We provided some details a few days ago about a device that may very well be a Motorola Nexus phone, with the telling codename "Shamu" (because it's really big). Today The Information says it has independent confirmation from three sources that the device exists and that it is indeed a Nexus phablet. As for Android Silver? Well, that's looking a bit less certain.
There's been a lot of confusion lately over the fate of Google's Nexus program. Rumors swirled, after LG's planned Nexus was canceled (and later denied entirely), that the program was dead in favor of an upcoming Android Silver initiative. With the revelation that HTC is working on a 9" tablet device (code named Volantis), it seemed the Nexus program had at least one more device in store - expected to launch with Android's L release this fall.
Earlier this year, both Evan 'Evleaks' Blass and The Information's Amir Efrati claimed that the upcoming Android Silver program would replace the Nexus line of developer phones. Blass went so far as to say, "There is no Nexus 6. Farewell, Nexus." Both of those reports would seem to be contradicted by our own exclusive reveal of the HTC Volantis, a new Nexus tablet. Now we've got even more claims that the Nexus hardware line isn't going anywhere soon, this time right from the proverbial horse's mouth.
Google I/O is next week, and among other things, the official Google developer conference has often served as an introduction for new Nexus hardware. But with the rumors of the "Android Silver" program floating around, which is said to completely replace Google's manufacturer-agnostic developer hardware line, we couldn't help but wonder if any of Google's OEM partners were working on new Nexus devices. We asked Ken Hong, Global Communications Director of LG, to shed some light on the subject.
Most people familiar with the Nexus program know that each new Android update usually brings with it a new set of driver "blobs" for each supported phone and tablet in the product line. Even though these proprietary binaries are usually the latest versions when they come out, Google still occasionally receives updates to the drivers even when it's not a good time to issue an OTA. As we've just witnessed from the long lead time on the 4.4.3 release, it can take quite a while before an update is rolled out.
We've been hearing about Android Silver, a leaked program between Google and manufacturers to promote quality, standardized Android hardware, for about six weeks now. Today Evleaks, whose consistent pre-release info is almost always spot-on, weighed in on the subject. According to Evan 'Evleaks' Blass, the Silver program is currently scheduled to go into effect in February of next year. Oh, and there won't be a Nexus 6.
Just minutes ago we posted about the discovery of an Android 4.4.3 changelog in AOSP and we've already found some interesting information. Among the individual project repositories, there are a few dedicated to Google-supported devices, mostly those in the Nexus family. In particular, we came across new references to an HTC device codenamed "Flounder," and another device belonging to Google with the name "Molly." This is the first time that these names have appeared in AOSP.
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.
We all love new Nexus accessories right? After all, Google doesn't have a spotless track record with providing accessories for their own line of phones and tablets. Today, Google added one item to the lineup - a Nexus Charging Accessory. The don't-call-it-a-travel-adaptor accessory is a basic micro USB cable with a block, just as you'd expect.
For reference, the accessory is listed as a 1.8A adapter. The Nexus 5's stock adapter is 1.2A, the new Nexus 7's charger is 1.35A, and Samsung has been shipping 2A adapters of late.
Wi-Fi is a staple among most smartphone users. While we tend to talk more about cellular data, it's really just there to sustain us as we travel from one access point to another. We aren't just demanding more data at higher speeds, we're connecting more devices than ever before. The inevitable overcrowding of the 2.4 GHz brought about the expansion into the 5 GHz range. Unfortunately, many Nexus devices (and at least a few others) are having trouble making and maintaining connections to this higher frequency band.