Weekly Digest - 2020.13


Apple's software updates

This week Apple has updated all their operating systems. Here is the list of the most prominent changes:

iOS 13.4

  • iCloud Folder Sharing,
  • Universal Purchase allows to purchase single copy of an app for all user's iPhones, iPods touch, iPads, Macs, and Apple TVs,
  • Revamped toolbar in Mail app,
  • Third-party navigation apps are now supported by the CarPlay Dashboard,
  • 9 new Memoji and Animoji stickers.

iPadOS 13.4

  • Mouse and trackpad support,
  • Shared iPad feature is now available for enterprise users,
  • Also includes all changes from iOS 13.4.

macOS 10.15.4

  • iCloud Folder Sharing,
  • Universal Purchase allows to purchase single copy of an app for all user's iPhones, iPods touch, iPads, Macs, and Apple TVs,
  • Time-synced lyrics for Apple Music, with ability to jump to part of a song by clicking a line in lyrics view,
  • New Parental options.

watchOS 6

  • In-app purchases are now available for ‌‌Apple Watch‌‌ apps,
  • ECG app and Irregular heart rhythm notifications are now available in Chile, New Zealand and Turkey.

tvOS 13.4 & HomePod

  • General bug fixes and improvements.

Disney+ in Western Europe

Disney has launched their streaming service in United Kingdom, Spain, Italy, Germany, Ireland, Switzerland and Austria. Disney says that Disney+ will be available in France in April. Additional Western Europe countries, including Belgium, the Nordics, and Portugal should get access this summer.

Weekly Digest - 2020.12


Xbox Series X First impressions

Austin Evans had a chance to look at the Xbox Series X. His video gave us not only a fist look at the console, but the official specifications as well:

  • Custom 8 core AMD Zen 2 CPU, clocked at 3.8GHz single thread, and up to 3.6GHz for sustained multithread load,
  • Custom AMD RDNA GPU, 12TFLOPS, 52 CUs at 1.825GHz,
  • 16GB (GDDR6) of RAM,
  • 1TB NVME SSD,
  • Expandable storage: 1TB expansion card,
  • External Storage: USB HDD Support,
  • 4K UHD Blue-Ray Drive,
  • Dimensions: 301 x 151 x 151mm.

Video also clarified the naming convention:

  • Xbox - is the name of the next generation of Microsoft consoles,
  • Xbox Series X - is the name of the console.

Beside Evans' video, Microsoft also published their own clips:

Playstation 5 Specification

Sony (via Digital Foundry) revealed the full specification of the next console:

  • Custom: 8-core AMD Zen 2 CUP clocked at 3.5GHz,
  • Custom AMD RDNA GPU, 10.28 TFLOPs, 36 CUs at 2.23GHz ,
  • 16GB (GDDR6) of RAM,
  • 825GB SSD,
  • Expandable Storage: NVMe SSD Slot,
  • External Storage: USB HDD Support,
  • 4K UHD Blue-Ray Drive.

Apple revealed new products

Due to coronavirus, Apple Spring event never happened and Apple just update their website/store with new hardware.

New MacBook Air

  • Display: 13.3-inch LED backlit (2560 x 1600px) with True Tone,
  • CPU:  from 10th generation 1.1GHz dual-core Intel Core i3 up to 1.2GHz quad-core Intel Core i7,
  • GPU: Intel Iris Plus Graphics, supports up to 1 external 6K display at 6016x3384px @60Hz,
  • RAM: 8GB base, 16GB maximum
  • Storage: 256GB base, 2TB maximum,
  • Battery:  up to 11 hours,
  • Camera: 720p FaceTime HD,
  • Keyboard: Magic keyboard with scissor mechanism 😁,
  • Ports: Two Thunderbolt 3,
  • Price: starting at $999.

New Mac mini

  • CPU:  from 3.6GHz quad-core 8th-generation Intel Core i3 processor up to 3.2GHz 6-core Intel Core i7,
  • GPU: Intel UHD Graphics 630, supports up to 1 external 5K display at 5120x2880px @60Hz,
  • RAM: 8GB base, 64GB maximum
  • Storage: 256GB base, 2TB maximum,
  • Ports: Four Thunderbolt 3, Two USB 3 ports, HDMI 2.0 port Gigabit Ethernet port (configurable to 10Gb Ethernet) 3.5 mm headphone jack,
  • Price: starting at $799.

