Google now requires ‘Powered by Android’ branding on new phones

First reported by this week, Google is now requiring smartphone manufacturers to include a ‘Powered by Android’ logo on the screen when the phone first boots up. Likely an attempt to increase visibility of the Android brand among mainstream consumers, this logo will appear on both the new HTC One M8 as well as the Samsung S5. If the logo is not placed on the boot-up screen on all newly released smartphones, the manufacturer will be denied access to the Google Play Store. It’s likely that Google will retroactively enforce this policy change on older phones, easily changed by the manufacturer with a firmware update.

Google has also included a number of design restrictions for smartphone manufacturers. For instance, absence of the phrase ‘powered by’ in front of the Android logo would be misuse. The same goes for altering spacing between the letters, changing the aspect ratio of the logo, changing the color of the letters, reducing the logo size significantly or crowding the logo on the screen with other elements such as text or pictures. Google also requires that the logo be no less than 40 percent of the screen width and be centered on the screen during boot-up.

By including the logo, consumers will be able to tell that different brands of smartphones are powered by the same operating system, despite the variety of software skins that are created by manufacturers. It’s unclear if Google will also require the branding on tablets that are powered by Android, but that’s a possible next step to increase the notoriety of the Android brand. By including the branding on both smartphones and tablets, this shift could also make Google’s Nexus line of devices more recognizable to consumers, since all of those devices have been using the ‘Powered by Android’ branding for some time.

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