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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.

297: Why Apple may make your next TV 📺

Chris C.

Photo:  Getty

Photo:  Getty

On The Cult Cast:

Apple makes a major play to become the next HBO, meanwhile, intriguing new images surface showing what looks to be what we all thought had died—the long lost Apple Television. Plus: a trusted source says Apple’s next Watch will be more boring that we hoped; and finally… eating bugs… Thai Tinder… yes, Buster Heine is back to share strange stories from his travels deep into the heart of Thailand.


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 CULTCAST20 to score a free CleanCloth AND get 20% off your 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 / Buster on Instagram / @thecultcast


Talk about the show! thecultcast.reddit.com




Blurry photos purport to show mythical Apple TV set

  • Blurry images that popped up online supposedly show the testing of an Apple OLED television set of around 60 inches in size. The photos were shared on Chinese social media before being circulated by mobile leaker Benjamin Geskin on Twitter.
  • images depict what looks like an Apple-branded standalone display in some kind of lab testing environment. They show a metal frame design, while accompanying notes on Weibo suggest that the set also includes a camera.
  • And, just like that, longstanding rumors of an Apple TV set reignite!
  • The rumors gained momentum with the publishing of Walter Isaacson’s Steve Jobs biography in 2011. “I’d like to create an integrated television set that is completely easy to use,” Jobs was quoted as saying. “It will have the simplest user interface you could imagine.”

Apple will throw $1 billion at original programming over next year

  • According to the WSJ, Apple is reportedly preparing a $1 billion “war chest” which it will spend on acquiring or producing original content over the next year.
  • That sum is around half of what HBO spent on production last year.
  • Apple SVP Eddy Cue is reportedly aiming for Apple to offer up to ten new shows, which could rival Game of Thrones in scope.
  • Apple has been ramping up its hirings to try and establish itself as a force to be reckoned with. The company’s recent hirings include a pair of former Sony execs, who previously helped bring to the screen shows including AMC’s Breaking Bad and Better Call Saul, and Netflix’s The Crown
  • WSJ: “Mr. Van Amburg and Mr. Erlicht have begun meeting with Hollywood agents and holding discussions about shows Apple could acquire, the people familiar said. Mr. Matt Cherniss has movie experience, having worked as a production executive at Warner Bros.”

Apple Watch Series 3 will bring LTE but no design changes

  • According to trusted KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. There will be no “obvious change” to the design of the device, which will leave LTE connectivity as its main selling point.
  • Apple will offer non-LTE versions at more affordable prices, however. It’s unclear whether those models will be Series 3 devices, or whether Apple will continue to offer Series 2 alongside its successor for those who do not require LTE.
  • Watch will also likely be waterproof, like series 2, and faster.

296: What’s next for  Watch?

Chris C.

Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

On The Cult Cast:

What does Apple have in store for the next version of  Watch? We’ll roundup the current rumors and reveal our Gen 3 wish list. Then: could Face ID actually replace Touch ID on iPhone 8? We have concerns. Plus: proof that a 4K Apple TV is right around the corner; more incredible demos of AR Kit; and we share our favorite new shows, movies, and board games in an all-new What We’re Into!


This episode supported by:

  • The single-router wifi model just doesn’t work for our increasingly high-bandwidth world. The EERO distributed system will blanket your home in hyper-fast, reliable WiFi, and you can score free overnight shipping with code CULTCAST at checkout.


  • 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 / @maccast / Buster on Instagram / @thecultcast


Talk about the show! thecultcast.reddit.com




Apple Plans to Release a Cellular-Capable Watch to Break iPhone Ties

“Apple Inc. is planning to release a version of its smartwatch later this year that can connect directly to cellular networks, a move designed to reduce the device’s reliance on the iPhone, people familiar with the matter said.”

  • What would we like to see in the next Apple Watch
  • Round version or a new shape/style
  • Way better battery life
  • always on screen
  • Thinner
  • No LTE fees!

Blurry photo might confirm iPhone 8 Touch ID fears

  • An apparent iPhone 8 photo straight out of Foxconn has confirmed one of our biggest fears for Touch ID: It will be relocated to the back of the device.
  • Apple has been working to embed its fingerprint scanner into the iPhone’s display, but according to numerous reports, the technology won’t be ready in time for this year’s big refresh.
  • Mark Gurman at Bloomberg: Apple’s pitch come September will be that Face ID is quicker, more secure, and more accurate than Touch ID. People inside Apple say it is.
  • Security implications

iPhone 8 facial recognition will unlock your phone even when it’s lying down

  • The new iPhone 8 will be capable of unlocking with its face recognition even when it’s lying flat on your desk, a new report from The Information suggests.
  • This information appears to back up a report published in Bloomberg earlier this year. That report noted that:
  • [The facial recognition sensor’s] speed and accuracy are focal points of the feature. It can scan a user’s face and unlock the iPhone within a few hundred milliseconds, the person said. "It is designed to work even if the device is laying flat on a table, rather than just close up to the face.”

