Remember earlier this year when Google said that manufacturers wouldn’t be allowed to customize the user interfaces of Android Wear, Android TV and Android Auto devices? Well apparently that may not be the case forever.
Hiroshi Lockheimer, Google’s VP of engineering, has told Re/code that the decision to prevent manufacturers from customizing Android Wear, TV and Auto UIs isn’t a “Google-way-or-the-highway kind of thing.” Instead, Google wants to ensure that it’s got the basic features of its new Android platforms right before letting OEMs tweak it.
While it’s unclear how much OEMs may be able to customize Android Wear, TV and Auto, they’re able to tweak Android smartphones and tablets pretty heavily. Lockheimer says that the ASUS ZenWatch (shown above) will be the first device to show us how manufacturers can customize Android Wear software.
Some folks may be a bit bummed to hear that Android Wear, TV and Auto devices will eventually have customized software. After all, we’ve seen OEMs go a bit crazy with custom software on Android phones and tablets in the past. It’ll be interesting to see if Google eventually allows a similar level of customizability with Wear, TV and Auto.
One other tidbit that’s worth noting: Lockheimer says that Android Auto is “moving along” and that the first cars to feature the software will roll out this year. Lockheimer also confirmed that Android Auto will require a phone running Android 5.0 Lollipop.