Android Central 308: The Andromeda Strain on Google

This week, Alex, Jerry, Daniel, and Flo talk about the Google event happening on October 4, and how Google's Pixel phones need something truly special to make a mark on the industry in ways the Nexuses never could. Speaking of which, what exactly is that Andromeda thing that leaked?

And BlackBerry is no longer making its own phones. Is that a big deal when the company pledged years ago to be a software company first?

Finally, Android Wear 2.0 has been delayed. Boo! But its scope is much bigger than when it first debuted earlier this year, so when smartwatches finally are released with it, we'll actually have some pretty cool new stuff to look forward to.

Thanks to this week's sponsor:

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Daniel Bader

Daniel Bader was a former Android Central Editor-in-Chief and Executive Editor for iMore and Windows Central. 

  • Sounds like you guys took the feedback to heart the last two weeks. So much more enjoyable to listen to so far!
  • What was the feedback?
  • Lots of interruptions and talking over each other
  • Alex is the master of that !!!
  • Agreed, solid this week
  • To be fair, a lot of that depends on Skype. Sometimes the delay for one or more of us can get pretty gnarly. And it's not distance — sometimes calls between Russell and I (we live like 45 miles apart) will have a buffer delay. Other times calls with Alex in the UK have none. When it takes almost a full second to hear what the other person is saying, things get a little confusing. Especially when you're talking with a group instead of one on one. Not knocking Skype, BTW. Every service is the same way sometimes. I can only imagine how much time and effort is needed to keep things running as smoothly as they do, and even when it's not great it's still pretty great.
  • Should be Knocking the US Telecoms and the abysmal internet speeds in the US. There are lots of third world countries that have faster speeds than the U.S.
  • You think that's bad? In Australia, I'm lucky to get 1Mbps. That's in the middle of a large town with a population of 200,000. When you have to wait for GIFs to load, you know you have it bad. Please don't complain, we're here in the stone age.
  • Done with video eh?
  • They've been done for a while
  • That bites.. I can't focus on a podcast without video :(
  • Wasn't even going to give it a listen when I saw the lineup but I'll listen to the comments and hope for the best.
  • I feel the same way as Jerry, if Google stops making phones I'm going straight to an iPhone, I don't want these oems crap software with all this useless features
  • THE ANDROMEDA STRAIN! Such a good novel!
  • And a great movie too...
  • This is the most openly critical that you guys have been on Google/Android. Super fascinating! I definitely enjoyed this week's podcast.
  • Thanks for listening!
  • You should do that on iMore as well and probably push Rene, Serenity to be more open than just defending everything Apple. At least here in the AC podcast it's more of an open discussion praising or criticizing as appropriate.
  • I know what you mean. Listened to an iMore show a couple of weeks back where a couple of them openly admitted to a negative character trait that stereotype Apple users (annoyingly can't remember what it was) But I remember thinking, that's not something anyone I know would admit to being.
  • That's part of the Apple culture. All Apple sites do that to a degree and I think it's expected among the reader base.
  • I appreciate you guys being critical instead of just adoring the sth you love (like some Apple fanboys do), but isn't that too much mentioning "Apple is doing well" thing? I've been using both and tbh I used to sing the praises of iPhone over Galaxy back in around 2012, but now game has changed and iPhone looks miserable compared to top tier Android packed Marshmallow and Action Launcher (it's phenomenal), and some art people I know are using Android as well. I know that's not common people's take on Android and stereotypes of iPhone still flourish, but my point is, just question of degree.. Also, too much pessimism and cynical views over Pixel phone...
    I for one just hope AC look on the bright side of things a little bit more, and don't be like one of those cynics who predicted "nobody buy a thing via the internet" when Amazon arrived.
  • Really enjoyed the Pixel talk. I couldn't agree more with Jerry's point. If the carrier aren't on board, the Pixel line will fail. At least at the rumoured price. That's assuming Google even wants to make a profit with these devices at all. All signs suggest they do, but I'd like to think they should have a decent foot in the market before they try to complete with Samsung.
  • Appreciate it.
  • Great commentary by all. I'm going to agree that Android at the most basic level should remain stock, then have optional layers above that - which individual users can vary those layers to their liking. I think that part is simply crucial to Androids future.
    That architecture needs to be refined and supported and hopefully implemented into Andromeda. Code once, run everywhere. I thinks it's possible, but very very hard to do. It's going to take awhile to get the kinks out. We'll see if Google has the appropriate people (team) in place who are good / great architects...???
  • I hope the round icons et. al. say on the Pixel, and not the maintenance updates.
