1. onthecouchagain's Avatar
    I'm probably inviting fire for creating a topic in a Nexus forum, but I assure you all that I'm not here to incite immature flame wars. I'm here to discuss Nexus, and more specifically, Android.

    I've been reevaluating the value of the Nexus line (nevermind the impending onslaught of dual-core devices, etc. for a moment), but really evaluate what Google is doing here.

    Is there anyone else that wishes they would just create a phone that is meant to be a direct challenge to the Apple iPhone? I understand the whole Android experience is built on a blank canvas, that it is your phone to customize and build the way you see fit. Granted, there are obviously perks to this. There are, however, plenty of downsides. I'm beginning to see the price of having a software company developing only the software, while a hardware manufacturer developing only the hardware. Even when the two collaborate (the Nexus line) there arises problems. I'm not going to list them, but if you care to see them, just peruse the board or the Google issues report page.

    Imagine, if you will, a "Google Experience" phone that was meant for the average user. Perhaps a second "Google Experience" line so that the Nexus line can live on to keep developers happy. Imagine commissioning a manufacturer, like they would the Nexus line, to build a phone that *does* compete with the ever growing pace of mobile technology (yes, we can dive into a tangent about how fast the market changes, but anyone would agree, save for NFC, the Nexus S was dated the moment the specs were announced); I'm talking about something that is a little more future-proof than what we got. Imagine software wise, that Google changed the nature of Android to something more user-friendly. Where things were more uniformed that could cater more to the average user (how to cut and paste on an email would mean how you would cut and paste everywhere else); imagine Android being more stable (Gingerbread is chock full of glitches. many of them glaring - e.g. reboots during phone calls); yet all the while retaining the customizations and slew of options Android offers, which we love. In other words, imagine Apple iOS stability with Android's customization.

    Can they do this? If they can, they surely haven't achieved it yet. If they don't want to (which I feel is Google's stance - many have said that Google has no intention of directly competing with Apple; that the Nexus line, for example, is just meant for developers), then perhaps it's time for me to admit the Google Android experience isn't for me. Should they continue to just let other manufacturers hedge and manipulate Android to create a more user-friendly Android phone? Maybe. Maybe not. Of course, many here can't imagine a phone with skins or bloatware. But how bad is, say Touchwiz, when it can be so easily rooted and flashed to stock, or replaced by a launcher (yes, there are things deeper that this effects, but really by that much?)? How bad is bloatware, do they really do you that much harm? The answer that no one will ever admit is no. Is it really worth using the Nexus line for 2 updates from Google each year; of which, developers will undoubtedly make available to other phones (sometimes with more features than stock)? I don't know. Why doesn't Google reign in this fractionalization and start changing their ecosystem?

    Unfortunately, Apple's environment isn't the solution either. Their "the-average-user-is-an-*****" philosophy isn't exactly inviting as well, however, there's no denying that their platform is far more stable.

    All I'm asking is, why can't Google achieve the same? Or worse, why won't they try? These are questions I don't have the answers to. I'm hoping to hear opinions and discussions. Don't get me wrong, there is plenty with Android I enjoy and admire, however, I am still critical of its shortcomings. We all should be. My criticisms stem from a desire to see it grow and be improved. Until then, the Android experience can and does sometimes feel second rate.
    01-12-2011 03:18 PM
  2. Dexter73's Avatar
    Every phone and operating system has glitches. It isn't just a Google thing. Remember the IPhone 4 had the deathgrip and proximity sensor issues. Also remember it took Apple two years to implement copy and paste and three years for multitasking. Google is taking strides to address the usability issues in both Gingerbread and Honeycomb. The beauty of Android is you can tailor the operating system to fit your needs. It is not a one size fits all approach. The Nexus phones are first and foremost developer phones. It really isn't geared toward the average consumer. If you want something more geared to the average consumer get a phone with HTC Sense.
    01-12-2011 04:10 PM
  3. onthecouchagain's Avatar
    Every phone and operating system has glitches. It isn't just a Google thing. Remember the IPhone 4 had the deathgrip and proximity sensor issues. Also remember it took Apple two years to implement copy and paste and three years for multitasking. Google is taking strides to address the usability issues in both Gingerbread and Honeycomb. The beauty of Android is you can tailor the operating system to fit your needs. It is not a one size fits all approach. The Nexus phones are first and foremost developer phones. It really isn't geared toward the average consumer. If you want something more geared to the average consumer get a phone with HTC Sense.
    Well said. Thanks also for responding in kind. I was expecting flame.

