It's been quite a year of surprises from Google. Before the company's annual developer conference in May, we anticipated at least an incremental version of Android to hit the scene. Instead, we encountered a different game plan—Google not only started offering stock features like its keyboard as separate, downloadable apps for other Android handset users, but it's also offering stock Android versions of non-Nexus-branded hardware like Samsung's Galaxy S4 and the HTC One in the Google Play store. So if you'd rather not deal with OEM overlays and carrier restrictions, you can plop down some cash and purchase unlocked, untainted Android hardware.
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