Weekly Digest - 2020.05

Weekly Digest - 2020.05

One connector to rule them all

EU lawmakers voted overwhelmingly (540-40) in favor for rules that would establish a common charger standard for mobile devices. It has not been decided which connector is the chosen one, but proposed charging ports include Micro-USB, USB-C and the Lightning connector. Looking at the already wide adoption of the USB-C, it's rather safe to say that it will be chosen. Fortunately, we won't have to wait long for the decision, the European Commission should adopt new rules by July.

Apple wants to make SMS one-time codes safer

Apple's WebKit team published a proposal to change the format of SMS one-time passcodes. The idea is to make the two-factor authentication process more secure. The proposal describes two ideas to achieve that:

  1. SMS one-time passcodes would be associated with a URL. It would be achieved by simply adding the website's URL to the SMS itself,
  2. Standardized format of two-factor authentication SMS code would allow applications to detect passcodes; automatically extract them, and complete the login process without further user interaction.

Here is an example of such SMS message:

011970 is your Brain Archives authentication code.
@brainarchives․com #011970

So far Apple and Google have backed the proposal.

iOS 14 to support the same iPhones as iOS 13

According to French website iPhonesoft, iOS 14 will be compatible with all iPhones supported by iOS 13,  including:

  • iPhone 11,  11 Pro & 11 Pro Max,
  • iPhone XS & XS Max,
  • iPhone XR,
  • iPhone X,
  • iPhone 8 & 8 Plus,
  • iPhone 7 & 7 Plus,
  • iPhone 6S & 6S Plus,
  • iPhone SE,
  • iPod touch (7th generation).

As for the iPads, iPhonesoft informs that iOS14 will drop support for the iPad mini 4, and will support following devices:

  • 12.9-inch iPad Pro,
  • 11-inch iPad Pro,
  • 10.5-inch iPad Pro,
  • 9.7-inch iPad Pro,
  • iPad 7th, 6th & 5th   generation,
  • iPad mini (5th generation),
  • iPad Air (3rd generation).

iPad turned 10

This week is the 10th anniversary of the original iPad announcement. iPad supposed to become the "post PC" device that would replace personal computers. 10 years later, we know it hasn't done that yet, but current generation of iPads and iPadOS is closer than ever. Although, tablets hasn't become as popular as smartphones, iPad helped Apple take over this market.

Google's new business communicator

According to report from The Information Google is working on a new communicator for workplaces, that will combine the part of GSuite functionality, like Gmail Google Drive & Hangouts.

Image credits: Lucian Alexe

Weekly digest - 2019.31

Weekly digest - 2019.31

MacBook Pro 16

Last week I was wondering whether new 16-inch MacBook Pro will have the same form factor as current 15-inch model. Based on the rumors from this week it seems so.  Here are the rumors surrounding  this laptop, we know so far:

  • 16-inch LED Retina display,
  • Resolution 3072×1920 px,
  • Same form factor (body size) as current 15-inch model,
  • New keyboard with scissor key switches,
  • Price starting around $3000,
  • Release date - October 2019.

The only thing we still don't know is the components (CPU, GPU, RAM, storage) spec, but I would assume it will be very similar to what we can see in current 15-inch models.

Image credits: 9to5mac

Weekly digest - 2019.14

Weekly digest - 2019.14

This week I want to try a different approach to weekly digest. Instead of trying to keep it as one coherent piece, today, I will break it into separate sections. I believe this will make it more clear to see what actually happened each week and it should also make writing it easier. Those are the goals I want to verify with this little experiment.

Powerbeats Pro

One weeks after Apple's new AirPods release, Beats announced new truly wireless Powerbeats Pro. We knew they were coming, but now it is official, and we have the launch date. They are coming in May, in 20 countries, for about $250. Here are some features of the new earbuds:

  • up tp 9 hours of listening time,
  • Apple's H1 chip with for quick connection and hands-free “Hey Siri”,
  • Sweat and watter resistant,
  • Physical and programmable control buttons,
  • Automatic pause and resume,
  • Charging case, which work similarly to AirPods' case,
  • 23% smaller and 17% lighter than its predecessor,
  • Come in 4 colors: Black, Ivory, Moss and Navy.

