The CultCast
This week: reports point to a big Mac event coming in October!  We’ll tell you why we expect more than just overhauled MacBook Pros...  Plus: we remember Steve Jobs, and what made him so damned good; why the jet black iPhone 7 is impossible to find; and stay tuned for drone chat, where we discuss the super cool new drones hitting the market.
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We also want to give Kevin MacLeod at a  thanks for the great music you hear on today's show.
On the show this week
Intro - The Extraordinary Powerbook
Long-awaited MacBook Pro update might land in October
  • MacRumors has reported that Apple is moving rapidly toward a launch of the new MacBook Pro models, with current development work on macOS 10.12.1 focused largely on preparing the operating system to support the updated hardware's new features
  • Apple hasn’t made a significant update to the MacBook Pro lineup since May 2015
  • According to MacRumors‘ report, Apple is just waiting for development of macOS 10.12.1 to finish so it can support the updated hardware’s new features. Apple is supposedly planning to seed one more beta version of macOS 10.12.1 early next week. That version will then be polished and loaded onto hardware currently being produced.
  • rumored by several sources to include Touch ID support and an OLED "touch bar" replacing the current row of function keys across the top of keyboard. Apple is also said to be shifting to "Polaris" graphics chips from AMD on the higher-end 15-inch models. 
  • iMac 352/317 (days since update/average)
  • MBP 500/268
  • MBA 570/350
  • Mac Mini 714/438
  • Mac Pro 1015/449
Here’s why jet black iPhone 7 is impossible to find
  • Apple’s new jet black iPhone 7 is nearly impossible to find at stores, and the shortage isn’t going to get better anytime soon, according to one of the most accurate Apple analysts in the game.
  • KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo told investors in a research note today that Apple is having trouble with production of the jet black cases.
  • A substantial number of cases don’t meet quality standards for the jet black finish, which is already susceptible to scratches.
  • Apple had to create an entirely new process to produce the high-gloss black finish, which is why it’s so hard for manufacturers to get their yield rates up.
DJI’s tiny Mavic Pro drone will land at Apple Stores
  • The battle for droning supremacy is heating up today after DJI revealed its tiny new Mavic Pro drone that will take on GoPro’s new Karma drone system.
  • DJI’s new Mavic Pro drone features a folding design that can compress the device down to the size of a water bottle.
  • DJI strapped a 4K video camera on a 3-axis gimbal. It can also take 12MP RAW stills in either portrait or landscape mode thanks to the gimbal that can be controlled via an iPhone.
  • $750 - drone only
  • $999 drone with remote
  • $1300 with extra batteries, quick charger, propellers, bag, etc
  • Ships Oct. 15, in Apple Stores in November
Casey Neistat loves the DJi Mavic Pro drone
Direct download: CultCast_251_-_Big_October_Mac_event_.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:24pm PST

This week: seven days with iPhone 7 and Apple Watch Series 2—well tell you what we love (and don’t) about Apple’s newest iPhone and Watch.  Plus: Hissgate, explained; auto-unlocking your Mac with an Apple Watch; and if you’re wondering how to use picture-in-picture mode on Youtube videos in macOS Sierra, we’ll reveal just how to get it working.
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We also want to give Kevin MacLeod at a  thanks for the great music you hear on today's show.
On the show this week
Let the lovely lady Lisa enchant you
iPhone 7 display is the best LCD ever tested
  • Apple’s new LCD display was rated as “visually indistinguishable from perfect” when it comes to image contrast and intensity. The tiniest amount of color variation, seen when viewing the screen from an angle, also yielded top marks.
  • The DisplayMate report calls the touchscreen display the “crown jewel of the smartphone”
  • One thing that gives the iPhone 7 display a competitive advantage is its adoption of two standard color gamuts: The new DCI-P3 wide color gamut used in 4K UHD TVs, and the smaller sRGB/Rec.709 gamut traditionally used in digital cameras, TVs, computers and most other consumer devices.
