To whom it might concern: GrapheneOS added Android Auto

Happy new year again.

Forgot to tell you that with two updates from December 30th and 31st, GrapheneOS now added Android Auto if you can make use of it (we can’t; our car is a year or so too old for that). An article on 9to5Google reminded me of it, and here are the release notes from GOS.

And unlike stated in 9to5Google, my Pixel 6a which is on the GrapheneOS “stable channel” got it already. But since our car can’t do it, and I haven’t switched on any (sandboxed) Google services, it’s of no big deal for us. But if your car can make use of it, enjoy.

Thanks to Daniel Micay and his team over at GOS. And like always, thanks for reading.

In German / auf Deutsch: Langfristig / Gründe / Kehrseite(n)

Meine Schwester plant den Kauf eines neuen Autos. Die Gründe wie auch bei uns: die Kosten für Instandhaltung des Alten übersteigen irgendwann den Restwert des Fahrzeugs, sprich weiterhin Geld für den Alten auszugeben ist ab einem gewissen Punkt einfach nicht mehr wirtschaftlich.

Mein Rat, langfristig (also in Bezug auf rein elektrisch bewegte Fahrzeuge): schaut nach China, aus Gründen die in einem Artikel in Heise Autos sehr schön dargelegt werden. Und für alle die es noch nicht wußten: ja, der Volvo ist ein chinesisches Fahrzeug.

Die Chinesen sind längst Marktführer vor allem bei Batterien, siehe hier. Und die genannte Natriumzelle wird mit Sicherheit ein nicht nur finanzieller Erfolg.

Ohne China geht es nicht; wir haben uns jahrzehntelang selbst in diese Situation hinein maneuvriert. Leider hat das Geschäftemachen mit China aber auch deutliche Schattenseiten wie zum Beispiel Zwangsarbeit. Und das nehmen nicht nur chinesische Firmen in Kauf sondern auch wir, und nicht nur in Bezug auf Autos. Im letzten meiner Links werden zum Beispiel folgende Firmen genannt:

Abercrombie & Fitch, Acer, Adidas, Alstom, Amazon, Apple, ASUS, BAIC Motor, Bestway, BMW, Bombardier, Bosch, BYD, Calvin Klein, Candy, Carter’s, Cerruti 1881, Changan Automobile, Cisco, CRRC, Dell, Electrolux, Fila, Founder Group, GAC Group (automobiles), Gap, Geely Auto, General Motors, Google, Goertek, H&M, Haier, Hart Schaffner Marx, Hisense, Hitachi, HP, HTC, Huawei, iFlyTek, Jack & Jones, Jaguar, Japan Display Inc., L.L.Bean, Lacoste, Land Rover, Lenovo, LG, Li-Ning, Mayor, Meizu, Mercedes-Benz, MG, Microsoft, Mitsubishi, Mitsumi, Nike, Nintendo, Nokia, Oculus, Oppo, Panasonic, Polo Ralph Lauren, Puma, SAIC Motor, Samsung, SGMW, Sharp, Siemens, Skechers, Sony, TDK, Tommy Hilfiger, Toshiba, Tsinghua Tongfang, Uniqlo, Victoria’s Secret, Vivo, Volkswagen, Xiaomi, Zara, Zegna, ZTE

Heißt also: wer wie wir Mainboards oder ein Notebook von Asus oder Lenovo, ein Mobiltelefon von Google, Apple oder Samsung, aber auch einen Mercedes oder VW oder Wäsche von Victoria’s Secret oder Schuhe von Adidas oder Puma kauft nimmt dies alles in Kauf. Und wer meint sein (oder unser) Toyota wäre besser: Toyota hat ein Joint Venture mit BYD, dem Batteriehersteller. Und Teile von Bosch sind in so gut wie *jedem* Fahrzeug. Tja…

Fahrräder “Made in Germany” (mit hier hergestelltem Stahl) wären vielleicht ein Ausweg, vor allem für Städter?

Why do things have to grow?

Look at our phones:

The size of our phones according to

In case you can’t read it: from the left, we have the Google Pixel 3a (from my late brother), my Google Pixel 4a, then our kid’s Pixel 4a 5G, and at the right Mitchie’s Pixel 6.

And with their latest line, even Apple now left away the “mini” version of their iPhone, so in case you want small, you’re left with the 13 mini, or on Android, with the Asus Zenfone 9 (which even still has a headphone jack).

The Pixel 7 is a bit smaller than the Pixel 6, and the (to be announced) 7a and 8 are – like the 6a – also a bit smaller than the Pixel 6 (at least, we hope so). But that 6a still has a 6.1″ screen just like a now “normal” iPhone 14 or 13, so the question is: why do they have to grow all the time? Are our pockets getting bigger as well, like our garages and even roads for the ever growing cars? Are we humans getting bigger and taller all of the time?

