Episode 324: Mykola Savin of Setapp

One of the things we at the MacAdmins Podcast expected to see at WWDC was how the future of third-party app stores would play out. iOS 16 and seemingly 17 will continue to allow for distribution of software through the Apple App Store, and there were a bunch of sessions on how that experience will improve for developers. Coming EU legislation, though, led a lot of us to think that we’d get more expansive APIs to build our own app stores. In today’s episode we’ll talk to the Product Lead at Setapp to look at what options there are today to Sideload and build an App Store – and how some of those options might be legitimised by APIs from Apple.



  • Mykola Savin, Product Lead, Setapp – LinkedIn
Click here to read the transcript

Charles Edge (00:01:18):
Hello and welcome to the Mac Admins podcast. I’ll be your host tonight, Charles Edge, and I’m joined with co-host Joel Rennick.

Joel Rennich (00:01:26):

Charles Edge (00:01:28):
And we’re joined by Nicola Savin from setapp. Thank you so much for joining us.

Mykola Savin (00:01:34):
Hi everyone. Thanks for having me.

Charles Edge (00:01:36):
And you know, one of the things we at the Mac Admins podcast expected to see at ww d c was how the future of third party app stores would play out. So, iOS 16 and seemingly 17 will continue to allow for distribution of software through the Apple App Store, of course. And there was a bunch of sessions on how that experience will improve for developers coming. EU legislation though led a lot of us to think that we’d get more expansive APIs to build our own app stores. And in today’s episode, we’ll talk to the product lead at Set app to look at what options there are today to side load and build an app store, because well they have one. And how some of those options might be legitimized by APIs from Apple. So welcome to the pod. And before we get started with the show, we we’re kind of a sucker for an origin story. So do you mind telling us how you got involved with Setapp and what kind of led you there and to the Apple space in general?

Mykola Savin (00:02:41):
Well, it depends how much time do we have ? Uh,

Charles Edge (00:02:46):

Mykola Savin (00:02:47):
. Yeah. Uh, but, uh, probably my journey started, uh, on my previous position. Uh, before that I was absolutely hardcore Google and Android fan. I had like every Google Pixel there was, I probably, I had one of the first, um, Google Chromebooks in Ukraine back then. And even more when I visited Google Blacks. Uh, some people stopped me and asked me to look at it because they have never seen one. They were all using Apple devices. Uh, it was rather, rather fun experience. Um, but uh, at some point it just broke. And so my employer just said, Hey, here’s new MacBook project, use it instead. And I was like, ah, I don’t know, but it’s free laptop, so yeah, I’ll, I’ll grab it. And as soon as I logged in, I was like, ah, so what? That’s, that’s what they were talking about. Because like on this new display, I was able to see all, all those corners and shades and beautiful designs before that it looked like, you know, something else.

I was like, ha. Yeah. So all this design, um, uh, uh, design stories are actually make sense because it looks beautiful and, um, this is where it started. And, uh, I was still using Android phones, but I got in love with Mac and, uh, how applications enhance experience for users. So, and when I saw, uh, position at, uh, mpo, I got interested because, um, MPO is quite a big thing in Ukraine and it’s really notable company. And, uh, I was really kind of hooked to all this Apple stuff and Apple story. I was found like, what would it be? And when I, I found out it’s about setup, I was, uh, doubly hooked and was committed kind of to get this position because it was something new, something challenging. Uh, and, uh, for me, with a lot of B two B experience, this B two C really user facing project looked like something like a new level. Um, so I’ve jumped in and so, you know, here we go. After two years, I have probably every product in Apple setup. Uh, and I am absolutely kind of integrated and in love what, what they’re doing.

Charles Edge (00:05:02):
Love it.

Joel Rennich (00:05:03):
And, and you’ve never gone back, right? You, no. You haven’t secretly picked up an Android device or a, a Chromebook or, I, to

Mykola Savin (00:05:10):
Tell you the truth, once I tried, um, when there was a time to upgrade my phone, I said, well, you know what, maybe maybe new Google, you know, new Google phone is one for me, but I wasn’t able to find one. Like I, at the time, I wasn’t Cypress and it was literally nowhere to find. And you have an Apple distributor just around the corner. So I said, you know what, you know, making interesting product is one thing, but have them distributed is another. Uh, and I’ve just picked, uh, another iPhone and never going back.

Joel Rennich (00:05:43):
Fantastic. Well, my Apple stock appreciates that. Um, ,

Charles Edge (00:05:49):
You know, I, I’ve hired, I don’t know, eight, nine developers, um, and who were Android developers, uh, primarily before, and they’ve all over time because Android’s typically Java and over time they’ve all kind of transitioned into the Apple space, um, since we are writing apps for Apple stuff anyways. But, um, but it’s, it is funny when developers make that switch, um, there were five, I think, uh, in one go, and they, they were just diehard Android people. And then, you know, a few months later their, when their phones came up for renewal, they all kind of switched over as well. So, you know, we’re making converts one at a time. I guess , well not, but I think with developers it amplifies, you know, what were you gonna say? Sorry.

Mykola Savin (00:06:47):
Yeah, I was going to say that. Now I’m a shareholder as well, so yeah, go for it. .

Joel Rennich (00:06:56):
And, and you used to do a lot of Android development. Is that, uh, is that true?

Mykola Savin (00:07:01):
Uh, me personally, no. Um, I can, okay. Yeah. I, um, used or a little bit for data analysis and that’s, uh, that’s about it. Uh, my background. Okay. Yeah. Used to be more on the business side.

Joel Rennich (00:07:15):
So you were using Android just as a platform? Uh, yeah. Not necessarily to develop anything with it or anything like that.

Mykola Savin (00:07:21):
Yeah, yeah, yeah. Company I worked with, uh, was developing hardcore inter, uh, enterprise software for developers. Uh, weighs a lot of, uh, data science and, uh, ai, uh, but if there’s anything you can imagine more far from Apple products, that’s about it. You know, like it’s not as bad as some old school legacy enterprise products, but still.

Joel Rennich (00:07:43):
And, and that explains the interaction with r then if you were doing some big data stuff and things like that. And you said ai, so I think we all have to drink, right? ? Uh, is that ?

Mykola Savin (00:07:54):
It was before kind of the major fight started ,

Charles Edge (00:07:58):
But yeah.

Joel Rennich (00:08:01):
Fantastic. Well, cool. Well exciting that. Uh, so you’ve definitely got the experience on the other side and you were doing then product management, then business with that other company, and so that’s how you’ve now where you are today?

Mykola Savin (00:08:14):
Uh, yeah, mostly because, um, setup, uh, is a product. We have two sites. We have users, and of course we have developers. And Mike Paul was looking for someone with a bit of like a B two B experience and someone who can manage these relationships. Um, and I was good with data for the B two C side, so probably the only thing I was liking was understanding of design and really great user experience. But they have really great, uh, internal teams, so it’s, uh, not a problem.

Joel Rennich (00:08:44):
Fantastic. Nice.

Charles Edge (00:08:46):
And we’ve mentioned setup a few times, but do you mind giving the elevator pitch for anyone that hasn’t used it before?

Mykola Savin (00:08:52):
Oh, sure. Like, first you should Google and subscribe, you know, you’ll, uh, you’ll like it . Yeah. But, uh, get into the elevator page. Uh, setapp is an innovative software subscription service that provides unlimited access to hundreds of Mac, iOS and web apps under one single subscription for users. Most of the time it’s much more cost effective. It’s really great into discovering new things because sometimes you find little, small apps you have never knew existed, and they’re awesome. They change your life. Uh, and for developers, uh, it’s one of the probably fastest way to get, uh, hundreds of users, uh, without any additional costs, uh, or marketing budget. And because as soon as new app arrives as distributed to all our users, and, uh, second part is that, uh, quite a considerable portion of our user base are like really geeky, uh, hardcore tech fans, and they provide a lot of, uh, cons, constructive feedback. One of our vendors mentioned that after two days on setup, he got more, uh, feedback and, uh, constructive suggestions, uh, uh, more than after two months on App Store. Um, and a lot of them really value this. And vendors who engage with the audience on our platform, uh, they’re able to prove their ratings and score and usage quite considerably.

