On a recent episode of Too Embarrassed to Ask, The Verge’s Lauren Goode and Walt Mossberg and Recode’s Kara Swisher and Dan Frommer talked about Apple’s September product event, in which it announced new iPhones and Apple Watches.
You can read some of the highlights from their discussion at that link, or listen to it in the audio player above. Below, we’ve posted a lightly edited complete transcript of their conversation.
Transcript by Celia Fogel.
Kara Swisher: Lauren, I was looking forward to our weekly chat, but I see you're not alone today. Who are these strange men you've brought to the podcasting studio?
Lauren Goode: Well, one of them you've worked with for a very long time.
KS: Yes, indeed.
LG: So it concerns me a little bit that you're not quite sure who he is.
KS: [laughs] I'm not wearing my glasses.
LG: It is the one and only Walt Mossberg, who is in town for today’s — because today is Wednesday and you're going to be listening to this on Friday — for today's Apple iPhone 7 event.
KS: Yes, we all were there.
LG: We were all there, which if you listened to last week's podcast you're going to find really funny because Kara kept saying [Kara voice], "I'm not going. I'm not going to that event. I don't go to those events."
KS: Yeah, I made the fatal error of calling Steve Dowling yesterday and he's like, "Why aren't you going?" And sort of made me feel bad.
LG: And you had someone with you.
KS: Yes, an author I brought. But we'll get into that later. We also have Recode Editor-in-Chief Dan Frommer, who also is sitting right next to me, liveblogging the event.
Dan Frommer: Indeed.
LG: Who at one time was an Apple reporter.
DF: Yes, still sometimes.
LG: You wear many hats.
KS: All right, so I think we should just get into it. You guys have just come from the demo pit and you saw the live launch essentially of all the things, nothing of which has surprised because a lot of it had been pre-reported essentially, and then Apple sort of released a lot of stuff before they actually announced it on stage so that was super-helpful. [laughter] But let's go through the big announcements today and then later in the show we'll answer some questions sent in by our readers and listeners. So, I guess, should we go in … Lauren, you decide. In order?
LG: Let's start with this. I'm going to turn it on Mossberg and say, what do you think was the most important thing that was announced today? And we'll take it from there.
Walt Mossberg: I think the most important thing for a lot of people is that there's no more headphone jack. There's been a long, slow buildup to people knowing about this. But when I say people, I mean probably techie people. I think average, normal iPhone owners, whom there are many because there are a billion active iPhones out there, a lot of them aren't going to be ... aren't aware yet that there's not ... that there ... and especially the ones that paid for expensive headphones that won't plug in anymore. And so in some ways that will be the memorable moment of this, like other moments when Apple has been the first company to get rid of something. But the most important thing was, they have taken a big gamble in a year when Samsung finally I think got people to say hey this is a fantastic phone they made. They did two of them. Apple has decided that for the first time, their every-two-year cycle, they were not going to do a redesign for the outside of the phone, they were going to stick with the same case, the same design. Now they ... in fairness, it's heavily redesigned inside and has a totally different or improved new operating system, and so it's not the same phone, but it's a gamble. And they decided to put it on a two-year cycle, at least this time, and the big new deal, whatever it's going to be, is going to be next year for the 10th anniversary for the iPhone, and I think that's a corporate gamble. Particularly given that their iPhone sales have been falling the last couple of years.
KS: Yeah, I didn't know if I was going to replace it. Dan, what do you think the most important thing was?
DF: I think the most important thing for a lot of people in practical use is the longer battery life that they've engineered into the new phones.
WM: You get two hours.
DF: Two hours, which is, you know …
WM: On the smaller one.
DF: It's like anywhere between and 10 and 20 percent of your day, so that's helpful, I think. It'll stretch, I think for a lot of people, the usable time of the phone past the limit that people needed it to. So that's good. I think the most interesting long-term thing they kind of showed today was this gamble on wireless headphones and earbuds, which have existed for many, many years, were always a pain to set up — every time you want to use them, you have to pair them to your device; if you want to switch them from your iPad to your iPhone, you have to re-pair them. The sound quality is garbage. They have these big batteries so they either require a neck piece on the back of it or are just really bulky. And today, the first generation, they announced these things called AirPods, which are ... basically look like if you take your iPhone earbuds and just cut the cords off, that's kind of what they look like. They're expensive. They're $160, and who knows if they are going to be a successful product or not.
KS: We don't know if they sound good.
DF: We don't even know if they sound good.
WM: Well, I know.
DF: Walt knows.
WM: Because I've spent some time listening to music on them and I was quite surprised at how good they sounded.
KS: What about a phone call?
WM: I couldn't do a phone call. I was in the middle of an Apple thing with people all around me and a lot of noise and I didn't do a phone call.
DF: We don't know, like …
WM: But they sounded quite good.
DF: … if you're walking aggressively up a flight of stairs, will they pop out?
LG: If you're running with them, will they fall out?
DF: I really don't think you can run with these, but it's interesting. This is obviously version one, and imagine version five with these and maybe they just hang out in your ear all day and maybe they have microphones built in so you can just hear through them, and it's very much like the movie "Her," where you're all of a sudden just talking to your phone all day. I've started to live that lifestyle in some ways through my Amazon Echo, you know, where all of a sudden it's not crazy to just ask your computer, "Help with math," or something like that. So anyway. Long term I think that wireless audio earpiece thing is a really interesting bet and we are now seeing just the very first version of it.
KS: I feel like I will lose them.
DF: I think a lot of people …
LG: A lot of people said that.
LG: Mhmm, they're just going to fall out.
WM: But your inclination will be to keep them in the case because the case charges them for 24 hours. And so the value of that charging for 24 hours is pretty high. So you're pretty likely to keep ... now you might lose the whole case but …
LG: And you can actually use the case to pair them. There's a button on the back of the case …
WM: When you flip the top.
LG: … when you flip the top open. It flips open like a match ... not a match, a …
WM: A cigarette …
LG: … a lighter. A cigarette lighter.
KS: It looks like that, yeah.
LG: I'm obviously a smoker. I'm like, "That match thing you use." Mossberg's like, "No, it's the opposite of the match." [WM laughs] So anyway, it flips open like a lighter and then it prompts something on your phone provided you're running all the right software, the new right software. It says, "Would you like to connect?" So you don't have to go into that settings menu on your phone. And then you press a button on the back of the charging case of the buds and then it pairs with the phone. Mossberg and I used this briefly.
