The CultCast

This week: why iPhone’s 3D touch is probably dead; new reports say AirPods packed with health sensors are coming in 2019; the MacBook Pro “stage light” flaw affects all models built after 2016, and could cost you $600 to fix; and the wild saga of Moviepass… continues!

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Thanks to Kevin McLeod for the music you hear on today’s episode.

On the show this week

@erfon  / @lewiswallace

Erfon goes hands-on with the Rodecaster Pro, a unique new jack-of-all trades podcast mixer unlike any other

3D Touch is probably dead

  • iPhone’s ability to tell how hard someone is pressing on the display won‘t be a part of the 2019 models, according to multiple sources.
  • It will apparently be a victim of Apple’s attempts to lower the price tag of future models.
  • A recent Wall Street Journal article compiled several rumors about the next iPhone said Apple is considering trimming functions from its 2019 iPhones to cut costs That includes the force-touch module.
  • And last year, analyst Ming-Chi Kuo predicted that no iPhone coming in 2019 will have this feature.
  • His assertion was then echoed months later by an analyst from Barclays.

Health-tracking AirPods rumored for first half of 2019

  • Updated AirPods are supposedly on their way in the first half of 2019, according to a new report from Digitimes. They may have some impressive new features, too — including new health-monitoring functions that are “expected to receive enthusiastic market responses.”
  • If Apple does include health-tracking features in its near AirPods, it will be interesting to see what they are capable of. A previous patent filed by Apple with the United States Patent and Trademark Office covers wireless earbuds with build-in sensors for performing heart rate monitoring and taking body temperature measurements. AirPods have been a huge hit for Apple.
  • Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo thinks Apple sold 16 million AirPods units in 2017, the first full year they were available. He also predicts sales will grow to more than 100 million by 2021, and suggested suggested a full-on redesign could take place in 2020.

MacBook Pro ‘stage light’ flaw could hit you with a $600 repair

  • According to iFixit, every MacBook Pro since 2016 has a design flaw that will inevitably require an expensive repair
  • The problem supposedly lies in “delicate” ribbon cables that connect the screen with the display controller inside the main body of the laptop. Opening and closing the clamshell causes these to wear out and begin to tear.
  • Taylor Dixon from iFixit explains it this way:
    • “The current generation of MacBook Pro laptops (2016–present) uses flexible ribbon cables to connect the display to a display controller board beneath the Touch Bar. These cables wrap over the board, where they’re secured by a pair of spring-loaded covers — and they’re subjected to the stress of bending with every opening and closure of the laptop. Within a seemingly short time, those cables are starting to fatigue and tear.”
  • The first to fail is usually the backlight cable causing the “stage light” effect at the bottom of the screen
  • Apparently the new MacBook Air has the same design and may be prone to the same problem
  • These thin ribbon cables are part of the screen. When they wear out the only way to fix the issue is to replace the entire display, “effectively turning a $6 problem into a $600 disaster,” according to Dixon.
  • A petition on by Louis Rossmann asks Apple “to launch an extended warranty program addressed to this issue as soon as possible.” For a lot of folks the problem seems to appear just when the year warranty runs out...

Sign the petition! Ask Apple to extend the warranty for the Macbook Pro "stage light" flaw

MoviePass Explores Reintroducing Unlimited Plan as It Tries a Relaunch

  • Moviepass believes it has finally found a business model that will allow it to improve its service and continue to operate.
  • This month, they've introduced a new series of plans, which vary in price depending on location.
  • Next week, Itum said MoviePass plans to reintroduce some sort of unlimited program that would enable users to see as many movies as they wanted each month. He did not reveal pricing for that plan.


Direct download: cultcast_372_01-24-19.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:16am PDT

This week: the Wall Street Journal leaks details about iPhone 11; Apple's new Smart Cases come with wireless charging; Nike unveils the self-lacing Back-To-The-Future shoes you’ve always wanted; and we pitch you our favorite apps, movies, cook books, and exotic alcohols in an all-new What We’re Into!


This episode supported by

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CultCloth will keep your iPhone X, Apple Watch, Mac and iPad sparkling clean, and for a limited time use code CULTCAST at checkout to score a free CleanCloth with any order at Thanks to Kevin McLeod for the music you hear on today’s episode.


On the show this week

@erfon / @lewiswallace

WSJ: High-end ‘iPhone 11’ will feature triple rear camera, XR successor gets dual lenses

  • The Wall Street Journal is reporting that Apple’s iPhone 2019 lineup will feature three models, including 2 OLED and 1 LCD. They’re basically just upgrading the XS, Tennis Match, and XR.
  • But get this, the high-end iPhone 11, probably called the iPhone 11 Max, will feature a triple rear camera system. Triple!
  • The iPhone 5.8-inch iPhone 11 will stick with a dual lens system.
  • The successor to the iPhone XR will have an LCD screen panel, and will be upgraded to a dual-camera system.
  • The report says that Apple may drop the LCD option in 2020, moving to an OLED only lineup late next year. It also alludes to the removal of the pressure sensitive component that enables 3D Touch, in order to reduce components costs. It doesn’t say that 3D Touch is certainly going away necessarily as the feature may be achieved through other hardware changes.

