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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.

288: iPad Pro and HomePod get great reviews! 🤜🏼💥🤛🏼

Chris C.

Photo:  Apple

Photo:  Apple

On The Cult Cast:

  • Reviews for the new iPad Pro and HomePod are bonkers
  • Someone in the Apple supply chain just accidentally leaked some of iPhone 8’s marquee features
  • Speed tests show a big improvement in the new MacBook Pro
  • Apple finally offers us iCloud Storage sharing
  • Our favorite unannounced iOS 11 features
  • And we’ll tell you what we like (and don’t) about the apps and gadgets we’re currently testing in an all-new Under Review!


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.


  • Check out the Cult of Mac  Watch store for a curated selection of our favorite straps, all available for prices far less than you’d expect.


  • 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




Apple suppliers confirm two of iPhone 8’s biggest features

  • Apple supplier Largan has confirmed it will be shipping its new 3D sensors in time for iPhone 8, while another has confirmed waterproofing and wireless charging technology.
  • Largan’s sensors are capable of carrying out facial and iris recognition and provide an alternative to fingerprint scanning. They could be the solution Apple turns to if it is unable to embed a Touch ID scanner beneath the iPhone 8’s display.
  • iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus models are already splash- and water-resistant with an IP67 rating, but Apple’s fine print warns that “splash, water, and dust resistance are not permanent conditions and resistance might decrease as a result of normal wear.” iPhone water damage is not covered by Apple’s warranties.
  • But in Wednesday’s shareholders meeting, [Robert] Hwang, [Wistron CEO] told reporters that the Assembly process for the previous generations of [iPhones] have not changed much, though new features like waterproof and wireless charging now require some different testing, and waterproof function will alter the assembly process a bit,”
  • A report earlier this year said Apple’s next iPhone models will feature improved IP68-rated water resistance (30 minutes in up to 3 feet of water)

2017 MacBook Pro is Up to 20% Faster Than Last Year’s Model in Benchmarks

  • Apple this week refreshed its MacBook Pro lineup with Intel’s seventh-generation Kaby Lake processors, and early benchmarks for the notebooks suggest the 2017 models are up to 20 percent faster than the equivalent 2016 models equipped with Intel’s sixth-generation Skylake processors.
  • Only about a 30% improvement over 2012/2013 MacBook Pros…

10.5-inch iPad Pro review roundup: Apple’s most impressive tablet yet

  • One of the big improvements of the new iPad Pro is its new variable refresh rate display, which Apple calls ProMotion, and means that it can run at 120Hz, or twice as fast as previous displays. It can also cycle down to 24Hz on still images.
  • ARS has praised the new ProMotion by saying that it makes it easier to read text and scroll simultaneously, with the “ghosting” effect you get at 60Hz greatly reduced
  • What everyone agrees on is that the new A10x processor is blazingly fast
  • Smart keyboard is getting mixed reviews. Some saying it feels flimsy and unsatisfying to type on.
  • Uses the newest Touch ID.
  • Dramatically better antireflection coating.
  • About 30% faster than 9.7inch iPad Pro, even more on multicore Geekbench tests I saw. Export times in Garage Band almost halved in some cases.
  • Way better front (7MPX) and back cameras (12MPX), especially from the previous 12inch which had a 1.2 MPX camera.
  • Fuller, better sounding external speakers
  • iPad finally feels “pro”

HomePod First Listen Impressions: ‘Incredible’ Audio With Bass-Heavy Sound That Easily Beats Echo

  • A few websites have now gotten the chance to hear how HomePod sounds in a quiet environment, and they’re sharing their opinions online.
  • Mashable: The audio wasn’t just loud — filling a room with sound, good or bad, is easy — it was rich.
  • Mashable noted that Apple had in-room comparisons with its competitors, including Sonos Play:3 and Amazon Echo, and that the HomePod easily beat the two other speakers in pure music playback quality.
  • CNET: HomePod came off as bolder and more vivid than Sonos Play:3 in the [listening] experience, and a lot better than Amazon Echo. I’d also say the music sounded consistently vivid and crisp in a quiet space
  • What HiFi: We also heard a pair of HomePods playing a live recording of Hotel California by The Eagles. The attention to detail was striking, with different instruments sounding discretely realised.
  • Engadget called HomePod’s audio “incredible,”
  • if listening to the HomePod was like listening to a CD, then audio through the Echo sounded like AM radio.

