Unoffical empeg BBS

Quick Links: Empeg FAQ | Software | RioCar.Org | Hijack | BigDisk Builder | jEmplode | emphatic
Repairs: Repairs | Addons: Eutronix | Cases

Page 1 of 3 1 2 3 >
Topic Options
#373423 - 02/08/2021 18:09 Heya, it's the new phone / computer thread
DWallach
carpal tunnel

Registered: 30/04/2000
Posts: 3797
Since I haven't logged in here for a while, I figured it's time to launch a new thread on a classic topic.

Google just pre-announced the Pixel 6. The top-line news is that it's going to be a "premium" phone with a high refresh rate, as well as three cameras on the backside (very wide, normal wide, and "4x telephoto"), plus a new in-house CPU that has some sort of AI/ML acceleration hardware and extra security goodness. I kinda only care about the improved camera, and a good telephoto (presumably with AI cleverness to deal with camera shake) would be a welcome feature.

Meanwhile, my kid who has been mostly kinda okay-ish with Pixel phones (I'm currently using a Pixel 3a XL, and she's got a Pixel 3a), was grumbling about SMS, and ultimately it came out that she's feeling the pain from "all her friends" having iOS devices; her inability to do iMessage is a serious problem. The available workarounds tend to involve things like keeping a Mac running to proxy messages to your phone. I'm probably going to have to give in and get her some flavor of iPhone. Currently waiting for whatever Apple's going to announce soon.

Also meanwhile, I hand-me-downed my 2018 MacBook Pro to my kid, for her from-home Internet school experience during COVID, and then I needed something new for myself, so I got one of the new M1 MacBook Air laptops. This thing is amazing. I threw a bunch of benchmarks at it, scalar or parallel, and it consistently runs twice as fast as my older MacPro 6-core desktop (3.5GHz Xeon). And it does it on a 30W power supply, with no internal fan.

The only downside is that various dev tools don't quite work right. Like, in my case, I couldn't get some Python code using numpy to run, because numpy has a bunch of native C code that comes along with it to make it go fast. (Yes, I know there are workarounds available, but it's not a pressing issue for me. Yet.)

What *has* worked great is Java. You just download an OpenJDK that's compiled native for the M1, from Azul, and everything else just works.

My plan, then, is once there's an M1-variant with at least 32GB of RAM, I'll retire my circa-2013 MacPro desktop and move along with the new M1 Mac universe.

P.S. During the COVID lockdown, my LaCie 5-big JBOD cage decided to die. Turned out that the JBOD cage was fine, but the power supply died. To my astonishment, Amazon sells a no-name replacement power supply that worked perfectly. Deciding not to push my luck, I decided it was time to update to newer disks and ultimately went with the OWC Thunderbay 4 Mini, which I loaded with 2x 4TB SSDs (for my bulk storage) and 2x 4TB spinning disks (lower cost, for backups). Smaller, quieter, and requiring me to buy a Thunderbolt 2 -> 3 adapter to talk to my MacPro. Eventually, it will just be Thunderbolt 3 straight through to the replacement M1 Mac to come.

Top
#373425 - 02/08/2021 20:47 Re: Heya, it's the new phone / computer thread [Re: DWallach]
JBjorgen
carpal tunnel

Registered: 19/01/2002
Posts: 3579
Loc: Columbus, OH
We too have been extremely satisfied with my wife's M1 MacBook Air. It doesn't feel like we made compromises like our previous generation MacBook Airs did (we've had two others), and the battery seems to last forever.

My MBP is getting long in the tooth (Mid 2014) and I'll likely replace it with a second M1 MacBook Air soon. I recently saw them advertised at Best Buy for $800. I think I paid at least 2.5x that much for my MBP back in 2014, so that seems like a screaming deal.
_________________________
~ John

Top
#373426 - 03/08/2021 12:36 Re: Heya, it's the new phone / computer thread [Re: DWallach]
Tim
veteran

Registered: 25/04/2000
Posts: 1513
Loc: Arizona
I got a MacBook Air M1 a few months ago. It is my first Apple computer since our //c. The reason for getting it was admittedly weird, I spend half the week away from home, and needed something to play a few games on. My girlfriend plays the same games on her Air M1 and they run pretty great. That, coupled with the inability to get any Windows gaming laptops that I was looking at, convinced me.

The GUI is weird and makes no sense to me, but it does what I need it to. I did install XCode tools and other dev stuff, but haven't played with that at all yet (I use my school laptop for school development work).

Macs are weird, but that hardware is impressive. I'm kind of excited to see how the new MacBook Pros do when they finally come out.

Top
#373427 - 03/08/2021 17:34 Re: Heya, it's the new phone / computer thread [Re: DWallach]
JBjorgen
carpal tunnel

Registered: 19/01/2002
Posts: 3579
Loc: Columbus, OH
Give the GUI some time. You'll get used to it. Even though I've been exclusively Mac at home for about 14 years now, there are still a few things I miss from PC's (home and end keys, shift+delete, etc..), but in the end very little.

I have both a recent Lenovo ThinkPad and a recent HP ProBook for work and I find the 7 year old Mac more usable than either of them.
_________________________
~ John

Top
#373428 - 03/08/2021 18:48 Re: Heya, it's the new phone / computer thread [Re: Tim]
tfabris
carpal tunnel

Registered: 20/12/1999
Posts: 31501
Loc: Seattle, WA
What games are you playing on that mac? I've found that fewer and fewer games run on my mac, as they keep updating the operating system to remove the gaming features. It used to be that most of the games on my Steam account would run on the mac, and now hardly any of them do.
_________________________
Tony Fabris

Top
#373434 - 04/08/2021 12:16 Re: Heya, it's the new phone / computer thread [Re: tfabris]
Tim
veteran

Registered: 25/04/2000
Posts: 1513
Loc: Arizona
Right now, I'm only playing Path of Exile and Final Fantasy XIV. Both run exceptionally well. I haven't tried anything else, but I think I might see how other games do when I get some free time.