WM: It pairs with the phone, with one ... you flip open the top and you get a button. You hit the button and it's paired with the phone. None of this go through menus or Bluetooth or anything like that. And as a bonus, it will then propagate itself through all your Apple devices, and so if you try to use them on your Mac or your iPad, it's already all set up.
KS: And you don't have to do it over and over again.
WM: You don't.
DF: Which is great because you're not unplugging a pair of earphones from your Mac to your phone or trying to pair Bluetooth on three different devices.
LG: But overall, the options we're talking about ... it's funny, because now I feel we're moving into this territory where we're like, "Here's what's actually kind of cool about it," right? And that's all well and fair. At the end of the day we still have three new options today for ways in which you can listen to audio on your new iPhone. You can either buy a $160 pair of Apple earpods. You can use an adaptor …
KS: Dongle! I'm sorry, I want to say the word dongle.
LG: … which is a lovely 3.5 millimeter …
KS: It's $9, right? The dongle?
LG: It's cheap.
DF: It's free. It comes with your phone.
WM: It comes in the box.
LG: But an extra one is $9.
WM: Which as far as I can tell is the lowest priced thing Apple's ever sold.
LG: Aside from software. Aside from an app.
WM: Aside from a 99-cent app, yeah.
LG: And then the third option are these new Beats headphone. These are all options through Apple.
WM: No, the third option is the Lightning, is the ear …
KS: The Lightning headphones.
WM: The wired earbuds that come in the box just as always but they have a Lightning connector.
LG: Right. And then otherwise you can pay for your other Bluetooth headphones. Your non-AirPod Bluetooth headphones.
WM: Can I say one more thing, and I think you would know the most of anybody at the table about this, but I just want to raise it and then maybe you can talk about it. I think a tremendous amount of attention in the redesign of the same looking iPhone was paid to upgrading the cameras, on both actually, but especially on the big one. And they spent a lot of time at the presentation on it. And I think that's because they know one of the big reasons people choose a particular phone is the camera. I have not tried it. I don't know. I know Apple always says, "These are average, unretouched photos," and they look sensational. Somebody actually took one onstage and it looked pretty good, but ... so I think the camera is a big deal, a big part of this. Do you not agree with that?
LG: No, I agree. Now the iPhone 7, the smaller phone, the average-size phone, has optical image stabilization, which previously Apple had always reserved for its phablet, the giant one. And that also, by the way, all kind of ties back into this removal of the headphone jack, because by removing the headphone jack, they were able to make space in the phone for a bigger battery, optical image stabilization, things like that. So there's that now in the base model, if you want to call it that. And then the 7 Plus, it's a dual-lens camera. Which is becoming increasingly popular. Other manufacturers have done this. LG has done this. Huawei has done this. And they're all finding these ways to capture more information through the images that you're taking. And then sort of marry them together or process them in some way that's supposed to make better photos.
WM: But they all do different things with it, and what Apple chose to do with it …
LG: Is a wide angle.
WM: … was to make it true optical zooming. Now it's not a huge amount of optical zooming — it's 2X — but they claim that because it's two cameras that the amount of — correct me if I'm wrong; I'm looking right at Lauren Goode, ‘cause she was sitting right next to me during this — the amount of information, size of the image that you have captured in terms of the number of pixels, is now so big because it has the two lenses, that even after you've done the 2X true optical zoom, you can go on and do fake zooming, digital zooming, without fear of an average person looking at the picture and saying ...
LG: "That looks like a shitty photo."
LG: I mean, at any point when you're using digital zoom, you're only going to get so far before your photo looks like junk.
WM: But you can get farther.
LG: Yes. Now it's a combination.
KS: Okay, listen, Geek and Wonk? Geek and Wonk?
LG: But Kara!
DF: This is huge for Snapchat, by the way, where everybody is zooming all the time.
KS: But I think most people are like, "Are they better pictures?" For regular people to be able to use it easily.
LG: Yes, they're going to be better photos because Apple would not put out a next-generation phone without in some way improving the photo-taking capabilities.
KS: The photos on other phones are pretty good.
LG: Yes, cameras on other phones are very good, and so at some point people will probably do — Verge will probably do this as well — we'll do some type of camera shootout, we'll compare them. And Apple has always said because they have control of the full stack of everything that they do, both in the software and the hardware side, that they're ... even if you can look at all the specs compared with some of the other cameras on their smartphones, and maybe the specs don't match up, but Apple will say, "Oh, we produce better photos."
KS: But is it enough to want to buy a new one, given it looks the same? I mean, let's talk about the external things also.
WM: Can I ask a question that goes directly to that? How often do you drop it in the toilet? Or the sink?
KS: Oh, often. Often.
DF: At least every day.
WM: Well, now it's waterproof. Now they're way behind Samsung; they're at least two generations behind Samsung on doing it, but finally they have done it.
KS: Waterproof-ish? Or waterproof?
WM: No, waterproof. It can go three meters deep for 30 minutes, I want to say, without just being destroyed. And that more than covers the dropping in the puddle, the dropping in the sink, the dropping in the toilet. The 90-percent case of the common cases.
DF: Trenta iced coffee.
WM: Trenta iced coffee. Well, I don't know! They didn't say it was Starbucks proof! But it's waterproof.
LG: What is the rating? It's IP …
LG: 67. So the first number refers to the dust resistance and the second number refers to the water resistance. And also factors in water pressure.
KS: So one drop in the toilet. Let's go to regular people who have done this many, many times, including myself.
WM: Yeah, I mean …
DF: I've never dropped a phone in a toilet.
KS: I've dropped 10, so …
WM: Kara, if we're talking about water, which is what they were talking about ... I'm just talking here about water ... [laughter]
KS: Water. Yeah, it's right before anything happens.
WM: Then it sounds to me like unless they have executed it wrong, and we saw a video of it being tested like a bazillion times, I think it sounds like you can now drop an iPhone in a toilet, have it in there the depth that it would normally go and for the amount of time it would take you to fish it out, and you're good!
LS: [laughing] I'm dying right now. Mossberg, how many times have you dropped your phone in a toilet?
LG: I don't believe that.
KS: We have so much rice at my house.
LG: Have you ever dropped it in a pool?
WM: Yes. But not in a toilet.
LG: Dan, how about you?
DF: I've never dropped an iPhone.
KS: Have you spilled something on it?
WM: Wait, wait, wait, what?!
