Oftentimes we get stuck in the past with preconceived notions of how the world works. For many years we lived in the world where it was safe to say that all Android phones had inferior cameras to the iPhone. M.G. Siegler made this popular quip the day Intagram launched for Android.
This feels to me like Google is demoting Nexus owners to a lower level of Android fans. The entire reason people bought Nexus phones was so that they could stay up to date with the canonical version of Android. They wanted to get the best version of the operating system they love, straight from Google, and for years that’s what they got.
These are things that are not givens in the world of Android, as the vast majority of people are running a version of Android that is customized by the phone manufacturer. Samsung, HTC, and LG, are some of bigger players in the market and they all ship a version of Android that is tweaked both from a functionality and a visual perspective. Because of these, it’s a whole production every time a new version of Android comes out; it’s not a matter of just shipping the new Android version to customers, you have to devote developer time to rebuild their custom software on top of the new version of Android. This is tough, and rarely happens, so many phones hit the market with one version of Android and never get upgraded to even the next release.
There are some pretty credible rumors out today indicating that the new phone from Google will start at $650, just like the iPhone and Galaxy S7. Many Google fans are upset by this, and I don’t entirely blame them. The Nexus 6P currently retails for $499, so a $150 jump in price is not exactly what Nexus owners were hoping for.
Split screen multitasking in iOS 9 was my favorite new feature Apple introduced last year, so I was happy to see Android catch up this year and add split screen as well. As is the Android way though, this feature is only really half-baked in this first incarnation.