The CultCast
This week:  New AirPods?  AirPower Mat?  Don’t you dare miss our “More in the Making” hardware event predictions.  Then: 17 reasons the iPhone XR should be your next phone; the world’s largest Mac collection could be yours for free; and we pitch your our favorite games, shows, and scooters in an all-new What We’re Into!
 
This episode supported by
 
Casper makes the internet’s favorite mattress.  Learn why at Casper.com/cultcast, and use code "CultCast" at checkout for $50 off select mattress purchases.
 
A business is only as strong as its people, and every hire matters… go to LinkedIn.com/cultcast and get a $50 credit toward your first job post.
 
CultCloth will keep your iPhone X, Apple Watch, Mac and iPad sparkling clean, and for a limited time use code CULTCAST at checkout to score a free CleanCloth with any order at CultCloth.co.
 
Thanks to Kevin McLeodfor the music you hear on today’s episode.
 
On the show this week
 
Apple sets ‘More in the Making’ event for Oct. 30
  • The second Apple event everyone has been expecting just became official. Looks like new tablets, laptops, and desktops could be unveiled October 30.
  • What makes this unusual is it won’t be at Apple headquarters in Cupertino, but at the Brooklyn Academy of Music.
  • Keynote is at 10am EASTERN 😩
 
YouTubers get early access to iPhone XR, and it looks positively delicious
 
Time to pre-order your iPhone XR
  • Apple analyst Ming Chi Kuo thinks the iPhone XR is going to be such a huge hit, he’s increased his esimtate for XR shipments in the fourth quarter by 10 perfect.
  • Pre-orders start Friday the 19th at 12:01am, so tonight! Will begin shipping on the 26th
  • XR features all the same powerful internals as the XS series.
  • The same faster FaceID and Truth depth camera system
  • The same A12 Bionic chip
  • Same 8-core neural engine
  • It features True Tone and a wide color gamut
  • It has dual sim
  • Same 25% louder speakers
  • Same wide angle rear camera with Smart HDR capabilities!
  • Computational portrait mode with wide angle lens
  • Battery life that is up to 25% longer than the XS.  It even bests or matches the XS Max in battery performance. 1.5 hours longer than iPhone 8 plus.
  • Starts at just $749
  • 64GB ($749), 128GB ($799), 256GB ($899)
 
 
World’s largest Mac collection goes up for sale
  • Roland Borsky has one of the largest and most comprehensive Mac collections in the world, but the costs of storing the collection is forcing him to sell it.
  • Borsky began repairing Apple computers back in the 1980s, and collecting them at the same time, to the point where his collection has grown to over thousand items. And there’s also printers, monitors, and more.
  • Most of the Macs are in a warehouse where Borsky owes €20,000 to €30,000 ($23,000-35,000) in back rent. He’s hoping someone will take the collection in exchange for paying off what he owes.
  • He warns that if he can’t find a buyer all the computers are going to be “shredded".
 
What we’re INTO
 
Super Nintendo Classic
 
Barry HBO Show / Bill Hader / Henry Winkler
 
Super Mario Odyssey
 
San Francisco electric scooter rentals
No links cause it’s a scooter rental
Direct download: CultCast_358_-_Our__More_In_The_Making__hardware_event_predictions.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:32am PDT

This week:
  • Why Apple’s October event could be totally insane!
  • Something very strange is going on with the Mac…  we’ll talk about it.
  • MacBook Pro Touch Bar: our brutally honest opinions
  • Surprise!  Apple’s planning to give away its $1 billion TV shows
  • And stay tuned for an all-new CultCast 2nd Hour: Siri Shortcuts, explained!
 
This episode supported by
 
Easily create a beautiful website all by yourself, at Squarespace.com/cultcast. Use offer code CultCast at checkout to get 10% off your first purchase of a website or domain.
 
CultCloth will keep your iPhone X, Apple Watch, Mac and iPad sparkling clean, and for a limited time use code CULTCAST at checkout to score a free CleanCloth with any order at CultCloth.co.
 
Thanks to Kevin McLeodfor the music you hear on today’s episode.
 
On the show this week
 
Mac sales declined in Q3, despite new MacBook Pros
  • The third quarter of this year wasn’t a particularly good one for Apple, with Mac sales dropping a significant amount, even though the new MacBook Pros debuted this summer.
  • Apple shipped 4.9 million laptops and desktops in the July-to-September period, according to preliminary figures from market-research firm Gartner. That’s an 8.5 percent decline from the same quarter of last year.
  • But Q3 is supposed to bring fairly strong sales, as it includes the back-to-school shopping season. Not so much this year. At least not for Apple. Its three biggest rivals all saw increases in laptop/desktop shipments.
 
Apple plans to give away its $1 billion TV shows
  • Apple’s new TV streaming service will allegedly debut in early 2019
  • Some have suggested the company would bundle it in with Apple Music for an extra fee or that it would create it as a separate subscription option like Netflix.
  • But according to a recent report, Despite planning to spend more than $1 billion on original content this year, Apple will supposedly give away its original content to customers that already own an iPhone, iPad or Apple TV.
  • Because Apple is giving the shows away for free it’s aiming to create “PG” quality content that has wide audience appeal. Apple is currently making TV shows that are free from gratuitous sex, profanity or violence, although some shows may break this standard.
 
 
How to create your first Siri Shortcut
 
This Siri shortcut keeps an eye on police during a traffic stop
 
Siri Shortcuts can now control your HomeKit devices
 
Use Siri Shortcuts to quickly send photos to your family
 
Use Shortcuts to download YouTube Videos
 
How to run Siri Shortcuts from Reminder alerts
 
Direct download: CultCast_357_-_Major_Mac_updates_in_October_.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:17am PDT

This week:
  • How Chinese spy chips may be stealing secret data from Apple’s own servers!
  • Another week, another gate-we’ll you about #ChargeGate, the huge iPhone XS problem that ended before it even began.
  • Tim Cook reveals why Apple really banned Alex Jones, but can't explain why Siri still sucks
  • We’ve got another epic MoviePass update for you, and this is the weirdest one yet!
  • And we’ll pitch you a hot new electric skateboard, an uber premium keyboard for your Mac, a super portable keyboard for your iPad, and a an AI-powered bicycle light in an all-new Under Review!
  • And, in honor and remembrance of Steve Jobs, we conclude with one of his greatest keynotes.
 
This episode supported by
 
Easily create a beautiful website all by yourself, at Squarespace.com/cultcast. Use offer code CultCast at checkout to get 10% off your first purchase of a website or domain.
 
CultCloth will keep your iPhone X, Apple Watch, Mac and iPad sparkling clean, and for a limited time use code CULTCAST at checkout to score a free CleanCloth with any order at CultCloth.co.
 
Thanks to Kevin McLeodfor the music you hear on today’s episode.
 
On the show this week
 
The Governor’s Lounge awaits you, in The CultClub
 
iOS 12.1 beta fixes reported iPhone charging problems
  • What is charge gate?
    • Well, some, but not all, iOS 12 users have complained that their iPhone or iPad won’t begin charging if it’s in sleep mode when a Lightning cable is plugged in.
    • The charging issue doesn’t occur if the device is awake when the cable is plugged in. It only crops up when a phone or tablet’s screen is off.
  • Well this blew up this week when Tim Cook’s arch nemesis Lewis Hilsenteger, aka Unbox Therapy popularized the issue with a new video on his Youtube channel, titled: “iPhone XS has a serious problem”
  • But it turns out, the problem seems to be not so serious, as Apple has already introduced a new beta of iOS 12.1 that appears to fix the issue.
  • So if you’re experiencing the issue and want to solve it right now, install iOS 12.1 beta 2. Otherwise you could be waiting weeks until this 12.1 gets a final release.
  • “Gates’ should be limited to hardware issues!
 
Tim Cook talks privacy, Alex Jones and China in new interview
  • Appearing on VICE News Tonight on HBO, Apple CEO Tim Cook was asked if Apple’s stance on privacy is hurting Siri from becoming more competitive with Alexa. Cook pushed back saying any company that says they need all of your data to make their service better is telling you a “bunch of bunk.”
  • About booting Alex Jones
    • “We think that what the user wants is someone that does review these apps, someone that does review the podcasts, someone that on like Apple news, where a human is selecting the top stories. And that’s what we do,” Cook told VICE. “We don’t take a political stand."
 
MoviePass is forcing some former customers to re-enroll unless they opt out (MiMeQu)
  • In an email sent to a select group of previous customers, MoviePass said: "Because we really hope you begin enjoying your MoviePass subscription again, we have chosen you to be a part of a select test group, who beginning Friday, October 5th will be restored to unlimited movies.”
  • "To be clear, unless you opt out, your unlimited subscription will be restored and you will begin enjoying unlimited movies again ...  at $9.95 per month, and your credit card on file will be charged on a monthly basis beginning Friday, October 5th, 2018,”
  • When Business Insider reached out to MoviePass about the bizarre move, MoviePass doubled down!  Saying it was a  "a terrific one-time promotional offer.”  "If [previous users] are interested in returning to their original unlimited subscription, they can. If they are not, they simply click the link below and opt out," the statement read.
  • Now I thought MoviePass would be out of business by now, the vultures are circling.  But they just announced about 65 million in new funding!  Someone believe’s they’ve got a future.
 
Under Review! 
 
Ace bike light by see,sense
 
Logictech Craft Keyboard
 
Logitech Keys-to-go
 
 Doto iPad Case
 
Boosted Mini X Battery-powered keyboard
Direct download: CultCast_356_-_What_you_need_to_know_about_ChargeGate.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:05am PDT

This week: BeautyGate—what it is, and why it’s undoubtedly the dumbest “gate” in the history of iPhone.  Plus: how have we liked our one week with Apple Watch 4 and iPhone XS?  WE’LL TELL YOU.  And the shockingly low production price of the XS Max proves the deadbeats at Apple owe us more storage space!
 
This episode supported by
 
A business is only as strong as its people, and every hire matters… go to LinkedIn.com/cultcast and get a $50 credit toward your first job post.
 
CultCloth will keep your iPhone X, Apple Watch, Mac and iPad sparkling clean, and for a limited time use code CULTCAST at checkout to score a free CleanCloth with any order at CultCloth.co.
 
Thanks to Kevin McLeodfor the music you hear on today’s episode.
 
On the show this week
 
Imagine a place where you can slip into your silk robe, fez, and enjoy the company and fellowship of other CultCast listeners and tech enthusiasts. 
 
A club, if you will.  A Cult Club.
 
iPhone XS Max: A condensed review
 
iPhone XS Max is fast, fast, fast
 
  • Everything is very fast and responsive. Apps spring right open. Photos scroll without delay. Maps render without a hiccup. Everything is basically instantaneous, and it’s a joy.
  • It’s all thanks to the A12 Bionic chip. Apple is so far ahead in mobile chips, it’s head-spinning. One benchmark shows the iPhone XS is faster than the new iMac Pro, a $5,000-plus pro workstation!
 
It’s definitely not too big
  • For such big phone, it doesn’t feel too big. Having used an X all last year, and liking it, I thought the Max would be too big. But it doesn’t feel as big as the old Plus iPhones used to
  • iPhone XS Max camera
 
The camera is excellent 
  • Especially the new Portrait mode with advanced bokeh and Depth Control. The Max is less a phone, and more an advanced, near-DSLR camera with a cellular connection.
 
The big screen is amazing
  • The screen is so big and clear, there’s no need to take your laptop or iPad on flights any more. The Max will do nicely.
 
It deserves to be caseless
  • Despite dropping my old iPhone X numerous times, it has just a few scuffs and no cracked screen (it was, however, often in a case). But this time, because the Max is so thin, I’m going to try it caseless for a while. I’d like to enjoy Apple’s design for a change, without a bulky wrapping. (I know; I may regret this later.)
 
iPhone XS selfie cam is so beautiful it spawned an ugly conspiracy theory
  • The iPhone XS and its front-facing camera are supposed to help its owners make better self-portraits. However, some think their iPhone selfies look better than they should
  • Lewis Helsenteger, aka Unboxing Therapy, is calling it beautygate
  • Users are taking to internet forums like Reddit to question whether Apple added an undisclosed beauty filter to the front-facing camera on the iPhone XS and XS Max. Some are even posting side-by-side selfies taken with an XS and older handset to make a case that the newest iPhone has more than deeper pixels and an improved portrait mode going for it.
 
iPhone XS Max production cost is shockingly low
  • Analysis firm TechInsights did a teardown of the an iPhone XS Max with 256GB of storage. That’s reportedly the most popular version of Apple’s best selling handset.
  • As part of its teardown, TechInsights estimated the cost for each component. The total? $443
  • Compared to the $1249 price tag for the product. So just 35 percent of the purchase price goes to pay for the actual hardware.
  • Of course, the remaining $806 isn’t pure profit. The bill of materials (BoM) doesn’t cover Apple’s employee salaries, advertising, and other costs. Also, the BoM doesn’t include software, and iPhone and iPad sales have to cover the cost of developing iOS and its bundled software.

This week: is iPhone Xs the worst Apple "s" phone of all time?  We’ll compare Xs to Apple’s other “s” releases.  Plus: we’ll run through what the early reviewers are saying about iPhone Xs and Apple Watch 4, and which one Apple Watch feature is giving people a serious case of FOMO. 
And a leaked detail in iOS 12.1 all but confirms a new iPad event this fall—we’ll tell you what we know.
 
This episode supported by
 
Casper makes the internet’s favorite mattress.  Learn why at Casper.com/cultcast, and use code "CultCast" at checkout for $50 off select mattress purchases.
 
CultCloth will keep your iPhone X, Apple Watch, Mac and iPad sparkling clean, and for a limited time use code CULTCAST at checkout to score a free CleanCloth with any order at CultCloth.co.
 
Thanks to Kevin McLeodfor the music you hear on today’s episode.
 
 
On the show this week
 
iPhone 3GS = drastically faster data
iPhone 4S = Siri
iPhone 5S = Touch ID
iPhone 6S = 3D Touch
iPhone 10s = ?
 
 
First iPhone XS and XS Max reviews: Great phone, but not revolutionary
  • Early reviews for the iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max have already come in and while most of the people that have tested the new device are impresssed, this years models aren’t as big a leap as the iPhone X.
 
FaceID
  • Panzarino for Techrunch: “As far as Face ID goes, there has been no perceivable difference for me in speed or number of positives… There is also supposed to be improvements in off-angle recognition of your face, say when lying down or when your phone is flat on a desk. I tried a lot of different positions here and could never really definitively say that iPhone XS was better in this regardit… it very likely takes training time to get it near the confidence levels that my iPhone X has stored away.”
 
Battery Life
  • Nilay Patel for The Verge: "I got a full 12 hours of battery life out of the XS Max without low power mode, and that’s even under my heavy daily use.   The smaller XS is rated to get 30 minutes more than the X, which has run for about 8 hours for me this past year. It’s solid."
 
XS Max Screen is glorious
  • NYT: "The XS Max screen was so good-looking that I wanted to keep reading articles and looking at photos on Instagram. When I used Apple’s new Screen Time feature to monitor my use of each device, I discovered that I spent an average of roughly five and a half hours a day on the XS Max, two hours more than on the XS.”
 
LTE is noticeably faster
  • “On the test Verizon account I used, iPhone XS delivers. I got download speeds of 250 Mbps in New Jersey, versus 170 Mbps using the same SIM in the iPhone X.
 
The camera has some impressive improvements
  • In his comprehensive review of the iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max, John Gruber reveals that Apple made the camera sensor 32% larger. After noticing that the wide-angle lens on the iPhone XS is 2mm wider than the one on the iPhone X, Gruber also discovered the lens is longer too.
  • A bigger sensor and longer lens don’t sound like a big deal, but it required some crafty design work to pull it off without making the iPhone a bloated
  • Another impressive feature on the iPhone XS camera is its ability to adapt to low-light on the fly. If you’re shooting video at 30FPS, there’s an option to enable “Auto Low Light FPS.” The feature will drop the framerate to 24 FPS when it detects that there’s not enough light to get a good exposure
 
Marques Brownlee
  • It’s definitely a nice phone, but if you have an X, it’s not worth upgrading
 
 
Apple Watch Series 4 reviews: The watch of the future is here today
  • The indedpent called the series 4 watch “Astonishingly good”!
  • The Verge and the NYT both raved about how great the new larger display looked.  Particularly with the rounded corners, and made it much more apt to looking at photos and using apps.
  • The Watch felt snappier than the gen 3, but The Verge noted that the imrpovement wasn’t as drastic as Gen 2 to Gen 3.
 
Battery life remains unchanged, so you should only have to charge it at night.
 
Heart Rate Sensor
  • Wired's Rosenfield came away impressed by the accuracy of the watch's new optical heart-rate sensor as well as the automatic workout detection, while noting that "runners will love the new rolling mile measurement, cadence, and target pace notifications.”
  • Both The Verge and iMore commented about how much louder the speaker is, saying it was much easier to hear calls.  Callers also noted they couldn’t really tell they were being rung from an Apple Watch.
  • No one has been able to test the ECG feature yet since it won’t be enabled until later this year.
 
Digital Crown
  • TechCrunch's Heater took particular liking to the watch's new haptic Digital Crown, which "feels like turning a mechanical dial."
 
The general consensus of the reviews seems to be that the Apple Watch Series 4 is much better than earliest versions.
Wired: “If you have the original Watch, the Series 1, or the Series 2 — or if you’ve been thinking about buying your very first Apple Watch — you should pull the trigger. The Series 4 is a significant step up from early watch models in every meaningful way.
 
