Google looking to offer premium in-store experience with Android Silver

A new Google service appears to be in the works that would introduce customers to a premium Android experience. If this program comes to fruition, it will allow Google to hand pick a set of Android handsets from different OEM's and market them to the public as a premium Android handset.

There have always been strong feelings in regards to the fragmentation issue in the Android ecosystem and while the situation has gotten better, there are still handsets that seem to lose support after a year or two. This program will attempt to unify the experience by creating a strict set of criteria that each "Android Silver" handset would meet. 

According to Android Police, Android Silver requirements would include:

  • Google will choose the top 5 handsets from various OEM's
  • The handset will run the latest version of Android with no or very limited customizations
  • The transition from a standard to Android Silver handset will be seamless with transferring applications, settings, configurations, and data.
  • Offer exclusive services to Android Silver handset owners

Google will also make sure there is a physical presence in retail stores when the program is launched. Similarly, Google currently offers several handsets from a couple of different manufactures on its online store. These 'Google Edition' handsets run the latest edition of Android with zero modifications.

While the Android Silver program seems to closely align with what Google is currently offering online, there will be a difference with the Android Silver handsets being direct towards carriers. The importance of this program will lay strictly on the customer support, which Google currently cannot provide due to its lack of a physical retail presence.

Source : Android Police | Image via Google

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Android Silver! wats the point they'll probably have Gold, Platinum, Diamond, and Ultra-[insert element here]

anyways, real talk, i would welcome this because the experience with the app store is terrible on Android. you have a great device, and then a bunch of apps that are garbage.

suprNOVA said,
i would welcome this because the experience with the app store is terrible on Android. you have a great device, and then a bunch of apps that are garbage.
This has nothing to do with the app store, which will continue offering the same garbage apps.

what does it mean just chose top 5? so if they choose s5 this year and if s6 comes out next year, does that mean the s5 will no longer have support? or do they mean top 5 phones EACH year and hopefully support them for 2-3 year at least with updates.

Actually, should reduce fragmentation if this becomes popular. Stock Android phones get the latest updates soon after the are anounced. Which is a big plus for a lot of people. A lot of stock Android phones are not available in every country or on every carrier. So this will hopefully open that up a bit.

Still open source. Google isnt telling anyone they cannot continue to do what they are doing. They are offering a different service. OEMs are free to do what they want.

techbeck said,
Still open source. Google isnt telling anyone they cannot continue to do what they are doing. They are offering a different service. OEMs are free to do what they want.

Bull. OEMs have to sign up to use Google's bloatware in order to use the name "Android". And FYI: Android has NEVER been open source. Google even admitted as much in court when they refused to turn over source code as it was "proprietary". Can't be open and proprietary at the same time.

You could always try and form your opinion around facts rather than fanboy nonsense.

Gapps is far from bloatware, it's a proprietary package containing Google's app store, email and mapping software. Available free online for anyone who wants them. NOT an operating system. I wonder what you think of software OEM's pre install software on Windows. Users clearly want gapps or more companies would follow Amazon.

The mobile operating system itself is open source, I'm free just now to pull it from git and compile it! Cyanogenmod even does it all for me, it comes without gapps and is a perfectly usable mobile operating system. Companies are free to take the code and do whatever the hell they want to it, as Amazon does to great success.

Major_Plonquer said,

Bull. OEMs have to sign up to use Google's bloatware in order to use the name "Android". And FYI: Android has NEVER been open source. Google even admitted as much in court when they refused to turn over source code as it was "proprietary". Can't be open and proprietary at the same time.

Bull.

1.- Go to https://source.android.com/
2.- Grab the source
3.- Build the OS

ichi said,

Bull.

1.- Go to https://source.android.com/
2.- Grab the source
3.- Build the OS


Cute but doesn't hold up when you learn that Google is restricting new features from AOSP.
http://arstechnica.com/informa...ork-android-its-unforkable/

Similarly, APIs have made the move. AOSP contains a location API, but GMS contains a newer, better one, with additional features. Google encourages developers to use the GMS API, and the AOSP Location API mostly dates back to Android 1.0, and hasn't seen any substantial changes since Android 1.5. The result is that many third-party applications are not merely "Android" applications: they're GMS applications, and won't run without the proprietary, non-open Google software.

BajiRav said,

Cute but doesn't hold up when you learn that Google is restricting new features from AOSP.

It's holding up for Amazon, CyanogenMod, MIUI, Nokia...

Major_Plonquer said,

Bull. OEMs have to sign up to use Google's bloatware in order to use the name "Android". And FYI: Android has NEVER been open source. Google even admitted as much in court when they refused to turn over source code as it was "proprietary". Can't be open and proprietary at the same time.

Bloatware? Please. If that is what you call Google services that millions upon millions use everyday, then really you dont have much to talk about. MS load similar apps and services on their phone and Google is not forcing anyone to use their services either. And MS is now pushing OEMs to put Onenote on their devices by default. You can always go the Amazon route and still do pretty well if you know what you are doing.

And BTW, bloatware is what the carriers put on their phones. Look it up, you may learn something.

Edited by techbeck, Apr 4 2014, 11:30am :

lets hope they don't pick all high-end £400+ phones. The motorola Moto G would be an obvious pick and the nexus 5. A phone that retailed for less than £60 would be good. I would like google to offer these 5 phones 3yrs of guaranteed android updates.

If OEMs dont want to participate, they are still free to do what they want and produce their own UI. I see this more as an expansion on the Play Edition phones they have now. And it is better really. Betting there wont be any more Play Editions after this since, what would be the point?

basically nothing stops them. suddenly if you want the silver star, hey how about you don't support things like windows phone, and how about you buy X amount of ads.

this is going to end up ugly.

Nice. Maybe people/companies will start to realize the benefit of stock Android. Include your own UI if you want, but give people an option to turn it off. Plus, this should give other OEMs besides Samsung to show what they can do. I doubt Google will be promiting mediocure handsets.

Would be nice to hear how long support is planned for these devices.

neonspark said,
google will promote companies that align with its goals, not the best. this is a boys club. nothing more.

Like I said below, paranoid much?

Google already promotes the Nexus and Play and nothing wrong with what they are doing the and not stopping OEM from doing their own thing. This is just basically an expansion of their Play phones really. And wouldn't be surprised to set play go away. No need for it now really.

techbeck said,
Nice. Maybe people/companies will start to realize the benefit of stock Android. Include your own UI if you want, but give people an option to turn it off. Plus, this should give other OEMs besides Samsung to show what they can do. I doubt Google will be promiting mediocure handsets.

Would be nice to hear how long support is planned for these devices.

TouchWiz & Sense etc. aren't skins, you can't just turn them off & it wouldn't be easy to create them like that either. The easiest way to think of them are like custom ROMs (like on xda) developed for a set of devices (you need to edit Android to your design each time there is a new version of Android).