More software updates and more fun.

Nothing has released Nothing OS 1.5.4 as an over the air (OTA) update – it’ll be gradually rolling out to customers but there is also the ability to download it directly and side load it (link). There have been some under the hood changes in the form of the kernel version has been bumped from 5.4.197 to 5.4.210 (dated 28 April 2023), Android security updated to 5 April 2023 from February 2023. Regarding the baseband version, I am unsure what the version was before the update but it was most likely updated due to notes about ‘Reduced standby power consumption by optimising 4G / 5G network switching function’ along with the usual optimisations that come with any sort of driver changes. Android 14 Beta 1 is rumoured to be released soon for a public beta but there has been no firm date set for it. On a side note it appears that the software engineers who worked on OnePlus are now working for Nothing where as before the work had been contracted out. It’ll be interesting to see whether there are changes in Android 14 or whether Nothing will keep the peered down minimalist design philosophy that attracted people such as myself to their Nothing Phone.

There are continued rumours about Chromecast with Google TV but given the big improvements in Android TV 14 in terms of memory efficiency I wouldn’t be surprised if Google ends up skipping Android TV 13 in favour of Android TV 14. I think the big challenge is the fact that neither Chromecast with Google support hardware accelerated playback of AV1 (not to mention that AV2 is in early development at this stage). Given how woefully powered the current SoC being used in the current Chromecast with Google dongle I couldn’t imagine seeing it smoothly decoding AV1 where as an Apple TV (the current generation) has more than enough headroom to adequately decode AV1 playback without too many problems. As a side note to this, I always find it funny how businesses will automatically assume that poor sales are automatically due to the price when in the case of the Chromecast with Google came to New Zealand 18 months after it had been originally launched. If you’re not selling enough then maybe it has more to do with the fact that you’re selling it in a limited number of markets and failed to build relationships with internet service provides and retail outlets rather than it being the byproduct of “it’s too expensive”.

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