Apple unleashes new Smart Battery Cases for iPhone XS, XS Max and XR

  • Apple’s new Smart Battery Cases are now available iPhone XS, XS Max and XR
  • Along with adding some extra protection to your device, Apple’s new cases promise to deliver 37 hours more hours of talk time, Internet use up to 20 hours
  • The cases also support wireless charging.
  • Only cost a mere $129!
  • And it seems that the XS case will work with the iPhone X, but it does block some of the mics and speakers since it’s not made to fit the X

Nike kills shoelaces with new iPhone-controlled sneakers

  • The back to the future shoes you’ve always wanted are finally a reality.
  • Nike’s new Adapt BB self-lacing shoes pack wireless connectivity, and a custom motor and gear train, to give athletes a perfect fit without having to fuss with retying their laces.
  • The Adapt BB shoes can be tightened and loosened using the buttons on the side of the shoe or via an app (both iOS and Android). This could be really valuable to basketball players, whose feet can expand half a size during the rigors of a game.
  • Getting a taste of the future won’t come cheap. Nike will charge $350 for a pair of Adapt BBs when they launch next month.

Netflix hikes prices for U.S. subscribers

  • Netflix has confirmed another price hike for subscribers in the United States — its biggest increase since it launched 12 years ago.
  • The most affordable Netflix plan, which was priced at $8 a month, now costs $9 a month. The most popular plan has risen from $11 a month to $13 a month. The premium plan that offers 4K content is has gone from $14 a month to $16 a month.
  • The new prices will be applied to new Netflix subscribers immediately, while existing customers will see the increase during the next three months
  • It costs a lost of money to make that content. Netflix spent a staggering $3 billion last year, and expects to do so again in 2019. In an effort to cut down on its borrowing, it will charge more for its service.

Our Under Review Picks

Tik Tok is the wild west of social media

They’re making a sequel to last year’s Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle reboot

  • Variety reports that Danny Glover is joining the cast of the Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle sequel in a role that is being kept under wraps, much like the still-secret storyline.
  • Charcutería: The Soul of Spain
  • This news is on the heels that Danny Devito is onboard
  • The original cast, director, and script writers are also all on board

They’re making Ghostbusters 3. It will continue the story from Ghostbuster’s 2

  • The movie will be directed by Jason Reitman, who is the filmmaker son of Ivan Reitman, who directed and produced the original 1984 comedic hit "Ghostbusters" with Dan Aykroyd, Bill Murray and Harold Ramis.
  • In an interview with, Reitman said he would divert from director Paul Feig's 2016 reboot of "Ghostbusters" that featured an all-women cast that included Melissa McCarthy, Kate McKinnon, Kristen Wiig and Leslie Jones. Reitman will go back to the original universe his father created in the present day story.
  • The movie is expected to release in 2020, and we don’t yet know if any of the original cast will be involved.

Charcutería: The Soul of Spain

Cúrate: Authentic Spanish Food from an American Kitchen

Direct download: cultcast_371.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:07am PDT


This week: Smart curtains, smart plugs, smart lights, smart locks, and now... the best televisions on the market— Apple just revealed big moves to bring HomeKit to all your favorite gadgets, and they're just getting started. In 2019, the smart HomeKit devices we've always wanted finallay arrive. Plus: Tim Cook just let it slip--Apple's got new services lined up for release this year, but what could they be? We think we might just know...


And stick around for a CultCast United updated, and the saga of FartGate, the most insidious sports scandal you never heard about.


This episode supported by

Easily create a beautiful website all by yourself, at Use offer code CultCast at checkout to get 10% off your first purchase of a website or domain.

CultCloth will keep your iPhone X, Apple Watch, Mac and iPad sparkling clean, and for a limited time use code CULTCAST at checkout to score a free CleanCloth with any order at Thanks to Kevin McLeod for the music you hear on today’s episode.

On the show this week

@erfon / @bst3r / @lewiswallace

2019 - The year of HomeKit

  • Until the release of iOS 11.3 in March, anyone who wanted to make HomeKit devices had to plan and pay to build in Apple’s authentication co-processor.
  • With iOS 11.3, Apple changed the game, and allowed devices makers to add HomeKit with simple software integration.

Apple promotes HomeKit at CES with press event to highlight new smart home accessories coming in 2019

  • Apple is pushing HomeKit hard at CES this year. It coordinated with manufacturers to demo key new HomeKit smart home announcements to the tech press
  • TechCrunch says Apple spotlighted announcements from Belkin Wemo, Eve, ConnectSense, Kwikset locks, Nanoleaf lights, and a Netatmo HomeKit connected doorbell.
  • We also got an announcement that Netgear is bringing HomeKit support to their Arlo Pro 2 cameras and their new 4K camera.
  • And… a bunch of TVs

Here are all of the TVs getting AirPlay 2 in 2019

  • Apple announced that it will bring AirPlay 2 and HomeKit compatibility to a bunch of TVs in 2019, spanning models from manufacturers like Samsung, LG, Sony, and Vizio.
  • A small list of 2018 models will also receive Airplay 2 support.
  • Samsung TVs will be getting the iTunes Movies and TV apps.
  • Sony will be adding HomeKit and AirPlay 2 to it beautiful TVs powered by the horrendous and slow Android TV.

