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 - 2020.11


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 - 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

Weekly digest - 2019.12


This week was really busy, which resulted in many news. So without further ado let's get started.

This week we had GDC 2019. As always it was packed with plenty of content for game developers, but the biggest announcement was from Google and it is going to affect not only developers but gamers as well. Google unveiled Stadia, the cloud gaming streaming service. It is the continuation of the project Stream, which allowed gamers to stream a game to the Chrome web browser. So far, Assassin’s Creed Odyssey was the only playable game, but Google assured there will be more to come thanks to the partnership with Ubisoft or Epic Games, among others.
Deep integration with YouTube will allow to play the game instantly on desktop, laptops, phones, tablets and even TV. Platform will not only sync the state of the game between our devices, but it will allow to share it with our friends, so for example they can help us to progress the level.
Also, if we are stuck, we will be able to watch, in-game, walkthrough directly from YouTube.
Google says that 25MBps connection will be enough to stream the game in 1080p 60 fps and it will scale up to 4K 60fps and even 8K in the future.
This is not the first cloud gaming service. Many have tried over recent years and all those projects failed miserably. This time Google might have a chance to succeed. They already have the necessary infrastructure, also they have one of the best engineers in the world, not to mention a lot of money to pull it off.
I'm really hyped about this project and I hope it will be available here in Poland.

One week before the their's March keynote Apple made couple of hardware announcements. This was something that never happened before. Every day, for 3 days, Apple was updating one product line. It all stated on Monday when we got refreshed iPad Air and iPad mini. Yes, iPad mini has been resurrected.
This update is more a refresh than big upgrade, but both models got latest hardware including support for first gen Apple Pencil. It's a shame that this is not the newest one, but it looks like wireless charging for the pencil would be too expensive. Also compatibility with the first gen Apple Pencil is one of the reasons why new iPads have Lightning port instead of USB-C.
The pricing remained the same, which is a nice surprise when we look back at recent price rises.

On Tuesday Apple unveiled new iMacs. This refresh was long overdue. New iMacs got new processors and GPUs. What is interesting, by default Apple is using last gen Intel i8 chips instead of i9. It looks like iMac would suffer from overheating like last year's MacBooks Pro.
Speaking of laptops, Apple cut the price on SSDs options for the MacBook Pro and MacBook Air.

On Wednesday we got new AirPods. The refreshed model got better communication chip H1 and support for Hey Siri. There is also a new case that can be charged wirelessly. The rest is the same, which is really disappointing, especially after speculations about black design and sweat and water-proof.
Hopefully rumors about new PowerBeats are true, and we finally get true wireless earbuds for active people.

Thats all for this week. And as always, if you want more here is the list of interesting things.

WatchOS 5 — Communication between iPhone and Apple Watch and vice versa on Swift

AppVenture - Simple. Swift. Guides

Vapor – Swift Choice For the Back End

Creating A Spotify-Powered App Using Nuxt.js

Write yourself a Git!

Instantly generate code from JSON

Why Do Arrays Start With Index 0?

Using the iPad Pro as my development machine

Weekly digest - 2018.49


Couple weeks ago I released a Halloween watch face for Apple Watch. I was more a joke, but people really liked it. Since then they asked me weather I'm going to do a Christmas watch face. I wanted to do one, but I didn't know whether I would have time or even an idea to create something cool. Fortunately, last week I found both and created this.
Originally I wanted to do something else, but it didn't look good and I would have to spend much more time on this to make it work. After this failed idea, I decided to do a watch face inspired by Christmas decorations made out of paper. Paper town and Santa plus some particle effects create a perfect combination. I'm really happy with the end result. Usually Christmas designs are fancy and festive, but I really wanted to keep it clean and simple. After all the watch face should not distract you from its main purpose, telling time.
So far people like it as well, but its to early to call is a success, that I will be able to tell after Christmas. If you want this watch face on your Apple Watch, check out this my GitHub repository.

From other news. Microsoft announced that it is working on new browser that is going to replace Edge. I have mixed feelings about this because it's just another browser that we, as developers, will have to support. On the other hand it will be based on Chromium, so maybe it will not be that bad.

Apple released the watchOS 5.1.2 with long anticipated ECG feature. It is out for couple of days now, but it's already saving lives. Well done Apple.

It took seven miles to pull over a Tesla with a seemingly asleep driver. I was actually wondering whether you can drive Tesla on autopilot when you are drunk. Fortunately you can't. Autopilot is amazing technology that improves every year, but still I don't trust it that much to let it drive the car practically without the driver.

Marvel released the trailer for upcoming Avengers 4 movie. Together with the trailer we got the full name of the movie Avengers: Endgame. I know it is just a trailer, but I'm already hyped.

And finally, here is the list of interesting things.

How to Write a Game in Under 13 Kb While Taking Care of a Baby

Measuring the "Filter Bubble": How Google is influencing what you click

Xcode file variants without targets

Watermarking photos with ImageMagick, Vapor 3 and Swift on macOS and Linux

An Introduction to Flutter: The Basics