apple watch home,

00:16:22   they don't do the in-store setup,

00:16:24   and they get it home and they plug it in

00:16:25   and it doesn't work for 40 minutes,

00:16:26   maybe they give up and bring it back to the store.

00:16:28   - Yep, that very well could be.

00:16:30   All right, moving on from that, M2 versus M1 efficiency.

00:16:33   Jonathan Dietz Jr. writes,

00:16:35   "At any point where their power curves overlap,

00:16:37   "the M2 delivers higher performance than the M1.

00:16:40   "This means the M2 is more efficient.

00:16:42   "Given the same fixed workload,

00:16:44   "the M2 will always finish in less time,

00:16:46   "use less power, and dissipate less heat than the M1.

00:16:50   "The M2 has two additional GPU cores

00:16:51   "and a more dynamic power envelope than the M1.

00:16:54   "This means peak power consumption

00:16:55   "is indeed higher for the M2 than the M1.

00:16:57   "This does not alter the statements

00:16:59   "of the previous paragraph in any way.

00:17:00   "It simply means that if you push an M2 to its limit,

00:17:02   "it can do considerably more work

00:17:04   "in the same fixed time period by using more power

00:17:06   "and dissipating more heat than the M1 is capable of.

00:17:09   "Anand Shimpi, the founder of AnandTech,

00:17:11   "who joined Apple's hardware technologies team back in 2014,

00:17:14   "made an appearance on Andrew Edwards' YouTube show

00:17:17   "and explained the dynamic power situation

00:17:18   "with the M2 generation."

00:17:19   We will, of course, put a link in the show notes.

00:17:22   - Jonathan Dietz defending the honor of the M2,

00:17:24   says, "Yes, it uses more power and gets hotter,

00:17:26   "but it does more stuff."

00:17:28   - I mean-- - Than the M1

00:17:30   in the same amount of time, given a fixed workload, yes.

00:17:33   That is true.

00:17:34   I would really say that the M1 is more efficient

00:17:36   than the M2, but really what we're saying

00:17:38   is it gets less hot, but it also does less stuff.

00:17:40   So let's be fair to the M2,

00:17:42   although I still think the M1

00:17:43   is the more impressive piece of technology than the M2,

00:17:46   but that's just because the M1 came before the M2

00:17:48   and stole a lot of its thunder.

00:17:50   - All right, Jon, can you give me some context

00:17:53   behind iTunes Match, Apple Music, and DRM, please?

00:17:55   - Talked about it last week,

00:17:56   and I had tried my best to describe what the caveats are.

00:18:01   If you had iTunes Match and you cancel

00:18:03   and you just have Apple Music when you're done,

00:18:04   what does that mean for you?

00:18:06   And I was mostly going off a very recent Threads post

00:18:10   by Matthew Panzareno that seemed authoritative

00:18:13   and he has good sources,

00:18:14   so I basically just said what he said.

00:18:16   But it turns out that Sylvan Germer says

00:18:19   that wasn't entirely true.

00:18:21   Regarding DRM and iTunes Match versus Apple Music,

00:18:23   since 2017, Apple Music has also been providing DRM-free

00:18:27   access to songs you have in your personal library.

00:18:29   And we'll put a link to an iMore article

00:18:31   from, I guess, 2017, describing Apple rolling this out.

00:18:33   So the difference that I had said

00:18:35   that Matthew said last week was,

00:18:37   if iTunes matches your song and you have iTunes Match,

00:18:41   you will get a DRM-free version of it

00:18:43   if you download it on some other device.

00:18:44   But if you just had Apple Music,

00:18:45   you would download the DRM version.

00:18:47   And I think that was true at one point,

00:18:48   but apparently not true now.

00:18:50   Well, another thing I want to clarify

00:18:51   that people were asking about is,

00:18:52   what if I have something in my iTunes library

00:18:54   but iTunes can't match it because iTunes doesn't have it,

00:18:56   some obscure thing that they just don't have?

00:18:58   Yeah, then you'll get essentially your file,

00:19:00   'cause what else could they give you?

00:19:01   Like, whatever your file was that got uploaded

00:19:03   and synced into your library from, you know,

00:19:05   whatever thing that you ripped it from

00:19:06   that Apple has never heard of,

00:19:08   you will get that file back down.

00:19:09   But if they can match it,

00:19:10   that's where the question comes in.

00:19:12   If they match it, will they give me their version

00:19:14   of the file, and will that version have DRM or not?

00:19:18   So apparently you are, I haven't actually tested this,

00:19:21   but these are the two warring theories,

00:19:24   Matthew Panzareno versus Sylvan Germer.

00:19:26   - Indeed.

00:19:28   And then Tacked writes,

00:19:30   regarding the Ask ATP question about adding music

00:19:32   to an iOS device without a Mac or PC,

00:19:35   I went through the same struggle

00:19:36   trying to add custom ringtones to my iPhone.

00:19:38   I found it so frustrating that I wrote up a blog post,

00:19:40   half for myself, as documentation,

00:19:41   half hoping it would save someone else a week of searching.

00:19:46   I quickly read through this and holy crap,

00:19:50   it is something. - It was ridiculous.

00:19:51   - It is utterly nuts,

00:19:52   and it involves a lot of tapping about in GarageBand,

00:19:55   which is not where I saw this going.

00:19:57   - Yeah, Apple really needs a better solution to this.

00:19:59   Like, I really wish they would sort of rationalize

00:20:01   their whole music situation,

00:20:02   but talk about something with historical baggage,

00:20:04   just that whole thing.

00:20:06   It has so much baggage from so many years.

00:20:09   I mean, there's been a bunch of articles going around

00:20:10   this week about the sunsetting of the iTunes brand

00:20:13   and the fact that iTunes still exists for Windows,

00:20:15   although they're breaking that up too,

00:20:16   and the iTunes store will be going away

00:20:17   and folding stuff into the existing TV app and everything.

00:20:21   Like there's just so much baggage there,

00:20:23   and they're still trying to rationalize it.

00:20:25   For a while, we were talking about,

00:20:26   they're gonna break up iTunes on the Mac

00:20:28   and split it into its separate apps, and they did that,

00:20:30   and it's still cumbersome and confusing.

00:20:33   And the part of that is the fault of Apple Music.

00:20:35   Apple Music was kind of a chance to rationalize all of this,

00:20:37   but that chance was only partially realized.

00:20:41   There's still a ways to go.

00:20:43   - Indeed, and then John, your favorite,

00:20:46   well, one of your favorite bugs of late, it's still a thing.

00:20:49   Tell me about Error Network Changed, please.

00:20:52   - This is Chrome or the Chromium web browser engine

00:20:56   pitching a fit with its net double colon

00:20:59   or underscore network underscore changed error

00:21:01   that appears when it thinks something has changed

00:21:04   about the network, and then it kills

00:21:06   all outstanding HTTP requests, which really ruins your day.

00:21:10   I had said that I thought this was happening

00:21:11   because I was running Docker.

00:21:13   We have gotten some additional feedback from people

00:21:16   that are not running Docker,

00:21:18   and it's happening to them as well.

00:21:19   So here's the Jesus fish saying,

00:21:21   "I have the same issue from Chrome.

00:21:23   "Mine stems from being connected to PiVPN.

00:21:26   "If I'm connected to the PiVPN,

00:21:28   "Chrome will throw Error Network Changed constantly,

00:21:30   "even though it's not changing.

00:21:31   "It's not just Docker.

00:21:32   "Chromium is just overly sensitive to network stuff.

00:21:35   "It drives me up the wall."

00:21:36   A fellow named Steven Hackett sent a screenshot,

00:21:41   which is of Discord, the app,

00:21:44   which uses Electron or whatever under the covers,

00:21:46   saying, "A JavaScript error occurred in the main process.

00:21:48   "Uncalled exception, Error, Net,

00:21:51   "Error, Net, Error Network Changed at blah, blah, blah, blah.

00:21:55   "Anything that uses the Chromium browser engine

00:21:57   "under the covers is apparently susceptible

00:21:59   "to this Error Network Changed."

00:22:00   So you might not think of Discord,

00:22:01   you say, "I don't use Chrome, but do you use Discord?"

00:22:03   Well, then you're susceptible to it too.

00:22:05   And I think Steven Hackett was also not running Docker

00:22:08   when he did this.

00:22:09   Final bit here from Mort.

00:22:12   "That Chrome Error Network Changed issue

00:22:13   "is so damn annoying.

00:22:14   "We had an embedded Linux computer running Chrome U

00:22:17   "in kiosk mode for the UI with a local web server.

00:22:20   "We got bug reports from users where Chromium

00:22:22   "randomly failed to load the HTML from local host

00:22:25   "because the 4G connected or the Wi-Fi disconnected.

00:22:27   "It's the most puzzling engineering decision

00:22:29   "for our browser engine.

00:22:30   "We eventually replaced Chromium with native code

00:22:33   "for many reasons, but this was absolutely among them."

00:22:35   So that's Chromium loading stuff from local host.

00:22:39   I mean, I don't know if they were loading it

00:22:40   off the local disk or connecting

00:22:41   to the local host network interface,

00:22:43   but again, this does not seem like socially acceptable

00:22:46   behavior for a web browser engine.

00:22:48   (laughing)

00:22:50   What is it about the network that's changing,

00:22:52   that's upsetting it?

00:22:53   I mean, maybe, when I thought it was Docker,

00:22:55   because maybe it was just a timing coincidence,

00:22:57   when I thought it was Docker, I'm like,

00:22:58   okay, well, Docker does weird stuff with networking.

00:22:59   Maybe, like, whatever, this is an edge case.

00:23:02   But so many people are reporting,

00:23:03   they're not running Docker,

00:23:04   they don't even know what Docker is,

00:23:05   and they have this problem.

00:23:06   And in fact, I stopped running Docker here,

00:23:09   and I see the error too.

00:23:10   Not as much, but I have seen the error

00:23:12   when not running Docker.

00:23:13   And not running the engine, not doing it, like,

00:23:16   I don't, so, I don't, so here's the thing, like,

00:23:18   so what is it then?

00:23:19   I'm still tracking this down in my typical,

00:23:21   you know, years long bug hunting things.

00:23:24   I think it mostly started happening around Sonoma,

00:23:26   but this is one of those things

00:23:27   where I'm just trying to go based on my memory,

00:23:29   like, maybe this was happening before I didn't notice,

00:23:31   and then when I ran Docker, I noticed it more,

00:23:33   because I was looking at the JavaScript console.

00:23:35   Anyway, I'm here to say that this error network change thing

00:23:39   is real, it is a Chrome/Chromium thing,

00:23:43   it is affecting people who don't run Docker

00:23:45   to varying degrees, and it has been around

00:23:47   for apparently years based on, you know,

00:23:49   the stuff that we read last week.

00:23:51   So I hope they fix this, because again,

00:23:53   even if you don't run Chrome, you're like,

00:23:54   I don't run any of that stuff,

00:23:55   you might run an Electron app that uses the same engine

00:23:57   under the covers, and it could be dying for the same reason.

00:24:00   And like I said, when this error occurs,

00:24:01   it kills the outstanding connections,

00:24:03   and unless the application is very resilient against that,

00:24:06   it can get angry and throw up scary error dialogues

00:24:09   and just fail to work,

00:24:10   and there's seemingly nothing you can do about it.

00:24:12   I tried so many solutions, by the way, since last week,

00:24:14   I've been like, disable IPv6, enable it, disable IPv4,

00:24:18   enable it, enable Wi-Fi, disable Wi-Fi,

00:24:20   like just everything that you could possibly imagine,

00:24:22   you know, change your DNS, dump the IF config

00:24:25   to see if the network really is changing,

00:24:27   like so many different commands,

00:24:28   it was a bunch of commands that I'd never even heard of

00:24:30   that someone was sending me to try to debug the problem.

00:24:32   Eventually they exhausted their ideas

00:24:35   and said they couldn't figure it out either.

00:24:37   Chrome, fix this.

00:24:38   Whoever, Chromium people, like just be like Safari.

00:24:43   Safari doesn't get upset when apparently

00:24:45   the network changes, it just keeps doing its job.

00:24:47   How about you do that?

00:24:49   - This is, having read the bug reports

00:24:53   before we recorded last week,

00:24:55   this seems like one of those things where

00:24:58   if you take a developer's like purely academic

00:25:02   view of the world, I'd slightly understand

00:25:05   what the Chromium developers are saying,

00:25:07   hey, you know, something happened with the network,

00:25:08   it changed, you know, we don't know

00:25:10   what the state of the world is now,

00:25:11   maybe we should tell the user and do something about it,

00:25:13   which again, like academically or on the surface, okay.

00:25:16   I mean, I'm not sure I agree, but I can understand that.

00:25:19   But the moment you think about this bug pragmatically,

00:25:22   it is so clearly completely freaking busted.

00:25:25   And this is like the most frustrating kind of developer

00:25:30   to deal with when, and all of us do this

00:25:33   at some time or another, so we're all guilty,

00:25:36   myself included, but when somebody is too focused

00:25:38   on the what is the way things should work

00:25:41   rather than what is the way things actually do work,

00:25:45   or in this case, don't work.

00:25:47   And I don't know, if you're a younger developer,

00:25:49   this is perhaps a lesson for you,

00:25:51   because it is very frustrating to users.

00:25:54   And if users are frustrated,

00:25:57   I guess you could try to educate the users

00:26:00   and explain to the users how they're wrong.

00:26:01   But in my experience, that doesn't often end well.

00:26:04   So you should probably think about meeting the users

00:26:06   where they are and just fixing the darn bug.

00:26:09   - Well, so the thing is that we don't actually know

00:26:10   what the cause of this, like if it is Sonoma related,

00:26:13   it's the type of thing, maybe they have to talk

00:26:14   to Apple and say, hey, did something change in Sonoma

00:26:17   where something that we detect as a network change

00:26:19   is happening much more often?

00:26:21   If you ever looked in the Mac OS console,

00:26:23   there's so much stuff going on there.

00:26:24   And one of the, it's kind of like a medical student disease

00:26:27   when you learn about all the different things

00:26:28   that can go wrong with the human body,

00:26:29   you start thinking you have all of them.

00:26:31   If you ever look in the Mac OS console

00:26:33   and you see all the lines that are going there,

00:26:35   you'll believe that whatever line jumps out at you,

00:26:36   like that must be my problem,

00:26:38   'cause I don't know what that is, and it looks weird to me.

00:26:40   So this is what happens, you have a problem with your Mac,

00:26:43   you go to console, you see just so many messages

00:26:46   and you latch onto one of them that you think is like,

00:26:47   that one looks funny, that seems like it's probably

00:26:50   causing my thing, and you get obsessed

00:26:51   with whatever that message is,

00:26:52   and that message may be totally unrelated

00:26:54   and totally benign, but you don't know,

00:26:56   you're just looking for a cause.

00:26:57   And so there are a bunch of those that I've looked at

00:27:01   and chased down to say, is this related to it?

00:27:03   It's hard to say, but anyway,

00:27:04   if something has changed in Mac OS,

00:27:06   maybe that's the problem, maybe the chromium people,

00:27:08   I'm not saying it's something that they need to fix it,

00:27:10   like, well, it worked before and now it's not working,

00:27:12   that's not our problem, Apple should stop changing

00:27:14   the network, but maybe the thing they're looking for

00:27:17   to detect network changes is not what they should

00:27:20   be looking at, it's like, well, what is the intent?

00:27:22   Are you supposed to look, do you only care

00:27:24   if the default route changed?

00:27:26   If that's the case, you should be looking here

00:27:28   and not there, because in Sonoma X and Y change, right?

00:27:30   So it's not even clear where the bug is,

00:27:32   but you'll never find out where the bug is

00:27:35   if you don't investigate it and you just think,

00:27:37   well, this is just an edge case and yeah,

00:27:39   this is happening to you, but tough luck,

00:27:40   it's the only sane thing we can do

00:27:41   when the network changed, but if suddenly people

00:27:44   can't use your product and there's no work around

00:27:46   because request, you know, 50% of your requests fail,

00:27:50   that is a problem that you need to get to the bottom of,

00:27:52   even if it's not quote unquote your fault.

00:27:55   - We are sponsored this episode by Adblock Pro,

00:27:59   transform your Safari experience to be smoother,

00:28:02   faster, and safer today.

00:28:04   Let's kick things off with some accolades,

00:28:05   Adblock Pro has earned itself a Spotlight by Apple

00:28:08   in the App Store three different times

00:28:10   in the Safari extensions category,

00:28:12   and Adblock Pro now supports all of Apple's platforms,

00:28:15   iOS, iPad OS, and Mac OS, backed by CloudKit sync

00:28:19   and a new updated UI.

00:28:21   Now Adblock Pro gives you a smooth Safari

00:28:23   browsing experience, those infuriating autoplay videos,

00:28:26   those little tiny deceptive X buttons,

00:28:28   relentless scrolling banners, all these sketchy redirects,

00:28:31   they're all gone, you get a decluttered

00:28:33   and more delightful browsing experience with Adblock Pro,

00:28:36   and it's faster too, two to three times faster,

00:28:39   slashing your data usage by up to 60%,

00:28:42   and actually this usually leads to better battery life

00:28:44   as well, 'cause you aren't downloading so much data.

00:28:46   So you can also say no to sly trackers

00:28:49   and maintain better privacy.

00:28:51   And for parents out there, Adblock Pro ensures

00:28:53   a safer browsing environment,

00:28:55   devoid of inappropriate content for kids.

00:28:57   There's also some nice quality of life features too,

00:28:59   so for instance, if you're annoyed

00:29:01   by those allow cookie notifications,

00:29:02   you can easily dismiss them,

00:29:04   and when you want peace and quiet,

00:29:05   you also have the option to mute comment sections

00:29:07   on popular websites, I love that feature.

00:29:10   And it's multilingual too, Adblock Pro has fine-tuned service

00:29:13   for a vast array of languages,

00:29:15   spanning from English to Vietnamese.

00:29:17   And all of this is absolutely free for basic ad blocking.

00:29:21   And for the cost of just two coffees a year,

00:29:24   you can unearth a treasure trove of premium features

00:29:26   that will transform your browsing journey

00:29:28   across your iPhone, iPad, and Mac.

