The CultCast
This week: we react to everything announced at Apple's iPhone X press event! Plus, we’ll tell you everything we now know about iPhone X, iPhone 8, the new Apple TV 4K, Apple Watch Series 3, the AirPods update, and the new AirPower charging mat.  It’s a packed show.  Better hit play, fam!
 
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Casper’s American-made mattresses have just the right amount of sink and bounce, and people everywhere love them.  Learn why at Casper.com/cultcast,and get $50 towards any mattress with code CultCast at checkout.
 
CultCloth will keep your iPhone 7, Apple Watch, Mac and iPad sparkling clean, and for a limited time you can use code CULTCAST to score a free CleanCloth with any order at CultCloth.co.
 
The Cult of Mac watch store has the best straps in the biz!  Save 20% off any order with code CultCast at checkout.
 
Thanks to Kevin MacLeod at incompetech.com for the great music you hear on today's show.
 
On the show this week
 
Erfon’s Twitch stream on Faceshift, the technology powering Star Wars animations and now iPhone X Animoji
 
iPhone 8 brings awesome new features at a cheaper price
 
iPhone cameras just got a whole lot smarter
 
Watch all of Apple’s new iPhone videos right here
 
7 ways Apple surprised us at the iPhone X event
 
Apple releases iOS 11 GM (the right way)
 
iPhone X vs. iPhone 8: Should you wait longer and pay more?
 
Everything Apple unveiled at its iPhone X keynote

 

Direct download: CultCast_301_-_Our_iPhone_X_event_reactions.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:51pm PDT

This week: a look inside the new Steve Jobs Theater, a beautiful spectacle of technology and architecture, a physical manifestationof the Apple ethos, and a true and fitting monumen..  And like any Apple product, it packs some features that will delight you. Plus: why it will probably be damn near impossible to purchase an iPhone 8, and we’ll pitch you our favorite gadgets then vote on which is best in an all new Faves ’N Raves!
 
This episode supported by
Build a beautiful, responsive website quick at Squarespace.com.  Enter offer code CultCast at checkout to get 10% off. Squarespace—Build it Beautiful.
 
CultCloth will keep your iPhone 7, Apple Watch, Mac and iPad sparkling clean, and for a limited time you can use code CULTCAST to score a free CleanCloth with any order at CultCloth.co.
 
The Cult of Mac watch store has the best straps in the biz!  Save 20% off any order with code CultCast at checkout.
 
Thanks to Kevin MacLeod at incompetech.com for the great music you hear on today's show.
 
On the show this week
 
Pre-Orders for iPhone 8 Likely to Start on September 15, Shipments on September 22
 
Drone flyover shows off a bustling Steve Jobs Theater
 
Steve Jobs Theater is as special as any other Apple product
  • On Tuesday, September 12th, according to Bloomberg, will unveil not only its latest batch of products, but also give us all a first glimpse of its brand new campus
  • The Steve Jobs Theater is as obsessively perfect as you’d expect a building named after Apple’s co-founder and former CEO should be.
  • The entrance to the venue sits underneath a silver disc, which which sits 20 feet in the air, supported by gigantic glass panels.
  • The auditorium itself occupies four underground stories, and to get there, journalists will descend a staircase spiraling down alongside the walls.
  • In order to gain access to the subterranean theater, attendees can either descend via a spiral staircase or using two custom elevators. These elevators rotate as they descend, so that passengers enter and exit through the same door, even though they do so from different directions.
  • The theater also sports a retracting wall, which opens to reveal a hidden product testing area.
  • Given the theater's 1,000-person capacity, one engineer said back in March that the building's budget meant each leather seat had cost Apple the equivalent of $14,000 apiece.
  • It’s a touching eponym, isn’t it?  Steve Jobs theater?  It will be a beautiful spectacle of technology and architecture, a true and fitting monument.  A metaphor for Steve Jobs, and a physical representation of the Apple ethos.
  • Steve Jobs was man that literally started with nothing, not even his biological parents, and went on to build one of the world’s most coveted companies.
  • It’s a uniquely American success story.
 
 
Analyst: Blame Samsung for iPhone 8’s high price tag
Apple’s upcoming premium iPhone is likely to be its most expensive model ever — and Samsung is partly to blame, according to a reliable Apple analyst.
  • In his latest research note, KGI Securities analyst Ming Chi-Kuo explains to investors that Samsung currently holds a practical monopoly on the supply of OLED displays. They’re the only ones capable of reliably mass producing the screens Apple needs, and thus seems to be inflating the price.
  • Apple previously paid between $45 and $55 for the screens on Plus-size iPhones. But Ming Chi Kuo claims Samsung is probably charging about $75 more for OLED displays. The final price for the displays likely costs Apple $120 to $130 per unit. That could explain why rumors predict the iPhone 8 (or iPhone Edition)
 
 
Our Faves N Raves Picks
Direct download: CultCast_300_-_Incredible_extravagance_of_the_Steve_Jobs_Theater.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:05am PDT

This week: IT’S OFFICIAL—Apple’s next iPhone event is September 12th!  Tune in to catch our hardware predictions, plus, we take a look at the leaked iPhone 8 UI, and how the new phone will work without a home button. Next, we'll regale you with the story behind the evolution of the Apple logo, and the story you’ve never heard about its iconic bite.  And stick around for an all-new What We’re Into, where Leander tells us why Game of Thrones has turned into his most despised show!
 
