Over on Google+, Matias Duarte posted a link to the latest Google advert Nexus:Ask Me Anything video that was released in conjunction with the launch of the Nexus 4, 7 and 10. He said ‘Nexus hardware is just half the story. The magic that only Google can bring is what makes Nexus complete!’ Then he opened up a huge can of worms by asking ‘What do you want to know?’. As you can guess this led to a flood of questions to which he wryly replied ‘I guess I asked for it… (^_^);;’ before answering a couple of the questions posed :

Why did you make the system buttons and status bar consistent across all devices in Jelly Bean?

Consistency and usability are really important to us, and that’s something we strive to improve in every new version of Android. With Honeycomb we first introduced the idea of a completely onscreen navigation UI which gave us unprecedented flexibility in how that UI adapts and transforms – both when you turn the device in your hands and when the software changes and has different control needs. Now in Jelly Bean we’ve made the universal software navigation buttons and system bar consistent across all screen sizes.

This new configuration is based on usability research we did on all of the different form factors and screen sizes that Android runs on. What mattered most of all was muscle memory – keeping the buttons where you expect them, no matter how you hold the device.

Phones are almost always used in portrait mode, flip sideways occasionally, and never go upside down. As screen sizes get larger though, any which way goes. Imagine the frustration you’d feel if every time you picked up a tablet off the table ‘the wrong way up’ you found yourself reaching for a home button that wasn’t where you expect it to be? That irritation adds up and over time like a tiny grain of sand in your shoe and undermines the rest of your experience.

The Jelly Bean system bar always keeps the same 3 buttons where you expect them. This happens dynamically for every screen size, up until you get to small handheld screens where stacking the bars in landscape mode would leave too little vertical space.

The second thing we discovered was that there are almost as many different ways of holding our devices as there are people. In fact people love to use their Nexus so much that they use them for such long periods of time that having a single ‘correct grip’ is actually counter productive and increases hand strain. The Jelly Bean navigation buttons work equally well for left handers and right handers, one handed use, or two handed use, and for devices you’re carrying, resting on your knee, or putting on the table.

Last but not least, by unifying the design we are now able to put Notifications and Quick Settings right where you’d expect them, and only one swipe away.

Why don’t Nexus devices have SD cards?

Everybody likes the idea of having an SD card, but in reality it’s just confusing for users.

If you’re saving photos, videos or music, where does it go? Is it on your phone? Or on your card? Should there be a setting? Prompt everytime? What happens to the experience when you swap out the card? It’s just too complicated.

We take a different approach. Your Nexus has a fixed amount of space and your apps just seamlessly use it for you without you ever having to worry about files or volumes or any of that techy nonsense left over from the paleolithic era of computing.

With a Nexus you know exactly how much storage you get upfront and you can decide what’s the right size for you. That’s simple and good for users.

He finished off that comment by advising ‘Good questions! Keep ‘em coming!’ however he doesn’t seem to have added any additional comments at this stage, but we’ll keep an eye on the post. If you are on Google+ make sure you have Matias in a Circle as well as Ausdroid, we’re getting a lot more active there, including hosting our first Hangout Over The Air last night.

Source(s): Google+
  • Myk

    One thing that might make sdcards confusing for users is Android’s labelling of the phone built-in storage as “sdcard”.

  • Hikari0307

    That SD card explanation is in no way satisfactory. I decided the right size for me is 32gb (experience with 16gb gets full to fast with HD games etc.) internal storage and a 64gb exFAT formatted micro sdxc card. That never gets swapped out. My dream of having a device with fast android updates will continue to be a dream.

    If they don’t want to give an SD card option, then at least offer a higher storage version~~ they expect everybody to live with 8gb or 16gb devices? We don’t have extreme fast and reliable connections in most places like the Google HQ to rely on the cloud~~

  • nytrojen

    WHY CAN’T YOU GIVE US MORE SPACE THEN!?!?!!? Not everyone has access to streaming media, damnit!!! Come on!! I’ve been waiting since the Nexus S for one with at least 32gb

  • boultono

    We’re supposed to buy that SD card explanation?

  • Guest

    F the US carriers , what about the ‘rest of the world’ ? , according to sony the unreleased Xperia V will support: LTE Band I, Band III, Bandv V, Band VII and Band XX. That should give the N4 access to a good amount of International customers! , sure would cost more but for those who want it….

  • eviladrian

    Why don’t you support SD cards?

    Shut up! That’s why!

  • Tun

    So to fix that you just deny users the ability to move applications onto the SD card.
    Have the SD card only for secondary storage. Music, Photos etc. If a photo is used for an application, such as wallpaper, a theme, then move it to the internal memory. Not that difficult surely..

  • dbareis

    Who says you need to swap out the sdcard? I just want to expand the memory

  • Dejavu

    ” What happens to the experience when you swap out the card?”
    The solution to better UX isn’t a solution if we can’t use it. Reducing potential storage allowance compromises usability itself. And the 8GB Nexus will challenge everything he just said.

    There are “settings”. Phones have had the expandable storage options since Steve Jobs had hair. Then, like his hair, Google decided to go without all the “mess”. Because it was too mainstream.

    And the rest of the droids are doing just fine with their unlimited storage capability.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/David-Anderton/504726871 David Anderton

    shit answer on SD card