Weekly Digest - 2021.29
A couple of weeks ago I mentioned about the race between SpaceX, Blue Origin, and Virgin Galactic. Last time, Bezos' Blue Origin supposed to be the first civilian company to sent the civilian into space, but last Sunday, Richard Branson stole the show. His Virgin Galactic successfully sent him, and five other crewmates to the edge of the Space and back. Although, the crew experienced the Space for brief moment, Branson called it "an experience of a lifetime".
Branson plans to open the Space for masses next year. The ticket costs around $250k, and Virgin Galactic already sold 600 of them. If you don't have such money, you can try to win 2 tickets with Omaze.
The remaining competitors still plan to launch later this year. Blue Origin on July 20th, and SpaceX, with their Inspiration4 Mission, on September 15th.
Microsoft announced the Windows 365 service, which puts Windows in the cloud. Windows 365 will let users access Windows 10 or Windows 11 from a web browser.
There will be two editions of Windows 365: Business and Enterprise. Both are powered by virtual machines in 12 configurations. Business will be able to choose from a single CPU, 2GB of RAM, and 64GB of storage, up to eight CPUs, 32GB of RAM, and 512GB of storage.
The service will be available on August 2nd. Unfortunately, the pricing is still unknown.
Valve announced SteamDeck - a handheld gaming console.
It will be powered by AMD's quad-core Zen 2 CPU with eight threads and eight compute units. It will have 16GB of RAM and three storage options: 64GB eMMC, 256GB NVMe SSD, and 512GB of high-speed NVME SSD. The storage is also expendable thanks to the high-speed microSD card slot.
On the front there is a 7-inch 1280 x 800 touchscreen for 720p gameplay.
In term of controls, there are two thumbsticks, two small trackpads, ABXY buttons, and a D-pad. The device also has a gyroscope for motion controls.
According to Valve, the device should allow to 7-8 hours of gameplay on a single charge.
Device will be available in December, starting at $399.
Image credits: Virgin Glactic
Google announced, or I should say remembered us, the Pixel 4 and 4XL. Here is the spec:
Both versions are available in "Just Black", "Clearly White" and "Oh so Orange" colors. Pixel 4 and 4 XL start at $799 and $899 respectively.
This year Google decided to focus on face and motion recognition. They removed fingerprint reader to equivalent of FaceID called "Face unlock". What's even more interesting, Google added Motion Sense radar that can detect movement around the phone. For example, when sensors detect reaching hand, they can increase the brightness of always-on display, or silence the alarm clock. Also, user can also control the music using gestures.
Ming-Chi Kuo shared some new details regarding new iPhone SE:
For the first time, we have some information about the design, and the iPhone 8 size became very controversial topic. Although I like the size of iPhone 8, I'm wondering why would Apple release a new phone, with the same size, when they still selling iPhone 8?
Image credits: Google
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:
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 has presented the budget phone for people who are tired of flagship and expensive devices. Here is the specification
OnePlus 7T will be available from $599.
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.
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.
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.
There was plenty of news related with Disney. Here is tl;dr:
Image credits: Xiaomi
Reviewers started getting their hands on newest versions of iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro and Apple Watch. Long story short, if you want an iPhone, then buy iPhone 11, the Pro version is for photo enthusiast, or people who prefer smaller, OLED screen.
The always-on display in Apple Watch Series 5 is a good step forward, but if you own Series 4 you are good for another year.
Together with new iPhones, Apple released iOS 13. Federico Viticci wrote excellent review of new operating systems. Overall iOS 13 is a good step forward, but is has many bugs and issues, which might force Apple to release iOS 13.1 earlier than usual. If the rumors are true, iOS 13 will be the shortest living version of iOS ever.
Image credits: Timothy Eberly