Google intends to take more control over the Nexus line going forward. During an interview at the Code Conference today, Google CEO Sundar Pichai said that his company would "be more opinionated about the design of the phones," particularly where Google sees a need to "push the devices forward."
That sounds like he could be referring to Google's desire to highlight new technologies with its Nexus devices. It's always done that to some extent — this past year, it included fingerprint sensors in its Nexus devices, helping to usher them in as almost-standard features on new Android phones.
"Our plan is still to work with OEMs to make phones."
But what Pichai focused on during the interview was software. We're used to getting stock Android on Nexus phones, but Pichai says that could change. "You’ll see us hopefully add more features on top of Android on Nexus phones," he said. "There’s a lot of software innovation to be had."
The answer came after some prodding from Walt Mossberg, of Recode and The Verge, who'd been asking whether Google would begin creating its own phones from scratch. "No," Pichai said, "Our plan is still to work with OEMs to make phones." Google will apparently just be a bit more controlling over how they turn out.