This episode supported by
BlueApron - a better way to cook! Get your first 3 meals free with free shipping at BlueApron.com/CultCast
 
CultCloth will keep your iPhone 7, Apple Watch, Mac and iPad sparkling clean, and for a limited time you can use code CULTCAST to score a free CleanCloth with any order at CultCloth.co.
 
The Cult of Mac watch store has the best straps in the biz!  Save 20% off any order with code CultCast at checkout.
 
Thanks to Kevin MacLeod at incompetech.com for the great music you hear on today's show.
 
On the show this week
 
Apple’s cryptic invitation confirms September 12 event
  • After months of anticipation and a flurry of rumors, Apple finally sent out media invites to its big iPhone 8 event today, welcoming the press to come to Apple Park for the big date.
  • Apple’s keynote is set for September 12, which is in line with previous rumors that circled the second Tuesday of September as time when the keynote would take place. The event will take place in the Steve Jobs Theater at Apple Park.
  • Apple is expected to present three new iPhones on stage: the iPhone 7s, iPhone 7s Plus and the premium iPhone 8 models. Other products that could make an appearance include a new Apple TV with 4K video support as well as the Apple Watch Series 3 with LTE.
 
Apple Inc. plans to transform the way people use its next high-end iPhone
 
Without a Home button, here’s how the new iPhone 8 UI will work
  • Across the bottom of the screen there’s a thin, software bar in lieu of the home button. A user can drag it up to the middle of the screen to open the phone. When inside an app, a similar gesture starts multitasking. From here, users can continue to flick upwards to close the app and go back to the home screen.
  • The new model’s overall size will be similar to that of the iPhone 7, but it will include an OLED screen that is slightly larger than the one on the iPhone 7 Plus (5.5-inches)
  • The new screen is rounded on the corners, while current iPhone screens have square corners. The power button on the right side of phone is longer so it is easier to press while holding the device in one hand, according to the images and the people.
  • The phone will still have six vertical rows of apps, showing 24 icons on each page, excluding the dock, a grey bar at the bottom that houses commonly used apps. The dock is redesigned with a new interface similar to the one on the iPad version of iOS 11
  • Apple also plans to include a stainless steel band around the phone which the glass curves into
 
 
iPhone 8 inductive charging may be a wee bit slow BH
  • According to the latest rumor out of Asia, Apple will use an older standard for its inductive charging feature which means recharging could take longer than expected.
  • All three new iPhone models are expected to pick up the inductive charging feature this fall. Instead of using the full 15 watts of power supported by the Qi Ver. 1.2 standard, Macotakara claims Apple’s tech will only draw 7.5 watts.
  • Every time I’ve used inductive charging, it’s been slooooooow
 
Today in Apple history: Rainbow Apple logo gets a modern overhaul LK
  • August 27, 1999: Apple replaces the striped, multicolored logo it used since 1977 with a new single-color version.
  • Apple’s first corporate logo was actually not the memorable “bitten apple” logo at all. A riff on a Victorian woodcut, it portrayed Sir Isaac Newton sitting beneath a tree with a solitary apple dangling over his head. A quotation from William Wordsworth’s The Prelude ran around the image’s border: “A mind forever wandering through strange seas of thought, alone.” It was created by long lost Apple co-founder Ronald Wayne.
  • After less than a year, Apple replaced that logo with the bitten Apple version we have today. Designed by 29-year-old Rob Janoff, it coincided with the debut of the Apple II at the West Coast Computer Faire, which marked Apple’s graduation from a small startup to a serious business
  • Jobs gave Janoff — who does not receive any royalties for his design — two directions for the Apple logo. 1) Don’t make it cute. And 2) Find some way to visually incorporate the Apple II’s revolutionary 16-color display, which was the first PC to include a color display.
  • The “Glass” themed logo was the next evolution for the logo and was featured on the first ever iMac. The bondi blue iMac  looked ridiculous with a rainbow logo, and needed something fresh
  • Today, the company uses a more modernized flat monochromatic logo. The logo comes mainly in 3 colors; silver, white and black.
  • The bite
    • According to Rob Janoff, the bite on the Apple logo was to really let people know that it was an apple and not a cherry. The bite also played along with the computer buffs at that time because it had a similar sound off to the word ‘byte’, a unit of digital information in computing and telecommunication.
 
