Google reportedly will require ‘Powered by Android’ branding on newer devices

March 27, 2014
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htc one m8 powered by android aa (1 of 1)

Despite Google’s dominance in the mobile world, there’s a distinct lack of Android branding found on most Android devices — something Google is now reportedly starting to address.

Let’s face it, mobile operating systems seem to be in a very different position from desktop OSes when it comes to branding and marketing. If you ask an average PC user what OS they are running, most of them will quickly respond “Windows”. Ask a Mac user what OS they are running, and they will likely know they are rocking a Mac OS computer.

Turning towards mobile devices, if you were to ask the average Apple mobile device owner what OS they are running you’d probably hear a minority actually refer to the platform as iOS, with most users simply referring to their device as an iPhone or iPad. Surely Android doesn’t have the same problem, right? After all, it’s the world’s most popular OS and a favorite among the more ‘hardcore’ mobile users out there.

Mobile operating systems seem to be in a very different position from desktop OSes when it comes to branding and marketing

That said, Android’s dominance in the global market also means plenty of non-techies have Android devices, and many of these devices have thoroughly customized UIs such as Sense and TouchWiz. Add a lack of “Android branding” to the mix, and I think you’d be surprised to find many Samsung owners would say they are running “the Galaxy OS” and many other Android device owners would probably say they have an HTC One, a Galaxy S4, or simply a Google OS device.

To help resolve some of the confusion that comes with having multiple different manufacturer partners and tons of customized UIs, Google has reportedly began mandating that partner devices include a “Powered by Android” logo present during the boot animation — at least if a new claim from Geek proves correct.

samsung galaxy s5 aa android

It’s important to note that neither Google, HTC or Samsung has directly confirmed this requirement just yet, so we’d take the report with a grain of salt. There is at least some evidence of this claim, however, as both the Galaxy S5 and the HTC One M8 have been spotted rocking a “powered by Android” logo.

The appearance of the Android logo sort of reminds us of the “Intel Inside” logo

If Google really is requiring HTC and Samsung to include the logos,we have to wonder about the terms of the arrangement. Although we’ve yet to see the logo on devices like the Sony Xperia Z2 (to our knowledge), there is the possibility that Google will require all new Google Play certified devices to carry the branding in the future. There’s also the chance that this is a separate optional deal with some currently unknown benefit for manufacturers that agree. For now, all we can do is speculate.

The appearance of the Android logo kind of reminds us of the “Intel Inside” logo found on the back of Intel-powered devices, which helped bring recognition to Intel’s role inside our PCs starting in the 90s. It’s hard to say how Google might benefit from bringing recognition to the Android name, but perhaps it’s as simple as reducing customer confusion. Either way, we’ll be keeping our eyes out for more devices that feature the “Powered by Android” logo in the near future.

What do you think, should Google require manufacturers to include a “powered by Android” logo or should it be an entirely optional arrangement?

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