    Very true points. It's such a shame there is a drawback to going the route of manufacturer's versions of Google. I guess I'm just disappointed by the Nexus line. The idea behind it was that they were pure Google experiences, unhampered by manufacturer's custom skins that create a slew of problems. But the Nexus lines aren't any better (some issues can be argued as even more glaring, for e.g., the rebooting during phone calls). It just makes me reevaluate the worth of the Nexus line.

    Granted, pure Google is still better than skins and bloatware. It just feels like there is potential here that Google willfully isn't tapping. Why shouldn't they develop a second "Pure Google" line catered more specifically to the average or end user? Android market share has brown considerably over the past couple of years, but that may stop, or at least slow as iPhone creates a slew of new legion of followers over on Verizon. Why not eat into that market a bit? There are possibilities here that Google aren't taking advantage of, and I think that's hurting the Android experience.

    Or perhaps I'm simply realizing the Nexus lines aren't for me? I don't know.
    01-12-2011 04:22 PM
  4. Dexter73's Avatar
    I don't know if you had a chance to watch the Engadget interview with Matias Duarte but he addresses many of the issues you bring up in your post.
    01-12-2011 04:35 PM
  5. onthecouchagain's Avatar
    I don't know if you had a chance to watch the Engadget interview with Matias Duarte but he addresses many of the issues you bring up in your post.
    Thanks. I'll definitely take a look!
    01-12-2011 05:42 PM
  6. Baconator's Avatar
    Is there anyone else that wishes they would just create a phone that is meant to be a direct challenge to the Apple iPhone?
    I disagree. I don't want anything like the iPhone. I don't think Google should make a device to try to compete with them. Apple can make their own phones and so can Google. Why compete. Nexus is GREAT in many ways and so is the iPhone but why try to compete. Just make good phones and make some customers happy. Apple is not that important that Google has to be worrying about them and what they are making, and trying to compete.
    chriswaar likes this.
    01-12-2011 05:59 PM
  7. onthecouchagain's Avatar
    I disagree. I don't want anything like the iPhone. I don't think Google should make a device to try to compete with them. Apple can make their own phones and so can Google. Why compete. Nexus is GREAT in many ways and so is the iPhone but why try to compete. Just make good phones and make some customers happy. Apple is not that important that Google has to be worrying about them and what they are making, and trying to compete.
    You're misreading my post. This isn't necessarily about competing with Apple to compete with Apple. This is about changing their philosophy on whether the end user should get a Google experience phone that is more user friendly; hopefully capturing some of that market which Apple currently holds. And the second point, being that the Android experience is flawed in areas which make it feel second rate.

    I respect your opinion, but you seem to misread my posts often, Baconator.
    01-12-2011 06:07 PM
  8. Baconator's Avatar
    You're misreading my post. This isn't necessarily about competing with Apple to compete with Apple. This is about changing their philosophy on whether the end user should get a Google experience phone that is more user friendly; hopefully capturing some of that market which Apple currently holds. And the second point, being that the Android experience is flawed in areas which make it feel second rate.

    I respect your opinion, but you seem to misread my posts often, Baconator.
    Oh sorry. I just probably didn't understand. It happens a lot but oh well. Good editorial.
    01-12-2011 06:12 PM
  9. Jerry Hildenbrand's Avatar
    Google writes software. When new hardware is supported by the software, they have a device built for development, and make it available for third party developers to purchase as well.

    This is not new with the Nexus S -- it's the fourth phone sold this way.
    01-12-2011 07:33 PM
  10. Gone24's Avatar
    You're misreading my post. This isn't necessarily about competing with Apple to compete with Apple. This is about changing their philosophy on whether the end user should get a Google experience phone that is more user friendly; hopefully capturing some of that market which Apple currently holds. And the second point, being that the Android experience is flawed in areas which make it feel second rate.

    I respect your opinion, but you seem to misread my posts often, Baconator.
    Well to respond to your first point, Android is not ready to compete with say the Iphone, it is neither user friendly or polished. Even Andy said that Android is still in it's early stages there are a lot of things that needs to be ironed out and fixed.

    With that said this year is the year for Android I can feel it. It will only get better, and I am proud to say that my Nexus will be the first to get all the goodies!!!!
    01-12-2011 08:53 PM
  11. qst4's Avatar
    Android is what it is. You like it or you don't and comprise where necessary. I personally don't think you will be able to get the level of iOS Stability with Android Customization. Apple's Stability is a direct result of limited customization, which is part of the reason, I would argue, that you could say most of Apple's products tend to be more stable than the competitors. Its a choice. Can you afford a glitch here and there or are you willing to give up the ability to do some interesting things with your phone. For me its really a different side of the same coin. You can't lose. Five cents is five cents regardless of the side of the coin you use.
    01-13-2011 01:51 PM
  12. onthecouchagain's Avatar
    I suppose I'm simply disappointed by stock Gingerbread.

