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Just how hot are those new M3 MacBook Pros? [The CultCast]


Apple's M3 Max chip sitting in front of flames. The CultCast episode 621.
Just how extreme is the MacBook Pro's thermal throttling?
Original photo: Christopher Burns

This week on Cult of Mac’s podcast: Tests performed on the M3 MacBook Pros reveal the performance-crushing effects of thermal throttling and skimpy RAM. Erfon is not impressed!

Also on The CultCast:

  • Apple shocks everyone by pledging to support Rich Communication Services for better texting between iPhones and Android devices.
  • Griffin runs down some of the most interesting new features coming soon in iOS 17.2.
  • Apple reportedly plans to overhaul the iPad lineup next year, and a mammoth 12.9-inch iPad Air is apparently on the menu.
  • If the iPhone 16 gets exclusive AI features, will Siri really get smarter? We’re extremely skeptical.

Listen to this week’s episode of The CultCast in the Podcasts app or your favorite podcast app. (Be sure to subscribe and leave us a review if you like it!) Or watch the video live stream, embedded below.

iOS 17.2 beta 3: All the features and changes


iOS 17.2 release notes
Time to try out iOS 17.2 beta on your iPhone!
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

A week after seeding the second iOS 17.2 beta, Apple has released the third beta of the OS. The first two beta builds were loaded with new features, and iOS 17.2 beta 3 is no different.

Below are all the changes and enhancements we have found in iOS 17.2 beta 3 so far.

How to stop Siri from randomly activating all the damn time


An Apple Watch with Siri Activated and the caption:
Siri always interrupts at the wrong time.
Image: D. Griffin Jones/Cult of Mac

How can you stop Siri from randomly turning on? As if Siri’s unhelpful answers were not irritating enough when you actually want them, Siri often interrupts a conversation, meeting or TV show when you haven’t asked for anything at all.

Yes, Siri can be helpful — we previously covered six surprisingly useful things Siri can do — but it can oftentimes be an unwelcome guest, activating when you want it to zip it. And now in iOS 17, it’s going to activate every time it hears “Siri,” not just “Hey Siri.”

How do you stop Siri from activating all the time?

Today in Apple history: iPhone 4s opens for Siri-ous preorders


iPhone 4s
The iPhone 4s was the last iPhone that Steve Jobs directly worked on.
Photo: Apple

October 7: Today in Apple history: iPhone 4s preorders begin and they are Siri-ous October 7, 2011: Two days after the death of Steve Jobs, Apple opens preorders for its next-gen iPhone 4s.

The last iPhone that Jobs worked on directly, the 4s boasts a speedier A5 chip, improved 8-megapixel camera with 1080p HD video recording, and — most significantly — Apple’s new AI virtual assistant, Siri.

Today in Apple history: Siri debuts on iPhone 4s


Sorry, Alexa: Siri still the most widespread AI assistant
Apple envisioned an AI helper like Siri way back in the late 1980s.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

October 4: Today in Apple history: Siri debuts on iPhone 4s October 4, 2011: With the unveiling of the iPhone 4s, Apple introduces the world to Siri.

A groundbreaking example of artificial intelligence in action, Siri’s debut fulfills a long-term dream at Apple. In fact, the company first predicted such a feature in the 1980s — with the Siri launch coming at almost the exact month Apple envisioned.

tvOS 17 brings FaceTime to Apple TV 4K


With the tvOS 17 update, FaceTime comes to Apple TV 4K for the first time.
With the tvOS 17 update, FaceTime comes to Apple TV 4K for the first time.
Photo: Apple

Apple TV 4K became a more versatile living room device with Monday’s launch of FaceTime on tvOS 17, Apple said, referring to it as “a powerful integration of hardware and software.”

“Users can make calls directly from Apple TV 4K, or start calls on iPhone or iPad, and hand them off to Apple TV 4K,” Apple noted. “FaceTime on Apple TV 4K takes advantage of Continuity Camera support to wirelessly connect to iPhone or iPad, and leverages the devices’ cameras and microphones to bring participants together on the TV.”

Apple’s conversational AI efforts began 4 years ago


John Giannandrea
John Giannandrea started Apple working on conversation AI long before ChatGPT came along.
Photo: Apple

Don’t accuse Apple of just waking up to benefits of conversational AI. It reportedly started developers working on voice-driven artificial intelligence systems four years ago.

And the company is now pouring money into the project.

Today in Apple history: Martin Scorsese ad makes Siri look like a superstar


Scorsese Siri
"Hey Siri, am I here to f***ing amuse you?"
Photo: Apple

July 23: Today in Apple history: Martin Scorsese Apple ad makes Siri look like a superstar July 23, 2012: Looking for the perfect spokesman for its new virtual assistant Siri, Apple turns to Martin Scorsese, the legendary filmmaker behind some of Hollywood’s most violent gangster movies.

The new television commercial shows the director using Siri voice commands to juggle his busy schedule. One in a string of celebrity-studded Siri ads, it ranks among the best.