DM: I've never dropped an iPhone.
KS: You mean on the floor?
WM: You mean on the ground?
DF: Zero times.
WM: Oh my god.
DF: Never from more than like six inches.
KS: Look, this was yesterday.
LG: What did you do? Drop yours? Oh, you have another crack.
KS: I don't care. I honestly don't care.
WM: I actually think it's against the rules at Vox Media to work there if you've never dropped an iPhone.
DF: I've never dropped an iPhone!
WM: You may have to be reported.
DF: I don't know.
LG: That's a mean thing. What case are you using?
DF: No case, ever.
KS: Okay, so let's go again, Geek and Wonk, we're going to go to things regular people like. The colors.
LG: Kara, I want to hear from you what you're most excited about!
DF: Oh yeah.
KS: I was not excited at all.
DF: Kara was a liveblogging machine today.
KS: I was a liveblogging machine today. I don't know, I just got a little bothered by the headphones and then I like put myself into context of the whole human race and felt like I should stop caring about some stupid headphones. Although I don't like the dongle.
LG: I want to know what was your thought process.
KS: It thought it looks the same. I think I was underwhelmed. I liked Sia, she was a good singer, but I shouldn't like that more than the event. I didn't want to immediately run out and buy a new phone, for sure. Except mine is cracked so maybe I will. That kind of thing. It wasn't ... it didn't ... especially prices, I didn't say, "Oh wow, I gotta have it." And I think my phone camera's pretty good already. I don't know if I would ... and I take a lot of pictures. There's nothing that I ... it wasn't a must upgrade for some reason.
DF: I would agree with that. There was nothing "gotta have it." But everyone has to have a phone ...
KS: I'll probably do it, I'll be honest. I'll probably do it.
DF: … and people replace them either for economical ... either their deal is up and they get a new one or …
WM: But you have, Kara, a 6s.
KS: Yes, I do.
WM: And I know this because you called me from the Apple store after you told me you're not buying it.
KS: I know, I'll be there.
WM: At some point I will get a call from her saying, "Mossberg, how much memory should I get? And what should I do?"
KS: I may resist this time. I may. I may resist. I did not feel …
WM: You may resist.
KS: The headphone thing …
WM: You have a 6s. I want to go back to something Dan said which I thought was really important which is the battery life. That's a huge deal for people, to get two more hours of battery life.
LG: And the base storage.
WM: Oh! We forgot about that, the base storage is now 32, which they're long overdue for, but here's the interesting thing. Instead of jumping to 64, they jump to 128 for the same $100 …
DF: Which is a very nice amount of storage.
WM: … which is always a lot of money to pay for the next jump, but it's a big difference now. And so I think the two hours of battery life and I think the waterproof thing, may cause people ...
KS: Waterproof. Maybe the waterproof …
WM: The other thing is, you gotta remember, there's a whole lot of people that have 5's and 5s's, who maybe want to go up. And I think there was enough shown.
KS: I'm just resistant to the dongle. The dongle just pisses me off.
WM: You know, if you put the dongle on the end of your headphones …
KS: It's still a dongle.
WM: You won't notice it. It just looks like …
KS: And then I'm going to say the word a lot; it's just going to become something.
WM: I know, I know, Kara. But you'll just, you'll just ... for people that don't do podcasts and aren't childishly amused by the word dongle, it just looks like two more inches of wire.
KS: I just don't like it. I want more stuff. I don't like … I don't know why. When they changed over the power thing last time, I was annoyed by that little tiny little …
WM: Yeah, I was too.
DF: Yeah, but time goes on and you'll get over it.
KS: I'll get over it. I'll get over it at some point.
KS: [laughs] Let's get on to the Apple Watch, another thing …
LG: The WaAaAaAtch!!
KS: The watch. Oh my god, did you just sing "The Watch?"
WM: Oh my god, she is ... you don't want to …
[They all talk over each other]
LG: I have to tell you, I have to tell you …
DF: You have to join Tim Cook in the "Carpool Karaoke."
LG: I had this moment where they first came out and they talked about a new software feature for the watch and I thought, "Oh my god, this is going to be it." And Jeff Williams is going to come out, he's going to talk about this software thing and then he's going to walk offstage and there's going to be no new hardware and I'm going to go home …
WM: She actually said this to me.
LG: ... and I'm going to leave, I'm going to leave, and then they came out and they announced new hardware and I went, "Gasp" …
WM: No, but there's something else that happened. They showed, before they said anything about it, a picture of someone swimming. You know a montage …
LG: Yes, and I turned to Mossberg …
WM: And she turns to me and says, "Oh my god, I think it's waterproof, I hope it's waterproof. Mossberg, is it waterproof?" And I go, "Wait a minute, just hold on and you'll see in a minute."
LG: I saw the swim cap. And it is. So Apple Watch Series 2, not Apple Watch 2 — it is waterproof, it is swim-proof. It has built in GPS, which a lot of fitness hounds have been asking for.
WM: Why is that important?
LG: It's important because if you are tracking distances when you exercise, like when you're running or you're hiking or you're cycling outdoors, the accelerometer and the gyroscope and that other combination of sensors that exists in most fitness trackers, can only do so much in terms of accurately tracking your distances. Once you add GPS, the device is able to locate a GPS signal and then it tracks what you're doing, the location of what you're doing, then afterwards you can see this nice pretty map of what you just did. I know for people who don't work out ... it's like trying to explain first-person shooter games to people who don't like first-person shooter games …
WM: No, no, no, that's fine. I'm not being skeptical, I just wanted you to explain it, that's all.
LG: You know, if you're like …
WM: And it also gives you independence …
KS: You don't need your phone.
WM: Before you needed the phone for that.
WM: Now that's a major reason not to have to have a phone with you.
DF: You still need a phone to hail an Uber.
KS: Everything else.
LG: Well, there's no cellular radio. Which is something that I would say very few smartwatch makers have done. But it does exist. There are some out there where they say, "We're going to put a cellular chip in it so it's going to do everything that you're phone can do on your wrist."
WM: Samsung tried it and nobody bought it.
LG: And it doesn't really work; the form factor doesn't really work. It's not an input device; it's small, the battery life sucks, but …
DF: But now there's ... what is it called? It's not Graffiti, that's from the Palm Pilot …
WM: It's Scribble.
LG: Scribble. Oh, Scribble.
WM: I didn't get to try it.
