The CultCast (general)

This week: why Apple is done chasing big hit products.  Plus: the demise of Pebble Watch is a bad omen for wearables; Foxconn secretly prepares to make more Apple products in the US; and we remember our favorite movies of 2016!

This episode supported by
 
Harry’s super-sharp, German-made razors ship free right to your door and for way less than the drugstore razors. Get a free trial set at Harrys.com and score free post shave balm with code CultCast at checkout.
 
CultCloth will keep your iPhone 7, Apple Watch, Mac and iPad sparkling clean, and for a limited time you can get 20% off your order with code JETBLACK at CultCloth.co.
 
We also want to give Kevin MacLeod at incompetech.com a  thanks for the great music you hear on today's show.

On the show this week

@erfon / @lewiswallace / @lkahney

 

Apple stops swinging for the fences
http://www.cultofmac.com/456698/apple-stops-swinging-fences/#more-456698
  • Apple analyst Horrace Dediu says Apple’s cultural identity is undergoing a dramatic shift
  • Instead of being in the “new hit product business”, Dediu told said that Apple is trying to become a “services and recurring-revenue business.”
  • Dediu argues that constantly trying for home runs has been demoralizing for employees, so Apple CEO Tim Cook move away from that attitude.
  • Will Apple ever have another “iPhone”?

Apple Says 35% of U.S. Merchants Accept Apple Pay
  • Apple Pay vice president Jennifer Bailey has announced that 35% of U.S. merchants now accept Apple Pay.
  • Bailey says the new EMV chip cards are annoying customers and have helped drive adoption.
  • New chip cards are the worst!!

 

Fitbit Buyout Will See Pebble's Time 2 and Core Wearables Canceled, Refunds Issued
Bloomberg has report that Fitbit is buying out Pebble
  • The buyout will cost "less than $40 million" and is only for Pebble's software assets, which Fitbit wants "in a bid to better compete with Apple”
  • Pebble watch hardware is dead, with support ending sometime in the future.
  • All pending orders will be canceled and refunded.
  • I’m still not convinced smart watches will be around in 5 years.
  • Tim Cook has just announced that Apple Watch sales are “off the charts,” but Sales of Apple Watch are down more than 70 percent, according to IDC Research.

iPhone Assembler Foxconn in Early Talks to Expand U.S. Operations
  • According to Reuters, Apple manufacturer Foxconn is in the beginning stages of building a collection of assembly plants within the United States
  • CNBC has alleged that Foxconn will be investing $7 billion into its U.S. expansion and aiming for the creation of 50,000 jobs
  • After being outed by CNBC, Foxconn simply has states that more details will come after its finished talks with "the relevant U.S. officials”
  • In a call made to Trump by Apple CEO Tim Cook, Trump mentioned told Tim that one of his goals would is be to "get Apple to build a big plant in the United States” 
  • Foxconn does have manufacturing facilities on a very small scale in the U.S., in Virginia and Indiana, along with logistic locations in California and Texas
  • Will Apple every had major manufacturing back in the US?
Direct download: CultCast_261_-_Apple_s_next_big_thing_.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:49pm PDT

This week: why building a Hackintosh can get you the monster Mac youve always wanted.  Plus: Apple analyst Ming-Chi Quo reveals iPhone 8’s marquee feature; AirPods ship date is finally revealed; and stick around for our top Apple Airport router replacement picks!

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.

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.
 
We also want to give Kevin MacLeod at incompetech.com a  thanks for the great music you hear on today's show.
 
On the show this week
 
Apple’s long-awaited AirPods will ship in ‘next few weeks’
  • Apple revealed the earbuds alongside the iPhone 7, promising an October delivery date, but anxious customers have not been able to buy a set.
  • In  email obtained by MacRumors, a customer asks Tim Cook where his AirPods are.
    • Customer’s comment: “Give us a release date. I really bought in to the wireless vision you painted….Let us know if it’s a month or 6 months, because then I’ll just buy some other wireless headphones.”
    • Tim Cook’s response: “Thanks for your note. Sorry for the delay—we are finalizing them and I anticipate we will begin to ship over the next few weeks.”
 
