As a Product Ambassador, I am used to seeing all the different skins and GUI overlays that the OEM's have so adeptly integrated in to the deployment of Android devices over the last few years. Of note are obviously Sense UI, Touch Wiz, and Motorola's most recent flavor (the name escapes me right now). Some have been smoother than others, and they've all done a wonderful job of integrating our other household appliances and artifacts in to our mobile controlled world. Most importantly, they are all super-slick, BRANDED platforms that permanently hook users up as return buyers, whether it's for Samsung's Galaxy line, or LG's G series, or the Moto X, or HTC's Blinkfeed, or whatever the next big thing is. We all love it, and we want it again.
But in the background, ever lurking... was the Nexus breed: the line of devices that had no skin - that ran "pure" Android, and came with no fancy bells and whistles. No extra widgets to connect to our media hub, no live news ticker feeds, or hardware management client to control our TV or BlueRay player or gaming console. Just plain and simple Android.
This is my first go-around with the Nexus brand, and before I started to use it, I didn't really get it. 'What's the big deal? I LIKE the GUI's, skins, bells and whistles that <insert OEM name here> makes...' Simple is not good - it's like eating paste, or mashed potatoes with no salt, milk, or butter... or puffed rice-cakes with... well... with nothing. Oof was I wrong.
Now that I've had a few weeks with the Nexus 5, I can now officially say that "I get it." And it's just as much about the integration... no wait... integration is too light of a word... the infusion, or injection, or annexation of Google in to the mobile device OS landscape as it is about imparting a much lighter experience than what we are used to with other OEM branded devices. In essence, Google's Android OS interface converts your daily mobile experience in to a Disney-type immersion, only Google is the center piece, and not an animated empire. Google+ is now part of EVERYTHING that you use, and all of the Google app interfaces are no longer secondary. Maps, email, cloud storage, multimedia management and other Google branded apps take center stage, and the other apps are considered bloatware or downloads that are not original or stock. It's all Google...
Let me stop for a minute, because I'm reading my own stuff, and it sounds kinda negative on Google and Android... like they are some sort of evil empire. I would like to go on record here and say that big and far-reaching does not mean evil. It's just that popular, and that flexible! And quite frankly, it is a very well built, easy platform that doesn't need much of anything to stand on its own. Case in point: the Nexus line. If you don't like the Android stock launcher, then get another launcher! There are plenty of them, and they are as slick if not moreso than what the OEM's put on their devices! Jump in the pool of pure Android... the water is fine!
I hope to focus a few other short posts about some of the other advantages of pure Android and the Nexus 5, but wanted to get this one off my chest.
Disclaimer: The Product Ambassadors are Sprint employees from many different parts of the company that love technology. They volunteer to test out all sorts of Sprint devices and offer opinions freely to the Community. Each Product Ambassador shares their own opinions of these devices, therefore the information in this post does not necessarily reflect the opinions of Sprint. The PA's do not represent the company in an official way, and should not be expected to respond to Community members in an official capacity. #sprintemployee.