Weekly Digest - 2020.50


Cyberpunk 2077 released

CD Project Red, after 9 years of development, finally released the Cyberpunk 2077. First reviews are very positive. CDP Red once again delivered very solid game, although it is far from being perfect. The game is hunted by many little bugs. Bugs are not  unexpected as the game is huge, but they make the  experience less pleasant.  Overall it looks like Cyberpunk is solid game and it somehow met the expectations.

Starship launch

Space X has performed a test flight of the Starship. The launch was verifying following scenario:

  1. ✅ Launch Starship,
  2. ✅ Achieve altitude of 12.5 KM,
  3. ✅ Shutdown engines and rotate rocket on it's belly,
  4. ✅  Fall free,
  5. ✅ Turn on engines and rotate the rocket to the vertical position,
  6. ❌ Land on the ground.

The test  ran perfectly until the landing. The pressure in fuel cells was too low, which resulted in higher touch down speed than anticipated, which ultimately caused an explosion.

Despite the fact, that Starship is gone, the test was successful.

AirPods Max

Apple announce AirPods Max - the over-ear noise-canceling headphones. Here are selected features:

  • Active Noise Cancellation,
  • Spatial audio with dynamic head tracking,
  • Audio Sharing,
  • Digital Crown for controlling volume and playback,
  • Magnetic ear cups,
  • Apple H1 chip, in each ear cup, for fast connecting with Apple devices and device switching,
  • Sensors in each cup can detect whether they are placed on a user’s head and pause playback when removed,
  • Bluetooth 5 compatible,
  • 20h of battery life,
  • Come in five colors: space gray, silver, sky blue, green, and pink.

AirPods Max  will be available from December 15th for $549.

New ARM macs in 2021

According to latest rumors, Apple is working on new 32-core chip, that will be shipped with upcoming iMacs and 16-inch MacBook Pros. Looking at performance of the current M1 chip, it is something worth waiting for.

Apple Fitness+

Apple also announced that Fitness+ will launch on December 14th. The workout service will be available only in Australia, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, the UK, and the US  for $9.99 per month or $79.99 per year.

Disney plans

Disney have unveiled their plans for the foreseeable future.

Star Wars:

  • Star Wars: Andor (TV); 2022,
  • Obi-Wan Kenobi (TV); 2022,
  • Ahsoka (TV),
  • Rangers of the New Republic (TV),
  • Star Wars: The Bad Batch (TV),
  • The Acolyte (TV),
  • Star Wars: Lando (TV),
  • Droid Story (TV),
  • Star Wars: Visions (TV),
  • Rogue Squadron (Movie); 12.2023,
  • Untitled Taika Waititi Film; 12.2025.

Marvel:

  • WandaVision (TV); 15.01.2021,
  • Falcon and the Winter Soldier (TV); 03.2020,
  • Loki (TV); 05.2021,
  • Hawkeye; 2021,
  • She-Hulk (TV),
  • Ironheart (TV),
  • What-if? (TV),
  • Moon Knight (TV),
  • Miss Marvel (TV),
  • Secret Invasion (TV),
  • Armor Wars (TV),
  • Black Panther 2 (Movie), 07.2022,
  • Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania (Movie),
  • Fantastic Four (Movie).

Image credits: Apple

Weekly Digest - 2020.01


Apple Gaming Computer

According to Taiwan's Economic Daily News Apple is going to announce a gaming computer during this year WWDC. The report claims that new machine may be a a laptop or all-in-one desktop with a price tag of up to $5,000. So basically it could be a new MacBook or an iMac.

This rumor is so sketchy on so many levels. First of all Apple, just released a brand new, large-screen, laptop that is arguably gaming capable. Second, both iMac and iMac Pro are long overdue for an update, so they might get a hardware upgrade around WWDC. Also, iMac Pro is VR capable, so, without a doubt, newer hardware will be more powerful.

