572: Cryptofarts and Copyright Infringement


00:00:00   Happy Vision Pro Week!

00:00:03   Sort of. Indeed.

00:00:04   Well, here's the thing — I would love to talk about the Vision Pro

00:00:08   because now all the press reviews and embargoes are lifted and the press reviews are all out

00:00:12   and everyone who got pre-release access got to tell everyone what they thought and show everyone

00:00:16   and everything. And because we didn't, we can't.

00:00:20   So even though Casey and I had lab experience we still can't talk about that

00:00:24   I think maybe ever. And so we just have to wait until we

00:00:28   can actually have our Vision Pros which is this weekend for both of us.

00:00:32   That's true. You know, even though we all three of us agreed not to

00:00:36   talk about it, I would like to say that we genuinely did not

00:00:40   get to have any experience with personas or anything like that.

00:00:44   And I probably am not even supposed to say that much, but I say that to indicate that

00:00:48   any of what I'm about to say is not informed by the lab because I genuinely have no experience with the whole

00:00:52   persona thing. Everyone seems to be slagging on two different

00:00:56   persona-related things. The eyesight, which is the thing

00:01:00   where it shows your eyes out the front of the display or the front

00:01:04   of the goggles such that... We're doing an amazing job of not talking about the Vision Pro.

00:01:08   I know, that's exactly what I'm talking about. It's my fault this time. It's the first time for everything.

00:01:12   Everyone's slagging on the eyesight both in the terms of seeing

00:01:16   the wearer's eyes on the front of the headset and the

00:01:20   whole persona thing where you're like a fake version of you

00:01:24   in FaceTime and all the other places where you would normally use a front-facing camera on like a phone or an iPad.

00:01:28   I have zero real-world experience with this. Hand to god.

00:01:32   I really don't have any experience with this. I've seen

00:01:36   why... I see and understand why everyone is slagging on it, but

00:01:40   to me, I don't think it's that bad. I'm very

00:01:44   curious to see what I think when I actually have one that I can use in

00:01:48   front of me in person because it's not great. I'm not trying to sit here and say

00:01:52   it looks fantastic and it looks photorealistic or anything like that, but I like

00:01:56   the idea of those around me being able to tell if I'm looking at them

00:02:00   or paying zero attention to them or whatever the case may be. And I like the idea

00:02:04   of having some mechanism of representing myself that's not memoji

00:02:08   while I'm on a FaceTime call, which is not to say that I expect to do this often, but just

00:02:12   in the occasion that I do need a front-facing camera, I like the approach they've taken.

00:02:16   It is a little bit uncanny valley. I'm not trying to say it's perfect by any means, but everyone seems to

00:02:20   really hate it. There were a bunch of reviews here.

00:02:24   I'll tie it into what we were supposed to be talking about. There were a bunch of video reviews and text reviews that came out.

00:02:28   I think it was Jon put a bunch in the show notes in I Concur with Jon's List.

00:02:32   Nili Patel at The Verge. I personally think if you're going to choose

00:02:36   just one, that's the one I would choose. But also excellent are Joanna Stearns

00:02:40   of the Wall Street Journal, Brian Tong, who I'd not previously heard of, maybe I've been living under a

00:02:44   rock. He did a very long, hour-long review on

00:02:48   YouTube, which is very thorough if you're wanting something more along those lines.

00:02:52   And then Gruber obviously had his written review, which was excellent as well. Oh, and

00:02:56   MKBHD has posted, as of just an hour or two ago I think, has posted

00:03:00   an unboxing, which was interesting, but more importantly a

00:03:04   "Here's what the Vision Pro is." It isn't a review, it's a "Let me tell you

00:03:08   about what it is." - It's more like a tour. - Yeah, exactly.

00:03:12   - I liked MKBHD's video. I haven't read and seen all of these yet, but

00:03:16   obviously, as Casey said, we aren't allowed to tell you about the Vision Pro.

00:03:20   - And if you're wondering what we're going to talk about on this week's show, unfortunate

00:03:24   timing. Obviously the DMA stuff, EUDMA stuff,

00:03:28   came out after we had recorded last week's episode. For people who

00:03:32   don't know, we record our show on Wednesdays because Apple

00:03:36   usually announces stuff on Tuesdays. But you don't win them all. Sometimes

00:03:40   they announce something on a Thursday and we miss it. So

00:03:44   that's what happened. And it's just as well, because, like you guys said, you don't have your Vision Pros

00:03:48   yet. They're coming in a few days. Regular customers don't have them yet, although I do know someone

00:03:52   whose delivery date was one day earlier than it's supposed to arrive, so maybe

00:03:56   you might get lucky and get a day early. - No, we're in-store pickup for both of us, I believe.

00:04:00   - Yeah, okay, well you're not getting it early then, I guess. - Nope. - But yeah, so that's

00:04:04   we're going to be talking about the EUDMA stuff that a bunch of other people talked about last

00:04:08   week, if there are podcasts recording aloud for it. And then next week,

00:04:12   when two out of the three of us have Vision Pros, we will talk

00:04:16   a ton about it then. But for now, these reviews will tide you over. - Yeah.

00:04:20   And while we can't tell you anything that we think about the Vision Pro, I

00:04:24   can tell you that I would recommend Neil I. Patel's review with The Verge.

00:04:28   - Yeah, same. - In particular. Like Casey, I think if you're only going to watch

00:04:32   one, I'd say watch that one. It is very thorough. It

00:04:36   covers all of the major areas of different uses for it.

00:04:40   And I think he seemed to be very fair about

00:04:44   both what's cool, what's not, what has potential for the future,

00:04:48   maybe what doesn't have so much potential for the future, some of the things about

00:04:52   it that are really weird or really different or it takes some getting used to, and some of the things

00:04:56   about it that are really nice and really cool and really immersive. So I

00:05:00   would strongly recommend Neil I. Patel's review with The Verge. Either video or the written one.

00:05:04   I actually read the written one first, and then I watched the video, and

00:05:08   I found that I didn't really need to do both. So I would suggest reading the

00:05:12   written one if you pick only one. - Yeah, I agree. But anyway,

00:05:16   I bring all this up mostly to point to all these different reviews and whatnot, but

00:05:20   also to say I'm really excited about a few things with Vision Pro,

00:05:24   and maybe we'll talk about that later, but I'm excited and interested

00:05:28   to see what I think of eyesight and personas

00:05:32   for me. You know, like once I have them and see them in person,

00:05:36   or to the degree that you can see a persona in person, I'm very

00:05:40   curious because they don't, I don't feel like it's nearly as bad as everyone else seems to think it is.

00:05:44   And so it very well could be next week when we record I'll laugh at this moment and say

00:05:48   oh, how wrong I was, but sitting here now, I think it's reasonable.

00:05:52   - You realize like the three of us are gonna have to do a FaceTime call with me and you as

00:05:56   personas and Jon as the unfortunate like only one who's not, but the persona

00:06:00   videos I've seen so far of like people doing their FaceTime calls with the personas,

00:06:04   I do not like looking at them. It like bothers me

00:06:08   on a deep level. - This is the common opinion, and I mean again,

00:06:12   I don't think they're great, but as somebody in the chat said, you know, all

00:06:16   these YouTubers were immediately recognizable as who they were, which I think is an accomplishment.

00:06:20   It's not perfect, it's not great, but I don't think it's as bad as everyone else seems to think.

00:06:24   - I just, they kind of creep me out, like they make me feel uneasy, like I

00:06:28   look, I mean, we'll see when we get these and we'll see how, you know, because this

00:06:32   feature is in beta, we'll see how it develops over time, but my initial opinion,

00:06:36   which I am not sure is going to change that much anytime soon, is

00:06:40   if I'm gonna be on a FaceTime call with you, I'd rather you take your headset off

00:06:44   and actually be a FaceTime call, and if you're gonna be your fake persona,

00:06:48   I think I'd rather you have a phone call at that point.

00:06:52   - Alex Chan writes, "I've also been programming against YouTube API recently

00:06:56   and run into the same quota issues that Jon had described last week or the week before.

00:07:00   I don't think Jon is doing something daft. The quota isn't 10,000 requests,

00:07:04   it's 10,000 quote-unquote quota units.

00:07:08   A single request can use many units, there's a table of quota costs in YouTube's documentation,

00:07:12   which we'll link in the show notes. I don't know if that fully accounts for you burning through your quota so

00:07:16   quickly, but maybe it's a clue in the right direction, and I don't know if it was Alex or Jon, but somebody

00:07:20   pointed out that costs, some example costs, listing a playlist is one

00:07:24   quota unit, updating a video is 50 quota units, and inserting a video

00:07:28   or perhaps inserting something into a video, I'm not sure, is 1,600 quota units.

00:07:32   - Yeah, and this does account for it, because when I,

00:07:36   the video update thing is like if I'm updating the description, yeah, we have over

00:07:40   500 videos, and if each of them costs 50 and I update all of them, you burn

00:07:44   through your quota real quick. In fact, I'm routinely going way over my quota,

00:07:48   relying on the fact that most API systems that have a quota

00:07:52   are essentially eventually consistent, and you can blow past your quota briefly

00:07:56   before the system realizes you've passed it and caps you, so

00:08:00   that's what I had been doing. So that explains it, it's kind of cruddy, but that explains it. Although

00:08:04   eventually Google did get back to me and they approved my request

00:08:08   for many more requests, or many more,

00:08:12   what are these called, quota units, so now instead of 10,000, I have 100,000,

00:08:16   I probably should ask for a million. Anyway, it doesn't matter because I'm already done with the development of the

00:08:20   script, so as predicted, this was all pointless, but the more you know, it's

00:08:24   quota units, not requests.

00:08:28   John, I'm assuming it's John and not Marco that wrote this, App Store versus Game Consoles.

00:08:32   Tell me about this. Yeah, I'm I guess for the third show in a row hitting the

00:08:36   same point, because people keep bringing up topics

00:08:40   that are related to it, the whole idea of developer

00:08:44   dissatisfaction with Apple and comparing that to other

00:08:48   developers who develop for other platforms that are kind of similar to the App Store and what their

00:08:52   satisfaction is like. And we brought up Game Consoles and I said it might seem

00:08:56   unfair to you that companies that develop for Game Consoles seem to be

00:09:00   more okay with the deal than a lot of App Store developers

00:09:04   are, and many people wrote in to tell us

00:09:08   that, well that's because the Game Console manufacturers sell their

00:09:12   hardware at a loss, and so they need the profit from the games to make up for the fact

00:09:16   that they're selling their hardware at a loss. And I have two things to say for that. First,

00:09:20   talk to Nintendo, they don't play that game, at least not as much as the other

00:09:24   companies do. Nintendo tends to want to either break even or actually make a profit

00:09:28   on its hardware pretty much all the time, and

00:09:32   even the other console makers eventually start breaking even and turning a profit on their consoles during the

00:09:36   lifetime of the things. But that's besides the point, because the second thing is, it

00:09:40   doesn't actually matter what

00:09:44   the reason is, unless that reason is convincing to developers, and I have to tell you

00:09:48   that App Store developers who are angry about Apple, A, they already know about Game Consoles

00:09:52   and how the world works over there, and B, it does not convince them to not be

00:09:56   resentful of Apple. And that's the whole deal here.

00:10:00   Most of the time, trying to explain to somebody

00:10:04   who thinks they're getting a not great deal doesn't change their mind.

00:10:08   Usually because you're not providing them with any new information. For example,

00:10:12   they would say, "Yeah, I know Game Consoles are so at a loss. Yeah, I know that they'll

00:10:16   get what they would say to you, but that doesn't make me feel any better

00:10:20   about giving Apple 15 or 30% or whatever." So you have to

00:10:24   work with the people and the opinions they have, even though if they "don't make

00:10:28   sense to you" or you think there's some reason otherwise. That's the situation

00:10:32   Apple is in. That is the fundamental issue at hand here.

00:10:36   Apple thinks that there are very good reasons for them to get what they want, and

00:10:40   App Store developers disagree, and that's where they

00:10:44   are. And I don't think at this point any amount of explaining why

00:10:48   is going to change either party's opinion.

00:10:52   All right, and then tell me about who owns the customer. Yeah, this is something we were talking about last time.

00:10:56   Like, well, why would somebody do this? This was back before the DMA stuff. We were talking about

00:11:00   the external links to payment methods. Why would anybody want to do that? And I said, well, one of the reasons is ownership

00:11:04   of the customer, as we've discussed many times in the past. And I talked about reasons why you might

00:11:08   want to own the customer, because then you get the customer information, which may be lucrative to you.

00:11:12   But I once again neglected to mention something that we had mentioned for many, many

00:11:16   years in the past, so I'll reiterate it again. There are other reasons that you might want to own the customer

00:11:20   that are not related to getting their information and selling it.

00:11:24   For example, one thing we've discussed many times is that developers in the App Store cannot issue

00:11:28   refunds. Only Apple can. If you own the customer, you

00:11:32   are now empowered to issue refunds, because you took their payment, you

00:11:36   can give their payment back to them. That is not something that developers can currently do.

00:11:40   Same thing with support. If a customer is having a problem,

00:11:44   there's no way for you to sort of connect the dots for them

00:11:48   in the generic App Store relationship, because they're Apple's customer, not yours.

00:11:52   You could put an email address on your website, you can have a contact form, you can do all that,

00:11:56   but there's a limited amount of stuff that you can do. Whereas if you own the customer, you can provide

00:12:00   better support. Giving them a refund yourself is one example

00:12:04   of better support. And then also, if the thing you're

00:12:08   providing, that application or service or combination of them, if it's on more than one

00:12:12   platform, you're on iOS, you're on Android, you're on PC, you're on Mac, right?

00:12:16   You can provide a unified experience if you own the customer,

00:12:20   because you can say, "Well, pay me one price and I'll give you it on all these platforms."

00:12:24   There are ways to do that with the App Store to try to figure out if they've

00:12:28   made a purchase on another platform and to give them the App Store thing and vice versa,

00:12:32   but it's so much easier if you have one unified account and one unified payment system

00:12:36   because you own the customer. So there are legitimate

00:12:40   non-nefarious reasons why you might want to own the customer, and like I said, we're talking about

00:12:44   the external payment things. That is the only benefit that you're getting given the

00:12:48   set of rules that Apple had provided, because you're not paying Apple any less money,

00:12:52   you're enduring much more hassle than you were before, it is much more difficult,

00:12:56   you have to allow Apple to audit you, and in exchange, the one and only

00:13:00   thing you get is customer ownership. I mean, that being said, there are

00:13:04   certain businesses where Apple's payment

00:13:08   system either doesn't have a feature that you need to do that kind of

00:13:12   business, or literally doesn't allow it. So for instance, if you

00:13:16   wanted to, say, have a few different payment plans for

00:13:20   your in-app purchase for your service, whatever your app service is that you're selling,

00:13:24   and the top one, if they paid $100 a year, you

00:13:28   sent them a free t-shirt. You can't do that with in-app purchase. In-app purchase can't be used for any kind of

00:13:32   physical goods. So you literally just aren't allowed to do that.

00:13:36   Or upgrade pricing is another great example. Like, you want to do upgrade pricing? You own the customer, you control the payment

00:13:40   system, you know what they paid, you know they own version 1.0, you can give them upgrade pricing

00:13:44   for 2.0. Exactly. And there's so many little, even just implementation

00:13:48   details. Like, I have talked before, you know, back when I had the idea

00:13:52   forever ago, and have continued to have it like once a year, and then

00:13:56   quickly talk myself out of it, of like, "Hey, why don't I make some kind of like overcast premium

00:14:00   thing that like pools money together and then pays the podcast that you listen

00:14:04   to?" You know, and to do that, you have to know

00:14:08   exactly how much money you got from each person.

00:14:12   Not how much money they were charged, you can figure that out, how much money you

00:14:16   received from them. Which becomes very tricky when you're dealing with

00:14:20   foreign currency exchange rates, or any kind of credit card charge back

00:14:24   or refund situation. So that kind of thing, like if you build your own

00:14:28   system, you can maybe do that a lot better. With Apple's system, it's

00:14:32   fairly impossible to know, like, "Did I actually receive that

00:14:36   $7.75 from this person in this month or not?" Because,

00:14:40   and that's by the way, that's why Spotify and YouTube

00:14:44   Premium and all these things, that's why they all do the big pool of money

00:14:48   approach, where like, your $10 a month doesn't get

00:14:52   split up between your artists that you listen to. Your $10 a month goes into the giant pool

00:14:56   of money, and then the giant pool of money gets split up based on

00:15:00   how much money there actually is in that pool, and then how many total plays there were in that entire month,

00:15:04   which creates all sorts of weird, you know, opportunities

00:15:08   for fraud and things like that, but it's just much easier. So like, again,

00:15:12   there are conditions like that where Apple's system

00:15:16   just might not support what you want to do, even if you are, you know,

00:15:20   tolerant of Apple's fees. So, that's what's

00:15:24   interesting about using other payment options, is it's not just

00:15:28   I'm trying to get away with giving Apple less or no money, but that's a big part of it,

00:15:32   but there's also legitimate reasons why you might want to do that.

00:15:36   Niru Maheswararanathan writes, "I recently stopped by an Apple store

00:15:40   to repair a cracked iPhone screen. Like any security-conscious iOS user, I had stolen device protection

00:15:44   turned on. The technician asked me, as part of the regular repair process, to turn off Find My.

00:15:48   When I went to do this, however, stolen device protection kicked in and forced me to wait an hour to turn

00:15:52   Find My off. There wasn't anything the technician could do to help. I ended up leaving, turning stolen device protection off,

00:15:56   and then coming back to complete the repair. I presume that Niru means

00:16:00   that they went home or what have you. Although it makes sense, I was still surprised that stolen device protection

00:16:04   kicked in when turning off Find My. Given how it can be tricky for folks to schedule

00:16:08   time to make it to the Apple store, it's worth keeping in mind that you might want to turn off stolen device

00:16:12   protection at least an hour before your appointment." That is interesting. I get exactly why

00:16:16   all this happened, but it's interesting, nevertheless.

