Have you ever held an Amazon Fire phone and compared it to a Nexus phone? Whether you did or not, let me tell you that although the Amazon device runs on Android, you will notice that Google’s Play Store is not there, as well as most of its services. Google is working on changing that.
According to The Information, Google is pushing phone manufacturers to include most of its services. Thus including the Google Search widget on the default home screen, an Android icon on the homescreen, 13 Google apps such as Chrome, Google Maps, Google Drive, YouTube, Gmail, Google+ and more.
While it may look like Google is the bad guy, I totally agree with them. Manufacturers such as Samsung, HTC and LG are known for skinning Android, and that’s fine with the search giant – as long as they follow the guidelines put in place in order to use the mobile operating system. We’re starting to see more and more phones include the Android branding in the boot screen. Whether people agree with them or not, Android, aka the best mobile OS in the world, is theirs and they have the right to set the rules.
- There must be a Google search “widget” on the “default home screen” of the device, along with an icon for the Google Play app store.
- An icon on the device home screen labeled as “Google,” when clicked, must provide access to a “collection” of 13 Google apps (Google Chrome, Google Maps, Google Drive, YouTube, Gmail, Google+, Google Play Music, Google Play Movies, Google Play Books, Google Play Newsstand, Google Play Games, Google+ Photos and Google+ Hangouts).
- Other Google apps, including Google Street View, Google Voice Search and Google Calendar, must be placed “no more than one level below the Home Screen.”
- If device owners hold down the physical “Home” button or “swipe up” from a digital home button or navigation bar, such actions should trigger Google Search.
- Google [has] the option to display a “Google trademark” or an “Android brand feature” on a “separate screen” when the device boots up.