Nexus One (big yawn)

I don’t understand all the hype over Google’s new phone, the Nexus One.

Nexus One

These days with phones like the HTC HD2 and the iPhone, if a touchscreen device doesn’t support multi-touch, I feel like it’s a has-been already.

The Nexus One and HD2 are both made by HTC.  The Nexus One seems like a “little kid” version of the HD2.

Both are trumped by the iPhone’s huge application library.

Pure hardware: HD2

Most useful applications: iPhone

Neither here nor there: Nexus One

Once again, Fake Steve Jobs calls things the way they are:

“All this stuff about not being evil? And being open, and transparent? All this crap about how they (Google) think everyone should just share all the information in the world? Yeah. Except you don’t see them sharing their search algorithms, do you? You don’t see them sharing the stuff they’ve done to Linux in their data center.”

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13 responses to this post.

  1. I wasn’t aware the HTC HD2 had multi-touch?

    Reply

  2. Posted by talk19 on January 11, 2010 at 1:20 am

    Yep, it has all your two-fingered pinch, rotate, etc. like iPhone.

    Reply

  3. Posted by Arthur on January 11, 2010 at 9:57 am

    I’m 99% sure the Nexus One hardware supports multi-touch, however Google have not enabled that feature for in their apps like Maps and the browser. 3rd party apps can make use of the multi-touch capability of Nexus One.

    Reply

  4. Posted by talk19 on January 11, 2010 at 10:15 am

    You’re right. I just searched and the hardware supports it. Am trying to figure out whether 3rd party applications can utilize it or if it’s some type of functionality that Google / OEM is blocking on the US version of their phones. I think the result for the user is still the same though… the appearance of no multi-touch.

    http://www.phonesreview.co.uk/2010/01/09/nexus-one-multitouch-the-great-divide-at-ces-2010/

    Reply

    • Posted by Arthur on January 11, 2010 at 10:20 am

      Yeah it’s totally confusing. The average user wouldn’t know multi-touch was there. With or without multi-touch, I think Android looks like a badly designed and ugly OS:

      Reply

      • What annoys me (as a confessed Android fan-boy) about both your comments is that you seem to be positioning this strictly from the customer’s perspective and saying “boy, they screwed up with Android!”

        Apple is blocking Google from putting it stock into the OS. What’s so hard to understand about that? Apparently Apple have rights to this, or have enough rights to this that they have convinced Google to not put it into the stock maps, browser, or other applications. There are a number of applications from the Android Market demonstrating the availability of this (which worked on the G1, too) and yes, it’s too bad that it’s not available, but from everything I’ve read, the reason is that Apple stopped it.

  5. That was why I asked about the HD2. So it turns out Windows Mobile itself doesn’t feature multi-touch, but the hardware does, and HTC added support for it in their Sense UI overlay. So you have a similar situation on the HD2 as on the Nexus One: inconsistent multi-touch implementation because they’re not a feature of the core OS. So when HTC releases their HD2-equivalent Android model with Sense, you’ll have the same thing as the HD2.

    Reply

  6. Posted by ed on January 12, 2010 at 1:58 am

    Pure hardware: HD2
    Most useful applications: iPhone
    Neither here nor there: Nexus One

    I bet the Nexus is chasing up by system developing speed. It’s v2.1 already…… WM6 was launched in June, 2007 and WM7 may be launched late 2010.

    Reply

  7. The thing about this situation is: better hardware is an easy fix. Getting your OS together and convincing third-party developers to join you isn’t something a company can do overnight. Android has a long way to go.

    And here’s a nice link Arthur (above) shared with me the other day: http://www.boygeniusreport.com/2010/01/09/google-android-personal-thoughts/

    Reply

  8. N1 has multi-touch. So did the G1. It’s just not in most of the stock applications but Dolphin browser (which is awesome) has had it for some months and I have used it on both.

    The N1 *is* awesome and it *can* do things that the 3GS cannot. Last night I browsed Easynews’ global web search interface (using the 480×800 display, which is >2x the resolution of the iPhone but equal to the HD2). The webkit browser supported javascript to easily use the site’s multi-select features. I zipped up and downloaded Nirvana’s Nevermind and extracted it to the device. All of that was with free software and I believe the iPhone can’t do that unless it’s Jailbroken, or with pay software – maybe not at all?

    The size of the application store doesn’t matter. If it did – Windows Mobile would probably be a serious contender. Maybe WinMo’s gotten way way better since I left it years ago but I was tired of device after device that was a PDA first and a phone second (or third or fourth). Android works really well – the application store isn’t huge, but there are tons of really good applications and definitely enough free applications to make it worthwhile.

