back to article Surf the web from your parked Renault: Vivaldi comes to OpenR

Browser-maker Vivaldi has added Renault to the list of users for the Android Automotive OS version of its eponymous web renderer. Vivaldi Click to enlarge The company had already brought the Chromium-based browser to Polestar 2 electric vehicles at the end of 2021, so its arrival in another Android Automotive OS car was not …

  1. Pascal Monett Silver badge
    Coat

    "seven times smoother"

    Must have been a really bumpy ride before.

  2. WonkoTheSane
    FAIL

    Megane specs kneecapped for UK models.

    Sadly, it seems that Renault have replaced the 12-inch infotainment screen mentioned in the article, with a 9-inch version on all UK spec trim levels.

    They've also removed the "smart" digital rear view mirror that is absolutely essential, given the ultra-widescreen proportions of the rear glass.

    TL;DR - Will not be buying one.

    1. TeeCee Gold badge
      Meh

      Re: Megane specs kneecapped for UK models.

      It's French and relies heavily on complicated electrics. I wouldn't be buying one even if it came with free beer[1] for life.

      [1] It would probably be French and therefore taste like drain cleaner anyway.

      1. Potemkine! Silver badge

        Re: Megane specs kneecapped for UK models.

        I agree with your comments about the reliability on electrical devices aboard French cars, but I totally disagree with your comment about French beers. You should open your mind and try some who are really outstanding (see https://www.worldbeerawards.com/winner-beer/beer/2021/worlds-best-pale-beer-33480-world-beer-awards-2021 or https://www.worldbeerawards.com/winner-beer/beer/2021/worlds-best-flavoured-spirit-33502-world-beer-awards-2021)

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Megane specs kneecapped for UK models.

          For non-European readers:

          There is a north-south beer-wine divide going all through Europe. Localities below that frontier make wine, localities above make beer, and since they both have been doing it for centuries (if not millennia), they've usually gotten quite good at it.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Megane specs kneecapped for UK models.

            Not just a North/South divide, but also East/West.

            A French peasant can stamp on some grapes in an old bucket and make a world class wine, while a few km to the East, the Germans with all their money and technology make wine that tastes like gasoline.

            1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

              Re: Megane specs kneecapped for UK models.

              German wine did indeed used to be terrible but things have improved markedly over the last few decades. And there has always been some good French beer.

              1. Tams

                Re: Megane specs kneecapped for UK models.

                Shhhh.

                You're spoiling the party.

          2. Captain Hogwash

            Re: Megane specs kneecapped for UK models.

            In the north they also make excellent cider.

  3. msknight

    I can understand why.

    Recently I had a bit of a discussion with Firefox devs about issues that I was having in Firefox.. namely the amount of patch nagging, forced restarts after patches had been applied in the background (couldn't even open a new tab without being forced to restart Firefox - this was happening every few days and I was tearing my hair out at the end) and the removal of the option in the menus, to turn off automatic patching. This was the last in a number of issues which broke the camels back.

    I mean, I was getting up in the morning, sitting down at my workstation and wanting to see what had happened in the world overnight, only to be forced to do yet another firefox restart (and I have a fair few tabs open) ... and that was before I'd had my first cup of tea, which is probably me at my worst mood! :-)

    Their attitude was that Firefox must be patched, that normal users are not to be trusted with a menu option and that in order to achieve turning off automatic patching, you had to make a profile file somewhere. Even then, it failed to turn off the nagging and I went to Vivaldi and after a bit of a learning curve am finding it pretty much the same in terms of user experience, except that there's no nagging now. (obviously I had to do the usual stuff like limit the cache size, turn on the window border, etc.)

    I personally believe that Firefox's devs taking the attitude that they alone know what's best for the users is going to be an increasing barrier going forward. Which is a bit of a shame IMHO. Vivaldi and others are likely to keep winning results like this.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I can understand why.

      Does this not work?

      about:preferences

      General -> Firefox Updates

      Click "Check for updates but let you choose to install them"

      Checking my recent update history for Firefox it looks like patches are released once every couple of weeks on average. Hardly an onerous task and pretty much par for the course with any browser that takes security seriously.

