Google will be increasing its control over the Android platform in order to reduce and eliminate fragmentation across carriers and manufacturers after years of allowing the aforementioned to do as they saw fit, which has lead to problems with device support and carrier customizations that have hampered customer satisfaction.
According to the report filed by Bloomberg Businessweek, Google has been meeting with its key OHA partners over the past few months and laid down the law regarding its policies and has decided to exercise more control over the platform due to manufacturers and carriers modifying Android to suit their own ends without keeping support or customer satisfaction in mind. In one example, Verizonâ€™s Galaxy S variant in the Fascinate features Android, but defaults all search traffic to Microsoftâ€™s Bing due to a carrier agreement with the software giant, with no option to restore Googleâ€™s own Search without rooting.
This has led those same carriers and manufacturers to lodge complaints with the Justice Department arguing that they should still be able to implement Android as needed and that Google is attempting to change the terms of the agreement. For its part, Google has responded by stating that the OHA members agreed to these policies when signing up to support Android and is now implementing those policies after seeing the direction of the platform.
This means that any carrier or manufacturer that wishes to receive the latest Android builds will now have to submit plans directly to Andy Rubin and the rest of the core Android team before receiving access to those builds, in effect closing the platform to Googleâ€™s mandates and disallowing previous degrees of carrier and manufacturer customization, which representatives from both say will harm differentiation and lead to near identical devices.
This also follows Googleâ€™s recent announcement that it would delay the public release of Android Honeycomb source code and restrict the current version to major hardware manufacturers, also closing out smaller manufacturers and developers from the latest Android build.