Have we seen the last of 'Pure Android' Nexus phones?

Google may not launch any more Nexus phones running unadulterated Android operating systems, sais CEO Sundar Pichai at the Code Conference.

Google is looking at topping up future Nexus phones with new features that won't be part of Android operating systems.

During the conference, Google CEO Sundar Pichai said that even though Google isn't interested in manufacturing future Nexus devices itself, it will be 'more opinionated about the design of the phones' and will take control as and when it sees a need to 'push the devices forward.'

Pichai added that apart from featuring stock Android operating systems, Nexus phones may also field features that are not part of Android. Basically, Google may be looking at making Nexus phones compete with the best of smartphones without seeking to be 'purist' about them. "You’ll see us hopefully add more features on top of Android on Nexus phones. There’s a lot of software innovation to be had," he told Walt Mossberg from The Verge.

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If Google is suggesting that it may consider adding bloated UIs over Android in future Nexus phones, then it is possible that these phones may lose the only unique factor them sets them apart from other Android devices. However, given that Google hasn't elaborated on such additional software yet, we'll wait to try out upcoming Nexus devices manufactured by HTC later this year to see if they'll really make Nexus phones better than they usually are.

This is the second such revelation by Google about its Nexus phones in as many months. During the launch of Android N operating system, Google announced that existing Google Nexus devices will not receive seamless updates of Android N OS, but this will not apply to upcoming Nexus phones which will come with Android N preloaded.

The concept of seamless updates will allow new OS updates to download as well as install themselves on Android phones in the background without any involvement on part of the end user. The feature was introduced to save Android phones users the effort of checking for updates, downloading them and rebooting their phones to ensure that the updates have taken effect. However, Android Police claims that the seamless updates feature will only be present in future Nexus devices running Android N or later versions of the operating system. This means that users of existing Nexus flagships- Nexus 5X and Nexus 6P won't be able to use the feature.

Current Nexus devices won't get seamless Android N updates

Google's next Nexus devices are expected to launch in September and are reportedly being manufactured by HTC. Even though fingerprint sensors, Hi-Fi stereos, champhered edges and two-sized variants are things that we won't have to speculate about while imagining a future Nexus device, what we are curious about is if the next Nexus phone will be able to beat the beautiful Galaxy S7 design or the modular character of the LG G5. Given that HTC hasn't been faring too well despite unveiling some splendid phones in the last twelve months, the Taiwanese phone maker might put its entire might behind the next Nexus handset.

Size-wise, the upcoming Nexus phone will be available in two sizes- one with a 5-inch display and another with a 5.5-inch one. As per Evan Blass on Twitter, HTC is working on two Nexus handsets which are code named M1 and S1. According to Android Police, M1 and S1 are in fact code names for Marlin and Sailfish which are nothing by internal model names used by Google. Just like every Nexus phone has till now sported the latest available Qualcomm processor, we expect the upcoming Nexus handsets to debut with the latest 64-bit Snapdragon 820 processor.

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