Jul 11 AT 2:54 PM Alberto Vildosola 32 Comments

Nexus 3 to have dedicated Google+ button? We have our doubts

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?

Source: Facebook

Alberto is a college student living somewhere between Miami, Sarasota and the World Wide Web. Although a former iPhone owner, Alberto is now a proud Android enthusiast. You can follow Alberto on Twitter and Google+ for his thoughts unworthy of an article.

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  • http://Website Jamie

    They could do this however why not just leave it as a programmable soft key? Preprogrammed to google+ but with the ability to change it to facebook or whatever other app the user like. Would avoid legal battles. TBH I’m sick of all this legal crap between companies. Get on with developing and stop fighting like children!!!

    • http://Website @neidlinger

      Technically you can re-map any key on your android phone as it sits.

    • https://plus.google.com/117702410245683101961/posts Lucian Armasu

      Yeah, I don’t think it will be a physical button considering they are moving away from them. Perhaps, it will be a soft button, but even then I’m not sure.

  • https://plus.google.com/110132606744245316440/about Clark Wimberly

    yeah d00ds, g00gle always makes announcements on Facebook fan pages!

    • http://twitter.com/geathan Geathan

      Why doesn’t Google have an official Google+ account?

      • https://plus.google.com/110132606744245316440/about Clark Wimberly

        Because for the moment Google has said that Google+ isn’t ready for businesses. That’s supposed to be coming soon.

    • http://www.devolute.net Ian P

      Ah, rumours! We’ve gone from the Nexus 3 having no buttons to now having completely unnecessary buttons.

      • http://Website Moe

        I agree. I don’t pay much mind to speculation. We won’t hear anything solid about the next nexus until fall or winter of this year.

  • http://Website @neidlinger

    So it’s okay for Facebook to put their button on an Android phone. Which is a “3rd party service”. But it’s not okay for Google to promote their service.

    and i see Google plus being much more of Android based following. Heck we got the foundation laid, and you know Apple with come out with some iGroup deal. Esp with the announcement of iMessenger, and their iTunes, iPing, or what ever it is…

    • http://Website JayMonster

      Sadly (for Apple), Ping was SUPPOSED to be their Social platform. But despite the fact that they shoved it down the throats of every sucker that has the bloatware known as iTunes, it garnered less fans than even Apple TV.

    • thel0nerang3r

      That’s exactly the reason why it’s okay for FB. They don’t make the phone or the software. Monopolies are not illegal per se… they become illegal when they use the monopoly to leverage other products. MS didn’t get into trouble for having Windows be so successful, they got into trouble for pushing IE (separate product).
      Personally, I think a dedicated button for FB, Google+, MySpace, Twitter is a dumb idea.. just adds clutter.
      On an unrelated note, Google+ has the option to automatically upload any pictures taken with the phone’s camera… so, it’s instant upload… though, they go to a private folder and not shared, but becomes easy to share from there.

  • http://Website ddp

    I think this info is already false. Wasn’t the screen supposed to be a SAMOLED Plus HD screen, meaning Samsung will create it? I highly doubt that they would put those screen on another other device other than their own.

    That said, the “button” would be software anyways. Probably not a button at all, but some kind of integration with the Ice Cream Sandwich OS itself. Whatever the Case, I CANT WAIT for the Nexus 3/Prime.

    • thel0nerang3r

      Samsung sells their screens to other manufacturers. Originally the HTC Incredible (I think that was the one) had an AMOLED screen, but due to low yields was out of stock then switched to SLCD screens from Sony.
      Rumors are fun, there are some that say that LG will be making the next one. Some point to HTC, some had said that it was going to be the Galaxy II. In other words, it’s all speculation til Google shows it. The OG Droid had a vanilla Android OS, with an unlocked boot loader none the less and was the show piece for the latest, at the time… however, it wasn’t a Nexus phone… Google may do that again.