00:16:20   You know, someone to be able to turn off Find My. That's kind of an important feature,

00:16:24   especially if your phone is stolen. So, yeah. Remember when you put that delay in,

00:16:28   that delay applies to you, too. Although it doesn't apply if you're in one of your safe

00:16:32   locations. So, if you do it at home, maybe you don't have to wait an hour, so just do it at home

00:16:36   before you leave for the Apple store. And I believe the upcoming new version

00:16:40   of iOS, I think 17.4, they're going to have a setting where if you don't want to have safe

00:16:44   locations, you can turn that off. So, it's up to you to decide how

00:16:48   much inconvenience do you want in your life. Yeah, and this is probably the kind of thing

00:16:52   you know, we were speculating when they introduced stolen device protection recently, we were saying like, "Why don't they

00:16:56   just enable this by default for everyone?" And maybe this kind of thing is, you know,

00:17:00   maybe this is part of the reason why. That maybe they figured this would cause too many support headaches

00:17:04   or whatever else. Because that's, anytime you're looking at like, why something in iOS

00:17:08   is a little bit insecure maybe, for instance, why can you reset your Apple ID

00:17:12   password with just your passcode to a phone, which is the whole root of this problem.

00:17:16   And the answer often to those questions is, it turns out

00:17:20   in real life, people forget this stuff all the time and they need support to help

00:17:24   them through this problem all the time. And so that's probably one of the reasons

00:17:28   why this is off by default. Indeed. Renee Schatzel writes,

00:17:32   "In Europe, or at least in UK and Germany, the opticians in the store are usually

00:17:36   equipped to measure your eyesight and essentially as part of the service of buying new glasses

00:17:40   they do just this beforehand for free. They are specifically trained for that

00:17:44   though as part of their apprenticeship. Obviously you can also go to the ophthalmologist

00:17:48   to get a prescription if you want, but it's not obligatory. Zeiss actually sells

00:17:52   a rather smallish device that measures your eyesight automatically. It takes about 10 seconds per eye.

00:17:56   Obviously having one of those in the Apple store for your Vision Pro fitting would provide a

00:18:00   perfect service experience. We'll see what happens when they come across the pond."

00:18:04   So this is one data point lending credence to the idea that there is no actual

00:18:08   medical reason for it to be as difficult as it is to deal

00:18:12   with eye prescriptions here in the US. But I'm still waiting for ophthalmologists

00:18:16   or optometrists to tell me otherwise. But right now it seems like in other countries you can just

00:18:20   walk in, they'll measure your eyes, you get a prescription and you're done. But in this country

00:18:24   Apple is a stickler for having a real prescription from a licensed

00:18:28   optometrist or ophthalmologist before you can get your Vision Pro.

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00:20:36   We were talking before the show about how best

00:20:40   to approach this. And what we're talking about is the Apple

00:20:44   European Union DMA, which is the Digital Markets Act compliance. And

00:20:48   Apple needs to be compliant with the Digital Markets Act by I think early March

00:20:52   if I'm not mistaken. And late last week, they announced how they're going

00:20:56   to do that. And just to review, the Digital Markets Act is what

00:21:00   the name kind of says. In Europe, they had decided that the market for

00:21:04   digital goods like the App Store and Google Store and everything

00:21:08   were insufficiently competitive. There were a small number of companies with

00:21:12   too much power. There was stifling competition and innovation. The EU

00:21:16   decided they wanted to change that. And so they passed

00:21:20   the Digital Markets Act. And they said big companies like Apple who have App Stores

00:21:24   need to comply with it. And so this is Apple's response of saying, "Here's what

00:21:28   we're going to do to comply with the DMA."

00:21:30   Indeed. So I think what I'm going to try to do, and all three of us have

00:21:34   agreed with each other, famous last words, to just let me plow through, we'll see how it goes.

00:21:38   But what I'm going to try to do is John has done us off

00:21:42   service and kind of summarized what Apple has said. Now this is

00:21:46   different than I think reality, which we will get to. But I'm going to try to get

00:21:50   through, here's what Apple says is going to happen and they're going to do.

00:21:54   And then we'll pick apart afterwards. And I think the reason we're

00:21:58   going through what Apple says is, the way Apple presents this is

00:22:02   also interesting. Their attempt to say, "Here's the deal, here's what we're doing."

00:22:06   The subcategories they break it down into. What each individual bullet

00:22:10   point actually is. And as we'll get to eventually, the stuff that we

00:22:14   actually care about and the stuff that is most relevant for the DMA is kind of hidden in

00:22:18   this giant stew of stuff. But they are actually making a lot of changes.

00:22:22   So to start, we'll go through what Apple says they're doing.

00:22:26   Right, so without further ado, for iOS, this is only

00:22:30   iOS, not iPad, not Vision, nothing else. For iOS, they're saying that

00:22:34   And only in the EU. Thank you, yes, and only in the EU. There are going to be new options for distributing

00:22:38   iOS apps on alternative app marketplaces. So

00:22:42   think of this as app stores not run by Apple, but they've understandably and I think reasonably

00:22:46   used the term app marketplaces. This includes APIs that enable

00:22:50   developers to offer their iOS apps for download from alternative app marketplaces.

00:22:54   There's new frameworks and APIs for creating alternative app marketplaces

00:22:58   on iOS. So cumbersome. I know they're not saying

00:23:02   app store because they trademarked app store and they call theirs app store, so I understand why.

00:23:06   My god, this is cumbersome. It is. So this enables

00:23:10   marketplace developers to install apps and manage updates on behalf of other developers from their

00:23:14   dedicated marketplace app. There are new frameworks and APIs for alternative browser

00:23:18   engines, so this is instead of WebKit. Let me back up even a step

00:23:22   further. There are other quote-unquote web browsers on iOS today,

00:23:26   but in order to actually convert HTML, CSS, and JavaScript

00:23:30   and what have you into something that you see on screen, you have to use the same rendering engine

00:23:34   as Safari, which is called WebKit. And now what Apple is saying in the future,

00:23:38   in the EU, on iOS, you'll be able to use browsers that

00:23:42   legitimately use their own rendering engines. What's the Chrome one? I'm drawing a blank.

00:23:46   So anyway, so you could have Chrome in the EU

00:23:50   starting March-ish, you could have Chrome running

00:23:54   its own Blink rendering engine in theory. So new frameworks or APIs for alternative browser engines

00:23:58   interoperability that enables authorized developers to use browser engines

00:24:02   other than WebKit for browser apps and apps with in-app browsing experiences.

00:24:06   New APIs to enable contactless payments in the EEA.

00:24:10   What's that? European Economic Area. Thank you, there we go.

00:24:14   This includes new APIs enabling developers to use NFC technology in their

00:24:18   banking and wallet apps throughout the, oh that's right there, I didn't read far enough, European Economic Area.

00:24:22   So instead of using Apple Pay, you could use the same hardware

00:24:26   to do some other payment scheme. And by the way, as we go through these bullet points,

00:24:30   don't think that Apple is doing any of these things out of the goodness of their heart. Every single

00:24:34   one of them is some specific thing that's part of the DMA. So this one, for example,

00:24:38   about the contactless payments, companies have been complaining

00:24:42   in Europe for ages that Apple essentially didn't allow access to

00:24:46   the NFC hardware, direct access to the hardware that was in the phones

00:24:50   to do contactless payments. You had to use Apple Pay or whatever. So they said

00:24:54   okay, we'll just pass a thing that says Apple, you can't stop people from doing that.

00:24:58   We want you to provide access to that. And that's this. Same thing with the browser engines.

00:25:02   There are expanded default app controls. This lets users select and manage an

00:25:06   app marketplace and/or contactless payment app as their defaults and settings and adds a

00:25:10   new way to choose a default web browser. Interoperability request form.

00:25:14   This, I think, is fascinating, but we're not going to talk about it right now. Let's developers submit

00:25:18   requests for interoperability with iPhone and iOS hardware and software

00:25:22   features. So you can ask Apple, hey, I would like to be able to do

00:25:26   whatever. And they will inevitably deny you, I'm sure. Safari user choice

00:25:30   screen provides users additional ways to choose a default web browser from a list of options.

00:25:34   And so this was, these were all the iOS changes, right? This is a

00:25:38   lot of changes. Like, these are one bullet point. Like, oh,

00:25:42   alternative browser engines. You might think that's just like a policy change.

00:25:46   Okay, developer, you can do a thing. But it's not. Like, if you

00:25:50   click through on these things and look at the APIs they added, the browser kit engine,

00:25:54   it's extensive plumbing to essentially allow third

00:25:58   parties to do what WebKit does on iOS, right? These are non-trivial

00:26:02   APIs that they are exposing and adding. So this is

00:26:06   actually a fairly large amount of work, especially since Apple seems to have wanted to do it

00:26:10   in the safest way possible. So rather than

00:26:14   just saying, fine, do whatever you want browser engines, that would, Apple doesn't want to do

00:26:18   that. It would be less work for them, but they don't want to do that. So they said, here's a new API. Same thing with

00:26:22   the marketplace kit that's like a new API for making third party marketplaces.

00:26:26   These are big, featureful, new frameworks that are surely

00:26:30   filled with bugs because they're 1.0 to comply with this. And

00:26:34   so, you know, and these, all these iOS changes, I'm pretty sure every single one we

00:26:38   read, all this is just EU only. So this is a large amount of work for

00:26:42   only a fraction of the planet. Indeed. Now there's App Store changes,

00:26:46   which as far as I know are still only in the EU and still only for iOS.

00:26:50   But either way, App Store changes. New options for using alternative payment service

00:26:54   providers. So within a developer's app to process payments for digital goods and services.

00:26:58   So hypothetically you could use like Stripe or something like that, while still

00:27:02   being an app within the App Store. There are new options for processing payments via link out to purchase,

00:27:06   where users can complete a transaction for digital goods and services on the developer's external

00:27:10   web page. Developers can include information in their App Store apps to inform EU

00:27:14   users of promotions, discounts, and other deals available outside of their app when presenting a

00:27:18   link out. So this is very similar to what's going on in America, but with a little bit more

00:27:22   features it seems. Analytics. And

00:27:26   this I believe is going to be applicable worldwide. Actually, yes it is. So this is not just the EU.

00:27:30   Expanded developer app analytics provides developers with additional and enhanced

00:27:34   metrics with more than 50 new reports from the iOS and App Store worldwide

00:27:38   in areas like engagement, commerce, app usage, and more. Additionally, there's

00:27:42   a new user data portability API to request and transfer App Store account data

00:27:46   that lets developers of app marketplaces request user authorization to retrieve

00:27:50   and import new data about their usage of the App Store. Then things get

00:27:54   really interesting. Business terms. Now we're back to EU only. New business terms

00:27:58   are available for apps in the EU to reflect the DMA's requirements for alternative

00:28:02   distribution and payment processing. Apple is also sharing new business terms for apps

00:28:06   in the EU. Developers have a choice to remain on Apple's existing terms

00:28:10   or adopt new terms that reflect the new capabilities. We're surely going to spend

00:28:14   just a couple of minutes on that in a moment. There are also terms for alternative

00:28:18   distribution and payments in the EU. There is reduced commission. So iOS

00:28:22   apps on the App Store will pay a reduced commission of either

00:28:26   10% for the vast majority of developers and for subscriptions after their first year,

00:28:30   or 17% on transactions for digital goods and services

00:28:34   regardless of the payment processing system selected. So they're just making

00:28:38   it cheaper, is apparently what they're saying here anyway. There's a

00:28:42   payment processing fee. iOS apps on the App Store can use the App Store's payment processing

00:28:46   for an additional 3% fee. So suddenly that 10, 17

00:28:50   has now become 13 and 20. Developers can use a payment service

00:28:54   provider within their app or link users to a website to process payments for no additional fee from

00:28:58   Apple. So if you want to use Stripe, you'll save 3%, which you'll presumably be

00:29:02   giving to Stripe. This is where it gets really dodgy and we're almost done.

00:29:06   We're doing a great job. I'm proud of all three of us. It's so hard. It's so hard. I'm very proud

00:29:10   of you. I'm not kidding. I'm very proud of you. Core technology fee for very high volume

00:29:14   iOS apps distributed from the App Store and/or in alternative

00:29:18   app marketplaces. Developers will pay 50 cents. Is that

00:29:22   true for Euros? Half a Euro. 50 Euro cents. 50 Euro cents. So half a Euro.

00:29:26   For each first annual install per year over a 1 million threshold

00:29:30   under the new business terms for EU apps, Apple estimates that less than 1%

00:29:34   of developers would pay a core technology fee on their EU apps.

00:29:38   Developers of alternative app marketplaces will pay the core technology fee

00:29:42   for every first annual install of their app marketplace, including installs

00:29:46   that occur before 1 million. So for regular

00:29:50   English moves like the three of us, it starts on a million and one people

00:29:54   or installs... The million and first person is the first one you pay for. Right.

00:29:58   Whereas for app marketplaces, it starts with one. And there

00:30:02   seems to be a lot of confusion, including with me, as to whether or not updates count as installs.

00:30:06   So we'll talk about that in a minute. They do. Alright.

00:30:10   Before we get to the discussion, is there anything else in summary?

00:30:14   We have one more thing here, which is the marketplace requirements.

00:30:18   Thank you. That's what I was asking. So marketplace requirements. To qualify for the marketplace

00:30:22   entitlement, you must be enrolled in the Apple developer program as an

00:30:26   organization incorporated, domiciled, and/or registered in the European Union

00:30:30   or have a subsidiary legal entity incorporated, domiciled, and/or registered

00:30:34   in the EU that's listed in App Store Connect. The location associated with your legal

00:30:38   entity is listed in your Apple developer account. You must also provide Apple a

00:30:42   standby letter of credit from an A-rated financial institution of a million

00:30:46   euros to establish adequate financial means in order to guarantee

00:30:50   support for your developers and users. And there's other stuff. Additionally,

00:30:54   third-party marketplace apps will not be allowed in the App Store. To install one, you'll need to go

00:30:58   to the web. Safari will be able to install the third-party marketplace app after you agree to a

00:31:02   scare sheet. And perhaps maybe third-party browsers, too, after they call the

00:31:06   same system scare sheet. Who knows? But that's the story. And very briefly, there

00:31:10   is a fee calculator, which I'm sure we'll talk about in a minute, that helps you allegedly talk about, or

00:31:14   figure out how much you're going to pay. So, yeah, so what we've gotten done reading here is

00:31:18   essentially a condensed summary of what Apple released.

00:31:22   And this happened like Thursday last week, unfortunately, after we recorded.

00:31:26   And I can tell you that we were all discussing it amongst ourselves, all the Apple nerds and people

00:31:30   with tech podcasts and websites and stuff. And I

00:31:34   was amazed at how difficult it was to understand. And the fee calculator

00:31:38   that Keesy just mentioned, you're like, "Oh, it's hard to understand, but

00:31:42   whatever your questions are, I'm sure you can just go to the fee calculator and click a bunch

00:31:46   of buttons, kind of like you do in AWS, to figure out, okay, but what about in this scenario?

00:31:50   How much would I pay? What about in this scenario? How much would I pay?" And let me tell you, the fee calculator

00:31:54   does not answer almost any of those questions. So we got all this

00:31:58   information, we tried to figure out what they meant, and it took

00:32:02   the entire community of, I think, pretty smart people who have been following Apple for decades

00:32:06   at least 24 hours to get a handle on this.

00:32:10   And so, if you just heard us read all that and you're like, "Wait,

00:32:14   what does this mean? So what's the deal?

00:32:18   Is this good? Is this bad?" You can be forgiven for not

00:32:22   being able to answer that question. And I don't know if Apple is intentionally

00:32:26   making it difficult to understand, because that doesn't make sense to me. We're going to figure it out.

00:32:30   We did, as we'll see in a second, figure out what the deal is. I think it just did a

00:32:34   really poor job of communicating it. And that fee calculator is a thing that annoys me the most

00:32:38   because the whole point of you putting that there is like, we know it's complicated,

00:32:42   but if you have some scenario in your mind, just use this webpage and it will give you

00:32:46   the answer. And it absolutely does not. You cannot answer tons of

00:32:50   really good important questions about this system using the fee calculator. But

00:32:54   thankfully, we all as a community figured it out. Gruber had a great summary

00:32:58   on his website, which we will link, and I think it is probably the most condensed version

00:33:02   of what, you know, what does all that mean?

00:33:06   And there's a lot of stuff in there that we went through. It's like, okay, I kind of understand that, but it's not a big deal.

00:33:10   But in the middle there, where Casey was talking about business terms in the

00:33:14   EU, that's the heart of it, and that's what Gruber

00:33:18   is summarizing here. And I don't think Apple has made this

00:33:22   artificially complicated and hard to understand. What

00:33:26   they're doing, first of all, is responding and

00:33:30   attempting to comply with a very large piece of legislation. Like, the DMA

00:33:34   is huge. There are tons of provisions in it. There's tons

00:33:38   of little details they have to comply with. And so

00:33:42   their submission of how they're going to do this

00:33:46   is kind of inherently going to be fairly complicated.

00:33:50   Just at all. Even if they did it in the most generous way possible,

00:33:54   it would still be fairly complicated. But also, again, this is

00:33:58   Apple, and this is the App Store. And it goes further than the

00:34:02   App Store, of course. And so they are only doing

00:34:06   what they need to to comply with this, and no more than that

00:34:10   for the most part. And so if the law says you have

00:34:14   to do this, this, and this, they're not going to make some general solution that's going to

00:34:18   make it easier to explain. They're going to say, fine, we're going to do exactly

00:34:22   that, that, and that in the most minimal way possible. So

00:34:26   that's, again, why this is a lot. There's a lot to digest here.

00:34:30   And they're going to make sure that they don't give away a cent more

00:34:34   than they have to. And so that's, again, why some of this is complicated.

00:34:38   But again, I don't think it's artificially so. I think they just

00:34:42   didn't do a good job communicating, though. Because, like, go ahead, start on Gruber summary.

00:34:46   Because Gruber summary makes sense. And you say, oh, that's what all that stuff you just

00:34:50   read means. Now I get it. And this summary we have in here, and it's linked on it,

00:34:54   it's on his website, is longer than his original summary when he was working on this.

00:34:58   It started off being 14 lines of text. Like 14

00:35:02   not complete lines. 14 bullet point lines of text. It was

00:35:06   less than a quarter of a page of text. And Apple released pages upon pages

00:35:10   upon pages of text, and all of us scratching our heads for an entire day trying to figure out

00:35:14   what the heck they were talking about. All right, so Gruber summary. Number one,

00:35:18   these are your choices. This is business terms. You're like, wait, but if I

00:35:22   have an app, like, what's the deal? Am I going to happen to you? What is the deal?

