Ask any die hard Android user and they’ll likely tell you the main reason for their loyalty to the Google brand will probably be how customizable their phone/tablet is. Ask any iPhone user why they won’t switch to Android and it’s likely due to the inconsistent nature of the Android ecosystem.
This diversity has been both a blessing and a curse for Android since its release in 2008, and for awhile, it seemed like it Google was ready to address this “problem” with the program called Android Silver, which aimed to make the Android software more consistent across the different manufacturers. To put it more simply, it was “Google’s expensive plan to turn its Android mobile software into a high end consumer brand on par with Apple’s iPhone” (via TheInformation). How is this program going? According to Re/Code, it doesn’t seem like we’ll be seeing the effects of Android Silver anytime soon.
“The program was shelved after lukewarm interest from device makers that didn’t want to share its branding with another company or employ such a restricted version of the software.”
A couple examples of this branding from device makers comes from Business Insider.
Several of Google’s partners, especially Samsung, heavily customize Android to focus on their own apps and services. Pick up a Galaxy Note 3, and you’ll notice that Samsung’s own apps pop up when you use the S Pen stylus. Take a look at HTC’s One M8, and you’ll see the company’s Blink Feed Flipboard-style interface on one of the home screens.
Restricting the software would result in each device manufacturer’s personal brand being reduced in favor of Google’s own Android brand. Google’s desire to implement a program like Android Silver is understandable, as it would enable developers to make one version of their software instead of seven, but perhaps it’s just not in the cards at this moment. Device manufacturer interest aside, diversity is a spice of life that many Android users would not want to give up, and if the program were successful, Google may end up alienating much of their current base who avoid Apple for that very same reason.
Will this change in the future? Potentially. But for now, it looks like Google is embracing this diversity, as evidenced by its new “And You” campaign.
With its diverse base of Android devices perfectly mirroring its diverse demographic of users, Google may have found the most effective slogan to represent its brand.
“Android. Be together. Not the same.”
It is unclear whether or not these parallels are intentional or coincidental but, regardless of the intention, the parallels are there. And with such diversity on display, it would seem like a foolish time to start introducing conformity to the Android brand.
[Image Credit: “Android: And you” Ad]