It seems Android Silver, Google’s often talked about plan to develop premium, high-end Android device branding, has been put on indefinite hold. While Android Silver was never officially confirmed, Google has apparently run into a number of road blocks in the form of handset manufacturers who don’t want to cooperate due to the required reduction of fragmentation.
With a said goal of eventually replacing both the Nexus and Google Play Edition lines of hardware, Android Silver was to be a new take on offering users a stock version of Android, and reducing the growing fragmentation across the platform. As with the current Nexus line, Android Silver would require device OEMs to sacrifice any of their customizations to the operating system.
Understandably, manufacturers were displeased with the idea of further reducing the presence of their own branding, but more so with potentially having to share the Android Silver name with other rival manufacturers. The whole reason the Android platform is popular with device makers is because they can differentiate themselves from rivals, as well as optimize the software for their specific hardware.
While Android Silver may not be officially dead, it’s clear that we won’t be seeing its release anytime soon, especially with a new line of Nexus devices just announced. However, Android Silver could certainly be a solution to a number of the platform’s problems. Not only would users get a more consistent experience, but app developers would have a much easier time getting their software to run on one version of Android, instead of the alarming number we have today. Let’s all hope Google will continue to make efforts towards such a solution.