Charles Edge (00:10:20):
Nice. I I always like to think of it like Apple Arcade for productivity apps. ’cause it’s a subscription service, so you know, it, it’s not a bunch of games, but, you know, it kind of makes more sense, I think for work than Apple Arcade.

Joel Rennich (00:10:36):
Have you used Apple Arcade? Um, Charles,

Charles Edge (00:10:41):

Joel Rennich (00:10:41):
Okay. Alright. I mean,

Charles Edge (00:10:44):
Don’t, don’t we all get it for free with our Apple One subscriptions . Well,

Joel Rennich (00:10:47):
I did. Um, I’m, well, we’ll leave that for another episode, but yes, that ,

Charles Edge (00:10:55):
My kid likes it quite a bit, . So, you know,

Joel Rennich (00:10:59):
And it’s certainly easier, and I think this is the whole point of set, right? Instead of having to go out find 25 apps, especially a lot of productivity and things like that, you’ve collected best of breed, um, put them all together. And you do a lot of work with each of these developers, right? I mean, you’re not just, uh, downloading freeware and putting it in. This is, these are real apps that you’ve either negotiated or creating a arrangement of partnership with those developers to have them as part of the, the feed, the subscription, uh, and then go from there. Correct?

Mykola Savin (00:11:31):
Uh, yes. Uh, absolutely. Uh, as like a crafted, crafted part is one of like a main features of our team that we go through applications that come to us directly, and sometimes we reach out to apps that looks interesting for us and we validate them strongly. And, uh, to have like a layer on top of that we have like, internal rating of apps that only users who used it can vote. So this is one of the ratings that you could really trust because we know the usage and, um, then we monitor that this rating stain within certain levels. If it’s drops, then we’re trying to communicate with vendors, and if they ignore like feedback or ratings, um, then we, uh, kind of delete them from the platform. Because for us, it’s really important to have this consistent good experience for users. They have to be sure that apps are updated up to date and, uh, you know, function as advertised.

Joel Rennich (00:12:24):
And, and that’s what people are, are, you know, paying for. Right. That curation, that, you know, if you see that any of the apps is either getting old or crusty or doesn’t work very well or has a lot of consistently bad feedback, you’re then removing those from the catalog.

Mykola Savin (00:12:38):
Yeah, yeah, yeah. And we, it’s not just indie, and by the way, it’s not just productivity. Well, it’s around that. But we have like productivity tools. We have developers, uh, tool for software developers. We have a tool for designers. Uh, we have quite a lot of utility apps. And with our latest additions, we have even, uh, a couple of things for created, um, and use, um, newsletters. Um, and, uh, our latest launch was, uh, G P T based, um, tools. We have a couple of them. Okay. And we will provide our own key. It’s included into subscription.

Joel Rennich (00:13:18):
Okay. But, but no games,

Mykola Savin (00:13:20):
No ga no. This is, this is No, no games. Absolutely.

Joel Rennich (00:13:25):
So you’re kind of targeting this at least today. And, and maybe you can talk about what, what you’re looking at in the future, uh, basic users, uh, developers, power users. Is that a right term or, um, is that maybe too far above what you’re shooting for?

Mykola Savin (00:13:42):
Uh, a bit of both. So we definitely do not have any, um, occupation, uh, specialty because we have tools for basically everyone. Okay. Uh, some of them obviously are more specialized than others, but again, anyone who is open to test apps and uh, can have to, who is willing to fine tune the Mac to his business process or to what he does, can rely on us. One of the best things for user is that, uh, quite often there is always an app within sit. So you have your daily software. Sure. It might be couple of apps you use for work or, you know, just, uh, as a utility. But from once in a while you need to do something like convert, edit, file. Yeah. You have some problem with wifi and you have tools within, within setapp. It’s all paid for under single subscription. So this is really great.

Joel Rennich (00:14:36):
And that’s the beauty of this, right? Yeah. Is that you don’t need a wifi app all the time, hopefully. Right. , your wifi is good enough that you don’t have to be constantly checking out that. But if you do have a problem with that, you just cruise right over to the Set App catalog. And according to your website, it says you have got about 240 plus apps currently Yeah. That are part of it.

Mykola Savin (00:14:58):
So obviously for power users, it’s easier to, uh, kind of, uh, get along with the ads, uh, because they quite often know the best apps, even by logos. So for, it’s really easy to, you know, understand what do we have and what do we offer, or a bit more casual users who are maybe not so used to working with apps. It might take some time, uh, to figure out how it works. Um, sure. But again, it’s basically suits everyone who has a Mac.

Joel Rennich (00:15:24):
Fantastic. And, uh, currently just the Mac, uh, partially because you don’t have a way of doing this in iOS, right? Uh, at least until the EU through their executive, uh, lawmaking, uh, powers, uh, forces Apple into having third party app stores.

Mykola Savin (00:15:42):
Well, yes and no. Uh, we Yeah, of course. You know, this is one of the most, um, requested features that have been in our, uh, backlog, uh, since day one, like two of them. Sure. Better, better search. And, uh, we want to have iOS apps. Uh, now we have integrated, uh, a couple of, uh, ai. So here’s a place for the second drink, uh, yeah, a couple of AI tools to enhance our search. And, you know, after almost four years now, there is no request for better search. We’re really happy about it. Uh, but at the same time, uh, we were looking for the way to work with is, and right now we do have some apps that are presented, uh, on, uh, app Store, um, uh, and for Curious, but, uh, they have to be across, uh, platform apps or something, whereas additional like web module, then it’s not against Apple Rules to have this subscription activated elsewhere.

Of course, sure. There should, there should be no mentions of this inside the app , but we can provide it. Yeah, no, we follow the guidelines. There is kind of no, uh, no way around it. Uh, but, uh, it’s possible to work with cross platform maps and it’s good for us. Uh, user experience isn’t the best one because you cannot allow them just directly load it. We didn’t have set up for iOS as a separate extension because mm-hmm. , it’s catalog. Uh, so we had to find a way to provide users with ability to activate, uh, such apps. Uh, but it works. Also, we have a ability to integrate, uh, web applications. Uh, we have a way kind of to activate it and we hack, uh, have a couple of those as well. Uh, but of course we were really excited to, in hoping, uh, that, uh, apple will introduce side loading or any other form for third party app stores. You know, if we, we were really kind of ready. And you know what, everyone I know who, who I talked to we’re sure as well. I even have couple of guys who might or might not have some insights from Apple, and they were like, uh, giving us sort of like a wiggle that, yeah, it might be something. But you know, like we were never so disappointed after the, the presentation because like, man ,

We were waiting until the end. Like maybe, maybe, you know, like the, it’s going to be like a big announcement in the end. The one more thing. Yes, . Yeah. Yeah. But no vrs this time, but yeah.

Charles Edge (00:18:21):
Yeah. And you know, you do deliver apps to devices though, and primarily for the Mac, but if they’re cross-platform for iOS, I guess, how does, how do you do that? Like, does it install packages with an agent that runs on the device? Um, does it require developers to build self-contained app bundles that get copied to a place with a profile? Or how do apps go where they need to be, I guess?

Mykola Savin (00:18:49):
Uh, we have our own, um, uh, web, uh, portal for developers. So they could upload, um, builds they have created for setup, um, uh, through the web, or they can integrate it in their CI process. We have, uh, integration for this as well. Uh, but before they do that, they have to integrate set up framework inside the application. So, and, uh, after that it’s rather straightforward. We have our agent, uh, looks like a well stored, uh, on the user’s platform and set handles all updates, uh, from that point. So like a good thing for user and for developers, or as soon as update is approved, it’s rolls out, uh, to our audience. Uh, and, uh, well, no action for end users required to, to update it. So all, all apps are up to date. Uh, this is a good thing. Another thing that our framework does, uh, it tracks the usage, uh, of the apps.

