October 30, 2014

MIPS Releases Statement on Google's UI Crackdown

We reported earlier today that Google is taking steps to slow down fragmentation within Android releases by being more strict with manufacturer UIs. Well, we’ve just received an official statement from MIPS Technologies that clears up some questions about this whole ordeal. In a nutshell, Google sees what UIs are doing to Android. True, they’re all unique in their own way, and they set the devices apart, but the bottom line is that they’re slowing down Android releases. Take for example, the Samsung Galaxy S devices, which are just now getting Froyo, due to the fact that Samsung had to overlay TouchWiz on top of Froyo and work out all the kinks. If it weren’t for TW, the Galaxy S phones would have had Froyo months ago.

Google sees this problem, and they’re doing something about it. According to MIPS, Google is requiring that manufacturers sign an “anti-fragmentation” agreement in order to gain access to the Android Market and other Android resources. Does this mean that Manufacturer UIs will cease to exist? No. It’s a step toward slowing down fragmentation of Android devices. It’s a step, made by Google (with MIPS’s assistance) to ensure that the manufacturers won’t mess around when it comes to updates. The agreement ensures that you’ll get software updates sooner, and when they’re promised. I for one have to applaud Google on this one. They’ve taken a passive stance for the majority of things related to Android so far, but they see what’s happening, and they’re not just going to stand by and let it happen. Kudos, Google. More on this as it develops.