There are a lot of interesting developments in Android hardware recently. We saw the Samsung Galaxy S4 Google Edition at I/O, which led to a few moans and groans when the $649 pricetag was announced. Today, Android Chief Sundar Pichai revealed the new HTC One Google Edition phone, set to retail at $599 on the Play Store.
It led some to speculate as to whether or not Google was done making Nexus hardware. That’s a fair question, considering we’ve not seen this kind of thing from Google before. Is it a sign of changing tides, or Google being smart about what consumers want?
According to the boss himself, the latter. Sundar Pichai notes during his D11 talk that Google will continue to head development on Nexus devices. Those devices, and Pichai points out, are not just about the newest version of Android. “The idea with Nexus is to push on hardware as well, so that will continue.” said Pichai. He also noted that Google would continue to partner with manufacturers, offering more devices with stock Android in the future.
This is really wonderful news, all around. We now have access to the best hardware available, and can get the operating system we might prefer, without rooting. The Samsung Galaxy S4 is a nice device, but TouchWiz isn’t for everyone. The same goes for the HTC One — great hardware, but a suspect OS skin for many. Now we have the best devices available, running pure Android. The price for both the HTC One and Galaxy S4 are fair for an unlocked device that isn’t a Nexus device, so it’s fair for everyone as well.
To top it all off, the Nexus program will continue laying the groundwork for Android. This is exactly what we’ve been asking for, and Google delivered for us. Let’s be happy about it!