The CultCast
This week: new MacBook Pros at WWDC?  Insiders say yes!  We’ll tell you all we know.  Plus: why future Macs are about to get much faster CPUs; Apple makes a big move to bring manufacturing back to the US; and we’ll wrap up with 5 weird and whacky facts about the new Apple Park campus.
 
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.
 
We also want to give Kevin MacLeod at incompetech.com a  thanks for the great music you hear on today's show.
 
On the show this week
 
Apple may reveal three new MacBooks at WWDC
  • Apple hasn’t released new hardware at a WWDC keynote since 2013, but the company is allegedly planning to unveil a new lineup of MacBooks, according to a report that claims the new machines will pack Intel’s new Kaby Lake processor to bring more speed than ever.
  • Three new laptops will debut at WWDC 2017, claims Bloomberg, citing “people familiar with the matter.” Both the MacBook Pro and 12-inch MacBook will be updated with new Intel chips.
  • Apple is also supposedly considering updating the 13-inch MacBook Air with a new processor, too, which would be quite a surprise as most observers assumed the machine was on its last legs now that the MacBook and MacBook Pro are thinner. Sales of the old MacBook Air remain “surprisingly strong” due to its cheap price tag, claims one of the report’s sources.
  • What features needed to make the machine exciting again
  • Shows Apple may be getting about making Mac great again.
 
Intel: Cannonlake CPUs will be more than 15 percent faster than Kaby Lake
  • Meager performance gains aren’t all Apple’s fault
  • Chipmakers in past years focused on increasing performance by raising the clock frequency. But that made chips power hungry, and their focus shifted to adding cores, which boosted performance but also added battery life to laptops. Then the focus turned to integrating technologies like graphics and I/O buses inside processors. Gaming and virtual reality have brought a focus back to raw CPU performance.
  • The performance improvements from Skylake to Kaby Lake topped out at 15 percent. The CPU performance boost for Cannonlake should be at least that, Intel said.
  • The gaming market is exploding, especially eSports, and demand for high-performance Core i7 chips skyrocketed last year
  • Intel may be trying to catch up with AMD, which is boasting a 40 percent performance improvement for its upcoming Ryzen chips.
 
Apple’s standalone Siri could look a lot like Echo Show
  • Apple’s Amazon Echo rival standalone Siri speaker will come with a touch-sensitive display, claims KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo.
  • In a note to clients over the weekend, Kuo suggested that the Siri home speaker will have a “touch panel,” although it’s not known whether this will be a full-on screen or a simpler touch-based interface of some sort.
 
Apple gives $200 million to iPhone glassmaker to promote U.S. manufacturing
  • You may have heard that Tim Cook recently announced a $1 billion Advanced Manufacturing Fund in an interview with Mad Money’s Jim Cramer at Apple Campus, he said the goal was to push “people to do advanced manufacturing in the United States.”
  • Rather than pulling from its enormous pile of overseas cash, Apple is borrowing the money for its $1 billion fund since that is cheaper than paying to repatriate its foreign money pile.
  • Apple has awarded Corning the first grant of its $1 billion investment aimed at boosting high-tech manufacturing jobs in the United States. The glassmaker will receive $200 million.
  • Apple’s contribution is part of its “Advanced Manufacturing Fund” will support Corning’s R&D, capital equipment needs, and state-of-the-art glass processing.
 
Apple Park originally looked like a penis and 5 other wild facts
 
How Apple Park campus almost looked like a giant dong
Direct download: CultCast_284_-_New_MacBook_Pros_at_WWDC.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:31pm PDT

This week: 
  • It’s official, the WWDC keynote takes place June 5th, so here are our hardware expectations 🕺
  • Apple quietly acquires one of the world’s best sleep tracking technologies
  • Why Amazon’s Prime video app may FINALLY be coming to your Apple TV
  • Our first impressions of the Amazon Echo Show, and the features we hope Apple steals from it
  • And stick around for a completely weird, totally tribal What We’re Into, the segment where we reveal the all the non-tech stuff we’re currently enjoying.
 
This episode supported by
 
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.
 
We also want to give Kevin MacLeod at incompetech.com a  thanks for the great music you hear on today's show.
 
On the show this week
 
Apple Sends Out Press Invites for WWDC Keynote on June 5
  • The invites are out!  The WWDC keynote you’ve been waiting for us coming in three weeks, on June 5 at 10:00 a.m. Pacific Time.
 
Apple acquires sleep-tracking startup Beddit
  • Apple recently purchased Beddit, a sleep monitoring system that pairs a pliable under-sheet sleep sensor with an app, all of which is designed to help users analyze and improve their sleeping habits.
  • Apple's Beddit purchase came to light because Beddit updated its privacy policy to both highlight the acquisition and implement Apple's privacy rules. "Your personal data will be collected, used and disclosed in accordance with the Apple Privacy Policy," reads the site.
 
