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Old June 3rd, 2014, 10:55 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default [Speculation] Today was a prelude to Android Silver

Last night the Android 4.4.3 rollout officially began. As of today, less than 24 hours later, the following devices are now confirmed as having received the OTA. Please note: Google pushes it out in waves, typically starting with 1-5% on day one, culminating in a complete rollout over a couple of weeks. The majority of users should get their OTA within the first week.

Nexus (the below devices all have their 4.4.3 factory images up):
  • Nexus 5
  • Nexus 7 (2013) Wi-Fi
  • Nexus 10
  • Nexus 4
  • Nexus 7 (2012) Wi-Fi and Mobile versions

Google Play Edition:
  • HTC One (M7)
  • HTC One (M8)
  • LG G Pad 8.3
  • Moto G
  • Samsung Galaxy S4
  • Sony Z Ultra

Motorola:
  • Moto X - unlocked/developer editions
  • Moto G - unlocked
  • Moto E - unlocked


So, here's my speculation. Given the prior Sprint leak, Google seems to have had 4.4.3 ready to go on the Nexus 5. Google has previously displayed a habit of pushing an Android update when ready, even if it meant temporarily fragmenting their Nexus devices. This time, it looks like Google internally tested with other OEMs to ensure that all stock (and near-stock Motorola devices) could get the rollout beginning around the same day.

This may be Google's end goal with Silver. Apple tests their next iOS version months in advance with carriers. Imagine Google testing an Android revision with all Silver partners, both OEMs and carriers, for a simultaneous rollout in the future. This would have the effect of pulling in OEMs, as non-Silver devices would be way behind on updates just as non-Nexus devices have historically been. The difference is that Silver will be ubiquitous if rumors are to believed. Unlike the relatively unknown Nexus, Silver would be front and center in most carrier stores with phones made by various well known OEMs.

If today was a prelude to Silver, given my preference for GPE devices already, then I'm really liking the potential here.
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Old June 4th, 2014, 10:22 AM   #2 (permalink)
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interesting theory. The device list seems to make sense. So you're thinking kind of a trial run here?
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Old June 4th, 2014, 01:46 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I'm liking the idea of Android Silver, with the exception that it does presumably do away with the number 1 reason I bought my Nexus....the cost of an unlocked handset.
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Old June 4th, 2014, 03:19 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I'm liking the idea of Android Silver, with the exception that it does presumably do away with the number 1 reason I bought my Nexus....the cost of an unlocked handset.
Well I'm thinking there will still be nexus and oem silver phones? Can't they co-exist?
And I'm feeling Median's theory
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Old June 4th, 2014, 03:29 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Rumor has it that the Nexus program will be discontinued in favor of the Silver program. Evleaks says that the 5 was likely the last Nexus phone.
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Old June 4th, 2014, 04:20 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Oh well. My future phones are gonna be year old models with good dev support. No way I'm paying the ridiculous price of a contemporary flagship!
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Old June 4th, 2014, 05:05 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Well the rom teams are fast at work. Steve Spencer has a 4.4.3 build of Liquid booted
(wrong thread lol soz)
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Old June 4th, 2014, 05:29 PM   #8 (permalink)
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There's two weird details about the whole situation. First is that the lte Nexus 7 is an unlocked device and it didn't receive the update yet. The second is that the Nexus 5 still has a completely different build than the rest of the Nexus devices. So though it has been swift, it hasn't been uniform.
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Old June 4th, 2014, 06:58 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Don't see how this would push OEMs to update their phones, since most in the general public could care less what version of Android their phone is running. Most people don't even know what I'm talking about when I ask them.
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Old June 4th, 2014, 07:38 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jhawkkw View Post
There's two weird details about the whole situation. First is that the lte Nexus 7 is an unlocked device and it didn't receive the update yet. The second is that the Nexus 5 still has a completely different build than the rest of the Nexus devices. So though it has been swift, it hasn't been uniform.
They're all ktu84 though right? Only difference being the last letter, which puts the build date around march 25 according to the conventional naming method.

