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Episodes

Home of the most recent episodes of The CultCast including links to topics discussed and coupons from our beloved sponsors.

275: How Apple will make iPad SEXY again 📱💄💋

Chris C.

Photo:  @YSR50

Photo:  @YSR50

On The Cult Cast:

Apple’s about to overhaul the iPad, and it’s long overdue! Plus: why Steve Jobs was cool with your kids using an iPad, but not his own; how the technology we love might be making us all stupid; and we wrap up with an all new CultCast Choices, the game of great gifts with strange side effects…

This episode supported by:

  • Casper’s American-made mattresses have just the right amount of memory foam and latex, 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:

@erfon / @bst3r / @lkahney / @thecultcast


Got suggestions or feedback for us? Air your thoughts at thecultcast.reddit.com




Westworld-style folding phone might get real this year

  • Smartphones that fold out into a tablet are one of the many awesome inventions the creators of Westworld promised we have to look forward to in the future. But according to a new rumor, Samsung might make them a reality in 2017.

New iPads to arrive next month during first Apple Park event

  • Apple will announce its next-generation iPad lineup next month during its very first event at Apple Park, according to a new report.
  • Sources say that production of the new 10.5-inch iPad Pro has been brought forward for the launch. The device is expected to be accompanied by an updated 12.9-inch iPad Pro and a more affordable 9.7-inch iPad.
  • Apple “is expected to unveil the new iPad at a product event to be held in early April to mark the inauguration of Apple’s new headquarters in California,”
  • The new 10.5″ iPad would have the exact same resolution as the 12.9″ iPad Pro (2732 x 2048), but the same pixel density of the iPad mini (326 ppi instead of 264 ppi). Crunch the numbers, do a little Pythagorean Theorem, and you end up with a screen 10.5″ diagonal

Server logs reveal Apple is testing four new iPad models

  • Device logs obtained by mobile marketing firm Fiksu appear to show that four different iPad models are currently being tested in the San Francisco Bay Area.
  • Just because four model numbers have been discovered doesn’t mean Apple will release four different iPads this month.
  • Last year, Fiksu saw new device model names pop up in its logs about a month before the new iPads were announced.

Steve Jobs Was a Low-Tech Parent

When Steve Jobs was running Apple, he was known to call journalists to either pat them on the back for a recent article or, more often than not, explain how they got it wrong. I was on the receiving end of a few of those calls. But nothing shocked me more than something Mr. Jobs said to me in late 2010 after he had finished chewing me out for something I had written about an iPad shortcoming.

  • New York Times reporter Nick Bilton said he once assumingly asked Jobs, “So your kids must love the iPad?”
  • “They haven’t used it. We limit how much technology our kids use at home.”
  • “Every evening Steve made a point of having dinner at the big long table in their kitchen, discussing books and history and a variety of things,”
  • Since then, I’ve met a number of technology chief executives and venture capitalists who say similar things: they strictly limit their children’s screen time, often banning all gadgets on school nights, and allocating ascetic time limits on weekends.
  • Evan Williams, a founder of Blogger, Twitter and Medium, and his wife, Sara Williams, said that in lieu of iPads, their two young boys have hundreds of books (yes, physical ones) that they can pick up and read anytime.
  • Ali Partovi, a founder of iLike and adviser to Facebook, Dropbox and Zappos, said “ I wouldn’t dream of limiting how much time a kid can spend with her paintbrushes, or playing her piano, or writing, I think it’s absurd to limit her time spent creating computer art, editing video, or computer programming,”

This Minecraft Hololens demo is incredible

Fartman, Leander’s alter ego

274: Hackers turn our gadgets against us!

Chris C.

The CultCast

Photo: VPNPick


On The Cult Cast:

  • The CIA loses control of its iPhone hacking arsenal!
  • Computer crooks turn your gadgets against you.
  • Why iPhone 8 may arrive later than you hoped.
  • Our favorite routers to replace your Apple Airport.
  • The non-Apple gear we’re currently obsessing over! It’s all-new, overdue, What We’re Into 💪🏼

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:

@erfon / @bst3r / @lkahney / @thecultcast


Got suggestions or feedback for us? Air your thoughts at thecultcast.reddit.com




WikiLeaks: CIA lost control of its iPhone hacking arsenal

  • The Central Intelligence Agency has been using malware to spy on iPhone and Android users, according to the largest-ever publication of confidential documents from WikiLeaks — and the spy tools are now in the hands of others.
  • “This extraordinary collection, which amounts to more than several hundred million lines of code, gives its possessor the entire hacking capacity of the CIA.”
  • As part of a covert hacking program, the CIA created a “malware arsenal” and dozens of “zero day exploits” to infiltrate smartphones, tablets and even smart TVs to extract data and turn them into covert microphones.
  • But the agency recently lost controls of these tools. Those who have obtained them now have “the entire hacking capacity of the CIA” at their disposal, according to WikiLeaks.
  • At the end of 2016, the CIA’s hacking division was made up of more than 5,000 “registered users” who had produced over a thousand tools to infiltrate target devices throughout Latin America, Europe and the United States.
  • iOS devices were also a major target. The CIA created and obtained tools from GCHQ, NSA, FBI and contractors like Baitshop that allowed them to bypass the encryption used by apps like WhatsApp and Telegram and collect audio and text message data.

