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Google's Nexus 4, 7, 10 Strategy: Openness At All Costs

Soulskill posted about a year and a half ago | from the is-openness-with-limits-openness-at-all? dept.

Google 359

MrSeb writes "There have been plenty of rumors about how the Nexus program was going to grow and change with this year's announcement. Now that we have all the details, it looks like almost none of them were right. There is no Nexus certification program, and the dream of multiple Nexus phones seems well and truly dead. What we do have is a range of device sizes with the Nexus 4, Nexus 7, and Nexus 10. However, the Nexus program has been altered in one important way: we know what Nexus means now. There can no longer be any doubt: a Nexus device is about openness first and foremost. Last year the technology sphere was busily discussing whether or not the Verizon Galaxy Nexus was a 'true' Nexus device. This year we have an answer: a Nexus controlled by a carrier is no Nexus. Rather than get in bed with Verizon, Sprint, or AT&T to produce an LTE version of the Nexus 4, we have HSPA+ only. Even the new Nexus 7 with mobile data is limited to this enhanced 3G standard. And then there's the pricing: The super high-resolution (2560×1600) Nexus 10 tablet starts at just $399; The Nexus 7 is dropping in price to $199 for a 16GB tablet; The Nexus 4 with 16GB of storage is going to sell for $349, exactly the same as the old Galaxy Nexus was until yesterday. To put this into perspective, the LG Optimus G, which the Nexus 4 is based on, sells for $550 without subsidy. Google is pushing the idea of openness with the Nexus devices, but it's not an entirely altruistic endeavor. By giving us cheap and open devices, Google is making sure it's in control — not the carriers. That's better for the consumers, but it's also better for Google."

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359 comments

No LTE, less space than a nomad (1, Funny)

larry bagina (561269) | about a year and a half ago | (#41820273)

Lame.

Re:No LTE, less space than a nomad (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41820371)

Lame.

But perfect for me!

Re:No LTE, less space than a nomad (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41820417)

Lame.

42MBps is more than enough for a cellphone, IMHO.

Re:No LTE, less space than a nomad (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41820425)

Sure makes the latest Motorola look good doesn't it...

Re:No LTE, less space than a nomad (3, Insightful)

shawn(at)fsu (447153) | about a year and a half ago | (#41820507)

I had the same knee jerk reaction, but HSPA+ while not LTE isn't just 3g either. I'm I'm still considering picking this up if I can get unlimited data from a provider. I grow tired of big red and having to take what they give me. Having unlimited data with them just isn't worth it anymore. I was going to have to buy my next phone outright anyway just to keep that plan, so if I can buy phone without a contract for 299 instead of having to have one subsidized by a carrier and have to deal with their crap then i's still a compelling offer.

Re:No LTE, less space than a nomad (4, Interesting)

Artraze (600366) | about a year and a half ago | (#41820849)

HSPA+ is just as 4G as LTE is, according to Wikipedia (which is to say, it was decided that while they weren't technically 4G they advanced 3G enough to be called 4G).

What advantages does LTE have over HSPA+ that would make the latter "lame" by comparison?

Re:No LTE, less space than a nomad (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41820517)

No SD cad
No removable battery
No LTE
Glass back...

They've made an iPhone 4S - but now these features ok in Fandroids minds.

Gotta love google skating to where the puck WAS

Re:No LTE, less space than a nomad (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41820663)

the back is not glass.

Re:No LTE, less space than a nomad (1)

Githaron (2462596) | about a year and a half ago | (#41820699)

No removable battery? Aside from the fact that I am on Verizon, that killed any desire to get it. Until they create a battery that can go several days without recharging my phone, I want to be able to swap out my battery. If would be awesome if they made a phone where the battery was hot-swappable and cartridge based so I do not need to turn off the phone or remove the back cover to get to replace the battery.

Re:No LTE, less space than a nomad (2)

Firehed (942385) | about a year and a half ago | (#41820883)

Do you actually carry multiple batteries?

Serious question. I hear people gripe about this all the time, but I don't know ANYONE who actually carries extra batteries. I only hear of people either carrying a charging cable or asking to borrow one.

If would be awesome if they made a phone where the battery was hot-swappable and cartridge based so I do not need to turn off the phone or remove the back cover to get to replace the battery.

So, you *actually* want a phone that gets better battery life.

Re:No LTE, less space than a nomad (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41820981)

Yes, some of us do carry multiple batteries. I typically have 2-3 fully charged batteries with me.

Re:No LTE, less space than a nomad (1)

Enry (630) | about a year and a half ago | (#41820985)

I have an HTC Thunderbolt. If I'm traveling and away from an outlet for more than 4 hours at a time, I need extra batteries.

I also have a USB battery that can help in a pinch, but a fresh battery is a lot better.

Re:No LTE, less space than a nomad (4, Informative)

Mullen (14656) | about a year and a half ago | (#41821015)

Do you actually carry multiple batteries?

Serious question. I hear people gripe about this all the time, but I don't know ANYONE who actually carries extra batteries. I only hear of people either carrying a charging cable or asking to borrow one.