4K Apple TV seemingly confirmed by HomePod leak

  • Over the last few weeks the HomePod’s software has revealed a number of upcoming features on unannounced products. Sleuthing developers unearthed info on the iPhone 8’s facial scanning and SmartCamera features. Now there appears to be some details of the new Apple TV inside too.
  • iOS developer Guilherme Rambo discovered references to both Dolby Vision and HDR10 color formats for 4K video in the HomePod’s software.

This ARKit app teleports you into an ’80s music video

  • Ever wonder what it would be like to live inside an ’80s music video? Thanks to Apple’s new ARKit software, you can live that dream with a new app that draws inspiration from the popular music video for A-ha’s “Take On Me.”

Measure the square footage of your room with ARKit

Virtual directions and tags of AR POS

Mint Works game

Dominion game

Halt and Catch Fire

Alien Covenant

295: Big HomePod and iPhone 8 leaks… directly from Apple!

Chris C.

Image:  Apple

Image:  Apple

On The Cult Cast:

Apple just accidentally leaked major details about the iPhone 8 and HomePod. Whoopsie! We’ll tell you everything we’ve learned. Plus: leaked audio files show off the HomePods cool UI sounds; we reveal exclusive new audio of the HomePod’s boot-up noise; Buster’s shares a very special announcement; and we wrap with our reviews of the best internet-connected security cameras and the hawt new flagship Olympus OM-D EM-1 mirrorless camera 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 / Buster on Instagram / @thecultcast


Come join us? thecultcast.reddit.com




More juicy details about iPhone 8 discovered in Apple code

  • Apple clearly didn’t realize that the firmware it made available on Friday was a goldmine of secret information. Not only did it reveal the final design of the iPhone 8 and its new facial recognition technology, but it tells us stuff we didn’t know about HomePod, too.
  • First of all, buried in the firmware are GLYPHS of the actual phone itself. WHOOPSIE!
  • We now know the device will have a split status bar designed to fit its edge-to-edge display
  • Things like cellular signal and time might be displayed on one side of the bar, while indicators for Bluetooth, location, and battery level could appear on the other. “The new status bar seems a lot more complex and powerful in design, maybe even interactive,” Troughton-Smith says.
  • The software has also revealed that iPhone 8 will boast tap to wake functionality. This is a feature found on many Android and Windows Phone devices, which lets you wake the device simply by tapping its screen. It’s handy when there is no physical Home button.
  • It appears, however, that iPhone 8 will have a “Home Indicator.” It’s believed to be similar to the virtual Home button that appears at the bottom of the display on Android devices, and it looks like Apple will allow developers to hide it in certain contexts.
  • Interestingly, Troughton-Smith tweeted “I’ve seen nothing to suggest an ultrasound under-the-display Touch ID here,” meaning either no touchID or one on the back
  • Rumors have said that facial recognition is even more accurate than touch id and will even work with Apple Pay.

Apple code confirms that facial unlocking tech is on the way

  • “I can confirm reports that HomePod’s firmware reveals the existence of upcoming iPhone’s infra-red face unlock in BiometricKit and elsewhere” Steve Stoughton Smith
  • Unlocking will be call FaceID
  • Will use an inferred camera to should work in dark situations
  • Will reportedly not support Apple pay to start, indicating we’re getting a touchID sensor somewhere on the phone

iPhone 8’s radical redesign could bring awesome UI change

  • we can look forward to a display with a 2436×1125 resolution
  • This resolution is 812x 375 points rendered @ 3x – exactly the same logical width as the iPhone 7, but 22% taller,” explains Allen Pike, a developer who previously worked at Apple

HomePod software leaks new ‘SmartCamera’ feature for iPhone

  • Apple’s HomePod might have revealed another huge new iPhone feature
  • HomePod software appears to reference an unannounced “SmartCamera” feature built into iOS 11 or the yet-to-be-released 2017 iPhone
  • iOS developer Guilherme Rambo unearthed references to the new feature. He posted a screenshot of a section of the code to Twitter
  • It looks like the SmartCamera feature will be able to tune your camera settings based on the scene it detects. DSLRs possess similar features
  • The HomePod code contains references to Fireworks, Foliage, Pet, BrightStage, Sport, Sky, Snow and Sunset/Sunrise scenarios.

HomePod software reveals new details of Apple’s smart speaker

  • Notorious iOS sleuth Steve Troughton Smith has done some serious research into HomePod and discovered that it’s basically like another iOS device only it doesn’t have a big screen. That could open HomePod up to some exciting capabilities in the future.
  • will come with a number of accessibility features.
  • Third-party apps aren’t likely to arrive on HomePod anytime soon. Smith says there aren’t any provisions in the HomePod OS shell there doesn’t seem to be any kind of provision in the HomePod OS shell for installing apps or extensions.
  • The top LED area of the HomePod could have more advanced functionality than previously thought. Rather than just using big LEDs, it appears that the top surface is an LED Matrix. Temperature and weather icons could be displayed on the 32×32 pixel matrix.