Amazon Prime Video may come to Apple TV this summer
  • Apple and Amazon, the tech giants, are close to an agreement to bring an Amazon video app to Apple’s Apple TV set-top box, according to people familiar with the two companies.
  • Amazon employees expect the app to show up on Apple’s hardware in the third quarter of the year.
  • That move would allow Amazon Prime Video subscribers to easily watch TV shows and movies from the service using Apple TV.
  • It’s unclear what got the two companies to reach an agreement, though some industry observers suggest that any pact would have been worked out, at a high level, by CEOs Tim Cook and Jeff Bezos.
 
Amazon Echo Show brings video to smart-speaker party
  • Amazon’’s new Echo Show is just like Echo, but with Video.  You’re gonna just love video.  It’s like a audio  but for your eyes!
  • With Echo Show Watch video flash briefings and YouTube, see music lyrics, security cameras, photos, weather forecasts, to-do and shopping lists, and more. All hands-free—just ask.
  • Introducing a new way to be together. Make hands-free video calls to friends and family who have an Echo Show or the Alexa App, and make voice calls to anyone who has an Echo or Echo Dot.
  • See lyrics on-screen with Amazon Music. Just ask to play a song, artist or genre, and stream over Wi-Fi. Also, stream music on Pandora, Spotify, TuneIn, iHeartRadio, and more.
  • Powerful, room-filling speakers with Dolby processing for crisp vocals and extended bass response
  • Ask Alexa to show you the front door or monitor the baby's room with compatible cameras from Ring and Arlo. Turn on lights, control thermostats and more with WeMo, Philips Hue, ecobee, and other compatible smart home devices.
Direct download: CultCast_283_-_WWDC_hardware_expectations.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:24pm PDT

This week: 
  • Apple’s secret Siri speaker may be announced at WWDC—we’ll tell you everything (we think) we know about it.  
  • Why AirPods are the best product Apple’s made in years
  • Why Microsoft’s MacBook clone is actually great for Apple fans
  • We deconstruct and decode Tim Cook’s mysterious and quickly deleted accidental tweet, and you’ll be shocked at the truth!
 
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.
 
We also want to give Kevin MacLeod at incompetech.com a  thanks for the great music you hear on today's show.
 
On the show this week
 
This week’s Intro
 
Apple’s new Siri speaker could be revealed at WWDC
  • Earlier this week, we heard the company is currently in the process of finalizing the design of its first standalone Siri device, which is expected to take on the Amazon Echo. Now we have an idea what it might look like and when it could be revealed.
  • Apple's Siri-based smart speaker and home hub has an "over 50 percent chance" of being announced at WWDC, according to our homeboy Ming Chi Kuo.
  • Kuo said Apple's smart home product will likely launch in the second half of 2017 and cost more than the Amazon Echo, $179. The device will supposedly support AirPlay with "excellent acoustics performance" from one woofer and seven tweeters. Kuo said its performance will be similar to the iPhone 6/6s.
  • Last week, leaker Sonny Dickson likewise said Apple's smart speaker could be announced as early as WWDC. He said the device will run a variation of iOS with unspecified Beats technology, in addition to a Mac Pro-like concave top with built-in controls and speaker meshing covering the majority of its surface.
  • A report from The Information said Apple's smart home speaker would be able to control appliances, locks, lights, and curtains through Siri voice commands. It added that some of the prototypes in testing have facial recognition sensors
 
Apple places orders for its Amazon Echo rival
  • Digitimes is reporting that Inventec, the Taiwan company that makes Apple’s popular AirPods, received Apple’s order for the the Siri Smart speaker,
 
Siri could soon recognize your voice for added security
 
AirPods get highest-ever satisfaction score for a first-year Apple product
  • AirPods are the most beloved product Apple has launched in years, based on a new survey that found an astonishing percentage of AirPod owners are extremely satisfied.
  • In a newly published study conducted by Creative Strategies and Experian, a total of 98 percent of AirPod owners said they are either “very satisfied” or “satisfied” with Apple’s new wireless buds. Over 80 percent of customers said they are very satisfied.
 
Microsoft’s answer to the MacBook suffers one big flaw
  • Microsoft’s new Surface Laptop, with its sleek design and a super-sharp display, might look like a worthy competitor to the MacBook
  • Starting at $999, the Surface Laptop ships with an Intel Core i5 processor, 4GB of RAM, 128GB of storage, and a battery that lasts up to 14.5 hours in between charges.
  • Windows 10 S only runs apps downloaded from the Windows Store!  But uou can upgrade to Windows Pro for $50.
 
Twitter flips out over mysterious Tim Cook tweet
  • Apple CEO Tim Cook set Twitter ablaze with speculation today — and all it took was a simple smiley face emoji.
  • Cook sent out a tweet with just a smiley face emoji this morning. No other context was provided, and the tweet got deleted shortly later, leading Apple fans on Twitter to wonder what the most powerful man in tech was really trying to say.
Direct download: CultCast_282_-_The_Siri_smart_speaker_is_incoming_.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:55pm PDT

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