Apple’s 2015, exciting future tech, and our Force Awakens deep dive, on The CultCast

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Welcome... to the future!
Welcome... to the future!
Photo: Popular Science

This week on The CultCast: Why 2015 was one of Apple’s best (and worst!) years ever; what Apple needs to improve in 2016; and future tech that could change the world. Plus, stick around for our deep dive into The Force Awakens, our in-depth review of the magic, delight and heartbreak of J.J. Abrams’ new Star Wars universe.

Our thanks to FreshBooks for supporting this episode, the easy-to-use invoicing software designed to help small business owners get organized, save time invoicing and get paid faster. Get started with a free trial at Freshbooks.com/cultcast.

Catch spoiler-free Star Wars reviews and this week’s best Apple stories on The CultCast

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Who're you callin'
Who're you callin' "scruffy-lookin'?"
Photo: LucasFilm

This week: the force is looking very strong with the new Star Wars movie; live football may be coming to the Apple TV; the tvOS app store hits a major milestone; why you shouldn’t expect 3D touch in the next iPad Air; and with 2016 on the horizon, we’ll review our favorite games, gadgets, and books of 2015. Hit play, you must!

Our thanks to FreshBooks for supporting this episode, the easy-to-use invoicing software designed to help small business owners get organized, save time invoicing and get paid faster. Get started with a free trial at Freshbooks.com/cultcast.

Force Awakens cast gives us all a nerdgasm with a cappella version of Star Wars

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The Force is strong with this one.
The Force is strong with this one.
Photo: Jimmy Fallon

There are two things in the universe that give us incomparable joy: Apple devices and Star Wars nerdery.

The latter is strong with the video below, where Jimmy Fallon, his house band The Roots, and the major cast members from The Force Awakens sing a medley of Star Wars music in a giant Brady Bunch-style colored grid.

If your lightsaber doesn’t explode with joy when you watch, there’s obviously something wrong with you.

Check it out below.

Star Trek: Beyond gets fast and furious in first trailer

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Kirk is back.
Kirk is back.
Photo: Paramount Pictures

Star Wars week is finally here, and what better way to celebrate The Force Awakens than with our first look at the next movie in the Star Trek series?

Paramount Pictures debuted the first trailer for Star Trek: Beyond, directed by Justin Lin of Fast & Furious fame. Kirk and the gang are back in action, and it looks like they’ve got a host of new aliens to contend with, including Idris Elba who’s dressed up as some lizard-like alien bad guy.

Check it out:

Star Wars fans love the series’ most dangerous tech

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Star Wars Force Awakens Rey BB-8
This could be you, you heartless nerds.
Photo: Lucasfilm

A new poll of the most-wanted technology from the Star Wars universe shows that fans may not have really thought their answers through.

The survey comes courtesy of Harris Poll and software developer myDevices and asks one question: “If you could have any technology from the Star Wars trilogy, which would you want?”

While we approve of the study ignoring the prequels completely, we aren’t sure about the winners because it sounds like what these fans are really requesting are amazing and spectacular deaths.

Google unleashes wonderfully nerdy Star Wars Easter egg

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google-unleashes-wonderfully-nerdy-star-wars-easter-egg-image-cultofandroidcomwp-contentuploads201511star-wars-humour-the-droids-were-looking-for-stormtroopers-use-google-search-jpg
This is certainly the Easter egg you're looking for.
Photo: David J. Rodger

As a company staffed by some bona fide geeks (and, hey, we’re not complaining!) Google is undoubtedly excited about the upcoming Star Wars: The Force Awakens.

And what better way to show it than with possibly my favorite Easter egg in Google history? If you haven’t heard about it yet, read on to discover more.

Apple acquires company behind Star Wars SFX

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Apple now owns one of the hottest facial recognition companies in town.
Apple now owns one of the hottest facial recognition companies in town.
Photo: Faceshift

When you go to theaters to see the latest Star Wars movie, the special effects — particularly the faces of aliens — will now be driven by Apple technology. That’s because Apple has purchased Faceshift, a Zurich-based company that has created cool tech to capture a person’s facial expressions in real time.

New Apple TV ads showcase apps and games

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Apple TV might get exclusive TV shows.
Apple TV might get exclusive TV shows.
Photo: Apple

The new Apple TV is all about apps and games, so it makes sense that there are five new ads from Apple on its YouTube channel that are all about specific games and apps.

Check out the videos below for streaming media apps like Netflix and HBO, along with a trio of gaming titles, including Apple TV ads for Asphalt 8 from Gameloft, mega-hit casual Crossy Road from Hipster Whale, and Disney Infinity 3.0 Edition: Star Wars from the House of Mouse.