Could have just been a last minute device specific bug(s) they patched
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Old June 4th, 2014, 07:45 PM   #11 (permalink)
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They're all ktu84 though right? Only difference being the last letter, which puts the build date around march 25 according to the conventional naming method.

Could have just been a last minute device specific bug(s) they patched
Yeah, it's minor but still a difference. The LTE Nexus 7 update is the much bigger concern though considering it's an unlocked device. If it is Verizon holding up the update, it's absolutely mind blowing.
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Old June 4th, 2014, 08:25 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Anyone running the update found cool stuff they like about it?
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Old June 4th, 2014, 08:30 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Anyone running the update found cool stuff they like about it?
New dialer, other than that its just bug fixes.

Android version isn't as important anymore - Google updates most things on the play store nowadays
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Old June 4th, 2014, 11:26 PM   #14 (permalink)
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interesting theory. The device list seems to make sense. So you're thinking kind of a trial run here?
Maybe not an intentional trial run, so much as an evolution towards their end goal. For the end users, this should be a taste of what Silver should offer.

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Originally Posted by funkylogik View Post
Well I'm thinking there will still be nexus and oem silver phones? Can't they co-exist?
And I'm feeling Median's theory
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Originally Posted by bjacks12 View Post
Rumor has it that the Nexus program will be discontinued in favor of the Silver program. Evleaks says that the 5 was likely the last Nexus phone.
The nexus is gone. There's the possibility of a Nexus 5 successor, but if it does come to fruition, it will be the last. As the Nexus program got more popular, OEMs got more concerned over having to compete on such a drastic price difference.

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Oh well. My future phones are gonna be year old models with good dev support. No way I'm paying the ridiculous price of a contemporary flagship!
Not necessarily. Motorola has shown a desire to have competitively priced handsets. OnePlus has joined the fray as well. Expect a range of prices.

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Don't see how this would push OEMs to update their phones, since most in the general public could care less what version of Android their phone is running. Most people don't even know what I'm talking about when I ask them.
Initially, it won't have an effect. But over time, users will see a plethora of devices (Silver) with a common software suite, compared to fringe devices with custom UIs like Touchwiz and Sense. Silver will give users the hardware diversity of Android but with a common user experience which makes transitions from one device to the next much smoother. It also helps to combat fragmentation on Google's end. If users do like this, it could push the OEMs to scale back their overlays to the degree that Motorola did (IE, using applications instead of system changes).
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Old June 5th, 2014, 10:20 AM   #15 (permalink)
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I don't have a feel yet for what they truly want to do with Silver.

1.) Will there be any requirements on bootloader unlock? If no, my intereste level just dropped through the floor.

2.) Will GPE still be a separate option, or will that go away?

3.) Will Google be in charge of software updates entirely or will there be carrier involvement?

I hear talk thus far of "limited" carrier apps. If it's anything past ZERO, that tells me either the carriers would review, modify and release the final software.

Or, they would submit proprietary apps to Google for review of inclusion such that Google becomes the judge an ruler? Can see that turning into a battle of egos. Galaxy Nexus anyone?

4.) Will device cost min/max be regulated in any way?

5.) How will hardware specs be determined?

I'm watching this very closely. Seems it could be a pivotal moment for Android. Should be an interesting I/O this year. Hopefully we'll find out more at that time.
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Old June 5th, 2014, 10:38 AM   #16 (permalink)
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I think and say give more for less money . nothing over 275.00 . and that would be the presidential top package and start at 35.00. Hey carrier unlock on demand and no data package over 70.00. did I miss anything.
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Old June 5th, 2014, 08:03 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Quote:
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Maybe not an intentional trial run, so much as an evolution towards their end goal. For the end users, this should be a taste of what Silver should offer.





The nexus is gone. There's the possibility of a Nexus 5 successor, but if it does come to fruition, it will be the last. As the Nexus program got more popular, OEMs got more concerned over having to compete on such a drastic price difference.



Not necessarily. Motorola has shown a desire to have competitively priced handsets. OnePlus has joined the fray as well. Expect a range of prices.