It took Apple 4 versions to get it really polished, but this Watch looks absolutely beautiful.
 
Hot new Apple Watch feature gives wearers a serious dose of FOMO
  • FOMO: anxiety that an exciting or interesting event may currently be happening elsewhere, often aroused by posts seen on a social media website.
  • The new Walkie-Talkie app is being lauded by Apple Watch owners as the best new feature that came out as part of watchOS 5. But for some wearers there’s a serious problem: they can’t find anyone to talk to.  
  • Walkie-Talkie gives wearers the ability to turn their wrist into a sort of digital two-way radio transceiver with other Apple Watch wearers. It’s a super-convenient way to have short bursts of conversation when you don’t want to talk on the phone. If you don’t have any friends with an Apple WAtch though then there’s no way to get in on the action.
 
 
iOS 12.1 confirms new iPads are on the way
  • Apple released the first beta of iOS 12.1 today. Developer Guilherme Rambo went digging around in the code and turned up a mention of “iPad2018Fall.” Sometimes references to upcoming devices hidden in iOS betas are obscure, but not this time
  • He also found a glyph of the iPad that showed it will have FaceId, but will not have a notch.
  • While digging into the simulator for iOS 12.1, Steve Troughton-Smith discovered that Apple has added support for virtualized 4K external displays. That’s a big deal for two reasons: 1) It means you’re going to be able to hook up iPads to 4K monitors, 2) It’s not currently possible to do that through the Lightning HDMI adapter
Direct download: CultCast_354_-_Is_iPhone_XS_Apple_s_worst__S__phone_.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:32pm PDT

This week: hot off the heels of Apple’s keynote, it’s our unfiltered Gather Round event reactions!  We'll tell you what we think about iPhone Xs, Xs Max, iPhone Xr, and the new Apple Watch 4. Plus: is it worth upgrading from X to Xs?  We discuss that and all the products that were noticeably missing from today’s festivities.  
 
This episode supported by
 
Easily create a beautiful website all by yourself, at Squarespace.com/cultcast. Use offer code CultCast at checkout to get 10% off your first purchase of a website or domain.
 
CultCloth will keep your iPhone X, Apple Watch, Mac and iPad sparkling clean, and for a limited time use code CULTCAST at checkout to score a free CleanCloth with any order at CultCloth.co.
 
Thanks to Kevin McLeodfor the music you hear on today’s episode.
 
On the show this week
Direct download: CultCast_353_-_Our_Gather_Round_event_reactions.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:51pm PDT

With over a hundred thousand attendees, the Penny Arcade Expo is one of the largest video game conventions in the world, and it all started in Seattle, Washington.

Hot off the heels of PAX 2018, Erfon sits across his good friend, The Amazing Aaron Hughes, to discuss the state of Xbox, Playstation, Nintendo, their favorite games and spectacles from the event, and how FORNITE and PUBG have changed the face of gaming.  

Direct download: PAX_2018_with_Aaron_Hughes.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:10pm PDT

This week: get ready for the iPhone MAX!  Plus: rumors indicate Apple’s new iPhones will receive a serious price cut; Apple is working on the one feature the  Watch desperately needs; and Leander reveals Apple’s secret sauce—the design and creative processes Cupertino has developed over the years that have helped them create some of the world’s most iconic products.  
 
This episode supported by
 
Easily create a beautiful website all by yourself, at Squarespace.com/cultcast. Use offer code CultCast at checkout to get 10% off your first purchase of a website or domain.
 
A business is only as strong as its people, and every hire matters… go to LinkedIn.com/cultcast and get a $50 credit toward your first job post.
 
CultCloth will keep your iPhone X, Apple Watch, Mac and iPad sparkling clean, and for a limited time use code CULTCAST at checkout to score a free CleanCloth with any order at CultCloth.co.
 
Thanks to Kevin McLeodfor the music you hear on today’s episode.
 
On the show this week
 
Possible new name for the 6.5-inch iPhone takes it to the Max
  • Apple’s marketing team has reportedly been considering losing the Plus suffix that has been used on the largest models since the iPhone 6 Plus came out in 2014
  • We’ve already head reports that Apple is going to ditch the “Plus” description for its larger iPhones. Now there’s word that the replacement term could be “Max.”
  • If true, this means that the company will announce a week from today the iPhone Xs with a 5.8-inch display and the iPhone Xs Max with a 6.5-inch one.
 
2018 iPhones could cost just the same as the 2017 models
  • With most of the specifications of the 2018 iPhones already known, the largest remaining question is price.
  • A report from the German website Macerkoff, who starts by pointing out that the iPhone 8 costs €799, the iPhone 8 Plus sells for €909, and the iPhone X is €1149.
  • Citing two different sources, the site says the 6.1-inch LCD iPhone expected to be announced next week will cost €799, the 5.8-inch replacement for the iPhone X will be €909, and the 6.5-inch OLED device sell for €1149.
  • If that assumption is correct, the 6.1-inch LCD iPhone will be $699,  the speed-bumped 5.8-inch iPhone X will be $799, and the the 6.5-inch OLED model will be $999.
 
Apple Watch could get always-on display mode
  • Apple is developing an always-on display mode for Apple Watch, a new patent application reveals.
  • The feature would give users the ability to see the time — and possibly other information — without having to raise their wrist every time. But Apple wants to make sure OLED burn-in doesn’t become a problem.
  • There are several reasons for that, such as its impact on battery life and the risk that the feature could ruin Apple Watch’s OLED display.
 
The Iconic Pillow Collection by Throwboy
 
 
New book shows how Apple makes great software [Review]
  • When Steve Jobs died in 2011, pundits wondered how the company would continue to make great products without him.
  • The question is partly answered by programmer Ken Kocienda’s new book, Creative Selection, which describes his 15 years working at Apple helping to develop the original iPhone, iPad and Safari web browser.
 
The Apple design process of demos, decisions and feedback with Ken Kocienda [Apple Chat podcast]
Direct download: CultCast_352_-_Say_hello_to_the_iPhone_MAX_Extreme_Edition.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:04pm PDT

This week: hours after Apple sends out their iPhone event invites, a BIG leak reveals what they have in store.  Plus: all our hardware expectations for Apple’s upcoming keynote; Erfon’s first impressions of his new 2018 MacBook Pro, how to get the best discounts, and how to score a free extended warranty.
 
This episode supported by
 
Campaign Monitor gives you everything you need to run beautifully-designed, professional email marketing campaigns to grow your business.  No wonder it’s used by more than 250,000 businesses, worldwide.  To start building smart and beautiful email newsletters today, try Campaign Monitor for free at campaignmonitor.com
 
The Cult of Mac watch store has the best straps in the biz!  Check out the huge Labor Day sale with savings up to 50% at http://store.cultofmac.com.
 
CultCloth will keep your iPhone X, Apple Watch, Mac and iPad sparkling clean, and for a limited time use code CULTCAST at checkout to score a free CleanCloth with any order at CultCloth.co.
 
Thanks to Kevin McLeodfor the music you hear on today’s episode.
 
On the show this week
 
Confirmed: Apple sends out invites for Sept. 12 iPhone event
  • The "Gather Round" event invites have been sent out.  
  • Apple’s big fall event will take place at the Steve Jobs Theater in Apple Park on September 12.
  • The keynote will start at 10 a.m. PT, during which we expect to see the new iPhone lineup, an Apple Watch Series 4, major improvements to iPad Pro, and more.
 
Apple Watch Series 4 revealed — massive display, dense watch face, more
 
This is ‘iPhone XS’ — design, larger version, and gold colors confirmed
 
Direct download: CultCast_351_-_iPhone_and_Apple_Watch_leak_BIG.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:05am PDT

Better late than never!  With Erfon and Buster out, Lewis and Leander take the reigns of their very first CultCast to discuss the week's best Apple stories!  Ladies and gentlemen, this is one for the record books.

This is last week's episode come late.  We'll have another new episode out this week.

Direct download: cultcast_350.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:10pm PDT

This week: Alex Jones and free speech, part 2.  Plus: Ming-Chi Kuo says the Apple car is real, and you can drive it off the lot 2023.  And stay tuned for our most loved tech!  We’ll discuss the gadgets and apps we can’t be without.
 
This episode supported by
 
Easily create a website by yourself, at Squarespace.com/cultcast. Use offer code CultCast at checkout to get 10% off your first purchase of a website or domain.
 
Campaign Monitor gives you everything you need to run beautifully-designed, professional email marketing campaigns to grow your business.  No wonder it’s used by more than 250,000 businesses, worldwide.  To start building smart and beautiful email newsletters today, try Campaign Monitor for free at campaignmonitor.com
 
CultCloth will keep your iPhone X, Apple Watch, Mac and iPad sparkling clean, and for a limited time use code CULTCAST at checkout to score a free CleanCloth with any order at CultCloth.co.
 
Thanks to Kevin McLeod for the music you hear on today’s episode.
 
On the show this week
 
Kuo: Apple to Launch Apple Car in 2023 to 2025
  • According to Kuo, Apple will launch an Apple Car sometime between 2023 and 2025.  He said this is a recent note to investors:
  • "We expect that Apple Car, which will likely be launched in 2023–2025, will be the next star product. The reasons for this are as follows: (1) Potentially huge replacement demands are emerging in the auto sector because it is being redefined by new technologies. (2) Apple’s leading technology advantages (like AR) would redefine cars and differentiate Apple Car from peers’ products (3) Apple’s service will grow significantly by entering the huge car finance market via Apple Car, and (4) Apple can do a better integration of hardware, software, and service than current competitors
 
 
We may finally know AirPower Mat price
  • The long-awaited launch of Apple’s AirPower wireless charging pad may coincide with the launch of the 2018 iPhone lineup.
  • Based on a new report out of Asia, Apple engineers are in the debugging phase of the AirPower rollout. The product may not launch on the exact same day as the 2018 iPhones, but a Chinese site claims to know the planned price. And it’s not going to be cheap.
  • Though a previous rumor claimed the price could hit $200, Apple will reportedly charge $149 for the AirPower charging mat, according to Chongdiantou.
  • Overheating issues have allegedly caused delays with the Apple charging pad
 
Our most-loved gadgets!
 
Anker Powerhouse
 
Parrot Zik 3 headphones 
 
Lose It!  App
 
Sound Devices MixPre-6
 
Fuji X-T1
 
Specialized Tarmac
 
Ultimate Ears Megaboom
 
Moment iPhone X lenses
Direct download: CultCast_349_-_Apple_s_TRUE_car_plans_and_our_most_loved_tech.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:51pm PDT

This week: Apple wipes the Infowars podcast from iTunes, but should they be getting involved in the censorship game?  Plus: we look at the new gadgets announced at Samsung’s unpacked event; and we discuss some of the biggest TV news of the decade in an all-new Under Review!
 
This episode supported by
 
A business is only as strong as its people, and every hire matters… go to LinkedIn.com/cultcast and get a $50 credit toward your first job post.
 
Casper makes the internet’s favorite mattress.  Learn why at Casper.com/cultcast, and use code "CultCast" at checkout for $50 off select mattress purchases.
 
CultCloth will keep your iPhone X, Apple Watch, Mac and iPad sparkling clean, and for a limited time use code CULTCAST at checkout to score a free CleanCloth with any order at CultCloth.co.
 
Thanks to Kevin McLeod for the music you hear on today’s episode.
 
On the show this week
 
EU may force iPhone to switch from Lightning to USB
  • EU regulators are considering whether they need to force a common standard for phone chargers.
  • The idea is to cut down on the 51,000 tons of old chargers and cables thrown away each year.
  • Way back in 2009, the European Commission pressured Apple and 13 other companies to work toward a common charging standard by 2011. All the other signatories gave up their proprietary plugs and switched to USB.  Apple switched to lightning, their own proprietary port.
  • Accordingly to Reuters, that didn't satisfy that EU Commissioner of Competition, and now the commission is launching an impact assessment study to evaluate costs and benefits of different other options, the other option being forcing Apple to adopt USB on the devices.
 
 
Apple removes InfoWars and Alex Jones podcasts
  • Apple has removed the entire back catalog for five InfoWars’ six podcasts on iTunes and its Podcasts app. One of these shows is the daily “War Room” show hosted by owner and radio host Alex Jones.
  • Shortly thereafter, Facebook removed InfoWars page, YouTube removed their channel, Pinterest pin boards, Linked In removed the InfoWars page, Mail Chimp refuses to send their emails, and website comment host Disqus has given them the boot.
  • "Consistent with our existing policies, we take action against accounts that repeatedly save content that could lead to harm," a Pinterest spokesperson said in an email statement.
 
 
Samsung preps rivals for Apple Watch and HomePod
 
What we’re into!
 
The Orville
 
Mission Impossible Fallout
 
Captain Jean-luc Picard will helm a new Star Trek series
Direct download: CultCast_348_-_Apple_enters_the_censorship_game.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:49pm PDT

This week:  Is the i9 MacBook Pro a total ripoff?  One YouTube reviewer says yes, and his tests are convincing.  We’ll fill you in.  Plus: the journey to a trillion!  How did Apple become the most valuable company on earth?  We discuss, and remember the company's troubled history. And stay tuned for the sad decline of MoviePass.  Is the troubled movie service still worth it?
 
This episode supported by
 
Easily create a website by yourself, at Squarespace.com/cultcast. Use offer code CultCast at checkout to get 10% off your first purchase of a website or domain.
 
CultCloth will keep your iPhone X, Apple Watch, Mac and iPad sparkling clean, and for a limited time use code CULTCAST at checkout to score a free CleanCloth with any order at CultCloth.co.
 
Thanks to Kevin McLeodfor the music you hear on today’s episode.
 
On the show this week
 
i9 Macbook Pro - Apple's biggest RIPOFF! - erfon
  • YouTuber Max Yuryev pitted the 2.2Ghz and 2.6Ghz i7 MacBook Pros against the the 2.9GHz i9, and the results aren’t great.  These are the tests I’ve been waiting for.
  • in his Cinebench test, he found the i9 beat the i7 by only 2 percent, averaging only 3.15Ghz, while both the 2.2Ghz and 2.6Ghz i7’s both averaged 3.05 Ghz.
  • And in test after test, he showed that the i9 rarely performs better than the 2.6Ghz i7.
  • Why?  It seems like it comes down to heat.  Even with the patch, the MBP struggles to keep the i9 cool enough to keep it in turbo mode, and sometimes it’s even not cool enough to run at base clock.
  • For example: In his Red Raven 4.5K Raw rendering test, he noticed that the 2.2Ghz i7 ran about 500Mhz over base clock speed, the 2.7 ran about 200Mhz over base, and the 2.9 ran about 500Mhz below base clock.
  • He noted that the GPU and CPU use the same cooler, so if you’re pushing the GPU, like many rendering apps do, the CPU won’t be cooled as well, so can end up throttling more than you’d want.
  • So what does all these mean?  
    • It doesn’t seem to make sense to pay extra for the i9.  It matches or barely beats the 2.6Ghz in many tests, and sometimes can’t even beat the 2.2Ghz i7.
    • A better value, and bigger a bottle neck in the 2018 MBP isn’t the CPU, it’s the GPU.
    • The base MBP comes with a 555X Radeon GPU, whereas the premium 2.7Ghz i7 and 2.9Ghz i9 models come with a Radeon 560X, and that’s what made the biggest difference in his tests.
    • My thoughts, go with the 2.7Ghz i7, the 560X GPU, and use the i9 money you save for extra SSD space.
 
 
The biggest takeaways from Apple’s dominant Q3 earnings results
  • Apple beat Wall Street’s expectations today with its Q3 2018 earnings report, shooting its stock price just below the $204 price needed to mint it as the world’s first TRILLION dollar company. 
  • iPhone sales were up slightly year-over-year. Revenue was up big time. The ASP (average selling price) was also up big time. Even Apple’s EPS (earnings per share) was higher than some of the biggest Apple believers expected.
  • When the iPhone X launched last year it was panned as too expensive by far too many critics, but Phone revenue was up 20% YOY.
  • Wearable sales are up 60% year-over-year
  • AirPods and Beats are also selling well. Combined with Apple Watch they’ve generated more than $10 billion in revenue in just the last year.
  • TimCook also commented on Apple’s TV deal with Oprah, saying he “couldn’t be happier” that she’s on board.
  • He also said there’d be “dramatic changes speeding up in the content industry,” and went on to say “We’re really happy to be working on something. We’re just not ready to talk about it in-depth today.”
  • Apple sold only 3.72 Macs in its third quarter, less than any single quart since it’s Q3 of 2010.  This may be because it’s entire Mac line was ancient until just weeks ago, in Q4, when MBP was updated.
  • iPhone and iPad now make up 65% of Apple’s yearly revenue.
 
The sad decline of MoviePass. Is it still worth it?
  • It was a year ago, in august of 2017, that MoviePass dropped their price to $9.95 a month. In the following two days, more than 150,000 new users signed up, crashing their website and app.
  • Though AMC said MoviePass’s model could never work, they essentially created their own version of the service to compete. It’s $20 a month and their service includes digital reservations, iMax and 3D, and let’s you see the same movie more than once.
  • Sinemia is another competitor that’s popped up.  They offer a 2 movie a month plan for $10 a month that works with any theater, offers advanced ticket options, and works on 3D movies, IMAX, 4DX, and more.  
Direct download: CultCast_347_-_i9_MacBook_Pro_-_a_total_ripoff_.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:11pm PDT

This week:  Apple has issued a patch that significantly increases performance for all 2018 MacBook Pros, but there's one glaring problem it doesn't fix...  Plus, we talk new HomePod features from iOS 12 beta, and we wrap up with your emails!
 