Top
#373442 - 08/08/2021 20:36 Re: Heya, it's the new phone / computer thread [Re: DWallach]
DWallach
carpal tunnel

Registered: 30/04/2000
Posts: 3797
So here's the first actual gotcha I've had with my M1 Mac: I can't get it to talk to my ancient Samsung CLP-620 printer.

Okay, that's not entirely true, but it's a lot harder. I had to follow this advice to install a jumbo pack of drivers, and it's got a bunch of printers listed that don't match my exact printer because it's too old.

One possible option is to install Gutenprint (discussion thread, home page), except that my printer isn't listed there either.

For now, the workaround is that I print from my existing Intel Mac, but the writing is on the wall for buying a new printer. This bugs me because the old one's hardware is still just fine, and we have plenty of replacement toner cartridges as well.

Top
#373443 - 09/08/2021 00:11 Re: Heya, it's the new phone / computer thread [Re: DWallach]
K447
old hand

Registered: 29/05/2002
Posts: 793
Loc: near Toronto, Ontario, Canada
If memory serves I had to retire one or two Samsung CLP-620 (or some very similar model) a few years back because printer driver support was becoming a project.

We moved on rather than fight a losing battle, and are now quite happy with the replacement Brother MFC-9340CDW (also not a current model). At least three in use around the various family residences. Nice to have modern features like AirPrint built right in. Toner (third party) and even drum cartridges are inexpensive enough.

The toner cartridges are ‘dumb’ so the printer just counts pages to operate the ‘replace toner display. Happily there is a simple keypad sequence that can reset each toner (and drum) counter individually, so we can run each toner cartridge until it is fully consumed and the printing begins to fade.

The only ‘feature’ it is missing is the print output is not suitable for high quality photos. It will print the photos of course, and depending on the caliber of the toner installed the prints can look ‘ok’. But it is certainly not a photo printer.

Color text and chart printing, works just fine.

Scanning six ways from Sunday, plus all-in-one photocopying and so on.

Top
#373444 - 09/08/2021 01:47 Re: Heya, it's the new phone / computer thread [Re: DWallach]
mlord
carpal tunnel

Registered: 29/08/2000
Posts: 14414
Loc: Canada
+10 for Brother stuff.

Cross-platform, and the printing also "just works" as generic Postscript or hpcl printers in a pinch.

Top
#373445 - 09/08/2021 14:46 Re: Heya, it's the new phone / computer thread [Re: DWallach]
DWallach
carpal tunnel

Registered: 30/04/2000
Posts: 3797
Fun fact: my Android phone just magically talks to my Samsung printer. It even supports the duplex feature.

Top
#373446 - 09/08/2021 21:41 Re: Heya, it's the new phone / computer thread [Re: DWallach]
DWallach
carpal tunnel

Registered: 30/04/2000
Posts: 3797
Surprisingly clear slide deck, dated May 2021, explaining the status of OpenPrinting, CUPS, etc.
https://ftp.pwg.org/pub/pwg/liaison/openprinting/presentations/cups-plenary-may-2021.pdf

Slide 15 is what really hits for me:
Quote:
Deprecations - Printer Drivers
  • a Why deprecate printer drivers?
    • At least 98% of all printers sold since 2010 support IPP, Apple/PWG
      Raster, and JPEG; many (about half) support PDF
      • Holdouts are industrial label printers and certain vertical market
        printers
  • PPDs and drivers have been holding us back from offering a better user
    experience (ready media, localization, full range of printer options/
    values), improved document processing, and improved accounting
    • PPDs and drivers are a security and distribution nightmare

And, of course, this printer was originally shipped in 2010, so probably before all of this standardization happened.

Top
#373536 - 18/10/2021 19:16 Re: Heya, it's the new phone / computer thread [Re: DWallach]
DWallach
carpal tunnel

Registered: 30/04/2000
Posts: 3797
So now Apple just announced two new MacBook Pro laptops (14" and 16") and a corresponding update to the M1 chip, the "M1 Pro" and "M1 Max": https://www.theverge.com/2021/10/18/22726444/apple-m1-pro-max-chip-processor-arm-macbook-fastest

Of course, the ghost of Steve Jobs gives, and the ghost of Steve Jobs takes away. In this case, they're not offering the Pro or Max chips in either the iMac or Mac Mini form factors, and of course there's absolutely no reason not to, unless they're supply constrained.

This is unfortunate, because the only thing I want that's keeping me from retiring my old x86 MacPro for a new M1 Mini is that I need more RAM than 16GB. And I can get that today in one of the new MacBook Pro laptops. I just can't get it in a desktop form factor. Grumble.

I'd also been predicting that they'd do some sort of NUMA contraption with these chips, allowing Apple to do multi-socket MacPros that integrate a mess of these individual chips into a single system. Maybe that's sensible, but it's not here yet.

Top
#373537 - 18/10/2021 19:41 Re: Heya, it's the new phone / computer thread [Re: DWallach]
andy
carpal tunnel

Registered: 10/06/1999
Posts: 5900
Loc: Wivenhoe, Essex, UK
Originally Posted By: DWallach
In this case, they're not offering the Pro or Max chips in either the iMac or Mac Mini form factors, and of course there's absolutely no reason not to, unless they're supply constrained.


I'm sure they'll do that, they just don't have the capacity to get everything out as quickly as everyone would like.

Interestingly they are sticking to their "two year transition" plan, so in theory everything should be on Apple Silicon by this time next year. So plenty more to come yet.

