Weekly Digest - 2021.25


Windows 11

Microsoft has announced Windows 11. Here are the most important features:

  • New UI, including new Start Menu,
  • The brand new store and support for Android apps on Windows,
  • Snap Layouts -  allowing to easily arrange multiple windows,
  • Faster and smaller updates,
  • Microsoft Teams and Xbox Game Pass are now built into the system,
  • Windows Widgets is an AI driven personalized feed,
  • Auto HDR adds HDR to DirectX 11 and 12 games,
  • Improved support for stylus and voice commands/dictating,
  • It's a FREE update!

It all looks very good, but there is one catch - the system requirements. Windows 11 will require a 64-bit PC with UEFI firmware that is Secure Boot capable. It also needs a  Trusted Platform Module (TPM) 2.0 module. Some versions of Windows also require an Internet connection to complete the setup process.

iPhone rumors

There are some new rumors surrounding the 2022 iPhones:

  • Apple will discontinue the 5.4-inch “mini” size,
  • There will be only 6.1-inch and 6.7-inch size,
  • Both new models will have improved wide-angle camera with 48 megapixels,
  • Apple may include an under the screen Touch ID sensor for some models,
  • Apple also plans to release a new iPhone SE that will support 5G.

Image credits: Microsoft

Weekly Digest - 2021.16


Apple Spring Event

Apple held an online Spring Event and announced a couple of new products.

Purple iPhone 12

Apple added a new purple color option to the iPhone 12 lineup. There is nothing special about the phones themselves, they are just purple.

Apple TV 4K

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.

AirTags

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.

iMacs

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.

iPad Pro

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.

SpaceX Crew-2 mission

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

Weekly Digest - 2021.07


Perseverance landed

NASA's probe Perseverance survived the Mars atmosphere and successfully landed on the surface. The landing sequence was an engineering masterpiece. At first, the probe free-fallen through the Mars atmosphere. Then, deployed parachutes to decelerate. When the spacecraft was close to the surface, it fired onboard thrusters to slow itself down and hovered above the ground. Then the Perseverance was lowered down on cables to the surface.

Now, when the rover is on Mars, it can start its primary mission:

  • studying Mars' Habitability,
  • seeking Signs of Past Microbial Life,
  • collecting and Caching Samples,
  • preparing for Future Human Missions.

Also, during this mission, NASA will test a drone called Mars Helicopter. If it works, it will be the first time we will be flying (not just falling) on Mars.

New iPhones rumors

It's this time of year when we start getting rumors about upcoming tech. This time it's about iPhones. Let's start with iPhone 13:

  • Always-On Display With 120Hz ProMotion,
  • Touch ID integrated into a screen,
  • Stronger MagSafe,
  • Support for astrophotography,
  • Grippier phone's back.

There are also rumors that foldable iPhone will have 7-inch display and will be released in 2023.


Image credits: NASA

Weekly Digest - 2021.03


According to rumors, Apple decreased the production of iPhone 12 Mini in favour of  iPhone 12 Pro. The shift in production is a response to increased demand for iPhone 12 Pro.

Netflix surpassed the 200 million subscribers. Although those are impressive numbers, Netflix will have work hard to keep those users, as other services gain in popularity, especially Disney+.

No unsigned iOS apps on Apple Silicon

Apple started to block users from sideloading iPhone apps on Apple Silicon Macs. The only way to install an iOS app is through the AppStore.


Image credits: Todd Diemer

Weekly Digest - 2020.51


Christmas Card

I've created a minimalistic Christmas Card using HTML, CSS, and SVG. This is an interactive version of an artwork I've done couple years ago. You can check it out here.

Cyberpunk 2077 in trouble

It is a week after a premiere, and everybody is talking about Cyberpunk 2077. Too bad, it's about how bad the game is on previous generation of consoles. The issues are so severe, that Sony decided to pull the game off their store. Microsoft's action wasn't so drastic, but they expended refund policy for Cyberpunk 2077. CD Project Red says they will refund the game from their own pocket. All of this caused that CDPRed stocks have been slaughtered, and investors are abandoning, what's looks like, a sinking ship. CD Project Red has a lot of work to do, first they need to fix the game to make it at least playable, then they need to get back the trust of the gamers, which will be almost impossible task.

iPhone 13 rumors

Welp, the iPhone 12 is barely released, but we have rumors about next year iPhone. It looks like new phone will have 120Hz ProMotion display, thanks to LTPO. The LTPO screens have lower energy consumption, which is important on devices with small batteries.