Google to prevent OEMs from customizing the UI on Android Wear, Auto and TV

Google is actively preventing OEM partners from adding customized elements to Android Wear, Auto and TV, according to a report over on Ars Technica. It's no secret that Android as a mobile platform is fragmented when it comes to personalized OEM user experiences. There's a lot left up to individual manufacturers when it comes to loading the Android smartphone with software and other pieces that add yet more functionality on top of what's already available in vanilla Android.

This is set to change with Android TV, Auto and Wear.

On one side this would mean the end of personalized "skins" for hardware to differentiate between the OEMs, but on the rear side of the coin we're looking at a more consistent Google experience between brands, making it easier to experiment with multiple products. Google engineering director David Burke spoke with Ars Technica to confirm that "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 also noted that Google would be able to manage software updates directly for products in question, especially with Android TV, which the company aims to make said updates automatic and seamless. As opposed to Android on the phone (where updates can be a messy business), Google will be attempting to implement something like Chrome on the desktop. While it's good news for those who feel Google's aesthetic vision for the OS as a whole is one to their liking, other power users may begin to feel constrained by the OS, not being able to download source code to build on top of affected Android platforms.

Things have changed since the days of early Android. Google now offers a rather robust package and OEM partners aren't required to make drastic changes they've previously made. It'll be interesting to see how manufacturers can differentiate their products, while providing a consistent experience across the board. There are already subtle differences between different devices running Android Wear documented by Google.

How do you view this? Would you prefer to have more options available, or is opting for a more up-to-date platform as a whole better in the long run?

Source: Ars Technica

Rich Edmonds
  • Good job, Google!
  • Bout time Google. No touchwiz in my car, thanks Posted via Android Central App
  • Ya think!
    That's why Samsung is putting Tizen on more of their devices like Gear.
  • That's not Android. I'm the kind of guy who stops a microwave at one second to feel like a bomb defuser.
  • That's the point Posted via Android Central App
  • Tizen is it's own OS, so what's your point? I'm the kind of guy who stops a microwave at one second to feel like a bomb defuser.
  • If Samsung can't add a skin to android wear, they will use their own os so they can control its appearance
    Posted via Android Central App
  • That's not accurate. Samsung is known for sticking their hands in every cookie jar possible. They already have 4 devices running tizen and were still first or if the gate with the gear live running aw. Samsung will make both... In every size possible!! Posted via Android Central App
  • And their effort will be sub-standard like in WP. All WP devices are same in terms of software, and look at Samsung's efforts. It's worse than even HTC. Check Gear Live, It has a horrible screen. You can't use in sunlight. Batterylife is substantially less than Tizen device (all day battery vs 2/3 days battery). It's obvious now that they will rehash designs from Tizen devices in Android wearables. Also all their home appliances (smart home concept) is based on Tizen.
  • You do know that Samsung is releasing an android wear watch right Posted via Android Central App
  • @wezi427, That's the point.
    Posted via Android Central App
  • Well done, Google!!!
  • +1 Nexus 4 - CM10.1.3
  • Yeah we shall see.. They owe Samsung.. Posted via Android Central App
  • U mad bro?
  • Why? Posted via Android Central App
  • LOL
  • They don't owe Samsung anything. Motorola and Verizon got Android noticed. And Google themselves are responsible for Android's continued success with people like Matias Duarte. Samsung is just ridding the gravy train, much because of their name brand recognition in other household items.
  • so you're saying that people started buying samsung phones because they had good washing machines and refrigerators? outrageous.
  • I tend to think Samsung is most universally known among the general public for their televisions, cell, and smartphones.
  • Samsung is a trusted brand in many parts of the world for many appliances in households. Their brand definitely helped make their phone really popular. Posted via Android Central App
  • Samsung was nothing before the Galaxy phone came out
  • In the U.S. Smartphone market, maybe. But as a company, believe me, Samsung was very much something in the days before the Galaxy phones. Samsung is an absolutely massive company, especially in their home country of S. Korea.
  • Um Samsung was definitely well-known in the US for their TV sets before Galaxy caught on. As a result, the US is getting MORE Samsung products it didn't say 7 years ago such as refigerators, washers and dryers, and laptops.
  • Absolutely idiotic. Samsung was pretty well regarded for their TVs far before the Galaxy phones existed.
  • It's called brand loyalty, and their phone absolutely took advantage of their years of prior electronics track record. The first phone truly sucked ballz. I will never recover from my wife's present to me of a fascinate.... Posted via Android Central App
  • Brand loyalty didn't have a damn thing to do with it. It all comes down to marketing, marketing and marketing. Posted via Android Central App
  • +1
  • Yup, Samsung were the first company to market their own brand (Galaxy) over the carrier specific models, and the first to stop making carrier specific models altogether and release the very same phone across most carriers on day one. They pushed the brand pretty hard into the average consumer's mindshare... I'd dare say the Galaxy brand is now almost as recognizable as the Samsung name itself. They deserve credit for all that, took a page right out of Apple's playbook and that's why they came to dominate. Marketing often matters more than product merits, as long as you have a decent enough product, sad but true.
  • True story.
  • I decided to try a GS3 because I like my computer monitor, my TV, and my washer/dryer. All Samsung. Who knew they could eff up a Smart Phone?
  • Don't straw man.
  • Literally everyone I know outside of the few that have more than a passing interest in technology bought Samsung's because a: they own a couple of Samsung products at home and are familiar with it or b: the phone was suggested to them in the store and they went with it or c: people they know have them. Unfortunately, most of the people I know have already or will switch back to the iPhones that they came from. I can honestly say the only people I know who are happy with their androids are the two people I know with moto x's. Posted via Android Central App
  • Whenever someone I know with an iPhone switches to a Samsung and then proclaims that they hate it and they hate Android and they will be going back to iPhone, I remind them, "Don't blame Android. Blame Samsung. Your problem is not with real Android. Your problem is with TouchWiz."
  • I'm trying to get that into the head of a guy at work who has a Note 3. He keeps saying he's going to go back to IPhone. Posted via LG G2
  • Eh, I have two Samsung tablets and love them both, cept for the 16gb of storage on one. I have a Moto X and feel that it is extremely overrated.
