Weekly digest - 2019.44


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 - 2019.40


Microsoft's Surface event

Here’s a quick recap of everything Microsoft announced this week.

Surface Laptop 3

Refreshed Surface Laptop lineup got USB-C and, for the first time, an AMD Ryzen 7 processor. Additionally, the device now comes not only with 13.5-inch screen, but with 15-inch version as well.

The Surface Laptop 3 starts at $999 for the 13.5-inch version and $1,199 for the bigger one.

Surface Pro 7

Beside newer processor and support for USB-C there is nothing new. Although, Microsoft has slashed the price by $150, and new model starts at $749.

Surface Pro X

This is a brand new model in Surface Pro lineup. It is slightly bigger with 13-inch screen, but it is 3mm thiner than Surface Pro 7. It has ARM-based Microsoft SQ1 chip and swappable SSD storage.

The Surface Pro X starts at $999.

Surface Neo

Surface Neo is dual-screen PC, powered by Intel's Lakefield processor. Each screen is about 9-inches and both add up to a 13.1-inch total display size. New device comes with a USB-C port and supports the Surface Pen,

The most interesting part is a keyboard that folds over one of the screens. When you dock the hardware keyboard, Neo recognises that, and the part that is not covered by keyboard becomes a smart input area. Microsoft is calling it the Wonderbar.

All of that is possible because Surface Neo is running a special version of Windows called Windows 10X.

Surface Neo will be available in 2020.

Surface Duo

Surface Duo is dual-screen phone that runs Android. Each screen is 5.6-inches and both add up to a 8-inch total display size. All of that is powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 chip.

Surface Duo will be available holiday 2020

Surface Earbuds

Microsoft announced a new pair of wireless Surface Earbuds that supports voice commands. They work with all the major virtual assistants:  Siri, Google Assistant, Alexa, Cortana and Bixby. They can also translate speech in real time into around 60 languages.

The Surface Earbuds will be available later this year for $249.


Image credits: Microsoft

Weekly digest - 2019.32


Apple rolls out Apple Card

On Tuesday Apple started rolling out its Apple Card to selected users.  The new credit card is available to limited group people who signed up on Apple's website to be notified about the card. The rest of the users will get access to their Apple Card  later this month. Alongside the card, Apple also released a series of videos explaining how to set up and use the Apple Card.

New details about Disney+

Finally we learned the price of the new service. The basic trier of Disney+ will cost  $6.99 per month. Disney also announced the bundle option with: Disney+, ESPN+ and Hulu for $12.99 per month. This is quite compelling option fo US users because all those services bought separately would cost about $18.

The price seems to be reasonable. Hopefully when Disney+ comes to Europe, in 2021, the price will be on similar rate.

Weekly digest - 2019.28


Nintendo Switch Lite

Nintendo has announced the Switch Lite. It is a new Switch that only supports handheld mode. Here is the list of changes in comparison to "standard" Switch:

  • smaller touchscreen (5.5-inch),
  • no detachable Joy-Con controllers,
  • cannot be connected to TV,
  • side buttons are replaced by real D-pad,
  • lack of HD Rumble and IR Motion Camera,
  • better battery life (~1h longer),

Nintendo Switch Lite launches on September 20 for $199.99 in three colors: yellow, grey, and turquoise.

Apple's new MacBook lineup

On Tuesday Apple completely revamped their notebook lineup. First of all, they stopped selling 12-inch MacBook. Macbook supposed to be replacement for MacBook Air, but it never became popular.  Smaller size and new keyboard weren't enough to steal users hearts.

Speaking of MacBook Air, the old non Retina version is also finally gone. Also, Apple has updated the new Retina version with True Tone display and they lowered the price from $1199 to $1099 ($999 for students).  

MacBook Pro lineup also is simpler. Apple stopped selling the 13-inch MacBook Pro without Touch Bar. It means that all MacBooks Pro, not matter of size, now come with Touch Bar.

In addition to cleaning up the MacBook Air and MacBook Pro lineup, Apple has lowered the cost of SSD options for all Mac, including the desktop ones. The price drop is especially visible in more high-end versions.

For example this is how the new prices, of SSD options, look like in comparison to old ones for 15-inch MacBook Pro:

Storage Price Before Price Now
256GB $0* $0*
512GB $200 $200
1TB $600 $400
2TB $1200 $800
4TB $3000 $1600

(*) Base model

Overall, this news was a completely surprise and the welcome one. It's not only a huge simplification of the MacBook lineup, but also a big change for the entire Mac lineup, as most of the Macs are now more affordable.

I hope Apple will continue this trend with other products.


Image credits: Nintendo

Weekly digest - 2019.19


Google IO

Google held its annual conference this week. This year, nothing revolutionary announced,  it was rather a presentation of an evolution of the current products. You can watch a recap here. Here is the short list of more interesting news:

From all the thing that's been shown I'm most impressed by the Google Assistant. As I tweeted earlier this week, it is lightyears ahead of Bixby, Siri or even Alexa. I wish Apple care about Siri as much as Google does with Assistant.

PowerBeats Pro

Tech reviewers started getting their hands on the new Beats earbuds. First impressions are very positive. PowerBeats Pro are the best Beats ever, but they have two major issues. One is pricing and the second is ery big charging case. I have already accepted the price, but the case is humongous. It will definitely not fit to the pocket, so you either need a backpack/bag to carry it or leave it at home.

Windows Now Comes with Linux

Microsoft will ship a full Linux kernel in Windows 10. Although Microsoft added multiple Linux Bashes to Windows over the years, this is a big surprise.

New Microsoft Edge released as a preview

Microsoft has released a preview of their new browser powered with Chromium engine. Right now it is available only on macOS. I run a quick test with Tatooine.live. So far, this site worked properly only on Chrome, now it also works, without any issues, on Edge for Mac.

What's even more interesting, this is the first Microsoft's browser on the Mac since Safari replaced Internet Explorer over 15 years ago.

New Star Wars Movies

Disney has announced the release dates for its upcoming movies, including Star Wars. Right now, only new trilogy has been announced with following releases:

  • Part 1 - Christmas 2022
  • Part 2 - Christmas 2024
  • Part 3 - Christmas 2026

So, after Episode 9, there will be no Star Wars movies for 3 years. Hopefully the new TV shows will fill the gap. Right now, we know nothing about this trilogy, but we know about 2 potential projects:

No spinoff has been announced, which is disappointing, because I'm waiting for Kenobi movie.

Spider-Man: Far From Home Trailer

Roughly two weeks after Avengers Endgame premiere, the new Spider-Man trailer hit the web. The trailer shows the aftermath of the events from the Endgame and it looks like it's opening the Multiverse  for the Phase 4.


Image credits: Gogole