google io 2014 keynote (24 of 41)

Dave Burke on stage at I/O 2014

Everybody breathe, there’s hope after all for the Nexus program.

Dave Burke, head of engineering at Android and the Nexus program, says that, just because Google is launching Android Silver, it doesn’t mean that Nexus is going away.

“People have been commenting about Nexus because there is something else and they think that means the end of Nexus. That is the totally wrong conclusion to make,” Burke said in an interview with Read Write.

“We are still invested in Nexus.”

Burke, who introduced developer-facing changes coming in Android L on stage during the I/O keynote, tacitly acknowledged the existence of Android Silver. The Googler denied to comment on the program, but emphasized the company’s commitment to Nexus.

“People just get excited by concepts and forget why we do things. We are still invested in Nexus.”

One of the biggest reasons Google has to offer Nexus devices is the need for reference devices that the Android team can use to show how the operating system should look and work.

[quote qtext=”When we are working, there are sort of two outputs. We’re building a Nexus device and we’re building the open source code. There is no way you can build the open source code without the phone or tablet or whatever you are building. You have to live and breathe the code you are developing. You can’t build a platform in the abstract, you have to build a device (or devices). So, I don’t think can can or will ever go away. And then, I think Nexus is also interesting in that it is a way of us explaining how we think Android should run. It is a statement, almost a statement of purity in some respects. I don’t see why we would ever turn away from that, it wouldn’t make sense.” ” qperson=”” qsource=”” qposition=”center”]

[quote qtext=”You can’t build a platform in the abstract, you have to build a device (or devices). So, I don’t think it can or will ever go away. And then, I think Nexus is also interesting in that it is a way of us explaining how we think Android should run. It is a statement, almost a statement of purity in some respects. I don’t see why we would ever turn away from that, it wouldn’t make sense.” ” qperson=”” qsource=”” qposition=”center”]

This declaration of trust in the future of the Nexus platform leaves little room for interpretation. Nexus devices are here to stay. So how did we get to the “Nexus is dying” narrative in the first place?

It started with a few vague tweets from notorious leaker Eldar Murtazin, which we discussed but didn’t really take for granted. But then the reliable The Information came with a report essentially claiming the same thing, while @evleaks chimed in along the same lines. With multiple reports about Android Silver coming in early 2015, LG not making a new Nexus phone this year, and a Nexus tablet from HTC only coming in Q4, predicting the end of the Nexus program seemed a safe bet.

So what happened? Were all those reports based on misunderstandings? Was there a nugget of truth in the rumor and Google somehow changed its mind? Or is Dave Burke just muddying the waters? All we can say for now is that Nexus devices (or something very similar) are sticking around, and that’s great news.