29
Apr
bugdroid

Earlier this month Android Police reported on Android Silver, a possible upcoming push into premium hardware from Google and its partners. Android Silver would see Google selecting high-end Android phones with standardized software to promote both itself and through conventional retail channels. According to a new report from Amir Efrati at The Information, the Silver program is still well underway and aimed to take on the iPhone at the top of the phone market.

nexusae0_androidsilverhero_thumb1

Based on the information in our previous post, the Silver program consists of very specific goals for hardware, software, and promotion. Google would select up to five phones at a time (either existing models or phones made specifically for the Silver Program), using criteria that includes the latest version of Android with little to no software modification. Google would then contribute significant resources to promote the sale of said devices at carriers and other retailers, including a system for easy data transfer and a new "Never Lost" phone tracking feature. Like the Nexus program, Silver would be open to multiple manufacturers.

The Information's report has more details, allegedly gleaned from four sources familiar with the project. Here are the highlights:

  • Android Silver will replace the Nexus hardware program
  • Silver phones will get prompt software updates
  • Silver phones will feature premium hardware
  • Google will promote Silver phones at carriers and other retailers via its own marketing dollars
  • The Silver program is set to launch in the US, Germany, and Japan "as soon as next year"

I would consider all of this very tentative - even assuming that the little information available on Android Silver is correct, a lot could happen between now and a full rollout. The loss of the Nexus program, if indeed it comes to pass, would be a blow for many developers and Android fans in general, but it looks like most of the cornerstones of Nexus and Google Play Edition devices would be preserved.

If The Information is correct, there would likely be at least one more product cycle for Google's Nexus phones and tablets, plus whatever GPE devices the manufacturers care to release. The source speculates that LG and Motorola would be good bets for initial hardware partners. How reliable is all of this? There's really no way to know.

Source: The Information

Michael Crider
Michael is a native Texan and a former graphic designer. He's been covering technology in general and Android in particular since 2011. His interests include folk music, football, science fiction, and salsa verde, in no particular order.

  • Sam Hollis

    This is going to be awesome. Between the redesign and this, stock Android has a major chance of standing on its own in the market. It'll be an exciting next few years in mobile, especially with Wear.

    • ddpacino

      It's no longer "stock". More of a Google skin these days really (Nexus skin?). AOSP is "stock Android", and one very few people would really want.

      • Sam Hollis

        I knew I'd get someone being pedant... Just let it go.

      • hp420

        Nexus and GPE devices do use AOSP, genius!!

    • WallBreaker

      I think they called ti silver as in "silver bullet" lol apple is so screwed.

  • Zak Taccardi

    The Nexus program is the greatest, ever. DO NOT TAKE IT AWAY

    • Aaron Berlin

      I agree! The trouble with Nexus is that Google can't really put it's full weight behind it because it would alienate its hardware partners. This would let them go all out to put stock, regularly updated Android in as many hands as possible without putting off every OEM. I'll be sad if we leave Nexus pricing behind, though.

      • ddpacino

        They should just said, "Fuck it", and went whole hog with Moto.

        • Aman Yajurvedi

          They were on the verge of losing samsung - when samsung saying fuck it and started making a new UI for its new note series.

          • archercc

            Easier said than done anymore. Amazon can do OK with their gimped tablets but who is going to want a phone that doesn't have access to Gmail/Calendar, Google Maps, Google Drive, Hangouts, etc or at least mature equivalents? Samsung would have to give them away like Amazon does but they dont have the content store to make the money on the back end.

            And speaking of that content store. Your replacements would be crap. SVoice or whatever, its horrible. So is pretty much every "innovation" Samsung attempted to replace Google functionality with. Also, apps and media content. On day one would would be so incredibly far behind you would be spinning your wheels just to get the big stuff.

            Samsung needs Android a lot more than Android needs Samsung. Samsung dropping out would be a boon for HTC/LG/etc. Sure some idiots would buy a "Galaxy" but then whine to high heaven when they figure out that Gmail, Maps and YouTube aren't on it.

          • http://www.facebook.com/lucyparanormal Daniel Tiberius

            nor an app store with anything in it.

          • hp420

            Yeah, touchwiz is a real winner....what a smart move that was -.-

        • hp420

          Fuck Moto!!!! I'd swear off smartphones for life if they ditched everyone but moto! That is, by far, one of the worst things that could happen to android

          • Transflux

            Have you seen any of the recent Motorola phones? Like, at all? Sure, they used to suck for various reasons, (Motoblur, etc.) but the Moto X is a very nice device.

          • hp420

            I have. That's the problem. Their flagship was a mediocre midrange overpriced device before it ever hit shelves....now a year later I would compare it to budget devices that are currently launching at below half the price. If this is the future of android then windows phone is about to be ios's main competitor in a hurry.

    • Fatty Bunter

      Let me fix that for you:

      "The Nexus program is the greatest so far."

    • nebula

      I hope the silver phones have to as open as the nexus phones are.
      I don't care if these phones run stock android, but are so closed, that you can't even make custom roms.

  • Nawfil Afif Nibir

    If the Nexus line does come to an end, I kind of wish that the Nexus 5 becomes the "last Nexus phone", well, because I will then be able to say I own one of the last Nexus phones! :-P

    • Simon Belmont

      It sounds like there will be at least one more iteration of Nexus devices. I own a Nexus 5, too.

      This might actually compel me to buy the Nexus "6" or Nexus 5 (2014 edition) or whatever it's called even though my original plan has always been to keep my Nexus 5 for a long while. If it is true, that is.

