It was reported last week, and later confirmed, that Samsung was going to help users differentiate their fixed Galaxy Note 7 from explosive models by changing the battery icon from white to green. It's a subtle way to tell that you have a safe Galaxy Note 7, without needing to go to any of the details of the smartphone. But there's just one problem with this, it's against the rules the Google set forth in the Android Compatibility Definition Document.
Many of you are likely unaware of the Compatibility Definition Document or CDD. Basically this is the document full of rules for manufacturers to follow, if they want their device to be approved and licensed to run Google apps. These include the Google Play Store, Gmail, Google+ and the whole suite of Google apps that you see on most Android smartphones. Even though most smartphones don't look anything like stock Android, Google does still define some of the changes that can be made to the UI. One of those changes pertains to the battery icon located in the status bar. Noted in the Themes section of the document, Google writes, "Android device implementations MUST use white for system status icons (such as signal strength and battery level) and notifications issued by the system, unless the icon is indicating a problematic status or an app requests a light status bar using the SYSTEM_UI_FLAG_LIGHT_STATUS_BAR flag."
They also go onto state that when a light status bar is needed, the device must change the battery icon to black. It's pretty cut and dry and not much room for changing the color of the battery icon, is available. It may seem a bit controlling on Google's part, but this is how they are hoping to give users a universal experience on any Android device. Not to mention the fact that a number of apps – especially Google ones – use a green status bar. Which would make it tough to see the battery icon, when those apps are open.
Every OS update that goes out to any Android device, is sent to Google for testing and to check it against the Compatibility Definition Document. So Google will be seeing this new update that Samsung is reportedly looking to push out in the near future. It's tough to say what Google may do, whether they let Samsung slide with this, or if they pull Google app support from the Galaxy Note 7. But currently, this update is not heading out to users, just yet. That may change in the near future though. Especially as users are beginning to get their replacement Galaxy Note 7's already.