P.S. I just ordered a 16 inch MacBook Pro Max, to replace my 2015 15 inch MacBook Pro. I can't wait to get this beast of a machine.
_________________________
Remind me to change my signature to something more interesting someday

Top
#373538 - 18/10/2021 23:30 Re: Heya, it's the new phone / computer thread [Re: andy]
K447
old hand

Registered: 29/05/2002
Posts: 793
Loc: near Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Originally Posted By: andy


P.S. I just ordered a 16 inch MacBook Pro Max, to replace my 2015 15 inch MacBook Pro.

I can't wait to get this beast of a machine.
I have also ordered a MacBook Pro Max 16”.

This shall replace a top of the line 2019 MacBook Pro 16” which I often seem to load with enough heavy tasks that it noticeably struggles. Connected to four external 4K displays, which is also pretty much the most it can do.

I am really not sure whether I will have sustained and sufficient peak workload to justify the top tier of this new range of hardware. It is nice to have fast new hardware but I might feel silly if half the new cores barely yawn when I do something ‘heavy’.

This reminds me of epoch from long ago when every year (or so) Intel would just double the speed of the top models. Again, and again, and again.

Top
#373546 - 21/10/2021 19:32 Re: Heya, it's the new phone / computer thread [Re: DWallach]
Dignan
carpal tunnel

Registered: 08/03/2000
Posts: 12309
Loc: Sterling, VA
Lol. Dan, given the refresh cycle on the Apple Mini, they still have 4 years before they need to put another one out laugh
_________________________
Matt

Top
#373549 - 21/10/2021 22:11 Re: Heya, it's the new phone / computer thread [Re: Dignan]
tfabris
carpal tunnel

Registered: 20/12/1999
Posts: 31501
Loc: Seattle, WA
I love how they took away all the ports on the last Macbook lines, and left everyone with only a few USB-C ports, and then now they're touting the new SD card reader on the new macs as a big new feature. laugh
_________________________
Tony Fabris

Top
#373550 - 22/10/2021 01:31 Re: Heya, it's the new phone / computer thread [Re: DWallach]
mlord
carpal tunnel

Registered: 29/08/2000
Posts: 14414
Loc: Canada
SD Card ports have always baffled me. Does anyone here regularly use one, and if so.. what for?

Thanks

Top
#373552 - 22/10/2021 04:51 Re: Heya, it's the new phone / computer thread [Re: mlord]
K447
old hand

Registered: 29/05/2002
Posts: 793
Loc: near Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Originally Posted By: mlord
SD Card ports have always baffled me.
Does anyone here regularly use one, and if so.. what for? …
Memory cards from our big(ish) ‘real’ camera. And some Action Cameras. Easier and faster than connecting the actual camera via USB cable.

We mostly use Micro-SD memory cards these days, but SD to a micro-SD card adapters are easy enough to use.

On my older MacBooks I had a compact Micro-SD to SD adapter that when inserted would sit flush (or nearly so) with the outside edge of the laptop. So the card could stay inserted and not be easily dislodged or broken off.

This made it quite convenient to add another chunk of ‘disc storage’ that was always present but not taking away from the precious built-in SSD capacity. I mostly used it for bulky files that were essentially read-mostly so the speed limitations were not a big problem.

I see there are now micro-SD cards with 1TB capacity selling for a few dozen dollars. That is, um, rather inexpensive for adding a TB of ‘solid-state disc’ to a laptop.

Some laptops used to be able to (alternate/dual) boot from an SD card containing a bootable disc image. Is that still a thing?

Top
#373553 - 22/10/2021 13:20 Re: Heya, it's the new phone / computer thread [Re: DWallach]
mlord
carpal tunnel

Registered: 29/08/2000
Posts: 14414
Loc: Canada
My XPS 13 has the option to boot/run from SDcard.

But I always just use an external xxx-card adapter for the rare times I need to pull data from any variety of flashcard. Seems strange to me that they go to the expense of including the mechanical slot and special chip, yet cheap out on real USB-A ports.

Cheers

Top
#373554 - 22/10/2021 13:23 Re: Heya, it's the new phone / computer thread [Re: DWallach]
andy
carpal tunnel

Registered: 10/06/1999
Posts: 5900
Loc: Wivenhoe, Essex, UK
I use my SD card slot all the time and yes it is for "cameras":

- my two GoPros
- my DJI Mavic drone
- my Canon DSLR

With all of them in theory I could use the manufacturers app + wifi or plugging the "camera" into USB.

But in practice neither of those options are as convenient, fast or reliable as taking the SD card out and sticking it in the laptop SD card slot.

And I can't see that changing any time soon, unless Apple or the industry generally comes out with some sort of wireless transfer framework* that people like GoPro/DJI/Canon get on board with. Which I don't see happening, sadly.

So I expect to be popping SD cards into my laptop for a very long time to come, I've very pleased the new MacBook Pros have reinstated the SD card slot.

* I'm guessing that if I went searching there may well be such an attempt(s) out there from parts of the industry, but clearly if that is true it has not worked out...
_________________________
Remind me to change my signature to something more interesting someday

Top
#373555 - 22/10/2021 13:32 Re: Heya, it's the new phone / computer thread [Re: mlord]
andy
carpal tunnel

Registered: 10/06/1999
Posts: 5900
Loc: Wivenhoe, Essex, UK
Originally Posted By: mlord
Seems strange to me that they go to the expense of including the mechanical slot and special chip, yet cheap out on real USB-A ports.


The lack of at least one USB-A port is the only thing I'm not happy about on the new MacBook Pros.

I have a Logitech Unifying adapter plugged into one of the USB-A ports on my current MacBook. It is so low profile that I never have to remove it, even when the laptop goes in my bag (though I do make sure it goes in adapter side up).