      • archercc

        I'm hoping for a 6. My 4 is chugging along but I want one more Nexus.

        • JLM

          Yeah, my 4 is still great and doesn't feel slow. I'm hoping the next Nexus is more than just a faster Nexus 5, because that's how I felt about the Nexus 5 vs the Nexus 4. By more, I'm not really sure what it could because most new features are via software now which we get anyway. Just throwing out ideas:Long battery life, amazing camera, maybe a projector, new/more sensors, wireless charging at a larger distance, dual display, no-lag extended desktop, physical keys without removing large touch screen.

          • Simon Belmont

            That's pretty much my problem with getting the next Nexus phone (I love my Nexus 5). I don't think there's much they could add to what I currently have to make me want the next one.

            3GB of RAM, a slightly larger battery, a more powerful CPU, and slightly better camera won't cut it for me. Though all nice, they aren't mind blowing upgrades from my current Nexus 5.

          • archercc

            For me the current hardware, better battery optimization (although I cant complain on my 4 like some do) and a better camera would get me to upgrade. If that was the case in the 5 I might have done that too.

            Physical keys or unnecessary additions like a projector (pico projectors suck, never bright enough to be useful). Keys would be a killer for me, The fewer buttons and keys the better (less room for failure and limited flexibility).

            Also, no bigger. I don't want a phablet, 5" is already pushing my limits. I have a tablet as well.

        • Gaurav Arora

          Upgrade to Nexus 5 if you can, you will not regret it :O!

          • archercc

            Im sure I would love the phone but I have the Now Launcher on my 4 so I am getting 90% the experience. The new version of Android is still very quick on my 4 as well. So I havent felt the "OMG gotta be current" bug biting.

            If my 4 breaks I would obviously get the 5 but I am hoping I can keep from damaging it until the 6. Figure they would probably sunset major updates for the 4 by then so it would make sense to upgrade and probably keep the 4 as a spare.

            Until then the N4 is still a stellar phone. Im careful so (knocks on MDF) its in great condition and everything still performs as new.

          • rdeleonp

            Camera performance is like day (N5) and kitty litter (N4).

            But, yeah, I'd wait for #NexusNext ...

      • morteum

        I want to see a 6 just because I still think the Nexus 5 is kind of ugly. It works on the Nexus 7, but the size of the 5 just makes that design seem really weird to me. I know it's a dumb reason, but based on the beauty of the Nexus 4 it would be nice to see Google make their last Nexus phone as great as they possibly can.

        • WallBreaker

          Ugly??? Its modeled after the Nexus 7 2013 which is the most beautiful tablet hands down. Looks very sleek and professional, proof you don't need aluminum to make a phone look good. You obviously don't own a Nexus 5.

          • morteum

            Whoa, its almost as if beauty is subjective, and that people have their own opinions or something.

    • WallBreaker

      Yeah I heard a Nexus 8 tablet and nexus 6 phone and if they do release I will buy them and hold onto them forever or as long as their supported.

      If they don't I will just use the n7 2013 and n5 as long as possible.

  • Brandon Smith

    I know it's totally irrational but I'd much rather have a "Nexus" phone than a GPE Galaxy-based phone or HTC One. :(

    • Broman

      No, it's not totally irrational. The price differences alone make it make sense.

    • hp420

      I'd rather have the clap than an HTC One.

      • morteum

        That's either the strongest devotion for Nexus devices that I've ever seen or the strongest hatred for HTC products I've ever seen.

      • http://www.facebook.com/lucyparanormal Daniel Tiberius

        I lol'd

    • morteum

      I agree, GPE's don't have the same luster that Nexus phones do, but I know that I'm willing to compromise based on the fact that I have a Moto X and love it as much or more than my Nexus devices.

  • jack galler

    This is a good iPhone killing tactic, but I'm not sure if it's a good overall tactic.

    • ddpacino

      Let's all lose any use of "[insert anything] killer/killing" ever again. Never has it ever been true.

  • Simon Belmont

    I will be really sad to see the Nexus program go. Even if it lives on in spirit in the Android Silver program.

    I love my Nexus devices. I would hope that premium hardware can still be combined with good pricing like the current Nexus strategy if this all comes to be.

    • Milind

      Yeah. The original Nexus One and the Nexus 5 are the only 2 nexus phones that had premier specs and a great price. All the intervening Nexus phones were behind the curve in hardware compared to flagship phones from other manufacturers. Sure the N5 is also not comparable to the G2, but the tradeoffs for knocking off half the price are totally worth it and critical components (apart from the battery) weren't sacrificed.

    • WallBreaker

      im holding onto my nexus 5 as long is possible if this is true.

  • Dan

    Since the Nexus program (as far as Google play availability) is concerned, has never included Verizon, would this Android Silver thing change that?

    • roninpenguin

      Probably not because that was Verizon's decision not Google's. The only way Verizon would change their mind would be if this is super succesful at other carriers.

      • ddpacino

        Verizon is scum.

      • hp420

        Look at the mockery Verizon made the Galaxy Nexus launch. We're better off without CDMA carriers infecting the Nexus line with their STDs

  • blairh

    If this means the end of $350 off-contract phones then FUCK.

    • ddpacino

      Still got OPPO and OnePlus One. Maybe more in the near future.

      • Transflux

        Keep in mind, based on recent articles, you probably only listed one company in this comment.