This episode supported by
 
The Cult of Mac watch store offered a curated collection of beautiful Apple Watch bands at prices far lower than what Apple charges.  
 
CultCloth will keep your iPhone X, Apple Watch, Mac and iPad sparkling clean, and for a limited time use code CULTCAST at checkout to score a free CleanCloth with any order at CultCloth.co.
 
Thanks to Kevin McLeodfor the music you hear on today’s episode.
 
 
On the show this week
 
 
Consumer Reports says MacBook Pro thermal throttling is a feature not a bug
  • Consumer Reports came to the Apple's defense this week. The consumer-testing organization points out that other laptops with top-tier processors are also subject to thermal throttling.
  • “Most processors have had this capability built in for years,” says Richard Fisco, an electronics testing program leader at Consumer Reports. “I would rather have the system throttle and take a lot longer to do things than just let itself get fried.”
  • They recommend a desktop
  • “If you absolutely need bleeding-fast speed — perhaps you’re a programmer who regularly compiles large applications or someone who edits huge amounts of high-resolution video — a high-end desktop may be a better bet than a souped-up laptop,” wrote Consumer Reports.
 
 
Apple issues thermal throttling fix for 2018 MacBook Pros
  • Apple saw Dave Lee’s video, and worked with him to figure out what was going on.
  • Turns out, a major part of the problem was actually a big in the firmware, which was preventing the fans from coming as often or as high as they should.
  • “Following extensive performance testing under numerous workloads, we’ve identified that there is a missing digital key in the firmware that impacts the thermal management system and could drive clock speeds down under heavy thermal loads on the new MacBook Pro. A bug fix is included in today’s macOS High Sierra 10.13.6 Supplemental Update and is recommended"
  • Apple went on to say this should result in better performance for every version of the new MacBook Pro, even i7 models.
 
Core i9 MacBook Pro - After the Patch
  • Dave confirmed that now, MBP fans actually come on, which increased performance on the i9 to the save level achieved with the MBP in the freezer.
  • In his tests, the 2018 i9 model is now 30-35% faster than the 2017 i7 model.
  • It seems like the patch kicks affects fan activation and speed, but also keeps the chip from throttling itself down all the time.
  • But, even patched, this i9 chip still doesn’t hit the clock speed that it COULD hit.
  • This is the same i9 that is used in larger gaming laptops, where it can hit 4.5 or 5GHz and stay there comfortably.  In the MBP, its base clock is 2.9Ghz, and it can only boost up to 4.8 in some circumstances.
  • In YouTuber Max Yuryyex’s Cinebench encoding tests, his i9 ran at about 3.2Ghz
  • MacBook Pro is thin, light, and quiet, but its thermal design inhibits the potential of this high-end high performance chip.  That’s the cost of thin and light.
 
 
HomePod OS 12 Beta Software Said to Support Multiple Timers, New Phone Call Features, and More
  • French tech blog iGeneration reports that a beta version of the software currently in internal testing enables users to make calls and answer them from the HomePod, ask Siri to Find My iPhone, and set multiple timers on the device.
  • The report also mentions that users may also be able to listen to their voicemails, and search their call history over the speaker.  
  • Would be cool to allow HomePod to control other devices in your household.
  • Add alarms or reminders to your or your family members iPads and iPhones
Direct download: CultCast_346_-_2018_MacBook_Pro__after_the_patch_.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:37pm PDT

This week:
  • The 2018 MacBook Pro is both a beauty AND a beast.  In fact, it's one of the most exciting MBP refreshes in years.  The benchmarks are in and they’re impressive. 
  • A popular tech reviewer warns that the i9 processor upgrade in the MBP has a major flaw, and his video proof is compelling.  We’ll fill you in.
  • We also bring back Matthew Taylor, creator of the very popular butterfly keyboard recall petition, now with over 32,000 signatures,  to have a frank discussion on the state of the 2018 MBP keyboard.  Has Apple fixed the issues plaguing their butterfly key design?  
  • And stay tuned for a strange new HomeKit controller and the best insulated water bottle on the market in an all-new Under Review!
 
This episode supported by
 
Easily create a website by yourself, at Squarespace.com/cultcast. Use offer code CultCast at checkout to get 10% off your first purchase of a website or domain.
 
CultCloth will keep your iPhone X, Apple Watch, Mac and iPad sparkling clean, and for a limited time use code CULTCAST at checkout to score a free CleanCloth with any order at CultCloth.co.
 
Thanks to Kevin McLeodfor the music you hear on today’s episode.
 
On the show this week
 
 
2018 MacBook Pro performance shows dramatic improvement
  • The 15- and 13-inch MacBook Pro models launching this week boast significantly faster processors. Tests with the Geekbench benchmarking tool show speed increases as high as 86 percent.
  • The improvements come from faster Turbo Burst frequencies and more processor cores.
  • “For the 15-inch models, single-core performance is up 12-15%, and multi-core performance is up 39-46%
  • “For the 13-inch models, single-core performance is up 3%-11%, and multi-core performance is up 81%-86%
 
2018 MacBook Pro review roundup: Apple unleashes a speed demon
  • Majorly faster CPU
  • Much faster SSDs
  • Faster DD4 RAM
  • CPU:
    • John Poole from Geekbench: “The 2018 MacBook Pro is the most substantial upgrade (at least regarding performance) since the introduction of the quad-core processors in 2011 MacBook Pro,” 
    • Photography Austin Mann did to covert a 4K Mavic Pro video file to 1080p H.265 (HEVC) using QuickTime Player. 
      • 2013 MBP with 16GB RAM = 33 minutes
      • Maxed out 2016 MBP = 99 seconds
      • Maxed out 2018 MBP = 24 seconds
  • SSD
    • Laptop Mag: “It’s rare that I don’t believe the results coming out of our lab, but in this case I had to do a double take,” explains Mark. It took the system just 2 seconds to duplicate 4.97GB worth of files, which translates to 2,519 megabytes per second
  • TrueTone:
  • TechCrunch: “I have two 15-inch MacBooks in front of me right now (that’s just how I roll), and it’s like night and day. You’ve got no idea how blue the screen you’ve been staring at is until you see it up against another True Tone-enabled display.”
  • The most expensive laps Apple’s ever made.
 
 
Teardown reveals MacBook Pro keyboard is redesigned to prevent keys sticking
  • Apple made potential buyers of the new MacBook Pro models very nervous when it said no effort had been made to fix the problems plaguing the keyboards in earlier versions.
  • They even told the Verge that, though it made the Keyboard quieter, the keyboard was constructed to address the myriad issues they say are affecting only “a tiny" fraction of users.
  • But, IFIXIT took apart they keyboard of the new 2018 MacBook Pro, and discovered  “Apple has cocooned their butterfly switches in a thin, silicone barrier”
  • And as it turns out, Apple has a patent for just this kind of debris cover...
 
 
Beware serious thermal throttling with new Core i9 MacBook Pro
  • No good deed goes unpunished
  • Early tests have revealed that the i9 chip in Apple’s new MBP suffers severe thermal throttling under heavy loads, which dramatically reduces its clock speed and performance.
  • Dave Lee from Youtube has tests illustrating the issue.
  • He did a render in Adobe Premiere that took the MBP 39 minutes to complete.  In that test he monitored the CPU speed temp and saw that the chip was being throttled to BELOW base clock speed just to stay cool.
  • In his tests, Lee found that it averaged at around 2.2GHz with a temperature of 90°C.
  • So he tried the test again, this time with his MacBook Pro in... the freezer.
  • This time, the same test, which took 39 minutes before, took only 27 minutes.  That’s a 44% improvement…
  • Not just Apple’s fault
    • There are other laptops on the market that use this chip, and they snuggle to keep the chip cooled as well.  But most of these machines are beefier with better ventilation.
 
 
Apple won’t give your older MacBook an improved keyboard
  • Unfortunately for existing MacBook and MacBook Pro owners, Apple won’t fit its newer 3rd gen butterfly keyboard into older machines — not even if yours is in need of repair.
  • Earlier machines will be repaired with the same keyboard components they originally shipped with. Apple does not offer the option to upgrade for a fee, either. Only the 2018 MacBook Pro will get the new design if a repair is required.
 
 
Apple: Recall MacBook Pro w/ Defective Keyboard, Replace with DIFFERENT Working Keyboard
 
 
Under Review!
 
Nanoleaf Remote
 
Camelbak Chute 
Direct download: CultCast_345_-_2018_MacBook_Pro__The_good_the_great_the_UGLY..mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:09pm PDT

This week: it’s the best update in YEARS.  We’ll tell you everything you need to know about Apple’s very powerful new MacBook Pros. Plus: new Mac Minis are on the way; Ming-Chi Kuo confirms Apple’s about to update their entire product line; how Coke-heads use Apple watch to maximize their high; and we talk Killer Whale attacks, port wines, and the story of Saturday Night Live's world renowned sax player on an all-new Under Review.
 
This episode supported by
 
The Cult of Mac watch store has the best straps in the biz!  Check out the huge Black Friday sale with savings up to 50% at http://store.cultofmac.com.
 
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Thanks to Kevin McLeod for the music you hear on today’s episode.
 
On the show this week
 
Apple updates MacBook Pros with 8th gen Intel Coffee Lake CPUs and ”quieter” keyboards
  • 13” gets 4 cores
  • 15” get six cores with options
  • i7s on both machines with faster i9 chip available on 15”
  • Apple says that the 15-inch model will have a 70 percent performance increase, and the 13-inch model should double in speed.
  • Keyboards have been made quieter, but Apple told The Verge that this 3rd gen keyboard has not been designed to alleviate the issues they say are only affecting a “tiny portion” of buyers
  • 32GB RAM and 4TB SSD option now available on 15” model for a mere $6700
  • Both models come with True Tone displays, which allows the screen to change its color temperature based on the color temperature of the room.
  • Interestingly, the Touch Bar will also support True Tone
  • These will also be Apple’s first laptops to support “Hey Siri”
 
New Mac mini and cheaper MacBook might finally land this fall
  • Ming Chi Kuo has basically just confirmed what I’ve been saying the last couple of weeks: Apple is about to drop an orgasmic amount of updated hardware products on us.
  • Yes, according to Kuo’s new report, Apple is getting ready to update almost their entire hardware line.  
  • iPhone - There are three iPhones in the works, two OLED models in 5.8 and 6.5-inch sizes and one lower-cost LED model that will be available in a 6.1-inch size. All three will feature Face ID and upgraded A12 processors. While the two OLED models will have dual-lens cameras, the lower-cost model will feature a single-lens camera.
  • iPad Pro - Apple is working on two new 11 and 12.9-inch iPad Pro models that are equipped with a full-screen design similar to the iPhone X and no Home button, with Apple to replace Touch ID with Face ID.
  • Mac mini - Kuo didn't have a lot of information to share on this one, but he did say a processor upgrade is expected.  He did not say if additional upgrades would be included, like as a redesigned body.
  • It’s been over 3 and a half years since the Mac Mini was updated, and they’re still charging full price for it.
  • MacBook - Processor upgrades expected.
  • New Low-Priced Notebook - Ming Chi believes Apple is designing a new low-priced notebook fo some kind. He originally said it would be part in the MacBook Air family, but now he seems to not be so sure.   We’ll soon know.
  • iMac - Kuo says he expect a significant display performance upgrade, and a processor refresh.
  • Apple Watch - Apple is working on two new Apple Watch models for 2018 that will have bigger displays and enhanced heart rate detection features. The two Apple Watch models will measure in at 1.57 inches (39.9mm) and 1.78 inches (45.2mm), roughly 15 percent bigger than in the current models. Rumors have not been clear on whether the Apple Watch itself will be larger or if the bigger display will come from a reduction in bezels.
 
 
Doctors worry that cocaine users rely on Apple Watch as a lifesaver
  • According to a new report, medical experts are concerned that some drug users, particularly people taking cocaine, are using their Apple Watches and other wearables to monitor their heart rate while imbibing.
  • From the users’ perspective, the idea is that doing this could alert them to dangerously high heart rates while taking drugs such as cocaine. However, doctors point out that the technology does not protect people against the dangers of drug use.
  • The article details the story of several semi-regular cocaine users. One describes monitoring drug use as the only reason they wear a heart rate-tracking wearable. “I want an early warning system for when my heart’s going to explode,” one person wrote in a thread on Reddit.
  • “If someone says, ‘Let’s do a line,’ I’ll look at my watch,” says one of the people interviewed. “If I see I’m at [heart rates of] 150 or 160, I’ll say, ‘I’m good.’
 
What we’re INTO
 
Kahney Klan Vs. KILLER SHARK!
 
Repair anything with Bondic plastic weld
 
The great woodsman, Lenny Picket (Clinic 1 of 5)
 
The browner the better!  The rich history of port wine
Direct download: CultCast_344_-_The_MacBook_Pros_we_ve_been_waiting_for.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:11pm PDT

This week:
  • New evidence just today that Apple has a big Mac refresh right around the corner.
  • MacBook Pro is about to get the new feature we’ve all been wanting.
  • Apple is rebuilding their maps app from the ground up, and it looks magnificent.
  • Erfon visited Apple’s new Seattle flagship store it was STUNNING.
  • We pitch a wood-wrapped iPhone case, waterproof camping lights, and a great new reading app an all-new Under Review!
 
This episode supported by
 
Easily create a website by yourself, at Squarespace.com/cultcast. Use offer code CultCast at checkout to get 10% off your first purchase of a website or domain.
 
Act quick!  Until July 9th, you can save up to $245 on one of Casper’s American-made award-winning mattresses, at Casper.com/savings.
 
CultCloth will keep your iPhone X, Apple Watch, Mac and iPad sparkling clean, and for a limited time use code CULTCAST at checkout to score a free CleanCloth with any order at CultCloth.co.
 
Thanks to Kevin McLeodfor the music you hear on today’s episode.
 
On the show this week
 
Apple paves the way for new iPads and Macs to arrive in Europe
Apple has this week registered new iPads and Macs with the Eurasian Economic Commission (EEC).  The filings hint that a big refresh could be just around the corner.
Five new Macs with the model numbers has been registered with the commission.  
Looking at the model numbers it looks like three of the machines will be MBPs, and then one will be a MBA and A MB.
There are five iPad model numbers, too, meaning we’ll likely be seeing an iPad Pro refresh very soon.
What’s particularly interesting about the filings is that the Apple lists macOS 10.13 and iOS 11 as the software for these devices, which suggests it might be planning to launch them before macOS Mojave and iOS 12 
 
‘Coffee Lake’ chips could give 2018 MacBook Pro a jolt
Apple may soon be planning to upgrade the MacBook Pro line to the latest generation of Intel processors. Benchmarks for a macOS laptop running a “Coffee Lake” chip showed up on Geekbench.
Why’s that exciting?  More cores and a huge 40-50% increase in multitasking performance.
If this isn’t a fake, what’s interesting is the machine tested was likely a 13” MBP, but its processor had 4 cores (8 with hyper threading) instead of just two (what current 13” MBPs have)
This would probably also mean the 15 would have SIX cores.
 
Apple is rebuilding Maps from the ground up
 
Apple Maps getting revamped to suck less
For the last 4 years, Apple has been working on totally rebuilding Apple Maps, in an effort to make it the best maps app in the world. They now have hundreds of map editors working furiously, and thousands of employees.
Talking to TechCrunch, Eddie Cue, now heading up the project, said they realized maps was at the heart of everything; people use their phones for navigation, apps use GPS to location information, so Apple needed to take ownership of it, and they’re doing it in two ways:
 
Our Under Review picks
 
Rustek Inlay iPhone case
 
Libby reading app
 
Luminoodle Camping lights
Direct download: CultCast_343_-_Mac_refresh_incoming.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:23pm PDT

This week: Apple plans new, improved AirPods, HomePod and over-ear headphones; Apple finally acknowledges its new MacBook keyboards suck, and they’re going to make it right; a top Apple analyst drops a bunch of details on Apple’s 2018 product pipeline; and Apple is tries to solve a fascinating issue with autonomous vehicles.
 
This episode supported by
 
Easily create a website by yourself, at Squarespace.com/cultcast. Use offer code CultCast at checkout to get 10% off your first purchase of a website or domain.
 
Print postage from your office and take advantage of special shipping discounts at pb.com/cultcast, and beat the postage rate increase with exclusive discounts on letters.  Plans start at just $5 a month!
 
CultCloth will keep your iPhone X, Apple Watch, Mac and iPad sparkling clean, and for a limited time use code CULTCAST at checkout to score a free CleanCloth with any order at CultCloth.co.
 
Thanks to Kevin McLeodfor the music you hear on today’s episode.
 
On the show this week
 
Apple finally acknowledges its new MacBook keyboards suck
  • The butterfly keyboards on the new MacBook and MacBook Pro are officially defective.
  • After months of outcry from angry customers, Apple has finally acknowledged that the new keyboards have some serious problems. The company says the issues are limited to a small percentage of MacBooks, but its offering free repairs.
 
Apple plans new, improved AirPods, HomePod and over-ear headphones
  • Bloomberg has a new report out that says we could have some exciting new Apple audio products in 2019.
 
Top Apple analyst drops a ton of details on Apple’s 2018 product pipeline
  • First: Ming still expects three new iPhones in 2018: a second-generation iPhone X, a massive 6.5-inch version dubbed the iPhone X Plus, and a 6.1-inch version that will essentially be a budget iPhone X.
 