  • You have no clue.
    The first touchscreen I liked was the Galaxy S, all the others were slow and frustrating at the time, the fact that it was android didn't mean anything, it was fast and came with swype so we didn't have to prod every key. This CPU speed breakthrough is what got the ball rolling for Android for everyone I know, enter the Samsung Exynos
    Posted via Android Central App
  • The hummingbird in the og galaxy s had a far superior GPU compared to the GPU inside the 1 GHz Qualcomm scorpion but the scorpion was a better CPU not soc. Posted via the Android Central App
  • Lol... That's cute. Who put Android on the map. Actually just look it up here on Android Central. You will find it here. Not from me, a commenter, but someone in the know Posted via Android Central App
  • Looked it up.
    Google Maps 1,000,000,000+
  • And yet out of that 1 billion, 200 million are from the Galaxy S1 to S4 alone, we're not even counting the note, S5 or any other phone the same company makes. It'd pretty obvious to me who put Android on the map. Posted via Android Central App
  • Samsung is the king of android period. As much as I love stock android u don't see people walking around with nexus devices, 9 out of 10 android phones I see are galaxy line. Numbers don't lie. That being said it's confusing to the basic phone user when they see android looking different on the same OS. Sad but it's the truth, so locking down this part of android is a no brainer IMO.
  • That's why Android silver is important. Posted via Android Central App
  • I love my Samsung TV but would NEVER get a phone from them unless I could remove their crap from it or get a GPE. When I buy an Android phone, I want an Android phone, not TouchWiz or whatever LG puts on theirs. I love my Moto X for that reason and love my LG G Tab running CM11. Posted via Android Central App
  • Agreed. The fragmentation was why I gave up on android the first time. Support for updates was far from consistent and depended on what device and provider you had. Apple has this nailed with consistent updates for even older devices. I agree with Googles direction. Posted via Android Central App
  • Motorola and Verizon. It was as the first time there was any buzz about Android. And it was all about the Motorola Droid and Droid Eris(lol had one for five days, returned for Moto) you can look at charts. 2009 I believe Posted via Android Central App
  • Does the brand Motorola mean anything to anyone who lives outside of the US? Posted via Android Central App
  • Yes.. ever heard of the Motorola Milestone?
  • Motorola has a big market outside the US, Samsung has more sells but Motorola isnt that bad.
  • Verizon spent $200 million on Droid licensing and the Ad campaigns alone for Android and the early droid devices.
    For the first couple of years people thought Android devices were actually called Droid even in the media outlets.
    I never even heard of the Nexus phone or program until I got my D1 and learned about my first update called froyo I got in June of 2010. Verizon really had a hand putting Android on the Map.
  • This is great. Now if only they would do the same with phones. Posted via Android Central App
  • A little late for that, unfortunately. Posted via Android Central App
  • Doing the same for phones would be daft as stock Android sucks Posted via Android Central App
  • Not nearly as much as a badly customized android skin *cough* samsung , LG *cough* Posted via Android Central App
  • That's why I only use the best. HTC. Nothing can touch HTC Sense. Posted via Android Central App
  • Preaching to the choir on that one Posted via Android Central App
  • Stock android already is and has always been better then any OEM skin including sense. Its preference and sense sucks. Posted via Android Central App
  • No it hasn't. And Sense is much better than stock in every way. You clearly Haven't never actually used Sense. Posted via Android Central App
  • And again you have no idea what your talking about. I have used Sense and I have Sense 6. Stock is still much better. HTC could release it as a launcher and if its as perfect as you say it is then it would be popular in the app store. Further putting HTC in the publics eye. They make great hardware and my favorite. Making it stock would be even better.
  • You are so foolish. Posted via Android Central App
  • If it's the best why is it the least popular lol?
  • Is Justin Bieber the best at what he does just because he sells so well? Same principle actually. Sales figures do not determine whose product is the best.
  • In the world of business, they do, period. Posted from my Nexus 5
  • Most losers think that way .... While the winner is laughing to the bank. Cute theory tho.
  • Plus if they released it as a launcher think of the data they would garner. They could do a free version that gives you most of Sense, but if you wanted it all then their is an in app purchase for $600 for a new M8. Posted via Android Central App
  • Stock Android has always lagged behind features that showed up in Skins frist.... Like Notification Bar toggles... STock android doesn't even have the option of toggling multiple audio settings in the same view after all this time. Stock is the definition of bar bones and I think Google Prefers it that way.
  • I am glad you like Sense. I like stock Android. It is better we can both get what we want than to be forced to use iOS. Posted via Android Central App
  • +1000 Posted via Android Central App
  • +1001 Posted via Android Central App
  • It kinda does. Posted via Android Central App
  • Damned if you do, damned if you don't. Can't wait to scroll past all of the outrage. So far, so good. :-o
  • This is what needs to be done if Google wants to go to the next level.
    Google's been getting bullied (not literally) by OEMs to long. Google needs to cast the vision and OEMs need to get on board or do their own thing. Good luck with doing their own thing. Its time that Richard and Samsung get out of the drivers seat. Ole Richard has had to much time up front with his touch wiz devices.
    Posted via Android Central App
  • At least you could say thanks for Android 'l' before being a jerk... Posted via Android Central App
  • You? What? Who?
  • Android would be nothing without multiple OEM contributing and competing on price... It's the same way MS quickly displaced Apple and IBM back in the day. I couldn't care less for Samsung's heavy handed software approach, but Android TV's success is ALSO gonna hinge on OEMs, as well as Wear's and Auto's. I agree grasping more control might be appropriate for TV & Auto (where fragmentation and bloat could get even more out of hand, and there's always gonna be ways to differentiate on hardware anyway), I'm not so sure if I like it for Wear tho. Wear devices could easily get stagnant without OEMs trying out new things and tweaking it every six months...
  • Not a bad idea on limited and targeted devices like these. Phones are a different matter, stock android is too dull and bland to be able to get away with it. If Googles Android was functional and attractive to start with the OEMs wouldn't need to add features and APIs and wouldn't need to customise its look. It does look like Android L is the first version that might be able to pull that off.
