We’re big fans of Google+ here at Android and Me. People say some of us have an addiction to the service, but we don’t believe them ’cause we can quit any time we want. Obviously, we’re also into this thing called Android. And that’s why this next rumor has really caught our attention.
According to an unofficial Google+ fan page on Facebook (because where else would you have a Google+ fan page), the Nexus 3 will be made by HTC and have a–drum roll, please–dedicated Google+ button. Before talking about whether Google would really add a dedicated hardware button for one single app, let’s consider the source of this rumor.
We don’t know who the person behind this Google+ fan page is, but we’re pretty sure they’re not a Google employee. The person claims this “news” comes from an “official Google employee,” but we’ve heard that one before. There’s a chance he or she really knows somebody at Google, but it’s equally possible he or she is just trying to draw attention to its Google+ fan page.
That being said, let’s examine whether Google would really do something like this. When I think “social network dedicated button,” I think of the HTC ChaCha and HTC Salsa. Both phones have a dedicated Facebook button that lets you instantly share photos, videos and websites with your Facebook friends. I’m guessing heavy Facebook users will love phones like the HTC ChaCha, but your average “has a life” person won’t be so excited about it. In fact, some of us might even hate having a hardware button taking up space on our phone that does the same thing a widget can do.
In contrast, both the Nexus One and Nexus S were launched as official Android developer phones. They’re what Android developers/hackers use to get their hands dirty with Android goodness. Google certainly wants regular customers to buy its Nexus phones, and Sprint is advertising the Nexus S like crazy, but I have yet to see a non-techy person carrying one. Most of them are drooling over phones like the HTC EVO 3D. So why would Google add such a gimmicky, trendy feature to a developer phone?
One could say the company really wants to push Google+ adoption, but the same result could be obtained by preloading the Google+ app on future Nexus devices. There’s also the fact that Google will likely get rid of most hardware buttons with the Nexus 3 and Ice Cream Sandwich. And a hardware Google+ button right next to a software Home button won’t be the most aesthetically pleasing design in the world.
Finally, a dedicated Google+ button could give Facebook and Microsoft more ammunition in their fight against Google. The company is already under scrutiny by the government, and FaceSoft could very well use this as an example of how Google is using Android to give Google+ an “unfair” advantage. Of course, Nexus phones are Google’s devices, and they can do whatever they want with them, but facts have never stopped either of these companies from spreading FUD about Google.
That’s my opinion. But what do you guys think? Could Google really add a dedicated Google+ button to the Nexus 3? Do you think Microsoft and Facebook would cry to the government about it? But more importantly, how could you ever stop using Google+ if the Nexus 3 has a dedicated button?