If you asked a handful of HTC One or Galaxy S users what operating system their phone was running, I’m sure a surprising amount would tell you they have no idea. Android branding on Android powered handsets is surprisingly lacking. Especially when compared to manufacturer, carrier or even Google branding. But it looks like Google is going to change that.
When the Samsung Galaxy S5 was announced, it was noted that the boot-screen of the new device featured a “Powered by Android” logo. At the time speculation on the inclusion of the nod to Android was rampant. Was it a result of the talks between Google and Samsung that had taken place shortly before the S5 was unveiled? Is it a new requirement to using Google’s suite of apps? With the reveal of the new HTC One, we gain a little more insight into the situation.
In big, bold letters, as soon as you turn the new HTC One on, you’re greeted by what will soon be a familiar sight: “Powered by Android.” Russell Holly of Geek.com is reporting that Google is “mandating that the phrase ‘Powered by Android’ be present during the boot animation on new phones.” Exactly what this gains manufacturers, or the terms under which they have to include the logo, is uncertain. It could be as important as access to Google apps or as simple as a good relationship with Google. Either way, there’s a good chance it’s not going away anytime soon.
What exactly will Android brand awareness do for Google? Probably not a whole lot. We’ll still be keeping an eye out for where else “Powered by Android” shows up, though.