Apple is trying to solve a very interest problem with autonomous vehicles, and they’ve hired a fascinating guy to help solve it.
Engineer and YouTuber Mark Rober Working on Anti-Motion Sickness VR Technology for Use in Autonomous Vehicles
  • Engineer and popular YouTuber Mark Rober is, accordingly Variety, working for Apple as an engineer in their special projects group.
  • More specifically, Rober has been working on Apple's virtual reality projects, including "using VR as on-board entertainment for self-driving cars.”
  • His most recent patent addresses an interesting problem:
    • "Many passengers in vehicles may experience motion sickness. Typically, this is not the case for the driver. However, with the arrival of autonomous vehicles, the driver becomes a passenger, and thus may want to occupy themselves while, for example, riding to work. Passengers in conventional or autonomous vehicles may, for example, want to read a book, or work on their notebook computer.
 
Meet Mark Rober, the creative dynamo working on Apple’s autonomous car project
 
Jon Olsson is a young rich guy with a great YouTube channel
 
Dr. DisRespect is the most dominating streamer in the online gaming community
Direct download: CultCast_342_-_New_AirPods__New_iPhones__New_HomePod.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:28pm PDT

This week:
  • It’s been over a year since Apple has updated virtually any of their Macs.  Just what in the heck in going on?  
  • Why all your online purchases will soon be taxed
  • Instagram takes on YouTube with new IGTV app
  • MoviePass is about to change for the worse.  AGAIN.
  • America’s largest theater chain just put the final nails in the MoviePass coffin
  • And things get weird in an all-new what we’re into!
 
This episode supported by
 
A business is only as strong as its people, and every hire matters… go to LinkedIn.com/cultcast and get a $50 credit toward your first job post.
 
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Visit Ude.my/CULTCASTor download the Udemy app to learn anytime, anywhere.
 
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Thanks to Kevin McLeodfor the music you hear on today’s episode.
 
On the show this week
 
Supreme Court Kills Quill, Gives States More Authority To Collect Sales Tax
  • It’s a sad day for US.  It’s the end of an era.  The end of tax-free shopping online.  
  • In 1992 the supreme court that a state couldn’t force an online retailer to collect sales tax for them if the retailer didn’t have a physical presence in that state.  
  • Today, they reversed that decision
  • What does that mean?
  • Well, it means that you state will undoubtedly begin forcing online retailers to charge you sales tax on all your online orders.  
  • If you have a big purchase to make, I’d do it this summer.  
 
On The Sad State of Macintosh Hardware
  • Rogue Amoeba developer Quentin Carnicelli posted this week on the company’s blog about his frustration with Apple’s continued neglect of the Mac.
  • "At the time of the writing, with the exception of the $5,000 iMac Pro, no Macintosh has been updated at all in the past year.”
 
Instagram takes on YouTube with new IGTV app
  • The photo-sharing social network revealed its new standalone app today called IGTV that’s dedicated to long-form video.
  • IGTV was revealed at an event today this morning where the company also shared that it now has 1 billion monthly active users.
 
MoviePass is going to introduce surge pricing on popular movies by July
  • By the end of the summer, you'll see some major changes to your MoviePass subscription — and you're not going to like them all.
  • MoviePass told Business Insider that by August members of the service would be able to add a friend when buying tickets through the app and would have the option, at an added price, to order tickets to Imax and Real 3D movies.
  • The first change to the service will happen in the coming weeks, when MoviePass will start charging members what CEO Mitch Lowe calls "high demand" pricing.
  • CEO Mitch Lowe: "At certain times for certain films — on opening weekend — there could be an additional charge for films"
  • The added charge will start at $2 for titles the app deems very popular with MoviePass subscribers
 
AMC is launching a MoviePass-like subscription service
  • The largest theater chain in America has announced that it will now offer a subscription service that allows patrons to watch up to three movies a week for $19.95 a month.
  • Called AMC Stubs A-List the online and smartphone-based subscription will allow members to watch multiple movies a day and let you see movies more than once.
  • There will be no online ticketing fees, and it will offer a discount on food and drinks at the concession stand. Plus Stubs A-List will be redeemable toward formats like IMAX and 3D and will also include special AMC locations such as Dine-Ins.
  • The service will allow you to make up to three movie reservations at once in advance without having to physically be at the theater
Direct download: CultCast_341_-_The_SAD_state_of_the_Mac.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:21pm PDT

This week:  the hidden iOS 12 features you need to know about!  Plus, in an all-new Under Review, we’ll tell you about one hecka good portable mouse, a pair of earphones that give you supersonic hearing, the king of all power banks, and a beautiful new wireless charger you’ll be proud to set your phone upon.  
 
This episode supported by
 
Easily create a website by yourself, at Squarespace.com/cultcast. Use offer code CultCast at checkout to get 10% off your first purchase of a website or domain.
 
The single-router wifi model just doesn’t work for our increasingly high-bandwidth world. The EEROdistributed 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 X, Apple Watch, Mac and iPad sparkling clean, and for a limited time use code CULTCAST at checkout to score a free CleanCloth with any order at CultCloth.co.
 
Thanks to Kevin McLeod for the music you hear on today’s episode.
 
On the show this week
 
iOS 12 UI tweaks let you interact with apps as they’re opening - buster
  • Your phone is always available to answer to your input.  No more waiting for animations to finish.  
  • You can launch an app and start scrolling within the app even before it fills the screen.
  • You can launch an app and then dismiss it even before the app has fully opened.
  • You can close and app and instantly open another app from the home screen before the closing animation has finished,
 
The best iOS 12 features Apple didn’t mention
  • Police across the country are purchasing a tool called GrayKey. When hooked to an iPhone’s Lightning port, this swiftly enters thousands of passcodes until the correct one is reached.
  • But just-released beta of iOS 12 can be set to partially deactivate the Lightning port after an iPhone hasn’t been used for an hour.
 
iOS 12 makes iPhones immune to ‘brute force’ unlocking
 
Under Review
 
Logitech MX Anywhere 2S wireless mouse
 
Spigen Essential F306W
 
Anker Powerhouse
 
Nuheara IQ Buds Boost
Direct download: CultCast_340_-_iOS_12_s_best_hidden_features.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:09am PDT

This week: It’s our WWDC 2018 reactions! Plus—our picks for the best new features announced at the keynote.
 
This episode supported by
 
Casper’s American-made mattresses have just the right amount of memory foam and latex, and people everywhere love them.  Learn why and get $50 towards any mattress at Casper.com/cultcast.
 
A business is only as strong as its people, and every hire matters… go to LinkedIn.com/cultcast and get a $50 credit toward your first job post.
 
Thanks to Kevin McLeodfor the music you hear on today’s episode.
 
On the show this week
 
All the important new stuff Apple revealed at WWDC 2018
 
Speed through the WWDC 2018 keynote with sketchnotes
  • It is always exciting to capture the WWDC keynote in sketchnotes, and this year we filled up four pages with drawings showcasing the biggest new features coming in iOS 12, macOS Mojave and watchOS 5.
 
iOS 12 definitely speeds up your iPhone
  • Side-by-side comparisons between iOS 12 beta 1 and version 11.4 show clear speed improvements.
 
Apple’s Craig Federighi explains how iOS apps will work on macOS
 
How iOS 12’s smartest features put users firmly back in control
  • If any other company had introduced Screen Time, the new system-wide toolset for limiting phone distractions, then it would (rightly) be dismissed as a gimmick, a sop to the increasing worries about phone addiction. But as is typical of Apple, Screen Time looks like it took a lot of work to get just right.
 
iOS 12 makes iPhones immune to ‘brute force’ unlocking
  • The just-released beta of iOS 12 can be set to partially deactivate the Lightning port after an iPhone hasn’t been used for an hour. This is a clear attempt to make useless the unlocking tools employed by law enforcement (or thieves).
 
Face ID in iOS 12 recognizes two different faces
  • The first iOS 12 developer beta debuted after today’s WWDC keynote. Intrepid souls who’ve already installed this early version on their iPhone X noticed that Face ID can be trained to recognize more than one person.
Direct download: CultCast_339_-_WWDC_18_Reactions_And_our_best-of-show_picks.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:01am PDT

This week:  It’s been a tight ship over there at Apple, so for the first time in a long time, we know almost nothing about what will be announced at an Apple Keynote.  
 
But we think there’s a good case for new hardware come Monday, and we’ll tell you why.  Plus, we’ll tell you everything we think we know about iOS 12.  And stick around for our ears-on, gaping-jaw review of two HomePods in stereo mode.
 
This episode supported by
 
Whether you’re looking to learn something new or just sharpen your skills, Udemy has over 65,000 courses starting at just 11.99.
Visit Ude.my/CULTCASTor download the Udemy app to learn anytime, anywhere.
 
CultCloth will keep your iPhone X, Apple Watch, Mac and iPad sparkling clean, and for a limited time use code CULTCAST at checkout to score a free CleanCloth with any order at CultCloth.co.
 
Thanks to Kevin McLeodfor the music you hear on today’s episode.
 
On the show this week
 
Apple delays big new iOS features to focus on stability in 2018
  • “Apple has shaken up its iOS software plans for 2018, delaying some features to next year in an effort to put more focus on addressing performance and quality issues,” reporter Ina Fried writes for Axios.
 
Cheaper HomePod, smarter Siri predicted for WWDC
  • Apple will introduce a Beat-branded $250 HomePod smart speaker at WWDC, predicts Apple analyst Gene Munster.
  • “The knock on HomePod is its $349 price is about 2-3x the price of a typical smart speaker,” Munster writes. “We believe Apple can advance its digital assistant ambitions with a $250 Beats-branded option that does not compromise HomePod’s $349 price point.”
 
iOS 11.4 Launches Today With AirPlay 2 and Messages in iCloud, HomePod Gets Multi-Room Audio, Stereo Pairing
 
iOS 11.4 finally brings HomePod stereo pairs and AirPlay 2
  • iOS 11.4 is finally here, bringing AirPlay 2’s multi-room audio capabilities as well as the long-awaited ability to use two HomePods in stereo.
  • Apple also said the HomePod will arrive in Canada, France and Germany by June 18. The speaker is currently available in the United States, United Kingdom and Australia.
  • Using HomePod as TV speakers
 
Ears-on review: Stereo HomePods will blow you away
 
How to use iOS 11.4’s Messages in iCloud
  • The iOS 11.4 update finally brings iCloud support for Messages, which means messages will sync across all devices, and can even be deleted from an iPhone or iPad that’s short on space. But they will remain accessible from the cloud
  • Why use Messages in iCloud sync?
    • Any messages you send or receive on your iPhone will be almost instantly synced to your Mac and iPad. But it has limits. One is that, if you set up a new device, then you will not see any of your old messages or conversations.
    • Also, each one of your devices currently backs up its entire Message library, which is a waste of space on your iCloud drive.
    • You can also remove old messages from a device, but still have access to them in future, saving a ton of space on your iPhone. Or you could choose to automatically delete old messages from your iPhone, but keep the full history on your Mac.
    • Link to how to turn it on in the show notes. You can also manage and delete the messages you have stored in the cloud.
Direct download: CultCast_338_-_Hardware__Software__It_s_our_WWDC_2018_predictions.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:05pm PDT

This week:  
  • The press passes are out, the WWDC keynote is around the corner.  We gotta talk about it and we’ll tell a new way you can watch it live.
  • New details out this week show the Apple car has taken yet another sad and disappointing turn.  We’ll you where it’s at now.
  • It’s the 12 year anniversary of one of Apple’s best creations—we remember Apple’s incredible Get a Mac ads.
  • And thoroughly embarrass our ourselves in an all-new Get To Know Ur Cultist.
 
This episode supported by
 
Easily create a website by yourself, at Squarespace.com/cultcast. Use offer code CultCast at checkout to get 10% off your first purchase of a website or domain.
 
The single-router wifi model just doesn’t work for our increasingly high-bandwidth world. The EEROdistributed 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 X, Apple Watch, Mac and iPad sparkling clean, and for a limited time use code CULTCAST at checkout to score a free CleanCloth with any order at CultCloth.co.
 
Thanks to Kevin McLeodfor the music you hear on today’s episode.
 
On the show this week
 
Apple confirms WWDC 2018 keynote livestream
  • Press invites for the June 4 keynote were sent out today. And guess what?
  • Cult of Mac is on this year’s guest list, so we’ll be live blogging all of the action from ground zero at the San Jose convention center.
  • For the rest of you shlubs, Apple will give you a front row seat to the keynote on June 4th.
  • WWDC 2018 is expected to include the unveiling of iOS 12, macOS 10.14, tvOS 12 and watchOS 5. Other rumors have suggested that Apple may unveil new hardware such as new MacBook Pros, or possibly an iPhone SE 2.
 
WWDC livestream will support Chrome and Firefox this year
  • As always, you’ll be able to watch it using Apple’s Safari browser, the WWDC app or Apple TV. However, for the first time Apple is also supporting Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox.
  • But does this mean you’ll be able to watch the stream on PC?  Unsure.
 
Apple teams with VW for self-driving bus project
  • Apple originally began its car project — known internally as Titan and T172 — in 2014. At the time, Apple planned to build a single vehicle that would upend society and industry, in what would be the automotive version of the iPhone. The company set to work on an electric driverless car with a lush interior reminiscent of a lounge or living room, where passengers face each other instead of the road, according to two early employees of the project.
  • But Apple soon learned that making a car is really hard, so they tried to partner with BMW and Mercedes.  But as Apple always does, they made things difficult by insisting on controlling the car experience and customer relationship, so the
  • Now?  Well, they’re making an Apple Park shuttle bus.  with VW.
  • Apple has inked a deal with Volkswagen that will allow the iPhone-maker to turn some of its T6 vans into self-driving shuttles for employees.
  • Apple’s self-driving shuttle bus is behind schedule, thought, according to The New York Times. Nearly all of Cupertino’s car team is working just on the VW vans project, but the 2018 deadline will be missed.
  • And what happens after the shuttle bus? No one knows.
 
Today in Apple history: Apple’s ‘Get a Mac’ campaign comes to an end
  • May 21, 2010: Apple quietly ends its long-running, award-winning “Get a Mac” marketing campaign.
  • Debuting in 2006, the ads starred actor Justin Long as the cool, youthful Mac. Comedian John Hodgman portrayed the stuffy, awkward PC. Alongside the “Think Different” and the iPod “Silhouette” campaigns, “Get a Mac” will become one of the most fondly remembered extended ad campaigns in Apple history.
  • The U.S. ads ran for the next few years, with 66 television spots in total. The campaign also spread to other markets, with alternate actors playing the Mac and PC roles.
  • Apple aired the last “Get a Mac” TV ad in October 2009, marking the beginning of the end for the campaign.
  • But the clever marketing continued on Apple’s website. On May 21, 2010, Apple finally replaced its “Get a Mac” page with a “Why You’ll Love a Mac” page.
Direct download: CultCast_337_-_It_s_trueApple_s_building_a_BUS.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:29pm PDT

Don’t buy any new MacBook Pro until you hear this episode—seriously.  
 
There are growing reports, tons of complaints, and a new petition claiming the butterfly keyboard in the new MacBook Pro has a critical design flaw that can’t be fixed.  This episode we explore the issue with Matthew Taylor, creator of the keyboard recall petition, who tells us what’s going wrong with Apple’s butterfly keyboard, why it can’t be fixed, and why almost 30,000 people are demanding it be recalled.
 
And stick around for a innovative new iPhone gimbal, a very cool throwback iPhone case, and the perfect green screen for your Twitch or Youtube streams in an all-new Under Review.
 
This episode supported by
 
Whether you’re looking to learn something new or just sharpen your skills, Udemy has over 65,000 courses starting at just 11.99.
Visit Ude.my/CULTCASTor download the Udemy app to learn anytime, anywhere.
 
CultCloth will keep your iPhone X, Apple Watch, Mac and iPad sparkling clean, and for a limited time use code CULTCAST at checkout to score a free CleanCloth with any order at CultCloth.co.
 
Thanks to Kevin McLeodfor the music you hear on today’s episode.
 
On the show this week
 
MacBook butterfly keyboard problems spawn recall petition [Update]
  • The butterfly keyboard in recent MacBooks draws frequent complaints. And these have now escalated to the point where an online petition is requesting that Apple recall every MacBook Pro released since 2016.
  • The “butterfly” name comes from the shape of each key’s internal mechanism. In the 2015 MacBook, Apple replaced the old scissor design with one reminiscent of a butterfly.
  • It’s supposed to more evenly distribute the pressure from tapping on the keys. As mentioned, it’s also 40 percent thinner.
 
Jason Snell:
  • “Apple’s relative silence on this issue for existing customers is deafening. If these problems are remotely as common as they seem to be, this is an altogether defective product that should be recalled.”
 
John Gruber:
  • “This keyboard has to be one of the biggest design screwups in Apple history. Everyone who buys a MacBook depends upon the keyboard and this keyboard is undependable.”
 
Marco Arment:
  • “Butterfly keyswitches are a design failure…. they are fatally unreliable.”
 
Casey Neistat:
  • Pic on twitter with caption: what am i supposed to do when the space bar stops working. WHAT WERE THEY THINKING WITH THIS FCKING KEYBOARD
 
 
Apple’s ‘butterfly’ MacBook keyboard problems bring class action lawsuit
  • A lawsuit filed in federal court claims that the keyboard used in all the MacBook Pros and MacBooks made for several years is defective. The plaintiffs request that this be made into a class action lawsuit, and that Apple be required to replace all the affected keyboards at no cost to users.
  • The lawsuit also requests punitive damages because, as they claim, Apple continued to build and sell laptops with the “butterfly” keyboard even though the company knew it was defective.
 
