I tried Android early on, had similarly unacceptable support experiences, and whenever I'm tempted to dip my toes back in the water I'm reminded of how bad things are with cases like this. In the case of the Nexus 6p it's Google's flagship product and it's a worthless paperweight 13 months after purchase.
That being said, Google needs to improve their out-of-warranty repair/replacement options. I couldn't do anything for my Chromebook Pixel once the warranty ran out, and I wouldn't count on them to randomly add a de facto additional year to the warranty like they did with the 6P, which was probably done because of its terrible, widespread battery issues.
I bought my 6p from Google. I paid for the extended warranty. It went into a boot loop after 13 months and they still wanted me to pay the $75 fee for a refurb phone. Remember: I paid $89 in advance for a 2 year extended warranty. This is for a well known issue in their hardware, that iirc they are being taken to court for.
I had purchased a new Android phone every year for many years at that point. I do Android development for a popular open source library/product.
They're banned now. No more Android phones in my house for a long time. Happy on the iPhone and know if I walk into an Apple store I'll actually receive support.
I heard others were given Pixel XLs. I guess mileage really can vary.
they need additional 75 or more to assure the phone would function and that too with salty terms and conditions.
And those were multiple tries with different support associates. I will stay away from google hardware products until there are substantial improvements.
I feel like I purchased a year's worth of problem-free phone experience for nearly $CAD900. To me, that's not great value.
P.S: my Nexus 5 support story was stellar. With the Pixel promising but unavailable as a replacement I went for an iPhone 6S (not a 7 because I just invested in quality, jack’d audio hardware)
They did tell me that this was a one-time deal though.
I don't understand people comparing a 350$ Nexus 5 phone to a 700$ Pixel phone, and saying that they're both by Google, and anything that applies to the first also must apply to the second. It's also like people blindly hating on support for paid products by bringing anecdotal evidence from support on free products. That's just not how things work.
The Nexus line was barely a Google product, it was just meant to be a vanilla open device for developers, with some Google oversight. That's very different from a premium device built and supported from start to finish by Google.
She paid over $600 for it, I wouldn't exactly call it a bargain bin device.
Certainly so. They didn't really stand behind it, like they should have.
> it was just meant to be a vanilla open device for developers, with some Google oversight."
That counters the reality that these things were sold on the mass market to normal people without developer accounts and the accompanying "You'll shoot your eye out, dev" EULA.
It was advertised on TV, for !@!#$@ sake.
> That's very different from a premium device built and supported from start to finish by Google*
There aren't many devices out there, aside from the iPhone, that are supported from start and finish by one company.
From the onset it was broke. We are talking just a week after I bought, I started noticing a pattern of complaints about the audio clarity. I call support, what do I get? A refurb. Whatever, phone was just released -- probably gonna be a new phone. Two weeks later, another phone, same problem. I got used to it eventually, and worked around it. Headset, speaker phone, or whatsapp (for whatever reason) would fix the problem.
At first it was never Huawei again, whatever. But that changed. I called Google store again, one last time to complain. This time, they offered me a "buyers remorse refund". But then they retracted their offer as soon as the lady saw that I had it for a few weeks longer than 2 year. They told me the option wasn't available. But I kept asking them, why didn't you offer me this the second or third time I called? They never answered that one directly.
I am still so angry about this... I threw 600$ + 100$ for warranty at a company and for 2+ years I had a crappy phone that doesnt work when I call people. Done, never again.
I bought a lot of Samsung notes, but they are outright negligent with monthly security updates. Samsung also famously introduced the Galaxy Note 2 a little over 8 months after I spent $900 on the Note 1 (which became a paperweight quickly due to faulty sim trays).
Almost all android manufacturers are negligent in creating good phones, and if they do, ruining them by not offering the required monthly updates that Google and Apple offer directly.
Android was a poor experience pre-gingerbread. Now, the changed UI's doesn't look much better than native android - product differentiation aside.
Google was onto something very good with LG and the Nexus 5 partnership. I'm encouraged to see LG building their phone again, and hope the HTC acquisition will improve the phone quality moving forward.
If google is serious, I hope they leave the XL with LG while they build the Pixel 3 with their new HTC subsidiary to get some experience under their belt before expanding.
I'm using an LG G6 for the past few months. The phone has been excellent. The phone updates are a few months behind and I'm reminded why I'll be probably heading back to a monthly security Android phone - at moment I believe it's the Pixels or a Blackberry.
First I had a Huawei Ascend Mate 7 (6") for 2 years, then a Huawei MediaPad X2 (7") for 3 years. Somehow they stopped to build big phones, so I switched to a Xiaomi Mi Max 2 (6.4") and I couldn't be happier.
I paid a fraction of the price of one of those Nexus/iPhone/Samsung flagship Smartphones and they all had what I needed, big display and big battery.
I've purchased my Nexus 5x just a couple of months ago. Since it's a two-year-old model, you can also get it for a fraction of a flagship model (~$200), and, well, since I've purchased it brand new, I still have a year of security updates + a warranty that lasts exactly that. And on top of that, pure vanilla Android experience + whatever Google comes up with in the meanwhile (for example, I have Google Fi, Pixel camera app, Android Oreo, fingerprint reader at the same spot as this $1000 phone).
Next year I might buy the Pixel (original, not 2). My point is, if that I continue with what I've started this year, I'll upgrade to the next two-year-old Google phone, receive the latest and greatest features (that non-Google-made flagship models still don't have at the time) and I'll receive upgrades constantly.
Either you don't get them and your apps stop working one by one after some time.
Or you get them and performance goes downhill until your apps stop working one by one after some time
The only solution I found was to get a new device every 3-4 years.
I never plan on buying a phone that I would be devastated with the amount lost (like, 1000 bucks) if something ever happens to it for whatever reason.
3 years ago it was a big task to get the devices to speak English and install Google apps.
Now they got onboarding even for German and all things are installed on the first start.
I think my first phone was the Motorola Micro Tac, which was revolutionary for price and size. It selled like hotcakes in Norway on release in .. 93? Then the Nokia 8110, which I loved - it had WAP! :)
Then (in Australia) I had the great misfortune of buying into Hutchinson's first 3g phone - the Motorola A920. Switched after a while to the Motorola Razr - awesome - upgraded to the SLVR L7 - and then I think the Nokia N85.
My first proper smartphone was an iPhone 3, jailbroke it, then switched to the Nexus One when it came out. That was one of my all time favourites; still have it, still works (sans sim). I've been on Samsungs pretty much since that, however, starting with their S2 - then Nexus 4 briefly (got run over by a car after 2 months, fell out of pocket and got completely squashed - I was gutted) - replaced it with the S4, then the S6 Edge and now the S8+.
Have no regrets for staying with Samsung in the past 6 odd years. Love the OLED screens.
On the occasions when I've been having issues I've received immediate service; latest was my old S6 Edge needing a new motherboard which was done same day at a Samsung Experience center (Melbourne Central). This was at 16 months.
I'll continue buying their products until such a time that they make me regret it. I've been lucky with my phones; no major issues other than Three phone due to the initial horrible state of the network and the rushed release of the phone.
I got a Samsung Galaxy S when it first came out while on a trip to the UK. I've always thought Samsung made good hardware generally, but their insistance on fucking with the Android experience is what stops me really liking it. I don't want their S Notes or their S Calendar, etc. Putting a custom ROM on it tended to be a better experience than stock.
The current bullshit with Bixby is also not encouraging - I want a stock Android experience.
In the S8, there's hardly anything that's annoyingly Samsung. Minor exception for Bixby, but at least they let us disable the short presses now (for the button). Ideally they'd let us use whatever A.I. provider of choice; I'd prefer to map it to Google Now/Plus.
(#Just realised I forgot to add the S5 in between the S4 and S6 Edge in my chronology!)
Something similar happened to my wife with her Nexus5X. Google shipped an update that bricked a ton of 5X phones, and Google stopped responding to her Customer Service emails.
We've been Nexus (specifically pure Nexus) users since the first Google phone. I own a G1, still in my closet. I own all of them (well, at least one of each generation). I own a Pixel XL as well. I'm done with Google, for this, and other reasons.
I'm amazed at how poor the Android experience has been after years on iPhone. I'm still more amazed that Android is as popular as it is despite all this.
Doesn't help that my Pixel was supposed to replace an ever-bootlooping Nexus 5X.
Because Google isn't the manufacturer of Google-branded Nexus devices and, if you bought it elsewhere, isn't the retailer, either.
> Apple manages to support iPhones whether you purchase them from an Apple store or in a back alley for bitcoins.
Apple is always the manufacturer of iPhones.
I agree that it's bad for Google's image to operate that way, stick their name on a phone and then shrug their shoulders and tell you to talk to the real manufacturer. But that distinction is why Apple supports most iPhones no questions asked, and Google wants to know that you bought it from them. They're a glorified retailer licensing out their brand to Huawei.
I'm not 100% sure, but I don't think that's how it was. LG's Nexus devices were manufactured by LG for LG, etc. The "Google" part of a Nexus phone is the software and some collaboration in the design.
If it was advertised as a Huawei 6p that would be different.
The Pixel, instead, is branded as the Google Pixel.
The replacement they sent has the wide-spread microphone issue out of the box, and I just haven't had the gumption to deal with yet another support experience.
I've had great luck so far with my Pixel XL and love it - one of the best phones I've ever owned. But the Pixel I bought along with it has been by far the most unreliable piece of hardware I've bought in a decade. It's really soured my opinion of Google, even though so far they have (grudgingly) replaced the item.
I'm dreading replacing it for the third time, as I know they will refer to their 2 replacements limit in their warranty contract. Zero of those replacements were anything but known hardware issues on the handset itself thousands of others have reported on-line.
With Apple, it's no big deal to extend the warranty during the first year of the warranty.
