Google is reportedly working on a premium owner experience for Android akin to Apple’s Genius Bar support. Sources speaking with Android Police provided a series of slides that suggest the search giant is working on a service, called Android Silver, that will offer buyers full customer support for devices specially selected by Google. The service would be offered directly through carriers, however, and only devices running the latest version of Android “with no or very limited customizations” would be on Google’s Android Silver list. That right there disqualifies quite a few mobile handsets.
The overarching goal will be to help make the experience of switching over to Android as painless as possible. The documents mention the ability to easily transfer information from one phone to another, including texts, photos, apps and more, and “peace of mind,” which the document explains as “services exclusively designed for Android Silver.” Carrier staff would be trained for the initiative, while an entire “premium section” would be dedicated to Android Silver—Google would be in charge of design and production of this particular section in carrier stores, not unlike the perfectly manicured Apple experiences you see outside of Apple stores.
One of the biggest aspects of Android Silver would be 24/7 Hangouts support with Google specialists—not unlike what Kindle Fire HDX owners get with Mayday. This part of the service would be designed to further train freshly minted smartphone owners in the ways of Android, and help solve problems should anything arise. Additionally, Android Silver will also feature a rebranded Android Device Manager, dubbed “Never Lost,” which will give users access to features such as locate, lock, renaming your phone and suspending wireless service, according to the document.
Android Police typically stamps rumors with a score, and this one received a 6/10. While Google owns the largest slice of the mobile pie, the company still can’t compete with Apple’s wonderful in-store customer service. Android Silver would essentially be Google’s answer, giving consumers full support for select Android handsets—so long as they have no or very limited customizations. Sounds like a pretty significant incentive to jump on the Nexus and Google Play Edition train—that would effectively mean the only middle man standing between a software update and the customer would be carrier evaluation.
If Google does implement Android Silver, it’ll be a big move on the company’s part to stamp down on Android’s fragmentation problem. While the issue isn’t as bad as it once was, Google might finally step in with a service that encourages consumers to look toward devices that don’t have such heavy-handed customizations—think of the Nexus 5 and other popular GPE handsets. With rumors suggesting Google is weighing its options on offering a wireless service, the possibility of Android Silver becomes much more into focus.