Weekly Digest - 2020.31


Nasa launched Mars 2020 Perseverance Rover

Mars 2020 rover launched from Cape Canaveral on Thursday, and if everything goes as planned, the rove will land on Red Planed on 18 February 2021.

It's mission includes studying Mars' habitability, seeking signs of past microbial life, collecting and caching samples, and preparing for future human missions.

The rover itself is the most sophisticated ever created. It's tightly packed with latest technologies, including a freaking helicopter 🚀.

Crew Dragon returned home

SpaceX's Crew Dragon Demo-2 mission has successfully ended after 63 days. Capsule Endeavour, with Douglas Hurley  and Robert Behnken onboard, undocked from International Space Station on August 1st. After 19 hours of deorbiting,  capsule splashdown in the Gulf of Mexico.

Mission that started on May 30th is a huge success for the SpaceX and Nasa. SpaceX proved that a private company can launch man into space and safely bring them home. Not only that, they can do this much more cheaper, thanks to the reusable rockets.

Hopefully, launching men into space, not only by private companies, will become more frequent. At the moment, the next crew mission is planned for the end of September.

Apple Testifies in U.S. Antitrust Hearing

In last couple of month there was a lot of going on regarding Apple's 30% cut in the AppStore. Already EU commission is investigating the issue, now also US government started. You can read the coverage of the testimony here, but long story short, Apple is convinced they are right, despite some contradicting evidence.

iPhone 12 delayed!

Apple's CFO Luca Maestri confirmed rumors about iPhone 12 delay. During earnings call, Maestri shared that new device won't be available late September, but a few weeks later. Although the launch of the headset is delayed, Apple is still expected to unveil the device during an event in September.


Image credits: NASA/JPL

Weekly Digest - 2020.13


Apple's software updates

This week Apple has updated all their operating systems. Here is the list of the most prominent changes:

iOS 13.4

  • iCloud Folder Sharing,
  • Universal Purchase allows to purchase single copy of an app for all user's iPhones, iPods touch, iPads, Macs, and Apple TVs,
  • Revamped toolbar in Mail app,
  • Third-party navigation apps are now supported by the CarPlay Dashboard,
  • 9 new Memoji and Animoji stickers.

iPadOS 13.4

  • Mouse and trackpad support,
  • Shared iPad feature is now available for enterprise users,
  • Also includes all changes from iOS 13.4.

macOS 10.15.4

  • iCloud Folder Sharing,
  • Universal Purchase allows to purchase single copy of an app for all user's iPhones, iPods touch, iPads, Macs, and Apple TVs,
  • Time-synced lyrics for Apple Music, with ability to jump to part of a song by clicking a line in lyrics view,
  • New Parental options.

watchOS 6

  • In-app purchases are now available for ‌‌Apple Watch‌‌ apps,
  • ECG app and Irregular heart rhythm notifications are now available in Chile, New Zealand and Turkey.

tvOS 13.4 & HomePod

  • General bug fixes and improvements.

Disney+ in Western Europe

Disney has launched their streaming service in United Kingdom, Spain, Italy, Germany, Ireland, Switzerland and Austria. Disney says that Disney+ will be available in France in April. Additional Western Europe countries, including Belgium, the Nordics, and Portugal should get access this summer.

Weekly Digest - 2020.12


Xbox Series X First impressions

Austin Evans had a chance to look at the Xbox Series X. His video gave us not only a fist look at the console, but the official specifications as well:

  • Custom 8 core AMD Zen 2 CPU, clocked at 3.8GHz single thread, and up to 3.6GHz for sustained multithread load,
  • Custom AMD RDNA GPU, 12TFLOPS, 52 CUs at 1.825GHz,
  • 16GB (GDDR6) of RAM,
  • 1TB NVME SSD,
  • Expandable storage: 1TB expansion card,
  • External Storage: USB HDD Support,
  • 4K UHD Blue-Ray Drive,
  • Dimensions: 301 x 151 x 151mm.

Video also clarified the naming convention:

  • Xbox - is the name of the next generation of Microsoft consoles,
  • Xbox Series X - is the name of the console.

Beside Evans' video, Microsoft also published their own clips:

Playstation 5 Specification

Sony (via Digital Foundry) revealed the full specification of the next console:

  • Custom: 8-core AMD Zen 2 CUP clocked at 3.5GHz,
  • Custom AMD RDNA GPU, 10.28 TFLOPs, 36 CUs at 2.23GHz ,
  • 16GB (GDDR6) of RAM,
  • 825GB SSD,
  • Expandable Storage: NVMe SSD Slot,
  • External Storage: USB HDD Support,
  • 4K UHD Blue-Ray Drive.