Keyboard petition on Change.org
 
Spiffy new iPhone X cases look like original iMac and iPhone
 
 
Under Review!
 
FreeFly Movi iPhone gimbal
 
Classic C1: iPhone X case inspired by iMac G3
 
Elgato Green Screen
 
Tiny Tower Laptop Stand
Direct download: CultCast_336_-_Don_t_buy_a_MacBook_Pro_until_you_hear_this_episode.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:23pm PDT

This week:
  • Apple is secretly building a TV empire
  • Google’s new AI assistant has a feature you have to see to believe
  • Financial filings show MoviePass’s time is running out
  • Our favorite lesser-known iOS and Mac apps
  • And… why do men have nipples?  We answer your most burning questions in an all-new CultCast QnA 🔥
 
On the show this week
 
This episode supported by
 
Casper’s American-made mattresses have just the right amount of memory foam and latex, and people everywhere love them.  Learn why and get $50 towards any mattress at Casper.com/cultcast.
 
The single-router wifi model just doesn’t work for our increasingly high-bandwidth world. The EEROdistributed 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 X, Apple Watch, Mac and iPad sparkling clean, and for a limited time use code CULTCAST at checkout 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.
 
All the important stuff revealed at Google I/O
  • An updated version of Google Maps aims to keep you in-the-know about what’s going on around you. There’s a new tab called “For You” that’s designed to tell you about events in neighborhoods you care about.
  • You can now hold your phone up to the world in front of you and Maps will overlay walking directions that make finding your way around a new city easier.
  • A very human-sounding Google Assistant made a call on behalf of it’s owner to book a haircut, and the result was was magical as it was creepy. The most impressive thing was that the person on the receiving end of the call didn’t seem to suspect they were talking to an AI
 
Every single TV series Apple is currently making
  • After going on a spending spree in Hollywood the last eight months, Apple appears to be poised to make a huge push into original content.
  • Apple has 13 shows in development.
 
Today’s SEC filing suggests MoviePass’ time is running out
  • The future doesn’t look promising for MovePass
  • According to a recent financial filing, the company has spent an average of $21.7 million per month for the stretch between October 2017 through April 2018, but as of April 30th, MoviePass has just $15.5 million in cash
 
Apple ‘cash machine’ puts profits ahead of innovation
  • Apple to many seems to have lost its mojo for innovation. But it knows how to build a pile of cash.
  • This is the impression of Silicon Valley venture capitalist Chamath Palihapitiya, who told CNBC Wednesday:
    • “I think Apple is a productive cash machine,”  “Is it a font of innovation? Unclear, trending to probably"
Direct download: CultCast_335_-_Apple_s_secret_TV_empire.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:03am PDT

This week’s very HOT stories: 
  • Analysts were wrong—iPhone X is a massive hit
  • The death of 3D Touch starts with 2018 iPhone
  • The world’s most famous Apple analyst may no longer be reporting on Apple
  • Apple’s AirPort router lineup is officially dead
  • And we pitch you our favorite shows, movies, and vodka in an all-new Under Review!
 
This episode supported by
 
Easily create a website by yourself, at Squarespace.com/cultcast. Use offer code CultCast at checkout to get 10% off your first purchase of a website or domain.
 
CultCloth will keep your iPhone X, Apple Watch, Mac and iPad sparkling clean, and for a limited time use code CULTCAST at checkout 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 AirPort router lineup is officially dead
  • Apple introduced the AirPort lineup back in 2003 when it was starting to ride the high from the original iPod
  • Apple decided to finally put the nail in the coffin for its lineup of AirPort routers that haven’t been updated in years.
  • Statement: “We’re discontinuing the Apple AirPort base station products. They will be available through Apple.com, Apple’s retail stores and Apple Authorized Resellers while supplies last.”
 
Analysts were wrong: iPhone X is a massive hit
  • Apple blew analysts’ expectations out of the water this afternoon with its historic Q2 2018 earnings report that saw the company post the most revenue ever in the March quarter.
  • Tim Cook and Apple CFO Luca Maestri were giddy during Tuesday's call with investors. Everyone expected the iPhone X to be a bust, but even Apple was surprised by its success as it still dominates the iPhone sales charts.
 
Death of 3D Touch starts with 2018 iPhone
  • A very reliable analyst predicts one of the iPhones coming in autumn won’t have this pressure-sensitive technology, and none of the 2019 devices will.
  • Ming-Chi Kuo says it’s all because Apple is changing the components of its displays to make them lighter and less likely to break.
  • The analyst says sources in Apple’s supply chain told him that the 6.1-inch LCD iPhone, expected this fall, will use a CGS (Cover Glass Sensor) process. This means the touch sensor will no longer integrated with the actual display, but will instead be part of the cover that protects the LCD underneath.
  • The CGS displays weigh less than the current ones, and are more shock-resistant, according to Kuo. But they also cost more. To save money, Apple is going to leave out the 3D Touch sensor.
  • The KGI analyst says all 2019 models will use the CGS process, even the OLED ones, and therefore they won’t have 3D Touch.
 
World’s most famous Apple analyst may no longer be reporting on Apple
  • it seems that Kuo is moving on to greener pastures for a job with another firm. Unfortunately for Apple fans, this may mean focusing on non-Apple companies instead.
  • According to Kuo’s LinkedIn profile, he joined KGI in January 2012.
  • While Kuo is well known, he keeps a low profile and doesn’t do interviews. Very few pictures of him can be found online
 
Update: Unlimited MoviePass is back, but now it sucks
 
What we’re INTO
 
Red Paddle Co Inflatable Paddle Board
 
Santa Clarita Diet
 
A Quiet Place
 
St. George’s Green Chili Vodka
Direct download: CultCast_334_-_The_Death_of_3D_Touch_.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:01pm PDT

This week: 
  • How Steve Jobs saved Pixar, then stole all their stock
  • iPhone SE will steal one of iPhone X’s best features
  • Told ya!  MoviePass ends its unlimited movie option
  • Gal Gadot promotes Huawei on twitter… from her iPhone
  • What the heck happened to the AirPower Mat?
  • And we wrap with the best iPhone camera lenses, wireless security system, and the most powerful flashlight on EARTH in an all-new under review.
 
This episode supported by
 
Students around the world choose Udemy to discover new passions, expand their skills, and even change careers.
Visit Ude.my/CULTCASTor download the Udemy app to learn anytime, anywhere.
 
CultCloth will keep your iPhone X, Apple Watch, Mac and iPad sparkling clean, and for a limited time use code CULTCAST at checkout 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
 
 
Gal Gadot: I didn't cheat on Huawei Mate 10 Pro with iPhone
  • Gal Gadot, best known for the lead role in the Wonder Woman movie, became a ‘brand ambassador’ for Huawei earlier this year. In that role, she yesterday tweeted a glowing video about her new Huawei Mate 10 – with just one small problem
  • Marques Brownlee spotted, the tweet was sent from Twitter for iPhone.
  • Gadot’s publicist told CNET there was a perfectly innocent explanation.
    • “Some people have asked about my recent post with my new Huawei smartphone, and think I am using an iPhone,” Gadot said through her publicist. “That’s simply not the case. I love my Huawei P20 and Mate10Pro. They are lifelines wherever I am in the world.”
 
New iPhone SE will steal one of iPhone X’s best features
  • iPhone SE is looking to be a real beauty.  
  • Reliable leaker Benjamin Geskin claims the new iPhone SE, codenamed Jaguar, will feature wireless charging just like iPhone X. To make that possible, Apple is expected to scrap the handset’s aluminum unibody first introduced with iPhone 5 in favor of a shiny glass back panel.
  • Hopefully it’s waterproof and gets Touch ID 2.
  • The new iPhone SE, with a faster A10 Fusion processor, will likely make its official debut next month, according to recent reports.
 
What happened to the AirPower Mat?
  • At its September 2017 event, Apple said AirPower would appear some time in 2018, but since then we've barely heard a peep about about it.
  • AirPower will charge multiple devices at the same time, and while other mats out there can do that too, Apple says AirPower can help devices communicate with each other to manage power consumption.
  • It’s been 7 months now and we haven’t heard a peep.
  • Will the WDDC keynote on June 4th be the day?
 
 
Today in Apple history: Pixar gets out of the computer game
  • April 25, 1990: Steve Jobs shuts down Pixar’s hardware division (yes, it used to have one!), ending production of the pricey Pixar Image Computers immediately.
  • Pixar was Jobs’ “rebound” company after his departure from Apple in 1985. In early 1986, he bought a majority interest in Pixar from  George Lucas for just $5 million bucks.
  • When Lucas owned the company, he led the development of the Pixar Image Computer. George found existing computers too weak to handle the graphics needed to produce Pixar’s work (or to meet the demands of Hollywood studios that hired the company).
  • However, the computers sold poorly — and to a relatively small number of buyers.
  • When Pixar’s five-person Animation Group won an Oscar for its short film Tin Toy in 1989, Jobs’ interests switched to that team, which he previously planned to kill off due to its inability to turn a profit. The hardware division got canned instead.  
  • But then the story gets a strange twist.
 
Moment iPhone X lenses
 
Imalent DX80
 
Simpli Safe
 
Buster’s Instagram
 
Direct download: CultCast_333_-_How_Steve_Jobs_saved_Pixar_then_stole_all_their_stock.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:52pm PDT

This week: 
  • Apple threatens employees to quit leaking, or go to jail!
  • Apple’s building new tools to help you know just how addicted you are to that iPhone of yours.  We’ll fill you in.
  • It looks like a new iPhone SE will be landing real soon.  We’ll tell you what we know.
  • And we reveal all the cool stuff we’re currently into in an all-new What We’re Into!
 
This episode supported by
 
Easily create a website by yourself, at Squarespace.com/cultcast.  Use offer code CultCast at checkout to get 10% off your first purchase of a website or domain.
 
Casper’s American-made mattresses have just the right amount of memory foam and latex, and people everywhere love them.  Learn why and get $50 towards any mattress at Casper.com/cultcast.
 
On the show this week
 
 
Tim Cook won’t compromise Mac and iPad by combining them
  • With Apple planning to move Macs to Arm chips, and the rumored unification of iOS and macOS apps, you might be anxious Apple might just go ahead and combine your iPhone and Mac into some God forsake combo device.
  • Tim Cook recently stated that merging the Mac and iPad lines would be bad for both. He told a reporter from The Sydney Morning Herald, “We don’t believe in sort of watering down one for the other. Both are incredible. One of the reasons that both of them are incredible is because we pushed them to do what they do well. And if you begin to merge the two … you begin to make trade offs and compromises.”
 
Leaked Apple memo details efforts to stop leaks
  • In a leaked memo detailing Apple’s efforts to stop leaks, the company says it caught 29 leakers in 2017. Of those caught, 12 were arrested. Apple told employees they are “getting played” by journalists and bloggers that approach them with flattery in exchange for information.
 
Apple should battle smartphone addiction, iPod creator says
  • Former Apple executive, father of the iPod and current Nest CEO Tony Fadell wants Apple to do more to battle smartphone addiction.
  • In a newly published op-ed, Fadell argues that it would be “easy” for Apple to create a deep dashboard that could reveal exactly how much time we spend on different apps.
  • Fadell suggests that users could receive a regular itemized list like a credit card bill, complete with detailed information about how long they spent on each app, or even what they were doing inside each app.
  • It turns out Apple agrees, and has said that it plans to incorporate smartphone-monitoring features into the next version of iOS.
 
Apple plans to launch the Apple Music of magazines
  • Apple is planning to launch its own premium subscription magazine service as part of the Apple News app, a new report claims.
  • Earlier this year, the company acquired magazine app Texture. Texture offers more than 200 magazines for a rolling price of $9.99 per month.
  • Since acquiring Texture, Apple has reportedly parted ways with 20 of Texture’s 100 employees. The remaining ones are now being integrated into the Apple News team. An app combining Apple News and Texture is expected to launch sometime in the next year.
  • When the iPad first launched in 2010, one of the apps Steve Jobs was most excited about was The Daily, a short-lived, iPad-exclusive newspaper that was the first subscription app Apple offered.
 
Apple filings hint a bunch of new iPhone models are coming soon
  • The Eurasian Economic Commission (EEC) — which has previously leaked the iPhone 7, AirPods, and new MacBooks early — has now spilled the beans on a bunch of new handsets Apple is planning to release this year.
  • Given that the iPhone X and iPhone 8 launched just six months ago, they will almost certainly be new versions of iPhone SE.
  • Apple’s newest iPhone SE launched last March with increased storage, but the rest of the device has remained unchanged since March 2016. Current models still pack an aging A9 processor that first made its debut inside the iPhone 6 in 2014.
  • A new version of the iPhone SE will probably offer the same physical design, again with a 4-inch Retina display, but with more recent internals. Apple could give the device a more powerful A10 chip alongside improved cameras.
Direct download: CultCast_332_-_Goodbye_Apple_leaks_.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:38pm PDT

This week: 
  • HomePod is already stumbling in sales—is it doomed?  
  • Apple Is the richest company on earth, so where are all its billionaires?
  • Face ID could replace passwords on your favorite websites
  • The death of Touch ID scheduled for this fall
  • And stay tuned for Under Review, where we go hands on with an $80 tech-packed coffee cup, a beautiful new HomeKit smart lock, and the all-new Mavic Air drone.

 

This week: 
  • HomePod is already stumbling in sales—is it doomed?  
  • Apple Is the richest company on earth, so where are all its billionaires?
  • Face ID could replace passwords on your favorite websites
  • The death of Touch ID scheduled for this fall
  • And stay tuned for Under Review, where we go hands on with an $80 tech-packed coffee cup, a beautiful new HomeKit smart lock, and the all-new Mavic Air drone.
 
This episode supported by
 
Easily create a website by yourself, at Squarespace.com/cultcast. Use offer code CultCast at checkout to get 10% off your first purchase of a website or domain.
 
The single-router wifi model just doesn’t work for our increasingly high-bandwidth world. The EEROdistributed system will blanket your home in hyper-fast, reliable WiFi, and you can score free overnight shipping with code "CultCast" at checkout.
 
On the show this week
 
New RED iPhone 8
So beautiful. So red.
 
Join us for a live hangout on Friday the 13th, 12PM Pacific!
 
Erfon’s YouTube review of the tech-packed Ember Ceramic mug
 
Apple's Stumbling HomePod Isn't the Hot Seller Company Wanted
  • Is the HomePod toast?
  • According to some Apple store workers, inventories are piling up and Apple has cut orders with their manufacturer.
  • "At first, it looked like the HomePod might be a hit. Pre-orders were strong, and in the last week of January the device grabbed about a third of the U.S. smart speaker market in unit sales, according to data provided to Bloomberg by Slice Intelligence. But by the time HomePods arrived in stores, sales were tanking, says Slice principal analyst Ken Cassar. “Even when people had the ability to hear these things,” he says, “it still didn’t give Apple another spike.””
  • According to Slice Intelligence: During the HomePod’s first 10 weeks of sales, it eked out 10 percent of the smart speaker market, compared with 73 percent for Amazon’s Echo devices and 14 percent for the Google Home
  • Why aren’t people buying HomePods?
 
 
Apple Is the Richest Company, So Where Are the Billionaires?
  • Did you know it wasn’t Apple that made Steve Jobs a billionaire? It was Pixar selling to Disney.  
  • Well it seems, as the world’s richest company, Apple would have many billionaires in its ranks.  Turns out it doesn’t, and two astute reporters at Bloomberg wondering why.
  • Apple Chairman Art Levinson is the only insider billionaire at Apple, and his Apple stock only accounts for $200 of his fortune.
  • It’s estimated that Tim Cook is only worth 600 million dollars.
  • Steve Jobs sold all but one of his shares when he was ousted from the company.
  • One theory is that large stockholders sold off their shares in 1997 when Apple was on the brink of bankruptcy.
  • Apple is smart with their executive pay, tying significant parts of compensation to company performance.
  • Only corporate insiders or shareholders with stakes exceeding 5 percent are required to report their interests, so it’s possible there are billionaires around.
 
Face ID could replace passwords on your favorite websites
  • Face ID could become even more useful thanks to a newly launched Web Authentication standard, which could replace regular web passcodes with biometric identification. This is via an API created by the FIDO Alliance and W3C. It allows users to access any online service in a browser through password-free FIDO Authentication.
  • While Apple already allows Face ID to autofill usernames and passcodes on iOS, this could go one step further by replacing the passcode altogether. This would make it a more secure option.
  • The biometric services covered by the API include fingerprint readers, cameras and USB keys.
  • At present, the feature can be used in Mozilla’s Firefox browser, with Google Chrome and Microsoft Edge integration set to follow in the coming months. Opera integration is in the works, too, although sadly there’s no mention of Apple adopting this for Safari.
 
Death of Touch ID scheduled for this fall
  • All of the 2018 iPhone models will have Face ID, according to an industry analyst.
  • The analyst also indicated that two of the three models coming this fall will have OLED displays. There will be one medium-size and two bigger iPhones, both larger than any before.
  • He’s also expecting a price drop on the iPhone X to $899, with the X Plus costing $999.
  • Could that mean a move to FaceID on the Mac?
 
Under Review!
 