I bought mine direct from google and the service was fantastic when I had an issue with my phone. I called them up, explained my problem, and 5 mins later they were sending me a replacement in the mail with a pre-stamped shipping package to send the old one back. I'm not sure what else I could ask for.
Why should that matter? My wife's iPhone was purchased from TMO. It had an issue so she took it into an Apple store and she came out with a new phone 10 minutes later.
What the parent is saying is that's precisely the difference. Your wife brought her phone to the manufacturer.
The Nexus phones were not manufactured by Google. If I don't buy it from the Google store, my buying didn't establish a commercial relationship with them. The Pixel phones, though, are manufactured by Google.
Disclaimer: Even though I'm a Google employee I have no idea how these things work. I'm just clarifying what the parent said, which sounds likely to me.
any different from an Apple phone, manufactured by FoxConn?
Apple wasn't the manufacturer at all.
So yes, it's pretty different from an Apple phone. Unless you refer to yours as the FoxConn iPhone 6 or something, which would be a unique perspective on your part.
That's definitely not how it was marketed.
The Nexus marketing always seemed pretty clear to me: buy a phone made by the chosen hardware partner, and get the pure Google Android experience.
It's a Google product. So yes, she bought it from Google. Which store sold this Google product shouldn't be a factor in whether Google is willing to support it to the best of their ability, should it?
Nexus 6p is a Huawei product that you may or may not purchase via Google. iPhone is always an Apple product.
Here's my story.
Bought Nexus 5. Smashed screen in go-kart accident. Called Google to ask about repair; they offered to replace it for free. I still have that phone as a backup.
Bought Nexus 6p. Then bought another for wife. Both worked fine; we gave them to family members after two years.
Now have Pixel, Pixel XL for wife, and Pixel for daughter. They've all worked fine. Daughter got small scratch on screen, bought screen protector after that, no incidents since.
Standard disclosure: I work at Google. These experiences were all with normal retail devices, purchased with own money at full price, using personal Gmail accounts, with no special treatment as a Google employee.
Apple just doesn't treat customers like that. IME obviously.
Why Google ever did a licensing deal with Huawei is beyond me. They are controlled by the same Chinese government that won't allow Google to operate in their borders.
Bought a Galaxy Nexus. Used it for two years without issues. Would've continued with it for longer, but I was leaving Sprint.
Bought a Nexus 5. Used it for two years, with minor issues concerning wifi signal strength and wireless charging. The phone still works, and I keep it as a spare, but the wifi issues were especially annoying.
I've had an HTC One A9 for a year so far. No issues, aside from it being larger than I'd really like. I don't plan to replace it until I have a very good reason. Also have an iPhone 6 from work. It's nice, but harder to tinker with, which I think has always been Apple devices' shortcoming.
An iPhone gets OS updates for years and years, Google's flagship Pixel phone has two years of updates. Never would I spend that money on a phone that has so terrible support.
Anyone who bought an iPhone 4S at the end of its run only got 2 years of support. The iPhone 5 did much better though - 3 years 10 months.
For the the iPhone 5S to reach a minimum of 3 years support, it'll have to continue to get updates for another 17 months.
Dropping support at that particular point in time was purely a marketing / management decision that wasn't driven by any technical considerations whatsoever.
When you do this kind of thing as a company over and over again, people notice.
I think that covers most of the main points.
Of course, it may be that it all came down to support contracts internally between Google and the Nexus device suppliers (the Nexus 7 blobs come via Asus, the Nexus 4 was an LG device that used the same Qualcomm chipset IIRC.) but that’s the kind of detail that end users really don’t care about: both were Google devices that Google sold & from the point of view of the end user Google dropped support for one device for no obvious reason as far as the end user can see.
1 - Google has a history of living up to the absolute bare minimum promised. Apple does not. Per history, one can assume that when Google says they'll support for 3 years they mean 3 years and one day, and Apple means about 5.
2 - Google has a history of whining as if they are absolutely powerless, broke, and incapable of affecting what Qualcomm or others do. At least when it suits Google.
Switching to an Android phone to save $100-200 over the lifetime of a product that I use 1000 times per day, and risk bad customer service is just bad value.
I've been very happy with my iPhones so far, though. Only ever had issues when the batteries started to swell up.
Strong words. If Apple's support started getting worse, you'd switch.
What you're saying is that you like to stick with a company that has so far had an outstanding support track record.
Which is pretty self-evident.
However, when it comes to end-to-end experience, Apple's vertically integrated approach is simply better. This is one of the key reasons I switched back to iPhone recently: I just want my phone to work and to be taken care of when it doesn't work.
I bought a Nexus 6P from the Google store and had some issues. Out of warranty they replaced it with a new Nexus 6P. When that failed as well, they replaced the phone with a brand new Pixel XL. Each of these replacements was sent via overnight shipping at no cost to me.
I wouldn't call this a great experience because I wish the original phone never had the issue, but I can't ask for more from support.
A few months later I heard a rattle in my phone, turns out they sent me one that was part of a line that had an issue with a microphone component. Contact support and yet again it was replaced within a week.
This is my issue. They have continually sent replacement refurbs that exhibited well known and common problems. This has to be done knowingly.
It's really made me think about an iphone for the first time ever. I refuse to use any non-nexus (or pixel now) Android since I care about software updates and shovelware, so it's either a Pixel or an iPhone at this point. Google shoveling me repeatedly known bad hardware just sits very wrong with me.
The iPhone 3G is the worst purchase I ever made, a month after buying it iOS 4 turned it into a barely functoinal brick with no ability to roll back the OS.
I've also had an HTC Amaze which was great, a Note 3 which was great, a Nexus 5 which was OK, etc...
No company always gets it right, even Apple. That being said, the Pixel XL was great, so I'll guess that this new one will be good too. Nexus 6p was a dud, Huawei doesn't make them anymore, Google re-branded and moved on...
They originally told me I could get a replacement 5X, then they told me I could get a T-Mobile G5 and what they eventually sent me was an AT&T specific G5 that required digging into config menus before it would connect to T-mobile LTE.
Despite the removal of the headphone jack, I switched to an iPhone 7+. Had an issue with touch id, and they just replaced the entire screen for free while I hung out at the mall.
Between the privacy moves Apple has made, along with their awesome support, I can't see myself switching back.
I also once had a problem with a new MacBook Pro (probably bad memory). Went to the Apple Store, I could either get a (new) replacement or my money back, no questions asked.
I used Android for a while when Motorola was a Google company and a brief period after they were purchased by Lenovo. My Moto X 2013 had spontaneous reboots, repair took one or two weeks and afterwards they wouldn't tell me the problem was. After a year or so, the Moto X started cracking spontaneously. I also purchased a Moto 360, which spontaneously cracked as well (known problem). Repair took one week, but the package disappeared in delivery. It took them two months (!) to send me a new Moto 360. Then there was the horror of the incredibly buggy Android 5.0 release on the Moto X 2014, which had a memory leak that killed background apps all the time.
1) My wife's Samsung phone developed an issue. We contacted Samsung and they RMA'd it and she had a brand new phone by the end of the week. Not Applecare, but it was fine.
2) Had an Android tablet with a minor battery recall. The manufacturer just sent me a second tablet and told me to keep both.
I hear about these kinds of horror stories but if you go in knowing that you aren't going to get Applecare, you don't look for it and you deal with it like literally any other consumer purchase you might make in your life, from refrigerators to cars and it's suddenly not a big deal.
After I sent them, within a few days a brand new Nexus was delivered along with a return package for my broken one. They didn't even demand I send back the faulty one first. He said the idea was that you won't be without a phone in the interim (irrelevant in my case however as the phone was bricked).
After that I went with iPhone, simply because I know I can get it replaced or fixed within 2 days, but I have walked out of the store with a brand new one in 20 min before.
I had the Samsung Galaxy Nexus and then the Galaxy S5, both great phones. Definitely preferred the vanilla Android experience though, and the Pixel XL has been great for the past year. It is the best phone I've ever held, vastly better display than any iPhone. The Pixel 2 with no headphone jack is not going to work for me, but I expect to use the Pixel XL for 3-4 years anyway.
I bought my Nexus 5X used on Swappa. It finally bootlooped about a month ago. Called Project Fi support, they transferred the phone to my ownership in their system, and then issued an RMA and sent me a refurbed 5X. I was fairly surprised, as the phone was both out of warranty and bought used.
My Nexus 5X had a boot loop issue, I filed a support ticket, paid the deductible, and 2 days later I had a replacement phone in hand. Couldn't have been easier...
On the other hand, I actually loved Google's support. Reaching them on the phone was easy. No wait. At some point I had to step away to take care of my baby, so they said they would call me back in 30min, and the same rep called me EXACTLY on the dot when they said they would call. They didn't follow a script to the letter, with numerous unnecessary steps, but jumped ahead when I told them what I had tried to diagnose the problem. Overall, very efficient, quality support. Of course I was bummed the bootloop couldn't be fixed (I experienced it before it was a widespread issue) but I was honestly stunned how good their support experience was.
I ended up replacing the 6P by a Nexus 5X. I know I'll get good support IF I ever need it.
How is this acceptable? The boot loop is most likely caused by a software bug that was not introduced by your wife (unless she was installing custom ROMs). Moreover, it is probably easy for Huawei/Google to repair the phone by reflashing the firmware.
Rather than going the extra mile for a customer who dropped $500+ on a device, they literally stick to the warranty period mandated by the law and leave you out in the woods.
That is terrible customer service.
The applications are generally less polished, the hardware is better on paper yet fails to hold up in real life, and the battery life is abysmal within a year or less. It use to be the case that some of the sacrifices were worth it because flagship Android phones were considerably cheaper than their Apple counterparts, but that is no longer true either.
I'll be going back to Apple for the first time since the iPhone 4, now that they've finally killed the hideous 1980's CRT style bezel.
