2015: The year Apple super-sized its ambitions

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Apple year in review 2015
2015 was a great year for Apple -- mostly.
Image: Stephen Smith/Cult of Mac

Cult of Mac's Best of 2015 You could say 2015 was a product-ive year for Apple. The company entered the wearable market with the Apple Watch, released a hugely updated version of the Apple TV streaming box, unveiled the massive iPad Pro (and considerably less massive iPad Mini 4), took on tune-streaming with the Apple Music service, and made its annual update to the iPhone with the 6s and 6s Plus.

We also saw updates to the operating systems that run all those things, as well as a new desktop OS in El Capitan, but it wasn’t all great news. Apple encountered lawsuits, shakeups and investigations by countries and entire federations thereof.

So whether we ultimately decide Cupertino had a good or bad year, at least it was pretty interesting. Relive the ups and downs with this Apple year in review 2015, Cult of Mac-style.

Chipgate debunked: All iPhone 6s models are created equal

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The A9X chip puts iPhone 6s graphics to shame.
Don't discriminate between iPhone models. Chipgate doesn't exist.
Photo: Apple

A test to pit the two different iPhone 6s models against each other — one with a TSMC chip and the other with a Samsung chip — has officially debunked Chipgate. It turns out there are no discernible differences in battery life between the two.

Consumer Reports acquired an iPhone 6s with an A9 chip made from TSMC and another from Samsung. They made sure all settings were equal on both devices including the carrier, brightness settings, wireless connections, iOS version, running apps and more. Then they got to work.

iPhone 6 had Bendgate, 6s gets Chipgate, this week on The CultCast

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6s battery life not great?  It could be your processor.
6s battery life not great? It could be your processor.
Photo: iFixit.com

This week: we celebrate CultCast 200! And just in time for the party—it’s the iPhone 6s scandal we all knew would someday come… #CHIPGATE. We’ll tell why the internet is nerd-raging over this newest iPhone scandal, and why it might just be diminishing your iPhone 6s’ battery life. Plus: the new Jobs movie is generating Oscar buzz. Seriously! And since he’s seen it—twice—Alex E Heath is here to give us his review. And stay tuned till the end for our favorite memories of CultCast’s past. It’s CultCast 200!

Our thanks to Harry’s for supporting this episode. Harry’s super-sharp, German-made razors ship free right to your door and for way less than the drugstore razors. And be sure to use code CultCast at checkout save $5 off your first order.

Cult of Mac Magazine: All you need to know about Chipgate

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Another year, another -gate.
Another year, another -gate.
Cover Design: Stephen Smith

Another week, another fantastic Cult of Mac Magazine ripe for your perusal! We’ve got a ton of stuff on the latest iPhone 6s controversy, unfortunately dubbed “Chipgate,” as well as a deep dive into OS X El Capitan with a tour and some great tips, a head-to-head comparison of Apple TV versus its next big rival, Roku 4, some fear and loathing over the upcoming Steve Jobs biopic, and a sexy (?) power strip and some other fantastic product reviews.

Check it all out in this week’s Cult of Mac Magazine, available for download at the incredibly low price of free!

Here’s the rundown for this week’s issue:

Chipgate FAQ: Everything you need to know about iPhone 6s controversy

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battery
"Variable performance depending on who made your processor" was maybe not high on Apple's feature list.
Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

If you’re confused about the so-called ‘Chipgate’ controversy swirling around the Internet today, we’re here to help.

It just wouldn’t be an iPhone launch without something going awry, and the latest outcry concerns the relative performances of the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus’ A9 processors, especially their effects on the phones’ battery lives. And if that all sounds a bit technical and boring, it is. But it’s not too hard to understand.

Chipgate stokes anxiety, relief and some laughs over iPhone 6s

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Which chip is in your iPhone 6s?
Which chip is in your iPhone 6s?
Photo: techfast Lunch & Dinner/YouTube

Heading to social media to vent about Chipgate, some iPhone 6s owners are upset to discover that not all A9 chips are created equal.

Worse, some feel duped by Apple, which used two vendors to supply different versions of the chips in “identical” phones. Others worry about reports of inferior battery life — and some are thinking seriously about returning their new iPhones. Still others are playing the latest Apple controversy for laughs.

Apple denies Chipgate means iPhone 6s battery woes

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iphone-6s-3d-touch
Chipgate won't drain your battery, says Apple.
Photo: Apple

The Chipgate controversy upsetting iPhone 6s owners over the past 48 hours is completely overblown, Apple said this afternoon, claiming battery life on iPhone 6s units varies only slightly.

iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus owners have discovered that devices with a TSMC A9 chip get considerably better battery performance than ones sporting an A9 made by Samsung, based on GeekBench 3 scores and some real-world testing. However, Apple says that “manufactured lab tests” that continuously run a heavy workload don’t represent the iPhone 6s’ true capabilities.

Here’s Apple’s full statement on Chipgate:

Real-world tests show benefits of iPhone 6s with the ‘good’ chip

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iPhone 6s teardown
Pegatron will team up with an Indonesian manufacturer..
Photo: iFixit

iPhone 6s units with a TSMC A9 processor score two hours’ better battery life over those with Samsung chips in GeekBench test scores, but real-world gains of the “good” chip might be much less significant.

Several YouTubers have put the iPhone 6s TSMC and Samsung A9 chips to the test in real-world scenarios to get to the truth of Chipgate — and what they discovered was quite surprising.