Go home, Google, you’re Pixilated

Google announced its new Pixel phones. They’re priced like iPhones (starting at $649), but will only get 2 years of software updates.

Meanwhile, the new Android features Google showed at the event are not going to be made available to existing Nexus phone owners — they’re being kept exclusive to Pixel. And there won’t be any more Nexus phones.

So, if you want an Android phone with regular security updates and no bloatware, you now have to pay iPhone prices. Obviously, I find myself asking why I shouldn’t just buy an iPhone. I mean, it’ll integrate better with my Mac, right? I’ll get at least 4 years of updates rather than 2, and I’ll get excellent support at the mall if I have any problems.

Yes, in the beginning Apple’s insistence on controlling what I could run was a deal-breaker, but a couple of things have changed on that front: they’ve opened it up so developers can sign and run their own binaries, and the mobile web as a platform has become much more viable.

The main things making me not want to switch are iTunes and Apple’s proprietary connectors, but I gather iPhones are usable without iTunes these days.

The Google fanboy talking point is that people like me just aren’t a profitable market, so Google sees no point in targeting it any more. I don’t do religion, so I’m happy to switch platform if that’s what Google wants. Am I missing something?

(The hardware landscape isn’t the only beef I have with Google’s Android stewardship, of course. Messaging on Android remains a complete dumpster fire, and Google clearly don’t care about the things I care about.)