00:35:26   What are the choices? And this is essentially the flow chart. The choose your own adventure.

00:35:30   So you want to sell an app in the EU. Here are your choices.

00:35:34   Number one, you can stay in the App Store under the current

00:35:38   pre-DMA rules exclusively. Developers that take this option are not

00:35:42   permitted to use any of the new business terms available in the EU, but new iOS

00:35:46   platform options for the EU, such as alternative browser engines, are allowed.

00:35:50   Because they are required to be allowed. Again, none of the

00:35:54   goodness of Apple's heart. Right. Because nothing business-related changes under this option, the existing

00:35:58   worldwide rules apply for paid apps, subscriptions, and in-app purchases, including the 30

00:36:02   or 15 percent commission to Apple, and a requirement that apps exclusively

00:36:06   use Apple's App Store payment system. The core technology fee,

00:36:10   that's that half euro thing that we keep dancing around, is not collected

00:36:14   because the business terms haven't changed. Well, and just, so that's

00:36:18   choice number one. Choice number one is whatever the pill color that I always forget.

00:36:22   Like, take this pill and you'll stay in the matrix and nothing changes. Right?

00:36:26   It's like, it's the easiest to understand option. Even though Apple is doing all this stuff,

00:36:30   they are still saying, "Hey, all this stuff that we're doing, if you don't

00:36:34   understand it, or don't want it, or don't like it, you can keep things exactly

00:36:38   as they are." Which is the option that Apple would prefer that you take.

00:36:42   Indeed. So that's number one. Option two, you can opt into the

00:36:46   new EU rules, and all sub-options which we'll go through available

00:36:50   under this choice require paying the core technology fee,

00:36:54   that's the half euro thing, for each app with over a million downloads in the EU.

00:36:58   So, sub-bullet number one. After opting into the

00:37:02   new EU rules, developers can choose to remain in the App Store and

00:37:06   use Apple's App Store payment system at 20 and 13 percent

00:37:10   commission, plus the core technology fee paid to Apple automatically.

00:37:14   Or, they can use a custom in-app payment system, like Stripe,

00:37:18   at 17 and 10 percent, so that's a decrease of 3 percent, both ways,

00:37:22   percent commission, and the CTF is paid, the core technology fee is paid

00:37:26   to Apple by hand, if you will. Or, they can use external links

00:37:30   from inside apps to the web for payments and subscriptions, which is still 17 or

00:37:34   10 percent, and they still have to pay the core technology fee to Apple by hand.

00:37:38   The latter two options, using your own payment system or linking out to the web,

00:37:42   those are similar to the things that happened in the US

00:37:46   last week, the announced last week external payment link entitlement policy

00:37:50   regarding the developers' obligation to track these payments, report sales

00:37:54   to Apple monthly, and submit to audits by Apple to ensure compliance.

00:37:58   So, the fork that we took on the road was, keep everything the same as they are,

00:38:02   and then the other choice, the other major fork you can take is, you get

00:38:06   the new EU rules. Now, once you have the new EU rules, what Casey just read is, okay,

00:38:10   so you've got the new EU rules. Next choice is, under the new

00:38:14   EU rules, do you want to still be in the App Store? And that's what he read here. It's like,

00:38:18   okay, if you're still in the App Store, you have a choice. Stay in the App Store, use Apple stuff, stay in the App Store,

00:38:22   use a different payment process, stay in the App Store, or just link out to a payment thing.

00:38:26   Those are the rules. And notice, if you choose the new EU rules,

00:38:30   and you want to stay in the App Store, every option under staying in the App Store

00:38:34   under the new EU rules is different than if you had not chosen the new EU rules

00:38:38   and stayed under the App Store. So, if you're like, well, I've just decided I'm going to stay

00:38:42   in the App Store. That's not your top-level choice. Your top-level choice is, keep everything the same

00:38:46   as it was, or take these new EU rules, and if you take the

00:38:50   new EU rules, you can still be in the App Store, but the deal is different.

00:38:54   In particular, as Rupert notes, every single one of the options under the new rules

00:38:58   adds the core technology fee to all the different things you can do.

00:39:02   And of course, you have new options, because under the EU rules, if you stay in the App Store,

00:39:06   you can do things like use an entirely different payment processor. And there's also a couple

00:39:10   of asterisks on that too. Like, for instance, if you choose to opt into the new

00:39:14   EU rules for an app, you can never change back for that app.

00:39:18   So, that's a big thing.

00:39:22   So, anyway, you take the new EU rules, you stay in the App Store.

00:39:26   Now, it's you take the new EU rules, and what's the next option, Casey?

00:39:30   So, then you can distribute apps in one or more third-party marketplaces.

00:39:34   You have no option to use the Apple App Store payment processing, because the apps

00:39:38   aren't coming from the App Store. The only money due to Apple is the core technology fee.

00:39:42   There's no commission percentage on in-app transactions or links to the web.

00:39:46   You're on your own, it's the Wild West, you just gotta pay us a half-euro

00:39:50   for the million and first, and so on, user and install,

00:39:54   and so on and so forth. Which actually, this is actually

00:39:58   I think pretty surprising. So, yes, if

00:40:02   you totally bail out of the App Store, and if you are only distributing

00:40:06   your app in a third-party App Store,

00:40:10   I'm not gonna say app marketplaces, so third-party App Store,

00:40:14   then you only pay the core technology fee. You only pay that half-euro

00:40:18   per user after a million. So, that's actually

00:40:22   I think surprisingly reasonable in context of like

00:40:26   what Apple even would consider doing. I would have guessed

00:40:30   that they would have done that whole like, you know, submit to us your financial reports

00:40:34   and pay us a commission kind of thing on this. I don't think that was allowed in the text

00:40:38   of the DMA, essentially. Probably not. I think that they were forced to

00:40:42   that's kind of, we'll talk about it in a little bit, that's kind of the reason CTF exists, is I think the option

00:40:46   that you're describing, even Apple didn't think they could pretend that that's

00:40:50   complying. So, yeah, so that's basically the

00:40:54   story, and... Well, now you forgot the exclusivity part. Options one and two

00:40:58   are exclusive. Options one and two being, do you want to stay in the App Store and do

00:41:02   everything the same the way it is now, or do you want to opt into the new EU rules? And that's what Margaret was talking about before.

00:41:06   Once you make that choice, it's irrevocable. Apple says

00:41:10   developers who adopt the new business terms at any time will not be able

00:41:14   to switch back to Apple's existing business terms through their EU apps. So, say you opt into

00:41:18   the new EU rules and you're like, "Ah, turns out it was a mistake. We don't like this new system.

00:41:22   We want to go back." Apple says, "Nope." It's a one-way

00:41:26   door. If you decide you want to use the new EU rules, whether you're under the new EU rules

00:41:30   in the App Store or whether you're under the new EU rules outside the App Store, there's

00:41:34   no going back. That is that. So, I don't know.

00:41:38   When I first read all this, it seemed super reasonable to me, surprisingly

00:41:42   reasonable to me, and then some people started doing the

00:41:46   mathematics on... Wait, this is Europe. I believe you mean the maths.

00:41:50   I'm sorry, yes. This is the EU after all, so they did the maths. Actually, I guess

00:41:54   the UK is not in the EU anymore, so you can say whatever you want. That's right. I don't know if they say maths

00:41:58   as any other countries. See, this is why I said mathematics, you big jerk.

00:42:02   Let it slide. Go ahead. Actually, before...

00:42:06   There's one more minor point of the things that Apple described. This is

00:42:10   the flow chart that Apple didn't provide that I have drawn here in the notes.

00:42:14   It isn't really in Gruber summary, but it's implied by Gruber summary, and there's a little bit more to know

00:42:18   here. What is the flow? What is the process diagram? You've got all these rules.

00:42:22   You can opt into this rule, opt into that rule, but say you are a developer.

00:42:26   Regardless of which path you chose on this little choose your own adventure. Option one, option two, EU rules,

00:42:30   not EU rules, App Store, not App Store, whatever. How does this all work?

00:42:34   And the way it works if you just have an app is you are a developer and you have an app,

00:42:38   you... Everybody, no matter what rule you choose, you

00:42:42   take your app and you send it to Apple. But you don't

00:42:46   send it directly to the people who review apps right now for the App Store.

00:42:50   Instead, you send it to this new process, which I don't know what Apple calls

00:42:54   it. I just call it the Apple review in this diagram. But this is a

00:42:58   a new process that is a very tiny subset of

00:43:02   App Review. Apple, you will send your app to Apple, presumably through

00:43:06   Xcode, and Apple will look at your app and they will do a bunch

00:43:10   of checks. And this is the list from Apple for the checks. They're

00:43:14   calling a notarization for iOS, although I feel like it's a little bit more than that because

00:43:18   they use it. Yes. Anyway, they will check for accuracy. Apps

00:43:22   must accurately represent the developer capabilities and cost to users. Functionality

00:43:26   binaries must be reviewable, free from serious bugs and crashes, blah, blah, blah. Like,

00:43:30   you know, does it work? The apps cannot manipulate software or hardware in ways that negatively

00:43:34   impact the user experience. Safety apps cannot promote physical harm of the user or public

00:43:38   security. Apps cannot enable distribution of malware or suspicious unwanted software

00:43:42   that cannot download executable code, read outside the container or direct users to lower the security of their

00:43:46   system or device. Apps must also provide transparency to allow user consent

00:43:50   to enable any party to access the system or device or reconfigure the system or software.

00:43:54   And privacy apps cannot collect or transmit private sensitive data

00:43:58   without a user's knowledge in a manner contrary to the stated purpose of the software.

00:44:02   And it kind of implied all this is you can't use private APIs, right? So

00:44:06   this is way less than App Store Review. This is like

00:44:10   just does your app work? Is it not a super

00:44:14   obvious scam? Does it not use private APIs? Every

00:44:18   single app under these rules goes through this phase, this very

00:44:22   limited, very strict phase. Importantly,

00:44:26   they don't care what's in your app. Is your app filled with porn? Is

00:44:30   it a Nintendo emulator? Does it have pictures of Star Wars

00:44:34   characters all over that you didn't license? This phase does

00:44:38   not care. It just wants to know, does it crash? Does it run? Does it do what it says it does?

00:44:42   Does it not use private APIs, which I think is a pretty big one? Does it not steal people's data?

00:44:46   Does it not direct them to lower the security of their iPhone? That's all they're checking for.

00:44:50   Every single app will go through this, presumably the ones that go to the App Store as well, because the

00:44:54   App Review is doing this stuff anyway. Then, after you clear that phase,

00:44:58   then there's a fork in the road and says, "Okay, well, were you submitting this to the App Store, or

00:45:02   were you submitting this to a third-party marketplace?" And if you submitted to a third-party

00:45:06   marketplace, the third-party marketplace receives the apps that are in it

00:45:10   from Apple. Developers don't submit their apps directly

00:45:14   to a third-party marketplace. And we'll get to, like, you know, who would make a third-party marketplace and why.

00:45:18   It still goes through Apple. So if you're making a third-party marketplace, you're

00:45:22   getting a funnel of app submissions from Apple, because by the time you get

00:45:26   them, Apple has done all these checks to make sure it's not

00:45:30   super-duper terrible. So if you're wondering, like, "Oh, this takes Apple out of

00:45:34   the equation, and now they're no longer a bottleneck for..." Everything

00:45:38   still has to go through Apple. Yeah, which is interesting. I mean, this

00:45:42   again is not how I would have guessed this would be done. And

00:45:46   again, like, you know, part of this, probably a big part of this is, you know, Apple

00:45:50   still wants to have some form of app review. Obviously the DMA

00:45:54   and whatever related legislation there might be in Europe, the DMA

00:45:58   is going to limit what they can review and what they can prohibit

00:46:02   in this way. So yes, they're allowed to interfere, basically, with their

00:46:06   third-party app stores and say, "Well, you still can't have, like, a virus in there."

00:46:10   Or, "You still can't have stuff that's misleading users."

00:46:14   But they can't say things like, "You can't have porn," or, you know,

00:46:18   as John was saying, like, you know, certain copyright issues. And I was thinking, too, like, you know,

00:46:22   all of the, you know, cryptocurrency scam apps

00:46:26   and scam companies, because they're all scams... Wait, I was going to say cryptocurrency

00:46:30   scam. That's redundant, isn't it? I mean, I think a lot of crypto stuff

00:46:34   would go through, because it doesn't technically violate any of these things, even though, like... That's what I'm

00:46:38   saying. Like, that's somebody else who might want to use this, because, like, you know, Apple's had

00:46:42   a lot of rules around certain types of content that they found either

00:46:46   objectionable or just too dangerous or messy to deal with. Things

00:46:50   like porn, you know, crypto stuff...

00:46:54   Real money gambling. Yeah, real money gambling, certain political apps, like, there are certain

00:46:58   things that Apple just has not allowed in the app store, just kind of, you know, content-based

00:47:02   decisions. And it seems like under the DMA, there...

00:47:06   Through the third-party marketplace process, they don't seem like

00:47:10   they're either allowed or even interested in policing that kind of

00:47:14   thing, because it's kind of out of their hands at that point. But they are allowed to,

00:47:18   at least so far, you know, we'll see what the European Commission says, you know, if they go back on any of this stuff,

00:47:22   but they see... It seems like they are allowed to at least do basic functionality

00:47:26   checks of, you know, basic, you know, representation and security matters.

00:47:30   Yeah, that's written right into the DMA. The DMA essentially has language that says,

00:47:34   you know, just because we're telling you you have to have third-party app stores,

00:47:38   that doesn't mean you can't check for, like, very basic,

00:47:42   you know, there's a whole bunch of language, I think it might be lower in the notes, so we'll get to eventually. It's like,

00:47:46   to ensure the integrity of the platform, like, you don't want someone to download an app

00:47:50   that's going to fry their phone or steal all their data, like, that is written into the... Because remember,

00:47:54   this is the EU, the same body that added all those annoying cookie

00:47:58   restrictions. So they're on board with trying to do these safety things, and

00:48:02   they explicitly say Apple's allowed to do it. And at the top when I said, like, what

00:48:06   is the DMA, it's, you know, it's the European Union thinking there's

00:48:10   insufficient competition in the market for digital goods and apps in the app store

00:48:14   and they think there should be more of it. I think that is the...

00:48:18   When looking at this giant list of rules before you get into the nitty-gritty details, it's worth

00:48:22   considering, does the DMA accomplish

00:48:26   that goal? Assuming what Apple has, you know, put forward

00:48:30   here is compliant, which remains to be seen. I

00:48:34   think in one way it does, and we were just touching on

00:48:38   that with this, with this, the Apple review process that they

00:48:42   do a minimal number of checks, right? Because previously, before the

00:48:46   DMA, there were certain kinds of apps that you just could not

00:48:50   get on your iPhone unless you were, like, a developer, did some weird enterprise thing or whatever, right?

00:48:54   Because Apple didn't want them, right? Under the DMA, even under Apple's

00:48:58   rules, there are kinds of apps that can now get on your phone

00:49:02   through a regular third-party app store that couldn't get there before, whether that's

00:49:06   porn apps or gambling apps or Nintendo emulators

00:49:10   or just, you know, there's so many kinds of apps that Apple just doesn't want. Oh, that's too much

00:49:14   like an Apple app. I don't like that because it looks too much like Springboard. The number

00:49:18   of different kinds of apps that Apple does not allow on the App Store is

00:49:22   vast. You might not know about them or think about them because they don't get through,

00:49:26   right? And if you don't see some story about it, you don't know that someone was thinking of making

00:49:30   an app like X and it got rejected for some reason and it doesn't make any sense to you. All we know is there are

00:49:34   apps that previously couldn't get through that under this new plan will

00:49:38   be able to. So that is one thing the DMA was trying to do, which is like, hey, it seems

00:49:42   unfair that Apple gets to decide what kinds of apps

00:49:46   are even allowed. And it's not just porn and bad things like that.

00:49:50   It's like I said, it's apps that, like, Apple decides, you know, have a picture of an iPhone

00:49:54   in them or mention iOS or look too much like

00:49:58   Springboard or like or look too much like an app store or just

00:50:02   so many things that Apple doesn't allow. It's all just going to be like

00:50:06   crypto farts and copyright infringement. I mean, there's going to be a lot of that.

00:50:10   But anyway, this provides that. The second thing of like,

00:50:14   okay, well, we don't think there's enough competition in the marketplace. The complaint that we

00:50:18   often talk about in the show is developers feel like Apple

00:50:22   takes too big of a cut of the money that is made through the app store.

00:50:26   They feel like Apple deserves maybe some, but they don't think

00:50:30   that the amount that they're giving to Apple seems like too much for what they're getting in return.

00:50:34   We've discussed this a million times, whether they're right or wrong about that, that's how they feel. And that is

00:50:38   the second leg of this thing. Does the DMA and these rules complying

00:50:42   with it allow, address that in any way?

00:50:46   And I think, to spoil my opinion that we'll get into the nitty-gritty

00:50:50   details of, I think that it doesn't. I think that

00:50:54   Apple has cleverly designed these rules such that it is not a clear

00:50:58   cut financial win to do this. And if that was one of the goals of

00:51:02   like there should be a way where you can get apps on the iPhone and pay Apple a lot less money,

00:51:06   I don't think overall this provides that. In some cases, yes.

00:51:10   In some cases, massively no. And we'll talk about

00:51:14   who's going to even run a third-party marketplace, because if nobody runs a third-party marketplace, this is moot,

00:51:18   right? For both of these things. And I think Apple has done a pretty good

00:51:22   job of making sure that financially speaking, it's

00:51:26   not a clear win to go with the EU rules. And that, I

00:51:30   think, is the biggest knock against their compliance.

00:51:34   Because you can say, okay, well, they are allowing apps that they weren't allowed before,

00:51:38   right? You can see a path for them to get through to users, I see that happening here.

00:51:42   But that is only one complaint that people had, one

00:51:46   aspect of competition. The other aspect is Apple is taking too much money. And Apple is like,

00:51:50   no matter what you do, no matter where you go, you will always be

00:51:54   paying us the same amount of money you are now or more. And no matter what laws

00:51:58   you pass, we're smarter than you, and we will make sure that

00:52:02   we get the same amount of money we're getting now or more. And

00:52:06   that, I think, is the absolute worst part of this thing. And you may be reading and you say, what do you

00:52:10   mean? Their cuts are lower and the other CTF thing, but it's only over a million, how

00:52:14   are they paying more money? And, you know, in the week that this story has been going on, people

00:52:18   have been starting to do the math, and in some cases, yeah, you can make more money. In other

00:52:22   cases, you will be paying Apple literally billions of dollars a year

00:52:26   for the privilege of distributing a free app.