We need information to distribute the revenue because we operate on the revenue share model where we, uh, take certain percentage for us. And then, um, but basically 70%, sometimes 90%, like depends on some circumstances are distributed between the, um, vendors, um, uh, who, you know, get the most usage. But it’s all user based. So we are, uh, unlike, uh, some other companies who operate, we do not give all the money to the most popular developer. Yeah. We split the revenue from user directly to vendors, uh, who he was using. Uh, so we think it’s more kind of fair way, uh, to, uh, yeah, to handle this.

Charles Edge (00:20:33):
That makes sense. I mean, that follows the model that Amazon uses for, um, for books, uh, that you publish through the Amazon bookstore, I guess, um, if you do it for their subscription service rather than, um, per book pricing. So there’s, there’s, I guess there’s kind of a familiar design pattern for, uh, monetization there. Um, you, you did mention that the apps get checked. Um, so developer uploads the app to you guys and then, um, you check it for various things. Um, are, are they also notarized by Apple?

Mykola Savin (00:21:11):
Uh, yeah, sure. So for us, like the first line of defense in terms of making sure that the app is solid as, uh, the fact that we’re selecting the vendors, um, there’s, um, you know, it’s easy way to join sit, but it could take some time. And if it’s, uh, like a Noname developer with a poor quality product, there’s no ways we will get them on board. ’cause again, it’s only, there are millions of op apps or apps there, but we have only a couple of hundreds, so we’re kind of paying attention. Uh, it’s different developers. We do have some major brands, and at the same time we have Indi developers with like, basically, uh, one main team with couple of products. Uh, but it’s get checked. So it’s like, like a first layer of, uh, of this. And then we have our own, um, approval process. Usually takes a couple of hours when, um, one of our employees checks app for following our internal guidelines, which now seem too crazy, but we check that apps works as advertised that they’re not downloading anything, uh, external, that, uh, there is no like hidden features, hidden layers or, um, you know, in advertisement, all of that. And of course, uh, we are piggybacking on Apple in this case because we are required that, uh, apple, uh, apple must be neutralized by Apple and signed with developer ID certificates,

Charles Edge (00:22:40):
And so they scan it when they notarize it. So, and all of the apps end up with the same, um, security posture, I guess would be the right word that, uh, that apps through the app store end up with.

Mykola Savin (00:22:53):
Uh, yeah. Yeah, definitely. And I think it one of the way how it could work for iOS as well. Course obviously Apple is rather serious in terms of security and there could be different ways how they can handle it, but, um, we think it’s like a good additional layer to have Apple on authorization as well as, um, developer ID certificate.

Charles Edge (00:23:16):

Joel Rennich (00:23:18):
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Charles Edge (00:24:36):
You know, you deliver the apps through the agent, um, which sounds like kinda works like some of the self service stores that the developers use. Um, the M D M developers, I guess, which under the hood could be installing a package or loading from an app store so that that process for end users instead being somewhat obfuscated. But, um, so that’s how you do it today. How, how would you like to do it, like, just as an a p I call to Apple? Have I, I guess what, what would your thoughts be if you happen to know that there was an Apple developer on the other end of, uh, this listening to it on their drive to Cupertino?

Mykola Savin (00:25:19):
Uh, for the, uh, you mean for the iOS,

Charles Edge (00:25:23):
Uh, iOS or Mac and or Mac?

Mykola Savin (00:25:26):
Uh, for, for Mac, we’re actually quite happy with we, uh, what we have right now because process is really straightforward for developers, uh, integration of our framework as rather easy. And there’s, um, kind of tools to make this process automated. Uh, so we are happy here. Um, regarding the, is it’s a completely total, uh, different story because we are basically limited with what apps we can work for. And even with apps we can work, uh, it’s really not straightforward u uh, user experience. So we had to find like a workarounds. So for us, absolutely minimum, and like a really happy, uh, way would be, uh, if it would be able just to activate apps inside, uh, store. Uh, then Apple can have ever since they want to journal of Security and management. And for us it would be just, uh, easy, uh, easy call to activate Apple with set up subscription.

So for that, uh, yeah, uh, for that it might be a p i or they could just allow, uh, vendors to use, uh, alternative activation methods inside the store. So this way we can have sort of go around apple’s, uh, arguments in terms of security, and you can have every security you have just gives them an opportunity to use alternatives. But this might not be the case. I would go then we’ll be happy to have just a, a p I to install the app directly, um, to the device because, uh, of course we can kind of anize that maybe we’ll be able kind of to have interactions between the apps. And that might be some APIs that’s a low app to app interaction or, um, more kind of, um, uh, more interesting integrations with the system. But I am not sure Apple will go that way.

Joel Rennich (00:27:21):
And since they didn’t announce the ww d c, we, we don’t really know at all anything. Yeah. Um, so, so to to come back a little bit and hit on a few things that you said, if I’m a Mac app developer, I’ve got an app, uh, you’ve got a library that manages all of the, um, you know, whether the user is still, uh, paying their monthly subscription fee and everything else like that. So I can’t just give you this app, but you’re gonna give me this library that I just drop in, I knit at the beginning, or something like that. And it takes care of all of the, uh, subscription model, all the other pieces, correct?

Mykola Savin (00:27:55):
Yeah, absolutely. Uh, you just need to give us, uh, your bank details, uh, where to send the money and we’ll

Joel Rennich (00:28:01):
Fantastic. We’ll handle everything else. ,

Mykola Savin (00:28:03):
This is one of the best thing for a developer. You know, when they say like, I do not wanna do marketing, I want just to write code. Yeah. Come to us. This is, this is

Joel Rennich (00:28:11):
What of, well, and that’s the advantage of all this, right? Is that you can have a developer who’s putting together, and this is, you know, maybe what Charles was scratch net with the Amazon book subscription. You just wanna write books. You don’t wanna market ’em, you don’t want to go out and convince people to read ’em. You just want ’em have ’em out there. And if people find ’em and like ’em, fantastic. And you’re kind of the same idea. If you’ve got especially a smaller developer or one person shop where that dev has to do everything. And typically they’re much better at the development than they are the marketing or else they’d be in a different job , they’ve got the ability to have a really cool app, hand it over to you, you do all the marketing, you bring all the people to the app, and if people start using it, then that developer starts getting paid money. Um, and they also know as soon as that user ends their subscription, uh, that they don’t have to worry about getting that app back or anything like that. ’cause that’s exactly what your library does, is it shuts off that app from being used by that user.

Mykola Savin (00:29:09):
Uh, yeah, exactly. This is one of like a goals for agent, um, on the mic. And again, we have our a p i for, uh, web apps as well. So we have like a backend to backend calls and if subscriptions ended it, we’ll just notify, um, a developer and well, that’s it. It’s rather straightforward. And, um, you know, the, the way how we crafted user experience within set, I would avoid using word guaranteed, but most of the, most of the vendors will, you know, have, uh, their time to shine. Because as soon as we have new app 50, 60, sometimes 70% of our audience will know that we have a new app and what this app does with a short description within the first month, you know, okay. Healthy chunks of it within a couple of, uh, first couple of days. It really depends how active user, um, user is with a set up agent. And I think this is really heavy distinction if we compare it to the app store, when if you’re not get featured, it might be quite hard kind of Yeah. To promote.

Joel Rennich (00:30:19):
Yeah. If you don’t get featured, there’s nothing, uh, you’re one of a million apps that somebody has to go find and then you have to do a heavy amount of marketing and promotion yourself as a developer to get

Mykola Savin (00:30:28):
There. Yeah. And same goes, same goes by the way, for the major updates or, um, any other interesting, you know, pushes from a developer. There is a place to distribute this information as well. We have, uh, quite a good block that describes, uh, you know, a lot of how-tos and, um, promotes apps that we have. So sometimes we work with vendors to create sort of like, um, interesting content we can distribute to millions of, um, of visitors, um, every month. Um, so yeah, we are a good place, uh, to start for us. Uh, usually the main challenge is to figure out if a new vendor that reach out to us as it kind of the kind of a product we’d like to add, because sometimes it’s not that straightforward. Uh, we saw like a great successes from everyone from like a major brands and from smaller developers and vice versa. Sometimes amazing product doesn’t, just doesn’t click with our audience. Yeah. It happens as well.

