It looks like Google is really starting to slowly but surely impose its Google+ brand on Android users, replacing stock Android apps with their own proprietary alternatives. What started with the Nexus 5's Messaging app has now happened as well to the Gallery app on the Sony Z Ultra and LG G Pad 8.3 Google Play Editions.
Google unceremoniously kicked out the stock Messaging app when it unveiled the Nexus 5 and Android 4.4 KitKat. In its stead was Hangouts, also part of Google+, as the one messaging solution to rule them all. The move was, in some ways, expected since the announcement of Hangouts getting shiny new SMS powers.
That the Gallery app would likewise be given the boot was also foreseen last month. Various clues were scattered in Android 4.4 that suggested that the Gallery app was in a state of decay, at least as far as Google is concerned. And now that prediction has come to pass. On the new pair of Google Play Edition devices, the Gallery app has been yanked out and replaced by, as expected, Google+ Photos. Unfortunately, the Google+ version lacks the new editing features that was, rather ironically, bragged about in Android 4.4. It's quite likely, though, that these will eventually find their way into the new Photos app as well.
Those who aren't fans of Google+ and Google's latest related antics need not worry too much. There will definitely be some developers who will package and even augment the open source Gallery app just like they did with the 8sms app. For now, this rather invasive change is limited to those two GPE devices. And in case you missed them, you can backtrack to our hands-on impressions of the Sony Z Ultra and LG G Pad Google Play Editions.
VIA: Android Central