Tim Cook: New services coming to Apple in 2019

  • Tim Cook teased new services that will be coming to Apple users this year. Responding to questions about falling iPhone sales during a CNBC interview, Cook stressed the way that Apple’s Services division has grown significantly in the past several years.
  • “The services are on a tear,” Cook said. “On services, you will see us announce new services this year. There will more things coming.”
  • First and foremost is Apple’s original TV content, which the company has supposedly spent more than $1 billion on, but not yet formally announced.
  • Second is Apple’s rumored magazine subscription service. Based on Texture, the $9.99 a month magazine service Apple purchased back in March last year, this would be a paid magazine and newspaper subscription service, which will serve as a premium part of the existing Apple News app
  • On iPhone XR not selling well: I call bologna on that. Let me tell you how I view this. Here’s the truth, what the facts are. Since we began shipping the iPhone XR, it has been the most-popular iPhone every day.
  • On Wearables,: it’s mainly the Apple Watch and AirPods. If you look at this on a trailing basis – I’m not projecting – revenue for wearables is already more than 50% more than iPod was at its peak.


Direct download: cultcast_370.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:07am PDT

This week: Our huge mega-list of must-have favorite iOS and Mac apps! Special guest Adam Christianson from the Maccast!  Plus, a very special announcement

This episode supported by

Easily create a beautiful website all by yourself, at Use offer code CultCast at checkout to get 10% off your first purchase of a website or domain.

Help team CultCast reunite in San Fransisco for a Mecca to Cupertino, and a special CultCast United episode. And we might just bring you with us….

CultCloth will keep your iPhone X, Apple Watch, Mac and iPad sparkling clean, and for a limited time use code CULTCAST at checkout to score a free CleanCloth with any order at

Thanks to Kevin McLeod for the music you hear on today’s episode. On the show this week @erfon / @maccast


Apple warns investors that iPhone sales are weak

  • Tim Cook warned investors today that weak iPhone sales could translate into revenue shortfalls in the billions of dollars.
  • He went on blames the expected revenue drop on fewer-than-expected iPhone upgrades and weakened demand in China.
  • “While we anticipated some challenges in key emerging markets, we did not foresee the magnitude of the economic deceleration, particularly in Greater China,” Cook wrote in a letter published on Business Wire. “In fact, most of our revenue shortfall to our guidance, and over 100 percent of our year-over-year worldwide revenue decline occurred in Greater China across iPhone, Mac, and iPad.”
  • “As we exit a challenging quarter, we are as confident as ever in the fundamental strength of our business,” he said. “We manage Apple for the long term, and Apple has always used periods of adversity to re-examine our approach, to take advantage of our culture of flexibility, adaptability, and creativity, and to emerge better as a result.


Apple shares plummet following Tim Cook letter

  • AAPL shares fell steeply in after-hours trading on Wednesday, after Tim Cook acknowledged that Apple’s earnings would underperform
  • Shares fell by more than 7.4 percent, declining as low as $146.22. That’s the lowest that Apple has hit since July 12, 2017. It means that Apple has lost a massive 35.5 percent of its value in just three months.


Tim Cook will host meeting for all Apple employees to talk iPhone

  • Tim Cook is reportedly hosting an all-hands meeting with every Apple employee today about the revelations regarding stalling iPhone sales.


Our favorite must-have apps, with Adam Christianson, aka Maccast!


  • Audio Hijack Pro let's you record and reroute sound on your Mac
  • Setapp is a Mac app subscription packed full of great software
  •, let's you record high-fidelity audio, alone or with guests
  • Bartender clears up your menu bar icons
  • Trip Mode, your Mac's mobile data saver
  • Ulysseys, the ultimate writing app for Mac
  • iStat Menus, advanced Mac system monitor for your menubar
  • iThoughtX is a mindmapping tool for the Mac  
  • Marked, a previewer for Markdown files
  • PDF Pen, powerful PDF editing for your Mac
  • Busy Cal, one of the best calendar apps for Mac
  • iMazing, transfer anything fomr any iPhone, iPad, or iPod to a computer
  • Loopback, cable-free audio routing for Mac
  • Farrago, robust, rapid-fire soundboards
  • Reeder, RSS reader for your Mac, iPhone, and iPad
  • Text Expander, instantly insert snippets of text from a repository of emails, boilerplate and other content



  • Ferrite, award-winning audio editing app for iOS
  • Gif Keyboard, the perfect gifs, right at your finger tips.
  • Hearthstone, Blizzard’s award-winning card battle game.
  • Slickdeals, the largest deal-sharing community on the Web
  • Strong, workout tracker and gym log.
  • Deliveries, package tracker
  • Libby, Library ebooks and audiobooks
  • Calcbot, one of iOS' best calculators
  • Carrot Fit, snarky 7-minute workouts
  • Carrot Weather, crazy powerful weather app


Direct download: cultcast_369.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:58am PDT