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I Didn’t Buy a Nexus to Flash All the Things

If you were to ask me why I buy Nexus phones and tablets (outside of the fact that it is my job to own them), I would answer with the following in no particular order. I like stock Android better than manufacturer skins. I like swift updates to the newest versions of Android. I typically like the designs used in Nexus devices. I like to see what new technologies that Google has incorporated in the latest Nexus devices and Android platform, since Nexus devices almost always try to highlight something new in mobile. Before the Nexus 6, I was also a big fan of the low price tags that accompanied Nexus devices. And, well, that’s it. Those are the reasons.

You will notice I didn’t mention the words flash, ROM, root, recovery, bootloader, adb, SDK, boot.img, kernel, or forum. I didn’t mention those, because I buy Nexus devices for reasons that don’t involve tinkering, hacking, flashing, unlocking, and tweaking. I buy Nexus devices because I want to use them like someone would use a Galaxy S5 or Moto X or G3. I like the untouched, out of box experience. 

The reason I bring this up stems from a post we ran earlier that talked about Google forcing device encryption on the Nexus 6 and Nexus 9. In that post, we talked about how you can’t turn that encryption off and that most are stuck with it, unless you were to flash a tweaked boot.img or ROM or kernel over at your local forum. That post grabbed the attention of the tinkerers in the building who assume that Nexus devices are meant to be tinkered with. And while Nexus devices are certainly tinkerer-friendly, the Nexus platform is no longer just built to flash all the things. Google may make these devices open and ready for a tinkerer party, but they market these as consumer products first, because that’s what they are. There may have been a time when Nexus meant “developer first,” but we aren’t there anymore. In fact, we haven’t really been there for a few years.

Take a look at the Nexus 5, Nexus 6, and Nexus 9 pages on Google Play. Google doesn’t even mention the word “developer” (or the other list of words I ran through) at any point, which isn’t surprising. They talk about getting Android directly from the source, how awesome battery life is and the cameras they use, consuming entertainment on their big displays, listening to their BoomSound speakers, and how great their slim designs are. Google is even partnering with carriers this time around to sell their new Nexus phones, which is saying something.

And look, I know how to use adb and to flash images and recoveries and ROMs. I’ve been doing all of that since 2009. If I need to recover a phone, I can do it in a matter of minutes. My Android SDK is always current. I write adb tutorials for the site. I do like the fact that if I were to decide that I want to get wild with my Nexus phone, that I can. But it’s not one of the top reasons I’m buying one. And that’s not a bad thing!

The point is that the Nexus line isn’t (and maybe hasn’t been for years) built just for developers and tinkerers. Sure, these devices are the best phones and tablets around for those who are interested in that, but it’s time to give up the argument and idea that a majority of Nexus owners all have the Android SDK installed, are fluent in adb commands, and should know how to bypass Google’s forced encryption by flashing a boot.img file. Some of us actually like Nexus devices for what they are, and that’s a showcase of Google’s vision for Android.

  • Pat

    Totally agree with this article. I own the Nexus 5, 7 (2013) and 9 and I enjoy the out of the box experience. I never bought a Nexus device with the intent to tinker with it. I will also get the Nexus 6 for the same reason.

  • Lester San Jose

    I may just manually grab images..I’m not trusting of WiFi connections to get mission critical stuff

  • Curtis Scafe

    I agree and disagree. I like all the stuff mentioned but I miss not having certain things that Google really should have. Something as basic as a reboot menu. That’s why I flash, so I can get those extra features. Either that or have a developer menu that let’s you do some of that stuff yourself

  • jhughes

    Thank you so much! Glad someone was willing to say all this!

  • Christian

    I’ve been a Google fan and nexus owner for 5 years. I’m really happy with Google they’re the future and they never let me down.

  • Jonathas Peschiera

    thanks

  • mountainloafers

    Now that the average consumer will have the option to buy the Nexus on contract they will hopefully see what they have been missing. I am glad they now have a chance. I just believe that they would sell some much more phones if the OS was way more open than it already is. An easybto customize phone that is yours and yours alone. Uniquely yours. This should be OK, it should be easy and it should be the norm. It should be built in to the stock Android experience. Oh if only I was in charge.

  • mountainloafers

    Your artical upsets me. I believe people have often wanted a Nexus specifically because it’s the ultimate Android enthusiasts device. In the past those consumers may have wished to purchase a Nexus, but didn’t have the money to do so and would have to settle for another device on contract or prepay because the “buy in” price was their only option. Going into at&t and getting a Note 4 to $99 down and $70 a month is their only way to play. Now they have a phone that is not made to be tinkered with. And what do they do? Tinker… They brick their phone and lose interest in educating themselves, perhaps becoming a developer one day, or simply having a phone that doesn’t come with a skin someone else customized with apps they will never use. I love actually owning my phone. Nexus is for me and I buy it because I want it to be customized to my liking easy to not brick when I wany to test my new app idea, etc. Why do you think Google makes it so easy to tap that screen and become a “developer”. They want to provide creative, educated folks to have access to devices that give them the opportunies that other phones do not or will not.

    You have a point, don’t get me wrong. Google is just like every other phone manufacturer now. They would prefer that most of their users be average consumers where they but a phone just because of the features it comes with. The android OS is so great because if I want to use pie, change the color of my WiFi signal icon or (a must for me) be able to extend the desktop or have the option to reboot instead of just powers off, I can.

    People that are buying One Plus One are customers that have been stolen from Google and it’s Nexus buyer. The Android OS should be more customizable than any other phone on the market and it should be easier to do. I honestly believe that if people knew they could buy a device and customize it to be exactly what they want it to be and marketed it that way that the iPhone would finally have a decent contender. Why should I have to fricken root MY phone to have only apps I want and the absolute most personal experience possible? Lollipop could have introduced a brand new idea IF actually put some money in to mass marketing it. There are many different flavors of a lollipop and YOU can have on that is quite specifically for you! People would eat it up if they knew they could do that and that it was very easy to do BECAUSE it is stock android and not some forced on us carriers idea of what our phone should be.

  • mountainloafers

    This article is a blatent slam on Android Police posting the flashing capabilities of Google devices. Android Police speifically caters to fanatics and developers, not your average consumer and, believe it or not, so is Droid Life!

  • mountainloafers

    Your artical upsets me. I believe people have often wanted a Nexus specifically because it’s the ultimate Android enthusiasts device. In the past those consumers may have wished to purchase a Nexus, but didn’t have the money to do so and would have to settle for another device on contract or prepay because the “buy in” price was their only option. Going into at&t and getting a Note 4 to $99 down and $70 a month is their only way to play. Now they have a phone that is not made to be tinkered with. And what do they do? Tinker… They brick their phone and lose interest in educating themselves, perhaps becoming a developer one day, or simply having a phone that doesn’t come with a skin someone else customized with apps they will never use. I love actually owning my phone. Nexus is for me and I buy it because I want it to be customized to my liking easy to not brick when I wany to test my new app idea, etc. Why do you think Google makes it so easy to tap that screen and become a “developer”. They want to provide creative, educated folks to have access to devices that give them the opportunies that other phones do not or will not.

    You have a point, don’t get me wrong. Google is just like every other phone manufacturer now. They would prefer that most of their users be average consumers where they but a phone just because of the features it comes with. The android OS is so great because if I want to use pie, change the color of my WiFi signal icon or (a must for me) be able to extend the desktop or have the option to reboot instead of just powers off, I can.

    People that are buying One Plus One are customers that have been stolen from Google and it’s Nexus buyer. The Android OS should be more customizable than any other phone on the market and it should be easier to do. I honestly believe that if people knew they could buy a device and customize it to be exactly what they want it to be and marketed it that way that the iPhone would fina

  • Brandon Patr!k

    Stock is great certainly. But if the option is to root/flash OR suffer the performance degradation that comes with the encryption . . .

    Actually, does it affect the performance? I remember some folks saying that it did.

  • MC Wong

    Very True

  • Diar

    Agreed, but I still want root access, mainly for Ad Away and Xposed Framework (which isn’t working for Lollipop yet). I’ve been using a rooted GN3 but just bought a Nexus 6. I surf to a site and was literally shocked to see an ad. I was spoiled by Ad Away. I can’t go back. I haven’t rooted yet but I probably will.

  • sgtguthrie

    After I pick up a NEXUS 6, I think I’ll still root it, but will stay stock Google firmware. I guess time will tell for sure.

  • brian watkins

    Been running the 5.0 gpe rom for 2 days on my m8 with no plans on going back to kitkat

  • Niel Mistry

    I find that GPe ROMs work really well with devices that have gpe support. My carrier locked moto g works noticeably smoother on the gpe build for some reason

  • SkullOne

    Finally…somebody who gets it. Being Nexus and able to be tinkered with is simply gravy on top.

  • Helter Skelter

    Maybe you should get another job. One that doesn’t require any research. If you bothered to explore the Nexus 6 or research it, you’d know you can in fact disable the encryption that is enabled by default. It’s not forced, it’s recommended.

  • Aaron C

    Since the “interruptions” feature was (finally) added to AOSP, I haven’t really had a need to run a custom ROM. I prefer Slim’s implementation and DPI, but Lollipop is the first solid OS I can really recommend to non-tinkerers. Of course, I said that about ICS, but now I really mean it. 😉

  • k sand

    Bah just say it simple – Nexus devices are fracking user friendly.

    Carriers hacking up my device for any reason no no no no. Custom provider skins? Please girl don’t be a nut.

    Knowing you will always always always receive updates & receive them in a timely matter = priceless.

  • billcollier

    The nexus 6 is the booya!

  • Melissa Guala

    I agree, last time I rooted a phone was a brand new samsung galaxy ace 3 that was laggy, didn’t last a decent amount of hours with kusic playing (and dont even think about watching a movie because all the focus was on the launcher and the LTE antena) before I switched to my current one, a Moto G LTE which is unrooted because it works fine with stock and its battery last more than any other phone I’ve had (except maybe a lumia I had and barely touched due to its lag). With rooting my device and installing a custom rom as cyanogenmod I lose the updates from my carrier, and also waranty hence why not rooted yet.
    I prefer my phone unrooted mostly because is not laggy, its battery lasts for aprox 7 hours and I can get fast updates.