My support experience with the 6p was pretty good : when the battery became unusable they replaced the phone without asking too many questions (they just made sure I had followed all the basic steps to make sure that the problem was indeed hardware, even though I am a mobile engineer able to diagnose the device myself. I don't rely blame them for having to follow a script though).
Anecdotally my support experience with Apple has been atrocious :
-they refused to repair my mbp 2011 whereas it suffered from their well known design flaw in the GPU soldering and have a repair program for this model.
-they made me pay reparation fees for a mbp for which all the cooling system started malfunctioning while it was still in the warranty period.
When my wife's phone bootlooped (8 months out of warranty), Google shipped her a replacement phone for free! I swore myself away from buying any LG products after that.
Fwiw there's a small open-source patch for affected devices that disables big cores (disables dual core I think) and fixes the bootloop but cripples the phone's performance.
Now, it looks like those issues are caused by the Snapdragon 808/810. The Pixel 2 uses the 835. I don't think it's been around long enough to know of any long-term issues, but I'm hoping it sucks less.
Pixel was much better, except the XL 128gb had memory speed issues.
Google has gone back to LG to build the Pixel 2 XL, (similar to the Nexus 5) which was great. For that reason I'm probably going to get it - my dad still has and loves his LG made nexus 5.
I do an insane amount of long-haul flying and really rely on the 3.5mm jack for my noise cancelling headphones. I could get bluetooth headphones but they wouldn't work with in-flight entertainment when it's available.
I hope this whole no-headphone jack trend doesn't continue, I know the 3.5mm TNC isn't the best jack but if you don't want it because of bad waterproofing reasons or size/whatever can we just get a different analog jack with an adapter? Having the DAC built into the phone is required to keep things nice.
- There are USB-C to 3.5mm jacks. Probably the simplest. There are also Y cables that put out a USB-C charging port and 3.5mm.
- I own a Sony SBH54. Converts bluetooth into 3.5mm. Awesome to pair to my phone and laptop, hoping improved specs of Bluetooth 5 shoe up in a new device soon. I have been on Bluetooth audio with their SBH50 and MW600 - the audio quality has improved greatly. I wonder if there's a wireless external DAC.
I heard of an intriguing option yesterday - USB C Digital headphones where the signal remains purely digital.
LG has put dacs into the v20 and a variant of the g6, I kind of wish I had gotten a model with one.
I sense the no headphone jack is here to stay if the reason for it is true (allowing thinner phones).
Check this! You can still buy devices from Google or LG or HTC if you have way too much money to waste of same device repeatedly every year.
Last month, it started shutting down early. I contacted them and they're sending me a $800 check...
The Pixel 2 doesn't have a headphone jack either: https://www.engadget.com/2017/10/04/google-unveils-the-pixel...
Switched to a Nexus 5x. After 1.3 years of rather gentle use, it bootlooped. I would attempt to get Google to deal with it, but it bootlooped days after I took pictures of flood damage (not mine, fortunately), and I hadn't gotten those pictures off the phone. Then, I got busy. Still hope one of the rescue approaches will let me get the pictures off, before I try to maybe get a replacement. Fuck the warranty, 1.3 years of use -- cut short by a known product defect -- is simply not acceptable.
I bought a cheap Moto G5 Plus to tide me over; figured I could dink around with it after I switched to maybe a Pixel 2.
At this point, and at those prices, I can't bring myself to give Google a premium price for that product.
Maybe if I find a cheap Pixel 1, I'll give Android one more go. Otherwise, it's Apple.
Even if Apple is pricey, I'll expect decent support and to amortize that cost over more than a year, two at the outside.
P.S. The Moto G5+ was widely heralded as "the" budget Android choice. And while the camera is definitely not top tier, it takes mostly ok pictures, and the phone otherwise functions decently. Even its IPS screen is no slouch.
It was already a bit behind, on Android 7.0 and not 7.1 . This caused me some concern, but I wasn't going to plop down e.g. full price for a Pixel 1 with the Pixel 2 just weeks away.
But now we have the Bluetooth... I forget the catchy name. The Bluemageddon. And I'm back to plugging in the speaker to listen to podcasts (fortunately, old enough to have a jack). The older FM adapter in the car, that has a jack; its replacement is Bluetooth only. (And I'm sorry, but my older car is in fine shape and I don't really need to replace it, nor to I wan to rip apart its rather nice integrated and apparently rather well-tunend stereo system.)
Anyway, at least the G5+ has an audio out jack. Because I don't know when the hell Lenovo is going to get around to shipping the Bluetooth fix to it.
So, basically, Google, if you happen to be reading this: Fuck all this.
I've also started to encounter interesting posts from developers who say that this kind of outlay for an Android device on which they can adequately test, is getting outside the realm of the reasonable. Not my bailiwick.
But if you're a small-time developer, and your iPhone bites it, seems you may actually get some support from Apple.
When I buy a premium phone I want the phone to work for me and not the other way around. The notification bar should only be used for stuff that I want to be notified about - not ads or cheap tries to get me working for free.
In the future I sometimes imagine two classes of devices: one controls the lives of their owners and one helps their owners to control their lives. What does Android want?
> And this year’s Pixel will take advantage of the phone’s always-on microphones to listen for music (not just the phrase “OK Google”) and display what you’re listening to on the screen, even if it’s something on the radio.
Like.. wtf? No! I don't want that. Sure it "only listens for music". I don't want Google to save my passwords in apps. I don't want anything of that. Get out of my life google.
In the process of removing Google out of my life as much as possible. This is my progress:
- Using DDG for search
- Using bing maps or OSM for maps
- Only using Firefox / Vivaldi for browsing.
- Move email provider completely, now I am only partly using my gmail.
- Move to iPhone (will soon be done)
- Youtube (unfortunately I think this is hard to avoid)
Don't really use any other Google service than that. I urge people to do the same.
I am just fine with my Google service thank you. If I don't like something I disable it. Most of it I can and I appreciate the convenience of some of the stuff.
The iphone without any of the doodads feels like a dumb phone. This is a great way though to discourage constant phone use though.
Ï cannot disable this, it also sends me ads from built in apps (not really Google here) that I cannot disable.
I am done with all of that. For years I have been an android enthusiast, thinking it was so much better than iPhone. How times change.
Yes you can. Settings > Notifications > Your contributions.
And even if that didn't work, Android lets you turn off individual categories of notifications for Maps and other apps at a system-wide level.
I chose Mailbox.org as my mail/calendar/contacts provider. DAVdroid syncs my calendar with the default Copperhead OS calendar app (Etar) and the Contacts app. I use the K-9 mail app.
For YouTube I use NewPipe. It suits me a lot better than the YouTube app. I can even download video/audio for offline use.
All the apps I mentioned above are free and open source and available via the F-Droid app “store” that comes pre-installed with Copperhead.
For the first time I feel that I own my phone (not the other way around).
But I use fastmail for mail and calendar. It works great for me. I still have like 10 years worth of data in Google Mail. So it will take some time before I can completely release that.
Of course they have cloud stuff, that doesn't bother me. It's the evasive cloud stuff that you have minimal control over that bothers me.
But now I am pretty fed up with Android and Google. The increased invasiveness and how I can't disable features that I don't want anymore or the incredible persistence of asking to activate something I declined multiple times until they make it required, really put me off.
Another thing is that many of the shiny features don't benefit me at all. Previously Google offered services anyone could use. Search, GMail, Android. But now more and more services are locked to countries, languages and devices which only a subset of Google users can benefit from but everyone is expected to deal with these features.
Some features simply don't work reliably at all (e.g. Google Trips and most of Google Now related to GMail, Hangouts before it got killed) and some features are pretty much useless to me as they are bound to either the USA or a language I don't casually speak (e.g. as a Swiss-German speaker the whole Google Assistant stuff is just not fun at all as I have to either speak High-German or English. Both of which is not as natural as my native language. Many Google Now cards seem to show way less info compared to the USA or show way worse data.)
One benefit might be the "ecosystem" of everything working together perfectly but to me they still have a long way to go to achieve this. I think I see a direction in their messy portfolio of services, apps and devices but currently it's a terrible mess. Devices being abandoned as soon as they launch. Services migration to way less capable ones. That's not a seamless ecosystem, that's just a burden to me.
So to me it feels like Google expects me to let them invade my private space more and more, give them more and more of my life even though they offer very little actually intuitively useful things. For me it has long been that what they offer is worth it but now that balance has tipped towards offering very little for a lot of me.
I think you answered your own question in the first paragraph.
Don’t give google any data, other than maybe your searches.
Instead of working for google, let google work for you. Only searches and in a different tab container.
You are in the wrong ecosystem then. On Android, you are a sharecropper on Google's farm.
Pretty sure they just want to sell more ads since 88% of their revenue comes from ads.
I held off on getting a GS8 about two months ago when Amazon had a great deal on them going because I was in the process of moving, and I wanted to wait to see what else was coming out. Even though the S8 is lagging behind on updates, it still seems to be the best option. The HTC 11, Pixel 2, and Essential phone have all disappointed.
Waiting on the reviews for how the Sony Xperia XZ1 compact fares, because I wouldn't mind a smaller phone.
Just today I transferred about 25GB of video and photos, and I probably wouldn't have bothered to record these videos if I had to transfer using SD card or cable. One might argue that's a sign that these videos aren't worth storing, but I'd say it shows the value of unlimited storage. In fact, if I had to choose between two near identical phones, with the only thing separating them being the unlimited Google Photos storage, then I'd gladly add an additional $250 to obtain that.
