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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.

357: Major Mac updates in October?

Chris C.

  Photo:  Apple

Photo: Apple

This Week!

  • Why Apple’s October event could be totally insane!
  • Something very strange is going on with the Mac… we’ll talk about it.
  • MacBook Pro Touch Bar: our brutally honest opinions
  • Surprise! Apple’s planning to give away its $1 billion TV shows
  • And stay tuned for an all-new CultCast 2nd Hour: Siri Shortcuts, explained!


This episode supported by:


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


  • CultCloth will keep your iPhone Xs/Xr, 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 CultCloth.co.



  • We also want to give Kevin MacLeod at Incompetech.com a thanks for the great music you hear on today’s show.


Come say hellooooo!

@erfon / Erfon's YouTube Channel / @bst3r / Buster on Instagram / @lewiswallace / @lkahney


The BEST subreddit you are going to read, ALL week long! thecultcast.reddit.com


The Governor’s Lounge awaits you, in The CultClub



Mac sales declined in Q3, despite new MacBook Pros

  • The third quarter of this year wasn’t a particularly good one for Apple, with Mac sales dropping a significant amount, even though the new MacBook Pros debuted this summer.
  • Apple shipped 4.9 million laptops and desktops in the July-to-September period, according to preliminary figures from market-research firm Gartner. That’s an 8.5 percent decline from the same quarter of last year.
  • But Q3 is supposed to bring fairly strong sales, as it includes the back-to-school shopping season. Not so much this year. At least not for Apple. Its three biggest rivals all saw increases in laptop/desktop shipments.

Apple plans to give away its $1 billion TV shows

  • Apple’s new TV streaming service will allegedly debut in early 2019.
  • Some have suggested the company would bundle it in with Apple Music for an extra fee or that it would create it as a separate subscription option like Netflix.
  • But according to a recent report, Despite planning to spend more than $1 billion on original content this year, Apple will supposedly give away its original content to customers that already own an iPhone, iPad or Apple TV.
  • Because Apple is giving the shows away for free it’s aiming to create “PG” quality content that has wide audience appeal. Apple is currently making TV shows that are free from gratuitous sex, profanity or violence, although some shows may break this standard.

How to create your first Siri Shortcut

This Siri shortcut keeps an eye on police during a traffic stop

Siri Shortcuts can now control your HomeKit devices

Use Siri Shortcuts to quickly send photos to your family

Use Shortcuts to download YouTube Videos

How to run Siri Shortcuts from Reminder alerts

356: What you need to know about #ChargeGate!

Chris C.

  Photo:  UnboxTherapy

Photo: UnboxTherapy

This Week!

  • How Chinese spy chips may be stealing secret data from Apple’s own servers!
  • Another week, another gate-we’ll you about #ChargeGate, the huge iPhone XS problem that ended before it even began.
  • Tim Cook reveals why Apple really banned Alex Jones, but can't explain why Siri still sucks
  • We’ve got another epic MoviePass update for you, and this is the weirdest one yet!
  • And we’ll pitch you a hot new electric skateboard, an uber premium keyboard for your Mac, a super portable keyboard for your iPad, and a an AI-powered bicycle light in an all-new Under Review!
  • And, in honor and remembrance of Steve Jobs, we conclude with one of his greatest keynotes.


This episode supported by:


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


  • CultCloth will keep your iPhone Xs/Xr, 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 CultCloth.co.



  • We also want to give Kevin MacLeod at Incompetech.com a thanks for the great music you hear on today’s show.


Come say hellooooo!

@erfon / Erfon's YouTube Channel / @bst3r / Buster on Instagram / @lewiswallace / @lkahney


The BEST subreddit you are going to read, ALL week long! thecultcast.reddit.com


The Governor’s Lounge awaits you, in The CultClub



iOS 12.1 beta fixes reported iPhone charging problems

  • What is charge gate?
    • Well, some, but not all, iOS 12 users have complained that their iPhone or iPad won’t begin charging if it’s in sleep mode when a Lightning cable is plugged in.
    • The charging issue doesn’t occur if the device is awake when the cable is plugged in. It only crops up when a phone or tablet’s screen is off.
  • Well this blew up this week when Tim Cook’s arch nemesis Lewis Hilsenteger, aka Unbox Therapy popularized the issue with a new video on his Youtube channel, titled: “iPhone XS has a serious problem”
  • But it turns out, the problem seems to be not so serious, as Apple has already introduced a new beta of iOS 12.1 that appears to fix the issue.
  • So if you’re experiencing the issue and want to solve it right now, install iOS 12.1 beta 2. Otherwise you could be waiting weeks until this 12.1 gets a final release.
  • “Gates’ should be limited to hardware issues!

