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The hidden costs of building an Android phone
Episode 285th October 2022 • Android Bytes (powered by Esper) • Esper.io
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As a manufacturer, building an Android phone to the spec you want has its challenges and costs. You need to deal with dozens of regulatory agencies and standards bodies as well as (shudder) work with carriers if you want a chance at making a splash with a new product.

From assembly to testing to retail, OSOM Privacy is chugging along as it prepares to launch its first smartphone, and we're glad to have co-founder/CEO Jason Keats and chief product officer Gary Anderson join us again for a special, extended, freewheeling episode of Android Bytes.

  • 03:33 - 05:40 - Trademark secrecy, gatekeeping IMEI numbers
  • 05:43 - 07:32 - Certifying with the FCC (and other telecom agencies)
  • 07:34 - 13:40 - Bluetooth, WiFi, 4G, 5G, USB, and other certifications
  • 13:41 - 16:08 - IP ratings
  • 16:10 - 18:00 - Making a phone "unbreakable", or at least ruggedized (MIL-STD-810)
  • 18:07 - 23:35 - Drop tests, glass durability, and foldables
  • 23:38 - 26:17 - How to navigate the confusing mess of certifications
  • 27:00 - 32:07 - Pre-production hardware, EVTs, DVTs, etc.
  • 32:08 - 42:12 - Factory software provisioning, tooling, and signing
  • 44:26 - 50:06 - Cellular band support, VoLTE, and carrier certification
  • 50:10 - 52:30 - Why shipping phones in Japan, India, Russia, and Brazil is costly
  • 52:33 - 55:55 - Carrier software requirements
  • 55:57 - 59:30 - Widevine DRM, Netflix certification, and RSAs for preloads
  • 1:05:52 - 1:08:03 - Buttons, ports, and a future without them

Android Bytes is hosted by Mishaal Rahman, Senior Technical Editor, and David Ruddock, Editor in Chief, of Esper.

For more about Esper, visit us.

Our music is "19" by HOME and is licensed under CC BY 3.0.

Transcripts

David:

Hello, and welcome to Android bites.

David:

I'm David Ruddick and each week I'm joined by my co-host Michelle ramen.

David:

As we dive deep into the world of Android.

David:

And on this week's episode, we have some repeat guests who, if you're it all

David:

into the Android hardware space, you've heard of these people, their company,

David:

and the product that they're building.

David:

And so Michelle take it away.

Mishaal:

Thanks, David.

Mishaal:

So we've, re-invited two very awesome guests onto the show and that,

Mishaal:

by the way, it was intentional.

Mishaal:

We've invited Jason Keats and Gary Anderson from awesome.

Mishaal:

That's OS O M not to be confused with E S O M E although they

Mishaal:

are two very awesome people.

Mishaal:

Thank you for joining us.

Gary:

Sure.

Gary:

Thanks for having us.

Gary:

Yeah.

Gary:

Thanks for having us again.

Gary:

Have to

Gary:

be.

Mishaal:

Yeah.

Mishaal:

So last time we had such a long discussion that we had to split it

Mishaal:

up in the two separate episodes.

Mishaal:

We talked a lot about the process of getting AOS P and GMs onto a device.

Mishaal:

The whole step by step process, you gotta go through takes many months.

Mishaal:

You gotta get, build, ready to integrate GMs.

Mishaal:

You gotta certify it.

Mishaal:

You gotta go through third party labs.

Mishaal:

You gotta make sure all your eyes are dotted.

Mishaal:

All your Ts are crossed.

Mishaal:

There's so much you gotta do just to get GMs working on a device.

Mishaal:

And that's fundamental is shipping a device to consumers.

Mishaal:

If you want to have any sort of success with the regular user and

Mishaal:

you wanna ship an Android device.

Mishaal:

You pretty much need GMs onto it.

Mishaal:

It's a different story with enterprise devices, but that's

Mishaal:

something we'll get into later.

Mishaal:

But on today's episode, I wanted to talk about the many, many, many aspects of

Mishaal:

getting a device onto market that most users probably aren't familiar with.

Mishaal:

So I'm sure you've wondered.

Mishaal:

You've seen a great new phone.

Mishaal:

That's only available in X or Y market and you're.

Mishaal:

Why isn't this device available where I'm living, why can't

Mishaal:

I just buy it in a store?

Mishaal:

Why is it only available online?

Mishaal:

Or why is there no warranty or why is it missing this feature?

Mishaal:

Or like, why can't I watch Netflix and HD on it?

Mishaal:

There's so many different little things that go into actually making a

Mishaal:

phone, do everything you expect to do.

Mishaal:

And it's kind of really hard to actually explain what everything needs to be done

Mishaal:

to actually get all these things working.

Mishaal:

And so I wanted to bring Jason and Gary back onto the show to

Mishaal:

explain some of these things.

Mishaal:

We're kind of going off on wild tangents this time.

Mishaal:

We don't have a strict outline.

Mishaal:

We're following.

Mishaal:

We don't have pre-planned questions, but, uh, I think this will still be a

Mishaal:

very interesting and fun discussion.

Jason:

Yeah, I think it's super cool.

Jason:

I think one of the things that a lot of people don't realize is how

Jason:

much certification, how much work goes in on the background in just

Jason:

getting a device made to be legal, to distribute in any one particular

Jason:

country or any set of countries and the.

Jason:

It's quite significant.

Jason:

A lot of it takes a hell of a lot of time to do.

Jason:

And actually just in preparation for this, I brought up our certification

Jason:

list and it's kind of interesting.

Jason:

Right?

Jason:

And we, you and I have chatted about it in private that a lot

Jason:

of companies wanna hide this.

Jason:

They wanna be very protective or secretive of how to build a device.

Jason:

I'm not a hundred percent sure why and awesome really stands

Jason:

for transparency in this.

Jason:

We want to talk about it and share once the product is kind of done,

Jason:

what has to be finished before we can put it in user hands.

Jason:

And that's where we stand today.

Jason:

Certainly interesting.

Jason:

When we have a lot of customers who are like, Hey, you know, you said

Jason:

you were shipping this date, or, you know, we made a change and how

Jason:

come it's taking so much longer.

Jason:

And you know, a great example is to go over.

Jason:

The lead times and certifications that can only be started once a

Jason:

particular level of readiness is

Jason:

finished.

Mishaal:

So this is kind of going off UNAT tangent.

Mishaal:

Like I just promised I would, but I think earlier today, mark Erman from Bloomberg

Mishaal:

tweeted that, um, I don't know if those, you have seen the iPhone 14 launch, but

Mishaal:

you know, the whole dynamic island thing.

Mishaal:

In order to hide the fact that they were gonna call it dynamic island,

Mishaal:

apple actually filed, I think, a trademark for it in Jamaica.

Mishaal:

And in order to actually, because the Jamaican trademark database

Mishaal:

isn't searchable, you have to actually physically go in person to

Mishaal:

their offices in order to determine whether something's trademarked.

Mishaal:

People had no idea this name was coming until I think earlier this

Mishaal:

week or earlier today or something, the trademark was filed, I think

Mishaal:

with New Zealand or Australia.

Mishaal:

And then that referenced the earlier Jamaican trademark registration.

Mishaal:

And then we're like, that is really, really, really

Mishaal:

clever legal work right there.

Mishaal:

But like, it kind of goes to show there's just so many little things you have to do.

Mishaal:

Like even just, if you want to call something a name and have it be

Mishaal:

protected, you gotta file a trademark.

Mishaal:

But then which countries do you file that trademark?

Mishaal:

And like, how do you make sure you aren't revealing too much information

Mishaal:

in any of these certification filings or trademark filings?

Mishaal:

You know, you don't wanna leak your own products just because you have to get

Mishaal:

something legally certified to be able to be distributed in a certain country.

Mishaal:

So I kinda wanna start on that.

Jason:

Why don't I go off on a separate tangent to connect that feel free.

Jason:

It entertain the hell outta me this year?

Jason:

Honestly.

Jason:

So when we were getting our, I E I numbers, which when you're building

Jason:

a phone early on in the development, you have to apply for I E I numbers.

Jason:

And when I was getting those, they're like, oh, we need a copy

Jason:

of your trademark for your logo.

Jason:

And I was like, seriously, they're like, oh, it's a new thing.

Jason:

You know, you have to have a logo on the phone and you have to have it registered.

Jason:

And I was like, well, at essential, we didn't have anything on the phone.

Jason:

And they're like, yeah, it's a new thing.

Jason:

You wouldn't have been able to ship a phone without a logo.

Jason:

Anymore.

Jason:

And I was so confused that that was the slowdown in getting I E I numbers.

Jason:

I was like, okay, lemme go finish, registering our trademark

Jason:

logo so that I could get I E I numbers so we could start testing.

Jason:

And, uh, at one point the guy was like, oh, it needs to be completed.

Jason:

I'm like, if you long, it takes to get a trademark approved in the United States.

Jason:

It's like a two, three year process.

Jason:

And guy was like, oh, okay.

Jason:

Yeah.

Jason:

Yeah.

Jason:

We just need to see you applied for the trademark.

Jason:

But that, that was the gatekeeper to getting to I E I numbers so

Jason:

that we could start testing.

Jason:

Cracked me up.

Mishaal:

Speaking of I value numbers, something that I found pretty funny was

Mishaal:

that when you're submitting an FC filing, you know, you have to submit details about

Mishaal:

the E U T or the equipment under test.

Mishaal:

And oftentimes that includes the I E I number of that device.

Mishaal:

So a lot of times within the FFC filing, you won't find the

Mishaal:

marketing name of the device.

Mishaal:

In question, you'll just find the model number like SM dash something.

Mishaal:

But often what leakers would do is they would look at the I E I numbers

Mishaal:

submitted in the FC filing and they would go to, I E I databases that

Mishaal:

are maybe provided by some carriers.

Mishaal:

I think ting was a popular example.

Mishaal:

They would input that IM E I, and then within T's database, it would

Mishaal:

correlate that I E I to the product name.

Mishaal:

So people would figure out, Hey, this filing is for this product.

Mishaal:

And it's like, . Just the game of telephone with like, how do you piece

Mishaal:

together information from these bits and pieces thrown to certifications?

