So, Apple’s annual developers conference keynote just ended and it was meh… I’m not complaining, except that I am. Its just that I expected more after the mind blowing-Mission Impossible-Tim Cook jumping off the roof Spring Loaded event. Apple did announce many amazing new features though, which I’ll get into a minute. As always, Apple just announced iOS 15, iPadOS 15, WatchOS 8 and MacOS Monterey.

iOS 15

So, right off the bat, Apple started with FaceTime. It now supports Spatial Audio with machine learning cutting out any ambient noise that might interrupt you. Facetime also has SharePlay, so you can watch movies with your friends and family while still on call. Obviously, I haven’t used this feature now but as smooth as Apple is with software this could really eliminate the lag of screen share if you’re trying this on Zoom. They didn’t share us if this is screen share or FaceTime plays it at the same time on everyone’s phone with the respective app. Oh and FaceTime is now available on android, Psych! Not exactly, people with iPhone or Apple devices can share their FaceTime link with people with android to join, ngl I was hoping for iMessage for android.

Apple is really emphasizing on going fully digital, already your credit card and payment is digital but Apple along with third party brands is turning locks, car keys, hotel keys and many more on your phone. BMW and other manufacturers will ship cars with UWB from late 2021. There is also cool new animations for the whether app and more precise graphics for Apple Maps.

iPadOS 15

iPad OS got a fairly new redesign with iOS App Gallery coming to iPad. There is a whole new multitasking interface, so the you can finally take full advantage of the big screen. Also, there is a new Focus mode on iOS and iPadOS 15, its a mini DND mode for when you’re at work or home, it helps you focus on the stuff you’re doing where you’re doing. Live Text is basically does what Google Lens does, sry Apple. It takes text from photos or screenshot and help you look it up or remember it. There’s also a Quick Note so you can now make a memo, its kinda like a digital Post-It. SwiftUI is also now present on the iPad so you can build apps and post them on App Store directly from an iPad.

WatchOS 8

There’s really not much to talk about in WatchOS ’cause don’t be mad at me but as I said above the keynote was very underwhelming. They talked about health, I’m not saying that’s a bad thing but I’m 17 and I don’t want my to judge my walk, I have parents for that. Anyway, it has a cool new live wallpaper that changes as you rotate your digital crown. There’s the new Breathe app and that’s it.

Audio

As I mentioned above, There’s Spatial Audio for FaceTime but its exclusive to AirPods Max and AirPods Pro. AirPods now gets built-in AirTags and just like the AirTags, you can find your lost AirPods via Find My app with sound and proximity view. They come with a handy new feature called Conversation Boost, it helps people with mild hearing lose to hear what the other person is saying, just like the FaceTime, software analyzes the voice of a person and amplifies so that you can hear it.

MacOS Monterey

MacOS, neck and neck running on the hype train with iOS. First, hats off to Apple marketing team on coming up with this name. So, this has to be my favorite feature of the new MacOS, Universal Control. This lets user to use their iPad, Mac and MacBook to seamlessly use the cursor across the devices exactly like a dual or triple monitor setup except its wireless. You could be using your MacBook and want to bring a photo over to edit, you just swipe to the iPad drag it back to your MacBook. Shortcuts are now available on Macs.

Safari got a major redesign, you can now group your tabs with labels, like you can open emails, PDFs on the work Tab Group and photos of last road trip on family Tab Group. AirPlay is also now available, so you can use your iMac’s powerful speakers for your music playing from your iPhone.

Now, to the disappointments, 16″ MacBook Pro was rumored but we didn’t got, there have been memes instantly uploaded on the internet but WWDC is never about hardware so we can’t complain much.

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So, its that time of the year when Apple holds their World Wide Developers Conference. At WWDC, on June 7th this year, we usually see software like the new iOS, iPadOS, MacOS versions and not much hardware, except in 2019 when we saw the $50k cheese grater Mac Pro. As the Epic and Apple trial goes on, let’s do this. This is part one ’cause I’ll be doing one after WWDC. In this article, I’ll talk about what can we expect from this years’ WWDC.

Software

As usual, we’ll get iOS, WatchOS, TVOS, MacOS, iPadOS. I’m not a leakster but I’m predicting that Apple may announce MacOS for iPad Pro M1, considering the power of the new iPad 12.9″, iPadOS is just holding it back and even if Apple doesn’t make it support MacOS, Final Cut Pro and iMovie etc. will really help proessionals.

MacBook Pro

As leaked by Jon Prosser and Mark Gurman, MacBook Pro is “confirmed” to be launched at WWDC this year.