        • someone755

          What recent articles? :O
          I know OnePlus was founded by a guy from Oppo but what are you saying?

    • Walkop

      Again: OnePlus One Silver.
      Moto G Silver.
      Moto X Silver. ;)

      There'll always be something.

      • someone755

        OnePlus One Silver.
        I lol'd.

        • Baspower

          More like Oppo OnePlus One Silver...

        • Nevi_me

          Two Silver?

          • someone755

            I wonder if Sammy ever makes a phone for silver, would it be something like;
            Samsung Galaxy [letter] [number] [the following year] Edition GT-[random numbers][random letter for each version on the planet, guaranteeing you'll never find yours online | one for each part of Russia, China and US state; every carrier in every state combination] [US carrier name, because even if you're not in the US, fk u] Grand Silver Edition [more numbers]

          • http://twitter.com/anishbhalerao Anish Bhalerao

            You forgot to include Galaxy "Neo Pro Lite Fit Grand Quattro Mega DUOS" in your nomenclature.

          • someone755

            Always forget the DUOS.
            Man I still need some work on this.

          • Cerberus_tm

            ... Life Companion™, their catchiest slogan ever.

          • someone755

            "Designed for humans" well no shit, who else on the planet can effectively use one*
            Life Companion works a bit better. But they put "TM" and "C" and "R" on top of everything. You can't copyright words, asses!

          • Cerberus_tm

            I suppose it's all aimed at the Asian market, where people have different tastes. It sounds a bit like the name of a Chinese restaurant, Lucky Bamboo Peace. Friendly, but...

      • Adam Truelove

        And I'm not interested in any of those. Nexus or bust.

    • archercc

      Not its not irrational. The GPE devices aren't nexus devices stupid buttons and all.

      • Alan Paone

        The GPE M8 has the right buttons, it's not all bad

        • archercc

          Yeah that is finally closer, now that HTC is realizing those capaticive buttons can go. That chin though, woof. And Samsung, yeah I will not own another one of their devices again. The GNex was a bungle as was the N10.

          • Crispin Swickard

            Zero useless buttons same waste of space/extra bezel that doesn't need to be there.

          • Cerberus_tm

            What's wrong with the Galaxy Nexus? I like mine, although I'd love to have more RAM.

          • archercc

            The botched roll out, the lack of any accessories, the paper thin back cover that would scratch when you looked at it, the speaker issues, the the poorly performing radios/signal.

            There are probably more but I sold that phone the moment I got me N4.

          • Cerberus_tm

            Odd, none of those things bothered me. I have a pogo dock. I had no trouble buying the phone when I did. My back cover has no scratches after nearly two years. What speaker issues? My signal is perfectly fine compared with other phones. Were you unlucky? I'm sure a Nexus 4 is better, but, hey, it's also a lot newer.

          • archercc

            I was luckier than my coworker and a good number of people on the forum. They were common things about the phone that wouldn't be undone by a single bit of anecdotal evidence.

        • someone755

          Same with Sony phones.

    • SimonPieman

      It will, the networks are involved.

      Seems like too many people were beating Google up about Nexus, and this is what we now get.

    • Ramon

      I think you guys are getting angry too fast. This is just a rumor, with partial information. What if a Nexus phone is one of the silver phones? what if you can acquire a silver phone from a carrier but also online through the play store?

      My point is, maybe the silver program is the natural evolution of the nexus program. When the GPE devices where introduced, the Nexus was not canceled... Silver may be a super-set of the Nexus + GPE program. Just wait until the real announcement. You all will have time to get mad then...

      • WallBreaker

        i think its google's way of taking android back. Because right now Samsung dominates the Android market even HTC and Motorola have more users than the Nexus line. I still think they will keep nexus as a low priced off contract option.

    • Jasper Guerrero

      Silver Lord

    • Erstam

      I've had every nexus off contract. I hope this isn't the end. If it is I hope project ara will be out by then.

      • someone755

        Probably not but then again Ara phones are gonna cost a lot too.

  • Ali

    If they do cancel the Nexus program I really hope there's at least one Android Silver device that has great specs with a Nexus-like price tag.

    • runderekrun

      You can almost guarantee Moto devices will be a part of this.

      • rxpert83

        No, you really can't. Who knows what Lenovo will do to try to turn motorola around

        • morteum

          Well they've publicly stated their intent is to get Motorola phones into the hands of as many people as possible in emerging markets like China, whose general public can't always afford to buy the newest iPhone or Android flagship. Plus, the Moto G was a success- so I'd say it's a safe bet that they'll stick to a similar plan.

          • rxpert83

            "The Sliver program is set to launch in the US, Germany, and Japan as soon as next year".

            As reported, this just simply isnt meant for emerging markets.

          • morteum

            I was just responding to your comment about what Lenovo will do with Motorola to make them successful, but re-reading your comment I think I know what you were getting at now.

          • Milind

            Moto G doesn't have great specs. Nor, for that matter, does the Moto X. The Moto G is extremely well priced. The Moto X is totally over priced.

          • morteum

            I didn't say anything about specs, I was just commenting on Lenovo's strategy to turn Motorola around. Since you brought it up though, the Moto G has good specs compared to any other phone with the same price point, and I only think the Moto X was overpriced at launch. They've since dropped the price. Also, the iPhone has lower specs and is nearly twice as much as the Moto X now.

