10 years later: Evangelizing the original iPhone


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Transcript

[background music]

Rene Ritchie: I'm Rene Ritchie, and this is "Vector." Vector is brought to you today by Mint SIM. Mint SIM is like shopping at a bulk discount warehouse, but for your US cell phone services instead of giant cereal boxes. [laughs] You can get five gigabytes of data for three months for just $20 a month, and if you go to mintsim.com right now, and enter "IMfreeship" promo code, you can get free first class shipping on any Mint SIM purchase. Thank you, Mint SIM.

Joining me today, another guest who needs no introduction, but absolutely deserves one. Legitimately, one of my favorite people on this planet, he is former framework evangelist at Apple during the time that Xcode and iPhone was launched. He has worked on apps like TED and Khan's Academy. He drives race cars. He competes in Brazilian Jujitsu tournaments. He is Matt Drance.

Before iPhone

I wanted to talk a little bit, going down memory lane, 10 years post-iPhone, I want to get some of your thoughts, your memories, your feels, and I guess I'll start off with a different sort of question. What phone were you using prior to iPhone?

Matt Drance: I was using a Motorola Sliver.

Rene: Wow.

Matt: I should have expected you to ask me that question, but I did not prepare for it, and somehow I had the answer to that quickly. Yeah, it was a Motorola Sliver, not to be confused with the RAZR. It was a non-flip, flat, pretty thin, and pretty elegant phone. It was the last phone I owned before my iPhone, and it was ironically the only mobile phone I ever liked, and it was the last one I had, the last non-Apple phone I owned.

Rene: I think people forget sometimes, now in the smartphone era, how expensive some of those dumb phones could be back then.

Matt: Yes. Especially those so to speak high-end -- it's funny to say that now -- but those high end Motos. They were pretty elegant. The Sliver was aptly named. It was incredibly thin, and credit where due to Motorola, the industrial design was pretty good, as well as the practical product design.

It was very, very thin metal, and it felt very flimsy. I remember dropping it a couple of times, and it basically would just explode, like the backing plate would fly off, the battery would fly out.

Rene: [laughs] Yes.

Matt: I remember thinking the first time that happened, "What a piece of junk this is," but then at the same time, it never actually got damaged. The kinetic energy from the fall would just dissipate with all those exploding parts, and you'd just put it right back together, and it would be fine, so there was some method to the madness, I suppose.

Rene: Did you have any suspicions, inkling, ideas, or general desires for Apple to get into the phone space back then?

Matt: Of course, and to be clear, I was an employee at the time, but even as a fan of the company and its products, as well as an employee, there was so much smoke already leading up to it. There were so many rumors. People for years had been posting these Photoshopped mockups of what an Apple iPod phone would look like.

Rene: Literally that, right? An iPod phone?

Matt: Yeah, like a click wheel, a nine-button pad, the whole gamut. Remember, we had also done the ROKR partnership with Motorola, so there was a lot of circling, there was a lot of smoke in the way. Very few of us knew for sure what was going on, but a lot of us suspected, and those suspicions, 10 years ago now, were proven true.

Rene: How far along was iPhone -- or I guess, Purple, back then -- when you first got wind of it?

Matt: I did not know until after the announcement. For some background for the listeners, I was working in Developer Relations in the Evangelism Group. My job was to help people build software for the Apple platforms, and as we know, the iPhone did not actually become a software platform until a while after it was introduced. In a need-to-know perspective, I didn't need to know.

However, the minute it was announced, basically as soon as the keynote was over, we got called in to get the briefing that there was no developer story.

[laughter]

Rene: What was that like, to be someone inside the company, but as surprised as one of the people in attendance?

Matt: First of all, any employee will tell you, that's just par for the course. It certainly wasn't the first time something like that had happened. However, I think this was a unique situation because it was a completely new computing platform, and to have been a platform-centric person in the capacity of my job, it was a little surprising to look at the scope of this thing.

Just by looking at the keynote demos, and the still pictures and the slides, like, "Wow. This is a mobile computer. This is a whole new Apple platform," which basically...

[crosstalk]

Rene: That wasn't a certain thing, right? Back then, it could have gone either way. It could have been like an iPod where it had no real platform to it, and just been a consumer device, but they announced that it ran...I think the words that Steve Jobs used at the time was it ran full OS X...

[crosstalk]

Matt: Yeah, he said, "The iPhone runs OS X." That was when we had our little briefing meeting, we had a huge gamut of questions, like is it really Mac OS X, or is it Darwin with a new layer on top of it? We got the most honest answers we could. There were just so many questions from people who remember what the state of Apple software and Apple platforms was at the time.

