You might not have heard of Android Silver yet but it looks set to be the next big Android initiative from Google.
The Nexus programme
Right now the Nexus programme is used as a way to supply premium yet affordable devices that run stock Android, but it’s a small scale thing, with only one handset and at most a couple of tablets available at any one time.
Android Silver aims to open the whole thing up, so any number of manufacturers could work on any number of devices. This could be very appealing to manufacturers because as part of the programme Google will help them with the development and marketing costs, which in turn will save the manufacturers money and allow them to sell their devices cheaply, just like we’re seeing with Nexus devices now.
As part of the bargain they’ll have to run stock Android, which could make it harder for the devices to stand out once a lot of companies get in on the act, but it means a more unified experience across devices and also means it will be quicker and easier to get upgrades across to them, all of which is good for users, alongside the low prices.
Android Silver to replace the Nexus programme
Android Silver is set to totally replace the Nexus programme, so the days of Nexus branded devices are numbered, but once it does it just means that customers will have a far greater choice of affordable, up to date Android products, all of which will be devoid of bloatware.
It’s likely to be a larger scale undertaking than Nexus has ever been too, as supposedly there will be sections in shops devoted specifically to Android Silver devices. It’s also rumoured that there’ll be a video support service for customers, much like the Mayday service on Amazon’s Kindle Fire devices.
It looks like great news for everyone, aside perhaps from Samsung, a company which has enjoyed colossal success with Android and which might see its market share eaten into once manufacturers start to get large scale support from Google.
But if you like the individuality of Android there’s nothing to worry about there either, because it’s a totally optional programme for manufacturers. If they’d rather continue going it alone and developing highly customised Android phones and tablets they’re more than welcome to, and the optimal outcome will surely be that we continue to see that alongside a much wider selection of stock Android devices.
Android Silver in 2015?
It’s not clear exactly when the programme will be launching. New Nexus devices are still being rumoured, so it’s likely that it won’t roll out till next year, and Twitter tipster @evleaks has claimed that the launch will be in February 2015, which would make sense, but it’s not been confirmed.
When it does launch it’s thought that LG and Motorola will be among the first companies to get on board and with Google’s I/O conference just around the corner we may hear more about it soon.
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