          • WallBreaker

            its a great backup phone especially if you travel all over the world its a cheap unlocked device that runs just as smooth as a nexus 4. I have Nexus 5 on sprint and I am considering getting the Moto G because I will be traveling outside the US in the future ad need a GSM phone.

          • Jeremy Erickson

            The Nexus 5 on Sprint is already just the standard US Nexus 5, and thus includes a GSM radio in addition to the CDMA one. The only question is whether the version bought from Sprint is locked, and if so, how you unlock it. No need to buy a second phone.

          • Milind

            I got my LG G2 unlocked from Sprint. I can use it overseas, but not with the US GSM providers which really sucks if you have fully paid for the phone or have paid the ETF.

  • Abhishek Kulkarni

    so phone that will cost same as iPhone????? not a good idea

  • Mario E Hdez

    What I want to know is whether or not the move from Nexus to Silver devices will keep the great amazing price points for the typical Nexus device.

    • Walkop

      OnePlus One Silver.
      Moto X Silver.
      Moto G Silver.
      Find 5/7 silver.

      There'll be something for everyone! If you had of said that last year, I would have been frightened. But this year? Totally different market.

      • hp420

        The one plus is the only one worth mentioning in that list....the rest can all suck a bag of dicks

      • rdeleonp

        They mention Silver devices will be "premium", so I'd guess:
        Moto G and Find 5 are out
        OnePlus One and Find 7 are in
        Moto X is on the ropes ...

  • Elysi

    Chrome Silver?

    • JPB

      My bet is that eventually Android will come with a launcher that looks just like ChromeOS's desktop and that Chrome on Android will finally support the full set of extensions and apps built for Chrome. This will allow a new generation of ultra-cheap phones that, like ChromeOS, are connected most of the time and running HTML5 based Chrome apps. It won't replace Android, more provide a really cheap entry point for apps and phones. Call it Android Lite.

      By cheap, I mean <$50 off contract or maybe "free" if you sign up for a Google-run phone service that is a hybrid of Google Voice and Hangouts. Cheap enough that you wouldn't hesitate to pick up one just to try.

  • chris125

    Wonder if it will come to Verizon?

  • diotallevisheir

    "set to launch in the US, Germany, and Japan"... yay! ... and now Google please fix Google Now in Germany.

    • BFRC

      And the Netherlands. We only had official Nexuses since last year justabout, and now they're supposedly putting us in the back of the line AGAIN (probably).

    • david

      naaah, forget google now for (sorry) now, give us GPEs!

  • Abhijeet Mishra

    Damn, and here I was hoping Google would make its next Nexus a true flagship by improving on the two things it currently sucks at: battery life and camera. (I know both have improved but they're still way behind non-Nexus flagships.)

    • Guest

      Both are fine on my Nexus 5.

    • Simon Belmont

      I've actually been really pleased with both of those things. Is the battery life as good as a Note 3's? Probably not.

      But, I can easily get 24-48 hours off charger out of my Nexus 5 on LTE and 4-5+ hours of screen on time and heavy usage. The camera keeps being improved, especially with the release of the Google camera app in the Google Play Store, so I'm pleased with my Nexus 5.

    • hp420

      What are you doing that these aren't good for you? I'm running a nexus 4 with stock firmware and a custom kernel and my phone easily gets me through the day with 30% battery to spare when I get home, and I'm using it almost the entire time I'm at work.

    • WallBreaker

      1.Battery life greatly improve after a few weeks got over a day WITHOUT any rooting, roms or custom kernals needed.

      2. The Update and New Camera App greatly improved the photos they are honestly on par with most devices from 2013 and better than the m7 or m8 for sure.

  • andy_o

    Fuck this elitist shit, man. I mean, come on.

    • ddpacino

      ???

  • Nathan Bryant

    Basically adding what it's been missing. Premium features in the camera department, on all carriers and timely updates. Oneonta be cheap, but knowing you can buy it with a carrier or unlocked you can alter the price, assuming you're able to upgrade. To be honest little know about the Nexus program and it's honestly going nowhere. I don't see anyone in my area with one. It's either a Samsung phone or iPhone. Google doesn't really take it seriously. Now they are. This s what it should have been from the start. Hopefully they still find a way to minimize the price but without cutting corners like Oppo. Minus the gimmick they're trying to pull off. I think they honestly flopped before they started with their idea. Poor execution from a lot of companies. They're just simply adding what hot but over saturating the market. Coming out with diamond and gold phones. Special editions. All of that is not needed. They're not focused. That's one thing Apple does do right. I'll give them credit on that. Even if they rehash for the most part.

    • JPB

      Oneonta? Have you got the Catskills on your mind?

  • Jeffrey Heesch

    It's not just the pricing of Nexus phones that makes them such a fantastic option, or even the fast updates. It's the fact that you get a phone free from all the crapware that OEMs and carriers love to force down our throats. Hopefully the Play Editions live on.

    • someone755

      Though there's still the issue of price.
      If I pay more than 400€ for a phone I might as well go and buy a skinned version so I have the option of AOSP and stock.

  • GadGet Techie Freak.

    LongLive NeXus...!!

  • MeCampbell30

    Meh . . .

  • duse

    "but it looks like most of the cornerstones of Nexus and Google Play Edition devices would be preserved."

    How do you figure, AP? The ONLY cornerstone I see being preserved here is the promise of prompt updates and near-stock software. That's it. Everything else Nexus is known for such as unlockable bootloaders, affordable price, and available binaries and firmware images could be gone. All of those are essential to my choice of buying Nexus. I don't want a $700 phone, and I don't want to rely on security exploits to get root. If every tenet of Nexus isn't preserved, just getting an iPhone starts to become a much more serious option.

