With the advent of new “Nexus Experience” versions of top Android smartphones from multiple manufacturers, such as the Galaxy S4 Google Edition and HTC One Google Edition, questions have come up about the future of Google’s other Nexus line of devices. Not only do the “Nexus Experience” devices seem to be part of a new strategy for the company, but also no new Nexus devices were released or talked about at I/O, making it seem as if the line might be dying out.
However, Nexus fans can rest assured, as Sundar Pichai (the man in charge of Android) has reassured us that Google is not done with the Nexus line of phones. Instead, he says that the point of Google’s own line of devices is to allow Google to “push on hardware as well,” instead of just showcasing stock Android on other manufacturer’s top hardware. In the short term, that means that perhaps we can expect a new Nexus 7 to be released sometime this year, and perhaps even a new Nexus 4 or 5 by Christmas.
Still, this does raise some questions about Google’s future strategy. At first, Nexus was essentially top manufacturer devices, with a few small tweaks and stock Android. (Think the HTC Desire and the Nexus One, or the Galaxy Nexus and the SII.) Lately, though, Nexus devices have gotten a little more adventurous hardware-wise, have more tweaks and added features from Google, and have been less like the counterparts from the manufacturer.
Still, with the acquisition of Motorola and the prospect of the Moto X, it seems that Google’s hardware focus will be with Motorola’s new devices. With “Nexus Experience” smartphones from other manufacturers serving to provide more average consumers with stock Android, how will the Nexus line differentiate? Extreme hardware is taken care of with the Moto X, and the “Nexus Experience” devices showcase the software just fine.
There’s no way to know what the future is for Nexus devices, but I personally hope that Google uses the product line to get more quality Android devices into the hands of consumers. The Nexus 7 is still a fairly good deal compared to other tablets, and the Nexus 4 is a great deal for a smartphone even though the hardware may not be cutting edge. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Google focus on quality, low-cost devices in the Nexus line, and that makes perfect sense to me.[The Verge]