Like many other countries over Christmas and New Year the country shuts down for around a week and even then it isn’t until until the following week when people gradually come back from their family holidays and get back into work again. Keeping in mind that during this time students also have their time off from primary school, intermediate and secondary school so in some cases parents will align their holidays with their kids so things are pretty quiet around where I live.
When it comes to what is happening in the technology world, there is the yearly CES held in Los Vegas where Apple has made an appearance but from what I can gather they’re there to pretty much talk about what they already have rather than making a big announcement. I think the big star of the show has been AMD building on its success in the desktop, workstation and server areas to expand into the mobile space where traditionally Intel has had a strong lead when it comes to performance per watt. That title is being challenged as AMD’s new 4000 CPU range has moved to the TSMC 7nm fabrication that will not only close the gap between AMD and Intel, it will always make it good enough at a great price point that we might even start seeing OEMs start using AMD SoC offers outside of the usual price sensitive products to being used in more premium products.
Apple is pretty quiet but I’d say that is most likely staff yet to come back but I am hopeful about the improvements that are coming through when it comes to Webkit (which forces the basis of Safari) appearing in the next version of macOS. There is also macOS 10.15.3, iOS/tvOS 13.3.1 that are currently in beta testing which makes me wonder whether we’re going to see a product refresh in March when they normally have one followed by WWDC, an iPhone refresh in September then sometimes in October they do an iMac refresh plus launch miscellaneous products but that is based on past trends and Apple on occasions like to shake things up a bit by not following past conventions.
I’m wondering with the uptick in work on Safari that we’re seeing Apple take PWA seriously which hopefully will mean for those developers who want to deploy PWAs on macOS that rather than being dependent on Chromium that they can leverage Webkit with all the optimisation that Apple has done when it comes to battery life, security etc. not to be mention the reduced download size because Chromium isn’t having to be bundled.
There is a rumour over at Mac Rumors that Apple will launch an iPhone with 5G, both sub 6GHz and mmWave but I’m skeptical given that there is limited appeal with mmWave with most of the benefits coming form the sub 6GHz being deployed around the world. Although I’ve been told by numerous people that they’ll be using Qualcomm chips in the next phone, I personally think that they’ll be sticking with the Intel modem they acquired and it wouldn’t surprise me that Intel was already working on sub 6GHz 5G support when they sold the division to Apple which makes sense for Apple to pick it up and continue its development. When it comes to mmWave it has limited appeal and the complexity of the antenna array not to mention the chip itself makes speculate that given Qualcomm’s expertise in the area of 5G reside in the area of mmWave I wouldn’t be surprised if Apple end up using the licensing arrangement to incorporate technology into their own chip from Qualcomm.
For those keeping track on what is happening with Ad Guard for Safari on macOS there has been some quietness since the most recent release (link) because of the move by Apple to become a lot more strict about developers using private APIs, specifically, when it comes to the use of Chromium which has a lot of dependencies on private APIs which has required a lot of work not only by the Chromium developers to bring their code up to specification but also third parties having to test all their code to ensure that nothing is broken in the process. Ad Guard makes use of Chromium so as a result, because it is distributed through the App Store, has to be bought up to date with the new rules being enforced. What I am hoping is that with this focus on getting developers to use only public APIs that it’ll also result in a more reliable experience in between versions of macOS – not petrified that a private API breaks therefore requires waiting it out until an updated version is released.