No, but I want to replace the small battery with a large on. I used my Nexus Galaxy with the standard battery for 2 months before replacing it with battery that would last 2 days, which is what I need.

Re:No LTE, less space than a nomad (1)

tuppe666 (904118) | about a year and a half ago | (#41820787)

No SD cad
No removable battery

You are aware that your Apple phone does not have these either! Seriously Fandroids...that doesn't even work as an insult!

Re:No LTE, less space than a nomad (0)

firesyde424 (1127527) | about a year and a half ago | (#41820979)

Why is the lack of LTE lame? Are you that interested in being able to max your data cap faster than my HSPA+ phone can? Yes, LTE is technically the better service. But, in the US at least, HSPA+ support with a lack of LTE support is only really an issue if you are stuck in an area with good LTE coverage and no/spotty HSPA+ coverage.

Openness (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41820293)

If it was all about openness, then why no micro sd slot

Re:Openness (4, Insightful)

dmacleod808 (729707) | about a year and a half ago | (#41820313)

I presume "open" refers to the software stack, not the hardware.

Re:Openness (4, Informative)

tuppe666 (904118) | about a year and a half ago | (#41820601)

If it was all about openness, then why no micro sd slot

What has openness got to do with a micro sd slot!? I in no way defend not having one. I think that cripples the devices. Seriously you could have talked about the APACHE license, or binary drivers. Merging the Linux kernel, opening up the 1st Party proprietary programs on Android, or highlight the GPL programs available on android! [use http://f-droid.org/ [f-droid.org] ]Not having a microsd slot is about creating artificial different price points for your device. The truth is when compared to the competition it is the most open.

Re:Openness (1)

Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) | about a year and a half ago | (#41820773)

If it was all about openness, then why no micro sd slot

What has openness got to do with a micro sd slot!?

Yet again "open" is overloaded with multiple related meanings that seem identical to most of the people using the term.

In this case, the OP is referring to the idea that without viable removable storage a phone like this has the effect of pushing users towards "the cloud." [techcrunch.com]

Everything (2)

Kludge (13653) | about a year and a half ago | (#41820835)

What has openness got to do with a micro sd slot!?

Additional storage slots give people the ability to store stuff on their own devices, not in Google's cloud. They give people the ability to store data rather than having to retrieve it (and advertising) over a carrier's network connection repeatedly.

I was going to buy a Nexus, but no SD slot, no sale. Sorry.

Re:Everything (5, Funny)

Albanach (527650) | about a year and a half ago | (#41820949)

Oh come on, 16GB should be enough for anybody.

Re:Openness (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41821025)

If it was all about openness, then why no micro sd slot

If Gnu/Linux was all about openness, why doesn't it wash my car?

Re:Openness (5, Interesting)

MachDelta (704883) | about a year and a half ago | (#41821033)

Several reasons:

1) It's supposed to guide carriers/mfgs away from partitioning the memory on their phones (apps/music/etc). The Nexus standard is for a single volume that the user can fill with whatever they like. Remember, the Nexus line is a "do as I do" standard.

2) Mixing EXT and FAT is silly, since the benefits of EXT are lost when users shift their stuff to the FAT SD card. Since most people think FAT is what you are when you're overweight, and EXT is a trim level on a Chevy truck, they don't realize what they're giving up (like filesystem security) by moving apps and data to their SD card.

3) Forcing MTP mode means the phone can keep it's entire filesystem mounted without having to hand it over to whatever computer it's plugged in to, as well as keeping control (permissions) over the actual data on/written to the disk. It also means that when you trip and yank the USB cable out in the middle of copying files over, you haven't corrupted your data.

4) It saves on hardware (cost, thickness, etc)

5) Fewer interoperability headaches. Not all SD cards are created equal, and someone trying to run a read/write intensive app off their slow-as-dirt cheap SD may blame poor performance on "my piece of shit phone"

When I first got my Galaxy Nexus, I too was concerned about the storage limitations. After all, I wanted to put my entire music library on my phone... never mind that my entire library is literally weeks of playtime, or that there are apps perfectly capable of streaming my own media off a home server for me on demand (with the caveat/concession that I am normally away from WiFi for no more than 30 minutes), or that if I *really* wanted to go gung-ho with music for some reason I had a perfectly capable MP3 player that was even better than my phone (battery life, etc) for that purpose. Nope, I wanted to put the whole thing on my phone because it would make me feel warm and fuzzy inside. The reality is that I don't need to do that, I just wanted to. Once I shifted my expectations to match my reality, it ceased to bother me.

I compare the lack of an SD card to the "range anxiety" you see in EV cars. It bothers us that it's not available even though the majority of trips are well within an EV's range. Once you prove to yourself that you don't really need it (and can work around it in case you do), it's not such a big deal.

Openness Bulshitness (0, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41820305)

Their Google play has regional customized availability. i.e. many apps are not available due to some stupid error or censorship. I had to contact at least 2 app authors including Kaiten email to make it available in the country I am currently residing in. The app ranking is also region dependent...

Security is still a main issue. We used to ramble about Windows, and now Android acts like the old windows system, the swiss cheese of security.

