Mark of the robot – the Galaxy S5 and HTC One M8 proudly proclaim they are “Powered by Android”
For the first time in a long while, weare seeing Google make a move towards establishing Android as aconsumer brand. What we're trying to convey is that, when Joe andJane McRegular pick up their Galaxy smartphones from their carrier,they usually have no idea what operating system it runs and who madeit. They don't care much, either. They just know that the phone ismade by Samsung, has "apps", and it's not an iPhone. Fairenough, but this device's existence was only made possible thanks toAndroid, which is something that Google now wants them to know.Previously, the company preferred to let the acknowledgment slide by,even after the revelation that "Galaxy" is a times morepopular and sought after brand (respectively, product) than theplatform which fuels it. A bit uncanny, considering Android is theworld's most popular operating system today.
However, as Google left the problemunattended, some vendors began to take too many liberties with thecompany (and community)'s hard work. They customized Android's codeto the extent of replacing native Google apps with their own clonesof them to mask its original identity. That's when Mountain Viewdecided to intervene. Stepping up from previous efforts, when users boot up the Galaxy S5 and the HTCOne (M8), two of the hottest smartphones right now, they are greetedwith the message "Powered by Android". Notably,"Android" is written in a classic font that we last saw onthe HTC G1, the original Android smartphone.
Like a well-deserved "special thanks to..." on an attractive album cover
It's a small, but significant move. Ittells users that their shiny new smartphone has been made possible,in a non-insignificant part, thanks to Android. It's like awell-deserved "special thanks to..." on the front of anattractive album cover. The question now is whether the tag willgrace all future Android smartphones. It's more likely that deviceswhich use their own, highly-specific forks of Android, like theAmazon tablets and the Nokia X, will spare the nod to Google.Likewise, devices that don't have the Play Store and Google servicesat the heart of their software experience - Chinese phones, forexample - probably won't salute Android. The rest, though, willlikely carry the mark of the robot.
photos by StephanConstantine (@WhatTheBit)