And why do I need a Logitech Unifying adapter ? Because Bluetooth still (at least using my 2015 MacBook) sucks.

If I try and use my Logitech MX mouse with Bluetooth it works, but I can always detect the lag. With the Unifying adapter the lag is undetectable.

Sadly Logitech still haven't created a USB-C Unifying adapter, I assume either:

- they can't get the electronics inside the plug as they do on the USB-A one and they've decided a relatively bulky USB-C isn't an improvement over the USB-A one and an adapter
- the USB-C signally that close to their transceiver screws things up

So when I get my new MacBook Pro, I'll give Bluetooth a go again (might even get the latest MX mouse). If I can still feel the lag I'll have to put up with plugging/unplugging USB-C to USB-A adapters frown


Edited by andy (22/10/2021 13:32)
_________________________
Remind me to change my signature to something more interesting someday

Top
#373557 - 22/10/2021 13:57 Re: Heya, it's the new phone / computer thread [Re: andy]
Dignan
carpal tunnel

Registered: 08/03/2000
Posts: 12309
Loc: Sterling, VA
Originally Posted By: andy
And why do I need a Logitech Unifying adapter ? Because Bluetooth still (at least using my 2015 MacBook) sucks.

If I try and use my Logitech MX mouse with Bluetooth it works, but I can always detect the lag. With the Unifying adapter the lag is undetectable.

This 100%. Exact same experience. I hate bluetooth so much. I don't know how it's received so many upgrades and still blows.
_________________________
Matt

Top
#373558 - 22/10/2021 13:58 Re: Heya, it's the new phone / computer thread [Re: andy]
Dignan
carpal tunnel

Registered: 08/03/2000
Posts: 12309
Loc: Sterling, VA
Originally Posted By: andy
I use my SD card slot all the time and yes it is for "cameras":

- my DJI Mavic drone

Haha I was going to post the same response. I hadn't plugged an SD card into anything in years until I got my Mavic Mini.
_________________________
Matt

Top
#373559 - 22/10/2021 14:01 Re: Heya, it's the new phone / computer thread [Re: Dignan]
andy
carpal tunnel

Registered: 10/06/1999
Posts: 5900
Loc: Wivenhoe, Essex, UK
Originally Posted By: Dignan

This 100%. Exact same experience. I hate bluetooth so much. I don't know how it's received so many upgrades and still blows.


The most frustrating thing is that I know it can work better.

Bluetooth between an iPhone and Apple AirPods works well, it also works well between the iPhone and my Bose headphones.

And Bluetooth between the Apple Magic Trackpad and my MacBook works well, I can't detect the lag there.

But yet most other Bluetooth I've tried is either laggy or fragile.
_________________________
Remind me to change my signature to something more interesting someday

Top
#373560 - 22/10/2021 14:05 Re: Heya, it's the new phone / computer thread [Re: mlord]
K447
old hand

Registered: 29/05/2002
Posts: 793
Loc: near Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Originally Posted By: mlord
… including the mechanical slot and special chip, yet cheap out on real USB-A ports. …
Apparently a lot of ‘professional/YouTube/whatever’ video work involves the use of external audio recorders and self-contained microphones which record to SDcard.

Modern video files can be enormous, especially when recording at 4K/60. I can see that SDcard slot getting a lot of use with mobile video content folks. The newly announced 8TB MacBook Pro model combined with the very nice built-in 16.2’ display seemingly fits with that work type.

Apple has often not been ‘shy’ about omitting older physical port standards. Sometimes that rubs me the wrong way, often enough I find that within a short while after I make the change I rarely need/use whatever older port is ‘missing’ from my new laptop, iPad or iPhone.

I have one (older) Apple laptop with built-in USB-A ports and two laptops with only USB-C/ThunderBolt ports. One is plugged into a desktop ThunderBolt docking station which provides USB-A ports (and a bunch of other ports).

I also have a small handful of compact/portable adapters between various port types. I find that I make use of a USB-A connection/adapter now and then but the frequency has been trending downwards.

Cables to other devices, I now have USB-C versions that connect to most other things I have around. So yes I did have to buy USB-C versions of some cables, but that is a one time expense. I do like being able to plug in USB-C stuff without fiddling around with which way is ‘up’.

Regarding the legacy USB stuff, I find micro-USB to be the most annoying as the connector indexing shape is hard to distinguish quickly and often the device has no marking to match the cable logo for ‘this side’.

My iPad has USB-C and I have a small portable docking adapter for it. With 1TB of internal iPad storage, that combo allows us to do a lot while mobile, including inhaling camera micro-SDcard data and HDMI out. The same adapter also works with the USB-C laptops.

This is the kind of USB-C thing I find interesting - external SSD storage that is fast and compact. I suppose similar things exist with USB-A, but this seems tidy and should work with my next laptop and iPad.

https://satechi.net/products/usb-c-hybrid-multiport-adapter?variant=39673064325208
Quote:
Satechi USB-C Hybrid Multiport Adapter. Combining the convenience of an external drive and USB Type-C hub, the USB-C Hybrid Multiport Adapter features a built-in SSD storage compartment, 4K HDMI display output, USB-C PD charging, and two USB-A 3.0 data ports – all using just a single USB-C port.

