Weekly digest - 2018.28


Last time I talked about possible premiere of the new MacBook Pros. One week later, Apple refreshed MacBook Pros with new processors, more RAM options, True Tone display (on some models), and new third-generation keyboard.
The basic configuration of the 15' MacBook Pro contains:

  • 2.2GHz 6-core Intel Core i7, Turbo Boost up to 4.1GHz, with 9MB shared L3 cache
  • 16GB of 2400MHz DDR4
  • Radeon Pro 555X with 4GB of GDDR5
  • 256GB SSD
  • True Tone Retina display

and costs $2,399. The maxed out configuration has:

  • 2.9GHz 6-core Intel Core i9, Turbo Boost up to 4.8GHz, with 12MB shared L3 cache
  • 32GB of 2400MHz DDR4
  • Radeon Pro 560X with 4GB of GDDR5
  • 4TB SSD
  • True Tone Retina display

and costs stunning $6,699. Without a doubt the specifications are impressive, but we will need to wait for the benchmarks, to verify whether the new laptops are as powerful as Apple claims. The last thing that remains the mystery is whether a new keyboard fixed issues of its predecessor. Apple only mentioned that the new keyboard is quieter, but latest teardown from iFixit suggest that included silicone membrane might protect against key failure.

Earlier this week, we heard the rumors that Apple plans to deploy the 1Password application to all 100,000 employees. There were also rumors that Apple is going to acquire the 1Password, which has been denied in quite specific way.
I'm using 1Password for couple of years now, and I would love to see it integrated into the operating system, but on the other hand 1Pasword is not only the macOS or iOS app, it also runs on Android and Windows. So it would be a shame to loose such a good app from those platforms.

Apple is not the only company that showed new hardware. Microsoft has presented the Surface Go, a smaller, less powerful version of the Surface Pro. New tablet features a 10-inch screen, integrated kickstand and Windows 10. Basic model that starts at $399 contains:

  • Intel Pentium Gold 4415Y (1.6GHz)
  • 4GB 1866MHz LPDDR3 RAM
  • Intel HD 615 GPU
  • Storage: 64GB eMMC
  • Display: 10-inch (3:2 aspect) 1800 x 1200
  • Camera: 5MP front-facing with Windows Hello, and 8MP rear auto-focus
  • Up to 9 hours battery

I must admit that the price and spec are impressive. The closest competitor - iPad Pro 10' with 64GB of storage - costs $649.

I must admit, it was quite eventful week, but in the meantime, I managed to find couple of interesting articles:

REVERSE ENGINEERING WIPEOUT (PSX)

Mobile UI Design Trends In 2018

Make your app accessible for everyone

Cross Platform Mobile Apps with .NET and Uno

Building an Animated Slider 

Build VueTube: A Youtube Clone with VueJS, Webpack and Flexbox


Image credits: Apple.

Weekly digest - 2018.26


Half year mark is behind us and we have entered the silly season as nothing important is happening. From worth noting news, Apple and Samsung have finally settled a seven-year-old patent dispute. The dispute was about design patents which covered the iPhone's outer shell, software icons and UI elements. Apple sued Samsung in 2011 starting the long battle with many countersuits, trials and appeals that continued up until now.
The companies did not disclose the settlement amount, but in May Samsung was ordered to pay Apple $539 million for infringing on its patents.

Apple is also planning to release completely new version of Maps. The changes will roll out gradually with iOS 12 Beta. At the beginning Maps will cover San Francisco, then California and should cover rest of US at some point next year.
We don't know when new maps will be introduced in other countries, but Eddy Cue said that Maps team is global, which means that eventually we will get new Maps outside US.
It took Apple a while to do those improvements, but it's good to see that Apple is investing in Maps. Beside, Google is not making Apple's life easier with new improvements to Google Maps putting the comparison bar really high.

Now, lets move on to Star Wars topic. Amy Hennig left EA and the project she was working on has been put on hold. Last October EA closed Visceral, but it kept project alive. Development was to continue at EA Vancouver, but it looks like studio is working on something else.
It has been rough few years for Star Wars players. First, the Star Wars 1313 has been canceled. Then we've had shenanigans with Battlefront 2. Now, the third project is on hold. We've been teased with Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order, but I'm afraid that without specific release date, it might share the fate of the previous projects.

And finally, here is list of interesting articles.

The Problem You Solve Is More Important Than The Code You Write 🔊

How We Created a Virtual Crime Scene to Investigate Syria’s Chemical Attack

Why you should not use Google Cloud

How to build a React.js chat app in 10 minutes

How to create a real-world Node CLI app with Node

Extracting Super Mario Bros levels with Python

Code Injection In Swift

What’s new in Xcode 10?

Ui Goodies - A directory of UI resources

DevTube - The best developer videos in one place


Image credits: Sylwia Bartyzel.

Weekly digest - 2018.25


This week Apple launched Apple Pay in Poland. Customers of 9 Polish banks can add their Mastercard and Visa cards to the Wallet app. According to Polish media, the launch itself was huge success, outclassing Google Pay.
I personally started using Apple Pay almost everywhere. I also started thinking about leaving all plastic cards at home, especially when Apple Pay is more secure.

Speaking of Apple, they finally acknowledged that new MacBooks have keyboard issues.
They launched new service program for users that have issues with sticky, repeated characters or unresponsive keys. The fix is free and if someone already paid for keyboard repair will get a refund.
I'm glad that those keyboards shenanigans are over. Now, I only hope that keyboard in MacBooks will be better than current implementation.

Apple also announced that iOS 12 will automatically share caller's location with 911. This is huge and possibly can save many lives. I hope the same mechanism will be soon implemented in other countries.

We had a lot of Apple news this week, so here is the list of other interesting things:

React Native at Airbnb
This is must read for anyone interested in React Native and cross platform development!

Reconciling GraphQL and Thrift at Airbnb

Create A Live Comment Feed with Pusher and Gatsby (React + GraphQL + Node.js)

NES Emulator for Swift Playgrounds

Writing good bug reports

Advanced Swift Debugging for UIKit

Custom UIView in Swift done right

The Story Behind Susan Kare’s Iconic Design Work for Apple

How to Lose an IT Job in 10 Minutes