News by Luke Jones on Monday June 30, 2014.
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Google is keeping stricter control over Android Wear than it does the smartphone Android software by limiting how much OEM's can change the platform. Companies building products for Android Wear will not be able to dramatically customize the user interface or the overall design of the software. They will however be able to change apps and services, while some minor design touches will be allowed.Google's stance on this is almost a stark contrast to the way the company lets third parties use its Android smartphone and tablet platform. In that instance OEM's are free to drastically change the way Android looks and works. These software flourishes are called Android skins and include Samsung's TouchWiz and HTC's Sense. Other examples include the failed Facebook Home and the newly launched Amazon Fire Phone. In fact, Amazon's take on Android could be one of the reasons why Google has decided to limit customization on Android Wear. Earlier this week, Android head Sundar Pichai distanced Google from Amazon by saying that while Amazon's products use Android, he or Google do not consider them true representations of the platform and as such they are not true Android devices. For the Android purist this is of course fantastic news, while those fed up of bloatware blocking up their storage will also see Google's move as a positive one. However, some Android custom jobs such as HTC's sense and the recent LG G3 software are interesting and do add to the Android experience. With Android L, Google is aiming to make Android the focus of your tech life, and the company sees a uniform look as key to this goal. As such, Android TV and Android Auto will also be locked down and OEM's will not be able to customize them. David Burke, Google's engineering director said in an interview with ARS Technica:
We want to just have a very consistent user experience, so if you have one TV in one room and another TV in another room and they both say Android TV, we want them to work the same and look the same? The device manufacturers can brand it, and they might have services that they want to include with it, but otherwise it should be the same.source: The Verge