We all know about the grudge that Google has against Amazon. Both of the companies were kicking each other off of their own platforms. For example, Google revoked YouTube from being available on Amazon’s Fire TV platforms.
Google make manufacturers agree to terms and conditions
Now we are at the stage where Google is (almost) completely shutting Amazon out. Multiple sources are saying that companies that licenses the Google Android TV OS have to agree to terms and conditions. These terms and conditions prevent that said company building devices that have forked versions of the Android OS (ahem.. the Fire TV OS).
What if you break the terms and conditions?
Say if one of the companies break these terms and conditions, what would happen? The company will lose access to both the Play Store and Google’s apps for all of their devices. It seems pretty harsh, no? A senior employee of a major TV manufacturer said that “They cannot do Android TV and Fire TV simultaneously”. The employee spoke on the condition of anonymity because they weren’t allowed to discuss the subject by their employer.
Google have announced themselves that last year they had struck deals with six out of ten smart TV manufacturers and 140 cable TV operators around the globe. Google have basically put a firewall against their competition, Amazon. I hope I don’t have to compete against Google anytime soon.
Another one of Google’s attempts to defeat Amazon when it comes to smart TV ambitions is the Android Compatibility Commitment. This is a confidential set of policies that manufacturers of Android devices have to agree to in order to gain access to the Google Play Store. Yes, Android may be an open-source OS but to make up for that, Google keeps a tight rein on what device manufacturers can do. Of course they need to comply in order to access the Google Play Store and other Android apps.
The Google policies set a baseline for compatible Android devices and guarantee that apps developed for one specific Android device will work with another. As well as this, developers are allowed to build their own versions of Android with the OS’s open source code. This is as long as the developers follow Google’s compatibility requirements.