Wednesday, April 06, 2011

Google Versus the Carriers?

Apple has been able to control the iOS platform, pushing out updates on their own schedule and keeping specialized carrier apps (often called crapware) off the iPhone and iPad. Google has not had similar success - with carriers delaying OS updates, or vendors/carriers forcing skins and apps on android devices. How bad has this been for Google? They've allowed Verizon to keep Bing as the default search engine on Verizon branded android phones.

It looks like Google is beginning to push back against the carriers. Don't push too hard - Microsoft is waiting with open arms.

Google Finally Fights Back Against Android Fragmentation
According to Bloomberg, Google has spent the last several months tightening the reigns on its Android partners. They're having licensees sign "non-fragmentation clauses" that give Mountain View final say over the platform tweaks that can cripple a perfectly good phone. The OEMs are up in arms, obviously, but they shouldn't be. Because what Google's doing is making sure consumers know exactly what they're getting. They're making "Android" mean something again.

The biggest problem often isn't the skins themselves. Many people find HTC Sense to be a welcome improvement over stock Android, while others—someone out there, I'm sure—may dig Motorola's social-savvy Motoblur. But the more aggressively companies manipulate Android, the longer their customers have to wait for firmware updates that bring crucial services. Some handsets end up never being updated at all. No, really... it's bad out there.
- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

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