03
Oct
gl

That's right, we're finally jumping on the rumor train for the next Nexus phone(s?). Today, Android and Me published an article with a rather detailed rumor stemming from a "regular source who has provided accurate information in the past."

Given their confidence, and the specificity of their assertions, we're inclined to put some stock in them. So, what is the rumor? Let me break it down for you.

First, the Optimus G is going to be a Nexus phone. But it's not going to be the only one. According to A&M's source, the annual Nexus flagship program is being dismantled in favor of a more open model. Manufacturers won't have to compete to be the next Nexus phone, they'll just have to meet some rigorous hardware and various other requirements in order to slap the Nexus name on a phone. This falls in line with what we heard from The Wall Street Journal way back in May about multiple Nexuses.

One such requirement is 64MB of dedicated, secure storage for media streaming. This is, presumably, to keep Google's content providers on the Play Store happy. Limited custom UI overlays will be allowed, but they will fall into a "customization center," that will act as a theme manager. Presumably, you'll be able to go between stock Android and a custom overlay if you so choose. There will be additional hardware requirements (no microSD slot?), but no more specifics have been provided.

There are also no details about how much control Google would retain over OTA updates, but given that it could see the number of devices it has to maintain expand rapidly, there will obviously need to be either, A.) more manufacturer involvement, or B.) more AOSP device maintainers at Google. But back to the rumor about Optimus G.

Optimus-G_1

The name of the LG Optimus G Nexus phone will be... The LG Optimus G Nexus. No, seriously. That is what A&M's source is currently saying. Yeah. We're assuming the Nexus program will allow manufacturers to choose the name of their Nexus phone, though, and LG doesn't exactly have a great track record for catchy ones. I definitely wouldn't put it outside the realm of possibility.

As for the next version of Android, A&M and their source confirm what we too have seen our own server traffic logs: Android 4.2. The name of the release, though, is apparently a point of some contention - it may still be Jelly Bean, it may be Key Lime Pie. (I'd like to take this time to remind everyone at this time that I will, as promised, 100% for-real, smash a Key Lime Pie in my face if the "K" version of Android is not called Key Lime Pie. I might even do it if it's Jelly Bean. We'll see.)

On the far more uncertain side of things, A&M's source is claiming we'll see Android 5.0 next fall (2013), but given that we know Google's versioning system is pretty non-committal up until a new release nears public availability, I'm not going to put too many eggs in that particular basket.

Android and Me

David Ruddock
David's phone is whatever is currently sitting on his desk. He is an avid writer, and enjoys playing devil's advocate in editorials, and reviewing the latest phones and gadgets. He also doesn't usually write such boring sentences.

  • http://twitter.com/Serotheo Simon Yu

    As long as its still handled by Google then fine, if not.. no thanks.

    • NexusKoolaid

      Agreed. I'm a little wary of dependence on manufacturer handling of updates because in terms of timeliness, they all have pretty sucky track records.

    • warcaster

      Oh yes, it would be wonderful if it the updates came from Google. Because it could totally change the ecosystem in the future, and it could become a lot more like the desktop Windows ecosystem. But that means Google needs to demand the drivers from manufacturers, too. I hope they were ballsy enough to do that.

  • http://wakoopa.com/yo2boy yo2boy

    Theme manager?

    SOLD.

    • Tomi Golob

      Yes...DEAR GOD YES!!!!

    • warcaster

      The rumor doesn't say anything about the USER being able to customize it, though...So don't get too excited. But hopefully it means you can easily revert back to stock Android, and manufacturers don't have to heavily skin Android to its core anymore. Android should've had this since version 1.0. Then we wouldn't have the whole mess of skins we have today.

      • crankyd00d

        "In order to qualify for the Nexus program handset manufacturers must use stock Android and 64 MB of secure memory for media streaming. Custom UI skins will be allowed as part of a new “customization center”."
        Please don't tell me you actually think the "customization center" is for the manufacturers....I will send ninjas to spank you lol

        • Larizard

          +1 for ninjas

          PS: pirates suck.

