Weekly digest - 2019.39

Weekly digest - 2019.39

Xiaomi Mi Mix Alpha

Xiaomi is not afraid experimenting. Xiaomi Mi Mix series is a perfect example. This time Chinese manufacturer presented new phone from this line - Mi Mix Alpha. This phone is almost entirely made of screen. Display wraps entirely around the device to the point where it meets the camera on the back. Here is the full specification:

  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 855+,
  • 12GB of RAM,
  • 512GB of storage
  • 108-megapixel camera,
  • support for 5G
  • 4050 mAh battery

This phone will be available for about $2800.

This phone is really cool concept. Everyone is so focused on foldable phones, that Xiaomi surprised us with something simpler yet still interesting, and maybe even functional.

OnePlus 7T

OnePlus has presented the budget phone for people who are tired of flagship and expensive devices. Here is the specification

  • 6,55-innch Fluid AMOLED display (2400×1080px)
  • 90Hz screen's refresh rate,
  • Fingerprint reader built into the screen
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 855+,
  • 8 GB of RAM
  • 128 or 256GB of storage
  • 48-megapixel tripple camera
  • 3800 mAh battery
  • OxygenOS based on Android 10

OnePlus 7T will be available from $599.

Google Play Pass

One week after premiere of Apple Arcade, Google announced their own game service. Google Play Pass will cost $4.99 per month and will give access to 350 games and apps. All games/apps will be free and without any in-app purchases. For now service is available only in US, but Google says that it is planning to extend service to other countries.  

This is interesting move from Google. If the games/apps in the bundle are good then it is win-win scenario for Android users. The only question I have is, how developers are getting paid? So far, Google didn't share any details on that topic.

iOS 13.1 & iPadOS 13.1

This week Apple released iOS 13.1 and iPadOS 13.1. The later is the first official release of the dedicated operating system for tablets. iOS 13.1 has been released in less than a week after the premiere of the new iOS, and is the fastest released major update so far.

iPhone 12 design

According to newest rumors,  next year iPhone will get major redesign. New frame will be  similar to one from iPhone 4. Also, new iPhone will not have notch. All Face Id sensors will be hidden in the upper bezel.

Disney news

There was plenty of news related with Disney. Here is tl;dr:

Image credits: Xiaomi

Weekly digest - 2019.24

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 - 2018.37

Weekly digest - 2018.37

This week Apple held the Gather Round event introducing three new iPhones and new Apple Watch. Without further ado, let's start with iPhones.
The iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max are the premium models with the most features which also makes them the most expensive ones, starting at $999 and $1099 respectively. Here is the specification:

  • OLED True Tone Screen
  • HDR display
  • Dual 12-megapixel rear cameras (wide-angle and telephoto lenses)
  • 7-megapixel front camera
  • Portrait Mode with Depth Control
  • Smart HDR photos
  • A12 Bionic chip
  • Face ID
  • Fast charging
  • Qi-based wireless charging
  • IP68-rated water resistance to a depth of 2 meters for up to 30 minutes
  • 64GB / 256GB / 512GB of storage
  • Dual SIM (Nano-SIM and eSIM)
  • Gigabit-class LTE
  • Voice over LTE (VoLTE)
  • 802.11ac Wi‑Fi
  • Bluetooth 5.0
  • 3D Touch

iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max have almost identical tech specs. The differences come to battery life, XS Max has one-hour-longer battery life, and screen size. XS has 5.8-inch screen, where XS Max has a larger 6.5-inch version.

Apple also introduced a brand new version of the phone, called iPhone XR. It is more affordable, starting at $749. I must admit, for this price point the specs look impressive:

  • LCD True Tone Screen
  • HDR display
  • Single 12-megapixel rear cameras (wide-angle lense)
  • 7-megapixel front camera
  • Portrait Mode with Depth Control
  • Smart HDR photos
  • A12 Bionic chip
  • Face ID
  • Fast charging
  • Qi-based wireless charging
  • IP68-rated water resistance to a depth of 2 meters for up to 30 minutes
  • 64GB / 128GB / 256GB of storage
  • Dual SIM (Nano-SIM and eSIM)
  • LTE Advanced
  • Voice over LTE (VoLTE)
  • 802.11ac Wi‑Fi
  • Bluetooth 5.0

As you can see, there is not much difference between XS and XR. If you are thinking about new iPhone and don't care about the OLED display and better camera you should choose the XR version. If you need better screen and camera, or if you need biggest screen then you have to pay $250 for XS model.

Now let's move on to Apple Watch. The version is called Series 4. The biggest change is over 30% larger screen. With bigger screen the case also got bigger by about 2mm. Looking at the thinness, Series 4 is about 1mm slimmer compared to predecessor. Here is the rest of the changes:

  • 64-bit S4 processor, 2 times faster than S3
  • Second-generation optical heart sensor
  • ECG monitor
  • New accelerometer (up to 32 g-forces) and gyroscope that can detect if person fall down
  • Haptic feedback on the Digital Crown
  • Louder speaker by 50%
  • New W3 wireless chip
  • Bluetooth 5.0

The new Apple Watch Series 4 is impressive and can't wait to finally get a proper start watch.

Last but not least, here is the list of interesting things.

Don’t Use Checkboxes

Your web app is bloated

.NET Conf 2018

How iOS Apps Adapt to the iPhone XS Max and iPhone XR Screen Sizes

The first month of being a freelance designer, how does it feel like?

Half-Life Recreated with Unreal Engine 4

Image credits: Apple.

Weekly digest - 2018.28

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:


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 - 2018.19

Weekly digest - 2018.19

Last week we had F8 from Facebook, this week we got 2 more conferences - Build from Microsoft and Google IO. Microsoft focused on integrations and IoT:

Next day, Google showed us:

Now, we know what 3 of 4 biggest IT companies are up to, Apple will unveil its plans during WWDC next month.

Last week marked the 20th anniversary of the iMac. Personally I'm not a big fan of the iMac line, but without a doubt this machine changed the way how people perceive personal computers.

Speaking of Apple computers. On Friday a class action lawsuit was filed in federal court. Apple is accused of knowing about flows and defects in MacBook Pro's keyboard before it launched in 2015.
Last week we saw report about high number of keyboard failures in MacBook Pro, so this lawsuit was just a matter of time. As this "keyboard gate" is developing rapidly I will keep an eye on this matter with a great interest.

Also this week we had a premiere of the Solo: A Star Wars Story. The first reactions are positive, saying that the movie is funny. It looks like Lucasfilm did it again, even with directors swap in the middle of shooting.

As we are on the topic of Star Wars, Jon Favreau give us a couple of news about his upcoming live action TV series. It will be set about 7 years after battle of Endor. It will introduce brand new characters. The technology used for the Jungle Book and Lion King will also be used to make the TV show.

As for the interesting links, I only have one - E3 2018 conference schedule.

Image credits: Google.