Google's Nexus-branded mobile devices are considered by many as best Android smartphones and tablets you can buy. Period. They're the first ones to get the latest software updates and they're darn cheap, when compared to other unlocked smartphone prices. The Nexus party's reportedly over, and Google is working on a new program that will replace the Nexus program. But don't freak out. This might actually be a good thing.
According to The Information, Google's new program will be called "Silver." The Nexus-replacing program will reportedly have Google paying smartphone makers and wireless carriers to build high-end smartphones that "adhere to Google specifications."
The gist of Silver is that Google wants to stem the ever-growing fragmentation problem that is Android. Devices that will carry the Silver branding will presumably run stock or near-stock Android (think Moto X), which means they'll have less bloatware and quicker Android updates — a problem that many of today's "high-end" smartphones are guilty of. Just take a look at the HTC One (M8) and Samsung Galaxy S5. Both devices are great Android smartphones, but there's so much carrier junk on them (which can't be un-installed) that it ruins the entire experience.
The Information report also goes on to say that only five devices will be allowed into the Silver program at any time, and that devices will be sold in retail stores, instead of direct from Google Play. This would essentially be Google saying: "These are the best Android smartphones you can buy. Ignore everything else."
While the Nexus smartphones Google sells right now are great, they're only available online, which is a very limited point-of-sale. Unless you're a geek or developer, chances are you probably don't even know they exist. It sounds like Google wants to change that. More Google-y smartphones for everyone so that everyone is on the same page? That's basically Silver in a nutshell.
It's currently unknown if these new "Silver" Android devices will be as attractively cheap as existing Nexus devices. If Google can figure out how to sell affordable Android devices without any of the bloatware in carrier stores, it could mean a more controlled, but refined Android experience for everyone.
Via The Information (subscription required)