Top
#373565 - 27/10/2021 13:13 Re: Heya, it's the new phone / computer thread [Re: K447]
tanstaafl.
carpal tunnel

Registered: 08/07/1999
Posts: 5512
Loc: Ajijic, Mexico
Originally Posted By: K447
I find micro-USB to be the most annoying as the connector indexing shape is hard to distinguish quickly and often the device has no marking to match the cable logo for ‘this side’.
I have a 7-port hub dedicated to all my "temporarily installed" peripherals, each port with its own dedicated permanent cable. I mark the cable ends with white-out on one side to define orientation.
_________________________
"There Ain't No Such Thing As A Free Lunch"

Top
#373566 - 27/10/2021 18:13 Re: Heya, it's the new phone / computer thread [Re: tanstaafl.]
tfabris
carpal tunnel

Registered: 20/12/1999
Posts: 31501
Loc: Seattle, WA
I agree about micro-B USB being hard to distinguish. Very poor design! There's even a micro-A specification that's even worse, if you can believe that. I use a silver sharpie to put a little "dot" on the "top" side of my micro cables and their corresponding ports.

Though the USB-C specification is a hot mess from a power/digital point of view, the physical design is great. I wish I could go back in time and make them do USB-A be that physical spec.
_________________________
Tony Fabris

Top
#373567 - 28/10/2021 11:56 Re: Heya, it's the new phone / computer thread [Re: DWallach]
DWallach
carpal tunnel

Registered: 30/04/2000
Posts: 3797
At this point, I've managed to finally banish USB mini-B from my life, but I still have several devices (mostly related to stuff on my bike: lights, etc.) that use USB micro-B for charging. I would really, really, like to retire all of those and have everything use USB-C.

Related: I've got a Pixel 6 Pro on order, but there's some consternation on various forums that a USB-A-to-C cable, which can only deliver 12W, isn't recognized and the phone won't charge at all. I had already upgraded our various home chargers when I got the M1 MacBook Air, so I'd have 30W chargers in various places. I decided it was now also time to upgrade my car chargers. Some links below.

Anker 30W teeny tiny: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B091DS2M8X
Anker 4-port travel charger: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B088TFZ942/
Spigen 2-port car charger: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B08PRZ815M/

First two work great. Third one is on order and should be here shortly.

Top
#373569 - 28/10/2021 14:03 Re: Heya, it's the new phone / computer thread [Re: DWallach]
mlord
carpal tunnel

Registered: 29/08/2000
Posts: 14414
Loc: Canada
Yes, but have you also now upgraded your vehicles so that you can use wireless Android Auto rather than the USB connection that may not work with the Pixel 6? smile

Top
#373571 - 30/10/2021 07:46 Re: Heya, it's the new phone / computer thread [Re: mlord]
canuckInOR
carpal tunnel

Registered: 13/02/2002
Posts: 3212
Loc: Portland, OR
Originally Posted By: mlord
Yes, but have you also now upgraded your vehicles so that you can use wireless Android Auto rather than the USB connection that may not work with the Pixel 6? smile

*sigh* Technology changes so fast. My 2018 Forester doesn't even *have* Android Auto support. It has some MirrorLink thing, which seems like it might be nice, but my phone doesn't support it, and it doesn't seem like it's overly popular. Samsung ended support for MirrorLink last year, so it seems like it's a technology following in the footsteps of BetaMax.

Top
#373572 - 30/10/2021 17:51 Re: Heya, it's the new phone / computer thread [Re: DWallach]
mlord
carpal tunnel

Registered: 29/08/2000
Posts: 14414
Loc: Canada
I got my 2018 Subaru (Crosstrek) in late 2018, and by then the HU included Android Auto support.

Top
#373573 - 01/11/2021 14:01 Re: Heya, it's the new phone / computer thread [Re: mlord]
DWallach
carpal tunnel

Registered: 30/04/2000
Posts: 3797
I've investigated this. There seem to be two adapters:

https://carsifi.com/
https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/aawireless#/

The second one seems to be the superior solution, but they're in production hell right now with respect to parts availability. The chip shortage is a problem for them, and they've apparently had to redesign their motherboard to allow them to use chips from multiple vendors.

Anyway, once the supply chain mess settles down, I'll almost certainly get one of these things for our VW GTI, which supports USB-based Android Auto.

Top
#373574 - 01/11/2021 14:37 Re: Heya, it's the new phone / computer thread [Re: DWallach]
mlord
carpal tunnel

Registered: 29/08/2000
Posts: 14414
Loc: Canada
Yes, both products look pretty similar, but AAWireless has been harnessing the XDA userbase for the past year to help sort out compatibility issues and whatnot. I've gone with them as well.

Cheers

Top
#373575 - 01/11/2021 23:02 Re: Heya, it's the new phone / computer thread [Re: mlord]
tfabris
carpal tunnel

Registered: 20/12/1999
Posts: 31501
Loc: Seattle, WA
There are also versions of that adapter which work for the other side of the technology fence: https://9to5mac.com/2021/09/20/carplay-to-wireless-carplay-adapter/

I'm unclear why such adapters are needed, or how they work. My car (Accord 2017) has wifi but, I am pretty sure I still need the USB cable to use Apple Car Play. Why doesn't it have that feature in its current existing WiFi? (Answering self: Because auto manufacturers are slow and they didn't add wireless CarPlay until 2021)
_________________________
Tony Fabris

Top
#373576 - 02/11/2021 00:22 Re: Heya, it's the new phone / computer thread [Re: DWallach]
mlord
carpal tunnel

Registered: 29/08/2000
Posts: 14414
Loc: Canada
I read somewhere, true or not, that Wireless Android Auto requires 5Ghz Wifi, and most earlier cars (mine included) have only 2.5Ghz, so they don't support it. The reason for 5Ghz had something to do with that being the only band where a mobile access point was permitted or something.

Could be misremembering, or could be total hogwash. smile

Note that one/both of those two after market adapters both claim to support it on 2.4Ghz as well as 5Ghz.

