Android Wear, Android TV, and Android Auto are free from manufacturer customizations: Good news or bad news?
Google held a smashing I/O conference a few days ago where Android took center stage and commanded most of what the search company had to show and talk about. The most exciting Android related announcements are Android Wear, Android TV, and Android Auto.
All these Android related hardware and services will be made available to manufacturers, but something is quite different here. Unlike Android for the smartphone and tablet devices, manufacturers won't be able to put their own style on Android Wear, Android TV, and Android Auto devices. The whole design and user interface will be standard across all devices.
This is a huge blow to the openness of Android, but it is also a huge improvement in keeping a lid on fragmentation and confusion. We envision manufacturers will complain on the grounds that they lack the ability to differentiate their products, but some might say they could do so in hardware design and features.
It is also good news for those who prefers Google's vision for Android, and would rather the operating system going untouched with user interface changes that are usually bloated and heavy on hardware performance.
As it stands, it is not clear how long Google will be able to control the design process of Android Wear, Android TV, and Android Auto. Chances are if OEMs complain loud enough, Google would have no choice but to give them more freedom to skin these new devices to better compete with each other.
If it does work out for the best, then users can easily make the jump from one Android Wear device to the other, without worrying about learning the nooks and curves of another user interface. It could also pave the way for Google to assert this much control over Android on smartphones and tablets.
Users should also bear in mind that should Google keep its control over these new platforms, there is a high chance that the company might never release the source code to allow anyone to add their own touch. It would be a huge blow to some. But with Android dominating over every other platform, we can now see why Google has no fear of going down this route.