The CultCast
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 PDT

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 PDT

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 PDT

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 PDT

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 PDT

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

This week: 
  • It’s official, the WWDC keynote takes place June 5th, so here are our hardware expectations 🕺
  • Apple quietly acquires one of the world’s best sleep tracking technologies
  • Why Amazon’s Prime video app may FINALLY be coming to your Apple TV
  • Our first impressions of the Amazon Echo Show, and the features we hope Apple steals from it
  • And stick around for a completely weird, totally tribal What We’re Into, the segment where we reveal the all the non-tech stuff we’re currently enjoying.
 
This episode supported by
 
Casper’s American-made mattresses have just the right amount of sink and bounce, and people everywhere love them.  Learn why and get $50 towards any mattress at Casper.com/cultcast.
 
CultCloth will keep your iPhone 7, Apple Watch, Mac and iPad sparkling clean, and for a limited time you can use code CULTCAST to score a free CleanCloth with any order at CultCloth.co.
 
We also want to give Kevin MacLeod at incompetech.com a  thanks for the great music you hear on today's show.
 
On the show this week
 
Apple Sends Out Press Invites for WWDC Keynote on June 5
  • The invites are out!  The WWDC keynote you’ve been waiting for us coming in three weeks, on June 5 at 10:00 a.m. Pacific Time.
 
Apple acquires sleep-tracking startup Beddit
  • Apple recently purchased Beddit, a sleep monitoring system that pairs a pliable under-sheet sleep sensor with an app, all of which is designed to help users analyze and improve their sleeping habits.
  • Apple's Beddit purchase came to light because Beddit updated its privacy policy to both highlight the acquisition and implement Apple's privacy rules. "Your personal data will be collected, used and disclosed in accordance with the Apple Privacy Policy," reads the site.
 
Amazon Prime Video may come to Apple TV this summer
  • Apple and Amazon, the tech giants, are close to an agreement to bring an Amazon video app to Apple’s Apple TV set-top box, according to people familiar with the two companies.
  • Amazon employees expect the app to show up on Apple’s hardware in the third quarter of the year.
  • That move would allow Amazon Prime Video subscribers to easily watch TV shows and movies from the service using Apple TV.
  • It’s unclear what got the two companies to reach an agreement, though some industry observers suggest that any pact would have been worked out, at a high level, by CEOs Tim Cook and Jeff Bezos.
 
Amazon Echo Show brings video to smart-speaker party
  • Amazon’’s new Echo Show is just like Echo, but with Video.  You’re gonna just love video.  It’s like a audio  but for your eyes!
  • With Echo Show Watch video flash briefings and YouTube, see music lyrics, security cameras, photos, weather forecasts, to-do and shopping lists, and more. All hands-free—just ask.
  • Introducing a new way to be together. Make hands-free video calls to friends and family who have an Echo Show or the Alexa App, and make voice calls to anyone who has an Echo or Echo Dot.
  • See lyrics on-screen with Amazon Music. Just ask to play a song, artist or genre, and stream over Wi-Fi. Also, stream music on Pandora, Spotify, TuneIn, iHeartRadio, and more.
  • Powerful, room-filling speakers with Dolby processing for crisp vocals and extended bass response
  • Ask Alexa to show you the front door or monitor the baby's room with compatible cameras from Ring and Arlo. Turn on lights, control thermostats and more with WeMo, Philips Hue, ecobee, and other compatible smart home devices.
Direct download: CultCast_283_-_WWDC_hardware_expectations.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:24pm PDT

This week: 
  • Apple’s secret Siri speaker may be announced at WWDC—we’ll tell you everything (we think) we know about it.  
  • Why AirPods are the best product Apple’s made in years
  • Why Microsoft’s MacBook clone is actually great for Apple fans
  • We deconstruct and decode Tim Cook’s mysterious and quickly deleted accidental tweet, and you’ll be shocked at the truth!
 
This episode supported by
 
Build a beautiful, responsive website quick at Squarespace.com.  Enter offer code CultCast at checkout to get 10% off. Squarespace—Build it Beautiful.
 
CultCloth will keep your iPhone 7, Apple Watch, Mac and iPad sparkling clean, and for a limited time you can use code CULTCAST to score a free CleanCloth with any order at CultCloth.co.
 
We also want to give Kevin MacLeod at incompetech.com a  thanks for the great music you hear on today's show.
 
