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How Google plans to make high-end Android phones even better

Published Apr 29th, 2014 12:39PM EDT
Google Android Silver Program

Although Google’s Android operating system is the world’s most dominant mobile platform, Google is apparently tired of seeing Apple get all the accolades for building stylish devices. Unnamed sources tell The Information that Google will try to fix this by spearheading a new program called Android Silver that will encourage manufacturers to start using higher quality build materials and put more emphasis on stylish designs.

The new program will see Google kill off its own line of Nexus smartphones and instead start paying off OEMs to build and sell higher quality devices that “closely adhere to Google specifications” that will “sharply limit the number of non-Google apps that can be pre-installed on devices, or mandate that phone owners be able to uninstall them.”

This will presumably eliminate two birds with one stone: First, it will create a more uniform standard of quality for high-end Android phones that has basically been nonexistent over the past few years. Second, it will limit the amount of bloatware that companies such as Samsung can cram onto a device if they want their top phones to carry the “Android Silver” label.

While this move might not steal too many customers away from Apple, it could be aimed at keeping Samsung in check to make sure it doesn’t exert too much control over the Android market.

Prior to joining BGR as News Editor, Brad Reed spent five years covering the wireless industry for Network World. His first smartphone was a BlackBerry but he has since become a loyal Android user.