Google will soon take over the world. The search giant is bent on bringing its Android platform into other devices aside from smartphones, tablets, and smartwatches. Soon, we’ll see Android-running cars, TVs, appliances, and more. When it comes to cars, there’s already the Android Auto being employed in the latest Honda vehicles. Android Wear can now be found on watches while the OS version for Android TVs is still being developed.
Google also currently has Chrome OS running on Chromebooks and the Chromecast dongle turning digital TV into an Internet TV. Maybe someday, the company will roll out Android versions for these devices for uniformity.
Google is doing the process slowly but surely. It’s also started to limit the degree to which OEMs can customize the platform for their own hardware. For example, Google limited software customization in watches running Android Wear. The watch manufacturers were limited to adding custom watch faces only. However, Google is saying it won’t lock down Android completely even if it seems the platform is going that direction.
Hiroshi Lockheimer, Google’s Vice President of Engineering commented, “It’s not some Google-way-or-the-highway kind of thing.” He also said the makers’ limited flexibility is only temporary and Google is only perfecting the basics before it allows customization by others. In fact, Asus will be the first to show off the new customization on Android Wear with its yet-to-be-released Zen Watch.
Google also has Android One and Android Silver. Android One is supposed to be for low-cost phones priced $100 and below. This Android version requires Google to control the software images loaded on the devices but the OEMs can select apps that can be downloaded. On the other hand, there’s also Android Silver-—a program that is less customizable. Google had good intentions for the Silver but was shelved because hardware makers were not interested on a restricted version and didn’t want to share the brand with other companies.
The Nexus line will still continue according to Lockheimer while Android Auto is already in its early stages. We’ll see if the car version will be as successful as the first vehicle from Honda hits the market.