Weekly Digest - 2020.13


Apple's software updates

This week Apple has updated all their operating systems. Here is the list of the most prominent changes:

iOS 13.4

  • iCloud Folder Sharing,
  • Universal Purchase allows to purchase single copy of an app for all user's iPhones, iPods touch, iPads, Macs, and Apple TVs,
  • Revamped toolbar in Mail app,
  • Third-party navigation apps are now supported by the CarPlay Dashboard,
  • 9 new Memoji and Animoji stickers.

iPadOS 13.4

  • Mouse and trackpad support,
  • Shared iPad feature is now available for enterprise users,
  • Also includes all changes from iOS 13.4.

macOS 10.15.4

  • iCloud Folder Sharing,
  • Universal Purchase allows to purchase single copy of an app for all user's iPhones, iPods touch, iPads, Macs, and Apple TVs,
  • Time-synced lyrics for Apple Music, with ability to jump to part of a song by clicking a line in lyrics view,
  • New Parental options.

watchOS 6

  • In-app purchases are now available for ‌‌Apple Watch‌‌ apps,
  • ECG app and Irregular heart rhythm notifications are now available in Chile, New Zealand and Turkey.

tvOS 13.4 & HomePod

  • General bug fixes and improvements.

Disney+ in Western Europe

Disney has launched their streaming service in United Kingdom, Spain, Italy, Germany, Ireland, Switzerland and Austria. Disney says that Disney+ will be available in France in April. Additional Western Europe countries, including Belgium, the Nordics, and Portugal should get access this summer.

Weekly Digest - 2020.11


iOS 14,  iPadOS 14, watchOS 7 details leaked

Couple of details leaked about upcoming operating systems and new Apple's products:

iOS

iPadOS

watchOS

  • Sharing watch faces with friends & family,
  • Watch face with tachymeter,
  • Watch face with country flags,
  • Photo watch face could be made not only out of single photos, but entire albums as well,
  • Parental controls,
  • Sleep tracking app,
  • Blood oxygen tracking,
  • WatchOS apps will be no longer be based on extensions.

New MacBooks

According to Ming-Chi Ku, couple of new MacBooks will be released in upcoming months:

  1. 14- inch MacBook Pro and MacBook Air with Scissor Keyboards will come in second quarter,
  2. MacBooks with ARM processor will come in late 2020 or early 2021.

Google Pixel 4a

New details regarding upcoming budget phone have surfaced:

  • 5.8-inch (2340 x 1080) display,
  • Snapdragon 730 CPU,
  • 4GB or 6GB of RAM,
  • Hole-punch selfie camera,
  • Single 12-megapixel rear camera,
  • Fingerprint sensor on the back,
  • 3.5mm headphone jack,
  • support for dual-sim in 6GB model,
  • 3080mAh battery,
  • Phone will be available in April starting  at $399.

Coronavirus vs conferences #3

This week another conferences have been affected by coronavirus:


Image credits: the Hacker 34

Weekly Digest - 2020.07


Samsung Unpack

This week Samsung held its Unpacked event and presented new phones:

Samsung Galaxy S20 & S20+

The successors to S10 model have following specification:

  • 6.2-inch 120Hz QHD+ OLED display in S20,
  • 6.7-inch 120Hz QHD+ OLED display in S20+,
  • Snapdragon 865 CPU,
  • 12GB of RAM,
  • 128GB of storage + microSD in S20,
  • 128 or 512 GB of storage + microSD in S20+,
  • 10MP Selfie camera,
  • Triple (12+64+12MP) rear camera system,
  • 5G compatible,
  • 4000mAh battery in S20 & 4500mAh in S20+.

Samsung Galaxy S20 starts at $999,  and S20+ starts at $1199. Both will be available on March 6th.

Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra

Samsung also revealed the premium model in S20 lineup.

  • 6.9-inch 120Hz QHD+ OLED display,
  • Snapdragon 865 CPU,
  • 12GB or 16GB of RAM,
  • 128GB or 512GB of storage + microSD in S20+,
  • 40MP Selfie camera
  • Triple (108+48+12MP) rear camera system with additional depth camera,
  • 5G compatible,
  • 5000mAh battery.

Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra starts at $1399, and will be available on March 6th.

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip

Samsung presented another foldable phone -  Galaxy Z Flip,  but it's not a successor to Galaxy Fold. Here is the spec:

  • 6.7-inch FHD+ AMOLED main display,
  • 1.1-inch Super AMOLED cover Display,
  • Snapdragon 855+ CPU,
  • 8GB of RAM,
  • 256GB of storage,
  • 10MP Selfie camera,
  • Dual 12MP rear camera system,
  • 3300mAh battery.

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip costs $1,380 and launched on February 14th.

Xiaomi Mi 10

Despite of the Coronavirus outbreak in China, Xaomi managed to launch, at online-only event, the new flagship phones - Xiaomi Mi 10 & Mi 10Pro. Here is the spec of presented devices:

  • 6.67-inch 90Hz AMOLED display,
  • Snapdragon 865 CPU,
  • 8 or 12GB of RAM,
  • 128GB or 256GB of storage in Mi 10,
  • 256GB or 512 of storage in Mi 10 Pro,
  • 20MP Selfie camera
  • Quad (108+12+8+20MP) rear camera system in Mi 10,
  • Quad (108+12+2+2MP) rear camera system in Mi 10 Pro,
  • 5G compatible,
  • 4780mAh battery in Mi 10 & 4500mAh in Mi 10 Pro.

Xiaomi Mi 10 starts at ~$575 and will be available in China from February 14. Xiaomi Mi 10Pro  starts at ~$715 and will be available in China from February 18.