You look at that first weather app, which basically has the same exact design as the weather dashboard widget on the Mac. We saw that demo, and we said, "What is that? Is that actually a widget? Is a native app? What's it written in? Is it written in web stuff like a dashboard widget? Is it written in Objective C? Is it written in Java?"

All mobile platforms were Java-based at that time. It was a wild 90 minutes of euphoric speculation, and that was quickly cleared up, thankfully.

At iPhone

Rene: Did you have that moment in your head where, "Oh, my god. Apple's announcing a phone," to, "Oh, my god. Apple's announcement a platform," or something that could be a platform? Was that a transitional moment?

Matt: Yeah. I would say the transition lasted minutes.

[laughter]

Matt: It didn't take long to realize that, "OK, it's more than phone calls, contacts, calendars." When Apple Outsider still existed, I wrote about this in a retrospective, about Steve said that it was three things. He said it was an iPod, a phone, and an Internet communicator.

The order of those things was so interesting, because the thing in the middle -- the phone -- was the thing that everybody was waiting for. They introduced it as an iPod, because that was the thing that was synonymous with Apple at the time. He wanted to lead with familiarity, and also with the consumer electronics end user nature of the product.

Then he said it was also a phone, and then he ended with that third thing, Internet communicator, which had this weird, lukewarm, unsure applause following it. The crowd's like, "OK, whatever that means." It was that third part that ended up being the most important.

Rene: It's strange looking back, because Nokia back then, they were experimenting, and they had launched just some standalone Internet communicators that were basically like phones with a...They weren't phones, they were just small Internet devices with a WiFi connection.

Matt: I'd actually love to hear from some people who had worked on or at those companies at the time leading up to that. Why didn't they make a convergent device? The closest thing we had at the time was the Handspring or the Palm Treo.

I think people underestimate just how hard it was from both a hardware and a software perspective to put all that stuff in one package. The competing radio signals, the battery life issues, and all of that stuff, putting all that in one small unit at that time, it was near impossible.

Rene: We've already heard stories from Blackberry people who tore it down, and were like, "Something's going on here. They can't possibly be doing this. They're cheating." As someone who's, you were in developer relations, you were in evangelism, a lot of your career has involved talking to people. Even onstage, training people to talk onstage. Yet that iPhone event arguably was the best keynote presenter doing his best keynote of all time. Just from a communications point of view, that was impressive thing to watch.

Matt: Yeah. [laughs]

Rene: Understatement of the century.

Matt: It's funny working at Apple, especially whether you're onstage yourself or not, you always would be looking to Steve for cues on how to give a great presentation. I definitely remember watching that keynote and saying...

Actually, it was really just that moment where even before he announced it, there was that horizon picture of the Apple logo with, I don't know if it's the sun or the moon coming up or whatever. There's some light coming up behind the Apple logo.

He had a very long pause there, and he said, "This is the day that I've been waiting three and a half years for." I remember saying, I was having two thoughts. One thought was, the way he just did that, the way he paused, and the way he delivered it, the poise and the calm in his voice, it just very genuine.

You felt like he really meant it. Steve was always a showman and a salesman, but that felt like a really genuine moment. One part of me said, "It almost doesn't matter what comes after this," because that was an amazing moment. Then immediately after that, I said, "Well, yeah, it kinda does matter, because that was amazing moment," [laughs] and, "He better be telling the truth."

Rene: He had a really good way of being human onstage. There are a lot of people who are incredibly polished presenters. Especially, you see that in politicians. They can communicate a message, but it comes off feeling like a car salesman. You just don't believe what they're saying.

He had a combination of really, he spoke impeccably, but he also spoke in a way that didn't sound artificial.

Matt: If you work with trainers, so to speak, whether they're acting coaches or public speaking coaches, and they talk about the need to have a rise and fall in energy. Steve was very good at that. Steve was very good at being enthusiastic and emphatic when he needed to be, but then taking it back down a notch.

Sometimes, he would just say, "Look at this," just really softly. Versus certain politicians, certain politicians do do that very well. Others don't. They're just always 100 percent on. Steve Ballmer, of course, being, I would say, a pretty famous counterexample of somebody who's just always at 100 percent.

He's very good at that part of it, but if there's no balance there, it can be distracting.

Rene: It's like jazz. It doesn't want to seem too rote, but you want to have the moments in it.

Matt: [laughs] Yes, exactly.