Joel Rennich (00:31:30):
Interesting. And then to go back to what you were talking about with iOS and the app store, if Apple gave you a way to do that same subscription validation, you wouldn’t care if the apps came from the app store or not, right? As long as you could control the usage of them and whether they had the advanced features or, you know, the, the premium features within those apps, uh, from your APIs

Mykola Savin (00:31:56):
Yeah, for us, absolutely.

Joel Rennich (00:31:58):
Cool. Yeah, because frankly, you’d maybe even prefer that. ’cause then you wouldn’t have to host anything. You wouldn’t have to run whatever a new side loading system is. Uh, you’d just be able to allow people to use apps straight from the app store.

Mykola Savin (00:32:12):
Uh, yeah. Because this is where our value comes from, kind of we create collection and then we provide them this one price all model and we kind of maintain quality of apps. Yeah. Uh, as soon as we heard first rumors, we had like internal discussion with the team and we were eager, like, let’s start building something, you know, like, we want to launch like day one, like day zero. Yes, yes. As soon as, but then we were stuck. Like, what exactly should we build? Like are it going allow kind of alternative activations or alternative payment providers? Sure. It’s one thing if they say, you know what? App store is what app store is, but here’s some framework, here is our guidelines. You can, you know, have your own store, then it’s the whole other story. And we are puzzled, puzzled till this moment, uh, which way they’re going to take.

Joel Rennich (00:33:03):
Sure. Sure. No, that makes sense. That makes sense.

Charles Edge (00:33:07):
Yeah. And I do find corporate finance teams do love a fixed fee model for consumables, like apps or even toilet paper. Um, not that apps and toilet paper is similar, but, uh, I mean, sometimes I guess any, anyways, I I’m sure you’ve tested various ways to kind of bring this more to the iOS, um, beyond the cross platform experience that you mentioned earlier. So there’s those guidelines that you also mentioned that restrict certain delivery models, but how would you go about delivering software to iOS if you had to do so today? If those guidelines didn’t exist, like, um, like just host an I p A bundle and then when they click it a button in the webinar interface or in the app, they, um, they get the I P A, I guess that would be the only way to do it, right?

Mykola Savin (00:34:03):
Um, right. Well, if there’s basically, um, no guidelines in terms of what you can do on I a s then, you know, would like to have our own store, our own app, basically mimicking what we have on Mac. So we’d like to have our own apps that are able to, uh, manage updates, installs, um, and, uh, track usage. Of course, this is easy for us, the same model that works for us on Mac. We’re sure that we can make it work on, uh, on I a s, but here, like a tricky part. Uh, well if, you know, if Apple would be inclined to do this easily, you know, they, they would have done it before or, uh, or at least, uh, you know, like made like a major announcements and, um, make it during this or last year even dub up. But obviously they’re trying to avoid it. So for us, there’s a question, even if they’re going to follow the laws, are they going to make it easy or hard or legally possible? But, um, in terms of, um, user experience almost unusable

Charles Edge (00:35:12):
Yeah, add a add, add a bunch of friction to the experience to make it where nobody wants to do it or something like that. Yeah, that’s not their mo I don’t think. I mean, they, even, even when they’ve been compelled to do something based on adjudication, um, or, or legislation, I, I, I feel like they’ve always kind of given it their best effort to give a good experience. So I would, I would still anticipate that, I guess, um,

Mykola Savin (00:35:41):
In terms of experience, yes, but it’s sort of like, um, uh, tries to bite, uh, one of like a course of their business model. So it’s, uh, uh, I do understand that for some, it’s really a tricky play because, uh, let’s look at, uh, their numbers and quarterly reports. They’re doing great in selling hardware, but, you know, let’s try to find out how many marks are there. Like, and you’ll start with the same number for maybe 10 years already. Probably it’s growing bit by bit, but we see spikes within reduce, like this new m chipp or you know, the version of M Chipp. So a lot of upsells, a lot of upgrades, a lot of, um, um, kind of reinvention their own products, services revenue. Yeah. And then you have services revenue, uh, and that’s growing, that’s doing great. So for them, I don’t know, it’s, um, uh, I do think that they’re thinking hard, you know, how to balance it. Uh, yeah, their usual quality and easy of use, uh, what they do for consumers and kind of business interest on the other hand. Yeah.

Charles Edge (00:36:49):
And you also don’t want like a STEAM app or, you know, any other app store app that has all the app bundles in it. And so then it would be, you know, 50 gigs or something ridiculous like that . So yeah, there’s, there’s

Mykola Savin (00:37:05):
Practice manageable.

Charles Edge (00:37:08):
Yeah, I mean, you know, we, we mentioned this self-service stores from the MDMs earlier, but you know, they have, um, enterprise, enterprise grade package installers that they can put in the M D M profile, the, uh, the signature of the app, and then they can also deliver IPAs independent of the app store because they also have the signature. Um, but allowing profiles that are non M D M has always been so dangerous that it seems like they wouldn’t go the profile route, I guess, you know, at the A P I level. Um, do, do you anticipate any of the APIs that Apple might give you that, that makes this possible? And I guess, do you see that they might still retain some control, like we mentioned the notarization and security checking, um, but I, I guess at the a p I level, are there any that you are anticipating?

Mykola Savin (00:38:09):
I think, um, security APIs are kind of exactly the, something that they would expect. So on one hand they might give us just a guidelines, you know, what you have to check, uh, for third party app store, but then there, there are guide lines, but I think it would be harder to check third party stores. So on other hand, they could go with some sort of like, security black box that’s sort of like, it requires us to use to, you know, check notarizations, maybe send some, um, kind of samples or maybe additional traffic monitoring or something like that. So really depends, you know, on how, how would I would like to tackle it. But of course, I would expect like first part installation and app management on the device. And second part is some sort of, um, APIs for security.

Joel Rennich (00:39:04):
We’ve touched on this a couple of times as we’ve gone through here, but you do have a version of this for teams. Is that what you would consider your more enterprise, um, and effectively getting? Uh, I don’t know. So is, is that your enterprise or your business offering as opposed to an individual user?

Mykola Savin (00:39:23):
Um, yeah, I would probably would not call it like enterprise offering, but for teams, yeah, definitely. Um, because most of our users are kind of like a, we have quite a couple of companies who use it like a company-wide, but, uh, most of the time as like a team or some sort of like a department. Uh, right now, uh, in terms of, uh, kind of offering, uh, well, we have basically the same product, but with some, uh, additions. Uh, firstly we have like a black or white list, uh, for apps that can be used. So if admins would like enough to avoid some software, uh, because again, different companies approach different, uh, security differently and they might have some specific requirements not to use something. Um, so it could go other way. Or you kind of add, uh, apps, apps one by one, or you exclude something that you think, um, you know, it’s not suitable for you. Uh, it’s also has like a ability to be distributed via M D M. So again, like a distribution of setup and even settings, uh, can be done remotely. And we have more or less like a standard package for administrations and, uh, users, uh, permissions that can be applied here. And again, like one, um, one invoice for tons of apps. Um, you know, usually, uh, financial departments are quite happy with us. It’s predictable, it’s easy, easy to scale up or scale down, um, and, uh, you have like, um, a lot of solutions in one package.

Joel Rennich (00:41:01):
Cool. Cool. Do you, um, do you have people asking you for like policy and other things around that team subscription as to only these apps can be used by these developers or these people? Or is that something you’re not even concerned about

Mykola Savin (00:41:17):
Right now? Uh, no. Well, we have been asked about our security justification, uh, quite often in B two B, uh, because, well, as soon as you have anything like, um, s o or soc, uh, it’s just literally requirements to ask, right. So we have our one certification and, uh, working on going further. Um, and

Joel Rennich (00:41:37):
Congrats and apologies,

Mykola Savin (00:41:40):
, I know,

Joel Rennich (00:41:41):
I know , you’ve made it to the big time, Joel.

