The Samsung Galaxy S5 and HTC One M8 are shipping with branding we haven’t seen before. These smartphones are letting the world know that they’re “Powered by Android” as soon as you turn them on, right on the boot screen.
In the past, we’ve seen reports that Samsung was winning the branding war, as most Samsung users think they’re running a “Galaxy” and not Android. This is the nature of Android OEMs as every OEM has their own line or multiple lines of Android products, making it generally hard to determine exactly what you’re using. Is your smartphone a Verizon branded DROID? A Galaxy? An Xperia? Or maybe you’re rockin’ a Transformer. The list could go on and on. Since Android is far from a household name, it would be wise for Google to let consumers know who’s in charge and what product they’re actually running.
What if every smartphone or tablet launching after a certain date had to include proper branding if the OEM wanted their new hardware to play in Google’s Playground? It doesn’t sound too far fetched, right? And, what better way to do it than prominently displaying the official Android logo every time the device boots?
While this does sound like a mandated change from Google, seeing two flagship devices from very prominent Android OEMs both producing devices featuring the “Powered by Android” branding, we reached out to Google for official confirmation yesterday and are still awaiting a response to be certain. It’s also worth noting that the Verizon HTC One M8 is not following suit as the “Powered by Android” branding is missing from the boot screen on their version. We’ll let you know if we hear anything.
Geek.com has received confirmation that this is indeed mandated by Google and part of the Google Mobile Services agreement. The “Powered by Android” branding includes it’s own set of guidelines from Google and must be displayed for OEMs to access the Google Play Store. Moving forward, all new devices will display the new logo.