What We’re Into
 
Blade Runner 2049 Short Film Reveals What Happened in 2036
 
Awaken, my love!  By Childish Gambino
 
Game of Thrones has jumped the shark
 
Direct download: CultCast_299_-_Our_iPhone_8_event_predictions_.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:06am PDT

This week:
  • Even more juicy details leak on iPhone 8, plus a report says the keynote reveal is right around the corner.
  • Leander shares the strange twist in Apple’s autonomous car project
  • Why the 13” MacBook Pro might soon become your favorite Mac
  • Story time with L Kahney - he’s going to share the highlights from his whirlwind tour of Japan and other defenseless Asian lands.
  • Plus Erfon recalls what it’s like in the darkness of a total solar eclipse.
 
This episode supported by
 
CultCloth will keep your iPhone 7, Apple Watch, Mac and iPad sparkling clean, and for a limited time you can use code CULTCAST to score a free CleanCloth with any order at CultCloth.co.
 
The Cult of Mac watch store has the best straps in the biz.  
 
Thanks to Kevin MacLeod at incompetech.com for the great music you hear on today's show.
 
On the show this week
 
This week’s intro (thanks Nick Bracken!)
 
The shadows take on the sun's new shape
 
We might know the iPhone 8 keynote date
  • Hot on the heels of Samsung’s grand unveiling of the Galaxy Note 8 today, carrier sources have supposedly informed Mac4Ever that Apple plans to unleash its device in just a few weeks.
  • Apple’s keynote is allegedly slated for September 12 where the company will reveal three new iPhones. While we haven’t been able to verify the accuracy of the report ourselves, Apple usually hosts its iPhone keynote in the middle of September so the date could make sense.
  • The French Apple blog claims that carriers have been informed by Apple to expect the device announcement on the second Tuesday of next month. Carriers usually receive a heads up so they can start planning marketing and to organize pre-orders to ensure inventory.
  • And get this, the minimum storage capacity for Apple's OLED iPhone is said to be 64GB, with a 256GB option offered as the mid-tier capacity and a 512GB option at the highest tier, while 3GB of RAM is claimed to be included across the board.
 
iPhone 8’s amazing facial recognition is super quick, works in the dark
  • The iPhone 8’s facial recognition feature will work in a millionth of a second, and be more secure than the existing Touch ID sensor, and even work in the dark, a pair of new reports claim.
  • In addition to the regular iPhone sensors you’d expect to find, the upcoming handset will reportedly boast a new “structured light” sensor, which uses bounced infrared light to work out the depth of different points on the face.
  • That information is then used to build a 3D mesh of objects, which is compared to the one recorded when setting up the new iPhone. Calculating the timing between when infrared light is sent out and recorded coming back will let the iPhone work out accurate depth measurements. This, in turn, means you won’t be able to trick the handset using a 2D photo.
  • The facial recognition is reportedly powered by tech Apple acquired when it bought Kinect motion sensor maker PrimeSense several years ago.
  • The speed that the iPhone 8 facial recognition sensor will reportedly work is particularly impressive. The new handset will allegedly be able to do all of this within “a few hundred milliseconds,” which would make it a faster means of unlocking your iPhone than the current-generation Touch ID, Apple has been using Touch ID since 2013’s iPhone 5s.
 
Apple’s 3D sensing tech is two years ahead of the competition
  • According to a new report from KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, Apple competitor Qualcomm is working on its own 3D sensing tech, but it’s at least two years behind. And handset-makers aren’t in a rush to embrace it quite yet.
  • "While Qualcomm is the most engaged company in the R&D of 3D sensing for the Android camp, a number of issues plague Qualcomm that prevent its tech from being ready for mass-market products. Immature algorithms, and thermal problems"
 
Apple autonomous car morphs into self-driving shuttle bus for employees
  • According to the New York Times, Apple’s secretive “Project Titan” self-driving car project has switched gears, transforming into an effort to build a self-driving shuttle bus. Called Palo Alto Infinite Loop, or PAIL, the shuttle would carry Apple employees between buildings.
  • The project may serve as a test bed for Apple’s autonomous car research. But a customer-focused vehicle built by Apple is for now reportedly out of the question. Instead, Apple’s self-driving technology will likely be used by other carmakers eventually.
  • The newspaper claims a leadership clash hampered project. Steve Zadesky, an Apple executive initially in charge of Titan, wanted to build semiautonomous technology. Meanwhile, Apple design chief Jony Ive “believed that a fully driverless car would allow the company to reimagine the automobile experience.”
  • Apple reportedly investigated several innovative ideas for the project. Those included motorized doors that opened and closed silently, augmented reality displays for the interior of the car, new ways of incorporating the light sensor essential to driverless cars, and a total lack of steering wheel and gas pedals. Apple also researched the possibility of using globelike wheels for the vehicle, “because spherical wheels could allow the car better lateral movement.”
 