LG: Physically, the Apple Watch Series 2 looks almost exactly the same.
DF: It is, right?
LG: It is ever so slightly thicker. It is .9 millimeters thicker.
KS: Oh, thicker?
LG: Nine tenths of a millimeter or however you say that. Thicker. Ever so slightly. Look at the photos I took, because I really got up in there, Dan. There are also two speakers, if you look at the side of it. Instead of having one little tiny dot of a speaker, there are two, because Apple has actually built this crazy mechanism to expel water from the ports of the phone.
DF: When I saw that, that was a very Apple genius engineering trick that I wished I could have been in the meeting with it, like, "What if we used the speaker to clean itself of water?"
LG: Yes, and use the digital crown. You finish swimming your laps and then you look at the watch and it's ... and you roll the digital crown and it expels the water from the phone. I mean come on.
WM: It's orgasmic. It's just fantastic.
LG: Kara, you want to go swimming this weekend?
KS: No, not even slightly.
LG: Oh okay. Oh, and then there's a Nike one.
KS: Kind of nice looking.
LG: Same exact thing, except it happens to have a couple of Nike Watch interfaces with shortcuts to running through the Nike Running app, and then it's got a perforated band, which I think, like Casey Newton said, it was something like chemically perforated. I don't even know, he had this hilarious description for it. But you know, that is not altogether surprising. Tim Cook sits on the board of directors at Nike. He has ... Apple has long done things where they're featuring Nike's apps in their App Store. He's a fitness buff, as we know. And you know, Nike had that whole FuelBand thing that didn't exactly work out, so I guess in addition to this being a funeral today for the 3.5 jack, it was also an official funeral for the FuelBand.
WM: And I think we ought to say — and you probably said it in June; I'm going to repeat it — they did something that you can either read as a sign of ... we can read it both as a sign of failure but also a sign of their determination to get this watch right, and that is, putting aside the hardware, they have completely redone the software on this watch. I mean, it's like, it's like a new watch.
KS: Which everybody can get correct?
LG: Yes, everybody can get.
WM: Which everyone can get. And it ... all of the stupid "this doesn't work right" things that were in it or seemed superfluous or not natural are gone. And it really looks like a much better instrument.
LG: Including the gold watch. They completely did away with the gold watch. The special edition one now is a ceramic watch, which is still around $1,200, so it's still expensive …
WM: I know, but Nilay's kind of excited about it.
DF: Yeah, it looks nice.
LG: But the gold is gone. This today to me was Apple saying, "Okay, we're not making like this flashy timepiece that we want, like, Katy Perry and all the other celebrities to wear. We are doubling down on health and fitness because we realize that's what people are using it for."
KS: Yup, I think so. And then the last two things I think we'll talk about and then we'll get to readers' questions: Pokémon Go on the watch, speaking of the watch, and Mario on iPhone. That's a big deal for my children, but not me. But what do you all think? Any commentary?
LG: I think Mario on iPhone is something that has been inevitable for Nintendo. Nintendo for years has resisted the pull to mobile because whenever you talk to Nintendo and you said, "When are you going to do something on mobile?" — because they have sooo much IP, they have so many proprietary games — they would say, "We have mobile devices — they're called the 3DS." They were all about selling people into their own hardware, and I think the shift was inevitable.
WM: Which, by the way, is terrible hardware.
LG: We just did an interview with Mr. Miyamoto, Shigeru Miyamoto, who was onstage to announce this, and he's the famous designer for Nintendo. Developed everything from Donkey Kong onward. And he was saying that, you know, for a while the first thing that kids got their hands on in terms of consumer electronics was a Nintendo device. Now the first thing kids are using are their parents' iPhones. And Nintendo realized they need to be aware that that generation is where future generations are going to be. So they're charging a one-time fee for this game, but there are no in-app purchases, there are no subscriptions. It's very kid friendly, and ultimately I think they feel it's going to be the way they drive people back to Nintendo hardware.
KS: This iPhone penny just dropped over there at Nintendo? [WM laughs] I'm sorry, it's like Apple today saying, "Real-time collaboration." I was like, "Hey, Google Slack! Guess what?!"
LG: Yeah, Google Docs. I wrote in the liveblog that they announced it with like the spectacularity of someone who just discovered a sundial. They're like, "Oh my god! Real-time collab!!"
DF: Is the Nintendo Mario game fun?
LG: I played it for like all of five minutes. It's not out yet, it's coming sometime in October I think? It's fun. It's …
KS: Can you use it with one hand? Can you eat a hamburger while doing it?
LG: No, but that's a fantastic idea.
KS: They said that; the Japanese guy said that.
LG: I should have remembered that.
WM: No, but they said that onstage.
KS: They said it onstage.
LG: I actually don't remember that. I think my brain has been overloaded. Yeah, I played it; it's fun. I mean, you tap on the screen and it utilizes the pressure sensitivity built into the newer iPhone so the longer you hold, the higher Mario jumps as he's running around. And it's very familiar, that kind of scrolling environment where you're like running around and jumping over pipes and stomping on Koopa Troopas and all that fun stuff. And, you know, I think it actually, it's going to be something I think that could effectively bridge the gap between generations of gamers, because I know I would like to play this for fun because I grew up playing Mario and loved some of Nintendo's games. But I could also imagine a younger generation of iPhone users saying, "I'm going to play with this."
KS: Speaking of which, Pokémon Go on the watch, right?
LG: Right, yeah.
KS: But no young person has a watch. Most young people don't do it on their phones or iPads.
LG: Yeah, I have to imagine — this is total speculation — but I have to imagine that Apple and the creators of Pokémon Go started this conversation like months ago to be like, "How can we bring this to the watch," when Pokémon Go was at it's peak, and it's just like, "Ohhh, well onto the next thing." I mean, I don't know how many people are going to use Pokémon Go on their watches. What do you guys think?
KS: Ina Fried will. She's thinking of buying a watch just for that. I found that disturbing in many ways. And now she can stare at her phone.
WM: Oh my god, are you serious?
KS: She said that, she did. Honestly. She likes the Pokémon Go.
WM: I have to have a talk with her.
KS: I know, exactly.
LG: But Kara, who was the author that was with you?
KS: An author who wrote "Seven Days in the Art World" is doing "Seven Days in Silicon Valley."
LG: Oh really?
KS: Yeah, it'll be interesting.
LG: And so you brought her along.