  • It was a great listen this week. I am so glad Jerry is part if the conversation when everyone is getting techie Jerry reminds that the average user does not care about Nexus phones and in general does not know that it exist. People do believe that Android is Samsung. If Google can get the message out that we make Android and hardware and truly share the vision then it will be a success. As far as android one devices go India may be a developing nation but there has been a shift there for a while they are getting a very strong and growing middle class. In part to a lot of companies from the west moving their low cost barely good enough is not good enough anymore especially when you have Xiaomi going there
  • Thanks for listening!
  • I live in rural America. Most people young and old go to carriers to get their phones. There they talk to the carrier reps face to face to get their opinions on the options the various phones have. Yes, having a payment option is critical to most people.
    Most that know nothing about phones ask about cost and what exactly those phones have to offer that makes them unique. None to my knowledge ask if they have bloatware on them. Those people simply don't know what to ask, and they rely on those carrier reps to fill in the blanks. I see basically three types of people in those carrier stores. Those that are after the most basic phone, those that want more functionality but don't need the flagship phones and those that want the best. In my family we all have Samsung phones. All like different setups and apps. All have wondered about the Google lineup coming up and Apple with their fast and proprietary system that works amazingly well. I've often thought about what if Google did the same thing as Apple - proprietary hardware that matches their software... What would happen? A dedicated branch of Android.???
    That would be an apple to apple test... And here comes other phone makers... Xiaomi, Huawei and others... Oh my...
  • Also I wanted to say I had a 6P on order, and then Samsung came out with their BOGO with their 7 and 7 Edge... Two for one type of deal? I dropped the 6P and went for the 7 Edge for me and my wife.. I haven't seen Google offer something like that... Two different styles of management.
  • Loved the last two weeks podcasts. Very informative and engaging. Keep it up!
  • Woot! Thanks so much.
  • Jerry, I agree with you about the fact that if Google stops making phones I'd just go 'iPhone' as distasteful as that would be. On second thought, I probably prefer to just get a modern Nokia 1100. Having said that, I have a Nexus 6 at moment that is still on the Nougat beta. I was planning on buying the Pixel Phone, but at this point, how do I know that it won't be forgotten in two years? I will sit this one out until the first price drop or switch platforms all together - I know my daughters would love that.
  • I see this as a nexus plus. Your pretty much guaranteed 2 years of updates. If you like the hardware and want one, I see no reason to skip this device based on the idea that pixel phones might not take off and sell in huge numbers and compete with Apple or Samsung. If pixel fails to attract huge numbers.I can't see why they wouldn't just go back to just creating phones for developers, they will always want to showcase their idea of Android. The Google stopping make phones comment wasn't supposed to be a serious projection imho. Just a statement about how dedicated Jerry is to Google's version of Android.
  • Honestly, we don't know that it won't be forgotten after two years. That's always a gamble when you're dealing with a company who tries to define the next thing, like Google. If it's a total flop, Google will bail and only offer enough support to honor their two-year commitment. Having said that, I think Google would be as willing as Microsoft or BlackBerry to continue to deliver what they think is the best product available. Look how long Windows phone and BlackBerry held on after they were no longer profitable. I'm taking the gamble.
  • At 15:30 Jerry says "the more time I spend with the Pixel Flip this needs done not as an afterthought this needs just built" what is this Pixel Flip you speak of???
  • I believe he misspoke and meant the Chromebook flip (the name is slipping my dopey mind).
  • Yes, Chromebook Pixel and ASUS flip and Pixel C and Pixel XL and everyothergoddamthing is a pixel just made my brain assplode.
  • My bad, I just heard Pixel Flip and I thought maybe you spilled the beans. I can see how you mixed the names up. Please keep the great podcasts coming!
  • Thanks for listening to our feedback and delivering great podcasts in the last couples of weeks. Keep it up guys!!
  • Great show, Flo is a nice addition. A female perspective is welcome and I like her energy.
    Flo should try the Xiaomi smart band. Far better battery life.
  • Please bring back video. That's all I ask for.
  • Sigh. <3
  • To the mainstream I think these new phones will go over about the same as the past Nexus devices. The Nexus 5X had advertising and commercial spots on TV. The new phones will just be the new phones released by Google this year. If anything their statements about being the first phone made by Google will be confusing to people who actually know what the Nexus devices are and remember the advertising last year.. The price seems way off base for what they're offering based on rumors right now. I don't see a good reason to get one of these over a Galaxy S7/Note7 (Yeah, yeah exploding phones, blah, blah, blah. I get it. It was funny a couple of weeks ago.)
  • At 46:27, didn't know North America meant white people...