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

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

This week: it’s easy to ignore how intuitive it is to use an iPhone, but behind those vast array of simple swipes and taps was an entire team of designers who painstakingly crafted the sophisticated interactions that give the iPhone its magic.  
 
This week we'll tell you the stories behind inertial scrolling, swipe to unlock, and Bas Ording, the man who brought iOS to life using the physics of our natural world.
 
This episode supported by
 
You might know of Shutterstock as home to royalty-free photos. But, they offer much more.  Kickstart your next interactive project with video clips or music tracks from their collection, and save 20% for a limited time at shutterstock.com/cultcast
 
Build a beautiful, responsive website quick at Squarespace.com.  Enter offer code CultCast at checkout to get 10% off. Squarespace—Build it Beautiful.
 
CultCloth will keep your iPhone 7, Apple Watch, Mac and iPad sparkling clean, and for a limited time you can use code CULTCAST to score a free CleanCloth with any order at CultCloth.co.
 
Thanks to Kevin MacLeod at incompetech.com for the great music you hear on today's show.
 
On the show this week
 
iPhone 8 will include fewer casing colors, no Touch ID
  • Will Apple manage to successfully embed Touch ID into the OLED display of the iPhone 8, or will it have to follow in the footsteps of Android device makers and opt for a rear-mounted fingerprint sensor?
  • None of the above, claims well-respected Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. In a list of predictions he’s made for the next iPhone, Kuo claims Apple will skip Touch ID altogether for its next-gen handset.
  • “We predict the OLED model [iPhone 8] won’t support fingerprint recognition,” Kuo writes. The reasons? The full-screen design doesn’t work with existing capacitive fingerprint recognition, and under-the-display fingerprint recognition tech still isn’t ready.
 
 
iPhone 8 might drop Touch ID for 3-D face scanner
  • The iPhone 8 might ditch Touch ID for 3-D facial scanning that could prove faster, easier and more secure than the fingerprint reader currently used for logins and payments.
  • Apple is currently testing the 3-D face-scanning technology in iPhone prototypes that utilize a new 3-D sensor, according to Bloomberg. The new security system could be augmented by eye-scanning technology with the intent of replacing Touch ID, the report adds, citing anonymous “people familiar with the product.”
  • One major production problem Apple faces with the OLED screen iPhone 8 is getting an under-screen fingerprint sensor to work. The technology just isn’t viable yet, according to various rumors, including a recent note from reliable Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo of KGI Securities.
  • The reported 3-D facial scanning tech in the iPhone 8 would analyze more data points than the current fingerprint sensor that powers Touch ID, according to Bloomberg, which offered more details on the tech being tested by Apple:
    • The sensor’s speed and accuracy are focal points of the feature. It can scan a user’s face and unlock the iPhone within a few hundred milliseconds, the person said. It is designed to work even if the device is laying flat on a table, rather than just close up to the face. The feature is still being tested and may not appear with the new device. However, the intent is for it to replace the Touch ID fingerprint scanner, according to the person. An Apple spokesman declined to comment.
 
 
Apple praises ‘unbelievable’ response to ARKit
  • In a new interview, Apple vice-president of product marketing Greg “Joz” Joswiak says the response to its augmented reality ARKit toolset from the developer community has been “unbelievable.”
  • While he wouldn’t share details about a rumored standalone AR headset Apple has hundreds of engineers working on, Joswiak stressed how the widespread usage of Apple mobile devices has the opportunity to make augmented reality into a mainstream technology overnight
  • Example of cool ARKit
 
 
The inside story of the iPhone’s ‘Slide to Unlock’ gesture
  • Who is Bas Ording?
  • One of the key design decisions that Apple’s Human Interface Team made early on while developing the iPhone was to go all in on big, simple gestures. They wanted to make a single, simple swipe accomplish as much as possible.
  • It’s a bit ironic. After investing so much in multitouch technology, which relies on multiple touch inputs, one of Apple’s key edicts was to make as many gestures as possible work with a single finger.
    • “We worked super-hard on multitouch, but then we tried to make everything just work with one finger,” he said laughing.
 
