Android Silver, Google’s out of the box, straight up and very much restricted version of Android, designed to go straight onto phones with minimal fuss and little adaptation needed, has apparently been declared dead and gone by technology sites everywhere.
We’re yet to hear confirmation from Google themselves, but according to Re/code, a tech site with more than a few true stories under its belt, the barebones Android Silver was just not up to scratch for manufacturers to adopt.
Re/code published an article a few days ago, which strangely covered the issue as a footnote, barely mentioning the collapse of Silver. The article was then picked up by other blogs who broke the news with more of a focus on the demise of the operating system.
Google’s main approach with Silver and the idea behind it was to simplify Android for more mass appeal, limiting the ways users or manufacturers could customise the OS, making it much more simple to install out of the box onto new handsets for sale.
The report on Re/code mentions that this did not sit well with big manufacturers, who were unwilling to let Google’s branding appear on devices using Silver, which they would not be able to change or modify software wise. The Google branding has to stay using Silver, there’s no real way around it, so interest died.
Google’s intentions were genuinely good, apparently Silver was designed to propagate a less convoluted Android – one which wouldn;t vary by phone manufacturer. This in turn would make app developers more inclined to use the Android operating system, as SIlver would unify the Android range, meaning apps could go out to all devices using Silver with minimal, if any special treatment per device.
Manufacturers were also unhappy with the fact that any Android Silver devices might seem inferior in comparison to their more tweakable Android cousins which do not use Silver. This competition could hurt sales, it’s assumed.
Google isn’t giving up on the concept of bringing Android up to date and reducing difficulties for app developers. indeed, Android Wear devices are already showing signs that the Android Wear OS which doesn’t allow much tweaking by the manufacturer.
Could Google be copying Microsoft’s upcoming Windows 10 ‘unified operating system’ concept in order to help developers? Will Silver return? We’ll have to see in the near future.