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Report: Google to launch ‘Android Silver’ program with live 24/7 support, new ‘Never Lost’ functionality


Earlier this year, HTC announced a new HTC Advantage program that offered premium support to its customers at an added cost. According to a new report, Google may soon launch something of its own that offers a premium Android support and sale experience. Android Police reports that Google is planning to launch a new “Android Silver” program that will work with customers to help solve issues they have after they purchase an Android device.

According to the report, Android Silver will only be compatible with select devices, chosen by Google. The qualifications for the program are stringent and include the fact that a device “run the latest version of Android with no or very limited customizations” in order to qualify. Google will only support 5 handsets at a time and they will not be ones sold be Google. Instead, the company plans to focus strictly on carrier partnerships for Silver.

Carrier stores will reportedly be offered the opportunity of showing an Android Silver display that breaks down what devices on their network are compatible with the program. Carrier store employees must go through training to receive certification to sell Android Silver devices. The stores will also be required to keep a certain number of Silver devices and accessories in stock at all times.

Included with the Android Silver experience is the ability to transfer data from your old phone to a new one. Google is reportedly promoting a “nothing-slips-through-the-cracks” attitude, while also claiming that the process would take 5 minutes or less. The program will also reportedly offer a new “Never Lost” service that will be able to “locate, lock, or rename your phone, suspend your wireless service, keep all your stuff backed up, navigate you to your phone’s location, and display your phone’s current battery life.” Should you lose your phone, Google or the carrier will also now provide you with an Android loaner phone until you find it.

Finally, Android Silver will also offer live 24/7 video support via Hangouts. This is similar to what Amazon already does with its Mayday service.

Android Police says their confidence level with this rumor is at a 6/10 because “the information at play is a little old, and the slides we’re working from are definitely a little scant on the finer points of this whole ‘Android Silver’ project.” The source, however, is reliable and says the feature is at a far enough along stage to be shown to other Google employes.

Launching a program like Android Silver would give Google an advantage – or at least level the playing field – with companies like Apple and Amazon, both of whom are known for their supreme customer support. It’s unclear how much Google will charge for Silver, or if there will be a fee at all.

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