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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.

374: Painful truths about MacBook Pro

Chris C.

Photo:  YouTube/Erfon Elijah

Photo: YouTube/Erfon Elijah

This Week!

The 2018 MacBook Pro is a beautiful machine, but it has some odd and painful flaws! Then: Quit or canned? Why is Angela Ahrendts leaving Apple? Plus: The saga of Gil Amelio, the CEO that saved Apple.


This episode supported by:

  • Burrow sofas are designed for comfort, with supportive proprietary foam and a built-in USB charger so you never have to get up. Plus they're hand-crafted in North Carolina, and surprisingly affordable. Get $75 on your next sofa at burrow.com/cultcast.


  • Our thanks to Linked In for supporting this episode. A business is only as strong as its people, and every hire matters… head 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



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….


7 Painful Truths about the 2018 MacBook Pro

Quit or canned? Why is Angela Ahrendts leaving Apple? [Opinion]

  • When Apple fires an executive, the company is rarely straightforward about the situation. Apple never puts out a press release stating plainly that the executive was canned. So Tuesday’s unexpected announcement that Angela Ahrendts, Apple’s head of retail, is leaving in April led many to suspect she was fired.
  • Most of the news stories about Ahrendts’ departure point out that it’s happening during the first-ever iPhone sales slump; The subtext is that she’s underperforming and has to go.
  • Ryan Jones, an app developer with a popular Apple-centric Twitter feed, argues that Apple fired Ahrendts. His reasons: the timing of the announcement, coded language in the press release, and a claim that she was just four months from vesting stock.
  • “Angela turned Apple Stores into a frustrating mess,” he wrote. “Service and buying are both slow and maddening.”
  • No ‘gardening leave’ for Angela Ahrendts
  • As noted by John Gruber, Vogue Business reporter Suzy Menke, who profiled Ahrendts just last week in a positive piece, quoted Ahrendts on Instagram saying the departing Apple leader misses her grown-up kids, who live in London. Ahrendts was based in the U.K. capital while CEO of Burberry and clearly misses the city

The saga of Gil Amelio: the CEO that saved Apple

  • Gil Amelio was Apple’s CEO for only 500 days, and in that time he rescued Apple from the brink of destruction.
  • February 2, 1996: With disappointing Mac sales, the disastrous “clone Mac” strategy, and a failed Sun Microsystems merger to his name, Apple CEO Michael Spindler is asked to resign by the Apple board.
  • Apple needs needs a miracle. In the last 4 years, they’ve lost over $230 million dollars.
  • They turn to resurrection artist Gil Amelio, without whose leadership, Apple would probably not exist today.

Microsoft is bringing Xbox Live to Android and iOS

  • Microsoft is gearing up to release a software development kit (SDK) that will allow Android and iOS developers to integrate Xbox Live features into their games.
  • The SDK will be officially confirmed by Microsoft next month, will also be available to Nintendo Switch developers.
  • Microsoft’s SDK comes after Epic Games broke boundaries with cross-platform play inside Fortnite.
  • The battle royale behemoth is the first title that allows players on all systems — including Xbox, Switch, mobile, and now even PlayStation — to play together. It also allows users to log in to a single account and sync progress between different devices.

373: What’s next for iPhone 🔥 Plus: our favorite gadgets!

Chris C.

Photo:  twitter/@alexeheath

Photo: twitter/@alexeheath

This Week!

A new report details what next for Apple’s 2019 AND 2020 iPhones… Plus: Apple plans Netflix-for-games subscription service (with Alex E Heath!); it’s not just you, everyone got way more spam calls in 2018; and we talk a new wireless charging brick for iPhone, a smart outlet with HomeKit support, and the super smart HomeKit thermostat you’ve never heard of, in all-new Under Review.


This episode supported by:

  • Dashlane is the official password manager of Cult of Mac. It's so good, even El Kahney's mummy uses it! Use it for free for one device at Dashlane.com/CultofMac.


  • 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



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….


Here’s how crazy spam calls went in 2018

  • A new report from call identification and blocking company HIYA shows just how bad these spam calls have gotten.
  • Released today, the “State of the Phone Call” report is based on data from 11 billion calls analyzed monthly. The report includes breakdowns of the types of calls made or received, how often phone calls were answered, and the average duration.
  • The biggest takeaway from the report: an out of control trend in robocalls, citing a 46% increase in 2018 for a total of 26.3 billion in the year.

Apple Is Planning 3-D Cameras for New iPhones in AR Push

  • 2020
    • Apple plans to launch iPhones with a more-powerful 3D camera. These will give a significant boost in augmented reality capability
    • Other features will include a third, more advanced camera, and a more powerful chip
  • 2019
    • Gurman confirms Apple is working on updates to the XR and XS, but only the XS Max will include 3 cameras…
    • All models will include an upgraded Apple processor and use an updated Face ID sensor
  • Other tidbits
    • Apple is testing USB C on iPhone, indicating they may eventually lose lightning "Apple’s next operating system update, iOS 13, will include a dark mode option for easier nighttime viewing and improvements to CarPlay, the company’s in-vehicle software. There will also be iPad-specific upgrades like a new home screen, the ability to tab through multiple versions of a single app like pages in a web browser, and improvements to file management. The company will also integrate two new services, including a magazine subscription service and its original video content efforts, via iOS updates this year."

Apple plans Netflix-for-games subscription service

  • Accordingly execrable Alex E Heath, Apple allegedly wants to tap into the booming gaming industry to boost its growing Services business. The company is reportedly planning to create a new subscription service for games
  • This is Alex E Heath’s first big Apple scoop, and he he’s claiming he’s got five sources confirming this story.
  • We have the exclusive interview.

Erfon goes hands-on with the Mysa smart thermostat

iPhone XS Max vs Hollywood Movie Cameras Red & Arri

Under Review!

Mysa smart thermostat for electric heaters

Mophie Charge Stream Power Station

Connect Sense Smart Outlet 2

372: Health-tracking AirPods, Death of 3D Touch, and Moviepass LIVES!

Chris C.

Photo:  Techpp

Photo: Techpp

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!


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



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….


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 Change.org 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.

371: iPhone 11 leaks, and iOS-controlled Back-To-The-Future shoes

Chris C.

PHOTO:  IAN ALLEN; ANIMATION BY PHUC PHAM

PHOTO: IAN ALLEN; ANIMATION BY PHUC PHAM

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:

  • Opsgenie empowers Dev & Ops teams to plan for service disruptions and stay in control during incidents. It also gives teams the power to respond quickly and efficiently to unplanned issues. Visit Opsgenie.com to sign up to get a FREE company account and add up to 5 team members.


  • Burrow sofas are designed for comfort, with supportive proprietary foam and a built-in USB charger so you never have to get up. Plus they're hand-crafted in North Carolina, and surprisingly affordable. Get $75 on your next sofa at burrow.com/cultcast.


  • 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



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….


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 lot 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 EW.com, 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