Rene: You are someone whose job it was to evangelize. Right now, almost everyone in this world walks around with some version of Unix and a derivative of webkit in their pocket, but that was by no means the future that everyone was expecting. Windows Mobile was a thing, Microsoft was still dominant back then.

I think most people, if you'd asked them, would have assumed that eventually we'd have a pocket PC running some version of Internet Explorer always available to us. I don't think we appreciated at that announcement that that was the moment when everything was about to change.

Matt: Even in that moment, even as enthusiastic an employee as that was, and even as invested as...Watching that presentation, I immediately knew how invested I was going to be in the success of this thing. That still is not to be confused with me believing or thinking it was going to succeed at all, let alone in the way that it did.

It's 10 years ago. We have people who have literally grown up in the iPhone era. I guess we need to really emphasize this. Apple was not really a slam dunk dominant platform player when the iPhone was released. The iPod was killing everybody, but the iPod was just a music player.

The Mac was not dominant. It still isn't, but it wasn't even as popular as it is today. Then to say nothing of the fact that there was no 3G, It was AT&T only. What was it, $599 with contract?

Rene: For four gigs.

Matt: Yeah. There were all kinds of reasons to believe that this thing was not going to succeed. Now, of course, if you know technology, you know that that's not always going to be how it is. The phone's going to get cheaper. It's going to get better, and etc., etc. Still, you realize that it's an uphill battle.

With all these other platforms, all these other things that are going on, there were a lot of reasons to wonder where we would go from here, and how the competition was going to respond. In terms of how we got to where we are today, it's a testimony, certainly, to all the hard work of everybody at Apple. A lot of missed opportunities and dropped balls on the other side as well.

Rene: Just to help set the stage, too, again, Apple just seems so dominant now. WWDC, we're used to it selling out in -3.2 seconds. I think there's a tachyon field around the website that sells it out before it even becomes available.

Back then, you went through the transition from code warrior, getting people to adopt X code, and trying to fill out a stadium for WWDC. That was all the backstory to this.

Matt: In the years prior, we used to cold call developers, ask them to come to WWDC. It's been long enough that I think I can say that without getting into too much trouble. We did not sell out WWDC. We eventually did, because we would do this campaign-style groundwork.

There was a time when, again, it's just the Mac. The Mac only had single digit market share. There wasn't a strong financial incentive for people to fly to California, buy this expensive ticket, all so that they can invest a whole new round of R&D in the brand new stuff, as opposed to simply making things plod along on the Mac.

That incentive was just not there. Now, like you said, it's like a precog sellout. Before you even know the date of the conference, the tickets are gone.

After iPhone

Rene: For me, I think the transition point, when the original iPhone came out, I wanted one immediately. I had been using a Treo 680. I had been using a Windows Mobile Trio Pro. They were not good phones, exactly what Steve Jobs said.

The iPhone wasn't a platform, to your previous point, yet. It didn't run apps. It had very specific features. Then when the iPhone 3G hit, suddenly it went international. Suddenly, it had carrier subsidies, became available everywhere for an inexpensive price, and it had App Store. I imagine that's when your job as a platform evangelist really kicked in.

Matt: Absolutely. A little bit on what you just said, we used to talk...Apple still talks about this to developers about the value of an international market, internationalizing your app, and localizing the resources, the words on the screen, and everything like that.

It's basic math. You're selling to billions more people than you had been the previous year. The other thing -- I will get to your question about transitioning to a platform, but -- when people think about that first iPhone, they hear about it, and then they think about Apple as a perfectionist company, as a company that never compromises.

I already talked about the price point and the locking to one carrier. All the signs are there. It's quite clear that nobody wanted to bet on this phone. None of the carriers wanted to do it. Remember, this is before the app store.

This is really just a product, and nobody wanted to stick their neck out. AT&T was the only one who did. I think that's what led to a lot of the compromises you saw, capacity price, two-year contract, all that other stuff.

Then one year later, once people saw that this was a big deal, and then once they heard that there was going to be a software platform, then it was inevitable that everybody wanted to get onboard. That's what enabled the international expansion, which of course, was always going to happen.

The Apple that everybody thinks exist in their minds would have waited until they could have released the iPhone 3G with those specs, with that price point, and with that worldwide reach. It may never have happened that way. They made the compromise. They made the decision, we have to do this at all before we can do it the way we want to.

Looking further ahead, I don't think Apple got to where Johnny and Steve really envisioned until the iPhone 4, frankly.