KS: I did. She wanted to see it. She's also sort of a sociologist and she studies cultures and stuff like that, so she's not a tech journalist, which you know, big relief there. So she thought it was a fascinating ... I mean it's like looking at the pygmy tribes of ... [laughter]. She couldn't believe some of the stuff. And she's like, "Do they really do this?" And it was interesting to be there with someone from the outside who was looking at this as a cultural event.
WM: I bet.
LG: Someone on ... a reporter who I think we all know, doesn't work for us but we all know through the industry, was not at the event and was saying on Twitter that she was ... I don't know if disgusted was the right word, but she couldn't believe that reporters were clapping at the event.
KS: It wasn't as much clapping. I was noting the clapping. It wasn't as heavy clapping as there's been in the past.
LG: Yeah, and I know ... we're always too busy to clap.
WM: I never clap.
LG: We never clap anyway, but also we're crazy filing and taking photos and all this stuff.
DF: Which reporter? I don't see any ... I mean the Apple employees in back of us for example. We were sitting directly in front of the chip team. And when they started talking about …
WM: Those are smart people.
KS: A-10, A-10 chip. It was craziness!
DF: [laughing] A-10 chip. It was ... it was like a team …
KS: It was like Bieber was there and it was a bunch of teens, "Ahhhhhhh!!!!!" [laughs]
DF: Better analogy, yeah. As if it were Bieber had showed up.
KS: I think they went, "Yay!"
WM: Well, they worked 820 days on it or something.
KS: And no one cares [laughs]. It's like, yeah, the chip what?. What about the headphones?! Like, you know what I mean? Like they work on the thing that nobody cares about that matter the most, of course. Anyway, it was definitely interesting. But we were saying it was not as high-energy as others have been because there wasn't a lot ... the most exciting things.
LG: What would be most exciting though?
KS: A totally redesigned iPhone. So it didn't look like the iPhone.
LG: Would you like it to look like an older one, like the 4s?
KS: I don't know. It's not my job to think of these things. I don't get paid the big bucks for that. Just something really fresh and new.
DF: And this is why I think they didn't do it. Because I don't think that matters at all.
KS: Really? A new, fresh look?
WM: Oh, I completely disagree with you. I completely disagree with you.
KS: Really? I'm bored with the iPhone.
WM: I'm not where Kara is, but I'm not where you are either. I think it does matter, and I'll repeat what I said at the very beginning. I think they're taking a gamble here.
KS: Okay. In a minute we'll take some questions from our readers and listeners. But first ...
LG: This podcast is brought to you by Errpods. That's E-R-R-P-O-D-S. Every time you make an error, it buzzes you! Electrical shocks through your ears!
KS: All right, Lauren Goode, here we go. We're back with Walt Mossberg of the Verge and Dan Frommer of Recode, talking about the Apple event with Lauren Goode and I. Every week we ask our readers and listeners to send in their questions, comments and complaints about tech topics. You can do that by tweeting us with the hashtag Too Embarrassed. This week we asked our listeners for their questions about this week's Apple event. Lauren, do you want to read the first question?
LG: Yes I do!
KS: All right then.
LG: The first one is from @radbcc. He says, "How many eye rolls did LG have during the event? Over/under 17?" This person wrote to me yesterday and says he likes my eye rolls on CNBC. I didn't know whether to be freaked out or happy that my years of practicing eye rolls is working out.
KS: Did you have any eye rolls?
LG: I don't know, maybe I roll my eyes.
KS: Did you? Did you have moments of "echhh." That kind of thing.
LG: Well, it's funny because I was looking at the bottom of the phone and the headphone jack had disappeared!
KS: Oh, so you eye rolled that. And then Ryan Murphy …
LG: Oh yeah, Ryan Murphy, SheWantsThe ... I don't even know [laughs].
WM: What does she want?!
KS and LG: @SheWantsTheRye [laughing].
LG: "What did Kara think of the event?"
KS: You know, I wasn't planning to go. And it was better than I thought, how about that? And the food was good.
LG: I'm going to harken back a week ago to when we talked about the event and I said, "Kara, are you going?" And she said, "No, I'm not going." She goes, "I never go to these events." And I said, "I have an actual picture on Facebook of us from recent history ..."
KS: Relatively recently.
LG: … "within the past two years of us sitting together liveblogging an event, and Mossberg's in it too.." Actually the funny thing is that Nilay Patel and Casey Newton are sitting next to us. Who knew we'd all be one at some point?
KS: Exactly. If we are indeed one, but all right. [WM laughs] Here's what I think ... I'm excited when they have a car thing. I will go when they have a car thing. That's the next thing. Unless they have a new iPhone, unless they do a car, I'm not going.
WM: So is this your official announcement of a boycott of Apple?
KS: No, I'm not boycotting it. I love Steve Dowling. We'd love to have Tim Cook at Code this year.
WM: They have a car ... [laughs] Yes, we would! I happen to agree with you. What a great idea!
KS: I think he's great. We have so much to talk about.
WM: I have a similar idea.
KS: Encryption. We haven't talked to him since he came out. We have all kinds of issues to discuss.
WM: I would be very interested.
KS: It'd be great.
LG: It'd be great.
KS: I love Apple and all its products, and I think the new dongle is fantastic.
LG: Oh my god.
KS: I didn't like the headphone thing.
WM: And the "Carpool Karaoke"; wasn't that amazingly great?
KS: That was sweet. Yes, he was sweet. He's a sweet man.
DF: That was really great.
KS: Tim Cook is adorable. Anyway …
LG: Next question. Next question is from Daniel Petry, @DPetry, "What's the difference between Apple Watch 2 and Nike? Just software?" I think we already did cover this briefly, Daniel, but I'll cover it again. So they're the same, essentially, except that the Nike version of the Apple Watch Series 2 has some Nike …
LG: Well …
WM: Watch faces.
LG: ... Nike Watch faces. So you see the Nike Swoosh. There's a shortcut to the Nile running app; You can also use Siri to start the Nike running app. On the other watch, you can use Siri to start the generic workout app. But this is the first time I think you've been able to use Siri to start a workout app in another app. And then there's the perforated band. So those are pretty much the differences.
KS: Did you like it, Mossberg? Do you like the Nike band? It's kind of cool looking.
WM: It's fine. They could have a Kellogg's one; they could have a Chevy one.
LG: I don't think I'm going to get it. I'm not into the Nike lifestyle, to be honest. I don't use Nike sneakers …
WM: You're not. You don't look like a Nike woman.