        • jusatin

          That's exactly what it is going to be. Manufacturers will have their crap touch wiz UI there. And I think it's even going to be like you have 2 "themes" to choose from with each device, the manufacturers "slightly" custom UI (ie. TouchWiz, LG UI, Sense etc.) or the stock android, and that's it.

  • Jeremy Cope

    I like the idea of several NEXUS devices but I hope it doesn't let a slew of garbage in the mix.

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

      Even if it does, just don't buy them. Easy solution.

      • Ashish

        That's not a solution. Today you know anything with the "Nexus" name is a quality device. Even the Nexus S today is a fantastic device if you compare it to anything else built around the same time. There are PLENTY of garbage android devices, lets hope the Nexus name does not get tainted.

        • edzuslv

          galaxy nexus have plenty of hardware bugs, so do not expect the quality always.

        • perfectlyreasonabletoo

          Gnex is a piece of shit.

          • jusatin

            That's because it's made by Samsung ;)

        • http://twitter.com/verb0ze verboze

          Agreed! I've decided to stick with the nexus line because I know it always gets the latest updates, has the hardware to support ALL the latest functionality in android, well-supported by ASOP/custom rom developers, etc. Once you have a flock of them on the market, there's no doubt in my mind all of the above will change, probably for the worst :/

      • Tomi Golob

        Thats a miopic solution...it would make the Nexus line less credible...which would be a sad thing. But to a point you are correct...who cares what other people buy. I just want a great phone. On the other hand,if the line will bring garbage,then we could see less support for such a device if people wont want to buy them and thus less updates...im totally guessing btw :)

    • warcaster

      I just hope those strict guidelines are strict enough. Google is long overdue in having a "you don't like it? FU then! Go and use WP then. Good luck with that". They've been compromising for too long to carriers and manufacturers. Now they are in a position where they don't have to do that anymore. The question is if they will do it.

  • Bariman43

    Oh dear lord. "Optimus" just has no place next to "Nexus". I tried coming up with a way to fit it next to the name but it just sounds ridiculous. Nexus Optimus? Optima Nexus? Nexus G Optimus? Come on, LG...

    • NexusKoolaid

      Lol, How about "Lexus"

      • Tomi Golob

        Lexus Optimus G? Lexus the Nexus? Lorbo Hates Puny Humans G Nexus? LG Zoidberg Nexus G ? (Yes i love Futurama)

    • http://twitter.com/kuyanyan Yanyan | RR

      Why can't they just call it the Nexus G?

      • Larizard

        Brilliant.

  • JensAstrup

    Oh great, because what we need is Google to be even more lax when it comes to the Android ecosystem. The Nexus line should be pure Google and as such should be looked over to the last detail by Google - including the naming. I wouldn't buy an LG Optimus G Nexus even if it was the best phone ever, simply because of the name.

    • wolfkabal

      Then that would be your loss it seems.

    • Luis Augusto Fretes Cuevas

      Wow, what would the world be without such an intellect?

  • Daniel Wiggins

    I prefer the LG Optimus G Nexus G, better, rolls off the tongue with that extra G in there... and makes it more uniform.

    • Daniel Wiggins

      or the LG OG Nexus...

  • itsgonnalast

    Kiwi Strawberry Snapple?

  • Kenny O

    I would love to see this rumor come to fruition, this could be a game changer if properly executed. I would love to see Google throw some serious marketing behind a program like this.

  • Chris Webster

    If this happens, I'd finally be able to own a HTC device w/o flashing CMx whenever I get it. I love Sense, but can't stand it 24/7. Especially with the lack of multitasking >.>

  • Greek_Ice

    Should read "64GB" of secure and or dedicated storage...I hope

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ David Ruddock

      For media streaming. Nothing to do with actual device storage.

      • Greek_Ice

        Ah gotcha. If there is no micro SD card slot again, I pray they do allocate that much for on board storage.

  • http://twitter.com/cabbieBot cabbieBot

    Oh heavens....it moved. May there be many Nexi flooding the market! Have not been excited about a rumor since...well...May when we heard that there would be multiple nexus devices!

  • Tomi Golob

    Im a bit skeptical as to buying an LG Nexus since it reeminds me too much of my father's LG Fridge ...LG Fridge Optimus F Nexus in the near future perhaps? My jokes suck...