Well, the MacBook Pro is set to launch with a M1x chip, with a 16 or 32 core graphics and 64gb of memory. That’s a big, big step up from the current 13″ MacBook Pro. Jon Prosser also leaked that the new MacBooks are coming in with colors just like the iMacs, and I’m saying MacBook ’cause he didn’t clarify whether it is the Air or the Pro, there are also rumors about the pro getting an SD card slot. As you see, it comes with a white bezel, just like the new iMac, I tweeted about it and I’m saying it again, I hate them and Apple didn’t stop there, they turned the keyboard to white too.

Mac Mini M1x

Well, Jon Prosser also leaked the new and updated M1x Mac Mini, which is actually really mini. As we can see, it has 4 type-c ports,2 of them are Thunderbolt, magnetic power cable like the iMacs, 2 type-A, 1 HDMI and ethernet. This maybe the only Apple product with so many ports. Jokes aside, when Apple announced the M1 chip and the products getting it, there was no redesign of any sort, they took the last years’ product and slapped an M1 chip to it and with the M1 chip, we saw how thin Apple made the iMacs and this is the redesign that make the already mini Mac Mini even smaller.

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So, I’m back and sorry for break but I’ve been planning some things for website and that took some time, so I couldn’t write. Anyway, I’m here and let’s do this. I don’t know about you but on my Twitter, Instagram and Google pane, it’s filled with NFTs or Non-Fungible Tokens. So let’s discuss it.

What are NFTs?

Let’s put it this way, if I give you $10 and you give me two $5 bills, the value is same, just the mode is changed but if I give you the Mona Lisa, it may be worth $1 million for you or nothing, so the $10 are fungible and the Mona Lisa is non-fungible. NFTs works the same way except they are part of the crypto world.

You must’ve heard about Bitcoin, the $56k asset which India is still struggling with. The whole NFT market is based on on Ethereum, the second most valuable cryptocurrency at $4300. You go on a marketplace and buy it just like groceries from Amazon. It’s a jpeg that is transferred to your ethereum wallet and now you own it like any physical artwork.

You might ask, why can’t I take screenshot of it and own? Well, you can and cannot, can by yes, you can take a screenshot and make it your wallpaper but cannot because the who bought has a virtual signature of the artist, like a real painting would have so even if you do that, the real deal is still with person who paid for it. The blockchain verifies everytime it is sold and bought and if you’re not on that list then its fake. It would be really hard to make a exact replica of the Mona Lisa but it still wouldn’t be close to the real one.

What can be an NFT?

Anything! Your selfie at a concert or a virtual trading card. I’ve made some NFTs and they are up for grabs, I’ll leave the link below.

NEWS

Credit: The Verge

You might’ve heard this or not but the most expensive NFT ever to sell till date was sold at Christie’s auction for $69.3 million, it was made by Beeple(Stage name). If you think that’s a big number.

Many of the celebrities are also getting in on the action, like Eminem, Paris Hilton etc. while they are selling NFTs, Mark Cuban is backing the whole thing up. He’s actively promoting it, He even says that crypto and NFTs are the future.

Here are some NFT Marketplace:

https://opensea.io

https://rarible.com

https://mintable.app

And my these are my NFTs:

https://mintable.app/u/scuderiavedang

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So, last night Apple had their first event of 2021 online, obviously. And Apple has shown how a keynote can be turned into a full blown film, I loved the Mission Impossible style break-in and the transitions were awesome, the whole package was screaming potential of Apple.

Disclaimer:- I have some thoughts on it, some confusions and some utter hate, you’ll know why in a minute. Now, this may a little bit confusing for you or I’ll just get myself confused but bare with me, there are some serious Apple needs to figure out. So, I’ll start product-by-product. Also, spoiler alert, my favorite thing from event was the new M1 iPad Pro, my mind was so blown by that that it was chilling with Perseverance rover on Mars.

Apple also showcased the new purple iPhone 12 and 12 Mini, the new Apple TV 4K with beautiful new remote.