 
Other stuff we talked about
 
 
Under Review!
Direct download: CultCast_291_-_How_the_iPhone_was_made_magical_.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:54pm PST

This week: you’d never know it from Steve Job’s effortless keynote introduction, but the original iPhone was plagued with huge design and production issues that almost made Apple call it quits, right up until the day it was released!  To commemorate the iPhone’s 10th anniversary, we’ll recount some of the incredible stories behind iPhone’s beleaguered early days, and celebrate how Apple pulled off one of the greatest device launches in history.
 
And stay tuned for an all-new What We're Into!
 
This episode supported by
 
You might know of Shutterstock as home to royalty-free photos. But, they offer much more.  Kickstart your next interactive project with video clips or music tracks from their collection, and save 20% for a limited time at shutterstock.com/cultcast
 
CultCloth will keep your iPhone 7, Apple Watch, Mac and iPad sparkling clean, and for a limited time you can use code CULTCAST to score a free CleanCloth with any order at CultCloth.co.
 
Thanks to Kevin MacLeod at incompetech.com for the great music you hear on today's show.
 
On the show this week
 
Sign up to get a free copy of Unsung Apple Hero, an e-book detailing Bas Ording’s career at Apple. We’ll email you a copy when the e-book is released in July! 
 
Trying to build a better iPod
  • iPod was ruling the world, it was 50% of Apple’s revenue.
  • Apple had the wherewithal to realize it was only a matter of time before phones would do it all, and they realized they needed to build one.
  • Well the iPod used a click wheel, so why not build a phone function into that?  It worked great, until they realized it wouldn’t work for dialing numbers.
  • Steve Jobs realized their multitouch technology, which existed as rough demo, could be the key to controlling the iPhone.  But they’d had to shrink it.  The technology at the time consisted of  a ping-pong table-sized display with a projector shooting down onto it.  They had found their solution.
 
 
 
 
 
The pressure
  • Around 2005, Steve Jobs conveyed to Forstall and team that he hated the replacement iPhone proposals he was seeing, and that’s when he threatened to take the project away from them.  He gave the team two weeks to come up with a good design.
  • The team went into overdrive. Working tirelessly.  Non stop.  They had to come up with an entire multitouch design language, touch interactions, like pinch to zoom and the rubber banding scroll.
  • When the two weeks was up, they convened with Steve to show him their new work.
  • He watched silently, stoic.
  • And when the demo was over, Steve said, "let me see it again.”
  • So once more they dived into their vision of the iPhone.
  • And after they were through, Steve simply said: Good job guys.  He was blown away.
 
The keyboard
  • One of the biggest challenges was the software keyboard.  They knew it’d be compared to what Blackberry had, so it had to be good.
  • Unfortunately, in it’s current version, it was total crap.  Worse, the launch date was looming.
  • Scott Forstall knew they were in the danger zone.  He pulled out all the stops.  He froze development on other apps and brought in all their UI developers, and told everyone: make a keyboard.
  • Well three weeks later they all convened, and one by one they showed off their work.  Some of the examples were decent, some really complicated or strange.
  • But one guy came up, and presented what looked like normal keyboard, but as he typed, they realized it was extremely accurate.  They were shocked.
  • How could this be.  How was this working.
  • The UI developer had built AI techniques into the keyboard to learn how you type, and as you did so, it could predict which letter you’d type next.
  • And even though the key sizes on the keyboard didn’t change, but the hit region of your next likely key choice would grow, so even if you didn’t hit it on the head, the right key would still be input.
 