Initially, it won't have an effect. But over time, users will see a plethora of devices (Silver) with a common software suite, compared to fringe devices with custom UIs like Touchwiz and Sense. Silver will give users the hardware diversity of Android but with a common user experience which makes transitions from one device to the next much smoother. It also helps to combat fragmentation on Google's end. If users do like this, it could push the OEMs to scale back their overlays to the degree that Motorola did (IE, using applications instead of system changes).
You are assuming people want a common user experience (stock Android). That may be true on a forum like this, but the general public seems to like their Touchwiz and Sense features. For a homogenized experience, there's always Apple. Definitely don't see this being a draw for people like my nieces or sisters. More stock devices should make the 1% of enthusiasts happy, collective yawn from everyone else. (if they even notice)
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Old June 5th, 2014, 08:19 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iowabowtech View Post
I don't have a feel yet for what they truly want to do with Silver.
I doubt that anyone does at this point

Quote:
Originally Posted by iowabowtech View Post
1.) Will there be any requirements on bootloader unlock? If no, my intereste level just dropped through the floor.
GPE devices have an unlockable bootloader. I suspect that carrier-branded Silver devices will be subject to the carrier's choice, while unlocked/unbranded Silver devices will have unlockable bootloaders. I'm guessing here that we'll have both carrier-branded and non-branded phones though, which isn't a guarantee.

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2.) Will GPE still be a separate option, or will that go away?
I think GPE and Nexus are going away, with Silver being an evolution of the two programs.

Quote:
Originally Posted by iowabowtech View Post
3.) Will Google be in charge of software updates entirely or will there be carrier involvement?
I suspect it will be like the GPE program now, IE; Google makes the Android revision, sends to OEM. The OEM does the kernel, makes any device-specific tweaks, sends back to Google. Google tests, and if no holdups, pushes the update. The question is, will we still see updates come quicker for unlocked devices, or will Google have the carriers in on the testing, ala Apple, for a simultaneous push? With multiple devices on the same software, it would make carrier testing easier.

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Originally Posted by iowabowtech View Post
I hear talk thus far of "limited" carrier apps. If it's anything past ZERO, that tells me either the carriers would review, modify and release the final software.

Or, they would submit proprietary apps to Google for review of inclusion such that Google becomes the judge an ruler? Can see that turning into a battle of egos. Galaxy Nexus anyone?
I'll give you an example. My Verizon Moto G came with a handful of Verizon apps. All of them can be disabled without any root/tweaking needed. I mean truly disabled and not loading up RAM or prompting for updates. I would expect carriers to want to load some apps, but at least here it seems that the user is getting control that they previously didn't get.

Quote:
Originally Posted by iowabowtech View Post
4.) Will device cost min/max be regulated in any way?
Looking at the current GPE situation, the 5 phones range from $180 to $699. I think it will be up to the OEM to attack their preferred price point(s).

Quote:
Originally Posted by iowabowtech View Post
5.) How will hardware specs be determined?
I think that for the ease of updates, each release cycle will use similar hardware. IE, the summer 2013 GPEs all used the Snapdragon 600 (S4, One M7). The Snapdragon 800 was incorporated in the fall GPEs (Z Ultra, G Pad 8.3). The Moto G and One M8 launched individually.

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I'm watching this very closely. Seems it could be a pivotal moment for Android. Should be an interesting I/O this year. Hopefully we'll find out more at that time.
I don't expect to hear anything on Silver at I/O this year. If rumors are to be believed and it starts in early 2015, it will probably be announced around the same time that most Nexus handsets have been, IE; October/November.

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You are assuming people want a common user experience (stock Android).
I made no such assumption. I stated what I think might happen. I didn't say that people would like it. Some will. Some won't. Google hasn't been successful in every endeavor of theirs, and I'm not predicting success or failure on this. I'm merely speculating on what I think their intent is.
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Old June 6th, 2014, 09:16 PM   #19 (permalink)
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What Android 4.4.3 could mean about the future of Android updates | Ars Technica

Looks like I'm not the only one speculating on this. Article is dated 6/6/14. He's missing some info though (he's not aware of certain devices getting the update, but has most of them).
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