Intel Launches First Eighth-Generation Core Processors, Paving Way For Quad-Core 13-Inch MacBook Pro
  • The first four eighth-generation processors launching today are U-series chips suitable for the 13-inch MacBook Pro, MacBook Air, and Mac mini. They're all 15W chips with four cores and eight threads, paving the way for a quad-core 13-inch MacBook Pro should Apple choose to release one.
  • The eighth-generation Core i5 and Core i7 chips are up to 40 percent faster than the equivalent seventh-generation Kaby Lake processors
  • First MacBook Pro with Touch Bar uses a 6th gen Skylake processor.
  • Intel also boasted that its eighth-generation Core processors are up to twice as fast as its equivalent five-year-old Ivy Bridge chips. It said users can output a 106-second 4K video in as little as three minutes with a new PC, for example, versus up to 45 minutes on an equivalent five-year-old PC.
 
Direct download: CultCast_298_-_iPhone_8..._keynote_date_.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:41pm PDT

This week:  Apple makes a major play to become the next HBO, meanwhile, intriguing new images surface showing what looks to be what we all thought had died—the long lost Apple Television.  Plus: a trusted source says Apple’s next Watch will be more boring that we hoped; and finally… eating bugs… Thai Tinder… yes, Buster Heine is back to share strange stories from his travels deep into the heart of Thailand.
 
This episode supported by
 
Build a beautiful, responsive website quick at Squarespace.com.  Enter offer code CultCast at checkout to get 10% off. Squarespace—Build it Beautiful.
 
CultCloth will keep your iPhone 7, Apple Watch, Mac and iPad sparkling clean, and for a limited time you can use code CULTCAST20 to score a free CleanCloth AND get 20% off your order at CultCloth.co.
 
Thanks to Kevin MacLeod at incompetech.com for the great music you hear on today's show.
 
On the show this week
 
Blurry photos purport to show mythical Apple TV set
  • Blurry images that popped up online supposedly show the testing of an Apple OLED television set of around 60 inches in size. The photos were shared on Chinese social media before being circulated by mobile leaker Benjamin Geskin on Twitter.
  • images depict what looks like an Apple-branded standalone display in some kind of lab testing environment. They show a metal frame design, while accompanying notes on Weibo suggest that the set also includes a camera.
  • And, just like that, longstanding rumors of an Apple TV set reignite!
  • The rumors gained momentum with the publishing of Walter Isaacson’s Steve Jobs biography in 2011. “I’d like to create an integrated television set that is completely easy to use,” Jobs was quoted as saying. “It will have the simplest user interface you could imagine.”
 
Apple will throw $1 billion at original programming over next year
  • According to the WSJ, Apple is reportedly preparing a $1 billion “war chest” which it will spend on acquiring or producing original content over the next year.
  • That sum is around half of what HBO spent on production last year.
  • Apple SVP Eddy Cue is reportedly aiming for Apple to offer up to ten new shows, which could rival Game of Thrones in scope.
  • Apple has been ramping up its hirings to try and establish itself as a force to be reckoned with. The company’s recent hirings include a pair of former Sony execs, who previously helped bring to the screen shows including AMC’s Breaking Bad and Better Call Saul, and Netflix’s The Crown
  • WSJ: "Mr. Van Amburg and Mr. Erlicht have begun meeting with Hollywood agents and holding discussions about shows Apple could acquire, the people familiar said. Mr. Matt Cherniss has movie experience, having worked as a production executive at Warner Bros."
 
Apple Watch Series 3 will bring LTE but no design changes
  • According to trusted KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. There will be no “obvious change” to the design of the device, which will leave LTE connectivity as its main selling point.
  • Apple will offer non-LTE versions at more affordable prices, however. It’s unclear whether those models will be Series 3 devices, or whether Apple will continue to offer Series 2 alongside its successor for those who do not require LTE.
  • Watch will also likely be waterproof, like series 2, and faster.
Direct download: CultCast_297_-_Why_Apple_may_make_your_next_TV_.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:24am PDT

This week:  what does Apple have in store for the next version of  Watch?  We’ll roundup the current rumors and reveal our Gen 3 wish list.  Then: could Face ID actually replace Touch ID on iPhone 8?  We have concerns.  Plus: proof that a 4K Apple TV is right around the corner; more incredible demos of AR Kit; and we share our favorite new shows, movies, and board games in an all-new What We’re Into!
 
This episode supported by
 
The single-router wifi model just doesn’t work for our increasingly high-bandwidth world. The EERO distributed system will blanket your home in hyper-fast, reliable WiFi, and you can score free overnight shipping with code CULTCAST at checkout.
 
CultCloth will keep your iPhone 7, Apple Watch, Mac and iPad sparkling clean, and for a limited time you can use code CULTCAST20 to score a free CleanCloth AND get 20% off your order at CultCloth.co.
 
Thanks to Kevin MacLeod at incompetech.com for the great music you hear on today's show.
 
On the show this week
 
Apple Plans to Release a Cellular-Capable Watch to Break iPhone Ties
"Apple Inc. is planning to release a version of its smartwatch later this year that can connect directly to cellular networks, a move designed to reduce the device’s reliance on the iPhone, people familiar with the matter said.”
  • What would we like to see in the next Apple Watch
    • Round version or a new shape/style
    • Way better battery life
    • always on screen
    • Thinner
    • No LTE fees!
 