Beside that, Apple is focusing on Apple Arcade, which has small Indie games. Those, compering to AAA titles, are not that demanding, and most of today's computers could run them easily.

So as you can see, I take this rumor with a grain of salt. But in every rumor there is a little bit of truth, and I believe we might get updated iMacs. But the updates will be related more with VR than traditional gaming.

Emoji engravings on AirPods

Since last year, customers could engrave their AirPods with custom text. This year Apple extended this option with emojis. Unfortunately the number of emojis is very limited, but it includes the most popular ones:  smiling face, thumb up, heart, dog, alien, and even poop.

This feature is very silly, but I have to admit that those emojis look pretty dope on the charging case.

Samsung Galaxy S10 Lite and Note 10 Lite

Samsung announced the budget versions of 2019 flagships. They offer some the of premium features at more affordable price points, which at the moment are still unknown.

Here are the specs:

Galaxy S10 Lite

  • 6.7-inch Super AMOLED display (2400 × 1080),
  • CPU: Snapdragon 855,
  • 6GB or 8GB of RAM,
  • 32-megapixel f/2.2 front camera,
  • Tripple lens rear camera:
    • 5-megapixel f/2.4 macro lens,
    • 48-megapixel F2.0 wide-angle lens,
    • 12-megapixel f/2.2 ultra-wide with a 123-degree angle lens,
  • 128GB of storage,
  • 4,500mAh battery.

Note 10 Lite

  • 6.7-inch Super AMOLED display (2400 × 1080),
  • CPU: Samsung’s Exynos 8895,,
  • 6GB or 8GB of RAM,
  • 32-megapixel f/2.2 front camera,
  • Tripple lens rear camera:
    • 12-megapixel f/2.2 ultra-wide lens,
    • 12-megapixel f/1.7 wide-angle lens,
    • 12-megapixel f/2.4 telephoto lens,
  • 128GB of storage,
  • 4,500mAh battery,
  • SPen for hand writing and controlling the phone.

Weekly digest - 2019.44


AirPods Pro

Apple has officially announced the noice cancelling AirPods.  Here is quick specification:

  • All new design
  • Powered by H1 chip,
  • Active Noise Cancellation,
  • Transparency mode which allows to hear the surroundings,
  • Customizable fit and seal with silicon tips in 3 sizes,
  • The Ear Tip Fit Test allows to check whether we use the best tip for our ear,
  • Sweat and water resistant,
  • Smaller charging  case which can be charged either wirelessly (Qi charging) or using Lightning cable,
  • Up to 4.5 hours of listening time,
  • Up to 5 hours with Active Noise Cancellation and Transparency mode,
  • Up to 3.5 hours of talk time,
  • In total, about 24 hours of battery life with charging case.

AirPods Pro will be available from October 30th, starting at $249.

iOS 13.2

Together with AirPods Pro, Apple has released iOS 13.2. Here is what's new:

  • Support for AirPods Pro,
  • 70 new & updated emojis,
  • iPhone 11 and 11 Pro gets new camera feature - Deep Fusion, which improvs indoor photos and photos taken in medium lighting,
  • New privacy option that allows to share Siri and dictation recordings with Apple,
  • Siri can now read received message when using AirPods or PowerBeats Pro,
  • App can be deleted right from context menu after long pressing the app's icon,
  • HomeKit allows to watch and store video streams from security cameras.

Newest iOS is also a source of information about newAir products:

16' MacBook Pro saga continues

Last week, we were anticipating imminent release of the new 16-inch MacBook Pro. This week report from Ming-Chi Kuo keep us in check.  According to him, the new model will be release in mid 2020.

I still think new MacBook Pro will be released together with Mac Pro, which will come this fall. Beside that, new information about the laptop has been found in macOS 10.15 Beta and it looks like the laptop is ready for production. Unless Apple is waiting for parts, like new Intel processors 🤨

Apple TV+

On November 1st, Apple launched their TV streaming service - Apple TV+. It costs $5 per month, but if you recently bought an iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, Apple TV or Mac you will get 1 year subscription for free.