$450 production cost of PlayStation 5

According to Bloomberg manufacturing costs of the PlayStation 5 are around $450 per unit. The biggest reason for higher cost is limited supply and high prices of DRAM and NAND flash memories.


Image credits: Samsung

Weekly Digest - 2020.05


One connector to rule them all

EU lawmakers voted overwhelmingly (540-40) in favor for rules that would establish a common charger standard for mobile devices. It has not been decided which connector is the chosen one, but proposed charging ports include Micro-USB, USB-C and the Lightning connector. Looking at the already wide adoption of the USB-C, it's rather safe to say that it will be chosen. Fortunately, we won't have to wait long for the decision, the European Commission should adopt new rules by July.

Apple wants to make SMS one-time codes safer

Apple's WebKit team published a proposal to change the format of SMS one-time passcodes. The idea is to make the two-factor authentication process more secure. The proposal describes two ideas to achieve that:

  1. SMS one-time passcodes would be associated with a URL. It would be achieved by simply adding the website's URL to the SMS itself,
  2. Standardized format of two-factor authentication SMS code would allow applications to detect passcodes; automatically extract them, and complete the login process without further user interaction.

Here is an example of such SMS message:

011970 is your Brain Archives authentication code.
@brainarchives․com #011970

So far Apple and Google have backed the proposal.

iOS 14 to support the same iPhones as iOS 13

According to French website iPhonesoft, iOS 14 will be compatible with all iPhones supported by iOS 13,  including:

  • iPhone 11,  11 Pro & 11 Pro Max,
  • iPhone XS & XS Max,
  • iPhone XR,
  • iPhone X,
  • iPhone 8 & 8 Plus,
  • iPhone 7 & 7 Plus,
  • iPhone 6S & 6S Plus,
  • iPhone SE,
  • iPod touch (7th generation).

As for the iPads, iPhonesoft informs that iOS14 will drop support for the iPad mini 4, and will support following devices:

  • 12.9-inch iPad Pro,
  • 11-inch iPad Pro,
  • 10.5-inch iPad Pro,
  • 9.7-inch iPad Pro,
  • iPad 7th, 6th & 5th   generation,
  • iPad mini (5th generation),
  • iPad Air (3rd generation).

iPad turned 10

This week is the 10th anniversary of the original iPad announcement. iPad supposed to become the "post PC" device that would replace personal computers. 10 years later, we know it hasn't done that yet, but current generation of iPads and iPadOS is closer than ever. Although, tablets hasn't become as popular as smartphones, iPad helped Apple take over this market.

Google's new business communicator

According to report from The Information Google is working on a new communicator for workplaces, that will combine the part of GSuite functionality, like Gmail Google Drive & Hangouts.


Image credits: Lucian Alexe

Weekly Digest - 2020.03


Samsung Galaxy S20

XDA Developers leaked the photos of the successor to Samsung's flagship phone - Galaxy S10. What's interesting, Samsung is not going to just increment the number to S11, instead they are going to jump ahead to S20. Probably Samsung is naming is based on current year.  Other visible differences are:

  • front facing camera cutout is closer to the center of screen,
  • rear camera has 4 lenses:  regular wide, an ultra-wide, portrait, and a macro,
  • body is less curved.

For the rest of the spec, we'll have to wait until February 11th.

New iPhones and iPads with faster 5G

According to Ming-Chi Kuo, this year iPhone will support both sub-6GHz 5G (slightly faster than LTE) and faster mmWave 5G (closer to WiFi transfers). Previous reports suggested only the the former, so this week rumor is a nice surprise. Of corse, it is possible that faster 5G will be available only in selected models of iPhone.  That would line up with  last week rumors,  that new iPhones might have staggered rollout.

Also, according to DigiTimes, upcoming iPads will get faster 5G as well.  Although, this feature might be limited only to iPad Pro lineup.

New MacBooks coming soon

Apple has register portable and unreleased Mac in Eurasian Economic Commission database. Common sense indicates that might be new 13-inch, or maybe even 14-inch, MacBook Pro with a scissor keyboard. Regardless, of the screen size, new Mac will be released within couple of weeks.

Windows 7 is dead

After 11 years, Microsoft is officially ending support for Windows 7. Although, users should not get any bug fixes or feature updates, Windows 7 will share the fate of Windows XP, and Microsoft will be releasing critical security updates for couple more years.

New Microsoft Edge is out

Microsoft has finally released the stable version of the Edge browser based on the Google's Chromium web browser project. New Microsoft Edge is available on both Windows and macOS.

Cyberpunk 2077 delayed

Cyberpunk 2077 has been delayed by 5 months.  In the special statement,  CD Project Red (CDPR) announced that the released date has been moved to September 17th.

Cyberpunk 2077 is one of the most anticipated games of this year, and it is not a surprise, that CDPR want to polish the game and release the best game possible. CDPR did similar move with Witcher 3, which also was delayed for 3 months and turned it to be one of the best RPGs ever. So, there is nothing to worry about, all we need to do is be patient.

SpaceX Crew Dragon Launch Escape Demonstration

On Sunday, SpaceX performed the final test of the Crew Dragon. The goal of this mission was to verify the escape mechanisms of the Crew Dragon capsule.

Less than one and half minute after Falcon's 9 launch, Crew Dragon separated from the booster. Seconds later rocket itself was destroyed. Meanwhile, Crew Dragon achieved safe distance and parachuted in the ocean.

The test looked to be successful. If the telemetry confirms that, it means that SpaceX will be in the home stretch to send first astronauts into space.


Image credits: XDA Developers