Linked by Thom Holwerda on Tue 3rd Sep 2013 13:44 UTC
Google

Google's strategy is clear. Play Services has system-level powers, but it's updatable. It's part of the Google apps package, so it's not open source. OEMs are not allowed to modify it, making it completely under Google's control. Play Services basically acts as a shim between the normal apps and the installed Android OS. Right now Play Services handles the Google Maps API, Google Account syncing, remote wipe, push messages, the Play Games back end, and many other duties. If you ever question the power of Google Play Services, try disabling it. Nearly every Google App on your device will break.

Fragmentation addressed through the backdoor. Too bad it's too technical for most blogs, so the fragmentation line will be parroted for years and years to come.

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Defragment or decouple?
by Tony Swash on Tue 3rd Sep 2013 14:49 UTC
Tony Swash
Member since:
2009-08-22

I wonder if a better way to look at this is to say that Google is decoupling it's services from Android? As far as Google is concerned Android has done it's job, which was prevent iOS taking over and becoming so dominant that it could shut out Google services on a majority of mobile devices (actually Android was originally targeted to stop Microsoft Mobile but then came the iPhone and to their credit Google instantly knew it had to reconfigure Android to take on iOS).

Google's strategic aim is to ensure that it's services are ubiquitous horizontally across all platforms. Google doesn't care if a user accesses those services via Android or iOS as long as they do access them and access them in a way that allows Google's advertising business to prosper.

So as Google rolls out new services for Android it also does so for iOS. Google is now (post Rubin's) truly platform agnostic. As a key empowering technology for horizontal ubiquity Chrome seems to be more important to Google than Android.

I wonder what Samsung makes of all this? They are obviously eyeing the extra value that Apple gets from iOS by controlling a great deal of the service and content stack, and also eyeing Google's healthy revenue streams. They would to be foolish or, disinterested in extra revenue streams (and based on their track record that seems unlikely), not to be thinking about doing some decoupling of their own.

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