Mishaal:

And it's just like, I I'm, I'm curious, like what goes into this act, the

Mishaal:

FC certification filing like, um, how much of that is done in house

Mishaal:

and how much of that is relegated to third party companies because of lack

Mishaal:

of equipment or time or resources.

Jason:

It really depends.

Jason:

So I'll tell you right now we have 22 certification items that we go

Jason:

through that take anywhere from, I'm literally looking at this right

Jason:

now from one week to 12 weeks to 24 weeks to finish certifications.

Jason:

EV that includes CE FCC, UL, wifi, Bluetooth Alliance,

Jason:

uh, Canadian electrical code.

Jason:

I'm just pulling some random ones out IP ratings, UK C, which is a newish

Jason:

one since the UK decided they don't wanna be part of the EU anymore.

Jason:

Uh, GCF PT, C R B.

Jason:

So it depends on which it is.

Jason:

Some of them we do in house.

Jason:

Some of them we do in parallel with our contract manufacturer, our cm,

Jason:

and some, we farm out to third party.

Jason:

Several of 'em are just self-reported results, but some of them have

Jason:

to be verified by third parties.

Mishaal:

So apart from like the telecommunications regulatory agency in,

Mishaal:

you know, whatever country you wanna ship a device in, for example, for every radio

Mishaal:

hardware in the device, NFC, Bluetooth, ultra wide band, each of these have

Mishaal:

their own industry standards group that requires you to go through a certification

Mishaal:

process in order to license the branding.

Mishaal:

I think Bluetooth special interest group is one example where you have to actually

Mishaal:

get their approval in order to stamp that this device supports Bluetooth.

Mishaal:

Can you explain a bit about those interest groups and like what

Mishaal:

the process is like apart from.

Jason:

I would say, I know Bluetooth and wifi are fairly simple, to be honest,

Jason:

it's in terms of doing some basic testings that we do in house and we

Jason:

provide our results and they validate our results and they just double check

Jason:

it, make sure we're not BSing them on noise or volume or any other issues

Jason:

that might occur that make sure that our measured spec matches our promoted spec.

Jason:

And they're quite easy.

Jason:

The hardest one certainly is the cellular antennas, particularly with the

Jason:

advent of 5g, when we started awesome.

Jason:

Two years ago, two and a half years ago, we were talking to certification

Jason:

labs and they were giving us lead times of like nine months to do

Jason:

certification on 5g antennas.

Jason:

Thankfully, that's come down to three months now, but those were scary days.

Jason:

It's like, oh, we'd get to the point where we'd be done with

Jason:

manufacturing to an extent.

Jason:

And now we gotta sit on our hands for seven to nine months while we

Jason:

wait for certification to come in.

Jason:

Right.

David:

I I'm curious about the antenna certification.

David:

I mean, Aside from like the length of delay, obviously, because there's so many

David:

5g devices being certified right now.

David:

Is there a big difference between certifying for 4g as

Jason:

far as I could tell?

Jason:

No.

Jason:

They, to be honest, the labs were fairly non-transparent about what the

Jason:

process was and why it took so long.

Jason:

I suspect those earlier days, they were more just trying to figure out

Jason:

what they wanted to study and they just assumed it would take a lot longer.

David:

I'm curious about Bluetooth.

David:

So we see Bluetooth performance, very so wildly across devices.

David:

And part of that is chipset.

David:

Of course, , they're probably working with different firmware,

David:

like literally, depending on when that device was certified or whatever

David:

Qualcomm chip it used was last updated.

David:

And it sounds like obviously, based on what you said, Bluetooth SIG is kind

David:

of like not rubber stamping it, but

Jason:

not, it's, it's more just validating the result.

Jason:

Like if we say if in our own testing, we say.

Jason:

Okay, this is the range it's good for.

Jason:

And this is the signal strength at that range.

Jason:

All they're gonna go do is validate whether or not what we said is accurate.

Jason:

Got it.

David:

Do you feel like they're doing a good job protecting

David:

consumers in that sense as the S I

Jason:

at our level?

Jason:

Absolutely.

Jason:

I think the biggest problem comes in with the random pair of headphones

Jason:

you bought for four ninety nine on Amazon might not connect as well.

Jason:

And a lot of people tend to blame that on the phone or the device

Jason:

you're connecting to, not on the device you're connecting with.

Jason:

And a lot of that comes back to power numbers, right?

Jason:

If they want a really, really inexpensive Bluetooth device, they're

Jason:

not gonna put a very fancy battery.

Jason:

So the signal strength and reception is gonna be very weak and you're

Jason:

gonna get a poor connection.

Jason:

So it's a good segue into conversations about when we're partnering with

Jason:

other companies, we're going to be curating accessories to go with saga.

Jason:

Is finding partners who are using the right ships that they've made the

Jason:

right investments in terms of power and performance on their Bluetooth,

Jason:

connectivity and other features and making sure that devices work well with saga.

David:

See, that's, that's really interesting to me because I feel like

David:

the amount of Bluetooth validation that happens out there in terms of

David:

accessory side is basically zero.

David:

Google is tried a little bit, but I don't think they've had much success.

David:

I'm wearing a pair of like Google certified.

David:

These are the mot blog.

David:

NBO one, the Buies pair of headphones I've ever owned far and away.

David:

So , it's just a personal curiosity for me, I guess, given

Jason:

Bluetooth.

Jason:

Yeah.

Jason:

Cert, that's funny.

Jason:

I I've gone.

Jason:

I love audio equipment.

Jason:

I, I like, I have so many random fancy headphones and amps and things like that.

Jason:

And, uh, I went full wireless and now I've sort of made my way back to wired

Jason:

because at the end of the day, Yeah, there's a benefit to being wired.

Jason:

You don't have to worry about battery at all.

Jason:

You don't have to sacrifice that space in the device for battery, and you can

Jason:

just punch so much more power into audio.

Jason:

If you're hardwire.

Mishaal:

You know, I actually think David, your issue might just be

Mishaal:

more with Bluetooth in general.

Mishaal:

Bluetooth is notoriously very buggy mess, no matter what platform it is.

Mishaal:

And there are many efforts on the Android side to make things more stable

Mishaal:

with like a rewrite of the Bluetooth stack on the certification side,

Mishaal:

something that's even more of a mess.

Mishaal:

And I think we can all agree on this is us.

Mishaal:

How in the world, are you supposed to tell what a USB 3.2 gen one X five,

Mishaal:

whatever the heck that's supposed to mean?

Mishaal:

Right?

Mishaal:

The average user probably has no idea because there's so many different

Mishaal:

labels and so many different numbers.

Mishaal:

Something that I found that's quite interesting is like in the world of us,

Mishaal:

BBC enthusiast, CS, there is a community on Reddit that is prided themselves

Mishaal:

on being enthusiasts around USBC.

Mishaal:

There's so many different cables and chargers and stuff

Mishaal:

you can buy off of like Amazon.

Mishaal:

But like if it's not USB, I F certified people generally say to

Mishaal:

avoid those products because only a couple of these products actually go.

Mishaal:

As far as receiving USB I F certification, that kind of wanted me to ask you

Mishaal:

Jason, how many of these certifications or which certifications are actually

Mishaal:

necessary or rather mandatory to actually bring a device to market.

Mishaal:

Do you have to get U S P I certification?

Mishaal:

Do you have to get Bluetooth six certification, wifi lines, et cetera.

Jason:

Um, I'm just looking at the list right now, honestly,

Jason:

to give you an exact answer.

Jason:

They're basically out of these 22 that we're doing 18 of them are required.

Jason:

The ones that aren't necessarily required.

Jason:

So like one of them is for Amazon only, only Amazon actually requires us to

Jason:

have a UL certification, but we do it anyways, just in case we sell through

Jason:

Amazon at this point, we're not doing it, but we wanna make sure it's there

Jason:

and we're doing 'em all at the same time.

Jason:

I'm literally reading through all of these at the same end,

Jason:

actually, all of these, we do.

Jason:

We, we mandate for ourselves that we do these.

Jason:

It makes sure that the product that reaches the customer meets

Jason:

our high standard that we expect from our products, IP rating.

Jason:

It's self-reported to an extent, frankly, IP rating's always one of

Jason:

those certification that cracks me up at IP 68 because IP 68 literally just

Jason:

means more than IP 67, like IP 67 is one hour, uh, sorry, one meter 30 minutes.

Jason:

Anything beyond that's considered IP 68.

Jason:

So you could do five hours of 10 meters.

Jason:

You'd still be IP 68,

David:

1 of the ironies about that.

David:

And I'm, I'm curious to your thoughts here.

David:

So to me, IP 66 would be the most intense way you could ruggedize

David:

device because that's high temperature, water jets, right?

Jason:

Uh, not really IP 67 is definitely harder.

David:

Okay.

David:

Interesting.

David:

Because I see few devices, cause it's a prolonged

Jason:

pressure right.

Jason:

Over the entire device.

Jason:

Cause what can happen is as you get pressure over the entire device at

Jason:

one meter, you could cause a lift in one spot that creates a gap

Jason:

on the other side of the device.

Jason:

Just because you're under pressure, the entire device under pressure.

Jason:

Whereas if you're just targeting it with IP 66, that one's

Jason:

not that difficult to pass.

Jason:

Once you get to 67 and 68 gets more difficult.

Jason:

I'm very, very proud to say that saga is IP 68 rated now.

Jason:

So if I have a lot of time to get there, to be honest

Mishaal:

yeah.

Mishaal:

I mean, for consumer peace of mind, that was always nice to know, you know, whether

Mishaal:

or not a product is IP rating or not.

Mishaal:

But as you mentioned, IP ratings, like the, the data is

Mishaal:

collected on it's self-reported.

Mishaal:

But if correct me, if I'm wrong to actually label your device

Mishaal:

with an IP rating, do you have to pay a licensing fee?

Mishaal:

I remember hearing something like that.

Mishaal:

You do?

Mishaal:

I

Jason:

don't remember what it's not much to be honest.

Mishaal:

Okay.

Mishaal:

I was always wondering at what point is there a, a decent trade

Mishaal:

off whether or not, you know, okay.

Mishaal:

We can say that we do meet these standards, but we're not going to call

Mishaal:

ourselves IP rated because we don't think we should pay this fee in order

Mishaal:

to just slap this label on our device.

