Apple Keynote September 2019

Apple Keynote September 2019

What was revealed today:

Services

Apple arcade

  • Console-level games (didn't look like it)
  • Launches sept 19 with limited amount of games
  • $4.99 / mo / family
  • Best (presented) games looks very basic, but the price is cheap, so...

Apple TV+

  • 'See' movie trailer
  • 12 show title on big screen - all new / unknown
  • 1 month free trial
  • 1st show launches Nov 1
  • $4.99 / mo / family
  • Apple TV+ free for 1 year for each new purchased device

Hardware

iPad

  • New budget iPad with smart connector to support keyboard and apple pencil
  • $329 regular, $299 for education
  • 100% recycled aluminium

Apple watch

Saves / improves people’s lives
Participates in health research

Series 5:
  • Always on display
  • Compass
  • International emergency calling (LTE models)
  • 100% recycled aluminium
  • New titanium, ceramic materials
  • New Nike and Hermes models
  • $399 for the GPS, $499 for cellular models
  • Available Sep 20
  • Series 3 price down to $199

iPhone

Budget iPhone (formerly known as XR) is now called iPhone 11, and the successor for XS and XS Max are called 11 Pro and 11 Pro Max

iPhone 11

  • 6 colors
  • Dolby Atmos support
  • Dual camera (wide 1x and ultra-wide camera)
  • Night mode
  • Improved front-facing camera
  • New A13 bionic chip
  • Chinese company showing a GPU performance demo with their game demo
  • 1h longer battery than on XR
  • Wireless charging (XR also has it)
  • Wi-Fi 6
  • $699 starting price (nice)

iPhone 11 Pro

  • Everything iPhone 11 has plus:
  • New matte finish
  • New midnight green color (yikes)
  • Up to 1200 nit brightness
  • A13 improvements: Machine Learning, Low-Power design
  • 6x faster matrix multiplication for ML, over 1 TFLOPs
  • CPU cores are up to 20% faster and 30-40% lower power
  • 4-5h longer battery (nice)
  • 18W charger in the box
    New camera system (updated wide + telephoto and a new ultra-wide) - looks like a triclop 😏
  • Simultaneous video recording from multiple lenses in pro apps
  • Starts at $999 and $1099 for the bigger iPhone 11 Pro Max

Apple Retail(?)

  • Custom Apple watch bands
  • Trade in
  • Fifth Avenue store reopening

Sidecar vs Duet Display

Sidecar-vs-Duet-Display.jpg

While working at home I have a 27" screen attached to my laptop. That's why when I'm working outside home I'm left with much smaller screen real estate and it's really nice to add at least some of it with an iPad.

I'm using Duet Display probably for few years now, but at the recent WWDC Apple announced Sidecar - using your iPad as a secondary monitor, wirelessly.

I tried it on the Mac OS Catalina beta along with my iPad running iPadOS 13 beta but still returned (at least for now) back to Duet Display.

Here's my take on advantages and disadvantages of Sidecar in comparison to Duet Display.

Pros:

  • Works wirelessly (who needs wires anyway 🙂)
  • Can be enabled with one click
  • No 3rd party installation required
  • First party solution - so works flawlessly (ignoring early Beta software bugs)
  • Doesn't drain your Mac's battery if you're on it
  • Touch-bar controls (if you're into that)
  • Free

Cons:

  • No touch events are passed - in Duet Display you can tap the screen and it would register them as mouse clicks. In sidecar this behavior is disabled. With Duet display you can draw with your finger or Apple Pencil right in Mac OS if needed (to sign documents, etc.) and with Duet Display Air and Pro extra purchases you get even more Apple Pencil functionality, transforming your iPad back into a tablet 🙂 (not the entertainment device as it is but as a drawing Wacom-like tablet). Not a big deal for me personally, but decided to share
  • Resolution - and this is a big one for me. Sidecar provides less resolution (probably because wireless transmission bandwidth is limited) than Duet Display, thus the iPad fits less info, granted the info it fits is much bigger physically which can help reading smaller texts from far

So overall, Sidecar is a nice general-purpose feature which is free and easy to use. But at least for now the main issue for me is the lower resolution operation which leaves not enough physical space to put all the secondary (by value) apps onto the secondary screen. That may change, but for now I'll stick with Duet Display.

Tesla Autonomy Day

Quite interesting video on today's state of Machine Learning in Tesla. Details on their hardware and software are impressive.

The keynote actually starts at 1:09h:

ML introduction videos

Few nice introductory videos to Google's TensorFlow.

First is about the idea behind ML in general:

Next is about actual problems it's able (and is already) to solve:

WWDC'19 Summary

This was a big one.