New iPad Pro

  • Display: 11-inch (2388 x 1668) or 12.9-inch (2732 x 2048) 120 Hz Liquid Retina Display with TrueTone
  • CHIP: A12Z Bionic,
  • RAM: 6GB,
  • Storage: 128GB base, 1TB maximum,
  • Battery:  up to 10 hours,
  • Camera: 12MP Wide camera, 10MP Ultra Wide camera, 7MP depth camera,
  • Audio: 5 studio-quality microphones for calls, video recording, and audio recording,
  • Sensors: LiDAR Scanner (depth sensor),
  • Price: starting at $799 for 11'' model, and $999 for 12.9'' model.

Magic Keyboard for iPad

Apple also announced a new keyboard for iPad with Trackpad:

  • Full‑size, backlit keyboard with a scissor mechanism,
  • Trackpad supports Multi‑Touch gestures and the cursor in iPadOS 13.4+,
  • USB-C port for charging iPad Pro,
  • Compatible iPad Pro 12.9‑inch (3rd and 4th generation) & iPad Pro 11‑inch (1st and 2nd generation).

Image credits: Microsoft

Weekly Digest - 2020.10


Apple Rumors

This week there was plenty of rumors regarding Apple:

Coronavirus vs Conferences

Google informed that Google IO 2020 is cancelled. Event was planned for May of this year. Similarly to previous conference cancelations, the reason is Coronavirus outbreak.

Also, Santa Clara County, asked big tech companies to cancel all upcoming big events. It means that Apple's WWDC might not happen this year, or it will be replaced by an online event.

Weekly Digest - 2020.09


Safari will reject HTTPS certificates with over 13 months validity

Apple has announced that from September 1, Safari will reject any website that uses HTTPS certificate with more than 398 days of validity. Certificates issued before September 1 will not be affected until the date of their next certificate renewal.

ARM Macs in 2021?

According to Ming-Chi Kuo, first ARM Mac could be ready for sale in first half of 2021. Apple is working on ARM Mac for couple of years now, as part of switching from Intel processors to custom silicon chip. New CPU will not only allow Apple to become independent from Intel, which has been an issue in the past. But also will introduce more efficient silicon, which might result in better performance or/and battery life.

More Xbox Series X details

Phil Spencer shared couple of new details about upcoming console:

  • Xbox is powered by chips based on  latest AMD’s  Zen 2 and RDNA 2 architectures enabling 12TFLOPS of computing power,
  • Support for Variable Rate Shading (VRS) - instead of rendering all effects at the same frame rate, VRS will allow developers to apply different refresh rate to each of the effects,
  • Hardware-accelerated DirectX Raytracing will allow to achieve even more realistic computer graphics,
  • Quick resume will allow to resume multiple games from a suspended state almost instantly, thanks to fast SSD storage,
  • Dynamic Latency Input (DLI) will help to reduce lag between console and wireless controllers,
  • Support for 120FPS,
  • Support for HDMI 2.1.

Coronavirus affects tech conferences

Facebook announced that their annual developer conference - F8 - has been canceled due to coronavirus outbreak. F8 was scheduled to take place on May 5th and May 6th this year. Although, the conference will not take place, Facebook is planning to organize local and online events.

Also, Game Developer Conference (GDC), that was planned for this March,  has been postponed to this summer.

Weekly Digest - 2020.08


Apple Event at the end of March?

According to German site iPhone-ticker.de, Apple is going to hold a Media Event on March 31st. At this event Apple is supposed to unveil iPhone SE2 (iPhone 9), new iPad Pro and AirTag.

Windows 10 icons redesigned

Microsoft has started rolling out new colorful app icons in Windows 10. New Icons are part of the Fluent Design that Microsoft has been working for years now.  So far Mail and Calendar apps has been updated; rest of the core apps will be refreshed over upcoming months.

Android 11 Preview

Google has released first developer preview of the Android 11. At the moment preview is available only for selected Pixel phones.

Android 11 offers new capabilities for developers, like enhancements for foldables and 5G, call-screening APIs, new media and camera capabilities, machine learning, and more.