Weekly digest - 2019.30


Marvel's Phase 4

During San Diego Comic Con, Marvel announced their plans for the next couple of years. The entire project is called Phased 4 and for the first time ever, the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) will be a combination of feature films and TV series. Here is the list of movies and TV shows we are gonna get:

  • Black Widow (Movie); May 1, 2020,
  • The Falcon and Winter Soldier  (TV show); Fall 2020,
  • The Eternals (Movie); Nov. 6, 2020,
  • Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings (Movie); Feb. 12, 2021,
  • WandaVision (TV show); Spring 2021,
  • Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness (Movie); May 7, 2021,
  • Loki (TV show); Spring 2021,
  • What If...? (Animated show); Summer 2021,
  • Hawkeye (TV show); Fall 2021
  • Thor 4: Love and Thunder (Movie); Nov. 5, 2021;

Beside those movies and TV shows we are gonna get new Blade, and sequels: Black Panther 2, Guardians of the Galaxy vol. 3,  Captain Marvel 2. Also  a new movie, from old Fox IP, has been announced - Fantastic Four.

Netflix - The Witcher

Also during Comic Con, Netflix has released first teaser trailer to their upcoming TV series. My first impressions are very positive. It looks like, show runners are trying to recreate the dark and brutal world of the Witcher. Also main screenwriter has confirmed that TV series is solely based on the books, so game fans might be a little bit disappointed, but I like it. CD Project had their vision to Geralt's story, now its time to see a new one.

New iPhones

New rumors about upcoming iPhones surfaced. According to 9to5mac:

  • Apple is going to release 3 new iPhones, successors to XS, XS Max and XR models,
  • All models will still use Lightning connection instead of USB-C,
  • XS and XS Max will have OLED displays and XR will still have Liquid Retina display,
  • The resolution of the screens in all model will be unchanged,
  • New iPhones will have new Taptic Engine, known by the codename leap haptics, but it is unclear what changes it will bring,
  • XS and XS Max will have triple rear camera with ability to take wide-angle photos,
  • Front facing camera will gain support for slo-mo videos at 120fps.

It looks like, this year, new iPhones will receive only a cosmetic upgrade and there is nothing to wait for ☹️

16-inch MacBook Pro Pricing

According to supply chain sources cited, Apple is going to release new MacBook Air, 13-inch and 16-inch MacBooks Pro. We already heard those rumors, but what's new is the pricing of the 16-inch model. According to those sources, new machine will cost about $3000! Also, it looks like new notebook will not get OLED display.  According to some sources it still will be using faulted Butterfly keyboard, where others say it will get a new keyboard.

Hearing those rumors make me wonder why would Apple even bother to create a brand new laptop with only one difference from current lineup - 1-inch bigger display. And yes, I know Apple could put more powerful CPU or GPU inside, but let be honest, current, maxed out 15-inch MacBook Pro is a beast. And without a brand new cooling solution, more powerful hardware is going to overheat. Maybe Apple is going to replace the 15-inch model with 16-inch keeping the form factor (dimensions) from 15-inch model and making the screen bezel-less  to fit bigger display. I'm curious what Apple is going to do to justify the pricing and the existence of this model.

Apple acquired Intel's modem devision

This week, Apple announced that it has signed an agreement with Intel regarding purchasing the majority of Intel's smartphone modem business. Apple will take over not only the intellectual property and equipment but also over 2000 employees.The entire transaction is valued at $1 billion.

This is a smart move for Apple. Right now, Apple relies on Qualcomm and the relationship between those two companies recently have not been so good.


Image credits: Marvel Cinematic Universe

Weekly digest - 2019.28


Nintendo Switch Lite

Nintendo has announced the Switch Lite. It is a new Switch that only supports handheld mode. Here is the list of changes in comparison to "standard" Switch:

  • smaller touchscreen (5.5-inch),
  • no detachable Joy-Con controllers,
  • cannot be connected to TV,
  • side buttons are replaced by real D-pad,
  • lack of HD Rumble and IR Motion Camera,
  • better battery life (~1h longer),

Nintendo Switch Lite launches on September 20 for $199.99 in three colors: yellow, grey, and turquoise.

Apple's new MacBook lineup

On Tuesday Apple completely revamped their notebook lineup. First of all, they stopped selling 12-inch MacBook. Macbook supposed to be replacement for MacBook Air, but it never became popular.  Smaller size and new keyboard weren't enough to steal users hearts.

Speaking of MacBook Air, the old non Retina version is also finally gone. Also, Apple has updated the new Retina version with True Tone display and they lowered the price from $1199 to $1099 ($999 for students).  

MacBook Pro lineup also is simpler. Apple stopped selling the 13-inch MacBook Pro without Touch Bar. It means that all MacBooks Pro, not matter of size, now come with Touch Bar.

In addition to cleaning up the MacBook Air and MacBook Pro lineup, Apple has lowered the cost of SSD options for all Mac, including the desktop ones. The price drop is especially visible in more high-end versions.