AirTags

Just as the leaks suggested, it’s like a small coin and with this, Apple really expanded their Find My ecosystem. So, you attach this to your keys, backpacks, purse etc. and kudos to Jon Prosser on the leaks, the design is exactly the same as his leaks. So, it has a U1 chip as the iPhone 12 series and that helps in measuring exact distance from the Tag if its someplace nearby or one interesting thing is if you lost a Tag and someone with an iPhone passes by it, it’ll notify you the location.

iMac 2021

So, after the MacBooks, its time for the iMac refresh. Its a whole redesign, and wow its thin. The whole theme of the event was colors and iMacs are no exceptions, even the ad clip music was “color me”. So, its a 12.4″ 4.5k Retina display, its 11.4mm thin and as Marques pointed out, the reason they had to put headphone jack to the side because the headphone jack is about 14mm deep. It has 4 ports on the back, two if them are Thunderbolt and its powered by the M1 chip. Apple showed how M1 helped them to decrease the thickness of the whole thing. I love the whole design but I wouldn’t mind another inch of thickness and trade for the very, very ugly chin at the bottom of the display.

iPad Pro 2021

Now, the thing I am awed and confused about. The iPad Pro 2021 also gets the ultra powerful M1, so the specs, it now has moved to Mini LED Liquid Retina XDR display than a LCD panel with a peak brightness of 1600 nits, with the M1, it now has a Thunderbolt port, it now has 5G with mmWave in the US, it has upto 2TB of storage with 16GB of memory. It comes in two sizes 11″ and 12.9″. Apple also gave this a quite useful feature, Centre Stage, basically it scans your face and because of its new 122-degree FOV, it keeps you in the center of the screen even you move around and if more one person in the frame, it’ll zoom out and try to keep all of them in frame.

So, onto the confusing part, Apple last year gave the M1 MacBooks and at this point Apple is kind of contradicting themselves because at 12.9″ iPad Pro is just barely smaller than M1 MacBook Air($999) which is a $100 cheaper, sure you can get the 11″ model but that’s $799 and if you’ll be using it like a laptop, you’ll need the Magic Keyboard which is $349 and this is more expensive than MacBook Air.

At this point of time, laptops are laptops but iPads aren’t, so apps Final Cut Pro and many more are not present. FYI, the 2TB iPad Pro 12.9″ is $2,399, so need to be neck deep in the ecosystem to pay that kind money for an iPad. As much I’m blown away by the power of iPad Pro, my favorite product announced in the event, I think I personally would get the MacBook Air or MacBook Pro M1 because I think, there’s more productivity . If you wanna check out my thoughts on Apple Silicon Macs, just click here.

So, world’s most valuable car manufacturer has entered world’s most cutthroat market. Tesla, decades ahead of competition in terms of charging infrastructure, battery tech, autonomous driving and many more. Its doing awesome in China, US and Europe but what all this mean for India? Well, as mentioned above, Indian market is very competitive. Indians want value for every penny they spend and if they get better value for money in a cheaper Honda or Hyundai, the Tesla badge and the whole EV concept will just blow off from their heads.

There are still rumors and speculation on which model will thrown into the ring, the entry level, Model 3 was chosen to be imported and see how it plays out but importing cars and electronics companies avoid because the taxes could be higher the product itself. The price of Model 3 is $37,990(~Rs.2,783,964) and if that’s imported then the price can easily jack up to well over 5.5mn INR(~$75,000), so Tesla can’t survive with this, at this price, competitors like Mercedes, BMW and Audi will very easily steal the customers.

Now, I still don’t if this is true or not and also how to do it but the booking for a Tesla Model I(I for India) is open for Rs.69,999(~$955) and the car is priced at Rs.1.99mn(~$27,158) and 976km range. Tesla was making a model to sit below Model 3 and this is it, Model I will also be exported to other countries, the manufacturing plant is rumored to be built in Karnataka. Government is also helping a lot, trying to undercut the manufacturing cost from China. In an interview, Transport Minister, Nitin Gadkari said,” Rather than assembling(cars) in India, they should make the entire product in the country by hiring local vendors. Then we can give higher concessions”.

Charging infrastructure is still a major problem. Society of Manufacturers of Electric Vehicles(SMEV) welcomed the central government’s plans to install a EV charging kiosks at all 69,000 gas stations across the country. This is to speed up EV adoption in the country, we need to wait to see Tesla’s views because of its Superchargers and different charging port on the car. EV concept is fairly new to India and out of 2.4 million cars that sold in 2020, only 5000 of them were electric.

Tesla is known for its innovation like, well, pioneering in EVs other than that, recently it has been flaunting its self-driving capabilities but it hasn’t met Indian roads, let me explain it in a way people outside India understands. Your reaction time has to be faster than a Formula 1 driver, if you master Indian roads, you can fly a SpaceX rocket but seriously, Tesla’s Autopilot cannot be optimized for India, there are cows, pedestrians walking in the middle of the road, it would have a panic attack and nervous breakdown at the same time. Plus, it costs $10,000(~Rs.7mn) so most customers may stick to their driving skills.