Rene: That's the one that looks like the early prototypes.

Matt: Sorry, back to your question about platforms. Why don't we reiterate the question, just to make sure I don't ramble again.

Rene: No, not at all. With the original, your job was working in platforms and evangelism. The iPhone didn't have that story initially. There was no App Store. They were only the built-in apps. Then when iPhone 3G came App Store. They'd announced the SDK previously, but it shipped with that. Suddenly, you had this second platform to evangelize.

Matt: That's a great story. There was a "platform" at the beginning, as we all know. At that first WWDC 2007, which was two weeks before the phone actually shipped, there was a single session on the phone. Steve mentioned in the keynote that they had what they thought was a really sweet solution for developers.

That was to make web-based "apps" for the iPhone, basically a web page with special CSS and resources, and things that mimicked the look and feel of native iPhone apps.

Rene: Today, we're used to those. Today, we're used to HTML5 apps. Back then, Web 2.0 apps were maybe Google Maps.

Matt: Right. It wasn't there yet. Now, you can get away with it, because it's 10 years later. 10 years is a long time in computing. In 2007, it was not a great proposal. You could hear the groaning in the auditorium. It got worse and worse.

We actually went on the road. The evangelism team actually did a web app tech tour where we went around, and we said, "This is how it's going to work. This is your developer opportunity right now." While we were on the that tour -- I kid you not, while we were on the road telling developers that this is how it is -- Steve published his letter saying, "We're going to do a native SDK."

Rene: Again, you heard about it the same time the letter hit.

Matt: Yeah, and we had to do another seminar the next morning.

[laughter]

Matt: Technology's a fast-moving place. That was really exciting. Once we realized, "OK, this is it. The platform's really going to open up, and people are going to be able to..." At that point, there had already been six, nine months of...October was when that was announced.

People had already been dreaming of the kind of apps they wanted to make for nine months. They'd been writing about it on blog posts, doing podcasts, and things. It was great to really come back home after that and work with the engineering teams, and decide how much of this can we publicize, how much of it can we open up to developers without creating security issues or stability issues?

It was a pretty long, arduous, and painful process getting to where we were. I'm just talking about the SDK. The whole issue of the app store, and distribution, and working outside the carriers, people need to remember that what little mobile software there was was completely ruled by the iron fist of the carriers, by what they were going to allow would go over their airwaves.

It was almost always through some horribly designed, branded store of theirs.

Rene: Or it was the opposite. It was completely fragmented. I remember with Palm OS apps, you would have three or four different major websites that would have these apps that you could buy. It was like $50 for a sticky notes app, and half the time, it would crash your phone the minute you launched it.

Matt: It was a mess. I think certainly, everybody at Apple knew that the status quo was a mess. The question was, "How are we going to do...?" This is how it always is at Apple. When a great product at Apple converges, it's because everything else out there sucks.

The question that people ask at Apple is, "How are we going to do better than this? How are we going to do something that answers all the questions and silences all the critics of the existing thing?" Which comes back to the hype around the iPhone in the first place. Everybody hated their phones.

They were looking around at who could possibly bring order to this chaos, and people consistently came up with the answer, Apple.

Rene: Was it similar, was it an expansion, or was it something totally different, beginning to evangelize iPhone as a platform, compared to what you were doing with the Mac?

Matt: I would say it needed to be different. If I'm being honest, it was hard to get there. I think we all knew that we needed to think about things differently, because especially because the technology was 70, 75 percent the same, it was really hard to get out of the mindset of Mac software development.

There were two reasons that that was important. First is, it is a completely different user experience. The things that make a great iPhone app are not the same things that make a great Mac app, from a design perspective, from a functionality perspective, feature list, all that.

That was the first thing. The second thing is, the audience is completely different. We know this now. There's an entire new generation of developers, people who had no interest in the Mac whatsoever -- maybe they just didn't even have interest in any desktop computer -- who couldn't wait to get on the phone anymore.

There's a funny joke. Again, I had worked in evangelism, I had worked in developer relations for years before the iPhone. Nobody ever wanted to touch Cocoa development. The only people who were doing Objective C were Next holdouts, or just very special sort of geeks.

Even people who were doing mainstream Mac development were still using the older Carbon APIs that were meant to be transitional between the class of Mac OS and OS X. It was a very, very hard sell to get people to use Cocoa and Objective C.

This was a really important historic lesson for anybody who's working on computing platforms, which is that year, between the phone coming out and the SDK coming out, was absolutely critical. That product, that experience, was instrumental in making people want to write software for it.