00:29:31   And the best part is, with family sharing,

00:29:33   one subscription covers up to six accounts with Adblock Pro.

00:29:36   So see for yourself by going to the App Store today,

00:29:40   find Adblock Pro to transform your Safari experience.

00:29:44   Thank you so much to Adblock Pro for sponsoring our show.

00:29:47   - So since we recorded, some things have happened.

00:29:54   No, Apple did not buy Nintendo, not this time,

00:29:57   but they did release a third Apple Pencil,

00:30:00   and what the hell is going on here?

00:30:05   - Well, the best thing about the new Apple Pencil

00:30:06   is that it appears to replace

00:30:08   either of the existing Pencils.

00:30:10   - Right, and it's a mix of their capabilities.

00:30:12   - Yeah, very careful distinction there.

00:30:14   Third Apple Pencil, not Apple Pencil 3.

00:30:16   Because the rumors were Apple Pencil 3 is coming,

00:30:20   but what we got instead was a third Apple Pencil,

00:30:21   and its place in the line, despite the feature set,

00:30:24   which we'll discuss in a moment,

00:30:25   its place in the line is clear.

00:30:27   It's the cheapest.

00:30:28   It's $79, and the Apple Pencil first generation is 99,

00:30:31   and the Apple Pencil second generation is 130.

00:30:34   So this is the cheapest Pencil,

00:30:35   but it is not the Apple Pencil 3.

00:30:37   - No, or the Apple Pencil third generation.

00:30:38   No, instead it's called Apple Pencil USB-C.

00:30:41   - Such a good name.

00:30:41   - Which makes perfect sense, because--

00:30:44   - It's got USB-C.

00:30:45   - But the Apple Pencil second generation

00:30:47   works with all USB-C iPads.

00:30:49   - But it does not have USB-C.

00:30:51   - I know, this is all very confusing.

00:30:53   Oh, and the Apple Pencil first generation

00:30:55   has an adapter that you can use

00:30:57   with the new USB-C 10th generation iPad.

00:30:59   - Yeah, so this Apple Pencil is the perfect Apple Pencil

00:31:03   for the current iPad product line,

00:31:05   because it is just as confusing as the product line.

00:31:08   It fits right in.

00:31:09   It is an absolute mess.

00:31:10   So this one, this cheapest Apple Pencil

00:31:13   doesn't have pressure sensitivity,

00:31:16   wireless pairing or charging,

00:31:18   double-chap to change tools,

00:31:19   which is so weird, is the accelerometer that expensive?

00:31:21   But anyway, no double-tap, and also no free engraving.

00:31:24   That just seems punitive.

00:31:26   How much, just a little laser.

00:31:27   Like, you can't get Casey Apple Pencil put on it,

00:31:30   but it does have hover support.

00:31:32   - Deep cut, deep cut.

00:31:32   - It does have hover support.

00:31:35   And the compatibility matrix is like,

00:31:37   so okay, if you have an Apple Pencil,

00:31:39   this should be a question.

00:31:40   If we had like a quiz show,

00:31:41   like asking Apple pundits who follow the company,

00:31:44   tell me what the Apple Pencil 2 is compatible with.

00:31:47   It's like, they would not get this grid.

00:31:48   So the Apple Pencil 2 works with iPad Air,

00:31:51   iPad Mini, and iPad Pro.

00:31:53   The Apple Pencil USB-C works with all iPad models

00:31:55   with a USB-C port, and the Apple Pencil 1

00:31:58   works with iPad 10, iPad, and iPad 9,

00:32:01   and a USB-C and Apple Pencil adapter is needed

00:32:03   for pairing and charging with the iPad 10,

00:32:05   but it's included in the box.

00:32:06   - Oh my gosh.

00:32:07   - And iPad 10 and iPad 9 are both still for sale,

00:32:10   so that's why they have to clarify.

00:32:11   I mean, this is, there's been a lot of good stuff

00:32:14   said about this, and the upgrade this week

00:32:16   was very good on this, but good for them

00:32:18   for making the Pencil that is cheaper

00:32:20   and more people will buy, I guess.

00:32:21   But this, I mean, you look at the entire iPad lineup,

00:32:24   and like this Pencil is just a microcosm

00:32:26   of the entire lineup where like,

00:32:28   you know, they currently sell six different iPads,

00:32:32   four of which are about the same size, but not quite.

00:32:36   They have wildly different details

00:32:39   and capabilities between them.

00:32:41   It is a really weird and messy product line.

00:32:45   They have been updated from all different time,

00:32:48   you know, all different times of updating,

00:32:50   have all different accessories that work with each of them

00:32:52   because they're all subtly different sizes.

00:32:55   They have all these different exceptions.

00:32:57   Well, this one has this, but this one has this,

00:32:58   this one doesn't have this, even though this one's newer.

00:33:00   And like, it is a confusing mess.

00:33:03   Meanwhile, they seem to be slated to go all of 2023

00:33:07   without releasing a single new iPad of any line.

00:33:10   The iPad's in a really weird place hardware-wise right now.

00:33:13   And it's not necessarily because the hardware is bad.

00:33:15   On the contrary, most of it's actually very good.

00:33:18   It's just like, it's a weird place in terms of,

00:33:21   you know, when are updates happening?

00:33:23   What has been half updated?

00:33:26   Like, certain features have come to some of them,

00:33:29   and some of the best features are on

00:33:31   some of the lowest end models.

00:33:32   The iPad Pro, the highest end model,

00:33:34   hasn't been really touched in a while.

00:33:36   They are still selling both 9th Gen and 10th Gen

00:33:40   low-end iPad, both called iPad,

00:33:42   and they're both about the same size,

00:33:44   but both very different machines.

00:33:46   You know, the low-end iPad that they are still selling

00:33:48   still has not only a lightning port,

00:33:50   which on the iPad is pretty old now,

00:33:52   but still has a home button,

00:33:54   and the old screen shape, and the old case shape.

00:33:58   I mean, the whole thing, the whole lineup is just a mess.

00:34:03   Different parts of it seem like the people

00:34:06   who make different iPad hardware decisions

00:34:09   don't talk to each other.

00:34:11   And I know that probably isn't the case,

00:34:13   but that's how it looks, because everything is,

00:34:14   like, certain ones, like the 10th Gen iPad,

00:34:18   which is the kind of, the current generation cheap one,

00:34:22   even though it is not the cheapest one,

00:34:23   'cause they're still selling the old cheapest one,

00:34:25   because the cheapest one wasn't cheapest enough.

00:34:27   So the 10th Gen cheap iPad has some of the best features

00:34:32   in terms of, like, it moves the camera to the side,

00:34:35   but they move the camera to the side,

00:34:36   and that means it can't charge a pencil over there,

00:34:38   which is part of the reason this new pencil has to exist.

00:34:40   Well, why wasn't maybe a new pencil designed

00:34:44   with that in mind?

00:34:45   Like, I just, oh my God, there's so much

00:34:48   that it just seems like one hand's

00:34:49   not talking to the other here,

00:34:51   in the entire iPad hardware lineup.

00:34:53   One hand is not talking to the other.

00:34:54   - And what they've learned from the Apple Pencil,

00:34:56   by the way, is it's not like they've learned nothing,

00:34:58   because, like, the Apple Pencil 2 learned a lot

00:35:00   from the Apple Pencil 1.

00:35:00   No more cap that you can lose,

00:35:02   no more sticking it in the port, magnetic,

00:35:04   like, the Apple Pencil 2 was just a clean win.

00:35:06   We saw that came out, it's like, great,

00:35:07   you learned from the Apple Pencil 1,

00:35:09   you made a better pencil, everybody loved it,

00:35:11   no more ports, beautiful device,

00:35:13   has lots of cool features,

00:35:14   sticks to the side of your iPad Pro,

00:35:15   which was then new at the time, thumbs up.

00:35:17   This new one, I mean, obviously it's the low-end one,

00:35:20   so it's not gonna be super fancy, that's fine.

00:35:21   It learned some stuff, no more cap that you can lose.

00:35:23   This one instead has a little slidey-uppy thing

00:35:26   that doesn't come off, hopefully.

00:35:27   (laughing)

00:35:29   But underneath the slidey-uppy thing

00:35:31   is a sideways USB port.

00:35:33   So you spear this thing kinda like the mouse to charge it.

00:35:36   And why does it need to have a port?

00:35:38   Well, because it doesn't charge magnetically,

00:35:40   despite the fact that I believe

00:35:41   it does have magnets inside it,

00:35:43   and does have flat sides, and does to attach to the iPad,

00:35:45   but it doesn't charge or pair that way.

00:35:47   It is just a physical connection type thing.

00:35:51   And I'm not saying this is the wrong feature set

00:35:54   or the wrong price balance.

00:35:56   And by the way, this new Apple Pencil

00:35:58   is not the same size as either of the existing pencils,

00:36:00   because of course it isn't.

00:36:01   Why would it be the same size?

00:36:02   That's madness.

00:36:03   I think it's like 7% shorter or something

00:36:06   than the Apple Pencil's second generation.

00:36:08   I don't know if they're not talking to each other,

00:36:10   or if this is just fallout from the edict

00:36:12   that you must never make a new product

00:36:15   when you can conceivably continue selling the old one,

00:36:19   which is why the Apple Pencil first generation

00:36:20   is still hanging around,

00:36:21   and they still kept making products

00:36:22   that not only used it, but required it.

00:36:25   It's like, well, we already have that.

00:36:27   We already paid for those machines.

00:36:28   We already had to make this thing.

00:36:29   It's cheaper to do that.

00:36:30   Why wipe the slate clean and upgrade everybody

00:36:33   to Apple Pencil's second generation?

00:36:34   Maybe Apple Pencil's second generation is very expensive.

00:36:37   It costs more to manufacture.

00:36:38   I don't know.

00:36:39   There doesn't seem to be a coherent division.

00:36:42   Or if there is a coherent division,

00:36:44   their schedule got messed with really badly.

00:36:47   Like maybe they wanted these all to come out

00:36:48   at the same time.

00:36:49   This Pencils of the Neem come out at the same time

00:36:51   as the iPads that it is the best match for.

00:36:54   You know what I mean?

00:36:56   But let alone like fixing the whole line.

00:36:58   So anyway, we'll be watching for this.

00:36:59   I don't think it's terrible that the iPad line

00:37:01   is updated in parallel,

00:37:02   but I think there's so many transitions going on.

00:37:05   The transition to USB-C, which as you noted,

00:37:06   Marco, is still not over in the iPad line,

00:37:08   despite going on for years now.

00:37:10   The tradition from the round pencil to the flat,

00:37:12   which is still not over,

00:37:14   'cause they're still selling the round one,

00:37:15   but at least this one is also flat.

00:37:17   The transition away from the home button,

00:37:19   also still not over.

00:37:20   Like there's just kind of this long slow motion.

00:37:23   We see the finish line.

00:37:24   We see like they'll all have flat sides.

00:37:26   They'll have magnetically attached pencil

00:37:27   where they charge and pair with it.

00:37:29   They'll all have the camera and the landscape orientation.

00:37:33   Like we'll get there eventually.

00:37:34   And then you have to progress.

00:37:37   Like if we ever get to a homogenous line,

00:37:39   still probably the pros will be the first

00:37:42   and only ones with the OLED screens for a long time

00:37:44   because they're expensive, right?

00:37:45   So it's not like we expect them

00:37:46   to always be exactly the same,

00:37:47   'cause why would you have to have some differentiation?

00:37:50   But we've gone beyond differentiation

00:37:52   and now it's just like this long trail of hardware history

00:37:57   that Apple continues to sell.

00:37:58   - It's just remarkable.

00:38:00   I mean, the Apple Pencil 2 came out

00:38:03   with the 2018 iPad Pro five years ago.

00:38:07   - And it was good.

00:38:08   And we liked it. - Yes, it was great.

00:38:08   - And it's still good.

00:38:10   And yet today they had to introduce another pencil

00:38:14   because the Apple Pencil 2, which we still need,

00:38:18   is not still compatible with all the iPads in the lineup

00:38:21   five years later.

00:38:23   That's ridiculous.

00:38:24   What they need, obviously, is a much simpler iPad lineup

00:38:29   in a large sense, on a lot of different levels.

00:38:32   You should be able to go to an Apple store

00:38:35   and there should be a consistent line of iPads

00:38:38   of different sizes and capabilities.

00:38:40   And look, yeah, you're right.

00:38:40   Differentiate on screen size, on screen type,

00:38:43   OLED, HDR versus non-HDR, fine.

00:38:46   Those are all easy things to differentiate on.

00:38:48   - And the SOC and RAM and all the normal stuff that you--

00:38:51   - Yes, that's all fine.

00:38:53   They should all have the same port on the bottom.

00:38:56   They should all be a small number of total sizes.

00:39:01   There should only be a very small number of keyboards

00:39:05   and pencils that should work with all of them.

00:39:07   Ideally, the number is one keyboard per screen size

00:39:10   and one pencil total across the whole lineup.

00:39:12   That's ideal.

00:39:13   If they really have to have these differentiated features

00:39:17   with a pencil for cost reasons,

00:39:18   then have a pencil and a pencil Pro and that's it.

00:39:21   And this lineup, oh god, it's so far from that right now.

00:39:26   I'm hoping, again, there have been no new iPads

00:39:29   in all of 2023 so far and they seem like

00:39:31   they're not going to be.

00:39:32   And that's its own oddity.

00:39:35   But, I mean, jeez, what re-isn't in a minute.

00:39:39   Can you imagine telling us of a couple years ago

00:39:43   during the bad days of the Mac,

00:39:45   telling us that in 2023 there would be zero iPads released,

00:39:49   but possibly two generations of MacBook Pro?

00:39:52   - I would not have believed you.

00:39:56   Zero chance.

00:39:56   - And you mentioned having a pencil and a pencil Pro.

00:39:59   If they did this right, and at this point,

00:40:01   they're gonna have to come out

00:40:02   with the Apple Pencil 3rd generation

00:40:03   because apparently the Apple Pencil 2

00:40:05   is not gonna work with landscape camera

00:40:06   due to the way they arrange stuff.

00:40:07   So, you know, bad on them for not thinking of that in 2018,

00:40:10   but whatever.

00:40:11   If they had a pencil and a pencil Pro,

00:40:13   ideally both of those pencils

00:40:17   would work with every single iPad.

00:40:18   You just, you know, the Pro would have more features.

00:40:20   It would have the pressure sensitivity to have whatever.

00:40:22   Like the Pro Pencil would be better,

00:40:24   but it's not like, oh, well, you have an iPad Pro,

00:40:26   you can't use the non-Pro Pencil and vice versa.

00:40:27   No, all the pencils should work with all the things.

00:40:29   It's just what's inside the pencil is fancier

00:40:32   if you buy the good one.

00:40:33   - Imagine, imagine that world.

00:40:35   - This whole world is such a mess.

00:40:39   And it's so unnecessary.

00:40:40   Like, again, hopefully this is transitional.

00:40:42   Hopefully we're nearing the end of this massive,

00:40:45   weird number of transitions in the iPad lineup.

00:40:47   But if it took, if we're five years into the Pencil 2

00:40:50   and it still doesn't work with everything,

00:40:52   I don't know that they care.

00:40:54   I like, look at the iPad lineup.

00:40:56   They obviously don't care about consistency

00:40:59   or simplicity or anything.

00:41:01   It's kind of hard to tell what they do care about

00:41:03   with the iPad hardware choices across the whole thing.

00:41:05   I mean, this looks like a Samsung lineup.

00:41:07   It looks like spray and pray.

00:41:08   Like it looks ridiculous, honestly.

00:41:11   And except Samsung, let's keep them up to date.

00:41:13   - At least the iPad operating system situation

00:41:15   is well sorted out, right?

00:41:16   (laughing)

00:41:19   - Yeah, I don't know.

00:41:22   I don't feel like we need to believe this any further.

00:41:24   It's just too bad because the iPad hardware,

00:41:28   I know we've said this a thousand times,

00:41:29   the iPad hardware is so good in general,

00:41:32   but it's just strewn in so many different directions

00:41:35   and we don't need to open the software can of worms

00:41:38   one more time.

00:41:39   But I don't use my iPad heavily

00:41:43   and I don't use it for particularly

00:41:46   computationally intensive things.

00:41:48   But I do still really like my iPad.

00:41:50   It's one of those things where if you asked me

00:41:53   to make a pros and cons list or charts about why I like it,

00:41:57   I don't know that I could or do a convincing job

00:42:00   of explaining why I like it, but I really do.

00:42:02   I really do like having that iPad available to me.

00:42:06   And yet I just, I feel like this is such a mess.

00:42:09   And they talked a lot on upgrade about how this is,

00:42:12   I think in no small part, an after effect of Apple's

00:42:16   penchant or however you pronounce the word,

00:42:20   their love of keeping old stuff around

00:42:23   in order to make it cheaper.

00:42:24   And that's your cheaper stuff.

00:42:25   Rather than bespoke cheap things,

00:42:27   it's just old things that they can now make cheaply.

00:42:29   And now that eventually can lead you to this situation.

00:42:32   And it's a mess.

00:42:33   - Yeah, unlike the laptops before,

00:42:35   like you mentioned you like your iPad.

00:42:37   I like my iPad too.

00:42:38   That's the thing about the line.

00:42:39   I think the individual products are probably well liked

00:42:41   by the people that buy them.

00:42:42   This is not the same problem as when they were making

00:42:44   bad laptops that had no ports and crappy keyboards

00:42:46   that didn't work.

00:42:47   The individual products are mostly okay.

00:42:50   It's when you step back and look at the range of products

00:42:53   that they're offering.

00:42:54   For example, if you're a customer saying,

00:42:55   "Which one should I buy?"

00:42:57   That's the problem.

00:42:58   Eventually when you get down to an iPad

00:42:59   and you buy it, you'll probably be pretty happy with it.

00:43:01   Because in general, the iPads are pretty good

00:43:02   at what they do and what people ask them to do

00:43:04   is not that much.

