Over the last couple of months, we’ve been treated to endless leaks and rumours of two smartphones believed to be what Google was readying for unveiling later this year. To many, this meant only one thing: they would be this year’s Nexus smartphones.
It’s not hard to see why that it was easy to make that assumption. Since 2009, we’ve been treated to at least a new Nexus device every year. After the “Android Silver” rumours turned out to be ahead of their time back in 2014, we had resigned to the fact that there would always be a Nexus device lineup from Google on top of anything else. Remember the Google Play Edition devices?
However, it looks like Google is keen on moving forward and the Nexus program will be the first culprit of any such plans. According to a new report by Android Central, it is the end of the road for the Nexus line. There won’t be any more Nexus devices. The LG-made Nexus 5X and the Huawei-made Nexus 6P from last year are the last in a long line of Nexus devices that has included devices from HTC, Samsung, Asus and Motorola as well.
According to the report, in place of the shared branding between Google under “Nexus” and the device maker, this year’s devices that are taking the place of the Nexus lineup will instead place the Google brand front and centre. Instead of a pure unaltered stock Android experience, Google is said to be adding a few things on top to differentiate the new devices from the Nexus lineup as we know it. That could include that new navigation bar and buttons we heard about recently that is conspicuously missing from the Android Nougat update that existing Nexus devices received last week.
If this turns out to be true, then it will be a teary farewell to an iconic device brand that has become the yardstick of the Android software experience over the years. A part of me can’t wait to see what Google has in store while another part is grieving. There might be a few more months to prepare all Android watchers and Nexus fans for either the inevitable (falling of the axe) or a resurgence. We’ll have to wait, though.