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Galaxy Nexus, Android.com and Google Music show beauty

Google starts a makeover. New smartphone (operating system), website and music store show the company’s future in mobile.

Take note Apple, Google is trying its best to win the beauty pageant mobile war by bringing a more polished smartphone operating system, operating system’s website, and the operating system’s official music store: Meet the new Galaxy Nexus, the new Android website and the new Google Music store for the Android smartphone.
The new set of improvements were implemented this month and it looks like the search engine giant is playing the “momentum game” inside the arena filled with beauty and intuition. The newest Android smartphone with the much-anticipated Android Ice Cream Sandwich arrived on Wednesday in the United Kingdom, the Samsung Galaxy Nexus.
The new Galaxy Nexus sports 4.65-inch Super AMOLED HD screen with 720p resolution, plus 1.2GHz dual-core SoC, 1GB of DDR2 RAM and the new ICS or Android 4.0 operating system. The available variant is the HSPA+ model, but customers here in United States are poised to get the LTE or Long Term Evolution variant that will run under Verizon Wireless.
Android's new Google Music, a win-win for Google.
Android's new Google Music, a win-win for Google.
On the same date, Google has launched the Google Music store in United States (even without the LTE Galaxy Nexus yet) which also supports the Android ecosystem. The new Google Music online store is slightly similar to the Apple iTunes or Amazon’s Mp3 store, but with a twist.
According to Google, buying to playback is easier using Google Music because the store is accessible online using the web browser or on mobile using a native app or the phone/tablet’s web browser. After buying song/s, Google will do the rest related to syncing, storing files etc.
And to kill at least three birds using one stone, Google is running a free song per day promo only available on the Android Market. So if you want free songs, you need a Google Music account and an Android-powered smartphone. Plus, you also need a Google+ account to enjoy the third feature because Google Music customers can also share purchased music files (stream only) via Google+. Three birds: Google Music, Android and Google+.
Lastly, Google showed off the latest official website of the Android operating system to add more excitement juice, the Android.com featuring new design, texts and other images that will surely give the geek-favorite platform its much-needed eye-friendly revamp (and not just codes and other geeky stuff).
The new website features the new operating system’s user interface sneak peek, features and notes about the platform’s more advanced support for applications to end the so-called Android fragmentation (see Google for more information). Apparently, the new Android operating system is the sum of the two older operating system versions, the Gingerbread and the Honeycomb. The new updates are Google’s steps as it stems fragmentation to compete with Apple’s iOS 5 and Microsoft’s beautiful but still not so popular Windows Phone.
Android still maintains a strong lead in the smartphone market share, largely due to the fact that the model offered by the platform is the “open-source” system and several device makers like Samsung, Motorola and HTC can take advantage of it. However, not all companies are treating Android’s openness as a positive advantage. In fact according to Nokia’s Stephen Elop, Android is fragmented because it is allowing OEM customization (ex: Sense, TouchWiz), while Windows Phone is a more unified and more beautiful user interface. He said:
“In terms of (Windows Phone) doesn’t allow for the Sense UI or whatever, I would suggest that one of the biggest challenges facing that particular ecosystem is the fact that there is more and more of that going on. And when I go into the store and look at what that brand was supposed to stand for, I’m not quite seeing it — it’s just unclear what the standard is for the user experience.”
Elop’s argument obviously came from the heart, but I’m not in the position to comment about it because I find Samsung’s Touchwiz (the version running on the Galaxy S II) to be very helpful especially in Gingerbread. Instead of being laggy and very intrusive, it actually adds nice and much-needed features that I sometimes wish were available in stock Gingerbread operating system. Apparently, the Android 4.0 is making TouchWiz or HTC’s Sense an irrelevant software.
Either way, the new wave of Android development is not actually related to Apple and its intuitive and less-geeky operating system, but the Android 4.0 is big response to stop Nokia and Microsoft from getting its much-needed double-digit market share score. According to the latest tally, Windows Phone is stuck at single-digit market share here in US