Unfortunately the other alternatives are more sinister than Android so we don;t have other options. Other possible proposed alternatives are not commercially viable since only large companies can venture into this market.

Re:Openness Bulshitness (1)

dmacleod808 (729707) | about a year and a half ago | (#41820393)

What other options are more sinister? Obviously iOS is a closed system, but Windows Phone 8 has yet to be tested security-wise. We also have Firefox OS on the horizon as well as hopefully a resurgence of Meego

Re:Openness Bulshitness (1, Insightful)

postbigbang (761081) | about a year and a half ago | (#41820533)

The original poster has the qualities of a shill. The open system actually feeds Google's app control needs, and allows Google to continue its privacy-robbing policies, and total location and usage context control of users of the platform.

Yes, Apple does this, too.

It's why I'm hoping for BootGecko, and other "smartphone" operating systems that aren't built on business models that retain way too much customer information. Even Canonical with Unity is starting to bow to the Dark Side.

Re:Openness Bulshitness (2)

SuperMooCow (2739821) | about a year and a half ago | (#41820681)

And the last thing I've heard about WebOS was "I'm not dead yet!"

That, or we all switch to AmigaOS. Or BeOS. Why must the Davids always fail and the Giants win?

Re:Openness Bulshitness (2)

larry bagina (561269) | about a year and a half ago | (#41820893)

After the Davids win, they grow into Goliaths.

Re:Openness Bulshitness (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41820477)

Seriously? You're trying to say that Android is less secure than Windows? What utter crap. Android is the most secure OS (mobile or otherwise) and you know it.
 
Since when has Slashdot become a hangout for the Apple shills?
 
Keep loving your walled garden, shill.

Re:Openness Bulshitness (5, Insightful)

tuppe666 (904118) | about a year and a half ago | (#41820519)

We used to ramble about Windows, and now Android acts like the old windows system, the swiss cheese of security.

Apart from its not true. Security is a issue on EVERY platform, and Google have routinely stepped up security while allowing the...and I cannot empathise this enough the *option* of openness. Security has just become one of those words that Apple shareholders user to pretend that a closed ecosystem is somehow better...Its not it just means the company owns the device (and the content) not you. It means you get rubbish maps!

Re:Openness Bulshitness (3, Interesting)

Applekid (993327) | about a year and a half ago | (#41820589)

Their Google play has regional customized availability. i.e. many apps are not available due to some stupid error or censorship. I had to contact at least 2 app authors including Kaiten email to make it available in the country I am currently residing in. The app ranking is also region dependent...

And the rest of the story? Did those authors make it available to your country? If an application author doesn't tick whatever box they need to in order to make it available in your location, whose fault is it? As far as censorship, you could argue that by allowing sideloading all they're doing is refusing to distribute it via their online store. Meanwhile, if Apple doesn't want your app to exist, you'll have to hack your device to get it up and running.

Security is still a main issue. We used to ramble about Windows, and now Android acts like the old windows system, the swiss cheese of security.

I don't recall Windows every explicitly defining the permissions a given application requires when being installed, letting me make an informed decision. The best it currently does is ask if I want to run it as Administrator, basically, don't trust it and close it, or trust it and give it access to everything and anything. The Android model is a pretty good one to copy, IMO.

Unfortunately the other alternatives are more sinister than Android so we don;t have other options. Other possible proposed alternatives are not commercially viable since only large companies can venture into this market.

What do you mean? If you didn't buy your Android device from a company that locked it down, you're free to write your own bootloader. Hell, Canonical is working on a distro now for current Nexus devices, maybe you can lend a hand?

Re:Openness Bulshitness (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41820929)

Its not my country you idiot. Some of us have to travel to work and earn a living...

As for security, even CyanogenMod has many gaps due to the faulty Android system design. If you don't see the security gaps than you are in the wrong field.

Wasted enough time on this reply...

Screen size (3)

bhunachchicken (834243) | about a year and a half ago | (#41820311)

I don't know about anyone else, but I think that the size of the Nexus 4 is too big at 4.7". I was hoping for a 4" to 4.3" screen, but Google have really pushed for that extra big handset.

I had heard a rumour that there were going to be several manufacturers involved in the Nexus 4 - Samsung, LG, HTC and Sony - but apparently it's just LG. A shame, as I think that if Google had managed to score a contract with them to produce a variety of Nexus 4 devices, all controlled by Google, they would have produced the ultimate Android phone.

Well, at least there's Cyanogenmod, with it's incoming OTA update feature.

Re:Screen size (2, Interesting)

tuppe666 (904118) | about a year and a half ago | (#41820445)

I don't know about anyone else, but I think that the size of the Nexus 4 is too big at 4.7". I was hoping for a 4" to 4.3" screen, but Google have really pushed for that extra big handset.

Nobody not one person alive. The only people even suggesting such stupidity are those promoting Apple...and those would be better selling off their shares ;). Seriously Tiny screens are awful they always were. Just for reference dual core is not better than quad-core, Less memory is just that less memory, If you do proper multitasking and want to build next generation applications these things matter NOW! Apple phones last generation phone or as Apple shareholders say "Specs don't matter"

I think its kind of sad that your forced to post in Android posts in the illusion that Apple is still relevant. Its market share has dropped from 23% to 15% says otherwise.

