You may call me an Apple fanboy, even though I use Windows and Android on a daily basis as well but that’s not the point on this article. I am not bashing Android to bash Android, I’m giving you valid excuses why the Nexus 7 will be my last Android-based device for a long time.
First let’s talk about software and what you see running on Android devices today. I am fortunate enough to have the Nexus 7 and use the latest build of Android, at this time it’s Jelly Bean. As I’ve noticed with all of Google’s Android devices, there’s a lot of fragmentation. Some brand new phones are still running Ice Cream Sandwhich, why? Because carriers think they need to mess with a mobile operating system to make it their own. This is the essence of fragmentation.
These carriers have the need to skin them differently and limit what it can do, compared to the vanilla software. This is why most new phones are running older software, it takes a long time and a lot of money to skin new versions of Android for carriers and even when they do this, they usually leave out their older devices and intentionally leave them back so it’ll force them to upgrade if they want the latest software running on their phone.
You can claim that it’s the carriers fault over Google’s but I don’t see it that way. Google is letting these carriers take their operating system and change it to fit their own needs. Google needs to assert their dominance in the mobile field and prevent carriers from forking their software. If Google were to do this, you might see a lot more people happy with their Android device like Apple users.
Apple users have a nice advantage because they control their own software and prevent these carriers from forking their software. This helps when new versions come down the line because Google can build in support for devices and when new versions are released, older devices can upgrade and benefit from performance upgrades with the software.
One major reason why Google dominates the mobile world is the vast amount of devices out there, you can pick from any types and sizes of devices that fit your uses and needs, whereas on Apple you have one device to pick from if you want current. Both of them have their advantages and disadvantages.
Apple, for example, only needs to develop for one screen size and hardware making their software lightweight and coded properly for the screen it is on, Android on the other hand has to build in compatibility for different resolutions and even ratios. Andorid succeeds here by allowing for people to get different sized phones if a 3.5-inch screen doesn’t suit your fancy.
WHen you look at the capabilities for the Nexus devices it’s kind of a let down. The brand-new Nexus 4 doesn’t support LTE, in fact none of the new Nexus devices support LTE. This is a huge disadvantage when looking at where the cellular networks are going these days. All of the major networks already have and are expanding LTE networks that provide faster transfer speeds over 3G which is pretty much considered DSL now that LTE is expanding to more networks. I want to know who would buy the Nexus 4 and know that they are buying outdated hardware. When selling devices, it is crucial that you keep up with the newest technologies to compete in the market. In my unbiased opinion, just looking at the facts, the Nexus 4, Nexus 7 3G, and Nexus 10 are coming in towards the back of the pack.
When you hold a device in your hand, you expect it to feel like it can survive daily life and not break easily. In my experience with any Android device, this is not the case. As a personal owner of the Nexus 7, I’m always afraid I’m going to break it if I don’t put it down lightly or drop it. In a world of increasing profit margins at any cost possibly, manufacturers are looking to plastic to encase their devices. Although it might look spiffy on the outside and clean, that plastic can scratch and even break easily. This is one reason you see Apple using metal and glass as their components, it can take a beating and survive.
If it was possible to debrand an Apple and Nexus device and put them side-by-side in a comparison, I would bet that they would pick Apple over the Nexus device. Not because I’m an Apple fanboy, which I don’t consider myself, but because the overall quality of the device and capabilities outweigh that of the Nexus device.
I invite you to leave your own comment on my thoughts on the new Nexus devices.