The Nexus line is dead, says Android chief

The Pixel will probably be like some other Android telephone in one essential space.

Google’s Nexus line is lifeless, says Hiroshi Lockheimer, head of Android engineering at Google.

The Google government spoke to Bloomberg concerning the determination this week because it introduced its personal Pixel telephones, pronouncing that “there is no plan at this time to do extra Nexus units,” squashing the continual rumors that the corporate used to be running with Huawei to constructed a Nexus 7 pill successor.

The transfer is now not unexpected for Google, due to the fact that it’s been endeavoring to construct extra of its personal hardware in contemporary years. From the Chromecast to the Chromebook Pixel and Android-powered Pixel C, the corporate can rely as many successes as it could actually screw ups, however the fascinating phase approximately this center of attention on phone hardware is that it believes it may possibly coexist peacefully with the likes of Samsung and LG.

Google’s inside hardware group can be handled in a similar fashion to some other Android OEM, together with competitors Samsung and LG.

“Rick [Osterloh, new head of first-party hardware at Google] and his workforce will use our platform, however they are going to additionally paintings very intently with Google’s Seek staff, or the Maps group, or the Assistant group in ways in which most likely different OEMs would possibly not need to,” says Lockheimer. In different phrases, Google’s hardware staff might be handled in a similar fashion to another Android OEM — the best way Osterloh used to serve as while he ran Motorola inside of Google only a few years in the past. Necessarily, Google has constructed a mini Moto inside of its personal battlements.

“Samsung tells us private details about their product lineup, their plans,” Lockheimer notes. “We would possibly not inform LG that, and vice versa. That keeps. Everybody is handled the similar, together with Rick’s group.”

That is most likely probably the most fascinating takeaway from the transfer to Pixel. As an alternative of partnering with OEMs on Nexus merchandise each and every yr, Google has as an alternative constructed a silo within the corporate, keeping apart the hardware department — beneath Osterloh — from Lockheimer and the Android staff.

Most of the people would possibly not realize the adaptation — a non-curious Pixel consumer will simply remember that she or he is the use of a telephone constructed via Google operating Google device — however the fanatics amongst us have questions. As an example, if Google is treating its hardware department the similar as Samsung and LG, what is going to this imply for updates? Google has already damaged custom via freeing the Pixel options that would possibly not come to final yr’s Nexus units of their entirety.

At the same time as the Nexus 5X and 6P will reportedly be upgraded to Android 7.1 later this yr thru a developer preview, they’re not likely to get the Assistant constructed into the center OS, depending on legacy variations of Google Now and Now on Faucet, just lately renamed “Feed” and “Display seek” respectively, as a substitute.

Whilst the Nexus 5X and 6P shall be up to date to Android 7.1 one day, they almost definitely would possibly not get the options that Google is the use of to promote the Pixel telephones to shoppers.

That Lockheimer claims that Osterloh’s inner hardware department might be “handled the similar” as another Android OEM is fascinating, since the Pixel telephones are being touted because the successors to the Nexus line on the subject of updates. However whether or not the ones updates shall be freely to be had on Google’s developer portal for other folks to sideload, as they may be able to with a Nexus 6P nowadays, is still noticed. Additionally it is uncertain how the Pixel telephones will interface with Google’s personal developer group, whether or not the unlocked variations will serve as as checking out units for other folks starving for the recent and biggest supply code. Google I/O, the corporate’s annual developer convention, would possibly glance very other if the Pixel is handled as simply some other Android telephone, particularly given the Android group’s enthusiasm for freeing technical previews smartly prematurely of the general variations’ public unlock.

Google toed this line two years in the past with the improvement of Android Silver, which used to be scrapped in a while ahead of release in want of continuous the partnership means — with Motorola. On the time, head of Android engineering, Dave Burke, informed ReadWrite that there have all the time been “two outputs” for Android code.

We are construction a Nexus tool and we are construction the open supply code. There is no approach you’ll be able to construct the open supply code with out the telephone or pill or no matter what you’re construction. You need to are living and breathe the code you’re creating.

You’ll be able to’t construct a platform within the summary, you need to construct a tool (or units). So, I don’t believe can can or will ever pass away. After which, I feel Nexus is additionally fascinating in that it is some way folks explaining how we expect Android will have to run. It is a remark, virtually a remark of purity in a few respects. I do not see why we’d ever flip clear of that, it would not make feel.

It is transparent how the narrative has modified given that then, as Google ramped up the layout and manufacturing of its first telephone line. The Pixels are much less approximately “a remark of purity” as they’re approximately Google in spite of everything being opinionated approximately the way it feels a phone will have to glance, really feel, and function.

Whilst Google hasn’t given us any explanation why to assume that the Pixels would possibly not obviously be successful the Nexus line from an replace point of view, a number of the regulations imposed on Osterloh’s workforce will have accidental outcomes, and would possibly eliminate enthusiasts of the Nexus software, who will now not be capable of grasp onto their incorrect heroes of the day past.


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