Innovative iPhone 8 could shatter sales records
  • Apple has big plans for the iPhone 8, claims KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo.
  • According to Kuo, Apple will be scaling up iPhone production 120-150 million units in the second half of 2017. If true, this would would be well above the 110-120 million units Apple ordered of its bestselling iPhone 6 generation handsets.
  • Kuo claims this “unprecedented” demand will be centered around the myriad big improvements Apple has planned for its next-gen iPhone series.
 
iPhone 8’s glass design will finally bring wireless charging
  • The rumored decision to adopt a glass chassis for the next-generation iPhone is reportedly fueled by a desire to improve wireless charging, another key feature supposedly coming to Apple’s 2017 phone.
  • The report comes from notable Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, who claims that all 2017-era iPhones will boast the long-awaited wireless charging tech.
  • Earlier this year, a report from Bloomberg said Apple was working with partners to overcome current technical barriers with wireless technology, including loss of power over distance. If successful, innovation could make Apple’s version of wireless charging considerably more advanced than Samsung’s.
 
How to watch Netflix offline
  • An update to the official Netflix app lets you download TV shows and movies so you can view them without munching through your data allowance.
  • Not all titles are available for download,” according to Netflix. “If you have a particular title in mind, you can search for that title and look for the download icon.
 
People love Apple’s doomed AirPort more than any other router
  • According to the more than 3,000 customers polled in J.D. Power’s 2016 Wireless Router Satisfaction Report released today, please love Apple’s routers more than any other.
  • The top gripes were how often users had to reset their routers, general data speeds, and the difficulty of getting them set up.
  • Apple was the only company to receive a 5-star Power Circle consumer rating, which places it "among the best" according to J.D. Power.
 
Direct download: CultCast_260_-_Hackintosh_Monster_Mac.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:12pm PDT

This week: is a secret Apple project stalling Mac updates?  It wouldn’t be the first time… Plus: Apple teases Black Friday deals; Airport routers are dead, and the Mac Pro might be next;  the future of Time Machine; why iPad should be iOS/OS X hybrid; and Jony Ive’s new role designing Apple itself.

This episode supported by

Might Tees’ artful Steve Jobs, Woz, Apple and Star Trek tees are worn Will Wheaton, LeVar Burton, co-founders at Bad Robot, Chris Hardwick, Veronica Belmont, and even Steve Wozniak himself.  And without Might Tees, there’d be Leander have Erfon would have never met.  Grab a piece of CultCast history!  While supplies last, get 60% off any order at MightTees.com and use code CultCast at checkout.

CultCloth will keep your iPhone 7, Apple Watch, Mac and iPad sparkling clean, and for a limited time you can get 20% off your order with code JETBLACK at CultCloth.co.
 
And check out Cult of Mac’s new, free fitness eBook! This ebook is your practical how-to guide, covering step by step everything you need to know about getting fit with Apple’s devices.
 
We also want to give Kevin MacLeod at incompetech.com a  thanks for the great music you hear on today's show.
 
On the show this week
 
  • Apple is teasing a one-day shopping event for Black Friday that could bring tasty discounts on its latest products.
  • Apple chose not to participate in Black Friday sales last year, so fans were forced to look elsewhere for price cuts on Apple products.
  • In 2014, Apple took a different approach to Black Friday, offering free gift cards with certain purchases instead of cutting prices. Customers got up to $150 for buying a Mac, up to $75 with an iPad, and up to $50 with an iPod.
  • It’s also worth remembering that over the holiday period, the company offers free two-day shipping on almost all online purchases, while its retail stores are open longer.
 
  • According to Bloomberg, Apple has disbanded the division dedicated to developing its Airport wireless routers.
  • The product line — which spawned the AirPort Express, AirPort Extreme, and AirPort Time capsule, which Apple continues to sell — hasn’t been updated since 2013.
 
  • He’s killing ports and headphone jacks left and right. The latest MacBooks value form over function. He’s designing gold watches for the 1 percent.
  • And now his glossy new photo book, Designed by Apple in California, looks like a $300, linen-bound ego trip.
  • "I see why some people think Designed by Apple in California could be Ive’s goodbye to Apple. But it feels to me like Ive’s heartfelt goodbye to his best friend and colleague, five years gone. I don’t think Jony Ive is going anywhere."
 
  • Having previously been announced as the co-designer (with BFF Marc Newson) of the Christmas tree at London’s famous Claridge’s hotel, Ive’s creation was unveiled over the weekend, and — surprise — it’s a plain tree with no decorations, set on a white background.
  • “There are few things more pure and beautiful than nature, so that was our starting point, layering various iterations of organic forms with technology,” Ive and Newson said. “Our aim was to create an all-enveloping magical experience that celebrates our enormous respect for tradition while recognising our excitement about the future and things to come.”