  • This. There is no reason with L that OEMS can't take the Motorola approach. Android with a few baked in features to set you apart. I'm hoping that when Sundar said his meetings and Korea reached an agreement to tone things down that this is where we are headed. Won't hold my breath though. Posted via Android Central App
  • Yeah, I think the depth of customisation has gone too far, but its Googles fault for ignoring things that needed fixing and giving the OEMs an out of date and stagnant UI and UX for the last 3 years or more. I recently used a stock ICS phone while my G2 was being repaired and frankly it wasnt much different to the N5. It was visually and functional just about the same. Most of the reasons for the delay in updates for OEMs isnt the launchers or even the visual look, its the fixes additions and optimisations they make to Android code. Google needed to overhaul Android, and from what ive seen so far L is that overhaul.
  • I don't think your comments are the least bit fair. Android's UI/UX is hardly out of date and stagnant. Android, far more than its competition, has shown itself willing to rebuild the OS essentially from the ground up. iOS is an absolute mess -- it's an OS that once served its purpose, but they have dumped features upon features on the same old OS. The result is a cluttered mess. Android is clean, beautiful, and 100% customizable insofar as both launchers and ROMs are concerned. Android has reached the point that it no longer needs custom OEM UIs. Having said that, I don't think Google should mandate it; however, it would be nice to see OEMs following the Motorola model.
  • That's why I find it funny that power users say Android in its present form looks better than Android L. Posted via Android Central App
  • Power users will tend to lean towards function over form. Simple, straight forward design. Personally, I think they added too many effects/animations and too much color to L. I don't need the UI itself to be an experience. But, I find that a lot of the younger generation (which includes mine) likes all that.
  • This is so wrong on so many levels. I have a friend that works for Motorola in the mobile division. I get to see pre-production phones all the time. I know about phone production from design through to being sold to consumers. Everything about your comment is pulled from thin air and is not correct. Please refrain from posting your incorrect speculations as fact. Posted via Android Central App
  • Only Sense still looks better than Android L Posted via Android Central App
  • Thank God it's only an opinion. I'm the kind of guy who stops a microwave at one second to feel like a bomb defuser.
  • No that's not an opinion. Sense does look better than L and that's why Google has basically tried to copy the look of Sense 6 in Android L. Posted via Android Central App
  • No you saying sense looks better is only opinion. Cause sense is ugly. Posted via Android Central App
  • I guess you think Android L is ugly to since Google basically copied the design. Also saying Sense is ugly proves you to be a troll Posted via Android Central App
  • You're just plain stupid. Just because someone doesn't agree with your opinions doesn't make them a troll.
    Google didn't copy sense in Android L. Sense is still very different from stock, and is a good looking ui, in fact the best of all the manufacturer skins. This overhaul seems a little more reminiscent of skeumorphism.
    Posted via Android Central App
  • Sense looking better then Android is not only your opinion, but your preference. Why do you think there are options. I have to disagree with you about Android trying to copy Sense 6. "L" seems to be more like the ill fated Facebook Home launcher. I may even compare it to the newer touchwiz, and only because of the round icons.
  • Well customization it the reason for Androids success.. It makes it possible for Samsung and HTC to make phones that are not only different in hardware but also look and feel (some what) different in software while still being the same underlying system with access to the same apps. See what happened to Windows Phone when they said "no customizing". Now that android has passed the 1billion make Google can make those statements.
  • Plain and simple if it wasn't for SAMSUNG Android/Google wouldn't be able to make any claims to anything.
    It must feel good to be on top of the heap that reflection of being on is solely because of Samsung's and it's Global market share leading standing as well as the flat out Android market share leader since May 2011. Accomplishments are all about who makes the product we consumers purchase nothing else matters period. From my Galaxy Note 3 via Android Central App
  • Plain and simple, without Google Samsung would be still selling feature phones. Posted via Android Central App
  • And if it wasn't for android Samsung would be nothing in the mobile market. Posted via Android Central App
  • Oh how is Motorola doing as a company? Oh yeah, they got sold, AGAIN. how is Samsung making out with TouchWiz? Again Posted via Android Central App
  • Producing shit phones with laggy ShitWiz. Marketing bullshit is their forte, the Apple way. Posted via Android Central App
  • I wouldn't say their devices, or Touchwiz are terrible, but you are correct that Samsung is the top Android OEM primarily because of their huge advertising budget.
  • LOL, advertising is not some magic bullet. if it was, Apple would still be way ahead. No one advertises better than them, not even Samsung. And no one buys Samsung phones because of that stupid Touchwiz skin. They buy Samsung phones because Samsung makes awesome hardware, and does not gimp it by removing SD or taking away removable batteries.
  • No one said anything about Apple, this is about Android. Simply walk into a Best Buy, At&t, Verizon or T-Mobile store and tell me which Android OEM gets the most promotion of their devices. Samsung does hands down. There is no comparison. Do a random poll on the street of 1000 people of which OEM first comes to mind when they think of Android. It will be lopsided in Samsungs favor. I am not going to say Samsung does not have great devices, no one can seriously argue that they do not (we still have 2 GS3's in use in my house and I bought one on day 1 for myself). But Samsung has the edge due to their advertising budget and being the first OEM to have a solid product advertised heavily on all major carriers. Motorola missed out on market share by limiting the "Droid" campaign to Verizon. HTC did the same by having the EVO exclusive to Sprint. Had both those companies made those devices available on all carriers, like Samsung was smart enough to do with the GS2 (which is when they really took off), those companies may be in better overall shape. No way to know for certain due to many factors, but it is easy to see that Samsung likely would not have the large market share gap that they do today.
  • I have walked into phones stores...and yes, there are lots of phones advertised besides Galaxy phones. If there is a difference it is not significant...I see large ads for HTC and LG phones as well. Even obscure ones. The "droid" campaign was never Motorola...that is entirely Verizon. Verizon owns that. Only Verizon phones can be droid phones. Moto had nothing to do with it except that they produced the most well known Droid phone.
  • I disagree. I think that they have kept it bland intentionally. I believe that they left it up to the consumer to customize the device to their liking. I'm the kind of guy who stops a microwave at one second to feel like a bomb defuser.
