From the Editor's Desk

It's another working weekend. Time for some quick hits:

  • If I wasn't over the Samsung Galaxy S3 fakes, leaks and fake leaks, I certainly am now. Alex and I will be at the event on Thursday. I can wait till then.
  • Speaking of heading overseas, I used MaxRoam in Barcelona this year and am using it again this week in the UK. 500MB for $13? (Which is more than even I can use in two days.) Sold.
  • And that's just the start of the travel. Coming up next week we've got the CTIA conference in New Orleans.
  • If you haven't seen Jean-Baptist Queru's latest Q&A on updates to Ice Cream Sandwich and how Sony's gotten updates out the door in about 5 months. That's due in no small part, JBQ says, to the amount of code that Sony's contributed back to the Android Open Source Project. Remember the early days of Sony Ericsson and the Xperia X10, which launched in the age of Eclair with Android 1.6 Donut, and finally got updated a year later. Things certainly have changed.
  • Something that hasn't changed? Carrier approval times. JBQ rightly points out that carriers often are the bottleneck in getting updates released, which does seem a little insane in the Nexus world. But neither is it new. If the carrier's selling the phone, it's going to go through (I'd assume) the same rigorous (read: slow) testing process as any other phone. Verizon's been, shall we say, fastidious, long before Android even existed. It's funny to see blogs set their hair on fire over this one.
  • I hesitate to even write about these sorts of Q&As. They're a rare glimpse into the inside workings of things and are best read in their entirety, straight from the source. It pains me to see blogs pick and choose the juicy parts for publication. ("OMG Verizon is sooooooo slow." Thanks for that insight.) It's pretty rare that we get a relatively unfiltered and unfettered look at how things work, with actual opinion from the folks who make the donuts instead of PR-speak and lawyered releases, and even more incredible that folks like JBQ stick around to answer questions. Let's not spoil it and waste the opportunity.
  • I'm pretty excited about Google once again selling devices. I'm still curious as to how it's going to handle the problems it ran into the first time — namely customer service, though it does have a dedicated page for orders and returns questions. But this is the way Nexus devices were meant to be sold and maintained (meaning updated). Forget the carrier. (And, yes. That means CDMA gets shut out again. Them's the breaks.) And if you didn't notice, note how Google's calling it a "Devices" store and not a "Phone" store. If that's not a flashing neon sign that tablets are coming, I don't know what is. (And I'm willing to bet it's going to go beyond tablets, as well.) The important part is that I should once again be able to say "You want updates the day they're pushed? Get a Nexus." — and do so without looking like an idiot.
  • The site redesign is coming along well. (Major props to our designers and coders, whose work you enjoy every day but whose names you never get to see.) We're still tweaking things, and as I've said before, this is only the beginning. If you've got feedback, leave it here.

TTFN. We'll see you from London this week, and NOLA the next.

 
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From the Editor's Desk: London calling, inside man and Nexus done right

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With the coming of the Device Store, the Nexus is being done right. But, why did a whole slew of people have to be thrown to the slaughter for this to happen? Just didn't make any sense to put such a dent in the Nexus armor with the Verizon release, and the subsequent debacle there after.

The Other Half travels to Europe occasionally. I've tried to point him to SIM cards as a cheaper method of getting data and voice service but he doesn't seem too interested because, I suspect, he thinks it is a PITA to make it work.

Would you please write an article about what you have to do to use a prepaid SIM card for travel?

Also, can you use a Google Voice number with an international cell number?

Welcome to the UK Phil. As an S2 (Now running 4.03) user I'm very interested in your views of the new Samsung. Hope your having fun in London despite the rain.

I like your "recovering print journalist" tag.

Plunder

Phil Nickinson could pull off classic SNL "deli Samurai" for holloween, I would bet 9/10 friends would get it without explination.

Much love Phil! :)

@FreudSlipped

In other words, kindness and decency failed for you??? Not cool.

Phil is a handsome fella like John Belushi. I personally was having a bit of good humored fun.

Enjoy your stay in NOLA! I'm a college kid here, it's really a great city. If you have time, try to make it to the Rum House. One of my favorite restaurants in the city.

Not trying to start a flame war but am really curious How can Apple get updates out so quickly? Is it they have more power over the carriers or is it that the carriers just work better with Apple?

Well there's a few parts to this. First, Apple is only updating at most 3 devices, all to the same version of iOS with relatively similar hardware. Second, there are certainly delays and issues with approval and all of that, we just never hear about it. If a carrier has a delay, they stop all of the updates. They only put out the update when every carrier has approved it and its ready to go for everyone. Just because we don't hear the step by step leaks of the update status doesn't mean there aren't slowdowns. Lastly, Apple can tell carriers to do whatever they want. When we see numbers like a majority of AT&T's revenue coming from iPhones you can see why this is the case.

