HTC Nexus to have 3D Touch-like functionality, become a baked-in Android feature
Google usually waits until the end of the year to release its next Nexus device(s), so the HTC Nexus, if it is indeed what’s next for Google, has some time to breathe before its release. And yet, as you know, consumers are ready to decide on what will be their next smartphone — so the HTC Nexus rumor mill won’t wait to start churning.
A new rumor from social media site Weibo says that Google intends to bring 3D Touch, Apple’s new quick or shortcut settings feature, to Android so that, when you press the display, the display will respond based on the type of press you make (in other words, the same pressure-sensitive display that has become a popular feature of the iPhone 6s). While a 3D Touch-like feature will make its way to the HTC Nexus, the source says, it’s also been said by the same source that Google intends to bring this feature to Android itself — meaning that every consumer, regardless of the manufacturer, will own this feature outright.
Google did the same thing with fingerprint authentication, bringing it to Android within Android Marshmallow before manufacturers such as LG would announce fingerprint sensor smartphones. Google is Android’s owner and, as such, can dictate something within Android’s code that will work for all Android device owners (even if they’d rather buy a Samsung, HTC, LG, or Motorola smartphone instead). Apple debuted 3D Touch on the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus in its September announcement, though the feature hasn’t quite caught on with developers at this point. Even though iOS has been known for its development of new features, few developers have taken advantage of 3D Touch, even on iOS.
We’ve heard the same rumor about Samsung bringing a pressure-sensitive display to market in the Galaxy S7 and S7 edge, but that was not realized when the Korean giant made its announcement on Sunday, February 21st. With this rumor, though, we can see that Google intends to make Android the Apple/iOS counterpart that Google considers Android to be. Apple, for instance, has Apple Pay, which requires NFC compatibility in order to use the company’s mobile payments system. Google’s very own Android Pay demands NFC as well, with Samsung’s Samsung Pay being the only well-known mobile payment system to provide support for not only NFC-equipped payment machines but also magnetic safety transmission (or MST) technology — with MST being used by the majority of machine owners today. Samsung Pay doesn’t require spending money and making significant upgrades to let Samsung users live in the future now rather than later.
Apart from the fact that we known an HTC Nexus is on the way and that HTC will design it, of course, we also know that the HTC Nexus device will likely feature Android N — for which we don’t yet have a name. Google CEO Sundar Pichai has said that he’ll let his native Indian citizens name the next major Android update (possibly), but Android N could be Android Nutella, Android Nougat, or even an Indian delicacy, perhaps. As of this point, it’s all a guess, but we’ll keep you updated.