  • Stock android isn't dull its just not full of bloatware. No carrier apps no nothing just google. I got 4.4.2 update and I got 4 new apps from AT&T all worth almost a gig of my storage not including erything else. Maybe if everyone started going stock android carriers wouldn't put bloatware like on the iPhone. That's a huge reason why my second phone is a nexus. You can't get any better. Posted via Android Central App
  • Google' Android stooped looking hideous after ICS. The OEM skins were only required from Eclairs to ICS. But during that time they became a means to differentiate their handset. There is virtually no OEM add-on that isn't already in kit-kat or available through 3rd party software. In my opinion OEMs slow down updates and force customers to purchase newer devices when they refuse to update a device with capable hardware. It's all money making.... It's called business
  • People will sink or swim with what GOOGLE would call how they want things to be thank God for choice. I admire SAMSUNG for putting out their own products their own way rather it be phones, tablets, and it's own Tizen operating system so people who don't cherish this stock android stuff will buy what they want. At the end of the day it's the end user who pays for what they need Android will only become an option among other options thank God for that. From my Galaxy Note 3 via Android Central App
  • Why do you keep this up? All your doing is making the pro-stock people look good with your Samsung rants. I think you actually use a Nexus and are a troll.
  • We missed you, buddy!
  • The great majority of smartphone users actually have no idea of what they need from a smartphone. For example, how many female Galaxy users actually use their devices for much more than Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest messaging and their calendar? I would be willing to say well over 50% of smartphone users do not use the majority of bells and whistles that OEMs put on their devices.
  • I am so glad that your a modern man, not. As a female I don't use my mobile for any of those apps you mentioned. But I guess its easy for you to use sweeping statements. I actually like to play games where I kick ass. Also I should point out that I am not a butch lesbian I am fully a woman just in case you again want to think with the smallest part of you body. Now that I am finally back in 2014 Posted via Android Central App
  • +10000000
  • How many MALE galaxy users actually use their devices for much more then Instagram, FB, Pinterest, messaging and calendar. The assumption that most or some or a percentage of women just get a phone for that is absurd! I run into men everyday who don't know shit about what their cellphone can do. Hmmmph!!!!!
  • That was actually the point I was trying to make. Users here, like yourselves, are not the ones that I am referring to. We all know a higher percentage of smartphone users that use a smartphone for a small amount of its capabilities. And most of those users follow the advertising and go Samsung. Was no need getting overly defensive over a general example and making a worse assumption about myself than I was misinterpreted about doing. Even so I'd like to invite ladies like you that are passionate about technology to share your experiences over at A website I co founded to help ladies have a voice and place to talk about technology. You can DM me for more details of interested :-).
  • No thanks, I'll pass
  • Nearly no one uses a smartphone to its full potential. This is such a weird thing to say.
  • My comment was intended to show that most people that purchase Galaxy devices rarely use all of the bonus software Samsung includes with their devices.
  • OEMs like Samsung hates to give their old phones their latest UI design at first for marketing reasons. I bet S5 will retain that same kitkat UI after getting L. No lockscreen notifications. No material design in samsung apps. Not until Android M is released.
  • Or L.5 Posted via Android Central App
  • Really? What os is the sgs3 on? What os is the HTC one x on? Stfu Posted via Android Central App
  • Why are you so hostile? Posted via Android Central App
  • Because only his knowledge about and all encompassing experience with everything is correct. In fact, thank goodness for us, he even has the time to profusely contribute to these forums.
  • I'm not saying this in a bad way, but I think he/she, likes the idea of OEMs being able to customize Android to their liking to differentiate themselves and improve their branding. Posted via Android Central App
  • He's mad because he wants TouchWiz on an Android Wear watch. Without TouchWiz, an Android Wear watch is basically a Nexus.
  • I think he meant the touchwiz version, man. Yes, the s3 is on kitkat, but the touchwiz looks very close to the same as it did when it launched in 2012. That's what he means.
    Samsung does the exact opposite of Apple in regards to os updates: Apple makes every new release look the same, but the functions don't upgrade as much. Samsung introduces all the new features, but keeps the ui very much the same. Posted via Android Central App
  • One X is on 4.2.2. S3's on 4.4, but not for the i9300 variant, which is forever stuck on 4.3. Note that HTC has given the X a pretty big UI overhaul with Sense 5. The S3 runs the S4/N3's version of TouchWiz, which, to be honest, hasn't changed much. Given how the S5's UI looks cleaner and more mature, I'd love to see it on the S4/N3 soon. It's unlikely the s3 will get it, but I'm ready for surprises. Do note that the One X has 1GB of RAM, compared to the S3 LTE's 2GB. Also, note that the X uses a variant of the Tegra 3 that apparently has a much shorter life cycle than the variant used in the first Nexus 7. Posted via Android Central App
  • Like Stock has looked the same for 3 years you mean?
  • The auto ui seemed pointless. A lot of touching the screen and relying on still frustrating voice commands. What's the difference from just using your phone n5
  • Not all vehicles have a good spot for a phone mount. Without a mount, the phone can slip away. And then comes the ultimate in distractions: trying to locate your phone under the brake pedal and hang up before a private moment happens. Posted via Android Central App on my HP TouchPad (Schizoid PAC-ROM 4.2.2)
  • I suppose it's like the difference between watching TV on your phone vs your big screen TV. Yes you can do both but one is a more optimal experience. Posted via Android Central App
  • I hate automatic updates to chrome, and Google apps for that matter. Not being able to control updates is a huge pain, i don't want Google notifications in my system tray just because i loaded chrome up :S. This will lead to unwanted forced updates, the mess with phones is a blessing in disguise, believe me. Posted via Android Central App
  • Yippee *jumps for joy* If OEM's want to stand out now, it's time to employ some fresh and distinctive design ideas! Which is just what the consumer has been screaming for.
