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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:


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  • We also want to give Kevin MacLeod at Incompetech.com a thanks for the great music you hear on today’s show.


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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.