    • MeCampbell30

      I like the part where you complained about openness then threatened to buy an iPhone. That was my favorite part.

      • duse

        You miss the point. I don't care about it being open, I care about being able to do what I want and need. iPhone works fine out of the box and always gets updates so I don't care about gaining root or flashing ROMs. iPhone already has things like granular privacy and background processing controls built-in, so I don't need things like XPrivacy or Greenify.

        I choose Android because I like the platform's design, principles, and hardware and pricing options. However, it has flaws. It needs tweaking. Things like XPrivacy, UI tweaks like what you get with GravityBox or CyanogenMod, etc. I refuse to do these things by using hacked together ROMs or security exploits, and that's why unlockable bootloader, binaries etc. are a requirement. Without these things, I can either not tweak anything or do so in an unsatisfactory way. That's when iPhone starts to become a more serious alternative.

        • Gaurav Arora

          You talk about tweaking and then put iPhone as a serious alternative?? That phone has practically no way of tweaking anything on it.

          Also, a Nexus phone 'just works' out of the box too, what your point there?

          • duse

            I said very clearly that iPhone doesn't require tweaking, Android does. Nexus "just works" as do most phones, but it still requires modifications that iPhone does not. That's the difference. Of course it might be your opinion that Android requires no such modifications, and that's fine if you feel that way. But there are things I feel it needs as a platform, such as what XPrivacy and Greenify do. I love Android, but if I'm going to use it, I require it to be "open" enough that I can do such things with minimal fuss. On iPhone tweaks like that just aren't required.

          • Gaurav Arora

            Android does not require tweaking, just because you have an option to, it doesn't it requires it out of the box.

            You'll need to give us some examples here (a few more than XPrivacy). There are a hundred tweaks I can think of that an iPhone requires to reach Android's level (in some elements), example floating notifications, true multi-tasking, live wallpapers, UX tweaks (not UI), multi-window, etc.

            Is the iPhone flawed in that case?

          • duse

            It comes down to what you personally need in your platform. Android requires no tweaking, and KitKat is a great OS. To me though I feel like it's missing some essentials that iPhone provides by default. I can give you some examples besides XPrivacy and Greenify. Some of the big ones are conditionally disabling lock screen security since, without something like Touch ID, entering my long password all the time is a pain. Enabling notification access even on a secured lock screen. Missing options in quick settings like flashlight, calc, and clock. There are more minor ones too, but even just a few big ones is enough reason to want to root, etc.

            The things you mention not on iPhone like floating notifications or multi-window are things I don't do on Android anyway. "True multi-tasking" has always eluded iPhone, but I feel it's pretty close to where it needs to be now with the various background services and background app refresh. Things like live wallpapers are not make or break.

            iPhone used to have so many deficiencies that it was a non-starter, but it's come a long way. I like Android and don't mind tweaking it to get it the way I want, but if that becomes more difficult, Android becomes a less optimal choice for me.

          • Gaurav Arora

            Ok so these are more of a personal demand than anything else, just how multi-window is for me. So we can clearly agree with both systems do their best in some places and worst in some places, and neither is more flawed than the other. (Android is still better lol, there I said it :P)

          • duse

            Fair enough, I completely agree with that. I am interested in trying multi-window on my tablet and maybe then it'd become a deal-breaker for me. Each has its pros and cons. In a perfect world Android is my choice, it has the potential to be the best in every category, Google just needs to fill some gaps still.

          • Gaurav Arora

            Yeah Android still needs to fill in some gaps, heck there are bugs that don't get fixed for years. And there are features which custom ROMs have simply done better, Google can learn a thing or two (I'm sure they are paying attention ;] )

          • Walkop

            1) "conditionally disabling lock screen security" Can't you just set the screen lock timeout delay to be longer, or disable the insta-lock on pressing the power button? Simple tweaks in the built-in settings, I haven't seen anything better on a friend's iPh5.

            2) "Enabling notification access even on a secured lock screen." NILS, love it. It's a free app, no root required. The paid version is even more flexible. Yes, you need an app, but it takes 2 minutes to install and set up at most then you're set for the life of the phone.

            3) "Missing options in quick settings like flashlight, calc, and clock." That's true. The Quick Settings aren't really a "Control Center" like iOS claims to be, though. Also, you can get apps that place these controls in the notification bar (although that is by no means a proper solution, of course - you need to install custom firmware for that).

            I'd miss way more on Android than I would gain on iOS. Apps like Pushbullet, for one, the Gesture Type keyboards, NILS and Switchr, pattern locks, the PhotoSphere camera (it DOES have the best stitching software I've seen yet), etc. iOS has improved, for SURE, but Android has been improving *way* faster and if it continues at this rate I wouldn't be surprised if it leaves iOS in the dust as time passes on.

          • duse

            Thanks for your very good suggestions.

            1) Yes, I can do these things, but it still feels silly to enter a pattern or PIN all the time when I'm at home. Maybe a relatively simple pattern + a long lock delay is a way to go. Apple's Touch ID still can't be beat, because it lets you set a STRONG password/PIN, but then never be bothered by it. Best of both worlds.

            2) This looks good, I had been wanting something like this. Will it let me tap a particular notification, be prompted for my PIN, and then take me to that app? One issue here is I hate how enabling widgets on the lock screen increases the screen timeout to 30 seconds. I like it to be a quick 5 seconds like it is when widgets are disabled.

