Weekly Digest - 2020.50


Cyberpunk 2077 released

CD Project Red, after 9 years of development, finally released the Cyberpunk 2077. First reviews are very positive. CDP Red once again delivered very solid game, although it is far from being perfect. The game is hunted by many little bugs. Bugs are not  unexpected as the game is huge, but they make the  experience less pleasant.  Overall it looks like Cyberpunk is solid game and it somehow met the expectations.

Starship launch

Space X has performed a test flight of the Starship. The launch was verifying following scenario:

  1. ✅ Launch Starship,
  2. ✅ Achieve altitude of 12.5 KM,
  3. ✅ Shutdown engines and rotate rocket on it's belly,
  4. ✅  Fall free,
  5. ✅ Turn on engines and rotate the rocket to the vertical position,
  6. ❌ Land on the ground.

The test  ran perfectly until the landing. The pressure in fuel cells was too low, which resulted in higher touch down speed than anticipated, which ultimately caused an explosion.

Despite the fact, that Starship is gone, the test was successful.

AirPods Max

Apple announce AirPods Max - the over-ear noise-canceling headphones. Here are selected features:

  • Active Noise Cancellation,
  • Spatial audio with dynamic head tracking,
  • Audio Sharing,
  • Digital Crown for controlling volume and playback,
  • Magnetic ear cups,
  • Apple H1 chip, in each ear cup, for fast connecting with Apple devices and device switching,
  • Sensors in each cup can detect whether they are placed on a user’s head and pause playback when removed,
  • Bluetooth 5 compatible,
  • 20h of battery life,
  • Come in five colors: space gray, silver, sky blue, green, and pink.

AirPods Max  will be available from December 15th for $549.

New ARM macs in 2021

According to latest rumors, Apple is working on new 32-core chip, that will be shipped with upcoming iMacs and 16-inch MacBook Pros. Looking at performance of the current M1 chip, it is something worth waiting for.

Apple Fitness+

Apple also announced that Fitness+ will launch on December 14th. The workout service will be available only in Australia, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, the UK, and the US  for $9.99 per month or $79.99 per year.

Disney plans

Disney have unveiled their plans for the foreseeable future.

Star Wars:

  • Star Wars: Andor (TV); 2022,
  • Obi-Wan Kenobi (TV); 2022,
  • Ahsoka (TV),
  • Rangers of the New Republic (TV),
  • Star Wars: The Bad Batch (TV),
  • The Acolyte (TV),
  • Star Wars: Lando (TV),
  • Droid Story (TV),
  • Star Wars: Visions (TV),
  • Rogue Squadron (Movie); 12.2023,
  • Untitled Taika Waititi Film; 12.2025.

Marvel:

  • WandaVision (TV); 15.01.2021,
  • Falcon and the Winter Soldier (TV); 03.2020,
  • Loki (TV); 05.2021,
  • Hawkeye; 2021,
  • She-Hulk (TV),
  • Ironheart (TV),
  • What-if? (TV),
  • Moon Knight (TV),
  • Miss Marvel (TV),
  • Secret Invasion (TV),
  • Armor Wars (TV),
  • Black Panther 2 (Movie), 07.2022,
  • Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania (Movie),
  • Fantastic Four (Movie).

Image credits: Apple

Weekly Digest - 2020.40


Pixel 5

Google has announced the next-gen flagship smartphone. And here is the spec:

  • 6-inch (2340 x 1080) OLED display,
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 765G CPU,
  • 8GB of RAM,
  • 128GB of  storage,
  • Hole-punch 8 Mpix selfie camera,
  • Dual rear camera: 12.2 Mpix (main) and 16 Mpix (wide),
  • 5G capabilities,
  • 4080 mAh battery.

Phone will be available from October 10th for $699.


Image credits: Google

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 - 2019.30


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