00:43:05   And maybe the pro users are cranky at this point

00:43:06   because the iPad pros haven't been updated.

00:43:08   But the individual products are not disasters.

00:43:10   Again, setting aside the software.

00:43:12   But the line, the line is a mess.

00:43:14   And now the peripherals are actually a mess.

00:43:17   Again, not that any individual peripheral is bad,

00:43:19   but they're so expensive and so limiting

00:43:21   and so unclear about which peripherals

00:43:24   that can even work with your thing

00:43:25   versus which peripherals you like

00:43:27   versus which iPads they work with.

00:43:29   It makes the experience of selecting which product you want

00:43:32   or upgrading your existing product

00:43:33   to a quote unquote better one way too fraught.

00:43:36   Even if the individual product you end up getting,

00:43:38   you end up being satisfied with.

00:43:40   - Yeah.

00:43:41   All right, so there is indeed an Apple event.

00:43:43   It's going to be on Hell Night,

00:43:45   as it was called when I was a kid.

00:43:47   - What? - On October 30th.

00:43:48   Yeah, this was the thing.

00:43:50   - Or Devil's Night sometimes, right?

00:43:52   Really? - Yep.

00:43:52   - I've never heard that. - I like that.

00:43:53   - So it's an East Coast thing.

00:43:55   - Yeah, well.

00:43:55   - I don't know if it's an East Coast thing,

00:43:56   but anyway, we're both from East Coast

00:43:57   and we both know it.

00:43:58   - Well, it wasn't an Ohio thing.

00:44:00   - You said H-E double hockey sticks there, I know.

00:44:02   (laughing)

00:44:04   - Well done.

00:44:05   Anyway, there's an event on October 30th,

00:44:07   the night before Halloween.

00:44:10   It's at eight o'clock at night Eastern,

00:44:12   which I don't have a problem with,

00:44:14   but is very, very unusual.

00:44:16   What is going on there?

00:44:17   - It's spooky.

00:44:18   - I guess so.

00:44:19   It is, you could say it's scary late.

00:44:21   I mean, scary fast apparently.

00:44:23   - I love this because first of all,

00:44:26   the rumor mill has been very consistent

00:44:29   over the last few months saying,

00:44:31   no new max for the rest of the year.

00:44:33   (laughing)

00:44:34   - But there were some naysayers.

00:44:36   As the date approaches, there's always somebody

00:44:39   who's willing to put their stake down and say,

00:44:40   actually, no, before I said there wasn't,

00:44:41   but now there is gonna be.

00:44:42   And I think, I forgot who it was that says that,

00:44:44   but they were right, here it is.

00:44:45   And they even said it was gonna be,

00:44:46   I think it was Germin who said,

00:44:47   no, actually, there's gonna be an event.

00:44:48   It's gonna be October 30th and 31st,

00:44:50   despite what people, you know.

00:44:52   So it's been confusing, but yeah,

00:44:54   there was so many consistent rumors

00:44:55   that there either wasn't gonna be event

00:44:57   or nothing good would be announced in it.

00:44:58   But so the invitation, the little invitation image

00:45:00   that you get, it says it's got a spooky black Apple logo

00:45:03   and it says scary fast.

00:45:05   And if you go to Apple's website

00:45:06   to their Apple events thing,

00:45:07   you can see a little animation

00:45:08   where the Apple logo turns into,

00:45:10   I love seeing people describe this.

00:45:12   Some people say it's the Finder logo

00:45:14   because of course it is the little face

00:45:15   that you see in the icon for the Finder

00:45:17   at the end of your doc.

00:45:19   It was also the originally the macOS logo back in the day

00:45:23   and classic macOS.

00:45:25   Now it lives on as the Finder icon.

00:45:27   But either way, both of those things say Mac.

00:45:30   So if you're wondering what they're going to announce

00:45:32   at the event on the 30th,

00:45:33   they're gonna announce Mac stuff.

00:45:35   Maybe there'll be other stuff too,

00:45:37   but this is straightforward.

00:45:38   Like there's, you know, and reading into the graphic,

00:45:41   it's dark and spooky.

00:45:43   That's all we get from it.

00:45:44   It's happening at 8 p.m.

00:45:44   That's spooky and Mac.

00:45:46   So that leaves us in a weird place

00:45:48   because as you noted, Mark,

00:45:49   are everyone saying, yeah, all the M3 stuff

00:45:52   that you thought was supposed to come this year,

00:45:53   not only did it not come in the spring or summer,

00:45:56   it's not even gonna come in the fall.

00:45:58   Forget it, it's all pushed to next year.

00:46:00   But this Mac logo says some of it's not pushed to next year.

00:46:03   They're gonna announce something with the Mac.

00:46:05   And here's the second thing.

00:46:06   It says scary fast.

00:46:08   I don't think that Apple would use the phrase scary fast

00:46:12   if they were only releasing Mac stuff

00:46:14   that have existing M2 whatever processors in it.

00:46:18   So that means they're announcing Mac stuff

00:46:21   with M3 something in something.

00:46:24   And I think when they originally released the M2 Max

00:46:28   and M2 Pro, they also use scary fast.

00:46:31   They said scary fast for the M2 Pro

00:46:33   and scary faster or something for the M2 Max.

00:46:37   That doesn't mean anything

00:46:37   'cause they're just reusing marketing terms or whatever.

00:46:39   But I'm actually kind of excited

00:46:41   because they can't put a scary fast,

00:46:44   you know, call it a scary fast event

00:46:46   and say Mac stuff is coming and not have M3 something.

00:46:49   And I had, because of the rumors,

00:46:51   I pretty much resigned myself.

00:46:52   Oh, no M3 stuff this year.

00:46:54   We'll have to wait until next year.

00:46:55   So I'm kind of excited.

00:46:57   - No, I'm very excited.

00:46:58   - I'm really curious to see like what is this?

00:47:02   'Cause there's so much about it that is surprising so far.

00:47:06   We don't even know what it is yet.

00:47:07   But the kind of suddenness of this being announced

00:47:11   out of nowhere is surprising.

00:47:13   The timing is surprising.

00:47:14   The time of day being 5 p.m. Pacific, 8 p.m. Eastern,

00:47:19   that's surprising.

00:47:20   And then the fact that the rumor mill was so sure

00:47:22   until two seconds ago that none of this stuff

00:47:25   was coming this year.

00:47:26   Now all of a sudden we have pretty strong indicator

00:47:28   that something about fast Macs is happening.

00:47:31   And so we can think about like what does that mean?

00:47:33   And so the latest quote rumors, at this point,

00:47:36   who knows whether this is leaks or speculation or whatever.

00:47:39   Everyone thinks this might be about an update to the iMac

00:47:43   and possibly the MacBook Pro.

00:47:46   And that I think would make sense.

00:47:50   Some people are speculating it might be gaming related.

00:47:53   I was getting my hopes up like maybe this is gonna be

00:47:56   some kind of new product size or shape or whatever.

00:48:01   Whether it's like a new laptop, maybe a 12 inch or whatever.

00:48:03   There was a loose rumor about that.

00:48:05   But this doesn't seem to have any kind of in person

00:48:08   invitations going out.

00:48:09   It seems like it's virtual only.

00:48:11   I haven't heard of anybody in the press getting

00:48:13   an in person invitation to go out there.

00:48:15   And that means no hands on.

00:48:17   The lack of a hands on experience seemingly

00:48:20   probably suggests no new form factors of products.

00:48:24   No new shapes and sizes.

00:48:26   We can probably rule out things like,

00:48:29   are they gonna do a 12 inch MacBook Pro or whatever.

00:48:32   A 12 inch MacBook or whatever.

00:48:33   And I think that might also rule out a giant iMac.

00:48:38   You know like a replacement for the iMac Pro.

00:48:40   - Oh yeah, I don't even think there's good rumors

00:48:42   about that.

00:48:43   I mean the only rumors about that is that's still a thing

00:48:44   that Apple's gonna eventually make to make me win

00:48:46   my one dollar bet with Marco.

00:48:47   But not eminently.

00:48:49   - Yeah, so the safest bet here is probably,

00:48:54   again I'm with you John, I think they probably

00:48:57   wouldn't emphasize fast if they were using chips

00:49:00   they've already launched.

00:49:02   Like Gruber's guess was maybe this is just M2

00:49:05   update to the iMac.

00:49:06   And I think one thing that the most conservative guess

00:49:10   I think for this could be, maybe they're bringing

00:49:14   not only the M2 to the iMac which still has the M1

00:49:17   as we discussed last week.

00:49:18   Maybe they're gonna offer like an M2 Pro configuration

00:49:21   with the same iMac case that we have now.

00:49:24   You know there is some precedent for that.

00:49:25   Obviously it's a bigger power envelope than the M1

00:49:28   to have like the Pro configuration with the more cores.

00:49:30   But it doesn't go as far as the Macs.

00:49:31   And they did that with the Mac Mini.

00:49:33   The Mac Mini you can buy now with the M2 or M2 Pro

00:49:37   but not M2 Macs.

00:49:38   And it's still the same size.

00:49:41   So maybe they're taking an existing product line

00:49:44   that is currently M2 only and giving it an M2 Pro option.

00:49:49   That would enable them to still not mess with TSMC's

00:49:52   three nanometer capacity and everything for the M3

00:49:54   or whatever else.

00:49:55   That I think is the most conservative approach.

00:49:56   And that could be, I'm thinking either the iMac

00:49:58   or maybe the 15 inch MacBook Air.

00:50:01   Because the 15 inch MacBook Air seems to not be selling well

00:50:06   by a lot of reports which is honestly surprising to me.

00:50:09   I think it looks amazing.

00:50:10   But maybe that product has slightly missed the market

00:50:15   and maybe they're gonna juice it up with the higher end

00:50:18   config with the M2 Pro chip, who knows.

00:50:21   Maybe that replaces the weird 13 inch MacBook Pro

00:50:24   with the touch bar that is still being made.

00:50:26   - No, they'll never replace that.

00:50:28   That's like whatever that last Mac was

00:50:30   with the optical drive or whatever.

00:50:31   They're gonna keep selling that forever.

00:50:32   - Yeah, the MD101.

00:50:34   That's gonna be around for, oh my God.

00:50:38   The existence of that computer makes me so upset

00:50:40   on so many levels.

00:50:41   'Cause from what I've heard, they do sell a ton of them.

00:50:45   But I think the reason they sell a ton of them

00:50:46   is because it's called MacBook Pro

00:50:49   and it's way cheaper than the 14 inch.

00:50:51   - And people who don't yet know

00:50:52   that they're not interested in the touch bar.

00:50:53   Or people, all right, fine.

00:50:54   People who are legitimately interested in touch bar

00:50:56   but let's be honest, it's not that many of them.

00:50:57   - I honestly think if it was not named MacBook Pro,

00:51:01   the sales would drop to almost nothing.

00:51:04   I literally think that's the reason people buy it

00:51:06   and that's not a small reason.

00:51:08   And it drives me nuts.

00:51:09   - On the scary fast thing,

00:51:10   here's the confusing part of this.

00:51:12   'Cause we agree that scary fast,

00:51:14   it's gotta be something more than a chip

00:51:15   that they have already released.

00:51:16   It'll probably be M3 something or other.

00:51:18   This is why a show or two ago,

00:51:20   I had mentioned the possibility of like,

00:51:22   can you imagine if M3 based MacBook Pros came out

00:51:26   before plain old M3 based laptops?

00:51:30   Like that's not the order they've done it

00:51:32   with the M1 or the M2.

00:51:32   And it's generally not the order

00:51:34   as we've discussed in the past.

00:51:35   The CPUs go, they tend to do the lower power,

00:51:37   smaller ones first before you make them

00:51:39   more complex higher power ones,

00:51:40   just because that's how manufacturing works.

00:51:42   It's easier to make the smaller simpler chip

00:51:44   when you're first getting started on the process

00:51:46   than to jump to the big one.

00:51:47   But I mean, part of what we're getting is like the M3,

00:51:51   if you look at the schedules of when Apple released the M1

00:51:54   and the M2, the M3 quote unquote

00:51:57   should already be here by now, but it's not.

00:51:59   And there are vague rumors that like,

00:52:01   oh, the M3 has been canceled.

00:52:04   - What? - What does that even mean?

00:52:04   Are they not gonna make an M3?

00:52:06   No, of course they're gonna make an M3.

00:52:07   But whatever they were planning on making

00:52:10   and calling the M3 didn't arrive when we thought it would.

00:52:12   So that leads into a lot of questions with this event.

00:52:16   Obviously 24-inch iMac is a great candidate

00:52:19   and that's one of the strongly rumored ones.

00:52:21   Germin is flat out saying

00:52:22   there's gonna be a new 24-inch iMac.

00:52:23   And case is the same, although he's said some stuff

00:52:25   about maybe the colors are different

00:52:27   and maybe how they attach the stand is different

00:52:28   or something, but anyway, that product.

00:52:31   That could be with an M2-based thing,

00:52:32   but then what would be the M3-based thing?

00:52:34   M3 Pro and M3 Macs based MacBook Pros,

00:52:36   same form factor, no need for a hands-on.

00:52:39   They're scary fast, fits the bill.

00:52:41   But the difficulty of figuring all this out is like,

00:52:43   all right, what happened to the M3 again?

00:52:46   Like why don't we have that?

00:52:48   It's gonna be three, we have the A17 Pro,

00:52:50   which is three nanometer,

00:52:51   and we keep talking about the various TSMC processes

00:52:55   and not being able to remember the name.

00:52:56   So I wrote them down this time so we can discuss them.

00:52:58   So here's the deal.

00:52:59   - Hold on though, before you get there,

00:53:01   I don't think an M3 is going to be three nanometer

00:53:03   necessarily because the M2 is based on the A15,

00:53:06   not the A16.

00:53:08   So that means the M3 would be based on the iPhone 14's A16.

00:53:13   God, there's so many numbers.

00:53:14   - Yeah, but they did the same thing with the M2.

00:53:16   Like I think you're right about the core base,

00:53:19   but the GPU is gonna be the new Ray Tracey GPU, I think.

00:53:22   So that's that.

00:53:23   And I think it will be on the new process.

00:53:25   - Yeah, no, I mean, a lot of people assume that like,

00:53:27   oh, because the M1 was based on A15 or whatever,

00:53:31   but the A series chips for the iPhone

00:53:34   come out every single year.

00:53:35   They have a very fixed 12 month cycle.

00:53:39   The Mac chips don't need to follow that.

00:53:41   Macs typically follow more like an 18 month upgrade cycle.

00:53:44   - Yeah, I think they've followed exactly an 18 month cycle

00:53:47   for the M1 and M2, which is why we all expect

00:53:49   for the M3 to be here, especially when you consider

00:53:51   that the M1 and M2 spanned like the onset of COVID era

00:53:55   when everything was madness,

00:53:56   you would think things would be getting more,

00:53:58   and they'd be getting more regular,

00:54:00   but of course we're going to three nanometers,

00:54:01   which is the big wild card here.

00:54:02   - Yeah, so basically they're gonna skip some of the A cores

00:54:06   to make M chips, like they're not gonna use them all,

00:54:08   and that's fine.

00:54:09   - Yeah, and so I do think that they're gonna be three nanometer

00:54:12   but the three nanometer thing has been a source of confusion

00:54:14   because of the different processes.

00:54:16   Here they are from TSMC's website,

00:54:18   I'll put some links in the show notes.

00:54:20   The one that the A17 Pro is using is their very first one.

00:54:25   It's N3B, it's TSMC's baseline N3 node.

00:54:28   I don't know if the B stands for baseline,

00:54:30   but it's a nice way to remember it.

00:54:32   And here's some description of it.

00:54:33   It uses up to 25 EUV, which is extreme ultraviolet layers,

00:54:36   with some expensive EUV double patterning,

00:54:39   allowing higher transistor density,

00:54:40   but at higher costs and fewer customers.

00:54:42   So this is what the iPhones are using.

00:54:44   It's their very first run at this,

00:54:47   it's very sophisticated, it's very expensive,

00:54:50   and people have been speculating that the only chip

00:54:55   that they'll ever make with this process is the A17 Pro

00:54:59   because Apple has bought all their capacity for this process

00:55:01   and it's their first baseline process.

00:55:04   And the reason they think that maybe the only A17 Pro

00:55:06   will be the only one, or at least the only one

00:55:07   that Apple ever buys from them using this process

00:55:09   is because the next process is more attractive

00:55:13   to more customers, so that's N3E.

00:55:16   And this is, again, from an article like the show notes,

00:55:18   more clients have opted for the more cost efficient

00:55:20   N3E process technology with up to 19 EUV layers,

00:55:24   no EUV double patterning, offering lower logic density,

00:55:27   but better yields and a wider process window.

00:55:29   So this is actually worse than N3B,

00:55:33   but cheaper, better yields, worse as in you can't do

00:55:36   as many layers, it has lower logic density,

00:55:39   but it's easier to manufacture, so it'll be cheaper.

00:55:43   And this is CC Wei, the chief executive of TSMC

00:55:47   on the October 19th earnings call, I think it was.

00:55:51   He says, "N3E has passed qualification

00:55:54   "and achieved performance and yield targets

00:55:56   "that will start volume production

00:55:57   "in the fourth quarter of this year."

00:55:59   Fourth quarter of this year.

00:56:01   - It's kinda now, isn't it?

00:56:03   - Right, and so N3E seems ready for someone

00:56:08   to make a chip that doesn't require as much logic density,

00:56:12   but is cheaper.

00:56:13   And when I look at that, what I think is like,

00:56:15   so was the M3 originally going to be on the N3B process?

00:56:21   But N3B ended up either not having as much capacity

00:56:25   or being too expensive, and so that's why we didn't get

00:56:27   the M3 chip on schedule, but now that N3E is here,

00:56:31   the Mac can handle a chip that is a little bit bigger,

00:56:35   you know, lower logic density means

00:56:36   there's fewer transistors per unit area.

00:56:39   The Mac can support that because you're not jamming

00:56:41   into a tiny little phone,

00:56:42   there's a little bit more room there.

