Some reports have revealed that Google plans to ditch the Nexus family of devices next year and replace it with an Android Silver line that would consist of high-end devices running a stock Android version, much like Google Play Edition devices. Moreover, a report claimed a Nexus 6 would not be launched this year, somewhat further backed up by LG, which recently denied plans to build such a device for Google this year. However, Google head of Android engineering and the Nexus program at Google told ReadWrite that the Nexus line isn’t going anywhere, which seems to indicate that a Nexus 6 smartphone is still in the cards, just as a recent rumor suggested.
“People just get excited by concepts and forget why we do things,” Burke said. “We are still invested in Nexus.”
“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,” he added.
Interestingly, Burke did sort-of confirm Android Silver, by refusing to talk about it. “Android Silver is not something that we are commenting on right now,” the exec said.
Unsurprisingly, the Nexus family of devices is actually important for Google, as the company builds the next version of Android on brand new devices that are made specifically to run that next version.
“When we are working, there are sort of two outputs,” Burke revealed. “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.”
Just as before, the Nexus devices are still a way for Google to highlight the new operating system, and show developers, OEMs and end-users what it’s supposed to be like.
“You can’t build a platform in the abstract, you have to build a device (or devices),” Burke said. “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.”
A Nexus 9 tablet has also been detailed in many reports, and it’s expected to launch this fall, alongside Android L.