LG: I have like a couple …
DF: You're wearing a very classy watchband right now actually.
LG: Oh, thank you. It's like a fancy leather one.
KS: I'm into the Nike lifestyle. I have Nike hats, I love them.
LG: Do you? I was when I was a kid, when I was playing a lot of basketball.
WM: Why don't you ... you haven't commented on my watchband. Mine is leather.
DF: Yours is great, but …
KS: See you're all wearing Apple Watches, fascinatingly. I have one at home that just sits in the little cradle, and I wear my regular watch.
WM: Lauren, would you read another question? Or Kara, I don't care.
LG: Yes. I'm going to direct this one at Mossberg because you asked about this quite a bit. David Gregory @DaveGregory, "Will you be able to charge and listen to wired headphones at the same time?"
LG: What's their solution?
WM: Their solution is, well …
DF: Their longer battery life. [LG laughs]
WM: There's three solutions they offered to me.One is, we've given you two hours longer battery life, like Dan just said. The other one is, we now have stereo speakers, so the speaker phone works much better so you won't even need earbuds for your conference calls. And the third solution was — I suppose I can't say this because it was an off-the-record meeting — but a third-party company that's pretty well known for making accessories is soon coming out with a little adapter that will let you both charge and put your phone …
KS: Oh for God's ... another adaptor? How much is that? $24.95 right?
WM and LG: Dongles ... [laughing]
KS: I'm serious, what is the deal? I'm just very disturbed by the situation around this iPhone. It's got too much shit hanging off of it!
KS: That's another thing, I do listen. I sometimes sit at my desk and I'm plugged in because I need the power and I listen to it at the same time.
WM: Kara, you should have been at the meeting, I said that two or three times to senior Apple executives and …
KS: And what did they say? "Too bad, Mossberg."
WM: And Lauren Goode brought up another good point, which is when you're commuting on a train which has power, you do the same thing.
LG: Right, at which point I was probably reminded of the fact that I don't know how many Apple executives are commuting on the train to Cupertino. Mostly because I don't think there is a train that goes to Cupertino.
WM: No, mostly because they have Aston Martins.
KS: And also they get handed a new iPhone every five seconds that's fully charged. Something like that; I don't know.
DF: This is what I call the designed-by-Apple-in-California curse. They're too used to the fancy commuter lifestyle, and those of us who need to charge while we're listening constantly …
KS: Also, did they say "courage" to you? "Courage."
WM: No, I teased them about "courage." But can I just say on the California curse …
KS: Explain "courage," Mossberg.
WM: Can I just say one thing? Lauren Goode and I have agreed that the next version of the Mac software — all of them are named after places in California — should be named either Bridgeport or Warwick. [laughter]
KS: No one's going to buy Warwick!
WM: After our hometowns.
KS: Yeah, no, sorry.
WM: They only do California, and it's unfair.
KS: Can you imagine "Made in Rhode Island"? It'd be like, "No, thank you."
DF: Made from the finest felt …
KS: Wait, Mossberg …
WM: Courage was annoying to me.
KS: Explain courage to the people.
WM: Well, I mean, you know, courage is one of those things at Apple which Steve Jobs might have pulled off …
KS: Might have.
WM: Even he would have been, you know, kind of sneered at a little, but he might have pulled it off. But it just doesn't …
LG: What happened here?
WM: The idea was, "We're moving things forward and even though people are criticizing us for taking this headphone jack out, we know that technology all needs to move forward toward better digital connections and toward wireless and we're not afraid and we're doing it."
LG: And it's Phil Schiller, right?
WM: Phil Schiller, who, I would remind you, his primary job is to be their marketing person.
KS: Yeah. But when they took the thing out of the side of the ... where you put CDs in — was that a CD-ROM? — I don't recall them saying, "Courage." It was like, "We're taking it out." I remember …
WM: They didn't say "courage." Steve Jobs didn't say "courage" when he took the floppy drive out. But what he did say, and this is very similar …
DF: He implied it though, I would say.
WM: … it's very similar to when he's playing to you and I onstage about Flash, why he didn't do Flash, he said, "We can only pick certain technologies. We have to decide where they are in their lifecycle and if we think they're getting toward the end of their lifecycle, we get rid of them. The next thing is coming, and, yes, there may be an interval that's uncomfortable for people, but we're going to move toward that."
KS: I recall, "Too fucking bad, I'm doing it." And I like that. I was like, "Okay, I got it."
WM: Courage fell flat.
DF: Walt, do you think that future … everything else they ship from now on will not have a headphone jack? Like will the next MacBook Pro have a headphone jack?
WM: We'll find out soon, but I don't think they'll pull it off the Pro because the Pro is used by people to edit video and audio a lot, so they probably wouldn't pull it out of that one.
DF: Probably not as much as the iPhone is used to listen to it.
KS: There's so much space on there, why can't they just leave it and be nice to people?
WM: They probably will leave it on the computer.
KS: Just leave it.
DF: Or the iPad.
WM: I do think eventually they want the whole thing to be a) wireless and b) have as few mechanical things on them as possible.
LG: i just had visions of us walking around wearing dongles like pendants, like jewelry …
KS: [laughs] Okay, we're moving to the next question.
LG: In the future we're going to have to wear them around our necks because we're just …
KS: Okay, we're going to move on from that.
WM: Only Kara.
KS: I'm not going to have any extras around my life. So, Jude Sterman, @TechNTools, "Ceramic is four times harder than stainless steel but is it more brittle?"
LG: Oh, I don't know.
KS: Mossberg, do you know?
WM: No …
KS: Make it up then.
WM: That's a really good question.
WM: Actually they said ... well, I don't know if this is the same as brittle though …
DF: I'm going to say no. Actually it's more brittle. Ceramic is more brittle.
LG: Is it?
DF: I don't know.
LG: Say it with confidence.
DF: Here's what I'm going to say: I have a ceramic knife, and that is going to break in half, and my steel knives are not going to break in half. So …
KS: What do you do to your knives?
DF: I cook.
KS: I know, but still.
WM: Yeah, but have you dropped your ceramic knife?
DF: Uhhh …
WM: Have you dropped your ceramic knife?
KS: He doesn't drop things.
LG: He doesn't drop ... [laughter]
DF: I did drop a knife the other day, but I was wearing protective shoes so …
WM: Have you ever dropped a baby?
KS: He doesn't have one.