  • Yeah Google took a ton from Samsung and made it part of the core os so they can move on and do more! Posted via Android Central App
  • Just like Samsung stole from someone....and someone stole from them.....and they stole it off the people before...and on and on and on....! Google took some stuff from Samsung, yeah, the few good bits, and Samsung decided to keep all the rest of the bloated laggy crap their UI offers. Which is perfectly true, so quit bleating to anyone who dares be happy that google are doing this. Posted via Android Central App
  • You're really prone to hyperbolic statements. A ton. Really? Actually Google incorporated into Android significantly more UI innovations from HTC. Yet, what difference does it make going forward.
  • This. And especially with the look of Android L which is basically Sense 6. Posted via Android Central App
  • Uh, wasn't being an open platform for developers to manipulate one of the celebrated aspects of Android? And now everyone is cheering that Google are adopting Apple/Microsoft model of locking down the OS so no one can change it? Funny to see people want Google to lock down the phone OS as well. This reeks of Google changing their tune of Android to being the nice open platform for developers/OEMs to a locked down Apple/MS approach. Shame to see too, as I like to see what other OEM's can come out with in their designs/additions. Who's to say Samsung/LG/HTC can't come out with some excellent Android Wear designs/features? But I guess we'll never know thanks to Google preventing this from ever happening.
  • More like Microsoft than Apple. Posted via Android Central App
  • From what I could see from the Keynote, Android Wear devices will largely be slaves to phones. So the phones should be the primary source of innovation. You'll still be able to install various apps in Android Wear that talk to the phone, and those apps will have their own skins/features. But the Wear device won't do much without a phone. Posted via Android Central App on my HP TouchPad (Schizoid PAC-ROM 4.2.2)
  • Only really because the watch has no internet connection. It is essentially full Android, which is pretty useless with no data and a 1.6 inch screen.
  • Hey, I'm with you. I love Android because it is not "one size fits all". It just seems funny to me that we Android geeks are discussing what the OEMs are giving us. I personally am glad to get some great hardware that works well. I know that I will get bored or frustrated with the stock ROM and then install a custom rom. The bottom line is that with Android, if you don't like the UI, change it. CUSTOMIZATION is what I love about Android. I mean, if you hate TouchWiz get rid of it, its fun
  • It is still an open OS, they are required to release the code, so anyone can modified, anything you dont like you can revert it. I also believe that they are doing that if you as a developer want their support and apps.
  • +1 Posted via Android Central App
  • Why people always assume that just because it says Android. It had to be treated the same way. Wear, auto, and TV has Android in their name mostly for marketing reasons. Posted via Android Central App
  • On the other hand, they do say optional services will be allowed which could be a very big thing. Think launchers. Do we want touchwiz breaking/slowing our inner systems? No. Do we want touchwiz as a LAUNCHER ONLY, available to change at our desecration, whether to stock Google or a 3rd(4th?) Party app? Actually yes. Why can't manufacturers just put their own versions of the default apps on and disable the Google version, much less of a permanent change, imagine uninstalling Samsung internet (made available on the play store for reinstalls) and re-enabling chrome from the app manager, you could "stock" your device without needing a GPE phone. The only thing Google needs to open up for this to work, is store apps being able to skin "settings" and the notification bar. Posted via Android Central App
  • While I strongly approve this move to fight Android fragmentation, I can't help but think this hurts Android innovation. Yeah, you can flame me about how Samsung's UI is a 'bloated mess and filled with useless gimmicks' and is 'the ugliest UI ever' (actually, Lenovo's UI is far worse), but think about it. Some OEM skins have some pretty dang useful features over stock Android, like Samsung's Quick Settings bar, HTC Sense's ability to rearrange quick settings tiles, among other features. I do hope that Google still gives some form of freedom for vanilla (smartphone/tablets) Android for OEMs, without them going way too overboard. Though from the looks of it, it seems to be only for Wear, TV and Auto.
  • I totally agree, Google has been very lazy with Android, more interested in tinkering with code than designing a compelling UI and UX.
  • Nexus 5 has the best UX of any phone I've ever used, IMO. Posted via Android Central App
  • Not for me. Buggy (4.4 was horrible at launch and is still poor), limited, dull and indistinguishable from 4.0 apart from the awful Google Launcher. Performance is also over rated, ive seen just as much lag on an N5 as I have any other flagship S800 device, once it has a few apps and widgets.
  • I find the Google Launcher and stock KitKat 4.4 to me the most pleasing UX aesthetically, aside from "L". However, the best looking OEM skin, to me, is Sense 6 so far. It's consistent with the design of stock Android, with HTC's unique twists, while improving on the stock experience.
  • Yeah I like Sense as well, but I really despise the Google Launcher.
  • I can be a fanboy and argue over how awesome it is. But I'm not a fanboy. I respect your views. ;)
  • You haven't used a phone with Sense 5 or above then. Posted via Android Central App
  • How much is HTC paying you? Is this really Gary Oldman trolling?
  • Sense 5 to 6 is very good.
  • Woah, calm down. I'm not "The Richard Yarrell of HTC". I'm merely stating my opinion based on my usage of a One M7. I'm not saying TouchWiz or LG/Sony 's skin is terrible. I'm just saying that I feel that Sense 6 is the best OEM skin so far. (Wait, you were replying to the other guy?)
  • Yup sure was I usually am drinking while posting here.....sorry
  • My fault too. Am email said something as if you replied to my comment. Apologies. Posted via Android Central App
  • Np! Thanks.
  • You are really a noob.
  • No you are Posted via Android Central App
  • I'll take this opportunity to throw in LG's Knock Code as well. Posted via Android Central App
  • Good thing Google is putting their foot down... And what happened to that old plan to make OEM skins kinda overlay to Android, that you could disable ?
  • OEMs didnt want to do what because they would then be reliant on Googles bug ridden code. Yes, stock is full of bug that OEMs fix themselves, Google tend to add in those fixes when they can be bothered.
  • I'd be interested to see a list of these bugs. I have zero issues with my N5 running 4.4.4. Posted via Android Central App
  • Just do a google search mate Posted via Android Central App
  • He's a developer. He knows it all. /s Posted via Android Central App
  • No issues with my Nexus 5 either. It's the closest thing to a perfect Android experience I have ever seen.