00:52:30   That, I think, is, what I think will ultimately happen with

00:52:34   this is not a lot. Because,

00:52:38   again, Apple, as John said, Apple is very good at making sure they keep making

00:52:42   money. They are very good at that. The same amount of money or more?

00:52:46   Exactly. And yeah, there might be certain apps where that

00:52:50   won't be the case for, where they can figure out, you know, if they can squeeze a bit more money out by doing these new

00:52:54   terms. That's the one loophole that Apple left here. And it's not

00:52:58   really a loophole, but I think it's weird and perverse and it's strange to me that Apple didn't think of it.

00:53:02   If you look at the rules, Gerber's rules, not the fee calculator,

00:53:06   it may occur to you that if you sell a paid up-front app through a

00:53:10   third-party app store, you pay Apple nothing. You also earn nothing.

00:53:14   Right. So, Apple is so sure

00:53:18   that paid up-front apps are just a dud, like a relic of

00:53:22   the past that no one will ever do, that they left it open. So say you do

00:53:26   a paid up-front app that costs $20. That 50% CTF fee, you're like,

00:53:30   "I'm making $20 pure profit, minus 3% for my payment processor,

00:53:34   minus 50 cents for Apple? Who cares?" Minus whatever

00:53:38   the third-party app marketplace is going to charge you, which is not nothing.

00:53:42   Right. But whatever. The whole point of the third-party ad marketplace is, in theory,

00:53:46   they'd be competitive with Apple or whatever. But that's a loophole. And the reason that's there, I have to assume,

00:53:50   is, like Marco said, nobody buys paid up-front apps.

00:53:54   And I do wonder if this is compliant and goes through in any

00:53:58   way, if this will be a perverse incentive to say, "Everything old is new again! Pay up-front

00:54:02   apps for $10!" And you'd be like, "Why is this happening?"

00:54:06   And it's like, well, the rules that Apple laid out allow that

00:54:10   to be a way to safely make money. It always has been a way to safely make money,

00:54:14   just no one ever wants to do it. That's why it has essentially become almost extinct on the

00:54:18   App Store. Not extinct. I know there are apps out there that do that, but it is so much less popular

00:54:22   than it was in the beginning. Everything is free with in-app purchase,

00:54:26   and the CTF makes free with in-app purchase a potentially bankrupting thing.

00:54:30   Just to be clear why everyone is against the CTF.

00:54:34   For the CTF, after you're million and first user,

00:54:38   you pay 50 cents for every install per year, no matter what

00:54:42   that person does with your app. And if your app is free to download and that person never makes a purchase,

00:54:46   you're paying 50% for them year after year. If they leave it on their home screen, and if you

00:54:50   do more than one software update per year, that update counts it as an install,

00:54:54   and you're just paying 50 euro cents per user,

00:54:58   per install, year after year after year. So you better hope

00:55:02   the value of your customer is more than 50 cents

00:55:06   per year. And if you have a free app where you don't sell anything

00:55:10   or you have a free app with a conversion rate of in-app purchase that is too low to provide that,

00:55:14   you are just bleeding money left and right. So all these big companies that have hundreds of millions

00:55:18   of customers in the EU for a free app, that adds up to

00:55:22   millions or billions of dollars. Which may be worth it for these big rich companies, but if you are a

00:55:28   small developer and you have a, say you're WidgetSmith, and your app goes viral

00:55:32   and millions of people download your app, and you get like a 1%

00:55:36   conversion rate, and you're like, uh oh, now I have to, is that 1% conversion rate

00:55:40   equal average out to 50 euro cents per user? Because if it doesn't, I am now in the red

00:55:44   for my incredibly successful app. Which is just such a poison

00:55:48   pill. And I'm not the first to use the term poison pill, but it is such

00:55:52   a poison pill. And on the one side, you gotta give Apple credit

00:55:56   like, it's slimy, but they made it work, and they presented it

00:56:00   in a reasonably not slimy way, insofar as it seemed like

00:56:04   a good deal, for which I guess it's even more slimy, right? But it seemed like a good deal at first.

00:56:08   And then the more you eat into it, the more you're like, ew, oh, oh.

00:56:12   If I have more than a million users, surely I'm making money. And it's like, right. By the way, that's

00:56:16   not users, that's installs. Like, how many apps do you have on your phone

00:56:20   that you install? Yeah, exactly, not install. It's like, someone installed it and left it on their

00:56:24   home screen. Or if it installed directly to the app library.

00:56:28   Like, you'll never see it again. I'm just thinking like, on my own

00:56:32   phone, I probably have over a hundred apps on there that I installed at some

00:56:36   point in the past and don't actively use. And auto updates is on by

00:56:40   default every year. Again, if those developers release at least one

00:56:44   update per year, which let's be honest, if your app is actively maintained, you're releasing at least one

00:56:48   update per year, every year, you're costing that person 50

00:56:52   euro cents a year after you, and you never use their app. You're never going to buy anything

00:56:56   in it. It was a free download. Like, the current model of the App Store, where

00:57:00   the popular apps are free to download and they have in-app purchase, that

00:57:04   model, the CTF makes that model incredibly dangerous.

00:57:08   Or incredibly known, incredibly costly for the big apps,

00:57:12   Facebook, Spotify, you know, all these apps that are free to download and have a free

00:57:16   way to use them, and they are distributed in the

00:57:20   millions, that's going to cost those companies so much money if they want to be

00:57:24   at a third-party app store. And one of the things I'm not entirely clear about is

00:57:28   let's say Facebook decides they want to accept the EU rules

00:57:32   and distribute through a third-party marketplace and pay 50% per install,

00:57:36   Facebook can eat that cost because they'll pay 500 million dollars

00:57:40   per year every year to Apple, whatever, they'll do it because in exchange

00:57:44   they get more information about the user or they own the customer or whatever they want to do.

00:57:48   But if they do that,

00:57:52   do they have to remove Facebook from the regular App Store? We already know they can't go back

00:57:56   to the old rules. Can they have the app in both places? Do they have to

00:58:00   start a new subsidiary to do this, to isolate the actual meta from

00:58:04   this thing, and in that case, could they not use the Facebook... Or is there just like a new, like,

00:58:08   Facebook EU app? Yeah, like, can they use the Facebook name?

00:58:12   Like, can you have... All these people are talking about like, well, I'll just make a new legal entity

00:58:16   to do this so I don't have to worry about it, or is Apple going to frown upon that?

00:58:20   This gets back to the whole idea that Apple is the bottleneck for all of this stuff, and

00:58:24   although they've said they're not going to stop certain kinds of apps, what they might stop is, oh, I can see that you

00:58:28   incorporated a new legal entity to try to skirt our rules about you not being able to

00:58:32   have your cake and eat it too. So, remains to be seen if that'll work.

00:58:36   Also, one, as I've talked about in the past before we knew what Apple

00:58:40   was going to do here, I've mentioned how there was this kind of doomsday scenario

00:58:44   I really hoped wouldn't happen as a developer, which is

00:58:48   I was really hoping that Facebook wouldn't say, you know what,

00:58:52   once we have third-party app stores or sideloading, I was thinking, you know, Facebook would say, all right,

00:58:56   we're going to pull our apps from the app store, you know, these apps that have billions

00:59:00   of users around the world that everyone has to have on their phone, you know, the actual Facebook

00:59:04   app, Instagram, WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, like, these are like their core apps

00:59:08   that have just billions of users, and I was afraid

00:59:12   Facebook would say, all right, we're going to make our own app store, our apps will be exclusive to our app store,

00:59:16   therefore everybody will install our app store, and then all of a sudden you have

00:59:20   a very, very powerful third-party app store that

00:59:24   would start interfering with the market in ways that would, you know, kind of force me as a developer

00:59:28   probably to play ball with them. So that's like, that was my doomsday scenario, I really didn't want that to happen.

00:59:32   It seems like the way Apple has implemented this, so first of all, I can

00:59:36   strongly recommend, speaking of cases saying Poison Pill, the episode of

00:59:40   Upgrade that came out a couple days ago, which I believe was titled Poison Pill,

00:59:44   Jason went through a lot of these details on there, and there were some details that he had

00:59:48   that I didn't know, so for instance, on this point, on third-party app store

00:59:52   point, what Jason reported was that there was a clause in here, which I haven't had time to verify,

00:59:56   but there's a clause that if you run a third-party app store, you can't just

01:00:00   run it for your own company's apps, which is a pretty huge, you know, clause.

01:00:04   So what that means is Facebook can't run their

01:00:08   own app store that just has their apps. Now, I have no doubt

01:00:12   if Facebook is going to, you know, do something, do a move here,

01:00:16   I have no doubt that they could do something, because you know, what maybe a lot

01:00:20   of non-developers might not know is that Facebook is a huge

01:00:24   source of app install ads. Many apps that get installed

01:00:28   on many phones across the world get installed through Facebook ads in some

01:00:32   form. So Facebook would have a pretty strong incentive to build some kind of

01:00:36   integrated system where you can have, you know, you pay Facebook to advertise your

01:00:40   app, Facebook hosts your app, or you know, through the third-party marketplace

01:00:44   system here, Facebook then can directly install

01:00:48   your app directly from a user tapping an ad or whatever else it is. So there's, there are

01:00:52   reasons why Facebook might want to build like a larger store system here.

01:00:56   Fortunately for my goal of having that not happen,

01:01:00   I think the core technology fee will mostly kill

01:01:04   that, because the economics of it are so

01:01:08   rough. Like, cause first of all, the store itself

01:01:12   like the, whatever, you know, if you make a third-party app store, that is an

01:01:16   app that pays the CTF on every install, even below a million.

01:01:20   So, and how much money does your third-party app store make?

01:01:24   Right? So you have to make 50% per installed instance of your

01:01:28   app store for every single user who has it. I love that none of us know what 50 euro

01:01:32   cents are called. Like we just keep saying different things. We'll just say half euro.

01:01:36   We say 50 cents, it's fine. But it's not 50 cents. It's 50 euro cents.

01:01:40   Do they call it that? Probably not. I don't know, but that's what I'm calling it.

01:01:44   Anyway, like so, so suppose Facebook did this. They're gonna

01:01:48   pay 50 euro cents. Euro cents, it's fine. They're gonna

01:01:52   pay a half euro for every installation of the Facebook app store.

01:01:56   Then they're also, cause they have so many users, they're also gonna be way past a million.

01:02:00   So they have a half euro for the app store app itself. Then another

01:02:04   half euro for each of their installed apps on everyone's phone.

01:02:08   That's gonna add up to quite a bit. And all of

01:02:12   this would only be usable in the EU.

01:02:16   So it's not that they could do this worldwide and pull their apps from all of the

01:02:20   app store stuff. Like they would do all this and jump through all these

01:02:24   hoops and pay all these fees only for something that

01:02:28   works in the EU. So that's like, I can't imagine

01:02:32   this is going to be used by pretty much anybody

01:02:36   huge, like the big tech companies, like the big worldwide tech companies,

01:02:40   I can't really see doing this. What I foresee happening here

01:02:44   is the EU will have a couple of third

01:02:48   party app stores that are gonna be filled mostly with porn and crypto

01:02:52   and stuff like that, that is just not allowed in the regular app store. And

01:02:56   the economics of it won't be that beneficial to almost anyone

01:03:00   except Apple. And that'll be fine.

01:03:04   And I don't even know if those app stores will be sustainable though. Like I'm trying to think of who's

01:03:08   like we asked about who's gonna run the third, who's gonna use that linking, third party linking payment thing

01:03:12   we talked about before the DMA and it was like the only benefit was ownership to the customer

01:03:16   and some flexibility there. But this one's even worse because like lots of people

01:03:20   may think, I want to run a third party app store in the EU. But then you look at what

01:03:24   what's involved. First of all, you need a million euro line of credit, which is no problem for

01:03:28   any big company. But if you're just an individual user who thinks you want to have your own app

01:03:32   store, that's an immediate barrier to entry. And then

01:03:36   what you just said before, Margaret, like Apple's rules say you can't just have an app

01:03:40   store and like, OK, but the only apps allowed in the app store are my apps. You can't do that. You essentially

01:03:44   have to make an app store that allows submissions from anybody who wants to submit.

01:03:48   Now, I'm sure there are loopholes in there because you could say, OK, well

01:03:52   I'll be just like the Apple app store and I'll allow submissions from anybody.

01:03:56   But have you seen my set of rules? It's even more Byzantine than the real

01:04:00   app store. And I can reject things for any reason because I decided that you've included

01:04:04   a rectangle that is shaped like my grandma's house and oh, there's clause 13.3.1

01:04:08   if any rectangle is shaped like her grandma's house, I'm rejecting your app.

01:04:12   Like I don't think Apple can police the rules that each app store provides.

01:04:16   But you can't say like from day one, sorry, we're not accepting

01:04:20   submissions. You have to accept and process a submission. So now you are opening

01:04:24   the doors to accept and process submissions even if you're rejecting them based on lots of stuff.

01:04:28   So if you think you're like an individual developer who's going to run a store, are you

01:04:32   ready to accept and review app submissions? Maybe no one will submit to you.

01:04:36   Maybe a million people will submit to you. Now you're on the hook to do a lot of complicated stuff.

01:04:40   And of course, you have to pay 50 euro cents for every single person who installs your app.

01:04:44   And then you have to decide how much of a cut am I going to take? Am I going to take

01:04:48   30% like Apple does? Am I going to demand 70%? Am I going to demand 1%?

01:04:52   Like what are the rules of your app store? Oh, now you have to hold all the accounting for dealing with those

01:04:56   rules. And are you going to have your own payment processing? It's part of the, like

01:05:00   building a third party app store, a third party marketplace on Apple's parlance

01:05:04   is non-trivial and it's very expensive to do

01:05:08   to have one at all. So it eliminates a lot of

01:05:12   people from doing it. Right? And then if you want your app store to be attractive

01:05:16   I feel like the whole point of this is you have to offer

01:05:20   something better than what the Apple's app store does. Because otherwise why would people

01:05:24   go to you? Maybe the better thing is, hey, I'll let you have porn apps. Right? But presumably

01:05:28   one of the better things is, I'll take less money than Apple. That's the whole point of one

01:05:32   big aspect of the competition. If you have third party app stores, A

01:05:36   they'll allow apps that Apple wouldn't and B, they'll take less money from you. And so

01:05:40   now you have to do that. So now you're already in a financially

01:05:44   advantageous situation. You're following the rules set by Apple who runs their own app store

01:05:48   and they set the rules up so that they know it's going to be really hard for you to

01:05:52   compete with them, but you have to compete with them otherwise your store isn't attractive at all.

01:05:56   Good luck making money there. And that's why the only people this probably makes sense

01:06:00   for are companies that can eat this. Like, you know, Facebook

01:06:04   will say, alright, so we're going to pay half a billion dollars to Apple

01:06:08   every year in perpetuity to have our

01:06:12   own app store, but it's worth it to us because we have those click through ads and now we can track who

01:06:16   bought the thing or it's more important for us to own the customer.

01:06:20   They have some strategic reason where it makes sense. But the reason is not

01:06:24   boy, we're going to make so much money off this meta app store in the EU.

01:06:28   Directly? You're probably not. It's probably going to be a cost center

01:06:32   and you're going to make it up in other parts of your business and it's strategic to you.

01:06:36   And it's still not entirely clear to me whether, if meta did that, whether they could

01:06:40   no longer have any of their apps in the plain old app store in the EU.

01:06:44   I don't think that's the case. I think they're allowed to have both, but they

01:06:48   might have to be separate apps. But they have to pay the CTF on the ones that are in the plain app store

01:06:52   because once they accept the EU rules, this is another thing in case it wasn't clear from before, once you accept the EU rules

01:06:56   even your apps that are in the Apple app store are subject to

01:07:00   the core technology fee. Oh, wait a minute. I don't think I knew. So it isn't per app?

01:07:04   Well, basically if you have an app in the app store and you accept the EU rules

01:07:08   you pay the CTF. Oh, well, let's clarify that.

01:07:12   It is. It's right up here. So, you know, option number two, you accept the EU rules and you remain in the app store

01:07:16   all the options have CTF. Oh, yeah, no, but I'm saying like, could Facebook

01:07:20   have the Facebook app for the rest of the world that stays the same, but then

01:07:24   Facebook EU over here. Oh, yeah, no, this is just within the EU. I'm saying within the

01:07:28   EU. Could you have the, you're living in the EU and you

01:07:32   launch the Apple app store, you see the Facebook app. You're living in the EU and you launch the meta app store

01:07:36   you see the Facebook app. Can the Facebook app be in both places as viewed by somebody in the EU?

01:07:40   No, I believe it has to be a different, I think it has to be a different bundle ID even, but

01:07:44   we'll see. And that's, yeah, so what I expect to happen

01:07:48   here, and by the way too, like your breakdown of the economics of the third party app store

01:07:52   is like two points in that. First of all, the CTF kills those economics

01:07:56   so for, you know, for everybody, for the app store owner itself and

01:08:00   for each individual developer, like, you know, if I wanted to submit my

01:08:04   app to a third party app store in the EU. First of all, again, like, you know,

01:08:08   I know they're going to turn me into something because like, the only reason people

01:08:12   want to run app stores is to make the same cut themselves.

01:08:16   Like, why do you think Epic is pushing so hard against Apple?

01:08:20   Epic runs their own game store and they take a percentage of all the sales in it. So, of

01:08:24   course, like, they just want it for themselves. That's why, well, it's not that they

01:08:28   want the cut of other people's, they just don't want to have to pay Apple. So, for example, when Apple distributes his

01:08:32   own apps through the app store, it doesn't pay itself 30%. Or if it did, it wouldn't make, it doesn't

01:08:36   make any sense, right? That's why the idea of an Epic app store that only sells Epic

01:08:40   apps, Epic loves that because like, sure, we'll pay ourselves 90%. We'll pay ourselves

01:08:44   100%. Like, it doesn't matter. They're their own apps. It's their own company and that's why

01:08:48   Apple has in the rules, oh, so you want to have an app store? You can't just have your own apps

01:08:52   in there. Essentially, as a way to avoid paying anything because like, we run the app store

01:08:56   so we don't have to pay ourselves. That's the advantage that Apple has. They run the app store.