Global elites’ love of iPhone made iOS a prime target of CIA

  • Although Google’s Android dominates the worldwide smartphone market, the CIA concentrated on Apple’s iOS because of its popularity among global elites, WikiLeaks reports.
  • Despite iPhone’s minority share (14.5%) of the global smart phone market in 2016, a specialized unit in the CIA’s Mobile Development Branch produces malware to infest, control and exfiltrate data from iPhones and other Apple products running iOS, such as iPads.
  • The disproportionate focus on iOS may be explained by the popularity of the iPhone among social, political, diplomatic and business elites.

Famous jailbreaker says WikiLeaks CIA dump is overhyped

  • Cyber security expert Will Strafach, who gained notoriety under the name Chronic for finding zero-day exploits used for jailbreaking, says iOS users don’t need to be worried.
  • “I do not believe any iOS user running iOS 10+ has any cause for concern by this,” Strafach told Cult of Mac in an email after we asked for his expert opinion on Tuesday’s big CIA leak.
  • Apple is saying that ‘many’ of the exploits exposed in the leak have been patched…. “Many”

Curved OLED displays will be exclusive to premium iPhone 8

  • Sources claim the new 5.8-inch curved display will only be available with the high-end iPhone, while the more affordable 4.7- and 5.5-inch models will carry LCD panels similar to those Apple has been using since the iPhone’s introduction in 2007.
  • If the other two models are sticking with 4.7- and 5.5-inch displays, this suggests they’ll retain their physical Home buttons, too.
  • “By adding more large-screen options to the lineup to meet growing demand for BIG, Apple intends to raise the average iPhone price, which has already gone up by about 10% in the past three years to nearly $700,”
  • How much is too much for a phone?

2017’s ‘iPhone Edition’ to arrive late, OLED display uncertain

  • We’ve all been calling it the iPhone 8 for months, but according to a new report out of Japan, Apple’s tenth anniversary smartphone will be named “iPhone Edition.”
  • Apple is expected to deliver improved versions of its 4.7- and 5.5-inch devices, plus a more premium model with a 5.8-inch OLED display. According to Japanese blog Macotakara, which has been accurate in the past, this handset will be named iPhone Edition.
  • Although it will almost certainly be unveiled in September alongside its siblings, it is believed the iPhone Edition won’t go on sale until later in the year. Apple is said to be experimenting with various prototypes of the device, each with a different display setup.
  • The report suggests that Apple is still a long way away from deciding on a final design for the iPhone Edition, though it has nailed down a few features — including wireless charging and a dual camera setup similar to that of iPhone 7 Plus.That’s all the CultCast we’ve got for you this week

Shizzle we talked about:

273: Tim Cook’s gonna make Apple “Pro” again!

Chris C.

The CultCast

Photo: Cult of Mac


On The Cult Cast:

  • Tim Cook promises to make Apple “Pro” again! We discuss.
  • iPhone ditching Lightning for USB C
  • Spotify about to go Hi-Fi
  • Why your next iPhone screen might read your fingerprints
  • Leander pitches a new favorite pair of Bluetooth headphones
  • The best iPhone bumper case in the land!

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.

  • 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.

  • 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:

@erfon / @bst3r / @lkahney / @thecultcast


Got suggestions or feedback for us? Air your thoughts at thecultcast.reddit.com




Tim Cook: Pro users remain incredibly important to Apple

  • During his Q&A session, Tim Cook discussed how Apple plans to fight for net neutrality. He also assured shareholders that Apple plans to come out with new products that appeal to professionals and creatives, but insisted that the Mac and iPad aren’t destined for a merger.
  • “You will see us do more in the pro area. The pro area is very important to us. The creative area is very important to us in particular,” Cook told the crowd. “You can expect to see us do more and more that people will view iPad as a laptop replacement, but not a Mac replacement. The Mac does so much more.”

Spotify eyes lossless audio to wow your ears

  • Spotify appears poised to put the final nail in Tidal’s coffin.
  • The music streaming service is planning to launch a new feature that will give listeners access to lossless audio streaming, according to a new report reveals the feature is currently in testing.
  • Spotify is currently calling the new feature “Spotify Hi-Fi.” The Verge reports that Spotify plans to launch the lossless CD quality audio feature. It’s unclear when it will be available to all users, but Spotify is already doing some small group testing.
  • Screenshots posted on Reddit show that Spotify plans to charge between $5 to $10 extra a month for lossless CD quality audio.
  • It has been rumored in the past that Apple was looking to make a similar move with Apple Music, but there haven’t been any clear signs of an impending launch of Apple Music Hi-Fi.

