Archive for June 2017

10.5″ iPad Pro – not the same old iPad

  • 20% larger screen and has a new resolution – 2224 by 1668 @264 PPI. It is also fully-laminated LCD so the pixels feel like they’re right on the glass. Brightness increase to 600 nits, Wide color display which is is Apple’s name for the DCI-P3 color space
  • The screen now refreshes at a 120 Hz which is double than that of the previous iPad Pros and has a new anti-reflective coating that cuts down on reflectivity by 40 percent versus the last iPad Pro.
  • 6 core A10X Fusion CPU – 3 high frequency and 3 low. The 3 passive cores are useful for background processes and for when you’re not pushing your iPad Pro.
  • 12 core GPU which provides a 40% gain in graphics performance over the A9X chip and part of the reason why the iPad Pro is so swift is because of the way Apple architected the chip; the CPU and GPU share the same on-board RAM, so there’s no waiting for the graphics to go out and grab separate memory.
  • 4 GB of RAM. The last generation 9.7 inch iPad Pro only got 2 GB of RAM.
  • It still samples the Apple Pencil at 240 Hz. but as the screen refresh rate is now 120 Hz, the latency on the Pencil has been reduced by a lot. From 50 MS on the previous iPad Pros to 20 MS on the new ones
  • Same cameras as iPhone 7’s single camera setup. On the back, is the 12 MP shooter that comes with optical image stabilization and 4K video recording as well as a ƒ/1.8 aperture. Front facing camera is now 7 MP.
  • Slo-mo video now has support for 1080p at 120 fps and 720p at 240 fps
  • TouchID 2 – so much faster
  • Four speaker audio – I can actually hear some bass now as well as a more full sound.
  • Embedded Apple Sim
  • LTE Advanced – has 25 bands now vs the previous 21
  • Optional – Fast charging via additional 29w power supply and USB-C -> Lightning cable
  • Optional – Full Size Keyboard via the Smart Connector

How we make a game called Hidden Folks 

How we made a game called Hidden Folks

Funny side-track: when Sylvain and I started working on Hidden Folks about three years ago, he decided to buy a somewhat medium-quality / cost-efficient scanner for the project. When that scanner broke down recently, he used a better scanner for a while only to discover that his digital drawings suddenly looked very different, and so we bought that same low-budget scanner just to make sure all Hidden Folks drawings look consistent.

The “Doubleswitch” social media attack: a threat to advocates in Venezuela and worldwide – Access Now

Having gained full control of the compromised account, the hijackers exploited a feature that allows Twitter to recycle unused usernames. After changing the credentials of the accounts, the hijackers registered Twitter accounts using the original usernames, which were now freely available, and connected the accounts to a new email address.

Source: The “Doubleswitch” social media attack: a threat to advocates in Venezuela and worldwide – Access Now

Apple will squeeze more photos into your iPhone with HEIF

  • Photos using HEIF take up half the space as a JPEG, or alternatively offer crisper, more detailed and colorful images at the same size.
  • HEIF offers a lot more than just smaller photo file sizes, and indeed those other features are a big part of why Apple picked it. HEIF is actually a container that can hold a lot more than just a single image. It’s a good way to store an animated image like an Apple live photo, for example, or one of those eerily compelling half-moving, half-still images called a cinemagraph. It also can hold a collection of photos taken in a burst, though Apple isn’t using it for that purpose, at least now. It can also hold audio, video and text information, too — imagine a short video clip with a caption that you might post on Snapchat.
  • Here’s another thing HEIF can do: store extra data called a depth map that records how far away each part of a scene is from the camera that took the photo“In iOS 11, we’re storing the depth map as part of what we capture. We’re giving you and your app access to the photo and the depth map, so you can load it up use this to do your own creative effects,” Marineau-Mes told app developers.
  • The biggest problem is that most devices and programs don’t know how to read HEIF files. Adobe Systems’ Photoshop, for example, has no support. Nor do any web browsers. And it’s tough to get new formats to catch on. Microsoft improved on JPEG with a format called JPEG XR, but it never got traction. Google’s WebP format is now common on the web, but it’s not used anywhere else. Even Google’s Android phones can’t take WebP photos.
  • Another problem: HEIF is based on the HEVC video format, and HEVC is clouded by expensive patent licensing concerns. That could keep important potential allies like Google away.
  • Will Apple go through my photo archive and replace all my JPEG photos with HEIF photos?
    Converting photos from one lossy compression format like JPEG to another degrades the image. Apple will only use HEIF for new photos.

Source: Apple will squeeze more photos into your iPhone. Here’s how


HomePod’s sound output clearly stood out from that of Amazon Echo and Sonos Play 3. In fact, it made the Amazon Echo sound like a cheap toy, and the Sonos Play 3 sounded so inferior, I wondered if something was wrong with the Sonos.

Source: HomePod

Making a call to HTTPS

If you are making use of ATS or making a call to HTTPS please note that you are required to submit a year-end self classification report to the US government. Learn more

So I go to publish an app in the AppStore today and this ^ pops up, let that sink in for awhile

Apple Silicon and Machine Learning

I think we might be seeing another moat built, this time across the fields of Augmented Reality (AR), Machine Vision (MV), and, more generally, Machine Learning (ML).

At last week’s WWDC, Apple introduced ARKit (video here), a programming framework that lets developers build Augmented Reality into their applications. The demos (a minute into the video) are enticing: A child’s bedroom is turned into a “virtual storybook”; an Ikea app lets users place virtual furniture in their physical living room.

As many observers have pointed out, Apple just created the largest installed base of AR-capable devices. There may be more Android devices than iPhones and iPads, but the Android software isn’t coupled to hardware. The wall protecting the massive Android castle is fractured. Naturally, Apple was only too happy to compare the 7% of Android smartphones running the latest OS release to the 86% of iPhones running iOS 10.

Source: Apple Silicon and Machine Learning – Monday Note

WWDC 2017?—?Some Thoughts – Learning By Shipping

I’ve lived through all the Apple migrations and all the DOS/Windows migrations and not only is this among the most feature-rich releases, it is actually running right now on my Mac (and iPhone) after an in-place upgrade. I seriously sat there watching the install process thinking “this is going to take like a day to finish and it will probably fail and roll back in the middle or something”. After about 30 minutes the whole thing was complete. The amount of amazing engineering that went into both the creation and deployment of APFS is mind-blowing. And that it was done on phones, watches, and PCs is nothing short of spectacular and except for maybe the transition from FAT to FAT32, I can’t recall anything even close to this. There are a ton of features under the covers that will surface in use of Apple devices, but mostly it will just make everything better seamlessly.

Source: WWDC 2017?—?Some Thoughts – Learning By Shipping

High praise from the former president of the Windows division

5 Great Web Hosting Options You Should Choose From

There are plenty of options hosting companies that would like to offer their services to you. This week, we’re going to take a close look and 5 of the very best.

Source: 5 Great Web Hosting Options You Should Choose From | Web Resources | WebAppers

I would agree with this list, I personally use SiteGround these days for simple sites.

macOS High Sierra – Reader can now be set as default mode

Reader has mostly languished over the past few years, but in iOS 11 and MacOS High Sierra it’s back in the spotlight, and it’s gotten a wide-reaching upgrade. You can now set Reader as the default mode for “every web article that supports it,” which will potentially turn a lot of articles into something that looks more like a PDF than graphics-laden web page. (Previously, you had to first load the site and then toggle into Reader, which at least gave ads a chance to show up before you bid them adieu.)

Source: Apple Can Afford To Mess With Annoying, Snoopy Ads–And At WWDC, It Did