Tim Cook talks privacy, Alex Jones and China in new interview

  • Appearing on VICE News Tonight on HBO, Apple CEO Tim Cook was asked if Apple’s stance on privacy is hurting Siri from becoming more competitive with Alexa. Cook pushed back saying any company that says they need all of your data to make their service better is telling you a “bunch of bunk.”
  • About booting Alex Jones
    • “We think that what the user wants is someone that does review these apps, someone that does review the podcasts, someone that on like Apple news, where a human is selecting the top stories. And that’s what we do,” Cook told VICE. “We don’t take a political stand."

MoviePass is forcing some former customers to re-enroll unless they opt out (MiMeQu)

  • In an email sent to a select group of previous customers, MoviePass said: "Because we really hope you begin enjoying your MoviePass subscription again, we have chosen you to be a part of a select test group, who beginning Friday, October 5th will be restored to unlimited movies.”
  • "To be clear, unless you opt out, your unlimited subscription will be restored and you will begin enjoying unlimited movies again ... at $9.95 per month, and your credit card on file will be charged on a monthly basis beginning Friday, October 5th, 2018,”
  • When Business Insider reached out to MoviePass about the bizarre move, MoviePass doubled down! Saying it was a "a terrific one-time promotional offer.” "If [previous users] are interested in returning to their original unlimited subscription, they can. If they are not, they simply click the link below and opt out," the statement read.
  • Now I thought MoviePass would be out of business by now, the vultures are circling. But they just announced about 65 million in new funding! Someone believe’s they’ve got a future.

Under Review!

Ace bike light by see,sense

Logictech Craft Keyboard

Logitech Keys-to-go

Doto iPad Case

Boosted Mini X Battery-powered keyboard

355: #BeautyGate—the very serious iPhone XS FLAW you need to know about…

Chris C.

  Photo:  blazepress.com

Photo: blazepress.com

This Week!

BeautyGate—what it is, and why it’s undoubtedly the dumbest “gate” in the history of iPhone. Plus: how have we liked our one week with Apple Watch 4 and iPhone XS? WE’LL TELL YOU. And the shockingly low production price of the XS Max proves the deadbeats at Apple owe us more storage space!


This episode supported by:


  • A business is only as strong as its people, and every hire matters… go to LinkedIn.com/cultcast and get a $50 credit toward your first job post.


  • CultCloth will keep your iPhone Xs/Xr, 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 CultCloth.co.



  • We also want to give Kevin MacLeod at Incompetech.com a thanks for the great music you hear on today’s show.


Come say hellooooo!

@erfon / Erfon's YouTube Channel / @bst3r / Buster on Instagram / @lewiswallace / @lkahney


The BEST subreddit you are going to read, ALL week long! thecultcast.reddit.com



Imagine a place where you can slip into your silk robe, fez, and enjoy the company and fellowship of other CultCast listeners and tech enthusiasts.

A club, if you will. A Cult Club.

iPhone XS Max: A condensed review

iPhone XS Max is fast, fast, fast

  • Everything is very fast and responsive. Apps spring right open. Photos scroll without delay. Maps render without a hiccup. Everything is basically instantaneous, and it’s a joy.
  • It’s all thanks to the A12 Bionic chip. Apple is so far ahead in mobile chips, it’s head-spinning. One benchmark shows the iPhone XS is faster than the new iMac Pro, a $5,000-plus pro workstation!