Fortunately for me, I'm in this group and I signed up for this 1 year promotion 😬 Unfortunately, Apple TV+ is lacking content. At the moment, we can only watch couple episodes from 7 series in total. We will see how Apple is going to keep customers on their platform, but so far, in terms of content, it doesn't look good. Especially if we compare it to Disney+.

Google buys Fitbit

Google has just announced that it's buying Fitbit for $2.1 billion.  The deal is similar to the accusation of Nest and Fitbit will become one of the companies under Alphabet umbrella.

I'm wondering whether Fitbit will stay in the market of smart-bands or they will try to compete with Apple with smartwatches. Right now, Apple is dominating this market, so it will be good to see some strong competition. Such competition might not be good for Apple or Google, but it definitely would be good for end customers.

Star Wars news

Last week we got The Rise of Skywalker trailer, this week we got trailer for The Mandalorian. Beside good news there are also the bad one. Because of tight schedule (at least officially), Game of Thrones showrunners, David Benioff and D.B. Weiss, are no longer working on new Star Wars trilogy. This is a bummer, new trilogy was rumored to be set during the Old Republic times. But not all is lost. Maybe involvement of Kevin Feige in Star Wars franchise is reaction to GoT showrunners' departure.

Beside all of that, the Jedi: Fallen Order is coming in couple of weeks, and EA has already released the launch trailer.


Image credits: Apple

Weekly digest - 2019.27


Solar eclipse

On Tuesday was the only total solar eclipse in 2019. The eclipse was only visible across the southern Pacific Ocean and South America, but people from around the world could watch it on Internet.

New keyboard in future MacBooks

Apple's keyboard telenovela continued 😝Couple weeks ago Apple introduced the 3rd generation of the Butterfly keyboard in MacBooks Pro. Now, we have rumors, from analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, that Apple is going to use new Scissor mechanism in future laptops. The first laptop to get the new keyboard will be a new MacBook Air that will be released later this year, followed by a new MacBook Pro in 2020.

I was hoping to see new keyboard mechanism in 16-inch MacBook Pro, but it looks like I will have to wait to next year. Despite that I'm really glad that Apple is finally going to get rid of Butterfly switches. I've using those keyboards (first and second generation) every day for almost 2.5 years and I still prefer the good old Scissor mechanism.


Image credits: u/johnnyditt

Weekly digest - 2019.17


Avengers Engame

This week, Marvel released the final chapter of the Avengers. This is a culmination of the story that was 11 years in a making and took 22 movies to tell. During that time those movies evolved from small experiment into pop-culture phenomenon. That being said, the directors, Russo brothers, had almost impossible task to finish all the stories,  meet fans' expectations and lay the foundation for the Phase 4.  I have to admit, I was worried whether they would be able to do it, but they did it. After watching it, I can say with certainty that this is the perfect culmination of the Marvel's Phase 1-3 movies. After leaving the cinema I was fulfilled. Russo brothers not only close the storyline, but they also incorporated so many references to previous movies and comics, that is was overwhelming.  Every nerd will have something to talk about for weeks.

This is not the perfect movie, but  it  gives us closure, and that was what I wanted from this movie.

Samsung Galaxy Fold

Last week I was writing about broken review units. This week we got first reviews and even a teardown. As I said last week, this phone is still a prototype with many small issues. They are not anything major, but it looks like they might be irritating in long run. I hope Samsung is taking notes and the next model will be true folded phone.

Another AirPods in 2019?

There are rumors that Apple will release a brand new AirPods later this year. New model is supposed to have a noise-canceling feature as well as new form-factor. Those rumors are really interesting especially after Apple's AirPods update in last March. Although, in March we go merely a hardware refresh, when all previous rumors hinted new colors, materials and features including noise-cancellation, so maybe we will get a brand new AirPods after all.