Apple Drops 2TB iCloud Storage Price to $9.99, Eliminates 1TB Option

  • Following the WWDC keynote, Apple updated and simplified its iCloud storage tiers
    • 50GB: $0.99
    • 200GB: $2.99
    • 2TB: $9.99 (updated from 1TB)
  • Apple is offering an option to share a 200GB or 2TB iCloud storage plan with family members, which is perhaps the reason behind the price drop.
  • Google Photos offers free backup for photos and videos. Or you can back up via Plex premium.

Offload unused apps

  • Automatically offload unused apps if you’re low on storage.

iOS 11 Preview: Control Center Gets Customizable With 3D Touch

Control center is now customizable, and you can use 3D touch to expand some control center icons (like the music control)

iOS 11 Lets AirPods Users Change Tracks With a Double Tap

  • AirPods will soon be able to skip forwards and backwards between tracks with a double tap of either earpiece, thanks to a new additional setting in iOS 11.
  • It’ll be possible to customize the AirPods so that a double tap on one earpiece skips, while double tapping on on the other earpiece goes to the previous track.

Under Review

287: Reactions to the best WWDC in years 🔥

Chris C.

Photo:  Apple

Photo:  Apple

On The Cult Cast:

In one of the most exciting and action-packed keynotes in years, Apple updates just about everything they’ve got. Hot off the event, catch our reactions plus our picks for best in show!


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.


  • Check out the Cult of Mac  Watch store for a curated selection of our favorite straps, all available for prices far less than you’d expect.


  • 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




WWDC keynote is proof of Apple’s awesome power and poise

First look: From cute to badass, Apple’s new hardware impresses

Hardware, software and surprises: Key takeaways from Apple’s WWDC 2017 keynote

HomePod leads to string of Twitter jabs

11 awesome iOS 11 features Apple didn’t bother to mention

HomePod smart speaker will totally rock (and control) your house

New 10.5-inch iPad Pro is Apple’s best tablet yet

Apple teases ‘seriously badass’ iMac Pro and other new Macs at WWDC

286: WWDC Product Predictions! 🕺🕺🕺

Chris C.

Image:  Apple

Image:  Apple

On The Cult Cast:

New evidence points to one of the most hardware-packed WWDCs in years! Add in four new OS reveals and, by golly, you have one heckuva exciting show. We’ll tell you all we know, and share all the products we predict will hit the stage.


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




Steve Jobs closes down Apple

Everything we expect to see at WWDC2017

MacBook Pro

Macbook Pro with Touch Bar was announced 7 months ago! But a new one looks to be on the way. Expect:

  • More powerful Kaby Lake processors
  • 32GB of desktop-class RAM for 15-inch MacBook Pro
  • Price slash for 13-inch MacBook Pro without Touch Bar which hasn’t been selling well per Ming Chi Kuo

MacBook Pro shipping estimates hint at WWDC refresh

  • Shipping times for the 15-inch model have slipped on the Apple online store
  • It seems strange that shipping times would suddenly slip for a product that’s been on sale since October.
  • “A spot check shows 15-inch MacBook Pro delivery estimates are similarly as long in the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Italy, Netherlands, Singapore, Spain, and several other countries,” reports MacRumors.

12-inch MacBook

  • It’s been over a year since Apple has updated its the portable 12-inch MacBook. Now would be a good time.

MacBook Air

  • Bloomberg reported earlier in May that Apple is “considering” updating the MacBook Pro with a newer processor because sales of the machine have continued to be “surprisingly strong.” Who knows what processor it’ll get or what (if any ) other upgrades (like as USB-C or a new display) might be included.

iMac, Mac Pro, and Mac mini

  • Apple announced earlier this year that they are hard at work on new pro-level desktop machines, but don’t expect to see anything at WWDC. The company made it clear that the new Mac Pro is in the works, but they also gave a spec bump to the current line.
  • It is possible we may see an announcement about the pro-level iMacs they talked about, especially considering it hasn’t been updated since Oct. 2015! Maybe we’ll get some Kaby lake chips.

10.5-inch iPad Pro

  • KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo thinks there’s a good chance Apple will debut its 10.5-inch iPad Pro at this year’s event.
  • But if it will be using a new design language similar to the iPhone 8, it probably won’t be revealed until after the new iPhones.

Apple is already manufacturing its Siri-powered speaker

  • Apple’s grand unveiling of its Siri-powered home speaker could come as soon as next week, according to a new report that claims production on the new device is already underway.
  • “The device will differ from Amazon.com Inc.’s Echo and Alphabet Inc.’s Google Home speakers by offering virtual surround sound technology and deep integration with Apple’s product lineup,” reports Bloomberg, citing people familiar with the matter.
  • If Apple does announce the speaker at WWDC don’t expect it to be available immediately. The report claims that units won’t ship until later this year, giving devs plenty of time to integrate their applications with it.

