Google announced several additions to their maturing Nexus line of devices. The Nexus 4 (smartphone), Nexus 7 updated version (small tablet), and Nexus 10 (Large Tablet). Each with its own usage cases and varying degrees of consumer appeal. I’ve been finding myself increasingly, and probably wisely, paying more attention to what Google is doing with their brand and the importance it plays in the overall mobile landscape. Whether you are an Android, iOS or Windows Phone user the experiences we all have with our devices are the best we’ve ever had. Google’s increased focus on their Google brand will only add to that.
I’ve long since dropped the word fragmentation from my tech vocabulary. I’ve found that the general public doesn’t care that someone else isn’t running the same build as them as long as they are happy with their experience. Not once in the year that my mom has had her Android phone has she thought about upgrading her phone. I’m almost completely sure she doesn’t even know that its an option. She’s satisfied and that’s all that matters to her and me since I’d be the one being called every day to answer what I would deem a most unimportant question.
Nexus 4: Google chose LG as the OEM partner to produce the Nexus 4. Many had a hard time seeing any upside to this collaboration but early reviews are that LG has done a lot right with the device. I’m talking about people being shocked by how good the device has turned out. Folks, that is a great thing. Kudos LG.
As a multimedia visual designer I know very well the importance of consistency of design. The fact that Google has recognized this, made a concerted effort to push a consistent design language and introduce products that best reflect their vision can only be seen as a positive. Truth be told I think Android boasts the best lineup of amazing devices. Yes I still much prefer the Metro (I’m not stopping using the term) design language so I’m not jumping ship. Android 4.1 & 4.2 seem more like distant relatives to Metro than foreigners from a far off land. I do however want to get my hands on an Android device that’s pure Android. I was thinking that it was going to be the Nexus 7 but now I’m not so sure. The amazingly affordable unlocked price tag on the Nexus 4 is tempting. I’ll be weighing my options and deciding in the next couple weeks which device to pick up. The argument is leaning in the Nexus 7’s favor since I’m pre-ordering the Lumia 920 on AT&T as soon as the option presents itself. That will be my daily driver and the Surface RT is my large tablet of choice. The Nexus 7 fills a void in my device lineup as I’m definitely not interested in the iPad Mini despite what some reviewers say is worth the premium for the ecosystem. I’m pretty sure I can take that extra $100-$150 of premium pricing and use it to by a nice selection of apps, games and books on the Google Play Store.
Nexus 7: Really good device that has had almost universally positive reviews. Has become the defacto companion device of choice for the majority of Android camp. The upgraded storage and connectivity options while maintaining price structure has only added to the value proposition for this device.
Nexus 10: I think it’ll be the best performing large Android tablet on the market and it won’t even be close. Combined with the additional maturing and performance monitoring in Android 4.2 and it has the makings a solid mobile tablet. The user experience should be excellent and if you’re a heavy Google services user who almost never need a full productivity device this is a good device to earmark for purchase.
I think Google is doing it right. Let your OEM partners do their thing with Android. Its working well for the proliferation of your services. These newest additions to the family serves as constant reminders that Android, pure Android, is better than ever. It is alive and maturing at an astounding pace without managing to outrace usefulness. Most of all I think Google wants everyone to understand that this is their vision of what the consumer would like. They aren’t saying there are right about everything, they are just saying this is their point of view. I don’t think they’ll ever sell as well as Samsung Galaxy S line but they’ll always be products users will enjoy and remember fondly. That is important in building brand loyalty. Not just to Android but to Google itself. Advertisers pay Google, not Android.
If you were expecting this to be an Android bash fest sorry to have disappointed you. Google has started to simply its message for the Nexus line. It’s the best of Google. How can that ever be a bad thing?