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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.

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.

353: Our Gather Round event reactions!

Chris C.

  Photo:  Apple

Photo: Apple

This Week!

Hot off the heels of Apple’s keynote, it’s our unfiltered Gather Round event reactions! We'll tell you what we think about iPhone Xs, Xs Max, iPhone Xr, and the new Apple Watch 4. Plus: is it worth upgrading from X to Xs? We discuss that and all the products that were noticeably missing from today’s festivities.


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 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


CC 2ndHour: The magic of Penny Arcade Expo and the state of video games (with Aaron Hughes)

Chris C.

  Photo:  Cult of Mac

Photo:  Cult of Mac

CultCast 2nd Hour!

With over a hundred thousand attendees, the Penny Arcade Expo is one of the largest video game conventions in the world, and it all started in Seattle, Washington.

Hot off the heels of PAX 2018, Erfon sits across his good friend, The Amazing Aaron Hughes, to discuss the state of Xbox, Playstation, Nintendo, their favorite games and spectacles from the event, and how FORNITE and PUBG have changed the face of gaming.



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


352: Say hello to the iPhone MAX (Extreme Edition)

Chris C.

  Photo:  Apple

Photo:  Apple

This Week!

Get ready for the iPhone MAX! Plus: rumors indicate Apple’s new iPhones will receive a serious price cut; Apple is working on the one feature the  Watch desperately needs; and Leander reveals Apple’s secret sauce—the design and creative processes Cupertino has developed over the years that have helped them create some of the world’s most iconic products.


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.


  • 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 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



Possible new name for the 6.5-inch iPhone takes it to the Max

  • Apple’s marketing team has reportedly been considering losing the Plus suffix that has been used on the largest models since the iPhone 6 Plus came out in 2014
  • We’ve already head reports that Apple is going to ditch the “Plus” description for its larger iPhones. Now there’s word that the replacement term could be “Max.”
  • If true, this means that the company will announce a week from today the iPhone Xs with a 5.8-inch display and the iPhone Xs Max with a 6.5-inch one.

2018 iPhones could cost just the same as the 2017 models

  • With most of the specifications of the 2018 iPhones already known, the largest remaining question is price.
  • A report from the German website Macerkoff, who starts by pointing out that the iPhone 8 costs €799, the iPhone 8 Plus sells for €909, and the iPhone X is €1149.
  • Citing two different sources, the site says the 6.1-inch LCD iPhone expected to be announced next week will cost €799, the 5.8-inch replacement for the iPhone X will be €909, and the 6.5-inch OLED device sell for €1149.
  • If that assumption is correct, the 6.1-inch LCD iPhone will be $699, the speed-bumped 5.8-inch iPhone X will be $799, and the the 6.5-inch OLED model will be $999.

Apple Watch could get always-on display mode

  • Apple is developing an always-on display mode for Apple Watch, a new patent application reveals.
  • The feature would give users the ability to see the time — and possibly other information — without having to raise their wrist every time. But Apple wants to make sure OLED burn-in doesn’t become a problem.
  • There are several reasons for that, such as its impact on battery life and the risk that the feature could ruin Apple Watch’s OLED display.

The Iconic Pillow Collection by Throwboy

New book shows how Apple makes great software [Review]

  • When Steve Jobs died in 2011, pundits wondered how the company would continue to make great products without him.
  • The question is partly answered by programmer Ken Kocienda’s new book, Creative Selection, which describes his 15 years working at Apple helping to develop the original iPhone, iPad and Safari web browser.

The Apple design process of demos, decisions and feedback with Ken Kocienda [Apple Chat podcast]