Apple registers new Macs, iPads, Magic Keyboard ahead of WWDC

  • Apple has registered a bunch of new products with the Eurasian Economic Commission ahead of WWDC next week.
  • Its filings hint at the imminent arrival of new Macs, iPads, and a refreshed Magic Keyboard.
  • The company has registered five new Macs with the EEC
  • Another four model numbers are associated with iOS 10, which likely ties them to new iPad Pros. Possibly also the 10.5-inch model
  • Finally, there’s a model number that points to a wireless keyboard. It’s been well over 19 months since Apple introduced the original Magic Keyboard, so we could well see a refreshed model with some minor improvements under the hood.

Get drawing tips as we cover WWDC with sketchnotes

285: $1200 for iPhone 8!?

Chris C.

Photo:  YSR50

Photo:  YSR50

On The Cult Cast:

  • Rumors point to a big iPhone 8 price hike. What’s the max you would pay?
  • Intel makes a huge move to push Thunderbolt into the mainstream
  • Ikea about to drop tons of great HomeKit gadgets on us
  • DJI’s Spark selfie drone is a compact powerhouse
  • And we’ll tell you about the weird and whacky gadgets we’re reviewing in an all-new Under Review!


This episode supported by:

  • 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




More evidence hints at massive iPhone 8 price hike

http://www.cultofmac.com/482409/evidence-hints-massive-iphone-8-price-hike/

  • Rumors that the iPhone 8 may come with a $1,000 price tag are seemingly backed-up by a new report claiming that components for the next-gen handset will be considerably higher than those for its predecessor.
  • According to China’s Economic Daily News, the 3D Touch module alone for the iPhone 8 will cost 150 percent more than the comparable module for the current LCD iPhone.
  • As per a recent report from Goldman Sachs analyst Simona Jankowski, the 128GB iPhone 8 will sell for $999, while the 256GB version will set users back a whopping $1,099. This means that the iPhone 8 could represent a significant 25 percent price jump from the iPhone 7.
  • Include AirPods?

Sensor on second iPhone 7 Plus camera is smaller than main one, calculations show

Intel will eliminate Thunderbolt royalties to boost adoption

http://www.cultofmac.com/483186/intel-will-eliminate-thunderbolt-royalties-boost-adoption/

  • Every manufacturer that uses it has to pay royalties to Intel, which means you typically find it exclusively in expensive, high-end machines.
  • Intel has confirmed plans to drop Thunderbolt royalties in an effort to boost adoption. The chip-maker also plans to integrate Thunderbolt 3 into its own processors starting next year, eliminating the need for a dedicated controller.
  • Thunderbolt has become the ultimate standard for connecting peripherals to your computer, thanks to its incredibly high bandwidth and versatility. Thunderbolt 3’s 40Gbps speeds let you transfer a full 4K movie in just 30 seconds.
  • USB 3 is only 10GBPS!

Control IKEA Home Smart products with Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant and Apple’s Home app

http://newsroom.inter.ikea.com/News/control-ikea-home-smart-products-with-amazon-alexa—google-assistant-and-apple-s-home-app/s/b81aae67-67bd-4dd8-bfd7-3b4ef4f48888

  • During the summer and early fall, IKEA will be adding functionality to its smart lighting range by enabling people to voice control their lighting with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant and to set up and adjust lighting using Apple’s Home app and Siri voice commands. This takes IKEA one step closer to making smart home technology accessible for the many.

DJI goes tiny with new easy-to-fly Spark drone

http://www.cultofmac.com/483194/dji-goes-tiny-new-easy-fly-spark-drone/

  • DJI unveiled the new Spark drone at an event in NYC this morning where the tiny flying camera impressed watchers with some innovative new features like the ability to be controlled without using a remote.
  • The Spark packs a 1/2.3” CMOS sensor that captures 12 megapixel photos and shoots stabilized HD 1080p videos so you can get super smooth shots. It also comes with new shooting modes you won’t find yet on the Mavic or Phantom 4: Pano and ShallowFocus.
  • Flight time on the Spark is around 16 minutes per battery with a range of 1.2 miles. Pricing for the basic kit starts at $499, or you can get the Fly More bundle with two batteries, extra propellers and prop guards and a carrying case for $699.
  • QuickShot Intelligent Flight Modes for taking cool selfie vids
  • QuickShot automatically captures a 10-second clip intended for social media sharing

Under Review!

Juuk Ligero Watch Band, Feisty Pets!, Biolite Campstove 2