The Nexus 6 is still awaiting its 2014 release date, even as other major new Android phones like the Galaxy S5 and One M8 have already made their debut. But the Nexus 6 has something up its sleeve, and something potentially worth waiting for, that the others don’t: it’s Google’s flagship phone, which makes it the only piece of Android smartphone hardware that’s designed in sync with Android system software development. And that means it’ll be the most optimized for the Android 5.0 update when the two debut side by side this year.
Third party Android hardware vendors like Samsung and HTC have made a good deal of progress in terms of having the current Android OS pre-installed at their time of release. But compatibility with subsequent updates can still be hit or miss. Nexus hardware never has that issue. So the Nexus 6 will ship with Android 5.0 even as existing Samsung Android users are left to wonder how compatible Android 5.0 will be with their hardware, or how much of a delay they’ll face before Samsung subsequently offers a 5.0 version modified to be compatible. But there are some questions regarding the Nexus 6 release date in 2014.
The biggest question surrounding the Nexus 6 may be whether it continues using the Nexus name. The current Nexus phone is called Nexus 5, and the one before that was fittingly called Nexus 4. But there is already a tablet called Nexus 7 in the lineup. Even if Google decides to call this next phone the Nexus 6, it’ll have to come up with a different naming or numbering scheme the following year. And that’s on top of the growing rumors that Google may ditch the Nexus name in favor of the “Silver” moniker, which would make the numbering issue a moot point.
But regardless of naming issues, the Nexus 6 release date (or whatever Google ends up calling it) – and the Android 5.0 update along with it – should arrive in the fall of 2014. The Nexus 5 was launched on Halloween of last year, so October should once again serve as a guidepost unless Google decides to shake up its development and release schedule.