Following rumors that Google was preparing to starting forcing manufacturers to brand new devices with a “Powered by Android” logo, AndroidPolice today posted what appears to be evidence of the new requirement. Not every device using Google’s Android OS will have to bear the logo, but those that use Google’s Mobile Services— just about every Android smartphone from the major OEMs— will soon have to do so as part of Google’s updated requirements. Android has long been split into two distinct pieces: The Android Open Source Project that allows OEMs to freely use Android on their devices, and the closed Google Mobile Services, which gives access to Google Play services and Google branded apps like Maps and Gmail for manufacturers that agree to various guidelines.
It appears manufacturers are already putting the logo on new devices, although there’s no direct evidence that the device makers are required to do so. The Powered by Android logo appears of the startup screen of the new Galaxy S5 (as you can see in the screenshot above), as well as HTC’s new M8, but AndroidPolice notes it’s not on the Verizon variant of the device. Other reports claim that some devices show the logo on the startup screen every time the device is turned on, while others only show it the first time. There doesn’t appear to be strict guidelines about where the logo has to appear, but today’s report claimed sources say the branding is indeed mandatory.
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We’ve reached out to Google for clarification about the new requirement and will update if we hear back.