Remember last week when I said that Google was moving its habit of beta launching software, getting tons of users, killing it, then resurrecting elements as different software had now moved into the hardware realm? We’ve now reached the “kill it” stage with the Nexus Q.
This doesn’t come as a huge surprise for a couple of reasons. As Google points out in their email to those who pre-ordered the device, “initial feedback from users [is] that they want Nexus Q to do even more than it does today.” That sentiment also pervaded reviews of the device (including my own).
The fact that the current Nexus Q can only stream content from Google Play and YouTube, not Netflix or Hulu Plus or Pandora or Spotify or even the music and videos physically stored on your phone or tablet, is a big drawback. What consumers want is something that works more like Apple’s AirPlay.
That leads us right into the other reason why this is not a surprise. Google is already on record as saying that they plan to incorporate AirPlay-like functionality into Google TV and that the beta test for this is (drumroll) the Nexus Q.
Why you need a separate device to test what will be a software update for existing devices is a mystery that may never be solved. But it does indicate that, ultimately, Google TV users will reap the benefits from this whole exercise.
Thus we come to the final part of the cycle: rebirth as part of another product. The Nexus Q is the hardware equivalent of Google Wave. What a tragic epitaph.
Will Google actually release the Nexus Q device someday? Perhaps. Honestly, I think the sphere would make an excellent Google TV. Though I’d be happy to just see it work with more third-party apps.
In the meantime, the people who pre-ordered the Q as is will get it for free. This is a lesson kids: always pre-order stuff from Google because you might get it for free if it gets some bad early reviews. I’m kicking myself for not pre-ordering Google Glasses…