00:56:43   And if it's cheaper, that means, okay,

00:56:46   if we manufacture an M3, sorry for the enunciation,

00:56:50   I hope the audio compression doesn't kill us,

00:56:52   if we manufacture an M3 processor using the N3E process,

00:56:57   then that will be cheap enough to put into a 24 inch iMac

00:57:02   based on the M3.

00:57:03   There are two more processes out in the future.

00:57:05   One is N3P, I know this is so bad, EBP, N3P,

00:57:09   which is an optical shrink of N3E offering

00:57:13   enhanced performance, reduced power consumption,

00:57:15   and increased transistor density compared to N3E,

00:57:18   all on maintaining compatibility with N3E's design rules.

00:57:21   This is, it's not entirely clear to me

00:57:22   how much design tweaking you would have to do

00:57:24   between these processes, but at least N3P

00:57:26   is explicitly saying, hey, if you design for N3E,

00:57:29   when we go to N3P, you don't have to mess with it too much,

00:57:32   you should be able to manufacture it.

00:57:33   And then finally, there's N3X, yay,

00:57:35   a different number that doesn't have the same vowel sound

00:57:38   in it, a different letter rather.

00:57:39   N3X, as you would imagine from the coolest letter,

00:57:42   is for high clock speeds, higher voltages,

00:57:44   for high performance CPUs.

00:57:46   Maybe someday the M3 Ultra will be based on this,

00:57:49   or maybe Apple will never use it.

00:57:50   But anyway, that is the roadmap.

00:57:52   N3B, shipping now, it's in your phone,

00:57:54   if you're interested in it.

00:57:55   N3E, volume production in the fourth quarter,

00:57:57   and I don't know about schedules for P and X.

00:58:00   So given all of this, it makes sense that eventually

00:58:05   when the M3 Pro and Max come,

00:58:06   whether that's on October 30th or in the future,

00:58:09   they will use N3E.

00:58:10   And I think N3E also makes sense for a plain old M3

00:58:14   to go into an iMac.

00:58:16   I still don't understand why,

00:58:18   what happened to the M3 based MacBook Air?

00:58:20   Is N3E not good enough for the MacBook Air?

00:58:24   Have they decided, like we did last week,

00:58:26   that the 24 inch iMac is more desperately

00:58:29   in need of an update than the MacBook Air?

00:58:32   As the MacBook Air has been updated kind of recently

00:58:34   and it's fine with the M2.

00:58:36   These are all the mysteries that will be revealed.

00:58:38   It's not like Apple's gonna put up slides and say,

00:58:40   I'm our new M3 whatever processor uses the N3E.

00:58:43   No, they're not gonna mention that,

00:58:44   but we'll be able to figure it out eventually.

00:58:46   And if N3B like really is just too expensive

00:58:52   and no one wants to pay for it,

00:58:53   and probably not even Apple,

00:58:54   except for the iPhone that just,

00:58:56   as you know, DeMarco must ship on a yearly basis,

00:58:59   Apple's probably like, we don't like this, it's expensive,

00:59:02   and we wish it wasn't,

00:59:03   and we want everything to be on N3E as fast as we can,

00:59:05   but it's the only thing available to us,

00:59:06   so we'll just get it.

00:59:07   It is kind of disappointing to me that N3E

00:59:09   is like essentially worse, like not as good

00:59:12   in many ways that you would care about.

00:59:14   But cheapness is a feature.

00:59:16   So I think, you know, I would not be shocked

00:59:21   if MacBook Pros came out with M3 Macs and M3 Pros.

00:59:24   I would be shocked if they came out

00:59:26   and there was still no plain old M3.

00:59:28   Like the very first and only M3 chips

00:59:32   that they would ship would be,

00:59:33   we've got the Pro and the Macs,

00:59:34   and they don't even mention a plain old M3.

00:59:36   That would be surprising to me,

00:59:38   despite the fact that I can kind of understand

00:59:40   the rumors of the plain old M3 being quote unquote canceled,

00:59:42   because maybe they wanted to do an N3B

00:59:44   and it just didn't make financial sense.

00:59:46   But part of the rumor about the 24-inch iMac, by the way,

00:59:49   is like, oh yeah, they've been manufacturing them since June

00:59:51   and they're all ready to go.

00:59:53   What?

00:59:53   They've been manufacturing them since June?

00:59:56   Well, that doesn't mean they're in N3E,

00:59:57   because N3E is just going into volume production now.

01:00:00   June is not the fourth quarter.

01:00:02   So I am very confused by the set of rumors that we have.

01:00:06   Again, I'm glad last week we talked about

01:00:08   what machines should be updated or need to be updated.

01:00:11   The MacBook Pros are not on that list,

01:00:13   but I'm not gonna complain about M3 Pro or M3 Macs,

01:00:16   MacBook Pros, if they are released.

01:00:18   - So let me try to tie this together.

01:00:19   There's a few little tidbits that I think

01:00:21   might make this make more sense.

01:00:23   Number one, there was a rumor recently

01:00:25   that next year's iPhones will both use A18-based chips.

01:00:30   So in other words, that they won't drop the A17 Pro

01:00:35   down to the non-Pro phone next year.

01:00:37   That was a recent rumor.

01:00:39   So basically the A17 Pro appears to be

01:00:43   the only A17 series chip that may exist.

01:00:46   And maybe that's why it's called Pro.

01:00:47   That might also indicate that, for instance,

01:00:49   it doesn't go into iPads.

01:00:50   - I agree that they're gonna brand it as A18-18 Pro.

01:00:53   Well, I shouldn't agree, because that makes

01:00:54   too much sense for Apple's naming.

01:00:55   But that would make sense for the naming.

01:00:57   It doesn't mean that our earlier speculation

01:01:00   about a cut-down version of the A17 Pro,

01:01:03   that may be what the A18 is.

01:01:04   It's just the A17 Pro with some cores missing or whatever.

01:01:08   But they'll call the A18, and if you look at it,

01:01:10   you say, well, it has a different number of cores.

01:01:11   Of course it's not the A17 Pro.

01:01:12   It's a totally different chip.

01:01:14   - I'm guessing N3B process, the one that the A17 Pro

01:01:18   is made on for the iPhone 15 Pro,

01:01:21   I'm guessing the iPhone 15 Pro is the only Apple product

01:01:26   to ever receive that process in a chip.

01:01:28   I think the N3E process is what they are using

01:01:32   for the M3-based things.

01:01:33   'Cause it wouldn't make sense to put M3 on N3B.

01:01:36   God, these names.

01:01:38   (laughing)

01:01:38   - Well, as long as we have these Macs

01:01:40   that have the Pro Max in them.

01:01:41   - Yeah, but if that process is kind of a dead end

01:01:45   and is very expensive, Apple doesn't wanna be using

01:01:49   that for years.

01:01:50   The M series chips are used for years.

01:01:53   Whatever chip is in the Pro iPhone is used for one year.

01:01:57   Or at least only needs to be used for one year.

01:01:59   - And by the way, that phrase dead end,

01:02:01   like every one of the TSMC's processes

01:02:03   and also like the manufacturer,

01:02:04   like the five nanometer had a bunch of these little names

01:02:08   that we couldn't remember as well.

01:02:09   And I imagine seven nanometer did as well.

01:02:11   Like when you go to a new process node,

01:02:13   at least with TSMC and probably with other companies,

01:02:15   you're always climbing that ladder.

01:02:16   Yeah, once they make a quote unquote better process,

01:02:18   you stop using the other one.

01:02:20   So it makes perfect sense that N3B, the first one,

01:02:22   would be left behind as soon as there's something better.

01:02:25   It is a little bit odd that the one

01:02:26   that is supposedly better is not better in all ways.

01:02:29   It's better in yields and manufacturability.

01:02:32   And that's good.

01:02:33   That's why people are gonna go to it.

01:02:35   But, you know, it's not,

01:02:37   N3B is no more of a dead end than N5P.

01:02:41   I don't know what the hell the letters were,

01:02:43   but there were five nanometer ones that Apple used

01:02:46   and then moved on from them

01:02:47   because better five nanometer processes came out.

01:02:49   They weren't dead ends.

01:02:50   They were just a stepping stone

01:02:52   on the way to better five nanometer process.

01:02:53   In fact, I believe one of their five nanometer processes

01:02:56   was like N4 something,

01:02:57   kind of like the 5G that wasn't really 5G.

01:03:00   - 5GE.

01:03:01   - Nevermind the fact that, by the way,

01:03:02   that, you know, as many people point out

01:03:03   when we discuss this,

01:03:04   and I think we talked about it ages ago,

01:03:06   the number that we're talking about,

01:03:08   three nanometers, five nanometers,

01:03:10   what does that refer to?

01:03:11   And the answer is not anything sane anymore.

01:03:14   It used to refer to something that made sense.

01:03:17   Now, it's not entirely a marketing term

01:03:19   because things are getting smaller

01:03:21   and you can fit more transistors per unit area,

01:03:23   but there's no good measurement,

01:03:25   which is why you can get away with the, you know,

01:03:26   5G in quotes thing, or like the N4 process

01:03:29   that's not like the N5.

01:03:31   Is it still five nanometer?

01:03:32   Well, it's N4.

01:03:33   Is it four nanometer?

01:03:34   It's like, well, what does this terms even mean?

01:03:36   It's complicated because of the way they arrange

01:03:38   all the things in the little transistors in 3D space

01:03:41   to actually say what the number means.

01:03:42   So all these things are essentially marketing terms

01:03:45   for real technologies, which is like,

01:03:47   how good are we getting at building chips

01:03:49   with this process technology?

01:03:50   And yeah, N3B, its whole deal is it's good, but expensive.

01:03:55   And it wouldn't surprise me

01:03:57   if only the richest technology company in the world

01:03:59   could afford to buy all of their N3B capacity

01:04:02   for the must ship, cannot miss this date iPhone.

01:04:06   And you know, it doesn't bode well for Apple

01:04:08   if it really did cost a lot,

01:04:09   but although I think the screen

01:04:10   is still more expensive than the SOC.

01:04:12   So N3B is not a dead end.

01:04:15   N3B is the baseline and we will move on from it

01:04:17   just like we did from the baseline N5 process.

01:04:21   - I think what we're most likely to see

01:04:23   in this spooky event is iMacs and MacBook Pros

01:04:29   because I think it is totally plausible

01:04:31   when you look at the timing of these,

01:04:32   if the cheaper higher yield N3E process

01:04:37   is shipping in fourth quarter, which is now,

01:04:41   that would line up with a few things.

01:04:42   Number one, it would make sense

01:04:44   why they can start deploying the M3 now

01:04:47   because they would want the M3 based chip family,

01:04:50   which will last for years in various products.

01:04:52   They want that to be on a high yield, lower cost process

01:04:56   that seems to have a brighter future.

01:04:58   Number two, that would line up with Ming-Shi Kuo's thing,

01:05:02   originally saying this isn't gonna happen till next year

01:05:05   and now saying, well, it can happen now,

01:05:08   but it would be very low volume to start.

01:05:11   That would make sense for a process

01:05:12   that's just coming online this quarter.

01:05:14   They probably can't make a lot of them

01:05:16   and I think that is why we won't see the M3 yet

01:05:21   because the M3 that goes in all their higher volume products

01:05:26   they're not gonna wanna spend the yield on that.

01:05:28   If they only have low yield on the N3E process

01:05:31   to start in this quarter, they're gonna wanna put it in

01:05:33   high price, low volume products like the MacBook Pro.

01:05:38   - But the 24 inch iMac is also a low volume product.

01:05:40   In fact, I think it's lower volume than the MacBook Pros.

01:05:43   - Look, maybe we still won't even get the 24 inch iMac,

01:05:46   who knows, but--

01:05:47   - They made them in June and August, Mark,

01:05:49   or they're sitting there waiting to be shipped.

01:05:51   I love those rumors.

01:05:52   - I call BS on that.

01:05:54   - Apple does not keep stock that long

01:05:57   of giant things like iMacs.

01:05:58   - I mean, who knows, things are so weird,

01:06:00   but if they had said they had already started manufacturing

01:06:03   them, like all right, I'll buy that rumor or whatever,

01:06:05   but they made them in June?

01:06:06   What chips did they put in there?

01:06:08   I mean, again, maybe if they sell so few 24 inch iMacs

01:06:11   that what they put in them was just the very first run

01:06:14   of N3E because the thing was like,

01:06:16   start volume production in the fourth quarter.

01:06:19   But those iMacs, that wasn't volume production.

01:06:21   - But why would they do that?

01:06:23   The iMac still has the M1 and no one cares except us.

01:06:27   Like, there's not this big rush.

01:06:29   - That is a thing that we'll talk about after the event,

01:06:31   is the main thing that I care about with the iMac

01:06:33   is SSD space and RAM.

01:06:35   I don't actually care whether it has the M3.

01:06:38   I just wanna see them update those things in the same way.

01:06:41   We'll see if they do that.

01:06:42   But I also believe that it's gotta be the MacBook Pros

01:06:45   'cause they're the only thing that's scary fast.

01:06:47   There's not any ultra stuff coming.

01:06:48   They're not gonna say the scary fast Mac Mini

01:06:50   or with the M3 Pro in it or something.

01:06:52   It's gotta be the MacBook Pros.

01:06:53   And I know those are much lower volume

01:06:55   than the cheaper laptops,

01:06:56   but they're Apple's most popular Pro products.

01:07:01   And so, I don't know.

01:07:02   It's just, I'm excited by new Macs.

01:07:06   If the 20-inch iMac comes out and has an M2 in it,

01:07:09   I won't care if it has reasonable RAM and SSD.

01:07:11   And the MacBook Pros, like, we're in a place where

01:07:15   there's nothing that desperately needs to be fixed

01:07:18   about them if they just have better SOCs

01:07:20   capable of higher performance and maybe more RAM capacity

01:07:24   with better GPUs in exactly the same case

01:07:26   that no one needs to have a hands-on a pay-up.

01:07:28   That's great.

01:07:29   I mean, the big question mark is still the whole thing

01:07:32   of like, what are we getting out of three nanometers?

01:07:34   Are we getting the gains that we thought we'd be getting

01:07:36   in terms of power efficiency and all that?

01:07:38   And so, maybe Jonathan Dietz will write in

01:07:40   to defend the honor of the M3 when it comes out.

01:07:42   So, yeah, it gets hotter still,

01:07:44   but you can get your work done faster

01:07:46   so the hotness lasts less time.

01:07:48   - You can burn your battery much faster.

01:07:49   - It's not true, but the efficiency is saying like,

01:07:51   it's like race to sleep, right?

01:07:52   You actually get the work done faster

01:07:54   so it is better for your battery.

01:07:55   That's what higher efficiency means.

01:07:57   But using more power means there may be

01:07:59   a higher peak temperature from all those YouTubers

01:08:02   who point their thermal guns at their laptops.

01:08:05   - What do you think gets lifted first?

01:08:08   The base eight gigs of RAM on most Macs

01:08:11   or the five gigs of free iCloud storage?

01:08:14   - Base eight gigs of RAM.

01:08:15   - One hundred percent.

01:08:16   - It's gonna have five gigs of iCloud storage forever,

01:08:18   banner is up somewhere at Apple.

01:08:20   - I agree.

01:08:22   What happens if this is a Mac Pro announcement?

01:08:24   I know we just got one,

01:08:25   but what if they did something fun to the Mac Pro, Jon?

01:08:28   - What could they possibly do to the Mac Pro

01:08:30   that would be fun?

01:08:31   - The very first M3 series chip available

01:08:34   is the M3 Mega, it's the quad.

01:08:36   It's the only one they make.

01:08:37   - Oh my word.

01:08:38   - And it's built on M3B so it costs $70,000.

01:08:40   - Yeah. (laughs)

01:08:41   - Can you imagine?

01:08:43   - That would be scary.

01:08:44   - But that's not the way these things work though.

01:08:45   Like, you have to make the simpler chips first.

01:08:48   - I know.

01:08:48   - And the A17 Pro is a good, it's small,

01:08:51   like it's not simple,

01:08:52   but like it's in terms of how many transistors,

01:08:54   it doesn't have the billions and billions and billions

01:08:55   of transistors that the Ultra is in, let alone the quad.

01:08:58   So yeah, no rumors of that.

01:09:00   Maybe we'll get that in M3X in five years

01:09:03   on the typical Mac Pro upgrade cycle.

01:09:05   - We are sponsored this episode by Notion.

01:09:10   Notion combines your notes and documents

01:09:12   into one space that's simple and beautifully designed.

01:09:15   And now it is the power of AI built right in.

01:09:18   This is not a separate AI tool or tab,

01:09:21   it is built right in to Notion.

01:09:23   Notion AI helps you work faster, write better,

01:09:26   and think bigger, doing tasks that normally take you hours

01:09:29   in just seconds.

01:09:31   You leverage the power of AI right inside Notion

01:09:33   across all your notes and docs

01:09:35   without needing to jump between your work

01:09:37   and any kind of separate AI tools.

01:09:39   Notion AI is designed to help with your work

01:09:41   right in the place where you're doing your work,

01:09:43   not a separate tool.

01:09:44   It helps you automate all the tedious tasks

01:09:46   like summarizing meeting notes or finding next steps.

01:09:49   So you're free to do the deep work you're best at

01:09:51   and leave the rest to Notion AI.

01:09:54   So it lets you skip to the good part.

01:09:56   Save time, write faster, let Notion AI

01:09:59   handle the brainstorming and first draft

01:10:00   or turn your messy notes into something more polished.

01:10:03   You just tell Notion AI what to do.

01:10:05   The more you can tell it, the better.

01:10:06   Or start with a prompt and go from there.

01:10:09   Have it write a blog post, make an outline,

01:10:11   brainstorm ideas, or summarize a whole bunch of docs.

01:10:14   You can use it to improve writing, find action items,

01:10:17   translate into any different language, and so much more.

01:10:20   Just select text, click Ask AI,

01:10:22   and you can increase your productivity like never before.

01:10:25   There are so many great new features with Notion AI.

01:10:27   You can try Notion AI for free

01:10:30   when you go to notion.com/atp.

01:10:33   That's all lowercase, notion.com/atp

01:10:37   to try out the incredible power of Notion AI today.

