Editorial: The Nexus Q is More Feature Rich Than You Might Think

The Nexus Q: the misunderstood, ridiculously expensive and ridiculed new device out. But why is it so mocked?

This dark orb of mystery is being shamed as “featureless,” “boring,” “nothing new” and my new favorite, “not practical.” All of this can be justified with some basic explanations. The Q, at first, does seem relatively bland. Essentially, it is round version of Apple TV. Not so much in its ability to stream from your phone, but that it projects things onto a television in the same fashion.

But that’s where the similarities stop.

First of all, the orb doesn’t necessarily stream from your phone, but rather, play media from your cloud. When using the Nexus Q to stream your music, it actually streams from your Google Play Music account. Right there, that eliminates the ridiculous usage of your data plan. Tapping your phone to the Q only gives it the information that it needs to pull from the cloud.

The Q is also far from boring. In fact, Google advertises this as a “social streaming media player” for a reason. It allows users to collaborate and entertain themselves for hours. Users can all use the orb to watch movies they have purchased, watch YouTube or even movies they have purchased. The orb can give a party more entertainment than your local Redbox nowadays. Q’s guest mode will allow users to sync up multiple music files online and create a socialized playlist. Simply put, bringing everybody’s favorites into one super-playlist.

Practicality is one of the best things the Q offers. What other device allows a simple tap to play your favorite song or watch that new movie you just bought? Sure Apple TV is extremely convenient; however, it only allows one device at one time. Anybody can contribute, assuming they have an Android device.

Finally, Google realized the Q had much more potential than what they put into it. That’s why they fully support hacking and make it very easy to do so. The Q has already become an app launcher/player/giant computer. Hackers have been able to make the device just about anything they want. It can even play Pong. The orb is a hacker-friendly device for a reason. It can become anything we want it to be, much like the Android phones we all know and love.

The rather long video above is more of a demonstration to show how much it can do with minimal hacking, imagine what it can do when the science becomes perfected?

Admittedly, $300 is hard to swallow for anybody, myself included. However, to slam the device as a flop and a failure is a drastic understatement of the devices capabilities. If you’ve got the money to burn and are a hacker, you could have a wise investment with the Nexus Q. This is what Google wants. Remember this is only the first iteration of such a device from Google. Usually hacks and mods get incorporated into later versions of software, which turn this into what could be a stepping-stone for something much bigger and better.

Remember, before giving up on it, the Android phone was once sparse in features. But as it grew, it became the #1 smartphone OS in the world. Who’s to say Google isn’t trying the same thing with the Nexus Q?

No, the device isn’t for everyone. But that doesn’t mean it’s a failure of a product. It can be a bridge to something we all know and love in the future.


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