What is Android Silver?

You’ve heard of Google's Nexus range of smartphones and tablet but what is Android Silver? Here's where we explain the rumours surrounding Android silver. See also: 21 best smartphones: The best phone you can buy in 2014.

Google hasn't made anything official on Android Silver yet so here's what we know about it at the moment. We're expecting to hear more at today's Google I/O. Tune in for our Google I/O live blog and video stream at 5pm.

What is Android Silver?

Google's smartphones and tablets are all given the Nexus branding but Android Silver is reportedly in the pipeline. It's not a replacement for the existing range as such, but a set of standards which Google will outline – a bit like the way Intel defines what an Ultrabook is. It will mean that if a smartphone or tablet meets the requirements, it will be classed and sold as an Android Silver device.

It's unclear whether Nexus devices will continue alongside Android Silver devices or be replaced entirely.

What these standards or requirements will be exactly is unclear at the moment – perhaps a Full HD screen and a quad-core processor will be minimum specs - but Android Silver devices will be premium ones with top-end hardware and great build quality. They are also likely to come with the latest version of Android, a stock version like Google Play editions, and fewer pre-installed apps.

Google Play editions HTC Samsung

It's also possible that Google will set some kind of price bracket or limit for Android Silver devices to make them attractive to consumers.

Android Silver will be a sort of stamp of approval which tells consumers that they are buying a top-notch smartphone or tablet with pure Google software.

With the Nexus range, Google picks a manufacturer to partner with for that specific device. However, Android Silver will supposedly be open for any vendor to take part in. As long as the device meets Google's requirements, the device will be Android Silver certified. This means there will be multiple, rather than just a handful like Nexus devices.

As well as getting the Android Silver badge, partners making these devices will reportedly get help from Google with development and marketing costs as well as making sure software updates are delivered quickly – creating a win-win-win situation for Google, its partners and consumers.

Android Silver: Release date

When will these Android Silver branded devices arrive? Well, it's unlikely to be this year because we're awaiting the launch of new devices like the Nexus 6, Nexus 8 and a new Nexus 10. It seems like next year is when we'll hear more about Android Silver, if Google goes ahead with it. Hopefully we'll hear more at today's (25 June) Google I/O.