Direct download: CultCast_259_-_Secret_Apple_project_stalling_Mac_updates_.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:04am PDT

This week: the reviews are in! We’ll tell you what praises and complaints reviewers have about new MacBook Pro with Touch Bar.  Plus: the one Touch Bar feature you’ll absolutely covet; why the new “Designed by Apple in California” book is an artifact Apple fans will love; Apple quietly rebuilds a library of their gadgets long past; how to get the best Black Friday deals; and Buster reviews the hawt new Mavic Pro drone by DJI, then crashes it into a cliff. 
 
This episode supported by
 
Harry’s super-sharp, German-made razors ship free right to your door and for way less than the drugstore razors. Get a free trial set at Harrys.com and score free post shave balm with code CultCast at checkout.

 

Might Tees’ artful Steve Jobs, Woz, Apple, Star Trek, and Star Wars tees are worn Will Wheaton, LeVar Burton, co-founders at Bad Robot, Chris Hardwick, Veronica Belmont, and even Steve Wozniak himself.  And without Might Tees, there’d be no CultCast, as Leander and Erfon would never have met.  Grab a piece of CultCast history!  While supplies last, get 60% off any order at MightTees.com and use code CultCast at checkout.

CultCloth will keep your iPhone 7, Apple Watch, Mac and iPad sparkling clean, and for a limited time you can get 20% off your order with code JETBLACK at CultCloth.co.
 
We also want to give Kevin MacLeod at incompetech.com a  thanks for the great music you hear on today's show.
 
On the show this week
 
MacBook Pro reviews roundup: Promising, not groundbreaking
So what do the early reviews make of Apple’s new pro laptop? In a nutshell, that it’s futuristic, but maybe not an entirely successful device for present-day users.
  • Wired: The new MacBook Pro is a terrific laptop and, like the super-skinny MacBook, a clear indication of where most of the computing world is going. But comes with growing pains
  • Techcrunch: The less celebrated spec bumps are what make the new Pro a worthy upgrade. Better processors, more storage, a brighter display and better speakers are all wrapped up in a sleeker and lighter package than before… The Touch Bar feels like a nice bonus for the time being.
  • ArsTechnica‘s Andrew Cunningham writes, “The more I use the Touch Bar, the more I become convinced of its potential utility” — although a lot of its ability to replace the old function buttons remains hypothetical for now.”
    • Industry-leading storage performance.
    • Touchbar get 1.3Gbps WiFI (like 2015 model) instead of 867Mbps.
  • Walt Mossberg describes the Touch Bar as having “potential, but it’s not magic.”
  • ARS: CPU performance increases by an amount that’s roughly proportionate to the 200MHz maximum clock speed increase, and GPU performance increases by around 10 percent. It’s not nothing...
  • WSJ:  “it’s a dongle nightmare.” The SD card slot is particularly missed.
  • WSJ: A Touch Bar, Touch ID and new design are tempting, but you’ll get the same performance and battery with the older model… So how do you decide? Do you invest in the present—the “old” MacBook Pro with performance, good-enough portability, a keyboard to cherish and lots of ports? Or do you invest in the future—a beautiful, highly portable machine with new tricks? Or maybe you do what I’m doing: Stare down at your three-year-old laptop and wonder if you can tough it out another year or two while this sorts itself out.
 
MacBook Pro Touch Bar lets users skip through YouTube ads
  • First spotted by users on Reddit, at present the fancy new Touch Bar lets users scrub through otherwise unskippable ads so you can start watching videos straight away.
  • “In Safari, the touchbar [sic] will pop up a scrubbing control whenever a video begins to play,” Redditor RomansFiveEight writes. “Amazingly, you can use that to scrub THROUGH an ad, even a non-skippable 30 second pre-roll ad; and begin your video right away!”
 
