Weekly digest - 2019.41


More PlayStation 5 details

Wired published an article that shares more information about next-gen console. Here is the short summary:

  • It has been officially confirmed that next console will be named PlayStation 5,
  • It will be available for holidays 2020,
  • CPU will be based on AMD’s Ryzen line and a GPU based on Navi family,
  • It has been confirmed that ray-tracing support will be hardware based
  • There will be no HDD only SSD,
  • There will be 4K Blu-ray player,
  • PS5 will use 100-GB optical disks,
  • New data structure mechanism will allow gamers to install only single-player or multiplayer campaign instead of installing the whole game,
  • There will be new system that will allow to check what players can do in games and quickly join in,
  • New controller will be called DualShock 5,
  • New controller will have "adaptive triggers" that offer varying levels of resistance, which can be adjusted to game we play,
  • The force-feedback system is now based on haptic engines instead of rumble motors,
  • Next-gen controller uses a USB Type-C connector for charging.

Apple's Sleep app confirmed in a leak

The App Store screenshots for the Alarms app for Apple Watch include text that mentions the rumored Sleep app. This is another confirmation that Apple is working on it. The Sleep app supposed to come with iOS 13, but was removed before iOS 13 beta was released.

If we take in consideration that battery life in Apple Watch Series 5 is worse than in previous model, it looks like that for the Sleep tracking we will have to wait till next year. If Apple won't be able to improve battery life software-wise, then we won't see it until new version of Apple Watch is released.


Image credits: LetsGoDigital

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 - 2019.37


This week Apple had their annual iPhone event. This is what have been announced.

iPhone 11

The successor of the iPhone XR looks following:

  • 6.1‑inch  Liquid Retina HD display (1792x828px),
  • Screen with Haptic Touch (no 3D Touch),
  • A13 Bionic CPU/GPU,
  • 4GB of RAM,
  • 64GB, 128GB or 256GB of storage,
  • Dual 12MP Ultra Wide and Wide rear cameras,
  • 12MP TrueDepth front camera recording at 120fps (slowfie),
  • Spatial audio with Dolby Atmos,
  • Wi‑Fi 6 (802.11ax) and Gigabit-Class LTE,
  • 1h longer battery life than in iPhone XR.

iPhone 11 comes in Black, Green, Yellow, Purple, Red, White colors from $699 for the base model.

iPhone 11 Pro & Pro Max

The successors of the iPhone XS look following:

  • 5.8‑inch  Super Retina XDR (OLED) display (2436x1125px) in Pro model,
  • 6.5‑inch  Super Retina XDR (OLED) display (2436x1125px) in Pro Max model,
  • Screen with Haptic Touch (no 3D Touch),
  • A13 Bionic CPU/GPU,
  • 4 or 6GB of RAM*,
  • 64GB, 128GB or 256GB of storage,
  • Triple 12MP Ultra Wide, Wide, and Telephoto rear cameras,
  • 12MP TrueDepth front camera recording at 120fps (slowfie),
  • Spatial audio with Dolby Atmos,
  • Wi‑Fi 6 (802.11ax) and Gigabit-Class LTE,
  • Pro has 4h longer battery life than in iPhone XS and Pro Max  5h longer than XS Max.

iPhone 11 Pro models come in Midnight Green, Space Grey, Silver and Gold. iPhone 11 Pro starts at $999 and the Pro Max starts at $1,099.

(*) We don't have official specification from Apple. Available reports are contradicting each other. Quite possible that the amount of memory depends on amount of storage, like in iPad.

Apple Watch Series 5

Newest Apple Watch also got small upgrade:

  • Always-On Retina display,
  • new Apple 64-bit dual-core S5 chip,
  • 32 GB of storage,
  • Compass,
  • Aluminum, stainless steel, titanium and ceramic material finishes,

Apple Watch Series 5 starts at $399 for 40mm model and $429 for 44mm version.

iPad

Apple has also announced the successor to the 9.7-inch iPad:

  • 10.2-Inch Retina Display,
  • A10 Fusion chip,
  • Support for Apple Pencil 2 and Smart Keyboard,

New iPad starts at just $329.

Apple TV+

Apple shared more details about their upcoming streaming service:

  • It's launching on November 1st,
  • Monthly subscription will  cost $4.99,
  • Apple also offers 1 year of free subscription with purchase of Mac, iPad, iPhone or Apple TV.

