This is what we’ve been waiting for for YEARS. True Google devices, not necessarily labeled Nexus — but labeled as Google devices and to be sold as such. Devices with marketing behind them to show the power of a true Google Android device that gets updates, is secure and puts user-experience (not bloatware or cookie cutter apps) at the forefront. This is not only important to Google but paramount to users — at the end of the day, we (you) derserve a quality device that isn’t overrun with carrier software and will be secure and supplied with updates, which keep your device relevant, for years and in time.
Why does this matter? Simple. Everyone knows who Google is, having their name on the phone will be huge, rather than an OEM acting as if Android does not exist, when it’s actually powering the phone.
Device quality has skyrocketed over the past few years with better devices costing less and less. This is doing two things, keeping device manufacturers competitive and making those that are producing high-quality devices on their toes. Google understands the ramifications of creating a poor quality device, and the recent Nexus devices have shown that the company has commitment to creating devices that are solid in build quality.
Two reasons we buy a device from Google is to get a pure Android experience and receive timely updates. When other major manufacturers put Android on a device the code is modified and differentiated so that it can look different from another. Up front, most users think that this is a good thing; however, over the course of years we have seen that this has created the word that has haunted Google and Android — fragmentation. Fragmentation occurs when a piece of software is different from one device to the next, since this phenomenon happened, Google is simply unable to get updates out to all of its users due to the many channels that it must go through. First, Google releases the code to the latest version of Android (either a full version upgrade or a monthly security update). Next, the OEM receives that update and merges the changes to the ROM that it is using — sometimes there can be issues because on the OEM side they’ve usually modified the stock Android code to look or behave in a certain way. Finally, the carrier has to test and push it out to the devices.
When it comes to updates and keeping your device secure, it is in your best interest to buy a phone directly from Google, like the upcoming Pixel or Nexus devices.
The stock or “Google” Android experience is usually better than that of a manufacturer in many ways — primarily because it is simple and lightweight. Lightweight in terms of how much space the software takes up on the device and the fact there are simply less processes on these devices that run, which in turn makes for a quicker operating system because less things are being held in memory. When it all boils down, a user simply wants their device to work well and usually when carriers and manufacturers get their hands on a device, expect a performance degradation.
Bottom line: We are expected to see the HTC made Google Pixel phones on October 4th — let’s hope that this spirals Android into the right direction and forces OEMs to do a better job. Perhaps it is best if some of them get left behind by increased standards. It is simply best practice to care about and protect those that support you with secure and high-performing devices rather than refusing to update phones and tablets.