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Samsung will allegedly tone down on custom software on Google’s request

It seems Samsung’s custom software enhancements have finally gotten Google’s attention. Enough for the Mountain View company to talk to Samsung and ask it to calm down a bit.

According to the sources at Re/code, the two companies are now in talks to bring Samsung’s vision of Android in line with Google’s. Google seems to be particularly taking offense at the presence of duplicate Samsung service that mimic ones by Google, such as the presence of a separate application store, music store, movie store and ebooks store. Since Samsung has to have Google’s services on board as well, it results in two of each on every device, which will likely confuse customers.
As part of the ongoing discussions, Samsung will likely be toning down its custom interface changes as well, including the new Magazine UX that was introduced on the new line of Galaxy Tabs at CES this year, along with highlighting Google’s services over its own on its devices.
Personally, I’m sick of seeing Samsung’s custom stores on every device that not only offer a poor selection of content but also clutter the device with unnecessary apps. However, I disagree with Google trying to curb Samsung’s UI enhancements. Samsung has spent half a decade trying to make Android usable by adding useful (and admittedly several useless) features to Android, many of which were later shamelessly ripped off by Google and added to stock Android (take the notification shortcuts, for example).
Now Google has a problem with the Magazine UX, a genuinely useful feature that makes up for the lackluster multitasking on Android and lets you do more with your device. Instead of coming up with something like this on its own or at least encouraging someone else who’s doing it, Google is trying to pull Samsung back to align it with its own myopic vision of Android.
Hopefully, a balance will be achieved some time in future where Samsung will tone down the unnecessary features and enhancements while still keeping the genuinely useful ones.
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Renald Bame

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