Weekly Digest - 2021.01


Microsoft plans to replace Outlook with new Universal Client

According to Windows Central, Microsoft plans to replace all the current versions of Outlook with one, web based, universal client. This new client - codename Monarch - is based on the Outlook Web app already available available in a browser today. There is no information when the actual switch might happen.

10th years of the Mac App Store

The Mac App Store launched exactly 10 years ago, on January 6, 2011. Although it is the easiest way to install an app on the Mac, it never gained the popularity. The 30% Apple tax and not clear app review rules caused that many developers never sold their apps through the AppStore or even abandoned the AppStore.

Hopefully the new and lower Apple Tax for small businesses and upcoming investigations regarding Apple's monopoly will make the AppStore a better place for developers.

Google workers plans to unionize

A group of Google workers plan to unionize. The Alphabet Workers Union will be available to all employees and contractors that work for Google's companies. So far about 400 workers joined the union out over 130K people working for Google. The union might be small, but it is determined to solve the issues that has been reveled in recent months.


Image credits: Microsoft

Weekly Digest - 2020.51


Christmas Card

I've created a minimalistic Christmas Card using HTML, CSS, and SVG. This is an interactive version of an artwork I've done couple years ago. You can check it out here.

Cyberpunk 2077 in trouble

It is a week after a premiere, and everybody is talking about Cyberpunk 2077. Too bad, it's about how bad the game is on previous generation of consoles. The issues are so severe, that Sony decided to pull the game off their store. Microsoft's action wasn't so drastic, but they expended refund policy for Cyberpunk 2077. CD Project Red says they will refund the game from their own pocket. All of this caused that CDPRed stocks have been slaughtered, and investors are abandoning, what's looks like, a sinking ship. CD Project Red has a lot of work to do, first they need to fix the game to make it at least playable, then they need to get back the trust of the gamers, which will be almost impossible task.

iPhone 13 rumors

Welp, the iPhone 12 is barely released, but we have rumors about next year iPhone. It looks like new phone will have 120Hz ProMotion display, thanks to LTPO. The LTPO screens have lower energy consumption, which is important on devices with small batteries.

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 - 2020.49


Salesforce buys Slack

Saleforce, a cloud computing giant will acquire the Chat service - Slack - for $27.7 billion. Slack is one of the most popular communicator in the computer industry.

It is still unknown what are Salesforce's plans for the application, but it is quite possible they will be related with enterprise customers.

Apple announced the most downloaded apps and games from the App Store in the 2020.

The top 3 free apps:

  1. Zoom
  2. TikTok
  3. Disney+

Top 3 paid apps:

  1. TouchRetouch
  2. Procreate Pocket
  3. FaceTune

Top 3 free games:

  1. Among Us
  2. Call of Duty Mobile
  3. Roblox

Top 3 paid games:

  1. Minecraft
  2. Plague Inc.
  3. Heads Up! Best Charades game

Apple's Best App of 2020

Apple also announced the best apps of 2020:

  • iPhone App of the Year: Wakeout!
  • ‌iPhone‌ Game of the Year: Genshin Impact
  • iPad App of the Year: Zoom,
  • iPad‌ Game of the Year: Legends of Runeterra
  • Mac Game of the Year: Disco Elysium
  • Mac App of the Year: Fantastical
  • ‌Apple TV‌ App of the Year:  Disney+
  • ‌Apple TV‌ Game of the Year: Dandara Trials of Fear
  • Apple Watch App of the Year: Endel
  • Apple Arcade Game of the Year: Sneaky Sasquatch

Also, winners will get a physical trophy.


Image credits: Slack

Weekly Digest - 2020.47


SpaceX Crew-1

For the second time, SpaceX and NASA launched the Crew Dragon capsule with people onboard. Following the successful Demo-2 mission, NASA gave SpaceX's Crew Dragon an operational status, and the Crew-1 mission is the first flight with such status. Crew of 4 astronauts launched on Sunday, and docked to the International Space Station the next day. According to NASA plans, astronauts will spend in space about 180 days.

Apple reduces AppStore tax to 15%

Apple announced, that from January 1st, the AppStore tax will be reduce from 30% to 15% to all developers that during a  year made under $1 million. If the developer exceeds the $1 million threshold then the 30% tax will be applied.

This is huge for the most of the developers. The change from 30% to 15% cut, by then increases developers revenue for about 20%.

ARM Macs delivers

Apple started shipping new ARM powered Macs and the first benchmarks started showing up. It looks like, all Apple claims about new hardware are true. New macs are not only the fastest, but also super efficient, which improves battery life. Now, the only thing that might stop a customer from choosing an ARM mac is a software compatibility. But even that should not be a big issue for the most users. And if a particular application is not ready yet, it should be very soon.


Image credits: NASA/SpaceX