01:09:00   They don't have to pay 30% of all their, you know, so Apple has

01:09:04   made it so that that is not an attractive thing to do. Like, no, you have to accept submissions. You're like,

01:09:08   do I really want to run an app store to deal with other people's apps? I don't want

01:09:12   other people's apps. I just want to pay less. And then if you just want to pay less, you may be out there saying,

01:09:16   okay, I'm not going to run my own app store. I'll just wait to see the C of

01:09:20   third-party app stores that pop up and I'll pick the one that has the lowest rate. And what we're trying to say

01:09:24   is there's not going to be a C of third-party app stores because running a third-party app

01:09:28   store is not a great deal. And if any do exist, they're probably

01:09:32   going to be similar or worse deals than Apple for everybody involved, which I feel

01:09:36   like is not in the spirit of the DMA. We're just

01:09:40   trying to increase competition. And again, the only thing I feel like the DMA is

01:09:44   successfully accomplishing, if this is deemed to be compliant, is apps that you couldn't

01:09:48   get before now you can get in the EU. Everything else is just such a mess

01:09:52   that it is not helping anybody. Yeah, that's

01:09:56   the key. Because even as a developer, why would I submit my app

01:10:00   to a third-party app store? Because again, that means I'm going to start eating

01:10:04   the CTF for my app. That ruins economics.

01:10:08   Yeah, it ruins economics in the EU for me because it's a free app.

01:10:12   Yeah, so the economics of it are terrible.

01:10:16   The only reason, you're right, the only reason is if my app

01:10:20   type or business model or whatever, if something inherent about my app is just not

01:10:24   allowed in Apple's app store. And you somehow think you can get 50 cents

01:10:28   of value per customer per year. More than 50% of value per customer

01:10:32   per year. Because you have to be pretty confident. Plus whatever you're paying the app store.

01:10:36   Yeah, you have to be pretty confident that you can do that. Or you're just so confident that you're never going to be above a million

01:10:40   users or whatever. Yeah, so that's why I think this is

01:10:44   Apple has crafted this ingeniously so that

01:10:48   no one will use it, basically. It's going to be a very specialized

01:10:52   thing that almost no one's going to use and you're not going to hear

01:10:56   it. Because then the other thing too is like, suppose somebody

01:11:00   makes a third party app store. They jump through the hoops,

01:11:04   they actually create one, then they actually get developers to put

01:11:08   their apps in it and everyone somehow pays for the CTF and everything

01:11:12   else going along with this. You still have no users

01:11:16   for that app store. How does that get off the ground? And the more users you get,

01:11:20   it's 50 cents for every single one of those users starting from user number one.

01:11:24   So your idea of like, I'm running a third party app store, I need every single person

01:11:28   on Earth to install my... Oh no I don't. I really don't want that. Yeah, exactly.

01:11:32   The economics of it make no sense for any party involved except

01:11:36   Apple. Apple's going to keep making their money, of course. And no

01:11:40   developer, again, barring apps that are just not allowed,

01:11:44   no developer would or should enter this agreement

01:11:48   and no one's going to want to run the stores either. I do think it is significant

01:11:52   that Apple, everything still goes through Apple. Even though what they've said they're going to do

01:11:56   is, you know, like, okay, well they said they'll essentially

01:12:00   allow things through except for safety or whatever. The fact that there is a decision point, the fact

01:12:04   that everything still flows through Apple opens the door to so much abuse

01:12:08   of Apple just deciding, oh, we're not sure when we're going to get to that app,

01:12:12   we're really backed up right now. Oh, yeah, we found something

01:12:16   we think is a safety concern. Like, you know, the spirit of the

01:12:20   DMA, the idea that there shouldn't be this small number of companies with such out-sized

01:12:24   control, Apple still has all that control. They're just saying,

01:12:28   we won't use it in the same way as we did before. We'll only do the things that you allow

01:12:32   in the DMA. We're just checking for safety and stuff. And sometimes we might get a little backed up

01:12:36   and, oh, we might have a concern. Oh, because what's the recourse if

01:12:40   Apple rejects it at that app review phase before it gets to the third-party

01:12:44   app store? Apple's going to be like, oh, we thought there was a safety concern or it

01:12:48   falls under this letter of a thing. How long does it take to get that resolved?

01:12:52   What is the mechanism to get that resolved? It is like, you're not

01:12:56   cutting Apple out of this. You're just basically scolding them and

01:13:00   saying, no, you let through more apps than you did before.

01:13:04   And Apple says, okay, I guess we will. And if we don't,

01:13:08   something will happen. And that's, speaking of all of this, like, does this comply,

01:13:12   we keep referring to that. This is the somewhat delicious irony, although not so delicious

01:13:16   if it turns out that they're compliant. Apple has to submit this and say,

01:13:20   okay, we saw your DMA, here's what we're going to do to comply with it. And Apple did all this development

01:13:24   and made all these frameworks and wrote up all this documentation and did all this stuff.

01:13:28   But Apple doesn't know whether the thing they're proposing is actually

01:13:32   going to be deemed compliant. They only find that out after submitting it, which is

01:13:36   exactly how every developer feels when they spend a year developing an application

01:13:40   and they have no idea if it's going to get on the App Store until they submit it. I was reminded

01:13:44   of this today when I was looking at the Tapestry Kickstarter from the folks at Icon Factory.

01:13:48   Sort of like a grand unified timeline of all things

01:13:52   accessible on the net. We should put a link to it in the show notes. In the risks

01:13:56   section on the Kickstarter page, their number one risk, I believe, is we don't know

01:14:00   if Apple will allow this on the App Store. That is everybody's number one risk.

01:14:04   We talked about it before, how many people just choose not to develop an

01:14:08   application because they were afraid that Apple won't accept it. And is there a way to

01:14:12   get pre-clearance from Apple? Can you talk to Apple and say, "Hey, before we

01:14:16   spend a year and millions of dollars developing this app, can you just tell us whether you'll accept it on the App Store?" And Apple's

01:14:20   answer is, "Develop it, submit it to us, and we'll see." And that's kind of the EU's

01:14:24   thing here too. It's like, here's the rules, comply

01:14:28   with them and submit to us and we'll tell you whether you complied or not. I don't

01:14:32   know what the consequences are if they're not compliant or they just send it back to Apple and they keep going back and forth.

01:14:36   But anyway, Apple is in the same situation as developers. They're not

01:14:40   sure if this is going to comply. If the EU says this does comply, I think they're

01:14:44   not doing a good job because I feel like this does not comply with the spirit of

01:14:48   what the DMA is trying to accomplish in the way that it does. But if it doesn't comply,

01:14:52   I don't know what the rest of the process is. But it is, I do enjoy the fact that Apple

01:14:56   is in the same situation as we are. Of course, the difference is that they have a whole jillion dollars and we don't.

01:15:00   Indeed. Yeah, I mean, honestly, like, again,

01:15:04   because I really don't want third party app stores or sideloading

01:15:08   on iOS for lots of reasons, I'm actually on one level kind of

01:15:12   glad that Apple has found a way to cheat their way into this so that they

01:15:16   maintain all the control. Because like, you know, some of the things I was worried about with, for instance,

01:15:20   Facebook having, you know, less controlled access to the hardware

01:15:24   and software on so many people's phones. The way Apple has

01:15:28   wedged themselves into this kind of like half app review

01:15:32   process, even for apps that do this, I think that's good

01:15:36   to try to help prevent, you know, bad actors like Facebook

01:15:40   from doing the bad things that they do. And like I said, in the DMA, it says

01:15:44   that platform holders are allowed to do these

01:15:48   minimum things to essentially protect the integrity of the platform.

01:15:52   I'm glad overall, I'm glad that Apple has found a way

01:15:56   to seemingly still do a pretty thorough job of

01:16:00   protecting the basics of the platform and user experience and security and things like that.

01:16:04   One kind of downside to this though is like

01:16:08   now I feel like they will be able to

01:16:12   keep their current anti-competitive behavior

01:16:16   everywhere, including in the EU, and maybe even get

01:16:20   worse, get more severe at it, because now they can point to this and say, look, if you don't like it

01:16:24   we gave you an escape hatch. Yeah, if you don't like it, try one of these third party things.

01:16:28   Oh, there aren't any? I don't know why that happened. There aren't any except for the porn store?

01:16:32   Exactly. I mean, this is why regulation

01:16:36   is so difficult. Because, yeah, they identified a real problem.

01:16:40   I think the EU was right to look into this as a problem.

01:16:44   But the regulation they created has a lot of

01:16:48   loophole potential, as evidenced by what Apple was able to do here.

01:16:52   And as a result, the customer outcome, I don't think

01:16:56   will be that much better, and in some ways it could get worse, because

01:17:00   now they can even ramp up the abuses in their store that everybody will still be using.

01:17:04   So, it's tough to get regulation right, and in this case

01:17:08   it's hard to point to this and call this a victory. Well, we'll see if it's compliant.

01:17:12   Because I pulled out some, I was trying to look at the DMA text to see if there's anything that is clearly not

01:17:16   compliant. And the DMA tries in a wishy-washy kind of way to

01:17:20   avoid a situation where someone complies with the letter, but

01:17:24   then essentially the outcome is that no one would ever want to have a third-party marketplace, for example.

01:17:28   So here's some text from the DMA, we'll put a link in the show notes to this exact passage.

01:17:32   The Gatekeeper, Apple is the Gatekeeper here because they run the App Store in this example.

01:17:36   The Gatekeeper shall apply fair, reasonable, and

01:17:40   non-discriminatory general conditions of access for business users

01:17:44   to its software application stores, online search engines, and online social

01:17:48   networking services listed in the designated decision pursuant to blah blah blah blah.

01:17:52   So they try to basically say, like, look, you can't just say, oh, you can have a third-party App Store,

01:17:56   but if you want to get a third-party App Store, you have to pay us $100 billion.

01:18:00   That doesn't pass the DMA. So they have fair, reasonable, non-discriminatory conditions, blah blah blah.

01:18:04   The question is, are the financial terms

01:18:08   set out by Apple fair, reasonable, and non-discriminatory? They're probably pretty much

01:18:12   non-discriminatory, although you might say the million dollar line of credit is slightly discriminatory, right?

01:18:16   But by carefully calibrating the terms

01:18:20   to look more or less like the same deal as Apple, you could say,

01:18:24   well, it's fair and reasonable because it's kind of the same deal that we have,

01:18:28   but if your goal with the DMA is to foster competition,

01:18:32   if the only way anyone can have an App Store is to essentially match Apple's terms

01:18:36   in terms of the finances, that's not an option. Developers, it's like,

01:18:40   I want to, you know, what you want is competition to say, hey, here's somebody offering to take

01:18:44   less of my money than Apple. I'm going to go with them. And Apple set out the rules to say, yeah, it's going to

01:18:48   be pretty much impossible for you to take less money than we do. In fact, you'll probably have to take

01:18:52   more. But it's fair and reasonable because it's kind of like what we're doing, right?

01:18:56   It's not 100 billion dollars. It's not like, you know, like, for example,

01:19:00   to have a third party App Store, there's an entitlement you need to get,

01:19:04   and Apple gives that entitlement presumably in a fair, reasonable,

01:19:08   non-discriminatory manner, and you just need a million euro line of credit, and so on and so forth.

01:19:12   I think they probably passed this bar, but that's the fault of the DMA.

01:19:16   Again, if the goal of the DMA was let apps exist that couldn't exist before,

01:19:20   and allow there to be financial competition,

01:19:24   allow people to compete by saying, we're going to give you a better deal than Apple.

01:19:28   That is the only form of financial competition that is

01:19:32   valid or reasonable, is we're going to give you a better deal, better

01:19:36   terms, different financial arrangement. We'll take a smaller cut, we'll have a different

01:19:40   way that we make money from you. Like, that is competition.

01:19:44   And Apple is trying so hard to say, we will not allow competition

01:19:48   along that axis at all. And I kind of

01:19:52   blame the DMA. If they decide this is compliant, then the DMA was

01:19:56   very poorly written, because it's not accomplishing its goal.

01:20:00   Yeah, it's interesting. I read a blog post from, what was it,

01:20:04   Steven Sinofsky, and it was

01:20:08   very long. But it made some interesting points, and we'll put a link

01:20:12   in the show notes. But some of the stuff that was said was, look,

01:20:16   this is like, and Marco, it's been so long since you've

01:20:20   had a real job, you probably don't remember this, but if you go to a boss and you say,

01:20:24   "Hey, I've got option A, and it sucks because

01:20:28   of 1, 2, and 3, and I've got option B, and that

01:20:32   sucks because of 4, 5, and 6. You're the boss,

01:20:36   what do you want me to do? Which one of these do you want me to do?"

01:20:40   And most bosses will say, "Oh,

01:20:44   well let's do option C, which eliminates bad thing 1 and 2

01:20:48   and bad thing 5 and 6." And it's, no, that's

01:20:52   not how this works. And that's what the DMA is kind of requesting, is, you know,

01:20:56   I want something that's open, but it still needs to be super secure

01:21:00   and you need to consider user's privacy. Well, like,

01:21:04   that might be possible, but it's not

01:21:08   easy. And Sinofsky's post, in large part, was

01:21:12   saying, "Look, I think this is a very American point of view, and I

01:21:16   mostly share it, to be honest with you, but Stephen's point was,

01:21:20   look, this is kind of already a solved problem. Apple is

01:21:24   trading on, we have a

01:21:28   very discriminant approach to doing things. We don't allow

01:21:32   everything in the store, we are very upfront. I mean, whether or not you agree

01:21:36   with the terms, or if you think the terms are fair, is I guess what I should say, they're

01:21:40   very upfront about the terms, and I don't think anyone can really debate that. Apple has said, "From

01:21:44   the beginning, these are the terms, this is how you play in our playground." And

01:21:48   that is the Apple way. If you don't like those terms, or you don't want to play in that playground,

01:21:52   that's fine. That's why Android exists. And you can play in their playground.

01:21:56   And they counterbalance each other in the same way that Windows and Mac OS

01:22:00   did, you know, years ago. DMA applies to Android as well, obviously. Yeah,

01:22:04   yes, yes. But I mean, just in terms of like, the stereotypical open versus

01:22:08   close. And I know it's much more complicated than that. But for the person-- There's a lot of asterisks

01:22:12   in that open. There is. But nevertheless, the idea is,

01:22:16   look, it is comparatively easier to do the things that you want to do in

01:22:20   Google world, where you can sideload, than it is in

01:22:24   the Apple world, where you can't sideload. And it's just,

01:22:28   it's tough. And Apple's kind of in everyone, but Apple's in a no-win

01:22:32   scenario. And so, you know, to quote from his blog post, "In the over 60 pages

01:22:36   of the DMA, there's a little mention of privacy, seven times. Security, nine times.

01:22:40   Performance, three times. Reliability, once. Battery life, none. Or accessibility,

01:22:44   just three times." So that is where Apple finds itself today. It was told, essentially, to create a new iPhone

01:22:48   release that is as good as your old one for your existing customers, but do all

01:22:52   these things that run counter to every lesson and experience that you've had over decades.

01:22:56   Everything you've designed and architected. Everything you promised customers

01:23:00   you would deliver. That truly sucks. So Apple said...

01:23:04   I agree with them a little bit here, in that the way the DMA written puts

01:23:08   them in a difficult situation, but two things in that. One, the whole point is, the EU

01:23:12   decided that, unlike the US, they decided, we want

01:23:16   there to be more competition, and we're going to force you to do it. And it seems unfair to us, especially

01:23:20   if you don't think there's a thing happening. But they've already decided that. So that whole idea of like,

01:23:24   it's already fine. You can always pick Android. The EU said, yeah, that's not fine with us.

01:23:28   So you can disagree with them, but they've already decided that. Once they have decided that, and they've made

01:23:32   the DMA, them trying to decide along what access

01:23:36   they'll allow competition, I almost wish they had reversed it.

01:23:40   Where right now, yeah, you can get new kinds of apps, which

01:23:44   potentially induces all the problems that Marco doesn't want, and all the points that Sinofsky

01:23:48   is making of like, what about battery life performance and reliability? Like, you're essentially compromising

01:23:52   the iPhone platform by allowing other people to get their apps on it.

01:23:56   So you're not going to have apps that wouldn't fly on the app store that could make the iPhone

01:24:00   a worse platform, right? And the flip side of that is, okay, but what about the financial

01:24:04   terms? And I kind of wish they had said, the financial terms are

01:24:08   the more important thing to us. Allow Apple to maintain similar level

01:24:12   of control over, you know, battery life performance, security,

01:24:16   all that stuff or whatever, but just structure it such that there's a

01:24:20   way for competing app stores to exist that take a

01:24:24   lower cut of the money, right? Because the thing, the brand promise of the iPhone has

01:24:28   nothing to do with how much developers pay, right? That is not the brand promise of the

01:24:32   iPhone. It has entirely to do with the safety of the apps, how much you

01:24:36   can trust them, all that things. That level of trust

01:24:40   does not require Apple to take any specific percentage from developers, right?

01:24:44   When Steve Jobs rolled out the iPhone, he was like, we're just trying to break, or the

01:24:48   app store rather, a year after the iPhone, or whenever it was, and he's like, we're just trying to

01:24:52   break even on the app store. He actually said that on stage, or something to that effect.

01:24:56   It's not, it's not getting in that. Do you think he believed it? I don't,

01:25:00   I'm guessing even he knew it was a profit center. But either way, the whole

01:25:04   point is, that's not part of the brand promise. That financial arrangement

01:25:08   between Apple and developers, that specific cut, how much money Apple makes

01:25:12   from it, is not part of the brand promise or the user experience of the iPhone. It is a background

01:25:16   thing that is financially important to developers and Apple, but users,

01:25:20   users don't even know that Apple doesn't make all the apps half the time. Like, that's

01:25:24   not part of the promise. Everything else is part of the promise. What kind of apps are available?

01:25:28   How secure are they? Has someone checked them for something? Arguably, Apple has not been fulfilling

01:25:32   that brand promise in the app store itself with all the casino games for children and the scam apps. That's a separate

01:25:36   argument. But like, if at the end, you can imagine a different version of the DMA

01:25:40   that essentially would make Sanofsky happy to say,

01:25:44   we're not, Apple, we're not going to force you to break the brand promise of your phone. What we

01:25:48   are going to force you to do is allow competition on the business terms that developers get.

