Weekly Digest - 2020.47


SpaceX Crew-1

For the second time, SpaceX and NASA launched the Crew Dragon capsule with people onboard. Following the successful Demo-2 mission, NASA gave SpaceX's Crew Dragon an operational status, and the Crew-1 mission is the first flight with such status. Crew of 4 astronauts launched on Sunday, and docked to the International Space Station the next day. According to NASA plans, astronauts will spend in space about 180 days.

Apple reduces AppStore tax to 15%

Apple announced, that from January 1st, the AppStore tax will be reduce from 30% to 15% to all developers that during a  year made under $1 million. If the developer exceeds the $1 million threshold then the 30% tax will be applied.

This is huge for the most of the developers. The change from 30% to 15% cut, by then increases developers revenue for about 20%.

ARM Macs delivers

Apple started shipping new ARM powered Macs and the first benchmarks started showing up. It looks like, all Apple claims about new hardware are true. New macs are not only the fastest, but also super efficient, which improves battery life. Now, the only thing that might stop a customer from choosing an ARM mac is a software compatibility. But even that should not be a big issue for the most users. And if a particular application is not ready yet, it should be very soon.


Image credits: NASA/SpaceX

Weekly Digest - 2020.45


November Apple Event

Apple announced their November event, which will focus on ARM based Macs. According to latest rumors, we should see a new MacBook Air as well as 13 and 16 inch MacBook Pros. Although ARM powered MacBook Air is no brainer, the release of the Pro models would be a bold move from Apple. It would mean that first generation of new processors is  (at least) as powerful as current generation of Intel ones.


Image credits: Łukasz Łada

Weekly Digest - 2020.32


Samsung Unpacked

This week Samsung held the Unpacked event and unveiled couple of new devices.

Samsung Galaxy Note  20 & Note 20 Ultra

New flagships have been announced and this is how they look like:

  • 6,7” (2400 x 1080 px) Super AMOLED in Note 20
  • 6,9” (3200 x 1440 px) Dynamic AMOLED 2X 120 Hz in Note 20 Ultra
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 Plus CPU
  • 8GB or 12GB of RAM,
  • 256 or 512 GB of storage
  • Hole-punch 10 Mpix selfie camera,
  • Tripple rear camera
  • 12 Mpix + 64 Mpix (telefoto) + 12 Mpix (ultrawide) in Note 20
  • 108 Mpix + 12 Mpix (telefoto) + 12 Mpix (ultrawide)  in Note 20 Ultra
  • Fingerprint sensor built into the screen,
  • Dual SIM: SIM + eSIM
  • 5G capabilities
  • 4300 mAh battery in Note 20 & 4500 mAh battery in Note 20 Ultra,
  • Phones will be available in August starting  at $999.99.

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 2

Samsung still pursues the fold concept and announced the successor to famous Galaxy Fold phone.  The biggest change a full-size 6.2-inch screen that covers the entire front of the phone. This is really huge improvement  from is tiny external display that Galaxy Fold had. The main display is also bigger, at 7.6 inches and runs up to 120Hz. Also, the screen  doesn't have huge notch for camera, instead there is  a small hole-punch camera that takes up far less space. Internals of the device also have been upgraded and Z Fold 2 is powered by Snapdragon 865 Plus processor. Unfortunately we still don't know pricing or a release date.

Galaxy Watch 3

Samsungs also announced a new Watch, that has a heart-monitoring electrocardiogram (EKG or ECG), which has been cleared by the FDA similar to Apple Watch. It will be available for purchase starting on August 6th from $399.99.

Big companies fight Apple's AppStore policies

It looks like, Apple is under heavy fire not only from indie developers, but big tech giants as well. All rally agains Apple's AppStore policies.

Microsoft, after announcement that xCloud wouldn't be coming to iOS, fired back at Apple accusing them of treating gaming apps unfairly compared to other apps.

Facebook launched gaming app on iOS, but it doesn't have any games. All thanks to an App Store policy which bans streaming gaming services.

It doesn't look very good for Apple, especially when AppStore Policies are under investigation regarding antitrust concerns and anti-competitive behavior.

