With the release of Google Play Edition smartphones, like the Samsung Galaxy S4 Google Edition and HTC One Google Edition, the Nexus 6 may be Google’s last homegrown device, as other manufacturers offer up their phones for a pure Android experience.
Google’s Nexus line was introduced in January 2010 with the Nexus One smartphone which was designed to give users a pure Android experience without the bloatware and add-ons that other phone manufacturers stick on top of Android on their own smartphones. Google uses the Nexus project to push out vanilla Android devices to consumers to drum up support for its operating system and to better organise the update process, as well as offering high-end hardware and a very competitive price.
With other phone manufacturers now falling in line and issuing Google Play editions, which are effectively Nexus devices housed in the manufacturers own smartphones, Google may not need to subsidise its own Nexus devices anymore. It is expected that throughout 2014, more and more Google Play Edition phones will be issued, and even the Samsung Galaxy S5 is liable for a Google Play makeover.
The Samsung Galaxy S4, HTC One, Sony Xperia Z, Moto G and the LG G Pad tablet are all available as ‘Google’ editions. Users who want the features of the S5 but with the experience of pure Android may be better off waiting for the S5 Google edition to be released. Judging by the release of the S4 GPe (Google Play Edition) shortly after the original S4 release, that wait could only be a few months.
The S5 comes with 16GB of internal storage, but with all the software, interface changes, and bloatware from Samsung, almost half of that storage is already used up straight out of the box. With an S5 Google Play Edition, just a stock Android experience will be found, and the user will be able to choose what apps they want to install themselves.