Software designers didn’t know what the phone looked like. The hardware designers didn’t know what the software looked like.  They all saw it for the first time at the Macworld keynote in January, 2007
 
What we’re in to
Direct download: CultCast_290_-_The_chaotic_iPhone_launch_stories_you_ve_never_heard.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:41pm PST

This week:  
  • More of the powerful new iOS 11 features you’ve never heard of. 
  • The talented app which will harnesses the power of Apple’s  new augmented reality features  
  • Scott Forstall is back, and he’s sharing the bizarre story of how the original iPhone really came to be. 
  • Everything you need to know about HEIF, the JPEG-killing format Apple is adopting
  • Cliff jumping in our loin cloths
 
This episode supported by
 
BlueApron - a better way to cook! Get your first 3 meals free with free shipping at BlueApron.com/CultCast
 
CultCloth will keep your iPhone 7, Apple Watch, Mac and iPad sparkling clean, and for a limited time you can use code CULTCAST to score a free CleanCloth with any order at CultCloth.co.
 
Thanks to Kevin MacLeod at incompetech.com for the great music you hear on today's show.
 
On the show this week
 
Former iOS Chief Scott Forstall Discusses Creating the First iPhone
  • Former iOS chief Scott Forstall is back from the dead.  In a rare appearance, he appeared an event Tuesday night at the Computer History Museum in Mountain View, California, where he discussed the birth of the iPhone and his relationship with Steve Jobs.
  • It’s  the first time he's spoken publicly since he was ousted from Apple in October 2012
  • Forstall also spoke about the concept of skeuomorphic design, claiming he had "never heard of skeuomorphism" when he was working on iOS and that it sounded "unnatural”.
    • "When I look at design - when I look at good design - it's approachable, friendly, you can use it without a manual. It's fun. We talked a lot about photo-illustrative design. It was infused into the design sense of Apple by Steve Jobs since the original Mac. We used these design philosophies. It doesn't mean we loved it, or loved every single part of it. We know it worked. How do we know it worked? You just have to watch people use it.”
  • Where things got really interesting is when Scott spoke about the origins of the iPhone.  The TRUE origins.
  • Forstall claimed that before the iPhone was conceived, Jobs had initially wanted a tablet with capacitative touch and multitouch in order to get one over on someone he "hated" who worked at Microsoft.
    • "It began because Steve hated this guy at Microsoft. That is the actual origin," Forstall said, before adding that it wasn't Bill Gates. After hearing the person boast about Microsoft's tablet and stylus development, said Forstall, "Steve came in on a Monday, there was a set of expletives and then he said, 'Let's show them how it's really done'."
 
New Siri icon in iOS 11 may hint at iPhone 8’s virtual Home button
  • Apple may have left a big clue in iOS 11 that points to huge design changes coming later this year to the iPhone 8.
  • While doing some testing with the new Do Not Disturb When Driving feature, eagle-eyed Apple observers have spotted a new icon for Siri in iOS 11 that appears to be a perfect replacement for the Home button Apple is supposedly planning to ditch.
  • The pseudo-Home button, first noticed by AppleInsider, can be found at the bottom of iPhones and iPads. It’s about the same size as the physical Home button, but doesn’t have a Touch ID ring around it.
 
Apple and Ikea’s AR collab lets you test furniture before buying
  • Ikea has revealed a few new details about its augmented reality collaboration with Apple that lets customers test out virtual pieces of furniture in their homes before they buy them.
  • The app is scheduled to launch this fall alongside the official release of iOS 11. At launch, the app will boast 500-600 products that customers will be able to try out in their homes. This ultra-precise technology will allow them to be positioned on real backdrops in 3D with millimeter-accurate positioning.
  • In a recent interview, Michael Valdsgaard, digital transformation manager at Ikea
  • Ikea will aim to debut new products in the app before they arrive in store. He also said that Apple’s augmented reality platform was of interest to Ikea because of its guaranteed reach. “It will be the largest AR platform in the world overnight,” he said. “That’s super interesting to us.”
 
Everything you need to know about the JPEG-killing HEIF format Apple is adopting
  • JPEG was born in 1992
  • As of iOS 11, most iPhones will be switching from JPEG to HEIF.
  • HEIF is the new photo format that Apple is using to replace JPEG. And it probably will replace JPEGs, because the iPhone is the most popular, most-used camera in the world
  • HEIF — or High Efficiency Image File Format — is the still-image version of the HVEC — or H.265 — video format. Its main advantage for you and me is that photos saved in HEIF are roughly half the size of JPEGs, and of better quality
  • HEIF offers other advantages over JPEG. While a JPEG is a single image,  HEIF can be a single image or a sequence of images.
 
