Enterprise Mobility: Google Nexus One Redesign: 10 Features It Must Have to Compete with Apple`s iPhone
Google Nexus One Redesign: 10 Features It Must Have to Compete with Apple's iPhone
by Don Reisinger
In-Store Availability at Launch
One of the biggest mistakes Google made was to force customers to buy the Nexus One online, rather than be able to buy it in carrier stores. Eventually, the company changed its stance and offered the Nexus One in T-Mobile locations, but by then, it was too late. Although Google doesnt like it, customers expect to buy smartphones in stores. And by trying to change that, Google effectively ruined the Nexus Ones chances of ever catching the iPhone. With the next Nexus One, Google must bring in-store availability to customers at launch. If it doesnt, the same scenario will play out.
There would be absolutely no excuse if Google didnt offer Android 2.2 in the next Nexus One. The software is the best version of Android Google has ever offered. It not only appeals to enterprise customers, but it should also appeal to consumers who want to be able to surf to any Website with the help of its built-in Flash. By the time the new Nexus One is released, Android 2.2 should be readily available. But in the off chance that Google doesnt bring the OS version to the new device, it would be a huge mistake that it wouldnt be able to recover from.
A Much Nicer Design
Although Google and HTC touted the Nexus Ones design when it was first announced, it was actually an ugly product when compared to the iPhone. It had a dull, gray finish, and a display that looked more BlackBerry Storm-like than iPhone-like. It was an issue. In the mobile marketplace, consumers want a well-designed phone that theyre proud to pull out of their pocket. The iPhone and especially the iPhone 4 provide that. The Nexus One didnt.
More Google, Less HTC
Following that, maybe its time that Google stops relying on HTC for its hardware design. Although Google wants to make it clear that its a provider of software and its not trying to compete with other hardware partners, the company did just that by selling the Nexus One. So why not go all the way and produce a smartphone design? HTC might not like it, but given the failure of Nexus One, Google shouldnt care all that much. Hardware design can mean the difference between success and failure. Google should remember that and deliver a product that consumers are actually looking for without help from HTC.
Add Swype Technology
When Motorola announced the now-available Droid X, the smartphones Swype technology was one of the most forgotten features. In essence, Swype allows users to place their finger on a letter and, without picking up that finger, type out a message by dragging it from one character to another. Its widely considered a faster and more efficient way of typing than through traditional virtual-keyboard methods. It could also be the killer feature that consumers start loving. In the next Nexus One, Google should bring Swype to the smartphone. Like Motorola, it can offer both a virtual keyboard and a Swype keyboard to appeal to those who like traditional typing. But by offering something that Apple doesnt have, and most folks say works quite well, the company will at least have one competitive advantage it can capitalize on.
Get with Verizon
One of the biggest mistakes Google made with its Nexus One was partner with T-Mobile. Currently, T-Mobile is a small carrier in the United States that pales in comparison to AT&T and Verizon Wireless. Realizing that, the next Nexus One should be made available on Verizons network first. AT&T wouldnt be a good candidate because the iPhone is available to those customers. But Verizon customers want a product that can be used as an alternative to the iPhone. If Google can make a compelling argument for the new Nexus One and bring it to Verizons network, the company will likely have far more success than it did with the T-Mobile-only original.
A Better App Store
Googles Android Market is growing at an extremely rapid rate. But going forward, Google will need to continue to attract developers if it wants its new Nexus One, or any Android phone, for that matter, to be successful. As more and more people buy next-gen smartphones, they want to download apps. Currently, they have the most to choose from in Apples App Store. If Google can catch up to Apple, or at least get much closer, the company can capitalize on that with its Nexus One. Google cant forget about apps. Theyre integral to the success or failure of its operating system.
Use the Droid X as a Guide
Motorolas Droid X is arguably the most capable Android-based smartphone to ever hit store shelves. The device not only boasts a big display, but it has several outstanding features that make it an ideal alternative to the HTC Droid Incredible and even the iPhone. Google should study the Droid X and see what makes it such a success. Is it the big screen? Does the WiFi hotspot functionality help? Whatever it is, Google needs to find it, and add those functions to its new Nexus One. The old Google smartphone was somewhat bland. The new one should be exciting.
Create a FaceTime Competitor
Apples decision to bring video conferencing to the iPhone 4 was a major advancement over anything the company has done since the original release of the iPhone. Not only does it push the smartphone market forward, but it gives it a sizable lead over the competition. Google needs to close that gap with the Nexus One follow-up. The new smartphone should feature a front-facing camera, and deliver video-conferencing capabilities that can at least match FaceTime. Its what consumers expect now, and its something that Google can actually provide. After all, Cisco is doing it with its Cius tablet, which runs on Android.
Google offered far too many choices on its Nexus One. The company had no-contract pricing, online sales, in-store sales and at least wanted to sell it to multiple carriers, which would have caused even more confusion. If Apple should have taught Google anything, its that simplicity is key to mobile success. Google should stop wasting time on giving customers as many choices as possible, and just deliver what they really want. They want to be able to get the phone they want, on the carrier they want, whenever they want. If Google realizes that, it can make its next Nexus One a success.