 
 
Direct download: CultCast_331_-_Is_HomePod_already_doomed_.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:39pm PDT

This week: 
  • Whoa!  Apple just stole Google’s head of A.I. to make Siri smarter
  • Apple plans to ditch Intel processors on the Mac 
  • You won’t believe the massive cash being pay to silicon valley’s A.I. talent
  • Future iPhones could boast curved displays and touch-free controls
  • iOS 11.4 public beta arrives with AirPlay 2, but it won’t work with your HomePod
  • And a Leander gives us the scoop on his new Tim Cook book!
 
This episode supported by
 
Casper’s American-made mattresses have just the right amount of memory foam and latex, and people everywhere love them.  Learn why and get $50 towards any mattress at Casper.com/cultcast.
 
The air you were meant to breathe is finally here. For $75 off your first order, visit molekule.com and enter the code CULTCAST at checkout. 
 
CultCloth will keep your iPhone X, Apple Watch, Mac and iPad sparkling clean, and for a limited time use code CULTCAST at checkout to score a free CleanCloth with any order at CultCloth.co.
 
Thanks to Kevin McLeod for the music you hear on today’s episode.
 
On the show this week
 
CultCast live hangout on Friday the 13th at 12PM PST!
 
Apple steals Google’s A.I. wiz to make Siri smarter
  • John Giannandrea used to be in charge of Google’s search and artificial intelligence, but now he works for Apple.  He’s leading the drive to make the company’s Siri voice assistant smarter, a goal many would agree is overdue.
  • NYT: Apple said on Tuesday that Mr. Giannandrea will run Apple’s “machine learning and A.I. strategy,” and become one of 16 executives who report directly to Apple’s chief executive, Timothy D. Cook.
  • This is the most high-profile move yet in a ongoing drive to hire more talent for the Siri team.
  • Mr. Giannandrea came to Google in 2010, where he helped make AI and machine learning part of all the company’s products, from search to Gmail. And now he’s doing that for Apple.
  • Apple is also looking to hire  to hire 142 more people for Siri-related jobs, almost twice as many as this time last year.
 
Tech Giants Are Paying Huge Salaries for Scarce A.I. Talent
  • Fun fact: Engineers with A.I. expertise are some of the most sought-after people in Silicon Valley, with salaries sometimes exceeding eight figures.
  • Tech’s biggest companies are placing huge bets on artificial intelligence, banking on things ranging from face-scanning smartphones and conversational coffee-table gadgets to computerized health care and autonomous vehicles.
  • Typical A.I. specialists, including both Ph.D.s fresh out of school and people with less education and just a few years of experience, can be paid from $300,000 to $500,000 a year or more in salary and company stock
  • In a court filing this year, Google revealed that one of the leaders of its self-driving-car division, Anthony Levandowski, a longtime employee who started with Google in 2007, took home over $120 million in incentives before joining Uber last year
  • In the entire world, fewer than 10,000 people have the skills necessary to tackle serious artificial intelligence research, according to Element AI, an independent lab in Montreal.
  • Not enough teachers because they all get lured into making their fortunes
  • Over the last several years, four of the best-known A.I. researchers in academia have left or taken leave from their professorships at Stanford University. At the University of Washington, six of 20 artificial intelligence professors are now on leave or partial leave and working for outside companies.
  • Nonprofits like Fast.ai and companies like Deeplearning.ai, founded by a former Stanford professor who helped create the Google Brain lab, offer online courses.
 
 
Future iPhones could boast curved displays and touch-free controls
  • According to Bloomberg, Apple is working on touchless gesture controls and curved screens for future iPhones
  • The touchless control feature would be a bit like the Air Gestures feature Samsung introduced several years back. This allows users to accept calls and navigate through web pages by waving their hands across the screen.
  • The other new technology is for a curved display more noticeable than the slight curve seen on the iPhone X’s OLED screen. Unlike Samsung’s curved handsets, which curve down at the edges, Apple’s approach reportedly curves “inward gradually from top to bottom.”
 
iOS 11.4 public beta arrives with AirPlay 2, but it won’t work with your HomePod just yet
 
 
Apple plans to ditch Intel processors on the Mac 
  • Apple is pushing forward with plans to ditch Intel’s processors in favor of its own chips, according to a new report that claims the transition away from Intel CPUs will likely take multiple steps.
  • Bloomberg says that Apple executives have already approved the project to make the Mac run on ARM-based processors by 2020.
  • Moving to its own chips inside Macs would let Apple release new models on its own timelines, instead of relying on Intel’s processor roadmap.
  • Making the move to ARM chips won’t be easy though. All software would basically have to be rewritten for the new processors, which certainly won’t make developers happy.
  • Pluses
    •  Intel chips have stalled in major progress, leaving little reason for many to update from older computers.
    • The A11 bionic chip inside the iPhone X beats meets or beats Geekbench scores of the fastest 2017 13” MacBook Pro
    • No more waiting on Intel!  More regular releases of Macs with updated hardware.
    • Even tighter integration of your Mac, iPhone, iPad, and other  devices
  • Concerns
    • Machines not capable with doing pro work.  Sure the X beats a 13” MBP, but what about a desktop  4-core or 6-core chip with hyper threading?
    • is this going to mean Macs that are more like phones and iPads? (efficient but not very powerful)
    • Even more of a walled-garden as Apple fine-tunes it’s machines to work best with it’s own software, but 3rd party apps may not follow
Direct download: CultCast_330_-__Apple_ditches_Intel_.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:27am PDT

This week: Apple has powered up the new iPad so much, it’s hard to resist!  Plus: what you need to know about iOS 11.3; everything Apple revealed at its “field trip” event; report says  Watch Plus is incoming; and you asked, we answer—from the best Home apps, to our Mac Mini predictions, to Commando Vs. Predator—we answer your most burning questions.
 
This episode supported by
 
Easily create a website by yourself, at Squarespace.com.  Use offer code CultCast at checkout to get 10% off your first purchase of a website or domain.
 
Print postage from your office and take advantage of special shipping discounts at pb.com/cultcast, and beat the postage rate increase with exclusive discounts on letters.  Plans start at just $5 a month!
 
CultCloth will keep your iPhone X, Apple Watch, Mac and iPad sparkling clean, and for a limited time use code CULTCAST at checkout 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 is finally selling a space gray keyboard and mouse
  • Mac fans that love the look of the new space gray iMac Pro — but don’t want to plop down four grand — can finally buy the computer’s coveted accessories separately. 
  • The space srey keyboard costs $149. That’s $20 more than the normal silver keyboard Buying a space gray 
  • Magic Mouse will set you back $99, while the normal version costs just $79. The black Lightning cable that comes with the iMac Pro is still exclusively available to iMac Pro owners, though.
 
New in iOS 11.3
  • New Animoji
  • Battery tools
  • Privacy popups
  • HomePod update 
 
 
Everything Apple revealed at its ‘field trip’ event
  • New 9.7inch iPad
  • Updates to iWork
  • Updated Classroom and new Schoolwork Cloud Apps
  • ClassKitAPI
  • More iCloud storage for students and teachers
 
iPad vs. iPad Pro: Which is right for you?
  • According to early benchmarks, the new iPad is the fastest Apple device behind the iPad Pro and the latest iPhone lineup. It also outperforms both the iPhone 7 and the iPhone 7 Plus.
  • $329 for 32GB, $429 for $429
  • Three times faster than iPad Air, and almost twice as fast a as the Air 2.  Almost 80% faster than the 2017 iPad.
 
 
Direct download: CultCast_329_-_The_new_iPad_EXCITES_us_.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:49pm PDT

This week: 
  • Apple’s surprise education event could showcase new, cheaper hardware 🔥
  • A huge upgrade is may be coming to the screens of Apple products
  • Why 2018’s iPhone X refresh could cost less than last year’s model
  • Fortnite streamers are striking it rich, and the iOS version will totally blow your mind
 
This episode supported by
 
Easily create a website by yourself, at Squarespace.com.  Use offer code CultCast at checkout to get 10% off your first purchase of a website or domain.
 
Print postage from your office and take advantage of special shipping discounts at pb.com/cultcast, and beat the postage rate increase with exclusive discounts on letters.  Plans start at just $5 a month!
 
CultCloth will keep your iPhone X, Apple Watch, Mac and iPad sparkling clean, and for a limited time use code CULTCAST at checkout to score a free CleanCloth with any order at CultCloth.co.
 
On the show this week
 
 
Apple’s surprise education event could showcase new, cheaper hardware
  • Apple issued invites last Friday for an education-themed event in Chicago on March 27.
  • The invite promises “creative new ideas for teachers and students.” That could indicate the arrival of more-affordable Apple devices — like the new MacBook Air and iPad we’ve been hearing about.
  • Apple is hosting the event in a high school, rather than on its Cupertino campus or at a convention center in the San Francisco Bay Area.
  • KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo previously claimed Apple has a more-affordable MacBook Air in the pipeline. The lightweight laptop, which has been looking a little long in the tooth for a while now, might get a Retina display and updated internals.
  • Reports indicate the new MacBook Air could cost as little as $799. The 9.7-inch iPad could drop to $259. If so, the devices’ lower price tags would make them ideal for students and schools on a budget.
  • Caligragphy on invitation--I’m guessing the new cheaper iPad will support the Apple Pencil, currently only supported on the iPad Pro models.
 
 
Apple developing its own ‘MicroLED’ displays for future devices (A huge upgrade coming to the screens of Apple products)
  • What is microLED?  Before we get to that, we need to talk about current screen technology.
    • Most of the screens you see today are LCD, Liquid Crystal Display illuminated with  backlight (usually LEDs).
      • LCDs are easy to manufacture, cheap, and perform well over a long period of time.  
      • But because they have a back light, colors can look washed out, especially blacks
    • The iPhone X has an OLED display. Each OLED pixel can self illuminate when exposed to electrical current, so there’s no need for back light.  This results is much better contrast ratios, more saturated colors, and the best black levels you can get.
    • But OLED suffers from burn in, aka image retention, and they’re not very bright.  Plus their brightness degrades over time.
  • microLED is kind of the best of both worlds. It has a longer life span.  Absolute blacks, and it’s about 30x brighter than OLED. it can also illuminate at the pixel level without a backlight.
 
iPhone X spells doom for pricey smartphones
  • iPhone X enjoyed a positive start as hardcore Apple fans busted open their savings and skipped rent to be the first to get their hands on the company’s best smartphone yet. But now that the early adopters have been served, iPhone X just isn’t selling.
  • Analysts have been reporting for several months that iPhone X demand is significantly weaker than expected — and falling further by the day. They say holiday sales were poor, and they don’t expect the situation to improve before Apple introduces new models this fall.
  • Analysts are warning that the market “may not tolerate” rising smartphone prices.
 
 
2018’s iPhone X refresh could cost less than last year’s model
  • The iPhone X’s $1,000 price point has been hard to swallow for a lot of customers, which may help explain why sales have supposedly been a bit disappointing.
  • According to a new report, Apple has managed to reduce its manufacturing bill of materials (MBOM) for this year’s iPhone X-sized handset to a level much lower than that of its present flagship.
  • The report suggests that Apple’s manufacturing cost for the new iPhone could be more than 10 percent lower than the $400+ dollars it pays for each iPhone X model.
  • Apple will allegedly launch two new OLED iPhones this year, including a 5.85-inch (the same size as the iPhone X) and 6.45-inch OLED model, as well as a 6.1-inch LCD model. A plan to produce a 5.85-inch LCD iPhone has reportedly been suspended since mid-February, and could be cancelled altogether.
  • Theory: Plus-sized phone price will probably be that of iPhone X with 5.85-inch phone being price of today’s 8 Plus.  LCD version of the phone will take on iPhone 8 pricing.
 
Fortnite on iOS will totally blow your mind 
  • Fortnite is a free-to-play battle royale game that has become hugely popular, thanks to its unique gameplay, colorful graphics, and weekly content updates. It throws you into a massive map against 99 others with just one mission: Be the last one to survive.
  • On iPhone and iPad, you get exactly the same 100-player game you’re used to playing on consoles. You battle it out on the same map with all of the same content.
 
This 26-year-old makes $500,000 a month streaming Fortnite on Twitch
Direct download: CultCast_328_-_New_Hardware_at_Apples_Education_Event_.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:56pm PDT

This week: 
  • Leander goes to the Spaceship campus and he’s back to tell us all about it.
  • Siri sucks, Apple knows it, and they’re not sure how to fix it.
  • Our 2018 WWDC hardware expectations!
  • And you asked, we answer:  Has Tesla become more innovative than Apple? Plus our very honest opinions about the price, features, and value of the MacBook Pro with Touch bar.
 
This episode supported by
 
Easily create a website by yourself, at Squarespace.com.  Use offer code CultCast at checkout to get 10% off your first purchase of a website or domain.
 
Print postage from your office and take advantage of special shipping discounts at pb.com/cultcast, and beat the postage rate increase with exclusive discounts on letters.  Plans start at just $5 a month!
 
CultCloth will keep your iPhone X, Apple Watch, Mac and iPad sparkling clean, and for a limited time use code CULTCAST at checkout to score a free CleanCloth with any order at CultCloth.co.
 
On the show this week
 
WWDC 2018 returns to San Jose, runs June 4 to 8
  • Apple will kick off its 29th annual Worldwide Developers Conference on MondayJune 4. keynote at 10am?
  • The week-long event, which will offer the first previews of Apple’s next big software updates, will again be held in the McEnery Convention Center in San Jose.
 
Alt-conf!
 
New improved MacBook Air and 9.7-inch iPad could debut at WWDC
  • According to a new Digitimes report and also Apple Analyst Ming Chi Kuo, Apple is prepping a new entry-level 13-inch MacBook that will debut in the second quarter of 2018.  The price?  A mere $999.
  • One other interesting tidbit in today’s report is that Apple’s upstream supply chain has supposedly started shipping components for a new iPad Pro upgrade and cheaper 9.7-inch iPad. The 9.7-inch iPad is reportedly set to be released in the second quarter of this year (making WWDC a likely candidate for its debut), while the refreshed iPad Pro will come some time in the second half of 2018.
  • I’ve seen a ton of sales on the 9.7", and also the iPad Pro more recently.
  • June is the 6th month in the year, so technically all these products could be unveiled at WWDC.
  • If you remember the 10.5” iPad was announced at the last WWDC.
 
 
Apple might give Siri a total makeover
  • Under the veil of anonymity, some current and former Apple employees are admitting Siri sucks, and Apple knows it.
  • Apple’s AI assistant is way behind the competition, and a new report indicates that Cupertino’s coders can’t agree on how to fix Siri — or even if it should be fixed.
  • Siri had so much promise… How did we get here?
    • Bugs and infighting
    • Multiple sources told The Information that Apple "rushed Siri into the iPhone 4s before the technology was fully baked,"
    • According to The Information, the problem is so severe that Apple can’t decide “whether to continue patching up a flawed build or to rip it up and start from scratch.”
    • Bugs and other problems reportedly began almost from the time Apple acquired the voice system back in 2010. Part of the problem was Siri’s instant popularity. The backend servers weren’t prepared for the demand coming from millions of iPhone users. The company has struggled ever since to make Siri’s code more efficient.
  • Lack of vision
    • Well, like so many things, it’s due to a total lack of vision for what Siri should be.
    • Steve Jobs spearheaded the acquisition of Siri and the integration of the technology into iOS.
    • Siri was unveiled as the signature feature of the iPhone 4s in 2011. Apple co-founder Steve Jobs died the very next day
    • “When Steve died the day after Siri launched, they lost the vision,” one of The Information’s sources said. “They didn’t have a big picture.”
    • Since that time, multiple project managers have come and gone, none with Jobs’ vision. There’s allegedly an internal debate over whether Siri should be a system for answering short questions and following simple commands, or a more full-featured digital assistant capable of handling more complex queries.
Direct download: CultCast_327_-_Our_WWDC__18_hardware_predictions.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:58pm PDT

This week: 
  • A new cheaper HomePod is likely on the way
  • A leaked apple email harkens the end of iTunes
  • It looks like changing the battery in your older iOS devices can bring some surprising performance increases
  • MoviePass is tracking iOS users every move, and privacy experts are madder than a beehive
  • And we wrap up with a What We’re Into, with our reviews Black Panther, Annihilation, Daredevil, The Punisher, and the first security camera for your car!
 
This episode supported by
 
Casper’s American-made mattresses have just the right amount of memory foam and latex, and people everywhere love them.  Learn why and get $50 towards any mattress at Casper.com/cultcast.
 
Print postage from your office and take advantage of special shipping discounts at pb.com/cultcast, and beat the postage rate increase with exclusive discounts on letters.  Plans start at just $5 a month!
 
CultCloth will keep your iPhone X, Apple Watch, Mac and iPad sparkling clean, and for a limited time use code CULTCAST at checkout to score a free CleanCloth with any order at CultCloth.co.
 
On the show this week
 
Cheaper HomePod might lead Apple’s push for lower prices
  • A version between $150 and $200 will change that, if a report from Taiwan’s Economic Daily News is correct.
  • This unconfirmed report doesn’t say what features will change to lower the cost that significantly. However, a separate research note from Rosenblatt analyst Jun Zhang says the upcoming cheaper HomePod will be smaller.
  • This isn’t expected to be a replacement for the current HomePod. It would be a lower-priced alternative that’s within the grasp of a far wider potential audience, enabling Apple to better compete with the Amazon Echo and Dot smart speakers.
 
 
Leaked Apple email hints at the possible end of iTunes 
  • Apple could kill off iTunes in the near future, a new report suggests.
  • It cites an email that Apple reportedly wrote to people in the music industry recently, announcing the “end of iTunes LPs.” The iTunes LP format was first introduced in 2009 and let publishers add interactive artwork, along with assorted iTunes Extras, with their content.
  • The LP format never achieved great popularity. However, the fact that Apple plans to ditch iTunes LPs in 2018 potentially hints at the possibility that Apple may stop selling iTunes music downloads in the near future.
  • According to a previous report by The Wall Street Journal, Apple Music is currently growing at a rate of around 5 percent each month.
 
