Weekly digest - 2018.49


Couple weeks ago I released a Halloween watch face for Apple Watch. I was more a joke, but people really liked it. Since then they asked me weather I'm going to do a Christmas watch face. I wanted to do one, but I didn't know whether I would have time or even an idea to create something cool. Fortunately, last week I found both and created this.
Originally I wanted to do something else, but it didn't look good and I would have to spend much more time on this to make it work. After this failed idea, I decided to do a watch face inspired by Christmas decorations made out of paper. Paper town and Santa plus some particle effects create a perfect combination. I'm really happy with the end result. Usually Christmas designs are fancy and festive, but I really wanted to keep it clean and simple. After all the watch face should not distract you from its main purpose, telling time.
So far people like it as well, but its to early to call is a success, that I will be able to tell after Christmas. If you want this watch face on your Apple Watch, check out this my GitHub repository.

From other news. Microsoft announced that it is working on new browser that is going to replace Edge. I have mixed feelings about this because it's just another browser that we, as developers, will have to support. On the other hand it will be based on Chromium, so maybe it will not be that bad.

Apple released the watchOS 5.1.2 with long anticipated ECG feature. It is out for couple of days now, but it's already saving lives. Well done Apple.

It took seven miles to pull over a Tesla with a seemingly asleep driver. I was actually wondering whether you can drive Tesla on autopilot when you are drunk. Fortunately you can't. Autopilot is amazing technology that improves every year, but still I don't trust it that much to let it drive the car practically without the driver.

Marvel released the trailer for upcoming Avengers 4 movie. Together with the trailer we got the full name of the movie Avengers: Endgame. I know it is just a trailer, but I'm already hyped.

And finally, here is the list of interesting things.

How to Write a Game in Under 13 Kb While Taking Care of a Baby

Measuring the "Filter Bubble": How Google is influencing what you click

Xcode file variants without targets

Watermarking photos with ImageMagick, Vapor 3 and Swift on macOS and Linux

An Introduction to Flutter: The Basics

Weekly digest - 2018.44


This week Apple held its October event. This time they focused on Macs and iPads. The first presented product was new MacBook Air. New model starts from $1199 and here is the specification:

  • 13-inch Retina display,
  • 1.6GHz dual-core Intel Core i5, Turbo Boost up to 3.6GHz, with 4MB L3 cache,
  • 128GB, 256GB, 512GB, 1.5TB od SSD storage,
  • 8GB or 16GB of 2133MHz LPDDR3 memory,
  • Intel UHD Graphics 617,
  • New keyboard with TouchID,
  • Up to 12h of battery life,
  • only 2 USB-C ports.

This update was long overdue, and I have to admit it doesn't look impressive. Don't get me wrong, it is good update, but it's an update we should have long time ago. After couple of years I would expect something more revolutionary, but this model looks like a step back. Previous MacBook Airs offered the quad core i7 option, the new model is only dual core, which is really disappointing for people who wants light and portable computer with a little bit more power under the hood. Now, they have to buy bulky MacBook Pro. The only impressive thing about this computer is new T2 chip, that disconnects a microphone when lid is closed.
What is even more surprising, Apple kept the old model on the shelves, without any price change. Wojtek Pietruszewicz compared this to selling a 1990's car for today's price. I completely agree with him, Apple devices are overpriced, especially computers, and there is nothing that could justify such high prices.

Now, let's move on to the Mac mini. This computer has not been updated for 1475 days! During the keynote Apple showed the new version specification starting from $799:

  • 3.6GHz quad-core Intel Core i36MB shared L3 cache in base model up to 3.2GHz 6-core Intel Core i7 Turbo Boost up to 4.6GHz 12MB shared L3 cache,
  • 8GB, 16GB, 32GB, 64GB of 2666MHz DDR4 SO-DIMM memory,
  • 128GB, 256GB, 512GB, 1TB, or 2TB of SSD storage,
  • Intel UHD Graphics 630,
  • 2 USB-A and 4 USB-C ports, HDMI output and 3.5mm headphone jack,
  • 1Gb or 10Gb RJ-45 Ethernet port.

