Thursday, November 22, 2012

What's up with Nexus?

I just saw a Nexus 7 ad on TV during the football game and was reminded to post this. The ad featured all three Nexus models but focused on the 7.

What the hell is going on with Nexus?

The N4 is poised to be the best selling Nexus ever. The community has been raving about this phone other than the missing LTE issue. The thing sold out in something like 29 minutes and has been unavailable ever since.

Just to put that in perspective, it launched on 11/13. So it's been sold out for 10 days now (since it was basically never available for non-F5-crazy mortals). Google has wasted nearly 25% of their window before Christmas with a sold out item. As the world's largest advertising platform, it's somewhat mind-boggling that they don't understand basic product launching strategies around Christmas.

So unless Google surprises everyone with a huge Black Friday or Cyber Monday push, I'm going to chalk this up as one of the worst gadget launches I've ever seen. If it's not available for Christmas, what was the point of launching it in November? Wait until January. Otherwise it's just a distraction and given the rate that technology obsolesces, by the time it's available it will be obsolete.

I'm really confused with the Nexus strategy. They have an amazing device out there for a bargain basement price that no one can buy. Every other comparable device on the market is $700 unlocked. You would think that since Google would want to make up those profits in volume, they'd be making and advertising the thing like it was going out of style.

The other thing I wanted to say is that the Pure Google experience I have with my Nexus is now one of the buggiest smartphone experiences I've ever had. 4.2 is even more of a disaster than iOS 3 on my iPhone 3G.

Many, many apps were crashing on day one of the 4.2 update. Not the least of which was the Gmail app, which is still crashing. If Google isn't testing their OS releases with the Gmail app, what are they testing it with? So imma going to throw down this QA rule and you can decide if it's a good one:

If the Gmail app ever dies with NullPointerException because of a new OS release, don't ship it.

Does that sound reasonable? I didn't buy the Nexus to be your beta tester. I bought it to get the first release of the pure Google Android experience, and with that, I expect some good QA. You have three devices on the market that were getting this release.

Compare this to Apple, who seem to be able to release their OS with dozens of carrier-specific builds around the world on the same day and have it be stable. Apple used to have some of the worst QA (well, they still have some of the worst on the Mac), now I'd say they have some of the best in light of what they accomplish with their iOS releases.

4.2 has all kinds of craziness. It lags like mad, which is super-noticeable when you're trying to use the new (and awesome, except for the lag) gesture typing. The Wallet app is screwed up and I've had to hand over my credit card in lieu of it. My Starbucks app lost all of its data. I'm forgetting more as well.

In advance of 4.2, I was prepared to commend Google on how they've iterated so significantly in the past year. ICS and Jelly Bean, plus Jelly Bean 2 (?), have some insane feature advancements for the platform. Android is easily the most advanced smartphone OS out there. And then this release took that all back to naught because of the bugginess. Even a hacked version of 4.1 on my VZW Nexus was more stable. What's up with that?

All of this really makes me wonder what's going on with this. I love Google, Android and Nexus. I know Google hasn't made a lot of money on Android and my mind is boggled now as to why they're wasting golden opportunities like launching the N4 at Christmas. I hope they surprise me this weekend.


Brandon said...

Its weird, been running the jb2 for a while as dogfood, and never experienced the lag that multiple people have noticed. Assuming its more than he first 24h upgrade all the apps lag, that is.

And haven't had gmail crash either.

It may be worth wiping your device, something may not have upgraded right.
PITA but maybe it'll help.

Makes me feel like a bad dogfooder that my experience is always so good, and then so many folks have issues when the ota goes out.

Trimbo said...

I tried a factory reset. No dice. Gmail still crashes on launch sometimes. FWIW, I've reported it every time -- so that's maybe a dozen or so reports that I've submitted since 4.2 came out.

The lag seems to be better for the time being.

Turns out the Starbucks app is fubar on 4.2 but that appears to be Starbucks' fault.