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

Weekly digest - 2018.43


Steve Troughton-Smith couple weeks ago released a repository with his custom Hermes watch face. He inspired many developers, this resulted in many amazing faces. He also inspired me. Couple years ago I saw a Mario face on Moto 360, since then I wanted to have this face on Apple Watch. This week I finally had time to play around with custom watch faces and as a result I created this. Right now this is just a prototype, but I'm already very happy with the overall result.
I would love to publish this on my GitHub, but I'm afraid that Nintendo is going to remove it, because of copyrights for Super Mario Bros assets. Right now, my plan is to create completely custom assets that will resemble the Super Mario, yet different enough that Nintendo would not pursue any legal actions.
I spent the most of this week making my various watch faces, and it was amazing. It reminds me of good old times, when as a kid I was trying to create my own simple video games. Creating custom watch faces was the most fun I've had in a long time.
Also, there is something personal in this. You are creating a face for yourself, and don't have to think about other users and theirs potential problems. I didn't realize that thinking only about my own needs might be so freeing and enjoyable.

Did you know that R in iPhone XR means nothing? If you want to learn more interesting things, please check following links.

Relative Grid Items with CSS Variables

GitHub launches Actions, its workflow automation tool

Understanding JSON Web Token Authentication

Introduction to Glitch for Node.js Apps in the Cloud

5 Open Source HTML5 Video Players for 2018

Weekly digest - 2018.23


This week we had Apple's WWDC. It turned out that last week's predictions were almost spot on, but we had a couple of surprises. So, without further ado let's jumped into what has been announced.

iOS 12

  • New operating system will support the same hardware as iOS 11.
  • Performance of various operations has been improved. Some of the most common operations are faster from 40 up to 70 percent.
  • More integration with augmented reality. Firstly, Apple announced a new file format for augmented reality - USDZ. It will allow develop augmented reality experiences across multiple platforms.
    With new iOS we will get new app, called Measure. This app will allow users to measure real life objects like photos, tables, etc.
  • Photos will have more tools that allow users to search and share them.
  • Siri will have new tool, called shortcuts. With shortcuts we can define voice-triggered actions tailored to individual apps. This is the reason why Apple bought the Workflow last year.
  • Car Play will support third party navigation apps, which is actually a huge deal - now we will be able to run Google Maps :)
  • Do not disturbed will get a new mode - "Do Not Disturb During Bedtime", which hides all notifications till morning.
  • We will get a little bit more control over notifications. Now, we will be able to mute and disable notifications from the lock screen. Also, notifications will be grouped by app, topic or by thread.
  • New iOS will have an app that monitors phone usage. Beside telling us how much time we spent using an app it will allow to set a time limit, disabling the app when we exceed the our time allowance.
  • FaceTime will support group calls, and Messages will get new animojis as well as memojis. Memoji is an animoji that we can create yourself. I think this is the feature that will ensure that people will upgrade to iOS 12 really fast ;)
  • From various announcements, News app has got redesign and now support AR content. Also, Stocks and Voice memos have been redesigned and it will be available on iPad.
    And finally, the iBooks has been renames to Apple Books.

macOS 10.14

  • The codename is Mojave and it will be last macOS that supports 32-bit apps.
  • It will have dark mode. What is really cool is will be able to adjust the backdrop to your screen throughout the day, so your desktop can be bright during a day and dark during night.
  • Speaking of Desktop. Now, we will be able to clean it using desktop stacks, which will group all desktop files, based on file type.
  • Finder will get new view mode, called gallery. This mode is basically modern version of Cover Flow, and it is intended to browse images. Finder will also display exif details of an image and it will allow to edit images right in Quick Look.
  • Taking screenshots will now be simillar to what we have on the iOS. Also, we will get tools to capture videos.
  • macOS Mojave will get new apps: News, Voice memos, Home.
  • AppStore, finally, will be redesigned.
  • Also, Apple gave us a sneak peak of new UIKit for macOS.

watchOS 5

  • Users will be able to invite others to workout competitions.
  • watchOS will try to automatically detect workout activities.
  • Yoga and Hiking will be new supported workouts.
  • With watchOS, Apples watches can be used as Walkie-Talkie.

Those are the most important news from this year WWDC. Nothing revolutionary, but we will get solid updates for all Apple system.

This week I don't have a list of interesting things. Instead, I encourage you to watch sessions from WWDC 2018.