    I wonder if people are fooling themselves regarding the value of the Nexus line in general. We're imagining a large disparity between stock Android and manufactured OEMs that simply isn't true, or more specifically, isn't as true as we want it to be. Stock Android has not liberated us from the issues which we shun OEM skins for, and in fact, have created a slew of new glitches (some of which are arguably worse: rebooting phone calls, for example). The things we complain most about of OEM skins still exist to some degree in stock Android. Likewise, Bloatware is blown way out of proportion. Yes, they are unwanted, but do they really do so much harm? The answer no one wants to admit to is no.

    Considering developers will more likely than not port over any and every new Android iteration to future phones, sometimes with improvements, and considering there are only 2 major updates from Google in a year's time anyway, I'm just reevaluating the value of the Nexus line.

    My past experiences with Android have always had OEM skins, and I was possibly making excuses to keep liking something from Google. Now that I'm using stock and there are no more excuses, I'm not sure if I can safely say Android is for me, even though I really want it to be.
    01-13-2011 02:46 PM
  13. netninja's Avatar
    hey onthecouchagain,


    I've seen several of your posts and read your editorial. My advice is, if Android just ain't cutting it for you, then by all means switch to something else that does. I personally think Android is the best mobile OS out there today (but it's not for everyone) and if Google continues innovating the way they've been going, it's going to be the best for a long time to come.


    At the end of the day, to each his own. You deserve a device that works for you. The good news is that you know Gingerbread isn't the be all and end all for Android right?

    This year alone, we'll have Honeycomb and Ice cream sandwich. By that time, Android will be even better. So if you don't mind hanging in there for the moment or switching and coming back later. Who knows, you might even love it then!
    Baconator likes this.
    01-14-2011 08:56 PM
  14. onthecouchagain's Avatar
    hey onthecouchagain,


    I've seen several of your posts and read your editorial. My advice is, if Android just ain't cutting it for you, then by all means switch to something else that does. I personally think Android is the best mobile OS out there today (but it's not for everyone) and if Google continues innovating the way they've been going, it's going to be the best for a long time to come.


    At the end of the day, to each his own. You deserve a device that works for you. The good news is that you know Gingerbread isn't the be all and end all for Android right?

    This year alone, we'll have Honeycomb and Ice cream sandwich. By that time, Android will be even better. So if you don't mind hanging in there for the moment or switching and coming back later. Who knows, you might even love it then!
    Thanks for the suggestion. My 30 day period is drawing near an end soon, and I believe I will be sticking it out with the NS. My hope is that bug fixes will come (especially for some of the more glaring issues: like rebooting during phone calls) soon. And I have high hopes for Honeycomb. If it lives up to its supposedly new and more intuitive direction, then it could indeed change my feelings regarding the Android experience.

    I do not deny that I am fond of this phone, and that I am particular toward Android. The alternatives just aren't as appetizing. I guess what I'm really trying to do is call people out on being more honest about the "pure Google experience." The supposed gulf of separation between vanilla Android and OEM skins is not as large as we imagine it is, or even wish it was. Keep in mind I'm not defending OEM skins; I would never. I'm just arguing vanilla Android isn't all its cracked up to be. Hopefully, not yet.
    01-15-2011 02:40 AM
  15. Droid800's Avatar
    Thanks for the suggestion. My 30 day period is drawing near an end soon, and I believe I will be sticking it out with the NS. My hope is that bug fixes will come (especially for some of the more glaring issues: like rebooting during phone calls) soon. And I have high hopes for Honeycomb. If it lives up to its supposedly new and more intuitive direction, then it could indeed change my feelings regarding the Android experience.

