A little Very late to the party, but at least it exists. It’s been so long I assumed Google just wasn’t interested in offering the feature. What took so long? The feature will support all the way back to Android 2.2, so it’s not like it was 4.3 that finally was capable of doing this.
Will be using that “Ring” feature everytime my phone falls into the couch.
Kudos: Mozilla unveils ‘aggressive’ Firefox OS schedule: Quarterly feature releases, security updates every six weeks.
It baffles me as to how slow Android is for getting updated. I understand companies like Samsung and HTC taking their time with updates, but why isn’t Google pushing out more frequently on the Nexus devices? Compare Android to their Chrome OS, which is updated every 6 weeks (and that’s the stable channel). There are plenty of minor bugs, squash them!
So, kudos to Mozilla for speeding up the game! Ironically, it was Chrome that made them get on the six week schedule, but let’s see if now Google can learn from Mozilla learning from Google.
I wonder if the quarterly feature releases continue once Firefox OS gets settled in. That seems a bit difficult to pull off, unless they aren’t very big changes.
Awwww yusssss. I actually quite like Roboto on Android (especially when thin) and so I’m glad to see it getting some tweaks! Plus, with Android 4.3 not finished yet, there might still be more changes to the font to come.
I only hope that when it does become official, it makes it into Google Web Fonts fast.
Google Voice update! Not that it’s a big update, but ever since the Google Reader announcement to be shut down, I’ve been paranoid of losing everything tech I love. This at least means something is happening.
I think it all points to another app taking over Google Voice’s duties. Google is either baking in special support for its own app, or they’re going to start supporting a 3rd party Google Voice ecosystem about a million years too late. GV is going to at least partially readying to transfer data to something, we just aren’t sure what.
So is it just going to be better integrated into Android Key Lime Pie? Is this in preparation for Google Babel to take over? Only time will tell. Google I/O can you not get here any sooner?!
Love the cards look seen at the bottom of the first page, with nice, big icons. Also love that Games is finally a category equal to its peers, rather than being that weird button next to the categories.
(Ignore the oddly colored action bars at the top, those apparently are codes to identify who leaked the pics)
Yeah, yeah, that’s not rare, and pretty much the point of Chrome Beta… so what?
WHAT? THIS ONE’S GOT FLAGS!
Hit up chrome://flags (works in the browser version of Chrome too!) once updated and start playing with those options too out there for normal consumers or features that are still in the crazy experimental phase! FUN STUFF FOR NERDS!
There are not too many which work with the mobile version yet, but I’m sure more will come! How about a flag to swap the icon to the one without the word beta? Any flags you guys wanna see?
This is my biggest beef with Android, and it has nothing to do with the OS itself. I really wish Google was more restrictive in requiring updates.
Samsung, HTC, etc., are against the concept of Google owning Motorola, but at this point, forget the other companies, I hope Google just starts focusing on Motorola. Give the all rest the source code, make them keep up with Motorola.
Also: Verizon sucks. I’m sitting here, with my Galaxy Nexus, a Nexus phone which I bought the day it came out, at the time only available at Verizon, and am now stuck with a Nexus phone currently three, count’em three, updates behind.
Google released this year’s Nexus phone, the Nexus 4, and it definitely warrants some attention. Google’s latest and greatest is looking to be a big hit and seems to already be off to best start any of their Nexus phones (though that’s not saying too much). I got to try one out as a friend was lucky enough to snag one. Didn’t get much time to play with it, but simply put, I’m a big fan.
It is the first Nexus that actually resembles the last one! Glad Google has stopped trying to re-invent its phone design. It has its differences, but overall looks very similar to the Galaxy Nexus. I would say that it’s almost to a flaw when looking at both’s faces, they are near identical. But, I’m a fan of that whole flat, black, seamless look so I’m not complaining.
The build quality makes it just feel better than the Galaxy Nexus. The edges on the sides made me associate it to the iPhone’s design philosophy rather than Samsung’s boringly plain, plastic, rounded sides.
The thing is blazingly fast. Both in terms of processing power, but also in terms of data speed. No 4G? No complaints here. My Verizon Galaxy Nexus’s battery is TERRIBLE, and I’ve already upped to the larger one. Oh, and I did a speed test on both, in a suburb near Chicago, my Verizon 4G LTE pulled in about a quarter of the speeds the Nexus 4 (T-Mobile’s HSPA+) did. Sigh…
Uhhh…. how about the INSANE price? $300 for the unlocked one! THE UNLOCKED ONE!
What’s not so hot:
The back of the phone. Sparkles? Ok… I mean they are more subtle than the pictures online made them look, so it’s not that bad, I certainly would prefer something else but they are nowhere near bad enough to be a dealbreaker. What is bad though is the material. It is way too slippery! Set the thing down on a flat surface and it might as well be an air hockey table. When I was just casually trying it, I couldn’t grab the home button and flick up to Google Now without moving the whole phone on the table.
Keeping the Galaxy Nexus look is nice, but at the same time, it does end up being a little bit… boring. I mean it is hard to complain when there isn’t anything wrong with the design, but it does just come off overall as a little unremarkable. Again, I love the simplicity of the all black face, but everything else just seems like standard, safe design. Perhaps the sparkles in the back were added for this reason.