  • The test also found that the iPhone 7’s peak brightness can only be achieved when Automatic Brightness is turned on. This prevents users from draining their battery in a flash by accidentally keeping the slider all the way up.
Hissgate: iPhone 7 Plus emits strange noise when under heavy load
  • Some iPhone 7 Plus owners are reporting that Apple’s new devices emit a strange hissing noise when performing processor-intensive tasks. And no one is sure what’s causing it.
  • It appears that Hissgate only effects a small number of devices. Cult of Mac has not been able to replicate the hissing problem on any of our new iPhones.
  • Engadget theorized that it could be a “coil whine” and is likely a small manufacturing defect instead of an overall design flaw.
  • Apple looks to be replacing phones which present the issue
Apple Watch Series 2 review: A tick closer to perfection
  • For the past 16 months, Apple’s wearable and I have had an on-again, off-again relationship.
  • Apple Watch Series 2 is supposed to be wicked fast at this, but there’s just one problem. The device’s screen never shows “GPS” or another indicator to prove it’s connected. You just have to take it on faith that there’s a connection behind the scenes.
  • It still can’t track your elevation. There’s a huge difference in difficulty between running 5 miles on flat roads verses 5 miles with a 2,000-foot elevation gain.
  • The only way to get your elevation data is to pack your iPhone along for the ride.
  • This watch is screaming fast.
  • I didn’t notice any major gains in battery life, so it’s likely that all the extra juice is being used to power the new GPS chip and display.
Direct download: CultCast_250_-_Seven_days_with_iPhone_7.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:44pm PST

This week: should you buy Airpods?  The reviews are in, and we’re excited.  Plus: the iPhone 7 carrier deals you need to know about; iPhone 7 smashes pre-order expectations; Series 1 vs. Series 2 Apple Watch; and, Apple, the new NASA?
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We also want to give Kevin MacLeod at a  thanks for the great music you hear on today's show.
On the show this week
Intro - Whole Earth Access has the Macintosh you’ve been looking for!
T-Mobile CEO: iPhone 7 is shaping up to be a smash hit
  • According to charismatic T-Mobile CEO John Legere, reports about a supposed lack of interest in the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus are way overblown.
  • “So I don’t know what everyone is doing, but it’s like four times bigger than the iPhone 6 for us at this order stage,” he said, calling orders thus far a “phenomenon.” 
Apple won’t have any iPhone 7 Plus models for sale in stores on Friday  
  • It’s completely sold out, as is the smaller iPhone in Jet Black
Our pre-order experiences (discussion)
AT&T/T-Mobile/Verizon iPhone 7 deals are bonkers (discussion)
Thoughts on watchOS 3 and the Apple Watch Series 1 vs. Series 2  (discussion)
AirPods review roundup: A nice idea with room for improvement
  • We’ll have to wait until October to get our hands on Apple’s new wireless AirPods, but select reviewers have been granted early access to help us decide whether they’re worth their $159 price tag.
  • “There’s nothing to break or tangle, nothing to plug in, nothing to get caught on a stranger’s backpack on the train every freaking day. Just sweet aural freedom.”   “sit in my ears, actually better than EarPods, and remained in place even while running” David Pierce at Wired
  • Chris Velazco of Engadget writes that he’s “stunned Apple squeezed as much tech into the AirPods as they did.”
  • Most reviewers concluded that AirPods sound almost exactly like EarPods.
  • Engadget review. “In general, the AirPods gave mids a little more meat than EarPods did, and drum fills felt crisper and more precise. My test tracks… came across warmer than I would have expected.”
  • Another review wrote “I’m no audiophile, but to me, the AirPods sound nearly identical to Apple’s wired EarPods.” 
  • “Having Siri two taps away isn’t just the best thing about the AirPods. It’s the reason they exist,” writes David Pierce. “It’s easy to imagine Apple making the AirPods the centerpiece of how you interact with all your devices, particularly as Siri becomes more important.”