DF: I have never held a baby [laughter].
KS: Oh my god.
WM: Oh my god.
DF: No, I think I've held a baby once.
LG: The only thing that Dan Frommer drops is the mic. [laughter]
DF: Boom. I dropped an iPad once, and that was costly, but yeah.
KS: Interesting. @TechRealSource, TRS, "How will data usage work on the Apple Watch Series 2?"
LG: Well, it doesn't have a cellular radio, so it's not using data.
KS: What about for the GPS? It's just recording …
LG: Oh, yeah. It's …
WM: It's a sensor. It's not a service.
LG: Yeah, it's a sensor. You don't have to worry about data usage through the Apple Watch 2. I mean I guess you have to worry about it if for whatever reason your usage of the Apple Watch Series 2 makes you use your phone. You know, sends you back to your phone more.
WM: Or you take ... or you're in the vicinity of your phone, get a call and you choose ... you're among the very few people that choose to answer a phone call on the Apple Watch and talk into it.
LG: Right, but even then it's not going to use your data. So you're all set. don't worry about it, Tech Real Source.
KS: Just go to town and do nothing on that Apple Watch.
LG: The next one's from Barry O'Shaughnessy, @BOSMedia, "Have they announced new MacBooks?"
DF: Not that I'm aware of. [laughter]
LG: And you were there.
WM: Weren't you at the event? Or not?
DF: There were no MacBooks at the event.
WM: "Not that I'm aware"?!
LG: So how did you feel about that, Dan? [laughter] How did it make you feel? Here's the couch. Why don't you just lie back.
DF: I'm good on MacBooks right now. So no, no new MacBooks.
KS: Mossberg, do you have any news?
WM: There will be new MacBooks. They did not announce them today.
LG: When will they be, Mossberg?
WM: If I had to guess, I would guess they would be maybe next month, because I suspect they will sell them in the holiday season.
KS: Do they have an event?
WM: It will probably have an event.
KS: News from Mossberg.
WM: No, no, no, don't take that as news. Pure speculation.
KS: Okay, all right. I'm taking it as news.
LG: Nilay said that it would take courage for him to keep using his current MacBook Pro [laughter]. So I really hope, and I actually am in the same boat.
DF: Is that going to become a thing now? Is that going to become a meme?
KS: Oh, I think we have to start it.
DF: All right, I'm going to Photoshop when I get back to my desk.
KS: "What's courage?"
LG: Courage. No, the MacBook Pro is really due for an update. But no, Intel just announced their new chip a week or so ago at ... when was it? August 30th or August 31st?
WM: Something Lake.
LG: Kaby Lake. Which was the successor to Skylake, which there's some speculation that some of the PC makers — ahem, Apple — may have been holding back on introducing newer models because some people weren't particularly pleased with Skylake as a processor. But we'll see. You never know. There's always a chance that Apple will just go …
KS: All right, we're going to go through the rest of the questions.
WM: Skylake did not poll well in the swing states [laughter].
KS: All right, Mareks Matisons, @marruciic: "Did they say something about social media strategy and Twitter too early announced leak case?" They didn't mention onstage but they did ...
DF: So what happened was, Apple started using its Twitter account last week, @Apple on Twitter, and they were doing a really clever/tricky thing where they were not actually publishing normal tweets, they were using secret hidden tweets, which is part of the Twitter advertising product, so that people could see their tweets if they were @mentioned or if someone retweeted it, but it wouldn't actually show up in their timeline. And then today apparently they published a bunch of those by accident, early on in the event, that leaked all of the iPhone 7 features, or a lot of them. And people got screenshots of them and you know …
KS: So like Twitter's CFO, they don't know how to use Twitter.
DF: Exactly! Exactly. Well, they were trying ... I think they were being too clever for their own good. And ... it doesn't matter, but slightly embarrassing.
KS: It was lucky they didn't do their DMs. [laughter] Cook, courage. Oh my god, that fell flat.
DF: Courawge …
LG: Courawge ... [laughs]. Wait until they get a load of the real battery life [laughter]
KS: We have three more questions to go; let's get through them.
DF: Anyway, Apple did not address that onstage.
KS: They did not.
LG: They did not.
KS: They didn't do an "Oops" Twitter move.
LG: [laughs] That would be so funny if in, like, the middle of Cook's presentation, he's like, "Oh and by the way you maybe have seen something on Twitter a short while ago."
KS: "On the Twitter." He'd probably call it "The Twitter."
KS: "It was on the Twitter."
LG: "It was not magical."
KS: They used magical just once.
LG: They did. All right, this question is from Will Hicks, @TheWillHicks: "Can I use the airbuds on my iPhone 6s? They should have called them ... airbuds..." Oh, I see! Okay, they're called AirPods. For a second there I thought ... and he's saying they should have called them airbuds. Can you, Mossberg? Use the AirPods on your iPhone 6s? You can, right?
WM: I believe ... we were told that the Bluetooth AirPods, whatever they are, can be used on anything that supports Bluetooth audio.
KS: Even though it's not Bluetooth. It's more ... it's Bluetooth-plus.
WM: It is Bluetooth.
WM: It is Bluetooth.
LG: There was some confusion around that because of the way in which Apple had talked about it. So it's still using the Bluetooth wireless protocol. So the AirPods should work with anything that's Bluetooth.
WM: And you could probably use them on a Android.
KS: And they'll connect the same way?
LG: They will, but they're not going to connect the same way.
DF: My guess is that you could use them on an iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch, iOS 10, Apple Watch, watchOS 3 or MacBook OS 10.12, but I'm just guessing.
LG: You’re amazing, Dan. [laughter] You can also use them on non-iOS devices. You're just not going to have the fast pairing options and the W1 as a processor. People are saying, "Oh, they're sending the stream over W1, it's happening ..."
WM: No, that's just the name of the chip.
LG: That's the name of the chip. But it's still happening over Bluetooth.
DF: They're still using Bluetooth.
KS: It's still $160, by the way.
LG: There you go.
KS: Let's keep that in mind. All right, UMG Kevin, @TheKevinDent: "What is the battery life of the new watch?"
LG: Eighteen hours. Same as the last watch. Technically it is a bigger battery. But it's the same as the last watch because they've added GPS to this one.
DF: Which means …
LG: A day.
DF: … total non-issue. Have you ever run out of battery?
LG: Absolutely. This morning I did! I swear.
DF: What? Did you not charge it yesterday?