01:25:52   And the DMA does not do that at all.

01:25:56   Instead it says, we'll allow a bunch of porn and copyright violations, but

01:26:00   don't worry Apple, you'll still get your cut. And that is not, to Marco's point, it's not

01:26:04   satisfactory to anybody because even if you're in favor of third party app stores,

01:26:08   you'd be like, no, not like that. Like, we want, like, I want

01:26:12   the iPhone to continue to be good. I just want there to be financial

01:26:16   competition about, you know, in the marketplaces. And that's not what

01:26:20   the DMA is doing. And it's really sucky. Like, Sanofsky spends

01:26:24   so long essentially being angry about the fact that Microsoft was forced to make

01:26:28   their operating system worse to satisfy the EU. And Apple is now

01:26:32   being forced to make their platform worse to satisfy the EU. But it's all because

01:26:36   of this fight over Apple, like, you know, Apple and the EU saying, you know,

01:26:40   it's so important to us that we continue to make money off the app store. It's like, it's not, you make money

01:26:44   off the phones. Apple could break even, could actually literally break even

01:26:48   on the app store and still be making tons of money on the

01:26:52   iPhone. It is a profitable platform without any app store income whatsoever.

01:26:56   But they will not give that up.

01:27:00   Yep. I don't know. I don't have too much to add.

01:27:04   I don't want to be, I don't, I feel like

01:27:08   the spirit to a degree of what the EU

01:27:12   is trying to do, you know, make it better for their citizens. Like,

01:27:16   you know, I think that they come to it from a decent place. But just

01:27:20   like you said, Jon, I think the execution from the EU has been subpar

01:27:24   or naive maybe. They're just, they're

01:27:28   barking up the wrong trees. I couldn't agree more with what you said about let's change the

01:27:32   business agreements. Let's leave the platform alone.

01:27:36   And I don't know. I don't know a lot of people, maybe I'm living in a bubble, but I don't know

01:27:40   a lot of people that are like, man, all I want in the world is to be able to use Blink on my iPhone.

01:27:44   That's not a problem I feel like a lot of people have. And

01:27:48   I don't know. It just, this seems like a whole, much ado about

01:27:52   nothing to me. And I, it's just unnecessary in so many ways.

01:27:56   I kind of do like the browser engine and stuff like that. And by the way, there's a point

01:28:00   down lower that's, I don't think part of the DMA thing, but it's

01:28:04   like, it's essentially a hedge to appease some other companies

01:28:08   of them allowing like streaming games. Like previously Apple had said, hey, you can't put an app

01:28:12   on the app store that when you launch it has a bunch of streaming games that you like sell or

01:28:16   give access to or whatever. And Apple's changing the rules around that for worldwide, not just the

01:28:20   EU that now you can have a single app and inside

01:28:24   of that can be a whole library of streaming games because before Apple said that's too much like an

01:28:28   app store. We wanted to allow that, but now they're doing it specifically with streaming apps, mostly to satisfy Microsoft

01:28:32   and other companies that they want on their side during all this stuff like that.

01:28:36   Stuff like allowing browser engines and allowing streaming games and other stuff like

01:28:40   there are things that Apple could give on that I don't think will

01:28:44   hurt Apple and they're just so, they drag their feet on it so much, right?

01:28:48   The browser engine thing, especially what they've done with browser kit, technically impressive because you

01:28:52   might not be aware, but like to allow a different browser engine, Safari on iOS

01:28:56   does things so that iOS apps are not allowed to do.

01:29:00   Spawning multiple processes, having multiple threads, doing all, like they

01:29:04   do all sorts of stuff with just the process architecture and

01:29:08   what the app is doing in the background and how many things are running and are allowed to remain

01:29:12   alive and not get killed off like to implement all the various web standards

01:29:16   that regular apps are not allowed to do and they're sandboxing the right way so they're not security

01:29:20   holes. Whatever it's called, browser engine kit or whatever the

01:29:24   thing is that allows third party engines is a complicated framework that allows

01:29:28   third parties to implement a web rendering engine

01:29:32   "the right way", the way Apple does it, the safe way.

01:29:36   I think that's great. I think that's a thing they could have done at any time.

01:29:40   They just never had any motivation to do it until they were essentially forced to do it.

01:29:44   But things like that, I give a thumbs up. That doesn't break the brand promise.

01:29:48   That preserves the brand promise because Apple is saying, we've found a way

01:29:52   to safely have browser engines on iOS and you can do it too.

01:29:56   In fact, Blink is based on WebKit anyway so it's not that different, right?

01:30:00   Stuff like that I give a thumbs up. The streaming game thing, it's like, Apple just

01:30:04   it's no skin off your back if they do that. Honestly, I don't

01:30:08   let it happen. Take your cut of it.

01:30:12   That's again, not breaking the brand promise. I don't think people are going to be confused like

01:30:16   "What is this? A game store inside a game?"

01:30:20   People will figure it out. Roblox is allowed to do it because they have

01:30:24   "experiences" not games. No one is fooled. Everyone

01:30:28   can figure it out. Stuff like that should have been happening forever.

01:30:32   It getting tied up in all of this is basically

01:30:36   I don't know, it's a happy accident. It's nice that they're being forced to do it

01:30:40   but almost everything else having to do with this is unrelated to

01:30:44   that and is essentially asking, to Synopses point, Apple to break their brand

01:30:48   promise by making the iPhone a more dangerous and worse platform

01:30:52   in the hopes of providing a more competitive marketplace. But don't worry, Apple is going to make sure

01:30:56   that doesn't happen. It's a lot. We should also mention that

01:31:00   the official release, like the very broad

01:31:04   I think it was on the Apple homepage or whatever release about this, was

01:31:08   the crankiest piece of PR

01:31:12   or news release from a company that I have seen in a long

01:31:16   time. And Tennegate was probably crankier. That's true but this was close.

01:31:20   This was angry. I thought

01:31:24   they did a pretty good job. People, I mean, it could have been worse.

01:31:28   I think what they were saying was true. They were like, look, we're being forced to do this

01:31:32   we're doing it in the best way we can and all their language

01:31:36   was like, here's how we're doing it to

01:31:40   minimize the damage to our brand promise. I know I keep saying brand promise

01:31:44   as a marketing term. Essentially saying, the iPhone, it's a place where it's safe to install apps

01:31:48   and the apps probably aren't scams. Again, see all the asterisks about

01:31:52   how Apple does that in the app store. And there's one place to get everything and everything's simple and it all

01:31:56   goes through Apple and you get refunds from Apple. That is the brand promise of the iPhone and the EU

01:32:00   is saying you must right now break that promise and Apple's like, here's

01:32:04   how we're minimizing the damage. We've decided to do it this way because

01:32:08   this was the best possible way we figured out to do this while still

01:32:12   being compliant. Everything they say is like, this is bad

01:32:16   but we're trying to make it as less bad as we possibly

01:32:20   can. And that's why it sounds cranky because they don't sound happy about any of this. They're not

01:32:24   bragging about any of it. The only thing they're bragging about is, we think

01:32:28   this is the least bad option.

01:32:32   Just paragraph after paragraph of like, here's how we're trying to mitigate this

01:32:36   damage. And again, they never actually address the actual

01:32:40   point which is like, hey, how about allowing competition along the axis of business

01:32:44   terms. No, that's not a thing. Rest assured we're not doing that.

01:32:48   But within these other realms, here's how we're minimizing the damage.

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01:34:48   Darren Kelkoff writes,

01:34:52   "With AirPods Pro or Amateur," very well done,

01:34:56   as John still prefers, "Do you guys always wear them in both

01:35:00   ears or do you ever do a single ear? If you go single ear, is it always the same side or do you alternate?

01:35:04   I suppose that for some folks, charge level could play a role here, but I find myself

01:35:08   to never be low on AirPod charge. It's probably because the

01:35:12   super sad noise they play when they do get low is conditioning me to never let it happen."

01:35:16   I was actually talking to a friend of mine, Sam, about this recently

01:35:20   and Sam has kids who are a bit older than mine, actually roughly

01:35:24   your kids' age, John, just a little bit younger than yours, I believe, and

01:35:28   he was saying that both of his kids, they

01:35:32   pretty much always have one AirPod in. May or may not be playing anything, but it's almost like

01:35:36   an aesthetic choice at this point, which I found very fascinating.

01:35:40   But to actually answer the question, for me, I will use

01:35:44   two AirPods when I am either by myself or doing

01:35:48   something where I'm not expected to be talked to, you know, nobody's going to be talking to me, like

01:35:52   maybe I'm exercising or something like that. But if there's ever

01:35:56   a situation where I think someone might be talking to me, even though the transparency mode does

01:36:00   work pretty well, I typically will go one AirPod only and I

01:36:04   alternate which side depending on, you know, is the TV that the kids are watching

01:36:08   on my left-hand side, then I'll put the left one in. Am I in bed? Well, I

01:36:12   sleep on the right-hand side of the bed if I'm on my back, and so I'll put my right

01:36:16   AirPod in if I'm listening to something, but I want to leave the left ear available for Aaron to talk to me, or

01:36:20   whatever the case may be. So I do all of the above, and

01:36:24   I will do it all situationally. Marco, let's talk about

01:36:28   how you use your AirPods, and then John, you can wrap us up, please.

01:36:32   I use both of my AirPods Pros or neither of them. I don't

01:36:36   do the one in, one out thing. All right, and John? The only time

01:36:40   I do one ear is, as was alluded to in the question, if the battery

01:36:44   in one of them is bad, and this happens to me a surprising amount. Why does it happen? I don't know.

01:36:48   Sometimes I put both my AirPods in the case, and one of them doesn't charge, and "Oh, you've got

01:36:52   dirt in your case, make sure the contacts are clean, blah blah blah." I've tried so many

01:36:56   things. It's just sometimes, sometimes I take my AirPods out, one of them is 100% and

01:37:00   one of them goes "doop doop doop doop doop." It's a super sad sound they play

01:37:04   when they don't have battery. And when that happens to me, I put the sad one back in

01:37:08   the case, where for some reason it charges in the exact same case. Now

01:37:12   it's charging. And I use the one until the other one is charged

01:37:16   up a little bit. And when I do it, I, well, you don't have a choice

01:37:20   if the battery is low on one, that's the one I have to put back in the charging case. But

01:37:24   if I did have a choice, I would put the right one in. But yeah,

01:37:28   I'm on both of them in most of the time. Fair enough. Aaron Thomas writes,

01:37:32   "Are there any types of apps that you would have considered creating if not for an oversaturation

01:37:36   in the app store market? For example, camera app with manual controls,

01:37:40   to-do checklists, journals, etc. Subquestion, if you were to develop

01:37:44   a game, what type of game would you make?" For me, I have

01:37:48   thought about doing a to-do app and/or shopping app. Both of these

01:37:52   I feel like, even though I found options for both that I like,

01:37:56   there are things that I would have maybe done differently. But

01:38:00   A, the things that I've found that I like, AnyList for shopping apps

01:38:04   and DUE for to-do lists, those are

01:38:08   close enough to what I want that it's not compelling me to do something

01:38:12   different. And even if I wanted to do something different, it's such a saturated market that

01:38:16   I don't think I would touch it. Since we started with Marco first, let's go Jon first.

01:38:20   Wait, Casey, you don't have a game idea? Oh, no.

01:38:24   I don't know, like, maybe, I don't want to spoil it for people

01:38:28   who haven't heard it, but there's a Members Only special episode where I talk about an app I was considering

01:38:32   making, and one of the reasons I have not made that app is due to

01:38:36   oversaturation in the App Store market. I think a lot of

01:38:40   the ideas I have for apps

01:38:44   are rejected not because of oversaturation in the market, but

01:38:48   just because of what I said before, either fear that it wouldn't be accepted, or

01:38:52   sure knowledge that it would not be accepted. That

01:38:56   I think is my personal biggest concern, especially since one of my passions

01:39:00   is system extension type applications on the Mac,

01:39:04   and I don't sell enough copies of anything to sell

01:39:08   outside the App Store, just to deal with the hassle of accepting payments on my own

01:39:12   or whatever. So I'm kind of stuck in the Mac App Store for any of my

01:39:16   small apps, right? And the Mac App Store

01:39:20   disallows private API usage, for example, and tons of

01:39:24   useful kinds of applications that exist already

01:39:28   and sometimes they're in saturated markets. The door is closed to me

01:39:32   because if I wanted to make them, I'd either have to make them free, or I would have to

01:39:36   sell them outside the Mac App Store, which is

01:39:40   a fixed cost hurdle that I must overcome to get a system

01:39:44   up that does that, and I don't think I would ever sell enough copies to make it worthwhile.

01:39:48   As for developing a game, I know enough about game development to know that

01:39:52   I should never do it, because game development is a lot harder than you

01:39:56   think it is. If you're a programmer, you think game development is writing a cool game engine when game

01:40:00   development is actually like writing an essay. It's the creative content

01:40:04   of the game that takes all the time, talent, energy,

01:40:08   money. That's why AAA video games cost hundreds of millions

01:40:12   of dollars. That money is not spent on the people who are writing the game engine. 20

01:40:16   people are writing the game engine, or maybe 100 people, but 1000 people

01:40:20   are making content for the game, and that's what makes the game good.

01:40:24   The content. What happens in the game? How does the gameplay work?

01:40:28   Where are the different levels? That stuff takes so much longer

01:40:32   than you think it does, and it is so much harder than you think it is. Like, "Great, now I have an engine.

01:40:36   All I gotta do is make some levels, and I'll be done with my game." You haven't even started making your game.

01:40:40   I'll just make some levels. Really? Will you? Making some levels?

01:40:44   If it was that easy, everybody would be a millionaire game developer.

01:40:48   That is the hard part, not the programming part of it, which is sad news for lots of

01:40:52   developers who want to make a game and they think, "As long as I get a cool

01:40:56   game engine, I'll be ready to go." You are not. You are not ready to go. You are not ready to go anymore

01:41:00   than if you say, "I'm going to manufacture a film camera,"

01:41:04   and you manufacture the world's greatest film camera. You're like, "Now I'm ready for my Oscar."

01:41:08   No, now you have to make your movie. "I'll just shoot some stuff, and then I'll have a movie."

01:41:12   That's the hard part. Making the movie is the hard part. Making the camera is not the hard part.

01:41:16   Making the movie is. Lots of people have really good cameras.

01:41:20   Not a lot of people win an Oscar for their movies. So, no. I have not

01:41:24   considered making a game because I know I am not up to it.

01:41:28   But Marco has. I'm not quite as negative on the idea of making

01:41:32   a game as John is. Maybe you're better at it than I am. I just know it's a skill that I don't have.

01:41:36   I mean, I guess technically I've already shipped a game in the Overcast watch app, but

01:41:40   it's not much of one. I think I wouldn't shy away from making a

01:41:44   game because I don't think I could do it. I would shy away from a game because I wouldn't think

01:41:48   it would be very fun. One of the biggest challenges of game

01:41:52   development from the very little bit of it that I understand is that

01:41:56   you actually end up putting a decent amount of work into a game before you really know

01:42:00   whether it's even fun or not. And if it's not very fun,

01:42:04   it's kind of hard to recover from that.

01:42:08   I don't like developing that way where there's so much up front before you even know

01:42:12   is this concept even a good idea or not. But the

01:42:16   bigger problem is why I wouldn't make a game. I mean, I have a couple of ideas here and there

01:42:20   that I've had over the years. I've never been super motivated to make them in part because

01:42:24   I'm not that much of a gamer. And so I'd be the worst

01:42:28   person to try to make a game. Believe me, we know this from the world of podcasts

01:42:32   because there are so many people who have tried to bring into the world of podcasts

01:42:36   over the years who don't really like podcasts that much. But

01:42:40   they smelled money or opportunity and were like, "Oh, I hear podcasts are big. Let's bring it to that market."

01:42:44   And we see the results of that. It's people who make crappy podcasts and crappy podcast apps.

01:42:48   It's people who are in it for the wrong reasons.

01:42:52   If I made a game, I think I would be in it for wrong reasons also

01:42:56   because I'm not that much of a gamer.

01:43:00   No, but if you made a game, you'd be making a game that you had an interest in. That's the good thing about games. If you want to minimize all the things that I said,

01:43:04   let's say for example you want to bypass a lot of that. Make a solitaire game.

01:43:08   I know it's an oversaturated market, but you don't have to come up with the game. Solitaire already exists.

01:43:12   You don't have to make levels. You don't have to make content. You just have to make the engine that

01:43:16   runs solitaire and maybe do one or two vaguely innovative things and you've made a solitaire game.

01:43:20   And maybe you have an itch because you're like, "I've tried all the solitaire games, but they never do this

01:43:24   one thing that I'm interested in." And so you make a solitaire game.

01:43:28   There are ways to make a game without having to spend years making content or

01:43:32   even have to make any kind of levels or anything like that. And if that's your passion,

01:43:36   you have some idea for a game and you're like, "Oh, I'm not much of a gamer." But clearly there are some things

01:43:40   that you think, "This would be fun to do." And I haven't seen anything else out there like that.

01:43:44   You could make that and if it is a game idea that either is based

01:43:48   on something that already exists, like solitaire, or is simple enough that you don't have to

01:43:52   be an excellent level designer and make enough content to satisfy

01:43:56   users or whatever, it is possible to, as just a plain programmer

01:44:00   who's not a game designer, to come up with an idea that sort of hits that sweet spot.

01:44:04   And I think you would be interested in it, even though you're not a gamer, because you would have

01:44:08   had this idea for a game, right? I think you could be

01:44:12   successful in that. You really have to be careful with what you pick.

01:44:16   Yeah, that's a good point. Plus, I thought you were going to say total annihilation or whatever it is.

01:44:20   I mean, I don't have the skill to make anything like that. That is probably a game you should not try to make.

01:44:24   Because that does have a lot of content. Yeah, a lot of content. And that's a whole

01:44:28   RTS. First of all, the RTS genre appears not to exist anymore, which is very sad to me.

01:44:32   Oh, I'm sure it exists. Everything is out there in some sub-community.

01:44:36   No, didn't they all become DOTA's or whatever those things are?

