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 - 2019.35


Star Wars: The Rise Of Skywalker | D23 Special Look

On Monday Lucasfilm publicly released  Star Wars Episode 9 teaser trailer which has been shown to the audience at D23. In my opinion this is perfect teaser. It doesn't reveal anything related to the plot, but still keeps me hyped about the movie 😀Can't wait for mid-October when the full trailer will be revealed.

Apple improves Siri's privacy protection

Couple weeks ago, we could saw, on various services, that big companies like Apple, Google or Microsoft employed 3rd party contractors to listen to voice recordings send via Siri, Google Assistant and Cortana. This of course caused a discussion about the privacy of the voice assistant users. This week, Apple released a statement addressing that issue. The key points are following:

  • Contractors will no longer listen to recordings,
  • Reviewers will have access to less information about users,
  • By default, written transcripts of Siri recordings will be send to Apple,
  • Opting out from sending any data (including transcripts) requires disabling Siri,
  • Users can opt in to also send the recordings to the Apple.

I think this is great improvement. Apple still need to have the user data to improve Siri and people can choose how they want to contribute. I'm also glad that the data will not be accessible outside the Apple, which should be the case from the very beginning.

Apple's September event

Apple started sending invites for the upcoming September event, which will take place on September 10th. What's interesting, invite itself contains colorful Apple logo, which might be hinting new color options for the iPhones.

iPhone 11 Specs Leaked

The alleged specifications for upcoming iPhone 11 lineup have leaked. This leak comes from unverified source, so I would take them with a grain of salt. Also, Banjamin Mayo from 9to5mac says it's not real.  That being said, if some of those information are somehow true, then they look interesting:

  • 6GB of RAM in Pro models,
  • Storage for Pro models starts from 128GB, which is significant upgrade from current 64GB,
  • Much bigger battery. Basically the 11 and 11 Pro models are getting the battery with capacity from current iPhone XS Max,
  • Pricing is the same as for current models 😞, but the spec is better, so at least that's an improvement.

There is also a rumor about about Apple Pencil support in iPhone Pro models, but I think, at the moment, this is only wishful thinking rather than something that could we see this year.

Well, we are going to see whether those leaks are true in couple of days.

Apple allows 3rd to repair iPhones

Apple allowed independent repair shops to fix out-of-warranty iPhones. There is a lot of controversy surrounding Apple regarding the blocking users from fixing their iPhones outside authorised services. There is event entire Right to Repair movement. Fortunately for us, Apple is slowly loosing their restrictions:

  • Apple will provide genuine part replacements, tools, training and manuals.
  • Independent repair shops will be allowed to repair only (for what we know at the moment) out-of-warranty iPhones,
  • The shop must have an Apple certified technician that will perform the repairs.

This is great news, I hope this will be soon extended to other Apple products.

Interesting things


Image credits: Lucasfilm

Weekly digest - 2019.24


E3 2019 Games

Here is the list of more interesting games presented during this year E3:

Next Generation Xbox

Next gen Xbox, called Project Scarlett, will debut fall next year. It has been designed by the Scorpio team and it looks like the Xbox One X was a foundation for a next console. This is what we know so far about the hardware:

  • Custom CPU based on AMD’s Zen 2 architecture,
  • Radeon RDNA GPU,
  • GDDR6 RAM,
  • SSD for storage,
  • Native 4K at 60 FPS, up to 120 FPS,
  • Support for 8K gaming,
  • Hardware accelerated ray tracing.

This is not much, but at least we know that next console will be available next year alongside PS5. 2020 will be a good year for gamers 😀

Google Stadia

Google has also announced more details about upcoming Stadia projekt:

  • Google Stadia will launch in November in 14 countries (US, Canada, UK, Ireland, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Netherlands, Belgium, Denmark, Sweden, Norway, and Finland),
  • At the launch it will support at least 31 games,
  • The Basic version will be available for free,
  • The Pro version will cost $9.99 per month,
  • At the beginning there will be also "Founder’s Edition", for $130, with limited controller, Chromecast Ultra and 3 months of Pro subscription,
  • Stadia is not primarily a subscription service. Although some games will be included in a subscription, we will have to buy games separately. That's why the Basic version is free.
  • It will require at least 10Mbps connection for 720p 60fps streaming with stereo audio,
  • For 4K streaming at 60fps with  5.1 surround sound we will need connection capable, at least, 35Mbps.

Google Stadia looks promising and I would love to try it. Unfortunately it will not be available in Poland, and looking at status of Google Store in Poland I might have to wait for a while 😔


Image credits: E3

Weekly digest - 2019.10


This week I didn't have time to prepare the news part, so I've only gathered the list of interesting things.

Polish Powerhouse

The Origins of CD Projekt Red

How The Witcher Took Over The World

Creating Cyberpunk 2077

Safely supporting new versions of Swift

Dependency Injection in Swift with Protocols

Emoji in SQL - SELECT 🗣 FROM 👤

Vue + TypeScript Cookbook

Famous Laws Of Software Development

The Growth Stacks of 2019

My Descent Into YouTube Addiction

PCjs Machines

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.