Blurry photo might confirm iPhone 8 Touch ID fears
  • An apparent iPhone 8 photo straight out of Foxconn has confirmed one of our biggest fears for Touch ID: It will be relocated to the back of the device.
  • Apple has been working to embed its fingerprint scanner into the iPhone’s display, but according to numerous reports, the technology won’t be ready in time for this year’s big refresh.
  • Mark Gurman at Bloomberg: Apple’s pitch come September will be that Face ID is quicker, more secure, and more accurate than Touch ID. People inside Apple say it is.
  • Security implications
 
iPhone 8 facial recognition will unlock your phone even when it’s lying down
  • The new iPhone 8 will be capable of unlocking with its face recognition even when it’s lying flat on your desk, a new report from The Information suggests.
  • This information appears to back up a report published in Bloomberg earlier this year. That report noted that:
    • [The facial recognition sensor’s] speed and accuracy are focal points of the feature. It can scan a user’s face and unlock the iPhone within a few hundred milliseconds, the person said. It is designed to work even if the device is laying flat on a table, rather than just close up to the face.”
 
 
4K Apple TV seemingly confirmed by HomePod leak
  • Over the last few weeks the HomePod’s software has revealed a number of upcoming features on unannounced products. Sleuthing developers unearthed info on the iPhone 8’s facial scanning and SmartCamera features. Now there appears to be some details of the new Apple TV inside too.
  • iOS developer Guilherme Rambo discovered references to both Dolby Vision and HDR10 color formats for 4K video in the HomePod’s software.
 
This ARKit app teleports you into an ’80s music video
  • Ever wonder what it would be like to live inside an ’80s music video? Thanks to Apple’s new ARKit software, you can live that dream with a new app that draws inspiration from the popular music video for A-ha’s “Take On Me.”
 
Measure the square footage of your room with ARKit
 
Virtual directions and tags of AR POS
 
Mint Works game
 
Dominion game
 
Halt and Catch Fire
 
Alien Covenant
Direct download: CultCast_296_-_Whats_next_for__Watch_.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:49pm PDT

This week: Apple just accidentally leaked major details about the iPhone 8 and HomePod.  Whoopsie!  We’ll tell you everything we’ve learned. 
 
Plus: leaked audio files show off the HomePods cool UI sounds; we reveal exclusive new audio of the HomePod's boot-up noise;  Buster’s shares a very special announcement; and we wrap with our reviews of the best internet-connected security cameras and the hawt new flagship Olympus OM-D EM-1 mirrorless camera in an all-new Under Review 🔥🔥🔥
 
This episode supported by
 
Build a beautiful, responsive website quick at Squarespace.com.  Enter offer code CultCast at checkout to get 10% off. Squarespace—Build it Beautiful.
 
CultCloth will keep your iPhone 7, Apple Watch, Mac and iPad sparkling clean, and for a limited time you can use code CULTCAST to score a free CleanCloth with any order at CultCloth.co.
 
Thanks to Kevin MacLeod at incompetech.com for the great music you hear on today's show.
 
On the show this week
 
More juicy details about iPhone 8 discovered in Apple code
  • Apple clearly didn’t realize that the firmware it made available on Friday was a goldmine of secret information. Not only did it reveal the final design of the iPhone 8 and its new facial recognition technology, but it tells us stuff we didn’t know about HomePod, too.
  • First of all, buried in the firmware are GLYPHS of the actual phone itself. WHOOPSIE!
  • We now know the device will have a split status bar designed to fit its edge-to-edge display
  • Things like cellular signal and time might be displayed on one side of the bar, while indicators for Bluetooth, location, and battery level could appear on the other. “The new status bar seems a lot more complex and powerful in design, maybe even interactive,” Troughton-Smith says.
  • The software has also revealed that iPhone 8 will boast tap to wake functionality. This is a feature found on many Android and Windows Phone devices, which lets you wake the device simply by tapping its screen. It’s handy when there is no physical Home button.
  • It appears, however, that iPhone 8 will have a “Home Indicator.” It’s believed to be similar to the virtual Home button that appears at the bottom of the display on Android devices, and it looks like Apple will allow developers to hide it in certain contexts.
  • Interestingly, Troughton-Smith tweeted “I’ve seen nothing to suggest an ultrasound under-the-display Touch ID here,” meaning either no touchID or one on the back
  • Rumors have said that facial recognition is even more accurate than touch id and will even work with Apple Pay.
 