01:44:40   They basically turned into RPGs, which is a totally

01:44:44   fine game genre, but it's not one that I'm interested in at all. Whereas RTS's

01:44:48   were wonderful. Anyway, so

01:44:52   the other half of the question of any other types of apps I've considered creating, if not for an oversaturation

01:44:56   on the market, I don't really have any massively strong ideas of things

01:45:00   I want to create at the moment that are not just overcast.

01:45:04   But one idea that I've been percolating in my head is

01:45:08   basically a music listening app specifically optimized

01:45:12   for jam band concerts. I was going to say it's a fish app.

01:45:16   Basically, and the problem is, I have lots of ideas on how

01:45:20   I could do this well in a way that would please me.

01:45:24   And the problem is the market for it would just be so small. Because there already

01:45:28   are lots of alternative music players on iOS. So like that

01:45:32   market is there. And that would be pretty crowded to try to break into.

01:45:36   And what I would want to do with my app would be more like optimized for

01:45:40   how you select what to play and how it is displayed

01:45:44   in the app and things like that if you have a large collection of jam band concerts like I do.

01:45:48   But again, the market for that is going to be like ten people. So

01:45:52   I don't know if I'm ever going to make it. Just because the amount of work it would take

01:45:56   to make that is way higher than the value even

01:46:00   I would probably get out of it. And there is not enough of an audience for that.

01:46:04   So it's actually not really a question of oversaturation as much as

01:46:08   insufficient demand. What about Audio Editor? Do you consider that

01:46:12   oversaturated or does that just seem like too much work? You know, breaking into people's professional

01:46:16   workflows is very difficult. If it was the only thing I was working

01:46:20   on, I think I could make that happen. And again, it wouldn't

01:46:24   have a big market, but I could at least make a decent one. But it's so much

01:46:28   work to make a decent one that I don't think I could do it while juggling

01:46:32   almost anything else in my life. Do you think that market is oversaturated

01:46:36   on the Mac specifically? Obviously we're not talking about Windows. On the Mac specifically

01:46:40   there is Adobe Audition, there's whatever that free one is, Audacity

01:46:44   I think. There's Logic obviously.

01:46:48   Reaper. The one that Snell uses. What is that one called?

01:46:52   Ferrite. Ferrite. I don't think it's oversaturated

01:46:56   but there are a lot of big competitors. Adobe is a big competitor, Apple

01:47:00   is a big competitor, and there's also, like Ferrite, there are some

01:47:04   indie, low, you know, there's some competition kind of at your level

01:47:08   as well. So I wouldn't say it's oversaturated, but it's not like

01:47:12   it's clear that it would be like, "Oh finally! A Mac Audio Editor! I've been waiting for one of these!"

01:47:16   Yeah, and also like, you know, what people want in an audio

01:47:20   editor is all over the map and there's lots of different directions that it's going.

01:47:24   Like for instance there's all these things like Descript, these text-based ones

01:47:28   where they transcribe the audio and then you kind of edit the text.

01:47:32   So there's all these, and some of them are web-based, some of them are native, some of them are

01:47:36   iOS only, some of them are Mac. So it's kind of all over the place. There's

01:47:40   a lot of options and because, you know, professional

01:47:44   tools, one of the reasons why pro tools like Logic

01:47:48   and like Pro Tools and like Photoshop and

01:47:52   things like that, one of the reasons why they tend to be large and bloated is that

01:47:56   everyone has some different need for their workflow or their

01:48:00   situation. That would happen with your Jamband app too by the way. If you made that everyone would be like, "I love

01:48:04   your app, but can you add this feature? Can you add that?" And these would all be the same Fish Fans, but

01:48:08   the union of all their feature requests? Like, "I'll buy your app as soon as you add my two

01:48:12   features!" So many, they would want so many features, just the Fish Fans

01:48:16   alone. Yeah, exactly. So anything

01:48:20   that, where you're serving, like, somebody's workflow

01:48:24   needs, like an audio editor, you're going to have very, very strong

01:48:28   pressure to make the app very broad.

01:48:32   To just add a whole bunch of features to satisfy, "Oh, well my company

01:48:36   would buy, you know, 15 licenses of your app. If only you added this one little

01:48:40   change over here." I mean, digital watermarking for more efficient

01:48:44   dynamic ad insertion, you'd be like, "What?" Even if you're making like a

01:48:48   podcast focused audio editor. What does the market for podcast

01:48:52   focused audio editors look like? It's not people with shows like ours. It's everybody else, and the things

01:48:56   they want out of a podcast focused audio editor, you are not going to be enthusiastic

01:49:00   about giving them. Right, it's, yeah, because the people who would buy it would mostly be

01:49:04   like the big podcast production studios, and like, they're not going to buy my app.

01:49:08   It has to work with Avid or whatever, like they have workflows that are alien. Yeah, they're

01:49:12   going to use like all the highest end stuff with their staff of 60 people producing a podcast.

01:49:16   They're not going to use my little indie Mac app that's optimized for making shows like this.

01:49:20   We need collaborative editing of the podcast by 7 people simultaneously through the way.

01:49:24   Right, yeah, exactly. So yeah, so that's one of the

01:49:28   many reasons why I'm still working on Overcast. First of all, I just, I like working on

01:49:32   Overcast, and I'm not really feeling any pressure to stop doing that.

01:49:36   But also, I don't really have any other better ideas right now

01:49:40   that I'd rather be doing. So, I'm going to keep doing this for a while.

01:49:44   I hear that. Christian Kent writes,

01:49:48   "What audio settings do you use on Apple Music?" And

01:49:52   it has a bunch of options here, and I'm happy to read them off, but

01:49:56   where am I looking to answer this question? Because I genuinely have no idea.

01:50:00   Go to the support article that's linked there. I did, but that didn't talk about, it talked about

01:50:04   like EQ, and I didn't see anything. Right, so this is the music app on the Mac.

01:50:08   You can see the equalizer thing. Mm-hmm. I think that's where a lot of these things

01:50:12   are. I don't think so. This is like spatialized stereo. This is all iOS

01:50:16   stuff, I thought. Yeah, I thought this was all iOS stuff. So anyway, so Christian writes,

01:50:20   "Spatialized stereo. Off or fixed or head tracked. Sound enhancer. Off

01:50:24   or 50% or high 100%. Sound equalizer.

01:50:28   Off or a preset or a personal one. Dolby Atmos. Automatic or always

01:50:32   on or off. High quality 256 or ALAC 2448 or ALAC

01:50:36   24192. Lossless via headphone cable or AirPod Pro/Max Wireless." So, I mean,

01:50:40   to the ones that I can answer because I know the answer, I do

01:50:44   not spatialize stereo. I do use Dolby Atmos when

01:50:48   possible. I don't even know where to look for the sound enhancer and equalizer.

01:50:52   And I think I cranked up the Apple Music streaming quality

01:50:56   and Spotify streaming quality to whatever the max was. And I typically

01:51:00   use AirPod Pros. So those are my answers. I don't think that's going to be satisfying for Christian.

01:51:04   But I don't know where to look for these. I think I'm even more boring than that. Like,

01:51:08   on iOS I have everything set to the default except spatialized stereo, which I have set to off.

01:51:12   Because I believe the default is kind of the automatic thing. And I hate

01:51:16   it very much. So I turn off all of these enhancements on iOS.

01:51:20   And the main reasons why,

01:51:24   first of all, my iOS listening setup is almost always

01:51:28   either my car or AirPods Pro. And in both of those

01:51:32   cases, we are not talking about audio file grade setups. We're talking

01:51:36   about decent consumer level stuff but not audio file grade setups.

01:51:40   And that's what my phone is for. At my desk, I do

01:51:44   have an audio file grade setup. What I don't believe in though is all this

01:51:48   lossless high bit rate or high sample rate stuff.

01:51:52   I would challenge anybody out there, if you have any way to set up a blind

01:51:56   test between your lossless option

01:52:00   and decent compression, like 256k bits or higher,

01:52:04   I would challenge you to be able to tell the difference. I really don't think

01:52:08   you can. Now, if it makes you happy to turn on your lossless audio and

01:52:12   crank all these settings up and be playing at 24, 192,

01:52:16   which your ears cannot tell the difference, if it makes you happy to do that,

01:52:20   fine, no harm done. But you won't hear the difference between that

01:52:24   and regular bit rate, high quality compressed stuff.

01:52:28   You won't hear that difference. So I don't turn that kind of stuff on.

01:52:32   I think what matters a lot in your sound quality

01:52:36   is the mix of what you are listening to, which

01:52:40   you have very little control over because it typically comes from the record companies. So the

01:52:44   mix matters a lot, the recording matters a lot, and

01:52:48   the transducers, the headphones or speakers that you're listening on, matter a lot.

01:52:52   And everything else matters very very little or not at all.

01:52:56   So some of these options, things like Dolby Atmos,

01:53:00   that's actually selecting a different mix if available.

01:53:04   So it might sound better, but it's not really

01:53:08   because of the Atmos, it's because you're listening to a different mix. Spatialized

01:53:12   stereo is messing with the mix. So it might sound better

01:53:16   if it sounds better to you, great, it does not sound better to me. Same thing with sound

01:53:20   enhancer and sound equalizer. These are also just various ways to have the phone mess with the mix.

01:53:24   Listen to what pleases you, but for me

01:53:28   what I generally like is less processing on the audio

01:53:32   not more. So I tend to listen to things as flat as

01:53:36   possible. No EQ, no processing, no spatialization

01:53:40   and Atmos if available maybe, but most of what I

01:53:44   listen to is not available, so it's kind of a moot point. So I do the

01:53:48   spatialized stereo off because I also hate that. I hate the head track one,

01:53:52   I hate the fixed one, I hate it all. The John Syracuse story.

01:53:56   Right, so that's an example of the

01:54:00   phone or whatever taking the audio and

01:54:04   changing it in a way that it hopes will be more pleasing to you. So somebody

01:54:08   made a song and they mixed it and they recorded it and they put it down and the phone is like

01:54:12   on its way out we're going to do something different with it and whatever it's doing with it

01:54:16   I do not like. I don't find it pleasing so I always leave that off.

01:54:20   Sound enhancer and equalizer, I think sound enhancer

01:54:24   is off unless it's on by default, but this brings me

01:54:28   to, like equalizer brings me to the next thing which is the only thing that I do

01:54:32   on my phone specifically to mess with the sound on its way

01:54:36   out and it is based on a process that I performed on this show a year

01:54:40   ago or two years ago or whatever it was where we found

01:54:44   these apps that you can find on the app store, mostly not scammy

01:54:48   but not particularly high quality apps that will play

01:54:52   a series of tones for you and ask you if you heard them, do you remember when we did this?

01:54:56   Like the hearing test? Yeah, yeah, I remember that this was a thing

01:55:00   and I think I still have the app on one of my home screens because I've been meaning to do it for

01:55:04   literally years. I made one of these a long time ago. Yeah, there's a bunch

01:55:08   of apps on the app store that will do this, but essentially what they'll do is they'll, they're not great

01:55:12   apps I found. They don't, like you want it to be like a good app that's like, now you're

01:55:16   playing the tone, do you hear it, do you not hear it? Anyway, it's like a hearing test where they play a series of tones

01:55:20   to test what kind of frequencies you can hear. And if you're an older

01:55:24   person, as in older than 20, you should try this.

01:55:28   Because as you age past your 20s, you start losing

01:55:32   hearing in different frequencies, right? And the result of this

01:55:36   is a profile of here are the frequencies you can hear and how well you

01:55:40   can hear them. And you can, iOS supports

01:55:44   using that profile for all of its audio playback. You can say I

01:55:48   used this janky app and it came up with a profile for me. Now

01:55:52   iOS, please use this profile. It's essentially like an equalizer setting, but

01:55:56   it's based on how well each one of your ears hears certain frequencies.

01:56:00   So I enabled that way back then and it's still enabled.

01:56:04   All, as far as I'm aware, all audio that comes out of my phone to go

01:56:08   to whatever gets passed through that. And what that's trying to do is saying, okay,

01:56:12   you have trouble in your left ear, you can only hear like 95%

01:56:16   of this frequency. So I'm going to boost that frequency to hopefully

01:56:20   get it to the level that it should be, the 100% that everyone else

01:56:24   hears. And I enabled that years ago and I was

01:56:28   surprised to see when I looked up to answer this question that it is still enabled.

01:56:32   And like what you want, it's kind of like doing like parametric EQ for like home theater

01:56:36   setup. What you want is to like, okay phone, make it so my

01:56:40   old person ears hear closer to what a young person's

01:56:44   ears. But it can't solve everything. If you just can't hear this frequency because you're too old and it's too

01:56:48   high, boosting the volume of like 18,000 hertz

01:56:52   is not going to help you if you just literally can't hear it, right?

01:56:56   There's only so much it can do. But I feel like when I did the before and after, I'm like

01:57:00   yeah, I think that is an improvement. So that is

01:57:04   the only thing that I'm aware of that my phone is doing to mess with

01:57:08   the sound. With any individual apps, I will use Marco's voice

01:57:12   boost feature on podcasts that have bad audio mixes.

01:57:16   Like, you know, you can do it on a per podcast setting. I could say

01:57:20   this podcast, they don't know how to mix their audio, turn on voice boost. But that's just within

01:57:24   overcast. Voice boost doesn't apply to when I'm playing songs and Apple music, right?

01:57:28   In terms of the quality, I'm like Marco, as long as it is not

01:57:32   like, you know, an ancient MP3 from the 90s, it has a reasonable bit rate.

01:57:36   I don't care about lossless. I don't care about 24-bit

01:57:40   192 kilohertz. My ears are too old to hear that. My audio equipment

01:57:44   is not good enough. Half the time I'm listening on AirPods 3rd gen.

01:57:48   Like, forget it. 24-bit 192 kilohertz.

01:57:52   No. My AirPods makes no, it's pointless.

01:57:56   Same thing with like lossless via cable and, no, I don't care about any of that.

01:58:00   So, in general, I don't want the phone missing with my audio with the one exception being

01:58:04   that thing. And I kind of wish Apple would build that into iOS. Like,

01:58:08   maybe it is. Maybe there's some accessibility setting where it will take you through the hearing test,

01:58:12   build your personal hearing profile, and then just

01:58:16   apply that. Because when I tried to reproduce this a little while ago, I'm like

01:58:20   what was that? I was just like, OK, so what was that app called? I can never remember

01:58:24   the names. And you search on the App Store. Mimi Hearing Test is the one

01:58:28   that we had suggested years ago that I think a listener suggested to us. Yeah, I downloaded

01:58:32   a bunch of them. I'm like, was this the app that I used? They're all not that great.

01:58:36   Sometimes they're even hard to use. Like, you have to be in a really

01:58:40   quiet place and you have to use, you know, whatever headphones you're

01:58:44   going to be using. You're like, am I not hearing this because my AirPods are too bad? Should I use better

01:58:48   headphones or should I use the headphones I'm going to be listening on? It is a fraught process

01:58:52   that I think I did an OK job of many years ago, so I'm keeping the

01:58:56   profile enabled, but I really wish I had more actionable advice for all of the people who

01:59:00   are, again, older than in their 20s listening to this who may be wondering what frequencies

01:59:04   they can no longer hear as well and they want to build themselves a profile.

01:59:08   And my answer is that Apple should add that in iOS 18 to be

01:59:12   something that everybody can do through an interface that's nice. No argument here.

01:59:16   Thank you to our sponsors this week, Green Chef and Adblock Pro

01:59:20   and thank you to our members who support us directly. You can join us at

01:59:24   atp.fm/join and we will talk to you next

01:59:28   week.

01:59:32   The show is over, they didn't even mean to begin

01:59:36   'cause it was accidental, oh it was accidental

01:59:40   John didn't do any research

01:59:44   Marco and Casey wouldn't let him, 'cause it was accidental

01:59:48   It was accidental

01:59:52   And you can find the show notes at atp.fm

01:59:56   And if you're into Twitter

02:00:00   You can follow them at

02:00:04   c-a-s-e-y-l-i-s-s, so that's Casey List

02:00:08   m-a-r-c-o-a-r-m-n-t

02:00:12   Marco Arment s-i-r-a-c

02:00:16   u-s-a-c-ra-c-u-za, it's accidental

02:00:20   They didn't mean to

02:00:24   accidental, accidental

02:00:28   So long

02:00:32   So I was watching all these video reviews and

02:00:36   I am excited to get my Vision Pro

02:00:40   on Friday and use it as a Mac monitor

02:00:44   Can you tell me about that, can you tell me, I saw some of the reviews that were like

02:00:48   "Oh, and you get a Mac monitor" and they rattled off the resolution and I'm like

02:00:52   "Wait a second, is that resolution, do you know the virtual

02:00:56   Mac screen, what is the resolution in both points and

02:01:00   pixels?" I think I understand this, but it's one of those things where my understanding

02:01:04   is hazy and I will probably not verbalize it well, but let me

02:01:08   give it a shot. So let me set a little more context. So I was thinking

02:01:12   about this a few days back, before all the reviews had come out, and it occurred to me

02:01:16   that, first of all, I think we had all been thinking the same thing

02:01:20   that it could be neat to have your laptop, and I presume this works with

02:01:24   a desktop, although I don't know. I think MKBHD made passing mention that it does, but

02:01:28   anyways, say you have a laptop, because that's what I'm used to, and because laptops are

02:01:32   superior, am I right Marco? So anyways, you have a laptop and

02:01:36   you're either at home but you're not at your desk, or perhaps you don't have

02:01:40   a second monitor at your desk, whatever the case may be, or maybe you're remote, and

02:01:44   you would like to have a bigger screen. Well, what you can do is

02:01:48   you can, using the Vision Pro, if you're all on the same

02:01:52   iCloud ID and whatnot, you can literally just look at your laptop screen,

02:01:56   and above your laptop screen in the virtual world

02:02:00   there'll be a connect button, and you cast your eyes onto the connect button,

02:02:04   you pinch, and you wait for a few moments, and suddenly the

02:02:08   physical real world laptop screen goes dark, and then

02:02:12   there is, I think it's powered by the same VNC

02:02:16   plus plus, if you will, that was new, and I think the most recent release of Mac OS, but

02:02:20   anyways, one way or another, a virtual screen appears

02:02:24   within the Vision Pro world, and then

02:02:28   and we'll talk about resolution stuff in a second, but you can use your

02:02:32   Mac, you know, with the Mac's keyboard, the Mac's mouse, on

02:02:36   this virtual screen in your Vision Pro world, and then presumably you can put the native Slack

02:02:40   and the native messages and the native Safari and the native this and that in like

02:02:44   an array all around your Mac screen, and additionally you can make that

02:02:48   Mac screen 50 feet tall if you want, and all of that is possible

02:02:52   because you're living in this virtual space, and I wrote a blog post about this a few days back

02:02:56   and what occurred to me, which was I think the more interesting thing that

02:03:00   obviously people at Apple seemed to have thought about, but I hadn't thought about, is okay, that's all well

02:03:04   and good, but I've understood

02:03:08   that typing on the Vision Pro is challenging, and so

02:03:12   and so it occurred to me it would be nice

02:03:16   if I could use universal control, which is the same technology where you can

02:03:20   control an iPad that's sitting next to your computer, if I could use

02:03:24   universal control to say cast my eyes at the Vision OS

02:03:28   Slack, so I'm not running Slack on my computer in this

02:03:32   hypothetical, I'm running it within the Vision Pro, adjacent

02:03:36   to my computer screen, but it's the native Vision OS, Vision Pro

02:03:40   Slack, well if I cast my eyes over there, can I clickity-clack

02:03:44   and type on the physical Mac keyboard that

02:03:48   is sitting in front of me and have it appear within Slack

02:03:52   and if I can, just chef's kiss, just perfect

02:03:56   that would be amazing. Yes, you can, you've seen the demos of it, right? Well, at the time

02:04:00   I wrote the blog post, I hadn't, but now, and this is why I bring this

02:04:04   up, is now we've seen the demos, and I don't recall any one video

02:04:08   that did a particularly satisfying job of it, but most of them, at least in passing

02:04:12   said, oh, and you can slide your mouse over, which I actually, MKBHD's

02:04:16   video did a good job of showing this. That's true, that's fair.

