Best Android phones for Developers

Why Android Geeks Buy Nexus Devices

nexus-4The Galaxy S III is the highest-selling Android phone, but much of the geeky buzz is around the Nexus 4 – and the Galaxy Nexus before it. Nexus devices are special because they don’t have some of Android’s biggest problems.

These problems include a lack of official updates, manufacturer-created custom interfaces that slow things down and detract from the experience, and bloatware preinstalled by manufacturers and carriers.

What’s a Nexus Device?

Google started the Nexus program with the Nexus One, which wasn’t as successful as they’d hoped. They also released the Nexus S, which was not extremely popular. The program started picking up steam with the Galaxy Nexus phone, the popular Nexus 7 tablet, and now the Nexus 4 smartphone, which was sold out for months after being introduced.

Nexus devices are designed by Google and sold directly on Google’s Play Store, although they’re manufactured by other hardware manufacturers (LG makes the Nexus 4, ASUS makes the Nexus 7, and Samsung makes the Nexus 10.) Nexus devices are Google’s official reference and developer platform. Google’s Android engineers develop the software for Nexus devices and are responsible for releasing updates.

With other Android devices, manufacturers work on their own software. For example, Samsung is responsible for rolling out updates to the Samsung Galaxy S III, and they’re nowhere near as fast as Google is. They also don’t support devices for as long.

Timely Android Updates

When a new version of Android comes out, it’s tested on these Nexus devices and Google immediately updates them with the new version of Android. If you have a Nexus 4, you can rest easy knowing you’ll get first access to new versions of Android. You won’t have to wait 6 months for your device’s manufacturer and carrier to roll it out, nor will you have to install a community-supported ROM that may not work properly with all your hardware.

When Android 5.0 is released, Nexus devices will receive it immediately. It won’t ever appear on most of the devices people currently own, and it probably won’t even appear on many new phones and tablets until 6 months later

With another Android device, your device may be outdated from the moment it leaves the store and never receive an update. Google now offers access to development releases of Android to manufacturers so they can roll out updates quicker, but this doesn’t seem to have helped. Smartphones and tablets are still launching with Android 4.1 today, even though Android 4.2 has been out for more than three months.

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