I totally agree that the spark somehow became absent from each Apple keynote after Steve’s death, because he was the electricity that flowed through Apple’s wires; he was the person who made Apple keynotes alive.
However, I disagree with your point in that new Apple products are not worthy of being excited about, just because of the arguably duller unveiling. The Apple Watch, despite a seemingly slow start, is the best selling smartwatch ever, and with watchOS 3, huge speed and usability improvements are being made, strengthening the position of Apple in the smartwatch market. We have to remember that Apple’s successful products did not become blockbusters on day one; interest was at best tepid at first, and that followed with gradual growth made them the sensations we see today.
Being a fellow MacBook owner, I can wholeheartedly say that this was the most amazing computer that I have ever owned, and Apple clearly sees the future of laptops. I also disagree with your anecdotal evidence that products created under Tim Cook are somehow less reliable than their Steve Jobs equivalents, as I also experienced a catastrophic motherboard failure in my old iMac (introduced in May 2011), not to mention the flops of the 1st generation MacBook Air, and iTunes Ping.
Additionally, I, like you, also believe that after so many years of iteration, Android could potentially be my next phone’s operating system, but unfortunately we also have to admit that the Nexus devices that you mentioned are very low volume phones (<0.2% market share) especially when compared to iPhones (about 14.6%). From this we can see that Google phones are a far cry from being competitors to iPhones; to me, this is a huge pity, as although Nexus being the nicest Android phones, they sell in such minuscule quantities, are not visible to the mainstream that they don’t put any pressure on other larger Android OEMs to innovate further. In the end, the situation still remains the same: Samsung still sells the most phones, Apple gobbles up all the high-end profits, and Google is still the underdog.
Finally, I’d like to mention that Google makes more money off of iOS than Android, mostly because of the wealthier demographics associated with Apple’s operating system. This will always incentivise Google to make their services available to iOS users, as evident in Google I/O 2016, where almost all services introduced were downloadable on iOS. Google’s dependance on Apple’s platforms make it very weak, as its core revenues of advertising and data collection are at Apple’s mercy, as seen as the decrease in usage of Google Maps on iOS following the introduction of Apple Maps. (http://www.cnet.com/news/apple-maps-now-more-popular-than-google-maps-on-iphone-ipad/) This is evidence that users usually don’t care about the best service; they only care if it is easily accessible and well integrated into the operating system. You might prefer to use Google’s services on iOS, but millions of other users are simply not bothered to download a standalone app — therefore they turn to Apple’s services.
To finish, I would like to remind you that this post is not meant to express hate to Google or demonstrate the superiority of Apple, but to show that Google’s current position is still rather weak when compared to Apple today, due to their dependance on other companies (Apple, Microsoft) for revenue. Although many of Alphabet’s projects sound promising in the long term, we have to remember that many of these experiments are still very far from becoming a reality.