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

GAME DEVELOPERS CONFERENCE 2019 LINKS

Marvel's Spider-Men Technical Postmortem

Q2VKPT


Image credits: T.C. Sottek.

Weekly digest - 2019.11


This week World Wide Web turned 30 years old :). I think when Tim Berners-Lee created first WWW site, he didn't know how much he would change the world. Today it is in the center of our life. It's not only a source of information or entertainment. We shop there, we trust our savings in electronic bank. We not only earn money over Internet, but sometimes we even trust it with our lives.
Without a doubt world would not be the same without the WWW. Let's only hope that personal agendas of the politicians won't destroy it.

This week Tesla completed their S3XY car lineup with the brand new model Y. This model is a compact SUV, but it doesn't look like one. It's basically a bigger version of Model 3. The new car will be available in 2020 with price starting at $39,000 for model with 230 miles range. The 300 miles range model will cost $49,000 and the Performance version will cost $60,000.
SUVs are one of the most popular cars out there. We will see whether the people are interested enough in the electric one to boost Tesla's position on the market.

Apple finally announced the WDDC 2019. This year, conference will take place in the first week of June (3rd - 7th) in San Jose. This year's conference should be the interesting one. Of course we will get our first glimpse at iOS 13 and macOS 15. But I think we, as developers, are all waiting for more details about project Marzipan, as well as long awaited Mac Pro and maybe even rumored new MacBook Pro.

Microsoft announced that Windows will be able uninstall broken updates. This is the good step forward, especially after issues with last October update, but I'm wondering how fast we will see reports about this tool making even more harm than good.

Thats all for this week. If you want more, here is the list of interesting things.

The iOS Dev Directory

Ralph Küpper - Running Small Microservices in Swift on Production Environment

A little thread on generating and rendering a procedural trajectory mesh

Creating the Blockade Runner Engine Look for Rogue One

Designing Star Wars: Star Wars Resistance

Someone is recreating Star Wars: Dark Forces... in Unreal Engine 4

Real-Time AR Self-Expression with Machine Learning

A JavaScript-Free Frontend

Learning React Hooks by building a game - react.games Preview

Direct uploads to AWS S3 from the browser (crazy performance boost)

10 Programming Terms in Normal Human Language


Image credits: Pixabay.

Weekly digest - 2018.31


This week Apple became first IT company to be worth 1 trillion dollars.
This happened after the jump in Apple's stock after reports of strong Q3 earnings that surpass both Apple's projections and analysts' estimates.
Lets face it, Apple only passed psychological barrier, there is no difference between company worth 999B and 1T dollars. In both cases this is unrealistic amount of money. But it is amazing to see how company that 20 years ago was on the verge of bankruptcy now is most valuable company in the world.
Also, it looks like Apple won't be there alone, because Amazon is on the verge of passing the 1 trillion mark. Which is not a surprise, for last couple of weeks, we saw a lot of news considering both Apple and Amazon to be first company to break 1 trillion barrier.

And here is list of interesting links.

Reading and Parsing NFC tag on iOS 11

NFC Reading on iOS 11 in 4 easy steps

NFC P2P NDEF Basics

Which self-hosted solutions are you using?

Should You Use NoSQL Or SQL Db Or Both?

5 steps to speed up your image heavy website

I created the exact same app in React and Vue. Here are the differences

React Authentication with Twitter, Google, Facebook and Github

Weekly digest - 2018.27


The silly season continues. Let's start with news from Microsoft.
It looks like Microsoft postponed the premiere of the Andromeda device to unspecified feature.
Andromeda is a codename for foldable device that supposed to blur the line between phone, tablet and PC. It looks like the reason for this delay is that the Andromeda OS is not ready. It is disappointing to hear that we will not see probably revolutionary device in the near future. On the other hand it is good that they are not going to release unfinished product.

This week we also got rumors that Microsoft is going to release Surface Go later this year. Surface Go is a tablet device that suppose to compete with Apple's iPads. If Microsoft is going to do as good job as they did with Surface Books and Pros, they might have a really good chance to take a chunk of the market share.

As we are on topic of new hardware. Apple registered five new iPads and Macs in Eurasion Database. Previously, the new additions to the database preceded the premieres, which took place about a month later. It would be unusual for Apple to have an special event in August, last one we had 11 years ago, so we will probably see those devices in September or they will be released without any special keynote.
Regardless of the release date we are getting new hardware. The three of the new MacBooks are probably from the Pro series, where the remaining two might be the MacBook Airs. As for the iPads, we should see new iPad Pros with Face ID.

It looks like Gmail Developers and third party companies have been reading our emails. It is very similar case as with Facebook. If we allowed an application to have access to our email account, the developers of this app could read our emails.
One of the involved companies explained that humans have been reading emails only to improve machine learning algorithms. It is a common practice that’s gone largely unnoticed, because most of the people doesn't even realise how much information they provide to 3rd party companies, by providing access to an account.

Finally, here is the list of interesting things I stumbled upon this week.

Explore the world of passports by country

.NET Core Microservices – DShop

Introducing the Single Element Pattern

How I automated my job with Node.js

Starter template for a MEVN (MongoDB, Express, Vue, Node) Stack Application. (Part 1)

React Native: A retrospective from the mobile-engineering team at Udacity

WWDC 2018 for iOS developers: Siri Shortcuts

Using Step Builder Pattern in Swift

15 Years Ago, I Went Indie and Didn’t Know It.


Image credits: David Breyer.

Weekly digest - 2018.26


Half year mark is behind us and we have entered the silly season as nothing important is happening. From worth noting news, Apple and Samsung have finally settled a seven-year-old patent dispute. The dispute was about design patents which covered the iPhone's outer shell, software icons and UI elements. Apple sued Samsung in 2011 starting the long battle with many countersuits, trials and appeals that continued up until now.
The companies did not disclose the settlement amount, but in May Samsung was ordered to pay Apple $539 million for infringing on its patents.

Apple is also planning to release completely new version of Maps. The changes will roll out gradually with iOS 12 Beta. At the beginning Maps will cover San Francisco, then California and should cover rest of US at some point next year.
We don't know when new maps will be introduced in other countries, but Eddy Cue said that Maps team is global, which means that eventually we will get new Maps outside US.
It took Apple a while to do those improvements, but it's good to see that Apple is investing in Maps. Beside, Google is not making Apple's life easier with new improvements to Google Maps putting the comparison bar really high.

Now, lets move on to Star Wars topic. Amy Hennig left EA and the project she was working on has been put on hold. Last October EA closed Visceral, but it kept project alive. Development was to continue at EA Vancouver, but it looks like studio is working on something else.
It has been rough few years for Star Wars players. First, the Star Wars 1313 has been canceled. Then we've had shenanigans with Battlefront 2. Now, the third project is on hold. We've been teased with Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order, but I'm afraid that without specific release date, it might share the fate of the previous projects.

And finally, here is list of interesting articles.

The Problem You Solve Is More Important Than The Code You Write 🔊

How We Created a Virtual Crime Scene to Investigate Syria’s Chemical Attack

Why you should not use Google Cloud

How to build a React.js chat app in 10 minutes

How to create a real-world Node CLI app with Node

Extracting Super Mario Bros levels with Python

Code Injection In Swift

What’s new in Xcode 10?

Ui Goodies - A directory of UI resources

DevTube - The best developer videos in one place


Image credits: Sylwia Bartyzel.