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Thread: You would have thought Google could do better Google's Nexus One Backlash: Shoddy Service SAM GUSTIN Posted 4:00 PM 01/11/10 Technology, Let the backlash begin. Nary a week after Google (GOO

  1. #1
    andynap is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Oct 2002 Philadelphia Posts: 43,589
    You would have thought Google could do better

    Google's Nexus One Backlash: Shoddy Service
    SAM GUSTIN Posted 4:00 PM 01/11/10 Technology,
    Let the backlash begin.

    Nary a week after Google (GOOG) unveiled its new Nexus One smart-phone -- billed as the first real challenger to Apple's (AAPL) wildly popular iPhone -- complaints about shoddy service and weak developer support have begun pouring in. Customers are complaining about poor connectivity
    over current, third generation (3G) wireless networks, while developers bemoan the lack of tools for building new applications to run on the phone's Android 2.1 operating system.

    Taken together, the complaints suggest that the Nexus One's honeymoon -- short-lived as it was -- is now over, and Google must move quickly to address the issues before the Nexus One gains as reputation as, well, a dog.

    For customers, the main issue appears to be spotty 3G service, a failing more frequently associated with AT&T (T) service for the iPhone. Because Google has decided to market the Nexus One itself, users are looking to it for answers on the 3G issue -- but Google doesn't have anywhere near the customer service infrastructure that the major wireless service companies have.

    In a bland message posted to online support forums, Google and T-Mobile acknowledged the new phone's 3G issues. "Google and T-Mobile are investigating this issue and hope to have more information for you soon. We understand your concern and appreciate your patience," the companies wrote on a T-Mobile support page that was inundated with complaints over the weekend.

    In response to a call from DailyFinance, Google simply replied, "We are aware of the issues that have affected a small number of users, and are working quickly to fix any problems." The response went on to say that when the company has more information, it will post it to the user forum.

    Figure Out the Problem

    "Honestly we should be able to just expect the 3G service on this phone to work like any other phone on the T-Mobile network," wrote one disgruntled customer in a representative comment on Google's mobile help page. "The fact that it's not working as expected means HTC and T-Mobile need to get together and figure out the problem. And quick, because I'm going to return this thing before my 14 day return period expires if this isn't solved before then."

    Nexus One owners are reporting everything from no 3G service, to intermittent service, to service that switches between 3G and EDGE networks. And users report that they are receiving little help from either T-Mobile, the phone's service provider, or HTC, the manufacturer. Google, meanwhile, is only accepting email help queries, which it promises to return within two days.

    In short, there is a customer service vacuum plaguing the Nexus One, which none of the companies involved appears prepared to address at the moment. Obviously, that needs to change pronto.

    Customers aren't the only ones complaining about the Nexus One. Software developers, which Google has aggressively cultivated through its support for open-source platforms, are also unhappy. This is particularly ominous for Google, which has relied on the developer community to build new applications for its Android open-source operating system, which powers the new phone.

    Developers Unhappy Too

    Android's open-source status has led developers to build some 20,000 applications for the Android Market, Google's version of the iPhone app store, creating an essential, developer-driven ecosystem for Android. But in recent months, Android developers have begun to express their frustration with the platform.

    The Nexus One is supposed to represent a leap ahead from previous Android systems, which have begun to be deployed on devices like Motorola's Droid, available on Verizon Wireless (VZ). The Nexus One runs on the latest version of Android, 2.0, but Google has yet to release the SDK (software developer kit) for Android 2.0, which would allow the developer community to begin building applications for the latest Android devices, led by the Nexus One.

    "How is it even remotely acceptable that people will have 2.1 in their hands before developers even get to touch the SDK?" one developer raged on a Google support forum last week. "I already have users using the Nexus-Droid 2.1 rom saying that my highly used widget doesn't work."

    "All this does is frustrate users when apps don't work and further degrades the market...because developers don't have a chance to update their code," the developer, who posted under the handle pcm2a, added.

    It's still early, and Google has a chance to turn this around. But if customers and developers don't see movement on these issues by the end of this week, what is now a flurry of complaints may turn into a blizzard -- and ultimately, an avalanche which could do irreparable damage to Google's image, and seriously harm its Android platform -- derailing its efforts to become a leader in the wireless business.


    Andy

  2. #2
    Petri is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Jan 2004 Helsinki, Finland Posts: 7,970
    Quote Originally Posted by Andynap
    The Nexus One is supposed to represent a leap ahead from previous Android systems, which have begun to be deployed on devices like Motorola's Droid, available on Verizon Wireless (VZ). The Nexus One runs on the latest version of Android, 2.0, but Google has yet to release the SDK (software developer kit) for Android 2.0, which would allow the developer community to begin building applications for the latest Android devices, led by the Nexus One.

    "How is it even remotely acceptable that people will have 2.1 in their hands before developers even get to touch the SDK?" one developer raged on a Google support forum last week. "I already have users using the Nexus-Droid 2.1 rom saying that my highly used widget doesn't work."
    Yellow press?

    Nexus One runs Android 2.1 and the SDK for 2.1 was made available less than a week after Nexus One was published.

    While it's true that 2.1 SDK should have been out beforehand, "Android 2.1 does not add significant user features" so things are pretty decent with 2.0.

    I can understand that iPhone required reception fine-tuning, both on software and hardware (moved from aluminium back to plastic) because it was Apple's first phone but I'm a bit suprised about the 3G/EDGE problems with Nexus One considering that the phone is made by HTC and they know what they are doing. Perhaps it's more of an software issue.

    My Nexus One has left DHL Cincinnati Hub today so I won't be receiving it until next week.. as Google sells the phone just to a few countries, mine is coming through UK. I don't know if it's a keeper yet. I've spent the last 15+ years in my own kingdom of mobile phones and I'm a bit shocked how much both Apple and Google now try to control my mobile..

