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

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

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

This week: revamped iPads coming this spring; Apple lays the groundwork for the next era of personal technology; how smart homes get hacked; Google’s Pixel phone vs. iPhone 7; and we reveal our favorite new iOS and Mac apps!
This episode supported by
Build a beautiful, responsive website quick at  Enter offer code CultCast at checkout to get 10% off. Squarespace—Build it Beautiful.
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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 - Do you even scan, bro?
We’re glad to see they’re putting them to good use
Replacement Galaxy Note 7 catches fire on a plane
  • Southwest Airlines was forced to evacuate a flight from Louisville to Baltimore this morning before it hit the runway, thanks to a Samsung Galaxy Note 7 smartphone that caught fire.
  • The owner of the Galaxy Note 7 said he got the new phone on September 21st at an AT&T store. Before the flight left the gate, the owner says he powered it down and put it in his pocket when it started smoking.
  • Thick grey-green smoke poured out of the device after the owner dropped it on the floor. In a matter of moments it had burned through the plane’s carpet.
  • “All passengers and crew exited the plane via the main cabin door and no injuries were reported,”
With new hardware trio, Google makes major play for your home
  • During an event in San Francisco today, Google unveiled a new Wi-Fi router, an improved Chromecast with 4K support, and a new Google Home device that’s a lot like Amazon’s Echo smart speaker, only it’s powered by Google Assistant.
  • Google Home allows owners to use voice commands to do stuff like play music on YouTube, Google Play Music or Spotify. You can also ask Google Home to play podcasts or news feeds.
AirPods point to Apple’s domination of ‘ambient paradigm’
Three new iPads Pro are coming early next year
  • Apple is set to debut a trifecta of new iPad Pro models in Q1 2017, according to a new report
  • Mac Okatara suggests that the 12.9-inch and 7.9-inch iPad Pros will get the same 12MP iSight camera and True Tone technology that the 9.7-inch iPad Pro currently has. All three models will also supposedly receive quad microphones and, in something of a pleasant surprise, 3.5mm headphone jacks.
  • If Apple’s yearly product cycle wasn’t enough of a hint that a new iPad was on the way, Apple’s iPad Pro tablets both received discounts of up to $100 after Apple’s iPhone 7 media event last month. This announcement coincided with a storage upgrade for other iPad models.
Let’s talk about apps, man
Direct download: CultCast_252_-_Galaxy_Grenades.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:28am PDT