Weekly digest - 2019.45


Photoshop for iPad

Almost a year after it was first announced, Photoshop for the iPad has been released. And it is not just a psd viewer. It is fully featured Photoshop optimized to touch interface. Of course it doesn't have all the futures that desktop brother has, nevertheless it is one of the most powerful image editing applications for the iPad.

One other fact worth pointing out is that Adobe now have the ARM engine for the Photoshop. This might be important in the future, when Apple decide to transition from Intel to ARM processors.

Office app for iOS & Android

Microsoft launched new Office app for mobile devices. It combines Word, Excel and PowerPoint into single download. Beside from the ability to read and edit Office files, it will allow to browse documents and create a new ones using ability to scan text and tables.  

At the moment Office app is still in Beta, but soon it should replace Word, Excel and PowerPoint in the AppStores.


Image credits: Adobe

Weekly digest - 2019.32


Apple rolls out Apple Card

On Tuesday Apple started rolling out its Apple Card to selected users.  The new credit card is available to limited group people who signed up on Apple's website to be notified about the card. The rest of the users will get access to their Apple Card  later this month. Alongside the card, Apple also released a series of videos explaining how to set up and use the Apple Card.

New details about Disney+

Finally we learned the price of the new service. The basic trier of Disney+ will cost  $6.99 per month. Disney also announced the bundle option with: Disney+, ESPN+ and Hulu for $12.99 per month. This is quite compelling option fo US users because all those services bought separately would cost about $18.

The price seems to be reasonable. Hopefully when Disney+ comes to Europe, in 2021, the price will be on similar rate.

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 - 2019.25


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

Weekly digest - 2019.23


WWDC 2019 is over. Now, it's time to summarised the new things that have been announced.

iOS 13

As always we got a new version of the iOS. Last year, Apple focused on bug fixes and performance, this year we got a new features. Here is the list of the major changes coming this September:

  • Dark Mode,
  • Improved Photos and Camera apps,
  • Improved privacy and security,
  • Sign In with Apple,
  • New Maps app,
  • Improved voice of Siri powered by neural TTS (Text to Speech),
  • New Memoji and Memoji Stickers,
  • QuickPath - a new Swype keyboard,
  • New Reminders app,
  • Redesign CarPlay
  • Faster unlocking with FaceID  and faster app launches,

Those are the major changes. If you want to see what else have changed, check out this list or this video.

iPadOS

When new iPad Pros came out, people unanimously agreed that the raw power of the hardware was limited by the operating system. During WWDC, Apple acknowledge this problem, and addressed it by creating a new operating system - iPadOS. Although iPadOS is, right now, the iOS 13, Apple added some cool new features, which might be the first step into creating an iPad a true device that can replace a computer:

  • Slide Over and Split View,
  • Multiple instances of the same application,
  • App Exposé,
  • New Home Screen with widgets,
  • New Tool Palette for Apple Pencil,
  • Full-Page Markup allows to take screenshots of entire document or website,
  • Brand new text editing gestures,
  • Floating keyboard,
  • Sidecar allows to extend workspace by using an iPad as a second Mac display,
  • Redesigned Files App with support for external drives and file servers,
  • Mouses are now supported,
  • Safari on iPad is now a desktop class browser with download manager,
  • And it also contains all the changes introduced in iOS 13.

Those are only the major changes. The full list is available here.

This is huge release for iPad. Apple tackled most of the complaints people had after iPad Pro premiere.

macOS 10.15

Latest version of the mac operating system is named Catalina. Like the rest, it also comes with cool new features:

  • iTunes is gone and will be replaced by 3 separate applications for Music, Podcasts and TV,
  • Supported iPad applications can be run natively on macOS thanks to project Catalyst (formerly known as Marzipan),
  • Sidecar allows to extend workspace by using an iPad as a second Mac display,
  • ScreenTime is now also built into macOS,
  • FindMy combine functionality of Find My iPhone and Fid My Friends,
  • Approve with Apple Watch allows to authenticate or approve operations on the Mac from the Apple Watch,
  • Voice control  allows to control the Mac with voice commands,
  • Notes and reminders app has been redesigned,
  • macOS comes with ZSH as a default shell instead of Bash.

The full list of changes is available here.

watchOS 6

Changes made to watchOS as not as spectacular as for other systems, but they are definitely the nice step forward:

  • AppStore for watch allows to install apps independently from iPhone,
  • Activity Trends allows to track activity progress over time,
  • Cycle tracking is a new app dedicated for women,
  • Hearing health monitors the level of noise and alert a user when it's too loud,
  • And as always new watch faces, but still no custom ones 😢.

New Mac Pro

Apple has finally showed us the new Mac Pro. Apple listened to criticism and delivered truly powerful and modular computer. The top specification is mind-blowing:

  • 28-Core 2.5GHz Intel Xeon W with Turbo Boost up to 4.4GHz
  • 1.5TB of DDR4 ECC RAM,
  • 2 AMD Radeon Pro Vega II Duo cards with total of 128GB of memory,
  • 4TB SSD,
  • 1.4 KW PSU,
  • Eight PCI Express expansion slots,
  • Afterburner card for accelerating ProRes and ProRes RAW footage manipulation,
  • I/O card with 2 USB3 and 2 thunderbolt ports,
  • Two 10Gb Ethernet ports,
  • 802.11ac Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 5.0,
  • Built-in speaker and 3.5 mm headphone jack.

This computer is a beats. It's both luxurious and powerful at the same time. Unfortunately not many people will be able to afford this computer. Even the base model starts at $6000, so the maxed out version will be around $30k. Despite the price, I'm really glad to see that Apple listened and created both modular and powerful computer.

Pro Display XDR

Alongside with Mac Pro Apple also announced new Display. Here is the specification:

  • 32-inch display
  • Resolution: 6016 x 3384 pixels (6K)
  • Brightness: 1000 nits sustained, 1600 nits peak,
  • Contrast ratio: 1,000,000:1,
  • Color: P3 wide color gamut, 10-bit depth for 1.073 billion colors,

This monitor, with both specification and pricing, is definitely dedicated for professionals. The version with standard glass costs $5999 and the version Nano-texture (antireflective) glass costs $6999. Both prices are only for the displays as the stand is not included in the box. The dedicated stand costs $999 and visa adapter "only" $199.

Lack of the stand caused a small outrage over the Internet. As I mentioned before, this monitor is dedicated for professionals and apparently selling products without obvious elements is a common practice 🙁


Image credits: Apple