Google has dropped a big hint that it will be adding to its Nexus range in the future as it rolled out the latest version of Android for smartphones.

The Google Nexus S and Nexus One have both been updated to Android 2.3.3, and as part of that update Google moved to clarify the reasons behind removing Facebook contact integration from the ecosystem to Engadget.

"We are removing the special-case handling of Facebook contacts on Nexus S and future lead devices."

Hang on - future lead devices? We contacted Google to see if there was a plan to push the Nexus range in the future, and the search engine told us that there were still no plans at the moment.

Nexus 3 next up?

CEO Eric Schmidt previously said the Nexus line was dead after the launch of the Nexus One, but then went back on that promise with the launch of the Nexus S at the end of 2010.

It makes sense for Google to keep partnering with handset manufacturers to create base specifications for new versions of Android, and more Nexuses (Nexii?) in the future seem likely for the release of Android 2.4 or Android 3.1.

Of course, lead devices doesn't necessarily mean they'll be solely Google branded - new phones from other manufacturers, like the Motorola Milestone, can be launchpads for new versions of Android - but given the way Google is aiming to shape its own destiny, we wouldn't rule out new Nexus phones in the future.