The much beloved Nexus program and family of devices gets to stay, as leaks and evidence have continually come out in recent weeks and months revealing the existence of an HTC branded Nexus tablet. Android Silver however, the program that had been rumored for so long to replace the Nexus program has a different story. According to The Information, Android Silver has been put on the back burner for now with no certain future. That doesn’t meant that Android Silver is dead, but things look and sound less promising now than they did when we first started hearing about the program back in April.
For those who may not remember, Android Silver was touted as a way for Google to reassert its ownership over the Android brand, as well as get it some more mainstream coverage and appeal with consumers and establishing itself as a premium offering, by placing devices that were part of the program inside of carrier stores in a dedicated display much like we see from Apple and Samsung inside of carrier stores and Best Buy locations. Android Silver was essentially a way for Google to remind people that Android is the operating system and that phones were powered by it and was to be Google’s premium high-end lineup. The A Team if you will. We saw the beginning of this with a small but needed change in the way of new devices showing a “powered by android” message that pops up after you power on a device. All new devices from the HTC M8 and Galaxy S5 forward will be carrying this message, which may be a small step but it was a step that Google felt was needed. Android Silver was supposed to be another part to this equation, although in large part it was also a way for Google to show that Android could be a high end offering just like Apple’s iPhone.
It’s not entirely certain what the future holds for the Android Silver program, but the report states that putting the program on hold is partly due to program partners feeling differently about the whole thing which sounds like some carrier or OEM partners might have been for the program and others may not have liked the idea so much. The recent departure of Nikesh Arora who played a major role in the project has also had an affect on it by slowing the overall program to begin with. Google is also making a huge push with Android One in developing markets, which is essentially the exact opposite of what Android Silver represented, which was supposed to be a premium brand of the Android OS. If more details come out on the matter we’ll be sure to update.