I think many of us experienced what it's like to make the jump from HD to FHD, or especially FHD to UHD on a similar sized screen. Once you make the jump, then you begin to wonder how you ever lived without it. For me, and I think for most Pixel owners, unlimited storage of high quality photos and 4k videos gives the exact same feeling. Having stock Android, best camera, slick design and great build quality just makes it that much sweeter, and I honestly do believe that marketing, brand loyalty and availability is the only reason the Pixel phone wasn't more successful than [insert any phone here] (I'd estimate 19 out of 20 who have asked about my phone never heard of Google Pixel, and had no idea Google even made any hardware products).
But as you also know, after 2020 then they'll still offer unlimited high-quality photo/video storage, and I think those who don't abuse the offering by storing RAW files and such won't mind the minor quality difference, and those who do will likely want to upgrade their phone.
Now try to take pictures on holiday without cheap & available 4g or wifi. I prefer a few 256 GB microSD-cards. It takes just 10 seconds to swap it out and put in a fresh new one. You can transfer the contents into a Macbook at speedy 90 MB/s.
My immediate reaction to this is, "holy crap!"
Using a 12MP camera, each image you take would roughly be 2-3MB. Assuming the higher end of 3MB (and only 230GB available per card), that's ~79,000 photos per card.
Since "a few" typically means three or more, let's assume three, that's ~240,000 photos. If it's a typical holiday/vacation, that's likely 2-3 weeks -- let's assume it's three, which comes out to be 21 days. Achieving ~11,000 photos per day during a holiday is quite a feat...
A second of 4k60 video is ~7MB, but we'll overestimate to 8MB (though I'm using really rough metrics here). At 690GB (230 x 3), that's ~86,000 seconds. Or, more familiarly, about 24 hours of 4k60 video (holy cannoli, Batman!). I guess that's about an hour's worth of video recording every day over a three-week period. Understandable, and more doable, though still really excessive.
I've yet to encounter a situation where I ran out of storage (and I take thousands of pictures and a few videos whenever I visit some sightseeing place). Sometimes I even go 2-3 full battery charges (using powerbanks) where all the battery is spent on photos+chatting+uploading, and as long as I click 'free up device storage' under the Photos app then I'll never get maxed out.
Another great benefit of this is that I can easily use great phone covers like LifeProof without having to deal with removing and adding the cover (this is truly a pain in the ass when using the LifeProof cover - not sure if there are any other great and slick phone covers that makes it easier and convenient to take it off/on while also providing great protection for the phone). In any case, I can't imagine ending up in a situation with no wifi, no data, and the need to take more than 2k photos before obtaining access to decent internet, and I'd like to think that I have traveled a lot, especially in underdeveloped countries and cities.
Just don't be too fast if you have an S7 or S8, lest you lose the SIM in the integrated tray :-)
I also feel some of you really underestimate just how many photos/videos you can store with 15-20GB. Speaking of which, with my iPhone I was always struggling with storage because I wanted to keep some pics/videos on my phone, and I was often too lazy to transfer to my laptop, which would just cause storage issues there.. with the Pixel I've never had any trouble staying above 15GB out of the 32 (24 including system) GB available. In most cases you would likely run out of battery multiple times before you managed to capture 15-20GB worth of photos/videos throughout the day.
I also never worry that any of my photos/videos will get lost/corrupted thanks to Google Photos; this has always been a major issue for me when I relied on external hard-drives (I've probably lost hundreds of thousands of pictures throughout the last 15 years because a harddrive broke, or the pictures got corrupted for no apparent reason). It was also always a pain to deal with duplicates, to deal with identical image names (if I recall correctly then iPhone would have name clashes whenever you reached 9999 photos), etc. And relocating a specific picture/video meant that I had to look through thousands of photos in countless poorly named/organized folders (and always bring the hard-drive(s) with me).. With Google Photos I can just search the name of the place, or only search for videos, and locate what I'm looking for within a few seconds.
They've almost a completely different company from the original Samsung Galaxy days. If they could partner their build quality with a stock experience and optional downloads of their apps then I'd be completely sold.
I don't understand why manufacturers simply don't offer a stock Android variant.
No one bought them, because they were released at a time when people still paid subsidized phone prices and upgraded their phones every two years for $200. So when they were asked to pay $600 upfront, the vast majority had sticker shock.
When the hardware is commoditized, manufacturers need to distinguish themselves by offering a unique software experience.
That's what they are all trying to do. Unfortunately, most of them aren't any good at it, and the UIs they come up with are usually worse than stock Android. But if they offered stock Android, they would have to compete on hardware alone, and they are just slapping commodity parts together like everyone else except Apple.
If I just turn on power saving then turn it back off , I have to hard reset my phone because the resolution gets all messed up.
For end users, it was a big regression from android 4, even if you personally found it "perfect".
Wow, this looks nice. I have wanted a small android phone like this for YEARS, before finally buying an iPhone SE a couple of months ago.
Wasn't really a fan of moving it to the SIM tray. Too easy to lose your SIM card that way. Then again, they did make it tougher to remove the SD card, since you need the tool/paperclip handy (as opposed to the easy-access removable battery cover)
Personally I still find it a bit hostile to not have the jack available, since often times I find myself charging the phone and using the headphones (when watching videos for example), so having an adapter dongle for such a frequent task seems counterintuitive to me. I believe that if a device is correctly designed, then it should serve most of its usecases without the aid of an extra adapter. These should be reserved for edge cases.
Moreover, I use headphones for a good part on my day and I am not sold on the idea of having a wireless device next to my brain for such an extended amount of time. Sure, we are already exposed to a good number of electromagnetic radiations, but this one I might want to pass. Not to mention the need to charge yet another device.
Never notice it. I have 2 adapters, 1 in my car and 1 in my bag. I can't remember the last time I needed the one from my bag. The 1 in the car stays permanently attached to the car headphone jack.
Any portable headphones I use are bluetooth and were bluetooth before the iPhone removed the jack.
At home, I stream over BT/wifi to speakers/devices.
Sitting at my computer I stream music from my computer. If I were to stream to wired headphones from my phone all the time I would just buy another $7 adapter and leave it attached to the headphones.
I always tend to get weird Bluetooth problems. I'll turn on a pair of headphones and they will connect to both my laptop and my phone, with the signal from both being choppy. Or I'll turn on my headphones and connect them to my phone, but it will say something like "Connected (no sound)" and it won't play music through the headphones even though they're connected, until I either re-pair or keep pressing the button until it hopefully connects.
None of these are things I'd have to worry about with a headphone jack.
Yes. Every single day. I bought an iPhone 7 when my 6 got stolen from me. Huge mistake. Have tried several bluetooth headsets, have never been satisfied with their quality (spotty connectivity just from ears to the pocket). I haven't tried the AirPods yet, but I'm not willing to drop $159 on yet another bluetooth product (and they look ridiculous).
The lightning dongle just introduces a new mechanical point of failure, and it's never there when you need it.
I won't be purchasing a product without a headphone jack again.
the idea that because bluetooth headphones exist means the jack shouldnt exist is not fair -- there are plenty of reasons the jack is plenty useful to plenty enough people
the only excuse I can see to remove the jack is that when you sell a billion devices and the little jack costs a buck a device you just made yourself a billion dollars for nothing. oh and now you can sell dongles that cost $1 a pop to make for $10 a pop and you make yourself 10 billion
And 2 inputs are good but it's clearly a pain once you want to connect more devices, say a laptop, phone, ipad, TV...
If any of them start playing sound, it comes out the headphones. No cable twiddling required.
But charging is.
the point being that to some, the wired output was useful and significant without the requirement of having additional adapters.
actually wasn't the idea of a "smart" phone that it could replace so many separate things we used to also have to carry around...?
You're looking at it the wrong way. It's not the money you save; it's the money you make by selling adapters.
Also, there might be legitimate engineering reasons for getting rid of the 3.5mm jack. It is rather large by modern standards, maybe there are also water-proofing concerns. It's a trade-off I wouldn't make, but I'm neither Apple nor Google.
Eliminating the jack entirely just means I'll be looking elsewhere for my next phone and I've bought a lot of Google phones.
Bluetooth dropouts and interference are a regular occurrence. And dongles are not necessary unless the phone makers is just trying to make more money by removing existing functionality from the base device.
Instead of trying to remember to bring the lightning headphones or the lightning to audio adapter around, I've simply given up on using headphones. Which is terrible since I used to use my free Apple headphones a ton (on previous iPhones).
As much as people online rave about airpods, I don't need another $$ device in my life to charge and possibly misplace.
Um, what? You can still use your free Apple headphones. You still have to remember to bring your headphones, no matter which ones they are.
Now I don't use wired headphones at all and the experience is just way, way better.
I still have my audiophile headphones (AudioTechnica M50x) but I only use them when I'm making music or seriously listening to music.
I've offlodaed all casual listening to the Bluetooth earphones. Couldn't be happier
I use my iphone + airpods every single day. I have never had bluetooth headphones before so that might slant my judgement a little bit.
Having said that I don't listen to music in my car and don't have a car charger either. I think most people who have issues with the lack of a jack are people who need to charge + play music in their car.
This is coming from someone who also scoffed at how "courageous" apple was for removing the jack. I thought it was stupid, but I "bought in" and got the iphone 7 and couldn't be happier.
recently spent a week camping w/ friends unable to listen to any of my music because i had misplaced the stupid adapter...
That said, totally worth the improvements in water resistance. I use it in the shower all the time.
Mostly I just use headphones much less.
Not once have I noticed the absence of the headphone jack, nor have I felt the need for it.
I use bluetooth buds on my phones. tbh I am not entirely sold on having a wireless device so close to my brain either. It is way more convenient than having a cable though.
At the office, I just use full size headphones (the kind you can't run with) plugged into my laptop.
The only real option is to carry a DAC around which is ridiculous.
Was “forced” to switch to Bluetooth.
Only one bad thing, you can't be charging while listening to music.
