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  1. Hardware
June 2, 2016

Is Google pushing for complete Android control? Search giant ramps up control over Nexus devices in move to compete with Apple

News: The company intends to add new features to Android to better distinguish its Nexus devices from Apple iPhones.

By CBR Staff Writer

Google is planning to customise the Android operating system in order to better compete with Apple iPhones.

The company aims to add new features to the Android OS to better distinguish its Nexus mobile devices from those offered by Apple.

Speaking at Recode’s Code Conference, Google CEO Sundar Pichai said the company plans to ‘put more thought’ into its Nexus devices, which could include customising the Android software that runs them.

Richard Windsor, analyst at Edison Investment Research, says that this move from Google could signal the tech giant’s intention to ready take complete control of Android software. He said:

"The quest for proprietary software begins. Google is planning to "put more thought" into its Nexus line of devices which to us is yet another signal that Google is beginning to prepare the market for taking complete control of the Android software.

"The problems with the Google ecosystem based on Android are that the user experience is hobbled due to the endemic fragmentation of Android about which Google has been able to do very little."

"A proprietary version of Android will allow Google to fix the endemic fragmentation that plagues Android and to take back control of software updates. We estimate that it takes around four years for a new version of Android to fully penetrate Google’s ecosystem compared to a matter of months for iOS."

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Google licenses Android for free to handset manufacturers including Lenovo, Samsung Electronics, and LG Electronics.

It allows the company’s web services, such as search, to feature in hundreds of mobile devices.

However, there are different phones with varied software and applications that work in several ways, making Android phones hard to use and sometimes leading to less capacity when compared to iPhones that have hardware and software designed only by Apple.

Google designed Nexus devices could address this problem. They have the best new features of Android and inspire manufacturing partners to implement them in their own devices.

The creation of a new version of Android only for Nexus devices would allow Google to have more control. The move indicates that Google is working hard on competing with Apple in the smartphone market. However, the move will not be wihout its challeneges, with Windsor saying:

"The real problem with this move will be getting it past the Android developer community but here Oracle is the ace up Google’s sleeve. In Marshmallow, Google has been forced to use Oracle standard libraries for the Android Run Time meaning that Google has effectively lost control of the software roadmap for the runtime.

"This is something that Google simply cannot afford and when it presents its proprietary version it can point the finger at Oracle as the reason for having to make this move."


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