Mykola Savin (00:41:48):
I would, Joel and I have both been through that process. It, it is painful, .

Yeah, I know. Uh, it’s never, never fun, uh, but interesting nevertheless, uh, yes. So obviously for, uh, teams West, like, uh, hundreds of, um, employees, uh, they’re starting to look this way. And obviously if they, uh, work in enterprise or heavy B two B space themself, they’re sort of, uh, goes this way. Um, so we are trying to support that. Um, and yes, it makes, uh, life of administrators, uh, easier because they could, again, exclude something that do not have, um, special certification or they would like to avoid. But of course, it’s like a sure obvious a drop in the bucket. It’s one of the reasons why we’re kind of preparing our, like a sub product inside of setup and for, um, administrators and, um, security specialists who are responsible for monitoring vendors and, uh, what a lot and what’s not. So we hope to have it ready by the end of September.

Joel Rennich (00:42:58):
Oh, fantastic.

Joel Rennich (00:43:00):
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Charles Edge (00:44:28):
You know, one thing that we mentioned is signing. Um, since everything gets checked based on certificates, how does that pose a unique challenge? Like you mentioned your framework as an example, I could see one challenge being that you can’t inject symbols post compile because that would break the signing. So they have to include your S D K or framework, um, you know, probably a swift package that gets dropped in or whatever. But, um, are there any other ways that that kind of signing requirement comes into play where you’re like, ah, we’d love to do this thing, but we can,

Mykola Savin (00:45:07):
Uh, to tell you, frankly, not really. I mean, we are piggybacking on Apple here, so there is something that they have been doing for quite a while, and we are just basically using what they are used to already. Um, you can argue that, you know, uh, potentially we could have something without certificates and our current models prevents us from having it. But at the same time, why would we? Uh, I mean, it’s a lot of, a lot of additional security and, uh, it’s not that hard to obtain. So it’s, uh, kind of, I think it’s like a win-win for everyone, including Apple because everyone is, uh, kind of hooked to their system.

Charles Edge (00:45:54):
Yeah. Um, so that the, the signing and the notarization helps to mitigate certain risks, but, you know, what risks do you see of apps and custom or third party app stores that, um, that we think that Apple’s gonna be trying to mitigate when they’re designing a system that allows for it?

Mykola Savin (00:46:15):
Well, we can imagine, you know, all sort of things. So, uh, starting from rather obvious, there might be a ways, uh, for, uh, developers, uh, if they have malicious intents to, let’s say, like, uh, stole credit card information from a user or try to lock passwords or, um, you know, mess with the system in some other way. But at the same time, um, you know, Mac have been, you know, on the market for quite a long and, uh, we have basically an, you know, kind of open pond for play. So you have a, a store, uh, apple Store and Mac as well, but at the same time, you are able to side load everything you want. And, uh, it’s just like a world with even, uh, you know, most of the kind of hacks happens through some Phish attacks and, um, rather more obvious ways. Um, so I think on the other hand, of course, they will try to kind of protect users and try to sandbox apps and developers. I don’t think that they will give, give us like a lot of control for the system itself. Um, that’s true. But on the other hand, uh, I think the playbook is right here, whereas, uh, with Mac system and what they have right now.

Charles Edge (00:47:28):
Fair enough. Um, so I I I, I’ve done a lot of research on extensions the past year and change, um, the apps with extensions and I guess various other options like, um, like minimum targets or entitlement settings that we can set in X code impact how you display them, like are you parsing those p lists and surfacing any of that information in the product? Um, ’cause otherwise I could see it just failing to install, um, which wouldn’t be a great user experience, but like I could see challenges as an example, trying to push an app with an endpoint security framework, um, entitlement, I guess, um, given that M D M an M D M actually needs to allow for it, so I, I guess how are you surfacing some of that information that we set an X code, um, is the main question. ,

Mykola Savin (00:48:29):
Um, you know, like extensions are awesome, uh, but at the same time we see it as a sort of like, um, um, kind of discussion, a bit of like a separate of third party stores, uh, because, um, we might have some, uh, kind of limitations. But again, if we’re considering like a, first of all, B two C and not a hardcore enterprise market, uh, then I think it’s kind of less of stress in terms of security, security wise. And, uh, we do not have to be that, um, uh, strict in terms of controls. Uh, so I think it’s, um, kind of not just a direct direct link to third party stores. It’s like a general discussion of, you know, what extension can, uh, can do and what functionalities they can provide to apps, and if there’s any security spreads, you know, how we deal with that.

Uh, but internal of distribution, I think, uh, it’s, uh, it’s not going to have a lot of effect maybe for, uh, for the enterprise market and for M D M segment. True. But again, it’s not something that, uh, you know, I think even Apple won’t start from this, uh, from this direction because again, main challenges, well, we have, we have our own skin in the game, but then you can see a lot of gaming, uh, they even Steam or Epic would definitely like kind of to jump in, uh, to this and probably we’ll see some separate stores again from major players like Microsoft or Google, uh, and maybe someone else would de uh, decide kind of to join the clap.

Charles Edge (00:50:13):
Fair. Yeah. Um, we’ve talked about apps so far, but there’s also shortcuts which like, I can remember distributing automations, I guess as Apple Scripts or Shell scripts, um, and just dropping them into places so that they could look kind of like an app. But, um, do you allow, uh, for distribution of shortcuts or has that come up?

Mykola Savin (00:50:39):
Um, not right now. Uh, and I think in the current approach, uh, we will not, um, enter kind of this market because, well, let’s see what shortcut actually is, right? It’s kind of like a bunch of actions, um, you know, provided by operation system or vendor developer. It’s like a list of steps. They might be useful, but we see it’s more like as a library rather than, than like a product itself. And we think it’s hard to contain because let’s look at, well probably like Zapier or because JavaScript, yeah,

Joel Rennich (00:51:15):
. , right?

Mykola Savin (00:51:18):
Well, not just, but yeah, mostly JavaScript, but look at Zapier, right? So it’s, um, their kind of automation sequences are open. You can watch them. They charge basically for ability to do this. Uh, we, uh, think that shortcuts are, should be treated this way as well. Not saying that someone, you know, would like to kind of engage in this stuff. Uh, there is a guy who created basically a business on creating, um, templates for Notion, right? Um, so something like this, mm-hmm. obviously space for some indie hacking here or entrepreneurial spirit, but for us as a platform, it’s probably not the way to go.

Charles Edge (00:52:02):
Makes sense.

Joel Rennich (00:52:03):
Well, here, here’s always a good question. This is one of my favorite interview questions that, uh, that I don’t always get to ask on, on podcasts. What haven’t we asked you about that you were expecting us to

Mykola Savin (00:52:15):
Probably, uh, probably is the thing about like, um, you know, what examples we can, uh, find in like a history of tech of this sort of like interventions when the regulation actually worked. Uh, because on one hand we could say like regulations, uh, no, we don’t like them. Uh, but, uh, because we have a lot of free spirit, right? In software development. Uh, but at the same time, um, you know, we can start back then when, uh, Microsoft was pressed, uh, kind of to open up for other browsers. And by the way, if we look at history of Microsoft, this is the way, like there, like a system and platform is for, in a way for them to beat the competition, right? It happened to Netscape to some extent, happened to Slack with Microsoft teams, that’s what they do. But when something goes a bit of like a too far, like with Internet Explorer, um, is they pressed to open up and to, you know, um, offer alternatives. And it turned out great because we have, uh, not just Chrome, but even Microsoft itself had to innovate because, you know, they were losing the market with a fair competition. And now we have Edge that’s gonna arguably much better than, uh, I

Joel Rennich (00:53:28):
I I don’t even think it’s arguable, I think it is much better than Internet Explorer. . Yeah.

