Until now Google has allowed its partners to have a say on what Google apps they want to have on their Android handsets; but that is about to change soon. Google is now said to be making it mandatory for every partner to have at least 20 Google apps on their devices, The Information reports. Also Read - Phones launching next week: Pixel 6 series, Samsung Galaxy S21 FE, Motorola Edge S, more
The confidential documents obtained by The Information’s Amir Efrati states that Google is upping its requirements for partners. The Mountain View-based technology company now requires its hardware partners to place most of its apps and services in more eminent places and ways. Also Read - Best laptops to buy under Rs 35,000 in October 2021: Asus VivoBook 15, Avita PURA, more
Consistent Android Experience Also Read - Google bans 3 dangerous apps from Play Store for stealing personal data: Uninstall them now
Regardless of the phone users are picking at the store, Google wants them to get the same experience. The documents suggest that the company is planning to tone down the extensive customizations that allow phone makers to differentiate their handsets, and more often than not, prefer their own services over Google’s.
Google wants its partners to have 20 of its apps, up from 11 since 2011’s agreement on their handsets. Additionally, the company is also making sure that its search widget is placed on the home screen, as well as its voice-enabled searches and virtual assistants with proper hotword. The company also requires these partners to place shortcuts of over a dozen of its apps on the home screen.
The report claims that Samsung, which is by far the largest manufacturer of Android devices is the biggest bottleneck to this initiative. The Korean technology company already employs TouchWiz skin on Android, and is known to give preference to its own apps and services over Google’s. This was pretty noticeable when earlier this year, Samsung introduced a magazine app on its tablets whose interface resembled a lot to Microsoft’s Windows 8’s Modern user interface. In addition, we are also aware of Samsung’s homegrown Tizen operating system, which is powering some of its smartwatches and handsets. The company is expected to launch a few Tizen-based smartphones in India later this year.
The phone manufacturers don’t really have much choice either. Google’s Android is still dominating the marketplace, powering majority of smartphones. Despite a lot of effort, Microsoft’s Windows Phone, Mozilla’s Firefox OS, and Samsung’s Tizen are still struggling to gain a considerable traction.
The consumers would definitely benefit from this as when they will switch from one manufacturer’s phone to another as the Android experience will be consistent. Google wants that. In fact, that is one of the motives behind its Android One initiative, where it is trying to bring best, and consistent experience to the low-tier devices.