Re:Screen size (3, Insightful)

TheGratefulNet (143330) | about a year and a half ago | (#41820691)

Tiny screens are awful they always were

or, just perhaps, your whole view on how to write gui's for them is all broken.

size matters and if I have to carry the damned thing, I want it small enough to fit in a pocket; a normal human every day pocket.

nexus one is ideal in size for pockets and hands.

the gui is all wrong, the resolution is wrong, but the size is ideal.

bigger is stupid for phones. tablets, I could care less about; but phones should be PORTABLE. you just want a tablet that makes calls; admit it.

Re:Screen size (2)

RandomFactor (22447) | about a year and a half ago | (#41820933)

I admit it. About a 7" Phablet is what I'm waiting for.

Galaxy Note II is the closest thing out, wish it was a Nexus device though.

Re:Screen size (1)

mcgrew (92797) | about a year and a half ago | (#41820909)

Seriously Tiny screens are awful they always were

A phone that won't fit in my pants pocket is useless. It might as well be a 1972 landline. My old original Razr had a tiny screen, and it worked fine for texting and internet. The one I have now is bigger, almost too big, and I don't see a lot of difference in the screens.

If you're old and not a cyborg just buy some strong reading glasses.

Re:Screen size (3, Insightful)

TheGratefulNet (143330) | about a year and a half ago | (#41821035)

If you're old and not a cyborg just buy some strong reading glasses.

or, just consider this fact, THE GUI USED IS BROKEN, by design.

they took big screen concepts and the young kids (sorry, but I'm being blunt here) didn't understand all of the user base for the phones.

all of us who are getting older (happens to everyone, just you wait!) can't easily use the gui's that the kids, today are writing. and they don't get it, it seems, since the gui toolkits are not showing any signs of being usable by those who are over middle age.

I should not have to fight with my phone to get it to accept my input. I should not have to magnify everything to get access to controls. if I have to do that, you did the gui all wrong.

I know the young eyes out there will just write this off; but designing for HUMAN factors includes those whose eyes are not as sharp as yours. ignore us and you'll be ignoring yourself soon enough. like I said, we all will be there at some point or another; stop assuming everyone has great vision and great finger motor control over millimeter distances on flat glass.

Re:Screen size (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41820447)

I don't know about anyone else, but I think that the size of the Nexus 4 is too big at 4.7". I was hoping for a 4" to 4.3" screen, but Google have really pushed for that extra big handset.

5" is too much (Galaxy Note).
4" is too small for people with big thumbs (iPhone 5).
4.65"/4.7" is perfect (Galaxy Nexus/Nexus 4).

Re:Screen size (0)

Kethinov (636034) | about a year and a half ago | (#41820465)

I don't know about anyone else, but I think that the size of the Nexus 4 is too big at 4.7". I was hoping for a 4" to 4.3" screen, but Google have really pushed for that extra big handset.

Glad I'm not the only one.

To me it's just silly to call a 4.7" phone the Nexus 4. They should round to the closest whole number and call it the Nexus 5 instead.

Re:Screen size (0)

Moderator (189749) | about a year and a half ago | (#41820647)

I don't know about anyone else, but I think that the size of the Nexus 4 is too big at 4.7". I was hoping for a 4" to 4.3" screen, but Google have really pushed for that extra big handset.

Glad I'm not the only one.

To me it's just silly to call a 4.7" phone the Nexus 4. They should round to the closest whole number and call it the Nexus 5 instead.

It's called "Nexus 4" because it is the fourth Nexus phone (after Nexus One, Nexus S, Galaxy Nexus), not because of the size.

Re:Screen size (1)

MurukeshM (1901690) | about a year and a half ago | (#41820783)

Ah..Seems inconsistent with the names of the other devices (a 7" Nexus 7, 10.something" Nexus 10).

Re:Screen size (1, Insightful)

poet (8021) | about a year and a half ago | (#41820503)

I agree completely. I have very large hands and a 4.7" is not a phone. I have a 4.3" phone and that is almost perfect but I could see where my SO would never be able to use it comfortably. All due complaints to Apple but I think honestly the 4" screen of the Iphone 5 is probably perfect for most hands. When I look at the Note 2 and the S3 and now Nexus 4 I am thinking to myself, how can I use this? I can only use it with two hands. That means it is a tablet, not a phone.

Re:Screen size (2)

CastrTroy (595695) | about a year and a half ago | (#41820725)

I have small hands, and 4.7 inches is definitely not a phone. I have a 4.0 inch screen, and it's about as much as I can handle. People I'm talking to constantly complain about wind noise because it's too big to hold and be able to block the wind using a single hand. I think next time around I'll get the smallest and cheapest phone I can that supports tethering, which will probably end up being great as an actual phone, and then get a nice tablet for consumption. Phones are pretty terrible for consumption no matter what the size, so I might as well just let my phone be a phone, and get a tablet for doing all the stuff they try to cram into a phone.