Automatic setup
  • When setting up a new iOS device, there's now an option to hold it near an existing device to automatically copy over settings, preferences, and iCloud Keychain.
 
How to use iOS 11’s new Automatic Setup
  • To use Automatic Setup in iOS 11, you need two devices running iOS 11To start the process, you aim the camera at the moving sphere on your old device’s screen.  Just like Apple Watch.
 
iOS 11 Makes it Easy to Share Your Wi-Fi Password With Nearby Friends
  • After choosing your WiFI network, the iPhone user is greeted with the traditional password screen, but on iOS 11 when the iPhone is brought near your iOS 11 device, a card your device notifies you that the iPhone wants to join you network.
  •  You can then tap and send your password to your guest, which recognizes the password, fills out the information, and connect to the Wi-Fi.
 
iPhone's Volume Slider No Longer Covers Videos in iOS 11
  • After selecting a WiFi network to join, iOS 10 users must enter a password for secured networks, but on iOS 11 and High Sierra, you can bring your close to a device which has access to that WiFi network and that device can transfer all required credentials directly to your connecting device!
Direct download: CultCast_289_-_The_powerful_iOS_11_features_you_haven_t_heard_of_.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:01pm PST

This week: 
  • Reviews for the new iPad Pro and HomePod are bonkers
  • Someone in the Apple supply chain just accidentally leaked some of iPhone 8’s marquee features
  • Speed tests show a big improvement in the new MacBook Pro
  • Apple finally offers us iCloud Storage sharing
  • Our favorite unannounced iOS 11 features
  • And we’ll tell you what we like (and don’t) about the apps and gadgets we’re currently testing in an all-new Under Review!
 
This episode supported by
 
Build a beautiful, responsive website quick at Squarespace.com.  Enter offer code CultCast at checkout to get 10% off. Squarespace—Build it Beautiful.
 
CultCloth will keep your iPhone 7, Apple Watch, Mac and iPad sparkling clean, and for a limited time you can use code CULTCAST to score a free CleanCloth with any order at CultCloth.co.
 
Thanks to Kevin MacLeod at incompetech.com for the great music you hear on today's show.
 
On the show this week
 
Apple suppliers confirm two of iPhone 8’s biggest features
  • Apple supplier Largan has confirmed it will be shipping its new 3D sensors in time for iPhone 8, while another has confirmed waterproofing and wireless charging technology.
  • Largan’s sensors are capable of carrying out facial and iris recognition and provide an alternative to fingerprint scanning. They could be the solution Apple turns to if it is unable to embed a Touch ID scanner beneath the iPhone 8’s display.
  • iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus models are already splash- and water-resistant with an IP67 rating, but Apple's fine print warns that "splash, water, and dust resistance are not permanent conditions and resistance might decrease as a result of normal wear." iPhone water damage is not covered by Apple's warranties. 
  • But in Wednesday's shareholders meeting, [Robert] Hwang, [Wistron CEO] told reporters that the Assembly process for the previous generations of [iPhones] have not changed much, though new features like waterproof and wireless charging now require some different testing, and waterproof function will alter the assembly process a bit,” 
  • A report earlier this year said Apple's next iPhone models will feature improved IP68-rated water resistance (30 minutes in up to 3 feet of water)
 
2017 MacBook Pro is Up to 20% Faster Than Last Year's Model in Benchmarks
  • Apple this week refreshed its MacBook Pro lineup with Intel's seventh-generation Kaby Lake processors, and early benchmarks for the notebooks suggest the 2017 models are up to 20 percent faster than the equivalent 2016 models equipped with Intel's sixth-generation Skylake processors. 
  • Only about a 30% improvement over 2012/2013 MacBook Pros...
 
