The Nexus Q has had a tough life so far – that goes without saying. Things just got a little worse for the handful of us that use (and enjoy) the Q though – Google has seemingly sliced streaming support from the latest Play Music update, further reducing the impact of the Q's admittedly very limited use case.


Some users have actually reported problems with Q streaming dating all the way back to mid-March, and Google today responded to a thread on its Product Forums with the following:

Hi everyone,

Thanks for taking the time to report this issue. As you noticed, the latest version of Google Play Music isn't compatible with the Nexus Q. The Nexus Q devices given to last year’s I/O attendees and provided free of charge to those who ordered are not compatible with the current version of Google Music.

For those of you without a Nexus Q, here's what used to happen: When a Q was attached to your network, you could manage it from your handset (phone, tablet, whatever), simply using a "stream" icon in Play Music (or Play Movies, as the case may be) to switch to Q throughput. Easy.

Screenshot_2013-05-15-21-12-41 Screenshot_2013-05-15-21-12-34 Screenshot_2013-05-15-21-12-23

With the latest update to Play Music, though, the streaming icon simply isn't there. So while there's nothing different about the Q itself, the ability to stream through it just isn't there anymore.

I've been hypothesizing for a while now that we'd see the return of the Q (in some form) and Android @ Home this year, and ditching the old Q once and for all may have happened just in time for that wish to come true, but after today's keynote, things aren't looking good for Q round 2.

In the grand scheme of things, Google's decision is kind of logical – the Q never really made it to public availability and as such, maintaining features specific to the device when transitioning to a new, revised app would take extra time that could be better spent elsewhere.

That won't stop me from complaining about it though.

Thanks, Steve!

Google Product Forums, XDA

Liam Spradlin
Liam loves Android, design, user experience, and travel. He doesn't love ill-proportioned letter forms, advertisements made entirely of stock photography, and writing biographical snippets.

  • http://petercast.net Peterson Silva

    I was also hoping for some comeback. Such a beautiful piece of hardware! =(

  • http://www.facebook.com/wilcoxbrian Brian Wilcox

    This was such a disappointment. The Nexus Q was basically my only stereo setup in my apartment. Didn't realize that signing up for the new streaming service and upgrading the app would kill my setup. Wish I'd known ahead of time.

    • http://AndroidPolice.com/ Liam Spradlin

      Yep. I was looking forward to having All Access on my Q till I found out it doesn't work at all. There's always the old phone lying around to use the old version of Music on, but that's far from ideal.

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Michael-Emaw-Kennedy/504157652 Michael Emaw Kennedy

        That's what I was going to suggest, but also like you said, not ideal at all

      • bedwa

        Sounds more like compiling and figuring out the api time.

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

      CyanogenMod supports the Q. Device not supported anymore? Go to CM. Problem solved.

      • http://profiles.google.com/sjsecor Steve Secor

        CM on the Q doesn't have the Q's original functions.

        • http://AndroidPolice.com/ Liam Spradlin

          If I'm not mistaken, it would also be pretty difficult to use it as a music player with CM, since you'd have to have it also hooked up to a screen to navigate around.

          • http://profiles.google.com/sjsecor Steve Secor

            Yep. I installed CM soon after it was available for the Q. It was a mess. Play music has to be sideloaded. One also has to control it with a bluetooth mouse or keyboard. Not as convenient has pressing play on the tablet or phone one is currently using.

          • jm9843

            Exactly. A big part of the appeal of the Nexus Q was that it could be used "headless" and controlled by another Android device on the same WiFi network (using the library of the account on the controlling device).

            CyanogenMod doesn't support that Android@Home functionality.

  • http://profiles.google.com/sjsecor Steve Secor

    Thanks for writing this up Liam. It really is a bummer.

  • http://www.facebook.com/BlackEagle127 Supasin Tatiyanupanwong


  • QwietStorm

    Seems a little silly to cut support for a feature on a product that doesn't really need upkeep. To think I almost got one.

  • http://GPlus.to/Abhisshack Abhisshack

    another use case of Nexus Q

    • Mike Reid

      Looks the same to me.

  • http://GPlus.to/Abhisshack Abhisshack

    Alternate Use Case of Nexus Q ;-)

  • http://twitter.com/remmbermytitans Victor Gonzalez

    I want a Q, but I want it to be built with Google TV. Although, admittedly, if I get my OUYA sometime soon, I may just use that as my GTV.

    • Ian Douglas

      You'll have to figure out how to root the OUYA, it's got it's own version of some Android skin on there.

  • Sootie

    Sell the Q or use it for something else and buy as rasberry pi for $40 and install XBMC on it and yatse on your phone, your stream button is back plus you can do soo soo much more

  • Joseph Donofry

    I don't think this just affects the Q. For example, with the old app, when connected to bluetooth audio, the stream icon would allow you to switch between bluetooth streaming and headphone playback.

  • Ian Douglas

    I guess I'll unlock mine and install CyanogenMod on mine then, and install apps from there.

  • Dr0me

    really disappointed with google about this. I was the one who started the google groups thing about the Q and have watched all this B.S. unfold. I spent like $180 for the thing and barely got to use it before it broke. I guess it is time to flash CM on it and mess around since it is essentially a shot put otherwise.

  • Robert Blenkinsopp

    It's annoying that they have removed the streaming option from the Google Play Music app in general. I no longer have the option of using the phones speakers/headphone jack as opposed the Bluetooth speaker I was connected to. I have to disconnect / reconnect the speaker every time.

  • http://danielbrierton.ie Daniel Brierton

    I'm hoping the new hardware they talked about when announcing that Google TV is moving to 4.2.2 in the coming months is a reworked Nexus Q with Android @ Home mesh support.

  • FrillArtist

    Honestly, who really cares about this crap? It was never a retail product to begin with and it had limited use for a high price tag. Glad to see it go.

  • Alex Stansfield

    As I understand it Google never actually sold these. So any one complaining either got it for free or was silly enough to buy a product that never made it to public sale from someone who got it for free. Quicker this thing is forgotten about the better.

  • Matt Doherty

    More disappointing for me is the removal of the streaming feature (opposed to Nexus Q loosing support) and what that could mean. I'd really like Google to come up with a 'standard' that will promote 'AirPlay' and 'AirPort' rivals amongst Android and periferal manufacturers.

  • http://twitter.com/shoko_droid shoko

    so what can the Q do if it cant stream :|

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=667020551 Jose Torres

    If I would have paid $300 for that thing then I'd be pretty pissed right about now.

    • Bryan Songy

      Everyone that ordered one got it....FOR FREE. No one who preordered the Q through google play paid for it...Those of you who paid for it from ebay and the like...well, why do you think the guy/gal who sold it to you got it for free? duh.

  • Cody Curry

    Why, Google, why?

    I'm still hoping that, one day, we'll get a Nexus Q running a fully-supported version of Google TV (like, the kind of treatment the N7 and N10 got for tablets) and Android@Home support. And it will be awesome. The Q had media management. But GoogleTV needs an open source boost. And Android@Home is still going on.. supposedly.

  • https://steamcommunity.com/id/m-p-3 m-p{3}

    Also lost the bluetooth/3.5mm output switch button.

    I was using that when using my bluetooth hands-free to be able to talk to someone while doing something else, while having my music sent to a set of speakers plugged through the headphone jack.

    Now I'm forced to use the bluetooth hands-free earpiece for the music, and it sounds like crap..

  • Anonymous

    Google promised that they would make a 2.0 of the Nexus Q. And now they broke the promise??? Now they have a good chance to get arrested for fraud!!! Have fun, Google.