Can Android 5.0 give Nexus 7 what it lacks? Android 4.3 is nothing new - Stabley Times Jul 28th 2013, 03:04
The new Nexus 7 comes with an updated Android 4.3 system software which offers features new to the platform but are nothing new in the greater scheme of tablets, and nothing to entice iPad users to jump ship for it. There's a new way of making apps less predatory. A copycat of Apple's three year old Game Center. A few other odds and ends. For non-geeky consumers, Android 4.3 isn't even fully an answer to the iPad's iOS 6 platform, let alone its month-away iOS 7 era. But as soon as year's end Google will launch the Android 5.0 system software, and once installed on the Nexus 7 may make it the mainstream "iPad killer" which so many tech geeks mistakenly think it is now.
Google has been working feverishly to close up the mainstream deficiencies in its Android platform, most of which were created by the "openness" which geeks love but the rest of us would refer to as a haphazard free for all. Android 4.3 works to close up some of that misguided openness for the sake of a more coherent platform experience, with the Nexus 7 acting as a showcase for it. But it's telling that even as the new Nexus arrives with 4.3 preinstalled, many other Android devices won't get 4.3 for months; again, the "openness" has translated into Android's fragmented incompatibility with itself.m
Android 5.0 may be able to change a good chunk of that. With Apple going back to the egg by largely starting over with its own iOS interface, the shifting tectonic plates create a window of opportunity for Google to come up with a new Android experience which out-iPads the iPad experience. It depends on how badly Google wants it, and how severely it's willing to alienate its geek cheerleaders in the name of shifting Android from the open chaos of 4.x to a coherent practical platform with 5.0.
The Nexus 7 is good enough, and cheap enough, hardware to make it work. But most iPad users won't even consider the Nexus 7 as long as the Android platform is the geeky mess it always has been and still is as of 4.3. Consumers have had plenty of experience with Android on the smartphones they were forcibly sold back when their carriers didn't offer the iPhone. And those Android experiences have led consumers to overwhelmingly choose the iPad over any Android based tablet.
So the Nexus 7 suffers because it's saddled by an Android for geeks, by geeks which consumers can't identify with. Android 4.3 does little to change that. If Google is willing to give the finger to the geeks and truly pursue mainstream consumers, Android 5.0 can change everything.
Will Stabley is the Founder and Senior Editor of Stabley Times.