01:10:41   And when you use that link, notion.com/atp,

01:10:44   you are supporting our show.

01:10:46   I tell them you came from here.

01:10:47   So once again, try Notion AI for free right now

01:10:51   at notion.com/atp.

01:10:54   Thank you so much to Notion for sponsoring our show.

01:10:57   - All right, Marco.

01:11:02   I don't care what either of you says.

01:11:05   The time has come.

01:11:06   It has been decreed.

01:11:08   I wanna know about your Sonos experiments,

01:11:10   as long as they were positive, 'cause if they're negative,

01:11:12   I don't wanna know.

01:11:13   - I have some negative Sonos experiences for you, KZ.

01:11:16   - Why do you gotta, why do you do this to me?

01:11:18   I'm so excited.

01:11:19   Why you gotta bring me down?

01:11:20   - 'Cause I am apparently the king of the bugs.

01:11:22   - Oh, God.

01:11:24   - I have the Sonos Toblerone, which I really enjoy.

01:11:26   I take it to the shower with me,

01:11:27   listen to the podcast, it's great, love it.

01:11:28   - The Roam.

01:11:29   - What I don't love about it

01:11:30   is that every single time I do that,

01:11:32   I take my iPhone, hit the little thingy,

01:11:34   and I pick the output device to be Sonos.

01:11:36   I think it uses AirPlay, I don't know.

01:11:37   But it's that little menu that you pick

01:11:39   where you want the sound to go from your phone.

01:11:41   - That's AirPlay.

01:11:42   - I pick my Sonos thing.

01:11:44   And then I hit play, and what I hear is something,

01:11:46   ah, like, eh, eh, eh, ah, cut, ah.

01:11:50   - Oh, yeah, that happens to me,

01:11:52   but I feel like if I just pause the iPhone,

01:11:56   give it a two count, and then start again, it's fine.

01:11:58   - Yeah, so I've, you know,

01:11:59   this has been going on for a while now,

01:12:01   and it's like, well, maybe if I pause it

01:12:02   and start it again, it'll work.

01:12:03   I've come up with a procedure that I now just do blindly

01:12:06   every time this happens, which is turn off the Sonos device

01:12:10   by holding down the power button,

01:12:11   which is very hard to press, for way too long

01:12:13   until it makes the I am turning off sound,

01:12:16   and then power it back up, and then reconnect.

01:12:19   Sometimes it works.

01:12:20   If that doesn't work, restart the phone.

01:12:23   - What?

01:12:24   - And I don't think I've ever had a situation

01:12:27   where restarting both of them didn't fix it,

01:12:29   but yeah, restarting the phone.

01:12:30   Sometimes restarting the Sonos fixes it.

01:12:32   Sometimes I have to restart both the Sonos and the phone.

01:12:35   - Ugh.

01:12:36   - Madness.

01:12:37   I don't know whose fault this is.

01:12:37   Is it Sonos' fault?

01:12:39   Is it Apple's fault?

01:12:40   It's been happening for a long time, and I'm annoyed.

01:12:42   Anyway, Marco, how much are you

01:12:43   enjoying your Sonos experience?

01:12:44   (laughing)

01:12:46   - All right, well, actually, before you get into that,

01:12:48   can we set the stage a little bit?

01:12:49   So I genuinely don't recall where we left things.

01:12:54   So the last I remember, you were considering

01:12:58   potentially embracing the home theater lifestyle

01:13:01   in terms of, I'm sorry, in terms of audio

01:13:03   in the main room at the beach,

01:13:05   but I might have that all wrong.

01:13:06   So what problems did you set out to solve,

01:13:09   which knowing you, are very different problems

01:13:11   than you actually ended up solving

01:13:13   when it all was said and done?

01:13:14   So can you give me a lay of the land, if you don't mind,

01:13:16   from before you dipped your toe into the Sonos pool, please?

01:13:20   - Sure.

01:13:21   So where I had been was in my kitchen.

01:13:25   I had a stereo pair of home pods.

01:13:28   This is, and it's kind of like a great room.

01:13:30   It's a larger space.

01:13:32   We hang out at the island all the time.

01:13:33   So these are very frequently used speakers to play music,

01:13:37   both while preparing food

01:13:38   and also just while kind of hanging out.

01:13:40   I do have a Sonos amp as my TV receiver, kind of,

01:13:45   powering two passive speakers that are not Sonos speakers,

01:13:47   and I have the Sonos sub for my TV.

01:13:49   I love that combination.

01:13:51   But this is for the kitchen, really.

01:13:54   And this is where home pods go to die, apparently.

01:13:58   This is the area that I have most of my home pod use,

01:14:02   most of my voice assistant use,

01:14:05   and a large portion of music listening

01:14:07   that is not in my office and headphones.

01:14:10   I am no longer using my home pods.

01:14:15   They have been disappointing.

01:14:18   - You don't say?

01:14:18   - I, God.

01:14:20   So I was at an appliance store,

01:14:23   and I found this little Sonos booth that,

01:14:26   it's just like this little demo table

01:14:27   with a whole bunch of current Sonos products on it.

01:14:30   This is the best executed demo table of audio gear

01:14:35   in a store I have ever used.

01:14:36   They had all these different speakers,

01:14:38   they were all on and ready to go,

01:14:40   and you could, using the little screen thing,

01:14:43   switch audio between them seamlessly.

01:14:45   It was fantastic.

01:14:47   Whoever at Sonos designed this, you should get a raise.

01:14:49   It was by far the best store demo table I've ever seen.

01:14:54   So anyway, I was able to test out a lot of these speakers,

01:14:56   and some of them I have had before.

01:15:00   So the Sonos One, that is the little-ish speaker

01:15:05   that is kind of, it's about the size of a full-size home pod.

01:15:09   It was Sonos' entry-level speaker for a number of years.

01:15:13   I had a pair of those before, like years ago,

01:15:16   when the Sonos One first came out.

01:15:18   I frankly hated it, and I eventually gave it away.

01:15:21   Everyone would say, "Oh, you gotta try the Sonos One.

01:15:23   "It's cheaper than the home pods," or whatever.

01:15:25   And yeah, there was a reason it was cheaper.

01:15:27   It sucked.

01:15:28   It sounded way worse, and yeah,

01:15:30   it integrated the Sonos ecosystem,

01:15:32   but the sound quality, it was like an old computer speaker.

01:15:35   It was not good at all.

01:15:37   - So very quickly, in the set that I have in the living room,

01:15:40   I have two Sonos Ones.

01:15:42   However, they're used as rear surround speakers,

01:15:46   which is a very different application

01:15:48   than what you're talking about.

01:15:49   And for that purpose, I think they're pretty good.

01:15:51   - Yeah, they're fine for that.

01:15:52   - Yeah, I would not be surprised

01:15:54   if as standalone music speakers,

01:15:56   these probably do not have the oomph

01:15:59   that you really want to play music with just these.

01:16:02   - Yeah, exactly.

01:16:03   So yeah, the Sonos One was not up to the task

01:16:08   to play music, to my standards.

01:16:10   I know it can be a picky jerk about some things,

01:16:13   but it was not good.

01:16:14   It was not good.

01:16:15   Anyway, so Sonos recently launched a couple of new products.

01:16:18   They have the ERA 100 and ERA 300,

01:16:22   these two new smart speakers.

01:16:23   And I was able to hear these on this display,

01:16:24   and I was able to compare immediately

01:16:27   the Sonos One to the ERA 100,

01:16:28   which is kind of the Sonos One replacement now.

01:16:31   And the ERA 100, they've done

01:16:32   a lot more sophisticated stuff.

01:16:33   There's more speaker drivers.

01:16:34   They have two different directions.

01:16:36   They fire tweeters now,

01:16:37   kind of like the front third of a HomePod.

01:16:39   And so they've amped things up a little bit,

01:16:41   no pun intended, in the design and everything

01:16:44   and the processing.

01:16:44   And the ERA 100 in this display

01:16:47   sounded way better than the Sonos One.

01:16:50   And so I thought, oh, okay, let's talk, Sonos.

01:16:53   I'm interested now.

01:16:54   (laughing)

01:16:55   They also had the first gen Move,

01:16:57   which has since been replaced with a Move 2.

01:16:59   The first gen Move was seemingly based

01:17:02   on the speaker guts of the Sonos One,

01:17:04   and therefore sounded crappy, in my opinion.

01:17:07   - Oh, hard to say.

01:17:08   - I know people like the Move.

01:17:10   - Oh, I have the original Move,

01:17:12   the one that they just replaced, as you mentioned.

01:17:14   I think this thing sounds excellent for what it is.

01:17:17   - Is it in this picture?

01:17:19   - It's the back left. - Yeah, it's the back left.

01:17:21   - It's the other portable wireless one,

01:17:23   but it's massive.

01:17:24   - It is portable and it is massive.

01:17:26   You are not wrong about either of those things.

01:17:28   But I actually think this thing

01:17:30   sounds phenomenally good, given what it is.

01:17:33   And I don't think I'm grading on that much of a curve,

01:17:35   but it is surprisingly willing to play decent bass

01:17:40   for something that you can just pick up willy-nilly

01:17:42   and move around.

01:17:43   I really have been impressed by the original Move.

01:17:46   So the one you heard was the Move 1 or the Move 2?

01:17:48   - Well, now I've heard both.

01:17:50   I'll get to why. - Okay, okay.

01:17:51   - But this one was the Move 1.

01:17:52   So again, I was able to compare and say,

01:17:54   you know what, no, I'm not nuts.

01:17:55   I'm not remembering this incorrectly.

01:17:57   The Move really did suck.

01:17:58   I will give you, it did have good bass.

01:18:03   It's the rest of the sound that was the problem.

01:18:06   So anyway, and it was interesting to compare.

01:18:08   And the Era 100 sounded very good.

01:18:11   The Era 300, the new big one that has like Atmos support

01:18:14   and it has an upward-facing driver,

01:18:16   that's the one in the back center there.

01:18:19   The Era 300 sounded really interesting,

01:18:23   a little bit weird, but really interesting.

01:18:26   And then finally, the Sonos 5, it's a much older model,

01:18:30   but it's still for sale.

01:18:31   It's like, it's the giant one in the back there.

01:18:33   The Sonos 5 really sounded fairly basic.

01:18:37   It sounded like an old speaker design, basically.

01:18:40   And not that interesting.

01:18:41   It didn't sound bad, but it didn't sound good.

01:18:44   It was fine.

01:18:46   So anyway, I thought, this is interesting.

01:18:47   The Era 100 and Era 300 deserve a greater look.

01:18:50   And about this time, my home pods were degrading again.

01:18:54   My brand new, second generation, full-size home pods

01:18:58   were doing similar things as the first home pods

01:19:01   always did to me, which is just being unreliable.

01:19:04   Just things would be slow, or they wouldn't respond,

01:19:07   or Siri would fail, or they would take forever

01:19:11   doing AirPlay, 'cause they'd be trying to do

01:19:12   the AirPlay handoff instead of just

01:19:14   frickin' playing the stream from my phone.

01:19:16   All sorts of behavior with home pods that just annoyed me.

01:19:20   And this was at a time in my life when,

01:19:22   again, we got a lot going on, we're very busy

01:19:24   moving our house and everything, it's been a huge thing.

01:19:27   I don't wanna deal with tech problems if I don't have to.

01:19:30   I don't wanna deal with a million paper cuts

01:19:31   with my speaker not working right,

01:19:33   and not playing music, or giving me weird errors,

01:19:35   or delays, or anything like that.

01:19:37   Forgive me, I grew up with regular music-playing devices

01:19:42   that you just pushed buttons, and music would come out.

01:19:45   (laughing)

01:19:46   And it would be fairly instantaneous,

01:19:49   and 100% reliable.

01:19:52   I know that's a high bar with technology these days,

01:19:55   but I want things to be instant and reliable.

01:19:59   To me, playing music is not a sophisticated thing.

01:20:03   It's a thing that you just do.

01:20:05   And technology these days has allowed us,

01:20:07   has allowed this process to become

01:20:09   so much better in certain ways.

01:20:11   Voice control is amazing, having access to the entire

01:20:14   library of the vast majority of published music

01:20:17   from any major label by just speaking something

01:20:20   into the air is incredible.

01:20:22   But when you just wanna play an album that you already have,

01:20:25   that you already know that you play every week,

01:20:26   and it takes forever to do it, or plays the wrong track,

01:20:28   plays some weird live version, et cetera,

01:20:30   like it's like, what are you doing?

01:20:31   Like just, why does this work worse

01:20:33   than the cassette deck I had in 1991?

01:20:36   - So very quickly, to interrupt one more time,

01:20:38   and I apologize, so are you looking to use

01:20:42   some sort of Shout Into the Air style dingus

01:20:45   with the Sonos setup?

01:20:46   Because that is something I don't personally have

01:20:48   an overabundance of experience with.

01:20:50   - You can shout into the air to any of these speakers.

01:20:53   Don't they all listen to you?

01:20:55   - All the modern ones, yeah.

01:20:56   - Yeah, but the experience I have had,

01:20:58   and this is partially because I just haven't asked

01:21:00   very much of them, you can ask for, you know,

01:21:03   play this or play that, or turn the volume up,

01:21:05   or turn the volume down.

01:21:06   I haven't used them though as general purpose,

01:21:08   like knowledge engines, like you would

01:21:10   a thing from Amazon, or a thing from Apple,

01:21:13   or a thing from Google, and so I don't have

01:21:16   any personal experience with that.

01:21:17   I use the Shouting To The Air to move from one room

01:21:21   to another, or join a room into something

01:21:24   that's already playing, to turn the volume up and down,

01:21:25   to stop and start, and so on.

01:21:27   But basically, outside of media control,

01:21:29   I don't think I've ever tried to set a timer

01:21:32   on any of these things, for example,

01:21:33   or an alarm or anything like that.

01:21:35   So I'm just curious, Marco, is that one of the things

01:21:38   you're looking for these to do?

01:21:40   Because I know you can add like the Google Assistant,

01:21:42   and I think you might be able to add the Amazon one too,

01:21:45   I don't recall, and I'm curious to hear

01:21:47   your experience with that as well.

01:21:48   - Yes, it depends on the model and the timing.

01:21:50   Right now, current Sonos models don't have Google Assistant

01:21:54   as an option anymore, as far as I can tell.

01:21:55   - Oh, that's right, they're in some sort

01:21:56   of legal battle, I think.

01:21:58   - You can only add Alexa, and you can add

01:22:01   Sonos' own Assistant, which I will get to in a little bit.

01:22:05   Anyway, I've been annoyed with my HomePods

01:22:07   and their unreliability.

01:22:09   It seems like the HomePod is a product made

01:22:13   for conditions and expectations

01:22:17   that I don't have in my house.

01:22:18   I am kind of done with them.

01:22:21   And this kind of breaks my heart to say,

01:22:23   because I still love the way they sound,

01:22:25   but I'm just done with them.

01:22:27   Anyway, so I decided, let me try the new Sonos products,

01:22:31   since the Aero 100 sounded so good in the store.

01:22:34   I got myself a pair of Aero 100s

01:22:37   that I've been living with for about a month now,

01:22:40   maybe a month and a half, it's been a while now.

01:22:42   I took the HomePods, I unplugged them,

01:22:44   and I put them in my office,

01:22:45   and then just put them in the closet.

01:22:46   And so I was living only with the Sonos Aero 100s for a while.

01:22:51   In the intervening time, the Move 2 came out,

01:22:55   and I happened to want and have wanted for a long time

01:22:59   something like that, that's why I bought the first one

01:23:01   and returned it, 'cause I hated the sound.

01:23:02   But the Move 2 came out, and it looked like it was based

01:23:05   on the Aero 100's guts.

01:23:07   So I got one of those as well.

01:23:08   And then finally, I'm borrowing from a friend,

01:23:12   two Aero 300s, like the big new one.

01:23:16   It's still a countertop speaker, sort of,

01:23:18   but it's bigger, that's the one with the Atmos.

01:23:20   - I mean, those ones are really focused on home theater,

01:23:23   that's why they have the upward phrasing driver

01:23:24   for the Atmos stuff.

01:23:25   Like, I know there's music in Atmos as well,

01:23:27   but those, every single review I've seen of the Aero 300s

01:23:30   has been in the context of connecting it to your TV

01:23:33   to be a sound system.

01:23:34   They just don't seem like they would be good

01:23:36   from the size alone, that they would be good

01:23:38   kitchen countertop speakers.

01:23:39   - Oh, they're definitely not made for that,

01:23:40   and I'll get to that as well.

01:23:42   So, I have some impressions.

01:23:45   So first of all, the easy one, the Move 2.

01:23:49   It's fine, it's not the best sounding speaker.

01:23:52   It has all the wonderful conveniences of the Move 1.

01:23:56   It's portable, it's battery powered,

01:23:57   it supports Bluetooth and AirPlay.

01:23:59   It is really big and heavy, just like the Move 1.

01:24:02   The Move 2 does sound better than the Move 1.

01:24:05   It is seemingly based on the guts of the Aero 100,

01:24:10   but it does not sound as good as the Aero 100,

01:24:12   and I'm kind of surprised by that.

01:24:15   I would have thought they would sound effectively identical,

01:24:18   and they don't.

01:24:18   The Move 2 is good.

01:24:21   It is the worst sounding speaker in this test,

01:24:24   which is disappointing for its price and size.

01:24:26   - Does it have a handle?

01:24:27   - Yes, it's kind of in the back.

01:24:28   You like, scoop under it.

01:24:30   - Exactly.

01:24:30   There's a cutout, an ovular cutout in the back,

01:24:34   and you can, there's an area, it's hard to describe it,

01:24:37   but there's plenty of room for your fingers

01:24:39   to come up inside that ovular cutout,

01:24:42   so it is designed to grab.

01:24:44   It's very, very easy to grab, and it has a base,

01:24:46   which I believe the Move 2, the base can be disconnected

01:24:49   from the cable, which is really nice,

01:24:50   because you cannot do that with the Move 1.

01:24:52   The base and the cables are all one piece,

01:24:54   but anyways, you basically just walk by

01:24:57   and grab this thing, and it'll pop right off

01:24:59   the charging base and come with you,

01:25:00   and it's really quite convenient.