Charles Edge (00:53:33):
, uh, yeah, that, that’s a really interesting observation. Um, I, and you know, it, I guess browser extensions all kind of follow the Chrome model, not the edge model that, you know,

Joel Rennich (00:53:52):
ActiveX is mostly gone, right? Yeah. Um,

Charles Edge (00:53:54):
Yeah, yeah.

Joel Rennich (00:53:55):
Same with Silver Light and a couple of other, their attempts to kind of take over that. I will give you a counter example to that. I think you’re right. That is a great example of regulation happened primarily starting in the eu. I don’t, I don’t remember Charles can fill me in on the history here. Uh, I don’t know that there was much regulation going on in the US around the time, um, but it was,

Charles Edge (00:54:16):
No, it’s just the Department of Justice up there, but

Joel Rennich (00:54:19):
Well, yeah, but I don’t think that was that impactful, right? At the end of the day, um, it was a slap on the wrist with the fine that they got out of that. Um,

Charles Edge (00:54:30):
Yeah, I don’t know. I, I, I, I mean I, I think the investigation, and we saw this with I B M 10 or 15 years earlier with the PC market, like just having to go through all that, it stifles innovation and sure, like with the i, with the I B M example, um, they opened up, uh, a lot more. So every single contract that they had signed and before, uh, they released the machine, they specifically said, we don’t want you to be exclusive to us. Um, which then opened up, you know, the clone makers and, and stuff like that. So I, I do think,

Joel Rennich (00:55:09):
But let me counter before we get too deep into here, and there’s yet another hole podcast,

Charles Edge (00:55:15):
’cause AI regulation would be a great counter .

Joel Rennich (00:55:20):
Now the EU recently started making noise, and I don’t think it’s finished up, I don’t live in the eu, but I am interested in this about the, uh, uh, lightning ports, right? And how all devices should have U S B C, you know, capabilities for it, and what did Apple do? Apple now ships A U S B C to lightning adapter

Charles Edge (00:55:41):
Because people want adapters .

Joel Rennich (00:55:43):
So possibly, possibly the, the regulation has helped because maybe if I bought a phone in, in Cyprus, I’d get a free lightning to U S B C adapter and then I could use all my other cables. Um, but that’s maybe an example of, I don’t know that the regulation really is moving the ball forward. And the flip side is then what do you do? Do you have to write a regulation that’s so narrowly targeted that says all devices have to have an actual U S B C port specifically on the hardware and not, you know, through an adapter or something else included in the box, right? And then that gets really convoluted there. And that’s, that’s my fear with any sort of third party app store, right? That, you know, there could be a number of ways that this could be written. Um, I don’t think anybody, and, and as a former Android user, maybe you’ve got different opinions. I don’t think anybody in the Apple ecosystem is really excited about the Android concept of just wild, wild west of third party app stores, um, where anybody can sign into anything. I mean, I think maybe in, in, for some of the, the folks looking at the regulation, that would be fantastic, right? Um, get Apple entirely out of the way. Allow any sort of U R L to be entered and just get IPAs packages from that U R l. Fantastic. Check the box, move on. But that’s not why I’m in the Apple ecosystem, .

It’s true, it’s true. And, and this is the hard part for me, right? Because I am interested in, I mean, I’ve got a, a developer subscription, everything else like that. So if I want an app, I can write it myself and I can put it on the phone. That’s not too hard. Test flight really been grown on me over the last couple of years as it’s gotten better and better for being able to distribute that. However, that’s a completely different, uh, conversation than opening up a third party app store where you’d want to have your own curated set. And that’s why I found it very interesting when you said you didn’t really care if you had third party app stores. You just want to be able to communicate a bit more between the apps so that you can identify a subscription, you can have a dashboard app like you have on the Mac on iOS, a user can sign in, check their account, make sure they’re still in good standing, see what apps they have available.

And then by clicking one of those in your app store, it would just do a link back to the Apple App store and download the new app, share some sort of token or something between the two of them so that you know, you’re still good and this app can be used and then you’re done. Um, my fear is that, and maybe what you’re talking about a little bit earlier, right? It goes to Apple says, look, you asked for it, , here you go. Anybody with a U R L with an S three bucket full of iPASS go to town? . I really

Speaker 5 (00:58:35):
Doubt it, but it would be fun,

Joel Rennich (00:58:37):
. I really doubt it too. I think AML will do everything in their power not to do that. Um, I don’t know where the EU regulation goes. It is often that bureaucrats, even technocrats can have a very hard time writing those regulations to hit that sweet spot in the middle. Um, because right. How would you, you, you kind of want that auditing. You want that creation, you exactly what set is doing, right? You wanna know that this is a good connection, you know, collection of apps. I’m not getting myself into any danger. But then at the same time, how do you do that? And then just let anybody set up an app store? Um, yeah,

Charles Edge (00:59:17):
I mean the notarization is a gatekeeper, pun intended, I guess. Mm-hmm. accidentally, um, or not intended. Um, but that’s still Apple Notarizing, the, um, the, if Apple hosted the apps as opposed to the SS three bucket example that you mentioned, um, then Apple’s still the gatekeeper. So I, I think that if you get at the heart of the lawsuits, it’s for Apple not to be the gatekeeper. And to your point, that’s where, you know, you get into this Wild West, like, oh, just throw a jar file up and now you’ve got an Android app kind of , you know, and by the way, jar files can trespass on. I mean, there’s so much there, you know, that, um, like, oh, are you gonna actually respect entitlements? Are you gonna, I mean, you don’t have too much of a choice. But, um, to your point about being able to talk to each other.

I mean, I, I would guess that also any of these setup apps, um, if distributed through the app store, app store, um, there would be a privacy concern around utilization monitoring. Um, so I could see that cropping. I, I mean there’s, you know, like I, I love new innovative approaches and I, I think at the heart of legislation, whether it’s binding or not, I guess, um, that would be the goal. Uh, but, you know, one thought is that it is possible, as we’ve mentioned in a few different ways, to, to deliver custom apps and even do volume-based purchasing or, um, test flight. Yeah. You have to renew it every 90 days or whatever. And you’re also limited to, what, a hundred users or something? Thousand, but Oh yeah. Maybe

Joel Rennich (01:01:12):
10,000 now. But still there’s an upper level that you keep

Charles Edge (01:01:16):
Hitting that. Yeah. Um, but you know, it is possible to distribute things. Um, but the options, the u EU seems to be adjudicating and potentially legislating seem a little bit above just, you know, being able to deliver apps, I guess. Ha have you read it into the, the case documents and either of you, um, and

Mykola Savin (01:01:43):
Just a little bit tiny

Charles Edge (01:01:44):

Mykola Savin (01:01:45):
Uh, no, but as just a little bit, yeah. Yeah. Bickers, well, first of all, you know, it’s EU legislation and regulation is what, what it does, right. , so Yeah, mostly

Joel Rennich (01:01:57):
, right? It doesn’t run an army. It, it, uh, it runs a bank. ,

Mykola Savin (01:02:01):
Yeah. Bank and,

Joel Rennich (01:02:02):
And then the rest is legislation and regulation.

Mykola Savin (01:02:05):
And, well, as far as bureaus go, you know, they’re rather good at it. Uh, because again, uh, we could check out like, uh, PSD two initiative, right? Uh, that forced banks to share and open up a bit, like tons of concerns. It’s financial data. But now we have like a whole new market of applications and services that are built on top, and I think we’re all benefiting from it. Um, so yes. And, uh, for, um, in terms of like, as our goal, I do agree that they’re trying to figure out a way how to, you know, gatekeeping is not that Apple hosts all the apps. It is that Apple sets all the rules, and as soon as they do not like something they could just, you know, remove it like this. And, uh, even, you know, we could talk about like some niches that Apple prevents from entering iPhone completely, right?