For example this is how the new prices, of SSD options, look like in comparison to old ones for 15-inch MacBook Pro:

Storage Price Before Price Now
256GB $0* $0*
512GB $200 $200
1TB $600 $400
2TB $1200 $800
4TB $3000 $1600

(*) Base model

Overall, this news was a completely surprise and the welcome one. It's not only a huge simplification of the MacBook lineup, but also a big change for the entire Mac lineup, as most of the Macs are now more affordable.

I hope Apple will continue this trend with other products.


Image credits: Nintendo

Weekly digest - 2019.27


Solar eclipse

On Tuesday was the only total solar eclipse in 2019. The eclipse was only visible across the southern Pacific Ocean and South America, but people from around the world could watch it on Internet.

New keyboard in future MacBooks

Apple's keyboard telenovela continued 😝Couple weeks ago Apple introduced the 3rd generation of the Butterfly keyboard in MacBooks Pro. Now, we have rumors, from analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, that Apple is going to use new Scissor mechanism in future laptops. The first laptop to get the new keyboard will be a new MacBook Air that will be released later this year, followed by a new MacBook Pro in 2020.

I was hoping to see new keyboard mechanism in 16-inch MacBook Pro, but it looks like I will have to wait to next year. Despite that I'm really glad that Apple is finally going to get rid of Butterfly switches. I've using those keyboards (first and second generation) every day for almost 2.5 years and I still prefer the good old Scissor mechanism.


Image credits: u/johnnyditt

Weekly digest - 2019.26


Flora Colossus

This week, I finally released the demo clip of the dancing Baby  Groot App or Flora Colossus for short. This is the project I wanted to do for almost a year and I'm super excited to share it with others.

Unfortunately,  this app will not be available to download, at least not in the foreseeable future. The main reason is licensing. I don't have any license/permission to distribute an app with Marvel's property. Even if the app passed Apple's review, it would be quickly taken down by Marvel/Disney.

Because of the licensing issues I prepared couple of clips demonstrating how Groot reacts to various music. You can watch and listen to full songs and theirs short versions.  

Jony Ive is leaving Apple

Johny Ive will depart from Apple and will start his own independent design firm - LoveFrom. Although Ive won't be Apple's employee,  he still will be working with Apple. Ive's current employer will be one of the LoveFrom’s primary client. Beside Apple, LoveFrom will work with other clients as well.

16-inch MacBook Pro

According to IHS Markit, the new model of the MacBook Pro will be unveiled during September's event.  IHS Markit also predicts a processor upgrade for the MacBook Air, and to the 13-inch MacBook Pro with Function Keys.

The September's release/unveil date for a new computer is a bit unusual and get me a little worried. Are the updates to new iPhones so meaningless,  that Apple has to show something new in form of a laptop?

Huawei Ban lifted

After the meeting with Chinese president, Donal Trump announced that Huawei trade ban will be lifted. The end of the trade ban means not only  that Huawei will be allowed to sell products in USA, but also US companies, like Intel, Qualcomm and Google, will be able to sell the hardware components and software to Huawei.

Despite the rumors that Huawei might be spying for Chinese government, I think   those are really good news. Huawei is one of the biggest companies in the world and their growth can certainly put pressure on other manufacturers, like Apple and Samsung, to make cheaper and/or better devices.

Weekly digest - 2019.25


Pixel 4

Google just tweeted an image of the Pixel 4, a phone that has not been officially announced and will not ship until October. This is probably Google's answer to a lot of leaks surrounding this phone. It might be unusual, but in my opinion, it is very smart move. As people already saw the phone, they might as well see it in high definition photo.

Also there another aspect of this "leak". As you can see, the new Pixel 4 has square camera bump, almost the same as new iPhone suppose to have. I'm wondering whether Google is trying to say, hey we were first.

iPhone 2020

We didn't even get this year's iPhone, but we already have rumors about its successor. According to analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, Apple is planning to release 3 models:

  • High-end 5.4' with OLED display and 5G,
  • High-end 6.7' with OLED display and 5G,
  • Low-end 6.1' with OLED display.

It looks like the equivalent of the current iPhone XS will be downsized, where equivalent of the iPhone XS Max will be even bigger. The XR model will be untouched in terms of size, but it will gain the OLED display.

To be honest, I don't like those changes. The current size of the iPhone XS is perfect for me, and I don't want to get neither bigger or smaller phone.  

New MacBooks

The Eurasian Economic Commission database is amazing source if you want to know what companies are planing to release. This time the information about several models of portable computers from Apple have pop up.  

As 15' MacBook Pros have already been refreshed, it means that probably the 12' MacBook, MacBook Air or even 13' MacBook Pro are going to get the update.  Also, there are rumors about brand new 16' MacBook Pro, but I personally doubt we are going to see it this year.


Image credits: Google