Never depend on future software updates to make your device better in the future and especially not take that as a purchasing factor.
This is the cardinal rule in tech.
As opposed to this rule, software updates have been the talk of this week.
Tesla, Elon Musk’s pride and joy deployed the car’s Full Self Driving software to a few customers this week. It was and is an expensive car to buy but if you were one of the people that got it early when self-driving sounded too far fetched, you just lucked out.
I do note that autonomous driving is not as safe as human driving, but this column is called Weekly Tech Update where I enjoy talking about how awesome tech is. So, you’ll have to excuse me for not focusing too much on the safety aspect.
Tesla’s founder has another company called SpaceX and it has been reusing rockets (amongst other great things it does) I expect full self-driving to be a very real and popular thing sooner rather than later.
Tesla cars get software updates regularly that they were promised on purchase and it completely defies the rule of not buying a gadget based on promised software updates.
The other software update that is also about your driving experience comes in the form of Google Assistant that finally seems to be getting the Driving mode that was promised at last year’s I/O. Android users can just get in the car, invoke the assistant, and say, “Let’s drive”. The interface shows clean controls for music, phone calls, and navigation. This is great even when you have older cars that don’t have updated infotainment systems with Android Auto or the car’s in-house system.
Apple’s HomePod, a product that came out in 2018, got a software update that now has the intercom functionality. Even though Amazon’s Alexa enabled devices and Google’s Assistant devices have had this for quite a while, neither of them has the ecosystem of devices that Apple does. Intercom will be a feature available to all, sans the Mac computers, Apple’s devices, which means the iPhone, iPad, AirPods, Apple Watch, and CarPlay.
Note: The multi-device intercom feature will come later this year.
This software update makes Siri on the HomePod even smarter. When you ask for traffic updates or nearby points of interest before getting into your car, that information will show up on CarPlay, ready for you to take it out for a spin.
That brings us to Google Assistant smart displays that are getting a refreshed dashboard interface. Time of day, Home Control, Media, Communicate, and Discover take central space to help you navigate your day.
Lastly, not that this happened this week, but Pixel devices get regular (software) feature drops, making them exponentially better.
Sometimes, more now than before, software updates might just be one of the purchase decisions. Silicon Valley breaks too many rules to not break the one that makes it better.
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