How Google Disappointed Android Aficionados

26 May 2016 | By James

Topics: Disappointed Android Aficionados

The Nexus series is Google’s own line of Android devices, developed in partnership with OEM contractors. The first five of the series were built by HTC, Samsung and LG. Even though Google had acquired Motorola by then, to the dismay of Android developers and loyalists, they made only one Nexus model; the Nexus 6.

The Google Nexus series is Google’s own line of Android devices. Touted as flagship Android devices, the Nexus series of smartphones are unlockable devices that run the base version of Android, without any manufacturer modifications or customizations. Ever since Android 1.0 was released in 2008, loyalists had been waiting for Google to develop its own line of Android smartphones. It took Google a couple of years more to launch Nexus One, the first phone in the Nexus series.

Released in January 2010 with Android version 2.1 (Éclair), the Nexus One was manufactured by HTC Corporation, the then market leader in smartphones. It was also the first phone to run Android 2.2 (Froyo), through an update released in May 2010. Google’s entry into Android device development had scared major players in the arena, including Apple which sued HTC in a patent lawsuit. Other Android device manufacturers were concerned that the Nexus series would eventually eat into their market share. But for Google loyalists and Android app developers, it was time to rejoice.

Nexus S and Galaxy Nexus by Samsung

Google was also worried that other smartphone makers would lose interest in supporting Android devices. As a reassurance, Google chose Samsung Electronics to develop the next two phones in the series, the Nexus S and Galaxy Nexus. Samsung was, at that time, the leading company developing Android phones. Nexus S, released in December 2010, came with Android version 2.3 (Gingerbread) upgradable to Android 4.1 (Jelly Bean). Galaxy Nexus came out in October 2011 with Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) upgradable to version 4.3 (Jelly Bean).

Nexus 4 and Nexus 5 by LG

By now Google had already acquired Motorola Mobility and Android developers and enthusiasts were eagerly waiting for the next Nexus, hoping it would be a cent per cent, all-American Google product. But as mentioned earlier, Google wanted to keep all its Android partners happy and so, the development of Nexus 4 and Nexus 5, the next two releases that followed, were given to LG Corporation; the next big contender in the Android market.Based on LG Optimus, a highly praised Android phone, the Nexus 4 ran the latest Android version 4.2 (Jelly Bean). Nexus 5 came out in October 2013, running Android 4.4 (KitKat)

Nexus 6 by Motorola

A couple of months later, to the further dismay of Android aficionados and app developers, Google announced that it would sell Motorola to the Lenovo group. The possibility of a true Google Nexus now seemed hopeless. Finally, in October 2014, Nexus 6, the true Google Nexus manufactured by Motorola under Google’s ownership, was released almost coinciding with Lenovo’s acquisition of Motorola. It was the also one of the launching devices for Android 5.0 (Lollipop). But the damage had been done; Google no longer owned Motorola nor did they have any plans to develop their own Android hardware.

Nexus 6 was followed by Nexus 5X, manufactured again by LG and Nexus 6P, manufactured by Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd., the world’s largest telecommunications equipment manufacturer. Both the phones running Android 6.0 (Marshmallow) were released in October 2015. These were the last smartphones in the series. The following Nexus models were tablets, starting with Nexus 7 made by Asus.

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