      1. msknight

        Re: I can understand why.

        No, it doesn't work, unfortunately. Part of the problem was that I was researching on the internet and none of it was working, which was why I logged a bug report in the first place. Firefox devs said they deliberately made it very hard for people to turn off updates automatically. (this is in Linux) ... and it did get a bit more complicated than this, because for Mint updates are supposed to come with the package manager and Firefox devs said that Mint devs should have put the file in as part of the Mint build... but it was all actually outside the point that Firefox devs were making decisions on behalf of the users and that they were right to have that attitude.

        There is an argument that they've got a point, and that's fair enough. It's their show and their hard work. So I stopped using it.

        I'm pretty sure that if it was only every two weeks, I'd not have noticed so much.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: I'm pretty sure that if it was only every two weeks, I'd not have noticed so much.

          Probably, but then in my case it can take about a week and a half to get around to updating (typically because I have a lot of tabs open, and "update" doesn't automatically imply "important security fix", so I wait for a convenient time).

          This means that - not infrequently - just after I do the latest update, another one then appears only a day or so later, prompting the inevitable "What!? Already? I only just ... "

          1. msknight

            Re: I'm pretty sure that if it was only every two weeks, I'd not have noticed so much.

            Unfortunately, there are two update streams. One via package manager and Firefox has its own update stream. So even when I do an apt-get, (which is cron'd overnight) Firefox then does its own thing anyway and even when I managed to turn off the firefox update engine, I couldn't turn off the nag engine that would nag me every few hours, it seemed like.

            1. msknight

              Re: I'm pretty sure that if it was only every two weeks, I'd not have noticed so much.

              Just for the record, this is part of what they had to say about my request to have an update disable option in the settings menu...

              "I'm afraid that we've already considered this and made the decision that this option does not belong on the Firefox Settings page. It's simply too dangerous. Unfortunately, we live in a world where people regularly run untrusted and/or malicious code and expect their browser to allow that code to execute, but also to protect them from it. Doing this absolutely requires having updates installed regularly. Putting the setting in a place that requires some technical knowledge to set it helps limit its use to people that understand the importance of updating regularly."

              ...and...

              "Our goal was not to make it unable to be done, but to make it a little harder than just clicking a button in preferences. We had too many people that clicked the button without understanding what it was and just never got updates. You certainly can turn off updates, you just have to put more effort into it."

              Yes... let's read that again... "We had too many people that clicked the button without understanding what it was and just never got updates."

              If you want to look up the whole conversation, it's bug 1756397

    2. heyrick Silver badge

      Re: I can understand why.

      "I personally believe that Firefox's devs taking the attitude"

      I've just noticed (earlier today when I wanted to scan a form for a stool sample) that the new browser versions of Firefox for Android have completely broken its interaction with my printer.

      The printer is a bog standard HP inkjet. When you connect to it using a desktop browser, it has an option to WebScan, which is quite useful.

      On a phone, neither Chrome nor the stock browser work in any way, but Firefox when in desktop mode is able to fool the printer into doing it.

      Firefox 60 on my old phone: select options, scan, long press image, save, job done.

      Firefox 90-something on my new phone: select options, scan, looking press image, save, bloody browser tries to fetch what it already has, which the printer no longer has, it all fails.

      Also noticed that Firefox is no longer capable of basic stuff like printing, preferring to kick it over to some sort of printer helper utility rather than doing it itself. Which means any options you've set on Firefox (like desktop mode) will be lost as the printer helper is probably just going to throw the URL at WebViewer and try to print whatever that returns.

      Oh, and, what is it now, eighteen plugins? Twenty?

      What the hell are the Firefox devs thinking?

      1. heyrick Silver badge

        Re: I can understand why.

        Oh, and I've also just noticed that Google has recently pulled a rather nasty ploy.

        When you have Chrome on your phone, it seems to be hardwired into your Google account. That is to say the phone's Google identity (for Docs, the app store, etc) is now not only available to Chrome but is your identity within Google search within the browser. And there's no obvious way that I've found of logging search out, other than completely signing the entire phone out.