  • wolfkabal

    I think this plays in nicely with LG, from what I'm hearing their hardware is great, just always had horrible software. If it's a Nexus device now, that solves the software problem. I'm optimistic.

    • bondx99

      more like optimustic? :D

  • Level380

    I'm not liking this theme manger stuff.... Theme equal custom bits, that equal OEMs to do work, which means delays in firmware or non at all once the OEM gets bored of it.

    The pros of a nexus device was google controlled it all....... aka OEM cut out of the loop for faster updates!

    I buy a nexus cause I don't want touchwiz, or htc sense or moto blur. I want PURE google

    • Isidhu

      I would think if its a nexus certified, the OEM would have a control on the themes part and google pushes out the update for the device. Hopefully

      • Level380

        We live in hope that is works like that and firmware isn't delayed cause the OEM 'themes' are not ready!!

  • http://them3blog.wordpress.com/ Abel

    Please be the Fix we need for updates and everything, I think one of the rules should be ONE NEXUS per manufacturer per year, I don't want a Droid Razr Nexus And Droid Razr Nexus Maxx And Droid Razr Nexus M coming one after the other.....

  • Mike

    Ever since I heard about the idea of "open-sourcing" the Nexus brand back when WSJ reported about it, I haven't liked it. I just think that, just like Microsoft/Nokia have their own Lumia brand, and Apple has their own iPhone brand, Google should have their Nexus brand to call their own. But I guess opening up the Nexus brand to manufacturers would eventually bring more revenue in for Google; and at the end of the day, it's all about the money to them.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001511187529 Satoru Mastershima

    WoW an lg device.. and googles in charge of the updates? TAKE MY MONEY

  • Flaime DeFeo

    Hopefully the hardware/software will be regulated enough to meet the goal of the Nexus program in the first place: a flagship device to act as a cornerstone of Android app development for the upcoming year. That can't happen if all these devices have different resolutions/buttons/weird shit.

  • warcaster

    Disappointed that Android 5.0 is not coming this year, but if it's coming next year, it better be freaking awesome - a much bigger update than JB was.

    Also, I hope they stick with a one version per year from now on. Announce the "beta" Android 5.0 at Google I/O and talk about most or all new features, but do NOT release it, and then wait 3 months or so until all manufactures have upgraded their old devices and upcoming devices to Android 5.0, and THEN release it. This is EXACTLY how Microsoft AND Apple do it. Their new versions are "mostly" done months ahead of the public release. But they take those extra months to port the OS onto the hardware (new iPhone in Apple's case, or on multiple devices in Microsoft's case).

    So please do this, Google, at the very least with this "Nexus" program. Manufacturers can use the "stock android" from day one. And if they want to work 6 more months to heavily skin that version later on, that's their business. But do not release the new version of Android at least until everyone is ready with their Nexus device.

    • Freak4Dell

      Agreed. 1 OS version a year would be great. I would say they should release the source code upon announcement, though, so that custom ROM teams can play with it on existing devices. However, the Nexus devices should be released a few months later, with the version that was announced. All the previous Nexus devices should also be updated at the same time as the release of the new Nexus devices.

  • http://twitter.com/ToysSamurai Toys Samurai

    ABSOLUTELY hate the name. Can it simply be called Optimus Nexus? Ok, ok, LG wants a part of it, then how about LG Optimus Nexus, no G, please.

  • http://www.flayme.com/troll/ wasteofskin

    So who's donky do I have to *insert nasty verb here* to get a moto nexus?!

    Google knows what Android Enthusiasts want... the question is will we get one?

  • Chris

    I'm extremely happy that I have my Galaxy Nexus and it's in great shape. I've never seen, touched or used an LG Android phone I'd want to own. Their designs are blocky and not very attractive, their QC historically sucks and their software.....well, I'd barely call it functional. Even with Stock Android, I'd hold on to my Galaxy Nexus until the next...next Nexus, which hopefully, will be made by Samsung...or HTC.

