Android silver is probably dead, long live the Nexus


Android Silver

Back in April we first heard rumors of a new program at Google called “Android Silver.” The idea behind Silver was for premium devices with Google branding, stock software, and a much bigger presence on carriers. A more mature Nexus program, if you will. Initial rumors claimed Android Silver would replace the Nexus program completely, but now we’re hearing the opposite.

Sources at The Information are saying Android Silver is probably dead. The project was being pushed by former Googler Nikesh Arora, but now that he is gone the project has been scrapped. The Information goes on to explain that the project was never fully embraced by Google, and carriers and OEMs were very skeptical. Now that Arora is gone there is no one pushing the idea.

It’s now clear that the Nexus program is the future for stock Android devices. Motorola and Google are reportedly working on a large Nexus device that should be coming with the launch of Android L. We were never really sure what Android Silver would bring, but it could have been cool if Google managed to get a bigger presence with carriers. Long live the Nexus.

Thanks everyone!

Joe Fedewa
Ever since I flipped open my first phone I've been obsessed with the devices. I've dabbled in other platforms, but Android is where I feel most at home.

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  1. This is quite saddening. Android Silver, or what was rumored to be Silver, was something that Android fans have wanted since the inception of our beloved platform. We have wanted Google’s Android, in it’s most Googly and purest form, running on the best hardware possible. Nexus devices are amazing in their own right, but they always seem to skimp on battery and camera, something other OEMs improve upon. However, said OEMs do not provide the coveted Google experience that many of us have wanted. Additionally, some of us just love [insert OEM here] hardware and design. Android is normally about choice, but sometimes it’s about sacrifices too. I believed Silver was the answer to that problem, at least from an Android fanboy’s point of view.

  2. What a bummer… Verizon is the only choice in my town if you want good LTE service and i was dreaming about having a flagship powered by Google. Life is cruel :'(

    1. And no.. Moto X (2nd gen) is not an option. I’ve been a Galaxy S user since the S2… Moto x is just not gonna cut it..

      1. Not sure how you can deal with TouchWiz that long. Moto X blows them away.

        1. Exactly

        2. Maybe he uses a custom ROM without TouchWiz…

        3. I use Google Now Launcher and works great. Moto X is missing some features that i find very needed. Ex: External Storage, better Camera, bigger battery and why not throw waterproof in there?

      2. I use Google Now Launcher and works great. Moto X is missing some features that i find very needed. Ex: External Storage, better Camera, bigger battery and why not throw waterproof in there?

      3. I’m with you. I have been running Galaxy S since the Vibrant and I just don’t want anything else. But a moto, riiiiight?! You couldn’t pay me enough to use a Motorola phone. They lost me with Blur and I’d never go back. Plus moto is very anti-root and I just don’t see the point in owning a computer that I don’t have admin rights to.

    2. Unfortunately Verizon is the only choice in many small towns. They have the best coverage by far. For us who have a choice, Verizon is the last one. Verizon is the reason these things can’t work. They want to control the phone and the software too much. Why do you think they backed away from them after the Galaxy Nexus.

      1. Verizon is the real ‘Murrican company. We’re gonna lock the s%&$ out of your devices or bully you into liking them.

    3. when I bought my nexus 5 i never felt that I wasn’t getting the best phone.I could buy any phone I wanted and I chose the nexus 5.So i’m very happy that the nexus line will live on.

      1. I 100% agree with this. When I bought the Nexus 4 and 5, T-Mobile was offering 0 down payment on all its phones, but I still got the Nexus devices because I didn’t want to compromise anymore.

  3. Looking forward to hearing about the 6th-gen Nexus.

  4. Very disappointing. I want the best Android phone with stock Android money no object. With the Nexus program I don’t get that since they have had a major focus on price forcing them to skimp on specs…

    1. What specs do Nexus devices skimp on?

      1. The Nexus have historically been stripped down versions of flagships specs wise. Amazing bang for the buck, but it always comes out later than the flagships with next gen specs right around the corner.

        Don’t get me wrong I have had several Nexus devices and love stock Android. That’s why silver was so appealing. I could finally pick whatever flagship I wanted and get updates from Google. Choice is why I love android, but hardware wise there is only one choice if you want stock Android.

        1. Let’s look at recent history. The N5 has been the most recent and it was rocking good specs. The same processor was still being used into this year on other flagship devices (and it’s been minimal updates this year, no major 64 bit yet). Just because the release cycle for Nexus falls in between processor cycles they can’t be blamed.

          Add in the fact that it’s clean Android and it blows nearly all devices out of the water. The closest option to stock would be Moto.

        2. I get what you’re saying. I forgot the Android Silver line were Android devices just like a Nexus device except it was made by different manufactures. Where they were still just as low priced. I really think that would have taken off, but a lot of people in the states don’t buy their phones up front. That’s probably why it doesn’t seem to be taking off.

  5. Manufacturers probably would have buckled to carrier pressure anyway… like the VZW G”Nex” debacle.

  6. Nexus master race.

  7. Shame, thought it was a good idea.
    While Nexus devices are very good value, they don’t offer the best hardware available.

    1. In my experience, sub-prime hardware specs minus the heavy manufacturer bloat actually results in a smoother user experience. My N5 is still holding up like a champ. Tried the G3 for a week or so, but the screen is a little large for my liking, and sorely missed the pure android experience.

      It was a great idea, but apparently Google & Co lack the same carrier leverage that Apple has.

    2. I think the N5 offered some of the best hardware available at the time, considering it’s release schedule which falls in the middle of hardware revisions (mostly Spring/Fall for flagships). If we look at processor it was in line with everything at the time, camera/screen can be similar to some flagships, and software for some beats any skin.

  8. I really liked the idea of Android Silver, but it always seemed to good to be true. I’m hoping as a consolation that GPE devices will continue, that way top (or simply preferred) hardware and pure android can still be had for those willing to put out the money.

  9. I wouldn’t write it off completely since it’s been back and forth over the last few months.

  10. Seriously, why can’t they give us an option to buy the phone that we want, without their god-awful skins bogging everything down. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been like “I love the device itself but it runs [insert horrible skin here]!”

    1. Just root it and use a vanilla ROM.

      1. Not every phone has vanilla ROMs available, for example my friend’s Note 3 on AT&T. Also my Galaxy Tab S 10.5″ doesn’t have an AOSP ROMs either.

  11. Seemed a bit redundant with GPEs anyway, to me. Especially when they can just expand that and the Nexus branding to include what this was gonna be.

  12. Can’t see why Google can’t team up with Sony since it seems that they are struggling a bit. Just deliver a top-spec phone with pure android, no oem and carrier alterations. Great way to break into the US market. Sure rooting is an option, but the massses don’t want to do something like that. People just want it to work right of the box.

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