To me, I have no regret for a bigger screen since I'm not a frequent one-hand user. But, if I holding food in another hand, it's a problem. I can't touch another side of screen edge easily. (However, I'm a left-handed, and all designs put the button on right.)
iPhone 8+ screen is much better than iPhone 6+! It's worth to upgrade :) Better camera also.
There are cheap dongles available which allow you to do this.
Really happy with it. Never tried it with Apple hw, but guessing it would work. Great as a "wireless headphone enabler" while watching films late, at a screen a little further away than ~1m. Or even for gaming along with a wireless controller etc.
It's not the best day in the world (and Bluetooth doesn't have completely lossless audio in any profile afaik). But it's better than any portable equipment I'm aware of - including the early Sony mp3 players that were steel boxes/melee weapons with proper line out...
Incidentally Apple's PR on dropping the headphone jack was terrible. They tried to play it up as almost a benefit when in reality it's a boring lateral move that is of little consequence for most people.
But then every single time I commute or go to a park I see a bunch of people with their cable headphones and how inconvenient it is: the cables are just messy, they cling to stuff.
Wireless headphones make more sense in terms of how easy it is to use them. Although, agreed - the PR on dropping the headphone jack was pretty bad.
In the car the phone is plugged in with a wire anyway, that wire covers power and audio. Or I could use BT.
I’ve switched to BT headphones at work and they’re much more convenient than wired headphones. Before I bought hen I just had a single permenantly on the cord anyway.
When I travel I have my BT phones and the rest already have dongles in them. No need to remember anything.
Something else needed? $10 at many stores and I can get another dongle but I haven’t run into that.
It’s been a non-issue.
Most of the headphones I own are bluetooth. At home, I stream over BT or wifi and charge my BT headphones while my phone charges. While driving I also use BT, which is nice since I rarely have to pull my phone out and my jams are already playing as I get into the car.
I have a lot of nice-ish headphones and in ear monitors, and I thought it be more of an inconvenience, but it's not. The adapter works fine.
And now that wireless audio sounds good, I find that I use AirPods or Powerbeats almost exclusively while walking around. Turns out the only time I ever plug my nice headphones into the phone is when I'm sitting for long stretches.
This sounds creepy. So now when excessive microphone data is seen to be going out to the cloud, they can just say "Oh, the phone thought there was music playing and was trying to identify it. Simple misunderstanding, nothing nefarious!".
Even supporting a database of millions of songs would be possible.
Every year gives us around 100 popular songs (add a % of location-specific popular ones), so it seems the plan is feasible.
Even if it takes up a small amount of space, it's basically a non-feature.
Many of those songs have never been played. There's a really (really, really, really) long tail.
Okay? The submitted article certainly didn't mention that.
The Anadtech live blog does indeed state "01:05PM EDT - On device machine learning. Local music identificat (sic)"
I have a feeling they are using federated machine learning for this to have a lot of the processing done locally and not need to activate the radios for as much of the processing as possible. They have been making big strides in that area lately and this might be the start of some of the major applications of it (I think they are using it in their keyboard prediction as well from a bit ago)
anyone know how many gb or mb this occupies in my phone... can v jus clear this data...
More likely (this is a guess, nobody outside google really knows at this point), they will use federated machine learning to figure out that something is "a song", then perhaps clean up and isolate the actual "song" part of it and send that over to a google server for processing.
But again it was just announced, so nobody really knows how this works, where the data is or goes, and what tradeoffs were made.
I'm probably underestimating the parameters per node, and overestimating the size of the layers closer to the input. Further, it's more likely structured as an LSTM than a convolutional network, since sound is a streaming source.
Reminder that US intel exploited a bug (or a "bug") in Samsung Smart TVs that allowed them to surreptitiously activate the built-in microphones and stream the room's sound on-demand, obviously with no notification to the user. 
That gets me curious, did anyone try running that malware and see which servers it transmitted up to? Would be interesting to go through logs and see, retroactively, who this was used on in the wild. Would be even _more_ interesting if it proxied through a tunnel at a cooperative BigCo...
I wish I had just stuck with the Nexus 5... it was a fantastic phone. Wireless charging (which I personally found to be the most useful feature), excellent dimensions, excellent price, and the notification light was bright. The case was made of some sort of rubberized plastic, so it could withstand a real beating.
Squeezable sides and marginally improved specs aren't enough for me to consider upgrading, and at this point, as an Android fan since the Nexus 4, I would strongly considering making the switch the iPhone.
I have a pixel as well and feel like it will still last some time.
Even as an Android dev giving a very rough time to my phones, they can easily last 2 years nowadays.
If you don't care too much about fluidity or photography, 3 or 4 years don't seem too long either, as long as you replace the battery.
It's unlimited until 2020 and then I'm guessing you'll have to pay for it afterwards, and after a few years of taking videos without caring about space, you're probably going to rack up a massive bill or have to spend a ton of time cherry picking what you want to save.
Their plan is pretty smart tho. Most people will be like "screw it, I'll just buy another phone to avoid spending that just to keep my videos".
: https://i.imgur.com/M5LYvrH.png (read the fine print)
> Free, unlimited original-quality storage for photos and videos taken with Pixel through the end of 2020, and free, unlimited high-quality storage for photos taken with Pixel afterwards.
If you are over your free cap when the promotion ends, you don't lose access to anything, you just can't add anything new.
Source: did it before, probably still works the same way.
Interestly enough, I started a new job right around the time I got my Pixel, and work provided me a brand new iPhone 7, so I've been able to compare them side by side for a year now, in nearly identical usage. I've been on the android bandwagon for a long time now, but the iPhone 7 is hands down the better hardware. The Pixel has been replaced once ~6 months ago, and spent most of its life in a soft shell case, but it has not handled general wear and tear well. The iPhone 7 has been blatantly abused (work phone, don't care) but still looks brand new. iOS leaves a lot to be desired, but with all of android's missteps the difference isn't as drastic as it used to be.
This after having used android since the G1 (first android phone).
I think your sentiments are the most fair and realistic I've come across in a while (FYI for others reading).
The gap isn't as big as it used to be software wise, but the hardware is still better by a big margin. iOS has also been a little more stable, less app crashes, random reboots, etc.
The only thing I'd add is that the apple stores have been surprisingly helpful and have added more to the experience than I would have thought. Go in, try everything, get brought up to speed real quick by friendly staff, and they seem to always be conveniently located (for me at least).
All in all the experience has been better and I haven't missed Android's famous flexibility.
I'm often using iPods or other local-music devices to pump sound into concert venues between acts. Taking away 1/8" audio standards in favor of USB-C or Lightning non-standardized ports causes chaos when needing to fill in music in a pinch.
In my industry, I simply cannot live without a standard audio port, which absolutely no one was clamoring to discard.
If my 1st generation Pixel were to break today, I'd buy another 1st generation Pixel.
Even on desktops/laptops 3.5mm audio is still used. Why do we need dongles to use core features?
Especially since we're removing an "out" port, now we're reliant on a single port to manage all in and out. I don't want to carry dongles to be able to use my phone normally.
It's hardly a scientific study, but it reinforces my prior belief that aux doesn't inherently require any electricity, while bluetooth is sending information over radio waves which of course has to use electricity.
I'm not sure about the difference when it comes to fancy, high-powered headphones, but my (anecdotal) experience with bluetooth vs. analog certainly supports the idea that bluetooth uses more power. I'd appreciate some citations if you have some other information about this subject.
Yes I'm sure those headphone drivers magically shake themselves.
So now, instead of a solid standard that has been for decades there's an attempt to have 3 standards.
Found the SWE!
The audio industry is the most adapter-heavy industry on the planet. I need to carry a bag of adapters, and I'm just a small-time home-recording guy.
Single/double RCA to mono/stereo big/small jack, double mono/stereo big/small jack to stereo/mono small/big jack, the other way around, and more, you name it.
Even if you got a 3.5mm jack, you’d still need adapters, because very little audio equipment uses 3.5mm jacks anyway. Even the most basic stuff only carries 1/4”, RCA or XLR. My headphones do not carry a 3.5mm jack as well.
You might think of committing to a single cable-type everywhere, and being done with it – but if you’ve ever coded in the real world you know how realistic that sounds.
I still think that the hubris to say 'what's one more adaptor' is enormous.
Taking away the headphone jack does not solve any problem I have. It would impose extra costs, both in conversion, and ongoing. And it gives me a worse experience overall.
If I don't care about what I'm listening to that much (podcasts etc.), wireless headphones are fine, don't get me wrong, but the usability across-the-board still sucks, while not in any way or at any level improving the experience for me. It is a strictly worse experience.
I'm not going to get into an audiophile/golden ear flamewar, but I am always skeptical of this claim. Yes, SBC is not the world's best, but it supports bitrates upto 500 kbit/s. I'm not going to claim it is completely transparent, but 9 times out of 10 it is being used with shitty bluetooth headphones (where the alternative is shitty wired headphones)... at that point the quality of the headphones (wired or not) has far more to do with the audio quality than anything.
And yes, I doubt most people will notice an audio quality drop in a pair of high quality Sennheisers going from wired to SBC (there isn't convincing evidence that aptX is much better than SBC). I wouldn't be too surprised about a conflicting experimental result, but skeptical for now. Anyway, most people are not hooking up high quality headphones to their phone, or they are purposefully using phones tuned for a particular lo-fi response (Beats)... who cares about whatever SBC does at 350 kbit/s at that point.
Edit: And walking down the street is hardly a hi-fi listening environment.
In an optimum environment it's fine. In the real world, having my headphones make farty noises in my ears two or three times in a ten-minute walk is silly and we live in the future and it should be better than that.
To increase battery life, you have to go with more simplistic conversion which reduces quality. To reduce the cost of 2 DACs (one per ear) you have to use worse hardware. The net result is that the onboard DAC is basically guaranteed to be better and the amount of interference over wired headphones will be minimal.