            3) Yeah, this isn't a deal-breaker, but having quick apps (like the calc), torch, etc. in the drop down is really nice.

            Both OSes have improved a lot. iOS was a non-starter for years for me, but now I could realistically consider it. But you're right that there's a lot I wouldn't want to give up on Android either.

          • Walkop

            No problemo! I think we're all bothered by *basically* the same issues. I'm the kind of person that gets annoyed and tries to fix em', through whatever means I can!

            1) I totally agree. Touch ID is super convenient. The only thing I like more is Trusted Bluetooth Devices, by Motorola; works really, really well. Also, I haven't set down the money for it, but Tasker allows you to disable passcodes based on your WiFi SSD or other criteria. It can do basically ANYTHING. See this link for more info: http://tasker.wikidot.com/disable-keyguard-when-at-home

            2) Yep, that's exactly what it does! There's a paid version that makes it more flexible and customizable, too. I never realized that lock screen widgets increase the delay; interesting. Wish that could be changed.

            3) Totally agree. Hope Google edits this in the future, or makes the Quick Settings customizable. I wonder if they were waiting for the new camera API to add camera flash integration…?

          • WallBreaker

            lies. Last Time I Checked I had to download 2 apps on ios just to use the App I Downloaded!! Not to mention I have to download more apps just to accomplish whats baked into Android's OS.

            Also its sad when my nexus 5 can share files back and forth over bluetooth to my imac yet my wives ipad mini (which she stopped using) cannot unless you jump through hoops.

            Don't get me started on no default apps the horrid notifications system and the limited sharing capabilities.

            Your blind if you think ios is more advanced and doesn't need tweaking.

    • hp420

      I was with you....then you said iphone.

  • atlouiedog

    "Google will promote Silver phones at carriers and other retailers via its own marketing dollars"

    I hope I can walk into a Best Buy and see a cardboard cutout of Duke Silver holding a Galaxy S6.

  • cdandrews

    "the Silver program is still well underway and aimed to take on the iPhone at the top of the phone market."

    Unfortunately, unless they get Verizon to join the party this will never happen.

    • hp420

      Verizon is a cancer on the mobile industry. What you meant to say is "if they get Verizon to join the party this will turn to shit overnight"

      • david

        yeah, but nevertheless verizon is one of the biggest carriers.
        to actually compete with the iphone, they would have to get them on board.

        not to disagree with your remarks about verizon itself.

        • hp420

          Google has no interest in competing with the iPhone. Larry Page said so himself at I/O 2013...here's the quote:
          "Almost everything I read about Google is about us versus another company, and I just don't find that very interesting. It should be about building new things that don't exist yet"

          source:
          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AfK8h73bb-o

  • Lexster

    Why....don't they just keep the Nexus name? Android Silver is...weird. I mean, people have a perceived value of things and let's face it, "Silver" usually stands for second place. Why do that to yourself?

  • br_hermon

    My 3 areas of interest in the Nexus program:
    1. Solidly spec'd phones running stock Android.
    2. Unsubsidized and competitively priced.
    3. Contract free purchasing through Google.

    #1 Looks like it's staying intact. Great! But... My initial concerns are price and availability. I love a $350 to $400 Nexus phone. Finding that with carriers is difficult to come by. Secondly, if this is done primarily through carriers, what about all of us prepaid? Are we screwed? If Google wants to do this with carriers and OEMs, fine. But if you take away my chance to buy a carrier-independent, reasonably priced, top of the market (mostly) phone to use on whatever prepaid carrier I want, then I'll be pissed.

    Keep the Nexus program in place as it stands today, add to it the Silver program... win / win.

  • Kiamat

    Seems smarter to keep the Nexus program for the low end market and use Silver to replace the GPE line.

    • hp420

      Have you ever used a Nexus? If you think N5 can't compete with flagships you're obviously ignorant or missing a third of your brain

      • http://www.facebook.com/lucyparanormal Daniel Tiberius

        I'd bet he is referring to pricing, not the inferiority of the product.

      • Kiamat

        I never claimed that the N5 couldn't compete with the flagships on performance and internals, but in order to keep the price low compromises had to be made in the fit, finish, and battery life. When I say low end, I'm talking price. The Nexus program allows people who might not otherwise be able to afford one, to get their hands on a flagship level phone.

        Meanwhile, the GPE phones are basically no compromise Nexus devices. I'm saying that rather than get rid of the Nexus program, Silver should replace the GPE program.

    • WallBreaker

      I think thats what they are doing honestly, only the silver program is confirmed as fact.

      The nexus dying is purely speculation. I see it as a way to get Google play edition type devices at contract prices so more consumers are exposed to stock android. Honestly its part of Google's plan to take google back android because right now Samsung dominates the android market and most consumers don't have a clue what stock android is.

      this could also be a silver bullet to apple's iphone as stock is a more simple version of android compared to most OEM's skins which could attract the more simple minded people who prefer ios for its simple almost dumby proof OS.

  • turdbogls

    this just sounds like a re-naming of the GPE phones to me.
    top hardware from top manufacturers, with a google inspired OS, with quick updates, and little to no "bloat" in the OS.
    Sounds exactly like GPE to me...except that they will be promoting it in the carrier stores as well as google kiosks.

    I for one hope the nexus phones aren't going any where. I would much rather spend $350 on a phone with marginally worse hardware, than pay $600+ for something Premium.

