Samsung has succumbed to pressure from Google and will now make Android on its device appear a little more Android and a lot less Samsung.
According to Recode, both companies began a dialogue at the 2014 Consumer Electronics Show early this month with the hope of hammering out an agreement. Google wants to "bring Samsung's view of Android in line" with its own - and Samsung is apparently considering caving to this demand.
One of the ways Samsung will change is that it plans to alter or axe its new Magazine UX interface that overlays Android, said Recode. It'll also spotlight Google's apps for movies, music, etc, rather than placing priority on its own apps. Recode had no concrete details about whether Google made any concessions within the agreement.
Update: Google just announced it is selling Motorola to Lenovo. Could that be Google's concession?
When asked to respond to Recode's report, Samsung said it tries to give users many options and a great experience. A vague response, indeed. But Samsung seemed to confirm it would continue offering services from Google, carrier providers, and itself. We've contacted Google and will update if more information becomes available.
A new report from ABI research claimed that 25 per cent of Android devices shipped in the fourth quarter did not have Google’s services installed. However, if Recode is correct, Google has stemmed this trend, at least on Samsung devices, and will be able to continue using Android as a platform for serving up Google Play content.
As for Samsung, it's not immediately clear how the company would gain from such a deal with Google. It has been pushing its own software and services for a while and will even launch its Tizen OS on a smartphone soon. That said, Samsung might simply want Google on its side, especially if it is interested in co-developing handsets down the road.