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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.

383: All-new MacBook Pro, return of Magsafe, & inside Apple's megafactories

Chris C.

Photo: Tim Cook/ @ NachoHelmet

Photo: Tim Cook/@NachoHelmet

This Week!

Apple’s readying a totally redesigned MacBook Pro with next gen display! We discuss. Plus: Apple’s working on the next generation of Magsafe! And we take a fascinating look at the unbelievable scale and size of Apple’s megafactories from a bonus chapter of Leander’s new book, Tim Cook: The genius who took Apple to the next level.


This episode supported by:

  • Whether you are looking for investors, a co-founder, a new job opportunity, or just inspiring conversations, Shapr can connect you to professionals who truly want to share tips and help. Learn more and download the app at Shapr.co.
  • 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



Pre-Order Leander's new book, signed!

9 months with stereo HomePods! The good, bad, & the UGLY!

Apple cuts price of HomePod in U.S. and other countries

  • Apple permanently slashed the price of HomePod in the United States and a number of other countries. The company’s first smart speaker now lists for $299 — a full $50 less than its original price.
  • Some might assume the HomePod discount is a result of lackluster sales. But Apple says it is simply passing on savings achieved by manufacturing at scale, according to AppleInsider. (It’s a shame the company doesn’t do that with all its products.)

Biggest MacBook in years could debut in 2021

  • Ming Chi Kuo says Apple is working on a MacBook Pro that’s bigger than any released in years. The downside is this model won’t be out until 2021.
  • This device, as well as a new iPad and an external display, will all supposedly use a new type of display: microLED.microLED is the next generation of screen technology. It’s brings the strength the strengths of OLED, perfect black levels, incredible color saturation and accuracy, without the negatives, E.G. degrading performance and brightness over time, and burn in.
  • Multiple companies are currently working to figure out how to manufacture the technology, but it’s hard, because the LEDS have to be perfectly placed or the screen brightness looks wonky.
  • The MacBook that will be between 15 and 17 inched. but he’s now saying this will be out in the first half of 2021.
  • This is the same machine Kuo implied would be a major redesign...

Apple’s beloved MagSafe connector could make a comeback

  • Apple is exploring charging cables that attach to its devices with magnets.
  • Apple just received a patent for “Smart Charging Systems for Portable Electronic Devices.” This describes using magnets in cables to prevent damage if they get yanked on.
  • Apple envisions the system taking an active part in disconnecting itself if an accident occurs. “The connector can be disconnected from the portable electronic device by the charging component before the jolting event occurs.”
  • MagSafe was only for MacBooks, but the new version might have a much wider reach. The patent says this magnetized charging system could be used with “a smart phone, wearable device, smart watch, tablet, personal computer, and the like.”
  • That said, this is only a patent application, not a product announcement. It’s possible this research might not ever become a product.

Inside Apple’s factories [Cook book outtakes]

  • Apple’s capital expenditure, or CapEx, is mindboggling. To get an idea of how big it is, take Apple’s new spaceship campus in Cupertino – which is the fourth most expensive building in the world. It cost the company an estimated $5 billion to construct.
  • Apple spends a similar amount every six months on manufacturing equipment

382: Death of AirPower: what no one's talking about!

Chris C.

Photo:  Apple/Yahoo! Finance

Photo: Apple/Yahoo! Finance

This Week!

AirPower—the real problem no one else is talking about… Plus: 2019 iPhone rumors point to some wildly useful new features; more evidence the 2018 MacBook, Air and Pro keyboards are STILL having issues. And we wrap up with a review of Leander’s favorite wireless charging mat, Lewis’ take on the new AirPods 2, and Erfon’s got a favorite new podcasting gadget on an all-new Under Review!


This episode supported by:

  • Techmeme Ride Home is silicon valley's water cooler podcast. Stay up to date on the latest tech news with new episodes each day--search for Ride Home podcast in your podcast app of choice and give it a listen!
  • 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



Pre-Order Leander's new book, signed!

What went wrong with Apple’s doomed AirPower charging mat?