  • “Consider this the first step towards a future where we no longer have to stare at a screen to get things done,” adds Business Insider. “Siri… can always be there, responding to your queries by buzzing in your ear, almost like in the movie “Her.”
Direct download: CultCast_249_-_JazzHands.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:20pm PST

This episode: our iPhone 7 event reactions! iPhone 7, AirPods, the new Apple Watch—we’ll cover everything Apple announced this week, and tell you what we like, what we don’t, and what we’ll be spending our own hard-earned monies on.  Plus: Nintendo's big move into iOS, and how to lock down the exact iPhone you want when the pre-orders go live..
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And our thanks to Kevin MacLeod at a for the great music you hear on today's show.
On the show this week
Shot on iPhone - Tim Cook’s exquisite football photo
Direct download: CultCast_248_-_iPhone_7_event_reactions.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:28pm PST

This week: what new hardware will Apple bestow upon us at the iPhone 7 event next week?  Don’t miss our predictions!  Plus: new video shows iPhone 7 Plus in the wild;  and we explain Apple’s Irish tax woes, then argue about it.
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We also want to give Kevin MacLeod at a  thanks for the great music you hear on today's show.
On the show this week
What do you think we’ll see at Apple’s iPhone 7 event?  Join us on Reddit!
Intro, who needs a desk?
Apple sends out invites for iPhone 7 event on September 7
  • Apple just sent out press invitation to a special event to be held September 7 at 10 a.m. Pacific. The iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus are expected to be unveiled at the event.
  • dual-lens camera on the iPhone 7 Plus could be the most groundbreaking new feature added this year. Other additions are likely to include a new pressure-sensitive Touch ID button, a faster A10 processor, an improved camera on the iPhone 7 Plus, and a new casing with fewer antenna lines. The iPhone 7 will also boast faster LTE, a bigger battery and more.
Apple will package Lightning EarPods and adapter with iPhone 7
  • A new image circulating online, purporting to be insert documentation for the upcoming iPhone 7, appears to confirm that Apple will be bundling Lightning EarPods as part of its next-gen handsets.
New video shows working iPhone 7 Plus in the wild
  • Notorious Apple leaker Sonny Dickson posted a short video of the three plus-size iPhones this morning, confirming many of the rumors that have claimed this year’s update won’t contain any huge design changes.
  • The back of the iPhone 7 Plus in Dickson’s video reveals that the device will indeed come with a highly anticipated dual-lens camera, though it won’t pick up a Smart Connector
Tim Cook: Apple’s tax bill will have a ‘harmful’ effect on investment in EU
  • Tim Cook has written an open letter addressing Apple’s enormous tax bill
  • The European Union recently ruled that Apple owes  €13 billion ($14.52 billion) in back taxes
  • Cook also states that suggestions Apple has an illegal sweetheart deal in Ireland, “has no basis in fact or in law,” confirms Apple will appeal the European Commission’s ruling
  • The Irish government has said it is happy with its tax arrangement with Apple and doesn’t want the money.
  • Ireland’s finance ministry has sided with Apple, and said it “disagrees profoundly” with the decision.
  • The European Commission's issue is really not with Apple but with Ireland.
  • The commission is not a tax authority; instead, its job is to maintain fairness between the EU member states.
  • Countries are able to set their own tax rates, but country can’t offer something special that's seen as benefiting an individual company.
  • In 1991,  Ireland (who’s economy was struggling) signed off on a plan in which Apple would move money to a stateless "head office”.
  • "Apple entered into a deal with Ireland to not pay tax on all those profits,” and Apple paid "an arbitrarily small amount to Ireland in return for a promise to keep jobs in Ireland.” (The kept 6000 there.)
  • Low corporate tax was one way Ireland improved its economy and attracted big companies, and Apple was one of the early companies to benefit.
Direct download: CultCast_247_-_Kahney_s_Shady_Banana_Tree_Holdings_LTD.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:28pm PST