  • Diana Tonn

    I like nexus because it is stock, no bloatware you can’t remove, and I don’t have to use what HTC Samsung or whatever else wants me to have. I don’t care about the rooting or anything else. I just want a phone that let’s me enjoy my experience.

  • gambit07

    Kellen, this article doesn’t make sense to me. Your final line is ‘Some of us actually like Nexus devices for what they are, and that’s a showcase of Google’s vision for Android.’. That is what you are getting with encryption turned on, Google’s vision for Android. I agree not everybody likes to get into modding their phone, and obviously you don’t have to. But if you don’t then you have to live with the decisions the manufacturer makes, just like you would have to do with Samsung, LG, or anybody else. It’s not like the phone isn’t booting or something is not working, it’s that things might not always move as fluidly as you would like. Google probably wanted to minimize that as much as possible, but it still stands that this is their stock vision for Android.

  • Robert Nasiadek

    Yeah, I hate when people say Nexus is only for developers. My mother has a N4 and she’s really happy with it. And guess what – she’s not a developer.

  • NorCalGuy

    And I buy nexus devices JUST TO ROOT AND ROM AND FLASH

  • Paradisimo

    I had no choice but to root and mod my Nexus 9. The software that it shipped with was absolutely awful and Google screwed up royally on the OTA update. The tablet was almost unusable before I rooted it and got it up to the most recent firmware. Not to mention it has also helped me get rid of the crappy encryption that Google decided we need by default. Thanks to rooting and modding the tablet is now the way it should have been out of the box.

  • Grant

    ok.

  • WK

    a few years ago, i would disagree with this article completely but not anymore. my gf got an N5 earlier this year and while i wanted to root it and flash all the things, she wasn’t into that and didn’t want me to mess with it. so i left it alone. before this, i would root and flash every android phone i owned, including my sister’s, and also telling my friends and coworkers to do it. so i left my gf’s N5 alone this time and i found that it works just fine. no lag, no battery issues, no nothing. i’m on a rooted and flashed LG G2 on a stock rom and i get weird jank here and there, weird battery issues here and there, and other issues here and there. she also just got an OTA update to Lollipop last night and her phone works and looks even better than before.

  • burpootus

    To me Android versus IOS has always been about administrative control of the device, which has basically become my main computer. I’ve been willing to suffer through an inferior user experience (we are only fooling ourselves if we don’t admit IOS has been an overall better user experience) to maintain that status. Perhaps I’m stubborn or whatever, but I find it Orwellian that people have shifted from a computing paradigm (primarily PC) where they were administrators of the machines, to the new one where they are not. Android, whether intentional or not, has always made me feel that (through trivial rooting processes) my being administrator was welcomed. This seems to be changing. I could save a lot of money by simply using the dumb phone provided by my work and not accepting the new locked down paradigm.

    • The Rock

      ios has not been a better user experience for a long time dude. Not sure which Android devices you’ve owned but if you had a Nexus device since the Nexus 4 you would know that stock Android is a much better user experience than ios

      • burpootus

        Which OS is better will always be subjective. I started with a DroidX in 2010, then a GS3, then a Note 2 which I still have, running SlimKat Android 4.4. I also have an iPad, so I have experience with both systems. I love Android for the openness, customization, and exposed file system, but if I’m being honest with myself, I have to say IOS wins. Iphones through this time have consistently had better cameras. They have been jank free, with a slicker overall feel. Apple concentrates on media and generally handles it better (real time processing). I can plug my guitar directly into an IOS device and use apps like Amplitube to emulate amps and effects pedals, plus play along to an mp3 and record multiple channels. This is a whole world that doesn’t exist at all on Android due to USB port latency. I have a large PDF that contains a service manual for an old motorcycle that I work on. My iPad will open it quickly and I can scroll through the 100 plus pages at will. This is not the case with my Note 2. It’s really no contest to me.

        • burpootus

          Just look at the two new flagships that implement encryption, Nexus 6 and Iphone 6. Iphone 6, slick as ever, Nexus 6, major disappointment.

  • Silky Johnson

    Thank you. Sadly this is why I ended up not getting a Nexus 6 after waiting until yesterday to play with the nexus6 and the note 4 in the store at tmobile and decide which one i really wanted. I just feel like with all that screen real estate there really should be some features that take advantage of it. With device encryption enabled on the n6 i didnt see a big performance advantage that stock android should normally have. Now that i use my phone for work i really dont feel like having to flash a bunch of things and risk bugs just to get the features and performance i want. The camera is pretty good on the nexus 6 but Im flat out amazed at the images my note 4 takes. A few days with my note 4 and i couldnt be happier. The new touchwiz isnt that horrible to me anymore either and it looks like their lollipop update (even though their choices of color are pretty questionable) should iron out any of my complaints about touchwiz

  • bulldurham

    I don’t flash custom Roms anymore. I always preferred the nexus models because they were unlocked, affordable, and always first to get updates. When they started overpricing them I made the choice to stay with my nexus 4 and with the android Lollipop upgrade it is like a new phone. If I want a new look then I will get a new case. I am going to wait till October 2015 and see if there is a price drop. Only then will I consider upgrading.

  • mikeym0p

    I have owns a Dinc, Droid Bionic, Gnex and a Nexus 4. The Dinc was okay but I rooted and rom’d purely for updates, and eventually CM. Droid Bionic had a huge delay on 4.0 so I sold it for a Gnex. I was amazed how, out of the box everything worked, was stable and remained fast over time.

    I rooted it again, only because Verizon held back the updates for testing. The perfect experience is Nexus or close to it unlocked on GSM. I dont have to root my Nexus 4, it’s stable, reliable and while it does mess up sometimes (SoD). My phone is up and running, without a hitch 90% of the time, as I watch iPhones, and Galaxy’s freezing, hanging, dropping data, dying out of nowhere and rebooting.

    I get a Nexus for the same reason, because it works.

  • Vanquishgc

    This is precisely why I’m so interested in the N6. I wouldn’t need to worry about extra crap I don’t want, or having to put a third party launcher on there. It’s a blank slate. Sure, Moto’s offerings give us close to that, but there’s still carrier bloat. I can do as much or as little with a Nexus, and THAT’S what I want. For those that love to root and flash and so on, hey, more power to you. But there’s a lot of us that have zero interest in doing so, nevermind those like myself that don’t know how to.

  • Samik Parekh

    I like Nexus for flash, ROM, root, recovery, bootloader, adb, SDK, boot.img, kernel, or forum.
    Out of Box Nexus is never perfect device. All Nexus need some MOD to make it perfect.
    My Nexus 5 was draining more battery and tiny speaker with stock ROM on first Month. Then I flash Custom ROM and apply some MOD & Kernel. Now it’s perfect. I Flash Lollipop ROM but new Stock ROM is not perfect yet, Still some bug and same tiny speaker. SO I went back to my 4.4.4 Custom ROM…

  • Tomek G

    I am all about choice, and these days Android OS offers more and more of it. Initially you had to get root for basic functionality but as Google makes more and more APIs available, there is no longer big need for it. However I would prefer if there was still an option to return phone to true developer mode and give you unrestricted access.

  • Jon

    I have a Nexus 7, iPad 2, and an iPhone. I bought the Nexus 7 for its size and to become familiar with the Android experience. I’m a software developer so I also wanted to keep up with other platforms. After using the nexus 7 for about 8 months I was considering switching to all Android. Now my Nexus 7 sits at Kit-Kat weeks after the supposed launch of lollipop. Whether you love or hate Apple, when they say a new OS version will be released on a given date, I can upgrade my devices that day. Last weekend I gave up waiting to sample lollipop and upgraded my iPhone 5 to an IPhone 6.

  • Fathalius

    Keep in mind that he said it’s for those who do and don’t want to tinker. He did say they are the best devices for those who want to tinker… Because the line isn’t soley built for developers

  • courtoman .

    Christ almighty people. Buy it or don’t buy a nexus 6. The fact remains that Google brought out the nexus line to show case what it envisages android to be. Everyone else has determined in their heads that this must somehow line up with how they envisage it ie. cheap, developer, whatever. The nexus 6 is simply another phone from one of the biggest companies on the planet who know they could make a loss from it, but wish to see every other phone company go in a certain direction. Have you seen the amount of publicity the nexus 6 is getting atm? Good or bad every phone it is being compared with, of similar size or specs is getting as much publicity from comparisons. Meanwhile apple lovers are sticking to their small phones as they always have and not migrating towards the iPhone plus in droves, whereas I bet Android lovers will be going bigger. Why the hell are people rooting only to use titanium or some other back up anyway? Because you want to see some sms from a year ago? Does Google not backup your photos and apps for you? Can you not take two seconds to sign in to Facebook again after migrating to lollipop? Wow if you say no. And if your antutu score is saying your not beating a note 4. Does it matter? If yes, then you will throw a new rom and kernel on there and overclock that summabit like it was your first bmx. If not get a droid turbo

  • n900mixalot

    Lol! Hey Google you can lock down the bootloader now because no one wants to root and flash anymore. See, this is why I don’t get you people. When bootloaders are locked you complain that they are supposed to be unlocked because you like to tinker. Now you don’t care to tinker you just like stock.

    Guess what? Nexus devices are made to be tinkered with, that’s why the bootloaders are freely unlockable.

    I can’t believe how fickle you folks are. Hilarious.

  • John Friend

    Um who flashes roms anymore anyway? Xposed framework ftw….

  • Kenneth B.

    I rooted my Nexus 4 and G2. Haven’t done so with my Tmo G3 (only carrier varient unlocked out of the box). Not because I don’t want to, just because there’s no solid roms for my G3 yet. I prefer Paranoid Android to CM.

  • I get that Nexus is now a phone for the “masses” but I wish there was a Old Nexus replacement…. I loved all the flashing and rooting. I got into CS doing those stuff and the fact that Nexus 4 at the time was relatively cheap helped.

    My parents weren’t going to buy me another smart phone for years… but it was cheap so they were good with it…

    I guess I have a soft spot for it 😛

  • msal

    I like Nexus devices because they don’t run TouchWiz.

  • andy smith

    Stock, unrooted N4. I love not having to deal with flashing a ROM just to get an enjoyable phone experience.

  • Godzilla

    Flash all the boobs

  • Danomite

    I’ve ordered the N6 and it will be my very first Nexus device. I went with the N6 because I really wanted a larger phone. While I could have gone with the Note 4, I just prefer stock Android. I just don’t need all the bells and whistles that accompany Touchwiz. The ability to easily tinker, should I choose to, is just an added bonus.

