If Android Silver exists, I want HTC to kick it offEvan Selleck - Contributing Editor
Everything we know and love about Android is changing forever. Everything! It's never going to be the same again! It's... Okay, so it's probably not that bad, and everything's going to be fine, but for those out there who love the Nexus lineup from Google, I could understand why life may seem pretty dire right about now. After all, the Nexus 5 may have been the last handset launched bearing the Nexus birth mark.
The rumors first started in late April, with reports that Google would be dropping the Nexus movement --at least for its handsets-- and moving forward with something called Android Silver. Just a few weeks later we saw another rumor surface, that flat-out said that the Nexus 6 was not being developed, with a tease suggesting that there might be a "silver" lining to the whole situation.
Get it? Android Silver. Silver lining... Yeah, you get it.
Anyway, Android Silver is apparently a way for Google to launch high-end phones with a limited number of applications pre-loaded on them, or what many would call bloatware. It's been noted that owners will be able to remove those apps, but just the idea of their presence right out of the box is a stark contrast to what we've seen from the Nexus lineup in the past. As of right now there's no telling what those apps could be, either. The bloatware thing just happens to be one of the most consistent elements of the Android Silver story.
Honestly, Android Silver just seems strange, and other than the bloatware aspect, it sounds exactly like Nexus. A consistent user experience across devices, independent of the manufacturer behind each handset, and prompt updates to the software. Basically, Android Silver is what a lot of people wanted out of Nexus over the years: multiple devices launched at the same time. It sounds to me like manufacturers want to put their own apps on these "pure" devices, though, and Android Silver could be the deal that they struck.
What about the brand new Nexus tablet that has reportedly found its way online? Truth be told, if Android Silver does exist, that doesn't necessarily mean that the Nexus brand has to die completely. Keeping it alive with tablets could make sense to someone. And the rumored HTC "Volantis" looks like an interesting device, even if it isn't packed to the brim with outstanding specifications.
Looking at the Volantis in that leaked image, though, made me realize that more than anything I want HTC to be the company that kicks off Android Silver. Just like they started the Nexus movement all those years ago, I want HTC to create the first Silver-branded device. It's not terrible that rumors suggest Motorola and LG will be the first official companies to fly the Silver flag at some point in the future, but I'd just prefer HTC to be the company to kick things off.
It would be pretty crazy if those rumors of an M9 and an M9 Prime actually referred to HTC's follow-up to the M8, and their first Silver handset. The reports suggest that Silver could launch early in 2015, so it would make sense timing wise.
There's a chance we hear about Android Silver at this year's Google I/O, which is only a few days away, so maybe all of this speculation will come to an end then. Or maybe we'll have to keep guessing about this for several months. Either way, I want to know what you expect from Silver, and what you're hoping it brings to the table. Do you hope HTC has a hand in the new brand's launch? Or another manufacturer? Let me know!