Android is and always has been an open source operating system and that makes it possible for manufacturers to change it to suits their needs. Thanks to that, we’ve seen a wide variety of skins on top of Android over the years and not all of them good. There are devices that run Android as Google intended, but there aren’t many. However with their newest releases, skins won’t be a problem anymore, at least on a few of our screens.
Android Wear, Auto, and TV were all announced at Google I/O and they are all designed to the same standard as the upcoming version of Android, Android L. However many of us were worried about what OEMs might do to these new operating systems. I don’t know about you, but I don’t really want TouchWiz on my TV or powering my car. Luckily though David Burke has made it clear that these operating systems will have software designed only by Google and not OEMs. This does not rule out bloatware by any means however.
“The UI is more part of the product in this case. 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.”
Unfortunately Burke didn’t say that Android L would follow this same path. Hopefully OEMs will see just how good Android L is on it’s own and go a little lighter on their customizations. Granted that is just my opinion. Your’s may differ. So how do you feel? Would you want an OEM to place a skin on these new platforms or do you agree with Google that it should stay as it is? Let us know in the comments.