With each hardware release, Google trots out a whole new set of accessories and cases. Some are bigger hits than others, but you can point to each Nexus release of the past few years and find a couple of truly uniquely designed cases or covers that actually approach being worth the super-high prices Google charges.
Last year, that was the Nexus 6P and 5X case affectionately referred to as the "carpet" case. It was a hard silicone case that offered plenty of protection for the phones, but on the back had something you don't see every day: soft carpet. The material that you wouldn't be surprised to find in a rug store had a neat geodescent pattern and "Nexus" lettering across the bottom.
The case stood out for sure, and gave you a feeling you couldn't find elsewhere. It was a bit of a polarizing design, but I love the design of that case. And when the Pixels launched, I was sad to see that the carpet case had died with the moving from the Nexus brand to Pixel.
For the Pixel release Google is really pushing its various "Live Case" designs that can be customized with a truly individual design, and also offers a set of simple thick silicone cases along with an incredibly basic clear case. But there's nothing approaching the awesome design of the carpet case.
Now it's obviously a particularly self-serving complaint to say that Google should've kept the carpet case around simply because I liked it ... but what's interesting to me is that it didn't choose to make a new version that carried on the spirit of the case when other products in the "Made by Google" lineup use fabric. The new Daydream View headset uses very well-engineered (and comfortable to wear) fabric for the entirety of its exterior, and the Google Home offers a variety of swappable fabric-laden bases in colors to match the decor of your home.
Google obviously has no issue using fabric ... except on its phone cases, it seems. And unless it decides to come out with a fresh set of cases for the phone well after launch, it looks like I'll have to live with a decidedly non-carpet case on my Pixel XL. And when I take out my Nexus 5X for a bit of nostalgia, you can bet it'll have carpet on the back.
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Andrew was an Executive Editor, U.S. at Android Central between 2012 and 2020.