Image credits: Apple

Weekly digest - 2019.31


MacBook Pro 16

Last week I was wondering whether new 16-inch MacBook Pro will have the same form factor as current 15-inch model. Based on the rumors from this week it seems so.  Here are the rumors surrounding  this laptop, we know so far:

  • 16-inch LED Retina display,
  • Resolution 3072×1920 px,
  • Same form factor (body size) as current 15-inch model,
  • New keyboard with scissor key switches,
  • Price starting around $3000,
  • Release date - October 2019.

The only thing we still don't know is the components (CPU, GPU, RAM, storage) spec, but I would assume it will be very similar to what we can see in current 15-inch models.


Image credits: 9to5mac

Weekly digest - 2019.30


Marvel's Phase 4

During San Diego Comic Con, Marvel announced their plans for the next couple of years. The entire project is called Phased 4 and for the first time ever, the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) will be a combination of feature films and TV series. Here is the list of movies and TV shows we are gonna get:

  • Black Widow (Movie); May 1, 2020,
  • The Falcon and Winter Soldier  (TV show); Fall 2020,
  • The Eternals (Movie); Nov. 6, 2020,
  • Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings (Movie); Feb. 12, 2021,
  • WandaVision (TV show); Spring 2021,
  • Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness (Movie); May 7, 2021,
  • Loki (TV show); Spring 2021,
  • What If...? (Animated show); Summer 2021,
  • Hawkeye (TV show); Fall 2021
  • Thor 4: Love and Thunder (Movie); Nov. 5, 2021;

Beside those movies and TV shows we are gonna get new Blade, and sequels: Black Panther 2, Guardians of the Galaxy vol. 3,  Captain Marvel 2. Also  a new movie, from old Fox IP, has been announced - Fantastic Four.

Netflix - The Witcher

Also during Comic Con, Netflix has released first teaser trailer to their upcoming TV series. My first impressions are very positive. It looks like, show runners are trying to recreate the dark and brutal world of the Witcher. Also main screenwriter has confirmed that TV series is solely based on the books, so game fans might be a little bit disappointed, but I like it. CD Project had their vision to Geralt's story, now its time to see a new one.

New iPhones

New rumors about upcoming iPhones surfaced. According to 9to5mac:

  • Apple is going to release 3 new iPhones, successors to XS, XS Max and XR models,
  • All models will still use Lightning connection instead of USB-C,
  • XS and XS Max will have OLED displays and XR will still have Liquid Retina display,
  • The resolution of the screens in all model will be unchanged,
  • New iPhones will have new Taptic Engine, known by the codename leap haptics, but it is unclear what changes it will bring,
  • XS and XS Max will have triple rear camera with ability to take wide-angle photos,
  • Front facing camera will gain support for slo-mo videos at 120fps.

It looks like, this year, new iPhones will receive only a cosmetic upgrade and there is nothing to wait for ☹️

16-inch MacBook Pro Pricing

According to supply chain sources cited, Apple is going to release new MacBook Air, 13-inch and 16-inch MacBooks Pro. We already heard those rumors, but what's new is the pricing of the 16-inch model. According to those sources, new machine will cost about $3000! Also, it looks like new notebook will not get OLED display.  According to some sources it still will be using faulted Butterfly keyboard, where others say it will get a new keyboard.

Hearing those rumors make me wonder why would Apple even bother to create a brand new laptop with only one difference from current lineup - 1-inch bigger display. And yes, I know Apple could put more powerful CPU or GPU inside, but let be honest, current, maxed out 15-inch MacBook Pro is a beast. And without a brand new cooling solution, more powerful hardware is going to overheat. Maybe Apple is going to replace the 15-inch model with 16-inch keeping the form factor (dimensions) from 15-inch model and making the screen bezel-less  to fit bigger display. I'm curious what Apple is going to do to justify the pricing and the existence of this model.

Apple acquired Intel's modem devision

This week, Apple announced that it has signed an agreement with Intel regarding purchasing the majority of Intel's smartphone modem business. Apple will take over not only the intellectual property and equipment but also over 2000 employees.The entire transaction is valued at $1 billion.

This is a smart move for Apple. Right now, Apple relies on Qualcomm and the relationship between those two companies recently have not been so good.


Image credits: Marvel Cinematic Universe