This isn’t a review of the Nexux 5. Rather, it’s a review of Google’s new strategy of integration as displayed in the KitKat-running Nexus 5.
You’ll find a gazillion reviews on the Nexus 5 over the next month, some detailing every feature and function. In general, these reviews will tell you that the Nexus 5 is a great phone with a great form-factor and exterior design, incredible screen, good battery life and excellent general performance. They’ll also point out that nothing even comes close to the Nexus 5’s value for money ($349 unlocked). And Nexus5/KitKat has little surprises (such as LTE tethering, even on AT&T).
I’m here not to add yet another review to the mix, but to zero in on what really matters: How Googley is this phone, exactly?
The short answer is: pretty Googley but not Googley enough.
To the extent that Nexus 5 succeeds (is better than other phones), it succeeds with integration. To the extent that Nexus 5 fails, it fails to integrate.
Google is in the smartphone business, obviously. But are they in it to win it, or just f**king around?
Sometimes I wonder.
Google is obviously a visionary company with incredible technology and the capacity to build some of the greatest stuff out there.
In fact, Google already has created all the elements of a monster, iPhone-killing super-phone. Yet some invisible, internal company flaw seems to be stopping the company from putting all those elements into an actual phone.
The iPhone-killing elements are scattered all over different phones that Google sells, and some of the elements aren’t in the phones at all.
As a result, Google’s fans are faced with an artificial choice between this feature or that feature — or just giving up and buying either a non-Google Android phone or an iPhone for a more compelling mobile experience.
What’s stopping Google from integrating all its best stuff into a single phone that would thrill everybody and dominate the market?
Is it Microsoft-style company politics, where internal power struggles among VPs and product managers create a hyperpluralism that paralyzes the company?
I don’t know. But what I do know is that Google could completely transform the market by simply using what it’s already got.
Here are the four actions Google needs to take to use what it’s got to create the ultimate iPhone killer super-phone.
Everybody is outraged — OUTRAGED! — that Google will soon start using their names and faces in advertising.
The pundits are screaming bloody murder over the move, suggesting that Google is now as bad as Facebook. The more constructive critics are scrambling to give instructions for opting out.
But all this gnashing of teeth and ripping of hair over Google’s new social ad policy is misguided, in my opinion. I’ll tell you why Google’s new “shared endorsements” is probably a good thing, but also how it could turn out to suck.
But first, let me tell you what this is really all about and why “shared endorsements” is probably a good thing.