Weekly Digest - 2021.37
Stack Overflow has been sold for $1.8 billion to the tech investor Prosus. Stack Overflow is the most popular website for developer in the world. Its resources are invaluable and available to everyone for free. Hopefully with new investor nothing will change in that matter
The trial battle between Apple and Epic gave us insight into the inner-workings of the Apple. One of the sources of information are internal emails. One email in particular is very interesting because it's an agenda for a Steve Jobs' meeting from August 2007. Back the Apple was working on some unreleased products:
The 15-inch version of the MacBook Air has never been released or even rumored. The Mac Tablet is probably the iPad, which was released 3 years later. And the last, the iPod shuffle has never actually got an update.
It looks like a new version of Windows is on the way. Microsoft announced a Windows event for June 24th. Software giant has been teasing this for a while, and it looks like it will be the biggest update in a decade. Recently Microsoft has been added small, but cool features to the Windows, so hopefully the new version will follow this pattern.
Apple held an online Spring Event and announced a couple of new products.
Apple added a new purple color option to the iPhone 12 lineup. There is nothing special about the phones themselves, they are just purple.
The Apple TV 4k has been refreshed with the A12 Bionic chip. It should be more than enough to play 4K movies or play simple games. The new chip is a nice upgrade, but the biggest change was a new Siri remote. Apple has ditched the previous design with the trackpad. Now, we have good old click wheel and the power button for a TV. It is good to see that Apple is abandoning bad designs and go back to things that people loved.
Afters years of rumors, Apple finally showed the AirTags. The AirTag is a tracking tile. You put it on something and you can locate it using the Find My app. It is not a GPS tracker, and it cannot be used for live tracking people or objects, but it allows to locate a lost items.
The AirTag uses BLE to communicate with surrounding iPhones to sent tag's approximated location to the tag's owner. If someone finds an AirTag, they can contact the owner using Find My app or by using the NFC. AirTags will also alert other people if the tag seems to follow them.
I almost forgot, but AirTag has a replaceable battery, that should last for a year.
The biggest surprise is a price. Everyone expected it to be around $50, but Apple is selling them for $29 for 1-pack or $99 for a 4-pack.
The iMac lineup has been finally refreshed. It not only got the new M1 chip, but also has been redesigned. Now, iMac is much thiner and comes in different colors. I have mixed feelings about the front of the computer, but Apple thinks this is what people want. Another big change affected the ports. iMac has only 2 or 4 (depending on the configuration) USB-C ports. The ethernet port has been moved to the power brick. Speaking of the power brick, it connects to the iMac with braided MagSafe cable. Yup, you read it right the MagSafe is back! Or rather it has been introduced to the desktop computers.
There is no iMac Pro, but it probably will be introduced together with MacBook Pro later this year.
The new iPad Pro is a beast: Apple put the fricking M1 chip from Macs inside the tablet. But that's not all. The 12.9-inch version has a mini-LED display. All versions up to 2TB of storage, have the Thunderbolt connector. The cellular model supports 5G. Of course the cameras have been updated. And usually I don't really care about cameras, but the new iPad has a feature called Center Stage that can automatically follow a person or adjust itself to present all talking people during a video call.
The pricing starts from $799 for 11-inch model, and $1099 for 12.9-inch model.
Space X has launched second operational Crew Dragon with 4 astronauts on board. This was the 3rd SpaceX crew mission that transported people to the International Space Station. This also is the first crew mission with parts used in previous missions. The Dragon capsule was used in Crew Demo mission, and rocket booster was used in Crew-1 mission.
The astronauts will stay on ISS for about a month a go back to Earth. The next mission is the Inspiration4 and is planned for September. And this will be the first mission with all-civilian crew.
Image credits: Apple
Apple sent invitations to an online Spring Event. This event supposed to be in March, but better late than never. Here is what we expect to see:
Whether any of those expectations will be fulfilled we will find out on April 20th.
Last week LG announced departure from making mobile phones, to focus on other areas like manufacturing parts to vehicles. This week we have rumors that LG together with Magna is very close to win Apple's Electric Car contract. What's interesting, the contract is about small volume of vehicles for testing purposes. Which means we might see couple of Apple Cars before we see the final product.
Image credits: Apple
This week was full of mac related rumors. Let's start from Apple Silicon iMac. A developer has discovered an unreleased ARM-based iMac in an Xcode crash log for his macOS app. That means, the new iMacs are coming soon.
Next is iPad. The new iPad Pros should be released in April. The new tablets are a continuation of current lineup, with a few new features:
Security researchers discovered a trojan, called XcodeSpy, which compromises Developers’ Macs with a trojanized Xcode project. Once activate, malware has access to microphone, camera, keyboard, and also can upload/download files.
What's even worse, it is super easy to get affected by this trojan. All you have to do is download and build infected Xcode project. The project contains obfuscated script that is added as a one of built steps of the project. So be careful when you running 3rd-party projects on your machines.
Image credits: Johannes Plenio