I disagree with you on this - "But this is the way Nexus devices were meant to be sold and maintained".. this will be true when Google play device store is available internationally, not just in the US.

Thing is, in most of Europe and Asia, the Galaxy Nexus has been available unlocked since launch day. You weren't forced to go to a carrier you didn't like and sign a contract for it. The US users who anted a GSM model had to pay an arm and a leg to import it and have no warranty. That's why Google is starting it here in the states. Sure they could sell internationally too, or at least in North America, but it'd be redundant as Samsung already sells them. Not sure why everyone's complaining.

People talk trash about the Verizon Nexus. I guarantee you that Verizon sold more than all other channels combined, since the Nexus One. They have popularized it, when no one else could. I love my Verizon GN! AOKP M5 FTW!

If only I could make it:60 miles across i10 i'de go to ctia just to kick the CEO of at&t in the balls and rip his face off and feed it to him too damn expensive and they don't want to go with net neutrality and they keep capping my data so I'm a lil sore at them

So instead of assaulting the CEO, why dont you stop giving AT&T money and go somewhere else? And when you do, be sure to go into an AT&T store and tell them why. Make it known that you font approve of their business model and you're taking your money elsewhere. Sitting there complaining and staying with the carrier is doing nothing. Shut up and leave them.

Great shot from our Seattle Space needle, Phil! Typical Seattle spring day, black clouds and all. If you look waaaayyy off over your right shoulder about 2.5 miles, you can see my house! :P

Gee Phil, you are giving me a run for my money with regards to frequent flying, soon you will be a DL Diamond and enjoy the perks that come along with spending way too many days on the road. ;)

I am not surprised that Google is displeased with the way Nexus updates have been handled, but it should not be a surprise either. From day one I knew that VZW would take their sweet time (with regards to update), not to be mean or in some way make end users suffer, but to ensure that devices on their network function properly and give the end user the best experience possible.

We as super end users (tech geeks?) want the bleeding edge, or at least to be ahead of the curve, but VZW makes a big deal out of their network being the best and if a phone performs poorly on their network due to a shoddy update, it makes their network look bad, something I am sure VZW does not want to happen. Thus, they are going to take their time with regards to update and their STLC (software testing life cycle) and ensure that update contain the fewest amount of bugs possible (especially one with regards to performance on the VZW [or for that any carriers network])it just makes sense.

Having said that, I do not have to like it, and in fact I wish VZW would hurry up their testing and release updates in a more timely fashion, but that is just not going to happen. Add to that, I travel internationally frequently for work and GSM just makes more sense for me and many of my colleagues.

I just purchased a GSM Nexus from El Goog directly and cannot be happier, I realize it is not the new kid on the block anymore and that is fine by me, but I know (or at lease hope) it will receive update in a more timely fashion than carrier branded devices and that is enough to keep me coming back to the Nexus line of handsets.

One last thing, to those that say why does Apple manage to bang out update in a more timely fashion than Android, and I believe that it has a whole lot to do with them controlling all aspect of the devices (from processor to screen and everything in between) and maybe just as importantly their deals with the carriers that basically (probably) say this our puppy, you are just the dumb pipe that provides service to "our device" and if you do not like it, you can just live without selling our devices and the profits that come from offering our device, we do not need you, you need us.

Dan

phil, are you going to London because you want to go and travel?
or do you HAVE to be there?
don't you have Alex in UK so you don't have to go?
but i'm sure you wanna travel... jealous.

I don't blame Google for putting the Nexus on Sprint and Verizon.
They are just appeasing the masses that don't want to leave their carrier.

To all the people saying carrier branded "Nexi" aren't real, they are. They just aren't totally controlled by Google. By this I'm basically stating, Google gives you a CHOICE!

Apple did the same thing when the iPhone came to Verizon. Its a numbers game. If you want untouched Google get GSM. If you want to stick with your carrier you will have to settle for a little touching.

I guess Sprint will be touching me a little more from now on.

My household has two Galaxy Nexus phones on Verizon. The phones are incredible. I must admit that I probably would have stuck with T-Mobile and bought 2 from the Google store for $399 a piece if they were available in February. But I went with Verizon because the Nexus was only available there at a reasonable price.

In fact, I paid $99 for each one at Amazon. That's $200. I would have had to shell out $1200 for 2 unlocked GSM versions. That's insane. Even at $399, I'd still be in $800.

And my bill only went up $10 by switching from T-Mobile to Verizon, due to a 15% corporate discount....