01:25:02   I really like the Move 2.

01:25:05   It's what I have in the office,

01:25:07   if I wanted to listen to something

01:25:08   with a little bit better fidelity than the Studio Display,

01:25:12   well, I would say actually quite a bit more fidelity

01:25:14   than the Studio Display speakers,

01:25:15   and then we also use that as an outdoor speaker

01:25:18   for the far side of the yard.

01:25:20   Our porch is obviously close to the house,

01:25:22   and that has a couple of regular non-Sonos speakers,

01:25:25   but connected to a Sonos amp, or I think it's an amp.

01:25:28   I forget which model it is, but anyways.

01:25:31   And then the Move 1, I will bring and put

01:25:34   on the far side of the backyard,

01:25:36   it's not a very big backyard,

01:25:37   and between the two of them, you've got pretty much

01:25:39   100% coverage of our one quarter acre, whatever it is.

01:25:43   And it actually works really, really well,

01:25:46   and again, I quite like this thing.

01:25:48   It's not perfect sound, but I actually think

01:25:50   it's better than, even the Move 1 is better

01:25:53   than you're giving it credit for,

01:25:54   but hey, that's why everyone's ears are different.

01:25:56   - I think one thing, from the pictures of the Move,

01:25:58   one thing I think the Move has going for it

01:26:00   in Marco's testing scenario, which we'll get

01:26:02   to his next photo in a moment, is the Move,

01:26:04   just the Move 2 and the Move 1 just have speakers

01:26:07   facing a single direction, like outward.

01:26:09   - The Move 2 has two angled tweeters,

01:26:12   so they kind of fire at 45 degree angles.

01:26:14   One big woofer in the middle, I think.

01:26:15   Same as the Aero 100.

01:26:16   - The HomePods have them in all directions, obviously,

01:26:19   and the Aero 300, I think, has them front, back, and upward.

01:26:23   - Yeah, there's a whole bunch in the Aero 300.

01:26:24   Yeah, there are front, sides, up, yeah, the Aero 300, yeah.

01:26:28   - So putting on a kitchen countertop,

01:26:29   especially your kitchen countertop,

01:26:31   I would not want any drivers firing towards the wall,

01:26:35   because the wall is like an inch.

01:26:37   - To be fair, I don't think the Aero 300

01:26:40   has one that fires behind it.

01:26:41   - I mean, I'm just looking from the shape of the thing.

01:26:43   I haven't seen a cutaway, but it looks like

01:26:45   it would have speakers firing backwards, but maybe not.

01:26:47   - No, the whole rear section of that mesh,

01:26:49   it has speakers firing out the sides and up,

01:26:51   but I don't think it has, anyway, the Aero 300,

01:26:53   I'll start with that one.

01:26:54   The Aero 300 being used for music is really weird.

01:27:00   (laughing)

01:27:01   First of all, just like all the other speakers

01:27:04   in this test, including the HomePods,

01:27:05   they have an automatic tuning thing

01:27:08   where they listen to your room and you walk around,

01:27:09   you wave the phone around and it plays weird sounds

01:27:12   and it measures the response and everything.

01:27:14   Before I did that tuning, the Aero 300s sounded awful,

01:27:18   like really bad, very muffled treble, huge booming bass.

01:27:23   It sounded really bad.

01:27:25   It was very strange, but after the Trueplay tuning,

01:27:28   it was radically different.

01:27:30   So the Aero 300s, of all these,

01:27:31   they have the best bass of the group by a mile.

01:27:34   That makes sense, they're the biggest,

01:27:36   so they have an advantage there.

01:27:38   They're also the most expensive,

01:27:39   but best bass of the group by far.

01:27:41   The weird thing about the Aero 300 is that,

01:27:42   as John mentioned, they're designed

01:27:44   to be home theater surrounds.

01:27:46   They aren't even designed to be your front speakers

01:27:48   because Sonos, as far as I know,

01:27:49   Sonos has no way to make them your front speakers.

01:27:52   - Yep, I believe that's right.

01:27:53   - They want you to use their soundbar.

01:27:55   - Yeah, they want you to use a soundbar as the front

01:27:56   and these as the rears or sides.

01:27:59   So it's kind of an odd product from that point of view,

01:28:03   but anyway, using them to listen to music as a stereo pair,

01:28:07   Dolby Atmos tracks sound fantastic on them,

01:28:12   significantly better than on the other speakers.

01:28:15   Now part of this is, when you're comparing

01:28:17   an Atmos version of a song to the regular version,

01:28:21   it's also just a different mix,

01:28:22   so it's hard to compare, it's hard to say

01:28:24   this one's better sound quality.

01:28:26   I can say it's more pleasing.

01:28:27   It's different though on some, you know, some, so,

01:28:30   and then when you play non-Atmos tracks on the AR300s,

01:28:34   they mostly sound okay, some of them sound bad.

01:28:39   It was a weird set of speakers to use for music.

01:28:43   For some songs, the AR300 was the best speaker

01:28:47   in this test by a mile, and for others it was the worst.

01:28:51   It was really weird.

01:28:52   If you're gonna listen to Atmos tracks,

01:28:54   and even then, by the way, I could not get Apple Music

01:28:57   to send Atmos to the AR300s.

01:29:00   The only way I could get Atmos to play,

01:29:02   actually the Apple Music app,

01:29:03   the only way I could get it to play Atmos tracks

01:29:06   for Apple Music is to call up Apple Music from the Sonos app,

01:29:09   'cause Sonos can connect to Apple Music and whatever,

01:29:11   so use the Sonos app as the playing app to the speakers,

01:29:16   using Apple Music as the backing service,

01:29:18   then if it's sending to a group

01:29:20   that only contains the AR300s,

01:29:23   then it will send to Atmos.

01:29:24   And so, if you don't like listening to Atmos tracks,

01:29:28   or you don't have a way to listen to them,

01:29:29   or you don't like using the Sonos app to control your music,

01:29:32   these are not good music speakers,

01:29:33   do not buy them for that, but again,

01:29:35   that isn't what they are for.

01:29:36   So let's move to the speakers that are designed for music,

01:29:39   I think, the ERA100s.

01:29:42   These are the ones that are HomePod sized,

01:29:44   near the HomePod's price, and seem to be direct competitors

01:29:48   to the full-size HomePod.

01:29:50   The ERA100, I am extremely impressed by it.

01:29:55   As far as sound quality goes,

01:29:58   it's in the same ballpark as the full-sized HomePod.

01:30:02   There are certain tracks that I think sound better

01:30:04   on the HomePods, there are certain tracks

01:30:06   that I think sound better on the ERA100s.

01:30:08   It's really a toss-up on a lot of stuff.

01:30:10   The ERA's have way better bass than the HomePod 2,

01:30:14   the HomePod 2 is just, we know the HomePod 2

01:30:16   is kinda weak on bass, the ERA100 has much better bass,

01:30:19   also you can control it because they have EQ settings

01:30:22   in the app, shocker, oh my god,

01:30:24   you can control how a speaker sounds.

01:30:27   Somebody send Apple the message,

01:30:28   but until they get that, if ever.

01:30:30   So as soon as you can tweak it,

01:30:32   you can tweak bass and treble,

01:30:33   and this thing called loudness and whatever else.

01:30:35   So that's very good, and I've tweaked it,

01:30:37   and my final EQ is very, it's just like a very,

01:30:41   it's like treble plus two, everything else default.

01:30:43   - It's big Marco energy there.

01:30:45   - I know, right?

01:30:47   But overall, the ERA100 sounds great.

01:30:50   The only thing I can give the HomePod the edge on

01:30:53   is HomePod still makes the best, smoothest sounding vocals,

01:30:58   but the ERA100 is very close, and it's better bass,

01:31:01   and it has the controls and everything,

01:31:03   so I really enjoy the ERA100.

01:31:06   I would also say that all of these modern Sonos products

01:31:08   have really good touch controls on the top.

01:31:12   They have, there's more buttons, they're labeled,

01:31:14   shocker, they are more intuitive to use,

01:31:18   they are faster and more reliable to respond,

01:31:21   they are less error prone in the sense of

01:31:22   accidentally brushing them, and it actually,

01:31:25   when the Sonos speakers are playing music

01:31:27   that is not being air played to them,

01:31:29   when it's just, when they're playing off their own services,

01:31:31   so basically the speaker's doing it directly,

01:31:34   those buttons are instantaneous.

01:31:36   You hit pause, it pauses instantly.

01:31:38   You hit play, it plays instantly.

01:31:40   You hit next track, it goes to the next track instantly.

01:31:43   It is rock solid, reliable.

01:31:45   It is everything I want music equipment to be

01:31:48   that it so often now isn't, and that is a huge advantage.

01:31:51   Now, with AirPlay, this is an Apple designed protocol

01:31:55   being sent from Apple hardware.

01:31:58   You would expect the Apple HomePod product

01:32:01   would have a better AirPlay implementation,

01:32:04   and it would be a better experience

01:32:06   than using a third party product

01:32:07   that uses AirPlay like Sonos.

01:32:09   You'd be wrong.

01:32:11   Everything about AirPlay gets worse

01:32:14   when a HomePod is involved.

01:32:16   Even when I was testing, I would often have a group

01:32:20   with AirPlay sending to more than one speaker,

01:32:23   one of which was HomePods and one of which was a Sonos set.

01:32:27   The second a HomePod is in an AirPlay group,

01:32:30   everything about it gets worse and more buggy.

01:32:32   It's slower, you have weird bugs with volume

01:32:35   and commands that get sent.

01:32:37   When AirPlay touches a HomePod, everything about it sucks,

01:32:41   and it's a shame.

01:32:43   This has been a problem with every HomePod I've ever had.

01:32:45   It's a problem with the minis, it's a problem with the ones,

01:32:47   it's a problem with the twos.

01:32:48   Every HomePod, everywhere I've ever used one,

01:32:51   AirPlay is really buggy and slow.

01:32:54   And Sonos AirPlay just works, it's amazing.

01:32:57   It connects faster, it disconnects when you're done faster.

01:33:00   It sends commands faster, it stays connected,

01:33:02   it's more reliable, they don't fall out of sync.

01:33:05   AirPlay on Sonos works the way AirPlay should work

01:33:09   everywhere, and it's kind of amazing how much better it is

01:33:13   on this third-party product than it is

01:33:14   on Apple's own products.

01:33:16   So love that, because AirPlay is usually the most common

01:33:20   form of playing for me, so that I like a lot,

01:33:22   'cause I don't wanna always talk to my stuff.

01:33:24   - Maybe I should get a waterproof move too for my shower.

01:33:27   (laughing)

01:33:29   - Maybe, it's a little big for a shower.

01:33:31   - I just want it to play my podcast, I don't ask much.

01:33:34   - Yeah, it's really good at AirPlay, like really good.

01:33:38   So, let's talk about voice control.

01:33:41   There's two options, there's the Sonos voice control,

01:33:44   they have their own voice agent thing,

01:33:46   voiced by the guy who plays Gus Fring,

01:33:48   what's that actor's name?

01:33:49   - Yeah, Giancarlo Esposito, I believe,

01:33:51   and yes, Gus Fring is who you're thinking of.

01:33:53   - Yeah, the chicken guy from Breaking Bad.

01:33:56   He sounds amazing, I love this guy, and I love his voice,

01:33:59   and it's so funny, when someone's in the room

01:34:02   who hasn't heard this before, and you hear him respond,

01:34:04   everyone's like, "Whoa, who's that?"

01:34:06   And if you point out, "Oh, it's so-and-so,"

01:34:09   and everyone's like, "Oh my god, that's amazing,"

01:34:11   and everyone starts asking it questions.

01:34:13   So, it's good.

01:34:14   The only thing is, Sonos voice control,

01:34:16   the agent they've made with him,

01:34:18   it's a very basic voice control agent,

01:34:20   it is not very sophisticated at all.

01:34:23   It only handles music, it does not handle

01:34:25   general knowledge queries, it is fast and responsive

01:34:28   to things like play/pause and volume and stuff like that.

01:34:32   I have found that it is not quite as good as HomePods

01:34:34   at hearing me when loud music is playing.

01:34:37   HomePods hear you like crazy.

01:34:39   That's the best thing about HomePods,

01:34:41   is how well they hear you.

01:34:43   The Sonos products have not been that good.

01:34:44   They've been close, but not that good.

01:34:47   And their own voice agent is so primitive,

01:34:51   not only can it not answer basic questions

01:34:53   about knowledge or start timers or anything,

01:34:55   but any kind of non-trivial query about music.

01:34:59   So, for instance, I have named playlists,

01:35:02   and I have Apple Music connected.

01:35:03   I can't say, play my best of fish playlist and have it play.

01:35:07   That works every time on a HomePod.

01:35:09   Well, every time that it responds.

01:35:10   (laughs)

01:35:11   So, like-- - Well, actually,

01:35:12   I feel like I've done this and it's worked,

01:35:14   but I haven't tried it in a while.

01:35:16   Now, I can try it live right now if you would like,

01:35:18   but I don't think that's going to make for great programming.

01:35:19   - That's right.

01:35:21   - I could've sworn I have tried this in the past

01:35:23   and it has worked for me, but I also only have

01:35:25   a handful of playlists in Apple Music,

01:35:27   so it's not choosing from very much,

01:35:29   very many of them either, so I don't know.

01:35:31   - Neither is mine.

01:35:32   - Maybe it was just a temporary failure.

01:35:34   Maybe I'll try again.

01:35:35   So, the other option you have is Alexa.

01:35:38   Now, I had Alexa stuff in the past,

01:35:41   so I know roughly what it's good at, what it's bad at.

01:35:44   I will say, again, back to music queries,

01:35:47   I asked both Alexa and Sonos a question like,

01:35:51   play the first album by the Cranberries.

01:35:54   Now, both Alexa and Sonos, when I said

01:35:58   play the first album by the Cranberries,

01:36:00   simplified that question to play the Cranberries.

01:36:02   And just started playing random Cranberries hits.

01:36:05   When I asked Siri, play the first album by the Cranberries,

01:36:07   it got it right.

01:36:08   So, I think Siri's actually shown to be better

01:36:12   at music-related queries than the other ones,

01:36:14   in my experience, at least.

01:36:16   Back to Alexa integration, it is exactly as annoying

01:36:21   as Alexa is everywhere.

01:36:23   (laughing)

01:36:24   You have to authorize it in the Alexa app

01:36:26   and then it'll try to upsell you

01:36:27   on a billion different things.

01:36:29   Please give us access to all of your data

01:36:31   everywhere forever.

01:36:33   By the way, did you know we can do all these other things

01:36:35   that you give us more money and more data?

01:36:37   So, you have to say no to a lot.

01:36:39   You have to be very careful

01:36:39   what you give them permission to do.

01:36:41   But, as Alexa always is, it is shockingly fast and reliable.

01:36:46   That's what Alexa's good at.

01:36:48   It's always fast and reliable.

01:36:50   And it's fairly accurate.

01:36:51   The general knowledge questions for it

01:36:53   are actually pretty good.

01:36:54   It slaughters Siri on general knowledge questions.

01:36:57   It's not even close.

01:36:58   As good as Siri is at music,

01:37:00   that's how good Alexa is at knowledge.

01:37:03   If you have that kind of usage pattern,

01:37:05   it's very good for that.

01:37:07   So, overall, I've been extremely happy

01:37:10   with the Sonos ecosystem.

01:37:12   One thing I'm trying to do here,

01:37:15   in my life in general, I think it is better for me,

01:37:21   it's better for the show,

01:37:23   and I think it's better for Apple.

01:37:26   For me to start avoiding Apple's,

01:37:30   things they call hobby projects,

01:37:33   whenever better alternatives exist

01:37:35   by more motivated companies to succeed.

01:37:38   So, you look at something like the Apple TV.

01:37:40   They neglect it.

01:37:41   It has a lot of shortcomings,

01:37:43   but I've used the competitors' products,

01:37:46   and I still prefer the Apple TV.

01:37:47   I still think it is generally

01:37:49   the best streaming box out there.

01:37:50   That's saying a lot,

01:37:51   because they really don't put much into it, it seems.

01:37:54   (laughing)

01:37:55   But the others are just worse.

01:37:57   But there's a lot of categories

01:37:59   that I've been kind of carrying water for Apple,

01:38:02   and I feel kind of like I've been had.

01:38:05   And the HomePod is one of those categories.

01:38:07   It is actually pretty good at certain things,

01:38:09   but it seems like Apple really couldn't give less of a crap

01:38:12   to really make it great.

01:38:14   Apple has a lot of products that are great,

01:38:16   and I'm happy to focus on those.

01:38:19   I'm happy, like, my iPhone has never let me down.

01:38:22   My Macs, generally speaking, recently especially,

01:38:25   do not let me down.

01:38:27   Even the iPad, which we complained about,

01:38:29   you know, the weirdness in the product lineup,

01:38:31   but the iPad is a great overall product that is reliable,

01:38:34   and while it doesn't have a lot of effort put into it

01:38:36   from like a power user perspective,

01:38:38   it does have a lot of effort put into it in general.

01:38:41   Their core products are great and pleasant,

01:38:45   and they make me very happy to use,

01:38:47   and they rarely give me problems.

01:38:50   Where I get into trouble with Apple's products

01:38:52   are when I like something more than it seems like they do,

01:38:57   or when I use something more than it seems like they do.

01:39:00   And the HomePod has always given me that impression.

01:39:03   And unlike the Apple TV, what is now the case

01:39:06   is there are better alternatives in this area.

01:39:08   You know, Tiff and I, in our marriage,

01:39:11   we have a general principle.

01:39:13   Whoever cares the most wins.

01:39:15   You know, if there's some decision that has to be made,

01:39:18   or some minor policy argument that we're having,

01:39:22   if someone cares a lot about it,

01:39:24   and the other person really doesn't,

01:39:26   whoever cares the most, let them win.

01:39:27   Like, that's generally better.

01:39:29   And I think I can kind of apply that

01:39:32   to a lot of tech products as well.

01:39:34   Sonos cares a lot about speakers,

01:39:38   'cause that's all they make.

