Google (GOOG) OEMs and ODMs can’t customizing the user interface (UI) for mobile devices running the vendor’s Android variants Wear, Auto and TV operating systems. Unique differentiating value-add will have to come from branding and adding apps and services, the company said.
In an Ars Technica report, Google engineering director David Burke confirmed that OEMs will not be able to add their own overlays on any of the three operating systems. Burke said the vendor wants a consistent look and feel to the platforms, contending that the constancy of the out-of-the-box UI is more important with the new Android OS iterations than with versions of running on smartphones or tablets.
For sure, this is about propagating the brand not only across multiple devices but spanning new uses as well.
"The UI is more part of the product in this case,” Burke told 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."
According to Burke, OEMs such as HTC, LG, Lenovo and Samsung will be able differentiate their Auto, TV and Wear offerings with branding and a lineup of apps and services but not in how the user first sees or interacts with the operating systems.