  • http://www.facebook.com/kiranlparmar Kiran Parmar

    "LG Optimus G Nexus" ? In my opinion, Nexus G or maybe Nexus GO (Optimus G reversed) would be a kind of good name.

  • Freak4Dell

    I just don't see this ending well. The Nexus line was supposed to be about the pure Google experience. Sure, the skins are optional, but how long are the stupid manufacturers going to delay updates because they need to update their skin? I doubt they'll send out the update without updating their skin, because they'll say customers will complain that the skin doesn't work.

    The only good thing that can come from this approach is that maybe manufacturers will get lazy and make the skins on ALL of their phones optional.

    I'm all for multiple Nexus devices, but Google needs to have 100% control of them, not manufacturers. It looks like I won't be buying a Nexus device anytime soon (not that I was planning to anyway, because they'll all probably freaking huge).

    • wickets

      To your point: would the phones sold via play store escape the update issue?

      • Freak4Dell

        Maybe, but it all goes back to how much control Google takes. From the rumor, it doesn't sound like they're taking enough control, and that's what worries me.

        If Google can guarantee on-time updates, then this will end up being a good thing, as options are good. When I first heard about the multiple Nexus device possibility, though, I was hoping for multiple form factors. I was hoping for something like a Nexus, a Nexus Mini, a Nexus Slider, etc., all 100% Google. With different manufacturers all trying to make a Nexus, they will undoubtedly just all end up being basically the same thing...a huge slate with high end specs. So you get more options, but not really. And then with the skin thing on top of that, the gap between the Nexus line and every other Android phone out there is closing fast.

  • greenlatin

    I think this is gunna go over well. 64gb I can definitely welcome that. Just hope the battery department as well as accessories gets amped up(cases, docks, headphones, nfc entertainment systems etc tablet docks laptop docks).

    • Freak4Dell

      I don't think there is a guarantee of 64GB storage. I think they're just mandating that 64MB be reserved as a buffer for streaming media, so that people don't get pauses in their videos and music due to poor network connectivity.

  • David

    Oh god, please allow microSD. I love my Galaxy Nexus, but Rogers only sold it with 16GB.

  • mduran1023

    I dunno, my former G2x has me hesitant to trust LG again...

    That and I really want a Moto Maxx Nexus, with a nice screen. Durable, water resistant, huge battery, and software straight from Google.

  • Tee

    Doesn't anyone else wonder the OS version point of view? 4.2 wouldn't just be Jelly Bean any more, why would it be? Following the logic so far, the version has been given a new name always with a step of one tenth of a version. 2.1 -> 4.1 My bet is it'll be a K-name...

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=677335368 Sill Ming

      Look at honeycomb 3.0, 3.1, 3.2

  • Tom GOLOB

    In my somewhat conservative opinion I would say , that in order to maintain the puristic , pure Google experience following should be taken in consideration : Shape of sets to be uniform regardless to manufacturers(personally i incline to present Nexus shape). Brand name Nexus to be used without manufacturers product code names. To differentiate between Nexus model uniform codes to be used , i.e. 4G - LTE , Nexus(i) for international , GSM etc. Maybe a Silver , Gold , Platinum bezels to differentiate between models . Updates/Upgrades should be closely monitored by Google and belated suppliers stripped of GNex production concessions. Regarding this LG Optimus Nexus : i do not see myself as owner of an LG Optimus Nexus standing next to my LG domestic refrigerator , which could also be type coded LG Refree Nexus ... the shape of both boxes is same anyhow. Nexus should & must become a synonym of highest quality Smart Phone ... legendary timeless product ... such as Rolls Roys , Aston Martin , Bentley , Deimler and so on.

  • CodeMonkey

    I really hope you mean 64GB...

  • Iucidium

    Where's my bloody Nexus MAXX?!?

  • http://twitter.com/LV2355 Laurentiu

    Custom UI overlays will be allowed, but they will fall into a "customization center"

    It means much faster OS updates. I like that :)

  • blunden

    @archon810:disqus The theme support mentioned sounds a lot like the implementation Sony Ericsson submitted to AOSP Gerrit a year ago or two ago. I can't find the link now but it was back when T-Mobile had just released their own implementation that soon after became the base for the theme support in CM. That implementation was also submitted to AOSP Gerrit and endorsed by cyanogen (Steve Kondik) as a better alternative since it allowed users to customize the theme themselvs, unlike the Sony Ericsson implementation.

