Moments matter. If they didn’t, mobile phones wouldn’t pack increasingly sophisticated cameras. Some, like Google Nexus One, set standards that rivals only matched years later.
I like to reminisce and imagine that someone rescued an injured cat, nursed him to health, and kept him—slightly disabled—indoors. If such alternate-universe scenario were true, we wouldn’t know. Kuma wasn’t microchipped, an oversight I have long regretted. He disappeared on this date 12 years ago.
While we lived in the apartment that was Kuma’s home, I looked for him long after city workers found his collar in a nearby canyon, strongly suggesting that a coyote snatched him. When we moved to another part of the neighborhood, in October 2017, I stopped searching and started dreaming of his escape and rescue.
While rummaging through old digital photos, I came across one which character and composition evoke a moment from the 1960s or 1970s. The metadata makes more modern origin known: June 23, 2010, 1:23 p.m. PDT. GPS-logged location: Pine Knot Avenue, Big Bear Lake, Calif.
My wife is the photographer, accompanied by her dad during a day trip. She used Google Nexus One to capture the Featured Image. Strangely, the metadata doesn’t record the camera settings. The photo is presented untouched; no cropping or enhancements.
Our daughter’s recovery companion is a little Japanese chick, likely purchased during Comic-Con 2010. She gave it to her best friend years ago; he returned it when she was still in critical condition. Yesterday, our girl left the hospital about 40 minutes shy of 30 days. She has moved on to facility for rehabilitation, which will be the subject of a future post.
For now, the Featured Image is the topic. You can disbelieve me, but this one comes from Nexus One—composed as shot and in no way edited. Vitals are incomplete, but the date is there: July 23, 2010, 1:22 p.m. PDT.
I do not recall taking the Featured Image, presumably from a laundromat that my wife used to frequent in San Diego’s North Park neighborhood. In January 2010, we owned the same smartphone, so metadata can’t confirm whom. However, sixth of the month means me.
About that device: Nexus One, Google’s first of many mobiles. Do read my first three stories (sequentially presented), following the device’s debut. They accurately analyze what the mobile meant for the future of contextual computing, particularly around search and voice: “Google Takes Ownership of a New Mobile Category“; “Nexus One Foreshadows Google Mobility That Could Get Ugly for Apple and Microsoft“; “Google’s Superphone is Super Surprising“.
Like unwanted mushrooms popping up after rain, Pixel 3/XL rumors are everywhere. Google gets gravy from all the free fan- and blog-post hype. Am I imagining, or is there even more buzz than for the next iPhone(s), which presumably comes soon (Apple sent out invites yesterday for a September 12 product event).
Buzz is the measure of interest—and while iPhone has commanding market share, Pixel’s mindshare is formidable. Someone tell me: Is Google’s new device really going to be that good? The leaked photos aren’t that inspiring with respect to design (little is different). Or perhaps expectations about iPhone X (and its companions) are low—and maybe for good reason.
Last week, I ordered the Nexus One during Google’s event, before the invited attendees got their free review units. Google shipped the phone by free FedEx overnight, so I began using the so-called “superphone” on Wednesday (January 6). Google impressed with the simple ordering process and prompt delivery.
I would recommend the Nexus One over iPhone to most anyone. While I’m no fan of Nexus One’s industrial design, the phone satisfies in most of the important ways: Call quality, user interface responsiveness, overall speed of the device, 3G telephony and data reception, ease of typing on touchscreen, and applications availability. Google and HTC have put together a simply satisfying smartphone.
Microsoft and Apple underestimate how quickly Google is consolidating its mobile platform—clearly so do geeks reviewing Nexus One. Google isn’t just going for one piece of mobility but the whole shebang. Google is putting together the pieces to offer a single mobile lifestyle, with no PC required, supported by search and other Google informational services. Like everything else the company does, free is the glue sticking everything together.
Google’s decision to sell Nexus One direct, even the carrier subsidized model, is part of the strategy. Open-source licensing has its limitations and risks fragmenting Android. As I explained in March 2009 post “There’s an App for That,” Apple changed the rules for mobile operating systems by breaking carrier control over updates. Apple distributes iPhone OS updates, preventing the kind of fragmentation typically caused by carrier distribution. By selling a handset direct, Google takes control of Android updates for a flagship phone that also acts like a baseline design model for handset manufacturers licensing the mobile operating system.
Today’s Google Nexus One launch is as game changing as Apple’s June 2007 release of the iPhone. Perhaps, Nexus One is more important, although judging from blogs and tweets, geekdom doesn’t yet get it. Apple supercharged the smartphone category with a more natural user interface. Suddenly, there was a new way to interact with a mobile phone that was seemingly magical. Today, Google turned on the superpowers, by finally starting to integrate cloud services into its mobile platform in a hugely useful way. Additionally, Google is transcending the limitations of one natural user interface by extending the capabilities of another.
With Nexus One and Android 2.1, Google is doing what Microsoft failed to with its March 2007 Tellme acquisition: Offer a more natural mobile phone user interface. Voice should have been it, but Microsoft failed to bring the technology to Windows Mobile in a big way. By comparison, Google has been hot on voice search, which promises to be much better on Nexus One and other handsets running Android 2.1. Google is extending voice search to other services, which just last week I blogged the information giant should be doing.