Google discusses creation of Nexus 5, Android 4.4

If you’ve noticed something different about the Nexus 5, compared to Nexus devices in the past, you’re not alone. While the Nexus 4 put on a new facade, it was still essentially an Optimus G under its skin – a fact taken advantage of by modders interested in activating its dormant LTE support. But this Nexus 5 – while still based on an LG model – takes some much greater liberties, and ultimately feels more like a device that exists in its own right. The Verge recently sat down with some Android bigwigs to learn just how they designed this model the way they did, and hear about some of what went into making Android 4.4.

Matias Duarte attributes the Nexus 5’s look to Google’s increased involvement, noting, “we were able to spend more time on this hardware than we were for any other product,” and pointing out some of the design similarities that crop up between the N5 and this year’s Nexus 7 refresh. He talks about materials choices like the use of ceramics for hardware buttons, and even defends the use of plastic, making it clear “it’s not cheap plastic… this is hardcore plastic.”

As for the platform, it sounds like this year’s Nexus is less about pure Android and more about pure Google, as The Verge nicely puts it, and this just marks the next step in the growing emphasis we’ve seen on Google services, rather than features intrinsic to the OS – we see that in things like the custom Nexus 5 launcher, with its heavy Google Now integration.

We also hear a bit about those low-RAM optimizations, which Google has apparently been calling Project Svelte. More than anything, this one comes off as an attempt to wean OEMs off Gingerbread for aging hardware, and try and nip those last bastions of fragmentation in the bud.

There are just hours to go before our Nexus 5 giveaway wraps up, so get your entries in while you can!

Source: The Verge

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Stephen Schenck
Stephen has been writing about electronics since 2008, which only serves to frustrate him that he waited so long to combine his love of gadgets and his degree in writing. In his spare time, he collects console and arcade game hardware, is a motorcycle enthusiast, and enjoys trapping blue crabs. Stephen's first mobile device was a 624 MHz Dell Axim X30, which he's convinced is still a viable platform. Stephen longs for a market where phones are sold independently of service, and bandwidth is cheap and plentiful; he's not holding his breath. In the meantime, he devours smartphone news and tries to sort out the juicy bits Read more about Stephen Schenck!