Some things are hard to understand for my (small, pun intended) brain… but I don’t think that bigger equals better. My 4a has about the perfect size, and the guys over at XDA Developers wrote in their “best phones” article:

“Many of us at XDA actually think the Zenfone 9’s 5.9-inch screen is the perfect “small” size, as the iPhone 13 mini’s 5.4-inch panel is just a bit too cramped for most modern content.”

And that’s what I think about the 5.81″ screen of my Pixel 4a as well. Just right for my hand and eyes… and if “modern content” means more whitespace, well I could do as well without…

Like always, thanks for reading.

P.S.: just checking on the battery of my Pixel 4a – last full charge was exactly 48 hours ago, and my gsconnect (kconnect but for the Gnome desktop) shows it with still having 31% of its charge:

phone status on my desktop

So far so good…

Fuel consumption

3.9l/100km or 72.4mpg (imperial) or 60.3mpg (US)

I saw 3.8 liters on 100 kilometers a moment before, but then the petrol engine started again, probably to keep me warm, so it shows 3.9 here.

An hour after that I went to pick up Zuleikha and two of her class mates from school and had an average of 4.4 liters / 100km on that trip. With four people in the car, and part of the way going 100km/h on the country road.

Not too bad for a car, is it? Better even than my motorcycle which also takes around 4.5 liters on average…

New car. Used of course.

Our car needs to be repaired. This time it’s the crank shaft sensor which has to be changed, and Mitchie decided that it’s not cost-effective to keep hanging on to that vehicle any longer; it’s now well over 19 years old and needs to be repaired more frequently lately, so she wants a new one.

No, not this one which Zuleikha saw and loved in our car dealers’ shop lately:

Toyota Yaris 4th generation in “mangan bronze”

That’s almost the same they had given us last time, and about which I’ve written here already. Super car, but we wouldn’t like to spend 20k€+ on a new car right now.

So we decided to look for its last predecessor, which is the second facelift of the third generation of the Toyota Yaris line, and we’ve found a really nice one in a trim that Toyota calls the “Style Selection”. Here’s a photo taken from the dealer who had it on offer:

Toyota Yaris Hybrid Style Selection, from 2017

This one also has a 1.5l fuel engine, but a four cylinder instead of the three cylinders in the newer version. Plus, like all full hybrids, an electrical engine and a CVT – a continuous variable transmission, meaning: no gears. No clutch, no starter, alternator, no drive shaft as well. It has a combined power output of 100hp, three more than we have now, but the top speed is limited to 165km/h (more than enough in this day and age IMO). This “Style Selection” comes with two colours as you can see, and with 16 inch wheels, a bit bigger than what we have now.

The used car market is pretty empty at the moment, and it’s understandable why: people are thinking about getting full electrical cars, but most of us who live in urban areas don’t yet have the possibility to charge these at home, or on the working place. So no electrical, no plugin hybrid, but a full hybrid like this makes the most sense at the moment, and because everyone thinks that this time will pass as well, people are buying more used than new at the moment. Understandable in my opinion.

Bob from Ireland thinks the same, namely “that it makes a lot of sense” to get a car like these:

Quick review of the Toyota Yaris Hybrid 2017

He’s driving the exact same car in red & black, and with the wheel at the other side of course, but beside of that, the same.

And here’s another (bit longer and) nice presentation from a German car dealer where Josephine also talks about the differences between her own and that slightly higher specced “Style Selection” model (in German of course):

Toyota Yaris (Modelljahr 2017) – Fahrzeugvorstellung + Probefahrt | Review/Sitzprobe

I’ve driven “ours” (which is paid, but we don’t have it registered yet), and we’re very happy with what it is and what it does. I assume that we’ll get it in a few days, then I’ll report more, and have our old one repaired, maybe somewhere locally (and a bit cheaper than at an official Toyota repair shop?). Then we’ll have to see to whom this one will go…

Oh, and this “new” car doesn’t only take less fuel than our old one (I managed to get it to 4.8l/100km on our short test drive, the old one takes a bit more than 6 litres), it also takes “E10” which can be produced a bit more environment-friendly, and which costs 6 cents less per litre than the 95 octane “Super” we need now…

As always, thanks for reading, viewing, and watching. Also thanks to Bob and to Josephine, as well as to the people at our car dealers’. Be well and stay safe everyone.

Driving the car of the year

Our car is at the dealers’ garage right now, and in exchange they gave us this one, in black:

Toyota Yaris Hybrid, 4th generation

It’s the all new Toyota Yaris, and that’s a wonderful little car – it’s also the car of the year 2021:

Toyota Yaris, Car of the Year 2021 |

So nice. It’s a hybrid, and it’s also *fun* 🙂

Now let’s hope that the repair of ours wouldn’t get too expensive…

P.S.: if you understand German, here are tests of this new and its previous 3rd gen Yaris Hybrid, both from Heise Autos.