Google: "Guest Mode" for Android, More Nexus Devices Soon

Android's new bossman Sundar Pichai, who also controls the Chrome division, took the stage at the D11 conference this week and revealed that a "guest mode" could be made available on future versions of Android. It's part of Google's efforts to bring more Chrome-like privacy traits to the mobile platform.

"When we did Chrome, we did a full incognito mode," he said. "That’s one example. But we do want more things like that. There’s a lot of things from a security standpoint, from a perspective of children and parents. There’s no reason we can’t do something like guest accounts on Android."

Later on Pichai said that he was carrying an HTC One phone in his pocket -- running the core UI that's offered on Nexus phones -- which will be offered on Google Play in June for $599. D11 host Walt Mossberg then said Google could be accused of asserting control back against the ODMs despite Android being an open platform. But Pichai said Google merely wants a sense of commonality when users switch phones.

"It sounds a little Apple-esque," Mossberg said. Pichai acknowledged that Apple does many things well, but makes very few products. Google is working with a collaboration of partners that enables them – along with wireless carriers – to add their own software. Does that mean the Nexus line is dead? No. Google will continue to push on with Nexus hardware with its partners.

Mossberg then turned his attention to Amazon's Kindle Fire, saying that the company has basically taken Android and turned it into plumbing; it's a forked version void of any services that bring revenue to Google. Naturally the search engine giant wants Amazon to be a close partner, and for Android users to have a common experience across all devices.

"We actually owe a lot of success in Android to what [partners like Samsung and HTC] have done," he said. "A vast majority of their phones are based on Android, so I see a pretty symbiotic relationship, and we intend to keep it that way. Look at Intel and Microsoft, they collaborated for many years."

To read the full live blog during D11, head here.

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  • _Cosmin_
    I don`t see the point for guest mode on a personal device... it`s not like i let everyone use my phone/tablet !
  • Mike Shawaluk
    Actually, it makes total sense to me. I may not let "everyone" use my tablet, but on occasion someone I know may want to look something up. I don't want people to have access to my saved passwords, bookmarks, etc.
  • Sean Slattery
    Anonymous said:
    I don`t see the point for guest mode on a personal device... it`s not like i let everyone use my phone/tablet !

    Apparently you've never been around a family of multiples. Thankfully I don't have any kids yet but I know this would be a godsend for some parents. I remember Google talking about this at least a year ago...Lets go already.