Android 4.2. What the heck happened? It feels unfinished. Forget all the bug complaints, even if those were fixed, it still just is not a very polished update. Hopefully 4.2.2 will fix a lot of problems. Why not just release the Nexus 4 with 4.1? No one is buying it FOR 4.2, they are buying it knowing that they will be be the first to get 4.2. They are willing to wait for it to be ready.
Overall, I can easily say this is a great phone. If I were in the market for a new phone today, this is what I would buy, no second thoughts. The Android 4.2 problem is my biggest complaint with the phone, and great news: It’s also the only one that is actually able to be fixed after you purchase it! And to say 4.2 is bad quite the overstatement, it is just not quite at the level we’ve come to expect.
If your cell plan is expiring soon, definitely check out this phone. Buy it unlocked, and hop onto one of T-Mobile’s super-cheap prepaid, contract-less plans!
EDIT: This rumor was determined to be made up. I altered some of the language in the post to reflect that, but I’m leaving this post up because I think the idea really is interesting and deserves thinking about.
There was a rumor for the 29th even, since proven to be made up, that Google is not only working on LG’s Nexus 4, but also a program to allow any company to create a “Nexus” phone, provided it meets certain requirements, such as running plain, stock Android, having hardware capable of running the next few versions of Android OS, and certain features such as NFC, etc.
The idea is a very intriguing one, both good and bad. Even though proven false, I think this is interesting enough to be worth looking into. Here are my takes on the pros and cons:
When choosing a phone, consumers will have many more options. Fans of vanilla Android with dependable updates get more than one choice. Right now the Nexus phones come out one per year, either like it or don’t. Google picks the manufacturer, you just go with their flow.
Google can use this as an excuse to get Motorola cracking on a Nexus phone. Who can accuse them of favoritism when every other company has an equal opportunity? If Google used Motorola right now for a Nexus phone, shit would fly.
Perhaps an actually popular Nexus phone would exist. So far the Nexus phones haven’t exactly been the hottest sellers. With more phones out there, perhaps one would finally catch on in the eye of the general public.
Android’s OS version growth would explode. Imagine more than just 1-2 phones being up-to-date at any given point in the Android ecosystem! WOW, what a world to live in!
The phones aren’t able to differentiate via software. Hardware companies would have to compete via hardware, which is how it should be IMO. How about some Nexus phones giving iPhone’s camera a run for its money, or phones looking as sexy as possible with great battery life?
There won’t be any one “killer phone” from Google. Right now for Android fans, it’s an event to see Google’s next Nexus phone. It’s a big deal, similar to Apple’s iPhone announcements. With multiple Nexus phones, the magic disappears a little bit. Will Google continue to bless one of them as the Android phone?
Hardware companies won’t like this. With hardware companies competing via hardware, their jobs got harder for sales. Suddenly buzz terms like phones being “smart enough to be social" won’t apply. Laggy skins on the OS that shoehorn in new "features" won’t be the main selling points.
Carriers won’t like this. Carriers don’t like phones having the same OS. It is hard to sell different phones at the same price when it is also very easy for the customer to tell some are clearly better than others. Carriers would request more differences in the OS.
These “Nexus” update terms might be vague. Obviously these phones would be expected to get updates faster, but exactly how fast is faster? Right now, faster than a year would be an improvement, but far from ideal. Look at Google’s own Galaxy Nexus on Verizon, even it lags behind the OS updates. How far behind would other companies get?
If a company like Samsung sells more Galaxy S IIIs than Galaxy Nexuses, then what is the point of making more vanilla Android phones? Right now, the advantage is that there is only one at a time. It doesn’t have to compete for that specific audience, but that would disappear with this program. Over time, the one company that makes the best Nexi could become the only company to make Nexi.
So… should the Nexi program exist? I believe the pros outweigh the cons. Two of the cons are for the carriers and companies, and the consumer benefits from those. Plus, pushing the importance for fast Android OS updates is always a good thing.
But… will the Nexi program exist? I’m not sure, but I’d bet against it. I see that the hardware companies and carriers won’t like it, so who exactly will be pushing for this and then pushing the phone’s sales? Only Google?
First there is the new Android OS 4.2 which is said to be still considered Jelly Bean, and has too many rumors for it to be worth while to even explain. Might as well just wait and see what makes it into 4.2 and what will be held for 5.0.
Second, there is the Nexus 7 16gb getting replaced by a 32gb version at the same $250 price. And if you wanna go even deeper into the rumor pile, there are theories on the 8gb version dropping to $99. Awesome, but I’ll believe it when I see it. The only thing this rumor has going for it is that the iPad mini gets announced on the 23rd, and it will certainly eat into Nexus 7 marketshare, which this attempts to negate.
Finally, there is the rumor of Google launching a Nexi program, allowing any carrier to make “Nexus” phones, rather than Google picking a hardware company and putting out one phone each year. This was proven to be a hoax, but I like the idea so I’ve put my thoughts on this in a whole separate post.
BONUS: Maybe they will give an update on what is up with the Nexus Q and Google TV? Why can’t there just be a Nexus Google TV? Will it move past Honeycomb? And what exactly differentiates Google TV from the Nexus Q? By all regards, the Nexus Q appears to just be a crappy Google TV at the moment, but with better hardware. Why not just merge the two? Give Google TV the Q’s NFC/streaming capabilities with the better hardware and boom, problem solved.