  • I wouldn't say stock is FULL of bugs... OEMs tend to introduce just as many bugs as they fix in my opinion; specially with regards to core apps that are skinned or replaced, like calendars and the dialer/contacts... But OEMs do fix bugs and/or missing functionality on stock pretty often. The stock BT stack on Android was woefully outdated for years (literally years), I think it wasn't until Kit Kat that a phone running stock could pass forward track info over Bluetooth while various phones running updated BT stacks as part of OEM skins could do it all along.
  • Good, please don't HTC sync or Kies my stuff in my car. I am looking forward to root my car, living room, and wearables
  • Awesome.
  • Other than knock on I can't think of a single OEM added feature that I've used on any Android phone. So, I hope this change is driven to the mobile platform as well. Posted via Android Central App
  • I can name several features I have used on HTC Sense. Also if it weren't for OEM skins issues with Android would never get fixed. Posted via Android Central App
  • I can name a dozen off the top of my head but most have now been incorporated into stock, they originally debuted on Sense, TW, or Moto's newer builds tho. Do not disturb mode, always listening mode for Ok Google, notification shade widgets/quick settings, lock screen music controls and shortcuts, configurable launcher, etc etc. ALL that stuff was first seen on an OEM skin or developer ROM before stock Android. Android TV & Auto are gonna be much more streamlined experiences where Google WILL need tighter control to make them succeed and where OEM still have plenty of opportunities to differentiate in hardware tho... Android Wear I'm not so sure about, and I AM excited about Wear, I just hope tighter control doesn't lead to stifled innovation there though.
  • As long as they don't do it to smartphones or tablets im fine with that I was never going to buy any of those mentioned anyway
  • Long live vanilla Android! Posted via Android Central App
  • Vanilla Android sucks Posted via Android Central App
  • I'm sorry you feel that way. Posted via Android Central App
  • Good most people just want there TV box watch to work they don't care who makes it I'm not hating Samsung for having crappy software and great hardware. Sure TouchWiz isn't as nice as stock Android in spots. I bet you the only people that really hate TouchWiz are the enthusiasts here on Android Central, the reason that Samsung sell so many phones it works, and it's advertised all over the place. I would just like for us enthusiasts that we could remove unwanted software from our device without rooting(Not that it's that hard really). lets just hope that Android L will change some of the rules and only lock core phone functions from being deleted.... Posted via Android Central App
  • I'd take your bet. I use TW daily, as it works for me very well. Had nothing to do about jummping on the sammy bus because of the brand. It offers me what i look for in aphone, or tablet. Can't deny the lag at times, but it offers so much more for me personally. I agree that it would be sweet to get rid of what you don't want as far as bloat, but don't buy it in the first place. I am rooted, and customized TW to my liking, and that is best for me. Techies, usually like it more, when gadgets are tweeked, not left plain like a nexus device, which I have used, and even rommed from time to time, just to see the new before it gets skinned. That's where I'm a bit baffled.
  • That's great news. It prevents companies like Samsung from butchering the user experience. I'm the kind of guy who stops a microwave at one second to feel like a bomb defuser.
  • And prevents companies like HTC from making the experience better. Posted via Android Central App
  • That's your opinion and I think it sucks. I'm the kind of guy who stops a microwave at one second to feel like a bomb defuser.
  • That's because you have low iq Posted via Android Central App
  • You're funny. You have to result to insults (which I'm not insulted). Attempt to be an adult, maybe someone would take you more seriously. I'm the kind of guy who stops a microwave at one second to feel like a bomb defuser.
  • They should try this with android for mobile soon too Posted via Stock Nexus 4*
  • No they shouldn't Posted via Android Central App
  • Yes they should. +1 for Karl.
  • Wrong again bob. They would ruin what is great about Android and would prevent OEMs from foxing Google's fuck ups Posted via Android Central App
  • As I said to someone further up, I'd be interested to see a list of these issues, not aware of any with my N5 running 4.4.4. Posted via Android Central App
  • And again mate do a simple Google search Posted via Android Central App
  • When's the last time HTC, Samsung, LG and the rest actually made something decent without Google's source code? Oh yeah, never. These OEMs wouldn't even be able to compete with Apple if Android weren't there for them. Quit fooling yourself. Posted via Android Central App
  • Gosh you are daft and missed the entire point. Posted via Android Central App
  • OEM's can have DEV teams create launchers. Problem solved. We do not need more UI's from OEMs.
  • Are you really this daft? Posted via Android Central App
  • Thank you google! Posted via Android Central App
  • They need to carry this over with their phones as well! :P
  • No they shouldn't Posted via Android Central App
  • seems like they are taking a page from Nvidia's playbook. GPU oems figured this out years ago.
  • I know you are stating this as your opinion, but if that happens, then the only thing that would truly separate Android devices would be the hardware specs and design...... Scary thought. Lolololol Posted via Android Central App
  • You can still make launchers. Having Android being the same would allow for much faster updates. I for one would rather have that.
  • Wow you are so very daft Posted via Android Central App
  • Coming from you it doesnt mean anything. :) Launchers wold fix the entire thing. Its still a solved problem.
  • Wrong again bob. Posted via Android Central App
  • Who made you King of Shit? It's his opinion. I think Sense sucks balls. I prefer what Motorola has been doing, but that's my opinion.
    I'm the kind of guy who stops a microwave at one second to feel like a bomb defuser.
  • And his opinion is wrong. And would ruin Android. Posted via Android Central App
  • He's just a troll. Ignore his lameness please.
  • You shouldn't use words you don't know the meaning of Posted via Android Central App
  • I don't think he's wrong, but there is no need to be a douche bag about it. I'm the kind of guy who stops a microwave at one second to feel like a bomb defuser.
  • That's because you have low iq. That's the only reason you don't think he is wrong Posted via Android Central App
  • Low IQ people usually boast about it and try showing others how low their IQ is. I've got an example just here. Be proud to have a lower IQ. You don't have to call bullshit on others because they disagree with you.
    Maybe your IQ is too low to understand the sarcasm in this post. I'll just add a tag just in case.
    /s Posted via Android Central App
  • He's unable to follow the structure of the conversation, proves that your comment is correct in that he has the lower IQ. I'm the kind of guy who stops a microwave at one second to feel like a bomb defuser.