Leaked audio files reveal HomePod’s cool UI sounds

  • Apple’s early software for the HomePod continues to reveal new features of the smart speaker, as developers dive deeper into files. After details on the speaker’s screen got discovered, another developer unearthed the UI sounds that will be used on HomePod.

Under Review

294: Snag your free MacBook Pro!

Chris C.

Photo:  @YSR50

Photo:  @YSR50

On The Cult Cast:

  • Parts shortages force Apple to start handing out free MacBook Pros, and everyone on the internet wants a piece of the action.
  • You knew Jony Ive designed some of Apple’s most iconic products, but did you know he also helped craft one of Star Wars most nefarious light sabers?
  • Apple discontinues two of their most iconic products.
  • And stay tuned for all our favorite new stuff in another episode of What We’re Into!


This episode supported by:


  • Casper’s American-made mattresses have just the right amount of sink and bounce, and people everywhere love them. Learn why and get $50 towards any mattress at Casper.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.


  • 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 / @lewiswallace / @thecultcast


Come join us at the best subreddit you will read all week long! thecultcast.reddit.com




Shortages force Apple to swap old MacBook Pros for new models

  • Apple has been forced to swap old MacBook Pros in need of repair with new models due to severe component shortages. It means some lucky customers are getting a free upgrade to the latest machines when in need of service under warranty.
  • A common fault with any laptop after regular use is that its battery loses its ability to charge. The cells can only withstand so many cycles before they no longer perform as intended. Fortunately, Apple will replace them for free under warranty.
  • MacRumors reports that the company is currently facing “a severe constraint of top case assemblies with integrated batteries” for 15-inch MacBook Pros released in mid 2012 and early 2013 — and this is expected to last until September.
  • As a result, Apple is said to have instructed its Genius Bar employees and Authorized Service Providers that they can temporarily swap affected notebooks for a newer, “functionally equivalent” model.
  • If your MacBook Pro is still covered by the one-year manufacturer warranty, or an extended AppleCare plan, the cost of a battery replacement (or upgrade were eligible) is completely free. If your warranty has expired, the fee is $199.
  • However, Apple has been waiving this fee for customers who are willing to wait for new batteries to arrive, rather than taking an upgrade for $199.

Apple No Longer Replacing Some MacBook Pros Needing Battery Service With Newer Models

  • Apple’s memo says, effective July 26, service inventory of top case assemblies with batteries is now available for new repairs.
  • For all new repair requests, Apple advises Genius Bar employees and Apple Authorized Service Providers to order the necessary inventory. Apple advises its service providers to inform customers that the inventory should arrive within 15 business days of the part order, corresponding with early August.
  • Apple employee on reddit: “From what I can tell, Apple are FURIOUS about the MacRumors article yesterday setting customer expectations. I’ve never seen them react to a situation internally like this”

Jony Ive talks earbuds inspired by stormtroopers, Apple Park

  • Jony Ive has revealed that the company’s iconic white earbuds were inspired by Star Wars stormtroopers.
  • Ive told The Wall Street Journal that he the “look of the original Stormtroopers in mind” when he created their look. Years later, the stormtroopers would be inspired by Apple.
  • In a 2015 interview with Vanity Fair, Star Wars: The Force Awakens costume designer Mark Kaplan revealed that he was inspired by Ive’s designs when creating the new stormtroopers of the First Order.
  • “With the Stormtroopers it was more of a simplification, almost like, ‘What would Apple do?’” he said.
  • Jony Ive also suggested the light saber hilt that ended up becoming a reality on Kylo Ren’s sword
  • Jony Ive once sat next to J. J. Abrams at a boozy dinner party in New York, and made what Abrams recalled as “very specific” suggestions about the design of lightsabres. Abrams told me that “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” would reflect those thoughts, but he wouldn’t say how.
  • Ive argued that the lightsaber should look uneven. ”I thought it would be interesting if it were less precise, and just a little bit more spitty,” said Ive, adding that the new weapon could be “more analog and more primitive, and I think, in that way, somehow more ominous.”

Apple discontinues iPod nano and iPod shuffle

  • In a statement to The Verge, Apple confirmed both devices have been discontinued:
  • “Today, we are simplifying our iPod lineup with two models of iPod touch now with double the capacity starting at just $199 and we are discontinuing the iPod shuffle and iPod nano. The iPod touch is now available in 32GB and 128GB storage options, with the latter priced at $299.”
  • Aside from the capacity increases, both devices are identical to those that were on sale yesterday.

Steve Jobs introduces the iPod nano