10.5-inch iPad Pro review roundup: Apple’s most impressive tablet yet
  • One of the big improvements of the new iPad Pro is its new variable refresh rate display, which Apple calls ProMotion, and means that it can run at 120Hz, or twice as fast as previous displays. It can also cycle down to 24Hz on still images.
  • ARS has praised the new ProMotion by saying that it makes it easier to read text and scroll simultaneously, with the “ghosting” effect you get at 60Hz greatly reduced
  • What everyone agrees on is that the new A10x processor is blazingly fast
  • Smart keyboard is getting mixed reviews. Some saying it feels flimsy and unsatisfying to type on.
  • Uses the newest Touch ID.
  • Dramatically better antireflection coating.
  • About 30% faster than 9.7inch iPad Pro, even more on multicore Geekbench tests I saw. Export times in Garage Band almost halved in some cases.
  • Way better front (7MPX) and back cameras (12MPX), especially from the previous 12inch which had a 1.2 MPX camera.
  • Fuller, better sounding external speakers
  • iPad finally feels "pro"
 
HomePod First Listen Impressions: 'Incredible' Audio With Bass-Heavy Sound That Easily Beats Echo
  • A few websites have now gotten the chance to hear how HomePod sounds in a quiet environment, and they're sharing their opinions online. 
  • Mashable: The audio wasn't just loud — filling a room with sound, good or bad, is easy — it was rich.
    • Mashable noted that Apple had in-room comparisons with its competitors, including Sonos Play:3 and Amazon Echo, and that the HomePod easily beat the two other speakers in pure music playback quality.
  • CNET: HomePod came off as bolder and more vivid than Sonos Play:3 in the [listening] experience, and a lot better than Amazon Echo. I'd also say the music sounded consistently vivid and crisp in a quiet space
  • What HiFi: We also heard a pair of HomePods playing a live recording of Hotel California by The Eagles. The attention to detail was striking, with different instruments sounding discretely realised.
  • Engadget called HomePod's audio "incredible,”
  • if listening to the HomePod was like listening to a CD, then audio through the Echo sounded like AM radio.
 
Apple Drops 2TB iCloud Storage Price to $9.99, Eliminates 1TB Option
  • Following the WWDC keynote, Apple updated and simplified its iCloud storage tiers
    • 50GB: $0.99
    • 200GB: $2.99
    • 2TB: $9.99 (updated from 1TB)
  • Apple is offering an option to share a 200GB or 2TB iCloud storage plan with family members, which is perhaps the reason behind the price drop. 
  • Google Photos offers free backup for photos and videos.  Or you can back up via Plex premium.
 
Offload unused apps 
  • Automatically offload unused apps if you’re low on storage.
 
iOS 11 Preview: Control Center Gets Customizable With 3D Touch
Control center is now customizable, and you can use 3D touch to expand some control center icons (like the music control)
 
iOS 11 Lets AirPods Users Change Tracks With a Double Tap
  • AirPods will soon be able to skip forwards and backwards between tracks with a double tap of either earpiece, thanks to a new additional setting in iOS 11. 
  • It’ll be possible to customize the AirPods so that a double tap on one earpiece skips, while double tapping on on the other earpiece goes to the previous track. 
 
Under Review
Direct download: CultCast_288_-_iPad_Pro_and_HomePod_get_great_reviews_.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00am PST

This week: in one of the most exciting and action-packed keynotes in years, Apple updates just about everything they’ve got.  Hot off the event, catch our reactions plus our picks for best in show!
 
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.
 
Check out the Cult of Mac  Watch store for a curated selection of our favorite straps, all available for prices far less than you’d expect. 
 
CultCloth will keep your iPhone 7, Apple Watch, Mac and iPad sparkling clean, and for a limited time you can use code CULTCAST to score a free CleanCloth with any order at CultCloth.co.
 
Thanks to Kevin MacLeod at incompetech.com for the great music you hear on today's show.
 
