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.

Reply Score: 6

BlueofRainbow Member since:
2009-01-06

This is quite interesting.

In this approach, the manufacturer has to provide (adapt/port) the kernel and drivers for each device as before. Customization would be optional.

If I understand well, Google Services and the Apps it supports would feel/look the same accross all devices.

Now, does this open a creative solution? Could one replace "Google Services" by something else (a different personality) - even if this may mean no longer being able to run a number of Android Apps?

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE: Defragment or decouple?
by swift11 on Wed 4th Sep 2013 06:47 in reply to "Defragment or decouple?"
swift11 Member since:
2012-08-23

congrats, great post ! :-)

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE: Defragment or decouple?
by JAlexoid on Wed 4th Sep 2013 11:52 in reply to "Defragment or decouple?"
JAlexoid Member since:
2009-05-19

Samsung really does not care. As long as there is actual competition in the platform market, they will prosper. They are the beneficiaries of Google's goal of having a market that is not controlled by one company.

Yet they know that their situation is better with Google providing services that they don't need to support.

Reply Parent Score: 3

Tony Swash Member since:
2009-08-22

Samsung really does not care. As long as there is actual competition in the platform market, they will prosper. They are the beneficiaries of Google's goal of having a market that is not controlled by one company.

Yet they know that their situation is better with Google providing services that they don't need to support.


I am not so sure about that.

On the topic of this article "Google is defragging Android". On reflection I think that Play Services defragments Android for Google, it doesn't not defragment it for anyone else.

This is a move designed to help just Google but it does not help anyone else trying to monetise the Android ecosystem.

Reply Parent Score: 2