    Want your iPhone to be really productive? Prepare to shell out for a turtleshell battery. And $50-100 for every application from the store, $3 at a time.

    If WinMo has addressed a) the many stability issues and b) its inadequacy at just being a phone, then it might be a great contender because the stats on the HD2 *are* equal to the Nexus One.

    Reply

  9. I thought about this a little more. In what way do you consider the HD2 the “big brother” in hardware terms to the N1? They are essentially identical as far as I know and in the dimensions that matter (processor, stock RAM, display resolution, camera, and I think lack of keyboard). N1 has a sweet OLED display, which looks better than anything else, so maybe that’s an edge for the Nexus One.

    Love,
    Gerald Holmes

    Reply

    • Posted by talk19 on January 20, 2010 at 9:58 am

      “you seem to be positioning this strictly from the customer’s perspective” – uh, yeah. Typically that’s the perspective that is most important.

      Regarding Apple restricting Google from putting multi-touch on the phone… well, why didn’t they restrict Microsoft from doing the same with the HD2? Perhaps they will remove that feature when the HD2 is launched in the US but currently in Europe and Asia (including Australia) the multi-touch out-of-the-box experience is intact.

      “in the dimensions that matter” – Bigger screen (yes, same resolution) on the HD2. That’s a dimension that matters. Have you used an HD2? The screen is gorgeous. Yes, the OLED on the Nexus One is nice too – I was using Leslie’s phone while she was here.

      I agree that the number of applications in the App Store don’t matter. However the number of QUALITY applications and the ability to find them does matter. In that area both Windows Mobile Marketplace and Android fail.

      Also, I did not say that Google “screwed up” with the Nexus One. I just feel it’s underwhelming and don’t understand the hype around it. I do feel Google screwed up their opportunity to dazzle the world and position themself like Apple.

      FYI:
      http://www.htc.com/sea/product/hd2/specification.html
      http://www.smh.com.au/digital-life/computers/htc-apes-iphone-with-bigscreen-beauty-20100119-mim4.html

      Reply

      • OK – I think that all seems reasonable. In turn…

        …why Google is blocked from enabling multitouch – I don’t know, but from everything I’ve seen that seems to be the case. My point is just that I don’t think it’s a fault of the N1 or Google that it’s not enabled and saying it’s a “has been” for not having tons of default support for something it can do (and does) seems misguided. My hunch on why it’s not there for Android has something to do with why MS doesn’t also have great antivirus software. My understanding (from talking with people who seem to have been part of decisions on things like this) is that Symantec own a bunch of the patents on this. Microsoft could build a good solution, but then they’d be pushing Symantec to take legal action on solutions that they own the patents for. Unlike trademark where you’re REQUIRED to take action on people that infringe on your ownership, patent is enforceable at will. Maybe Microsoft and Apple have competing patents that they have a balanced relationship on and are Microsoft can build it in to a lot of WM without Apple taking action, but maybe Apple said “hey, Google, if you put multitouch into the stock maps, browser, etc. applications, we’ll sue” and Google agreed. That’s just a hunch, though. What I know is that it *can* do it and there are third party applications (like the Dolphin browser) which have implemented it and it works fantastically.

        I don’t think the Android market is terrible. I think it’s not great, but I suspect it’s no worse than the iPhone store or whatever WM offers. I suspect all three markets offer three basic interfaces: newest, most popular, and search. That’s what Android has and in my experience it works well (or as well as I could hope). Unfortunately “newest” is never that useful and “most popular” gets prioritized by “pretty good” + “been around a while.”

        I still don’t think that you can call the Nexus One the “little kid” version of the HD2, though, because as far as I can tell they’re essentially identical. Smaller screen + equal resolution is a wash for me (even if the HD2 is .5″ larger). I haven’t used it, though, and maybe I’d be really excited by the larger display – but identical specs + OLED + slightly higher capacity battery definitely don’t say “little kid” to me.

        As for whether it deserves the hype – that’s kind of a matter of opinion. I think it’s great and my experience with it is that it largely works and works really well. The last time I used WM (which was ages ago) it had a lot of really bad issues. It’s clear that they’re not dazzling YOU (and you may be right) but from conversations I’ve had with iPhone owners, who have some frustrations, they’re increasingly feeling that Android is compelling. Success or failure doesn’t always come for the right reasons or reasons that really make sense, but so far I don’t think that if Android succeeds that it will be for illegitimate reasons.

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