Apple code confirms that facial unlocking tech is on the way
  • "I can confirm reports that HomePod’s firmware reveals the existence of upcoming iPhone’s infra-red face unlock in BiometricKit and elsewhere” Steve Stoughton Smith
  • Unlocking will be call FaceID
  • Will use an inferred camera to should work in dark situations
  • Will reportedly not support Apple pay to start, indicating we’re getting a touchID sensor somewhere on the phone
 
iPhone 8’s radical redesign could bring awesome UI change
  • we can look forward to a display with a 2436×1125 resolution
  • This resolution is 812x 375 points rendered @ 3x – exactly the same logical width as the iPhone 7, but 22% taller,” explains Allen Pike, a developer who previously worked at Apple
 
HomePod software leaks new ‘SmartCamera’ feature for iPhone
  • Apple’s HomePod might have revealed another huge new iPhone feature
  • HomePod software appears to reference an unannounced “SmartCamera” feature built into iOS 11 or the yet-to-be-released 2017 iPhone
  • iOS developer Guilherme Rambo unearthed references to the new feature. He posted a screenshot of a section of the code to Twitter
  • It looks like the SmartCamera feature will be able to tune your camera settings based on the scene it detects. DSLRs possess similar features
  • The HomePod code contains references to Fireworks, Foliage, Pet, BrightStage, Sport, Sky, Snow and Sunset/Sunrise scenarios.
 
HomePod software reveals new details of Apple’s smart speaker
  • Notorious iOS sleuth Steve Troughton Smith has done some serious research into HomePod and discovered that it’s basically like another iOS device only it doesn’t have a big screen. That could open HomePod up to some exciting capabilities in the future.
  • will come with a number of accessibility features.
  • Third-party apps aren’t likely to arrive on HomePod anytime soon. Smith says there aren’t any provisions in the HomePod OS shell there doesn’t seem to be any kind of provision in the HomePod OS shell for installing apps or extensions.
  • The top LED area of the HomePod could have more advanced functionality than previously thought. Rather than just using big LEDs, it appears that the top surface is an LED Matrix. Temperature and weather icons could be displayed on the 32×32 pixel matrix.
 
Leaked audio files reveal HomePod’s cool UI sounds
  • Apple’s early software for the HomePod continues to reveal new features of the smart speaker, as developers dive deeper into files. After details on the speaker’s screen got discovered, another developer unearthed the UI sounds that will be used on HomePod.
 
Under Review
 
Direct download: CultCast_295_-_Big_HomePod_and_iPhone_8_leaks_directly_from_Apple.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:54am PDT

This week: 
  • Parts shortages force Apple to start handing out free MacBook Pros, and everyone on the internet wants a piece of the action.
  • You knew Jony Ive designed some of Apple’s most iconic products, but did you know he also helped craft one of Star Wars most nefarious light sabers?  
  • Apple discontinues two of their most iconic products.
  • And stay tuned for all our favorite new stuff in another episode of What We’re Into!  
 
This episode supported by
 
BlueApron - a better way to cook! Get your first 3 meals free with free shipping at BlueApron.com/CultCast
 
Casper’s American-made mattresses have just the right amount of sink and bounce, and people everywhere love them.  Learn why and get $50 towards any mattress at Casper.com/cultcast.
 
CultCloth will keep your iPhone 7, Apple Watch, Mac and iPad sparkling clean, and for a limited time you can use code CULTCAST to score a free CleanCloth with any order at CultCloth.co.
 
Thanks to Kevin MacLeod at incompetech.com for the great music you hear on today's show.
 
On the show this week
 
Shortages force Apple to swap old MacBook Pros for new models
  • Apple has been forced to swap old MacBook Pros in need of repair with new models due to severe component shortages. It means some lucky customers are getting a free upgrade to the latest machines when in need of service under warranty.
  • A common fault with any laptop after regular use is that its battery loses its ability to charge. The cells can only withstand so many cycles before they no longer perform as intended. Fortunately, Apple will replace them for free under warranty.
  • MacRumors reports that the company is currently facing “a severe constraint of top case assemblies with integrated batteries” for 15-inch MacBook Pros released in mid 2012 and early 2013 — and this is expected to last until September.
  • As a result, Apple is said to have instructed its Genius Bar employees and Authorized Service Providers that they can temporarily swap affected notebooks for a newer, “functionally equivalent” model.
  • If your MacBook Pro is still covered by the one-year manufacturer warranty, or an extended AppleCare plan, the cost of a battery replacement (or upgrade were eligible) is completely free. If your warranty has expired, the fee is $199.
  • However, Apple has been waiving this fee for customers who are willing to wait for new batteries to arrive, rather than taking an upgrade for $199.
 
 
Apple No Longer Replacing Some MacBook Pros Needing Battery Service With Newer Models
  • Apple's memo says, effective July 26, service inventory of top case assemblies with batteries is now available for new repairs.
  • For all new repair requests, Apple advises Genius Bar employees and Apple Authorized Service Providers to order the necessary inventory. Apple advises its service providers to inform customers that the inventory should arrive within 15 business days of the part order, corresponding with early August. 
  • Apple employee on reddit: "From what I can tell, Apple are FURIOUS about the MacRumors article yesterday setting customer expectations. I've never seen them react to a situation internally like this"
 