The mere prevalence of people enjoying the stock iphone, ipod, cheap airline, and wireless headphones -- versus isolation quality you can get in a $20 pair of sony's suggests I'm a minority when it comes to audio quality.
This is baseless and ridiculous.
They did it because people are expecting more out of their phones e.g. better cameras, better screen, battery life, TouchID, FaceID all whilst demanding the same thickness. Something has to give. First it was the 30-pin adapter, now it's headphone, next will be SIM.
And Apple makes so little from their accessory sales compared to everything else they do so it is illogical they would intentionally cripple their flagship device to make a few hundred million.
Way to completely ignore the fact that there is room for a headphone jack in the iPhone 7 and the iPhone 8. It was not removed in order to make room for anything. See the video I posted above.
I have... I don't even know. 20? 50? devices that need to be charged on a regular basis. I really don't want to charge anything besides my phone and my laptop. I don't want the ritual of taking 2 or 5 or 10 different things out of my bag at the end of the day, plugging them in, and then unplugging them and rewrapping the cables and putting them back into my bag. That is not "convenience" in my book.
There's also a small level of cognitive overhead involved with remembering which devices were charged when. We're not talking rocket science here but most of us are IMHO already in a constant state of distraction thanks to information overload, and I don't want more variables to think about.
Apple is the only company that has figured out how to make it easy, but it requires a iphone/macbook of course.
I cannot even use bluetooth headphones for a full workday before they die.
If you want to run iOS apps, you are kind of stuck taking what Apple gives you and so I think the frustration with removal of the headphone jack there is warranted. I don't understand why anybody cares that Google is doing this. We have a lot of choice in the Android world.
Having used every Nexus device from the One through to my current PixelXL, except for the Nexus 6 which I skipped in favour of the OnePlus One, I'm very annoyed I'm going to have to put up with :
1) Someone else's skin on Android
2) Someone else's schedule for supplying my phone with software updates, which from my experience with the OnePlus One, and with anecdotal evidence from everyone who hasn't had a Google device seems to be "sometime, if ever".
That's why this is annoying to me at least.
Because I wanted to buy a Pixel, and now I won't because of a decision they made? I can of course go and buy something else, but I'm just voicing my displeasure with this.
I know I for one will never buy a phone with no headphone jack.
What did they gain by removing floppy disk drives from laptops? Well, nothing per se, but it allowed them to make smaller laptops.
Removing the jack will allow them to make phones thinner - if not now, in future iterations.
And the thing with keeping features around is that it's not just a question of that one feature. It's cumulative over time. It's not just a question of removing the floppy drive, it's that AND the internal modem AND the CD drive, etc. The effects can add up.
The analog headphone jack still does as good a job of connecting headphones, speakers and such in a practical sense as it always did. Perhaps even better since cars have aux in ports most of the time now. It hasn't fallen into disuse either. While bluetooth headphones exist and enjoy some popularity, most people I know own, and regularly use wired headphones.
I don't think the analogy holds. The headphone jack is still as useful and popular with consumers as it ever was.
 Yes, they also usually have bluetooth, but getting a car and a phone to pair, and getting the right phone to be paired at the right time isn't always a good UX.
There were still people who had stuff on floppies who wanted floppy drives.
There was a big fuss when Apple first removed CD drives from their laptops.
> The analog headphone jack still does as good a job of connecting headphones, speakers and such in a practical sense as it always did.
Many people -- I'm not claiming it's the majority -- disagree. Many people find headphone cables a big pain in the ass.
> While bluetooth headphones exist and enjoy some popularity, most people I know own, and regularly use wired headphones.
At least part of that is that wireless headphones tend to be expensive and many of them aren't the best at pairing and staying connected. Those things aren't inherent to wireless technology and will change over time.
> Yes, they also usually have bluetooth, but getting a car and a phone to pair, and getting the right phone to be paired at the right time isn't always a good UX.
Again, that's nothing inherent to wireless. Apparently the Apple wireless pairing works pretty perfectly.
But they don't also find having to charge headphones, and eventually to throw them out and purchase new ones, to be 'a big pain in the ass'?
> At least part of that is that wireless headphones tend to be expensive and many of them aren't the best at pairing and staying connected. Those things aren't inherent to wireless technology and will change over time.
I'm pretty sure that expense and complexity are inherent to wireless. No wireless connexion is going to be as cheap and reliable as an equivalent wired connexion, if only because the wireless connexion terminates in … a wire.
Basically, chaos originates from the involvement of computer science.
Cordless home phones and "900 Mhz" wireless headphones to use around the house are dead friggin' simple and reliable.
(Not to mention insecure: another story).
you have to buy at least one pair of wireless headphones (and eventually they'll be bundled with phones), but you wouldn't need to replace them any more frequently than other headphones. This is the way with all changes. When wifi first became available we had to buy new modems.
As for charging them, that doesn't seem like a big pain to me. I charge my phone and laptop each day, this is just one other thing. For me the benefits -- no cables to get tangled (and have to untangle) or get caught on things -- outweigh the costs.
> I'm pretty sure that expense and complexity are inherent to wireless. No wireless connexion is going to be as cheap and reliable as an equivalent wired connexion, if only because the wireless connexion terminates in … a wire.
I hear the air pods are very reliable.
Regarding expense, if economies of scale get going, which I believe will happen, and manufacturers get more experience making them, then this will make the prices come down.
Except that the batteries will eventually stop holding a charge. This is not a problem with wired headphones. I can plug a 40 year old pair of headphones my Dad got in college into my phone and they work the same now as they did then. You can't do that with wireless headphones.
You're wrongly assuming that this always means the headphones will no longer work. There are wireless headphones with replaceable batteries -- e.g. https://www.beoplay.com/products/beoplayh8#techtalk
And, it's not like most wired headphones last forever. I must have gone through 5 - 10 pairs in the last few years. Admittedly most of these were towards the lower-end, but still, they just stopped working.
I agree completely - wireless headphones are amazing, I hate dealing with cables.
My first pair of bluetooth headphones were shit, and very difficult to switch devices, so I went back to wired. My second pair of bluetooth headphones (Bose QC something) are fantastic! Easily connect to multiple devices, easily switch between the devices. My third (AirPods) are similarly amazing, easy to switch devices, easy to pair.
I'm never buying a pair of wired headphones again.
I still want cheep, easy to find, simple, reliable personal audio that doesn't depend on a low-noise RF environment.
I still want to EASILY interface with /all/ of the current devices that accept standard electronic line-in signal.
Sure, my use case is different than your's, but that port is still useful and it is a feature.
Just make the battery a little thicker to keep things uniform and give us all a full 10 hours of watching videos on a plain / train / etc.
As far as I can tell, that move is now seen as prescient rather than premature.
When they removed that -- or any of the other things -- there was still some backlash from people who still had uses for them, and still wanted them.
> I don’t agree that Bluetooth is a better alternative than a cord that is 100% reliable to pair, perfect audio quality, and never needs to be charged
From what I've heard the ear pods are very reliable to pair and have good audio quality.
I think the comparison to removal of floppy drives fails here because neither is clearly superior to the other.
Wired headphones are inconvenient (you need a wire) but have great sound quality and reliability. They're also cheap. Wireless headphones are convenient in some aspects (no wires) but inconvenient in others (need to charge them) and have decent quality and somewhat less reliability. They're also expensive.
You can't say wireless headphones supersede wired headphones, they just choose different tradeoffs.
I don't believe that is inherently true about wireless headphones.
Re: tradeoffs, you can say that about any set of alternatives, and there can still be one option that in the long term is best for most people. Eg horses vs cars as means for personal transport.
I believe it is. Wireless headphones are subject to interference while wired ones are not. Physical connections are much less likely to fail. Wired headphones also lack batteries.
> Re: tradeoffs, you can say that about any set of alternatives, and there can still be one option that in the long term is best for most people. Eg horses vs cars as means for personal transport.
It's true that whether a product is superior to another is a subjective decision but I think there's a threshold to be met in terms of numbers.
Horses vs. cars is easy: Cars today are cheaper, faster, safer, require less space and require less maintenance than horses. The number of people who'd prefer a horse to a car is insignificant.
Wired vs. wireless is much closer. I think at best 50% of people would prefer wireless after trying them for a week or two.
Wireless and wired aren't mutually exclusive either. There's no reason a phone can't support both wired and wireless headphones and let people choose. That's what we've had for years now and unsurprisingly, wireless headphones haven't really taken off.
The GSM "buzz" would like to have a word with you.
Admittedly it's no longer much of an issue as that standard is not used much anymore, but still...
> I think at best 50% of people would prefer wireless
I'm curious what your sample size on that is, as literally everyone I know who switched to a (good) pair a bluetooth headphones (20+ at this point) is 100% on the wireless bandwagon, myself included.
Admittedly - a large portion of that 20+ samples of anecdata are from pool players who like to wear headphones while playing the game. The fact that there are no wires means that said players no longer have to come up with a way of dealing with the wire to prevent it from interfering in the game (so, sure, my sample is biased).
That's not true. Have you ever had gunk get into your headphone jack and have that affect the sound? I have.
> Physical connections are much less likely to fail.
I hear the air pods are pretty reliable. I've had plenty of wired headphones either stop working properly or stop working altogether. Wires can get yanked and this an effect the internal connections in the headphones, for example.
> Wired headphones also lack batteries.
The literal text of what I was replying to was "have decent quality and somewhat less reliability", and batteries have nothing to do with that.
> Horses vs. cars is easy: Cars today are cheaper, faster, safer, require less space and require less maintenance than horses. The number of people who'd prefer a horse to a car is insignificant.
We're not talking about horses vs cars today, we're talking about horses vs cars when cars were being introduced! That's the analogous situation.
