Weekly digest - 2019.41


More PlayStation 5 details

Wired published an article that shares more information about next-gen console. Here is the short summary:

  • It has been officially confirmed that next console will be named PlayStation 5,
  • It will be available for holidays 2020,
  • CPU will be based on AMD’s Ryzen line and a GPU based on Navi family,
  • It has been confirmed that ray-tracing support will be hardware based
  • There will be no HDD only SSD,
  • There will be 4K Blu-ray player,
  • PS5 will use 100-GB optical disks,
  • New data structure mechanism will allow gamers to install only single-player or multiplayer campaign instead of installing the whole game,
  • There will be new system that will allow to check what players can do in games and quickly join in,
  • New controller will be called DualShock 5,
  • New controller will have "adaptive triggers" that offer varying levels of resistance, which can be adjusted to game we play,
  • The force-feedback system is now based on haptic engines instead of rumble motors,
  • Next-gen controller uses a USB Type-C connector for charging.

Apple's Sleep app confirmed in a leak

The App Store screenshots for the Alarms app for Apple Watch include text that mentions the rumored Sleep app. This is another confirmation that Apple is working on it. The Sleep app supposed to come with iOS 13, but was removed before iOS 13 beta was released.

If we take in consideration that battery life in Apple Watch Series 5 is worse than in previous model, it looks like that for the Sleep tracking we will have to wait till next year. If Apple won't be able to improve battery life software-wise, then we won't see it until new version of Apple Watch is released.


Image credits: LetsGoDigital

Weekly digest - 2019.38


Apple started shipping iPhone 11 & Apple Watch Series 5

Reviewers started getting their hands on newest versions of iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro and Apple Watch.  Long story short, if you want an iPhone, then buy iPhone 11, the Pro version is for photo enthusiast, or people who prefer smaller, OLED screen.

The always-on display in Apple Watch Series 5 is a good step forward, but if you own Series 4 you are good for another year.

By the way, now we have confirmation that all new iPhones have at least 4GB of memory. There are reports that the Pro versions have additional 2GB of RAM dedicated to the camera.

iOS 13.(1)

Together with new iPhones, Apple released iOS 13. Federico Viticci wrote excellent review of new operating systems. Overall iOS 13 is a good step forward, but is has many bugs and issues, which might force Apple to release iOS 13.1 earlier than usual. If the rumors are true, iOS 13 will be the shortest living version of iOS ever.

Pixel 4 event

On October 15th, Google is going to host an event related with launch of Pixel 4. To be honest, I don't know why Google even bother to do this. It's not like we already know almost everything.


Image credits: Timothy Eberly

Weekly digest - 2019.37


This week Apple had their annual iPhone event. This is what have been announced.

iPhone 11

The successor of the iPhone XR looks following:

  • 6.1‑inch  Liquid Retina HD display (1792x828px),
  • Screen with Haptic Touch (no 3D Touch),
  • A13 Bionic CPU/GPU,
  • 4GB of RAM,
  • 64GB, 128GB or 256GB of storage,
  • Dual 12MP Ultra Wide and Wide rear cameras,
  • 12MP TrueDepth front camera recording at 120fps (slowfie),
  • Spatial audio with Dolby Atmos,
  • Wi‑Fi 6 (802.11ax) and Gigabit-Class LTE,
  • 1h longer battery life than in iPhone XR.

iPhone 11 comes in Black, Green, Yellow, Purple, Red, White colors from $699 for the base model.

iPhone 11 Pro & Pro Max

The successors of the iPhone XS look following:

  • 5.8‑inch  Super Retina XDR (OLED) display (2436x1125px) in Pro model,
  • 6.5‑inch  Super Retina XDR (OLED) display (2436x1125px) in Pro Max model,
  • Screen with Haptic Touch (no 3D Touch),
  • A13 Bionic CPU/GPU,
  • 4 or 6GB of RAM*,
  • 64GB, 128GB or 256GB of storage,
  • Triple 12MP Ultra Wide, Wide, and Telephoto rear cameras,
  • 12MP TrueDepth front camera recording at 120fps (slowfie),
  • Spatial audio with Dolby Atmos,
  • Wi‑Fi 6 (802.11ax) and Gigabit-Class LTE,
  • Pro has 4h longer battery life than in iPhone XS and Pro Max  5h longer than XS Max.

iPhone 11 Pro models come in Midnight Green, Space Grey, Silver and Gold. iPhone 11 Pro starts at $999 and the Pro Max starts at $1,099.

(*) We don't have official specification from Apple. Available reports are contradicting each other. Quite possible that the amount of memory depends on amount of storage, like in iPad.

