In the earlier days of using Google wares, I feel they were responsive to feedback and would fix serious problems in their services or products. These days, not so much. Witness the Nexus 4. Their flagship Android phone, the Nexus 4 should get the best Google has to offer. So, why would they allow serious software defects to mar the experience of owning a Nexus 4?
Notifications over Wi-Fi don’t work when the phone goes to sleep! This is a horrible, horrible bug. It means you won’t get notified of emails or texts when your phone is sleeping. Which is most of the time, as we all know. This bug is been around since the N4 came out. Still unresolved, though this issue is marked “Closed” and “Status: FutureRelease,” the latter of which presumably means it will be fixed in the future.
Bluetooth often stops working and requires the phone to be rebooted to fix it! Bluetooth is an essential feature for many, and having to reboot your phone (which takes minutes!) is not a viable workaround.
Originally reported on 1/3/2013, these are just two of the bugs on the N4. However, they are both serious enough to warrant an immediate Android update. Android 4.2.2 was released since Google was made aware of these bugs, and they were not fixed in that release. Android 4.3 was released yesterday, so we’ll see if Google has decided to fix these major defects, or not.
These are not the only serious defects that Google is ignoring. Another example is my Chromebook: for nearly a month Google Docs didn’t work on the thing. Then, one day, it magically started working again. A Chromebook without Google Docs is pretty useless. Can you imagine Microsoft breaking Office for a month? Can you imagine the cries for the heads of Microsoft executives you’d hear on the internet? I found other users in my same boat, but I saw little else.
These issues all illustrate my point that Google doesn’t care about you or your user experience. You are a product to Google, you are not the customer. I don’t know who said this, but it bears repeating: if you aren’t paying for a service, then you are the product not the customer.
I’ll end with this: I have a Galaxy Nexus and I was waiting to upgrade to the next Nexus device. At this point, I’m not sure I want to stay with the Nexus line. There are many benefits, but the drawbacks are getting dramatically worse with each new Nexus device.
UPDATE 7/26/2013: It appears at least the Wi-Fi bug is not fixed in the newly released 4.3.
UPDATE 7/28/2013: I’ve noticed this on my phone: search sometimes doesn’t search. I get the feeling Google just doesn’t do much testing.
UPDATE 8/9/2013: The Bluetooth bug is fixed in 4.3.