When Google unveiled Android in 2007 no one thought that by 2013 it would become the world’s most popular mobile OS overtaking Apple’s IOS. Users enjoyed the openness and customization of the OS but were quick to find out the one flaw that accompanied the system: updates. Since the OS was open source, phone manufacturers were able to put a ‘skin’ on top of it in order to differentiate themselves. Google’s answer for this? Stock Android devices branded Nexus.
With the likes of Samsung, HTC and Motorola playing mayor roles adopting Google’s OS, they wanted something that helped users differentiate one device from another, since in essence they were running the same OS. The solution they came up with was to 'skin' the OS, meaning they could develop their own applications and give the OS their own feel. But this was not limited to manufacturers, wireless carriers saw this opportunity to do the same and ship the phones with their own modifications as well.
These tweaks meant one thing; whenever Google updated the OS, Carriers and original equipment manufacturers (OEM) needed extra time to modify Android again, meaning late update arrivals.
In 2010 in conjunction with HTC, Google announced the Nexus One, a device that came with stock Android and promise one huge advantage: they were the first devices to be updated as soon as updates were available.
The Nexus line has grown, steadily releasing at least one device per year, and while not ground breaking, the guarantee that updates will come at least for devices 2 years back make them really attractive to the public. But the line lacked the flashiness of other Android phones and even common tasks were easier in other phones than with early stock OS solutions.
The latest upgrades have brought great features and a more user friendly UI, and with this 'Threat' from Google, OEMs are taking their update process more serious and are scheduling and adding them to their products pipelines. With all of this into account, should your next phone be Nexus branded?