Dearly loved, we collect right here lately to mourn the loss of two pioneers within the Google hardware universe — two names close to and costly to many of our hearts, and names whose ultimate spark has now flickered and pale.
This digital funeral honors the reminiscence of each the Nexus and Chromebook Pixel strains of gadgets — the inaugural Google-branded flagship merchandise for Android and Chrome OS, respectively. The two have now joined their cousins Google Reader, Google Lively, and Google More Messaging Services Than Any Semi-Sane Person Can Possibly Count within the critically overcrowded Google graveyard.
Nexus and Chromebook Pixel had a lot in commonplace. Each line of gadgets marked Google’s first steps into developing its personal self-branded hardware for its respective ecosystem. Each began out concentrated on basically fanatics — “geeks,” as they are lovingly identified of their communities — after which expanded into one thing way more vital. And every successfully handed into the nice past this summer time, because the related gadgets reached their legitimate “end of life” moments and have been not able to obtain to any extent further sustenance within the shape of running machine updates.
For Nexus, the new unlock of Android nine Pie in August acted these days of reckoning. That unlock was once the primary in ages to succeed in no Nexus members of the family — no longer even the youngest Nexus 5X and 6P siblings, born 3 years in the past in 2015. The Nexus circle of relatives is survived by way of its Pixel circle of relatives descendents, together with the Pixel, Pixel XL, Pixel 2, Pixel 2 XL, and Pixel three Mega-Leak Edition.
For Chromebook Pixel, it was once yet weeks in the past that the unique Pixel product gained its ultimate running machine replace. That Pixel is survived by way of one sibling, the second-gen Chromebook Pixel (a style that was once bought for roughly seven mins in 2015 and which was once mainly simply an iterative replace to the unique) in addition to the Pixelbook circle of relatives that descended from it.
Let’s all take a second to appear again and replicate upon the lives of those tremendous fallen comrades and the have an effect on they depart at the back of.
The Nexus line was once born in 2010 with the arriving of the Nexus One — the offspring of modern folks and low fanatics Google and HTC. The telephone introduced with the now-hilarious-seeming tagline “Web meets phone.” It was once touted as being each “wide” and “thin” (a mixture of traits one must use cautiously when describing fellow people) and featured a particular trackball along with the then-standard 4 Android navigational buttons.
Most significantly, on the other hand, the Nexus One was once the start of Google exerting an ounce of regulate over Android — turning to its personal self-sold tool to show off tight integration with its quite a lot of services and products and a person enjoy that represented its view of how the running machine must paintings.
The Nexus One met its first sibling, the Samsung-made Nexus S, that very same 12 months. (Google was once fairly frisky and promiscuous in the ones early years. Hey, now we have all been there.) The Nexus S helped introduce the oh-so-green Android 2.three Gingerbread instrument along side a extra “modern” telephone design modeled off of Samsung’s first-ever (and oh-so-plasticky) Galaxy S style — whole with a curved Four-in. show and two (two!) cameras.
Then got here the Galaxy Nexus — some other Samsung-Google kid, born in past due 2011. The Galaxy Nexus served as a automobile for Google’s next-generation Android Four.zero Ice Cream Sandwich running machine, which was once in reality the beginning of Android’s transformation into fresh instrument design. It additionally marked the beginning of Google’s love-hate dating with Verizon as an “exclusive” provider spouse for its merchandise — a dating that continues to elevate eyebrows in sure tactics lately.
The Galaxy Nexus rocked a “jumbo-sized” Four.65-in. display (for comparability, a “compact” telephone lately most often has a Five-in. show) and was once the primary flagship to forego bodily navigation keys in prefer of Ice Cream Sandwich’s on-screen button style. It additionally had a handful of highlighted options that, uh, did not precisely stand the take a look at of time:
The Nexus circle of relatives enlargement persisted with the LG-made Nexus Four and Nexus Five, in 2012 and 2013, after which the quirky Motorola-made Nexus 6 in 2014 — main as much as the ones aforementioned ultimate 2015 Nexus 5X and 6P fashions (made by way of LG and Huawei, respectively).
And in between, the Nexus circle of relatives expanded with two Asus-made Nexus 7 drugs in 2012 and 2013, a Samsung-made Nexus 10 pill in 2012, and an awkward HTC-made Nexus nine pill in 2014 — the final (token) effort Google put into Android drugs sooner than slowly backing clear of the shape and turning its consideration to Chromebooks as a substitute.
Oh, and we will’t omit the announced-with-much-fanfare-but-never-released Nexus Q, in 2012, and the Nexus Player that adopted it (and was once launched, most commonly) in 2014.
As for the Chromebook Pixel, its importance for Chrome OS and Google on the whole cannot be overstated. The first Google-made Chromebook confirmed the sector that Chrome OS did not need to exist best on low-quality, budget-level laptops. It introduced class and comfort into the area of cloud-centric computing and kickstarted a brand new era of critical hardware construction for the platform. It additionally offered the theory of touchscreens for Chromebooks — a perception that appeared foolish to many on the time yet that’d end up to be prophetic for the best way Chrome OS and cell computing on the whole would evolve.
Beyond that, it was once the primary tool to be designed and created only by way of Google, within the position of producer — no “working closely” with companions like Samsung and LG to customise present hardware, and no manufacturers related to the product as opposed to Google itself (and Pixel, no much less). That set the level for such a lot of what we are seeing play out with Google’s self-contained ecosystem technique lately.
Goodnight, candy princes
Nexus and Chromebook Pixel, you will have served your earthly functions — appearing how Google’s instrument imaginative and prescient can shine in its quite a lot of bureaucracy and paving the best way for the Pixel and Pixelbook merchandise that’d be triumphant you — yet leisure confident: Your recollections will survive. (Except for possibly the Nexus Q. I had in fact already forgotten about that once more, simply within the time since we mentioned it a minute in the past.)
In lieu of plant life, the Nexus and Chromebook Pixel households request all mourners donate non-public knowledge to Google of their names.
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