Re:Screen size (1)

Simulant (528590) | about a year and a half ago | (#41820709)

I'm with you. Don't really want a phone that's much bigger than the Nexus S. I found the Galaxy Nexus to large to use one handed. If I need a bigger screen I'll get a tablet.

Why? (1)

Kludge (13653) | about a year and a half ago | (#41820915)

I don't know about anyone else, but I think that the size of the Nexus 4 is too big at 4.7

You worried that it will make a bulge in your strechpants?
Buy an "iPhone" or one of hundreds of other smaller handsets.

This Slashdot post is brought to you by Google... (-1)

93 Escort Wagon (326346) | about a year and a half ago | (#41820339)

... maker of the quality Nexus line of products.

It seems to me the Nexus devices are, first and foremost, all about control - a developing trend within all of the first-tier companies in this space. Apple, Microsoft, and Google desire to control the entire ecosystem because they've come to realize it provides them with the most significant long-term economic benefit.

Re:This Slashdot post is brought to you by Google. (2)

fredprado (2569351) | about a year and a half ago | (#41820405)

Apple and Microsoft do want total control. Google does not care much about total control, they get their money in so many ways that it is unavoidable that they will get it in the end. The proof of that is that anyone can sell apps outside Google Play, be it in other stores or in his own site, instead having to go through the centralizing policy Apple and MS apply to their products.

it's about wrestling control away from carriers &a (4, Informative)

1800maxim (702377) | about a year and a half ago | (#41820429)

manufacturers. both neglect their users. what google is doing is providing an open device where the user is in control and no longer bound by limitations of carriers and manufacturers.

Re:it's about wrestling control away from carriers (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41820685)

Unless it's on Verizon. They pulled google apps for their own when they had the last Nexus did they not?

Re:This Slashdot post is brought to you by Google. (1)

Nerdfest (867930) | about a year and a half ago | (#41820711)

Control? As faras I'm aware, you do not need to have you device talk to Google *at all*. Google wants an open web so they can push ads. They trade services for personal information, but you're not required to use their services. MS and Apple want what AOL had, and I hope they both end up the same way.

Re:This Slashdot post is brought to you by Google. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41820995)

So Apple hardware + Apple OS + Apple Software is bad but Google hardware + Google OS + Google Software is good. I get it, you're a cum burping retard.

Re:This Slashdot post is brought to you by Google. (3, Interesting)

muon-catalyzed (2483394) | about a year and a half ago | (#41820903)

Apple.. high margin on hardware.
MS.. high margin on OS.
Google.. high margin on ads shown on subsidized hardware plus free OS.


Google model is so disrupting here, MS and Apple do not know it yet, but they are history.

Re:This Slashdot post is brought to you by Google. (2)

pentadecagon (1926186) | about a year and a half ago | (#41821007)

What exactly do you want? Those things come with an unlocked boot loader. The complete source of the software is available. Everybody can modify it freely. What else could Google possibly do?

They need to expand. (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41820349)

Google need to expand the Play Store to more countries. Not only apps, but music, books and movies too!
Google should also sell its Nexus devices in more countries too.

USA and Europe are not the only places in the world...

one caveat (1, Insightful)

killmenow (184444) | about a year and a half ago | (#41820367)

By giving us cheap and open devices, Google is making sure it's in control -- not the carriers. That's better for the consumers, but it's also better for Google.

That's better for the consumers for now. But in the long run there's no more reason to trust Google than the telephone companies where power is currently concentrated. Once all the power is in Google's hands (if they get their way) it's not so good for consumers anymore.

Re:one caveat (4, Insightful)

Gary (9413) | about a year and a half ago | (#41820439)

Worst case scenario, Google gets all the power. Is that better or worse than the phone companies having full control?

Ideally we'd have good healthy competition, but I'll take Google over AT&T any day.

Re:one caveat (1)

the_B0fh (208483) | about a year and a half ago | (#41820449)

And like most consumers are actually capable of long term thinking...

Re:one caveat (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41820455)

Seriously, since when is it "better for consumers" to have one company in control, rather than to have 3-4 companies in control?

Re:one caveat (2)

i_ate_god (899684) | about a year and a half ago | (#41820491)

It's also not good for business.

Monopolies break capitalism.

Re:one caveat (5, Insightful)

AdmV0rl0n (98366) | about a year and a half ago | (#41820493)

No, you only need to understand this is at least partially wrong. The carriers *want* you to buy a phone today, and seemingly are happy for it to arrive tommorow, and have problems from the following day. This equates to the idea of contracts where end users can't wait to get a new phone, rinse - repeat. In this regard, the carriers are not your friends, and don't want to be, They only want you to pay them the money, and get a new contract.

Google Nexus devices are likely to get updates and changes, irrespective of the evil shit carriers pull - or lack of effort on their part in none evil cases. I still have Samsung devices that T Mobile either won't update, or the updates come months and months late. Or you simply get told they can't be bothered to work on the update, get a new handset.

So - for now - I'm glad Google are attacking this problem. The carriers need the lesson.

Re:one caveat (1)

Githaron (2462596) | about a year and a half ago | (#41820795)

Android can be forked if need be. Sure, Google's services would probably be removed but there is no reason another company could not replace them with their own versions..

