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Hack allows installing apps on Nexus Q, should have been doing so out-of-the-box

The Nexus Q announcement was a major bummer. $300, for a round box that was described by Google itself as a “social music and video streaming device”. Or a cloud-based jukebox. <sarcastic>Hurrah!</sarcastic>

Let’s face it, what the Nexus Q should have been is a Google TV box, and I’m most certainly not the only person to have thought that, as you can see in the comments on this post. The Q could still have that social jukebox thingy as an app on it. Based on the feature set of the device, the price and the (lack of) success of Google TV boxes itself, I can’t help but wonder if they’d actually manage to sell a single piece.

Fortunately, it is a Nexus device. Which means the community’s hackery could actually make it worthwhile (and I believe that’s the reason they put out the device, so as to see what developers do with it). Case in point: over at XDA, the Q has already been unlocked, rooted and a developer even managed to put together a small guide to install a few apps on it. The process isn’t straightforward due to the lack of an interface on the Q, but hopefully in the future someone’s able to make the Nexus Q into a device that can actually do something.

If you were at I/O, and got a Nexus Q you want to mess with, you can find links to the various threads (for root and unlock, or installing apps) from this page on their Portal.




  • Joe

    This has to be the most pointless piece of technology ever.

  • NIGHTSCOUT

    Finally a blogger who agrees that the Q is an overpriced under-featured Roku!

  • Petr Plachý

    It’s more like a platform fr devs and developers will be ones that will unlock it’s potential

    It’s also one of the few ways to actually get some video signal out of their new shitty tabet, Nexus 7…

    • scoter man1

      now hang on, its bad because it wont give out a video signal? Its $200… what the heck do you expect dude? A rolls royce? You have to pay more for all of the features to be included. Its just the way everything works. They’re running a business, not a charity.

  • Joe

    For 300 the potential should be unlocked already. We should not need to wait for unpaid developers to do Googles job for them.

    It would be a much different story if they were selling these units for 50 but if they expect to charge 300 it needs to do everything. Out of the box. Period.

    • TongueDar

      I agree, but I’ll always pay more for anything that’s at least assembled here in the U.S..

    • Unorthodox

      I say make it in China, don’t call it Nexus, and sell at the price point of AppleTV. Then it may see the real consumer base, otherwise – no thank you. Even if someone manages to put full-features XBMC on it – $300 is a no-go for me.

  • http://profiles.google.com/scottoldfield Scott Oldfield

    The more I read about the Q, the more I’m coming to believe that Google knew EXACTLY what it was doing. This was not designed to be a consumer product. It was designed specifically for the developer/hacker community. What a great way to elicit some spectacular ideas for folks outside of the Googleplex. On the other hand, maybe they screwed up big time and this is just a luck side effect, but I really don’t think so.

  • DavidVarghese

    The only thing successful is the design, but I agree with you, Raveesh. This should have been the Google TV successor.. If it was, I would have picked this up

    • Unorthodox

      You’re kidding about design, right? A ball? How does that fit in any living room? And it’s so impractical that I can’t even hide it under the sofa. Boxee, while being impractical too, at least have looks of a real device, not a vase by Martha Stewart.

      • https://plus.google.com/102290060063255149992 Alek Tritt

        It’s meant, I believe, to go on a shelf and look good for all your friends, not be tetrised into your entertainment center.

  • IronHorse01

    Overpriced to say the least for what it does, maybe they intend to use this to get back some
    Of the money they aren’t gonna make on the nexus 7 tablet

  • Joe

    Using the Q to get back some of the money they are not making on the Nexus 7? That’s wrong on many levels if that’s their intent.

    1. Every Android user that bought an overpriced Android 4G Handset on VZW was pissed they had to overpay for their phone to help subsidize the cost of the iPhone. This would be the same mentality. Overcharge on one device to help pay for another.
    2. The plan is to make the money back on play store purchases since the 7 is designed to be the Play Store portal.

    They saved money on the 7 by leaving out some features of higher priced devices. Period. If you ask me, the 7 is priced where it should be.

    The Q is just overpriced for what it does. There is no way around that.

    • bluevoodo

      I get what you’re saying but, no one is forcing anyone to buy the Nexus Q.

  • Aaron Mars

    I love this Nexus Q. Rather than sitting around grumbling about what it isn’t, I’m enjoying using it for what it is.

    • Aslan Bollin

      Since you seem to already have one and the only way for that is to have gotten it free… Let me ask this. had you not gotten it free would you pay 300 for one? Anyone can sit their telling people that they are enjoying it for what it is n not rambling on about what it isn’t when they have one giving to them for free….. I’d enjoy a free NQ too, but I wouldnt pay 300 for it…

      • shonangreg

        For $200, you’ll be able to get an acer A110 or other 7″ tablet and use it as a DLNA renderer duplicating much of what the Q can. Plus the full-featured though cheaper Kai-based 7″ tablets can function on their own or be taken off the big screen and put into a bag and used as a regular tablet.

        I too see almost no use for the Q.

  • NIGHTSCOUT

    This makes the Q a little more interesting.

  • warispeace84

    Its not a roku or apple tv competitor, so everyone should stop comparing it to them. This is something to add to your stereo system, or entertainment center, so you can play music socially (I know it plays movies from the play store, but no well). The amp is what makes this different. Not saying its a good product, its a lame duck, but a true comparison to the roku and apple tv would be the new lg or sony google tv product.

  • http://www.facebook.com/trevor.gordon.33 Trevor Gordon

    This thing actually solves a problem I’ve been having with playing music stored on a PC without having to move from the kitchen or whatever. For just that functionality, it is way overpriced (although the amp is great). However, I’m going to wait and see what the XDA folks to with it. Given the hardware and the outputs on it, it could be made to do virtually anything. I’m pretty excited to see what people come up with. I’m tempted to preemptively buy one off ebay from the various people who got them for free – they are selling for like $150.