Apple chronicles 20 years of iconic design in pricey new book
  • Apple has announced that it will be debuting a new hardbound book, entitled “Designed by Apple in California,” chronicling 20 years of its groundbreaking designs — boasting 450 photographs of past and present Apple products.
  • The book, which is dedicated to the memory of Steve Jobs, will also include exclusive details on the design processes used by Apple’s design team under the leadership of Jony Ive.
  • The photos contained are all shot by photographer Andrew Zuckerman, a filmmaker and photographer who has previously shot portraits of Judi Dench, Clint Eastwood, Ted Kennedy, and others.
  • “Designed by Apple in California”
  • it is available in two sizes — including a small 10.20” x 12.75” edition for $199 and a large version sized at 13” x 16.25” — costing $299.
  • Specially milled German paper
  • Gilded matte silver edges
  • Low-ghost inks
 
Jony Ive goes inside Apple’s design lab in new video
  • Going inside Apple’s design lab is a rare privilege some Apple execs don’t even get, but Jony Ive is giving the world a glimpse inside his lab to celebrate the company’s new book.
 
Apple had to buy back old products featured in its new design book
  • According to a new interview with Jony Ive, Apple had to actually go out and buy copies of its old products in order to photograph them for its new $300 coffee table book
  • “[W]e’ve been so consumed by our current and future work we came to realise we didn’t have a catalogue of the physical products,” Ive told design journal Wallpaper*. ” … Many of the products that you see, we actually had to go out and purchase. It’s a rather shameful admission, but it’s just not an area that we really invested much time or energy in.”
  • Shortly after he returned to the company in the late 1990s, Steve Jobs gave Apple’s historical archive — comprising records that management at Apple had kept since the mid-1980s — to Stanford University Libraries because he didn’t want Apple to be fixated on the past.
  • A few years after that, in 1996, an ex-Apple employee named David Pakman who had worked there from 1991 through 1997 emailed Steve to suggest staging a celebratory event for Apple’s thirtieth birthday. He received a simple answer: Apple is focused on the future, not the past. —Steve
  • Fortunately, things are changing, Ive said. Around eight years ago, the company felt an “obligation” to go out and start building up an archive of every product it had released.
 
Liveblog: The best Black Friday deals for 2016
 
Mavic Pro—10 years ago you’d need a helicopter to get footage like this
Direct download: CultCast_258_-MacBook_Pro_w_TouchBar__the_good_the_bad_the_ugly.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:00pm PDT

This week: early reviews show new MacBook Pro is a video editing powerhouse; Apples massive interest in augmented reality; rumors of a Jet White iPhone; AirPods to finally start shipping; new dongle discounts; and finally—is Apple still developing an electric car?

This episode supported by

Might Tees’ artful Steve Jobs, Woz, Apple and Star Trek tees are worn Will Wheaton, LeVar Burton, co-founders at Bad Robot, Chris Hardwick, Veronica Belmont, and even Steve Wozniak himself.  And without Might Tees, there’d be Leander have Erfon would have never met.  Grab a piece of CultCast history!  While supplies last, get 60% off any order at MightTees.com and use code CultCast at checkout.

CultCloth will keep your iPhone 7, Apple Watch, Mac and iPad sparkling clean, and for a limited time you can get 20% off your order with code JETBLACK at CultCloth.co.
 
Learn how to get in shape using your Watch and iPhone! Sign up for Cult of Mac's new FREE Fitness ebook.
 
We also want to give Kevin MacLeod at incompetech.com a  thanks for the great music you hear on today's show.
 
On the show this week
 
AirPods supposedly land in Apple stores next week
  • According to one Apple fan, who spoke to an employee at Conrad, an Apple authorized reseller in Germany, AirPods will be delivered to stores next Friday, November 17.
  • “I have just talked with an employee of the Conrad Online Store, since I am there on 14.10 the AirPods ordered and I wanted to cancel today,” he explained to Apfelpage.de. “According to information from the employee, they have stockpiles from 17.11, I will then have them between November 18-19.
 
MacBook Pro with Touch Bar moves one step closer to shipping
  • “Multiple reports collated by AppleInsider and other sources show that Apple is gearing up for the first wave of shipments of the 13- and 15-inch MacBook Pro with Touch Bar, in every configuration,”
  • The first wave of shipments is expected to reach customers as early as November 11. Those who ordered before the shipping estimate slipped should expect to receive them by November 17, though some could be waiting until November 25.
 
New MacBook Pro has already outsold every other notebook in 2016
  • latest model generated over seven times the revenue that the MacBook 12-inch did during its April 2015 launch. The new model’s sales already equal 78 percent of all the revenue generated by the MacBook 12-inch since it became available, and has accumulated more revenue than any other laptop this year.
  • Slice Intelligence found 40 percent of Apple laptop owners who purchased a MacBook in 2014 bought their next laptop with another brand. Dell and Asus computers were the most popular laptops for people who previously purchased a MacBook.
 
