The existence of the Android Silver project seems to be gathering support across a number of sources, and is set to replace the Nexus handset program and Google Play editions program with a single, unified Google-controlled program.
Android Silver is fundamentally similar to the Nexus and Google Play edition (GPe) programs; handsets will be made by OEMs, selected by Google, and run a clean, premium version of Android. Google are clearly taking aim at some of the most hated parts of the Android experience: slow updates and ugly customisations. Android Silver promises to bring fast updates to all high-end phones on the programme, remove bloatware, skins and “improvements” from Android, and will feature high-end hardware.
To promote this to OEMs, they will be marketing the devices at Google’s own expense, a change from the GPe program which has seen little publicity, and the Nexus program which is marketed under Google’s own brand. Android Silver will also be open to all manufacturers to enter under their own brand, instead of adopting Google’s Nexus branding.
Fast updates, premium phone, this sounds great, right? Well maybe not.
Android silver could mean the end for the much-loved Nexus range. The Nexus range has offered fast updates, developer support, no bloatware and premium hardware for years now, starting with the Nexus One, and through to last year’s Nexus 5. They’ve all been delivered at a competitive price point, and have really set the bar for what an Android device should look like.
This change has been predicted for a little while now, with Eldar Murtazin claiming as much since January this year:
Nexus line by Google is over in 2015 😉 Yes – this line will be replaced by Play Edition (current name, it will be rebranded)
— Eldar Murtazin (@eldarmurtazin) January 27, 2014
This latest news about Android Silver, considered with the predicted demise of the Google Play editions program, and the arrival of a giant chrome (or silver?) Android at Google’s Mountain View offices all point towards a grain of truth. Let’s see what eventuates.
This piece was written by Elliot Kotis at the invitation of Ausdroid.