  • ozo012

    I own the following devices, VZW Note II (bootloader unlocked, custom 4.4.2 because all of the stock ROM have been crap), 2012 Nexus 7 which I have to run a custom ROM on to not have horrific lag (haven’t played with Lollipop on it yet), Nexus 4 with stock Lollipop as a WIFI device / extra phone occasionally on the T-Mo $30 a month plan. The 2 devices I use the most absolutely must be rom’d and rooted but it might just because they are ~2 years old. I’d still need at least root on my Nexus 6 if I bought one, I just don’t want to give up the Micro SD and removable battery (any of those who use a Zerolemon battery know what I’m talking about with the Note 2/3 and other Samsung devices)

  • Tom

    I used to root and rom for the reasons of getting features that I wanted that stock android didn’t have at the time (all the way back to 2.1). Now with 5.0 those reasons are either not as prevalent or nonexistent. Quite frankly, the evolution of Android has been nothing short of amazing, addressing shortcomings and constantly improving experience. I no longer need to rom my phone to get what I want/need. However I still unlock and root for the utility (titanium back-up, root access to folders, and so forth). I barely even use root anymore, I just have it so I can have complete control over /my/ device.

  • arod

    In the time it took you to write this article I flashed a custom boot.img using ADB and removed encryption from my Nexus 6. 😉

  • symbolset

    Me too. It is nice to be able to tinker if I want to. In fact, I would not buy a Nexus if it were not so – hardware freedom is a big deal to me. But actually doing it on my regular phone or tablet? It is not necessary or convenient.

    I am glad there are people who like to do such things and they are supported. A lot of amazing ideas spring from that source.

  • Orion

    I totally approve of this article. I buy Nexus devices for the stock experience and fast updates.

  • It’s nice to actually here hardcore Android fans say it, they want it to work right, without tinkering, out of the box. This is the way it should be. Yes you can customize the way things look and sound but you shouldn’t have to dig deep in the code with a chance of bricking your phone for it to finally be good enough for you.

  • Christopher Moore

    2 years ago I would have said stop your whining and fix it yourself especially if you have a Nexus. Today I no longer say that because when I was flashing Roms I was never happy with the phone. I could never settle down for more than two days without having to flash version x.x.x. because it fixed some random issue. There is no such thing as the perfect Rom when you’re a crack flasher.
    So today I’m pretty disappointed to see lagging on a Nexus 6 out the box with no added benefit compared to a device like the Note 4. I have a Note 4 and accepted the fact that the Moto X feels faster but that phone can’t touch the features the Note has. On top of that I haven’t pushed this phone hard enough to worry about so called TouchWiz lag.

  • Destroythanet

    “95% of the time, the Nexus 6 flies through any task you throw at it. Android 5.0 is so buttery smooth in transitions, the Snapdragon 805 processor handles all of its heavy animations and layers, and games or videos play without a stutter.” -DL’s Nexus 6 review.

    IMO, if some people don’t want to root and ROM, having the phone fly through any task 95% of the time is more than enough (unless it really DOESN’T fly 95% of the time). If you have the time and energy to bitch and moan about it not “flying” a measly 5% of the time, then you have the time and energy to learn how to get rid of the encryption yourself.

  • larry scervino

    I would just like root to cosmeticaly customize other wise I’m good with the stock expierence.

  • Roger W Turner

    Excellent article.

  • Nazzi_Muhammad

    I bought my N6 for the exact reasons stated in the article. A big plus, it’s a Motorola. If this Nexus was another LG I would have passed.

  • Dylan

    why wouldn’t you want encryption? What is wrong with you?

    • PoisonApple31

      Some of us just have a normal level of paranoia.

    • creed

      you must not have read the previous article about the drop in performance due to encryption. I personally would rather have the performance.

      • Dylan

        Then this article is completely screwed up and two faced. The encryption is for NORMAL PEOPLE WHO DON’T LIKE TO TINKER. Encryption is for the people affected by #fappening. Encrypted is for the everyday people who might have their privacy violated. Don’t want a default better level of encryption? TOO BAD, this is the world we live in. If you want performance over security, tinker.

        • creed

          the performance on this phone suffers drastically due to encryption. This is quoted from android authority. This is a huge drop in performance. I am a normal person and I would either not buy this phone with the drop in performance, or I would flash the new boot.img.

          “The difference between the Nexus 6’s storage performance with encryption on and off is massive: the benchmarks show drops of 62.9% (random read performance), 50.5% (random write performance, and 80.7% (sequential read performance) between the unencrypted Nexus 6 and the encrypted Nexus 6.”

          • StankyChikin

            This means nothing.. I have been encrypting for years and notice no difference from when it is unencrypted.

        • creed

          I’m a normal person and I don’t like poor performing phones. This is from an earlier article.

          The difference between the Nexus 6’s storage performance with encryption on and off is massive: the benchmarks show drops of 62.9% (random read performance), 50.5% (random write performance, and 80.7% (sequential read performance) between the unencrypted Nexus 6 and the encrypted Nexus 6.

  • C-Law

    I bought a moto x dev edition for Verizon over a year ago thinking it would be just like my og droid and gnex where I’m flashing different Roms and kernels all the time but I was wrong. Stock android from moto ran so smooth I never even considered an aosp rom bc I would lose moto display and that is the coolest feature ever. I definitely didn’t consider changing kernels. I unlocked the bootloader and rooted just bc but I never really used it for much. Android has come so far I don’t need to do all that stuff anymore but you can bet I won’t buy a phone that won’t let me do those things still. That’s why I’m on Verizon but I just ordered a nexus 6 using my friends T-Mobile account so I wouldn’t be locked down with a droid turbo

  • Peter Smith

    Freedom of choice. Privacy. Ad Populum fallacy. Excusatio non petita, accusatio manifesta.
    -I’d like to do this…
    -It’s nice not being able to do it.
    -What?
    -C’mon, Who wants to do that? Nobody loses time with that, and you can do it anyway.
    -Well, if ‘nobody’ wants to do it, you must have strong reasons to not allow me to do it in an easy and straight way. Is there anything you are trying to hide?

  • Trevor

    There are just a handful of tweaks I like to make to stock Android via Xposed. Maybe one or two less now that I have Lollipop on my Nexus 5. But I, too have been done ROMming (ROMing, ROMMing?) for a while now.

  • Howard

    I have to flash my Nexus 7 and I don’t understand why. It’s rooted and unlocked.

  • tylerc23
  • Alan Marchman

    I agree. I’ve had a Nexus 7 2013 for almost a year now and didn’t do anything to it until last week when I got impatient for Lollipop to come via OTA. So I unlocked it, flashed the stock image, then relocked it. 🙂

  • somad

    I will buy nexus device for the update directly from Google and no carrier involve or delay.

  • Audio

    I have been thinking along those same lines recently. The only reason I learned root/recovery/rom it because I wanted to enable LTE on my Nexus 4. If it the Nexus 4 had LTE built in, I don’t know if I would have learned. There are certainly some things I like about rooting (and removing AT&T’s boot animation would be numero uno on my list!), but i bought a Moto G 4g when it came out and I am still running unrooted stock on that device; haven’t felt the need to root. (I have a Sony Xperia tablet rooted and really don’t find myself using the root function that much on that device either.)

  • RiceCake

    So just to see if people are also seeing this…has anyone done a speed test on Verizon lately? I’m getting thottled pretty severely. I used to pull about 20+Mbps down and now I’m lucky if I get about 8? Are they selling towers or something?

    Looks like I might get a N5 and go to straight talk. My friends g3 on att is pulling 35mbps down….right next to me.

    • PoisonApple31

      I’m getting 60mbps down on Verizon speedtest.

      • RiceCake

        This saddens me. But I will have to do some more testing I suppose

  • Andrew

    I approve this message.

  • Everyone has to remember, the devices we rooted most, were not Nexus devices. They were the first Galaxy S devices, the first HTC devices, even the first Motorola devices. And the reason we would root is because their skinned version of Android sucked.

  • Tinkering days were when Droid X and GNex come out, today with Android being so optimized and performance at levels never seen before tinkering is not required. Plus who has time to flash, restore and try and recover every single element like you had it customized and loved.

    I’m trying to spend my time using the device, making money from it not it working me and taking my time = money I’m losing.

    • Armyof2

      seriously…not having to recover from brick because someone screwed up their ROM or because I flubbed something in the flashing process is really freeing…I just pick my phone up and it works. I loved my tinkering days but that was when I had time and had no other life going on

      • The STRESS too – will it work or will it fail – or spending late nights ROM’ing vs. banging the wife after she invested in sexy lingerie for just me.

        I use to argue hours on end with iOS guys that I ROM’d and unique never realizing all they cared about was that the device works everything else could care less for.

  • Big EZ

    I think a good poll for tomorrow would be whether or not people still root/rom.

    Categories could be:
    Never!
    I used to, but Android has come a long way.
    Yes I still root, rom, and/or unlock my devices.

    • Flyinion

      I think root/unlock needs to be separated from rom though. Otherwise good idea. I say they need to be separated because for instance I run the stock Android on my 2013 N7, but I have it unlocked and rooted so that I can back up things with Titanium “just in case”. Also so I could transfer saved games/etc. over when I first got the tablet. You can’t do stuff like that if you’re not rooted, but you don’t need to have a non-factory rom on it either.

      I actually finally put a 3rd party ROM on it a couple months ago and within two weeks was back to stock because I grabbed a couple movies on Play for offline playback while traveling. Had never done that and quickly found out you can’t play them offline on a 3rd party rom because piracy protections kick in.

  • RedXander

    While I love the pieces that you have outlined, there is the added peace of mind in the freedom to tinker if I choose to. I don’t need to ‘flash all the things’ in order to enable things like wireless tethering, specific customization to the look and feel, etc. Having easily an easily rootable device and access to the System partition are things that, for me at least, are also of high importance when considering a NEXUS device.

    • perfectalpha

      I don’t think he is arguing against that however. What he is saying is he shouldn’t need to tinker to get an out of box experience that is the same as everybody else using other types of phones. That is all.