There are some topics or markets that are like, you know what? We don’t want this stuff on iOS. And again, it’s not the up to the user, it’s up to Apple to decide, you know, what’s left and what’s not. And we can check, uh, what happened with, uh, GForce now is a, if I recall correctly, like a service of cloud gaming. Now it’s present everywhere, but not on iOS. Why? Because Apple says, you know what? We don’t want you to kind of operate like you do. We want everything that we downloaded from us and bought from us. And it, it goes, it goes directly kind of opposed their business model because they’re not selling games, they’re kind of provided cloud computers. Uh, and they’ve decided, you know what? We would, we want to have a cut. And, uh, I think users kind of missed some kind of great opportunity, uh, for great experience right now.

We can run it on a, uh, web. Sure. But, and on Mike, but I also of the limits. Um, so I think core of kind of where legislation is trying to strike is right here. So, and it’s true that it’s hard to find like a right balance because again, we have other examples when nothing happens or, you know, like our legislation makes things worse. Um, and, uh, I think we’ll have to wait to find out because it’s kind of evolving thing. And I’m not sure that Apple will go, uh, kind of willingly into this. But again,

Joel Rennich (01:04:23):

Mykola Savin (01:04:25):
We’re seeing, we’re seeing example,

Joel Rennich (01:04:26):
I think, you know, apple won’t go necessarily willingly into this, um, given how the EU probably is not sitting down and having a lot of conversations Yeah. With Apple, but is more building this, uh, outside.

Mykola Savin (01:04:40):
And we can see like example in Korea when, you know, local legislation says, you know what, you have to provide alternative payments. Like sure, why not? But you know, we’re still one 20% cut from this, and it’s sort of like a kills kills a purpose. So we can see. So like that.

Charles Edge (01:04:57):
Yeah. Jason, though, I mean, like in the Android example, um, they’re getting, you know, for every Android device sold, Google is not paying out money to browser manufacturers or browser makers. They’re not manufacturers, I guess, um, for advertising for, you know, that’s, that’s why they built the dang operating system in the first place, right? Um, and why they, why they continue to make Chrome. So like, I I, it’s an advertising driven model. I guess the counter argument would be, oh, well, you’re paying a premium for Apple devices, so you should be, you know, you, you, you should, they should be made whole by buying the device, not by supplementing the device sale with service revenue, I guess. Um, yeah, nevermind. I just canceled myself out. Sorry. . .

Joel Rennich (01:05:56):
Oh. Although I, I do think you touch on something as, as all three of us have either worked with products, made products been a part of the Apple ecosystem, there is always this, especially around the first week of June every year where you’re like, am I gonna have a product next week? Right? Uh, Yeah. Is is an a p i that I depend on going away? Is Apple going to,

Charles Edge (01:06:20):
Am I getting Sherlocked,

Joel Rennich (01:06:21):
getting Sherlocked? Is Apple gonna take over a particular part of the business that, uh, I’m currently doing? Uh, and then that goes away and, you know, inevitably the first time or two that you’ve been through that process, you know, the first time or two is kind of scary, but then you find that there is this kind of balance to the universe, right? That even when Apple enters into places, Charles and I over the years, have both worked at M D M companies, some of us still do. Um, and Apple bought an M D M company, you know, uh, a few years ago, uh, fleet Smith and everybody was very concerned that, you know, does this mean Apple’s getting into this market and completely gonna destroy it? Uh, because in theory, if you’re buying all your hardware, like

Charles Edge (01:07:03):
SMSs did, uh, yeah. Like SMS did to Altiris.

Joel Rennich (01:07:06):
Yeah. You know, if you’re getting into this space and boom, there’s, there’s no need for third parties for good and bad. Apple doesn’t ever rarely seem to own the markets that much. Right. Um, so that you’d be able to do this, right? I mean, they, they started off, this was maybe they were wrapping around First circle to my comment about Apple Arcade. I think Apple arcade’s great. It comes for free with the subscription. I don’t think it’s heavily curated. And I’m, I find games on there that are really old, right? The threes one of my more favorite just complete time toilets. Uh, but it’s a $2 app, and it hasn’t changed in like 10 years. That’s like highlighted as one of the apps on, on Apple Arcade. Uh, there’s another one, uh, monkey Balloons or something like that that my son plays, you know, another one that hasn’t changed very much. And that’s kinda like some of the stars of Apple Arcade. So you look at that and you said this could have been an amazing experience where Apple was even developing its own games, right? That could have even been destroying the indie game market more than arguably they, they may or may not have more

Charles Edge (01:08:09):
Than Microsoft does more than

Joel Rennich (01:08:11):
Microsoft. Absolutely. Right. Microsoft definitely plays both sides of that fence, speaking

Charles Edge (01:08:16):
Of antitrust,

Joel Rennich (01:08:17):
And, and Apple really hasn’t done that, right? They came out with Apple Arcade. There was a couple of good games when it originally came out that I think were even made for Apple Arcade, but Apple, other than a Solitaire game, has not engaged in building its own software. Uh, they’ve not really dived into that. Um, and that’s usually the reality of these things, right? And I think this is all a way of me kind of saying, regardless of what the e regulation comes with, um, the reality of what happens is never gonna be what the e you wanted or what Apple wanted, it’ll probably something in the middle, and there’ll most likely be very strong reasons for third parties still to be there. But third parties may have to pivot a little bit. It sounds like you’re already thinking about this internally, right? You know, how would you build an app store?

How would you not build an app store? How would you respond to if this happens? Uh, and if you’re nimble and you’re excited about that kind of change to your product, then riding this Apple dragon works out pretty well, and you can be really successful if you are a company that’s used to developing things for Windows, and suddenly you get hit by this very bizarre Apple work stream, , usually you just decide, look, that’s too much work. We’re out , we’re gonna leave this market for somebody else. And it, it very much sounds like, you know, the logic that you have, ’cause you’re set up is specifically for the Mac currently, you’re only working within the Apple ecosystem, right?

Mykola Savin (01:09:51):
Yeah, exactly. Uh, and kind of, we do have couple of, uh, just purely web-based, uh, applications, but we’re still charging the audience and it makes sense to subscribe for us if you are Apple like a system user.

Joel Rennich (01:10:05):
Correct. The web apps by themselves are not enough necessarily to justify the subscription. Yeah. You’d have to be on a Mac to be able to do that.

Charles Edge (01:10:13):
Cool. Yeah. Steve Jobs didn’t like video games, so that was, I I, I, I can’t imagine. Um, you know, I, I think that’s still impactful to some degree. Um, I think they, I don’t think they even were able to build the Pippen until he left, you know? Um, so whatevs, um,

Speaker 6 (01:10:35):
Here at the Mack Admins podcast, we wanna say a special thank you to all of our Patreon backers. The following people are to be recognized for their incredible generosity. Stu Bacca. Thank you. Adam Selby. Thank you. Nate Walk. Thank you. Michael Sy. Thank you Rick Goody. Thank you. Mike Boylan. You know it. Thank you. Uh, Melvin Vives. Thank you. W Bill Stites. Thank you. Anus Ville. Thank you. Jeffrey Compton, M Marsh, Stu McDonald, Hamlin Cruzin, Adam Berg. Thank you. AJ Reka. Thank you. James Traci, Tim Perfi of two Canoes. Thank you. Nate Sinal, will O’Neill, Seb Nash, the folks at Command Control Power, Stephen Weinstein, chat, Swarthout, Daniel McLaughlin, Justin Holt, bill Smith and Weldon Dodd. Thank you all so much and remember that you can back us if you just all head on out to patreon.com/mac ADM podcast. Thanks everybody.

Charles Edge (01:11:30):
Okay, so we like to have a bonus question, and I will start with Sherlock as my answer, . And the question is, what’s your favorite app that doesn’t exist anymore? Um, I liked the fact that Sherlock looked at both my computer and the Internets, uh, at a very early stage. Uh, you know, for anybody who’s built search, it was not even Minimax based searching. It was like pretty rudimentary. But you know, we mentioned that Sherlock was one of those things that Apple kind of killed off by releasing their own things. So, um, what is, I, I guess since it would be unfair to ask, what’s your favorite app in Set App? Uh, we can ask what’s your favorite app in general that doesn’t exist anymore?