Apple updated iMacs

Apple updated the iMac lineup. The biggest change is Intel’s 10th Gen Comet Lake processors. The most awaited change is 1080p HD webcam, hopefully this upgrade will be introduced in other macs. Also,  SSDs are now standard across the line.

Also, iMac Pro has been refreshed. Now, the base model has the 10-core 3.0 GHz Xeon W chip that was previously an upgrade option.

Weekly Digest - 2020.12


Xbox Series X First impressions

Austin Evans had a chance to look at the Xbox Series X. His video gave us not only a fist look at the console, but the official specifications as well:

  • Custom 8 core AMD Zen 2 CPU, clocked at 3.8GHz single thread, and up to 3.6GHz for sustained multithread load,
  • Custom AMD RDNA GPU, 12TFLOPS, 52 CUs at 1.825GHz,
  • 16GB (GDDR6) of RAM,
  • 1TB NVME SSD,
  • Expandable storage: 1TB expansion card,
  • External Storage: USB HDD Support,
  • 4K UHD Blue-Ray Drive,
  • Dimensions: 301 x 151 x 151mm.

Video also clarified the naming convention:

  • Xbox - is the name of the next generation of Microsoft consoles,
  • Xbox Series X - is the name of the console.

Beside Evans' video, Microsoft also published their own clips:

Playstation 5 Specification

Sony (via Digital Foundry) revealed the full specification of the next console:

  • Custom: 8-core AMD Zen 2 CUP clocked at 3.5GHz,
  • Custom AMD RDNA GPU, 10.28 TFLOPs, 36 CUs at 2.23GHz ,
  • 16GB (GDDR6) of RAM,
  • 825GB SSD,
  • Expandable Storage: NVMe SSD Slot,
  • External Storage: USB HDD Support,
  • 4K UHD Blue-Ray Drive.

Apple revealed new products

Due to coronavirus, Apple Spring event never happened and Apple just update their website/store with new hardware.

New MacBook Air

  • Display: 13.3-inch LED backlit (2560 x 1600px) with True Tone,
  • CPU:  from 10th generation 1.1GHz dual-core Intel Core i3 up to 1.2GHz quad-core Intel Core i7,
  • GPU: Intel Iris Plus Graphics, supports up to 1 external 6K display at 6016x3384px @60Hz,
  • RAM: 8GB base, 16GB maximum
  • Storage: 256GB base, 2TB maximum,
  • Battery:  up to 11 hours,
  • Camera: 720p FaceTime HD,
  • Keyboard: Magic keyboard with scissor mechanism 😁,
  • Ports: Two Thunderbolt 3,
  • Price: starting at $999.

New Mac mini

  • CPU:  from 3.6GHz quad-core 8th-generation Intel Core i3 processor up to 3.2GHz 6-core Intel Core i7,
  • GPU: Intel UHD Graphics 630, supports up to 1 external 5K display at 5120x2880px @60Hz,
  • RAM: 8GB base, 64GB maximum
  • Storage: 256GB base, 2TB maximum,
  • Ports: Four Thunderbolt 3, Two USB 3 ports, HDMI 2.0 port Gigabit Ethernet port (configurable to 10Gb Ethernet) 3.5 mm headphone jack,
  • Price: starting at $799.

New iPad Pro

  • Display: 11-inch (2388 x 1668) or 12.9-inch (2732 x 2048) 120 Hz Liquid Retina Display with TrueTone
  • CHIP: A12Z Bionic,
  • RAM: 6GB,
  • Storage: 128GB base, 1TB maximum,
  • Battery:  up to 10 hours,
  • Camera: 12MP Wide camera, 10MP Ultra Wide camera, 7MP depth camera,
  • Audio: 5 studio-quality microphones for calls, video recording, and audio recording,
  • Sensors: LiDAR Scanner (depth sensor),
  • Price: starting at $799 for 11'' model, and $999 for 12.9'' model.

Magic Keyboard for iPad

Apple also announced a new keyboard for iPad with Trackpad:

  • Full‑size, backlit keyboard with a scissor mechanism,
  • Trackpad supports Multi‑Touch gestures and the cursor in iPadOS 13.4+,
  • USB-C port for charging iPad Pro,
  • Compatible iPad Pro 12.9‑inch (3rd and 4th generation) & iPad Pro 11‑inch (1st and 2nd generation).

Image credits: Microsoft