While speaking to Gadgets 360, Android’s Vice President of Product Management and Google Play, Sameer Samat revealed that Android One was not dead and actually Google has been working on it behind the schenes.
For those of you who thought Android Go came to replace Android One, sorry but that’s not the case. “Android One,” Sameer said, “was a specific project that focused on three things – first, specifying hardware… the second was any device that has the Android One brand would have the Google UI, unmodified by the partner. And the third piece was a commitment from the device manufacturer to have regular security updates.”
All that was translated to Android One being Nexus-like devices at a budget price. After a short while, the news around Android One started to fade and this was followed by rumours that Android One was dead, something that Google denied.
According to Sameer, Google discovered that there was a set of high-end and mid-range device users who wanted on-time security updates and stock Android UI, which was not Android One’s market as Android One was meant to serve entry-level devices.
He revealed that Android One has evolved and as much as the company still recommends the hardware that should run on Android One branded devices, they no longer require OEMs to stick to the entry-level devices. Sameer gave an example of Turkey where Google and General Mobile have a $200-$250 device and in Japan, where Sharp and Qyocera, have devices from $400 to $500.
All Android One devices will still use the stock Android UI (Google UI) and the OEMs will have to push regular updates for these devices, regardless of their price points. “So the Android One programme has evolved, and we are quite happy with how that’s evolving,” concluded Sameer.
Inference from his statements is that OEMs are now free to get creative with specs and still get their devices branded Android One. This also sounds like it might go in the direction of “Google Play Edition” devices – I will not blame you for not knowing what that is but here’s how to find out.
Personally I am excited at the possibility of having a decent mid-range device running stock Android. I am tired of all these OEM skins.