It seems that Google is realizing more that Android is big, and that their apps are therefore big. With this in mind, they have updated their MADA (Mobile Application Distribution Agreement) for 2014, the agreement that manufacturers such as Samsung or Motorola sign in order to add Google’s suite of apps to their phones.
New requirements include things such as having 20 pre-installed Google apps in a folder on the home screen labeled “Google”, a Google search bar at the top of the home screen, making “OK Google” a hotword to wake the device for interaction (assuming the phone has this capability), making Google Search accessible by swiping up from the home button, and during boot-up the screen should display either a Google trademark or mention that the phone runs Android.
This may seem extreme, particularly considering Android is supposed to be “open”. There’s a distinction that needs to be made though: getting Android on a phone, and getting Android on a phone with Google’s suite of apps. Manufacturers could still place Android on their phones if they desired, just without Google Play or other Google apps (similarly to how Amazon uses Android).
What do you think? Should Google rein it in? Or do they have the right to ask as much from manufacturers, considering the above requirements arguable provide a better Android experience?