The truth about the 2016 MacBook Pro 13” (@JonnyLewisFilms)
  • Jonathan Morris pits a specs’d out HP Specter to a 13” MacBook Pro
  • Premier takes 9+ minutes to export, Final Cut 1:20
 
Dongle Discount!  Apple Drops Prices on USB-C Adapters
In response to Mac outrage, Apple has temporarily dropped the prices on their adapters.
USB-C to USB Adapter - Was $19, now $9
USB-C Digital AV Multiport Adapter - Was $69, now $49
USB-C VGA Multiport Adapter - Was $69, now $49
USB-C to Lightning Cable (1m) - Was $25, now $19
USB-C to Lightning Cable (2m) - Was $35, now $29
- Apple has also introduced some significant price cuts to the 4K and 5K LG UltraFine displays that were announced at its October 27 Mac event.
- The LG UltraFine 5K Display is now priced at $974, a $325 price cut from its original price of $1,299.95.
- The LG UltraFine 4K Display is now priced at $524, a $175 price cut from its original price of $699.95.
Direct download: CultCast_257_-_Apple_augments_reality.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:59pm PDT

This week:  we’ve canceled our MacBook Pro order! It’s true, and we’ll you why...  Plus: we compare new MacBook Pro’s performance to older models and similarly priced machines;  Apple call it quits on external displays;  and, the end of an era—one of Mac’s most iconic features gets retired.
 
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.
 
CultCloth will keep your iPhone 7, Apple Watch, Mac and iPad sparkling clean, and for a limited time you can get 20% off your order with code JETBLACK at CultCloth.co.
 
We also want to give Kevin MacLeod at incompetech.com a  thanks for the great music you hear on today's show.
 
On the show this week
 
Professional Mac Users' Complaints List Grows After 'Disappointing' Apple Event
It seems like everyone’s pissed!
 
 
This week’s notes and links
  • Hiked prices really make you think about what you’re getting, especially compared to how much better it is to what you already have (or what’s available on the market).
  • Raw Power differences/Speed increases in new MBP (compared to 2012 model)
  • We specs aren’t everything as Apple optimizes everything.
  • Felix Schwarz on twitter
  • CPU
    • Only ~30% increase in Geekbench Single and MultiCore increases if buying the same speed processor you have no.
    • Skylake processors are already a year old, but Kaby lake isn't due out until January and Cannonlake due in 2017 as well.
  • GPU
    • You get 100-180% increase in GPU performance over 2012 dedicated GPUs
    • AMD Pro 400 series is used for low power consumption.  4 year old architecture.
      • it’s a mobile version of a budget graphics card
      • AMD claims "the thinnest graphics processor possible”
      • ideal for artists, designers, photographers, filmmakers, visualizers
    • Not on par with Nvidia GPUs
      • Nvidia’s budget card, GTX 1060, performs at 4.2 teraflops a second vs AMD Pro 460’s 1.8 Teraflops.  455’s 1.2 Tflops 450’s 1 Tflop.
  • Nickel and dimed
    • New cables or dongles for all your USB devices, your iPhone, your peripherals and Thunderbolt 2 devices, maybe your existing monitor.
    • No power brick extension cable.
    • Funny enough, Phil Schiller noted the new MacBook Pro still has a 3.5mm headphone jack because it is a "pro machine," but lacks an SD card reader because it's a "cumbersome" slot best left to adapters or wireless transfers. 
  • Take into account the $400-$500 price increases, it’s hard to get on board.
  • Next year’s upgrade will address a number of my concerns
    • Much newer Intel CPUs.
    • More availability of USB C and Thunderbolt 3 tech.
    • Lower prices.
    • Touch Bar bugs worked out (if any).
    • Cheaper SSD upgrades.
  • Again, specs aren’t everything.  Apple says the new MacBook Pro has:
    • 130% better 3D graphics performance.
    • 60% better gaming performance
    • 57% better video editing performance
 
Performance comparison of the 2012 and 2016 15” Retina MacBook Pro
 
MacBook Pro’s two biggest problems may get fixed in 2017
  • The KGI Securities analyst told investors in a recent note that he expects Apple will bring big price-cuts to the MacBook Pro along with some internal upgrades. Kuo also claims the 2017 update will finally give the MacBook Pro up to 32GB of RAM.
  • KabyLake CPUs will be used if Intel’s Cannonlake chips aren’t ready. That will keep max RAM support at 16GB for another year.
  • Price cuts on the next MacBook Pro won’t arrive until the second half of 2017 though.
 