        For a company that blathers endlessly about people's so-called security, to have the browser always connected with the account and no way to not do this is quite horrific (and insidious).

      2. ThatOne Silver badge
        Unhappy

        Re: I can understand why.

        > What the hell are the Firefox devs thinking?

        Thinking? They have stopped doing so a long time ago. Air is probably getting too thin up there in their ivory tower, they now just sit back and "express themselves".

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: I can understand why.

        Firefox 68 for mobile was the cutoff I think. Newer ones won't (can't) access files on the phone. Some of this is down to Google, who appear to have banned browsers from accessing local files (the "Files and Media" permission is media-only and can't be changed.) I don't know if Mozilla could work round that if they wanted to.

        I had a bunch of (linked) html files saved onto my sd card as reference documents. None of the modern (Android 12-era) browsers can open them.

        1. ThatOne Silver badge
          Flame

          Re: I can understand why.

          Same here, and it's really annoying, because I have a heap of those, mostly tables (I now will need to turn into PDFs - until they remove PDF handling).

          Android is trying very hard to remove usability or at least annoy users.

          Other example, I have a cheap tablet I only use when traveling (nothing important on it), so only 1-2 times a year. Last time I booted it, Play Store had removed all my carefully curated app permissions, because "I hadn't used those apps for a long time". Well duh, I haven't used the whole tablet in a long time, genius! Why don't you uninstall yourself too, overbearing PoS?

    3. ThatOne Silver badge
      Unhappy

      Re: I can understand why.

      > devs taking the attitude that they alone know what's best for the users

      That's unfortunately a very common disease. We can all quote dozens of companies doing this, having lost all connection to what made their initial success and having yielded control to cut-rate "visionaries" and hapless marketing drones.

      To be honest, we all tend to think we know better than the idiots out there, it's only human, but intelligent people are able to look beyond their egos and put things in perspective.

      Firefox devs clearly don't, they know they know better. And besides they don't have to sell anything, if you don't like what they do you can use Chrome...

      (Very pissed) Firefox user since the very beginning.

      1. Tams

        Re: I can understand why.

        On the consumer side, that's been Microsoft since Windows 8.

        And when they knock that attitude off, they always regress again as a new generation of those trying to justify their jobs and 'visionaries' get hired.

  4. Potemkine! Silver badge

    Tant qu'il y aura des Renault, les mécanos auront du boulot

    As a Renault will probably have to stay parked somewhere waiting for a mechanics quite often, it's a good news for the poor ones stranded inside.

  5. thondwe

    Don't get it

    Personally I don't get this mega touchscreen functionality in cars (blaming Musk) - CarPlay and the Android Version I get - for Telephony/Messaging/Music, Podcasts, Sat Nav etc. on a reasonable size screen - 7/8" or so? Each driver brings their own $$$ mobile gadget with their stuff - so why duplicate the whole thing in the car? And then replace all the nice tactile switches with the touchscreen as well?

    Yes, I am old (ish).

    1. WonkoTheSane
      Headmaster

      Re: Don't get it

      You just described the VW Up! after its 2016 refresh, when they replaced the optional satnav with a phone dock.

      1. thondwe

        Re: Don't get it

        Fortunately our 67 plate Outlander PHEV is similar - though the dock is a tray under the armrest where there's also a couple of USB outlets. But about the right balance between a useful touchscreen - does some of the car setup/diagnostics and the radio + car play. Heating is still real switches, volume on steering wheel.

        Also has some unnecessary voice controls - guess useful if you are still on a bluetooth phone, but does also let you talk to Siri.

    2. ThatOne Silver badge
      Devil

      Re: Don't get it

      > I don't get this mega touchscreen functionality in cars

      Because it's not you who buys a car, it's your kids (or spouse), you just pay for it. So it has to look good for them, ie. look as much as possible like a comfy entertainment room, for them.

      Driving and the driver are secondary, just utilities, like the windshield wipers. Who buys a car because of its windshield wipers?

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