On the show this week
 
This week’s Intro
 
Apple’s new Siri speaker could be revealed at WWDC
  • Earlier this week, we heard the company is currently in the process of finalizing the design of its first standalone Siri device, which is expected to take on the Amazon Echo. Now we have an idea what it might look like and when it could be revealed.
  • Apple's Siri-based smart speaker and home hub has an "over 50 percent chance" of being announced at WWDC, according to our homeboy Ming Chi Kuo.
  • Kuo said Apple's smart home product will likely launch in the second half of 2017 and cost more than the Amazon Echo, $179. The device will supposedly support AirPlay with "excellent acoustics performance" from one woofer and seven tweeters. Kuo said its performance will be similar to the iPhone 6/6s.
  • Last week, leaker Sonny Dickson likewise said Apple's smart speaker could be announced as early as WWDC. He said the device will run a variation of iOS with unspecified Beats technology, in addition to a Mac Pro-like concave top with built-in controls and speaker meshing covering the majority of its surface.
  • A report from The Information said Apple's smart home speaker would be able to control appliances, locks, lights, and curtains through Siri voice commands. It added that some of the prototypes in testing have facial recognition sensors
 
Apple places orders for its Amazon Echo rival
  • Digitimes is reporting that Inventec, the Taiwan company that makes Apple’s popular AirPods, received Apple’s order for the the Siri Smart speaker,
 
Siri could soon recognize your voice for added security
 
AirPods get highest-ever satisfaction score for a first-year Apple product
  • AirPods are the most beloved product Apple has launched in years, based on a new survey that found an astonishing percentage of AirPod owners are extremely satisfied.
  • In a newly published study conducted by Creative Strategies and Experian, a total of 98 percent of AirPod owners said they are either “very satisfied” or “satisfied” with Apple’s new wireless buds. Over 80 percent of customers said they are very satisfied.
 
Microsoft’s answer to the MacBook suffers one big flaw
  • Microsoft’s new Surface Laptop, with its sleek design and a super-sharp display, might look like a worthy competitor to the MacBook
  • Starting at $999, the Surface Laptop ships with an Intel Core i5 processor, 4GB of RAM, 128GB of storage, and a battery that lasts up to 14.5 hours in between charges.
  • Windows 10 S only runs apps downloaded from the Windows Store!  But uou can upgrade to Windows Pro for $50.
 
Twitter flips out over mysterious Tim Cook tweet
  • Apple CEO Tim Cook set Twitter ablaze with speculation today — and all it took was a simple smiley face emoji.
  • Cook sent out a tweet with just a smiley face emoji this morning. No other context was provided, and the tweet got deleted shortly later, leading Apple fans on Twitter to wonder what the most powerful man in tech was really trying to say.
Direct download: CultCast_282_-_The_Siri_smart_speaker_is_incoming_.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:55pm PDT

This week: 
  • Apple stores are about to get a massive 2.0 overhaul, and we’ve got all the details
  • Why the iPhone 8 may launch super late with no OLED
  • Final Cut Pro X hits a massive milestone
  • Google co-founder makes a flying car, and you’re gonna want one! 
  • We reveal our favorite new gadgets 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
 
SVP of retail Angela Ahrendts reveals redesigned Apple stores
2017’s ‘iPhone Edition’ to arrive late, OLED display uncertain
  • Apple analyst KGI Ming-Chi Kuo is reporting that mass production of the OLED iPhone will likely be pushed back to October/November, instead of the normal August/September timeframe because suppliers are having difficulties producing several of the phone’s cutting edge custom-ordered parts.
  • The moderately reliable Makotakara is reporting that device is also claiming the phone will be delayed, and that the OLED upgrade we’ve been looking forward to isn’t a sure thing yet.
 
Final Cut Pro X hits massive 2 million users milestone
  • At this week’s annual National Association of Broadcasters conference, Apple revealed that it now has 2 million users of its Final Cut Pro X video-editing software, five years after launching the tenth version of the program.
  • At $299 for a license, that’s a cool 600 million dollars.
  • Apple’s rep added that it is taken considerably less time for Apple to jump for 1 million to 2 million users than it did for the company to reach its first million adopters.
 
Here’s how Apple plans to make its stores more magical
  • Angela Ahrendts was hired as Apple’s VP of retail just about 3.5 years ago, and she’s now unveiling her vision for the future of the Apple store.
  • Apple wants to make their stores to be a place where you can engage with your devices and your communities.  A place to meet your friends, like at Starbucks!  says VP of Retail Angela Ahrendts.
  • Apple is bringing new “hands on” sessions to its stores, enlisting artists, Mac experts and celebrities in a bid to make its retail outlets more engaging.
  • The new Today at Apple initiative will launch next month in Apple stores everywhere. The initiative includes free hands-on sessions that will span more than 60 sessions in creative skills, including photography, coding and music creation. Classes will range from basic “how to” lessons to professional-level programs.
  • "Amazon’s investing in stores, Google’s investing in stores. Starbucks has figured it out.  You know, be a gathering place. Meet me at Starbucks.  And I’ve told the teams, I’ll know we’ve done a really really great job if the next generation, if gen Z says, meet me at Apple.  Did you see what’s going on at Apple today?”
 
