Is an Android phone with Google services what you desire

Is an Android phone with Google services what you desire

Google is putting more requirements on hardware partners to feature Google apps according to what is suggested from new documentation. Does this pose a problem perhaps? This is not a new issue. This is main, usually misunderstood difference between Google services on Android and the actual Android, which is software that is open source.

On Friday, the very latest Google Android scandal made its way on the airwaves. But it actually is not a scandal and its not actually really new.

The Information acquired documents showing that Google has some new requirements for handset makers who desire using Google services on their Android phones:

“Secretive documents that are viewed by The Information show Google has been adding requirements for many many manufacturers like Samsung Electronics, HTC and Huawei Technologies who desire to build devices that are powered by Android. The aforementioned new requirements for many partners: increasing the number of Google apps that must be installed beforehand on the device up to as many as 20, placing more Google apps on the home screen or in an important icon folder and making Google Search more prominent.”

Let’s just say that the documentation is for real, mainly because these types of requirements have been around for many years. OK it’s true that Google may be adding new requirements here but I still don’t think this is a massive deal. If anything, I think it’s good from the viewpoint of a consumer.
If you are to ask why let me explain. This is due to the fact that it guarantees that if you switch between Android phone models or phone makers, you’ll have a much greater consistency in the Android experience. Way too much handset maker efforts are made at duplicating Google’s own apps; this is the reason you’ll see numerous email clients on some Android devices. Is it actually possible for this to be positive customer experience?

Your preference is most definitely important too. I’m not suggesting that it isn’t. Also even if you buy the latest Android phone from Samsung, LG, HTC or another Google hardware partner, you can remove the app shortcuts that the handset maker is required to mostly feature.

Let’s just say that you don’t want those Google apps and services in the first place. This is what you must do: Do not buy a Google Android device. Instead, look for a phone with software built from the open-sourced version of Android, commonly known as AOSP, or Android Open Source Project.

Apps of Google are not found in that software so device makers- and consumers can do what they want with it. Amazon uses AOSP software as the basis for its Fire OS, for example. Xiaomi sells millions of Android phones without any Google apps in China. Actually this is becoming an overriding approach for Android phones in Asia which have no Google services installed, and as a consequence Google has absolutely power regarding the topic of what is or is not on the device. Or you could buy a standard Google Android phone and install your own Android software; there are dozens of custom versions and tutorials available to do so.

This means that this new requirement set isn’t really about Android then; it’s actually about using Google’s apps and services on Android — a not obvious but important point. It is for this reason, Google should have complete power regarding how its software should be represented.

Quynh Shah
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