LG: Well I ... here's the thing. I didn't charge last night entirely …
KS: She was drinking.
LG: No, I was not. I was up late doing work. And I charged it a little bit, because I got up really early this morning, charged it for a little bit while I was getting ready. I had about 47 percent when I left the house and I thought, "That's plenty to get me through the day," and it did not.
DF: Did you run from Palo Alto to San Francisco?
LG: Not this morning. No, I didn't. I don't know, it just died. But I'm one of those people that I really feel it is onerous to have to charge this thing every single day. But I actually don't know what the solution is because I don't know if it lasted a day and a half or if it lasted it two days it'd be all that much better. I'm looking for something in the five-to-seven-day range.
DF: I wonder if that's because you have the 38 millimeter. But I literally have never run out of battery life.
LG: Which software are you running right now? Are you running the watchOS 3 Beta? Or you're running watchOS 2?
DF: No, I don't do betas.
LG: I don't know.
WM: Let me just say one more thing …
DF: Walt, have you ever run out of Apple Watch battery?
WM: I have once or twice.
DF: Really? You guys have much more exciting lives than I do.
WM: However, we were told that if you don't use the GPS feature a lot, like if you're not a runner or something and you just don't use it, the bigger battery will actually give you some significant boost of battery life. But they didn't quantify it.
DF: Huh, cool. Probably not a second day, though, guaranteed.
WM: They said maybe.
LG: It probably depends on notification and …
KS: Courage, courage.
LG: If you have the courage to go hiking for five hours with it.
KS: All right, last question. George Jones, @Villageorge, okay ... "Do the AirPods signify a return of the Bluetooth Bros?" I have no idea what that means …
WF: What? [laughter]
LG: Wait. Eric, what is it?
Eric Johnson: [unintelligible]
LG: Like the Jawbone guys! Back in the day.
DF: Car service drivers.
KS: You know what? So much worse.
KS: So much. These are really unattractive in the ear.
DF: They look like earrings almost.
KS: Yeah, they do.
WM: So why don't we go out on a limb and say they'll be 80 percent purchased by women.
KS: Um, no. I think guys will wear these. Are you kidding? Totally.
DF: I think, like I said earlier, this is version one. And even some of the other vendors that are making similar things, like, they don't stick out of your ears, and eventually they'll be super minimal in your ear if this catches on.
KS: There's a reason they have the things sticking down. They need it.
DF: Right, there's like a microphone.
WM: No, they have real reasons for it.
KS: So someday they'll fix it.
LG: I'm going to go out on a limb and I'm going to say that the ... call them what you want, the collar jams, the neck buds, the plastic ... those Bluetooth headphones that have a plastic thing that goes around the back of your neck — I think that's worse.
DF: I agree.
WM: Much worse.
KS: I agree.
LS: People love them.
WM: They're all in a drawer at my house.
LG: I see them at the gym a lot.
KS: I wore the neck one for a while and then I thought I looked crazy.
DF: Mine broke, so …
WM: Can I just say something? As your longtime friend and partner? You did look crazy. [laughter]
KS: I did. I wore them for a long time, but they were the best ... hey, listen …
WM: I think I saw you at a CES event and I'm like ... [laughter]
KS: Listen, they had the best ... they sounded good. They're the only ones that ever sounded good.
WM: You looked insane.
KS: I know, but they sounded good.
WM: They made your eyes look like a silver-gray.
KS: I'm eager to find out how good these sound.
WM: They sound very good for music.
KS: All right, but talking on the phone. That's what I'd like to know.
DF: I think they'll be pretty nice.
KS: Yeah, we'll see.
LG: Alright, we're done with the questions. Your final assessments.
KS: Short and sweet.
WM: There was more than the tech rumor mill had led you to believe there would be in this event, I think.
KS: All right. Damning them with faint praise.
DF: It is what it is.
KS: Yeah, it is what it is.
DF: It was fine.
KS: [laughs] It was fine.
DF: Nilay and I were saying earlier — I think he said it first, but I totally agree — it was aggressively fine.
KS: It's like a bad Tinder date.
LG: I'm really going to try to do this in haiku form, hold on. Wired headphones are gone — that's five. New iPhone 7 is okay. That's seven. And then we need five more. Apple Watch GPS. I did it.
KS: You didn't get courage in there.
DF: Yeah, come on.
LG: Courage, courage, courage.
WM: Now all together …
KS: One, two, three …
ALL: Courage! [laughter]
KS: Oh my god.
LG: Kara, what was your assessment?
KS: Yeah. Okay. [laughter] Let's just move on. All right. Tim Cook looked adorable singing. I like "Sweet Home Alabama." There you have it.
DF: That was great.
KS: He was adorable.
WM: Everyone looks adorable singing with James Corden.
KS: I know, and also "Sweet Home Alabama." We're having James Corden on the Recode Decode podcast soon. We're very excited.
LG: Are you going to sing?
KS: I don't know. I'm not really a singer.
LG: You should absolutely sing on the podcast.
KS: Probably we're going to have to sing. This guy is probably sick of that stuff, right?
WM: No, no, no. It's his ticket to fame.
LG: No, I think he loves it.
KS: I get that.
WM: You think that TV show he does in the middle of the night is …
LG: Do you think he'll take his shirt off?
KS: I feel as if Kara Swisher in his car is not really the top of his list of people he wants singing in his car.
DF: What's your go-to karaoke song?
LG: I have an idea — you should drive and terrify him.
KS: I don't know, what's a good song? I don't know, I'd have to think about it.
WM: No, that can't be as good as the time Stevie Wonder got behind the wheel and was prepared to drive.
KS: Something by Earth, Wind and Fire. [singing] Friday night for you to see ... [laughs]. You know, it's interesting because kids today are listening to all ‘80s songs, all the time.
DF: Yeah, that's oldies.
KS: It's fascinating.
LG: Oh my goodness.
WM: And by the way, Apple is producing "Carpool Karaoke" now, or soon, on Apple Music.
KS: Ah, interesting.
LG: They bought the rights to it.
KS: As Dan says, aggressively fine. All right, Walt and Dan, thank you so much for joining us. This has been another great episode of Too Embarrassed to Ask.
LG: It has been great. Thank you, guys! I'm glad Kara finally remembered who you were.
DF: Best one yet.
WM: Yeah, it's hit or miss with Kara remembering who we are.
This article originally appeared on Recode.net.