Mishaal:

Even though we are functionally equivalent to IP 68, but we don't wanna have this

Mishaal:

branding or we don't think it's necessary.

Jason:

I think customers really wanna see that number.

Jason:

I think for marketing purposes, very important.

Jason:

What's quite interesting.

Jason:

I had this conversation with, uh, one of the char, the CEO of

Jason:

one of the major us carriers.

Jason:

I was like, you know, what's your return rate for water damage?

Jason:

And the guy goes practically, N it's incredibly rare.

Jason:

The device actually gets returned for water damage, any phone, even

Jason:

ones that aren't IP rated that could also come from just people going,

Jason:

oh, I dumped in the toilet and then flushed and then threw it overboard.

Jason:

That might be on me.

Jason:

But people like to know that their device can go outside and get accidentally a

Jason:

little wet and they can be safe without having to worry about it being damaged.

David:

And I think that it speaks to it mostly being a peace of mind kind of

David:

marketing thing, because in all honesty, Motorola tried to make the unbreakable

David:

phone and nobody cared if that's what people actually unbreakable bought that

Jason:

thing.

Jason:

And drove.

Jason:

I had a conversation when we were building or middle of the road when

Jason:

we were building the essential phone.

Jason:

And one of our marketing guys was that, oh, can we call it an unbreakable?

Jason:

And I looked at 'em.

Jason:

I said, You hand me a block of billet titanium, just a solid

Jason:

block of titanium as an engineer, I'll figure out how to break it.

Jason:

So you can't call anything unbreakable everything's breakable within reason.

Jason:

So anybody says they're gonna build an unbreakable phone is outta their mind.

Jason:

I mean, I, I have built some phones in the past, some prototypes that

Jason:

could withstand a hell of a beating.

Jason:

We did one that I would still love to do.

Jason:

One day it'd be kind of crazy expensive, but when we were building project jam,

Jason:

when we were looking at the materials for the housing, I built some outta

Jason:

Silicon nitr, which is what, uh, similar material they make the profess out of.

Jason:

I could take that housing out into the parking lot and spike it

Jason:

like a football and it'd be fine.

Jason:

It was kind of unreal.

Jason:

sure each housing costs like a thousand bucks, so maybe

Jason:

not great in mass production.

Jason:

But it was super, super cool, uh, to break it, I had to freeze it

Jason:

and then hit it with a hammer.

Jason:

So speaking

David:

of breaking and freezing and hitting with a hammer that gets to the

David:

other group of organization standard, you brought it up before I cut you off.

David:

I'm sorry, which is the mill eight, 10 G, which to me actually like they're way more

David:

fun things you can claim with mill eight, 10 G because it covers so many things.

David:

But I guess like, you know, LG tried to use it.

David:

A couple of brands tried to use it.

David:

It doesn't seem to stick with consumers.

Jason:

Yeah.

Jason:

I don't.

Jason:

I am not that familiar.

Jason:

Well, I am vaguely familiar, but it's been a while since I've looked at the

Jason:

mill spec standard, because to your point.

Jason:

Nobody really cared.

Jason:

And in some cases it's weaker than the standard that we put

Jason:

on ourselves that has become the defacto for, uh, mobile devices.

Mishaal:

So speaking of standards you put on yourselves, I wanted to ask

Mishaal:

you what are some examples of optional certifications beyond like IP ratings

Mishaal:

that a lot of companies seem to go for because they think it'd be beneficial

Mishaal:

to the baseline of the product or just the branding in general, you know,

Jason:

the craziest one is always drop testing.

Jason:

And as a person who's been building phones and laptops and tablets for the better

Jason:

part of 20 years now, it's both the most fun and the most heartbreaking to watch

Jason:

the abuse that we continuously put on devices while we're doing development,

Jason:

random drop tests, tumble tests, which are literally when you go to the factories,

Jason:

oftentimes it's like a handmade dryer.

Jason:

like literally just a tumble, like a wheel.

Jason:

That's just dropping phones constantly against things.

Jason:

So we do a one meter drop test onto granite.

Jason:

The traditional test is either one or one and a half meter onto polished Gran.

Jason:

And that's what most phone manufacturers work to at least in the Western world.

Jason:

And we sit there and we drop and we drop and we smash and we smash and

Jason:

we make minor little tweaks to the geometry of the housing or the geometry

Jason:

of the cover glass or the thickness or the position of foams on the inside.

Jason:

It's a constant little twist and turn and just trying to get closer

Jason:

and closer to being better and better under those drop tests.

Jason:

But at the end of the day, there is no amount of testing anybody can

Jason:

do or any self certification thing.

Jason:

We can do the guarantees that a phone won't break when you drop it,

David:

I guess, in terms of breakability, I'm curious, what do you think about

David:

the evolution of glass materials and where we're at right now?

David:

Because it seems to have slowed down a lot.

Jason:

Uh, I don't think it's slowed in a lot, uh, partially because

Jason:

I have very close friendships with the team at Corning.

Jason:

They've been wonderful supporters of us at essential and then us now at awesome.

Jason:

We're using the latest and greatest gorilla glass on the

Jason:

front of device and the big push.

Jason:

That's maybe cause of the outwardly visible reduction in what's going

Jason:

on in glass development is this big push towards 3d glasses and 3d

Jason:

glass is much more complicated to manufacture in mass production, both

Jason:

in terms of tolerances and fragility.

Jason:

But like we saw in project gem, it's doable.

Jason:

It just takes a buttload of dedicated work to get there.

Jason:

But in terms of flat panel, glass and glass ceramic, There's still quite

Jason:

a bit of development going on there.

Jason:

The team at Corning has a, just a building full of mad scientists,

Jason:

constantly trying to improve both strength and transparency of the glass.

Jason:

That's what a lot of people don't realize because we're talking about

Jason:

minuscule percentages improvements in transparency, while also greatly

Jason:

increasing strength and scratch resistance and frequently strength.

Jason:

And scratch resistance is inversely proportional to clarity

Jason:

of the glass transparency.

Jason:

And so they can make it stronger, but then they lose some transparency and

Jason:

your front camera might not look as good.

Jason:

So there's a lot of back and forth on those spaces and it's constantly ongoing.

Jason:

And I was a little surprised Corning didn't make as big a stink

Jason:

about their latest cover glass.

Jason:

And honestly, at the moment, I'm forgetting what it's called.

Jason:

It's not gorilla glass seven it's Invictus.

Jason:

Thanks you.

Jason:

Thank.

Jason:

Invictus class.

Jason:

I dunno why that marketing changed, but, uh, yeah, we didn't hear as

Jason:

much of it when they, as, as we did when they launched grill glass five

Jason:

and six, but Invictus is stronger.

Jason:

It's slightly more transparent.

Jason:

I mean, we're talking fraction of percent and it is more scratch resistant.

David:

I mean, and don't get me wrong here.

David:

I think that there are still improvements, I guess.

David:

You're right.

David:

They've not communicated it as clear as they could have, because

David:

I have my iPhone 13 pro max here.

David:

And the number of scratches on this thing is almost embarrassing.

David:

I have watched it fly 20 feet across an airport floor and

David:

just skid the entire way.

David:

Not a single crack on it.

David:

So they're doing something right.

David:

But my pixel six pro is utterly destroyed.

David:

I've dropped it several times.

David:

It's got like five different cracks on the pack now at this point.

David:

And, uh, I'm just waiting for the front crack.

David:

So yeah, the big reason it's

Jason:

all anecdotal.

Jason:

Yeah.

Jason:

But you're absolutely right.

Jason:

And it, I don't, I don't remember what's on the pixel six.

Jason:

But there is also a trade off between strength and scratch resistance too.

Jason:

So it's a constant battle between those three variables, scratch resistance,

Jason:

crack resistance and clarity.

Jason:

And then, and then that gets, we could spend a whole hour talking about

Jason:

why foldables are still a bad idea.

Jason:

And it really comes down to the display.

Jason:

I don't even wanna call it glass because it's the minute thinnest piece of

Jason:

glass and then a bunch of plastic, a strata, perhaps something like that.

Jason:

I've had conversations with a few glass manufacturers about foldables

Jason:

and each one of them are like, yeah, glass is not meant to vent despite

Jason:

everything they're doing, glass does not bend nicely, which means having to

Jason:

use plastic and plastic is kind of a.

Jason:

Material for covering your display.

Mishaal:

Yeah.

Mishaal:

Foldables, that's kind of the reason why I'm holding it out.

Mishaal:

Personally.

Mishaal:

I've seen like great results.

Mishaal:

A lot of people are really enjoying there's Z four threes and Z four S

Mishaal:

and there's a lot of competition, but like, unless you're already established

Mishaal:

brand with a deep relationship with a display manufacturer, and you're

Mishaal:

probably not getting into the foldable businesses, a startup, at least

Mishaal:

not without a lot of connections.

Mishaal:

Oh, to be

Jason:

honest, they're they, they are desperately trying to sell

Jason:

foldable displays to other people.

Jason:

Cuz the display manufacturer has put a ton of money, invested a ton

Jason:

of money into foldable tech and development for all their processes

Jason:

into foldables and other than Samsung and a couple Chinese brands nobody's

Jason:

pursuing it that hard for that reason.

Jason:

So probably once a quarter get a call from our display guy.

Jason:

Hey, we made minor improvements in the cover glass with the fold.

Jason:

Well you sure you don't wanna use one on your next phone?

Jason:

So it, it, it's not a matter of that.

Jason:

It's a matter of.

Jason:

It's not that great of a user experience yet.

Jason:

And I haven't seen one that really blows

Mishaal:

me away.

Mishaal:

Well, their margins are probably a lot higher on those foldable displays,

Mishaal:

so I'm not surprised they're pitching them to . I kind of wanted to ask

Mishaal:

you though, the two of you, you have extensive experience in building a

Mishaal:

smartphone startup, and actually you have a lot of partnerships already.

Mishaal:

You have a lot of contacts at all these companies, and as we've talked

Mishaal:

about, there's so many different certifications, so many different things

Mishaal:

you mentioned there's 22 certifications that you're pursuing for the saga.

Mishaal:

Yeah.

Mishaal:

And I'm.

