Personal · Technology

Almost ready for holidays to begin.

Only another three days to go before I am officially on annual leave for two weeks. I’ve decided that this year rather than waiting up until 5am then try to watch WWDC as a complete zombie resulting in almost 90% of what was said ended up being forgotten (assuming I didn’t fall asleep while it was streaming) I decided to have an early night in bed then get up early so then at least I’ll be bright eyed and bushy tailed for not only the keynote but also ‘Platforms State of the Union’. Personally I don’t see any major occurring other than maybe a preview of the Mac Pro, incremental improvements to the various platforms rather than anything revolutionary. I personally find the more interesting part of WWDC are the individual sessions where there is a focus on deep diving into the various under the hood changes – maybe this year they’ll fully close off the kernel to kernel extensions in favour of user space drivers.

I’ve been giving Safari a try with the recent update that came with macOS 13.4 but so far I find the functionality of Safari’s extension framework to be rather lacking which is why, even with the best of attempts by AdGuard, that various ads still make their way through along with popups etc. that uBlock Origin wipe off the map fairly quickly. Workspace is going well – I’m on the rapid release cycle but I have a feeling that the roll out of the AI features that Google talked about at their I/O conference will looked at by early adopters and Google One subscribers then once they get sufficient feedback then they may offer it to Workspace subscribers.

Regarding Google Workspace, I’ve signed myself up for a years subscription (but paid monthly) which has worked out at around NZ$12.61 per month which is pretty good value particularly when you consider that with iCloud for 2TB of storage the cost is NZ$16.99 with the added bonus on Google Workspace that you can have up to 30 aliases from a custom domain (yes, one could use ‘hide my email address’ but the randomised email addresses that are generated as hardly professional in nature if you want an email address that presentable but can be disposed of if it attracts spam).

As for my iPhone situation, with my goal of going for a trip to the UK and tour around Europe next year, I need to tighten my belt and focus on what is and isn’t important in terms of spending money. The temptation to fritter away money is certainly there but I also had to ask myself whether it was absolutely necessary to upgrade when my Nothing Phone 1 does everything I need, I can upgrade to Android 14 and still receiving bug fixes and security updates for many years to come. The one thing I’m not going to compromise on is making sure I upgrade my seat on the flight to premium – I can’t stand flying but if I have to fly then I’m going to make sure that I’m comfortable.

Regarding the Nothing Phone – it appears that the Nothing Phone 2 will be launched in July (link) – too late for for Android 14 but it’ll be interesting to see whether they stick with the same linux kernel version (5.4.x) for Android 13 running on the Nothing Phone 1 or whether they move to 5.10 or 5.15 which are two of the most recent long term kernel branches which are scheduled to be supported out to 2026 where as 5.4.x is scheduled to be supported out to 2025. It is one of the best thing’s that Google did which was to seperate the Android release schedule from the linux kernel which enables phone vendors to maintain a stable kernel with back porting of bug and security fixes while allowing the Android platform sitting on top to move forward.

When it comes to the Pixel Fold – I’m neither here nor there in the grand schemes given that the whole foldable segment contracted 35% on a yearly basis (link). As I said previously, it is a niche and once the novelty wears off it’ll be like 3d mobile phone screens and televisions – a splash in the pan of gimmicky features to try and jumpstart growth in a maturing market where people are keeping their phones for longer due to a) people’s needs already being met by what exists b) the tight financial position that many are facing in terms of the cost of living crunch. What I think is interesting is how over the last few months there has been the increase in support by Android builds for Pixel phones in more markets in regards to VoLTE, 5G and VoWiFi support. I’m unsure whether this is an indication that they’ll ship it to more countries but if at the very least one can buy one from overseas and it works out of the box in New Zealand then I’ld be a happy lad.

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