  • Gideon Waxfarb

    I’m not sure what the big draw is to stock Android. I’ve had Nexus devices and non-Nexus devices, and I put Nova Launcher on all of them. Honestly, I don’t think the stock Google launcher is all that great. And it wasn’t until this year that they actually released a Nexus device with a decent amount of storage (64bg N6). Their tablets are still pathetic, with a max of 32gb. I have a 64gb microSD card in my Note 10.1 2014, and it’s almost full.

  • schlanz

    well if you’re having an issue with performance due to encryption.. maybe others were merely suggesting a likely fix with flashing. that doesn’t mean it excuses the issue, but it can certainly be dealt with.

  • Also, I would love to not feel like I need to root and tinker.

    Lollipop is so close. I just can’t stand the default DPI on the Nexus 5. That is the only reason I have root. My Nexus 7 is completely stock.

    • JSo

      Is that because you have modded your DPI for so long that you got used to it?

      • Nope. First and only device I have ever touched the DPI is this one. Google decided to make everything gigantic on this device, which doesn’t utilize the screen well.

  • d-rock

    I love rant articles….not

  • vincent scala

    Well i bought a Nexus to flash all of that then do something wrong brick my phone only to finally unbrick it after cursing for several hours and to ultimately flash the stock image and just keep it like that lol

    • Audio

      Been there. I one time got to a scary place when I was a newb. Thought I busted my phone. But it’s the number one reason I love Nexus; it can take (almost) anything you can throw at it.

      • vincent scala

        yes i think its nearly impossible to totally brick a nexus to the point you can’t unbrick it

  • Some of us actually like Nexus devices for what they are, and that’s a showcase of Google’s vision for Android.

    Which includes encryption that cannot be disabled by default, which is what is causing all the butthurt online.

    If you truly want Google’s vision for Android, you want encryption that cannot be disabled by default.

    And, well, if you don’t, there are ways to get rid of it.

  • Ricky Blanco

    Well said!

  • d-rock

    I’m guessing this is a response to comments about modding in the whole performance article about encryption. Just because you (or anyone else) don’t buy them for that reason, doesn’t mean you don’t know about these things. I would say 80%+ of people who buy a nexus know about modding a phone.

    Most of the arguments made in that previous article were saying the people are capable of bypassing this, not that they buy nexus devices to mod/rom/etc.

  • James Cooper

    You guys must all be high, flashing dramatically improves Nexus Device performance.
    I always ran my nexus 5 with an optimised rom(purity) & kernel(franco)

    For the sole purpose of better performance and battery life(not for features). And Im not talking about anything to do with CPU overclocking crap
    At times I could get two days out of my N5s crap battery

    The quadrant mark for my pre lollipop nexus 5 was usually 12,500+ usually sub 9000 stock (and lollipop)

    Just look at the changelog at xda for the franco kernel – that guys dedicated to total battery saving & performance. Your kidding yourself if you think that’s happening at Google.

    I love my N5 – but the day Lollipop came out I rooted it and loaded the latest franco kernel & will be doing the same once the optimised roms come out.
    Its fantastic that you can get a much better experience out of your Nexus if you choose to.

    • James

      I know the XDA thread you are referring to. There are literally hundreds of posts on that thread about problems people have experienced, or are still experiencing, with the flash process. Even if many of those are due to user error, it just plays into exactly the point Kellen is making in this article.

      • James Cooper

        I hear what your saying – Its easy to screw up and a steep learning curve for the uninitiated(And all bets are off once you tinker).
        But…… Its the reason I love my Nexus – it has a community striving to improve it, and the ability to implement them.

        • James

          And I totally respect that. You should absolutely be able to tinker all you want. What I can’t stand is that every time there’s an article about some controversial change to Android (like encryption), fanatics come out of the woodwork to criticize anyone who doesn’t want to flash a new ROM to solve the problem (as if that doesn’t often bring new, and bigger problems of its own).

          I have no problem with people who want to tinker. I’ve done some myself. But to suggest the answer to every problem is to tinker is just plain dumb. People should not have to root and ROM just to get solid performance and have control over the basics of their device. You can’t want to see Android succeed commercially and also hold onto this backward idea that Android is only for tinkerers. I’m not say you think this, but it’s a common enough perspective around these parts.

          • James Cooper

            True, but the alternative is hope Google listens & resolves in the next update.

    • Christopher Moore

      The problem with a custom Rom is that it’s never perfect. You can’t tell me that you flashed one time and that’s it. No one here can say that.

  • NickA

    Well said. The answer to every problem isn’t “root” or “Flash a custom ROM”. While those days of Android aren’t over, they just aren’t that necessary. Skins, for the most part, do add function and useful features. And stock Android is looking good with 5.0, and has integrated many of the features that are making custom skins obsolete.

    Android is losing the “hacker phone” stereotype, and the Nexus line has grown up to a mature, flagship worth phone.

    • JSo

      Yeah, I think Android has gotten to the point were most don’t feel the need to tinker as much anymore. Back in Gingerbread days, I had to flash Cyanogenmod to change things I didn’t like. Ice Cream Sandwich made things a little better but still wanted to change stuff. And that continued with the next couple updates. But now, looking at KitKat and especially Lollipop, I can say to myself “I can live with this”

      • audio

        I would still love to have the customization options you find in CM. But, like many people have been saying, ain’t nobody got time for that.

  • Walter Partlo

    I hardly tinker anymore either, but it is probably less work to just fix the problem than complain about and deal with the poor performance.

    • Sean

      Do you how little work goes into complaining? Dumb post.

      • Walter Partlo

        Has Anyone Really Been Far Even as Decided to Use Even Go Want to do Look More Like?

  • Grayson

    Thank you. This needed to be said. I actually am a developer. I develop mobile apps for the company I work for. Back in college, I even developed ROMs and helped maintain CyanogenMod for a couple devices. Yet I no longer buy Nexus devices to root and ROM them. I buy them because I like the way they work right out of the box. I do like that I have the ability to hack around should I want to, but I don’t ever want to be forced into doing that because Google implements a feature poorly. Let’s not give Google a free pass! Don’t just tell people to flash a boot image so that they can disable encryption. Complain to Google so that they give us an option in settings to disable encryption like they should have done in the first place.

  • Sean

    Thanks for this. F the elitists.

    • Delicious Pudding

      Down with the Trilateral Commission! Oh, I thought you said the “elites”. I’ll go take off my Guy Fawkes mask now…

  • JT3

    Absolutely agree. I used to mod, root, alter, and basically any other verb that means “voided warranty” to my phones, but somewhere along the way, I decided that what I really wanted was a phone I could count on to work all of the time. Sure, there are times when something isn’t quite right, and I certainly would like the ABILITY to flash a quick fix, or alter some system file to make things work as they should, but it’s not why I choose the Nexus line. I’ve used, and simply don’t like the various skins that others put on Android. They all have a few really nice features, accompanied by about 50 (or 500 in the case of Touchwiz) features that are utter crap, about 10% of which you can actually turn off. I’ve simply found stock Android to be what’s best for me. Moto has been the closest, and I’ve certainly been tempted, but I still find myself favoring the Nexus line. With my Nexus 5, I unlocked and rooted the phone on day 1. I used that root for a grand total of two things: Increase vibration strength and Titanium backups. With my Nexus 6, I haven’t even felt the need to unlock the bootloader yet (although I’m sure that some day I will, and will kick myself for not doing it before I loaded up all my stuff). The reality is that Rooting and Modding are simply not that important to me anymore, but I still love the Nexus line, and probably always will.

  • Gr8Ray

    I think everyone just needs to calm down, Google never gets it right with the initial releases. Things should settle down with the .1’s and .2’s whenever they get around to releasing them. Until then, early adopters should just accept the risks of being on the bleeding edge.

  • adbFreedom

    The guy that started this was a little aggressive, but had a great point. Google made a mistake by shipping this device encrypted and by doing so it affected performance. But, if you have a Nexus you have the ability to take charge and correct it with a little research on how to install and use the SDK. I agree that just because you have a Nexus doesn’t mean that you have to set up a bulid box and start cranking out ROMs, but you can put in a little effort and correct a flaw with a couple simple commands. 3 years ago you guys would have posted links to instructions on how to set up the SDK and encouraged people that they can easily remove the encryption, probably even linked a post showing how to restore your device with factory images if they got into trouble. Now the feeling is it is almost like you look down upon “tinkering” with your phone because we are “too old for that” or something. This site helped me a lot when I purchased my first Nexus (Galaxy Nexus) because I have been on Verizon since my first cell phone and was new to it. I was always hesitant with prior phones, but you guys gave me the confidence that I could “root” my device or “flash” a “ROM” and I got 100% more enjoyment out of my phone than I ever had before.

    • Franklin Ramsey

      I think the point they are trying to make is that back then the nexus devices were meant more for the developers or tinkerers. At this point, they are a consumer device first, and a developer device second. The average consumer shouldn’t have to tinker with their device to get it working. They aren’t saying you can’t do it, they gave ways to get around it. Just because the Nexus devices are easy to be tinkered with and the flaw can be fixed by a few simple commands doesn’t mean people who don’t want to have to do that research to get a $700 device working are wrong. Yes, they can fix it, but if you buy a car that isn’t performing well, you take it to the dealer and get it fixed under warranty, you don’t start tinkering with the engine. Why should a person have to do a little research into how to fix their phone instead of expecting the phone to just work?

      • adbFreedom

        I understand, but expecting or not, the problem is already here and there is a way to fix it. You have three choices at this point.. Send it back, live with it, or just fix it yourself. I’m not saying that you have to fix it, just saying that it is not a difficult option to take.

        • Franklin Ramsey

          So you are saying if you like something, but it doesn’t work properly, you send it back, fix it yourself, or just live with it? Why wouldn’t you expect the MFG to fix it?

          • adbFreedom

            You are trying to generalize this. I am saying that with the encryption on the Nexus 6, those are your options. You cannot send your Nexus 6 in for them to remove the encryption.

          • Franklin Ramsey

            I’m not trying to generalize it. I’m simply stating that if you were to buy any other item and it started having issues, you would expect those issues to be fixed. Why do we expect a person to have to fix their own device when they just bought it? Or is the lag supposed to be a feature? All other qualifications such as Battery life, quick charge, talk time, and everything else questionable have disclaimers on their website. There isn’t any disclaimer for it being slowed down by being encrypted, nor any mention that the device arrives encrypted.