Top
#373577 - 04/11/2021 18:02 Re: Heya, it's the new phone / computer thread [Re: DWallach]
DWallach
carpal tunnel

Registered: 30/04/2000
Posts: 3797
Update on the Pixel 6 Pro:

Got it a few days ago, have it set up and running. My opinions are consistent with what I've seen from others:

- the cameras a great, but not extra especially better than before, at least under regular lighting conditions

- the new CPU is fast, and everything now runs happily at a higher framerate; it's noticeably less chunky than my previous phone (a Pixel 3a)

- it's heavy, like annoying to hold in your hand for a long time

- battery life is not especially great

- the in-screen fingerprint sensor is hot garbage; I want back the original one

- definitely cannot trickle charge off a computer's USB port; seems to charge from my car's Android Auto. Not entirely sure what's going on here.

- the whole process of setting up a new Android phone and syncing from an old one needs work. Some apps "just work". Others made me log in and redo everything. Notification settings needed to be redone from scratch (huge pain). Two apps got seriously crashy, apparently because they were in a state where they assumed they had security permissions that they didn't have. Maybe.

Top
#373578 - 05/11/2021 03:05 Re: Heya, it's the new phone / computer thread [Re: tfabris]
Dignan
carpal tunnel

Registered: 08/03/2000
Posts: 12309
Loc: Sterling, VA
Originally Posted By: tfabris
There are also versions of that adapter which work for the other side of the technology fence: https://9to5mac.com/2021/09/20/carplay-to-wireless-carplay-adapter/

I'm unclear why such adapters are needed, or how they work. My car (Accord 2017) has wifi but, I am pretty sure I still need the USB cable to use Apple Car Play. Why doesn't it have that feature in its current existing WiFi? (Answering self: Because auto manufacturers are slow and they didn't add wireless CarPlay until 2021)

We bought a Kia Telluride this year and the salesman didn't realize that it didn't have wireless carplay because some Kia lines do and some don't. It actually drives me completely nuts because the wireless charging pad in the little compartment is exactly the width of my 12 Pro Max, so it fits like a glove...but I can't put it there. Instead I have to plug it in and leave it dangling in a cup holder or sticking out of that compartment. I've almost broken the charging port a couple times because I accidentally moved the shifter into it. It's terrible design.

I have several issues with carplay in general and how it gets married with the manufacturer's controls but that's another issue entirely.
_________________________
Matt

Top
#373579 - 06/11/2021 17:48 Re: Heya, it's the new phone / computer thread [Re: Dignan]
tfabris
carpal tunnel

Registered: 20/12/1999
Posts: 31501
Loc: Seattle, WA
Sounds like one of those wireless carplay adapters would be just the ticket for you then. Though the article that I linked has a link to a discontinued model on Amazon, there are newer ones to be found. I'm thinking of giving one a try too.


Edited by tfabris (06/11/2021 18:00)
_________________________
Tony Fabris

Top
#373581 - 08/11/2021 04:16 Re: Heya, it's the new phone / computer thread [Re: DWallach]
Dignan
carpal tunnel

Registered: 08/03/2000
Posts: 12309
Loc: Sterling, VA
I've thought about it, but I've heard they're less than great. I don't know, I'll give it a try. Apparently the phone also gets extremely hot when it's doing wireless carplay and wireless charging.
_________________________
Matt

Top
#373584 - 08/11/2021 17:39 Re: Heya, it's the new phone / computer thread [Re: DWallach]
mlord
carpal tunnel

Registered: 29/08/2000
Posts: 14414
Loc: Canada
I use a charging limit script on my Android phone to prevent it getting too warm, and also extending the battery life by keeping it below 85%.

Top
#373588 - 09/11/2021 20:37 Re: Heya, it's the new phone / computer thread [Re: mlord]
tfabris
carpal tunnel

Registered: 20/12/1999
Posts: 31501
Loc: Seattle, WA
Played around with one of these today (CarLinkIt), and it's more or less working as expected. Kind of impressive: You connect via Bluetooth first, and it uses that connection to auto-set-up everything else, including the wifi connection to the adapter. After the final connection is made via wifi, it drops the bluetooth connection.

Though I have a couple of minor issues, I think the issues are due to my car's headunit firmware being a bit buggy, and not the adapter itself. To be certain, I will need to experiment with switching it between wired carplay and the adapter a few times.
_________________________
Tony Fabris

Top
#373592 - 13/11/2021 01:21 Re: Heya, it's the new phone / computer thread [Re: tfabris]
tfabris
carpal tunnel

Registered: 20/12/1999
Posts: 31501
Loc: Seattle, WA
Originally Posted By: tfabris
Played around with one of these today (CarLinkIt), and it's more or less working as expected. (...)
Though I have a couple of minor issues, I think the issues are due to my car's headunit firmware being a bit buggy, and not the adapter itself.


After taking it on a couple of longer drives, it revealed some new issues that were due to the adapter unit, so I can't recommend it. Sometimes it completely loses connection, but that's rare. The worse problem is when it maintains connection, but it doesn't update the screen, it just hangs. This isn't great when the item on the screen is a GPS route map, and you miss a turn because you thought you had a ways to go yet.

When the hang happens, I can tap back to my car headunit's "home screen" and select "CarPlay" again, and I see an updated/refreshed screen that's working fine again... for a brief minute, then it hangs/freezes again.

This doesn't occur when I connect with the lightning cable, it only happens with the CarLinkIt unit. So I think it's a hanging bug or protocol bug in the unit's firmware. It's supposed to be able to update its firmware, but every time I go to its web interface menu and press "check for updates", it says that the software is up to date. So we'll see if it ever gets updated. Until then, no bueno.
_________________________
Tony Fabris

Top
#373593 - 13/11/2021 01:55 Re: Heya, it's the new phone / computer thread [Re: DWallach]
mlord
carpal tunnel

Registered: 29/08/2000
Posts: 14414
Loc: Canada
I wonder how (or if?) they deal with a smartphone's propensity to turn off WiFi as part of battery power savings?