Goodbye Lightning? 2017 iPhones may rely on USB-C connector

  • iPhones may boast USB-C connectors, claims a new report from The Wall Street Journal.
  • What’s not clear from the report is whether this would mean abandoning Apple’s proprietary Lightning connector in favor of USB-C or simply switching out the USB-A plug at the end of the cable for USB-C.
  • Apple adopter the Lightning connector with 2012’s iPhone 5
  • The WSJ report also adds another voice to the growing number of stories claiming that Apple will release three different iPhones in 2017: two LCD “s” cycle iPhones, and an extra-high-end iPhone 8 to mark the 10th anniversary of the iPhone.

Apple designs iPhone display that reads fingerprints

  • Fans have feared that an iPhone 8 without home button would mean the end of Touch ID, and that Apple would have to use other biometric security solutions — such as iris scanners — instead.
  • But the company was just granted a patent that allows the entire iPhone display to become a fingerprint scanner.
  • Apple says that turning an entire display into a fingerprint scanner would increase the speed of authentication, and allow it to be performed automatically during normal use. This could cut out a dedicated “authentication step” that prompts users for their fingerprint.
  • Elimates the authentication step.

We talk about these products:

272: Five Years!

Chris C.

The CultCast

Photo: Erfon Elijah/Cult of Mac


On The Cult Cast:

  • We celebrate 5 years!
  • We regale you with some of our favorite stories from past shows
  • Our hardware expectations from Apple’s rumored March event
  • Why iPhone 8’s wireless charging will probably be lame
  • Apple has five teams working on their next-generation charging tech
  • Why iPhone 8’s camera could pump out industrial-grade slow motion
  • Steve Jobs gets a beautiful new home on Apple’s spaceship 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.

  • 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:

@erfon / @bst3r / @lkahney / @thecultcast


Got suggestions or feedback for us? Air your thoughts at thecultcast.reddit.com




iPhone 8’s wireless charging won’t be as good as we hoped

  • If you were hoping Apple had developed a spectacular new wireless charging system for iPhone 8, you’re going to be disappointed come September.
  • A new rumor claims that Apple won’t be using range charging technology developed by Energous as previously expected, but instead one of the existing solutions already found in rival smartphones like those made by Samsung.
  • Adding fuel to that fire, the U.S. Federal Communications Commission has only recently approved a version of Energous technology that delivers very low power over just a few inches.
  • The iPhone would require higher levels of power and a wider range. A solution that meets these requirements is yet to be approved by the FCC.

Apple has five different teams working on wireless charging

  • According to a new report, the company currently has not one or two, but five different groups inside Apple currently working to develop wireless charging technology for future iPhones.

Sony’s new sensor could bring super slo-mo video to iPhone

  • Apple has used Sony’s camera sensors in a number of iPhones, including the new dual-lens cameras on the iPhone 7 Plus.
  • Sony unveiled the new senor during a lecture at the 2017 International Solid-State Circuits Conference capable of shooting 19.3MP still images at a frame rate of 120 fps. It can shoot 960fps video in 1080p. The iPhone 7 only shoots 120fps video in 720p.

Apple Said to Debut New iPad Pro Lineup, 128GB iPhone SE, and Red iPhone 7 and 7 Plus at March Event

  • Apple will host a March event to introduce a new iPad Pro lineup and other products, according to Japanese website Mac Otakara.
  • In terms of the iPad Pro lineup, the report claims Apple will announce new 7.9-inch, 9.7-inch, 10.5-inch, and 12.9-inch models. The 10.5-inch model may not ship until May, while the other sizes are said to ship in March.
  • If the report is accurate, it could mean has Apple plans to refresh the iPad mini 4 with a new 7.9-inch iPad Pro version, update its existing 9.7-inch and 12.9-inch iPad Pros, and introduce an all-new 10.5-inch iPad Pro, which is has been rumored to feature an edge-to-edge display without a Home button.

Apple’s ‘spaceship’ campus will be named Apple Park

  • Apple’s enormous new spaceship campus finally has an official name: Apple Park.
  • First conceived in 2011 by Steve Jobs, Apple Park has been under construction since 2013 and is rumored to have cost Apple upwards of $5 billion.
  • The 175-acre plot will open for business in April, although work won’t officially be completed until late summer.
  • campus’ 1,000-seat auditorium will be named the Steve Jobs Theater as a tribute to the company’s co-founder.
  • “Opening later this year, the entrance to the 1,000-seat auditorium is a 20-foot-tall glass cylinder, 165 feet in diameter, supporting a metallic carbon-fiber roof,” Apple said in a press release.
  • “The Steve Jobs Theater is situated atop a hill — one of the highest points within Apple Park — overlooking meadows and the main building”
  • The campus will house around 12,000 Apple employees,
  • And includes a new $75 million gym.