    However, Dianne Hackborn said that the Sony Ericsson version was closer to what they wanted so the other submission was abandoned and T-Mobile ceased development on it soon after that. The T-Mobile implementation was picked up by CM and was updated to work with ICS and JB by arcee. From there it spread to many other ROMs.

    I had hoped to find the link to the Gerrit change but I have had no luck this far. If you find it, it might provide some more insight into how this will work.

  • Androidium

    I remember that during Optimus G introduction in South Korea just recently, LG stated that there will be other variation of the phone which has 8mpix camera. By now, I guess they actually nexus in mind

  • jim

    It should be Nexus, as Nexus refers to more then 1. And Nexi refers to 1 if I'm not mistaken.

  • el_puchungo

    I like the idea of different Nexus' devices by different manufacturers and i even like the idea of the theme manager as long as the user has the control to pick what theme they use (stock vs manufacturer or even other). I think Google needs to limit each manufacturer to 1 Nexus device at a time to avoid diminishing the Nexus name, as well as controlling the firmware upgrades. if Google does not control the software upgrades to all Nexus' devices then that will defeat the purpose of owning a Nexus as it puts us in the mercy of the manufacturer and we all know how great they are at upgrading their devices. The firmware upgrade problem has to be the number 1problem that android has when compared to Apple's IOS.

  • Robert Jakiel

    LG Optimus G Nexus would be fine by me. Snapdragon S4 Pro quad w/ Adreno 320 GPU along w/ 64 Gig storage and 2 gig RAM. Sign me up. Day one for me without a thought.

  • G

    The nextimus g

  • http://twitter.com/Dr_MBambi Moaz Bambi

    LG?! I'll pass on that.

    Anyways, If Google decides to go Nexi, then they better keep up the consistent updates and NEVER give that task to OEMs. AND NOT FOR OVERLAYS!!!! (Theme Manager is cool, though :D)

    Plus. There should be a letters limit for the Nexus certification. Seriously? LG Optimus G Nexus?! That's longer than my full life story: Born > Dead!

    Oh and I'm guessing that Samsung name: Samsung Galaxy S Nexus! As if their brand name isn't long enough already.

    HTC: HTC Nexus One. Oh wait... hmmm Time paradox?! Ok, Nexus One X.

    But really have ANYONE call it "Nexus X" and I'll buy it even if it had no screen!
    Actually Google gotta reserve that name "Nexus X > Nexus X2 > ..." for their own future hardware. That would be AWESOME :D

    • http://twitter.com/Dr_MBambi Moaz Bambi

      Previously I thought I buy for the hardware. Now I realize I also care about the manufacturer and strangely, the name!

  • Arawn

    In Portugal there is a mobile operator called Optimus, so all LG Optimus devices are called LG Maximus...

    LG Maximus G Nexus

    On sale at your nearest sex shop!

    • http://twitter.com/verb0ze verboze

      I died LOL'ing XD

  • Rafael Rossi

    makes sense....like Intel and its Ultrabook requirements....I WANT TO BELIEVE

  • br_hermon

    Aright, I want to be excited about this, I really do. But unfortunately, I do have some concerns.

    Google is going to create a stock experience with a "customizations center." This could be cool but more-so a bad thing. Currently we can enjoy pure, vanilla, stock android 4.1.1. There's absolutely zero traces of manufacturer's bloat. For vanilla ppl like me, we can take what Google gives us and be happy. Alternatively, OEM's can take it for what it is, slap their extras on top then users can wait for the OTA. The problem with the new nexus program is that they are totally ridding themselves of the vanilla experience. Sure there's going to be stock BUT it'll also be combined with customizations. Sure I can have the vanilla ice cream with toppings (customizations) on the side (disabled), but I can't get it until the toppings are finished (customizations are present in the build). If I'm understanding the rumors correctly, we will never see a barebones, vanilla experience that we can just install and be done with it. I like having vanilla android, no customizations - just download, install and go. Will we ever have this same experience again? Even if we have no desire for customizations and plan on turning them off, we'll still have to wait until some OEM has finished their customizations, then get the update. This also leads to the question, how long will we have to wait for updates now? Will Google no longer be able to just put it out there for almost immediate consumption? With there being a new piece to the puzzle added, won't we have to wait that much longer on updates? Not only that but won't it take some of the power out of Google's hands?

