If you use Android, yesterday was big. Yet the news outlets this morning only carry news of the pending release of a new iPad. To be expected I guess given the pandering nature of US news coverage. It matters not that Android is the Number One mobile OS in the world. What matters is that these news folk seem in lock step with how they portray any possible news story that Cupertino may decide to illuminate us with.
But on to the news at hand. Yesterday we saw the arrival of major things, the changing of things, and even more.
Nexus Program Changes – We got three new devices yesterday from Google but the real thing here is that the Nexus program is at a crossroads. Before, we counted on heavily discounted phones with reference platforms of the new mobile OS. These were fun factories for all of us that appreciate the basic OS experience of Google without any of the skins or themes. But now, the price points have gone up as have what we get. From here on out, the Google Nexus program will be a highlight for more expensive devices. My take is if you want to play you will have to pay going forward. I don’t mind it at all. We are seeing costs commensurate with what carriers have done to us across the board and we get more. The things we get by buying direct are the updates, the factory images, and the developer support networks. Each of the things is a value but I think the biggest thing for me personally is the factory image support. This has saved my hide more than a few times. We may get the Nexus Player, the 6, and the 9; but we are getting really a new program which will simultaneously launch on all the carriers. This also is a major change.
The Nexus program also widens its scope in other ways. There is now a Asus infused Nexus Player and we welcome back HTC to the fold. The guys that made us the first phones running Android are back with a tablet which looks gorgeous. Motorola joins up and we get the Shamu sized Nexus 6. Whether this phone is in my future or not remains unclear but what is clear is the program is evolving. Maybe it becomes what Silver was meant to be. Who gives a s**t? We have new Nexus toys! Spend your hard-earned dollars and support them. Give the developers some cash to help them build for our devices. Lets all flash and root and break warranties starting early November.
The Android L experience is new. We are seeing a major shift in the OS now and it gets the 5.0 moniker. This is new and undoubtedly we will see minor version bumps and changes. This is like Linux in so many ways. What Lollipop really means is not new software though. What it really means is a changing of how we get Android. I believe we are moving to a annual cycle so that phone maker OEMs and software guys can catch up and remain relevant.
I know I’ve missed a whole bunch of things. Just like our news agencies around the Bay area. But don’t doubt. Yesterday was a huge day for Android. Now what remains to be seen is how Google handles the pre-ordering and shipment queues. That has been the other challenge when getting the devices straight from Google. I will be pre-ordering the Nexus 9 and Player tomorrow when they open for pre-ordering frenzy. I still love the Nexus 7 2013 version dearly and it will run Lollipop as will the Nexus 5 which should be considered as an alternative if you don’t want or need the so-called phablet. I think the N5 is sufficiently powerful to stay relevant with the release and its a beautiful handset all on its own.
Since Android is a “never done” experience much like Linux, everything evolves as the OS evolves. That’s the way it is.
And I love it being that way.