(translation: Chen yu)
Moto X is not Google Phone
last week, the long-awaited Moto X finally came out. Although the phone is completely new MOTOROLA is Google acquisition product philosophy reflected, but Moto X still belong to belong to MOTOROLA, which is not a Google phone:
compared to the Nexus series, Moto X has many differences. First Moto X pick up is not the latest version of the Android system. Second, Moto X to the cooperation with operators market sales strategy, and this is Google never take the way. Again, the price of Moto X or a traditional phone model, rather than following the cost-effective route Nexus.
Moto X this is expected to become a breakthrough of the device, but it is a choice taking the doctrine of the mean line. Even the MOTOROLA also insists that only another Android handset makers.
we now know how Moto X is a device, but more to the point is that it is not what (it is not a Google Phone). From this perspective, to undertake the mission of advancing the Android experience, still want to fall in the Google Android team and their Nexus project. Android and Nexus has its contradiction hard place. Android is open source system, although Google efforts to control, but the equipment and software aspects of fragmentation is inevitable; Nexus is Google seriously trying to occupy the smartphone market, benefit than Android die-hard fans of “face project”.
Android modular upgrade
Google can solve these problems? Or Google’s willingness to solve these problems?
while the Google Android 4.3 release, Verge have the opportunity to interview the Android engineering director Dave Burke and be responsible for the management of Google Android products vice President Hugo Barra, ask them to sit down and talk about Google is there any change for the answers to these questions. Simple said: there is a change. But you may not be the desired direction.
if you dislike the Android fragmentation, the Android 4.3 release is a good news, is also a bad news.
the bad news is that another round of Android update cycle began, model is roughly: Google announced a new system, the Nexus series started to receive updates within one month, all the other manufacturers was mumbling to release its commitment to the upgrade, but because of software customization and operators, upgrade will be significantly delayed.
Google Play version of the HTC one, the Galaxy S4, aligning with the Nexus between godson, they have also recently received the Android 4.3 update. However, this is still only can solve the problem of few users upgrade.
the good news is that the Android 4.3 just update. In addition to the intelligent bluetooth, multiple user profiles, and games to support the local update, basically for Android 4.0 4.3 version of the above features. This may let the user’s expectations for the Android 5.0 dream of.
however, don’t upgrade platform big, does not mean that Google cannot ascend the Android experience. It will choose another road to the latest before the experience to the user of the method is very simple: Google Android “modular”, so it can be to focus on their own schedule to upgrade the core part – Google is applied, the platform on a large scale without the need to upgrade. Burke said: “unlike some companies, we don’t upgrade platform dependent. Instead we can constantly to upgrade all Google applications. “
Burke pointed out that the Google Android applications: such as Hangouts, Keep, Google Music, Chrome, Drive, gmail, YouTube, and other applications, can be carried out in accordance with the own schedule update faster, and “upgrade” without waiting for platform, different application update rhythm each have differences, but the most typical cycle “is” six to eight weeks.
this strategy still has its two sides. Android more and more like a “platform”, the platform also needs to be updated, because it also depends on upgrade to support the new application features and functionality. For developers, the situation may still could not change: to launch application still be adapted many system version. But for the average user pain was greatly reduced, even can’t upgrade the latest version of the system, but still can enjoy the latest Google services. If this still let you pain, that you can also choose to kiss son Nexus or godson Google Play version of the device.
why Google Nexus production?
this has been a controversial topic.
Google initially launched the Nexus, looks like Google is planning to sell directly to hardware caused a breakthrough in the field of mobile devices (bypass the carriers of contract restrictions, bare-metal bring a greater degree of freedom). However, the market is full of strong players, their entrenched, only through the Google Nexus channel sales, failed to get good sales performance.
if you can’t be a large number of consumers to buy, what is the significance of the Nexus? Google has always insisted that the answer is: the Nexus is to guide the Android development road of “beacon”, it should be education other players in the Android ecosystem. Burke said in an interview, “is the most essential role in the Nexus allows us to set up standards, (we can take this) shows how Android operation, hoping to influence other manufacturers to follow the Nexus, and do better.”
this explanation is most of the time is not reliable. Despite a few Nexus are good mobile phone, but they didn’t carry with the strongest configuration. The Galaxy Nexus camera bad, for example, the Nexus 4 does not support LTE… As the Galaxy S4 and HTC one launch Google Play native Android version, the Nexus more and do not have any hardware demonstration significance.
then we need to the other, more important reasons to explain why the existence of the Nexus: Google just need hardware devices used in the Android development. Burke said: “as a development of mobile phone operating system engineering team, we can’t develop out of thin air, we need a carrying equipment to run the system.” When asked about the Nexus product line, I often jokingly replied, since you need to Google engineers team production so hundreds of good to use cell phone, why not to produce a tens of thousands of units sold to hardcore users?
however, with the release two godson, Google is really necessary for a handful of top players to maintain the Nexus product line?
if not Nexus 7 release, this question is very reasonable. However the Nexus 7 with their own prove popular: this kind of equipment for small and all the lovers, may also be a great success. Google in July, the second generation of the Nexus 7 conference declared that “the Nexus 7 occupies the Android tablet sales more than 10% of the”, and indicates that the Nexus 7 at the top of one of the most popular 20 Android devices. Nexus 7 is a great success in the first paragraph Nexus device, its success thanks to the following formula: be a good product, and cut down the price as soon as possible. After the Nexus trapped in 4 shipments, though more popular than the previous generation of products, but sales than the Nexus 7.
Hugo Barra tells us that the Nexus 7 is in the face of all the Android tablet and it is a remarkable success in the fierce competition. In addition, the Nexus also to some extent, provides reference for Google’s experience, so as to further improve the matching of the Android system and hardware products. As Barra said: “we learned from Nexus7 many useful things. For example, a lot of features in the Android 4.3 update, it is in order to meet the need of tablet users. All in all, Nexus7 let us see the disadvantages of its own, and constantly thinking about how to improve.”
Nexus 4 is more popular than many predicted it would be, the Nexus 7 has become the king of the Android tablet, perhaps you don’t agree with “the Nexus is a beacon of Android”, but Google at least two Dali origin remains the Nexus product line: Android development and sales of hardware, although we don’t know if Google make a profit out of hardware sales.
for Google Android fragmentation at the platform level is an increasingly serious problem. This problem is unable to avoid. If you think that fragmentation is a problem in Android, you can see the Google for the past five years, try and fail to find the cure. But fortunately, fragmentation is not terminally ill, modular application upgrade, the Nexus of successful product line, the combination of Google help control symptoms. Google and Android users, it is increasingly accepted such a fragmented world of Android.