On the show this week
 
WWDC keynote is proof of Apple’s awesome power and poise
 
First look: From cute to badass, Apple’s new hardware impresses
 
Hardware, software and surprises: Key takeaways from Apple’s WWDC 2017 keynote
 
HomePod leads to string of Twitter jabs
 
11 awesome iOS 11 features Apple didn’t bother to mention
 
HomePod smart speaker will totally rock (and control) your house
 
New 10.5-inch iPad Pro is Apple’s best tablet yet
 
Apple teases ‘seriously badass’ iMac Pro and other new Macs at WWDC
Direct download: CultCast_287_-_Reactions_to_the_best_WWDC_in_years_.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:01am PST

This week: new evidence points to one of the most hardware-packed WWDCs in years!  Add in four new OS reveals and, by golly, you have one heckuva exciting show.  We’ll tell you all we know, and share all the products we predict will hit the stage.
 
This episode supported by
Build a beautiful, responsive website quick at Squarespace.com.  Enter offer code CultCast at checkout to get 10% off. Squarespace—Build it Beautiful.
 
CultCloth will keep your iPhone 7, Apple Watch, Mac and iPad sparkling clean, and for a limited time you can use code CULTCAST to score a free CleanCloth with any order at CultCloth.co.
 
We also want to give Kevin MacLeod at incompetech.com a  thanks for the great music you hear on today's show.
 
On the show this week
 
Steve Jobs closes down Apple!
 
Everything we expect to see at WWDC2017
 
MacBook Pro
Macbook Pro with Touch Bar was announced 7 months ago!  But a new one looks to be on the way.  Expect:
  • More powerful Kaby Lake processors
  • 32GB of desktop-class RAM for 15-inch MacBook Pro
  • Price slash for 13-inch MacBook Pro without Touch Bar which hasn’t been selling well per Ming Chi Kuo
 
MacBook Pro shipping estimates hint at WWDC refresh
  • Shipping times for the 15-inch model have slipped on the Apple online store
  • It seems strange that shipping times would suddenly slip for a product that’s been on sale since October.
  • “A spot check shows 15-inch MacBook Pro delivery estimates are similarly as long in the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Italy, Netherlands, Singapore, Spain, and several other countries,” reports MacRumors.
 
12-inch MacBook
  • It’s been over a year since Apple has updated its the portable 12-inch MacBook.  Now would be a good time.
 
MacBook Air
  • Bloomberg reported earlier in May that Apple is “considering” updating the MacBook Pro with a newer processor because sales of the machine have continued to be “surprisingly strong.” Who knows what processor it’ll get or what (if any ) other upgrades (like as USB-C or a new display) might be included.
 
iMac, Mac Pro, and Mac mini
  • Apple announced earlier this year that they are hard at work on new pro-level desktop machines, but don’t expect to see anything at WWDC. The company made it clear that the new Mac Pro is in the works, but they also gave a spec bump to the current line.
  • It is possible we may see an announcement about the pro-level iMacs they talked about, especially considering it hasn’t been updated since Oct. 2015!  Maybe we’ll get some Kaby lake chips.
 
10.5-inch iPad Pro
  • KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo thinks there’s a good chance Apple will debut its 10.5-inch iPad Pro at this year’s event.
  • But if it will be using a new design language similar to the iPhone 8, it probably won’t be revealed until after the new iPhones.
 
Apple is already manufacturing its Siri-powered speaker
  • Apple’s grand unveiling of its Siri-powered home speaker could come as soon as next week, according to a new report that claims production on the new device is already underway.
  • “The device will differ from Amazon.com Inc.’s Echo and Alphabet Inc.’s Google Home speakers by offering virtual surround sound technology and deep integration with Apple’s product lineup,” reports Bloomberg, citing people familiar with the matter.
  • If Apple does announce the speaker at WWDC don’t expect it to be available immediately. The report claims that units won’t ship until later this year, giving devs plenty of time to integrate their applications with it.
 
