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Google may be cracking the whip to get OEMs to promote Android [updated]

Updated Dec 19th, 2018 8:46PM EST
Galaxy S5 HTC One (M8) Android OS
Image: Zach Epstein, BGR

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Google has its own ways of keeping OEMs in check

when it comes to the things they can and can’t do with Android, and it looks like the search giant may now be interested in forcing them to help further improve the image of its Android brand. Both the Galaxy S5 and the HTC One (M8) come with specific Android branding placement, which seems to be a coordinated marketing trick imposed by Google.

On the boot screen of the two hot new Android devices, a simple phrase that says “Powered by Android” can be seen, suggesting that Google has forced both Samsung and HTC to include it in the boot animation.

The move is not completely surprising, considering that some OEMs have gotten used to launching certain Galaxy devices without even mentioning the operating system at all during press events or in marketing materials. In fact, a report last year revealed that many smartphone buyers confuse “Android” with “Galaxy,” and that Samsung’s brand is a lot more recognized than Google’s smartphone OS brand.

Following the close partnership deal it inked with Google, Samsung is expected to be more respectful to the Android brand in the future, both when it comes to actually mentioning the OS, and customizing it – Google has reportedly been very unhappy with Samsung’s TouchWiz UI direction, with special emphasis on the Magazine UX look it gave to the Pro tablets unveiled earlier this year.

Since HTC is also showing the same exact phrase during the boot-up of its 2014 flagship phone, this seems to be more than just a coincidence. As Geek observes, both companies are using “the classic Android logo that was originally used as the boot animation on the original Android phone, the HTC G1.” However, there’s nothing official from Google suggesting such a marketing move would be in place.

It remains to be seen whether the same “Powered by Android” line will appear on more Android devices this year, and whether it will appear in a similar manner, especially on flagship devices.

An image showing the Galaxy S5’s boot animation that includes Android branding follows below.

Galaxy S5 boot screen | Image credit: Android Central

UPDATE: Geek has updated its report with confirmation that Google is indeed requiring OEMs to include Android branding during boot. “We’ve received additional information that confirms that this mandate is now a part of the Google Mobile Services agreement for new Android phones. This logo placement has its own separate set of guidelines from Google, and must be present in order for manufacturers to gain access to the Google Play Store on new devices.” the publication wrote. Geek also posted a screenshot that covers instructions on how to include Android branding on devices, available below.

Chris Smith Senior Writer

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he brings his entertainment expertise to Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises.

Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.


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