Weekly digest - 2019.49


Apple's Best of 2019 awards

For the first time, Apple has held a special event to recognize the best apps and developers. Here are the winners:

Apple has also announced Apple Music‌ Awards with a dope trophy.

Best Android Apps of 2019

Google has also announced the most popular applications from Play Store. Unfortunately, there are only 2 categories:

MacBook Pro and iPad Pro with mini LED display

According to MIng-Chi Kuo, next year, Apple is going to release an iPad Pro and new 16' MacBook Pro with displays based on mini LED technology.

The new technology has couple of advantages:

  • more dense (thousands of light sources instead of hundreds),
  • higher brightness and  contrast ratio,
  • deeper blacks,
  • power-efficient,
  • Less prone to burn-in and won't degrade over time like OLED.

So basically the mini LED is improved equivalent of OLED. This is important because at the moment, Samsung has monopoly on production of OLED  screens. Leaning toward mini LED might mean that Apple is trying to become independent of Samsung.

16-inch MacBook Pro Popping Sound Issue

Some users of the newest 16-inch MacBook Pro started reporting issue with popping sound, when playback is stoped. Apple has acknowledge the problem and it working on fix that should be available in the future software update.

This is yet another issue with speakers in MacBook Pro lineup. In 2018, after Apple introduced refreshed model, users started reporting crackling speakers. That issue has also been solved with software update.

Future of iPhones

This week we had plenty of rumors regarding iPhones. Here is the tl;dr:

In 2020, Apple is going to release following phones:

  • 4.7-inch iPhone 9: LCD display, single-lens rear camera,
  • 5.4-inch iPhone 12: OLED display, dual-lens rear camera, with 5G support
  • 6.1-inch iPhone 12: OLED display, dual-lens rear camera, with 5G support
  • 6.1-inch iPhone 12 Pro: OLED display, triple-lens rear camera, 5G support
  • 6.7-inch iPhone 12 Pro Max: OLED display, triple-lens rear camera, 5G support.

In 2021, Apple will introduce:

  • 5.5 or 6.1-inch iPhone SE/9 Plus: full screen design with TouchID,
  • highest model without Lightning port, it will be completely wireless device.

It is worth noting that, iPhone SE 2 will be called iPhone 9.

In 2020, the iPhone Pro will get bigger screen, and I don't like that. The current 5.9-inch model is perfect for me, where 6.1-inch is a little bit too big 😞.

Regarding completely wireless iPhone, I'm not sure we are ready for this. This is big commitment, people will need wireless headphones, chargers and the rest of accessories. Although, I'm using wireless headphones for couple of years now, as a developer, I'm not ready to give up wired charging and debugging. I hope this will be just one "experimental" model, to see how people would react, and to allow the rest of manufacturers to create wireless accessories.


Image credits: Apple

Weekly digest - 2019.47


Tesla Cybertruck

Tesla has revealed its new car. This time it is,  Blade Runner inspired, electric pickup truck called Cybertruck. There will be 3 versions available:

  • Single motor rear-wheel drive with 250 miles of range, 7500-pound towing capacity, and 0-60 mph in under 6.5 seconds. Starting at $39900.
  • Dual motor all-wheel drive with 300 miles of range, 10,000-pound towing capacity, and 0-60 mph in under 4.5 seconds. Starting at $49900.
  • Triple motor all-wheel drive with 500 miles of range, 14,000-pound towing capacity, and 0-60 mph in under 2.9 seconds. Starting at $69900.

All models are made of ultra-strong glass and polymer-layered composite that can withstand even bullets.  Also, all versions come with Autopilot, but "self-driving" costs additional $7000.

Cybertruck is available to preorder, but first models won't be delivered until late 2021.


Image credits: Tesla

Weekly digest - 2019.46


16-inch MacBook Pro

It's finally here, and it is a beast! The brand new 16-inch MacBook Pro has been released.  Here is what's new:

2.6GHz 6-Core model:

  • 16-inch display (3072x1920px) 226 ppi,
  • New Magic Keyboard with a refined scissor mechanism,
  • Physical Esc key is back,
  • CPU:
    • 2.6GHz 6-core Intel Core i7 processor with Turbo Boost up to 4.5GHz or
    • 2.4GHz 8-core Intel Core i9 processor with Turbo Boost up to 5.0GHz
  • GPU:
    • AMD Radeon Pro 5500M with 4GB of GDDR6 memory or
    • AMD Radeon Pro 5500M with 8GB of GDDR6 memory,
  • 16GB 2666MHz DDR4 memory, configurable up to 64GB,
  • 512GB SSD storage, configurable up to 8TB,
  • New 6-speaker sound system,
  • New thermal architecture.

2.3GHz 8-Core model:

  • 16-inch display (3072x1920px) 226 ppi,
  • New Magic Keyboard with a refined scissor mechanism,
  • Physical Esc key is back,
  • CPU:
    • 2.3GHz 8-core Intel Core i9 processor with Turbo Boost up to 4.8GHz or
    • 2.4GHz 8-core Intel Core i9 processor with Turbo Boost up to 5.0GHz
  • GPU:
    • AMD Radeon Pro 5500M with 4GB of GDDR6 memory or
    • AMD Radeon Pro 5500M with 8GB of GDDR6 memory,
  • 16GB 2666MHz DDR4 memory, configurable up to 64GB,
  • 1TB SSD storage, configurable up to 8TB,
  • New 6-speaker sound system,
  • New thermal architecture.

All of this in almost unchanged form factor. The new MacBook Pro is ~2%  bigger, 0.5mm thicker and 170g heavier than 15-inch model,  but Apple managed to put bigger -  100Wh - battery which should allow for 11h of work.

All of this for the same price as for old 15-inch model. The base 2.6GHz 6-Core model starts at $2399. For the 2.3GHz 8-Core model  we have to pay $2799.

Disney+ launched

Disney+ launched in USA, Canada and Netherlands. On the first day new platform surpassed 10 million subscribes. This number is not surprising as Disney+ has massive portfolio of movies and TV shows, including very popular Marvel and Start Wars franchises.

Disney+ will be available in UK, Germany, France, Italy, and Spain on March 31st. There are rumors that Poland will be included in this group as well,  for about $8/month, which is similar to Netflix's monthly subscription.  


Image credits: Apple

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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 - 2019.43


MacBook Pro 16' imminent release?

According to DigiTimes new 16-inch MacBook Pro could be released by the end of October. At the moment, there is no information about any Apple's event, so people are speculating whether Apple is going to just release new laptop model together with Mac Pro.

It looks like the rumors about imminent release might be true. In the latest beta of the macOS 10.15.1, people found images of the 16-inch MacBook. New model looks to be slightly bigger than 15-inch predecessor, and has noticeably smaller screen bezel.


Image credits: MacGeneration