  • You're the idiot! I'm saying I agree with you in regards to your opinion, but the way you present it you're an a$$ about it. I'm the kind of guy who stops a microwave at one second to feel like a bomb defuser.
  • There's no need to get all riled up over an OPINION. If I say TouchWiz sucks donkey balls, that doesn't mean you should argue and tell me that I'm a dumbass and that I have low IQ. It's just what [b] I [/b] think about it and while you may not agree with it, you can at least respect it. Now, what I actually think of TW is that although it's not very pleasing to look at, it gets the job done. Posted via Android Central App
  • So are you the only person allowed to have an opinion here. Or only people who's opinions are the same as yours? I like sense. I like TouchWiz. I like vanilla android. But that's MY opinion. Quit being a douche. Posted via Android Central App
  • Replying to whom? I'm the kind of guy who stops a microwave at one second to feel like a bomb defuser.
  • The one being a douche. Weston. Posted via Android Central App
  • Thanks, because it seems some people are unable to follow the flow of the conversation. :-) I'm the kind of guy who stops a microwave at one second to feel like a bomb defuser.
  • Sorry. I'm on the app. Clicked on his comment and hit reply. Guess it didn't work right. Posted via Android Central App
  • I used to try to stop it on zero before the beeps when I was a kid. It could actually be done with the microwave that I had growing up.
  • Hmmmm actually that's an interesting idea (launchers). I do agree about the update time frame aspect, with the exception of the chipset manufacturers providing updated drivers as needed. Posted via Android Central App
  • Heyy can anyone plz help me. I dropped my s5 in the pool and the back covee was slightly open . It went 5 cm down in water before I removed it. It was turned off . I didn't try to turn it back on . I just removed all the parts and placed it in the sun to dry. Can it be fixed or im screwed? ??
  • google should do this for all of android and limit customization to launchers.
  • No they shouldn't. That would ruin Android Posted via Android Central App
  • That's right! ... ( 0ppo F5) ...
  • Good. I hate the lousy skins Samsung and others use. Posted via Android Central App
  • Try Sense Posted via Android Central App
  • You should get some.
  • Awe little baby got his feelings hurt Posted via Android Central App
  • Definitely not butt hurt like your self. Anyone else following your posts can see what an ass you have been. It's better to be thought of as an asshole, than to post and remove all doubt. Douche.
  • From watching the videos, it seems like Wear supports different skins, so maybe manufacturers could offer a custom appearance but keep the experience consistent. I'd be fine with that. I think it would be better if custom home launchers were allowed though, provided that they were a second option to the default one. I could see people wanting to customize their stuff, and I don't know if Google's decision is best for the consumer.
  • Finally!! No more heavily skinned lag Posted via Android Central App
  • No lag on HTC Posted via Android Central App
  • Liar I'm the kind of guy who stops a microwave at one second to feel like a bomb defuser.
  • My first ever smartphone was the original Motorola Droid. I've since had 40+ different devices from HTC to ZTE and I keep coming back to Motorola. Vanilla Android is the big reason. Simple design language out of the box is a big deal to me. I like to start off with stock and modify to my liking. TouchWiz is bloated pure and simple. I use a Moto G LTE right now. Downgraded from a Moto X. My Moto G will load apps faster than a Note 3. Samsung's overlays slow down the phone pure and simple. I don't hate Samsung but I don't like TouchWiz. If Samsung would offer the Note 3 or whatevers popular at the moment with Vanilla android with the OPTION to use TouchWiz then I'd consider forking over the big bucks on one. Til then, Motorola for me. Posted via Android Central App
  • This will be a big failure. The suceess of Android was because it was easy for OEMs to customize the UI for their products to differentiate themselves from one another. I doubt OEMs will all want to sell the exact same watch screen wise. Posted via Android Central App
  • Good Posted via Android Central App
  • Not really Posted via Android Central App
  • I agree. He should have said "Great" not "good".
  • This had to be done. If they didn't do this then people would be confused and the experience wouldn't be unified throughout all of the vehicles Android Auto was in. Posted via Android Central App
  • I hope this is something of a branding. If the OEM wants to put Androidtv on the item, they are not allowed to customize it, but if they don't name it, android TV, maybe just as a smart TV, then they can skin it anyway they want. That would be a win win. Manufacturers can still differentiate themselves from others while ad hearing to Google's rules about Android TV. I think that is why lg went to webos. Which is still a great platform. They knew this was coming, so they changed focus. Maybe lg will sell webos to other OEMS to compete with android TV.
    Posted via Android Central App
    Of course I am strictly speaking about TV not cars.
  • Ohhhhhhhhhhhhh yaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa everybody clap you hands Posted from my Nexus 7 2013 running Android L or Samsung galaxy S5
  • Good. Android has grown a ton over the years and OEM skins, IMHO, are no longer necessary. Hopefully they start moving this direction on phones and tablets as well. It's the skins and customization from OEM's that holds these phones back with updates and such. A baked in theming engine would go a long way in keeping with the 'user choice' side of Android. I shouldn't have to root and hack to use stock android.
  • Skins will always be necessary Posted via Android Central App
  • I don't get all the hate in the comments for vanilla Android. I'm rocking a Nexus 5 running Stock and I'm loving it. Yes I'm rooted and running Xposed Framework, but that's so I can get features and tweaks that you can't even get on a stock Galaxy S5. I love the vanilla Android UI and can't stand a device running anything else. Posted via Android Central App
  • Differentiate on quality! Stop trying so many gimmicks and other shenanigans. Posted via Android Central App
  • Best news of the post I/O news.
  • Best part of all of this, if one of the OEMs put this skin on their phones, people would be raging about how it sucks :)
  • I think that's a good move on Google's part. In my opinion that should have been done with Android 1.0 so there wouldn't be so much fragmentation. Posted with my Nexus 7 2012 or Moto X via the Android Central App
  • Since Anadroid L looks like a mish mash of sense, touchwiz and optimus, every android phone should come with that software. The only say the manufacturer should have is on the hardware. If they want to add any apps or services, make them available in the play store and compatible with their devices only. This way they can still keep their differentiation and we can all get updates in a timely manner. Posted via Android Central App
  • This will make everyone who screams "stock Android" happy. I'm not one of those, but I think it's a good idea. Consistency is key to eliminating fragmentation. Posted from the by God Samsung Galaxy Note 3 via Android Central App
  • Yeah those folks will be the happiest of all. I just think if OEMs want to provide us with a different user experience, they should simple offer it as an option. During initial setup, I should be able to decide whether or not I want Vanilla, TouchWiz, Sense, or Optimus running as my default user experience. :D
  • That would be brilliant! I'd jump at that.