It’s definitely not too big

  • For such big phone, it doesn’t feel too big. Having used an X all last year, and liking it, I thought the Max would be too big. But it doesn’t feel as big as the old Plus iPhones used to
  • iPhone XS Max camera

The camera is excellent

  • Especially the new Portrait mode with advanced bokeh and Depth Control. The Max is less a phone, and more an advanced, near-DSLR camera with a cellular connection.

The big screen is amazing

  • The screen is so big and clear, there’s no need to take your laptop or iPad on flights any more. The Max will do nicely.

It deserves to be caseless

  • Despite dropping my old iPhone X numerous times, it has just a few scuffs and no cracked screen (it was, however, often in a case). But this time, because the Max is so thin, I’m going to try it caseless for a while. I’d like to enjoy Apple’s design for a change, without a bulky wrapping. (I know; I may regret this later.)

iPhone XS selfie cam is so beautiful it spawned an ugly conspiracy theory

  • The iPhone XS and its front-facing camera are supposed to help its owners make better self-portraits. However, some think their iPhone selfies look better than they should
  • Lewis Helsenteger, aka Unboxing Therapy, is calling it beautygate
  • Users are taking to internet forums like Reddit to question whether Apple added an undisclosed beauty filter to the front-facing camera on the iPhone XS and XS Max. Some are even posting side-by-side selfies taken with an XS and older handset to make a case that the newest iPhone has more than deeper pixels and an improved portrait mode going for it.

iPhone XS Max production cost is shockingly low

  • Analysis firm TechInsights did a teardown of the an iPhone XS Max with 256GB of storage. That’s reportedly the most popular version of Apple’s best selling handset.
  • As part of its teardown, TechInsights estimated the cost for each component. The total? $443
  • Compared to the $1249 price tag for the product. So just 35 percent of the purchase price goes to pay for the actual hardware.
  • Of course, the remaining $806 isn’t pure profit. The bill of materials (BoM) doesn’t cover Apple’s employee salaries, advertising, and other costs. Also, the BoM doesn’t include software, and iPhone and iPad sales have to cover the cost of developing iOS and its bundled software.

354: Is iPhone XS Apple’s worst “S” phone?

Chris C.

  Photo:  Apple

Photo: Apple

This Week!

This week, is iPhone Xs the worst Apple "s" phone of all time? We’ll compare Xs to Apple’s other “s” releases. Plus: we’ll run through what the early reviewers are saying about iPhone Xs and Apple Watch 4, and which one Apple Watch feature is giving people a serious case of FOMO. And a leaked detail in iOS 12.1 all but confirms a new iPad event this fall—we’ll tell you what we know.


This episode supported by:


  • Casper makes the internet’s favorite mattress. Learn why at Casper.com/cultcast, and use code "CultCast" at checkout for $50 off select mattress purchases.


  • CultCloth will keep your iPhone 8/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 CultCloth.co.



  • We also want to give Kevin MacLeod at Incompetech.com a thanks for the great music you hear on today’s show.


Come say hellooooo!

@erfon / Erfon's YouTube Channel / @bst3r / Buster on Instagram / @lewiswallace / @lkahney


The BEST subreddit you are going to read, ALL week long! thecultcast.reddit.com



iPhone 3GS = drastically faster data

iPhone 4S = Siri

iPhone 5S = Touch ID

iPhone 6S = 3D Touch

iPhone 10s = ?

First iPhone XS and XS Max reviews: Great phone, but not revolutionary

  • Early reviews for the iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max have already come in and while most of the people that have tested the new device are impresssed, this years models aren’t as big a leap as the iPhone X.

FaceID

  • Panzarino for Techrunch: “As far as Face ID goes, there has been no perceivable difference for me in speed or number of positives… There is also supposed to be improvements in off-angle recognition of your face, say when lying down or when your phone is flat on a desk. I tried a lot of different positions here and could never really definitively say that iPhone XS was better in this regardit… it very likely takes training time to get it near the confidence levels that my iPhone X has stored away.”

Battery Life

  • Nilay Patel for The Verge: "I got a full 12 hours of battery life out of the XS Max without low power mode, and that’s even under my heavy daily use. The smaller XS is rated to get 30 minutes more than the X, which has run for about 8 hours for me this past year. It’s solid."

