Thinking more about Josh Topolsky’s enthusiastic review of the new Galaxy Nexus, I went back to read his review from last year of the Nexus S. He correctly flagged big problems I saw with the Nexus S and Android 2.3, like this:
Well, let’s be clear — Google still has major issues with text
selection and editing on Android devices. The first striking
problem is that there is not a consistent method of selecting text
on the device. None. At all. In the browser, you long press on
text to bring up your anchors, then drag and tap the center of
your selection — boom, copied text. In text editing fields,
however, in order to select a word you must long press on the
word, wait for a contextual menu to pop up, and then select
“select word” — a completely counterintuitive process. In the
message app you can long press to select only the entire message,
and in Google Reader? You can’t select any text at all. Even
worse, Gmail has a different method for selecting text from an
email you’re reading, and it’s far more obnoxious than any of the
others. There, selecting text goes from being mildly annoying to
downright silly. Want to grab some text out of an email? Here’s
your process: hit the menu key, hit “more,” hit “select text,” and
then finally drag your anchors out. Funnily enough, a little
cursor appears when you start selecting — a holdover from Linux?
To have this many options and discrepancies over something as
simple as copy and paste should be embarrassing to Google. What it
mostly is, however, is a pain to the end user.
That Topolsky has no major gripes like this about the Galaxy Nexus makes me think Android 4.0 might really be the first good version of Android. Which in turn makes me think Steve Jobs wasn’t far off at the 2007 iPhone introduction when he claimed the iPhone was five years ahead of the competition.