    • hoosiercub88

      I think you forgot the quotation marks around Premium. Lol

      • Transflux

        Especially in the case of Samsung phones. Ugh, that plastic. The S5's plastic is better from what I've heard, but it probably still isn't very good.

        • bprichard

          Supposedly feels better (which is nearly inevitable), but as someone who always uses his phones naked, I would never walk around with something that looks like that.

    • Nick

      My thoughts exactly, this sounds like a replacement for GPE, not Nexus. I doubt these Silver phones will be unlocked carrier free.

    • dhruva

      remember some russian blogger rumoured google is going to replace nexus and gpe programs. i think silver would replace gpe and ara a nexus.

    • WallBreaker

      i think it is also a way to get GPE type devices at contract prices which you currently cannot do. Lets face it most consumers are on contracts and don't ever pay more than $250 for a device.

      • turdbogls

        yup.
        I have noticed more and more manufacturers (HTC, moto,Sony) moving some of their core apps to the play store, hopefully this is just a move in the right direction to get ALL manufacturer apps to the play store....just think.

        no more touchwiz interface, no more LG interface, no more sense. everything is close to stock android, and everything else can be downloaded and updated from the play store allowing for quicker feature updates (to, say, the camera, or home screen, or gallery) as well as android updates. Would be awesome, but I doubt that will happen any time soon.

  • Chris

    I hope they finally can get some top specced phones of ALL sizes. Yeah, I love 5.5"+ phones, but most people (especially the people they seem to be going after with this program) don't. We need 4, 4.5, 4.7, and 5" phones with the TOP specs. Not just 5"+ phones.

  • impure

    Silver? Don't you mean Chromium?

    • hoosiercub88

      I see what you did there.

    • hp420

      Chromium has absolutely nothing to do with Google. It's 100% third party

      • dhruva

        isnt chromium open sourced chrome? not third party i think

        • hp420

          No, you got it backwards. ChromeOS is the original open source OS, and chromiumOS is made by a third party (completely unrelated to Google, afaik) with the open source code to create an OS that will run on any non-chromeOS hardware, since only official chromeOS devices can run official chromeOS. Think of it as chromeOS for a windows machine, basically ;)

  • Jeff Langsner

    This sucks..

    The thing is, Nexus phones seem to do very well in Canada (albeit we are a small market but still...)

    In fact, the Nexus 5 is currently being sold at almost every single Canadian phone carrier, big and small.

    Even here in Montreal where the iPhone absolutely dominates, I still see more Nexus 4 and nexus 5's on the street, bus and metros. Even more than I see Galaxy S3, S4s!!!

    This is no doubt due to the insanely good price not only from Google Play, but also the fact that every carrier has the Nexus 5 and it's even priced at 0$ at some carriers such as Videotron, which here in Quebec is overall the best carrier for service vs price etc.

    By changing to Silver program, this does NO favors for my country. We will probably not get this silver program (at least for awhile) just like we don't get Google Play Edition phones, except for the Nexus 4/5.

    This will take away every last shred of "Google Skinned" Android phones from Canada, at least until they finally launch this crap in Canada, god knows how much later. Could be a year or two going by how slow Canada get's stuff from Google (Like how we don't even have Google Play Music of any kind.... still)

    My contract is coming to an end, and if there is no Nexus 6, or hell, even a Nexus Silver phone to buy, then what do I get? Samsung Galaxy S5? Mais Non. I'm not intersted in bogged down user-experience with bloatwear. I'd probably rather take an iPhone, no joke.

    • Sruly J

      1. Sundar Pichai spoke about nexus 6 being released this year.
      2. Android Silver would be ready as soon as next year according to the article.
      3. Article specifies phones would have little to no system modifications. I'd consider touchwiz etc to be a major modification.

  • http://infotainmentempire.blogspot.com Rob

    Uhh, Silver? Why not platinum? If they want it to be premium they should name it Platinum over silver, since it is a heavier and more rare element anyway.

  • yahyoh

    "The Sliver program is set to launch in the US, Germany, and Japan "as soon as next year"
    and the rest of the world can eat D**k

  • http://www.toysdiva.com Toys Samurai

    This program will mean nothing if not all carriers in the US participate. Imagine if Verizon is not participating ... suddenly, a large chunk of US mobile phone users are cut out of the program. A carrier is not like a phone maker, you can't just jump ship. There may be other factors that keep you from leaving your carrier -- coverage, corporate discount, etc.

    • hp420

      I hope Verizon is the only carrier prepaid or postpaid in the entire world officially blocked from this program.

  • h4rr4r

    Unlocked bootloaders?
    Had better be.

  • Henrique Persechini

    If any of the cornerstones of the nexus line isn't preserved, then it's a loss for us power users should the time come to upgrade our devices

    There are good phones with good prices, there are phones with unlockable bootloaders, there are phones with great design, but the Nexus phones with all these and more put together where a safe heaven for modders and stockers alike

  • Fatal1ty_93_RUS

    If Nexus are to be gone - Android will pretty much be dead to me. Fuck HTC Sense, fuck TouchWiz, fuck any other custom OEM skin or crappy Galaxy devices. Nexus program is what makes me want to stay with this great OS, I refuse to believe that Google is that stupid to shoot themselves in a foot like that, and it will be a severe injury

    • Johnathan Rodriguez

      Calm down.

    • ScratchC

      Yes, calm down... Wait to see what Google themselves have to show and tell

    • miri

      "...using criteria that includes the latest version of Android with little to no software modification."