XS Max Screen is glorious

  • NYT: "The XS Max screen was so good-looking that I wanted to keep reading articles and looking at photos on Instagram. When I used Apple’s new Screen Time feature to monitor my use of each device, I discovered that I spent an average of roughly five and a half hours a day on the XS Max, two hours more than on the XS.”

LTE is noticeably faster

  • “On the test Verizon account I used, iPhone XS delivers. I got download speeds of 250 Mbps in New Jersey, versus 170 Mbps using the same SIM in the iPhone X.

The camera has some impressive improvements

  • In his comprehensive review of the iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max, John Gruber reveals that Apple made the camera sensor 32% larger. After noticing that the wide-angle lens on the iPhone XS is 2mm wider than the one on the iPhone X, Gruber also discovered the lens is longer too.
  • A bigger sensor and longer lens don’t sound like a big deal, but it required some crafty design work to pull it off without making the iPhone a bloated
  • Another impressive feature on the iPhone XS camera is its ability to adapt to low-light on the fly. If you’re shooting video at 30FPS, there’s an option to enable “Auto Low Light FPS.” The feature will drop the framerate to 24 FPS when it detects that there’s not enough light to get a good exposure

Marques Brownlee

  • It’s definitely a nice phone, but if you have an X, it’s not worth upgrading

Apple Watch Series 4 reviews: The watch of the future is here today

  • The indedpent called the series 4 watch “Astonishingly good”!
  • The Verge and the NYT both raved about how great the new larger display looked. Particularly with the rounded corners, and made it much more apt to looking at photos and using apps.
  • The Watch felt snappier than the gen 3, but The Verge noted that the imrpovement wasn’t as drastic as Gen 2 to Gen 3.

Battery life remains unchanged, so you should only have to charge it at night.

Heart Rate Sensor

  • Wired's Rosenfield came away impressed by the accuracy of the watch's new optical heart-rate sensor as well as the automatic workout detection, while noting that "runners will love the new rolling mile measurement, cadence, and target pace notifications.”
  • Both The Verge and iMore commented about how much louder the speaker is, saying it was much easier to hear calls. Callers also noted they couldn’t really tell they were being rung from an Apple Watch.
  • No one has been able to test the ECG feature yet since it won’t be enabled until later this year.

Digital Crown

  • TechCrunch's Heater took particular liking to the watch's new haptic Digital Crown, which "feels like turning a mechanical dial."

The general consensus of the reviews seems to be that the Apple Watch Series 4 is much better than earliest versions. Wired: “If you have the original Watch, the Series 1, or the Series 2 — or if you’ve been thinking about buying your very first Apple Watch — you should pull the trigger. The Series 4 is a significant step up from early watch models in every meaningful way.

It took Apple 4 versions to get it really polished, but this Watch looks absolutely beautiful.

Hot new Apple Watch feature gives wearers a serious dose of FOMO

  • FOMO: anxiety that an exciting or interesting event may currently be happening elsewhere, often aroused by posts seen on a social media website.
  • The new Walkie-Talkie app is being lauded by Apple Watch owners as the best new feature that came out as part of watchOS 5. But for some wearers there’s a serious problem: they can’t find anyone to talk to.
  • Walkie-Talkie gives wearers the ability to turn their wrist into a sort of digital two-way radio transceiver with other Apple Watch wearers. It’s a super-convenient way to have short bursts of conversation when you don’t want to talk on the phone. If you don’t have any friends with an Apple WAtch though then there’s no way to get in on the action.

iOS 12.1 confirms new iPads are on the way

  • Apple released the first beta of iOS 12.1 today. Developer Guilherme Rambo went digging around in the code and turned up a mention of “iPad2018Fall.” Sometimes references to upcoming devices hidden in iOS betas are obscure, but not this time
  • He also found a glyph of the iPad that showed it will have FaceId, but will not have a notch.
  • While digging into the simulator for iOS 12.1, Steve Troughton-Smith discovered that Apple has added support for virtualized 4K external displays. That’s a big deal for two reasons: 1) It means you’re going to be able to hook up iPads to 4K monitors, 2) It’s not currently possible to do that through the Lightning HDMI adapter.