Google Wants Smartphone Manufacturers To Feature More Google Apps
Google is trying to fix the Android fragmentation issue by adding more policy requirements that are applied to all hardware manufacturers, including Samsung, HTC and Huawei, who build Android-powered devices.
According to the new requirements, any partner who uses Google services on their Android phones must increase the number of pre-installed Google apps to as many as 20, place more Google apps on home screen or any prominent folder, and distinctively represent the Google Search to make it more usable.
The requirements are not made official yet, and The Information says it has seen the contract documents that focused on more Google services.
When you switch from one company, say for example, HTC to another, you see a whole new set of apps provided by the smartphone manufacturer. This is because Google’s hardware partners who use Android operating system, add their own apps to stay unique to the market, hence causing a fragmented experience for user — although you are using same OS, your experience would be different.
Apple’s platform is much more consistent in this regard because they manufacture their own devices that can use their operating systems. These requirements would resolve this issue, and this move is a step forward in making Android a more consistent platform.
If these requirements are implemented, I hope it doesn’t mean that we won’t be able to remove those pre-installed apps. Google is known for the flexibility and the choice they provide when it comes to their software. I expect we would still be able to tweak Android the way we like, delete those pre-installed apps and add our own favorites.
Here is the part of report published by The Information:
Confidential documents viewed by The Information show Google has been adding requirements for dozens of manufacturers like Samsung Electronics, Huawei Technologies and HTC that want to build devices powered by Android. Among the new requirements for many partners: increasing the number of Google apps that must be pre-installed on the device to as many as 20, placing more Google apps on the home screen or in a prominent icon folder and making Google Search more prominent.
Before you start thinking that Google is enforcing its policies on its partners, I want to make it clear that Google is the provider of the core of these devices – the operating system, and has every right to dictate its usage.