 
Apple is officially done making displays
Buster
  • The days of Apple making its own stand-alone displays for the Mac Mini and Mac Pro are dead.
  • Apple revealed a new 5K 27-inch Thunderbolt 3 display during its “Hello Again” keynote yesterday, only instead of being made by Apple, the company partnered with LG to create the monito
  • The Verge editor-in-chief Nilay Patel tweeted that, after asking about it at the Hello Again event, was informed by Apple that “it’s out of the stand-alone display biz.”
  • Apple did add some tech to LG’s display so that it integrates better with Macs. You can adjust the brightness settings on the LG 5K UltraFine display from your Mac, rather than pushing buttons on the display itself.
  • $1300, or $700 for a 4K model
 
2016 MacBook Pro loses the iconic startup chime
  • The new MacBook Pro jettisons the iconic F-sharp sound Apple uses to show a Mac is booting up.
  • The use of an arpeggiated chord when you started your Mac dates back to the Macintosh II, when software engineer Mark Lentczner incorporated it into the system.
  • The sound was later revised by Jim Reekes, Apple’s senior software engineer in charge of the audio and system sounds, during the 1990s. Over the years, its tone has changed further and the instrumentation has also varied,
  • The reason for getting rid of the sound instead has to do with the fact that the new laptops now turn on from a fully switched-off mode if they’re opened — meaning you can save all that energy you would otherwise have expended pressing the power button.
  • There’s hope!  You can reactivate the sound via a terminal command.
 
Nvidia GTX 1060 Laptop vs Desktop Benchmarks – Is Pascal Really a Game Changer?
 
How to restore Mac startup chimes on 2016 MacBook Pro
 
How Faster are the Intel processor and Radeon Pro 450 / 455 / 460 GPU on the New MacBook Pro 15 2016?
 
Apple Has Received More Online Orders for New MacBook Pro Than Any Previous Generation
 
Direct download: CultCast_256_-_Why_we_re_canceling_our_MacBook_Pro_order.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:09pm PDT

This week: Happy?  Disappointed?  Downright pissed off?  Don’t miss our Hello Again Mac event reactions!  Plus: everything we know about Apple’s new MacBook Pro, and the two big omissions in Apple TV’s new TV app.
 
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.
 
On the show this week
 
What do YOU think of the new MacBook Pros?  Tell us your thoughts on The CultCast sub Reddit.
 
 
Pros
 
  • The new MacBook Pro won’t ship for another 2-3 weeks, but members of the media who got their fingers on the new Touch Bar came away from Apple’s event with rave reviews.
    • Techcrunch: The Touch Bar is, in a word, neat…The strip itself is glossy. Not quite slick, but frictionless enough so as to run a finger across with little effort. It’s quick and responsive, reacting to multi-touch and the amount of pressure the user applies. It also adapts quite quickly as you toggle between different apps.”
  • Versatile - You know get Thunderbolt 3, USB 3.1, Display Port, and charging abilities on every port.
  • Brighter screen with better color
    • Engadget was particularly impressed by the screen on the new MacBook Pro models, calling it "stunning" when in person and "a noticeable upgrade" from the previous generation of MacBook Pros.
  • Massive new trackpad.
  • Headphone jack!
  • Upgraded GPU and processor.
  • 60hz refresh rates on 4K and 5K displays
  • Second-generation “fine tuned” butterfly mechanism keyboard.
  • Now available in Space Gray and Silver
 
Nos
  • Previous MacBook Pros started at $1299 (13”) and $1999 (15”).  New MBPs start at a whopping $1799 (13”) and $2399 (15”).
  • USB C only ports mean dongles for everything, including regular USB peripherals.
  • No SD card slot.
  • No HDMI out.
  • Your current iPhone cable won’t work.
  • Your Thunderbolt cables and peripherals won’t work without Apple’s new $50 adapter.
  • No Magsafe 😥
  • Dongles for literally EVERYTHING:
    • iPhone
    • AirPods
    • SD Card readers
    • Ethernet
    • Thunderbolt 2 peripherals
    • Displayport monitors
  • No other Macs announced or updated
  • AirPods delayed
  • 13" Macbook Air not updated but will continue to be sold for time being.  11” retired.
  • So long non-retina MacBook Pro.
  • Previous gen MacBook Pro with Intel graphics still for sale but at the same price.
 
