Weekly digest - 2019.37


This week Apple had their annual iPhone event. This is what have been announced.

iPhone 11

The successor of the iPhone XR looks following:

  • 6.1‑inch  Liquid Retina HD display (1792x828px),
  • Screen with Haptic Touch (no 3D Touch),
  • A13 Bionic CPU/GPU,
  • 4GB of RAM,
  • 64GB, 128GB or 256GB of storage,
  • Dual 12MP Ultra Wide and Wide rear cameras,
  • 12MP TrueDepth front camera recording at 120fps (slowfie),
  • Spatial audio with Dolby Atmos,
  • Wi‑Fi 6 (802.11ax) and Gigabit-Class LTE,
  • 1h longer battery life than in iPhone XR.

iPhone 11 comes in Black, Green, Yellow, Purple, Red, White colors from $699 for the base model.

iPhone 11 Pro & Pro Max

The successors of the iPhone XS look following:

  • 5.8‑inch  Super Retina XDR (OLED) display (2436x1125px) in Pro model,
  • 6.5‑inch  Super Retina XDR (OLED) display (2436x1125px) in Pro Max model,
  • Screen with Haptic Touch (no 3D Touch),
  • A13 Bionic CPU/GPU,
  • 4 or 6GB of RAM*,
  • 64GB, 128GB or 256GB of storage,
  • Triple 12MP Ultra Wide, Wide, and Telephoto rear cameras,
  • 12MP TrueDepth front camera recording at 120fps (slowfie),
  • Spatial audio with Dolby Atmos,
  • Wi‑Fi 6 (802.11ax) and Gigabit-Class LTE,
  • Pro has 4h longer battery life than in iPhone XS and Pro Max  5h longer than XS Max.

iPhone 11 Pro models come in Midnight Green, Space Grey, Silver and Gold. iPhone 11 Pro starts at $999 and the Pro Max starts at $1,099.

(*) We don't have official specification from Apple. Available reports are contradicting each other. Quite possible that the amount of memory depends on amount of storage, like in iPad.

Apple Watch Series 5

Newest Apple Watch also got small upgrade:

  • Always-On Retina display,
  • new Apple 64-bit dual-core S5 chip,
  • 32 GB of storage,
  • Compass,
  • Aluminum, stainless steel, titanium and ceramic material finishes,

Apple Watch Series 5 starts at $399 for 40mm model and $429 for 44mm version.

iPad

Apple has also announced the successor to the 9.7-inch iPad:

  • 10.2-Inch Retina Display,
  • A10 Fusion chip,
  • Support for Apple Pencil 2 and Smart Keyboard,

New iPad starts at just $329.

Apple TV+

Apple shared more details about their upcoming streaming service:

  • It's launching on November 1st,
  • Monthly subscription will  cost $4.99,
  • Apple also offers 1 year of free subscription with purchase of Mac, iPad, iPhone or Apple TV.

Image credits: Apple

Weekly digest - 2019.34


Gamescom 2019

Here is the list of more interesting games presented during Gamescom:

Android 10

Google has changed the naming convention of their mobile operating system. After years of using alphabet letters, also associated with funny names of sweets, company decided to change the naming convention to numbers.

I was wondering how Google would name the Android after the Z version.  I got the answer sooner than expected 😅 The Android's naming convention was a really cool idea from marketing perspective. But  from practical point of view it was confusing to the users, so I'm surprised that happened now, but overall it is a good decision.

D23 Expo Panel

This week Disney hold its annual conference. This year the main focus was of course on the new streaming service. You can watch the Star Wars segment yourself here.

Star Wars Episode IX: The raise of Skywalker

There is no new news about the movie, similarly to previous movies, Disney waits with the marketing campaign till late September/early October. But we got short new footage and new poster.

The Mandalorian

It looks like The Mandalorian is one of the most important projects for Disney+, so we got a bunch of cool news:

Obi-Wan Kenobi TV Series

Yes! It is happening! During the D23 Kathleen Kennedy and Ewan McGregor officially confirmed that Obi-Wan Kenobi TV Series is coming to Disney+.  So far, we know that all the scripts have been written, and it will begin filming in 2020.

The Clone Wars

Unfortunately we didn't get any new news beside the release window. The last season of the Clone Wars is premiering in February 2020.

Cassian Andor Series

There is no new information about the show. It is currently in preproduction and scheduled to shoot next year.

Other news

Here is the list of other interesting announcements and news from D23:

Spider-Man is leaving MCU

Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige will not produce next Spider-Man movies, which basically means that Spider-Man will no longer be part of the MCU. According to Deadline, the reasoning behind this decision is a dispute between Sony - which holds the rights to the character - and Disney - Marvel’s parent company - over revenue sharing from films.

This is a sad news, because the last 2 Spider-Man movies perfectly tied into the MCU making this universe reacher. According to some rumors the negotiations between Sony and Disney are still in progress, so maybe after current fans outrage, companies will find solution that will make everyone happy.

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 - 2019.26


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 - 2019.19


Google IO

Google held its annual conference this week. This year, nothing revolutionary announced,  it was rather a presentation of an evolution of the current products. You can watch a recap here. Here is the short list of more interesting news:

From all the thing that's been shown I'm most impressed by the Google Assistant. As I tweeted earlier this week, it is lightyears ahead of Bixby, Siri or even Alexa. I wish Apple care about Siri as much as Google does with Assistant.

PowerBeats Pro

Tech reviewers started getting their hands on the new Beats earbuds. First impressions are very positive. PowerBeats Pro are the best Beats ever, but they have two major issues. One is pricing and the second is ery big charging case. I have already accepted the price, but the case is humongous. It will definitely not fit to the pocket, so you either need a backpack/bag to carry it or leave it at home.

Windows Now Comes with Linux

Microsoft will ship a full Linux kernel in Windows 10. Although Microsoft added multiple Linux Bashes to Windows over the years, this is a big surprise.

New Microsoft Edge released as a preview

Microsoft has released a preview of their new browser powered with Chromium engine. Right now it is available only on macOS. I run a quick test with Tatooine.live. So far, this site worked properly only on Chrome, now it also works, without any issues, on Edge for Mac.

What's even more interesting, this is the first Microsoft's browser on the Mac since Safari replaced Internet Explorer over 15 years ago.

New Star Wars Movies

Disney has announced the release dates for its upcoming movies, including Star Wars. Right now, only new trilogy has been announced with following releases:

  • Part 1 - Christmas 2022
  • Part 2 - Christmas 2024
  • Part 3 - Christmas 2026

So, after Episode 9, there will be no Star Wars movies for 3 years. Hopefully the new TV shows will fill the gap. Right now, we know nothing about this trilogy, but we know about 2 potential projects:

No spinoff has been announced, which is disappointing, because I'm waiting for Kenobi movie.

Spider-Man: Far From Home Trailer

Roughly two weeks after Avengers Endgame premiere, the new Spider-Man trailer hit the web. The trailer shows the aftermath of the events from the Endgame and it looks like it's opening the Multiverse  for the Phase 4.


Image credits: Gogole