Can recommend Nexus again. (4, Informative)

Qwavel (733416) | about a year and a half ago | (#41820431)

In some countries and on some carriers one of the promises of the Nexus brand was broken: we didn't get timely OS updates.

I felt this was a breach of trust - the sort of thing we expect from our carriers and some manufacturers - and it meant I couldn't recommend the Galaxy Nexus to others.

Fortunately, it seems that what happened with the Galaxy Nexus was not acceptable to Google either, and I'm really impressed with the lengths they are going to - bypassing the carriers completely in my country - to set things right.

They will probably only sell a tiny number of the new Nexus w/o carrier support but then again, the carriers' were never going to like or promote a phone that came unlocked and with broad carrier support - so they did little to promote the G'Nex anyway.

So, I'm disappointed that the new Nexus doesn't have LTE, but there is some sense in it (see the linked below for a good explanation) and I believe that the Nexus is once again worth recommending to friends*.
http://www.theverge.com/2012/10/29/3569688/why-nexus-4-does-not-have-4g-lte [theverge.com]

(*assuming the reviews don't uncover lots of bugs or unexpected shortcomings.)

where is my hardware keyboard? (1)

datapharmer (1099455) | about a year and a half ago | (#41820433)

And if they would just add a hardware keyboard I would be perfectly satisfied... every try working on a server with a touchscreen even in a pinch? Was that backspace or enter you wanted on that commandline? Finger slipped.... whoops!

Re:where is my hardware keyboard? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41820605)

It supports bluetooth, go get any keyboard you want

Re:where is my hardware keyboard? (4, Insightful)

TheGratefulNet (143330) | about a year and a half ago | (#41820755)

the person who even SUGGESTED that backspace/delete and enter/return should be ANYWHERE NEAR EACH OTHER on a touch screen should be shot. just summarily shot.

and there would be much rejoicing; there really would.

At the cost of storage, too (3, Insightful)

SuperBanana (662181) | about a year and a half ago | (#41820443)

Reaction on the Android forums has been pretty swift: no microSD card slot = fail, especially given that there's a paltry 8GB in some of the units. My iPhone 2G had 8GB of storage. It was about enough for my music and some apps. That was also 5 years ago. They're trying to force cloud storage onto you by giving you a pathetic amount of storage and eliminating expansion. Meanwhile, they're forcing Google+ instant-uploads on people to encourage them to use it. All of this means increased data usage and reliance on google for your storage needs, which means they're going to start monetizing it at some point in the near future.

Re:At the cost of storage, too (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41820703)

yawn.....
8GB is not enough for _you_, you mean..... 8GB is bigger than my homedir, and certainly big enough for my phone. Cloud storage? You mean I have to connect to my home server? Perfect, I say.

Re:At the cost of storage, too (0, Flamebait)

TheGratefulNet (143330) | about a year and a half ago | (#41820779)

no microSD card slot = fail

indeed!

I would not pay any money (not even free) for a hobbled 'flagship' phone.

fuck your goddamned cloud. I don't want your cloud to be the only place I save things. stupid google!

Re:At the cost of storage, too (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41820891)

Whats worse is the reason given for it! After all these years, microSD cards were just too confusing for the average user...

http://www.tmonews.com/2012/10/google-head-of-android-user-experience-explains-the-lack-of-sd-cards-for-nexus-devices/

Too much sacrifice for openness (2)

fruity_pebbles (568822) | about a year and a half ago | (#41820453)

I'm all for openness, but I'm not going to buy an "open" phone that's starkly lacking in features. The Nexus One had the best hardware of any smartphone on the market when it was introduced. The Nexus S? Nice, but not spectacular. Galaxy Nexus? Nice, not spectacular, crappy camera. Nexus 4? No LTE - that's a deal breaker for a lot of people. Was the Nexus One a fluke, or has Google given up on trying to deliver a Nexus phone with great hardware?

Re:Too much sacrifice for openness (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41820555)

The Nexus 4 has the best hardware on the market, combined with the best software. It just does not have LTE, as LTE is not ready yet; and outside US almost completely non-existent.

Re:Too much sacrifice for openness (3, Interesting)

TheGratefulNet (143330) | about a year and a half ago | (#41820823)

fwiw, my one and only phone is the nexus one.

and (stupidly, I know) I still run the official google OTA image.

and you know what? its unusable due to one showstopper bug. the screen STILL loses the touchscreen location and needs a power off/on to reset it. happens about 10 times a day.

I ask honestly: how am I supposed to respect google when they won't even fix a showstopper bug on what was their best phone for quite a long time? abandon your flagships so soon?

not a classy move by a mega-power like google. can't they find just one person to fix this showstopper bug and get it off the p1 list? with all their people there, no one cares about the n1 anymore? really? sigh ;(

this is why I don't think a lot of google's engineering, overall. they are too fast to abandon their stuff and this leaves users high and dry.

Meet the new boss (0, Troll)

EmagGeek (574360) | about a year and a half ago | (#41820475)

Same as the old boss..