  • Kylecore

    With all this new of the first high quality none plastic samsung S5 prime lately it might be samsung gearing up to be Googles first "silver" partner.
    Seems legit and coincidental

  • SixMoodyDwarves

    My theory is that it will launch as Android Chrome. (Chrome is similar to silver.) This will be the rumored relaunch of Android (Hera).

  • MJ

    This looks like bad news for Nexus fans (like myself) who like phones that are not carrier locked and have an easy/documented way to unlock the bootloader. :-(

    • didibus

      One of the crietrias could be unlocked bootloader.

      • http://volumeboy-man.bandcamp.com/ VBM

        Let's hope. If is basically the Nexus program with a few more (stricter?) rules.

  • John Smith

    Silver... leaves room for Gold, Titanium, Platinum, and Rhodium

  • Jack March

    Meh, guess no more cheap devices.

    But if this is true, they may as well get OEM's to just ditch their skins completely and just make them update their unique features through the play store.

    Certain developers on the play store should be given full access over the the Android system so they can modify it how they like, the Android update would be pushed up by google to every android silver phone at the same time, and then the OEM's could adjust the update to their liking afterwards through the play store.

    Android really needs more brand awareness and a unified look, I reckon the OEM's wouldn't mind having similar looking software if it meant to having a similar reputation to apple with software branding.

    Only issue I can think of is drivers? Don't quallcomm have to contribute to every update or something or am I speaking bollocks?

    • didibus

      That's not how I understood it. I think it will be more like GPE phones, except the criterias for letting a phone be marketed and sold and supported by Google would be stronger. So only the 5 best phones would make the cut. So Silver phones will not have custom skin or apps.

      • Jack March

        Yeah I did say "may as well", I was just saying that if they're going to get OEM's to agree to have a pure Android version of all their flagships they may as well get them to do it with all their flagships and just implement their software tweaks through the play store.

  • Craig Gosling

    I would hate to lose the availability of Nexus devices in Canada.

  • Sruly J

    So basically, from what I understand, it's gonna be like a "nexus meets Google play edition phone" phone.

  • jamesfuston

    This would be a really good time for ASUS to get into the US phone market.

  • RaptorOO7

    Works for me, but it won't be on Verizon, not that its a bad thing Verizon SUCKS!

  • elvisgp

    The nexus program may be the devices that android deserves, but not the one it needs. I'm sorry, I recently watched the dark knight again.

    • WallBreaker

      sorry but the movie is overrated strong first half, weak 2nd act. No Offense. :)

  • fl1nty

    Its backwards. The GPE phones are likely to give way to android silver. GPE was an experiment from Google to see if they can support multiple manufacturers and test out their online store and its pull for normal users. Seeing that it has been quite stable for the past year they are going to rebrand GPE(quite a weird name as such) to android silver and officially invite manufacturers to release devices under the branding and provide sales and marketing support. The nexus line will continue as it has been for the past 5 years.

    • chosen_one1

      Yes but the pricing will change .. I think the biggest draw to nexus devices was the somewhat affordable pricing

      • WallBreaker

        no think about it you can't get a GPE at contract prices, this silver programs is basically GPE devices at contract prices. The nexus is going nowhere.

    • WallBreaker

      also it will allow people to get the GPE/Silver at contract prices. It blows my mind how many people don't think this through and just assume the worst.

    • Ernest Ramos

      This makes more sense. The rumors about Silver makes it sound a lot closer to what we have in the GPE program. Without the Nexus line, what would be the reference device for developers?

  • rap

    Big question is price if Nexus line goes away. I would say moto might be a good alternative but who knows what is going to happen there now.

  • black

    AP confidence level: We know sh*t.

  • Rileey Poole

    Is this true that Silver line will replace Nexus 6? as now a days Google Nexus 6 is in rumors..

  • WallBreaker

    This is just a way to get Google Play edition type devices at contract prices with carriers because right now only the Nexus 5 is available and most consumers don't have a clue what it is. Nothing more.

    This is just an addition, the Nexus is not going to die, trust me google isn't stupid.

  • WallBreaker

    iphone meet your Silver Bullet :::cocks gun::: "Game Over".......!!BANG!!!!

  • dmsrfl

    BOOOOOOOOOOOOOO

    The Nexus 5 has been the best smartphone investment I've ever made, sucks to think Google is thinking of ending Nexus.

  • firesoul453

    Why not turn the nexus line into this??

  • naomicas

    Android silver will be amazing but will it replace http://nexus6google.com/ Google Nexus 6 which is now a days in rumors.One of the rumor related to Nexus 6 is it will include Finger Print Scanner.So,what is going on?

  • hitesh jaina

    There is rumor that Nexus 6 might be the last phone as google planning to replace it with android silver as mention in http://newnexus6.com/

  • Eddie

    Quick updates wont work for verizon. They want to add all kinds of stuff and whenever an update comes out it appears the verizon software incompatibility problems is the issue that delays us MONTHS. If motorola, samsung and htc just got together and issued software to there phones they want that they wanted them we wouldnt have this issue. It would be take the phone the way we do it or dont have any nice phones and people would jump ship to another provider. And the providers wont be able to make a lawsuit against them because nothing unfair is going on. They are providing updates to a product that is working perfectly without issue so no provider gets a unfair advantage.

  • http://nexus6google.com/ Manish Balyan

    Wow Great news android silver in Google Nexus 6 .

  • championsyedm
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