Apple Watch Series 5

Newest Apple Watch also got small upgrade:

  • Always-On Retina display,
  • new Apple 64-bit dual-core S5 chip,
  • 32 GB of storage,
  • Compass,
  • Aluminum, stainless steel, titanium and ceramic material finishes,

Apple Watch Series 5 starts at $399 for 40mm model and $429 for 44mm version.

iPad

Apple has also announced the successor to the 9.7-inch iPad:

  • 10.2-Inch Retina Display,
  • A10 Fusion chip,
  • Support for Apple Pencil 2 and Smart Keyboard,

New iPad starts at just $329.

Apple TV+

Apple shared more details about their upcoming streaming service:

  • It's launching on November 1st,
  • Monthly subscription will  cost $4.99,
  • Apple also offers 1 year of free subscription with purchase of Mac, iPad, iPhone or Apple TV.

Image credits: Apple

Weekly digest - 2019.36


Sleep tracking in Apple Watch

New rumors surfaced about sleep tracking in Apple Watch. According to anonymous sources, Apple Watch will allow to track sleep quality without any additional hardware, which means this might be only a software update which would track :

  • user's movement,
  • heart rate,
  • noises

Tracked data should be accessible via Health app.

Smart Watch bands

Patently Apple noticed that Apple has been granted new patents for watch bands and bracelets. In the future Apple could create following Watch accessories:

  • band with biometric authentication sensor,
  • band with visual indicators,
  • self-tightening band.

Apple already has couple of patents for watch bands and we still haven't seen any smart one, so Apple is probably just trying to be ahead of competition in terms of patents, rather than trying to start production of a new product.

Apple Music on the Web

Apple launched a brand new Apple Music web player, which is currently in a beta state. Service itself looks and behaves like the Music app from macOS Catalina, so even the Windows or Linux users will be able to use Apple Music on their computers. For me, lack of lightweight client for Apple Music on Windows and Linux was the biggest blocker keeping me from switching from Spotify. I will wait a little bit to see how it will turn out. Then I will evaluate what both streaming services have to offer and maybe I will do the switch.

USB 4 standard finalized

The USB Implementers Forum has announced thatUSB 4 standard is finalized and ready for wide deployment. Here is  tl;dr version:

  • up to 40Gbps data throughput,
  • up to 100W power delivery,
  • backwards compatibility with earlier USB standards, including USB 3.2 and USB 2.0, as well as Thunderbolt 3,
  • will use USB Type-C connector.

Hopefully this will convince manufacturers to produce more accessories with USB-C connector.

Multiplayer in Cyberpunk 2077

CD Projekt Red confirmed that multiplayer in Cyberpunk 2077 left the stage of R&D and is officially coming to the game. As the multiplayer is still under early development, it will come later to the game. Next April we will get single player campaign, then couple of (free) DLCs, and after that, there will be multiplayer beta.

I'm curious how company known for single player masterpieces will tackle the multiplayer mechanics.


Image credits: Apple

Weekly digest - 2018.52


During this week I looked back on what happened this year and I decided to pick my top 3 news from each month. Here are my picks.

January

  1. Bitcoin bubble burst,
  2. Meltdown and Spectre discovered,
  3. EA became scared of YouTubers.

February

  1. SpaceX launched Falcon Heavy into space,
  2. Elon Musk started selling not a Flamethrowers,
  3. Apple started selling HomePods.

March

  1. Facebook’s Cambridge Analytica scandal,
  2. Apple fixed buggy iPhone X ad before fixing the actual iOS 11 bug,
  3. Current frequency deviations in Central Europe.

April

  1. Mark Zuckerberg testified before members of Congress,
  2. SpaceX reached the promised land of launching every two weeks,
  3. GTA V has become the most profitable entertainment product of all time.

May

  1. Google Duplex has been announced,
  2. GDPR has become effective,
  3. Premiere of Solo: A Star Wars Story.

June

  1. Microsoft bought GitHub,
  2. Apple held WWDC,
  3. Apple Pay became available in Poland.

July

  1. Apple updated MacBook Pros,
  2. New MacBook Pros fixed keyboard but overheats,
  3. Clone Wars TV series has been renewed.

August

  1. Apple became first IT company to be worth 1 trillion dollars,
  2. Twitter limited access to the APIs,
  3. CD Project released first gameplay of the Cyberpunk 2077.

September

  1. Apple unveiled iPhone XS, XR and Apple Watch 4,
  2. Google was celebrating its 20th birthday,
  3. iOS 12 and macOS Mojave has been released.

October

  1. LucasFilm shared details about first Star Wars tv series - The Mandalorian,
  2. Apple shoved new iPad Pro,
  3. Google unveiled Pixel 3, a tablet and HomeHub.

November

  1. Disney announced new streaming service - Disney+,
  2. Stan Lee has passed away,
  3. Robert Kubica returned to F1.

December

  1. Microsoft announced that it's working on a new browser,
  2. YouTube Rewind 2018 became the most disliked video on YouTube,
  3. Google’s Home Alone ad.

That's all folks. This was an incredible year. I hope next year will be event better.
Happy New year guys and see you soon!


Image credits: Annie Spratt.