I like my new Android phone. It has power, it lets me have more control over the experience than my iPhone ever did and for a lot of people, it delivers in exactly the areas that iOS is increasingly frustrating and/or boring them. But this is not a phone I’d recommend to my Mum. Or most of my friends. Or, in all probability, you.
My Nexus 4 is a great, complete, mobile experience. The word that comes to mind again and again is “unrestrained’. Where iOS cajoles you into certain behaviours and typically ‘we know best’ UX, Android will play on your terms. Want to use Face unlock? Fine. Want to rinse your battery telling Evernote to update 60 times a day in the background? Fine. Want to sideload ROMs, new firmwares etc? Fine. On your head be it!
I’d say I’m a technological grownup. I understand how to tamper with technology and make it do what I want — but I’m old enough to deal with pretty much any consequences if it goes wrong. Most people aren’t like this. Most people don’t want this.
Okay, let’s make this clear: The Nexus is just another Android phone.
However, it’s one that Google have thrown the full weight of their marketing effort behind. Bear in mind these guys don’t hold press events for the opening of every envelope- the last big one announced Google Wave and that was only as part of a larger Google I/O gathering.
Furthermore, Google are notorious long-game thinkers. They gradually manoeuvre their way around the industry, insidiously implanting the importance of their products into your everyday lifestyle. It’s viral.
Since its announcement two years ago, Google’s Android platform has had a bit of an underwhelming start, at least until the last few months when the new HTC Hero handsets seem to have provided a proper backdrop to do it justice.
The platform itself has been bouncing along its Cupcake development branch and the 1.5 update offered a bevy of new improvements in much the same way that companies traditionally do. However, when it comes to features that place it noticeably head and shoulders above the competition, Android has been rather lacking.
Perhaps Flash is a killer feature for some but it’s not the revolution one might hope for.
Google Wave, on the other hand, could be.