Andrew Martonik, writing at Android Central:
This year’s Google-branded Android phones will not use the “Nexus” name, Android Central understands, indicating a hard break from the past six years of flagship devices for the company. The widely expected HTC-built handsets — referred to as “Nexus” phones in recent online leaks — will instead come to market under a different brand name, according to several people familiar with Google’s plans.
AC understands that this year’s Google phones will feature additional software and a tweaked interface atop “vanilla” Android. This will notably differentiate the new models in terms of software experience from previous years’ Nexus phones, which featured a relatively barebones Android experience — and this goes hand-in-hand with the decision to not use the “Nexus” name for the phones. And as we look back at the progression of Nexus phones, this was inevitable — Google has kept adding closed-source apps, services and features to the Nexus line, moving away from the initial idea of what “Nexus” really meant starting as early as the Nexus S 4G.
There’s Android, the open source operating system project that Google maintains. Then there’s Android, the Google-built operating system with a bunch of closed-source Google apps and features, and to use it, one must sign a licensing agreement with Google. The latter has been what we think of as “Android” for a long time, and its dominance is growing; I wonder how long the open source project will last.