Move over Nexus, there’s a new kid on the block—and its name is Silver. After weeks of speculation on the future of Google’s (GOOG) Nexus hardware lineup, it looks like we finally have some answers as to the meaning and logic behind the forthcoming change to Google’s mobile device standards.
According to several reports, Google is working on a new initiative called Google Android Silver to create a more standardized experience for users on many of its Android products. According to Tech Republic, these devices will feature less additional software from third parties and more focus on Google’s own apps, all while running on the latest version of Android (whatever that may be at the time of release). Without the modifications of other OEMs to interfere with the functionality of the operating system, the Google Silver standard will help establish a more unified user experience across devices that are part of the Silver initiative.
While it may seem that Google is simply ditching the Nexus name in favor of a sleek new moniker, several reports say there is more to Silver than initially meets the eye. The current lineup of Google Nexus smartphones are similar to each other in that Google manages the design, development, marketing and support of each device. And while all Nexus phones run the most recent version of the Android operating system, the key difference with these devices is that Nexus devices are made for Google, by Google to show off the company’s latest Android version ahead of other OEMs. Other phones that run a version of Android are managed directly by OEMs, which means that they could include additional software and outdated versions of the OS.
According to The Latin Post, we could be seeing Google Silver devices in the United States, Germany and Japan within the next 12 months, although Google has yet to make any statement on this proposed launch window. Recently, The Information confirmed a previous report that Google is indeed planning on launching Silver sometime soon, although no launch date was mentioned.
While nothing is certain except for the existence of the program itself, it is looking increasingly likely that Google is looking to move away from the current standards of its Nexus lineup and gravitate toward something a little more concrete. Given the confusion that often revolves around the many different versions of Android floating around at any given time, a more standardized approach to the OS could be a welcome change to the status quo and a way to quell some of the anti-Android naysayers who disagree with the OS’ open nature.