Mishaal:

If you are someone who wants to build your own smartphone and

Mishaal:

you're not already well connected.

Mishaal:

And in this industry, where would you even begin?

Mishaal:

How would you even begin to navigate this mess?

Mishaal:

are there companies that actually specialize in helping you get these

Mishaal:

certifications around the world?

Mishaal:

What do people do?

Mishaal:

Most people just go for Audi 30 M designs, even

Jason:

then you still have to get certified because if you wanna

Jason:

market it under your name, all the certifications have to be in your name.

Jason:

So even the saga, which is sold through, so salon, it still has a strong

Jason:

connection to awesome because all the certifications are done by awesome.

Jason:

If I had no connections and no knowledge of all the certifications that are

Jason:

required, besides starting at the bottom of bottle of a whiskey um, I, yeah,

Jason:

I don't even know where I would start.

Jason:

I'd probably go through my cm and be like, Hey, who have you used in the past for us?

Jason:

Or it depends where you're trying to launch.

Jason:

If you're trying to launch in Asia, it's a lot easier.

Jason:

You're trying to launch in the us.

Jason:

It's way more difficult.

Jason:

As we saw there was, you know, I'm not gonna call 'em out by name, but

Jason:

there was another recent company that's moving into the mobile space.

Jason:

They're not launching in the us, cuz it is much more difficult here.

Jason:

So it really depends where you're launching what you want

Jason:

to achieve with what you have.

Jason:

There are certainly third party companies that can facilitate some, but not all.

Jason:

You'd probably need two or three third party companies to get

Jason:

you through this entire list.

Jason:

And you need to see 'em that really wanted be on your working on your behalf.

Jason:

Yeah.

Jason:

And that's

Gary:

how we got introduced to salon in the first place because

Gary:

they wanted to do that exact thing.

Gary:

And they went out and search bar and wide with what it was available out there.

Gary:

Just to kind of learn what it would take to build a phone, a mobile phone and

Gary:

launch it in, in the states and, and in.

Gary:

In the initial efforts that we're doing here.

Gary:

So they went far and wide and came to the point or conclusion.

Gary:

And some of 'em granted have come from Qualcomm.

Gary:

You know, that the, uh, CEO of our co-founder of Solana had worked

Gary:

at Qualcomm for 10 plus years.

Gary:

Uh, a lot of their founding members came from there too.

Gary:

So they had touched parts of it, but not launching a full on device with all

Gary:

the certifications, everything else.

Gary:

That's why they came to us.

Gary:

And in the speed they wanted to move.

Gary:

I think that's where it made the most sense to go with a company

Gary:

like us was able to make changes and adapt to some of the features

Gary:

that they wanted for the saga.

Gary:

And it being a key directing factor for some of the other OEM.

Gary:

In the space.

Mishaal:

So while we're talking about thes, I actually wanted to

Mishaal:

ask, I believe you confirmed that this device is launching in Q1

Mishaal:

of 2023, or was it the first half

Jason:

Q1 Q1.

Jason:

And we've also announced that there will be a limited number of developer units

Jason:

available before that, because the big push behind all of this is to bring more

Jason:

and more developers who are generalists in web three, who have probably been building

Jason:

for desktop into the mobile space.

Jason:

So we're getting them access a bit earlier, and these

Jason:

are pre-production devices.

Jason:

So when those devices are made of it, they are pre-production, but we are

Jason:

making sure to bring in and again, be more transparent with what we're

Jason:

doing and open up the development of a device to a broader community,

Jason:

which nobody's ever done before.

David:

I have a question about pre-production we get told all the

David:

time when we get a phone to review, especially ahead of launch, like,

David:

oh, this is a pre-production device.

David:

And usually that's a coverall for.

David:

We're gonna deploy a zero day firmware update.

David:

Like that's all they usually mean.

David:

What about what to you does pre-production really mean?

David:

Like, are there hardware differences?

David:

What happens in those final stages of refinement?

Jason:

So that's a great question.

Jason:

So I'll give you the whole answer.

Jason:

So bear with me.

Jason:

So typically what it is is we go into a D VT bill, which is design validation

Jason:

test build with the knowledge that is pencils down from a hardware standpoint

Jason:

and largely firmware pencils down as well.

Jason:

And to be very transparent, we're in that build right now.

Jason:

We're just exiting our DVT build right now.

Jason:

Then those devices are given to these 22 agency or 22, uh,

Jason:

uh, certification agencies.

Jason:

And you cannot change the hardware at that point.

Jason:

If you have to, then you have to redo all these certifications.

Jason:

So when you're given some pre-production.

Jason:

If it's a D V T level device, it means that the hardware is gonna stay the same,

Jason:

but there will be significant software and firmware improvements over time.

Jason:

Firmware limited updates.

Jason:

If we can't change radio and stuff like that at that point,

Jason:

but we can improve camera tuning.

Jason:

We can improve audio.

Jason:

We can improve display battery life over time, but we cannot

Jason:

tweak the, uh, radio perform.

Jason:

Once it's gone through certification,

Mishaal:

right.

Mishaal:

And from time to time, you'll see a lot of these prototypes or like

Mishaal:

actual pre-production units pop up on like eBay, because people who

Mishaal:

have these who are held onto these devices and who honestly shouldn't be

Mishaal:

selling them, decide to go sell them.

Mishaal:

And that's how you figure out that, Hey, that divot on the back of the next to six

Mishaal:

was actually supposed to be a fingerprint scanner because there are actually,

Mishaal:

pre-production NEX to six units on eBay with fingerprint scanners on the back.

Mishaal:

So like,

Jason:

uh, you could, yeah, that would, that would've been a, a pre-certification

Mishaal:

device.

Mishaal:

Yeah.

Mishaal:

And I've actually, I mean, I've used a pre-certification device before,

Mishaal:

like I'm not gonna mention what it was or like who it was from, but like it

Mishaal:

was wrapped in this giant thick case.

Mishaal:

And like, you could actually see the phone case itself.

Mishaal:

It was like clearly meant to kind of hide the identity.

Mishaal:

But I think it was like super preproduction and, you know, they

Mishaal:

didn't have the backing fully ready yet.

Mishaal:

All I could tell basically was a software.

Mishaal:

Like they were doing software bring up.

Mishaal:

Yeah.

Mishaal:

And you know, I was offering some feedback on software, but it's called

David:

a lunch boxing.

David:

Right.

Jason:

Uh, it depends.

Jason:

We call dog fooding.

Jason:

Uh, yeah.

Jason:

All depends on the vendor.

Jason:

You know, it was fun thing when we did a project jam.

Jason:

I know I harp on a lot, but it was fun because we made weird cases that made it

Jason:

look like a regular phone, just to tie the fact that there was so weirdly shaped.

Jason:

We didn't do that with saga or our, with our, we had a different

Jason:

internal code name, but we just let 'em out in the world.

Jason:

It's been quite entertaining when I've been traveling with it and I've traveled

Jason:

all over the world with it already.

Jason:

The most common comment I've gotten because it doesn't have

Jason:

the logo, the pre-production units don't have the salon logo on them.

Jason:

And final color scheme is, is that the iPhone 14?

Jason:

It's obviously the iPhone has been launched now, but, uh, up until recently,

Jason:

people would automatically assume because they feel the build quality

Jason:

look at how unique it looked and just assume it had to have come from apple.

Jason:

And I, depending on who I'm talking to I'll joke.

Jason:

Well, it did come from Cupertino, but not from them.

Jason:

So yeah, the, you can do it.

Jason:

Some people wanna hide it.

Jason:

I, you know, I don't think the average person on the street cares that much.

Gary:

Right.

Gary:

So the, so the leak are pretty, I think, conscious, or if you were to see a device

Gary:

out in the wild people, aren't trying to hide it as much as they used to.

Gary:

I think for pre-production units, you know, when Keith talks about D V T

Gary:

and then there's a phase before that, which are engineering validation, test

Gary:

units, which may have varying hardware in them, like you might have a smaller

Gary:

memory cuz it's cheaper or more, uh, portable and accessible for the time

Gary:

during engineering validation tests that just allows us to develop still

Gary:

internally from the software end.

Gary:

But from a hardware perspective, it may not be that imperative with

Gary:

what we would be for production units and then for pre-production

Gary:

from the software perspective.

Gary:

Yeah.

Gary:

You're not gonna have a lot of features.

Gary:

There is a factory acceptance test build that you do provide that the

Gary:

factory will just end up flashing that old, old, old software on there.

Gary:

And it's usually like three months updated at the point to production.

Gary:

So it means that, Hey, there's really old software on that, unless you take an OTA.

Gary:

Or it's a camera thing where the, um, Keith mentioned tuning, that's actually a

Gary:

really, really long tail thing where you have essentially three phases of tuning.

Gary:

One is objective tuning, which makes your greens green blues, blue and red red.

Gary:

But then when you do subjective tuning phases, it's like your greens are greener.

Gary:

Your blues are blue wear and your reds are redder.

Gary:

Uh, and that's for different scenes too.

Gary:

And subjective.

Gary:

The longer you tune, the better your camera is.

Gary:

And that's really what stops you from being able to have it production ready.

Gary:

A lot of the times, it's not able to start testing until D B T comes out.

Gary:

Like you won't start to be able to tune stuff until your

Gary:

actual hardware comes out.

Gary:

At that point, the longer your tune, the better the device is.

Gary:

Uh, so yeah, I think that kind of sums up what pre-production

Gary:

means is just software related.

Mishaal:

Speaking of software, I wanted to kind of get an idea from you to how

Mishaal:

important the actual factory provisioning part is because I'm sure people are

Mishaal:

familiar with the term factory images.

Mishaal:

Like you can download them for a pixel and, you know, you can flash 'em out your

Mishaal:

device and Google says they restore your device to a factory state, but that's not

Mishaal:

actually true because there are certain things that the user just cannot flash or

Mishaal:

modify or things that have to be set only at the factory, such as like what Google's

Mishaal:

doing with the remote provisioning, keys and other such like cryptographic things.

Mishaal:

Can you talk a bit a bit about that?

Gary:

Yeah.

Gary:

So there's stuff on the device that is considered persisted, uh, and

Gary:

that's stuff that necessarily won't bring you back to an official factory.

