The Nexus 5

Over the years I have been an Android fan but not a real Android user.

I love the audacity, ambition and vision held by my friends Andy Rubin and Rich Miner who were the original founders and creators of Android before Google acquired them early on. 

But I was always seduced by the fit, finish and app availability with iOS.

It seems like many moons ago when I wrote up my thoughts on the very first Android powered device

So when the Nexus 5 came out I was again energized to give it another go. I received mine recently and have been putting it through it’s paces. 

Few thoughts on using the Nexus 5 as a long time iOS user. 

The Good

– stock Android has really come a long way. In so many ways it blows the doors over iOS. I love how the apps work together. I love how notifications work. It feels faster than iOS 7. The design looks durable. I’m not a fan of iOS 7. 

– the hardware feels light but certainly not cheap. It’s a design that isn’t as beautiful as Apple hardware but everything is in the right place. I like where the physical buttons are placed. My Nexus 5 has a white back. I like the black front and white back contrast better than the iPhone 5s all white model. Apple used to do the black front/white back during the 3GS days but i guess they don’t like it as much as I do. 

– I love the bigger display. It’s beautiful. Apple got this one wrong. The bigger display on the Nexus 5 makes everything nicer. Easier to read and I type faster on the Nexus 5. 

– wireless charging is awesome. This thing works and it’s rad. 

– the camera isn’t as good as the iPhone 5s but it’s getting so much closer than ever before. 

– we run our office on Google Apps and as you would expect everything is much smoother running their apps on Android than iOS

– it’s super cool having a notification light. i loved that feature on blackberry and glad the Nexus 5 keeps the tradition alive. 

-most of my favorite iOS apps work great on Android

The Funky

– profile photos in the phone app look awful. there are some other rough spots for sure. 

– google hangouts is the default sms app. what’s up with that?

– i have two gmail accounts on this phone. On iOS, i can view both inboxes at once. I can’t seem to do that on Android. switching back and forth is a hassle. 

– battery life seems inconsistent. sometimes i get much better mileage than the iPhone 5s and sometimes it’s just horrific. (yes, my brightness settings are set to ‘automatic’) 

The Bad

– There are still some apps that are iOS only and I already miss on my Nexus. I’m looking at you Drafts

– Visual voicemail requires using the AT&T Visual voicemail app. But it doesn’t work on the Nexus 5. Apparently I have to grab the app off of some forum and side load it — but I haven’t gone through all the steps yet. Why isn’t this part of the OS?

-The other option: I can install Google Voice for Android. I get visual voicemail and a whole lot more. But if someone tries to txt you a photo, it literally doesn’t show up and the sender doesn’t get an error message. 

-Google voice doesn’t support international txt message. Seriously

-The really ugly thing is this whole iMessage purgatory. I wish the world would just Kik* and then we wouldn’t have to deal with this sort of problem. But unfortunately they don’t and that means for the time being I’m forced to have two phones until I can get this things sorted out. 

The innovation around Android and the ecosystem has come a long way. I’m not sure Android is better but it’s never been more exciting. That’s for sure. 

(*disclosure: my firm is an investor in Kik)

I think we, at a fundamental level, need to redefine the success metrics of capitalism. That they include three key ingredients: 1. Business, successful business, making money. The traditional form of success. 2. You have to be making a difference in the world, you have to be contributing in some way. 3. I think you need to be emotionally engaged in the work. You need to love the work. These three things aren’t, right now, considered the success metrics for capitalism

It’s odd how we are all so desperate to move up and to the right. We become convinced that any motion that isn’t straight, direct, up and to the right is somehow not part of the path