Google and their Nexus lineup have long been reserved for a niche market, especially worldwide where many countries never even saw the Nexus 4, 7 & 10 being released.
The Problem: The Android ecosystem is vast wilderness with all blends and variants of Android ranging from Gingerbread to the very latest Jelly Bean flavor with quite different software overlays like TouchWiz & Sense. — Over the course of the last few years this has created a discrepancy and the problem of software updates across the whole spectrum further escalated while Google stood still, helpless.
The goal behind Nexus was to guide the ecosystem. But that will continue as well. – Sundar Pichai
Let’s go back in time. – We’re in late 2010, Android is still an ugly duckling suffering a fragmentation. Manufacturer skins are still widely popular while the first Nexus device can bearly rival with other handsets. The operating system’s metamorphosis to a hybrid phone-tablet solution has just began at Google but the whole project is still in early stages. (It would be later known as ICS).
Android Holo – A streamlined unified design language.
The new interface originally created to bind both was essentially just in the form of blueprints and renderings while the platform began its ascension to global domination. Yet Google wanted to curb the problem of fragmentation inadvertently caused when manufacturers extensively ‘forked’ Android since stock Gingerbread was deemed too unintuitive to be used on different devices.
The Nexus One – The ‘original’ Nexus
The release of Ice Cream Sandwich brought along consistency, modernism and the famous Android Holo backed by the Android Design Guidelines a few months later. Manufacturers didn’t quite respond in a timely fashion, still clinging to their own ideas about differentiation. Fast forward 3 years later and the problem is still there though present to a lesser extent.
Well, not until now..
Google’s Solution: The announcement of the Galaxy S4 & HTC One Google Edition saw another type of warrior in the Android arena, it’s clear that Google wants to take matters into their own hands by collaborating with their partners to create versions of flagship devices powered by a ‘stock-y’ version of Android (well not quite AOSP). Sundar Pichai’s philosphy involves the promotion the Nexus experience which in our opinion would benefit the whole of Android.
What happens next: We’re pretty sure that more devices running a vanilla version of Android might pop out during the next few months, we could very well see some offering from Sony, Huawei and others if things goes according to plan.
What it means to you: You’ll mostly likely see flagship products coming in two flavors, one with the manufacturer’s own implementation of Android and the other will a Nexus-like experience, the Google Edition might not seem as appealing as the original one, features might be stripped off (like the IR or Zoe on the HTC One) but you’ll benefit from a faster update scheme along with the ‘pureness’ of Android.
So what do you think about this move? Would the strategy eventually curb the fragmentation issue? Tell us what you think below!