The Verge published an article today titled The Moto X proves Google still needs the Nexus program. Go read that – it’s a good article and it discusses the history and purpose of the Nexus program in depth. Android Director of Engineering, Dave Burke, had this to say on the purpose of the program:
Basically what Nexus allows us to do is set the standard … [we can] demonstrate how Android runs and hopefully influence other device manufacturers to take what we’ve done and do even better.
There’s another part of the story I think is just as important, though, and it often isn’t discussed: the indie developer side of the story and its relationship with Nexus. We launched Press last December, and from the beginning, Nexus has been a huge part of our success in the Play Store. Not only were the Nexus devices a large inspiration for us to create a thoughtful and well-designed app, it’s also been a big chunk of our sales. We’ve seen that the types of people that are attracted to a Nexus device are also more likely to pay for an app that’s well designed. The Nexus program also allowed us to create a forward-looking 4.0+ only app much sooner than would have otherwise been possible. This is a win-win scenario from a developer’s perspective.
Stock Android is a fantastic, clean experience compared to other OEMs’ take on the platform, and Google is able to update the devices quickly over-the-air, ensuring the latest version of the OS on Nexus devices. In fact, Android 4.3 was released just over a week ago, and we already have 33% of our customers running this latest version of the operating system. That’s a HUGE advantage for any Android developer wishing to push their app forward in the ecosystem.
Here’s a full breakdown of our current customer stats:
Android 4.3: 33%
Android 4.2: 35%
Android 4.1: 26%
Android 4.0: 6%
We genuinely hope Google continues the Nexus program far into the future. It helps drive the quality and economy of the Play Store ecosystem more than meets the eye.