> I think at best 50% of people would prefer wireless after trying them for a week or two.
On what grounds?
> Wireless and wired aren't mutually exclusive either. There's no reason a phone can't support both wired and wireless headphones and let people choose.
Yes, that's true. But I think that the longer-term picture is different. More features means more cost and complexity. And you can't consider this just in the context of one issue. It's cumulative over time. An analogy here is all the various features that have been lost in desktop and laptop computers over the years (and replaced by different ones). Sure, any one of those isn't necessarily a big deal, but in the longer term it's not about individual ones. If you said that about each individual feature, and kept it on, the devices these days would be really encumbered with all sorts of stuff.
> That's what we've had for years now and unsurprisingly, wireless headphones haven't really taken off.
We're not talking about decades and decades of good, consumer-level priced wireless technology. It's still pretty new, and that also means it's still pretty expensive. I think it's clear that a fair number of people who are against the wireless headphones still haven't actually tried good one, which shows that the exposure levels for the technology is still pretty low.
And removing the jack is the kind of thing that may push the adoption of wireless headphones and lead to the kinds of economies of scales that reduce the price and lead to more takeup.
Also, this already happened with the Ethernet port.
Routers need to be plugged into a wall socket. Batteries don't require that constant use of a cable or socket.
Any transition like that is going to be awkward at first. If people tried to wait for perfect conditions, progress would never be made.
Pushing progress is not an excuse to force transition with cost and effort burden on customers.
> Pushing progress is not an excuse to force transition with cost and effort burden on customers.
You can't make progress without doing some of that.
Every stationary or semi-stationary networked device should probably have Ethernet. A desktop or laptop should; a phone shouldn't (because it's mobile). It'd be nice if IoT thermostats and the like were wired, but that would require homes to have Ethernet-over-power or Ethernet runs in the walls or something.
WiFi is inferior to Ethernet, except when mobility is necessary. So for mobile devices like phones, it's not needed. For tablets, probably not (but imagine if your charging cable could also carry fast, reliable networking to your tablet, so you could have a better experience while reading or watching TV, but still be able to get up & go).
People keep saying this but the circuitry and the depth was very small. There was even that guy from China who hacked a working 3.5mm jack into the iPhone 7 without changing its shape AT ALL yet Apple cited that they had to remove it to fit in more stuff.
If this isn't something that's useful to remove now, they should wait until it IS useful. It's all very frustrating. I now have my non-techie family asking me what to do with their phone that doesn't have a headphone jack or they're asking for support for their bluetooth headphones which MOST of them still completely SUCK (especially for the average user).
I mean I ultimately agree with you but I think we're still years away.
What is advantage of thinner phones? They are uncomfortable for hands and have probably smaller battery. They must be also easier to bend.
An advantage I didn't mention in my original comment is: getting rid of cables. Personally, I hate headphone cables. They seem to always be getting tangled up when the headphones aren't in use (meaning I have to mess around untangling them before using them), and always caught on things while I'm wearing them.
Aside from cost, more devices that need to be charged creates more overhead.
I'm not an audio professional and I think there's far more like me that you can't ignore.
USB-C is a nice connector, and for digital headsets it is pretty nice, but it has some disadvantages (and advantages!) compared to standard headphone jack:
1. Portable devices tend to only have 1, so no listening to music while charging. Common in car scenarios, not all cars have BT audio, and BT audio implementations in cars can vary in quality by large factors.
2. Sound degradation over BT is a problem. Recompressing an already compressed file (e.g. MP3) is going to result in a loss of quality. Since a lot of music is streamed at a bitrate that is "just above noticeable loss", further compression will result in a sound quality decrease.
3. It moves the DAC to outside the phone. This is mostly a good thing, assuming the dongle uses a good DAC, and eventually we'll see third party high quality USB-C DACs (as are already present on desktops for traditional USB)
4. Pure USB-C headphones require more engineering, and they require a type of engineering that headphone companies are not traditionally familiar with. Headphone companies are experts in making high quality analog sound systems, shoehorning the need for digital expertise is needless. (Though more and more headphone companies already have a digital team, it does raise the bar for new entrants.)
5. The AUX jack is pretty damn good. Replacing it with a digital jack isn't really needed. Even with a huge industry push, it'll be many many years before USB-C is everywhere, and if you count the professional markets, it will likely be decades, if ever. (This isn't helped by Apple pushing a competing standard!) Digital means software, which means things can and will go wrong. With an analog plug the quality of the signal is the quality of the physical connection and the wiring going between them, and as a species we have almost over a century of knowledge about analog signals. With digital, ideally quality never degrades, but with firmware/software bugs it can degrade, and to get optimal quality it'll require every device in a chain not have any bugs related to sound quality.
AUX is the only standard used by both consumers and professionals, and losing that would be very annoying.
Because BT isn't an improvement. It's a worse experience in almost every way.
Physical improvements have been necessary for USB to increase bandwidth. 3.5mm is a connector for carrying two (sometimes 3) analog signals, and backwards-incompatible changes aren't necessary until we develop a third ear.
Usb-C to 3.5mm jack, where it isn't a dongle, but rather built into the cable itself.
Your storage device has to handshake with the playback device. Maybe HDCP over USB?
There’s many people exactly like that.
Afterwards you can get all parts replaced for basically nothing, though, or buy the replacement parts and do it yourself (I just replaced the leather pads and cabling on mine)
I'll be sticking with my pixel xl
Yup, no way I'm buying new a car just to listen to music while driving.
There's really no argument that paints headphone jack removal as a net positive. Samsung has proved you can waterproof a phone with one (and an SD card!).
USB-C allows for analog audio passthrough, unlike Lightning.
Lint. Headphone jacks and lightning ports on every iPhone I've ever owned would always stop working properly after 6 months to a year of being carried around in my pocket. (Sort of) easily fixed with a paperclip to pick the lint out of the port, of course, but annoying and the headphone jack was harder to clean than the lighting/dock connecter port.
About the same price as an overpriced cable from Best Buy.
So, I use it all the 3.5mm jack even more now. Is the idea behind an adaptor so that the user can use an even higher quality DAC?
A rose by any other name would smell as sweet.
Consumers are not asking for it for the aesthetics. It doesn't make the phone much thinner. It doesn't make the phone easier to manufacture.
I'm very rough on physical devices, and will go through 4-6 pair of earbuds a year. Because these do not physically connect to the device, they take an order of magnitude less wear, and thus last longer.
The oldest pair of headphones that I own that work is older than my usage of the Internet. The oldest pair of headphones I own that I still use regularly I bought for college - and that was a long time ago.
Assuming that everyone treats their equipment as though it's disposable is frustrating to me. Some of us use our gear for a very long time, and in the case of something as mundane as a 3.5" jack, expect to be able to.
I have never had a pair of headphones last for more than 2 years. Almost every time it's because the cable gets worn out from rubbing against the inside of my pocket.
The left speaker stopped working after 6 months of every day normal use.
Interesting round of new devices this year around, I wonder what the consensus is on who did it better, Google or Apple?
I may consider the Pixel 2 XL over the IPhone X in a few months, but will definitely need to see some reviews of both first.
The removal of the headphone jack is devastating. I listen to music nearly every waking moment, so I am unsure about moving to Bluetooth whenever I use headphones.
Just do what everyone else does and leave it attached to your headphones.
I’m a student, but I also develop apps. Even with the emulator, there are still bugs you can only find on real devices.
So now every time a new Android version comes out, I’ll either end up with a month where my apps are broken and I’m slowly working on fixing them (so ~10% of the time the app is unusable), or I have to shell out north of $900 just to get the cheapest still supported Pixel in Germany.
Additionally, my largest concern with no mid-range device supporting preview releases is that the mid-range phone experience is going to decline rapidly (slow downs, resource bloat) until the only viable equivalent experience to what we have now is on a $1000+ phone. When phones were sub $500, I could get a new one every two years pretty reasonably. Or if I didn't like my phone, it wasn't a huge hit to upgrade early. But now I'm paying more than 2x what I paid when I started using Android phones. At that price point, Apple starts to look real good.
> Like all Android One phones, Android One moto x4 runs a pure Android experience .... You’ll also get access to the latest updates from Android, such as Android Oreo before the end of the year. Android One moto x4 will be among the first to receive an upgrade to Android P.
After Lenovo took over Motorola updates went downhill.
Only conern is the inventory, they make 100 pieces and do marketing for a million, I don't understand the logic, smh.
However another thing to consider in pricing ist that android phone prices will fall pretty quickly over the year anyway, up to about 50%. We’ll see how it will be for the Pixel2
649 USD = 552 EUR
552 * 1.2 (20% VAT) = 662
799 - 662 = 137
I've been developing Android apps since 2011, and Android development is getting worse. The support I have to deal with goes back to Android 4.4 which is like 4-5 years ago. And the phones in the market here in Asia are still mostly on 6.0. I am no longer getting excited for Android releases anymore.
The camera solution they adopted is technologically inferior to the (much more common) dual wide/tele lens solution, since the former offers only some of the advantages of the latter (e.g. bokeh: yes, 2X optical zoom: no).
And they gave that guy who retrofitted a headphone jack in the iPhone 7 a reason to come out with a new video.
Perhaps the Nexus 5X is only good because it is basically an LG G phone.
My Nexus 5 wall charger can't even push enough amps to charge my Nexus 5x.
Edit: Does the new iPhone use the same wireless chargers as older phones? Can you use it with those Ikea lamps with wireless charging? Or does it use a different/less lossy transmission method?
Sure, it's slower than a quick charger, but in a lot of cases you don't need a quick charge.
But I’ve seen some good support cases from Google for nexus, my friend exchanged his nexus 4 after a year out of warranty by sending to US though; it was not bought from Google in India. I hope the support would be better for Pixel series of devices now that they own the manufacturer responsibility.