The dev conference started with a TV series announcement trailer 😑

WWDC-2019

tvOS 13

  • PS4/Xbox One controller support
  • New wallpapers

watchOS 6

  • New watch faces
  • Hourly beeping sound
  • Audiobooks, voice memos, calculator
  • Independent standalone apps
  • Audio streaming API
  • Own App Store
  • Activity trends
  • Noise app to monitor noise pollution
  • Cycle tracking
  • Health summaries
  • New bands

iOS 13

  • Speed improvements
  • Dark mode
  • Improved Safari, Mail, Notes, Reminders
  • Improved Maps with Street View (SF only as usual?)
  • ‘Just once’ location access option
  • Sign in with Apple - private social login
  • One-time email address generation
  • HomeKit secure video
  • iMessage avatar pictures
  • Enhanced Memoji with earrings, teeth, eyeshades, etc.
  • Memoji stickers
  • Improvements to photo capture and post-production
  • Rotate videos, filters and effects for videos
  • ML to remove photo dupes and choose the best of them
  • Improved Photos.app to remove clutter and let focus on important moments
  • AirPods reading and replying to messages
  • AirPods audio sharing
  • HomePod handoff
  • Siri live radio support with iHeartRadio, TuneIn, etc. 100k stations.
  • Updated CarPlay
  • CarPlay integration with 3rd party apps
  • Neural TTS - much better sounding Siri voice

iPadOS 1?

  • Much improved multitasking
  • Multi-window support for the same app
  • Improved Files.app
  • iCloud Drive folder sharing
  • SMB File sharing
  • Mass Storage Device support
  • External device support via usb-c
  • Desktop class browsing on Safari iPad
  • Download manager
  • Custom fonts
  • Working with text is now much easier
  • Apple Pencil latency down to 9ms from 20ms
  • New notes app
  • PencilKit

New Mac Pro

  • 28-core Xeon CPU
  • 12 DIMM slots
  • PCIe expansions
  • Special dual-core Vega II GPU
  • Custom designed video processing card
  • 1.4kW PSU
  • Optional wheels
  • New 6k, HDR, anti-reflective, 1000 nits display
  • Mac pro starts at $5999, new display at $3999/$4999

MacOS 10.15 Catalina

  • iTunes now broken down into Apple Music, Podcasts and Apple TV apps
  • iPhone sync moves to Finder
  • Podcasts will have content search
  • Apple TV 4k HDR playback on Mac
  • Sidecar - wireless connectivity tablets as second screens/tablets
  • Voice control
  • Improved find my Mac even when it’s offline
  • ScreenTime

Dev Tools

  • iPad apps migration tool to Mac
  • RealityKit - kit for building photorealistic scenes, includes 3d scene tools
  • ARKit3 with real-time people occlusion, motion capture
  • Real-world Minecraft
  • SwiftUI - new UI framework written in Swift - less code, live preview in sim and device (sic!)
  • Native UI framework for watchOS

It was probably the most packed WWDC I've seen. I hope all of the new stuff will be working reliably when it's out 🙂

Support indie developers

Two years ago I supported BetterTouchTool (Mac OS tool for extended keyboard/mouse/touchpad control) with a whooping $5 😃

Better-Touch-Tool

And today after another update out of the very many updates in the last years the developer told that the older license won't work with the latest version and you'll have to buy a new one for $6.50.

I use the app only for one single feature - long time ago I assigned three finger press on the touchpad to simulate middle click which allows me open Safari links in background tabs and close them as well by 'middle-cliking' them everywhere in the tab and not only on the small, hard to target X button.

And even though I use the app for only a small single reason, I bought the new for few simple reasons:

  1. The developer was constantly updating the app through the years
  2. He never even peeped about asking more than my initial $5 for all those updates
  3. He still continues refining and improving the app, which means he still pours a lot of effort into the app
  4. The app saved me thousands of additional clicks for those simple operations I use it for

I constantly hear people complaining about how developers are trying to rip them off. But those people forget that developers are like everyone else - they need food, shelter, provide for their families. And getting $5 in two years is far from what they need to ship a quality product on a constant basis. So even when some of them switch to subscriptions (which I don't like as anyone else) I still understand their reasoning and buy not the product itself but more and more I invest for great people constantly refining them. And I wish more people would understand that as well and appreciate the hard work done to bring us, customers those refined products we use daily.

That's why please support indie devs when that support costs you that famous cup of coffee everyone's comparing it to. Because you will drink that cup and that's it. But the piece of software you buy will make your life easier day after day.

Google I/O '19 Summary

Today was Google's dev conference, and here are the main takeaways.

Google-IO-19

General

  • 'Full coverage' from Google News comes to search
  • Podcasts are coming to search as well
  • AR search results you can see on your phone
  • Google lens shows popular dishes in the restaurant's menu
  • Duplex not only will make reservations over the phone but now over web too
  • Assistant will now have more personalized recommendations
  • Assistant comes to Waze
  • More transparency and control over privacy
  • Incognito mode in Maps, YouTube

Android Q

Innovation:

  • Foldable screen support & continuity
  • 5G support
  • Offline auto-captions for videos
  • Smart Reply for IMs
  • Dark mode

Security & privacy

  • Privacy settings
  • Reminders for location usage
  • Faster security updates without device reboots

Digital well-being

  • Focus mode
  • Extended Parental Controls

‘Helpful home’ devices gathered under the Nest name

  • Easy to use
  • Personal for everyone via Google Assistant
  • High privacy

Smart home:

  • Nest Hub Max - touchscreen device to control your home aka Alexa with screen
  • Previous Nest Hub got a discount

Google Pixel 3a and 3a XL

  • Starts at $399
  • Has a headphone jack
  • AR maps navigation
  • AI enhanced camera with Night Sight
  • Unlimited Google Photos storage
  • 30h stand-by time
  • 3 years of updates

AI

  • For researchers
  • In healthcare
  • To foresee floods