Are Android Smartphone Manufacturers Being Forced to Advertise Support For Google’s Apps and Services?

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Samsung Android 10 roadmap

Is Google continuing its authoritarian rule on Android smartphone manufacturers? The tech giant recently required all new devices to launch with Android 10 already baked in to increase the adoption rates of their latest mobile operating system. They also required that Digital Wellbeing be installed on all new devices plus giving number priority to its own gesture navigation forcing OEMs to hide their customized gesture navigation systems. Google set new default Google apps that will ship on new phones that will run on Android 10 and Android 10(Go Edition).

The next step the Mountain View-based company is taking is reportedly requiring all Android smartphone manufacturers to advertise that their devices support Google’s apps and services and that this should be made clear on the retail copies of compatible Android devices.

Google’s Mobile Services(GMS) licensing requirements for Android makers will have them include a “with easy access to the Google apps you use most” message as seen on Xiaomi’s latest device’s retail box, the Mi 10.


Xiaomi Mi 10 Pro | Image courtesy, XDA

A lot of people thought it was the company being petty at Huawei that have launched their flagships such as the Mate 30 and P40 series without support for Google’s apps and services.

Xiaomi even went ahead to clarify with a statement that reads:

We have noticed that there is a discussion on the latest copy of the packaging of Xiaomi mobile phone overseas market. In order to avoid misunderstanding, the explanation is as follows

  • This copy is from the promotion requirements of the partners in the latest cooperation agreement, similar to the “power by android” displayed on the Android phone and the “intel inside” on the computer.
  • Because the previous version of the agreement between Xiaomi and its partners has expired, Xiaomi becomes the first batch of contracted manufacturers of the new version of the cooperation agreement, and is also the first manufacturer to release new products after it becomes effective.
  • We hope that global mobile phone manufacturers can cooperate smoothly with all partners to create a richer ecosystem.

Xiaomi confirmed that there’s a new Mobile Application Distribution Agreement(MADA) that Android phone makers will have to sign in order to be able to distribute Google Mobile Services on their newer devices.

However, the new requirement could also mean that devices with that message come with extra Google apps not found in the GMS core apps list(Google App, Google Chrome, Google Play Store, Gmail, Google Maps, and YouTube) such as Google Pay, Google Podcasts, Google One, Google Contacts, Google Calendar, Google Lens, Google Assistant, and Google News.

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