  • AirPower is officially dead. It’s the first time in Apple’s history that they canceled an announced, but unreleased product.
    • It’s been about 1.5 years since Apple titillated fans by revealing a wireless charging mat that supposedly would charge not one, not two, but three Apple devices at the same time.
    • Overheating problems reportedly posed the biggest hurdle for bringing AirPower to market. We heard rumors and rumblings for more than a year that Apple faced serious technical hurdles as it tried to make AirPower a reality.
    • Most wireless charging mats have only one power-generating coil. Some specialized chargers offer two coils, placed far apart. Apple tried to put three or more charging coils into one pad so you could place your device anywhere and it would start charging.
    • One of John Gruber’s sources said the design would never work; it violated the laws of physics.
    • But here’s the real AirPower problem no one’s talking about…

Two-way charging and bigger batteries rumored for 2019 iPhones

  • According to a new report from Mind Chi Kuo, Apple is reportedly planning to add two-way charging that will allow it to recharge your Apple Watch, AirPods and even other iPhones.
  • Now if this feature sounds familiar, it may be because Samsung included on the Galaxy S10+...
  • Kuo also claims battery capacity will increase between 10 percent and 25 percent on the iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max successors. The iPhone XS successor will get the biggest gains, while the iPhone XR successor is expected to get minimal battery gains
  • Other rumored features for the 2019 iPhone lineup includes a three-lens camera on the back, improved Face ID sensors, a more powerful A13 processor and possibly support for Apple Pencil

The MacBook keyboard fiasco is way worse than Apple thinks

  • David Heinemeier Hansson. Founder of Basecamp. Creator of Ruby on Rails.
  • Apple keep insisting that only a “small number of customers have problems” with the MacBook keyboards. That’s bollocks. This is a huge issue, it’s getting worse not better, and Apple is missing the forest for the trees.
  • So here’s some anecdata for Apple. I sampled the people at Basecamp. Out of the 47 people using MacBooks at the company, a staggering 30% are dealing with keyboard issues right now!! And that’s just the people dealing with current keyboard issues. If you include all the people who used to have issues, but went through a repair or replacement process, the number would be even higher.
  • Worth noting here is that the 3rd generation membrane keyboard did nothing to fix the issues. Six out of thirteen – nearly half!! – of the 2018+ MacBooks we have at the company have a failed keyboard.
  • He did a Twitter poll that currently has over 7300 responses.
    • 37% have no keyboard issues.
    • 11% had issues that were fixed by Apple
    • 52% have issues now that they’re just living with.
    • He’s calling for Apple to do a Total Recall….

381:  TV+,  Card,  Arcade,  News+ - We React!

Chris C.

Photo:  AP

Photo: AP

This Week!

 News+,  TV+,  Arcade,  Card, we react to it ALL. Plus we'll fill in all the details on Apple’s new services. And just when you thought it was safe to type, Apple apologizes for MORE ongoing MacBook Air and MacBook Pro keyboard issues.


This episode supported by:

  • Whether you are looking for investors, a co-founder, a new job opportunity, or just inspiring conversations, Shapr can connect you to professionals who truly want to share tips and help. Learn more and download the app at Shapr.co.
  • 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



Pre-Order Leander's new book, signed!

Erfon has a moment of eros reviewing Logitech's most premium keyboard

Apple apologizes for continuing problems with MacBook keyboard

  • MacBooks made after 2015 have had keyboard issues. Apple tweaked the design of this critical component last year, and there was great optimism that the problem had been fixed in the latest macOS computers.
  • Nope.
  • After months of use, owners of the 2018 MacBook Pro or MacBook Air are reporting keys that stick, either so they become unresponsive or repeat letters.
  • This was highlighted today by Joanna Stern in a Wall Street Journal editorial written on a MacBook Pro with the E and R keys failing. “To sha th pain of using an Appl laptop kyboad that’s faild aft fou months, I could only think of on ida: tak all th bokn ltts out of my column,” wrote Stern. The WSJ article has toggles to make the missing letters reappear.
  • Apple responded to Stern’s article by saying “We are aware that a small number of users are having issues with their third-generation butterfly keyboard and for that we are sorry. The vast majority of Mac notebook customers are having a positive experience with the new keyboard.”
  • But they still have not offered the same extended keyboard warranty they have given to 2016 and 2017 MacBook Pro owners...

These are the ‘low rates’ currently available for Apple Card

With Apple TV+, Tim Cook peddles an antidote to toxic TV [Opinion]

  • At a time when critically acclaimed TV shows serve up a steady stream of sex and violence, the upcoming Apple TV+ service proffers an unusual prescription for success: optimism, inclusion, creativity and inspiration.

These are all the games coming to Apple Arcade

  • Apple showed off a smattering of games for its upcoming Apple Arcade subscription service at yesterday’s event. But, presumably because reeling off a list of 100 titles would’ve slowed the event to a crawl, it didn’t reveal exactly which games would be available.

380: New Macs! New iPads! New AirPods! We REACT

Chris C.

