As anyone with half an eye to online news will have noticed over the last few days, Google’s spate of announcements has got a lot of attention—not least from me. Most of it is uniformly positive.

AndroidBut not all—and quite a bit of that negative comment, for whatever reason, seems to have ended up on GottaBeMobile. And although, as a card-carrying Android fanboy, I’m hardly one to talk about bias, but there still seems to be quite a negative slant against Google’s moves. This may be a welcome corrective to all the enthusiasm elsewhere – read below and see what you think.

Travis Pope, for instance, details “The Chromecast, What it Should Have Been,” citing the deficiencies of Google’s new AV/Chrome streaming dongle. These amount to:

It should have been a set-top box; it should have been attractive; it should have been a Google TV replacement; it should have been something we don’t have already.

As it happens, I don’t agree with any of those. If you have set-top boxes already, how can it be it something that we don’t have? Which kind of relates to Google TV too. “The problem really is that the Chromecast is really a Nexus Q with a smaller hardware footprint and no outrageous price tag,” Pope says. “Haven’t we been down this road before already?”

Well, the Nexus Q hardly reached retail before it was canned, and why should anyone worry about the looks of something that’s hidden behind your TV in its port lineup? And price points do matter: Just try asking anyone who can use something with the power of a workstation at an impulse purchase price tag. After all, Chinese-made Android-based HDMI TV sticks have been flying off the shelves, which is hardly repeating the mistakes of Nexus Q and Google TV. And Apple TV costs $99. Chromecast costs $35.

Then Adam Mills chimes in with a retrospective review of the old Nexus 7, not the new, entitled “From Hero to Zero.” He details the faults and failings of the Nexus 7, which “left a poor taste in my mouth,” especially after the upgrade to Android 4.2.

The problems following the Nexus 7 update have been rehashed at length online. I won’t repeat them. Suffice it to say that apparently a lot of people had problems with this upgrade—but not me. I never had any significant issues with the Nexus 7 courtesy of the Android 4.2 upgrade, certainly none to justify rerating it from hero to zero. It’s been my default personal portable device all along. Just saying.

As said elsewhere, I do think that these new integrated devices are stitching together a complete home digital infrastructure more smoothly than ever before, at a price that anyone can afford. Arguably, that’s what Apple should have been aiming for all along. Apple TV looks great alongside the Nexus Q, perhaps; but compared to the Chromecast, it looks like any other generic peripheral from Logitech or even Microsoft.

My money’s still on Google.


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