In fact, if you don't shape up in a year or so by the time I will upgrade, I'm probably going back to Moto, or getting a Samsung...
I couldn't have imagined buying a second pixel, so removing the saving grace, the headphone jack, almost seems gratuitous.
This is an understatement. After I got a few scratches on my Galaxy S4 from putting my phone in my pocket with keys, I made sure I would never make that mistake again. I was extra-cautious with my Pixel, but after less than a year of ownership it's is already the most scratched-up phone I've ever had.
it looks like a nice phone, but i have a hard time understanding how it's 5-7x better than my xiaomi.
The problem is, the Nexus series showed us that Google can release a high quality phone at 1/2 the price of the rest of the market, and keep it updated and running fast for years.
There is obviously more money in selling phones at market rate.
I don't even understand how the Pixel 1 was fairly successful in the US (subsidized phones and project Fi maybe?)
Custom tooling for complex industrial design is expensive, and the Nexus series tended to re-use existing phone designs wholesale, which also likely cut costs.
Since I put a case on my phone anyway, I don't particularly care about the industrial design. I also understand I am not in the majority there. But a $500 premium is a lot...
In the portrait pic of the girl, the difference between the Pixel 2  and the iPhone 8  is night and day, with the Pixel 2 looking like shit. She so pale, and the fake bokeh looks like a 5 year old smearing all over, it's simply not pleasant to look at.
And the whole push on adding the fake bokeh """scores""" to justify changing the scores so every fucking newly released device gets the highest score is stupid. Thanks for scoring the bokeh, if I had really wanted bokeh, I would have pulled out my bulky mirrorless camera.
I bet when a new phone comes out and they pay the DxO guy enough, they will add a dog nose filter score to make the new camera score the highest.
1: A https://cdn.dxomark.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/ref1_Boke...
2: A https://cdn.dxomark.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/ref1_Boke...
If you compare the right eyebrow, you will see that  have more details, than 
Remember, the picture is always a depiction of what our eyes see, and that our eyes see is only a part of the reality. My eyes don't see bokehs. My eyes don't focus the same way the camera does. My eyes don't see in 3500K or 6500K or whatever the hell that is. My eyes don't care how many strands of hair there are in her eyebrows and how detailed they are. My eyes don't see in black and white, either. Yet those are what you see in pictures. Focusing on the little detail "accuracy" and forget what it really matters at the end is dangerous.
Another one of your posts, talking about the white temperature, etc, is just surreal, and I dare you say that you are utterly clueless on this subject.
I mean the fact they sell cameras alone means they’re not unbiased.
Wait for real camera reviews.
Measuring the technical capabilities of an imaging device is patently obvious and justifiable. From dynamic range to optical and electronic resolution, noise at different light levels, etc. You can question their methodology, but saying that it "doesn't measure anything" is nonsense, and citing a guy who laughably claims that you can't measure the "art" is uproarious.
Gruber has less than zero legitimacy in this discussion, and his sole motivating intention is defend Apple in all facets.
Most DSLR reviews have a consistent scene that pushes the envelope of what a sensor can capture, and all cameras are benchmarked against that scene. Here's an example: https://www.dpreview.com/reviews/nikon-d7500-review-speed-an...
And I'm not "defensive" of DXO scores any more than I'm defensive of dpreview. DXO analyzes a variety of real world technical capabilities of imaging systems -- most certainly in an imperfect way and needing more rigor -- but to call it "horseshit", or to ridiculously claim that it measures nothing, is specious.
Snake oil is what that number is.
I agree completely. DPreview and other sites do that.
> but saying that it "doesn't measure anything" is nonsense
Then please tell me what that one final number measures. How do they get to it? It doesn’t seem objective at all.
Other camera review sites give a bunch of objective measurements then a subjective opinion about how the camera related to others.
DXO wants you to think their arbitrary number is scientifically rigorous.
> and citing a guy who laughably claims that you can't measure the "art" is uproarious.
Are you claiming you can measure art? That’s what DXO seems to do. Having a single number final score means that if camera A had a higher score than B then it must take objectively better pictures.
Or we have to admit their score is subjective.
> Gruber has less than zero legitimacy in this discussion
> and his sole motivating intention is defend Apple in all facets.
He’s complaining that the iPhone had the highest score ever. If you were right he would be writing about how DXO said it was the best camera ever, not that DXO is a sham.
If you can’t look past Gruber’s byline I imagine there are other articles online about DXO and their questionable practices. I’ve seen others before, this was the first Google turned up.
Because Gruber is a biased individual whose professional existence is to pander to a narrow crowd. He has nothing broadly interesting to say about cross-cutting concerns.
"He’s complaining that the iPhone had the highest score ever."
He previously dismissed DXO when the iPhone was beat. Now he wants to simultaneously crow about the iPhone taking the victory while claiming that he totally doesn't care about it anyways. People buy this teenager level nonsense?
"Are you claiming you can measure art?"
This is absurd. DXO is a broad, generalist, imperfect measure of imaging devices, and paradoxically there is broad agreement that the devices that do really well generally are capable of the best photos.
But you can take a great photo with a pinhole camera, from an artistic perspective. Does this make a pinhole camera the best? That is nonsensical.
Don't believe DXO. Don't believe Consumer Reports. Don't believe metacritic or star reviews or RT or whatever. But to claim it measures nothing, or to cite some biased player, is not credible.
He wasn’t crowing about it. He was complaining people were taking about DXO scores at all because they’re a sham.
The dual pixel thing sounds a little iffy to me in that I wonder if it can really duplicate the portrait mode of the iPhone.
I’ll be very interested to see REAL reviews.
DXO’s numbers mean as much as a five star system. They’re not quantitative but want to be treated like they are.
Expected, but it still stings. I guess I'll look elsewhere for my replacement for trusty Nexus 5X. Speaking of which, how's Pixel?
I really hope they can keep these in stock.
+ Software updates
+ Camera software (probably)
- Dual camera
Did I miss anything?
†Yes it's unfair to compare speculated launch price to current store price but that's the decision I'm making right now.
3 years of OS and Security updates. The LG will be lucky to get 1.
Unlimited full resolution photo and movie backups.
Also the huge bezels in pixel 2...
seems like these announcements just boil down to nothing...
at least those headphones could have been individual device without a need for pixel or if it needs to be paired then at least it should have been around $50
it is basically just a total waste of time, it was fun to listen to those new music in the event though...
Two manufacturers for what should be the same phone.
There are no words.
I can't stand the current state of the industry. New phones cost more but offer little in terms of value. They also look like trash. Who actually thought it was a good idea to make a flag ship phone have a two tone plastic case?
I'll be sticking to my aluminum cased 6P for a while. I'm also likely to get it again when this one finally dies. There's absolutely nothing that makes me want a Samsung or a Google branded Android phone right now.
That said, I would have kept my 6P if I had known how disappointing the Pixel 1 was going to be. Double the price without any useful changes just feels like a rip off. No chance I'm going to throw more money at Google for another mediocre product.
The 6P offers me:
- Aluminum case.
- 1080p screen
- 4K video recording
- Slow-motion video recording @ 1080p 240fps
- 12.3MP single shot
- A good enough CPU for lag free web browsing, spotify, snapchat, instagram, etc.
Why the fuck would I pay $700+ for a new phone for marginal improvements???
By the way you can get a custom rom from here: https://forum.xda-developers.com/nexus-6p/development
Some of my users are on Pixel devices and will get Android 9.0 the day it is released, while in best case, the source code only drops a week later. So assuming it takes me 10 minutes to fix all bugs, my app might crash for a week.
Realistically, my apps would be at least a month unusable.
Coincidentally I just caught their cringe-inducing intro of the new Google Clips that captures live photos. Groan.
And it's only fair to note that what we know as the pure Android was Google essentially sweeping in all of the cool things from Samsung, HTC and others.
The default experience is simply just that. No frills. No skins. Just Google apps. What exactly did they pull from HTC or Samsung that is now in the Gapps package?
Android comes without Google apps as well.
Gapps package installs Gmail, Maps, etc but not much in the way of frills.
If I had to choose I would take stock Android in terms of aesthetics, ten times out of ten.
However, over time Android has indeed taken MANY features from HTC, Motrola, Samsung and other OEMS and added them to vanilla android.
I know I'm forgetting a lot more but off the top of my head:
- multi-app support
- always on displays
- night mode
- smart gestures
- Stamina mode which is now Doze on stock Android
- voice commands
- even things like Google Now (minus the smart assistant) to the left of the home screen, were actually provided earlier by OEMs (as a method to differentiate) like HTC's blinkfeed
- heck, the first stock Android devices, didn't even have smart dialers (HTC added that as part of their Sense dialer)
Samsung's Touchwiz looked terrible until the most recent incarnation (it's now called the Samsung Experience) and it did contain some bloat, namely with duplicate apps but it's always been much more feature packed than stock Android. Some of the features were not so great but a lot of them were and eventually Google copied them. You can say the same to a lesser extent for HTC, Sony and Motorola.
And if we need to talk about experience, I started with a G1 on Android 1.0, then G2, HTC Hero, Galaxy Nexus, Galaxy Glide, GS2, Nexus 4, GS3, Nexus 5, one other HTC that I can't remember the name of, Nexus 6p, GS8. I've tried a lot of devices, and I've rocked them all.
And through those with unique vendor additions, it was always a mix of ups and downs, and later to see many of those innovations being swept into the Android base.
I also question any claim that Android is "without frills, without skins". Android is 98% frills. With each iteration we have a new laundry list of frills. At the same time the core OS took until about version 7 to finally get basics like smooth scrolling down (something that vendor skins got to a much better state much earlier).
They work just fine at the gym, at home, and at work but when in a crowded public space the cutting in/out is consistent.
Google Apps, Android, Pixel etc are really excellent products.