Gary:

And factory is really dependent on where you're taking that context from.

Gary:

Like, if we concert factory reset, there are things that go into the factory build

Gary:

initially, where you actually have certain apps that check the quality control

Gary:

outwardly before it leaves the facility.

Gary:

So we'll have like a test on there that runs a gamut of 40 plus tests, essentially

Gary:

checking that all the things on the device are functioning the way they're

Gary:

supposed to before it leaves the factory.

Gary:

And then we have other things that go onto the device that test camera modules

Gary:

on quality control, meaning that you have different settings for camera images, to

Gary:

make sure that the different glass that's attached to and layered on top of that

Gary:

module, it's taking clear enough pictures.

Gary:

There's a lot of stuff that goes into the factory that the users will never see.

Gary:

And you've seen that in Shammy phones where you can restore that

Gary:

test in there, and then it writes essentially a file that says.

Gary:

Before it left the facility, it was in the state and it was good to go.

Gary:

So it was more at the factory level.

Gary:

That's what you'll see at the factory factory level.

Gary:

Um, when you do a factory reset, there'll be some things that from the

Gary:

system side, we're not doing anything that people won't be able to reset.

Gary:

Like the stuff that we're doing with saga, everything will be able to be

Gary:

cleared essentially, but there's also factor reset protection, which is

Gary:

inherently made to allow people who scavenger and steal devices from people

Gary:

to try and sell 'em on the secondary market for that to be protected.

Gary:

So what you'll end up seeing is if you ever registered a fingerprint and

Gary:

you try to factor reset the device without unlocking the phone, for

Gary:

example, first, uh, it'll go into vector reset protection mode, which

Gary:

is something that Google implemented a while ago for, to kind of work, you

Gary:

know, those, those type of efforts for people on the secondary markets.

Gary:

But yeah, I think from a consumer standpoint, when they say factory

Gary:

reset, there'll be things that can't be.

Gary:

Cleared completely.

Gary:

It'll be for the benefit of the owner of the device and not so much, you

Gary:

know what OEMs do at a factory level or pre preproduction testing for quality.

Mishaal:

So some of that factory level stuff, like the tools that you

Mishaal:

mentioned, they've sometimes leaped out into the wild and they're like

Mishaal:

ridiculously powerful in what they can do.

Mishaal:

Like I believe there was an oppo tool that was able to restore the

Mishaal:

wide vine provisioning, key something that's only supposed to be able

Mishaal:

to be provisioned at the factory.

Mishaal:

And there's a lot of these tools, like I think believe from one plus they're

Mishaal:

these, um, I think they call them MSM, download tools that the community is

Mishaal:

very fond of them, but there's actually like an extremely low level factory

Mishaal:

flashing tool that allow you to wipe and restore all partitions on the

Mishaal:

device, back to the actual factory set.

Mishaal:

So.

Mishaal:

And like there's a lot of these kind of tools that you users will never

Mishaal:

see on a production device, because they're all stripped from bills before

Mishaal:

they're actually shipped to users.

Mishaal:

Can you talk about any of these tools, Jason or Gary?

Mishaal:

Like what are some of the useful things that engineers will have

Mishaal:

access to that, you know, users will never see the light of day.

Gary:

There's a lot of things for convenience, especially on like the camera

Gary:

testing side of things, but those are typically like, Hey, these are user debug

Gary:

builds or rooted builds to allow them to.

Gary:

Through UBI or something like that, but you'll never see the light of day for

Gary:

that to show up on a production unit.

Gary:

There are other stuff that is made for the factory to do what you had said,

Gary:

like create different memory, footprints and stuff in the original factory mode.

Gary:

So factory mode, meaning.

Gary:

What you had mentioned earlier is that, uh, they have their own build at the

Gary:

factory that allows them to do their specific testing, but then our build goes

Gary:

into it and then they have to do testing.

Gary:

That's different from their strictly hardware testing.

Gary:

I've worked at companies where they've had internal tools for like Odin or the

Gary:

ones that you've mentioned, like one plus, uh, for you to, to do those, um,

Gary:

types of provisioning, but to do anything nefarious you would need to essentially

Gary:

have what's green keyed in the rom.

Gary:

So typically when you see that scary message, when you boot a device, uh,

Gary:

that you rooted or flashed a, a custom Ram on, you'll see something that

Gary:

says warning, like a big red letters.

Gary:

That seems very, very alarming.

Gary:

That's essentially why that's built into there is because you

Gary:

don't have a build going into the device that has been green keyed.

Gary:

And that green key is only owned by a set of individuals in the company.

Gary:

So the factory won't be able to sign a factory image that goes

Gary:

onto that hardware device that won't show that warning message.

Gary:

So typically we've had like something, a UBI key.

Gary:

That's physically attached to signing a build and that green key exists in a

Gary:

physical world and is completely offline.

Gary:

And you have a machine that only signs that build.

Gary:

And then we release that sign, build to, uh, manufacturers, uh, or, or the factory.

Gary:

And then the factory never has the ability to do anything with

Gary:

their original factory build.

Gary:

But the thing that goes out to consumers is just that green key

Gary:

build that's flashed by the factory.

Gary:

And yeah, there's a lot of like hand shaking there, but the factory has

Gary:

their own factory build that has baseline for what they're used to.

Gary:

We have our build that has like a Delta between their factory

Gary:

and what we did for our hardware specifically for like Qualcomm

Gary:

libraries and then, uh, differences in Google ASP that we've added on it.

Gary:

And then all the things that we work with our hardware vendors,

Gary:

and that gives a baseline for the hardware that the software that

Gary:

actually goes out to consumers.

Gary:

Uh, it might be unclear or muddy there, but yeah, that's more or less

Gary:

where those two builds differentiate.

David:

I mean, just as a kind of curious anecdote it's I never would've

David:

considered, there was essentially a firmware nuclear football that, uh,

David:

smart home companies have to hold onto.

David:

And I'm curious, I mean, what do you all know about how

David:

companies tend to handle that?

David:

Because I imagine Samsung might do it a little differently than y'all are doing

David:

it just because of scale . So I'm just

Jason:

personally curious.

Jason:

That's a good question.

Jason:

I want Gary, do you know how say you worked there in the past?

Jason:

Any idea how they can?

Jason:

Yeah, so

Gary:

it's like a nuclear thing where it's three people need to come

Gary:

together to turn the key to sign it.

Gary:

Yeah.

Gary:

So it's like a split type of thing and you usually have build and release

Gary:

engineers or a group, and those people have to be very, very trusted and we

Gary:

have something similar, um, set up.

Gary:

I

Mishaal:

mean, just imagine the level of damage you could do if you

Mishaal:

had those Seine keys, like if you were able to sign your own system

Mishaal:

image using like Samsung's keys, for example, then you could literally put

Mishaal:

whatever you wanted into that system image and flash it onto any device.

Mishaal:

And the boot loader would accept it as a valid system image and boot it up.

Mishaal:

And then you'd basically have full control over the operating

Mishaal:

system of some user's device.

Mishaal:

Like they definitely have to keep that key under lock and key.

Jason:

Yep.

Jason:

yeah, I just, I just put it with a, a, a, uh, a cage that has a bunch of poisonous

Jason:

animals in it, and nobody goes for it.

Jason:

It's weird.

Jason:

No,

Gary:

yeah.

Gary:

Essentially snake it's in with

Jason:

yeah, exactly.

Jason:

That's

Gary:

where we keep it.

Gary:

Do that.

Gary:

Definitely.

Gary:

In the physical world.

Gary:

I I've seen, uh, some of pizza's reptiles.

Gary:

They, they, um, they would keep a, a green key bowl in

Mishaal:

Indiana Jones trap.

Mishaal:

yeah,

Jason:

she's been a bit of a jerk lately.

Jason:

I'm not gonna lie.

Jason:

She, she could definitely defend it.

Jason:

The

Gary:

safety of those things is, is a big thing.

Gary:

And it usually mixes the same types of security you would expect from a

Gary:

two-factor authentication, that mixes, who you are with what you know, with, uh, what

Gary:

you have and where you are type of thing.

Gary:

It'll be essentially a mix of those things split across, uh,

Mishaal:

multiple people.

Mishaal:

Yeah.

Mishaal:

And key leaks, you know, even if they don't happen at the OEM level,

Mishaal:

they could happen at the factory or somehow some malicious developer or

Mishaal:

hacker were able to extract the keys from the trust zone on the device.

Mishaal:

There are different ways to do it, all of them incredibly difficult.

Mishaal:

But if that were to happen for certain features, I believe Google

Mishaal:

has the ability to revoke keys that are used for at, for example.

Mishaal:

And if that were to happen, then all of a sudden you'd find yourself

Mishaal:

unable to use so many applications that rely on at adaptation.

Mishaal:

Like a lot of yeah.

Mishaal:

Banking

Gary:

and go ahead.

Gary:

Right?

Gary:

The at adaptation's keys and the wide bind keys that you mentioned, there

Gary:

are mechanisms built into the chips when it's wide buy ones, there's

Gary:

like a back off mechanism to where it could gets completely inaccessible

Gary:

or completely wiped, essentially.

Gary:

Yeah.

Gary:

Those type of things, there are built in measures.

Gary:

Android devices have been around long enough or Google to be very, very

Gary:

conscious of what that would look like.

Gary:

Essentially, if, if.

Mishaal:

That ever happened.

Mishaal:

And it's happened before.

Mishaal:

If you look up news reports of after an upgrade, my wide vine L one certification

Mishaal:

went down to wide vine, L three, and all of a sudden you can't watch HD videos

Mishaal:

and Netflix, it's a very common problem.

Mishaal:

You'll see.

Mishaal:

And at some point it happened to a device and users had to actually ship their

Mishaal:

device to the OEM so that they could manually re provision those devices.

Mishaal:

It was a big deal.

Mishaal:

Thankfully, Google's moving towards remote key provisioning, at

Mishaal:

least for the ATEST station keys.

Mishaal:

If that happens, they're able to reissue a key without having to actually

Mishaal:

reprovision at the factory level.

Mishaal:

But like, you know, these things, if they go wrong, yeah.

Mishaal:

They go horribly wrong.

Mishaal:

Right.

Gary:

And a lot of these devices are fused.

