Google gives Moto G Google Play Edition the boot

The Moto G GPE is no more.

The Moto G GPE is no more.

The original Moto G Google Play Edition has now been dropped from the Play Store, leaving the HTC One M8 as the only Google Play Edition (GPE) device that’s still standing. The move comes four months after the second-generation Moto G first went on sale in the U.S., but it doesn’t look like Google has any plans to make the new model a GPE smartphone.

Android fans had high hopes for the Google Play Edition program, which offered a select group of devices running pure Android. Not only did it allow us to get handsets like the One M7 and the Samsung Galaxy S4 without Sense and TouchWiz and other third-party tweaks, but it also provided more premium alternatives to the Nexus 5.

But less than two years after the GPE program was unveiled at Google I/O 2013, it looks all but dead. The original crop of GPE devices has been slowly dwindling, and it seems highly unlikely we’ll ever see anymore. This week, the Moto G — the only GPE smartphone that was actually cheaper than Google’s own Nexus 5 — was the latest to get the chop.

The move was inevitably going to happen sooner rather than later given the Moto G’s age, so we’re not at all surprised to see it disappear — though we are a little disappointed. The only way you’ll get pure Android on a Moto G now is by buying a second-hand model on eBay, or getting hold of the GPE ROM and flashing it onto a regular device.