Apple registers new Macs, iPads, Magic Keyboard ahead of WWDC
  • Apple has registered a bunch of new products with the Eurasian Economic Commission ahead of WWDC next week.
  • Its filings hint at the imminent arrival of new Macs, iPads, and a refreshed Magic Keyboard.
  • The company has registered five new Macs with the EEC
  • Another four model numbers are associated with iOS 10, which likely ties them to new iPad Pros. Possibly also the 10.5-inch model
  • Finally, there’s a model number that points to a wireless keyboard. It’s been well over 19 months since Apple introduced the original Magic Keyboard, so we could well see a refreshed model with some minor improvements under the hood.
 
Get drawing tips as we cover WWDC with sketchnotes
Direct download: CultCast_286_-_WWDC_Product_Predictions.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:40pm PST

This week: 
  • Rumors point to a big iPhone 8 price hike.  What’s the max you would pay? 
  • Intel makes a huge move to push Thunderbolt into the mainstream
  • Ikea about to drop tons of great HomeKit gadgets on us
  • DJI’s Spark selfie drone is a compact powerhouse
  • And we’ll tell you about the weird and whacky gadgets we’re reviewing in an all-new Under Review!
 
This episode supported by
Blue Apron makes it easy to cook delicious meals at home.  See their upcoming menu and get your first three meals free at BlueApron.com/CultCast.
 
CultCloth will keep your iPhone 7, Apple Watch, Mac and iPad sparkling clean, and for a limited time you can use code CULTCAST to score a free CleanCloth with any order at CultCloth.co.
 
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
 
More evidence hints at massive iPhone 8 price hike
  • Rumors that the iPhone 8 may come with a $1,000 price tag are seemingly backed-up by a new report claiming that components for the next-gen handset will be considerably higher than those for its predecessor.
  • According to China’s Economic Daily News, the 3D Touch module alone for the iPhone 8 will cost 150 percent more than the comparable module for the current LCD iPhone.
  • As per a recent report from Goldman Sachs analyst Simona Jankowski, the 128GB iPhone 8 will sell for $999, while the 256GB version will set users back a whopping $1,099. This means that the iPhone 8 could represent a significant 25 percent price jump from the iPhone 7.
  • Include AirPods?
 
 
 
Intel will eliminate Thunderbolt royalties to boost adoption
  • Every manufacturer that uses it has to pay royalties to Intel, which means you typically find it exclusively in expensive, high-end machines.
  • Intel has confirmed plans to drop Thunderbolt royalties in an effort to boost adoption. The chip-maker also plans to integrate Thunderbolt 3 into its own processors starting next year, eliminating the need for a dedicated controller.
  • Thunderbolt has become the ultimate standard for connecting peripherals to your computer, thanks to its incredibly high bandwidth and versatility. Thunderbolt 3’s 40Gbps speeds let you transfer a full 4K movie in just 30 seconds.
  • USB 3 is only 10GBPS!
 
 
Control IKEA Home Smart products with Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant and Apple’s Home app
  • During the summer and early fall, IKEA will be adding functionality to its smart lighting range by enabling people to voice control their lighting with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant and to set up and adjust lighting using Apple’s Home app and Siri voice commands. This takes IKEA one step closer to making smart home technology accessible for the many.
 
DJI goes tiny with new easy-to-fly Spark drone
  • DJI unveiled the new Spark drone at an event in NYC this morning where the tiny flying camera impressed watchers with some innovative new features like the ability to be controlled without using a remote.
  • The Spark packs a 1/2.3” CMOS sensor that captures 12 megapixel photos and shoots stabilized HD 1080p videos so you can get super smooth shots. It also comes with new shooting modes you won’t find yet on the Mavic or Phantom 4: Pano and ShallowFocus.
  • Flight time on the Spark is around 16 minutes per battery with a range of 1.2 miles. Pricing for the basic kit starts at $499, or you can get the Fly More bundle with two batteries, extra propellers and prop guards and a carrying case for $699.
  • QuickShot Intelligent Flight Modes for taking cool selfie vids
  • QuickShot automatically captures a 10-second clip intended for social media sharing
Under Review!
Direct download: CultCast_285_-_1200_for_iPhone_8_.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:28pm PST

This week: new MacBook Pros at WWDC?  Insiders say yes!  We’ll tell you all we know.  Plus: why future Macs are about to get much faster CPUs; Apple makes a big move to bring manufacturing back to the US; and we’ll wrap up with 5 weird and whacky facts about the new Apple Park campus.
 