02:04:20   And so, anyway, you can slide your mouse over if you so desire, and then you get like an

02:04:24   iPad-style mouse. This is something we were thinking about a while back, where like

02:04:28   surely you can't have a mouse cursor just floating in the middle of nowhere, and you can't. Like the mouse

02:04:32   cursor is never going to appear like, just randomly like, floating

02:04:36   in, but it will appear within the windows of either

02:04:40   obviously your Mac where the mouse cursor lives, but also within

02:04:44   the, I don't know what you call them, the windows of a native Vision OS app, that is

02:04:48   the only place the cursor will appear, and when it's there, it looks like an iPad cursor with a little

02:04:52   translucent circle. When you pull it out of there, it does not

02:04:56   pop off and just be free-floating. It always has to go to, okay, it's on your Mac screen,

02:05:00   it's in your Vision OS thing or whatever, and that I thought was a

02:05:04   good way to solve this, because you really do not want that cursor to be like, where is it?

02:05:08   Is it up on the ceiling? Is it down on the floor? It's always going to be in one of the windows.

02:05:12   Yeah, and so, in this theoretical world, I could

02:05:16   be at the, again, leaving aside the, oh my god, this guy, can you believe

02:05:20   this guy? Leaving that aside, that's a really big asterisk, but

02:05:24   I could hypothetically be at a library or Wegmans or what have you, and,

02:05:28   or on a plane, and I have my computer open, and I connect

02:05:32   to the computer, and so now the computer screen goes black, nobody can see what the computer's doing,

02:05:36   except me, and I have a 10-foot-wide screen in front

02:05:40   of me, littered all around it with different Vision OS windows, and I can

02:05:44   control all of them via either my eyes, the keyboard, the mouse, or a

02:05:48   combination of the three of them. Now, Jon, coming all the way

02:05:52   back to your question, well, what resolution is that? And what was interesting was,

02:05:56   I had heard in the keynote

02:06:00   that it's a 4K screen. That's what Apple kept

02:06:04   saying. And Apple's been consistent about that, but if you read, I'm pretty sure it was in

02:06:08   Nielle's written review on The Verge, apparently

02:06:12   what it is, is that the Mac is

02:06:16   broadcasting, for lack of a better word, a 5K display.

02:06:20   So the Mac thinks it's connected to a 5K display,

02:06:24   but what's actually getting sent to the

02:06:28   Vision Pro is a down-sampled 4K version of that 5K display.

02:06:32   And when you say 4K, though, what is the resolution in pixels? That's what I'm getting at.

02:06:36   I heard everyone banning around 2560x1440, which is

02:06:40   the 1X version of 5K. Right, that's what I was getting at. Like,

02:06:44   2560x1440 pixels is not 4K.

02:06:48   2560x1440 points is also not 4K. It's bigger

02:06:52   than 4K. Yeah, that's 5K. So I'm like, okay, but like, the virtual

02:06:56   screen, like, what, you know, essentially if you, if you, uh, pull

02:07:00   it real close to you, like fat bits, get it real close and like look at a single pixel

02:07:04   and photo, a single retina pixel in some app that lets you do that, like, like how many

02:07:08   retina pixels across is that thing? 'Cause obviously you can make it bigger

02:07:12   and smaller, but you're not adding pixels when you do that, you're just literally making all the pixels bigger.

02:07:16   Well, and, and, by the way, I would argue that if you're doing

02:07:20   pixel-level work, the Vision Pro is the wrong tool for that job, because

02:07:24   nothing about the Vision Pro is pixel perfect. It's,

02:07:28   it is, the whole thing is like free-floating, everything's fluid.

02:07:32   Well, but, but the good thing about Vision Pro is you can literally shove it up to your

02:07:36   face. So the pixels get really big, and then something like, it's,

02:07:40   it's like fat bits, but it's like putting your, literally putting your face close to the monitor. We don't want to do that

02:07:44   'cause it's uncomfortable and you'll get nose grease on your monitor, but with Vision Pro, none of those things are a problem.

02:07:48   So you can shove the screen right at your, rather than using, like,

02:07:52   you know, Option, scroll wheel in Photoshop to zoom in Photoshop, you can zoom in

02:07:56   in the Vision OS by literally pulling that window closer to you until the individual pixels

02:08:00   are the size of tennis balls, and then you, you could, if you wanted, look at them with your eyes,

02:08:04   or more likely, you're just gonna use your mouse or your trackpad, and now your targets with your mouse

02:08:08   or your trackpad are seven inches across for each pixel.

02:08:12   By the way, do you not use the accessibility zoom thing where you're holding down control and scroll on your

02:08:16   Macs? Oh, no, I do. Oh, I do all the time. Like, that's, I, I enable that on all my Macs, and

02:08:20   I use it constantly. Constantly. Right, but like, but within graphics apps, like when I'm

02:08:24   in Photoshop, I, this drives me nuts in Photoshop, Adobe, if you're out there listening,

02:08:28   for those that don't know, if you're using Photoshop, one of the shortcuts they have is instead of

02:08:32   control scroll wheel, which is what I have the accessibility thing bound to, which just takes the images

02:08:36   on your screen and blows it up, like it doesn't add any more pixels, it gets blurry, you know, whatever.

02:08:40   That's great, and everyone should enable that, it's an amazing feature as your eyes get older, right?

02:08:44   But in Photoshop, if you hold down the Option key and hit your scroll wheel or swipe

02:08:48   or whatever on your mouse, or two finger swipe on a trackpad, it will zoom

02:08:52   within Photoshop, as in, it will change the magnification of the pixel-based

02:08:56   image that you're seeing. So instead of being 100%, it'll be 200%, 3%, right,

02:09:00   you know, so the images on your screen are getting, but you're just zooming in Photoshop, and I wish,

02:09:04   I wish so badly that when I did that, it zoomed

02:09:08   centered on where my cursor is. But it doesn't. It just

02:09:12   zooms based on how the, essentially the crop

02:09:16   of your current view is showing, like it's centered, because often there's a little

02:09:20   section I want to zoom in on, and I'll put my cursor over it, and I'll hold down Option, and I'll swipe

02:09:24   my scroll wheel, and that part that I want it to go will go flying off the edge of the

02:09:28   crop area, because it doesn't zoom where my cursor is, but, anyway.

02:09:32   Alright, so reading from The Verge, there's a lot of very complicated

02:09:36   display scaling going on behind the scenes here, but the easiest way to think about it is that you're basically getting a

02:09:40   27-inch retina display, like you'd find on an iMac or a studio display, well, an older iMac,

02:09:44   or a studio display. Your Mac thinks it's connected to a 5K display with a resolution

02:09:48   of 5120x2880, and it runs macOS at a 2 to 1 logical resolution

02:09:52   of 2560x1440, just like a 5K display. You can

02:09:56   pick other resolutions, but the device warns you that they'll be lower quality. That virtual display is then

02:10:00   streamed as a 4K, here you go John, 3560x2880

02:10:04   video to the Vision Pro, where you can just make it as big as you want.

02:10:08   The upshot of all this is that 4K content runs at native 4K resolution,

02:10:12   it has all the pixels to do it, just like on an iMac, but you have a grand total

02:10:16   of 2560x1440, I guess, points to place windows

02:10:20   in, regardless of how big you make the Mac display in space, and you're not

02:10:24   seeing a pixel-perfect 5K image. So that says to me

02:10:28   the Mac, again, is rendering everything at a pixel-doubled

02:10:32   5K, but it's streaming, if you will, a video stream,

02:10:36   I don't think that's literally how it works. Yeah, it's like the iPhone 6 Plus. Yes. I wonder if that's like an

02:10:40   M2 limitation, I do wonder why they chose to do that.

02:10:44   I mean, it could just be like the bandwidth of that stream,

02:10:48   like, you know, because whatever they're doing to

02:10:52   have super low latency screen sharing, I'm sure there is

02:10:56   some kind of upper bound to how, you know, what the resolution that they're sending can

02:11:00   actually be, while still keeping it that low latency and that reliable over

02:11:04   whatever wireless connection it's using. Yep, so I am super stoked

02:11:08   for this, I genuinely think if I can get over myself, which

02:11:12   is a humongous if, if I can get over myself, you know, just

02:11:16   today I went to Wegmans, because I typically like to go somewhere on Wednesday mornings, so I think I've said before, to do

02:11:20   my research for ATP and prep for it and whatnot, and I

02:11:24   can do that just fine without having a silly thing strapped to

02:11:28   my face, but it would be so much nicer if I had this silly thing strapped to my face.

02:11:32   And so, yeah, I'm really excited to try this, and I hope

02:11:36   I can build up the self-confidence to do this outside of the house, which I'm not sure if I can,

02:11:40   but I'm so excited. If we don't mention this, people are going to send it to us,

02:11:44   I'm hoping I'm saving us here. There is an app that someone put up,

02:11:48   I think it's on GitHub, that will essentially allow you to take

02:11:52   Windows from your Mac, individual Windows, and make them appear as

02:11:56   floating, independent Vision OS windows in Vision OS.

02:12:00   I forget what that app is, but we'll try to find it. I have it, I have it, it's called Ensemble.

02:12:04   I have no idea the mechanism by which this works, but yes, I'm aware

02:12:08   of this as being a thing. Yeah, and we're getting to the point

02:12:12   of the resolution and how this app works versus how Apple's thing works,

02:12:16   I think the limiting factor is going to end up being what is

02:12:20   your bandwidth and latency between Vision OS, which is not

02:12:24   connected in any physical way to your Mac, like it's radios, right?

02:12:28   We know that trying to drive a very large

02:12:32   number of pixels with low latency without any quality loss requires

02:12:36   a very fast bus. For years,

02:12:40   having external retina 5K display was difficult because none of the display buses that were available

02:12:44   were up to the task, the one in the 5K iMac was split into two, right?

02:12:48   Obviously we have display stream compression, and you could

02:12:52   do H.264 encoding or H.265 encoding to it, but then you have problems with

02:12:56   latency and quality, and so that I feel like is the limiting factor here. Whatever

02:13:00   Ensemble is doing, it's like, well, I just want it to be good enough, but already

02:13:04   the Apple thing, which is only one Mac at a time, and one screen on that one Mac

02:13:08   at a time, even that is not the full resolution that is actually being

02:13:12   rendered at, presumably for bandwidth and latency-related

02:13:16   reasons. Would it be cool if you could hook up

02:13:20   your Mac with a wire to Vision Pro and essentially

02:13:24   using the Vision Pro as the world's fanciest display for your Mac

02:13:28   with less quality loss and more bandwidth to have more

02:13:32   screens? Yes, that would definitely be cool. Maybe a future version will do that wirelessly, we'll see.

02:13:36   But right now I feel like that is one limitation to keep in mind,

02:13:40   and to Marco's point, if you're doing something where it's really important for you to be able to see

02:13:44   those retina-width hairlines, you're probably not going to be able to see them

02:13:48   in Vision OS to start, because you're not even seeing the

02:13:52   5K resolution that the Mac is rendering at. You're seeing a squished-down

02:13:56   version of that. And then on top of that, whatever

02:14:00   compression algorithm or latency, I'm not

02:14:04   entirely sure it is 100% quality all the time, at least

02:14:08   dynamically. Maybe it stabilizes to 100% quality, but in motion

02:14:12   I don't know how they can produce a zero-latency pixel-perfect image of even

02:14:16   a 4K screen wirelessly, but maybe I'm not doing the math right. But anyway,

02:14:20   it's something to consider. But I do think the ability to pull the virtual window

02:14:24   close to your real nose, I guess,

02:14:28   without getting nose grease on it, is a potential advantage for doing

02:14:32   pixel-precise work with an input method that is less precise than a

02:14:36   mouse. Or with a mouse, because again, to your point, Casey, you can use your Mac

02:14:40   trackpad or mouse and your Mac keyboard as input devices

02:14:44   in Vision OS apps. It'll look like an iPad cursor, but you do have that precision.

02:14:48   Don't forget too, by the way, for all that display

02:14:52   compression of having the Mac render itself to the 5K,

02:14:56   then having it compressed down to 4K, then having it apply some kind of lossy compression

02:15:00   algorithm to actually make it enough data to work over the connection, then being displayed

02:15:04   in Vision OS window on 4K displays where the

02:15:08   Vision OS window you're looking at is not taking up the full display.

02:15:12   Well it is if you pull it close to your nose, and if you pull it real close to your nose, you're using more than 4K for an eighth of the display.

02:15:16   No, but I'm saying the physical displays inside the Vision Pro

02:15:20   are themselves only about 4K each.

02:15:24   If the display is, if you're only seeing a tiny corner of the display,

02:15:28   you're using all 4K pixels in that one eyeball

02:15:32   to show one sixteenth of the virtual display.

02:15:36   Yeah, anyway, regardless, there are so many layers of compression

02:15:40   and loss here, and interpolation, and

02:15:44   skewing potentially, and like, there are so many layers of processing

02:15:48   going on with these pixels. That's why I'm saying this is not a

02:15:52   pixel precise device. It is not designed for that in any way, because

02:15:56   it is just, there's so many little tricks here and there of like

02:16:00   well we're going to take this image here and blur it over here and composite it over here and render this over

02:16:04   here and then project it onto your eyes with this thing through this lens and this angle, like

02:16:08   there is so much going on there. This is not a pixel perfect work

02:16:12   device, and that's fine. There's lots of other things that we'll be able to do, but that's not one of them.

02:16:16   David Chava was asking in the chat room, is it actually possible to pull the virtual Mac screens

02:16:20   so close to you that you're only seeing a tiny portion of it? I assume so. I don't know.

02:16:24   I've never tried it, and I didn't see anyone in any of the demo videos try it either.

02:16:28   Because they always like, they always demonstrate, look, you just grab the thing on the bottom of the window

02:16:32   and you move the window farther and closer, and what they end up doing is moving it from four feet

02:16:36   to five feet to three feet to four feet, but they never go, I'm going to pull

02:16:40   this thing up, you know, so it's totally filling your field of view. It's got to be possible, because you

02:16:44   can leave the window, like the idea, Gruber's talking about this in his review,

02:16:48   I think. If you arrange all your windows around you, and you get up out of your seat

02:16:52   and you walk to another room, the windows stay in the room where you were

02:16:56   when you were sitting in the chair, until and unless you hit that button to recenter them around yourself.

02:17:00   So when you get up from your desk and start walking forward,

02:17:04   I assume you'll get closer and closer and closer to that one window that was in front of you, or whatever,

02:17:08   and eventually you'll walk right through it. And right before you

02:17:12   walk right through it, if it is at eye level, it has to be filling your field of view, right?

02:17:16   Yeah, because you can play with that in the simulator, because you can take

02:17:20   your PS5 controller with the simulator and kind of walk around the windows. They start

02:17:24   to fade away as you get too close, though, I think. I haven't done it in a while.

02:17:28   That may be the thing. Maybe you can't actually get that close to them because they become so transparent

02:17:32   you can't see anything anymore. I believe that. I think that happens. I can't pull it up right now,

02:17:36   but I think that's what happens. That'll be an interesting thing to see.

02:17:40   The other thing that I have not actually gotten an inclusive answer to is like, oh,

02:17:44   it's more than 4K for each eyeball, and people think they're going to see a 4K display.

02:17:48   It's like, well, not unless it fills every pixel of that display, which it probably won't because it's not

02:17:52   even the right aspect ratio to begin with. I don't even know if it can.

02:17:56   I don't even know if the OS allows a window to

02:18:00   project one-to-one onto the output pixels. Yeah, yeah.

02:18:04   Like I said, maybe you can't zoom it that far because it comes transducing. But the thing I've never got the answer to

02:18:08   is, does having a more than 4K display for each eye

02:18:12   offer you more effective resolution than having

02:18:16   a single display in front of you, not in a headset,

02:18:20   that has as many pixels as one of the eyeballs? You know what I mean? Like, do you get more resolution from

02:18:24   each eye having 4K pixels than two eyes looking at a real 4K

02:18:28   screen? And I don't know. There could be some weird interpolation tricks you could do maybe, but

02:18:32   I don't know. I mean, it seems to me that you should, especially when things

02:18:36   are in motion, because they're seeing two different images, but maybe I'm wrong. Maybe I'm just not

02:18:40   thinking it through. Anyway, yeah, limitations like the window fading are

02:18:44   considerations that have to do with VisionOS that may prevent you from ever

02:18:48   getting close enough, ever being able to see the window

02:18:52   in an opaque manner, filling your field of view in that way.

02:18:56   (beeping)