Apple revealed new products

Due to coronavirus, Apple Spring event never happened and Apple just update their website/store with new hardware.

New MacBook Air

  • Display: 13.3-inch LED backlit (2560 x 1600px) with True Tone,
  • CPU:  from 10th generation 1.1GHz dual-core Intel Core i3 up to 1.2GHz quad-core Intel Core i7,
  • GPU: Intel Iris Plus Graphics, supports up to 1 external 6K display at 6016x3384px @60Hz,
  • RAM: 8GB base, 16GB maximum
  • Storage: 256GB base, 2TB maximum,
  • Battery:  up to 11 hours,
  • Camera: 720p FaceTime HD,
  • Keyboard: Magic keyboard with scissor mechanism 😁,
  • Ports: Two Thunderbolt 3,
  • Price: starting at $999.

New Mac mini

  • CPU:  from 3.6GHz quad-core 8th-generation Intel Core i3 processor up to 3.2GHz 6-core Intel Core i7,
  • GPU: Intel UHD Graphics 630, supports up to 1 external 5K display at 5120x2880px @60Hz,
  • RAM: 8GB base, 64GB maximum
  • Storage: 256GB base, 2TB maximum,
  • Ports: Four Thunderbolt 3, Two USB 3 ports, HDMI 2.0 port Gigabit Ethernet port (configurable to 10Gb Ethernet) 3.5 mm headphone jack,
  • Price: starting at $799.

New iPad Pro

  • Display: 11-inch (2388 x 1668) or 12.9-inch (2732 x 2048) 120 Hz Liquid Retina Display with TrueTone
  • CHIP: A12Z Bionic,
  • RAM: 6GB,
  • Storage: 128GB base, 1TB maximum,
  • Battery:  up to 10 hours,
  • Camera: 12MP Wide camera, 10MP Ultra Wide camera, 7MP depth camera,
  • Audio: 5 studio-quality microphones for calls, video recording, and audio recording,
  • Sensors: LiDAR Scanner (depth sensor),
  • Price: starting at $799 for 11'' model, and $999 for 12.9'' model.

Magic Keyboard for iPad

Apple also announced a new keyboard for iPad with Trackpad:

  • Full‑size, backlit keyboard with a scissor mechanism,
  • Trackpad supports Multi‑Touch gestures and the cursor in iPadOS 13.4+,
  • USB-C port for charging iPad Pro,
  • Compatible iPad Pro 12.9‑inch (3rd and 4th generation) & iPad Pro 11‑inch (1st and 2nd generation).

Image credits: Microsoft

Weekly Digest - 2020.11


iOS 14,  iPadOS 14, watchOS 7 details leaked

Couple of details leaked about upcoming operating systems and new Apple's products:

iOS

iPadOS

watchOS

  • Sharing watch faces with friends & family,
  • Watch face with tachymeter,
  • Watch face with country flags,
  • Photo watch face could be made not only out of single photos, but entire albums as well,
  • Parental controls,
  • Sleep tracking app,
  • Blood oxygen tracking,
  • WatchOS apps will be no longer be based on extensions.

New MacBooks

According to Ming-Chi Ku, couple of new MacBooks will be released in upcoming months:

  1. 14- inch MacBook Pro and MacBook Air with Scissor Keyboards will come in second quarter,
  2. MacBooks with ARM processor will come in late 2020 or early 2021.

Google Pixel 4a

New details regarding upcoming budget phone have surfaced:

  • 5.8-inch (2340 x 1080) display,
  • Snapdragon 730 CPU,
  • 4GB or 6GB of RAM,
  • Hole-punch selfie camera,
  • Single 12-megapixel rear camera,
  • Fingerprint sensor on the back,
  • 3.5mm headphone jack,
  • support for dual-sim in 6GB model,
  • 3080mAh battery,
  • Phone will be available in April starting  at $399.

Coronavirus vs conferences #3

This week another conferences have been affected by coronavirus:


Image credits: the Hacker 34

Weekly Digest - 2020.10


Apple Rumors

This week there was plenty of rumors regarding Apple:

Coronavirus vs Conferences

Google informed that Google IO 2020 is cancelled. Event was planned for May of this year. Similarly to previous conference cancelations, the reason is Coronavirus outbreak.

Also, Santa Clara County, asked big tech companies to cancel all upcoming big events. It means that Apple's WWDC might not happen this year, or it will be replaced by an online event.