01:39:39   This is their entire company.

01:39:41   Like, Sonos is, this is what they do,

01:39:45   and the Era 100 is one of their most important products,

01:39:48   'cause it's like their main entry level,

01:39:51   and probably highest volume speaker that they sell.

01:39:53   So yeah, they're gonna put a lot of effort into that.

01:39:56   If anything's wrong with it,

01:39:57   they're gonna care a lot about it.

01:39:58   That's the experience they're gonna polish.

01:39:59   That's their iPhone.

01:40:01   So that makes sense.

01:40:02   They are super focused on making speakers,

01:40:04   and this is like one of their high volume products,

01:40:07   that they're gonna make it really good, and they do.

01:40:10   Google's phones, you know,

01:40:11   Google makes all these Pixel phones,

01:40:12   Google's phones are usually not amazing,

01:40:16   and they don't really take off in the market,

01:40:17   and they have a lot of shortcomings,

01:40:19   in part because that's not what Google's main business is.

01:40:23   Google's main business is ads,

01:40:24   and you can bet anything about Google's ad system,

01:40:27   they put a lot of effort into that.

01:40:28   They put a lot of effort into YouTube.

01:40:30   That's another major Google project.

01:40:31   That's like a huge important product for them.

01:40:34   Google doesn't put a lot of effort into their phones.

01:40:35   It's just not that important to them.

01:40:38   The HomePod is a total afterthought for Apple.

01:40:43   Apple couldn't possibly give less of a crap

01:40:46   about the HomePod, and it shows.

01:40:48   So I have found that I am happier now,

01:40:52   getting away from Apple's hobby projects,

01:40:54   where there is some other competitor that is,

01:40:57   that's their main thing, you know,

01:40:59   and whether it's smart home stuff sometimes,

01:41:02   or these other various accessory things they make,

01:41:04   like Apple does a really great job at their core stuff.

01:41:08   That's what I'm gonna spend my mental effort on,

01:41:10   and a lot of my money on. (laughs)

01:41:12   And I am very happy to have found the Apple of speakers

01:41:17   who cares a hell of a lot more about this.

01:41:19   And I'm in.

01:41:21   Like, I love the way these work.

01:41:23   They aren't perfect.

01:41:24   They aren't better in every way.

01:41:26   I kinda wish I could have, I hate to say this,

01:41:30   I kinda wish I could have Siri on the Sonos 100,

01:41:34   or the Sonos Aero 100, because I think Siri,

01:41:38   for the use as a music voice assistant,

01:41:41   is the best voice assistant for music.

01:41:43   But otherwise, I like them a lot better than the HomePods.

01:41:47   They make me crazy a lot less,

01:41:48   they make me angry a lot less,

01:41:50   they make me happy a lot more.

01:41:52   That's what I need out of my speakers.

01:41:54   - Well, you let me know if they just start cutting out

01:41:56   every two seconds, and you have to reboot your phone

01:41:58   to make them work. (laughs)

01:41:59   - I think that's just you, Jon.

01:42:00   No, just very quickly, 'cause this is going on

01:42:02   longer than intended, but I've been fascinated

01:42:05   by every darn moment, I know, right?

01:42:06   And I've been fascinated by every moment of it,

01:42:08   and I'm glad that your experience, by and large,

01:42:10   maybe the particulars are a little different,

01:42:11   but by and large, your broader experience,

01:42:13   I think echoes mine, or vice versa,

01:42:15   I have been really overjoyed with my Sonos stuff.

01:42:18   It is not flawless, as you just said,

01:42:20   but it is pretty friggin' reliable.

01:42:23   It almost always works, unless your name's Jon Sarcusa,

01:42:26   and I cannot speak highly enough about how great

01:42:31   the Sonos ecosystem interacts with itself.

01:42:35   You can absolutely use AirPlay.

01:42:37   That's not something I do often,

01:42:38   with the exception, actually, of shower podcasts,

01:42:41   but once you have something playing

01:42:44   on basically any Sonos speaker in the house,

01:42:47   it is incredibly easy via voice, via physical controls,

01:42:52   via the Sonos app, any number of ways,

01:42:54   it is incredibly easy to start picking and choosing

01:42:57   what other Sonos speakers to play that same content,

01:43:00   and it can get to the point, and I know I belabored this

01:43:02   when we first were talking about the Sonos stuff

01:43:03   that I had gotten, you know, like a year ago,

01:43:05   you can walk all around your house, including outdoors,

01:43:09   varying distances from your wireless access points,

01:43:12   and the music is perfectly in sync,

01:43:16   just flawlessly in sync.

01:43:18   I don't understand how I can go from my office

01:43:22   with my Move One, walk down the stairs,

01:43:25   through the living room, through the porch,

01:43:29   and go to the far side of my admittedly small lot,

01:43:32   and the music is in sync through all of these spaces.

01:43:36   It's unreal.

01:43:37   I don't know how they do it, and if I want to remove

01:43:39   one of the speakers from that group,

01:43:41   I can say, you know, hey, Dingus, remove Office,

01:43:45   or hey, Dingus, play this everywhere,

01:43:48   or whatever the case may be.

01:43:49   It is incredibly, incredibly good.

01:43:52   I really love this stuff.

01:43:53   This is not sponsored, they have not given us a dime.

01:43:56   It's just, the two of us, maybe I guess sort of three of us,

01:43:59   just really, really like their stuff.

01:44:00   It is expensive.

01:44:02   It is not cheap, and I was able to get a discount

01:44:06   through a friend of a friend on--

01:44:08   - So was I.

01:44:09   - When I bought the overwhelming majority of my stuff,

01:44:11   so consider that, that my value for money computation

01:44:15   might be a little different than yours,

01:44:16   because I got a really steep discount on my stuff,

01:44:18   which I'm incredibly thankful for.

01:44:21   But honestly, it's one of those situations that,

01:44:23   now that I've lived it, I think I would,

01:44:27   if I were to do it all over again,

01:44:28   knowing what I know today, I would have been willing

01:44:31   to pay full price for it, 'cause it's that freaking good.

01:44:33   - Yeah, I mean, that's like, there is,

01:44:36   there are markets for good stuff, even if it is expensive.

01:44:39   Like, if it's expensive because it's good,

01:44:43   then there's a market for that.

01:44:45   That's how most Apple products are.

01:44:47   Apple does not make a lot of products

01:44:49   that are super price competitive with their competitors.

01:44:51   Apple is almost always the higher priced option in a market.

01:44:55   And yet, we are usually not only willing,

01:45:00   but almost happy to pay the Apple prices,

01:45:03   well, maybe that might be pushing a little far,

01:45:04   but we accept the Apple prices on things

01:45:08   in so many categories because we want the best.

01:45:11   And usually Apple's products are the best.

01:45:13   So it makes sense, it's worth it to us.

01:45:16   You want the best computer, you get the Apple computer.

01:45:18   You want the best monitor, you get the Apple monitor.

01:45:21   But it's just certain products

01:45:24   that they occasionally are not the best.

01:45:27   But I, again, go back to Sonos, like, their stuff is solid.

01:45:32   They've had quite a history, they've always been

01:45:34   pretty solid with the audio stuff, though.

01:45:37   For a while, I didn't really like

01:45:40   the way their speakers sounded.

01:45:42   And that's why I love the Sonos amp,

01:45:44   because it's a product that lets me

01:45:45   just use my own speakers, then it powers them.

01:45:47   But their recent stuff now, the Aero line,

01:45:52   is really interesting and sounds way better

01:45:55   than what was going before.

01:45:57   So I am really excited to see where they go.

01:46:00   And this is an ecosystem that I'm happy to be in now,

01:46:03   because it makes me happy and it works well.

01:46:07   And that is something that, again, in technology,

01:46:10   oftentimes, the tech that we expect to be improvements

01:46:15   to our life oftentimes causes more headaches

01:46:17   than it actually provides benefits.

01:46:19   And oftentimes, the things that work 85% of the time

01:46:24   can be really frustrating, because it's like,

01:46:26   oh, this is really great 85% of the time.

01:46:29   15% of the time, it is slow or it does something weird

01:46:33   or breaks or I have to reset the whole thing up from scratch.

01:46:36   So see all smart home stuff ever.

01:46:39   It's with the exception of Caseta, which I still love.

01:46:42   Anyway, so rarely in tech do we find a product

01:46:47   or a product line that actually delivers

01:46:50   on its promise well.

01:46:52   And that's why on this show, again,

01:46:54   oftentimes, that's an Apple product.

01:46:55   And so that's why we are so happy to evangelize

01:46:59   for those products to say, this Apple thing

01:47:02   works fantastically.

01:47:03   If you have this kind of problem in your life,

01:47:05   get the Apple thing, it's amazing.

01:47:08   And in this case, the Apple thing's not,

01:47:09   but the great thing is the Sonos thing is.

01:47:11   And there are not that many downsides to it

01:47:14   besides the price and whatever your choice

01:47:17   of voice system might be.

01:47:19   But if you're willing to get over those things,

01:47:23   they really work very, very well.

01:47:25   - Just wanna point out that I have two Sonos Romes.

01:47:28   I have one and my wife has one,

01:47:29   and they both do this thing.

01:47:30   - In all fairness, the Rome is not

01:47:32   one of their stellar products.

01:47:33   - I know, well, but Casey has one too,

01:47:35   but he hasn't had this problem.

01:47:35   But here's the thing, my two Romes,

01:47:36   I've had across multiple iPhones, many versions of iOS,

01:47:40   across multiple years, right?

01:47:42   So it's just weird to me.

01:47:43   I don't, you know, you don't mean bugs.

01:47:45   It's gonna be bedeviled by this bug

01:47:47   that I have a workaround for,

01:47:48   but the workaround is annoying.

01:47:49   Every time, I always go to that Sonos app,

01:47:51   I'm like, is there a software update?

01:47:52   Is there, you know, 'cause I just want a software update

01:47:54   to the Sonos thing to fix this problem.

01:47:56   But I mean, iOS has been updated, my phone's been updated,

01:47:59   my wife's phone's been updated, they both do it.

01:48:01   Not all the time, just enough of the time to be annoying.

01:48:05   - Bummer.

01:48:06   - That's why, I mean, seriously,

01:48:06   I would get a more expensive Sonos,

01:48:08   'cause I do like, you know, the experience.

01:48:10   I like having a little waterproof thing.

01:48:11   I like playing, you know, I just need it to be small

01:48:14   and fit on a shower shelf.

01:48:16   - Well, the move is not that.

01:48:18   - Nope, it sure isn't.

01:48:20   - All right, thanks to our sponsors this week.

01:48:23   Sonos, no, just kidding.

01:48:25   Thanks to our sponsors this week, Adblock Pro and Notion.

01:48:28   And thanks to our members who support us directly.

01:48:30   You can join us at atv.fm/join.

01:48:33   We will talk to you next week.

01:48:35   (upbeat music)

01:48:38   ♪ Now the show is over ♪

01:48:40   ♪ They didn't even mean to begin ♪

01:48:42   ♪ 'Cause it was accidental ♪

01:48:45   ♪ Oh, it was accidental ♪

01:48:48   ♪ John didn't do any research ♪

01:48:50   ♪ Marco and Casey wouldn't let him ♪

01:48:53   ♪ 'Cause it was accidental ♪

01:48:56   ♪ It was accidental ♪

01:48:58   ♪ And you can find the show notes at atv.fm ♪

01:49:03   ♪ And if you're into Twitter ♪

01:49:06   ♪ You can follow them at C-A-S-E-Y-L-I-S-S ♪

01:49:11   ♪ So that's Casey, Liz, M-A-R-C-O-A-R-M ♪

01:49:17   ♪ N-T, Marco, R, M-N-S-I-R-A-C ♪

01:49:22   ♪ U-S-A, Syracuse ♪

01:49:25   ♪ It's accidental ♪

01:49:28   ♪ They didn't mean to accidental ♪

01:49:31   ♪ Accidental ♪

01:49:33   ♪ Tech podcast so long ♪

01:49:36   - So John, you've been busy.

01:49:39   - Yeah, I suppose.

01:49:41   - No, no, no, no, no.

01:49:42   Don't I suppose this.

01:49:43   John has been putting in a tremendous amount of work

01:49:47   making all this possible.

01:49:48   I was barely involved and Marco was also barely involved.

01:49:53   This is almost all John

01:49:54   and I genuinely appreciate all the work

01:49:56   you've been putting into this

01:49:57   because this was a not insignificant amount of work.

01:49:59   - We might discuss all of that work

01:50:01   in a future Members Only episode,

01:50:03   but I wanna talk about the changes we made

01:50:05   and why we made them,

01:50:06   which goes all the way back to when we were discussing

01:50:09   the bad ad market for podcasts like ours

01:50:14   and we said we were gonna send out a survey to our listeners

01:50:17   to ask them a bunch of questions and we did that

01:50:18   and we got a bunch of responses

01:50:20   and then you didn't hear anything from us for a while,

01:50:22   partially because we were deciding what to do,

01:50:24   partially because it takes time to analyze the data,

01:50:26   partially because of scheduling stuff,

01:50:27   but anyway, we did look at those survey responses.

01:50:32   I tried to analyze them as best I could.

01:50:35   It is tricky because we had a couple of constraints here.

01:50:38   One was I didn't wanna ask a million questions in the survey.

01:50:41   There are so many things that we could do.

01:50:42   I didn't wanna send people a 500 question survey

01:50:44   that no one's gonna fill out.

01:50:45   So I really tried hard to make it as short as possible.

01:50:48   There were multiple paths through the survey,

01:50:50   but I think it was like less than 10 questions for each one.

01:50:53   But that also meant that the data where you're gonna get

01:50:55   was only gonna tell us about the few things that we asked.

01:50:58   And we didn't ask, there was like an open-ended,

01:51:00   there's a bunch of open-ended things

01:51:01   where people could type anything they want

01:51:02   and I read through those.

01:51:03   So that was kind of, we could get like any feedback

01:51:05   people had, but we asked some very targeted questions

01:51:07   as well.

01:51:09   And obviously a lot of the targeted questions

01:51:11   were relevant to the one big change we did make,

01:51:14   which was lowering the price of annual membership.

01:51:17   And obviously people write it in,

01:51:19   say I wish everything was less expensive.

01:51:21   Yes, everyone wishes everything was less expensive.

01:51:23   Is that the right move for your business

01:51:25   to lower your prices?

01:51:26   Apple seems to think no.

01:51:28   Here's the thing about lowering prices.

01:51:31   Of course, oh, I would be a member

01:51:33   if you just lowered your prices.

01:51:35   Some number of people said that.

01:51:37   In fact, we asked this very specific question,

01:51:38   was one of the questions we asked.

01:51:40   If we gave an annual discount equivalent to one free month,

01:51:44   would you become an ATP member?

01:51:48   And we could divide those into the people

01:51:49   who had previously been a member and weren't

01:51:51   or had never been a member.

01:51:53   And people answered that question.

01:51:54   And what we're trying to figure out is,

01:51:55   hey, if we offer this discount, are we gonna lose money?

01:51:59   Because in case this goes without saying,

01:52:02   we're trying to make more money, not less.

01:52:06   So by rolling out this change

01:52:07   and having every single annual subscriber renew

01:52:10   at the lower price, we're losing money.

01:52:12   The only way we can not lose money

01:52:14   is to actually gain subscribers.

01:52:16   That's the whole point.

01:52:17   You lower the price, you make it more attractive,

01:52:18   maybe more people will sign up.

01:52:20   And so we're trying with our non-business school education

01:52:25   to figure out, are we gonna lose money if we do this?

01:52:28   So you think, oh, why is this hard to figure out?

01:52:30   You have a survey, you ask people,

01:52:32   hey, would you become a member if we did this?

01:52:34   You ask them this specific thing was one of the choices.

01:52:37   Just add them up and do the math

01:52:38   and you can figure out if you're gonna make money.

01:52:40   But people don't always do what they say in surveys, right?

01:52:43   Checking a checkbox on a survey says,

01:52:45   yeah, totally, if you did that, I'd become a member.

01:52:47   Things change from when they answered it.

01:52:50   You know, like, maybe they changed their mind,

01:52:53   maybe they thought they would, but wouldn't.

01:52:54   So you have to say, like, how much do we think

01:52:57   people will actually follow through

01:52:58   on what they said they were going to do?

01:53:00   Because when it comes time to spend actual money

01:53:02   versus saying that you will are two different things.

01:53:04   Second thing is, not everybody who listens to the show

01:53:06   filled out the survey.

01:53:07   It's not, you know, people don't wanna fill out surveys,

01:53:09   they're boring, whatever.

01:53:11   How representative are the people who filled out the survey?

01:53:15   Are they nothing like our other listeners?

01:53:18   Or are other listeners exactly like the people

01:53:20   in the survey, percentage-wise?

01:53:22   These are questions that you have to answer

01:53:24   to be able to figure out,

01:53:26   are we gonna lose money if we do this?

01:53:28   You know, it's like, how many people who said

01:53:30   they would become a member will become a member?

01:53:32   And can we extrapolate at all from the people

01:53:36   who filled out the survey to the larger population

01:53:38   of listeners, or should we only consider the people

01:53:40   who actually filled out the survey?

01:53:41   So anyway, we did all this math.

01:53:44   - No, no, no, no, no, we did not, you did.

01:53:46   And I say that not to make fun of you,

01:53:48   but to thank you for all the work you put in.

01:53:50   - Well, I mean, don't thank me until we say how it goes.

01:53:52   But anyway, we did a bunch of math.

01:53:54   And you know, you participated because we had a bunch

01:53:56   of fields that was like percentages of like, you know,

01:54:00   of all the people who said X, how many,

01:54:02   they said they would do Y, you know,

01:54:05   what percentage will do it, 100%, 50%, you know, like,

01:54:08   so we had to come up with those numbers,

01:54:10   and we mostly just pulled them out of our butt

01:54:11   based on our instincts, right?

01:54:12   Anyway, what it came out to was,

01:54:17   we probably won't lose money.

01:54:19   Like, it wasn't like, well, well, this is gonna be great.

01:54:22   You know, so you may be saying, well, why did you do this?

