Google Makes It Clear To OEMs; No Android 3.0 Honeycomb UI Customization For Now

March 24, 2011 - Written By Anthony Hardy

Google has stated for sometime that they would focus more on the UI elements of Android and eliminate the need for many OEM UI customizations. With Android 3.0 Honeycomb the tablet version of the OS the UI has received a major revamp, and has an elegant 3D interface that stays consistent throughout.

At a recent event in Germany an LG spokesperson let the news out that Google has told OEMs that changes to the GUI in Android 3.0 are strictly prohibited at this time.

Isn’t Android Customization A Key To Its Success?

UI customizations are the main instrument OEMs use to differentiate their products Motorola has MotoBlur, HTC has Sense, and Samsung uses its TouchWiz UI. The problem with the custom skins is that it slows down the update process by a considerable amount of time, whereas stock devices can update as soon as the update is released to market. The lag in updates has compounded what many consider to be Android biggest flaw and that is fragmentation of the ecosystem.

Google is taking its entry into the tablet market very seriously and realizes the importance of starting off right and leaving a good first impression. They also want to establish Honeycomb as platform in the market as the strength of the OS is in the hands of the development community. Developers just recently began to develop for the platform and as Google updates the OS they want the entire platform to update as well thus eliminating fragmentation.

How Long Will The Android Customization Ban On Honeycomb Last

Google has not put out a timeline for their ban understandably. Although this is a positive for the consumer who can have a stock device and receive the many updates that Honeycomb will receive during its early stages, it causes problems for OEMs like Samsung who already has introduced a UI into their New Galaxy Tabs.

This is a new approach as Google has notoriously taken a very limited role in how the Manufacturers implement their own ideas into the OS. Hopefully the new approach leads to a tablet market that no longer has to worry about fragmentation. Consumers should not have to base their decision on which manufacturer is more likely to receive timely updates.

How do you feel about Google’s new policy regarding Android Customization of Honeycomb? Will it benefit users? Does it hurt OEMs? Let us know in the comment area below?