Recode: ‘After Google Pressure, Samsung Will Dial Back Android Tweaks, Homegrown Apps’

Liz Gannes and Ina Fried, writing for Recode:

In early January, while the rest of the consumer technology world at CES marveled at the sheer size of Samsung’s upcoming Galaxy tablet, Google execs were dismayed by what they saw on the screen of the massive 12.1-inch slate — a fancy new user interface called Magazine UX. As Re/code’s Bonnie Cha wrote at the time: “The Magazine UX looks like a mix of Flipboard and Microsoft’s Metro user interface with its dynamic dashboard and app shortcuts.” In other words, the interface was a dramatic departure from Google’s vision for Android.

Multiple sources familiar with the companies’ thinking say the two technology giants began hammering out a series of broad agreements at CES that would bring Samsung’s view of Android in line with Google’s own. The results of the talks, which have only just begun dribbling out to the public, also underscore the extent to which Google is exerting more of its influence to control its destiny in the Android open source world.

I’m sure Samsung loves getting pushed around like this. Samsung doesn’t have a replacement for Google Maps, for example, so their backs are to the wall on this — and from what I’ve heard from a little birdie, Maps is one of the services Google is using to get Samsung to fall in line. It’s not really much of a negotiation — it’s Google telling Samsung to stick to near-default Android or they won’t license Maps and other Google services.

Wednesday, 29 January 2014