Apple’s TV app doesn’t work with the two best streaming services
  • Apple revealed its plan to own your TV screen today with a new app called TV. The new service aims to unify your TV experience on iPhone, iPad and Apple TV by taking you straight to content, but the two best streaming services won’t be available.
  • Both Amazon Prime Video and Netflix won’t participate in Apple’s new feature. 
  • Netflix confirmed "we are not participating and evaluating the opportunity”
Direct download: CultCast_255_-_Our_Hello_Again_Mac_Event_Reactions.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:16pm PDT

This week: is Apple is about to make massive updates across the entire Mac line?  Don’t miss our Oct. 27 Mac event predictions!  Plus: everything we know about Nintendo Switch, and why we already love it.
 
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.
 
Harry’s super-sharp, German-made razors ship free right to your door and for way less than the drugstore razors. Get a free trial set at Harrys.com and score free post shave balm with code CultCast at checkout
 
On the show this week
 
Event predications
 
Macbook Pro
It’s been 528 days since its last update (average is 268), and 4 years since its last major overhaul.
We expect an:
  • OLED display bar.
  • Touch ID power button and 4 USB-C ports (with Thunderbolt 3 compatibility)
  • The MagSafe port reportedly will be scrapped.
  • Upgrade to 4K 4096 x 2160 resolution from current 2880x1800 res.
 
Macbook Air, Apple’s cheapest computer
It’s been 591 days since its last update (average is 350).
Overall design of the MacBook Air will likely remain the same.
The machines are expected to be updated with USB-C support, according to a new Bloomberg report.
Updated internals for sure.
Retina display is possible but may not happen since this is now Apple’s budget machine.
According to Macotakara, no more 11 inch.
 
Macbook
Nuthin - The MacBook was updated with Intel Skylake processors and a new Rose Gold color option in April of 2016.
 
iMac
374 days since its last update, with an average of 317.
We haven’t heard a peep about updates.
Likely just updated internals, but possibility of larger screen with curved display.
 
Mac Pro
1037 days since since the Mac Pro released.  No updates since.
Average update is 449 days.
Major internal updates expected with possibly design overhaul.
 
Mac Mini
No rumors.
735 days since last update, average is 438.
We’re expecting internal updates, but that’s probably it.
 
New Cinema Display
In June of 2016 the Cinema display was officially discontinued.
There have been rumors of a new ‘Thunderbolt Display’ that will feature a 5K display and an external GPU in the display itself so under-powered Macs can still run it.
 
A Magic Trackpad 2 with multi-touch and Force Touch was announced on October 13, 2015 along with the Magic Mouse 2 and Magic Keyboard, so probably no updates.  It’s possible we get an updated Magic Keyboard with OLED display bar.
 
First Look at the Nintendo Switch
 
 
Direct download: CultCast_254_-_Hello_indeed.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:29pm PDT

This week: tips, tricks, and techniques to take beautiful iPhone photos and build a following on Instagram. Plus: the crazy exploding Samsung Galaxy Note saga ends in a strange twist; rumors point to Macs with radically new e-ink keyboards;  and an honest look at Siri vs. the AI competition.
 
This episode supported by
 
CultCloth will keep your iPhone 7, Apple Watch, Mac and iPad sparkling clean, and for a limited time you can get 20% off your order with code JETBLACK at CultCloth.co.
 
And check out Cult of Mac’s new, free fitness eBook! This ebook is your practical how-to guide, covering step by step everything you need to know about getting fit with Apple’s devices.
 
We also want to give Kevin MacLeod at incompetech.com a  thanks for the great music you hear on today's show.
 
On the show this week
 
Intro - Freedom of choice!
 
Earin wireless earbuds
 
Apple may be working on keyboard with e-ink display keys
Buster
  • A Redditor namede Foxconninsider recently posted about a new Smart Keyboard claimed to be a working e-ink keyboard prototype potentially coming to both iMac and MacBook devices sometime in 2018.  
  • The Guardian is now corroborating the keyboard with a claim that Apple CEO, Tim Cook has met with Sonder founder Serra-Martins in while in China.
 