Top
#373727 - 28/01/2022 17:16 Re: Heya, it's the new phone / computer thread [Re: mlord]
mlord
carpal tunnel

Registered: 29/08/2000
Posts: 14414
Loc: Canada
Originally Posted By: mlord
I wonder how (or if?) they deal with a smartphone's propensity to turn off WiFi as part of battery power savings?


Looks like I will soon be able to find out. AAWireless has shipped a unit for me, due to arrive in a week or so.

I have also picked up a QC3.0 wireless charger and a QC3.0/12V power source for use in the car, so I should also be able to check on any thermal issues. I do set my phone to stop charging at around 80% though, which normally keeps it cool enough.

Top
#373728 - 28/01/2022 17:27 Re: Heya, it's the new phone / computer thread [Re: DWallach]
mlord
carpal tunnel

Registered: 29/08/2000
Posts: 14414
Loc: Canada
Mmmm.. one flaw with this set-up just occurred to me: When my phone is connected to the AAWireless WiFi, it won't have internet access. So no traffic updates etc.. Ugh.

I'll have to see if I can tweak the routing table in the phone for this..

Top
#373738 - 31/01/2022 03:03 Re: Heya, it's the new phone / computer thread [Re: mlord]
tfabris
carpal tunnel

Registered: 20/12/1999
Posts: 31501
Loc: Seattle, WA
Originally Posted By: mlord
Mmmm.. one flaw with this set-up just occurred to me: When my phone is connected to the AAWireless WiFi, it won't have internet access. So no traffic updates etc.. Ugh.


On mine, the iPhone is smart enough to, eventually, realize that the wifi connection to the carlink adapter doesn't have internet on it, and it correctly falls back to using cellular for the internet while simultaneously continuing to use wifi for the carlink adapter. I didn't have to tweak a routing table or anything, it just works. Not instantly, but, within a reasonable amount of time after pulling out of the garage.
_________________________
Tony Fabris

Top
#373739 - 31/01/2022 03:10 Re: Heya, it's the new phone / computer thread [Re: DWallach]
mlord
carpal tunnel

Registered: 29/08/2000
Posts: 14414
Loc: Canada
Yes, I had read that this is one thing Apple does right. Samsung Android phones also apparently "get it right", along with a random smattering of others.

It's probably a good part of the reason why Google now builds "Android Auto" into Android 10,11,12, rather than having it as a Play Store optional download.

We'll see here once the dongle arrives.

Cheers

Top
#373740 - 31/01/2022 17:19 Re: Heya, it's the new phone / computer thread [Re: DWallach]
DWallach
carpal tunnel

Registered: 30/04/2000
Posts: 3797
Meanwhile, today, my Pixel 6 Pro and my Tesla's Bluetooth didn't get along properly. Somebody called me, and the car would stay connected for a minute then drop the connection. I could go to the phone, select the Bluetooth for the call, and it would work again, for another minute, then drop it again. Very strange, never had something like this happen before.

I'm looking forward to a world where Bluetooth stops being a thing.

Top
#373741 - 31/01/2022 18:18 Re: Heya, it's the new phone / computer thread [Re: DWallach]
K447
old hand

Registered: 29/05/2002
Posts: 793
Loc: near Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Originally Posted By: DWallach
… my Tesla's Bluetooth didn't ...
Take out the Tesla battery, wait five minutes, then put it back in ?




grin

Top
#373742 - 31/01/2022 19:30 Re: Heya, it's the new phone / computer thread [Re: K447]
tanstaafl.
carpal tunnel

Registered: 08/07/1999
Posts: 5512
Loc: Ajijic, Mexico
tanstaafl.


Attachments
Dilbert Shut Up.jpg


_________________________
"There Ain't No Such Thing As A Free Lunch"

Top
#373755 - 11/02/2022 22:31 Re: Heya, it's the new phone / computer thread [Re: tfabris]
Dignan
carpal tunnel

Registered: 08/03/2000
Posts: 12309
Loc: Sterling, VA
Originally Posted By: tfabris
Played around with one of these today (CarLinkIt), and it's more or less working as expected. Kind of impressive: You connect via Bluetooth first, and it uses that connection to auto-set-up everything else, including the wifi connection to the adapter. After the final connection is made via wifi, it drops the bluetooth connection.

Though I have a couple of minor issues, I think the issues are due to my car's headunit firmware being a bit buggy, and not the adapter itself. To be certain, I will need to experiment with switching it between wired carplay and the adapter a few times.


I've been using that for the past couple months and I love it. I do have to wait a little longer for things to connect, there's a failure to connect about 5% of the time, and steering wheel controls that used to be instant are now delayed, but I am so happy with not having to have a USB cable running all over my console and figuring out where to put my phone. Now I can put my phone on the wireless charger and it looks so clean.
_________________________
Matt

Top
#373760 - 13/02/2022 19:03 Re: Heya, it's the new phone / computer thread [Re: Dignan]
tfabris
carpal tunnel

Registered: 20/12/1999
Posts: 31501
Loc: Seattle, WA
Mine still has the problem where its screen freezes after a few minutes of use. There was a firmware update to it in late December, which did not fix the issue. So mine is basically not usable, despite seeming very promising at first.
_________________________
Tony Fabris

Top
#373762 - 13/02/2022 20:34 Re: Heya, it's the new phone / computer thread [Re: DWallach]
mlord
carpal tunnel

Registered: 29/08/2000
Posts: 14414
Loc: Canada
After getting stuck in Customs for 10 days, my AAWireless adapter is finally on the way again, so I'll get to join in on the fun soon, albiet on Android. smile

Top
#373767 - 14/02/2022 21:17 Re: Heya, it's the new phone / computer thread [Re: DWallach]
mlord
carpal tunnel

Registered: 29/08/2000
Posts: 14414
Loc: Canada
Well, a total non-event. smile

I plugged the AAWireless dongle into the Subaru USB, and buried it in the centre console compartment.