  • http://aut0poietic.us/ Jer

    I may be completely making this up, but wasn’t there an internal push to get rid of the hardware buttons? Yanno, like the black strip in Honeycomb that almost look like the N1 hardware buttons ( least on my tablet ). I could see a G+ button done like that…

  • http://Website Cristian

    I highly doubt that Google will put a Google+ button on the next Nexus phone.
    However, you can bet that Android Ice Cream Sandwich will have G+ deeply integrated into the OS. I just think it is not a good idea to include such a dedicated button. The Facebook button on the HTC phones already seems like some kind of gimmick.

  • http://Website JayMonster

    Would seem to me that they “coincidence” of this being “leaked” just as all the news of the HTC Status hits the news is nothing more than some overzealous fanboys dream of what HE (or she) THINKS Google should do. Good intentioned, I guess, but simply not going to happen.

  • http://Website wondercoolguy

    I don’t believe this and I think it would be stupid of googlet to do so. Who’s to say that google+ will be around next year? Anyone remember google wave? Facebook will take the best parts of google+ and intergrate them into FB in their own way. Could you image getting N3 by Christimas w/ dedicated button and Google + shutting down in march. You’d be stuck w/ a button for almost two years …. no way says I

  • http://Website metafor

    I have to say, I would’ve preferred the buttonless design

  • http://Website Jackson

    could someone send me an invite? [email protected]

  • http://Website anonymous

    would it really be that surprising?
    i’m not sure google+ should be thought of as a single social product.

    this whole thing i thought was billed as google’s expansion for the future, with social elements added.

    it could just as likely be a button, where once you push it, brings a general google search bar as well as the various apps and services you have on your phone.

  • http://Website Frongy

    Speaking of nexus 3, now that Google may be getting into the hardware ring, couldn’t they design the phone and build it with supplies from different companies? Imagine Google purchasing the best parts from different manufactures and put it together as a new magical nexus device. Imagine a Quad-core tegra with Samsung screen technology with maybe HTC build quality.

    • http://Website JayMonster

      Did you not see the debacle that was the “support” for the Nexus One? Google is not built ( or staffed) to support their own product like that. Beyond that the margins are far to low for Google to even bother with it.

  • http://maxtechnewz.blogspot.com max

    went from no buttons to a google+ button whats next

  • http://Website dan

    I’m mad because I wanted some real nexus 3 information! More about kal-el! I can care less about social networking. Besides why ruin a buttonless phone with a one purpose button?

  • http://Website bhake

    If Google really cared about the hardware, I think there would be a lot less crap Android phones out there. Google cares more about Android OS and making sure the hardware is compatible… with all the Google apps built in, especially Google Search ($$$). What buttons the hardware manufacturer puts on their phone is ultimately up to the hardware company. For example, look at the MyTouch series of phones made by HTC (who also makes the Nexus One that I still own). The MyTouch phones have a (permanently) dedicated Dragon Nuance search button, not Google Search button like others. I doubt Google approved that one. It’s up to the hardware company to do what they want and roll the dice.

    Plus, I agree with others that a Facebook fan page is not a reliable source! lol

  • http://alostpacket.com/ alostpacket

    Minor correction, The Nexus S is not a Developer Phone. I just logged into the dev console to see, the two dev phones they sell are the HTC Magic and the Nexus One.

    • http://Website Android4Life

      Actually the Nexus One wasn’t a developer phone either until they stopped selling it on the online store. I figure that once the Nexus 3 is out the Nexus S will replace the N1 as the developer phone.

  • http://techotrack.com Venu

    If this really happens, it would be nice. Google+ will become more popular than facebook.

  • http://Website Noel

    So what if they decided to do that…i don’t see anyone complaining abt the HTC Chacha and Salsa having dedicated facebook buttons? There is just toooo much whining these days from a lot of companys who instead of competing in the market place run to the courts

  • http://Website Phill

    simple really. Make the g+ button configurable.
    By default – it goes to Google plus – BUT give people the option to point it else where…..

    then FB or MS can’t cry foul. People have a choice then.