Photo:  Auburn/YouTube screenshot by Chris Matyszczyk/CNET

Photo: Auburn/YouTube screenshot by Chris Matyszczyk/CNET

This Week!

Apple just released so much new hardware, they had to do it over 3 full days. We break it all down, and react to all the new gear. Plus, the saga of MoviePass continues with yet another new wild announcement… but is their new unlimited plan too good to be true?


This episode supported by:

  • Whether you are looking for investors, a co-founder, a new job opportunity, or just inspiring conversations, Shapr can connect you to professionals who truly want to share tips and help. Learn more and download the app at Shapr.co.
  • 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



Pre-Order Leander's new book!

Why this week’s Apple PR blitz is brilliant [Opinion]

  • Apple is reaching Hannukah levels of gifting this week with significant new hardware releases on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday.

MONDAY

On Monday Apple released a new iPad Air 3 and iPad Mini 5

iPad Air 3

  • The new iPad Air has a 10.5-inch Retain display, A12 Bionic chip, and first-generation Apple Pencil support.
  • Performance-wise, it’s just as fast as the iPhone XS.
  • This iPad replaces the older 10.5-inch iPad Pro that Apple’s been selling for $650 up until now
  • $500 for the 64GB model

iPad Mini 5

  • iPad mini now delivers three times the performance and nine times faster graphics.
  • Improved Retina display with True Tone, wide color support, is 25 percent brighter than before.
  • A12 Bionic processor
  • first-generation Apple Pencil support
  • Headphone jack!
  • the same $399 price tag as the previous model.

TUESDAY

On Tuesday Apple gave some much needed spec bumps to the iMac, added better RAM and GPU options to the iMac Pro, and even dropped the prices on some of their high-end MacBook Pros! iMac

  • iMac lineup has been updated with Intel's latest 8th-gen and 9th-gen Core processors, including a six-core 8th-gen Core i7 with Turbo Boost, and a monster eight-core 9th-gen Core i9 with Turbo Boost up to 5.0GHz (for the 27-inch 5K iMac).
  • Apple says the new i7 brings a 60% performance increase for the 21.5-inch iMac, and up to a 240% for the for new i9 iMac.
  • Radeon Pro Vega graphics options are now available across the new iMac lineup, including Vega 20 for 21.5-inch models and Vega 48 for 27-inch models. Apple advertises up to 80 percent faster graphics performance compared to the previous iMac lineup.
  • New RAM and storage options are also available.
  • Base iMac STILL include a 5400RPM mechanical hard drive…

iMac Pro now available with Vega 64X graphics and 256GB RAM

  • Those with a need for speed can now equip the iMac Pro with an AMD Radeon Pro Vega 64X graphics card and up to 256GB of RAM for the first time. But be prepared to break the bank

Apple drops prices on some high-end MacBook Pros

  • There’s good news for MacBook Pro buyers looking for a lot of storage: Apple has lowered the costs of its most-expensive SSD options.
  • When upgrading your SSD, you can save $200 for the 2TB option, and $400 for the 4TB option.
  • The bad news is that Apple didn’t change prices on any MacBook Pro SSDs that are 1TB or smaller. Putting a 1TB drive in a high-end 15-inch MacBook is still an extra $400 over the cost of a 512GB one, for example.
  • The total package, with 256GB of RAM and everything else as standard, is $10,199. If you add every possible upgrade to the iMac Pro, not including software or a VESA Mount Adapter, it costs $15,699.

WEDNESDAY

New AirPods deliver hands-free ‘Hey Siri’ and better battery life

  • Apple’s newest wireless buds are here with a brand new H1 chip that allows for hands-free “Hey Siri.” They also promise better battery life in between charges, and even faster connectivity.
  • An optional Wireless Charging Case is also available, but it’s not cheap.
  • AirPods 2 have the same $159 price tag, or $200 with the wireless charging case. The wireless case a la cart is $79.

With New Unlimited Plan, MoviePass Swears It's Got Its Shit Together

  • Thanks to MacDonald Ted for this glorious story.
  • On Monday, MoviePass announced the new plan, which it is calling “Uncapped.” Under the Uncapped plan, subscribers can watch one 2D film a day, for $19.95 per month. A “limited time” offer gets you that same deal for just $9.95 per month with a one-year commitment.
  • But can we trust MoviePass?
  • Of course they’re playing games in their terms of service. A line in their user agreement gives MoviePass the right to throttle a user’s filmgoing options in the event that an individual’s use of the service has an adverse impact on “MoviePass’s system-wide capacity or the availability of the Service for other subscribers.”