Android is known for its customizability and the fact that the same OS can look completely different depending on which manufacturer (OEM) you decide to go with. Samsung’s TouchWiz looks very different to HTC’s Sense – it may have the same functionality underneath, but there is no mistaking that the two Android skins look different when placed side to side.
This OEM customizability has been drastically limited by Google when it comes to Android Wear, Android TV and Android Auto. Custom apps, services and other small touches will be allowed, but OEM’s cannot change the overall look and feel of Android OS on any of the above platforms. The key benefit of this is that Google will handle all software updates, which means that everyone will receive them much faster and at the same time. There will be no OEM bloatware on your Android smart watch or TV.
“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” said David Burke (Engineering Director at Google) in an interview with Ars Technica. OEM’s will be allowed to brand it and add a few of their own services, but how it looks and works will be the same. Google is preventing confusion with its customers, along with the Android One program for low-mid tier smartphones and the rumored Android Silver program for flagship devices – this seems to be Google’s way of taking control over the fragmentation of the Android brand.
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