  3. #3
    JEK is offline
    Senior Insider Joined: Jan 2004 In the ether . . . Posts: 51,671
    Typical. They thought it all could be solved by email. I didn't need any help on mine so I can't comment. Put the T-Mobile SIM in and away it went.
    The Marius 100th Birthday Party -- June 5, 2023

  4. #4
    NYCFred is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Jan 2004 NYC Posts: 17,991
    Quote Originally Posted by JEK
    Typical. They thought it all could be solved by email. I didn't need any help on mine so I can't comment. Put the T-Mobile SIM in and away it went.
    amazing that they dropped the ball on the customer service side of the equation. Expected better.

    I guess they don't get complaints/issues on "Google"....

    and I do like the hard line they're taking with the ChiComs.
    Neutral and Witty.

  5. #5
    JEK is offline
    Senior Insider Joined: Jan 2004 In the ether . . . Posts: 51,671
    They don't do talk.
    The Marius 100th Birthday Party -- June 5, 2023

  6. #6
    Earl is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Jun 2003 Moneta, VA Posts: 4,594
    Yep...I'm waiting till later in the year and then I will choose between a Blackberry, Android, or hopefully an IPhone via Verizon.
    EARL
    Still Alive and Kickin'!!!

  7. #7
    Petri is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Jan 2004 Helsinki, Finland Posts: 7,970
    The courier brought the Nexus One yesterday. Google didn't seem to mind that I ordered it with an credit card with a finnish address to a different person in the UK, credit card fraud made simple ;-)

    It's not an iPhone by design. It's better than your average HTC has been, the material is quite fine but it still looks very similar to your traditional HTC.

    Nexus1 hardware itself shows what is the de-facto standard today, high-resolution screen, lightning fast operations. What this phone does the best is to show that even the iPhone 3GS is outdated by hardware (not that it wasn't known already). The screen is stunning but the touchscreen isn't as fluid as on the iPhone.

    Android itself.. hard to say, it feels a bit unfinished. A lot of good work here and there but it doesn't feel a fully polished products like iPhone did. However iPhone in comparison feels like a phone for the simple people, "we here in Cupertino decide everything so that you don't need to". Android has bit a of Nokia's Symbian problem, there's too much things that it takes time to find everything. Not Symbian-bad but the same problem.

    For web browsing this is pretty good, the performance through wi-fi or 3G is excellent and you can actually read ordinary web pages without zooming in, thanks to the hi-res display. Unfortunately Apple has forced Google to drop multi-touch for the built-in Apps so zooming is traditional +/- keys. Multi-touch support is there and the model for rest of the world should have it -- but I guess google doesn't do it yet for the UK/HK/SIN models. I have used the browser on iPhone much less than I originally thought, mainly due lack of resolution on the display and lack of flash that some sites require. This is an area where Nexus1 really shines.

    Not much experience with phone yet, took some effort to get the contacts from iPhone to Google. Messaging looks reasonable, I haven't got MMS working yet although the setup should be ok (google doesn't offer any decent help, my carrier has Android instructions and they are 1:1 with my setup). I need MMS a few times a month. After disabling auto-select for the suggestions, the suggestions works perfectly. iPhone is very annoying because you have to click the suggested work NOT to use it. Also lacking scandinavian keyboard layout. I downloaded by the keyboard layout and finnish dictionary from the Market, they are in the settings but nothing happens (Android 1.5 vs 2.1 ?!).

    Android Market works pretty well technically -- downloads and installs apps in the background, you can uninstall them from the settings. But the usual problems apply, just like with iPhone apps there's no way to really find any apps other than trial and error, or by knowing them in advance. Too many is just too many.

    Maps is pretty standard Google Maps, more features than on the iPhone. The much touted navigation doesn't work outside of US. Routing is available but not the guidance.

    With the iPhone one is married to Steve. If you Apple tools and iTunes, you're quite fine. If you want something a bit different, like syncing music and video with a recreational Mac and contacts and calendar with your business Mac, you start to run into problems. If you don't like iTunes, you are pretty much screwed. Nexus1 has an open-marriage with Sergey. If you use Google tools for everything, you're pretty fine. If not, you are not screwed but you are on your own.

    iPhone has given me and a lot of other users great bills from the mobile company. It's a data-oriented and if you are abroad, the data roaming costs can kill you. Even if you think that you'll just use it quickly.. Nexus1 is even more so. Right now I think this phone is using data so often that I need to spend a lot of time to figure out the optimal setup for trips abroad.

    Android and Nexus1 could learn a lot from iPhone, especially on the make things simple -front. I don't know yet how to get media from my iTunes to the Android easily. To make everything work requires a lot of going around the phone and googling for the right setup. On the other hand, iPhone could learn a lot from this phone. iPhone needs new hardware (and stop the BS reasons why Apple can't do this or that), multitasking, Flash, more optional settings for the ordinary things. Sorry folks in Cupertino but you're not always right.

    I'll try to use this phone until Steve's announcements next week. Lack of right keyboard layout is the biggest downside right now that may force me to go back to iPhone. Otherwise I'm expecting pretty similar experience to iPhone; love a lot, hate some. The biggest problem is that if I don't like this one enough and going back to iPhone will feel like going back to stone age with the outdated hardware..

    It's also interesting to see how much I'm connected with the iPhone Apps. I probably use less than 10% of the Apps I've downloaded or purchased over time.

    Nexus One -- iPhone killer? Not for most of the people. A pretty good phone? Yes, absolutely. Android? A good reference point for Nokia, and a reference point for Apple how to open up the iPhone a bit more.

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