Google co-founder’s flying car gets internet debut
  • Forget self-driving cars. A startup backed by Google co-founder Larry Page is aiming to reshape transportation by giving us flying cars, and the company finally gave the internet a teaser today.
  • Kitty Hawk posted the first video of its all-electric aircraft today. The vehicle is only designed to fly over water, but the company says you won’t even need a pilot’s license to fly it.
  • The Kitty Hawk Flyer will supposedly go on sale by the end of 2017. Pricing details won’t be revealed until later in the year, but you can get in line to purchase one by signing up for a three-year Kitty Hawk membership for $100.
  • Members also get a $2,000 discount on the Flyer as well as some exclusive access to a flight simulator. We’re assuming that’s so you don’t wreck it on your first flight.
Direct download: CultCast_281_-_Introducing_Apple_Store_2.0.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:33pm PDT

This week: we deconstruct the new iPhone 8 leaks! We’ll tell what we’ve learned.  
 
Plus: Apple starts testing the driverless car they’re totally not working on; and the best iOS apps for all you marijuana connoisseurs. 
 
This episode supported by
Build a beautiful, responsive website quick at Squarespace.com.  Enter offer code CultCast at checkout to get 10% off. Squarespace—Build it Beautiful.
 
CultCloth will keep your iPhone 7, Apple Watch, Mac and iPad sparkling clean, and for a limited time you can use code CULTCAST to score a free CleanCloth with any order at CultCloth.co.
 
We also want to give Kevin MacLeod at incompetech.com a  thanks for the great music you hear on today's show.
 
On the show this week
 
 
This week’s Intro
 
 
Sources confirm some of iPhone 8’s biggest upgrades
  • In its report on the new iPhone 8, Bloomberg corroborates many previous rumors about the next-gen iPhone, but suggests that more “ambitious” features may be scaled back or ditched due to manufacturing problems.
  • According to the report, and as we’ve discussed on the show, Apple is preparing three iPhones for launch. Two will simply be updated versions of the current iPhone, while the high-end model will sport a totally revamped look.
  • Apple is testing a premium version with a screen that covers almost the entire front of the device.  That results in a display slightly larger than that of an iPhone y Pus but with an overall phone size closer to the iPhone 7.
  • The updated lower-end model iPhones will stick with LCD displays and get fewer hardware updates.
  • "One of the latest prototype designs includes symmetrical, slightly curved glass on the front and the back. The curves are similar in shape to those on the front of the iPhone 7. The new OLED screen itself is flat, while the cover glass curves into a steel frame. The design is similar conceptually to the iPhone 4 from 2010”
  • "Apple also tested a more ambitious prototype with the same slightly curved front and steel frame, but a glass back with more dramatic curves on the top and bottom like the original iPhone design from 2007, one of the people said. “
  • "Apple suppliers have so far struggled to reliably produce heavily curved glass in mass quantities, so the company is more likely to ship the version with more subdued curves”
  • "Significant camera changes are also in testing for Apple’s overhauled iPhone. For the back of the phone, Apple is testing versions of the phone with the dual-camera system positioned vertically, instead of horizontally like on the iPhone 7 Plus, which could result in improved photos,”
  • “Apple has … experimented with integrating the iPhone’s fingerprint scanner into the screen of the OLED version, which would be technically challenging, the people said”.  TouchID on the back?
 
‘Leaked’ iPhone 8 drawings reveal surprising design
  • A new photo from leaker Sonny Dickson of what is believed to be iPhone 8 schematics reveals a surprising new design direction.
  • Apple appears to have done away with the smooth curves we’ve come to expect from its smartphones in recent years, opting instead for sharper edges and flat sides. This image suggests the next iPhone will be much like the iPhone 5, only bigger.
  • The shell seen in the photo above carries the same flat sides as the iPhone 5, with what appear to be chamfered edges. Cutouts for two rear-facing cameras get stacked one on top of the other, near the trademark Apple logo and a rear-facing Touch ID button.
  • It looks like the frame shown in the leaked iPhone 8 schematics was designed to hold flat glass, not a curved display like those used by Samsung.
 
 
Apple gets green light to test autonomous cars in California
  • The California DMV updated its website today adding Apple to the list of 30 companies testing self-driving cars in California, including Tesla, Google, VW, Ford, Mercedes Benz and BMW.
  • Don’t get your hopes up on seeing a car made by Apple anytime soon though. A DMV spokesperson informed the Financial Times that Apple is licensed to test three 2015 Lexus RX450h cars with six drivers.
 
6 iPhone apps every stoner needs on 4/20
Direct download: CultCast_280_-_The_iPhone_8_leaks_begin__.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:58pm PDT