          • gambit07

            You are looking at it the wrong way. The N6 isn’t “starting” to have issues, Google intended to include encryption as a feature. Does it cause a performance hit, yes, but Google knew that going in and enabled it anyway. They wanted it to be the stock option for users, and they didn’t want users to be able to change that, most likely because they felt the performance hit was negligible (this is arguable). I agree 100% with adbFreedom, you can send it back, fix it, or deal with it. You and Kellen are right that these are consumer devices first, but that means you have to deal with the issues just like any other consumer device. Is everyone forgetting about the performance hit touchwiz causes? How is this any different? Encryption is the same as any other ‘feature’ manufacturers throw into their phones that you don’t necessarily want, and you can deal with it or live with it.

          • Franklin Ramsey

            I’m not looking at it the wrong way. The nexus 6 is “starting” to have performance issues as they weren’t noticeable by a bunch of reviewers until large files or large transfers came into play. To say that Google knew there would be a performance hit and did it anyways as they wanted it as a feature sounds false to me. I don’t think Google realized there would be such a performance hit. I think they thought that the hardware could handle it and no one would be affected by it. You have people claiming their Nexus 6 is running great, and other people claiming it was running great and now they are starting to see instances of lag. I’m guessing the Lag doesn’t show up until either the hardware has issues keeping up with the encryption/decryption process, which constitutes and issue. Yes, I think Google will be able to implement a fix for it, but that doesn’t stop my opinion that Google should have given people the option to turn off the encryption if they don’t want it. Sure, have the option turned on by default! Just give the option to turn it off. It’s like the option for Do Not Track, or what browser to use on a Windows computer. By default, options are set, but during the setup process for a brand new computer, Microsoft defaults to asking people if they want those defaults or if they want to select other options.

          • gambit07

            Really? You don’t think Google, who developed this phone and built Android 5.0 around it specifically, didn’t know there would be a performance hit? A multi-billion dollar company with dedicated resources assigned specifically to building and testing Android didn’t catch that there would be a performance hit when enabling software encryption which they developed? They knew there would be some performance loss, I guarantee it, they just either A. Didn’t think it would be a big enough difference people would notice it in day to day use, B. Thought the security issue was too big not to deal with head on, or C. Realized storage performance isn’t actually hurting the device and there’s some other unknown issue going on (Anandtech says turning off encryption didn’t seem to improve performance). I’m not disagreeing with you that it would be nice if Google had given the option to turn it off automatically, but the fact of the matter is they didn’t which is their decision just as adding system level skins and apps are a decision a lot of other android manufacturers make which can hurt performance. Also, the set up and ecosystem for a windows computer vs an Android device is very different, and further this is not like selecting a different browser or turning off browser tracking, it’s a fundamental part of the embedded OS. At the end of the day the why isn’t important, it just is. If you want to try and increase performance you CAN disable it. If not, you will just have to deal with it or return it.

          • Franklin Ramsey

            Um, I stated “I don’t think Google realized there would be such a performance hit. I think they thought that the hardware could handle it and no one would be affected by it.” So yes, I think Google realized there would be a hit to performance. Like your scenario A states, I just think they didn’t think it would be so great that people would notice it.
            As for it not being like a browser, or browser tracking, I’ll give you the browser tracking, but Internet Explorer is an embedded part of the Windows OS, so that point still stands. If you can decide to not use an Embedded part of the Windows OS that isn’t integral to the function of the OS, why would you force users to user an OS function like Encryption that isn’t integral to the OS?
            Also to note, AnandTech stated that with the encryption turned off they still noticed some minor instances of lag, but they concluded that there were fewer instances so encryption most likely had a part to play, but might not be the only issue.
            Personally, I think Google will release a fix for the performance issues at some point, but I don’t see why they wouldn’t also give people the ability to turn off encryption if they want to. Android Police posted some numbers showing that as far as benchmarks go, turning the encryption on on a Nexus 5 or Nexus 7 also gave a performance hit with Lolipop, so I’m guessing it is something that will be fixed, but why not just give the users the option to not turn it on if they don’t want it?

          • gambit07

            No, the browser point does not stand. Is Internet Explorer built into Windows, yes. However, it is an application, not system wide encryption. The two are entirely different. A valid comparison to the windows browser being able to be disabled would be custom applications like My Verizon being able to be disabled by users in Android, which is already the case. A valid comparison for encryption would be other manufacturer’s skins which make wide system level changes which are also (up to this point) not able to be disabled. You’re being subjective here, maybe Google felt that encryption WAS integral to the OS, despite how you feel personally about it? Again, I’m not arguing that it wouldn’t be nice if Google included the option to turn it off, I’m just saying that is how they decided to ship the OS and if you don’t want to tinker that is what you have to deal with if/until Google decides to enable the ability to switch, just like you would have to do with any other consumer device.

          • Franklin Ramsey

            The browser point does stand. It is possible to remove all the segments of IE from Windows in a similar manner that would be required to disable encryption on the phones. The difference is, if you do that, most functions of Explorer and the GUI for Windows doesn’t work and you can’t launch things. IE isn’t just an application, it also is part of the backend interface for the OS. It has been since Windows XP. My point, in this case, is that without IE many of the functions within Windows wouldn’t be accessible, but without encryption you could still use the OS as intended by Google, it would just run faster.

            I think we are trying to argue the same points, just from different sides of the coin.

          • Franklin Ramsey

            As for the “you CAN disable it.” part, you can’t disable it without doing things the average user doesn’t know how to do. Also, after using the available ways to disable it, you lose the ability to get future OTA updates unless you flash back to stock.

          • gambit07

            I’m not sure what point you’re trying to make. I already made it clear you would have to do some custom work to disable it. The point is, you can still disable it, regardless of whether the average user knows how to do it or not or whether you lose some of the convenience of getting updates. If you’re an average user and you don’t want to dig into it then you live with a bit of device slowdown or you return the device, that’s how it works being on a stock device.

          • Franklin Ramsey

            The point I have been making this entire time is that it is causing an issue, so it needs fixed by Google, and they should allow people the option to turn it off if they want.

      • dunning-kruger

        I’m not totally up on this issue but doesn’t it just work?

        I understand it takes a performance hit but since there is no setting to disable it the user is not supposed to be aware of this (like a chipped sports car or underclocking).

        • Franklin Ramsey

          It doesn’t just work. If it is lagging noticeably then it isn’t working as intended. In a car analogy, if your car normally accelerates just fine when you hit the gas pedal, but sometimes it hesitates, stutters, or pauses, wouldn’t you take it into a mechanic to get fixed if you just bought it?

          • dunning-kruger

            Right but I thought the stuttering was from something else. Keeping with cars isn’t that like removing the chip when the issue is in the clutch?

          • Franklin Ramsey

            Well according to Anandtech, it could be because of the chipset not being able properly handle the high res display, but it could also be because of the encryption. They did show, that the encryption is causing a drop in performance though, so if that is causing part of the issue, it needs fixed.

    • BAllen3501

      I don’t think he was trying to look down on those that tinker. I looked at the article as an explenation as to why some may not tinker with their phones. I don’t tinker, but I do agree that the number of articles that relate to tinkering have gone down since I started coming to DL about a year ago.

    • Not meant to come off as looking down on anyone. The point is just that these are consumer devices first. But yet whenever there is an issue, we get a flood of people who seem to think that if you aren’t hacking your Nexus, you are doing it wrong. I just think that the root and ROM crowd doesn’t realize this and can be very upfront about their feelings towards others.

      While I fully agree that it would be awesome if everyone had the knowledge and drive to go learn some adb commands, most people just aren’t going to. We tried years ago to get them there, and they all just wanted 1-click roots. 😛

      • James

        Thank you, Kellen. Honestly, it kills me that some of the most hardcore Android fanatics are the same ones who push this “tinker only” approach. Nexus is never going to get major market share that way. There’s nothing wrong with tinkering, but there’s also nothing wrong with just wanting a well performing device that doesn’t require fundamentally modifying the OS.

        This article was a long time in the making.

      • adbFreedom

        I was not just referring to your article with that comment, I agree with a lot of points you made. It is just the overall feel I get from the site including the DL Show (I have seen all 73) lol.

  • 213ninja

    i have noticed much less coverage of custom software. i appreciate both sides of the coin. cool perspective piece.

    this is essentially the exact reason i own a moto360 from a wear standpoint.

  • Steveo

    Finally, you write something worth reading!

  • JSo

    In my opinion, Nexus devices are usually the best looking devices with the best looking OS. They are guaranteed updates for, pretty much, as long as the device can handle them. I root and change things but still keep it pretty much stock. With a Nexus device, I can know that I can root and modify what I want with no issues. Specs aren’t a big deal to me. As long as the OS is smooth and up to date, I’m good.

  • Allan

    /rant

  • h_f_m

    I’ve been saying the same thing since I bought my first nexus, N1.. I buy it so I can have vanilla android and fast updates.. not to flash 10,000 different ROMs until I find one that isn’t a pile of swirling bugs and idiosyncrasies.

  • Joey Sandoval

    This why there hasn’t been a custom rom Friday in a very long time?

    • Heh no! 😛

      Just too many damn phones and ROMs to talk about, we couldn’t keep up.

  • rooted_by_nature

    Two concerns: First, is Google updating ALL devices with 5.0 with encryption, which degrades performance on those devices, among other things. Second, this encryption is one more drawback to lollipop, IMO. The lollipop material design visuals are so cartoonish, compared to 4.4.4 GPE Nova launcher experience which I use with a preferred GPE ROM, as my driver.

    • Nope, only defaulting to devices that “ship” with 5.0. If you have a Nexus 5 or 4 or 7 or whatever, it’s up to you.

      • rooted_by_nature

        Any devices which ship with 5.0 which means that performance that we are demanding from these newer premium devices is taking a back seat to 5.0, without rooting. So glad that I been rooting since OG Droid.

  • Emmanuel

    But wouldn’t this argument be the same reason why encryption can’t be turned off? I mean Google is making sure security is there for people who doesn’t dive deep into settings so much? people who buy phones and just use it? They are making sure that for non-tinkerers, security “just works”.

    The desire to turn encryption off is already “tinkering” in it’s basic form.

  • Zack Kolev

    My main reason for going to Nexus is because I am tired of flashing ROMs to stay current and “fixing” OEM skins

  • Adrynalyne

    Ask yourself: Who gets the most benefit of a Nexus device? Tinkerers, or those who want a vanilla experience? Kellen, I think you can agree that there are other devices out there with better user experiences than Nexus devices. However if you want to make it your own, you cannot beat a Nexus.