01:54:24   If you think it's like, it's like on the edge,

01:54:26   maybe you lose money, maybe you make money,

01:54:28   why did you do this?

01:54:29   One of the reasons is that it's a, not a huge change.

01:54:32   I don't think lowering the price

01:54:33   is gonna make anybody angry.

01:54:35   So I think it's a thumbs up to that, right?

01:54:37   There's not huge risk, like, you know, worst case,

01:54:42   you lose a little bit of money,

01:54:44   but maybe you make it up over the long term

01:54:45   of getting new subscribers or whatever.

01:54:48   And of all the things that we asked,

01:54:50   it was among the more popular options.

01:54:53   It didn't have any, you know, sort of huge downsides, right?

01:54:56   We also heard from people

01:54:57   that they would like more members only content,

01:54:59   and I know we didn't sort of talk about this,

01:55:01   but I hope people have noticed

01:55:02   that we are more consistently releasing members only content.

01:55:07   Maybe you don't notice because it's like, you know,

01:55:08   they, it seems like they come out once a month or whatever,

01:55:10   but it's been, we had skipped months in the past

01:55:13   and now we haven't recently,

01:55:15   and it's been like less than 30 days between things

01:55:16   and we're gonna try to keep that streak going.

01:55:18   So I hope people do appreciate that

01:55:19   because that was something, part of the feedback,

01:55:21   hey, how about more members only content?

01:55:24   And we are also trying to do that.

01:55:25   That's not a cost thing.

01:55:26   You just get that as part of your membership.

01:55:28   And then finally, the silly thing that we did,

01:55:31   this was not on the survey, I don't think at all in any way,

01:55:34   but people wrote it in.

01:55:35   People wrote it in in the little free form thing

01:55:37   and they emailed us.

01:55:38   Again, not a lot of people, but they said,

01:55:40   I love ATP so much that I wish I could pay more money.

01:55:44   How many people need to say that to you

01:55:45   for you to spend time implementing?

01:55:47   It turns out not that many.

01:55:48   - Three.

01:55:48   Now I don't remember what the number was,

01:55:52   but it was not a lot.

01:55:53   - It's, yeah, like you could count them on appendages

01:55:56   on your body.

01:55:57   It's not a lot of people, but like why, you know,

01:56:00   if they want to do that, we should accommodate them.

01:56:03   And that was actually the most complicated feature

01:56:05   we had to add because it's kind of weird, like.

01:56:07   - 'Cause you insisted on a free form text field

01:56:09   for the price.

01:56:10   - Yeah, pay what you want.

01:56:12   We tried to hide it from the UI,

01:56:14   'cause like no one wants to do this, we understand, right?

01:56:15   But for the five people who do want to do it,

01:56:17   we wanted it to be there, it is there.

01:56:20   One of the FAQ items is how do what, you know,

01:56:24   because presumably the people who are saying that

01:56:25   are already members, so they have to change

01:56:27   their membership to be this weird one.

01:56:28   There's a FAQ item for it,

01:56:30   atp.fm/memberslip/fak/patron, I guess is how you would say it

01:56:35   in the modern age.

01:56:36   The patron is the fragment part of the URL.

01:56:38   No one knows that term anymore.

01:56:39   I don't know what you would call it,

01:56:40   but anyway, it looks like a hashtag.

01:56:42   So we hope the five people who said that

01:56:44   are listening to this and they will do that.

01:56:45   And we hope the more than five people

01:56:48   who answered the survey and said,

01:56:49   hey, if you gave me a discount in annual membership,

01:56:52   I would become a member.

01:56:54   I hope some of you actually do that,

01:56:56   because if you don't, we just lost a whole bunch of money.

01:56:59   - You know, we didn't originally do any sort of discount

01:57:03   for the annual plan because we wanted to make it

01:57:06   fairly straightforward and to a degree, I personally think,

01:57:11   I'm gonna say it feels slimy,

01:57:13   I think that's a little aggressive,

01:57:14   but it feels a little icky, maybe is a better word for it,

01:57:17   when we're trying to coax you to spend more money

01:57:19   than maybe you would want to by saying,

01:57:21   well, if you commit to a whole year,

01:57:22   we'll give you a little bit of money off.

01:57:24   And really, I think especially Marco,

01:57:26   but all of us wanted a very straightforward exchange.

01:57:29   You know, you can give us either eight bucks a month

01:57:31   or was it $96 a year?

01:57:33   And you get what you get and you don't get upset.

01:57:35   And now we're making it slightly muddier,

01:57:38   but the results of the survey were fairly emphatic that,

01:57:42   oh, I'm just really turned off by the fact

01:57:45   that I don't get any sort of discount for an annual price.

01:57:49   It really, really bothers me.

01:57:50   We got some fairly aggressive versions of that statement.

01:57:53   - So on the flip side of that is another way of looking at it

01:57:56   which is also true is that you pay for the flexibility

01:58:00   of being able to cancel any time.

01:58:01   If you pay for monthly,

01:58:02   why is monthly more expensive than annual?

01:58:04   What you're paying for is the convenience to say,

01:58:06   oh, I don't wanna do it this month and just cancel, right?

01:58:08   Whereas you've already paid for the whole year,

01:58:10   you don't have that flexibility.

01:58:12   So there are multiple reasons why

01:58:14   annual discount makes sense and is desirable to people.

01:58:17   - Yep, and plus, you know,

01:58:19   you're only getting billed once a year

01:58:20   rather than once a month and blah, blah, blah.

01:58:22   - Which saves credit card processing fees,

01:58:23   which you don't care about and is generally peanuts.

01:58:26   But like, the main reason people ask for annual,

01:58:30   'cause we didn't originally have annual,

01:58:31   maybe people ask for annual is that

01:58:32   it just didn't wanna see a bill every month.

01:58:34   Like just the annoyance of it, right?

01:58:36   And that does make sense.

01:58:37   One bill a year is easier to deal with and track

01:58:42   than having this thing come in every month.

01:58:44   - Yep, so I don't know how much we wanna talk about

01:58:47   the nuts and bolts about how this works behind the scenes.

01:58:49   Maybe we should save that for a member special.

01:58:52   But suffice to say, a lot of this was far more complicated

01:58:55   than you would expect.

01:58:56   But if you are currently an annual member,

01:59:00   and as far as you knew,

01:59:01   until you were listening to us tonight or today or whatever,

01:59:04   you were paying $96 a year.

01:59:05   John, remind us what those people have to do

01:59:07   in order to get this new $88 per year price.

01:59:10   - If they're currently an annual member, they do nothing.

01:59:12   - Exactly, you do nothing. - You do nothing.

01:59:14   Like you can go to your member page right now

01:59:16   and you will see it says the new lower amount.

01:59:18   And like I said, people have already renewed.

01:59:20   So we're pretty sure it worked.

01:59:21   Like they're renewing at the new lower price.

01:59:23   The old prices are gone.

01:59:24   You can't buy them even if you wanted to.

01:59:26   Everybody's subscription who was annual

01:59:28   was switched to the new prices.

01:59:29   So you don't have to do anything.

01:59:30   - Well, it's enough slow down though.

01:59:31   If I wanted to do the enter my own price,

01:59:33   I could put in $96 per year though, correct?

01:59:36   - Yes, yes.

01:59:36   - Okay, just making sure.

01:59:37   - Anybody can, yeah.

01:59:39   I don't wanna, if you do this,

01:59:42   if you're one of the five people who does this,

01:59:43   someone should do it just to test that it works.

01:59:45   (both laughing)

01:59:47   No one has ever done it in production.

01:59:48   So please somebody be the person to test it in production.

01:59:50   It was tested many times in depth.

01:59:53   If you do this, you will get a little badge next

01:59:55   to your name that I copied from Letterboxd

01:59:58   that says patron.

01:59:59   What do you get with that?

02:00:00   The badge is what you get.

02:00:02   That little yellow box,

02:00:05   that is what there is no additional anything for patrons.

02:00:08   I don't think it would be a good idea

02:00:10   to like have this special tier for that.

02:00:12   But anyway, like five people are gonna do it, who cares?

02:00:15   But yeah, we're not using that language anywhere,

02:00:18   but internally I needed things to name the variables

02:00:20   and I call all that stuff, patron stuff or whatever.

02:00:22   So if you wanna become an ATP patron,

02:00:23   which is not a term that we use in public facing things,

02:00:25   but I just said on the podcast, it's in the fact,

02:00:28   that's the whole reason I made the fact.

02:00:29   I will add to that fact as people ask questions

02:00:31   'cause people frequently ask things

02:00:34   and I wanna put them somewhere.

02:00:34   And that's what a FAQ is for.

02:00:36   - Yeah, and remind me,

02:00:38   so if I am currently at the new $88 per year plan,

02:00:41   but I'd like to pay $888 per year,

02:00:44   what I need to do then is cancel my current plan

02:00:47   and go in and name my price

02:00:49   and start a new plan at that point, is that correct?

02:00:53   - Yeah, that's a new feature that I added as part of this

02:00:55   'cause it just seemed like,

02:00:56   it was always so complicated and weird.

02:00:57   The FAQ is one feature of like, how do I do this?

02:00:59   And the second thing is like on the member page,

02:01:02   when you cancel, like you can't,

02:01:04   it's not like when you cancel it ends immediately.

02:01:06   When you cancel it, you'll still, whatever you paid for,

02:01:09   the rest of your term that you're paid for,

02:01:10   you will continue to get that obviously.

02:01:12   It's just that it won't renew essentially at the end of it.

02:01:14   But right on the member page now, you can start a new one,

02:01:17   even though the old one hasn't run out yet,

02:01:19   which was a big thing that people were confused about

02:01:21   or bothered by.

02:01:22   It's like, oh, I gotta wait for my monthly membership

02:01:25   to actually expire before I can sign up for the annual one.

02:01:28   Now you don't have to do that through some weird sleight

02:01:31   of hand that I did with Stripe where you end up getting

02:01:33   like a free trial essentially.

02:01:35   So if you end your monthly membership,

02:01:36   but the month isn't over yet,

02:01:38   and you start a new membership,

02:01:40   the new membership will start when your old one ends.

02:01:43   But when you do the checkout thing,

02:01:45   it will count as a free trial

02:01:48   until your old membership ends and then it starts billing.

02:01:51   That's just to make the math work out.

02:01:53   I tried to do it the more sane way

02:01:54   where you can just forward date it or whatever,

02:01:56   but apparently you can't forward date past the end

02:01:59   of the billing period.

02:02:00   So like past the, I don't know what language to use.

02:02:03   So basically say you had an annual membership

02:02:04   and you wanna go to monthly,

02:02:06   and it's the middle of the year, the middle of your year.

02:02:09   You cancel the annual, fine, great.

02:02:10   It's gonna end at the end of your year, right?

02:02:13   And you're like, I wanna sign up for monthly right now.

02:02:15   The feature that Stripe has that lets you forward date it

02:02:17   to say, hey, start their monthly membership

02:02:19   when their annual one ends.

02:02:20   It'll be like, I can't start a monthly membership

02:02:23   later than one month from now.

02:02:25   That's basically the problem.

02:02:26   Like it is a monthly thing,

02:02:27   and the farthest in the future that you started

02:02:29   is one month from now or less.

02:02:32   And so you can't start a one month membership

02:02:34   six months from now, which is dumb.

02:02:35   So that's why I came up with the free trial workaround,

02:02:37   which is also dumb, but I explained it in the FAQ

02:02:39   and on the screen where you do stuff.

02:02:41   So hopefully people won't be too confused by it.

02:02:42   And it's better than it was before

02:02:43   where you'd have to like put a calendar reminder

02:02:45   to remind you when your annual membership ends

02:02:48   in six months to start your new monthly one.

02:02:50   - That's very good, very clever.

02:02:52   - Not clever, it's a terrible hack,

02:02:53   but that's programmed for you.

02:02:55   - Indeed.

02:02:56   - Well, I gotta say too, like I am so,

02:03:00   first of all, I'm incredibly thankful that Jon is bored.

02:03:03   (laughing)

02:03:05   Jon has had on his request list for the CMS

02:03:10   that basically was like a list of to-do items

02:03:13   that only I could do that Jon cared the most about by far.

02:03:17   Again, whoever cares the most wins.

02:03:18   - Only you could do, to be clear,

02:03:19   because you wouldn't let us do them.

02:03:21   - Right, so this has been built up for months

02:03:24   and or years actually.

02:03:26   - Years.

02:03:27   - Yeah, yeah.

02:03:28   - Look at the date on the document,

02:03:29   ATP.FM wishlist on created when.

02:03:32   - Yeah, I don't even have it open.

02:03:33   I don't even know where it is.

02:03:34   - I know you don't.

02:03:36   - I know where it is.

02:03:38   - Oh, there it is.

02:03:39   Yeah, anyway, let's see, what does it say created?

02:03:42   Where do I start?

02:03:43   - 2020.

02:03:43   - Oh yeah, that's about right.

02:03:44   - June 27th, 2020.

02:03:45   - Right, 'cause that's when we launched membership.

02:03:47   - I was gonna say not long after or around the time

02:03:49   that we launched membership.

02:03:50   - Yeah, so anyway, John's had this wishlist for the CMS

02:03:53   for a long time and I have had no time to do it.

02:03:58   Because also, between all my moving my house and everything,

02:04:02   I'm also trying to rewrite overcast basically.

02:04:04   Like so, this was never gonna happen

02:04:07   as long as it was on my plate.

02:04:08   - You did a bunch of stuff on the list though, to be fair.

02:04:10   It's just recently.

02:04:12   - Yeah, recently I've done very little.

02:04:14   But anyway, so John's been caring about this the most

02:04:17   for a long time and has all this newfound time

02:04:22   since you quit your job and now your house

02:04:24   is mostly fixed temporarily.

02:04:26   And you don't seem to have a lot of dying appliances

02:04:28   right at this moment.

02:04:29   So you had all this time and I thought

02:04:33   this was always gonna be on my plate.

02:04:34   'Cause first of all, I'm bad at delegating.

02:04:35   Second of all, neither of you guys knew PHP

02:04:38   and I figured odds of you being willing

02:04:40   to touch it were low.

02:04:42   - And third of all, you're bad at delegating.

02:04:44   - Yes, yes.

02:04:45   (laughing)

02:04:46   But I was so wrong because not only were you super willing,

02:04:50   but you, I mean it turns out PHP is not that hard.

02:04:54   So you learned it pretty fast.

02:04:55   - We'll talk about it in the member special.

02:04:57   - Yeah, and then the rigor to which you and Casey

02:05:02   treated this like professional software,

02:05:04   pull requests, code reviews, testing, staging.

02:05:08   - It wouldn't go that far.

02:05:09   And in fact, I have some complaints about the QA process

02:05:12   'cause there were some big bugs in there that I fixed.

02:05:14   - Oh my God.

02:05:15   - Anyway.

02:05:16   - Oh no, that's gonna be me.

02:05:19   Uh oh.

02:05:19   - Are my one person 15 minute QA team of Casey List

02:05:23   failed me?

02:05:24   - Well that's more than I ever used.

02:05:26   - I know, Marco's the zero person, zero minute QA team.

02:05:29   - Yeah, the two of you, the way that you like

02:05:33   professionalized this process.

02:05:35   - It's almost like we did this for a living.

02:05:37   - Almost, imagine that.

02:05:39   - It's so much more professional than anything

02:05:42   I've ever done.

02:05:44   Which is funny 'cause I've been a professional software

02:05:45   developer for as long as, at least Casey has.

02:05:47   And almost as long as Jon has.

02:05:50   - But your boss is a weirdo.

02:05:52   - Yeah, I never did any of this stuff.

02:05:56   You did it so professionally and so nicely,

02:06:01   I was blown away.

02:06:02   So first of all, I'm very thankful that you did all this

02:06:05   because I was never gonna do it.

02:06:07   - You start worrying when I install Jira.

02:06:10   Oh no, no, absolutely not.

02:06:12   I quit, I will not subject myself to that.

02:06:15   - Both Casey and I have PTSD about that, don't worry.

02:06:18   - I really don't like throwing around that term,

02:06:20   but if I was gonna throw it around about anything,

02:06:22   it would be about Jira.

02:06:23   Oh gosh, uh-uh, uh-uh.

02:06:26   - Anyway, so second of all,

02:06:28   this is so clearly the right choice to put it on you

02:06:35   instead of me because you're doing such a better job

02:06:38   than I was.

02:06:41   So anyway, thanks and yeah, we should have done this

02:06:44   a long time ago, my fault.

02:06:45   - No, it's all good.

02:06:46   We got there, we got over the hurdle

02:06:48   and that's all that matters.

02:06:49   And yeah, I don't know if we really need to talk about it

02:06:51   too much more 'cause I know a lot of people

02:06:52   aren't too terribly in trust,

02:06:54   navel gazing and inside baseball and whatnot.

02:06:56   - And if we do talk about it on a member special,

02:06:58   we wouldn't be talking about the business stuff,

02:07:00   we'd be talking about it from a programming perspective,

02:07:02   more general type of thing,

02:07:03   which is kind of also tech nerdy,

02:07:05   but don't worry, it wouldn't be about the show,

02:07:06   it would be about the software.

02:07:08   - Member special, Jon's review of PHP.

02:07:11   - That would be in there for sure,

02:07:12   but I think it'd be more expensive than that.

02:07:14   - Oh, I can't wait.

02:07:16   - Well, I mean, the literal thing we have in the show notes

02:07:18   is Jon talks about working on the CMS

02:07:19   and quote unquote learning PHP.

02:07:22   - Oh, we gotta make that, we gotta make that.

02:07:25   - We gotta do that.

02:07:26   But I will take this opportunity before we sign off

02:07:29   just to thank everyone.

02:07:31   I know I do this all the time,

02:07:32   but it really does mean that much to all three of us.

02:07:34   Thank you, anyone who has even considered becoming a member,

02:07:36   those of you who are members,

02:07:37   thank you so much to all of you

02:07:39   and we appreciate you so very, very much.

02:07:42   And who knows what new PHP trick Jon will pull next time.

02:07:45   We'll all have to tune in to find out.

02:07:47   (beeping)