 
Jony Ive talks earbuds inspired by stormtroopers, Apple Park
  • Jony Ive has revealed that the company’s iconic white earbuds were inspired by Star Wars stormtroopers.
  • Ive told The Wall Street Journal that he the “look of the original Stormtroopers in mind” when he created their look. Years later, the stormtroopers would be inspired by Apple.
  • In a 2015 interview with Vanity Fair, Star Wars: The Force Awakens costume designer Mark Kaplan revealed that he was inspired by Ive’s designs when creating the new stormtroopers of the First Order.
  • “With the Stormtroopers it was more of a simplification, almost like, ‘What would Apple do?’” he said.
  • Jony Ive also suggested the light saber hilt that ended up becoming a reality on Kylo Ren’s sword
  • Jony Ive once sat next to J. J. Abrams at a boozy dinner party in New York, and made what Abrams recalled as "very specific" suggestions about the design of lightsabres. Abrams told me that "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" would reflect those thoughts, but he wouldn’t say how.
  • Ive argued that the lightsaber should look uneven. "I thought it would be interesting if it were less precise, and just a little bit more spitty," said Ive, adding that the new weapon could be "more analog and more primitive, and I think, in that way, somehow more ominous.”
 
Apple discontinues iPod nano and iPod shuffle
  • In a statement to The Verge, Apple confirmed both devices have been discontinued:
  • “Today, we are simplifying our iPod lineup with two models of iPod touch now with double the capacity starting at just $199 and we are discontinuing the iPod shuffle and iPod nano. The iPod touch is now available in 32GB and 128GB storage options, with the latter priced at $299.”
  • Aside from the capacity increases, both devices are identical to those that were on sale yesterday.
 
Steve Jobs introduces the iPod nano
 
Cocaine Cowboys documentary
 
Two of the world’s best dart’s players go head-to-head
 
Splatoon 2
 
Erfon showing tweens who’s boss on Twitch
Direct download: CultCast_294_-_Snag_your_free_MacBook_Pro.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:10am PDT

 
This week: 
  • Why Apple’s making an iPhone Pro, a tech-packed cutting-edge phone that will showcase what Cupertino is capable of.  
  • Genius Bar jackpot!  Aka, why the Genius Bar sometimes replaces your old broken tech for a brand new model.  
  • Stick around for a super-powerful electric long board, a HomeKit-enabled ceiling fan, and pro-level keyboard case for your iPad Pro in an all-new Under Review 🤖
 
This episode supported by
 
You might know of Shutterstock as home to royalty-free photos. But, they offer much more.  Kickstart your next interactive project with video clips or music tracks from their collection, and save 20% for a limited time at shutterstock.com/cultcast
 
Build a beautiful, responsive website quick at Squarespace.com.  Enter offer code CultCast at checkout to get 10% off. Squarespace—Build it Beautiful.
 
CultCloth will keep your iPhone 7, Apple Watch, Mac and iPad sparkling clean, and for a limited time you can use code CULTCAST to score a free CleanCloth with any order at CultCloth.co.
 
Thanks to Kevin MacLeod at incompetech.com for the great music you hear on today's show.
 
On the show this week
 
 
Apple’s risky balancing act with the next iPhone
 
Why Apple sometimes gives brand new products for your old broken one (connected podcast)
  • Have you or a friend ever taken an old product into the Genius Bar, and had them replace that product with a brand new version?  Isn’t it great when that happens??
  • Well it turns out it’s likely not cause Apple’s so nice.
  • When Apple develops a new product, they can’t test for everything.
  • When a problem surfaces, Apple may initiate what they call a "Field capture period”
  • During this time, if Apple is investigating a problem with a product, and you bring in a product that exhibits the symptoms of that problem, they’ll give you a new piece of hardware, then send your device back to Cupertino to dissasemble and investigate.
  • Certain kinds of sunscreens dissolving glue in Apple watch backs, causing the back to come off.
 
Under Review
 
Leander on a skateboard
Direct download: CultCast_293_-_Why_Apple_s_making_an_iPhone_Pro.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00am PDT

This week: 
  • the magic of HomePod!  We’ll tell you about the built-in audio tech that's getting even the most ardent audiophiles hyped about Apple’s new smart speaker.  
  • Plus: why iPhone 8’s biggest features may be disabled at launch
  • Why you can grab free Beats in Apple's new back to school promo without being in college
  • The fascinating story behind Steve Jobs' iconic turtleneck
  • More of iOS 11’s best unknown features
  • And we wrap with the heart warming story of why Steve Jobs insisted on always buying Scott Forstall's lunch.
 
This episode supported by
 
You might know of Shutterstock as home to royalty-free photos. But, they offer much more.  Kickstart your next interactive project with video clips or music tracks from their collection, and save 20% for a limited time at shutterstock.com/cultcast
 
What is Backblaze? It’s unlimited, cloud backup for Macs and PCs. And it’s native for Macs!  Try it out free for 15 days at Backblaze.com/cultcast.
 
Casper’s American-made mattresses have just the right amount of sink and bounce, and people everywhere love them.  Learn why and get $50 towards any mattress at Casper.com/cultcast.
 