  • This.... is what we wanted.. Vanilla android experience to all!
  • No it is not. Posted via Android Central App
  • I honestly believe that TouchWiz is quite good. I'm still using my 2012 Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 and I chose it over the Nexus 10 because it offered features that made sense to me in a tablet (multi Window support, Wacom Digitizer Pen, apps built around the S-Pen, etc). It does have its bloatware (media hub is never used on my tablet, for example), but this thing is fantastic (even if it's still running 4.1.2). For Android Wear, I think it would have been very interesting seeing how the other OEMs would tackle the UI/UX. Although, I'd probably only really use Android Wear as a means to quickly view notifications, check the time, or shuffle through some news (possibly even some Twitter feeds) without having to pull out my phone. For a device that will probably not be used as heavily as the smartphone, maybe the barebones is truly enough. It just would have been nice to see how the other OEMs would have gone about this. Posted via Android Central App
  • If Samsung was really confident that touchwiz was so good, they'd give us the option to remove it. The fact that they don't says all that needs to be said.
  • As long as they don't remove the features from the Galaxy Note series phones that make it what it is, I don't care what they do to the other devices. They can keep their stock Android, just don't mess with my Note. From my Note 2 to you
  • I'm glad to see this. I personally think this has always been an area where Apple has bested Google, uniformity. Posted via Android Central App
  • Android, the new iOS. Posted via Android Central App
  • I can still change whatever I want in Android. Vendors might not be able to, but I can, and thats whats important. Let me know when iOS does that kthx.
  • Well done Google as a stock fan I am very happy about this. No bloat is the best way to go. I am very much looking forward to the new ui and update that is coming. For me personally I believe that it takes Google forward. I can't wait for the Nexus 6 and moto 360 Posted via Android Central App
  • A custom UI is not bloat. You should learn the meaning of that word before you use it Posted via Android Central App
  • Your such an ass. Re read his post, and please point out where he said "UI is bloat". AC, please think about a time out for the stealing of Harry Potter's avatar, otherwise known as WestonCorey.
  • When an OEM mangles Android so badly that it literally makes the phone lag up, I would call it bloat. And I'm specifically talking about TouchWiz right now. Went from a Nexus to SGS 4, then screaming to a Moto X.
  • Weston you're such a douche. I don't think reading and comprehension was a strong point for you in school. I think you need to reread the comment and then take a look in the mirror and call yourself a douche.
    I'm the kind of guy who stops a microwave at one second to feel like a bomb defuser.
  • Good job! Finally! Now if only Google would do the same for Android on phones and tablets. At least we have Android Silver coming. Now here's to hoping Verizon participates. Posted via Android Central App
  • If you want the same thing done in phones and tablets you are stupid Posted via Android Central App
  • Internet tough guy I'm the kind of guy who stops a microwave at one second to feel like a bomb defuser.
  • Easy to be a tough guy from mommys basement.....
  • I'm fine with this for TVs, cars, and wearables, but I don't think I'd be a fan of similar restrictions for Android flagship smartphones and tablets. The OEMs include some nice features that I'd miss as options. Posted via AC App on HTC One
  • Thats not being very open.....sounds like a walled garden doesn't it?
  • Except for the fact that it's not.. In a walled garden you can't change anything. Google has not said they won't let the user themselves add whatever they want, just as we have been using launchers on phones and tablets forever. Vendors have been IMPOSING their UI since forever, refusing to let us uninstall it. This is the result. People are fed up with them. No one buy's Samsung phones for that stupid and bloated UI, they buy them for the hardware.
  • Sorry but Samsung got noticed because of the galaxy phones. Before that I had barely even heard of samsung. Now because of the galaxy phone I've started to take more notice of all of their products. Posted via Android Central App
  • I noticed the TVs first. I'm the kind of guy who stops a microwave at one second to feel like a bomb defuser.
  • This is great for the overall user experience and future support. This will be needed for the success of these platforms in the mass market of average users.
  • As everyone else said. This is good news. Were finally seeing Google take a stand against companies theming everything they can. Posted via Android Central App
  • Bad news for innovation Posted via Android Central App
  • Google has been innovating more than they have anyway. I will not miss Samsung "innovation" in the form of a bloated laggy UI that you can't uninstall. If these vendors had just included a way to remove their UI skins if we want, none of this would be necessary.
  • Os that way most features from the list 3 versions of Android were found in HTC Sense first? Try some research. Posted via Android Central App
  • HTC would not allow me to uninstall their stupid skin and in fact put roadbloacks in my way constantly. It was annoying as hell. Sense was almost as obnoxious as touchwiz, and cannot die fast enough for me. I am DELIGHTED to see that the rest of the Android world is finally coming around and forcing these changes.
  • about time.
  • LOL! Screw you Samsung and HTC! This made my day.
  • That's a stupid comment. Since how much HTC has improved Android.
    Posted via Android Central App
  • I owned an HTC phone for 2 years. They improved nothing. I currently have a KitKat ROM on my Rezound, and it has never run better. Sense is an anchor.
  • Not sure if this is good or bad news yet.
  • Bad news Posted via Android Central App
  • It's bad news that it didn't happen years ago already. Better late than never.
  • Since it's based on Android, doesn't it also mean people can install launchers anyway?
  • I think this fits well with personalized hardware that we will all have around the household. As this will be an interface for watches, televisions, kitchen appliances, future house control software, etc. It will be EXTREMELY satisfying knowing how to operate each and not having to remember what the OEM has changed in one product over the other as these new devices invade our homes. And then I have the freedom to purchase from any OEM who has done a good job instead of leaning toward one product line manufacturer so that I can interact with devices in the same manner.