Gary:

So you do have these that are prod fused.

Gary:

So you have something that will try to do something ne barriers

Gary:

to that device will eventually blow the fuse at a Harbor level.

Gary:

Yeah, I, I think it's a little bit different about what we were talking about

Gary:

Michelle, but there are other set guards when people are trying to do something

Gary:

in that areas to the device itself.

Gary:

But yeah, that would be a nightmare.

Gary:

If any OEM, uh, would need to go in, have things re provisioned it's

Gary:

it's not even great on the hardware level for us to doing anything there.

Jason:

That line of questioning calls back to our earlier conversation about

Jason:

pre-production devices and certification.

Jason:

It is very funny when you're test driving pre-production devices that

Jason:

have not been CTS certified, which is the Google certification, peer

Jason:

devices, certain apps just won't work.

Jason:

They aren't available.

Jason:

And I personally find it quite entertaining because as the

Jason:

CEO, I start dog fooding a unit, basically, as soon as it's available

Jason:

for me to start dog fooding.

Jason:

Absolute garbage, fresh off the factory line, VT one to now D V T where the

Jason:

hardware and the software's really good, but it hasn't finished CTS certification.

Jason:

Netflix just doesn't work.

Jason:

You can't download Netflix onto the device.

Jason:

Precertification.

Jason:

The rationale behind that is around security and privacy, which makes a lot

Jason:

of sense, but certain apps just won't be available on pre production devices.

Jason:

And people have to be aware of that.

Jason:

That's what we go through.

Jason:

As we do develop.

Jason:

Yeah,

Gary:

I think high level there's something called safety net.

Gary:

And when you don't have a CTS certified build on there, safety net just breaks,

Gary:

which everybody like so many apps rely on and play store will note that

Gary:

your build is not a CTS certified build and you won't have anything.

Gary:

A lot of things show up like the banking apps, anything that

Gary:

relies on safety net won't show up

Jason:

as part of that, just terrify everybody.

Jason:

All of my banking apps work perfectly fine without safety net the table , uh, really

Jason:

scares me about all my banks actually.

Jason:

And

Gary:

a lot of the open source projects used to be able to SP like

Gary:

they, they have something called MicroG, which is essentially a way to

Gary:

simulate what Google APIs would do.

Gary:

So it's a way to like reroute Google APIs to do something else.

Gary:

And it'd be just like a mask and safe net used to be able to be spoofed.

Gary:

But they have since changed that as a, uh, maybe like three years ago or two and a

Gary:

half years ago to where it's not something that can, can be spoofed, uh, any longer.

Gary:

So people yeah.

Gary:

Are on that boat or I think.

Gary:

Calx and lineage and some other and graphing all start doing

Gary:

something differently to allow you to have a, a different experience.

Mishaal:

Actually, speaking of MicroG, perhaps by the time this episode goes

Mishaal:

up, we'll already have our episode speaking with a MicroG developer up.

Mishaal:

So if you wanna learn more about that, go back and listen to the MicroG episode.

Mishaal:

Go give that a listen.

Gary:

Yeah.

Gary:

MicroG is one of those things where Google can just change something to make it

Gary:

not work which it has always been the risk of anything getting around Google.

Gary:

Yeah.

Mishaal:

This is, uh, kind of fearing away from software back to hardware,

Mishaal:

but for the sake of users like regular users who might have this

Mishaal:

question and I knows of it, but I wanted to hear more from you guys.

Mishaal:

The us market is particularly difficult to support because of the bands.

Mishaal:

That carriers deploy in certain cities are not really the same

Mishaal:

as what you'll get in Europe.

Mishaal:

So like, if you wanna support a certain device, a lot of the bands you might

Mishaal:

have to support will be different.

Mishaal:

And so I wanted to ask you, what does it actually take if you wanted to ship

Mishaal:

a device in the us with support for band 71, which is very commonly used by

Mishaal:

T-Mobile, what does that actually mean?

Mishaal:

What do you have to do to get that?

Mishaal:

To work?

Jason:

It really, we work with our cm and our radio team, our, our, our

Jason:

modem team to make sure that we support the bands that we need to support

Jason:

in this country and check which ones overlap with different countries.

Jason:

It is a, I'm trying to think of a less convoluted way to say this.

Jason:

We basically look at all the countries we would like to support and ship into,

Jason:

look at where carrier bands overlap and break them out into separate skews,

Jason:

depending on where the overlap lies.

Jason:

Actually, I was just having a conversation about this with a

Jason:

friend of mine who works at, uh, the other phone company in Cupertino.

Jason:

He he's a big wig over there and.

Jason:

Even, he was telling me that he is grabbing RO w skews, which for everybody

Jason:

that sounds for rest of world, which typically means Asia and middle east.

Jason:

The reason is because the iPhone 14, obviously the us skew doesn't come

Jason:

with a SIM card, uh, a physical SIM card, which frankly, I was astonishing

Jason:

to me in a lot of other people.

Jason:

So internally even trying to grab rest the world units because

Jason:

they want to keep a physical SIM.

Jason:

But that, uh, I, I guess that does answer your question is we do look at where

Jason:

the bands overlap and work from there.

Jason:

And typically we get a north America EU skew.

Jason:

We get a Africa slash middle east skew, and we would do a RO WKU, which would

Jason:

typically be China and India targeted.

Jason:

Now India has some very special rules though, and we can get

Jason:

that's a whole separate story too.

David:

I think in terms of the us, maybe Michelle, correct me if I'm wrong, the

David:

discussion would be to me, like we have a situation where carriers in the us,

David:

for lack of a better word, effectively white list network features, they

David:

operate network, feature white list.

David:

That's how at and T does it, how T-Mobile does it it's how Verizon does it.

David:

T-Mobile's probably the least egregious about this.

Jason:

I would say.

Jason:

Yeah, for they they're by far the easiest one to work.

Jason:

At and T is in the middle and Verizon is the most difficult to work with.

Jason:

Right.

David:

And so it's far less about band support in my mind, right?

David:

Because Qualcomm really handles that that's their job.

David:

It's more about like, Hey, I'm on Verizon.

David:

I want voice over LTE to work appropriately and to have wideband voice

David:

and for calls to not sound terrible when somebody calls on somebody on at

David:

and T because at, and T and Verizon probably have a cross Ty agreement,

David:

but it probably only works for handsets that are certified for their networks

David:

directly and whitelisted, I would guess.

David:

Yeah.

David:

There's all these little bits and pieces, especially for interop that

David:

can destroy your phone's features because you won't pay at and T a quarter

David:

of a million dollars or whatever it

Jason:

is.

Jason:

Yeah.

Jason:

The number's a lot bigger now.

Jason:

Oh, cool.

Jason:

Yeah.

Jason:

So there are two versions of certifica.

Jason:

There are many versions, but the high level to explain it.

Jason:

Each carrier basically has two versions of certification.

Jason:

One would be B Y O D, which means we saga Solana are selling a phone that

Jason:

is open market and is safety use on us based networks, meaning TMO, Verizon,

Jason:

or at, and T plus all their MVNOs built off of those three networks, but

Jason:

basically that's who we're dealing with.

Jason:

And what that means is we do go through a certification process with each of

Jason:

those carriers, ensuring with them that our device won't break their network.

Jason:

And that allows to be white listed on their network, allows for

Jason:

interoperability and allows for those high level features to work.

Jason:

You know, right now the phone will work before the certifications

Jason:

are done, making calls, sending texts, but you won't get Ty.

Jason:

You won't get a lot of other things like that until it's finished that

Jason:

white list that B Y O D certification and keep in mind, each carrier

Jason:

has a different name for this.

Jason:

We just internally call it B Y O D to not lose our minds.

Jason:

On top of that, there is a full level carrier certification, and that's, if

Jason:

you're selling through their stores, That's where the big money comes in.

Jason:

If you wanna sell a device through verizon.com at and t.com, tmo.com,

Jason:

you're gonna go through their full certification process and

Jason:

the full certification process.

Jason:

How do I say this without me getting sued by one of them?

Jason:

Um, sucks.

Jason:

It is complicated.

Jason:

It is inherently biased against the phone manufacturer because they want to

Jason:

get you to pay more, to ask for waivers.

Jason:

Uh, I don't remember if it was on the last time we did a podcast or it was somebody

Jason:

else that I was talking about the most egregious one isn't actually in the us.

Jason:

The most egregious example I've ever seen in my career was in Japan where

Jason:

part of their certification process for full cert was the phone had to survive

Jason:

a 1.5 meter face down, drop onto a steel L bracket without any damage.

Jason:

No scratch, no crack.

Jason:

Nothing we'll pass that again.

Jason:

We go back to my billet aluminum or bill name.

Jason:

You will get a scratch and a ding.

Jason:

If you drop it from one and a half meters onto a steel L bracket.

Jason:

And it was just there to force the phone manufacturer to either pay a

Jason:

little bit more money for a waiver or accept worse terms on the sale.

Jason:

And so that is a big reason why we went open market on saga was we didn't wanna

Jason:

deal with that beyond the headache.

Jason:

You're talking somewhere between half a million and a million dollars

Jason:

per carrier per year per skew.

Jason:

So you can imagine that adds up really, really quickly for even a big company,

Jason:

let alone as smaller mid tier company.

Mishaal:

You actually did bring up that Japan example on the,

Mishaal:

on that's my favorite podcast.

Mishaal:

Yeah.

Mishaal:

Speaking of Japan, I think a lot of people don't know about the country is that

Mishaal:

there's a very specific piece of hardware.

Mishaal:

That's pretty much only shipped on devices in that country.

Mishaal:

And it's called, uh, NFC dash FICA.

Mishaal:

Right?

Mishaal:

And like, if you wanna ship a device in that country, you pretty much have to

Mishaal:

make Japan only skew or you risk having to ship that hardware on every single

Mishaal:

other device around the world and, you know, increasing the cost everywhere else.

Mishaal:

Um, yeah, we waste a

Jason:

lot of money at essential going down the build a FICA only skew that I

Jason:

don't even think we actually shipped.

Jason:

Or if we did, we ship like 500 units and we spent yeah.

Jason:

Million

David:

about there.

David:

We're talking about the country that also came up with its a

David:

completely different version of the ATM card in authorization system.

