Android Auto, Android TV, Android Wear Won’t Have Major OEM Customisation

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Google, at its I/O 2014 keynote address, announced new additions to its ecosystem such as Android Auto, which has been tailored to work with cars; the refreshed Android TV, majorly optimized for TV-watching, and revealed more details about Android Wear (initially announced in March), a version of the operating system customised for wearable gadgets such as smartwatches.Now, a new report indicates that the Mountain View giant seems more determined to control the new – Android Auto, Android TV and Android Wear – platforms rather than keeping it open to be customised by the OEM partners.Arstechnica in a report has quoted Dave Burke, Head of Android Engineering and Nexus Program who said, “The UI is more part of the product in this case. 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.”

Burke quite clearly indicates that Google will not allow the OEM partners to tinker dramatically with the company’s overall UI. In addition, Burke confirmed that Google will be managing the software updates for Android Auto, Android TV and Android Wear OS directly.

The company wants to make the software updates for the new products automatic and seamless, “more like Chrome on the desktop”, added Burke and confirmed that the company wants to do the same for the Android Auto and Android Wear.

Arstechnica’s report also notes that the recently announced LG G Watch and Samsung Gear Live run almost the identical Android versions with same build numbers. Google has even listed few apps on its support page that are being provided for smartwatch adopters, with LG preloading a compass and world clock on its G Watch running Android Wear, while the Samsung Gear Live comes preinstalled with heart rate monitor, compass, and stopwatch apps.

Earlier, Google’s Dave Burke also confirmed that the Nexus program would continue despite the existence of Android Silver, and a new Nexus flagship running Android L can be expected to launch later this year.

At the beginning of this year, Google and Samsung caught the tech world by surprise by announcing a long-term patent cross-licence deal. Soon after the deal, a report suggested that Google, not very happy with the new Magazine UX, was making Samsung tone down its Android tweaks and own apps.

 

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