    I do not deny that I am fond of this phone, and that I am particular toward Android. The alternatives just aren't as appetizing. I guess what I'm really trying to do is call people out on being more honest about the "pure Google experience." The supposed gulf of separation between vanilla Android and OEM skins is not as large as we imagine it is, or even wish it was. Keep in mind I'm not defending OEM skins; I would never. I'm just arguing vanilla Android isn't all its cracked up to be. Hopefully, not yet.
    I think the biggest beef people have with OEM skins doesn't have to do with features, but instead has to do with how much they slow down updates being released to all phones.
    01-15-2011 03:21 AM
  16. Droid800's Avatar
    I suppose I'm simply disappointed by stock Gingerbread.
    I was the opposite. I was really impressed what Google did with it. They fixed a lot of the most apparent visual problems with the OS, and I think it can finally compete on some level with iOS in terms of Fit and Finish. There's still a long ways to go, but I was impressed with the changes that they did make.
    01-15-2011 03:24 AM
  17. netninja's Avatar
    I was the opposite. I was really impressed what Google did with it. They fixed a lot of the most apparent visual problems with the OS, and I think it can finally compete on some level with iOS in terms of Fit and Finish. There's still a long ways to go, but I was impressed with the changes that they did make.
    I concur. Definitely love the new text selection/copy and paste tool. It's made the transition to not having a trackball painless.
    01-15-2011 11:19 AM
  18. smithwicky's Avatar
    So many what ifs...I know I am new to using Android (as well as my NS) but I certainly have been studying all things across the mobile platform. I am in love with the idea of the Nexus line and for the most part they really deliver. I love that there is always something that can be tweeked for future developments. Not to shun the idea of making a phone like the iphone, I get the feeling that Android really is not trying to create an experience like the iphone. It is as if they created thought of this great idea (android OS) and instead of keeping it to themselves they passed it on to who ever wants to play with it (manufacturers). In the long run who knows anything about anything. Things change too frequently.
    01-15-2011 07:05 PM
  19. font1975's Avatar
    Meh. It works for you or it doesn't. The Nexus line is the same philosophy as why I build my own computers. Is it the the cheap route? Not really. Is it necessarily more stable? Nah. Does get me what I want and nothing more. Yep.

    It is a blank slate that I can personalize and have only the stuff on there I want. Regardless if it slows down the device or slows updates; if I don't need something (e.g. Twitter or facebook crap), why have it on there? On less thing to break; one less attack vector.

    And the support from Google is generally pretty good. There's a few Nexus owners that seem to get their knickers bunched up when the next Android OS doesn't show up within days of it being released on AOSP. But the updates do come, and do so fairly regularly.

    My N1 has had one major update and 2 or 3 minor ones in 6 months; my NS has had one minor update thus far. Pretty good track record, I'd say. And the reason why as long as there is a Nexus, I'll probably own one.
    Akbar#AC likes this.
    01-18-2011 10:47 AM
  20. RayStinkle's Avatar
    The best thing about the nexus phones is: fastboot oem unlock. That's really what its all about.
    01-18-2011 04:07 PM
  21. bclapper's Avatar
    I think what Verizon has done with Bing on some of their phones is criminal. Bloatware is a legit gripe. What Google is doing with Android is very different from what Apple is doing with iPhone. After reading your editorial and other post in this thread I suggest you look into Windows Phone 7. I would never buy a WP7 phone but it is a simpler approach to the smartphone without losing most of the basic features you'd expect.

    Also you brought up the phone restart during calls alot. I personally haven't had this yet but heard of similar complaints. Have you tried to exchange your phone? I don't think I could handle that. My only gripe has been shortcuts I try to place on my phone sometimes wind up in a random folder.
    01-18-2011 10:37 PM
  22. onthecouchagain's Avatar
    I think what Verizon has done with Bing on some of their phones is criminal. Bloatware is a legit gripe. What Google is doing with Android is very different from what Apple is doing with iPhone. After reading your editorial and other post in this thread I suggest you look into Windows Phone 7. I would never buy a WP7 phone but it is a simpler approach to the smartphone without losing most of the basic features you'd expect.

    Also you brought up the phone restart during calls alot. I personally haven't had this yet but heard of similar complaints. Have you tried to exchange your phone? I don't think I could handle that. My only gripe has been shortcuts I try to place on my phone sometimes wind up in a random folder.
    Thanks for the suggestions. Regarding the shortcuts, that's a glitch with Gingerbread I've experienced as well. Please visit this report and star it so Google may fix it in a future update: Issue 13434 - android - Disappearing Home Screen Icons - Project Hosting on Google Code
    01-19-2011 11:22 AM
  23. font1975's Avatar
    Thanks for the suggestions. Regarding the shortcuts, that's a glitch with Gingerbread I've experienced as well. Please visit this report and star it so Google may fix it in a future update: Issue 13434 - android - Disappearing Home Screen Icons - Project Hosting on Google Code
    Thanks for that link. It's a similar issue to what I reported here previously:
    http://forum.androidcentral.com/sams...e-widgets.html

    I've added my notes to that report as well.
    01-19-2011 01:35 PM
  24. bclapper's Avatar
    Thanks for the suggestions. Regarding the shortcuts, that's a glitch with Gingerbread I've experienced as well. Please visit this report and star it so Google may fix it in a future update: Issue 13434 - android - Disappearing Home Screen Icons - Project Hosting on Google Code
    Thanks for the link. Just starred it.
    01-19-2011 05:30 PM
  25. onthecouchagain's Avatar
    Thanks everyone who is starring. If you experience any of the issues found in this thread, please star those reports as well: Reporting Issues to Google thread
    01-19-2011 10:24 PM
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