The rest of the design, beside the black mate color is the same as in the previous model. This update is a solid one, of course it is still long overdue, but it is better than nothing. This is basic computer that can be used by anyone, people who only wants to watch cute animals and by people who uses computer professionally. I'm glad Apple still support this type of computers.

The last device presented by Apple was new iPad Pro. And this is the iPad we have all been waiting for. Let's start with the specifications:

  • 11 or 12.9 inch Bezel-less Liquid Retina screen,
  • 64GB, 256GB, 512GB, 1TB of storage,
  • 4GB of memory and 6GB in 1TB model,
  • A12X Bionic chip,
  • 7 and 12-megapixel cameras,
  • e-Sim,
  • Face ID working in portrait and landscape modes,
  • USB-C port.

This model is the biggest change to iPad since 2010, when the first iPad came out. First big change is the bezel-less screen, now we have bigger screen in the smaller for factor. This is the first iPad that has new 1.43:1 aspect ratio, all previous models had 1.33:1 (4:3). Unfortunately, this screen is not OLED, Apple deviced to use the Liquid Retina display, which we can find in the iPhone XR.
Moving to the next big change, the new USB-C port. I have to say - FINALLY! We all have been waiting for USB-C in iPhones and iPads since 2016, when new MacBook Pros came out. New port offers not only faster changing and data transfers, but also offers connectivity with external displays up to 5K.
To drive the 5K monitor you need the powerful processors. Early benchmarks suggest that new iPad Pro is a beast comparable to 2018 MacBook Pro. Thats a lot of power! I really wish, we could so enthusiastic about the power of the Macs...
Together with new iPad, Apple presented new Apple Pencil. It has completely new design. It features wireless charging (finally) and it also supports gestures. A nice addition is, that it magnetically attaches to the iPad.
Apple also showed a new keyboard cover, but beside the new size, there is nothing to talk about.
Unfortunately, the new version cost more that previous models. The 11-inch starts from $799 and 12.9 inch model starts from $999.

Thats all. This week was all about Apple, but if you want to see more interesting things, please check out the list below.

Custom Apple Watch face for Halloween 2018 with source code

Docker Cheat Sheet

DevOps NIGHTMARE

What is the revenue generation model for DuckDuckGo?

udocker

Using dark mode in CSS with MacOS Mojave

Weekly digest - 2018.43


Steve Troughton-Smith couple weeks ago released a repository with his custom Hermes watch face. He inspired many developers, this resulted in many amazing faces. He also inspired me. Couple years ago I saw a Mario face on Moto 360, since then I wanted to have this face on Apple Watch. This week I finally had time to play around with custom watch faces and as a result I created this. Right now this is just a prototype, but I'm already very happy with the overall result.
I would love to publish this on my GitHub, but I'm afraid that Nintendo is going to remove it, because of copyrights for Super Mario Bros assets. Right now, my plan is to create completely custom assets that will resemble the Super Mario, yet different enough that Nintendo would not pursue any legal actions.
I spent the most of this week making my various watch faces, and it was amazing. It reminds me of good old times, when as a kid I was trying to create my own simple video games. Creating custom watch faces was the most fun I've had in a long time.
Also, there is something personal in this. You are creating a face for yourself, and don't have to think about other users and theirs potential problems. I didn't realize that thinking only about my own needs might be so freeing and enjoyable.

Did you know that R in iPhone XR means nothing? If you want to learn more interesting things, please check following links.

Relative Grid Items with CSS Variables

GitHub launches Actions, its workflow automation tool

Understanding JSON Web Token Authentication

Introduction to Glitch for Node.js Apps in the Cloud

5 Open Source HTML5 Video Players for 2018