 
Here’s how much a new iPhone battery boosts performance
  • A new video posted online by Bennett Sorbo compares an iPhone 6s with depleted battery against one with a fresh battery.
  • The two iPhones are then put head to head as they run through a variety of CPU-intensive tasks, including opening apps, using the internet, playing games and videos, and more.
 
MoviePass says it’s ‘exploring’ gathering location data on users, but it won’t sell it
  • MoviePass responded late this evening to a number of reports calling into question the company’s privacy policy after CEO Mitch Lowe publicly claimed the theater subscription service tracks its users’ locations.
 
Apple’s new HomePod commercial is a work of art
 
Direct download: CultCast_326_-_The_End_of_iTunes_.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:11am PDT

This week: 
  • Reliable sources say Apple is working on an“audiophile” grade set of headphones with built-in AirPods magic.  SIGN US UP. 
  • Wow Apple plans to revolutionize healthcare
  • The cool, weird, and whacky HealthKit gadgets you’ve never heard of
  • And we wrap up with Pro whistling, rock accordion, and arguments over which actors have the hands-down best filmography on an all-new Get to Know Ur Cultist.
 
This episode supported by
 
Easily create a website by yourself, at Squarespace.com.  Use offer code CultCast at checkout to get 10% off your first purchase of a website or domain.
 
CultCloth will keep your iPhone X, Apple Watch, Mac and iPad sparkling clean, and for a limited time use code CULTCAST at checkout to score a free CleanCloth with any order at CultCloth.co.
 
Thanks to Kevin McLeodfor the music you hear on today’s episode.
 
Apple audiophile headphones tipped with AirPods magic
  • Apple is aiming to pivot its AirPods success into a set of Apple-branded over-the-ear headphones, reports suggest, effectively competing with its own Beats range.
  • KGI analyst and accurate Apple psychic Ming-Chi Kuo is says a new pair of Apple-branded over-the-hear audiophile-grade headphones is coming our way.
  • Kuo’s prediction went on to say we shouldn’t expect to see the new Apple headphones until Q4 2018 at the very earliest
  • In the meantime expect a new version of the AirPods to hit the market, with always-on "Hey Siri" functionality so a simple, and a new case with wireless charging capability
 
Apple wellness clinics will offer ‘world’s best healthcare’
  • Apple plans to launch new wellness clinics that will offer employees and their families “the world’s best healthcare.”
  • AC Wellness will be independently operated, according to its official website — but job listings suggest it is a wholly Apple-owned subsidiary. One of its clinics will be situated inside Apple Park, the Cupertino company’s brand new headquarters.
  • Apple has started recruiting for two AC Wellness clinics in Santa Clara, California — one of which will be located at Apple Park. They will initially serve Apple employees and their families when they open this spring, but Apple has much bigger plans, according to CNBC.
  • “Aside from the typical roles involved with a primary care clinic, Apple is also looking to hire “designers” who will help implement a program focused on preventing disease and promoting healthy behavior,” reads the report, which cites people familiar with the plan.
  • “Sources said the company will leverage its medical clinics as a way to test out its growing range of health services and products, which it is starting to roll out to consumers at large.”
 
iPhone sweeps Consumer Reports’ best camera list
  • The camera is a major feature of any smartphone, and Consumer Reports says Apple makes the best. All three of top models in the magazine’s latest ranking of top phone cameras are iPhones, as are six of the top ten.
  • At the top of the list is the iPhone X, which boasts a 12 megapixel wide-angle camera with ƒ/1.8 aperture, and a separate 12MP telephoto camera with ƒ/2.4 and 2x optical zoom.
  • Consumer Reports ranked the iPhone 8 next. It sports a single 12MP camera with ƒ/1.8 aperture.
  • in third place is the iPhone 8 Plus, another dual camera device. One is a 12MP wide-angle with ƒ/1.8, and the second a telephoto with ƒ/2.8.
  • The sole non-Apple device in the top five is the Samsung Galaxy S8+. This has a single 12MP camera with ƒ/1.7 aperture.
  • No Google Pixel in the list.
  • This is the same org that said Google Max defeats HomePod in sound.
 
Cool new HealthKit gadgets can measure practically anything
 
 
Them Darn Accordions with Weird All Yankovic and Drew Carrieat the 1998 Music Awards! 
Direct download: CultCast_325_-_AirPods_Pro.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:21pm PDT

What a show this week!  We talk: a new gaming console from Apple?  Some new evidence says yes. Plus: some of HomePods best features get delayed; why Leander switched from 1Password to Dashlane; how to get a heckuva great deal on a new iPad; and we wrap up with the smart bike helmet you haven’t heard of, a rugged charge-it-all solar-powered battery back, and an updated version of one of our favorite products on an all-new Under Review.
 
This episode supported by
 
Easily create a website by yourself, at Squarespace.com.  Use offer code CultCast at checkout to get 10% off your first purchase of a website or domain.
 
CultCloth will keep your iPhone X, Apple Watch, Mac and iPad sparkling clean, and for a limited time use code CULTCAST at checkout to score a free CleanCloth with any order at CultCloth.co.
 
Thanks to Kevin McLeodfor the music you hear on today’s episode.
 
On the show this week
 
 
Is AppleTV about to become a gaming console?
  • Apple has updated their Apple TV logo trademark by adding all things related to gaming.
  • Apple's Trademark filing 87801324 filed last Friday and published today by USPTO was filed solely under international class 028 which specifically covers the following:
  • "video game consoles; controllers for game consoles; video output games, namely, video output game machines for use with televisions; apparatus for electronic games adapted for use with an external display screen or monitor.”
  • This is a significant update that has to be taken seriously. Bringing a whole new level of gaming to Apple TV could be another twist coming to Apple TV in addition to a video content service driven by Apple Worldwide Video.
 
Looks like multi-room AirPlay just got further away
  • One of the best features for Apple’s new HomePod appears to be facing some big delays.
  • AirPlay 2.0 promises to give HomePod users the ability to stream the same song to different devices in different rooms from a single iPhone. But with the release of iOS 11.3 beta 3 this morning, Apple has decided to pull the feature from testing.
  • The functionality of AirPlay 2.0 was pretty buggy in the first two beta builds of iOS 11.3. Apple removed it in the latest betas of iOS 11.3 and tvOS 11.3 that just came out.
  • Until AirPlay 2.0 comes out, you also won’t be able to pair two of Apple’s new smart speakers together so they play stereo sound or multi-room audio.
 
Why I switched from 1Password to Dashlane [Review]
  • Our thoughts on apps with subscription fees
 
 
Apple gets go-ahead for two new iPads
  • Apple has been given the go-ahead for two new iPads, hinting at an imminent refresh.
  • The company filed for approval with the Eurasian Economic Commission (EEC), and both devices were granted permission this week. Apple has also been given approval to bring several iPhone and iPad “samples” into the region.
  • The filings don’t tell us much about these devices. But it does suggest that an Apple announcement is imminent.
  • Apple is dumping 9.7” models.  128GB versions are selling for $280-$350 (regular price $430)
  • Apple Files Major Apple TV Logo Trademark Update Focused on All-Things related to Gaming, Including a Video Game Console
 
Under Review!
 
Lumos Smart Bike Helmet with wireless turn signal remote
 
Arlo Pro 2 wireless security cameras
 
Goal Zero Sherpa 100 Power Pack
 
Kwikset Premis
Direct download: CultCast_324_-_A_new_Apple_gaming_console_.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:38pm PDT

This week: friends, HomePod is even better than the hype, it’s one of the best products Apple's ever made. Plus: HomePod vs. the rivals; the big HomePod flaw you need to know about (and the one Apple is trying to downplay); how Apple plans to revamp their future software; and is another new Apple product on the horizon?  We think so, and we’ll tell you what it is.
 
This episode supported by
 
Easily create a website by yourself, at Squarespace.com.  Use offer code CultCast at checkout to get 10% off your first purchase of a website or domain.
 
From how to become more productive and professional to how to read body language, network, and negotiate, the Art of Charm podcast covers anything that will help you become a high-performer at home and at work.  Check it out at theartofcharm.com/podcast.
 
On the show this week
 
Consumer Reports says HomePod doesn’t sound as good as its rivals
  • One of the most reputable tech review sites isn’t that impressed with the HomePod’s superb sound.
  • While most reviewers have noted the HomePod as the best sounding speaker they’ve ever listened too, Consumer Reports claims Google Home Max and Sonos One sound better.
  • “The HomePod will serve many music fans well, but CR testers did hear some flaws. The HomePod’s bass was a bit boomy and overemphasized,” wrote Consumer Reports. “And the midrange tones were somewhat hazy, meaning that some of the nuance in vocals, guitars, and horns was lost
 
Audiophile Review: HomePod 'Sounds Better' Than $999 KEF X300A Digital Hi-Fi Speakers
  • Reddit user WinterCharm posted exhaustive audio performance testing results for HomePod to the Reddit audiophile community.
  • Using specialized equipment and a controlled testing environment, the review features in-depth analysis of the smart speaker's output when compared to a pair of $999 KEF X300Adigital hi-fi monitors, representing a "meticulously set up audiophile grade speaker versus a tiny little HomePod that claims to do room correction on its own”.
    • "I am speechless. The HomePod actually sounds better than the KEF X300A. If you're new to the Audiophile world, KEF is a very well respected and much loved speaker company. I actually deleted my very first measurements and re-checked everything because they were so good, I thought I'd made an error. Apple has managed to extract peak performance from a pint sized speaker, a feat that deserves a standing ovation. The HomePod is 100% an Audiophile grade Speaker."
 
Siri on HomePod Correctly Answered 52.3% of Queries in New AI Test
  • Our ol’ pal Genie Munster, in a new test shared today by Loup Ventures, HomePod was put through a bunch of Siri AI tests
  • When asked a series of questions, here’s how it performed vs. other smart speakers
  • Google Home answered 81 percent correctly, Amazon's Alexa answered 64 percent correctly, and Microsoft's Cortana answered 57 percent correctly.
 
HomePod leaves ugly white rings on wood tables
  • HomePods are already making their mark in new homes across the country — but not in a good way.
  • Apple customers started noticing that HomePod can damage wood furniture by leaving a white ring after resting on a table for just a few minutes or days.
  • Apple confirmed the problem today, saying “the marks can improve over several days after the speaker is removed from the wood surface.” Apple also suggested owners “try cleaning the surface with the [table] manufacturer’s suggested oiling method.”If the white rings don’t disappear, Apple says you can just refinish the furniture.
  • Apple also recommends putting the HomePod on a coaster if you’re worried about the speaker damaging your table.

 

Erfon listens to HomePod for the first time... 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_Lz7dxfNXL8

 
How Apple Plans to Root Out Bugs, Revamp iPhone Software - leander
  • Apple will start focusing on the next two years of updates for its iPhone and iPad operating system, according to people familiar with the change. The company will continue to update its software annually, but internally engineers will have more discretion to push back features that aren't as polished to the following year.
  • Software chief Craig Federighi laid out the new strategy to his army of engineers last month, according to a person familiar with the discussion. His team will have more time to work on new features and focus on under-the-hood refinements without being tied to a list of new features annually simply so the company can tout a massive year-over-year leap, people familiar with the situation say. The renewed focus on quality is designed to make sure the company can fulfill promises made each the summer at the annual developers conference and that new features work reliably and as advertised.
  • The decision to give engineers more time to perfect software is a major cultural shift.
  • At Google, teams update apps on their own schedule and aren’t tied to the annual Android release. At Apple, all new features are tied to a big release in the fall, when Apple rolls out its splashiest new software, and a more modest update in the spring
 
Apple hiring spree means something big is on the way - leander
  • Apple has been busy hiring a record number of engineers over the last few months. The move comes after the company also went on a designer hiring spree, indicating a major new product or two could be in the works.
  • Job openings for engineering jobs at Apple rose 80% from the period starting in September until just last week. The company’s listings went from 665 open hardware engineering positions to 1,198 last week.
    • What exactly Apple is working on is anyone’s best guess right now, but check out these job listings:Analog Layout Designer, Advanced Material Scientist (Electrolyte Development), 3D Perception/Computer Vision Algorithm Engineer, Sensor Design Engineer, Motion Sensing Hardware Engineer: Magnetics, and even a Flexible Display Technologist.
  • Leander had an epiphany last show of what all these jobs have in common
Direct download: CultCast_323_HomePod__one_of_Apple_s_greatest_products.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:42am PDT

This week: the HomePod reviews are coming out hot and heavy, and they’re surprising.  We’ll tell you what people like, love, and hate about Apple’s new speaker. Plus: something strange is happening at Apple HQ… we’ll tell you more. 
 
This episode supported by
 
Casper’s American-made mattresses have just the right amount of memory foam and latex, and people everywhere love them.  Learn why and get $50 towards any mattress at Casper.com/cultcast.
 
Print postage from your office and take advantage of special shipping discounts at pb.com/cultcast, and beat the postage rate increase with exclusive discounts on letters.  Plans start at just $5 a month!
 
CultCloth will keep your iPhone X, Apple Watch, Mac and iPad sparkling clean, and for a limited time use code CULTCAST at checkout to score a free CleanCloth with any order at CultCloth.co.
 
On the show this week
 
HomePod meta review: Superb sound, stupid Siri
Apple seeded a few review units to major outlets ahead of this Friday’s HomePod launch. The embargo lifted Tuesday morning, and the early reviews reveal a few surprising tidbits about the HomePod.
 
HomePod sound quality is amazing
  • TechCrunch: “Apple’s HomePod is easily the best sounding mainstream smart speaker ever. It’s got better separation and bass response than anything else in its size and boasts a nuance and subtlety of sound that pays off the 7 years Apple has been working on it.”
 
HomePod sounds better than expensive speakers
  • WSJ: “The HomePod sounds noticeably richer and fuller than almost every other speaker we’ve testedApple’s audio engineering team did something really clever and new with the HomePod, and it really works. I’m not sure there’s anything out there that sounds better for the price, or even several times the price.
 
HomePod sucks at music recommendations
  • Apple frames the ability to tell Siri to play your favorite music, and immediately hear soothing tones blasted out of the speaker, as one of the HomePod’s main draws. Cupertino promises that Siri will learn your musical tastes over time, but based on The New York Times’ review, that’s not what actually happens.
 
HomePod only syncs with one iCloud account
  • That sucks if you don’t live alone.
 
Not a very good assistant
  • Siri is limited and doesn’t compete with Alexa or Google intelligence.
    • TechCrunch: Siri doesn’t do a lot of “other” stuff that isn’t about audio content. Apple says this is because the vast majority of people use these speakers for basic commands like playing music and setting timers. But it does offer best-in-class voice recognition, vastly outstripping the ability of other smart speakers to hear you trying to trigger a command at a distance or while music is playing, but its overall flexibility is stymied by the limited command sets that the Siri protocol offers.
  • Siri can’t even set more than one timer
  • Siri can’t recognize multiple voices (someone could ask it to read your texts, or even send an iMessage)
 
You can use Spotify via AirPlay, but you can’t control it with your voice
 
The smarts are in the music tech
  • When plugged in, HomePod goes through a series of aural exercises you first plug it in to determine how best to structure its sound.
  • It also includes an accelerometer, so if you move the speaker, it will retune itself.
  • Eddie Cue revealed recently that HomePod will adjust how it sounds to each song you play based on Apple’s analytics.
 
Redheads and superheroes included in 150+ new emojis for 2018
  • The Unicode Consortium has approved more than 150 new emoji characters that will likely be headed to iOS and macOS later this year.
  • The Unicode Consortium has approved more than 150 new emoji characters that will likely be headed to iOS and macOS later this year.
 
Apple hiring spree means something big is on the way
  • Apple has been busy hiring a record number of engineers over the last few months. The move comes after the company also went on a designer hiring spree, indicating a major new product or two could be in the works.
  • Job openings for engineering jobs at Apple rose 80% from the period starting in September until just last week. The company’s listings went from 665 open hardware engineering positions to 1,198 last week.
  • What exactly Apple is working on is anyone’s best guess right now, but check out these job listings:
    • Analog Layout Designer, Advanced Material Scientist (Electrolyte Development), 3D Perception/Computer Vision Algorithm Engineer, Sensor Design Engineer, Motion Sensing Hardware Engineer: Magnetics, and even a Flexible Display Technologist.
  • There are hundreds of other titles up for grabs though so probably only a few people at Apple really know the full picture
 
What we’re INTO
 
Poke-Bowls
 
The Shape of Water
 
iPhone X and its incredible camera
Direct download: CultCast_322_-_Does_HomePod_live_up_to_the_hype_.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:08pm PDT

This week: Apple delays big new iOS features to focus on stability, and what it means for iOS 12.  Plus: New details tell us more about 2018’s iPhone X Plus Nintendo announces one of its most legendary games is coming to iOS; Apple works to bring iPad apps to Mac; and we’ll tell you what we like and don’t about the gadge we’re reviewing in an all-new Under Review ☝🏼✋🏼
 
This episode supported by
 
Create a beautiful website all by yourself at Squarespace.com.  Use offer code CultCast at checkout to get 10% off your first purchase of a website or domain.
 
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.
 