They concentrated on the end user experience, and they built something that, like I said, everybody wanted to be a part of. I remember people coming up to me at shows and conferences saying, "What's with this web page crap? When can I write real apps?"

Rene: What's interesting to me is the change that happened, just from an outside perspective. For a while, WWDC was strictly Mac, and it had a complete Apple audience. Then flash forward a year or two, once the SDK was out, and you had the traditional Mac developers.

You had game developers who were attracted by the graphics power of the platform. You had people who were smartphone developers for other platforms, people who made Blackberry, or Treo, or Windows Mobile apps, who wanted to get onto Apple's platform.

Then you had people who were attracted to development for the first time, because iPhone became part of the popular culture. The App Store became seen, whether rightly or wrongly, as a way that made apps accessible not just to everyone, but the development of apps accessible to everyone. You suddenly had all these disparate groups really interested in making apps.

Matt: That motivated a lot of that first round of content that we made. We made a bunch of introductory tutorial videos. We made a ton of sample code. There was documentation. That stuff, I don't want to get into the nuts and bolts of it, because that's boring and time-consuming.

We did code reviews on those samples where...Remember, there was so much change at that point, where we had just introduced Objective C 2.0 with dot properties. There were so many changes to the underlying technology.

Core animation was brand new. We were having these horrible, pedantic arguments about should we be using this new Objective C style or this old Objective C style? You had these old guard guys who were like, "Well, that's just syntactic sugar. This is the way it really works," and whatever.

[laughter]

Matt: You say, "Look, guys, there are going to be thousands of people coming in here who have never seen Objective C before, and they don't care about the history. We want them to be successful. We want them to open these projects and go to work.

"We don't want them to open these projects, close them, and go back to Palm, or Blackberry, or whatever they're doing. We need to move these people forward. We need to make this stuff adoptable. We need to make it correct. It needs to be technically accurate, and correct, and to spec, but we can't be burdened..."

Again, I don't want to give myself too much credit here, but it was very helpful for me to have been around. This was my third transition at this point. I had seen the OS 9 to OS X development transition. I had seen the PowerPC to Intel transition.

By the time we came around to this one, I was familiar with these patterns of these old guard people who just didn't want to let go of stuff that really just didn't matter. It wasn't even an issue of who's right and who's wrong.

It was just like, "Look, this is the new stuff. This is what we want people to use, and that's the end of it. Let's work together to get this in people's hands as quickly and painlessly and possible."

Rene: What was it like as a user? Again, you weren't just an employee. You were a customer. You switched from your Motorola phone to an iPhone. What was it like using that in the first year?

Matt: It was really pretty incredible. I certainly remember the first time I held one, which was, of course, before it had been released. The first time I held and I used it, I will never forget. I'll never forget the first time I pressed the home button and saw that animation of the foreground app shrinking away, and those icons converging on the screen.

I will never forget the first phone call I made. I will never forget just the tactile quality of the buttons. This is a pre-production phone, by the way. I remember thinking like, and again, I had...Coming back to the beginning, I was using a Motorola Sliver at the time.

The build quality was incredible. The software was smooth. I realized that, "Wow. This is not smoke and mirrors. They really did it. They really put, more or less, a Mac inside a four-inch piece of metal and glass."

Rene: [laughs] It really was for me, too, night and day, just the interface, immediately compared to everything that came before. It seemed like it was designed to be, a phone is the wrong word. It was designed to be a pocket computer. It wasn't just the Mac shrunken down. It was reimagined.

Matt: It's true. The courage required to really have thrown all that stuff away, certainly there were tons of lessons learned. There was a lot of spiritual similarities between the Mac and the iPhone, but they threw a lot away. It seems like without hesitation, but I'm sure there was a lot of work and conflict involved in getting to that point.

Rene: In the years since, because you left Apple, you became a developer. You've worked on some truly amazing apps, like TED and Khan's Academy. What's it been like using it at as a platform?

Matt: I think back often to that first release, the 1.0, 2.0, 3.0, the ones that I was there for, where we are now, and just how rich and featureful it is. Things like extensions, and Touch ID, and so many things that have reduced the friction that was there in the first release. It's introduced certainly its own complications and its own challenges in doing so, but it's come a very, very long way.

It's an incredibly mature platform. We weren't sure in that first year. When they said, "No third party apps, no whatever," that question was lingering, "Is this really just going to be a glorified iPod, or is this ever going to become the computing platform that it could?" That question certainly has been answered at this point.