    This is where I'm hoping Google surprises us and says something like, "yeah it sounds like that but we're going to host the updates directly so you can get the latest version straight from Google. If it breaks your OEM customizations, that's their problem. Blame them." Sure Google would never come across that brash about it, but hopefully this is their approach as to not slow down the upgrade process.

    That's where this issue really could be two sided. If done right, Google could essentially hold OEMs at arms' length with this strategy. They'd give OEM's a smaller section of Android to maintain. If they can't fiddle and customize every little element of Android it would create for faster updates. The stock experience and customizations may go hand in hand now, but it could streamline the OEMs' "skinning" process resulting in faster turn around times.

    But that also leads to some other questions. "Customizations" aren't just simply skinning anymore. It's not as simple as a custom skinned launcher and widgets. OEMs change a lot more than that with Android. Color icons in phone settings, reorganized & customized phone settings, added functionality (Motorola's profiles, Samsung's s-voice, s-share, slide screen brightness, etc, etc, etc). Additional apps or revised behavior of stock apps (dialer, lockscreen, etc) There's a lot of integration that goes into these customizations. Will OEMs be allowed to do all these things? Will the customizations center *really* be able to turn all these things with just the flip of a switch?

    Not to mention, what does this do for the dreaded "Android fragmentation" issue? It's a double edge sword. Every Nexus will include stock, but every nexus will also include a different customization. There's the risk that consumer confusion will only be increased. "I have a nexus phone, why don't I have that feature? (comparing LG's Nexus customizations to Samsung's Nexus customizations, both Nexus' yet different.)" And how about troubleshooting someone; do they have stock or customizations enabled? A person could go from a customized LG Nexus to a customized Samsung Nexus, then switch to stock. Talk about confusion, trying to allow someone to get acclimated and used to knowing how their phone operates.

    With all that said, I have to wonder, what about the Nexus program really entices OEMs in the first place? Is the Nexus brand so popular that OEMs are lining up to align themselves with it? One, I don't think the Nexus brand carries enough weight as it stands right now. Two, sure we read rumors about different OEMs making submissions to make the next Nexus, but I have to doubt their enthusiasm. So what is it? Why are OEMs going to want to jump on board? They could make a Nexus phone and have all their "differential, industry-leading innovations and features" disabled. It seems to me that OEMs would rather continue doing what they have been; take android and implement customizations through out to create a one of a kind experience. I just have trouble seeing an incentive for them to create a Nexus phone. There's only two things that I can see would be incentive for OEMs: Google promises to put even more marketing dollars behind the Nexus brand and grow it into this huge household name and secondly, the Nexus program will allow OEMs such early access to android that if not taken advantage of and OEMs just wait until source is released, it may cripple them for being up to date with consumers.

    There is a hint of positive potential here with customizations though... What if ROM Developers got a hold of this? We could have a 100% stock device, with a CyanogenMod "customization" That could be cool! Every rom could be stock with a developer customization. That has serious potential.

    In conclusion there are some serious issues here that I think need to be considered. But with the concerns also comes potential for good too. Hopefully Google can handle this right keeping OEMs and more importantly pure Nexus fans such as myself happy.

    • Freak4Dell

      Great post. I completely agree.

  • Luis Augusto Fretes Cuevas

    YEEEEES.

  • kroms

    Please give us a HTC Nexus with 64 GB Storage, 2 GB ram, QUAD core cpu, , 2800 MAH battery, 12 + MP camera rear, 2 MP front SD card. Id buy 2 one for me and one for my Wife.

  • Perry_F

    The thought of multiple Nexus devices has me very excited...so much so I think I'm getting a woody!!!!!

  • j4r2s0y

    Did David ever smash a pie in his face?