Thursday, January 5, 2012

Stock Android user interface mandatory on all ICS devices

Google has announced that all devices with Android Market installed must have the stock Android 4.0 “Holo” theme and user interface installed.

By requiring the Holo theme and user interface on “All devices with Android Market” basically covers most Android devices except for Amazon tablets, Nook tablets and a several devices from smaller manufacturers who never sought Google certification. But pretty much every major manufacturer has the Android Market installed.

Is this the end on HTC's Sense, Samsung Touchwiz, Motorola's Blur and so on? Interestingly, Google says “We have no desire to restrict manufacturers from building their own themed experience across their devices.” So basically, this means that if an OEM want to include it own interface it must also have an option to use the default Android theme. 

We have to wait and see what OEM's do, but maybe it is time OEM's limit themselves to providing proprietary widgets and skins, and not modify Android too much. Should make it easier to roll out updates. It may be the right time too. Pretty much everything you get out of HTC's excellent Sense interface is pretty much available now in vanilla Android 4.0.

That being said, I am not too fond of the new high-tech Tron like theme. But it looks pretty good once you get under the skin.

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