Samsung mercifully puts Galaxy Note 7 out of its misery
  • Samsung has permanently stopped production of its once-acclaimed new smartphone flagship. Owners will be able to return their phones for a refund or to swap it out for another Samsung device.
  • The handset was allegedly rushed to market due to Samsung’s confidence that the iPhone 7 would turn out to be a box office dud.
 
LOL: Galaxy Note 7 return kit includes fire-proof box and gloves
  • If you bought your Note online from Samsung,returning it could be tricky. In the United Kingdom, the Post Office won’t even accept packages that contain the device.
  • Fortunately, Samsung has a solution. Its special Note 7 return kit was designed with explosions in mind, and it includes thermally-insulated packaging with a ceramic fiber paper lining, and gloves that ensure you won’t suffer burns while handling the device.
 
Mossberg: Why does Siri seem so dumb?
  • When was the last time Siri delighted you with a satisfying and surprising answer or action?
  • Siri started as an iOS app in 2009, then was purchased by Apple and introduced again in the iPhone 4S
  • It seems to me that Apple has wasted its lead with Siri. And now Google, Amazon, Microsoft, Facebook and others are on the march
  • If you try and treat Siri like a truly intelligent assistant, aware of the wider world, it often fails
  • (Weather on Crete, Presidential Nominees) Google Now, on the same Apple devices, using the same voice input, answered every one of these questions clearly and correctly
  • Siri is too limited and unreliable to be an effective weapon for Apple in the coming AI wars. It seems stagnant
Direct download: CultCast_253_-_Eatercising.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:32am PDT

This week: revamped iPads coming this spring; Apple lays the groundwork for the next era of personal technology; how smart homes get hacked; Google’s Pixel phone vs. iPhone 7; and we reveal our favorite new iOS and Mac apps!
 
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.
Easiest
 
Casper’s American-made mattresses have just the right amount of memory foam and latex, and people everywhere love them.  Learn why at Casper.com/cultcast and get $50 towards any mattress with code "CultCast".
 
We also want to give Kevin MacLeod at incompetech.com a  thanks for the great music you hear on today's show.
 
On the show this week
 
Intro - Do you even scan, bro?
 
We’re glad to see they’re putting them to good use
 
Replacement Galaxy Note 7 catches fire on a plane
  • Southwest Airlines was forced to evacuate a flight from Louisville to Baltimore this morning before it hit the runway, thanks to a Samsung Galaxy Note 7 smartphone that caught fire.
  • The owner of the Galaxy Note 7 said he got the new phone on September 21st at an AT&T store. Before the flight left the gate, the owner says he powered it down and put it in his pocket when it started smoking.
  • Thick grey-green smoke poured out of the device after the owner dropped it on the floor. In a matter of moments it had burned through the plane’s carpet.
  • “All passengers and crew exited the plane via the main cabin door and no injuries were reported,”
 
 
With new hardware trio, Google makes major play for your home
  • During an event in San Francisco today, Google unveiled a new Wi-Fi router, an improved Chromecast with 4K support, and a new Google Home device that’s a lot like Amazon’s Echo smart speaker, only it’s powered by Google Assistant.
  • Google Home allows owners to use voice commands to do stuff like play music on YouTube, Google Play Music or Spotify. You can also ask Google Home to play podcasts or news feeds.
 
AirPods point to Apple’s domination of ‘ambient paradigm’
 
Three new iPads Pro are coming early next year
  • Apple is set to debut a trifecta of new iPad Pro models in Q1 2017, according to a new report
  • Mac Okatara suggests that the 12.9-inch and 7.9-inch iPad Pros will get the same 12MP iSight camera and True Tone technology that the 9.7-inch iPad Pro currently has. All three models will also supposedly receive quad microphones and, in something of a pleasant surprise, 3.5mm headphone jacks.
  • If Apple’s yearly product cycle wasn’t enough of a hint that a new iPad was on the way, Apple’s iPad Pro tablets both received discounts of up to $100 after Apple’s iPhone 7 media event last month. This announcement coincided with a storage upgrade for other iPad models.
 
Let’s talk about apps, man
 
Leander
 
Buster
 
Erfon
Direct download: CultCast_252_-_Galaxy_Grenades.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:28am PDT