First of all, to call the Nexus truly open is farcical at best. Nexus devices are not open. They come boot loader locked, no root access, and no factory image restore. That is not open. Not by any stretch of the imagination.

Whether it's the carrier or google is irrelevant. You are still computing according to someone else's direction, and not your own, with only very limited access to use the hardware you have purchased in a way they see fit.

Re:Meet the new boss (5, Informative)

Nemyst (1383049) | about a year and a half ago | (#41820545)

All Nexus devices can also be unlocked and rooted in a straightforward process. That they don't come in this way is a protection for the average Joe who doesn't know what "rooting" even means and who'd just be vulnerable to a malicious app trying to elevate its own permissions.

Nexus devices are still consumer devices.

Re:Meet the new boss (0)

EmagGeek (574360) | about a year and a half ago | (#41820847)

Yes, it's also a straightforward way to void the warranty on the device (as I found out the hard way when my compass went batshit and just started spinning in circles and they wouldn't replace it).

Re:Meet the new boss (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41820721)

Holy smokes, it's not rocket science and the tool is provided by Google. What more do you want? Like Nemyst says, having it locked and no root access by default is a GOOD THING.

http://www.geek.com/articles/mobile/how-to-unlock-and-root-the-nexus-7-2012081/

Re:Meet the new boss (5, Informative)

Emetophobe (878584) | about a year and a half ago | (#41820727)

First of all, to call the Nexus truly open is farcical at best. Nexus devices are not open. They come boot loader locked, no root access, and no factory image restore. That is not open. Not by any stretch of the imagination.

1. When you buy a Galaxy Nexus or Nexus 4 from the play store it comes with an unlocked bootloader.

2. You can restore factory images quite easily, google provides all of them [google.com] .

3. You are correct about no root access out of the box, you need to do that yourself.

Re:Meet the new boss (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41820731)

Yes, the bootloader is locked and that's good. You can unlock them with 'fastboot oem unlock'. This will delete all user data on the device, making it hard to infect the device with bad code somewhere.

Re:Meet the new boss (1)

wellard1981 (699843) | about a year and a half ago | (#41820733)

False: The boot loader can be unlocked using the Android SDK. Boot into Fastboot, then use the command 'fastboot oem unlock'. Rooting is pretty straight forward these days, plenty of how-to's out there on the Internet. Lastly, factory images can be downloaded from https://developers.google.com/android/nexus/images [google.com] .

Re:Meet the new boss (2)

Tr3vin (1220548) | about a year and a half ago | (#41820749)

You can unlock all of the newer nexus devices with the "fastboot oem unlock" command. You can also easily add root access (not that I have ever encountered a time when I needed it). Factory images are provided at https://developers.google.com/android/nexus/images [google.com] . I've set up and built my own OS for my Nexus 7 in an evening. This weekend I easily installed the current test image for Ubuntu on it too. And when I was done I switched back to android by using the aforementioned factory image. The only issue I've had was waiting on updates for my Galaxy Nexus on Verizon and that was easily fixed by easily unlocking and flashing a new image built from the source that Google released. I don't see what your problem is.

Re:Meet the new boss (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41820825)

Doesn't that void the hardware warranty?

Missed Opportunity (2)

SlashdotOgre (739181) | about a year and a half ago | (#41820487)

I believe they missed a big opportunity by not delivering a Verizon LTE capable phone in the $350-$450 range. There is a significant portion of users who are still grandfathered on to "unlimited" data that are approaching upgrade time (e.g., early adopters who bought VZW's first LTE phone, the HTC Thunderbolt back in Dec 2010). There's a large market of people that would choose an unsubsidized LTE Nexus 4 which lets them keep unlimited data for that price. The competitive subsidized phones (i.e. GS3 or Note 2) would only be about $200 or so less but would cost the user their unlimited data plan which a lot of people value more than $200.

Re:Missed Opportunity (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41820643)

what is this Verizon LTE you are talking about? Some sort of provider in the backalley you call a country?
The rest of the world laughs at you: hah hah haaah. Silly people!

Re:Missed Opportunity (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41820763)

you DO realize there's a whole world OUTSIDE the united states of freedom?

Re:Missed Opportunity (1)

darjen (879890) | about a year and a half ago | (#41820899)

I'm also on Verizon and even though I am no longer unlimited, I was still really hoping for another LTE nexus. I guess I will probably be hanging on to my galaxy nexus for awhile longer. If anyone wants to go ahead and say it's not a nexus, that's fine, I really don't care too much. At least it's something with stock Android. I'm happy enough with it.

Re:Missed Opportunity (1)

fruity_pebbles (568822) | about a year and a half ago | (#41820999)

I believe they missed a big opportunity by not delivering a Verizon LTE capable phone in the $350-$450 range. There is a significant portion of users who are still grandfathered on to "unlimited" data that are approaching upgrade time (e.g., early adopters who bought VZW's first LTE phone, the HTC Thunderbolt back in Dec 2010). There's a large market of people that would choose an unsubsidized LTE Nexus 4 which lets them keep unlimited data for that price. The competitive subsidized phones (i.e. GS3 or Note 2) would only be about $200 or so less but would cost the user their unlimited data plan which a lot of people value more than $200.

