At last – Google gets tough with Android

Why Google getting tough on Android abusers is a good thing

It’s the best news we’ve heard all year. Google has decided to stop manufacturers and operators from messing around with Android. About time too. Last night we were looking at a new Android mobile phone due out soon and we were genuinely shocked by how much the manufacturer had mangled Android. Anyone buying this phone would probably be put off Android phones for life, and it’s not Androids fault.

We’re not naming names but in twenty years of reviewing and looking at user interfaces the UI on this devices was the most unfriendly we have ever come across. Everything about the UI was inconsistent, features worked differently in different parts of the phone, and the OS had been tweaked so much that if you didn’t know it was Android phone you would have sworn it was a proprietary OS.

We look at it this way. There’s a model in the computer world that works, Microsoft produce the Windows OS and everyone puts it on their PCs and that’s it. Manufacturers don’t tweak it – although manufactures still tend to overload it with crapware – and a Windows user is safe in the knowledge that what works on one PC will work on another PC and that they’ll know where to find the control panel. For some reason the manufacturers of mobiles seem to think they’re much too clever to do anything like that, well they’re wrong, standards are good

Luckily Google are also worried about this sort of tweaking/butchery, and have decided they will now assume greater control over Android and they’re informing operators and manufacturer partners that they must now approve all significant tweaks to the platform.

Google will also restrict early access to Android software updates to approved partners, with VP of Engineering Andy Rubin making the final determination on which proposed partner changes earn the green light.

It’s win win all around, Android app developers are happy, users are happy, manufacturers can spend more money on improving the hardware, and we’re happy. It’s just a pity that they didn’t start doing this a year ago.