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So, the OnePlus 9 series is finally official and they teased the heck out this lineup, not the phone but cameras. OnePlus partnered with Hasselblad this time and its a long term partnership, 3 years and they say, they have put $150 million. They showed us moonshots, astronauts, earth from the moon. So, this could be interesting. They also showcased a new OnePlus Watch.

Let’s get the specs out of the way, both the phones get a 120hz, Fluid AMOLED 2.0 with 6.55″ FHD+ and 6.70″ QHD+ display for OnePlus 9 and 9 Pro, respectively with LTPO screen in the Pro which can go from 120hz al the way down to 1hz to save battery. The 9 Pro has slightly curved display and the standard 9 has a flat display, I personally prefer the curved display. The 9 Pro gets a 10-bit display which gives a peak brightness of 1300 nits and OnePlus 9 gives 1100 nits.

Now, the thing OnePlus was so excited to show to the world, the cameras, built in partnership with Hasselblad. So, both the 9 and the 9 Pro gets the same camera system. The main lens is a 48mp(f/1.8) Sony IMX789, which is a 1 inch sensor in a smartphone, there is a 50mp(f/2.2) ultrawide which is supposed to iron out all the distortion at the edges, there is a 3x telephoto on the Pro plus a monochrome sensor on both of them along with a 16mp(f/2.4)

OnePlus is not kidding when it comes to video capabilities, both of them can shoot up to 8k 30fps which is even better than Galaxy S21s and 4k 120fps. Hasselblad has optimized the stills that come out, I haven’t got a chance to test the phone out so I can’t much at this point but I did saw the new camera interface with the Hasselblad orange shutter button and the shutter click sound. Both of them has stereo speakers and while the Pro has an official IP rating, the standard 9 can survive some splashes.

Both of them is powered by the new Snapdragon 888, they come with 8GB RAM and 128GB of storage as standard. Fun Fact, still has a 65watt charger in the box, OnePlus calls it the Warp Charge 65T, it can charge the phone in mere 29 minutes and 50watt wireless charger can charge them up in 43 minutes. OnePlus compared it to the iPhone 12 Pro Max, which they named “Another Phone” which was charging via cable and OnePlus 9 Pro was charging wirelessly. Both of them has a 4500 mAh cell.

The OnePlus 9 and 9 Pro comes with exciting new colorways, Morning Mist, Pine Green, Stellar black for the 9 Pro and Winter Mist, Arctic Sky, Astral Black for standard 9. Also, the frame on the standard OnePlus 9 is plastic now to save costs. OnePlus also talked about multiple layers of copper and graphite for heat dissipation away from the processor and the screen. Pricing, the OnePlus 9 costs at $729(Rs.49,999) for 8GB RAM with 128GB storage and OnePlus 9 Pro starts at $969(Rs.64,999) so the slow crawl in price is still going on. I’ll leave the links of the OnePlus 9 and 9 Pro and also India-Exclusive 9R as soon as they come out.

As a whole, the OnePlus 9 lineup is a complete package and could be the value king this year but the Galaxy S21 Fan Edition, its nemesis, is still at the horizon and we’ll to wait and see.

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OnePlus 9 Pro OnePlus 9R

So, as the launch of OnePlus 9 series comes closer, I want to talk about the 6 month refresh cycle of OnePlus. Every year OnePlus launches their flagships in the month of March-April and then the ‘T’ version of it in October-November. Let’s talk about, what does the ‘T’ mean?

There has been some reports saying the ‘T’ is answer to Apple’s ‘S’, as T comes after S, therefore better than S and 6 month refresh cycle is there because Carl Pei said that he couldn’t wait for a whole year to show people the next innovation in OnePlus devices. Does it makes sense, though? Well, it gives customers the choice to buy the latest flagship and not leave them in the middle ground as the last phone is 6 month old and next is 6 month away and its good for profit, Samsung released 23 smartphones last year, granted they were not flagships but the Galaxy A51 was best selling android phone and 2nd best selling phone overall.

Now, for some cons. The March flagships and the T flagships both come with different software, OnePlus is proud as they’re the first brand, after Google, to ship the next android generation out-of-the-box and the march flagships follow but for some reason the OnePlus 7 and 7 Pro still hasn’t got Android 11 update(as of writing this). I talked to some people when the OnePlus 7T Pro was announced and everyone’s reaction was “I feel cheated” as it just a upgrade in the chipset and it was “latest”.