David:

Yeah.

David:

They have their own bank card system in Japan.

David:

That's completely incompatible with the rest of the world.

David:

They had a completely incompatible cellular network iden like

David:

they've always been a little bit.

David:

Different in terms of

Gary:

tech adoption.

Gary:

Yeah.

Gary:

And I think in terms of adoption in general, they do favor

Gary:

probably the manufacturers that come from their country as well.

Gary:

So even breaking into the market on number of units, you're probably moving in that

Gary:

country considering needing in your own SKU and having the delicate support.

Gary:

It becomes an interesting conversation pretty quickly on whether or not

Gary:

we should be launching there.

Gary:

And yeah, this is a conversation that we'll be having, you know,

Gary:

I'm sure on our next gen device.

Gary:

Oh,

Mishaal:

and speaking of favoritism, I'm sure you're aware well aware of India and

Mishaal:

like how it heavily favors manufacturers or OEMs that manufacture the majority of

Mishaal:

parts of the phone within the country.

Mishaal:

Like if you don't manufacture the entire phone inside India using Indian plants,

Mishaal:

then you're gonna pay a hefty import.

Jason:

Yep.

Jason:

There are basically four countries that fall under that

Jason:

category, which are Russia.

Jason:

Doesn't really matter these days, India, Brazil.

Jason:

And I always forget the fourth one.

Jason:

It's like some random one in Africa.

Jason:

Yeah.

Jason:

We're not buying a lot of, but yeah, India and Brazil being the two main ones where

Jason:

you have to manufacture, you have to do some percentage of manufacturing there.

Jason:

Typically you get away with final assembly just because it's not like they

Jason:

have chip fabs in Brazil or India that can meet foreign animator processes.

David:

Right.

David:

And that's why Moto made so many phones in Brazil.

David:

, that's why they're also so big there.

Mishaal:

Yep.

Mishaal:

And it's also why pixels are so expensive in India.

Mishaal:

. Makes a lot of sense.

Mishaal:

Circling back to the carrier example, I kind of wanted to bring up the

Mishaal:

software side of things beyond like the whatever certification

Mishaal:

process you have to go through.

Mishaal:

From what I've heard, carriers also often have software asks, like they might

Mishaal:

say, we want you to modify your status bar icon so that you show our specific

Mishaal:

branding for the 5g logo or that you show our boot animation for your product.

Mishaal:

Whenever it boots up.

Mishaal:

I'm pretty sure this is actually the driving force behind one of Android's

Mishaal:

most used platform features, which is the runtime resource overlay,

Mishaal:

which is like the feature that lets OEMs actually overlay like

Mishaal:

the resource of an application.

Mishaal:

And because carriers were constantly asking companies to make these changes

Mishaal:

to the Android bills themselves, that would have to necessarily create

Mishaal:

multiple versions or like complicate the build of the Android bill that

Mishaal:

OEMs are shipping out the devices like creating this whole system.

Mishaal:

Just so OEMs could say, okay, you can put all your

Mishaal:

customizations in the separate app.

Mishaal:

And then they'll only apply whenever the user inserts a SIM card that's

Mishaal:

from that carrier or that device is provisioned on that carrier.

Mishaal:

So like even these tiny little things, like just having a device sold in

Mishaal:

the United States, there's so many complicating factors that go into it.

Mishaal:

Yeah.

Jason:

And that's where we get into that.

Jason:

Oh, if you don't pass their individual certifications and you ask for waiver,

Jason:

they're gonna come back and say, well, if you want a waiver, we're gonna need

Jason:

you to do X, Y, and Z in software.

Jason:

That might be an example.

Jason:

And it's just so ING, which is why

David:

that some cartel level

Jason:

behavior, if you, if you own all the hardware to make networks work, you,

Jason:

you do have a monopoly or you have a cartel going between the three biggies.

Jason:

So yeah, that's exactly it.

Gary:

Yeah.

Gary:

I think you'll see a lot of carrier bloat on devices that have flagship

Gary:

carrier, where you see them in stores, they'll have their own agenda to

Gary:

kind of load in certain software that might compliment their network,

Gary:

really visual voicemail apps or.

Gary:

Things that they use as like a gateway into other products and

Gary:

services that they offer as a company.

Gary:

The worst part of it is they're not unins installable at most.

Gary:

You can hide them cuz they are part of the system image.

Gary:

A lot of the times for those.

David:

I mean, I, I do think that trend is changing though.

David:

I believe most bloatware these days is uninstall because Google has

David:

provided that provisioning mechanism to carriers during onboarding.

David:

Right.

David:

Um, such that even when you load a new SIM card, the device free

David:

provisions and then it says, Hey, do you wanna load this crap on your phone?

David:

And usually it lets you avoid some of it.

Gary:

Yeah.

Gary:

But if you're going through the full blown, not B by O D route that

Gary:

we are going currently, then they have a lot of hidden agendas to

Gary:

say, have the boot logo, like you'll always see like an at T a boot logo.

Gary:

I don't know if that goes away now.

Gary:

Uh, I haven't tested that.

Gary:

I haven't switched, you know, out of my current carrier to see, uh, oh, I haven't

Jason:

had we've individually been open market for a very long time.

Gary:

So kinda,

David:

I don't know, even if Michelle, are you aware if at, and

David:

T's even still branding the boot animations for like galaxy devices?

Mishaal:

I, so actually, yeah, I mean, I just bought, I mean, this

Mishaal:

is an older device to be fair, but my galaxy tab S five, that's

Mishaal:

undergoing the journey of transforming into an Android automotive tablet.

Mishaal:

It came with a stock at and T firmware and that had an at and T boot logo.

Mishaal:

I had to flash the us so firmware, just so I could unlock the boot loader.

Mishaal:

And that had, when I did that, that came with a cellular boot logo.

Mishaal:

And so, yeah, they're still doing it and it's really interesting to see how

Mishaal:

they're able to throw their weight around because of course they're massive in the

Mishaal:

us and they can, but like, You're also starting to see actually just apps or like

Mishaal:

services throw their weight around too.

Mishaal:

Like Netflix is one example.

Mishaal:

I think a lot of people don't know is with wide vine L one.

Mishaal:

So even if your device is wide vine L one certified, that doesn't mean

Mishaal:

that the device will be able to stream 4k videos on Netflix or will be able

Mishaal:

to stream HDR videos on Netflix.

Mishaal:

I believe Netflix has their own separate certification process just for that.

Mishaal:

And I don't know if you can talk about that, but I just wanted to

Mishaal:

bring it up because it's something that I always had questions about.

Gary:

I think we're, we haven't gotten there yet with the Netflix

Gary:

streaming, like a lot of companies do that to make sure that you're given

Gary:

the right experience on the hardware.

Gary:

I know Spotify does this.

Gary:

If you do anything with altering their application or, or provided

Gary:

service that they'll have their own type of certification.

Gary:

We, we had a lot of that kind of chat when we were doing project gem at essential.

Gary:

So a lot of people are just very, very protective of how

Gary:

their services is consumed.

Gary:

I feel like Netflix is probably one of those ones where it's only going to it.

Gary:

You have to be allowed list.

Gary:

To get the optimal experience on that device.

Gary:

And I'm sure it's a mix of not only the hardware capabilities, but probably your

Gary:

wifi chip or something that I'm not fair.

Gary:

We've never gone through it, but I'm certain that they have a lot of talented

Gary:

engineers who are doing that for a reason, but I don't know, you, you have

Gary:

any insight on why they would do that.

Jason:

I honestly do not.

Jason:

Um, it's something I'll look into though.

Jason:

I'm quite curious.

David:

Yeah.

David:

I mean, my guess would be for Netflix's side of things, and this is

David:

speculation, but as a service provider, they're heavily incentivized to

David:

maximize revenue, to like the devices that are HDR, 4k certified, and I'm

David:

guaranteeing those are all sold through carriers because why wouldn't they be?

David:

And so the carriers probably have something on the back end there you're

David:

selling a high end Netflix device.

David:

You get a better bounty when you sell this device and you get a subscription.

David:

Basically.

David:

There's no way in my mind, 4k HDR, these are very standardized

David:

things, the Kodak, and like you can advertise your decode abilities.

David:

This is not complex.

David:

This is Netflix playing business.

David:

I think.

Mishaal:

Right.

Mishaal:

Right.

Mishaal:

And you'll see this often with preload agreements, like why do

Mishaal:

certain devices have Netflix or other applications preloaded?

Mishaal:

Well it's because their OEMs may be signed a revenue sharing agreement with

Mishaal:

them, or why does every single TV remote seem to have a Netflix button on it?

Mishaal:

Well, that's probably more of a requirement to even be allowed

Mishaal:

to use Netflix on that TV versus anything revenue sharing.

Mishaal:

Like there's all these different behind the scenes agreements or requirements

Mishaal:

that 99.9% of consumers will never know.

Mishaal:

But as an OEM, it's such a huge, massive headache to deal with.

Mishaal:

There's so many different things to keep track of.

Gary:

Yeah, I think there's also incentive for OEMs to have rev share too.

Gary:

Like we had a lot of considerations of that in the past, beyond even awesome

Gary:

for rev share agreements for pre-loads and they can be pretty substantial

Gary:

for companies to have that revenue share for a small company, but for

Gary:

larger companies, I'm sure they're also incentivized from that other end to

Gary:

accept an agreement, to put a dedicated button on a remote, like you said, or

Gary:

even something on the home screen and part of the onboarding experience.

Gary:

Like a lot of times we, on the business side, we were looking at real estate

Gary:

and real estate comes in the form of the onboarding experience, your home screen.

Gary:

In a folder or is that dedicated hot seat button, or even as part of some

Gary:

of the minus one screens that comes along with the business talks, which is

Gary:

always interesting from a manufacturer.

Mishaal:

Yeah.

Mishaal:

And this is the benefit of Android, just becoming more and more modular

Mishaal:

over time as more and more entities have a vested interest in having

Mishaal:

more requests, more integrations, and having all these things, you need to

Mishaal:

be able to manage all of this stuff.

Mishaal:

So it's been a few years since I looked at like how Samsung's one UI is

Mishaal:

distributed, but it is so, so modular.

