When we say Android, it won’t be much of a surprise if the first thing that comes to your mind is Samsung. However, Samsung is also synonymous to the laggy, bogged down version of Android which runs on its devices such as the Galaxy Note 4 or the Galaxy S5. Google seems to be getting a little worried and nervous about that. Up to now, Google has been relatively open with what manufacturers are able to do with Android and has allowed manufacturers to essentially create their own user experience with Android as their basis or backbone.
In a recent change, you would have noticed that devices made by manufacturers have begun having the words “powered by Android” on their boot screens. According to a few leaked confidential documents acquired by The Information, Google is looking to make the Android user experience more consistent across devices – all of them. How are they going to be doing this? Simple – by putting Google at the center of it all. This comes in the form of preloaded Google Applications which come bundled in devices running Google’s Android operating system.
According to the report, this particular issue has been a point of contention between Google and its partners, in particular Samsung. If you’ve used a Samsung device, you will undoubtedly know that Samsung tends to highlight and feature its own “S” applications above Google’s. In addition, Samsung’s customisations to Android essentially buries the operating system in six feet of customisations before you can even find out the device is running on Android.
All Google’s manufacturing partners sign an agreement called the “Mobile Application Distribution Agreement” (MADA) which Google has apparently amended. The Search Behemoth now requires that their partners include 20 of their applications in their devices – a huge leap from the initial nine back in 2011. Google has also made it mandatory that its partners add a Google Search widget to the Home Screen by default in addition to the Google Play Store and an icon/folder with 13 of its applications such as Chrome, Maps, YouTube, Gmail among others.
This move will undoubtedly have a direct, disparaging impact on Samsung’s mindshare when it comes to the Android Ecosystem, something we have no doubt Google will be happy with. Samsung is one of, if not the biggest manufacturing partner Google has when it comes to Android hardware nevertheless having a single company have a monopoly like Samsung is not in Google’s interests nor is it a selling point for new manufacturers to come on board. Google is undoubtedly trying to break its dependence on Samsung when it comes to profits generated by Android. However, it is unclear where the rest of its partners stand on these additions to the MADA.
We will have to see how this change will affect consumers when they come into effect – that is if all Google’s partners agree to the MADA. More importantly though, is how consumers will react to this.
So, what do you think of these additions and do you like it?