Google reportedly asks Samsung to dial back its custom Android UI and homegrown apps

By on January 30, 2014, 10:30 AM

When Samsung debuted its new Magazine UX user interface at CES earlier this month, Google was reportedly displeased by it because the new UI, which looked like a mix of Flipboard and Microsoft’s Metro, was a radical departure from the search giant's vision of Android. What followed was a series of broad agreements to bring Samsung’s take on Android in line with Google’s own.

As part of a new agreement between the two, Samsung will reportedly either tweak the Magazine UX interface or completely dump it altogether. In addition, upcoming Android devices from Samsung will put the spotlight back on Google's suite of apps (music, video, and more), eliminating Samsung's in-house app suite. This means that existing apps such as WatchON, ChatON, and more, could disappear in the future.

For quite some time now, manufacturers have been pushing out Android devices that put a number of their own homegrown apps on the forefront instead of Google's. This is probably the reason why Google is pressuring Samsung, the leading manufacturer of Android devices, to dial back its new UI and in-house software apps.

It is not yet known what Samsung got out of this deal. The report suggests that the search giant might have agreed to work with Samsung for a future Nexus device, or it could be something else. But one thing is for sure, the relationship between the two companies has gone through a major overhaul, especially after both companies announced a broad deal to license one another’s patents.




User Comments: 13

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2 people like this | BMfan BMfan said:

Great,then I wouldn't need a custom kernel on my S4 to get rid of half the rubbish that Samsung puts on.

treeski treeski said:

Interesting... Isn't one of the draws to Android (from OEM perspective) the ability to really differentiate from competitors?

1 person liked this | Guest said:

Interesting... Isn't one of the draws to Android (from OEM perspective) the ability to really differentiate from competitors?

Yes, But remember that they are paying nothing to google for use of the OS. Google has a right to even demand that they dont radically change their product for resell. And frankly, Thank GOD. The Galaxy phones are usually the best, but because of the crap they add to it, I usually have to go with the Nexus phones. Iv been using Android since the G1. And had the GS1 from Samsung. I never understood why they changed the UI in the first place.

If it aint broke, DONT FIX IT!

2 people like this | GeforcerFX GeforcerFX said:

Interesting... Isn't one of the draws to Android (from OEM perspective) the ability to really differentiate from competitors?

Google stills wants the OS to look and operate nearly the same. They want it easy for android users to switch to different handset manufacturers.

Guest said:

If Samsung makes it look like the Metro UI, they will be the big loser.

treeski treeski said:

If Samsung makes it look like the Metro UI, they will be the big loser.

Doubtful. Galaxy is already an extremely well known brand, and people will buy it at this point because it's what they're familiar with.

MilwaukeeMike said:

Interesting... Isn't one of the draws to Android (from OEM perspective) the ability to really differentiate from competitors?

Google stills wants the OS to look and operate nearly the same. They want it easy for android users to switch to different handset manufacturers.

This. Samsung has a unique UI across their devices and part of the reason is to keep their customers. People won't want to buy an HTC or LG next time if they feel they have to learn their phone all over again. I'm glad Samsung is changing some things though, that Touchwiz UI makes their gadgets look like toys.

Guest said:

I really hope that don't get rid of WatchON. I use it for my tv everyday. To my knowledge google doesn't have an app that does the same thing with the tv controls.

lipe123 said:

Apart from the crap like chaton and flipboard etc that they force on the phone I don't see why Google wants to force people to have the same UI.

The whole appeal of android is that its not an iphone where everyone has the same boring thing and no one is allowed to change the look and feel of it.

If you give the OS away as open source then you can't really complain when there was changes made to it.

Guest said:

UI should be optional. In most cases I am forced to root my devices and flash clean room. Also all this extra functions and apps should be possible to turn off. My new Xperia Z ultra is coming with services for Facebook and Twitter build into the rom. WTH is that. I don't use any of that and I don't like even having disabled services for that crap. I was happy enough to have option to instal Google Play Edition for my device. Clean rom and I can install whatever I need.

Archean Archean, TechSpot Paladin, said:

At best this arrangement will serve as slowing down Samsung's search for diversifying its options. Current arrangement means Samsung makes one time profit on unit sale, and Google makes all the rest through their services (e.g. search/adds) for the rest of product's life cycle. Which isn't good business for Samsung in the long run.

So sometime in not so distant future, when selling just hardware will no longer be as much profitable proposition as it may be today, Samsung will have to reconsider its position and come up with a solution which can help it maximize its profitability. That would mean either Google will have to relent and share their services profits with OEMs or OEMs offering their own alternative services by ditching Google.

hellokitty[hk] hellokitty[hk], I'm a TechSpot Evangelist, said:

Please just have light snappy OSs.

Mukarram said:

Im gonna go against the grain here; I actually like most of the samsung features and some of the software.

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