Mishaal:

They have these country specific codes that enable certain flags within certain

Mishaal:

carriers within certain countries.

Mishaal:

They have all of this built into, I don't know how many different shipping

Mishaal:

firmware builds, but a company like that.

Mishaal:

That's the reason they're able to offer so many different devices across

Mishaal:

so many different channels that are barely modified from each other.

Mishaal:

But like, if you're a smaller OEM, how do you deal with that?

Mishaal:

It's.

Mishaal:

It's gotten harder, but it's also gotten a little easier with

Mishaal:

the modularization of Android.

Mishaal:

And of course, if you are going to be developing your software for your

Mishaal:

own device, or you, you wanna make a device, you're going to be needing some

Mishaal:

talented software engineers to do that.

Mishaal:

And I believe you both have an announcement regarding

Jason:

that.

Jason:

Well, we, we touched on it earlier.

Jason:

I think we, we are keeping a physical SIM.

Jason:

Was that the big.

Jason:

Oh, no, that we closed our series a, um, yeah, that was really awesome.

Jason:

It took a lot longer that I, you know, had lawyers, uh, but we're very

Jason:

excited to say we've closed our series.

Jason:

A, we are not sharing the exact dollar amounts.

Jason:

However, it is more than enough to keep awesome, healthy and running

Jason:

rampant for many, many years to come.

Jason:

And we're excited to say that Solana was the, uh, investor

Jason:

as well as our partner in.

Jason:

So we've raised quite a bit of money and we're, the main use of

Jason:

those funds honestly, are not for hardware, not for equipment, not for

Jason:

marketing, but rather for people.

Jason:

And we are going to be making a big push to hire software engineers.

Jason:

They are backend system engineers, but I think Gary would do a much

Jason:

better job of explaining exactly what awesome is looking for.

Jason:

Yeah.

Jason:

So

Gary:

here's the hiring plug.

Gary:

We are hiring quite a bit on the system software engineering side.

Gary:

So people with BSP experience and have knowledge with working with different

Gary:

hardware modules from a mobile phone perspective, there's so many different

Gary:

parts that are involved beyond a CPU interacting with all of that bring up.

Gary:

So anyone who has C or C plus plus knowledge is what we'll be looking for.

Gary:

Initially, we do have open spots across the board for software,

Gary:

for QA automation, testers.

Gary:

We also have people who are more front end and product related

Gary:

roles as well, and then stuff that will definitely interest people.

Gary:

Uh, there's a lot of opportunity that you'd be able to work.

Gary:

Here at awesome.

Gary:

And we are just looking to match people's interests and experience

Gary:

with what we have to do, not only on this first release, but a lot of

Gary:

other things that we are working on internally beyond our mobile device, our

Jason:

first mobile device.

Jason:

Yeah.

Jason:

Well, I'll throw an extra plug for just coming to work for us.

Jason:

Obviously we're a startup that is a lot of fun to work with.

Jason:

We're working on new and interesting things.

Jason:

The first product is a traditional phone, but certainly the future

Jason:

products we're gonna get a lot crazier.

Jason:

And if you're into wild, exciting new projects where you'll have a lot of say

Jason:

in how it happens and say in what the products look like, this is the company

Jason:

to come work for a hundred percent remote.

Jason:

So we're hiring all over the world.

Mishaal:

And David, I think you could tell our listeners here what ESER has to offer,

Mishaal:

how we're interested in BSP development and you know, AOSP development in general.

Mishaal:

We sure

David:

are.

David:

So Asper is really in the business of helping companies, maybe not unlike

David:

awesome, but probably not in the consumer space necessarily do things

David:

like provision devices at the factory.

David:

And the way we're helping out with that is really at the management layer.

David:

And we're making sure that once those devices leave the factory, whether

David:

they're flashed with our AOSP firmware or the manufacturer's firmware, that

David:

they can be managed, updated, controlled anywhere in the world at all times.

David:

If you're building something that runs Android and maybe it's not something

David:

that goes in somebody's pocket every day.

David:

And is this extremely important life device that's very personal, but

David:

maybe it's something an employee is using something like a mobile point

David:

of sale device, which looks like a phone, but takes credit cards, or

David:

it could be something stationary like a traditional cash register.

David:

You would just call it a point of sale system.

David:

If you're in that world, you're making devices that transact that assist

David:

customers provide customer service, enhance customer experience in any way.

David:

Come talk to us at SPER.

David:

We have so much experience, not just in managing and updating and servicing

David:

these devices from the software.

David:

And, but also in helping you identify the right hardware for your use case,

David:

which is such a big part of this process.

David:

So if you wanna come talk to us, we're at esper.io.

Mishaal:

Thanks, David.

Mishaal:

And thanks, Jason and Gary for joining us on Android.

Mishaal:

Vice again.

Mishaal:

It's great talking to you both like I'm sure folks listening will agree

Mishaal:

that you're probably some of the most open execs in the tech industry.

Mishaal:

Like it's rare to talk to people who are actually willing to talk about

Mishaal:

these things without going through layers and layers of PR speaking of PR

Mishaal:

you haven't heard him talk yet since that started the recording, but we

Mishaal:

have Ryan Hagar on the show and yeah.

Mishaal:

If you know him from his days at Android police, you know, he's a great guy.

Mishaal:

He's, uh, very, very well spoken.

Mishaal:

And, uh, Ryan, I don't know if you wanna say something to the folks

Mishaal:

here, say hi, I didn't hear anything.

Jason:

Hello, close.

Mishaal:

right.

Mishaal:

If you're, if you're a PR a journalist listening to this, you probably

Mishaal:

hear from Ryan in the future.

Mishaal:

I'm certainly looking forward to hearing from.

Mishaal:

Him and the rest of awesome for you, whatever you guys are

Mishaal:

working on beyond the saga.

Mishaal:

But, uh, yeah,

Jason:

we kind of, uh, you know, maybe we should aim to do is once

Jason:

a quarter or something come in.

Jason:

So just maybe a shorter conversation.

Jason:

Just talk about what we're working on.

Jason:

Random things.

Jason:

Yeah.

Jason:

Just a lot of fun to be very transparent about how products are

Jason:

made and how decisions are made.

Jason:

I'll tell you what, as somebody who knows all the little intricacies of how the

Jason:

hardware decisions are made every day, when I'm on Twitter or wherever, reading

Jason:

about people's comments about how come, blah, blah, blah, didn't have this, or had

Jason:

that blah like, oh my God, people don't have a clue how the rules of Lego inside

Jason:

a phone or, or any electronic device are.

Jason:

So there are some that are incredibly strict and they're super obscure to

Jason:

anybody who isn't in the industry.

Jason:

And it'd be really fun to do a, like, just almost a Q and a of why is it like.

Mishaal:

Oh, gosh.

Mishaal:

Yeah, I'm trying to, I about to regulate I about to regulate so much of what

Mishaal:

I say on Twitter, because like, I'm pretty sure I don't actually know as

Mishaal:

much as I think I know about that topic.

Mishaal:

So I'm just gonna shut up and just keep my focus on Android.

Mishaal:

So that's why I only tweet about Android now.

Mishaal:

Okay.

David:

I have a question.

David:

We can end it on.

David:

It's a silly one.

David:

Volume rocker.

David:

Love it.

David:

Or

Jason:

hate it, hate it.

Jason:

I hate it.

Jason:

It they're they're pain to get the feel right.

Jason:

And I'm, I'm a stickler for the feel.

David:

I agree.

David:

Pixel six, press volume, rocker, terrible best volume rock of all time.

David:

Pixel four, a Ooh.

David:

You know what?

David:

I agree.

David:

Very

Jason:

clicky, very clicky.

Jason:

Yeah.

Jason:

Difficult to waterproof.

Jason:

It also like really difficult to get wa rockers to waterproof nicely because

Jason:

you have to consider now one side it's gonna lift rather than just compress.

Jason:

Every time you push it.

Jason:

And the buttons, the holes in your device are always the ingress for

Jason:

water or dust or pocket li so.

Jason:

I'm a big fan of individual buttons.

Jason:

I'm also a fan of no buttons at some point

David:

I thought you were gonna go there.

David:

That's an interesting position.

David:

HTC tried it and did a very bad job.

David:

I would love to see somebody do it better.

David:

Yeah.

Jason:

The, the haptics are still being built out.

Jason:

The pressure sensors.

Jason:

It's it's, it's one of those things it's like through display cameras, even

Jason:

through display fingerprint sensors, it's like almost there, but not quite.

Mishaal:

We definitely gotta get you back on the show.

Mishaal:

Whenever the first company goes fully pointless on their device.

Mishaal:

I'm sure you'll have a lot to say about that.

Mishaal:

You

Jason:

know what?

Jason:

I'll tell you.

Jason:

Who's gonna scream.

Jason:

It's software engineers.

Jason:

Literally I've had conversations even this week about it.

Jason:

It's because during development you need to be able to access it.

Jason:

So you need to have a USB port.

Jason:

And if there's a problem in MP, it's a pain in the butt to try to figure it out.

Mishaal:

Oh gosh.

Mishaal:

The wear S smart watch is like, it's already such a hassle,

Mishaal:

just the ADB into those things.

Mishaal:

You gotta do it all wirelessly.

Jason:

Exactly.

Jason:

And then if there's actual problem, You could be screwed.

Jason:

So not having a plug is a, you know, it's an interesting question

Jason:

or a, at least a single port, I can imagine going completely

Jason:

buttonless, but pointless will be

Mishaal:

difficult.

Mishaal:

Well, you know, it's gonna happen.

Mishaal:

It's it's gonna happen.

Mishaal:

And we can already guess which company's gonna Herald that future.

Jason:

Yeah.

Jason:

There, there is a gym, a gem that had no holes in it because we're making

Jason:

this really complicated piece of glass.

Jason:

It was like, Hey, it's a lot stronger if I don't have to cut holes in it.

Jason:

And so we made one and yeah, there was a lot of yelling I was told to be quiet

Jason:

and sit in the corner kind of thing.

Jason:

Pogo pins are just as good.

Jason:

They're fine.

Jason:

But I keep saying well, cool.

Jason:

Thank you very much for having us guys really appreciate it.

Jason:

Yeah.

Mishaal:

And thank you everyone again for listening.