Mykola Savin (01:12:18):
I would say for me personally, um, now it was a app like a before, um, before joined app, like a system. Um, it was an app for Pebble two, like this smart watches, one of the first really, uh, successes of, uh, Kickstarter.

Charles Edge (01:12:37):
I had one of those. Yeah.

Mykola Savin (01:12:37):
Yeah. And I still think it are amazing, and I really said that they’re gone, but they’re like an amazing functionality, loves you, really easy, uh, basically with a couple of clicks to, uh, have different vibration modes for different apps and for different types of identifications in this apps. So you could have no what’s happening even without looking at your watch.

Joel Rennich (01:13:01):
Ah, sure.

Charles Edge (01:13:03):
Don’t have that. That would be Go ahead.

Joel Rennich (01:13:06):
You don’t have that level of customization now, do you?

Mykola Savin (01:13:09):
Yeah, yeah, exactly. Level of customization. It’s one of the things when we first looked up at the top and you know, they’re giving you widgets and everybody is like in the room, like, oh my God, Witts Yes. And you are still have your on Android phone. They’re like, okay, then

Joel Rennich (01:13:24):

Charles Edge (01:13:25):
Yeah, there are, that I’m aware of. There are no APIs, um, for Watch Kit that allow you to control vibrations. So you just have to, like, if you wanted to vibrate the watch four times, you just have to send four push notifications to watch, which, you know, gets kind of ridiculous. Um, but I guess if ever, if, if that was a thing and people were like, oh, I want the watch to vibrate four times, and AP P N Ss was getting flooded with all these notifications, you know, which is a lot more than just a, a hey,

Joel Rennich (01:13:59):
It, it’s only a dollar for a million Ss and Ss pushes from, uh, Amazon. So that’s a lot of Morse code you can be sending for a buck.

Charles Edge (01:14:07):
Uh, yeah, yeah’s,

Mykola Savin (01:14:08):
But it would be nice to have something more customizable because, you know, like sometimes

Charles Edge (01:14:13):
It’s, I like that it’s just

Mykola Savin (01:14:14):
Another email or this is my wife calling, I have to get up to off of the room right now. Yeah,

Joel Rennich (01:14:20):
Ab absolutely.

Charles Edge (01:14:21):
I I like the fact that you saw my app question and you, um, you went up from there and went straight to functionality, which is way better than an app, you know? How about you, Joel?

Joel Rennich (01:14:35):
Well, uh, I’m, I’m kind of going down the Charles path, uh, and this, this is a, a little bit different. I really like Sound Jam mostly because at the time I liked just the random colors that it would create, and now that iTunes is,

Charles Edge (01:14:48):
And it was Pluggable.

Joel Rennich (01:14:49):
It was Pluggable, and, and I know Sound Jam got purchased and became iTunes, and then gradually all of the things that were Sound Jam got cut away and drove out

Charles Edge (01:15:00):
. Yeah. I mean, just like Fleet Smith, it was a complete rewrite, you know? So,

Joel Rennich (01:15:05):
Yeah. And I think part of the other thing is I only, I never play music on my Mac anymore. Right. Um, I only play it on the phone and I guess iTunes, does iTunes still exist on the Mac? Um, no, no, it’s gone, right?

Charles Edge (01:15:21):
Yeah. You have the music app. You

Joel Rennich (01:15:23):
Have the music app,

Charles Edge (01:15:23):
And then some of the, yeah. And then the functionality to manage iOS devices is in the finder. Like yeah, things are, things are there. Um, but the, the iTunes app itself is not there

Joel Rennich (01:15:36):
And, and that kind of concept, right. So I, and I, you know, I’ve got the HomePod, I’ve got all these other things. So everything that I’m doing all is off of this. My phone, for those of you listening at home, I’m holding up a phone, um, , I should probably mention that. Um, so everything I do is off the phone instead of off the Mac, and I do kind of miss, well, that’d be kind of cool to do through it. Does music still have a visualizer? Maybe I’m completely wrong.

Charles Edge (01:16:00):

Joel Rennich (01:16:00):

Charles Edge (01:16:00):
Does. Well, I mean, it’s, it’s not the music visualizer, it’s the, um, it’s, it’s just the screensaver,

Joel Rennich (01:16:07):
You know? Oh, well that’s not as much fun.

Charles Edge (01:16:10):

Joel Rennich (01:16:10):
Yeah, so anyway, so Sound Jam is my app, uh, that I, that I would say, uh, I miss, there’s probably, I, I’m sure there’s more, uh, but as I get older, I forget more of the things I used to use

Charles Edge (01:16:22):
. I, I used a few of the Sound Jam plugins, um, mostly for things that are no longer needed when you’re not trying to bypass, you know, d r M and stuff like that, but , you know,

Joel Rennich (01:16:36):
Absolutely. It’s a little bit of a different world. Yeah.

Charles Edge (01:16:39):
Yeah. We don’t rip CDs anymore, right. You know. Nope. , um, yeah, Steve Jobs was also opposed to music on a subscription basis, um, and we got that. So maybe we will someday get Apple

Joel Rennich (01:16:55):
Games and, and the concept, my, my son is recently into vinyl records. I’ll preface

Charles Edge (01:17:00):
Vinyl records, so is my, my kid.

Joel Rennich (01:17:01):
Yeah. Um, and yeah, the concept of buying music anymore is so weird to me since we’ve been a subscription model for so long. Speaking of subscriptions. Yeah. Uh, I mean, it’s worked great for, uh, for music to not have to individually buy app or albums, um, or songs or anything like that, and then keep track of them.

Charles Edge (01:17:23):
So Yeah. Yeah. Remember, remember having like CD changers.

Joel Rennich (01:17:28):
Now we’re starting to sound

Charles Edge (01:17:29):
Old Charles,

Joel Rennich (01:17:30):
This is, uh, .

Charles Edge (01:17:31):
Yeah, that’s true. All right, well that’s usually a good time to end the episode. , Nicola, thank you so much. Thank you for joining us and telling us about how you do the things and prognosticating about how you might do the things. It was wonderful to have you, so thanks for joining us.

Mykola Savin (01:17:49):
Thank you for his invitation. It was a pleasure.

Charles Edge (01:17:51):
And Joel, thank you for being our guest host. Uh, Tom is off yak herding again, uh, you know, which is why he missed last week’s episode or two weeks ago. And Marcus is using some of that yak fur to build a yurt in the desert in Australia. Uh, how Tom got yaks in Washington DC and how he got his yak fur to Marcus in Australia is something I don’t want to try to guess about the logistics around, but you know, they would’ve loved to have been here. So, um, thank you to the listeners for tuning in, and I’ll let James do the ad read now.

Joel Rennich (01:18:36):
Thanks to our sponsors this week. That’s kgi Simple m d m and Collide, and we’ll see you all next time. Cheers.

Speaker 6 (01:19:03):
The MCAD Mens podcast is a production of Mcad Men’s Podcast, L L c. Our producer is Tom Bridge. Our sound editor and mixing engineer is James Smith. Our theme music was produced by Adam Coga the first time he opened. GarageBand Sponsorship for the MCAD Admins podcast is provided by the admins.org Slack, where you can join thousands of maced admins in a free Slack instance. Visit maced admins.org and also by techno missionary L L c. Technically we can help. For more information about this podcast and other broadcasts like it, please visit podcast dot maced admins.org. Since we’ve converted this podcast to A P F Ss, the funny metadata joke is at the end,

Charles Edge (01:19:46):
And we have a great guest. I’m gonna just say sorry James in advance because we might have to back up. So it’s MLA or mic? Mla?

Mykola Savin (01:19:56):
Uh, well, both ways are wrong or neither. Uh, yeah, , but you can go with, uh, either of them. It’s Michael, but it’s, yeah, mcla. Okay. Most of the time it’s unpronounceable for, uh, English speaking person. So, and last name? Sa Savin. Yeah. Sa sa. Yes. Okay. Um,



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