Update 3: It appears that both the 8 and 16GB Nexus 4 are going back and forth between "In Stock" and "Coming Soon." Customers still looking to get their hands on a Nexus 4 are encouraged to keep their fingers on the refresh key, or simply check back a little later when things have settled down. If we get word that one or both variants are out of stock, we'll update.
Hi, Android! Sorry your present is a little late, it took a while to wrap it. Five years ago yesterday, Google's then-CEO Eric Schmidt joined other members of the newly-formed Open Handset Alliance to announce the Android operating system. Back then, we were still nearly a year away from an actual Gphone (and yes, people really called it that) and Sprint and T-Mobile were the only US carriers even interested. Now, Android is installed on over 400 million devices, nearly every carrier in the world wants a piece of the action, and the platform as a whole is the single largest mobile OS ever.
If you thought Google's official Ask Me Anything video was a good promo for the new Nexus family, wait till you see this. A design studio called Autofuss (based in San Francisco) has created their own promo video for the Nexus 4, 7, and 10, that does a great job of showing off the new line. Take a look:
Not only is the thirty-second spot a pixel-perfect promo in terms of style, polish, and overall concept, but it stays true to Google's own Nexus branding, art style, and features copy that feels right at home in a promo made for Google.
The lack of expandable storage in Nexus devices becomes one of the hottest and most controversial topics every time Google does a refresh and we find out that the next generation lacks SD cards entirely yet again. Couple that with the decision to limit onboard storage options to 16GB max, which is the case with the Nexus 4 at the moment and was the case with the Nexus 7 for a while, and you've got a full-blown revolt.
You may have read one explanation of Google's aversion to SD cards, which was brought up by Android engineer Dan Morrill last year: it's confusing to users to have multiple storage points, the insecure "free-for-all" area was not meant for private app data but rather for media, and essentially SD cards are the sources of all evil.
Ever since Gingerbread and the Nexus S, the Android world has been in a constant and dramatic state of UI flux and we've all faced some hard questions as we adjust to new interface design. "What's the best way to layout software buttons?" "Can we live without micro SD cards?" "Where is all this new hair coming from?" Matias Duarte took to Google+ to answer two out of these three questions you have about your growing pains.
On the subject of the decision to change the UI on the Nexus 10 to be more in line with the Nexus 4 and Nexus 7 layouts:
In addition to the absolute mania of incoming announcements we saw from Google today, there was one interesting carrier-related development for the Nexus line – T-Mobile, the US' fourth largest carrier, announced that it would be carrying Google's LG-built Nexus 4 and ASUS-built 3G Nexus 7 as a "premier launch partner" starting this November. In fact, users can already sign up for more info at T-Mobile's website.
The Nexus 10 is official at last, and it's just as fantastic as we all thought it would be. The Samsung-made 10.1" tablet packs an iPad-destroying 2560x1600 display for 300ppi, which is known in the scientific community as "more pixels than your eye can handle." The slate will also ship with Android 4.2, and the updated Nexus 7-like UI.
In addition, the tablet boasts up to nine hours of video playback and 500 hours of standby time. Just to make sure you're aware that it's designed for consuming media, it comes with front-facing stereo speakers. This thing is sounding pretty dang nice.
The release of the Nexus 7 brought a new phone/tablet hybrid UI to Android tablets. And today, most people agree that it works well - on the 7-inch form factor, anyway. The latest leaks from the upcoming Nexus 10 suggest that Google will keep using that same hybrid UI, despite having a display that's a few inches bigger in each direction.
As David correctly pointed out, the result is that the phone and tablet UIs are now virtually identical.
UPDATE: BriefMobile has just given us another treat, catching a (very) quick video of the Nexus 10, showing off – to some extent – its speed, and the 4.2 lockscreen in landscape mode. While the video is short, it does more justice to the device's overall form factor than probably any single photo we saw yesterday.
The post also suggests that the slate's display might be an IPS panel after all, as BriefMobile's source indicates the display has color reproduction and clarity similar to HTC's SLCD2 panel.