Hello from Fiji! Wait, what?

My OnePlus Open review is live, Matter has some new tricks and the 2023 GoPro Creator Summit.

Hello from Fiji! Wait, what?

Bula! That’s how you greet someone in Fiji, which is what I’ll call home for the next 5 days. I’m one of about 50 people attending the 2023 GoPro Creator Summit. The group is mostly made up of professional athletes and other action-adventurers/creative types.

Why did I get invited? I honestly have no clue. Technically I am a creator, but my media is written words instead of video. Perhaps that’ll change after my time here.

On the agenda are multiple training sessions for using GoPro’s Hero12 Black camera, skydiving, snorkeling, speed boats, surfing, free diving… and all sorts of crazy activities. GoPro hasn’t told us everything. Yea, I’m in over my head, but I’m going to love every second of it.

I’ll have a few different stories about the trip published in the coming weeks. I can’t wait to share more with you all.

Curious about what gear I packed for Fiji? I’ll include a quick list below.

Matter 1.2 adds support for more devices, other improvements

On Monday, the CSA (Connectivity Standards Alliance) announced Matter 1.2 is now available for device makers to build into connected products. Matter, for those unaware, was announced about a year ago, with the promise of being a single connectivity standard that smart home device makers and platforms like Apple’s HomeKit, Amazon Alexa or Google Home, can implement for wider compatibility and versatility.

Matter 1.2 brings with it a few key improvements and supported device additions to the specification. Here’s a quick recap of the improvements and other newsy bits:

  • There are nine new device types. They include refrigerators, room air conditioners, dishwashers, laundry washers, robotic vacuums, smoke & carbon monoxide alarms, air quality sensors, air purifiers and fans.
  • We can expect to see Matter 1.2 devices starting later this year.
  • Matter 1.2 also included improvements for things like the handling of latch and bolt door locks for European users and the ability to alter the description of a device’s appearance in an app. There are more improvements, but they’re likely something only device makers will care about, while the average user will never know about.

Since Matter’s launch last year, I’ve been patiently waiting for product and platform support to become mainstream enough across all of the major smart home platforms that I felt comfortable with starting to add Matter devices to my smart home setup. However, adoption has been slow. To be clear, there’s no shortage of devices, but adoption by the big three tech companies (Apple, Amazon and Google) has been slow, and disappointing.

After the Matter 1.2 news was announced, I immediately read Jennifer Pattison Touhy’s story on The Verge. (Side note: Nobody, and I mean nobody, covers Matter and smart home news better than Jennifer.).

After reading her story, which includes quotes from the CSA and device makers, it’s clear that there’s still plenty of work to be done and time to pass before Matter will become the main standard. For instance, Amazon’s Chris DeCenzo told Jennifer it would add support for Matter 1.2 and new devices “over time.” Google’s Taylor Lehman told her adding support “will take time.”


Stories I had published this week:

It was a bit of a quiet week due to my trip, so I’ll keep this short and sweet.

  • Google Pixel 8 vs iPhone 15: Which phone is best for you? I compared Apple and Google’s latest entry-level phones for CNN Underscored. There’s a lot to like about either one, depending on your personal needs.
  • iPhone 15 vs. iPhone 15 Pro: Which is best for you? I didn’t realize just how similar the iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Pro are until I went line by line through the spec sheet and features of both. This was a challenging one to write, but hopefully it helps you or someone you know figure out which iPhone they should get.
  • The OnePlus Open raises the bar for foldable phones. My review of the Open went live for CNN Underscored. Hardware-wise, this is the best foldable you can get. It has several software tricks that can’t be matched, as well. Is it the best foldable to beat? I… don’t know.

What’s in my bag for Fiji?

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