The are a little pricey, but I'm waiting for them.
I was waiting patiently for sport version of the AirPods, but they've never come. Also, when I was fitting the AirPods, they were loose in my ears, so they would probably fall during the training. Powerbeats doesn't have this problem as they were design for athletes.
Beside the price, there is one more thing I don't like. It is the lightning jack on the charging case. I really wished Apple/Beats would finally switched to USB-C with all their products.

Visual Studio 2019

Microsoft has released the next version of its main development IDE. For me, the new IntelliSense powered by an AI is mind-blowing. Also live sharing built into the IDE looks awesome. There are many more new features and improvements, which you can check here.

Cloudflare free VPN

Cloudflare has added free VPN into its DNS resolver app. What's interesting this is not a traditional VPN service. Usually the main reason we use VPNs it to trick websites and services into thinking wee are accessing them from a different location. That's no the case with Cloudflare’s service. Instead, the VPN works behind the scenes to increase speed and privacy.
This is different approach, but as long as it is keeping us safe I approve it.

List of interesting things

Image credits: Apple.

Weekly digest - 2019.13

Weekly digest - 2019.13

This was definitely Apple's week. It all started on Monday with special event. This time it was focused on various services.

Let's start with Apple News+. Apple News has been around since 2015. The idea was to gather and curate high quality news and articles in a one place. And on the paper it sounds good, but it has never convinced me to jump on board and replace my RSS reader. Actually it was quite the opposite. But this time the Plus version looks interesting. For $9.99 a month we get access to 100 magazines, which is quite a good deal. Unfortunately there are 2 main issues with this service. First of all, for the foreseeable future, it will be available only in US and Canada. The second issue is the quality, right now those magazines are just PDFs, so there is no dynamic content we used have e.g. in iBooks or in some articles in standard Apple News.

The second service was a completely surprise. Apple introduced their own Credit card based on Apple Pay technology. The card has no additional charges and quite impressive cashback options.
This credit card sounded really nice and it would be if it was purely virtual. But Apple based this card on physical Mastercard. Don't get me wrong, this card is still really good deal especially with cashback rates, but I would love to see something even safer than traditional card connected to Apple Pay.

The next presented service was the Apple Arcade. This is game subscription which will allow to play various games without worrying about ads or microtransactions. It is something similar to Xbox Gold or PlayStation Plus. Nothing impressive here, just another way to make more money on AppStore.

The last service was Apple TV+. And we all knew what to expect here. Basically this is Apple take on Netflix. For now, Apple presented couple of original shows, with quite impressive group of people behind those series. So far they have Steven Spielberg, JJ Abrams and even Oprah Winfrey. We will see whether those shows will be worth watching.
Beside original shows, Apple TV+ will also allow, at least in US, to customize the list of TV channels we watch. Normally, we have to buy them in bundle, but here we will pay only for those channels we watch. This is cool idea and might bring quite a lot of people to Apple TV.
And the last thing, Apple TV is no longer a physical device, it will also be an app for iOS and macOS.

We all thought that the special event was the end of Apple related news for this week, but on Friday Apple announced that they canceled the AirPower mat. This was a big surprise, especially after all the teasing, code samples in iOS, and even recently the marketing materials.
Well it's sad to see that Apple was not able to pull off an engineering miracle, but it is good to see that Apple admitted the failure.

That's it for this week. If you are interested, please check out those cool things.

A web based Windows XP desktop recreation!

Why can't bots check “I am not a robot” checkboxes?

Build a Progressive Web App In VueJs, from Zero to Hero! Part I

Build a Progressive Web App In VueJs, from Zero to Hero! Part II — The Service Worker

Things nobody ever taught me about CSS


Marvel's Spider-Men Technical Postmortem


Image credits: T.C. Sottek.