This episode supported by
Build a beautiful, responsive website quick at Squarespace.com.  Enter offer code CultCast at checkout to get 10% off. Squarespace—Build it Beautiful.
 
CultCloth will keep your iPhone 7, Apple Watch, Mac and iPad sparkling clean, and for a limited time you can use code CULTCAST to score a free CleanCloth with any order at CultCloth.co.
 
We also want to give Kevin MacLeod at incompetech.com a  thanks for the great music you hear on today's show.
 
On the show this week
 
Apple may reveal three new MacBooks at WWDC
  • Apple hasn’t released new hardware at a WWDC keynote since 2013, but the company is allegedly planning to unveil a new lineup of MacBooks, according to a report that claims the new machines will pack Intel’s new Kaby Lake processor to bring more speed than ever.
  • Three new laptops will debut at WWDC 2017, claims Bloomberg, citing “people familiar with the matter.” Both the MacBook Pro and 12-inch MacBook will be updated with new Intel chips.
  • Apple is also supposedly considering updating the 13-inch MacBook Air with a new processor, too, which would be quite a surprise as most observers assumed the machine was on its last legs now that the MacBook and MacBook Pro are thinner. Sales of the old MacBook Air remain “surprisingly strong” due to its cheap price tag, claims one of the report’s sources.
  • What features needed to make the machine exciting again
  • Shows Apple may be getting about making Mac great again.
 
Intel: Cannonlake CPUs will be more than 15 percent faster than Kaby Lake
  • Meager performance gains aren’t all Apple’s fault
  • Chipmakers in past years focused on increasing performance by raising the clock frequency. But that made chips power hungry, and their focus shifted to adding cores, which boosted performance but also added battery life to laptops. Then the focus turned to integrating technologies like graphics and I/O buses inside processors. Gaming and virtual reality have brought a focus back to raw CPU performance.
  • The performance improvements from Skylake to Kaby Lake topped out at 15 percent. The CPU performance boost for Cannonlake should be at least that, Intel said.
  • The gaming market is exploding, especially eSports, and demand for high-performance Core i7 chips skyrocketed last year
  • Intel may be trying to catch up with AMD, which is boasting a 40 percent performance improvement for its upcoming Ryzen chips.
 
Apple’s standalone Siri could look a lot like Echo Show
  • Apple’s Amazon Echo rival standalone Siri speaker will come with a touch-sensitive display, claims KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo.
  • In a note to clients over the weekend, Kuo suggested that the Siri home speaker will have a “touch panel,” although it’s not known whether this will be a full-on screen or a simpler touch-based interface of some sort.
 
Apple gives $200 million to iPhone glassmaker to promote U.S. manufacturing
  • You may have heard that Tim Cook recently announced a $1 billion Advanced Manufacturing Fund in an interview with Mad Money’s Jim Cramer at Apple Campus, he said the goal was to push “people to do advanced manufacturing in the United States.”
  • Rather than pulling from its enormous pile of overseas cash, Apple is borrowing the money for its $1 billion fund since that is cheaper than paying to repatriate its foreign money pile.
  • Apple has awarded Corning the first grant of its $1 billion investment aimed at boosting high-tech manufacturing jobs in the United States. The glassmaker will receive $200 million.
  • Apple’s contribution is part of its “Advanced Manufacturing Fund” will support Corning’s R&D, capital equipment needs, and state-of-the-art glass processing.
 
Apple Park originally looked like a penis and 5 other wild facts
 
How Apple Park campus almost looked like a giant dong
Direct download: CultCast_284_-_New_MacBook_Pros_at_WWDC.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:31pm PST