The HTC Thunderbolt was released in March, 2011. However, your comment is still valid - a lot of people who bought a Thunderbolt then will become eligible for a phone upgrade in November, 2012. A Nexus 4 that runs on Verizon's LTE network would be an attractive alternative.

Very good price (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41820569)

I'm in the market for a new phone, and the following youtube.com video has convinced me to give the Nexus 4 a try:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=66-4uMQqerA

$299 (8gb) bought outright is an amazing deal for phone of that caliber.

Why not the other competitors?
iPhone5: Price, to buy outright will cost minimum $800, or $199 + plan. iOS is getting a little dated, IMO.
Win8: Poor Google app integration. Sadly I need good Google Bus. software.

I do like the competitor's phones, but it all is about peronal preference and compromise. For example, the Nexus 4 is lacking removable battery(?), LTE, and SD slot, but because these are not critical to me it puts it into the "go buy" zone.

I'm not a fanboi, I've had an iPhone and Android before and liked both.

Paving the way for unlocked handsets (2)

AlphaEcho35 (2587901) | about a year and a half ago | (#41820585)

I hope to see this as a continuing trend in unlocked, unsubsidized offerings. The Galaxy Nexus was a pretty good deal for $400 (then eventually $350) for an unlocked device with that kind of hardware. Now with an even lower starting cost of $300 for the 8GB Nexus 4 and even better specs than its predecessor, Google has got to be putting some pressure on the wireless carriers. If I had to pick, I'd still take a phone with Google in control than any of the carriers. At least you own the device (as opposed to basically renting it on contract) without all the bloat and crapware that's usually included.

Not much left in the article (1)

sl4shd0rk (755837) | about a year and a half ago | (#41820627)

Most of it pasted into the submission. Still not sure if TFA is supposed to be accolades, gripes, or just web-hits.

Open or Controlled? (1)

Bob9113 (14996) | about a year and a half ago | (#41820653)

There can no longer be any doubt: a Nexus device is about openness first and foremost.

By giving us cheap and open devices, Google is making sure it's in control â" not the carriers.

This is even more true when people are using the internet on a device sold and maintained by Google. Mountain View gets to slurp up more of our data, show us more location-aware ads, and drive adoption of its services. Maybe in this case, freedom really isnâ(TM)t free

OK, so which is it? Is it open, or is it controlled by Google? Either of those things might be fine in a given context, but I think the article's author might not realize they are contradictory. Open means I am in control, for better and for worse.

you have no control in the US (4, Insightful)

kenorland (2691677) | about a year and a half ago | (#41820655)

In the US, carriers have full control over which devices they allow on their networks, and even if they didn't, the lack of a single wireless standard means that effectively you are locked in anyway. We need uniform wireless standards and a requirement to let people move freely between carriers.

Re:you have no control in the US (2)

compro01 (777531) | about a year and a half ago | (#41820871)

It's not the standard (Everyone is headed to LTE), it's the frequencies. LTE in the USA is scattered over 8 different bands.

Nice looking tablet at a nice price. (2)

gid (5195) | about a year and a half ago | (#41820687)

Thank god it actually has front facing speakers---I might actually be able to hear it without cupping my hands around the back of it. Shame the 32GB upgrade is $100 with no SD card slot, although for what I'd use it for 16GB should be enough as long as I don't store too much music or to many movies on it.

Open to Store on Google Drive (0)

obscuro (1448733) | about a year and a half ago | (#41820789)

The absence of a MicroSD slot is a big signal that this device is meant to drive more usage of online storage. It's a portal into GoogleDrive just as Amazon's products are portals into their storefront and storage. The devices are beautiful and they have enough storage available to strike a balance. I, for one, am more tolerant and trusting of Google than of phone carriers (which isn't saying much). We have all kinds of options for open hardware. This isn't totally open, it's a relatively fair balance which is to be expected from Google.

My company, Otixo.com [otixo.com] , was created to give people (like iPad users) more freedom in situations like this by using WebDAV. It doesn't replace the MicroSD slot but at least it gives you the choice of any storage provider including any server with FTP or WebDAV....

I'm looking at the Nexus 4 to replace my aging HTC Inspire from AT&T. If I choose it, it will be a hell of a lot more open than what I've got.

Fantastic! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41820807)

Now all they have to do is get rid of Google and I'm sold!

Headline (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41820885)

Headline should say - Bait at all costs, the illusion of openness.

No LTE = sad face (1)

MetalliQaZ (539913) | about a year and a half ago | (#41820921)

This is a deal breaker. Who in 2012/2013 would buy a cutting edge smartphone without LTE?

Nexus has never been truly open (0)

richtaur (1234738) | about a year and a half ago | (#41821019)

I've had a Nexus One since January 2010, bought directly from Google's website. I bought it because it was supposed to be a naked install of Android and be fully open. However, it's got a Facebook application I cannot uninstall (among others). When I think "open" I think of full super user privileges. None of this proprietary uninstallable application crap.

So basically, their definition of open is different from mine.
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