    The Nexus line does not:
    -Have the best battery life
    -Have the best performance

    The Nexus line does:
    -Have the most tweakable experience

    So for someone who doesn’t want to tweak chooses a Nexus, I feel sorry for them.

    • James

      I came to the comments just to find this one. U mad bro?

      • Adrynalyne

        No, u mad?

        • James

          Actually, I’m quite content because Kellen just summed up exactly what I was arguing in the previous article.

          • Adrynalyne

            I’m happy for you.

          • James

            Thank you.

          • James and Adrynalyne ‘shipper

            Hey, get a room you two. 😀

    • Grayson

      I would argue that a lot of the tweaker / MOAR SETTINGS type of people go for Samsung and LG devices. A lot of people go Nexus for the simplicity and clutter-free experience. Why buy a Nexus to flash a ROM bloated down with a million features when you could just buy a Samsung device and be done with it?

      • James

        Yep, not to mention fast updates directly from Google, no bloat, a fun community of users, no app compatibility issues, etc. There’s a hell of a lot more to Nexus than tweaking (though I respect those who choose to tweak).

        • Siriously_

          To Adrynalyne’s point, there may be a lot more to the nexus devices than tweaking, but there is no better device to tweak. For those who wish to tinker, this is the best option.

      • Adrynalyne

        I am thinking more of low-end tweaker such as roms, mods, kernels, etc, not superficial tweaking of UI. For a vanilla experience, Moto X devices are superior IMO.

  • Mark Whelan

    Agree with the article. Basically sums up why I own it.

  • Ben Murphy

    >.>

  • matiin

    I had Nexus 4.After 1Year AOSP was boring(This Camera APP!)Now i have note 3 with Touchwizz and it’s..Nice!

    • SVem26

      I like to ride lizards to work.. Now we’re even

  • Dave Amburn

    xposed framework makes any phone better.Once someone is able to hack the Moto Suite of apps for the N6 I’m flashing/installing it immediatley. On VZW I’m buying the N6 only because I can tinker and customize it the way I want. Stock is good but Devs make it better.

  • Good_Ole_Pinocchio

    I’ve ALWAYS felt this way about Nexus devices. I felt like I wasn’t alone back then… But at some point the dialogue changed. I use to want to room and ROM devices that WERE NOT Nexus devices. And the point was to get rid of bloat…. Junk Skins (remember Moto Blur?) and have a closer to stock experience. People seem to forget CYAN became so popular for this specific reason.

    I had my Nexus 5 since day 1, and I only unlocked the bootloader a week ago to flash Android L…. Still not rooted. I don’t really see the need.

    • Joshua Fowler

      I might root the Nexus 6 on Verizon if there’s a way to use Root to get around the tethering check (still on an unlimited plan). Otherwise, I love the stock experience. It’s not just good enough, but imo, for my particular needs, it’s the best.

      • Good_Ole_Pinocchio

        Yea I love the stock experience but it tends to be anemic/lacking robust features. I can see why others may not enjoy it as much because there isn’t anything to do outside of normal functions…in comparison to say the feature fest (good or not) that the Galaxy Line is. I love stock, but I’ve been on the HTC Bandwagon forever and think Sense 6 is better all round for me

    • calculatorwatch

      When I bought the GNex I thought I was getting it for the unlockable bootloader. 2 and 1/2 years passed and I never did mess with it. Sure I probably could have improved the performance and battery life, but I was happy enough with the stock experience.

      Now I’m looking into rooting the G3 just because I miss stock so much and don’t like the way LG does some things. Funny how the devices that are easy to tinker with are the ones that are just fine as they are.

  • miri

    Yup. I [bought] Nexus devices so I cold feet the experience I wanted without flashing ROMs. Though now I think I’ll be going with Moto devices now as Moto Actions, Display, and Voice have proven quite essential and I love that I can get aMoto X specifically on my favorite color.

  • NexusMan

    Except claiming Nexus devices always had “low price tags,” “before the Nexus 6,” is simply not true.

  • jothen2002

    I agree with all of Kellen’s reasons …but once I get bored I do like to flash :/ Sorry mom …

  • Colin Huber

    —-

  • Erik Wood

    100% Kellen. They tout this great battery life that apparently isn’t even close to that. All the jazz you stated is a stretch about great camera blah blah blah. Personally, after waiting to see it out, I’m going to just keep my Note 4.

  • Guest
  • thepinoydragon

    Amen. I’m on that boat as well.

  • Defenestratus

    100% kellen. Its the reason I buy a Nexus as well. Its why I’m irritated I can’t get rid of encryption without rooting my device.

    • Emmanuel

      If you really agree with this article then you really shouldn’t be irritated about not being able to get rid of encryption. I mean think about it. Google is making sure that security features are there without people (who don’t love to tinker) having to think about it? For people who doesn’t dive deep into the settings? For poeple who just buy phones and use them? Google is making sure that people who don’t tinker need not worry if something is on or off..

      The desire to turn off encryption is already “tinkering” in a very basic form.

      • James

        That would be true if the encryption Google enabled actually benefitted the end user. According to Anandtech and others, any benefit is questionable. The main benefit behind mandating encryption is so that Google can turn around to the press (who doesn’t understand encryption anyway) and say, “See, we’re good on security.”

        • Emmanuel

          Well, my only issue is that you cannot simply say “I don’t tinker”… and then worry about encryption, it’s effects, it’s purpose, it’s performance hits etc.

          People who truly don’t tinker and buy devices for what they are expect things to work out of the box without changing anything.

          • James

            No one defines “tinkering” as changing existing settings on their phone. If I change the volume, am I tinkering?

          • Emmanuel

            do you think “ENCRYPTION” is as basic as wi-fi, bluetooth, gps, and all other things? No.

          • James

            It’s an existing setting on the device. At least before 5.0, it was listed right there in the settings menu along with every other toggle, including the ones you mentioned. “Tinkering” involves all the things Kellen mentioned in this article, which go outside of the existing settings. Seems like a crystal clear distinction to me.

          • Emmanuel

            “along with every other toggle, including the ones you mentioned”.. I demand screenshots.. way back to cupcake…. I’m pretty sure encryption has always been separated from your basics…

            Ok, let me restructure my argument… if one doesn’t tinker,then why is there a worry about how not being able to turn off encryption may complicate tinkering.

          • James

            First of all, the question you ask makes no sense. But I’ll respond to what I think you’re trying to say. Just because I don’t have an interest in fundamentally changing the operating system on my device, doesn’t mean I don’t have an interest in tailoring the settings to my workflow. Nobody, not even the most basic iOS user, takes their device out of the box and never changes a setting. By your definition, everyone is a tinkerer. Thus, by your definition, tinkering is a meaningless distinction.

            Second, if you “demand screenshots” then you don’t even have enough stock Android knowledge to be making the argument. Encryption was listed as an option in the Security menu in 4.x. I’m sorry I don’t have a running list “way back to cupake.” Just google “how to enable android encryption” and you get a whole list of articles.

          • Emmanuel

            “Second, if you “demand screenshots” then you don’t even have enough stock Android knowledge to be making the argument. “..lol.. I was asking for screenshots.. because you seem to be very sure about saying “At least before 5.0, it was listed right there in the settings menu along with every other toggle, including the ones you mentioned.” which I am pretty sure it never were listed along with your basics. It was always placed in a dedicated menu SEPARATE from all you basics.

            “not even the most basic iOS user, takes their device out of the box and never changes a setting” …..non of the iOS user are very eager about turning off encryption either….again because it’s not as basic as turning-off your wifi.

            and oh.. since your always throwing this “by your definition” phrase at me… I’ve attached a screenshot… maybe it will help you.

          • James

            You do understand that tinkering has a specific meaning in the Android community, right? Posting a dictionary definition only proves the point that you don’t understand the context of this entire article.

            Tinkering involves modifying the OS in a way that was not intended or enabled by the OEM. Encryption doesn’t fall into that category. Google has expressly allowed users to encrypt for some time, and has even helped show them how. It’s a simple distinction. I’m sorry you don’t get it.

          • Emmanuel

            “Tinkering involves modifying the OS in a way that was not intended or enabled by the OEM.Encryption doesn’t fall into that category. ”

            why wouldn’t it be? Now, Google is not allowing us to turn of encryption, as a “non-tinkerer” you should be fine with that. Non-tinkerers don’t want to go outside who it was originally is mean for right? so you should live with it.

            Google is trying to move android towards a product where consumers would love them for what they are without going outside of what they are meant to be. If you really are not a tinkerer then you should be fine with that.

          • James

            I never said I wasn’t a tinkerer. I’ve probably done more tinkering than most. Let’s stay on topic. The entire impetus for this discussion is that Google took a feature that users could choose for or against, and made it mandatory. Your suggestion that people who don’t want to tinker should just be happy with changes like this one is just totally off target.

            Your thinking here betrays a common fallacy. It’s called “affirming a disjunct”: if you are not a tinkerer, you should be happy with whatever Google does to Android. That’s just wrong.

            As I clearly said above, this change had little to do with the benefit of the end user, and everything to do with Android’s reputation as security-lax.

          • gambit07

            Google wanted encryption to be mandatory. I think that’s really all that needs to be said about this. They removed the ability to change that on the N6 because they didn’t want people to change it. You can be unhappy about that, but that is Google’s prerogative along with any other Android changes. If you want to do some custom work to make the device how YOU would like it to be, then you can do that, that is tinkering.

          • James

            Well, neither did screen rotation in 4.x and before, so I guess whenever I turned my screen horizontal, I was a tinkerer by your definition.

            PS: nice work editing your post to make yourself look better.

    • Siriously_

      You only need to unlock the bootloader and flash a file. Yes that’s a process which will wipe your device and many won’t want to do. I get that. I just wanted to clarify the misunderstanding for others. Its often people’s lack of knowledge on rooting/unlocking a bootloader that scares them away. It’s actually a simple process if you carefully follow directions.

  • ..

  • Alec
  • Jeff Helget

    I didn’t buy a Nexus 6 because Motorola doesn’t understand the basics of supply chain management.

    • Hah! Yes.

    • Tom S

      Maybe it’s because I used to work in the video game retail industry, but I’ve seen FAR, FAR, FAR worse launches than the Nexus 6.

