According to multiple sources last week, Google is now requiring a “powered by Android” indicator on all devices that use the Android operating system as a precondition of gaining access to Google Play. Geek.com was the first site to confirm the new mandate.
The branding must be displayed as the phone boots up. There are a number of specs that indicate placement and size. The following image was obtained by Android Police.
There was no explicit rationale provided. However there’s considerable tension between Google’s efforts to standardize the Android experience and hardware makers’ efforts (specifically Samsung’s) to “own” the device and differentiate it from other commodity providers of Android hardware.
It’s interesting that Google is doing this now and seeking to raise the profile of Android as a distinct brand. Over on the tablet side Google might want to start cracking down on low-end tablet makers’ use of the Google brand to sell their substandard devices.
The unregulated use of “Google” along with these cheaply made Android tablets diminishes both the Google and Android as brands. I would think that Google would only want “Google” or “Android” on selected devices that met quality specifications.