Opened Bluetooth on the phone, paired with the AAWireless.. and after a very short delay my phone connected to the AAWireless WiFi hotspot. Then.. Magic happened. Android Auto popped up on the in-car screen and that was that.

The phone still had full internet access despite the Wifi connection between the phone and AAWireless dongle.

I've now combined that with a 15W Iniu wireless charging pad in the car and all good. smile

Top
#373770 - 15/02/2022 20:36 Re: Heya, it's the new phone / computer thread [Re: tfabris]
tfabris
carpal tunnel

Registered: 20/12/1999
Posts: 31501
Loc: Seattle, WA
Originally Posted By: tfabris
Mine still has the problem where its screen freezes after a few minutes of use. There was a firmware update to it in late December, which did not fix the issue. So mine is basically not usable, despite seeming very promising at first.


Ordered an Ottocast U2-Air, we'll see if that does better than the CarLinkIt in terms of reliability.
_________________________
Tony Fabris

Top
#373772 - 23/02/2022 19:55 Re: Heya, it's the new phone / computer thread [Re: tfabris]
tfabris
carpal tunnel

Registered: 20/12/1999
Posts: 31501
Loc: Seattle, WA
Originally Posted By: tfabris
Ordered an Ottocast U2-Air, we'll see if that does better than the CarLinkIt in terms of reliability.


Ottocast U2-Air: Works better than the CarLinkIt - Connects quicker, setup seems easier and faster, and the procedure to update it with the latest firmware worked better than on the CarLinkIt.

However, after about 1 hour of runtime, it failed in the same way that the CarLinkIt failed: The screen freezes. The iPhone thinks it's still connected to CarPlay, but the car's video screen is now frozen and does not update any more. The workaround is to unplug and replug the device's USB connection after the freeze, then it starts working again.

The CarLinkIt fails this way after only a couple minutes of runtime, the Ottocast took an hour before it failed.
_________________________
Tony Fabris

Top
#373773 - 23/02/2022 22:05 Re: Heya, it's the new phone / computer thread [Re: DWallach]
mlord
carpal tunnel

Registered: 29/08/2000
Posts: 14414
Loc: Canada
..and the common denominators are..

Top
#373774 - 24/02/2022 00:45 Re: Heya, it's the new phone / computer thread [Re: DWallach]
JBjorgen
carpal tunnel

Registered: 19/01/2002
Posts: 3579
Loc: Columbus, OH
The car, for one. Bug could be there. For example, a memory leak or something that triggers an infinite loop.
_________________________
~ John

Top
#373775 - 24/02/2022 00:46 Re: Heya, it's the new phone / computer thread [Re: mlord]
tfabris
carpal tunnel

Registered: 20/12/1999
Posts: 31501
Loc: Seattle, WA
Somewhere earlier in the thread I mentioned that wired CarPlay works fine. So it's not the car. This device is intended to simply replace the wire with a wireless connection.

So everything else in the chain (phone, car, CarPlay itself) are fine. And this is two different brands of adapter, one of which lasts longer than the other one before it goes Tango Uniform. The only common denominator is the fact that this is a wireless adapter to replace wired CarPlay, and that programming wireless shit is difficult and prone to bugs. smile
_________________________
Tony Fabris

Top
#373776 - 24/02/2022 00:47 Re: Heya, it's the new phone / computer thread [Re: DWallach]
JBjorgen
carpal tunnel

Registered: 19/01/2002
Posts: 3579
Loc: Columbus, OH
Oh. For some reason I was under the impression that the adapter plugs into the USB port on the car.

Have you really eliminated the car if you haven't tested the adapter in another vehicle with CarPlay?
_________________________
~ John

Top
#373777 - 24/02/2022 00:56 Re: Heya, it's the new phone / computer thread [Re: JBjorgen]
tfabris
carpal tunnel

Registered: 20/12/1999
Posts: 31501
Loc: Seattle, WA
Quote:
Oh. For some reason I was under the impression that the adapter plugs into the USB port on the car.


Yes that's correct. However, when I plug the phone into that same port with a cable (instead of plugging the adapter into that port), then CarPlay works fine and doesn't hang.

The adapter is supposed to be replacement for that cable, and, to the car, it's supposed to look exactly like a CarPlay device plugged in with a cable. So if the car works fine with the cabled version of CarPlay, then it's the adapter's job to make it work exactly the same way. If the adapter hangs, then that's the thing that's failing at that job.

I won't completely rule out that the car's firmware isn't part of the problem. For example, I could imagine that the car firmware might be sensitive to timing, and the adapter might not respond to all signals with the same speed as the cabled version would respond. In that case maybe the car firmware might hang, but it's still the adapter's fault for not responding. Still, the other aspect of this car's infotainment system is certainly not bug-free, so I wouldn't put it past it to have some CarPlay bugs too.
_________________________
Tony Fabris

Top
#373778 - 24/02/2022 01:24 Re: Heya, it's the new phone / computer thread [Re: DWallach]
JBjorgen
carpal tunnel

Registered: 19/01/2002
Posts: 3579
Loc: Columbus, OH
That's exactly what I was thinking. Perhaps the car's USB stack implementation plays nicely with some hardware or software more than others. It would be interesting to check and see if the adapter has the same affect on another vehicle with a different stereo manufacturer.
_________________________
~ John

Top
Page 1 of 3 1 2 3 >