      I forget what game it was… This was years ago… But they had us pushing preorders like crazy. We probably had like 40-50 copies preordered. The game actually drops and each store only got THREE.

      • Jeff Helget

        I think it’s just a little surprising to some of us. You’d think they’d have learned their lesson after the exact same thing happened with the Moto 360 where availability was severely limited for the first several weeks. I don’t know who’s putting together their sales projections, but someone should light a fire under that individual’s backside.

        • Vaporware

          Its not so much that as it is getting the supplies and labor needed to build the device. There is only so much nand and ram , etc to go around. This holds true with the capacity the manufacturers can handle at any given time. Anytime there are major launches around the time Apple is launching product all the other companies that rely on others to make their products (everyone except Samsung) have trouble meeting demand. These supply problems happen around EVERY new Apple product launch. When the demand for the new iDevices wain the other brands will stop having supply issues.

        • Eric Blackman

          I think by the time the moto 360 came out, it was already to late to do anything to make the 6 launch better. Between the new X, turbo, 360, 6 and G, it was just to much for them to handle.

        • JMonkeYJ

          Not to mention the exact same thing happening with the Nexus 4 and Nexus 5. I keep hoping Google will get better at releasing hardware, but there’s not much sign of that yet.

        • Higher_Ground

          Some of it has got to be due to them putting out all of their products at the same time. The 360, the G, the X, Turbo, the N6… they’re running around like a bunch of chickens with their heads cut off.

  • Derek Duncan

    Agreed. the nexus line is for people who love stock Android without having to tinker

    • peggsie

      I agree completely.

    • Larry B

      I’ll tell you why I don’t buy the Nexus 6 or 9…because based on Anandtech’s thorough technical testing and review, the iPhone 6 Plus and Air 2 blow the Nexus product away across the board…CPU, graphics, gaming, screen quality and camera. Plus iOS 8 gives you the ability to manage what access each individual app is allowed. If you don’t want facebook to have access to your mic you can turn it off. Google does not allow it. Maybe next year Google, but now Apple has won again.

      • James_75

        Downvote.

      • Ryan Clayton

        That relates to this article how? Do you just run around posting how amazing Apple is anytime someone mentions Google or Android? If iOS is that amazing, why do you need to spend so much time trying to convince me?

      • Grayson

        I’ll agree with Apple’s hardware being mostly great, and usually better than Nexus devices, but I had to return the iPhone 6 that I wanted to like so much because iOS just makes me sick compared to Android. For my workflow and use cases, iOS is far too restrictive and cumbersome.

        • James

          Agreed. I think about switching every now again (dat camera?) But iOS feels like a straitjacket every time, even iOS 8.

          • James Cooper

            dat processor…

        • calculatorwatch

          I tried using my friends iPad to search for something. Asked Siri a question, clicked on a search result, tried to go back to the search results and realized there’s no back button and Siri doesn’t show up in multitasking. Then I got extremely frustrated and wanted to throw something, how could something so simple be made so hard?

      • NickA

        Agree. I love how when I install and use an app, I have to allow things like mic, photos, locations, etc. And now, I get reminders if an app has been using something in the background for a length of time.

      • Jay Ward

        Take your downvote with pride and honor iphone heathen.

      • James Cooper

        So take control(which apple stops you from doing because they know what’s best for you), root your phone, uninstall google hangouts, background/hibernate Facebooks apps to only when you want to use them.
        I decide how my Nexus functions – no one else is part of that decision making process.

      • jabarri2

        I’ll agree to your point about the technical review, however I think this was a valid point a year or two ago when hardware ruled the mobile phone industry. Since then, it’s started to move to the importance of software. Which I’ll 100% stand by my opinion and say that Android blows iOS out of the water. With android lollipop, Google has taken a HUGE step forward in their user experience and devs are starting to do the same finally. So I’ll take a better OS (for me) over a nicer camera any day.

        • Wayne Peterkin

          Wow…. The iPhone’s camera is better than the Xperia Z 3’s? That’s shocking…

      • Alan Marchman

        You need to broaden your scope and just say you wouldn’t by any device running Android.

      • Droid 1967

        well than buy an iphone and enjoy it , i guess i will go find a iphone site and post why i buy and android phone guess it makes orgasms better or something since i know noone would be so pathetic as to post here such as larry’s comment otherwise.

      • Badelhas

        Why aren’t you on AppleLife site? This is Droid Life, mate

      • MattBoan

        Maybe it’s just me, but I’ve never had an issue limiting an app when I felt the need to be all paranoid about what it may or may not be doing. Granted, I’m not crazy like that to begin with. Nor am I scared to death of something like Facebook as I’ve simply accepted that they already have more data on me than I will ever be comfortable with.

        As to Apple “winning”. No, sorry. That hasn’t been the case for years. If they were, iOS 6, 7 and 8’s new, highlighted features wouldn’t all be Apple’s version of processes, designs and apps Android has had for years. And don’t get me started on the whole Apple Maps debacle…

    • I want it b/c of stock Android, quick updates & I’m just tired of tinkering.

      • Same here I’m done with rooting and roms

        • Trey

          I am in full agreement…I flashed my S3 onto stable cm10 a year ago and nearly bricked the phone, not a fun experience. I never could get the flash counter back to zero even with triangle away and the phone was never quite the same. But on my brief time on CM I saw how great stock is. Having something that runs as the original developer meant for it to be, getting updates promptly, etc. After that I was sold on the nexus…until I saw the gargantuan that is the nexus 6. I did however want something that ran as it was originally designed however I went over to the dark side–iphone 6. There are some things I miss however just as with a nexus it is great to have hardware which is perfectly mated to the software.

          • forresthopkinsa

            YOU did WHAT?!

          • jake

            God save you from evil Apple devices that enslave you and suck every penny from your wallet for everything… Just kidding… Hope your prisoner experience feels great compared to the freedom of Android fragmentation…

      • Pitahson

        not going to lie. Im getting tired of rooting and tinkering. We used to use custom kernels to get the best performance and battery life. now with these chips, performance and battery life and not that bad. and although skins are annoying, they do provide some functionality. everytime id move away from the LG G3 skin on my G2, I felt like something wasn’t right. Now with the one plus one, I just want everything to just work. and it does

        • Alex Niehaus

          I hear ya. I feel like my m8 is the first Android phone I haven’t had the urge to flash a different rom bc everything just works and is buttery smooth. Now as soon as I can root/s-off this phone for the m8 GPE 5.0 that may be a different story.

          • Wayne Peterkin

            Same here where the m8 is concerned. It’s a different story with my G3 though. Since installing a custom ROM I’ve noticed that RAM usage has gone down significantly and the phone lasts longer on a single charge and their are many perks that I get away with now that my carrier wouldn’t normally allow. I also now get an even smoother experience. I would love to have a Nexus device but sadly I can’t because of storage. I’ve discovered FLAC and want to try ALAC soon as well. It’s much better than 320 kbps that I could get from Google play especially when paired with neutron and a decent pair of headphones and amp. I wish I could get at least a GPE device that matched up with the g3. The m8’s camera is terrible. I’m tired of HAVING to tinker.

          • TairyHessticals

            With my M8 I deff rooted it s-off and turned it into a GPE. So for me rooting is nice. Not to mention by rooting I can get unlimited teathering. I Dont pay for internet so I’m saving $$$ each and every month. I believe the option to root is good to have.

            Keep it Tairy

          • JointhePredacons

            No Lollipop update today as per HTC twitter. Blah.

      • creed

        Same here. I can’t believe all the time wasted on flashing cm nightlies only to have a bad download and have to restore. I just spent almost 6 hours fixing my phone the other day because I lost my imei number after installing a nightly. It took forever to round up all the files I needed to restore my phone and reinstall the latest nightly on cm. It drove me nuts. Not to mention the fact you spend almost a full year on buggy builds. Android 5.0 nightlies are due to arrive at the end of this month, which means cm 11 builds will stop, which means there will never be a truly stable build available. This is why I am getting a nexus. Quick and stable updates, no carrier bs.

        • Ashley Moran

          S­o Exc­it­ing! I­’v­e sta­rt­ed ea­rni­ng 8­5 b­uc­ks/ho­url­y s­inc­e i sta­rt­ed wo­rki­ng on­li­ne s­ix mont­hs a­go… A­ll i ha­ve t­o d­o i­s t­o s­it a­t ho­m­e f­or fe­w ho­urs e­a­ch d­ay a­nd d­o sim­pl­e jo­bs i g­et fr­om th­is co­mp­any th­at i fo­und ov­er th­e int­ern­et… I a­m ve­ry ha­pp­y t­o sh­ar­e th­is wo­r­k opp­ort­uni­ty t­o y­ou… I­t’s a­n aw­es­om­e si­d­e j­o­b t­o h­av­e
          -> TR­Y I­T O­U­T! <-

        • gambit07

          I’d say about 90% of the time builds that I flash are stable. I think everybody that’s gone the rom route has ran into issues a few times, but the majority of the time there are no issues. I think that’s pretty impressive given that this is custom work done by small teams who are not really making any money.

          • creed

            CM has always been buggy for me. Both on my SGS3 and Note2. With the note I had an issue with the head phones. If I plugged them in, played music and the screen turned off, the music stopped. I had to play music, turn off the screen, then plug the headphones in. It was this way for months. Also the dialer app. When I would touch the icon to bring up the dial pad, it would be blank. I’d have to hit the back button and press the dial pad icon again and then it would work. Months of this issue as well. I even wiped data, cache, & would format the system and flash fresh. Still no luck. Even on the S3 when it received cm10 stable, it was fine for a couple weeks and then all the bugs began. They were small, but annoying bugs. Drives me nuts because then they move into the next nightlies with no hope of another update on the “old” version.

          • gambit07

            That’s too bad, I guess it’s kinda luck of the draw. Some devices are probably supported better than others as well.

          • aenews

            I’ve noticed that Exynos devices seems to have a lot more bugs on CM and AOSP in general, at least from my experience with the Galaxy S2 Epic 4G Touch and the Galaxy Note 2. Development on Snapdragon devices is generally pretty solid IMO. Love CM and a nice kernel on my S3 (d2lte). CM 11 is stable. M Releases have been rolling out all year and CyanogenMod has designated those monthly releases as stable for the better part of the year.