CultCloth will keep your iPhone 7, Apple Watch, Mac and iPad sparkling clean, and for a limited time you can use code CULTCAST to score a free CleanCloth with any order at CultCloth.co.
 
Thanks to Kevin MacLeod at incompetech.com for the great music you hear on today's show.
 
On the show this week
 
iPhone 8’s biggest features could be disabled at launch
  • Some of the iPhone 8’s biggest new features could be disabled when the handset makes its debut this September.
  • According to Fast Company, there is “a sense of panic in the air” at Apple as engineers scramble to iron out software bugs that are affecting wireless charging and 3D facial recognition.
  • For both features, the hardware is ready — but the software that controls the features is “not ready for prime time.”
  • If Apple cannot fix the issues, wireless charging could be disabled when the iPhone 8 goes on sale this September. Users would then have to wait for a future iOS update for it to be enabled — just like Portrait Mode on iPhone 7 Plus, which wasn’t ready for launch last fall.
  • Same goes for facial recognition, but this report says Apple will indeed include a touch ID sensor under the screen, so at least you’ll have that.
 
Apple offers free Beats in latest Back to School promo
Apple is giving away free Beats headphones for its latest Back to School promotion.
  • Those who purchase a new iPad Pro — either the 10.5- or 12.9-inch models — will receive a free set of BeatsX wireless earphones worth $149.95. If you don’t want those, you can upgrade to the Powerbeats3 earphones for $50, or to the Solo3 headphones for $150.
  • Those ballers purchasing a qualifying Mac will receive a free pair of Solo3 wireless headphones worth $299.95. Eligible machines include the MacBook, MacBook Air, MacBook Pro, iMac, and Mac Pro — but not the more affordable Mac mini, which hasn’t been updated in 1001 days.
 
Designer preps new version of Steve Jobs’ iconic mock turtleneck
The story behind Steve Jobs mock turtleneck
  • As was revealed in Walter Isaacson’s 2011 biography of Jobs, the Apple CEO was first inspired to wear his mock turtleneck uniform following an early 1980s trip to Japan. While there, he asked Sony chairman Akio Morita why everyone in the company’s factories wore uniforms. Jobs learned that this was a way of creating camaraderie between co-workers.
  • Miyake created Sony’s uniforms, which Jobs loved. However, the Jobs could not persuade his colleagues that an Apple uniform was a good idea.
  • As Jobs recalled, “I came back with some samples and told everyone it would be great if we would all wear these vests. Oh man, did I get booed off the stage. Everybody hated the idea.”
  • However, the process led to Jobs becoming good friends with Miyake. When the Apple chief asked the designer to create a one-off uniform he could wear, Miyake created 100 black mock turtlenecks for him. Jobs adopted the unofficial uniform when he returned to Apple in the late 1990s, and was rarely spotted without it from that point on.
  • Fashion designer Issey Miyake, creator of Steve Jobs’ iconic mock turtleneck, is launching a very similar shirt that will go on sale next month for $270.
  • Although not exactly the same, the new creation — referred to as the Semi-Dull T — looks close enough to the now-discontinued original design
 
 
The magic behind HomePod gets revealed in a new patent
  • According to Apple, its upcoming HomePod smart speaker will “reinvent the way we enjoy music” thanks to its seven-tweeter array, 4-inch woofer, and smart “spatial awareness” technology that lets it “read” its environment.
  • HomePod  sets out to solve the problem of sound variability caused by a speaker’s physical location in a room. For instance, placing a speaker in the corner can cause a significant increase in radiated acoustic power at low frequencies. That results in muddy, bass-heavy sound.
  • It utilizes a variety of microphones both inside and outside a sealed speaker enclosure. Onboard processing establishes the correct equalization filter, based on internal pressure levels, speaker displacement, external pressure and other data gathered by the microphone array.
  • Comparing readings from its internal and external microphones allows the speaker Apple describes to dynamically alter its own calibration according to match the environment.
  • Apple says its smart speaker will boast an impressive A8 processor and six external microphones
 
 
iOS 11 makes it far easier to organize Home screen app icons
  • Rather than painstakingly dragging individual app icons across the pages of your Home screen, iOS 11 lets you move multiple icons simultaneously
  • You can also touch an app icon, then use your other hand to swipe to a different page to move the app
 
Built-in Screen recording
  • If you wanted to capture iOS gameplay, or make a funny or informative GIF of on-screen action, you needed to download a third-party app or connect your device to a computer.
  • With iOS 11, Apple baked in sweet functionality that lets you record your iPhone screen effortlessly.
 
Developer Access to iPhone's NFC Chip Coming in iOS 11
  • Developers coding for iOS 11 will be able to create apps that can read NFC tags!
  • The NFC chip in the iPhone is currently only used to handle contactless Apple Pay transactions and Passbook check-ins, but a new framework called Core NFC allows developers to build apps that can read and write NFC tags (in iPhone 7 and 7 Plus).
 
Why Steve Jobs buys lunch
Direct download: CultCast_292_-_Why_were_hyped_for_HomePod.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:56pm PDT