Google announces the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro.

Today was the day Google announced the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro – since there was already all the information out there the presentation was pretty much confirming everything and once again it isn’t available in New Zealand although Amazon is going to be a reseller so there is always the option of using YouShop or having Amazon selling it directly to New Zealand customers. If that is the price one has to pay to get access to it then I’m happy to pay it given that it is a niche product and given our small size it makes sense that Google focuses on the big markets (although Google could treat Australia and New Zealand as a single market in much the same way that Apple does which means that apart from the original Homepod we pretty much get everything that the Australians do). There is a good overview/unboxing by MKBHD:

The thing is with Google is that once you use Chrome and set up a Google account then you’ve kinda got to go all in – and although you can run Chrome on iOS you’re still saddles with having to use Webkit because essentially Chrome on iOS is only a front end that integrates into Google cloud services but still uses the same underpinnings as Safari not to mention Google Maps, Google Contacts, Google Keep etc are a lot better integrated into Android (it makes sense given that Google controls the Android platform where as on iOS they’re ‘yet another third party’ where Apple has the benefit of deep integration because they control iOS).

For me, I keep coming back to Chrome because it has the adblocker that I know and love, uBlock Origin, because it works a lot more reliably particularly on video sharing sites that are popup crazy. Although AdGuard Safari Extension does a pretty good job it still allows popups to get through etc whereas with uBlock Origin it stops all popups, ads, bitcoin mining etc. resulting in a much better experience. Side note: I disable my ad blocking on websites that have ads but aren’t obnoxious – if I’m blocking the ads on your website then maybe you should take a moment to reflect how you’re repelling people away.

Although Apple is improving it support for the Webextensions API the more important thing that they need to do is talk to the big players in the extension community – it is the developers in the extension community that make use of what you provide them, if what you provide them is 9/10ths of useless then it won’t matter how much you hype up your support for xyz if the end result is something that isn’t fit for purpose. uBlock Origin has over 10 million users – maybe listen to what the developer has to say since it appears that the product he is putting out is pretty popular with end users so he obviously must be doing something right. Listen to the developers and take onboard their suggestions – don’t say “we know best” then act surprised that you can’t create an ecosystem when you haven’t bothered to speak to the very people who will be creating that ecosystem.

Apple developers realise their Safari tab changes weren’t so well received.

Well, that’ll be a shortest flirtation with Chrome now that Apple has reverted back to classic tabs by default on Safari in macOS 12 and leaving the new tabs limited to compact mode which will be ‘opt in’ (link). I originally thought the satisfaction was limited to me and a few people online but it appears that it was a lot wider because rarely does Apple do a U turn unless there was a significant backlash. macOS 12 will be released on 26 October New Zealand time The timing was exactly as expected, both iOS 15.1 and macOS 12 will be released at the same time next week which makes me wonder whether we’ll see macOS 11.6.1 released before the end of this week for those who wish to stick with macOS 11.x because some of the software they rely on isn’t compatible with macOS 12.

I watched the replay of the presentation – the naming of the CPU was a bit of a surprise with the M1 Pro and M1 Max but what wasn’t surprising that rumours of Apple maybe using discrete GPUs in the pro devices has been put to rest. It is interesting how well the GPU has scaled not to mention all the specialised hardware that Apple includes with their SoC such as their image signal processing, video encoding and decoding etc.