The Android Silver program is being billed as the next big thing to be churned out by Google, for strengthening its position in the worldwide smartphone sector. In the following piece, some key likely features and aspects of Silver have been highlighted upon.
Initially touted to be a supplementary program to the Google Nexus series of devices, Android Silver currently seems to be a much bigger initiative than that. If reports from the Android Police blog and The Information are to be believed, Google is planning to completely replace Nexus with Silver – in a bid to offer premium-grade Android experience to users. We will here acquaint fans of the Android OS with some vital tidbits related to Android Silver:
- Presence of a dedicated anti-mobile theft software – Many mobile app development companies have already released anti-theft tracking applications – but Silver would have such a software embedded in the system. It would be named ‘Never Lost’, and would literally rule out the possibilities of a handset getting lost. Tracking down your misplaced/stolen device would become easier than ever.
- Greater support for device manufacturers – With Silver, Google will be able to extend support to a large number of device manufacturers. The latter would be helped to manage their production, marketing as well as distribution expenses. Whenever an update would be released on the software, the handsets produced by these participating companies would be given special treatment.
- More consistent performance – Those up top at Google probably feel that a mobile program that adheres closely to the company’s tech specifications is required – and it is customizing Android Silver accordingly. In addition to releasing software updates at regular, frequent intervals – Silver would also boast of high-end hardware architecture. In all probability, Google will be promoting its Silver platform exclusively to the wealthier segment of Android’s worldwide customer base.
- Silver will reduce unnecessary competition in the market – Many software developers and mobile application development experts feel that Nexus – although qualitatively fine – stands out as a competitor to HTC, Samsung and other Android-powered phones churned out by renowned brands. Since the fight for market share between Android and iOS (the former leads by a fair distance at present) will rage on, Google is opting for the sensible option of taking down Nexus, and removing the competition between Android devices. Sure, there will be Samsung Silver jostling with HTC Silver to grab buyers’ eyeballs – but in the end, the new program will be the winner.
- Smooth data transition options – What if you have a Google Nexus phone, or any other old handset – and wish to transfer data from it to your new Silver device? Google will be making sure that this will never be an issue. Right from documents and files stored in the old phone, to mobile apps installed in it – almost everything can be seamlessly migrated to Android Silver devices. The data security on the Silver line of phones will also be top-notch.
- Better promotion support – As per reports and rumors, Google is really loosening its purse strings, to make Android Silver a big hit. Over $1 billion will reportedly be spent, to set up Silver stalls and kiosks. In-store ad displays would include video tutorials for prospective buyers (just like the ones at Amazon stores). Company personnel are also being given special training to promote the new program in the best possible manner.
- Android would help Google retain control over device specs – Both the hardware and the software of Nexus phones are pre-specified by Google. With the new line of Silver handsets, Google would, once again, have the final say on the design and system specifications. Individual manufacturers would have to work with similar, customized mobile development frameworks – as specified under the Silver program. Mobile development and marketing companies won’t get much scope to really differentiate their products from that of their rivals.
- Compatibility with third party apps – There is a buzz among Android app developers regarding this. Google has plans to pre-install a wide range of native applications in Silver – along with a selection of non-Google apps too. People would have the option of removing bloatware and/or any of these default apps as well. Android is, in any case, a more customizable OS than Apple iOS, and Silver would build on this factor.
- Silver would probably be rolled out sometime in 2015 – It can happen earlier, but chances for that seem unlikely. Google has already announced the Nexus 10 device – and is almost certain to not hurt its chances of success, by releasing Android Silver immediately after that. It seems like the new mobile program will make its debut in the first or second quarter next year.
- Silver will have the best features from Nexus and Play editions – Researchers from almost every mobile apps company feel that Silver would replace the popular Google Play Edition (which supports multiple versions of same devices) as well. There will be devices specifically designed for Silver, while simultaneous support will be provided to multiple devices. This, in essence, would mean that Silver would be an improved version of both Google Play and Nexus.
- Availability of more essential features – Android Silver will not be ‘just another’ replacement program scheduled to be rolled out by Google. It will have several features and controls – which are not available in existing Nexus devices, and even certain high-end iPhones. The new line of phones would have reliable waterproof properties, and would come with voice recognition software. Silver is for that ‘premium Android experience’ – and Google is trying to ensure that it lives up to the hype.
- Samsung might come up as a competitor – There have been telltale indications in the recent past that Samsung might be looking beyond Android as the default OS on its devices. Silver would serve as a buffer against such a scenario too. Motorola and LG have already been brought onboard for developing and marketing Android Silver phones. Even if Samsung does not part ways with Android, a strong presence of Silver would reduce the former’s overwhelming market dominance to some extent.
- The price factor – No concrete information is yet available regarding this issue. It might well be that Android Silver would be available at relatively low off-contract prices, like the Nexus devices. Google is presently in talks with carrier companies, and a pricing decision is expected to be reached soon. In any case, Google will be roping in multiple carriers for Silver – to ensure that device availability is never a problem.
- Presentation of the mobile program – The newly released Samsung Galaxy S5 bootup screen bears the words ‘powered by Android’ – and it is almost certain that devices that would come with Android Silver will have similar messages in their startup screens. That way – the brand presence of Google’s mobile OS will be strengthened. The Silver program has been designed to help OEM companies get maximum visibility for their devices too.
Android Silver, as its name itself suggests, would have a nice-looking silver case (instead of the boring plastic ones). If Google succeeds with Silver, it will not only sync the overall Android market under a common set of specifications – but would also help it maintain its edge over Apple, at least in terms of market share. From forums, blog reports and tech magazine publications, Android Silver indeed seems to be a more than worthy successor of Nexus. The actual word-of-mouth feedback would determine its final fate though!
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