Thankfully, OnePlus didn’t announce any 8T Pro, they said because the 8 Pro was so good, it didn’t need a upgrade. Now, does it makes sense to buy the T? I personally would take the March flagship as it is the major upgrade from the last gen while the T has some minor upgrades, like the 8T got faster charging and 120hz instead of 90hz on standard 8. I still need to see the software support for the Ts because my cousin owns a OnePlus 5T and OnePlus killed the connection after Android 10 but the newer Ts are getting the new android gen out-of-the-box.

It would be interesting to see how this plays out and OnePlus is teasing the heck out of the Hasselblad partnership, so that’s also something to lookout for. I’ll be covering the OnePlus 9 series, so stay tuned for that.

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OnePlus 8T
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So, COVID-19 is still present and it showed us the value of technology and staying connected. Either working from home or reaching that high score in a game, we needed some kind of a computer, either laptop or desktop. A good performance and fast boot times, takes that much frustration away of waiting for everything to setup so you can get into and do whatever you’re going to. So today, I’ll try to make a gaming PC in a budget of $500-$700 price range.

No PC can run without a CPU, so I chose the AMD Ryzen 5 3500X, it is the best processor in the price range with 6 cores with max clock speed up to 4.1 GHz and it comes with a heatsink and cooling fan out-of-the-box. With, AMD Ryzen 5, I’ll be taking the Asus EX-A320M AMD motherboard.

For this build, I took the Transcend 128GB NVMe PCIe Gen3 80mm M.2 SSD, this NVMe SSD will help with much faster boot time and load times than a normal M.2 SATA Solid State Drive. For RAM, I chose the HyperX Fury 8GB 2666MHz DDR4 RAM, one 8GB will help you free up other slots, if you ever upgrade for more in the future and it won’t make a difference if go with two 4GB RAMs, it cost roughly the same you’ll be just occupying your slots. For Hard Drive, I took the Seagate BarraCuda 1TB, 3.5 inch SATA with speeds up to 6GB/s.

Now coming to the Graphics Card, I choose Zotac GeForce GT 1030 2GB GDDR5, powered by the award-winning Nvidia Pascal architecture will accelerate the whole experience plus it has 50MHz higher clock speed than the GTX 750 Ti. For Power supply, the Corsair CV450 is good, it has the 80 Plus Bronze certification(You always need to see this certification while buying a power supply) and for keyboard and mouse, the Zebronics Zeb-Transformer Gaming mouse and keyboard combo with RGB, I prefer Logitech but it is slightly on the expensive side, and I’m trying to keep as low as possible.

And to put it all together, I chose the ANT Esports ICE-130AG cabinet. It has liquid-cooling support, top & bottom magnetic air-dust filter with a support of 8 120mm fans along with cable management and 3D ventilation. It also has RGB. Now, the Monitor, I chose the Acer Nitro 23.8 inch, it has a FHD+ IPS rez screen with 0.5 ms delay with 165hz refresh rate. It also has AMD Radeon Free sync technology with 2xHDMI and one display port.

Now, let’s talk price, all the prices are taken from Amazon India, so if you’re planning of building then check in your region first, the AMD Ryzen 5 3500x costs RS.15,200(~$209.54), Asus Motherboard costs RS.4,929(~$67.98), The SSD is RS.2,874(~$39.64), HyperX Fury RAM is RS.3,424(~$47.22), Seagate Hard Drive is RS.3,381(~$46.63), Zotac Nvidia GT 1030 is RS.6,450(~$88.96), the keyboard-mouse combo is RS.1,299(~$17.92), Corsair power supply is RS.3,127(~$43.13), Acer Nitro Monitor is RS.13,690(~$188.81) and finally the ANT cabinet is RS.2,650(~$36.55)

So, the cost this whole setup would be RS.57,024 or $786.46 and I’ve checked pricing of some laptops powered by Ryzen 5 and they are no way near this price range plus they don’t even come with specs mentioned above and I’m sorry, I went bit over budget but its worth it. I’ll leave all the links if you’re interested, it won’t cost you extra but it helps the blog.

Now, if you liked any of this above then like, share, follow, subscribe and tell me in the comments what you would upgrade or degrade from the above setup down below.

AMD Ryzen 5 Nvidia GT 1030 acer nitro 23.8 inch Transcend NVMe SSD Corsair CV Series Power Supply HyperX Fury 8GB RAM Asus EX-A320M Gaming AMD Motherboard ANT Gaming PC cabinet
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