Completely out of nowhere, Google seems to be interested in a “Nexus Experience” program in which it teams up with other manufacturers to release a model of their flagship running stock Android Jelly Bean. The company started this at Google I/O 2013 when Google announced a Galaxy S4 variant running stock Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean. Following that announcement, rumors started making the rounds that claimed HTC was ready to launch an HTC One model running stock Android. As you are all probably aware, HTC and Google on Thursday announced the HTC One running stock Android Jelly Bean. But, Google, since it looks like these Nexus experience devices are here to stay, there are a few things we need to discuss.
First of is the timing of the release of these devices. If I had run out and bought an HTC One or Galaxy S4 the day they became available, then I would be pretty mad right now. Many people love to run out and buy things the second they become available, and because we had no idea of this Nexus Experience program ahead of time, the majority of the Android faithful purchased one of those devices right when they came out and are now stuck using Sense and TouchWiz instead of stock Android. So Google, in the future, it’d be greatly appreciated if you could launch the Nexus Experience model of a device at the same time the normal model is released, or at least announce it so we know not to buy the generic one.
Next, is the pricing of these devices. This topic has been debated in our comments since Google I/O, and it’s one that needs to be addressed. It doesn’t seem normal for Google to price their Nexus Experience devices at the same price as the carrier’s contract-free price. I guess it’s all together possible that Samsung and HTC set these prices, but surely they could have lowered them a little more than $650 for a Galaxy S4 and $599 for the HTC One. Also, shouldn’t manufacturers consider their wonderful overlays advantages? Therefore, should the models with all of those advantages cost more? Just knock a hundred or so bucks off of these and we’ll be good, Google.
Now we’d like to know a little more about the update process for these devices. It seems like the updates for Nexus Experience devices will come from Google itself, but we still aren’t one hundred percent sure. Also, will these devices be updated in the same timely manner as Nexus devices are? We can hope, but also have to remember that it isn’t easy to get updates running smoothly on devices, and that more than likely, true Nexus devices will get first priority from Google’s developers. That brings us to our next question…
Why Google? What is the point of the Nexus Experience program? I mean, it’s great that consumers are finally getting options, but how is Google benefitting from this? Also, what will the selling points of the true Nexus devices be from here on out? How will Nexus Experience devices and true Nexus devices be differentiated? For me, it seems like Nexus devices will now be known as the budget alternatives to the Nexus Experience devices. Google will start marketing them more to actual developers and let the general public have the Nexus Experience devices. It’s also important to note that Google is not killing the Nexus program, as we said earlier.
Finally, the device/software specific features of these devices will definitely be missed in some regards. Namely, the camera. Both the Galaxy S4 and HTC One have received resounding praise for their cameras, but as we all know, the AOSP camera is nothing to brag about. It’s pretty barebones and really only offers normal pictures and panoramas. So Google, we plea with you to please update your camera app and make it up to snuff with Samsung’s and HTC’s. Their overlays do not do much right, but camera apps are one.
Do have any theories on these questions? Anything else you’re confused about or want Google to do? Let us know down in the comments!