No more skins: Google is controlling Android Wear, TV, and Auto interfaces across devices

Manufacturer branding and small additions aside, we needn’t fear dramatically altered OS skins
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Most Android phone and tablet manufacturers like to put their own spin on the interface and bundle in specific apps, so it’s difficult to have a consistent experience across devices. That won’t be the case with Android Wear, Android TV, or Android Auto, claims Google.

The company’s engineering director, David Burke, tells Ars Technica that Google will take a stronger position of control with devices featuring Android Wear, TV, or Auto operating systems.

“The UI is more part of the product in this case," says Burke, using the example of Android TV. "We want to just have a very consistent user experience, so if you have one TV in one room and another TV in another room and they both say Android TV, we want them to work the same and look the same.”

However, device manufacturers will be able to brand the experience and bundle in certain apps and services as desired. Google has provided a list of the software differences between the Samsung Gear Live and LG G Watch, and they sound extremely minor. Otherwise, the UI experience should be by and large identical between devices (excepting screen shape differences with Wear), letting you comfortably move about the Android device universe.

And Google aims to handle updates for all of these devices itself—“more like Chrome on the desktop,” says Burke—which should hopefully eliminate the same kind of frustration that comes when an Android handset maker drags its feet on OS upgrades.

[Source: Ars Technica]

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