Rene: A billion devices running Objective C out there. It's amazing, when you think about it.

Matt: One of the things, you asked earlier, did you ever think that it would be this big, and everything? I can answer when that happened. When it happened for me was when we announced...I think this was iPhone OS 3. It might have been two. It might have been the first App Store release.

It was either two or three, certainly wasn't the original one, but when we announced exchange support.

Rene: iPhone 2.0.

Matt: That was 2.0? That was killer. We had the SDK, the App Store, and then exchange support, which was basically a shot right at Blackberry and Microsoft, but really, mostly Blackberry. When that happened, I said, "OK, it's over."

Not necessarily it's over with this release, but that was the point where I said, "OK, this is not a toy. They are very, very serious about taking over the world, and they're probably going to do it." I think it didn't take much longer after that for it to become true, but that was when I knew.

Post-iPhone

Rene: Engaging futurist Matt for our last question. I think people knew that smartphones were eventually going to become, if not primary computers, at least the most important and intimate computing devices. Now, we have all these competing things. We have wearables. We have projectables. We have artificial reality, augmented reality, and virtual reality.

In the distant horizon, we have the advent of implants and all these things. Do you think iPhone and smartphones have a long path ahead of them, or are there things that you see on the future that are going to be equally important, if not more important? What does future Matt want?

Matt: I think both things can be true. I think there's going to be a very long tale with smartphones. If you think about the leap that you would have to take to create something that makes smartphones truly irrelevant, just forgetting about what that actually is, what kind of a leap in terms of value, quality, and convenience would be required to make people leave their smartphones at home?

Then you think backwards from that. How much work would that be? How much of a time and materials investments would it be, and is that worth it? I think that's really the question, when it comes to how much of a future does a smartphone have.

At some point, it will be supplanted by something, but I think for now, we've got quite a few years left of just people making better smartphones. In terms of what else do I want, I really like my Apple Watch. There are things that I think it could do better. There are things that I wish it did that it doesn't.

It has taken away some of the friction associated with smartphone usage. I take my phone out of my pocket a lot less than I used to. I actually leave it out of my pocket when I'm at my house a lot. A lot of these home connected devices, my phone could be upstairs, and I'm downstairs.

I can make a phone call, or I can send a text message. I can change the temperature of my thermostat, all that other stuff. This idea of a periphery, a web of connected devices -- and I'm not a huge Internet of Things advocate, to be clear -- but a few, discrete, focused areas where things can be made easier.

That really, especially as I get older, I see the value in things that are going to annoy me less, which historically is pretty much in line with the sort of work that Apple does. I'm looking forward to that.

Rene: For me, it's from those recent Marvel movies, where Tony Stark can either flick his phone or pinch to zoom his Apple Watch, and it goes from the screen to a holographic projection.

Matt: It's funny, you see stuff like that, and this is what has happened in the last 10 years. Once the iPhone happened, and especially the ubiquity of web services, and the ease with which people create interesting, connected experiences, things that just weren't worth making before...

To the extent that I was saying before, it's so easy now to start up an Amazon instance, create a new API, and just do interesting things. You see that stuff with Tony Stark, and you're immediately like, "You know, if somebody really wanted to build that, it wouldn't be that hard."

I say, "It wouldn't be that hard," but it wouldn't be impossible, versus 10 years ago, you'd feel like, "Ah, that's nonsense."

Rene: The stuff of fiction and movie special effects. Matt, thank you so much. It's always an incredible joy speaking with you.

Matt: Thank you. I appreciate you having me as part of this wonderful retrospective. I look forward to hearing the rest of it.

Rene: Before we go, I also want to thank thrifter.com for sponsoring the show. Thrifter.com is just a great way to find the best deals. Just because Black Friday and Cyber Monday are behind us, it does not mean those deals are going to stop. They're going to keep going through the holiday season.

Thrifter.com is just finding the best ones all the time. Hard drives to get your backup going, Internet of Things to get your home automation started. Whatever you need, whatever you're gifting, whatever gift ideas you want to give people, just go to thrifter.com, and you'll get all of the best tech deals from Amazon and Best Buy.

Just the best stuff without any of the fluff. Thanks, Thrifter. You can find me @reneritchie on Twitter, Instagram, any of the social things, or email at rene@imore.com with any of your comments, questions, or suggestions. I will get that Q&A show done, promise. Working on it now.

I want to thank Jim Messendorf for editing and producing the show, and I want to thank all of you for listening. That's it. We're out.

[music]

iPhone X + iPhone 8

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