            Do you have an international Exynos S3 or a Snapdragon? I’d highly recommend flashing the latest CM 11 M12 and the latest BMS kernel if it’s Snapdragon. BMS has always been pretty rock-solid stable, and I’ve tried nearly every kernel out there.

            https://plus.google.com/communities/105811573086663999452

          • creed

            My wife still has the Verizon S3. I traded mine for the Note2. I just completely wiped her phone and flashed the latest M build because the most recent nightly was wreaking havoc on her phone. I have had such awful luck with cm nightlies that I start to think that people who claim they are on a stable build are full of crap. Lol. It’s really that bad.

          • aenews

            Yeah that sounds good. I’d still very, VERY highly suggest you flash the latest BMS Kernel. It’s rock-solid. I’d also suggest sticking with the current build indefinitely until next year and resist the urge to upgrade.

          • Montarion

            If you want stable, why the hell are you on a nightly build?? Get the f*cking point and use the M releases

          • Rapajez

            THANK YOU. That’s like complaining a car rides rough well it’s still being assembled. Don’t those threads start out with a message saying “WARNING: THESE ARE NOT STABLE”?

          • creed

            Because even the m builds are f*cking buggy. That’s my point. They are all f*cking buggy.

        • nontechie

          You all need to get a life…..fixed my Buggy…..Nightlies……Stock Flash…..Sideloaders……ROM……sorry butyoure appearing to be a little Boring! Get yourselves some life experiences…. And perhaps a Girlfriend….

      • LiterofCola

        I don’t get the Nexus divas around here. Most of you brag about having unlocked bootloaders so you can flash and hack and what have you. Then when you finally get your precious Nexus, you complain about having to flash and hack. You people are never satisfied.

        • sweenish

          False equivocation that the two distinct owners of Nexus devices are the same single group.

          I’m also tired of Internet whining, and it only appears to have gotten louder for this generation of Nexus devices. But you’re logic is still flawed.

          • LiterofCola

            Just because you don’t agree with me doesn’t mean my logic is flawed.

          • Brandon Rinebold

            No, your logic is flawed because your logic is flawed. It has nothing to do with your conclusion and whether we agree with it. Blogger A and blogger B are not the same person. Blogger A (this guy) isn’t one of the nexus divas who was bragging about having unlocked bootloaders so he can flash and hack and what have you. Therefore, whatever logic causes you to complain about bloggers B through Z in the category of divas in response to a guy who obviously isn’t one is flawed.

            Your logic is only slightly less flawed than the guys who posted about obamacare on every single forum thread on the Internet regardless of subject. You might be in the ballpark but you’re still way out in left field.

          • sweenish

            It absolutely does, and I even named the logical fallacy you used.

    • James

      Absolutely. I was part of the discussion in the previous article Tim mentioned, and got blasted for trying to make this exact point. There is a vocal minority on this site who just won’t give up the opinion that Nexus devices are only for tinkering, and Nexus owners who don’t tinker are doing it wrong.

      To be clear, I have no problem if these folks want to tinker. Go right ahead. But to suggest that anyone who doesn’t flash ROMs is an idiot, or shouldn’t buy a Nexus – as they do constantly – is just plan arrogant and behind the times.

      • Big EZ

        The vocal minority? I would imagine that most people reading this blog at least root their phone still. I do get that Android has come a long way, and our lives get in the way of tinkering, but I think only a vocal minority don’t tinker at least a llittle bit.

        I use to flash a few roms a day. When I found one I liked I kept it for no more than a week before trying others. Now I’ve grown tiered of the constant flashing, but I can’t even get a new phone unless I can root it and have all my data backed up.

        • James

          I didn’t say the vocal minority were folks who tinker. I said the vocal minority were folks who always tinker and claim this is the only right way to use a Nexus. If you follow any thread on this site that has anything remotely to do with tinkering, you’ll see them. Hell, just look at the comments below.

        • alex

          No Big EZ. I would wager that most people reading this blog do not root. But a simple poll (Kellex?) can put that to rest.

          • Big EZ

            I’d like to see a poll with a few options:
            Never!
            I used to, but Android has come a long way.
            Yes I still root, rom, and/or unlock my devices.

          • I was the same way in that the ability to backup/restore apps (love Titanium Backup) was the thing that kept me rooting even after I was tired of loading ROMs. But over the past year or two, cloud storage/backup has become so prevalent that I’ve found I can get by without it. Most games backup your progress to the cloud, my pics are backed up automatically, etc. And I have to say, I love not having to worry if the next update is going to kill root or if another exploit is ever going to be found. Stock Moto all the way for me.

          • creed

            and adblock!

          • Last time we asked was end of 2013 and it was 50/50. 🙂

            http://www.droid-life.com/2013/12/16/monday-poll-rooted-or-non-rooted/

          • creed

            I root simply for adblock and titanium backup.

          • Mark

            Agreed I root so I can use titanium backup and root explorer. I do very little tinkering just changing boot logos and icons beside that I don’t flash custom roms anymore nor care about locked bootloaders. I gave up my note 3 for nexus to have the latest android os updates instead of getting it 8-10 months after everyother phone.

        • Armyof2

          I will admit to being in the “I want to flash all the time” but eventually I got sick of having to wait for a bug fix in a rom or having some custom feature screwing with something else…Now I just want it to work, fast updates, pure android….I’ve got nearly everything I wanted from root on my phone without it. Only thing I miss is PA’s halo (or whatever it’s called now) I love their approach to multitasking but other wise I think that as android has come into it’s own in the post Jellybean era more and more people have stopped flashing and just look for a pure experience.

          • Big EZ

            I haven’t flashed anything on my G3 yet, still waiting for the right rom (heavily debloated stock LG rom with multi window). I did however, wait until it had root to buy it. I restored apps, debloated as much as possible without running the risk of bootlooping, and used exposed to theme things and add a few features. Once a rom comes out that I think I’ll like, I’ll flash it and set it up, then won’t look back for a few months. I love flashing roms, but I just don’t have the time anymore.

          • Armyof2

            Pretty much my thoughts on it…I want to pick my phone up and not have to worry about issues..I troubleshoot issues all day at work I dont’ want to have to do the same on my phone after I’m off

          • Audio

            I have pushed as much of my phone to the cloud as possible to facilitate more easily switching roms/devices. The only thing I backup/restore when I switch are sms/mms and call logs.

          • Wayne Peterkin

            Yeah, the ROM scene isn’t really there yet. I currently use the pac-man ROM on my T-Mobile G3. It’s good but not great. Speaker volume is lower. I think that’s about it and it seems that even that developer, I believe his forum name was Asian flavor, has moved onto the nexus 6. A lot of people have moved to the Nexus 6 so it is hard to say if we will ever see a truly fully functional ROM soon.

          • Big EZ

            I don’t even bother with AOSP anymore. They generally have bugs, and are lacking features I use. I liked stripped down stock (OEM not AOSP) roms the best, they run as good or better than AOSP on non Nexus devices.

          • Wayne Peterkin

            I wouldn’t say that the g3 stock ROM runs as well since it uses more ram and has actually shut down apps that given the amount of ram the phone has should’ve easily remained open but I will agree that custom Aosp roms most of the time have problems. The one I’m currently using doesn’t really have any save for the lower media volume through the speaker. I did gain a lot of features such as a nice floating multi window implementation that works well and is more functional than LG’s implements. Other than that I didn’t lose anything. The remote never worked with my TV for some reason so I don’t miss it. Maybe it’ll be ported over soon like it was for the G pro.

        • 2Berad

          Gnex was the last phone I rooted and flashed… since the Droid Maxx and now Droid turbo I see rooting and flashing a rom as a step down in functionality and security of my device. I’m not down on people that do root and flash roms, I’m just not in that crowd any longer. I love stock Android and the way Motorola added software on top of android even more.

        • JMonkeYJ

          Thanks to Helium you can backup and restore without root these days.

          • Big EZ

            Except it’s never worked for any of my devices.

          • JMonkeYJ

            Interesting…I’ve only tried it on 2 devices, but it worked both times. Maybe give it a shot again with the new Chrome app which supposedly makes it more foolproof. I have never needed the app, but obviously it’s different for some people.

        • Nikuliai

          they made a poll and “non rooted” is winning again, 55% vs 45%

          • Big EZ

            Is winning again? When did it win before? The pole they did last year had more rooted users.

          • Nikuliai

            then remove the “again” part, the point stands… People are going away from rooting their phones because you almost don’t need to do it anymore… right now is basically adblock+backup+tasker+xposed, you can still do the first 2 without root and let’s face it, the tasker and xposed modules are for experienced people, and experienced people is growing tired of HAVING to tinker with the phone every time, as the system matures rooting is less and less important… In fact most people I know don’t flash roms anymore because it’s pretty tiring when you lose the “new toy” excitement… at first it’s all fun and games but most of the custom roms have “custom resets” and also have some pretty weird bugs… I tinkered a lot in the old days, I even modified stock to make it usable, but I don’t feel the need to do it anymore and I honestly hope nobody would… I mean it’s nice to have the chance to do it just because you want to… but the “I have to tinker cuz this phone works like crap” days are mostly over and I assure you the big crowd doesn’t want to tinker “just because”…

            As I said before, I used to do it a lot but it’s really tiring (that’s what she said) because of the adjacent problems… That’s why XPOSED is so popular on tinkerers these days, cuz you have most of the rewards without the big pain in the ass that custom roms were before… Only thing is, it’s not a necessity anymore so to be honest I’d rather play with other things right now

            PS: Nonetheless when I wanted to start playing with domotics I had no issue with rooting to use tasker to it’s full extent and I didn’t do it because of it being too expensive as a hobbie, but then again I wanted to tinker there for other things, not because the phone sucked, which was my old reason

      • gambit07

        The problem from my point of view is that people like to complain that there’s this big issues (Nexus 6 performance right now), and then throw up their hands like there’s nothing to be done about it. Should Google have gone about the encryption thing differently? Yeah, probably. But it’s really simple to fix. There are literally step by step instructions on how to accomplish it, it’s not rocket science. That’s why things like Kellens last article rub me the wrong way, making it sound like this is some insurmountable problem. If you don’t want to tinker, just be prepared to deal with stock issues. If you do want to tinker a little bit, then you can fix the problem.

    • nova nirvana

      Get an iPhone guys….. Just saying…