On the show this week
 
Mario Kart is officially coming to iOS
  • Nintendo just announced that a mobile version of Mario Kart is under development. The company says the game will be released sometime in the next 13 months, but left it at that.
  • "The checkered flag has been raised and the finish line is near. A new mobile application is now in development: Mario Kart Tour! #MarioKartTour Releasing in the fiscal year ending in March 2019.”
 
Apple delays big new iOS features to focus on stability in 2018
  • Apple is changing up its plans for this year’s mobile software
  • According to Ina Fried in a report for Axios, “Apple has shaken up its iOS software plans for 2018, delaying some features to next year in an effort to put more focus on addressing performance and quality issues"
 
Apple works to bring iPad apps to Mac in 2018
  • Apple’s primary focus for its software updates this year is on improving performance and stability. But there’s a big new feature that the company is still working to bring to macOS, according to a new report. That’s the ability to run iPad apps.
  • Apple has delayed big new features for iOS to focus on ironing out the kinks this year, according to a report from Axios’ Ina Fried. Software chief Craig Federighi is said to have announced the plans to Apple employees at a meeting earlier this month.
  • But one key feature remains on the roadmap for 2018: The ability for Macs to run iPad apps,” reads the latest report.
 
Apple’s value drops $46 billion amid falling iPhone X demand
  • A growing number of analysts and news outlets have claimed that Apple is cutting production due to weaker-than-expected demand for its flagship device. The Wall Street Journal is the latest to corroborate the claims.
  • The Wall Street Journal is the latest to pipe up. It claimed on Monday that Apple has significantly reduced component orders for iPhone X — by as much as 60 percent in some cases. “They always do this when things aren’t selling well,” one source said.
 
New details tell us more about 2018’s iPhone X Plus
  • In a weekend report to investors, reliable Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo of KGI Securities reiterates that Apple is planning two OLED iPhones and one LCD model for this year. The two OLED models, he says, be 5.8- and 6.5-inches in size, while the LCD model will be 6.1-inches.
 
 
Under Review
 
Elgato Stream Deck
 
Azio Retro Classic Luxury Bluetooth Keyboards
 
Juuk Velo Apple Watch Band
Direct download: CultCast_321_-_Apple_s_big_plans_for_iOS_12.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:07pm PDT

This week: HomePod pre-sale has begun!  But... we’ll tell you why Apple’s new smart speaker may be a huge flop.  Plus: audiophiles are comparing HomePod’s tech to speakers that cost $85,000; Apple adds some long-awaited features to iOS 11; how to backup your iCloud photo library to your PC (and why you should); and wrap with another episode of Drone Chat!  This time, we’ll tell you why DJI's Mavic Air is the perfect drone for almost everyone.
 
This episode supported by
 
Easily create a website by yourself, at Squarespace.com.  Use offer code CultCast at checkout to get 10% off your first purchase of a website or domain.
 
Print postage from your office and take advantage of special shipping discounts at pb.com/cultcast, and beat the postage rate increase with exclusive discounts on letters.  Plans start at just $5 a month!
 
CultCloth will keep your iPhone X, Apple Watch, Mac and iPad sparkling clean, and for a limited time use code CULTCAST at checkout to score a free CleanCloth with any order at CultCloth.co.
 
On the show this week
 
HomePod pre-orders begin Friday ahead of Feb. 9 launch
  • Apple today Wednesday that it will release its $349 HomePod on February 9.
  • Pre-orders start this Friday!
  • That technology includes a seven-tweeter array and a 4-inch woofer — plus spatial awareness capabilities. These allow HomePod to “read” its environment and tailor audio output for the best results, though this functionality won’t be available until later this year.
  • In large rooms, you can even pair multiple HomePods for bigger sound.
 
Why Apple’s HomePod is poised to bomb
  • HomePod, the first new Apple product of 2018, is about to arrive. And as a huge Apple fanboy, I couldn’t care less.
  • Thanks to Siri, HomePod is great at the things you want to know, and do, in your home. Set timers. Convert measurements. Get translations. And get live news, sports, weather, and traffic. You can also create lists that anyone can add to.
  • Will it replace an iPad or AppleTV as as HomeKit hub?
  • It’s too damn expensive
  • Siri sucks
  • You’re stuck with Apple Music
    • Will Spotify work at all?
  • HomePod is not even finished yet!
    • No stereo or multi-room support till alter this year
 
Audiophiles on Reddit are comparing HomePod’s tech to speakers costing 85,000
 
iOS 11.3 beta 1 is out with iCloud Messages, new Animoji and more
  • Apple gave the public a preview of the new features coming in iOS 11.3 Wednesday.
  • iOS 11.3 beta 1 contains a number of notable improvements, including iCloud Messages. Apple also added the ability to view your battery’s health and choose between increased performance or better battery life. The new feature is in response to criticism Apple received from customers after it was discovered that Apple throttles CPU speeds on iPhones with older batteries.
 
Messages on iCloud is almost ready — and you’re going to love it
  • Messages on iCloud were first previewed at WWDC 2017. Apple pulled it from later beta builds though as it wasn’t ready for wider use
  • Well it’s finally entering the beta testing phase among developers.
  • Once iMessage on iCloud rolls out to the public you’ll be able to delete iMessage conversations to save space on your device. Conversations will still be accessible on your other Apple devices though and on 
 
DJI unveils impossibly tiny new Mavic Air drone
  • The most popular consumer drone on the market just got a huge upgrade that gives it even more mass appeal for budding droners and video creators.
  • DJI unveiled its new folding drone, the Mavic Air, today. A blend of the company’s two most popular drones, the Mavic Pro and the Spark, it also packs new features you won’t find on DJI’s other drones.
 
 
Direct download: CultCast_320_-_Why_Apple_s_new_HomePod_is_poised_to_bomb_.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:44pm PDT

This week: Tim Cook is THRILLED with the US’ new tax overhaul, and has some exciting plans to spend Apple’s massive fortune.  Plus: forget other smart speakers—we’re tell you why we’re now even more excited for HomePod.  And stick around for our favorite movies, shows, and sausages in an all-new very weird What We’re Into!  
 
This episode supported by
From how to become more productive and professional to how to read body language, network, and negotiate, the Art of Charm podcast covers anything that will help you become a high-performer at home and at work.  Check it out at theartofcharm.com/podcast.
 
Casper’s American-made mattresses have just the right amount of memory foam and latex, 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.
 
On the show this week
 
You’ll soon be able to disable Apple’s iPhone throttling feature
  • Tim Cook has revealed that a future iOS 11 update will let users disable the feature that was causing their iPhone to throttle performance.
  • He says that this forthcoming update will give users the option to disable performance throttling if they would rather be at risk of unexpected shutdowns but maintain full CPU and GPU performance.
 
Apple says it will add $350 billion to U.S. economy
  • Apple’s big tax break is about to unleash an big beautiful avalanche of spending from the iPhone-maker.
  • In its last earnings report, Apple said it held $252 billion in cash overseas. It appears, given the new corporate tax rate of 15.5  percent, that it is returning a majority of this to the United States.  This low rate is a one-time deal for corporations to repatriate their overseas cash hordes
  • Apple revealed its plans to contribute $350 billion to the U.S. economy over the next five years now that the fee for repatriating its mountain of overseas cash has been significantly lowered.
  • Even though construction on Apple’s new spaceship campus just finished, the company says its already looking to build a new one. Plans (including the location) for the third Apple HQ will be revealed later this year. The building will initially house new team specializing in technical support for customers.
  • The company also says it plans to increase the size of its advanced manufacturing fund from $1 billion to $5 billion. The fund is used to invest in U.S. manufacturing companies and suppliers.
  • Apple says it will add over 20,000 new jobs in the next five years by hiring for new jobs at its existing campuses and the new one. $30 billion will be spent on capital expenditures in the US over next 5 years with $10 billion of that going to data centers.
  • With the new tax law in effect, Apple expects it will only pay $38 billion to bring its money home. That would still be the largest ever payment to the IRS.
 
Apple employees get big bonus thanks to Trump
  • Apple told employees Wednesday that it plans to give all of them $2,500 worth of restricted stock, thanks to the revised tax law that goes into effect this year.
  • Trump applauded Apple’s moves on Twitter, saying “Great to see Apple follow through as a result of TAX CUTS. Huge win for American workers and the USA!”
  • Tim also announced a very generous new charity match:
    • I’m happy to announce that starting immediately and running through the end of 2018, Apple will match all employee charitable donations, up to $10,000 annually, at a rate of two to one.
 
First HomePod shipments are on the way to Apple ahead of launch
  • Apple suppliers have begun shipping the first HomePod units ahead of the smart speaker’s much-anticipated launch. Just 1 million devices are on the way initially. However, Apple is expected to receive as many as 12 million by the end of this year.
  • HomePod was supposed to launch ahead of the holidays but Apple delayed it because it wasn’t ready. When it finally goes on sale this year, HomePod will give Apple fans an alternative to Amazon Echo and Google Home.
  • Meanwhile, smart speakers were ubiquitous at CES, and Amazon’s Alexa is now being built into everything from thermostats to toilets.
  • Apple still hasn’t provided us with a proper HomePod release date yet
 
What we’re into!
 
Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle
 
Toast Made gadget wraps
 
Soyrizo spicy fake meat sauges
 
Black Mirror season 4
Direct download: CultCast_319_-_How_Apple_s_going_to_spend_its_MASSIVE_fortune_.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:31am PDT

This week: our list of the weirdest, whackiest, and wonderfullest gadgets of CES 2018!  Plus: Stevie Wonder, Stevie Nicks, and hanging with Andy Dick—we remember our favorite stories from CES's of years past.
 
This episode supported by
 
From how to become more productive and professional to how to read body language, network, and negotiate, the Art of Charm podcast covers anything that will help you become a high-performer at home and at work.  Check it out at theartofcharm.com/podcast.
 
Casper’s American-made mattresses have just the right amount of memory foam and latex, 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.
 
On the show this week
 
Major power outage hits CES
  • Power in the North and Central halls of the Las Vegas Convention Center, which hosts CES annually, was out for nearly two hours on Wednesday.
  • The outage impacted hundreds of companies, including giants like LG, Samsung, and Sony, as well as many small startups that paid thousands of dollars to have a presence on the massive show floor.
  • This year’s CES seems to be marked by more chaos than usual, including unprecedented rain that flooded streets and shut down Google’s giant funhouse booth for a day.
 
Hue lights’ new iOS and Mac app will customize lighting for any occasion
  • Outdoor products on the way
  • Updated Hue app with complete redesign
  • Partnership with Razer
  • Philips Hue Sync
  • Hue Sync will analyze anything displayed on your monitor in real-time and create light scripts to compliment your content
 
DJI’s new Osmo 2 gimbal makes smooth iPhone footage cheap
  • Capturing super-smooth video on your iPhone is about to get a lot easier (AND cheaper) thanks to the folks at DJI.
  • DJI unveiled its newest handheld smartphone gimbal today called the Osmo 2. The new gimbal packs simplified controls to allow anyone to record shake-free video from their iPhone, and it’s got some new tricks you won’t find on its predecessor.
 
How to reopen a recently closed tab in Safari on iOS
  • You’ve closed a tab in Safari and instantly realized that it was the wrong one.
  • This trick works on both the Mac and on iOS devices. All you need to do is long-press (or long-click on the Mac) the + icon, aka the New Tab icon. Do that, and up will pop a panel with a list of the tabs you closed since the last Safari relaunch. If you force-quit Safari for any reason, this list will be wiped
  • Even easier, just hit command-z on the Mac to instantly reopen the closed tab.
 
 
Smart toothbrush will use ResearchKit to give you a better clean
  • the Colgate Smart Electronic Toothbrush E1 with Artificial Intelligence uses AI to provide real-time feedback to users as they clean their pearly whites. It also uses Apple’s ResearchKit platform integration to crowdsource toothbrushing data from other users. The more people clean, the smarter the brush gets!
  • The brush contains real-time motion sensors, designed to capture brushing efficiency and effectiveness in 16 different zones of the mouth. It also uses Bluetooth connectivity and sonic vibrating technology,
 
Somnox’s robotic pillow is designed to snuggle
One group of researchers in the Netherlands believes thinks the reason you’re not sleeping well is because you’re not cuddling enough.
 
Vortx blows air at your face while you're gaming and it's great
  • Vortx is absolutely ridiculous, totally frivolous, and that’s exactly why you’ll love it.
  • It's a cube that sits on your desk, and it blows hot or cold air in your face, depending on what's happening on your screen.

 
This week on a very fun, educational, and addictive CultCast:
  • Everything you want to know about Apple’s $29 iPhone battery replacement program, and why you should absolutely use it.
  • We’ll tell you about Steve Job’s new fashion line soon to be sweeping the runways of a Costco near you
  • We break down just how much money Tim Cook earned each week and each day in 2017. Spoiler: He’a rich yaaa’aaall!.
  • A high-tech butt cleaner, a $400 cooler, and a powerhouse network attached storage — Faves N Raves is back baby. We’ll pitch you our favorite tech then vote on which is best.
 
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.
 
From how to become more productive and professional to how to read body language, network, and negotiate, the Art of Charm podcast covers anything that will help you become a high-performer at home and at work.  Check it out at theartofcharm.com/podcast.
 
CultCloth will keep your iPhone X, Apple Watch, Mac and iPad sparkling clean, and for a limited time use code CULTCAST at checkout to score a free CleanCloth with any order at CultCloth.co.
 
On the show this week
 
Apple apologizes with $29 iPhone battery replacements
  • Apple confirmed last week that it lowers CPU performance. But they say they do it because as batteries age they can’t meet peak CPU draw demands, especially when the battery is low. When this happens it causes the device to restart, so Apple added an algorithm that curves CPU demands as batteries age.
  • STATEMENT: 
    • “First and foremost, we have never — and would never — do anything to intentionally shorten the life of any Apple product, or degrade the user experience to drive customer upgrades,” the company says on its website. “Our goal has always been to create products that our customers love, and making iPhones last as long as possible is an important part of that.”
  • Apple also says it will come out with an iOS update in early 2018 that will give users more visibility into the health of their iPhone’s battery. Third-party apps like coconutBattery can also be used to check an iPhone’s battery status.
  • Devices affected by the throttling include the iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, iPhone 6s, iPhone 6s Plus, and iPhone SE. Apple notified customers today that it will reduce the price on out-of-warranty iPhone battery replacements by $50, putting the cost at just $29.
  • There was a rumor going around that Apple would only replace batteries for phones that didn’t pass a battery diagnostic test, but an internal Apple memo apprehend by French Tech Blog iGeneration states that the Genius bar should allow battery replacements for all who ask
  • If you’re wondering if you should replace your battery, Apple can run a diagnostic on your phone's battery remotely – you don't need to visit an Apple Store.  Just contact their customer service via chat or email.
 
 
‘Steve Jobs’ could be Italy’s hottest new fashion line
  • An Italian clothing company going by the name of “Steve Jobs” has won its long-standing legal battle with Apple for the right to sell jeans with Jobs’ name on them.
  • The company — founded by brothers Vincenzo and Giacomo Barbato — was created back in 2012 when the two noticed that Apple hadn’t filed for a trademark on the name Steve Jobs. They decided the tech icon’s name would be perfect for their new fashion brand and slapped it on their first line of jeans.
  • Apple quickly filed a lawsuit against the Steve Jobs fashion company which uses a stylized J with an apple leaf at the top and a bite mark on the right side. According to la Repubblica Napoli, Apple lost its case because it unsuccessfully attacked the company’s logo itself, not Jobs’ name.
  • The Italian court ruled that because the letter “J” isn’t edible the mark on the side can’t be considered a bite, therefore it’s not ripping off Apple’s own logo.
 
Tim Cook will take home $102 million this year
  • Apple has had a great year, and CEO Tim Cook is being rewarded accordingly. According to a new report, Cook will take home a massive $102 million this year, composed of both his $3.06 million salary and an equity award of $89.2 million.
  • For security reasons, the Apple board now stipulates that Cook use private planes for all business and personal travel. His personal security costs in 2017 were calculated at $224,216, while he ran up a $93,109 bill for traveling on private planes for non-business trips.
  • Apple’s latest filing reveals that Cook’s top five lieutenants — including Luca Maestri, Angela Ahrendts, Johny Srouji, Dan Riccio, and Bruce Sewell — each received bonuses of $3.11 million. Including salary and stock options, this meant they earned around $24.2 million each, depending on if they stay at Apple long enough for all of their awarded stock options to vest.
  • Apple does not reveal how much it paid to Chief Design Officer Jony Ive, who recently returned to his job running Apple’s design team after two years working on the Apple Park headquarters project.
  • Tim Cook has previously said that he will donate his fortune (which currently stands at close to $1 billion) to charity — after paying for his 12-year-old nephew’s college education.
 
iMac Pro’s space gray accessories fetch silly money on eBay
  • The iMac Pro is the same size and shape as any other iMac. But to differentiate it from its more affordable siblings, Apple gives it an exclusive space gray paint job — and throws in space gray accessories to match.
  • Adopters get a space gray Magic Keyboard with Numeric Keypad, a Magic Mouse 2, a Magic Trackpad 2, and a Lightning cable. If you buy these separately from Apple, they’re only available in white.
  • The combo is going for 500-$650 on eBay.
  • If you forget to buy one of the accessories during checkout, you can’t buy it separately.
 
Faves N Raves!
 
The $400 Toto Washlet C200 butt cleaner
 
Parrot Zik 3 headphones 
 
Synology 418Play NAS 
 
Otterbox Venture 45 cooler 
Direct download: CultCast_317_-_The_400_butt_cleaner.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:44pm PDT

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