The time seems right for a sequel to Google's Nexus One.
Reports from around the web seem to indicate a new Google phone is on the horizon that will usher in the latest version of the AndroidOS, codenamed Gingerbread. But conventional wisdom says that Google has been going away from making its own handsets.
Initially, Google felt that they needed to build a device to help Android along so they worked with HTC to create the Nexus One handset. Schmidt says: “The idea a year and a half ago was to do the Nexus One to try to move the phone platform hardware business forward. It clearly did. It was so successful, we didn't have to do a second one. We would view that as positive but people criticised us heavily for that. I called up the board and said: 'Ok, it worked. Congratulations - we're stopping'. We like that flexibility, we think that flexibility is characteristic of nimbleness at our scale."
Just like Google denied the existance of the original Nexus One by saying "we aren't building a phone" (technically, HTC built/OEM'ed the Nexus One) last year, there is a lot of wiggle room for interpretation there...<!-- more -->
And, even if Google doesn't want to go public with a new device, developers will at some point need a new phone to be the default device to run Android 2.3. So something has to be coming. Rumors are flying that Samsung may be Google's OEM partner.
Yesterday Matt Buchanon at Gizmodo posted some specifics on what was called the Nexus Two:
- From far away, it looks like a Galaxy 1 built with glossy plastic, made by Samsung
- It has a front facing camera like the Epic 4G. Google is working on a native Video chatting app
- more concave and rounded than the current Galaxy S phones but otherwise similar features including the 4 inch AMOLED display
- Runs a stock version of Android 2.3, called Gingerbread
Google's Gingerbread OS has been on a lot of minds lately as well. Some new rumors paint a picture of a significant upgrade which may include things like native video conferencing, Google VoIP with Voice and Gizmo5 integration (like what Google has done with Gmail). The biggest changes are likely to be interface improvements which will address Android's major critics who say that the experience needs tightening.
Oh, and people are already starting to see Android 3.0 Honeycomb in their web log reports which indicates that a major new version of Android is around the corner. Honeycomb is noted for its abilities to run on bigger screen devices like tablets.