Nexus Q App Intended for Gingerbread (2.3) and Above

by Stephen Fluin 2012.07.23

The Nexus Q launched at Google I/O 2012 amid applause and confusion. Google is positioning this little device as the solution for "social streaming", a concept they are introducing that would theoretically allow anyone to visit your home, share their music and video collection with you, and then allow group control of the device throughout a gathering or party.

While the idea is sound, the execution is questionable. The device as-is today only works with Jelly Brean Android devices. As of July 2012, there are only 2 devices running Jelly Bean officially (Nexus 7 and the Galaxy Nexus). Second, the device only works with content streamed from YouTube or the Google Play store. This means that the applicability and usefulness of this device is extremely limited.

Nexus Q for Gingerbread

According to the Nexus Q guidebook (found on their website at [PDF]), the Q is intended to support everything back through Android 2.3.  While this is great to be stated in a guidebook, actual support for these devices has not been launched or scjeduled.  If Google wants to gain any traction with the Q beyond a grand experiment, they will need to prioritize this process.

The one thing that can be said in their defense, is that they haven't actually started shipping to consumers. The only devices out in the wild are those owned by 2012 Google I/O attendees, 100% of whom own Jelly Bean Devices. This is great, but for a social streaming device to work, not just the owner needs the app, but all of his / her friends as well.